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Zombies, Run!

While I have always endeavored to become a runner, I have never really accomplished this goal. I tried just running around my neighborhood. I tried running with headphones. I have tried to do couch to 5K and never finished it. I have walked and walked and walked because I didn’t feel like running (and I do enjoy myself a good long walk). I have even gone out and done sprints, but I have never ever just gone out for a nice jog. Because frankly, running just sucks. I don’t like it, and I don’t have fun while I do it. It feels like a chore to me, at least when I am walking I have time to admire the weather and the scenery. When I am running, I spend too much time concentrating on running and I start scrunching up my shoulders and furrowing my eyebrows and then before you know it I’m out of breath and have a headache.

Enter the Zombies, Run! app.

I heard about it on NPR a couple of months ago, and then some folks were talking about it in a Ravelry forum. It’s an app that motivates you to run because you pretend zombies are chasing you. Or, at least that’s the basic description I took away from the brief NPR story. What I learned in the Ravelry thread is that there is a story that you listen to while you run.


I am in.

I am a sucker for a story. Part of the reason I don’t have a regular TV is that now it takes work to watch something. If I had cable and TV with easy access, I would be endlessly distracted by even the most mindless of programs with the feeblest of story-lines. It’s horrible. Even if it’s bad, I have to know what happens! I had to download Zombies, Run! just to see if this app could be the answer to all my running dreams.

I started with the 5K training app to ease myself back into running. I exercised fairly regularly all winter, but it’s been ages since I have run with any consistency. I have only finished the workouts for the first week, but I have to tell you, I am hooked. So worth the money.

I can’t wait to get to start the second week’s worth of workouts tomorrow. <--Who is this person? Really. That's me. I've a few weeks left on the 5k training before I move up to the full app, so I will let you know how that one goes when the time comes. For now, I definitely plan on sticking with this app because it's exciting and very well done. P.S. Does anybody know how the regular app works as far as running with a partner? Brock and have been doing the training together so far, we just start the app at the same time, but does the full app give you random missions? or do they come in order?

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Playing Hooky

Yesterday, I ducked out of the office at noon, convinced Brock to play hooky with me and cruised on over Lawrence. The town that’s a half hour away with the good gluten free pizza, decent coffee, and a yarn shop. I was not having a very good day, hence the playing hooky.

I have forgotten how nice it is to relax and take an afternoon off. I knit on the drive there and back, finishing my sister’s birthday present (3 weeks late, but who’s counting) Some Malabrigo Rios came home with me is already becoming a little crocheted lap blanket (not sure why I want to crochet blankets, but I do). I bought some silk to play with on my drum carder, which should be arriving today.

We picked Athrun up from school where he had won an award for his school’s Read-a-thon. Mostly because I read him the entirety of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix within the time limits, since books parents read to you count as well. (He said his name was drawn, I say whoever was in charge decided he deserved a coupon for free pizza for finishing the longest book for a first grader ever. I also think mommy should have won some nice tea for nearly losing her voice.) At home, I continued to read to him out of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

More days need to be as healing as yesterday afternoon.

I am going to try to remember to take more time like that and not fret…and perhaps play hooky more often.

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Getting Strong Check In

1. First, I found this today, and it has nothing to do with anything, but it’s lovely.

Source: via Marla on Pinterest

2. I went out to lunch with work colleagues and ordered Gluten Free pasta (it was a pasta joint and the only other option was crappy Cesar salad or a gigantic steak.) It was a mistake. I didn’t have a gluten reaction, but it was corn pasta, I think. Definitely not white rice like I expected, and can eat with no real side effects. I kind of feel like I ate an inflated balloon.

3. By tweaking my portions and avoiding sugar, I lost five pounds last week. Plus, I kept up my activity level like I wanted to.

4. I make fewer excuses to not go for a walk my zune is fully loaded with fresh podcasts and audiobooks.

5. There’s a free youtube video of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred out there. She’s a little annoying, but the work out is good.

6. I forgot about my kombucha-in-process for a few days, so now it’s extra strong, which is pretty awesome.

7. I also left my yogurt in the yogotherm for about 30 hours. I possess super-probiotics! (Fermenting has become my new baking.)

8. I am going to Zumba class on Wednesday. I have only been once before, ages ago, but it was a lot of fun, and I would like to make it a regular thing, even if I do look like an idiot.

9. Naps always win. I will never chose exercise over sleep, especially when I slept like crap the night before.

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Drive By Update on All the Things

First, an update on the hand-made wedding thing.


Here’s our save the date postcard, photographed by Brock’s sister, Lori Locke. She’s an amazing photographer and artist. (The font in the photo is original by her.) If you live in Northeast Kansas or the KC Metro area, give her site a look! The picture was taken in front of the old barn (at the farm where the wedding will take place) over Thanksgiving. (True story, Lori was just taking pictures for fun. She didn’t know we were getting married yet when the photo was taken. I am really grateful to her for letting us use it!)

Next, here’s a quick picture of what went out in the January Shipment of the RAWR sock club.


The inaugural yarn was, of course, hot pink, could it be anything else? Also, the special gift this time was a hand-printed greeting card featuring hipster Tiny Dino. This was my first shot at block printing, and I think it turned out pretty well. Brock drew the dinosaur and helped a bit cutting the linoleum. I really like how the cards came out. I am toying with using this technique for the wedding invitations.

Card in detial

I finished my abigail cardigan and have been wearing it for a couple of weeks. Not one person has asked me if I knit it myself, which tells me I did a good job with the construction, so I am pleased. The yarn is pilling a lot in the underarms, but nothing a sweater stone can’t handle.

I am now hard at work on the Call Him Ishmael sweater I am making for Brock out of Nikol Lohr’s Literary Knits book. I am knitting it out of plain ole wool yarn that I dyed a nice masculine red, somewhere between brick and wine. I am nearly done with the yoke and love the pattern. It’s the perfect ration of mindless stockinette to shaping and cabling. Of course, it’s been in time out for the last three days because I twisted half the cables backwards on the last cable round and didn’t notice until I was four rounds up. I have become rather adept at dropping down and re-twisting the cables (the trick is to use double pointed needles on just the part you need to work on), but couldn’t face actually doing it quite yet. I will tackle it this afternoon so I have something to do during the Superbowl, as I am neither a big fan of football or beer and junk food.

Speaking of beer and junk food, I have been hibernating in the losing weight arena, possibly eating too many gluten free bread-like products and not enough vegetables. I have, however, been working out more regularly, and am making a commitment to do something active every day this month. So far so good. I hope to give weekly check-in updates about my progress in this arena. I have been gluten-free for 10 months now. I feel like after almost a year, I should have made more progress. I do try to remind myself that it has been a stressful year full of new jobs and changing birth controls and stuff that generally makes it difficult to lose weight. But then again, what year isn’t, you know? All I know, is I want to be stronger and buy fewer yards of yarn to make myself a sweater. Two, very simple goals.

And last, but certainly not least, I have been very distracted the last couple of weeks. Our apartment complex changed it’s pet policy at the beginning of the year, which made my goal of eventually living in a place where I could have a pet and a garden in the ground slightly more attainable. We decided to adopt a kitten from the local shelter. Since then, I have been reading about taking care of cats, reviewing cat products and foods (and trying to find an affordable grain-free cat food.) Basically, I haven’t been thinking about much else other than making our home right for our new addition. It’s very similar to how I was when preparing for Athrun, though much less intense.

Meet Minerva Pigwidgeon Cheeseburger III, I am sure she will be a recurring character.

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So Not Paleo

I am going to talk about something I have wanted to talk about for months but have either put off because I was tired and it would take a lot of words, or because I wasn’t feeling like sharing that much personal information on the blog. Some people have no problem with bearing their souls for all to see, and it is something I am deeply ambivalent about. Because I am going to start talking about my food choices every now and then, and incorporated in that, is my journey to a much smaller, healthier me. Tons of people blog about their weight loss, and I can see why. Not only is it good accountability for the blogger and a great way to track progress, it is also a great resource for other people who are struggling with their health and weight. I have only ever hesitated because there is so much information out there, and so many different notions of what it means to be healthy. I have only just started to find my healthy place–and it is, to say the least–unconventional.

In the last six months, I have lost and kept off 30 pounds. To get to the weight I was before I had Athrun, I need to lose 40 more. To get to where I might be ideal, add another 20 onto that. So that means I am ? of my way to the goal of losing 90 pounds. The first 30 were easy peasy. I drastically changed my diet and they kind of just fell off. Losing more than that has proven to be a bit more difficult, but I am hopeful.

So what did I change:

First what I gave up: gluten, grains, legumes, sugar and sweeteners, processed foods including vegetable and seed oils. Basically, bread, sweets, anything that came from a package.

What I ate in moderation: Dairy (cream in the coffee, slice of cheese here and there), fruit, potatoes, honey, dark chocolate, red wine

What I ate: vegetables, Meat (poultry, red meat, bacon, fish, seafood) vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, eggs, fermented foods (plain full fat yogurt, saurkraut, kombucha), homemade bone broth soup, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, bacon grease (all for cooking of course, not like, with a spoon. Though maybe the coconut oil, drizzled in dark chocolate? Yum.) and some more vegetables.

Yes. I am one of those. Paleo. There I said it. I claimed it. And for the last time.

Paleo has been gaining in popularity over the last couple of years, so I don’t doubt that you recognized it just by what foods I have up. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine who was suffering from major food allergies and thought that I might be suffering from a similar, if not less severe, affliction. It took me a couple of months to come around to the idea, but once I did I knew I never wanted to eat any other way ever. Not only did I finally start feeling like I could digest my food, that constantly itchy, yeasty feeling in my tummy went away. I lost 30 pounds in 3 months almost without trying. And I was eating eggs for breakfast, leftover
soup for lunch or a salad for lunch, marinara sauce served over steamed vegetables. I feel satiated after every meal. I don’t feel bloated or overfull. And I like the food I eat. A lot.

I feel great. It’s easier to do yoga (when I do it once every six weeks), walk, sprint, do push-ups. I can run further, when I decide I want to try. It’s fun to cook this way. It basically goes along with my through vegetables in pan and stir most of the time, instead now I don’t feel guilty about starting with a little bit of butter and adding sausage.

But I don’t like the Paleo label.

Why not? Because. For one, I don’t like to be labeled with anything other than my name, and sometimes that’s pushing it. For two, I am not an evangelist of anything. And Paleo people, well, they tend start treating their food like a religion. And I get why, because I feel great, but I still don’t have any urge to convert people. I am just a girl with a gluten sensitivity and yeast overgrowth problems who happens to really like to cook with vegetables and bacon. And is trying to lose weight–mostly so I can knit sweaters faster because they won’t need to be so big to fit me. And to, you know, survive the Zombie Apocalypse. Pure selfishness here.

So selfish, in fact, that I am going to smear my food and weight loss exploits all over my blog for you all to see how well I am doing.

Ok so maybe not. But I feel like it’s been this thing. This big change that I have made that I somehow left you readers out of. I am not very good at being mysterious, or keeping secrets, so here it is.

Where I Want to Go
I have not lost any weight for about eight weeks. I haven’t gained any, and I still feel good, and cutting my hair makes me feel like I have lost about 10 pounds, but alas, I think those 10 pounds transferred instantly to my hips. I know exactly why I haven’t lost any weight. I haven’t been sleeping, I have barely been exercising, I switched up my birth control and my hormones have been wackadoo (mostly screwing up my digestion, of course), and I have been eating too much. I figure, if I address these things, I might be able to get back into the games. I hung black out curtains in my room, and that has helped tremendously. I am attempting to exercise more often by taking walks on my lunch break and sprinting or yoga a couple times a week. Push-up and squats when I remember. My hormones have started settling down, though they still need a bit of time. And eating less is easy when I remind myself that I need to do it. And for me, incorporating this into what I can talk about on the blog, keeps me honest with myself, and with you, plus, you get cool allergy friendly recipes out of it. So, bonus.

If your interested in learning more, Mark’s Daily Apple is an invaluable resource. Just saying.