I did it!

I was dreeeeeeeading today’s workout since I didn’t do so well on Sunday. It was drizzly all day and it seemed like the perfect excuse to not go. But— I realized that I’ve told way too many people that I’m doing this to quit, and if I didn’t go today I’d have to go tomorrow. When its hot. Blech.

It was about 60 degrees and that is just the PERFECT temperature for jogging if you ask me. Warm enough to wear a tshirt and capris, cool enough that you aren’t sweating rivers (sexy imagery there for ya). And? I did it!! It was incredibly hard… but I noticed a few things.
1) The 3 minute runs suddenly seemed relatively easy (I guess because last week they were the “long” run and this week they’re the “short” run?)
2) There were times while jogging, even near the end of my first 5 minute run, that I was able to take a deep breath. This has never happened to me while jogging before. Ever. I would just get progressively more and more out of breath until I saw stars.

Towards the end I really wanted to quit but I just thought, I feel SOO much better than Sunday when I ran all but 2.5 minutes of this in 85 degrees, and I”ll be so proud of myself if I finish. And I did. 16 minutes total of jogging interspersed with 5.5 minutes of walking. So happy!!

Next up: Something that does not have to do with jogging or weight loss!!

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Choosing to see the positive

First title choice: I suck. But then I decided to revise.

Tonight was my first workout of week 4 of C25K. I’ve been dreading it all along. Today was the day I would be expected to do the following:

jog 3 minutes
walk 90 seconds
jog 5 minutes(!)
walk 2.5 minutes
jog 3 minutes
walk 90 seconds
jog 5 minutes(!!!!!!!)

Maybe this doesn’t sound to bad if you’re like… in shape. OR, if you’re so out of shape that you haven’t attempted to run in 13 years and thus you think, how long is 5 minutes? It’s barely a commercial set on American Idol!

Yea. It’s a LONG TIME. But Anna did it. And I wanted to do it too.

Well obviously since my first inclination for a title was: I suck. I did not finish this workout as instructed. I did the first 3 minutes, the first 5 minutes (although I have to admit that my mantra while jogging was i-will-not-die-i-will-not-die-i-will-not-die), and the second 3 minutes. But I’m sorry… 90 seconds was not enough time to recover and I was still out of breath when we started the second 5 minute set.

I made it about 2.5 minutes before I was seeing spots, legs cramping, and I was panting like a woman giving birth to triplets. I had to stop. Le sigh. I was really, really disappointed. I felt like I could just keep. those. legs. moving. and freakin DO IT. But I couldn’t.

There are a lot of reasons that maybe I didn’t make it. It was 85 degrees out (the hottest I’ve ever run in). It was the end of the day after I’d already spent a combined total of approx 2.5 hours outside in the 80-90 degree sun. I’d done yard work in the morning and was sore. We were doing the last 5 on a slight incline.

But really? I just couldn’t do it. This is what jogging is. It is doing your thing in whatever environment you’re in. Today, I was not fit enough to finish this workout.

So what is the positive? Well… about 4 weeks ago I thought I was going to die after doing 60 second intervals. I would not have made it through the first 3, probably, and definitely not the first 5. I am making progress. So I’m not doing it as fast as the c25k program says I should, who cares? Every week I’m getting better, stronger.

And what is more.. I’m going to do this again. I am not going to give up. I’m going to keep doing this same week 4 workout until I can complete it semi-comfortably, then I’m going to do week 5.

So instead of seeing today as a failure, I’m choosing to notice the improvements I’ve made… and to stay committed. But lets hope I don’t have to do too many of these spin-ish failure-turned-not-failure posts because politician is not really on my to-do list of jobs. 🙂

New Resolve

I’ve been trying to lose weight since January 4. I lost the first 7 pounds pretty easily, and since late February I’ve been playing with the same 4 pounds. It’s exhausting and stupid. I gained a pound in the last week, and I’m now at -10. Four months later. That’s a whopping 2.5 pound per month loss. Better than nothing or gaining… but not good enough.

C25K was really hard Friday. My friend and I added a 4th week 3 workout because I didn’t feel ready for week 4… and for some reason BOTH of us were dying. I don’t know if it is the heat or what but man… I am SCARED for tonight. But I will not give up. I’m going to keep at this thing until I CAN jog for 30 minutes at a time.

More importantly, I am going to start counting calories. I always want to think that I can do this without counting… but obviously not so much. So I signed up for sparkpeople.com and I will count.

Basically, I am finally accepting that I can’t do this without it being a major change to my life. I can’t ease into it. It is going to suck. But hopefully I’ll adapt, and the benefits I’ll gain by getting healthy and in shape will so far outweigh the annoyance of calorie counting and scheduling jogs.

To that end, its time I planned some new goals/rewards. Because I’m ALL about rewards. Being that I don’t want to throw my weight around the interweb (harhar), I’ll just label the goals in order.

Goal A: Massage OR Facial
Goal B: Canon 50 mm/1.8 lens
Goal C: VS shopping trip
Goal D: Massage AND facial
Goal E: Tattoo that I’ve been putting off due to back-fat
Goal F: Shopping spree for new Skinny clothes!

So it might be an expensive year. But if it means being in shape, whatever. SO worth it. (Yes. I do require SIX rewards to get anything done. Thank you for asking.)

A tutorial: How to be Hated by your boss’s son

I think I’ve mentioned that I have a strange working situation. We work in half of a duplex my boss owns. The attic is our filing area, but also has a bed and a desk, which is occasionally occupied by one of TBM’s three boys. For the past several weeks, it has been occupied by the youngest, C.

C seems nice enough. Just graduated from college last month and headed to law school in the fall. Don’t let it fool you though… this is no type-A driven guy… he has “work ethic” issues, apparently. TBM has been telling me that C is going to work for us part time and for weeks, TBM has been saying things like “Oh can you make sure that X gets done… but you can just have C do it.” Problem is, I never SEE C. I hear him get up about 12-2 every day… then he’s out the door 10 minutes later without so much as a hello or goodbye.

Finally on Tuesday, I had to say something. Once again, TBM asked me to have C do something and I said. “Okay does he KNOW he’s supposed to be working here? Because I never see him and the only time he’s awake and here are on his way from bed to the door… and I’m just not comfortable staking out the hallway to force assignments on him.” He laughed and said yes, C has “work ethic” issues and he wants me to focus on helping him with his work ethic for the next few months until law school.

Me.

Teach HIS son work ethic. Awesome.

So what is it I’m supposed to have him do? I ask. OH anything… cleaning, filing, lawn work, organization, anything I need. Double awesome.

So I’m supposed to somehow tell a guy with “work ethic issues” that he needs to spend his days cleaning and doing lawn work, against his will, while his father is out of town most of the time.

Here is how this is going so far. Tuesday afternoon, the following call takes place:
C. Hey uhhh my dad told me to call you and see what you need me to do?
L. Yea well its not that I have something specific for you to do, but you’re going to be working here part time, right?
C. Well uhhh yea I guess.
L. Okay so why don’t you set a schedule and we’ll work from there.
C. Uhhh I can’t work Tuesdays or Wednesday nights
L. Okay? Well I don’t care when you work, I just need to know when it is going to be. Just pick some time.
C. Uhhh okay well how about I just come down to your office when I get up tomorrow, lets say about 12?
L. Okay sounds good, see you then.

Oh boy.

Wednesday afternoon, 12:16:
C. Uhhh so I guess you have some stuff for me to do?
L. Yea, there’s lots to do around here so as much time as you want to work I’ll have stuff for you.
C. Yea uh… I have work ethic issues (he actually said it!! himself!), so I guess I’m working on that…..
L. hah ummm okay? Well for right now why don’t you start with the boxes in the conference room. There are 15-20 boxes down there that need to be moved to the basement for storage.
C. Okay

**sounds of boxes being moved**

12:41 (i.e. 25 minutes later)
C. Uhhh okay so I moved the boxes. I guess I’ll come back tomorrow for another assignment– later!
L. ummmm bye?

I mean… I guess 25 minutes of work on day 1 is okay? Easing in? And he never did show up today, by the way. This is going to be a BAD situation!

Ulcer?

My day today at work:

We have a deal!
We don’t have a deal
Wait, yes we DO have a deal!
Okay but only kind of because of x,y,z,q

Argh….. this job is stressin’ me OUT today people.

Freshest, easiest, healthiest Pico ever

Because every side dish needs three adjectives, right? So once upon a time, when I was but a wee lass, my family had a garden out back. One summer all of the tomatoes came together and we were suddenly inundated with tomatoes. We had tomato salads and tomato sandwiches and we ate tomatoes like apples (which, incidentally, I still do). But we still had a whole counter full of tomatoes that were certain to spoil in a few days time and that is when my parents formed a plan: SALSA.

And boy… was it a chore. I remember vividly watching as my dad boiled a big pan of water, and flash boiled each individual tomato so as to peel it. Once peeled, the tomatoes were stewed with a mysterious concoction of other vegetables and spices. In total, it took a whole Saturday afternoon and we were left with a ginormous pot of salsa that looked and tasted a lot like what you’d get in a jar at the grocery store. Which is pretty much what the parents were going for, and thus they were pleased.

And after following this method for several summers, we realized something.

Jarred salsa sucks. Sure… it’s okay. It gets the job done. But is it great? No. There is something so much better, and its name is pico de gallo (for those of you who have never taken Spanish or eaten in a Mexican restaurant… say it “peeko de guy-o”. Please).

The following recipe is super simple, and over the years I’ve made it I generally have subtracted from its recipe, not added to it. To me, this dish is summer. Serve it with chips, serve it over chicken, serve it over lettuce with a little cheese. You can’t go wrong.

I think the best way to make this dish is about 3-4 hours before you plan to serve it. It gives it enough time to let the flavors meld, but not so much time that it gets soupy. If you have to choose between making it the night before, or just before dinner, go with just before dinner.

And with no further ado:

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The cast of characters: Tomatoes, onions, lime, garlic, cilantro, salt.

Start by dicing 6-8 tomatoes. I like to use plum tomatoes if I have them around, because they are more “meaty” than other varieties.
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Next, finely dice approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of a Spanish onion.
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Throw it right on top of of the tomatoes
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And give it a stir
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Next, squeeze in 1/2 lime. Bonus points if it is a lime that has been in your fridge for a few days and is starting to brown… sorry! And the lime by the way? Is totally necessary. I don’t know why exactly because you can’t even taste lime specifically, but pico sans lime is no pico at all.
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Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. This is optional, but B and I like garlic in everything and I think it adds a little something.
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Throw it into the bowl (seeing a theme?).
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Now the most important part of the dish: FRESH CILANTRO. Absolutely essential. If you skip this, or try to use the bottled stuff, I will cry. Here is a tip on cilantro– it is cheap! The grocery store tries to trick you into buying the tiny little package of it packaged with all the other herbs for like 3.29. Walk away. Head directly to the area that has bunches of parsley and green onions and endive. They sell big bunches over there and they’re always around $1-$1.50. I use almost the whole big bunch for this recipe. I wash and pat it dry, then just chop off the top 2/3 above the band and chop everything including the stems. Seriously, no need to pull the leaves off, it is a waste of time.
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Throw it in the bowl
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Give it a stir, and salt to taste. Make sure you start off with less and taste along the way as you add more. The tasting? It’s very important.
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And voila! You’re done. Quick, easy, fresh, and absolutely healthy.

Optional variation 1:

Sometimes I will throw in 1/2 cup of corn and 1/2 cup of (rinsed please!) black beans. This is a great way to bulk this up and add some protein.

Optional variation 2:

Guacamole! I don’t actually like guacamole, but B does so I make it for him sometimes because its SO easy. To make a side of guacamole to add some variety (and heart healthy fat) to your meal, just do the following.
1) Cut 1 ripe avocado in half and pit. Scoop the innards into a bowl.
2) Use something to break the avocado up and make it smoother and creamy. I use the bottom of a clean glass to squish away in the bowl until I get a good consistency.
3) Place 2 heaping spoonfuls of pico into the avocado
4) Squeeze the other half of the lime into the mixture
5) Stir, and salt to taste.

B absolutely loves this and says its better than any guac you can buy in a store.

Ingredients:
6-8 plum tomatoes
1/3-1/2 spanish onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 lime
2/3 bunch cilantro
salt to taste

Optional:
1/2 cup canned corn
1/2 cup canned black beans (rinsed)
1 avocado
1/2 lime

Thoughts on a bachelorette party

I’m tired but tomorrow is going to be just as busy as today so I’m going to attempt to write a coherent post now. I went to my friend’s bachelorette party tonight. My first, actually, being that none of my girlfriends are married. Here are my top 10 thoughts, in no particular order:

1- Hanging with groups of girls is fun, I should do that more often
2- When I’m not drinking, I’m not half bad at bowling
3- Parking downtown was not as bad as I remember
4- Cover charges? blow. Ugh.
5- On the topic of money, bachelorette parties? EXPENSIVE.
6- Guys that have issues getting laid should go to the bar in a mascot outfit. Seriously, the guy with the bear head on was getting grinded on by half the girls in the bar and they had NO IDEA what he looked like.
7- There are a lot of people in the world getting married. I was at the last bar for approximately two hours, and in that time we met 3 other bachelorette parties and 3 bachelor parties.
8- Bachelorette parties? BAD FOR DIET. I SUCK.
9- Okay okay I know I’m not old enough to say this…. but why does it have to be so loud in the bar?! When you have to literally SCREAM to be heard by a person 1 foot away from you? It is too loud. I have a horrible headache… it just isn’t fun.
10- There aren’t many things that make me want to stay away from home much later 11pm. I am, at heart, boring. But my dog and (also boring) bf love me. 🙂