Archive Page 2

Donating Blood + True Lemon-ade Review

I love the idea of donating blood!  Just one donation can save up to three people!

Here are some quick facts about blood and donations from the American Red Cross:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
  • Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
  • The American Red Cross supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
  • The Red Cross provides blood for patients in nearly 3,000 hospitals across the U.S.
  • Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
  • Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.

Guess who has O-negative blood? Yup,  Me!

Notice the first sentence in the post – ‘I love the IDEA of giving blood’. And its not the needle that creeps me out…

I have given blood twice before, once in college and once right after I graduated.  The first was awesome and I felt great!  The second time I gave blood, I did not have a good experience.  I went with my father one morning and did not take in enough food or liquid beforehand.   I felt light headed and almost passed out, followed by a mild panic attack. I was informed if I  stopped my  donation before I filled the bag,  they would have to throw everything away.  So, I was able to finish my donation but was affected the rest of the day.  More importantly, I started my new job the next day and almost had to call out!

Because of my ‘Universal Donor‘ blood type, I usually get called every few months to donate.  I have declined the last year due to the last time I donated.    But when the Red Cross called me a few weeks ago,  I signed up for an appointment for tonight!

Found these tips for a successful blood donation from the American Red Cross:

  • Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation.
  • Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods.

Considering what happened to me last time, I am chugging fluids!

One of the liquids I am drinking is a freebie I got from AJ during FitblogginTrue lemon-ade with Raspberry.  It’s a  powdered drink mix with only 5 calories and sweetened with Truvia™, an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener.  Sort of like Crystal Light but low  calorie and natural.  I do like actual lemon juice makes the ingredients list.

First off, I would like to say I rarely drink anything sweetened.  I drink coffee and tea black and not a fan of juices.  I do drink the occasional Coke, and always the real stuff.  I can taste artificial sweeteners a mile away.

I liked how portable are the packets.  However, the powder did not dissolve easily.  It took more stirring then expected.

The taste was good, not great.  It did not taste like fresh lemonade but not like a fruit drink.  The lemon flavor is actually very good; it was the raspberry that tasted artificial.  I have a sampler of plain lemonade that I am excited to try.

Will I drink the rest of it? Yes! Will I buy another box?  No, probably not.

I would rather buy tea or drink water. (for free!)

The sweetener in this product, truvia, is a type of stevia,  a plant derivative.  I would like to learn more about this, since I don’t like chemical sweeteners and am wary of Agave.

Ok! Back to work and chugging more liquids!


Pizza Overload

When does a day become a complete healthy eating FAIL?  How many poor food choices make the day unhealthy?  After the bad lunch choice? Before the midnight snack?  With the extra slice of pizza????

Yesterday, I knew I was going to dinner with my best friend from college.  We were going a local microbrewery/ pizzeria, meaning I wasn’t going to get the healthiest of dinners. So I packed myself a lunch, made a huge Green Monster for breakfast and started my day.

Once I get to work, my routine is to make an iced coffee and catch up on blog reading for about 10 – 15 minutes.  How do I make my iced coffee? With this beauty:

Office sized Keurig! My company provides this with many choices of coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Yes, my company rocks!

While during said blog reading, I learned it was Free Cone day at Ben & Jerry’s.  And with a store within walking distance from the office, I was in!  I normally don’t eat ice cream,  free ice cream is a different story!

Then I got the following email:

I’m working at Silver Spring today, so I will be hosting an impromptu pizza lunch in Conference Room A starting at 11:30am.  No agenda, just lunch.
President of my Company

Yay, Free Pizza and lunch with the president!! (Again my company rocks!)

I had the pizza for a  lunch. This including a veggie slice… and 2 buffalo chicken slices.    Then I got my free ice cream cone –  Chocolate Therapy.  The whole office went, it was team bonding, right?

Got a 10% off key tag, good for the next year!

And then I went out to dinner, where I ate MORE pizza and beer.  Oh and Garlic Cheese Sticks… I probably ate close to a whole pizza yesterday…

By the time I got home after 9pm,  I wanted a snack.  I stood in my kitchen thinking about my unfortunate food choices over the day.  I could have eaten my packed lunch or eaten all veggie pizza or not gone to free cone day or gotten a frozen yogurt or went to a different restaurant for dinner or not have had a beer.  The choices went on and on.

My next 2 thoughts were:

  1. This is why I am gaining weight
  2. I already destroyed ANY healthy eating today, I may as well  have a chocolate bar.

I KNOW the choices I make are not great.  I have always heard if you have a binge or an unfortunate food choice,  you should get right back on the wagon.  Not to continue to binge!

But how do I get motivated to stop making the changes?  Something that I need to work on.

(Just a note: Last night,  I did decide that I wasn’t actually hungry but thirsty.  I had a big glass of water and called it a night! WIN!)

Fitbloggin Plus an ER trip!

As I posted earlier, I was able to get an extra ticket for FitBloggin.  I had a (mostly) great time, met many great bloggers and learned lots! Here’s a quick recap of the weekend. Read on for an exciting twist!

Friday was my day off and I thought I had plenty of time to get ready for Fitbloggin! Including setting up my brand new baby laptop:


An Asus Eee PC Netbook! My poor Macbook is almost 4 years old and about to die.  Hoping this baby I can use for most of my everyday task and use my Mac for bigger projects! Plus the thing is super portable and much cheaper than a new Mac:



Unfortunately, I was barely able to set it up!  I ended up in the hair salon for about 6 hours. Two dye jobs, a cut and a recut later, my hair is at least the right color.  The cut is nothing different then what I had :/ The lady I had was just so distracted and totally missed my point!  I will always bring pictures in from now on to show the hair stylists.

I ended up getting the the Fitbloggin Pom Reception late, about 6:30. It was being hosted at the Marriot Waterfront.  The last time I was in this hotel was for my prom in 2004!!  Got myself a yummy Pom Martini! Then off to meet a bunch of fun bloggers!


(Ashley’s Photo!) Please note pretty red color but unfortunate bang situation…

I also got a a great gift bag, which will be a separate post.  I am blogging from my ‘rents house and all the swag is at my apartment!

In the morning, I opted out of the New Balance 5k. I wasn’t feeling getting up before 5:30 to make it there in time! Thinking about running the route next weekend though!

I carpooled with Monica of RunEatRepeat, since she isn’t familiar with the area.

A stop a Dunkin Dounuts happened! Then off to Fitbloggin!!!


The first thing I hit up was the Oatmeal bar where I got some oatmeal with cranberries and a cute jar of Honey to go with my iced coffee!


There were many great vendors there including POM, New Balance and LA Boxing! Plus the hotel is beautiful:


My first session was ‘Don’t write about junk science: How to critically evaluate research.’ Great session that bought up great points! I am going to do one or many posts on this, as it relates to my senior research project.  This was an under attended session of the conference, which in my opinion was due to schedule.  SEO (search engine optimization), also a great topic, was more appealing to most. 

After a quick coffee and fruit break, it was off to WordPress from .com to Self Hosted: An in Depth look into one of the Most popular Blogging Software out there. Another great session that I will be utilizing soon!

After the WordPress sessions, I was chatting with Jim when Roni came up to us.   One of the other attendants was in serious pain and needed to go to the ER.  Obviously, Roni, couldn’t go and Jim (also a local) didn’t have a car. 

So I volunteered to drive her to the ER.    I told Roni I would pull my car around to pick up the girl. Poor Mary had horrible back pain and couldn’t keep anything down and was thinking she had a kidney stone.  I picked up Mary and Andrea, her room mate, at the front door.  After getting stuck at a ridiculous amount of red lights (Why does that always happen?) and my incessant talking to keep Mary’s mind off the pain, we got to Johns Hopkins Bayview.



As great as the Marriot was, they had a FAIL, no one at the concierge knew what hospital to send her.  They said she could go to one hospital but she would be waiting for hours. Mary was in so much pain at this point that was not an option.

We had an excellent experience at Bayview! Every person working, nurses, doctors, PAs, and admins, were pleasant and helpful. They took Mary in almost right away, put her on fluids and got her a room! Meanwhile, Andrea and I got to know each other in the waiting room.  We saw some interesting people as Bayview is not in the greatest area of Baltimore.

Once Mary got settled in her room, Andrea and I went back to keep her company.  A Physician’s assistant came into the room to let Mary know she was getting pain medication soon.

I then accosted the PA and asked her a TON of questions! I want to go back to Physician’s assistant school. The PA was super nice and answered most of my questions, before excusing her self to get the pain meds.  Oops, sorry Mary!!!

Next, a ER doctor came in to do an ultra sound.  Ultra sounds can check for signs of kidney stones but not diagnose them.  Mary would need a CAT scan for the diagnosis.  Mary was kind enough again to let me geek out and ask all sorts of crazy questions! It helped she received the pain meds already!

I learned all how to read an ultra sound of a kidney and bladder. We were able to see blood flow through the kidneys by using Doppler.  The doctor was patient and helpful with us. He even printed out a picture for Mary! 


By this point, it was almost 2:30pm.  I had not eaten since 9 and was starting to get shaky.  Once I made sure Mary would be fine and left every piece of contact information I had, Andrea and I headed back to the conference. 

We got back just in time for the last session but missed the snack. I had to eat!   I may have cried to one of the Marriott hotel staff.  The head guy was nice enough to get me a grilled chicken sandwich, Marriot WIN!

Ok, it was a grilled chicken sandwich smothered in cheese with Old Bay fries.  Not exactly ‘fitbloggin’ good but delicious!

I got to see some of the last session about making money off your blog.  To be honest I wasn’t interested, so I was fine with skipping out when Mary called to let us know they were releasing her.  Andrea and I headed back to Bayview to pick up Mary.

Mary had her CAT scan and was diagnosed with multiple kidney stones. The medication was managing her pain, so she was being released.

We got back in time for the closing remarks, but I opted out to speak with some of the vendors.  I did participate in the sushi and mousse JELLO reception after!  Odd but delicious combination.

Of what I participated in, Fitbloggin was  fun and informative. Hopefully, next year I will be able to enjoy the whole thing! I am glad I was able to help a fellow blogger out! Mostly, it was nice to meet Mary and Andrea, who I would probably not have spoken to other wise!

Game Plan

When I sign up for a half marathon in October, I was pumped!  I was going to run every morning before work, strength train and eat healthier.  I was going to run a 1:45 half marathon and become so toned I would become a fitness model!  This was going to change my life!

First some background:    I am not fat.  Never have, never will be, thanks to my genes.  Both of my parents are fairly unhealthy and still not obese.  I am not ‘toned’ either;  I have always been a little soft especially in my mid section. (that’s a topic for another day!)

When I graduated college in May of 2008, I was tiny.  Perhaps too tiny, but not unhealthy.  I had unintentionally lost 10 lbs at the beginning of 2008.  To this day, I have no idea how it happened. One day. I just stepped on the scale and was SHOCKED to see the number.  It was a combination of a relationship ending and my nanny gig;  I was not going out to eat as much and eating the same amount as the kids I watching.

Uber-Skinny Kate - April 2008

Being skinny does not equal healthy. Vodka and Chipotle are not exactly a healthy diet. I would eat a burritos at 3 or 4 in the afternoon and not eat till 11 am the next day. That happened more than once a week.  Bags and bags of salad mix went into the trash because I was too busy eating Cheez Its and pasta.  The only reason I stayed at the same weight is lacrosse, whether I was playing or ogling the men’s team at the gym.  (I would get on a cardio machine and watch their practice!! Haha!)

One of the few recent body pics I could find....

Skip ahead almost 2 years to today.  I have put on about 25 pounds since graduation for numerous reasons: sitting on my butt for 8+ hours a day, lack of sports practice 5 days a week and more disposable income to eat out.

Still, I am not fat. (unless you ask Karl Lagerfeld) Yet most of my weight gain has been fat replacing muscle.  I am not happy either.  There are rolls where rolls had never been, my jeans no longer fit and I felt like crap.  Probably most shocking was my fitness level.  Since I was little, I was able to step on a field, whether soccer or lacrosse, and run faster than anyone.  I never trained; I was just built to go fast.

Then one lacrosse tournament last fall, I couldn’t do it.  I was slow, sucking wind and overall playing horrible on the field.   That was my ‘tipping point’.  Not that my clothes didn’t fit or that I was sluggish all the time or the extra fat I gained but a lacrosse game.

Two weeks later, I signed up for a half marathon and training program.

So now, 6 months later, you want me to tell you I have changed my life, am so much happier, eat better, blah blah blah…

Well, I can’t do that because it’s NOT TRUE!

I did run my half marathon with a decent time.  But life changes have not been made, I have only lost about 2 pounds.  My diet is only slightly better and I have put on no muscle.

Oh, I played my first lacrosse game of the season on Sunday. Apparently distance running does not get you in shape for lacrosse… I was breathing hard and getting left in the dust all game!!

Looking back,  it wasn’t the best idea to start a training program from scratch in November.  Though Maryland winters aren’t usually brutal,  this winter was one for the record books. Still,  I can make all the excuses I want, but honestly it was lack of motivation.  I adjusted some parts of my life, just not enough.  I am eating less meat, working on portion size and getting some exercise. Yet, these aren’t enough.  I am still sluggish and achy a lot of the time, due to my diet and halfhearted workouts.

The tools are here for me to change but  I have to be willing to change!  I think I am ready now to make more changes, changes for a healthier and  better life!

The Big question is:

How do I change?

I am going to start with the following 5 steps as guidelines. All super easy to do!  Ease my way into dramatic life changes rather than trying to jump in the deep end.

Game Plan:

1. Get some kind of exercise in EVERY day! NO EXCUSES! Even if it is just a walk!

  • Example: On Monday, my run got rained out.  I would normally eat a bag of popcorn instead.  I got off my bum and went to Hot Yoga. Awesome workout, I was soaked with sweat!
  • Add Interval and Sprint training
  • Work in more Strength Train /Ab Work
  • Take a walk at lunch!

2. Try to eat more meals at home on the weekends.

  • My eating habits are sloooowly changing. But whatever I do during the week is completely wrecked when I eat out on the weekends, I usually make poor decisions at restaurants.

3. Eat more veggies!!

  • I have cut back on my meat intake, but replaced it with yogurt and eggs.  Maybe I’ll start doing a Veggie of the Week post?

4. Drink more water!

  • I probably mistake dehydration for hunger ALL the time.  This should help me be able to run better too.

5.  Blog!

  • Accountability will definitely increase my  motivation!
  • I can keep track of my changes!!

I’ll expand on each of these in future posts! This post took a different direction than I had originally hoped, I will delve more into my ‘Game Plan’ later!


The folks at FitBloggin were able to open up 10 more tickets!  And I was able to get one.  Love that it’s in the hotel where I had my prom.  Really excited to go and meet bloggers and learn some cool stuff!!

Princess PlusDelta

So at my workplace, we don’t use pros and cons; we use pluses and deltas.  These are the  good things and things to change/ work on, rather than bad things. It helps promote change and positive attitudes!

Here are my Plus/Deltas from the Princess Half Marathon:


  • Base mileage While training, I did many long runs, of 8+ miles, and many short runs, of 4 or shorter.  But I was lacking in the middle distance runs, runs between 4 and 8 miles.  Reason why my pace dropped off and I lost steam after the 15k mark.
  • Fuel – Something about the combination of the Gu, shot blocks and Powerade I ingested made me sick.  I need to work on what, how and when I fuel during my training runs.
  • Mind Games – One of the reasons I did not take up distance running before are mind games.  My attitude during runs is usually pretty poor. Since the beginning of my training, I knew my legs could handle 13.1 miles.  My struggled were with my brain! I knew the second half of the race would be boring and let this get to my head.
  • Pictures – If I want to blog, I need to work on taking pictures…. haha!!


  • Finishing Strong – I may have started out too fast and slowed down after mile 9.  My feet were in major pain and I was mentally defeated, when I saw mile 12.  I buckled down and really went hard the last mile, even sprinting the last .1!
  • Pace/ Time – I planned on running under 2:10 or at least 10 minute miles. With Mother Nature dropping 70+ inches of snow on the ground, I was hoping finish under 2:30.  I finished in 2:10:29 and 9:57 min/mile pace!
  • Feeling Great – Well other than right after the race, I felt great! Both the rest of Sunday and Monday! Thinking this was because of the yoga and water guzzling .
  • Having Fun!– I had tons of fun running this race!  Running 13.1 miles wasn’t near as horrible as I thought!

What’s next for me? Post coming tomorrow!!

Random Pictures from the rest of my trip:

Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap

I had a great time at the Princess Half Marathon, but the one thing that sucked was the wake up time.  I woke up at 3:15am!

Dad and I got dressed and stumbled over to the food court to get coffee.  I planned on having a banana and a Larabar but got a boxed breakfast at the All Star Sports resort.  This included a bagel, granola bar, banana and a bottle of water.  I ate the banana and started to munch on the bagel as we got in the line for the bus to take us to the race.

Caroline and I planned to ride the bus over together.  When I got in the bus line, there was only about 50 people in line.  By the time Caroline got there 5 minutes, the lobby was packed and her and her husband couldn’t find us. 😦

Once we got to Epcot, Dad and I hung around for a bit;  it was chilly, about 45°.  Since I have been training in sub-freezing temperatures, this actually felt pretty nice! I left my camera with Dad, who isn’t a great photographer. Please excuse the blurry pictures!!

I was able to meet up with Caroline and Andrea before the race.  We then trekked to the Start. Yes, trekked! It was about a 20 minute walk! I’m glad I had ladies to talk to and complain with!

Once we got there, we split off to go to our respected corrals.  Me to A and them to E.  I was so close to the Start!!!!

Blurry BB Pic of Start!

[[SIDE NOTE]] The corral placement was wacky!  I was placed in corral A, even through I am not that fast and have never run a half.    Leslie, who re-PRed at 1:51, was in Corral E.  And she signed up early! I heard of no one in B or C.  To top it off, there were walkers even in Corral A!  This was my only real complaint about the race that can be fixed.

After a quick bathroom break, I lined up in the corral, had a Vanilla Gu and chatted with some of the ladies around me. Then a little after 6am, the fairy godmother came out to wish us well! And with a fireworks start, we were off!

Dad's blurry pic of fireworks at Start!

Mile 1-3

Even though I was in the first corral, I still spent the first half mile weaving through walkers and slow runners.  I paced behind a woman in a coral shirt for almost 3 miles and felt great! Even though this part was on the highways, it went by quick! At the first water station, I grabbed Powerade, expecting blue and tasted GROSS lime. UGH!  There was an awesome pirate ship in the middle of the highway, no picture of course!

It was also pretty neat to run through the Magic Kingdom gates, which I don’t have a picture of again….

Mile 3-6

5K split: 30:19

By Mile 4 and the Ticket Center, I saw my dad! He, however, did not see me.  He had taken the monorail  to the ticketing center and was looking for a place to stand.  Some nice man had to chase him down as I was not about to run backwards! There was awesome Japanese drummers, who I wished could follow me. They were keeping a great beat!

Happy to have chased down Dad!!

I then entered Magic Kingdom, still keeping a great pace! In fact I sped up!  We ran up Main Street…

Blurry BB pic 😦 Kind of groovy though~

through Tomorrowland and then through the castle! I loved they had trumpeters right on top of the castle entrance!

Got this taken at the castle. May buy it!

Right after we exited Magic Kingdom by Frontier Land, one of the runners next to me said ‘Here comes the boring part’ .  I think that really stuck in my head the rest of the race.

Mile 6 -8

10k Split: 1:00:13

I saw my dad again  at the Floridan.  He saw me and was ready this time!

I always look this pained while running

Up until this point, I felt amazing.  I had held about a 9:30 pace, walking through the walk stops and taking a few pit stops to take pictures!  Once Dad and I parted ways, I realized there was a looonnng stretch of highway and not much to look forward too.  This really played with my head.  It was also starting to get warm out…

Mile 8 – 10

At about mile 8, I took a 3 minute walking break just after mile 8 to eat some Cliff Shot Blocks.  Looking back, this was a bad idea.  I should have just ate one every 10 minutes.  The first 7 miles are a blur in my head, they went so fast!  But on the open road, I start to plan mind games…

Hit the Pirate Ship again. This time there were actual pirates there! I high fived a Captain Jack Sparrow, who looked a lot like Johnny Depp!

15k Split: 1:31:53

Approaching Mile 10, I saw that we were going to have to run up an on-ramp…

This is how I felt inside....

Mile 10 -12

Since I train on a lot of hills, the actual on-ramp was not that bad.  However, the idea of the on-ramp was mentally killer.  I was mentally dead after the ramp.  I looking in to the  sun, with no sunglasses, my stomach was souring and I still had 3 miles to go… I did not want to panic or totally break down, so I  started 10 minutes running and 1 minute walking. During walking, I would take some deep yoga breaths that  helped significantly.

There was another ramp between mile 11 and 12 and I was not looking forward to it.  As I turned the corner though, I saw the Epcot globe. It put some pep back into my step!

Right before mile 12, I was running downhill and had a shooting pain in the ball of my foot.  My shoes were not tied tight enough towards the toe and  I now have blisters on the underside of my toes.  I seriously considered taking off my shoes and carrying the timing chip across the finish line!

Mile 12- 13.1

Mile 12 was right before Epcot.  I knew I was almost finished so I sped up a bit! The out and back in Epcot was painful and I was trying to push through…

Luckily Meghann was cheering at Mile 13. She had a great sign (‘Run, Blogger, Run’) and it really gave me that last push!  Thanks for the picture, Meghann!

I was able to really push through the last .1! Here’s on of me right after I crossed the finish:

If you look from a distance, I look like I am smiling!

On of the Finish Line when I finished, I am on the right.  Why couldn’t the other photographer get one of me with my arms up??  Instead I got painful face above!

Finished!  My Official Times:

It was great to be done and I was so happy!  The princess crown medal was placed around my neck and my hair glittered!  After I grabbed water and Powerade, I stepped to the side to get out of my now very painful shoes and call my dad.  Then things went downhill fast….

While on the phone with Dad, my stomach started to  cramp .  I was barely able to walk over to meet my dad or drink/eat anything. A trip to the port-a-potties didn’t help.  I sat in the middle of the parking lot for about 20 minutes while my dad went to find my uncle, who got stuck  in traffic and got there after I finished 😦

I think this was a combination of the Gu I ate before the start and the lime Powerade plus the heat and effort that made me so ill.  It did ruin the accomplishment I just had.

Once I was feeling a bit better, Dad, Uncle and I  hopped on a bus back to All-Star Sports to shower and get breakfast.  We ate at the Bordwalk’s Kouzzina by Cat Cora and I had a delicious stacked breakfast.

The rest of the day was spent napping and getting more frozen yogurt at Menchies!

And there was a trip to downtown Disney….

Love Stich! He spited too!

The other day, I posted about the Post Race Blues.  As I was thinking about it last night, it is not really ‘blues’ as much as regret.  Because I got sick, I don’t have ANY post race photos.  I also didn’t hang around to see how people finished or get a finishers tee.  And when I see others race recaps with happy finishers photos, I get a little jealous! I think I am almost over it though

Overall, it was a great race and I learned a lot!  I will definitely be signing up again! Hopefully next year my sister will race with me!

A Big Thanks to My Dad!!! Not only did he come  with me, but he ran around Disney at a ridiculous hour! As he put it, it felt like the Amazing Race!!


Hi! I may be the least motivated person around. I am a 20-something working at my first job in the Computer industry. Just trying to get motivated in life - fitness, health, school, work and every day tasks

2010 Race Schedule:
3/7 - Disney Princess Half Marathon - DONE! 2:10:29
4/25 - Pike's Peek 10k
6/15 - Baltimore 10 miler
10/16 - Baltimore Half Marathon



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