As I’ve said before, I’m the self-proclaimed ambassador for proper sports bras. I really try to spread the word about Enell Sports Bras because they have changed my exercising life!

I have been going to a local trainer for a half an hour once a week at a local gym. Trish is tough but a nice, sweet person. So, I find it difficult to hate her even though she is pushing me to do things I don’t want to do. Like exercise. And jumping. I go on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm. Her 6pm client and I started to recognize each other. We would smile at each other and roll our eyes. She was always happy to see me – because it means her session is almost over. I always kind of hate to see her because I know I’m about to be tortured. We saw each other a couple of other times and finally introduced ourselves. Her name is Joan.

Trish likes to make us jump. A lot. We jump on boxes, on bosu balls, or just on the floor. Trish claims it helps with bone strength. I’m skeptical. One night, I had to make an adjustment to the Enell after a series of particularly strenuous jumps. Trish, who in no way would ever need an Enell, laughed as I shifted and tugged. I told her that while she didn’t understand, there was no way I would jump without my Enell on. She mentioned that Joan really seemed to hate jumping and sometimes even refused to jump. The next time I saw Joan, I asked her about the jumping. I don’t like the jumping, but I do it. She said she felt self conscious about jumping with everyone around (it’s a co-ed gym). I told her I had the answer – Enell! I showed her the bra. I explained how well it worked and that it was a mini-workout just to put it on. She said she would order one.

The next time I saw Joan, she grabbed my arm and told me she had something to show me. She was wearing a brand new Enell. She said it has changed her life! When I saw Joan last week, she said every time she puts her Enell on, she thinks of me! I’m flattered, I think. And Trish confirmed that she is jumping at every session!

These bras really do change the lives of the well-endowed. Make no mistake, they are expensive, but totally worth it. And they do last! I’ve had each of mine for years and they are still holding up (pun intended!!). If you are a C-cup or larger and like to exercise, I recommend checking it out! Once you try one, you’ll be hooked (that pun is for you, Mom!).

I have been off a while. As they say, Life Got In the Way. Who are they? Well, they are Sister Hazel! To be honest, when I got to the episode for cabbage, I stopped. I really hate cooked cabbage and was getting busy with work, walking and other stuff and used it as an excuse to stop. However, I’m going to get back on track. The glitch now? Alton has come out with a SECOND BOOK – Good Eats 2 – The Middle Years!! SO, I’m upping the ante in year 2 – I will finish the first and second books in 2011. A lofty goal? Yes, but I’m going to try. If life gets in the way again, well, here comes 2012! But if I don’t try, I’ll never know. Oh, and I’m still going to try to lose weight. That part didn’t work out so well either, but I’m working on that, too. I thought about giving up all together, but I feel like I owe it to myself to continue. As the Sister Hazel song goes, “And apathy grows quietly where rapture used to fly, And promises and certainty have left love here to die, Won’t you stay and don’t let this one fall away.” I’m not going to let this one fall away….Here is the post I wrote back in September about the Women’s Half Marathon and never posted. It’s the start of more regular posts. I better go buy some cabbage…

My side goal of this blog was doing a sprint triathlon, but I changed it to completing the Nashville Women’s Half Marathon. I trained with a local running store group. The group consisted of 250 women at varying levels from seasoned runners to beginning walkers. We started out in July meeting every Saturday morning at 7am but moved the start time to 6:30AM!!! As if 7 am wasn’t bad enough, it was so hot here in Nashville this summer, we had to start a little earlier so people didn’t pass out or get heat stroke as the mileage got longer. I joined the walkers. We were to meet on Saturdays for a group run/walk and then do two workouts during the week on our own.

Pre Race Dinner At Maggianos

When I went to the first day of group training, I thought to myself – “OK, there are going to be close to 250 women there. Surely, you can find one or two you get along with!” It turns out, I found about seven! Over the next 11 weeks, I walked with Angie, Rosanne, Carolyn, Maureen, Maya, Jen and Alison. There are others that come and went, but these are the ladies that were there on race day. We spent a lot of time together. Each week, people had other obligations or injuries and we got to get to know each other better – walking and talking. I definitely think without the support and encouragement of these women, I would have never completed this task. Angie and I became particularly close as we were meeting for the “homework” days during the week. The walkers group was kind of forgotten by most of the store’s group because it takes so much longer to walk than run. Even the “interval” groups were well ahead when the miles got longer. When we got to the longer walks (10 and 12 miles), we were out there for 3 hours! On one particular walk – I believe our 12 miler, I wanted to stop. Just sit down right there on the side of the road. Rosanne encouraged me with – just get to that tree. Ok, now that street sign, until we finished. That was when I knew I would finish the race.

The actual race is almost ancillary to the story. The start was exciting with all of the women in line to start (oh, and a few men).  The hills were killer. For those of you who don’t know, Nashville is VERY hilly. There were even killer hills at miles 12 and 13! Angie and I walked the whole race together. Others with the training group were with us at varying points, but we were together through the whole thing. It was a hot long morning. We saw SH supporting us at mile 10 and he walked about a mile with us. We then saw two of my friends (one of which who had run the half marathon and had already finished!). One funny thing about this race was that our names were on our number bibs. So, people would randomly say, “GO MELISSA”. At first, I would think, “did I know that person?!?!?” But then I would realize they were just reading. It was a little odd at times though.  After almost 4 hours of walking, we could see the finish. At the end, Angie and I decided to run – the last 100 yards. It was exciting to finish and then a very nice soldier gave me a medal. And after all, it was all about the medal!!

As of last Wednesday, I am half way through this journey. I’m doing pretty well progressing through Alton’s book. I did 3 episodes just this weekend! I’m a little behind typing up my reviews, but I’m catching up. I’m up to episode 37 out of 80, so I’m basically on track. I have a few easy ones to crank out over the next few weeks, so I should be ahead of the game soon! I’m learning new cooking techniques and venturing into foods I never thought I’d cook. I’m going to try to add more stories and background on my posts and hopefully give better descriptions of the foods I’m cooking.

However, my other goals are not fairing as well. I’d love to give a thousand excuses, but the truth is, I haven’t been doing the work. I haven’t been adapting the recipes like I had planned. I also haven’t been exercising as planned. I was not ready for the triathlon, so I didn’t go. I was very disappointed in myself and frustrated that I had wasted all of that time. I kept saying, “It’s only X number of weeks away, I have plenty of time.”  Laziness won. It’s so much easier to sit on the couch. And the next thing I knew, I wasn’t ready. But I think I had an epiphany the other night.

My husband and I share our home with two cats. The two of them could not be more different. One (The Bits) is a typical kitty that sleeps all day, loves treats, cheese and scratches. But the other one (Narcs), well, she thinks she’s a dog. She plays fetch, follows us from room to room and chases her tail. She loves to play. Well, that’s probably a understatement. She lives to chase strings. She will drag a string to wherever we are and sit behind it, staring us down until we pick it up. She will block the exit to a room with a string hoping we will pick it up on our way out. I probably identify most with The Bits. She enjoys food (she even loves taco meat!) and can get into a good nap. Narcs will play until she is out of breath and will get back into it as soon as she can breathe again! When playing with Narcs the other day, I realized, I need to be more like her and less like Bits. Narcs loves to be active and even at almost 9 years old, still loves to play like a kitten. Isn’t that what we should all strive to be? Young at heart and ready to play at any moment?

So, I have now signed up for the Women’s Half Marathon here in Nashville on September 25th. I have also signed up for a 12 week training group sponsored by a local running store that started today. I’m hoping having others involved and inspiring my training, I’ll do better. I met a few women this morning that I hope will stick with it (and me!). We are all very different, but our goal is the same and we seemed to bond. My biggest issue? The group meets Saturday mornings at 7am. I’ll repeat that, 7 freakin’ A.M. For those of you who don’t know, I am not a morning person. The only other group training program is at the Y and it starts Friday night at 5pm, which is even more ridiculous than 7am. How can working people get to the Y by 5pm, when most people get off work at 5pm or later? There is no way I can leave work early for twelve weeks – especially at my busiest time of the year. So, the Saturday morning group it is! It will be rough, but I’m determined to make it work. So, here I go….

I will be posting more here about the exercise and nutrition plan to keep me more accountable and motivated. Wish me luck.

There are some calorie laden recipes coming up, but I’m hoping the exercise helps. Also, I’m behind on the reviews, so I’m trying to catch up!!

Up Next: Refrigerator pie!

I have a hate hate relationship with running. I’ve never liked it, but I know it’s a good form of exercise that requires little more than some (very expensive) shoes and the great outdoors. Of course, I have an iPod (complete with Nike plus) and a Garmin, but that technology is not really necessary. My husband has done 2 marathons. He runs well and likes it. The reason I’m training for a triathlon instead of a marathon is solely because I do not want to run that long. I saw an interview with Ambesse Tolossa, the winner of the 2006 San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon – the first marathon SH ran. Tolossa finished the marathon (26.2 miles) in 2 hours, 10 minutes (and 8 seconds, but who’s counting). The last finisher completed the marathon in 8 hours, 34 minutes. He was asked how he runs so fast. His answer was that he doesn’t understand how the other runners run for so long. I share his wonder.

I do more walking than running. SH and I usually start out with a warm up of a 5 minute or so walk.  Then we start to run. Well, he takes off and I struggle. As I watch SH slowly pull away, I always admire his running – oh, and his cute butt. My husband has a fine ass, but I digress. He just runs. It appears so effortless. He runs steady – like the tortoise – slow and steady. And then he is gone. And I’m left doing my really slow run that turns back into a walk very quickly.

I run about as fast as a lot of people walk.  I have never been a runner and all of my adult life have been convinced I couldn’t run. I’ve used my knees and big boobs as an excuse not to run. But since I’ve discovered the Enell Sports Bra and talked to a sports trainer, I have been trying to run. I’ve always said I can’t run, but the truth is I’ve never wanted to run. I’m not good at it and I really don’t like being bad at something. I’m very competitive and if I can’t really compete, I don’t want to do it. I’m learning to be less competitive with others and just try to compete with myself. I try to do one minute run and one minute walk. I’m very excited when I run longer than a minute – that competitive spirit comes out.

As John “the Penquin” Bingham says, “I’m slow. I know. Get over it.”. Except in this case, I’m the one who needs to get over it. I have the t-shirt (really). The only time I run “fast” is the 200 yards that I have to run on a major street. My fear of idiot drivers not paying attention spurs me to “sprint”.  And then I’m done, more walking. I’m going to keep trying, in between some biking and swimming. I guess that’s what it’s all about. Just keep trying.

The cold that is sweeping the nation is getting to me! After living in Florida for 13 years, I am now officially a wuss. It was 13 degrees when I got up this morning! I thought Tennessee would be warmer.  I’m voluntarily wearing socks today. I hate socks. But man, it’s freakin’ cold out there. I found the cats curled up on one of the heating vents…in the closet. They were looking at me like, “Dude, we’re not moving.” I didn’t even want to get out of bed; much less go to work or workout. And now I just want to curl up on the couch under the blanket with a roaring fire and a glass of wine. And I may do that later, but first I’m going to do some cleaning and a quick workout. I plan to cook through 2 episodes this weekend – mostly as an excuse to not leave the house much during this cold snap!

SH and I went to the Y for a workout today.  I did 44 minutes on the treadmill. I don’t normally have the patience to stay on the treadmill that long, but the place was New Year’s Resolution crowded, so there weren’t a lot of options. I was doing intervals of walking a minute, running 1 to 2 minutes. I like doing intervals on the treadmill because it keeps my attention. I did it at a 1 incline. I was looking around and  I saw a woman who was in dire need of some support. I’m not talking about emotional support, but support for the “girls” (boobs). I am the self-proclaimed ambassador of proper sports bras. I have found the perfect sports bra for women who are well endowed.

The Enell Sports Bra is the answer! The Enell has 11 front hooks, is a pain to put on and keeps everything in place. The website has an instructional video for putting it on – yes, it’s that complicated! Most days I feel as though I’ve already had a workout by the time I get the bra on, but I’m telling you, the bra works better than any bra you’ve ever tried. With no digging into your shoulders and minimal movement during even running, it’s fantastic. I’ve converted several friends and they all say they will never go back. Even “The Biggest Loser” has started using these bras. And if you’ve seen previous seasons, some of those women were in desperate need of good support. I even have my SH trained to say, “that girl needs an Enell” when we see someone in need.

Another workout tomorrow. Oh, and it’s also on to episode 2 – potatoes.

An up-close of the Enell Bra

I registered for the Aflac Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon today. It’s a 1/3 mile swim, 18 mile bike and 3 mile run. June 27th! I like the idea of triathlon because it doesn’t just focus on one event. I get bored doing the same exercise over and over. And I think doing cross training is better for your body – especially as I get older. Running will be my biggest struggle. I’m just not built for running.

This event is open to women only. SH will have to just be a spectator this time. After following his butt around during 2 marathons, I think he owes me. If you’ve never been a spectator at a marathon, I can tell you it’s a lot of walking with very little payoff. The first time I got very sunburned. The second time I walked over 10 miles myself – and I didn’t train for it! Next time, I’m driving him to the start, going to a spa and picking him up at the finish. Although, he’s going to have it much easier, since he can just sit at the transition to see me at least twice during the event.

I did one of my infamous “ADD” workouts: 18 minutes on the treadmill, 8 minutes on the stairmill and 4 minutes on the elliptical. That’s my total of 30 minutes for the day. The stairmill is a particularly evil machine – it’s like a treadmill, but only stairs. It’s a killer and much harder than the old stairmaster.

Nice quiet New Year’s Eve with my SH at home – gumbo, fire, movies….ringing in the New Year right.