The Big Run

Yesterday, I had the most satisfactory realization that I will never, never again in my life have to run further than what I ran that day. Unless I’m running from zombies, of course.

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Actually, it was more like 15.3 miles because I was turned around in the Presidio and ended up almost to Pacific Heights.

I started out down to AT&T Park, thinking if I headed South a bit it would be easier to cover my training plan’s requested 14 miles. Since I covered 13 miles a couple weeks ago doing an out-and-back to the Golden Gate Bridge, I didn’t think I would have to go much farther to make a 14 mile course.

The day couldn’t be any better.

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I also ran into another race in Chrissy Field. It was the Mermaid run, or something? I ran against the race, which was probably a little rude. But whatever.

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I sort of missed the turn to go up to the bridge, so I took the trail over the batteries towards Baker Beach.

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Didn’t suck at all.

At some point, I thought I forgot my sunglasses. This was when I remembered where they were.

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I showed that to Hulk, to which he responded, “Hey, those are MY sunglasses.” Well, Dear, now you know what to get me for Christmas.

Since I overshot the miles coming back, I started walking once I hit 14. I probably could have ran the rest of the way home since I was feeling fabulous (who would have though bringing food and water would help performance?) but decided not to chance injury.

I did a lot of things different on this run than I normally do. These are all pretty no-brainers, but for whatever reason I thought for the longest time I could do without. I sort of can, but I suffer on my longer runs which is never fun. Here’s what I tried this time:

  1. Music. I’ve been running without music, but definitely find that it’s hard to push through sometimes without a motivating distraction. So I would like to thank my sponsor for making this run possible, the Pitbull Pandora station.
  2. Hydration. I don’t always bring water with me because there are a few drinking fountains on my route but they’re at awkward locations. This time I bit the (looking like a geek) bullet and wore my Camelbak, throwing a could Nuun tabs in for extra kick. It was so nice to drink a few sips of fruit punch Nuun whenever I wanted, and I only had to refill once and never felt deprived.
  3. Food. I usually bring a Powerbar with me, but it’s not my favorite fuel source and I find myself putting off eating it because I don’t want to. The Powerbars we have are ancient, left over from Hulk’s professional sponsorship days, so they’re pretty stale and hard to chew. I splurged a bit at Whole Foods and bought some delicious Honey Stinger energy chews which are basically eating candy while running. I had to pace myself because I wanted to eat all the bags right away.

I had energy through the whole run and even sprinted in the last mile. My legs hurt, but I still felt like I wanted to just go. So I think I found my sweet spot of how much I need for what type of run. Someday I might have it all dialed in and have less decisions to make while preparing for a run.

After my run, I adhered to the couch and basically pretended to be a puddle all day. Puddle on the couch, puddle in bed, puddle on the floor while Squish insisted I should play trains with him. Then Hulk had the brilliant idea to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with some friends. Pizza post-run = winning.

I gave Squish my phone to distract him while we waited for our food, and he took about a million selfies.

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My iCloud is out of storage and my phone hasn’t backed up in two weeks, so I might need to start curbing this behavior. Or delete some darn photos. Most of them are pictures of eggs, anyway.

Okay, so I’m done now. Did you do anything fun or epic this weekend? How do you fuel for long runs, have you figured out what works for you yet?

Burgers, Life Decisions, and a Dramatic Makeover

Happy Monday to you! We had a pleasant weekend over here. Lots of running, a little adventure, and a makeover filled our day planners.

I had planned on switching my long runs to Saturday so I could get it over with early in the weekend and not have it hang over my head while making more fun plans. But Friday night we hung out with some friends until late, so by the time I finally rolled out of bed Saturday morning it was already too late to beat the throngs of tourists along the Embarcadero. So I did my usual 4-miler and called it good.

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Which was probably a good thing. My foot is still hurting. I took Karen’s advice and rolled my foot with a frozen bottle. But I don’t think she had this kind of bottle in mind. Well, you use what you have available, right?

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I’m actually pretty bummed that Hulk left this wine in the freezer. It’s my favorite – Benziger Sangiacomo chardonnay. We intended to drink it Thursday night as part of a little celebration, but someone forgot about it and opened up another bottle. I found it Friday while putting groceries away and was impressed that the bottle didn’t break. The frozen liquid just pushed out the cork. It made for a good ice pack. A very expensive ice pack.

While I was icing my foot with the world’s most expensive ice pack, Squish received a makeover. He was getting shaggy.

Before:

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The distinguished after:

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Then we headed south to San Jose to look at apartments. We had to make a decision this weekend if we were going to renew our lease at our current place or move, and where we would move to if that was the decision. All that apartment touring made us hungry, so we stopped at Billy Berks in downtown San Jose for some refreshing burgers and brews.

And sweet potato fries for #TheSquish.

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Burger-riffic. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was to be burger #1 for the day.

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Then we met up with a friend in Palo Alto and explored a few residence options there. It’s right in between where Hulk and I will both work, so we wanted to check it out. We wandered University Ave and I resisted the lure of the Palo Alto Lululemon store. Then we picked up (or, I picked up) some iced coffee.

Armed with all of our research and decisions, we headed back to SF. On our way home we found ourselves hungry again and while stopping for gas picked up some Burger King takeout (burger #2!), parked on a sweet spot on Potrero Hill, and munched our burgers as we gazed at the view of downtown SF and weighed options.

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The verdict? With a view like that, why would we leave? We signed our lease and will stay in SF another year.

And I’m glad we did, since my 10-mile run through Crissy Field Sunday was glorious.

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Followed by compression socks, Netflix, and celebrating Interational Coffee Day with more than one well-crafted beverage.

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Did you honor International Coffee Day on Sunday?

Any big life decisions made lately?

Thursday. Yup.

This is my 104th published post! I didn’t even notice that I hit a triple-digit milestone on this little bloggy. I shall plan a special milestone edition post. Or not. We’ll see if I can come up with something good, then find the time to realize my idea to maybe half of its potential because I tend to procrastinate and I’m lazy.

Anyway, I’m at the Sausalito Cafe waiting for my breakfast burrito. I was a good girl and made breakfast at home, then I forgot to eat it. In my defense, I was pressed for time. When I wasn’t paying attention, Squish tried to stir the bowl of scrambled eggs that we’re sitting on the counter waiting for the pan over veggies to heat. He spilled the entire bowl all over the counter, floor, and in the utensil drawers. I probably could have been mean and left it for the new babysitter to take care of, but I’m not normally mean unless it’s for significant political or monetary advantages. Or if it’s just really, really entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, I had a kick ass run this morning. After my usual loop up the Embarcadero, I decided to cut back through Soma and hit some of the little hills there. I hadn’t worked hills very much, and since I was feeling really great and the race will be a hilly race I decided to go for it. Totally wasn’t a bad morning for a run.

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Yeahhh.

Okay, I’m tired of typing on my phone. And my breakfast burrito is ready. So toodles for now!

What I Ate Wednesday #3 – Dine and Dash

Good morning!

This is going to be yet another “dine and dash” post, as my alarm just told me it’s time to leave for work but I am not dressed yet. Typical Wednesday!

Any-hoo, I had sort of a distracted day yesterday. Had a banana with almond butter “sandwich” to fuel my almost-5 mile run in the morning. Followed by some foam roller lovin’. Complete with awkward gym pics.

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But in true self-care style, I made the effort to get my stretch and foam roll on, since my leggies handle the weekly running pounding so much better that way. I skipped my long run on Sunday (forshame.) so I was really anxious and raring to go yesterday morning. My legs, however, were not. All day at work they were super achy, stiff, and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon sitting on my tennis ball to relieve the sharp pains from my hamstring. Plus, my foot is starting to get these shooting pains that feel like knives stabbing me in my heel. I’m not sure if I need to do more yoga/foam rolling/ice baths or not. Time to experiment with some recovery methods to see what helps me survive in one piece through December. Because, you know, it’s just pain. There’s no way I can stop running or anything.

Breakfast was on-the-go. I picked up a breakfast burrito and coffee from the Sausalito Cafe on my way to the office. I love this place for on-the-way-to-work breakfast. The owner is super nice and loves to chat, and the food is outstanding.

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(Ugh, I hate pics of half-eaten food. But I keep forgetting to take a shot before my hunger overcrowds my senses.)

I went home for lunch and (as usual) tried to get too much stuff done on my lunch break. So I had to pack up my pork chop and celery to eat back at work.

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Again, with the half-eaten food! I tried to hide the bites with the celery. Eww.

Dinner was a glorious experiment making shepherd’s pie, but my phone was in the other room and my brother came over so through the chaos I never took a picture. But I had a modest square with a couple of beers. Because I believe in balance.

There was also copious amounts of coffee with half & half and cups of tea thrown in sporadically throughout the day.

And now I am very late. Have a happy Wednesday!

Santa Cruz Adventures, Volume 2

Good morning, blog world!

I am hear to weave the captivating tale of our second day in Santa Cruz. In case you didn’t get enough beautiful beach shots last time.

The first rule of bringing a baby or toddler to a hotel with you is you can pretty much guarantee that no one will sleep. Squish was up at 3 am, 4 am, 5:30 am, and finally up and ready to go all bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30 am. Hulk and I were not.  Since I had to run anyway, I thought I’d give Hulk an extra hour of toddler-free sleep and take Squish to find coffee.

I was glad I did. The sun was just rising and it was a gorgeous morning on the beach. I found a coffee shop close by and had completely forgotten that I came here for coffee a million years ago when Hulk was in a bike race nearby. Firefly Coffee House is a cute little coffee bar with homemade bagels and pastries. It’s one of those coffee shops with old, lounge-y chairs and shelves full of books to borrow and old games like chess or Scrabble to play while you kick back with friends (or let your toddler play with while you slam a bagel and coffee). We got there just as the first batch of bagels was coming out of the oven.

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I got Squish a banana bread to hold him over for the bagel. Since they were so fresh-out-the-oven, they were too hot to cut into and we had to wait a few.

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Darn, I hate waiting because my bagel is TOO fresh. I chose an herb-topped bagel with plain cream cheese. Which I enjoyed bites in between trying to keep Squish from throwing Scrabble tiles around.

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Then we walked to the beach as the sun peaked out through the fog.

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And played on the strange seating structures.

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Then I dropped Squish with Hulk for some manly man time while I headed out for my 8-miler. It was terrible.

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I hate running along the coast.

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Seriously, who would like this?

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Okay, actually, it hurt a lot; but the views and weather were so gorgeous I can’t complain. I was pushing it close to check-out time when I got back, so I took a quick dunk in the ocean to ease my throbbing legs (the Smirnoff’s might not have been a good idea, in hindsight) and got cleaned up and packed as I slammed an pictured apple and the last of the deli chicken. Then we toodled around the boardwalk some more until we said adieu to Santa Cruz and started making our way North along the PCH. Somewhere we stopped and I grabbed some fruity electrolyte “health” water thingy.

In Half Moon Bay, we decided to drop in at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel there.

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No big deal, just spent our afternoon at the Ritz.

The property is on a golf course overlooking the ocean with public access and lots of overlooks and picnic areas. Squish and I terrorized the gardens while Hulk chilled out in the sunshine.

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Slightly pink-cheeked, we all headed back to SF. Hulk whipped us up a quick and easy pasta with chicken.

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I barely thought to snap the picture before I devoured it. I was so. hungry.

It will be interesting to see how my legs hold up this week. After a crappy night of sleep, lots of sun, a little alcohol, and not nearly enough recovery food after my long run yesterday, I may not have a stellar training week. I plan on taking it easy today and see how my run goes tomorrow. Whatever happens, I’m down with. You have to take time to live a little, too.

How do you like to recover after long/hard workouts? Or long/hard non-workouts if you don’t really work out? Sometimes I need to recover from my long nap with another nap.

In Other News:

Check out this post from Run, Eat, Repeat. I liked it, nay, loved it. http://runeatrepeat.com/2013/09/10/just-the-tiplearning-from-from-diets/

 

Santa Cruz Adventures, Volume 1

Hello, lovely peeps!

I didn’t want to wait to start posting about how the weekend went. It was such a blast! Since Hulk was gone on the East Coast all week for a work thing, I booked us a night in Santa Cruz so we could take a little mini-vaycay after his absence. A little surf and sand was just the right thing.

But first I have to get caught up from the week. Friday’s lunch was a quick toss-together of chicken and herbs, sliced heirloom tomato, and broccoli. Woo-hoo.

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It was a really pretty day in SF.

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Of course I needed an afternoon pick-me-up.

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I tried something new for Friday’s dinner – homemade mac-and-cheese, with chicken, peas, and swiss chard. It was Squishy-approved.

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Saturday morning, I ran an easy 4 miles up to Pier 39 and back before we left for Santa Cruz. I didn’t want any pesky running training to get in the way of my beach time. Pre-game:

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One under-ripe nectarine (ugh) under a sea of Greek yogurt and cinnamon. After my run, Hulk made some brekkie so I could clean up and get packed. His man-breakfast:

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Bacon ‘n’ eggs (I added the sliced tomato for a little plant-eating), coffee. We ran out of milk so I had it black. Sad panda.

However, I needn’t be sad for long …

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Woot! Our hotel was in a great location across from the beach off of the Santa Curz Wharf. We stayed at the Beach Street Inn and Suites, and I would recommend it. It was a little on the pricey side, but not as bad as some of the other hotels in the area with the same superb location. The staff were very friendly, it was clean and comfortable, and the decor was an adorable cozy cottage-chic.

You can see it around Hulk trying to wrangle the Squish out of his jacket:

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Plus it was pretty quiet. There were several other family and groups staying around us, and we really didn’t hear anyone else unless they were right outside our door. And check out this shower! All 3 of us would fit in it.

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Anyway, enough of that. We got down to business.

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Squish broke into the snacks.

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We basically grazed on snacks for lunch. I brought with us (let’s see if I can remember it all):

  • crackers
  • hummus
  • carrot sticks
  • strawberries
  • deli chicken
  • olives
  • chips & salsa
  • Squishy-approved graham crackers
  • trail mix
  • diet soda & beer

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“Maa! I’m still hungry!”

After we beached it up (and I took a super cold dunk in the water … I wanted the crunchy surfer hair look) we headed back to the room for a quick nap.

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“I would prefer this fascinating documentary on how the world will end over a nap. Because they’re pretty much the same thing.”

After we refreshed and recovered from the beach scene we took a stroll down the Wharf, where the barking of the sea lions serenaded us. There were so many sitting in the – what do you call them, rafters? – below the pier. There was a staircase to a dock below that was fenced off so you could go down and see them up close. If I wanted to lose a hand, I could have pet them they were so close.

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For as big as they are, it was crazy to see them leap out of the water and land on the rafters. And by land I mean maybe make it up there, but more often than not fail and fail hard. It reminded me of when my extremely obese pet cat I had growing up would jump up on the bed. Sometimes he’d make it, and sometimes there would be a thundering crash and in the wake of the chaos a very indignant cat would strut away as if saying, “I meant to do that.”

Anyway, then I needed beer.

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I had to give Amanda a poke for this. We went to the Seabright Brewery, one of our favorite stops in Santa Cruz, and I tried their Benderbrau, a German-style beer based on Bender from Futurama. It was mighty tasty.

(Source)

I convinced Hulk to order the Brie and Roasted Garlic. We normally don’t do appetizers, but I didn’t have to twist his arm too much for a plate of melted cheese.

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To accompany my brie-bomb, I ordered a small Caesar salad with blackened salmon that made my heart sing. So freakin’ good.

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Then we walked home along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Squish gave up on the stroller long before we got to the restaurant, so he rode home on Dad’s shoulders.

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And we stopped at some of the local todder attractions. Apparently the covered patio tables are all the rage in kiddie rides these days.

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And then I pre-gamed and put out my stuff for my 8-miler the next morning. Cheers!

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I don’t think I’ve had a malt beverage since college. Hulk picked them up since I failed to bring more beers than needed for one afternoon on the beach. They didn’t have quite the punch to them as I remembered.

So much stuff to recap! I need to take a break from my break. See you next time with Part Deux.

Where’s your favorite weekend getaway spot?

The One Where I Find New Back Exercises

Good morning, Karl!

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I somehow hurt my back doing squats yesterday. It’s kind of hard to put shoes on now. I’m not even sure what I did or how I did it. I warmed up on the Smith machine with the bar and felt fine. Then I loaded a barbel with some 10’s and … nope. Not happening. Anything bending over was a big no. So I did a bunch of lunges, leg extentions/curls, and anything that didn’t involve bending over. I know I need to work my lower back more, but I’m not sure how to do that. I used to do back extentions, but the gym doesn’t have one of those special chair thingys for it. You know, these things:

 (source)

Anyway, so I tried to do a modified version by laying on a bench and lifting my legs behind me. I guess it’s called a prone hip extention? Anyway, that is how I shredded my glutes yesterday. Running my 4 miles this morning was a PIA, literally. At least I got it done.

So now I’m on the hunt for some good lower back exercises.

In other news, we have food in the house again! Yay!

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Lunch was a massive baby kale salad with heirloom tomato, bell pepper, goat cheese crumbles, evoo, balsamic vinegar, and sesame seeds. Paired with a sausage sauteed with onion and peppers. So. Many. Veggies. I was a full and happy girl.

But Duke thinks we need more bacon.

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Oh, and I found out that I never actually registered for my race coming up in December. I received my voucher, but apparently never went and registered. Nor could I find my email with the voucher information. I figured I was out of luck, but I emailed the race people anyway, and they sent me a new voucher! I hope it works, but either way I was very impressed and pleased at their promptness in dealing with my idiocy. So, North Face Endurance Challenge Series, here I come! Please don’t rain again.

 

 

 

The One Where I Ran 8 Miles

My 8 Mile run, by the numbers:

Distance: 8.3 miles

Time: 1:48

Avg Pace: 13:01 (I forgot about the hills …)

# of Gear Worn for the first time: 1

Rocking the Fuel Belt
Rocking the Fuel Belt

Times consulted the map thinking I’m lost: 3

# of Streets visited: 12 … Jackson – Steiner – Broadway – Pacific – Scott – Clay – Fillmore – California – Kearney – Market – First – Mission

# of Neighborhoods crossed: 5 … Downtown – Chinatown – Nob Hill – Pacific Heights – Presidio

# of water stops: 1, and it was glorious

# of Hills: lost count after 5

Minutes where I never wanted this run to end: 13

Minutes where I cursed myself for pickup up running as a hobby: 72

# of Times Stopped for a photo op:

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Took this from my roof. See that little green sploch on the horizon? I ran there!
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Fillmore Street
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Pac Heights has the best private residential gardens
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You can’t really tell, but this hill is STEEP
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My favorite Pac Heights game – museum, church, or single-family private residence?
040
Trees!!
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Again, museum, church, or single-family private residence? Give you a hint – this one has a backyard private tennis court.
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Trails!!
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More trails!!
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Lafayette Park
047
Market St … and almost-home

Miles from home when my Garmin decided to die – 0.2

# of days until I can do this run again – 5 … can’t wait for Saturday!

The One Where It’s Almost Tuesday

Happy Monday … er, oh, it’s Tuesday? Hmm.

First, I ran 8 miles on Saturday. I have lots of lovely pics so this news will be it’s own separate post. I just wanted to start with something cheery. So fist bump to me, I rock.

unicorn(Source)

Next, I had another amazing weekend of nothingness. Well, I actually did things this time, but they were sporadically inserted among long bouts of Netflix streaming.

bachelorette carebear periscope

 

(One of these things is not like the others …)

Finally, well, that’s it.

The One where Duke Wants Shrimp

How the heck are ya? I am so happy it’s almost Friday, just throwing that out there. Boo work. Yay not working. Unless it’s a permanent condition, then sometimes yay working. Yay balance of work and not work?

I don’t think I ate enough yesterday. I felt okay, but I got really hungry in the afternoon just before I went home. I fried up some hamburger and ate a banana before I went on my run. Well, I ate half a banana; Squishy was the recipient of the other half. He is definitely at that “Monkey See Monkey Do” stage where it’s impossible to do anything without a pint-sized shadow wanting to do it too. When I was frying the burger, he was pitching himself at my legs whining the whole time. Later, when the meat was cooked and the pan cooled, I picked him up, and he grabbed the spatula and proceeded to “cook” the meat. If he wasn’t so incompetnet and accident-prone, I would most certainly load him up with chores around here.

Anyway, it’s probably a good time to mention that I’m not really doing the Whole30 anymore. I really haven’t been doing it since about Day 5, but I kept telling myself that tomorrow’s another day, and don’t worry that there’s one after that … and so on. But it’s been three weeks and I have yet to fully commit, so I’m going to stop stressing about it and move on. As long as I’m not shoving cookies in my face, I’ll consider it a win.20130424-200124.jpg (from Pinterest)

Breakfast was a kitchen-sink frittata, since we’re getting low in the fridge again. I threw in last night’s chicken and broccoli leftovers, the last of the potatoes, a sausage, and some other bits and chunks of veggies.

Then I drank a lot of coffee.

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Lunch was more frittata, a couple of eggs, an orange, carrots, and the last of the AB jar. As I said, I probably should have brought more substantial-ness with me. Could have used a can of tuna or something.

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An empty jar is such a sad sight, and I don’t know when I’ll get more. I can’t justify a trip to Whole Foods for just almond butter, but it is ridiculously expensive at Safeway and Target. And before you tell me Trader Joe’s, there isn’t one nearby (*sniff*). I might have to make my own, gasp! Maybe I can sweet talk Hulk into getting one of those mega 5-lb bags of almonds at Costco next time he makes a run.

After work I had aforementioned banana and small pile of ground beef, then I did a 3-mile run with some sprint intervals. Holy rush hour madness, batman. I am NEVER running right after work ever again. I was constantly running and dodging people all over the place, it was nuts. Hulk always complains about this when he runs outside, which is why he’s a treadmill guy. Since my runs usually take place early in the morning or on weekends, I’ve never had this problem. Ugh. And you feel like a jerk because you’re blasting by little old ladies, knocking their walkers out from under them, or pushing small children into oncoming traffic because you don’t want to quit your interval before it’s done. But I felt good, physically. My legs are still a little sore and sluggish, but I figured a little runnin’ would help work out all the junk left over.

Came home and sauteed some shrimp and nuked some green beans. Slathered everything in olive oil.

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I would have liked a potato or something starchy, but we’re out and I didn’t want to resort to the rest of the tortilla chips. Tomorrow, dear chippies. Tomorrow.

This is Duke’s “Can I have a shrimp?” face. The answer is, and always will be, no, Duke.

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I know, we’re cruel owners. Look at him, wasting away to practically nothing. Don’t feel bad for him, he scores gold with the high chair fallout.