Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So true - where did my spring go?

Funny Seasonal Ecard: Sorry I forgot to wish you a happy spring because it didn't happen again this year.
This is so very true, especially in North Carolina.  The past two weeks, the temperatures have been in the high 70s/low 80s - I can deal with that. 

Then, out of nowhere, this weekend the temps are in the mid to upper 90s.  What the heck??!!?? 

Where did spring go??!!??  I mean, seriously, the pollen just went away, we've had a few big spring rainstorms, then summer hits us like a ton of bricks two days before June!  Yuck!

Hopefully this will just last the week and we'll go back to our normal, balmy June temperatures.  I know I can deal with this heat, but I am not ready yet...

Something has gotta give - Anxiety...

I've had a rough two weeks.  I always think I can deal with everything on my own, but I have realized that "dealing" isn't really something I am very good at.  I need encouragement to get me through.  So, here's where y'all come in. 

This is a tough subject for me to talk about.  I have pretty severe anxiety.  I think my anxiety stems from being an only child that assumes everyone thinks I must be perfect.  Yes, I know that isn't realistic, but the thoughts are there.  When I say anxiety, I don't just mean that I am a little worried on a little nervous.  When I say anxiety, I mean - hole up in my office at work and avoid all coworkers; no full night of sleep because I wake up thinking about all kinds of crazy scenarios; eating when I am not hungry because it just might make the annoying thoughts in my head go away (no, this definitely doesn't work); making big, horrible, mean assumptions out of very simple things other say; etc. 

The past 2 weeks have been full of anxiety and this is the first time I have mentioned it to anyone.  I feel like I have been hiding behind a veil.  I have tried to remain outwardly calm, but my insides are like Mexican jumpin' beans.  I can't continue on that path or I will take myself backwards about a year.  That just won't work.  I refuse to go back to last year when my anxiety was at its worst. 
I am gonna get through this though and here's how:
  • Continue to take my meds - Thank goodness for the miracles of modern medicine.  While I know that meds are not a total fix, they do help reduce the effect of anxiety on my daily life
  • Get back to running - I have only run once since the half marathon  on May 14.  I am hoping that my doctor will be pleased with my recovery from a nagging knee issue and release me to run after my appointment tomorrow.  Running is meditation for me.  Even if I am running with someone, running just brings a peace to my soul.
  • Take deep breaths and do what I can - I am not and cannot be responsible for everyone else.  This is most true at work.  I tend to think that if something has to be done that I need to do it, or it won't be right.  Oh well...  Others need to put on their big girl panties and take responsibility.
  • Cook/bake - I gain a lot of joy/calm vibes when I cook and bake, especially when it is for someone else.  Friday evening, I made a big crockpot full of chili for some friends that just had a sweet baby boy - delivering it to them on Saturday morning felt so good.  Now, if I can just find some more people to cook/bake for on a regular basis!
  • Be me - I have a problem with anxiety.  Denying the issue isn't helping anything.  If I embrace that I have an issue with anxiety, not only will I help myself but I may be able to help someone else.
So, that's it.... Hopefully this funk-alicious mess will calm down soon!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A,B,Cs of Food...

I saw this on Lisa's blog and thought it was cool.  A nice little lunch-time diversion... and something fun for the weekend!

A: is for Apple, what’s your favorite variety?
I prefer Granny Smith and Opal apples

B: is for Bread, regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains what is your favorite type to have a nice big piece of?
I would have to go with Pumpkin Bread or Chocolate Chip-Pumpkin Bread - so good!

C: is for Cereal what is your favorite kind currently (just one!)
I have never been one to enjoy cereal.  If I had to choose, I would say Kashi GoLean Crunch mixed in yogurt.

D: is for Doughnuts, you might not currently be eating them but what kind do you fancy?
I can't tell you the last time I had a donut.  I don't really like them all that much (I know!  It is terrible!).  I guess since Krispy Kreme is a North Carolina company, I'd stick with them.

E: is for Eggs, how would you like yours prepared?
I have delicious memories of my Daddy fixing eggs over easy and mixing them in my grits.  So yummy!

F: is for Fat Free, what is your favorite fat free product?
Chobani Green Yogurt!

G: is for Groceries, where do you purchase yours at?
Trader Joe's, Costco, and Harris Teeter

H: is for Hot Beverages, what is your favorite hot drink?
Coffee...  I love black coffee, Skinny Vanilla Lattes, Skinny Caramel Lattes.

I: is for Ice Cream, pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping.
My favorite used to be "Confession Obsession" by Ben & Jerry's.  I think they quit making it.

J: is for Jams or Jellies, do you eat them, and if so what kind and flavor?
I don't really care for jams or jellies.  My Granny used to make some yummy preserves that I liked to put on biscuits.

K: is for Kashi, name your favorite Kashi product?
GoLean Crunch!

L: is for Lunch, what was yours today?
Leftover Bean Burrito Casserole and an orange

M: is for microwave, what is your favorite microwave meal/snack?
I have no clue...

N: is for nutrients, do you likes carbs, fats, or proteins best?
I love carbs!  Bread, bread, bread - cookies, cookies, cookies.

O: is for oil, what kind do you like to use?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

P: is for protein, how do you get yours?
  • Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Quinoa
  • Shrimp
Q: is for Quaker, how do you like your oats?
I have just started eating oatmeal in the past year or so.  I like Better Oats Maple 'N Brown Sugar oatmeal

R: is for roasting, what is your favorite thing to roast?
Veggies - bell pepper, onion, carrot, parsnips, squash, zucchini

S: is for sandwich, what’s your favorite kind?
My favorite homemade sandwich is my Mama's chicken salad.  Every time we visit my parents, I ask my Mama to make me some chicken salad.  As far as restaurant sandwiches go, I like the Fiesta Chicken Wrap at Cafe Carolina.

T: is for travel, how do you handle eating while traveling?
If the hubs and I are going on a car trip, I tend to take a small cooler with some of my favorite healthy snacks - cheese, oranges, apples, and Nature Valley crunchy granola bars.  If we are on vacation, we generally travel to Walt Disney World.  I have plenty of healthy options there for snacks and meals.

U: is for unique, what is one of your weirdest food combos?
I don't think this is weird, but some of my friends do - grits, sauteed shrimp, black beans, and salsa

V: is for vitamins, what kind do you take?
Multi-vitamin, Calcium, and vitamin D daily.  I also get a B12 injection once a month

W: is for wasabi, yay or nay?
Heck no!  Yuck!

X: is for XRAY. If we x-rayed your belly right now, what food would we see?
My leftover bean burrito casserole and an orange.

Y: is for youth, what food reminds you of your childhood?
  • Chocolate Cake (yellow cake with chocolate icing)
  • Mama's homemade egg rolls (that I didn't appreciate as a kid and wish she would make again)
  • HoCakes and Gravy
  • Cheese Biscuits from the Pak 'A Sak
  • "Quarter Cakes" (Little Debbie Cakes) 
  • Light Rolls and Cream
Z: is for zucchini, how do you prepare it?
I love it sauteed with a little olive oil and some spices!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Are you still running?

That is a question that I have been asked many times in May 14.  The answer is "yes" and "no"...

Yes, I still enjoy running and I will continue to run on a regular basis.

No, I am not currently running a lot.  I decided to be an absolute idiot on Tuesday, May 17 and run 4.5 miles around Shelley Lake.  Needless to say, the only thing I earned from that day's run was an achy knee.  My chiropractor said to spend lots of time with my foam roller and take some very short, slow runs for the next few weeks.  I am thinking that I just went at the first run after the half marathon with a little too much gusto and my knee didn't like it one bit! 

Last week I went to the gym on Wednesday and Thursday.  I used the stairmill on Wednesday and the Arc trainer on Thursday.  I am trying to do a little more cross training and weight lifting.  After my personal training appointment tomorrow, I will no longer be working with a personal trainer once per week.  I have purchased the New Rules of Lifting for Women and look forward to using the resource.  I have heard a lot of great things about it!

I am not signed up for any races in June.  I think I will take June off from running.  I am planning to do the Historic Beaufort Road Race 10K in July.  That will be a fun one!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vacation in pictures

I have been meaning to post about our vacation, but I was so darn excited about finishing my first half marathon that it was on the back burner. 

The hubs and I left North Carolina on Thursday, May 5th and headed to Florida for our vacation.  We were both a little concerned about being off work for 7 business days, but we were bound and determined to make the best of our 5th wedding anniversary trip!

We were on the Disney Dream from Thursday, May 5th through Sunday morning, May 8th.  After getting off the ship, we headed to the Polynesian Resort from Sunday through Thursday, May 12th.  It was 7 days of bliss...  The entire point of the vacation was to just relax - and that's just what we did.  We aren't very good about taking pictures, but here are a few that show the fun things we did...

Just before boarding the Disney Dream

Drinks in 687 before dinner at the Royal Table
on the first night

Jason spent most of the time at Castaway Cay napping

Our time on the Disney Dream was just that - a dream.  We had a little bit of a hiccup on Thursday night.  We were preparing to head to bed and Jason's wheelchair battery charger wouldn't work.  Of course, we both freaked out.  I mean, seriously, I checked it before I left North Carolina at 3:30 a.m. that same day and it worked.  I promptly took it down to Guest Services to see if they could help at all.  They offered to have one of the ship's electricians look at it the next day.  J and I fretted over the charger most of the day, but still managed to enjoy several hours lounging by the pool and going to see the movie Prom in the ship's movie theatre.  Around 5:15 p.m., we got a message that the charger was working!  YAY!  We promptly went to one of the bars and had a celebratory drink while his chair batteries charged.  This was definitely a moment where Disney went way above and beyond the call of duty!

At Epcot - the Flower and Garden Festival was going on

Before dinner at Narcoosee's

When we were at Walt Disney World, we spent one day at Epcot, 2 partial days at the Magic Kingdom, and one day at the resort.  On Wednesday, Margaret, Val, and Gavin came to our resort pool to hang out.  I have to say that when they come to hang out with us at the pool, it is always one of my favorite things.  I love being by the pool, having fruity-girly drinks (this time it was the Southern Sunrise), and catching up with my best friend. 

On Thursday afternoon, we headed back to North Carolina.  It was a great week of vacation - so good for the soul!

(We did the Disney PhotoPass so we would actually have some pictures together.  When I order the disk, we'll have a lot more pictures - especially pictures of us together!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My first half marathon

Yesterday just may have to be added to the short list of "best days of my life".  I completed my very first half marathon and actually enjoyed it.  The half marathon benefited an organization called Hope for the Warriors

The day began earlier than I initially planned - a terrible thunderstorm woke me up around 2:15 a.m.  I drifted in and out of sleep until my alarms went off at 4:30 a.m.  I got up and ate my normal pre-race meal - peanut butter and jelly on wheat and an orange.  After everyone was up and ready to go, we left my parents house in Beaufort around 5 a.m.  The race was in Jacksonville, at the high school, and was about an hour drive from my parents.  Thank goodness for my Daddy being willing to drive!

We got to Jacksonville High School just after 6 a.m. and met up with my running buddies.  I was so happy to have them there with me.  I had planned to do this half all along, but the training was a lot easier and the anxiety was a lot less once they signed up to join me.

The girls before the race!
(from left:  me, Sarah, Alisha, and Shruthi)

After the pretty inspiring opening ceremony, we lined up at the half start.  There were about 350 people registered for the half marathon.  It was obvious from the very beginning that we were going to be a lot slower than 99% of the people in front of us.  I stuck my ear bud in my ear and turned on the playlist that the hubs created for running and we were off!  Very early after crossing the start line, we decided to embrace being slow and the likelihood that we would probably be last.  This was totally cool with me - the point of this race was to stay on my feet and finish. 

The bulk of the route was through neighborhoods.  We were definitely offered the scenic (and not so scenic) tour of Jacksonville.  If I had to give one complaint about the whole route, it would have been the 2.5 to 3 miles on Gum Branch Road.  It sucked, big time - cars speeding by, no shade to speak of, etc. 

We finished the race in 3:08:12 - 318 through 321 of 322 finishers.  Am I upset about our time?  Absolutely not.  Why?  Because I did it.  Sarah and I started the NC Roadrunners Club Women's Beginner Running Program on July 24 - less than a year ago.  I think Sarah would agree that if you told us we would finish a half marathon 10 months after starting to run, we would have laughed uncontrollably. 

The feeling of finishing was so awesome.  There is no way to describe how I felt.  I was so happy, exhausted, and ready for the next adventure.  While I am definitely not ready to run a half next week, I am ready to sign up for another one.  I love the feeling I get when I am done.  So great...

The hubs and I after the race

Picture from the day after the race

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quotes before the half....

Here are some of my favorite quotes related to running, etc.  I think these are great, especially considering that my half is in tomorrow!!!.

I look at running as meditation.  It allows me to decompress, download, and get rid of a lot of negative stuff.  That's my secret.  I go inside myself. -- Jeff Corwin, American animal and nature conservationist

You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement. -- Steve Prefontaine
In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that. -- Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

My attitude at a race has always been that if you look your best, you will perform your best. If you're all grungy and feeling kind of sloppy, you are going to behave and perform that way. So I would always put on full make up - you know, lipstick and mascara, the whole bit, even hairspray. It's as if I am going to work. After the race, people would ask me 'Did you even run? It looks like you just got out of the beauty department.'. On the start line, it's a psychological ploy. I like the dichotomy that you can be really aggressive and athletic and flirty and sporty, and still be feminine. Why shouldn't you be able to do all of that at the same time? -- Shirley Matson

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. -- John Bingham

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. -- John Bingham

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Well, I lied... I said my previous post would be my last before my half marathon.  Then I realized that I couldn't go without posting a Happy Anniversary post for my dear hubs. 

Jason and I met in 2004.  When we met, I was honestly a little concerned.  Jason uses a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy.  For some reason, this just made me slightly nervous.  I talked through my feelings with Jason and as we grew closer and I knew that I wanted to be with him, I also realized that using a wheelchair doesn't mean a hill of beans.  We may have to do things a little different, but our life is no less adventerous than others. 

In May 2005, Jason proposed.  It was quite an interesting couple of weeks - it played out like this:
  • Weekend of April 15 (2005) - J and I went to Beaufort to visit my parents, extended family and celebrate my Granny Brown's birthday.  It was during this weekend that Jason asked my Daddy if he could marry me - I had no clue!  I mean, yeah, we had talked about maybe, one-day getting married, but I didn't realize he was quite that serious...
  • Jason and I at Sportsman's Pier (in the
    terrible wind that weekend!)
  • April 26 - We went to the mall for a "diamond event" at Carlyle and Company.  J said that he just wanted to get an idea of the types of rings I liked.  I should have thought something was a little "fishy" with this, but I had no clue!  I found a stunning setting that I absolutely loved - one oval center stone with two princess cut diamonds flanking each side of the oval.  It was classic, simple, but different - I loved it.  After we finished looking at rings, J and I went our separate ways before dinner.  I needed to get a few things for my upcoming trip to visit Margaret in Florida while attending a conference.  Needless to say, I had no clue that he was actually purchasing the ring that night.
  • April 30 through May 5 - I headed off to Florida for a weekend visit with Margaret.  After our weekend together, I headed over to the Portofino Bay hotel for a work conference.  It was a great week.  It was during that week that I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with J.
    Margaret and I before heading out to
    Universal City Walk
  • May 10 - It was a normal 'ole day.  I went to work, ran some errands, and then I went to get my hair cut and colored (Hey!  Hair color is important!).  After my hair appointment, I called J at the condo.  He said that we had a small problem and that there was no power in our condo unit.  So strange...  I got to the condo a little after 7 p.m. and J was right - the power was out.  Jason was sitting in the middle of the living room in the dark.  I don't love the dark normally, but hate it even more when I can't see anything.  J had a tiny little flashlight and tried to guide me over to him without causing me to fall over furniture.  When I got over to him, he proposed.  I have to say that I don't really remember what he said, except asking me to marry him.  Of course, I said yes!  I was so excited, shocked, happy - it was great!  We called our parents, Margaret, the Allen family, and a few other people.  Not sure what was up with the power, but when we called the Allen's and their daughters started cheering, the power came back on. 
  • May 5 (2006) - Our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner...  Jason's parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at their home.  We enjoyed cocktails and appetizers on the front lawn, followed by dinner in their home.  It was nice to be able to have our rehearsal dinner at their home because it allowed us to spend more time with our family and friends.
  • May 6 - Our wedding day... I won't say there were no stressful moments, but no matter the stress, it was the most wonderful day.  Jason and I were married at 4 o'clock in the afternoon at Forest Hills Baptist Church.  We were surrounded by the love of many family members and friends.  Our reception was held at the Albert Coates Local Government Center (home of the NC League of Municipalities - where J's Dad worked before he passed away and where I currently work)
  • After a great wedding reception, we headed off on our honeymoon trip to Nags Head.  It was just the break we needed and the perfect start to our wonderful marriage.

Wow...  I can't believe that it has been five years!  Every single day allows me to see how blessed I am with a great husband - he is the ultimate cheerleader, supporter, and friend.

I love you J!