Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Lululemon Warehouse Sale

aka "Bitches Be crazy"
aka "Yogi's Gone Wild"

What I assume it looked like Friday morning before the start of the sale.
(And all sorts of other pics from this weekend's sale)

So for those of you not on the Lulu bandwagon, this past weekend Lululemon had their first ever US Warehouse sale in Rosemont IL at a gigantic convention center. It started Friday at 9am and went through Sunday at 9pm.

I dabble in Lulu because their stuff is way cute...but ridiculously overpriced!! I just don't have $90 to drop on a pair of yoga pants or running tights. I don't even know if I could exclusively shop there if I had the money...Anyways, a good friend of mine Jenn had decided to take the train in from STL for the sale. Discount Lulu alone wouldn't have lured me to Chicago for the sale, but the chance to hang out with one of my fav's AND score some cute running clothes....SOLD!!

We tried to coordinate our schedules and arrive in Rosemont around the same time. I was driving down from Madison, which is roughly a 2hr drive. That is unless you miss your exit and get lost like I did. Somehow I ended up in the blackhole known as O'hare Airport. Seriously. I ended up in the Avis rental car the International terminal...all the while trying to reach W to give me directions the fuck out of that place. In case you are wondering, my next car WILL have an in-dash GPS. After my 45min detour, I finally parked at the convention center at almost noon. Jenn's train was suppose to get into Union Station around 10, followed by an easy eL ride to Rosemont, getting here there around 11...but instead that stinker took a car from the train station to the convention center and was there by like 10:30, making me really late. Shit.

Needless to say, being the self-proclaimed Lulu addict that she is, Jenn got in line without me. By the time I got inline she was already shopping. The stress and panic of being lost, running late, yelling at W because I was lost and late (don't ask), and now waiting in line by myself for who knows how long was almost enough for me to get back in the car and head straight home. The linw as moving relatively quick, and the ladies around me were friendly enough, so I stuck it out. A little under an hour I was entering the sale...

I have to give the Lulu peeps credit, it was no where near as chaotic as I thought it would be. It was busy but not overwhelming. The photo at the top gives you a much better idea of just how HUGE the sale was. Lulu as far as the eye could see. Best news of all was that I was able to find Jenn relatively easily, which calmed me down immensely. Let the shopping and fun finally begin! We shopped and gossiped and hung out at the sale for an hour or two before deciding we had enough!

We tried at this point to get Jenn checked into her hotel, which was a debacle in and of itself. Lost reservation, reservation at the wrong hotel, "husband" out to sea and was a comedy of errors. An hour later she finally had a room. A king bed rather than the requested 2 queens, with 2 complimentry bottles of water and a Twix bar, but it was a room. We sorted through and inventoried our finds, coordinated with another friend who was planning to drive down for the night, and made plans for dinner. All along I had been planning on heading back to Madison Saturdat evening. I did not need 2 days of Lulu shopping. Plus I had painting and cleaning to do at home. STD*, as my office mate would say.

Drinks with friends and stay the night OR Drive home in the dark...hmmm...It was hard to convince me to stay. Real hard.

Jenn's Saturday afternoon finds.
(In all fairness, she was shopping for friend's too.)

A few of the goodies I snagged for my coworker.

We headed to a nearby Mexican restaurant to refuel and enjoy a few margaritas. The bartender, who must have been listening in on our conversation, decided that we deserved bottomless margaritas. We were most definitely not going to argue. :) Our friend Nesa arrived just in time to peruse the sale, again, and the hit up the hotel bar for a nightcap before we all called it a night. After all, the plan was to be up at the crack of down to be the first people in line. Like I said, Bitches Be crazy!

After the debacle that the hotel room was, the hotel was nice enough to offer us complimentary room service for breakfast. Now most normal people would have enjoyed the ROOM service in the room. No, no. Not us. We drew the line at actually rolling the room service cart to the lobby to wait, but that didn't stop us from stacking the plates and bringing it all with us.

Picnic breakfast in line for the sale. Classy.

We waited for close to 2 hours Sunday morning, but we were 5th in line for what that's worth. When the doors opened at nine It was like a yogi death match. There was running, pushing, pulling, grabbing. You name it, it happened. Zen went right out the window. I have never been to a Black Friday sale but I can only imagine this to be the equivalent of people fighting over a $100 87" flat screen tv of the one and only PS7 at Walmart. I am also known for getting claustrophobic in crowds (which isn't really claustrophobia at all...I think it's actually ochlophobia, but you know what I mean). I'm not introverted, at all, but I am definitely too timid for shit like this. I opted to stand guard over the Jenn and Nesa's finds rather than push through the crowds and paw through the racks. An hour later, we were all DONE and OVER IT!

We said our goodbyes. Nesa headed back to Milwaukee, Jenn went to nap before catching the train back to STL, and I am happy to report that I made it home on the first try, with no detours or side trips. :)

I'll try to update this later today with a pic of my goodies. :)

*Shit To Do

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday: It's Haaaard

1. Marathon Training

I knew training for my first marathon wasn't going to be easy, but this shit is no joke. per multiple recommendations I am following a plan from I decided to go with is Novice 1 plan for beginners because it should be the easiest, right? WRONG. I started the 18wk training plan with some base, but not where I would've liked to. What can I say other than 3wks in Thailand will do that to you. My runs vary from awful to amazing, and everything in between. The speed is coming back (on the short runs) and the distance is building, but it's so haaaaaaard. Especially the Wednesday runs. Mid-distance runs sandwiched between two short runs should be a piece of cake. But it's not. I know it's building endurance and whatever, but every Wednesday I toy with the idea of taking a rest day.

2. #30DayShred

I knew from Biggest Loser that Jillian Michaels is one bad ass chick. I also knew from Twitter that the #30DayShred DVD was no joke. Jillian is determined to make you sweat, grunt, and suffer for every lest minute of the workout. Rumor has it the ladies of Twitter are liking the results, even those Shreddin' for only a week. THAT was enough to coax my butt out of bed at 5:30am and jump on the bandwagon. It's just another workout DVD how bad can it be. HA! The difference is that this one is haaaaard. After 20 minutes I am a hot sweaty mess, with quivery arms and achey legs. After 3 successful days of AM Shreddin' I have decided that I am NOT ready to commit to the full 30 day challenge. Call me a sally, but that's just too hard. Especially when combined with marathon training. Pffft, no friggin way.

So instead I have devised the following training to maximize the Shreddin', survive the runnin', and even do a little restin'.

With only 3 days of Level 1 under my belt I can't say I've seen any results. But I feel like I am getting a solid all around workout, it's all hard and shit, so there's that. But I swear to blog, if this shit doesn't work, I will personally be hunting down Jillian Michaels and force-feeding her doughnuts. Or writing her a strongly worded letter. One or the other.

3. Losing weight is haaaard!

I have been trying to shed the same annoying 12-15lbs for oh, over a year now. True, the ultimate goal is more like 25-30lbs, but let's not get crazy here. I just really want to be back to where I was back in 2010, pre-surgeries. Let's be honest, I am obviously not trying all that hard, because if I was, those pesky lbs would be gone. But since being home from Thailand I've been trying to make better food decisions, watch my portions, and exercise. So far? Nada.

I share an office with three very weight focused coworkers. One is your typical type-A triathlete who believes that foods only purpose is to deliver the needed nutrients, and nothing more. He may consume little more than coffee, a bag of (undressed) lettuce, and a sweet potato during the day, but he is the picture of health. Maybe a tad too skinny for my liking, and the ultimate lightweight, but he is slim and trim and FAST. He has been advising another coworker on how to slim down as she was struggling to shed the wanted lb's with exercise alone. He has her following a strict 30-day raw diet. The the first 2wks she was down 7lbs, by week 3 she had lost 10lbs. Obviously there is something to it...but is it sustainable? My third office mate is a calorie counter. She is more liberal in what she eats, but counts every single calorie.

These three, clearly dedicated, coworkers of mine make me feel bad about myself daily. I am embarrassed to eat at work. I am always hungry. And while you might think this would help my cause, it actually just results in binge-eating when I get home. It also means that my post-work, pre-binge runs, are done with very little in the tank which is likely why they have felt so awful lately.

I have another friend who went strict paleo recently. In one week she dropped 7lbs. AMAZING! She also works her tail off at Crossfit, running, yoga, and who knows what else. But the paleo diet seemed to be what kicked her weight loss into hi-gear. I know that she see's it as a looong way to go yet, but I think she looks amazing!

The problem I have with all of these restrictive diets, paleo, raw, etc., is that they just don't seem sustainable. It seems like the sort of thing I could do for a few weeks to jump start my weight loss, but what then? As soon as you incorporate foods back into your diet I can only assume the lb's come back. And quickly at that! I've been told that the first few weeks are the hardest and the cravings subside, but it just doesn't seem like the right fit.

Ughhhh, it's just so hard!! I'm hoping that the #30DayShred, combined with my marathon training, combined with moderation and better food choices, will lead to maintainable weight loss.

But in the meantime I am going to whine about how everything it really REALLY really hard today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Way Girls Work

What is it about girls that always equals drama? Especially if you put group of independent, intelligent, fun ladies together. No matter how great they are it's like BAM! insta-drama.

It's not even to say that girls are mean. Well, duh, some are. Some are straight up bat-shit-crazy beotchs. But that's not the case at the moment. It's more that cliques form, a pecking order evolves, and not everyone can be at the top...or even on the guest list Not everyone makes the cut. Not everyone is in the know. It's just the way it is. But that doesn't make it suck any less to be left out of the inner circle.

I'd like to think that now that I am a mature 30-something (just barely 30-something, btw) it would be easier to navigate these friendships and groups of women. But it's not. It still sucks to not be part of the in-crowd, to not get the invite, to be the last one picked for dodgeball.

I've spent so much of my life being insecure. I'm not skinny enough, pretty enough, or funny enough. I'm not fast enough, trendy enough, or wealthy enough. Am I too loud? Too outgoing Too honest? Did I do something wrong? Did I say the wrong thing? As much as I try to maintain a don't-give-a-fuck demeanor, there's always something weighing on my mind. And it's exhausting!

Quite frankly, I'm ready to throw in the towel in on all of it. I don't want to end up in another not-on-the-list situation. Why bother being a friend and putting myself out there when it may not be reciprocated? I'd rather just stay home.

Friday, January 20, 2012

10 Minute Mile

And the day I kicked it's ASS!

That's right. Last night I broke the 10-minute-mile wall for the first time in over a year. More like 18 months. It was something I never thought I was going to be able to do again. Granted it was only for one of the three miles, but it was the last mile of my run. So it counts.

In other running related news, despite an entire week of missed training runs, January is on course to break the 50 mile mark. I'm not sure the last time I had a 50m running month, so I am pretty proud of this accomplishment.

I may or may not be losing a little bit of balance in my world. I go to work, I run after work, I veg for a bit, and go to bed (before 10 I might add). And repeat. I'm more or less ok with this as it is all I have the energy to do AND it's cold and wintery outside. But I just hope I remember how to do other things one of these days...

After stalking the workouts of fellow Dailymiler Annie, and reading her awesome post on Fit Milwaukee, I have decided to start Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred on Monday. Wish me luck!
So help me, if I don't look like that in 30 days I will hunt down Jillian and force feed her butter.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Running: A Look Ahead

We are now a few weeks into 2012, which makes this post long over-due, but that's life. Being a few weeks into 2012 also means that by now I would have broken any resolutions I could have made. Eat better, workout more, do laundry weekly, read more, and so on. For some people the idea of a clean slate and resolutions works. I'm not one of those people. Kind of like I don't buy the whole confession frees you of all your wrong doings and guilt, but THAT is an entirely different post.

So instead of making a list of resolutions that will only be broken and inevitably make me feel bad, I've decided to focus on one area of my life and what I'd like to do there.


In 2009 I finally felt like I was getting somewhere with my running. I was comfortably running in the 9's, I was conquering longer runs, I was in the best shape of my life. Welllll, that clearly didn't end as I as hoped. 2010 was epically worse than 2009 in the health and running department, which made 2011 a year of rebuilding. After I was finally given the all clear to start running, the next 10 months were an uphill battle. Every slow, torturous mile hurt. The speed was gone, the endurance was gone, my willingness to wear spandex in public was gone. But I kept at it because I am mentally ill. Or something.

So here I am, safely tucked into the new year. And what's on the agenda? I could stress about all the things I want my running to be. Faster, farther, lighter. But instead I am thinking big picture. In 2012 I want my running to be consistent. With consistency will come the other things.

It doesn't hurt that I have catapulted myself into race mode early on. I'm registered for my first half since 2009 in roughly 7wks. A hop, skip and a jump after that I will be attempting to finish my first marathon. In between the two will be my favorite 10k. With more races to follow, and adventures to have, the way I will stay healthy and is to be consistent.

Not that it would hurt me to finally shed those pesky 15lbs I've been bemoaning for over a year, or spend a little more time in the kitchen cooking, or do my laundry on a regular basis.

But first, consistency.