Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Apparently, when you turn 34 your memory begins to slip.

Can anyone spot the key running gear I forgot to pack on my 34th birthday?

So, instead of logging my birthday miles, I decided to take a few minutes here and celebrat3 what birthdays are really about (and I don't mean all of the new gift cards for running clothes). Birthdays are a time for gratitude and this year, I have tons to be grateful for. So, here is a list of 34 for 34:

1.  33 - what a good year it was. Full of growth and knowledge and a little relaxing. 

2. 34 - I'm grateful just to get this year. I embrace what will come with it and I look forward to continued learning, growth, and (more!) relaxation. 

3.  My healthy body - capable of logging birthday miles.... Just not today. 

4.  Coworkers - if you have to work on your birthday, these people will make it amazing by throwing for you complete with bagels, iced sugar cookies, and mimosas. 

5. Bagels - oh bagels. You are my favorite pre-run and post-run fuel. I don't care that you get a bad rep. You are the best and I love you. 

6.  Iced sugar cookies - I'm a firm believer that birthday calories don't count, which is why I am especially grateful for you today. 

7.  Mimosas - You + me +Saturdays (okay, and Sundays) = perfection. Especially combined with a nice no. 5. 

8.  Text - Text, you were great to me today. Every time you vibrated my phone, you brought me nothing but kind messages from friends and family filled with joy and love. 

9.  Friends and Family - Duh. I am grateful for my amazing friends and wonderful family each and every single day. I know that I am blessed beyond belief to have such amazing people in my life. I am especially grateful this year because my family from out of state, whom I love very much is coming to visit this week. 

10.  Airplanes, cars, roads, all means of travel - It's been a year and a half since I have seen my brother. I am grateful for all of the modern conveniences that make travel from California to Texas possible. 

11.  Facebook - I know plenty of people look down on facebook and social media in general, but those people have clearly never celebrated a birthday on facebook. Thank you to all of my sweet, sometimes long lost friends, who took the time to wish me happy birthday today. 

12. Those gift cards for running clothes - Nike, you and I have a shopping date coming up here really soon. 

13.  My husband - After I told him that for
my birthday what I really wanted to do was go hiking (an odd request from someone who lives in one of the flattest cities in America), he took me for a weekend away and hiking Enchanted Rock.

14.  Mother Nature - You are just awesome. 

15.  The video my soul sister, Courtney, sent of her son singing me happy birthday -  His giggles in the middle still have me laughing.

16.  Travel - I started the early phases of trip planning yesterday and I'm already so exciting.  Nothing helps time fly like knowing you have a good trip in the works.

17.  Pinterest - Where I find my daily motivational quotes for my cork board. 

18.  Running-themed parties - After the party, they set up a streamer finish line for me to run through. Only time ever that I will be first across a finish line. 

19.  This blog - I am grateful to have a place to explore my feelings, creativity, and even my doubts.

20.  Readers of this blog - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

21. (Staying with the blog theme) The Blogger App - For allowing me to write all of this from the elliptical machine, my couch, or the car.  Not that I blog and drive.  I meant, for allowing me to write this blog from the passenger's seat while someone else drives.

22.  This is harder than it looks.

23.  Flash sale sites - Because every now and then a girl needs to buy herself her own birthday present.

24.  Fresh Diet meal delivery - It has been so wonderful for the last two weeks to never have to think about groceries or cooking.
25.  The end of Fresh Diet meal delivery - You can only eat pre-packaged meals so many times before you're over it.  I still don't look forward to the grocery store or cooking, but I'm a little sick of the delivery stuff.
25.  My husband (again) - After I decided I was too tired to go out to eat, he went and picked up Mexican food (specifically, queso) for me to eat on the couch.
26.  Queso - Everyone from Texas should understand this.
27.  My couch - I'm going to replace you very soon, but I am grateful for all of the lazy nights you let me put my feet up and relax while eating queso.  Okay, so the last part has only happened once in all these years, but I am grateful for it anyway.
28.  My hair - Okay that's not really mine.  I asked my coworkers (see item 4) for help with this list (I'm stalling out) and they are wonderfully sweet and said I should be grateful for my hair.  Which, I am.  Most days. 
29.  My husband (yup - he's pretty awesome) - For, spur-of-the-moment, taking me out to lunch for my birthday.  I rarely leave my desk for lunch and more rarely see my husband during work hours.
30.  Houston Running Calendar - It is so nice to be able to find a list of all (err..most) of the upcoming races in my area.  No need to wait for emails or scour a million different places.  It's all right there.  Time to pick my next run.
31.  24 Hr. Gyms - So that I can make up those birthday miles first thing in the morning.
32.  Birthday Cake - I didn't get any of you this year, but I haven't given up.  You give me reason to turn birth-DAY into birth-WEEK.  Bring on the cake!
33.  Netflix - It was great to sit on my couch eating queso and watching episodes of Orange is the New Black back-to-back.  Yes, I know I'm way behind.  No spoilers please!
34.  I am grateful this list is over!  I may have oversold myself on coming up with 34 things to be thankful for on my 34th birthday.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some gratitude.  Gratitude is everything.  But, whew, I'm glad this list is done.  I bet you are too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Run of the Irish

I hope you all got in your lucky St. Patrick's Day run. It feels good to get in some exercise before we all take the day to pretend we are Irish, doesn't it?
I will take any excuse to dress theme-y. 
And, there's nothing wrong with a little post-run carb loading...

Also, next year, can someone please get me this tank?  I promise to wear it gratefully, while doing both activities. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring In My Step

Spring rolled into town this weekend and it was glorious. 

You can't help but run with an extra spring in your step on days like today. Days like today are fuel for runners.  It's physically impossible not to smile as you stride with the sun on your face and Spring all around.  Winter has been rough on my running this year. I pretty much gave up the outdoor long run back in December, but with Spring arriving at the door, I am running happy and happily running.

Is it Spring yet where you are?  If not, hang in there.  It's coming and with it the extra spring in your step.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Here Goes Something Fresh

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up exactly. 

I've really been enjoying the denial that goes along with sweater weather.  Sure, I've had that little voice in in my head telling me that I've been overindulging and adding a few winter pounds, but that voice has been so easily ignored while I've been covered up with bulky sweaters, puffy jackets, and oversized scarves.  
But then there always comes that moment.  It's usually just an sideways glance in the mirror when you are least expecting it. It's that horrible, shocking (but not really) moment when you actually see what you've done to yourself since the holidays marked the start of the "nobody's seeing this in a bikini anytime soon" season. 

I had that moment recently. It wasn't pretty. But it was motivating.  With that one simple glance, I realized it was time to get into action.  Come Spring Break, I don't think you can blame the extra lbs. on holiday weight anymore.
Drastic times call for drastic measures.  Obviously, my, "I'll just eat one less cookie a meal," approach to shedding the weight isn't working.  I decided to try something a little different.  After a quick internet search of meal delivery services, I settled on Fresh Diet. 

I've signed up for daily delivery of three meals and two snacks for fourteen days.  All meals are made fresh and delivered to my doorstep daily.  Each menu is to stay within a certain caloric limit, making (hopefully!) dropping those first few pounds a little easier. 
My first two deliveries came yesterday.  I will keep you updated on how it goes.  I'm a picky eater and have little self-control, so this could be an exercise in failure, but the way I see it:
  • Best case scenario:  I lose a couple of the winter pounds and get back into a healthier way of eating.
  • Worst case scenario:  I don't lose any weight.
Either way, it's going to be fourteen days of no grocery shopping and no cooking!  I already feel like a winner.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mo' Running

Let's face it: Sometimes MOtel running isn't quite as luxurious as you would hope.  Sometimes they don't have any MO than the very, very basics.

Nonetheless, I found myself out of town yesterday morning and in need of an early run and this place was it for me (there was still snow on the ground in Dallas, and this Texas girl doesn't run in the white stuff).  To be fair though, you don't need a whole lot in a hotel gym. A treadmill, a fan, and maybe some water. And, while this one was small and simple, it had everything I needed. 

The worst part was that I forgot to pack my earbuds. A tune-less run can really be a torturous run.  Luckily, the place I was staying piped music into the fitness center ("center" being a really generous description of "room"). Or, at least, I thought it was lucky until I realized what exactly they were playing. 

Really, it was terrible. Go ahead, look it up, give it a listen. This song is bad. It's not a running song, it's not a walking song, and it's not an elliptical song. It has no place in a fitness center. 

So, instead of music, I tried focusing on the TV instead. Of course, with no volume, TV isn't very entertaining. I stopped it on this infomercial and tried to use the "after" photos as inspiration. 

But then I switched to a baking show. Sweets are definitely more my motivation style.   

Here is my point in all of this:  You don't always get the most ideal conditions.  Things aren't necessarily going to be exactly like you'd like them.  Sometimes you'll have to push yourself to find even the smallest shred of motivation to keep going.  But, the basics will be there for you.  You will always have what you need.  And then it's up to you to make the MOst of it.
***Side note: Really, I was trying everything just to avoid focusing on this.  Listen motel/hotel/fitness center designers, no one needs a mirror 3 feet from their face as they run.  It's always awkward and sometimes, like when it's really, really early in the morning and you have no make up on and you're really tired and looking a little rough, it's downright depressing to watch your eye-bags bounce up in down with each step.  So, for the sake of my sanity, can we agree to keep the mirrors to the side or back of us?  Or at least get some better lighting??

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Respect Must Be Paid

This morning, my mom informed me that today is Momofuko Ando's birthday. Respect for Mr. Ando must be paid. 

Who is Momofuko Ando?  Other than being the man with the most fun name  ever, Mr. Ando is the inventor of my all time favorite post-run refuel meal. 

That's right, today I celebrate Momofuko Ando's birthday because without him there would be no Ramen and I would be way less happy after my runs.

Here is to you Mr. Ando. You will forever have a place in my heart (and stomach).  

Yeah, yeah. I know it's probably the weirdest and most unhealthy post-run craving. But, it's my craving and I'm totally cool with it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

You Can't Help But

You can't help but run happy when the weather delivers you a gift like yesterday. 

Ignore that is says it's mostly cloudy.  I forgot to take the screenshot until over an hour after my run and it was sunny as could be while I ran.

Mother Nature gave us a little preview of what's to come this Spring and I am soooo ready!  I heard someone announce that it was "hot out there," and I promptly left the office, headed home, and slipped on my running shorts.  I have been craving some warm weather running and I soaked it all in yesterday.  As you know, I've been a treadmill runner this winter and after yesterday's run, I am so looking forward to ditching the 'mill and getting back out on the roads. 
By the way, I just googled it and we officially have 16 days left until Spring.  We can all make it 16 more days, right??  Remind me of this later in the week when the next cold front comes through.
On a side note, you may remember that I've mentioned before that running shorts have never been my jam.  But, I think I'm finally coming around.  My husband gave me the above shorts for Christmas (Christmas is the greatest time for runners!) and I LOVE them.  They are so lightweight you don't feel them at all.  And the band is secure without being tight.  They were wonderful.  I think they are the Nike Rivals, but I will double check for you.  Now if only running clothes makers would start making zippers to fit the iphone 6, then I would be set.  Can I get an amen on that?