As Luck Would Have It…

… I got to the gym just in time yesterday. The girl on the good treadmill was finishing up when I walked in at 5:15 AM.  Victory!

But it’s possible that the real question in this scenario is, “what time did you get here and why are you so crazy???”

I still haven’t entered crazy zone (which I define as being up before 5:00 to go to the gym- I’m holding on to that 5:05 wakeup call for dear life).

Of course it’s not being ruled out (longer mid-week runs are heading my way), but right now I just can’t get myself to do it!

My point after all that rambling is that I got the desired treadmill without any issues.  Whew! Until yesterday, Wednesdays have been just a 3-mile run and strength. But we’re getting further into training and when I created the training plan, I decided throwing 4-milers into the mix at this point would be a good idea.

Good idea?  It’s much too early to tell at this point.  But I did it. 4 miles at 8:32 pace.

And just like Monday, because I refuse to get up any earlier, I waited until after work to fit in The Shred as my strength training.

Ok- scratch that. I skipped out on hanging out with Jillian Michaels last night. As luck would have it, I was just wiped.

However, attempts to make up for it were made through push ups and a few free weight exercises. Possibly during commercial breaks.  Take it or leave it…

As luck would have it, I was able to enjoy the rest of my spicy peanut sauce pasta over lunch yesterday.A lovely lunch was had by finding a window seat and pretending I’m getting an adequate amount of vitamin D while reading up on Chicago’s aging population. I sure know how to have one hell of an exciting lunch…

Oh sunshine. I just wish I could actually feel you again.

Yet another reason I’m counting down days until my Vegas vacation…

And yes, I do read Crain’s (Chicago Business) along with my favorite Chelsea Handler books. It’s important to be well-rounded like that.

By the way, thanks for all the comments on yesterday’s postMadeline and Leah both commented on how they think their whole existence is an “oops” moment.  I laughed out loud. Then realized I qualify for that classification, too. ;)

As luck would have it, today is my rest day. Judging from my lack of energy to finish up the strength training last night, it’s safe to say I might need it. 

Enjoy the day, everyone- I’ll be lounging at home tonight watching my Thursday night lineup.  Ahhhh….

An Amy Day

The electricity in my apartment went off yesterday.  Again. Thankfully, it came on right as I was getting home from work.

Did I mention I’m magic?

Had the electricity not gone on, I would have been in quite the situation. Because I was having a rest day and had nothing else to do. Other than clean. And that would have been just as impossible. Shucks.

But let’s not dwell- it did go on and I got my relaxed night on the couch. Catching up with “my programs”. That included a glass of Merlot and this:I had to run by the grocery store after work and all day had been craving a turkey wrap in the worst way.

This is a chicken wrap. I was at the deli counter, had him pull out the honey roasted turkey, put it in the slicer and- WAIT! Spotted the honey bbq chicken. I want it instead, if that’s ok.  I’m sorry… did you start slicing?  No… ok- I’ll have the chicken.  No- not along with the turkey, instead of the turkey.  Yes, you can put the turkey back.  I want the chicken.  No, not that one, the one above it… yeah, that’s the one!  Same amount… just the chicken, though.  Thanks…

I’m so awkward at the deli counter.

I’m so awkward at ordering food in general.  Please tell me I’m not the only one???

In the wrap, I included spinach (green is important!), avocado (green is still important!), onion and a little General Tsao sauce. And a nice pair of balls. Of the sweet potato variety, people. It may be Friday, but let’s try not to be too crude this early in the morning… :)

Because I was still in Thursday night mode, I was in bed early.  So lame considering today is my day off!

That’s right. I took today off. No major reason. I just really needed one.  A refresher. An Amy day, if you will. Because let’s face it- the winter doldrums will get to ya if you don’t fight it.

This is my way of fighting it.

Anyway, it’s no surprise I woke up early. This didn’t bug me- I have time for a nap later (and WILL take it).

Up with the sun I was. And off to the gym (I really know how to party).

Because I know what my plans are for tonight, there was an executive decision made to switch my long run to this morning instead of wait until tomorrow.  It’s not like I have a super strict schedule going on…

It was 7:30 when I stepped on the treadmill (told you it was weirdly early) and 8:30 when I stepped off. That left room for a quick warm-up, run and cool-down. My actual run was 6 miles (as according to plan) at an 8:38 pace.

I would like to thank Cage the Elephant, The Killers, and Kanye West for this particular run.  You boys kept me going.  So… thanks!

Even though it’s a day off, there are a few things to take care of. So ummm… time to go be productive for a while.

Guess I have to do something to earn the nap, right?Rock on, ya’ll.  Happy Friday.  :)

$2 Sushi

Thanks for not making me feel so crazy about my super early trip to the gym.  Usually, I just lay there and wait for sleep to come back.  But after an hour and a half?  I’m not patient enough for that.

It’s funny how I was so determined to not screw with my first day of training. Because last night was a different story completely.

Well- really I just switched out rest days.  Usually, Thursday is my night off from the gym (it’s not a coincidence that Thursdays happen to be the best tv night of the week), but took last night off instead.

Why? Because some girls were craving a decent happy hour.

Last week, Megan sent out an email to a group of friends about a special Ai Sushi does called $2 Tuesdays. It didn’t take much convincing for me to agree to go.

I may have even thrown in a “hell yeah!” and a “hooray!”.

In a sleepless state, I’m easily excitable.

The “slab” of birthday cake I had while celebrating another office birthday probably didn’t help with the overusage of “!!!!”, either.What all do you get for $2?  Well… check out the email she received about what they do every Tuesday:One of everything, please!

No seriously, that’s what we did.  There was a limit of 2 per person… there were 5 of us… let’s fill up the table!

It worked out well. They were small plates, but a little of everything easily gave me a decent dinner.  All of us made comments about how good it all was.  All of it! 

My favorite was the calamari. Best I’ve had.  But also, the last time I had it was at 2:00 in the morning at a bar. A sports bar. So I assume the quality of it was substantially lower than the goodness I had last night.

We were busy chatting it up all night, but still able to get in a quick group shot after we bribed the guy taking care of coat check:Considering I generally dislike Tuesdays, this was a nice way to end the day.

We’ll just pretend the wreck on the expressway wasn’t the actual way my night ended.  Nope. Especially because I rarely ever opt for the expressway.  Like I’ve said before, my body seems to think sleep is overrated, so there was really no point in making a big fuss.

Any big sushi fans out there?  I like trying new places, but sushi spots I usually go off of recommendation with- nothing sucks more than bad sushi (I should also throw out there to never order it from the Student Center on a college campus- be prepared for issues).

Have a great Hump Day! I’ve been swamped these days, so hopefully work will make the day fly and help me NOT notice the massive amount of cake leftover in the break room from yesterday’s office birthday festivities…

A Trip To The Dentist

Can I just say I’m really glad I’m not the only one out there who can’t do a pull-up?  For a minute there, I was afraid I’d have to start practicing.

Or not.  Like I said, it doesn’t bother me so much. 

What does bother me is that some peeps are trying to tell me my zodiac sign has changed whereas others tell me it’s staying the same.  Screw that noise.  Leo for life, biatches.

Whatever.  It’s FRIDAY!

It’s my rest day. And the girlies have a movie night in the works.  All good things, yes?

Well.  It will be after another hour or so for me.  As this gets published, I’m probably heading to the dentist.

I hate the dentist.  Hence the reason I put off this appointment for so long. Even if it’s just a cleaning. I chew a lot of gum, eat candy, and slack majorly at flossing.  Mr. Dentist and I might as well be enemies.

Anyways, to keep you entertained, I thought I’d bring up the fact that Chef Katelyn was so kind as to tag with me a blogger award…

Anyways, the rules include listing a few random things about yourself.  I’ve done this a few times, but who am I to not add a little more randomness to your day?  ;)

1. I hold writing utensils wrong.  Not sure why this was never corrected?  My mom totally blames my kindergarten teacher.  This is yet another one of those things (like the ability to do a pull-up) that doesn’t bother me.  Because seriously… how much work do I not do on the computer?

2. Even though I feel fine speaking in front of a crowd, sometimes my hand still shakes like crazy.  It’s like all the hidden anxiety gets channeled through it.  Weird.

3. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a marine biologist.  Just like every other kid in the world.  Because we all wanted to swim with the dolphins.  Don’t lie- you wanted to be one, too.

4. My first kiss happened when I was 15.  It was in the school play.  We had stopped right before “the big kiss” every single time before, but on this particular run-through, the kid dipped and laid one on me with no warning.  Romantic, I know.  Funny thing is, I had just acquired my first boyfriend and got my first *real* kiss on opening night of that play (after being accosted multiple times by the original non-boyfriend kiss offender).

5. I’ve never been to Vegas.  But it seems this year I’ll be going twice in a three-month span. Go big or go home, right?  Holla’.

Question of the day:  Does anyone actually know someone who ended up actually being a marine biologist?  And do they swim with dolphins?

Smug Omelet

One day down, four to go.  How ya’ doin’?  Hanging in there?

Yeah… me too. Meh.

Since it’s Tuesday, and I generally dislike Tuesdays, I figured it was a good time to mention my big accomplishment that made me feel pretty awesome on Monday.

For the first time ever…

Are you ready for this?

I made my first real omelet!

*Crickets*

Ok guys, listen- this is a pretty big deal for me.  Ages ago, I figured this was just one of the few things out of my skill set.  Like advanced statistics. Riding a unicycle. Or ice sculpting.

Time after time, they’d just turn into scrambled eggs.  Which was fine.  I don’t want to denounce the greatness of an egg scramble (even though a 5-year-old can probably make them with proper adult supervision).

But I wanted more.  Needed more.

Turns out I just needed to make bigger omelets.

Or acquire a smaller pan.Pretty in pink. 

I was going to scramble the eggs (as usual), but realized with my smaller pan (an extra 8-inch my mom let me take while I was home over the holidays), the impossible may actually be possible.

And hot damn, it was!If you ever went to know how to feel incredibly smug at 5:50 in the morning, make an omelet.  Then put cheddar and sour cream on it because, by all means, you deserve it.

As I predicted early yesterday morning, it was definitely time for a rest day.

Even if I weren’t a little sore from Jillain’s NMTZ, I was just dead tired after work.

Plus, How I Met Your Mother was new.  The choice wasn’t difficult.

A little rest does amazing things.

But today is a new day.  I’m not sore. There’s nothing on tv. Hopefully there’s no one on *my* treadmill.  Because I need to do some WORK.

(Source)

A Lot on the Mind…

We made it to Friday!

Here’s to the weekend and the short work week ahead of us!  YES!

Look at all the exclamation points.  Clearly I feel much better than I did last Friday…

Probably because I didn’t do a thing last night.  I had done the Shred again in the morning and planned to keep it a low key night.  Which I did.  I even had time to read before my Thursday night line-up.  And that never happens…We can talk about my latest obsession with Michael Ian Black later.  And yeah, that’s tuna from a can.  I like tuna, but (and I may have mentioned this before) I have issues when it comes to preparing fish.  It intimidates me.  Add that to my list of other things that intimidate me in the kitchen.  So now it’s fish, using yeast, and full-sized potatoes. 

And yes- I KNOW you can do potatoes in the microwave.  Punch a few holes in them and let them go.  Yada yada yada.  I’ve tried.  Over and over.  It just doesn’t work for me.  Ah baked potato… you win!

Anyways, so I use tuna in a can.  I’m also a real snot when it come to what kind of tuna I use.  I go to Trader Joe’s and use their Albacore.  Why, you ask?  Well I used to go for the cheaper stuff.  Or whatever was on sale at the grocery store.  Light tuna is sometimes under 70 cents a can- crazy right? Anyways, it happened more than once (so I think my fear is legit), to where I’ve bitten into something hard and crunchy before.  

I repeat- it was crunchy and shouldn’t have been there.  So I did the classy thing and pull it with my mouth full of food.  I don’t know if it was a scale or something- don’t care to know either way.  I do know I’ve started only buying it at TJ’s (after a hiatus from tuna altogether) and am happy to report I have not had any instances since.  Yuck.

But I have things of greater importance to worry about other than tuna in a can. Or at least I think so.

I’m baking two things (possibly three) next week.  I want them to be as fresh as possible on Thursday, need one done by Wednesday, and am going out Wednesday night.  Both things require multiple steps.  I feel like I made need some paper and a schedule for this. Possibly some highlighters.  Or email alerts.  Either way, it’s going to be hectic.

What am I getting myself into?

Thank God I never paid attention long enough to be able to offer to make the turkey… ;)

I’ve also got my race to think about.  I’m not worried about the mileage.  It’s four miles.  I do it often enough.  I even did it this morning at an 8:30 pace (exactly).  Yeah- I actually made it outside of my apartment to get to the workout room this morning.  It was dark.  And cold.  And quiet- I was the only one there.  But the workout is done for the day and it makes me happy. 

And finally, holiday shopping is starting to enter the brain. 

Yeah.  I said it.  I’m bringing up holiday shopping.  Has anyone started?  Or even better- does anyone participate in Black Friday?

I never have.  As a retail worker in college, I’ve experienced it from the other side.  And it… is… terrifying.  For two years I worked in the lingerie department of a big department store.  I wasn’t there for the actual opening, but two hours later, people were still running through the store.  Underwear everywhere.  Kids running around unsupervised, pulling down the panties on all the mannequins.  Cash register lines wrapped around the store.

Even the seasoned retail worker would have been tempted to cry in the corner behind a rack of clothes.

Some people are INTENSE.

My friend Danielle is one of those people.  She is a chick with a plan.  And after asking nicely, she agreed to share her secrets with everyone by doing a guest post for me.  So look for that later today.  ;)

At first I was nervous she was going to be like this chick:

I showed her this video.  And she said no way- she could take this chick.

I have awesome friends.

Happy Friday!

Gym Tan Laundry. Sort of.

Thanks for not making me feel so grandma-ish.  Or at least letting me know I’m not alone.  ;)

Look what my mom sent to me at work:he he he- just when I thought I was done with cookies for the week!

They got a little stuck together during the transport, but I assure you that had no effect on the taste.  :)  I think a few others in my office would agree with that one.

Because this week wasn’t a standard week (mostly the day off threw me), my current food situation is interesting.  It leads to dumping a whole bunch of things in one bowl and seeing what happens:It worked out this time.  But I’ve had some nasty combos in the past…  I won’t go in detail, but I’d mention the eggplant incident without hesitation right about now.

What’s the worst combo you’ve had as of late?

I spent the rest of the night doing a little GTL (thank you Jersey Shore- I’ll forever be screwed with all the ridic catchphrases I’ve incorporated into my daily vocabulary). 

Anyways, I’ve gotta be prepped for Halloween, right?  Except my GTL was a little different.  Gym was a light walk on the treadmill to meet up with Mon and gossip about the last few days.  Tan came out of a bottle.  And I’m not even sure if it worked (Natural Glo knock off- maybe I should have known better?).  And laundry included not only doing my regular laundry, but working a little on my costume.  We’ll just say the “woman’s fit” t-shirt was a load of crap.  I don’t sew often (which was obvious when the only color of thread I own is green), but I did a little tucking where it was necessary.  Hopefully the green thread isn’t THAT obvious on the sides of my white tee (I’m only saying that to fool myself). I’m so excited for tonight- can’t wait until it’s T-SHIRT TIME! 

And yes, I will sing it like Pauly D when the moment arrives.

What’s the plan for the weekend, kids?  Costume party?  Bar hopping?  Handing out candy?  Our big girl’s night is tonight. Holla’…Have a great holiday weekend!

Things Worth Celebrating

Since yesterday was a rest day, I had quite a bit of free time on my hands.  This rarely happens, but I took it as a sign as maybe I should cook again.  Because even little things such as rest days should be celebrated, right?

If you remember, I did a review of  Uncle Sam’s cereal a few weeks ago.  I had considered doing some sort of honey glaze, but went a different route with the breaded parmesan.  This was amazing, but then Tracey left me drooling over what she came up with

Last night I remembered this and said “YES, that’s what I’ll make”.

Then I immediately said, “CRAP, I don’t have soy sauce”. 

What respectable cook doesn’t have soy sauce on hand?  (don’t answer- that’s an issue we can address at a later time)

So I tried something a little different. Enter balsamic vinegar and honey.Trader Joe’s really wanted to make sure I had enough balsamic, huh?

So I mixed it with a little honey and to dip the chicken into:Then I did a little shaky shaky with the cereal in a ziploc bag…Throw some sliced almonds on each piece, and then bake for 20 minutes (or um… until it’s done in the middle- duh) at 350 degrees.  Then, pair it with some sauteed veggies.Voila!  Perfect meal.  Granted, I wish I had the soy sauce like Tracey did…  would have given it more of a kick.  But hey- it was still a win in my book.

In other news, this Saturday is Boss’s Day.  How they let Boss’s Day fall on a Saturday, I do not know.  But either way- do you do anything for your boss on this day?  Or if you’re the boss, do people usually plan stuff for you?

Jaime and I celebrate for our two bosses.  Just… in a different way…Clearly I’ve edited the photo for privacy reasons, but you get the point.  Last year, we filled our supervisor’s cubicle with balloons.Our main boss seemed a little disappointed to not be in on the fun, so this year we took the “post-it everything in his office” approach.  It worked out really well that he’s out for a couple days.

I really have no idea how boring our office would be if we weren’t around to keep it interesting… And it’s always in good fun- that’s important to remember.  ;)

Do you ever pull office pranks?  I’m sure Jaime and I wouldn’t mind some new ideas! 

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Rush Hour

It’s Friday!

And October!  Ahhh… I cannot believe it’s actually October.  I’m starting to see aisles of Christmas decorations getting snuck in behind the Halloween aisles.  Jump the gun much?

Last night I had my night off.  This was good.  I got a little frustrated out of boredom at some point, but relaxing for a night versus running around getting stuff done was a welcome change.  I slacked on cleaning.  But seriously, who cares?  It’ll be there for me tonight if I feel the urge.

I think part of the reason why I just decided to do absolutely nothing is that I am slowly falling angry victim to all that is known as Chicago traffic.  It’s tragic, folks. All summer I was patient. All. Summer.  I think that’s fair- and very big of me.  But me spending time in traffic, to exit off that busy highway where I’m going 20 mph to merge into more traffic going 10 mph?  Really?  My patience has a limit.  I sit there and think about the extra 15 minutes a day it takes to get to work.  And from work.  That’s a half hour a day.  2.5 hours a week.  That’s 2.5 hours that I could actually be doing something.  Or nothing.  Whatever.  But the point is, that is 2.5 hours I should not be spending in my car.  Deep breathing.  Lots of it.  But somedays, I still sit in that parking lot we know as the interstate and want to scream.  Yesterday was one of those days.  BLAH.

Rant over.

Whew.  I just got really worked up for a second.

I hadn’t planned on going “there”.  But yeah… that’s what’s up.

I did have a good day before my little moment of rage.

For instance, I finished my book, How Did You Get This Number?:I’m pretty sad it’s done.  Sloane Crosley has an awesome writing style.  I love how she can draw humor out of the most random everday situations.  Her humor is not blatant and in your face.  Rather, I started laughing out loud (yes, by myself in the cafeteria) with her subtle remarks about things I could easily relate to (such as the chapter about the range and number of pets she had).

Definitely one of those girls that, as you’re reading it, you’re sure you’d have a lot of fun having cocktails with.  So um… hey Sloane- let’s be friends…  :)

While we’re discussing my lunch break, let’s also talk about how I also reintroduced edamame into my life.  I don’t remember the last time I had it.  I’m also not quite sure why I stopped eating it.  Edamame is one of my favorite things to throw in a salad.  It’s easy protein.  And it’s delicious.  So… welcome back!

What’s the last food you went on a “phase” with?  I had the asparagus thing going on for a while.  Now that it’s well out of season, I’m much more picky about buying it.

Another good moment was break time…I passed up water for a little diet coke action this afternoon.  I’m going through a spell with it (can I blame the traffic on this one? hmmmm…).  And Target got me again with their random clearance endcaps.  Who can pass up a whole sleeve of fun size $100 Grand bars for 84 cents?  Not this girl.

This made me happy.  Maybe I should keep my candy in the car to counteract rush hour frustrations? 

Anyhoo, hopefully today goes well.  Nothing like smooth sailing into the weekend.  I’ve got a lot going on (once again), but have kept tonight as a night in.  Mostly for energy reasons (tomorrow is a long day).  But others may argue it’s also for sanity reasons.  Whatev.  I’m going to enjoy it.

What’s the thing you’re most excited for this weekend?

Have a good one, kids!

Bulking Up

So I’m not the only one who hoards leftover office food, huh?  Good thing we don’t all work together- I’d hate to fight you guys for it.

Because I fight dirty.  And I’m not scared.  Bring it.

Don’t believe me?  You should.  I’ve been working on my guns.  Well- sort of.  I’ve been loving using resistance bands during my workout as part of my cross training routine.  I may have mentioned it already- but doing the front body circuit is my favorite.  So I spend some time doing work on the arms, shoulders, and even the core.  Loves it.

So I did that, but also hit the gym beforehand for some elliptical and stairmill time.  Kept myself entertained in the workout room this time by playing “where is that cheap cologne smell coming from?” 

I still don’t know.

Then I did some more bulking up.  With my dinner.90 calories a serving?  Sweet… that’ll keep me full for like a whole 15 minutes!  Like oh my god! I actually took two pics of the same thing- because I caught myself doing a sweet hitchhiker’s thumb and was kinda embarrassed.  Then I laughed.  Try and beat that one, people!  I think my thumbnail makes it look that much longer… Awesome.

But yes, we can take a minute to talk about my soup in a can.  I love playing in the kitchen, and I know soup isn’t hard, but I’m just not “there” yet.  I still only keep a few cans of it around as an easy option.  I know it’s a bit high on the sodium end, but I don’t know what to say- I just don’t like making soup from scratch.

Anyhoo, I took the can and used it as a “base”.  Then I added the goods.  Like broccoli, black beans, and corn.  And red chili pepper flakes.  And pepper (because we know how almost all “lite” soups are pretty freakin’ bland).  I must have gotten a little out of control because it was exploding out of the pot…I SLOWLY stirred it until it was all heated up and ready to go.  And then toasted an Arnold’s thin (still living on coupons from the Healthy Living Summit- holla’) with cheese on top.  Because soup isn’t comfort food without cheesy bread.  I don’t care what you say.  I need my cheesy bread.Voila.  Just in time for Modern Family. 

I have fantastic timing.

Being as how it’s Thursday, today is an official rest day for me.  Again- probably for the better.  I still haven’t figured out that “weird” feeling in my left leg.  It doesn’t hurt.  It’s just annoying me.  Grrr.  My real frustration comes from the fact that I’m a little over a month away from my 15k, and have yet to really log much over a 6-mile distance as of late.  Gah.

Here’s something funny…

Has anyone heard of the Happy Meal Project?  An artist out of New York, Sally Davies, photographed a McDonald’s happy meal every single day over a period of MONTHS.  Results?  I believe she’s still doing it, but they had pictures of Day 1 compared to Day 137- with very little change of appearance.  What?? (Click on the picture to be taken to the article and slideshow) 

Now- let me be clear.  I’m a kid who runs through the drive thru every now and then.  I see nothing wrong with that.  But um… I’m concerned about people who eat this every day.  I mean, it looks like you could still eat the bread- which seems to be mold free after 137 days (another reason why I’m frustrated my lastest wraps purchase didn’t even last but a week!).  Yikes.

Thoughts?

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