this is me now

July 31, 2008

As of Monday

Filed under: running — by heatherdc @ 2:14 am

…my morning jogs will be a little bit different.

They’ll be mapped out by a mini-GPS system.

Clocked by a timer.

Compared with my previous runs (if I want them to be).

And monitoring my heart-rate. (well…..if I use the heart-rate-monitor. hmmm.)

Thanks to this little beauty….

It’s my birthday present from the parents. And I didn’t even know these things existed. It was all them. I gotta say, i was pretty impressed! And uhh, excited!

Anyone use this thing?? Wantsto share thoughts/reviews??…..I’m all ears!

July 30, 2008

Facing the facts

Filed under: about me,getting old,things I want/need — by heatherdc @ 12:37 am

The closest thing I’ve had to a facial is the paste that my sister & I somehow created using a mix that came in a package that looked like a foot, from Target (of course). That was probably about….8 years ago? Yah, something like that.

I’ve been doin’ some thinking (Dwight styyyle, if you will)…:

Fact: I’m no longer 15 years old. Neither is the skin on my face. Yet for some reason I still use the same Cleanser now that I did then.

Fact: My pores have apparently grown since those days. I’ve realized that they are more noticeable.  I mean, maybe that’s only if you’re inches away from my face….but they’re there.

Fact: I have never spent more than $6 on any facial cleanser, makeup remover, etc. Ever.

Fact: I have no idea when it’s appropriate, or necessary, to start using anti-wrinkle cream. Any ideas? I don’t have them, yet. I’m just sayin’. You can never be too prepared for these things.

I’m facing the facts here; I need to step it up. I need to start taking real care of my skin. I still love my Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleanser (really really love it), but I have to accept that it may not always do the trick. It smells all fresh and minty and makes my skin tingle. And I love that. But it does nothing for pores, wrinkles, etc. It’s just a plain ol’ face wash. And my face deserves better than something I call “plain ol’…” anything. Right?? Right.

So, while at Target yesterday I browsed the shelves for something new. We’re starting with the “pore” problem.  I picked this up….

Olay Definity’s Pore Reducing Scrub

It’s a whopping $8.50, and honestly….it was the only “scrub” (cleanser, wash, whateeever) that said anything about Pore-Reducing. Everything is anti-wrinkles these days! Guess that answers my question…start using now!! Because you really have no other choice. Hmmmm.

So far, so good! I’ve only used it twice, but I like it. My face feels clean, and fresh, and I can just feeel the pores shrinking away. That’s a lie… but I figure I’ll see if it works soon enough.

July 29, 2008

Oooh, it wasn’t even on the “list”

Filed under: days off — by heatherdc @ 12:50 am

So after yesterday’s post, I probably even had you people feeling stressed. Me and my big ol’ “To-do List”.

I had the day off and decided to get bussyyyy on that stupid list. I love to cross things out, it’s not until then that I feel I’ve actually done something productive. Weird? Whatever, I love it.

I take advantage of the fact that–thanks to my crazy work schedule–I still wake up all kinds of early on my days off. Call me crazy, but I like it this way. It makes it so that when I actually have to get up, for work, I’m not dragging myself out of bed with my eyes half open for hours. I just keep it regular, a nice little sleep cycle. It also works to my advantage in that, because I live in the desert…where it gets hot hoT HOT by about 10, I’m up nice and early to go running and not die of a heat stroke. Yessssss.

So I did just that. A nice morning jog to start the day of non-work Work.

I started my homework (check!), mailed a card to my rooomie because she’s awesome and taking care of the apt for the summer (check!), went to Target (funnnnn, check!), and sent my lease in so that when I arrive back East in three weeks (OmaiG!!) I will actually have somewhere to live. Check.

Basking in all of my productiveness, I came home and watched many many episodes of S&TC with the Madre. We’re into Season 4. Goooood stuff.

…..Out of nowhere I remembered that my license expires in a few weeks. Ooooh shit. See, there’s this new system here–you go, wait forever (of course), get your picture taken, and then they mail you the new ID. It takes 7-14 days for it to arrive. What is the purpose of this?!?! I can’t figure it out. It doesn’t cut down the wait time at all. I’d much rather stand there for the extra five seconds while the machine prints it out. Seriously, what was wrong with that idea??

So my dilemma? I’m flying in 3 weeks. If I had waited even one more week to go get my new license, I would not be flying in three weeks. Because I have no passport, and therefore no other form of “government ID”. Ehhhh. Not good.

Solution: step it up and go get the license today. Which is exactly what I did.

And it wasn’t even on my list. Pssh. I’m good.

July 28, 2008

This is certainly no day “off”

Filed under: days off,home,Summer times — by heatherdc @ 1:04 am

We’re a liiittle short handed at the hospital lately. And by “a little short handed”, I mean we’ve basically been screwed in the last month. Two people quit in two weeks (completely unrelated, but still, Gaaah), one person is off on Maternity leave until September, and two people are on vacation right now. Um, this is not good.

Our July schedule has been redone about 10 times and I’m doing two jobs in one day most of the time. It’s a little ridiculous. And working Overtime hours seems to be more common than not. I’ve been lucky to still have my three days off for the last few weeks, not sure how I managed that one.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are my days “off” this week, but after making a little to-do list tonight I realized they will hardly be that. We have homework for the internship due on Friday, which I looked at tonight and wanted to scream. Yes, I’m aware it is my fault for leaving it til the last minute (ahhh how the F is almost August 1st already?!!). It will basically consume about half of my days off and the next few nights. Not. Fun.

Oh, and I had a few summer projects in the works…which are hardly close to being done. Remember how I wanted to redecorate the study? Yah, me neither. Want to what has been done? We bought the new book case and it’s sitting in the garage…still in the box. And we’ve cleaned out the study. Wheeew. Go us. But but but! I did see that the line of furniture we’re using is ON SALE at Target this week. Yayyy! We all know I take any excuse to go to Target. I’m happy.

I also started a College-Years scrapbook (not inspired by “Saved by the Bell: the college years”. Those were bad). It’s alllll Penn State and college wonderfulness. It’s been very fun to work on–obviously making me a little sad, and all kinds of nostalgic….but it also makes me so happy that I had such an amazing experience. So far I’m about half-way through my Sophomore year. Goooood times. The problem is that I want it finished before I leave because I know that I’ll have zero time to work on it once I start the program. Which gives me uhhh, 3 weeks? We’ll see.

Aaaand it’s still summer, right?? Barely, I know. I still want to read my book, and enjoy cooking fun dinners with my mom (and a drink), and go out once or twice with my buddies. And keep running (the one thing I manage to get done every time I want to. Good thing I have my priorities straight here.), and continue watching all seasons of S&TC (the Madre saw the movie, but has never seen the show. this has been fun!), and hang out with the siblings before I head back East, and Relaaaax. While I still can.

Hmmm. Wish me luck.

July 24, 2008

They say after 21, it’s all downhill

Filed under: about me,getting old,Summer times — by heatherdc @ 1:19 am

So far I’ll disagree with that.

A year ago I was recovering from a typical “OMG I’m finallyyyy 21!” night. Whew, that was rough. But I had a greeeat time. Going out in a college town during the summer is ideal. You still have all the amazing bar specials, minus the crazy crowded atmosphere. Just enough people to make it fun, and to avoid waiting half an hour standing at the bar trying to get a drink. Gooood times.

Today I’m just enjoying the fact that I’m off from work, I’m home, and my mom is taking me out for lunch in a mountain town with the best shops to browse. Then we have appointments for some much needed mani/pedis. Yessssss. My feet could use some serious attention, they’ve been workin overtime.

I certainly don’t feel 22. I’m still absorbing the fact that I can say “I have a degree in ___” in conversations. And that I’m going to “Grad” school. So weird. A year from now who knows where I’ll be living, or what jobs I’ll be applying for. Well, with *fingers crossed* that I survive the internship. I guess we should take it one thing at a time….

It’s definitely still an uphill climb for me over here. Still learning, still saving money because I can’t make any for the next year, and still enjoying the fact that–for now–I can soak up the luxuries of living at home.

Hello, 22. We’re startin’ off strong, I think you’ll be good to me.

July 23, 2008

All in the family

Filed under: family,learning,running,things that happen at the gym — by heatherdc @ 1:06 am

What I hear from him:

“I can only run a mile and a half. After 15 minutes I’m tired. That’s it.”

What I tell him:

“It’s all mental, you could do more if you really wanted to, and I know you’re capable of it.”

What I see in him:

Intelligent, great golfer, a joke-maker, an intimidating card player, and physically fit.

My Dad always says he doesn’t know how I do it. How can somebody run for two hours?? (I keep saying; how can they run for four?! I will do marathons eventually, but aaahhhh!)
I always say, if he was training and he had that goal, he’d get there. He’d totally be able to do it.

He doesn’t believe me.

So, I made a proposition. Because I remember being there. I remember thinking I could only run for two miles, and OMG that was soo long and hard. And it was. At the time.
I told him I wanted to go running with him. We’d start out with 1.5 miles, or 1.25 miles, or whatever he felt comfortable doing. Of course the one night I want to take him to the track it starts raining. Seriously? I live in the desert. I’ve been home for two months and it has rained like four times, maybe. And tonight we have 25 mph winds and rain. Surprise, surprise.
So we head over to the gym instead. He goes there often enough, mostly to lift weights, but that’s beside the point. I find two treadmills side-by-side and we both hop on. We do a two mile warm up and then get started. I told him to set it at whatever pace he feel comfortable, and we’ll go for 1.25 miles. He gives me the look, but I know he’ll do it.
14 minutes and 1.5 miles later, we’re done. He did it! He went further than he was expecting, even picking up the pace towards the end. And this is just the beginning…..

Of course, after we ran he made me lift weights. Compromise. Gah.

For the first time, I’m learning how to teach. If he can get me to play golf and actually enjoy it, I can get him to run. Just keepin’ things in the family. By next week we’re aiming for two miles. I don’t want to burn him out, but hey-this guy can play 27+ holes of a golf in one day, kickin ass and takin’ names. And let me tell you (Now I know from experience…), that is NO easy task. Two miles is just another par 4 hole that he’ll conquer with a birdie putt.

July 22, 2008

A twist on the Blues…

Filed under: cooking,recipes,things I Looove — by heatherdc @ 1:41 am

And by blues, I mean Kraft Macaroni & Cheese of course. (remeberrr?? “I got the blueees”. it’s the best stuff)

We were eager to cook something tonight. After days of eating out I love having a good home-made meal. I scanned the pantry for something easy and fun. My eyes are drawn to the Mac & cheese I bought a few weeks ago. I can’t lie, I Love this stuff. But I only buy the “Spirals”, they just taste better.

To make it seem more like a “home made” meal than a cheap “college meal”, I added a little twist. A twist in the form of two things; steamed broccoli and grilled chicken. I know, it sounds crazy, but don’t knock it til’ ya try it. ( unless of course you don’t like mac & cheese, in which case you will definitely not like it. so don’t try it.)

All you do is….

-Cook the mac & cheese as directed, using the “light prep”. It uses skim/1% milk and less butter-and still tastes the same!! Miracle, I know.
-Steam broccoli.
-Cut a boneless,skinless chicken breast into bit size pieces ( you could do this after you grill it, but if you’re using a skillet it will cook a lot faster this way). If in a skillet-use 1 tbsp Olive Oil and some salt & pepper for taste.
-Combine or eat separately. Whichever you prefer.

Either way you’ve got your lean protein, vegetable, and starch. And even a little dairy. Voila! Mac & cheese made with a little “healthy” twist. Yummm.

July 21, 2008

Same distance, Different race

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,learning,running — by heatherdc @ 1:53 am

A different town, a different part of the country, and a different season….but the same 13.1 miles.

I didn’t know what to expect for my second race. I trained a little bit harder–having to readjust to high altitude was not originally on the agenda–and at least knew I was capable of actually running the distance. But this course was completely different than the one we ran in March….

It started at 6 a.m. (gahhhh that is early), meaning I was awake by 4:30 to get ready, and get to the shuttle pick up. 1000+ runners, and somehow we started right on time. The first mile was flat, followed by six that were downhill. Six Miles. Downhill. They warned us about a sharp decline around mile 4; they did Not say it was that stretched out. I know what you’re thinking–downhill? doesn’t that make things a little bit easier??? Yes, and no. No and yes. Heres what a six-mile downhill stretch actually does…..

-It makes it much harder to figure out your pace. You want to think you can go faster, but then you start getting carried away and realize you’re almost sprinting, so then you slow down. Killing your knees in the process.
-It results in your feet hitting the ground a lot harder than they normally would. So when the road flattens out a little bit, you keep doing that, and then you’re just stomping. And that’s not normal.
-It creates a false sense of floating that is quickly destroyed by an unexpected flat-then-uphill road. Ahhh.

I’m not gonna lie, it was kind of nice for a while. And obviously it was much better than climbing UP-hill for six miles. Ooh, don’t even want to think about that. But after about a mile of it, I’d had enough. I realized that my pace was a little faster than I should’ve been going, and I knew it could kick me in the ass when the flat part finally came. It just wasn’t something I was prepared for, which is probably what actually bothered me. But it was different, and I learned from it!

Finally on a flat stretch, I felt relieved. Around mile 8 we ran through the town that some of us runners were staying in. It was tinyyy. It consisted of one road, about 3-4 hotels, and a lot of Bed & Breakfasts. I think the whole town (all 100 of them+visitors) came out for the event. There were people along the road in lawn chairs, people hanging out of cars, people jogging along with us for a few yards, cheering us on. It was as if we were part of a 13-mile parade, just strolling down Main Street (really, it was Main Street. I can’t make this stuff up). It was awesome! There was a water station right outside a Pizza place, and if you needed to use the restroom you just ran right inside. That’s small-town America for ya.

I was doin’ gooood…..Then I saw “Mile 11″. There were markers at every mile-definitely not something I like to know, but I guess most people feel the opposite. All of a sudden I felt so tired. I wanted to walk, I wanted to see the finish line, I wanted a big COLD bottle of water…not a small cup that I spilled half of on my face trying to drink-and-run. Part of me was frustrated; I didn’t want to walk, I knew I had more in me. Once I saw the next water stop, about 100 yards up, I knew I had to do to the slow-down-walk-and-drink. I needed it, the water and the break. The temp had gone up from 60 to about 75 and I was tired. Not the end of the world. I drank, I felt better, I kept going.

1 hr, 43 minutes, and 19 seconds later, I ran across the Finish line. Yesss! Six minutes faster than my first race time, 5th in my age group, and 31st overall. I was exhausted, hot, sweaty, and enjoying the runner’s high. I grabbed my Big Cold bottle of water, chugged it, and then grabbed another one. I looked up and saw my parents. It was awesome to have them at the finish line, almost happier that I finished than I was. Plus, they bought me a shirt. ;)

I learned a lot of things from this race. Now that I’ve done two, I can differentiate between the experiences. It will always be the same distance, but it will never be the same race. And that’s what keeps you comin’ back for more. And I’m already lookin’ for more….

“Races end: running doesn’t.”
-Dean Karnazes, in Runner’s World

July 18, 2008

Makin’ a list…

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,packing,travel,weekends — by heatherdc @ 9:51 am

We’re hittin’ the road around 1:30, and of course I have yet to pack. I did make a list though, last night.  It’s no surprise that for only two days, I have allll kinds of things I want to bring. Mostly because…a) we don’t know exactly what we’re doing Saturday night yet. Nice restaurant? Casual dinner & beer? Casino?? A girl has to be prepared you know….and b) I don’t know what kind of accomodations our hotel-cabin-thing will have. I’m thinking I need to bring stuff for breakfast, since most ‘continental’ breakfasts don’t start at 4 a.m. Will they have a little coffee maker? Should I pack a toaster? Ehhh, that’s definitely never been on the ‘list’ before. Hmmm.

I have my running out fit all set out. I’ve worn the same thing for the last 3 long runs, after discovering what works/what doesn’t. Last time I was training it was about 35-40 degrees outside. That made it pretty easy to decide what I didn’t want to wear. Now, I’m in 80º dry air…things have changed a little bit. After some trial and error, I figured it out.

A few days ago at the hospital I was looking for something to read while I took a little break. People donate magazines all the time, so basically every waiting-room/lounge area is full of quite a variety.  I picked up a “Runner’s World” from Sept 07 (whoa, old).  Why have I not read this before?! I love it!! I do remember scanning through one a looong time ago and not being too interested. Sure, I liked to run, but since it focuses mostly on training and marathons…I think it was a little out of my league at the time.  I thought I’d save it to read in the car, but I started looking and proceeded to pretty much read every page. Uh, oops. A trip to the store to grab the latest issue might be in the plans today.

Well, I’m off to actually put the things on the list into a bag. With my packing habits (ehh, I get so distracted, I haaate packing), I should be done within the next four hours before we leave.

I’m soo ready for this. I hope Utah is too ;)

Happy weekending*

July 17, 2008

Race time! Ups & Downs

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,Road trip!,training — by heatherdc @ 10:47 am

Tomorrow afternoon we’re headin’ to Utah! I went on one last leisure run this morning; slow pace, not too far, beeeautiful morning, and fun new songs on my playlist. Perfect.

As I was trekkin’ along, my mind was workin’ away. I was contemplating all the ups and downs of the race…

UP: Throughout the course, through the hills and up the roads, we’ll actually go down about 2,000 ft.
DOWN: The race starts at 6 a.m. That means I have to be up by about 4:30 (shuttle at 5). Ehhhh.

UP: I get four days off, Friday-Monday!! The first weekend I’ve been off since the middle of June. Gah.
DOWN: As beautiful as the state of Utah is, its also a little anti-um-special beverages. After the race we are invited to join a “Country Bear Festival”, with food and live music and probably square-dancing or something of the sort. And they’ll be selling homemade rootbeer. Hmmm. The first time I read that, I read a little too fast and got all kinds of excited. Yum! Fresh brewed beer in Utah! Uhh, no.

UP: We came up with a little remedy. Exit small-town Utah and go to the nearest city for the night. It’ll be a lovely night of dinner & drinks with the parentals. And I’m packing like three pairs of heels, because you just never know. Plus, I haven’t worn heels in like a month. My feet are crying.
DOWN: This does mean that after running 13 miles, I’ll be spending about 2 1/2 hrs in a car. Although the thought of stretching out with a pillow and blanket in the backseat sounds greeeat, I just hope my muscles don’t tighten up. That would noot be good.

UP: The race is in two days!!!!
UP: I’ll be running along a beautiful old highway, in the scenic desert, with the early morning sun shining on me. Ah, perfect.
UP: Roadtriiiip! It’s a lot of driving, but I looove roadtrips. And I haven’t traveled since May. whoa.
UP: One week from today it’s my birthday!! I know that doesn’t go with the ‘theme’ of the list, but it’s still an Up. Fun!
UP: I think I’m done with this list now.

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