2 Challenges – Week 1 Recap and Ice Golf!!

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Heeeey how you doin?  I am currently sitting in my jammies in front of my fire place on a freezing Minnesota day, but I have nothing to do today, so I can totally get away with it!

This week I started two “challenges” for myself ‘this month that have been actually sort of difficult!  One was centered around my finances, and one was centered around my eating/exercise habits.  So let’s recap!
Financial
My last post about money explained that I need to put myself (and stick to) a budget, now that my roommate it no longer living here and therefore not paying me rent.  I did the adult thing and figured out what I have left over after paying bills and putting 10% of my pay in to savings.  (Is it weird that I got that savings thing from friends? In the one with the prom video, Mr. Gellar tells the Monica and Ross to put 10% of their pay into the bank, yea, Mr. Gellar was smart)

What I figured out is that I have just about $75 per week to spend on…well…life – gas, groceries, eating out, you know, all that stuff.  Well let me tell you what kidlets, $75 doesn’t get you too far.  At all.  Let me show you how my week went this week:
Sunday post church brunch with Angie and Brady at The Lowbrow(WILL go back) :$11.97
Groceries: $43.45
Gas: $61.08
Doing a little quick math you can see, I exceeded by $75/ week budget by $41.45.  Dang it!  So that takes me to this week only having $33.55 to spend on my groceries this week.  I *hope* I can get through this week with out getting gas.  I just have to get to Friday, and I’m in the clear, because Saturday I leave for Mexico!!

So that’s how I did this week with my finances.  I spent too much, but I only bought the necessities, aside from the brunch.  But a girl’s gotta have some girl time right?  Also, two wins that I had (while I wrap this up): Friday night after volleyball we go out to a restaurant/bar most weeks and I *try* to not order anything to save my pennies.  This Friday I succeeded!  I love hanging out, but I hate paying the bill.  Win.   My second win happened last night.  My friend had a birthday celebration and we all (her family and friends) went to play ice golf.  I clearly didn’t have the $20 to pay to play, but I did have some gift cards, that I wouldn’t use, so i traded my sister them for $25, and I magically had money to play ice golf!  After ice golfing all day we went out to eat.  I kind of had to go because I was riding along, but I didn’t eat, and instead snuck out after to run home and eat my own food and then headed back to the party.  There you have it, over budget for the week, but I spent much less, than I could have spent!
Do you have any penny pinching tips for me?  I need to work on my coupon clipping! Do you use coupons?

To break up the word-y-ness of the uber long post…Here are a few pictures from my first ice golf adventures!

20140208_121302 20140208_134823 20140208_134831 20140208_173605 (1)20140208_155238 

Eating/Exercise:
Last Saturday I started the 10 day Advocare Cleanse.  Which before you groan, and eye roll, it’s not one of those cleanses where you drink only water or something disgusting.  This is one where you eat whole, non processed, good for you foods.  No alcohol, no dairy, no bread-ish stuff, and you are supposed to drink about 100oz of water a day (which you should do anyway, or 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water per day).  You have a fiber drink and pro-biotic pills, and herbal cleanse pills you take through out the 10 days.  It’s part of the 24 day challenge, but I only did the 10 day cleanse part, well, because it was about a third of the price!  It wasn’t too hard this week to stick to my plan, until yesterday. The ice golf (read: not eating from about 9am until about 4pm) threw me off.  When we finished and I got a hamburger at the food stand, I was so hungry and excited to eat, I nearly choked on the damn thing!  by the time i got back to the party after going home and eating my own food, the rice crispy treats they made were calling my name….and I may have had a few and some ranch crackers.  Damn.  Today i feel like a puffer fish in my face after being good all day.  Man sodium really does a number on me.

Thanks to my 9th grade English teacher who told me on Monday after Easter Sunday, that I looked like I got punched in the eyes (because I was puffy from the Easter ham, ect. the prior day) I am hyper-sensitive about being puffy.

On to the exercise side of things:  I made it to the gym or was playing volleyball 4 days out of the last 7.  That’s pretty decent.  I have told my running buddies Jeff and Stacey my plan and they have been awesome in motivating me and being my gym buddies!  We are trying out new classes and we are all doing the 90 day challenge at the gym too! Which brings me to…dun dun duuuuun….the weigh in! Yesterday before the Ice golf I headed over to the gym to get weighed in for the 90 Day Challenge.  I got my weight and body fat measurements taken for the start and then I think once a month I’ll go back to get checked again, until the final weigh in!  Win of the day:  the machine said that my body fat was down 10-12%% from the time that I got tested about 5 months ago when I was taking the team fitness classes!

Viva Mexico!

Tags

, , , , ,

One of my very close friends from college got married recently and invited me to her wedding.  I was one a a few select few on the invite list who could actually go.  You see, this wasn’t just any old wedding/reception, this wedding was in Cancun! (woop!) 

I ended up having a sorority sister as my date for the 4 or so days I was down there.  We stayed at a really nice all inclusive resort in Riviera Maya.  There was a group of roughly 25 of us there, I think.  Between her family and his family and us college Sorority/fraternity people, I lost track. 

Any hooters, it was a good mix of people and lots of fun and Margarita’s during the rainy evenings and days.  I am sorry we didn’t have nicer weather. 

But don’t you worry, I made a beeline for the volleyball court every chance I could, but sometimes the Canadian boys wouldn’t be soo keen on me playing with them, until i proved myself that is…

The day we got there was rainy, but sort of warm.  The next day was warm and sunny perfect! until the early evening when the clouds came in and my friends’ wedding had to be moved off of the beach to a sheltered area!  The next day was cloudy, but dry (during the day), and our final full day was cold and windy and rainy.  It was wind of a bummer to pay all that money to go to this fancy place on a beach and not have great weather!

So that is the re-cap my very first Mexican vacation and here are a few pictures to be jealous of!

 20140104_110026 20140104_151940 20140104_15195220140104_162341  20140104_163533 20140105_080458 20140105_161416 20140105_161427 20140105_161807 20140105_161915 20140105_162404 20140105_175458 20140105_175528 20140105_202625 20140107_16112320140105_232544 20140106_100007 20140106_100013 20140106_100017 20140106_100022 20140106_132120 20140106_132312  20140107_215052 20140107_215240 20140107_222533 20140107_222725 20140107_222733 20140107_222742 20140107_222753 20140107_222755 20140107_222757 20140107_223114

Dolla Dolla Bills Ya’ll

Tags

, ,

So its almost the end of the month…you know what that means! Bills bills bills!  Going all sorts of old school with the tunage today so bear with me

 

A long time ago,  I did my adult duties and figured out a budget that I should be sticking to for my spending. I don’t take into account my rental income as that is not steady (the roommate moves out this weekend and I try to put most of that into savings each month) or the money I make from my second job at the gym (the schedule is never consistent).  So I factor in all of the things that I know, all my recurring expenses, all of which are the same each month (woo! Neerdy accountant alert!) Water/electric, gas, mortgage, HOA dues, tv/internet, car payment, gym dues(free bc I work there!), phone bill and student loan payment. And the balance of my paychecks that I have left at the end of the month (after putting 10% of each check to savings) is $300.

**pat myself on the back moment: I carry no credit card debt!**

At first when I was starting to really be a responsible adult I thought, well maybe I can go on $100/week. That’s ok…then a few weeks when buy and it was hard, man!  So here’s the new plan, $300/month, aka: that’s $75 a week peeps! That’s really not a lot especially with insane gas prices and the hundreds(sometimes) of miles I drive each week!

Side story- I went to church with Angie a few weeks ago and there was a story about a couple who got out of debt by, among other things, setting a budget and going to a cash only system.  It got my wheels turning. I could do that. So this is what I am going to do.  I don’t necessarily have to get out of debt, but I need to stay out of debt.  And jus learn to live within my means.

So this Saturday, for the month of February I am going to take out my $300 put $75 in each of 4 envelopes and that what I get for the month. This is not for my bills, but for my spending money I.E. gas, groceries, eating out ect. I think it will be real tough. I know it will be really nice to not have a credit card bill for 4 weeks!

 I just love this song…and it reminds me of Jamaica! dolla dolla dolla!

I have downloaded the “simple spending tracker” app on my phone and go through spurts of tracking. But I will track everything come February 1st!
Some things I have coming up this month is my trip to CANCUN (already paid for)!! So that will be a week of no driving my car, but $50 in baggage fees at the airport. Boo. Why baggage fees?! Dumb.  Before I leave for Mexico I want to take my oldest nephew out to see the Lego movie (he loves Legos!) for his birthday since I’ll be missing his 6th party. Hopefully that shouldn’t be too big of a hit if we catch a matinée and I sneak in some snacks!

 

I am counting down the days until my car is paid off in 2016 and my student loan is paid off in 2017.  That is a lot of days!

Til then, do you have penny pinching tip and tricks for me?!

Manic Monday – Boiling point

Tags

,

It has just been one of those days.  One of those days that from the time I opened my eyes in the morning, has been distracted, drama filled, and just emotionally exhausting.  I won’t go into everything that has put me into such a crying my desk/emotionally exhausted/barely got two things done at work today/can’t concentrate on anything at all kind of a mood.  But here I am in a funk and really truly pissed off as just about everything including myself for being so worked up.

Today was a day where it seemed that everyone I encountered needed or wanted something from me.  Some of which is expected i.e. @ work.  But then comes my extra curricular activies, which I had hoped I put to rest with a few emails earl-ish in the morning.  But then it continued to consume me.  I got so angry.  Then that fed into other rage filled topics that I try to keep compartmentalized (to avoid this), but they all added to the pot that was my head today and boiled over, pretty much all day. 

boiling_up_life

So that was me today, drama in the morning before/right when I got to work (I am really a no drama person, I lead a very boring life, promise).  I thought my head was going to blow.  There were a few tears. Quit wanting things from me, people. ok!? ok.

My head jumped from the original focus of the morning (not work) to a family vacation we have planned, that I am VERY anxious about due to a volatile relationship I have with a family member (I have to spend a week in a house with this person).  Crap the last time I spent part of a week in a hotel with this person I had a total breakdown (it was epically horrific).  Crap how am I going to help pay for this vacation with the fam, I have no money, my second job cut ALL of my hours for the month of Feb, and my roommate is moving out in a week, so I owe her back a security deposit.  Crap I probably shouldn’t start trying to pay for personal training right now, since I have no dollars.  Crap I probably should not go up to Duluth for the Grandma’s half marathon in June so that I can save that money.  Oh crap, how am I going to get my self to run or work out if I don’t have a trainer OR at least something to train for?!  CRAP

It got me.  It all got me so worked up.  And why?  I don’t know.

How do you not let one thing feed into another, and another, and another until you are nothing more than a blob in the corner?

How do you compartmentalize?  I suck at it, today anyway.

Finding the words

Tags

,

It’s been nearly a month, 4 weeks, 30 days since I completed my second full marathon.  I’ve started to put the words together to share with you all, but they just aren’t coming.  I’m working at it, when I have the time.  It’ll be a big post…pictures and stories and such of my adventures in Chicago. 

Just thought I’d let ya’ll know, between two jobs, 3 volleyball leagues, and attempting to get back to a regular fitness and running routine, finding the words to convey the one million feelings I had during the Chicago marathon is not coming easily!

Orange is my color – Tough Mudder Minnesota

Tags

, , ,

 

Last year a bus full of my fellow gym members loaded up a coach bus to head just over the boarder into Wisconsin to join a bajillion crazy people for the Tough Mudder!

I thought that they were all crazy and total maniacs!  I at the time I didn’t see myself doing something like that, EVER.  After some running buddy peer pressure I signed up!

Last Saturday was the day!! Somerset Wisconsin 10-ish miles and 18 obstacles later I earned my orange headband!

IMG_20130719_183205 IMG_20130720_134112 IMG_20130720_135905_101

Let’s talk obstacles shall we?  There were 18 total, if I remember correctly.  We had an obstacle even before we crossed the start line!  We all had to get over a 6 foot wall to get into the coral and get pumped up!

 

 IMG_20130720_162927 IMG_20130720_184610_980

I was SO Hungry! I was a member of the clean plate club for sure! Even had some DELICIOUS cake.  It’s cool, I earned it!IMG_20130720_222048_584

My friends at the wedding knew that I was doing the tough mudder in the morning and I brougt my headband with to show off during the dance!  I got some strange looks but my friends knew and were proud! :)IMG_20130720_222114_967

A day later my legs looked better than the felt after I got home yesterday! + my delayed ( because I don’t drink and drive, and there was free wine at the wedding DUH!) celebratory drink post-mudder.

IMG_20130721_121951_090 IMG_20130721_134313

Last night my friend Dawn ask me if I thought I’d want to do the tough mudder next year, I responded with “ask me tomorrow”.  It was fun, it was hard, and it was exciting to complete!  I just wasn’t sure. 

 

(Edited Note: Don’t ask me why this was sitting in my drafts for 2 months.  The tough mudder MN was the weeeknd of July 22, and I am just posting now!? Don’t ask why!!)

@Hansonmusic is still around!! (And really good!)

Tags

, ,

My friends Anna and Angie are big fans of Hason, yes the boys who brought you Mmmbop.  Well I was a fan back 15 years ago, but never really knew they were still making music UNTIL the Minnesota State Fair this year.  The boys played two night at the Leinie’s State (free!!) so we all check out the show and it was so good! I had no idea they were still around, or so good!  We stayed after to see if we could spot the boys and we MET Zac!  We were total fan girls, and I am ok with it!  #bestnight!

Oh yea, I have my two favorite songs, which you must check out!

IMG_20130826_193813_560 IMG_20130826_210440_924 IMG_20130826_222731_534 IMG_20130826_223147_089 IMG_20130826_223741_195 IMG952631

Runnin through the summer- Women Rock Half Marathon Recap

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

 

(Edited: I wrote this post the day of the race, labor day, but posted much later…I’m a bad blogger! )

As I just wrote the title for this blog post I realized that a goal that I had for the summer. a plan that started off well, then life happened and my dedication waivered and my 1 mile per day through the summer or #amyrunsthesummer plan fell apart at the seams.  But I don’t need to focus on that right now because there were so many good things about this summer other than that one thing.

I am still training for the Chicago Marathon that is coming up in just about 6 weeks!  I still can’t believe it!  I went to Colorado and ran there, and hiked a 14er with Heidi and did all sorts of running as well as getting a new to me bike to start riding and eventually start training for a sprint triathalon next summer!

But I digress, this post is not about my summer re-cap or failures or sucesses of the summer, but rather about my last weekend of the summer.  This last weekend of the summer I spend running it out. Just like I did last summer.  On Saturday I completed the Women Rock Half Marathon for the second year. 

I kept thinking of this race as another training run in my marathon training for a few reasons – one because it was hot, I mean HOT leading up to the race day, like nearly 90 degrees, sunny and so humid, and two because while I really wanted to PR (this race is my current PR), I knew I should listen to my body and not to anything too crazy.  Well I didn’t Pr, so there goes that spoiler.

IMG_20130830_160359_826 IMG_20130830_160411_568

I bought a fuel belt for the first time and tried that out for the run.  It went pretty well once I finally adjusted it up to my natural waist, and cinched it up.  In the first 100 yards, one of my bottles fell out. Thankfully I got it back.  through out the race my glasses fell off my head, my headband slipped off any my tank rode up under my fuel belt.  It wasn’t until about mile 6 when things finally settled down.  My two friends and I started off together, but split up along the way.  I eventually caught up with the one out ahead of my at about mile 8 or so and we pretty much finished the race together, her about a minute or so ahead.IMG_20130831_073531_872

Another new thing that I tried out for this race, because it was just a training run, was UCAN.  They started selling it at my gym a while ago and some of my fellow run-clubbers have talked about trying it and how good it worked for them, so I gave it and bought it too (thankfully at a discount since I am now a gym employee!).  At the suggestion of my running buddies I put a scoop in my shaker bottle and drank that just before I checked my bag, and also had one of my water bottles filled with a scoop+water for during the run.

Good news is that I had no tummy troubles, or any weird side effects from the UCAN before, during or after the run! Woo!  I realized at about mile 4 or so that I was not hydrated enough for the heat, humidity and hills of this particular day and course! I always aim for drinking 100oz of water a day, but Friday I just had other things on my mind at work, so unfortunately, I didn’t get in my 100oz.  In the morning I tried to make up for it on my way to the race, but I guess that just didn’t quite happen.

The bad news of the day came at about mile 10 when my friend Crystal and I cross what is the 10 miler finish line for another race that I have done before.  I told her, you know if they had a 10 milers today, we would be done right here.  That was of little comfort to either of us! ;)  We just had a little 5k left, and it was tough, over the river and over passes up hills and all in the sun.  To make matters worse for me was my TI band and or hip flexor was acting up.  I hadn’t had any real issues with either of those things in the last month, but that day they decided to show up again! I blame the hills. (Chicago is flat right!? I hope so!)  We had past the last aid tent, and next was the finish line my dang I hurt!  The pain was shooting from my hip and down through my knee something fierce!

Then about a quarter of a mile away was Angie, my cheering section for the day!  She ran in the last little bit with me and help me forget about the pain, which really, I don’t remember it hurting that much when I was running with her.  #thankfulforrunningbuddiesagain  We passed Crystal’s husband and kids who were beyond excited to see and cheer for me (they kiddos, not so much the husband ;)).

IMG_20130831_095402_651Finally came the finish! Nik was there again helping to pass out the post-race snacks and I got my new necklace by a “hot fireman” and then my favorite person (just some guy) was passing out iced down wet towels.  That was my favorite thing.  We sat and stretched a bit took our post race pictures and then headed over to the post race party for our free glass of bubbly (I had sprite) and enjoyed some live music by GB Leighton.  It was a much better post race party than last year!  The band is local but very popular around here.  We enjoyed some tunes in the sun and then shortly headed out.

   IMG_20130831_113011 IMG_20130831_134030

Thankfully my IT band wasn’t hurting nearly as much after we got back to the car because I had a 3.5 hour car trip up north a head of me!  I went up to stay with my sister a brother in-law at their camper up north for the long weekend. 

Of course about 1.5 hours into the trip I got hangry and wanted Arby’s (which I haven’t eaten in about 6 years).  I passed one and decided I would stop at the next one I saw.  Well little did I know they were few and far between once you got out of the metro!  Dang it!  I finally got about half way and settled on a Culvers, well, because they rock, and got a little snack pack lunch.  And low and behold about 45 minutes later TWO Arby’s about 15 mins apart from each other!  Oh my luck!

Well I made it up to the camper and spent some time on the beach with my sister and nephews before the storm hit that evening.

It was a long, but fun day and I have a feeling the rest of the weekend will follow suit!  Hopefully the sun will come out again soon!

IMG_20130901_101726_182 IMG_20130901_194448_870 - Copy IMG_20130902_121917

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 395 other followers