Friday, November 29, 2013

Kicking Off The Retail Season...

Okay well today is Black Friday, typically it is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. I tend to not stress too much over this day because my business is not overly too effected by the madness of this so called day. We run a decent sale, but it is for 5 days and well no one comes running into our store for engraved gifts on Black Friday, they are looking for insane deals and well we just don't have that this day. Now come the last 10 days of Christmas, oh man does my business keep up.

But anyway it is a long day and a busy day none the less. It is a great dress rehearsal type of day for our store because it picks up so much that we can finally get in the swing of things. And after today my life is never the same for the next 27 days until Christmas, seriously!

After having an amazing turkey dinner in the crock pot last night, I know sounds strange but it works out amazing!!!

About 9 hours on low with a cup of water. Easy peasy lemon squessy!

The best ever! I will do being this more often for sure. 

Back to my coma, I passed out full and happy, only knowing I would be getting up for work in only a couple of hours. Oh wait I didn't mention James and I actually went out last night to try out Black Friday shopping. Considering we always work on the day of the event, we never get to partake in any of the deals, we decided last night to hit up Target and Best Buy. I admit there were some great deals out there. DVD box sets for so cheap, like Mad Men and The Big Bang Theory, I am sort of kicking myself right now for not getting them at 8.00 bucks a piece, but I have been DVRing all the airings in our bedroom tv, so I try to justify if I really needed it.

SOoooo instead I bought two sparkle sweatshirts, an animal print pj set, a running type of hoodie, and two animal print slippers and shoes. Totally justifiable lol.

But it wasn't as crazy as I thought it was going to be, but I guess I can say I shopped on Black Friday at midnight. Bucket list, check!

This morning I dressed in all Black to morn my life for the next 27 days and kick off Black Friday. Aren't I just so clever.

After my long 10 hour shift, which by the way I had no time to eat or drink anything. I literally only ate 2 Quest Bars all day because it was all I had in my bag, I was not prepared. I REALLY need to do better at that. I think I was just so sleepy and groggy I just grabbed whatever. But at least I had something and I wasn't running to the Food Court, I will NEVER do that.

I was feeling a little blah from the food yesterday, I made good choices, but had some weakness moments, like Almond M& M's but today I made sure I made up for it, drank water, ate just leftovers, continued tracking and never gave up.

Tomorrow is another long day of work and then right after, literally from work, I am going to my friend Jacke's wedding. I seriously need to get sleep now because it is going to be an even longer day tomorrow. I am so excited for this wedding. It is going to be beautiful and grateful to unwind with a glass of wine. Plus I am off on Sunday, no plans, so I can sleep in!

My new PJ set and slippers from last night. I believe you can never have too much
animal print and pink! Plus this set is so comfy, I think I will be living in this everyday.

If you went shopping today, hope you had great success and found lots of amazing deals!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Trotting

This post is a little out of order to my previous one, but realized I did take pictures and of course I have to post about the turkey trot this morning. My work BFF was also participating in this event and she has two small children, so I told her I would hang back with her and jog and mostly walk to help her out with the kids. This event is a huge, 1000's of people attend this race and it is so packed you cant move around and if you stop, your tampled. I don't count this race for pace or time, I just do it to have fun.

We mainly walked the 3.1 miles, and ran a bit, maybe 1/2 of the first mile but we got out there this morning and did it and we finished. It was fun to run with her kids, she has the most adorable 3 year old, who was having the time of her life and cracking me up left and right. She kept telling everyone she was going to win and go runners go. She lite up my morning. It was freezing and her making me laugh warmed me from the inside out. We finished in about 53 minutes, James came and was not all too pleased to have waited that long in the freezing cold, oh the things we do for those we love.

But we had a blast and I love this new tradition we started!

Here are some pics from this morning...

My awesomely festive sweaty band headband!

Bundled up and ready to go!

Not too pleased with how cold it was but he went anyway. Could I get any luckier??

My work BFF and myself!

Me and my two Jens! 

Wearing my race tee all day today!

And my headband still!

We are stuffed!!!

What I am Thankful For....

As stated before there has been lots of post, statues and pictures of what everyone is thankful for, especially on Facebook, every day posting a new thankful status. I figured I would wait and do mine on Thanksgiving. I probably wont make it to 28 items, I am thankful for a lot of things, but this is going to be random and in no particular order...

1. I am thankful for my family. Seriously, I really am. Living in Florida with no family around me, I am thankful I can call, face time and heck even write to them to let them know how much I love them. I am an only child, so my family means the world to me, on both sides! I am equally, 100% loved by both sides of my family. My Aunts, Uncles and cousins are so supportive and have been huge rocks and beacons in my life, each an every one of them I love in a there own special way. Being I lost my dad just a year ago, the importance of family to me has sky rocketed. I cant imagine losing anymore of them. My mother and my Poppy are 110% my heart and soul. I look to them so much for love and support and they give it back to me unconditionally.

2. I am thankful for James. We have been together officially 4 years, unofficially 7 years and we have had our good times and some really bad times. At least once a week we want to kill each other, even this morning matter of fact, haha, but we make up and love each other even more. I cant imagine anyone else in this world I would want to spend my crazy life with. We may never get married because we choose not too, but I know we will be old and in our rocking or beach chairs forever.

3. I am thankful for my handful of friends from back home, even though we never see each other, each of us live in very different places, we are all still connected. Whether it be through facebook or text messages, when one is happy, hurt, sad or a big event happens, good or bad in their life, we are all there for each other. It has always been that way and forever it will stay.

4. I am thankful for the friends I have made in college and those I have made living here in Florida. It is never a bad idea to have many friends. And as I get older I realize how important companionship and relationships are and how different they can be. And I am thankful for the ones I have made now, they are the ones I know I will treasure for a life time.

5. I am thankful for my job. Even though this time of year, it makes me stressed, crazy and I cry about it at least once a week, sometimes once a day, I really love it. I have an amazing Boss, who has helped me grow into such a great manager, leader and trainer. She continually pushes me to be a better person and she is a phenomenal leader. I am thankful for my staff, even though it has changed drastically throughout the last 3 1/2 years, each year around this time I find those precious few who make it through and I am so thankful for the hours and dedication they put in. And my fellow managers, whom I can call throughout the day to encourage and vent too, some of them have become my very best friends. And there is nothing more special then to wake up every day and truly enjoy what you do. I get to make someones day special with an engraved gift, its kind of cool.

6. I am thankful that even though I didn't get many years with my father, I got the years I had. Some years were better than the rest and those are the ones I am forever thankful for, I am going to always remember those years, not the bad. I am thankful for his love, support, guidance, hugs, kisses, his pride, his eyes, sense of humor, emotion, sympathy and empathy, because I got the very best of him. I am thankful that my father was not perfect, he was flawed and that is what made him extra special to me. I was blessed to have a father with character and grace and everything good about him I got, heck I even got some of the bad. I am thankful that I spread his ashes this year and let him fly, because now I know he is everywhere I am. I am thankful he went peacefully and as much as it hurts, on his own terms. He was always a rebel. I am thankful for the phone calls I shared with him, the memories, the moments, the tears, the laughs, the music he loved and passed down to me. I am thankful I can still see his face in my dreams and to have him forever tattooed on my foot, running with me, and also tattooed on my heart. Some people never get a chance to have a dad, or spend any moments with him, I am thankful I got millions of moments and 26 years.

7. I am thankful for having the courage, motivation and dedication to change my life. I often think what my life would have been like if I went down the path my parents had taken, not that it was a bad path at all, I am far from saying that, but a rocky one. My path was not paved in gold, there were boulders, damns, bridges to get over, road blocks, walls, and every obstacle you can imagine, but I took the other road, the one that was clear. That road was clear but of course paved with hidden trap doors, ones that you never knew what you were going to find behind them. But this path was paved by me and it continues to be, a never ending road.

8. I am thankful for running and Weight Watchers. These two combinations together have shaped and molded me into a person I never knew I could be, but always knew I had it. Weight Watchers has given me rules, stability, accountability and a way of controlling my life, in an easy, doable way. It has helped me shed 85 pounds thus far, but allowing me to live, but live in the right way, showing me the correct way to lose weigh AND keep it off for over 2 years now. Do I hate it at times, YES! Do I hate tracking at times, YES! Do I hate the consent up and down, up and down of my weight while it works out this plateu, YOU BETCHA! But I am sticking to it and I know it works, and it works for me. Running has changed my life even more. I am thankful I took those first steps and literally has never looked back. Running allows me to be me, to let loose, unwind and find a deeper person in myself. I am not a spiritual person, but running allows me to find an inner love and respect for a higher power. I have seen some sunsets and sunrises that make me a believer. I am thankful I can get up everyday and run, some cant, and well right now I can and I will! I am thankful for running has given me a new life, a new love, new friends and a new habit. It has helped me pave my road, and now I am just flying down it.

9. I am thankful for those simple things in life. Such as a good cup of coffee, rainy nights, sunrises, sunsets, sitting on the beach, holding hands, still snuggling with a stuffed animal from when I was younger, coupons, good food, healthy food, headbands, Quest Bars, naps, the smell of candles, a good run, cooler weather, hot days, the sand between my toes, smiles, hugs, an encouraging message, a good book, a funny moment, music, memories, movies, pictures, smelly lotion, make up, a good pair of shoes, a good sale, my phone, my favorite shows, DVR so I can catch up on then, the gift of time, and the ability to know all of these things are silly but make my life wonderful.

10. And mainly I am thankful to just be here, in this moment, writing this blog. I am thankful I live a happy, filled with love, joy, sometimes sadness and heartache life, but it is mine. I make my own journey and destination, I am thankful I have that choice, to live how ever I want, make my own rules and learn from my own mistakes. I am thankful for never giving up and never being shy to try something new. I am thankful for who I am and who I will continue to be.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Just got done with the Turkey Trot a little bit ago, enjoying some very warm coffee, it was FREEZING this morning!!! I am still trying to defrost, but we are getting ready to go to James grandmas for a very early dinner and I am so glad because I am starved!!!

I put a turkey breast in the crock pot, looked it up on Google. Hopefully it will work out good, since we are eating now so early, it will be nice to have when our hunger strikes again later on.

I have seen a lot of those thankful statues all over the place lately, the many days of Thanks and I figure I will write a blog post about it. I mean I have so much to be thankful for.

But first I want to thank everyone for reading this blog. Every day when I got on here to post and see people have viewed my blog, it warms my heart and makes my day. I know it isn't perfect, my grammar is bad at times and I ramble a whole lot, so I appreciate you joining me every day and reading about my life, running and weight loss.

I am thankful for you!!

Have a great day! Enjoy it, indulge and be surrounded by everyone you love!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve

I have to say it is amazing how much time changes. I remember that Thanksgiving Eve would be the best night to go out, the biggest night to go. Everyone you went to school with was home, you can all drink together, it was a huge reunion. I loved it, and coming from a small town, it was great because you saw anyone and everyone. But when you move away, having those moments aren't the same anymore.

My Thanksgiving Eve is being spent on the couch, curling up with a cup of tea, freezing ( Florida is getting in the 30's tonight) and resting because tomorrow morning I am getting up at the turkey crack of dawn and running a 5k race in the morning. Its amazing how you change your life, how it really does change your life. And I am fully aware that made no sense whats so ever.

I just think it is funny how we grow. I would normally being taking back some drinks, maybe some shots and what not and my happiness and the perfect evening is now, quite, warm and bed at a reasonable hour. All so I can wake up and run.

I have to say I am liking this and I know it fits my life perfectly. Pretty excited about the Turkey Trot. It is a 5K race around here, very kid and family friendly. I bought a turkey headband to wear in the morning and I am bundling up with a long sleeved jacket and ready to go. I am running with a friend of mine and her two kids, so this will not be a run about pace or time, I am not even bringing my interval timer. I am just running, having fun and kicking off the holiday right, so I can eat a bit. I mean I do get 49 extra points of course.

Oh and here is a cool thing, tonight I went for a run to loosen up my legs and finally I didn't feel sore, I ran 3.1 miles the whole time with out having any walks. 3.1 miles and no walks!! I felt great doing it too. My next goal is to do the whole 13.1 with even more minimal walking. I love my splits, but I am ready to push myself.

So now that this post is all over the place, bare with me, I never said I would be good at this, hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving Eve.

Weekly Weigh In: After Half Marathon

Every time I weigh in after a long run, or long race, I always seem to gain some sort of weight. Not sure why or how, I mean I ran 13.1 miles!! But I know muscle has a lot to do it and drinking tons of tons of water and just the fact that my body is adjusting to all of this, I had a slight gain. Now this gain was a small one, compared to the others I have had, I only gained .8. And the attack of the snack monster happened the night before too, so I am okay with that.

Actually when I ran Iron Girl back in April, when I went to weigh in the next day, I had gained 3 pounds, so this is a HUGE win. I am finally getting down what I should be eating and how I should be eating for the activity that I have going on. I do have a problem with snacks, but I am learning to have them in moderation and maybe one or two a day, not at every meal. And snacks I mean those 100 calorie or portioned out snack items, not candy, cookies and cake. I am really trying to stick to one a day, maybe just at night.

I understand that weight loss is journey and yes there is a destination, being the weight land I would like to be at, but I have to look back and see how far I have come. I have made huge adjustments to my life, that I NEVER had before. I would never think twice about eating a whole bag of Chex Mix, now I use measuring tools and tricks to make sure I take in the right amount, it is crazy.

Do I have my slip ups, not track everything all the time and enjoy a piece of candy here and there, of course I do, I am human. I am not on Weight Watchers to expect to drop major pounds, I am using it to hold myself accountable, to have a system that works for and to see continued results. I am learning to live again!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Women's Running Half Marathon, St. Pete, November 24, 2013

Okay so I can finally sit down and recap my run from yesterday.
Lets start from the beginning...

I woke up in the middle of the night around 1:00 am and had a terrible time getting back to sleep. My nerves were getting best of me and I kept thinking I was having mystery injuries and aches and pains. After finally settling myself down, I was able to fall back to sleep until 4:15, when my alarm was set to go off.

I hopped out of bed, made my light English Muffin with PB2, a banana and some hot green tea. I needed all the energy and spark I could ask for, I really felt like I was dragging. I took my B12 vitamin and my multi-vitamin and started my mental prep. I got online and just started reading inspirational, motivational quotes. I know it sounds corny, but it really helps and pumps me up. I got dressed, pinned my Bib, filled my water bottles, took some selfie pictures and got James up and we headed downtown. I started to get the nerves and my stomach was turning in knots.

I know I have done this before but I get like it no matter what. James dropped me off at the start, and I used the restroom and walked around. We didn't start until 7:00, so I left myself enough time to pee again, I was so nervous I was going to pee while running. My boss was also doing this race, whom also is my biggest role model and inspiration. I am truly blessed to have such a fantastic boss and someone I can learn a ton from. I have learned so much of myself from her, from how to live a healthy lifestyle, running and being a leader inside of work and outside. She is such a freakin rock star. She was running yesterday too, with a major injury. This lady is a true champ!!

I was so glad to see her because her and her family are like a big ball of energy and there energy is intoxicating and it was just what I needed. Surround yourself with positive people I swear it makes a HUGE difference in your life. We got ourselves to our projected areas and then we waited. Each coral was set off with a gunshot and before I knew coral 4, which I was in was ready to go. I started shaking and turned my music up so loud and then took off.

I didn't turn my GymBoss on until almost the first mile. There was a lot of ladies and a lot congestion, so I was just trying to make my way through first. When I finally found a clearing, I turned it on and started my splits. I was very pleased to see A LOT of other people doing the walk/run splits like me. All different time frames too. It was comforting and encouraging.

Everything was going great up until mile 6. I was moving along, getting into the grove but I was having a bit of a belt issue, it felt so heavy and wasn't sitting perfect on me. I think I was making it up in my head and was just trying to find something wrong, each walk I fixed it, it was getting annoying, but I finally got it to work.

The cheering along the way was great. Lots of great and motivational sings that the race set up. And each sign had such a special meaning and seemed to talk to me at just the right times. Like "Find your happy pace" right when I felt I was slipping in pace. It was just what I needed.

At mile 7, I had some sport beans and my calves were starting to feel tight, but I was good. My music was playing and I was playing a mental game with the pace guy, the pace was 2:30 and I was freaking determined to make it to that finish line by then. My Runtastic app and the mile markers were not adding up, I was a half of a mile ahead of the mile keepers and kept deducting times to worry about my pace. I really, REALLY didn't want to dwell on it, I just wanted to take it all in, but that damn competition side kicked in. I was chasing that damn pace guy, looking for him everywhere.

I guess it was good because the miles were passing by. At mile 10, I really started to hit a wall, I always seem too. My body just says No and I just keep saying yes. I really wanted to walk some more than a minute, but I stopped myself and just kept going, no extra walks.

I talked to my dad A LOT during this race. I kept telling him to push me through. Get me through one more mile and one more step. I kept kissing my fingers and pointing them up to the sky, I really wanted to see my dad. To just hear his voice, see him on the side lines. He would have been so encouraging and I really needed that, but I settled with the fact I had my tattoo.

That is what made this race so special was it was the first time I was running a full race with my tattoo. I really felt like he was running right along with me, running side of me too. I got pretty emotional at mile 12, it was all hitting me again. I couldn't believe I was doing this and I was almost done. I start thinking about my dad, my family back in NY, how much I would love to just have them there looking at me on the side lines.

Then I remembered I had one person, James. I could not wait to see his face waiting for me. I scanned the crowd for him and found him, with his phone right on me videoing my whole journey. I literally choked back tears and sobbed a bit. My legs were heavy and my lower ankle was sore but I got a kick and ran it to the finish line.

I didn't care about the pace or time, dad and I were just going to cross that line. And we did.

The minute I crossed I grabbed everything they were giving me. Water, pretzels, bananas, powerade, mini muffins, orange juice and of course my amazing medal. I took it all and looked for James. He found me and gave me the biggest hug. I ate my banana and gathered my things and we went to the free cookie and champagne area, DUH, I was so having some of that.

The weather was chilly and a bit windy and I was tired. We grabbed our stuff. I never found my boss after, she went home right after crossing the finish, she was hurting really bad. She is one tough lady for doing that half, injured and hardly being able to run a whole lot. She was a champ to me. Found my friend Stacy, who took all those pictures, she finished under her goal of 2 hours. So proud of her, she is what determination and motivation looks like.

We left and all I wanted was a coffee  from Dunkin Donuts. Got that and an egg while flatbread sandwich and I was a happy camper. Made it home and we chilled and I just soaked in all my accomplishment of the day. I felt great, I was sore and tired but in the best way possible. I love the feeling afterwards, the joy and triumph and I feel like I am sitting on cloud nine and what everyone to know.

I know a lot of people get annoyed I post a bunch of it on facebook, but who the hell cares. This is my life and what I choose to do to make it even better. I could have gone done a really scary path, due to the way I was raised and what I come from, but I am taking a better path, one that is paved by only me, not from where I was.

I posted this on Facebook and I will end this post with the same because it really says it all....

Thank you everyone for the sweet words and motivation! I still can't believe I am on this journey, started just running about a year ago and in 9 months alone in 2013 I have 4 half's under my belt and each one getting better and better! First one was 2:43 and this one 2:29! I don't do it for the pace or the time. I do it for the experience, the atmosphere and just the pure emotion I get out of the races. A lot of people say I'm crazy to run, or they can't do it, they won't like it, I'm telling you it can be done, you don't need time, or the right attire, you just need a spark! Take that little spark and I tell ya it will become fireworks!! I'm dedicated and motivated because this is the one thing I never thought I would do or accomplish and I have fallen in love with it... And it all started with a spark and a single step!! Go out and light your way!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Race In Pictures...

As much as I would love to recap the race right now, I am exhausted. I mean really exhausted, I didn't take a nap today because we really wanted to go to the movies. I closed my eyes for 20 minutes and then bam we were out and about but it was so worth it, Catching Fire was fantastic and I can not wait for Mocking Jay.

My friend Stacy ran the half today too and she did amazing! She finished in 1:55, how freaking awesome is that, under 2 hours! And she was sweet enough to hang around and watch me cross the finish line and had her friends take pictures for me. So a lot of these pictures are from her, which I am so thankful for. My Boyfriend took the rest and he has a video to send me. For right now I am just going to post the pictures and tomorrow I will recap, when I am refreshed and ready to go. But for right now I need more food and a nice long sleep. I am beat, Beat in a freaking awesome way!

Pictures are in no particular order...

Post Race...

So I made it!!! I finished my 4th Half Marathon, but like the first post this morning, this one will be quick too. I have a lot I want to say and not a whole lot of energy right now to dive into it. I'm going to post later the whole race, after I have had a nap, watching Catching Fire and some more food. I am a wee bit hungry today!

But just wanted to post that I did indeed finish and it was a great race. The weather was really nice, cool, not too windy. I didn't have too much pain and my walks were getting a little faster. Oh and I had a PR!! But I will save all of that until later with pictures of course.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!

Morning of...

Really quick post because I have to wake up James so he can drive me downtown and drop me off. My nerves are a little wacky this morning, I always get this way and once I get running, its all over. Just treating it like my training runs, just me, the music and the road!! Dressed in pink, got my water/fuel belt on, pinning my bib on now!

Women's Running Series Half Marathon here I come!!!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Twas The Night Before The Race...

Tomorrow is the day!! After countless runs, very early mornings, EXTREMELY hot, humid weather, giving up sleeping in every day off, did I mention sweating to no end, running after having a crazy day at work, giving up nights of fun so I can do a long run in the morning. I have trained for all my races, but this one I put a lot of long runs in and lots of dedication and I feel ready, very ready. I am very excited and just want to run and be in the atmosphere. I am not thinking about a pace or time, I just want to finish and earn that accomplishment.

Today at work we were sort of steady, so it was hard for me to concentrate on fueling and refueling. I brought my sandwich and water and almonds and snacks and got them in when I could. I really wanted a large iced green tea but I couldn't leave the store to get one.

 After work James and I went to CD Roma's and I got a side salad with Italian dressing and had 3 pieces of bread. I know 3 pieces, but I did track it and hey I needed the carbs. Then for the main course, I had my all time favorite, whole wheat pasta with meatballs and sauce. It is the absolute the best dinner of all time for my 13.1 race, and yes I eat the whole thing. This restaurant does a great job at food.

We do this every time and each time I have to take a picture with my dinner...its become a cute tradition. Plus, it is fun to look back at all the different pictures, each race.

From left to right
Day before first ever half, Rock and Roll Half Marathon- February 9th
Day before 2nd half-Gasparilla Half Marathon- Feb. 24th
Day before 3rd half-Iron Girl Half Marathon-April 13

And this year:

I was really excited to eat this...

And now my outfit is all laid out and my breakfast is ready to go...

And my little snack and hydration favorite...

And probably having a protein bar to just keep me a bit full until morning. Setting my alarm for 4:15 AM, bed very soon!

I found this little gem too, which was super cute, I will make sure to post tomorrow on the race!!!

'Twas The Night Before The Race

'Twas the night before the race and all through the state, 
Runners were carb loading hoping for a great pace.
Their race day clothes were hung with care,
Along with the gels, watches and bibs all there.

The many weeks of training were not very fun,
Hill repeats, fartleks and long runs were done.
Hydration intake has all been perfected,
Thankfully no major pains were detected.

When race day arrives runners fill the streets,
And into their corrals they eagerly retreat.
Setting their watches as they run through the start,
We bid them all a good race admiring their dedication and heart.

As miles pass by they run with all their might,
Water and fuel stations were a very welcome site.
The crowds were all cheering and having a good time,
Giving the runners high fives all down the line.

When what to their wondering eyes should appear?
But the finish line with gleaming medals ever so near.
Endorphins are dancing all around in their heads,
It's time for celebrations and then straight to bed.

May your running always be such a wonderful delight,
Happy running to all and to all a good night!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Women's Half Marathon Health and Fitness Expo

I can't believe that in 2 days is the race! I am so stinking excited, not just to run the 13.1 miles but just to be a part of the race atmosphere. Seriously, it is like a high. I love the routine, my traditions and the whole experience, good or bad. I am feeling pretty great about this race and it is just one that I am going to have fun doing. Its in my area, its beautiful running weather and the race bling seems pretty epic.

Today after work I went to the Health and Fitness Expo and picked up my race info and Goodie Bag. You get your race bib, the timing chip, which is attached the bib, your free tech shirt for the race and a great goodie bag, packed with coupons, a Women's Running Magazine, some glide stuff and a flashing strobe light, which I will so be using during my night runs now. The color of the tech tee is super cute and definitely Florida like colors. I wont wear the shirt the day of the race but after the race, I am so rocking that bad boy.

After I picked up my goodies, I walked around the Expo and checked out the booths they had. Not a whole lot, but some good ones. I of course went to the headband booths, I got a Turkey headband from SweatyBands,

for my Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving race on Thursday and I stopped at this one booth that sold inspirational shirts and magnets. James and I collect magnets, so I picked up really motivational ones and put them on my fridge to remind me everyday how far I have come. I also got a print that had a great message on it and I am going to go to Michael's this week to get a frame to frame it.

I also got some free samples from Publix; a free towel and a container to hold my snacks. Dole Dippers handed out free frozen dark chocolate banana bites, which I have already in my fridge but was a perfect hand out at the moment. I also stopped by a booth that had your write your goal on a piece of paper and then take your picture with it...

I loved this! This run is exactly that, I just want to have an amazing time and this will be my first run running with my tattoo, so I really feel like my dad is crossing that finish line with me.

Tonight I am mini carb loading, making a healthy Chicken Pad Thai. I have my food all planned out for tomorrow too. Tomorrow I carb load and fuel and drink water like it is no body's business.

Coffee with fat free half and half
Chocolate Protein Bars
Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt

Turkey on a Sandwhich Thin
Almonds with craisins and apricots

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Meatballs
2 pieces of Garlic Bread

Oh yeah! Over my points a bit, but I mean come on I am running 13.1 the next day!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly Weigh In, Christmas Decorating and Half Marathon Prep

Today was a pretty busy But very productive day off. Actually each day off I have had this week as been pretty productive, I am hoping I am getting all this stuff done now, that way in December on my days off, all I have to do is just relax because sweet Santa Christmas I am going to need it.

Started the day off with my last long run before Sunday.

Had this as a fuel this morning. Held me for the mileage.

 I put in 8 miles this morning, was a little slower than I wanted to be, only about 2 minutes slower, but at mile 3 I tripped over a raised part in the sidewalk and...BAM down I went. Scrapped my left knee but all sorts of crazy, ripped a big old hole in my pants, scratched my water bottles and my hands. Luckily I didn't twist or break anything, but my knee hurt a bit and my legs and body felt sore from hard impact of the fall. But I kept going, I was not going to not finish the 8 miles. My knee is tender but I can walk and I'm going to ice it before bed and watch where I am going. I swear only me!

After that epic fail I got home and showered and had my coffee and had to take a conference call from home for work. After I got my grocery list together and went to Weight Watchers to weigh in. Not the best weigh in, was up 2.4 pounds, but I know it is because my monthly friend decided to visit. Sorry to any gentlemen who may be reading this, but hey its the truth. So like always no point in getting discouraged because not all victories are on the scale, like Hello, I am running in my 4th Half Marathon this Sunday. Oh and I had a major attack of the dark chocolate almonds and blueberry bites, not buying those again, I have no self control. Ookay who am I kidding, I'll get them again for sure, I'll just run harder lol.

After the weigh in and not feeling it, I went to CVS to use some coupons, saving money always puts me in a good mood and picked up Kelly Clarkson's Christmas CD.

 I absolutely love her!!! I love who she is, what she stands for and especially her music. I got the cd for only 7.00 bucks after some Extra Bucks I used. I needed to get in the Christmas spirit because I planned on setting up our tree today. And that's exactly what I did when I got home.

We have a fake tree, living in Florida it is way easier and the real trees are so dry from the weather, plus I have always had a fake tree growing up, I really don't know any better. I busted out our little, not so fluffy tree and got to work. I got the lights working and fluffed the branches then took my second conference call for work of the day. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, I know it will all pay off in the end. Then when the call ended did our grocery shopping, had some lunch and passed out to a nap. I was beat from being up early for the run and well it's my day off, I need a nap.

I didn't set an alarm and ended up sleeping past the time for the WW meeting. Its okay I will probably see my leader tomorrow at the weekly walk downtown we hold. I went out to dinner with James and his dad, our favorite Taco Tuesday and then we went for frozen yogurt. They had a Eggnog flavor. So sweet and yummy. I don't track 100% on Tuesday,  being my weigh in day, hey I need a break a bit but I do know all I am consuming, I am not going off the deep end. Also I went to Dunkin Donuts and got their iced Red Velvet coffee. Really tasty! I was in a big Christmas spirit today.

Now I just got done decorating our tree and our whole apartment with our Christmas decorations from last year. I have a couple more things to pick up to complete our look but its perfect. Our decorations are random, different and traditional. We have lots of hand me downs from my mom and just silly decorations, but I love it and James just goes along with it, he really could care less, he played video games the whole time while I jammed out to a Christmas Pandora station. I even turned the AC down to really cold so I could wear my sweat shirt and sweat pants to make it feel like I was back home. Oh the things I do to make it a little bit homeyier. Not even sure that is a word.

So that was it for my day off. Oh and the awesome part, printed off my conformation for Women's Running on Sunday. Got my bib number and all the race information. Cant not wait for the Expo on Friday and to get my whole packet. Even though this is my 4th race, I love it, I really hope this excitement never goes away!!

Hope you all had a great Tuesday!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fab Find: Pepperidge Farm Swirl Bread: Gingerbread Edition

As stated before I love the tastes, smells and flavors of Christmas. Gingerbread is one of those Christmas favorites for me also, I tend to not make Gingerbread people but when I find something that has Gingerbread in it, well it is hard for me to pass up. Hence I almost went into full on rage when I found out Starbucks was not going to have Gingerbread lattes this year on their seasonal menu, How dare they!! Dunkin Donuts better step up their game, I will not have any shame driving out of my way there to get some sweet, spicy, Gingerbread.

Okay now that I have gone completely off the deep end and track, back to what I wanted to show. Pepperidge Farms has a line of seasonal types of bread, such as Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Spice, Strawberry Banana and now for the Christmas season, Gingerbread. I have tried all the others before but end up eating one slice and then it goes bad. I wait until Big Lots has them on their shelves, because I know it will be almost half the price. Well the other day while I was there I found that they had the Gingerbread Swirl bread, I figured why the heck not.

One slice is 80 calories or 2pp. Not bad for a little side piece to your breakfast. I tried the bread this morning and it is fantastic. It definitely tastes like Gingerbread and the slice is not a small, thin, slice of bread, it is a huge, thick chunk. I made a piece for James and myself. He asked, what do I put on it, I figured I was going to put Almond Butter on mine and he opted for Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. I spread mine with a 1/2 tablespoon of creamy Almond Butter and it was heaven. One piece is just enough and the almond butter gave it a nice nutty and spicy hint. It went perfect with my yogurt and coffee this morning. I would even have this at night, toasted with some pb or almond butter and a cup of sleepy time tea, while the Christmas lights are on. Didn't I just paint the perfect picture?!

Not sure if all grocery stores will sell this, but I did find it at Big Lots and it is worth getting. Just remember to portion yourself and it has a ton of flavor so no need to add lots of calories with butter. This bread this nice and thick and would make perfect gingerbread french toast! OOO, that sounds like breakfast very soon! Enjoy!

Running, Elf and Pinterest

I am a big Christmas fan! I love everything and practically anything about it. Last night I cleared the area of our living room where our little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree will go, it really isn't that small but its just about. But no matter what it is our tradition, actually it is just my tradition and my boyfriend just humors me and goes along with it. The Point is I am so stinking excited about getting it all together and putting the lights and ornaments on it. The beginning of the month I had a hard time realizing Christmas will be so soon, I work retail, so this time of the year is the busiest and the hardest. But I broke down my walls and made sure I wasn't going to let retail ruin my favorite holiday.

This morning I actually had a closing shift because we originally were going to go to my boyfriends holiday party, but we ended up not going because we just weren't feeling it. But I kept my schedule and glad I did, because I got to sleep in and for once I felt refreshed when I woke up and I went to the gym. I did a light work out focusing on some strengthening in my legs and did a mile walk on the treadmill. I know not much, but it woke up and it was better than nothing. While walking I listened to Pandora and brought up my Pinterest account, which I have been neglecting lately, bad social media person I am.

Under my Running Is My Life and Love section I found this great pin I had pinned, totally forgot about and figured this was the perfect motivation, humor and pin I wanted to see...

I love this and totally made my Monday morning easier!! I love the movie ELF and of course running! Hope you love this too!!

To follow me on Pinterest or just check out my pins and boards

Click Here: Pinterest

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pizza, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter

I am a big snack person. I love all kinds of snacks, salty, sweet and well chocolate is my weakness. I used to be a huge fan of white chocolate, then went to milk chocolate and then when I found out all the benefits of dark chocolate, I tried and it is now my new favorite thing. I have found that I love anything with dark chocolate, especially now.

These are amazing, I got them at CVS. Dark Chocolate Almonds and Dark Chocolate Blueberry Bites. Watch out they are addicting and absolutely delicious.

After my CVS trip, I stopped by Big Lots. That store is amazing for snack items that are sometimes low in Weight Watcher points. Bring your calculator with you or use your App that way you can figure out the points before you commit to the item. I always do that and have found tons of great items there. A lot of time, the items at Big Lots are those that were sold during seasonal time, or never made it to the grocery store shelves, or were sent too many and now sent to Big Lots to be sold at a lesser cost, hello best thing ever.

I found these two goodies yesterday...

First off 1.00 Peanut Butter is always a great idea. Peanut Butter that is Cherry flavored and Chocolate, AMAZING IDEA. I really like Planter's pb because they have lots of different flavors and variations. This one was new to me and couldn't wait to try, 3 things I really love. I took it home and tried it this morning. 2 tablespoon is 180 calorie or 5pp. I only had 1 tablespoon for 3pp or 90 calories. If you can find this, go out and get it. I used it on multi grain bread, it would also be great in protein shakes or smoothies.

I also found this awesome crunchy snack. I was given these to try as a birthday gift this year. They came in a single serve snack and they are awesome. They taste just like a Pringle but just as a pretzel like stick. They really taste like a pizza too. They are a great addition to a sandwich or just as a quick snack. At Big Lots they didn't have the single sizes but I was so excited to the flavors again. I picked up the bag because I know I can divide them up and put in single serve bags. The flavor and crunch is fantastic and like a real Pringle, once you pop you can stop! So portion them out :0)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Trail Mix

So the other day I was in CVS walking around just itching to by something. I had a craving for salty and sweet, crunch, all of the thee above, but couldn't quite figure out what I was really wanting. I made my way to the nuts, chips and trail mix aisle. DANGER ZONE!!! I picked up a huge bag of trail mix, looked over the stats, put it back, picked it up again...And put it back.

I really, REALLY wanted that trail mix, BUT I know if I have a whole bag in the house, I will not just eat the serving size. I will be sitting in the dark, curled up with a literal trail of mix and a half eaten bag. Scary, scary sight. So I put it back and went on my way, never really accomplishing my craving.

The next day, I was preparing my lunch and I realized I had a ton of different almonds just hanging out. FYI I used to NEVER eat almonds, now I have probably about 6 different flavors on hand at all times. I love them! And I admit that they can be a weakness for me, but I really try to justify that they are good fat. The mind games we play.

Any who, I decided I was going to put my almonds to good use, and make my own trail mix, one I can control and measure out. The fact I have pumpkin spice almonds is the main influence of this contraction.

Thanksgiving Day Trail Mix

25 Pumpkin Spice Almonds (Blue Diamond and Planter's have a variation OR use regular almonds and sprinkle them with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon)
1 Tablespoon of Craisins
1 piece of Dark Chocolate cut up into pieces or 3 mini baking Dark Chocolate Chunk Pieces
10 mini marshmallows
3 Pecan Halves or Walnut Pieces

Throw in a bowl or a zip lock bag.

Mix around and enjoy.

The crunch, the sweet, the salty, the tart, all mix really well. The almonds represent pumpkin pie, Craisins represent cranberry sauce, Dark Chocolate for that Chocolate Pecan Pie or Chocolate anything, Marshmallows represent that sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows on top or the candy yams, and the Pecans for Pecan Pie.

It is a Thanksgiving Dessert Table in one with way less calories.

The points really reflect the almonds you use, but for this single portion it came out to 5pp. Which may be high for a snack but it has good fats and it is a great energy boost for those longs days and that dreaded 3:00 sleepy time.

I love this because you can portion control to your liking and you wont have a huge bag hanging around taunting you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Amazing What Changes...

I thought of this the other day and thought it would be something to share. When I began Weight Watchers, I knew I had to change how I was going to eat and how I was going to choose and think about eating. Not because the point system worked that way, BUT because I knew it was going to be the only way I was going to stay on track. I had to change my snack habits, food choices and food items, I wouldn't normally eat ever, I had to at least try. Now 2 years in, I am amazed by the items and products I eat now, I would have never ate before.

Here are some items I eat now, I never would have ate before...

Peeled hard boiled eggs
Spaghetti Squash
Fat Free Cottage Cheese ( I only ate whole)
Almond milk
Coconut Milk
Coconut Water
Turkey Sausage
Turkey Bacon
Lean Pork
Canadian Bacon
Light String Cheese

Looking at that list, I cant imagine my life without these items. These items have changed my pallet and I sometimes even crave them. The other day when I got home from a 4 mile run, the first thing I went for was a hard boiled egg!

Seriously who does that or thinks like that.

But when I went for that egg it was the best thing for me and tasted amazing. I know this post is random, but I just thought how awesome your mind, body and whole life can change when you wake up one day to do the same!! I know I will never be the same again and I am stuck with these habits forever.

What new foods or habits have your adapted??

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weekly Weigh In: Back at Square One

Last week was a bit of a bummer with the gain of 3.6. I don't know what it was or what made it happen, BUT the key was I didn't let it get me down. If there is one thing I have learned this year alone with my lifestyle is the scale doesn't always reflect the progress that is at hand. And I used to not believe that, but really it is very true, it is only a number. That number does not define who I am, it might reflect what I have done, BUT not who I am and how far I have come. Nothing really does except for how I feel about myself. And despite the gain last week, I was feeling pretty darn fantastic! I shrugged it off, had my tacos that night AND frozen yogurt and enjoyed a pre-birthday dinner with my Love.

The next morning I got up and ran my 9 miles and put the weight behind me. I did this for the whole week. I ate my activity points, I worked out, ran, walked and drank water like it was my business. I ate lots of veggies and really took into account what I was putting in my body. Oh and I had a small slice of cake with my boyfriend to celebrate his birthday and had Pei Wei on Saturday night because I was too busy, scratch that, too lazy to cook. The idea is I didn't go crazy and crash diet, I didn't get upset or exercise my brain off, I just kept living my life and doing what I have been doing all alone. And it paid off.

I ran 10 miles this morning and was nervous when I weighed in, the scale would reflect my water weight, or sore muscles who knows. I didn't really care, I was still going to weigh in no matter what. I always do, I make sure I do every single week, no matter what. I have plans this evening so I figured I would weigh in this morning and to my very happy surprise, I lost the 3.6 pounds I had gained last week. So I am back at square one, right where I was 150 pounds and I am happy with that. Being back on track makes me feel whole again. And makes me want to try every harder and move that number. More importantly move the number and keep seeing those results in the mirror. The weight watchers receptionist even said you look so skinny, never would have known you once weighed 234 pounds.

Yup neither could I!!! :0)

Last week 153.6
Current 150.0
Lost 3.6

10 Miles on 11.12.13

Oh my goodness what a fun date today is.. 11..12..13! I work in an occasion driven business, so fun days like this I really enjoy haha. I mean I we wont see a date like this again, kind of cool. Since I didn't do my long run on Sunday, I had to get it in today because it is my other day off. Believe me when I say, I did not want to get up this morning. I could have slept all morning and 5:00 am came really too quick. My stomach was feeling really bloated, so I ate sort of light this morning before the run, I had a KIND Peanut Butter and Chocolate + Protein Bar.

I really enjoyed that bar, I usually stick to an English muffin or waffle with PB, so this was a nice change of pace. The goodness of the bar was definitely a nice filling breakfast, but after the 10 miles my stomach was surely growling. I think protein, nut bars are better for me when I do a smaller run, I need the waffle and delicious peanut butter for the long run. I also realized I need to have a GU or Chomps or Sports Beans not only at mile 6 or 7 but before I even start my run. I need that extra energy for sure.

This is why I pile on these long miles and long runs and test foods and enhancements so much in advance that way come the half I will be prepared and set up for success. Today's 10 miles was a nice run. I know I say this a lot, but I guess I am on a constant runner's high because my long runs don't knock me down, usually it is the smaller runs. It was a cool morning which is so refreshing.

I also tested out new pants too that I will be wearing for the half, to make sure they fit right and such. The pants were great and even though it was a cool morning, I was dripping in sweat.

I finished the 10 miles in 1 hour and 52 minutes and an overall pace was 11:11, another fun number game. Each mile I kept to nothing over 11:30, which is my goal. My legs were sore and I was having some muscle soreness, but I made it through and it was a success.

This is my last long run before the half and I have to admit that I don't have to pile on anymore long runs for the early morning. I really enjoy being able to sleep in at least 2 more hours. I cant believe that the half marathon is in 12 days. Time is flying and each week I am getting more and more excited. I love this excitement, oh and I am super excited for the EXPO the Friday before. I will be treating myself to some awesome goodies, I mean Christmas is right around the corner.

Well now that I got my long run in for the week and the day, I am enjoying the rest of my day off, running errands, my weigh in, some Taco Tuesday lunch and a couponing workshop.

Have a terrific Tuesday!!