Loving the Weekend!

Ciao from an unseasonably warm Chicago – it was 48 degrees when I ran this morning! I just wore a tshirt and capris!

Mostly good things on my end to report – I started my day yesterday with two great gym classes – 20/20/20 (20 mins each of cardio/strength/core) and Ballet Sculpt (45 mins of conditioning). Both were hard at times and reminded me that, even though I can design my own in-home workouts, there’s really nothing like being challenged by an actual instructor!

Then this morning I returned to running with a 5-mile trek along the Lakefront trail. I averaged 10:30/minute miles, which was awesome! I ran the whole time, no breaks, and I felt REALLY good. My hamstrings and glutes on both legs were definitely sore and tight, though, so I really need to be vigilant about foam rolling and my leg strengthening movements. I don’t know why I let myself get so lazy with that stuff, but I really need to commit to it – call it a late New Year’s Resolution!

I did a ton of cooking yesterday. I started with making chicken soup from scratch – like, actually bought a damn chicken and put it in the pot and made my own broth and all that! Yes, I’m 36 and just bought a chicken for the first time in my life – better late than never? It came out AWESOME – just like my mom’s – and I’m already dreaming up ways to improve it the next time!

I also made a braised beef in tomato sauce (with POLENTA, of course – I went a week without it and felt separation anxiety) in the crock pot. I made it once before and I think it just cooked up better the first time; I was able to very easily pull the meat apart. This time it took more effort – I actually think I somehow let it overcook and then it just became too tough. But whatever, I’m the only one eating it so it’s fine!

My one fatal mistake – I made bread, ostensibly to go with the soup. The funny thing is, earlier in the day I was remembering how much I loved bread when I was little and how it’s just not as much of a draw for me anymore – apparently homemade bread is the exception! It was a rosemary/goat cheese loaf made with whole wheat flour, so definitely on the healthy side, but when it came out of oven – warm and soft in the middle, crispy on the edges – god I went to town on it! I made every effort of cutting slices and portioning it out, but the damage was done – into the garbage the rest of it went. Ah well. Lesson learned…next time I make bread, only do so when I’m serving it to more than just me!

Today I had every intention of walking to the library, but the two locations closest to me are closed on Sundays, plus it’s supposed to rain – so instead I’m camping out here and I feel pretty good about it! I have plenty of tv to catch up on, plus a movie, plus some magazines, and an entire kitchen to clean (my cooking adventures are not always the tidiest). PLUS FOAM ROLLING TO DO!

That’s all I’ve got! Happy rest of the weekend, everyone – February starts tomorrow, whoo hoo!!

Advertisements

Friday Fo’Realz!

Yay! Weekend!

Not a whole lot to report; I went to a great yoga class during lunch and my fun dance class after work. The yoga class was more intense than most that I’ve attended, even ones with this particular teacher – there was more movement and more strength-based poses. Lots of planks! All good. My dance class was fun too, although I was (I will admit) distracted by my reflection in the mirror – all I saw were my hugeย boobs and my gross stomach. The weird thing is that I wore this exact outfit two weeks ago to an interval class and thought I looked good – even the teacher came by and said I was looking fit. Tonight I just looked ridiculous and fat and sloppy and gross. So my workout maybe wasn’t on point – I was too busy berating myself! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

One positive-ish thing today – I had a pretty candid chat with my big boss mid-morning, and it didn’t go all that well. Or at least – it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. The yoga class helped balance me out a bit afterwards, but this afternoon I really wanted some sort of treat or extra food or whatever – but I didn’t get anything. So I guess that’s a good thing! Haha of course the larger issue is that my job situation isn’t great…but at least I didn’t have a binge to compound it!

I have zero plans for the weekend, which is alternately nice to think about and nervewracking – the former because I will definitely relax, the latter because downtime means potentially eating time. BUT I think I figured out a few ways to occupy my time: obviously working out Saturday and Sunday morning, that’s a given, also going grocery shopping and cooking tomorrow afternoon and walking to the library on Sunday. That should help fill the time. And yes I hate that I spend the weekend idling away the time because I have nothing better to do. #pathetic. But whatever – hopefully next weekend will start my travel tranche and soon I’ll be wishing for more downtime!

In the meantime…happy weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Pre-Friday!

Hello hello!

Well…the plan was to wake up early and take a spin class before work. The reality was…alarm went off and I decided I could work out this evening instead. And I think I made the right call – spin would have been fun, and this particular class also has a quick weights component, but throughout the day my legs just felt so sore (in a good, albeit overworked way) so instead I came home and designed my own workout: a bunch of Tabata rounds mainly focusing on arms and core, some leg strengthening stuff, and foam rolling. All told it was just under an hour and I was definitely feeling it! And even though I intentionally skipped cardio, my heart rate was still nice and challenged. I know this is what I needed to do today, and I’m glad I followed through on my plan and got it done!

Food-wise…eh…that’s another story. We had a government delegation in town today for meetings, so we had Corner Bakery stuff for breakfast and then Chicago’s favorite deep dish pizza for lunch. The bakery stuff I can live without, but I did take a quarter of half of a bagel and a schmear (is that even right? Must consult my Yiddish dictionary) of peanut butter – PB being my kryptonite (is THAT even right? Must read comic books, apparently), more on that later. Anyway, otherwise I had my little serving of cottage cheese when I woke up and my fancy oatmeal (now with chia seeds! always with the chia seeds from now on!) for my real breakfast and I was feeling good.

I knew the pizza was going to be an issue – we were all holed up in this tiny conference room and there were two boxes of pizza in front of me. I told myself if I really wanted it, I could have it, but…like…as much as I like pizza, it wasn’t even the pizza itself that I wanted, it was more the idea of it. I reminded myself that I had my yummy lasagna soup for my own lunch (which I was going to eat later because I wasn’t even hungry during the group lunch), so that helped – pizza was avoided. BUT there was a salad. And I know what you’re thinking – okay, salad, whatever – but can I even tell you – this salad was DELICIOUS! Super duper flavorful – I don’t know what they put in it but good lord it was the most flavorful salad I’ve ever had, no contest. I definitely consumed my fair share of crumbled feta, but other than that I am not really sure what made it so decadent – but it was. I could tell. I think it was even pre-dressed before I put a tiny bit of dressing on it.

My point is – yeah it was a salad but it was totally one of those salads every diet book ever cautions you against. So…sure I skipped the pizza but I did eat more today than planned.

And for god knows what reason, I came home and immediately started eating (more) peanut butter out of the container. WHY!? I don’t know why I do this – clearly the answer is to not buy the stuff, but it’s like I want to prove to myself that I can have it around, or I can have tastes here and there and it won’t lead to a disaster. And…maybe 60% of the time that’s true, but the other 40%…I shake my head.

At least I stopped myself. And at least I still worked out, because there have been many a pb incident or full-out binge that have resulted in skipped workouts and feelings of absolute disgust. So…progress?

Just hoping to have a quiet remainder of the night so that I can start the weekend tomorrow morning in a calmer place. We’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

Multitasking

I’m writing this post while also listening to a webinar called “The Radiant Lifestyle” – it’s produced by a few bloggers I follow and is mostly devoted to encouraging listeners (mostly women, naturally!) to pursue their fitness/health/personal lifestyle goals. The moderator began the session by asking the three women to give three adjectives on how they would describe a “radiant lifestyle,” and I really liked that – the descriptors were: expansive, adaptive, inclusive; purpose, trust, compassion; and possibility, passion, and action. All thought-provoking and not as hokey as I sort of thought it would be! ๐Ÿ™‚

I usually use Wednesdays for my weigh-ins because they’re the middle point from the weekend. Happily I lost my carbo-loading weight, so obviously that means today was off to a good start, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚ I slept so well last night but was really tired at work today – I did get over to the gym for a yoga class and felt a little better afterwards. I knew I needed to get to my neighborhood gym tonight for a better workout, and by 4:00 I was really struggling. I can’t wrap my logical head around the illogical fact that I LOVE the HIIT class that I take on Wednesday nights and LOVE the instructor, but it’s just hard to motivate myself to get there! Part of the reason is a time gap; I usually have about a half hour in between getting home and leaving to get to class – sometimes I take a little nap and it totally charges me up and gets me out the door; sometimes I take a little nap and all it does is make me want to stay in bed. Especially in the winter.

Well I changed it all up tonight – I rushed out of work and got home as quickly as I could (power walking to the L and from my stop to my house!) so that I could get to the gym for a 6pm class, a new one called “312” (yes, Chicago’s area code). The class is based on…Jillian Michaels, I think?…some workout that incorporates four blocks of a blend of exercise: 3 minutes cardio, 1 minute core, and 2 minutes strength, with no breaks in-between. I’d heard it was super hard so I was a little apprehensive, but once we got going I realized I could handle it. I have to say…not my favorite class in the end. It was strange, like at times I felt it wasn’t intense enough, and at other times I wished we could just take a quick break (for water if nothing else) – it just wasn’t the best class for me. That HIIT class I’m always yapping about is just more my format – go super hard, dial it back, go full force again, etc etc etc – for whatever reason that’s just best for me.

But I’m super glad I got to try this class; it’s only offered at my gym too late on Tuesday mornings (I’d never get to work on time) and usually too early on Wednesday nights (I just got lucky I was able to duck out a few mins early tonight) – now I’m not going to stress over missing it!

I definitely felt more on track with food today, so that’s good. Also – I don’t know if it’s annoying that I share my food stuff; I just really appreciate it when other bloggers are honest with theirs (especially the ones who look like “after” pictures – when you realize they still struggle I guess it could be frustrating, but it makes me feel less alone), ย so I want to be honest too.

Okay definitely time for bed. We have some visitors at work tomorrow so I cannot sneak out for a lunchtime workout, and I have a feeling I’m going to be zonked by the time I head home, so I REALLY am hoping that I get my butt out of bed tomorrow morning. There’s a spin class that also incorporates weights, so that’d be perfect for me – but really, if I can’t get there…not going to beat myself up about it. I do enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good night!

Windy City…and how!

Hello from a truly windy city – it’s rare that I actually feel like the wind could blow me over, but I definitely felt that way today! Thank god it’s not terribly cold and/or raining or snowing!

I knew I had a late morning conference call so I wasn’t sure what gym class I’d make it to today, if any – so I just threw pants/top/sneakers in my bag and hoped for the best. I wanted to take a spin class but didn’t want to bog down my bag with my spin shoes if it was all going to be for naught. Naturally my call ended way earlier than I’d anticipated and I had plenty of time to make it to class and grab a bike. ๐Ÿ™‚ I definitely prefer spinning in my shoes but doing it in sneakers isn’t the worst thing!

What I love about this particular instructor is his talent in timing our moves to music. And he doesn’t just put together a play list and have us go at it; he’ll skip ahead to the chorus of a song or just move to the next one in the middle of another – that way everything we do is on a beat and stays really fresh. Today’s ride was pretty common -more focus on sprints than hills – but he said that Thursday’s would be the opposite. ย I may be back – we’ll see! Depends how my legs feel by the time Thursday rolls around.

I am semi-happy to report that I did okay with food last night, after committing to blogging about it a bit more often (hopefully not to the point of boring anyone, but I’m 90% certain the only people who read this are my best friends so they will love me anyway!). Today was also good – I took the time to sketch out my carbs and sugar in a little Excel spreadsheet I maintain. It’s crazy to me how quickly sugar can add up, even negating naturally-occurring sugar in dairy and fruit. And carbs…forget it. I have this little goal of staying around 100 grams and I NEVER adhere to it! I like to think it’s cool since I get in so much activity but I know that’s just something I say to be nice to myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still and all, I like writing out my meals and making swaps here and there based on my goals. I read a great article in the Atlantic today about how calories are such imperfect measurements for weight loss, and that it’s the content of your food that matters. I know that’s 100% true of me – I can eat the exact same number of calories but will have weight loss or gain or maintenance based on the makeup of my food, and it was nice to read an article confirming it, and reminding me that I really do need to watch those carbs! Of course the annoying thing about all of this is that no standard diet works for everyone, so you really do need to create your own approach – it would be so much easier if there really were universal guidelines that guaranteed success!

Randomly on food – I added chia seeds to my oatmeal this morning and WOW – now I get why everyone goes nuts for chia seeds in oatmeal! It was SO creamy! Totally doing that from now on!

I’m just about to finish up an incredible book – with the Atlantic article reminding me why I love to read about nutrition, this book is reminding me about why I love to run. It’s called Born to Run and it’s been out for a number of years; a coworker mentioned it to me months ago and surprised me with it as a little Christmas present. I can’t even really say what the book is “about” because it covers so many topics, but the part I’m REALLY enjoying is learning about the starring role that running has played in the evolution of our human species. Fascinating stuff. My favorite line is “Running was the superpower that made us human – which means it’s a superpower all humans possess.” Anyway it’s a really compelling story and I would recommend it to anyone, non-runners and runners alike!

And with that I am off to have dinner. Have a lovely evening, friends!

Food Matters

Good evening from a lovely on-the-warmer-side winter evening!

After my relaxing rest day yesterday, I got back into the swing of things this morning with a pre-work strength training class and then yoga at lunch. I was definitely a little lackluster during the leg exercises this morning (and wouldn’t you know, today was the day my teacher decided to unveil a 9-minute block devoted only to legs!), but my upper body felt good and I feel pretty great all-around. I have this secret wish that after my running-less week is up, all of my soreness will have abated and I’ll be sprinting through the trails – but I’m trying to keep my expectations in check!

I almost wrote a second entry yesterday afternoon. I was having food issues. I would say that 70% of the time I have food stuff going on, I can identify it – granted usually it’s after the fact, but I know my culprits – being tired, being sad, being bored. Yesterday I really don’t know what happened – I had my favorite pancakes and coffee for breakfast, as I do, and then about an hour later, with zero hunger, just started rummaging around the kitchen. I can’t even remember what I ate – I know there was some cheese, Pirate’s Booty, and a very small bit of leftover ice cream – but the point is that I wasn’t hungry, wasn’t sad/bored/tired/whatever. I just ate.

Thankfully I had errands to run (appropriately enough, I needed groceries!), so I got out of the house and had a nice walk to/from the store, then got a pedicure, and by the time I came home to start cooking for the week my little mini-binge was over. But still – weird. I ate so much that I had to skip lunch – not exactly a tragedy – but not my game plan either.

Anyway, I write all of this because I was thinking about it last night and how my little blog has helped me stay accountable through my runs (many, many times I would want to quit early or just not go at all, and would then think that I’d have nothing to write about if I didn’t go), so I should use it similarly with food stuff. After all, the workouts I typically DO get through and enjoy; the food stuff is where I need help. So I am hoping to focus a little more on that moving forward.

On that note, I mentioned cooking yesterday afternoon – oh my lord – for probably the first time in my life I felt like I could serve what I made to other human beings!! Granted I have had my share of dinner parties and brunches from time to time, but inevitably something doesn’t come out quite right, or is bland, or isn’t how I remember it tasting when someone else made it. But yesterday’s meals…wow…I actually did something right!

For my lunches I made a “lasagna soup” recipe from Pinch of Yum, one of the cutest cooking blogs out there – and I am even attaching the link!

http://pinchofyum.com/roasted-garlic-white-bean-lasagna-soup

Then for my dinners I made a recipe from the NY Times – all I did differently was double the butternut squash (mainly by accident; I bought 2 containers of pre-cut squash and realized each had 3 cups – rather than just let one languish in my fridge, I cooked it up!). This might be one of my new favorite meals, like, ever. It fluffed up in the oven and looked so pretty! And it calls for nutmeg, so it smells like a combination of Christmas and my mom’s kitchen (she loves nutmeg!) in my house, which I love!

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015213-savory-butternut-squash-and-parmesan-bread-pudding

And I even made dessert! Earlier in the day I was debating whether I could handle buying ice cream at the grocery store and realized I wasn’t too excited about it, but I was craving granola (weird, yes) and still wanted something ice cream-ish – and then it came to me – frozen kefir! If you’re not drinking kefir I totally recommend it – on its own (plain/unsweeetened), it tastes like a very thick but drinkable yogurt. It’s made with probiotics so allegedly it’s great to help with tummy troubles (and god knows I have enough of those). You can buy flavored kefir but there’s added sugar; since I like mine tangy, I just get the plain kind. I played around a little on Google for a frozen kefir recipe but the ones I found all called for it to be blended with cream and then sweetened up. Instead I took matters into my own hands – I just threw a carton of kefir into my ice cream maker and added some granola and blueberries. Presto, a light dessert that I can actually handle – a small serving and I’m done!

Today was much better, food-wise – I ate my soup at lunch and my bread pudding at dinner (along with an orange earlier and a salad later), and had a green smoothie after my workout and my regular oatmeal for breakfast. Hopefully tonight I’ll just have some popcorn (I air pop it so it’s a very light snack) and some kefir and that’ll be it. I say “hopefully” because…that is the plan…but you never know. I don’t know why food sometimes has a hold over me, but at this point I’m more likely to indulge than fight it. There’s a blogger I follow who advocates “intermittent sampling,” and I’m all about it -basically when you have a craving, go get a taste of whatever it is, and then call it a day. Sometimes this works really well for me. Sometimes the sampling leads to straight-up overeating. We’ll see how it goes!

 

What’s Next?

Good Morning from my couch! I planned on going to an HIIT class and then yoga this morning, per my usual Sunday, but when I woke up I was still sore in my left hamstring and felt all-around tired (in a good way) and kept thinking about how I’ve read that you really do need to let yourself recover. It feels a little funny taking a rest day after only running 13 (during marathon training that was one of the better distances!), but I reminded myself of two things: 1. I haven’t run 13 since the marathon, and that was over 3 months ago, and 2. I was FAST yesterday! Granted, fast for me, but still – I gave myself quite a workout and I can take some recovery time.

I am still just so happy over yesterday’s race – I just can’t believe how quickly it went by! I just kept looking at the Garmin and seeing the mileage building up and being like “no way.” And seeing the results online – that there were nearly 500 people who finished AFTER I did – it’s just crazy!

This race taught me that I really can play with pacing – I read these training plans that have you run fast miles, slow miles, “easy” miles – and until very recently I just thought that I had two paces – I was either running or I was walking. But now I’m realizing that I can push it a bit when needed and that I can dial it back if I have to save energy. But I do need to work on it.

So what I’d like to do is take a whole week off from running, to let my legs recover (especially my hamstring) and gradually get back into it. I definitely want to stick with that treadmill class at the gym, but maybe just once a week – run a few intense miles with that class, run a few easier miles on the treadmill another day, and run a bit of a longer distance on the weekends. I Googled for advice on maintaining running fitness in-between training sessions and one Runner’s World article suggested long runs of 12 miles. That…doesn’t sound quite right for me. 8, sure, maybe 10, but if I’m simultaneously trying to let my legs recuperate and keep running, I think 12 is ambitious. In marathon training you don’t even get to 12 until several weeks into the plan, so I think I can let that one go!

What I’m hoping, and I’ve written a little about this before, is that I can take the “less is more” approach. I’ve read runner bloggers who really amp up their mileage, running 6 days a week, and see awesome results, but based on my injury last summer, I don’t think I’m one of them. One blogger I follow, based in London, has devised her own training plan where she only runs 3 times a week – two of those runs are a blend of speed and intensity, and the 3rd is her long run. I think that’s a more reasonable plan for me. Plus it lets me continue with strength training and yoga, which I’m hoping will all blend together and give me a much stronger all-around form.

We’ll see what happens! After yesterday I’m just really excited at the idea of resuming marathon training and improving. Let’s face it, I walked the last 9 miles of Chicago – there is PLENTY of room for improvement, even if it’s modest!

Looking ahead, I have a ton of travel between now and June (though my first two trips of 2016 have already been cancelled thanks to the snowstorm on the East Coast!), so I think this reduced running schedule will coincide nicely with all the time I’ll be spending in the air and napping in hotel rooms, trying to catch up on jet lag. Hopefully I’ll be able to start marathon training just as my travel winds down – we’ll see!

And with that I am off to get a pedicure (always a post-long run treat!) and groceries. For my East Coast friends – hope you’re able to dig out of the snow! For everyone – happy Sunday!

13.1!

Hello!

So happy to write about my awesome half this morning! Everything just went right – I felt so fast and almost Zen-like at times! But let me start at the beginning.

First, I haven’t written in a few days -I went to yoga on Wednesday but didn’t have much to say about it, and Thursday I just did my last pre-race run on the treadmill. I felt really good but was wondering if perhaps I’d been a bit too cavalier about this race – I really have only been training in earnest for a month or so, and have only run 3 days a week. There are plenty of training programs out there that advocate that kind of running, but I wasn’t sure if it was the best for me. I thought dialing it back would help keep any budding injuries in check but I didn’t know if I really needed extra running time to get stronger – suffice it to say, I was looking at today’s run as a bit of a science experiment.

Last night I went to Road Runner Sports to pick up my racing packet and decided to try on a pair of compression leggings. I’ve read mixed reviews about their efficacy – some people swear by them and others think whatever the pro-compression people are feeling is just ย a placebo effect, but none of the articles I read had any negative side effects – either you feel good or feel the same in them. They were PRICEY – the most I’ve ever spent on leggings for sure – but I figured what the hell – if they’re going to keep my hamstring in check, why not.

The beautiful thing about this particular race was the 10am start-time, which meant I could really sleep in! Everything was easy – I got up around 8, got an Uber shortly afterwards, got to Soldier Field in zero traffic, and got right inside the United Club to keep warm with all the other runners. Because it was around 30 degrees with very light wind, all I wore were my full-length leggings, a long-sleeved t shirt, gloves, and a fleece headband. I knew it was the right combo because you don’t want to overdo it on cold days (once you start to warm up you get sweaty, and then you have this non-stop chill…it’s really not pleasant!), but once we finally got outside and lined up in our corrals, I was freezing, especially on the back of my neck. A lot of runners had jackets with taller collars and I wish I’d had mine – but I knew I was dressed right. Sure enough, within 5 minutes of running I was feeling perfectly climate-controlled.

I positioned myself at the 11-minute mile. I expected my first few miles to be faster, but figured I’d slow down and even myself out at some point. Instead…I don’t even know what happened; I just started going and never really stopped! My Garminย says I averaged 10:45-minute miles, and kept all but two at under 11 minutes. The first hour I felt like I was flying. One change I made was to increase my walk/run to 6 minutes running, 1 walking, so I know that made a bit of a difference, but still – I just felt really strong and confident. I think a lot of it has to do with that treadmill class – granted I’ve only been going a few weeks, but it’s those intervals of speed and incline that pack a punch and I think are paying off in dividends!

Probably the best psychological boost during the race was at the turnaround point – the course was just an out-and-back, so at the 7-mile marker all you did was turn around along the same Lakefront trail that you ran to get out there. I couldn’t believe how many runners were behind me – ultimately I placed faster than 500 of them!

I never really hit a moment of exhaustion. I ate a banana about 45 mins before we started and then had one energy chew at the hour mark and another maybe 20 mins after that – I never even had the third. For 99% of the time my tummy behaved; it was only a few moments here and there that I thought some cramping was coming on – but thankfully it never actually materialized until after the race!

In the end I beat my last half marathon time (in April of 2015) by 10 minutes, which is significant even though it doesn’t sound like much! That was all I wanted to do going into this race – get a new Personal Record (PR). Mission accomplished!

My game plan now is to cut back on running – hopefully taking an entire week off and then easing back into it. I really want to keep up with the treadmill class – maybe going to that once a week, running a few miles on the treadmill another time, and then running a bit longer on weekends – but my priority is recovery. I took ibuprofen this morning and still felt my hamstring’s soreness, so I know I need to rest. And the compression leggings – eh – obviously I don’t know how it would have gone without them, but I can’t say that my great race was necessarily because of them either, you know?

I really wanted a great race to make me feel like I had another 26.2 in me, and this fit the bill (although the one thought I had when I finished was that no way did I have another 13.1 in me!). I am hoping that a combination of rest and time will prime me for being ready for summertime training. This week I entered the lottery for the NYC marathon; if that doesn’t work out then I will try my hand for Marine Corps and for Chicago again. So we’ll see what happens!

And now I am finally off to savor my first cup of coffee…at 3pm. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy weekend!

half

Vengeance is Mine!

My morning started terribly – well, for starters, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic over my job. Not any one particular thing (those I can usually handle) but the really good stuff – where am I going, will I be promoted, do I need to find another job, why are my peers all growing more quickly than I am, etc etc etc – the stuff with no easy answers. I finally got back to sleep only to be rudely awakened by my alarm clock, whereupon my very first thought of Jan 19, 2016 was: “How the hell is it only Tuesday?!!”

I proceeded with my morning routine but was kind of nerdily excited to add something new – I was going to make a green smoothie. With chia seeds. Oh I was going to become that girl.

But my new blender had other ideas – as soon as I poured the (unsweetened coconut, cuz that’s how I roll) milk into the pitcher, it leaked out the bottom and covered my countertop. I had no idea what happened – all I could do was mop it up as quickly as possible (naturally I was already running late) and would do a post-mortem once I got home.

Work was frustrating in ways that it usually isn’t, for reasons too dull and long to get into – suffice it to say, I just couldn’t shake my cranky mood. I DID make it to my treadmill class, and it was totally the highlight of my day – wow – I flipping love that class – but by mid-afternoon I was kind of slumped over again. It didn’t help that I am doing a volunteer thing on Friday and went to a training for it that was completely disorganized, and then still had work stuff that just wasn’t going right that I had to finish by the end of the day.

But then my spirits brightened – very long story short, I had to buy a new city parking sticker. Sounds simple enough but I tried to do it online and the city had no record of my car ever having entered Chicago, so I just assumed there would be drama at the office where I went to purchase the sticker in person. I feared DMV-ish lines and the accompanying personalities. NOPE – the entire process took maybe 5 minutes and the women who helped me were supremely nice. It was…a really really nice surprise!

Then I came home and further cleaned up the blender incident and tried to figure out where I went wrong – and I did! I didn’t realize I had to actually screw the pitcher into the base; my old blender just kind of snapped in. Mystery solved – and I WILL be making a green smoothie first thing tomorrow!

My one other victory was foam rolling. I don’t know why I avoid it – it’s a. good for you and b. not time consuming (my routine takes maybe 10 minutes tops), but I just don’t always get it in. With my half marathon just a few days away and my left hamstring in an unhappy place, I really need to be as loose as possible. Thankfully I did the rolling and did some stretches and will get back into my yoga game tomorrow.

So very excited to see what Wednesday brings, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a lovely evening, friends!

Like, Totally Fierce :)

Good evening!

Hope everyone had a great rest of the weekend – mine was spent safely indoors, away from the wind and cold!

I watched a really lovely movie last night called The Spirit of the Marathon. It was released in 2007-2008 and provided a look at a bunch of runners training for the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Two of them are famous (Deena Kastor and a Kenyan runner named Daniel Njenga), and three others were just regular Chicagoans. My only regret is not having watched this before my own marathon – I think it would have pumped me up even more! It was just really compelling and really familiar – the regular people featured trained on the same trails I run on and some trained with CARA, at the same starting location I did, so that was kind of wild too.

So sad though, because today at work I went to Wikipedia to learn more about the making of the movie. I searched one of the names of the regular people featured and found out she died just last year. In 2005 this woman had just wrapped up a messy divorce and began running to help get her life back on track, and she had this cutie pie of a daughter in most of her scenes. Now that girl is a teenager in high school and there are events to raise money to help fund her tuition. It’s weird when you kind of identify with someone and obviously have never met them, but feel a kinship. I guess that’s how a lot of people feel about celebrities. Anyway, just kind of poignant and sad.

Moving on though, I packed my gym bag this morning expecting to go to yoga on my lunch break. But it was so.flippin.cold on my walk to the L that I took my lazy shortcut and switched train lines, meaning I skipped about 10 minutes of walking that I typically enjoy. I know it was the right call – despite wearing tights, SmartWool socks, and tall boots, my toes were definitely numb by the time I got to the train – but I missed that walk! So I looked on my gym app to see if there were any other class options. I knew there was a strength class but I didn’t really need it since I did weights in my HIIT class yesterday. To my very happy delight, I found a kickboxing class!

I’ve done kickboxing on and off for well over 10 years. I think I’m good at it because it’s very choreographed and dance-y. I can’t say if my kicks are any stronger than anyone else in the class, but they’re definitely on the beat and I love the kick and punch combos. This was the perfect class for me today – I really felt my obliques kick in during some of the side kicks and I know my heart rate was up, but not too much up. I wanted moderate cardio and that’s exactly what I got – it worked out perfectly!

After work I took the train to the running store, for new sneakers. I’d been thinking that I could get a new pair in time for the half marathon but then convinced myself that I still had miles left in the tread. And then after kickboxing I noticed I definitely had a hole in my right sneaker, so a new pair it is! The funny thing is that this is common for me – I still have some bounce but I ALWAYS get a little hole or tear in the upper right toe area of my right sneaker, and sometimes in the same spot on the left shoe. So strange! I showed my sneakers to the shopgirl and she totally did this little post-mortem on the shoe – she said that based on how the tread was wearing down, she could tell I do more than just run, and that I was probably doing a lot of side to side action. That made sense since I DO do workouts other than running.

So PS, I am now the proud owner of a replacement pair of Brooks Adrenalines and a new pair of Pure Cadences, for my non-running workouts. Allegedly this is better for my feet and will help keep my running shoes in better shape for a longer period of time. We’ll see!

I also bought a fleece-lined wide headband for Saturday…I hate wearing hats and this is a good way to keep my ears warm!

Okay, that’s all for tonight! Off to eat dinner and get to bed!