Feb 25, 2011

What's on your phone

Posted by Jan on Friday, February 25, 2011 with No comments
To start the weekend with a good laugh I figured I would share this with you.

This is a text message I got about 5 months ago from a very dear friend of mine. I still have it on my phone and always take a look at it if I am having a less than stellar day. Invariably, I laugh until at least one tear falls!

I removed the names to protect the innocent...


Feb 22, 2011

Another great music video

Posted by Jan on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 with No comments
I have a friend of mine over at Facebook that just knows how to pick 'em when it comes to great music.

Here's one that he recommended tonight and I have to agree, it is a great song (great beat, great video, great lyrics and a great voice).

I won't tell you how many times I have played it already... (and that I downloaded it thru iTunes!)


EDIT 2/23/11

I had to do some research about Adele. Turns out she's a 22 year old Brit who two years ago won two Grammy's. I am totally embarrassed that I have never heard of her! But I hear her loud and clear now! I downloaded her entire album, "21", this morning (just got released in the US yesterday) and it is an unbelievable album. I absolutely love her bluesy, pop, R&B, soulful and pissed off voice in this song. In fact, I played it for a friend of mine today and she said the same thing I was thinking "She's an old soul"

I love the video (yeah I bought that from iTunes too). Like Christi, I love the glasses of water beating with the drum, and I especially love the ninja warrior dancing and I can't tell you how the urge of throwing and breaking a pile of plates would be such a cathartic experience. Guess I should stay out of the fine china section of Macy's  ;-)

Now a note from the sponsors of BYOW

Posted by Jan on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 with No comments
There are none....

I read something over the weekend in regards to affiliates and sponsors of blogs. There was a chirp out there that stated that one should be honest and disclose if they are receiving "kickbacks" from manufacturers for product reviews, opinions, etc.

It occurred to me that I have opinions of certain products that I use and I freely post those opinions in my blog. Mizunos, Trek, Nike, Trader Joe's, blah, blah, blah. But that's all it is: my opinions and what works for me. I don't receive a penny for any link you click on in my posts. Zilch.

What I do get is the wonderful satisfaction that somewhere out there, someone is reading my words, my opinions, my silly humor and they are free enough to share their opinions, their humor and words. Every reply is my payment. And that to me is absolutely priceless.

Feb 21, 2011

Something different

Posted by Jan on Monday, February 21, 2011 with No comments
This is not your typical post. But it is something I feel strongly about. And the last time I checked, this is my blog, so I can voice what I want.

I know many, many teachers. People I went to elementary, middle and high school with are teachers. I am still in touch with some of my teachers from 30+ years ago thru Facebook. And some friends of mine from my adult life are teachers. I know that they pour their hearts into their kids and their professions. And I am tired of all the teacher bashing.

This was a post on Boston.com today and it is broken down beautifully. I feel it was important to post this. 

All the credit goes to "chb2678" over at Boston.com

Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit!

We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan-- that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.


That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days= $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

Feb 19, 2011

ABCs of Me

Posted by Jan on Saturday, February 19, 2011 with No comments
Kim, over at (Just) Trying is for Little Girls posted this fun, get to know me questionnaire (Kim got it from Shannon @ My Perfect Mess ) I figured I would follow suit. Pass it on!

(A) Age: 48
(B) Bed Size: Queen.
(C) Chore You Hate: Washing windows
(D) Dogs? None
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item:  Coffee, the local news and my protein shake
(F) Favorite Color: Periwinkle
(G) Gold or Silver? Silver
(H) Height: 5 ft 6.5 in
(I) Instruments You Play: Drums thru 8thgrade, then never again.
(J) Job Title:  Senior Systems Analyst
(K) Kids: Just me  ;-)
(L) Live:  Massachusetts
(M) Mom's Name: Diana
(N) Nicknames: J-Lo, Jama, Jan
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? None
(P) Pet Peeve: Sloppy targeting in bathrooms
(Q) Quote from a Movie:  A heart can be broken, but it will keep beating just the same ~ Fried Green Tomatoes
(R) Right or Left Handed? Right
(S) Siblings: 2 Sisters, 1 Brother
(T) Time You Wake Up? 3x a week @ 3:15. All other days 5:30 - 6:00
(U) Underwear: Bikini and boy shorts
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Rutabaga
(W) What Makes You Run Late: I don’t
(X) X-Rays You've Had Done:  Ankle, finger
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Chicken kelaguen
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Any animal in the cat family

Thanks to Kim and Shannon!

Water dreams

Posted by Jan on Saturday, February 19, 2011 with No comments
Because of my work schedule, my sleep schedule is pretty messed up. 3 mornings a week I have to get up at 3:15. That means that I need to be in bed by 9:00 the night before. I manage to do that, but getting to sleep is another story. In reality, I usually get 5 hours of sleep on those nights.

The other days I normally sleep 6-7 hours. I am a natural night owl and a perpetual early bird. Yep, that makes it complicated at best!

So last night was a weird night all around. I fell asleep sitting upright in bed watching a movie... something I rarely do (falling asleep sitting up). So when the pain in my neck woke me up, I watched the rest of the movie and then I went to sleep. Okay, crazy but who said I was normal.

I had a vivid dream last night that this person, a total stranger, had a massive headache. So in my dream, I got up, filled up one of my colorful juice glasses with water, grabbed a couple of ibuprofens and gave them to the stranger.

Or so I thought.

This morning, in my kitchen, was my juice glass full of water and two ibu's sitting on the counter.

I promptly drank the water and downed the ibu's because I had a massive headache....

Feb 17, 2011

And In This Corner

Posted by Jan on Thursday, February 17, 2011 with No comments
I have mentioned that I may be in the market for some new running shoes. To be honest, I am bummed about the Mizunos.

It is kind of like Trader Joe's. You finally find something you really like, get hooked, join facebook pages and fan clubs over the products, become a fanatic, rant on your blog and then bam! the product gets pulled. Well, that's how I feel about the Mizuno Wave Rider 14s. The 12s and 13s were terrific. But the 14s are causing major issues because of the not so subtle changes and it's taken a 100+ miles to figure out the problems.

Like I said in a reply to Meghan a couple of posts ago, I have high arches, narrow feet and I supinate. Supinators are a very small percentage of the population, so the choices of shoes are limited.

Over at "Run with Kate", Kate mentioned that the entire line up of the Brooks running shoes are Vegan. I thought this was totally cool. Now, I am not one that would ever be able to follow a Vegan lifestyle. But if I have a choice to do what I feel is the right thing for myself, I will make an effort to lean towards Vegan/all natural/vegetarian at any chance I can get.

Most manufacturers are leaning towards "vegan" nowadays. It may just be a marketing gimmick at this point. So I look at other things like child labor, carbon footprint, etc. ASICS and Nike have had severe problems in the past in these categories.

So this leads me back to Brooks. As a company, they are not totally innocent, but they are at least trying.

To make a long story short, Brooks has the Ghost 3... Vegan and in the colors I love. I see another fitting coming up this weekend and in the end, it will end up what feels the best for me. I am hoping the Brooks will rock!

By the way, if Trader Joe's ever gets rid of this 

You WILL hear the scream heard around the whole world....

Feb 16, 2011

Shred This, Wear These, Run There

Posted by Jan on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 with No comments
So after making fun of myself in a blog posting a couple of weeks ago, I got this in the mail today.



Because that mailing crushed me, I figured some retail therapy may help. Here's what I have in mind:

Over on the Nike site, if you have an account (register, it's free), you can design your own shoe.  So this is my design and it's saved in "myLocker". My friends nicknamed me J-Lo last year (long story) and it just has kind of stuck. That's what I would have stitched on the heels.

And last, but certainly not least, I booked my Clearwater/Tampa/St Pete vacation last night. Felt kind of weird because usually I am planning my vacations with others, whether it be family or friends. But for now, it's just me. And I am gonna do all the things I love: run a race, my photography, Sea World, beach time, visit the zoo and see a Cirque du Soleil show.

Clearwater or bust!

Did I mention beach time???  ;-)


Feb 15, 2011

Who Moved My Cheese and a dedication

Posted by Jan on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 with No comments
Alright. For those who has been following my blog for a little while, you know I have this habit of staring at a leaf on the wall in front of me when I am on the treadmill. If you don't, here's a link to my wackiness.

I just want to update you that someone moved the treadmill, so that little leaf no longer gets stared at. Now I am staring at it's bigger cousin that is to the left of it by a few inches. The change, however so slight, threw me off a bit.

What the heck does this have anything to do with anything? A lot, actually. Realizing this change, it got me to thinking that perhaps I shouldn't be so afraid to try and change myself. I have been running through shin pain (left one only) for about 6-8 weeks. I am pretty sure it's not a stress fracture. But I am beginning to think it may be caused by my shoes. I love my Mizuno's but I think the Wave Rider 14s are causing the issue. So this weekend, I may go out and try on some ASICS Nimbus 12 or Cumulus 12. I may also try my first ever running shoe I ever fell in love with, the Nike Air Pegasus. The 27s have practically the same color scheme as those first ones I bought in '88. Neon lime green swoosh...yeah baby! And if I like them enough, I can have a custom ones made with my nick name emblazoned on the heel. How cool is that? Yeah, it's the silly things for me.

It's really so difficult to figure out what is going on because of the walking I do to/from the train station in hefty Keen winter boots. They very well may be causing the problem, but I can't stop wearing them because of the lovely New England winter we are having and the need to have good foot protection.

I have been having a blast over on the Dailymile. What a great site and wonderful, wonderful people. I have to say, already I have made some friends that I know I will meet once the spring breaks. Truly motivational and supportive athletes.

This is a video, posted by Bill K from the Dailymile that really touched me. I would like to dedicate it to all those out there and the people that I have known in my past, that possess an incredible passion for running. You have always inspired me with your talent and dedication.

May your struggles all be won...

Feb 13, 2011

Birthday Bash

Posted by Jan on Sunday, February 13, 2011 with No comments
So I met almost all of my siblings at my folks house in NH for a birthday dinner celebration for my sister. Her birthday is Valentines Day. It was nice to get the family together under better conditions since the last time we all saw each other was when my grandmother passed away last month.

My sister, being the sweetie she is, bought me a belated birthday cake. My birthday is New Years Eve and it always gets lost in the holiday shuffle and really, this year wasn't any different.

The birthday cake she gave me was a chocolate heart shaped cake with a thick coating of fudge icing and a huge chocolate dipped strawberry on top. Adorable, decadent and wicked tempting.

My sis is just 13 months younger than me. We have always seemed to get along well over the years, and we always manage to get our selves into crazy situations/trouble. Even to this day, when we are both in our late, late 40's.

Last night was no different. After she gave me the cake, I went shuffling all around showing it off to the family. My sister turned, bumped my shoulder and the cakebox, with me only supporting it with one hand underneath, did a nose dive to the floor.

Fortunately, the cover of the cakebox closed before it hit the ground. I was laughing hysterically (mainly because this isn't the first time I have dropped a chocolate birthday cake onto the floor...) I mean really, what can you do? The classic s#!t happens!

Well, here's what the beautiful cake looked like after it kissed the floor.

But I promise, it tasted just as good....

Feb 12, 2011

Saturday Ramblings

Posted by Jan on Saturday, February 12, 2011 with No comments
This past week I decided to stir some things up. I am chalking it up to "It's the dead of winter and I need a frigging change" episode. Or an ADHD flair up, I suppose. Or something to drive me to utter distraction. Whatever.

I started with some basic weight resistance training. The gym @ work has got some beautiful gym equipment and I feel EXTREMELY lucky to have it at my disposal... free to use. So on Monday I brought it back into the training routine. Nothing heavy. Just targeting the major muscle groups (can anyone say "glutes")

I have always enjoyed weight training. I actually have more experience at weight training than I do at running (or anything else for that matter). The P90X program reintroduced the free weight training back into my life last summer and I swear, it's one of the fastest ways to see change. After putting some heavy walking miles on the treadmill during work lunch breaks and just staring at the weight machines, I have decided to relax on the treadmills and start with the machines.

Couple of things happened. I dropped 1 pound this week without trying and my piriformis isn't as painful. Hmmmm... raise your hand if you think I was overtraining! It may also be "muscle confusion" as Tony Horton likes to call it. I also threw in some cycling on the upright bike at the gym. I really like this bike a lot (SportsArt C570U). It feels GREAT to spin!!!

Enough on the shake up at work.

For the shake up at home. I have started adding spinach to my super magical morning smoothies. I really can't tell the difference in taste. If I pay attention, I get the slight hint of spinach taste, but since I love spinach, it doesn't bother me. And it doesn't make the smoothie turn a weird color. It's still predominately light purple from the blueberries and strawberries so it doesn't look like I am drinking something totally gross and unmentionable.

I watched "Food Matters" last night on NetFlix. 

Very interesting stuff. But it just backed up my belief system that I have had about the pharmaceuticals and the general medical system. I am not gonna get all up on a soapbox or anything (though I could since "it's my blog and I will bitch if I want to"). My general rule for me is this: if I can abstain from using prescribed drugs then that is my preference. If I can find something natural or I can fix it myself, then I will go that route first. Case and point: I was plagued with terrible sinus infections in all of 2009 and into 2010. I went got antibiotics twice and I hated doing that. So when it wasn't clearing it up properly, I quit smoking, started eating right and exercising. Voila. No more sinus infections. Imagine that....

I am so close to booking my Florida vacation. Got my taxes done last night and I will be getting my loan to Uncle Sam back in about a week. I am getting enough back for 1 or 2 other vacations if I plan now instead of later. Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon in Vegas baby! 

I am off to Cow Hampshire to celebrate my 'lil sister's birthday. Have a great weekend, ya'll

Feb 10, 2011

The battle between the Leaf and the Speed Dial Part II

Posted by Jan on Thursday, February 10, 2011 with No comments
Hee hee... I should be committed. Anyone that gets and stays on a treadmill for 90 minutes and ENJOYS it really needs to have their head examined.

Well, that's what this chick did tonight. I could have kept going. But I finally got really, really bored. Didn't play with the speed dial that much. But I stared at the leaf a lot. It got the attention it needed. I guess I felt bad that the Leaf lost earlier this week

I wasn't really processing anything. I was more in the moment tonight. I was actually interested with what's left of who I call the "resolutioners". They are the folks that have made that commitment to the gym as a New Years resolution. You can tell their heart isn't quite into it, but they are searching for that spark. And as I was sitting (running) on the sidelines, I wanted to say to them, "Hang in there, this should be the week that you see and feel the difference. Usually takes 4-6 weeks." So in my head, I was cheering these folks on. I think 2 out the 6 have a real good shot.

Anyway, I did 8.2 miles on the treddy. I had downloaded new trance/techno/hip-hop music earlier today and I was testing out my new playlist. I need to switch some songs around but overall, I got another fine list together.

So this week has been a good week. Finally did a sub-30 5k and did my longest distance and longest duration.

It's all really good....


Feb 8, 2011

The battle between the Leaf and the Speed Dial

Posted by Jan on Tuesday, February 08, 2011 with No comments
My intention was there to do a longish run. You know, like over an hour's worth of running. I set the time on the treadmill to 90 minutes.

Settled in at a slow pace. I needed to conserve some energy for maybe 8 miles or more. Stared at the Leaf. Tried to find some topics to think about. Nothing. Or nothing that I wanted to think about for the time being. I just wanted to beat my time. I wanted to do my best, I wanted some speed and sweat. Yep, I needed to sweat some anger and frustration out. Just what I know the doctor would order.

My chest had been feeling heavy. I wondered if that was a result of doing the 5k Sunday in the cold temps. My body kind of ached in weird places because I added resistance training yesterday to my nutty line up. The nurturing side of me said take it easy. The fighter in me KO'd that thought.

I didn't like the 11:00 min mile. At all. Before I knew it, I was calculating how I could make up that very slow 5 minute start.

The leaf, the point of all my running attention, the point of my mediative state, lost to the treadmill control panel. The speed dial won. And I finally did my sub 30 5k. Not by much, but I did it just the same. And it felt great. Troubles and worries were just mere dust.

Eeked it out to 4 miles and I was happy. Getting faster. Mentally toughening up. You can teach an old dog new tricks after all!

Feb 6, 2011

Super 5k Race Report

Posted by Jan on Sunday, February 06, 2011 with No comments
So today was my second 5k of the year (on the same course). Weather wise, the first 5k I did on Jan 1st, 2011 was much, much better. Today we had a wind of 12mph with gusts to 36mph and a temp of 39 degrees. Things were a bit nippy, but for once, it was sunny out. It helps to wear black!

Anyway, this is a relatively flat, fast course. At the 3/4 mile mark you do hit a hill that can take you by surprise. I actually had some older woman pull at my left shoulder to get on by me. I was actually quite taken aback at her absolute rudeness. Some people are just born with it I suppose. I still couldn't figure out what her problem was considering I was hugging the 3.5 foot high snowbank. I would hate to see what she was like behind the wheel of a car.

At the 1.5 mile mark is when the headwind smacks you in the face. The upside? The bright sun is in your face too, so your cheeks can stay relatively warm. It was nice to see and feel the sun again.

Finish line in sight...I looked pained!
Unfortunately, the second half of the course is on one of the busier thoroughfares in Lowell. They had "coned" a path for us, but there were so many ridiculously deep puddles that everyone had to step out of the coned area into the road way. I wish people would be a little more conscientious about walking two abreast on such a narrow path. Everyone tends to bunch up behind the walkers because it's too dangerous to step outside the path with cars going 45 mph just within a few feet of you. Came real close to having a nasty spill because of this.

Just after the 2 mile mark, there is a wide open field and let me tell you the cold winds coming off that field were kicking everyone's ass. I sped up just to plow through it and get it over with as soon as possible! Today I learned not to be downwind of a noseblower. In strong winds, those boogers go flying and I know a few projectiles from the dude in front of me came way too close for my comfort. It was totally gross. I chicked him.

At the 2.75 mile I caught up with a guy running with his dog, a cocker spaniel. The owner had the leash in one hand and a clearish doggie doo-doo bag -- full of the dog's business -- in the other hand. Again gross. Why is it when you tell yourself not to look, you look anyway and get totally grossed out? It was enough motivation for me to find and turn on the after burners to get to the finish line.

This was my fourth race on this course and I had my fastest time yet. Pretty proud of myself considering the elements we all had to deal with. My race time is certainly not worthy of posting, but my pride is! The treadmill work is paying off.

No bling for the Bling Challenge, but I did get a cute t-shirt. Oh and 2 chocolate cookies, something I haven't had in about 6 months!

Next up? A 3 miler in 3 weeks. I have heard that this one has BRUTAL hills. Time to start playing with the incline on the 'mill.

As for a bit of motivation, the oldest person to place was 86 years old. God bless him!


Feb 5, 2011

Turning a chores day into fun

Posted by Jan on Saturday, February 05, 2011 with No comments
Today turned out to be a chores day instead of a play day. Grocery shopping, laundry, vacuuming, freezing some of the fresh food to have it last longer, that sort of thing. It started raining here (go figure) so being outside in the cold, wet environment lost it's Winterfest appeal for me.

I did do something fun though. In my closet I have stacks of old jeans. I have been keeping these jeans all year "just in case". Yeah, just in case I put the weight back on. But I have been at this size 6 now for 7 or 8 months and I really don't see me going back to the size 14 I once wore. If I do, just shoot me.

So tonight I took a picture. Just last year at this time, the big jeans were my "go to" jeans and at size 14, they were too small! The jeans I laid over the top? Size 6 and they are too big! I literally can slip them right off with them zipped/buttoned up. Yeah, I have come a long way, baby! 

As for the too big jeans, I think it is time for a Salvation Army donation. I have at least 10 - 15 pairs that are just too big for me. It will free up some much needed closet space, help someone else in need and reinforce the confident feeling I have about getting rid of the "just in case" pile.

Sometimes doing chores can be fun and inspiring!

Winter canceled due to too much snow

Posted by Jan on Saturday, February 05, 2011 with No comments
Okay, I am frustrated.

We have had a lot of snow. We have had a lot of snow in the past. But it always seemed to melt a bunch between storms. That isn't happening this year. So my guess, here in the Merrimack Valley we have at least a 30" base. That's a lot of snow to contend with on a daily basis. Tonight's gift from Mother Nature? An ice storm.

One of the things I was looking forward to in keeping my spirits up over this winter was the Lowell Winterfest. But much to my disappointment (and a lot of other people living here in the city), I found out that the human dogsled competition was cancelled due to too much snow. Yep, DPW didn't have enough time to prep the strip of roadway used downtown for the races, so that portion of the Winterfest, the biggest attraction, was canceled. For me, that's equivalent of taking the folk music out of the Lowell Folk Festival in the summer.

Photo courtesy of the City of Lowell
With some dear friends of mine, I did attend the North Soup Bowl competition last night (totally delish, by the way), cooked some marshmallows over the open pit fires and watched some fire dancing. And as near as I could tell, that was all there was to the Winterfest, unless we sauntered into the over 21 tent, which we didn't have a lot of interest in doing. Eventually, all of our toes were little ice cubes and we called it a night fairly early.

Todays line up looks promising and I may wander around downtown this afternoon. The "All You Can Eat Chocolate" event looks enticing and the fireworks tonight will be something I will be sure to see.

Tomorrow, I have a 5k race on the other side of the city. I have been itching all month long to get out on the roads safely and an organized race allows me to do that. But with the impending ice storm tonight, I am not sure the roads will be safe enough to run on and I will be left with a decision to risk it or not.

I am really done with this winter.

Feb 3, 2011

It's about the balance, silly

Posted by Jan on Thursday, February 03, 2011 with No comments
The internet is an incredible tool. Believe it or not, the internet has been a part of my life since 1992 (yeah, I am an oldie, but goodie). I have been a big proponent of the internet and all the good that it can do.

But even though all my experiences with get rich scams, marketing BS, political lies, urban legends, viral videos, etc, has seasoned me to see through the garbage pretty quickly, I can still get frustrated picking apart through the lies and the truths.

Part of this year long transition of my life was to take better care of myself. That entailed 3 or 4 endeavors that I committed to: exercise, eating right, quitting smoking. Doing those three things would surely help the fourth endeavor which was good emotional health (something that does get overlooked in my opinion).

As for exercise, due to my past, I felt I knew what I liked and what worked for me, so I picked up where I left off years before. I did add the P90X program, which in my opinion, was outstanding and the one program I can say made that the most change in my life. I would still be doing it if my time free time was more plentiful.

Quitting smoking was a no brainer. For the oddest reason, this time was the easiest. I practically quit cold turkey. And I really don't miss it. Every once in a while I will get a whiff of tobacco smoke and to me, it still smells good. But now the memory of smoking takes me back to undesirable days. When that happens, I nearly immediately say to myself "My life is so much better now"...because it's true. The desire for nicotine evaporates nearly instantly.

Eating right has always been a challenge for me though. That's where the internet comes into play. For the last 9 or 10 months, I have been pretty much on a "cleaner eating" program. I have cut out all red meats and in the last 4-5 months, have cut out all meat (fish and poultry). I have cut out diary where I felt comfortable that I could. And I probably have no less than 7 - 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I have been relying on the internet about proper nutrition and possibly moving to a vegetarian diet. But the opinions, "research studies" and self promotion out there in cyberland drives me nuts. Just when I thought I was doing the right thing, I read that I am not and death will surely ensue immediately if I don't change my ways.

For instance, this morning I was doing some research on Whey Protein. I read on some site that it was so bad for you. Geez, I thought I was doing the right thing every morning when I added that scoop to my smoothie. Okay, google to find out why it's bad. I came across a site that said that Whey Protein was basically a carcinogen. Lovely. May as well give me back my cigs (no, not really).

I read through the comments on the blog that made this statement and some people did question that particular statement too. And even though the blogger answered every other commenters question, they failed to answer on the carcinogen question. This leads me to believe that the blogger was an extremist, a liar or is being paid by some company to promote a product. Frustrating.

So I decided this morning to continue what I have been doing. If I find something better, thru the blogs I trust (Kate and Lauren come to mind), then I will give it a try. Each one of us is different and I need to figure out what's best for me. My needs are totally different from the work at home mom, totally different from the 20 year old in their sophomore year of college and totally different from the jet setting professional (I fit in the category of the 40-something year old woman waiting for her AARP membership in the mail -- LOL!)

I then need to remind myself where I was a year ago at this time. 35 pounds heavier, 3/4 a pack a day smoker, chronic sinus infection sufferer and absolutely miserable about myself emotionally. Today I am so much more powerful. My world is so much more different and in many, many ways oodles better.

It's all about MY balance.

What have you done to find your balance? Who or what do you rely on to steer away from misinformation?

Feb 2, 2011

Lil' Things

Posted by Jan on Wednesday, February 02, 2011 with No comments
Big sigh. Another snowstorm. Getting bored with it. Appreciate the extra cardio work out I am getting shoveling snow. I like it so much, I helped shovel out my neighbor. It lets me eat an extra big dinner without the guilt!

Yeah, the US of A is under there somewhere
Yeah, that's my lame way to accept that I cannot do a thing about this PITA weather. It's supposed to snow again on Saturday. And then 37 degrees on Sunday, which is good since I have a 5k to do that day. Great for slushy running conditions, but I am outside running nonetheless!

But what has happened is that I have gotten to know my neighbors better. And I met the sweetest guy who now is gonna be my hairdresser. Yay! If he messes up my hair I can say "Fix it, 'cuz I know where you live!" Actually, he strikes me as being really good. My hair needs attention, so I will be finding out soon!

Not seen today? A single snow plow in our apartment complex parking lot. Even the snow plow operators have given up. I shoveled out a couple of stuck cars. Why do people think gunning the car will get you out of a snow bank? Especially if you have bald tires?

Most unusual sight seen today? Someone actually threw their once live X-Mas tree in the garbage. It's February 2nd people!

I did some "what I would like to buy next payday" shopping online this evening.

I like this shirt. It can be found at Punk Rock Racing

 I like this one too. Here's the link

                                                       I LOVE this!!!
It was one of those kind of days. I did get on the treadmill for an hour walk. I was able to read the latest Runner's World on my iPad while on the 'mill which made the time pass quickly. 

What are the chances I will be in FL first before all this snow melts? Sadly, I think pretty high.

Feb 1, 2011

A guy, a hotel room and a video spells relief for me!

Posted by Jan on Tuesday, February 01, 2011 with 6 comments
Ha, got your attention!

But really, it's true. Finally found some relief from the piriformis syndrome that I have been suffering from since December (maybe earlier). Don't ask me why, but the guy shot this video demonstrating some specific stretches to be done for piriformis in a hotel room. But I don't care! I am happy to report that the stretches work! Did them last night and this morning and I had no pain whatsoever all day (usually I can only sit for about 30 minutes before horrible butt pain).

So my embarrassing split that I did Saturday night on the ice has had a happy outcome.

On the treadmill tonight I ran a 3.1 miler with a 9:50 pace so I am stoked about that (with the last mile at a 8:30 pace). The time is a fallin'!

Here is the video