Sunday, June 28, 2009

Apparently I'm a Slow Learner

My plan was to get up this morning (check), water my plants and my sad tree (check) and go for a hike (check). Sounds like a lovely morning, doesn't it?

The morning was technically a success, however, I should have planned more wisely. I was distracted by a few things I needed to this morning and headed out for my hike later than originally planned. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but holy crap it was hot! It was already 100 degrees by 9am-ish. I've lived here for nearly three years and it still catches me off guard sometimes. I'm not so stupid that I don't take water with me, however. I was torn between my fuel belt and my Camelback (hydration backpack). I went with the fuel belt and probably should have gone with the Camelback since I was out there for over an hour.

My dearest mother/competitor had better count my cardio for the hike. I used my Garmin specifically for this reason - I want credit for the 1 hour and 4 minutes of cardio that I did out in the heat and climbing a mountain. The Colorado Rockies it was not, but it was still a big damn hill. That's 1 hour and 4 minutes for 3.52 miles. The "0.0" was my pace at the time I took the photo. No, I can't take photos and walk at the same time. The 11:28 was the time at which I took the picture (after I got home and had breakfast) and it's off an hour (should have read 10:28). More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.

Yesterday, was a relatively lazy day. I made a trip to the farmer's market to pick up a few items. The last time I went to this particular market, there was a Nebraska vendor selling pork products. I didn't stop to chat them up last time, but yesterday I decided to stop by and check out the goods. The company name is Pork on a Fork and they sell pork straight from their Nebraska farm. As a fellow Nebraskan, I felt I had to support their company. I picked up a pack of jalapeno bratwursts. I grilled them up last night and my roommate and I thought they were really good. Good for summer grillin'.

The other neat thing about the guy who runs the stand - he was wearing a t-shirt from the local Husker bar that I go to for football games during the fall. I'll have to look for him the next time I'm at Arena's for a game. It can't hurt to have a friend in the pork business, right? Actually, I don't know why I said that - I really don't eat that much pork. Now, if it was healthy to eat pounds of bacon everyday, I'd be all over it.

Have to go to the grocery store for other items for the week. I think I'm going to try panzanella salad this afternoon. It's mostly bread and fresh veggies, how bad could it be?

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm One Hot Corner!

Last night was my first kickball game. I had missed the mandatory rules clinic and practice games last week so I had no idea what to expect and I was actually a bit nervous. From what my teammates had told me, we didn’t exactly play very well in the casual pickup games. I was expecting us to be a team of misfits – the kids who always got picked last in gym class. To add insult to injury, as one of the new teams in the league we were given the pistachio colored t-shirts. They aren’t as awful as you might think.

We didn’t win our first official game, but I thought we did really well. Apparently we played one of the best teams in the division, Rubber Balls & Liquor, and only lost 2-0. Our defense was really impressive and I think all credit should be given to our 3rd baseman. Oh wait, that’s me! Yes, I play the “hot corner”. Did you know that 3rd base is called the “hot corner”? News to me. I personally got 3 people out at 3rd base. That’s right – don’t mess with me and my base! Wade Boggs, George Brett and Mike Lowell have nothing on me. As for the 2 runs that the other team did manage to score, they had nothing to do with me.

Unfortunately, I can’t count any of my kickball activity last night as cardio. The agreed upon rule was that I had to kick a double (get to second base) or more in order for it to count. Well, no one on my team can say that they did that. We need to work on our offense. I had no idea a big, red rubber ball could roll so slowly toward the plate. I was expecting faster, bouncier pitches. Overall, it was a fun night. Next week’s opponent is “Don’t Come on My Base”.

A bit of irony for you on a Friday – I have a toe injury. Did I get it during the kickball game last night? No, I didn’t. I managed to drop my garbage can on my bare toe this morning and it’s still throbbing and is swollen. I actually can’t walk normally. I’ll be sure to use the family remedy of “stick it in some ice and you’ll be fine”.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stayin' Alive

My plants have officially survived one day. I went out this morning to check on them and they were a little dry so I gave them a small drink to make it through the 108 degree day today. It's actually nice in the mornings - I should really make going out into my backyard part of my routine.

As promised, I made it to the gym yesterday afternoon. I managed to sweat up a storm on the elliptical. Sorry for the crookedness of the photo - I had to rest my hand on one of the handles to take a readable photo.

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hot Dog!

No, I didn't indulge in hot dogs this weekend. Although, I don't blame you for thinking that.

As it turns out my roommate's dog might be coming to live with me. For those of you that know me, I've always wanted a dog but have never had one. I've always lived vicariously through others. Between my dad not being fond of any pets when I was a child and me being reluctant to take on the expense and responsibility as an adult, I've never had the courage to get a dog. The prospect of my roommate's dog coming to live with me is the perfect scenario - she's a great dog, she's older and completely house trained, I'm not responsible for the daily chores that come with her and I'm not repsonsible for paying for her needs. I just get to play with her and take her for walks. Don't know for sure if it will happen or when, but I'm excited at the prospect. (Shhh, my brother's dog will always be my favorite. Shout out to Maxfli!) Oh, and we can have a contest to see who sheds more. I think it would be a close race.
On to other things from this weekend, which has been quite a busy and productive one. I started off my Saturday with an early trip to the downtown Phoenix farmer's market. I think my expectations were a little too high. It was ok, but definitely not worth the 30 minute trip (one way). I think I'll stick to the farmer's market a little closer to home from here on out.

After shopping, there was cleaning and yard work. I do NOT recommend doing yard work at 3pm in 105 degree heat. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, that's when my roommate and his uncle were available to help me trim my palo verde trees. May I just say that trimming those trees are a lot more complicated than I thought. Glad I had some expert help (the uncle, not the roommate). This should get my HOA off of my back - I received a "warning" about my tree hanging too far over the sidewalk. Well, unless Yao Ming walks down my sidewalk, I think I'm good to go. Never mind that I've yet to see anyone walk in front of my house. Stupid HOA.

After a few hours of yard work, we had people over for a barbecue and did grilled pizzas. This was the first time that I did it without parental supervision and it was a success. I even managed to grill some pineapple and mango for dessert - with vanilla ice cream, of course!

I've been busy today, too, but the only notable thing to share is my attempt at gardening again. I have this beautiful pot that is in my backyard. I've had it for many years and I've only attempted to grow things in it twice - both times my mother bought the plants and planted them for me. And...both times I have neglected to water them with any kind of regularity and both times I have killed all of the plants.

I'm stupid enough to give it another shot. I went to Lowe's, mostly because I haven't been in a while and I thought they might be worried about me, and purchased the heartiest, most drought resistent plants I could find.

No, I don't have a pot full of cacti, although I do have one but it's in another pot and even I haven't killed it off yet. This is how dumb I am when it comes to plants - my cactus started growing things that looked a lot like asparagus a few months ago and I was curious if that was normal. I opted not to cut them off and eat them, which was a good thing because a few weeks later they had bloomed with reddish like colors (similar to a yucca plant). Who knew? They didn't look so perky the other day so I cut them off.
I'm going to squeeze a trip in to the gym in a bit. Haven't been in a while so I need to get back on the wagon. Who the heck knows how far behind I am in the challenge. I'm better off not asking.
I now have two challenges - a cardio challenge and a gardening challenge. I can't fail at both, so something's gotta give. Let's hope I can pull a rabbit out of my hat and do well at both.

Monday, June 15, 2009

That Was a Really Bad Idea

It’s amazing what one can learn about oneself in a very short period of time. Several things became clear to me Sunday morning during the 5k run that I thought was a good idea. I hate to bother you with the random bullet points, but that’s actually how my brain works. Also, each one of these thoughts crossed my mind during my “run”.

  • Deciding to participate in a 5k run on a whim is not a good idea.
  • Cardio exercise on an elliptical or a bike does not translate into being in running shape.
  • I should not take a 21-week break from running and then jump right back into a 5k.
  • Running on a multi-surface course is not ideal for the out-of-shape (concrete, dirt, sand, gravel, horse poop).
  • Yes, I said horse poop.
  • Indoor, air-conditioned exercise is nowhere near the same as outdoor, desert exercise.
  • Because of my non-existent training I had to succumb to a combo of jogging/walking.
  • I think I walk faster than I run. Is that possible? Wow, I’m lame.
  • At least I don’t do the funny arm and hip swinging when I walk really fast.
  • My mother so kindly referred to me as “skinny” in one of her recent blog posts. God love her, but I have to say that there were many non-skinny people that kicked my you-know-what at that 5k. That confirmed what I already knew - "skinny" has nothing to do with being in shape.
  • I was really proud of the non-skinny people making me eat their dust.
  • It occurred to me at one point that the longer I took to complete the 5k the more cardio minutes I could report for the cardio challenge. I realize that isn’t the proper motivation one should focus on for a running event, which leads me to some of my concluding thoughts.
  • I hate running.
  • I was not meant to be a runner.
  • I admire those who do enjoy running.
  • I need to find a new activity that I actually like.
  • I’m contemplating cycling, but that would require me to purchase a bike and that will have to wait. For now, I’ll have to stay indoors in the comfort of my gym.

That’s it for now. I’ve had a couple of lazy weeks during the cardio challenge, so I’m hoping to make up some ground this week. Cross your fingers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lackluster Effort

I don't have much to report from last week and my efforts this weekend were not very notable. I normally get to the gym on both Saturday and Sunday, but I think the extra hours at work last week knocked me out a little bit. I skipped Saturday and wanted to do the same on Sunday, but I managed just enough energy to do the treadmill for a bit.

I did have a small discovery this weekend. I went to go donate blood this weekend, but found out that my iron levels weren't quite where they needed to be. I was one point lower than their acceptable range. It's nothing to worry about, but it might explain my constant fatigue. Later today I will be surfing the web to discover foods high in iron. I don't want to load up on nothing but red meat - that would cause other problems, I'm sure. I should also start taking my multi-vitamin again.

Sorry for the boring post. Don't have much time and need to get to work. I feel like I never left.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday Triumph

It's not a triumph in the way that you might be thinking. I'm not foolish enough to claim victory in my cardio challenge this early in the week. The triumph that I speak of is that I actually made it to the gym on a weekday evening. Yay!

I have to say that the weekday evening crowd at the gym is quite different than the weekend morning. And by crowd I mean 7-10 people. I like that I have a small gym. I was amused by an older gentleman, probably 70+ years old, who made strange barking-like noises when he exhaled on all of his reps. Don't get me wrong, this man was in good shape and could probably kick my butt in every aspect of health & fitness, but his barking noises were still funny. Barking might not be the right word. I can most easily describe it as the type of noise you make when you play football in the backyard and say "hut-hut-hike" when you're playing quarterback. It kinda sounded like one of the "huts" and was pretty loud. It's the little things that make me laugh.

The only reason I made it to the gym last night was because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep soundly with the words "insurmountable lead" floating around in my head. Gone are the days when my mother's voice has a soothing and calming effect on me. Now I have visions of her on a bike or treadmill just laughing (or cackling) away with a slimy, s#&t eating grin on her face.

I managed 35 minutes on the bike last night. It actually didn't tire me out as much as I thought. I actually stayed awake until 10:00. Yes, that's a big deal for me. :) Sorry for the shaky camera work.