Monthly Archives: March 2010

Long Day

I am done moping now. Sometimes I just need to get it out of my system and my way of doing that is by writing it down. Or by whining to Jason, but that never feels as cathartic! This day has been long. My dog is not feeling well. He has some sort of growth on his groin area that just appeared out of nowhere. Jason took him to the vet yesterday and they gave him a cortisone shot and some topical spray and sent a sample of the area to a lab. He seems like he’s in pain today. The vet said that the area might be really sensitive since they had to shave the hair and everything. He seems like he can’t walk more than a couple feet without sitting down, like it hurts him to stand. I’ve spent the majority of the work day worrying about my dog. We’re supposed to find out the lab results in a few days and the vet said to take him back if the cortisone doesn’t help at all. I wish he could talk and tell me what’s wrong – I can’t tell if it hurts, itches or is just uncomfortable.

Poor baby dog.

Aside from that, I forgot to do my photography homework. Okay, more like I kept putting it off. Usually the homework is to take a certain type of picture, but this week’s was to print pictures on different paper and honestly, I didn’t want to buy a ream of photo paper. Whatever, it’s not like a class that I get graded on. I know how to print things. Hell, I work in printing! I still felt guilty about it!

The problem with photography class is that it’s over at 8. So I got home, did P90X and am sitting down to dinner at 9:30! So, how’s P90X going, you ask. So far I have done the chest and shoulder dvd, the ab ripper x dvd and the shoulders and arms dvd. It’s a good workout. The DVDs are an hour but they’re really not because there is like a 10 minute warm up. The number one thing that I noticed so far is that I HAVE to buy heavier weights and a stronger resistance band. I only have 5 and 8lb weights at home and while they are okay for some of the moves, they are way too light for others. I think I’m going to buy some 10 and 15s. Jason and hope to one day have a home gym and quit crappy LA Fitness, so I’m just thinking of buying weights as a contribution to our future.

I’m pooped. Long day. I hope my doggie is better soon.

Confession time

I have two confessions. One, I totally made muffins and ate them on Passover. Don’t tell my mother. Not that she’d be surprised; I’m not religious at all. (You’re not supposed to eat bread. See Morgan’s blog for a much more in-depth explanation.)

I am sort of proud of myself because I took a whole wheat muffin recipe that I had on my computer and altered it so much that it didn’t resemble the original recipe at all and it still was good! That never happens.

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Muffins
Makes 10

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Trader Joe’s Carrot Applesauce Crusher (they’re like squeezy applesauce. It make a little less than a half cup)
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 cup vanilla almond milk
Trader Joe’s superfruit spread

Pre-heat oven to 375. Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl and then mix together. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill each muffin about half of the way and then put about 1/4 cup of TJ’s fruit spread on top. Then cover with a little bit more muffin mix.

I didn’t get a chance to post last night’s dinner because I was sitting around being a total moody mope. That’s confession number two. But we’ll do dinner first. Jason made chicken fajitas. I’m not exactly sure what he did, but everything was really good.

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I made mine into a salad.

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The only thing that I would have changed about this meal is that Jason was very heavy handed with some Mexican hot sauce. I like spicy foods but I actually had to pour myself a glass of milk after eating this salad!

So, confession number two. I took these before pictures for the P90X and got in a terrible funk because of the way I look in a bathing suit. I know I’m supposed to love my body and all of that, but sometimes I just don’t. My stomach is weird looking and not flat. I think it’s from years of being heavy. I mean, I guess it is. But I was never that big. At my heaviest, in college, I probably weighed 175. I’m 5’7. So while I was overweight, I don’t think I was so big that my skin should have lost elasticity. So, I moped about this for like half an hour. Do you have body image funks? What do you do to get past them?

I’m going to post about the actual P90X workout later this evening.

Murphy’s a TV Star

Murphy is famous! Check it out.

School Lunch

I spent a good two hours this morning watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on hulu.com. It got me thinking a lot about the school lunches that I had as a kid. I don’t really remember lunch in elementary school that much. I really just remember that there was square pizza on Fridays and everyday you could chose chocolate or white milk. And you could order ice cream on Fridays. I’m sure there must have been more to it than this, but that’s what I remember. I’m pretty sure I drank the chocolate milk every day. In middle school, the cafeteria was priced by item instead of by meal. I remember getting a lot of pizza and french fries. And lemonade. They had a soda machine in the cafeteria but it wasn’t turned on until after school. In high school, I don’t think I ate a single meal in the cafeteria. We had something called Open Lunch and we could leave school for lunch. My high school was located right next to door to Giant (a grocery store) so when we were underclassmen and didn’t drive, we usually got food from there. I do remember getting hummus a lot, but I also remember getting plain bagels and grape soda. When I was old enough to have friends that drove, we went to the mall for lunch.

I went to public school and from what I am remembering, the lunches were pretty abysmal. I can’t tell if they are better, worse or the same now. A couple of things about my childhood lunches seem to stand out to me. First of all, why didn’t we have water? If I remember correctly, in elementary school, the only option was milk. If you offer a kid chocolate or white milk, which do you think they are going to choose?? Secondly, why were there soda machines in the school at all? Even if ours weren’t turned on until after school, is that option really necessary? Not that drinking Countrytime Lemonade is any better, but still.

I worry a lot about how any future children that we might have will eat. I probably worry too much about it. I just don’t want my kids to follow the Standard American Diet and not be able to identify vegetables. But at the same time, I don’t want them to feel like they have to sneak eat “bad” food because they aren’t allowed to have it.

Jason and I were talking about childhood obesity. Back when we were kids, there were like one or two heavy kids in each grade, nothing like you see now. I’m sure that a big part of it is that kids are inside now with video games and the computer and everything. I spent a lot of time outside as a kid. I rode my bike around the neighborhood for hours with other neighborhood kids and spent a large chunk of time outside. And I didn’t really live in a good neighborhood either. I didn’t realize that at the time, but we moved when I was eight because of it. So is childhood obesity mostly from lack of movement, or from the food that kids are eating? Is the food really that different than when we were kids?

Anyway, that show was right up my alley. Although I thought it was funny that the executive producer was Ryan Secreast.

I had a dinner that Jamie Oliver might approve of. Well, probably not because it was pretty low-carb. (Don’t worry Jamie, I had carbs earlier in the day.)

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This was really good. I steamed some broccoli slaw and mixed it with Trader Joe’s seafood blend (shrimp, scallops and calamari), pasta sauce and goat cheese. Then I added some crushed red pepper. I felt like I was eating a big plate of pasta. Well, sort of. You know this would actually be really good with a little bit of real pasta too.

Atlantans – Murphy is going to be on the news tomorrow morning. Tune into 11alive in the 6:30 or noon hour to see him. He’s going to be on the Try It Before You Buy It segment. If you’re like me and have no intention of waking up at 6:30 (sorry teachers!) or don’t live in Atlanta, I’ll post the link tomorrow after it’s on the 11alive website. My little tv star.

Bumming

I have just been bumming around all day and honestly, it’s been great. This is the first weekend in two weeks where I haven’t had to wake up at the butt crack of dawn for a race. Of course, I still managed to wake up very early but it was nice to not have to. Jason and I decided to walk up to the Morningside Farmer’s Market with Murphy. It’s about 1.25 miles each way. I took my camera.

I live near a drive through liquor store. Yes, really. No, I’ve never used the drive through part but sometimes taxis drive through with Emory kids inside. I’m assuming they’re college kids (and we live right near Emory), I don’t think I’d ever have a taxi take me to a drive through liquor store after age 22! I have no idea why it’s called Pitch & Putt. It’s actually way less shady than it looks.

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Even though it was 45 degrees out, there were signs of spring. Finally.

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Murphy enjoyed sniffing every single patch of grass on the way to the market. He’s saying, “Stop trying to take my picture. Can’t you see I’m investigating smells? Geez.”

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Murphy says things like that a lot. Although Jason and I have to talk for him. We really do talk for him all the time. We got to our destination and I was unimpressed.

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Every time I go to this market, I am not impressed with it. There were only like 6 tents and one sold vegetables and the rest sold things like soap and nuts. So we left. On the way home, we ran into this guy, who parks his truck in the same spot every Saturday and Sunday morning and sells produce. I’ve never bought anything from him. I always say that I am going to next time.

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Pancakes were on the menu for breakfast. I used this Quaker Oatmeal pancake mix, vanilla almond milk, chopped up raspberries and a few chocolate chips. I wanted to sneak some chia seeds in there, but decided against it. I didn’t tell Jason that I used almond milk until he finished eating. Ha.

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I decided to try out one of the P90X cardio dvds tonight as my exercise for the day. I did the KempoX which is kickboxing. Back when I lived in Maryland, I used to do a lot of kickboxing classes at the gym and really enjoyed them. I don’t know why I stopped; my current gym offers them. Although my current gym’s classes suck. I liked this DVD. There was one sequence of 4 moves that I could just not figure out so I ran in place while they did that. I am not what you’d call coordinated.

The DVD was good and the hour passed quickly. I think the strength ones are going to be MUCH harder for me. I do need some help with recovery fuel. Normally, I sort of ignore the need to refuel and only eat if I’m hungry but I think I should eat no matter what. The question is, what do I eat? What do you eat as a recovery food?

Wedding Shape Up Plan

I just made a wedding-shape up training plan in iCal. I’m going to do the P90X in the suggested order but I’m going to substitute running for the cardio DVDs. I’ve consulted a few people who have done that and they said it worked out well for them. I was going to start the DVDs today but it’s just easier for me to start on a Monday so that’s what I’ll do. I am going to put them into the DVD player to get a general feel for what they’ll be like this weekend. I plan to take before and after pictures. I am hesitant to post them because right now I’m not so comfortable with how I look in a bathing suit and don’t want the entire interwebs to see me! But if there is a big change, I most post pictures for comparison. We’ll see.

I just want to say that right now I’m okay with what I look like. If my measurements are the exact same come June 26th, that is okay with me. I will not be upset or mad at myself. I am at currently at a healthy weight. I could stand to lose 10 pounds, but my BMI is normal right now. I’m not concerned with the number on the scale so much as I would like to gain muscle tone, especially in my arms. I don’t have much upper body muscle at all. Part of that is just my body makeup. I have a hard time putting on muscle in general. My mother also has no upper body strength. But another part of me is that since certain moves are very hard for me *coughpushupscough* I just don’t do them. I know, I know.

So that’s the plan for the next three months. If anyone wants to see my actual workout schedule, I can email it to you, but I can’t imagine that it’d be interesting! I’m eager to see how it pans out. After the wedding, who knows? Maybe I’ll train for another distance race again. After the wedding seems so far away, but like my half-marathon last weekend, one day it’ll just be a memory too. Weird.

After work today, Jason and I went to the gym. He has been diligently following the Couch to 5K plan and is on week 5. I am very proud that he’s kept up with it and am excited to run a 5K with him at the end of next month. I did 4 x 400 at 6.7mph with 3.5 walks in between. My ipod was completely dead when I got on the treadmill which made for a boring half hour.

We had TJ’s pizza dough in the fridge that really needed to be used and went back and forth about whether we were too lazy to make homemade pizza. There was nothing else in the house that I really wanted, so I decided to suck it up and make the pizza. It was worth the extra effort.

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This pizza had tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese and spinach. Yum. I’m going to catch up on blogs and maybe watch a Netflix DVD. We have The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I heard it kinda sucks though.

Back to it

My post-race workout hiatus is over. I packed a bag to take to work in case I felt like working out at lunch and turns out that I did. I was kind of stressing out about wedding related stuff (nothing in particular, just getting a bit overwhelmed) and felt like a good sweat session might help. Indeed it did. I did a 25 minute Fit Sugar Elliptical Workout and then the following upper body moves:

• decline pushups (on my knees) – 3 sets of 12
• chest press – 25 lbs, 3 sets of 12
• shoulder press – 20 lbs, 3 sets of 10, 1 set of 8
• bent over rows – 10 lbs, 3 sets of 12, each side
• one arm tricep extension – 7.5 lbs, 2 sets of 10, each arm
• 21s, 20 lbs, 2 sets of 21

I have a feeling this is nothing compared to the P90X. It arrived today and I think I’ll start either Friday or Saturday. I’m still trying to figure out a schedule where I can incorporate running into the program. I’m not sure if I have to do the workouts every day to see results and also how strictly I have to follow the nutrition plan. I also don’t have a chin up bar. I can’t do a chin up anyway. I just hang there! Can anyone do one?

I set up a flickr account if anyone is interested. Actually, it’s really old, but I started putting some newer pictures on it recently. Click here if you want to see it.

Sorry, this is a boring post! I am not feeling very writerly tonight. Yes, I know writerly isn’t a word.

Now What?

I’m currently experiencing that post-race, now what let down. I spent the past three months training for this race and now it’s just a memory.

Of course, there are always more races. Three in the plans, in fact. Jason and I are going to run the Green…I forget what it’s called…Green Race or something. It’s a 5K on April 24th in Piedmont Park. Then there is the Skirt Chaser 5K in May and the Peachtree 10K in July. I’ve only signed up for the Peachtree out of the three but am pretty sure that I am going to do the other two.

I really do want to keep my running up. I’m giving myself a few days off though. My little toe is black and blue from the race. I think my shoes are pretty dead. Maybe I’ll buy new ones this weekend. Aside from running, I’ve decided to incorporate a new form of exercise into my life. Jason bought me the P90X for my birthday! (An early present – my birthday isn’t for another month.) It hasn’t arrived yet, but it’s a 90 day program and it’s 95 days until my wedding. Perfect! I think it’ll be a good shock to my system, especially since I tend to typically focus more on cardio. Anyone have any experience with the P90X? Jenn from Eating Bender has said good things about it on her blog. And there are a bunch of videos on Youtube that I’ve been watching that give it favorable reviews. I am a little bit concerned that doing these DVDs is going to interfere with my running. I always seem to lose my endurance after I do a big race and I would like for that not to happen this time. But maybe I should let running sit on the back burner for a little bit. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out.

You guys had some good suggestions for things that I can do to amp up my eating habits. Among them were:

1. Adding more greens.
2. Making sure my meals consist of a protein, a complex carb and one or two veggies.
3. Don’t stress too much about it!

I am trying to think more about balancing my nutrients when I plan my meals. Previously, I’d just made what sounded good, but I never really looked at the nutritional values aside from making sure the meal was relatively low in calories. I’m also trying to make sure I’m eating enough vegetables. I like vegetables but sometimes I find that I’ll go an entire day without eating any! I’m trying to incorporate them into every meal. I like to have an egg sandwich most days which I can just add some spinach too. I switched it up this morning and had a green smoothie, also with spinach.

Last night, Jason requested something Mexican so we had a Mexican Casserole:

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A pretty easy meal. I used Guiltless Gourmet Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. We both thought that it might taste better as nachos instead of having the chips crumbled on the top. It was on the dry side too. I’d add more salsa next time. I also sauteed some frozen mixed peppers in taco seasoning and hot sauce for a side. The peppers were sort of an afterthought when I realized that the tiny bit of salsa and corn in the casserole did not count one plus serving of vegetables. I have trouble with side dishes. I often eat one-dish meals and I would like to change that. Can anyone recommend easy vegetable side dishes?

After dinner, Jason and I watched the movie Up. Have you guys seen that? I loved it. I don’t laugh out loud at movies very often and I was laughing hysterically at the talking dogs. Mostly because we talk for Murphy all the time and he sounds like Dug in the movie. Even though it’s animated, it’s definitely worth a watch. And yes, I cried a little bit in the beginning.

Race Report

This morning I ran the ING Georgia Half Marathon which was my sixth half-marathon and my third year running the ING. Well, technically it was my fourth. The innaugural year, I ran the full marathon (which was completely awful, but that’s a different post. Actually, I’m sure I’ve written about it before.) Every year that I do this race, I forget how f’n hilly the course is. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Jason and I woke up around 5:30 this morning and I made myself two slices of whole wheat bread with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. We drove to the MARTA (subway) station and headed downtown for the race. We got there at about 6:45. I was in Corral L which was at the back. People were pretty much going into whatever corrals they wanted after the beginning ones, but I didn’t mind being in the back so I went to the correct corral.

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I wasn’t exactly sure when I crossed the start line. It was somewhere between 10-15 minutes after the official start. The first mile was spent weaving in and out of walkers. I was also trying to pace myself. I have a tendency to go out too fast and then I get tired, so I tried to keep my pace leisurely. There was a clock a the first mile mark which I don’t remember them having last year. Since I didn’t know when I started, I wasn’t sure how I was doing but from there on out, I could pretty much tell my pace. The first two miles were easy. It started to drizzle during mile 2 but fortunately, it stayed at a drizzle and didn’t rain any harder. From mile 3 to about 7.5 were a bunch of rolling hills. The worst being on North Avenue right after mile 7. After that, it was flat for the next two miles. I had some friends say that they were going to meet me right before mile 9 at the beginning of Piedmont Park but when I got there, they weren’t there. That was disappointing. Come to find out, they got there like 5 minutes after me.

Up until mile 9, I felt totally fine. I felt like it was easy. But for whatever reason, I started to lose steam at 9. After we ran through the park, it felt like we were going uphill for a while. I kept running but I felt like I was almost at a walking pace. Another friend was supposed to be at mile 10, but turns out she came out like 15 minutes later and I’d already run past. (I wasn’t sure when I was crossing the start and was a little off when I was telling my friends to meet me.) I’d really forgotten that mile 10 was hilly. The Mile 11 sign was a glimmer of hope that I only had two more miles. At about 11.5, the first full marathoner came by. That made me pick up the pace a little bit. The clock at Mile 12 was broken so I really wasn’t sure of my time, but fortunately, the last mile was flat, so I tried to keep my pace up. That mile seemed to go on forever, but eventually, I saw the finish line and ran through with a clock time of 2:32 or something.

Somehow, I found Jason very easily after I crossed the finish. I got my medal, a space blanket and various snacks and water.

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My goal for this race was to have a course PR. I knew that I wouldn’t have a PR because my half-marathon PR is on a flat course, but I thought a course PR was doable. And it was. My chip time was 2:22 something. I ran this race in 2008 at 2:28 and in 2009 at 2:32 (that one doesn’t count because I ran with a friend that had this stomach virus and had to walk some with her).

And then I spent the rest of the day eating and sleeping. Mostly eating!

Race Weekend

I get off work at four on Fridays and really wanted to take advantage of the 70 degree weather so Jason and I, with some friends, went to Fontaine’s to sit on the patio. We took advantage of their Happy Hour Appetizer specials. (Weird side note, it’s illegal to have Happy Hour Drink Specials in Atlanta.)

Jason had half price oysters.

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And I had half price peel and eat shrimp.

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And a few hours later, we split a grilled chicken sandwich with a side of tater tots. We were home early, around nine. I had to get up early to go to my photography class field trip at Oakland Cemetery. I was there from nine to about eleven. I took a ton of pictures but only came out with a handful that I liked. I guess I’m not just going to be an instant photographer! It takes a lot of practice. Anyway, here are a few of the better shots.

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It actually wasn’t creepy at all to be traipsing through a cemetery. It was pretty relaxing just walking around. After the field trip, I drove to the Georgia Dome to pick up my number for tomorrow’s race.

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I also snagged about 5 mini Larabars and bought myself a 13.1 Been There Ran That magnet and some Sport Beans before I went home.

Murph and I went for about an hour Ira walk. (An Ira walk is where I walk Murphy while I listen to the latest Podcast of This American Life.) It’s really, really nice out and hard to believe that tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be so crappy. According to the latest forecast, it’s not supposed to rain until 10, so I’ll be in the clear, I hope. (Sorry Pen and Lauren! Hopefully it’ll hold off until the evening for you guys!)

I’m already thinking of how I should carbo-load for dinner. It’s either going to be pasta or pizza. What do you think?