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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

11 Things I Learned in 2011

1. Don't give your waiter your number and offer to marry him so he can get a green card while drunk because you think it is "funny." It's not funny when he's calling you to regularly update you on the amount of time he has left before leaving the country.

2. Date the guy you meet at your local bar. So what if he's petting you with the sports section and calls your favorite bartenders his "weekend girlfriends"? You at least agree on where to watch the game each week, and that is a step in the right direction.

3. It is entirely possible to gain weight while training for a marathon. Less resistance training plus additional hunger blew up in my face (and my waistline). And I totally don't buy that increase in blood volume bit.

4. Running is a lot more fun with friends. It's hard to skip a run when I know T and the Professor are waiting for me.

5. Readers prefer blog posts with photos. Perhaps y'all should be called viewers.

6. Taking care of a dog is hard work. Cookie seems to have a bladder smaller than I do. We can't even get through one episode of One Life to Live before we have to go outside.

7. A pay cut is worth it if you get the job you truly love. I took a $10,000 (yes, you read that correctly) pay cut when I left teaching to work for a non-profit. I no longer dread going to work, so it's worth it.

8. Family road trips are fun. Unlike the traumatic car trips of my youth, my family now enjoys hours of pleasant, fight-free driving.

9. I can run an ultramarathon. I ran the Greenbelt 50K in May 2011. I have the Caumsett 50K on March 4, 2012, and I plan on returning to the Greenbelt again May 2012.

10. Cross-training is important to avoid injuries from running. After being plagued by IT Band issues since March, I am never slacking off from my Equinox full-body workouts again.

11. People besides my friends read In Shape Out of Mind. I was invited to attend a C9 by Champion for Target event because the nice people at Missy Farren & Associates, Ltd. read my obsession with C9 by Champion for Target gear.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Whatever Happened to Clearly Canadian?

Today I went to the Great Neck Equinox for Coco's Cardio Kickbox and Zumba classes. Awesome workouts as always. Highlights included a woman telling me I am in amazing shape (booyah!) and dancing the Macarena. Who doesn't love a 90s flashback?
Crazy Hat Day 1996
I was pretty impressed with my outfit today: neon yellow C9 by Champion shorts and sports bra (the bra was free!), a grey Mossimo tank, and my bright green K-Swiss Micro Tubes.

I seriously struggle with self-timer pictures.
Now finally to the purpose of this post: what the hell happened to Clearly Canadian? That drink was the sh*t. I remember coming home after school and drinking an entire bottle of bubbly, berry goodness while doing my homework. It came in a glass bottle and the top made a horrible screeching sound every time you tried to close it.

While Clearly Canadian has been MIA, I have found Clear American at Wal-Mart. It's not only delicious, it's less than a dollar for a liter! Like, WTF? This proves that Americans produce products of equal value for better prices. (It's probably made in Taiwan.)

Key Lime is my favorite flavor.
This used to be a treat for me when I visited the Wal-Mart in Iowa, until I realized yesterday that we too have Wal-Mart in New York. I bought myself a bottle of Raspberry Apple and could barely contain my excitement while I waited for it to get cold in the back of the best friend's Jeep.
To learn all of the flavors go to Clear American's website.

Honey Clove Masks

Last night I saw my sister mixing something in the kitchen. Obviously I wanted to know what she was up to and wanted to do it too. I'm actually the older sister, but I annoyingly include myself in everything she does like younger sister's do on sitcoms. She absolutely cannot stand loves it.
Turns out the sister was making a mask for her skin out of raw honey and ground cloves. I made her help me make one for my face.

First we scooped saw raw honey into a bowl and added some ground cloves. My sister said that was enough cloves but her mask ended up a lot darker, so I'm not sure if I believe her.

Then we stuck it in the microwave. The raw honey is really thick and difficult to get out of the jar. Microwaving the honey turns it into a liquid and makes mixing the cloves into it less of a headache. You have to put it in the refrigerator next to cool it down and thicken it up.

Mine is the one without foil.
My sister wrapped hers in tinfoil but didn't tell me to do the same. I think she was trying to sabotage my mask! To get even I would like to share this photo of her wearing her mask.

Hi Sister!
Since no post would be complete without a picture of me doing something asinine, here's a photo of me wearing my honey and ground clover mask (which is much lighter than my sister's and might mean it won't work.)

What? I'm just tan.
Confession - I might have licked the mask off around my mouth. It tasted really good. Oops.

Have you made a mask out of kitchen ingredients? Were you tempted to eat it?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

K-Swiss Micro Tubes 100fit Review

I got two pairs of K-Swiss Micro Tubes 100fit shoes for Christmas. I went to Equinox this morning to test out the Fiji Blue pair.

This is the review that I sent into K-Swiss:

I ordered two pairs of these shoes to wear to the gym. I do a lot of step aerobics, kickboxing, and bootcamp classes and it's important that I have a comfortable, light-weight shoe that will keep my ankles stabilized. I wore these for a cardio step sculpting class today and my feet felt great. I was able to feel the step (not always the case if wearing running shoes) and keep my balance. The shoes are also light-weight. I didn't feel like my legs were being weighed down when I was in tabletop doing my ab work. I also love the color of these shoes. The heel cup is a little narrow, but it stretched out a bit after wearing them after a half an hour.

My workout:
I  ♥ baby blankets.
I got my sleepy ass out of bed to go to Assia Winfield's CARDIO Burn! class. We each had a step with double risers, 8 lb weights, 2-3 lb weights (I picked up 2s and really wished I had gotten the 3s), and mat. Assia combined step moves with the light weights (no choreography) with a little boxing and plyo work. This keeps your heart rate up and burns a lot of calories. Every few minutes (10? I don't know. I was too busy having fun in class) we would put our mat onto our bench and do ab work or lift the 8 lbs weights. I love that Assia intersperses the ab work throughout the workout. Too many times I find myself skimping on my abs because I wait until the end of the workout. I also really like Assia's classes because I don't find myself looking at the clock. Assia is a tough but fun instructor, and her regulars get serious results. If you attend one of Assia's classes, you should know that she likes to be addressed as Drill Sergeant (she was in the military.)

Look how pretty these are!
I got to see some of my gym friends in class. I'm always happy to see Rose. I absolutely love her. Today she was trying to get me to introduce myself to the cute gym guy who came into the class at the end. (I think he needed to count how many people attended.) Although he is supercute, I have a 34 year-old and a dog. He came in during our cool down and he was standing right behind me while I was oh so attractively quivering in a raised-heel pliƩ squat. Yeah, it was distracting. I was standing in the back today because I wasn't early and I am not a regular in this class. I don't like when people show up and take my front row spot and I try to be respectful of gym-goers who attend the same class each week.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cycling with Tripp

I was incredibly psyched to score a bike for Tripp Doherty's 9:45 AM studio cycling class at Roslyn. Working out with Tripp is incredible because he motivates you to push yourself past your comfort zone, and even past anything you can imagine you can do. With anyone else I'm tired after thirty minutes of spinning, but with Tripp I can find the energy to sprint at 8 out of 10 throughout the hour.

I love Tripp's classes because he creates a room where everyone is working towards being better and stronger. Today Tripp told us about a classmate (he didn't name him/her) who had heard about how people were paying off Target lay-aways for strangers and decided to do the same. Anonymous acts of kindness get to me, and I think that paying for a stranger's Christmas gifts without asking for recognition is testament to the goodness of people.

Tripp also questioned why we don't get to know the people around us. He took the time to share things he knew about the people in the class and asked others to share things about themselves. Tripp even identified two cyclers as neighbors. I tend to like the anonymity of living in a large city, but Tripp makes a good point about the people we see regularly but never really get to know.

Cute capris, not cute photo.
I wore my C9 by Champion for Target capri pants to Tripp's class. I got these pants at the C9 by Champion for Target event at Flywheel for free. I can't figure out which pair they are from the Target website, but if/when I do, I'll let you know. These capris are flattering (even if this picture doesn't do them justice) and they fit nicely. The have a drawstring at the waist but I never tie it. I normally cannot stand to wear pants when working out indoors, but I have gone spinning twice in these and they are unobtrusive.

I downloaded this photo app for my phone called 7.0 MPX because I wanted a timer for my camera. I think these pictures came out badly. Do they look as crappy on your computer as they do on mine? I was also running late and couldn't figure out a good surface to prop up my phone. That's how much I wanted you to see my capri pants. I made myself late for class and posted unflattering photos of myself on the Internet.

I ran a bunch of errands today, including the grocery store. Stop and Shop is having a sale on frozen, steam-in-the-bag edamame. I popped a bag in the microwave and then seasoned them with Goya vegetable seasoning. Awesome afternoon snack.

How does this picture look to you?
I used to bring Goya in my bag with my everywhere. I lived in a dorm for seven years of my life - lots of access to salad bars. This delicious yellow seasoning can be found in most supermarkets now. I highly recommend you get some for yourself.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tri-Terrain Independence Run

I'm finally home! (And by home, I mean at my parents' house, duh.) We drove from Independence, Iowa to Chicago, and got in early for our flight... which was delayed. Uh oh. We spent twelve hours en route and about four of those at the Chicago-O'Hare airport.

I woke up around 7:30 to get in a short run before we left for Chicago.
Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 29:28

1 10:38.7
2 09:24.2
3 09:10.6
0.02 00:15.1

Super conveniently, my grandmother lives right near a middle school that has a trail and a track. Hence today's title: I ran on road, trail, and track and I only ran 3 miles!

Liberty Trail
I distinctly remember the Liberty Trail being longer as a child. One reason might be that I have distorted childhood memories, or the trail has become overgrown and the "path" I imagined I saw through the fallen tree limbs was real. I'm leaning towards the latter.

The bridge was slick but I managed not to slip.
This is my attempt at artistic photography. I was actually really tempted to run down into these people's yard and play with tire swing.

Eventually I ran out of trail, so I turned back and headed over to the West Side School's track. 

Go Mustangs!

I ran around it three times but I was more focused on photo opportunities and the waffles my grandma was going to make for breakfast than my workout.

Does my face look fat?
I found some prairie grasses growing at the school. Obviously this lead me to crouch down next to them and take pictures of myself. Sometimes I think I need help. Like honestly, imagine you are a middle-school aged child headed over to your school's track or playground, and you catch sight of this whacked out 25 year-old in spandex pants hiding in the prairie grass taking pictures of herself.

Where's that wascally wabbit?
Buchanan County has the Prairies to Schools program. To learn more about this program, go here. I promise no prairie grasses were damaged in my photo shoot.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I'm at my grandma's house in Independence, Iowa. There's wireless at the hotel (where my dad and sister are staying) but only EDGE for my iPhone.

I'll try to make it over to the hotel to upload some posts tomorrow but now I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite Christmas present.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Miraculous Christmas Eve Tacos

It's a Christmas miracle and the family is heading to Iowa. We're currently in a rental car trying to find a detour back to Highway 20.
Look at my mom's pretty toaster.
I got up around 8 because I wasn't packed yet. Oops. For breakfast I had two pieces of Ezekiel 4:9 bread with fresh-grind peanut butter and a little honey. I figured it was best to start with a healthy breakfast because I would be flying today. I've ended up eating pretzel covered hot dogs from more Aunt Annie's than I'd like to admit.
These are apples but I think they look like pumpkins.
The sister and me.
Flights were pretty expensive so we decided to only fly to Chicago and then drive the rest of the way to Independence. We had a 12:35 PM flight from LaGuardia and a rather pleasant flight to Chicago-O'Hare. We met a man who had just returned from Afghanistan in the Enterprise shuttle. He retired from the army and now works security. Apparently things are getting worse over there. Hopefully 2012 will hurry up and get here and we can get a real leader back in office.
Shuttle to the rental car.
Enterprise gave us a Ford Explorer (apparently there was talking of upgrading to a BMW X3 but someone else rented it while we were waiting) and I'm a fan. I REALLY want a Ford Flex (anyone want to get me one?) but I'd like any Ford SUV to be honest.
"How do I turn this thing on?" - Dad
We drove for maybe a half an hour when my sister and I started asking when we would be fed lunch. We were told no stops until Walmart for wine. But then Boozewanda (my mom) spotted a liquor store and my dad was pulling into the parking lot.

"We must stop to get wine. Feeding you is optional."

Like the special family that we are, we couldn't figure out how to get inside and decided the store must be closed. An elderly woman, with a smoker's voice similar to my old driving instructor Kim's, croaked that the other door was open. Uh, duh.

Thankfully Taqueria Bravo was located in the same strip. It might have been the best Mexican food I have ever had, no joke. The tortilla chips were homemade and came with a mildly spicy salsa. My dad ordered three tacos (chicken, beef, and pork) and huevos con jamon. My sister ordered the steak nachos and it was stop in your tracks delicious. The chips were just the right amount of salty, the steak was cooked and seasoned perfectly, the lettuce was fresh and to top it all off was melted cheese and a sour cream sauce. My sister doesn't eat tomatoes but they were an option. I ordered the steak fajitas (well actually, I ordered a steam chimichanga but they were out, and then I ordered shrimp fajitas) and they were also delicious. If you're near Genoa, Illinois go for the huevos con jamon and the steak nachos. While everything we had was tasty, those two were worthy of calling home.
Now we're trying to make up for the time we lost eating and being rerouted by an accident. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Westside Walk

I really had no intention of working out today because the never ending week is in no sight of ending. Around 7 PM, I made an appearance in the ladies' bathroom and spotted my Favorite Work Friend's striped socks under the handicapped stall. She was obviously conducting a debrief from her cell phone while changing for a walk along the Westside Highway. My FWF kindly invited me along. Thank goodness I keep a desk drawer full of workout clothes.

Favorite Work Friend

FWF walks with her friend from her old job regularly. They frequently walk the Highline but unfortunately it closes at 7 and we didn't leave until after 7. We had a nice brisk walk along the Westside Highway instead. We turned around when we got past Chelsea Piers and headed back. It was unseasonably warm today and a little windy. Great walking weather - especially when you are being entertained with slightly insane stories about former co-workers who are pathological liars. The hour we spent walking passed quickly.

Favorite Work Friend's Work Friend
I received a comment on my post about Trish Stratus' Yoga Warrior Goddess routine today that asked me to look up the specific moves. I obviously did (I love my readers) and decided to do it when I got home. I feel pretty accomplished since I hadn't planned on do anything but freak out and work.

As promised, I did eat better today. I ate oatmeal with Fage 2% Greek yogurt, frozen peaches, and chia seeds for breakfast (okay, closer to lunch) and a salad at 3:30 (house mix with green apples, garbanzo beans, red onions, mozzarella balls, chicken, walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.) Then I ruined it by eating a chocolate-covered marshmallow Santa Claus. Booyah!

Apparently the work fridge is set to "aggressive" because I definitely
found frozen yogurt in my Fage container today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stress - That's What's For Dinner

Stress really screws up my eating. I've been kind of freaking out about work and managing my time, balancing my finances after taking a pay cut when I switched jobs, splitting up Cookie-duty with the 34 year-old, and figuring out what to do about the holidays (major family drama.) It finally began to take its toll on me. I literally wasn't hungry all day.

Around 4, it finally occurred to me that I needed to eat something. I ate an apple, a string cheese, and a Starburst. I didn't get home from work until 10, but I had leftover Chinese in the fridge, so I ate a bowl of 10-ingredient fried rice, chicken and broccoli, and pork fried dumplings. I love dumping the leftovers (let's be honest, there's never much leftover) into own bowl and microwaving it. Then I chased that with Cheerios straight from the box and a handful of raisins.

Tomorrow I promise to eat better. Right now I'm enjoying One Life to Live and looking like a homeless person.
Posting a fugly photo like this on the Internet just
shows that I have an excessive amount of self-confidence

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K

My alarm went off for the Ted Corbitt 15K at 6:25 AM and I just felt blah. I think that's happened to all of us, when we are supposed to get up for an important event, either for fitness or work or something personal, and we'd rather just ignore the alarm and stay in bed. I had to get up because not only was the Ted Corbitt my last race of 2011, but I also needed it as my ninth New York Road Runners race. Two of my races have been cancelled this year (the Bronx Half and the Poland Spring Kick-off) and I decided to use the credit for those races. I just don't feel right paying for a race, not being able to run it, and then getting a complete race on my record. I pay because I want to run... even when I don't end up wanting to run.
The weather report supported my desire to stay in bed.

I made a peanut butter and honey sandwich on a slice of toast that I struggled to choke down. I ended up saving half to eat during the race. I then skidaddled up to 86th and caught the M86 bus. I am willing to jog to the park OR up to the hundreds, but not both.

I had a lot of trouble deciding what to wear for this race because I had never raced in December. I wore a pair of running tights, the white long-sleeved seamless athletic tee C9 by Champion for Target gave me, a navy/light blue reversible L.L. Bean puffy vest I bought in high school, and a George Bush '88 pin. Obviously I was dressed to win.


This is a photo of the shirt from the Target website. Um yeah. So, I definitely thought it was the compression shirt they also sell because it was pretty snug, (I requested small tops - my bad) but then I saw that the C9 logo is on the wrist and not the waist. That's a detail I particularly liked and noticed while I was running.
It looks so baggy online!
We all lined up and I realized that my red bib put me in the second wave. I could claim I'm getting faster (I'm not), but it's actually because fewer people sign up to run races in cold weather.

My bib inspired my patriotic outfit. Patriotism is always appropriate.
So the gun goes off without much fanfare and we are trundling along, and I'm like, "Eff! It's cold and I am running marathon pace." I was pissed. I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler last April at a 7.35 mile pace. I ran this race (9.3 miles) in 1:17:13 - 8:18 miles. Not cool.

So I run the first loop (4 miles) and I'm questioning if taking up running more regularly has actually hindered my abilities. I'm missing my running partners and a little bored by the whole deal. Like I said, I was just feeling blah. But then I heard drumming and this made me think of the NYC Marathon. I was able to pick up the pace up the hill towards the hundreds. Thank you Mr. Drummer for raising my spirits.

I've gotten pretty used to running with T and the Professor, or at least having them running the same courses as me. I missed them. I had no one to look out for and no pretty Professor's wife to bring me snacks. Instead I was forced to take photos of myself.

Look at those sick shades.
What do you mean there's a whole other loop?!
I made it through the race. I'm not ashamed of my time but I'm also not too psyched about it. My legs hurt and my back was achy, but I wasn't falling in the street or anything. I headed over to the 34 year-old's straight from the race. When I walked in I found the 34 year-old, fully dressed with shoes, asleep on the couch next to a bottle of vodka, with Cookie sitting on his chest. I immediately assumed they had been that way since the night before, promptly put her in her harness, and dragged her around the Upper Eastside for 45 minutes. Yeah, turns out that they hadn't fallen asleep on the couch after walking me home - they had been up at 6 AM going on a walk together and had both been exhausted afterwards. Oops. Sorry sweetheart - I don't mean to assume the worst.

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