Monday, March 30, 2009

This Week

It looks like P90X and running will be on the back burner this week. We have had a death in the family and will be traveling to Arkansas for the funeral. I'm still going to shoot for 4 runs this week, but don't hold me to it. We're leaving tomorrow after work, then flying back to Charleston late Thursday night. Just take a minute today to tell the people close to you what they mean to you, you never know when you won't have the chance.

On a lighter note...
Emmy, the foster dog, is still with us for now although the wonderful ladies that are in charge of everything in the rescue are trying to move her for us. It's not that I don't love her because I certainly do, it's just that we are not the best place for her with our cats/yard/neighbors and we have so much else going on right now that we're going to have to stop fostering for a while. She was originally supposed to be a temporary foster, but has now been with us for 5 months. Check out her blog for some cute pics I added yesterday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Mile and 5K PR!!

I decided to go ahead and run the 5K in downtown Charleston this morning. It was a small race, probably about 150 runners. Before we started, the race director (who was standing under the Finish sign that a couple of guys had just put up) announced that the course was 250ft short and there was nothing he could do about it. I wanted to point out that perhaps they could move the finish sign back 250ft along the path (there was plenty of room). I guess that would have been too difficult. The organization was less than perfect but that's ok because I PR'd. It's nice being slow because there is so much room for improvement.

The race started in a park with lots of overhanging trees that confused poor Gary. He didn't know how fast we were running. My previous 5K PR was 29:39, so I knew I needed to stay around 9:30 pace to beat that. Mile 1 split was 8:54. Holy blazes, that's superwoman speed for this gal! I tried to slow it down a bit for mile 2, and finished that at 9:15. I was really huffing and actually had to stop and take a couple walk breaks in the last mile. I was berating myself for going out too fast and blowing my shot at a PR, but it turned out that I had enough gas in the tank to finish up in 28:55. I kept running past the oddly premature finish line until Gary told me we had run 3.1.

Final details:
My fastest ever mile = 8:54
5K PR (according to Gary, not their no-time-chip, unorganized, short "official" time)=28:55
Average Pace = 9:18:44

I'm very excited and glad I decided to run it. Now I have to figure out how to spend the rest of the day since the severe storms here have eliminated all chances of getting the yard work done that I had planned. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm a Slacker

So after my stellar 14 miles on Saturday, and double workouts on both Monday and Tuesday, I have done nothing the rest of the week. I woke up Wednesday in the worst mood ever, just hating everything and with zero motivation to work out. Yesterday I was in a better mood, but motivation to work out. Today there is some slight motivation, but I figure why break my slacker streak on a Friday so I don't think I'll do anything today. There is a tiny possibility I may do a 5K in the morning. I didn't realize how sore the P90X was going to make me. My chest/back/abs were still sore yesterday from Monday's workout. I had to take a look at the schedule this week and do some rearranging so I can tackle it smarter and more effectively next week (ie, not have Plyometrics immediately following Spin; move legs/butt workout to early in the week instead of Friday so I can still get long runs in on Saturday). I am recommitting to running/P90X next week, but for now I'm going to enjoy the rest of my slacker week. Gotta go....I hear the french toast in the cafeteria calling my name. Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

P90X Day 2: Plyometrics

Here is Tony Horton, the P90X creator. He likes to make this X with his arms during the videos, presumably to remind you of how X-treme it/he is. Tony is good at Not so much. I am terrible at jumping. In fact, when I was on dance team in high school we would have to change formations to hide me in the back for any routines that had toe-touches because I cannot get my self more than a few inches off the ground. It used to be embarassing, now I've embraced it. I am just not a jumper, but I did give it my best shot and it is a pretty fun workout. I have a spin class on Tuesday mornings that I love, so I went to that first then came home to hang out with, and curse at, Tony for some plyo. It is a great cardio and leg workout, with lots of variations on jump squats and sports drills. I had to take pretty frequent breaks and stop a few exercises early because my legs were so tired, and I didn't want to completely ruin myself for running the rest of the week. This workout definitely had me huffing and puffing and chugging water.

I had to be at work at 12:30, so between Spin, P90X and playing with the dogs a little bit, there wasn't much time for lunch. I think I should have eaten more than the Shot Blocs, protein bar and chocolate milk that I grabbed because I had a huge brain fart on the way to work and got lost. Driving to the same job that I have driven to 5 days a week for the past 2.5 years...lost. I drove around downtown Charleston for a good 15 minutes before I finally got where I needed to be. I park about a mile from the hospital and walk, so I went from thinking I was going to be early to almost being late. Oh well, I am very directionally challenged so you add a little hypoglycemia to the mix and you have one lost Amanda. Now I am at work eating some green beans, grilled salmon and mac & cheese so it's all good. 2 days down, 88 to go!

Monday, March 23, 2009

P90X Day 1

Our P90X finally arrived (and I think the other one is still en route from Asia, but I'm not sure...maybe I'll give up trying to return it and host my first ever blog giveaway). You need some equipment for this program: a chin-up bar, yoga mat, and dumbbells or bands. So Rich did Day 1 this morning while I was working, and I knew that we hadn't purchased dumbbells or bands so I was curious about what he used for weights. 18 packs of Miller Lite. Let the redneck jokes begin! And apparently he worked so hard he puked. I would love to have been a fly on the wall watching this sweaty man hefting boxes of beer around til he yakked. I got a good laugh out of it, and then stopped at Target for some 8lb weights (I'm a lightweight).
Day 1 is Chest/Back plus Ab Ripper X. It is TOUGH!! It's pretty basic with lots of chin-ups (I use a chair for assistance) and push-up variations. The chest/back DVD is about 50 minutes, and Ab Ripper X, which from known on will be known as AbRx, is a kick-arse 20 minute ab workout. I definitely was not able to do all the moves, but I feel good and can't wait to get stronger. I took before pictures, but I don't think I will subject you all to my love handles and cellulite in a bikini, so you'll just have to take my word for it in 90 days about whether or not it worked.

Oh, I also ran 4 miles before P90X, so I should sleep good tonight!

I have always wanted to have a garden, but never really had a good spot for it in our yard. This year one of neighbors tilled up half of his backyard for several people on the street to plant in, sweet! I planted peppers, lettuce, arugula, raspberries, cucumber, tomatoes, and squash yesterday. It is my first attempt at gardening other than some cherry tomatoes and herbs in pots, so it may be a huge flop, but maybe it will grow and we'll have homegrown veggies this summer!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Longest Run EVER and First Ice Bath

Yesterday morning I had a 10 mile long run planned, but as I was driving out to run I kept thinking that I wanted to do more, maybe 12. Then I thought, Why not 14? The longest I've ever run is 13.1 in my 3 half-marathons, and if I can do that then I should be able to do 14. I had my fuel belt with 2 bottles of water and 2 Gatorade, a Gu, and a package of sour worms. I was doing an out and back, so I knew if I did 7 out then I would have to do 7 back so that's what I did. I had no major pains any time during the run, just the usual ache in my hips that I always get on longer runs. I ate the Gu at mile 7, and alternated drinking water and Gatorade every mile. I ate a couple sour worms (my favorite candy ever, so I decided to use it instead of Shot Blocs or Sport Beans) ever other mile. I finished up 14 in 2:35:40, most of my splits were in the 11:00-11:10 range.

Then I decided to take a cue from the Ice Queen and take my first ever ice bath. I put on bikini bottoms and a sweatshirt, ran cold bathwater then added 3 bags of ice. It HURT!! I was expecting biting, stinging cold but I was not expecting the excruciating bone pain in my ankles that it caused. I hopped out, then decided to try again. This time I managed to stick it out, and after another minute or two my ankles went numb, so I ended up with a total of 7 minutes in the ice bath. Today I am really glad I did, because my legs feel much better than I would expect them too after a 14 mile run. I can tell they ran long yesterday, but I'm not sore at all. Thanks Aron!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Friday/Sweaty Runs

For your viewing pleasure, here is my sweaty self after my 6 miler yesterday afternoon. It was really warm here, probably in the upper 70s and it was my first really sweaty run of the year. I don't know about ya'll but I really get a sick sense of pleasure from being really sweaty after running, like I really accomplished something. I like being able to see white salt crystals on my arms after I cool off. I like to be able to wring out my ponytail. I like to see that big wet semi-circle on my sports bra. Am I the only demented one who feels this way? Happy Friday, and Happy First Day of Spring!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Totally Non-Running Post: Book and Beauty Product Reviews

  1. Just Checking scenes from the life of an obsessive compulsive by Emily Colas is the book I just finished. It is a series of vignettes that skip around in time, rather than a chronological story organized in chapters. It is pretty interesting, and funny and sad. The author tells of her life with OCD, and how she is constantly preoccupied with worry: will she get a disesase because she passed someone on the street who had a cold sore, is someone putting dirty needles in her food at restaurants, what is that brown liquid on the table in a coffee it blood? maybe I have HIV now. While I do not have OCD, I have been known to find myself worrying about things that seem almost as outlandish (I once went to the emergency room because I thought I had a blood clot in my leg, and was going on a long trip the next day and was convinced that it would travel to my lungs and kill me....turns out it was a deep bruise from a alcohol-fueled canoeing accident a few weeks earlier) Even thought I should be more sympathetic, I found myself irritated at the author for her irrational fears, so I cannot imagine how her husband felt (it does go into their relationship quite a bit as well). It's a short book, and another interesting read. I think I've had my fill of psychological books for awhile after the Beautiful Boy, Tweak and Just Checking.

  2. Nars blush in Orgasm is a cult favorite makeup product, aka it has a huge following and everyone seems to love it. I thought about buying it a year or so ago but decided to wait. The other day I was out running some errands and decided to pick one up and see for myself what all the fuss is about. To me, as long as it is in some socially acceptable shade, blush is blush. It keeps you from looking dead, and brightens up your face a bit. So...what do I think of Orgasm? I like it! I like it a lot! Is it fantastically better than every other drugstore brand blush out there in a similar shade? Most likely not. But it is a great color, and I can see how it would be flattering on most people. It is a peachy-pink with a hint of goldish shimmer that would go well with most lipstick and eyeshadow colors. It will give you the perfect hint of allover face color if you lightly sweep it over the face with a big brush, or you can wear it in the more traditional blush on the apples of the cheeks way. Bottom line: I'm a fan, but if it was discontinued tomorrow I wouldn't stress that I'd never be able to replace it.

  3. Covergirl Outlast Lipstain, I tried the shade 3rd from the left, Bit of Blossom. This is my first experience with lipstains, and I must say I am a big fan. This product does what I have always wanted long-wearing lipsticks to do. It gives your lips color for hours, but does not have that painted-on, cracking/peeling/drying feeling of all the other longwear lipsticks I've tried. While it is not the most moisturizing lip product out there, you don't feel like you have to constantly apply gloss over it either. I have had it on for 4 hours now, and it has been through a grande nonfat latte and is still there. It starts out pretty bright, but fades to a pretty my-lips-are-just-naturally-this-color shade of pink. It goes on with a tip that looks like a big felt tip pen so you can get precise application. I highly recommend this one!

  4. Max Factor Vivid Impact lipcolor, I have it in Pin-up Pink #04, shown above. I love it! It has a nice creamy feel to it that reminds me of my MAC lipstick. It definitely feels more high-end than something you would pick up at WalMart, which is exactly where I got mine. I love that you can see the color through the bottom of the tube so you can get a better idea of the true color than looking at a swatch on the display case. I bought the liner to go with it, and it has a brush on one end and liner on the other. I have never really seen the point in applying lipstick with a brush, but if that's your thing then you might like it. This shade is a great matte pink, but all the colors look really nice and they are supposedly hyperpigmented to give a rich, lasting color. I say these will find many fans.

  5. Love's True Bluish Light (LTBL) by Ava Luxe is a gorgeous perfume at a wonderful price. Ava Luxe is an indie brand, with one perfumer making a huge number of different scents. She has something for everyone: incensey smells, citrus, fruity, dark and smoky, light and ethereal. These fragrances are special, they don't smell like every other department store fragance out there marketed by celebs who probably have no idea what the perfume they are selling even smells like (not to say that I don't love some Briney Spears Fantasy, because I do!). These are handmade, and are really a form of art in some ways. LTBL is sweet and soft, the America's sweetheart of perfume-- it would be almost impossible to hate. It doesn't smell "perfumey" but is more of a skin scent, your skin but better. It's a gentle vanilla musk, and it is at the top of my wishlist. If you're intriqued by her website, check out The Perfumed Court where you can buy 1ml samples of many of her scents to see which ones you can't live without!

Have any of you tried any of these products? Do you have any recommendations for things you like better? Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


So I decided to try and figure out what Twitter is all about. Do any of you use it? What do you think? I created a profile, my name is mandypantsruns if anybody wants to check it out. If you're on Twitter, send me your info and I'll look you up. It looks like it's a little mini blog, or like a Facebook status update in blog format. Happy St. Patty's day everyone, don't drink too much green beer today!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quick Book Reviews

I just recently finished reading Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, and Tweak by his son Nic Sheff. They tell the story of Nic's addiction to alcohol and drugs, including crack, heroin, and meth, from each of their perspectives. I really enjoyed them both, although David and Nic have very different writing styles. Beautiful Boy tells his father's side of the story: how he struggled parenting Nic, how torn and hurt he was over Nic's addiction, how he was tormented with the unknown when Nic would disappear for weeks on end. It also has some pretty scientific information about addiction, and what drugs physiologically do to your brain and body. Tweak fills in the gaps with Nic describing where he was and what he was doing when he was away from home for long periods of time. It chronicals his descent into heavier and heavier drug use, his struggles with recovery and relapse, recovery and relapse. It is hard to read at times, and you will feel hopeful and hopeless about his chances of lasting recovery. You will cheer for him, and cry for him and want to shake him for the things he puts himself and his family through. He is brutally open and honest, and it is a fascinating, although not exceptionally well-written, read. Thankfully I don't have any personal or family experience with drug addiction, but I still found these two books very moving and informative. I highly recommend them, if only for the sake of better understanding addiction and how it can affect every aspect of the lives of the addict and everyone around him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random Bullets

  • Finally feel like I'm back in the running groove

  • Ran 3 miles Monday, went to Spin and Body Flow Tuesday, ran the bridge (5 miles, with a huge hill) today

  • If you're wondering why it's taking me forever to read Eragon, it's because I'm reading about 5 books at a time.

  • I think I'll start doing short book reviews when I finish them

  • Rich and I saw Taken-loved it! The girl is really cheesy the way she flails around and calls her mom and dad "mommy" and "daddy," but it is really exciting and in my opinion a great thriller.

  • Still have not resolved the Paypal issue where I payed for P90X twice

  • still have not received P90X, although we did get the chin up bar today

  • We are spring-cleaning, going through clutter and junk room-by-room..yuck!

  • Saturday we found a 12 year old yellow lab, he stayed with us Saturday night. Sunday morning we made a sign, and as we were going to put it up we saw a sign for a missing lab, we called it was him. The couple said they got him when the were engaged, they have been married for 11 years, they cried when they saw him.

  • He limped and has cataracts but still tried to get frisky with Fiona (our boxer). She gave him the don't-touch-me-you-dirty-ole-perv smackdown.

  • I'm thinking of signing up for this but I'm scared it might kill me. It is on my 30th birthday, and is about an hour from Vegas. It would be awesome to say I ran past this beautiful scenery and completed my first marathon on my 30th.

  • I live at sea level, this could be a problem.

  • Sorry for the bullets, I'm feeling lazy today.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Choosing the next Half

My goal for the year is 4 half marathons, and I have one under my fuel belt already, Myrtle Beach. Rich and I debated doing one in Atlanta at the end of March, but it would wind up being a pretty expensive weekend because the registration is $75 each, plus a couple hundred dollars for boarding 4 dogs for a weekend. We do have a friend in Atlanta that we could stay with so we wouldn't have to find a hotel. The boxer rescue would reimburse us for Emmy's boarding if we still have her then, but I know there are always so many needs for money in the rescue and I hate to take any for boarding so we usually end up paying for it ourselves. So...we may still decide last minute to drive to Atlanta for this one, but more than likely not.

I was super excited to meet (online, not in person yet) fellow local blogging runner Kristin who is training for her first marathon, the North Carolina Marathon on May 2nd. I think we are going to sign up for the half at this one. It looks like it is a smaller race, and benefits the foster home system which of course I am all for in humans as well as doggies. That gives us 56 days starting today to train. It is probably quite a bit hillier than Myrtle was, so there will definitely be lots of hill training in our future. Rich and I are going to talk after work tonight and make a final decision on it. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We finally ran, ordered P90X, and a funny story

After being lazy about running and working out since the half, we finally got out and did 3 miles together yesterday afternoon. I had really been dreading it, but it felt great. We did it in right around 31 minutes, nice and easy. I'm actually a bit sore today...not sore exactly, but I can tell I did something physical. It's amazing how much running is a use-it or lose-it thing.

We are trying to cut down on eating out, for the wallet and waistline. Last night we cooked pork tenderloin, baked beans and salad and opened a nice bottle of Zinfandel. I used my new Giada's Everyday Italian cookbook and made a big batch of marinara sauce. We're having spaghetti (whole wheat) tonight, and I froze enough sauce for several more meals.

We ended up ordering the P90x DVDs and chinup bar on Ebay (we may or may not have tried unsucessfully to download them for free, shhh). Actually, due to part Ebay issue (after I purchased it, Ebay emailed me that the item violated copyright laws and had been removed and was not available for purchase. However the seller had already shipped it and received my payment), part Amanda issue (too impatient to resolve issue with DVD set 1 and immediately "buy it now" another set), I actually bought and paid for 2. Now I am just waiting on my Paypal dispute to be resolved and my account to be credited back. When I bought it, the sellers name showed up as totally American names, April and John. Well, when I started email correspondence about the mix-up here are emails I received from them.

Me to "John" Hi, what item number is this for? I received an email that the item had been removed from Ebay for some reason after I thought I had purchased it. Therefore I have already purchased another one since it appears that the transaction we had was void. Please send me the $59.80 back to my paypal.

"John's" response to me: hi,friend,very sorry for my delay,the item is p90x,my ebay account have matter,and the informations of ebay give you are automatic informations,i sent the package,and i you can tracking the package later because it need some times for transact,but i can ensure you can got it quickly,please tell me if you have any questions,many thanks.

HUH??? I think the DVD set from John will be the one I keep because I don't really feel like trying to sort things out with him after that email.

Now, the response from seller #2, "April," to the same email (both DVD sets had apparently been removed due to copyright problems, but after payment had been sent).
ok,friend,i will touch the postoffice,and not let them sent the package,and i will give you payment return if you make sure you not want.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

P90X...anybody have any experience with this?

I have been a huge slacker the last couple weeks since the half marathon. I've run a grand total of 2 miles. But that changes today! I'm going to do an easy 3 today, then try for 5 or 6 tomorrow. I am dreading it a little because I know it's going to be tough after taking a 2.5 week break but I'm ready to be back out there again.

Now, moving on to P90X. I have seen it mentioned here and there around the blogosphere, and recently saw a couple of infomercials on it. And you know infomercials...they can convince you that you absolutely cannot live without whatever it is they are peddling. However, P90X seems legit. It is supposedly a very intense, 90 day, at home fitness experience made up of strength, cardio and yoga workouts. We have a gym membership, and I love to go to classes there, but I am thinking of doing p90x as a jump-start way to build some muscle and burn some fat. I also want to continue running during this time so I'll have to find a way to balance them. So please, if you have any P90X experience, let me know what you think. Did you like it? hate it? get results? Any tips? Is it a waste of money? (we'll be getting it on Ebay, not from the P90X site). Did you run and do p90x at the same time? Did you follow the nutrition plan? What did you do after the 90 days are over?

This is what I hope to look like after 90 days of p90x.... a girl can dream, right?:)