Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Most Dynamic Playlist I've Ever Posted! (also the only one!)

Ah, the workout playlist... It can push you forward or maybe even hold you back.  I know when "Easy Like A Sunday Morning" comes on, I often wonder if I just shouldn't be sleeping in instead of putting my body through this sweet, sweet torture. 

Here is a list of my top 10 favorite (for the moment) playlist songs for my runs.

Work, B*tch - Britney Spears

YES!  I love this song.  Poor Britney Spears... she's not that bright or talented, but she can singy-talk her way through any dance hit with a vacant-eyed smile.  This song really speaks to me because (as Britney and I know), I'm kinda lazy and need to be called out.  I DO want to party in France and look hot in a bikini but I don't know where to start.  Thankfully, BritBrit let's me know in that sassy, guuuurlfriend way.  I gotta work, bitch.

Galvanize - The Chemical Brothers

This is a good pump-up jam that gets me going and asking myself, "Am I holding back?"  The answer is usually yes and The Chemical Brothers know this.  They don't want me to hold back and they tell me so over and over.  So, I push a little harder.

Gangnam Style - Psy

This song is like crack.  I want to quit it, but I just can't.  Not only is it teaching me Korean (although I'm pretty sure the lyrics translate to "Monkey Cotton Balls Eating Your Bowl Of Soy Beans") but the beat just keeps you going.  I literally never get sick of it, which I think puts me in the 1% of living humans that can say that.  Plus, he's totally talking about me when he says, "Hey Sexy Lady!"

I Like To Move It - Madagascar

Yeah, I don't actually like to move it, move it.  I like to nap it, nap it.  Hearing someone who so enthusiastically DOES like to move it, move it is a real pick-me-up.  This goofy song is fun with a good beat and puts a smile on my face.  And it's sung by Borat!

Magic - B.O.B.

I've got the magic in me - rap, rap, rap - magic, magic, magic.  It's a good song.

My Shiny Teeth And Me - Chip Skylark

I love this song for three reasons:
1) It reminds me of my kids watching Fairly Odd Parents when they were still young and fresh.
2) It's about oral hygiene and who can hate that?
3) It's catchy as all get out!

It also makes me laugh that it's a ridiculous song to work out.  But it's so cheerful!  I dare you not to smile when you listen and then want to immediately go don some Crest Strips.

Titanium - David Guetta feat. Sia

This song was on the short list for the halfway song at the Disney Princess in 2013.  I really like this song because it makes me feel strong. And the that driving beat after the slow singing is just cool.  It's an empowerment song!

America, F*ck Yeah - Team America: World Police

LOL - This song just makes me laugh.  It's like the "Don't Mess With Texas" attitude about a whole country.  When it comes on my playlist, I forget about my suffering and secretly giggle that people are cursing on my earphones and no one knows.   And Bed, Bath, & Beyond totally deserves more "F*ck Yeahs!"

Get Lucky - Daft Punk

It's repetitive, but bouncy.  I'm all for getting lucky, however, I certainly can't stay up all night.  I think getting lucky at like 4:30pm when you are not too full from dinner yet and still have some energy is much more realistic for my lifestyle.

Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-Lite

This song is almost 15 years old and yet still so fun to sing out loud - which I totally try not to do at the YMCA but usually fail miserably.  By mid-run, I am usually wondering where my groove is because it's flat-ass GONE.  Deee-lite reminds me it's in my heart, and truly isn't that where all endurance running comes from?  That's deep, man.

Well, I feel like I've really changed your life here today.  My playlist suggestions will surely cause faster and more joyful running.  So, you're welcome.

But seriously - My Shiny Teeth And Me is a keeper.  Happy running!

Check out this playlist link up I joined!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Give It 100

There is a viral video of a lady who worked out for 100 days under a project called Give It 100.  This is a program where you choose an objective and do it for 100 days, filming yourself so you can track your progress.  People choose all sorts of things and you can watch their public videos on the site.

WOW at that accomplishment!  And WOW at the difference 100 days can make.  I totally want to do this, but I face some travel obstacles.  (Am I going to brag about going to Japan AGAIN here?  Well, kinda).  I leave in 11 days for a week-long trip to Japan.  It's a business trip, so not all fun - but still!!  JAPAN!!  (ok, I think I'm done).  After Japan, I *most likely* will not travel again until late March for the World Balloon Convention.  So that leaves roughly 50 days between where I'll be home and can at least make an effort towards a 100 days objective. 

So, now... what to pick?

Swimming?  Yes.  A good place to start.  I can swim every day without threat of injury and I need all the swimming experience I can get.  Will I swim on Saturday and Sunday though?  This is a toughie because I am a lazy-daisy on weekends when we don't have jobs.  And when we do have jobs, I work many hours.  So this might be a challenge.  I am going to try it, however and give it 100 that perhaps will turn out to be non-consecutive.

Chemistry?  Yes.  I need to start and finish my chemistry course as a pre-req to everything else I want to take.  Giving it 100 would be awesome and doable, even if I travel.  It's a self-paced Chemistry course so I can do it every day without having to wait for class time.

Running and Cycling can be an every-other-day deal because too much is an injury risk and I need a rest day off my legs.

I think I will start my Give It 100 on February 1st if I have any energy after my flight comes in on January 31st.  I heard it takes 3 days to feel normal again. 

I can't decide if I should start TOMORROW and then skip a whole week before starting back again.  Anyone have any thoughts?  I have conflicting feelings both ways.  The point is 100 days but I guess it doesn't have to be 100 days in a row.  Since I can't do that, it just will have to be 100 days in the shortest amount of days I can feasibly do.  But when to start? Hmmmmmm.....

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Six Things I Will Do Differently In 2014

I like to give the impression that I'm pretty together. I am not.  I am about two clicks past a hot mess. In looking at my life, I decided there were some pretty simple things I can resolve to do that will help the overall big picture.  These are not life-changers, people. They are just the baby steps I'm taking to pull myself together.

1) Switch to sulfate free shampoo

I work out and have to wash my hair every day. It turns out, washing your hair is really bad for it. Who knew?  I use the swanky luxe brand of Pantene (don't judge me) and I guess I better look at something more gentle. I don't do a lot with my hair (i.e. Products, styling, brushing) so most days, my biggest hair decision is ponytail or unkempt bun. I think we all know that unkempt bun wins about 85% of the time.  I also brush my wet hair instead of combing it. I'll work on that for 2015. Can't be too ambitious. 

2) Use good soap

Like soap you buy at a store created specifically for smelling better. My current soap situation is a sad one. I travel so much that I have a million little soaps and my super frugal thinking is, "Why BUY soap when I have this delightful Lemon Pledge scented soap right here for FREE?" I'm sure the Holiday Inn Express puts lots of thought into the lye content of their soaps. Plus, if my skin dries out, I've got matching scent deluxe lotion for free too!  I'm living the dream. Or so I thought. It turns out real fancy ladies buy oatmeal honey lavendar loofah seashell barley soap. If I ever want to snare a man, I'm going to have to stop smelling like disinfectant. 

3) Join OK Cupid
Oh yes, snare a man. I need someone to train with and occasionally tell me I'm pretty. I did open an OK Cupid account but most of the emails I've gotten so far are for casual sex from guys in their early thirties. As much as being a cougar sounds fun, I really just want a guy who remembers how cool the Eighties were and will run with me. That sounds easy to find, but I've had no luck so far. To be honest, my profile is not that appealing. The pics are ok, but my "intro" reads kinda bitchy. I actually said that "poorly written come-ons will be ignored".  Seems fair to me. Otherwise, it may be a little intimidating in a profile that sounds pretty Type A in the first place. Hey, it's truth in advertising - I am a handful. 

4) Take better care of my face

On the plus side, I only wear makeup about 25 days a year. However when I DO wear makeup, I slather it on in such a way to make Tammie Faye Bakker look like a natural beauty. I'm talking full-on Toddlers and Tiaras airbrushed glory with the flashiest fake eyelashes I can find - most often featuring glitter or rhinestones. Am I exaggerating?  Not even a little bit. My theory is that if I have to look like a painted up doll, I'm going ALL THE WAY.  The good news is that I do wash it off promptly upon completing my dog and pony shows we call balloon decor classes.  The bad news is that I wash it off with the aforementioned hotel soap. And then I moisturize with whatever hair conditioner is left on my hands after I do my hair.  I can literally feel the Mary Kay ladies recoiling in horror.  To be fair, this has worked for years and I have no wrinkles and do not get breakouts. I even routinely get compliments on my skin.  Of course, I'm too ashamed to say that I treat it this poorly.  I guess it's time to start doing something more grown up with my old lady face skin.  Does Oil Of Olay have a hotline?

5) Eat more potatoes

You've been told that Acai Berries are the world's greatest superfood. But, nope - it's taters.  I actually avoided potatoes for years due to Weight Watchers brainwashing (VEGETABLES THAT COST POINTS - WHAAAAA????), but recently I started reading more about sports nutrition and potatoes are a great pre-race food - especially when salted. It's a natural source for the carbs your body needs!  So, going along with this new love affair with taters (Can you meet potatoes on OK Cupid?), I am looking into eating more naturally. Not Paleo or Clean or anything with followers.  Just trying to eat less microwave popcorn (because Holy Shit, that stuff is made of every death-causing material on this earth) and more boiled eggs.  Less Lean Cuisine lunches (although I will miss the points I get for free insulated lunch pails. I have 7 of them if that gives you any indication of my Lean Cuisine habits), and more good old fashioned chicken. We'll ignore the GMOs until 2015 and work that in when I start combing my wet hair. See? Planning ahead.  So dedicated. 

6) Go back to school
So, I love balloons and I really do enjoy helping people make more money at their businesses by teaching them how do successfully decorate and run a business.  I don't mind traveling, even. The truth is that self-employment is not a great retirement plan and honestly, I feel a higher calling and this, my friends, is a huge secret from anyone in the balloon industry.  I want to quit and be a nurse.  This sounds pretty cut and dried, but it is so, so uncut and downright moist.  Nursing School is hella competitive to get into and I have to get like a bajillion pre-reqs before I can even APPLY to Nursing School.  So... I need to get on those pre-reqs. I plan to tackle Chemistry this semester and take a class or two over the summer and just keep rolling from there.  I can sign up for a Half Ironman and feel like I can finish it without too much fear, but THIS... This scares me.  My biggest resolution is to get going on school this year. So, in December if I'm still using hotel soaps and have only snared potatoes, as long as I have a couple of classes under my belt, I will feel that 2014 was a success. And oh yeah, my racing.  Yay running and all that.

Y'all feel free to keep me honest. I promise if you leave comments asking if I smell like a traveling salesman, I won't take it personally.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - Goals, Plans, and Races - Oh My! (Part One)

YES! 2014 is here and it's time to start anew.  Here are my goals for 2014!
At least for the first 6 months. 
I need to get through the Half Ironman in June before I even think about what comes after.
Or IF anything comes after....

 Goal #1 for January is to get settled into a workout plan and build some consistency.  This is going to be a particular challenge, in that I am going to be away from home 12 of the 31 days in January.  I'm going to Wichita for 5 days next week and then on the 24th, I head to Japan for a whole week.

Truthfully, I feel like I'm starting the year swimming upstream.  It's exciting and all that, but Jeeze, it's going to be pretty easy to put training off unless I fight hard to keep on track.  But keep on track, I MUST.

Also, I should mention food here.  I have really let myself pig out over the holidays.  I'm very interested in learning more about nutrition and proper fueling this year.  And weight loss - oh yes.  I am down a wee bit from last year this time, but I gained 5 lbs over the holidays (this is even with having the flu the last 5 days and eating the cumulative amount of a sleeve of saltines in that time)

Our first race of the year is the famous Krispy Kreme Challenge on February 8th.  The challenge is that you run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen hot donuts, and then run 2.5 miles back - all in under an hour.  You wouldn't believe this by looking at my beetonk, but I can't eat 12 donuts in a whole day (let alone less than 10 minutes), so I entered as a participant instead of a challenger.  I am running this one with my son, Wil, and we are pretty excited.  I think a 5 mile race is a good place to start and this is an iconic event for our area.  We plan to dress up as the Eleventh Doctor (Wil) and the Tardis (me) because dressing up for the Krispy Kreme Challenge is definitely encouraged.

Food-wise, following up my mention on eating better with the KKC might seem like I am not fully committed to... anything healthy.  I totally get where you are coming from, and I have absolutely no excuse or justification other than I get to dress up!  LIKE THE TARDIS.  If I get real ambitious, I'm going to put Bad Wolf right across my ass.  That's worth a few unhealthy donuts!

March 24th - 31st is the World Balloon Convention in Denver, CO.  I am teaching for the second time at WBC, which is a pretty stressful undertaking.

My goals for March are to lose enough weight so I can squeeze into the silver dress to the right on the finale night.  It almost zips up now, but I went ahead and bought it anyway because it was at Kohl's and I think they coat their Kohl's Cash with bad judgement gel.  In any event, I bought the dress in hopes it will fit nicely in 3 months.

I'm looking for a Sprint Tri this month but all I can find so far is during WBC when I am out of town.  In that case, I might look for a nice half marathon and there are a few choices, including the Tobacco Road Full & Half.

Most important in April is that it's my birthday!!  I'll be 44.  Next most important is a huge decision, which is... which race to choose?  I was looking at the Rock N Roll Full on my birthday, April 13th, but there is an Olympic Tri nearby on the 19th.  I seriously doubt I can do both and remain standing.

I am leaning more toward the tri because it will help me get more prepared for the HIM in June.  I am SUPER EXCITED about another Olympic Tri.  I feel like I learned so much last time and definitely need all the Tri practice I can get before June.

I am also concerned that I have 4 months to train and that did not seem to be sufficient on my last Olympic Half.  I can honestly say my training was inconsistent and I really didn't start to swim or bike until 1 - 2 months before the event, so I believe I can go in more prepared this time.  It's local, which is nice.  And I can do some Open Water Swims at the location before the actual race.  All good.  I'd like to do this as a confidence builder towards the HIM, so I have to work up some of that "can do" spirit by April.

 May is kinda up in the air!  I don't want to do anything extreme as I taper, but a cool Sprint Tri would be nice.  I did find one pretty interesting event that could double as a mini-vacation for my family. 

The Carolina Beach Double Sprint is May 11th.  It's Swim/Run/Bike/Run/Swim, which sounds like a fun twist.  Carolina Beach is about 2 hours away and close to where we normally take our beach trips.

Ironman Raleigh 70.3 - Yeah, this is happening June 1st.  THIS is my big race this year and everything I do between now and June 1st will be leading to this event.  I am excited, but terrified.  I can imagine that the following two weeks will be spent doing some well-deserved ass-sitting.

I don't know what else to say about June.  I am dreading its arrival and thinking the first 6 months of 2014 are going to blaze by.


I'd like to add more events, but even these listed will be a stretch financially.  You may have noticed no RunDisney Races and that is purely financial.  The average RunDisney half marathon is $180 now and that doesn't include travel and hotel, or even time in the parks.  I'd love to do Wine & Dine again, but this may have to be a Disney-free year.  The truth is that I can do THREE local races for the cost of one RunDisney entry and that is hard to ignore.
Wish me luck with my first 6 months of 2014!  They should be jam-packed since I usually travel about 6-10 days a month in addition to training.  I am hoping for a more quiet year, but I don't think that's going to happen.  I hope YOUR 2014 is going to be successful and exciting!