Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Falling In Love

I think I'm falling in love. I don't know how Chris is going to take it. I think I love running. And I hope running loves me back.

I look in the mirror and I can see the difference that 14 pounds makes. I put on shirts I haven't worn in awhile and I don't have to pull them off right away and find something fluffier to wear. I start running and I don't want to stop. I can do over 15 minutes without stopping. Granted, I slow down and speed up, but that comes later, just like running past two minutes would come later when I was very first starting.

I went on two runs today because I wasn't really satisfied with just doing the mile I did at the track. I decided to go around my block. Halfway through, I was remembering July, in the beginning, when I was cheering myself on just to get through two minutes. I remembered the otter pops on my legs when the shin splints got too much to bear. I remembered thinking that a 5k next spring might be a reasonable goal. Now I'm considering an autumn run. In the back of my mind, I dare hope that someday I'll do a half marathon. Someday.

I noticed that when I don't know how far I'm going or how much time I'm spending, I tend to run faster. I scared myself on the track today, thinking I should pace myself lest I wear myself out before the mile, but this evening I pushed myself a little harder and came home faster than I expected. I can do this.

Tomorrow is class. I bike to ASL and I've been going over the overpasses lately instead of around or through the tunnels. It burns my lungs and my thighs, but I get through it. I'm even considering maybe doing a vegetarian diet again. It's just so refreshing. Meat is so heavy...

It's later than I should be up (one thing I haven't been able to change to a healthier habit is getting enough sleep), so I'm going to end this blog entry now. I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel beautiful. That's new for me. Goodnight everyone.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I upped my running time to three minutes and then yesterday, to four. I realized I could go longer when I would begin to run and then realize that I had forgotten to start my interval clock. So I decided to test my mile today at the Davis High track. For some reason the iMapMyRun GPS was wildly inaccurate, as you can see on the website. Their bike app seems to be pretty spot on, so I might shoot them an email and let them know. Anywho, it was a thirteen minute mile, which isn't anything special, but I did run continuously for thirteen minutes, which is freakin' amazing to me.

Now that I've done it I can't go back to three and four minute runs, though. I'm really on my way to a 5k, though.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today I am 158.2 lbs, down 13.6 lbs. My waist is down two and a half inches from 40.5 to 38. Hips are down two inches from 41 to 39.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My ASL 2 class started this evening! I rode the bike to class. :) It was a good first day of class, but I had to get a permission number because I was dropped from the class for lack of payment (which I never got an email about). When I looked up what I owed? Two-dollars and fifty freaking cents!!!

Come on, Los Rios, you can do better than that!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Evening Ride

I rode the Green Belt this evening, which is a network of trails through North Davis that goes through different parks and barely touches any streets. Chris and I have explored it before, and I've gone on my own, but it's still new enough that I can get joyfully lost and then find my way back.

The sun was going down when I reached the dirt path that runs along the corn and sunflower fields that we usually get to from F Street. The sky was golden in the west with rays reaching for the last bit of blue on the other side. Flaxen fields of cut wheat met me near the end of the dirt path after I passed the weeping sunflowers. I got back on the Green Belt and headed back toward Anderson. I'm going to miss moments like this when winter comes.

I'm going to have to start thinking about a plan of action for the winter, whether it's running through the rain or getting back into the apt. gym room. I'm going to do some consulting over the next few weeks and see what other people have done during those dark days. I don't want to lose momentum because of the cold. It's so easy for me to use that as a cop-out.

Today was a good ride through the Green Belt and a good run on the American River Bike Trail. Tomorrow I start my ASL class, which I plan on biking to, of course. I feel really bad because I haven't practiced all summer! Hopefully, the little bit I use at my job will keep me sharp enough to not look like a total failure. We'll see. Now that the day is over, it's nigh time for bed. I'm pretty worn out and it's only Monday. Goodnight, world.

21 August, 2011

I have a new scale coming. I was really tired of getting three different numbers on my scale some mornings.

My legs are going to be hurting tomorrow! Nine mile bike ride and a two and a half mile walk/run today, plus strength training. I took more measurements last night. I'm going to update the blog later to better show my progress. I may be walking tomorrow with a coworker, if not, a run by the American River is in order.

Car is needing a part right now, so I'm taking Chris's. When mine's fixed, I want to see if my bike fits in the back seat so I can take it to work with me. I really want to get on those trails with it.

As of today, I'm down over ten pounds and still going strong. Can't wait to see what this week has in store.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's a free Calorie day, which means I put a quick-add Calorie count of 1200 in my fit pal for the day and I don't worry about what the actual number might be. Two and a half hours of hiking is an estimated 1296 Calories burned, so it's a wash. I wouldn't have even put anything in the app, but if you log food and exercise for a certain number of days, it tells you, "You've logged in for such-and-such days in a row" and I didn't want to miss that.

It was a great hike, but a bit difficult to stay on the trail, especially after letting Jimmy navigate (wink-wink, Jimmy, just teasing). The falls are gorgeous and the scenery is magnificent. Chris took the best pictures, but here are a few from the hike:

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Friday, August 19, 2011


I made it to my first milestone, 10 lbs. I wore my polar bear shirt today, which I had said was going to be a reward for losing this much. It's still a little snug in the arms, but hey, I'm on my way.

Good day today. My car almost didn't start out ofmthe parking lot from work, but Chris knows what it is, so it will be fixed next week. Although it's frustrating, it's okay and I'll deal with it. I got home and we went on a bike ride. I wasn't finished, so I did some running/walking intervals. Shinsplints aren't hurting nearly as much and putting a string of Otter Pops on them after my run seems to help. Otter Pops are prefect for icing. I'll never buy an ice pack again.

Tomorrow is Horsetail Falls! I'm so excited! It's going to be an awesome hike. I will update tomorrow night, probably with pictures nave a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday, 18 August, 2011

Updates for Thursday, 18 August, 2011

I am over on my calories today and under on exercise. I got home from work and all I could do was take a nap. I'm really worn out, not going to sleep early enough (my own fault), and have had a really, really rough couple of days at work. I feel fried, burnt out. I hope I feel better by tomorrow.

This weekend is Horsetail Falls with some friends. I'm excited! Can't wait to spend the day with the trees and nature and good company.

I bought chocolate milk today. Runner's World mag keeps telling me one serving is a good way to replenish and restore after a run. Rock on, I get chocolate!

I'm considering putting a bike rack on my car. There may be one available via the in-laws, but we'll have to see if my car supports it. I want to take it on the American River bike trail that I sometimes encounter on community outings at work. I just want to ride.

It's been a long day. I'm ready for bed. This week is kicking my ass. That's all for updates today, folks. I'm out of here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Attempt at C25k

A dollar ninety-nine isn't much in the grand scheme of things. I used to pay roughly $3.50 a day in my early twenties for a pack of smokes. During my heyday as a foolish, young, self-destructive teen, I'd throw away at least a buck fifty for a 40oz (or a "fo'ty," as us Generation-Nexters liked to call them) of Mickey's or (puke) Magnum. I just put $20 in the tank today at $3.60 a gallon so I can make it to Horsetail Falls for a hike this weekend. And, goodness knows, I would have spent at least as much on the dollar menu at McDonald's just a few weeks ago, and we're not talking side salad. So what's a dollar ninety-nine for an app?

I'll tell you what: it should at least work better than the free ones. It should work at least as well as the ninety-nine cent apps, and, damnit, it shouldn't crash every single damn time I use it.

I have recently taken up running, if you haven't been following my blog, and have been trying to slowly build up intervals from two-minutes running/three minutes walking. I was supposed to move up to three minutes of running two weeks ago, but shinsplints and other factors (35 lbs overweight, fear, excuses?) have prevented me from doing so. So, I looked up interval training apps and I found the "Couch to 5k" program started by Seemed reasonable. Their $1.99 app would let me play music while interrupting at the right times to tell me I needed to jog or walk. The intervals were pre-set to follow this specific program created by these people. "Great!" I thought, "I'll let this program decide for me when to increase my running time because I really have no idea what I'm doing!"

So how well does this app work, you might be asking. It starts out great! Whatever "trainer" you choose gets you warmed up with a five minute walk and then tells you, "Let's jog," when it's time to jog. After the interval, and before you know it, the trainer has you "walk briskly." You might even think, "Wow! I really did a whole such-and-such-time of running just now and it flew by!" And then, at least halfway through this warm, fuzzy workout when you're really starting to like Clarissa or whatever the he'll they name their voice characters, you realize you've been walking longer than you expected. You look down at your phone only to realize your app has crashed and nothing from your workout has been saved.

Thinking it a fluke, you might try it again a few days later after you've emailed their support and they've told you they haven't come across this bug before. Then it happens again. Two out of two times, your two-dollar app has failed you. You finish your workout without a timer and grit your teeth through the pain, determined to not let that flaky bitch, Clarissa who keeps quitting on you, to get the best of you. You don't need her anyway.

After this happened to me, I shot their support another email letting them know that two out of two crashes equals negative feedback and bought myself a $.99 interval timer I had previously missed in my app store search. I tested it to make sure it worked. It performed perfectly, which makes it 500 times better than's app and half as cheap. Another thing I found out on my way back tonight, abandoned and trainer-less from the C25k app, I can do more than two minutes. I can even go faster than I was going waiting for Clarissa to tell me what to do. So it wasn't a total loss after all. Next week, I may just be running for three minutes at a time. Take that, C25k.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My iPad 2

As you know from my blog entry the other day, "iPad," I am now the proud owner of an iPad 2. You may be wondering yourself if the device is worth an investment and what kinds of features drew me to it in the first place. Well, you're in luck, as answering those questions (and more) is what I fully intend to do in this post.

My laptop is about six years old. I don't know how much longer Apple is going to keep my architecture compatible with their updates, software and even devices. The iPhone was still a dream when my PowerBook G4 was being put together somewhere in China. I almost can't watch YouTube on it anymore and opening multiple tabs in Safari will slow it to a grind. I see the colorful spinny wheel more often than I see the cursor when I'm doing things in programs with heavier loads, like iTunes or Photoshop. It's become like an old friend found on facebook: welcomingly familiar but seeing too much of him becomes awkward. It's time to upgrade, but how?

Laptops are expensive, and say what you will, I love Apple products. I love the software, the user-friendliness, the security and the stability of Mac OS in all it's forms. I love that my iPhone doesn't shut off by itself for no reason, a "feature" of every other phone I've had. I love that my wordy essays or papers for school don't disappear behind a foredooming blue wall after hours of work. I love that people online list their "free" anti-virus programs like AVG and regularly update how many trojans they found this week while I smirk and think, "Why, I don't have any such virus protection: I have a Mac." With not a lot of money to spare, however, the security and comfort of a new laptop from the brand I like seemed to be out of reach unless I wanted to go used, which is still fine, but still pricey. Damn things keep their value longer than a PC.

Chris and I decided it was time to invest in iPads. We had help. The details of the deal are confidential and strictly secret, but basically, it wasn't going to cost us an arm and a leg to get them, so we figured it was time. Despite it's horrible name, I picked out an iPad and brought it home. I turned it on and four hours later I was still messing with it.

It's faster than the iPhone 4. It makes my phone screen look so small now. The pictures it takes aren't as good as those of the iPhone and the iPhone screen is a tiny bit (almost not noticeably) higher resolution with it's Retina dispaly, but it is still worthy of awe. I realized quickly that it's best use it that of e-reader. I downloaded an app called Flipboard and it's easy-to-use, quick display is just incredible. Other apps that the iPad does better than the iPhone are Zen Brush, Kindle and BlogPress. It might just be the bigger screen, but I think it also deserves credit for being slightly more responsive than the iPhone. I'm sold on it, despite it's stupid name, (iPad. Who the f*ck names their product after a feminine hygiene product)?

My favorite apps so far have already been listed, but I need to make a shout-out to the Better Homes and Garden App that lets me download digital copies of my magazines using my subscription number. There are links to articles and things that I can just click on. Can't do that with the hardcopy, obviously. Betty Crocker Cookbook is absolutely beautiful and any online shopping app, such as eBay or Amazon, are incredibly more useful on the iPad than on the iPhone. I'm really enjoying this product.

So, if you're thinking about getting a tablet and you're wondering if you shouldn't get a Samsung or some other product instead (because we all know how uncool it is to like Apple now that it's cool to like Apple, you fuckin' technohipsters), I highly suggest looking into an iPad 2. Go to the Apple store, play around with it. Note the smooth scrolling, the responsiveness, the display, the usefulness. And if you still go with another brand for whatever reason, fine, but every time your display chokes, every time your scrolling is choppy, every time an app or a webpage loads halfway and stops, think of this blog post. I promise, you will think of me and my fanboyism and think, "Damn, I should've been a fanboy, too."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Run and Bike

This morning I went on a run with my mom around the block. She let me do my run/walk thing and supported me all the way. She's always been a runner, so she has a bit more endurance than me but understands that I have to take my progress slowly. We talked a bit and laughed a bit during the walking intervals. She told me it's probably time to push myself and try three minutes. I think I'll try that tomorrow.

I had a great weekend. It wasn't always like this with my mom. There were times when I was certain I'd never talk to her again when I was growing up. I'm glad that's not the case. As I've gotten older, my mom has become one of my best friends. She comes over and spends the night and just hangs out with us. Imparting the wisdom she's learned from her life the mistakes she's made (she's been married four times; maybe my once will be enough), she's one of the greatest sources of advice and someone whom I can just vent to about anything. I realize how much strength I have just from being her daughter. She's truly a source of inspiration for me these days.

I did about half the Davis Bike Loop today, going the opposite direction I used to, which was a nice change. I got as far as the UC before I got hungry and came home for dinner. Just in time for enchilada casserole! Chris pulled a muscle yesterday, so I'm trying to take good care of him tonight. I hope he feels better tomorrow because I want to ride some more on my new bike! Such a sweet ride...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Yes. I have one.

UPDATE: You can read my review here

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday Comes Afterwaaaaards

Yesterday was free calorie day, according to Mom and Chris. I was not allowed to count up all the ingredients in the crepes and pizza that we had and mom insisted I have a Pepperidge Farms Milano cookie. We went on a long bike ride on my new hybrid, 21-speed Marin, and I tried to keep my portions small, so I'm hoping that not much damage was done, but sometimes you just have to live and my mom coming to hang out would have been dampened by my obsessing over food and diet. So I gave in.

Today I'm going to start running again. I was fitted at Fleet Feet and they suggested some motion control shoes by Mizuno. They weren't as cushioned as the other ones they had me try on, but they felt a lot more stable. I'm going to keep doing the two-minute run, three-minute walk because I still have shin splints, which,according to Fleet Feet, is more of a results of being out of shape than the condition of my shoes. I have to keep working and the pain will go away as I get stronger. However, I can't help but remember the girl on my softball team last year that had permanent damage and scarring from shin splints. Of course, I don't know the full story and don't have all the facts of that case, so I'm just going to stay alert to what my body is telling me.

Everyone is still asleep, but it's time for breakfast so I'm going to wake these sleepyheads up! Time to get moving!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday, August 13

I'm up, I'm up.

I did absolutely no exercise yesterday if you don't count the walking I did on my community outing (which was about a half hour under 3 mph, pushing a wheelchair). I stayed under my calories, but I really didn't count on my - how do I put this? My monthly curse to pull me under like this. It's not that I don't know what they are like; all the women in my family have really, really bad cycles and I've been dealing with it for years now, but I thought maybe my new exercise routine would lessen it or I would at least feel more energy to be motivated. Not so, it actually seems the opposite.

Today, my mom is coming up. She wants to go on bike rides, and thank goodness because it's feeling like another curl-up-on-the-couch kind of day. She'll be here in about an hour and I still need to take a shower. Ugh. I feel like crap today. Here goes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011. Mom's Bday, Seven Pounds, Biking, and Work-out Friends.

I took it pretty easy yesterday, walking on an outing at work and then swimming with Chris. My scale at one point this morning said I was under 164, but I'm not recording it because again, the drop seems to large since my last weigh-in and after I got out of the shower, it was 164.3 which is .1 lb less than yesterday, which makes more sense. I'm just saying I've lost seven pounds, because it's close enough. I really, really need a new scale.

This weekend I'm getting running shoes, and my mom wants to get me a new bike, too! Even though it's her birthday. I've been using Chris's 21-speed Diamond Back and the gears are horrible. I can't shift to go up hills because it doesn't stay in gear or it sits there and clicks. It's all messed up. It probably just needs a new derailleur, but I want something faster, too. It just won't keep up with Chris, even in gear 21, and at that point, I'm practically standing on the thing to get it going. It's also too big; I have to have the seat so high that I am uncomfortably far from the ground when I stop or else I have to ride it with my knees in my chest. There's no happy medium.

What I don't want is a girl's bike. I don't want the curvy little wimp bikes I see all over the place. I want one with speed. I don't think I could live with one of those cruisers these college students are riding around on these days. My bikes going to have to be fast if I'm going to be happy. Unfortunately, no matter what style I get, it is looking like it's going to be over 300 dollars for a new bike. On the bright side, it should last a long time.

Tonight, my stomach isn't feeling too well, so we cut our ride short and I don't know if I'll be going to the apt. gym or not. I look some medicine and am staying hydrated, but I might just call it a night. I burned over 200 calories riding through the arboretum with Chris. We found a whole new section of it we had never explored before-didn't even know it was there (how long have we been hanging out there? Years? And we never knew). Hopefully, tomorrow, we'll get to explore some more.

What an incredible journey this is. I'm getting advice from people who have already changed their lives or who have always incorporated being active as part of who they are. I even was asked by someone at work if they could get together with me after work a couple of times a week to do something active and fun (but not exercise, because exercise sucks) and so we're looking into some of the trails in Sacramento. I'm excited! I love doing this stuff with other people because then it doesn't feel like work, it feels like fun!

So here's to another incredible week. I will post again soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The stairmaster was easier today. In just a couple of weeks, I went from barely getting through fifteen minutes to doing the entire thirty without stopping. That last two minutes were the longest, but it was worth it when I stepped off the machine, victorious. There's almost no greater feeling.

I also did some work on the resistance machines. Lat Pulldowns and the like. I was forced to stay away from the treadmill due to my shin splints, but I did some more crunches on my fitness ball, as well as some other work. I'm really thinking about Yoga lately, and despite my own lack of confidence after having only taken one class two years ago, I think I should start doing some at home. I could use the stretches. Simple stretching isn't really doing it for me.

I may take tomorrow off to give my body a day to rest. I'm down almost seven pounds since I started. It's incredible, it hasn't even been a month yet. All I want to do is more. As soon as I'm done working out, I want to go back. It's like a high, but I have to be careful because overdoing can cause injury and throw a wrench in the whole thing. Pushing myself too hard could have contributed to my shin splints, after all.

Mom's coming up to visit this weekend, so that will be fun. I am getting new running shoes and I might have to see how much money I have for some more work-out pants. It might be time for a trip to Ross. It's going to be a good week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shin Splints and Progress

I've tried to be careful and keep away the shin splints I was getting last summer when I was playing softball in the crappy New Balance shoes I have, but alas, they have returned in full force today. It's cut my run/walk to ten to fifteen minutes, but has pushed me to get my cardio done bike riding and on the stairmaster, (warning, Pokemon joke imminent): It's super effective!

I worked out on my exercise ball yesterday, the majority of the time spent doing crunches. I could feel it today, but not so bad as to be irritating or painful. I'm going to do those every other day and probably stick to biking this week until I get new shoes this weekend. Mom's coming up! Yay!

I was looking at myself in the mirror tonight while I was working out and I thought I looked slimmer. Wondering for a second if maybe my own self-image, improving due to my following my commitment and reaching my goals, had caused my mind to think I looked slimmer, but I realized I can actually feel it in my work-out pants. I had to be sure, so Chris measured me and sure enough, a half-inch off of my neck and waste and a whole inch from my hips.

This is progress, even more so than the numbers on the scale, because muscle mass can add pounds. I've now been at this for about three weeks and I'm still not slowing down. I'm encouraged and inspired, determined and committed. I'm already considering trying a 5k sometime this spring. Even with the progress I've made, though, I don't want to lose sight and say, "good enough," or start slacking because I feel confident. This is a life-long goal, not just a new diet and exercise routine. My goal to be 135 in January isn't the end, but the beginning. I'm ready.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Wonderfully Active Weekend

This weekend I went on a hike with Chris and my friend Yazzy around Jenkinson Lake at Sly Park. The trail is nine miles, but we were hungry and Chris was in flip-flops, so after an hour and some swimming, we decided to hike back. We got about two hours total of hiking, which put me so far in the deficit, I was able to have some glorious macaroni salad at 300 calories for less than a cup. I still exercised restraint and kept away from the dip for the chips. Yazzy and her mom cooked Kosher beef hot dogs and chicken hot dogs, which were really good. I think I prefer the chicken, which were only 90 calories each, almost half that of regular franks.

Before our hike, we had had a breakfast of fruit, gluten and dairy-free pastries from Azna Gluten Free bakery in Cameron Park, and some plain yogurt with a bit of honey. I even found a couple of the pastries listed on My Fitness Pal. I was glad someone had taken the time to put it up.

Dinner with the MIL was a little harder. We went to one of the local Mexican Restaurants in Placerville and I ordered a two-item combo, saving half of my black beans and the second item for lunch today.

Today was also productive. I did cardio at the apartment gym and then came home and did work on the ball for forty minutes and did some hand weights. Fitpal doesn't record calories for strength training because so many factors go into how many calories are burned that the creators didn't feel comfortable giving numbers that couldn't be very accurate. Afterward, I went on a bike ride with Chris and did over 30 minutes.

I've calculated that I need to lose six pounds a month. I was 166 at the beginning of August and so I need to be 160 by the end of the month to stay on track. I need to get a new scale, as well, as the one that I have doesn't always give me the same number if I step on it twice in the same morning within minutes. I had a feeling something was wrong with it when Chris was using it and he got upset that he was going up and down two-five pounds every day, which just isn't realistic. I tried Yazzy's scale yesterday and it gave me 164. I think I'm going to go and buy one just like it. :) I need an accurate scale.

This week I have my lunches already planned and a few dinners, as well. I hope to be (if I go by my scale) under 165 by next sunday. Today I got 165.4 and 166.2 on the scale, just stepping on it twice in a row, so we'll see if I will even be able to tell if anything has changed at the end of the week if the scale really isn't working. Here's to a good week!

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Equipment

I get two ten minute breaks at work now, so I'm using them to stay active. I can get partway around the block and back in ten minutes. It's a lovely little neighborhood away from the busy streets that surround it. There's a park and everything.

I bought myself goggles for swimming. It's hard to do the crawl (my absolute favorite) wearing contacts because I try not to open my eyes under water, so I splurged for some eye protection. I also bought myself a medium fitness ball to do crunches and other back and leg work.

I'm ready to start picking up the pace of my running. I'm either going to change my intervals to three and three (it was suggested I start with two min run and three min walk) or start pushing myself to run faster. I haven't decided yet. I know I have to start slow-blah blah blah. I don't like slow, but I don't want to hurt myself.

The ball feels great. I played around on it today without doing any real exercise, just getting the feel for it and I can tell you that it felt good, stable and I was actually excited to start adding abs to my regimen. No, really. I was shocked that it actually felt good.

Next thing to get is some good running shoes. I'm starting to get some minor pain in my shins and I don't want shin splints. That will seriously impede my progress.

I'm a little worried about going to a friend's house this weekend. I want to have control over my calories but I don't know how well I can handle temptation yet. Then again, I quit drinking a long time ago surrounded by alcoholic family members and am still clean and sober to this day. If I can work half as hard at this as I did for my sobriety, I will have no problem. I just have to be willing to do the work and run through the consequences before I make that choice that one will be okay. Wish me luck!