Saturday, March 26, 2011

Camera Shopping

My Fujifilm Finepix camera is dead. It's likely due to it falling from a shelf onto a tile floor whilst trying to film another craft how-to. I'm shopping for a new one. I take a lot of useless pictures, so I'm anxious to get a new one. I don't want to buy a crap camera, so I've got to take the time to read reviews. Why are there so many types of cameras available!? To keep thing simple, I'm leaning towards getting the same camera, only the current model.

The FinePix Z70 has very similar features as my old FinePix F480 . It will be an upgrade from 8.2 to 12.1 megapixels. hopefully I can make a decision quickly!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Derby Lite Winter 2011

Monday was the last night for Derby Lite practice. It was a fun time! I thought I was a good skater before the class, not really. Skating is really about being comfortable on wheels (duh). Sounds simple, but if you're all tensed up afraid of falling, you will. If there's one thing I learned it's that falling is ok! With the right protective gear, falling won't matter. As far as the workout, skating is great for strength training. Skating works muscles I don't normally use when running. My bum and a weird section of my quads were definitely sore after a few practices. I may again take the course next Winter. It's a bit pricey, but it is nice that the session is long at twelve weeks. Here are a few pics from our last practice.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Morning Run 2011

I’ve been a cold weather punk this year, running on a treadmill instead of braving the winter weather. By far, this has been the worst winter I’ve experienced since moving to Chicago nearly four years ago. Record snowfall has kept me indoors longer than usual. So this morning when I let the dog out and felt how warm it was, I geared up and took the dogtster out for a quick two mile jog. I prefer to run in the morning, and Bosley is a great running partner. By his panting, I think he’s happy with this morning’s run too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Forest Preserve Run

You can’t beat sunny, sixty degree weather in March in Chicago. Today I had one of the best outdoors runs I’ve had in a long time during my lunch break! Occasionally, I run in the Forest Preserve trail near my office. It’s been s good three months since I’ve been on the trail. I wasn’t alone in my sentiment. As I waited at the light to cross the street onto the trail, I exchanged words with another female runner:

Her: “Hi, do you know if the trail is muddy?”
Me: “Hey, not sure. I haven’t been over in while.”
Her: “Me neither, I’m so excited!”
Me: “Me too!”

The trail wasn't muddy, it was perfect! There were lots of walkers, joggers, and even a group of grade schoolers on a nature walk. I did three miles at a super easy pace. I didn't want to rush my sunshine intake! Spring is in the air.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fleet Feet Chicago Historic Run - Wrigleyville

We participated in Fleet Feet Chicago's Historic Run through Wrigleyville today. It was a fun time! This is my second group run, the first was not a super fun experience. Although the group was supposed to be for all skill levels, the pace was too fast, set by an Ironman finisher. Today's fun run was an easy pace, about 6 miles, and stopped off at several points of interest along the way.

Places and things that are seemingly normal, but have an interesting past. We saw a church that was hiked up and moved across the street a hundred years ago,

Alta Vista Terrace, the street in Chicago that is a little bit of London, the houses mirror each other on both sides of the street,

Wrigley Field, THREE cemeteries where historical Chicago figures now rest, and tons of gorgeous houses including this one with an amazing garage roof top patio.

Just things you wouldn't be able to appreciate driving down the streets of these neighborhoods. Oh, here's Rahm Emanuel's rented house that he may again reside in once he takes office as Mayor of Chicago!

This run was a great way to kick off my 10 week training for the Soldier Field 10 Miler in May.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crafts 'n' crap

In addition to running, I love crafts. So I've started documenting the the crap I like to make.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Chicago

I definitely wanted to do another half this year. My first choice was the Rock 'n' Roll inaugural race in St. Louis in October. Unfortunately, they still have not posted the race course. I definitely do not want to run the same course as the Go! St. Louis half last April, which is toughest in the last three hilly miles which will pretty much kill your pace average. I was getting a bit antsy waiting on the course details so I registered for their event in Chicago. I think it will be a nice comparison to St. Louis as the course is flat. I'm still considering running in St. Louis and stalking the event page for course updates. The Rock 'n' Roll series does additional Heavy Medals for finishers of multiple races in a calendar year. If I finish both races, this medal is mine! That may be enough incentive to brave those hills.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Calorie Counting and Weight Loss

Are you consuming enough calories per day? The number of calories needed to maintain your current weight (with light physical activity) is your body weight multiplied by 13. So if you weight 190 pounds, you should consume 2470 calories per day to maintain your weight.

Let’s say you lift weights and want to gain body weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. One pound of body weight is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories, so eating an extra 500 calories per day will cause you to gain one pound a week.

Let’s say you’re me and want to lose body weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. One pound of body weight is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories, so creating a deficit of 500 calories (through diet, exercise, or both) per day will cause you to lose one pound a week.

Here's a crude daily caloric intake calculator I created using Excel. I pack all my snacks during the week so it's easier to track what I'm consuming. There is some variation, like I may eat jello instead of yogurt, so I added columns for substitutions (C and E). Cell A1 is my body weight times 13, cell B15 is to actual calories consumed for the day. Lunch and dinner are usually where my meals vary, so after I add in all my snacks, I divide the remaining calories between lunch and dinner to know the max I can consume between those meals. I find a calculator helpful when I'm thinking about having a hanful of M&M's. Those extra 100 calories may put me over budget! It may seem tedious, but since I pack my meals, I really only have to monitor my lunch and dinner intake daily. And I only update my calculator if I switch out a snack.

Now, you can get more technical and start figuring where your calories will come from each day (protein, carbs, etc.). I’m not that educated on that subject yet, and there seem to be a lot of ‘expert’ opinions on the matter. But the math on calorie consumption doesn’t lie. Calories in, calories out is how to manage our weight.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gym Breakup

I joined the gym in my building in December 2009 because I knew I would need to train over the winter for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon I ran last April. Then after the race I kept my membership active because it turned out to be super convenient when I would go into my office on weekends to do schoolwork. I would workout and read or write in perfect peace in a near empty building. But this winter I have noticed a change in the gym. An explosion in membership! Great for the gym, sucks for my love of empty treadmills. Add to that finishing work on my masters, I have no reason to schlep into the office on weekends. So, I decided to cancel my membership. If I'm in desperate need to rejoin a gym, there's a brand spanking new L.A. Fitness within walking distance from home which makes way more sense to join. It's always awkward canceling any membership, but I surely won't mind the extra cash in my pocket each month.
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