Thursday, September 27, 2012

Introducing The Dog Whisperer

Signing Blake up for puppy training classes was an absolutely wonderful decision. Let me tell you why.

The obvious: Blake is obviously adorable, but like any other puppy he is fulllllll of energy. Sometimes the energy makes him behave badly. I love him to death, but I didn't want to be one of those moms with no control over her child. I finally sucked it up a few weeks ago and signed him up for the 6 week training class at PetSmart.

From the get-go I had a wee bit of a crush on Blake's dog trainer. He's always been so nice and so helpful. He's good with Blake and he's good with me trying to deal with Blake. And gosh darn it, what it is about men and puppies that is so freaking cute?!? Same with men and babies. If either of these things don't do anything for you, please explain.

Anyway...we've spent the last few Sunday mornings getting to know each other during training classes. In other words, he has learned the following about me:

- I have no patience. There have been several classes where Blake was basically saying a big F you to the training lesson that day leading me to nearly cry out of frustration.
- I am late roughly 90% of the time. If I'm not late, I am still a little frantic for some reason.
- What I look like without makeup, in workout clothes, hungover and what I look like when I am completely pulled together.
- That sometimes I have trouble controlling my cursing. Specifically when the children come to class with their parents and pets.
After a few weeks, we started trying to meet up at the dog park on Sunday evenings and finally ended up meeting up on a weeknight to walk Blake through the downtown area near my house, stopping for a beer and getting to know each other a little better.

We met up on Saturday to watch football downtown with my roommate and it was pretty clear that he was digging me (digging?) too.

Well last night we went on a date. He took me to dinner and we chatted over margaritas.

We had a great time and when we got home, he walked me to the door and hugged me goodbye and that was that. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that he didn't kiss me goodbye. I walked inside and leaned against the door for a minute overanalyzing everything I said or did during our date and did what I always do in situations like this: consult my mother. I told her I had a great time, but that he wasn't coming on very strong and honestly I'm having a hard time reading into whether or not he is interested.

The interest is definitely there, it just might take time to see how compatible we are as we get to know each other better. It's okay to take it slow. It might be exactly what I've been needing to do with someone.

So yeah...Blake is learning better behavior and signing him up for training was well worth it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Race Recap: Miracle Miles 5K

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I sure did! The highlight of my weekend would have to be running in the Miracle Miles 5K on Saturday morning. The race benefitted the NICU at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies and through a few generous donations from family and friends, I was able to raise almost $200 on my own to support such a great cause.

6 weeks ago I could hardly run a mile without struggling and I'm so happy to say that I successfully ran the 5K on Saturday. I ran all 3.1 miles, not even slowing down when I grabbed a cup of water from the volunteers somewhere after the 1 mile marker. I was so committed to running the whole thing, I convinced myself I could sip and run, which resulted in me pouring water down my shirt. Oh, this wasn't a wet t-shirt contest and 5K? I didn't get the memo...

I finished the race in 32:30 and I'm pretty satisfied with that time. I've only run one other 5K and that was back in 2010. I ran that one in about 34 minutes. I also didn't prepare for that one as much as with this one and I'm overall in much better shape than I was then. Comparatively, 32:30 is a huge improvement, but I am looking to get closer to 30 minutes in my next race.

I recruited my roommate to run with me. We were side-by-side
the whole race and I loved crossing the finish line with this girl!
I went into the race feeling pretty anxious. I had my training for the week of the race specifically planned out. I planned to run at least 5K on Tuesday, take a break and do about 4 miles on the elliptical on Wednesday, run 5K on Thursday and take Friday off. After a great run on Tuesday morning, I came down with a nasty stomach bug and wasn't able to work out at all on Wednesday or Thursday. To top it off, I was down 4 lbs in just two days from being sick and felt pretty weak from all of that. I obviously couldn't run on Friday with it being just one day before the race, so I was feeling a little....unprepared.

I felt really great at the start of the race. If I am going to get cramps while I run, they usually hit pretty quickly and I felt fine from the start. I felt comfortable with my pace and to play it safe, chose to stick to it although it felt a little slow. The first mile and a half was really a breeze, but I struggled for the remainder of the race. I used to struggle with the simple act of running. My calfs would get so sore and I would struggle with cramps and general pain. This wasn't the case on Saturday. For the first time in my life, I felt like my legs could go on for miles and miles. I didn't feel any soreness or cramping. What I struggled with for the last mile and a half was my breathing.

I've read a lot about how to control your breathing while running and I can't seem to stick to it. It's the same reason why I found yoga so challenging at first. If I lose control of my breathing for a second, I have such a hard time getting it under control again. I honestly feel like the entire 3.1 miles could have been a piece of cake if it weren't for my breathing, so that is something I obviously need to focus on improving.

There were several times I thought about taking a short walking break, but I'm so glad I didn't. It's a perfect example of not letting my thoughts get the best of me. Seeing the finish line with about 1/2 mile to go was such a relief and knowing I made it that far only motivated me to finish strong.

Overall, the race was a blast and I'm so glad I'm at a stage where I can run a full 5K. I have a few more races I plan to participate in throughout the fall and winter, so I can only imrove on this one. I'm feeling more confident in my running ability than I ever have before so I'm super psyched!

Tell me...

What do you struggle with most when you run? Any tips on getting my breathing under control?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Believe In...

This is my first ever link up! I couldn't resist this one and to be honest, I don't have much else to say this week.

I believe that I will still be able to run a 5K on Saturday despite the fact that I came down with a nasty stomach bug this week.
I believe that rainbows can turn your day around completely.
I believe in random acts of kindness.
I believe in dancing. It is always a good idea and makes everything better.
I believe in appreciating the little things in life.
I believe in blowing bubbles.
I believe bad decisions make good stories.
I believe in doing things that scare you.
I believe in embracing who you are completely.
I believe in making the bed every day.
I believe in puppy love. How could I not with this one in my life?
I believe in optimism.
I believe in York Peppermint Patties.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still a Pinterest Addict & Wonderful Words

It's no secret I still have an unhealthy addiction to Pinterest. If you haven't fallen victim to the magical and life-changing time suck that is Pinterest, I respect you immensely and also feel really bad for you. I might go a few weeks without going to the site, then one visit gets me completely addicted again. I could spend hours on there planning my wedding that doesn't exist, decorating my house with items I can't afford and wishing every outfit I pinned could magically appear in my closet. It's the best and worst thing that's ever happened to me.

As a lover of writing, words, reading and quotations, I could spend hours perusing the quotes on Pinterest alone. I love the feeling of finding a really great quote or poem and when I find one that really speaks to my life, it's like hitting the jackpot.

Where was I going with this?
Oh, right. I wanted to share some of my favorite recent inspirational words and poetry finds. After all, I hope it isn't just me who feels like this week has d...r...a..g...g...e...d on, so I'm sure we could all use some inspiration.

I love her, but this quote really struck me. People are always going to criticize you, but as a female I feel like we get especially criticized for being true to ourselves and our feelings. I know I've experienced a lot of this and her message to not let anyone or anything take those things away from us is so important.

I loved this and we all need reminding sometimes that we are perfectly fine the way we are. I especially loved the "Sometimes I make a lot of mistakes" line.
Couldn't find a source, but here it is on Pinterest.
First of all, if you haven't seen the movie "We Bought a Zoo," you absolutely have to watch it. I can't remember ever seeing a movie that made me feel as inspired and overjoyed as this one did. I cried a lot; some were sad tears, but then most were happy and joyful tears. This is my favorite quote from the movie.
Such romantic, yet simple words. I really look forward to feeling this way again someday.

The importance of keeping things in makes such a big difference when we are going through a difficult time in life.

I've seen a lot of his poetry and quotes on Pinterest lately and I loved everything I've found. I found this poem to be so sweet and honest.
Tell me...
Are you still addicted to Pinterest or are you over it? What do you find yourself pinning the most?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Staying on Track

It's hard to believe it's already been over a month since I wrote this post telling you I was getting back on the fitness train. The last few weeks have flown by and I'm happy to report that I haven't fallen off!

The last month has consisted of healthier eating, regular exercise, more activity and better choices overall. I feel great and I'm so glad I'm finally back to where I want to be. I've made several claims over the last few years about getting back in shape, eating better, changing my diet, etc., but I feel like I am more committed this time than ever before.

You may be wondering...what makes this time different than all the others?

-- I haven't been thinking of myself as being on a diet. I'm simply trying to make better choices and finding what works for me.

-- I haven't set some unreasonable goal to lose this many pounds by this date. The weight will go down if I'm doing things right. That's enough to keep me going.

-- I haven't been working out 4 times a week because I feel like I have to, but because I know I'll enjoy the challenge once I get going and feel great afterward.

-- I haven't been dreading the gym and looking for excuses not to go. I've found once I got back in the routine and stopped thinking of the gym as a negative activity, I made it a priority and actually want to go every day.

-- I haven't committed to a trendy diet plan that makes me feel like I am starving myself. I still treat myself and go a little off track some days, but I don't use that as an excuse to fall of the wagon completely.

-- I'm not looking for a "quick fix" for any of the changes I want to make. I know that I'm not going to get where I want to be if I don't put in the time and work.

-- I'm mixing it up. Getting into a workout rut is the biggest cause of me falling off the wagon before. I am still running at least 3 times/week to get ready for the 5K, but I make sure to mix it up with the stairmaster or elliptical on nights I don't run. I've taken up yoga on Saturday mornings to add a whole new element to my fitness routine. I'm making sure to keep up with my strength training so I can continue to tone my back, chest and arms. I'll never get bored at this rate!

can't find a source for this one
It's been just over a month and although I didn't weigh myself at the start of this and I don't "weigh-in" every week, I know I've lost at least a few pounds. My clothes fit better and clothes I didn't feel comfortable in a month ago now fit great.

I'm currently stuck at a 2.5 mile run and need to build up to a 5K before September 22nd, so that is the only specific goal I have going on right now. By simply running 3-4 times a week I've already seen a huge difference in my body and that is all the motivation I need to keep it up. I've also made a totally random and awesome cardio playlist and I've found this makes a huge difference! I'll have to share that with you in another post because I'm always looking for good songs to add to it.

I still drink and eat out on the weekends, but I'm trying to make better decisions when I do that. I love beer, but that doesn't mean I have to drink it everytime I go out, so I've been sticking to flavored vodka and soda water for the most part unless I'm at a place where (1) the beer selection is too good to pass up or (2) I'm watching sports or hanging out with my guy friends at the dive bar we go to. I've also cut back on how much I eat when I do eat out. Just because I order something not-so-healthy, doesn't mean I have to eat the whole thing.

The best part of all of this is that I haven't been frustrated by a strict, hard-to-maintain diet. I'm enjoying the healthier lifestyle and the times I treat myself to something sweet or unhealthy are truly a treat, rather than just another unhealthy meal or snack. I'm feeling great and excited to keep up with these new habits!

Tell me...

What helps you stay on track? What are you doing to stay in shape?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quotes from Downtown Orlando

I had another wild, crazy and super fun weekend with friends. I'm still processing all the fun and not-so-smart decisions I made, so I will fill you in soon! In the meantime, you all know by now that I am a freak magnet whenever I go downtown and this weekend there were plenty of examples of that! I leave you with the creepiest/most hilarious/weirdest things that were said to me in bars over the weekend. Enjoy and thank goodness you weren't victimized.

Exhibit A: "I'm sorry to bother you, but I wanted to tell you I think you have the most beautiful smile." Well, that was friendly and completely non-creepy, so I say "thank you!" and turn back to my friends. A few minutes go by and he creeps up from behind and whispers in my ear, "It's just your smile is so really just makes me want to take advantage of you." Well, that got weird.

Exhibit B: From a random guy as he walked out of the bar: "'re bad." I obviously laugh and say, "Huh?" He responds by telling me, "You're aura is bad" and keeps on walking out never to be seen again.

Exhibit C: After helping a guy drunk out of his mind find his watch in the bar, he gave me a creepy long hug, then proceeded to pull three bottles of hot sauce out of his pants pocket. I asked him why he had so much hot sauce in his pocket and he said, "I just...I really like hot sauce."

Exhibit D: I didn't know if this guy was trying to hit on me or not at the time, but 5 minutes after meeting him, he said, "You still haven't told me why you're still single." I told him to ask my ex boyfriends, that I didn't have an answer for him.

The same guy proceeded to spray beer all over me later in the night because I was hanging out with his friend and he was apparently jealous. When my roommate yelled at him and asked him why he did that, he simply said "Because she shouldn't be with him. They look awful together!" Rude.

I'm sure alcohol plays a big role in all of this, but where do they come up with this stuff? I'm sure you've been there too...what's the weirdest thing you've experienced while out with your girlfriends?