Saturday, April 30, 2011

Success! And Bottomless Pit Day Continues...

I think I can safely say that last night's ice bath was a success. This morning I have no knee or hip pain/stiffness at all, which is amazing considering yesterday's 15 miles was my longest run to date! I'll think I'll keep having one after long runs, especially those 2 hours or longer.
Today I decided to skip any running, and instead to mix it up a bit with some yoga. I ended up doing 3 different 20 minute free classes from Yogadownload.com and it worked out perfectly. If all goes well, tonight will be my 3rd upper body workout of the week. I'm writing it here so I HAVE to do it!

Breakfast was the same thing I've had every morning for months...oatmeal. I love it and I don't want to have anything else, but sometimes I feel like I should branch out a bit!

Lunch was another egg-beater and cheese wrap, this time with spinach and salsa. Strawberries and grapes on the side:

And from there I really shouldn't say. It's basically a grocery list. Can we just say it's an actual disease?

Bottomless-pit-itis: feelings of insatiable hunger, brought about by extended bouts of exercise. Treat by feeding at 30 minute intervals. Symptoms are worsened if patient is attempting to avoid sugary foods. Eat chocolate around these patients at your own risk. 

I was NOT feeling sugar-free week today. I'm ending it tomorrow, so just a bit longer to go. I'll probably survive. Be prepared for my breakfast tomorrow morning to be piles of candy. 

Anyone else suffer from bottomless-pit-itis?
Anyone, anyone? The day after long runs I basically want everything. Today was the first day I actually thought about breaking the sugar fast just to munch on a bar of chocolate. I didn't, don't worry...

What is your go-to activity after a long run day? Or do you rest completely?
Sometimes I'll go for a light jog, otherwise something like yoga or a walk is usually plenty for me. Doing nothing ends up being worse for me!

Friday, April 29, 2011

15 Miles and an Arctic Evening

Good news! The shoes worked out fine and I ran my longest run to date--15 miles! Time was 2 hours, 25 minutes, so the pace worked out to 9:39 overall. Once again, it was on the treadmill, so I kept it at an incline of 1% most of the time, upping it every once in a while to break up the monotony. I definitely get some strange looks staying on the treadmill that long, though. Once I was cooling down, an older man asked me, "Sh*t woman, where you runnin' to, Wal-Mart?" 
I'm not sure what the correct response is to this, for multiple reasons. 
1) Wal-mart is actually really close, maybe a mile from the gym. 
2) Why on earth would it seem like I was running to Wal-Mart?
3) I'm on a treadmill. It's obvious I'm not going ANYWHERE.

Here is my creepy smile before the run:


And the exhausted, "take the freaking picture for my blog" look afterwards:


I was actually really feeling it in my legs after this run, so I decided to become a real grown-up runner and attempt an ice bath. Um, you guys, these are cold. I knew in my head that placing my body in ice water not going to pleasant, but I couldn't believe JUST how freezing it was. I'll give you the pictures (don't worry, those are bathing suit bottoms, I promise!) but the audio you'll have to imagine. Lots of shrieks and near-tears. 

Getting in was NOT easy to do. 
Staying in wasn't much easier.
This seriously better help. I would rather head to the gym and run those 15 miles again than go through another 10 minutes in a tub of ice. 

Have you tried an ice bath? What's your schedule for recovery after a long run?
This was my first! After running today I stretched, ate, took an ice bath, then showered and foam rolled later. 

What's the strangest/funniest thing someone has said to you while at the gym or out running?
Today's comment was bizarre, but I can't think of any strange things now! I've heard "Run, Forrest, run!" more times than I would like to think about though. 



McDonalds is More Dangerous Than I Thought!

This morning we went to the homesite to have some lumber delivered, and were chatting to the man who delivered everything. He lives about 30 minutes away and was asking questions about how the recent storms and tornadoes had affected us and our area. Luckily, we were completely fine and even our land was almost untouched--no trees had fallen down or anything. He told us a story about Wednesday night that truly SHOCKED me:
A woman was going through the drive-through of a McDonald's in a nearby town (Ringgold, GA) during the storm, and reached out the window to hand the cashier her money. At that moment, the winds must have gotten stronger because her car rolled over and the man at the window got sucked out of the drive-through window. This is obviously horrible and I hope both parties are safe, but why on earth was a) the McDonald's serving customers, and b) anyone needing a french fry fix that badly?! I'm taking this as a sign to avoid fast-food. It's hazardous to your health in more ways than one.


I'm attempting my first long run in the new shoes today, wish me luck! I would like to do 15 miles, but if I'm not feeling it after the hills yesterday I'll cut it back and not stress too much!

If you were planning on eating McDonald's for lunch today but are now re-thinking it, here's a super easy (and completely microwaveable) fake "stir-fry". 
In the mix:
1 soy sausage, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed in microwave
Microwave brown rice (I used about a cup or so)
1 serving egg beaters, microwaved separately 
2 cups baby spinach, wilted

I nuked the eggs and soy sausage, then the rice with broccoli and spinach. Mix together, and bam! Super easy stir fry without the oven, in less than 5 minutes. My kind of meal. The pictures has no condiments or sauce on it, but I imagine it would be a little more Asian-inspired with some soy sauce. I topped that bad boy in ketchup since I was feeling a little crazy. 


How long does it take you to "break-in" a new pair of running shoes?
I honestly feel like my new shoes are already perfect, but I'm scared to try such a long run (for me) quite yet. How many runs would you do before you tried a race or a long run?


Fave fast-food restaurant? (I promise I won't be angry if you say Mickey D's)
I think hubs and I frequent Taco Bell the most. I used to love Sonic but I haven't been there in years and don't know what to order-anyone have a favorite thing to get there?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hill Repeats and Mexican Eats

Today at the gym I had my pick of the treadmills...two glorious rows EMPTY. It was incredible and I decided to mix it up and not get on my "favorite" treadmill. Maybe online I seem crazy ditzy insane friendly, but while I'm running? Least sociable person ever. I purposely pick the treadmill that has an empty space next to it so there's less chance of someone coming up to me and chatting. Breathing is hard enough when I'm running, but talking too? Fuh-get-about-it. 
Since I branched out and picked a new treadmill, I took advantage of one of it's snazzy features--the decline. I turned the whole thing into a hill workout that looked a little something like this:
(I kept the pace pretty constant between 6.2-6.3 the whole time)


Miles 1-2: warm up, 1% incline
Miles 2.00-2.25: 3.5% incline
Miles 2.25-2.5: 1% decline
Mile 2.5-2.75: 3.5% incline
Mile 2.75-3.0: 1% decline
Miles 3.0-3.25: 3.5% incline
Miles 3.25-3.5: 1% decline
Miles 3.5-3.75: 3.5% incline
Miles 3.75-4.00 1% decline
Miles 4.0-4.25: 4% incline
Miles 4.25-4.5: 1% decline
Miles 4.5-4.75: 4% incline
Miles 4.75-5.0: 1% decline


I thought that by adding the downhill parts it would make it easier, but this wore me out! My quads are more sore from this than a normal hill workout. Awesome.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but Cinco de Mayo is exactly one week away. Clearly this means I needed to go out for Mexican tonight. I ordered shrimp enchiladas that were delish:


Chips and salsa came free with the meal--had a few but we moved them to the side to make room for the main course:

Ran into Walgreens to grab hubs something to quell his post-dinner sweet tooth. He is a cruel man (ok, just kidding, he's the bestest) and got an ice-cream sandwich and a bag of Mega-sized chewy Nerds. They were on sale for 22 cents. No, I'm not kidding. I've never even heard of them but I KNOW we will become best friends. I will devour them at 6am on Sunday when I'm back to sugar. I had to get something too, so I got sugar-free gum. I feel like such a loser. 


Thursday night are my favorite at-home nights because hubs and I like to watch Community and The Office. So sad it's Steve Carell's last night on the show, but it's a long episode so yay!

Do you like hill workouts?
I like when they're over, let's put it that way. They're a necessary evil for me. I don't get the rush I get from speedwork, and it's tough for me. I'll keep at it!


Fave Mexican food?
Chips and salsa is probably not acceptable so I'll go with enchiladas. My mom makes great ones--authentic, not to so much, but delicious!



Why I Cheat...

...on my week of sugar-free eating. What were you guys thinking?
Today is day 4 of my sugar fast and I definitely haven't stuck to it like I planned. No, I haven't eaten any candy, chocolate, cookies, that kind of thing, but I have eaten some added sugars that I was really hoping to avoid. There are some foods I eat on a regular basis that I consider healthy, and I don't want to eliminate them from my diet. Some examples are:

Salad Dressing: 3 grams of sugar
Strawberry Preserves: Low sugar but still some sugar!


Tortillas-only 1 gram of sugar, not too bad. 
No surprise here--it's vanilla flavored
I just can't give up my ketchup!

I'm okay with including these foods in my diet. Yes, I'm including some added sugars. More important for me is to get used to living without a "treat" after every meal. I think it's common to reach for something sweet after dinner, but I was doing it after lunch too! 
I don't want anyone to think I have decided to commit to a sugar-free life. No way. This is merely a week-long experiment to see if my blood sugar levels even out, I can stabilize my moods (I tend to be a wee bit emotional peeps...) and break my daily box-of-nerds habit. They're like crack, seriously. So far, so good. Had a few headaches which I can only attribute to sugar withdrawal. I'll fix that on Sunday when I eat some sugary goodness. Woo-hoo!
I thought it might be cool to try different ways of eating for a few days/a week every once in a while. Examples would be vegan, gluten-free, raw, etc. Would anyone be interested in reading something like this every month or so? I'm finding it so interesting to learn about how many different people eat every day. 

Can you suggest some types of eating that might be interesting to try? Do any of you eat a diet that's not typical--any allergies, religious dietary restrictions, anything like that?
I don't really have to limit much of my diet. I prefer not to eat much dairy or red meat, but I enjoy both occasionally. 

Are you a Greek yogurt fan? What brand/flavor--or do you like regular yogurt instead?
I only tried Green yogurt a few months ago since coming to America and I love how much protein it has! I like vanilla for dessert, but also plain to replace sour cream. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Delivery!

I can't lie to you guys--I've been checking ups.com like a kid tracking Santa on Christmas eve. I haven't been so excited in a looong time. And now my new shoes are finally here!
Let's stick with the Christmas analogy, because looking at these photos makes me look like a 4 year old on Christmas morning. In my stocking? Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11s.
The box is here!
Way too much tape in the way
Seriously. Too. Much. Tape.
I'm in!
Smell check. Definitely new. 
Very happy Vanessa.
Obviously I was going to need to try these babies out. Tornado warnings and thunderstorms around here so it was the treadmill for me. Ran 6 miles in 56:30 (9:24 pace) and broke in the new shoes. They felt great, a tight calf at first but I think that was more due to the lack of running the past few days. It felt SO great to run. Yay!

I made hubs quesadillas today and wanted something similar since the ingredients were already out. I ended up with a broccoli, egg beater, baby spinach, and mozzarella cheese wrap with some cucumber slices on the side. Delicious!


What do you prefer--running outside or on the treadmill? When do you head inside (weather-wise?)
I'm almost ashamed to admit (because most runners HATE the treadmill) but I love it! It's a good thing, because once we're in our new house there is no where to run outside. I like being able to zone out and not pay attention to anything. 

I love the abundance of "What I ate Wednesday" posts! So, in honor of that, tell me one thing you ate today!
Really, guys? See above picture. Did you forget already?
Oh, alright...breakfast was oatmeal with almonds, strawberries, and some dried blueberries and cranberries. 
:)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Awww, you guys!

So there I was, checking up on blog, reading all the wonderful comments you leave...
And BOOM! I have over 100 followers!
This means the world to me, I am so excited to have a connection with each of you. I love reading your blogs and learning more about you. I pick up muchos tips about running, health, recipes, and life--so thanks! If you were here I would let you pick one of these desserts as your reward:


His and Hers desserts!

His: Greek yogurt with cocoa puffs and strawberries
Hers: Greek yogurt with strawberries, grapes, and chopped almonds

Poor hubs has to eat his out of a tupperware container. No biggie. These tasty treats followed a delicious dinner of ricotta manicotti and sliced cucumber. Of course some rye bread on the side to sop up all the yummy tomato sauce. 


And now I'm off to watch a 90 minute episode of Glee. Please someone say they love this show so I don't feel too lame. Thanks!

Tell me, tell me: what is your favorite show you're embarrassed to tell people you watch?
I may or may not watch any/all of the Kardashian shows when I'm foam rolling. They're always on E! Sometimes it's the best 15 minutes of my day. Don't judge. 

Which dessert would you pick?
So Im doing sugar-free, so technically I HAVE to pick mine, but actually I think I would anyway! Almonds add some much needed crunch to the mix. 

Those Shoes You Ordered...

I wrote before about how my current running shoes are out for the count. I've put a lot of miles on them (500 +) and the last few times I've run in them I've had hip and knee pain. So for the last few days, I've been cross training and looking out for new shoes. Rachelle and Julia both suggested looking at Running Warehouse for some good deals on shoes. Since these two ladies are fabulous runners and know what they're talking about, I knew I had to check the site out. I found some shoes that looked PERFECT--
These are the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10. Lots of support for my over-pronation. Plus, they were on a HUGE sale and I picked them up for $60. I ordered them Saturday, and expected them to arrive sometime on Wednesday. Last night I got a call from running warehouse. A very chirpy man informed me that the shoes I ordered Saturday, that I had actually paid for, were sold out. BOOOO. I went out on a limb and asked if they could replace them with the newer version--the GTS 11, for the same sale price. He made that happen, and sped up the delivery so that I could still get them tomorrow (Wednesday). Boomtown! I'm so excited that I got the newer pair for such a steal. So I'll be getting these in the mail instead:
I am a very happy camper and I can't wait to try them out! I'm constantly checking ups.com to see where they are. (They're in West Columbia, SC, if anyone's wondering)

In the meantime, I'm realizing that sugar is in a whole lot of stuff. I'm not really minding avoiding candy and cookies, but it's hard to see that my normal Greek Yogurts and salad dressing even have a bit of sugar. I've bent my own rules already to allow those two and also the dried blueberries and cranberries I top my oatmeal with. They are mostly sweetened with fruit juice, but also added sugar. Yikes. It's definitely something I'll be more aware of. I'm so thankful that my PB is just peanuts and salt. I'm eating more than my normal daily quota of that stuff. A meal from yesterday:


I had to replace the strawberry jelly with actual strawberries since the jelly had sugar....

Do you buy the same running shoes each time or just go for a good deal? What's your favorite brand?
I haven't been running consistently for very long (about 18 months or so) so I don't have any brand loyalty yet. I only recently discovered my over pronation as well. I think right now as long as it's a support shoe I'm looking for a bargain--and colors I like, of course!

Do you buy running stuff online or at your local running store? Or anywhere else?
Combination...I'm still unsure about buying things online if I can't try them on. But the nearest running store is over an hour away. So for now, online it is!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Could Sugar Really Be TOXIC?

I thought the day after Easter our collective sugar comas might be a good day to tackle this topic. I read a really interesting article on the NY Times website recently about the effect sugar has on our bodies. In particular, the effect that fructose has on our bodies. While a lot of us are aware of the negative publicity high-fructose corn sugar gets, I was certainly not aware that sucrose (table sugar) was comprised of 50% fructose. The article links to a 90 minute lecture on sugar. If you're like me, the thought of a lecture on anything science related scares the bajeezus out of you. So 90 minutes of it? This slide:


looks to me exactly like this slide:



Believe it or not, the speaker (Dr. Robert Lustig) manages to cater this lecture to even those without a shred of scientific knowledge (ME!) He discusses the impact of sugar on our country and specifically on  children. He tells of how it truly can be a poison in our body, causing metabolic syndrome which ultimately leads to heart problems, obesity, and diabetes. He also said that even those among us who are not overweight can still have a fatty liver, caused by too much sugar. This was a wake-up call for me because I tend to think that since I'm not obese I can avoid health problems. Let's be honest though, I may have a slight addiction to sugar.


A few bloggers have decided to have a sugar fast. Check them out if you want to learn more about them:

Rachelle at Running for Trevor
Stef at Run on Riot

I decided to join them for a week and see how I do. I'm realizing it's almost impossible to avoid all sugars. I will include naturally occurring sugars such as those in fruit, but only IN the fruit--not processed foods sweetened with brown rice syrup or beet sugar.  I would like to see if it makes an impact on how I feel and how my workouts go. I've already replaced my standby protein bars with a mix of shredded wheat, plain protein powder, and organic peanut butter. Topped with flax seeds, it was actually really great!

I will NOT be attempting this to lose weight. Since I'll be eating less candy and treats, I'll make sure to compensate with healthy foods instead. This may or may not be a long term plan, but I'm definitely looking at it as an experiment.

Have you ever attempted to live without sugar? Will you join me for a week?
I've tried "healthy eating" of course, but usually with the goal of fewer calories. This is the first time I'll attempt to keep my calories the same but replace sugar with healthy foods. 


Where are some surprising places you find sugar? (Check your food cabinets!)
Of course I expect it to be in a lot of things, but I'm surprised by JUST how prevalent it is in our food supply. Even in salty things (like hubby's mac and cheese--that's not sweet at all!)




***Anyone interested in the ongoing building of our house? Check out my hubby's blog on the progress being made. As of today we have a foundation, woo-hoo!***

Weekly Workout Recap #4

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
This week was certainly not my typical exercise week. I was already planning on having a cutback week with mileage, so I guess it's as good a time as any for me to realize it was time to replace my shoes. I haven't had a run since Thursday which is very WEIRD for me. Overall, I didn't meet my goals for the week. (listed here) but I'm ok with it. Some untraditional strength training took place, and lots of Easter relaxing.

Monday: 1 hour-ish of shoveling mud (crazy workout for my arms and back, wow!)
   --Run 3.5 miles, walk 1
Tuesday: Walk 3 miles
   --40 minutes of yoga
Wednesday: Ran 10 miles (9:30 pace)
Thursday: Jellybean Race! 6.5 mile run
Friday: Ran 1 mile
   --30 minutes on elliptical
   --1 hour upper-body strength training w/ 100 push-up challenge
   --abs: various
Saturday: NOTHING! Hike was planned, but it didn't work out so that was that.
Sunday: 1 hour on the elliptical

Mileage: 25 miles, only 21 of those running

I'm not too concerned with the lower mileage than normal, since I did include a bit of walking and the equivalent of 9 miles on the elliptical. I'll be happy when I get some new shoes (I ordered them!)
I'm disappointed in the lack of upper body work again though. The shoveling really hurt my back and I just dropped the ball....
There's always this week! AGAIN I'm aiming for 3 upper-body sessions. Who's with me?

No big Easter lunch for me yesterday, still in a sugar coma from Sunday night's Easter treat indulgences. Lunch was still plenty delicious though! Rye bread and butter, meatless soy sausage, sauteed collard greens with onions and peppers, and an egg beater spinach omelette. Hit the spot and lots of veggies to balance the 147654 pounds of sugar consumed last night. Green veggies cancel out all calories from chocolate, right? Right?



Did you meet your fitness goals for the week? What are your goals for this week?
Didn't quite meet my goals....but this week I'm aiming for one long run of 13+ miles, and at least 30 miles overall. Also 3 upper-body sessions. Seriously, this time!

Do you eat any meat substitute products? Which are your favorites?
These sausages (Smart Sausages by Lightlife) were great, but favorite is the Quorn chick'n nuggets. Love those guys! Pretty pricey where I can find them though, so they're definitely a treat. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

'Twas the night before Easter...

... and all through the house, no candy or chocolate was safe, from Vanessa's mouth. 


Peeps on a stick. Holy deliciousness. The perfect treat to accompany my Saturday night reality TV binge. Apparently I didn't get the memo that Easter was on Sunday, because we busted out all our yummy Easter treats yesterday. Chocolate nests were made (recipe here) and a few may have been consumed a little early. Here are the first few in their muffin tins waiting to get hard:


And then the finished product filled with mini eggs:


Easter morning workout was a sweatfest in order to make room for more treats today. I'm still on the elliptical until I get some new shoes, but today I added intervals to make it a bit more challenging and a bit less boring. How am I okay to run for a couple of hours on a treadmill but 1 hour on the elliptical seems like torture?

Which cardio machines do you love/hate?
Treadmill I love (duh), elliptical and stairmaster I have a complicated relationship with, rowing machines I like too...bike I hate. 5 minutes on that guy and my quads hurt and I'm bored. 

What are your Easter treats for today?
More mini eggs and nests I'm sure....we will see what else I get my hands on!

HAPPY EASTER!



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not Exactly What I Had in Mind...

Today's plan was to wake up bright and early and drive to the scene of my trail half marathon- Scenic City Trail Half & Marathon in the Chattanooga, TN area. 10 minutes away from home, I realize we've forgotten the directions and have no clue how to get there. No problem--we turn back and start the journey 20 minutes later but otherwise fine. Hubby's calf is feeling better and we were attempting to cover the whole 13 miles, but a combo of walking and running. We almost get into the park, but then see a big STOP sign where the entrance is. The gate is locked. The place is closed today. There are tons of people who biked around anyway, but the actual trail is a solid 6 miles away from the gate--on a paved highway. Not my idea of a nice hike. Discouraged but not ready to go home, we drove the other way and found some nice scenery and stopped for a photo op/snack time. Obviously, I was starving from all the, um, sitting I did in the car.



It was an awesome protein bar and deserved a thumbs-up. I was really hoping to get a hike in, so I plugged "recreational activities" into our car's Garmin and set off for a mountain a few miles away--plan B. We got close and I couldn't even make out the top of the peak--it was so covered in fog/clouds. Now it was time for Plan C. We went shopping for food. The exact opposite of hiking. But we were just so close to Whole Foods and didn't want to waste the trip....

I went in for some of my favorite sesame kale and came out with sauteed collard greens, a loaf of rye bread, and a ridiculous amount of clif and lara bars. They didn't even have the kale. Defeated, back home we went where I decided to be really productive and catch up on Glee and Top Chef Masters. This afternoon hubs went fishing and I sat in a chair in the sun and read. Again, physically exhausting stuff. I may tackle some exercise tonight but in the meantime I'm enjoying making Easter treats and relaxing. Happy (almost) Easter!

Are you a fan of cooking shows? Which ones are your favorites?
Love them so much! I can basically turn on the Food Network and watch everything on there for hours. Best is Top Chef though, it's so interesting to watch each season!

Do you find that you're just as hungry on exercise days as rest days? Or do you modify your intake depending on the amount of exercise you do?
I think I eat the same amount each day. Most days I exercise, but even on rest days I feel just as hungry. Days after long runs I usually eat a bit more--I'm starving all day long!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Free Goodies!

I need to preface this post by admitting something to you all: I heart free stuff. Seriously. I will take free ANYTHING. I spend 5 minutes each day searching for free stuff I can get in the mail. I'll sign up for the toothpaste, the free tampons (no joke--got a sample box of these 3 days go)--whatever. But free snacks? This gets me excited. About 2 weeks ago I figured out that I could get a free Atkins Starter Kit. Now, I've never been on any low-carb diet nor do I intend to start. It's just that the starter kit came with 3 free bars. FREE, PEOPLE! I was a little wary of accidentally signing my life away or something, but no credit card info, no "plan"...nothing. Just this little box of goodness that arrived today:


**Sorry, I had to scrub out my mailing address. My mailbox couldn't handle all the fan mail I'd immediately start to get and who wants that drama, you know?**

Inside was a letter, some recipes, a notebook of carb counts in various food....blah, blah blah. The free food! 3 bars, each a different type, all with chocolate. Hello, I'm interested. Admire my loot:


I tried one already and it was yummy! Basically a glorified candy bar (at least the one I tasted) but overall I'm pleased! If you want to waste 3 minutes of your life but gain 3 free bars, go here and click on free weight-loss kit. To prove to you that I was not hired by Atkins to promote a low-carb lifestyle, please check out my next photo. None of this is low ANYTHING

So much Cadbury!!!

We may not get to have our Easter baskets and family with us this holiday, but we will certainly have our candy! Don't worry, only one bag of mini eggs is for this weekend. The rest are officially "stockpiled". Please don't laugh at me, but I divided 2 of these huge bags in half and designated them for each month. 

And yes, I wrote on each bag what month they were for. Hubs has already started on about some "sleep eating" nonsense but I don't believe it. Those bags are saved for a reason! As soon as easter ends I get sad because of mini egg withdrawal so this time I'm prepared. 


For July ONLY!



Do you go crazy for free samples? Ever made a meal out of them at grocery stores?
YES! When I used to shop at Costco I would hit up every free item at least 3 times. I also sign my life away online for a 1/2 ounce sample of detergent. 

Which holiday treats do you miss most post-holiday?
Mini eggs obviously, but also candy corn after halloween. Luckily, you can find candy corn almost year round now!

What a Good Friday!

Hope you're enjoying your Earth Day/Good Friday everyone! Weather is looking gorgeous here in Georgia and it's shaping up to be a warm and sunny Easter weekend--woo-hoo!!!

I have been putting off getting new running shoes for a while now. I kept thinking next week...another 50 miles on them...it's not too bad....
And now it's bad. I can feel the tread worn down on one side of my right shoe, and it's messing up the way I run. My right knee and hip are feeling sore, and I can tell it's because of the shoe. Ugh. I'll get some in the next few days, but in the mean time I feel better doing cross training rather than running.
Today's workout was 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then 1 mile on the treadmill. One mile was enough to know it wasn't feeling right, so I didn't push it. At least I know I was properly fueled from my pre-workout snack (aka breakfast #2...you know I can't go more than 2 hours without some form of nourishment):

Sliced strawberries and halved grapes with some sliced almonds for crunch--such a nice warm-weather treat! Post-workout lunch was rye bread with baby spinach, ham, and microwaved egg-beaters with green beans on the side. It was my first attempt at microwaving egg beaters, but it worked and was pretty tasty! Plus lots of green for Earth day--bonus!



How often do you replace your running shoes? How do you know when it's time to toss 'em?
I haven't been running consistently for very long, so I don't have a set plan. In the future I'll track my mileage so I know how far each pair have gone. 

A Friday Challenge for you:
Make sure you eat something green today in honor of Earth day (also feel free to do lots of other things as well!) Let me know what you ate! So far today: green beans and spinach!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jellybean Time!

Today I ran in the Jellybean virtual race! Put on by Run With Jess, you could choose to run either the 5k or the 10k. Jess put in a ton of effort to get sponsors to donate some awesome prizes, and even made special bibs to print out. All in all, an awesome idea and so fun! Today I ran the 10k. Maybe not a great idea after my long run yesterday, but I decided not to "race" it and just run at an easy pace. Plus, it was sunny and 75 degrees once I started running...bad planning on my part. Final time was 59:09 (9:32 pace). Here am I before setting off:

How awesome are these yellow motel walls?
Great bibs courtesy of Jess!
I love the idea of a virtual race. Since I'm still a newbie to the blogging world, this is my first one but I'll definitely participate in them as they come along! I wish I had some of these to celebrate with afterwards--it would be so appropriate!
I'll settle for some yummy tacos for dinner and the leftover nerds from yesterday. It was an off day and I managed to not eat the entire pack in one go. Yay me! I'll make sure to get rid of them tonight...so I have lots of room to put all the new Easter treats I'll start stockpiling tomorrow. Last weekend to buy Easter candy people--start stocking up on mini eggs for the next year!

Did you run the Jellybean virtual race?
You betcha! I'll be sending my time and picture over to Jess tonight...

Have you ever run a virtual race? What's the funniest/most original name for a race you've ever heard?
There is a race in Boston called the "Common's Man marathon"--it's 2.62 miles (1/10 of a marathon) around Boston. I love it, because you can go around saying you ran Boston marathon--ish. I'd love to run this one just to say it!


Coconut Fiasco

I'm sure you've all heard of the benefit of coconut water. If not, here's a recap:

  • More potassium than a banana (lots more than most sports drinks)
  • Completely natural
  • Full of electrolytes
  • Rehydrates you quicker than water
Got it. The stuff is super good for you. I knew that, which is why I bought this bottle of Zico Coconut Water last weekend.
 

It's pretty pricey at almost $3 but I really wanted to test it, and also maybe review it on here. I opened it up, took a sip, and passed in on to hubs. We both agreed it seemed like you weren't drinking it--it was getting absorbed into you almost. Strange, but mild and sweet tasting and certainly hydrating. I saved 80% of the bottle thinking that I could use it after a long run to hydrate, or a really sunny day. 

Fast forward to this past Tuesday. Hubs is getting ready to take a nice walk with me in the sunshine and I had the bright idea of bringing along the coconut water. Perfect, right? It's sunny, we were sweating, we could really tell how hydrating it was. I pulled it out of the fridge and hubby went in for a taste. 
Things did not go well from there. It turns out, opening this guy up and then saving it for a few days is NOT a great idea. Apparently, it tasted like "sour yogurt". I smelled it, and it was certainly rancid. Our walk was delayed a few minutes while hubs rinsed his mouth out, and then decided to brush his teeth. I escaped relatively unscathed. 

Moral of the story: coconut water is probably good for you, just drink it straight away. Also, use the man in your life as a guinea pig to test things out before you try them. (Thanks hubs!)

What would I possibly do without this guy?

Have you ever tried coconut water? 
I assume you had a better experience than we did!

What do you use to hydrate during long runs in the summer (outside)? Sports drinks, coconut water, plain old water?
I usually go for plain water but lately I've been leaning towards Nuun hydration tablets. They seem like enough extra to keep my from getting dehydrated without extra calories. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kitchen Envy

I have kitchen envy. It's been getting worse and worse and those of you who post delicious recipes that require ovens are killing me. I want to bake cookies and stir-fry veggies and roast sweet potatoes! In the meantime, I drool over my future kitchen plans. Fingers crossed, I should have a working kitchen in 4 weeks or so. Our future house is coming along nicely and I'll keep you posted on the big new developments. Hubs and I decided it would be really nice if we kept Ikea in business since they're such a small company and clearly need lots of our money. (Is there a sarcasm font I can use or something??) There is actually a great deal going on where you can save 20% on your kitchen total. That is a HUGE amount when you think about the cost of a whole kitchen. Here's a sneak peak:


Some stuff is obviously missing, like a microwave and faucets and things, but basically this is it! We'll call it my domain. Has a nice ring to it, no? Once I'm set up, these are some of the first things I'll be making (courtesy of you lovely bloggers, thanks!)

--Guinness Cake Brownies (Cotter Crunch)
--Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes (Hungry Meets Healthy)
--Spring Ptitim Salad (Jenn's Adventures)
--Perfect Whole Wheat Bread  (Lunges and Lashes)
--Strawberry-Lime Shortbread Cookies (Sweet Treats and More)

In the meantime, I'll keep getting creative with the old microwave! 

Today's workout was a long run of 10 miles in 1:35 (9:30 pace). The oddest thing is happening right now though. I DON'T WANT TO EAT. I pretty much always want food. Always. So to not have an appetite is pretty strange. Hopefully it will pick up so I can reward my belly with post-long run goodies. Like the ginormous box of Nerds my amazing hubs bought for me this morning. 9 months of marriage and he's totally picking up on the fact that for me, sugar = love. 

What's your favorite kitchen appliance? Tell me tell me so I can get it and be as happy as you!
Um, the microwave. Because that's my whole kitchen. Unless you count the counter by the sink as the kitchen. I really want to get a breadmaker though. Fresh baked warm bread please!

Post a link to your favorite recipes (can be from your own blog) so that I can get a great collection going and dream of the first things I'll cook!

Peanut Butter vs. Nutella

Sometime in life you have to make some really difficult decisions.
Other times, you just have to choose what jar to eat your oatmeal out of. Today was one of those days:



This might seem like a petty decision to you, but it's going to set the tone for the rest of my day, you know? So did I go with the rich, creamy peanut butter? Or the sweet chocolaty nutella?


And there you have it. PB won. I have to confess, the real reason I made that choice was that there was a giant spoonful of Pb left in the bottom of the jar. How could I waste that? Yum!

Yesterday's workouts were certainly not noteworthy. I had to postpone my long run because my back was (and still is) pretty achey. I ended up doing 40 minutes of yoga (2 20-minute videos from yogadownload.com) and taking an easy 3 mile walk instead. I'm sure that was the best thing to do, but my body feels off. It knows it needs to run! Hopefully today I'm feeling up for my long run. I'll keep it easy and call it quits if my back is still giving me any trouble. 

Ok, I have a confession for you guys. I told my husband and he couldn't believe I held it back from the blog. It's just too good. On Sunday night I ran a tempo run. It was the fastest, by far, that I had ever run more than a mile or so. It was also on the treadmill after a whole lot of kale for lunch. Near the end, let's say I was... feeling some intestinal disturbances. I wanted to tough it out because I had to see if I could make it all 5 miles. Eventually though, I had to let one go. Immediately I felt better and relaxed. Thirty seconds later, I hear 2 boys arguing on the treadmills behind me. I knew what was coming. 

"Gross, man!"
"No way dude, that was totally you!"
"Whatever, it was you!"

I admit, I felt a little guilty. Not guilty enough to speak up and admit it was me, but guilty enough to run with my head down for a couple of minutes. 


Your turn. Please make me feel better by sharing your embarrassing gym/running stories. 

Ultimate decision: Peanut butter or nutella?
Even though I love nutella, I eat way more PB. I honestly couldn't survive without the stuff. If we're being really specific, ALWAYS crunchy over smooth.