Untraditional

Thanks for all the encouragement to keep up the morning workouts, guys!

So far it hasn’t been that much of an issue. Granted, I’m usually not at 100% mental capacity until maybe 30 minutes or so after waking up. And by that point, I’m either mid-run or mid-ellip (I guess?), so there’s no turning back. Pure trickery. Muahahahaha.

Plus, the nice thing is, since I’m getting home later, I can collapse onto the couch with no hesitation.

Or, in last night’s case, other things get done…Like get into the holiday spirit!

Or at least pretend. Still not there yet. But the roomie and I both happened to have free time. Seemed like the efficient thing to do.

This is the third year I’ve had this Christmas tree and I tend to make it look the same every year. Why fix it if it’s not broken?

My lovely friend Annie got this tree for me a few years back. She said she knew I’d never get one on my own like I kept saying I would, so she just bought it for me.

Annie was totally right. I kept saying I’d get a nice tree on sale after Christmas, but I’m cheap as bleep and would have had a hard time parting with cash for something that wasn’t happening for another year anyway.

Her thoughtfulness is always much appreciated at this time of year.

Hilariously enough, we did not play holiday music while trimming the tree. Nor did we watch a Christmas movie.

Instead, we watched the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Clearly we’re not the most traditional household out there.

But hey- that show is probably what powered me through my 4-mile run this morning.

Health is important and I won’t discount it as a reason to stay physically fit. Let’s make that very clear.

But let’s also get real. Vanity, whether we like to admit it or not, is a fantastic motivator.

Don’t think I’ll be strutting my stuff down any runways in my skivvies anytime soon, but whatev. I can pretend if it’s gonna make me run that much faster…

I Missed You

It was over 5 months ago since we said good-bye.

5 months.

I’ve often thought about you. About how wonderful our time together was. About how much I missed you.

It was special- me and you. Doing our thing. Keeping each other happy. Keeping each other healthy. Through the best of times. Through the worst of times. You were always there for me. Encouraging me to be the best person I could possibly be. Thank you.

You always knew what I needed and how I needed it. Knew how to get me all in a tizzy. How to make me smile. How to make me fall in a heap of exhaustion every day…

Then, because of circumstances out of my control, we had to part.

At first, I thought about you every day. How I missed you. How I wanted you back. 

But slowly, I forgot about you. About how strongly I once felt. Until you completely faded into the background.

But…

Just as circumstances changed the first time, they did once again. And all of a sudden you crept back onto my radar.

Funny how those feelings come back so strongly and so quickly after all this time.

When we reunited, it was like you never left me. I realized once again how much I needed you and all that you do for me.

But a few things need to be cleared up before we start this relationship over. A few ground rules…

1. Just because I’m a morning person, that does not mean you’re allowed to wake me up before 5:00 in the morning. Don’t go filling your head with ideas because I know how energetic you can be. I like my sleep. Don’t bug me before then.

2. I’m not always going to be beautiful when I wake up. My face isn’t going to be washed every day and my hair is gross. This I cannot do anything about. Take me as I am.

3. My eating habits are going to once again be completely rearranged because of you. After the sweat we work up? No skipping breakfast. Like… ever.

4. We need to learn to be considerate of my roommate. She can hear us when we’re the floor above her. So the activity will have to be taken elsewhere or we’ll have to wait until later in the day when it comes to some things

5. We need an open relationship. Due to my career, we won’t always have time for each other. I may stray and have a late night fling every once it a while. I may not call at all one day. But remember, this doesn’t mean I don’t care about you. Please don’t be mad.

So there you have it. Things are different now. But I believe in us. We can do this together.

Morning workouts.

They rock.

And I’ve missed them. Getting to work early and leaving early all the time was nice, but sitting in traffic trying to hype myself up for the gym after a long day of work and commuting is a daunting task. So now that my hours are shifting around again? I can actually get an hour or so of exercise in at my gym with little to no crowds.

It’s fabulous.

Oh morning workouts… I’m glad you’re back in my life.

Stacking Sandwiches

Ah sleeping in… glad I’m not the only one who enjoys it every once in a while (whether it be on purpose or accident!).

But this morning I was finally victorious over the alarm clock.

Sure, there may have been a 5-minute snooze, but once those 5 minutes were up? I’ll show YOU, Mr. Alarm Clock!

The alarm clock doesn’t care. I know. But whatever. It got me out the door.

The last week has been spent fretting over when I’d run again. Would the leg hurt again? What if it does? What should I do? It just seemed easier to not run. When you ignore things long enough, they’ll go away, right?

I apply that rule to many things: guys… bills…

Juuuuust kidding on that one part. I always pay my bills on time.

Anyway, it’s not like this morning’s workout was spectacular. I ran 2 miles. Nice and easy. 8:45 pace. And then followed it up with 12 minutes on the elliptical. Add a little walky walky and it was a rather quick but well-rounded session at the gym.

Yes, I got up, but not as early as I had been weeks prior - when the race training stops, my crazy slows down.

Besides, with another weekend trip on the horizon, and the fact that I spent (wasted?) valuable time watching Lifetime earlier in the week, I’ve been busy and will take what I can get on the exercise front (when I’m not sleeping in, of course).

There’s more apartment hunting being done in the next two nights after work. The new roommate and I are trying to fit it in when we can and finalize plans as soon as possible. Can you believe I’m even giving up watching Modern Family for this? Being homeless in two months doesn’t so much work for me. My couch isn’t water-repellent. And where would I plug in my coffee maker?

Last night was also one of the last times I’d have a chance at making a homecooked meal all week. I stared in the refrigerator for a while. If something wasn’t done with all that zucchini I impulsively bought at Trader Joe’s last weekend, it’d easily go bad before there would be a chance to use it again.

There’s also this bread that needs to be used up sooner than later.

One of the few downfalls I’ve found about living by myself? I’m always in a race against the food clock. Wasting good food is just as bad as overpaying for it.

Let the building begin.Roasted strips of zucchini on toast. Good on it’s own for sure. But I’m a dreamer.Marinara and sautéed onions. One of these days I’m gonna have to lay off the onions.

However, I do promise my teeth are brushed often and I’m an avid user of mouthwash. Plus, since my last dentist trip, I also attempt to floss regularly. So you know my mouth is so fresh and so clean clean… ;)Rarely is a sandwich I make complete without cheese. That’s not so much an opinion, but fact.If you throw the whole thing in the toaster oven for another minute or two, the cheese and the sandwich gets more melty and toasty bonding time. Feel free to also smash it together a little.

It’s important for everyone involved to get to know each other. :)

I have no idea what I did before my friend Mary introduced zucchini into my life in college. SO good.

The end.

Sometimes I have happy thoughts…

I’m aware the last couple of posts have been nothing short of snarky.

It’s just been a weird and “off” two weeks. My apologies. 

I laughed at some of the comments about the retail girl incident. I worked retail, too. And am a firm believer that everyone should have at least one summer in customer service of some sort as to appreciate what customer service should and should not be. 

But that’s a discussion for another time. Along with some of you, I definitely did the “oh hello- oh oops, I’ve already greeted you” thing. So that’s why I wasn’t bothered until the 3rd or 4th round of her approaching me. She really did seem to not remember me from each prior greeting.

It was just really really odd. Or the best prank ever. Was I on candid camera?!?!

Anyway, as the title of today’s post suggests, I do have things I”m happy about right now.

Like the fact that I’m only working half a day on Friday to leave for St. Louis! This trip isn’t just about my half marathon. I’m also getting to see some of my best girls from college tomorrow night and spending time with my fam on Saturday and Sunday. Awesomesauce!

I’m also happy because even though I haven’t been able to run as much as I’d like (or hardly at all if we’re being specific), I still am happy on mornings like this when a solid workout at the gym happens. It was like a little tour of the workout machines- 20 minutes on the elliptical, 12 on the stairs, and a mile on the tread. Weeeee!

Not sure about you, but I become a huge ball of stress if I can’t use cardio as a release.

(Source)

Sorta like this.  So you can assume I feel exponentially better at the moment. And no longer feel the need to rage at any moment. You’re safe. And you’re welcome.

There’s a rumor that tonight will be involving baking and chocolate. Together.

My snarkiness has decreased immensely. It’s all good. :)

Also, if you don’t know Phampants, you should check him out! He’s up for a major award in the blogger world… partially due to all the race videos he’s done in the past. One of which I appeared in as a hot sweaty mess for all of 10 seconds. So I’m also up for this award. By proxy. Don’t tell me differently. 

If you feel like giving him some runnin’ love, head over and give him a shout!

Gotta get head to work so I can get paid (happy!). And also need to get my hands on some coffee (caffeine = happy!!!!).

Later kids!

Angry Motivation

Hellloooooo!

I’m feeling a bit more upbeat today. Yesterday was a long day of red box movies and dim lighting. After spending an entire Saturday hopping around Wrigleyville, it seems that is the best medication. Noted.

After a massive breakfast and lunch, it was time for some cleansing. Mostly because my refrigerator was starting to get full of things on the brink of expiration. And I’m really careful about using up food before it goes bad. Feeling wasteful is not my favorite feeling. So often salads become an “anything goes” ordeal.Salad detox. Give it a try on a day you’re feeling “blah”. A couple of these and you’ll be bouncing off the walls… weeeeee!

Well, maybe not THAT extreme, but it does help quite a bit. Almost like magic.

Almost.

I even recovered enough yesterday to get back into my early workout routine when this morning rolled around. With less than a week to go before my race, it’s time to get serious.

Well sort of. I said I’d be taking it easy, and the plan definitely tapers this week. It worked out well.

Good thing only 3 miles were on the schedule- it took an extra 15 minutes for me to actually get IN the workout room at my apartment complex being as how I didn’t realize the code numbers had changed again. This required me to walk all the way back home to try and find the email about it. Ugh.

But I persevered. And found that silly new code. And came out victorious?

3 miles done at an 8:43 pace. No major pushing. Leg seems like it’s holding up well. Stamina is fine. Whew.

Since we’re less than a week away from the St.  Louis Go! Half Marathon, it’s time to start thinking race prep. I need a new playlist.  And I sorta want to take a page from Angry Runner’s book. And run angry. Pretty sure Britney Spears isn’t going to cut it this time. So if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Seriously. Please tell me!

Enjoy your Monday!

Adjustments

Hey kids!

I think I found the secret to making a gross and gloomy day not so bad…

See a movie!

Ok, so it’s not like it’s a really mind-blowing concept. And considering I just went last week, it’s not anything new in my little corner of the blog world. Acting out last week got a pattern started. Movie Wednesday anyone?  It works so well. Because Tuesdays are lame and it’s better to just keep your head down and hope they don’t get the best of you. Thursdays are close enough to the weekend to not seem so bad, plus you’ve got quite a tv lineup to keep entertained with.

But Wednesday’s sort of stuck in the middle. I love my Modern Family, but it has been nice to actually be out and about. Feelin’ semi-social (in a dark theater, but hey- I got outside!).

Plus, drinking too much wine on a work night is killer.

So Mon and I made plans to go see The Adjustment Bureau. Matt Damon can rarely do any wrong, so we were both excited.

And then some sort of rain/snow started. Texts were fired off right away. Adjustments to the schedule were made. We ended up staying in. And drinking wine. (roll eyes here) And watching How Do You Know?(Source)

My friend gave me the movie to watch and warned of how awful it was. So our expectations were low. Which worked out well because we both thought it was ok. Not good. Not bad. Just ok. My takeaways were a few quotable lines and the desire to hug Paul Rudd.

And because of the wine, we played a rousing version of marry/hump/kill with the lineup of Paul Rudd, Justin Timberlake and Jake Gyllenhaal. After a glass or two of merlot, I revert to the thought process of a 12-year-old girl. It’s a flaw and a talent all at the same time.

Feel free to leave your choices in the comments section. I ended up marrying JT. Out of the three, he seems like he’d be the most fun. Active and passionate without being too needy. Perfect.

Yes, we had an entire conversation about it. That’s just how we play.

And just to confirm- wine on a work night really does make the next morning a killer.

Earlier in the day, before the movie night festivities, I got another early morning run in. Another girl was already trucking along by the time I got to the workout room, so I just hopped on the ‘mill next to her and we ran in all of our crazy 4:45 AM glory together. 

Final stats? 4 miles at 8:35. Then I did a 10-minute cool down on the elliptical with tons of stretching. How did I feel? The left leg could be better.

It’s been a nag the last few mornings I’ve gotten up. Oh- is that maybe part of the reason I slept in yesterday? Yeah, it would be one of the reasons. You caught me. We’re not going to freak out at this point or anything because that would be just silly. But adjustments are being made. Scaling back a little until I’m feeling more comfortable again. There’s no way I’m going to blow it with approximately 2 weeks until the race.

Along with the knee problems Mon has, she may be right. We should really have a down payment ready for some scooters.  Matching of course.

Or at least color-coordinated. That would be better. No need to look nerdy.

Crazy Town

A conversation was initiated with an 11:00 pm text Sunday night. Because I’m clearly an old woman and can’t stay up past 10:30 anymore, I didn’t respond until after I returned from my early morning trip to the gym yesterday morning.

A (from the night before): UGH…

Me (the next morning): ahahahaa… well good morning sunshine!

A: A friend and I crushed 5 lbs of wings in like 8 minutes last night while we were out.

Me: So clearly you’re hurting in more ways than one.

A: Uhhhh yeah, actually not too hungover from watching the games, just suffering from overeating

Me: Nonsense.

A: I didn’t mention the two large bowls of ice cream I took down when I got home, maybe an hour after eating those wings.

Me: So you drank too much, ate too much, took down a massive amount of sugar, smoked too much, and slept too little? Your body hates you. There’s no reason why you should feel good this morning. None at all. You should apologize. Because it’s angry. And will act out accordingly.

A: All very true.

Me: You need advil, water, coffee and salad. It’s called detox.

He didn’t respond, but I’m pretty sure he also agreed.

No need to feel bad for him. The kid has a metabolism of a hummingbird. If I know him at all, he was taking down his super-sized value meal for lunch by 11:00. Then having a second lunch by 2:00.

It’s amazing.

I was feeling rough when I woke up yesterday morning, too. From fatigue only, so it turns out the saying is true- it could always be worse.

Speaking of waking up early, crazy town has officially been entered.

My alarm was set at 4:45. AM. What have I become???

I wanted to make sure and give myself enough time to get in 5 miles during my morning workout. But my muscles were pretty tight, so I decided to warm up on the elliptical. Then just decided to stay there for no good reason other than I was totally content where I was. For 35 minutes.

The workout was finished with some free weights and a 10-minute cooldown on the treadmill. It worked. Although I completely defeated the point of getting up before 5:00 AM. Ridiculous.

What also worked out (not as planned) was my random idea for dinner.I mentioned last week my less-than-satisfactory tortilla shells. They fell apart every.single.time. So I took a chance on the last one. Split it in two and stuffed the pieces in a cupcake tin.My cupcake tin is a mess. Sorry.

They were thrown in the oven for a few minutes to get started “crisping” up. Then, I added the black beans (warmed up a little beforehand), salsa, jalapenos and 4-cheese mix.

After a few more minutes of them all getting acquainted, I pulled them out of the oven to see what would happen.Success! Sort of? Had I thought it through a little more, I would have waited to add the salsa at the end. It liquified a little in the oven and leaked out of the bottom when I pulled the tortilla shell out of the tin.

Not that it affected the taste at all. Mexican food is, after all, mexican food. Which means it was delicious.

I’m off to go enjoy my rain-soaked Tuesday.

Because really… what else do you expect?  ;)

Climbing Over The Wall

Thanks again for letting me know that I’m never alone in the occasional workout burnout

I’m happy to report I was successful in getting to the gym this morning.  Friday is normally a cross training day, but a *little* running just had to happen. Because I felt like it. The run was fine- no exhaustion, no ache, no problems. 2 solid miles at an 8:15 pace. Thank goodness.

Add 25 minutes on the elliptical to that and call it a day.

This made me feel so much better on my walk back home from the gym this morning.  Even if I had to trudge through snow to get to and from. But what’s new?

I’m glad the workout happened for various reasons. A little something was needed to get me up and moving after going to happy hour last night…

Happy hour very rarely occurs.  Mostly because, as you can see from my annoyance the last few days, I’m a routine girl.  But every once in a while, when scheduled beforehand of course, I enjoy a night out mid-week.  Sometimes this cures the Tuesday blues and sometimes this cures my itch to dance.  Whatever the reason, it’s a nice mental break to the week.

So Mon and I went out to eat and have a few drinks at a local irish pub. Due to the looming storm, we decided to cut it a little short and stop by a wine bar to pick up a bottle and enjoy the rest of our “Thirsty Thursday” in the safety of our own homes.We had merlot. It was good. Obviously.

Oh and one of Mon’s cats is a real ham for the camera… say hi to Phailin in the background.

For the record, Mon would like to point out that her cat is older than the fame that crazy lady in Alaska has.

And possibly smarter.

Because it’s FRIDAY, why not enjoy a good google search term? I thought I’d help the person out who searched “rock duet with words “waking up ” or (waking me up )”.

I think you’re looking for these kids:

You are SO welcome. And if you watch the video to the end, you get to enjoy the super high tech black light usage.  Oh buddy…

Happy Friday everyone! I’m going to be spending the weekend finishing up everything I need to do before my VACATION and climb some serious stairs on Sunday.  Hopefully at some point another 9 hours of sleep will happen. fingers crossed…

A New Twist

More often than not, I end up buying the same things at the grocery store.  They are my staples. They make me happy. And until they don’t, I’ll continue to buy them.

That’s just how I roll.

However, I do like to mix up how they end up on my plate. It at least makes me feel like I’m doing something different…

So say hello to veggie flatbread:The differences between this and pizza are minimal. But still exist.

For one, it’s a new shape. Woooaaaahhh… way outside the comfort zone!

Also, it includes broccoli and chickpeas but not cheese. And I don’t care what people say. You may even like it. But I just don’t really feel right putting broccoli/chickpeas on pizza. Or ever calling it pizza if it doesn’t include cheese.  So that’s why this definitely couldn’t be called pizza… right?

The crust was yet again the pizza dough crust made with beer that Holly created. I made a half recipe. It still gave me 3 good-sized flatbreads.  Plus, on a Tuesday (yuck!), I didn’t mind being able to finish the other half of the beer. ;)

And yes, for those of you who asked yesterday, a Tuesday is still a Tuesday. Even if you have Monday off.  It just may not be the most “extreme” of the yucky Tuesdays… Tuesday Light?

Either way, the drunken flatbread (oooh… maybe that’s a good name for it?) hit the spot after a long day. After Monday’s long run and 5 hours of running errands, I was less than enthusiastic about getting up early to hit the gym. But as usual, I would have just been upset with myself if I really had to trudge to the gym after getting home from work late. And I felt great after the workout.  21 minutes on the elliptical- had only planned to go to 20, but when I checked the time, I had already passed it (weird!).

Then 20 minutes on the stairs. I will have to say, after the Hustle Up the Hancock, I’ll be ready to give the stairs a rest. Or at least back off of them a little. 

That was yesterday’s workout. This morning’s workout? The 4 miles I was supposed to run? Um….

I didn’t sleep in or anything. Made it to the gym. Stepped on the treadmill. And thought, “woah, this really isn’t going to happen today.”

Have you had a moment like that recently?  Had I started running, it wouldn’t have gone for very long. So I walked- for 30 minutes (2 miles) and did some serious ab work for the rest of the time there. I haven’t focused solely on that area lately. And there was no reason to waste my time since I was already up.

So now I have this 4 miles to make up at some point. A new twist got thrown into my normal routine! Not sure if I’ll work them in when I get home?  Or maybe I’ll call this my “relaxed” day for the week and do it tomorrow morning (my actual rest day) instead? Decisions, decisions…

Let’s Talk About Something Else

Chicago is a great town.

Unless, of course, you like winning playoff games.  That’s where we start to have issues.

The day started innocently enough.Well. Fine. There’s definitely Bailey’s in that McDonald’s coffee. Innocent enough. I call it an upgrade.

Gotta love the metra’s open container policy.  Or lack thereof.

My friend Bailey and I took advantage of it while we could.  It was going to be a long game…

Although taking advantage of the rule mentioned above also means you may have to take advantage of the metra bathroom. It was an alumminum-lined closet. A traumatic experience to say the least. After my report, Bailey decided to hold it.

I’m sure the last 2 minutes of the ride and walk to the bathroom were the longest of her life. She walked out of the bathroom with a huge smile and a skip in her step because she felt “a little lighter and swifter”.

Close call.

We met up with Megan and ended up scoring a table at Stanley’s in Lincoln Park. Considering the madness going on around us, we considerend this a HUGE win.

But sadly, it was the only win of the day.Unless you count taunting Bailey for being one of three Pack fans in the bar.  That was sort of fun while it lasted…

So fun I couldn’t hold the camera still.  Oops.

Green Bay deserved the win. Yeah, that was said. And I’ll be excited to watch them in the Super Bowl. To get their asses handed to them.

That is all I’ll say about that.

Anyway, after a long and heartbreaking day, I didn’t fight my body’s decision to crash early. My body wanted sleep.  I’m feeling so much better these days now that I’m actually getting more than 4 or 5 hours a night.  Ahhhh…

Plus my fingers were crossed that, even after Sunday Funday (and all that it entails), I’d feel like getting my workout done in the morning.

To avoid feeling rushed, the alarm was set for 5:05. Yes, 5:05 AM!  We’re getting really close to my cutoff point of how early I’ll get up to pull a morning workout.  Once the first number reaches a “4″, I’ll know I’ve completely lost my sanity. There’s a 5 minute buffer to that line.  Uh oh…

Since it’s being discussed, you know I got up and went. Trudging through the new snow (where did you come from?!?!) to get my planned 4-mile run in.

But wait… there are foot prints in the snow… leading up to the building.  Multiple ones.  Say what?

There were 4 people in the workout room this morning.  What? And the worst of it- BOTH treadmills were being used.  Part of the reason why I go this early is to avoid this problem! Bleh!

Clearly, I wasn’t about to turn around and go home.  So I sucked it up and made myself excited to get on the elliptical.

That’s a lie.  There was no excitement. But spent 15 minutes on it until a treadmill (thankfully the quiet one) opened up.  I no longer had time for my 4-miler, but figured since 15 minutes was spent on the elliptical, it’d all even out. So it was a 3-mile run instead- 8:35 pace. The leg “feeling” I was getting wasn’t an issue today at all.  So that’s pretty awesome.

My leg’s just a trickster like that.

Morning workout?  Check.

Ok kids… time to get on the road and face the consequences of our random little snowfall.

I’m walking into work with a good mood.  It’s a short work week and one of our office suppliers also visits now with a boy I like to call Mr. Hottie McHotterson. He will be referred to this until I find out he’s probably married. Maybe with kids.

That tends to happen.  Often.

But until then…

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