Run plus weights, and how Aaron looks good in skinny jeans

It was raining this morning, and even at 8 a.m. I started thinking, “Maybe I’ll just do 20 minutes on the bike trainer instead of running two miles outside tonight.”

Then I was like, “No, I’ll run… if it’s not raining.”

Then I left work late. Then the bus was 20 minutes late. I just wanted to get hooooome. That’s when my best-laid plans started crumbling in my mind.

It wasn’t raining when I got home, but I still didn’t feel like running. I asked Aaron: “I’m supposed to run two miles tonight, but I might just do the bike trainer. What should I do?”

He said I should run, and I guess that was all I needed — someone to tell me what I didn’t want to hear, because I didn’t have the mental strength to tell myself.

I knew I should run, he said I should run, and so I did.

It’s not a big deal to talk yourself out of one two-mile run, but it sets a dangerous precedent. If it’s that easy to quit on two miles, it’ll just gets easier and easier to quit as the runs get longer and harder. On the flip side, the more I get out to hit the cold, dark, wet pavement — no matter what — the more I’ll continue to do so. Momentum, you know.

Anyway. I lifted weights after the run. I wasn’t sore at all after Tuesday’s lifting session, which was my muscles’ way of saying YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

I did the same moves this time, but used 15 lb. weights in place of 10 and 20 lb. weights in place of 15, and only did 8 reps of each move because OMG heavy. I think it’ll do the trick.

Lastly, since this was a boring post, here’s a fun fact: Did y’all know that Aaron used to weigh 220 pounds? It was when he was in high school, long before I ever met him, and it’s hard to believe when you see him today in the 170s (he’s six feet tall).

I long ago came to terms with the fact that he looks better in skinny jeans than I ever will.

This guy actually never stops eating, but here’s how he continues to fit into skinny jeans:

  • He rides his bike to and from work 4x a week. It’s a 15-mile round trip, so that’s 60 miles/week of just commuting.
  • He does a long bike ride once or twice a weekend: 40-80 miles if he’s on his road bike, 15-35 miles if he’s on his mountain bike. Either way, it’s 2-5 hours of riding, and he’s out the door at freakish hours of the morning.
  • He aims to eat 100% Paleo with a cheat meal every two weeks.
  • I’ve never seen him drink a soda, and he rarely drinks alcohol. I’ve never seen him drunk.

He’s not perfect with diet and exercise all the time, but no one is (God knows I’m not). I’ve seen him pack away junk food like nobody’s business when he wants to. He just likes the way he feels when he exercises and eats good food, and so that’s what he does — with some pretty incredible willpower.

So that is the person who gives me mental strength when I need it to do my workout. And I get to marry him!

Speed intervals in the dark… and rain… LIKE A BOSS.

Running makes me so, so, so happy. Seriously. Endorphins, man. I’ll take mine on the rocks.

I thrive on training plans because they make exercise feel mandatory. I’m a chronic overachiever, and I hate not being able to check something off a to-do list. I really enjoy turning each box on my training plan purple as I complete the workout. I probably enjoy it WAY too much.

Tonight’s workout:

  • 0.5 mile warmup
  • Four sets of 0.25 fast and 0.25 recovery
  • 1 mile cool-down

My training plan said three miles, but I spent a little extra time at Green Lake to do the speed intervals along the uninterrupted path rather than having to stop for stoplights on the way back home. It made for a longer cool-down, but it was nice because I felt great and had a ton of energy.

It rained a bit, but I somehow didn’t mind. It actually made me feel more badass, which I should have remembered from past experience.

I borrowed Aaron’s headlamp because mine looked a little too weak on my last run, and it is a-maz-ing. I’ll be using it on all of my night runs!

I ended the run feeling super-strong and thrilled to be back in an exercise routine. It’s amazing how exercising makes you feel MORE energetic overall. I don’t know what kind of dark magic that is, but I like it.

I was going through some of my posts from around this time last year (like The 12-mile race and 10 mi and 20 miles DONE!!) and and couldn’t believe how (relatively) fast I was.

I’ll tell you right now: I’m gonna get way faster than that. Like, scary fast. It’ll take me a while, but I’ll get there.

Training day #2

Aaron was kind enough to document my workout tonight with his newfangled Instagram machine. Such a hipster.

First, I did 10 minutes on the bike trainer to warm up. I had never used the trainer before (Aaron has spent hours on it in the past), but I can see that it will be quite the workout on my cross-training days! My legs were burning.

There are three bikes in this photo! Can you spot them all?

Next, I did three sets of 10 reps of the following moves:

  • Bicep curl — 10 lb. weights
  • Hammer curl — 10 lb. weights
  • Military press — 10 lb. weights
  • Incline chest press — 15 lb. weights
  • Single arm dumbbell row (each side) — 15 lb. weight

I wore my bike gloves because the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells have textured grips that hurt my hands. I will be soooore tomorrow!

As promised, here’s my phantom half-marathon training plan! It’s “phantom” because I’m not actually going to run a real race at the end. Well… we’ll see.

And here it is in a Google doc, since that screenshot is teeny-tiny.

In other exciting news, we watched The Santa Clause tonight and officially kicked off the Christmas movie season. Hurrah! What else should we make sure to watch before 12/25?

Night run

I put on all of my safety gear tonight and went for a run!

Dork alert:

Sadly, this dorky photo op was not a one-time thing. Check out this one from November 2011:

Oh, dear. It must’ve been warmer outside… or I ran fast! I can’t imagine wearing shorts for a night run now.

Anyway, I was just ridiculously decked out in running gear tonight. From head to toe, I wore:

– A hat
– A headlamp
– A long-sleeved Lululemon tech shirt
– A lightweight Brooks rain jacket (because of the bright color/reflective strips) 
RoadID bracelet
– Garmin Forerunner 305
– Gloves
– Fuel belt with water bottles
– Bright, blinky light attached to the fuel belt
– Running tights
– Compression sleeves
– Socks
– Running shoes

…the hell? So much stuff. Better ridiculously safe than sorry, I guess.

Earlier today, I told Aaron that I was planning to run because I knew he would hold me to it if I decided to wimp out at the last minute. I also hyped up the run all day in my head, then changed into my gear right when I got home from work. I knew if I let myself get distracted by some other activity or mentally left room to make excuses, I would!

The run was on the slow side, but I’m so glad I went.

It was easy enough to get out there tonight when the weather was clear and cold, but it’ll be really tough when I have to deal with rain and/or wind AND cold. I reserve the right to switch around strength and cross-training days to avoid that misery.

Speaking of the training plan, I’m going to create it right now! It’ll be based off of this Hal Higdon plan, but with some workouts on different days to accommodate my majestical daily life.

I’ll post it soon!

Oh, and we went ice skating at Seattle Center last night with our friends Carly and Stephen! Photo courtesy of Carly.

Notice how confident and relaxed Aaron looks, and how awkward and sorta scared I look. Let’s just say I was not born to skate.

BUT, I didn’t fall, and we had a great time cruising around the rink to songs from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It reminded me of decorating the Christmas tree every year at my mom’s house, and it made me oh-so excited to decorate the first tree that Aaron and I will get together.

We’re determined to get something small, scrawny, and pathetic-looking. Charlie Brown knows best.

Triumph and a training plan

The weather has such a huge impact on whether I will run or not, how far I’ll go, and if I’ll enjoy it.

Today, the weather was in my favor.

I set out for three miles around Green Lake, but the weather was so spectacular that I extended the run to four. Blue skies and sunshine are mighty rare around these parts from November to March, so one must take advantage when they appear!

I tend to run too quickly early on and wear myself out, so I tried to run at a slower, more even pace to ensure I wouldn’t have to stop to catch my breath. It worked, and I felt triumphant when I was done. Mental fist pumps and all that.

Anyway, I totally suck at exercising when I don’t have something to train for, so I’m going to start Hal Higdon’s Novice I half-marathon training plan just to have a schedule to follow. My next half-marathon isn’t until the end of June, but this will at least get me back into a running groove so that I’ll have a nice base set up for when I really start busting my ass to train for a half-marathon PR (sub-1:59).

And Aaron just set up my bike on the indoor trainer, so I’ll be able to use that for cross-training. There are no guard rails in our living room, thank goodness. : )

I’m thankful for…

…a fiance who can mash with the best of ‘em…

…who also happens to look very good in a peacoat…

…who has a family that has welcomed me more wholeheartedly than I could ask for…

…and whose family (chiefly Mama Pass) also puts together a killer Thanksgiving spread.

I’m also very thankful for:

  • My side of the family, with whom we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving tonight and Sunday.
  • The chance to see Aaron’s niece and nephew have so much fun with Uncle Aaron on Thanksgiving, and to know that he will be such a good father someday.
  • My 12-hour food coma. I literally slept from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., and it was glorious.
  • The fact that my UW Huskies will beat Aaron’s Cougars in the Apple Cup today.

Hey, I love the guy, but it’s not my fault that my alma mater is vastly superior in every way. : )

Pre-turkey trot

LOTS of people were walking and running around Green Lake today!

It was sooo cold!

On Thanksgiving last year, I ran an “easy three” on my mom’s treadmill at 9:20 pace.

Today’s pace wasn’t that far off, but the run was anything but easy! I skipped exercise for the entire month of October, and I’ve run a total of three times in November.

Time to get back into running shape. My options are:

a) get up early to run in the dark;
b) run after work in the dark; or
c) join a gym and run on the treadmill.

Let’s be honest — the first option is not realistic for me. I like my warm bed too much.

Which of the other two would you choose?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Aaron and I are going to his mom’s house to celebrate with his mom, stepdad, grandpa, stepsister, step-brother-in-law (is that a thing?), and adorable niece and nephew.

It’s a big crowd — at least for me, since I’m used to four people at Thanksgiving, max. We’re making and bringing the mashed potatoes. I hope we’ll have enough!

I think the food situation that Greta is planning might mean trouble. Delicious trouble.

I will have two of everything, please.

Meanwhile, Aaron is out doing some sort of bike ride for Northwest Harvest (food bank):

And I am just finishing up this monster of a pancake before I go for a run. I’ve actually been eating it for an hour — it’s ridiculously filling for some reason.


– Banana
– Eggs
– Ground flaxseed
– Vanilla extract
– Cinnamon
– Almond butter on top 

This is my favorite recipe I’ve found for a Paleo-type pancake. The key is to follow the cooking instructions exactly! Otherwise, you’ll wind up with a hot mess.

Anyway. Time to drag my pancake-filled body out for a run. It might be a run/waddle since I’m so full, but that’s just how Thanksgiving should be, isn’t it?

Have a great one!

The long shot

I owe my friend Moorea dinner.

A few months ago, in the depths of my job-hunting process, Moorea sent me a link to a contract-to-hire copywriting position at a Seattle startup. She’s a recruiter, so she spends all day on LinkedIn, and saw the position posted by one of her recruiter friends. She urged me to apply.

I read the job description, then mulled it over for a few days before emailing her back something like: “Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m not qualified for this job at all. Please let me know if you see anything else you think would be a good fit.”

A few weeks later, Moorea got in touch again about another position, but I wasn’t interested in the company. We made plans to get together for happy hour, and she said once again: “You should really apply for that copywriter job!”

With no copywriting experience, no portfolio, and only a few of the required qualifications outlined in the job description, it was a long shot, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I sent Moorea my resume, and she passed it on to her recruiter friend.

I didn’t expect to hear anything, but the startup recruiter emailed me within a few days to set up a phone interview. That interview lead to another phone interview, and I sat on pins and needles for a few days waiting to hear more.

The email I received next was slightly deflating: I was out of the running for the contract-to-hire job, since I really had no copywriting experience, but they were looking for a paid copywriting intern. Would I be interested in continuing to interview for that position?

I really liked the sound of this company, and still had nothing to lose, so I said yes. A contractor is paid more than an intern, but an intern is paid more than an unemployed job-seeker, y’know.

I interviewed with my potential boss and boss’ boss the Wednesday before I left for Italy. I left the interviews feeling great, but I also knew I would feel really disappointed if I didn’t get the internship. I steeled myself.

On Wednesday afternoon, the recruiter asked me to email her my references.

On Thursday, she offered me the internship.

On Friday, I negotiated the pay from the American Airlines lounge at JFK, then left the country. I filled out all the paperwork via iPad in Italy.

I began the full-time, two-month internship on October 16. I figured I would work until mid-December and then either be bumped up to the contract-to-hire position, or sent packing. I worked hard, tried to do my best with every task that was assigned to me, and hoped it would be enough.

And it was. On Monday, after just over a month with the company, I got a surprise email: I’d been promoted to a permanent, full-time copywriting position. I’m a copywriter for realsies!

The company never filled the contract-to-hire position for some reason, so I guess I became intern-to-hire. Huh.

Anyway, the point of the story is: I’ve been bursting with joy this week.

The second point is: “Required qualifications” are kind of bullshit, and you should not let bullshit get in your way.

The third point is: Sometimes the long shot is the right shot.

It’s hard to believe in yourself when you feel like you’re not good enough, so it helps to have someone around to tell you YOU ARE. Moorea did that for me in this case. I owe her dinner, remember?

So maybe I can do that for you with this story. Whatever it is that you think you are not good enough or strong enough or smart enough for — just fuckin’ do it. Don’t make me tell you twice.

Now I feel a bit of anxiety creeping up on me, as it always does when things seem to be going too well in life. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But all I can do in light of tomorrow’s holiday is try to let those anxious feelings go and be thankful for this job, for Aaron, for my family, for my friends and for everyone who has believed in me when I didn’t.

I will be that person for you if you have no one else. Or, let Chris Guillebeau be that person for you. He wrote a great post about qualifications more than a year ago that I still think about:

Forget about what you’re actually qualified to do. It’s irrelevant and no one cares.

Regardless of your actual qualifications, there’s one thing that no one can give you and no one can take away: the will to keep going. For that task, you are supremely qualified.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.