Thursday, December 20, 2012

Playlist Thursday - 2012 Nominations

Today is a break from the normal (okay, I do realize that this is only my 3rd week of participating so I haven't really created a "normal" yet so bear with me here hahaha) routine of Playlist Thursday as Pavement Runner - AKA the ultrarunner extraordinaire guy that created it all - is doing his first Playlist Thursday awards.

So go check it out and then do some voting in his comments! And I'm not telling you who to vote for but I think y'all definitely need to put up some votes for Mumford & Sons I Will Wait and Fun.'s We Are Young. It's just too bad they are both in the same category. LOL

So go here and vote!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Commercialism at its Best!

So I always lament that, not even just Christmas - but holidays in general, have been so overly commercialized that it gets harder and harder to truly enjoy them. I mean, come on, Christmas items were already out in full force at Walmart before Halloween.

But I have to say that there were a couple of very inventive or original marketing campaigns/commercials this season that I will admit that I enjoyed the heck out of! Here they are - my picks for the best Christmas ads for 2012:

Christmas Vacation is one of my absolute favorite holiday movies and seeing these commercials was the perfect mix of nostalgia, charm and fun. They truly stuck to the "flavor" of the movie. Here's my other favorite from this series (they made three, but honestly, the third one wasn't that great).

This one literally made me giggle snort it was so funny! Because, honestly, which one of us hasn't felt like this at least once during the holiday season?!?

Finally, this one I think probably came out when I was a kid, but it always gives me such a great feeling. Perhaps because it did come out when I was just a wee one, or because it is one of the most simple and, thus, highlights the beauty of the season, or perhaps because it is chocolate. Who knows and who cares! It's an awesome commercial.

My final thought is that I was SO glad I didn't see a return of the Best Buy campaign from last year where parents were outdoing Santa (Game ON, Santa). Those just were a bad idea even if some of them were slightly funny. The idea of trying to out-do other people in the gift department just says a little too much about the commercialism of the holiday.

Question: What were some of your favorite holiday commercials either this year or previously?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Playlist Thursday - Best of 2012

The Best of 2012!

Pavement Runner's original Playlist Thursday post for today is over on his blog right here - check it out...there's some awesome tunes over there!

This week’s theme was a great suggestion from Charlotte over at — let’s look at the best songs of 2012. For the “something old,” I’m going to name an older song that made a comeback this year. Enjoy!
Something Old: Songs that are at least 5 years old.
Something Current: Songs that have been released within the past year.
Something to Consider: This is the wild card category. Feel free to list any song: old, current, guilty pleasure, underground, whatever.

So here's mine:

Something Old: I will admit that I kind of "forgot" about this song for quite some time, but it made it back onto my playlist this year and it never fails to get me moving when it pops up on shuffle. I probably wouldn't admit to listening to this song if you asked me in person though, so I will definitely classify it as a guilty pleasure. Take a step back in time to 2006 with J.T. and bring your own sexyback!

Justin Timberlake: Sexyback

Something Current: I just found Mumford & Sons this year...yeah, perhaps I was living in that "cave" that they speak of. No, seriously though - I heard their couple of songs on the radio over the past several years and I'll admit that when I first heard them I was pretty much thinking "whatever" You see, I'm one of those types of people that, for some songs/artists, have to let the music settle in for a bit first. Many times I need distance from it (AKA this means NOT hearing it a million times a day on the radio). Some music needs to settle in my bones and soul before it speaks to me. Mumford & Sons was definitely one of those things. But now that they are THERE...I could seriously listen to their albums a million times in a row and not tire of them. Okay, so maybe I do that already. Don't judge. ;) 

Mumford & Sons: I Will Wait

Something to Consider: This song may not seem like a traditional "workout" song, but when I'm out on the long runs I like to really keep it mixed up. Too much of the same sound and I just zone out but not in a good way. I stop focusing on the music and start thinking about how my legs hurt or I'm tired or I could be sitting at home drinking a nice cup of coffee instead of running down boring residential streets. You get the idea! And from a mental standpoint of where I spent some of 2012 just stressed out beyond belief, the chorus of this song spoke to me. This isn't everything you are. There's joy not far from here, I know there is - this isn't everything you are.

Snow Patrol: This Isn't Everything You Are

And there you have it - another Playlist Thursday! 

QOTD: What are some of your best songs of 2012?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Playlist Thursday - Old School Style!

So I just *discovered* Pavement Runner recently and it turns out that he does this thing called...okay, you guessed it from the picture above, right? Yeah, I'm not very good at building suspense! So the idea is that each Thursday you provide three songs: something old, something current and something to consider. Seeing how I love music and have it going pretty much constantly, I was all over this!!! What a fun way to share some awesome tunes and find others that I might not normally as anybody that does them can link from his page too. So here goes with my first EVER Playlist Thursday, brought to you by Pavement Runner.
I will admit that I was a total child of the 80's, from Southern California. If you aren't picturing Valley Girl or The Wedding Singer yet, then you should be. So now that I've set the stage, let's get down to business.

Something Old: So who doesn't absolutely love Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"? This is a song that will forever be on my playlist because it will never get old.

Something Current: I was, and still am, a huge Depeche Mode fan. They were definitely "MY" band while I was in school. I remember sitting and listening (on cassette tape no less!) to Catching Up With Depeche Mode at least a million times. I would listen to a song then hit rewind and listen again. It was the soundtrack to my life all through the first year of high school. This is also a song that will forever and ever be on my playlists - Personal Jesus.

Usually not my type, but man - Dave Gahan is just so HAWT!

Something to Consider: I actually heard this song just this morning on the radio on my way into work and I found it to be very relevant to something one of my kids is going through and I made a mental note that I needed to share it with her, with the disclaimer to ignore the fact that it comes from the 80's and is full of synth pop that they feel is just "so ollllllddddddd" (of course accompanied with the requisite eye roll). So here it is Thompson Twins Hold Me Now.

Check out that awesome 80's hair!! hahahaha

So one last thing - let me leave with a picture of me in all my 80's glory...

Don't laugh - I was VERY me. Hope you enjoy the tunes!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Do You Mean It's Not Thursday?

So as I see it, my biggest problem today is the fact that my brain is convinced it is THURSDAY; however, as you know, it is only Wednesday. *sigh* Apparently I'm already prepared for the week to be over which means I probably have a long day ahead of myself.

Life is seriously funny sometimes because I swear when one of my kids is going through something in life, it seems like they all go through something at the same time. You know how in the Kung Fu movies of old all the bad guys would kind of stand off to the side and come at the hero separately, one at a time. He would defeat one and then the next baddie would come in for his turn at an ass-whooping? Well, I really wish it was like that in real life! HA!

House of Flying Daggers - FYI, one of my favorite movies!
I got two calls yesterday, after kid drama the last two weekends to boot, after the weekends before that watching my poor little girl's heart mend from being broken following a break-up. It's tough. I have to say that there are a lot of difficult things about parenting, but seeing your kids struggle and not being able to fix it has got to be some of the toughest stuff ever. Now, if only I could get them to cooperate and only have one kid at a time having issues then it might be easier. ;-)

But the up-side (if there really is one, because there just isn't really) is that I have been getting to spend lots of quality time with my 2-year old grandson, Joshua. AKA "bubbies". Back story...when he was first born for whatever reason I took to calling him Bubbas, as in "bubba, bubba, ooohhh cooo bubba" (baby talk...there just isn't anything else in the world like it!) and it just kind of became his nickname that has stuck. Anyhoo, he was over last night and as I mentioned the other day, one of the things he likes to do is "make it" by pretend cooking. He's so cute!!!

Joshua "cooking"
An empty bowl, spoon and sitting on the counter and he's good to go! Having little ones around sure does make the painful moments go down a heck of a lot smoother.

On a totally good note, I headed out for a run yesterday wearing a new handy-dandy knee support brace that I had purchased on Friday (I had previously given it a little test run/walk on Saturday that also went pretty well) and it was mahvelous!! No pain and pretty much no achiness even throughout the day. I am anxiously hopeful to say that it is on the mend and with the added support I just might be back to being a runnin' fool. But just to make sure, I also have a doctor appointment scheduled for Friday morning.

I'm still struggling with getting into the holiday spirit, but I took one step today that is already helping - I changed up my desktop theme to a holiday lights one! It is bee-u-tiful and makes my little Grinchy heart melt just a little every time I see the pretty pictures. Hey, sometimes it's the smallest things that make a difference.

Question for you: Do you ever struggle with getting into the holiday spirit??

Monday, December 3, 2012


I have a lot I want to say...but when I start typing it, it comes out sounding like a lot of complaints and that definitely is NOT where I want to go today. The reality is that the knee is still an issue, but a little less of one as I did purchase a knee support brace and headed out on Saturday and all went fairly well...except it was achy the entire rest of Saturday. So there's a gripe wrapped in a good moment and I just don't want to go there.

It's now officially December, so I should be feeling all festive, right? Yeah, if festive is Bah Humbug! I want to appreciate the holiday, not dread it and I just don't want to go there.

I could go on...BUT I'm going to focus on the good stuff for a moment. Stuff like this picture that I snapped at the mall on Friday.

Holiday Tree at Temecula Valley Mall
Stuff like spending time at the mall with my girls having a good time window shopping and absorbing holiday gift ideas. What's really cool is towards the end of our trip they were heading into one or two more stores to make some purchases. I decided to sit for a moment as my knee was griping at me and then I realized - hey wait a second...we drove separate vehicles...I don't HAVE to wait for them. When I told them that, they literally said "no - you CAN'T GO!" We want you to stay with us." How cool is that? I love the relationship I have with my little ladies!!!

I got to pretend cook with the little Joshua this weekend - that dude just loves to "make it". Give him an empty bowl, a spoon and some accessories and he turns into Jamie Oliver! He's so stinkin' cute! (and one of these days I'll actually remember to take pictures of these moments...)

One of the beauties of running super early in the morning is when it's the holiday season and someone leaves their holiday lights on all night like this:

I love getting a winter wonderland in the middle of a run! AWESOME!

So even though life is far from perfect, there are clearly lots of wonderful things going on too. It's just a matter of which I'd rather look at and I'm choosing the good stuff today!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Anger Management

I've had to come to the realization that I'm really, honestly, angry about this wonky knee issue that is keeping me from training for my third half marathon like I really wanted to. It's not annoyed, it's not perturbed, it's not frustrated. It's ANGRY. Yes, all caps ANGRY.

There's nothing that says angry better than a baby! That's my granddaughter, Angelique pitching a fit.
And it has been hard to really make myself realize that. To look past those other surface feelings like frustration and annoyance and realize that it is deeper...because deeper needs to not be ignored. A deeper feeling like anger needs some management because if I let it, anger can cause a whole lot of other problems - both physically and mentally; never mind how it is causing me to treat friends and family because I'm holding it in.

The thing is, if someone had asked me several months ago if I felt like I was in a place where I could deal with an injury in a productive way I would have said yes wholeheartedly. I have dealt with being angry at myself for getting fat and out of shape in the first place, being angry at myself for getting stuck in the same place for years, being angry at the number on the scale, so on and so forth. You get the idea. But apparently I didn't know how devastating it would be to have knee pain that is sticking around and not going away after some extra rest or stretching. It has made me completely reassess who I even think I am.

Because, the thing is, for the past three years I've identified myself as a runner. I'm not the fastest or the farthest runner, but I run. And it's become a huge part of who I am. When my birthday or Christmas rolls around, it is inevitable that the list ends up being 95% running or fitness gear! When my running is going good...all other aspects of life seem to fall in place. It's a driving force for me and all of a sudden the driving force is - POOF - gone. And I feel adrift, lost at sea, unable to find my bearings. And it makes me angry.

So now that I've finally admitted that I'm dealing with some anger issues, I have a couple options. I can continue to be angry and let it fester. I can continue to punish my body for its betrayal by eating crap food and doing lackluster workouts. OR I can stand up and call bulls**t and say I'm better than this! I can give myself the same advice I've given countless running friends - take time to heal, let another activity take center stage and enjoy the change, find something new to energize you, and come back stronger than before; changing your goals is better than throwing them out. Why yes, that IS good advice, self!

As I was in the car driving to work this morning (only 15-20 minutes a day, but I swear it is where I do my best thinking...) I realized that I could be focusing on building better core strength, getting better arm definition, and building the muscles in my legs that I need to better support my knees. I could be focusing on dropping the pounds so I'm a lighter runner, which equates to less impact on my joints. I could be re-focusing on yoga to improve my balance and mental strength. Because I may identify myself as a runner, but I am also so much more than that!

So I actually found myself at a place that I haven't been for several weeks...EXCITED! I began thinking about the different types of exercises I could do, the different plans I could create, the variety of strength training I could revisit. Of course it means that I probably won't get the PR I've been hunting at the half marathon in January...but it might just mean that I'm at a super good place to get it at the next one in May 2013!

The reality is that, as the saying has always gone, when life gives you lemons - make lemonade! And all I can say is

I'll drink to that - Cheers!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fighting the Good Fight?

So last Thursday I headed out for a tempo training run and I have to tell was freaking AWESOME! I normally have a small-ish window of time to get my run in during the morning since I have to get myself off to work, so when the miles are higher (and since I'm a slow-ish runner) I don't always have the time to get all the training miles in like I want. Last Thursday was a 5 mile run following a 10 minute warm-up and I actually got the whole thing completed and right on time! And I basically felt really good while running too. But then towards the end of the run I felt some achiness in my left knee...a completely new ache that hadn't been there before. The pain was noticeably worse during any kind of incline - I mean we're talking a sidewalk entrance ramp thingy; and then when I walked down the stairs after getting ready for work it was no longer an ache - it was bordering on actual pain. A runner's worst nightmare was beginning...but I was hopefully optimistic that it was just a passing ache. It continued to ache all day while doing absolutely nothing but sit. Uh-oh...seems like something that isn't going to just fade away after a day of rest?

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week, after taking Saturday's run off to rest the knee, and I head out and don't get very far as it is still twinging up like the dickens. :-( 

At that point, I needed to evaluate where to go from there. Keep resting or try it again? I made the hard decision that I needed to really rest it - for several days. So I cut the Tuesday run very short, cancelled Thursday, cancelled Saturday and will see again next Tuesday how it is doing.

As any runner knows - this is SUPER difficult to do! My mind is wrestling with the fact that it WANTS to be out running, while my body is wrestling with the fact that if I give into the brain, the body might be wrestling with a true blue injury instead of just an annoying twinge. 

But here's where the slippery slope really starts to get crazy because what I then want to do is...absolutely nothing. I don't want to eat right. I don't want to get up and stretch. I don't want to do some yoga. I don't want to foam roll. You get the idea...It's a seriously crazy slide I'm on here. 

And I've got to lift myself up by the bootstraps shoelaces and not let this go any further. If I want to be one of those crazy runners still going strong into my eighties (because, face it, that's the ONLY way I'll ever win my age group! hahaha) then I'm going to have to learn how to deal with being sidelined a little better.

Tomorrow I still wake up like normal and I take the puppy for a short, easy, slow walk and then I roll, roll, roll it out. Because even though it is my knee that is giving me the grief, I actually think it's more related to a super-duper tight calf muscle. I will do that every darn day through next week and if - BIG HUGE IF - I am ready to run again on Tuesday, I will better focus on stretching and rolling before/after/etc. I also need to make sure I'm getting up more often at work...I've been sitting on my bum way too much these days and it's not just tightening up the muscles, it also means I'm not drinking enough water. 

Enough is enough, right?

So question for you - how do you keep the mental focus going strong when the physical focus isn't there?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Creating THE Plan...

So, if you're not up to date, I covered my first two half marathons and then talked about how I wanted to train with a purpose for my third go at it. But I also mentioned that I had made some modifications and I didn't go a whole lot into what the "3 Key Running Workouts" were either. So let's discuss how this whole "PLAN" came about for a moment, shall we?

I knew that I wanted to use the Run Less, Run Faster plan, but outside of reading the book and agreeing with the principles I hadn't paid much attention to the specifics. So first thing I did once we determined we were going to sign up for the Temecula Valley Half Marathon was bust out the "book" (recall that it was an e-book...) and review the specifics. This is how it breaks down:

3 Key Running Workouts
  • Track Repeats - these are widely varied throughout the plan and are usually a repeating distance for a specific number of sets with either a time or distance resting interval (RI) in between. For example, my workout yesterday was 6x800 with 1:30 RI.
  • Tempo - you have four sets of paces for tempo runs; easy, short, mid, and long and depending on the workout you may do a combination of paces or distances or you may have a single pace for the entire distance. For example, my workout tomorrow is 5 miles at mid-tempo pace.
  • Distance - this is where you log your long miles and it is at one of two paces; Half Marathon Pace (HMP) +20 seconds or HMP +30 seconds. Pretty self explanatory for the most part. My Saturday workout this week will be 12 miles at HMP +30.

2 Cross-Training Workouts (Optional: you can add one additional workout each week if desired)
  • The book recommends that you do one of three activities; swimming, cycling or rowing. The point is that because you are pushing your legs on running days, they want you doing non-weight bearing activities for x-training. The book provides multiple workouts for each of these activities too.

As I mentioned yesterday, the book contains tables that include very specific paces based on your 5k time, so whenever I talk about specific paces, I'm talking about what MINE are - yours would be different, of course. So there's the basics of the plan. It's not specific to certain days, although they do show you what a sample week might look like. For me, I prefer to run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I cross-train on Monday and Wednesday, and also do a lighter than normal workout on Fridays too. Sundays are strictly for rest. I do also add some light strength training primarily focusing on exercises that will assist me in my running too. 

Here's what a training week looks like for me - this was the first week of October:
Training Plan Week at a Glance

The training plan is 18 weeks long - yes, I was also surprised at how long it was as most it seems are usually around 14-16 weeks in length. Here's a look at how they break down each week's workout for you:

Source: Run Less, Run Faster

Alright, now you know what the plan kind of entails so I'll share with you how I go about figuring it all out. I prefer to use a calendar to map it out, putting down the details for each of the days. I seem to do better when I see it on a is scheduled in and a lot less likely to get skipped. But that's what works for me, everybody is different. For this one I used a calendar template in Visio and I found it to be the absolute EASIEST I've ever used. In the past I had used PowerPoint, Word, name it. Visio is my go-to now. In case you aren't familiar with Visio, it is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, although it may not come standard depending on which level of suite you have purchased. I have the Professional Suite and it is included. But keep in mind, any calendar will work - even one you write in by hand! (yes, technology is not required! LOL)

I start on the race date and work my way backwards. This specific plan also happens to number backwards as well, so week 18 was the first week and then you count down to the big day! Seeing how this training cycle falls within just a couple little holidays (yes, I speak in sarcasm often) I had to keep those in mind while scheduling. My main goals were to be realistic but to stay as true to the plan as possible. So some of the things I had to keep in mind were:
  • Other Races - I knew I had at least two virtual 5k's and one real-life one on the schedule during the training time, so I made sure to get those dates on the calendar first so they weren't missed
  • Black Friday - I'll be out shopping so there is absolutely no way I will be working out early (yes, I'm one of *those* people...)
  • Christmas - we wake up super early for presents and it is usually an activity filled day which means I only workout IF there is extra time
  • New Year's - won't be waking up early this day either!
  • Work Holidays - I can be a little more flexible when I'm not bound to a work start time
Once I had those critical days marked off, I could get to work making any modifications that were needed. For the days that I was participating in other races that were virtual (October 20-Cupcake Classic through; October 27-Zombie Dash through Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans; and November 22-Family Virtual Turkey Trot) I was able to schedule in the race distance and then added in the rest of the planned miles and paces. So for example, the week of the Cupcake Classic the plan was originally 9 miles at HMP +20; I modified it to be 3.1 miles at no specific pace (as it would most likely be faster than HMP+20) and then 6 miles at HMP +20. I also had to take into consideration my one physical race - November 3-Color Run San Diego. Since I was traveling over an hour each way for this one, it was the only thing I put on the schedule that week; in essence, I skipped what was planned completely.

The week of Thanksgiving was not a big deal, I modified the mileage to include a virtual 5k on turkey day and since Friday is a light day for me anyways, I took it as a rest day. Besides, shopping is like exercise anyways, right, ladies?? *wink wink* Christmas week wasn't too difficult either. I knew I didn't want a workout on Christmas morning to worry about so I shifted that entire week to be running workouts on Monday and Wednesday instead with Tuesday as a rest day unless I change my mind.  New Year's Day I left as is which is a regular workout day, but since I'm not working that week I don't have to be up before the sun to get my run in. So I can wake up, head out for a quick workout and be back home in time for the parade...I hope anyways. 

Other than those slight modifications it was mostly sticking to the plan! I did revise a couple workouts down in duration because there wasn't any way I could get 7+ miles in on a work morning when I start work at 7:00 AM. So I might've adjusted down just a few times, but overall, not that often thankfully due to the fact that I get a lot of time off during the holidays (I work for a school).

So now that I have it all on the calendar you would think my job would be done, right? Not so fast...I had a couple more things I needed to do. WHEW! I had two issues to contend with now: 1) I don't have a track to do track repeats on; and 2) track distances are in meters and my Garmin speaks in miles. What's a girl to do?

Well, with the handy-dandy Garmin (which I absolutely LOVE) I am able to program the distances in which saves me from having to break into a local school on a regular basis. Although I would get pretty fast if I was constantly running from school security officers, I couldn't possibly risk injury by jumping fences. 

Then, because the plan has meter distances, and meter times for those distances and my Garmin is programmed by miles, I went about doing some creative conversions. This was probably the hardest part of getting my plan set!

I broke out an Excel spreadsheet and created a formula that would basically calculate the following: The difference between one mile and x amount of meters, multiplied by the original meter time, it gives me a converted mile pace. I know that sounds really confusing, and believe me, this was something I had to think really hard about especially since math is NOT my thing! So what the formula looks like (I'm going to use 400 meters as an example) is this: 1600 meters divided by 400 meters (1200m) multiplied by 2:36 (400 meter time) is equal to 10:24. Does that make sense? Yeah, it doesn't to me either! hahahaha Buuuuttttt, I'm pretty sure I wasn't way off base because when I plugged it all in the 1600 meter pace was exactly what the book said it should be. So even though I'm far from a math genius, I'm confident Excel saved me! I've also had the opportunity to test it out as I have compared my splits against what my key paces should be and they've lined up every time. So again, pretty confident I was actually right for a change! hahaha So the track problem was SOLVED as far as paces went!

By the way - it looked something like this* when I was done:
*Not really, but it sure made my brain FEEL like that!

I then had to do the final step of converting the meters into mile equivalents using an online conversion calculator and then it was ready for input into the Garmin Training Center (TC). (FYI: If you own a Garmin and don't program your own workouts in, you're missing out! One of the best features of this already powerful device!) I also put the workout on the calendar in TC and then when I upload to device all I have to do is select "Today's Date" for my workout and off I go. 

So the final step? 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Training With a Purpose

So I was talking earlier this LAST week (this is what happens when you don't finish the blog as planned...) where I pretty much just trained for my past two half marathons with the mindset of "just doing it". Yeah, I hoped for a miracle to happen in my finish time, but when I am honest with myself, I wasn't training with a purpose of getting an awesome finish time. I skipped workouts, I did haphazard speedwork, and I usually only got close to the mileage of a half marathon once each time during a training cycle...and well, it showed in my finish times! Big surprise, right???

After completing my second half, even though it was a TON of fun and I really enjoyed myself, I said "I don't know if people are actually meant to run 13.1 miles!" In other was still a little tough and mentally grueling at times. But after a few months the tickle began to niggle at my brain again. Maybe it was time to find another half marathon. I actually even started thinking I might want to tackle a FULL marathon! HA! Very funny, brain...very funny. When thinking about a new half to tackle I wanted a couple of things:
  • a somewhat scenic course (AKA - not 7 miles along a riverbed while staring at the freeway)
  • for it to happen sometime between February-May 2013
  • one that didn't cost a gazillion dollars
  • And that's pretty much about it...see, not looking for much!
There was also an added criteria for my mom & sister that they would prefer one that either had a 4-hour time limit or would at least allow you to finish on your own if needed. Well, I think we found one that fits most of those criteria! Really the only one it didn't meet was the date as it takes place in January 2013 - a month earlier than I was personally hoping for. So the timeline was slightly less than I was looking for, but still totally do-able. Oh - and this one has a 4-hour time limit and I believe they note that if you don't meet the time limit then you are on your own. So added bonus for sure! I should note that I run with my mom and sister on a regular basis and they would tell you themselves - I'm quite a bit quicker than they are, even though I still consider myself "slow". We do always agree to run our own races and whoever gets finished first gets to cheer the others in. During the Tinkerbell Half they both also ran, but unfortunately were sweeped from the course due to falling behind cut-off times - super disappointing for both of them, but they still got to partake in all the fun after-party events and enjoy their bling!

Now let me go backwards for just a little bit to a conversation I had with a co-worker while I was in the midst of training for Tinkerbell. He is a speedy little guy and has run multiple half marathons and his recommendation for training was to use the Run Less, Run Faster method. He said it is the only training plan he uses. I knew as soon as he mentioned it that I had heard of it from reading Runner's World magazine faithfully like a religion every month when it hits my mailbox, but I have to admit that it totally intimidated me! I know that the paces they showed were definitely a big stretch for me. But I decided to go ahead and check it out anyways and wouldn't you know it - it happened to be on sale through the Amazon Kindle store for only $2.99! SCORE!
Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster, Revised Edition: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program
Click here to visit on
It seemed like the planets were aligning, even though I didn't own a Kindle! HA! But you know they have a Kindle app for your smart phones? So I downloaded the app, the book, and got to reading. And I was definitely intrigued! I was already solidly into training, so it would have to be for a future race and that was that - I set it aside and didn't think about it again until that little voice in my brain started telling me it was time again. If I wanted a 2:30 finish, then wasn't it time to push outside of my comfort zone and GET IT???

saw this on Facebook from Run With Jess - sums it up perfectly, eh?!?
So I decided it was time to implement the FIRST method for training that is the basis for Run Less, Run Faster*. FIRST = Furman Institute of Running and Science Training. They had done quite a bit of research outlining that if you cut out "junk miles" and focused on three key running workouts each week and two cross-training workouts that you could greatly improve your times. There's all kinds of other things in the book like scientific mumbo-jumbo, but I was sold at them telling me that not only did I not have to run 5x a week, I could also improve my times! So with that, I began mapping out my training schedule...only to realize that I should have started several days earlier already! D'OH! I can seriously laugh about it now, but it was pretty scary when I was behind on my training before even getting started. But I'm not the kind of girl that lets something like that stop me. I did what any other bada$$ runner would do and modified!

I can't say that it has been a completely smooth training road and I have had to make some adjustments along the way, but overall I can say that I got what I bargained for - I've been challenged and I'm having fun! And we'll see come January 2013 if the plan pays off with a 2:30 finish time! I'm pretty hopeful at the moment that it will...

I'll be back later this week with how I went about scheduling my training plan and some of the modifications that I've made to it.

Question for you: Have you used a training plan to nail a goal pace before? If yes, what did you use?

*Note: If you decide to purchase Run Less, Run Faster please note that the REVISED version is the only one that currently has key running paces included for 5k times that are above 30 minutes. I currently don't run a sub-30 5k finish time so I was lucky that before the revised version was published that I had printed the tables for 30-40 minutes from the Furman website. Those tables are now ONLY available in the revised version of the book. If you already have a sub-30 5k time, then buying a used or earlier version should be just fine for you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Half Crazy?

So I've mentioned once or twice that I'm currently training for a half marathon that will take place on January 19, 2013. This will be my third half marathon and based on the recommendation of a co-worker I decided to completely change gears on training this time around. So let me discuss first my previous half marathons and what I did for training.

My first half marathon was the Mission Inn Run held in Riverside, CA (this is a "small" local race for me) in November 2010. I had just started running in June 2009, with my first "running" 5k in September 2009. I then did a 10k in June 2010 and felt like I was ready crazy enough to try a new distance. I didn't know a whole lot about distance running at this point but jumped right in to the training plan generated by the Runner's World SmartCoach (the site to the SmartCoach is temporarily here's the link to the page and you'll see the box on the right-hand side to access the plan generator feature), but I definitely had to heavily modify it because 1) I wasn't a run 5-6 days a week runner and 2) some of the distances on the mid-week runs were longer than was possible for me since I have a full-time job and family. I will also admit, that there were definitely missed training runs and because I've either blocked it out or have forgotten, I think I only made it up to 12 miles ONCE prior to race day. The basic idea behind the plan was to gradually increase by 1 mile each long distance run; so if it was 8 miles one week, it was 9 the next with an occasional drop down for a recovery week. So come race day, even though I felt "prepared" I really had no idea just how unprepared I was! It was a horrible race experience for a lot of different reasons. I wasn't really ready, it was hotter than expected, it was windy, I didn't fuel correctly, I didn't have enough water to stay properly hydrated, and it was a horribly boring course with over 6 miles along a single track out and back along a dry riverbed heading towards a freeway. There wasn't any on-course entertainment, very few water stops, and it wasn't an overly friendly group of runners either. Not a fun experience. The absolute best part of this race for me was the fact that I "acquired" the 13-mile marker at the end of the race! (That first picture may or may not be proof of me nabbing* it...).

The pink shirt is my sister with her oldest child finishing the race. I'm the purple shirt in the background.

A group of us that participated in either the half or 5k race. Along with 2 of my sister's kids photo-bombing on the right.
My finish time on this one was 2:57:53...just under 3 hours which, mentally, would have been my breaking point. But it was so far from where I wanted to be.

So for my second outing, I really wanted it to be the full "experience". I wanted on-course entertainment, I wanted cheering sections, I wanted lots of water stops, and I wanted it to be interesting. Well, I couldn't have picked a better race because my second outing was the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half in January 2012!

It was a WONDERFUL experience. I seriously cannot praise the RunDisney race organizers enough. It was a stellar experience from beginning to any issues with my finish time can't be blamed on anybody else but me. The weather was perfect, the course was perfect, the entertainment was perfect.

For my training on this one I used the plan provided by the race organizers that was created by none other than running legend and Olympian, Jeff Galloway. It was a really good training plan that worked for me because it was a 3-day a week plan where you ran for time during the weekday (45 minutes with some mild speedwork thrown in) and a distance run on the weekend. And once again, I will admit that some training runs were missed. However, if I remember correctly we did actually get up to running at least 13 miles prior to race day. I felt more prepared this time out and had a much better plan in place to start slow and not kill myself before mile 7. The two areas that I felt were less than desirable were: 1) my fueling still isn't what I needed it to be...I can't handle nothing but sweet for miles on end apparently. By the time I was finishing in both, I was feeling sick from all the sport beans, Gatorade, and energy gels; and 2) I didn't feel like I was prepared for running at faster paces for prolonged periods of time. Even though I had done some speedwork, it was mild at best and was only during short bursts. And even though I practice fueling during my long runs, I must have a different experience when racing because I don't remember feeling like if I ate one more sweet thing I might die during training! LOL

Even though my finish time on this one was within my "happy place", it still isn't my mental ideal. Prior to the Tinkerbell, I had set the following levels for finish times:

  • LOVE - Anything near 2:30
  • LIKE - Anything under 2:45
  • HATE (AKA: Disaster must have hit, but at least I finished) - Anything over 3:00
I hit in my like zone with a chip finish time of 2:41:02 - so I like that time, but boy am I sure still hunting for that LOVE zone! 

After the race...tired but proud of that awesome BLING!
Which brings me to half marathon #3. I am most definitely on the hunt for a 2:30 finish time. Granted, I will set Love, Like and Hate zones again and will be happy with any of them, but I'm not content to sit back and have lazy training hoping for a miracle to happen either! So as I mentioned way back at the beginning of this post, I totally changed gears for this training cycle and so far it's been awesome! So what am I doing? I'll be back on Friday to fill you in on all the exciting details!

*I did actually ask for permission from someone that was cleaning up along the course and they said I could have it - granted I already had it off of the post by then and they may not have been anyone that actually had the authority to let me have it, but if they had said no I would have willingly given it up!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Zombie Dash - Virtual 10K

I will start out this race recap with the following disclaimer: no persons, either real or fictional, were actually harmed during the running of the Zombie Dash virtual race.

So the morning started out dark and ominous with news reports on TV that there had been strange and mysterious sightings of people wandering around with dazed and confused looks on their faces. But you know, that really isn't too strange when you think about where I live, so we decided it was safe to head out for a basic, everyday training run after all. We had 11 miles at a pretty mild pace on my case, it was a HMP +30 seconds, which equates to upper 12-lower 13 minutes/per mile (this was my last day on my low end of pacing...this too will be explained in the future - just know that I'm gradually stepping down (up?) my paces over the next several months). Piece of cake.

We did a nice little warm-up walk around a short block and then I hit the Garmin and started going. I stayed fairly close to my mom and sister for the first several minutes, which in hindsight was good since it seems like us traveling in numbers was useful, but eventually I broke off to find my own stride and get into a rhythm that would carry me through a long training run. But not long after I left my mom & sister I started hearing a groaning, shuffling sound behind me...I didn't want to waste time and look back because I figured it was probably just one of the people from my group. I should have known better.

Next thing I know I feel breath on my neck. Could it be a slight breeze? We are supposed to be in Santa Ana weather after all? Perhaps I was just freaking myself out a little bit...but nooooo - I'm pretty sure that's breath I feel and hasn't the moaning gotten louder? I finally decided to look back thinking I would see nothing, but it wasn't nothing. It it couldn't be...yes, it was a ZOMBIE!!!! (cue dramatic music here)

There it was...reaching out and incoherently mumbling something about brains. It was then that my fight or flight instinct kicked in. Run down a side street - dash up and back on a cul-de-sac - take a lake trail - head out to a more populated street. No matter where I ran the zombie stayed tight on my tail. I couldn't slow down and I definitely couldn't stop. I passed my house at one point and considered stopping, but I didn't want to draw the zombie into my home where my sleeping husband would be unsuspecting of the zombie apocalypse that was dawning with the new day. After all, a clever zombie might have turned him while he was sleeping before he even knew what was happening! I couldn't let that happen so I kept running.

I eventually made it back to my sister, but it appeared that something disastrous had happened since my mom had disappeared and my sister was running by herself - alone and defenseless. We teamed up and kept running back down the same streets trying the entire time to shake that darn zombie! I found out that my mom had escaped to leave for I was definitely glad to hear that it wasn't something worse! Whew - that was a close one! I would occasionally draw the zombie off by running ahead of my sister, but would always circle back around to make sure she was safe and she was definitely holding her own. The zombie was closing in though and there was a scary moment where I could have sworn that the zombie got it's hands on me...was that a scratch? What would happen if I was infected by this zombie??? No time to stop and worry about it, I finally was able to shake him after a cul-de-sac and kicking in the turbo to return to my sister.

We had a period of time where we didn't see any additional zombies...perhaps there were only a couple? I'm not sure but I was happy to be able to slow my pace and just head for home. And then after a few more miles it started...I began to feel strange and not like myself. I was hungry - no, not just hungry. I was STARVING. But I wasn't craving my usual breakfast comfort foods of cereal and coffee...I had an overwhelming desire for...BRAINS!!! There was my sister up ahead and she has brains...and I bet they are pretty tasty! As I tried sped up to catch her I developed a cramp in my leg but was unable to stop so I dragged it behind me in what turned into a slow shuffle as my arms stretched out ahead of me attempting to catch her. As hard as I tried to catch her, she was just too fast and before I knew it she had made it to a safe zone and acquired a zombie antibiotic. I was saved and just in time!!!!

Whew - who would have known that a boring training run could turn into a mad dash through the 'hood running from zombies?

Okay - so seriously...obviously we weren't being chased by real zombies, but we did participate in the Zombie Dash: Run the 'Hood Virtual 10k this past Saturday. I finished in 1:14:55...not a 10k PR (10 seconds slower than my 10k time at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon this past January), but I wasn't really going for one either. I do have to say that I felt so great that if I had wanted a PR, I'm pretty sure I could have gotten one. :-)

There is one part of the story that is sort of true - I did chase down my sister while pretending to be a zombie at the end of her 10k to give her a little added "drama" and remind her why we were running that morning. Funnest part of the day!!! Who doesn't love pretending to be a zombie??

The registration for this "virtual" race included a medal and t-shirt so I was happy to put my new medal up on the rack - I earned it after out running those zombies and narrowly escaping becoming one myself! Glad I lived so I can run another day...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lookout Weekend...Here I Come

Okay, so who's singing that awesome 80's song after reading the title? *crickets*, maybe it's just me? :-)

If you have absolutely NO clue what I'm talking about then you must have been living under a rock during the 80's. Here's Debbie Deb rocking it out:

Yep - it's Friday so that means the weekend is finally here! I may not be doing fog machines or laser rays, but I have a fun weekend ahead of me! It's all going to start at noon today with some housework once I get off of work! I know, right, I'm a party animal!!! Seriously - I told the weekend to lookout...and now you know why. hehe

The excitement will continue with me hopefully catching up on a few shows sitting on the DVR. I haven't watched a single episode of Once Upon a Time yet this season, and I'm feeling woefully out of the loop. What else is on the DVR? Several episodes of Elementary, Vegas, The Mindy Project, Ben & Kate, New Girl, Raising Hope and I think the newest episodes of Revenge, Survivor, and America's Next Top Model. Whew...Too much to watch and not enough time! If all else fails I figure I have some upcoming furlough time to catch up on this in December/January. Hopefully all the new shows I'm recording haven't been cancelled by then. Don't you hate it when you want to get into a show and they cancel it?

But then tomorrow morning I have to get up early and prepare to run for my life! That's right - the Zombies are coming!!! My Fairy RunMother (that's my Mom, by the way) signed us up to participate in a virtual 10k race called Zombie Dash: Run the Hood put on by The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I'm not planning on dressing up as a Zombie because I figure I look Zombie enough out running at 5:00 AM on a Saturday morning when most people are happily sleeping in. I wonder if I'll have a cheering section on this one too like I did with the Cupcake Classic last weekend (race recap to come in the near future)? I'll also tack on a couple extra miles to round it out to 11 total. At least that's the PLAN. You never know what might happen when zombies are chasing you...

The Walking Dead on AMC
After that the excitement will continue with more housework, grocery shopping, and other boring chore-type stuff. Again, I warned ya - I live an EXCITING life. I'm hoping to get to a pumpkin patch over the weekend, but probably not the large one about 30 minutes just isn't seeming like we will be able to pull that together. But there's a little cheesy local one, and hey - I like supporting local AND cheesy, so it should be a grand time!

That's what is on tap for my weekend. What exciting plans do you have? Are you ready for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Music Makes Every Workout Easier!

Just a quick share today - I recently created a new music workout playlist to share with my mom and sister as part of a challenge we have been doing (I'll probably get around to explaining that more in the near future!) and figured if it motivates us to move - perhaps it will motivate you too!

I will say that my musical tastes are quite eclectic...they are all over the board. And rather than only listen to dance style music when I'm working out - I find that it doesn't distract me well enough - I like to listen to a wide variety of tunes to keep it interesting. So most of my playlists are all over the board, just like me, and this one is definitely no different!

That will get you through a 1 hour workout! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Changing Lanes...

So seeing how I have like, maybe, one regular reader on this ol' blog thing I'm figuring the change in title may go completely unnoticed! But at the same time, I just figured that would be completely unfair of me to change it and not explain to...well, anybody that cares! LOL

The name Putt-Putt actually goes waaaaaayyyyyyyyy back. That was the nickname my Dad gave to me when I was just a little one and the story goes (at least this is how I remember it going!) that he worked for Mattel toys and would sometimes bring toys home for us to play with. One time he brought home some kind of wind-up train and I apparently followed that little train around going putt, putt, putt. I can't tell you how accurate this story is, but the nickname Putt-Putt stuck. As a child, it was really the moniker only my Dad used...or my siblings used to torture me. They loved calling me by my nickname in front of friends, crushes, potential boyfriends. You name it, the nickname came out at the WORST possible moments more often than not. But here I am 40 years later and you know what - Putt-Putt Runner is pretty much the perfect way to describe what I do.

I'll never be described as fast and I'll never win medals for my running...or so the joke goes that I'll win a medal when I'm only one of three in my age group! But that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it, and it doesn't mean that I won't keep striving to get faster even as I continue to naturally slow down as I age. I often wonder when they talk about how you get slower as you get older what it means for someone that is still a "baby" when it comes to running. Reality is that in running years, even though I'm 40 in real-life, I'm just a toddler. Three years old and still figuring it out. I may be able to walk and talk, but I'm still inquisitive and I still make mistakes. I might still push limits to see how far I can go and sometimes life will give me a little swat on the rear and tell me I pushed too far. Running is still a new thing for me when it comes down to it and I'm anxious to see how I "grow up" over time. What is my running adolescence going to look like? What will it look like when I'm a running teenager? I don't know...but I can't wait to find out!!!!

So my previous title to the blog was The Pursuit of a Quality Life...that still hasn't changed. I'm still pursuing a quality life full speed ahead (hahahaha). But a really, really big part of finding the quality is found in running. So I'm changing lanes a bit. Shifting focus. Hope you'll continue to be along for the ride...or for the run is perhaps more accurate!

Running Shoes

Question: Do you have any childhood nicknames that have "stuck"?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Speaking the Same Language

Last night I had the opportunity to attend my very first book signing for an author/blogger that I just adore - Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things and author of the memoir, Bloom. My bestie and I both happen to really - no REALLY - appreciate Kelle's blog. We identify with it because here is a woman who speaks our language. She doesn't speak normal "English". She speaks unicorns and Target and women supporting women and candles and fall leaves and letting our freak flags fly whatever they might be. She speaks the language of finding happiness in difficult situations, in sucking the joy out of life, in finding the "glitter" in everything around us. She speaks the language of life is freaking HARD sometimes, but when you have a support system around you anything can be overcome. She speaks the language of love and tolerance. I could seriously go on all day about it...LOL

I haven't had the easiest life, and I haven't had the most difficult life (by FAR!) either. But I've weathered my fair share of storms and even though I can often find the peaceful seas, sometimes the wind rages and the waves rock my little boat something crazy. But I can usually be a pretty happy person. And sometimes, let me just be honest for a moment, I feel like such a FREAK for always being so stinking cheerful - even when sometimes I am broken inside and it is merely a crumbling facade. Seriously, people are always like "you're so happy". You're "always smiling". You're "always positive". I hear it all the time. And I'm so glad that I have that impression on people...really I am. But sometimes it's HARD to carry that burden. The burden of "The Happy One" or "The Positive One" or "The Strong One". Sometimes all you want is to be weak and to crumble, but as woman we pick ourselves up again and again and put on our happy face to the world.

My bestie, Rebecca, she sees the ugly. My husband - sometimes he sees the ugly too. But most of the time the only thing that really sees the ugly is my closet. That's where I usually go when I need to seriously have a breakdown. But let me get back on track here. I am admitting that there are times when I'm not happy or positive. But those times are pretty darn rare. I am definitely an optimist. And sometimes I feel like there aren't many other people in my life that are the same as me. Rebecca is, most definitely. Kelle is, most definitely. But let me tell ya - last night I realized that there are a LOT of other people that speak the same language!

I had shared with Rebecca on our way down to San Diego that I tell people about Kelle's blog all the time...and yes, I feel like a creepy stalker when I do...but I've come to accept it. ;-) But I never really feel like anyone that I tell about her blog says "Man, I SO GET IT". I get what this Kelle chick is talking about. I really FEEL it. In other words, I kind of feel like most people view me as that creepy blog stalker that I am! But we get to the Barnes & Noble and wander in after taking pictures in front of the store by the sign announcing the event (cheeseball!!!!) and kind of start wandering to figure out where the event is. And then all of a sudden we see a LOT of people gathered in an area and I was like "whoa - that's got to be it". It didn't seem real to see a group of 100+ women, men, children and babies all there for the same thing. But it was. So then we are chit-chatting wondering if we traveled further than most to get there when a gal turns around and says that her and her sister traveled about 4 HOURS to attend. I found out after the fact this morning that another group of ladies traveled 8 HOURS to be there. All in all, I would say the group grew to about 200 people at least. We packed that B&N something fierce!

And the funniest thing was that as we were standing there we were picking up conversations from other ladies and they were talking about the same stuff we always talk about! Lots of talk about unicorns and glitter and happiness and the importance of a support network. We were all different people from different backgrounds but yet we were all speaking the same language. And it was wonderful!!! To think that no matter where we are at and what we have gone through in our own lives that there are real and authentic people that have struggled or found joy and are willing to share it so that we all know that we aren't alone in how we struggle and that we aren't alone when we find joy. The overwhelming feeling I left with was that I could have been friends with any of those people in that room.

Finding this kind of supportive and like-minded community is really not a first for me as I am part of an online community through SparkPeople and I have made friends with many of the people on there...I definitely would like to think that many of them will be lifelong friends...We just speak the language of health and triumph over our fat cells there. A different type of language, but one that is important nonetheless. I guess the important thing - AKA "the moral of the story" is that in a world where we are all so different and are spread across the globe, that we can find others that speak our language - that we can be drawn to them like moths to a flame because we finally realize that we aren't alone no matter what we are going through...well, it's a powerful thing. And I definitely had a taste of that power last night and it was pretty darn awesome.

Go forth and Bloom...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Adventures...

Life has been just like WHOA much a mix of quiet time and busy time and kid time and grandkids time and personal time...well, you get the idea. It's been like a good way.

My newest adventures? Well, they are kind of attached to each other because the first one is that I'm signed up for my third half marathon. I was kind of thinking I was just about ready for one but didn't want a fall 2012 race, and didn't want early 2013 - I was really shooting for March or April of 2013. So when is my race??? January 19, 2013. Okay, yeah - that's a little earlier than I was hoping for, but when an opportunity presents itself, sometimes you just have to go for it. Am I right? Besides, if you registered by midnight on 9/17 you got a free hat! LOL It's all about the swag people, savvy? (Hey, it's national talk like a pirate day so I had to throw something in there!!) Arrrggghhhh

We - me, my mom, and my sister - will be gearing up for the Temecula Valley Half Marathon. It is run through beautiful wine country in the "Napa of Southern California". Yeah, whatever...they make wine and it's local so it should be awesome! ;-)

Monte De Oro Winery

Here's a picture of the winery of where you start and finish the race. Pretty, right? That's Monte de Oro Winery.

It should be a challenging course as there are some hills in that area, but hills schmills. If I can run a 10k in the mountains every year this should feel like flatlands...hahahaha That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

So there's part one of the adventure. Part two is in the training for this thing! I had decided awhile back that I wanted to do the FIRST Training Program chronicled in the book Run Less, Run Faster. Without boring you with all the details, I will suffice it to say that the training should be extremely "challenging". I think it is going to cause me to push to my outer limits, but in the end I'm hoping to be a faster, lighter, better runner...and one going home with a Half Marathon PR.

Oh, and of course all this will be happening during the quiet holiday months when not much else is going on.


Should be fun, eh? I'm going to try to chronicle my adventures here as much as it a sanity check!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finding Quality...

My blog is called The Pursuit of a Quality Life because I truly do attempt, at the very least, to find quality in the every day. The mundane, the hectic, the good, the bad and the ugly. Quality is what I strive for. It might be messy at times, but like a lot of things, quality is what you make it. There's no definition of what it means for each of us individually.

It's kind of funny, because since 2010 I have selected a word that embodies what I want for the year. Traditionally, this is usually around the Christmas/New Year's holidays. In 2010 my word was Peace; 2011 was Quality (see there it is right there!); and 2012 is Strong. When I selected Quality as my word, I don't think I fully understood it. Peace was a VERY strong word for me and it tested me constantly throughout the entire year, starting off early in February and never letting up. It brought me a lot of tears, but a lot of growth. So I think I was a little gun-shy when I was selecting a word for 2011, and quality seemed to be just the benign type of word I needed. And it kind of stayed that way all year never truly becoming a mantra or a way of life. However, I can look back now and see how it manifested itself, especially when I look at the word I picked for 2012. You can't truly be strong if you don't even understand quality first. Because there are lots of ways to be could be a strong pile of dog doo-doo, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are going to be a QUALITY pile of dog doo-doo, does it? ;-) Okay, now that some of the background is out of the way, I have to say that the past couple of months have been a journey in quality. I feel like I'm finally finding it...

This past weekend was pure quality from spending awesome time with Joshua - the boy grand baby - reading books and singing softly as he falls asleep...until he lets me know he's nowhere near asleep with a little huuuuunnnnnnhhhhh and then a giggle. Silly boy...

Feeding the ducks that decided they wouldn't bite, and feeding the fish in the lake instead.

Doing a puppet play at my niece's birthday party where we acted out the book "Give a Pig a Party" (I think...) with little wooden spoons and handmade hand puppets with a group of girls that giggled and played along while my sister read (I got to be the pig getting the party!!!! So Fun!!)

Running hill repeats at The Beast. Yeah - I call that quality!

Making a new recipe on both Saturday and Sunday night for dinner.

Enjoying the Sunday night dinner with the hubby by candlelight at our little kitchen table because candlelight makes everything special and magical even if it's just a little Sunday dinner between old married people.

Taking a bubble bath by candlelight while reading a great book.

Cross stitching while snuggled up in my recliner and beams of sunshine filter in to illuminate the task.

Doing laundry...okay, okay - I know I might be pushing it there a bit, but the pile was getting pretty crazy so it was most definitely quality time when I was able to put the last of it away!

There were lots and lots of littler moments in there, but the reality is that it was full of quality...and I loved every second of it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When the Fun Gets Carried Away...

I will admit it...I'm a little bit bored these days. I don't have anything majorly pressing at the moment so I've allowed myself a little more "chill" time. But I have to also admit - I have gotten completely carried away by a little boat adrift at sea!! And not necessarily in a good way. I can't even tell you how many hours I have lost, let alone today, but all week.

So what has been eating all my time, you might ask?? PINTEREST!!!

Yep - I'm like a little Pinterest zombie right now...scroll, repin, like, click, edit board, wash, rinse, repeat again and again and again. It's become ridiculous. And even though I've been getting all kinds of awesome motivation to move and new exercises to tone my abs and remove my arm flab, I've also gotten all kinds of food ideas! Not good...the past two weekends I have baked away...and unfortunately that also means I have eaten the goods. sigh

Today, I finally had to force myself to click the red x in the upper corner because it has slowly become an obsession. I've already resisted the urge to open it back up several times. 

It's just so funny how these things can take off...MySpace, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter. All it takes is a few people to become obsessed and then next thing you know it's a national obsession taking up all our time. And even though it inspires us sometimes, sometimes the inspiration can make us feel somewhat inferior too!

Funny Cry for Help Ecard: Pinterest reminds me how hungry, poor & unstylish I am.

So I shut it down...for today at least!

How about you - what's your latest obsession?