Another Year Another 20 lbs


Yes, you read that right.  As my previous post may have suggested I scaled way back (or, up, in manner of speaking) since last year.  After finding a job – yay! – and moving 3 1/2 hours away from my spouse – boo – I dropped pretty much any regular exercise regimen and began to go out to eat more often.   The result: I am now hovering above 210 lbs, the heaviest I have been since I initially lost weight in college.

I am now a size 16 in pants and size 14 in tops, which means most of my pants no longer fit.  And, of course, I feel disappointed in myself and frustrated that I haven’t done anything to address this sooner.

I have lots of reasons and excuses and I don’t mean to be too hard on myself. They are valid.  A new job.  Lots of upheaval.  Stress.  These things are real and non-trivial. But when you keep putting off positive changes, things become more and more negative, and depressing, and hopeless.

I feel like I’m beginning to turn things around.  I’ve joined a gym.  I’ve signed up for some races.  I’m focusing on eating at home more and eating more veggies.

I ran my first timed 5K in forever this morning. 36:59 in cool (for August) and breezy conditions out on Belle Isle.  It was about as nice a day as they come for a run.


We were at the Jolly Pumpkin, a great sour brewery, Bar in Detroit yesterday and a couple about 15-20 years older than us sat down next to us at the bar.  The (female) bartender asked the wife what she wanted and when the wife started to reply the husband covered his wife’s ears dramatically and said dismissively, “She likes Stella and Heineken.  She’ll have the pilsner.”  The bartender looked the wife in the eye and said, “You can have whatever you want.”  He also kept saying how gross sour beers were.  But you know what?  His wife tried a sampler with a couple of sour beers in the line up.  And my husband and I attempted to defend the style.  The wife – possibly happy that someone at the bar cared what she thought – started showing me pictures of their neighborhood and a building near them that had recently been restored.  Husband remained supercilious, but mellowed a bit when it became clear that we were serious about the beer style and not simply challenging him for the sake of challenging him.

Who the heck goes into JOLLY PUMPKIN to talk smack about sour beers?

The bartender told us we were hired.

For more about sour beers, check out this recent article from the New York Times.  They mention Logsdon, which is an excellent brewery out of Hood River, OR.  They don’t mention Jolly Pumpkin, though.  My guess is it’s not distributed in New York City, but what a sad omission.


Welcome Back

To me, that is.  It’s been months since I posted anything to this blog.  In part because I’ve been spending what free time I have looking for my next job and in part because I took on an extra class this semester, which took up the additional time I wasn’t spending on the road traveling.  I also have been reluctant to put much of anything personal on the Internet lately.  It can be such a judgmental, unkind place and that was not what I needed these past few months.

I’m still running, at about the same pace as last year.  I started half-marathon training a few months ago and it was going well until second rounds of interviews hit and then, traveling, cramming, skipped mid week runs, skipped long runs.  Next week’s Cap City Half Marathon could go either way.  I’m confident I can finish the event, but a PR, which is what I started training for, may not be in the cards.  I’m going to continue to aim for a 2:15 finish and if I don’t quite make it, I’ll still be on pace to PR.  I ran at 10:21 for my pace run today, but it was tough and even that’s not going to get me to 2:15.

My weight’s continued to creep back up.  It’s hovering in the 192-193 range.  My new weight goal is 172, a 20-lb loss.  This will, of course, require a renewed focus on nutrition and a gradual decrease in quantity and increase in quality in what I’m eating.  It’s also hard to cut back on food while training for a race, so I may try to shift my focus to more yoga and strength training for May-July while I transition to my new job.

Lots of changes ahead!

On Hiatus

Was reading the comment thread on a brave and vulnerable post about an individual’s personal struggle with depression and just reading the comments of one particularly pushy and opinionated person makes me want to flee the Internet.  These are comments curated by the author of the post, so he is keeping the negative ones as part of the spirit of public discourse.   And the negative ones aren’t nasty, as such, but do feel like they come from someone for whom empathy is a lower order emotion — all rationalism and denial of others’ experiences.

I’m struggling with society lately, feeling invisible except when subjected to the gaze of others.  I’ve been cat-called, ogled, called out on not running as much, and am about to embark on one of the most judgmental periods of my life so far, a job search.

I’m not giving up writing here entirely, but I am going to take a break till the end of this year.  I may still try to tweet from time to time.

If you read this and actually know me, feel free to private message me or ping me on Twitter.



Feeling Burned

Nanakorobi yaoki  – Japanese proverb.  (Translation: “7 times down, 8 times up”)
We had a 12-mile run scheduled yesterday.  We covered the distance.  I am sun-burned and sore and wishing I had worn adequate sun coverage.  Seriously, I need to get a Monday to Friday* visor.

Here’s how the run — which we were supposed to do at a 11:20-11:40 pace, and ended up doing closer to a 13:00 pace — went:

Miles 1-4: Hey, this isn’t so bad.  Sort of boring running through corn and soy fields.   And the deer and horse flies are annoying.  But the butterflies are nice.  Josh to me, “Do you think you’ll ever do a full marathon?”  Me, “I dunno, maybe.”  Josh, “I bet you will in the next couple of years.”

Miles 5-6: The headwind after turning (South?  East?  It’s all the same out in Flatland) and all the traffic on this road is terrible.  Thank goodness we had to stop for a freight train so I could get a rest.

Miles 6-8: Hey, doesn’t your friend live on this road?  Maybe we should go say hi.  We did stop and he gave us more water and let us be in his air conditioned house, which was AWESOME.

Miles 8-10:  Did it get about 15 degrees hotter while we were in his house…and sunnier?

Miles 10-12: You know, I am totally okay with our walking these last two miles because I think I might pass out.  By this point I was wishing for some UV coverage.

And upon completing our 12th mile in 2 hours and 34 minutes, not counting the break, we called my in-laws to pick us up about a 1/2 mile from their house.  Father-in-law rolls up in his truck quipping, “Ha, couldn’t make it up heartbreak hill, huh?”  No, no we couldn’t.  But you know what — our time even with the walking was not that much slower than my first 5K a couple of years ago.  So, maybe I do have a marathon in me in the next couple of years.

* “Monday to Friday” is a euphemism.  Because we keep a clean blog here, right?

More Foodie-ism

Updates for Fermentation Friday.  First, we’re going to try to brew a Porter this weekend in addition to going to a wedding back in Josh’s hometown.  Not sure it’s going to happen, but I’ll let you know how it works out.

Second, we tried a new (to us) bottle shop in the area, Crafted Drafts, which was (my favorite hipster phrase) “well curated.”

The owner seemed a little more knowledgeable than his second-in-command, who described two beers to me as sours that were not, in fact, sour beers.  Overall, not a regular stop since it’s out of the way for us, but a nice addition to the Columbus beer scene.  They were doing a brisk business when we went last Saturday.



Saw this in my blog feed and had to share:

From: Eater (Token vegetarian dish — probably a pasta. Ding ding ding.)


Also, skipped weigh-in Wednesday, so…181.9 lbs this morning.  Assuming I don’t gain 3 lbs of water weight this weekend (and that’s a big assumption) this may be the start of a downward trend.


Cold Brew Coffee

I made cashew milk for the first time last night.  It’s tasty, but having the patience to let the cashews soak overnight beforehand was tough for me.  Funny that something so easy tests my patience because I have to let it sit.

America’s Test Kitchen had a cold brew coffee recipe I might try.  A twist at the end: adding kosher salt!

Yes, that’s salt he’s adding.


Weigh-In: 185.8 this morning.  I was 183.5 two days ago.  Looking at the trend lines from my scale, over the past month and a half I’ve crept up from “around 184” to “around 185” with about 2 pounds of water weight related variance in either direction.  I’ve stopped tracking my food over the summer and I’ve upped my intake of beer.  Both of these things are mistakes, I think.  Time to get back on the bandwagon.

Non-Scale Victory: On the other hand, I’ve run 20 miles in the past 5 days — two 5-milers and one 10-miler — so despite what the scale says, I still consider my overall health to be good.

We’re Getting Canned: In a Good Way

Josh got tickets to have our beer canned by Buckeye Canning at the Grandview Summer Session festival in August.  Not sure yet what we’ll brew or whether we’ll bring our dog, but this should be a fun event.

I wonder if we get to design art for the outside, or if they’ll just be plain aluminum cans.  Probably the latter, but maybe there’s a way to add some cool labels afterward?

P.S. Today’s weigh-in 184.4 lbs.  Still stuck in the mid-180s.

Are You Ready for Some Futbol?

Where Will I Be on Tuesday Afternoon?

That’s right.  Watching Team USA play in the World Cup Round of 16.  Way to make it out of the group of death, gentleman.


30 for 30: Hillsborough

ESPN’s wonderful 30 for 30 documentary series released a soccer-themed edition for the World Cup.  It leads off with a documentary by David Gordon about the Hillsborough tragedy, in which 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at a 1989 football match.  The film explains how spectators were herded into the stadium through a crowed control snafu by police and the subsequent cover-up by police and attempt to turn the tragic deaths of 96 fans back on the fans’ themselves by saying they had broken through the gates in a drunken mob.  Most of the film is about survivors and families’ two decade long quest for justice and a fair telling of what actually happened that day.

It was appalling to learn than the coroner ran blood alcohol tests on all the victims, even the children, and then published their blood alcohol levels in the paper.

Apparently, the documentary won’t be aired in the UK for more than a year because there is a new inquest into the incident, but for those of us in the U.S., you have got to see this.  It’s on Netflix and Amazon.



Brews and Books

Less Moving, More Brewing

So, last few weeks have not been so good with the running.  The most I ran this weekend was around the block, because it was 10 pm on a Sunday and I had been in my running clothes all day and still had not gone for a run.  This was definitely one of those “you have to make exercise a priority” kind of days and it just never happened.  First, we had a friend stay over, and while I tried to convince him to go for a run (since he’s doing a 5K in a couple of weeks) he said no because he didn’t bring his running shoes.  Then, we had to go get groceries and run errands.  Then, we started brewing a saison, which for all-grain takes several hours, allowing me time to do yard work and entertain neighborhood kids who came over to play with our dog.

Once we’d extracted our wort, we took a break to go watch the USA/Portugal game — tied, flipping tied — which didn’t exactly lift my spirits as much as watching us beat Portugal would have, though was better than a loss.  Finally, at about 9:00 we got down to boiling our beer, which took 90 minutes and then another hour or so for the cool down and racking into a carboy for fermentation.  A busy, full day, none of which involved my running…at least until I took approximately seven and a half minutes to run around the block.

Good weekend on the BREWS side, less good on the MOVES side.

I finally made it out Wednesday afternoon for a sweaty 3-miler.  Our 4-year-old neighbor is insanely in love with our dog and craves constant attention, so she decided to engage in an attention-seeking blitzkrieg yesterday while I tried to work from home.  She began ringing/knocking on the front and back doors and tapping the downstairs windows about every 10-15 minutes, which drives my dog crazy.  Even after I opened the door, explained I was trying to work and that she was bothering our dog and that I would no longer be answering the door, she continued to do it.  I stopped answering the door and decided to go for a run.  Was she sitting on my door step when I left? Yes.  Did she start up again about 20 minutes after I got back from my run?  Yes.  Did she start ringing the bell within 5 minutes of Josh getting home from work?  Yes.  At least I was less stressed after going for a run.

The Oatmeal is Doing a Running Book

Thought everyone could use some humor after the laugh-fest of the above, so check out some of the new Oatmeal running book here.