Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So, About That Weight Issue...

It's been a while since I've written about weight. If you've been reading since the beginning, you might remember that weight was a common theme in many of posts. I was constantly trying to shed the 5 or so pounds I gained while injured early this year.

I finally made peace with my weight in late July after returning from vacation, and stopped trying so hard. And of course, as soon as I stopped trying, I lost weight.

I've been in a pretty good place since then, only stepping on the scale once every 1-2 weeks - a huge improvement from my daily weigh-ins of the past. And my weight's been staying in check, only fluctuating a pound or so.

Last Friday, I had a doctor's appointment and they weighed me. I hadn't weighed myself in 2 weeks, and hadn't thought twice about it. And then, in a matter of moments at the doctor's office, I slipped right back into weight obsession. The number on the scale was not at all what I was expecting to see. It was a good 5 pounds higher than when I last weighed myself. Now, intelligently, I know that I have to take that number with a grain of salt because there were several factors in play:

1) I was fully clothed
2) I had already eaten a big breakfast and washed it down with an even bigger coffee
3) Ahem, that time of the month...

Despite all this, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. And since then, I have felt like every pair of pants is just a little bit more snug than I remember...

In the midst of all this obsessing, I manage to snap out of it for a minute or two, and have some rational thoughts:

- I'm happy and healthy, without starving myself - so who cares about that number?!
- It's just a number, and it's prone to fluctuating
- I exercise daily and eat a healthy diet, and that hasn't changed even though the number went up

The husband thinks I'm completely crazy! He much prefers my current shape to the 102-pound me of a year ago. And he makes some valid points when I bring up my weight (not the least of which is the fact that I talk about it too much!!).

Anyway, all this rambling to say that the moral of the story is that I think I've finally come to the realization that my lowest weight isn't my healthiest (or happiest) weight.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ready to Race

Another weekend, over already. They go by so fast...

My training schedule had me running 8 miles on Saturday - my last long run before race day! I debated on Friday night whether or not I would get up and get it over with early in the morning on Friday. Ultimately I decided I would take advantage of a little extra rest and run later in the day.

I slept until 7:15 on Saturday morning!! Unheard of in this house. I forgot what it felt like to feel rested. Once I was up for the day, it was the usual swim class, donuts, and grocery shopping routine. The only thin out of the ordinary was breakfast. I wasn't very hungry - something also unheard of in this house.

Normally this would NEVER fill me up!
After the morning routine, I headed out for my run. It was about 50 degrees and sunny. Pretty much ideal conditions for a long run. I felt a couple twinges here and there (hip, knee), but overall I felt great! Totally ready to race.

Only a couple more short runs before the big 13.1! I was supposed to run today, but I'm deferring to tomorrow. It was dark and rainy all day, and I didn't feel well. (The takeout seemed like a good idea last night, but not so much today...)

I'm looking forward to the short workweek! It's off to bed....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2 + 5 = Crazy

Holy moly. Tonight was one of those times...I wasn't sure I could handle all the talking, whining, screaming and crying that comes along with having both a 2 year old and a 5 year old. If everyone's not talking over each other, then they're both whining and crying about different things at the same time. Some days, it feels like too much. Today was one of those days.

If it wasn't for Pure Barre and running, I probably would have completely lost it by now! Exercise keeps me sane. And thankfully, daddy didn't have to work tonight so I was able to run off some of the crazy.

I also lucked out because it was 46 degrees while I was out there. Much warmer than it's been the past several nights! My run was a little slower than last night though because my belly was full of this:

Quinoa, black beans, salsa, tomato and avocado
After my run, I had to make frosting and frost the cupcakes I baked last night for tomorrow's Thanksgiving luncheon at daycare. Apparently they enjoyed the chocolate birthday cupcakes so much, they decided to ask me to provide dessert! I whipped up these beauties:

I used this recipe, but made a couple modifications (because I always have to put my stamp on things!). I used whole wheat flour because that's all I had on hand. I also added about 2-3T of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to the frosting and instead of using clear vanilla flavor for the frosting I used about 1T of vegan vanilla pudding mix. [By the way, baking also keeps me sane! I love it. Which is another reason I need to keep up with my exercise...]


So, remember that barre instructor job I auditioned for? I nailed the audition and interview and got offered the job!! But I didn't take it. :-( It was a tough decision, but ultimately it was just too far from home and from my 9-5. I couldn't commit to teaching the evening class once during the week because of traffic, kid pickup, etc. And I really didn't need one more thing to stress about. Maybe in the near future I can find an instructor job closer to home and teach part-time.

Time to hit the hay. Another crazy day ahead!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's All Single Digits From Here

Well, I would say "happy Monday" but I'm totally crabby today. I was woken up by my 5 year old at 4:30 this morning, which wasn't a great start. Plus, the weather has a major affect on my mood, and it was gray and rainy when I got up. Boo. And it got progressively colder all day. Double boo.

In happier news, I completed my last double-digit run on my training plan this weekend!

One of the only things I managed to photograph this weekend - my delicious cherry/vanilla/banana protein smoothie!
I ended up running later in the day on Saturday due to the cold weather. I wasn't tough enough for 28 degrees at 5 am, but 45 degrees at 3:20 pm was totally doable. Hubby had to leave for work at 6:45 am, and I pretty much walked out the door as soon as he got home to get it over and done with.

My splits were all over the place throughout my run, ranging from 9:45 to 8:44, with first mile being the slowest and last mile being the fastest. It wasn't exactly the time that I hoped for, but I can't complain.

I'm now just a week and a half from race day, and it's all single digit runs between now and then. I don't think I'll beat (or even match) my PR from last year's race of 1:59:08, but I think I can come in somewhere between 2:00:00 and 2:02:00. Pretty sure I hit the peak of my running career last year...

Scenes from last year's Atlanta Half Marathon
Hubby has to work tomorrow night, which means I'm taking 2 days in a row off from running, and running Wednesday and Thursday instead. And truthfully, my calves and my shins are in desperate need of a break! And some ice...

Off to bed - hoping neither kid decides to wake me up from a dead sleep 30 minutes before my alarm again... Grrr.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Week in Review + Pancakes-for-Dinner Kind of Night

Yet another week gone in a flash! And yet again, I had every intention of blogging more frequently, but life was happening like crazy. (Though I barely took pictures of any of it...)

Wondering what this mommy has been up to? (I'm going to tell you regardless...) How about a little week in review?

Monday and Tuesday were relatively uneventful. 5 am Pure Barre both mornings, TONS and TONS of work to do all day, a 5-miler on Tuesday night.

Wednesday is where it started to get crazy. Hit up my Pure Barre class in the morning, work,work work, and then hit up the hot bar at Whole Foods for my favorite honey buffalo fried tofu. Sooooo delicious! Around 3:15, I hopped in the car with my co-worker and my luggage for a road trip to Knoxville for business. It's a good thing she's talkative because it was a 3.5-hour drive! Somehow we never ran out of things to say.

We got to the hotel, checked in, and then headed straight to the lobby bar with our bags. These 2 mommies' gotta maximize every minute of an overnight trip! We had a beer while we worked on our presentation for Thursday's meeting. (Per usual, I didn't even finish my beer.) I snuck in a call to daddy and the munchkins, too.

Later that evening, we met up with some friends of hers for a yummy Asian dinner and a couple glasses of wine. Totally planned to blog when I got back from dinner, but it was 11:30 by the time I got back and crawled into bed. So late for me!

I had also planned to run on the treadmill at the hotel Thursday morning, but with the late night, the wine, and the fact that I had a hotel room to myself and didn't need to be anywhere until 9, I ended up sleeping in - until 7. So late for me - in a great way!

We went to our meeting, crushed it, and then packed up and headed back to ATL. I got back to the office just before 3 pm and walked straight into a conference room for an hour-long call. After picking up kiddos, making everyone dinner, and putting baby girl to bed, I finally got that run in. And it was COLD!!

And it got even colder. I had to bundle up to my eyeballs to head to Pure Barre.

I had an appointment this morning, so I didn't get to work until about 9:30. Other than a quick break to heat up my lunch (edamame and leftover homemade black bean burger), I barely moved from my desk today. Next thing I knew, it was time to pick up the kids again. And since it's the end of the week and the kitchen is bare (and daddy had to work), it was a pancakes-for-dinner kind of night. (Vegan pancakes of course to accommodate mommy!) No pictures, but here's the recipe, which made about 8 pancakes:

Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1T sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1T Earth Balance (melted in the micro for 20 sec)
1 "flax egg" (1T ground flax mixed with 3T warm water - let sit for a couple minutes before mixing into the batter)
~1 cup  unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used Silk)

We gobbled them up in no time!

Tomorrow is my long run day. My last double-digit run before the half marathon - 10 miles! I have really been enjoying getting up early and getting it over with before the day begins, even last weekend's 12-miler in 34-degree weather. But tomorrow, I have to draw the line. Daddy has to leave for work at 6:45 am and it's supposed to be 28 degrees at 5 am, the time I would need to head out the door. Just. Can't. Do it. Too cold too early. Luckily daddy will be home early enough for me to still get my run in, although I don't love late-day long runs. But certainly better than the alternative. And now that I've made the "official" call that I'm not getting out of bed that early, I feel relieved and happy to be able to stay in my warm bed as long as kiddos will allow!

Speaking of which, it's bedtime for me! Gotta make the most of it!

What's the weather like where you are?

What's your "cutoff temperature" for outdoor activities?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Coming Down the Other Side

I had another one of those "I blinked and it was over" kind of weekends. But it was a good one.

Saturday marked the peak of my half-marathon training schedule! I'm relieved to be coming down the other side. Even though the hubby didn't have to work this weekend, I decided that I would still get up at the crack of dawn to get my 12-miler over and done with so I could enjoy the rest of my day. My alarm went off at 4:50 am, and the very first thing I did was check the weather.

Oy. I decided to make some coffee to warm myself up, and I ate one (or two...) of these babies for fuel:

I layered up and covered my ears, and checked the weather one last before heading out at 5:45.

Even colder!
For some reason, my Runkeeper audio cues completely failed. I'm so used to getting updates via my headphones every 5 minutes on my distance, pace and overall time. I pulled my iPhone out of my Spibelt at the half-mile landmark to make sure Runkeeper was tracking me, and it was. I guess it was a blessing in disguise. It actually took some of the pressure off not knowing what my pace was, and it made it even easier for me to get lost in my music and let my mind go elsewhere. At one point, my mind went so far elsewhere that I suddenly looked around in the dark and could NOT figure out where I was! I completely blanked out. A definite first for me.

I checked my phone a couple more times starting at around 9 miles, and when I got home just before 7:40, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had run at a pretty good clip. Nowhere near as fast as I ran my 12-miler this time last year, but I will take it, for sure.

It felt great to get up and get it done, and still have the whole day ahead. I immediately got ready for the Saturday swim class and grocery shopping routine. Have I mentioned how amazing it is to spend 30 minutes in the pool after a long run?!

After the shopping was done and I dropped my big girl off at a friend's house, I headed up north of the city for an audition. Yes, that's right - a barre instructor audition! On Friday, I saw a job posting on LinkedIn for a barre instructor at a brand new (non-franchise) barre studio opening next month. On a whim, I applied. I got a call almost right away, and agreed to meet, interview and audition on Saturday. It's the most excited I've been about anything in a while! I enjoyed meeting the founder/owner of the studio, and enjoyed hearing her story about leaving corporate America to pursue her passion for the barre. So jealous... The studio is a bit of a hike (about 25 minutes north of home), but I think I can make it work if she offers me a spot. We'll see!

I capped off a great Saturday with some late(ish) Asian takeout and wine with the hubby. It's always nice to have a chance to talk without kiddo interruptions!

One-on-one time with mommy while big sister was at her sleepover.
Sunday went by even fast than Saturday. I started with a 9:15 Pure Barre class, lazed around on the couch for much of the afternoon, and hobbled out on my sore calves for a short recovery run. Oh, and in the late morning, I got pulled over and issued a ticket for a traffic violation that totally DID NOT commit! It was seriously one of those alternate universe moments, like "is this really happening?!" I can now imagine how people who are falsely accused of more serious crimes feel. When it's your word against a large uniformed officer, you don't stand a chance, even when you've done nothing wrong. Ugh - I can't even talk about it anymore.

I'm going to need a good night's sleep and several deep breaths before I can face Monday in the office. I'm sure everyone feels the same way.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Running Out of a Funk

Long time, no blog. Again, I really want to get back to posting more regularly, since it's so cathartic. But I really just haven't had much to say lately. Or at least not much that I want to say so publicly!

It's fair to say I've been in a funk recently...but a 6+ mile run was just what I needed tonight! It was clear, bright, and cool (but not cold!) outside. It took me a couple miles to really get into it, but I had so much on my mind and was doing so much thinking that I just about forgot that I was running for a while. Seriously. And thinking so hard made me run faster without even realizing it.

Loving those splits! Faster and faster as I went along.

I felt so much more relaxed when I got home. I only wish I had felt this relaxed and relieved before the kiddos went to bed, but at least it's almost the weekend! Even my 2-year-old has been talking about the weekend since Tuesday.

I'm treating myself to a glass of wine as a reward for working so hard this week. If I was a "normal" person, I'd probably cut myself a break and sleep in until 6 tomorrow. But alas, I'm not a normal person so I'll be up at 5 am for Pure Barre, per usual. :)

Keeping it short and sweet tonight - and hoping I'll feel more inspired to write more often again soon!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Countdown to Race Day + Time to Think

Hi there. How was your weekend? If I had to sum mine up in one work it would be: COLD! The weather has really taken a turn here in GA. Seems like we went straight from summer to winter. Sigh. I don't love being cold, but I have to say that I certainly do run better in colder weather!

And speaking of running... Race day will be here before I know it! Only 25 days to go! I had an 11-miler on the schedule this weekend, and Daddy had to work all day on Saturday, which meant an early morning run for me. The only other option was no run - which basically isn't an option for a Type A like me. ;) I went to bed Friday night dreading a nearly 2-hour run in the cold...

But, I got up and got it done! Out of bed just after 5 and fueled up with a cup of coffee and this:

Cinnamon Raisin Scone. Vegan deliciousness.
I put on my thick performance socks, long pants, 2 layers on top, ear warmer, and gloves and stepped out the door into this:

Brrrrr!! It was even colder by the time I got home.
Runkeeper let me down (again!) in the first 5 minutes (~0.5 mi), saying I had run nearly a mile already at a 6:30 pace. Ha! I wish. I stopped briefly to restart Runkeeper and then got down to business.

For the first half of my run, I had the wind at my back, which was great because it was strong enough to push me forward a bit. I'll take any help I can get during a long run! Unfortunately at my 7-mile turnaround spot, I had to run straight into the gusty wind. It was so strong and so cold that it felt hard to breathe - like I was gasping for air. Ultimately though, the blustery air gave me more motivation to push myself and keep going - and most importantly, get home faster to take a hot shower!

Can you spot the big hill??
Not an amazing run by any means, but solid.

By 7:45, I was getting myself ready for swim class with the kids. It's tough to get up so early on the weekend, but I never regret getting a long run over and done with before all the other daily activities.

Random photo of my amazing Trader Joe's lunch - tofu spring rolls and steamed edamame.
I'm not running nearly as well as I was this time last year, training for the same race, but I feel strong and ready for 13.1.


One of the greatest things about distance running (for me at least) is time alone with your thoughts. It sounds crazy, but with a full-time job and 2 kids under the age of 6, sometimes I don't even have time to think about anything other than what needs to be done immediately. I look forward to a couple hours of quiet reflection on Saturday mornings.

Here's what I was thinking about during my 11 miles this weekend...

- I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I envy people who have known their calling all along and pursued it. At age 31, I feel like I'm still discovering what my passions are. The only thing I know for sure is that what I thought I wanted to be when I was 18 is not what I want to be now.

- Something is missing in my life. Maybe related to my first thought above? I haven't been able to quite put my finger on it, and maybe it's not just one thing.

- I wish I could spend more time with my kids. Ironic thought in the midst of 80 minutes all by myself, right? But seriously - I have a lot of guilt about the fact that they spend 10+ hours a day at school/daycare during the week, and I'm often so focused on getting through the daily obligations that I'm not fully present when I do get to spend time with them.

So much cuteness; so much love.

It all sounds so depressing when I type it out... But it sure does give me a lot to work toward!

How was your weekend?