Weight I have lost

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2 Times in One Year

My 2nd time this year...I made it to the gym before work.  I really didn't think it was going to happen.

The alarm went off at 445.  McMenamin was sleeping soundly in the curl in the back of my knees.  Snooze.  D's alarm went off about 5 minutes later.  McM got up and ran around like he always does (this is D's normal time to get up). I remembered D moved his schedule so he could run in the morning. I concluded I was not a morning person and hit the pillow, but not before I reset the alarm. D got ready and left.  I closed my eyes.

The guilt settled in.  I closed them tighter.  McMenamin came back upstairs and made out with D's pillow.  The clock was now reading 520.  I was going to get up at 539 (that's where it landed, and I was not going to get all anal on the alarm).  I thought a little more about meetings at work. I thought I was already awake. Could I make my 930 meeting?  I got up, turned off the alarm, and got ready for the gym.

I think I shocked D by showing up.  I got in a .5 mile warmup, and did the 4.5 miler at 4.9mph.  I really pushed the last 1.5 miles. My legs are still talking to me about it.  I slowly did my .5 mile cooldown.  Then I came home.  The bed looked nice, but since it was 730 and I usually leave for work at 705, I knew I should get ready.  McMenamin was so happy I was home.  Scuttlebutt just laid in his crate looking at me, like "Why are you here?"  I left at 8. Managed to be at work by 905.

I ran 3 miles Saturday. Nothing exciting about it.  D and I did find a bar with a dog park attached.  I think McMenamin and Scuttlebutt really liked it.

Having a Great Time

So Happy

This is My New Girlfriend, Fiona Who Adores Kisses

Don't worry McMenamin. I still will show you love, too.

Scuttlebutt, the Ladies and McMenamin's Man

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Historic 6 Miles

So Saturday's long run was another view of what's around me.  I had been thinking about where to go run, and really wasn't sure.  It seemed every place was so far away.  Well it turns out, it may be far away in a car, but close on foot.
Pre-run hair

I decided to run in Cabbagetown, so I started at the Stacks (Formerly the Fulton Cotton Mill).

Stacks (D took this in January)
As I was walking, I knew I would walk through the Krog Street Tunnel but past that, I wasn't sure where to go.  Cabbagetown is interesting but it is mostly residential so it really made no sense to run it when I could have just gone through my neighborhood.  So I decided I would go through Old Fourth Ward.

I walked through the tunnel and looked around because when I run the Romp and Stomp, I don't really look at it.  You can see they are still advertising the Chomp and Stomp from November.  The Graffiti in the tunnel is pretty cool, usually.
Krog Street Tunnel

Side wall outside of the tunnel

Inside the tunnel
So I started the run on the other side of the tunnel and ran up Krog. I ran past Rathbun's and Rathbun's Steak.  I don't know if it was because I wanted a steak, or what, but I could smell meat at 750 am.  MMM meat.  I ran up Irwin and turned North and realized I was going to cross Freedom Parkway, which I didn't really want to do so I turned West toward downtown.  I had to run through 2 yards because I ended up at a dead end but was close to the Freedom Pkwy Trail (I could see it), so I got on that.  I ran that for about .25 miles.  I see this sculpture every day.  It is really cool.  My camera was acting wonky.
Homage to MLK Jr. Bronze Sculpture
I ran to the end of the trail and decided to run down to the MLK Historic Site.  When I got there, for some reason, I decided to go straight away from it.  I was going to run one street more South but there was a ton of construction.  I turned down a side street.  There were a lot of people getting meals at a shelter.  Everyone had coffee. It was very communal.  I can't explain it but it wasn't depressing.  Everyone seemed upbeat.

I continued my run and got closer to downtown.  I ran through the Grady Hospital Campus.  I get lost here every time I'm in the car.  On my feet, there was no difference.  I still find it peculiar Coca-Cola Rd (or Way or Drive) is right here, when the HQ is not.  I pondered that and then saw "Jesus Saves." If you are ever on the Connector in Atlanta at rush hour, you have likely seen the steeple of this church (Big Bethel AME). The interstate sits above the street so that's about all you see.  In a car, in the city, I don't pay attention that much to buildings, so I never knew where it was.  I do now.  From looking up what the name of the church is, I found out this...Founded in 1847, Big Bethel is the oldest predominately African-American congregation in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area. It also housed the first Black Public School.  An interesting read is here.
Big Bethel AME

I ran through the Sweet Auburn District and back towards the MLK Historic Site. I slowed down majorly here because I was taking pictures.  I saw both Ebenezer Baptist Churches, MLK's and CSK's crypt, the SCLC headquarters, SCLC-W.O.M.E.N, Inc., the house of the  principal of the HS MLK went to, and some other things.  There is a lot of history in this small section of town. The reason is because of the Jim Crow laws, blacks were segregated to certain areas, so this is where the black businesses, churches and places for social change set up. I actually didn't have a clue the significance of what I see every day. Well, I knew the MLK Jr. stuff, but I didn't know about all the different churches, the fire station, etc. I didn't know you could see the Kings' Tombs from the street.
Ebenezer Baptist Church, where MLK Jr. was ordained and preached
The other Ebenezer Baptist Church (across the street from the first one)
Eternal Flame and the Tombs of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King

Harper House, built in 1895
Details on the Harper House
The Bryant-Graves House (the brown house)

Information on Bryan and Graves

When I finished up running through all that, I found the water tower.  I only know what it is from Foursquare.  I always wondered what it was because it looks like something from the Civil War.  I was only at 4.4 miles.
Old Fourth Ward Water Tower
I decided to run to another section of town called Inman Park.  But Irwin Road was incredibly busy so I ran mostly in one of the neighborhoods.  It was quite boring to be honest.  It was hilly and I was close to being done so I wanted to be done.  I finally figured out I would be done and I turned back to the tunnel.  And then 6 miles was completed.
Krog Street Tunnel
Krog Street Tunnel
The light at the end of the tunnel

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It was a Fox Bros Burger Valentine's Day

So our Valentine's Day plan was to run 4 miles and meet at McDonald's for a Shamrock Shake.  So romantic.

Actually we celebrated Valentine's Day on February 4th. My favorite restaurant is closing, and it is small.  I don't like eating on top of other people, and I didn't want to have to deal with a special menu when I wanted something off the regular one, so I asked D if we could go on the 4th.  We would have gone on the 18th but they are closing on the 17th.  So one last Tres Leches Cake and we had a nice time.

Monday at 130am I woke up. D wasn't home yet from work (don't ask), and I texted him.  Then I started watching some food show on TV.  To my horror, the chef put unseasoned ribs on a pan, threw barbecue sauce on them and stuck them in the oven for an hour.  I think I cried for the pig that gave up his life to have ribs ruined like that.  So then I had a taste for ribs. 

Tuesday, I threw out the idea of going to my now-favorite place (Fox Bros),  or to a beer-and-donut tasting.  The Shamrock Shake idea didn't seem to be doing it for me.  We went to Fox Bros last year, and D picked it again this year.  At lunch we discussed our present we are getting for each other...a gas grill (you can't do ribs on a gas grill, but every once in a while a grilled burger is nice), to go with our charcoal kettle. 

As I drove home I tried to figure out if I was going to go run before we ate (hahahaha).  Then I tried to figure out what I was going to have.  As much as I like the place, I'm not a fan of the ribs because I don't like baby backs.  I'm a spare rib gal.  So I decided upon smoked chicken and brisket and Fox-a-roni (Brunswick Stew and Macaroni and Cheese mixed together).    Got home and then we were off.

We decided on Texas Fries.  I thought about the Stuffed Jalapenos (with cheese and pulled pork).  But chopped brisket with sauce, jalapenos, and cheese over fries, with a side of ranch won out.  Oh we hadn't had these in a long time.  Oh they were good. Oh my pants were getting tight. 

I still hadn't decided on what to get (I'm a woman, I change my mind often).  D informed me he was not taking anything home.  The gauntlet had been thrown.  Challenge!  We talked about Frito Pie as a side.  Neither of us got it.  We both got the Fox Bros Burger and I got Fox-a-roni, while D got tater tots. 

The burger was as good as the first time I had it, when it wasn't on the menu, but a special.  It was a toasted bun with a bunch of chopped brisket on it. Pimento cheese was melted on top of it.  I can't bring myself to eat pimento cheese anywhere else, but here, and only on the burger.  It was hot and bubbling. 
The 2 slices of thick bacon were as long as from my wrist to my elbow.  I folded them over so that they were on the burger.  D and I traded tomatoes and onions.  I ate the pickles off my burger.  The jalapeno mayo...it had started to melt from the heat from the cheese.  Oh wow!  And I hadn't even tasted it yet!

I bit into this and the flavors all meshed together and choirs sang!  Oh!  Wow! 

Every last bite was eaten.  The bottom of the tray was scraped clean.  There was no evidence I ever ate any of it. 

Until today...with a 3 pound gain on the scale.  Worth every damn bite.

*Fox Bros didn't pay me to write this.  I don't work there or do anything for their company.  I am friends with one of them on Facebook.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

11th Annual Chattahoochee Challenge

All week (all year) it has been really nice out.  50 degrees at least.  Of course the day I have to do a 10K it is 41 when I wake up and 20mph winds.  The news says the temperature is falling.

So that was at 545.  True to form, A and I decide we need to get to the race at an obscene early time.  After D and I get ready, which for him was putting on clothes and for me was "Will I be cold in this?  This is probably too hot?  I don't know what to wear," we left.  I forgot to get a pre-race hair picture.

So we picked A up at 615.  Had I read last year's report, I'd have known I could have picked her up at 620, but oh well.  A had on more clothes than I have ever seen her run in... a long sleeve YELLOW shirt (she says it is orange), and a vest.  Later in the day, I noticed she had another top below her LSY shirt.  We drove to Roswell, chatting.  One of my run songs came on (I had My Chemical Romance playing).  I told A about how when the song came on at the Smuttynose Half, I totally picked up my pace (in the 11th mile).  When it was over, I slowed down.

We got to the Chattahoochee Nature Center early, meaning we could still park at the CNC if we wanted to.  We decided to park a mile away at the school. It would be easier to leave.  We walked to the CNC and luckily no lines at one of the bathrooms. In fact I believe A and I were the first women of the day to use them.  When we were done and walking, I said I didn't pull up my pants right. D was like, "Excuse me?"  A knew what I meant.  I wear underwear everywhere, because you never know when you will be arrested and the last thing I want is to be in jail with no underwear (I read about this in Hints for Heloise when I was 9 and have stayed true). So I had the underwear slightly rolled with the compression shorts over them and the wind pants over them.

We got our numbers and waited for L and D and M.  3 men were talking about shaving their junk.  We wondered if that made them faster.  M arrived.  She was nervous.  It was her first 10K, and she didn't think she was ready.  I think she thought we might not wait for her either.  Of course we would. We didn't find L and D.  We ran into R, another friend.  Then we started toward the start line.  M had to use the rest room, so A and I decided to go again.  Not a big line.  This time when I got out, I was walking weird, so I fixed my pants in the parking lot (the underwear was fine, I didn't pull up the shorts far enough).

A and M were chatting and got way ahead of us. D and I just walked.  Finally we got there and finally the race started.  This is where things got odd.  As I crossed the start line (chipped timing), I hit the Garmin, like all Garmin people do.

I ran my 9-1 thing. I had my gloves off on the first walking interval. I was running slower than usual on this race, but I wasn't very upset about it because I also know that I tend to fall apart on miles 4, 5, and 6.  So we got to mile 1 at 12:17.  Again, because I felt off in my training, I was happy with this. Around 1.6 the eventual winner of the race passed me (the race is an L, so there are 2 out and backs).  I drank some water and got to mile 2 in 12:40.  D and A passed me.  D looked relaxed and had his hat and gloves off, A's face was bright red.  She waved though.  I got to Roswell Rd and turned around.  I saw M.  She looked determined.

I saw the Mile 3 marker up ahead.  I paid attention to the people around me.  Some were walking, some were sprinting then walking.  I looked up and the Mile 3 marker was gone.  WTH?  The sweeper truck already taking it down. I was irritated.  I know I'm not fast but you should at least wait for 40 minutes to pass.  Mile 3 was 12:39.  I got some water and continued.

The police wanted to open the road so they told me to get on the sidewalk (it is asphalt but it is windy, not with the road).  This irritated me.  It had also started to sleet.  I had 45 seconds before I needed to walk so I ran those on the road with the cop yelling at me to move.  At the walking spot, I did.  I'm glad I didn't do it while running because I would have rolled my ankle.  I decided to run with the road so I cut over lots of grass.  My first attempt at trail running...haha.  I reached Mile 4at 13:31.

So yes, the race was starting to fall apart.  I decided not to let that bother me.  I would just keep my own race.  A PR was gone, enjoy yourself.  My timing was perfect.  I reached a walking period just as I had to go up a hill.  Only 2 more hills and you are done.  I passed the finish line.  Didn't see D, though.  I kept going.  Finally got to mile 5. 13:48.  At this point I decided to switch to 4-1 walks.  My breathing was fine, but my legs were getting tired (obviously).  I was hot too.  I saw A going the other way.  She was bright red and looked like she was going to pass out.  I wondered if I looked like that. I had to run up most of the next hill.  I noticed people turning around before the hill.  This irritated me.  We were at mile 5.65 and people are cheating?  I mean really.  Ultimately these people are just cheating themselves, but I don't get that.  You've made it that far and you are going to cheat the end.  I ran down the hill did the turn around and started back up when a walk break came.  Hooray!  I saw M.  She looked spent, but was still going.  I was so proud of her.

I resumed running and tried to keep up my speed.  I was happy to have been doing the 4-1s because I was now really tired.  I kept telling my legs to move, but they weren't cooperating.  I finally reached 6 miles at 14:15 (79:10) right here).  The last .3 miles (the race is 6.3 miles...I've run it 5 times and get 6.3 every time)), I tried to be all smiles for the camera.  Except once again the photographer wasn't there.  This pissed me off. D said he got too cold.  It is your freaking job!  I crossed the line and stopped the Garmin at 1:23:13.

M came in 45 seconds later.  L and D were cold, so they hugged me and left.  We got M some dixie cups of water and she started walking toward the car. We told her we were getting our t-shirts.  She didn't seem amused by this since we had to go up a hugeass hill (I bet the cheaters went up that hill).  So we got up there and got the shirts.  We got some more water and found A.  D was cold (the temp had fallen) and wanted to go.  M was ready so we walked back to the cars.  It started to snow and the wind picked up.

At the cars we went our separate ways.  In the car I looked up my times from last year's 10Ks and saw this was my 2nd fastest.  So go me.  Later in the day, A said they had posted the times. She got a PR!!!

This is where it gets weird.  And you all have to decide for me.  My posted regular time was 1:23:04 and my chip time was 1:22:41.  My Garmin time that I started and stopped on the mats was 1:23:13.  So what time would you go with? All times still don't change it is my 2nd fastest.  I'm tempted to go with the Garmin time, because I know it is how long I was out there.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Midweek Ramblings on a Friday

This week's runs so far have included a 3.5 miler and a 2 miler.  I did the 3.5 miler on Wednesday.

On Thursday, I was telling some friends that while I feel good running, I don't feel like pushing myself so I don't bother.  And I'm bothered by not being bothered.  I'm getting back to comfortable speeds.  But my mind starts playing games, like, "If you run for 2 more minutes, I'll let you slow down."  Here's the thing...I probably could run for 4 more minutes at the speed, but I just don't, because I ran the 2.

I think I also don't have any clue with where I am in my training could be part of the problem.  I have a 10K on Saturday that I was excited for until I saw the weather report...24 with 20mph winds.  Yay!  I can do cold, but I hate wind.  Oh well.  At least this will help me figure out where I am in terms of training and speed.

I did run 2 miles almost 2 minutes faster than last week.  I have to see if it is the fastest.  For some reason, I keep thinking I ran it in 23:58, but no, I ran it in 22:58.  I felt pretty good.

The bad (if you want to call it that)... my heart rate is running lower.  I noticed this last summer and then it reappeared the past 2 weeks (and I know the HRM is working now) that it was taking me less effort to walk .5 miles and run 2-3 miles.  While I'm happy I'm getting healthier, it means I'm burning less calories, which means less to drink.  The world of moderation, here I come!

Update: It appears to be the 2nd fastest 2 miles.  I ran 2 miles at 22:44 last summer.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Little 5 Mile Run

So I had 5 miles on tap today.  Being a little bored with running, I decided to try a different route, although I didn't have a route picked out (this is why I love running with a Garmin...you can just run).  I decided to go to the zoo and run through Grant Park.  As I was walking, I could hear the animals.  It was nice out...52 degrees.  I walked up to Georgia Avenue.  I was going to run through the Zoo parking lot, but at the last minute, I wondered how far Turner Field was. So I turned the other way on Georgia and started my run.

I drive on Georgia quite often.  So imagine my surprise as I was running that I saw a library that I never knew was there.  I wondered if it was as crappy as the one that is near my house (you can't get books at mine).  I wondered why it was there considering another one is less than 3 miles to the east and one is less than 2 miles away to the west.  Maybe it was there first.  I passed a track and a park.  I passed a BBQ joint and got to Turner Field.  I realized I could run through the parking lot and answer a question I wonder every day.  How big is the Parking lot?  So I ran through it (I got distracted and forgot to look).  I ran on Fulton County Stadium (now a parking lot).  I got to see Hank Aaron's 715 Marker, which I can see from the road, but I never have looked at up close.  Another plus was I stayed running on asphalt, as there is no way to run on the Hank Aaron/Capitol Ave.

View of the City as I entered the Braves Parking Lot
Turner Field from the other side of the parking lot
Where Hank Aaron's 715th Home Run landed
 So I finished running through the parking lot and decided I would run up to the Olympic Cauldron (another parking lot).
Muhammad Ali lit the Cauldron in the 1996 Olympics
So I finished running the parking lot and decided I would run another way home, except I wasn't even close to 5 miles.  I was under 2.  So I decided to run to Nick's Greek To Go. Nick makes the best food.  I don't even bother making Tzatziki any more.  I love his Pasticio.  At 8am though, I wasn't going to get any.  I ran down Glenwood, because I figured running down Capitol to MLK was too much of a pain.  Glenwood was ok but Hill Street is not conducive to running. There is no lip on the street for when cars come.  Of course there is a huge sidewalk. We drive this intersection a lot. I never noticed the "park."

This made me laugh (Nick's is the blue building in the background)
 I got to Nick's.  Most people drive past this place. They don't know what they are missing.

Nick's (Carry-out only)
By now I was at Mile 2.5ish.  I was not tired (I wonder if stopping to take pictures had something to do with it).  I figured I should wrap this up, but I was so close to Oakland Cemetery.  I was going to run through it but there was a wedding set up (yes, people get married in this cemetery).  So I stayed out of their way.  I decided to go visit Bobby Jones's grave. There are usually a ton of people there, and I can never see it.  No one was there when I went.  I turned off my watch in the cemetery because I was just looking.

Entrance to Oakland Cemetery

I love the golf balls
I finished up in the cemetery and crossed the street.  I ran behind Habitat for Humanity, and some restaurants.  I ran all the way to Boulevard.  Of course this was the fastest mile yet.  I turned and retraced my steps.  I finally got back to Cherokee.  I remembered this is why I don't like running in Grant Park.  The road slopes so you have to run in the middle if you have bad hips/knees.  I got to the actual park and was almost done.  Lots of people were walking their dogs. One guy who wasn't making an effort to clean up after his dog mentioned to me there was a sidewalk.  I told him I don't run on sidewalks since people like him don't pick up after their dogs (the park offers bags for free and trash cans). I decided not to be a total bitch...I didn't take a picture of him not cleaning up after his pup.  Finally I hit 5 miles and I stopped.  My cooldown was on the sidewalk.

(I don't run on the sidewalk because it is bad on my hip).

All in all, I had a really nice run.  I got to see things up close that I always wondered about. I got to see things I never paid attention to.  And I got a 5 mile run done.  Time wasn't great, but today I didn't really care.  I think the smile I have thinking about how much I enjoyed it is all that counts.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nothing Exciting...Running, Beer, Crab Pretzels

I did it.  I made it to the gym in the morning.  D and I were all set to go to the gym Tuesday night. Then he mentioned the Caps were on (We have DirecTV and the gym has Dish, which meant it wouldn't be on at the gym). I mentioned I was cold.  We decided we would run twice on Wednesday.

So at 5am we got up. I don't think it was hard for D since this is his normal time of waking up.  We took separate cars over to the gym, because he was running 2 and I was running 3.5.  The gym was packed!  Apparently, all the NY Resolutioners go to the gym at 5am!  Who knew?

We both got treadmills and began.  Nothing exciting.  I finished and got home about 10 minutes after D left for work.  All day my hip and knee felt wonky.  I didn't think I would run that night.  It took over 2 hours to get home. When I finally did all I wanted to do was cut off my hip and cry.  It hurt to sit in a chair.  I told D I was going to go watch TV in bed, and I couldn't run. I would do it Thursday AM.  He went.  I went to sleep. Since D gets up every day at 5AM, no need to set my alarm.

I looked at the clock at 441 AM.  Ah 19 minutes more.  I looked again.  546.  D was sound asleep. I don't know why he didn't set his alarm, but he didn't, and I was just as equally to blame, since mine wasn't set either.  Anyway he got up.  I decided I would have to run after work and to go to work now, so as to not spend 2+ hours in traffic again.  I had forgotten about the hip.

While at work, I started thinking about my hip. It wasn't the same pain as before.  It really was stemming from the knee.  Maybe I should relax on the ITB Strap.  I left work and made it over to the gym...

The gym was empty at 515pm.  So odd!  Anyway I ran 2 miles in less than 25 minutes.  The speed is returning (if you can call it that).  The first mile was 12 minutes and the second was 12:31.  The knee felt fine.

Got home and ate dinner, and then D and I went on a date.  There was a tap takeover at a bar we hadn't been to before.  It was a fun time.  We looked at the menu...we'll have to go back.

Can you guess who took over the taps?  I love Breakout Stout!

Bank of America Building by Midtown Tavern (where we were)
So the Puppy Bowl is on this weekend.  Despite not liking the Ravens (who aren't in the Puppy Bowl), I will be making crab pretzels (a Baltimore Tradition). Good thing I have a run to make up on Sunday.  Need something to burn those calories.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Totals

So January is over.
I lost 1.9 pounds over the month (although neither 1Jan nor 1Feb is a weigh-in day).
I kept my food journal every day. 

I started Half-Marathon training.  That wasn't spectacular.  I would have gotten a 62.5%.  I won't lie; I used the anniversary of Guinness's death as an excuse to go to bed/stay in bed instead of run. I did run 37.22 miles, however.

I tried 17 new recipes.  I drank a lot of beer.

I finally got the Gym Rat Badge on Foursquare!  4 times last year I got to 9 times in 30 days.  This time I got the 10th!
Foursquare Gym Rat Badge

Conclusion:  I'm happy with my progress.  I know areas I need to work on.  I know the areas I need to keep up.