Saturday, March 31

615a-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, grapefruit, microwave brownie, 2c reg, supps
8a-s Starbucks Via mocha (this has added sugar - thus it's actually good!)
1030a-s tilapia, orange, s Starbucks Via mocha, supps
2p-s tilapia, Larabar, med apple, s Starbucks Via mocha, supps
430p-bottle diet A&W
730p-2 chicken wings, microwave brownie, banana slices & BnPB, 12 mini Sunbutter muffins, supps
10p-12 mini muffins

GD. I waited too damn long to eat and ended up eating half a pan of muffins that I knew I shouldn't even make. Id-i-fucking-ot. And then later, I finished them off. And the extra genius part is I made them with Better 'n Peanut Butter, which also contains soy, which gives me acne. I was actually having a decent day, too, so I don't really know what happened there.

Pulls: 9, 8, 7 - nice long rests in between, so they were all damn smooth. I've been tempted to do a little hanging rest to squeeze in more singles, but I feel more accomplished when they are consecutive. After missing 10 on the first set, I was hesitating on the second set when I remembered the quote Joy shared with me when debating the powerlifting meet:
Try and fail, but don't fail to try.  
-Stephen Kaggwa
And off I went!

Sleep: 8 hours in bed. Woke around 3, when the hubster came home, but otherwise solid. Got rather tired at about 2pm so I added bit more food than planned, plus another mocha. Really wanted to nab a can of Diet Coke, but . . . GD acne.

Rehab: Feeling pretty good! Certain steps make it hurt, twisty/unstable stances, but normal walking feels okay. Holy shit! Upper back/shoulders still a bit sore, as are abs. Loving this result of Thursday's session. Taking a second straight full rest day; since I completely forgot about bringing the bike to the tax firm.

No workouts for me, but Greg and Brian devoted today's runs to me. How cool is that?! Like I posted on Wednesday: my people are so fucking awesome that I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.

Acne: Coming around a little. No new cysts.

Habit: Wore a new shirt, rather belly-hugging, so today was a bit of a challenge. Just like the last time that I fought to change this bad habit, I realize that it's worse when I look down and see it - just fix my posture & pull the hips back, and BAM it's gone! And it's much better in the mirror than it is from above.

Misc: Total tax firm hours in January = 60.6...February = 64.8...March ='s a good thing I like these people, because that's kinda gross! Especially when you factor in that I missed an entire week in March due to TS. Sheesh! And now that all of this is MY money and it pays for Dustin, it becomes entirely worth it, even at this point in the year when we're all ready for it to finish.


Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness. How extraordinary is that? Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on. A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin. Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.

Gold star! I actually do this all the time. I literally have a reminder set in Outlook designating the 15th of each month as "Random Act of Kindness" day. I've told you I'm a bleeding heart; this is a prime example. I just really adore the feeling of helping others in any small way. (Does that make it selfish?)

Some of the things I do: bring in team treats for no reason (last week I had my mom buy items from a fundraising bake sale to bring to the tax firm - win win!); feed extra change into the vending machines and walk away; buy coffee or donate my free coffee card to the next person who comes to the Cove; send a coffee token to one of my besties; think of a reason to send a Goosing to someone; email a little note of appreciation or praise; text someone for no reason (earlier this week I texted my bro & cousin, two more manure pumpers who are currently working their asses off, just to say hi); really, anything I can think of, even if it's a little uncomfortable.

Often I feel like I'm doing something unusual, out of the ordinary, putting myself outside the normal realm of typical social behavior, but hey, that's society's issue, not mine. Wouldn't it be better if everyone did stuff like this? And no, I'm not holding myself up as some kind of ideal model; there are plenty of days I'm swearing like a sailor at random idiot strangers (usually because they are preventing me from driving as fast as I want to) but I do think more people need to get into the RAK thing. It's just as beneficial for the giver as for the recipient!

If everyone operated in "pay it forward" mode all of the time, what kind of world would this be?

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.  
-Dalai Lama

Recipe: Microwave Brownie

A Paleo-happy single-serving microwave brownie!

From Jen Comas Keck:

Mix into a bowl:
2 egg whites
2 TBSP coconut flour
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 packets Stevia (more or less, it's up to you.)
1/4 cup pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Spray a little glass dish or bowl with non-stick cooking spray or grease it with coconut oil. I used a small round Pyrex dish. Put mixture in it and toss it into the microwave. Nuke at 80% power for 2 - 4 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on your microwave so keep an eye on it so you don't scorch the edges. The second the middle is not wet, it's done!


I used applesauce instead of pumpkin, just cuz that's what I had, and it worked just fine. I overcooked it a bit and didn't un-lump my coconut flour, so it was kinda dry - I added a splash of almond milk to moisten it up and that worked out great. I also threw in a dash of cinnamon, but I couldn't really taste it. Next time I'm going to use sweet potato butter in it, since I have some in a tube ready for a long run that won't come any time soon. Jen also lists several other alternatives on her post, so click on through for more ideas!

It was delicious, and I'm guessing it clocks in around 125-150 calories. Probably not a whole lot different from a normal brownie, except it's 2-3 times the size, has no crap ingredients, takes all of 6 minutes to make, and you're not left with a huge pan of leftovers tempting you at every turn. Win win win win!

UPDATE: Made it again (same day) with sweet potato butter, no cinnamon, splash of almond milk added before microwaving. It turned out even better! Go forth and experiment!

Friday, March 30

6a-2 fr eggs, roasted veg, orange, c reg, supps
715a-c reg w/ stevia
10a-s tilapia, salad, oz almonds, 1.5c reg, supps
2p-raw veg (cauliflower, grape tomatoes, baby carrots), oz almonds, s coconut flakes
7p (restaurant)-iceberg w/ French dressing, pork ribs w/ sauce, plain baked potato, half-pot decaf, supps

Sleep: 8 hours in bed. Woke about 230a wide awake, when the hubster got home. Otherwise, sleep was solid, woke w/o alarm. Nice!

Rehab: Small improvement from yesterday but still not great.

Legs, lower back muscles (not disc), upper back/shoulders all a bit sore, but nothing concerning. Feeling yesterday's deadlifts & Prowler love!

Habit: Kept it out of my mind today.

Acne: Still fiercely bad, but nothing new is developing. It's such a frustrating side effect because of the delay time. Several times today I had to stop myself from eating something that might not be cool; given how restricted I am already, it gets kind of ridiculous. Hummus. Zevia. And I probably shouldn't have had the ribs at supper because of the sauce. Ugh.

Misc: New WW shoes on my feet as I type. Happy! Also nice: 8am dentist appt meant I had time to kill at home in the morning. And I saw Hop for like 5 whole entire minutes. Good for the brain.

Happiness: (See here for what this is about.)
Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
Oh. My. Gawd. This was written for me exactly. And it's so fucking unhealthy, as anyone else who does this is fully aware. Everyone is on their own path in this world. They may cross, they may run roughly parallel, but your path and my path are not the same.You're not my twin with the same genetics and childhood and background. And even if you were, we STILL wouldn't have the same path, because you're you and I'm me.

I don't even like the last sentence of this, though. I've been comparing myself to my December 2010 self for 16 months now, and that comparison makes me feel like an utter fucking failure. I could compare myself to December 2008 instead, to make me feel better about where I am today, but honestly, is that comparison much better? There's always going to be a crappier version of myself in my past, and always a better version back there somewhere, too, depending on what aspect I'm obsessing about.

So here's the comparison I think we should all be doing: compare yourself today, right now, this instant, to the future you that you want to be. Compare yourself to the person you're hoping to become, the "goal" you, the reason you're working so fucking hard every single day at everything that you do.

And then you've only got to ask yourself one you feel lucky, punk? Oh, wait, oops - sorry, not that one!

The question is: does what you're doing right now lead you down the path to being the person you want to be? Or are you currently forging ahead to a shitty version of future you?

Your answer tells you whether you're doing what you truly should be doing, ought to be doing, want to be doing.

That is the only valid comparison you should make.

Me, I'm on the right path. Financially, nutritionally, physically, spiritually - I may feel like I'm lagging a little sometimes, but in no way am I out in the toolies, meandering down a path I don't want to be on. I'm moving in the right direction, and I know it.

How about you?

Never be intimidated by your challenges. No matter how tough they are, they will bow to your destiny.
-Kamari aka Lyikal

Thursday, March 29

515a-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, T honey mustard, 2 sl GF toast, grapefruit, med apple, c reg, supps
645a-c reg w/ stevia
730a-1.5c reg
930a-chicken breast, T honey mustard, sm banana, supps
12p-personal training
145p-salad, hb egg, med apple, supps
530p-oz almonds, s coconut flakes, s BnPB, supps

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed. Took a little while to fall asleep and was wide awake at about 430a, got up at 5 - but it was very solid sleep. Got up feeling pretty damn good.

Rehab: Did my PT work in the Well, forgot at home - Hop was home and threw off my routine! Knee/shin feels no better than yesterday. Made an appointment to get tested and the earliest I can get is 4/23. GAH.

Stood at tax firm (the place is lousy with worker bees!) and back hurt a wee bit by end of eve. Nothing I'm concerned about, though.

Left hand nonsense: smashed my ring finger between weight & bench on Sunday. Cut away a bit too much o' callus on Tuesday eve, now have nice dried-out skin crack on middle finger. And finally, a paper cut on the pad of my pointer finger. Little finger, looks like you're next, kid. Hope you're feeling tough!

Habit: Struggling a little today.

Acne: It's been super duper awful lately. Hate-my-face awful. I look like I ate a stick of butter on Monday. All I can pinpoint is caffeine/diet pop overload over the weekend, but that's kind of a long delay in reaction, plus it also should've freaked out early last week after supper at Doolittle's where I drank a shit ton of Diet Pepsi. Huh.

Out-of-the-ordinary foods, since Sunday/Monday:
-A can of coconut milk - perhaps too much coconut? Too much guar gum?
-Flax milk, which has a laundry list of chemicals: Filtered Water, Cold Pressed Flax Oil, Tapioca Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Canola Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12. I love the ingredient "natural flavors." What kind of bullshit can you hide with that label?!
-3 cans of Zevia, which has: Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Caramel Color, REB A (stevia extract), Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Wintergreen Oil, Anise Oil, Lemon Oil, Orange Oil, Ginger Extract. Again with the "natural flavors" baloney!!

Anyway, my solution is: whole foods only until this all calms back down. Better to skip my GF bread than to hate my face.

Misc: Baby donkeys are freaking adorable. Don't believe me? Click here.

Happiness: Continuing on with the little task I started yesterday.
Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
In general I'm pretty optimistic. Perhaps a little cynical on certain subjects, but not pessimistic; I'm typically a glass-half-full kind of person. I seek out the best in everyone and foresee positive outcomes easily. Except when it comes to my own failures and setbacks, no matter how temporary. Then I become my own worst enemy, with my mind running full-tilt down dark alleys and seeing only the worst outcomes, monsters around every corner.

If I were counseling anyone else in my situation, I'd be full of compliments and encouragement and sunshiney remarks, doing everything possible to make that other person understand that the current failure is a stepping stone to better things. Take these rocks and build a bridge, yo! But when it's ME that I'm talking to, those rocks become a wall, and I lay down and throw a tantrum for far too long, depending on others to haul me back up to my feet. I shouldn't need to depend so heavily on others, because I shouldn't get that far down & out. Nothing is the end of the world. Everything has a silver lining.

Consider sitting out of Boston: I will feel physically great all week. No holding back on touristy outings because I can't walk more than 3 blocks without whining. That's something, right? Actually, the bigger silver lining is that after last week's tentative diagnosis, I stopped freaking out about how hard the race was going to be, since I was no longer going to be running it. That was a heavy pile of anxiety and stress that I do not miss!

And furthermore, this injury is nothing I can't overcome. The rest will do my body a world of good right now, fixing my gait will be hugely beneficial over my running career, and it's one more reinforcement that yes, I really am an athlete. Even the very best athletes get hurt and have to sit out on big games now & then. The former chubby girl in the corner with a book, who just runs for weight loss? When she gets hurt, she takes up kayaking while she sits out a few weekend runs to heal up. She's not missing the 116th Boston Marathon. And she would never spend time thinking about possibilities for requalifying for the 118th or 119th, would she?

You're not going to make me have a bad day. If there's oxygen on earth and I'm breathing, it's going to be a good day.
-Cotton Fitzsimmons

Wednesday, March 28

445a-fr egg, sl beef bacon, roasted veg, c reg, supps
6a-almond milk latte
630a-taught class
730a-1.5c half-caff w/ 2T coconut creamer
945a-chicken leg & thigh, orange, can Zevia, 1.5c half-caff, supps
12p (LAPW meeting)-salad (iceberg, baby carrots, cukes, grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, French dressing), 2c reg
430p-2T almond butter, .5s coconut flakes, oz almonds, supps

Felt better at yoga than I have in ages. First time in ages that I didn't walk in with 1-2 workouts under my belt & not having eaten in 2 hours. Coincidence? I'd guess no. At home, I was hungry again at 730pm, but I wasn't craving anything, so I just jumped in the shower and by the time I went to bed, I was just fine again.
Pulls: 7, 7, 7 (at home), 4 wide-grip (in Well)

Sleep: 7 hours in bed. Solid until I woke for b/r at 3am, dang it, then off/on after that. Felt decent.

Rehab: PT in morning plus bonus stretching during class. I skipped the afternoon train because I figured that even 20 minutes of walking might piss it off further. That's pathetic!

My brother's solution to Boston: get in a wheelchair, have someone push me. I nominated Hop. He said he's up for it. Friend on FB said Hop & Brian should tag-team it. Works for me! I'll run the camera.

Habit: Dressed to look good today. Had a little "JC, I fucking look pregnant" moment this morning, but it went away. But then at yoga I kept staring at Sarah's flat stomach, and, well, perfect body. I'm never going to look like that, though, no matter what I do. Accept it, brain.

Misc: Bright spot: in my drawer, a sampling of Joy's Homemade Almond Butter. LOVE that chica.

Another bright spot: a text from Hop that he would be home tonight. Yay!

Happiness: Based on this blog post as well as a discussion with Dustin, I'm going to journal a bit about these 12 habits and how I'm doing. Let's start at the top:
Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
I like to think that I do this pretty darn well. I'm frequently giving small gifts, regularly email tidbits of thanks or praise or whatever, always want to give, give, give to show people how much I appreciate them. (Dustin, you tell me how many times I've thanked you...can you count that high?) My only problem with it is verbally expressing gratitude. I'm not nearly as good at that, or any verbal communication, really. I'm an introvert by nature and still get stuck in that mode most of the time. And also, a result of being so "good" at this habit is that I'm overly sensitive to a perceived LACK of gratitude in others. But that is their problem, not mine, and I have to let that go.

Do not be concerned about others not appreciating you. Be concerned about your not appreciating others.

So, here is a nice long list of things for which I am incredibly grateful:
-My friends and family. This includes you. And your health. And their health. Because all of my people are so fucking awesome that I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.
-My own excellent health (current shin issues aside) and my enthusiastic commitment to maintaining it.
-My job, including my coworkers and bosses and the company culture as a whole.
-My other job, again including my coworkers and bosses and the culture as a whole. They express their gratitude every freaking day that I work there.
-My other other job, because it's immensely gratifying to have a way to help people who have so thoroughly changed my life for the better.
-My husband's job, because he truly enjoys it (despite these weeks of spousal abandonment), and they appreciate him very much, and it's now an extremely rare day that he complains about it.
-My love of reading and learning and the education it has given me.
-My communities, from Sauk to West Union to Alex, full of nice people & good businesses & grass & trees & pretty lakes & fresh country air.
-My kitties, who love me every milli-second of every lazy day. (And maybe it's just because I'm their sole food source, but hey, I'll take it.)
-Your pets and your kiddos, because I delight in the simple goodness of critters & little people and really love to hear the funny stories.
-Every single day. Even the ones that make me cry big sad alligator tears, because they mean that I am still alive, and I will soon return to the days that make me laugh until I cry.

Now, how do you like them apples? That took me no time at all, and doesn't include a single THING, either. (Though, yes, I really was tempted to include Pepe on there.) And it made me really happy to make this list. So, being the expert that I am now, I recommend that you do the same thing. And you'll be happy too!

Ta - daaaaa!

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of that they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.
-Margaret Young

Read This: Marc & Angel

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

Habits of happy people. Make them yours!

My favorite line: Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.

And really, everything on that site is a great read. Here's another excellent one that I needed to see today:

10 Things to Stop Caring About Today

Consuming yourself with the negative aspects of a circumstance gets nothing productive accomplished.  But if you instead look at the circumstance productively and positively, coming from the standpoint of “What’s my next best move?” you put yourself back in the driver’s seat.

Tuesday, March 27

630a-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, honey mustard, grapefruit, c reg, supps
715a-coconut milk latte
1030a-5oz tuna, s sesame crackers, orange, can Zevia, supps
12p-personal training
130p-6oz chicken breast, salad, s sweet potato butter, supps
530p-oz almonds, T coconut flakes, orange (forgot supps)

Sleep: 9.5 hours in bed. What a difference!! I felt like a normal person again, finally not near tears every second of the day.

Rehab: Improving, little by little...but still there. Sat most of morning (since I had to process payroll) and then stood at tax firm.

Habit: Actually didn't think about it much today, just too busy, not because I was filled with shin hate!

Misc: My Wonder Woman shoes have shipped! The ones that were supposed to be back-ordered until 4/17. Hooray for a little bright spot in an otherwise rotten time - they are supposed to be delivered on Thursday. Yay!

Another little bright spot: for the LAPW style show, I get to model for Maurices. This is most excellent because the store always gives the model a little discount or gift certificate. KICK ASS!

And finally, I forgot to share this yesterday. Mary gave me a sweet little desk-brightening gift after I told her about Boston:

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
"What are you doing?" you ask.
"Can't you see?" comes the impatient reply. "I'm sawing down this tree."
"You look exhausted!" you exclaim. "How long have you been at it?"
"Over five hours," he returns, "and I'm beat! This is hard work."
"Well why don't you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen the saw?" you inquire. "I'm sure it would go a lot faster."
"I don't have time to sharpen the saw," the man says emphatically. "I'm too busy sawing."
-Stephen Covey

I'm being forced to sharpen the saw, whether I need it or not. So I might as well sharpen this saw to the sharpest sharpness that it can become. Focus on recovery. Focus on nutrition. Focus on happiness.

Monday, March 26

430a-fr egg, s chicken sausage, orange, c reg, supps
6a-c reg w/ stevia
630a-taught class (held feet 5x, did PT during my 2 down minutes)
730a-2c reg w/ T coconut creamer
915a-chicken leg & thigh, raw veg (cauliflower, baby carrots, grape tomatoes), 2c decaf w/ T coconut creamer, (forgot supps)
2p-oz almonds, 2 tangerines, supps
5p-2 fr egg, s chicken sausage, c decaf, coconut hot cocoa, supps

Pulls: 6, 6, 6, 7 - pretty hard again so I did my total of 25. Never easy at 430a on low sleep.

Sleep: 7.25 hours in bed. Took ages to fall asleep, fully awake at each sleep cycle (I think because I knew Hop was coming home at some point) and wide awake at 4a. I got up just before 430. Felt okay physically but knew it'd be a rough day mentally.

Rehab: Knee/shin is better but still there. Going down stairs I realized that if I turn my knees outward, squat style, it doesn't hurt. Am I caving in my right knee? And if so, is this because of or causing the pain? Dunno. Did PT work during class, then PT visit at 8. Discovered a good way to stretch the outside shin but that's the only new thing. Did feel better immediately after PT appt, but sort of came back later on, not as heavy.

Habit: Fine. Whatever. Don't care today.

Acne: You know, I think it's bad from all the GD diet pop I've been sucking down. Gah. It seems I can get away with a little, but not a lot.

Misc: My brain was just in no state today. Feeling entirely beat down by life. Lonely. Had a one-on-one with Sandy that cheered me up some, but I still left work at 330p. Intended to take a nap but instead made up a yummy chicken broth, ate a breakfasty supper, and read on the couch with Clyde in my lap, then took me a nice long relaxing bath. And was even able to tolerate the Boston Marathon packet I got in the mail. Sad, but not crying.

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of the situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it.
-Kathleen Casey Theisen

Sunday, March 25

730a-fr egg, 2 sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, T coconut butter, orange, frozen banana, c reg, flax milk latte, supps
1230p-fr egg, s chicken sausage, 2 tangerines, Larabar, bowl "cereal" (slivered almonds, raisins, cinnamon, flax milk), 2c decaf, supps
1p-can diet cherry Pepsi
130p-workout - mobility work & random fun stuff w/ Joy
6p-salad (2c spinach, s almond crackers, 2T slivered almonds, 2T cranberries, balsamic), 2 sl beef bacon, 2s roasted veg (parsnips, mushrooms, bell peppers, olive oil, balsamic), supps

Went with three meals today so they could be larger, knowing I was in a mood to over-indulge.

Pulls: 8, 6, then I just plain forgot.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, but final 2 were no good - cats were very active, couldn't comprehend me sleeping past 5am. I felt okay all morning, but after the workout, I saw my "finish Boston" goal down in the Well, and I nearly started crying. So I came home and took a 1.5-hour nap. Helped the body, brain was a bit of a lost cause, though.

Rehab: Shin was pretty sore when I first got up, I was limping to avoid pain. Did PT and that helped immensely just after the iso-holds. Still, enough pain to make me cancel my walk in the park with Joy. Angry sadface. Mobility work instead, some lifting, nothing truly heavy. I want to go all-out heavy again, though. If I'm not running or even walking a marathon in 3 weeks, can't I please go heavy? The brain needs something.

As a special little bonus, the death of my Boston dream is happening during tax season's stress and pumping season's spousal abandonment. I was finally able to see Hop in person this morning (first time he's been home in 48 hours: he got home at 430a...and left again at 1030a), so I [tearfully] told him I won't be able to do Boston. And at that time I finally realized how badly I have been needing a god damn hug. A simple HUG. Why should that be so hard to come by? I feel very alone in my sadness.

Habit: Too distracted by Boston to really care about the belly today, but I was back to hate daggers every time I saw it. Ongoing battle.

Misc: Pity party kind of day...just feeling like it's all very unfair, like I work so hard for so little. I read everything and "know" everything I'm supposed to be doing. I work out regularly, and I love it. I train appropriately (mostly thanks to Dustin) so that I avoid over-training. I made myself a stand-up workstation. I plan & obsess over everything I eat. I don't drink at all. I don't eat any junk food: no ice cream, no pizza, no candy bars, no fries, no deep-fried anything. Ever. I am forced to avoid dairy and grains and legumes lest I have a disgustingly ugly face. I track motherfucking e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. that I eat and do, right down to how many god damn hours I sleep each night. (And that's way beyond the recommended levels, of course.)

Yet where has all of this effort put me? I am unable to run the Boston Marathon; I couldn't even walk the fucker if there wasn't a time limit. I am 15 lbs overweight, all put on over the past year, after having been at the best shape, by light years, of my entire life. I barely enjoy going out to eat because all that's 100% okay is a salad (no cheese! no croutons! balsamic vinaigrette only!). If I'm going to a friend's house, or anywhere that I will be fed, I need to discuss food ahead of time or just bring my own. I am ridiculously sensitive to sleep and stress levels.

So, it begs the question: am I any happier now than I was when I was eating whatever foods I wanted to eat and having all kinds of downtime to read and watch TV and not obsessing over all of this?

Yes, I am.

Because while I might not be the tiny person I want to be, I'm still very healthy. I am stronger, fitter, far more confident than I was back then. While I'm not currently thrilled with my body, I don't hate it. And I don't hate myself. My skin is clear and I don't hate my face. I don't have as much spare time as I used to have, but my new hobbies are more enjoyable than any show on TV. I influence others to make healthier choices in their lives. Fitness has brought new people into my life that I simply adore. It has made me a better version of myself: new & improved! And that makes it worth every hardship.

And when I get this "poor me" attitude, I typically feel like a giant asshole because there are people in this world with real problems, and I ain't one of them.

But maybe no matter who you are, some days are going to be lonely, pathetic little pity parties. I'd just really like them to stop now, please.

Expecting the world to treat you fairly is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian. 
-Dennis Wholey

Saturday, March 24

630a-fr egg, s chicken sausage, 2 sl GF toast, tangerine, c reg, supps
8a-2c reg
930a-can diet cherry Pepsi
1215p-s tilapia & onions, cauliflower & hummus, 2oz cashews, can diet cherry Pepsi, supps
5p-2s tilapia, cauliflower & hummus, tangerine, T coconut flakes, can diet Coke, supps
830p-ribs w/ BBQ sauce, smoked chicken breast, frozen banana chunks, Banana Coconut Custard, supps

Pulls: 7-6-6-6 - just wanted to get an easy 25, brain not really up for tough challenges today. All of these were pretty smooth, though there was leg swing.

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed. Wide awake at 5 but managed to fall back. And dreamed about sitting around a bonfire at Jennah's family cabin. I think I need to go camping!

Rehab: Shin is a step down from yesterday. From a 1-hour WALK. That shoots a pretty big hole in the idea that perhaps I could still do the marathon with a walk 2 / run 1 combo to squeeze me in under the 6-hour time limit. Feeling 99% sure that I will not be participating in this marathon at all. Sad.

And yet, I'm also feeling major relief: I'm no longer feeling intense anxiety over the thought of slogging through a miserable 26.2 miles, the huge mental battles I'd be facing, the "social" (really, self-imposed) pressure to finish somehow despite massive physical fatigue, etc. Boston has been more of a looming dark shadow than a fun sunny event for the past few months, so losing it is both painful and relieving. I'm reaching a kind of peace with it all.

Kind of. The wrong thing said, or a lack of sleep, or an increase in some other stress, could shoot me right back to tears. I'm fun like that. Case in point: at 6p after 9 freaking hours at the tax firm, the cleaning folks arrived and the very first question from the husband was "How is training going?" and from the wife, "So, are you excited for Boston?? Less than a month, right?!" Gah. I know it's always asked in kindness but that doesn't make it any easier.

Also, still have that weird chest pain first half of the day, but right wrist is feeling better. 

Dustin, check out the conversation I had with Mike T Nelson on Facebook!

Misc: I liked the morning fog; I think it's the reason I was able to sleep in. And I got to the tax firm at 815a, and there were only two other people there...normally there's 4 in by 8a - I hope everyone got a little extra dose of sleep this morning! I didn't actually punch in until 9am...what a freaking slacker. I think I made up for it though...left just before 8. GROSS. Why the hell do I do this to myself? Oh yeah, to pay for Dustin. Worth it.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.


Friday, March 23

530a-smoked chicken breast, T bbq sauce, sl GF toast w/ SP butter, grapefruit, c reg, supps
830a-1.5c decaf w T coconut creamer
930a-s tilapia & onions, salad, oz almonds, 1.5c reg, supps
2p-10-ish sweet potato pork wraps, supps
4p-3.56m walk at LCSP
6p-40-cal popsicle
7p-GF dinner roll
745p-balsamic pork tenderloin, roasted veg (potatoes, snap peas, tomatoes, mushrooms), GF dinner roll, an entire 2-liter of diet A&W over the course of the eve
9p-2 GF dinner rolls, supps
10p-s chicken sausage (wanted some protein to "calm down" the carbs so I wouldn't shoot awake at 3am)

Went to Amy's for a late supper so I was snacking beforehand. And the GF dinner rolls I had gotten at the Grain Bin were So. God. Damned. Delicious. They tasted like normal rolls! That made them irresistible, and I finished them off on the way home. Not a fucked-up-mind binge but a "give me another piece of that cake, NOW" binge. This makes it excusable and I'm not all pissed at myself. (Lesson learned: if I buy them again, I'll only thaw one, not the entire bag!) So, anyway, I had me a carb re-feed kind of day. No worries.

Pulls: Took a break today. Upper body is all-over sore, elbows a little complainy, time for a rest day.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, but for the last 1.5 hours I was in & out. Ugh. I got up feeling mostly okay, level-headed at least.

Rehab: PT at work because I forgot at home. Shin/knee is feeling quite a bit better. Thinking walk at Carlos before supper at Amy's.

Eeenteresting: blog post about this study that took 10 CECS sufferers who were fasciotomy candidates, and instead modified their running gait to a forefoot landing...problem solved for each of them, no surgery required. Also there is this tiny study (two subjects, but the full paper is viewable, not just the abstract) which achieved the same thing. And this similar tiny case report. Also a podcast (that I have not yet listened to) talking about the same thing. And there's a big long Runner's World thread about surgery recovery that I have not read. Posting everything here so it's in one place when I have time to get to it.

Habit: Challenging today but I did all right.

Misc: I got to see my husband this morning for the first time all week. Asked him to introduce himself, please! And hanging out at Amy's was lovely, until I realized her clock was not set ahead, and I was not going to get to bed until 11p. Zoinks!

Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices, so you can separate them from what you see.
Know also when you actually have thought through to the nature of the thing with which you are dealing, and when you are not thinking at all.
Knowing yourself and knowing the facts, you can judge whether you can change the situation so it is more to your liking.
If you cannot - or if you do not know how to improve on things - then discipline yourself to the adjustments that will be necessary.
-Bernard Baruch

Thursday, March 22

545a-fr egg, 2 sl bacon, 2T guac, 2 sl GF toast, grapefruit, c reg, supps
7a-c reg w/ stevia
730a-1/4c BAD coffee
745a-can diet Coke
1030a-Larabar, oz almonds, orange, 1/2c pineapple, can diet Coke, supps
1130a-personal training
1245p-scoop sloppy joe mix, sl turkey, sl roast beef, few baby carrots, cauliflower floweret, grape tomato
230p-oz almonds, supps
6p-baby carrots, cauliflower floweret, grape tomatoes, supps
8p-2oz almonds, orange

Eating was all kinds of messed up today due to a team potluck and evening KITC event. I couldn't make it to those meals without snacks in between, and I frankly do not like eating that often. I couldn't eat anything but baby carrots at the KITC event anyway, and my fridge stash was only my veg offering from the potluck. Gah.

Sleep: 8.75 hours in bed. Woke often in early am but got up feeling pretty good, no alarm.

Rehab: Still there; a tiny bit worse than yesterday, though it improved post-training. Sat all morning at tax firm. Right wrist is sore, probably from handstands, not really worried.

PT visit at 115p. Yay: I may have a diagnosis (CECS). Boo: if it's correct, no Boston. Surprisingly I am coping okay. Not "well" - I'm still me of course - but no falling skies, keeping perspective. And this might not even be it. Yet I'm running out of time (no pun intended...not today) to figure out what it is and thus know what I can do on April 16...24 short days away.

Habit: I do not fucking care one whit about my belly today. I care only about my right shin. And that little motherfucker I fucking HATE.

Misc: Ups and downs like this are so exhausting, both physically and mentally. I had a decent, productive morning at the tax firm, but then I almost cried while changing for training. But training was excellent. But then I almost cried while James was talking about CECS meaning no Boston. I did shut myself into a stall to cry after a coworker asked me about running & Boston, directly after seeing James. If not for the event with Emma after work, I'd have just gone home and took a mental health day. But I was able to explain what a CECS diagnosis would mean to Lisa P without much emotion. Maybe I'll be suitable for public appearances after all. (And the KITC event was pretty awesome. Little educational thing about raptors, including 4 of them live in the room, pretty neat stuff for the kids AND adults! I really like hanging out with Emma. I'm playing the role of the cool aunt or something.)

The smartest thing I did was to email a handful of wonderful friends to give them the update and receive a million words of comfort. I love my people. Thanks to them, I kept my brain above water, and even though I opened both the fridge & the cupboard when I got home . . . I ate nothing. I finished this up, then headed to the shower. Biggest goldest fucking star ever.


If you got out of bed and walked today, and you have a job, and a place to come home to where someone cares about you, guess what? The game’s over, and you’ve won.
-Larry Miller

Wednesday, March 21

430a-12oz smoked chicken breast, can diet Pepsi, supps
545a-2c reg w/ T coconut creamer
630a-taught equipment mania class
730a-1.5c decaf w/ 2T coconut creamer
9a-2T Sunbutter, T coconut flakes, supps
1030a-mobility, PT, mobility, 2-minute icing, test run
130p-2sl egg bake, salad, supps
4p-3oz turkey jerky, 2T coconut flakes, med apple
530p-yoga class
7p-BLT+guac on GF toast, 5-ish carrots w/ hummus, protein pudding, sm apple, .5oz almonds, supps

Pulls: 6, 5, 5, 5, 4 - just wasn't there this morning. I also tried to do some handstand work before class, and on my second attempt I came down too hard and not-nice on my left foot so I stopped and gave it some mobility love instead. It simmered down after 30s or so.

Sleep: 7 hours in bed. Woke often. Wide awake at 4am, could've slept more, but then the alarm would've busted me at 430a, so I just got up. Feeling good, but was wary, prepared to take a mental dive due to lack of sleep.

It did kind of hit me mid-afternoon, wanted to cry looking out at the sunshiney day and feeling sad that even a walk was too much to ask. Ate some more food. Then I very nearly did cry while changing for yoga, after telling Jackie O about my running issues. And again during yoga final relaxation...not very relaxing. Ugh. Kept reminding myself it was not that bad, and a solid night of sleep would fix almost everything.

Had a massive tear-filled breakdown just before bed. Thankfully the solution was at hand.

Rehab: Still there, but feels better. Colorful bruising! PT at home in morning. Bonus calf work during class. Strangely sore quads.

Habit: Dressed much more flattering today, that helped the brain stop staring at the belly.

Misc: This weekend I made a deal with the hubster: all of the side job money we make is ours to keep, in full, in addition to the "allowance" we both get from the main jobs. (Personal money = unjustified spending, be it clothes or shoes or training or beer or dart tournaments...I'll let you guess whose is whose in that list...anyway, it keeps us from ever arguing about petty spending.) Before, we were keeping just 10% of our side job money, and everything else was poured into the joint account. This was mainly because the joint account needed my tax firm dinero, but it's now okay without it. So, this means that Dustin should no longer lecture me about tax season, because that side job alone will pay for an entire year of training! Hell yeah!!


This is not quite how I'm feeling today, but I'm pretending:

Tuesday, March 20

545a-fr egg, sl beef bacon, T honey mustard, 2 sl GF toast, grapefruit, c reg, supps
7a-c reg, T coconut creamer
8a-1.5c reg
10a-s tilapia, 2 sl egg bake, sm apple, 1.5c decaf w/ T coconut creamer, supps
12p-personal training
2p-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, T honey mustard, 2 sl GF toast, grapefruit, .75oz almonds, sm apple, supps
6p-2T Sunbutter, sm apple, sm orange, few cashews, supps

Supplement note: doubled my fish oil today.

Weight: I don't know. I am done with daily weigh-ins. So many factors can affect your weight each day that only "big picture" matters. Unfortunately, when I'm in a caloric deficit, or under any kind of physical or mental stress, I completely lose sight of the big picture. No perspective. It is fucking GONE. Dustin suggested I knock this off quite a while ago, but (in oh so many ways) I am a slow learner!

So, while I haven't completely figured it out yet, I think that post-Boston I will return to counting calories with a solid, well-laid-out, Leigh-Peele-style plan that cycles appropriately, and my only job is to stick to that plan each day, and let the results happen. Don't worry about the scale, don't even worry about the measuring tape. I'll want to get my starting numbers, but those go directly into Dustin's hands, not mine; I will focus on the effort only. As painful as it is for me to admit, sometimes the numbers just don't help!

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed. Took forever and a day to fall asleep thanks to the nap, but I did sleep soundly & woke naturally. When I woke at 530, I debated getting another cycle of sleep in, but I was feeling pretty rested so I just got up.

Rehab: Did PT when I got to work, forgot about it at home. Feels better than yesterday. Some steps it doesn't hurt at all! This makes zero sense to me after yesterday's short run hurt basically every step. I did stand at the tax firm again for 3 hours, then a desk opened up for me.

Visit to James was decent: got scraped again, this time by him (yeouch!), and he told me to do the same thing tomorrow that I did yesterday in regards to running, but to add a couple minutes of icing it before I run. He also threw out a slight chance of it being compartment syndrome...oh my god dear baby hey zeus NO THANK YOU.

I'm so tired of this that I don't want to think anymore, I just want to do what I'm told!

Habit: Not in a very belly-flattering outfit today, so that's a challenge, but while I did my PT I looked truly critically in the mirror; objectively, like I'm looking at someone else's body, to which I have no emotional ties. My calves are phenomenal. My arms look good. I love my upper back/shoulders, dude. And I could see that while it sure as fuck isn't flat, my belly is not as big as I think it is.

It's a work in progress.

Misc: 27 days to Boston. I'm a barrel full of emotions. Anxious, worried, nervous, but also excited. I'm aware that I do have the physical ability to go out and cover 26.2 miles right now. I'm also aware that it would feel like absolute and utter shit. So I'm thinking about the mental battles I'll be facing, how hard it will be given my lack of conditioning, and I'm figuring out what I will tell myself to push through. I'm also hoping that the pure motivation of race day and ZOMGBOSTON will help immensely. I'll need it. I'm thinking about what I should eat, and how I will transport that food when it's not likely to be chilly jacket-with-pockets-wearing weather. I'm also thinking logistics for my family, Terri & Jeremy: where do they watch, where do we meet, where can we hang out afterward, etc. So much planning required!

I dare you to not think about the effing numbers. Think about the experience. Just like the IronMan, whether you walk, crawl or slither over the finish line, it’s the fucking finish line of one of the most esteemed athletic events in the history of athletic events. You earned the right to be there. Enjoy the experience because you earned it already. You have nothing to earn at Boston. You get to enjoy this reward for a job well done at your first ever marathon. How amazing is that? This is your reward…this is your cake, or in your case, your biggest tastiest loaf of bread you can ever imagine, so savor each and every bite (step). You already won the race. Now, have your cake (bread) and eat it, too.
-Heather Kosse, to me, obviously

Monday, March 19

445a-fr egg, smoked chicken carcass-pickings, 3oz smoked ham, c reg, supps
6a-c reg w/ T coconut creamer
630a-taught class
745a-Americano w/ SF syrup
915a-2 caramel pecan bars, sm apple, oz pecans, 1.5c decaf w/ stevia, supps
1030a-half hour warmup/PT/run-specific warmup, then 1.25m run
245p-oz pecans, s tilapia, supps
745p-two smoked chicken carcass-pickings, 5-ish SP/pork wraps, med apple, supps

Pulls: 6, 7, 7, 5 - 1st set was surprisingly hard today, but let me see how many YOU can do at 430am. 2 & 3 looked solid. On 4 I confess I was just getting to my total of 25. What a lazy ass.

Weight: 140.8 lbs, 23.7% fat - up 4.2 lbs from yesterday, up 4 from a week ago. BUT, I forgot to weigh in until after breakfast, and carbs were up yesterday with those sweet potato pork wraps, so there was no freaking out this time.

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed. Woke several times in morning: Oscar was moving around a lot, blaming lack of husband. Pumping season has already started, unbelievably. Felt okay but not fully rested, really.

3-hour nap in afternoon.

Rehab: PT during class, along with mobility-type moves. Sitting at desk, not standing, all morning; stood in a'noon because my ass was hurting! Second round of warmups, PT, warmups before run experiment. Iced half hour when finished. Pain while walking was lessened rest of day...!!

Habit: I have to remind myself pretty firmly when I look in the mirror, but it's working.

Misc: Got rather tired in afternoon. Usually this is due to low cals, but today was decidedly not. Unsure what up wit' dat. Went home early (4pm!) with fingers crossed that the rain would shut down pumping so I could hang with the hubster.

Yay: Immediately took a nap and ended up sleeping for 3 hours! Wow, guess I needed it.

Boo: rain did shut down pumping, but Hop went to bed 5 minutes after I got up. Damn.


Stress and sleep have no calories and you can't eat them yet they dramatically impact how much you eat, what you choose to eat and how often you eat. Focusing on only diet and exercise for body change is like driving a car with a brake and a gas peddle but no steering wheel. You may be able to go fast for a few minutes but you will quickly crash and have to start over again. Stop playing the weight loss game. It does not work for long term body change. Learn to manage all the influences over your metabolism to control hunger, balance energy, reduce cravings and burn fat over the long run.
-Metabolic Effect

Read This: Krista-Scott Dixon

Good reading for when you have an injury:
...the worst part of any injury/illness is psychological.
You’re scared. You’re thinking, “Will I ever play the violin again?” You’re wondering who you are if you aren’t “healthy person” any more.
Find it all here:

Maybe I'm the only one who needs it right now, so maybe you just want to bookmark it for some other day that is hopefully far, far away.

But when you are injured and in the depths of "woe is me," I can tell you firsthand: reading this will help.

Recipe: Pizza Egg Bake

Base recipe:
4s turkey pepperoni
2s Daiya "mozzarella cheese"
10 green olives
2t Italian spices of some kind
.5c egg whites

Into an 8x8 baker: slice 2s of your pepperoni pieces into tiny chunks. Sprinkle s cheese on top. Slice 5 olives on top. Spice it up. Repeat with another layer. Pour egg whites in. Bake for about a half hour at 350. Try not to eat it all at once!

Calories for entire pan: 575! I cut mine into 9 squares, thus only 64 cal each, and almost pure protein. The "cheese" makes it ~30% carbs, but regular cheese would be all fat/protein.

They're even good cold, my friends!

-tomatoes, onions, black olives, peppers, any pizza topping would work, just be careful not to add a lot of juice to the mixture
-tons of spice options
-double ingredients to make it in a 9x13 pan, then bake for about an hour
-top with pizza sauce

Sunday, March 18

7a-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, sm apple, fried plantain, 2 reg, T coconut creamer, supps
12p-1/3 protein cake experiment, smoked chicken breast, T honey mustard, can diet cherry Pepsi, supps
2p-sampled sweet potato pork wraps (as I made them), 1/3 protein cake, can diet cherry Pepsi, supps (note to self...felt awful after eating all of this!)
4p-can diet root beer
8p-turkey jerky, 1/3 protein cake, supps

Pulls: 10, 8, 7 - TEN CONSECUTIVE PULL-UPS. Changes from typical: I used the shit out of my legs from pull one, not just once it got hard. And, I started counting from 10 downward to 1. An interesting twist. It may do nothing, but as hugely mental as pull-ups are, it may do plenty.

Weight: 136.6 lbs, 22.7% fat - down .4lbs from yesterday, up .8 from a week ago.

Sleep: In bed 8.5 hours, but did not fall asleep right away, and woke often (husband got a 230am phone call! also cats once 5am rolled around). Felt okay when I got up.

Rehab: Knee/shin feeling improved quite a bit from yesterday, but...still there. PT after breakfast & before bed. I was going to lift, devised a plan and started my warm-up, but just wasn't feeling it. To a normal person: suck it up and train, ya baby. To an addict: take another rest day.

Habit: Good. Very little attention paid.

Misc: Not sure what to do with myself if I am not spending 4 hours on my feet! Hubster started pumping, so I was on my own. Kind of lethargic, but did my chores, food prep, finished a friend's taxes, visited the parents for a few hours. Always good for the ego to spend time with a pair of people who love you unconditionally.

 Loathing Monday is a lame way to spend 1/7th of your life.

Saturday, March 17

515a-2 fr eggs, s chicken sausage, sl egg bake, oz pork roast, 2c reg, T coconut creamer, supps
7a-1.5c reg
1015a-s tilapia, sl egg bake, oz almonds, 2 cans diet cherry Pepsi, supps
245p-2 sl egg bake, 2oz almonds, can diet Coke, supps
7p(Doolittle's)-tenderloin skewer, cobb salad w/ balsamic vinaigrette, bunch of diet Pepsi
830p-turkey jerky, supps

Pulls: 9, 7, 8 - FUCK YEAH. That's a hell of a change for at-home numbers, AND it's even a step up from NSS numbers! (Of course, there's substantially more rest between these sets than at a training session.)

Weight: 137.0 lbs , 22.9% fat - up.8 lbs from yesterday, up 1.8 lbs from a week ago. Assuming this is due to carbs at supper last night.

Sleep: In bed 8 hours. Took a bit to fall asleep, and then I was wide awake at 4am; kept trying to fall back until I just got up at 5. Feeling pretty good, but expected to hit a wall mid-afternoon, so I kinda loaded up on caffeine.

Rehab: Shin is another very small step up from yesterday. Sad. Expecting no run tomorrow, and honestly don't think there will even be walking. And my quads can't handle extensive biking yet either. SUPER SAD. PT in am. Sitting all day at tax firm. Iced it & took 2 Advil at 6pm.

Habit: Every time that I looked down and saw my belly today, I immediately fixed my posture so I couldn't see it. That was fairly easy, but I did have to combat the urge to laser in on it when in front of a mirror.

Misc: Today was an up & down day. The awesome pull-up session started me off great, but I was mentally unprepared for a few things that made me green with jealousy (appropriate for the day): incredible weather outside, incredible transformation results for my besties, and running talk all over Facebook - even from people who don't really enjoy running! Gah. Tried to cheer myself up with thoughts about the green I was making by working a 10-hour day, was just not quite enough. I swear to fucking Zeus that I would give up every tax season's income to stop having injuries. So demoralizing. (But yes, I know that's totally unrealistic.)

After the tax firm, I went and bought a ton of yumminess at the meat locker (turkey jerky! beef bacon! smoked chicken breasts! gluten-free sausage!) and went out to supper with my husband at Doolittle's. He had steak, and I ate a delicious bite of it, but I would not have traded my salad for it. Best salad ever, anywhere. I even watched the hubster eat a brownie & ice cream dessert without feeling too deprived. It smelled freaking amazing, but I made up for it with my own dessert when I got home: turkey jerky!

Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.
-Anne Wilson Schaef

Friday, March 16

530a-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, honey mustard, 2 sl GF toast, grapefruit, c reg, supps
7a-c reg w/ 2T coconut creamer
815a-Americano w/ SF syrup
945a-s tilapia & onions, oz almonds, sm apple, supps
1130a-oz almonds (felt sick and had to eat something...blaming the tower video)
3p-Larabar, sm apple, supps
530p-3.3m bike ride
7p (noshed while food prepping)-s turkey pepperoni, 10 olives, 4 carrots w/ hummus, shirataki noodles w/ tomato sauce, pint strawberries, s chicken sausage, slice pizza egg bake, supps

AM pulls-6, 6, 6, 7 (total of 25) - After the first set I realized something: back when I transitioned to doing WG pulls, I focused on smooth pulls only, stopping whenever it got jerky, trying to groove in better technique. Well, now I'm into more swingy pulls, supposed to be AFB (but lately I forget that), but I've still been stopping at the last smooth pull. WTF! No more of that. If I want to hit my goals, I need to learn how to dig up out of the ugly ones, so from now on I go until I'm certain the next one will be failure. And I get a total of 25 every morning.

Weight: 136.2 lbs, 20.5% fat - same as yesterday, down 1 lb from a week ago. I had zero emotion on this weigh-in. Not even an effort to remember what yesterday was, just: Okay, got it down, moving on, time for breakfast. I like that. Hope I can stay in that place.

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed; turned in late, but it was fairly solid and I woke without an alarm.

Rehab: Shin almost feels the same, maybe 5% better than yesterday, grr. Iced it for half hour in the am. PT at home in morning & eve. Brought bar stool in to TS to sit all day. Did stand about 1.5 hours in eve doing chores/food prep.

Habit: My new habit is changing back to my first: stop focusing on my belly. Stop staring at it in the mirror. Stop looking downward and hating on it All. Of. The. Time. This insidious, evil little habit crept back in post-powerlifting meet, so I need to get back to ignoring it.

Misc: For the last 4 weeks, I feel like my brain has been on straight and I'm able to make smart choices consistently, and feel good about what I'm doing. Here are some details:

I've fallen into a working pattern with my diet (typical, not always, witness tonight):
Meal 1 = bacon & egg sandwich & grapefruit;
2 & 3 = (a) salad & fish & sm apple, (b) Larabar & almonds & sm apple, or (c) Sunbutter & coconut flakes & sm apple
4 = meat & almonds & apple

That's ~1500 calories for the day including supps. When I feel like I can cut something out of a meal then I will, or if I need more, I'll eat more. My average has been ~1800 for the last 4 weeks due to longer runs, but that's still a drop from averaging 2000 through all of last year.

In this 4 weeks, I've had some big ol' stressful things happen: my larger-than-life friend died; my odds of finishing Boston decreased; my odds of running all of Boston grew very, very slim; stress at TS beefed up during close; tax firm stress increased as deadlines hit and clients poured in while I had to take an entire week off; if you've been reading my rambling, you've heard my bitching & moaning, so I'll just stop there.

So, just how in the hell have I maintained proper eating habits through stress that might have driven me to the nut butter jar in days past? What has changed since 2/21?

Answer: I made sleep one of my top priorities:
-Average hours of sleep 1/1-2/20: 8
-Avg 2/21-3/16: 8.5

Yes, that's only a half hour, which may not seem like a huge difference, but the quality of sleep has been monstrously different:
-% of nights getting up for the bathroom at ~3am 1/1-2/20: 57%
-% 2/21-3/16: 13%

Ho. Lee. Shit.

-Better sleep means I have increased ability to deal with stress. Which means I sleep better.
-Better sleep also means I don't turn to food to soothe stress. Which means I sleep better.
-Better sleep also means I recover more quickly from my workouts. Which means I sleep better.

It's a happy little upward spiral, a nice change from the usual downward spiral I put myself on. Lesson learned: I need sleep. Lots of it. It doesn't fix everything automatically, but it fixes my brain and puts me in control.

Food prep: Made a bunch of protein-based food tonight (hoping I won't have time Sunday because I'll be out running!):
-pizza egg bake (egg whites, turkey pepperoni, fake cheese, tomatoes, green olives)
-chicken sausage
-tilapia, made in pan after making chicken sausage so it soaked up some of that flavor
-pork roasts in slow cooker overnight, sprinkled with TS's dry olive & herb dip mix
-bought a huge bag of brown bananas for like $1.50 at Pete's, which I peeled & sliced & froze for making banana ice cream


Yesterday's bacon picture was a nice change of pace from deep-thinking quotes, here's another one just for fun:

Thursday, March 15

545a-fr egg & 2 sl bacon w/ honey mustard on GF bagel, grapefruit, sm apple, c reg, supps
7a-c reg w/ T coconut creamer
10a-s tilapia & onions, oz almonds, sm apple, supps
12p-personal training
1p-Larabar, oz almonds, sm apple, supps
3p-can diet root beer
530p-turkey jerky, Sunbutter bar, sm apple, few pistachios, can diet root beer, supps

I need to get rid of that damn root beer! Too addicting. Diet or not, it's crap my body doesn't need.

-Shin still sore, though a little better; all else pretty normal.

Weight: 136.2 lbs, 20.9% fat - down .8 lbs from yesterday, down 4 from a week ago.

Sleep: 8.75 hours in bed, solid, woke naturally. Nice! Feel pretty good. Sky is no longer falling. Amazing what a great night of sleep can do for this brain.

Habit: Done at 10am.

Misc: PT at 130p. James's diagnosis: combination of many small factors. Rotated right hip (again!), super tight "heel cords" (both sides), slightly tighter right hip flexor compared to left, weaker upper right glute than left. So...several stretches & strengthening moves, see how that works, then dig out orthotics if that's not enough.

I feel good about this. It's not "Abracadabra, you're gonna walk out of here pain-free" but it's legions beyond the "Maybe you should take up kayaking" bullshit I got in the past!

Shin needs to stop hurting before I can try to run again, though. Heal up, ya little bastard!

I think I've solidified my plans for the year: I am prepared to do Boston in intervals. I will then spend the rest of the year focused on fat loss, lifting, and easy enjoyable running (that means trails). I literally want to make a list of state parks, forests, wildlife areas, all preserved areas, and start visiting them one by one. An hour of trails every Saturday morning sounds perfectly blissful to this girl. And then on Sundays I can cozy up to my lonesome squat rack. Now that's summer love!!

I want to run the Wild Duluth 50k again in October to beat Dustin's PR :o), either the Afton 25k or Voyageur Half in July (if I can, if the body is ready), plus Ragnar in August. Them's my big rocks. And if when I get back to a happy place, then I'll consider options for road marathons in 2013. Until then, no.

Destination: HAPPY PLACE.


Read This: Matt Marshall

Make Tiny Jumps for Big Gains
Instead of adding 5 or 10 lbs to the bar he would add just 1-2lbs to the bar for his next session. 246 lbs feels exactly the same as 245lbs, so his confidence is high and he’s once again able to complete all the required reps.
So once again he adds a pound to the bar for the next session, and once again he’s able to complete all his reps.
He continues in this method, slowly and methodically, week after week and before you know it he’s added 50lbs to his bench press. 50Lbs added to your bench press will result in bigger and more muscular arms, shoulders and chest muscles. It’s safe to say that most modern day gym goers will NEVER add 50lbs to their bench press over the entire course of their training careers.
Because they’re looking for quick gains. Big jumps. It’s greed, plain and simple.

I'm sharing this post here because I after I read it, I went back re-read it in terms of nutrition, and the same principle applies there as well.

Sometimes big dramatic efforts will pay off: 6-week transformations do work; fasting does work; cutting out all carbs does work . . . but sometimes your brain is simply not strong enough to tackle a giant challenge like this, and you try & fail and try & fail until you give up and walk away.

Well, don't give up.  EVER.

Maybe you need to use the washer method instead. Make a small change, and make it consistently. Once that becomes an easy & mindless habit, your new normal, then make another change.

Ideas: make a healthier breakfast; cut out that second can of pop; stop buying ice cream; add an apple per day; substitute a salad for your usual burger at the fast food joint; add a 20-minute walk to your day; you know where your biggest problems lie.

But don't attempt to tackle them all at once. Just identify ONE THING you can do, and start small. Make it easy, maybe so damn easy that it's almost embarrassing. Who cares? If it's a change in the right direction, and you know you can do it, then go for it.

You will build momentum & confidence in your ability to stick to your changes by achieving these little victories on a regular basis. And in time, this will add up to changes in your body composition.

It won't be fast, it won't be dramatic, but it will happen.

Wednesday, March 14

445a-egg white & 2 sl bacon w/ honey mustard on GF toast, sm apple, 2c reg w/ 2T coconut creamer, supps
6a-2c reg w/ stevia
630a-taught equipment mania class
815a-2c decaf w/ 2T coconut creamer
930a-2T Sunbutter, 2T coconut flakes, can diet cherry Pepsi, supps
12p-mobility work
215p-s tilapia & onions, salad, oz almonds, supps
5p-25-min walk
630p-can diet root beer
7p-fr egg & 2 sl bacon w/ honey mustard on GF bagel, salad, raisins & slivered almonds & cinnamon in flax milk, c decaf w/ stevia, supps

I felt like I could manage a lower-calorie day, yet I have an injury to heal. How much food does the injury require? Any? Do I just need to get lots of vitamins & minerals from fruits & veggies & fishies, and it's okay if my calories are on the low side? If I get 9 hours of sleep can I get by with less food? It's the same debate every day, really...what is the bare minimum that I need for recovery while not slapping on any more fat? I for one can not just "forget calories and eat what you need to eat" because that will mean I eat about 2500 calories. And still feel restricted. I have no moderation abilities.

-Shin is still sore but it improved with movement; knee didn't hurt anymore while walking so I thought I'd be able to run at noon. No dice, not even close. All other body parts are back to normal. Shin did feel achey on eve walk.

-AFB pulls, am: 6-5-5-5-4 (25 total)

Weight: 137.0 lbs, 19.8% fat - up 1.2lbs from yesterday, down 1.6 from a week ago. I'd call this climb related to standing a couple hours more than normal yesterday, as I can see my feet are a little bit fat. Plus, my 430am weigh-ins are often higher for some reason. Whatever.

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed. Little more solid than the past couple nights, though. Knee pain not waking me up at every rollover.

Habit: Done at 10am. Bunch of bonus mobility work because I couldn't run.

Misc: I was having a perfectly fine day until the run was canceled. I then just wanted to curl into a ball and cry. Especially when I saw all the other runners heading outside. That was physically painful, seriously. Internally, I was a toddler throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of a restaurant. Externally, I basically just shut down. Except when I had to close my office door and cry a little. Just so fucking frustrated.

I made an appointment with James, but since 7 other doctors have proved 100% useless over this pain, I honestly don't know if I can expect anything from him. I know what would But I don't know that rest would get me across the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Yes, I did the Train & Stay weekend after a steady diet of rest, and the 50k the very next weekend, but there's a ginormous difference between a trail race & a road race.

Here's the problem with identifying so strongly as a runner: when I can't run, my world is dark and gloomy. Add to that emotional pain: people asking me if I was outside running in the beautiful weather, or how soon is Boston, or whatever, because all they know is "Sabrina=runner" and so I get reminded over and over about my inability to run. In one trip to the other end of the building this afternoon, I was asked THREE TIMES in five minutes about running & Boston. Ugh. I keep thinking about how Ace talked about being happy & pleasant around your coworkers, not to be all doom-and-gloom because of whatever is going on in your personal life...but it's very hard for me NOT to wear my heart on my sleeve. Especially when I'm this worn down.

In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins . . . not through strength but by perseverance.

- H. Jackson Brown

Some-fucking-how, I will persevere. Always.

Tuesday, March 13

615a-egg white & 1.5 sl bacon on GF bagel w/ honey mustard, sm banana, c reg w/ T coconut creamer, supps
730a-c reg w/ T coconut creamer
815a-1.5c decaf w/ T coconut creamer
10a-tilapia & onions, 2T Sunbutter, 2T coconut flakes, sm apple, can diet cherry Pepsi, supps
12p-personal training
130p-s tilapia & onions, salad (carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, bell pepper, cabbage) w/ balsamic, 3.25oz turkey jerky, can diet root beer, supps
2p-2c decaf w/ T coconut creamer
330p-can diet root beer
6p-tilapia & onions, oz butter toffee almonds, oz plain raw almonds, supps

-Still tight left Achilles, sore right shin, sore right knee.
-Stood at tax firm all night, until 8p.

Weight: 135.8, 21.7% fat - down 1 lb from yesterday, down 1.2 from a week ago.

Sleep: In bed 9.5 hours. Gold star! At least a half hour awake and woke several times in early AM, but mostly solid.

Habit: 10am.

Misc: Back to the tax firm tonight. There was a huuuuge pile of work waiting for me...job security!

If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.
-Julia Sorel

Monday, March 12

5a-egg whites w/ 1.5sl bacon, sl GF toast, sm apple, c reg, supps
530a-can diet cherry Pepsi
6a-c reg w/ stevia
630a-taught class
930a-tilapa & onions, apple, supps
1030a-full hour of recovery work
130p-tilapa & onions, sm banana, oz almonds, supps
4p-decaf Americano w/ SF syrup
630p-egg white & 1.5sl bacon w/ honey mustard on GF bagel, 4oz pork roast, sm apple, c decaf, supps

-AFB pulls, am: 4x2
-AFB pulls, pm: 4x3
-Typical long-run aches/pains/stiffness plus: very tight left Achilles, especially at the very bottom close to my heel; and lateral right knee pain exactly as if I'd run through pain yesterday. Weird. Comes through at random times, such as when I stand on tiptoe, move leg to the side, roll ankle inward. Back also more sensitive than normal, giving a little twinge of anger at abrupt & unpretty twists/turns. All improves as I keep moving, but returns after I am stationary for a while, either sitting or standing.

Weight: 136.8, 23.1% fat - up 2.4lbs from yesterday (there's the long-run freakout!) and down .2 from a week ago.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed. Woke often, right knee hurting when I'd flip over. Got up feeling fairly rested but tired as the day went on, went to bed nice & early.

Habit:Yes! During my hour-long session of recovery work with my mobilibuddy Joy. Going to be a regular Monday thing, I suspect.

Misc: I committed to be the LAPW Treasurer starting in July! Gulp. Naw, it should be fun, and doesn't sound like too big of a commitment to manage. Of course, first they have to approve & pick me, should anyone else be interested into doing it. But who doesn't love me, right? (Zip it, I could use an ego boost.)

What you WILL do is what matters, not what you CAN do.
-Stephen Covey

Sunday, March 11

9a-fr egg, 4oz pork roast, 2 sl GF bread, plantain, c reg, supps
10a-stevia flax-milk latte
11a-4oz pork roast, Larabar, .5oz almonds, sm apple, supps
12p-20m walk/run
during-2 Larabars, 2s Ultima
5p-Larabar, oz butter toffee almonds, 2c diet A&W
630p-egg white pizza, 2 GF biscuits, fake-PB & coconut-flaked banana ice cream (YUM)

-AFB pulls, am: 6x2...easy peasy, but then I got sidetracked

Weight: 134.4 lbs, 24.5% fat - down .8 lbs from yesterday, down 2.2 from a week ago. Don't understand it. Maybe because even though yesterday's calories were typical, the quantity of food was low? And also water was low? Whatever. Preparing myself for a jump up tomorrow after lotsa carbs and lotsa miles.

Sleep: 9 hours in bed, solid sleep.

Habit: Done but not until 8pm, like an idiot.

Misc: Bill-paying computer time in morning; long walk/run; Walmart for a new cord for my iPod (seriously, WTF is up with me & technology lately?!) & a few randoms (prob 20 more minutes on my feet when I just wanted to lay down); then the tax firm to amend aunt/uncle's tax return. While there I realized how very slow & brain-dead I was, so I made sure to eat a carby meal. Then I wrote up my run, took a shower, and dropped into bed like a rock.

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

This quote is especially apt when it comes to wellness. Just keep planting your seeds by doing things right day after day, and you'll harvest your desired results eventually. Sometimes these results will be quick, sometimes they will not, but unless you've really fucked up your body, the results will come - so long as you persist. And yes, it's easy to forget this; I'm living proof of that.

But no matter what, results sure as hell won't come if you just give up and return to a life of laziness and junk food.

Stay focused.

Saturday, March 10

7a-fr egg, 2 sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, sm banana, c reg, supps
8a-c reg, 2T coconut milk
830a-1.5c reg
930a-3c reg
1030a-Larabar, 2T Joy's homemade almond butter, can diet Coke, supps
12p-can diet Coke, sunshine stroll
2p-Larabar, oz almonds, can diet root beer, supps
630p- fr egg, 2 sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, sm apple, Sunbutter bar dipped in fake-ass PB, 2c decaf w/ splash flax milk, supps
8p-failed pancake attempt (egg white, fake-ass PB, applesauce, cinnamon) topped w/ sugar-free Smuckers

Little too snacky in the eve, but could've done much worse.

-AFB pulls, am: 5x4

Weight: 135.2 lbs, 22.7% fat - down 2 lbs from yesterday and down 1.6 lbs from a week ago. Again, Dustin: I KNOW.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed. Needed more, but got to bed late despite leaving Heather's during Jeremy & Amy debates PCI debate/argument. (They were drinking wine...we were drinking tea!) Still, I was able to sleep in all the way to 630!

Habit: Done while catching up on Parks & Rec and The Office, & I incorporated a foam roller and tennis ball session as well. Also attempted a handstand, couldn't get up! Did a yoga headstand instead.

Misc: All-team retreat. It was fun, and it was mostly sitting, thus a nice recovery day. At lunch, Lisa & I went on a half hour walk in the sunshine, and when we had our afternoon break, we squeezed in another 10-minute stroll. Fucking beautiful out. I love you & welcome you with open arms, Spring!

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why.

Friday, March 9

6a-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, honey mustard, sm apple, c reg, supps, flax milk latte
8a-Americano w/ SF syrup
10a-s tilapia & onions, c asparagus w/ balsamic, sm apple, can diet cherry Coke, 2T Sunbutter w/ 2T coconut flakes & sprinkle of mulling spice, supps
2p-Larabar, 2T Sunbutter, supps
330p-7.7m run
during run-s SP butter, Larabar, s Ultima
6p-can diet root beer
7p (Heather's)-creamy chicken & tomato soup, SP chips, Paleo brownie, 2oz almonds, med apple, can diet root beer, c decaf tea, supps

-AFB pulls, am: 4x4

Weight: 137.2 lbs, 20.4% fat - down THREE POUNDS from yesterday, up .2 from a week ago.

I can hear you from here, Dustin, and I know, I know, I know. Why did I let myself freak the fuck out over a weight jump that can only be water, knowing it will drop right back down within a few days at most? Answer: really, the scale had nothing to do with it. The shitty state of my sleep-deprived brain had everything to do with it. I was fucking incapable of handling anything yesterday. Next time I get this way, please tell me I just need to go home & take a nap and the sunshine will return. Seriously.

Still, I am debating whether I should continue with daily weigh-ins. For a while I was doing well enough to be able to view it with a curious scientific-ish mind, just observe the fluctuations and try to understand what was impacting daily water swings. But on the days I can't handle it, I clearly can't fucking handle it. I hope I have no more of those days, but let's be realistic here: I do have another month-end close to survive before Boston, though "pretty pretty please" to all the gods that anyone ever thought up: no more deaths.

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed. I took a NyQuil to be sure I'd fall asleep quickly (since I went to bed 2.5 hours after rising from a nap). I woke at 3 & 4 awake enough to think maybe it was time to get up, but I fell right back each time; woke at 5 and dozed off/on until getting up at 545. Feeling much better than yesterday, though not quite normal; counting on my kick-ass coworkers to lift me up.

Habit: 10am as scheduled.

Acne: It seems that yes, I am reacting to something. Half the red bumps are cysts, the other half are bacon-grease burns. Damn you, bacon grease! Damn you, delicious pork rinds! But in her typical resourceful fashion, my Foodie Buddy Joy provided a homemade pork rind recipe...just gotta round me up some pork skin! Knowing the kind of people I know, this actually shouldn't be that difficult.

Misc: The Hubster left for pumping in North Dakota today & will be back home on Sunday evening. It gives me reasons to stay out of the house: having supper tonight at Heather's w/ Amy & Jeremy; have the all-day retreat tomorrow (perhaps I can squeeze in a basement lifting session before it?); shifted my long run to Sunday, probably followed by the tax firm.

Last night we talked about a friend who's going to NC in April, and I was remembering the utterly incredible beauty of the TN/NC area. I could live there. (Actually, I tried to, but learned that I simply couldn't leave my people, and I came back.) We decided that we need to do a road trip this summer. I want to go run some real hills and climb some fucking mountains.

That reminded me that Amy & I have a deal to do a fall girls' weekend hiking the mountains up by Duluth. It's called Seven Summits Challenge . . . take a look at these incredible views and tell me it doesn't sound like the Best Idea Ever:








Successful people know fear - but forge ahead anyway.
-Holly Stiel

Thursday, March 8

445a-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, GF English muffin, honey mustard, sm apple, c reg, supps
615a-c reg w/ T coconut creamer
645a-2c reg
930a-2T Sunbutter, T coconut flakes, sm banana, supps
12p-personal training
3p-salad w/ balsamic, oz almonds, sm apple, supps
7p-fr egg, 1.5sl bacon, 2 sl GF toast, honey mustard, choco-banana protein shake, sm apple, supps

Poor mental state at supper meant I wanted to eat everything in sight. Somehow I had enough willpower to restrain it some, think about eating to fuel tomorrow's long run, and I was even able to slap down the thought, "Maybe I should open the jar of peanut butter to eat with my apple." I knew if I did that - half the jar would be gone in a flash. I was able to visualize eating it, feel the anger, disappointment, & shame that I'd feel if I did - and tell myself that would guarantee me a terrible long run due to the mental state it would put me in. I did not open the PB. That's a victory.

-Right shin VERY sore. Lower back a little tight in the morning, good post-training.

Weight: 140.2 lbs, 19.4% fat - up 1.6 from yesterday, up 2.6 from a week ago. First viewing of 140 in 2012, a fuck you! kind of first. And I don't understand it at all. Up 3.2 lbs in just two days, but WHERE? Usually a jump like that is visible, either I'm all-over puffy or constipated or something I can see. I have none of that going on. Maybe it's the poor/low sleep catching up? Water a little bit lower than normal? So confused.

And I'm battling the urge to care about that number, because it has nothing to do with body comp (remember, Rachel Cosgrove weighs 155!), but it does affect running. Hauling around a heavier weight means more effort. And if there's anything I don't need right now, it's more stress about my running. I just looked at my countdown clock: 38 days & change to the Boston Marathon. I almost cried.

Sleep: 7.25 hours in bed. Wide awake at 330 (though not for b/r) and up at 440 (to alarm, UGH) because of month-end close. Gah-ROSS.

Habit: Check done, 10a.

Acne: Either I'm reacting to something or the bacon grease also burned my face. It could be a small batch of cysts, or it could be minor burn blisters. Attractive, right? Anyway, if it is cysts...definitely need to eliminate & then test the pork rinds. Sadness.

Misc: Brain is not doing well today. Many apologies to Dustin, the poor bastard who tries to lift me back up out of the holes I drag myself into. What he says is wise & insightful & helpful every time, and it usually gets me laughing & pulled out of myself enough to realize I'm being stupid - but sometimes I still sink right back down to where I was. Today I kind of sank again, but I can recognize it for what it is: not enough sleep. I was planning to work the tax firm tonight if I got out before 4, but I need sleep more than anything else. I'm no good to anyone when I feel like this, and I have a long run tomorrow, and it's guaranteed to go poorly if my brain stays in this state.

When I was trying to leave, I hit two walls of frustration (1, someone duplicating the work I'd just done, which pisses me off, but extra pisses me off when I could've just fucking let him do it and left earlier; and 2, someone giving me info I needed but when I had my coat on and was packing up the cheesecakes I'd made for my team and clearly trying to leave and desperately wanting to be in my god damn bed, but she was doing so at this last minute before she left, because she gets tomorrow off) and I truly very nearly cried each time. Just so frustrated, nothing I could do in either situation, and no mental capacity left to "deal" and get over it. So I went home and took a 2-hour nap. I felt a little better when I got up, though in typical Sabrina fashion I beat myself up for being such a dragging anchor to everyone else all damn day. I'm sorry, Dustin.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
-Aldous Leonard Huxley