It's that time of year for me when everything outside of the radius of my desk seems to vanish.  The days no longer have names. They all run together, punctuated by the few hours I spend at home.  Sleeping.

Everything I do seems to take forever.  For instance, it's now after 6 pm and I started to write this post sometime after noon.

I alternate between slap-happy giddiness and being the biggest biatch in the world.  The smallest things will set me off - I left the gym one day in a vile mood because the music was too loud.  In my defense, it's a stretch to even call such noise "music" :)

In the past month, I have eaten perhaps 5 meals with my husband.  Or at home, for that matter.

I have worked without a day off since Sunday, February 28th.  I will continue to do so until Thursday, April 15th.  

Oddly enough, I'm OK with all of this.  Once the initial shock of the schedule passes, the rhythm of ceaseless work takes over and you just flow with it.  I think it's similar to the start of an ultra, when you stand at the start withover 30 miles ahead of you.  Once you begin to move, and the miles begin to add up, the task ahead becomes less daunting and you simply accept your path.

Of course, ultras have much better aid stations than tax season.

Hmm, that's definitely something to consider for next year....

Running in Circles

This past weekend, it seems as though everyone I knew was running a race!  My ultra buddies were down south running the Umstead 100 (and 50M) Endurance Run, while my NYC peeps were in Central Park running the Colon Cancer 4M and 15K.

Me - well, I was at the gym and at work.  

It's been strange this winter, stepping back from running.  But I think it's been good for me.  I've taken time to train, get stronger and leaner, and really figure out what I want from my athletic endeavors.  

I still haven't figured out exactly how to have my cake and eat it too, but I haven't given up on that yet :)

Umstead 100

Sending out some Happy Hundred Vibes to all my friends running the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run this weekend - I wish I were out there with you!  Maybe next year.....

Calling Captain Obvious

March 23: A new study suggests that without making changes to their diet, women need exercise just to keep their weight stable--but exercise alone won't lead to weight loss. 

Captain Obvious strikes again!

Watch the "news report".


I miss sleeping.  A sleep free of stress, a sleep that recharges, energizes, invigorates.  A sleep that comes after unwinding at home, talking to loved ones, playing with pets.   A sleep that greets the morning with a smile and the beauty of the day yet to unfold.  

OK, I'll be honest - I'm rarely smiling in the morning.  But that sounded better than "cranky".

Lately, my sleep is nothing like this.  It is a sleep borne of exhaustion.  I come home, throw my stuff down wherever I can find a free spot, sit on the couch for about an hour and then trudge upstairs to collapse into bed.  The day's clothes lay at the side of the bed, piled up and cushioning my feet when I finally drag myself out of bed in the morning.  Still exhausted.  Body tired and stiff from waking in the same position as when I passed out the evening before.  Depleted.  Today, even my shower did little to awaken me.  I stepped out of the shower and toweled off (barely).  As I stood there, I spied my husband's towel hanging on the door.  So soft.  Inviting.  I stepped forward and leaned my head on it, sure that I could catch just a few more minutes of precious sleep.  Then I realized that it's unlikely I'd stay standing if I were to fall asleep and that I'd wind up with a busted head.  

But, I digress.

I'm getting about 6 - 7 hours of sleep a night.  Not over training. Yet still I'm simply.....beat.  What is odder yet is that it really only affects me during the bookends of my days.  I'm fairly functioning during the actual day.  Really :)  The gym energizes me.  I can remain focused on work.  I have yet to truly bite anybody's head off.  But why can't my mornings and evenings be smoother? 

How about you?  Do you sleep well?  Do you sleep soundly?  And if not, how do you handle less than optimum sleep patterns?

26.2 divided by 2 equals 13.1

Best of luck to everyone running the NYC Half Marathon this Sunday!  I'll be with you in spirit!

Perfect Posture Perfects Perfomance

In high school, I had a friend who would always repeat the mantra "Perfect posture perfects performance".  We were both typical overachievers, honors classes (a year ahead, thank you very much), after school activities, good relationships with our parents, fairly typical geeks :)

But wheras I would slouch at my desk, she'd always be upright and aligned. 

Perfect posture perfects performance.Smart cookie that I am, I made sure to emulate my friend :)  Whether or not my "perfomance" has been "perfected" or not remains to be seen - but I'm sure that my body is thankful for the attention to my posture.  

Bad posture is, to this day, one of my biggest pet peeves.  Particularly in tall people - I mean, come on!  You've got glorious height!  Show it off!!!

Poor posture upsets me most when I see it on avid gym-goers.  I fail to understand how someone seemingly intent on achieving physical health can overlook such an obvious flaw in their physique. For instance, there is a woman at my gym who puts herself through fairly grueling interval workouts.  She drips with sweat, moving from a barbell to the stair master (I won't even go into her form or lack thereof on that maching) to the decline ab bench and back absolute workhorse.  She is incredibly lean, but her shoulders roll forward to her chest in such a way as to make me uncomfortable  (I seriously roll my shoulders whenever I see her).  I don't know if she's just lazy with her posture, or if she's built up such an imbalance between her chest muscles and her back that she's basically PULLING her shoulders to the front.  Yes, I realize that she very well could have some sort of condition, but let's theorize that she doesn't (for the sake of the argument). 

What I want to know is how someone who puts so much work and effort into their training can miss something so simple to correct?

Don't piss me off.  Stand up tall.  Own the space your body occupies.  All of it.  All the time.  Your back will thank you for it.

Out of the Kiddie Pool

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". - Chinese Proverb

Sigh.  Apparently my training partner has subscribed to this train of thought :)  I've spent the better part of the weekend (and this morning) attempting to write up my programming for the next cycle of my training (which begins today).  She asked me if I was excited for the new program, and I told her no ;) 

Partly, it's just that I'm afraid of doing a poor job at making my own program.  What if I do it wrong?  What if I ultimately end up spinning my wheels in the gym, wasting valuable time?  I don't feel as though I have a broad enough vocabulary of movement and form to construct it well, much less know if it's working.  But, I'll get over it (and myself).  I know what I'm doing, and it's about time I took off my water wings and went for a dip on my own.

Do you do your own programming?  Or do you follow someone else's - a trainer, CrossFit mainsite, the most recent issue of Shape/Fitness/Men's Health?  If you do follow someone else's, do you ever question WHY you're doing particular movements or volume?

If you don't (question) - start!  The best part of having someone to guide us is being able to learn the why along with the what/when/where and how!

Link Love

Not being lazy(really!!), but this is a great blog post that I thought I'd pass along to you kids.  FILLED with common sense (imagine that!) and no-nonsense truths:

The Key To Successful Fat Loss
I know - I've been awful this week at keeping up with you all.  For that, I apologize.  Between the real job, commercial work and busting my tuchus getting ready for my competitions, I've been a very neglectful blogosphere commentator.

I promise to be better :)

In the meantime, follow along on my daily competition prep.  Just click on the link to the right - from there you can check out my food journal and (as always) my training journal, as well as keeping up with the daily trials and tribulations (i.e. mood swings and food swings).  Feel free to comment, encourage, or smack me upside the head ;)  Just don't be a stranger!

Gluten Free Fitness - Erin Elberson

Just wanted to share a website with you kids that focuses on a Gluten Free Lifestyle for active/fitness folks.  I know a lot of you follow Paleo dietary guidelines, and many of you are Clean Eaters.  Definitely a wealth of information to be found here.  If you sign up for Erin's newsletter, you'll also receive a short eBook that introduces you to Gluten Free eating and how you can tailor it to your desired outcome (weight management, etc).

What you'll notice as you read through her posts is that she's a proponent of REAL foods - no faux-food substitutions.  Just natural, honest, naked food.  Paleo folks - just skim over the grains :)

Do you do it with the lights on?

There were so many exciting things going on today at the gym that I actually had to sit and think about what to share with you.  It was a veritable smorgasbord of idiocy :)

My favorite?

Tai Chi man - he goes into a corner of the side room at the gym, turns OFF the lights (doesn't ask, mind you) and goes through his progressions.  Already, we can tell he's a keeper!

Today, I notice him sitting at the Hammer Strength Chest Press.  


With a People magazine at his feet.

I watch.

He reads.

I watch.

He reads.

I watch.

He reads.

Then, he puts down his paper.  My excitement builds.  He grabs hold of the handles, arches his back off the seat so far that he's almost airborne, PUSHES the handles forward while slamming his body back into the seat, returns the handles to the start position, and LEAVES.

*insert quizzical face here*

Maybe he's got no force production with the lights on....

Tao of Tetris

Does your office have a refrigerator?  A kitchenette?  How do you handle the shared space?

As many of you may know, I currently work 12 hour days.  This means that I eat breakfast, lunch AND dinner here at my office.  It takes a little bit of planning and a lot of pre-cooking and measuring, but it's a very manageable situation.

Here's the rub:  I work with 5 other people.  These five people also eat a majority of their meals in the office.  So, at any given moment let's assume that there are the fixings for roughly 13 meals in our office fridge.  Which, I should point out, is an under-the-counter model.

Seeing as how we're awfully tight for space, I only bring one day's menu at a time (even though almost the entire week is already cooked and portioned out at home).  If something needs to be in a hard sided container, I choose the smallest available.  The only full sized items that I store here in the office are condiments.  Some people, however, aren't so considerate.  So most mornings I spend a good 10-20 minutes sitting on the floor in front of the fridge, rearranging everything so that my father's and my poor nutritional needs can be refrigerated.

Basically, I play Tetris with food.  

In my new, improved Zen state of mind, I try not to judge people for their selfish fridge hogging, as in the past I too have been guilty of such.  I strive to accept that they have no spacial conception. 

I slide, stack, shimmy and stuff everything into tight little cracks and corners.  I move them from my shelf, my corner (top right in case you're curious - don't mess with it, I'm very territorial), and into a more appropriate location.  

Someone stole my drawer, but I'll get over it.