Saturday, June 29, 2013

see Sam run Saturday: A Letter a Long Time Coming

I initially began this week's post with a promise to you all to start running again. To start training for that halfie in November (whether I am in Wilmington to run it along side HealthyLittleMe or not, I will run it with her despite our geographic differences - I owe it to myself,  mostly.) But after reading the letter to her 20 year old self, I started thinking about where I was at 20.

"That would be some letter!" I thought in my head.

"No way, that would bring up some shit you DO NOT want to deal with plus you'd be copying your friend in a near identical post."

"It'd be far too long of a post, nobody wants to read that drama."

"What would you say anyway?"

"This is a fitness blog, it doesn't belong here."

Then it occurred to me. I don't want to write it because it's painful. Even now, as I sit here with that bubble in my throat and that stinging pain in my eyes and push down the notion to tear up, I still haven't let my mind truly drift back to that point in my life because it's easier to block it out. It's that very reason I feel I need to write a letter to my 20 year old self. Oh boy.

***Warning: This isn't going to be pretty, or funny, but maybe it will not only help me chase away some hidden demons, but help somebody else out there, too.***

Dear 20 year old Sam,

Hi. You're probably sitting in a tiny, dark, one bedroom apartment in Georgia. In fact, I know you are, and you have been for a year now. You don't leave the apartment for any reason other than to accompany S to the supermarket or to the local package store. You're not allowed. You don't have a vehicle of your own, you don't know anybody anyway, so there is no real reason to leave. You're scared and won't admit it. Actually, you won't admit it for another three years.

If there is one thing I want you to know, Sam, it's that it get's better. It gets so much better. But first, there will be A LOT of pain,  A LOT of hurt, A LOT of self doubt, and  A LOT of guilt. You'll figure it out in time. You'll get fed up with abuse and embarrassment and you will find the strength to leave. I know right now your first instinct is one of pride, you feel like you made this choice of your own free will and you must deal with the repercussions like a big girl, but you are wrong.

First of all, you're not a "big girl." You are a child. You are a child that was preyed upon by someone twice your age. He knew exactly what he was doing and you were fooled. It's not your fault. I'm going to be honest with you, sweet girl, he has a disease and he can't be helped. You can go ahead and deny it for a few more years, but when you try to help, it will backfire and he will drag you down with him.


When you finally see things clearly, run. Run as fast as you can. Don't wait until you have your "ducks in a row" because that will never happen, just get out.

This next part is of vital importance, so pay attention. Something terrible will happen. You will get a phone call one day while you're living (finally, really living) with some great people and your life will be completely turned upside down. I'd like to tell you not to answer that call, but it's unavoidable. You still care for the scared, broken little boy that lives inside that monster and you will answer it anyway. Don't be disappointed when you hear the slurred speech on the other end. It won't matter what you say, he is calling to make sure he gets one last hit in before he ends his pain for good. Don't wait to call 911 because you think it's another prank, this one is real. And don't throw the phone across the room when the coroner calls. Sometimes people's jobs force them to be insensitive. Forgive.

It wasn't your fault.

It was never your fault.

It was completely and utterly inevitable.

Stop being so angry. Let it go. You did love a part of him. I know it's easier to make yourself believe you never really did, but some part of you loved a part of him that got destroyed along the way. Mourn for that loss, it's okay. Stop being so angry.

You will meet some truly amazing people in the months and years to come. A lifelong friend who's name you will wear that made you remember what laughing feels like again. A group of people that, despite being scattered to the four corners of the world after college, will still stay in touch (for the most part) and there will be many laughs and memories to share. You will get married again, even though you will swear not to. You will have ups and downs. You will know what true friendship and love is in this man. He will never hurt you. You need to talk to someone about your past, even though you think it's all over and done with. It will have long reaching ramifications. Trust yourself.

You will travel. You will see things you never dreamed.

Try harder for those scholarships, they are not as difficult as they seem. You'll end up with more than few under your belt. Get started earlier.

No one sounds good on radio. Don't give yourself grief about it. Also, don't tell people when it's aired, it will embarrass you.

You will write books! It will be the best job ever, don't agonize over it, enjoy it!

That crazy old professor that always brings you fruit, tells you about his childhood, and helps you with so many things, won't be around much longer, don't think "I'll do it tomorrow" when you feel the need to tell him that he's been like a second dad to you and thank him for everything, you will miss your chance. And it will hurt.

You will  move again and you will meet more amazing people that will inspire you in so many ways. Take it all in. Don't be afraid to be alone. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Don't talk to people on planes. You'll regret it. Trust me.

Leave a car in your driveway if you can help it. You won't like what happens to your house if you don't.

So, dear Sam, life will take you to some dark places in the next 10 years. But it will also take you to some of your best and brightest. You will miss out on your early 20's, but don't worry, you'll get them back... and then some. You will make mistakes again, some pretty big ones, and people will let you down, but don't stop living because of them. You know how short life is. LIVE IT.


-see Sam run

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Letter to my 20 Year Old Self

Happy hump day! I got the idea for this post from some of my favorite bloggers. They did letters to their old selves a few weeks ago and I thought it'd be fun to do the same thing...

Dear 20 Year Old Self, 

Greetings from the world of the older, wiser variety of you.

Right now you’re probably sitting in your on-campus apartment rocking out to MGMT with a bandanna tied around your head Ninja style. You really are that awesome. And even though things will change in the next few years and you’ll grow up in a lot of ways, you’ll still keep that free spirited insanity. And that’s cool.

There are a lot of people in your life now. And in five years, you won’t know most of them.

Carrie is your best friend. But she’ll meet and fall in love with an asshole guy this summer who takes steroids. It will create a whole mess of issues for her and your friendship. Honestly, go ahead and try to help her but it won’t work – she’ll ditch you instead of him. You’ll come home from Christmas break to an empty apartment and no roommate. But don’t worry, you’ll get a new roommate in a few months and some girl across the hall will move out and give you her furniture. You’ll try to make amends with Carrie a few months later and it will kind of work, but she’ll move to Florida and get pregnant with the asshole and you’ll send her a nasty e-mail telling her not to contact you again. Maybe don’t send that e-mail? I mean she does deserve the middle finger, but you’ll later regret burning that bridge when she’s cleaned up life and is back to the Carrie you always loved and you feel weird contacting her.

Stephanie and Mo will fall by the wayside on their own. Honestly, you’re better than them anyways. And you’ll see that your life and the decisions you make really clean up once they’re gone.

There are some people that you know right now that will stick around.

E will continue to be your tried and true. You guys will back out of the party scene and start doing old lady things together like sharing gardening tips and discussing politics (seriously, she’ll buy you a pair of gardening gloves in a few years for your birthday and you will LOVE them).

Jeph will move away a few times. He’ll end up in New York as a dog walker. And even though you don’t see him often, you guys will always be able to pick up right where you left off. And... don't freak out, okay? He'll go back to spelling his name Jeff eventually, too.

And Robby will always be, well, Robby. And he’ll kind of grow up, too. And it will be super weird because Robby isn't very, well, grown up.

That mean old professor you hate right now? Yeah, he’ll end up being your mentor. And believe it or not, you WILL get an A in his class.. and it will be the biggest kick in the ass you've ever received but the sweetest victory you've ever tasted.

Speaking of school, go ahead and opt for the Bachelors of Science instead of the Bachelors of Arts. You’re going to anyway, doing it now will help you graduate faster. And don’t freak about calculus… you’ll make that class your bitch once you've taken algebra but not until.

You’ll go party-hopping with Robby and his friends this fall. And you’ll have to pee while you’re drunk and walking through a neighborhood. Hold it! Whatever you do, don’t pee in those bushes.

You’ll adopt a cat Phoebe soon. You’ll find her on Craigslist and go against your mother’s advice to take her in. It’s a great idea – do it. And yes, she’ll hide under the bed for a few months but she’ll warm up to you, I promise.

When Will and Courtney come over to your apartment one night in February, let them in. And when they peer pressure you into going to a dance club and drinking red wine from a flask – do it. And yes, that dragon shirt from Indonesia will look perfect with the hipster crowd. And when a blonde guy across the bar makes the fish hook gesture, HOP ON! You won’t regret it. That guy is your guy. And he won’t know it that night either. But he will be your best friend and lover for years to come. And he has an ADORABLE dog.

Those floral wedges from Charlotte Russe? Say no. You’ll wear them to a club in Myrtle Beach and probably break your big toe, although I can’t say that for sure.

Next year, you and E will sign up to run a 5k. And you’ll do it. And it will make you feel super nervous and silly and out of place. And you don’t be able to run the whole thing. But you’ll be a runner in a few years and thank yourself for taking that step out of your comfort zone.

Speaking of E, next summer you two will ride bikes through downtown for 2 hours and then you’ll realize that you can’t find your ID and panic. It’s in your bra! Look there first. You’ll be really mad at yourself 4-hours-worth-of-searching later if you don’t.

A new girl will move into the apartment beside you. Don’t hang out with her. She’s super weird and dramatic and does a lot of drugs and has an overbearing mother. No, just no.

You are going to quit smoking cigarettes and drinking soda. Boring, I know.

You’re going to start eating pork again. But you’ll never like ham.

You won’t get that giant peace sign tattoo that you’ve always wanted. And the 25 year old you will thank you for it. Seriously, that’s kind of a cliché tattoo.

You’ll take that belly button ring out eventually because you feel silly having it. Your nose ring will fall out and you’ll be too busy to get it re-pierced. Both will leave scars but whatever.

Honestly, keep on keeping on. You have a big heart and good intentions. And all of the dumb decisions you’re making right now? Yeah, character building.

Love always,

The older, more boring responsible version of yourself

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Half Crazy.

Well folks, it's official. Yesterday I jumped off of the diving board and registered for my first half-marathon. No more, I want to run a half marathon's or I'm going to try to run a half marathon's. This shit is happening. And it's happening in November. 

Dear Lord, what have I gotten myself into?
So, obviously I need to start training. And I have two training plans that I've found that seem reasonable yet ambitious.

Number 1:
This one's from Runner's World (it's an old article that my friend, who WON a marathon by the way, used to train for a full marathon). If I used this training schedule, I'll probably cut the long runs in half, because well I'm not trying to run 26.2 miles - I just need 13.1. The training table is at the bottom of the article but the article itself is super inspirational, like all things from Runner's World are (we'll talk more about that in a second).

Number 2:
This training schedule was recommended to me by Katie over at, which is one of my favorite running blogs - if you haven't checked her out, you need to! Anyway, this training schedule is specifically for half-marathons so it will definitely be worth looking at.

The good news: I am ahead of the game at this point. Number 1 covers 18 weeks and Number 2 covers 12 weeks. And at this point, my race is a little over 19 weeks away. Knowing me, I will probably take both training schedules into consideration and develop my own little training program. I really like "winging it" most of the time.

Speaking of Runner's World. What an awesome magazine. Whenever I get discouraged about running or think I'm not capable of doing these long races, I read some articles from their website or magazine and it reminds me that running is so much more than a physical hobby. I know that I've always said that a half marathon is probably my end goal because, let's be honest, running 26.2 miles not only sounds impossible to me - it sounds miserable! But I have to admit, reading their issue last month on the Boston Marathon not only made me verklempt (Coffee Talk anyone?), but it also made me want to join the crazy club and run a marathon. But let's get past this half and see how I feel.

Things I'm excited about for this half marathon:
  • You guys know how excited I get about race day t-shirts. This one is a technical LONG SLEEVED one. They hooked me right there.
  • It's a generally flat run around my hometown - I've run most of the places that the route covers so I'm already mentally aware of the areas and their distances.
  • I'll get a cool half marathon medal. Swag, swag, swag. Yes, yes, yes.
  • I'll finally be able to mark "half marathon" off of my bucket list.
  • Carb loading. I get to do this right? It sounds amazing.
  • It's in November - the weather will be PERFECT!
  • There is FREE BEER afterwards. BOOM! Done.
Things I'm nervous about for this half marathon:
  • Having the endurance and agility to be able to run the whole thing.
  • Having a long enough playlist to listen to. (RUNNING PLAYLIST RECOMMENDATIONS, ANYONE?)
  • Being able to stay consistent with training despite my constant travel with work.
  • Not psyching myself out as the race gets closer (I always do this).
So here goes nothing - I've already spent $70 on registration so there's NO turning back now! I'm excited to kick this things ass and prove to myself that I can do this.

Oh yeah - and see Sam run is doing it with me, too! 
(Although I'm not positive that she's aware just yet...)

Any advice for a first time half marathoner? Come on people, I need guidance!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Today's Run in the Sun

I know I've already posted today and I'm being an overachiever over here going for two in a day but it just couldn't wait.

I'm finally back to my normal running pace!

I decided to venture out for a run this evening, thinking (like the non-Oklahoman I am) that 5 pm means evening. Well let me share the lesson I learned today - 5:00 pm is the HOTTEST time of day in good ol' Oklahoma. 

I seriously think it's colder in Hell.
96 degrees, sun blasting on my back, no shade (actually in between a baseball field and a wheat field), wind for days (and I ran against it for more than half of the run). 

It wasn't very fun to say the least.

But something magical happened. Remember how I told you about my recent curse of the 12 minute mile? Well it might be over... but I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch.

Booyah, 12 minute mile!

Awww snap! That's right. Miss ten and a half is back in the game! (At least for today). And what's even crazier is this was my overall average. The first mile I ran was like 9:59 (we won't talk about the second one but that might have been 11:00.

Actually a reader left a comment on the 12 minute mile post about cross training and I have to say, I think she's right. I've been doing a lot of boot camp and other workout DVD's at work and I think the leg strength training is really helping!

But please know that while this was my fastest run in a while, this was definitely not the longest. And I can thank the blazing sun for that. Remember all the junk I said about the heat in North Carolina? Yeah, I take that back. That ain't nothin' compared to this jazz!

So lesson learned. Tomorrow I'm either running at 5:00 AM or 8:00 PM. But damn, I'm going to try to stay fast.

How do you beat the heat on a summer run?
I need some tips, people!

Staying Healthy on the Road

My life has been upside down and inside out since the last time we talked. My lovely month of dog-cuddling, concert spectating, and awkward sunburn acquisition are over. 

I've been in Oklahoma since last Tuesday, well kind of. 

I got sent back to Wyoming to get my car (which has been at the airport since March 31st) last Friday and had to drive back to be in OK by Sunday. So 13 hours on the road and I'm back to talk about it! 

Probably the biggest lesson I've learned this weekend is how hard being healthy on the road is.

I seriously miss Wyoming so much already.
I tried taking pictures of all of the states I went through,
but CO and WY were the only two with obvious signage.
Problems with being healthy on the road:
  • There is little to no movement, nevermind any attempt for exercise. I literally sat, and sat, and sat. The biggest exercise I got was running into a rest area to pee. (Although I did make myself do 50 burpees Sunday morning before I could check out of my hotel room.)
  • It is TOUGH to find healthy food on the road. I'm sure if you're driving through more civilized areas, you can come across some healthy options... but this drive took me straight through the middle of Kansas. And do you know what exists out in the middle of Kansas? Barely anything except for anti-abortion roadside signs (I counted around 18). My options for lunch at a popular stopping exit were: KFC, Arby's (which I had already had that morning for breakfast) and IHOP. So IHOP it was. And I definitely dove all in to the world of sinful eating with chocolate chip banana french toast. Yeah, I know.
  • Well actually, those are the only two reasons. But let me tell ya'll - my Healthy Inner Self must have been taking a nap in the backseat of my car the entire time, because she would have NOT been cool with the shit I was eating.
But I'm here in rural Oklahoma. Road trip is over and there is work to be done. And I'm really bummed not to be in Wyoming anymore. I had a good thing going there.

  • I had an awesome hairdresser who could make my hair the fakest prettiest blonde you ever did see.
  • I knew everyone who worked at the grocery store and restaurants and most of the bars.
  • I had a gym that I loved! I knew how all of the machines worked. I knew what time was the busiest time to avoid.
But, my employer has moved me and I have no choice. So Oklahoma it is! Yesterday when I got here, I spent some time scoping out the town for running trails and/or gyms. I think I found both. But damn it is hot in Oklahoma! And super buggy!

It's moments like these that remind me that being healthy and fit isn't always the easiest option but it is definitely do-able. If I would have planned better, I would have had healthy food in my car to eat on the road. (But damn that french toast was delicious.) And now that I'm in a new state and town and environment, I've got to start fresh with my routine. But I'll make it happen.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite Flo Rida quotes:

"Giving up's not an option, gotta get it in."

Happy Monday, folks.

How do you stay healthy when you're out of your comfort zone?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Awesome Weekend and Finish Line Drama

Ya'll, this weekend was so much fun. I hope you can say the same about yours.

Let's see: 

  • Friday night I checked out some live music on the beach with my dog and a beautiful sunset.
  • Saturday morning, I went to a local Blueberry Festival and helped out my friend E at a booth for the non-profit organization that she works for. There was a 5k that morning that I was too late to sign up for, but I definitely awkwardly and jealous-ly hung around the finish line for around 30 minutes watching people complete their races. Because every race I've ever been to I've run in, I never get to really soak up the awesome mojo that brews around this spot and as much as I wanted to be crossing that line with them, I really enjoyed the energy and excitement. Running races is so much fun but is also really challenging for a lot of people, especially in the hot ass North Carolina sun. But seeing the look of accomplishment these people had knowing what they had just completed gave me such a great feeling. Oh yeah, except there was a LITTLE bit of drama on the line.
    • A lady had an asthma attack and got hauled off in an ambulance. I felt so horrible for her. You know the lady had to be feeling TERRIBLE and a there's nothing worse than having a medical emergency a midst a huge group of southern people. I truly love southern folks but when something bad is going on, they crowd around and FREAK out. But the paramedics beat the crowd away and got her stabilized and all is well.
    • I cannot make this one up: while the paramedics were getting this lady placed on a stretcher and everyone and their mother were crowding around them trying to figure out what was happening, this man crossed the finish line with his child in a jogging stroller. Like most finish lines, this one had one of those plastic humps that hides electrical lines directly underneath it and when this man crossed, the stroller hit the hump so hard that the wheel broke off of the front and the child went flying out. Oh yeah, that definitely happened. And that kid was hardcore about it. He didn't scream or cry; he rolled over, got up, and started laughing. There are some major life lessons that we can learn from that kid!
  • Saturday afternoon was spent eating Thai-inspired gourmet pizza, drinking delicious beer, and catching up with E. And then a small dance party to Taylor Swift 22 might have occurred in my living room.. but I can't be sure.
  • That night, we headed down to Greenfield Lake (which is one of the most magical places in Wilmington) to check out Shakespeare on the Green's production of Measure for Measure. Um, this whole show was awesome. First of all, there is no admission, just donation. Second, you can bring your own refreshments (read: booze and snacks). I absolutely loved the atmosphere (minus all of the freaking mosquitos) and company but c'mon, Shakespeare gets kind of boring in the second act... so I was kind of yawn central at the end.
  • Yesterday was so easy and homely. I walked the dog, drank too much coffee, got some stuff done for work, and watched some Desperate Housewives on Netflix.
Oh yeah, and my Brady Bands arrived on Friday. Top to bottom: Color Me Chevron in Black, Don't be Coy, and To Dye For. They make skinny bands, too, and I have a few of them but I'm kind of in love with these thick ones.
After Saturday's post, I feel bad writing about how lazy and awesome life has been for me, especially knowing that see Sam run is getting life HANDED to her right now (and not on a silver platter). But my easy-go atmosphere is soon to be over, I'm heading back to work tomorrow morning... back to Oklahoma so let's all tell Mother Nature that this tornado shit needs to be over.

Shakespeare on the Green

Right now I'm working on a new post - a letter to my 20 year old self. And it's tough, ya'll. I have so much to say and so many things to remember. So that will come at some point, but go ahead and get your excited pants on!

Happy Monday everyone. 

Don't forget to tell people how much you love them; life has a way of being extremely short sometimes.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

see Sam run Saturdays: Bitch Mode: ON

I know I've been absent on Here Comes Healthy Little Me for a few Saturdays, I do apologize and I'll tell you why I've been MIA...

My life is bat shit crazy right now.

I am a grad student. That should be explanation enough, but allow me to elaborate.

This summer marks the third summer I've lived in North Carolina. I came here for the sole purpose of obtaining a Master's degree in science, specifically in the field of geology (specifically, specifically in the sub-field of invertebrate paleontology). It's suppose to take two years, but a variety of things have happened and, let's face it, I'm not deeply passionate about my research (my true love is for the world of vertebrates), so it has taken a bit longer than usual to grind out a thesis. I am suppose to defend said thesis at the end of July.

 How much have I gotten completed?

I'd say a solid 50% and I may be exaggerating a tad.

Also, since I don't get paid in the summer for being a teaching assistant at the local university, I needed to acquire a job - because I like to eat and have running water. I was encouraged to apply for a position as an instructor at the university's prestigious  marine oriented summer camp (attended primarily by children of the area's nerdy, wealthy, white well-to-do's). I SEVERELY underestimated the work, time and professionalism/seriousness this camp expects from its employees. Every staff member is at the tip-top of their field, they all have significant research experience, have studied abroad, and in every way make you feel like you're dragging your knuckles on the ground and grunting to communicate. This is no regular summer camp, people. (It has it's perks like kayaking, snorkeling, being out on a research vessel, shark dissecting etc...)

 Anyway, it has required training for the past week from 9:00am to 4:30pm (out in the sun) and oh, did I mention in order to be employed you must be Lifeguard certified (I guess people don't want their kids to drown-pshh)? And so lifeguard training is from 6:00pm until 9:00pm three days a week. For those three days out of the week I am home for literally 30-45 minutes and I fall into bed when I walk through the door that night so I can be semi awake by 6:30am the next morning to start it all over again.

On top of that our house is for rent and we have strange people ringing our doorbell and scheduling appointments to come view the house at all times of the day.

On top, TOP of that my husband is/has moved back to Georgia to attend grad school for himself (and has come home for the weekend before he's gone until I move out and I move in with yours truly, HealthyLittleMe, until the middle of August).

On top, top, TOP of that I have two dogs that need to be walked.

On top, top, top, TOP of that I have a cold (and my hair turned a beautiful shade of green from chlorine).

On top, top, top, top, TOP of that there's that pesky thesis to finish (I'll pay mediocre money for you to write it for me).

I know this is a fitness related blog and so here's how my diet and exercise routine looks at the moment:

Breakfast: 6:30am- toothpaste

Lunch: 12:00pm- sandwhiches, pizza, fruit cups or whatever camp decided to feed us that day for lunch.

Snack: 4:30pm- spoonful of peanut butter and/or cookies

Dinner: 9:30pm- Ramen noodles (chicken flavor)

Exercise: Moving equipment from storage to van, from van to classrooms; kayaking marsh/estuaries; swimming 300+ meters; learning water rescue skills and pulling people out of the YMCA pool and onto backboards; running to and from the car.

I also demolished an ENTIRE package of Chips Ahoy cookies in two days. By myself. It was the highlight of my week (other than hubby coming home, of course).

That's why I've been MIA for a bit. I apologize, readers. I hope to be able to contribute more substantial content in the near future, but until then, be prepared to to hear my whining, stories of unruly camp kids, and maybe the rare positive/motivated nugget thrown in here and there.

Happy Saturday. Make the most of it! (I'm going to spend the remaining hours with the hubs and my fur babies before all three disappear back to Georgia tomorrow.) August can't arrive soon enough!

PS- The heat index was 104 Thursday... WTF?!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Domestic Little Me

So, my 10k got cancelled. Womp womp.

And as nervous as I was about it, I'm actually really bummed that it's not happening. But there might be a 5k I can jump in that Saturday morning at a local Blueberry Festival so whatever. What's a girl to do?

Yesterday's dinner party-ish turned out great. My inner-feminist screams at me when I say this but, someone should seriously buy me a frilly apron because my domestic skills are on point. And by "on point", I mean I can successfully somewhat follow a recipe, mix wine and fruit together in a pitcher, and serve dinner on paper plates. But hey - still an improvement from my old self!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad - a nice, summery take on pasta salad.
(PS - don't drink a Big Gulp of coffee before snapping pictures or your shit will look shaky like this)

And my new favorite thing to make in the kitchen - SANGRIA! It's super easy to make and let's face it: you look classy as shit when you serve it to your guests.

Here's the Healthy Little Me Quick Guide to sangria. You will need:
  • Fruit - a lot of it and a lot of different kinds. You really can't go wrong here but I used lemons, orange, limes, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries. (Last time I threw in some peaches and kiwi - it's really whatever you have or want to use.)
  • Wine - You probably need two or three bottles of it. I usually use Cabernet Sauvignon but you could do a white sangria and use white wine, too. My trick is this: use one bottle of nice wine and one bottle of cheap wine (no one will ever notice and you won't go broke making it). Oak Creek $3 and some $7 wine from Chile I found at Trader Joe's. The cool thing about sangria is that it's easy to remake on the spot when your running out but still have thirsty mouths. Add another bottle of wine to the pitcher with some sparking water and BOOM! more for everyone.
  • Tonic water/Club Soda/Ginger Ale - but I actually use the sparking fruit flavored water because it has no calories and tastes better. I use the lemon/lime kind. Annnnd it's super cheap (I think I paid $0.60 for a liter).
  • Some people tell you to add Brandy and if you want to be an overachiever, go right ahead. To me, this is an extra step that involves me having to visit the liquor store and you honestly don't notice its absence so I never use it.
And BAM! Put it in the fridge for a few hours and you're golden!

Nice wine, cheap wine, and sparkling water.

I totally forgot to snap some photos of the kabobs but they were equally delicious. I did half chicken/half steak with red onions, red bell pepper, zucchini, and squash.

So yeah, I'm high-fiving myself for putting that little dinner together. It's definitely leaps and bounds from my old dinner parties of hotdogs and PBR.

What are some delicious summer recipes that you like to use?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Slow Poke - The Curse of the 12 Minute Mile

Lately my running has been, well, lacking. And I don't know what's up.

Since the 10k in April, I've maintained a constant running schedule with 2 to 4 mile runs. When scheduling permits (and it usually does), I've tried keeping with this around 4 times per week. And I'm definitely getting the mileage in - but I am getting slower! What?!

Yesterday I ran 3.71 miles and BARELY kept a 12 minute mile pace. During the weekend of running, I was kicking out a 10:30 (ish) mile. WHAT GIVES, BODY?

I've blamed it on more than one things:
  • heat
  • elevation (I travel a lot to different places)
  • hillyness of route
  • diet for that day
  • hydration
  • music
  • nail polish color (okay, now I'm kidding)
But no matter what I blame it on, non of these parameters are accountable for my running in general. So they can't really be fully blameable. (Yep, just made that word up - go with it).

I honestly think this is it: I am burnt out on running. I run ALL of the time (especially when I'm in North Carolina - and I've been here for almost a month). So here's my little experiment that I'm going to try: no more running until Saturday. I'm going to see if taking a few days off and just plain not running does anything to help. Why Saturday? I have a 10k on Saturday, that's why!

I'm actually more nervous about this 10k than the last one. Well - I am and I'm not. Since I've already ran a 10k and gotten the whole "first time" nerves out of the way, I'm not nervous about the race itself. But I am nervous about the actual running and getting a decent time part. I'm pretty sure I can run 6.2 miles without stopping (fingers crossed for no brutal cramps this time) but I'm not sure that I'll be able to get a decent or even better time than last time. Oh well! This is one of many races and I'm not going to psych myself out. 

Sometime's you've got to remember that running is just one easy concept:
putting one foot in front of the other

So these next few days will be kind of tough. Running isn't just exercise for me - it's therapy at this point. It's my me time. But I'm interested to see if this break is just what the doctor ordered...

Regardless, I still need exercise. I mean, it is bikini season and the fro-yo bar down the street needs a little counterbalance every day so I'm planning to kick it with some workout DVD's, a little bike riding, and dog walking (although my dog walks super slow so that's barely considered aerobic).

Tonight I'm having my friend E and her boyfriend over for a little dinner get together. I've really been stepping up my domestic skills in the last year and am excited to put my hostess pants on and entertain.

On the menu for tonight: sangria, chicken and beef kabobs, and a Mediterranean quinoa salad. If everything goes well, you can expect pictures and recipes on the blog tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Brady Bands and their awesome-ness

Gooooood morning! 

I don't know about you, but I've had a nice productive morning so far.
  • I woke up to the boyfriend complaining about cat puke in the kitchen
  • Cleaned up said cat puke (it is my cat)
  • Washed my hands (duh!)
  • Made a little iced coffee with yesterday's coffee leftovers
  • Made blueberry oatmeal
  • Watched a little Today Show
  • And then read something that made me cry my eyes out
Yeah, about that last one. One of my favorite bloggers had a guest post today from a chick named Amy who is also the creator of one of my new favorite finds, Brady Bands. Now I knew from purchasing these bands before that every purchase helps to fight childhood cancer but I didn't know exactly how close this cause was to Amy until I read this post

And now I want to buy every Brady Band she has. 

Butttttt let's be real - home girl has bills to pay. So I just bought another 4.

Brady Bands are these magical non-slip headbands that I wear when I work out. I have that annoying baby fine hair that never holds any cute hairstyles for long and whenever I wear those normal grocery store headbands, I am constantly readjusting them to keep them in place. Not these bad boys - no, no, no.

Brady Bands have this velvety material on the inside that seriously makes the band NOT MOVE. It's amazing.

The only downside to Brady Bands? They get stinky after a long run or a few workouts. But no biggie! I throw them in the washer with my clothes and BOOM! they're back in action.

I just bought 4 this morning. It was a remarkably good deal too because she has a coupon code right now for $1 off each headband for every purchase of 4 or more so I got all 4 for around $22. And this time I got some cute ones! Stay tuned for pictures when I receive them later this week (the shipping is pretty quick, holla!).

*Disclaimer: I was not in any way paid to review Brady Bands. And I paid for everyone of them at full price. Hell - this lady doesn't even know that I'm talking about her today... this is my own personal stream of consciousness. 

What are you going to do to make your Tuesday awesome?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Boobless and Twitter - but not together.

First things first. I got a Twitter account.

I am so 2006 over here. Until yesterday, I felt pretty confident in my social media expertise. Annnnd then I got on Twitter and suddenly felt like a 100 year old woman trying to figure out e-mail. And then I saw something about some crap called Keek? And SnapChat? I can't handle all of this junk... I'll get the hang of it, I guess.

Wanna follow me? Of course you do. I'm too mentally slow to figure out how to add the Twitter button to my blog (SOMEONE HELP ME!) but my handle is @HealthLittleMe so jump on it!

Today I'm going to speak on behalf of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. Remember that time see Sam run complained about her big boob greatness? Yeah, well I'm here to tell you that this grass is always greener on the other side. 

The one problem with me losing around 20 pounds? 
My small boobs have become even SMALLER. 

I'm saying these bad boys are INVERTED. And all of a sudden, I've started to develop a small boob complex about myself. I yearn to be able to walk around without a bra on and not get mistaken for a 10 year old boy. I'd love to be able to have actual cleavage; I'd kill for some side boob action in a tank top. Jesus all I want is a true A cup - is that too much to ask?!?

The other day I was in Victoria's Secret doing my usual panty shopping when an all too enthusiastic salesgirl approached me to ask if I'd been measured lately. Me, in all my flatchested-ness (which was even worse at that moment because I was wearing a sportsbra) all but fell to her feet sobbing. Help me! I wanted to cry. This was definitely a rare moment for me because I'm too much of a cheapskate to ever speak to anyone in a sales position; I know they want to sell me their most expensive shit they've got. But at this particular moment, I was ready to drop some cash on my lack of a rack. $50 is cheaper than a boob job, right? And this whole no boob thing is started to seriously eff with my confidence. 

30 minutes and 5 bras later, and I proudly marched out of that store with a Bombshell push-up in hand. That bad boy adds 2 cup sizes and makes me look like I have a legitimate pair of knockers. Crisis averted and boob job plans delayed.

Don't get me wrong - I actually like having little boobs. But there's a difference in LITTLE boobs and NO boobs. 

Being Positive Polly, I tried to convince myself that being flatchested is cool.

I mean, I can and have gone for a run before with no bra on. And didn't even notice the difference. (see Sam run is shaking her fists at me right now, I know it.)

I can also do the downward dog in Yoga without motorboating myself. (I went to Yoga once with a BIG busted friend and she was having a time!)

I can rock those little strapless bikinis on the beach. 

I can wear something backless and go sans bra.

I'm not saying being flatchested doesn't have its perks - see what I did there? I'm just saying when I'm wearing regular clothes I feel a little... without.

All of my flat chested women - what tricks do you use to make your boobs look bigger?

Happy Thursday, people. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Short Spandex and my Love/Hate relationship

So I finally cashed in a gift card for Dick's Sporting Goods that I received for my birthday. I'm honestly way too cheap to shop in that store but nothing helps you break out of your skin like spending someone else's money. 

And the verdict is: I love that place. All of the cute running clothes? I wanted to dive in head first and never leave. I can't tell you how hard it was to stay within my gift card amount, actually I may have gone a teensy weensy bit over but whatever.

I told y'all the other day how hot the summer is in North Carolina. Given my recent struggles to beat the heat, I decided to take a plunge and buy something very new to me.

I bought compression shorts.

It wasn't easy. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that there are currently around 50 different types of compression shorts sold at Dick's. And man some of those things are TINY! I mean they look like underwear. I chose something kind of in the middle - not too too short but still short (the long ones I tried on did absolutely nothing for my short thick legs). And as much as I want to be, I'm not in love with them.

I made the boyfriend snap this picture yesterday after my run. I told him to, "try to get the most flattering picture you can," and this is what I got.
The Pros:

  • These are made by Under Armor and the fabric is AMAZING! I know my butt was super sweaty after yesterday's morning run but touching the fabric, you couldn't tell. 
  • They definitely beat the heat - when I do need to run in the hot-ass afternoon sun, I'll definitely be rocking with these.
The Cons:
  • They definitely ride up when I run. I literally felt like I was running in my underwear yesterday - which I guess I'm cool with but I should probably pay attention to the area of town I'm in when I'm wearing these.
  • I feel SUPER self-conscious in them. Y'all I am PROUD of my legs and what they are able to do. I've put some SERIOUS mileage on these gams since the beginning of the year and I really do think they are looking better and better (I'm rocking skinny jeans on the REGULAR for Pete's sake). But I'm not 100% comfortable in these things - there is something about a pair of tight spandex shorts that makes even skinny girls feel a tad insecure. 
But hey! I ripped the tags off of them and threw away the receipt so they are HERE TO STAY! I'll warm up to them eventually.. right?

Speaking of my legs and the badass things they are capable of doing, I signed up for another race yesterday. Yep, I'll be running a 10k next Saturday for a Father's Day themed run. Y'all know I'm a sucker for a good race t-shirt (although see Sam run thinks I have a hidden shrine somewhere because I never wear them) and because it's the Dash for Dad, they are printing mi padre's name on the back of my t-shirt! 

HAPPY HUMP DAY, everyone. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Haters gon' hate.

Okay - first thing first. 

I've jumped on the wagon with see Sam run and I'm here to tell you that the 30 day squat challenge sucks. 

It doesn't suck at first. That first day seems pretty easy. And so does the second day. And then you wake up on day 3 and have no clue why it hurts to walk up stairs. And then you get to day 4 and PRAISE HIM for the word "rest". Annnnd that's where I'm at right now.

But today's post isn't about the squat challenge - it's about something else. The summer. And, here comes the shocker, WHY I HATE THE SUMMER IN NC.

If you're from a humid hot place, I don't need to spell it out for you.

But if you're not, let me tell y'all this: summertime in North Carolina is MISERABLE for running, and walking, and drinking... okay I'm just being dramatic with the whole drinking thing but whatevs. 

I dropped the boyfriend off at his summer class the other day (10 AM - 12 PM) and decided to go for a little run around the campus while I waited on him. Let's just say I'm about to barf even thinking of it now. 85 degrees and as humid as a steam room filled with hot baking grease. The shade was farce and the sun was hot. I tried my best to keep my mind off of it - but it's hard to ignore the blend of sweat and last night's mascara as it slowly drips into your eyeball while you're trying to ignore the heat and listen to some Flo Rida. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Just yesterday I tried walking the dog 5 BLOCKS to the nearest crack, uhhh, coffee shop at like 9 AM. Annnnd once we returned, she laid on the cold hardwood floor in the dining room covered in wet wash clothes and in front of a box fan for like three hours. Shit is real, y'all.

So for the next few months, I will be running, walking, and doing all other outdoor activities at the ass crack of dawn or in the evening (and let's be real - it will definitely be evening).

What else do I hate about summer?
-sand spurs
-high ass electricity bills
-falling asleep on the beach and getting sand in my mouth (yes, really)
-flea season (hello big white dog in my house!)
-peeling skin after the aforementioned sunburn
-frizzy hair (thanks, humidity!)
-pit stains (there - I said it)
-beach traffic
-overload of tourists

Annnnd I think that's it.

I want you to know that I realize what a bitch I sound like right now. Everyone's all counting down to summer all year and here I am Ebeneezer Scrooging it for everyone. And honestly, summer is wonderful... but it's so DAMN hot.

This reminds me of a 5K I ran last year.

It was right at the end of June on a Saturday morning around 9 am. It was called the Run for the Red and was an effort for our community to raise money for the local Red Cross. Cute, right? Except it wasn't. It was 95 degrees before the humidity was factored in and the route had literally ONE TREE for shade. All I'm saying is this: it's a good thing the Red Cross was there because I thought I was going to die. And I was having a worse time than others because of see Sam run. That's right. Not only was she sitting this race out but she decided the night before to go bar hopping and force me to drink red bull and vodka with her all night. I'm pretty sure the only thing keeping me going during that race was the motive to murder her immediately afterwards. (wait - did I just say that out loud? hehe)

And speaking of good ol' see Sam run, did y'all miss her or what on Saturday?

Uhhh she's kidding, right?


See y'all tomorrow. We'll talk about compression shorts and why I love/hate them.