Lunchtime Warrior

11 days to go!  We’re almost in 10-day forecast territory, dudes.

I thought about photographing my lunch, but it was the same as yesterdays: pineapple pre-workout, spinach + balsamic, Chobani + strawberries + Kashi GoLean, and a multigrain bagel. 

Once again, over the lunch hour, I hit the gym.  0.4 mile run there, 3.5 mile run on the treadmill, 0.4 mile run back.  Whee! 

My iPod was dead today, so I did some thinking while I ran.  I am certain these shoes (the Brooks Defyance 2s) are not THE shoes for me.  Aside from the blister issues, I’ve had various knee/shin/ankle pain, and today, my hips were complaining too!  Ugh.  My orthotics are in (but I keep forgetting to make an appointment to pick them up—it’s a little hectic right now), and I think I’ll head back to the ol’ running store to get a new pair.

Here’s my dream shoe wishlist:

  • A wide toe box.  I think the blistering on my forefoot is because these shoes are just too narrow thanks to my awesome bunions.
  • I also like the idea of a wide width shoe—I tried one for a few weeks earlier this year, but it was a stability shoe, and didn’t have enough cushioning, so I got shin splints.  I’m curious about what could happen in a wide neutral shoe with plenty of cushioning.
  • A larger size.  I’m pretty sure my feet swell when I run.  A lot.  I’d ideally like to be measured, run on the store treadmill for awhile, and then be re-measured, but they probably don’t want me jeopardizing it all day. 

Anyway.  Moving on.  There was a birthday celebration at work this afternoon, so I was planning on having cake as an afternoon snack.  (Yup.)  Buuut, I went, and it was white cake with white frosting—booooring, and not worth the sugar binge.   I went back to my office and opted for a Luna Bar instead.

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I’m not a white chocolate fan AT ALL, but I really like these.  Huh.

Came home.  We got a wedding gift!  Hello, new salad bowl.  May I fill you with spinach?

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I also got a very fancy candle as an early wedding gift from a co-worker today!  Totally sweet.

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I looove candles (and so does Tim) and this one smells awesome.  It’s orange/vanilla scent, so think grown-up creamsicle.

And for fun, Tim and I get 8904543 mailings a week from the Missouri Bar Association.  We got one today that we both laughed at:

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We’re down to four RSVP stragglers.  Come on, guys!

What’s something that made you laugh today?


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? 

Negative Splits

Today was a good day.  Not great, but good. 

This morning Tim ate his first breakfast cookie!  He has been complaining that his normal breakfasts (either a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios or a peanut butter sandwich) don’t hold him over until lunch.  I made it my mission to make him a filling breakfast that tasted good too!  The verdict?  He thought it took too long to eat (he’s a slow eater generally).   I asked him if it was delicious, and his response was, “Well, you’re a healthy eater, so it’s delicious for you, but maybe not delicious for normal people, like steak, and bacon are.”

So, I’ll take that as a mixed review.  I tried.  I think I am going to start packing him a morning snack instead.  😦

I think I need a bigger lunch box.

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Same lunch as yesterday, with the last sweet wheat Western Bagel instead of the corn muffin.

I can’t get enough of clementines lately.  I ate 3 today and might have another before bed!  They’re so tiny, but they take a long time to eat.  Andplusalso they’re pretty.

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I have successfully polished off one of the two bags of spinach so far this week.  Success!

Unfortunately, the volume trick didn’t work for me today.  I was hangry.   Around 3 o’clock, I had a Clif Mountain Mix Mojo bar.  I looove these things—salty and sweet, with nuts and raisins and seeds and chocolate chips and pretzels…yum.

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But, yeah.  Didn’t hold me.  I feel like a bottomless pit today!

My stomach felt like it was eating itself by the time I got to the gym, but today was just 3 miles so I powered through anyway.  Since I had some lung trouble yesterday, I took my inhaler before I ran and oh my gosh, what a difference!  This was an AWESOME run.  I pushed my speed and it felt great.  I really think sometimes I’m being a little too conservative with my pace and I need to crank it up a bit.  I did:

  • 0-0.5 miles at 6.1 mph
  • 0.5-1.0 miles at 6.2 mph
  • 1.0-1.5 miles at 6.3 mph
  • 1.5-2.0 miles at 6.4 mph
  • 2.0-2.33 miles at 6.5 mph
  • 2.33-2.66 miles at 6.6 mph
  • 2.66-2.9 miles at 6.7 mph
  • 2.9-3.0 miles at 7.0 mph

Final total?  3.0 miles in 28:15.  Boo.  Yah.  I felt like I could keep going, too! 

Anyway, we just ate dinner (burger on a sammich thin and brown rice) and I already feel hangry again.  Guess it’s just one of those hollow leg days!

I’m off to prepare a rant-y post for tomorrow.  Get excited, because I am one angry bear!

What do you do on bottomless pit days?  Feed it or fight it?

Happy Fun Surprise Day

Today was one of those days that started out absolutely ordinary and blah, but turned pretty great with some fun surprises!

Anyway.  Work this morning was rather hectic and I was feeling blah.  For several hours, I kept looking to see if there were knives sticking out of my stomach, but there weren’t.  My day instantly cheered up when I saw a box on my desk!  It contained our rehearsal dinner invitations (which I still have to make a little thingamabob with the information on it to put inside, but oh well) and our invitation envelopes all fancily addressed!  These are the rehearsal invites:

And the envelopes. Unfortunately I had to blur out most of the address.  But as you can see, my aunt’s calligraphy is really pretty.

Today’s orange wasn’t too bad.  But check out that peel!  It’s seriously impenetrable it’s so thick.  I had to stab it with a pencil to get the peeling started, so if I die of lead poisoning, hey, it’s been fun.

I also had an English muffin with Blue Diamond Honey Almond Butter.  I am undecided about this product.  I think the honey makes it a little bit too sweet for me, but it’s a nice change from regular almond or peanut butter from time to time.  I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.  (Great review, huh?)

As you know, my laptop has been in the hands of the Geek Squad since Monday.  I happened to check the repair status online today about 5 minutes before leaving work and it had changed to something like, “Please contact the store for more information.”  Well, as it so happens, with exactly three weeks left on my service plan, they put my poor old laptop in the junk heap and decided to give me a free, brand new laptop so I’d stop heckling their geeks every two months.  Hooray!  So, that was awesome news.

Because I wanted to get to Best Buy, I decided to listen to the overwhelming response from my fantastic commenters and only ran 4 miles today.  However, I wanted to make it a good, productive, hard 4 miles since I missed a run yesterday.  At about 2 miles in, I decided to push hard on speed and finish the run as fast as I could.  (A free, new computer is a GREAT reason to run fast.)  I ran 4 miles in 38:38, which is pretty fast for me!  The best part was that I did negative splits the whole way–started at a 6.0 speed for half a mile, then just went and up and up and up until I was sprinting an 8 minute mile at the end.  Super fun and exhilarating.

And then, I came home, and oh yeah, I got an invitation to my bridal shower!  (I made my aunt send me one so I could see how cute they were.)

Tim and I ate a quick homemade pizza dinner and then we went to Best Buy.  We were in and out, no hassle, with a brand new computer of my choice in approximately half an hour.  Meet my new blogging buddy/free Sony Vaio!

I set the box on the couch and Southie claimed it immediately.

And now, I am sitting here working my proverbial ass groove into this computer–I have lots of links to save and files to load!  Thankfully, I saved everything on my external hard drive before taking it in, so I haven’t lost any documents or pictures.

What’s been the best surprise you’ve gotten recently?

Recovery Day

I’m still on a runner’s high from yesterday’s PDR.  Woo!

Anyway, I’m feeling the after-effects, but it’s not that bad.  My quads are a little grumbly, which is fine.  My calves felt like they were wrenched into tennis ball shaped knots last night at bedtime, but I foam rolled and iced and they’re just a little tight today.  I really want to get these Zensah Leg Sleeves that Ashley swears by to prevent shin splints and calf problems, but the $39.99 is a hard sell.  Oddly enough, my shoulders and upper back are a little sore, too.  Oh, and my buttcheeks chafed one another which is an really interesting pain to have.  Who says running isn’t glamorous?!?!

And, according to my various readers and Twitter followers, chocolate Gu is the best thing since sliced bread and tastes like shooting chocolate frosting.  I may make a trip to the running store this weekend to see if you all are bullshitting me on my next long run next week.

The mental triumph, of course, makes this all worthwhile.  It’s so much sweeter after having a crappy week of injury and illness, too.

Moving along (steps down from cloud).  Today’s orange was weird.  Every other section was good.  It was a strange feeling.  I didn’t much like it.

I had a Chocolate Coconut Larabar for an afternoon snack.

I planned to run 4 miles today, but things got a little complicated.  Tim randomly had to stay at work much later than usual, and he’s our normal dog-letter-outer.  Milhouse wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so I wanted to make sure he got out of his crate at the normal time.  So, I mentally reviewed my priorities,  reminded myself that dog trumps running, and went home to let him out right after work instead of going to the gym.

How can you resist this face?

Poor guy!  He seems to be feeling better, but time will tell.

Anyway, I’m tossing around the idea of basically adding today’s missed 4 miles to tomorrow’s 4 miles and doing another long, 8 mile run tomorrow evening.  Realistically, I won’t run Saturday since I have to work, and I’d prefer not to skip mileage if I can avoid it.  Of course, if I get into it and my body says it’s not going to happen, I’ll stop, but it sounds like a fun challenge!

What do you think?  Skip it, add it, or don’t care?

Running into the Ground

Hi, friends.  I feel like I am just on a crazy farm these last couple of days.  Life is so busy lately!  Accck.  I just feel like I’ve had no time to be at home with Tim and the animals, and I miss them dearly.  Unfortunately, life won’t return to normal until Sunday.  Boo.

Today I ate a very ugly orange and some peppermint bark for a snack.  Both were delicious.  I am seriously in love with oranges lately.  The theme of this bag is “huge and ugly but awesome.”  Also, if anyone has figured out a graceful way to eat oranges in a professional setting, let me know, because I am at a loss.  I cannot seem to eat one without squirting juice everywhere and making my hands all messy, regardless of whether I cut it or peel it.

In sad news, this is “clean out the snack drawer” week.  Meaning, I have nothing left to much on.  One bag of popcorn, some tea, raisins, and one off-flavor Larabar I don’t want to eat (Tropical Fruit Tart) was IT.  Boo.  I need to restock this weekend!  I actually ate some of the Strawberry Gu Chomps I got at the race on Sunday to tide me over pre-run.  Not bad, but I prefer Shot Blox.

All day I’ve been starving.  I don’t think I ate enough yesterday in general, which means my body is mad and my stomach is just off.  I just can’t fill up, despite eating lots of protein and healthy fats!  Boo.

Today I ran four miles at the gym.  I did not want to.  My stomach has been feeling really gross lately.   I have been having the worst insatiable cravings for carbs–I was daydreaming about a French baguette all day!  I was not meant to run five days in a row, but my schedule won’t really allow for anything else this week.  I actually woke up in the middle of the night with some ankle pain where I rolled it on Sunday, but it felt fine all day today and hasn’t been bothering me otherwise, so I don’t know what’s up with that.

Tomorrow morning I’m doing an easy two miler outside with Milhouse and that’s going to be IT until Monday.  I’m leaving on a work-related road trip overnight tomorrow around 10 am-ish, and I’ll be back Friday evening.  And then I have to work Saturday (whichI’mcrankyaboutbutwhatever).

In other news, here is Tim with Buckley making a quintessential Buckley face.  Can’t you just see the “I do NOT appreciate this” look on his face?

Anyway, I have to go do laundry and pack.  BOO.  Tomorrow morning I answer your questions about my heart rate monitor!

Banana Face

Today’s post title is brought to you by my morning snack.

I brought a banana and a teeny raisin box for a morning snack today, and I suddenly remembered that my mom used to do this for me when I was little to make fruit-eating fun.  She would even give them hair, and buttons out of raisins.  What a mom!

Banana Face was delicious, anyway.  Raisins and bananas are a good combo!  When I was little I’d always get fruit salads from dessert made of chopped apples, banana slices, raisins, and peanuts.  I wish I had an apple and another banana to make one!  Talk about nostalgia.

Today’s run was supposed to be a 3.5 miler on the treadmill.  But I got to the gym and it was insanely crowded–all the treadmills were full, and the track was closed for track practice.   I stood around for a few minutes seeing if anyone would hop off, but it didn’t happen.  So…I juggled and decided to make today tomorrow’s weights day instead!  Voila:

  • 10 minutes on the elliptical at butt-searing resistance
  • Squats, 3 X 12 at 135 lbs.
  • Overhead shoulder press, 3 X 12 at 20 lbs.
  • Lateral raises, 3 X 12 at 20 lbs.
  • Deadlifts, 3 X 12 at 40 lbs.  (the heavier weights were ALL being used!  Weird!)
  • Upright rows, 3 X 12 at 40 lbs.
  • Reverse crunches, 12 @ 25 lbs. (these killed my back for some reason, in a moderately uncomfortable way, so only one set.)
  • Prone jackknives, 2 X 12
  • Swiss ball crunches,  2 X 12

It wasn’t what I was planning, but it wound up being a nice little full body workout!  I already feel a little wiggly.  I’ll get to the 3.5 miles tomorrow.

Anyway, lately I have been feeling a little…rundown?  I don’t think that’s the word, but I was super tired yesterday and I’m really quite tired again today.  Plus, I woke up with a stuffy nose this morning, which is never a good sign (although I feel fine otherwise).  Friday and Saturday are going to be rest days to the max after tomorrow’s run.  I want my legs to be nice and fresh for Sunday’s 10K, and I feel like I need lots and lots of sleep before then.

Also, random note: I’ve given up my lunchtime Diet Coke.  I got into a two-a-day habit for awhile, but I’ve gone back down to just one for the last two weeks and I’m feeling good.  I know none is best, but that never seems to stick for me.  One is better than two!

In wedding news, I asked my mother to take charge of finding me some earrings.  I bought a pair, but I wasn’t crazy about them, and she is great at finding jewelry.  Plus, with her job, she basically shops 5 days a week!  She sent them to me and they came today.

What do you think?  I really, really like them.  I think they’re fancy enough that I don’t need a necklace, but not so busy that they’ll take away from my dress or fascinator.  Go mom!

What is your mom really good at? My mom is a great jewelry matcher and banana face maker, obviously, but she is also a really talented baker!  Her caramel brownies are to die for.

Take that, oats in a jar!

I was a crabby panda all day today. It is zero degrees out. Work was out of control crazy. It’s Friday, and usually my day off the gym, but I had to go run. I was not happy.

I snacked on some popcorn this afternoon. I always have popcorn for snacks on Fridays. I don’t know why.

No butter, lots of salt. (Popcorn mixed with M&Ms is the best, but unfortunately not as healthy.)

Then I went and ran. I was determined to get. it. over. with. I was not feeling it, but I started to run and I just felt light and strong and fast. It was great!  I actually think my running has proved immensely since the weather got colder.  When I was little, my asthma would vastly improve after the first hard freeze, and I think the same thing is happening now.  I haven’t had trouble with it for weeks.   Afterwards, the crabbies fell away and I was back to my normal ray of sunshine self. I left the gym and came home to find our new crock pot!

Good thing, too.  We ate our last frozen bowl of chili earlier this week!  I can’t wait to give it a try.

In other news, for those of you who think that Oats in a Jar is the best thing to do with the end of a jar of peanut butter, I present to you a very happy beagle with peanut butter on his snout:

So, a big happy check for week one of half marathon training.  I can do this!

Tonight will involve some relaxation and a little tidying for some visitors tomorrow.  Happy Friday!

What’s your favorite snack?

Couch Tater

Evening, friends!  Today begins my rest week, so no workout to speak of today.

First things first–I impulse bought these teeny boxes of raisins to snack on in the morning.  How cute are they?  They look like something a hamster would pose with in a dollhouse.  They remind me of my kindergarten lunch box–pink and soft with ballerina teddy bears.  I always wanted one of the hard lunch boxes with the big sticker on it, but my mom said no.  Sigh.  Love these, anyway.

Also, new yogurt.  I love Fage with side fruit thingys on it, but, again, hard to find and expensive.  But, oh so good…

I ❤ Greek yogurt.  I’ll eat it anywhere, anytime, any brand.  (Except plain.  Straight plain Greek yogurt is a little too sour for me.)  Nom.

Anyway, back to the whole rest week thing.  The New Rules of Lifting for Women, which is basically my fitness Bible even though I’m not on the program anymore, recommends taking full weeks off any exercise every 6-10 weeks-ish.  The author of the book talks about how you should just kind of organically let these happen to coincide with your normal life schedule, and I have.  Here’s a rough estimation of the time off the gym I’ve taken in 2009:

  • March 15-21, one week taken off due to a spring break trip to house hunt
  • May 10-23, two weeks taken off due to graduation and moving to Kansas City
  • July 26-August 8, two weeks off due to the bar exam and our vacation to the Outer Banks
  • October 18-24, one week off due to starting new job
  • December 21-26, one week off due to Christmas

So, I’ve worked out all but 7 weeks this year.  That means I’ve worked out about 86% of weeks of the year, which I feel really good about!  Not only do weeks away from the gym help my body recover, but they’re good for me mentally.  I like knowing that it’s totally okay to be a bum and not stress about working out when I’m legitimately too busy or have higher priorities.  I’ve never experienced any significant weight gain during these weeks, and often I’ve seen the scale drop during them.  I’m going to enjoy time with my family this week and not worry about it!  86% of the time is a hell of a lot better than 0% of the time, which was pretty much my M.O. in for half of 2008 and before.

In 2010, yes, I’d like to bump that up a little bit…but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.  I anticipate taking a little time off after my half marathon, and time for the wedding and honeymoon and Christmas, but 2010 is shaping up to be WAY lower stress than 2009.  (Law school, graduation, long distance move, bar exam, unemployment, new job, new dog…phew!)

I do like to get a little bit of fun activity in so I don’t go from sitting at desk directly to couch, so I took Milhouse for an extra long walk.  Nothing extreme, probably about a mile or so, but he enjoyed it and so did I.  Walking is nice!   I wish I actually got my heart rate up enough for it to be considered exercise.  But, alas–the perils of being in shape.

What foods are a throwback to your childhood?

Satsumas and Squats

Happy Monday!  Maybe I’m a freak, but I usually like Mondays, as opposed to Tuesdays and Wednesdays anyway.  I usually have a nice-but-not-daunting pile of work on my desk to keep me busy and usually the day flies by.

Today was pretty great for another reason.  Satsumas! (Warning: I really, really like typing the word satsuma.)

Since it’s the holiday season, our office has been assaulted by baked goods.  Bleh.  Too tempting and not usually worth it.  However, today, we received three giant boxes of satsumas!  I figured these were just like clementines, which I like but am a little “meh” about, but they were much better.  They appear to be some sort of tangerine/orange hybrid and they are juicy and delicious.  I’m not a big citrus person because there’s nothing worse than a bad, flavorless orange, but these were incredible.  I like snacking on stuff like this because even though it’s a mere 25 calories, it takes me a good 10 minutes to peel it and eat it section by section.  And, interesting fact, it has 70% of your RDA of Vitamin C in one tiny fruit!

I had two today.  And I took a picture but my camera ate it (/I accidentally deleted it).

In other news, T will now be referred to as Tim on the blog.  T was my lame attempt at anonymity, but really, T is not much less anonymous than Tim.  So, hi, Tim!

After work today, I was full of energy and knew I wanted to work out, but I couldn’t decide what to do.  I was having one of those days where I just felt like MOVING and making myself hurt in a good way.  So, here is my totally random workout:

  • 5 minutes on the treadmill warming up, running at about a 6.2 speed
  • 3 sets of 12 squats @ 135 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 12 shoulder presses @ 40 lbs. (alternating with…)
  • 3 sets of 12 single leg deadlifts @ 40 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 10 overhead lat pulldown @ 74 lbs. (alternating with…)
  • 3 sets of 10 reverse cable woodchops @ 45 lbs.
  • 1 mile run on the treadmill in 9:40

It was a good time and my legs feel sufficiently wobbly.

Now, for reading my post, here is a ticket to the gun show:

Just kidding. I am, however, proud of my upper body and I realized I’d never posted a muscle-y picture of me on the blog before.

But, here is a combo wedding and fitness tip:  focus on building up your shoulders if you’re having trouble getting rid of a little stomach pudge. Really, honestly and truly, this will save you a whole lot of aggravation.  If you build up your shoulders, you will create a nice V effect that will make your waist look MUCH smaller, and you won’t wind up looking like the Hulk on top.   Plus, your arms will look better!  It’s a win-win situation.  Trust me on this one.  I got tons of compliments on my “tiny waist” while wedding dress shopping, when really…it’s not.  I just have a little muscle on my shoulders, which most women don’t, and it makes everything else balance out nicely.

Anyway.  Two questions:

  1. What’s your favorite recent food discovery?
  2. Any fun fitness tips or tricks to make things easier?