October Recap (It’s been HOW long since I posted???)

Five weeks.  Yep.  It’s true.  Five weeks since my last post.  Oopsie!

Clearly October was a very busy month for me.  It started with a family trip to Albuquerque and my birthday – woohoo!  Then I got sick – just some upper respiratory stuff.  Then my hubby and I took a mini-getaway to Texas.  Combine all this with the everyday hustle and bustle of life, and it didn’t leave much time for blogging.  Sorry for the hiatus.  Here are a few brief stories to get you caught up…

My family – including my family of four, my parents, my brother and his family of four – went to my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  Of course I’d been several times growing up in ABQ, but it remains one of the most amazing events I’ve ever been to.  My husband had been with me once before we had kids, and I took my oldest son when he was 18 months old.  It’d been eight long years since I’d seen those balloons in person.  And it was every bit as magical as I remembered.

Balloons1

Balloons2

We ate our way through Albuquerque, hitting all my old favorite restaurants along the way, but I didn’t gain any weight because we walked and walked and walked around the Balloon Fiesta Park.  We burned off every goodie we indulged in that weekend, including my favorite – sopapillas with honey.  Mmm-mmmm!

Before we could leave ABQ, I caught a cold that several of my family members ended up sharing and missed a couple of days of work the next week.  No exercise occurred.  Then the following weekend my husband and I escaped for a weekend getaway.  I bought him tickets to see Dana Carvey for Father’s Day, and it was finally time to redeem them!  We stayed in the upscale little town of Frisco, Texas, which we had visited last fall for a friend’s wedding.  Again, we ate our way through the town, but again, we walked off most of it in the fabulous Stonebriar Centre mall and a Premium Outlet mall we found nearby.  My favorite meal was at the Cheesecake Factory.  I had their popular Chicken Madeira and a piece of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.  Heaven.

Cheesecake Factory

The Monday following our trip, I finally got back on the exercise wagon.  I have only lost one pound during the month of October, but I’m okay with that considering all the activities and foods I enjoyed.  I’m back in the groove with my blog now, too, and I’m going to try my best to stick to my goals during the fast-approaching holiday season.  Halloween is Thursday – and that will provide me plenty of bite-sized temptations – then Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it!

Don’t be surprised to find a few more gaps in the blog as we enter the holiday season, but I’ll do my best not to have any more five-week lapses.  I’ve missed this!  Thanks for taking the time to catch up with me.  Goodnight, friends!

Candy Corn is Beckoning

Reese’s and Snickers and Twix!  Oh my!  Halloween candy is here!

Halloween candy

I went grocery shopping tonight, and I had to fight with every muscle in my body not to grab a bag of Candy Corn, my all-time favorite Halloween candy.  One thing I love about this time of year is the seasonal baking display that our Wal-Mart sets up every year.  It is stocked with cookie, cake, and pie-making goodness.  I did give in and grab a mix for pumpkin muffins…yum!  But I can use self-control eating muffins.  Not so much with Candy Corn.

One reason I’m glad I started my weight loss plan this summer is that I wanted to see some significant weight loss before the holidays.  I have lost 12 pounds so far – woot! woot! – and I do not want to see all that hard work undone during the holidays.  Thinking about those 12 pounds got me safely through the candy aisle today.  Phew!  And that is really amazing since I saw a big bag of the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s.

I am so excited that tomorrow is the first day of fall!  I am beyond ready for changing leaves, jackets, scarves, apple cider, pumpkins, mums, and all the cozy things that accompany the season.  Happy Fall, everyone!

Asics Gel-Nimbus 15 (aka: one-fourth of my paycheck)

New ShoesMeet my new running shoes – Asics Gel-Nimbus 15’s.  Aren’t they pretty?!?  At first I thought it sounded like something from Harry Potter, but they are indeed a magnificent pair of running shoes.  (And they should be for what I paid for them!)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been having some wicked shin splints (but more on the inside of my leg), and I knew that I needed proper running shoes.  I called my sister-in-law, a CrossFitter and a previous resident of Little Rock, and she suggested several specialty running stores in the area.  This past Sunday afternoon, I set out to find the perfect pair of running shoes for me.

Here’s what I learned at my first stop, Easy Runner in Little Rock:

  • I have a “neutral gait,” no special inserts or corrective shoes needed.
  • A good pair of running shoes should last 300-500 miles.
  • I have been neglecting stretching before I run (tsk, tsk, tsk) which could be one culprit of my shin splints.
  • I should be taking in electrolytes before, during, and/or after my run to help with muscle recovery.
  • Asics loves to make very loud shoes.  No dull, boring colors for them.
  • There are special compression socks for running.  They support your arch, have a seamless toe, and wick away moisture.
  • Running can easily become a very expensive habit.  There was all kinds of neat gear in there!

I tried on several pairs of shoes at Easy Runner, but didn’t find any winners.  I did buy some fizzy electrolyte/sodium tabs and a special hand-held water bottle for runners.  I moved on to Academy Sports in North Little Rock…no luck there, either.  Although I did get some running socks there.  My final stop was closer to home at Hibbett Sports in Searcy.  I had already tried on several pairs of shoes at Hibbett last week, but I wanted to look in Little Rock before making my decision.

A nice young man helped me narrow down my options until two pairs were left:  a pair of Brooks and a pair of Asics.  I loved both equally, but the Asics had more rugged soles.  Because all my running is on asphalt, I figured that more rugged was the way to go.  So I handed the young man one-fourth of my take-home pay to buy my first pair of running shoes.

New Shoes x 3I wore my shiny, new Asics Gel-Nimbus 15’s for the first time tonight for a run with a couple of friends from work.  Each of us has purchased new running shoes in the last month, so I had to snap a pic of our new kicks.  :)

My new shoes were a dream!  So springy and comfy.  I think I made a good choice.  Now I’m not only running to “get in the dress,” I’m running to get my money’s worth out of these shoes.  Ha!  I still have a lot to learn about running, but I’m ready to hit the pavement again.  And hopefully it will be less painful now.