Home again!

There’s nothing like the feeling of coming home after being away for awhile…especially when you were away by yourself.

Yesterday wasn’t particularly thrilling.  More meetings.  But I did get to spend a little time on the beach afterwards…in the process of which I think I ruined my camera.  I had a water bottle in my beach bag and it leaked and water got on the screen.  I’m letting it dry out and hoping for the best.  So…say hello to iPhone pictures.  They’re actually not bad!

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Have I mentioned that aside from running and blogging and following my animals around with a camera, I love to read?  I polished off three books on this trip.  I finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (love this trilogy), Let the Great World Spin (I don’t know why, but I never got into this one), and Sarah’s Key (liked it).

 

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I started this morning off with a strawberry banana Vivanno smoothie from Starbucks.  I slept a little later than usual (8:30 or so) and knew I’d have to eat lunch before my flight, which left at 12:20, so I wanted something light and refreshing.  I love these!  (The chocolate flavor is kind of ass-tasting, though.)0606 004

Anyway.  Shuttle to the airport, then bopped around the Fort Lauderdale airport looking for lunch.  I have to commend them—their healthy options are much better than those at the Kansas City airport! 

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Hummus and wheat pitas, a fruit cup, and iced coffee. 

Question: does anyone REALLY like honeydew melon?  I feel like it is just kind of a generic filler for fruit cups, but it has absolutely no flavor and nobody I know LOVES honeydew.  I skipped it.  It just tastes like saliva to me and is a waste of chewing effort.

I also only ate maybe 1/4 of the hummus cup, which was massive.  It was good though!  Very peppery.  My two cravings after being away from home were hummus and peanut butter. 

I also picked up a Special K bar for the plane ride.  Gross ingredient list, but easily portable, good macros, and it was actually pretty tasty.

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It kind of scares me that this was billed as a “meal bar” though.  It only had 180 calories!  That is NOT a meal.  Unless you are a toddler.  And then, well, I know fuckall about children, so, maybe even they eat more than that.  Who knows.

I arrived at KCI a few hours later to a surprise visitor!

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Tim said Milhouse missed me and wanted to come.  

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I think he was happy to see me.

The afternoon was spent lazily unpacking.  Poor Tim had a migraine and was in bed, but happily he’s feeling better now.  We grilled steaks, and I made a fruit salad and Alton Brown’s Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese for dinner.  (The mac and cheese was good, but WAY rich, even after halving the butter and cheese.  We also thought it was a little salty!)

In other news…this week officially marks the start of marathon training!  I have a kick off meeting with Team in Training on Saturday, and my official marathon training schedule (which will be on my new blog, which I’ll announce soon I PROMISE) starts tomorrow.

In other other news, please send good vibes in the direction of my ovaries tomorrow morning.  I have a follow-up ultrasound after my gynecologist discovered what she thinks are cysts at my annual last month.  Hopefully it’s nothing!

Tomorrow I will also begin the official name change process!  Good times.

What is your stance on honeydew and other melons?  Does anyone actually LOVE it?

Lunchtime workout

So, lately…I’ve kind of been resenting the gym a little bit.  I have STUFF to do at home, what with, y’know, the wedding and all.  I also admit that the combination of our upcoming nuptials and being so busy/traveling so much have me feeling like a clingy koala bear and I want to spend as much time with Tim as possible.   If I go to the gym…I don’t get home until 6:30, have to shower, and basically make the quickest dinner possible.  Normally I don’t mind, but I just haven’t been feeling it lately.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to work out.  Au contraire!  I’ve been craving a good workout all weekend.  So, today, I randomly decided to work out over my lunch hour!  My gym is only 0.4 miles away (according to Google) from my office, and the weather was nice. 

So, I had a little snack around 11:30:

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And at noon, I changed in my office, ran to the gym, and worked out!

I ran the 0.4 miles to the gym, then 1.5 miles on the treadmill.  (I decided to keep the run short to see how my knee/leg felt.  It felt awesome!  I’m going to try longer tomorrow.)  Then, I hit the weights and did…

  • 3 sets of 12 squats at 95 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 12 shoulder presses at 30 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 10 overhead lat pulldowns at 60 lbs
  • 3 sets of 10 underhand grip pulldowns at 60 lbs
  • 3 sets of 12 upright rows at 30 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 10 deadlifts at 40 lbs.

And sprinted the 0.4 mile back to my office.  All in all, it was quite a good workout—I think I’m going to keep this up, at least for the foreseeable future!  Obviously it won’t work for longer runs, but it’s definitely do-able, especially while the weather is nice.

I do need to make sure to bring some kind of powder for my face, some kind of body spray, and a change of undies for next time, though!  (I already keep deodorant and face wipes in my desk.)

I promptly devoured the rest of my lunch. 

Spinach with balsamic…

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A multigrain bagel…

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And Greek yogurt with strawberries and a little GoLean crunch.

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Around 4:00 I snacked on a Chocolate Raspberry Luna Bar.  Is it just me, or are they getting smaller? 0426 005

All in all, I was home and showered by 5:45.  Love the new routine!  I felt nice and cozy and worn out all afternoon, too, rather than antsy and eager to get up and move.

In wedding news, my mom sent me a picture of the flower girl basket she’s devised:

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And we are still waiting on six RSVPs.  Yaaargh.  This is seriously driving me nuts!  DUDE.   

What time of day do you prefer to work out?

I’m a bad, bad bride

(And blogger, because I forgot my camera today.)

Lunch was about the same as usual lately—cantyloupe, strawberries, Greek yogurt, a multigrain bagel with Laughing Cow cheese, and what was SUPPOSED to be a big bowl of spinach with a little balsamic on it.  But, the balsamic was left at home.  Clearly, I’m forgetful today.

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After work, I went to the gym in the pouring rain.  I ran about ten steps and my knee and shin just didn’t feel great, so I stopped.  At this point, I’m just holding out until I get my custom orthotics—I will probably do minimal running until then, because a) obviously my current shoe situation is not working and I don’t want  to make the problem worse and b) I kind of have minimal energy for the gym going on right now because of the wedding.

I spent half an hour on the elliptical.  It was kind of miserable.  Dan Savage’s podcast was the only saving grace.  (PS:  I met Dan Savage.  He’s been in my car.  He gave me marriage advice and we did a shot together.)

Now, why I’m a bad bride.

Our house has been kind of in a state of perma-squalor for the last few weeks.  I haven’t been around to clean, Tim just doesn’t really notice that things need cleaning, so, yeah, it’s gotten bad.  Particularly…our carpet.  You can imagine the amount of hair two moderately floofy cats in springtime, a beagle, and a stressed twentysomething redhead Sasquatch produce.

So I broke the rules.  Technically, any shower or wedding gifts received before the wedding aren’t supposed to be used until, well, after the wedding.  But I was dying to use our Dyson Animal Ball and get some normal, clean carpet going on.  (Our current vacuum, well, doesn’t suck, literally.)  It was worth it.  Even Tim begged me to take a whirl.

0422 002Yes, friends, we exceeded MAX DIRT in our house.  (Okay, more like max animal hair.)

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It appears the major culprits were Southpaw and me. 

(If Tim dumps me in the next two weeks, I’ll ask my sister if she wants her money back.  But I’m keeping the damn vacuum.)

In other wedding news…we have a situation.

We invited 204 guests to our wedding.  We currently have 88 coming (3 of which are children under 5 that are free), 80 NOT coming, and 36 question marks.  Of the 36 question marks, we’re anticipating that at most, 8 or 9 will come.  (Most of them are really long distance guests we’re not SUPER close to.)

Our venue contract states that we have a minimum of $X.  To meet $X, we would have to have 114 guests attend under our basic wedding package.  Clearly…that’s not going to happen.  But we don’t want to pay all this money to the venue for 20 guests that aren’t there, right?

So we are looking into upgrading our package.

  • If we upgrade from the basic package to the deluxe package, we get an extra hors d’oeuvre, wine service during dinner (we have open bar, but it closes during the meal), and a full on dessert table with 12 options rather than two plated dessert options.  The cons of this?  If we do have about 95 guests attending, it will put us slightly over our minimum—not a ton, but a few hundred bucks.  Also, it doesn’t seem like we GET all that much more for what we’re paying.  Our crowd doesn’t really drink wine, so I doubt they’ll make much use of the wine service.
  • Stick with our current package and add a lot more appetizers and some other random stuff—side dishes, maybe a special martini bar, maybe more desserts.  The cons of this?  We already have a TON of food.  Like, guests are going to be rolling around.  Do we really need to add a sweet table if we’re already going to have two flavors of wedding cake, cheesecake, and profiteroles?  Prolly not.
  • Stick with our current package and eat the cost.

We’re not really into just eating the cost…but neither other option seems great either.  I’m thinking of potentially bargaining with the reception venue—maybe pay for the deluxe package, but skip the wine and add a few more apps instead?  Or see if I can switch the wine service at dinner to keeping the bar open?  I don’t know.

What do you think?  Upgrade the package?  Add on a bunch of appetizers?  Any other great ideas?

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?

Higher!

First of all.  Thank you all for your incredible outpouring of support re: my slightly dramatic post last night.  I can, and will do this.  I’ve been playing Dr. Google all day, and I feel kind of certain that what is wrong with my knees and lower legs can be solved by rest and ice.  I am super anxious to get to the podiatrist tomorrow.  For now, I am just planning on resting the shit out of my legs until the half, but we’ll see what he says tomorrow.

I started today out still in a funk.  There are assorted wedding stressors going on that I don’t want to talk too much about, but are, well, stressful. 

Lunch.  The aerial view.  Exactly the same as yesterday.

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Lately, for lunch, I’ve felt more like munching than solid meals.  I’ll eat the cantaloupe around 11:30, then the pretzel roll around noon, then the yogurt around 12:30.  Works well for me!

I ate a bigger snack around 4 o’clock—a PowerBar Harvest bar—because I knew I wouldn’t be home until later because my dress fitting was at 6 about 45 minutes from home.  These things are good—chocolatey and coconutty and very big and filling.  Good for a light meal replacement or large snack!

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Then…second dress fitting!

It was so liberating to finally try on my dress without a foot of extra material on the bottom.  I could finally walk around in it!  And sit!  Whee! 

Also, when the seamstress zipped me up, I got a “did you lose weight?” that totally made my day.

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And the bustle!0331 005 We’re still not done yet—we decided to take in the top a teeny tiny bit just so my boobs are firmly locked in place.  It’s a little loose up there right now and I don’t want to be hiking them up!  I’m picking the dress up April 28th.

I came home to find a bunch of RSVPs—7 nos, 2 yes—and two packages, topped with a cat.

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The creme de la creme of wedding presents!

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Again, with cat interference.

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Hello, lover.

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For now, she is in the wedding room, but I have grand plans (biscotti!  frosting!) for post-wedding.

We also got a super cute cupcake carrier to go with it.  Wedding presents are fun!

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Tim and Milhouse modeled the second package.

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My uncle loves to cook and when I saw him this weekend, he was shocked he’d never gotten me this cookbook before and had it Amazoned to me immediately..  It’s actually a super fancy cooking textbook!  I can’t wait to take a closer look. 

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All in all, today started out pretty bad, but got better.  If I have to sit on my ass for two weeks to run this damn half marathon, I will. 

Back tomorrow with a podiatrist report!  Cross your fingers!

Low.

Happy fake Monday, dudes.  It wasn’t a great one.  I stayed up late last night writing thank you notes, and didn’t take a minute to myself from the time I got home to the time I went to bed.  I had a particularly vivid nightmare about being chased by Captain Hook and Mr. Smee that made me wake up in a cold sweat.

This, however, was good:

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Cantaloupe!  Is it in season now?  Because I was inspired to buy one yesterday, and that was a good decision.  It’s one of those fruits that I used to not like but now I do.  Maybe I’ll come around to honeydew soon!

It was supposed to be a morning snack, but I wasn’t really hungry for one, so I waited until lunchtime.  My lunch also included:   0330 002

A hunk of pretzel bread and a Wee Brie cheese.  (Not going to lie, I bought it largely because of the name.)

And a yogurt mess.

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Totally for the sake of the wedding, I finished things off with a caramel.  These are samples for our wedding favors!  They are delicious.  I think the guests will like them. 0330 004

Around 4 o’clock, I snacked on a Kind bar.  It was good, but tasted like a handful of mixed nuts, and mixed nuts are cheaper.  Oh well.  0330 005

Heh.  Nut Delight.  Giggle snort.

Anyway.  My plan was to try to get 5 miles in today.  Mentally, I wasn’t feeling it.  I just wanted a relaxing night at home with Tim and the zoo, but since I can’t work out tomorrow (another dress fitting!) and Thursday (podiatrist!) I went anyway.

I ran 1.25 miles.  And I quit because the pain was so bad.

What pain?  Well, let me preface this by saying I switched from the cushiony insoles from the running store to my regular shoe sockliner because my left knee and hips were complaining after last week’s long run disaster.  I figured the sockliner would make me blister, but at least my joints would be okay. 

Wrong.

Here is what hurt.  A LOT.

  • Left knee.  Less hurty than it was clicky and kind of loose and unstable feeling.
  • Left outside-of-the-shin muscle from my knee down to my ankle. 
  • Top of my left foot.
  • Blister on my right big toe from god knows what.
  • Right inside-of-the-shin muscle.

I haven’t run since Thursday, so my body has had four days off.  And everything from my knees down was just awful feeling.  My head knew that stopping was the smart thing to do.

I left the gym.  I walked to my car and I cried in the gym parking lot.

Oh, hell, I cried most of the way home, too, and when I saw Tim.

I did what Hal said.  But I have serious doubts about my ability to finish this half marathon, and I hate it.  I have given up so much time to training.   It’s days like today that make me want to throw in the towel and sit on the couch and get fat again.

Of course, the first thing I did when I stopped running was fat talk.

You ate so much crap this weekend.  No wonder your body is breaking down, it can’t carry all the weight.”

Who do you think you are trying to run a marathon?  You’re just the fat little kid in gym class.”

You’re not a runner.  You’re too fat to be a runner.  You never will be.  Runners are thin.”

And so on, and so on. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do right now.  I am so glad I have an appointment with a podiatrist on Thursday.  I hope I can get some answers, because I know the root of all these problems is in my feet.  Everything I have tried to make this better has just made it worse.

And so I’m feeling low.  Two weeks ago, I was 100% sure I would be able to finish.  Now I’m not so sure at all.

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!