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033: Running accessories

Here's a mash-up of things I use:

The Enell Sports Bra is the only one I've used that works for me. 
And I'm a 42H girl (that's 42FF in UK sizes).    (I know, right?  I am totally disproportionately top heavy. Story of my life.)

New Balance sneakers.
Yes, those are actually them.  Yes, I think they're ugly.  I even thought they were ugly when I bought them!  But they are very comfortable, and they've logged over 30 running miles with an uber beginner!  So thanks, NB!

My giant 30gb ipod.  :D  When I first received it as a gift from my ipod-loving family, I wasn't really sure how much of an "ipod person" I would be.  But its a near-requirement for working out.

I've already posted about this, but here's why it makes the list:
1.  The silver band (see above) included is great.  I mostly use it to facilitate safe, deep stretching, especially of the larger muslce groups of my legs, hips, and back.
2.  The DVD workouts that came with it KICK MY EFFIN ASS.  They are totally exhausting.
3.  My ball is red and 65cm in diameter, the size recommended for someone of my height.  THIS IS NOT BIG ENOUGH.  I have a friend who purchased 3 or 4 different balls looking for the right size.  I am 5'8" and 65 cm does not cut it.

I am actually borrowing an armband for my ipod from my brother.
It's some generic brand as far as I can tell (versus the one above, which is by CaseLogic), but it does the job!  I worried about bounce, but I've had no problems!  I love it and don't think you need to buy an especially expensive and/or cool one to reap the benefit of it.

Aviators.  I picked mine up for less than $20 at Dick's Sporting Goods many months ago. 
Because you gotta be cool, man.  You're a running machine.

Socks with arch support.  See that lighter pink band around the middle of the sock?  Yeah.  AMAZING difference.
Mine are from Target, and they're white with whatever logo on them blue.
I've used some bamboo socks, too, made by Adidas.  I don't like them as much.

We're more likely to stick with things if we write them down: this journal is near-perfect for a beginner!  I can think of tweaks I might like, but I find it quite suitable, really.  For less than $10! :D

032: On running

I ran my first race over a week ago but never posted about it.

It was a 1-miler, and an opportunity to prep for my big 5k in September.  (Y'know, start line, finish line, some public running in between.)

I wanted to beat 15 minutes (which is my approximate pace for a mile when I go running).

I came in at 12:36. 
And I was sick, with a terrible cold (I took the next 2 days off work!).  I was exhausted in general, and I still KILLED my goal! :D  Yesssssssssss.

Since then, I've kept going.

Last Saturday, I hit a personal best in distance:  3.03 miles.  3.03 MILES!!  WOO!
And I've run three times on Tuesday morning around 6:45am.  As a natural "night owl," this is insane. 

Love it.

{Running love:}

(c) Abbie at foodsthatfit.com/

(c) Ray Wise.

(c) Runner's World.

(c) Runner's World

031: General update

I've been talking to a lot of family in the last week or so-- more than usual. 

I want to describe this so I can read it later and be reaffirmed. 

I'm doing really well.  I live on my own, which I've never done before but I seem to like.  It's been an adjustment but not a particularly difficult one.  I never really thought about whether or not I would thrive living solo but so far, it's working out quite well.

I've had to make some decisions that I feel good about.  For instance, I have to grocery shop for 1 and choose what food I will keep in the house. I've had to decide how cleanly I want to keep my apartment, and where I want to spend my energy when no one is looking.

I've been relatively consistent with running.  I'll fall off the wagon for a week or two, but I keep coming back to it and I am always struck with how great it feels.  Running fills me with pride.  It provides a challenge that I knock down every. single. time. I step onto the sidewalk in my trainers.  It also excites me, and is a world that I like more and more.  I want to keep up the habit.  I went on my first run over 6 months ago.  Maybe around September of last year?

(sidenote: I woke up at 6:30 this morning and ran 1.9 miles before work.  shut the front door, that's awesome!)

I've had reasonable success breaking things down to simple terms or dichotomies to facilitate decision-making.  For example, I asked myself, "In a world of people who take care of their health, and people who don't take care of themselves... in which group do I want to belong?"  The answer to that question is clear as day to me.  That makes "wellness" an issue of follow-through, which is something I'm pretty good at.
'They' say we have all the answers we need within... and I can't help but wonder if the challenge is finding the right question.

I try to write, read, listen to new music, and express myself creatively.  I'm writing in my moleskin regularly (finally!) and posting to LJ occasionally.  I've been reading a mix of books I own, books I've borrowed, and books on loan from the library.  I just got a handful of novels for my birthday, which was awesome.  I've been tracking my reading with goodreads.com, which I love.

I've received a couple different mixed CDs and recommendations from co-workers lately, which has been awesome.  I love new music-- in part so I listen to more music in general, but also because I like to tap into new energies and there's something that's exchanged when you associate someone with specific music.

What would an update be without talking about food?  I've been trying to eat more often.  :P ;)  I set out to eat breakfast every day a long time ago, and I'm finally making good on that goal.  I can't even think of the last time I didn't eat some form of breakfast.  If you're trying to eat breakfast regularly but are having a hard time, I recommend trying a routine (sounds stupidly simple, I know).  I'm half-asleep until noon, so a routine has been easy for me.  I get variety in my routine, which keeps it interesting.  The formula is roughly this:
   piece of fruit (typically a banana, but whatever's in season)
+ yogurt (same brand, different flavors) with granola in it (different kinds of granola everytime I buy it)
+ some kind of bread product (english muffin, bagel, or toast) with butter, jam, peanut butter, or cream cheese, depending.
consistent no-brainer breakfast

I'm still smoking, which blows.  It's expensive, and gross, and I'm pretty close to being d-o-n-e, done. 

Generally when I go lax (e.g. "get too busy to run," stop eating frequently or well, get irregular sleep) I smoke more herb.  I'm not sure if the falling-off begets the smoking, or if the smoking begets the falling-off.  I think it can be both, which kinda stinks.

I'm trying to be optimistic, though I am at my core a realist.  I have affirmations posted in my house, and I try to keep myself focused on what's working, what feels good, what I like, and what reaffirms my faith in humanity.  What was I yielding from being cynical?  Distance from what mattered (Which, when what matters hurts, was arguably necessary, or at least a survival tactic).

I'm brave enough to face what matters.  I have the courage to face it.

My next to-do is to incorporate regular meditation into my life.  Yep.  Lunch is over.  Gotta go.

030: Workin out the kinks

So, it's the first Tuesday of my new schedule.  Meaning: I went on a run this morning.

Dare I say... I liked it!  Waking up at 6:30?  Not at all.

Finishing my workout before work?  Yaaaaay.
(Sidenote: working out before work has left me feeling like it's a 'skinny day')

Had a slower pace but still rocked 1.6 miles.

Also: registered for my first race yesterday!  YOWZA!!  I'm getting really excited and I think that very soon I want to run (or walk) the course. :D

Dear Me,
Love, Me.

029: The weekend...

(Note: All images in/around Portland.)

(Biking. In style.)


(Forest Park, where I hope to go running soon...)

(my city, for those friends who don't live here/haven't been to Portland)

(Fresh produce)

(Down the street from where I live)

(Latte from coffee shop across the street from my apartment)

028: on the brink

So I need a little structure in my life.

I've been feeling restless, and non-committal.  Unsure. 

My head has been swimming with bits from recent conversations:


"do something irresponsible"                 "you have plenty of 'oops' left!"                 "if not now, when?"

I'm mostly pleased with where I'm at... (mostly).  But I have had the nagging feeling that I'm on the brink of something great.  Like very soon something is going to tip and send off an entire network of awesome.

Of course, there's a lot of ME wrapped up in that tipping.  I firmly believe that *I* am ultimately going to bring about this exciting change.  How to start, or what it will look like I have yet to really grasp.

A friend gave me really solid advice today.  To paraphrase, she said:

Be aware of the saboteur and LET GO of
the feelings of not deserving better,
or that you're not that "kind" of person,
move forward

Well, gee.  Ok then.

Not a lot of room to argue with that fantastic piece of perspective!

A vaguely related conversation with another colleague resulted in this:

I am happy if I run 3 days in a week. 
It will be easiest if I run on the same days each week.
It's called commitment, and prioritization.
I should not feel guilty about scheduling AROUND my exercise habits.
I can use my non-running days to tackle another goal (that helps me feel grounded): meditation.
I can meditate 3 times per week on not-running days.
Leaving me with 1 free day.
Which I will dub "make-up day" if I really want to make something up.
Otherwise, it's free.

(Friday is my make-up day.)

I have all this (the affirmation, the weekly schedule, and another page that lists responses to 'i feel best when...') in a document at work.

I will put it in my house.

Because I can!

Other news: have not weighed self in a long time.


Ran 2 miles the morning of my birthday(yessssssssssssss)

and ran 2.3 miles tonight! (wooooooooooooooow)

027: (FIT principle)

My brother, who is almost finished with a program to be a personal trainer(!!! I'm so proud of him!), explained the FIT principle to me months ago.  I don't think I ever posted it, but it's a good reminder/perspective-builder.  So, before further delay: 

F= frequency,

A person can only increase one of those things at a time.  (Makes sense, right?  To be sustainable we have to expect gradual/slow but steady improvements!)

I think my workout focus can start there.  With F. :) :)

026: Breaking it down and asking for help

I'm not sure how much I've posted about my personal life here...  In any event, the last few months have brought tremendous changes.

I broke up with my partner of 6 years and moved out.  During the end of March and beginning of April, I spent almost all of my free time trying to organize, pack, and sort things to move.  After moving on the 12th, I spent the rest of April trying to get settled into my new place.  There were things I needed to live solo (as I've never done it before!), and I needed a lot of help to get everything together.  

God bless my family, who are unendingly supportive- emotionally as well as physically.  They simply show the fuck up.  I don't know what I would do without them.

So this post is about asking for help.

Asking for help is something that I struggle with.  I've always followed the line of reasoning that if I have an attachment to a particular outcome, I should take on the majority of the work to make sure I get the outcome I want.  I really hate feeling disappointed.

So the last couple months have been an interesting challenge. 

A conclusion I keep reaching is that I can rely on them.  To say that I'm lucky to have these people in my corner is to severely underestimate the meaning, richness, and love that they provide.

So: why post about this?

Since my quest to change my lifestyle started, I've lost 17 pounds.  I haven't been working out regularly lately, and I haven't been especially careful about my caloric intake, but I have been consistently weighed in 17-18 pounds less than my "start weight."  Which is an indicator that my lifestyle is supporting that particular weight.  Or has, at least, for about 6 weeks.

So where do I need help?  I need help staying motivated and positive and keeping perspective.

I've undergone a tremendous amount of stress lately.  Not pressure to succeed/self-imposed destructive thinking/negative self-talk, but literal STRESS.  The stress of moving, changing routines, finding new habits, adjusting to living alone, and taking stock of what's going on in my world and (oh god) what's NEXT.

IT MAKES SENSE THAT I HAVEN'T BEEN WORKING OUT.  My head and my heart have been working out a ton.

...But I think it's time to get back into my body.  The heart, head, and body are connected and I think if I nurture one of them, it will feed the others. 

And I think the place to turn for more perspective and positivity is just downstairs (I'm at my mom's house for mother's day!).

025: Getting things done...

I posted a list of goals for the end of 2008 in October.  They were pretty high, if I do say so myself. 

Goals I've accomplished/Routines I set:
-Teeth cleaning at the dentist
-Join Rec Center
-Continue to eat breakfast every day
-Continue to sleep 8 hours/night  (mostly)

To Do:
-Pap & gynecological visit (boooo)
-Continue to work out 3x/week
-Join some kind of exercise class
-Reduce/quit smoking cigarettes (well, shit.)
-Sign up for races
-Adjust health insurance during open election (Flex spending?)
-Find holistic health practitioner/nutritionist
-Renew Driver's License before my birthday (not related to health, exactly... but... wellness? ;))



I went for a run yesterday for the first time in forever.

And it felt fucking GREAT.

Energizing, fun, cathartic, enjoyable.  God, if they could all feel that way...