Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday love

Pre-workout eats: Multigrain Cheerios with sliced bananas and 1% milk

Workout: Ran 5.01 miles; average pace, 9:37.

I have to say there’s nothing like starting off your day with freshly waxed eyebrows, a fantastic run and a hot bath.

Exactly in that order.

Fed up with the untamed caterpillars hovering over my eyes, I pulled out the at-home wax kit and got to work. In a few minutes and at minimal cost, I felt like my old self again. Love that feeling!

Almost as much as I love Fridays …


Food. Cold cereal … it’s now my vice/pregnancy craving. There’s just something about the combo of crunchy cereal, sweet fruit (which I add) and the cold milk. I would eat bowl after bowl if common sense didn’t get the best of me. I’m particularly in love with Kashi Go Lean! Crunch, Cinnamon Chex and Banana Nut Cheerios. Alas, I’m down to the last bit of Multigrain Cheerios and my Kashi. Hello, grocery!

Fitness. My run on Tuesday might have been good but today’s run was GREAT. I covered the farthest distance in a month, and I managed to go 4 miles without pausing to catch my breath or let my heart rate drop. I wish I could identify a single reason for the greatness of the run but I just come up with an empty cereal bowl. I’d like to think it was some positive self talk this morning and making sure that during the run that I never got ahead of myself, forcing myself to stay in the moment.

Life. So there’s this awesome new cupcake boutique/bakery in my hood. Seriously awesome – not only in concept (the first in FW) but in taste. I split a couple cupcakes with a co-worker and went into sugar heaven.

Well, the other day on Facebook, they solicited ideas for a cupcake of the month. The person whose idea was selected would win a $20 gift card and the cupcake creation.


So, yeah. I won. Boo-yah! I love that he gave a shout out to New Orleans because this gal is also a New Orleans original.

Please file my birthplace under “I learned something new today.”

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Who has exciting plans? I’m actually excited to keep it low key as this is the first weekend since Thanksgiving that isn’t something “special.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Workout: 1.5-mile walk with Denali and (planned) All-Levels Yoga class

1. Yesterday was an unplanned rest day. My body and me, you see, were not in agreement, and I spent most of the day on the couch. In fact, I didn't get out of my PJs until 4 p.m. and that was only in anticipation of Mark's return from work.

2. Seeing as I barely had the energy to put forth minimal effort into hygiene, I definitely wasn't in the mood to cook. Especially what I had on tap for the evening - pollock fillets with couscous and veggies. I'm not sure what it is about this pollock but I have no desire to cook it - much less eat it. It's been on the weekly menu at least twice and each time, I manage to get myself out of preparing it.

3. Mark, kind as he is, agreed to take me to the family restaurant for soup and a burger. I was chowing along as a pregnant woman should when he said something. Something that sort of struck a nerve.

"You never would have eaten that three months ago," he said, gesturing toward my delicious sandwich.

And he's right. I wouldn't have. The combo of not-lean beef, a non-wheat bun and not-reduced fat dressing would have sent me looking for grilled chicken. But last night, it's what sounded good and I am trying to eat more beef to keep my iron up. It made me wonder, though, whether I'm relaxing my habits too much because I'm pregnant. I certainly don't want to lose all the habits I've worked so hard to establish because the sea monkey "wants" a burger.

By the way, the sea monkey wanting a burger just further convinced Mark that this little one will be a boy. I would have hit him had we not decided on a boy name last night.

How do you balance healthy eating and life (not necessarily pregnancy)?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Like this

Pre-workout eats: Cold cereal mix with fresh blackberries, sliced bananas and 1% milk
Workout: Ran 4.35 miles; average pace, 9:39.

This morning, when I woke up, I thought my blog post would start out a little like this ...

Holy crap! It snowed a ton. I'm not sure I can run in that.

A little later, about 7 a.m. as I tore through the laundry basket, I thought it would read a little like this ...

Stupid laundry-doing husband! He put my running tights in the washer before work and I had to subject myself to Exercise TV OnDemand while they dried.

About 7:30, after finding my tights in the dryer, I thought it might go a like this ...

Why do I d*ck around so much in the morning? The furnace guy is going to be here in an hour. Just do 3 today ... hmm.

Instead, my blog post shall go a little like this ...

There was a light dusting of snow on the ground when I set off this morning. It was the pretty kind of snow - light and fluffy and so not annoying. It crunched softly beneath your feet and dusted eyelashes as you moved. Once Denali and I got settled in (we had to stop for correction after he tried to change course), things felt good. Almost like the old days. I was comfortable, fluid and breathing pretty well. I might not have been fast - actually, it's slowest I've been in months and months - but it's the best I've felt in a while. A run to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Soup’s on

I have an important question to ask you:

Is it possible for anything with barbecue sauce to not taste good?

Glad we can agree on that as I’m about to share with you tonight’s dinner – a dinner that was completely tasty and satisfying – which included that very ingredient.


Meet the BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup. I found the recipe on Picky Palate and knew immediately that it would be perfect for Mark and me, especially when served with a side of cornbread. (In the future, I’d also serve it with a side salad with black beans, roasted red peppers and ranch dressing. Just sayin’.)

BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup

Adapted from Picky Palate

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (11-ounce) can fiesta corn (“fiesta” means green and red peppers are in the mix)

1 pound cooked chicken breast, shredded (I poached mine but this would be a good use for leftover rotisserie chicken!)

1/3 cup to 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

3 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Shredded monterey jack cheese, for serving

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium to medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, corn and chicken; stir to combine. Next up are the remaining ingredients (except the cheese). Simmer it together for 5 minutes, or until your husband remembers to set the table. Serve with shredded cheese on top and enjoy while watching season two of “Sex and the City.”

Underneath it all

Workout: 1.5-mile walk with Denali and 60-minute Slow Flow yoga class

It's official, folks. I had my first dream about yoga. And let me tell you, it wasn't a good one.

I was late. Very late for my 9 a.m. yoga class - like 2.5 hours - and the instructor/owner was none too pleased with me. She told me that she wasn't sure that I should be welcome in her yoga studio. It might not be the right "fit."

Anxious to prove her wrong, I joined a class about to begin. I unrolled my mat and began to stretch, soon realizing that I was not dressed appropriately for class. I was wearing a short, tight T-shirt dress (like this one here) ... and nothing else. Picturing myself giving a free show, I managed to procure a pair of '80s printed shorts via theft.

I was excited to get started but the drama didn't end there. Ten minutes into the class, someone stole my mat. I tried to convince her that it was mine, the brown stains evidence from a poor paint job in an old apartment but my efforts were unsuccessful. I stormed out in tears, and I was greeted by a yogi master. He asked me what was wrong and as I began to tell him, he walked away to talk "business" with someone else. I was left crying on the step.

So ... yeah ... I'm not sure what all that means. I'm thinking it was a sign to start carrying a pair of underthings in the event that I'm so preoccupied that I find myself going commando.

Or maybe it was just a feeling being foreshadowed, like how I felt when I discovered that I got hit with a parking ticket outside the yoga studio. My inability to find an extra nickel for 12 minutes cost me $5. Boo!

Do you dream about workouts ... running, yoga, biking? I had race anxiety nightmares before my half marathon in September that often involved me DNFing.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Out of balance

Workout: 75-minute Deep Stretch Flow yoga class

Yoga kicked my butt today. No. I’m sorry. That’s a lie. It kicked my arms. Seemingly five straight minutes in down dog, a bajillion chaturangas and arm balances that were beyond reach.

elephant compass

My arms were literally sweating. That’s good … right?

pigeonAnd my quads … well, they were screaming. Almost literally, as we took the screaming pigeon pose. We were instructed to find a wall and fold our mat in half.  Get into all fours and then bend one leg so that the front of calf is vertical and up against the wall. Unlike the photo on the right, we put the foot of the opposite leg on the floor and raised up. I had to stay on my forearms, bent over at the waist, to be comfortable, though the instructor placed her hands on the front knees. We held it for a good long while … but my legs were screaming so it could have been just 10 seconds. Holy bejeebus! If you are training for anything, say the Boston Marathon (the day after my birthday this year, by the way) and ever need to stretch your quads, this is the yoga pose for you! 


As we were packing up after class, the instructor, Mary, told us that next week we would have the chance to work on headstands.

Cue feigned excitement

I know that I’m not going to have any shot at doing one of those, and that’s not me being self deprecating or fearful. I don’t have it in me. I don’t. And as I thought about it walking to my car, I talked myself out of being discouraged. After all, I’ve only been going to the studio for two weeks now – I cannot expect myself to do things that took others years  to master. It took me a good while to run a 10-minute mile, then a 9-minute mile and then a sub 2:00 half.

I will limber up, strengthen myself. It might take me a while and some time post partum but I’ll get there.

How do you keep yourself from getting discouraged? As I alluded to above, looking back at my journey and seeing how far I’ve come helps me to look at the little stops on the path forward and not the destination.

4 degrees of separation

Fig no.














Even though I didn’t run yesterday, fig no. Even though this means just two runs for the week, fig no. Even if I feel slightly guilty about it, fig no.

Cancel my membership to the inspiration club. I made a rule – a 10-degree rule – and I’m sticking to it.