Friday, July 31, 2015

Photos are hard sometimes

I am so pleased today.

• I am still at 272, which means it wasn't a fluke or a blip! Super stoked.

• Yesterday evening I ran with some folks from my running group for a Pub Run my local Fleet Feet store puts on. We went to Big Ditch Brewing in downtown Buffalo and it was really fun! The best part was that I ran just over two miles at an unheard of average pace: 13:51! This is the first time since the time trials back in June that I've run so fast – in fact, I beat that time slightly. I guess I am getting used to running in the heat, among other things. I'm just getting better. I felt great during and after the run. PROGRESS, in all caps for sure.

But then...

As always, events like these are photographed. I do love that, and it is helping me get over my body stuff, but sometimes... I see a photo like this and I get really blergh. I'm not really discouraged or upset, just... well, here, see for yourself.

Post-run socializing! (I'm the one in the orange cap, talking to one of my fave mentors, Pat, and my
running pal Amy F.'s elbow, and one of my other favorite mentors, Liz, who is out of photo to the right.)

Anyway. I see that I have definitely slimmed down. But that stomach! The arm! Argh. 

The stomach. Good lord. Will it ever be "normal" again? 

Look, I know I am being all the things I don't want to be by talking like this. But, I am an open book and I want to be honest about my experience in all aspects. This is a biggie. A photo like this is really hard to see.

But I also know how awesome that body with all its funny proportions is. I'm going to look at this photo every day and try to think only of how I just ran my fastest two miles ever and how super psyched I am about it, rather than cry over how weird my stomach and arms are. That is just stupid, and I know it.

I will just leave it at that for now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

100 Pounds

Well, I guess today is the day!

I'm 100 pounds down.

Caveat: Not sure this is going to stick, but 272 appeared on the scale and I'm taking it! Yesterday I had two intense workouts in fairly hot weather, and I didn't eat as much as usual, so – if this is a blip, so be it, but either way it was really cool to see the number blinking back at me this morning.

From here, I'm very excited to get firmly into the 260s.

This begins the effort to lose the next 100 pounds.

I'm just so glad that I no longer have to deal with the reality of being over 200 pounds overweight, like I was when I started. My physical life is SO much better now in so many ways. My mental state is, too, though that relates more to the exercise regimen I've built in the past year – when I can do physical things like running and playing tennis, it makes me feel like a superstar. The adrenaline counts for a lot when you're trying to lose so much weight. It carries you through.

So yes, while I know that you don't have to exercise in order to lose weight, for me it's been a necessity if only for mental/emotional reasons. It makes everything else easier to deal with.

So anyway, I am going to relish in this moment today.

(I'm even wearing a skirt with bare legs to work, first time in years and years. Hey, it's supposed to hit 90 degrees today!)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tennis Me Part Deux + Body Love

So, tonight for the first time ever, I wore... a TENNIS SKIRT! It's the Core 15" Flare Skirt by Fila, who makes them up to size XXL, which is what I am wearing. Hooray Fila! My boyfriend asked me how it felt to wear, and honestly, it was almost like wearing pajamas. Super comfortable. I'm also wearing, in case you haven't noticed, a bright pink No Boundaries technical shirt, with the motto "Running Changes Everything". Because it does. It really does. I mean, I don't know when I have ever worn bright pink, red, and orange all at once. My pal Lara would be proud.

Tennis skirt! The most obnoxious outfit I've ever worn... and that is saying a lot.
Pink? Red? Orange? Yes, please.

This was the first time in years and years, literally, that I walked around outside the house (well, even inside, to tell the truth), with bare legs. Even when I went to the beach with my dad and stepmom last summer, I wore a long skirt.

It felt amazing. I didn't even care how I looked. Initially we had been planning to stop at a corner store for some milk on the way home, and I debated bringing along pants to put on for that. Then, I came back in defense of myself: "F that, it's summer! Why shouldn't I wear a tennis skirt out in public?" I mean, not that I would just wear a tennis skirt to go grocery shopping, but if I am out playing tennis and have to stop somewhere else, well, why not? 

These photos are still a little hard for me to look at and share, but it's something I need to do so that I can be most comfortable in my skin as I move along in my journey to wherever. I want to embrace the fullness of my midsection and wobble of my thighs and arms, and I want to pick out all the good that my body already is (and was, and will be). I am grateful that my body has been strong enough to get me through the challenges of the past year without injury – I know that this is nothing to take for granted, especially for someone of my size. 

Listen to what my good old body did this past Saturday!

I ran FOUR MILES, completely and totally, without stopping, without walking, and even up the Twirly Bridge both ways and that vicious little incline preceding it on the way back. (It's OK that you likely don't know what I am talking about – just know that the TB is murder in two directions, and it has been getting easier with time.)

But seriously, four miles. Whatever, right?. And it's on the schedule again for this Saturday, and then the week after? Try FIVE miles. 

Seriously, my body is pretty incredible. I'm assuming that if I can run four miles, I can also run five miles. 

I love you, body. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tennis Me

At the courts last night! I tucked in my tank top because it kept riding up when
I raced across the court for a good return (or a miss, for that matter). I do a lot of ball chasing.

Pictures like these are hard to post, I admit it. But since being in the running group where there is often photo documentation posted on Facebook (gasp!), I'm getting used to seeing my body in all its glory – and even in the form-fitting superhero outfit! 

There's all kind of things I could be upset by. I've already lost almost 100 pounds, but I am still fat. That can be discouraging. But der! I was really super fat when I started, so that is kind of to be expected, I guess. But still. This is not the body I envision in my head. My mid-section is always something to grumble about, not only for how it looks (so round! Kind of cute, actually, maybe I should stop grumbling?), but also for how it bloops when I sprint. Yes, it actually makes a bloop! sound when I run fast. Annoying. 

But then, I am noticing narrower shoulders and arms than I used to have. And my always-strong legs. And my beaming smile. And my cool Volkl racquet and TWO balls! LOL. Not to mention those super-bright but awesome adidas tennies. 

We played just into dark last night, when the mosquitos started snacking on us relentlessly. It was awesome.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Links I love #9

Glutes exercises to help with running! And some that won't put strain on your knees, which is always nice.

Lots of good ideas here for good eating. I love this super-quick breakfast hack, and can't wait to try it!

"Make breakfast in 90 seconds. Breakfast doesn’t need to be a large production; keep it simple for mornings when you have to be out of the house fast. Homemade breakfast burritos are a fast, simple way to grab a meal in the morning using only a microwave. Place one 6-inch tortilla in a cereal bowl and crack an egg onto the tortilla. Add toppings like green chilies, a sprinkle of cheese, onions and leftover roasted veggies from the night before. Microwave for 90 seconds or until the egg is cooked. Top with salsa and voila: breakfast in 90 seconds."

This is why I have grown to love exercise as much as I do.

More book stuff: The most banned and challenged books of 2014.

Suggestions for your home gym.

I love Mirna.

Thoughts on not letting imperfection get you down when it comes to health and fitness.

OMG. One day, I'd like to do this. More incentive to build my fitness and work on my financials.


Last week was really challenging mentally because of a six-pound gain that came out of what felt like nowhere and slapped me in the face. I did my best to get myself together and not let it get me down since, but I won't lie and say that it's been easy. It's easy to say the words, "Oh, it's not a big deal; it's just bloat, hormones, muscles building, etc." but not easy to swallow the reality of the number on the scale.

Of course, we all know that the scale is not always the best measure of progress.

What mostly saved me from myself was my regular schedule of exercise – mostly running and tennis. Experiencing super-tangible progress was so helpful. Maybe it took the form of running up too many hills successfully, or hitting more tennis balls in than out, or feeling less taxed when sprinting around, or running at a good pace, whatever. Those accomplishments feel really good and in many ways are so much better and more important than numbers on the scale, but still. Those numbers.

Maybe you'll remember that one of my goals for July was to lose 8-10 pounds, and wanting to at least get to the 5% lost point in this sessions (stupidly named) Ton of Fun program at Fleet Feet. I have another two weeks to get back down to 274, which gets me there. So right now, the numbers on the scale are kind of important – for that and just because psychologically, I really, really want to get to the 100 pound mark (272) and into the 260s once and for all.

I feel like I'm just all, "Look! I promise not to be scale obsessed anymore once I get there, really!" And I mostly mean that. But then 250 would be not too far down on the horizon...

So anyway. This week I have managed to lose a few of the pounds I gained, so that is good. But now my exercise – well, really just my running – has gone to shit. I mean, not really, but it feels that way. Saturday's group workout kicked ass with its crazy humidity and hills hills hills, PLUS I drove for six hours, PLUS we played an hour's worth of tennis, so you can bet that Sunday was a rest day. Monday I technically should have gotten up early for my homework run, but I put it off and slept in instead. (We played tennis that evening, at least.) Yesterday I actually skipped the evening group run! Man, I just didn't feel like it – I was tired, cranky, and I just wanted to go home after work instead of kill myself for an hour.

We played tennis for about 45 minutes later in the evening, which is good, but I will never make the mistake of skipping running group again if I can help it. I have been regretting it. Doing it always feels better than not doing it.

Yet when this morning rolled around I fought a fierce battle in my head about whether to get up early and get a homework run in or not. The homework calls for 3 miles, but I was bargaining with myself – 2 miles would be good, just get out there. I came thisclose to rolling over and going back to sleep when I finally wrangled myself up and out, only to have time for a one miler, which I ran at a zippy (for me) 14:35 pace. Part of me is disappointed in myself, and part of me is proud.

Whichever. One mile is better than no mile.

I also plan to take a walk on my lunch break, something I haven't done in a long time. And of course tonight? More tennis. Yes, we're a bit tennis crazy lately. One thing I will tell you is that I always try to incorporate as much movement, and yes, even running, into my tennis playing. Since we're still not super great, or good enough to keep a rally going for much more than five strokes, I'm not constantly moving around like you'd think. So, I try to sprint for errant tennis balls, or I'll do a light jog while waiting for my partner to collect his errant tennis balls, etc. I'm trying to be more mindful of this every time we go out. One thing I still need to get really good about is going for every single return to my side of the court, even if it seems impossible to hit – because it'll get me moving.

The way I see it now is that I still have half the week ahead of me. I can go for a run tomorrow, and maybe even Friday, and I will definitely be attending Saturday's group workout. I can still make this a really good week all around if I get myself back into the mindset I need to be.

This stuff is important. I always inherently know that, but I still have to remind myself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Just because... Progress!

Posting yet another side by side face comparison, because I almost never wear these glasses (they are progressives and I have been resistant to that change), and I was a bit startled by how my face is looking in this latest photo. Of course, this is a very flattering angle, but it's also apples and apples as far as the photos go. (I still have a double chin, but now you can't tell in these Photobooth photos anymore.)


At keft from early September 2014; at right July 21, 2015. Progress!

Monday, July 20, 2015

In six months...

Relating to my last post, I'd like to play the future prediction game. It's fun to think about where I could be in another six months, and these thoughts help keep me motivated. So, here goes, short, but sweet!

By January 20th, I want to:

• Lose another ~50 pounds, which would put me at around 225 – wow!

• Be able to run a 10K (6.2 miles) distance easily

• Shop in regular sized clothing stores more often than not

In order to achieve these three simple goals, I am going to have to work hard. Maybe even harder than I have been. But, I'd really like to get things moving again more than they have the past few months. Part of that is being relatively lax a lot of the time. Sure, I exercise I lot, and I log my food every day, but I need to batten the hatches more if I want to get the results I really want. This means being sure to not eat more than half my exercise cals back (I try to do this now, but not always), really watching the sweets (gelato, I am looking at YOU!), avoiding buying and having snacks in the house that I end up binging on (Smartfood and Doritos, I am looking at YOU!), stuff like that. Easy fixes that I am generally doing well with, but hey, let's tighten things up, man!

Even if I do fall short of these goals, I know that I will be somewhere even better than I am now, and that is exciting in itself. Let's see what I can do... January 20th, I am coming for you!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

180 Days+

I've been reading through the archives this afternoon because I have been so discouraged this week. I've been finding lots of little gems that have heartened me, but this one was fun. Speculation about where I would be six months from now, which was about two months ago, so I am a little late. Here's what I wrote:

Well, today's the day: 180 days, six months, whatever you want to call it. That's how long I've been logging my meals and MyFitnessPal and it was then that I really started this thing for real.

I just couldn't wait for this day to come! And now it has and all I can do is really think about the next six months and where I might find myself then. It's exciting! While I don't see this as a race or anything, I want to speculate a little bit on what I might be doing on May 12, 2105 or thereabouts.

• I will be a month away from turning 45.
Yep. I definitely turned 45.

• I would love to see another 50 pounds off my body, which would bring me down to 268. The last time I weighed that was over ten years ago!
Not quite there, even now into July. But it's OK. I will get there. 

• I expect to be able to totally run a 5K distance, maybe under an 18:00 pace? (Wow, to think it!)
Yup! Totally under an 18:00 pace, too.

• I can't even speculate what else. Wow. Another 50 pounds.

I can do it. Whether I do it in six months or not, I can do it.


(and then on to the next 50 after that.)

Pretty soon I should do another set of predictions for the next six months, yes? This is a good reminder of how far I have come in such a short time.

Thanks, May 2015 self!


So Frustrated

It's amazing how much things can change in less than a week. The past two weeks I was flying high on some good losses and a ton of exercise, along with an overall great feeling about things in general.

This week is a totally different story. I'm not sure what to make of it except to chalk it up to the ebb and flow of our bodies, and of life in general.

Not only has my weight dramatically gone UP (from 274 on Saturday to 279 all this week so far!), but exercising has been more challenging and feels sluggish, less energized in general, AND my mood has been kind of up and down, while I am desperately trying to keep it light and positive. (I wasn't very successful last evening in particular. Ugh.)

Today I woke up wanting to eat everything. I left home for work early thinking about all the things I could stop and pick up to eat, but... I didn't. Thankfully. (I had been thinking mostly donuts, quite frankly.) Instead, when I got to work, I had a bagel and cream cheese, some oolong tea, and my first three glasses of water for the day. Not bad, not the best. Under the circumstances, pretty stellar.

I've been feeling big and bloated.

I know, it sounds like good old TOM or something, right? Wrong, though. I'm mid cycle right now and since I'm on the Pill, I don't ovulate. It shouldn't matter.

Well, whatever is going on, I'm going to keep trying to keep myself together and make the best choices I can make during this rough time. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, to appreciate the progress I've made so far, and to assure myself that I will achieve my goals someday as long as I don't QUIT.


On a more positive note...

Let me tell you about the activities of the past week, of which I am very proud especially since everything is like slogging through molasses. (It's not even that hot, though all my running friends have been complaining about humidity.)

On Saturday, my running group met at Chestnut Ridge, a local park that is famous for its hills. When I was a teen and on the cross country team in high school (I only lasted one season, by the way), torture sometimes came in the form of running up one of the more notorious hills there. Fortunately, my town was not super close to CR, so it didn't happen often, but it sure was memorable!

A fall scene in Chestnut Ridge. Those little rolling hills – this is what our route looked like, except green!
Photo by John Tornow.

So that's where we met, and faced a three-mile route rife with light, rolling hills. Rolling hill after rolling hill after rolling hill. It went through some lovely landscape that reminded me of my dad's neighborhood in New Hampshire, and like there, it makes for a challenging run. I was able to run without stopping for the first 2.7 miles, and I am happy to say at a pretty good clip, too. The last few points of mile were brutal, though – all uphill and continually leveling up – and there was nothing left for me to give except walking. More like trudging. I did run for a few yards at the very end where it finally leveled out, ending with about 3.3 miles total on the books.

Me (on the right) with my Chestnut Ridge running buddy, Jewel We did it!

On Tuesday, group met at the Fleet Feet store and we had our first speedwork session. This was made up of one mile warm-up run, six 200 meter sprints with shorts rests in between each, and a one mile cool down run. All together it ended up also being around 3.3 miles and it was also very challenging, but in a much different way. The sprinting was fun and it was cool to push my body to do something it doesn't ordinarily do – run as fast as it can. This entailed a lot of belly fat flopping around, which wasn't the most comfortable thing, but also was not as bad as I thought it was first going to be.

I totally didn't think I'd be able to finish the run back to store, but surprise! I made it, and with energy to spare, kind of.

Last night my partner and I went out to play tennis for the first time since last Friday – his back had been bothering him so he wanted to give it time to rest. We ended up putting in an hour and fifteen minutes worth and had a great time. We're both making progress – he in regards to his fitness, and me in regards to fitness and playing skill.

But boy oh boy, I am feeling it today. Ouchies.

Here's to the promise of next week – there is always something to look forward to.

Coming my way: adidas Performance Barricade Team 3! Love them.

(I got some real tennis shoes for super cheap, arriving on Saturday!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Links I Love #8

Yes, please. Beer (or daiquiris, or champagne, or margaritas, or whatever) on the beach.

It's been heating up a little bit, but this morning felt like October, as one co-worker said. Still, I am in the mood for beaches and ice cream and libations and lots of free time (sadly, I never get enough). This week's links are less focused on fitness and weight loss, and more on general stuff I am interested in. Life is about balance, yes?

Dealing with the summer's heat and humidity has been challenging, especially after starting to run in sub-zero temps, but this article has made me feel a lot better about my slower pace the past couple weeks.

And now for something different: I am an avid reader. (When I have time.) Holding this list here to refer to at my leisure in the future. Oh, and then I found this one, too! Jackpot!

One woman's take on the Kondo decluttering craze. I still want to read that book!

I just love peeking into other people's homes – especially such stylish ones!

I want to make ice cream... here, here, and here!


Unfortunately so far this week I am back up all the weight I lost last week. I suppose it is not too surprising going by my history – big losses followed by pesky gains, then more small losses – but it sure is frustrating, especially since I am SO CLOSE to that 100 pounds lost mark. I am dying to get there and beyond (like sub-270) just so that I can be comfortably situated in the mid-200s (240-270) once and for all.

I know I will get there, there is no doubt about there, but I admit it – I'm getting antsy. There is no good reason why I should be back up on the scale (honest!), so I'm not going to worry about it too much, but still. Argh, dumb body! Why are you doing weird things and toying with my emotions so much?

Who knows, it's also been known to drop as much overnight, too. Saturday will tell for sure, at least for this week...

Monday, July 13, 2015

July Progress Update

Here's another update on my July goals

... lose 8-10 pounds.
UPDATE: Last weigh-in had me down to 274, which is 7 pounds lost from where I started at the end of June. Not too shabby! I've had a couple big losses in a row, so I am bracing for a stall soon, but hopefully I can keep up the momentum for another couple few pounds...

... learn how to kayak.
UPDATE: Ack, nope. Not yet. There is still time!

... get my bicycle road-ready, suit up with some fun accessories, and ride!
UPDATE: Done! I've worked up to riding two easy miles at a time. Usually it's my private bits that get the best of me more than anything else, though I do appreciate the burn I feel in my thighs!

... go on a hike, even just a short one.
UPDATE: Not yet. Wa wa waaaaa. If I have to go by myself before the end of July, I will make it happen. I only live steps away from one of the most gorgeous hiking spots around: Devil's Hole State Park.

... play more tennis.
UPDATE: Yep, though we've been taking a little break the past few days as my partner's back has been bothering him. He still aims to get at least 3 sessions in each week at the least, though. I think we're going tonight.

... run four times a week.
UPDATE: Still on it. I had a killer group run on Saturday that I'll be writing about soon. It didn't kill me kill me, but I think it almost did. ;)

... include stretching and strength exercises in my regular routine.
UPDATE: I'm still doing the break time strength and stretch at work. I haven't been doing much on the weekends, so maybe I will focus on that for the rest of the month.

In other news, I've been trying out going without lipstick for the past few days. I posted this photo on my Facebook page and it ended up garnering almost 40 comments, all very positive, especially about the no lipstick. What do you think of this 45-year-old woman wearing *gasp* NO makeup at all? 

A little bit of sun, a few wrinkles here and there, some brown spots...  I'm pretty happy with my 45-year-old face.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Links I Love #7

I have just a few links for you today. Note that in the sidebar there is a new resource for body weight exercises – I was looking for a good one stop shop for some of these that I can squeeze in on my breaks at work. I hit the jackpot with!

Holy cow, this race sounds nuts! But maybe in a few years I'll go for it.

All the reasons why I post about my running on social media.

While I do think that I'd like to go for a marathon one day, I like this argument for the humble 5K.

A very thoughtful piece by a man who lost 100 pounds.

In other news, last night despite being very, very tired from the long weekend's super crazy activities (lots of tennis and some yardwork and some running and some cycling), I ran the longest distance I've ever run EVER with my running group: 3.45 miles. (Yes, it has been killing me a bit that I didn't just finish it out at 3.5, but I'll get it soon enough!) A three mile run was on the schedule, so I was tricked! Tricked! If you can believe it. I think what helped was that I didn't look at my distance at all during the run, and of course having lovely cheerleaders along the way – mentors Kateri at the beginning, Angela in the middle and end, and Marissa jumping in at the very end to bring me on home, so to speak. I was shocked to see the distance I had run, of course most the time feeling like there was no way I could make it the whole way.

I say that almost every time I'm out for a run, especially if it's a new distance. "I just don't know if I can do it," I'll be saying to myself, or whoever happens to be with me. And you know what? There is not a single time when I haven't been able to do it. Not a one that comes to mind. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Miss Amy. (That's me, by the way.)

On another exciting note, I'm down another two pounds to 276. (I knew that 274 was a blip, but it's totally OK!) Now, I know, I know – I usually try to weigh just once a week these days, but lately I've been so pumped about my efforts it's really hard not to see what's going on. This can certainly backfire, but lately that's not been the case. It's really heartening and empowering. I can see the progress in several ways – on the scale from time to time, but also in the mirror and in the way my clothes are fitting and the way I can move. Last night at running group several people come up to me to comment about how great I look or how great I am doing, or asking how much weight I've lost, or telling me that I am an inspiration, etc. It makes me kind of blush, but it's exciting and I'll never get sick of hearing it. I feel like it gives me a certain responsibility somehow – to keep doing this for myself, but to also even help other people, even in a very passive way. I will continue that for ever after, too.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Size 20

Another quick late night post. I've been a busy chica during the day lately!

I had to document this, though. On a whim I decided to finally try on a pair of dress jeans that I bought at Avenue during my last big effort to lose weight a few years ago. They still have their tags on them, never ever worn because I never lost enough in order to wear them. (Yes, I am one of those people who sometimes buys inspiration clothes – I still do, in fact!)

As the title of this post says, they are a size 20.

Much the same as my reaction yesterday to seeing 274 on the scale, I'm like:

SIZE 20.

Holy crap.

I don't know when the last time was that I wore that size. It's been a long, long time.

Of course I understand that different companies have different sizing (which drives me and probably you batty), but whatever. Size 20. Please don't comment and be all like, "Oh, Avenue clothes are always cut larger," or whatever. I don't care.

Tomorrow I am back to work after five days off, and now I am excited because I GET TO WEAR MY SIZE 20 JEANS, SUCKA!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shock and Awe

Just a very quick late night post.

Today was positively activity-laden. 45 minutes of tennis in noontime heat (maybe not our smartest move, but we had lots of water and it was fun), plus something like three hours of lawn mowing and (very large) hedge-trimming. It might not sound like much, but that hedge truly kicked my ass. It really did. And I still have a big pile of cut-off branches that need to be trimmed down for the garbage.

I usually don't do this, but I was kind of curious as to what I weighed after all that, even though I'd already had some cereal for breakfast.

To frame this, I weighed 278 at this week's official weigh-in on Friday, which was exciting enough. Today after all that crazy activity? 274.


Holy crap.

I could hardly believe it, and even though I know that it's not going to stick, it was still amazing to see that number on my scale with me standing on it anyway.

Oh my gosh, I am so close to 100 pounds lost now. I can taste it.

So exciting.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Remember not too long ago I posted some goals for July? I have already made some progress, I am pleased to say. Here's the update.

... lose 8-10 pounds.
UPDATE: At weekly weigh-in this morning, I was down 3 pounds to 278. If I keep this up, I have a chance to surpass my initial goal for the month!

... learn how to kayak.
UPDATE: None yet. I need to check out schedules and just go for it.

... get my bicycle road-ready, suit up with some fun accessories, and ride!
UPDATE: Done! I cleaned and lubed my chain so that I can ride without fear of anything locking up after the bike's been in storage for so long. I also took some elbow grease to Chelsea (yep, that's my bike's name) and got her all cleaned up and looking pretty as ever yesterday. No cool accessories yet, but that is to come for sure.

... go on a hike, even just a short one.
UPDATE: Not yet. We're too embroiled in tennis, but I know that I will get at least one in during this month.

... play more tennis.
UPDATE: Oh yes, yes. I even decided on what racquet to buy after demoing several, and got it this week — the Head Microgel Radical Oversize. It's awesome and cool-looking (I got it restrung with black strings, too!), and helps me play better. I even won one game in a set my boyfriend and I played today!

... run four times a week.
UPDATE: Totally. I am so enjoying the challenges of my running group. This week I set down a solid foundation to get over my mental block of distances over two miles. Soon enough I think three will be as easy as two feels now – which, by the way, is not totally easy but a distance I know I can finish without too much trouble.

... include stretching and strength exercises in my regular routine.
UPDATE: The tactic my friend uses to get more strength training in while at work was great! Now I need to transfer that to home use as well. I've been off since yesterday and haven't been doing much along those lines. Still, it's better than nothing!