Featured

The Honest Fitness Blogger

Real life. Honest fitness.

Advertisements

I see a lot of fitness bloggers on Insta. They show eloquently poised food that didn’t have any parents. They’re more flexible than Silly Putty. And they workout more than I work (40 hours a week, give or take).

They try to be relateable. Keyword: TRY. I look at these bloggers and I think to myself, that’s not how life is! Not everyone meal preps. My food is never perfectly portioned out. I don’t track macros, or calories. I don’t workout for 60 minutes straight twice a day. Some weeks I’m proud of myself for running three times that week.

I drink alcohol. My water intake includes three or four La Croix a day. I eat meat. Sometimes, no, many times, processed foods. I LOVE gluten. I enjoy sugar.

I TRY to watch what I eat. I pay attention more to quantity over quality. And I workout because I love to eat and drink stuff that isn’t healthy for me. I’m a real, live, original, unfiltered, honest blogger. I’m healthy-ish. I’m fit-ish. And I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.

 

Don’t mind my intolerance of lactose

As you can deduce in my blog about the Houston Marathon, I am not racing 26.2 miles ever again. I am, however, all for 13.1, especially when at the end I’m promised ice cream, and not just ANY ice cream, Blue Bell. For you non-Texans, or those who aren’t lucky enough to be in one of the distribution areas, you DON’T EVEN KNOW what you’re missing. You may laugh. Others have scoffed, “You can’t even tell the difference.” But we can. And we do.

So a few months ago I learned that there was a Blue Bell Fun Run in Brenham, the heart of God’s Country. Normally it’s just a 5k and a 10k. This year they were adding a half marathon. Heck yes! Sign me up! And so I did. I didn’t train as well as I should have, but I trained just enough to get by.

The race would be on Saturday. Side note: I can totally get behind more races being on Saturday. I get an actual weekend afterward, rather than going to bed early Saturday and losing half of Sunday. I can still party on Saturday night, and go to church on Sunday morning. It’s perfect.

Thursday night before the race I go down to Austin to stay with a friend. The next morning I work out with November Project Austin. I hadn’t visited them since they were pledging in 2015? 2016? I don’t remember, but it had been a while. They had definitely grown. That was neat. Then later that evening I make the trek to Brenham and spend the night there for the race. A thunderstorm rolled through the night and I slept terribly. I was worried it would affect my time. But I managed to take a small nap before my alarm went off the next day.

I decided to be basic and post a “flat runner” photo. And I only thought it was necessary to race with a Texas flag singlet. Thanks, Run On! I was feeling confident with my Boston’s, so I decided to run in those. I had shorts to match. Sorry to my Nike friends and other brand loyalists! race gear

The next morning, I jumped out of bed and quickly got dressed. I drove down to Brenham High School, where the race would take place. I pick up my bib and walk around, do my pre-race routine, and then start heading up the hill to the start line. Soon enough, 7:30 a.m. rolls around and the race begins. It’s cold, but not terribly cold. There’s an overcast. Not bad running weather. I thought I had read online that there would be water at every odd-numbered mile. I was wrong. There were I think a total of three hydration stations. One shouldn’t count though, because by the time I got there they had ran out of water! I’m not even a slow runner; I’m middle of the pack. I was parched and annoyed. It began to drizzle a little and I stuck my tongue out to get some water. And that was after the first water station, where several of us were queued up waiting for them to pour the water into cups. At the third station, they had some bananas, Gatorade chews as well as some Gatorade to drink. I didn’t want to wait too long for water again so I grabbed the next Gatorade, several chews, and half a banana. I swallowed the banana and chugged the Gatorade as I power walked uphill. Then I begin running again.

A bit later I decided that I wouldn’t make my PR, so I would really have some fun during this Fun Run. And I stopped to take this picture. I had to stop and look at how beautiful Texas really is, in case I haven’t mentioned it enough. Brenham

For those of you who are new here, I used to hate running. And I’ve been working on not using the word “hate,” because it is so strong. But that’s how strongly I felt about running. Now? Oh it was one of the best not only races, but runs I’ve had in a long time.

It was such a scenic route, I didn’t care how slow I went. I was just enjoying the nature and beauty that is Texas.

I didn’t care about the water at that point. I would survive. I was taking it all in and slowing down to look at the cows, the bluebonnets, and just some really picturesque moments. I was super bummed that this one photo I took didn’t save! There were some cows behind a fence and I got this amazing shot of one staring up at me. It had the cutest markings on its face. Alas, the moment is only in my memory.

As I get closer to the finish, we begin to merge with the 5ker’s and the 10ker’s. Weaving around them is difficult to begin with, but doing that uphill? Sheesh. It made the ending that much better. The final .1 mile was downhill. I wanted to sprint, but you know, the walkers. So I ran fast, careful not to hit any strollers or rogue children. I finish and walk over to receive my medal. Turns out they were sent the wrong ones, and so I’ll be waiting patiently by the mail for mine. But I got a finisher’s shirt!

Afterward I walk over for the reason I came: Blue Bell. BASK IN ITS GLORY. ALL OF IT.

bluebell

Now, last year during lent I gave up dairy. I learned that I miiight be lactose intolerant. I’ve tested the theory several times over. It’s officially unofficial…But, it’s BLUE BELL. I’m not NOT going to eat it. So I limited myself to two servings. And it tasted SO GOOD on the way down. I didn’t care about how my stomach would hurt later on, and it did. Such is life!

Long story short: The inaugural Blue Bell Half-Marathon wasn’t the best from an organizational standpoint, but the scenic route more than made up for it, along with the ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts I had during a week long cleanse

“Do a cleanse with me!” my friend Syd cheerily exclaimed. I couldn’t say no to her. No one can. She’d roped me into Camp Gladiator, and now she was roping me into a 7-day cleanse. Turns out it wasn’t so much a cleanse as it was a fresh start, a way to break bad habits. But it was still super healthy. Difficult.

I was at the grocery store, and I was thinking how expensive this would all be. But it was only about $30, which led to breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of the week (mostly). Surprisingly cheap. Thanks, Aldi!

Since I wouldn’t start until Tuesday, I thought to myself, might as well eat like shit tonight! Pizza it is. So I went to Domino’s and got a medium pineapple and Canadian bacon pizza. Or so I thought. When I opened the box it was pepperoni and Canadian bacon. I guess they misheard me. Oh well. Still pizza. I thought I would finish it all in one sitting. I didn’t. There were two slices left. Okay three. I put it in the fridge knowing that I wouldn’t be able to finish it. Sigh. Continue reading “7 thoughts I had during a week long cleanse”

5 things I learned while running a marathon

It’s been brought to my attention that I have not been completely honest with my marathon stories. I tell the good and the bad, but I have not told the ugly. So, let’s begin with my journey in all of its glory. All of it.

  1. Blisters.
    During my most recent marathon, I was an idiot. My mom took me to get a pedicure before my race. In my half-conscious, spa-induced coma, I neglected to say, “no,” when the woman asked about removing my calluses. All of that hard work, those long runs, the tough feet I had, all turned back to the foot of a new-born babe. Not my socks, not my shoes, could prevent what happened next. After my race I had several water blisters. One had its own area code. Thankfully there are no pictures. KEEP YOUR CALLUSES.
  2. Gloves.
    I had gloves on before the race because it was cold. Don’t laugh you Yankees, it was cold for my thin blood. So I had gloves, and this nice fella so kindly offered an extra hand warmer. “Yes, please!” I held it in my hands waiting for the marathon to start. Minutes later I felt too warm, so I tossed it aside. Mistake number 1. After the race started I was running with my gloves on, hoping that my hands would warm up soon enough. They did. By mile six I thought, “Oh, my hands are hot!” I took off my gloves and tossed them aside. Mistake number 2. By mile 9 I was struggling to open my Gu. I couldn’t grip it, so I had to use my teeth to bite into it. After mile 13 when I went to the bathroom (more on that later) I sat on my hands to give them some warmth. It helped, but only for a bit. Around mile 17 I saw some gloves on the ground. I thought about taking them and yet I didn’t want to stop, so I didn’t. Mistake number 3. When I finally finished, I could bare move my hands, let alone hold onto the mug they gave me. Long story short, keep your gloves with you!
  3. Body glide.I was wearing shorts because I knew that if I wore pants I would have gotten hot and regretted it. What I do regret is not using body glide. I put deodorant between my thighs. It didn’t help. Around mile 7 I felt the chafing. The struggle was real. The pain was bad. I don’t remember when, but eventually I saw people passing out sticks with Vaseline on them. I gladly took one and started rubbing it in between my legs as I ran. I’m sure I looked like  weirdo, but I didn’t care. Some of it got on my hands, I started using my fingers to spread it around and hopefully keep the chafing to a minimum. It was too late. The damage was done. And now I have scars. You live and learn.
  4. Bathroom.
    *Warning: graphic writing ahead.* If you aren’t comfortable talking about bodily functions, or don’t want to know about mine, I suggest you stop reading now and skip to 5. I repeat, you have been warned.Okay, so, obviously I have my pre-race bowel movement. Actually, I had several. Probably a mix of nerves and the food I had eaten lately. Anyway, by the third time I thought to myself, “there’s no way there’s anything left. I should be good for the next 26.2 miles.” I was wrong.So back to mile 9, when I was struggling with my Gu. It was caramel macchiato flavor. Aka coffee. It gave me energy. It also took whatever was left in my bowels and pushed them further down, ready to be released. Right around mile 13 I felt them. They were ready to come out whether I liked it or not. I needed to find a bathroom. NOW.

    I literally had to stop running. I knew that if I kept going I would become one of those people who poo’d themselves during a race. I would not be one of those people. I’m not fast enough for it to be an excuse. Also, gross. I started walking, in the hopes that it would slow down the process. About a few hundred yards away I spotted a port-a-potty, but not one of the marathon-sanctioned port-a-potties, it was clearly a random one, well not super random, like someone just left one there, but random in the race. It was obviously there for construction workers, as it was on a construction site. When you gotta go, you gotta go. I sprinted up ahead, waited on cars to pass the road, and sprinted across to the area that was not 100% safe for me to be without an OSHA-approved helmet. There were two guys there already. One guy was waiting on his friend. I stood there tapping my foot, like a mother waiting for her child to finish putting on his jacket that she could have had on him by now, but he insisted that he could do it himself, and now they’re late for soccer.

    He finishes and I’m free to go. I double-check that toilet paper is there. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK FOR TOILET PAPER. There was.

    Have you ever had to use the bathroom so badly, where you thought you were going to have an accident, and you barely make it in time, and when you do finally go, it feels like the greatest thing in the world? Yeah, it was just like that. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, be thankful. It’s not a fun feeling pre-bathroom.

    So after I clean up and sprint back across the road to the course, I feel five pounds lighter and two minutes faster.

    Have you ever had that feeling several minutes after you use the bathroom where you feel like you have to go again? Yeah, that happened, two more times during the race. The first time I actually had to pee. The second time was just a waste. It was after that point that I knew I wasn’t going to make the PR I was hoping for, so it was then that I decided anytime I saw beer I would say, “Fuck it,” and drink. And chugging that beer was worth it! ALSO, DON’T TRUST A FART.

  5. People may be awful, but they’re incredible.With everyone at wit’s end lately, it seems you’re labeled as a liberal or a conservative, no matter where you actually fall on the spectrum, and they’re both bad to either side. But when you’re out there running, no one gives a shit. You’re all in this together, and you’re all reaching for the same thing, that finish line.There were people all along the route cheering for specific people, but they were cheering for all runners as well. To be standing there for several hours, that’s dedication. And I appreciate every single person who was out there because it was hella cold.

    To the ones who went out of their way to provide snacks and drinks, thank you, kind stranger. To the ones with the funny signs, I thank you. To the people passing out sticks with Vaseline, I love you more than you’ll ever know. To the people who brought their dogs, I thank you. To the ones dressed in silly costumes, or not dressed in much at all, I thank you.

    To the runners who unknowingly kept me going, I thank you. To the ones I was secretly racing, I appreciate you. To the kind souls who paced, you’re amazing. And to my parents, who were at the beginning and the end, and took me to get pizza afterward, I love you.

I found another reason to run

In the past, I’ve ran for MDA Team Momentum. Yes, it’s incredibly rewarding to run for those who can’t. And I’m always running for them in my head. But most recently, I was affected by something else. I lost someone somewhat close to me during a battle with that son of a bitch, cancer. I’m losing count of how many people I know who have lost that battle…But I stay positive because I know they’ve won the war, as they go to paradise.

Anyway, I’ve decided to run for this reason. In less than a month, I’m running a 5k to help fight colon cancer. I’m taking donations through my page. You’re also more than welcome to join me and my team. Together, we can run. Together, we can fight.

There’s also a bike ride in case that’s your thing? I don’t understand the physics behind bikes so I stay away.

Until next time, be honest about your fitness. Life happens. Cravings happens. It’s gonna be okay.

My friends are getting married and I’m getting blisters

Like many 20-somethings, my friends are on two different ends of a spectrum. Some of them are married or about to be, while others, functional adults as they may be, are spending their weekends playing “Who Can Get the Highest B.A.C.” and they play to win. Of course some friends are doing both.

But with the friends who are starting their own families, I tend to get the question, “Well when is your turn?” or, “How do you feel about all of your friends getting married?” or “Why aren’t you married?” They might as well say what they’re thinking, You’re getting older and so are your eggs, so what’s your game plan? 

WELL, Susanna, my game plan is to eat this pizza and drink this beer. Leave me alone, woman!

…is what I really want to say, but I don’t. I typically give the whole spiel on not comparing myself to others, and that it’s all in God’s time, and how I’m just enjoying what I have with my significant other.

That’s a bunch of bullshit, is what you’re probably saying.

And you’re right. Well, you were. There have certainly been times when I’m with my married friends, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be like them?” But then I see how real it is…

  • Selfish: concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

I am self-aware. Part of that self-awareness is knowing how selfish I truly am. When you’re married, or about to be, you no longer come first. Everything in your life now includes an extra person. You have to think about them, and the collective “we” or “us”.

It’s no longer, Oh I want to go live in Oregon for a few years. *packs things up and moves.

It is now, Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to live in Oregon for a few years?

Sweetie, I’m up for a promotion, and I’m not willing to lose that. We’ll talk about it at the end of the year.

Oh, okay…

I love having the option to just pick up and go. Not that I truly have the desire. If I did, I probably would have left by now. I have to be practical. I have loans, bills, etc.  I know the option is there if I ever wanted it. A friend of mine up and moved to Colorado. No strings. I envy him sometimes.

And wait, there’s more!

Once you throw kids in the mix, it is no longer about y’all. It is now about the child. Everything you do is for them. You career is probably put on hold. Your wanderlust gets buried in a corner underneath diapers and socks. Side note: Why do babies wear shoes? They’re just going to grow out of them, and they can’t even walk!

My point is that I am too selfish to put myself second. And before you say anything, I have heard how you are supposed to put yourself and your marriage before the kids, but who can do that when your new roommate is speaking another language and you can’t decide if he or she wants to poop, eat, or sleep?

So my friends are getting married…And I’m focusing on myself. I’m training for another marathon. I’m evaluating my choices, and contemplating my next career move. I’m mustering up the strength to write the book I haven’t touched in years. I can go to sleep when I want. I can leave my house when I decide. When I need time to myself and Mr. Kitty, my rescue, I have it. I’m not ready to give that up yet.

So while my friends are sending out their Save the Dates, I’m sending out mine.

save the date

Shakes are great…for dessert

I remember when I was younger, I would drink Slimfast. Not that I was actively trying to lose weight, but my mom had it at the house and I thought it tasted good! Fast forward to the end of my college years. I was looking for weighs (see what I did there?) to add more vegetables to my diet without actually having to taste said vegetables. I knew they were good for me, but I couldn’t get beyond the taste. To this day, I still hate cauliflower.

I was on Instagram, and I started following this fitness blogger. I liked how real she was. She showed how she struggled, and wasn’t constantly losing weight or gaining muscle. She would gain some weight back. She seemed relatable. She offered this 21-day challenge. I was convinced by the photos of past participants that this was legit. So I took her up on the offer. I bought Shakeology and the CD’s and the portion containers. I was ready to start my own fitness journey.

I added fruits and vegetables to my shakes. They were good, could hardly taste the spinach or kale. But, it only filled me for a bit. I found myself ravenous by lunch time just a few hours later. And then I used the portion containers for lunch. They filled me up for just as long, so I was ready for a snack by 3:00 p.m. Then again by 5:45 p.m. I still had dinner. But I was also working out, lifting weights and running. I don’t know if I lost weight, but I certainly felt good, sans being hungry all of the time.

A few years later I am looking into protein shakes, to supplement my food. I’ve learned to like some vegetables…I tried it for a bit, at least until I ran out of milk and was too lazy to go buy more. Honestly, it just left me more hungry.

The constant here is that I’m always hungry. Maybe for as much as I work out I’m not getting enough calories. But I’ve yet to see a dietitian or nutritionist, so I can’t self-diagnose. I guess we’ll never know!

To those of you who swear by your shakes and your supplements, that’s great for you! For me, I’ll stick to my Flintstones vitamins and the rest of the food groups.

Honest Fitness

I see a lot of fitness bloggers on Insta. They show eloquently poised food that didn’t have any parents. They’re more flexible than Silly Putty. And they workout more than I work (40 hours a week, give or take).

They try to be relateable. Keyword: TRY. I look at these bloggers and I think to myself, that’s not how life is! Not everyone meal preps. My food is never perfectly portioned out. I don’t track macros, or calories. I don’t workout for 60 minutes straight twice a day. Some weeks I’m proud of myself for running three times that week.

I drink alcohol. My water intake includes three or four La Croix a day. I eat meat. Sometimes, no, many times, processed foods. I LOVE gluten. I enjoy sugar.

I TRY to watch what I eat. I pay attention more to quantity over quality. And I workout because I love to eat and drink stuff that isn’t healthy for me. I’m a real, live, original, unfiltered, honest blogger. I’m healthy-ish. I’m fit-ish. And I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.