Cruisin’

The title of this post is a really lame reference, guys.

Because I really hate country music, and I missed the bandwagon (by what- 8 months? a year?), but I can’t stop listing to that stupid song “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line. In my defense, I didn’t start liking it until after I heard the remix that features Nelly.

Nevermind that Nelly has totally sold out since he started doing Honey Nut Cheerio ads and the song may now be even more lame now that he’s associated with it.

Nelly. Get it together.

Either way, it’s happening. But if that is one of the things getting me through my workouts, then so be it. Because my lungs are still failing me a bit as they still rattle with mucus from time to time.

I’m sexy.

Anyway, I’ve gotten myself up to 2 miles in the morning. And a bunch of walking. We’re about halfway there when it comes to getting back into the normal routine.

Cruisin’.

So yeah. When I haven’t been doing that, I’ve been doing stuff like working my butt off on a few extremely pressing deadlines (proposal writing is not for the faint of heart, my friends). And when I haven’t been working towards deadlines, I’ve been on the serious hunt for the new Oreos. Where are my cookie dough and marshmallow crispy?!?!?!

Seriously. WHERE ARE THEY?

I have convinced myself that all my problems, such as lack of running and too much work, will be solved as soon as I have them secured in my greedy paws. My boyfriend said he’d like to try them, too, when I find them.

That’s cute.

Like I said I’d share or something.

Please excuse me. I must now go and cruise some more…

coffee at work

And by cruise, I mean live on coffee until my biometric screening at work this morning. My biometric screening is at 10:50 and we have to fast for it. No breakfast has been consumed. Heads may roll. Byyyyeeeeeeeee….

 

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Humble Pie

I am a morning gym person.

Like early morning.

4:30am kind of early.

Sure, it’s a little unorthodox, but I don’t mind. I never have to wait for a machine and the majority of the gym crazies/pervs are still sound asleep. My workouts are 99.9% uninterrupted and 99.9% productive. I leave out the .01% because hey- no one’s perfect. Not even me.

Although I’m pretty close.

But let’s move on.

So I’ve gotten used to my morning routine over the years, and it’s really no trouble at all to go through a super intense speed workout or break out 4 miles a few times a week as part of my cardio.

But then the respiratory infection struck. So I’m not sure what I expected on my first real workout back since before I got sick.

Yesterday I ran one mile. It was a very trying experience. Which reminded me of when I was 10 and almost always in the last quarter of the class to stumble across the finish line for the one-mile fitness test in school.

Or when my mom, ON THE FIRST TIME SHE MET MY BOYFRIEND, laughed about how she had a hard time watching me when I joined track in 8th grade because she basically spent the entire time praying I’d fully make it around the track (thanks, mom).

However, I suppose my one mile was better than laying like a zombie on the couch and wondering how many times I’ll wake myself up in the middle of the night with a massive coughing fit. And considering that if I laugh hard enough, I still currently also spend 2 minutes wheezing and catching my breath, things could be worse. So I guess we’ll take the wins where we can get them.

Today was even one AND A  HALF miles!

Slow and steady. Bleh. Someone pass me more green tea and mucinex.

SW-sick-week-is-over

Country Germs

Thought I left ya again, huh?

No. I’m still here. Just preoccupied. Because it finally happened.

6 years in the making.

It was only just a matter of time.

I got sick. Like really sick.

Yes, it had been 6 years since I’ve had anything worse than the common cold. The boyfriend thinks I possess “country germs” from my growing up on a farm that make me immune to most sickness and the common cold. He’s probably right. I am basically a super human.

However, when I finally do fall to illness?

I go down hard.

Over the course of last Monday, I went from happy/chipper/yaysies to crawling/grasping the stair case while panting for breath on my way home. I then proceeded to bed by 7:00 that evening and sleep on and off for over 18 hours.

At one point, I actually fell asleep trying to motivate myself to get up to go get something to eat. And then it happened again.

Which is hilarious. I NEVER skip a meal, but the kitchen was just so far away from my bed (err… 15 feet).

Body aches. Chills. Sore throat. Fever. No makeup.

Hot mess, indeed.

Thank goodness the boyfriend came home with gifts:

I'm pretty sure grandma only intended for this to be used for stomach-related issues, but it's a comfort thing.

Sprite and saltines. My grandma’s remedy. I’m pretty sure grandma only intended for this to be used for stomach-related issues, but it’s a comfort thing.

I had a few days of “not so bad”, and then I took another nose dive. And the thing is, I most definitely should have gone to the doctor earlier. So this is me kicking myself. Because instead, I kept up the optimistic “surely I’ll feel better tomorrow if I continue to rest today” mentality. Nope. So by Day 8 (yesterday), I was ready for the doctor, who proceeded to inform me of my severe  upper respiratory infection. Was this what I started with a week earlier? I don’t really think so as the symptoms seemed to change over the course of the week, but I don’t really care. Because now I have antibiotics and life is so much better.

photo 3

Since the sprite and saltines didn’t work completely, later on in the week we also tried my boyfriend’s grandma’s cure-all: matzo ball soup.

Maybe had I gone to the doctor on days 1 or 2, I wouldn’t have had to cancel on dinner plans, a book club, and make a quick exit at a Super Bowl party I instantly realized I shouldn’t have been at. Such is life.

So we’re finally on our way to recovery. Thanks sickness, it’s been fun. See ya in another 6 years, mmmmk?

Oh… and now I have leftover sprite to mix with vodka.

Winning?

Don’t Tell Kim

I have a 20-lb kettle bell at home. It sits idly in the corner. Right next to a set of dumbbells I will never be able to pick up and a balance board I’m not stupid enough to attempt to use- even under supervision (Hello, my name is “Girl who falls down a lot”).  But yes, the kettle bell. It’s way too big for a girl my size to do much with. My mom gave it to me after she realized this, too, after my aunt gave it to her because said aunt tried to use it and threw her back out. It’s had many homes. But very little love. So when lil’ Miss Kimmers decided to focus one of her strength training classes on kettle bells? And I get to use ones that are more size appropriate? I’m in.

Who’s Kim?

This is Kim:

Kim and I were ZOOMA Ambassadors together back in 2012.... ah the good ol' days...

Kim and I were ZOOMA Ambassadors together back in 2012…. ah the good ol’ days…

Kim is one of my oldest blog friends (4 years now? Holy cow!) and one of the toughest chicks I know. Within the last year, she started teaching classes for Essential Fitness, LLC and has been gracious enough to invite some of us to take a Saturday class with her every other month or so.

As mentioned before, I’m not the biggest fan of strength training. In other words, I hate strength training with a passion and currently consider hitting a few weight machines and some planks as “good enough” during the week. BUT, since she always gets bunch of ladies together to do it, and it’s always stuff I never do on my own (obviously), I try to make it each time. A step outside of my comfort zone. Let’s call it personal growth.

This last Saturday was focused on kettle bells AND boxing. Neither of which I know anything about. So clearly I was going to be awesome at it.

1545215_10151862466852823_790914338_n

All the ladies. Pre-workout. So happy and full of smiles…. all wiped away after 60 minutes… just like that…

Did I mention Kim is also the most hyper-active girl I know? Energy seeps out of her every pore. I don’t think she sleeps at night. Just sits and taps her foot waiting for the rest of the world to wake back up. A blessing and a curse when it comes to personality traits of personal trainers. We really move for the entire hour. Swings and step ups and boxing during sit-ups and planks and triceps and steps while boxing…

This is why I hurt today. It’s Monday. 2 days after the fact. Glutes on fire.

Don’t tell Kim, but I sorta love it. Because she knows I slack on my strength. And she made sure I know that’s not ok.

Thanks, Kim. :)

Also, don’t tell Kim that I face dove into pizza that night to reward myself for a job well done.

Shhhh…..

There was salad as a side. So whatever.

What did you do outside of your comfort one this weekend? On top of the strength training, I also drank Merlot instead of my usual Cabernet.

…does that not count?

A New Plan

So many people have asked me what my race plans are for this next year.

Ok fine, like three. And one is my boyfriend’s dad who probably just asked to make conversation.

Anyway, my answer was always the same.
“Oh, I don’t know… I may take this year off from the longer races….”13.1

And then my best friend Laura decides she wants to repeat our awesomeness from last year when we ran the Allstate 13.1 Chicago. I wasn’t really hot on the idea at first, but I do enjoy how it’s a reason for people to come visit me. So we signed up for this year’s Michelob Ultra 13.1 Chicago.

It is amazing the hoops you can get me to jump through with the promise of a visit: run 13.1 miles, put in 12 weeks of solid training, and drink less wine. I must REALLY miss my friends.

Anyway, instead of telling you all about this grand plan I’ve meticulously written out and will follow with no deviation whatsoever, I will present you with my “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of half marathon training. Because, let’s face it, I’m too-hard headed to have something (or someone?) tell me what to do.

Do
1. Take the strength and core training effort up a notch. It’s the core that gets you there, my friends. PLANKS FOR EVERYONE!
2. Progressively add a mile to each long run on the weekends. Since the mister and I are generally pretty lame on Fridays by staying in and having a threesome with Redbox, I think we’re ok here.
3. Eat less sugar. My snackage needs an overhaul. I work in the Loop and am within walking distance of no less than 4 cupcake shops. We also won’t even get started with my newfound love of gourmet donut shops.
4. Crosstrain more. I love me some treadmill action in the mornings before work. But perhaps it’s time to rekindle my relationship with the elliptical. Or stairs. Or the row machine. Groan.
5. Keep hydrated. Keeping hydrated does not include drinking more Diet Coke. Stop drinking Diet Coke, Amy. Stop it.

a-gallon-of-diet-coke-straight-to-the-dome

Don’t
1. Die. That’s my main goal of this race. Don’t die. No speed goals… just live to get through the finish line and to the beer station. Stay alive to have a happy day of shenanigans afterwards. Simple stuff.
2. Skip weekend runs. I have a couple of weekends out of town scheduled when my so-called training plan should start, so I may have to do some recruiting to get people to think it’s a good idea to join me on those days (don’t tell the boyfriend that it’s most definitely going to be him).
3. Stress out. From prior experience, I know that at about the 9-10 mile run days are where I start to lose it. Motivation starts to drop. Enjoyment goes out the window. You know… the most important things you need to get through the workout? I have to remember this is an activity I signed up for in hopes of having fun with my friend. We shall treat it as such.
4. Die. Oh, did I write that one down already? Well. Yeah. It’s an important one. We can mention it again.

So there you have it. My new half marathon training plan.

When will it start, you ask?

Um. March? ish?

Or maybe after one last slab of cake from Magnolia Bakery?

Yeah. Let’s go with that.

Ahem.

Hello.

What’s up? How have you been over the last… uh… lemme check… year?

I’ve been good. Still alive. I think I may have added a wrinkle or two, but we’re ok with it (LIE- I’m now buying ALL the anti-wrinkle things my pharmacy store budget allows).

Hmmm…. this is SO awkward, guys…

What have I been up to, you ask? Well.

1. I’m an official suburbanite again. After a lovely 2 years and 3 months in the city with my roommate, we parted ways. She drove her Uhaul to Boston to live with her man, and I drove mine out to the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago to do the same. There were tears. And many Goodwill drop-offs (do you know how much crap you accumulate after that long? Shame.).

2. I ran one half marathon and dropped out of another. Don’t ever think it’s a good idea to sign up for a race that is exactly one week after you relocate yourself into new digs.

3. I’ve taken up spin class. Maybe for more crosstraining options during the week. Maybe to fully embrace my new suburban lifestyle. Who really knows? Now leave me alone with my wine spritzer… I had to pick up the kids from soccer practice in the minivan and go to Home Depot.

Just kidding. I haven’t blessed Earth with the art of reproduction yet. Nor do I own a minivan. I prefer my wine straight and the last time I went to Home Depot, it was with my boyfriend and I got lost and scared.

Whew. Maybe I haven’t fully crossed over to suburgatory yet. We’re good.

Carry on.

4. I got a passport and went to Aruba. The vacation was amazing. My passport picture not so much. Why I ever decided to come back, I really have no clue.

5. I’ve gotten used to living with a boy. Sort of. He eats a lot of my food and I still don’t enjoy how the bathroom and bedroom share a wall (YOU CAN HEAR EVERYTHING). But we’re getting there.

That about covers the essentials.

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This is what happens when your boyfriend picks out your race outfit. Pure Michigan Class.

Let’s do this.

Holidaze

As we are all busy, we try to be organized/efficient and do things like use lists.

So here’s a list of things.

They are listed in no particular order.

I just really like lists.

1. I have found this week to be more relaxing than my last weekend. Please don’t get me wrong- the weekend was great. This can sum it up:

Snickerdoodles with a white chocolate center and chubby hubby truffles. Excuse the truffles, they need tweaking. However, I don't even love cinnamon that much and totally went gaga over the snickerdoodles. You should make them. Like yesterday.

Marathon baking on Friday night. With wine. Duh.

Chicago running bloggers meetup. More wine. Don't worry- it was noon. Almost.

Chicago running bloggers meetup. More wine. Don’t worry- it was noon. Almost.

We're a total party.

We’re a total party.

Date night! Just us and thousands of strangers...

Date night! Just us and thousands of strangers…

A bloody mary to kick off Sunday Funday for the Bears/Packers game. I can barely look at this photo... ugh

A bloody mary to kick off Sunday Funday for the Bears/Packers game. I can barely look at this photo… ugh

2. My roommate texted on Saturday night that she was dvring Cinderella for us.  After the Bears/Packers game (please refer to the bloody mary picture above), we fell asleep on the couch watching it. And then she accidentally deleted it. Worst. Thing. Ever.

3. I’m back into the gym routine now that my old woman back is feeling better. At least for this week as I am heading home at the crack of dawn on Saturday (that is, if the world does not end as it originally was supposed to). Run 2 miles and do 20 minutes on the elliptical or stairs seems to be my chillaxed routine at the moment.

4. My work holiday party was Tuesday. Several things to be noted:
- My boss quoted Beevis and Butthead Do America. This seems so wrong, but was sooooo amazing.
- I tried duck pâté for the first time ever and didn’t hate it.
- Snuck out early so I would still have energy for the gym the next morning and wouldn’t smell like liquor at work. More people chose the other option and looked miserable. I may have been a little smug about it.

5. The roommate and I exchanged gifts.bazinga socks
Socks with a cape. This means I am now a super hero. BAM.

The dude and I exchanged gifts, too. But I like to be more discreet about such things. No matter how much I love them. :)

6. In order to not enter this mentality: winter-weight

I’ve been doing this for every time I’ve gone out/drank/celebrated the holidays:

winter salad

We call this “let’s throw all the vegetables in the refrigerator onto some lettuce and see what we end up with”.

It’s a half-win.

7. Convicts escaped the correctional facility in downtown Chicago on Tuesday and only one has been caught. I honestly had no idea my place of employment was so close to a prison, but it has made going out for lunch seem that much more thrilling. I like to live on the edge.

8. So I guess the world is supposed to end at some point today? Isn’t that what all this crazy buzz is about?  Just in case, the roommate and I decided to make a “one last roomie date” by staying in and watching a movie with some drinks last night. She got a sweet bottle of cabernet from a vendor at work and it seemed to be a shame to potentially waste it. So we drank nice wine and watched Home Alone. Naturally.

This list is getting too long. I should end it now. And because this is probably the last day of work before Christmas for a lot of people, I just want to say enjoy your holiday and travel safe! xoxonoooo-aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh

Leftover Week

A conversation via google chat:

Lauren: I have exciting news!
Me: ?
Lauren: I get double Thanksgiving leftovers this year.

At this point, I thought she was just rubbing it in that she was getting even MORE turkey to my none. I did my best to not call her a jerk right away.

Me: That’s awesome! Leftovers from grandma are the best!
Lauren: Yes. So that’s why I’m getting double. Because she said to “give some to your poor friend Amy who doesn’t get Thanksgiving at home this year.”

My friends are not jerks. I take that back. They’re the cutest things ever.

Thanks to a fondness of running, eating, wine, gossiping about boys, and book club, Lauren and I have been hanging out on the regular.

Because really… what else is there in life?

We decided to do a swap. I, of course, graciously accepted the Thanksgiving food made with love and packed by Lauren’s g’ma and mom.

They even sent individual packets of butter… everyone go “awwww”

And, in turn, I invited Lauren over for a mini friendsgiving to close out Thanksgiving weekend.

Seemed like a fair trade. Or close. Being as how my cooking skills are limited, I may have come out ahead. But who’s really counting?

All I know is…

…I have good friends. And they have families who know how to throw down in the kitchen.

This is why I haven’t had to cook pretty much all week.

And this is why I’ve been busy running over 4 miles every morning this week.

Worth it.

The end of the leftovers are being consumed for lunch today.

Who wants to cook for me next?

On Being Thankful…

It is THAT time of year again.

To give thanks.

Because apparently it’s not important to do so except for this one day out of the year. Which is tomorrow. In case the name didn’t give it away.

Which is fine. It gives me a year to think about a list of things I should probably say “thank you” for.

And aren’t you so lucky? Here it is!

1. Warming stations at the train stop. It’s getting cold out there, peeps.
2. Lady GaGa chillin’ out on producing more singles. Overplayed. Overhyped. That’s all I have to say about that. Adele- please take note.
3. My new job. Not only do I love being in the health industry, I spend about 4 hours less on the phone every day. This lessens the threat of dealing with the complete jerks and the chin zits haven’t been around for ages. Double win!
4. Jason Segel. I know you’re dating someone. So am I. Oh what could have been… But my heart will go on. Much like Celine Dion’s.
5. Trader Joe’s selling boxed wines. My Friday nights at home with the roomie just got UPGRADED.
6. Google. So my mom doesn’t have to ask a million questions about the guy I’m dating. She can now figure it out in super creepy and devious ways on her own time. Also, let’s do a special shout out to Google Maps/Transit as we discuss the miracle of modern technology. Without you, I’d be lost 3 times a week at a minimum.
7. Victoria’s Secret. Keeping my girls in check since 2004. Why I didn’t switch over sooner, I’ll never know.
8. Chicagoland. Thank you, dear city and surrounding suburbs, for introducing me to many things I love: friends, people who are practically family, a wonderful job, running, BYOB restaurants, and 3-5am bars.  Also, it’s important to note here, Chicago has also made me that much more appreciative of the time I do get to spend with family and friends back in Missouri. This is my big ball of love” part of the list.

Let’s hold a minute… I think I heard people gagging/vomiting…

Ok… we ready to continue?  Cool.

9. Cookies. Why do you have to always be so delicious?
10. Michael Kors. You make every day a little more pretty. How do you do it?
11. Pandora. You get me through runs. You get me through the weirdest of commutes on the el/metra. You keep me from listening to people hack relentlessly or eat abnormally loudly in the cubes. You. Are. Wonderful.
12. Whoever came up with Static Guard.
13. World Peace.

Oh wait… we’re still working on that one?

Ok. Maybe next year…

That’s all I’ve got for now. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Please stop and enjoy the time with family and friends. It’s much more limited than we’ll ever realize.

Also, travel safe. Eat your weight in stuffing. And maybe hug a few people.

It is the holidays, after all.

Not Thinking

As my personal and work lives both continue to be a whirlwind of activity, when I finally am left to myself, it seems I prefer doing things that don’t require any actual brain activity.

Like catching up on my DVR. The long list of unwatched shows gives me serious anxiety.

Or when working out. I’ve been dull. Jillian has guided me along the process once or twice a week, which is greatly appreciated. And after discussing all the joys of running outside, I’ve surrendered to the Chicago weather and have been a zombie on the treadmill/stairs/elliptical all week.

This morning I actively tried to combat boredom with speed intervals, but it’s clear there are no races in my near future. Which is a good thing. My heaving after approximately 4 miles of speedwork is disturbing.

Mental note: add race searches to the list of things to look into next week during Thanksgiving break.

That and cooking.

Wait… what’s that again?

Don’t fret- I’m still eating well. This boy I know keeps acting like he enjoys my company around dinner time. Which reminds me- I think there should always be mirrors in booths of places that serve ribs.

Just sayin’.

And even if I’m still picking dried BBQ sauce out from under my fingernails, it’s good this is happening, other than the immediate benefit of my mood being elevated when he’s around. I mean… if we weren’t going out, every meal I have would look like this:

Which is similar to every other meal I’ve had for the last… uh… two weeks?

I swear even the people working at the grocery store have recognized and are now smirking at either my disgusting “grocery shopping” sweats, or my recent eating habits.

Which I personally find offensive. What’s so wrong with wanting to be comfy while being a responsible consumer and purchasing wine and deli sandwiches… everyday…?

Nevermind. Answered my own question.

Let’s pretend I’m just making room for Thanksgiving.

And just so my mother isn’t nervous I’m spending Thanksgiving in front of the television by myself with a turkey lean cuisine…

Apparently the shindig I’m attending is a big deal. I even have my own customized name plate for the occasion.

Fancy!

And until then… moooooore deli!

Happy Friday, kids. Get silly. And have the pizza delivery number in your phone before heading out to the bars. It’s easier that way.

KBYE!

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