Um…Hello, my name is Awkward…

Alrighty. An awkward and difficult subject for me to discuss.  My recent tummy issues.  This isn’t meant to be a “woe is me” post (I don’t feel sorry for myself at all with this). It’s just an “FYI” post.  I’m not a doctor, don’t pretend to be, and have no medical training.  But here’s the “sitch”.

Some background info: Since I was 17, I’ve dealt with GERD, heartburn, indigestion, and IBS-like symptoms.  Not every day, and lately (thanks to diet, exercise and my own awareness), just inconveniently.   After 3 years of tests, “You’re just stressed” excuses, lots of weight loss, and gastrointestinal symptoms, I developed UTI symptoms (bladder pain & sensitivity, urethral pain, frequency [we’re talking bathroom trips every 15 minutes], back pain near my kidneys, etc.) even though tests always came back negative for a UTI and more IBS symptoms.  Add on awful headaches and anxiety and I was just a big ball of fun…Fortunately, my physician was wonderful and supportive and didn’t just blow it off as stress or “female problems” (UGH!). I met with a urogynecologist (who is super sweet and a wonderful support system) who performed a cystoscopy with distention test and diagnosed me with Interstitial Cystitis (IC).  My physician that referred me also was diagnosed with IC and her symptoms mostly present themselves as gastrointestinal too, which led her to her suspicion.  A bit more info about IC can be found here.

Basically, we all have a protective lining inside our bladder that keeps irritants in our urine from irritating our bladder.  Patients with IC have somehow “lost” this, allowing anything that enters our body and is filtered through the bladder to irritate the bladder.  “Lifestyle change” is the most common and usually the most effective treatment.  But it’s not an easy change.  Love caffeinated coffee?  Can’t have it. Love pineapple? No way – can’t even smell it without my bladder hurting. Cheddar cheese?  Negative. Soda? HAHAHA, funny.  Tomato sauce (pizza, spaghetti, lasgana, salsa)? Not unless I’m ready to deal with the side effects. Any and all fruit? Mostly no.  Excess sugar & food dyes (like candy)? Nope.  Love to run? Why yes, but the “jolt” I put my body through sometimes makes my bladder hurt for a few days after.  Sounds fun right?  Here’s a great website and comprehensive list of diet restrictions: IC Network

Physicians don’t really know what causes IC and don’t exactly know how to classify it.  They think it’s semi-auto immune disorder and semi-nervous system disorder.  But one thing they DO know and I can vouch 100%: “Interstitial cystitis can have a profound adverse effect on your quality of life. Support from family and friends is important, but because the condition is a urinary problem, you may find the topic difficult to discuss.”  YES and YES.  After getting mine under control through an intense year of medicine, diet experiments, and permanent lifestyle changes, I still have good days and bad. Some days I forget I have it and have no symptoms, even after eating my “red light” and “yellow light” foods.  Some things I just can’t avoid or give up if I want to live a healthy lifestyle (yogurt, fruit, etc.). Some nights I’m up every hour to go to the bathroom. And some days I’m doubled over in pain.  Other days (usually around a flare up) all I can do is cry – from frustration and it’s just a symptom I’ve noticed always pops up when it’s about to get rough.  Something even more awesome: IC is often associated with IBS (HELLO!), migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, and several “down there” issues.  All of which add to IC’s affect on relationships (personal & intimate), quality of life, and emotional issues.  Can you imagine always scanning for restrooms at any place you visit (grocery store, friend’s house, baseball stadium, work, conferences, air ports, etc.) and always timing your fluid intake with your knowledge of restroom access and availability? A two-hour meeting? I’m sent into a panic and a plan of action. A four-hour car ride?  I always tack on an extra hour for bathroom stops.

I keep this “elephant” very private since we all have issues, and it’s a very personal issue.  “Hey everyone! Let’s talk about our bathroom habits, shall we?!”  Right…not awkward at all.

SOOOOO, this leads to my recent tummy issues that have surfaced in the last week.  If my body isn’t kept in equilibrium (eating the right foods for my body, getting enough sleep, keeping a healthy balance of exercise, etc.) my body rebels.  Yes, everyone’s does at some point.  But mine reacts in an insane physical inflammatory response (hence any IC or IBS symptoms that present themselves).  While I very well could have had a strange form of bacteria or a virus that was causing the pain and upset, it’s most likely my body was responding to my lack of attention.

While I handle this with ease (most of the time), it really only really bothers me when it hinders my fitness goals.  So on Sunday when I had to stop suddenly at Mile 7 with one more mile to go because of awful cramping, I was so mad, disappointed, sad, and frustrated, not only in myself (which is silly), but because it can sometimes be SO out of my control.  Even if I am doing everything correctly and precisely, these issues can still pop up.  How DUMB is that?!

And so, I leave with a big high-five and a hug for anyone that deals with this condition, deals with similar symptoms, or deals with a condition that is somewhat out of his/her control or limits daily activities.  You all rock!  🙂

Long Weekend, Memorial Day Fun

Can I tell you something?  I love summer.  My job in student affairs makes summer feel like it did when I was a kid.  I still have to work in the summer, but since the students are home, the office is quiet and we finally have a chance to use up our vacation time.  To take advantage of the 3-day weekend, I took Friday off, turning it into a 4-day weekend.  And it was glorious.

Friday was my “do nothing day”.  I went to Boot Camp in the morning, ran an easy 2 miles to get my legs ready for the race, then plopped on the couch and didn’t move until my dentist appointment at 1:30.  Lovely.

Saturday was race-day followed by typical Saturday errands and tending to my poor tummy with lots of crackers and couch time.

Sunday?  Oh you know…Sunday Runday and hard core leg workouts.  I ran 7 miles, and walked 1 (I had another side stitch and cramping that slowing down and breathing couldn’t fix).  The side stitch/pain continued into the day…which is how I know it wasn’t really a side stitch but just part of my unhappy gut.  More on this later…

Monday – Memorial Day.  One of my favorite holidays ever.  My mom and I met up with some family to my hometown’s 145th Memorial Day Parade, the oldest Memorial Day Parade in the nation.  Cool, huh? 🙂  I love our traditions surrounding this holiday (our country’s and my family’s)…it gives me cold chills!

Uptown Alton, our parade location

Scout sitting patiently, watching the parade.

Then the bands passed by with their loud drums…my lap was her parade-watching location preference for the rest of the parade.

She looks less than pleased to get a picture with her mommy.

We wrapped up the day with delicious “summer holiday” food:  grilled chicken kabobs, brats, baked beans (sinfully good), potatoes, and ice cream.  MMMHMM!  I do love summer!

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

 

Bonifest 5K Recap

Oh dear.  Saturday’s 5K.  Not my prettiest performance, but I still finished in 29:30, 15/37 in my age group.  So it was still a good finish, but the in-betweens were not so great.  I started my morning with the same tummy issues I’ve been dealing with since early last week.  I’ve been waking up feeling fine, then not even 10 minutes after the alarm, my stomach and intestines start cramping.  WHYYYY?!  So I treated my body gingerly before the race, taking tiny sips of water, only eating 1 piece of toast w/peanut butter and honey.  My whole abdomen still managed to cramp.  I’ve been developing side stitches, even during easy 3-milers (very weird).  Needless to say, I had the side stitch from hell during the race and it forced me to WALK!  I’ve nevvvvver in my running “career” walked during a race or training run.  In fact, in this race, I had to walk twice because the side stitch/cramp was so bad.  I was so disappointed in myself. I know, I know…I need to lighten up on myself.  It’s just a race, it’s just a run, and it doesn’t define me.  But I still let it.  Silly, I know.
I finished in a dead sprint – my signature in 5Ks…I leave just enough in the tank to zoom past everyone and finish really strong.  Because of the heat, and pushing myself, and my tummy issues, I immediately thought I was going to lose my breakfast upon crossing the finish line.  I quickly walked to the water tent, sipped on some water and grape Kool-Aid (Hello, childhood!) and waited for my friend to finish.  I had a few minutes to compose myself and I saw her enter the “chute”.  Ok, it wasn’t a chute, it was just the last straight-away leading to the finish line.  With my water & Kool-Aid in hand, I ran the last leg with her, encouraging her to finish strong and happy.

Next time I run a 5K and a friend is running too, I might just run with them for fun and not worry about my time.  I had so much fun running with her in the last few seconds of her race.  Note to self: quit taking everything (especially running) so seriously. In the last week, I’ve run with more people than I have in the entire 3 years I’ve been running.  And I’ve had a blast.

We treated ourselves to free beer post-race.  I never liked the idea of drinking a beer after a race and never understood why people flock to the beer tent after a race.  Usually I just crave water, Gatorade, or fruit (oranges, grapes, etc.). But WOW did that beer taste amazing.  I was actually excited for the carbonation to hopefully settle my tummy.  And it did.  The beer was colder than the bottle of water.  No wonder people prefer beer over water after races.

We continued our treat-fest by getting pedicures immediately after the race.  We hung around for a bit to finish our beer and claim our door prizes (I won a free oil-change…woo!) but sped off for pedicure-city.  We were still pretty sweaty & stinky, but I’m telling you, a pedicure after a race is the best thing in the world.  You know that feeling of taking off your shoes & socks after a long, hot run?  Imagine that feeling x10!  Oh my goodness, I still can’t get over how fantastic my feet felt after that pedicure.  Pain then pedicure.  Definitely worth it!

My next 5k is scheduled for this Saturday.  Free Girl Scout cookies at the end of this race…I just hope it’s a bit cooler!

Mmmmm....beer!

Mmmmm….beer!

Word of the Day & Clean Recipe

The word of the day is “tired”. Oh and “tummy ache” and “meh”.  My Wednesday morning workout was not my typical Wednesday morning workout.  I woke up tired from what seemed to be a restless night (not sure if it was or if it was just my imagination) and my tummy felt uneasy.  My legs and body felt a bit tired from yesterday’s boot camp & run so I immediately ruled out my speed work on the treadmill and opted for a nice, easy run: 3 miles at a 10:20/mile pace.  Ok, it was really 2.84 miles and I developed a side stitch and called it quits.  Which is fine since I have a race this Saturday and any speed work or mileage covered today wouldn’t have really helped me anyway.  [This is me rationalizing to myself that it’s ok that I didn’t have a great workout…haha].  But really, it is ok.  A bad run or workout every so often is perfectly normal.  It’s just our body’s way of saying “Meh, not feeling it today”.  And today I mentally and physically just wasn’t feeling it.  I did do a few rounds of weights (legs day still…boo) and completed a normal Wednesday finisher on the bike.  Since my calves are uber-sore from all the jumping in boot camp yesterday, I spent a few minutes on the foam roller (or what I like to call “the toothbrush for my muscles”).

Given my tummy ache, I haven’t had an appetite for much today, nor have I been productive in the least.  I don’t even have a hankering for water like I normally do.  Regardless, I’m pretty excited to go home, slip on my comfy clothes and park my booty on the couch.

I did make a fabulous, delicious, healthy, and clean chocolate chip cookie last night though.  It’s a recipe I found on Gracious Pantry. I just love this blog and do try to eat/cook clean as much as possible.  Although with my on-the-go lifestyle that can prove to be fairly difficult.  Regardless, I still try.  And I always feel so much better.  Here’s the recipe:

—————————————————————————–
Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Tools
Food processor
Large mixing bowl
Spatula

Ingredients
2/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cooked oatmeal
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or dairy free chips)

Note: If you don’t want to use the chocolate chips, they could be very easily substituted with raisins, nuts or dried fruits of any kind.

Directions

Step 1 – Mix everything except the chocolate chips in the food processor. You should have a nice wet, sticky dough when you’re done.

Step 2 – Using your spatula, scrape dough into your mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips.

Step 3 – Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Step 4 – Bake for 20 minutes.

Eat and Enjoy!

Nutritional Content varies depending on size of cookie.

—————————————————————-

These cookies took no time at all to make and were so easy!  Since I’d never worked with this kind of “batter” before, I didn’t think to press the cookies down moreso than I already did and they turned out a little more chewy than I would have liked.  Perhaps pressing them “thinner” and baking for a few minutes longer might add a bit more crunch.  But these will be chewier than the typical chocolate chip cookie everyone is used to.  I used sugar-free honey (yes, I know, it’s technically imitation honey) so aside from the chocolate chips (I used Toll House…not clean, sorry), they were sugar free.  AWESOME!

Happy Hump Day everyone!  Today is technically my Thursday since I am off on Friday, but I won’t rub it in 🙂

Cupcake Update & Workouts

Hey there, friends.  So sorry for the lack of posts.  2 1/2 days off last week made me super lazy and I ended up vegging on the couch watching insane amounts of TV and movies.  I have a few movie reviews and TV show reviews to provide…fun 🙂

Remember the Great Cupcake Challenge?  Well, I’m already off to a good start and had the opportunity to try the Mocha Cappuccino and Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes. YUM and YUM!

First up: Mocha Cappuccino

MOCHA CAPPUCCINO

Ask anyone, I’m a sucker for coffee-related anything. Ice cream (especially ice cream), coffee cake, chocolate covered espresso beans, coffee itself.  You name it, I love it.  In fact, I’ve been obsessed (yes, obsessed) with coffee ice cream since I was 10 and sampled Kona Coffee ice cream in Hilo, Hawaii.  I fell in love and have never looked back.  So to have a moist dark chocolate cupcake with coffee-flavored icing? That’s just what my hormones needed.  Fabulous!

Next: Raspberry Truffle

RASPBERRY TRUFFLE

I wasn’t 100% sure if I’d be in love with this one.  I love raspberries, I LOOOOVE chocolate (dark chocolate, really), and I love raspberry cake. So I don’t know why I doubted this one.  But…sorry Mocha Cappuccino, this one was hard to stop eating.  I ate half on the way to visit my mom (who was waiting on my dad’s surgery to end). I had a good 30-minute drive to have the rest of that decadent cupcake staring at me…but I resisted and thought my mom could benefit more from the moist raspberry cake, raspberry filling, and chocolate ganache frosting.  Oh yeah.  It hit the spot.

Workout Rundown

Well, since I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in TWO cupcakes last week, what’s more appropriate than planning out the workouts and training sessions, eh?

Sunday: Typical Sunday Runday and Gospel Workout. This past Sunday I completed a 7-mile run on the bike trails which means my pace was much faster (and more natural) than on the treadmill.  It was a great run (up at 6am to beat the heat) and I ran a comfortable 10:15/mile pace.  Then I drove to the gym where I tanked my legs & glutes.  The weight session was less than stellar but I finished off with a great 30-minute, 1-minute interval bike session that turned my performance around.  Amazing beginning & end.

Monday: Off-day. Wahoo!  How do I deal with my Mondays? A nice treat of sleeping in and “I don’t have to workout today!”.  Of course, I love working out, but the mind and body needs its rest days. As much as I love off-days, I dread them just as much  because my body is ready for all those extra calories I need to consume during moderate-hard workout days.  But I can’t eat them since I’ve done nothing but “exist” all day.  Sad life.  However, I got in a little “cardio” during Bye Week’s sand volleyball game.  I felt like I stood around most of the time and only ran when I had to chase the ball but, whatevs.  Maybe next week 🙂

Tuesday: Circuit Training boot camp (it was a killer today!) followed by a 2.2 mile run at a 9:17 pace with some boot camp buddies.  I was pretty wiped from the conditioning and we were running a little faster than my comfort pace but after the run I felt FANTASTIC and ready to conquer the world. I’ve never run with anyone else before (I love my solitude, plus I’m sloooow) but this may be a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone and speed up my little legs!  We’ve decided to add it to every Tuesday post-circuit training.  Can’t wait!

Wednesday: Speed intervals on the treadmill and a dreaded leg workout. Can you tell Wednesdays are my favorite?  While I feel amazing after the workout, leading up to and during the workout is tiresome and painful.  I’ll reap the benefits later, I know.  But sheesh…my poor quads 😦 I’ll finish up the hard stuff with an easy 20-minute hill interval bike ride for “recoveration”

Thursday: Intervals on the bike for 1 hour followed by an arm workout.  Lately I’ve been loving “arm days” because it means I can sit more during weights and give my legs a rest.  Lazy, much? HA!  “Recoveration” will be a 20-30 minute interval workout on the elliptical. Such a peaceful finisher!

Friday: Traditional Boot Camp. Weights, weights, weights.  It’s a lighter cardio day (which I always need by the time Friday rolls around) but a little heavier on the weights and pushing my muscles’ limits.

Saturday: Normally hot yoga but this Saturday is my 2nd 5K race.  And guess what?!  It’s a flat course! WOOO!  So exciting!

 

 

The Great Cupcake Challenge

Ok, so. Let’s talk cupcakes.  A local “cupcakery”, The Cup, has delicious and gorgeous cupcakes.  I just so happened to sign up for their email alerts letting me know when certain cupcakes are available.  Big mistake. Some cupcakes are only available for a week, others for a whole season (Pumpkin for the Fall, for example).  Recently, an email was sent to me saying the “Mocha Cappuccino” is available for purchase through this week.  While I enjoy desserts and dark chocolate, I’m not one to purchase desserts and treats regularly.  No, instead I become a glutton when they come around and eat 5x the amount a normal adult would…but whatever.  Absence doth make the heart grow fonder, eh?  Hm…PLUS I’m trying to stick to a low sugar lifestyle.  I always eat super healthy, watching my calorie, fat, and sodium intakes, focusing on eating only foods that will provide me with longer lasting energy.  However, these cupcakes and their special “appearances” present a challenge that I think could be a fun one to tackle, healthily and in moderation, of course.  I’ve compiled a list of the cupcakes I want to try or HAVE tried and want again.  So to make it fair, I can’t eat the whole cupcake (unless it’s been a horrible day, or a nice cup of coffee just so happens to present itself immediately following my cupcake purchase).  PLUS, with marathon training looming (July 1, friends!) I see it as a little treat for myself.

So here’s my list (with pictures for your viewing pleasure, of course!):

Peanut Butter Cup (served daily)

PEANUT BUTTER CUP

    Mocha Cappuccino (rotated every 4 weeks with a list of others)

MOCHA CAPPUCCINO

Grasshopper (also rotated every 4 weeks)

GRASSHOPPER

Summer Crush (June 20)

SUMMER CRUSH

Pumpkin Harvest (September 22)

PUMPKIN HARVEST

Caramel Turtle (November 12)

CARAMEL TURTLE

Mayan Mocha (mocha, chocolate, cinnamon)

MAYAN MOCHA

Mint O’Malley (March)

MINTY O'MALLEY

Monster (also mint chocolate chip, October)

MONSTER

Peach Cobbler (September 22)

PEACH COBBLER

Peppermint Stick (December 4)

PEPPERMINT STICK

Raspberry Truffle (all of May)

RASPBERRY TRUFFLE

S’more (September 2)

S'MORE

Spring Fling (lemon cake w/raspberry filling)

SPRING FLING

Triple Key Lime (August 27)

TRIPLE KEY LIME

White Chocolate Pistachio

WHITE CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO

As you can see, I’ve got quite the challenge ahead.  But, in my waistline’s defense my top choices seem to be spread out throughout the year.  I can’t wait! Anyone care to join me in the challenge?  If you have a similar cakery, feel free to share your favorite flavor combinations!  This will be great motivation to log more miles 🙂

Next post: workout recaps.

Confessions of a Pack Rat

Happy Post-Mother’s Day to all!  After my early Gospel Workout, I spent Mother’s Day with my mom, dad, 2 aunts, and 2 dogs.  …And I ate half of a peach pie all by myself.  Whatever.  Regardless of my gluttony, it was a nice day and the weather was perfect.  It was my first “Mother’s Day” as a dog mom!

Last week I attended the first of 3 required work-“trainings” that all staff must attend.  In my particular section, the opening ice breaker had us think about the one thing that you should have thrown away but can’t.  After we all came to the conclusion that we’re all pack rats and hold on to things for sentimental reasons, I came up with more than one thing:

  • Anything my dad has given me or made for me.  I may have him wrapped around my finger, but I’ve always been wrapped around his.  We’re buddies and cut from the same cloth.  A few things:
  1. A “treasure box” he made for me that stores stupid crap revolving around inside jokes he and I share.
  2. His Air Force fly jacket from the 1950s.  I obviously can’t/won’t wear it but he wanted me to have it, so I keep it.
  3. An engagement ring from a previous relationship he had long before me met mt mom.  A constant reminder to listen to YOUR heart, follow YOUR path, write your own story, and forget anything else.
  4. An air pump that is as old as he is and doesn’t work anymore. But it reminds me of my childhood summers spent with him doing odds and ends around the house and garage.
  5. A wooden #4, no bigger than my palm, that he painted yellow. He’s great at woodworking. I don’t remember him making other numbers for my different ages, but I still have it.
  • All of my dogs collars, a few of each dog’s favorite toys, and my rabbit’s favorite “toy” and some of her fur (I know, this one is borderline hoarder!)
  • Any jewelry my parents, grandparents, and aunts/uncles have given to me.  Even if it was a silly adjustable ring I wore when I was 5.  Of course, the plastic jewelry is gone, but the “real” stuff I won’t wear anymore is packed away.  The sterling silver ring I always wear on my right middle finger was a gift from my mom. It means nothing symbolically, but I’ve always worn it and can’t see any reason not to!
  • A “homemade barbell” my uncle made me when he found out I can only bench press the bar (45 lbs) twice.  He made a mini bar that I can hold up with my pinky so that now I can say, “I can bench press the bar X amount of times”.  Silly.
  • Cards. Of any kind. Christmas cards, thank you cards, birthday cards, “just because” cards.  If you’ve given me one, I still have it.  Sometimes it’s nice to get a few out on a bad day to remind me how powerful words of friends, family, and loved ones are.
  • Running shoes.  I have a running shoe graveyard. “Dead” running shoes go into my “everyday wear” category. And the shoes being replaced go into the “dirty jobs” category.  It’s ridiculous.

How did you spend your weekend/Mother’s Day?  I hope the weather was as beautiful as it was here!

Are you a pack rat like me and have things you just can’t get rid of?

 

 

 

“Healthy” Smore Brownie Bites

A delicious recipe I just had to share with you.  If you’re anything like me, it’s a daily struggle to be obsessed with chocolate, sweets, AND living a healthy lifestyle.  I’ve been wanting to make S’more Brownie Bites since I saw the Food Network episode in March.  So I finally made them!

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 1 large graham cracker, finely AND coarsely crushed

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-count mini-muffin pan with paper liners.

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add 3/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.

Using a small cookie scoop, fill each paper liner with about 2 heaping tablespoons of batter. Push 3 mini marshmallows halfway down into the center of the batter. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the graham cracker crumbs over the marshmallows. Bake until the marshmallows are puffed and light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and serve.

** I substituted the 1/2 cup white flour and 1/2 cup quinoa flour for 1 cup whole wheat flour.  I also used 1/2 cup Splenda instead of sugar.  You can’t tell a difference!

image

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They are absolutely delicious!  What a perfect combination: chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers.  MMMM!!!

You Might Be A Runner If…

I stole this from one of my favorite blogs, Hungry Runner Girl. This “You Might Be A Runner” list is scarily accurate:

You Might Be A Runner If…
1 You see someone running while you are riding in your car and wish it was you.
2 … you find greater joy in spending your money on running apparel, shoes & gear than on a pair of designer jeans or monogrammed purses.
3 Your sneakers cost more than you dress shoes.
4 You are thinking about your next race while running in one
5 Running is a way of life, not a hobby.
6 part of your monthly expense budget goes to race fees!
7 you are actually happy about doing laundry because now you will have clean running clothes.
8 you decide to sleep in and skip your run, but then somehow get your run in before the day is over anyway
9 you’re looking at this website instead of Facebook.
10 You read every entry on this list because of the pure satisfaction of realizing YOU’RE NOT ALONE!!
11 your day isn’t complete until you’ve put your run in.
12 you always go to the sports section to look for new running gear and new running shoes first when shopping
13 When people ask what happens if it rains during a race, you smartly tell them, “You get wet.”
14 your daily run is like therapy, or an anti-depressant.
15 people often shake their heads when you tell them what you did over the weekend.
16 You hear you have to go somewhere for an upcoming weekend and immediately check out the races close to your destination.
17 Waiting for someone who is walking on a treadmill makes you want to scream.
18 you get upset about injuries because they keep you from running, not because you have actually damaged your body.
19 you are truly too tired to help with house chores, but can still pull a 40-60 minute run.
20 the first thing you do after a run is log miles.
21 Your ‘To Do’ list reads:
1) Go Run
2) Everything Else
22 The first thing you pack for a business trip is running gear.
23 you know exactly how many miles are logged on your running shoes.
24 Starting with a 5:30am run is a great way to start your day.
25 when you’re told you need surgery and your first question is how soon can I go running afterwards.

I relate the most to…well all of them! But more importantly: #2, 3, 5, 7, 12, 14, 15, 18, 22, 24, & 25.  I know, I know…I still listed nearly the entire first 25.  A little explanations:

#2, 3, 7, & 12:  Sadly true.  I’ve never been a fashionista.  Proof: the first thing I do after work is change into comfy pants and a tshirt.  Running clothes and shoes dominate my “clothes budget”.  When I run into stores like Macy’s, Target, and Old Navy, I skim through the “normal clothes sections” but I really dig into the “active wear” sections.  I have a HUGE running apparel wish list.  I recommend shopping at Target & Sports Authority, though.  They have the best deals and I’m not about to drop a boatload of money on a pair of shorts that will just get gross & sweaty.  I don’t believe a $90 pair of Nike shorts are any better than the $15 pair of C9 shorts from Target.

#5: AMEN.  Running defines me.  It’s not just a past time.  Everything I do when I’m not running is a post- or pre- running strategy.  I’m either living my life in “running recovery” mode or in “running prep” mode.  To help explain this to my mother, I compare it to a pregnancy.  I’m scoping out my races at least a year in advance (pre-conception planning). Once I commit to a race, I typically have a 12-16 week training period (the actual pregnancy).  During this time I’m doing everything in my power to better myself (mentally and physically) through food habits, sleep habits, etc. Even before my training starts (which is marked in my calendar), I’m already changing my diet and workout habits.  The last few weeks before a race I am a nervous wreck! (last few weeks of pregnancy).  I put my diet on super-healthy mode and become an emotional roller coaster from nerves and thinking about what I should have/didn’t do during my training.  Then comes race day (birth).  It’s mentally and physically painful but so worth it.  Crossing that finish line and eating those recovery yummies (oranges for me, please) is the best feeling in the world.  The comes the next few days/weeks (aka recovery & postpartum depression).  I’ve spent the last 4-6 months of my life focusing and revolving my life around ONLY THIS RACE. The “now what…?” phase is a weird feeling. Then, I hang my bib & race medal up on my wall and it becomes my pride and joy.  I currently have 5 children 🙂

#14: YES!  Running is better than any drug, food, or indulgence.  Even when it hurts or I have a bad run, I feel better than I would had I decided to skip a run and rack my brain with guilt and feelings of loathing (a little dramatic, I know).

#15: “What’d you do this weekend, Sarah?”  Oh, you know…I ran 15 miles, just the usual.  The last month of marathon training always consumes a solid weekend day with running.

#18 & 25: Guilty.  I’ve never thought of injuries as “Wow, my body is damaged because of something I did to it…”  I think of injuries as set-backs that keep me from doing what I want.  I recently had the threat of additional surgery on my Achilles a few months ago.  And instead of fearing the actual surgery my first fear was “Oh no, how many weeks will I have to go without running…?”  Problematic.

#22: It’s not only the first thing I pack (regardless of concrete plans to run…it’s always “just in case I have time to squeeze in a run”), it’s also the first thing added to my “things to pack” list.

#24: Most of 5-6 days of my week start out with a workout.  The days I don’t make it to the gym in the morning always feel “off”.  No matter how tired I am and how much I’d rather stay in bed for a few more hours, I never regret trekking to the gym in the wee hours of the morning to start my day off right.

Sunday Runday, Flowers, & Pizza = All things HAPPY!

Happy rainy Monday, friends.  Could today be any more cliche?  It’s the first day of “Break Week”.  The students are graduated and gone and my favorite on-campus coffee place has closed for the summer.  *Sigh…*

Yesterday’s “Sunday Runday/Gospel Workout” was a good one despite my sore “5K legs”.  I knocked out 5.91 miles (I pretty much run until the treadmill stops me unless I have a specific distance planned).  It was a really great run and did wonders for my 5K recovery.  After a little over an hour on the treadmill, I did my typical Sunday leg workout, minus step-up lunges and 1-leg sit squats.  My quads were pretty sore from the race so I didn’t want to overdo it…just do enough to get the grossness out of my muscles.  Walking lunges, kettlebell squats, Loaded bar squats, dead lifts, incline sit ups, planks & side planks.  I was pooped.  I finished off the morning with a 30-minute interval session on the bike for more running recovery.  I was wiped, but treated myself to a delicious protein shake: 1 cup almond milk, 2/3 tbsp peanut butter powder, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 tsp dark cocoa powder, 1 banana, ice, and 1/2 cup of spinach.  YUM!  Quite the post-workout treat!

Before making it home, though, I did a quick run-through the grocery store.  I always CRAVE veggies & fruits after a workout and Sunday is my day to stock up: strawberries, cantaloupe, spinach, bananas, and a delicious salad from the salad bar (that always tastes better than any salad I make at home).

Following my typical Sunday couponing, I did a little shopping at Target for clothes I clearly don’t need and then on to Home Depot for some flowers!  Check out my summery “patio”:

Can’t wait until they start filling out!

 

If you look closely, you’ll see Scout watching my every move. Adorable.

I don’t have much of a green thumb, so we’ll see how long these things last 🙂

After all that shopping and planting, I was ravenous for lunch.  On the menu was Crazy Bowls & Wraps Beans & Rice leftovers from Saturday’s supper.

Beans & Rice Bowl w/lime & sesame seeds and my salad (spinach, peppers, carrots, broccoli, olives, cucumbers, boiled eggs, feta, artichoke hearts)

It was delicious!  I wanted to eat a light breakfast & lunch because I knew we were planning on pizza for dinner.  Granted, it was a healthy Greek-inspired pizza, but I wanted to have plenty of options in case I decided to inhale my entire half of the pizza.  I also treated myself to a Fitz’s Diet Cream Soda…it’s the little things, really 🙂

Delicious and made with Splenda!!

For our pizza, I baked Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough on the pizza stone for about 15 minutes to get it good ‘n crispy.  Then I added LOTS of spinach, grilled chicken, 1 green pepper, chopped kalamata olives, green olives & onions on Jeff’s side, and feta.  Oh my goodness, it was so good!  Pizza is like crack to me.  I just can’t and don’t know when to stop eating it.  I could eat mounds of pizza and never feel full…and if I finally do feel full, I just keep shoveling it in my mouth.  It’s addicting!

Here’s an awesome quote to leave you with: “The people who can’t grow with you, can’t go with you.”  AMEN!  This is a big lesson I’ve learned in my life.  I don’t know how many people (friends, boyfriends, etc.) I just can’t keep in my life for several reasons.  And this quote is a great reminder that it’s natural.  It happens. Surround yourself with people that will HELP you GROW, not hold you back.