Friday, February 28, 2014

Another tough day.

It was another tough day my internet friends.  It didn't start out that way.  I let stress get to me.  I started the day with a great 5 mile run INDOORS with Aubrey by my side on the treadmill.  We chatted a bunch and the run felt good.  Then we got coffee and I went to work with smoothie in tow.

It's funny because I'm starting to get attention at work for my smoothies.  The guys I work with think they look absolutely disgusting (and in their defense... it does look like of gross...) but I am enjoying teaching people what I have been doing with the smoothies!  They really help keep me on track.  And then I had some coffee, a healthy lunch, snack of an apple, and went to a charity bowling event that I had for work at 4:00 p.m.  HOWEVER, I still had a bunch of work to do and it started to really stress me out as I was walking back and forth from the bowling to take calls.  They were serving beer and pizza at the bowling event.  Not things that I really want to eat and drink as a "gluten free" person or a person who has to run 18 miles in the morning.

I HAD planned ahead and brought almonds, an apple, and some water.  However, I ended up eating the cheese off of THREE pieces of pizza at the bowling alley.  I used to look crazily at the girls in my sorority who used to do that in college.  And then we went to dinner and I ate tortilla chips and "spinach queso" which was more like queso, queso and faijtas minus the tortillas.  I ate more cheese today than I have in a long long time.  Which is not a good thing to eat differently when I have to run further than I have ever run before in the morning.  I was just so stressed that I wanted to not care about what I was eating.  And ya know what was partly stressing me out?  The fact that I have to run.

Pretty backwards, huh?

While I was at the bowling alley I did have one glass of wine along with a couple of the girls who didn't want to have beer either.  We were laughing at our classy selves drinking wine at the bowling alley.

When I left work today I was looking at my marathon training calendar.  We are really getting down to the wire people!

I must admit I am scared and some days my nerves get ahold of me more than I would like to let them and today was one of those days.  Just look at what I've got left!

Hopefully my poor choices today don't get me in too much trouble tomorrow!  18 here I come...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some weeks are a bust.

I don't have much to say about this week except that my eating habits have been pretty shameful.  I knew that it would be tough since I started the week "negative" in points to try and turn things around and I was right about that.  I am currently negative 63 points in the whole and aside from that, I am just eating poor foods.

Today we had a surprise wedding shower for my manager at work, which was a blast, but it also meant that there was really delicious cake around that I couldn't resist.  I ate the frosting off of 3 pieces of cake.  THREE pieces of cake!!  Since I am still "gluten free" I just ate the frosting.  Which isn't much better.

And I put gluten free in parenthesis because someone who is truly not gluten free wouldn't be doing that because it's not truly abstaining when you're eating the crumbs.  And then tonight, when I went to a work dinner I ate chicken wings and even worse... some of a cookie.  Along with hard cider and ice cream and a salad filled with lots of junk and popcorn.

And I didn't work out today or on Tuesday, my "non-running" days.  I guess that some weeks you want to work out twice a day and some weeks you want to take a couple days off.  Which is what I did this week.  It was a bit of a bust of a week.

On the plus side? I ran 9 miles on Wednesday morning!  And we had really nice weather for it, avoiding a snow squall that happened just minutes after we finished running.  Beautiful running day...

Ahhh crazy snow squall!!

I feel like I am being a really pathetic blogger right now but even this I feel like I am writing just to force myself to write.  I guess discipline counts for something, right?  But I'm tired and I'm cranky and I have a headache probably from the ridiculous amounts of sugar I consumed today and perhaps the gluten in my body that I haven't had in months.

If I wasn't so tired and cranky I would tell you about the awesome article that Kimmy sent to me.  I would probably write about the funny scenario last night when the person I was out to eat with commented that I had "quite an appetite" when the meal I was consuming was really NOTHING for me to put down.  Or I would tell you about how I spent 30 minutes today trying to figure out how to track Weight Watchers points for mussels.

I would possibly tell you about how I have some awesome coworkers who are in town for the week that make me laugh a lot.  And who inspire me!  One of which is training for a half Ironman coming up.

I would likely tell you about how I am nervous for my run this weekend and my busy travel coming up, but that I'm excited that my mom is coming to visit me on Saturday.  Likely, I'd also let you know that I've eaten dinner out for every single meal this week and how I feel really gross.  Yet, this week I was also able to wear some clothing that I really haven't been able to wear in a while.  Some coworkers told me that I looked "fit" and "skinny" and I am starting to feel the effects of the work I've been putting in.  I'm also scared of regressing.

But, I am tired and I am cranky.  So I am just going to go to bed and leave this all for another day.

Happy Thursday and cheers to Friday and the end of the week!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Catching up and falling behind

Okay peeps, it's been almost a week and I'm trying to catch up.  I've got a lot to say so I figure I will do it as much as I can through photos.

So, to start on Wednesday morning Jess, Aubrey and I ran 8 miles in the cold.  It was a run that felt really good and we ended pretty freezing.

And then, on Thursday, I slept in for a rest day.  In the morning I decided I wanted to get coffee on the way to work, which I don't usually do.  So I drove a different route to be able to stop at a Dunkin Donuts.  However, it wasn't until I drove PAST the Dunkin Donuts that I remembered I'd wanted to stop there.  So, I pulled off the highway an exit early to go to a different Dunkin Donuts.  However, that must have slipped my mind because I got to work, parked at the cafeteria, went inside, bought another coffee, and didn't even realize it until I got back out to my car and went to put it in my cupholder and saw the DD coffee.  Woops.

I did what any logical person would do and drank them both.  There is nothing like double fisting coffees to start your day.

Oh, and yes, I have still been starting my day with a smoothie each day.  I am legit totally obsessed and loving a frozen banana, protein powder, almond milk, and berry smoothie for breakfast each and every morning.  Yum.

Mornings have been really nice lately, actually.  I seem to get into work every day with a little pep in my step on a regular basis!  The other thing that is cool is that my mom got me this one-a-day calendar that I am absolutely loving.  It is called "Runner's High" and each day has a little quote about running.  Here are a few of my favorites.  The one about sneakers is especially true because I would never spend $125 on a pair of heels but I easily shell that out on sneakers every 6 months.

Friday I ran with my friends in the morning -- a really nice 5 miler!  Followed by work, and leaving early to head to Boston to see my group of girl friends I have had since elementary school.  I love these four ladies more than anything and it was such a fun weekend seeing them, catching up on life, love, work, friendship, wedding plans, travel, school, graduation, relationships, jewelry, fitness, and everything in between.  We are dinner on Friday night at Towne, which is also the same place that we watched the World Series win last year!  The highlight of my meal was the potato and leek soup. Yum!

I love these girls.

It made me smile thinking about my group of friends and how we all make fitness a priority.  Saturday morning we started the day with 3 girls going cross country skiing, and me doing a 12 mile run -- with KO joining for 6 of those miles.  It was a beautifully sunny day with temperatures in the 40s, which made running so nice!  However, since it was the first warm day like that, the roads were pretty icy and snow covered at times.  I had to be careful of black ice, but otherwise felt really good throughout the run.  It was also really great to have KO to join me for the 2nd half of my run.  Thank you lovely!

The rest of the day on Saturday we spent just lounging around and talking about that long list of things that I mentioned earlier.  We cooked a delicious dinner together of scallops, salad, and quinoa.  We drank wine and Prosecco and made toasts to the wonderful accomplishments our group has had over the past few months and in the months to come.  We laughed.  We cuddled.  We watched old favorite movies -- Now & Then -- and new classics that have special meaning now that we're all a part of Erin's wedding in August -- Bridesmaids.  I miss these girls already, and the silly shenanigans we always seem to bring about.

That Penguin outfit?  Yeah, that was mine from elementary or middle school when I was on the Penguin swim team.  Somehow it ended up with KO and that ended up with her this weekend, and ended up on us both.  Pretty sweet, huh? :)

Sunday we woke up early and headed over to a mexican brunch spot where I was happy to chomp up some corn tortilla creamy egg tacos, which were deeeelicious.  And following breakfast was time to get our nails one!  I decided to try and amp up Syracuse's two game losing spell with a festive orange nail polish.  It apparently worked because tonight, Syracuse won!  Woohoo.

Following our nail appointment, I gave those girls a big hug goodbye and head back to Albany with a quick stop at my dad's to give some big hugs to my little munchkin baby brothers.

How stinking cute are those boys??  Ugh, I am in love with them both!

Monday, today, was a long day as I didn't sleep well last night but it started off pretty much with a 4 mile run along with Jess.  I had a yummy green smoothie and a long day of work, following by a Syracuse win!  What could be better??

So, with that, you're pretty much caught up.  Except for that on Saturday I ate like a crazy person and just couldn't seem to stop eating the chips, dip, chocolate covered almonds, cheese, and wine that were out throughout the day.  Today was not much better as I grabbed multiple Reese's and over indulged in wine and chocolate.  It is only Wednesday and I am already -20 over on the week and there is no sign of me digging myself out with all that I have going on this week.

I guess my goal is to do the best I can and not just throw in the towel since it's already been a bad week. Now is not the week to go bust... not right before my upcoming travel :(  Ugh.  This is going to be really hard, guys!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Putting anxiety aside and living in the moment

I realized that I made a mistake yesterday when I was running/writing when I said that I had realized that I didn’t have any more long runs in Albany. I messed up my weekends/schedule and I actually have one more long run to do while I am here – my 18-miler that I will do the weekend of March 1st! Then after that, I’ll be on the road for the 5 weeks leading up to the marathon.  Yes, you read that right, travel for 5 weeks!  Normally I don't write that stuff in advance because, you know, safety and stuff.  But since my apartment will still be occupied the entire time I am gone, I feel okay writing that in advance.

However, robbers aside, I am a little worried about traveling for that long.  I am starting to get worried because I’ve been doing so well eating healthy and losing weight lately, and I've learned over the past few years that I have the tendency to lose focus when I am shaken out of a routine. And lately I’ve gotten myself into a really solid routine that is predictable, plan-able, and manageable. I eat variations of the same thing every day, know what obstacles I have in the week to plan around, my friends motivate me to get out of bed and exercise, I have enough time to do multiple workouts in a day if I want, I have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and cook 90% of my meals, if not more, at home.

Pretty soon I am going to be eating all of my meals and doing all of my workouts out of my comfort zone. This scares me for a number of reasons but I am going to do my best to stick with it. I'd love it if anyone has any suggestions on how to stick with eating healthy while on the road!  I've been able to do it for short periods of time, but not this long term.  I am thinking the marathon will be extra motivation, but I am still worrying.

Ugh, let's put anxiety about the future aside and live in the present, shall we?  One day at a time!

And speaking of the present tense, today I was chatting with a friend and realized that I yet again hid some of my shameful behavior from you, my lovely blog readers.   I really don’t think I do it on purpose, but sometimes my hindsight is viewed with rosy colored glasses.

I’ve actually known this for a long time… but when I think back on memories, I often just remember the positive things. I honestly don’t think it’s a terrible habit to have, but when I go to write my blog entries, even at just the end of the day, I sometimes forget about those not as positive things to write about. However when one of good friends today told me that she had been reading my blog and thought I was the “picture of good health.”  Although incredibly sweet, I thought, “HA! Does a picture of good health eat TWO chocolate chip gluten free cookies right out of the bakery case at the grocery store? AFTER sampling pretty much every kind of almond and chocolate chip that is in the bulk food section of the store… with no intention of even buying any of them…?” Because, yeah, I didn’t mention that when I told you about all the veggie and healthy goodness I picked up at the store yesterday.

For whatever reason I just wanted to eat everything in sight when I was at the Albany Co-Op. I mean, that happens every time I go there, which is why I don’t allow myself to go there all that often… But yeah, I did eat a little too much when I was perusing the store. Serves me right for going to the grocery store hungry. I did track what I ate – even though I really, really didn't want to. I had to estimate for all of the point values since I didn't actually measure anything and there was no nutritional value for the cookies listed.  Hopefully it was about right!

I have done a few things I am proud of and happy to share in addition to that little story though... I tried on a pair of jeans that have not fit comfortably for quite some time and they felt great!  They aren't my goal pants (still working on those) but I was still happy to have them button with ease for the first time in a while.   And, I marked my commitment to stepping AWAY from the scale with a symbolic move of removing my scale from the bathroom and putting it away under my bed.  It's always easier to remove the temptation that face it every time you walk in!

And tonight for dinner, I made myself a delicious, delicious and totally satisfying salad made up of some of those healthy things I picked up from the grocery store.  With blueberries, dark chocolate, and tea for dessert.  So yummy and enjoyable :)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A humbling 16-mile run through the wind with no medals!

Happy President's Day!  I spent most of my day off today trying to recover from yesterday's 16 mile run!  It was a pretty painful run that I seriously cannot thank Jess enough for helping me get through.  But, before that, let's just run through Saturday really quick, shall we?

Well, Syracuse won on Saturday night and I watched the game by myself at the bar with my self-allotted one glass of wine while watching.  It was another nail-biter game and it made me a little sad to think of the fact that I've watched most of these close games alone, but I try not to think about that.  It is sort of sad to go to the bar all the time by yourself, huh?  Again, it's just one of those thoughts I try not to allow in my mind and just do what I like to do.  And for me, it's watch Syracuse basketball and right now I don't have any other friends that live nearby that share that interest!

Anyways, I went home and went right to bed after the game, as I wanted a good night's rest and the girls were planning to meet at my apartment at 8:30 a.m. before heading over to the University of Albany campus, where the marathon relay we were running was scheduled to begin.  Unfortunately, I woke up to the news that Jess and I's 3rd leg of the relay was sick and not able to attend.  Which, although it is a bummer she is sick and we didn't get to see her, wasn't really a deal breaker for us as our main goal was to get 16 miles logged.  We decided that I would run the first 10 miles alone, we would run 6 miles together and Jess would run the last 10 miles of the race alone.  Since the relay was supposed to be a 10 mile, 5 mile, then 11 mile segment, I ended up putting on the race bibs for myself and my sick friend.  As Jess and I enjoyed joking, I had "two legs!"

We also joked about whether or not there would be finisher medals at the race.  We joked because the race website said MULTIPLE times in a really funny way that there were no medals to be given out, that no, they were not considering having medals in the future, and that the race only cost $20 so -- NO MEDALS!   It cracked us up and we enjoyed asking back and forth randomly, "Hey do you think there are going to be medals at the race?"

Despite the lack of medals, I was really surprised at how well the race was organized, and also surprised to find out that there were also people running the marathon as individuals.  One person I talked to before the run was planning to run the full thing as his first marathon!  It really surprised me that someone would pick a random winter marathon in Albany, NY with only 100 people as their first marathon, but hey more power to them!  Although I think I've got the right mindset picking Paris as my first :)

The race began and Jess cheered me on for the beginning, and I felt good for the first 5 miles.  However, it was cold and even worse, it was WINDY.  The course that we ran was made up of a few loops and there was one of those big digital screens that has the time and temperature on it that I kept running by.  It started at 19 degrees and by my 3rd loop was at 22 degrees.  However the wind was blowing between 15-20 miles per hour and it was just brutal. When the wind wasn't blowing it felt okay but I really was struggling when the wind was blowing.  I had a hard time getting my mindset going and the chants and mantras that helped me the week before weren't really working.  I was listening to music this time so I tried counting songs instead.  I would tell myself I just wanted to get through 5 songs before looking at my watch again and will myself from song to song.

By mile 8 I was already feeling really defeated and convinced myself to just run to Jess.  I saw her a couple times through my run and she was cheering me on and I knew I had to get to 10 miles and she would start running with me.  I kept telling myself between miles 8 and 10 to just "Run to Jess!" and "One mile til Jess!"

The first mile we ran together went by really quick mentally, but I knew that I wasn't running at a very fast pace and was concerned that Jess would mess up her run by starting off too slow with me.  Plus, the course had a 5 hour limit and I didn't want Jess to have to finish her run with a shut down race.  At almost mile 12 I told Jess for the first time I wasn't going to make it and that I thought I would have to walk.  She told me that walking wasn't a good idea, to keep going, stop worrying about her, and that her job was to get me through the next 4 miles.  She also tried to run directly in front of me to block the wind a bit and get me in her wake/draft.  Talk about a good friend, huh?  This is why we call her Coach!!!

At 13.1 (half marathon mark) I was at around 2:21ish and I started walking at the water station.  For some reason I stopped my watch for about 20 seconds as I walked through the water station.  I started running again after that telling myself that I wanted to go another mile before walking again.  I really, really wanted to finish without walking again and knew it would feel so good but I just wasn't sure if I could.  I thought about the run we did through the snow and how I wished I hadn't walked at the end but also knew that different races had different conditions.  I did tell myself a few times when the wind was bad, "You can't control the wind, but you can control your legs -- keep them moving!"

Literally, everything hurt.  I had been running with my head down for a lot of the first half of the race as I ran into the wind and my back started to feel really achey and painful and I had to force myslef to stand up tall with my chest out while I ran.  I also had put toe warmers in my shoe that somehow slid around and I could tell were causing me blisters, but I didn't think I could stop to fix and realistically start moving again.  However, at 14.1 I walked again but only for .05 miles.  I made it a half mile and at 14.65 I walked again for .05 and then somehow forced myself through the next 1.35 to hit my 16 mile mark!  I finished my 16 mile run in 2:56:40.

When I stopped running and Jess kept going, I was sooo grateful to be done and for Jess for getting me through the last 6 miles.  I knew I had about 50 minutes before she would be returning from the loop she was on to a place where I could cheer for her.  I went indoors to where the race had some snacks and grabbed water, hot chocolate, and a banana and peanut butter.  I then went out to the car and changed into non-sweaty clothes and cheered for some runners and Jess as they made their way back around (the course was made primarily of 5 mile loops.)

I went back inside for some more hot chocolate and then chatted with some friends, before returning back outside to see Jess finish the race and run the last .2 miles with her.  We crossed the finish line to not much fanfare and of course -- no medals!!!

Our official finish time was 4:47:14 for the whole marathon, so I guess that might be a good indicator of how we could possibly do in the full marathon?  I really have no clue how to judge how I will do on that day.  Some people say that it is your half marathon time doubled, plus 20 minutes.  Which is pretty accurate to that if you take my first half marathon that I finished in 2:19:17!

I'm lucky enough that Jess wasn't totally sick of me after the race and I spent the evening with her and her family with an awesome home cooked dinner, wood laying in the fetal position by the wood stove, the Olympics, and ICE CREAM.

You can't exactly see it in the picture, but I had actually bought one of these Butterfinger/Peanut Butter Cup hybrid candy bars the day before as my long run "treat" but then when Jess said she had ice cream, hot fudge, and sprinkles... I couldn't just have one or the other, so I totally took advantage of those Weight Watchers points that I'd earned and had both.  So the candy bar is broken up under that sundae and it was delicious!  I wrote about how last week it was sort of a bummer to be alone after the long run, so it was really nice to spend the rest of the day with friends!

My legs were feeling really tired at the end of the day yesterday, my back still hurt and I had a headache and just was not feeling good.  We went to bed early and as insane as it sounds, got up at 5:00 a.m. because Monday is a running day!  Jess, Aubrey and I ran 4 miles this morning in more cold and wind.   We followed it up with a trip to Starbucks, which really makes everything better and the runs a lot more fun to have that to look forward to.  We ran a little later than usual so we did finish to a beautiful sunrise!

The run this morning was really hard and I felt like crap for a lot of it.  My chest hurt and I almost felt like I was going to throw up.  I went with chamomile tea, water, and then I came home to spend some time on the couch.  My whole body actually felt so achey that I ended up making phone calls to see which locations throughout Albany could fit me in, and I went in at 1:00 p.m. for an hour long massage at maybe the 6th massage place that I called.  It wasn't the best massage of my life, but I think it helped.  I stretched some more when I came home and felt better enough to do a little grocery shopping and cooking.  I "treated" myself today to visit the Albany Co-Op which is totally awesome and I love it.  I got some yummy foods, cooked up spaghetti squash and quinoa and brussel sprouts and salad and kale and all sorts of healthy foods for the week.

I'm getting really nervous about the end of marathon training.  I realized about halfway through my run on Sunday that I didn't have any more REALLY long runs left in this weather or with Jess.  We step back this coming weekend to 12 before jumping up to 18.  I have some travel coming up so I won't be around in Albany for these coming long runs.  It's getting scary and exciting and I'm doing my best to keep my nerves in check.

After last week's confidence boosting run, this one was humbling.  I still need to take care of myself, prep myself mentally, and also I guess just accept that every day and every run is different.  I don't know if marathon day could be a day I feel great or a day I feel like I am going to cry.  I have been going back and forth throughout this training experience so it has definitely been a roller coaster ride!

And with that, I am going to turn myself in for the night.  Thank you again to my marathon training and crazy running partner in crime.  We may not have gotten a medal but I feel like I've already won!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow & Valentine's

A happy belated Valentine's Day to everyone!  I hope that your day was filled with lots of love and happiness.  If you are like me in the Northeast it was probably filled with lots of snow as well!  I swear, I won't complain forever about the snow but I do need to complain a little bit because OH MAN, the snow!  From Wednesday to Friday we got slammed with almost 2 feet of snow and that was on top of snow we already had.  There is snow everywhere right now.

Most of the sidewalks aren't even plowed.  So between the snow we had later in the week and the realllllly cold temperatures we had on Wednesday morning, it's been a few treadmill runs this week for me.  Jess and I did 8 miles on the treadmills on Wednesday morning and watched 1.5 hours of riveting women's curling USA vs. China.

Thursday was a snow day so I worked from home and on Friday I did 4 miles with Aubrey on the treadmills before starting our date night!

We had a really fun night going up to Lake George, grabbing a bite to eat, doing some shopping, and then heading back to Aubrey's to drink some wine and watch House of Cards Season 2 on Netflix!

In the morning we got up and went to a Nia class that was absolutely amazing!  I am falling more in love with Nia with every class I do.  Today's was like a therapy session, dance class, and work out all wrapped into one.  If any of you have the opportunity, look up Nia in your towns!  And for those of you local, you should totally check it out.  It's so great!

I've been relaxing the rest of the day (and maybe watching another episode or two of House of Cards...) before heading out to watch the Syracuse basketball game.  It was pushed from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. which actually I am really happy about.  I am going to watch the game and then come home and head to bed.  We have 16 miles planned for tomorrow!!!  I am feeling confident in my ability to do the run after last week's 15 miler but am nervous about some of the logistics.  We're doing a 3-person marathon relay race, but we'll all be running a little big longer than planned to get the miles in.

I have no idea how the course is going to be with all of this snow and it will be really tough to do the run on packed snow for 16 miles.  However, whatever happens, I'll figure it out and it will make me tougher.  I've also sort of accepted that not everything I can have control over.  I can't control if it is a blizzard or a sunny day, but I can do the best I can.  Which is what I will do tomorrow when I head out for 16 miles!  Today I bought a candy bar that I'm also super excited to eat after the race.  How pathetic is that?? :)

So, it's almost time to head out and watch Syracuse play NC State and I just have to say how much fun it has been to be a Syracuse fan this season.  I am so proud of my school and this team! No matter what happens the end of the season or in the March Madness tournament, this year has had some really great games.  Wednesday night's win against Pitt was UNREAL!  It looked like we were going to have our first loss and then Ennis hit a 3 point shot at the buzzer and it was just so exciting.

I loved this text message exchange between myself and Kimmy during the game.  Kimmy is who I went out to Syracuse with in January and one of my college roommates.  Text messages were flying after the win and it was such a fun moment that felt surreal into the next day.  I proudly wore my Syracuse sweatshirt while I worked from home on the couch on Thursday!

And one final thing before I sign off for the night.... did everyone try that Buzzfeed quiz that has been going around of "What state should you really be from?" or something like that?  Well I took it last night a couple of glasses of wine in with Aubrey and I felt like I won the internet getting the state I am actually from!  Rhode Island, baby!  Too funny :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Double workouts and new glasses!

Hey guys, hope you are doing well today!  I have been having a really good week and feeling really good about everything that's going on.  I have some random things to share and figured I would do it through bullets today so let's just dive right in, okay?

- For the past two days I have worked out twice each day.  Mornings and nights, people!  I ran 4 miles Monday morning and did Nia at night.  And today I did a Tough Mudder workout this morning and this evening went to the gym for my favorite teacher's spin class.  Call me crazy guys, but working out is kinda fun!  And when you do it with friends... well, it's social and it's not just a workout.  I think that living alone has been inspiring me to work out more this week.  Today, for example, I was in a good mood.  I could have just gone home at the end of the day and been alone.  But instead I went to spin class and interacted with human beings.  The exercise does my body good and seeing friends does my mind good!  Seeing friends was the only thing that got me out of bed this morning and made Nia so much more fun last night.  I am SO thankful for my workout buddies!

- The weather is a bit of a bummer lately.  Tomorrow we have 8 miles scheduled to run but we are going to play it by ear whether we are inside or outside.  It is supposed to be -8 at 6:00 a.m. and that is pretty cold.  And then on Thursday we are expecting a ton more snow.  I NEED IT TO END, PEOPLE!!!  If you've been around here for a while than you know that I don't always have the best race day luck when it comes to weather.  My first 10K was through freezing rain.  My first sprint triathlon was through a flash summer thunder and lighting storm.  And of course my first half marathon was through downpouring rain.  So I guess it just figures that I train through the coldest winter we've had in years for my first marathon.  Fingers crossed that at least this gets the bad weather karma out of my system and April 6th is blue skies in Paris!

- My glasses finally arrived!  Yesterday was two weeks since I ordered them and the eye glasses place had told me that they'd call me when they arrived in and were ready to be picked up.  After 2 weeks I called and asked when they would be ready. After being on hold for a really long time the guy came back and told me, "Oh, they actually just arrived a little earlier today, they will be ready in about 20 minutes!" And hey, call me a cynic but seriously, I doubt that's a coincidence.  Anyone else think they forgot to give me a call when my glasses were ready and that was the excuse they came up with when I called?!?  Anyways, time for their official blog debut.  What do you think??

And yes, I had a photo shoot while on hold on a conference call at work.  Thank you to my coworker for helping me capture these amazingly lovely photos.  What began as me trying to get a nice picture of me in my new glasses turned into a full flown photo shoot.

- I've been doing a lot of cooking lately.  I have reverted back to some of my old favorites like chicken sausage and some new favorites such as quinoa.  I have been really trying to eat "real food" for the most part as I mentioned yesterday and today I think was the first day I didn't "waste" any points at work on mints and chocolate and pointless things.  Well wait, maybe I cannot say that.  I did have a 2 point bag of Lay's potato chips at a meeting where lunch was provided.  I can guarantee you I would have never bought myself regular Lay's potato chips had they not been available at a meeting.  So I guess I can't say I didn't have any unplanned, "wasted" points for the day.  It was however the first day I didn't take anything from my neighbor's candy bowls in a while!  That counts for something, right?  Tonight I had some zucchini pizza bites and I loooove that there is an overflowing plate of food that I can eat all of with no guilt.  Bring on the "diet food" if this is what it is, people!!!

- Friday is Valentine's Day!  It totally slipped my mind earlier today when Jess sent out a Facebook invitation to run on Friday morning (as she always does to keep us organized) but changed it from it's usually name to "I Love Running" or something like that.  I commented asking about the name change when I was reminded that it was Valentine's Day on Friday.  Ohhhhh!!!!  Woops, I guess that's what being single gets you.  However, I do have myself a little date on Friday.

Being single for many a Valentine's Day I've gotten used to making it a day to celebrate everyone you care about, not just a boyfriend or girlfriend.  I love doing something special for friends or getting together with girl friends or family on the 14th.  Aubrey and I are going to be enjoying the next season of House of Cards on Netflix, which is coming out this week.  Cannot say that I am not excited about that!!!  And also, does anyone else still use written out planners or is it just me?  I love mine!

Hope everyone is having a great week.  Fingers crossed that the cold isn't too bad in the morning and we're able to get outside for a run!