My Worst Race.

Happy Hump Day, ya’ll! I had yesterday and today off and I very rarely get 2 consecutive days off. It has been pretty glorious. Yesterday I slept in til 11:30 (wut.) after a marathon of Breaking Bad Monday night that lasted until 2:00 AM with John. We wanted to get through the rest of Season 4 and that we did. And then I couldn’t fall asleep for awhile because the last episode scared the crap out of me. #baby

The rest of yesterday included lots of lounging in bed, then deciding to buy a new bed from a friend… or should I say, an actual bed. We have had a futon for the whole time we’ve lived here and for most of our relationship before NYC. One of my friends here is getting rid of her bed for a new one. I am REAL excited to not sleep on a futon anymore. I also ran a very cold 2.25 miles where I did nothing but wheeze and cough the whole time. I’ve been fighting a cold (but could be allergies?) for a few weeks but besides being super stuffed up, the coughing only occurs when outside. I’m thinking I may have cold-weather induced asthma because this has happened on all my other runs this year where the weather has been below 45. I know what you’re thinking… Just use the treadmill, you dummy! I can manage 3 miles AT THE MOST on the treadmill and that’s not even from just the complete boredom I feel on it, but my hips and knees start to hurt anything over that. I’m an outdoor long distance runner. I need tips/suggestions on how to not wheeze my way through the winter! Looks like I’m in the market for a ski-mask looking thing.

Another example of how much I hate winter is how craptastic my 5 mile race was on Sunday. It really doesn’t matter because it is one of the last 3 races I have to run to qualify for the marathon next year, so I could have walked the whole thing and it wouldn’t be a big deal. I just have to finish them. But alas, I figured I would at least be able to run the whole thing considering I don’t ever have to stop and walk while I’m running. I ran 2 miles as a warm-up and then within the first 2 miles of the race I had to stop and walk. My right hip flexor was painful already and I couldn’t catch my breath at even a 12-minute mile. It was cold out but also humid, pretty much a disaster. Besides my hip and breathing, I felt good mentally and decided to focus on being out there for a good cause and that I was going to be run/walking 8 miles total for the day and that is wonderful. Leave the pressure that is solely put on by ourselves on the road and move on! My PR for 5 miles is a little less than 50 minutes, and a few weeks ago my 5 mile race was below 51 minutes. Sunday’s 5 mile time was almost 58 minutes. Goes to show you, you never know what will happen on any given run. You might as well just enjoy the ability to move rather than focus on the time, right?

Besides my run ‘n wheeze yesterday, I did level 1 of Ripped in 30 since it’s been a hot minute since my last strength training workout. Yikes. I at least try to do some push-ups every few days so all has not been lost in my arms but that dvd kicks my trash EVERY TIME. My hammies are on fire today. I have a lot to do today but am going to try to fit in a round of level 2 and hopefully spin class later tonight. All depends when our bed gets delivered! I need to make another batch of my turkey chili that Erika loves (which means it HAS to be good), do 300 pounds of laundry and get more coffee before homework mania begins. Did I mention how much I can’t wait to sleep in my new bed tonight? ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have breathing issues with running outside in the cold?

Do you have a real bed or futon? Yes, I’m asking seriously. I’m real jealous of you if you have always had a real bed! I had a futon for most of high-school too because I thought they were cool? Like, I really made my parents get rid of my bed and buy me a futon. Such a fool.

Overindulgent August.

Happy Thursday!

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about food. Wait, what? Me think about food? Never. Did I mention it’s my favorite time of the month so along with back aches, chocolate is the only food group I want to shove in my face? Anyways, I had a pretty indulgent month of August which is funny because it started with the very 1st day of last month when my magazine article came out. John and I celebrated, with food, all weekend and it became a slippery slope that was pretty ironic considering my article was about LOSING WEIGHT. But I’m also a success story who has managed to keep all but about 15 pounds off for 3 years. Part of maintenance is fluctuating, and it’s taken me a long time to accept that. The choices I make on a daily basis are part of who I am now, and they are choices that I feel anywhere from 80-90% confident that I make well. Sometimes you have a few weeks where the not as great choices outweighed the good, but knowing when to clean up your act is the key to having real balance. With 8 more races in the next 3 months, I know that nutrition is one of the biggest factors in helping me achieve my goals along with proper training. Tack on my full-time job and my full-time school load and I really have to be on top of what I’m putting in my body to have the most energy. So this week it’s about getting back to the basics. No “detoxes” and no grueling 3 hour workouts to try and erase the month of August. That mindset is not healthy no matter who may be writing about it. The basics for me is really taking the time to food prep so that I have my own lunch and snacks with me at work. The basket of pastries at work are always going to be tempting, but I’m also pretty cheap (read: broke) so knowing that I already have food that I paid for with me is a big incentive to not fill up on calorie-dense foods.

This is one of the reasons tracking my calories and macro-nutrients daily helps keep me accountable. Even with my indulgences through August, I stayed within my maintenance calories and don’t feel like I’ve really gained anything. I love being able to fit in whatever I want to eat by tracking it ahead of time. I can stretch 1700-1800 calories into a looooot of food. Here’s a few things I’ve eaten this week.

banana chia oats topped with vanilla almond butter, roasted coconut chips and homemade dark chocolate. Almond joy oats!
banana chia oats topped with vanilla almond butter, roasted coconut chips and homemade dark chocolate. Almond joy oats!
Sweet potato, turkey bacon, jalapeno chicken sausage topped with a mustard/sriracha sauce
Sweet potato, turkey bacon, jalapeno chicken sausage topped with a mustard/sriracha sauce
Same as last pic but topped with a runny egg & organic ketchup
Same as last pic but topped with a runny egg & organic ketchup
My FAVORITE dinner right now.
My FAVORITE dinner right now.

This dinner is note worthy. Trader Joe’s roasted red pepper and tomato soup is the best soup I’ve ever had in my entire life. 1 cup is 100 calories and is more than enough! I add garlic powder and crushed red pepper, microwave for 2 minutes and eat it with some popped chips (healthier than oyster crackers!) along with the BEST bread I’ve also ever had. Trader Joe’s tuscan pane bread, 120 calories a slice and they are big, which I spray with coconut oil spray and throw in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or so then add garlic powder to. This will be my go-to dinner for the next 6 months. So easy and so cheap!

Light flatout wrap with dark chocolate pb, Better'n PB & mashed banana folded and heated on the oven. Great snack or dessert!
Light flatout wrap with dark chocolate pb, Better’n PB & mashed banana folded and heated on the oven. Great snack or dessert!
Almond milk banana "ice cream" topped with dark choc PB, Better'n PB, and cinnamon cookies
Almond milk banana “ice cream” topped with dark choc PB, Better’n PB, and cinnamon cookies

Last night John and I went to a new restaurant in our neighborhood that was REALLY nice, especially for our ‘hood. It’s a big tavern that had a lot of energy for a Wednesday night! I really wanted a little dessert after, so I got a nice big salad for balance.

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TERRIBLE lighting and I should have used my flash. But it was a southwestern cobb salad which I removed the fried green tomatoes from and took out the yolk of the eggs to save some calories. I ended up using their homemade hot sauce as my dressing and couldn’t finish the whole thing which means it was HUGE. I seriously can eat a lot of food in one sitting, so this was notably huge.

I had to save room for what I was really craving which was a pumpkin cheesecake italian ice!

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After seeing Hungry Runner post it on Instagram, I couldn’t believe there was a Rita’s in the city! This is their “cream ice” which is their Italian ice blended with just a little bit of milk. I asked ahead of time and the woman said they use just a splash of milk, and you can tell since it melts extremely fast into just ice. I got a little whipped cream on top, and it was the perfect hump day treat! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This week’s workouts have been good so far with a 5 mile run Monday, 4 mile run Tuesday and level 1 of Ripped in 30 yesterday. I hadn’t done it in about 4 months and I was blown away by how strong I’ve gotten from BodyPump! I still got a super sweaty workout in in 30 minutes, followed by a ton of homework. Today is a rest day and tonight will be filled with a lot of homework as well. I have a 4 mile race Saturday morning but need to do a long run so I’ll be doing 5 miles before the race starts to hit 9 for the day! Therefore, no time goal for the race but I’m REALLY excited that 4 of the miles will be with a ton of other people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you calorie/macro count?ย 

What are your ways of “cleaning up your act” after indulgent eating?

Christmas Week & Cookie Recipe!

So I had figured this Christmas would be extremely depressing given that it was my first Christmas without my grandma, and while I definitely had some tears I also had some fun! I know it’s exactly what she would have wanted. As I get older, I truly am learning the real meaning behind holidays and it’s not what gifts you receive; it’s who you spend that time with. A little re-cap, shall we?

After almost 2 weeks of being sick and barely working out, I finally felt like I could breathe enough to get in some sweat sessions this week. Let me tell you,ย they felt reeeeeal good. I mean, I can barely walk and that’s how I like it! Life these days feels really weird if I’m not sore. Sunday I ran 3 miles and did Level 1 of Ripped in 30. After working all day, I came home and whipped up these cookies for my co-workers and they were a huge hit!

mmmm
mmmm

White Chocolate Cranberry Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used GNC’s pumpkin flavor, on sale now!! but vanilla would also work!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4-5 packets sweetener (I used Splenda)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 (or more) TBSP’s white chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin

Mix dry and wetย separatelyย  then combine. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I made about 14 large sized cookies out of the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you choose to not use protein powder, they may take a little longer. I know cooking with protein powder tends to make things burn faster!

These come out the consistency of a cake/muffin but my co-workers loved them (and they don’t always love my healthy concoctions!) and I obviously did too!

Christmas Eve I worked all day and then ran a delightful 3.5 miles that evening. Later on, John and I decided to do what we did last year on Christmas Eve; order Domino’s. Before you judge me, hear me out. I used to LOVE Domino’s back in my extremely unhealthy eating days… loved their wings, pizza, and breadsticks. I went a long time without eating it, but recently I fell in love with their pizza again and have been ordering a much healthier version. I get mine with no cheese, and extra jalapeno’s! They have changed their pizza a lot and mine has virtually no grease and with the no cheese option I am saving a ton of calories. Pizza without cheese seems weird, yes, but I swear it’s good. I put crushed red pepper and garlic powder on it and dip it into hot sauce. I like my food VERY spicy.

The smell from the heat of the jalapenos is enough to make most people cry.
The smell from the heat of the jalapenos is enough to make most people cry.

‘Tis the season. BULKING season, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰

After sleeping in on Christmas morning, I headed down to Central Park for a run. A little background on my bladder; it’s basically non-existent. I swear. I have to pee at least every hour and that’s if I’m not drinking water or coffee. Since I usually am, I have to pee twice an hour if not more. So from my apartment to Central Park, it’s anywhere from 20 minutes to 40 minutes, depending how long I have to wait for the train and how slow it decides to go. First thing I have to do before I start running is find a bathroom. Generally not too hard in NYC, but many places are closed on Christmas Day so I had to get creative. The Time Warner building (aka Columbus Circle) is my go-to but they were closed, so I headed to the hotel that is connected called theย Mandarinย Oriental. Their lobby is located on the 35th floor (!!) and it’s a place I am definitely adding to my list to go have a drink! The views are amazing. So was their bathroom, to get back to my original point ๐Ÿ˜‰

Creepy face, but my favorite winter running gear! The vest makes me look pregnant, but it's warm so YOLO?
Creepy face, but my favorite winter running gear! The vest makes me look pregnant, but it’s warm so YOLO?
The huge lobby. This picture does it no justice.
The huge lobby. This picture does it no justice.
The bar/lounge area with the view.
The bar/lounge area with the view.

Once my peeing dilemma was solved, I ran an amazing 5 miles in the park. It was the perfect weather and totally sunny. I did a lap on the reservoir and it ended up being an obstacle course run, full of jumping over puddles and tourists (sorry I’m not sorry to the tourists I probably knocked over- watch yo selves.)

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

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After a shower and some relaxing, I headed back down to the park for a stroll with John! We also did this last Christmas, so I guess this is now a tradition. It was getting dark, but we walked for awhile with some coffee and started to freeze to death. I completely hate winter and temperatures that get below 50. I also voice this opinion quite frequently and loudly, so it was a miracle John wanted to take a winter walk with me ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess it was his Christmas spirit!

Central Park getting dark around 4:30. Another reason I hate winter.
Central Park getting dark around 4:30. Another reason I hate winter.
Walking action shot of John while he probably ignores my complaining.
Walking action shot of John while he probably ignores my complaining.

Last year we ate Christmas dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, 5 Napkin Burger, which I have wrote about several times. We kind of just stumbled on it last Christmas and since it was open we ate there. This year we made a reservation for the Union Square location, mostly because we were too lazy to figure out what else was open. Upon entering, who do I run into other thannn.. my best friend Brenda and her boyfriend Eddie! Legit, great minds think alike. Us 4 made some fools out of ourselves when we saw each other and had the whole restaurant looking over at us, which is prettttty typical. They were just getting done eating so we ordered our food and got our fat Christmas feast on.

Romantically lit onion rings.
Romantically lit onion rings.
My usual- veggie burger with extra pickles (bun removed) and sweet potato fries!
My usual- veggie burger with extra pickles (bun removed) and sweet potato fries!

Delish as always.

The day after Christmas I was supposed to go upstate to see my family, but I woke up feeling really sick (again) and decided to stay put. Not the best idea to travel on a (dirty) bus for 4 hours when I’m still sick, plus they were getting hit with a big snow storm. I spent most of Wednesday sleeping, except for the one meal I ate all day at a diner near me.

Fav diner meal. 2 eggs over medium, bacon, homefries doused in ketchup and hot sauce :-)
Fav diner meal. 2 eggs over medium, bacon, homefries doused in ketchup and hot sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

More napping, then I finally made myself do Level 1 of Ripped in 30. That diner meal literally held me over all night (I ate it at 2 PM) so it was the only thing I ate all day! Sleep just sounded way better than food for once in my life.

Yesterday was more sleep, cleaning, Levels 1 AND 2 of Ripped in 30, and the return to healthier eating. My abs are SO sore today from both rounds of Jillian and I’m lovin’ it. I ate like a pig all week but the workouts balanced out some, so my pants aren’t too tight ๐Ÿ˜‰ As all of us are, I’m certainly ready for a new year and toning it up! It goes without saying that this year was really hard and awful for huge chunks, but I am picking myself up from the ground and determined to make 2013 better.

Thankful for New Traditions

As expected, this Thanksgiving was a little hard to get through. First year without going upstate to be with my family, and first year without my grandma. Those firsts creep up on us and anyway you slice it they are just tough. Luckily I have a wonderful second family here in NYC that made sure we had a great time despite not being able to be with our families.

Wednesday morning started with a great workout. Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 Level 2 and a 3 mile run/walk. I was so sore from all the squats and lunges that I had to take walk breaks through that run. SUCH a wuss! Speaking of Jillian Michaels- she came into my store today and no one called me until she had left. We aren’t supposed to act like we know who they are if celebrities come in, but still?! I don’t think I could have contained myself! Girl is my idol ๐Ÿ™‚

After working all day, we got ready and headed to my fabulous co-workers apartment where she put on a big dinner for us.

all dolled up!

With how crappy I’ve been feeling about myself lately, I really have to remind myself that getting dressed up and putting on makeup makes such a huge difference with how you feel. I love fashion and feeling beautiful, and that gets lost upon me when I feel so bad about my body like I have lately. Yes, I’ve gained weight that I am struggling to lose, but with my clothes that do still fit I should be rocking them right? So that I did. (Black pleated dress from Forever 21, Leather jacket is Elle brand, red tights from Forever 21, black ankle boots from random store in NYC, spike necklace from H&M, snaked bracelet from H&M, huge ring & earrings from Forever 21. AKA cheapest shopper ever)

beautiful dinner set up!

We had lasagna, salad, asparagus, potatoes and some rolls plus the really important food groups of Grey Goose and champagne ๐Ÿ™‚ Which led to us dancing and singing our asses off. SUCH a fun night!

best friend and I

 

my gorgeous co-worker Christine!
the lovely ladies I work with!

Thanksgiving day I bypassed a hangover which literally never happens to me, I usually get a hangover from just 2 drinks! But I walked around all afternoon until Brenda got out of work, and we headed to a diner to get some food. It wasn’t turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, or any of my favorite Thanksgiving type of foods, but it was 2 of my favorite foods of all time.

eggs and french fries, covered in hot sauce.

Our night ended at my apartment, stuffing our faces with snacks.

 

Funny thing is we had planned on going wild and eating anything we wanted all night, but this was what we grabbed at Duane Reade and both still got stomach aches ha!

I had a few cries and really missed my grandma badly, but I know that these new traditions of spending Thanksgiving with the new families you create when you move away from home will get easier. I am super thankful that I have made great friends here!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you spend it with family or friends?

Making A Comeback

Ah. Somehow it is already the last day of April. It has been a rough couple of months, and this poor blog has taken a backseat in my life which I do not like. Just like exercising and eating healthy, an effort must be made for things in our lives that make us happy and are good for us. Writing is good for me and makes me incredibly happy, so I am hereby making an effort to start blogging again! Hopefully any readers I might have will be happy by this decision; and if you are, comment! I would love to know who is reading and any feedback you might have.

I have been working out pretty consistently, and it’s been mostly HIIT on the treadmill, spinning, and Jillian Michaels. I haven’t ran more than 3.5 miles since March, because the pain in my left hip, knee and shin wasn’t getting better. With the minimal distance running, I was able to recover and am thinking I might be ready to attempt getting back into longer distances. Sadly, the half marthon I signed up for is this upcoming Sunday and while I would love to be crazy and attempt to run it, my hip and knee are still not 100% and I’m not sure how safe that would be. I’m still deciding, but I will most likely drop to the 5K and just have a fun run. I could probably run at least 8 of the 13.1 miles well, but I’m not sure I could finish 13.1 with no long run since January!

I still have the nagging 10 pounds I want to lose from the winter, but I have been better about mindful eating and I started Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 last week. I have done it about 4 times, and that’s my plan is 3-4 times per week on top of my running and spinning. My goal is to be toned up and feeling great by the greatest holiday of the year- PRIDE WEEKEND! If you know me, you know I still continue to talk about the craziness that was 2011’s Pride Weekend- a.k.a. my first weekend out in NYC last year after moving here. It’s June 23rd, and I am planning to look fabulous in hopefully very little clothing ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gotta support my gays!

I will definitely be back later with pictures of food, and more details on my workouts! It feels good to be back ๐Ÿ™‚