Saturday, April 30, 2011

Procrastinating Never Tasted So Good

Lots of pretty charts! (Or effects of
weather on marathon time)
That's right, I'm procrastinating. I have the entirety of my grade for one class due on Monday. Pretty much, I choose my own topic (done months ago), research (started months ago...then put aside), create a powerpoint of images to use (meh), write 10 1-page papers with a newsletter format, and finally bring it all together with a paper approximately 10 pages in length. What have I done so far? Ummm, I have one of the 1-pagers done and a few images on my powerpoint. I do have a few websites written down, but all-in-all I have my work cut out for me tonight/tomorrow. That's right, still in procrastination mode. This semester I have mastered the art of the time-crunch or so I tell myself. Paper due on Monday? Start it Sunday night--that's how I roll. Yeah, I know--this isn't the best strategy...but in order for me to get some "me-time" in there, I have to do that. Does it usually work? Yeah, works out pretty well.

Better or worse than indoors?
So what's my plan today and what have I already done today? Well, my plan for today is to get the 1-pagers knocked out--done-zo! All the while, collecting the images to put in the powerpoint. It's kind of a simultaneous task, if you ask me. Unfortunately, I have work tonight from 4:30 to 9, so tonight will be a long night. Then tomorrow--kill the 10-pager. My only sigh of relief comes from the fact that, in the beginning of the semester, my professor said it doesn't have to be 10 pages. He doesn't want longer papers, but if we can fit it in under 10 pages, then that's okay. So I've already decided I'm going to write about 8 pages--I think that sounds like a good plan. The course topic is biometeorology (the interaction of the atmosphere and the environment), so naturally I chose a topic looking into the climate's effect on exercise. I was hoping to find more about strength training and lifting, because I think cardio has already been overdone for the most part, but it looks like I will be adding cardio to my paper. That being said, I'm also hoping to find something about climate-controlled exercise (i.e., cardio inside a gym vs. cardio outdoors). If I find anything interesting (which I'm sure is bound to happen), I'll let you know!

On to what I've already done today: woke up at 7 (despite the desire to sleep for an extra hour), got to the gym for abs, calves, and cardio on my own, then worked out with Kevin. Went home to shower, power up with a protein shake... Then off to meet my new contact/trainer who is creating my nutrition plan and breaking down my workouts. This is where everything got a bit tricky a couple weeks ago. I was afraid to mention anything on here, because I never really know who reads this and I didn't want to start any unnecessary drama. But anyway, here is the deal... Kevin (the one I've been training with for months) left Gold's the other week--he still works out there and thus he still "trains" me by working out with me--but due to unforeseen circumstances, he doesn't have the time to be a personal trainer there. Meanwhile, one of my friends who used to work at the desk at Gold's moved to another gym, Total Performance. We got into a facebook wall conversation, and one of the trainers at Total Performance suggested I come in for a workout there--this guy, also named Kevin (but for lack of confusion I'll refer to him as Pleasants), also used to work at Gold's. Pleasants is a bodybuilder himself, in that he has done shows previously and is looking to compete again in the fall/winter. When I met with him (keep in mind Kevin was out of town so I desperately needed a workout), we talked about my figure competition and he said I was behind for the June 12 show. I was already doubting the June date anyway, so I had a backup plan--a July show. Pleasants expressed a desire to work with me creating my nutrition plan and my workout plan, but not necessarily training with me. Not to mention, two of his clients won their class last weekend (one of the two also winning overall for figure).

Don't get side tracked, but: Can you spot the puppy??
So now here I am, confused as hell, because I'm working out with Kevin, but being "trained" (in the sense of planning) by Pleasants. I know this phrase isn't exactly fitting, but I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard spot. I love working out with Kevin, and he pushes me and guides me, but as far as competition knowledge, we were just winging it a bit. And I do like having everything mapped out for me by Pleasants. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to stop working out with Kevin, but I can't help but feel a little guilty that it's no longer just him and me going through this process. I don't want it to seem like I didn't think he was good enough to I went elsewhere--because that is completely NOT the case! As my friend reminded me to ease my feelings of guilt, I had already been looking to get a nutrition plan in the beginning, and since Kevin is my trainer, the two are not exactly the same. Yet I still can't help feeling like that backstabbing b*tch from high school. What do you think--should I feel guilty? Should I not? I haven't told Kevin yet, because once again I'm afraid it will seem like he wasn't good enough (again, definitely not true--I've come a LONG way from where I've started because of him!), but I know I have to (do I really??). How do I tell him? For me, this is all about achieving my goal, but I don't want to hurt people to get there.

This past week with the carb depletion--that was the first step Pleasants suggested to get me on track with prep. Which now that I think of it, I think I'm just really comfortable training with Kevin, so I felt like it was okay to cheat because I didn't have someone to hold me accountable. While both Kevin and Pleasants are very muscular (duh, they're trainers), I'm more intimidated by Pleasants--if I cheat, I'm afraid of the consequences, haha. But back to carb depletion--today is the last day, and I've seen some major results. I've dropped some pounds and I just FEEL leaner. Like really feel leaner. So I know he knows what he's doing, and I trust the process. On the other hand, Kevin makes me feel stronger... Tomorrow is my first carb load--just in time since I'll need them to keep my paper-induced stress levels down tomorrow--and the cycle begins!

Well this took up a good amount of time (again, more procrastinating), but I wanted to post before I got into the monotony of researching and paper-writing. Looks like tomorrow is going to be a library day--hello, Clark! And good thing I have my trusty coffee pot and a boat-load of carbs to look forward to! YES!

P.S. Sorry for the Jekyll & Hyde post! I'm just caught up in my head and it's no good! :( Help me!!
Arhie is happy too--SLEEPING on the windowsill!
P.P.S. Still keeping with the optimism from yesterday though, so if there's nice weather where you are, go out and enjoy it for me! And don't let my confusion fool you, I'll still a happy gal! And I feel a little better getting this all out!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Love List

With the semester winding down, I'm stressed beyond belief in a good mood! So given my mood, I present to you my Love List:

Things I LOVE

  • Severe weather--everything about it is just so interesting. Tracking a storm via radar, watching it come in, the warnings, the anticipation! I honestly can't say that I was scared at all over the past few days with all our severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. The only time I really thought about it was this morning when I was heading back from the gym, in a time crunch for work, and had to shower...while lightning was flashing. What did I do? I showered.
  • My blogs--both reading and writing. The community I have scoured the internet to find stumbled upon is amazing, to say the least. Each and every day I'm filled with new inspiration and new recipes. And the occasional new friend :) As long as you all keep writing, I will keep reading!
  • The outdoors--Spring has sprung and, despite some bouts severe weather, we have seen high temps and beautiful blue skies. Perfect for enjoying some outdoor activities! My personal favorite time(s) to go outside to run are right around sunrise (6:30am) and right around sunset 7:30-8pm). Since there's still light out, I'm awake and I usually am able to catch a cool breeze. Archie even likes to accompany me on occasion!
  • Getting my sh*t together--for the past several weeks I've been attempting to get through my competition prep, but I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. Now, with a new nutrition plan and more direction (and a delayed comp date), I feel good! Better than ever and more optimistic!
  • Coffee--enough said.
  • Classes ending--despite the massive amounts of work I have to finish before Monday, I am SO excited to be nearly done with college! Don't get me wrong, it's very bittersweet and I will miss the freedom, but I'm excited to have some time to myself and really put all my energy into my first figure competition. If anything, I think this could help me get that extra edge over other girls in the competition, because I will have more time to devote to it.
  • Clark--no, this is not a boy. This is the library/building that I have a lot of classes in. I like to get here early (yup, I'm here now, and my first class isn't for another hour), and just relax. There's a beautiful mural room filled with images of naked Romans and it's a good place to people watch get work done.
  • Intense workouts--the kind where you can barely move afterward. The kind that makes you want to skip showering and just get in bed and sleep already. The kind where you feel it for days afterward. The kind where you almost wish you don't have to finish, but you really do and really want to. That's the kind of workout I'm talking about.
  • LOFT--I work here, I shop here. I probably spend more than I should here. Except I've cut myself off sadly. Luckily, I work with some of the most amazing, fun girls, so it typically doesn't feel like work at all!
Well that's just a taste of the things I love, but those are fresh on my mind right now. Especially the intense workouts and the end of classes. It's no secret that my energy levels were dragging yesterday, though somehow I still wasn't craving the carbs that I'm missing. I got in both my cardio sessions, though not at such a high level as I'm used to (poor leggies were still recovering), and more. I was rushing a little bit to get from the gym to training, back home to shower/prep for the day, to work then class (which I found out was cancelled--phew!) to the internship. Needless to say, when I got out of the shower, I was STARVING! Maybe that helps to explain why the pants I wore yesterday--ones I wore just a few weeks ago--are huge! Which brings me to...

All my good body parts are shrinking! My boobs are already gone. And I don't have the funds to buy new bras...I tried hinting to my mom that my bras are to big. I went as far as to show her. Her response? "There's nothing in there!" My point exactly! So I'm just wearing what I have (thank goodness for push-ups). Now?? My bum is shrinking! That's my best body part (or so I've been told)! What am I going to do without it? Sigh. I'm really not that disappointed, since this is part of the results I've wanted to see, but it is a little shocking. Getting LEAN!

What was the part of your body you were most upset/shocked to see go??

P.S. No pics right now--too lazy :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Disgust Myself

Fresh to death!
This is one of those "you know you're a figure competitor when..." moments. I just dropped a piece of mustard-covered ground turkey on the ground. I picked it up (hey, 5 second rule, right??) and ate it. Let's be real, if I only get so much per meal, I'm surely not going to let any food go to waste. And surprisingly, it tasted just like the rest of the ground turkey I was eating instead of tasting like dirty floor. I also roasted some kale that I got at Giant earlier today, and oh my God I am in love! Now, I've definitely had roasted kale before--it's pretty amazing, so I can't resist, but I'm used to scrawny leaves that almost look like they have been in the store coolers for too long. Today I accidentally purchased organic kale, and I saw a HUGE difference! The crisper, greener leaves should have been the first sign that I would never go back to regular kale. However, when I went to prep it for the oven, it only took me two leaves to fill up my entire baking pan! It would normally take me like 5 leaves of the other crap kale to fill up the same baking pan. Even though it was a mistake purchasing the organic and is a dollar more per pound it was definitely worth it. Never going back to regular.

I hope you're smiling!
This also is the perfect time to mention that, for once, I actually forecasted today correctly. No, not the weather, rather how my day would turn out. It started with my run--nailed it! Then as I was getting ready for class, I turned on last night's episode of Glee in the background--loved it! The 2 minute presentation I had in my class? Well, to get into a little more detail, we had a "city meeting" style discussion about coalbed methane extraction and fracking along the North Fork Flathead River (I know, you're about to fall asleep of boredom, but please stay with me!). We had to adopt a persona, so naturally I chose one of a girly girl resident only in the area because "the guy to girl ratio was high" aka the ultimate place to meet a husband. I had the class cracking up--humor and sarcasm the two things I hold most dear go a long way!

Skip ahead a couple hours and the professor for my next class was absent and sent his awesome T.A. to fill in for him. My friend actually texted me with the following statement: "You know it's gonna be a good day when Aleks (the TAs name) is here to lecture." To which I responded: "I actually forecasted this morning that today was going to be a good day!" Yes, it's silly, but it totally fits in with this story. Following class, my friend, Meryl, came over to photograph me for her photography course (I promised her I would help out). I'm really interested to see the results! She already dropped off the film to be developed, so all I have to do is wait a few days and she will have the pics all scanned and sent to me.
Meryl, the lovely photog & I back in the fall

And now? I wait til I digest my food and the gym crowd dwindles. I'll be heading in for my second run and a shoulder workout around 8pm. Until then, I apparently have to do a "factory reset" to my Droid to hopefully fix the numerous glitches it has been making. Fingers crossed that it doesn't work so I can just send it in and get a replacement!

Keep On Truckin'

Caffeine goodness!
That's my motto for this week: Keep on truckin'. So far, even with my carb depletion, my energy levels have remained high. Thank goodness for coffee--caffeine is like my drug. I need it and I want it and I have to have it! Okay, okay, I'm really not that bad, but I do enjoy my coffee. Other forms of caffeine just aren't the same. Something about a warm cup of joe is just...comforting. Especially the flavor-infused kinds. Today I opened a bag of Hazelnut Cinnamon coffee, added a touch of sugar-free hazelnut syrup--delicious!

I also managed to get my run in pretty early today--headed out at 6:45, ran for a half hour, and managed to stay dry (aka the rain held off til I was done). It was a good feeling to be done with cardio that early. I'm normally up around that time now anyway, so it works out well. It was a little funny though, because Charlottesville is full of so many runners, but I saw maybe one on my run this morning. Interesting.

That's a creepy leprechaun...
On a different note, I tried both my new protein powders yesterday and I am in love!! The rocky road whey protein powder seriously tastes like rocky road! The first thing I said (while at my internship) when I sipped it was "Oh my God, I taste marshmallows!" Which then spurred a conversation about how marshmallows are fat-free and then somehow Lucky Charms came up... Needless to say, I'm sticking with Optimum Nutrition from now on. Then after my second workout last night, I tried the casein protein (chocolate cake batter flavored) by making a protein pudding. Also delicious! I do have a question though--I heard there was a way to make protein pudding without using actual pudding mix--anyone know how?? Mine tastes good, but it's not thickening up like it should. So confused.

Well, I have to get ready for a 2 minute presentation in one of my classes, but I hope you enjoy your day! I should have more interesting things to post on later this week :) Sorry I'm a bit boring right now, sigh. Oh, and my only problem this week: resisting the urge to step on the scale. Weigh-in is NOT an everyday thing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Changes Galore!

So much to do, so little time! Who needs an extra hour in each day? I need like 3 extra! Classes are winding down and I'm simultaneously getting nitty gritty with my training and prep. This week: carb depletion! So far? Not too bad. I didn't really have any caffeine yesterday (okay, okay, I had a couple sips of caffeinated tea yesterday afternoon), but I felt okay by the afternoon evening. I hadn't really been training as I should be, so yesterday was the first day of my two-a-days and the point of this week is to make up for "lost" time. I say lost in quotations, because it's not that I haven't been doing the workouts, but rather I've been going at them in a way that isn't giving me the results I need. In addition to that, I am going to be getting my meal plans from another bodybuilding/figure trainer, but more on that later this week.

Today is Day 2 of my new workout style and my carb depletion, and I'm still feeling good! Haven't fallen asleep in class or anything like that yet. Although, I did mean to get up at 5:30 to go for my first 30 minute run this morning, but when I let the pup out and realized it was still dark, I changed my mind. I didn't feel like running on a treadmill and I had to be at work pretty early this morning, so I didn't get my cardio in until around noon. Better late than never. Something else I have been underestimating--stretching. Apparently my body is not flexible whatsoever. I blame 4 years of track and cross country back in high school. Now that I think about it, maybe that's why I was a terrible swimmer back then (yeah, I swam for 3 of those 4 years too, before running took over my life). By the time I was done with everything at the gym today, I was running late for class--granted I had an hour to get ready, but in that time I would have to be internship appropriate too. So wasn't gonna happen. Hence, me missing class. Oops.

When I got home though, there was a LOVELY package waiting for me...from! Gotta love how speedy they are! I placed my order yesterday--whey & casein protein powders (I went with Optimum Nutrition), Scivation Xtend, and BSN CellMass--and this morning when I checked the tracking info, it said it was already in route! New fave website (if it wasn't already--wait, that's a lie, I love this website and all my lovely blogs!)!! However, I'm poor now. Sigh, looking for a second part-time job until I can find a full-time career. So I sort of have 2 job searches going on simultaneously.

Anyway, I have to head to the Newsplex now, can't be late! Just wanted to fill you all in on the changes to my training/prep. Sorry I don't have time to add pics, but I will really try to post a bit later!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Home for the Holiday

Ah, finally relaxing in Virginia Beach with my mom and our two pups (she owns Archie's brother, Murdoch)! I learned my lesson from my drive to Harrisonburg last weekend, so I made a point of stopping to use the restroom on my way down--twice. In 3 hours. I usually like to drive straight through without stopping, but when a girl's gotta go, a girl's gotta go!

Archie's obviously not very happy with me.
It's been nice just spending time with my mom so far. Yesterday the pups went in to get groomed. Archie went in looking like an overgrown bush of fur and came out...BALD! Eek! But he's so soft and he's still my little gentleman. I think he was a bit mad at me on the car ride home, and not to mention he was exhausted from hanging around all the other doggies at the pet groomers. My mom has been trying to steal him from me and I have been debating whether she should watch Archie for the next month until I'm done with exams and all moved into the new place. But I really don't have exams and I'd be so sad without the cutie. And now that he's all groomed, he's ready to strut his stuff! Not to mention he's my new running buddy.

The other nice thing about being home is that there's a Trader Joe's and my mom buys me some groceries--there isn't one in Charlottesville, but supposedly they are planning to build one within the next year or so. I got some essentials and helped my mom find some healthy choices for herself. She's trying to lose weight and even though she doesn't listen to me half the time I have been telling her what to look for and what she should stay away from. It's a bit hard though, because I've been looking at products for he from a future-competitor standpoint and she just wants to get healthy/fit.
All curled up and nowhere to go!

Last night we did have a long discussion about cardio and weight training though. The gym my mom goes to down here has a program where you get one free training session per month. The trainers write up a card with exercises/reps/weight amounts so you can reference that while you are working out. It's alright in theory, but it doesn't target specific body parts and is more of a "total-body toning" sort of thing. My mom has kept all her cards, so she cycles through them every so often, modifying the reps and weights, but to work off of one card day after day for an entire month isn't going to do anything. The trainer she sees once a month also doesn't incorporate free weights into her workout, so I was telling her the importance of doing so. I also suggested that she switch up her cardio, and although she said she does, I'm trying to get her to understand the importance of pushing herself outside her comfort zone. I may make a preliminary workout/diet for her for a week/month and see if she likes it.

Graduation dress??
It's kind of funny because since I've been training, I've really wanted to help out other people with their fitness goals. A few coworkers at LOFT have been asking me for tips and I'm always willing to help, but none of them go to the same gym as me. I've almost gone as far to do a plank behind the registers (when there was no one in the store) in a dress to show my assistant manager how she can help tighten her core since she had an adorable baby boy several months ago. I've been toying with the idea of taking more classes in either exercise science or nutrition so I can get a degree in that field, but I would have to go through James Madison University to do so, and both traveling there and the cost could be an issue. We will see--that's an issue for another blog post at a later date.

Before my mom and I head out (we are thinking of meeting up with my sister at her school about a half hour away for a baseball game-- LOVE baseball!), I do want to mention that I finally talked to Kevin about the July show. I don't know why I was so nervous about bringing it up. But he said that if I don't feel ready, that's definitely best and the extra few weeks will definitely help. I mentioned my qualms about not looking like I fit in up there with the other girls, and how my diet isn't where it should be. The thing is, I'm eating the right foods, but with classes, it's been a little restricting, so I find myself eating a lot of supplemental protein products--bars, shakes, etc.--rather than actual lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and ground turkey. So that HAS to change, and will be easy to do so once classes end--so soon! We also both agreed that it's hard since I do have a lot going on in the month of May. I'm so relieved that I've made this decision! When I get back to Charlottesville I'm meeting up with someone to discuss nutrition and prep further, so I can't wait!

Archie & I say Happy Easter!
And now--take me out to the ball game! But please don't buy me any peanuts OR Cracker Jacks! Enjoy your Saturday!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting My Head Straight

Sorry I've been MIA for a few days, but I have some good news and some bad news. You know what I was hinting to for the past week? I think I've finally figured things out, so I'm ready to let you all know what's going on. I've been filled with frustration for the past week because I haven't been feeling great about my progress and I've been doubting whether or not I will be ready for my competition by June 12. This is something I've been feeling/thinking for a while, and I've decided that what I need to do is take a few steps back and start over. It won't really be fully starting over, as I do have all the training I've already done, so I'm at a better "starting point" than I previous was (having just come back from Spring Break when I started prep back in March). I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and confused when it comes to this decision, but I feel better knowing that the competition I had first looked into doing was in July rather than June.

To add on to the uncertainty of this decision, Kevin was out of town this past weekend and I was just recently able to get back to training with him. So that meant that, even though I had been having this internal debate, I wasn't able to bounce the idea off him. I still haven't broached the subject with him, but I'm hoping to do so later today. I'm definitely nervous/anxious to see what he says. And a little scared. I don't know why--I just don't want him to think I'm all talk and no action. I'll keep you posted.

Why have I been feeling bad about this? Where did my worries about my progress in my given timeframe come from? Well, it's just the little things here and there that I've noticed (and some big things):
  1. I know this first one is ridiculous, but you know all those fitness magazines (like Oxygen, for example) that show the fitness models going through workouts? Well, I look at what they are lifting, and I look at what I'm lifting and I just don't compare.
  2. Kevin has pointed out one or two women in the gym who do/have done figure competitions, and they are SO lean yet SO built, and I know I have a ways to go before I look like that.
  3. I gained five pounds over Spring Break, so not only did I already have to lose those five pounds and get back to my normal weight, but I also had to drop the body fat that I needed to from my pre-Spring Break physique.
  4. Another comparison, but when I met with Tracy this weekend for posing, my upper body was significantly smaller than hers (muscle-wise), and I know I need to build muscle before I enter my show.
  5. I also spoke with a friend of a friend who trains figure competitors and does bodybuilding himself, and we both agree that my nutrition, although good for becoming "fit" is not spot-on and I need to rework that in order to give it my best. I also need to rework my workout schedule so I'm burning more fat instead of muscle. Not to mention I haven't been supplementing besides protein, so that needs to change.
  6. Since I'm putting all this time, money, and effort into this competition, I want to do WELL. I want to place (fingers crossed!!), and I sure as hell don't want to embarrass myself. I want to go out there looking like I belong, not like I was unprepared and decided "What the heck, I'll do this because it looks fun." I'm a competitive person in everything that I do--prime example is that I was my high school valedictorian (I am normally more modest, but people tell me I shouldn't hide that fact)--and I want success.
I really have been enjoying all I've been doing so far--the training, the nutrition--but I just know that I'm not quite ready. Going through all of this has made me realize that I may want to do something entirely unrelated to my soon-to-be Envi Sci degree with nutrition or training as a career. They say you should do what you love right? In the meantime, my job hunt continues. 

I think that the date change is what's best for me, and it definitely takes pressure off since the competition would have been just 3 weeks after graduation. May is already a hectic month for me--yes, I do not have exams, but I have to find a career, I am going to see a competition in Richmond on the 7th, I'm running a mud run on the 13th, and then graduation is the following weekend. And I know I'm forgetting something, but I'm pretty sure I have a commitment the last weekend of May too. The only thing that has taken pressure off is that I FINALLY SIGNED MY LEASE TODAY!!! Ohhh that's right--that's what I have to do between graduation and the end of the month--move! Granted, it's only a few blocks away, but I don't like moving. My brother does have a truck, so Alex, if you are reading this and want to help me move...I'll pay you in either A. dog-sitting or B. beer (that I can't drink) or C. sisterly love. So you can see that I have my hands full. But Archie and I are going home to visit my mom tomorrow through the weekend, so hopefully that will relieve some stress!
Feeling a little better lovin' on the pup!

I would love to hear your opinion though--what do you think about the competition date change?? What should I change up if I do decide to go with the later date show?

P.S. I saw a black cat as I pulled into my driveway after work tonight--I'm not very superstitious, but I hope I don't have bad luck now!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Better than Homework

Updating my blog is always better than doing my homework in my opinion. In this case, I have a 3-4 page paper for which I'm supposed to research the ownership behind a news article--any news article--in order to demonstrate my knowledge of political economy (or something like that). Sigh. I haven't even started. Instead, I've gone to Target to return some items, cooked, worked out at the gym, and now simultaneously watching trashy CW shows and writing this.

I'm just gonna come out and say I need to stop calling if it's going to be a good or bad day. It always goes against what I say. Not that today was a bad day, but it just didn't go as I planned and now I'm just frustrated. Which is possibly why I'm procrastinating on that darn paper or more likely just because I don't feel like doing it. And I'm eating carbs at 9pm--granted it's SmartPop popcorn, but it's still BAD. I'm falsely justifying it by saying that it's fuel for this paper I need to write tonight. My poor attitude is somewhat related to the uncertainty I mentioned on Friday, and I don't even know what to think of it. I thought I would have my answer today, but I'm still left hanging. I really wish I could say more right now, because I know that you lovely fellow bloggers will be here to support me, but I don't want to say anything if nothing changes for the worse.

But enough of that, I won't let this get to me--with time I'll figure it out. On to other topics. Saturday morning I was on the treadmill at the gym, and it was like I had a flashback. I was back in high school, a senior, racing around my school's track. And I missed it. Back then (in 2007), I enjoyed running--track and cross country--everything about them was just a part of me. It was second nature. Yes, there were the days that I dreaded going to practice, and there were (rarely) the days that I skipped didn't make it to practice, but at the end of the day--or more like the end of the season--I looked back and was not only proud of the time I put in, but I was happy to be so passionate about something.

My coach & I at one of the indoor meets
Eventually running went by the wayside and was replaced with an occasional trip to the gym at UVa. Looking back, I wish I had kept with it. But I had let my ego and my pride get the best of me during my last season of indoor track back in high school when my coach cut my event from the regional meet because all the other girls in my relay had other events and he didn't want to wear them out. It made me feel expendable and he made it clear who was more important. Now that I think about it, it was more than that--I had drastically improved my speed and endurance between my junior and senior year of high school. I had spend the summer in San Antonio and while I was there I took a running camp with my cousin. More so than that, I was active every day, multiple times a day. So it was only natural that I improved. And yet, when it came time for the awards banquet and MVP and Coach's Award were announced, I was overlooked for a girl that constantly skipped practices. Yes, her times were better than me, but I always came in right after her (out of the girls on my team), and I was constantly the deciding factor for our team winning the meets (for the better). In between all this, I told my coach that I wanted to run here at UVa, and all he said was that I would have to try out as a walk-on. However, he was perfectly fine pointing out scouts to other girls who had no interest in running in college. Needless to say, I was more than fed up.
Oh how I miss XC meets!

One day during the spring outdoor track season, a couple weeks after having completed the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon (my 1st one!), I just decided not to go back. I didn't tell my coach, I just stopped going. I sincerely wish I would have talked to my coach about my frustrations, though I don't think it would have helped. But it would have been more mature than just leaving my team high and dry, and for that I definitely owed them an apology. By keeping my frustrations to myself, I made running a chore instead of a passion. As the months between high school and college passed, I found myself running less and less. I tried one practice for Club Cross Country when I got to UVa, but it was too hard, especially since Virginia Beach is flat. I didn't go back.

Training for this competition has brought a lot of memories back to me, because I live for competition. I used to LOVE road races--5Ks, the 1/2 marathon, etc. Now? I would be ashamed of my time. I don't run 8-10 miles at a time and I don't have a team to pace with. However, I do want to get back into it. And luckily the figure competition has forced me to since running is the best form of cardio (in my opinion). I want running back in my life just as I want competition back in it. I can't go through a single workout without creating some sort of challenge for myself--which is why my cardio plans never go as planned. I try to see how far I can push myself to prove my strength (or endurance). Slowly but surely, I'm coming back!

My name is Liz Kurland, and you can catch me on the stage on June 12th! Until then, I will be running the roads of Charlottesville and the treadmills of Gold's. :)

P.S. My friend Liz (same name, different gal) is biking the US for MS this summer! She's AMAZING, so if you're into biking (or just like to see some beautiful VA scenery via her blog), check her out!!

I Almost Peed Myself on the Interstate!

It's true! Yesterday was the first time I have driven semi-long-distance since I started prep. It was only an hour drive, but I was trying to keep hydrated, so my gallon jug was my trusty travel companion. No, I didn't buckle him in, though that would have been a smart thing to do. But anyway, before I set off, I went to the bathroom--twice. I was going to meet my posing coach, Tracy, up in Harrisonburg, and I was slightly familiar with the area since my best friend goes to college up there at James Madison University. Well, the directions I had printed off told me to get off on East Market Street but didn't give me an exit number!!! REALLY?? So this caused me to first get off the interstate early, then sent me further south instead of north before turning around and getting on the interstate AGAIN, then passing it and going too far north! I kept fidgeting in my seat so I could hold my bladder for just one more minute--almost there. Finally, I made it to her house/studio...15 minutes late. I felt bad, but she said Sundays are her lazy days so it wasn't a big deal.

So not flattering!
Bladder relieved, we started up with posing and quarter turns. I was so nervous! My biggest fear was that Tracy was going to say that I am not going to be ready, physique-wise, in 8 weeks. She looked AMAZING (she's 2 weeks out from her competition) and compared to her, I was extremely lacking in upper-body. She did say that my legs are great and that I'm looking lean (she even went as far as to say she's jealous of my young butt--confidence booster!)! This was a complete shock to me, because I'm always of the mindset that it's my lower body that needs the most work. But practicing in her mirror-covered studio, I could actually see what she was talking about. Once I get into my poses, DAMN, my legs look good! I've been thinking about it, and maybe I was so skeptical about my lower body because it's so far away from my head... Think about it, you have to look down to look at your legs if you aren't looking in a mirror, and it's not a very flattering view. You're practically looking at your legs upside-down.

Never seen this--now I'm intrigued.
I am so glad I met with Tracy, because it gave me a better understanding of what I need to work on, where I am right now, and what I'm doing right and wrong. I think the biggest change I am going to make is supplements. Right now I'm just doing the protein shake once a day, but she stressed the importance of amino acids since they are the building-blocks of protein. I probably should have been utilizing these from the beginning, but better late than never. This prep is almost a trial and error period for me, with little room for error. So as soon as I realize I am doing something wrong, I fix it right away. I'm excited to get back in the gym with Kevin today--it's always nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and I'm looking forward to hearing his take on Tracy's suggestions. I'm in such a good mood since yesterday that I almost contemplated getting up early and going to the gym. But I didn't--school work was in the way of that idea.

Well, this post is a little bit shorter than I intended, so I'm sure I will have another one later today. Not a lot of time before class right now, and I need to finish a paper. Hope you all enjoy your mornings!

What type/brand of supplements do you use?? Do you find any better than others?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More rain? Really?

I resisted the temptation of Skinny Cow...
I awoke this morning to gloomy skies and more wet weather. Unfortunately, this meant I didn't get in a trip to the City Market this week, but I made the best of it. I enjoyed a nice breakfast of egg whites with spinach and tomato before heading out for a little grocery shopping--traded in my 1.5L water bottle for a gallon jug. Who's a big girl now?! And of course I hit up the gym!

I have to say, one of my favorite things about going to the gym is not knowing how my workout will turn out. I go in with a plan in my head of what I want to get accomplished and how I want to go about my routines. But once I get going, my plan is always altered--for the better. The weather had me in a bit of a funk (as usual), but I was determined to get in there and bust out a decent workout, especially since I'm meeting with my posing coach for the first time tomorrow. I was initially debating between some steady state cardio and an HIIT workout. I chose the HIIT. My original plan was to warmup for 5 minutes and do my usual intervals--45 seconds on at a 8.5 speed, 75 seconds off at a 7.0 speed. But my warmup was too easy. And I was feeling particularly "fun." So I amped it up and my cardio played out like this: 1 minute on at 9.0 speed (6m40s pace), 1.5 minutes off at 7.0 speed (8m34s). Repeat for a total of 6 intervals, aka 15 minutes. I also intended to do 1 minute on, 2 minutes off for a total of 5 intervals, but once I started, I didn't think I needed the extra 30 seconds recovery. And I really didn't--felt good leaving the gym later! Unfortunately I couldn't stay to get in some weights (bis and tris), because I had to meet a good friend to talk about job openings at her company (eek!!), so I will have to do those later.

That reminds me though--Archie and I went on another run yesterday and he ran (almost) the whole way!! I got a little bit frustrated at one point though. Let me first mention that, at UVa, there's pretty much 2 areas where kids live off campus--I live in the most neighborhood-esque of the two, as do the majority of the kids that live off-grounds. This is the area that's also riddled with sorority and fraternity houses. And of course with it being spring, there are a ton of formals going on, especially this weekend. Well, as I was running, I noticed a large group (approximately 100-150 people) up ahead on the side of the street that I was on, right outside one of the frat houses. So I made a point to cross the road because Archie gets easily distracted and is also a little skittish around large amounts of people. Not to mention these kids had clearly been drinking (they're heading to a formal--what do you expect?). So the pup and I are now on the opposite side of the street and the entire group starts crossing the street!!! Not only that, but they were: A. walking in front of me/not letting me get by, B. trying to pet Archie (normally this would be okay, but I was in the middle of a run, they were drunk, and too many people), and C. just RUDE!! I felt kinda awkward because I had to pick Archie up (he literally just stopped mid-stride) and pretty much push my way through the throng of people. If I got my nasty sweat on any of their dresses, oh well, not my fault.

But we got home okay and Archie did get to meet some friends (one of the neighbors next door and his friends), so he was content. In other news, regarding my cryptic post yesterday, I think things are turning out okay, but I will have more info on that Monday night/Tuesday. Now for the rest of this weekend, I have work, more work tomorrow, a gym sesh, posing practice, a paper and a fact sheet to write, and my resume to work on. I'm actually kind of excited to say I get to work on my resume, and I shouldn't have to change much since I just redid it back in November!
The straw seemed like a better idea than the awkward jug.
Inevitably, it fell in and has yet to be retrieved.

Do you plan your workouts? If so, do you ever stray from them (for the better) or do you stay according to plan??

Friday, April 15, 2011

What now?

I recently came across some unfortunate news regarding my training, and I really don't know what to come of it yet. This is going to be pretty cryptic, but I don't really know what's going on and how it is going to affect my training. But I do know that my gym schedule will be a little bit out of whack for a while, and that makes me a little nervous. Especially with the semester winding down--3 papers, 4 weeks left of my internship, and still no post-graduation plans with the exception of my competition (which is a whole other post in itself, hopefully coming to a blog near you soon!). I'm trying to stay positive about everything, as I'm sure it will workout, but the uncertainty is a little worrisome. Once I get this all figured out and know more, I'll give more details, but it's just...I don't know.

They can read have books?
Needless to say, I skipped my workout yesterday. I really did mean to go, but I got to talking to a few friends, and one of my good friends was dealing with some unnecessary drama so I had to be there for her. She's also big in the local fitness community (she came back from Bikram yoga teacher training in December and is now an instructor), and I always enjoy talking with her. We are two different types of active, and yet it works for us in slightly different ways. It's also interesting just comparing our different fitness "communities" if you will.

While I am no fitness instructor though I hope to be someday, I do make observations while at the gym. I'm a bit of a people-watcher. And yet, I find myself watching the same people over time--the ones that are there day in and day out--because I know they are the ones that I can learn from. I will admit that I do briefly gaze at the ones that are there yanking up the weights, doing jerky reps and lifting a lot heavier than they should, thus sacrificing form. These are the people that make me chuckle inside, roll my eyes, and push me to show them up master my own form. Meatheads these days...

I will be one of these happy runners :)
This weekend is going to be tough, because Kevin is out of town, and you know what they say: When the trainer is away, the trainee will play the trainee will be at a loss of how to workout alone. Lucky for me, my awesome brother, Alex,  and sister-in-law, Kathy,  live just outside of town and go to the same Gold's as me. I've already been in touch with Alex, and he's going to be my spotter, at least for tonight. This will put my workouts out of order again, because I'll do legs tonight (it's hard to do squats without a spotter), but at least it gets me in the gym and lifting heavy as I should be. Tomorrow morning, another trip to the City Market before bis and tris (on my own)--the eggs that I picked up were AMAZING and so big & fresh! I must get more! Then Sunday, work, a workout and up to Harrisonburg for my first meeting with my posing coach and a visit to my best friend, Katie! In other news, Megan and I are going to be signing up for a few mud runs/adventure runs in the coming months and I couldn't be more excited! In all honesty, I just want to get MUDDY!

And now, drumroll please, the chicken I cooked perfectly yesterday... I tried something "new" and mixed a tiny bit of olive oil in with the spices, tossed it and put it on the stove. A-mazing. That and freshly roasted kale and I was good to go. Side note: if you have never tried tempeh, I highly suggest it. I had it in a spinach salad last night and it was delicious. Throw it in whatever spices/flavoring you want and it soaks up the taste. It's similar to tofu, make with soybeans, but it has a different fermentation process that makes it a good source of protein. However, it is a bit high in (good) fat, so I would limit intake. Probably shouldn't have eaten it during prep and should have saved it for the off-season, but it's too late now. All I can do is make up for it in the gym tonight! Staying positive!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have a problem

I'm addicted to workout attire. And training shoes. Back in January, I stocked up on workout attire, and yet I find myself wanting more. Though in my defense, it was a lot of tees and cropped leggings back then, and I'm in need of wanting more racerback tanks and shorts now. Can't blame a girl for wanting to still look cute while simultaneously becoming a hot, sweaty mess at the gym! If I had the money, I would have a pair of shoes for each day of the week, possibly more. But think about it, I spend a GOOD portion of my time at the gym, so it's kind of an investment. On my current list:
New Pumas--actually running shoes, but CUTE!
Reeboks making a comeback??
I'll always love Nike. And the yellow is so cute!
Can't forget Adidas--these remind me of lizards!
As you can see, it's a real problem. And these are only a fraction of the ones I liked. I only posted one from each major retailer that I like. Not to mention these are only the shoes too. Sigh. Sometimes I think I need a sugar daddy real job, immediately.

What workout gear can you not live without?? Do you have any (healthy) addictions to objects like I do?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman.

Some days I seriously think I have a modified version of Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's like my mood changes on a whim, whenever the weather turns (which is sort of ironic since I'm hoping to become a meteorologist). When the sun is out, Liz is happy. When the sun goes away and the clouds roll in, Liz is blah. Frankly, it's getting annoying. And it's not like I can help it. I could be having a great day, but when the sky turns, so does my mood. And it's not helping me stay motivated.

After going through this same "routine" today, I realized it was the cause for my funk yesterday. Now I do have to say that today was touch-and-go. It started out warm and sunny, then the clouds rolled in and the sky turned ominous, but the rain held off. Then the sun came back and the cycle continued. At some point, I thought, "Enough with it!" and I made my way to the gym. It was right around rush hour (5pm) and I was fully expecting all the treadmills to be taken, but all of the kind I like to use were vacant--score! Part way into my run at a 8:34 pace (speed 7.0), I realized it was too easy and I needed to amp it up. So I eased my way up to an 8:00 pace (speed 7.5). 1st mile: 7.0, 2nd: 7.2, 3rd: 7.3, 4th & 5th: 7.5. Then the last minute I kicked it up to a 7:30 pace (speed 8.0). Felt good. Empowering. I pushed through 2 bouts of a side stitch and managed to get in 5.1 miles in 42 minutes. By this point I didn't realize how much of a sweaty mess I was. After numerous reps on the AbCoaster, I was good to go. I am strong.

Unfortunately, Kevin was not at the gym today, but I think I made due without for a night. It felt odd going so early, since I'm normally there from 8-10, and I only stayed an hour instead of 2 since I didn't have training. There's definitely a different crowd of people. I did see a good amount of familiar faces--those that are finishing their workouts as I'm just getting started normally. It was nice that my schedule allowed for an earlier session today, especially since it's Celia's birthday and I'm accompanying her out tonight. For the first time, I will say that I wish I could treat myself to A beer, after all, it is her birthday, but I know I can't. And I won't. I have not had a single drop of alcohol for a whole month (32 days today), which is the longest I have been without in my entire time at college. And I won't give in tonight. I am invincible.

To add to my excitement to go out with Celia tonight, I also have some good news! I am starting to SERIOUSLY notice changes! Not necessarily in my abs which I have been dying trying to improve, but definitely elsewhere. When I went to shower after the gym today, I took a good 1-2 minutes just admiring how nicely my back has shaped up. I have a nice elongated groove where I can just follow my spine with my eyes, I can see the muscles building definition as I move, and it definitely helps that I'm feeling yesterdays workout. In addition to that, since the weather has been warm, I've been wearing a lot of tank tops. While I enjoy staring looking at my muscles from time to time, this becomes problematic when I sit there in class and just want to watch my arms as I flex to remind myself how far I've come and where I'm going. Don't worry, I haven't done this yet in class, as I'm sure it would garner more than a few awkward stares of people that think I'm crazy because they have no idea what I'm doing. I'm sure if they knew that I was training for a figure competition, it would be a little more acceptable, but still, not going to risk it.

I made a point of requesting off work for next Friday and Saturday so I can go home to Virginia Beach and spend some time with my mom (she's a school teacher and it will be the end of her spring break...and since all us children have left the nest, I don't want her to be all alone). I wish I could go earlier, but I don't think that's going to be possible with classes. I'm excited to go home though, because home means beach and beach means bikini. And I have never been more proud to put this body in a tiny swim suit and flaunt my hard abs, ha work! I am woman.
Ah, beach!

P.S. I think one of the younger girls that works at the gym today rolled her eyes at me as she was entering/I was leaving the locker room. What's that about?

What do you miss the most about your childhood spring break??

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Afternoon Awakening

Tehehe, just in time for Spring!!
Today was just one of those days--I had to be at work at 8am, which meant waking up at 6am to eat breakfast, get ready, pack copious meals, and get all my ducks in a row to run to class as soon as I got out of work. Not to mention I had a reading quiz in my News & Reality class (of which I had not done the reading...not to worry, I soon found out others hadn't either). So needless to say, I was all over the place, but I was feeling good when I got in the car to go to work. That is until I realized I left my water bottle at home! All 1.5 liters (times ~2.5)! Noooo, this was going to set me back with my water intake for the day. I'm trying to get it all in, but it's SO HARD. Then, I get out of work, grab my to-go meal that I had gotten ready and placed in the fridge and headed out the door for class. But guess what--forgot the darn water bottle AGAIN! So not my day! AND it's been either humid & rainy or storming all day (the power even went out at the gym for a good 60ish seconds)!

By the time I got to the gym tonight, I was under-hydrated, tired, somewhat moody, and I felt like a whale. I needed the water that I hadn't had throughout the day, but it was already too late. I was dreading pretty unmotivated to workout; I just felt blah. I felt apathetic toward the gym. I never feel that way! I'm so sorry gym, I really do love you! Needless to say, I didn't do my usual treadmill routine--granted, yesterday was HIIT so today would have been just a steady state day. Instead I took to the StairMaster. I hadn't been on one in a while, and lord knows my shins needed a break from pounding the "pavement" of the treadmill. It felt okay good though--got in intervals on the StairMaster (slow speed = skip stairs, high speed = all out without gripping the handlebars) for about 25 minutes. Looking back now, I'm glad I took it easy. It was back day and I had no idea what Kevin had in store for me.

Can someone please tell me where I can order
one of these signs for my wall??
Starting my lifting tonight, Kevin introduced a new circuit workout--dead lifts, bent over rows, straight-legged dead lifts, and pull-ups. 5 circuits. FIVE! No rest except at the end of each circuit. AND we increased my weights this time around. I may have told Kevin that I am not going to be his biggest fan tomorrow. I take back this statement. As unmotivated tired as I was, this was exactly what I needed. I didn't need an easy workout because I was not feeling the whole being at the gym thing tonight. I didn't need an easy out or someone to say, "Okay, you're feeling tired, we all get that way sometimes. Take the night off." Hell no! I needed someone to see through the bull sh*t, kick my ass, and push me harder. I did admit to him that I forgot my water bottle, and I almost feel like this workout was partially punishment for being so forgetful utterly stupid. Who forgets their water bottle twice in one day? This girl, that's who! But no, seriously though, I don't think it was punishment. Like I said, I think he just saw through the bull sh*t.

On another note, when I was interning at the Newsplex today (which, by the way, I got a new badge to wear around!!), I read the packaging of my Muscle Milk Light bar. I did not like what I saw. It wasn't pretty. A lot of words that most people probably can't pronounce, and something called High Maltose Corn Syrup. Not to be confused with high fructose corn syrup, but very similar. I got curious, so I immediately googled the ingredient to figure out what it was, and oddly enough, there were no definitive sources. Hmmm, not a good sign. I would like to know what I'm ingesting. I suppose I could always email the CytoSport company and ask them what it is, if they even know. They should since they manufacture the bars (and I just bought 16 of them on Sunday...). Do any of you have any insight about this ingredient?? Don't get me wrong, I'm not really one of those "organic-only" consumers, but knowing that this ingredient sounds so much like HFCS gets me a little nervous. Also, this just goes to show another example of the sheer influence corn production has over EVERYTHING nowadays. 

My amazing lil sister carved this--it's a relief for her freshman art class at Old Dominion University. Isn't she awesomely artistic?? I asked her to make me something to put on the wall of my new apartment when I move at the end of may :) Love you, Eleanor!
Oh, hey sister!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Pace Estate. And Pet Peeves.

My day started off as such: 6:30am, roll out of bed, make a delicious breakfast using my recently purchased local eggs and goat cheese (along with some other ingredients), get ready for class, head out the door. I was in a mission this morning--to get my lab report done without taking forever! Surprisingly, it only took about an hour, if that--yay, productivity!

Playing dead. Keyword: playing.
Today could be considered one of those days where you think everything is going to go wrong, but it actually turns out okay. It all started when I was walking down my street toward campus grounds and I caught something out of the corner of my eye. There was a squirrel lying in the street--it twitched and then ceased moving. Being the UVa student that I am, I figured that it was playing dead (the squirrels tend to do that around here--seriously!). But as I passed by, I saw that it was lying there, a victim of squirrel homicide (by a car I'm sure). It looked fine, there was just a little bit know. I can't say I've ever had that experience before--I saw a squirrel take its last breath. Thinking about it again makes me feel...odd. I can't really explain it; I'm no PETA activist or anything, but the image was stuck in my head for the duration of my walk to the library. It's a sad thing, as pesky as the squirrels around here are, and I know that it's just going along with Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest, but did I really have to witness this? Sigh. RIP Monsieur Squirrel.

A view up the tower from below. Scary!
The only thing that could make my day better was coffee, but oh, wait--I left my wallet at home and I'm limiting my coffee intake. Eh, I'm $2.02 richer than I would be had I bought some, especially when I had enough for another cup sitting in my coffee maker back home. It was for the better. Now, in case you weren't aware, field trips aren't just for K-12 grades apparently. My Atmosphere & Weather lab had a field trip to the Pace Estate (basically some guy donated part of his land to the Environmental Sciences department and we use it at least once for every core lab). There's a pretty tall meteorological tower, 40m high and not very wide. This is probably a good time to mention that I'm slightly afraid of heights or ladders(?). Back in elementary school, we took a few field trips to lighthouses, and I was only able to go up the stairs, but by the time we got to the ladder to get a few feet higher to the top, my nerves got the best of me and I had to be escorted down. Sad, I know. So today, I was definitely not seriously contemplating climbing this Tinker Toy-esque foundation to get the experience. I was pretty much gung-ho about not going. I went. 20 flights of "stairs" later, with the wind blowing and swaying the darn thing, and I was at the top. Despite the surprisingly powerful wind, it wasn't so bad. Nice view for sure--unfortunately my phone was in the van so I couldn't take a picture. And at the least, I can cross it off my bucket list. It's no lighthouse, but it was probably less safe than one of those anyway.

Its about time--
bread with reduced sodium!
The wind at the Pace Estate bears no resemblance to the weather we had today--it was mid-80s and sunny. So. Nice. Too bad I was in class from 12-5. And by the time I was out and done grocery shopping, it was time for the gym. And now it's dark. Well, luckily it's only the beginning of Spring and that means more sunny days to come!

Speaking of sunny, normally I'm pretty happy when I'm at the gym--I do my own thing, I push myself and I find my groove. But I have those things that completely irk me. I know I've done a post on this before, but I didn't really get into what I'm about to mention now (or at least not as in depth as I'd hoped).  My number one pet peeve at the gym is those intensely creepy guys! You know, the ones that stare hardcore, or better yet, the ones that you catch sneaking glances at you. And you know they want you to see them! I feel like I'm a piece of meat when I'm in there! Honestly, do I need a sign on my ass (because we all know they're not looking at my flat chest) that says "Not interested"??? I go to the gym for one main reason, and that is to get my workout in. Unless you're my friend or someone friendly (this only refers to dudes), I am not interested in talking to you. Period. Yes, that may make me a bit of a workout b*tch, but it is what it is, and you're obviously messing up my concentration. Because now all I can think about is how creepy you are and how quickly I want to move on to my next exercise or another area of the gym.

Today in particular this was a bit of a problem. At first when I got to the gym, the treadmills I use were all full with the exception of the one with the TV attached. I was wearing my Vibrams, so I decided to suck it up and use it rather than change my shoes so I don't have the annoying sound of my feet striking the treadmill. Eventually, the treadmills to my side opened up as well as the entire row of treadmills in front of me. Creepy guy #1 decides that, of all the treadmills, he MUST get on the one directly to my left. Really? Really?! Not only that, but he was practically running sideways looking at me, my speed, etc. Just stop, please! A. Yes, I'm running faster than you--it's called intervals. B. I know my ass looks good--it's not something I intended on, but that's what I like to call genetics. And I'm wearing compression shorts for goodness sake. C. I have no desire to talk to you, I obviously have my headphones in, I obviously am in the middle of my workout, and yes, I did just scowl at you. Creepy guy #1, I know that when you get off the treadmill after less than 3 minutes of walking, despite your efforts to run, the only reason you got on was to check me out. I'm on to you. Stop it. Or b*tchy gym Liz will be unleashed. (Not really, I'm pretty non-confrontational).

Enter Creepy guy #2, who is also a culprit of my second biggest pet peeve, walking toward the weight rack, and instead of grabbing weights and moving out of the way, standing right there between me and the mirror when I was obviously there first and am obviously using the mirror to concentrate on my form. So of course Creepy guy #2 does this right in front of where Kevin and I are working out. The funny part is, he's pretty much just swinging 15-lb dumbbells! No controlled motion and I'm positive they are too light for him. Then, when Kevin walks away, he makes a point to tell me, "You work out hard." Congratulations, it took a genius to figure that one out, buddy. Normally, I'd take any compliment I can get, but you, sir, are just creepy. I can read your mind. Also, see ABCs from above, but this time replace A with: Yes, I'm a girl lifting weights, and yes, I'm using 30-lb dumbbells. In case you were wondering, that IS twice as much as you're using. And yes, as you obviously realize, I am a girl. Exit Creepy guy #2.

Sorry to make you sit through my rant. To my fellow bloggers: I've read some of your posts, and I know you all have mentioned being the receiver of the evil eye or a judgmental stare by female gym-goers, but what do you do when the person staring is male? How do you get rid of the unwanted, disturbing attention? It's not like I'm going to hide my body any more than I already do. I work hard for what I do have! 

I leave you with a couple pics of Archie last night, during his post-run doze. Caught him mid-yawn!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Run, Puppy, Run!

Archie and I just got back from a run around the neighborhood! We had a few pit stops (he had to poo and he gets very curious anytime we pass someone), but overall, he did a good job! And so did I since I've just been running on the treadmill with 0% incline most of the time. Side note: in case you didn't know, Charlottesville is a pretty hilly area. 40 minutes later and we are back, though I'm a little less sweaty than I would care to be. Works to my advantage though, because once again I decided to exploit my puppy it's picture time! I love that MacBooks have webcams built in, by the way. So here's our lovely photo shoot:
Okay, okay, I know I'm a dork. But he's just too precious! And this was his very first run! We've been on walks before, and he's always been a little too eager to go faster than me and try to pull me along. It was a nice, breezy evening so I figured it would be the perfect time to test out his stamina. Aside from a few short periods of walking, he ran the whole way. I'm so proud of my little Archibald! Note to self: next time bring a water bottle for the little guy. But how silly are those pictures?! My favorite is the first one, where he's all too eager to get his picture taken. But I'm also a fan of the last, where he's a little more subdued and acting like a perfect gentleman. And now? He's sleeping in my arms as I type this post. If only I could get a picture without rousing him...

P.S. There was a LOT more to this photo shoot, but for your sake and so I don't look like a complete loser, I narrowed it down to just 4.

Do any of you run with your dogs? Big or small breed? How well do they handle it?

Enjoy your Sunday evening!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Silly (yet productive) Saturday

So the plan for today was to wake up, go to the Charlottesville City Market (aka farmer's market) and hit the gym for training at 10:30. And that was pretty much how the day played, except sneak a Target run between the City Market and gym, and push training back to 11, but add a 30 minute run in there. Anyway, I was extra bored excited today, so I decided to capture some key moments.

Replacing coffee with more water--1.5 liter bottle here!
Yay water!
Let me also say, the attempt at coffee is going really well! Er, that is, until I decided to buy a thing of decaf today at the store. Folgers, if I'm not mistaken. However, I don't think I'll be indulging in it too often, because honestly, it tastes like sour disgustingness crap. I don't think it's the fact that it's decaf, but rather the fact that it's Folgers. Who knows. Lesson learned though--this is a sign that I should just give up on the whole coffee-in-the-afternoon thing!

Archie was feeling a little left-out affectionate this morning, so I gave him free rein over my bed as I got ready. I think he likes being higher up. He's always wanting to get in my lap, get on the couch or the bed, look out the window... I think he secretly wishes he were a larger dog, but sadly, he's miniature. Regardless, he got some "tall time" today, and got to relax on my pillows bed looking out the window at the passing cars. I have to admit, I did try to exploit his adorable puppy-dog face so it could grace the pages of my blog, but he wasn't having it. Instead, he decided he would show his mommy some love--by licking her in the face! If only you knew where that snout has been! Oh, the simple life of a dog.
Archie didn't want to take pictures this morning,
 but he did show some love!

Out the door and on to my day! I managed to find a handful of things I wanted needed at the City Market, including: fresh kale, farm-raised eggs, butternut squash, and fresh chevre. The butternut squash I bought on a whim because they were $1 a piece, so I have yet to figure out what I will do with them. But the kale and eggs were on the top of my list of things to hunt down. Luckily, there aren't an overabundance of vendors, so it was pretty easy. All I had to do instead was price hunt. In my search, I was fortunate to come across a cheese stand, and due to my addiction love of goat cheese, I immediately thought of the smooth substance. They had it--yes!! Should have gotten 2 because I use that stuff every morning in my eggs. Oh well, the City Market is there every Saturday.

My goods--in route to the gym!
All unpacked. So excited for fresh, local produce!
Next stop--Target! Now, I was actually going there just to kill time and look around without buying anything, but when I see those little red markdown stickers, I-- I just can't help myself! Especially when they are on PROTEIN BARS! Lucky day? I think yes! This is what I walked out with:
9 individual Muscle Milk Light bars + 1 eaten en route to Gold's, as well as a box of 6. All this for less than $11. That's more than a bargain--that's a steal if I've ever seen one! Side note, I think they slashed prices to make room on their shelves for the new Iron Girl PowerBar Protein bars that they, exclusively, are selling. Excited/curious to try those new ones too!

Well, all done with spending money for the week weekend, and off to Gold's! As mentioned, I got a decent run in--3 miles in 25 minutes ( I exaggerated the time by a tiny bit earlier...though I did do a cool-down brisk inclined walk). Then it was back to shoulders for the first time in a few days, and I was having a few problems, i.e., my left shoulder locking up, and my right shoulder raising itself on two respectively different exercises. All-in-all though, I got through it and survived!

Since I didn't have work today (shocking!), I was at a loss of what to do with my time since the weather was a bit crappy overcast & drizzly. Thus, I did what any starving girl would do--made Batch #3 of protein brownies! I must say, I think I outdid myself this time. The entire house smelled like the delicious brownies (of which I have yet to taste). But judging on smell alone, these are perfection!
Brownies, post slicing--messed up the edges a bit.
Today's ingredient combination: brownie batter protein powder and flavored sugar-free applesauce. I'll report back once I try them (tomorrow)!