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.

New Year, New Chapter

Well this is awkward.

I’ve been gone for a bit. Two whole holidays went by and I didn’t even check in to discuss my lack of exercise and abundance of indulgences. I apologize.

And as I contemplated all the different ways to post about how nice it was to hang with the fam, sneak in some Jillian dvds during my stay in Small Town, USA, declared salad detox as soon as I got home, and snuck one or two drinks too many over New Years, I had an epiphany.

Ok, fine. Epiphany seems way too epic.

I had a deep thought.

Ok, fine. I was thinking.

Yes, thinking. For at least a fleeting moment.

- I’m not training for anything. Or even signed up for a race yet.
- Work rumors are that January and February are going to be slammed. After writing for a full 8 hours every day, the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen at home. Or at least look at a computer screen and be productive. Facebooking doesn’t count.
- A lot of my free time has been spent with a person of interest. And although I sometimes enjoyed poking fun at bad first dates in the past, I’d rather not jinx myself by discussing something that’s going well. Plus my mom reads this. Let’s be serious, guys.

So here we are. I have nothing I want to write about at the moment.

We could drag this out a little longer with random posts that have nothing to do with anything of interest. Or maybe a few meaningless surveys or lists that you don’t really care to read, but would anyway out of the kindness of your hearts (you guys are super sweet like that).

But why waste your time and mine?

So I’ll get to the point. This is what we call a hiatus. A break for Miss Amy. Maybe I’ll check in from time to time. Maybe I’ll be back in full force in a month or so. I’m not sure. The element of surprise seems fun. ;)

Until then, feel free to follow my snark on twitter (@amysrandomness). Or instagram (same handle).

Soooo…. Happy 2013, everyone!

Excuse me while I go now to eat egg whites and salad all day and plan out the next week of working off the excess that was New Years Eve/Day.

Peace out, kids. I’ll see ya soon.

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

Called Out

Ok, I get it.

I haven’t posted much recently. You know it’s bad when fellow bloggers start calling you out on it.  Sorry, Paige. :)

However, here I am!

And thanks for all the well wishes on the back and sympathy for my pathetic inability to go down a flight of stairs correctly. Handrails are there for a reason, guys. Use them.

Anyway, throughout the rest of the week, my fear of having actually serious injuring myself waned and it seems I’m just a wee bit tender in the lower back region. So I’m comfortable starting up the routine again, but staying off of strength training for a little while longer.

I’m not upset about this. We all know how I feel about using weights. Gross.

By Thursday night, it was decided I could totally go back to my normal morning routine and hit the gym on Friday morning to make friends again with the elliptical.

Friday morning came around. And after four days of sleeping in, why take my chances?  I went for the fifth and swore to make it in today, instead.

I would have felt bad about it, but was instead in an obnoxiously perky mood. Let’s blame overcaffeination that wasn’t necessary because I was extremely well-rested. And the fact that my employer announced we were allowed to wear jeans to work through the end of the holidays.

For an announcement like this to make me literally get up and do a happy dance, it’s clear my life is only average.

Anyway, some of the Chicago Running Girlies decided to congregate with our version of a holiday party (yeah- running is involved), so that is where I’m off to at the moment. Since I wanted to ease back into the working out thing, I sadly decided it would be safer to elliptical my morning away before meeting up with them post-run. Safety first. Blah.

And because you never go to a party empty-handed, I had a mini-marathon baking night with an old coworker last night in preparation.

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.

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.

We decided to double recipes just to make sure our respective significant others could receive an equal sugar rush. Because the way to a man’s heart is obviously baked goods and steak.

And we all know I don’t know how to make steak.

Happy Saturday, everyone. I cannot think of a way to express my sadness over the current events, but I will say hug everyone a little tighter and treasure the company of those around you. Holiday love. Make it happen.

 

Forced Rest

I’m not even sure where to begin.

I guess we could start with how my gym routine had been going.

Lackluster. The theme of last week.

We all know when it’s time to take a few days off. When you need more than just the obligatory rest day of the week. A break of a few days. Maybe because your body is showing signs of exhaustion. Maybe because your motivation is nonexistent.

I was going through all of that. However, by being a creature of habit, admitting it wasn’t likely.

Then Friday happened.

That Amy carries herself with such grace and poise. Said no one ever.

Clumsy. Accident-prone. Hot mess.

I pretend these things are “endearing”. “Adorable”.

Don’t tell me otherwise.

So when we called Friday a “night in” and changed into lounge pants and hurry down the steep hardwood stairs in my apartment?

How I made it 18 months without doing it is beyond me. But you can imagine the spectacle that happened to cause 3 matching bruises, one for each stair, that my backside slammed into in one spectacularly grand motion.

I’m personally partial to the bruise on my booty. It’s a prettier shade of purple than the rest.

At least a cracked tailbone didn’t occur like the last time I flew down stairs in socks.

Win?

Maybe. My lower back seems to have gotten the worst of it. Needless to say, I haven’t seen the inside of my gym since last week. Nor have I lifted anything heavier than my work bag.

Whether I like it or not, it seems to be this is the chosen week for a break from exercise.

I’m a little perturbed I wasn’t allowed to make this choice on my own, or just taken 2-3 days instead of 4-5. But it’s time to stop dwelling on it.

At least, since it’s the holidays, I have plenty to do.

And now that I’m in two book clubs, hilariously since I can barely keep up with one, there’s that.

And all the friends I can meet up with for foodie dates with awesome bloggie peeps. Especially awesome peeps who live in my neck of the woods and our meetups (although a rare occasion) are nonstop gab fests.

Got adventurous and went with the Healthy Parm with chicken and quinoa. A possible new favorite...

Got adventurous and went with the Healthy Parm with chicken and quinoa. A possible new favorite…

Now that I think about it, that extra hourish of sleep in the morning has been nice…

Don’t feel bad for me just yet.

Now if this stretches into next week…

… someone may lose their head…

A Month Left

Oh hey there, everyone!

Since it’s now December, and instead of just concerning myself with everyday stressors, I’m also now taking on the holidays and “oh yeah, those new years resolutions” and the sinking feeling that comes with them.1293795564417_8876790

For a good laugh, let’s see how I’ve been doing:

1. Cook some sort of fish. I never have. For some reason or another, it freaks me out.

I totally did this. I’m too lazy to hunt down the post, but it was a salmon filet from Trader Joe’s and it turned out mediocre. It didn’t kill me. So it still counts.

2. Go on vacation somewhere. Did this last year by hitting Vegas. Twice if you count the bachelorette I attended there, too. Enjoyed myself a little too much. Need to make taking time off to travel a regular thing…

I took a few extended weekends. Does that count? There was a trip to Washington DC and Boston with the sister wives. A wedding weekend in Indianapolis. A race in Geneva, Wisconsin. Maybe if you merge them all together, it counts? Almost win.

3. Beat my 8k time. It was so frustrating to have a goal of breaking 40 minutes and to finish my last 8k in 40:00:00. Now the question is, who’s doing it with me???

I did not do one 8k this year. Not one. However, I PR’d with a new 5k and half marathon time. We’ll call it another almost win.

4. Figure out my new iPhone. This could take all year. Tech savvy I am not…

I love love love my iphone. And I sort of hate myself for it because I feel so cliché. But it’s true. I love it. And I’m getting better. Win.

5. Bake with yeast. I’m more of a fan of the quick bread variety. Yeast seems like a temperamental ingredient. However, if I really do want to claim to be a “baker”, I should probably grow a pair and man up.

I have not done this. Yet. I still have almost a month. And this seems much more likely to happen than the 8k thing…

6. Run two more half marathons. Thought I had figured out which ones I’d be doing. Now I’m not so sure. Either way, two decent ones shouldn’t be hard to find.

I ran 3, bitches!  The Chi Town Half Marathon where I was totally miserable with stomach cramps. The Chicago Half Marathon where I PR’d like a boss. And the ZOOMA Half Marathon that was one giant hill. BOOM.

7. Master the crow pose in yoga. Not that I’m planning on being a yoga master any time soon, I don’t really even enjoy it, but I bet the crow pose would be an impressive party trick…

I have done yoga maybe twice this entire year. And it was Jillian Michaels yoga. So you decide if that counts. I do not see this happening. I should really just give up. I hate yoga and need to admit it.

8. See a Chicago Bulls game. I heart basketball. The Bulls are my favorite NBA team. Why hasn’t this happened yet?

Took my brother for his birthday. Two birds with one stone kind of deal. WIN!

9. Eat more cookies. It may be hard to beat my consumption from last year. But I’m willing to try.

I’d call this a toss-up. Probably didn’t bake more… but that doesn’t mean consumption was down…

10. Marry a Prince. Kate Middleton did it. Why can’t I?

Well… I’m still in my budget friendly apartment in Chicago, so this clearly did not happen. I’m not so upset about it. Prince Harry seems like a handful who can’t keep his clothes on. What a hot mess. And I’m dating someone who I like better anyway. Win.

All in all, I’m proud of my accomplishments. Especially since the list was practically forgotten about a week after it was written…

Happy Friday, folks!

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