Tag Archives: running

You really, really like me…I swear this hasn’t gone to my head #winning #tigerblood

Thank you, thank you very much. In all seriousness I am so thankful for everyone who voted for my blog, although I feel kind of silly since I’ve only written a handful of posts over the short 3 months since I’ve started this thing. And I really do swear that I won’t let this go to my head.

So now that I’m officially an award-winning blogger I feel this great pressure to write more regularly…not to mention the pressure to be more funny…which people seem to enjoy reminding me of. Yet, when I look at the picture of me and my double chin tweeting away while fellow award winning blogger Jaime bursts with excitement as she wins her second award of the night, I am reminded that I need to continue my weightloss journey, which at the moment means I have less time to sit on my ass and write. The major problem? I am more likely to exercise if I get it out of the way in the AM, and that just so happens to be the same time that I do my “best” (using that term loosely) writing.

It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have like 5 blog posts in my head right now (trust me, this was NOT one of them -hence all the rambling goofiness). But I’m a procrastinator and procrastinators love reasons to put things off. I’ll work on that I promise…tomorrow.

Speaking of procrastinating, that’s what I’m actually doing right now…I still have to write my next column for the Lehigh Brown and White that is due any day now. It will print this Friday. In the meantime, here’s a link to my last column about Becoming Part of the Community it includes some suggestions that not only could help Lehigh students but anyone in the Lehigh Valley feel more connected. If you are interested you can also see my first one here, as well as Part I and Part II of my columns on stereotypes and town-gown relations.

I had a little dilemma about this next column. I already created a “Lehigh Bucket List” a list of must-do’s before graduating from Lehigh but have not actually typed out the column (it’s all there still in my head). Then I saw a Lehigh student tweet out a request for ideas for a Lehigh Bucket List…for her article. I was originally bummed…I’m running out of ideas here. But then realized that I was specifically asked to write my column based on my view as a non-Lehigh student, as the “token-townie” as I call myself. So I’m writing it anyway. She will write from a student’s standpoint, I’ll offer my local insight. My next dilemma was to decide if I should look at the student’s article in order to reduce some redundancy (assuming her’s prints before mine). But then I decided not to because I don’t want it to affect what’s already written in my mind. What are the chances they will really be that similar? I guess we shall see. Who knows, maybe hers was actually for a journalism project and not even for the paper. I really have no idea.

This brings me to a possible topic for another blog post. Why do we sometimes get annoyed when someone “steals” your idea, even if they had no idea you were thinking of doing the same thing? It’s weird isn’t it? I don’t like it and I’m trying to cure myself of it…if that is possible. Maybe it is the disappointment that we really aren’t as original as we would like to think we are?

Ok…a little too deep for the BEST HUMOR COLUMN EVER.

So anyway…an update:

Still doing weight watchers, though I’m way too dependant on those extra weekly points. Only lost 4.2 lbs so far. Yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat. I can tell you that is not muscle in that double chin.

Still doing P90X and feel sooooo much better already. Why the hell did I stop in the first place?

Doing well with the running, keeping up and increasing my pace slowly but surely.

Still deciding on that perfect wrinkle cream.  Thank you all for the suggestions! For now I’m using up my free samples from Sephora that I had laying around. First I tried Miracle in a Jar from Philosophy (actually miracle in a tiny packet) and I didn’t see any miracles. Now I’m finishing up some Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Restoring Cream. The stuff seems to work but is a bit greasy. Probably won’t buy it, but I’ll keep using it until it is gone (it was a “deluxe” sample). Bonus: If you click on the link look at the links on the left of the page…there is a “Dick Page” link. I was like what the hell, but it turns out that’s the unfortunate name of their Artistic Director. Yes, I have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, ala Beavis and Butthead. But hey, you voted for me.

First Strides Starts This Week

In my continued effort to lose weight and get in shape I registered for First Strides which begins all over the Lehigh Valley this week. I’ll be at the Sand Island sessions, which start this Thursday.

Basically First Strides is a running program for women that is sponsored by  Lehigh Valley Hospital, Aardvark Sports Shop (Bethlehem), and The Finish Line Running Store (Emmaus). I participated two years ago and I’m determined to get back into running again so I joined up again this year.

Basically you meet up with a swarm of other women to run, in my case at Sand Island (one of my favorite running spots), each week. After a few weeks you break out into groups that run at a similar pace. Groups have names like Jaguars, Giselle’s, even Jack Rabbits. If there was a turtle group that would have been perfect for me. In all seriousness though it is a great way to meet people with similar goals and challenges.

But in all seriousness this is perfect for first timers and even experienced runners, especially if you need some motivation. You follow a program that gradually builds  in time and speed each week, switching between slow and fast intervals. Each week the fast intervals gets longer and the slow intervals gets longer. For newbies or people like me who are coming off of a hiatus you can walk the slow interval, and run the fast interval. If you are already running or are somewhat in shape you can run both intervals, slow run and fast run. The first week the run intervals are only ONE MINUTE long. Seriously, you can do this. Each week there is also homework, at first two additional runs before the next meeting, eventually three additional runs.  By the end of the 12 week program you are ready to run a 5K. For many in the group this will be a first 5K. It was mine 2 years ago and I survived (barely). And not because they didn’t prepare me, but because I didn’t always keep up with my homework. Now I know better and I WILL keep up with the homework this time.

You can even enter the program intervals into Runkeeper to help you with your homework runs. Hopefully you picked up the pro app when it was free in January. If not, it is worth every penny. The free app is also good, try it first and if you like it get the pro version.

There is still time to register on-line. Go to the First Strides homepage and click on the location you want to sign up for and then go to the registration area. They’ll ask if you want to join Active.com, unless you are really interested, skip that part, it costs extra and is not required for joining First Strides.

I also plan to work in a few P90X routines each week because I did notice running was much easier last summer when I was on the program. I still need to find my motivation again, I’ve been extra lazy in the morning lately, only getting in about 2 P90X workouts a week.

I also tend to think I can eat a lot more (more than burning off with exercise) when I’m active so I’ll also be on the weight watchers program during all of this to keep me in line. I managed to lose 3.2 lbs at my 2nd check-in. Woo-hoo. I’m hoping to earn my first 5 lb gold star this week. Fingers crossed – I was kind of bad this weekend – I’ve burned through my extra weekly points. I must say that I like the points plus program much better – I’m eating lots of fruits and vegetables instead of crappy pre-packaged foods with artificial ingredients just to make point calculations easy and points low.

Sales: Aardvark on Groupon, Hatley at Milk & Honey Kids

I haven’t written about sales in a while because, quite frankly, they have been pretty sucky lately. But I woke up to some good news this morning…Aardvark is on Groupon today! According to the counter their $30 for $60 worth of Aardvark Sports Shop stuff is good for two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) and the Groupon expires 9/3/2011. If you aren’t familiar with Aardvark, it is a great place to buy running shoes. I will never buy them at a chain sporting goods or self-service store again. Even if you can find the same pair a few bucks cheaper, what if they are the wrong shoes for you? Now you just wasted your money on running shoes you aren’t happy with. At Aardvark they really take the time to match you up with something that fits your budget as well as the needs of your feet. In fact, usually they will bring me about 3 types of shoes in my range and when they told me which was the best fit for me…to date it has never been the most expensive pair. They aren’t there to rip you off, they want you to be a customer for life. They also have a lot of cool gadgets and clothing as well as information on races and running groups. Don’t feel this is a store just for marathon runners. If you are just starting out or even just thinking about it, stop by they’ll get you motivated and up and running….literally.

Another great store in the Lehigh Valley, this one much newer to our area, is Milk & Honey Kids. They carry great kids clothes brands like Tea and some really neat toys, they have a lot of Melissa & Doug which is one of my…I mean Hailey’s…favorites as well as a lot of fun things you won’t find at the big box stores. They are trying to fill the void that Toy Magic left behind, and while it is still primarily clothing, they are doing a great job with the toys. So far I’ve only been to the Bethlehem store (next to Panera bread on 512) but they also have a store on Hamilton Street in Allentown which is bigger.

Milk & Honey’s vendor of the week this week is one of my favorites, Hatley. They make the most adorable rain boots, rain coats, and umbrellas and the sale is perfect timing! Be sure to click the link for the coupon. A bit of warning…you are going to pay more for kids clothing than you will at Old Navy or Children’s Place, even more than Gymboree. I won’t get all of Hailey’s clothing or toys, here but I will get special gifts here. I’ll usually seek out things that are more unique that you can’t find elsewhere.

Shopping updates: Sales and Closings

Haven’t written in a while…have a couple of ideas for posts but one of them requires me to take some pictures so I’m waiting for the weekend, about the only time I have access to daylight these days!

Also, there haven’t been a whole lot of new sales that I’ve been excited about…at least not enough to share.

But today I did see that Cleo’s on 3rd St., South Bethlehem is having a 25% off the entire store this week (Jan 13-22). This is a nice shop with jewelery, gifts and home decor. If you have had your eye on something or haven’t checked this place out yet, now would be the time.

Also, don’t forget that RunKeeper Pro is still available on iTunes for free until the end of this mont! It’s usually $9.99 so its a great deal. Even if you don’t run you should consider getting this app. It also tracks walks, biking, skiing, wheelchair, skating, and rowing.  No swimming, at least not until they make a waterproof iPhone. If you aren’t doing any of these things…you really should be….why not track your activity and see your progress over time?

Also, I’ve been reading about the legal troubles of Richard Leidich, who was the proprietor of Bergy’s, that is until he was charged with embezzling $99,000 from the Blue Mountain Community Library in Pen Argyl. So, Bergy’s  is closed. What the heck is Bergy’s you ask? It’s an old country store in the Wassergass. Wassergass? That is a section of Lower Saucon east of Hellertown, that connects to Bucks county to the south.

I write about Bergy’s basically because of childhood memories. When I had pet rabbits (which was during much of my childhood) I remember going to Bergy’s for their feed, and I always felt I was stepping back in history, like the store looked the same in then as it did when it opened (back in 1903). I also had friends in Wassergass growing up and we’d occasionally stop in. It’s one of those places you always hope to see make it. This isn’t the first time it has closed, I hope to see it come back again.

If anyone has any Bergy’s memories or history to share I’d love to read about it in the comments.

P90X, Runkeeper, Weight Watchers, On Target Living and what the hell…some Chinese Bee Pollen

I’m throwing it all in the ring.

I was trying to decide what my next post was going to be and narrowed it down to a list of Lehigh Valley attractions or events I’ve never been to and want to visit in 2011 or my need to really get back on some type of exercise/diet program. I think my choice is clear. I was inspired by two things  1) my friend Silagh’s blog post last night and 2) when putting on my “big” pants this morning  I had to suck in my gut (OMG just a few weeks ago they were loose!!!).


And that’s how quickly it happens. I was on the P90X program from the end of July to early November, and then vacation happened…then thanksgiving…then Christmas…then New Years… Truth is there is ALWAYS an excuse…it’s too cold… it’s dark…Groundhog Day…the super bowl …Valentine’s Day…Daylight Savings…St. Patrick’s Day…Easter…Chilifest…Cinco de Mayo…and before you know it…it’s time for shorts, short sleeves and *gasp* bathing suits.

So what now? I’m just going to throw everything at it. If I have learned anything about losing weight it’s that no one thing works for me, I can’t just diet and I can’t just exercise-exercising makes me hungry and dieting makes me lazy. Then there is the boredom.

P90X is pretty intense; a different exercise everyday…until the next week and then it’s still the same old thing all over again. But it is definitely a serious workout. My chiropractor noticed the results after just a couple of weeks and I still feel better in that regard even though I have not completed a workout since November. I don’t expect that to last to much longer however…

Running can be interesting as long as you don’t fall into a pattern of the same old route (unless that’s what you like) but damn it’s cold out there…that is until it gets hot. I use the Runkeeper Pro app on my iPhone, which is excellent and by the way…is FREE ($9.99 normally) until January 31. It is tracks your routes, calories, pace, and there is this nice British lady who tells you how long you’ve been torturing yourse…er running.  If you want to try Couch to 5K or First Strides it allows you to program intervals that match these programs or any interval you come up with on your own. You can even shout out your progress on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and post pictures along your route.  It definitely helps with motivation when you start seeing your average pace improve and if you get support from friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Then I have this gym membership at Steel Fitness and a Wii Fit…neither of which I use anymore and were merely failed attempts to throw money at a problem without following through.  But I’m giving my membership one more try. If I don’t spend at least 6 hours there this month I’m canceling. And what the heck…I’m going to set up the Wii again and maybe try out the Wii Zumba Fitness workout. A friend has been raving about it on Facebook. Maybe all this workout diversity will keep me interested.

And then there is the food…The P90X nutrition plan and Weight Watchers both encourage keeping track of food intake, although P90X is more specific (read: more of a pain in the ass) as to how many carbs, proteins, etc. you can have. On the other hand with Weight Watchers I can eat 15 1pt carrot cake snacks and still be within my daily points (not that I ever did that…OK well maybe once). On Target Living: Nutrition is an interesting book by Chris Johnson, he encourages natural organic foods and uses just a food target illustration to determine the best food choices. Most or all of your foods should be in the center of the target. He says to keep portions in check and is rather vague in this regard… I found that I just ate A LOT of healthy food and didn’t lose any weight. So I’m thinking about combining, somehow, someway, the proper proportions of the P90X nutrition plan, the ease of the weightwatchers point system with the food choices in the center of the On Target Living target. If I come up with something that works…I’ll sell it to you.

In addition to the boredom there is the habit thing. In order for any program to be successful it needs to become second nature yet fun. Is this possible? Maybe that means scheduling the same hour everyday for exercise, but then just change up what I’m doing in that hour (running, P90Xing, class/treadmill at gym, Wii).

…And for good measure I may just stop by Kim’s on the Southside for that Bee Pollen everyone has been raving about…because a cure in a bottle is just sooooo much easier.

In all seriousness, has anyone tried it? I’ve heard it has some harmless…yet inconvenient side effects. Basically from what I understand from a friend’s Facebook updates…it makes you poop. A lot.

Please share your workout & dieting woes/hints/inspiration or any new year’s resolution challenges in the comments.

Stating the obvious: I am not a medical professional. No one in their right mind should take any diet, exercise or nutrition advise from me of all people. Seriously…don’t do it.