Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ten Pictures Tuesday

I knew last week and this week would be challenging and exhausting, but it catches me by surprise every year.  Working in college admissions means this is essentially the week we work towards all year...and Friday we start back at the beginning of the next cycle.  I work for a small school with rolling admissions so there really is no break or slow part of the year. 

I only ran 3 miles last week.  I did my first scheduled run of the week today but I am not killing myself over sticking to a schedule.  The real goal this week is to get through without getting sick and any miles I fit in are icing on the cake.

One of the perks of being a really small time blogger without an adoring audience is that I can disappear without hurting feelings.  It's not that I don't love to write this stuff, it's that I drag myself home and I am doing good to feed myself and the dog before crashing.  Last night I fell asleep facing the wrong way on the bed.

I promise to be much more interesting next month. Travel starts for work and I get new running routes and general adventures daily!

Until then, today's ten things Tuesday is brought to you by ten pictures from the past week.

Hank is a pillow thief.
Confession: I like to plop down on the couch after running. Even if I am super sweaty.

Another confession: I gave Hank the pb jar so I could get stuff done last night.

This salad from Whole Foods might be the best salad ever.

I got an iced coffee and new Toms i like them both very much.

I got busy and had Taco Bell.. Not proud. But it was delicious.
Don't be fooled. This is the lunch of champions.

Mellow Mushroom pizza is the bomb diggity 

Running after eating leftover pizza is not the bomb diggity.

My cat is a nut. That is all.

Alright y'all....I hope you are having an amazing week. Hang in there!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Totally Random Tuesday Ten

Well I usually like to give these lists a theme...or at least attempt some continuity. Today that is probably not going to happen because life is beyond hectic. So here are ten totally random things I'm thinking about today!
Oh, I am also on a dog and gif kick.  These things might be my go-to stress busters!

1) I just looked at the calendar and realized our new students are arriving in one week and one day. I'm in admissions so that officially makes this a crazy week.

2) Travel starts in one month. Also crazy and also something I am feeling totally unprepared for.

3) For stress relief I browsed local runs and I'm so excited to sign up for the NC Halloween Half Marathon on November 1st in Spring Lake.  If you are nearby, come run with me!  It is supposed to e a very flat and fast course.  And Halloween theme...so that automatically wins!

4) Number 3 means I am now brainstorming costume ideas...which is pretty much one of my top 10 favorite activities.

5) I also need to come up with a costume for the Space Coast Marathon.

6) I'm hoping to start moving in a week and a half so I guess I really need to start packing. I do not enjoy packing at all. But it will be a good time to declutter.

7) I wish the rain would go away. Or at least be more respectful of my running schedule. I guess I need to find a treadmill.
Two dogs running on the same treadmill animated gif

8) The best part of rain is rain boots and puddle stomping. I don't have any right now but I really want some Hunter wellies.
Please wait, I need to play in the puddle animated gif

9) Watching new students get here makes me really miss being a student. Maybe it's time to get my masters?

10) My feet have been attacked by grown up shoes (and the blisters they cause) as well as a large dog landing on them and a bajillion red ant bites So tonight they are getting a little spoiled!

And here is Hank demonstrating how most people probably feel having read that.  Sorry y'all.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mega Planning Monday: week of 8/11

Alrighty y'all, it's time for a new week!  I am promising myself that this will be the week I finally get all my planned training runs in. Cross your fingers for me please!
If the weather plays nice and sticks with the forecast, I only have to dodge storms on Tuesday.

Training Plan:
Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 3 miles (goal pace 10:00)
Wednesday: 5 miles at race pace (goal is 10:00)
Thursday: 3 miles (easy pace)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 6 miles (goal pace 11:00)
Sunday: cross train

Can I just say how glad I am that this training plan has every Monday as a rest day? It's like they know me.  The first weekday is rough enough without having to wake up early or making an attempt to function after 5 p.m.!

I have to admit that my food plan is still to eat everything I can from my fridge and pantry.  This evening I am hopefully hard-boil a bunch of eggs. I also have lots of chicken...and cheeses and bacon. So I am certainly not roughing it! Oh and chia pudding for breakfast.  I love saying I am eating pudding for breakfast. I feel like my 9 year-old self would be so jealous!

I hope you have an amazing start to the week!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Training: Week 2 update

Well week 2 is in the books.  Again it did not go according to plan, but I am not terribly disappointed either.  Ok, I am a little disappointed.

Here is a look at what was done:
Monday: rest day - accomplished with great success
Tuesday: 3 miles at 9:46 pace (a bit behind my 9:30 goal but not terribly)
Wednesday: 5 miles was the goal. Zero were run.
Thursday: 3 miles were planned, I ran about 1.5 with the dog.
Friday: rest day - but I did that HIIT workout instead and ran about a mile
Saturday: turned into cross training day with lots of walking
Sunday: 9 miles planned, 8 miles completed (see below)

So what happened?
I am going to blame part of my failure on my ankle and wanting to give it a bit of rest since it has been acting up lately.  A very large portion of the problem has been the weather though.  I don't enjoy running in the rain but I will do it, however we have been having terrible storms with rain so hard you can't see anything accompanied by thunder and lightning. I don't play with lightning.
While I am worried that the weather is holding back my training, I also know I will soon have access to a treadmill on a semi-regular basis so I am feeling okay still.

I also realized I have been lazy with posting so I figured I would share a little more about my week!
Monday night I went to the dog park and met up with the boyfriend.  After Hank wore himself out we went for a walk.  It was a super pretty path that I need to go back and run eventually!  There was shade pretty much the entire time as well, so that alone doubles the amazingness.  Tuesday was nothing special but my run actually felt really good and I was happy to get close to my goal pace.  Wednesday I worked late, changed into my running clothes, and stepped outside just in time for the storm to roll in, so I came home and watched Netflix instead. Because I am a responsible adult.  Thursday Hank really wanted to join in on my run so I took him thinking it was cooler than it actually was.  He was a trooper and would have kept going, but by a mile and a half I could tell he was getting way too hot and panting harder than I was comfortable with.  We walked the rest of the distance so I suppose I really did get in three miles, I just didn't run them all.

We run together and post-run relax together.  I stretch while he lays on top of the AC vent.

 I posted about Friday already :)

Now for the weekend!  Hank's lesson in Raleigh got canceled (again) because of these darn storms so I planned on getting up to run...or sleeping in and running later.  However, my friend called me at 7 a.m. needing me to pick her up from the airport (in Raleigh) because she had been in an accident.  Of course I was out the door in record time.  I talked her into a stop at Trader Joe's because I was out of cookie butter and needed my fix. I also picked up these delicious snacks and apparently the peanut butter is a new item.  It's very sticky and very addicting.

That afternoon we hung out and went shopping for her son's birthday present from me.  He's only turning two and I am not a baby expert, so I took full advantage of having her input on what he actually needs!  We walked the mall for a few hours which I am sure adds up to at least a couple miles!

Finally today I went for my run!  The only good thing about this crazy weather is that I was able to run at 4 in the afternoon without dying of heat exhaustion!  Which is probably good because I forgot to pack my water bottle and shot bloks.  Oops.  I also forgot my KT Tape so I was a little concerned about my ankle but I figure if it started to hurt I would just walk back to the car.
I went to the Cape Fear River Trail again so I tackled a lot of really steep hills but also had some great views!

 There is even a covered bridge and lots of this wooden boardwalk stuff which is actually pretty nice to run on.  The trail is 4 miles one way and well marked, which is great since my Nike+ app decided to crash halfway through. Again.  I planned to double back a half mile at some point to get to my planned 9 miles, but the rain was moving back in very quickly and my knees and hips were starting to complain from all the hills.  Basically I am falling apart already!  They are all old just problems that flair up occasionally and are pretty manageable if I just take care of myself.  Weather changes never help my case though!

My running selfies obviously need some work, but I did find this sign in a very convenient location. Also can I just say how much I am loving that mesh shirt from Brooks? It's reversible and beyond comfy. Plus I think I got it for about $10 at TJ Maxx!

There is a (heavenly) water station around mile 3 that I was so happy to stop at, but I was really impressed that I made it without my own water or any kind of fuel. I don't think I'll intentionally try it again, but I am really glad to know I can do it if I need to.

I refueled with a pepperjack bagel and hazelnut swirl iced coffee from Dunkin.  They were out of cookie dough iced coffee which just about broke my heart.

Overall it was a great week despite the rain and storms!  Hope you all had time to enjoy your weekend.

Friday, August 8, 2014

HIIT the Track workout

Happy Friday everybody!  I am so glad the weekend is finally here. I think it is supposed to rain all weekend which is a bummer, but I am still looking forward to not having to get up in the morning!

Work it out!
Today I finally made my own workout.  I love HIIT type workouts where you get the most bang for your buck time.  This one took me a little under half an hour to get done and my legs are on fire in the best possible way.  If you try it let me know.  I am probably the world's weakest lunger so this may be way easier for other people haha.

Does everyone else call them grapevines? If you need a demo here is a great short clip.  Some people call it karaoke or caraoca I think.  (Video is not me btw...someday I need to find a photographer!)

Also "plank-ups" are just going from a forearm plank and pushing up to a straight arm plank then back down to forearm.  I try to switch which arm I lead with every other time.

I am very much not a professional trainer nor a professional athlete. I am a college admissions counselor who likes to workout and now likes to share those workouts. If it doesn't feel right for you, please don't do it!

Eat up!
Ok I know I said I was doing the What I Ate Wednesday link up starting next week, but I just realy want to share two awesome things I ate today.  Hopefully you don't mind.  Because food is great.

 For breakfast I made chia pudding with craisins in the jar with the very last of my cookie butter.  I'm pretty bummed I ran out, but it made a great breakfast.
Then I had this epic salad for dinner.  With sun-dried tomato  vinaigrette. And yes I did use goldfish as croutons. And they were amazing!


P.S. I am linking up this week with Fitness Friday hosted by Jill Conyers. 
Be sure to check it out for lots of awesome blogs!

I hope you have a great weekend and that you get to spend some extra time with the ones you love!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WTF Wednesday

So today was my long day at work. Then when I got home I waited for it to get a little cooler so I could go run. Spoiler alert: it's dark out and still almost 90 (and that's not counting the humidity factor).  Needless to say I missed my run and I am really missing the cool front we had moving through last week.  Tomorrow I am going to try to double up on my runs if the weather cooperates.

Wishful Wednesdays really weren't working for me.  I just wasn't feeling it and struggled to come up with new stuff that wasn't repetitive and didn't make me sound like a materialistic brat.  So next week I am going to start participating in the What I Ate Wednesday blog link-up. I am actually pretty excited about that. And a little nervous because I don't even know how much I actually eat in a day.  I am a habitual snacker.

So, in the downtime, I am going to use this Wednesday to compile a list of WTF moments and random osbervations.  Because I seem to be having a lot of them and my brain can only make a few sentences at a time after this long of a day!

1) There is something living in the backyard of this house that is eating all the little nubs off the pinecones and leaving the core.  I don't think pinecones have cores but you know what I mean.  They have also dug up a little dirt. And Hank thinks they smell fascinating when we go out for him to do his business.  So fascinating that he takes forever to do said business and my feet end up covered in bites from the million bajillion ants that are also living in the backyard.  And the mosquitoes contribute.

2) How the heck do you afford AI, end up pregnant, then get on food stamps? I don't get it.  On that note, how do you go through the whole process (trying AI several times) and not realize until after you are pregnant that you should probably stop smoking?

3) How can people still be drinking Minute Maid and calling it juice? The label says it contains 3% juice.  Doesn't count!

4) Is anyone else totally obsessed with BigLots?  Confession: the one in my town is a little sketch and the usual people in there are not the classiest but they have some awesome deals on great stuff.  I usually went in there to get Clif bars because they had the cherry ones which were my all time favorite.  But now they don't have any Clif bars at all.  But I got a 16 pack of Lara bars for $8 which was a pretty great deal since I think they are usually over a dollar each.  I got the Pumpkin Pie ALT bar first and that one was ok. But today I picked up the Cherry Pie ones and they totally rocked my world! so glad I have 15 more to eat :)

5) BigLots also had this Godiva chocolate and I really wanted something sweet.  I haven't had dessert food in a while! Also I kind of had to but it..I was buying God for sixty cents.  I shared with a co-worker because I am nice like that...and because I offered before I ate a square. It was amazing.

6) Prior to the chocolate bar, I made myself an egg sandwich.  I hadn't had one in ages and was so excited.

7) This weekend I bought a shirt that says "SWEAT LIKE A PIG TO LOOK LIKE A FOX" except with pictures of a pig and a fox.  I liked it because I laugh at the idea of wearing it while I work out because there is pretty much nothing foxy about that situation.  All pig.  Also because I used to raise pigs and know first hand that they actually can't sweat. (nerd alert) Anyways, the WTF moment came when a dad was buying the same shirt for his 9 (ish) year old daughter.  I mean I am not a parent, but shouldn't some things be universally unacceptable? PSA: please don't objectify your young children and try to help them not objectify themselves.  I used to work with a lot of 12 year olds that were already putting themselves on diets when they clearly didn't need to be. Now I work with juniors in high school who already have two kids.  The madness has to stop somewhere.

Ok so maybe this post was more rant than WTF moments, but it feels good to put it out there. 
What has you saying WTF this week?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ten Things Tuesday: marathon anxiety edition

Apparently this week I am going to bombard you with more information than you ever wanted or needed about my habit of worrying about everything.

As I'm starting training for my first marathon I obviously have plenty to worry about...and I am totally doing so.

So here are ten things I am freaking out about a little bit.

1) Injury. My body loves to mess with me and this is a lot of running.

2) Getting sick. Last year I ran my first race (a 10 mile trail race) and I was totally unprepared because I had been sick for weeks and unable to run or breathe.

3) Balancing travel and training. September is the start of my travel season which usually means working from 8 in the morning to 8 at night. In lots of different places and with a different schedule daily. It can make a training routine challenging to say the least.

4) Being unprepared. I am terrified that for one or all of the reasons above I will start this marathon feeling totally unprepared and overwhelmed.

5) Being alone on race day. So my boyfriend is supposed to be going with me, but he is in the army and they are already working to ruin that plan. First marathon = hard. First marathon with nobody cheering for you = no words.

6) Oversleeping on race day. I'm not a morning person and this thing starts early!

7) Running without music. I love listening to music while I run. It's the best. But the rules say no headphones. (I've seen some in pictures from previous years so this might be something they don't enforce?)

8) DNF. These might be the scariest three letters ever. No matter what anyone says about DNF being better than did not start.

9) Not crying at the finish line. I would be lying if I said I wasn't expecting this to be a life changing experience. I am scared of just feeling exhausted after instead of appreciating what I accomplished.

10) Forgetting to enjoy the process and the experience. You only get one first marathon and I don't want to worry so much that I forget how cool this all really is!

Anybody else prone to over planning anxiety?
Or do you happen to be running the Space Coast Marathon and want to be friends? Because that would be great :)

Proper Planning...and whatnot

The problem with life is that there is a big gap between planning and implementation. I am an excellent planner and I can, on paper, make a day that has time for everything. Then the next day I'll oversleep by nearly two hours and blow the whole thing before my feet are even out of my cozy bed.
This little munchkin wanting to snuggle also does not help.
And yes he really is that dingy in real life. We went to the dog park last night. Which is probably why the plan for the week post was not even written on time. Go me haha.

So here is a brief summary of my training plan for the week.

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 3 miles (goal pace 9:30)
Wednesday: 5 miles (goal pace 11)
Thursday: 3 miles (no goal pace)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 9 miles (goal pace under 12)
Sunday: cross training (hot yoga?)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Training: Week One Recap

Week one of official marathon training is in the books y'all. Holy crap.
In solid form, I have already skipped one day. I am going to blame the rain (and the fact that I was feeling a little lazy) and leave it at that.

Monday: rest day. completed that one like a champ. actually threw in an hour of yoga which felt nice.
Tuesday: 3 miles. I set myself the goal of doing it at a 9:30 pace.  This did not happen. I did 3.1 miles at a 10:09 pace so I guess I will take it.
Wednesday: 5miles at race pace. As I mentioned Monday I am shooting for a 10 min/mile pace. These 5 miles were done at an 11:12 min/mile pace so I kinda missed that goal as well.  Lesson learned - do not do two fast days in a row and expect good results. I was happy with the Wednesday run though because there were lots of little hills so that was a great challenge.
Thursday: 3 miles.  Yeah this one did not happen at all.
Friday: Rest day. Done. Like a boss.
Saturday: Thunder and rain interrupted plans I had made so this was switched to cross training day.  I spent three or so hours walking around the mall so I am going to count that. 
Sunday: 8 miles. Ran 8.11. My body hurt and my pace was 12:11 min/mile. Way far from ideal, but I got it done so I am ok with it.

Overall it was not the best imaginable start to a training plan, but also not the worst. 

Let's talk about this weekend...because it has been pretty awesome!

Friday night I cooked buttermilk brined cornish game hens following this recipe from Kitchen Confidante. 

They were spectacular! I love cooking on weekends because my boyfriend comes over to eat what I cook.  Much more fun than cooking for yourself!


Yesterday the dog was supposed to go for his last lesson, but the trainer texted Friday night to reschedule because the weather was going to be gross (and the lessons are in a park). So Saturday morning I slept in and planned to run later in the day When the storms let up a bit.  Hello cooler weather, please never change! Well, the boyfriend decided he wanted to go to Bass Pro Shops. It's a little under two hours away, but it is also attached to Concord Mills Mall, which is one of my all time favorites so of course I said yes!  We shopped and wandered around for a while.  I got a new swimsuit, a new pair of Nike running shorts, and two cute Addidas shirts. And a new toy for the dog.
We had seen Razzoo's on the way in and I mentioned it. He grew up in Louisiana so Cajun food is a favorite.  So we took a break and went there for lunch

They had the coolest menus and this drink was one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted.  It was like raspberry lemonade with white wine.  Crazy good.  Then lunch came out and I think my eyes might have about popped out of my head.  I am not a Cajun food expert by any means so I picked a combo skillet with lots of different stuff.  It was spicy (I like spicy and the waitress warned me so that was great) and I wanted to eat every bite, but I was so stuffed!  Makes for great leftovers though!

We went and wandered a little longer to work off some of our lunch before driving home.  Hank was not pleased that he had been left out, but then he got his new toy and all was forgiven.
I have some doubts about how long the rope will last, but he loves it very much.  It is made by Jolly Ball and I have had good luck with their horse toys in the past, so hopefully the ball itself will outlive the rope!
Totally random, but I have no idea why the dog always looks so small in pictures  People meet him in real life and are surprised by how large he actually is.  That said I think he has finally slimmed down and looks almost healthy with just a little chunky left :)

This morning the plan was to wake up and go for my run.  Went well until I woke up and found that my phone had only charged to 28% in the 7 hours it had been plugged in.  So naturally I went back to sleep lol.
We woke up later in time for brunch and used the leftover buttermilk from Friday's dinner to make pancakes!  And of course you can't have pancakes without eggs and bacon. And coffee.

 The cooking picture is courtesy of the boyfriend...the shirt is one of the new ones (I know I can't be the only one who buys something new and has to wear it immediately!)...and mom has already mentioned that the fridge looks short and that I look skinny.  I am not actually taller than the fridge, but we can pretend I always look skinny like that. Pancakes were made with this recipe from Oh Sweet Basil and were possibly the best I have ever made! My pancake skills have room for improvement, but these were easy and fabulous.
We decided to be lazy bums and went back to bed and watched the new 300 movie.  Okay, he watched and I played on Twitter :)
He eventually had to go home so I started typing this and Hank pouted.  Then I finally went for my long run. The training plan called for 8 miles, I was hoping to do at least 9 (10 if I am being totally honest), but my feet and legs were just dead.  I think it is officially time to retire my favorite shoes :(  I made it through to 8.11 miles though with a 12:11 pace.  Not exactly what I was hoping for, but I am being optimistic and thinking about all the room it leaves me for improvement!
The weather was almost perfect as well, which was a huge bonus. It was over 80, but right now anything under 90 feels like a blessing.

I also keep seeing a bunch of deer when I am out running.  There is one chilling in that picture but he's a bit hard to spot. I usually see 5 or 6 each run which is pretty cool.
The best part of the run was coming home and taking a shower.  As always!
Now that this post is all wrapped up it is time for #runchat on Twitter then sleep.  Tomorrow is a rest day so I don't even have to pretend to try to get up early! Hallelujah!
Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, August 1, 2014

(Kinda) Decaf August

Alright y'all, this month is going to be a doozy.  I know I posted last night about all the things I am looking forward to in August, but I am giving myself a challenge that is going to be pretty rough.

You may or may not have noticed that I am a hard-core caffeine fiend.  I pretty much live on coffee all morning and supplement with a soda in the afternoon.  It doesn't keep me awake; I can drink espresso and go to sleep a couple minutes later.  But it is practically a food group of its own in my life.

Unfortunately I also struggle a lot with stress and anxiety.  I used to deal with these things in a really unhealthy way and, having eliminated that coping mechanism, I can really get swept up in a lot of mental negativity quickly.

Then I came across an article saying that science shown that caffeine can exacerbate existing anxiety issues.  I did not want to admit that it made sense, but really it does.  So I've come up with an idea.

I am NOT going to quit caffeine cold turkey.  Taking away all my coffee would probably cause me to lose my job, sanity, and friends.  I am, however, going to cut myself back to one caffeinated beverage per day. This will usually be my morning cup of coffee (which is really not a small cup and is actually a travel mug...but baby steps okay?) and I am going to try to cut out soda entirely. Soda makes me feel bloated and gross so it should be a little easier.

Additionally, I am going to keep a little personal record of how much anxiety/stress I feel and how well I felt I was able to deal with it.  This will be especially good on the days when I slip up so I can see if I feel worse those days.

I am not going into this thinking I am going to magically change my life, and it might not even make a noticeable difference.  But it certainly can't hurt anything and if it causes me to drink more water and less soda I will count that as a victory as well!

So keep your fingers crossed for me. And if you know me in "real life" maybe keep a safe distance for the first week or so ;)

Here are a few articles I found helpful, in case you want to read more! (they also link to many more so you can go down the research rabbit hole)

Caffeine & Anxiety - Livestrong.com 
The Dangers of Caffeine for Anxiety Sufferers - addictioninfo.org