Semi-Normal

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m in a much better mood today than I was 24 hours ago.

My AC is fixed (for now- let’s not hold our breath) and my makeup didn’t sweat off before I walked out the door. Instead, I made it all the way to my car before that happened.  Holla’!

Sorry that I’m super perky today because of that and also maybe a lil’ of this:Yesterday, because the idea of brewing coffee at home in my sauna apartment made me cry, I stopped by Panera on the way to work because showing up to work uncaffeinaited would have been a horrifying experience for everyone involved.

Panera had alerted me of a “free coffee” on my Panera Rewards card (which surprised me- I rarely ever go) literally the day before. It was fate. Then, the lovely girl informed me I also had a free espresso drink on my card from God knows how long ago that would expire TODAY of all days. So heck yes I went back for it.

Because I believe in fate. And I hate letting free things like a skinny caramel latte go to waste. Especially when they havve a little whipped cream on top.

Plus, a sugar rush at 7:30 in the morning is kind of fun. A crash at around noon is expected. You’ve been warned.

Anyway.

It’s no secret that I’m MOVING this weekend, but with all the packing and moving random stuff (the furniture is all going on Saturday) from one place to the other, it was nice to have last night as a semi-normal night. I even made it to the gym- something I wasn’t sure would happen this week!

Nothing crazy- 21 minutes on the elliptical (I like odd numbers) and 10 on the stairmill (I shall miss you when I move). Then I did a little walkity walk on the treadmill while complaining to other crazies in the gym about the heat and moving and yada yada yada.

The actual gym time was short because I am scheduled to move carload #2 today after work and needed to finish packing boxes and making the 15ish trips up and down three flights of stairs to pack my car like it was tetris.

Randoms kept asking me if I needed help and I said “NO! This is my strength workout for the day! I’ve got it!”

By the end of this move, I’ll be kicking myself for saying that.

Another semi-normal thing I did while home was cook…

This week has been “Operation Slim Down the Freezer”. My new roomie is a big fan of frozen pizza and the sorts, so I’m trying to make sure we won’t have issues combining the two households. Defrosted chicken it is!Also, Kraft Foods First Taste sent a coupon to try this cooking creme from Kraft brands. And the container of Santa Fe blend was just sort of staring at me every time the refrigerator door was opened.

Because rarely do I make a huge performance for dinner during the week, I skimmed the recipes that came with the container and just did my own thing by throwing a couple spoonfuls on top of the chicken I had cooked on the stovetop. And added cheese. Only because the recipes all said to… ;)It all combined together nicely. I didn’t really want to drown it in the cooking creme, so I used much less than what the label suggested. Plus, it still is “cream”, so the calories are a little higher than how I normally prepare chicken. Checkin’ myself before I wreck myself…

At the end I threw in some jalapenos. Then put it all on a little bed of spinach.Gotta get the greens in. At second glance, I notice how many jalapenos were consumed during my dinner. Daaaaang girl…

Pretty sure I’m in love with this stuff. It coats the chicken in a ridiculously good sauce that has flavor but isn’t overpowering. And as of this morning, I’m happy to report you can also whisk it into your scrambled eggs and get a fab outcome. An ex-boyfriend’s mom was the first to introduce me to cream cheese in your eggs to get a more fluffy outcome. Her wisdom is spot on- because I surely gained 10 pounds while in that relationship. After we parted ways, I dropped the excess baggage (referring specifically to the extra inches in the middle, not the boy) and switched to fat-free milk on most occasions.

Either way, I’m wondering how good this cooking creme would be in pasta? Actually I know how good it would be. Pasta needs to be put back on the grocery list.

Stay cool, kids!

Running Lies

It’s no secret to anyone that I’ve got a little crazy up in me.

I’m goofy. I have weird obsessions. I’m a product of my mother (just kidding mom, I love you).

Anyway, a lot of my friends find the whole obsession with running a weird one. Understandable. The enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment I get out of a solid 4 or 5-mile run comes from a strange place.

But some of my friends actually do get it. Some of them even like to run with me. Like Annie- who’s also joining in on the Run For the Zoo 10k with me this weekend. Or Mon- she won’t run with me, but she’s always excited to text me when momentous running occasions occur (she did 6 miles for the first time ever last night- woot woot).

So when a guy friend from college, who randomly works a few buildings down from me, asked if I want to start running a little during lunch a few times a week, I was totally down.

I’ve always wanted to do lunch hour workouts. There’s a nice park by our buildings. But there are a million trails that shoot off in a million directions (exaggerate much?). And I, being poor with the whole “sense of direction” thing, have been terrified of getting lost on them.

And even with crowds of people around, I’m never a fan of running across multiple vehicles with heavily tinted windows in the parking lot in the middle of the day. What ARE you doing in there?

I have my suspicions, but none of them are legal.

But anyway, our first run was last Friday. When I texted him to confirm this was indeed going down, he warned me of how hungover he was from the night before (happy hour strikes again!).

He also had knee surgery last year. And said he’s been slow getting back into running- something he really only did during team sports.

Oh great, I thought. He’s hungover and has barely ran at all. This is going to be interesting.

That little booger.

He totally understated his abilities. Granted that I’m still getting acclimated to outdoor running again, but damn he was speedy for recovering from knee surgery.

I feel fooled by his trickery.

But we’ll never let him know that. And shall continue to pace alongside of him. As best as we can.

Seriously… what a butthead.

That’s what I get for being a running snob.

Yesterday, even though it was warmer, went much better than last Friday. My tolerance of the great outdoors is much better. As was my night of sleep the night before.

I’m yet to recalibrate my Nike+ (seriously, I suck), but we estimate it to be a little over 2.5 miles after everything is said and done. Not bad because it still gives me plenty of time to “fix” myself and eat a quick bite before retreating back to my prison cell desk.

Combine this with my 25 minutes on the elliptical and 12 on the stairmill from an early morning wakeup call, and it’s a pretty solid and random workout of sorts.

The only thing I need to work on now?

The random burst of exercise suddenly thrown into the middle of my day has me gnawing my arm off by 3 pm.

The pizza getting delivered for late afternoon meetings in the office was a godsend.

Bacon is a seriously underrated pizza topping, by the way.

We started with the plan to run 2 or 3 days a week. So far only once a week has been managed.

But that’s better than nothin’.  :)

What did I forget this time?

Whoopsies on the details of my workout yesterday- thanks to the kids that caught it! 2.8 hours and 2.8 miles are quite different things (to be clear, I meant miles). Just checkin’ to make sure ya’ll are readin’.  ;)

I am 95% sure that I will never run 2.8 hours straight. Ever.

You know what? Let’s just go ahead and say I am 100% sure. I enjoy my occasional half marathon. I really do. But training for or running anything beyond that? I’d just be hateful. The entire time. So uh… no. You’re welcome. Trust me.

Besides, my body tends to break itself in protest whenever I start nearing 18-20ish miles per week. Fact.

Anyhoo….

Sometimes I frustrate myself. The main reason why I went grocery shopping on Monday was to buy salad mix. At the beginning of the week is when I usually buy it to get through my lunch salads for the week. It’s just sort of habit at this point. Don’t even have to think twice about it. I like it this way.

So I went like I normally do. Picking up the normal things. Including stuff to put in my salad. And wouldn’t you know it? I forgot the stupid spinach.Hence the reason why today my salad most likely has more cauliflower involved than anything else.

This happens often- I’m really good at having one main thing I need to get and then come home with everything but the thing I made the trip for in the first place. That or I’ll forget to pack something essential when going somewhere. Like salad dressing to go with my salad. I’ll pack 3 bras and no panties. Or toothpaste after making a point of leaving a note to pack my toothbrush (wouldn’t you think they’d go hand in hand?). Annoying.

Some of that bleach I used to dye my hair blonde with back in the day must have seeped into my brain. Sigh…

*Not making fun of blondes. Rather, discussing the harmful chemicals I would have dumped into my hair every 3 or 4 months for years. Who’s the dumb one now?

But back to my food (off topic again? oops). I’ve also got a growing and unnatural obsession with black olives as of late. They’re pretty much amazing. And sort of like mushrooms, they can be put into pretty much anything. Who knew?

At least we know this chick is not having issues getting adequate amounts of good fats and vitamin E this way. 

I had to google black olives to know that. And justify the way I’m plowing through them.

Gotta go- I’m doing another lunch time run (supposedly) and if I’m not careful, I’ll most likely forget to pack something needed for that, too.

Because I’m good at that.

Covering My Bases

Hey kids! Happy Thursday!

I’m glad I’m not the only one who is a little irked by the sometimes unrealistic expectations when it comes to working out. At no point was I trying to sound like a workout snob, I just wish people would understand it takes a little more than getting the gym pass and buying the sneaks- although both are a noteworthy first step. Just like anything else, you gotta put some effort into it.

Even if that means fitting it in where you can. Like with regular morning workouts…

It was my last workout of the week. Other than shaking my booty on the dance floor, it’s a vacation weekend away from the gym.

Vacation calls for such things sometimes.

But we made it count. As mentioned yesterday, there was a desire to get 4 miles in as to continue to cover my bases when it comes to the 10k I’ve got in a few weeks. The distance was a success. The time? 8:44 pace. Not my best of the week. We’ll overlook it, though. The win for me comes from the fact that I wasn’t so much fatigued by the end of the 4 miles. I was just bored with being on the treadmill.

Next week, though, that should change. I have a friend who works in a building right next to me who has been asking to start running together during lunch a few times a week. He says he needs a little kick in the butt to get back into it (knee surgery last year). There’s a forest preserve near us and since the weather has been mild and anything but summer-like, I said sure.

Hopefully I won’t be kicking MYSELF in the butt for that one.

Because I’ve been mixing and matching things in the refrigerator (as to not grocery shop the day before I leave for the weekend), this is what I came up with:The black beans and sweet potato combo has been made well-known by various kiddos in the blogosphere. I even tried it in a wrap here. It’s a great meal when trying to cover all your bases nutritionally, but there was a reason why I haven’t combined the two since then. I like my sweet potatoes mostly sweet or as a side on their own. And prefer black beans combined with other things- like mexican food. Yessss….

In short, the zucchini was the clear star of my dinner last night.

What a diva that zucchini is.

It was a nice and refreshing meal. For some reason, I doubt I’ll have anything as well-balanced this weekend in Vegas. Unless, of course, I visit Serendipity again where they must have trees of broccoli growing in the kitchen.

And before I leave you this morning, does anyone remember Cecil? My dear and elderly friend has made his way up to Boston to visit Stephanie

Make it a good one, kids!

A Fair Trade

All this talk about wine and brownies makes me happy. I mean- who wouldn’t be excited to talk about them constantly? And I could continue to go on and on about such things for quite some time if you’d care to listen.

But working out is also still very much part of my daily routine. As to keep up my fitness levels and to also cancel out said chocolate and alcohol consumption (we’re being honest here).

Sure, I’m a little behind on where I’d like to be when it comes to training for this 10k coming up. But not all is lost. A few sessions may have gone unmentioned but that does not make them any less important.

Like Sunday where I pulled 3 miles at 8:32- a pace range I seem to have naturally fallen into. Much like Stella, I’m slowly getting my groove back. Unlike Stella, it doesn’t include sexy men.

You win some, you lose some.

Yesterday I got up early for some morning strength by shredding with Jillian and kept the cardio pretty chill with just some time spent on the elliptical and walking on the tread after work. Nothing crazy because I wanted to get a quality run in this morning.

This strategy apparently worked. 4 miles at 8:35 pace. No discomfort. No problems. Tuesday can put that in its pipe and smoke it. Muah.

I bet we can give thanks to my pasta dish from last night for some of the early morning energy.Never would I break out the nice bowls (aka anything other than what it was cooked in) and be all OCD about the presentation for myself, but I had a guest.

Fine. It was Mon. And she knows her way around my apartment almost as well as I do. She has also been known to clean my apartment more than I do. So at this point, “guest” would be stretching it. 

As I was participating in light cardio yesterday evening, she brought me a dress I wanted to borrow for the bachelorette party in Vegas this coming weekend. And then she told me just to keep it. Because she doesn’t think she’ll wear it anymore and I like it.

I said no. It was hers. She looks good in it. I’m giving it back.

She said no. It was mine now. Deal with it.

I said fine. I mean, I do like it. But I’d pay her for it.

She said no and called me stupid.

I may have called her something inappropriate and said I’d at least feed her dinner.

She said fine. So I did.

If we’re being honest, I would have asked her if she wanted some dinner and invited her over anyway. But she doesn’t know that…

But back to the actual food- zucchini and asparagus really are two of my favorite veggies. Rarely do I put much on them other than olive oil and garlic salt- they don’t need much else. 

I’ll never pass up a sale on either. Mostly because they can go with or in pretty much anything. As evidence, I roasted extra and now have plenty for my salads/omelets the rest of the week.

Versatility is the name of the game. So is time efficiency.

Speaking of time efficiency, it’s time I skedaddle. My next few days are planned down to the minute and if I don’t get laundry started RIGHT NOW, it’s throwing off the entire week.

I’m only half kidding.

Laters!

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder why it always seems to start storming 5 minutes before I leave work. The color of the sky as the storms rolled in made me quite uncomfortable as I sat in gridlock on Wednesday. Weeeee!

Sometimes I wonder , speaking of rush hour, why I stress out so much on the drive to work. Doesn’t seem to matter what time I leave the house (on time or even 10 minutes late), I still show up at exactly the same time every day. And that would be way earlier than necessary.

Sometimes I wonder, again speaking of rush hour, if people who obnoxiously cut you off realize how big of an ass everyone else thinks they’re being. Or are they just oblivious?

Sometimes I wonder how some workouts are so much easier than others. Everything about last night’s run made it easier than the one I did two days before. 3 miles at 8:31. No complaints. I walked home happy. :)

Sometimes I wonder why it took me practically 7 years of living on my own to correctly microwave a potato.BAM. Again, it was too dang hot up in the hiz-ouse to start up the oven. I looked at the microwave with a raised eyebrow. Seriously- I cannot cook a potato well. This was risky. But it worked. And if I keep talking, there’s a good chance I’ll start sounding cocky. Over one microwave victory. So yeah… moving on…

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one to think that it’s silly to call it “Magnum” Ice Cream.  Seriously. Ice cream that you eat off of a stick named that? My thoughts basically just nose dive into the gutter. And it’s not because I’m thinking of Tom Selleck. I would elaborate more about how good the ice cream actually looks, but it would just end up with every other comment saying “that’s what she said”. 

Sometimes I wonder, while in public restrooms, why people pretend to not exist in the stall next to you. I’m aware you’re there. And now, because you’ve completely hushed yourself and just sit there like a statue, I can gaurantee you stage fright will occur over on my end because you’re actually sitting there listening to me pee and waiting for me to leave. It makes this much more awkward for both of us. I know you’re there. Just GO.

Sometimes I wonder what I’ll do all summer without new episodes of my favorite shows. Thank god for quality reality tv. Wait… that’s not right…

Sometimes I wonder how friends convince me to get up early to take them to get their car fixed on a Saturday at 8:00 in the morning. Oh yeah- it was the promise of going out for breakfast and a trip to the winery.

Bribed with food and wine. I’m so easy.

Sometimes I wonder why the week flies faster than others? For example, yesterday I could hardly believe what day it was.

Me: One positive about today- my end of the week reports I always do start on Thursday. I was pleasantly surprised when the reminder popped up. Not so much because I have to do them, but I actually thought to myself, “oh! It’s Thursday!” That NEVER happens.

Mon: Well that is just wonderful news!!  See, things are slowly looking upwards!!!

Me: If that is wonderful news, my life totally blows, Monica.

Mon: You’re right. Now that I look back at it, that’s pretty dull and sad.

However, I was happy to get through the work week without any killer and super stressful days. This is a rare thing. I’ll appreciate it. And not wonder why.

Have a great weekend!

Good to go!

That’s what the doctor told me yesterday.

We discussed in detail what has been going on the last month or so, and he said that “clicking” feeling I’ve been concerned about is actually more normal than I realize and it’s good to be proactive, but I shouldn’t be overly concerned about this one.

He bent my leg every which way it would go (I’m not that flexible, so it didn’t take long), he thinks the pain I had been experiencing was just overuse and not related to the pop he felt during one rotation. When that happens, he said to take some time off  and I shouldn’t be concerned until the specific “ache” just doens’t get better.

Well ok then. It was an expensive 15 minutes of my life, but the reassurance was nice. After dealing with crutches and taking 8 weeks off at the beginning of last year, I was starting to work myself up in a tizzy of all the things that could possibly be wrong with it.

Even though I’m still obviously cutting back on running quite a bit, at least we know my leg won’t be falling off any time soon. Whew.

At least one good thing of it all? I’ve been focusing a little more on my strength training. Or at least on my Jillian Michaels dvds- which may not be hard core to some, but it’s about as good as it gets for me. When it comes to weights, I lack any kind of motivation to do them. Someone needs to be barking orders.

To celebrate my non-injury (I guess?), I met up with Mon at the gym after work. We needed to catch up on each other’s weekends, and because of the threat of rain, we chose to walk side by side on the treadmills. Cute, right? 

We’re nerds.

What was not cute was the skunk that ran out in front of me on the way home. He’s been around for a while now. My friend Bailey has lovingly named it Petunia.

And then she called the office building and lovingly said, “Petunia needs to die”.

Clearly that has not been taken care of just yet. Because we had a stare down in the parking lot- both parties frozen in terror. After about 10 seconds, he bolted to the right. And I promptly bolted to the left.

My heart is still recovering.

Had it already been Tuesday, the worst day of the week, god knows what might have gone down.

But instead, it’s Tuesday now. Let’s hope my planned run tonight will go well. And that I don’t run into Petunia on the way home.

Because we’re not friends. And he’s got fire in his eyes. I’ve seen it.

Your turn- scariest/funniest/weirdest run-in with a wild animal.

Aaaaannnndddd go!

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