Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: December 2009 (Page 1 of 4)

2009 Resolution Round Up

Now as I sit here on the last morning of 2009, I’m waxing philisophic about the year, but not quite as much as normal.  You see, it’s been a very thinky last few months.  I”ve mused on my job.  I’ve mused on my weight.  I”ve mused on my running, and come to a lot of conclusions early, so today was just really to put the proverbial pen to paper and commit to what I want to accomplish in the next year.  I feel like I”m forgetting things, but it’s not as if this is my only chance, right?  I mean there is always my annual “before 31 to do list” and mid-year check in, and all that crap.  Man, I make way too many lists.

Anyhoo, let’s get onto it.  I have a house to clean and then copious amounts of booze to drink.

Kekekekeke ^____^

Kekekekeke ^____^ 12-24-08

Last year’s resolutions:

1.  Body: Will continue to eat in a manner that is mostly healthy as I do now and improve when I can, continue improving my fitness, and work on reaching my goal weight, whatever that ends up being, in 2009.  While I’ll always work on improving my muscles and endurance, I’d like to get to the point where the scale is just a double check a few times a week that I’m not way off track, and food journals are a thing of the past, by the end of 2009.

Did I do it?  …sorta.  I’m more into measuring my progress by my running pace, and how my jeans fit now.  150-ish was not what I envisioned my goal weight, but it’s where my body wants to be.  So there.  I am no longer food tracking, and I’m only weighing about 1-2 times per week.  If you don’t count these two weeks of vacation, at least 80% of what I eat, I consider a healthy diet.  So I’m pretty happy.

2.  Fitness: I will do at least one new exercise-y thing a month.  This cannot include running, DDR, yoga, traditional weights, or Cybil the arc trainer.  By the end of the year, I would like to transition 1-2 days per week to something like dance classes or volleyball or some other competitive sport OR seriously start training distance running/triathalons.  By my 30th birthday, I need to pick ONE of these to focus on and concentrate on it (and make ancillary resolutions/goals based on what I pick).  I guess what I’m trying to say is to start working out for a reason that is not just to make the scale go down.

Did I do it?  …well, I didn’t do this exactly, but I definitely went into the year exercising solely for weight loss, and now I approach it as a sport.  If someone told me that running would never take another pound off me at the beginning of the year, I would have probably stopped.  Now, I could honestly say I would continue.  I think that’s what I was really going for here, and mission accomplished.  I also got a bike and rode it a bit, tried dance, zumba, roller skated, did some diving and swimming, and rediscovered my love for circuits.

3.  Soul: I will pick something creative and establish a plan by my birthday to complete a concrete goal by the end of the year.  Decide if I’m going to pursue writing (maybe actually giving a novel or book of some sort a go), songwriting/recording, pick up drawing/painting again, acting, or work on selling my necklaces.  Maybe take up web design and flesh out this site into a pretty one like I used to do and really give blogging a go beyond just using this for personal theraputic purposes.  Realize that I need to pick ONE of these and focus on it or I’ll feel as lost as I did in 2008.

Did I do it?  …eh.  I tried to do the etsy thing and never got off the ground.  I tried to write a novel and got about 30k words in and threw a tantrum.  This blog is still just my soapbox.  I drew a christmas card for Zliten, but that’s about it.  That’s ok.  I at least stuck my toe into the waters here, that’s at least half credit, right?

4.  Get married sometime this year!  That’s about all there is to say on this one…

…hey, 100% there.  Next!

5.  Allow work to be on the back burner one more year. Of course, be open and receptive to any wonderful opportunities that fall into my lap, but work on enriching my personal life and hobbies instead of focusing on promotions, raises, extra responsibility, etc. Realize that having a 40 hour per week stable job right now that I can pretty much just leave at the office when I walk out the door is a blessing that is giving me opportunities to further the work on my body, fitness, and soul.

…hey, 100% there as well.  Maybe even too much sometimes, tee hee.

All, in all, not bad. It was a rough year in some aspects – shakeups at work, a lot of uncertainty with Zliten’s unemployment stuff, extreme frustration with my lack of weight loss.  However, I still have a job at a company with an awesome, successful, and stable product.  I made huge strides in my running, completing a half marathon and improving my pace at both slow and fast distances all year.  Zliten got a job in the industry right when it was looking grim.  We still own our house and make mortgage and the “oh crap” fund is still there.  We’re making it.  2009 was not the best year ever, but it wasn’t so bad.

So what’s up for 2010?

Need more fiber, apparently.  12-24-09

Need more fiber, apparently. 12-24-09

1.  This is the most important and different one for me – for one year, I am going to not attempt to lose weight.  As long as I maintain under 155, I’m going to put any pressure on myself to take off weight.  I’m going to focus on my running, and continuing to eat healthy.  This break really put into perspective how healthy I usually eat – I’m not eating horribly at all, but I’ve been feeling blech from eating not homecooked food for most meals and the sweet crap around the house (popcorn, almond roca, truffles, etc etc).  Now, if I *do* take off weight somehow, I’m not going to be opposed to it, but the biggest present I’m giving to myself this year is the gift of stepping on the scale, and not wanting to be less than I am, for once in my life.

2.  Running – I want to do a half marathon in under 2 hours, and I want to run a full marathon (no pace goal, just run the whole thing… well, who am I kidding, I’ll have a pace goal by the time I finish training, but anyhoo…) this year.  After that, decide what’s next.  Martial arts?  Triathlons?  More marathons?  Ultras?  Also, I want to make sure to not forget stretching and yoga.  That’s when I start getting injured like I am now with hurty butt.

3.  I will dedicate 6 hours per week to writing, revising, reading other books, or outlining.  I want to finish what I started for NaNoWriMo, and then move on to another one.  It would be peachy keen if I could do some necklaces, I would love to start songwriting, but I think this is my year of writing.

4.  I’m not sure exactly what I want to say here, but I want to figure out what’s next career-wise.  I have spent the last few years keeping my head down and trying to stay out of the way so I can support the creatives, get my check, and go on my way.  That is SO not me.  I can’t continue to do that forever.  I might not have the ability to get what I want just yet, but I want to have a direction by the end of the year.

5.  Some one liners: Travel outside the country.  Be more spontaneous.  Continue to whittle down my smoking.  Try something new with my hair.  Continue to draw things out of the magic hat.  Host some game nights at the house.   Attempt to keep a cleaner house so it’s not embarrassing when someone comes over unannounced.  Do more industry events and get over my boredom with networking for networking sake.  Play more games.  Continue to live a life where I can have at least ONE memorable thing I do each month (2009 has many more than 1 per month, but that’s my absolute minimum requirement).

So there, it looks like I have a lot to do, so I best get crackin’.  How was your 2009?  What are you most looking forward to in 2010?  What is your biggest resolution or goal for the next year?

Happy New Years, and I’ll see ya on the other side…

Random Recipes and Hurty Butt

I’m gonna make this pretty short as today’s adventures include cleaning, re-organizing the DVDs, cleaning out the closet, and thrift shopping/donating.  So far, the week has been a little *meh* – I had great sprints on Monday, and then we went shopping all day to spend some Christmas moolah – but Tuesday morning… sigh.  I woke up and sat down on the couch (yes, really), and my back flipped out and I’ve been in some considerable butt pain.  Yes, my LEFT BUTT MUSCLE is pulled again.  How on earth do you look someone in the eye and complain about your butt hurting?  Seriously?

I had to skip my workout yesterday and today isn’t looking good either.  I’m probably not going to be able to make up both my runs at least at the pace they’re supposed to be at – but we’ll see.  I’m not quite as worried about the missed workouts as why this has happened TWICE in the training so far.  This time, I can definitely say that I think it was me being lazy about stretching/yoga, so that’s my smack on the wrist not to do that again.  Hopefully it’s better in the next day or 2 or I’ll go nuts!

Anyway, enough complaining, and onto the food!

Super Awesome Chili:

Note, this is not a vegetarian recipe and probably a little high in sodium for some of you, but it’s also a super quick, easy, and delicious meal that makes amazing leftovers.  And if you’re craving something hearty and warm, this is your meal.

You will need:

-1 lb ground beef.  I use 96/4, I suggest the leanest stuff you have available, it’s plenty flavorful with everything else in there.

-2 small jalepenos (or less if you fear the spicy)

-about half a large onion

-a few cloves of garlic to taste.

-chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper to taste

Saute the onions, garlic, and jalapenos in a pan (I usually just use a little spray butter).  When it smells divine, throw in the beef and brown it.  Near the end, throw in your spices to taste.  You can also add them later, so err on the side of caution here.

Then, in a big pot, add:

-a 6oz can of tomato sauce

-3 cans of beans.  I chose ranch style black beans, ranch style jalapeno pinto beans, and southwest style kidney beans.  Note: this is the part that’s a bit high sodium.  You could use beans without sauce but you might need to add another can of tomato sauce and tinker with it.  I leave that to you!

-a can of corn.  Frozen works too.

-a square and a half of chocolate.  We have this fancy schmancy jalapeno chocolate we got years ago, but no need – I would say about 2 hershey kisses or a handful of chocolate chips would work just fine.

Put these together, bring to a slow bubbly boil, and then simmer until it comes together.  Honestly, it can’t really go too long but I’d suggest at least 20 mins.

Top with cilantro, green onions, and you can also add other yummies like some ranch, shredded cheese, or sour cream.

Cornbread:

Zliten used to tell me that chili and cornbread was yummy together, and I didn’t believe him.  Then, I tried it and crazy enough, it was good!  Again, going with the super easy theme, we snagged a package of Marie Calendar’s Low Fat Southwestern Cornbread from Big Lots.   It’s a little spicy, and it’s not quite as sweet as the normal cornbread, which I like, but most importantly, all you have to do is add water and mix and cook.

The first time we made it in loaf form, as you can see above, but let me suggest mini-muffins – they’re the perfect size for a bowl.

The pictures are from a few weeks ago, but we just remade it this afternoon for lunch.  I’m about to dive into a bowl of it!  Yum!

Deep thoughts return tomorrow…

Second Half Marathon Training, Week 6

Wow, this upcoming week’s end marks halfway through.  Crazy.  It’s been… not a breeze so far, but seems like it hasn’t completely eaten my life.  But I know the second half of the training gets up there.  I’m definitely at the point now where the long runs start taking over a bit of my weekend (resting up the night before, getting out to do them for an hour and a half plus, and relaxing after) and some of these tempo runs (8 miles this week and then again 2 weeks from now) and sprints (5×1600 a few weeks before the race) aren’t child’s play either.  But still, it’s nice that I run 3 times a week, non-consecutive days, and I get my weights and cross training on 2 days per week still.  I’m liking this well rounded training.  I’m faster, stronger, and feel way less prone to injuries this way.

But, I’m only at 8 miles.  I still have quite a bit of distance to add before I’m ready.  All I can say thus far is that this training is making me a way stronger mid distance runner.  Hopefully that strength will carry on all the way through 13.1.  This week is another jump in mileage, and it will certainly test me.

As much as I didn’t want a break this week, my body showed me it was for the best.  Most of my runs this week were not exactly top notch, and I was having to expend a lot of effort to keep my paces where they should be, even at the shorter distances.  It’s a little disconcerting, because it all shoulda been easy, but I’ll just be happy that I had an off week on a rest week.  Maybe, just maybe, I’m finding I can settle into a pace during higher mileage runs better?  Who knows.  We’ll see.

By the details:

Monday: 3×1600 sprints – check.  I did these outside on the track and was a dummy and forgot my timing watch.  My tummy was a little upset from lunch and the first sprint was brutal, I almost heaved.  The second and third were better though.  I wish I knew my pace – I’m betting I just ran the first too fast but we’ll never know…

Tuesday: DDR circuits – check.  Didn’t wanna but I did it.

Wednesday: 4 mile tempo @ 8:59 pace – check.  The inside of my pants had a hole in them and I shredded the inside of my leg (it was ALL bruised and raw after), it was super humid – muggy almost, and I couldn’t really find a comfortable pace.  But I finished under 9 minute miles and I think I could have done way better if conditions would have been better.

Friday: 30 mins DDR – check.  I was supposed to do this Thursday but I was feeling crappy (happy fun knock-me-on-my-ass TOM time) so I rested and just got up before heading out to celebrate with the ‘rents.  Wasn’t feeling the weights and didn’t have time for ’em anyway, so I figured ONE day off would be ok.

Saturday: 10k pace – sorta check.  I ended up running 5 miles around 9:25 pace on the treaddy.  I ended up at the gym less than an hour before closing so I didn’t get a proper warmup (or cooldown), and couldn’t do the full 6.  I’m pretty happy with the pace though.

This week, up, up, and away with the mileage.  Oddly enough, it’s been HARDER to want to run/workout on vacation when I have all the time in the world.  I guess there is something to be said about routine.

Monday: 4×800 sprints.  Debating between outside and the ‘mill.  Sprints seems so much easier on the treaddy.

Tuesday: DDR circuits.

Wednesday: 8 mile tempo @ 8:55 pace – should be able to do this outside.  If I can just accomplish my same run from the Saturday before last, I’ll be happy.

Thursday: DDR circuits.

Saturday: 9 mile long run @ 9:40 pace – hope to do this outside as well.  If I can do Wednesday’s run, this should be a piece of cake.

I might be going out of town for a night tomorrow night/Wed, so if that happens I’ll have to bust out the tempo tomorrow before I go.  Not thrilled because I’ll have to do it inside because it’s supposed to be rainy and not making it out of the 30’s, but such is life.  Looking forward to taking on this week.  Cross your fingers for me!

Christmas Eve Talent Show

Thank you first of all to one of my favorite mayors of Blogville, MizFit, for organizing this.   You can check out some of the other talents here.  Now, on with the (freak) show.

So, as a 16-ish year old, I was on my way out of gymnastics but stopped to snap one last picture.

I was originally going to showcase my talent for ridiculous limericks, but realized today that that’s no fun at all.  Well, not as much fun.  I felt the need to step it up a notch.  So what does a pushing 31 ex-gymnastic do for a stupid blogger trick?  While training for a half marathon running like crazy with legs wound tightly like little metal coils?  Who has not worked on flexibility in years?

Try to recapture her youth 15 years later.  As MizFit would say, please to enjoy.  As Quix would say, please forgive the HORRIBLY unflattering outfit.  Thinking I was not.

And just to not dissapoint anyone who wanted a limerick –

There once was a girl named Quix
Who liked to write limericks
She tried a standing split
Then on the ground she did sit
And to console her, a drink she did fix

…yes, it is true, I did fall over right after the last one was snapped.  To quote Toby Keith, I ain’t as good as I once was, but once, I’m good as I ever was.

On that note, Happy Holidays from me, Zliten, and the leezards!

White Elephant Wrapup

Thus begins a week or two of mostly fluffy posts.  I’m kinda tired of digging in my head, scooping out my brains, and attempting to analyze the contents.  So, enjoy!

I think in attempts to get some holiday cheer (and humor) for a relatively low overhead, we attended not one, not two, but THREE white elephant parties.  We brought just about the same presents for each one (except the first, because it was 15-20 dollars, and present was only 10 – and it was my work one – so I didn’t want to look like a cheapskate and splurged on the 16 dollar DISCO BALL at Big Lots).

My present:

Zliten’s present:

For those of you who don’t know what a White Elephant gift exchange is – essentially you bring a silly present of some variety (hence, our gifts above).  Sometimes there is a dollar amount set, sometimes there isn’t.  You draw numbers and when it comes to your turn, you can choose to unwrap a new present, or steal one that has already been unwrapped.  Most often, the rules are the gift can be stolen 3 times before it’s out of play.  It’s a bunch of laughs, because you would never ever elsewise see grown humans fighting over a snuggie.

The first party was, as I said, at my work holiday party.  Near the end, we all converged around the stage and started the game.  I got a fairly early number, walked over and almost tripped and fell (just call me grace) and picked out a present.  I unwrapped it and HOLY FUCK it was a leopard print snuggie.  After a few glasses of wine, that was THE COOLEST PRESENT EVER in my eyes and I gave everyone the stinkeye if they looked around the room for things to steal.  It worked for a while.  Being the boss has its benefits.  However, someone got brave enough and purloined my snuggie right at the end (yes, a dude) and then one of the BIG bosses stole it.   Who knew that would be such a hot commodity?

Zliten ended up with a magnetic dartboard (that is soooo going to my office in the new year for some stress relief) and I ended up with a pretty ornament that’s now on the tree.  The guy that ended up with fake voltron wasn’t too happy but one of our artists loves the disco ball and it’s at his desk to annoy everyone at the office.

Next was a sponsored party at one of our favorite bars downtown (though we don’t go often cause it’s semi-pricey).  Open bar, sponsored goodies, an arts and crafts table, free hair styling and makeup refreshes, and of course, a table full of presents to pick from.  Some were from sponsors, and they were supposed to actually be pretty cool (some jewelry, gift certs, etc).  The rules were different (I mean, there were at least 100 people there) – you give a present, you take a present.  That’s all.  No steals, but consensual trades.

For a while, there was just too much to pick from so I waited and sipped on some free mint margaritas.  After a little bit, Zliten decided to be “that guy” and picked up the biggest, heaviest package on the table.  Here is the definition of literal.

Yes, Zliten picked the WHITE ELEPHANT (wearing a tutu, no less) at the white elephant party.  We ended up finding a seat and meeting some very cool people who want to be nerd friends with us.  They also ended up with Zliten’s robot and loved it.  Other presents around the table included a half eaten box of chocolate, embroidered christmas tree button covers, and then I realized I need to pick something as the present table had dwindled.  This is the gem I ended up with.  Here is the story:

…and the present:

Well, at least the next door neighbors have doggies, and can use the jerky.  Then, we proceeded to have a wild and crazy night.  Which ended way too late for a school night.  Which made the next day hell.  But hey, I went full holiday and looked festive.

The next last one was Saturday night, with a few friends.  This one was pretty low key, but the hilarity factor was definitely there.  Presents included a foot massager, some cheesy porn, a yanni CD, a sarcastic magic 8 ball and more.  Zliten picked early in and ended up with some cat figurines and cat food (which is ironic because ALL OF OUR friends have cats, and he is terribly allergic) and I ended up with a poop calendar.  Yeah, you got that right.  A POOP calendar.  Every month, a new poop.  It is SO going up in my office.  Also, the gnome and the robot were both stolen gifts, so they were a HIT!

But the pictures are not of a cat.  A deal was brokered later over some beers, and Zliten ended up with this:

So all the holiday parties (not including our traditions Christmas Eve and the family Christmas) are done, and we ended up with, among other things, two heavy ceramic figurines.  Way too fun!  What is the craziest holiday gift you’ve given or received?

FYI, the pantry is clean from Monday’s hat draw, today (Tuesday) we picked Mini Golf which was a BLAST, and tomorrow is a BBQ adventure in Lockhart (the BBQ capital of Texas, apparently).  So excited!

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