December 29, 2008

FitPoint Assessment and New Shoes

Did my FitPoint Assessment at Lifetime today. Apparently my body age is 27! Cool! I wonder if I can start telling people I'm 27 when they ask my age??? I did great in the Cardio and Body Comp assessment. VO2 approx 46. That's supposed to be good, I'm told. Body fat 13% and BMI of 18.8%. My strength was above average, but not super, but where I really tanked was flexibility. It was rather embarassing. Sitting down with my legs straight out in front of me, I was supposed to reach as far forward as I could. Well, I made it less than 4 inches!! Ack! The trainer was shocked! He thinks I should do Yoga or Pilates. hahaha! Not in a million years. If he can find me a class that includes stretching and flexibility training without the mind, soul and spirit crap, then sign me up. Otherwise, I'm not interested. Anyway, overall, I did really well! He got me more interested in heart rate based training, but that would take a significant $$ investment in a monitor, so I'll have to start saving up!

Getting new running shoes is always exciting. I was so thrilled when I found Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7s on sale for 40% off. I'd run in the GTS 6 before and they were great. I tried on the 7s and they felt good running around the store (I got lots of funny looks - it wasn't a running store), so I picked them up. Gotta save money when you can, right? Well, I was sorely disappointed. Good thing I tried them out on the treadmill first. The left shoe felt great but my right foot was not comfortable at all. I had read reviews about the GTS 7 not living up to the previous model year, and I guess they were right. I should have listened to the Runner's World reviewers! ha! Anyway, I took my supposed money-saving shoes back and found some Brooks Infinitis at the local running specialty store. They have been awesome! Yay! The Infiniti is much more cushioned, especially in the forefoot, where I need it with just a touch of medial stability. Just perfect! I'm a happy runner again.

December 26, 2008

Paula the Fitness Freak

I probably overdid it a bit today, but I was having fun at Lifetime. I ran over 7 miles on the treadmill, then did some weight training, then did 12 min on the rowing machine, and finished with 20 min on the bike. Oh, then when I got home, I practiced some chin ups on our new chin-up bar that hooks onto a door frame ("as seen on TV", haha! - but it really works!). The chin-up bar was a mutual gift to each other for Christmas. We're loving it. I know, we're fitness freaks. We'll freely admit it. It's our own type of health insurance since we can't afford real health insurance (without completely changing our lifestyle, which I personally am not willing to do). I realized another reason I spent so much time at Lifetime today is that I'd have been home alone with no excuse not to clean otherwise. hehehe!

Since I posted recently on how spoiled I've been since joining Lifetime, I thought I'd post this quote from It makes sense and also makes me feel less guilty. After all, the weather really has been crappy the past week. Here it is,
"...there's a point where running outdoors in extremes is more about ego than wisdom, and the marathon gods don't care much about ego."
I bow to the marathon gods. I will choose wisdom over ego and run on a treadmill when the weather stinks!

Lastly, here's a photo of the super special gift I got Matty for Christmas. The one I have been teasing him about relentlessly. He is "giddy" about it (Matt-ism).

December 25, 2008

My Review of The North Face Cascade Full-Zip Hoodie - Women's

Originally submitted at REI

Keep comfortable in cool climates with this lightweight hooded top from The North Face.

Stylish, Practical Fleece with Many Uses

By lvt4cats from Rochester Hills, MI on 12/25/2008


4out of 5

Gift: No

Chest Size: Feels true to size

Sleeve Length: Feels true to length

Pros: Stylish, Warm, Dries Quickly, Lightweight, Breathable

Cons: No chin guard for zipper

Best Uses: Casual Wear, Travel, Running, Cold Weather, Hiking and Camping

Describe Yourself: Casual Adventurer

I run between 30-40 miles a week even in cold weather. This fleece is perfect as the outer layer on dry days when the temperature is between 20-40F. The hood fits perfectly even without drawcords, so I don't need to bring an extra hat. The inside pockets are nice and deep to make sure nothing bounces out of them. I also wear this fleece casually frequently. I just love it!


December 24, 2008


I'm already starting to feel spoiled. We've been twice to Lifetime Fitness now. I haven't run outside since I opened my gift (which, granted, was only two days ago and the weather has been crappy!). However, I would have run outside despite the weather if I didn't have the membership, so I am definitely getting soft! haha!

Today we did some strength training right after running. They sure have some nice equipment and it is laid out well. All the chest equipment is in one row, all the shoulder equipment in another and so on... Of course, they also have free weights, barbells, dumbbells, you name it. It was awesome.

All members get a free fitness assessment which they can periodically redo to see how they are progressing. It includes a health/fitness history, body composition, VO2 assessment, strength and flexibility assessment and I think a nutrition assessment as well. We made an appointment for our "Fitpoint" assessment for Monday. I'm actually looking forward to it. I know I'll rock the cardio fitness assessment considering my running training, but the rest of it may be eye-opening. We'll see!

December 23, 2008

Christmas Present Early!

Matty's been bugging me to open his gift to me early for the past week, so today I did. He got Lifetime Fitness memberships for the two of us! Cool! Now, Lifetime is one of those expensive, snooty gyms, but since the economy is in a downturn (to put it mildly) right now, they are bleeding members. The employees are always ordering pizzas from Matt's restaurant, so he's over there often delivering. When they offered a great deal for super cheap memberships, he jumped on it! We went for the first time today. Neat place! The only thing they are missing is an indoor track - we had to use treadmills. But that's better than nothing. And after my last run in the frigid temperatures and arctic winds, the treadmill was heavenly.

December 21, 2008

Tempered Obsession

That was beyond crazy. It was bordering on stupid. Ok, ok, it was flat out idiotic. Never, never, ever, never will I go running again in 14 degree weather with arctic winds blowing hard enough to nearly knock me over with snow drifts up to my knees. It was a good workout though. ha!

Kathy, if you read this, believe me, if you thought we were nuts for our "snowy run" a few weeks ago, this was MUCH crazier. Muchisimo estupido!!

After my wave of craziness passed, I spent the rest of the day hanging out with Matty at his pizzeria, drinking cokes and beers and eating subs and pasta... Mmmmm...

December 19, 2008

Snow and Cats

Well, today wasn't exactly condusive to a trip to the park for a running session because it snowed. Actually, it stormed. We got dumped on. Not quite a blizzard, but close. Soooo, I stayed home all day and cleaned. And it's about time. This dumpy place needed it and I've been lazy. I guess my butt needed a good snowstorm to get it in gear. Now the castle is clean! The cool part is, the President's Challenge has "household tasks" as an activity so I can get credit toward my silver award! ha! Hey, cleaning can be hard work! I even had to take two Aleve halfway through! I never need Aleve after running! So I must have been working muscles that needed working!

No news yet on the status of Wiggles's adoption. Think happy thoughts.

Just started reading about Dewey, the late, great library cat from Spencer, Iowa (Yay, Iowa!). I'm only a few chapters in but it's a very cute story! How come I had never heard of him??? I even lived in Iowa during 3 1/2 of his later years. Seems that Dewey was to rubber bands as Newton is to Q-Tips!! Obsessed cat!!

Speaking of Newton. He could have been a library cat too. See, he's literary! (Just don't point out to him that the book is upside down! Thanks.)

December 18, 2008

Wiggles Adopted?

Maybe! There is someone filling out an application to adopt him today!! This lady brings her cats to our clinic and I know she takes good care of her kitties. I hope it all works out! I'd miss the little bugger, but he is causing a lot of stress in the household due to his inability to get along with Belle.

This hat was on sale at PetSmart today and I couldn't resist. Isn't Newtie so cute!? He did not exactly appreciate the hat. I can't imagine why.

December 16, 2008

Viruses, Movies, X-mas Cards, oh my!!

I am NOT getting sick. Mind over virus!!! I do NOT have a sore throat!!!

We'll see if that works.

Saw The Day the Earth Stood Still today. It was okay, just like everyone kept saying. Not super, not bad, just okay. I like Keanu Reeves and Will Smith's kid is super cute. Plus I like watching most any movie involving lots of destruction and fire. hehe.

When we walked in the movie theater, it was perfectly dry outside. When we walked out, there were 2 inches of snow on the ground. The Cricket got us home safely!

Lindt chocolates are heavenly.

This is our Christmas card this year. It's the first time we've done a photo card. It was all Matt's idea and doing, though I heartily approved. It's hilarious. Don't miss Wiggles hanging up there in the top right corner!

Oh, and we did run today. I was lacking in energy so what was supposed to be a speed workout turned into an easy 6 miles. Oh well. Just hafta listen to my body sometimes. I suppose the little bugger virus that may (or may not --see above) be attacking my body at the moment could have had something to do with it. Grrrr!!!

December 12, 2008

Lazy December

No posts lately since not much of posting-interest has been going on. I'm still running, and still running in the snow and cold. Today's run was very much like the one described in the last post except no Matty - I was all alone. I passed one other runner and maybe 3 walkers, one of whom was walking a beautiful Irish Setter who badly wanted to be my friend!

I need to try and figure out why my thumbs keep going numb after each run. It's weird and makes it hard to type!

Today I visit Mom and pick up Matty's awesome Christmas gift which I had mailed to her place because it is much safer (ie. less likely to be stolen off her front porch). I can't wait to see it!

December 6, 2008

Snowy Run

Matt and I drove out to Stony Creek Metropark again for our run this morning. It was about 22F and snowing - a lot. Snow. Lots of it. I have proof. We brought a camera. Now you can see how obsessed we are. Snow, shmo! I am running! I even had icicles on my eyebrows at the end. I wish we had thought to take a photo of that! Oh, I almost forgot to mention. The snow was blowing UP at times. I swear to god, UP. The snow was literally defying gravity. Weird.

We met another Stony Creek Running Club member. Morry. At least I think that's how he spelled it. He caught up with us at about mile 4 1/2 out of 6, so we jogged and chatted for a short time. Anyway, he got us thinking about joining up with the running club again. I think Matt is motivated to get up early tomorrow and join the group at Stony Creek at 8am. It's bagel Sunday, so if we do it, we get free food and coffee! Woo! That always helps in the motivation department.

December 4, 2008

Fartlek Fun

Matt and I drove to Stony Creek Metropark this morning to run. We did a little speed work today. One of my fav ways to do that is a fartlek - which I learned is Swedish for "speed play". It is basically an unstructured type of interval training where you occasionally pick up the pace for a certain distance, recover and repeat. Speed and distance of the intervals can be totally random. It's way more fun than the structured stuff, though I see the value of structured interval runs where you can more easily measure how you are progressing. Today I picked the "pick-ups". Matty had no idea when I was going to speed up or slow down. He said that was half the fun. I think next time we should take turns.

Bayshore, Bayshore, Bayshore.... :-)))))

December 2, 2008

Snowy Trails!

Just got back from one of the most beautiful and fun runs to date! Matt and I went to Bald Mountain North (which is a state recreation area) and ran 7 miles on the snow covered trails. It was quite a workout dragging our feet through deep snow in some places. Snow weighed down many of the branches and several trees had fallen across the path. We had the entire woods to ourselves. It was perfect.

December 1, 2008

Bayshore Registration

"Thank you for registering for the 2009 Traverse City State Bank Bayshore Marathon."

It's official! I am registered! No turning back now! *big smile*
"Cats are like greatness: Some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them." -William H. A. Carr

red's 2011 race schedule