What’s red and blue and orange?

I’m sure you’ve seen some of the pictures of me with electric blue bangs. That was a clip-on hair piece (obviously fake).

You also know I’m a little crazy.

You probably know that I am determined to help find a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis.

I also have a hard time turning down a good challenge.

If y’all help me reach my goal of raising $2500 by the Team Challenge recommitment date of October 18, I will have permanent streaks of blue and orange dyed in my hair. Think highlights, only blue and orange. I will do this in November, a couple of weeks before the race. That means I’ll have blue and orange hair on Thanksgiving. And, it’ll still be there for Christmas, so you know my mother will be thrilled about that. Let’s also consider that I have red hair. Red hair is going to be hilarious with orange and blue streaks. Think about it.

October 18 is 63 days away. That means I have to raise $36.30 every day between now and then. If 3-4 people donate $10 each day, we’ll get there in no time. The reason why I really want to reach my own fundraising goal by October 18 is so I can spend the rest of the season helping my teammates reach their fundraising goals. As a mentor, I have “mentees,” many who have never done something like this before. I want to make sure each and every one of them gets to Vegas. Last season, I surpassed my goals fundraising-wise and was able to help out some teammates getting closer to their goals.

Can you spare $10, or can you spread the word to all your friends and family? Let’s leave the craps in Vegas!

Click here to donate: http://tinyurl.com/vegas10.

VEGAS, BABY!

Well, I’m at it again.  I was asked to be a mentor for the next season of Team Challenge and I gladly agreed! (If you want to join the team, there’s still time. Click here for more info).

I start training in just a few weeks for the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon December 5. This time around, I only have to raise $2500!

If you could, I would appreciate if you visit my fundraising page (http://tinyurl.com/vegas10) and consider making a donation of $26.20 or whatever you are able to contribute. If 100 people donate just $25, we’ll hit my goal in no time!

Stay tuned for some awesome Vegas-themed challenges.

Inspired by my friend Sarah, I am issuing a challenge. Donate here if …

  1. You’ve been cursed at, honked at, or flipped off while biking or running. – $1
  2. You lost a toenail because of running. – $2
  3. You spend more money on training gear/clothes than regular clothes. – $3
  4. You stopped making fun of fanny packs because your running belt looks very similar (and cooler) to one.  – $4
  5. You run barefoot or with those five fingers thingys because it feels better. – $5
  6. You’ve ever discovered a hole in your pants during a fitness class. – $6
  7. You’ve had chaffing near your lady (or man) business – $7
  8. When someone tells you their pace, you calculate their 5k/half marathon/marathon time. – $8
  9. You extend the length of your runs so you can have another beer guilt-free. – $9
  10. You have no problem talking about bodily functions with your training buddies. – $10
  11. You’ve come in first in any race you’ve ever competed in. – $20 (screw you)
  12. You’ve seen one of the following during your swim, bike and/or run training:
    a.) Asian Carp – $10
    b.) mountain lion – $15
    c.) bear – $20
    d.) dog – $1
    3.) frog or turtle – $5

Swimming and being comfortable in your own skin

You know, it makes me sad to think how much time I missed out on swimming these last four years. I bought a swimsuit 4 weeks ago and have gone swimming every single week since. I love swimming. I always have.

I could have been a lifeguard when I was in HS but didn’t want to sit out in the sun all day (gotta protect my gorgeous porcelain skin). Swimming was always one of my favorite summertime activities.

As I got older (and fatter) it became less and less exciting and more and more anxiety-causing to go swimming because I was so uncomfortable in my own skin.

Three years ago, I weighed 10-15 pounds less than I do now. Then, I wouldn’t be caught dead in the pool. Now I’m very comfortable in my swimsuit. Sure, I’m no SI swimsuit model, but I can wear a suit in public without rushing to wrap myself in a towel.

I guess you finally just say to yourself, “Get over it. If people are judging you because you’re fat and in a suit, they’re the ones with the problem. They can go screw themselves.”

So here it is world, me in a swimming suit.

Coincidentally, all of these photos involve me drinking copious amounts of alcohol. The day before my half marathon. Nice work.

PS. Screw you Sarah for looking so amazing in that itty bitty bikini right next to me.

There’s the margarita again. In the pool this time.

I swear, we didn’t have anything to drink.

Food Porn: Triple Berry Pie

It’s been awhile since I shared some food porn, but today’s food porn is quite magnificent (if I do say so myself).

Today I made a pie. From scratch. I even made the crust from scratch. I have mad skillz.

Notice the lattice crust? Oh yeah baby. I cannot wait to eat this pie later tonight with my sister (not the whole pie, but a good sized piece of it for sure).

How did I make the pie? Well, I searched the Internets for some recipes — which I sort of followed.

Crust

Oil Pie Crust from Allrecipes.com:

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup grapeseed oil)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Sift flour into bowl, add salt. Pour milk and oil into one measuring cup – do not stir – and add all at once to flour. Stir until mixed and separate into two flat balls. Refrigerate for 15-20 min. Roll out on lightly floured surface.

Pie

I took much liberty in following this recipe: Bridgid’s Blackberry Pie Recipe from Allrecipes.com:

  • 2-3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1.5-2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 – 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted

I put about 2 cups of blackberries, 1/4 cup blueberries and 1 cup strawberries and pureed them using the Magic Bullet. I added the puree to a saucepan with the melted butter. Then I added 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup flour and the salt to the pan. I let the sauce get to a slight boil and turned off the heat. In a separate bowl, I mixed the rest of the berries, sugar and flour. I slowly added the sauce mix to the bowl. Then I poured the mixture into the pie pan and baked for 55-60 minutes at 350F.

I ended up with extra filling, so I made some mini tarts:

I had a bit more of the filling left, so I stuck it in the freezer. You never know when you might need some pie filling. 😉

Obviously, I don’t like to measure when I cook. I’m more of a stream of consciousness cook/baker. I go with the flow and make modifications along the way. MMMMMmmmmMMMMM Can’t wait to eat it all!

A Weigh-In Update

I have been hovering around the 24-27 pounds lost mark for a few weeks. I don’t really care. I just did a freaking half marathon. Give me some time to indulge my taste buds until training starts for the next big race.

The point remains, however, that even though I’ve been on a “eat whatever I want” roll, I really haven’t gained weight.

Officially, I’m down 25 pounds and a whopping 41.5 inches. I know. I’ve basically lost a 3-year-old.

The great technology gap

Me & Dad

Me & Dad in Guatemala, 2008.

I must preface this post with the following:
  • I love my dad.
  • My dad cracks my shiz up.
  • My dad is generally tech/computer-savvy.
  • My dad always starts e-mails with “Dear Amy” and ends them with “Love, Dad.”
Today I was chatting on Google talk with my dad about some stuff he’s helping me sell on Craigslist. It made me remember how the first instant message conversation I ever had with him went (AOL IM FTW).
Me: hey dad, I’m coming home this weekend from school. Can you let mom know?
Dad: Dear Amy, That sounds like a plan. We will see you then. What time do you think you’ll get here? Love, Dad.
Me: um it’ll be after class and depending on traffic past chicago…. maybe after dinner ish?
Dad: Dear Amy: We will wait for you. Love, Dad.

Giggle.

Bikram Yoga: What was I thinking?

Photo: Visit London

This is what I imagine hell is like. It’s smelly, it’s humid, it’s hot and you’re in a room with 30 other sweaty people. I was dripping with sweat – even my calves were sweating. Oh, and then class started.

Yeah that’s right. I was dripping sweat on my calves, feet, forearms and all the normal sweaty places before class even began.

I suppose that this description on the Bikram Yoga Milwaukee website should have been a dead giveaway, but I ignored it:

“It is normal to feel dizzy during class. Blood circulation and pressure changes rapidly this may cause dizziness. You will learn to love this euphoric feeling of stretching tight muscles.”

Lemme tell you, I did not find it euphoric. It was my first time trying Bikram Yoga. I was able to do many of the poses (or modified versions of them) thanks to my regular yoga practice, but oh my goodness, this fat girl couldn’t take it anymore.

After 30 or 40 minutes, I had to lie down. I couldn’t stand anymore. I couldn’t breathe (blame the asthma – I always have huge problems breathing when the air is hot and humid). I was seeing stars. I got dizzy. I thought I was going to puke.

Then I did something I swore I would never do until I’m at my goal weight. I took my shirt off in public. Ok, well it was a tank top but still. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I sat there in my sports bra and yoga pants. And then I wondered if I could get away with taking my pants off. I wanted it all off. I couldn’t bear it anymore.

The breathing, the dizziness, the nausea didn’t get better so I got the hell out of there at the 1 hour mark. Within 10 minutes, there were four of us in the lobby, dripping with sweat (sexy), out of breath (also sexy) all wondering what the hell we got ourselves into. Coincidentally, we had all gotten the Bikram Groupons. LOL.

I’m sure I’ll try it again, but I have no desire to do that again anytime soon.

The after effects of #morecowbell

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I’m in Chicago cheering friends at the Rock n Roll half marathon. This is what happens when you ring your cowbell for an hour straight. I’ll be switching to the right hand for the finish line.