Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cooking spree =

Cookie spree.

In semi-normal Sunday fashion, I cooked a bunch yesterday. I made a huge batch of brown rice for freezing, hardboiled eggs for the week, and a big pan of pasta/veggie/cheesy casserole for 4 dinners. I also made cookies. Oh so many cookies. I guess it was really the normal number of cookies, but it seemed like a lot because I then proceeded to eat them. All. Ok, not all, but a lot. Then I had more yesterday at work. My tummy is full of chocolate peanut butter goodness junk.

Nick was feeling better this weekend so we started putting up garage door openers. Who would have thought that this would be such an empowering experience (and I've never used the word empowering in my life... it's a ridiculous word). 

This innocent looking feller was a bugger to install (and it's not  anywhere near done yet!!). I used a circular saw, drilled "pilot holes" and worked with Nick to fasten it to the ceiling.... neat! I don't actually create stuff all that often, so it was a nice change. Then last night I installed new toilet seats. I feel so accomplished.

 Last night's run was... weird. I did 0.25 miles at 5.0, then 0.25 at 7.5, repeat until 3.0 miles. I was going to then do some shorter ones (I felt really good...that was why it was so weird), but my tummy started acting up so I just cooled down for a minute and biked for 10 mins. Then I did some push ups (I have a sneaking suspicion my form sucks), bicycles, leg lifts and tricep dips. Funsies.

Still chugging along.. somewhere around 53 miles done in 2012. I'll get there eventually....

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Goals are great (I swear someday I'll talk about something other than goals. Promise.). They're motivating, give us something to work toward, yadda. For me, they also mean that a schedule on a page can make me super grumpy. This week, I was looking forward to my first! week! of! 20! miles! to actually get on track for 1000 miles in 2012. Well... then life happened. I ran 5.66 on Monday, ellipticalled on Tuesday (I don't like to run too many days in a row because it's led to injury in the past), and yesterday I had big plans to run after work again. I had a work dinner that started at 5, so I packed workout clothes and also a towel so I could shower after working out. And then I left them at home. No biggie, just go home and run? That all hinged on leaving work at 3pm, no later. I walked out the door at 3:25.

Surprise twist: I didn't run. Nick was home sick, so cuddling with him for a few minutes, watching TV and painting my nails won out over running at most 3 miles in the cold, then rushing to get ready and rushing to dinner. Not appealing.

Now I have that run looming over me.

That brings us to today. I woke up in the middle of the night with a raging UTI (TMI, you're welcome), and drugged myself with some painkillers. I slept poorly, dragged myself to work and am now fighting the nausea that comes from drinking 3 bottles of cranberry juice when one's stomach is NOT used to it. I'm already thinking about how unpleasant the rest of my day is going to be unless I get antiobiotics (appointment request has been submitted... now just need a call back!). And I'm thinking about how unlikely it is that I will get around to a quality run when I feel as icky as I do.

Second run of the week that won't happen as I had desired. I am feeling pretty derailed. The positivity of having this goal is overshadowed by the lameness of stuff getting in the way. I know it's only January but still... boo. I also know forcing myself to run while sick is a stupid idea so... I don't know. I'm grumpy and tired of cranberry juice and having to pee every 2 minutes, so my thoughts are clouded.

How about some good news?

This is what the outside of my orange looked like yesterday:

Creepy. but I withheld judgment

And this is the inside:

Yum. Definitely worth the peeling effort.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mini-goals- week 4


1. No more work candy (January 3)
             Update: I ate Toblerone yesterday. Someone call the candy police.

...okay, that's a super bad attitude, I know. I made this a goal because it was a bad habit, but, as with all things absolute, I tend get resistant and rebel. The Toblerone was not a crime, and it was a special occasion vs. the mindless Hershey Kiss grabbing I normally do. So I'm ok with this one.

2. Stop picking/biting at my nails (January 10).
Poor resolution/focus means you can't see how chipped my nails are... I guess until all the peeling grows out I need to keep them super short? And painted? I have been doing a lot better about not biting, but annoying hangnails and such need to be addressed (read: I'm still gross and put my hands in my mouth. ugh.)

3. Artificial sweetener elimination (January 17)- I actually had about a million chances to get a diet Coke this weekend, and I resisted despite needing caffeine.

4. Say "like" less (January 24)- such an annoying filler word. I'm enlisting Nick to help with this one, and hopefully sound less like a valley girl and more like a 26 year old.

In other news: 43.56 miles for the year so far, after a triumphant 5.66 miles on the treadmill yesterday while watching Mythbusters. That made the time pass super quick. Annnnd.... only 956.44 miles left (fun fact: at 10 min/mile, that means I still have 159.4 hours of running left this year, or a little less than a week straight of running. That almost seems doable!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Planning landslide


I find that I do my best planning in short bursts, and then completely lose any motivation in between these bursts. Example 1: last Sunday Nick and I planned our meals for the week, I cooked and froze stuff, and we ate like kings solely off of frozen foods. Example 2: this weekend, we got to days that I had not planned for, and I was at a loss. Evidenced by a delicious Wawa cheesy sandwich for lunch and pizza for dinner lon Sunday... not bad, just definitely convenience food. Add to that I was chugging cranberry juice (read: sugar water) all day in order to fight off an impending UTI. It goes without saying my stomach was a monster all afternoon and evening and made it so I slept poorly. Lame.

Here's a snapshot that makes my weekend look like way less fun than it actually was:
I like my boyfriend, and I like dancing, but dancing WITH him? Meh.

I am assured there are more flattering pictures of me out there, but this is what I have available so far. We had a work party at the Air and Space Museum in DC-- pretty much the coolest venue ever. It was a lot of fun. We got to go watch a planetarium show, and they had IMAX movies available also. So neat! Not pictured are the many glasses of white wine that kicked my butt and led to the complete lack of planning on Sunday. If we eat Spaghettio's all week, it was the wine's fault.

On Friday I ran for 31 minutes at an ~8:20 pace. I don't know who swapped out my legs for fast ones, but I'll totally take it. I took the entire weekend off of working out. And I'm happy about that.

So, an actual meal/workout plan? Would be nice.

Monday: gym (5 miles), grocery store, home to make white bean and rosemary soup and eat leftover chili.
Tuesday: gym?, beans for dinner
Wednesday: gym maybe (5 more miles!), out for dinner (work thing at a seafood restaurant... baked potato here I come), come home and make pasta thing
Thursday: swim, pasta thing
Friday: run, out for dinner again (work thing, again)
Saturday: run or TV workout or something... then pasta thing? beans? out? Maybe?

Good things about this plan: gets me to the gym. Bad things: lots of dinners out. But I'll take free food.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 mini-goals

I'm a couple days late in updating my 2012 mini goals, but so far, so good! Let's have a recap:

1. No more work candy (January 3)
             Update: Yeah, maybe I need to be more specific, because during a work function yesterday, I was             chomping on cookies like a mofo, and I justified it by "meh, it's not work CANDY." Oh, me. Not                even an hour later I had some candy... but it was from someone individually, not my boss' dish, so I             justified that too. I am so silly.
2. Stop picking/biting at my nails (January 10).
            Update: Better... overall. I have been mindful of keeping my fingers out of my mouth and not pick,             then yesterday I tried to open a container and 2 of my nails started peeling in all different directions            and I had to peel them until I no longer had rough edges. I'm a mess. I definitely am making            headway. The biggest help for me so far has been using hand lotion. First, it makes my hands prettier            so I am less likely to pick. Second, it makes them taste terrible, so I am less likely to bite. Win win!

And here's this week's-

3. Artificial sweetener elimination (January 17)- this was going to be "no more diet soda" but I really don't have trouble with that. I go through phases of drinking Diet Coke like it's my job, but those are few and far between, and usually occur when I'm in a weird work situation or am eating out a lot. I get into trouble with parties where Rum and Diet coke is my drink of choice. It would be better to become a vodka tonic type of girl (just need to learn to not hate tonic?), or stick to beer which is more filling and less instantly intoxicating anyways. So. Diet Coke? Shouldn't be a problem. Overall, I think I eat almost nothing with artificial sweeteners (except my Vitamin C supplement...sorry but that's not going away). So why am I even making this a goal? First- it's a nice freebie. And with this crazy nail biting moratorium, I need a freebie. But also, it will make me at least a little more aware of the ingredients in what I'm eating. And that's definitely a good thing.

Here's a preview of some upcoming goals:
-stop buying things that break the 5 ingredient rule (cheerios? please be simply made... I needz you)
-stop saying "Like"
-stop playing with my hair as a nervous tic

I'm going to be the most self-controlled, healthy person by the end of 2012. Or insane. One of the two.

Sleep marathon

I really need one of those. I got to work at 5:50 Tuesday and Wednesday morning. That's 10 minutes till 6. Two days in a row. Even though I got in a full hour later today, I'm still feeling a little draggy.

I made these the other night though, and they are delicious! Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Nom. They were for my coworkers.. it's the 1 year anniversary of one of my big projects, and they needed a big thank you from me for dealing with the difficulties that we've dealt with along the way.

29 cupcakes with nuclear green frosting.

Bohr model of the atom... sorta :)

Random ions.

Monday night I ran 5.5 on the treadmill at work and it was... meh. My shins were hurting. I ended the run feeling burnt out, but not in a good way, and my stomach was in knots. Bleh. Then I finished with some tricep dips and other random plyo stuff. Once I got home I had some chili (so. much. chili.) and felt a little better, but ugh, severe stomach upset after running is getting pretty old. Wish my body didn't suck so much.
A tummy... holding its tummy. I'm so glad the internet exists.

Last night's run was... less bad? I don't know. I was going to do intervals, but the treadmill at work is kind of dumb about intervals. You set the total time, jog and run speeds, and overall incline, but cannot change incline for the jog vs. run or set the interval time, so I started off with an hour, 5.0 slow speed, 6.5 fast speed, and no other guidance... I have a hard time with that. I did 3 minutes (0.25 mile) at jog, then sped it up and felt comfortable... so I went 1.25 at the run speed. Not exactly an interval there. Another 2 mins @ jog, then 13 mins at run speed. Still feeling ok, so I bumped up the run speed for the next interval.. and crashed. Eked out 7 minutes of running, then did some fairly slow speed stuff to finish up with 5.5 miles. The whole run, my stomach felt terrible, but at least I didn't need to stop. Oh well.

Swimming with Nick tonight! Yay!

34.3 miles for 2012.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cooking marathon

Nick is an omnivore, but he is the best kind of omnivore- he's ok with eating meat on his own time and eating dinners we can both enjoy when we're together. I'm not at all against cooking meat, but it is definitely a lot easier if we can cook just one meal for the both of us. This brings me to my ridiculous cooking marathon this weekend.

I started on Friday night with an experiment. I've had a crockpot for ages and love it, but I have only come up with a handful of recipes for it. Since I'm not a huge recipe follower anyways, I decided to wing it with the slow cooker... and that yielded interesting results. I combined 2 cans of beans, some corn, peas, chopped onions, garlic and carrots, with fresh rosemary, italian seasoning, and vegetable broth. Then I added pasta, but way too early. The pasta soaked up SO much liquid, and I ended up adding more... and more.. and more... until the entire 6 quart container was full. Oops. At the end of 4 hours on high, the carrots were still really undercooked but the pasta (that I added with about 2 hours of cooking time left) were disintegrating. Oh well. That made 3 largeeeee dinners and 3 lunches.

Saturday was spent running around all day and buying house stuff. House stuff is expensive! We got garage door openers (there are 2 doors on his garage. it is huge), and new doorknobs. It added up quick.

I was so sad about spending money on totally useful stuff that I had to spend money on something totally useless- new dress(es) for a work party this weekend. I bought this one:
They made me sign a release form stating that I will only wear it while looking wistful... is that normal?

And I also bought this one:
For this one, I had to practice my come hither look and swear to accesorize with glowing skin. It came with a sample of exfoliator. I really need to shop at some new stores.

I bought 2 because I am indecisive... one of them will be returned. I also need to take a long hard look at the dresses I already own and figure out if one of them might be suitable. This is only problematic because most of my fancier dresses were bought at different weights, and I hate feeling schlumpy in things that are not fitted properly.

Where was I? Oh right, cooking. In between the dress buying. Sunday I made another vat of chili. It made approximately 5 quarts. That's 3 dinners and 4 lunches. Yikes. We had pasta for dinner, with 3 lunches worth of leftovers. I also made pasta salad as another lunch/side dish for this week. Our freezer currently looks pretty ridiculous.

Why am I making all this food? I honestly couldn't tell you. Part of me is just so happy to have someone to cook for again. Nick appreciates my cooking and is an honest, but nice, consumer of my dishes. I like the chance to be creative. And, of course, I loveeeee cooking! I think the other reason is that I'm a little stressed about work. We're about to shift into an intense 9 weeks of 12-13 hour days. Luckily, it is only 5 days a week... last year I worked 6 days a week. This year I'm also on day shift for at least the next 4 weeks, which is excellent. I'm getting a little bit into packrat mode though because last year this time turned into snack city-- I brought delicious salads to work and still managed to eat SO much crap, just because it was there. And I gained about 10 lbs. I've sort of overcome my "because it's there" urge. Kinda. Sorta. Hopefully getting into the swing of eating yummy and homemade dinners will help me resist fruit snacks when they appear everywhere.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Quarter marathon

When I initially came up with my "1000 miles in 2012" plan, I had mentally planned out 5 miles, 4 times a week, repeat 50 times. I had not really planned to do 5 miles the first week and 18.3 the next. For anyone who is counting: no, I did not reach 20 either week. I'm losing already (or these can just be my 2 "free" weeks for the year. Best to get those pesky things out of the way early anyways).

Nick and I headed out Saturday late afternoon for a run of indeterminate length. We had skipped a planned run on Friday and I felt all sorts of workout guilt, so I think I started the run a little aggressively because I was craving a nice burn. Well, I was waiting on Nick to tell me when he wanted to turn around.. and waiting.. and waiting. I checked in a couple of times and he was still chugging along. About 3 miles in, he suggested we just go to the bridge, a point where we would have to turn around. I knew we were still a good mile from there, but was feeling ok, so we did it. I looked at my watch (my Garmin wasn't charged so I just used my phone for an unofficial timer) and it had been 35 minutes. For 4 miles. That is so not my pace. Granted, it was a net downhill run, but still... I'm a 9-10 minute mile kind of girl. That's more like 8:45 pace for 4 miles! On the way back I felt like we were dragging a big, but we made it to about 5.8 miles before we started walking, then walked/jogged the last 2.2 home in the dark. It was really invigorating and I don't think Nick or I expected to run that far that night! I'm so proud he was able to hang in there, since that's the longest run he's ever done, and having him along definitely pushed me both for distance and time! We're a good pair.

The only unpleasant side effect of an unexpected long run? Unexpected soreness. My shins are KILLING me today (maybe from the hills? maybe I need new shoes?). I'm going to knock out 5 easy this afternoon and some lifting and hopefully the soreness turns out to be temporary. I really need to be more on track with consistently getting miles in so I'm not so far below my needed miles so early in the year. Boo.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hardest thing I've ever done

I have nervous tics. I know this. I'm a fidgeter, which research has said is actually good for my health. However, this is annoying to everyone, especially me, when I suddenly become aware I'm swiveling in my chair, tapping my pen, playing with my hair, or, most often, doing something really annoying with my nails. I am writing about this because a friend asked about my post Wednesday and said, "I never notice you messing with your nails, aren't they usually painted?" Yes, they are, so that I can keep from tearing them to pieces. The minute I unpaint them, or often before then, I end up picking or biting them. Ugh.

These are my nails today:
It's difficult to see here, but they are splitting and peeling, basically just asking to be picked at.. sigh.

And this is how they look after about 12 hours of being painted.
I'm a picker! I envy people with nice, strong nails (mine can't even be used for opening a can of soda without tearing, and sometimes even an energetic back scratch screws them up), and I would really like to be one of them. However, I've caught myself about 75 times in the last 24 hours just picking away at my nails. It's a mindless thing that I need to try reallllly hard to fix. Quitting coffee (temporarily) was easier than this. I know about products like these that are supposed to stop biting, but picking is another story. We'll see how this goes. 3 weeks till I'm cured... hopefully!

Wednesday's run: 5.2 miles in 51 minutes. That's 5 miles in 51 minutes, then 5.1 in 51, then 5.2 in 51. It hurts to go faster but it feels good! 984.7 left for the year :)

I also followed up my workout with 2 sets of: 10 biceps @ 25 lbs, 10 pull downs @ 80 lbs, 10 triceps @ 25 lbs, and 20 weight-free plie squats (which are a fun way to instantly feel better about your leg muscles!). I also did middle/side/middle/side/middle planks @ 45 seconds each.

Yesterday's workout- swimming!!! Nick came swimming with me. He is new to swimming for exercise, but I'm really excited to maybe have a swimming buddy. I did 1000 meters and then went and ate an epic pizza. Feta makes pizzas so, so good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How many more miles?

Ok, so I resolved to attempt to run 1000 miles in 2012. Uh. Yeah. I currently need to run 989.9 more! That's it! I'm out of the 990's.

Long story short: I'm moving and I've only run twice since the New Year. I suck.

Long story long: I'm moving in with Nick! Yay! This is exciting, but of course it means the stress and fun times that come with moving. I'm lucky because I'm not on a set schedule of "you have to be out of your current place by January ##" but I'm still trying to complete the move as efficiently as possible. I'm currently at about 80% moved, and the remaining ~20% is big furniture, which I don't have much of.

One run a week? Not my idea of a good time, but I know it is temporary. For instance, today's run will be another 5 miles or so, and will bring me solidly into the 980's. Tiny victories.

As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to change a series of small things in 2012. I was going to do one every 3 weeks, but I'm pretty much the best ever at new habits (sarcasm), so bypassing the work candy dish has not been a challenge. I was never too much of a candy monster anyways, so it's definitely not a hardship. Therefore, I've decided to cycle through my "new habits" each week, so I'm building on old habits while starting new ones. That'll total up to hopefully around 50 little changes throughout the year, but they'll be categorized. Since the first was a health/nutrition habit, I'd like to have my next one be some sort of life habit.

1. No more work candy (January 3)

nomnomnom... I mean.. these don't interest me in the slightest!

2. Leave your nails alone, Laurel, they look terrible! Stop picking/biting at my nails (January 10).

Yeah, considering I still can't stop my brain from replaying the time I tripped walking up the stairs 6 months ago, I assure you I would be an utter failure at "self-hypnosis," especially since I find nail picking way relaxing. I'm gross. I know. I'll stop.

What will next week hold?! Who knows!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Justifying my habits

I had an unspoken goal that I was going to make a bunch of tiny lifestyle changes in 2012. "Experts agree it takes 21 days to form a habit." (although I can't find any actual evidence of this...). 21 days = 3 weeks = 17.3 twenty-one day periods in a year. The first of my tiny goals was to quit weekday coffee. I have done this approximately 100 times in the last 2 years, and I fail each time. My basis for the goal this time? Some vague understanding of coffee being inflammatory  and affecting adrenal function (I read too much but research too little). Actual research can be found here. And more layman friendly info can be found here.

Take-home message: I'm not actually doing my health any favors by foregoing caffeine, and I might be hurting my cholesterol levels. Another reason I had for quitting was that it made taking my iron in the morning unduly complicated. I had to time my morning with a 6:30 multivitamin, 7:30 Cheerios and Iron, 8:30 coffee. If I disruptued this schedule with meetings or whatever, I was all out of whack, missing my caffeine or not being able to take my iron until later. Just annoying, but workable. My third reason for quitting was pure vanity- I like my teeth being blindingly white. Really, just white enough to push the bounds of reality. Really, really white:

Disclaimer: not my teeth. Mine are actually 57 shades whiter.

White teeth are not a reason to give up glorious, delicious coffee and the delightful effects of caffeine. Inconvenience is, but whatever.

So, today, January 5, I resolve to start a new habit: one cup of coffee a day, every day I feel like it. If it doesn't jive with my iron intake, I'll skip it. I hope to continue this habit for at least 21 days, and beyond.

Now for a new goal: no work candy dish. 21 days started 1/3, should be less upsetting to bypass yummy candy by 1/24, when I'll tackle something new.

5/1000 miles in 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tired Beastie

I slept funky last night, as I often do. It took forever to fall asleep, despite being pretty exhausted. This is in part because I think I have a family of these in my attic:
Aww. Cute. Now leave my house.

The other night Nick gave me the awesome mental image of whatever is living in my attic walking up next to the bed and scratching my leg. In his description, it would touch my leg really sweetly, but my weird brain couldn't erase that image as I laid in bed last night. I also abstained from my normal nightly search of the house, including closets, because I've decided that's the thing that really sets me apart as being a weirdo..... yeah. The mental movie that replays regarding that is someone will wait until my heat turns on, because my heat pump is SUPER loud, and then sneak up and kill me. And obviously, they've been lingering somewhere in my house, watching me shower, eat, and generally be oblivious, but they wait to attack me until I'm asleep...and my heat turns on.

Stop being so damn creative, brain.

Also fun is that my Comcast cable has been possessed lately. It almost never starts up, I cannot access OnDemand without disconnecting my HD receiver and plugging it back in. I need to call Comcast and just cut the cord, because I'm just about done with that frustration. The other night, I got home and, since I had run the day before, I wanted to do one of the OnDemand workouts. I was psyched, got all dressed, and then it didn't work. And even after unplugging and replugging and doing a special dance and cussing, it still didn't work. Sigh. So I went to pump up my bike tires.

Now in a wide range of tool-y fluorescent colors!

Again, all dressed and ready. I started pumping. I got one tire in, and the second one just wouldn't hold pressure. To top it off, my vigorous pumping broke the damn bike pump. Arg. I ended up doing some made up Tabata intervals, making myself feel like a slug, and being grumpy.

Long story short, I'm easily frustrated and should probably stick to running. And sleeping.