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As many of you know, I’m training for the 13.1 LA Marathon on January 10th. I will be walking most (if not all) of the race in an effort to be kind to my poor knees. I’m currently in the middle of week 6 in my training program, which combines walking, strengthening, and cross-training. That means I’m halfway there!

The first few weeks were tough because I wasn’t used to such a rigid plan, but as the weeks have gone by, I’ve been more consistent about meeting my daily goals. My friend Tara has joined me for some of my walks; it’s been nice to have a training buddy (especially when I walk late at night). I know my training will only get harder, especially as I gear up for two-weeks of traveling over the holidays. I’ll need my family’s help in keeping me accountable for getting my butt in gear while I’m on vaca!

In addition to this physical challenge, I’m challenging my friends and family to help me support one of my favorite charities, World Vision. There’s no fundraising minimum, but I’d love it if each one of you would consider giving at least THREE DOLLARS. That would add up to over $1000 worth of aid for needy children and families around the world. What a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

If you’d like to partner with me in this, please visit my fundraising site:

Thanks for your support and generosity!

The Road ID is a fantastic idea.

However, if you aren’t ready to drop $20 on a shoe ID, I have a budget solution for you:

cheaperidea_running

I’ve done several “races,” and each race has some sort of timing chip. The timing chip from ING Bay to Breakers was a flat plastic piece that laced through your shoelaces. I left it on there because I was too lazy to take it off (and it was pretty and matched my shoes). Recently I had the great idea of turning this free timing chip into my very own emergency contact ID. All you need is a label maker, and BAM! Free version of a Road ID. Now if anyone finds me passed out along the road / at the gym, they know who to call.

At the end of our biggest loser contest I lost…(DRUM ROLL)…3.2 lbs. Laughable? Not for me. My body clings to pounds like a kid to a security blanket. I eat pretty healthy and exercise moderately (hey, I have a social life), but the pounds do not melt away. HOWEVER, I’ve made some healthy changes over the long run, and¬† I think I weigh at least ten lbs less than I did around November of last year. Progress!

To health and sexy curves!

beach_vball

I forgot how hard it is to play in the sand. It felt like there were weights around my ankles, and I could only move in slow motion. Frustrating, but still fun.

vball_white_team

The white team, minus Sheri and John.

We played our last game on Sunday. We were so close to winning best out of 3 that day that it was ridiculous. But alas, we are done for the season. We had a good run. As you can see, I’m the shortest on the team. But what I lacked in height, athleticism, and amazing vertical ups, I made up for in attendance and cuteness. Emphasis on attendance. ūüôā

I completed my first 8k on Sunday morning:

8k

I knocked a minute off my pace, to boot.

I’m not in it to win it, I’m in it to finish it :).

If you want to get more out of your work-outs, check out this article, in Real Simple.

I guess I’m going to have to start going backwards on the eliptical!

What an amazing 3-day weekend. It wasn’t amazing because of any one thing in particular (although the 70-80 degree weather did help); I think it was so amazing because I had the good fortune of¬†spending time with so many cool people in just 3 1/2 days.¬†

On Friday night April and I went to Borderlines. We ended up meeting some crazy fun people on the dance floor, and together we closed the place down. It was NUTS. I taught everyone on the dance floor how to tush push, and we danced our hearts out. The band even thought we were the coolest girls there; they came and talked to us for awhile. In fact, we ended up with quite a few adoring fans that night…

On Saturday I hiked the Santa Monica mountains with a bunch of new friends from my “life group” at church. It was a three hour hike, so we had plenty of time to chat and get to know each other. After the hike, a few of us picniced at Zuma beach. Within an hour we fell asleep in the sand. It was LOVELY. After we woke up, we went to our Saturday evening church in our sandy hiking clothes. I love that 1) my church is laid back like that (it is Southern California), and 2) I had people with me (I had been going alone). After the service I met a friend of a friend for drinks. He and I actually grew up in neighboring towns in Texas. Small world, for sure! It’s nice to have a¬†Texan guy (who is normal & nice) to hang out with in LA. (Don’t even get me started on LA guys…UGH).¬†

On Sunday morning April and I did our usual 3-5 mile walk, and during our walk we decided we would start training for Bay to Breakers. It’s a 7+ mile run/walk UPHILL¬†in San Fran in May. We want to join two of our friends and enter the race as 90’s spandex¬†speed-walkers. It will, of course, be awesome. Anyhow, after our walk, one of my friends had a last minute fondue/PJ/wine/Step Up “party” at her apartment. Yeah, my friends are creative like that.

Today (Monday) I had the day off work in honor of MLK. I slept late and made myself the best batch of banana walnut¬†chocolate¬†chip pancakes that I’ve made IN MY LIFE. I also speed-walked 4.2 miles. That was pretty tiring, and that wasn’t even UPHILL or 7+ miles. It’s nice to have a goal for which to “train.” Hopefully my knees will hold up…

Wow, this was a total journal entry. At least I left out the boring parts, like grocery shopping and getting gas…

  • One musclehead, who decided to stand directly behind me while I was pumping free weights in front of the mirror. He proceeded to do a dramatic series of flexes and poses while gazing at his own reflection. THEN, to my amusement, he lifted up his tank so he could rub and admire his non-human eight pack (from every angle). I wonder if he heard me snicker. Probably not. He was so turned on my his own body that I expected him to start having sex with himself right then and there. I’ve noticed that, in general, guys at the gym appear to be WAY more vain than girls.
  • Guy obviously cupping and shifting himself right in my eye-line. Dude. Stop. Buy proper support. Or something. I’m no expert, but FIGURE IT OUT.
  • Coworker, who seems really cool and is a writer-type, too. And now we can motivate each other to go to the gym.
  • Old training buddy, who has lost 60 lbs on the Dr. Joe diet & exercise regime. For those of you who do not know, Dr. Joe was my old trainer who tried to put me on a diet that restricted ALL: sugar, fruit, gluten (this includes every bread product except brown rice), potatoes, or dairy. Essentially only veggies, brown rice, eggs, and meat for every meal. Sure, you’ll lose a ton of weight eating that way, but NO THANKS, Dr. Joe. He was also completely nut balls, if you couldn’t tell by that diet.
  • My swollen right knee, which decided it can’t handle the squat machines with mere 70 lb weights. (I have had surgery on each of them, and it seems that I’ll have to baby them for the rest of my life. ANNOYING.)
  • The scale, which seems to indicate that I’ve lost 1-2 lbs since I’ve started working out like a fiend* since Jan 1st. But who knows if that’s just water weight. Time will tell.
  • Confirmation of my training account cancellation, which I’ve been fighting for since summer. Last year I was conned into an¬† expensive contract after the rep lied to me about the terms. But the good news is that I was finally refunded for the past few months, I was not charged a cancellation fee, and I still have several sessions left in my account.

*Like a fiend for me means almost every day for about 1 1/2 hours. So to some of you that’s not fiend-like, it’s normal. But I HAD to get back to track, and it’s been a phenomenal coping mechanism for me. Although my hamstrings feel like they’re ripping apart. But that’s a good thing, I think.

So are YOU working out more now that it’s the new year?