Friday, November 30, 2012

Awesometastic Headbands!

Seriously!  These things are awesome!
And, their people are pretty awesome, too!
The contact that I have had with them has been quick and courteous.
They have gone above and beyond in the 'helpful' category.
 
Like most people, I was struggling with fly aways and headbands that claimed to stay in place but, in all actuality, did not.  I had spent a small fortune on various headband purchases and was about to give up all hope when I stumbled across Sparkly Soul headbands via a blog post earlier this year (possibly even very late last year).  Dang it!, I wish I knew which one so I could link back up to it. It may come back to me as I work through this post. If so, I will edit it in!
 
I used a blogger coupon code and ordered three bands; when they arrived I eagerly plopped the black one on my head and headed off to my CrossFit box.  Not only did I receive compliments from my fellow lady boxmates but the headband STAYED in PLACE the ENTIRE WOD!  For real!  I was instantly in love.
 
The Sparkly Soul headbands rock my world because they have the velvet, non-slip lining around the entire band.  There is no elastic piece on these headbands!  I love this!  And, they fit comfortably (no pinching or tugging at those little hairs near my ears!) and they do not cause headaches.  In fact, I hardly notice that I am wearing one at all and often have to 'touch' my head to be sure that I have one on before I head out for a WOD or run.  Awesomeness!
 
Since that first day, I have used the black band for just about every WOD and run.  It has even survived a Tough Mudder event with me!  For real!  Check it out!  It is still on my head (and, in the spot I put it!) at the end of Tough Mudder: Austin!
 
 
 
Since the Tough Mudder event, I have added more Sparkly Soul headbands to my collection, I have gifted Sparkly Soul headbands to my friends and I have even convinced by best (running) pals to spend a small fortune on them!  Our little running group has purchased several of these headbands for various events; every single one of my friends have since added to their collection once they found that these headbands seriously stay put!
 
This post is my own doing.  I have not been asked to review Sparkly Soul nor have I received compensation in any form for same.  I purchased my first headbands for my own curiosity and found that I loved them.  I subsequently purchased more headbands as I became more adventurous with my active wardrobe and began wearing more than black and/or dark grey.  And, I am the type of person that wants to share whatever awesome thing I have found; therefore, I purchased bands for friends and convinced them to spend even more money for themselves.  :)  And, I want you to know just how awesome I thought they were, too!
 


What have I been doing?

I began to regroup a few weeks ago.  What have I been doing?

I decided I wanted to properly train for a half marathon.  But, I didn't have one in mind and nothing (in my area) was within the time frame I was looking for.  So, I decided to pick a fake race day to train for.  Because the Whole Life Challenge was over on November 10th and I knew that I needed something to focus on or I would revert back to old habits and I was actually eager to get started, so I picked Monday, November 12th as my start date to train for fake race day.

I began to search the Internet for different training plans.  I was looking for one that started with low mileage (I didn't feel like I was ready to start with 3 mile runs and I was right), didn't have me running more than three days a week and didn't have back-to-back running days.  I also wanted to find one that was 16 or 18 weeks long.  In the beginning, I didn't think I would be able to find one to fit all three of my criteria (as simple as they sound) but I did!  I was pretty excited when I stumbled across this training plan.  I printed it out, marked it up with my dates and determined that fake race day was going to be Saturday, February 23, 2013.

And, guess what?  I learned that one of my good friends was training for her first full marathon.  And, they had a half marathon as well.  And, the race day was Sunday, February 24th!  For real!  I haven't actually registered for the race; however, I am giving some serious consideration to turning fake race day into real race day and following her to Fort Worth to run the Cowtown Half Marathon.  She will have her daughters there with her; and, I will take mine.  We have discussed making this a girls' weekend with our core group of best (running) pals and our daughters.  It's exciting to think about!

So, I have completed three solid weeks of training and have knocked out two of this week's three training runs.  For my third training run this week, I am running the Jingle Bell 5K Run with my sparkly friends while our kiddos run the Kids 1K.  I am feeling really good about my scheduled runs and quite accomplished with the fact that I have actually stuck to it and I am seeing improvement in how I feel when running.

I have also kept up with my strength/conditioning training.  I absolutely consider my trainers my very good friends and look forward to visiting the box.  I try to go on days that I am not running and even an extra day in between.  I even went on my birthday!

What have you been doing?  Are you on dailymile?  Twitter?  I have a dailymile and Twitter account; however, I am not very active on both and I would like to change that!  Will you join me there?!

dailymile: http://www.dailymile.com/people/nicolenolen#ref=tophd
Twitter: https://twitter.com/revvedrunner

#34 in pictures!

Seriously, I think #34 has been my favorite (adult) birthday yet!
Tuesday was my birthday and I had no plans except to see how the day went.
 
My daughters and I started the day meeting up with one of my best pals and her daughter for breakfast.  Donuts!
 
 
I received flowers from my inlaws.
 
 
I had lunch with my workmates.  We went to a favorite, local establishment (Hi-Ho Restaurant) and our waiter learned it was my birthday.  (After forgetting my tea,) He brought me a pastry treat complete with foil rose and snipped-straw candle!
 
 
 
I made it to the gym!
 

 
And, then I replenished the calories worked off.  :)  We had dinner at another local favorite (Water Street) and I indulged in their bread and garlic butter!  Oh, so good!
 
 
It was a good, good day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

regrouping!

So, I am regrouping.  I became overwhelmed (so much so that it even took me awhile to realize that was the problem) by trying to do too many things at one time.  Many of those many things were new to me, as well.  Over the last year (or so), I joined a CrossFit box, started, stopped and started again a running program and began to overhaul our pantry.  All of these things were new to me; I was trying to change too many old behaviors at once and became overwhelmed, frustrated and discouraged when I couldn't 'do it'.  So, I stopped.  Then I would become overwhelmed, frustrated and discouraged that I 'wasn't doing it'.  So, I tried again.  And, so on and so on.  It was a quite unproductive cycle.

When I was actually sticking to all three things at the same time, I felt so much better.  I felt 'alive' and enjoyed many new things that the confidence from time at the box and on the road running gave me.  However, I would become frustrated that I wasn't losing weight.  In fact, a few times I would weigh in and find that I had gained weight.  I never gave muscle vs. fat a thought.  At all.  So, I'd revert back to old eating habits and inactivity and actually lose weight but lose that 'alive' feeling.  I began to hate knowing what 'feeling good' felt like.  I sort of started wishing I was ignorant to what the changes in diet and exercise would do for me because I now had a new feeling.  Guilt.  Because I knew what it felt like to be on the right track with cleaner eats and activity, I felt guilty when I began to feel sluggish and 'gross' again.  All of these various feelings would have me making poor decisions when it came to my eats and activity; decisions I hated making but didn't really have enough hate for them to stop making them.  Does that make any sense?

I kept up with some of my favorite blogs and would occassionally reach out in the comments section or via email to see just how they pushed through.  The majority of the responses I received were to 'just keep at it'.  So, I did.  By joining the Whole Life Challenge.  In the beginning, this was fun and I was excited to be a part of it.  By logging in each day, receiving points for compliant eats and being active, it was a game with rewards of the tangible and intangible kind.  I felt like it was just what I needed to 'keep at it'.  However, it soon become another chore.  And, I soon started feeling guilty when I didn't do the things necessary to log points.  Then, I went on vacation.  It was hard getting back into the habit of logging in each day.  I kept moving; however, I wasn't as excited about doing it.  I was doing the WLC with a small group via Facebook and email; however, I was alone in my real life, day-to-day group of pals.  It was hard to keep at it and about the time I was ready to let myself bail, it was over.  And, I was relieved.

In the last weeks of the WLC, I realized just how overwhelmed I was, became sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and wanted change.  Real change.  This I can thank the WLC for.  By participating in the WLC, I learned a bit more about what works for me and what doesn't.  What motivates me and what doesn't.  And, that losing inches is way more fun than pounds.  :)

So, I am regrouping.  I want to properly train for and run a half marathon.  To get there, I want to use time at my box and cleaner eats.  Instead of trying to run a half marathon, improve on benchmark WODs in set time frames and purge the pantry and fridge to lose weight, I want to focus on the half and use the gym as strength training and the pantry to fuel properly for same.  This makes sense in my head; I hope I have translated what I am thinking well.  Basically, instead of taking on three things for three different reasons (run and be fast, CF and be strong and fast, eat better to be to lose weight), I want to run and finish strong, CF to run strong and eat well to be able to run strong.

Thanks for reading my babble!  I hope that you stick around as I journal my journey to my first, personal half marathon and the things I think and do along the way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I've decided I need to do...

I need to click the 'refresh' button.  I am going to click the 'refresh' button.  And, I am quite excited about it.  I feel like I have tried to take on too many things over the last year (running, CrossFit, cleaner eats) and did none of them as well as I would have liked.  It is hard to plan the unknown and all of these things were virtually unknowns to me.  So, I am going to 'refresh' my thoughts and get back to it - this time with a plan.