Monday, June 28, 2010

I Hate Running - Log 13: Heat, Humidity, and Lots of Sweat

I'm not sure what else to say about running last week, except that it was hot.

And not just "hot", but that sticky-100 percent humidity-thunderstorm warning-over 90 degrees-heat wave-check on the elderly and your pets-excessive heat warning type of hot.

As a result, I wimped out a bit and only ran for 3 days and didn't push myself as much at all. I kept to my plan for the first interval (running for 12 minutes), but for the second interval, I started out with a longer recovery walk and was lucky if I ran for 5 more minutes after that. Yuck-o!

Despite being truncated, each run this week ended with the same result: a very sweaty Brittany.

This week should be better. Today we're supposed to top out at 97 degrees with a heat index of about 103 (so, guess who is not running today?), but after that, the temperatures are going to drop a bit. If all goes according to plan, we'll be down to 78 by Thursday (I am so looking forward to that).

Running in this heat is also making me wonder what it's like to run in other extreme. When winter rolls around, I'll be curious to see which is worse: running during these sweltering days of summer or running during the bitter cold days? I've mentioned before that I'm a straight up, stay-indoors-all-winter type of wimp when it comes to the cold, but I don't know if it can be any worse than running through a constant wall of humidity.

If you've been running for a while, which do you prefer: running in the heat, or the cold? Do you have any advice for combating the hot, hot weather?

Coming up this week, I'll be doing 2 intervals: running for 15 minutes and walking for 2. I'll also be adding in a 7 minute warm-up from the most recent issue of Runner's World that will help strengthen my core and gluts and help with balance (since my core is currently rather puffy, I'm sure it can use some strengthening... ditto for my gluts).

It looks simple, but since I'd still consider myself a novice at this whole "fitness" thing, it's probably going to be kick my butt for the first couple of days, so wish me luck! Hopefully, though, it will kick my butt in a good way and be helpful as I get ready for my first 5K and later for the Half Pig.

If you're out running this week, be safe and stay cool!

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Approximately 18 1/2 in 31

My deadline for my 31 in 31 list officially came and went as of yesterday. Did I manage to get it all done? Not quite... but, I did accomplish over half of it.

Completed Tasks:

-Go to China Town.
-Bake something fun (I made oatmeal butterscotch cookies - which received rave reviews! - and sour cream pound cake).
-Finish reading The Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Shelia Kitzinger.
-Start reading Ourselves as Mothers, also by Shelia Kitzinger.
-Play mini-golf.
-Go swimming.
-Do something new with my hair (I didn't do anything exciting... I've just been trying to do something other than my signature low pony w/ a side part).
-Help my aunt move into her new apartment.
-Find my iPod and load it with new music (go figure, it was in the purse the whole time!).
-Try out a new, local farmers market (went to Highland Orchards in West Chester, PA to pick strawberries)
-Re-vamp my blog (big thanks to Steph @ A Grande Life Goodies for my cute new blog design!).
-Scope out the library and see if they have any books from the DONA reading list and/or buy a couple more online

That's 18 officially crossed off. What about that 1/2 that I mentioned in the title? I got started on a few other tasks, but just didn't get them finished in time:

-Spring clean and organize the apartment:

Honestly? The only reason I actually got my butt moving on this one is because I knew that it was on the list (and ominously positioned at the number 1 spot!). Organizing is so not my forte and I just plain hat cleaning. But, for the sake of my list, I did clean out my front and linen closets, completely de-constructed my (stupid, glass) TV stand and gave it a good cleaning, cleaned off and reorganized a few shelves, got rid of a bunch of stuff, and make my desk look more presentable. I have a lot more to do, but it's a start!

-Make 2 more record clocks:

I have one in the works!

-Drop 6-8 more pounds:

I dropped 4 more pounds since making this list, so I was close! I'm not disappointed, though. I'm still averaging about a pound a week and have lost 15 overall (woot! go me!)

-Have all the parents over for dinner:

My "mistake" here was giving the moms the option of either coming over for dinner or coming over to go shopping at the outlets. The outlets won hands down. Us ladies had a fun day of shopping, but the dads stayed home. So, dinner is still in the planning stages.

Even though I didn't complete my list, I still feel like I had a pretty productive month, and I'm kind of in love with this whole list-making thing these days. I love being able to cross things off and see how much I've accomplished. Plus, when you have a list to refer back to, it's so much not to forget wanted you to do - brilliant!! Why didn't I think of this before?

What about you... are you a list-a-holic?

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Me and my Daddy-O

December 1985:
November 2008:
Happy Father's Day to my Daddy Pie! :)

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I Hate Running - Log 12: Moving On

Keeping it short and sweet today with just the nitty gritty details:

I moved my Challenge Day from Sunday to Monday last week because it was thunder storming all day on Sunday (I'm all about running in the rain... but I do not mess with lightning!). On Monday, I ran for 20 minutes, walked for 5 and then ran 5 more.

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I walked 3 minutes as a warm up, ran for 10, walked for 3, ran for 10 and walked for 5 as a cool down.

Next week, I up my running time to 12 minutes and I'm going to work on actually getting my first 5K scheduled! I'm aiming for sometime in August. If you live in the MontCo, PA area and know of any good, local 5K's - let me know!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday: Guilty Pleasures

The topic this week on Top 2 Tuesday is Top 2 Guilty Pleasures. Being the dork that I am, this was an easy one ;)

1. The Hoedown Throwdown

The Hoedown Throwndown tops the list because it actually rolls three of my guilty pleasures into one:

-Super cheesy Disney Channel tween shows

-Country music. (Although I guess this can't really be considered country music, but in the movie, it's a country line dance, so for the purposes of my guilty pleasures, it's close enough. Which brings me to the third...)

-Line/fad dances. I pretend to hate them because I look ridiculous when I dance, but really, I think they're a lot of fun. Maybe my secret love for line dances is due to the fact that I won an Electric Slide contest when I was 7? (and, in case you're wondering, my prize was the Two Princes single by the Spin Doctors on cassette tape).

2. Anime

It all started with Digimon when I was 14.... and then came Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, which featured such classics as Dragon Ball Z and Outlaw Star, and of course, there were the early morning Sailor Moon re-runs on one of our local channels.

I'm not as into as I once was, but I still love Sailor Moon (I own the entire series on DVD... in Japanese... with subtitles), have a few anime theme songs on my iPod, and can't walk by the (now extremely large) manga section in the bookstore without browsing for a little while.

What are your guilty pleasures? Visit the Undomestic Mama to play along.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Hate Running - Log 11: Running for Kenslee

I started running at a local trail last week because the loop I've been doing through my neighborhood has become less accommodating as my runn times are increasing. In order to avoid some nasty hills, I've been more or less running up and down a somewhat busy road. Now that I can run all the way up, and most of the way back down in one shot, I keep having to stop mid-run to cross. It's really been throwing off my groove, if you know what what I mean.

So, off I went to the Audubon Loop, starting at the Mill Grove Park, which is just a short drive from my apartment. I'm pretty sure it was love at first run.

Although it is parallel, and butts quite closely, to a main road, it is bordered on the other side by lovely meadows and walking paths. It weaves in and out of the trees so you don't always feel like you're running right next to the traffic and it's frequented by runners, walkers, and bikers, but never seems crowded. The trail also has just the right amount of gentle sloping hills that add some interest to the workout without making my legs feel like goo. I give two enthusiastic thumbs up - fine holiday fun!

In more exciting news, I have made my first big running-related commitment! My sister, Carlee, who trained for and ran her first marathon two years ago, has convinced me that if I really train for it, I'll be ready to join her to run a half marathon by May 1, 2011. More specifically, we'll be running the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, OH.

I'm only slightly frightened by the prospect of being ready to run 13 miles in less than a year. But, I have an amazing reason to stay motivated: my niece, Kenslee.

Kenslee was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder earlier this year called Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD). In a nutshell, this means that her body has trouble breaking down and storing glycogen. It's not an acute disease, but it is something that she will have to deal with her whole life. Presently, her condition is under control, but there there is the potential for long-term affects to her liver and kidneys as well as a lot more unknowns as she gets older. More information on the disease can be found here.

But, what does this have to do with running the Half Pig? Since this disease is so uncommon, there are only a handful of fundraising opportunities directly associated with GSD foundations. So, Carlee thought, if we'll be running anyway, why not raise money for GSD while we're at it? Of course there are a lot of details to work out, but come May 1, 2011, one way or another, we will be running for Kenslee (I'll keep you all posted as more details develop). There is no better motivation than that.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Brand Spankin' New!

You may have noticed that my blog looks a bit different these days? Let me be the first to welcome to the *new and improved* Little Miss Scatterbrained!

I take absolutely zero credit for the new loveliness of my blog. I owe it all to the talent of Steph @ A Grande Life. She designed the background, the signature, the header, and the button (did you see that I have my very own button?! How cool is that?). She was also very patient me, the blog design newbie, as we worked to get it all up and running. Thanks a heap, Steph! You rock!

Be sure to check out Steph's other blog: A Grande Life Goodies for all your custom blog design needs. (Trust me, she's awesome)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

He's onto Me...

The other day, on the way home from work, I told my husband that I needed new pants why do I need new pants, you ask? Because mine are getting too big!! I blame running :)

This was the rant that followed:

"Now wait a second. You say you 'need pants', but I know exactly what's going to happen (you do, do you?): You're going to go to 14 different stores and get all upset because you can't find 'anything that fits' (true statement - all that low-rise, skin-tight nonsense was not made for people with hips! I actually hate shopping for pants). Instead you're going to come home with 3 t-shirts and a cardigan (well, if I'm given a budget to go shopping with, why would I let it go to waste just because I couldn't find what I was looking for?). And you're going to start telling me in detail how cute they are and what good deals you found (because I'm an awesome bargain shopper and the world needs to know about adorable clothes at 90% off!). And a week later? You're going to complain that you need new pants (um, yup)."

Yeah. He's totally onto me ...but, he still told me that I could go pants shopping this weekend ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Jam" Packed Weekend

I haven't been too on top of blogging this past week. It's been a busy few days, and alas, I didn't even spend a single second on my computer this weekend. Crazy, I know!

I should also confess: I've been delaying my next post partly because I'm planning my first giveaway. I'm pretty darn excited about it! Here's the reason for the delay: Originally, I wanted it to coincide with my 100th post, but since you are currently reading my 100th post (woohoo! triple digits!), and my giveaway is not quite ready... I'm pushing it back a bit.

So, I decided that since the first 20 posts of my blog were actually imported from my previous blog, Newlywed Adventures, technically this really isn't #100, right? I'm going to split the difference and do my giveaway in my 110th post. Now that I've written it down and made it public, I have to stick to it! Are you curious yet? I'm not spilling the beans until 110!

But, in the meantime, I'll regale you with the scenes from my jam packed weekend.

It started out with a dinner at Panera Bread with Amy @ Little Miss Moon Blossom and Kara @ Lil Miss Wisecracker where we enjoyed refreshing strawberry poppy seed salads. After that, it was onto the Greek Festival:

We made it just time to watch these guys do some traditional Greek dances. They were fantastic! And the costumes? Amazing!

We didn't do much at the carnival except wander around and play the Frog Bog game. Sadly, none of us won, but we did end up with this sassy picture:

We concluded the evening with a trip to Zwahlen's for some of the best ice cream in town, and an impromptu trip to the movies and the grocery store.

Saturday, I spent most of the day with my hubby. We relaxed by the pool, spent some time reading, and swam for the first time this summer! It was glorious. I am ecstatic that our apartment complex has a pool. I'll be spending many lazy days over the next few months.

Sunday, Vickie @ Little Miss Suburban Homesteader drove to PA to teach us how to make strawberry jam.

Planning our "jam session" was a bit chaotic, and even after a few location changes and a couple time changes, Vickie almost wasn't able to make due to car issues. Thankfully, her car ended up being ok and we were able to rendezvous with her Highland Farm where we picked the main ingredient for our jam: the strawberries!

And, my goodness, were they delicious!!! Just feast your eyes about these little beauties (thank goodness we got more than we needed and were able to let the snacking ensue):

Down to business! We mashed 5 cups of berries:

Brought them a wild boil with the pectic and sugar all mixed in:

And filled up nearly 9 jars with gooey goodness:

Here's the finished product, cooling on the counter and popping away as the lids sealed:

Yes, the jam is just as delicious as it looks :)

(I also managed to knock 3 more things off my 31 in 31 list this weekend!)

I Hate Running - Log 10: Hot, Hot Heat

I'm going to keep my log short and sweet since I'm a bit late with it (plus, I'm squeezing this into my lunch break)... so, here is the past week's running in a nutshell:

Last Sunday (Challenge Day): In NY, I ran 15 minutes non-stop. Walked 5, ran 5, walked some more for a cool down.

Tuesday & Thursday: Did four intervals - ran for 7 minutes, walked for 2 with longer walks for warm-up and cool down.

Only got in 3 days due to a crazy schedule last week and I almost died in the heat!!! I'm considering getting my lazy butt out of bed early to run in the mornings when it's cooler since the heat isn't going away anytime soon, but we'll see (I'm not exactly what you would call a "morning person"... just ask the husband).

This week: Running 8 minutes, walking 2. 4 intervals.