Need for speed

Hummus craving?  Satisfied.

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Love it.  Although garlicky hummus breath is an issue.

I also had my usual spinach/balsamic combo, some cantaloupe (although it was hard and flavorless and I’m probably just going to dump the rest), and yogurt with granola.

Work today was CRAZY.  I wasn’t feeling the gym.  But I knew I should.

I decided that not feeling like going + blistering from the orthotics meant that I should keep today’s workout short.  I decided to run two miles.  After a mile, I decided to run much faster than I usually do and cranked the treadmill up to an 8:30 pace.  And…I felt fine.  It was hard, but not un-maintainably so.  In fact, I sped up and finished at a 7:50 pace!  All in all, I ran my second mile in 8:22, a new personal record for me.

While I was running so fast, (aside from biting my tongue REALLY HARD OW) I was thinking about fear.  I think I stick with “comfortable” numbers on the treadmill because I’m afraid of failing.  I know I can run a 9:50 mile, and I’ll do it well.  An 8:00 mile?  Scary.  I don’t know if I can do that.  I think my asthma is a factor here—I’m afraid that if I push hard, something bad will happen (although, realistically, I know my limits and would stop before that happened.)

I think the fact that I’m punching in a specific speed on a treadmill is holding me back.  Unfortunately, treadmill running is my best option for running most of the time.  I wonder how fast I’d be if I just found a flat surface and ran, you know?  So, from here on out…I’m going to run faster.  As Kath once wrote, “To run faster, you have to RUN FASTER.”  (Or something like that.) 

Even though I ran fast, and for less time than yesterday, my feet still blistered.  I’m beginning to accept that blistering just might be my normal (though I’m still going to try a wider shoe and see what happens).  Eff. 

In other news, we had our first kitchen fire today.

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Tim put it out quickly.  (He set a paper towel on a hot burner.) But our house is smelling a little smoky.  Oops.

Milhouse ran and hid.

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Buckley didn’t move. 0518 004

It’s comforting to know our animals would save us in a disaster.

Two more work days until the honeymoon!  And two questions:

1. How do you conquer your fears?

2.  Runners: how do you figure out your comfortable pace and stick with it?

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Playing it by ear

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

Today did NOT go according to plan…but in a good way!

My boss owed us all a lunch out, and she announced that today was the day!

So I abandoned my packed lunch in the fridge in lieu of lunch out.  Hooray!

I had a soup and salad combo—chicken noodle and Caesar (easy on the dressing.)  I also had one or two of the appetizer she ordered for the table—Portobello mushroom “fries”!  They were pretty awesome.  The chicken noodle soup was great—it was really different.  It was almost more like a chicken tortilla soup because it was spicy, but I liked it!

No pictures because I’m camera shy at work (when my office door is open.)

My boss came back late…because she’d stopped at a bakery to get us all chocolatey desserts!  What a lady.

I wasn’t really sure what mine was, although it was mildly phallic.

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Alas…

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It was kind of like a fancy pants Three Musketeers bar.  I had two bites and tossed the rest—it was good but not great.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty easy.  My boss has specifically stated that I’m not going to get assigned anything TOO in-depth until after the wedding.  Apparently I’ve looked a bit frazzled lately!

I was prepared to hit the gym after work, but then I got an e-mail…the gym was closing today at 5 for a special “thank the gym employees” event!  So, home I went.   It’s probably for the best, because my left shin has been complaining intermittently all week.  STILL.  Ugh.

We decided to celebrate the weekend with an animal photo shoot.

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Please ignore my godawful roots.  I’m getting my hair dyed tomorrow!

This is the big project this weekend: 0423 011

Programs.  They will be done this weekend if it kills me.  And it might. 

Anyone else get a fun surprise today?

Flexibility is fun

Hi, everyone.  The benefit of a Monday off is that every day always feels earlier!  It felt like a Tuesday, but it’s Wednesday!  How ‘bout that.

After being on the road last week, I was craving fresh fruits and veggies…so that was my lunch.  I ate a huge bowl of cantaloupe, a spinach salad, and a pile of fresh strawberries.  (Some went on my Chobani, some went on my salad!)  I also had a sandwich thin with almond butter.  Seriously, since I’ve been home, all I’ve wanted is fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, and eggs.  WTF?  I’ll go with it, though.

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Also, Operation Tooth-Stainy Stuff Free Day One was a success.  No coffee or diet Coke.  Hooray!  One down, sixteen to go.

After work I hit up the gym for the first times in awhile!  It felt good to be back.  The only exercise I’ve done since my half on the 10th was one trail run in Napa with my sister, and lots of recreational walking on vacation.

Unfortunately, when I started running…pain.  My left knee, outside of my left shin, and my left ankle started throbbing.  So, after a mile, I realized, “Hey!  You’re not specifically training for a  race right now!  Go do something less taxing on your leg!” and decided to hit the weights for the first time in for-ev-er instead.  As much as I like having a schedule and being in serious training mode, it’s nice to have a little bit of flexibility.

So, I went to the weight room and gave my upper body a quick  beating like so:

  • 3 sets of 12 overhead presses using 15 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 deadlifts using 30 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 upright rows using 15 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 squats using 25 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 bench presses using 20 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 lat pulldowns at 48 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 12 underhand grip lat pulldowns at 48 lbs.
  • 2 sets of 12 reverse crunches holding a 25 lb. plate

Yowza.  My upper body feels like jelly!  It’s been far too long since I’ve hit the weights, but it felt good to do something different.  Also, my arms are really the only flesh that will be exposed in my dress, so they might as well look rockin’. 

I came home and we’d gotten a fun package from My Blog Spark of some most excellent goodies for me to try.  Buckley preferred the box.

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Speaking of which, in honor of Earth Week, visit Cascadian Farm on Facebook and make a pledge to be more eco-friendly!  They will donate $1 to the Organic Farming Research Corporation for every pledge.  Cool, huh? 

Anyhoo.  Have a great night, all!

Do you prefer to be on a workout schedule or do you like going with the flow in the gym?

Half marathon STYLE

Chocolate Raspberry Luna Bars are the best.

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After work, instead of going to the gym, I went to my beloved TJ Maxx to scope out the situation on their workout gear.  I love TJ’s (no, not Trader Joe’s, though I love them too) because they have high quality wicking-type clothes at low prices. 

Backup: I went to TJ Maxx because I freaked out realizing that even though the forecast for Saturday is 75 and sunny…at 7 a.m., it will be in the low 50s.  And it will be that chilly for the entire race (unless I take, like, four hours to finish, in which case I doubt I’ll care what I’m wearing).  And I don’t really have a dri-fit short-sleeved shirt I liked—I like V-necks, and my other two are too big.  I contemplated using my Zensah calf compression sleeves as arm warmers, and then realized I’d look like a total douchebag.

So yes.  My options were light pink, dark pink, and fluorescent green.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t hate pink.  Our wedding flowers are pink.  I think pink is pretty.  But it annoys the bejeezus out of me that all women’s workout gear is pink.  I realize TJ Maxx has a limited selection, but I don’t think it’s just there.  Whenever I want to buy workout clothes, I feel like my options are white, pink, and purple!  I want to wear green and navy and black and red and gray and yellow and orange, too!  (I don’t really look great in pink, either, which also explains my bias.)

Anyway.  Obviously, I am going to be a bright lime green runner on Saturday!  (My decision was actually mostly based on the fact that this fabric was much lighter and is basically the exact same as my favorite adidas tank top that I was planning on wearing, but with light sleeves.)

Tim has NO EXCUSE for missing me running by on Saturday.

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I also bought the black dri-fit capris with green accents to match because they were cheap.  (They are the exact same as another pair of adidas capris I have, just different colors, so I know I’m not going to burst into flames for wearing new gear on race day.)

So if you are at the Olathe Marathon on Saturday, I will be the asshole in neon green.

Also, I ordered a BondiBand on Monday and it came! 

Cripes, I need to Windex our mirror. 

0408 004I can’t usually wear fabric headbands, even the ones with rubbery grips, because they pop off the back of my oddly-shaped, large head.  But this one is holding strong so far!  I usually wear a hard plastic headband, but this is much more comfortable.  I am reserving judgment for awhile until I take it for a workout, but so far so good!

And again, our little lovers:

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Oh yeah!  In more exciting news…I got my first donation to Team in Training today!  Super exciting.  If you think I can finish a marathon, throw a few dimes in my tip jar, please! 

What’s your take on the predominance of girly workout gear?   Would you rather workout clothing be more unisex? 

Back in the saddle

Yup.  You heard right.

Rewind.  This morning it POURED on my way to work.  Actually, when I left home, there was a hailstorm going on!  That was interesting.  This is what my commute looked like.  (At a red light, don’t worry.)

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Of course, things cleared up as soon as I stopped driving.

Spring has definitely sprung in these parts.  The grass is green and the flowers and trees are beautiful.

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Unfortunately, they’re also making me MISERABLE.

I seem to be extra-allergic to Kansas City.  All fall I could barely breathe, and now my sinuses are in mucous overdrive.  I felt better this morning than I did yesterday morning, but all day I was sniffling and sneezing and my eyes were watering.  (And I do take Zyrtec once a day, too!)  I also have a constant mildly queasy feeling from all the sinus muck building up in my stomach.  Blerg.  I hope this is gone by Saturday.

Today’s run was kind of a big deal to me.  Mentally, I NEEDED a good run under my belt to feel prepared for Saturday.  As per my taper plan, I ran four miles.  I kept the pace intentionally slow (10:00/miles) so as not to hurt anything just in case.

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It wasn’t particularly easy, given my allergies—breathing was a little harder than normal—but the good news is that my legs felt great!  No random shin/calf/knee/ankle pain.  Hallelujah.

Of course my feet blistered, though, despite coating them in antiperspirant pre-run.  Shocker.  I don’t even care at this point—in one week I’ll be fitted for my custom orthotics.  If anyone knows how to run with blisters, it’s me, and a new solution is in sight.

Anyway, it was a big relief to have a solid run under my belt.  It wasn’t speedy or easy, but it was definitely a-ok.  Phew.

In other news, people are very excited to come to our wedding!

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Bringing the updated total to 63 yeses, 36 nos, 105 delinquent.

Oh, and here’s some further proof that Southpaw and Milhouse are lovers.

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Yup.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?  I have to say, I love flip-flops and I don’t know what I’ll do now that I have a job where I can’t wear them to work every day! 

Getting shit done

Yes, boys and girls, that was the theme of the day.

Hey, look, the wedding bracelet I ordered from White Aisle came.  Mysteriously, there was also a green soft case for a Droid phone in the package.  Not sure how that happened, but…whatever.  It’s pretty.  I like it.  0402 001

I went grocery shopping and spent major cash.  Our house has been pretty barren lately, and I’m sure I’m not going to want to shop a lot next weekend after the half. 

Speaking of the half…I am getting more and more optimistic about finishing every day.  I’ve had no knee, shin, ankle, or calf pain to speak of since I started taking the anti-inflammatories.  I am going to run again on Monday—nothing crazy, since it’s supposed to be the official start of my taper—but I would like to get a few runs under my belt mostly as a confidence-booster before the big day.  Cross your fingers and toesies, people.

Now, if only my allergies would stop making me want to throw up everywhere, I’d be 100% psyched for domination.

Thank goodness for our new printer.  With a rewards certificate, we ended up getting it for $40 at Best Buy and it scans, prints, copies…you name it.   0402 002

I finished my bouquet charm by just printing a contact print.  Easy peasy.  Not the highest quality, but it’ll do.0402 003

Then I finished printing the brochures for our out-of-town boxes.  And folding them.  (Tim helped.)

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That leaves two more DIY projects to do—programs (which I’m holding off on to print) and escort cards (which we can’t do until the seating chart is made).  I don’t have a ton going on the two weekends before the wedding, so I think those can get done then.   I think programs are expendable, and if they don’t get done they don’t get done.

Milhouse and Southpaw have become cuddle buddies.  We found them snuggling in various positions today.

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We have found Southpaw grooming Milhouse and Milhouse licking Southpaw as well.

Tim and I went out for tapas for dinner.  He was curious about the concept because he’d never been and I raved about them after my bachelorette party.  So, we went to La Bodega for dinner.  I had white wine sangria, of course.

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Everything was really good, except the service, which was pretty slow.  We shared four different tapas and two desserts and I’m full, but not overstuffed.

Tomorrow we’re heading to church and I’m going to make a yummy pork tenderloin, green beans, Christmas rice, and brownies for Easter dinner for just Tim and me.  Hooray!

Any exciting Easter plans out there?

I want candy

Okay.  So, when do I get my life back?

I have just been running and running and running lately, literally and figuratively!  It’s tiring.  Also, I forgot my camera today.  Bad blogger.  So you get iPhone photos today.  I’m sorry.

Morning snack.  I really very much like these Kashi bars with the fruit sludge inside.  They’re delicious.

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Lunch was some Annie’s Bernie-O’s, along with some Greek yogurt.  I like to think they’re the more mature, health conscious version of Spaghetti-Os, but really, they’re shaped like bunnies.  Anyway, they’re delicious and I am not ashamed.

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And an afternoon snack:

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Candy season is almost over, folks.  It goes from Halloween candy to Crimmus candy to Valentine’s candy to Easter candy, and then we are in a veritable candy famine until then.  I had to get at least one Reese’s egg in under the wire.

Running today?  Technically, I was supposed to do 3 miles, but 3.1 is more fun because I can call it a 5K which sounds much longer.  So a 5K it was.  And I was determined to break 28:00.  My BIG speed goal is to break 27:00 on a 5K, and not long ago this seemed completely impossible to me.  But now it’s right around the corner!

Anyway.  Thusly:

  • Mile 1: 6.7 mph pace
  • Mile 2: 6.8 mph pace
  • Mile 3: 6.9 mph pace
  • Mile .1: 7.2 mph pace

Total?  5K in 27:42.  Boom goes the dynamite.

Anyway, tonight is nuts.  I have to pack, and I just realized I really have no casual shoes appropriate for my trip to Chicago, so I’m going to the shoe store with Tim in a bit.  Why do I have to pack tonight, you ask?  Oh, because tomorrow I have to run 11 miles after work…and my flight leaves at the asscrack of dawn on Friday morning.  I seriously feel like I don’t remember which way is up anymore.

Current RSVP count: 53 yes, 20 no.  And someone bought our cookware off our registry!  Woo!

Finally, Tim caught Buckley in the act of dog food theft.  (He has his high beams on.)  Eating the dog’s food is his latest interest.  Strange cat.

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Anyway.  Shameless plug: check out me talking about how awesome I am over on Run, Eat, Repeat!  Monica’s a rockstar and I have started listening to Pitbull when I run because of her.

What’s your favorite candy-related holiday? I’ve gotta go Easter on this one, strictly because of Cadbury eggs.