Friday, February 17, 2012

These are my confessions

I buy trigger foods - like Honey Bunches of Oats - because they are on sale and have a coupon. And then I proceed to eat two giant bowls because I want to and not because I'm hungry.

I find it hard to say no to co-workers when they wave coconut puffs of heaven in my face and taunt me with facts like, "They don't even have 70 calories."

I have a bite (or three) of Mark's ice cream each night, even if I just had my own portioned treat (read: Skinny Cow bar).

I bribe myself to drink water ... with Diet Coke.

I occasionally eat overly processed pre-packaged meals because they are convenient.

I sometimes make a 6-cup pot of coffee just for myself.

I reheat yesterday's coffee if I managed to stop myself at cup No. 4.

Sometimes that reheated coffee is the only thing that gets me out to run. That, and the hope that a run will put Miles to sleep.

I miss running 6-7 miles before work and sometimes wonder what I would do with myself if I didn't have a baby.

I get down on myself for not being able to run as fast as I used to. 

I walk around the house post-run in tights and a sports bra ... and I don't care that we have no curtains in the kitchen and my neighbors can see in.

I dream of having plastic surgery to remove the extra skin so I could care even less about my neighbors seeing my bare belly.

Unfortunately, more bare belly means more places off which Denali can lick sweat. I've given up stopping him.

I flip off the dog when he wakes up Miles.

I also flip off the dog when he steals my Weight Watchers Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream Bar while I'm trying to give Miles a bottle and feed myself.

Our bedtime routine, the one that's so important for babies, involves a bottle and "Wheel of Fortune." For everyone involved.

I am pretty sure Miles will flip off his kindergarten teacher and tell her to "leave it" and "no face" because that's what is said most often at our house.

I could never be a stay-at-home. I like eating my lunch with two hands too much. Even if said lunch is a pre-packaged Smart Ones.

What are your confessions?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Only a dream

I keep seeing them on Twitter. Those damn Spartans.

And while I wish they were of the Gerard Butler variety, they are more of the kick your ass variety.

The Spartan Race is an obstacle race ala the Muddy Buddy, Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Mud Run - well, you know what I mean. By the way, did you know there's a Hero Rush? It's an obstacle race designed by firefighters. Can we say yummy?

Anyway ... the Spartan Race looks absolutely bad ass in an epic sort of way. There are four different levels or races, so to speak - sprint, super, beast and death - all with their own challenges. However, according to their website, "There is fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and occasionally Hell on Earth. There WILL be obstacles to catch you off guard. Curve balls, so to speak. Get over it."

Sort of sounds like the HUFF, except you know in advance that you are paying for Hell on Earth.

Considering I rocked the HUFF (or something like it) I would be all about doing the Indiana Spartan ... but it's one week after the Martian Half-Marathon, and I need to be mindful of my race/traveling budget. Damn being a responsible grown-up!

Other races I'd like to do with an open-ended budget and schedule:


Nike Women's Half Marathon. San Francisco. Tiffany necklaces. A group of amazing women. I'm not sure that there's anything more appealing than that (except my upcoming trip to NOLA with my BFF). I am sure it's an overpriced difficult race but I'd love to take a girls' weekend with all of my loves and enjoy all that San Fran has to offer and see the city in an amazing way.

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Madrid. Ever since I got sucked into the Mario Batali-Gwyneth Paltrow tour through Spain that aired on PBS, I've been dying to go to Spain and more specifically Madrid. The food, culture, history, scenery - they all appeal to me, and we all know that one of the best ways to explore a new place is on foot.

Bourbon Chase. Relays are all the rage in the blog community it seems, with Ragnar being the top dog. This relay is a 200-mile journey across the Bluegrass State – through our historic bourbon distilleries, across our majestic horse country, and into our enchanting small towns. Mark and I took a vacation to Louisville just before I got pregnant, and we toured Maker's Mark and visited Heaven Hill. It was one of the best and most picturesque trips we've ever taken. I would love to relive it mile by mile. The race, which is in September, is already sold out for 2012 and teams will have to participate in a lottery for 2013. Who wants to start buying tickets now?

What is your dream race? Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Up to tempo

I put it in my MyFitnessPal tracker. I tweeted about it. I told my co-worker running pal that he was going to have to match me.

And I even told Mark no. 

No, I wouldn’t be going to DeBrand’s for its signature sundae.

I had plans. Plans that involved a little thing called the treadmill and an activity called running. Thirty minutes would be the goal. Thirty minutes of doing something – anything – to get myself moving.

I also had plans to do a Jillian Micahels’ DVD but that was quickly scratched the plan. Why? My plan to just get in a run gradually became a plan to get in this week’s tempo run.

30 minutes – 5 minute warm-up, 20 minutes hard and 5-minute cool down. With Saturday’s 5K as a baseline, the 20 minutes hard were to be ran at a 9:12 to 9:32 pace (or 6.3 to 6.5 on the treadmill). The only hitch was that I didn’t carefully read my schedule, and I thought it was a 35-minute workout. D’oh.

My sick little guy went down promptly at 7, and I headed down to the basement armed … with my laptop. I started out with a short walk, then jogged at 5.0 until the five-minute mark. I bumped it up then to 6.3 and at 10 minutes, I bumped it up to 6.4. Fifteen minutes in, I went up to 6.5 with the idea of going down the “ladder” at 20 minutes. However, I kept thinking to myself, “Stick with 6.5 for this song. Stick with 6.5 till this xx minute. Oh, God. I love to run fast to N’Sync.” (Not so) soon enough, I hit the 30-minute mark and began my cool down.

It was a tough workout, and one I’m quite proud of. Not only did I push myself on the treadmill, which I totally suck at, but I nailed the paces perfectly. After writing last week about my disregard for training intervals, Robyn mentioned that it is good to practice pacing. It’s not just to avoid injury but to make sure you are in shape to do the next workout. It does no good to give it all you’ve got if you have nothing the next day.

And today I need it. I have plans again - this time to do Bob Harper's "Total Body Transformation." You heard it hear so I have to do it ...even though I hate it. It's not because it's long (60 minutes) or because the one guy in the back seems like such a dweeb. No, I hate it because it's hard.

Side burpees? Really? I guess I'll see you at 6 p.m.

In the kitchen

"A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil." - James A. Garfield


And, that my friends, is the devil. Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies.

I thought I would be nice to Mark and make him a little Valentine's Day treat. I considered peanut butter bars and his favorite chocolate raspberry cake but settled on these brownies after seeing red velvet recipe after red velvet recipe on my favorite not-so-healthy food blogs. 

And, really, what says I love you better than chocolate + cheesecake + the color red?

Oh, I know ... making your significant one something that makes you lose all self control and willpower. I'm fairly certain that I ate the equivalent of 3,245 brownies when I was cutting the treats into heart shapes for Mark's dessert and lunch the next day and the squares for us both to take to work. Each sliver of brownie that could have gone in the trash went into my mouth.

Other things that came out of my kitchen recently:

Baked apples and steamed carrots for baby food purees. We're not cool enough to do baby led weaning but I am doing my best to make as much of Miles' food as I can.

"Make What  Your Fridge Gave Ya" white pizza: Whole Wheat-White crust that I had frozen with leftover light Ragu alfredo and produce remnants - spinach, broccoli and tomato. Oh, and cheese. Of course.

Amoxicillin. I might not have made it but it's being served up twice a day for the next week. It seems Miles' cold turned into an ear infection and bronchialitis. 

What have you made lately?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The fanny is frozen

I could say it was the wicked headwind.

I could say it was the at-times slick and snow-covered path.

I could say it was a (not-so) rookie mistake that left tying my shoes within the first quarter-mile.

Or I could just say it: I didn't make my "A" goal at yesterday's Fanny Freezer 5K. And that's OK.

After weeks of fake winter, Jack Frost arrived just in time for yesterday's race. It was 20ish degrees with wind gusts making the windchill 9 degrees. Even with a 2 p.m. start, I found my teeth chattering as I awaited the start. Thank goodness L was so willing to cuddle with me as I waited in line to get my bib and chip!

There was little fanfare at the start. It seemed like everyone just crowded around the start and then started running. So I did the same.

And that's about where my memory of the race begins to fade.

I remember having to tie my shoe very early on. I remember climbing the hill that I learned to hate during W.O.O.F. training in 2010. I remember saying hi to a guy on the downhill and realizing it would be better to run in the grass. I remember hitting the half-way point and feeling pretty good. I remember the hill wasn't so kind to me the second time around. I remember chasing a very lean woman in tights and legwarmers (!).

However, if you wanted me to tell you how each step felt, give you a recap mile by mile or explain how I felt effort-wise, I am not sure I could. I actually listened to music during the race (shocker, I know) and I kind of just zoned out to "Bye, Bye, Bye," "Jai Ho" (from "Slumdog Millionaire") and Young Jeezy. I pushed when I could and held back when I couldn't.

For a brief moment, as I headed toward the finish, I thought I might make the sub-27 goal. I kicked it as best I could but the home stretch went on and on and on. I watched my goal tick away as neared the finish. I crossed, according to the GPS, at 27:35*.

*Official times haven't been posted and the race was gun timed.

Yes, I was just off my goal but it was the first time I maintained a sub-9 pace for an entire run and it was the first race of the season. I gave it all I had and, more importantly, I had a great time racing with a great group of girls.