Category Archives: Tips

thoughts on my first military ball

J and I went to our first military ball a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. ball1I wish J would smile in pictures.
The night was short but well planned. Food was fantastic and the drinks were even better.
ball2I used Rent the Runway for the first time and it went well. Got a $2,000 dress I didn’t actually have to pay retail for. Always a good thing. You don’t get to keep the dress but how likely would I be to wear a ballgown again in the first place?
My concerns about what I was wearing went away after the first couple of compliments. Apparently I did good. I was worried that I’d be overdressed after hearing some people mention short, cocktail dresses. Negative. Lots of ball gowns, although some chose not to  leave enough to the imagination. To each their own.
Our only bad experience was checking in to the hotel for the night. I work full-time and didn’t have hours and hours to get ready, so we rushed over after I got off from work and got dressed in the car. My hair probably explains that one pretty well. We went to the reception before checking in and went to the front desk after dinner.
Even though I booked the room months in advance.
Even though I called to confirm we’d have an atrium view king (which I would have gladly paid more for instead of using the block rate).
Even though they took my reservation.
Apparently they didn’t know how to keep it. Neither the king or the atrium room we booked was available so instead of viewing this from our reserved balcony:bnago_phototour06Source: Gaylord Opryland Resort

We had a window to nowhere. Literally. There was a window and six inches away from that there was a beige wall. I really wanted to like this hotel despite all of the bad reviews because the resort itself is lovely, but if it wasn’t one thing it was another. Just another thing to add to the list of reasons why I love Hyatt and dislike Marriott properties but lesson relearned, I guess.

Have you ever been to a military ball? What’d you wear?

down with the pounds

scaleTwo weeks ago I weighed in with coworkers for a local, annual weight loss competition. The goal: Lose at least 3 percent of my body weight in six weeks. Totally doable, right?
Last month’s goal was to maintain my weight through a month of yummy holiday treats and baked good temptations. I managed to stay within five pounds of starting weight and that’s OK with me. During the holidays you’ve got to take what you can get.
Since weighing in on Jan. 19 I’ve lost five pounds putting me at goal for the competition. I’m eligible for a door prize which is great because to win this thing I’d need to lose weight to the point of nonexistence. Not going to happen and that’s OK.
I’m realistic. I didn’t sign up with plans to win in the first place. I don’t have that much to lose. Instead, I’m just in it for the 10 free fitness classes.
My problem with weight loss I’m sure is a problem for a lot of people. I’m pretty “good” during the week and then weekends are a free-for-all on every delicious temptation that comes in sight. Seriously. I had a pulled pork and mac-and-cheese stuffed panini in Lexington this weekend. Who puts that deliciously evil combo together? Really, now.
Instead of beating myself up for it I need to realize that weekend free-for-alls are my downfall and fix the problem. Recognizing that is the first step. We all have similar obstacles in our way– bread basket at dinner, running out of time to pack lunch and hitting a drive thru instead, getting home late and not having anything thawed for dinner. All of these things suck but they’re easily remedied excuses. All it takes is a little bit of planning.
For the next four weeks of this local biggest loser competition I really just want to focus on routine. It’s possible to stay on track and even lose weight while away from home/on vacation. See here. But it’s SO much easier when you stick to a routine. Meal plan, eat at home and even plan workouts. It really makes all the difference.

What are your tried and true weight loss/maintenance strategies?

four tips for new runners

Track  Workout (3 miles, 28:11, 9:23 pace)
WOD (5RFT 40 jump ropes, 10 decline pushups, 10 ab mat sit-ups, 10 KB swings, 10 tricep dips) 12:4120131009_115744Thursday
4 mile run (43:04, 10:46 pace)


Rest day today and that’s OK by me. With just 29 days to go until the Nashville Half Marathon I’m pretty much sore everywhere and kind of need the break.
Endurance sports like running take a lot out of you. I chose running as “my” sport originally because it seemed like such a simple concept. Lace up some sneakers and put one foot in front of the other and eventually you get faster, right? Well, yes, but it’s also not that simple. These are some of the things I wish I would have known when I first set out on the pavement.20131009_1020591. Get the right shoes. Yes. Running in theory is an easy sport because the only equipment that’s required is a pair of shoes and your own two legs. While there is a ton of extra stuff you can buy to make your running experience a little snazzier you’ll do just fine with just a pair of shoes on your feet. Since that’s all you need why not make those a good pair? Most specialty running stores (hint: go local for the best service) will offer  gait analysis at no cost when you purchase your shoes from their store, analyzing the way your feet strike and recommending shoes based on that analysis. This ensures you leave the store with the perfect pair of shoes. Most will run you around $100 and you should replace those every 300 to 500 miles. On that note, stick those girls in something that will hold them. I love Lululemon’s Ta Ta Tamer II.

2. Push past the discomfort while knowing your limits. You know your body better than anyone else. Comfort is one thing but sharp pain is another. Stop when experiencing sharp or persistent pain. Pushing through unbearable pain doesn’t make you a badass it makes your injured. Chances are that injury will take longer to get over than if you’d just RICEd (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for a few days in the first place. So yeah, don’t try and be a hero.
Bloody nipples, chafing, runner’s trots and black toenails? Totally normal. Sharp, shooting pain along your calves (shin splints), underfoot pain (plantar fasciitis) and pain from the side of your bum bum to your knee (IT band syndrome) is common but not normal. Take a break to treat those issues before returning to your running schedule.

3. Rest days are just as important as your speed work days. It’s easy when you’re first starting to get too excited and overdo it but increasing distance too quickly is one of the easiest ways to get yourself injured. That’s no fun. If rest is in the schedule take the break. If you’re burned out take another one.

4. Most of us are only competing against ourselves. If you’re one of the elite, those trophy winning specimens of the human race with legs as fast as Kenyans, well, you’re probably not reading my blog for newbie running tips. For the rest of us, a finisher’s medal and a PR (personal record) is the only competition we really need to worry about. Not going to lie, I totally push myself to run faster in races by focuses on passing elderly runners and pregnant women. It works for me.
No joke. I’ve been passed at the finish line by an 80-year-old but the end of the day I’m probably not going to see those people again so the only time that matters is my own. The rest is just filler that makes the day memorable. You have total permission to be selfish here. Focus on yourself because nothing else really matters but for the love of all things holy, walkers to the right dammit.

Anything I missed? What running tips and tricks have you learned along the way?

A marathon is 26.2 miles. A half is 13.1. A 10K is 6.2 A 5K is 3.1.

A marathon is 26.2 miles.
A half is 13.1.
A 10K is 6.2
A 5K is 3.1.