But I'm not a cheerleader....

There have been signs posted around my gym for a couple weeks advertising a 90 day team fitness/weight loss challenge called "In It To Win It!"

Did you know this movie existed?

Sadly, my questions to my trainer dashed my hopes of ever becoming a Rancho Carne High School Toros cheerleader.  Boo.  But how will I ever get the boy if I'm not a cheerleader?

I spent most of 2000-2001 wondering what it would be like to kiss him.

Anyway, after seeing these posters for weeks I finally asked "what's the deal with this in it to win it thing?"  And Lexie, my awesome trainer, gave me an exciting speech talking about how it's a team competition with five team member, a trainer, and the team that loses the most weight (by percentage) gets....something.  I don't remember what the reward is.  Other than, you know, the sense of accomplishment and a healthier body.  Frankly, most of what I got out of that conversation was the parallel to The Biggest Loser. 

But as I went about my life the next several days, I found myself talking to more and more people about "the biggest loser thing my gym is doing."  And I kept thinking how awesome it would be to have that accountability, and the 90 days of help in setting up healthy habits.  This could be good for me.  Challenging, undoubtedly, but a good thing.  So the next time I saw Lexie I told her I wanted to do it.  Yay! And I told her I didn't want to be on the orange team.  (Apparently there are team t-shirts we can wear. And I look awful in orange. And yellow. And green.)

So I'm signed up.  I have my paperwork.  I made my goals.  I thought of compelling reasons why my goals are important to me (other than, you know, I just wanna.)  I know I'm on team black.  It starts the Saturday after Christmas.  I'm excited. And nervous.  And I'm going to put the commitment I signed up here for the whole internet to see.  (Or the tiniest corner of the internet that reads my rarely updated blog.)

I am committing to doing everything in my power to reach my goal of losing 15 pounds in the next 90 days.  I will do this by continuing to work with my trainer twice a week and will train on my own at least 4 times a week.  In order to reach my goals I need to focus on the following three main objectives:
  1. I will develop healthy&balanced&mindful eating habits.  I will plan my meals, and no longer eat simply as a reaction to hunger.
  2. I will incorporate exercise on "work days"  even when those days include a 12 hour shift.
  3. I will eat my vegetables.  5 servings a day.  (I majorly struggle with this.)
  4. I will go to yoga.  I am unflexible.  Yoga will help.

Reaching my goals is important to me because:
  1. I WILL run a marathon in 2013.
  2. I am tired of being ashamed of my body.  I will let go of what it isn't and revel in what it is.  
  3. I'm turning 30 in February.  Why not start out my 4th decade with fierce determination?

This is why I am not going to let anything stand between me and my goals!

So, that's it.  I have the faintest of ideas that I'll blog every day of this 90 challenge, to clock every workout on here.  But...maybe I'll keep my journal and just update once/twice a week.


SIx thought Monday

I have six short thoughts I thought about writing about today, but couldn't develop anything longer than a sentence.  Let's just get to it:

1. There was a little girl in Zupan's today who was wearing her tap shoes.  Every step she took was an obvious attempt to make as many taps as possible.  She was loving it.  It totally made my day.

2. I was at Zupan's to pick up some last minute items for dinner.  One was a can of black beans, and heavens am I glad I decided to check the labels before I bought the eye level can.  It was shocking how much sodium was in the can.  400 mg.  WOW.

3. I've been doing weight watchers, and it's frustrating.  Mostly because I haven't broken the bad habits that I created this year.  Boo.  Oh well. Hopefully it'll be equally hard to break the new habits that I'm forming.

4. I'm determined to start Spinning classes.  I think it will be a good addition to my cardio regimen.  I'm a little nervous though, as my favorite part of bike riding is the coasting.  There's no coasting in Spinning. 

5. I totally knocked it out of the park in my run today.  I maintained 10:00/mile pace.  It was only 2.5 miles, but still.  I'm stoked. YAY!!

6. I have some seriously tight calves and achilles tendons.  I need advice on how to stretch them out.  And I also need the follow through to actually do the stretches.  Kay, thanks!!


and now for plan A

Can I ask a question?  Why are people so obsessed with being 29?  This is a sincere question. How many people do you hear, when asked their age, say "Oh....I'm 29. Wink wink."  I do not understand.  Frankly (in my experience at least) 29 sucks.  I cannot wait until I turn 30.  Anything will be better than this whole "29" nonsense.  It's been a crappy way to end an otherwise awesome decade.  Bring on my thirties!

I am going to spend everyday of my thirties like I live in the 30's. Bring on the bootlegging!
  I know you're probably thinking that I'm being generally grumpy today. (True.)  Or maybe you've known me a long time and you're thinking "honestly Kristen, you've always been about 35 on the inside." (Also true.)  But I swear to you this is not a product of a crappy mood.  I sincerely feel that my 29th year has been a struggle.  I've struggled to balance an all-consuming depression with the demands of marathon training.  I've formed horrible diet habits by indulging the voracious hunger that comes from intense training.  I had stress fractures, and eventually gave in to my depression.  I spent 5 weeks essentially glued to my couch, watching more television than ever.  And I was ashamed of it.  I've gained a significant amount of weight, and watched as my depression/body image issues have reshaped every aspect of my life...and not in good ways.  And I haven't learned to use my sewing machine.

Yeah, I feel like this.

And also like this.

HOWEVER this is where I stop and realize I still have three months until my 30th birthday.  There's still time to turn 29 around.  I mean sure, I realize it's like throwing...something at sometime...I don't know any appropriate sports metaphors.... But still, I have a plan.


1. Enjoy the holidays.   Likely you're thinking, duh doy. But, most years my "holidays" are simply Thanksgiving.  This year, however, I will be spending Thanksgiving with Chris' family, and Christmas with my family.  (Yay! Christmas with my parents! First time since 2006!)

2. Continue Weight Watchers.  Yes. I do weight watchers, well...rather I've been paying for weight watchers for a year...and have finally started participating again.  It's shocking to see how much CRAP one can eat in a day.

3. Sign up for races through out 2013.  I've already got three on my place.  The Vancouver Half Marathon.  The Missoula Half Marathon. And Hood to Coast. (No falls 2013!)

4. Continue Personal Training.  It's kicking my ass. In a good way.

5. Let go of perfection.  I am not perfect and I should not expect myself to be perfect.  I'll repeat it again.  I am not perfect, and I should not expect myself to be perfect.

Yeah.  That's about it.  Maybe I'll start blogging about running again.  And how my goal is to get down to a 10 min mile by Feb.  (Yeah. I'm slow. But...I haven't given up yet!)

Also on my mind.  Spinning.  Good cross training or no? 


So I have a new trainer.  Not because anything happened to make me decide to switch from Alison, but because she found full time work elsewhere.  So, yay for her.  And yay for a new trainer, Lexi.  She's pretty awesome so far.



So...maybe it's a good thing that I'm BANNED from running the marathon this weekend.  

I got a wicked cold this week.  Wicked enough that I lost my voice today.  Oi.  Makes work interesting.

But enough about all the weirdness that is my health lately....I have FANTASTIC NEWS.

That's right friends, as of tomorrow it has been 5 weeks since I originally saw the doctor AND I CAN FINALLY RUN AGAIN!!!!

Huzzah indeed.


post marathon blues: minus the marathon

I was totally intending to post a glowing review of my 2012 Hood to Coast experience.  It was going to be great, a recap of each leg (including elevation charts), funny (if somewhat tangental) stories about the adventures we had.  Including how I ran 7.5 miles of the hardest run in my van on stress fractures, how my teammates were awesome but had a penchant for taking a hit just before running, how I fell down a mile into my third leg (it's the strangest experience...you're running, and the next thing you know you're on the ground in blinding pain and bleeding everywhere), how 6 strangers huddled on a tarp to sleep in the middle of a field of sleeping people, and how they almost refused to let me into the beer garden at the end because the bouncer thought I had a fake ID (sir please, I am almost 30).  It was a grand experience.  I even had picture of Baby Troll at the top of the mountain to share.  Oh well.

Internet I have been in a funk for the past month.  At first I thought it was because I had to massively cut back on my workouts, everything I seemed to do was super painful.  I'll be the first to tell you I'm much happier when I get any kind of workout in. 

Then it occurred to me....post-marathon depression.  I've been planning and training for this marathon since January, it's been in the back of my mind.  Encouraging me, keeping me off the couch and up and active.   And then, suddenly, I'm NOT doing the marathon and I'm not exercising at all.  And I'm sitting on the couch....and bam.  No wonder I'm a cranky mess all the time.

Is it possible to have post marathon depression without having run the marathon?

I should be in the best shape of my life right now, but instead I've spent five weeks sitting on the couch watching all kinds of bad television.  (Yes. I am now completely caught up with the Kardashians.)

I should be running a marathon in 8 days. My body should be coursing with endorphins, instead I feel sad and empty.

I should be running per the training schedule that's on my fridge, instead I glare at it as I get food out of the fridge.  AND I'm gaining weight because my eating habits haven't changed. 

I am a grumpy person.  All will be better on Oct 8.  That's when I can resume the run. 





Here we are, a mere three weeks from the Portland Marathon, and I haven't been for a run in, oh, two weeks.


How can one possibly expect to run a marathon if they haven't been running?  Am I insane?  Am I just blowing caution to the wind?  Do I expect to be one of those crazy people who never trains for a marathon, and yet can miraculously finish?



I have a confession to make.  A shameful shameful confession. 

*deep breath*

I purposefully went to the gym to run on the treadmill today instead of running outside so I could catch up with the Kardashians.


I tell myself I'm running at the gym so I can use the treadmill as a training tool, to push myself to hold a specific pace.  But the next thing you know I'm walking and staring blankly at the screen as the Kardashian clan fill their days with...well I'm still not too sure how they fill their days.

So I told my self I could watch this mind numbing television, as long as I ran while the show was on.  As fast as I could.  I could my pace during commercials, but once the show was back on the speed went up.  I forgot, you see, about how reality television is structured to have a nice LONG segment right at the start of a show to suck you in.  And so, 10 minutes in to my sprint I stopped caring about whether Rob was going to buy his $1million house, and whether Khloe was going to let him live with her again.  I just wanted a commercial. And the more I wanted a commercial the sillier the TV show became. 

I think I may have found the cure of my reality TV problem.



So.  The achilles tendonitis seems to be healing itself nicely.  I only had one little flare up this weekend, and that's just because I hiked to some beautiful water falls in my sandals.  I blame it on the camping brain.  You know, how all the rules become super flexible and how things that seem really important just kinda fade away? I love camping for that very reason.

We went camping this weekend.  First time camping in Oregon.  This is not to say I have not been camping in the past five years.  I have, but never in Oregon.  We went to central Oregon, in the Deschutes National forest. Paulina Lake.  It was beautiful.  It was serene.  It was full of all sorts of recreational activities.  It was cold, and full of mosquitos.  Most importantly it was 6350 feet above sea level. 

Why is this important?  It's important because I am a delicate flower, and my feelings are often bruised.  Especially when it comes to "not being in shape."  You see...Portland has an altitude of approximately 50 feet.  (Whee! We're so high in the sky!) There's lots of lovely oxygen here, and my body is used to it.  It likes it.  It relishes all the oxygen.  It cries out in pain when there isn't as much around me.  Hiking at 6350 feet? I get super winded.  I forget that my body is used to zero altitude, and then spend the majority of the hike bemoaning the fact that I'm uber out of shape.  And then I'm cranky and declare that an obsidian flow is a RIDICULOUS name for a flow that is OBVIOUSLY MOSTLY PUMICE.

But I'm very pleasant about it.

Running and camping are an interesting combination.   Well, at least the kind of camping I do.  The kind where you gloss over the amount of clothes you need while you're packing figuring "hey, it's camping...everyone is dirty" but then only pack one pair of socks for 3 days.  One pair of socks to run in, hike in, sleep in, to wear to prevent mosquitos from sucking all the blood out of your feet.  One pair of pants.  No wash cloth or spit bath materials.  And certainly no fancy schmancy camp shower.
So...you figure maybe you don't need to run.  You're hinking! You're treking in creepy caves, (all the while trying desperately to not think of every horror story ever, or miners).  You don't need to run! Besides...you'd only smell more! And then you'd attract more mosquitos.  And who the hell wants more mosquitos?

So I didn't run, despite bringing my running shoes. Bad bad bad.  But I did have a marvelous time! Yay! And now I'm determined to get in uber shape so I can hike ALL THE MOUNTAINS with out getting winded.  Ha.  Just kidding. 


Achilles Tendonitis

I was super tired this morning when I woke up.  Super tired. Tired enough to hit the snooze for 40 minutes straight.  Work was ROUGH yesterday, crazy crazy things went down.  But as I am bound HIPPA, I cannot tell the stories of my job.  Suffice it to say summer has returned to Portland and it is now officially Trauma season.  Whee.

Anyway, when I finally dragged my protesting and still sleepy body from my bed (at 6:15 mind you) I noticed something was off with my right ankle.  It hurt.  I figured I slept strangely, and chalked it up to getting old and thought nothing of it as I sleepily went through my morning routine. 

When it still hurt two hours later, post caffeine induced wake up and leisurely jaunt around the hospital I decided to have it looked at.  And that my friends is when it comes in handy to work with doctors all day long.  I went to the new intern, who despite being on the trauma service is specializing in orthopaedics, and complained:

"My ankle hurts.  What's wrong with it?"  (golly how we medical professionals love that question.)

"Um. Can you tell me more about it? How long has it been hurting?"

"Just this morning.  It's achy, right along my achilles tendon."

"Ah.  Do you run?"

"Yes. I'm training for a marathon.

"Okay, have you recently increased your mileage?"


"Do you stretch?"

"Yes. Mostly.....usually."

"Have your calves been tight recently?"

"Yes. I complain about it all the time."

"You probably have achilles tendonitis."

(He then made me move my ankle all around.  It moves, but isn't super comfortable to do so.  Especially when flexing my foot. )

"Yup.  Probably achilles tendonitis."

"I hope this isn't the part where you tell me to rest and to ease up on training because I'm running Hood to Coast in a month, and with a bunch of strangers, so I can't let them down. "

"It is.  I'm telling you not to run today, and to listen to your body.  If you don't take this seriously now you could end up having surgery on your ankle and then where would you be?"

"Snarky comment regarding how I've been a RN since he started med school."


"I'm sorry.  I appreciate you looking at my ankle.  I just don't want to slow down."

So. Yeah. Achilles tendonitis.  And I'm finally meeting with Allison again on Weds.  We'll see how all this goes.  I'm a little nervous.  I had pretty severe shoulder problems when I was a swimmer that started with tendonitis...so I probably should (for once in my life) listen to what the doctor tells me to do.

Okay.  That sounds terrible.  I mean listen to a doctor when it comes to MY health.  I'm pretty good at taking the advice of the doctors when it comes to my patients.


the half marathon that wasn't


Apparently leaving my house an hour before the start time was a poor idea.  A very poor idea indeed, as I finally parked my car 45 minutes AFTER the 6:45am half marathon start.  Luckily the 5K runners were lining up for their run, so I jumped on in.

And got a PR in the 5K.  Yay. 

No strawberry shortcake though.  I didn't think I deserved it.

Next year I'm biking.


Reasons why I am NOT nervous about tomorrow's half marathon

1.  Despite feeling completely unprepared...what can I do about it now?  Answer: nothing.  Just gotta ride it out at this point.

2. I'm not thinking about it.  At all.  Otherwise I might get nervous and not sleep tonight.  No bueno.

3. Strawberry shortcake waiting for me at the finish line. YUM.

4. It'll happen. Not matter what happens at 6:45 tomorrow morning, in exactly 24 hours it'll be behind me.  I often have to remind my self of this when facing new challenges, or experiences that I'm not necessarily looking forward to.  It works everytime.

5. Not doing the race is not an option.  I'm an adult, I knew I was going to run it. And I will, even though I've majorly slacked on the training.  I don't care if I have to walk for the majority, I will cross that finish line.

6. I have a new lululemon tank to wear.  Though, it'd better warm up if I'm going to wear it.

7. I just started a new position at work.  This is where all of my energy has been focused.

8. Did I mention the strawberry shortcake?

Okay. Off to the fruit stand to buy some strawberries.  I'm making a strawberry summer cake for  4th of July BBQ tomorrow afternoon.  It's so yummy.

Wish me luck!


three days?!?!?!

Just a few days left till the Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon.  I do not feel prepared.  I did, however, purchase a new lululemon tank today...so I'm looking forward to that.

That's about it today.  I tried to run, but my back hurt way too much to go past about half a mile.  (It was a long and rough work week.) So, I made today my rest day and we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Oh man. It's gotta get better.



Holy crap it's the middle of June.  How in the heck did that happen? I have, what, 3 weeks until the Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon? Three weeks?  Yikes.

Needless to say I'm not feeling very confident and/or prepared for the half.  I know I'll make it through, if only on sheer determination and stubbornness. But it won't be pretty, and it probably won't be very fast.  But who are we kidding anyway? I'm never very pretty or fast when I run.

This past month has been a slog.  While physically running has felt fine, and I'm feeling strong...the mental aspect has just been daunting.  I don't know what the problem is, but every day has been a battle to get out there and run.  There it is.  Half the challenge is a mental challenge, right?  It was the same with swimming, but I had a coach standing above me on deck telling me to swim.  I've only got me and my little workout plan telling me to run. I need a coach. 

Or not! I have some extra incentive to keep running. YAY! I got a call about a week and a half ago to see if I was interested in joining a Hood to Coast team! HUZZAH! YAY! I'm so excited.  Gotta keep running so I don't slow my team down.  And since I don't know anyone on my team (well except one girl I worked with 3 years ago) the pressure is on.  I can't even explain how excited I was to get that phone call.  This is the extra jolt of motivation I need.  Can you see me doing the happy dance?


So, when I've actually been running I've been trying out the whole "run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute" thing.  My mom, who should be the subject of her own post because she's crazy fit, has been doing it, and even did it on her last half...and her time was a minute faster than her best.  Good job Momma!  I'm liking it, though I think I need to get a watch with an interval function on it and set it to beep.  Right now I'm either constantly looking at my iPod or at the timer on the treadmill, and heaven knows staring at a clock does not make time move any faster.  Especially on the treadmill.  God I hate the treadmill.  But, I've been breaking up my long runs on days that I meet with my trainer and doing about 3 miles on the treadmill before strength training and the treadmill is helping me find a new pace.  And it's helping me keep up with the Kardashians. 

I need to start keeping up with this blog more.  It was really useful as an training tool when I first started, and though I've fallen out of the habit I'm gonna give it another go.  Here I go.  I want to run a MARATHON.  I will run a MARATHON. I will. 


Dear Kristen,
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that the new gear you purchased at the Nike Employee Store last week is NOT for running.  It is for "training."  (Silly me, I thought running was training.)  Like, strength training (I guess) and working out with your personal trainer.  Your new capris? Totally not for running.  Remember that time you tried to wear them as you ran? How by the end of the first block you were afraid bystanders were going to mistake you for a teenage boy who doesn't know how to pull up his pants?  Yeah...that isn't a good look when your "pants" look like this: 
They don't look like this on me. Nope. Not at all. 

  It is a good thing that they're wildly comfortable, but stop fantasizing about wearing them all of the time.  They will start to smell and you will lose your friends.

Also, stop wearing your new sports bra while running.  It's chafing you.  On your neck.  You look like you have hickeys all the time.  You can wear your other bras, you know the ones that don't chafe?  If you continue down this line you'll be a chafed smelly person.  Do you want to be that person? I know you don't.  Just stop.

Thanks dear! I just don't want you to lose your friends. I really do have your best interests at heart.

Lots of love,

P.S. Will you please, for the love of all you hold dear, PLEASE START YOGA AGAIN.


Rock and Roll?

The Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon was today.  I really wish I had known about this event.  That's what I get for skimming my e-mail I guess....

Anyway, the route went right by my house.  A long stretch of the course took the runners up Hawthorne, which is a mere two blocks from Main.  I could see the runners if I just went out into the street.  It was pretty cool.  I felt bad for all those runners, I know how brutal that steady incline from the bridge can me.  (It made me cry and curse. I hate long slow hills.)  Chris and I got up early (well...actually not early at all....but SUNDAY!) this morning to watch the runners run.  And to see Tom play.  One of his bands (I don't remember the name) had a gig this morning on one of the stages along the course.  Yay!  Free motivation and fun music on a Sunday morning sound awesome to me. 

Watching the runners turned out to be quite the emotional experience.  I had tears in my eyes the whole time.  I wanted, with every fiber of my being, to be there with them.  I did. I wished running was as easy for me as it appeared to be for them.  Every time I saw a runner bolt toward the spectators and get a hug from their kid or a kiss from their spouse I seriously had to wipe away tears.  Oi.

I suppose all this is happening because running and I are not getting along at the moment.  I'm slogging through the runs, but it's about 3 miles before I start to feel like I'm not wearing concrete shoes.  Most of the battle is in my head, I'm sure, because once I've pushed through that wall the running feels better than it ever has.  Which is nice, but it has never taken this long to get there.  I guess our relationship is evolving, running and I are officially over the honeymoon stage.  I guess we're both starting to realize we're in it for the long haul.

Rock and Roll Half Marathon


catching up

I'm a people watcher.  I can guarantee that if we ever go to a public place together I will, at some point, lose track of our conversation because the happenings of other people will distract me.  I can't help it.  People are so strange.  So strange. 

Take, for example, the woman who was on the treadmill next to me this morning.  She was playing Draw Something.  While "running." (I maintain that you cannot run and operate a smartphone well enough to draw.  I can barely manage to skip songs when I'm running.  But then, maybe I'm just a sloppy runner.)  Then she answered a text message.  But when her phone rang? Nope, she curtly told the caller (yes, she answered the phone) that she was at the gym and 'couldn't talk.'  I felt like grabbing the phone and telling the caller just to text her instead.  But maybe she isn't that strange at all, maybe I don't understand the constant need to be plugged into my smartphone.  Actually I don't understand the draw of the smartphone because I don't have one.  I have a horrible phone made for tweens, but it was free and I am cheap and don't want to pay for a data plan. 


Cinco de Mayo 5K

Today's training with Alison was just what I needed. A dose of motivation. A very difficult work-out. A glimmer of respectable progress. Most of all I'm excited to see where I'll be in another two months.  Huzzah!

The 5K on Sunday did not go well.


PT: Session 14

I've been having trouble with motivation this past week.  Maybe it's the residual cold symptoms (ugh, still!) or the lazy routine that I've fallen into with all the "resting." Still, it's been hard to get up off the couch. Deciding to watch "How I Met Your Mother" wasn't a great idea either, it just makes it even harder to get up off the couch.


Chris and I are running a 5K on Sunday.  Truth be told, I'm a little nervous about it.  I know.  It's 3 miles. I know I can run 3 miles.  However, I have this little voice that tells me that my endurance isn't where it should be.  Plus, I'm running with Chris.  He's tall.  He's got legs that go up to my waist.  I take two and a half steps for every one step he takes.  I've run with him before, and he's literally run circles around me.  This does not usually sit well with me, as I'm slightly competitive.  Oh well, this will be good motivation to keep going during the race.

All of the books and articles I've read about distance running and training say that it's important to have a running group or a running buddy.  I always scoffed at the idea, preferring to go out and run with just my iPod.   I'm warming to the idea, because I like running with Jill and Chris...but there's still something about running with just my music.  Love it.

Today Jill and I did the Laurelhurst loop.  Except we did it backward, thinking that it would be easier to start with the big hill instead of finishing with it.  I totally forgot, when explaining about the big hill, that the route is totally geared to be mostly downhill for the last half.  Reversing the route meant that the first half was uphill, first with a really steep up hill section and then a gradual climb over a mile.  Oi. Oi vey.  It was not easy.  Oh well.  Immediately after the run I had to get to the gym to meet with Allison, where we started out the training session with jumping lunges.  Ha. Have you tried those?  They're not easy.  Add in the push up/rows and you have a very hard training session indeed.

Today's Workout

3.04 mile run through Laurelhurst Park

30 seconds jumping lunges

15x bosu ball toe taps
15x bosu ball squat and curls
15x bosu ball tricep extensions. 
60 second bosu ball planks
10x old faithfulls (each side)

10x push-up and rows
downward dog stretches
glutes (10 straight, 10 front, 10 back)
15x leg extensions
15x fire hydrants
10x leg curls w/ 15 lb wts

8x side plank pulses (each side)


PT: Session 13

I'm still sick.  It's been a week and a half of this stupid cold.  This is really starting to put a strain on my training.  Meaning, I haven't been training.  I've been "resting."

I spent all of last week "resting.'  That's what you're supposed to do when you have a cold, right? Rest. Drink fluids.  Rest.  Take zinc. Take aspirin. Don't take antibiotics.  So I did rest.  Called in sick to work.  Didn't work out at all. Missed all of my training sessions with Alison. Didn't run once.

And yet I woke up on Saturday morning still feeling sick.  I decided I was done resting and went to the gym.  Ditto on Sunday, and went for a lovely run on the waterfront with Jill.  Monday I sniffled and coughed my way through yoga.  On Tuesday I went to work, and then started to feel lousy.  This morning I woke up and met with Alison again.  I told her my new approach to this cold is to treat it the way I treat all minor annoyances in my life.  I'll simply ignore it until it goes away.

That attitude lasted until I got home today.  I sat down to enjoy an episode of Friends while drinking my post-workout and promptly fell asleep.  Woke up and hour and a half later.  Yikes.  Had to take a nap this afternoon too.  I'm exhausted.  And still sick.  This is lame.

I've been reading a couple marathon training books, trying to get an idea of how to focus my training plan.  I'm not doing much other than psych my self out.  I need to stop overthinking this.  I just need to focus on the running. Because the running is really starting to feel great.  When Jill and I were running along the waterfront on Sunday, it was sublime. I really love runs that feel like that.  Yay. Looking forward to many more.

Today's Workout
400 meters rowing machine
60 sec TRX lunge and kick
10x TRX row
10x TRX bicep curls
10x TRX row
60 sec fast TRX squats
500 meters rowing machine

8x walk-out pushups
15x med ball twists
30 sec wall sits
60 sec plank

10x shoulder press (20 lbs)
30 sec pulse lunges (20 lbs)
10x tricep extensions


out sick

I'm sick. Ugh.  Missed yesterday's training session with Allison.  Home sick from work today.  I've watched more television in the last 24 hours than I have the last month combined.  Stupid cold. Stupid stupid lingering cold.

Okay. I'm being slightly melodramatic. This is only day five of the cold. My feelings are pride is hurt that I have another cold.  It's been a little over a month since the last one!  Boo.  I guess I shouldn't complain, prior to the March cold I hadn't had one for a year.  On the bright side I've been able to read my library book and my boyfriend is doing nice things for me like bringing soup and medicine.

It's amazing how the combination of feeling awful and lying around can put me in a negative headspace.  I guess it's just easier to dwell on the negative while I'm feeling lousy.  Oh well. 

Whine whine whine whine whine.

It turns out I miscounted the time I have until the Foot Traffic Flat on the 4th of July, so missing this week of training won't be such a big deal.  I'll just start my run training plan next week.  I'm looking forward to having a more concrete run schedule again.  It was really helpful when I was training for the half last year.  The accountability of having paid for the program really got me out of that door.  Though, to be honest, I haven't paid for the one I'm using right now.  It's just a modification of the plan I used last year.  I figure while I'm doing this I'll be looking around for some marathon training plans, and will probably be willing to shell out the money for that.

Speaking of money, my month pass for Bikram yoga has expired.  It was a pretty good deal, $29 for a month.  Pretty much what I pay for 24 hr fitness.  But from here on out the prices skyrocket, at $15/class or $89/month I'm not sure that driving all the way out to Beaverton is worth it.  There are some yoga studios closer to my house that are cheaper, and so I'm thinking I'm going to start looking closer to home. 


Personal Training: Session 12

So.  We're back to the workouts that make me want to puke.  It was only a matter of time, I guess, before we pushed to the "next level."  It's okay though, leaving the gym right after a workout with Allison means less time on the treadmill and more time outside.  It's spring! It isn't terribly cold! It isn't raining! Everything is green and blooming! The sun is shining! And, frankly, the gym has a funky odor these days.

Today was another run to, through and from Laurelhurst Park.  It's my last week of free-form running before the official training for July's half marathon.  I've settled on a 10 week program, and though I've done it before I'm still going to use a beginner's training program.  I'm not nearly comfortable enough with running to advance up to the intermediate level.  And besides, I'm just looking to finish.  I've got some reservations with this training, if only because I've been having a hard time thinking creatively about where to run.  I always seem to be running to Laurelhurst, or to Mt Tabor.  I'm starting to get bored of these routes.  The Springwater Corridor is calling to me, so I'll have to check it out.

Also trying to think of a new title for this blog.  Spinning Spirals just doesn't seem to fit my life anymore.  It did when I was 24, new to Portland, just out of college and a brand new nurse and a tad obsessed with the music of Josh Ritter.  But not so much anymore.  I still really like the music though.  Too bad the only title I can think of is "Running Sucks. " Which isn't even true.

Today's Workout
8xlunge walk w/25lb wt
25 yards sled backwards
25 yards sled forwards
10x side lunge w/ 12.5 lb wt (each side)
25 yards sled backwards
25 yards sled forward
8x lunge walk w/25lb wt
20x triceps w/ 10lb wt
10x plie squat w/ 12.5 wt

10x balance ball reverse fly
10x balance ball crunches (up, right, left)
10x sumo obliques (full disclosure, I have no idea what these were called, I just felt like a sumo wrestler when I did them.)

60 sec plank
10x bosu ball pushups
bosu ball balance series (each leg)
2x forearm exercises

w/u 5 min
5 min run
2 min walk
4 min run
2 min walk
5 min run
2 min walk
4 min run
5 min cool down


Personal Training: Session 11

Running has been rough lately, can't seem to get much motivation to go much farther than a mile.  Gotta get going though.  Official training program for the Foot Traffic Flat starts in a week.  Can't run a half marathon very well if I'm only running a mile a day.

Yesterday's Workout

25 minutes elliptical

60 sec kettle bell swings
10x kettle bell curl and press (10 each arm)
10x triceps w/ 15lb hand weight
10x lunge w/ curl and press 8lb wts each hand (second set double lunge)
30 sec medicine ball plank

10x wood chop w/ 8lb med ball (each side)
10x  side lunge w/ knee raise (15lb hand weight)
30 second side plank
10x leg raises

10x back extensions
10x back extensions to side

12x walking lunges


I would run to you.

I really did try to run my full three miles today.  I headed straight to the gym from work. I took the wrong exit off 84.  I got all turned around in the Hollywood district (stupid one way streets), but made it to the gym.  I forgot a shirt to run in, so had to wear my work shirt. (ew.)  I got the weird treadmill.  My iPod was out of batteries.  Warm up.  One mile down, still struggling.  Done.  Couldn't push through that wall.  Blurgh.


Personal Training: Session 10

It's easy to stay humble when you drip sweat as much as I do.

Today's Workout

60 seconds step up (w/ 2x 12lb hand weights)
10x plie squat
10x standing chest press (25lb wt)
10x shoulder press
30 sec side plank (each side)

15x standing triceps
15x kettle bell curves and press (each side)
10x balance ball cross crunches

10x emperor's chair crunches
20x plank reach
8x side plank w/ hip dips
10x walk out-push up-walk back

60 seconds punches


Personal Training: session 9

I finally did it! I managed to run immediately after my workout with Alison! Huzzah.  I didn't let the TRX induced butt kicking deter me from the miles I needed to run.  Yay!

The run felt good too. Today is the second time out in my new running shoes. I was a little nervous after yesterday's run.  Intervals on the treadmill, and during the walking there was some major arch cramping.  Running? Totally fine.  Walking? Cramp city.  Thankfully today was smooth sailing (running?) without a hint of a cramp.  Huzzah.

See, I have a hard time finding shoes that work well for my feet.  Chances are the shoes are going to give me blisters.  And then blisters on top of the other blisters.  This phenomenon does not remain only in running shoes, but all shoes.  I have many (many, many) pairs of shoes, but most days find me wearing my Danskos or my flip flops.


and a few steps back

Today is a typical March day in Portland.  It's raining, not a downpour but rather a quiet drumming on my aluminum window shades.  The sky is grey, but not oppressively so.  And though the thermometer reads a balmy 52 degrees (considerably warmer than last week) I can still feel a slight chill in the air.  All in all it's a great day to listen to Adele with a nice mug of Lady Grey tea.

[Side note: how much do I love "One and Only?" I could listen to that song on repeat for days.]


Personal Training: Day 8

Back to the meathead section again today.  It was oddly empty.  Sadly devoid of meatheads.  Only my own reflection to study in the mirror.

Light pink is not my color.  (I know Candace, I'm a winter.  I shall, henceforth, dress accordingly.)

I've never been that comfortable with the whole "staring at myself in the mirror" thing.  Especially if my face is red and sweaty.  Oh well.  Personal training and bikram yoga are challenging.  Most especially bikram yoga, where I am commanded to look at my puce-colored, sweat soaked body and contemplate how beautifully strong it is.

Beautifully strong indeed.


Today's Workout

lunge walk across gym


10x reverse bench press (40lb bar)

60 sec curl and press (20lb bar)

60 sec cobra pose (on bench w/ weights)

60 sec reverse crunch (on bench w/ 12lb wt)


15x lat pull down (40lb)

15x triceps (40lb)

lunge walk across gym

60 seconds plank reach through

45 sec side plank (each side)

45 sec hover plank


10x back extensions

10x roman chair

20 min treadmill run


Personal Training: Session 7

I arrived at the gym 45 minutes prior to my scheduled session today.  I hoped I could get my run on the treadmill in before my workout with Alison.  (Since it's been proven running on the treadmill after she kicks my butt is a silly idea.)  I like to run on the treadmill at least once a week so I can "test" different paces.  I suppose you could call this "speed work," but we don't want to get too fancy or technical here.  Anyway, I had foolishly anticipated that at 3:45 PM the gym would be fairly empty, especially when I though of all the people who must be picking up their children from school.

I was incorrect.

Every single treadmill was taken.  Every single elliptical machine was in use.  Ditto with the spinning bikes.  My options for cardio equipment were:
  1. The stair stepper that broke my headphones.  (Though that incident may not have been entirely the machine's fault.)
  2. That weird elliptical and stair stepper hybrid which always makes my feet go numb.
  3. recumbent exercise bike.

I chose the bike.  Since it didn't have it's own TV screen, and I wasn't much interested in the shows playing on the big TV screens (basketball, blurgh) I turned on an audiobook and pedaled away.  Harry Potter is pretty good listening if you're on the recumbent bike for 35 minutes.  I was a teeny bit disappointed I wasn't able to watch the Food Network today.  Heaven help me, I love watching cooking shows when I'm on the treadmill.

Once I met up with Alison we headed over to the "meathead" area.  (Her words, not mine. Though to be fair she was right.) I felt doughy and pale the second we walked into the free weight section.  True, I *am* doughy and pale, but it doesn't stand out so much when I'm over in my normal section of the gym.  I blend in with the other doughy and pale people.  The people in the free weight section were not doughy, or pale.  They were ripped. They wore shirts where the armholes were open to the waistbands. The heaved heavy weights and then stared at themselves in the mirror.  They were very tan, especially when you consider the fact that it is March in Portland. 

Luckily we slowly worked our way back to the weight machines and kettlebells, leaving the buff men behind.  I did lots of dips, push-ups and pull-ups.  We discussed restaurants for most of the session.  (Why do I think about food so much when I workout?) She asked for my top picks here in Portland (she's relatively new to the area) and here they are:

Today's Workout
10 x lat row with barbell (30lb)
10 x reverse fly (12.5 lb each hand)
10x fly
10x twisty crunches (15 lb)

15 pushups
10x bench step ups (15 lb, each leg)
10x reverse crunch
10x dips

10x pullups
10x dips
10x dips
10x pullups

10x medicine ball twist
45 sec plank

10x bicycle crunch
10x bicycle crunch double pulse


Personal Training: Session 6

My body is strong.  My body is beautiful.  

I love to move.  To feel my body.

I've been disconnected for too long.  I'm getting back into my skin. 
 (thanks TheBerry for the motivation!)

It's no secret that I have body dysmorphic tendencies.  (Tendencies, not BDD.)  I'm certainly not the only one who is unhappy with their appearance.  I can't think of one friend who is satisfied with their physical appearance.  Which is silly because I have some mighty fine friends.  (You're welcome.) 

Earlier this year, say about a month ago, I was in a dark place.  My body image was at an all time low, and the subsequent anxiety was crippling.  I was in a place where meeting my friends for drinks would cause a mild panic attack.  My boyfriend heard nothing but a litany of how unhappy I was and how fat I felt.  (How fun for him.) Thankfully Chris is a supportive and patient man, and time and again he would talk me down from the ledge.  He'd also reassure me that I am "cute as hell." Awww.  However he didn't completely let me off the hook, because every time I'd complain he would ask what I could do to start making myself feel better.  Every single time I'd answer "I need to start working out again."

So simple. So true.

I'm only three weeks into working out with Alison/training for the MARATHON and I already feel more like myself.  I'm not 100% or even 75% satisfied with my physical appearance, but I'm not dwelling on it.  I don't have anxiety attacks when I think about what I'm going to wear in public.  I appreciate my body.  I have respect for my body.  It is strong, it is getting stronger.  Running is getting easier and is feeling great.  I'm sleeping more soundly.  I made it through 90 min of Bikram Yoga after work yesterday.  Thank you, Body. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm not out of the dark entirely, but everyday is getting lighter.


Today's Workout:

30 seconds jumping-jacks
10x backward lunge w/ 8lb wt both hands
10x shoulder raises to side and front
15 push-ups
10x med ball v-hold crossovers
10x foam roller balance scissor kicks
5x foam roller balance leg raises

15x walking lunge & high knee w/ med ball above head
30 second plank
10x biceps on machine 
30 second plank
10x biceps on machine
15x walking lunge & high knee w/ med ball above head

30 sec kettlebell half swing (30 sec each arm)
8x bosu ball lunges (each leg)

w/u 5 min
Run 4 min
fast walk 2 min
run 6 min
fast walk 3 min
run 4 min
fast walk 3 min
c/d 5 min

(I missed a day.  No. I skipped writing about a session, I didn't miss the work out.  It was good. I sweated a lot.  I was sore the next day.  I had visitors in town, so I didn't want to ignore them in favor of this blog.) 


Personal Training: Day 4

I hate to be late.  I really really hate to be late.

So, when I checked my e-mail this morning (at 9:04) and realized my appointment was at 9:00 and not 9:30...I was a little upset.  More than a little upset actually.  Luckily the traffic and parking gods were benevolent and I made it to the gym a mere 17 minutes late. 

Luckily short workouts can be just as effective as long ones.  Especially since you have no time lollygag.

I am always foolishly optimistic when I meet Allison.  Each session I bring my iPod and running shoes in the vain hope that I'll run right upstairs to the treadmill.  It just hasn't happened.  I'm usually too "worked out" to even consider running. 

It all works out though, because if I had jumped on the treadmill then there would have been no run in the rain this afternoon.  And that run rocked.  Felt awesome. Yay! Yay! Yay!

Today's Workout:

12x lunge walk w/ 20lb wt
12x squat w/ 8lb wt each hand
12x fly w/ 8lb wt
12x row w/ 8lb wt
12x triceps w/ 8lb wt
30 sec  plank
15 pushups
12x lunge walk w/ 20lb wt

2x12 reverse crunches
2x12 dips

Run in the park!


Personal Training: Session 3

Today was a rough one.

I've decided to blame it on the cold.

So. I've decided I need a short term goal.  The Portland Marathon is still 7 months away, and frankly seven months is just far enough away for it to still seem unreal.  Plus, if the MARATHON is the sole focus of all this training and attention, then there might me a good chance I'll have some performance anxiety.  I need a "smaller" goal to take the edge off.

Last year I had Hood to Coast to take some of the focus off the Portland Half Marathon.  Also it added some pressure toward the need for training.  I sure didn't want to be the slowest team member to disappoint my team by not being fully trained.  Sadly the good folks in charge of HTC did not want the Rancho 12s to run again. (Poppycock! It's not like were the slowest team.  There were TWO WHOLE teams slower than us.)  This year it seem the Foot Traffic Flat will have to do.  I'll run a half-marathon at 6:30 in the morning if it means I can eat strawberry shortcake before noon. Yum.

Can we pause for a second and talk about how insane all of this is?  Friends, I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. If you told anyone I used to swim with that I was training for a marathon, they'd laugh in your face.  And I don't even want to know what my old coach would say.  We'd run (occasionally) as cross-training for swimming...and I was always at the back of the group complaining the ENTIRE TIME. (How pleasant for everyone.)

See this bridge?

Five years ago I would have flat out refused to run across. (It's approximately 2 miles.)  But I happily swam underneath it.  On more than one occasion.

Side note: if you're every looking for a fun open water event try The Long Bridge Swim in Sandpoint, Idaho.  The swim is 1.76 miles, the bridge guides you in the right direction, and it really is a great event.  I promise.  Plus you get ice cream when you finish.  Or at least you did in 2007, which was the last year I did it.

Anyway, my point is that there's something surreal about training for this MARATHON.  Maybe I'm still a teeny bit incredulous that a (big) part of me wants to run 26.2 miles.

Back to today's workout.  Largely ab focused.  I didn't feel great today.  The exercises were hard and I still have sucky balance.  Also, I couldn't do the TRX ab exercise, which I found slightly disheartening, but at least I have no where to go but up on that one!  This is one thing I really like about Alison, she offers me encouragement to try exercises I'd psych my self out of, but can quickly modify the plan if need be.  That and she doesn't seem to mind my endless questions.

My run this afternoon, though short, was beautiful.  It was 60 degrees and sunny in Portland, so I couldn't bear the idea of running on the treadmill.  I only did two miles, but I was a good two miles and felt great to be running outside in the sun.  Yay for the sun! It doesn't hurt that today's route was through Laurelhurst Park.

Today's Workout

10x Kettlebell swings (15lbs)
10x step-up w/ medicine ball (10 each side)
10x step up lunge

10x balance ball shoulder shaper
30 sec balance ball flutter kick
45 sec plank
30 sec side plank (each side)
10x kick & arm pull
10x side cross reach w/12lb weight
10x triceps w/ 12lb wt

60 seconds TRX squat w/ jump
3x 10sec TRX plank
12x side lunges

2 mile run in the park.

(Obviously I don't know the names of several of the exercises.   I should work on that.)

Affirmation: Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. -Thomas Jefferson.


Personal Training: Session 2

This personal training thing is going to work well for me.  I realize that after only two sessions, such a declarative statement might seem a tad premature.  Nonetheless, I think this personal training thing is going to work for me.

Take today for example.  I woke up this morning with a "work hangover." (No, I do not drink at work.)  Nursing can be a physically demanding job, and after three days of twelve hour shifts it can be exhausting.  It's not unusual for me to have achy muscles, throbbing feet and the cheerfulness and attention span of a gnat.  This is how I felt this morning, but with the unwelcome addition of early cold symptoms.  Sore throat, stuffy nose and pounding head.  I had just snuggled back into the blankets for an extended sleep-in when my phone rang.  It was my trainer asking if we could change the time of today's session, and if I could meet her in an hour.

I could and I did. 

I didn't make any excuses, and I didn't listen to that internal voice that was telling me "this is too hard. You have a cold. You are tired. Why don't we stop and go home and eat cookies and watch TV?" Yay! This personal training thing is going to work for me.

We did a more extensive workout today, and I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow.  Circuit training with free weights, kettle bells, balance balls, and mat work.  I also was introduced to TRX.  It's crazy.  I couldn't stop thinking about how awful it would be if the beam crashed over on me.  It didn't and won't thanks to the whole "bolted into the floor" thing.  But who can stop irrational fears?  (Let's talk about knitting needles sometime.)

During the course of my workout I managed to learn some things about my self as well. Nothing terribly introspective, but here they are anyway:

  • I find it more difficult to do a lunge when my left foot is ahead of me than my right. 
  • I have terrible balance--especially if I'm talking.  I actually muttered to myself "stop talking, focus on what you're doing." to keep from falling off the step.
  • Sometimes the things I mean to say in my head spontaneously burst from my lips. (See above.)
  • I sweat a lot.  This is not new, I realize but it seems I sweat more than other women who are doing similar activities.  But not as much as the men. 
  • The guilt/shame in telling my trainer that I had not worked out as planned over the weekend made me stutter and my face turn red.  Awful. 
  • I find the phrase "my trainer" borderline insufferable.  I will henceforth refer to her as Alison.  
  • I do, in fact, have a cold.

So, I meet with Allison again on Friday.  I work on Wednesday and Thursday.  I cannot handle telling her that I slacked off again.  (Besides, part of training for a marathon is indeed running.) Since I can so easily talk myself out of gym time after a 12 hour shift, I guess I'll have to go before.

This requires waking up an hour ealier.


Stupid goals. Stupid, stupid goals.

Today's Workout:
Squats with 12lb free weights x10
lunge/bicep curls w/ 8lb free weights x10 each side
oblique step ups w/ medicine ball x10 each side
jackknife balance ball crunces x10 each side

10 balance ball crunches straight up
5 cross balance ball crunches each side

30 seconds flutter kick
30 second bridge
10x bridge kick (10 each leg)
30 second plank 

10x kettle bell pull
10x kettlebell bicep/tricep

30 sec TRX rows
60 sec TRX squats



I had a thought this morning while sitting in traffic.  It seems most of my deep thinking occurs when I'm sitting in traffic.  Maybe it's the NPR subconsciously telling me to think about more important things than "OMG! Snooki's pregnant?!?!"  Anyway, I thought that if I'm really going to use this blog as a "training tool" (ah, accountability) then I should probably get in the practice of posting more.

Then I said "I should post every day in March!"

And then I laughed.  The driver next to me probably thought I was crazy.

I don't know what I'm going to post when I'm not giving a run down of the workouts my trainer dreams up.  I know I want to use this to help keep myself on track....but I'm probably not going to post pictures.  I just don't need awful pictures of me floating around the Internet. Isn't that what facebook is for?

I'm not going to tell the world what I eat for every meal. I mean, who cares? Also, I feel like talking about food would make me want to show you my food.  And we don't need to cross over into food blog territory.  That would likely be counterproductive to my goals.  Furthermore, it seems that people who tell you what they eat also want to show you what they eat.  How many pictures like this can one person handle?
See, my breakfast is arty.  And delicious.

So who knows what these posts will contain.  I guess they'll give my interneting some purpose.  And maybe I'll actually start to use my brain instead of passively looking at page after page of pretty pretty pictures. (I'm looking at you The Berry and Pinterest.)

Finally, it may help curb my voracious appetite for terrible television.



Personal Training: Day One

What a humbling experience.

How eye-opening.


It's funny how who I was in high school still manages to influence the way I think of myself now.  No, I'm not foolish enough to still consider myself to be a "competitive swimmer."  Those crazy days are far behind me (ack! 11 years!?!?) But somehow all that training has led me to think of myself as a fairly fit person.

Hey. I finished the Portland Half-Marathon a mere 5 months ago.

Alas, it seems sitting on my butt in front of the television for 5 months (practically half a year! oi!)  does little to keep me in any sort of "good" physical condition.

I'm not in good physical condition. Not at all.

My body fat percent is currently 36%. THIRTY SIX PERCENT! That's almost half of my body! It's a mere three percentage points from dropping me in the "obese" category (let's not even discuss my BMI.)  As it stands I'm already at an increased risk for weight related diseases: heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.  Oi with the poodles already.