The Workout That Wasn’t…

May 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Remember earlier today when I wished you well and hoped you had as good a workout as the one I knew I was going to have today?

Hmm.  Yes, that rings a bell.

Ah, that turned out to be the workout that wasn’t.  For the first time in a while, I feel like I have a minute to catch my breath and just have a night off.  I’m going to roll with that feeling.  I lead a very full, busy, fulfilling life.  I wouldn’t ditch anything on my to-do list (well, maybe cleaning…and laundry ;)) because I want to be doing all of it.  Having a full schedule also means sometimes it’s hard to find the margins of time where you can lean up against the wall (figuratively) and take a deep breath.

I’m leaning up against the wall today, breathing deep.

This decision means I am NOT running the three miles on the Hal Higdon 10K Training schedule I’m following.  Am I freaked?  No, but I would have been about 4 months ago.

I learned through training for the half marathon that you should definitely follow a schedule if you’re new to training for a race, but don’t be afraid to make it work for you.  If there was a schedule that absolutely fit the schedule of every runner on the planet, that person would be rolling the dough.  There isn’t.  Don’t look.  You won’t find it.

It’s easy to feel like you can’t waiver from the set days and miles and activities, for fear you won’t reach your goal.  You will, you just have to make sure you’re accounting for it all and staying accountable to your training.  If you’re straying because you need a rest day earlier than the schedule mandates — that’s fine.  If you’re straying because you don’t really want to be doing this any more — um, that’s a different story.

I’m taking Friday’s rest day and using it tonight.  *deep breath*  Then, tomorrow, I’ll run 3 miles, Thursday I’ll cross train, Friday I’ll run 2 miles and strength train and Saturday, I’ll be back on track with a solid hour of cross training.  Whew!  It all makes sense and it will all get done and most importantly, I’ll get the break I need now.

Rewinding a little bit to right after my exam.  I came back to the casa to let the monsters out and my stomach was a-rumbling.  I don’t understand why I was having earthquake-like grumbles from the tum, but obviously, breakfast was NOT enough.  Instantly, that banana-strawberry Green Monster from yesterday sprang to mind.

But instead, what I ended up with was a beige smoothie.  What?  It’s a Cement Monster Smoothie.  I took this picture purposely against our back patio so we can all agree, that’s the sophisticated shade of concrete.  It tasted good…not quite right.  *face palm*  I forgot the soymilk!  This baby was all fruit, veg and protein powder.  I think the only thing making it mobile was the water naturally stored in the produce.  Wow.  Won’t make that mistake again.

Lunch was a little something new…to me.  When I think of egg salad sandwiches, I make this face:

Ewww.  Today, it was all I wanted for lunch.  I don’t even know that I’ve ever had one before…but today, my quest was undeniable.  I mixed up my own concoction of two hard boiled egg whites chopped, a small crank of sea salt and a squirt of mustard.  Work mustard through, then spread on Earth Grains thin with spinach leaves.

Yummy.  Unfortunately, this sammy does not travel well.  It’s a homebody.

I munched on pear slices…


And a clementine throughout the day.  I didn’t munch on lunch until about 2pm because that Cement Monster was enough to fill my belly until then.

I may or may not have had a spoonful of peanut butter while concocting dinner.  If you have a problem with this, we can’t be friends.  PB on a spoon out of the jar, standing at the counter is one of my favorite snacks.  Ever.  It must be eaten just like that.

Voila!  Dinner.  Shrimp stir fry.  I love stir fry because it is speedy, packed with veggies and super easy to make.  Stir fry also makes for awesome leftovers — lunch tomorrow, anyone?

Just kidding!  Imma let Sam have that one.  I’ve got my eye on something else…another something new.  You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.

I’m off to find the margins, lean up against the wall, take a deep breath and relax.  Why don’t you do the same?  I’m sure you’ve earned it!

Little of This, Little of That

May 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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What a fabulous weekend!  It was jammed packed with a little of this and little of that, starting with a good sweat session at the gym on the stationary bike and then on the incline bench for some screamin’ abbies awesome-ness.  But not before a little of this:

Earth Grains thin with Trader Joe’s Crunchy PB and half a nanner.

Lunch was rapidly consumed (no pic, sorry) and then my parents arrived.  We headed into town for a little of that:

Nothing like a strong African beat to bop to as you tour the International Street Fair.  A quick jaunt down the road and we got down to business digging in the dirt.  A little of this:

Then a little of that:

A little shish kabob was so good, I scarfed the protein portion and then took the picture.  Whoops.

Post-dinner, we split up, girls and boys and hit the movies.  Mom and I saw Letters to Juliet while Sam and Dad took in Robin Hood.

Next morning, we headed to Jana’s Cafe…

…where I had a little of this:

Killer French Toast.  I obviously dominated it.

More hanging out with the fam, snacking on a little of this and little of that.

Finally wrapping it up with salad and a movie with the hubs.

Seem like a blur?  That’s exactly how it felt, but it was a great weekend. 🙂

Smiley Face

May 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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This is the face of a happy runner!

Excuse the squinty-eyes — I was facing the sun.

I rocked those two miles like a champ this morning and had a GREAT RUN!  Oh, I love these days.  I set out with the attitude that I wanted to improve my pace a little so I pushed a little harder.  It’s not quite as daunting to push yourself for two miles as it is for 8 or 10.  I shaved a 1:15 off each mile time and was so pleased my extra effort paid off!  I’m going to do this more often. 🙂

Before we move on to eats for the day, I’m going to veer off-topic for a minute.  A friend of mine wondered on Facebook if she could be ready for a marathon this time next year.  I immediately replied “absolutely!” because I know all to well the transformational power running can have on your life AND how addicting it can be!  I wanted to reassure her from my newbie perspective that if I can do it, anyone can do it.  Anyone!

She responded that any tips would be appreciated.  Oh, Jennifer, be careful what you wish for ;).


remember: I am not a personal trainer or any other kind of expert — I’m a newbie.  What I’m advising here comes from my own experience training for my half-marathon and successfully completing it.  Consult your physician before beginning a new or strenuous kind of activity, mmmk?

🙂 Invest in good shoes.  Had your kicks since high school?  Do you laces remember when CSI was a new show?  Time for some new sneaks, me thinks.  A good pair of running shoes will fit properly, enhance your stride and protect your most valuable tools (your legs, knees, ankles and feet!!).  If you think it’s too expensive an endeavour, consider it this way: over the course of a half marathon training schedule, a $100 pair of shoes could break down to costing just $0.50 a run.  That’s value.  If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, the peeps at a running store will be happy to help you.  Remember my trip to Fleet Feet?  It changed my running world.

🙂 Don’t worry about pace at first — and really, don’t worry about distance, either.  Just run.  Try and run for a mile without stopping.  Or try and run a mile feeling comfortable with your breathing and stride.  Just run.  Get the running down first, distance and pace will come later.  If you’re a true beginner, consider using a walk/run method (such as the Galloway Method) to get you started.  My sister did this even in training for our half and she completed those 13.1 miles like a champ.

🙂 Journal.  Keep a log of how far you ran that day, the weather conditions, what you wore, your pace (when you’re at that point) and how the run felt overall.  You’re more likely to notice patterns if they’re in writing.  Remember my running log? It was so helpful in noticing that I ran better when I had eaten a little something first, or that my one pair of shorts gave me a wedgie and I should avoid them (true story — they ruined a few runs!).  It can also tell you what time of day you run best it.  Use the power of the pen!

🙂 Don’t bite off more road than your running shoes can chew.  Conventional wisdom advises increasing your mileage at a 10% rate.  So when that mile feels good, go ahead and add another .10.  Yep, that’s it.  If you’re a newbie, you don’t want injury and overuse to bring you down.  Take it slow at first.  Many training schedules and programs will increase you at a more advanced pace, and that’s okay, because those programs are designed for people who have been running for a while already.  My pre-training goal for the half marathon was to be able to run the first week of the half marathon training program at least twice.  I knew if I could do that, I was at a level where I could keep up with the increase of the mileage.

🙂 Grab your pom-poms, fasten your pleated skirt and get ready for those high kicks — BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER.  This is by far my most important tip.  This is a huge undertaking and you’re the only one who will know how good it feels to reach that new distance or pace or kick that long run in the buns.  Never stop patting yourself on the back.  It may feel goofy, but sometimes saying out loud, “I just RAN two miles” makes you grin like a kid all day long.  Congratulate yourself, often and with vigor.  You rock and you know it!  Positive attitudes will carry you through, always!

Okay, tipster time over. 🙂

Breakfast today was supposed to be a special treat for Sam.  I woke up wanting to make in homemade waffles — Oh Boy! waffles to be exact.  Oh Boy! waffles are a family recipe so good, when you walk in the kitchen and see them in progress, you cry out, “Oh Boy! waffles!”.  Truth.

This time around, I wanted to tweak the recipe.  I had visions of health as I added whole wheat flour, dumped in some protein powder and subbed applesauce instead of oil.  Oh, these would be phenom.  These would revolutionize Oh Boy! waffles.  These would warrant an addition to the family cookbook.

These were terrible.

Well, correction: they did not taste terrible, but they were terrible to make.  The waffles, without oil, got super stuck to the waffle maker and required a lot of pulling and prying and praying to get them out.  I told Sam I would name my version “God-awful Waffles” because I was so frustrated.

I ate mine with a banana, cacao nibs and a side-dipper cup of REAL maple syrup (I used probably about a tablespoon this way).  Add in some coffee and it was yummy.

For lunch, I employed the use of another Earth Grains sandwich thin (love these) to house a tuna, avocado, spinach and mustard sammy.  I love this combination.  Go ahead and peak, you know you want to.

I also packed cantaloupe, green pepper slices and plain yogurt with granola to mix in when the time comes (so, um, 4 o’clock, as usual ;)).

I’m off to wrap up my day so I can scoot to a young professionals happy hour tonight, but I leave the other runner’s out there with a question:

What did I miss?  What advice would you give a newbie ready to hit the road? Holler ’em out!

Cinco de Lie-o

May 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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I am so happy to be finally free of craziness at work.  We wrapped up our pledge drive at 7pm on the dot and I was thrilled we not only met our fundraising goal, but surpassed it.  🙂

But enough work talk.  Boo on work talk.  Let’s talk about how it’s Cinco de Mayo and I came home with a margarita on the brain.

Sam had the same thought, so while he fixed us incredible jalapeño burgers (which we say “japaleno”…who knows why?  comic effect), I worked on making those margaritas.

Fail.  Margarita fail.

We did NOT have the mix in the wine bar like I thought (probably just as well, I learned over the last week most mixes have high fructose corn syrup).  Instead, I scrounged up Mojito mix.  Well, okay.  We can pretend. It’s basically the same color…and no HFCS.  Then it was discovered there was only dark rum to mix and semi-flat club soda.  Not one to give up easily, I still mixed all components, gave a generous stir and handed my hubs his Cinco de Mayo sippy.

It tasted like a vaccine.  I don’t even really know what this means, but it is completely accurate.  Bleck.

Fortunately, two Negro Modelos were hiding in the back of Sam’s beer fridge in the basement.  Hmm.  Beer fridge, wine bar.  I promise we’re not alkies.  😉

By the by, you are aware, right, that Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence day?  Don’t be one of those gringos…just ask a Mexican. It’s the anniversary of a big battle, not independence (somewhere, my junior year Spanish teacher just dropped to her knees, looked heaven-ward and cried, “they WERE listening!”).  Hey, I’m not saying it isn’t still a cause for celebration, just know “how come”, as in “how come we’re sloshing back margaritas” and “how come I’m stuffing my face with guacamole and salsa?” 😉

Think of it more as “Cinco de Lie-o” because we fib to ourselves every single year about it’s meaning.

Dinner’s delicious (turkey) burger was served on an Earth Grains sandwich flat.

I like this much better than the Arnold’s thins because the Earth Grains are undeniably natural, whereas the Arnold’s take a little sleuthing.  I am essentially lazy and do not want to have to Google a whole bunch of bread mumbo-jumbo.  Make it easy and I’ll eat it.  According to Sam, they are also cheaper.  Stop, Earth Grains, you’re just trying to hard now.

The season’s best (yet blurry) cantaloupe rounded out the meal.  Yum.

I have a two mile run on the schedule for tomorrow.  It looks so small, so fragile.  Not like the 8 and 9 mile monstahs I had been tackling just a month ago…and nothing like the 18 and 19 mile monstahs I’ll be tackling months from now.

*gulp*  One race at a time.  10K first, marathon second.  Perhaps this will be the new motto.  Catchy, no?

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