Confessions of a Somewhat-Procastinating Early Bird with a Love-Hate Fitness Relationship


One of my favorite running spots

Jefferson’s post on his typical run was so awesome, I decided to go ahead and plagiarize become inspired by it and create a timeline of what a usual weekday morning workout routine looks like for me.

4:34 a.m.* – Yes!  I’ve woken up before the alarm goes off at 4:45, I’ve already “won” for the day – suck it, technology!  Now time to sneak out the room ninja-style as to not waken the grumpy bear.

4:35 a.m. – 4:50 a.m. – brushed my teeth and hair, changed, prepped my work clothes, and chopped up our morning fruit with a quickness – just call me butter, cuz I’m on a roll!

4:50 a.m. – 5:10 a.m. – I know I should be leaving, but what human tornado entered this place (I’m looking at you, B!)??  Can’t. Stop. Organizing. And. Wiping. Things. Down.

5:10 a.m. – 6 a.m. – Okay, arrived at the gym and ready to get my buff on!  Dangit, someone’s on the cables, time for Plan B.  Okay, first set – one, two, three, four, five, *mind wanders*, dangit, what rep am I on?  Let’s just say eight… (Continue at least 2-3 times with various exercises).

6 a.m. – 6:15 a.m. – Time to run outside!  Hrm, still dark out, better chill a bit so it gets a little lighter and better pack my pepper spray.  Please Sweet Baby Jesus, don’t let there be wandering coyotes/strays or creepers because, as you’re aware, I’m not fast by any stretch of the imagination.

6:15 – 6:20 a.m. – Alright, start of the run – set my iPod to a 45 minute run, let’s do this!  Bones creaking, not yet in my groove, shuffling my feet until I warm up… what do you mean it’s only been 5 minutes, Lady who lives in my iPod??  You’re a b!tch!

6:20 – 6:30 a.m. – Okay, I’ve got my groove now!  Starting to get light out, look at the cool kayakers on the bay!  My shuffle is starting to get into prance-mode**.  Life is good!  Wow, it’s already been 15 minutes, Lady in my iPod?  Time flies!

6:30 a.m. – 6:40 a.m. – Nuts, the cars are starting to come around… hey, share the road, busters!  *Motions with my hands* Go around, go around…

6:40 a.m. – 6:50 a.m. – Ah, my favorite part – the extra segment that cars/bikers/runners usually don’t frequent since most take the short loop.  Savor this because it’s a nice place of solitude.  What a great view of the water, palm trees, and… wtf, is that a skunk?!  Ruuuunnnn!!!***

6:50 a.m. – 7 a.m. – Last leg and you can go home, you got this – let’s put on some happy music like Black Eyed Peas to set the pace right!  Oh crap, a pack of morning runners going the opposite direction of me, finish strong, yo, do-not-walk, do-not-walk!

7 a.m. – Yay, back to my car!  Thanks for congratulating me, Lady in my iPod, you’re my BFF!  Now time to race home and shower… and subsequently have an energy crash around 10 a.m. 😉

*This could also have the reverse effect of me snoozing the alarm and not waking up until 5:15 or so.  In that case, then I usually say “dangit, well I can run a couple of miles at least!  You won this time, technology!”

**Allegedly, I prance instead of run according to gym and runner friends alike.  I’ve come to embrace and accept this.

***Only happened once, but it did happen!

And to be honest – I don’t do this every day!  It’s my favorite routine, but I do more or less time (or only do weights or only run) depending on what time I wake up.

What’s your morning (or workout) routine thought process? 🙂


November Updates – Debt Repayment, Fitness/Running, and Wedding

Hi everyone – holy canoli, only 30 more days until we ring in the new year!  I’m starting to formulate some 2014 goals, so I think for December my goals are to “finish strong” financially and mostly fine tune some of those 2014 details (and realistically throw out some lofty or out-of-my-control ones).  Here’s what went down in November with things that I usually update about:

1) Debt repayment – I cannot tell a lie, I didn’t complete Michelle’s Black Friday Challenge and pay off my credit card debt, though she managed to pay off *two* so be sure to go over and congratulate her!  I did manage to pay off $300 which brings my total to $3789.  I’ll for sure pay off credit card by 2013, and thinking about just taking the remaining balance from my EF/savings and have all debts ($3789) completely paid off.  I figured why not start 2014 anew, I’d rather pay back myself than those darn companies, and the remaining is a balance that I feel somewhat comfortable parting with.  I always worry about poo hitting the fan, but know that if it came to that, B’s got my back.  Should I just do it?


Why hello there, seasonal BFF!

2) Fitness – I’ve been somewhat following Jamie Eason’s workouts, and starting to see results strength-wise with frequenting heavier dumbbells more, as well as making gains in squats (though this is attributed to B, since I join him during “Leg Day” and he definitely pushes me past my comfort zone despite him being the most awful testosterone-driven meanie who tells me to suck it up when I whine about how heavy something is).  Physically, I’ve only lost a couple of pounds, but my clothes fit better at least.

3) Half-marathon training – I’m getting in 3-4 runs a week and my longest has been a 7 miler.  It’s been nice, but so chilly con carne outside!

4) Nutrition – this area could for sure use more work, especially with Trader Joe’s bringing back my seasonal BFF, dark chocolate covered shortbread cookies.  Nom to the nom!  Besides, isn’t it good for carb-loading for my runs?

And now, onto my favorite updates – the wedding!

1) DJ picked!  She’s given awesome ideas, such as introducing us to the Vitamin String Quartet of which I am *loving* their rendition of Viva La Vida.  We’re toying with the idea of playing them throughout the dinner and making it a game where our guests will guess which songs they are (like Bohemian Rhapsody, Thrift Shop, Don’t Stop Believin’).  It’s kinda cheesy, but also kinda us. 🙂

2) Florist picked!  Flowers aren’t really high on my priority list so I was having a mild heart attack at the cost of really simple flowers, but we found a really cool guy at practically half the price.  Not only that, but he took the time to leaf through pages and examples with me, explaining different flowers, and has beautiful ideas for my bouquet (a round and neat mix of anemones and lisianthus in deep purple, with specks of mini red roses).

3) Honeymoon taking shape.  I told B I really want to go to one area of South America, he agreed it would be awesome and wants to add on another area, and he’s starting to work on this aspect thanks to some oh-so-very-subtle hints I’ve given like “um, so you got this, right?” 😉  But in all seriousness, we both started working on this during the long weekend (him prior), so it’s been exciting.

IMG_20130927_164556_3304) Wedding dress fitting – I went for my first fitting and I absolutely can’t wait to wear it, and campaigning for Wedding Dress Fridays in lieu of Casual Fridays at work, so hopefully it’ll pan out. 😉 I heard that tailoring costs a pretty penny and this is accurate, but I was at least prepared for it.  I’m wondering how the the re-sell prospect will work out with how it’s being tailored since I’m tailoring the hem, as well as the hips/tush part so it’s less A-line and more form-fitting.  I think I’d have to sell locally so people can try it on to see if it works out for them.  I’ve also decided on these shoes, though will probably drop down to flats once we start dancing.

5) Hairstyle picked – I’m going for this hairstyle and I’m going with my usual hairstylist whom I love and trust.  I need to figure out make-up still.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week – so crazy that there’s only a few weeks left in 2013!  Make it some great ones. 🙂

Half-Marathon and November/2014 Goals

Happy Friday, everyone!  So you know how I was mulling over signing up for the half-marathon?  You know, the mulling over that was like a hot minute ago… but anyway, I signed up!  I made little deals with myself and completed them in a shorter amount of time than I thought, so I pushed the confirm button.  The deals were to lose 2 pounds (this was probably from less eating when I had bronchitis, but I’m counting it anyway), to run three miles (did 4), and to sell stuff to recoup the cost (which I did rather quickly, though sadly as I loved the Sky dress I sold (but, I knew I wouldn’t get anymore use out of it)).  I started these on Monday, by the way, and didn’t do it in a span of two days.

So I’m running a half with Tonya (and Michelle and Kathleen, while Mrs. PoP just so happens to run a full, as well!)!!  So if you feel a surge of endorphins that day, it’s probably due to all the running events going on everywhere!

Oh yeah, but I didn’t follow the Cash Rebel’s School of Economics lesson of signing up for the full versus the half.  A full would have been a better bargain in terms of cost-per-mile since it was only $10 more overall, but I know myself well enough that I’m nowhere near ready for a full, both in terms of planning since wedding stuff will come to a head, and physically.

Here’s my training plan so far, since I want to get enough miles in but also still focus on Jamie Eason’s weight training plan (that’s a great workout plan, by the way – learned some new things!).  I made it flexible enough that I can either combine two workouts into one or probably skip my Sunday workout, though the latter tends to dorkily be B and mine’s “day date time”:


Thank you everyone for convincing me the race fee is, indeed more of a health/wellness expense versus entertainment/fun (which is where I’ve always considered it).  That’s a great change in perspective since I do agree it’s not as frivolous as I perceived it to be, but rather an investment in my health.

As for as other November goals, it’s mostly to get rid of cc debt through Michelle’s challenge, and to focus on my 2014 finances per Shannon’s great post on Fall goals.  I’m still old school and use spreadsheets over Mint (love that new spreadsheet smell! ;)), and have fresh 2014 monthly’s/overall to populate.  A big goal is ‘saving’ 40-45% of my total income next year (safe goal of 30-35%).  When I say ‘saving’ I mean putting it towards retirement, investments, and actual savings, but that’s quite a jump from what I’m currently averaging (slightly less than 25%).  I do think it’s possible since debt repayments/wedding stuff will be squashed during the first few months of 2014, but I’d still like to cut costs since I’d like to go with a higher rate.  We do plan on combining our finances (but still keeping a portion for personal accounts), as well, so that’s another layer of figuring out my our finance strategies/goals for next year.  While we’re both eager about starting a family, we’re pretty terrified of the costs, so we just want to line our ducks in a row as much as possible.  I’ll report about it more when plans firm up!

Anyone else have November or 2014 goals that I can copy be inspired from? 🙂

I’m Over Budget in My Pants – Fall Slim Down Challenge

Not gonna lie, kinda the wake up call for this challenge

Not gonna lie, kinda the wake up call when my cousin posted this on FB

Over the summer, I got a bit too accustomed to wearing looser tops and dresses, which I loved in terms of comfort but now am feeling some of the repercussions of it.  Now that it’s Fall (minus the leaves turning gorgeous colors… but still, it’s closed toe shoes time in SoCal) and I’m now wearing more form-fitting sweaters and jeans, it’s feeling too snuggly-wuggly for my taste.  In some jeans, there’s muffin top action going on, so apparently, I’ve been slipping up with my eating.  And, if I’m honest with myself, with my workouts, too, as I’ve shortened my workouts in order to get into work earlier.

Though I know it could possibly change as various stages of life go on, where I’m at now, I’m still in the school of thought that the answer is to not buy the next size up, but rather work with what I have in terms of clothes and trim down.  It’s kind of like working with a, oh hey – budget! 😉  So that’s exactly what I plan to do – challenge myself to slim down and trim up during Fall.  Nothing crazy, probably 10 or so pounds, though I’m more focused on getting leaner than numbers.

Since it’s still way too dark for my comfort level even at 6:30 a.m., I’m going to do most of my workouts at the gym.  Also, since my wedding dress is pretty arm and shoulder baring, I’d also like to focus on more upper body strength training since I’d like the event to be part-wedding, part-gun-show. 😉  So in order to accomplish this, I’m going to follow Jamie Eason’s program.  If you don’t know who she is, Jamie Eason is a super knowledgeable and motivating fitness model, who is so incredibly inspiring (she beat cancer) and likable, that it’s hard to not have respect for her.  I’m going to go ahead and skip to Phase 2, though, since Phase 1 has no cardio so I suppose I loosely followed this last month.  I like the workouts in Phase 2, as it has a hybrid of cardio and strength training, plus it’s with the frequency I usually do workouts, anyway – I just now have a set plan each day rather than winging it (and half-assing it).

More importantly, I’m following the diet plan, since workouts are important, but it’s more so what you put in your mouth the other 22-23 hours outside of working out!  I’m not worried about giving up booze or going out to eat (if I do, there’s a lot of healthy options these days), though sweets will be a challenge.  It’s also interesting to know that my friends who are pregnant but have gestational diabetes (it sounds like it will go away once they give birth, though) follow a program similar to this, so I suppose I have a nutritional support network there of sorts!

I’m not sure how frequently I’ll be posting updates on this, but I will at least post again after Phase 2.  I’ve previously had struggles with getting too obsessive with this kind of stuff in the past that I won’t bother rehashing, so this is the main reason why I don’t want to think/post about it too frequently (plus, it gets kind of boring).  Still, though I know I’m not obese, I do know what it’s like to not be at my level of feeling really confident, so I’m going to give this a shot.  B, who is pretty muscular and stocky but apparently blames my cooking for him putting some pounds on, also wants to look smokin’ for our wedding, so he’s all for this challenge (though he does more advanced workouts).  He’s actually already slimmed down like 5 pounds within days, which makes me want to stab him (lovingly, of course ;)).

Anyway, if anyone else wants to do this or some variance of a Fall Slim Down Challenge, I’d love to know.  It’s always nice when someone out there has the same goals as you.

August Goals Recap (and Dress Peek!)

Hello everyone!  I can’t believe August is almost gone and, more importantly, summer, as well!  I think we might actually have a later summer in SoCal since it was dreary in June and July, though I suppose we can’t really complain since it’s constantly temperate.  Anyway, here’ s a recap of how I did for my August goals:

1) Complete 60 miles of runningPass, though contingent upon if I complete my 4 and 3 miler this Thursday/Friday.

2) Complete the 30 day Squat Challenge again, this time while using a 10-25 pound plate (reduce weight as I increase the number of squats), as well as the 30 Day Plank ChallengeKind of.  When I was squatting with weights, my legs constantly felt like lead during my runs, so I ditched the plates.  I’m definitely seeing results after two months of it, though, and B has as well since he accused me of flexing my quads one time when I wasn’t – hurray!  For the plank challenge, I did well up to 2.5 minutes, then I couldn’t really hold for 3, 4, 5 minutes.  So what I did for those days was hold on for as long as I can, and any remaining amount left, I would finish in another set (or two).  I am pretty amazed by it, though, since I’m now up to 3.5 minutes when before 2 was the most I could hold.  The body adapts quickly, and I’d recommend that challenge to anyone!

3) Pay off $800 of my debtFail.  I was a bit of a spending glutton this month, I’ll own that.  I bought running shoes since my old ones had over 400 miles, as well as plane tickets to visit my parents to spend time for my mom’s 60th.  I also paid for the second Pre-Cana class, as well as the deposit for the dress that I initially had my eye on (explain more in #4).  Total, I paid off $385 of debt this month.

4) Pay for the invites (materials) and second Pre-Cana class, start looking for a dress and photographer Kind of.  I didn’t pay for the invites yet but they should be ready next month (yay!), but did pay for Pre-Cana class and the deposit for my dress.  I ended up buying the floor sample since it was the exact size and color I wanted, and haggled them to retouch up all the beading, add a back panel, dry clean it, take $100 off, and half off veil and shoes.  I wanted a free veil and a deeper discount, but oh well, the dress is relatively new since it was a spring 2013 dress and 50% off is better than nothing, I suppose.  Do you want to see?  Well it was more rhetorical since I’m so excited about it and showing it anyway. 🙂

dress IMG_20130820_173922_898

5) Spend 15 hours on SpanishFail.  I only spent about 10 hours, and 2 hours of it was hiking with my old Spanish teacher where it was mostly me saying, “Ummm… como se dice… ummm…” 😉

6) Write 5 “love letters” to loved ones PASS.  I ended up doing this early on in the month – two of them weren’t really love letters but more gratitude letters to teachers who made an impact on my life – one English high school teacher who encouraged me to take tests to go the AP path, and another college professor who was influential in my “political awakening” I guess you can say.  I received responses from them, and it was a pretty cool feeling for both parties.  I also wrote the remaining three letters to those who are having a rough go in life, whether it’s a break up, being unemployed for numerous years, or going through some past stuff and having a hard time processing.  Even if I’m frustrated or whatnot lately with wedding or work stuff, I do realize I have so much to be thankful for, and I can only hope that the friends that have been there for me in the past, I can be there for now and always.

I’m not sure if I’m going to have any September goals other than survive since Fall is always busy season, but I’ll at least strive to get my debt down lower despite paying for some hefty deposits in the next couple of months.  If you had any goals in August, let’s hear how you did! 🙂

Frugal Fitness Ideas While Traveling

Often times, I’ve heard friends or colleagues say how they fell off the fitness wagon due to a business trip or vacation they just came from.  Though I certainly understand that business trips can make for long days and that it’s way more fun to relax on the beach, I still think squeezing in a workout in is possible despite not being in your normal schedule or surroundings.  Here are some ideas for fitting in fitness while traveling… read the rest of article (and other bloggers’ great ideas)!

May Goals Update and New Prospective Venue

Hey beautiful, do you believe in love at first sight or do I have to walk past you again?  Everyone feeling awkward yet? 🙂

So it’s the end of May, and I paid down $528 of my debt.  Not as amazeballs as previous months, but given some splurges and car repairs, it is what it is.  I thought I’d also share how I did on my May goals:

1) Run 80 miles, with 2 “speed” sessions (speed to me, at least) – Pass, contingent upon me completing my 5 and 3 miler tomorrow and Friday.  I’m loving how it’s already light out by 5 a.m., which helps me sneak in both running and lifting before I have to go to work.

2) More weights sessions, 2 upper body (arms, chest, back, abs) and 2 lower body (legs, booty, lower back, abs) per week – PASS!  I’ll probably focus more on this in June, since I love me some tank tops.

3)  2 sweets a week – PASS!  Even with the evil temptresses at work who give me their leftover candy.

4) Stick to or go under $600 in expenses (groceries, going out, gas, gifts, miscellaneous), and meet a 25% want metric – FAIL, with total at $633.25.  I’m kinda close, but no cigar.  I also spent over $400 on my splurges, but honestly, I loved it – my toiletries are fully stocked, I got my hair did, and I have contacts for the rest of the year.  I reassessed my retainers and think it can last a few more months (especially after seeing my friend’s busted looking retainers, which I happily clowned them on), so I didn’t buy any.

5) Study Spanish for at least 1 hour, 3 times a week – Passed on my hours, Failed on three times a week.  In the beginning of the month, my friend was getting married who was a major bridezilla enthusiastically detail-oriented, so I helped out which took up a lot of my free time.  I still managed to study, though, especially since we’re leaning towards South America for our honeymoon.

6) Veggies in every meal, including breakfast, at least 4 days a week – PASS!  This was easy, though, since egg quiches are easy to make.  I’ve been in the habit of having a cooking marathon on a weekend day so it’s less work during the week.

For June, I think I might take a break from any set goals, though I do still plan on running and lifting, as well as keeping on track with a budget and learning Spanish.  As for wedding plans, we found a new place that, where the previous one we mutually agreed upon, this place we’re mutually excited about.  The reception venue is slightly offbeat, kinda geeky, and fairly casual – ya know, 100% us!  I’ll update once it’s confirmed.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!