Back to Boot Camp

8 Jan

Boot camp started back yesterday, but I didn’t go. I was “recovering” from my eight mile run on Sunday. But actually, I was just too much of a wuss to go. Last time I tried to go to boot camp after running a long run my legs just refused to work. But I made it this morning! Despite waking up several times in the night to stop my dog from howling at the partying neighbors, I made it to the 5:30 outdoor workout. (I can’t be mad about the partying. A certain very awesome football team won a certain very important game last night!)

I had the morning off from work, so I came back after boot camp and slept/snuggled Henry/watched last night’s Bachelor episode for the next three hours. I forgot what a time commitment the Bachelor is! Well worth it in my book.

My plan was to go on a run before going into work this afternoon, but I couldn’t get my silly iPhone to sync up with iTunes, and I couldn’t find my iPod. So instead of just going for a run, I played with all of that mess for around an hour. Unsuccessfully. I got so worked up and frustrated that I just decided to forget it and cook up a delicious spaghetti squash lunch instead. I didn’t take a picture because it didn’t actually look very good.

Before cooking, I googled “Why is my spaghetti squash always watery?” (I like to make my google searches very specific like that. There is almost always someone who has had the same problem and posted a solution on the internet.) I learned two things about cooking spaghetti squash:

1) if it’s always soggy, you may be cooking it too long (guilty)

2) if you are adding sauce, make sure the sauce is room temperature or cool so that it does not continue to cook the squash, which causes the squash to release water.

I’ve always done the opposite of both of those things. I thought that cooking it more would cause the water to evaporate, but I tried these two tips and ended up with the perfect squash! I topped with some roasted vegetables and an avocado/nutritional yeast sauce. All in all a delicious lunch!

Since I don’t have a picture of lunch, here is a picture of the cute tea bag that I made ginger/mango tea with!

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A sample of teas came in my PopSugar Must Have Box. I’m just now getting around to trying them. I’m partial to Republic of Tea teas, but these are delicious! I had white ginger pear, and it was super yummy.*

*Just FYI, these aren’t affiliate links. They’re just sort of “for your information” links. I didn’t know if you cared, but thought I’d put a disclaimer just in case.

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New Eating Plan

6 Jan

So most people started eating healthy right after January 1. Not me! I needed an extra week of junk food before I was ready to start getting back on track.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of Paleo. Unfortunately, I do not like keeping meat in the house, and the Paleo diet is mostly vegetables and meat. I do keep fish around, though, so I am going to use the Paleo guidelines as sort of a rough outline to try to eat by. (Browsing around the web has given me the impression that Paleo followers can be a little militant — you either are Paleo or you aren’t Paleo. There is no try.) Basically I am just going to eat a ton more vegetables. With that in mind, here is my grocery list from today. (I love seeing bloggers’ grocery lists, don’t you?)

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Most of the articles I read about starting a Paleo challenge tell you to throw everything “non Paleo” out of your pantry/refrigerator. I, instead, decided to eat my way through all of the carbs in my refrigerator/pantry. I knew it wasn’t the most awesome or responsible of decisions when I made it, but that has rarely stopped me before.

Sample of my meals over the past two days: fatty special (my go-to “bad” food of spinach dip on top of pasta), sour patch kids, vegan pasta alfredo, tuna/cheese quesadilla, Morning Star Farms asian veggie patties, and socca pizza. (By the way, when I was explaining to my BFF what socca was, her response was, “You know if you ever get married you’re going to have to start cooking normal stuff, right?”)

With all of that stuff out of the way, I am going to give this whole clean eating thing a whirl and try to be as Paleo as possible. I am giving myself an out after two weeks if I start finding it just way too restrictive to maintain.

Tonight I made butternut squash soup with a coconut milk base. It was pretty awesome, so I will share what I did:

Sauteed one small onion and one clove of garlic

Added in the butternut squash (I just used a package of frozen)

One can of coconut milk

One can of diced tomatoes

1/2 tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp coriander

Dash of salt, smoked paprika, and curry powder

One bay leaf

I let everything simmer for about 30 minutes, then transferred to the blender and pureed everything together. Don’t make the rookie mistake I did and forget to take out the bay leaf (gets me every time!). Enjoy!

This made a lot of servings. I probably ate three, which was way too many (that coconut milk adds a little bit of a calorie punch), and there was half a pot left.

I’ll keep you updated on how my eating goes/feels over the next couple of weeks. I thought about keeping it a secret from you in case I bail early, but then I decided to just tell you anyway. 🙂

8 Miles!

6 Jan

Today our group run was 8 miles! A new distance for me. We had Gatorade at our two aid stations today. I was not a fan. I took a couple of sips each time and poured the rest out. Bleh.

Unfortunately due to trying to eat all of the bad food in my refrigerator and pantry (more on that later), my stomach was already not thrilled to be on the move for that amount of time. Nothing too terrible happened. I just felt my stomach cramp up after each Gatorade, and I had this conversation with myself both times: “Are you going to throw up? No? Good. Just don’t throw up. You only have to finish.”

I actually talked to myself a lot during this run. Only sometimes out loud. Both times were during hills where I had a sort of Little Engine That Could chant going on. I kept whispering to myself, “You can do this. You can do this.” Luckily nobody was around.

The fact that nobody was around turned out to be very unlucky later. I was right in the middle of the pack, and there was a guy in a green windbreaker up ahead that I tried to keep in my line of vision. (I was in a tank top by the way. It was a glorious day. I don’t know how that guy was able to keep a pullover on the entire time.) We did our usual route, but when we got back to the start, there was another little loop around part of campus. Our coach explained the route twice and I thought, “There is no way I will remember that. I will just try to follow everyone.” He had an aid station set up at our usual start/finish and as I grabbed my Gatorade he tried to explain the route again. I just couldn’t follow. He mentioned maybe five roads and it was “turn left, then turn left, then turn right . . . .” I still don’t know. Anyway, I sort of stopped to listen to him and lost sight of green shirt guy. I turned on the correct road to begin with, but then couldn’t find/remember what the next turn was.

Basically I looped back to rerun the last bit of our usual route. Then, I wasn’t sure it was far enough, so I started weaving back the way I came down random roads. I ended up stumbling on to our group. I knew it was them because one of the guys was running in khakis (like the long kind) which I remember thinking was super odd. I probably went just a little bit further than I had to. I told our coach what I had done and he said I had probably run about the same distance as everyone else.

I have some blisters on the outside of my big toes, but nothing too ugly. Also, my ankles started really hurting towards the end. I talked to our coach about this last week. I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about, because originally they hurt after three or four miles. Now they start hurting around mile six. So I think they are just having to adjust/get stronger for the new distance each week. They stop hurting as soon as I stop running, so it’s uncomfortable, but I’m not worried.

After the run, I was ready for a nap. I didn’t take one, but I did sit around in bed in my dirty workout clothes for a couple of hours reading blogs.

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Henry did take a nap.

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What do you think of Gatorade during runs?

How long do you sit around in your dirty workout clothes?

 

New Year’s Resolution

3 Jan

I don’t usually make resolutions for the new year. I need too much instant gratification to try to plan something that will take a year to accomplish. But here I am, three days after the new year, making a resolution.

So, I know this blog is new, and we don’t know each other very well yet, but I am going to make a confession. For the past eight months or so I have been in a funk. Not the “eating massive quantities of Taco Bell and not exercising” kind of funk. (Those tend to come and go pretty regularly for me.) I’ve just been unhappy. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why — I have some ideas, but can’t give you a clear answer. Basically I’ve just been feeling insecure, needy, and despondent.

I’ve been feeling I would be happy “if only . . . .” If only I had a great guy in my life. If only I lived somewhere else. If only this or that were different. But, like I can’t explain what got me into that funk, I also can’t explain how exactly I got out of it. I can tell you that I did. As of last night. I just sort of snapped out of it. I feel like this big fog has been lifted and I am ready to start living my life, exactly the way it is, as my best self.

So 2012 was my year for growing up. For realizing (finally) that my life is pretty darn great. And that I can and should be happy about that. That I need to give love without demanding anything in return and that I need to love myself.

So for 2013, my resolution is to be happy with who I am, what I am, and where I am.

Happy new year!

NYE Run

2 Jan

I went out of town to visit friends on New Year’s Eve, and went on a short run (2 miles) with one of my guy friends before heading out to another friend’s house for food, drinks, and board games. We played Apples to Apples and a game I found at Target called Quelf.

I thought Quelf was awesome and hilarious. It was like a mix between Cranium and the drinking game Circle of Death. Some of our friends were not fans because the game makes you do things like sing songs, smell shoes, and compose sonnets. I loved every minute of it.

Before we played, I bought several prizes to give to game winners. I  way overestimated the number of games we would get in between 7 p.m. and midnight. (My guess – 12; actual number of games – 3.) Now I need more activities that involve giving out prizes in order to use up all of the great goodies I got at the party store. (Note to future self: I should not be allowed to go to party stores. I will buy the most random crap just because I think it’s funny.)

On New Year’s Day we ate all of the crazy things you are supposed to for good luck — ham, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. I wanted to go for a run, but I forgot to pack my tennis shoes.

Today I am boycotting running to punish the outside for being so darn cold! Most people amp up their exercise routine right after New Year’s. I am in hibernation mode. I am hoping that taking this one day off will give me the swift kick to the pants that I need to get back into the swing of things!

Remember my NYE nails? They didn’t last very long.

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Have you heard of party nails? Where you paint something different or funky on your fourth finger? This is the opposite. I call it the Grinch Nail. I think it’s going to be preeetty trendy! When you see Lauren Conrad sporting this look in a few months, just remember that you saw it here first!

 

My First Tempo Run

30 Dec

I’m back home. I rushed home to try to get to the group long run. But first I had to pick up this guy. He was happy to see me!

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This guy, on the other hand, was happy to see me go.

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My aunt adopted a feral cat a few years ago and he does not like having other people around. I think I was ruining his holiday season, because he either gave me the stink eye or ran away any time we were in the same room together. Which made me sad. My feelings get hurt any time an animal or small child doesn’t immediately love me at first sight.

When I showed up for what I thought was going to be a long run, I found out we were doing a tempo run instead. Which means I missed last week’s long run. I had not looked at the schedule very carefully, and assumed the tempo run was something we were supposed to do by ourselves since it was Christmas break. Luckily, last week’s long run was only six miles, and I accomplished that on Christmas day. Extra points for doing it in a semi-storm! (That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.)

So today I got to learn what a tempo run is. And execute one fairly poorly. Our main coach was gone, but one of the other coaches was there and she explained that we were going to go three miles, and run the first bit slower than 5k pace, the second bit faster than 5k pace, then one more slow section and end on a fast section. Her example was for a normal 10 minute mile pace. She said to run 12 minute mile pace on the slow bits and 8 minute mile pace on the fast bits if we are normally a 10 minute mile.

As you may have gathered from my vague descriptions of runs and my lack of any sort of talk about splits or even overall times, I have absolutely no clue what my normal pace is. My guess, from the one time I ran a 5k, is that I run about a 10 minute mile. So luckily I could just use the numbers she threw out instead of trying to figure out new numbers, which might involve some sort of math, which I dislike as a general rule.

She advised that the people who had watches should yell out what their pace was for those of us who didn’t. I was actually glad to not have a watch, since I have no idea how to look at a watch and determine what my pace is. Maybe when she said watch she meant fancy watch — like a Garmin or Runkeeper app or something.

Shockingly (I wasn’t shocked) nobody yelled out their pace times. I heard her mumble to the person next to her when we started going faster that they were running an 8 minute per mile pace. I think I heard that anyway. She was in a little posse of three and so I just tried to just keep the same amount of distance between us for the entire time. I think I was doing it right. It was difficult. When we slowed back down I completely lost them. I settled into my normal pace, which is pretty slow, and someone who had been behind me passed me. I heard another person puffing up behind me, towards the end of the slow bit, but I took off again during the fast bit and left him in the dust.

My overall assessment is that tempo runs are kind of fun but kind of unpleasant. I wonder if I would have the discipline to do it on my own. Maybe on a treadmill, but since I have very little concept of how fast I am going at any given time, it might frustrate me to try to figure all of that out.

From reading blogs of runners, it seems like running is a fairly Type A sport. While I am very competitive when it comes to things like board games, when it comes to exercise I am pretty lackadaisical. Thankfully this is only my first half marathon, so I am not worrying too much about all of the fancy things that would make me faster.

In boot camp we have a personal best day the first week of camp and then again the last week. You try to beat your time on the last day. I always try to not blow it out of the water too much on the first day so that I can do better on the last day. That is sort of my attitude when it comes to running this half. I want a nice easy time so that I can improve next time! Look at me, already assuming there will be a next time! 🙂

Poutiest Run Ever

30 Dec

This morning I wanted to go for a run for the sole purpose of listening to my new audio book, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? (P.S. that’s not an affiliate link or anything, I just thought you might be curious about the book I keep mentioning, and Amazon is pretty much my go-to for learning about books. Kind of like Wikipedia is my go-to for when I have a question about anything ever. Which reminds me — I was at my grandma’s house earlier and she had a set of encyclopedia’s from 1995, so I looked up “Pluto” in the P book and laughed to myself about how wrong those 1995ians were about what constitutes a planet.)

Anyway, I also wanted to try out my new arm warmers, but my aunt, who has lived in Florida for the past twenty years, convinced me it was too cold and I needed a sweatshirt and a (borrowed) toboggan instead. So I set out with all of those clothes on and was sweaty in approximately five minutes. Which was about one quarter of my entire run.

It turns out that the audio book did not completely download (I just remembered that it still hasn’t, so I am now plugged up and crossing my fingers that it will work this time), so I got frustrated and just decided to run to the end of the road and back (approximately 1.5 miles), listening to the same old music that has been on my iphone since the dawn of time because my PC and iphone are mortal enemies and hate working together in harmony.

Then, an hour later, I realized that I could have been listening to it after all because while it had not finished downloading, most of it had actually downloaded.

Anyway, it all turns out to be no big, because I am leaving early enough tomorrow to get home for my long run. (Yay/scary!) I have super been missing Henry, so I will be excited to see him!

Here is a pic of my nails. My aunt and I got mani/pedis. I am ready for NYE! Except that I have to work Monday, so I will actually spend NYE going to bed at a reasonable hour, likely while watching a chick flick of my choosing.

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P.S. Pedicures are much more rewarding when you have nasty runner feet that need cleaning up and massaging!

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