Flying solo

First of all, thanks for all the sweet comments re: Ronda!  I am glad we are besties again.  It’s amazing what little changes can do, although I do need to get some new, slightly stronger Spanx to hopefully eliminate the hip wrinkling that’s going on now.  (The pair I wore yesterday were old and kind of stretched out.)

Anyway.  Day one of my bachelor party widowhood!

Made a fresh green monster at lunch.  Cherries, chocolate whey, milk, and spinach. 

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For my afternoon snack I sampled a new flavor of Luna Bar I saw at the grocery store the other day.

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I’m not really a big blueberry fan, but I’m a sucker for a label that says “NEW!”  I was pleasantly surprised with this!  It had kind of a blueberry jam-like topping that I really enjoyed.  It’s a hair too sweet, but most Luna Bars are, so nothing new.

Anyway, the afternoon dragged on…and on…and on.  But finally it was time to go home.  This has been a crazy week!  To put things in perspective, I leave for work at 7:15 am.  On Wednesday I got home at 7:30 pm, on Thursday I got home at 7:45 pm, and today, I got home at 5:30…to pick up the dog and walk right out the door again.

Milhouse needed to be groomed; namely, his anal glands needed to be expressed.  (The joys of dog ownership!)  So I picked him up, and dropped him off at the groomer’s.  While he was being groomed I had dinner at Panera, and did a little shopping!0312 004

Paul Mitchell Quick Slip.  Apparently this stuff cuts your blow-drying time in half, which is what my ridiculous moptop needs right now.  (Tim complained about my lengthy blow-drying this week.  I can’t wait to get my wife chop.)

Milhouse was happy to be done at the groomer’s.  He’s exhausted, poor thing, and so am I!

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I’m finishing up a little B&J FroYo, catching up on Real Housewives, and hopefully hitting the sack nice and early.  (If the dog and cats don’t decide to chase each other around like madmen/women at bedtime again, that is.)0312 006

As for running, I’ve done all my mileage this week except the 3 miles and cross day.  I am going to play it by ear tomorrow—I will either take Milhouse out for a nice, easy wog (walk-jog) or skip it.   It’s cold and rainy and I just have not seen the inside of my house enough this week.  I’ve scheduled a sports massage for myself for 11:15…I still have that knot in my calf from trying out those stupid arch supports.  I’m also going to attempt to find ANOTHER shower dress (I’d puke, but I think I have a good action plan for tomorrow).

What do you do when you have time to yourself?


Now that my mileage has started to go over 20 miles a week, I cannot stop eating.  I feel like my body is a garbage disposal.  I put something in it, it destroys it to smithereens quickly, and then I’m empty again.  It’s ridiculous.

Usually I either go snack-less between breakfast at 7 a.m. and lunch at noon, but that’s just not been possible lately.  I’ve been munching on clementines lately, but I saw these at the store the other day and had to try them.

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They are pretty nutritionally devoid—9 g. of sugar with only 2 g. of protein (but 3 g. of fiber!) but they totally remind me of being a kid.  Nutri-Grain bars were my favorites!  It was delicious.

Lunch involved a strawberry-chocolate bomb shake—not as good as the cherry-chocolate variety, but still okay.  Lotsa spinach and a few banana slices in this guy, too!

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I was so crabby and hungry that I ate my afternoon snack (another Oh Yeah! bar) by 3, and by 4:30 my boss asked me if I was okay!  I must have been sporting some serious hungry bitchface.  I just told her “oh, I’ve been running a lot and I’m hungry all the time!” and she felt bad and brought me some pretzels and a granola bar from her office.  She’s awesome.  

Anyway, today’s run was better than yesterday’s.  I tend to drag a bit on Mondays, but Tuesdays are always better.  I did 5 miles in 48:45 by alternating the speed between 6.0-6.5 totally based on how I was feeling.  If I felt like it was too easy, I went faster; if my heart rate was getting too high I slowed down. 

No RSVPs today, but we got another package!

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A set of white CorningWare casserole type dishes from my aunt and cousins that can’t make it to my first shower!  Hooray!

Tomorrow is going to be my long run day—9 miles after work.  It’s not ideal doing that much in the middle of the week, but Tim’s heading to Vegas on Thursday for his bachelor party, so I need to go straight home after work to walk Mr. Milhouse on Friday.  Oh, and I have my first dress fitting on Thursday!  I’m really nervous—I haven’t tried my dress on for six months and I’m terrified I’ll suddenly hate it.

The plan for tomorrow?  Eat a lot, hydrate, take my medication, and do the damn thing.  It’ll be a new PDR, so that’s exciting!

What makes your inner hungry monster come out? 

Have blender, will travel

Well, it’s official.  Much to Tim’s chagrin, the Magic Bullet has moved into my office.

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I tried to hide the base behind that picture of us, but my boss noticed it and commented.  I tried to explain how smoothies with spinach don’t really work frozen…I think I got my point across.  She seemed interested, and mentioned she liked orange-pineapple smoothies…which makes me really want to get some vanilla protein powder and attempt a creamsicle green monster with OJ and vanilla protein powder.  Hmm.

Today was a chocolate cherry bomb with lotsa spinach.  I forgot a spoon at home, so it was kind of hard to eat this and the soup I brought with it.  Whoops.

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I am also officially obsessed with citrus fruits.  Yesterday, on a whim, I bought a blood orange at the grocery store because I’d never tried one and they looked pretty.  (I also ate two clementines.)

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I was a little skeptical because…well…it looked kind of bloody, actually!  But then I split it open and it was pretty.

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I really liked it!  It tasted kind of like a raspberry flavored orange?  I probably won’t be buying these in bulk because of cost, but it was a nice experiment.

I finished my lunch off with two Coconut kisses.  I die for anything involving coconut and chocolate.  These are no exception.

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Pre-run fuel was an Oh Yeah! bar as suggested by Danica These things were pretty awesome!  They did taste very much like a candy bar.   0308 006 I went to the gym for my usual post-work run.  It was only so-so.  My legs were feeling a little dead, so I kept my pace easy and did 5 miles in a hair under 50:00.  Nothing remarkable to report, other than that I’ve been feeling kind of reflux-y while running lately.  Not nauseous, but sort of like I want to burp the whole time?  It’s weird, especially considering I never, ever burp in real life.  I don’t know how!  Suggestions?

I got home to find that a wedding gift had arrived!  (This photos is not at all re-enacted.)

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What do you think it is?

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A creamer! 0308 009

And a platter!   0308 010

Yes, I am sweaty and gross and holding a wedding present.  Welcome to my life.  (Note to self: do not press arm against side in wedding pictures.)

In other news, Milhouse thinks he’s a cat and climbs on the furniture and cat tree as such. 0308 011

And Buckley very much likes wedding presents as well.

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And more RSVPs came today, too!  6 yeses and 2 nos.

Anyhoo, I’m off to call one of Tim’s aunts who left me a message that they’d like to throw me a small Kansas City shower!  Fun!

What new products/foods have you tried lately?  Did you love or hate it?  Anything I absolutely have to try?

The Bottomless Pit

Ahh, weekends.  I was awakened around 8:30 by a wriggling beagle.  Nothing like it!

Tim and I ate a quick breakfast and headed downtown to get our passports at the ONE post office that takes passport applications on Saturday.  While we were prepared with all our paperwork and such, there were several people in line who didn’t understand that you could fill out the paperwork first.  My legs were sore from my run yesterday, and I was wearing my old Pumas+arch supports in the spirit of breaking them in.  I was a crankysquatch, but we got it done.

Yesterday’s long run made me a bottomless pit today.  I just cannot get full!  I’ve been getting down on myself a little, like “oh, 8 miles, that’s a SHORT run for a lot of people” buuut then I remember that my body isn’t used to such distances and calorie burns, and it’s all relative.

As soon as we walked in the door, I prepared a huge, awesome lunch.  Two scrambled eggs with a touch of salt and pepper—so simple and perfect:

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A chocolate-cherry green monster (SO GOOD when they’re fresh):

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And a bagel thin with goat cheese:

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So, so, so good.  But it barely made a dent in my hunger, so I immediately finished the half Builder’s bar left over from yesterday’s pre-run snack:

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Much better.  I then spent a very productive Saturday afternoon napping from 12:30-2:30 with Buckley.  Deeelightful.

Anyway, I woke up and Tim and I hit the outlet mall for one last shower dress shopping try.   I kinda liked this, but not as much as the stuff I’ve seen online.  I’m going to order the blue and white strapless dress after I post this!

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I feel like it made me look a wee bit top-heavy.

I did, however, score some nice workout gear at the Adidas outlet.  I got a super-light wicking tank for $6.97 and a pair of navy wicking capris for $14.97.  I’m officially going to get rid of the last of my cotton workout pants—now that I’m spoiled on wicking fabrics, I just can’t deal with sticky yucky sweaty cotton.

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Yeah, I need to clean my bathroom mirror.  Cleaning is one of those things that’s slipped by the wayside as my running mileage has increased (along with shaving my legs, weight training, and making dinner).  Whoops!

We also got a bunch of RSVPs today.  The count now?

  • 17 yes
  • 6 no
  • 181 question marks

I also wore my arch supports to the mall…big mistake.  We only walked around for maybe an hour and a half, but I feel like there is a big knot/bruise about halfway between my ankle and knee.  I realize there is a break-in period for these, but I’m incredibly skeptical of anything that makes me feel so awful just walking around the mall.  I don’t think the Defyances were bad yesterday on their own—the chafing/blistering I had I think was due to the taping—and I am tempted to scrap the arch supports altogether.  My gut is telling me these aren’t the solution.  But I’ll keep giving them a chance for the next few weeks.  I am also going to start researching whether my insurance would cover a visit to a podiatrist—I’m hoping to find one who runs, so their advice isn’t “stop running.”

Anyway, we went out to dinner and yes, I ate a giant cheeseburger and fries.  The bottomless pit demanded it (and, less than two hours later, I’m feeling rumbly again).  Hopefully my appetite will be a little more subdued tomorrow!

Have you ever seen a specialist for a sports injury? Did you have a good or bad experience?

It’s Friday, I’m in love

TGIF, friends.  TGIF.

Today I was determined to have a fresh green monster at lunchtime, no matter how crazy I had to be to do it. 

I packed the components separately—1 cup of milk, frozen strawberries and half a frozen sliced bananer, and a whole bunch of spinach and protein powder.

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And yes, I brought my Magic Bullet to work today.  It’s that fabulous.

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It was kind of messy.  I went through lots of paper towels because I packed the cup too full. 0305 003

But in the end, I reaped a delicious reward—a strawberry choco-nana green monster.  I swear these things keep me full for hours.

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I also had this random trail mix left over from my Christmas stocking, and a turkey sammich on a bagel thin.  My goal was to take in a lot of food pre-run today to avoid the voms afterward.

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Look at my pretty new Feetures socks!  These were my pity purchase at the running store yesterday.  God love them.0305 006

I also wrapped my feet with Second Skin pads and moleskin before my long run.  The pads are funny—they’re kind of like jelly, and they are really ice cold when you stick them to your feet.

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Then you cover them with moleskin. 0305 008

I did this to the arches of both feet.

I wasn’t really hungry pre-workout, but ate half a Clif Builder’s Bar anyway.  I was planning to eat the other half on my way home from the gym, but I wasn’t that hungry afterwards so I didn’t.

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Anyway, apparently my action plan paid off.  The verdict?  8 miles in 1:19:30, shaving 1 minute off last week’s time.  Woo!  I knew it would be a good run when all the treadmills were open, so I could pick my favorite—the one where you can watch the news channel AND the sunset out the window with a fan directly aimed at you. Bliss.

Random: does everyone else’s gym have Super Fit Guy (or Girl)?  Because I am in constant awe of this dude I see at the gym every day.  He looks like this:

eriq_lasalleDr. Benton, from old school ER, but in running clothes.  He gets on the treadmill and runs 5 miles at a 6:00-6:30 pace…and then goes and lifts for about half an hour.  When he finished his run I felt like I should congratulate him, but that would be awkward.  Anyway.  I find people who are truly athletic and in effortless good shape inspiring.  Hats off to you, Super Fit Guy!

In other news, Chocolate Outrage is indeed Outrageously Good.  It does taste like frosting and will probably become my go-tu Gu.   Yum!

Anyhoo, my run was pretty uneventful, which is good.  At about mile 5, the moleskin on my foot started (surprise surprise) rubbing and irritating my foot.  So, now I’ve added chafing and a few more blisters to each foot.  Ironic, huh—the anti-blister moleskin…gives me blisters.  WTF.

Left foot post-run:

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And right: 0305 011

Oh, running.  You hurt so good.  When I got home, out of curiosity, I did the Runner’s World wet foot test (twice).  I am having trouble interpreting the results, though.  Help?

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In other news, more RSVPs today!  5 yeses, 2 nos.  I love the notes people are writing on them!


We also got a wedding card from Tim’s great-aunt and uncle.  I love this sweet note.

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Getting RSVPs is really exciting, but I’m not going to lie—wedding stress has been starting to get to me.  I feel like I’m being tugged in a million directions, and though I think people mean well, it’s incredibly stressful to try to please everyone (even though I know I won’t).  Ultimately, I’m just trying to focus on Tim and drown out the noise, but it’s been hard.  Please tell me it’s worth it!

So, that’s that.  I think Tim and I are off to Coldstone for a little post-run refueling.  Have a great night!

Action plan

Hi, friends!

Today was an on-the-go, traveling-for-work kind of day.  No complaints, though—I was home by 4!

And who says you can’t eat healthy on the road.  I packed another green monster and drank it as I drove!  They are still best fresh, but I made this one this morning instead of the night before and it was considerably better. 

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I rounded things out with a PB&J.

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Anyway, after work, I got home and guess what?  We got two RSVPs back!  One was from my mom, saying that she’s coming (duh), and the other was from Tim’s great-aunt and uncle with this lovely note.

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They got married in the same town we are…62 years ago.  Whoa.  But they are not coming.  Total so far?  3 coming (me and Tim included), 2 not coming, 199 people…undecided.

After I got home, I decided to visit the running store again after yesterday’s most heinous run.  I packed up all my old running shoes, since Bob had mentioned wanting to see them last time I was in.  And then I figured I could donate them there, because lord knows I’m not using them and five pairs of running shoes=major closet space.

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My friends at the Sports Medicine Store (and no, they are not paying me—I just really like this place) recognized me as soon as I came in with an “uh-oh.”  I explained to them what was going on—the intense rubbing in the arches, the tender knot in my shin/calf directly above my right arch—and, apparently, in all the excitement of Saturday, I missed the memo that I’m not supposed to be actually RUNNING in the arch supports for a week.

I think I got confused because they sent me home with the arch supports IN the running shoes.  So, apparently, I need to put the insoles in my shoes and gradually build up to wearing them all day just walking.  Until then, they said I will be fine to run in the shoes with the regular sockliner in them.  Back to the drawing board!  As always, the staff was super nice.  I bought a pair of socks just because I felt bad they had to deal with my crazycakes again.

Promise: if I make it through my half marathon with happy feet/shins/calves, I will bring the staff at the Sports Medicine Store cake balls.

Anyway, I’ve also been reading some about heel striking versus forefoot striking.  I think I’m a heel striker, which is apparently the worst thing you can do for your body, so I am going to play with my gait a little tomorrow to see if I can feel any difference if I attempt to strike with the front of my feet rather than my heels.

SO.  Tomorrow is long run day—another 8 miler.  Here is my superfab action plan for not crashing and burning.

  • Eat.  Last week I was barfy afterwards because I didn’t eat enough during the day.  I am going to eat a slightly larger breakfast, pack a bigger lunch than I usually do, and a bigger-than-normal snack for about an hour beforehand.
  • Hydrate.  But not too much.  I get sloshy if I drink 3 of my 24 oz. water bottles before a run, but 2 or 2.5 is okay.
  • Foot care.  To prevent arch blistering I am going to use Second Skin pads and moleskin on both arches.  I wore it on my left arch on Monday and very much liked it.  I will also not be using the arch supports tomorrow, just the sockliner. 
  • Leg care.  Apparently the knot-type feeling I have in my right leg is a little bit of internal bruising of some sort from the arch supports.  I’m going to ice it tonight and wear my Zensah compression sleeves tomorrow.  (I would wear them when I run, but I think I would be too hot!)
  • Asthma.  Take my medicine.  Duh.
  • Fuel.  I am deciding whether to try the much-touted Chocolate Outrage Gu or the assorted flavor Sports Beans I picked up today on sale.  Decisions, decisions.
  • Mental.  Download the couple fun songs I tagged on Shazam to keep the beats interesting.    Bring a post-run snack so I don’t eat the steering wheel on the ride home.  Attempt to protect asscheeks from chafing.  Embrace the hardcore!  Eat the ellipticalizers for breakfast.

Anyway, that’s my plan.  Hopefully one of these days everything will fall into place.

What’s your favorite mental tactic to get through a long run?

It’s a monster!

Last night I got busy creating my first green monster in awhile—chocolate cherry style, as is in vogue on the blogs lately. 

0303 001 I used:

  • about 2/3 c. frozen bing cherries
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • a few Ghirardelli dark  chocolate chips
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • about 3/4 c. milk
  • as much spinach as I could cram in

I love my Magic Bullet.  Greatest infomercial product EVER.  Look!  I made the smoothie IN THE SAME CUP I DRANK IT OUT OF.  Minimal dishes, everyone!

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The final result looked and tasted delicious:0303 004

I stuck it in the freezer overnight and thawed it out in the fridge all morning.  It did not go well.  My beautiful, cherry red smoothie with flecks of brown and green turned into a muddy brown mess.

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I ate it anyway, but I don’t think freezing/thawing was a good idea. The spinach tasted off, like it had wilted, and the texture was slushy, not creamy.  Bleh.  Note to self: Green Monsters are best fresh.  I am seriously considering bringing my Magic Bullet to work so I can pack the ingredients and mix one up in my office behind  closed doors at lunchtime!  I WILL say that it kept me quite full. 

I had it with a cup of chicken noodle soup and a Western bagel with Trader Joe’s almond butter.

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After work, as usual, I went to run.  As soon as I put my Brooks + arch supports on, I knew it was not going to be a good one.  Every step was excruciating.  The pain was mostly in my arches—an intense rubbing sensation that just felt like my feet were on fire.  However, I also now have what feels like a huge knot on the inside of my right shin, kind of behind the bone on the side.  Fabulous! 

Warning: gross foot pictures ahead.  Just so you all know I’m not a big baby, here’s the current status of my footsies.

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And a really gross one of my random, New Balance-imposed toe blisters:

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Tim commented the other day that the blisters on my feet are like rings on a tree, and really, it’s true!  That big red circle on my right foot is the remains of Blistersquatch, which I got in my Sauconys circa early January 2010.  The tiny blood blister is from my New Balances.  The crap in my left arch is a New Balance/Brooks hybrid.  I can tell many a tale from my feet!

Seriously, though, I’m frustrated.  I literally limped off the treadmill and hated every searingly painful step of my run.  Everything from my knees down hurt and seriously considered stopping pretty much every 3.2 seconds.  But I didn’t, and ended up running 4.5 miles in about 44:30.  4.5 hard, painful, frustrating miles.  I get that arch supports might take some breaking in, but this doesn’t feel like breaking in to me.  This feels like, “WE WERE NOT MEANT TO BE ON YOUR FEET” pain.

I hate to be a complainer, but I just don’t know what to do.  A kind reader  (Hi Sarah!) suggested via e-mail that I try custom orthotics, which is a good idea, though I am afraid of the cost.  My buddies at the Sports Medicine Store actually make them, so it might be a good topic to broach with them eventually.  I will probably go back this weekend and beg Bob and the trainers for more help.   I just feel like I’ve done it all at this point: Nikes, Adidas, Asics, Sauconys, New Balances, Brooks, Body Glide, various synthetic socks, taping, liquid bandages, non-liquid bandages and a partridge in a pear tree.  I’m frustrated, but I will not give up on this.  I can’t.

Anyway, in more interesting news, thank you all for your confessions this morning!   It’s good to get it all out there sometimes.

No wedding RSVP’s yet, but hopefully tomorrow!

Any Green Monster fans out there?  How do you make yours?

I want to GLOW!

Hi, friends!  Look what I did last night:

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I taped my foot using the Second Skin gel pad and moleskin thing.  It was nice, and actually stuck, but after tonight’s run it was falling off.  Sigh.

This morning I was on the road for work.  I was waxing poetic about my snack so I took a picture.

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A brown banana, battered by the contents of my purse, and my beloved Camelbak of water.  Aren’t the ugliest bananas always the best?  And I love this bottle.  Twas a good snack!

After work I hit the gym for what was supposed to be 3 miles and cross training.  But…confession.  I have really been slacking on the cross training and strength aspects of my half mary training plan.  As my mileage gets into the 20+ miles/week range, I just don’t have the energy or desire to do anything but run.  I’ve attempted a bit of cross training the last few weeks, but it’s just been half-assed and I feel like I’m wasting my time.  I want all of my energy to go into running for the next weeks leading up to my half.  So, that’s that.

Anyway.  Ran 3 miles in 28:15 thusly:

  • 0-0.5 miles: 6.1 mph
  • 0.5-1.0 miles: 6.2 mph
  • 1.0-1.5 miles: 6.3 mph
  • 1.5-2.0 miles: 6.4 mph
  • 2.0-2.5 miles: 6.5 mph
  • 2.5-2.75 miles: 6.6 mph
  • 2.75-3.0 miles: 7.0 mph

I am really loving negative splits lately.  They are challenging and keep me from getting bored towards the end of a run!

Unfortunately, more trouble with my shoes.  They were better than yesterday, but there was still a nagging rubbing on my right arch where Blistersquatch’s footprint remains.  Sigh.  I will not give up on this.

On my way home I could not get thoughts of a green monster out of my head.  I haven’t had one for AGES, but I’ve been seeing Chocolate Cherry Bomb Shakes on Ryan and Caitlin’s blog all week and it’s been calling my name.  I’m going to make one tonight to bring in my lunch tomorrow.  I will report back then!

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I also picked up some makeup removal wipes so I can take my makeup off before I head to the gym after work.  Part of my grocery stop inspiration was the recent discussion of Project Glow I’ve seen revived on some blogs.  I want my skin to look great for the wedding, so I’m planning to incorporate more greens and antioxidants into my diet, continue drinking tons of water, and stopping my bad habit of wearing makeup to the gym!  I don’t have bad skin now—I only get the occasional pimple, but my skin is rather uneven, I’ve got some undereye circles going on, and I have some blackheads on my nose that I’d like to get rid of.  (Maybe I’ll even take a before photo tomorrow morning!)  My goal: glow so hard I look like one of those blue cat-people in Avatar.

Anyway, I got a text today that one of our invitations had gotten all the way to Washington, D.C., so looks like word is officially out.  Hopefully we’ll get our first RSVPs back by the end of the week!  (My mom mailed hers today.)

What do you do to keep your skin healthy and radiant?