Coffee Craving

Today I’m out in the wilds of rural Missouri for work.  You know what this means?  When you leave your house in a rush, thinking “oh, I’ll stop for coffee on the way,” you should remember that there is no such thing as a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts in rural Missouri.  There is Quik Trip, which has coffee that tastes vaguely like fuel and is not worth the $1.29.  And that’s it.

It was a long, coffee-less drive to get where I’m going.  Generally, I’m not a coffee-needer to get going in the morning.  I usually brew one cup in the Keurig, and rarely finish it.  But with Daylight Savings, and sore running legs, and driving,…all morning I was dying for coffee, or at least something coffee-flavored which would give me the illusion of being caffeinated.  Ugh.

I had to be somewhere for a few hours in the morning and then had to go somewhere else about an hour away for a few hours in the afternoon.  I was absolutely determined to get something coffee-like.  Sometimes, friends, we have to settle.

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McDonald’s sugar-free vanilla iced coffee.  Full of crappy chemicals, I’m sure, but goodlord did it taste good (and pick me up mentally for awhile.)

I also packed my lunch in my favorite Fit n’ Fresh lunch container so I wouldn’t have to stop.  I had an Everything bagel thin sammich, strawberry Chobani, and granola, eaten in my car.  I’m a classy lady.

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I was done with my stuff by 3:00 and checked into my hotel by 3:30.  I decided that I was going to check out the hotel gym.  Hotel gyms kind of creep me out.  Even though I stay in half decent places…they make me feel icky.  I don’t know, I have weird mental blocks on some things.  (See also Home Depot, condiments, and birds.)  But, today, I packed workout clothes and shoes and was determined to at least give it a try. 

I was impressed with the gym.  It had three treadmills, two ellipticals, a recumbent bike, and free weights (complete with loud, grunting, Jersey-shore-type dude).  And every machine had a TV ATTACHED RIGHT TO IT JUST FOR YOU!  Love.  TV makes running 35% more tolerable.

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I watched Stacy and Clinton, naturally.  I had 3 miles on the schedule today, but I figured I’d do tomorrow’s 5 today, so I can get home after a night away a little sooner tomorrow.  And really, what the hell else am I going to do here?

So yeah.  Ran 5 miles, kept at an easy 10:00/mile pace since my legs were still a little twitchy from yesterday and sitting in a car all morning.  Even though the gym was nice, it was really hot and I sweated approximately six gallons. 

I showered and then went for the epic “What’s for dinner in this strange town?” question.  My options, according to my GPS and eyes, were Bob Evans, Shoney’s, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Cracker Barrel. 

Now, I’m not one to shun fast food entirely.  I love me an occasional McD’s breakfast and I get cravings for Arby’s.  But the thing is, I want to eat that food WHEN I WANT IT.  Today, it all sounded gross to me.  Specifically, I was craving two things very strongly during my run: cut fresh fruit and peanut butter.   More and more, lately, while I’m running, my body will say, VERY clearly, “Feed me THIS when you’re done.”  99% of the time it’s something healthy—peanut butter, fruit, and eggs have all been very common ones lately.  I don’t mean to be all crunchy and shit, but who am I to say no?  My body is like a stupid puppy—I should reward it when it does something right, like say “I want healthy food.”  So I do.

Obviously, with limited options, it wasn’t going to come from any of those places.  So I took a cue from Susan and hit up the grocery store next to my hotel instead!  (In my pajamas, no less, because I really didn’t want to put on my work clothes and heels after a run.)

The results?

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Total?  $13.46, for a big container of fruit (grapes, mangoes, honeydew, canteloupe, pineapple and strawberries), a Dannon Greek yogurt (which I LOVED, BTW), a 6 pack of Nature’s Own Whole Wheat bagels, natural PB (I went for the slightly less natural version to avoid messy stirring in a hotel room), a diet coke (I know I know) and a Cadbury egg for dessert!  Exactly what I wanted.  (I obviously only ate 1 bagel with PB, and about half the fruit—it wasn’t great, unfortunately.)

I hope my per diem covers full jars of peanut butter.

Anyway, it was delicious, filling, and hit the spot and I’m glad I didn’t hit the drive through. 

What foods do you crave, healthy and not-so-healthy?  On the healthy front, like I said, peanut butter, fruit, and eggs are big…on the not-so-healthy front, I’ve been dying for ice cream after long runs lately!

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Office Space

I felt like I was in some sort of bad office comedy today.

I woke up, got ready, and went to make coffee…and our Keurig’s broken.  It brews about an ounce of coffee then dies.  Suggestions?  I’m only a one-cup-a-day girl, but that one cup is crucial.

Then I got to work and figured out that one department’s been giving out my office’s phone number as a fax number on a form that HAS to be faxed in and was distributed to hundreds of people.  All morning, I kept answering my phone and getting fax machine noises.   At LEAST twenty times.  Frustrating.

And then it was lunchtime and I made some soup.  I think it was some kind of  Zesty Tomato I’d gotten before I got all the Progresso goodies?  It was nasty, emphasis on the ass.  Two small bites and I dumped it.  So, half my lunch literally went down the drain.

Thankfully, my snack stash came to the rescue.  Susan had mentioned these PowerBar Harvest bars to me awhile ago, and I’d bought one but hadn’t eaten it yet because it seemed too meal-like and calorie dense for me.  Which, thankfully is what I needed today.

It was good!  Very chewy and substantial.  I think I’d stash these in the meal-replacement/half-meal replacement bar category, but they’d be great for a breakfast on the road.

Then it was time to give the new shoes a spin.  I’m not going to lie, I was nervous.  It felt like a first date!  What if they were awkward and stiff and hurt my feet?  That’s $100 down the toilet right there.

Random: New Balance laces are SO LONG.  Also, I used Body Glide in both my arches.

But…my 3.5 miles went well!  At least shoe-wise.  My asthma was being crappy towards the end.  But 3.5 miles in 34:45!

Here are my random foot thoughts during the run:

  • Mile 0-1: This is comfortable!  Yeah!
  • Mile 1.5:  Hmm.  My shin is a little hurty.  (Flexes foot)  Better!
  • Mile 2:  Right foot is a little numb.  Hmm.  (Wiggles toes) Better!
  • Mile 3: My lungs suck.  But man, my feet feel great!

So, I’m reserving a little judgment just to be on the safe side, but I feel pretty good about these.  Then again, I felt good about the Sauconys at first, too…ugh.  We’ll see.  I have my first 10K on Sunday–that will be a big test!

Thank you all for your comments on the To Weigh or Not To Weigh post this morning.  (Lurkers too!) I think I’m going to stick with a roughly biweekly weighing schedule.   I’ll try to weigh myself twice a month.  I think that’s reasonable enough to help me stay on track, but not so much that I get stressed over it.

To keep with today’s theme-Lurkers (and old friends)–tell me about yourself!  What’s your name?  Where are you from?  Do you like pizza?

Coffee, tea, and feet

I forgot to show you all my new coffee mug!

I’ve been scouting for a good one since October but couldn’t justify the money.  We have  three already, but two of them just have a hole in the lid and I spill coffee all over myself, and the third is Tim’s and entirely too bulky and complicated for my liking.  Santa left me a $15 Starbucks card in my stocking, so I decided to take the plunge.  I’m very happy!  It’s not too big, cute, and has a snap-tight lid.  Hooray!

I finished the coffee at work and immediately made a mug of hot herbal tea to take the chill off.  I’ve been hydrating and moisturizing like a crazy woman and my skin still feels like sandpaper.  I don’t mind the cold; it’s the side effects I hate.

In other news, it is freezing here.  Like, really really freezing.  The high today is about 15 degrees, and Friday and Saturday will be even worse, with highs of 0 and 5 degrees, respectively.  So, I’m preemptively switching around my training plan for the week.  Instead of doing my “long run” of 4 miles (ha) this Saturday outside, I’m going to do it inside at the gym on Thursday, and do some stretching and strengthening (yoga? Maybe a Jillian DVD?) indoors on Saturday.  (For my newer readers–I live about 30 minutes from my gym.  The gym is about a block away from where I work, so it makes sense to go there on weekdays and exercise at home on the weekends.)

This is all totally okay.  Hal Higdon says so:

  • Juggling: Don’t be afraid to juggle the workouts from day to day and week to week. If you have an important business meeting on Thursday, do that workout on Wednesday instead. If your family is going to be on vacation one week when you will have more or less time to train, adjust the schedule accordingly. Be consistent with your training, and the overall details won’t matter.

This is why I really like Hal Higdon’s plans.  Runners can be really hardcore and nitpicky sometimes (and, well, if you’re trying to run Boston or something I can see why) and those plans just aren’t for me.

So, this week will be:

  • Monday: 3 miles
  • Tuesday: 2 miles and cross training
  • Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Thursday: 4 miles
  • Friday : rest
  • Saturday: stretch & strengthen

I’m sure it will benefit my overall training program to not die of frostbite.

I was planning on finishing my Promax bar before the run, but this gorgeous Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar caught my eye in the drawer and I couldn’t say no.

Yum.  This is one of my favorite flavors of Larabar!

Then I went to the gym and was lucky enough to find an empty treadmill.  The gym was considerably less busy–have the resolutioners given up already?   I ran 2 strong miles in 19:08, so a 9:34 pace.  I feel like I could have pushed a little harder, but I didn’t want to burn out early so I started slow.  Oh well!  Now I know.

Then came the “cross” part of my training.  I decided the elliptical sounded good, so I did 20 minutes at a high incline and resistance.  Good times!

Unfortunately, I’m having trouble with my feets again.  My totally sweet arch callus is blistering again!  (Warning–nasty foot pic ahead):

It’s hard to tell, but that is basically a large blister on the front part of the arch of my foot.  Icky.  I’m going to try tying my shoes super-tight tomorrow and see if that helps?  I’m trying to hold out on new shoes until March…sigh.  (Again, if you’re a new reader: my feet are all kinds of crazy; they are two completely different sizes so no pair of shoes will ever fit both feet; my arches are low and I get real bad blisters.  FML.)

Anyway, what are your opinions on “juggling”?  Good, bad, or only for the lazy and weak?

Good morning!

Don’t usually post this early but I have a few extra minutes today.  Today’s brekkie cookie was seriously fabulous.  Contents?

  • oats
  • coconut
  • dried cherries
  • chocolate protein powder
  • Ghirardelli chocolate chips
  • TJ Natural Creamy PB

With a healthy dose of coffee on the side.  I’m strictly a one cup a day girl–anything else makes my stomach ache.  It can’t handle the acid.  However, I do have a nasty Diet Coke habit I should TRY to kick or at least reduce…but I’ve tried and failed several times before.  I know the artificial sweeteners are terrible for me, but at least it’s diet, right?  I drink 1-2 cans a day.  (Which is down from my 3-4 cans a day in law school, so, hey, progress!)  I also usually drink a mug of herbal tea in the afternoon!  However, I drink lots and lots of water–at least 2 of my giant 24 ounce Camelbaks, and much more if I work out.

Today will be kind of play it by ear.  Tim’s not sure when he’s getting back from his trip and it’s still COLD here!  If he gets back in the afternoon (I hope), he’ll be able to take the dog out and I can go to the gym.  I’m feeling like some serious weightlifting!  But if he’s back later, I’ll come home and attempt to brave the freezing weather again. 

And finally, cute animals to get the day going in the right direction:

What’s your caffeine intake like?  Are you happy with it or trying to reduce it?

Don’t forget to enter my Chobani Giveaway!

Ice, ice, baby

Happy Thursday!  I’m glad it’s almost the weekend.  I can’t wait to sleep in, cut more wedding invitations (barf) and wear pajamas 24/7.

Anyway, apparently planning for my bridal shower and my bachelorette party is getting into gear.  I don’t know the details of either but I’m getting excited/nervous about both of them already.  I got a very mysterious phone call from my sister asking if I could take one Monday in April off work, and my mom requested a shower guest list from me, too.  I didn’t expect this, but I feel kind of guilty about both of them!  I know that having showers and bachelorette parties are pretty standard as far as weddings go, but I can’t help thinking about how much time/effort/money is going into these and I feel a little bit bad.  I know my family and bridesmaids are awesome and doing this because they love me, and I am so thankful.  I just hope they know it!  I’ll have to find some really awesome hostess gifts.

Anyway, moving right along.  This morning, again, the first cup of coffee I made was full of grounds.  WTF?  We have a Keurig.  Any thoughts?  (If it’s broken it’s not a tragedy.  We also own a french press and a regular coffee maker.)

I wanted to take a picture of my breakfast cookie, held triumphantly aloft, because I thought I’d FINALLY reached perfect hand-holdability.  But, alas.

I’m hooked on breakfast cookies!  They keep me full for sooo long and are yummy.

Today Tim decided to go play poker with some friends right after work, so I went straight home instead of going to the gym.  I did, however, change into my running clothes at work, so as soon as I got home I could let Milhouse out of his crate and we could run together for as long as he deemed prudent.  I COULD have changed when I got home, but the second Milhouse sees a person in the house he whines, loudly, to get let out of the crate and it breaks my little heart.   So, I came prepared and changed at work.   It was still pretty cold today–23 degrees!  See?

There is nothing like taking a riled-up beagle running ON ICE.  I should take a video.  He stretches first–a quick downward dog and child’s pose–and then just takes these huge bounding leaps, ears flapping in the breeze.  It’s adorable and hilarious.

 

We made a friend!

 

We only did about a mile and a half because I underestimated how very slippery it is to run on solid ice with a very fast dog.   I felt a little unsteady, to say the least, even though I didn’t hurt myself!  I have to say, I definitely feel like cold weather running is my thing.  I have always hated being hot–I don’t particularly like the summer, and love bundling up in sweaters.  And even though I like getting a good workout, I hate the physical act of sweating.  I’m going to need to invest in some gear–I have a warm compression shirt on the way, and a Road ID, but I’d also like a warm pair of running tights and gloves, some kind of hat, and some spikes.  (Any recommendations?)  I feel so peaceful when it’s just me and the dog with snow crunching under our feet–no iPod, no TVs, no cars–it’s perfect for me.  I wanted to keep going tonight!

I came home and made breakfast for dinner since Tim was gone.  He is a strict food constructionist–breakfast is eaten at breakfast time, hot dogs go on hot dog buns and not bread, et cetera.  Breakfast for dinner is my favorite!  Pancakes and bacon–yum.

Healthy?  Well, probably not.  Awesome once in awhile?  YES!

It appears I’ve tired out my running buddy and I am too. 

 

Are you a cold weather person or a warm weather person?  I’m definitely a polar bear inside!

Just call me Jack Kerouac

Because I’m on the road.  (Awful, I know.)

This morning started bright and early.  I wanted to be on the road by 7 a.m. because the trip to Nebraska was going to take about 3.5 hours and I had to be there by 11.  I had some toast with almond butter and was on the way!

Around 8:30, I started feeling drowsy, which is bad when you’re driving.  So, because it was my only option, I stopped at a McDonalds near the Missouri/Iowa border for an iced coffee.  I would use the words “iced coffee” lightly, because this was really just coffee-flavored skim milk.  I am a coffee wuss, and usually add sweetener and cream or milk to mine, and I didn’t need to add anything to this.  It was TOO sweet, and I only drank half, but it did its job of keeping me awake.  And full!  I was burping after half of this I was so stuffed-feeling.  Must be all the protein in the milk?  And hey, since I’m traveling for work, I’m at least not paying for it!

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I finally arrived at my destination and did my thing for a few hours (I ate a Clif Kidz bar as a snack–love them!), and then hit up Panera for a late lunch and to leech off their free Wi-Fi.  I was starving, so I got a bowl of soup that came with bread and a yogurt parfait (and a cookie for later!).  I only ate half the soup though–it was kind of gelatinous and gross.  However, I love these yogurt parfaits with Stonyfield yogurt, strawberries, and maple pecan granola.  It’s nice to know I can get my daily yogurt parfait fix when I’m traveling!

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Yes, I am a diet soda junkie.  I try to limit it to one a day, occasionally two.  It could be worse.

Then I went to my second school, where I was supposed to give a PowerPoint presentation to a group of eager future law students in this very nice room:

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But nobody showed up!  That makes me sad.

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Obviously, I sat around taking pictures of myself for a commercially reasonable period of time, and then left to drive to my hotel.  Hey look, it’s my sorority!

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I arrived at my hotel tired, but ready to MOVE after sitting all day long.  Luckily my room was nice and roomy, and I did most of Jillian Michaels’  “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism” workout.  I enjoyed it a lot!  I love kickboxing, and this workout incorporated lots of kicks and punches and such.  I have to say, I think this is the perfect workout for travelers–you don’t need any equipment, and it’s basically body-weight cardio exercises.  I will DEFINITELY be doing this again!  I can feel my abs screaming at me already.

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Now, I am off to scrounge for dinner.  I predict I will spend my evening watching Biggest Loser and reading blogs in my roomy king-size bed!

What’s your favorite part of traveling?