Thursday, October 11, 2012

My foot...

I haven't run since my half on September 22 because of serious foot pain. A friend who is an athletic trainer said that the pain is likely a plantar fascia strain. It's 3 weeks later and the pain is no better so I made an appointment with my podiatrist. She told me that I need to elevate my heel a little to alleviate the pain and rest the arch or something.

I'm sitting in the chair right now waiting for my X-ray results to come back. She said that it looks bulgy... It's never good to hear those kinds of things about your feet. I'm sure I'll need to get some kind of inserts for my street shoes. I've already bought inserts for my running shoes, but not doing any running they don't do me any good. And-my running shoes are 11s and my street shoes are 10s so the inserts I have won't fit my regular/street shoes.

All I want to be able to do is run again. I feel like a blob.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

CU Water Cooler Symposium

This post is not about anything fitness related. There are only three people that subscribe to this blog anyway, so it's not like there is a huge following of people that will be annoyed by the fact that I'm not posting about fitness. However, if you are annoyed, I apologize. You don't have to read this post.

Now that that is out of the way: I'm at this conference for credit union folk. It's probably one of the best conferences that I've been to, no offense ASTD conference organizers. It's small, personable, and a lot of fun. It's also incredibly motivating. I think that it's primarily geared toward marketing people, but I'm really getting a lot out of it (I'm a trainer).

We've been given the task of completing all these items to be able to get points to win prizes. It's supposed to be completed with a team (of which I've only found two or three people) and posted to Twitter. Sorry if you follow me. I've been quite active today. So anyway - the reason I'm writing this blog post is because if I do, I get 100 points for the contest! My post is supposed to be about an interesting thing I've discovered or experienced in Nashville.

Hands down, the interesting that I experienced in Nashville has been the Symposium itself. I'm not going to recap the speakers sessions or anything like that. You can see that information on Twitter by searching the hashtag #CUWCS. My thing that is really interesting is the fashion show that I was in this morning. I got to model a beautiful lime green shirt from CU Swag that I proceeded to pimp out with the help of my table mates. Well, most of them. I got up on stage in a purple wig and purple pimp hat covered in streamers and arm tattoos. It was great.

There were 5 "models". I came in 4th in the voting. I knew I wasn't going to win because I know that I can't sell it, but it was fun. It usually takes me awhile to warm up and get out of my shell. I'm glad that I did that. It Really enhanced my experience of the conference. Here's a link to the picture someone posted on twitter: I'm on the far right. Here's another shot:

It was a ton of fun! Next time you have the opportunity to volunteer for something that you don't know what you're getting into, do it. Live a little. You never know, it might just put you at ease and help you break the ice with people.

Thanks, CU Swag, for the fun accessories. My favorite items were the pimp hat, purple hair, and red star glasses!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My first half marathon

I haven't posted in a while, but that's because I haven't done anything. Until yesterday, that is. Yesterday was the day that I ran (sort of) my first half marathon.

I'm going to start with the finish and work back to the start. Basically the finish goes something like this: run, cry, cross finish line, cry some more, want to sit down and rock back and forth. When we crossed the line they were right there handing out the medals. I really just wanted to take it from her, but she insisted on putting it over my head. I was really annoyed by that for some reason. I think I just wanted to get off my feet.

The middle: sucked. I made a big training mistake and didn't run for two weeks. Let me tell you something. Don't do that. Keep running. Do a proper taper. Then it won't be awful. I mean, it's still running 13.1 miles, but it won't be as terrible. Your muscles won't have to remember everything. We did rock out to some jams at the last two miles. It made me, and the other runners around us, smile. That was fun (thank you LMFAO).

The beginning: I was expecting more adrenaline. I met up with the person I know through work who was running. We all lined up with the 2:45 pacer (ha!) and watched as the elite athletes took off. Then we made our way out the chute and up the hill. It was a good start and there were a lot of people who were fun to talk to and motivate/receive motivation from!

The reason I signed up for this race was because it had a four hour cut off time. I used three hours and thirty minutes of that allotted time. I'm not supposed to be disappointed in myself because it's my very first race and the furthest distance I've ever gone before, but I am. I can't blame anything but myself. Were there distractions the two weeks prior to the race? Yes, of course. Are there going to be distractions in the two weeks before my next race? I'm certain there will be. But you know what? Just because I didn't finish in the time that I wanted to for this race doesn't mean that I didn't accomplish something huge for myself.

I'm a half-marathoner. The run was hard. I had my own personal cheerleader that wouldn't let me quit. I can't be certain that I would have done as well as I did without her. My mom and my husband drove all over Nashville navigating back roads to pop up in spots to cheer us on! Seeing them meant more than I could put into words. Knowing they are there just for you. It's crazy to think about, really.

Today I'm not really any more or less sore than I have been after other long runs. My hips are more tight and the arch area (it's very difficult to describe) of my left foot hurts pretty badly. I had a stitch for most of the run and had pretty bad muscle tightness in my shoulder blade area on my right side for the whole run. I think I over compensated and hurt myself because of that.

I've moved around a lot today, as well. I went shopping with my mother-in-law and did some video work with David for his project. I was hoping that would help me stay loose. I also texted my trainer to see when I could get back in with him to get started weight training again. I don't want to lose any momentum I've got, and I want to start toning up a bit, too.

After all, my next half is only 7 weeks away and this one has a three hour cutoff.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I have a confession to make...

...I'm kind of losing interest in my training. My race is in 16 days. How the hell can I be losing interest in training for it? Well, let me tell you.

I tried, and failed, to run 10 miles on Saturday last week. It was by far the worst training run I've ever had. Ever. It totally screwed with my head. I got 6 miles in before I started feeling like a failure. I tried to run a few more times, made it my four minutes, and then just crapped out.

I cried and cried and cried. Poor David. We walked 4 miles. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I've received a lot of it's okay's and you can do it's since then, but I don't think that I'm convinced yet.

My plan is to do the same 10 miles again this weekend. Well, maybe not the same 10 miles. I think I need to get off my greenway and run a different route.

Sixteen days, people. How does one reinvigorate oneself to get back in the game? The race has a 4 hour cutoff. I'm not worried about making that time. I'm worried about making it in 3 hours. Some of you may think that 3 hours is slow, but that's a great time and consistent pace for me. I have a super secret goal (which I may have mentioned before) that I hope I meet, but my public goal is under 3 hours. If I can't finish running 10 miles in 2.5 hours, how in the hell am I going to get 13.1 in under 3?

I've got a friend flying down to run this race with me. She's modifying her running to match what I do. Who in their right mind does that for someone who can't even get ten miles in? Oi vey. She's very supportive. She told me that I've got 3 weeks to get my mileage in. What am I going to do if I can't finish 10 miles? There's still a 5k to finish after that. I'm literally getting more and more exasperated as I type this. This is ridiculous.

On a different note (sort of, well, not really) my Google Reader tonight had blog posts from all sorts of different people about being a runner and how great it is. And it reminded me of that post I wrote a few weeks ago where I was praising myself for being an athlete. Pssssh! I'm a fraud. I'm talking the talk, but I'm certainly not running the run (!). I'm going to finish this out because I have to. I'm so scared that I'm going to fail, and fail big time. That's what reading those blogs has done to me. I normally get really motivated from seeing what other people are doing and how they are succeeding, but not tonight. Tonight it makes me want to crawl under the bed and hide from the fact that this race is going to prove to the world that I'm a fake.

Not only is everyone going to know that I can't do what I say I'm going to do, but people are going to be incredibly disappointed in me. And that is one of the things that I hate the most in life: disappointing people who truly care about me.

Either way, if I can run the 13.1 or if I can't, there is one thing that I know for certain:

My question to you is: Why is it so damn hard?

Friday, August 31, 2012

{Guest Post} August Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

This is a post from Krista King, the person I sent my Foodie Pen Pal package to this month. I hope that she enjoyed everything as much as her post makes me think she did! 

Hi everyone! My name is Krista and this was my first time ever
participating in Foodie Pen Pals. I was lucky enough to be matched
with Rebecca and she made my first experience with FPP a great one.
Since I do not currently have a blog, Rebecca was nice enough to lend
me your ears to talk about the awesome package she sent me this month!

In my email to Rebecca I mentioned that I tried to eat healthy, but
also love to try new foods and cook. My FPP package did a great job of
meeting every guideline and I was really pleased with every item! Once
I ripped into the box and popped all of the little packing pillows
(please tell me I'm not the only one who enjoys doing that ha) I found
a collection of goodies including:

Local Tennessee Honey
Jar of Mild Chow Chow Relish
Strawberry Shot Blocks
Fruit Leather
Chocolate Coconut Larabar
Snap Pea Crisps

My favorite item has been the local Tennessee honey. I am a honey
lover and often include it in my cooking and baking, so this was right
up my alley! I have already used it to make some cherry almond granola
and love adding it to my morning coffee. I also loved that Rebecca
included shot blocks, since I often use them to fuel my long runs and
hikes. The Larabar was out of this world and reminded me a lot of an
Almond Joy. I had never tried that flavor before, but I think it is a
new favorite!

The snap pea crisps and chow chow relish were also new items to me. I really enjoyed the crunchy pea crisps and even spotted them in my
local grocery store! The chow chow relish is surprisingly sweet and so
far I have been eating it straight out of the jar, but maybe I'll get
more creative with it eventually.

Rebecca also included a recipe for a versatile fruit crisp that I
can't wait to try!! I think it would work really well with apples or
pears..yum! However, since I live in Texas and it is currently hot
enough to melt just about anyone's face off, I will probably be
waiting until the temps drop a little before I make any warm desserts.
Hurry up fall!

I could not be happier with my first experience with Foodie Pen Pals.
Thanks Rebecca for putting such a great package together and for
letting me share on your blog!

Krista, Thank you for sending me your post for your reveal! I'm so thrilled to have been able to be your first FPP! It can only go uphill from here! Rebecca

August Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

This month I got a great package. I was paired with Lorraine Santiago over at Just One Cupcake. She sent me a great package from Miami, FL! I lived in Florida for several years and never made it down to Miami. But, I feel like I've got a little bit of Miami in my house now, so that kind of makes up for it.

Lorraine sent me the BEST ever initial questionnaire! She asked me all sorts of questions about myself. I'm sure that some of my answers took her a little bit by surprise, but it didn't hinder her ability to send me a great package. I might have to steal some of her questions for my future FPPs.

Alright, on to the good stuff, I know this is really what you want to see.

This is everything that was in my package. A great postcard of the Miami harbor/skyline with a nice note about everything that was in the box. She sent me breakfast on the go, True North clusters, some stuff similar to Nutella (she said it is like Nutella with a kick!), Cracker Jacks (who doesn't love cracker jacks?), Cuban coffee or espresso, Guava Bites (which, as you can tell, have already been broken into...), and, probably the thing I'm most worried about, Snyder's Chocolate Covered Pretzels (can you really just eat one?).

I've tried True North nut clusters before, but not this flavor, so I'm excited to try them. I've never had the Emerald Breakfast on the Go before so that'll be a good snack for me. I just had a root canal and haven't been able to eat anything too crunchy so I'm going to have to wait a bit before I can break into these packages. They'll more than likely get stuck in my desk drawer in my office so that I can eat them during the week while I'm toiling away at work. 

Please tell me that you love these two items featured in this pictures as much as I do. I'm sure by now you all know that popcorn is my absolute favorite food in the whole entire world. I'm pretty much a purist though when I buy and/or make it for myself. So when someone sends me some that's a little bit different, I get really excited. Besides, they still put prizes in the boxes and I get about as excited as a 5 year old on Christmas morning when I open them (I know, I'm not quite right...). Also - Hershey's chocolate covered pretzels? Can I die now? I don't buy these things because I just can't stop eating them. It's sad really. A 30 year old woman with zero self control when pretzels are concerned. They were a little melted because of our TN heat, but that just means that instead of one pretzel at a time, it's probably going to be like 8. Sigh How will I ever survive?!

Guava bites. Lorraine said that they are a staple in her house. They are yummy. It was the only soft food in the package (besides the Nutkao and coffee) and I had to try it. It's like a fig newton, only filled with guava. I've never had guava. It's so freakin' good.

David was most excited about these. We haven't gotten into them yet, but he LOVES Nutella. He loves to dip marshmallows in Nutella. I'm going to have to make him a Nutkao and marshmallow treat later today, I think. Also - this espresso is from a local restaurant. Not sure if you can read the package or not, but it says Miami's Famous Cuban Espresso. David is a coffee freak. He loves the stuff. I like it too, don't get me wrong, but that man, he loves his coffee. Almost as much as he loves hazlenut cream on marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies.

Thank you so much for an absolutely wonderful package, Lorraine! I can't wait to try everything in here. You did a great job despite my wacky answers to your questions!

I sent my package to Krista. She doesn't have a blog, but she was mentioning that she wanted to do a guest post. Have a great month everyone. And, if you are interested, here's a little information about FPP:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for June, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weight Loss Struggles and Questions

So I've been struggling with losing weight. I've gotten my runs in (not this week because of having a root canal and suffering from that pain) and I've tried to do more cardio on my off days. I'm not really losing any weight though. And, actually, I haven't even been doing that much cross-training... But, I'm losing inches, which is all fine and good. I'm wearing new sizes that I haven't worn in years. I'm happy about that. Incredibly happy, actually.

But I'm starting to realize that I really need to fix my diet. I'm thinking of joining Weight Watchers (WW), but David is against me spending any money on weight loss techniques as it seems like I've tried it all and spent a ton of money along the way. But, I follow this woman on Twitter @CurvyFitGirl and on my Google Reader and she's lost 115 pounds. One hundred and FIFTEEN pounds. Now, I don't necessarily want to lose that much weight. I'm shooting for another 40 pounds which would put me at a total of 80.

When I write it out like that it doesn't seem like it's so bad, but I feel like I've completely stagnated at this point. I'm tired of being in this number range. I don't want to see this number any more. It would be really nice to drop another 10 pounds. That's all I'm looking for at this point - 10 pounds.

Back on track here to WW. I'm trying to figure out if I should do it, first of all. Second of all, I need to figure out if the online program would be better for me or if I should do the in person meetings. I've never done the meetings in person before. I've done the online program before. I don't think that that is enough accountability for me.

I've got a couple reasons that I want to lose this weight. First, I want to be healthy. For me, mainly, but for my husband as well. Second, we want to have a family and the doctor says that it'll be easier for me to get pregnant if I lose extra weight. Third, this girl I know is getting married next year and I'm the only plus size lady in her bridal party. Now, if I'm pregnant that's one thing, but if I'm just fat, that's an entirely different thing. She's known me for years and I've always been, well, big (is that even the right word?), so I'm sure that she didn't figure that I'd ruin her wedding pictures, but I'm not so certain that I won't.

So, I guess what I'm wondering is if you (the big global you, Internet) think I should do Weight Watchers or if there is something else that you've found that works better that isn't crazy expensive. This has to fit in my budget. And my budget is limited. We've got a joint checking acct and we each have individual accounts as well. I'll use the money that's in my individual account for this, um, adventure so that I'm not using joint funds for it.

The online version of Weight Watchers, with their current special is $65 for the first 3 months and then $18.95 for each additional month. The standard meeting plan is $30 for the first week (unless they are running a special) and then $12 for each week after that. That makes it $66 for the first month plus $48 each month after that. That's so expensive. But I might be like my mom where if I'm paying for it it'll hold me more accountable. I really just need the tools.

It's so much easier to write about how hard a run is compared to how difficult it is to lose weight. 

So tell me - have you used the Weight Watchers program before and if you have, did it work for you? If you haven't done WW, what have you tried that worked?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Subaru and GU (Subagu?)

Instead of posting about another training run I thought I'd post about some other things that go on around the house.

It does involve a few more tears, but I swear this time it's not from me running. It is exercise related, though. Now - I know that people cry at Hallmark commercials, but do people cry at car commercials? No? You mean I'm the only one? Hmm, interesting.

Well, in that case... Just kidding!

Yesterday as I was sitting in the chair after that momentous 9 miler I had the tele on when this Subaru commercial comes on with dude cheering his lady on! She was on a bike and it looked like she was doing a road race. Rock on, right?! Her man was totally cheering her on.

Here, watch for yourself:

Did you cry? No? Hmm. Guess it was just me and The Fumbling Mom. Oh well. Anyway. The reason this made me cry is because this is what David does for me. He doesn't drive around in a Subaru and hold up big signs that tell me how much I rock, but he does encourage me. He makes me feel like I can do whatever I want. When I was saying in this post about people in cars judging me, he corrected me and said, "no, they aren't judging you. They are wishing they were able to do what you are doing." Or something like that.

Now, if David were to have something like this prepared for my half marathon that is just 33 days away I would love him more than I already do (hint, hint!!). Also - Subaru is also sponsoring the Lady's Speed Stick Women's Half Marathon that I'm running. So - I thought that it was appropriate that I cried. It also may have made it more emotional than it really is. But I digress.

The other thing that I wanted to post about is Gu Brew. Chocolate Gu Brew to be precise. 30 Something Mother Runner posted about Gu Brew a few weeks ago. She was giving some away to the first 6 commenters on the post. I was lucky #1 and got a few packets of Gu Brew. It took me a couple weeks to try it because I'm always hesitant to try things like this.

Well - I've had it twice now. Once last week after my 8-miler and yesterday. Last week I mixed it with water and yesterday I mixed it with milk. Both times it was very tasty. I think that I'll stick with the water though because it seemed to mix up better. It was thicker with the milk of course, but I had to chew a few chunks of powder and that was just not the most appetizing thing. Can I please just say, that it was exactly like drinking chocolate milk - even when mixed with water. 

I'm so happy that I won this because I will continue to use this as a recovery beverage. I look forward to it at the end of my run. I don't have to think about what I'm going to have for calories immediately. All I need to do is rip open the package, take the top off my water bottle, pour contents of packet in bottle, and shake vigorously. YUM!

Thanks Jessica!

Tell me - do you cry at silly commercials? And, what's your favorite recovery item?

Training is still hard...

Yesterday morning was my first nine mile run. I'm not going to lie. It was a bitch. But, it's done. I think that it was so bad because my legs really started to seize up on me. When I finally sat down at the end of it my legs were screaming at me.

David had to work yesterday so he couldn't roll me out (we use a rolling pin instead of a stick), but when he got home, that's the first thing he did; whether he wanted to or not! So - 9 miles, right. It was a 4.66 mile loop so we ran it twice. The first time we ran together. When I say together I mean David ran in front of me and at a much slower pace than what he normally runs. It was an hour to the end of the first loop. I felt like crap for some reason. It was a slow run. I was trying to pace myself for 9 miles. But it was still awful.

Since D needed to get to work I told him that he could run the second loop on his own and that I'd be fine. He took off. I yelled after him, "have a nice day at work, I love you." He turned around and gave me a kiss. Before he turned around, though, I started to cry. What's with all this moisture trying to escape my eyes on these runs? It's ridiculous. Anyway, I think that I was a little scared about running another 4.66 miles on my own. I don't ever run on my own. Actually, that's not true. The first time was just last Tuesday in Memphis. Anyway - this is turning into a big ramble. But I swear, I have a point.

I may have walked a bit more than I probably should have, but I was listening to my body. I continued on and completed my loop. David finished in 47 minutes. My total time was 2:13. I wanted to be done by 2:00, but it seems like there is no way I can ever finish in the time that I want. It's always a little over 10 minutes slower/longer. I imagine I'm faster than I really am. Which leads me to post this picture (even though I don't think that I look *this* bad!):
I think that really the most important thing is that I got the run in. I didn't die. And while I know that I didn't look like the lady in the top picture, or the chubby kid in the bottom picture, I did have my booty outside running. Being passed by a bunch of people in cars going to church, or the grocery store, or work. And even if they passed me when I was walking and were thinking, "look at that big girl out there... she can't even run the hill." or, "damn." (Yeah, just damn.) The whole point really about all of this is that I did this. Half of it I did on my own. I got out there, moved my legs, and put 9 miles down. It still shocks me. Who the hell is this person? I'll tell you who she is.

She's a runner. She's an athlete. And, she's about to be a half-marathoner. She may not feel like it all the time, but I'll tell you what, she is. Whether she wants to be or not!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Training is Hard

My half marathon training is going well. Yesterday David and I did a 5-mile run. Was it the best run I've ever had? No. Was it better than not doing anything at all? Yes, of course. What stands out most about that training run is that I cried more on that run than I have on any other training run.

Why did I cry? Well, I'll tell you why. We recently upped our interval training from running for 4 minutes and walking 2 minutes, to running for 4 minutes and only walking for 1 minute. We did that run on Tuesday morning last week for 45 minutes. That's 9 intervals in case you can't do math that fast (I can't do math that fast). I survived that run. We had a friend along with us and she did a lot of talking to keep me distracted, so that was good. Thursday we didn't run because we didn't want to get up and my knee hurt. When we left for the run on Sunday it was about 7:45. We had a good start. When we were about 2 to 2.5 miles into the run I just stopped. I couldn't do it anymore. My knee hurt (not the same one as Thursday morning, either), I got a really weird shin muscle cramp that was just odd feeling. It sucked.

I cried. A silent, except for sniffling, cry. The tears came and they would not leave. I couldn't stop them, no matter how much I tried. And I did try. I don't even remember all the things that were flying around in my head. But I have a feeling it looked something like this:

The only thing that I said to David during this whole time was, "I just don't think I can do this." He responded with a very appropriate, "BAH" or something like that. Thinking about it now, nearly 40 hours later, that's what it sounds like in my head. I think that he actually told me that the overall race thing I can do. Which I know. But at that moment, I didn't think that I could lift my legs up and start running again. I knew that I couldn't do another 4x1 yesterday. So I didn't. I didn't run anymore 4x1s.

But, I did run again. And I ran the rest of the time (well, not solid, but you know, I didn't quit). I may have switched back to my regular 4x2 interval, but the most important thing that I did for myself was not quitting when I was down. I felt like a rock star! I overcame my most serious mental block to date. I didn't do it alone, either. Had I been alone I may have just curled up on the ground in the fetal position and cried until David got concerned enough to come look for me. That man has done more for me than he probably realizes. My friend Kari has too. She gets up at the ass crack of dawn to come run with us when she doesn't have to be at work at 6:45.

But anyway, I'm getting a little off course. When I did my first interval of running after the tears started I was just going to run a little bit. There must be something about the pounding, though, because I kept running, for 4 minutes, and nearly all those thoughts were gone. It felt good. It was liberating. It was like I was saying screw you to those negative thoughts. I walked for 2 minutes after that. And then I ran again. And then, I ran again, and again, and again.

When we got finished, I thought to myself, "We should have done 6 miles." Had I not had my breakdown we would have finished 5 miles in under an hour. That's amazingly incredible to me. I know that there are a lot of people out there that can run 5 miles in under an hour, but to get this beast of a body to move that far in that amount of time is absolutely amazing!

Tomorrow morning is another session of 4x1s for 45 minutes. I'm sure that I'll survive it. Why? Because I'm the little engine that could, that's why!

Tell me: what's the hardest thing you've overcome in your training, or in anything for that matter?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

Hello All! It's that time of the month again. It's the time where I reveal what awesomeness was sent to me in a box from a random location of our country!

This month I was paired with Kassandra Raux over at She sent me some great things. Some things that I hadn't ever tried and was excited to try. The only problem is, I forgot to take pictures of everything before I dug into it all. I bought replacements of things that I could find, but forgot to take pictures of them, too.

So I'm going to scour the web to see if  I can find pictures of these items on their websites!

 I got two Lara Bars. An apple pie bar and a lemon bar. Very yummy!

I also got some new kale chips that I had never tried before, a chocolate bar with flax seeds that was good, new mango (which I haven't tried yet because I'm still working on the mango from June), and probably my favorite thing from the box - salsa!

 My salsa came from The Brooklyn Salsa Company which so happens to sell all of its goodies online! Try them. They are good. I don't like spicy foods so she got me the Mild salsa The Pure. It's so good. I'm making burritos for dinner tonight and this is definitely going on top of them.

I cannot for the life of me locate my Kale Chips package and I know I didn't eat them all. I was going to find the company and post a picture of them, but alas, I cannot. But everyone knows what kale chips look like. They are green, crunchy, and a little bit different!

My mango is from Go ManGo! and it's simply organic, dried mango slices. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Also - the chocolate didn't last long and we threw the wrapper away. I'm sorry to say that, but there is no photographic evidence of what was sent to me in the way of 70% dark chocolate with flax seeds. Oh well. All you need to know is that it was good!

I turned 30 on July 12 and probably the sweetest thing (other than the chocolate) was the birthday card that Kassandra sent to me. It was fun coming home from a trip to NYC to a package on the table with a birthday card inside.

It was a good month for food! This month I sent my box of goodies to Annica Russo over at Check out her post to see what she got, if you are interested.

Here's a little bit you need to know about FPP if you are interested in joining up:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for August, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by August 4th as pairings will be emailed on August 5th!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things

I've been failing recently at my marathon training. I have basically taken two weeks off. I have run here and there, but I've not gotten any long runs in at all and I really feel like I'm slacking. Actually, I don't feel like it, I know I am. Here's this week's excuse: I turned 30 on Thursday spent 10 hours in a car between Wednesday and Thursday, 4 hours on Friday and Sunday, and 10 hours today. When was there time to run? Friday morning? Sure. Saturday? No, not really because we walked around New York City for 12-15 hours. Sunday morning? Yep. But I left my sneakers in State College and we didn't go to bed until after 2 a.m. so there was no way I was going to be running. This morning we got up, got ready to go, and hit the road. It's a long way to drive and we needed to stop and see family on the way home.

So that's my excuse - there was time and I didn't take it. It's my own damn fault. But guess what. I had an amazing weekend. So here's what I'm going to do this week. Hopefully get up tomorrow morning and run or go to the gym. Then I'm going to do the one that I didn't do on Wednesday, maybe (I've got a big event that I need to be at at 7 a.m., so that might not happen). Then on Thursday, I'm going to run again. Friday I'll hopefully take the day off. Saturday, depending on where I am (traveling again) I'll cross-train. Sunday I HAVE to run 5 miles. Just 5 miles. I can do 5 miles in 1 hour.

Yes, I know that 1 hour to run 5 miles is a lot for most people, but guess what? I'm not most people. And I've determined that as long as I am doing something, then it's a whole lot better than doing nothing. So, like I said last week, I'm going to get my ass back into shrinking mode and for two reasons: My half-marathon is in 9 weeks (gasp!) and because when I weighed myself on Tuesday last week, I'd lost more weight. I'm down 10.8 pounds since the beginning of April (again, I know that's slow progress, but it's progress nonetheless).

Here's the picture of the very shapely booty that I shared in last week's post. Enjoy!

I realize my ass will never look like this, but it's a great motivator!
Now here's the updated training plan for the marathon. Since the race is in 9 weeks, I'm going to start with 5 miles this Sunday and just add a mile each Sunday until my race. I'll keep doing my training runs during the week and then I'll just go out and run the race! It'll be wonderful! I'll be wonderful! And as long as I finish the race in under 3 hours, I'll feel like a successful half-marathoner. Over three hours is okay, it's just not my goal.

Maybe I'll post more updates about my progress this week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Turning 30

I may have the blues. The turning 30 blues. I am sitting here in the bed (at 7:00 on a Sunday evening) finishing up chores for the weekend and thinking about what to pack for my trip coming up this week. I have been meaning to blog more, but there doesn't seem to be anything of interest going on lately to blog about.

I have fallen off the half marathon training wagon with family problems and birthday parties taking its place. I know that's not an excuse and should, actually, be a motivator to run more, but I just haven't done it. But, that is changing this week. We've modified our workout schedule for this week to accommodate a car ride and I think that my blues are around as a result of too much fun, not enough run(ning).

So - why, might you ask, do I think I've got the turning 30 blues? Who the eff knows. I have been super excited for my birthday, as usual, but as soon as my friend left today it was like uh-oh it's literally just around the corner. I was perusing Pinterest for a picture of '30' and found this:

I'll be Triple-X on July 12!
It made me smile. When I saw that I actually realized that I don't have the blues about turning 30. I'm still really excited about it. I will get to see everyone that I love (mostly) on my actual birthday. Really the only person missing from the day will be my mom, but I'll see her the week after. I've mentioned a couple of times the trip I've got coming up. Here's a little more on that:

Wednesday night after I get off work, David and I are going to drive up to PA. My awesome mom-in-law is going to babysit (our precious cats) for us. We are staying in Virginia one night and then driving the rest of the way Thursday morning (my actual birthday) up to my grandma's house. She's going to make me a birthday lunch! I'm excited about that. There is nothing quite like grandma's cooking. I don't know when the last time I spent my birthday with her. After what I'm sure will be a superb meal, we'll be heading to my dad's house where I hear tale/tell (not sure which one, let me know in the comments below what's correct) that there might be a small gathering of friends. Small, fun get together, with people that I've known for half of my life at this point. I can't wait!

Friday morning we are going to pack up the truck and head on to one of my favorite places:
New York City!
Dad & G have a place in the Bronx so we'll stay there, go to their favorite little place to eat on Friday night - Antonio's - and then head on in to Manhattan on Saturday. There's a lot that I want to do, but one thing that I know is happening is the Murder at the Met Scavenger Hunt. I did this once before in 2006 and had a great time. My dad and G have something mysterious planned for 1:30 that day. I don't know what it is, but my father said that I'll probably pee my pants from excitement... That's a lot to live up to, but I'm sure that they can, and will, succeed in making it a super surprise! We are also going to be going to dinner at Aqua Grill with one of my best friends and her fiancee (they just got engaged in Paris).

Sunday I think that we are going to try and go to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx before we pack up and head back to PA. David and I will be returning to the lovely, overheating South on Monday. I'm really looking forward to all of this. We haven't been to New York since June 2009 or 2010. It's been too long.

As I've typed out this post I have realized more that it's not that I'm worried about turning 30. My blues are simply caused by the fact that I have to work for the next 3 days before I can leave for this amazing trip! I do have a couple of things to accomplish before we leave town though. I have to pack, obviously, buy $100 worth of fireworks, and get in three days of workouts.

My race is fewer than 80 days away and I need to get my ever shrinking ass back into shrinking mode!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Foodie Penpals

The Lean Green Bean

This is a bit late, but I have had a busy month and never took the time to do it right after I got my pictures taken. I got my package from Alex over at Healthy Life, Happy Wife. Boy, oh boy. Did I hit the big time. She sent me some great goodies that I hadn't gotten to experience before. Let's take a look.

This is everything that was in my box!
 All of the items in the photo below are from Trader Joe's. I've never been to a Trader Joe's before, but there is one opening in Knoxville. It was supposed to open in June, but since it's now July 1, and they are still not open I don't know when it's going to be ready. I'm really looking forward to that! The green mango is excellent. A bit tart, but sweet, too. The brownies are made with non-fat vanilla yogurt and cooked in the microwave in a coffee cup. Yum. The fruit strips and juice/puree is really tasty, too.
All sorts of yumminess from Trader Joe's.
 Oh my goodness. Those snapeas are stupendous. The kettle corn is phenomenal. It was sweet, but not too sweet like kettle corn can be sometimes. And it's lite, so it had fewer calories than real kettle corn.
I'll be buying more Snapeas.
 Alex sent me some homemade lemon meringue cookies along. They were good. I'd never had meringue cookies before. I haven't had the peppermint tea yet, but it's been a little too hot to enjoy hot tea right now. 

 I'm always looking for something to eat on my long runs. These sport beans are good. They have the same texture as jelly beans, but they don't taste exactly like jelly beans. They work, though, and that's the most important thing. Especially in this heat.
Energize before, during, and after!
I loved everything about this package. I think that I've said this every month, but it keeps getting better! I'm looking forward to this month's package - especially since I turn 30 on July 12.

Thanks again, Alex!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fitness at Home

Wednesday mornings are supposed to be cross training mornings in the world of half-marathon training at the Alcorn house. So this morning when I woke up late (6:30, the time we should arrive at the gym) I decided that I wasn't going to let that ruin my workout (especially since we didn't get up and run yesterday).

A couple of days ago I was Stumbling Along the vast interwebs when this lovely image popped up on my screen:
Sorry, I don't have the source...
I took a picture of it with my phone because I like to workout outside when we workout at home and it's a whole lot easier to just bring my phone outside than my computer. So I got my clothes on and came out to show David that he needed to go get dressed too (I don't talk a whole lot first thing in the morning).

We took the yoga mat and a kitchen chair out in the front yard. I turned on the Pandora station 100% Exertion and we started our jumping jacks. Let me just say that I haven't, until this morning, done jumping jacks in years. They are GREAT at getting the old ticker, well, ticking. We did 3 sets. We finished up at about 7:10 or so. I do my pushups and burpees on the kitchen chair.  David does them the manly way - on his fists on top of the hot pink yoga mat!

I challenge you to try this. It requires no equipment. Just a good sports bra and sneakers that will give your ankles support from all the jumping you'll be doing. Keep good form. Don't take breaks between exercises. It'll wake you up and, in the TN summer mornings when it's 70 degrees outside at 6:50 a.m., you'll work up a sweat that you'll really love washing off in the cool shower!

We did this and my day was amazing. Again, I challenge you to try this. Start with one set. As my favorite Biggest Loser, Antone Davis, says, "You just have to get moving."

See - isn't this better than the last post?! 

This post is nothing but a jumble of words that make no sense.

You've been warned...

I've been struggling with the whole blog thing lately. I don't know what that is a sign of. I've been working on a post for about 2 weeks now. It's not anything monumental for anyone else, but I think that the struggle with that is affecting other post ideas, too. I also feel like no one is going to want to read a recap of the same thing every week or so. If I posted training recaps they would eventually all start to look like this: Ran on Tuesday. Cross-trained on Wednesday. Ran on Thursday. Took Friday off. Cross-trained on Saturday. Ran a [insert slowly increasing number here] mile run on Sunday. That would get boring to read and be boring to write. I need to figure out how to mix things up I guess.

I've been struggling a lot with the same things for my Twitter feed, too. You can follow me @rebeccalcorn if there is anything in my timeline that interests you. Don't know if there will be. I don't know what's up with this self-doubt, but it's really annoying me! I think that I'm putting too much emphasis on what others will want to read and not on what I'm experiencing as I train for this half marathon and change my life. Maybe I just need to say screw what everyone else is thinking. They don't have to read the damn blog anyway. I don't need to post links to Facebook and Twitter every time I post a blog. I can type up posts and not even publish them.

I get a lot of encouragement from my friends and family on Facebook when I post that I just completed a workout or a run so it's obviously not too much of a pain in the ass to see that, but I guess I just feel like I'm forcing my mundane life on people when I say stuff like, "I just posted another blog, won't you please, please read it" or "Look what I did and how special I am." I think that I need to realize that people don't care that much. I don't know.

But then there's the other fitness bloggers that I read. Melissa over at Live, Love, & Run posted this blog about her Evolution of a Runner tonight. Holy cow. It made me cry. That's the kind of experience I want to have when I run 10-miles. I want to know that I've accomplished something, and I know that I will want to share that experience with other people.

I realize that this post is a rant and looks like I'm seeking attention and hoping that people will tell me that I'm doing an amazing job. That's not it at all. I know I'm doing a great job! I feel the difference. I guess what the bottom line is, is that I don't know if people will want to read what I write. And maybe a small part of it is that I don't know if running is all I want to write about.

Wrapping up the rant/diatribe now! What do you look for in a blog? What makes you want to read something? I've noticed that I've been getting bored with some of the bloggers that I follow. They always post about the same things. I enjoy reading some of this stuff, but I think that I'm seeking a little bit more. Help me out here! Is just reading about my running and Foodie Pen Pals enough for you? What do you want me to write about? Let me know in the comments.

I shouldn't even publish this, but I'm going to. After re-reading this I realize it's a complete babble. The only coherent section is where I talk about Melissa's accomplishment. *sigh* I'm going to go type up another, more structured, meaningful post about a workout. See - it's all I can think about.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

London - A honeymoon 3.5 years in the making.

David and I recently returned from a trip to London, England. We were there for 6 days. We went for our honeymoon. Really it was supposed to be a graduation celebration, but since his thesis was postponed by another semester we decided to make this our honeymoon. We never went on one after the wedding since we got married on Halloween and he had to go back to class the Monday after the ceremony. Anyway - I am not going to put a whole lot of detail in this post just because we want to keep the memories for ourselves, but I do want to share some of the pictures.

I'm sure that everyone has seen most of the places that we saw, but I know that there are several friends and family out there that are anxious to hear about the trip. I'll give a brief recap of the things we did and then I'll just overwhelm you with pictures. That way you can either read it all and look at pictures or just skip right to the pictures!

We left Knoxville on Monday and came home on Monday. We arrived on Tuesday in London. We didn't really know what to do so we wandered around Kensington Gardens before we met some friends for drinks. It was an early night for us. Too much jet lag! Wednesday morning we got up and went on a sightseeing tour of London. We stopped by St. Paul's Cathedral (which was amazing and I lit a candle for my Gram), drove around Trafalgar Square and by Parliament and Westminster Abby, went to see the changing of the guards, and rode around a bit more. That afternoon we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum and then to Harrod's (completely overwhelming).

Thursday we got up and headed over to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre by way of Borough Market and piggies. After the Globe, where we saw King Lear being rehearsed in Belarusian, we went to the Tate Modern. We walked across the Millennium Bridge and then went to the Saatchi Gallery where we perused wonderful photographs. We had afternoon tea and then we went and did a little shopping. After that we went and had some dim sum for dinner. Friday we went on this tour called England in a Day. We hit Stonehenge, Bath, and Stratford-Upon-Avon. David is a huge Shakespeare fan, so he was thrilled with two Shakespeare events in two days! It was a long day and a little disappointing because we didn't have enough time to do much in either Bath or Stratford. But it was an experience!

Saturday we wandered in Notting Hill at the Portobello Road Market. We did shopping for ourselves and family. Then we wandered around near Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster, and ended up at the ICA where we saw some video installations, walked through Trafalgar Square, and made our way to see a show called 'What the Butler Saw.' It was a very British play that was very entertaining! After the play we headed over to the Tower of London. It was beautiful all lit up at night.

Sunday, our last day in London, we went to the Museum of London. It was great. Better than expected. We grabbed our last pint at a pub, saw some pigeons doing an odd mating dance (or fighting over chicken bones) and took the obligatory tourist photos in red phone booths. This run down doesn't describe how much fun we had or how meaningful the trip was, but we had an amazing time. Really, everyone just wants to see the pictures, I know!

As an aside, since this is supposed to be a blog about fitness, I couldn't have done this trip two years ago when I was 35 pounds heavier. We walked an average of 20,000 steps every day that we were there. And we walked quickly. We also took a lot of stairs in the Underground. There's no way that I could have done that 2 years ago. I'm thankful that I am in better shape and that I was able to enjoy our trip with only minimal foot discomfort. I do sit at a desk for my job and my poor tootsies just aren't used to all that walking!

Now here's what you've been waiting for!
Kensington Palace

The Cask and Glass where we met Rebecca and Tim.

The Queens Arms - Dinner on Tuesday

Such a long day, but I actually really like this picture.

The best fish and chips we had.

Wild boar and apple sausages with mashed potatoes.

Two crazy kids.

Yes, it's a spiral staircase!

St. Paul's Cathedral reflected in a sphere.

St. Paul's.

A statue to commemorate those brave souls from WWII.

Honest Abe.

Clarence House, home of Prince Charles and Camilla.

A guard, obviously. He was giving us the side eye stair though.

St. James Park. Beautiful.

David in St. James Park. That's the London Eye over his shoulder.

Practicing for the Queen's Jubilee.

Changing of the Guards

Lunch. Yum!

Buckingham Palace

Big Ben


The Victoria & Albert Museum

I really love this shot of Big Ben for some reason.

Prince David. Well, he was dressing up.

One of the many windows decorated at Harrods for the Queen's Jubilee.

Peter Pan in Hyde Park

Tourist Trap. We didn't go in though.


The Globe Theatre. A Timeline of Shakespeare's Plays.

I really like this statue.

Crazy kids with Tower Bridge in the way background!

David outside the Globe.

Street Artist


The only picture really that someone else took of us on our whole trip.

Stonehenge from another angle.

The best pasty I've ever eaten (sorry, Mom.)!! I was just a bit excited!

We didn't go in, but here's a photo of the entrance to the Baths in Bath.

The Bath Cathedral

A jester down the street from Shakespeare's birth place.

That's the place, right there.

The man himself.

David and our 'England in a Day' tour guide.

Notting Hill - Portobello Road Market

My keepsakes.

I think I have a thing for Big Ben.

This is one of my favorite shots.

Two of my favorite guys.

Westminster Abby

Westminster Abby

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

David playing with exposure.

The old Roman walls that used to encircle the city of London.

A gladiator

David in a replica 12th - 13th century home at the museum of London.

Our last pint on vacation.

Obligatory phone booth photos!

We had to take a picture. The sign in London says y'all.
I hope you enjoyed the photos. It's not near as much fun as actually being there, but we had a blast. If you haven't been, go. It really is wonderful. I'm convinced we need to move there! We'll see what happens with that.