Saturday, January 29, 2011

There will be blood

Pre-workout eats: Apple Chai oatmeal (instant)
Workout: 4.28-mile run

Note to self: If you have a bloody sock on Thursday, trim your toenails. Even if you don't think that you need to trim them, do it. Or else you'll have an even bloodier sock on Saturday.

Note to self: Just because it's 30 degrees when you set out for a run don't assume that you're going to break the sound barrier with your lightning fast speed. Your nose will still get runny and you will still want to hack after 2 miles.

Note to self: 30-degree weather requires a compression top, jacket and tights. Don't let Mark think that you need a compression top, tech half-zip, windbreaker and vest. And don't let the running company guy, who doesn't even say hi back as he passes, let you think that you should wear shorts.

Note to self: Don't drink three glasses of water before a run when you already have to use the restroom every 45 minutes.

Note to self: Don't buy half-caff coffee at the grocery because that means you can only have one cup with breakfast.

Note to self: Put Band-Aid on toe before going house hunting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday love

Workout: Walk with Denali

Let’s set the scene. My bedroom. This morning. 12:30. You’re lying in bed, debating whether you want to go to the bathroom (again) when you discover that you have just been issued a front-bed seat to a little show. Upstairs. It’s a half-hour long with plenty of sound effects.

If there was ever a reminder that Mark and I need to get our own house, last night was it. This weekend we’ll take a couple steps to making it a reality. Today, we’re meeting with our lender (hopefully) and our Realtor has eight homes on the list for tomorrow’s tour. It’s all a little scary but we’re excited. And I get to leave work early to meet Mark at the bank – LOVE.

Now for some Friday love … 

Food. Not even three-quarters of a mile away from our place, there’s an unassuming store front painted orange and yellow with white awnings. You’d never realize while driving or walking by that inside is some of the best Cuban food in the city. OK, it’s the only Cuban place here but it’s awesome. Mark and I went a month or so ago and fell in love with the sandwiches … and the prices. I ate like a true preggo and our bill, with tip, was $15.

After our experience, I was antsy to make my own version at home. Enter the Pork Loin Roast with Mustard Rub. I made this bad boy for dinner on Sunday and, while it was good on its own, my objective was to use the leftovers for Cuban sammies.

Healthy Strides Cuban-Inspired Sandwiches

Serves 2

4 slices good bread (We used an Italian loaf picked up for a  buck at Kroger)

6 ounces leftover pork roast (from Pork Loin Roast with Mustard Rub)

4 slices deli ham

2 slices low-fat Swiss cheese

Grilled onions

Pickles! (Sandwich stackers preferred but I had dill slices so that’s what we used)

Plain ole yellow mustard

Reduced fat mayonnaise

To assemble the sandwich: Slice of bread, cheese, pickles, healthy squirt mustard, light squirt mayo, pork, ham, onions and slice of bread. Put the deliciousness on a panini press – if you have one. I have a grill pan and put some beans in a small saucepan to create a press. Eat with sweet potato fries and celebrate my name. Mmmkay. Thanks.

Fitness. I’ve had a teeny bit of a struggle getting motivated to workout lately. I would like to blame winter. It’s always dark when I go to exercise, it’s butt cold and I hate snow. But the one session that I never think of skipping is my Thursday yoga class. I love, love, love the instructor – she’s probably the reason I signed up for a monthly pass after the Groupon. It gets me moving but doesn’t kill me. And there are people there but it’s not packed. I heart Thursday yoga.

Life. I was feeling, ummm, a bit hormonal last night on my drive home from yoga and spent the last half-mile of my drive with the window down trying to get my sh!t together, debating whether I should slap myself.

And then I heard it.

This song was one of my “power” songs this summer, and I couldn’t help but be taken back to quick-paced runs along the wooded riverbank.

So I did what anyone would do. I parked the car in the driveway, turned off the lights and turned up the radio. And I danced. Danced like no one was watching.

I hope you find that moment this weekend – the joy in dancing like no one is watching.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday: The Dilemma Edition

Pre-workout eats: Kashi bar and a banana

Workout: 3.4-mile run with a 60-minute All-Levels Yoga class planned after work

Before I write what I’m about to write, I want each and everyone of you to take a moment to feel sorry for me. I’m serious.

This morning, while in the shower, I nicked my underarm while shaving. And it hurt. Like a (insert word here).

1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 … 6 … 7 … 8 … 9 … 10 … 11 … 12 … 13 … 14 … 15 …

Well, maybe 15 seconds of sympathy is enough. Onwards and upwards!

1. This morning I had a serious internal dilemma: run or not run. I was dressed but I just didn’t feel like it. The idea of a hot shower and more breakfast seemed more appealing. I figured, “Once I get outside, I’ll be OK.” Then my nostrils burned. Ugh. So not OK. “Once I get going, I’ll be fine,” I figured. Meh. It was the kind of run where you make yourself run to the end of the block because you know you’ll make it to the crosswalk and once you get to the crosswalk you’ll go the full mile … you know how it goes. I might have gone farther but I promised myself 3 miles and that’s what I gave myself.

2. Now for a real dilemma: my Wednesday yoga class. I’ve gone three out of the past four weeks, and there has never been more than two students. One class it was just me and the instructor and, the other two times, the other participant was late and I thought I’d be a solo student. It’s not like I object to some 1-on-1 time but it’s a bit weird for me as I don’t really like being the center of attention. Back of the room, please. What would you do – go and risk being solo or find another class?

3. Yesterday, these were brought to my desk. With my name on them.

thin mints samoas

Hello, I love you. Now get in my belly.

Thankfully, I’m pretty good with portion control and can eat just four Thin Mints (160 calories) or two Samoas (140 calories) so that’s not my dilemma. The issue is whether I share them with Mark. First, they had my name on them. Second, I am the one who took the initiative to Facebook stalk a co-worker and learn that his offspring was hawking the crack. Third, Mark did not want to go to Dairy Queen last night for customer appreciation day and half-off blizzards. So … share or don’t share?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The weekly check-up: Bump it up

Workout: Walk with Denali and 60-minute Vinyasa Flow yoga class

Two people at work - count them 1-2 - this week have said something to the effect, "Look at you! You're getting a belly."

Well, gee, thanks. I appreciate you pointing out that I'm a little rounder these days. It makes me feel oh so good. By the way, have I told you that you look like you packed on a few pounds? Maybe you shouldn't have gotten that Snickers bar from the vending machine. Just sayin'.

All right. Breathe.

Now that the snark is out - for now - I can revel in the humor that is people telling me I'm getting a belly. I know they are only doing it because I'm knocked up but I'd never tell a friend that it looked as if she put on a few pounds.

I would, however, tell Mark. I mean look at him.

From our 2008 honeymoon in Cancun

Just kidding. Here's the picture you really wanted to see ...

Where did this come from? I must have had a big dinner!

Pregnancy status: 16 weeks

Weight gain: 8 pounds (I'm not sure what happened this week but 3 pounds of my worrisome 11 just disappeared.)

Cravings: Cantaloupe, V8 and grape soda

Crazy dreams: Last night, it was that I had a baby girl who had very feline features. Every time I tried to pick her up, she scratched me.

Sea monkey size: Avocado (I'll never look at guacamole the same way!) - 4.5 inches and 3.5 ounces

Sea monkey features: Tiny bones forming in baby's ears mean he can now pick up your voice. A few more minuscule changes: Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. (From

General feelings: I don't really have time to notice anything between my every 45-minute bathroom trips. Generally, I'm good - less tired, less ravenous and fewer headaches.

And, in case you were curious, I've added a new page (under the header) where I talk about my efforts to have a healthy pregnancy. It's a work in progress and will be updated.

Also, if you hate preggo updates - let me know. I bore myself with talking about pregnancy sometimes and would hate to do it to you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What have you done for me lately?

Pre-workout eats: Kashi bar and a banana

Workout: Ran 4.23 miles

I didn't grow up with the Ten Commandments.

ten commandments

I grew up with 11 commandments.


There’s the first 10, the ones we all know and follow (hopefully), and the 11th – Grandma is always right. But before you balk, my grandma is a wise lady. She warned me about shaving my legs too early and the stresses of dog ownership and told me not to drink my calories. Heck, this morning she told me that in a few short months the world will no longer revolve around me. Crazy, right?

One of her most sage pieces of wisdom came a few weeks ago: You should wake up in the morning and think not of yourself but what you can do for your spouse. Now, as a pregnant lady, I usually wake up and think, “Holy mackerel, I have to pee!”so I brushed it off.

However, I did do some nice things for Mark today:

*I brought in the garbage cans from the sidewalk and put them on the patio. By the way, I should get bonus points because I did this while brushing my teeth. Multi-tasking, people. Multi-tasking!

*I started a load of laundry like he asked, managed to put it in the dryer and remembered to pull out his favorite sweater (which I have deemed his favorite because I bought it for him) so it doesn’t shrink and suffer the same fate as one of his former favorite sweaters.

denali sweater

*I took Denali, sans sweater, on a 4-mile run where he was able to release some of his energy, eat yesterday’s snow and, in general, enjoy himself. Why is this good for Mark? It means he won’t eat the guitar for Guitar Hero while we're at work.

*I’m also making spaghetti with pesto, grilled chicken and broiled tomatoes for dinner (+asparagus for me). And by the way, I’m being nice and not sneaking in whole-wheat pasta. Oh, no. It’s Ronzoni Smart Taste for us (a high-fiber, calcium-filled noodle that tastes like white pasta).

What nice things do you do for your spouse?

Disclaimer: This post was partially inspired by Skinny Runner. She’s awesome.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Afternoon pick-me-up

Ladies, a moment of silence. Please. For the abs, at least.


Have you seen this commercial? Mark and I caught it last night when we were watching "The Inside Man" on cable. Cracked. Us. Up. I thought it looked like something in a mechanic's garage, and Mark was betting that he could make one of his own. (Don't let him full you - he's not that handy.)

The whole thing looks ridiculous and awkward, and I'm not sure who would buy it. Ever. Unless it came with an in-house demonstration, ahem, as well. Then I might consider it.

So, tell me ... would you consider The Rack - and under what circumstances?

Snowball effect

Workout: 2.1-mile walk with Denali

This morning was one of those mornings. You know, the kind of morning where you have great intentions but before you can take a bite of your egg white bagel thin, things start to unravel.

Or, in my case, pile on.

I had to get the steak marinating for tonight’s dinner – steak sandwiches with horseradish mayo.

The cantaloupe had yet to be cut, and I needed some to take for my afternoon snack. The same went for the carrots and the cauliflower.

My rumpled hair, left over from yesterday’s braids, needed to be flat ironed. (Though, in retrospect, it wasn’t worth the 15 minutes because I wore my hood this morning.)

I needed to stop at the grocery, which is across the street, to pick up some veggies to complement my embarrassing lunch – a Lean Cuisine (Orange Chicken with rice, red peppers, yellow carrots, roasted almonds and edamame).

Denali was begging for a walk and seeing as I had no intentions of going home at lunch because it’s snowing - again – it was necessary to keep the beast from chewing up the second bedroom.

And it needed to be done before 8:30, when I needed to start scraping my car in time for yoga.

Yeah … you know where this is going. It went online, where I canceled my spot for yoga this morning and made a reservation for Saturday, instead. I figure as long as I get in my workouts for the week that it doesn’t matter when they happen. It’s not like I’m training for a marathon (unless child birth falls under that category).

But, before you call me a slacker, let me tell you something – my walk sucked. Denali pulled the whole dern time, the snow was slick and I couldn’t feel my thighs.

Do you ever reschedule your workouts?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The punisher

Workout: 75-minute Restorative Yoga class

Hands down, my Sunday yoga class is the toughest. It’s the class where I’ve been introduced to poses such as crow and headstand. It’s the class where you go through sun salutation A … and sun salutation B … and sun salutation C. My arms quiver in chaturangas in this class, my legs burn in warrior.

The Sunday class also is, on a regular basis, the most crowded of the sessions I go to. This morning, it was the most full that it has been – in fact I was worried that we weren’t all going to fit in the studio space.

And as I caught a glimpse of all the participants in triangle pose, I wondered what we were all doing there. Were we fond of this particular instructor? Is this the only session we could fit in this weekend? Did we just need to get out of the house?

Or, or did we like the punishment, so to say? Do we like the pain?

On the surface, we all would say that we would rather pay for something that felt good than something that felt bad. Yet, we are exhilarated to register for races, stare at a training plan, feel sweat pour down our faces. The agony that comes with just a mile left (or a few miles left, depending on the day).

For me, my favorite workouts are/were the ones where I wanted to die. Tempo runs in the 90-degree heat, 12-mile long runs, Jackie Warner strength sessions. I liked them because in their difficulty there was a great reward. Progress. Accomplishment. The sense of empowerment. I'll admit the bragging rights are nice, too.

How about you? Do you like the pain?


Something to think about …

At the end of class, the instructor read off some affirmations, and there was one that sung to me.

Don’t punish yourself for things that you have done. You have suffered enough. Free yourself.