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Food & Exercise Log


  • One mug of organic coffee with organic skim milk and Peppermint Mocha Coffee Mate, which probably cancels out all of the organic.  One trick I have learned with flavored Coffee Mate is to first use nonfat milk to cool the coffee and dilute it a bit.  By using milk first, you eliminate the need to pour in a ton of CM for the purpose of cooling.  Not only does that add unnecessary sugar and calories, but it also makes the coffee too sweet.  After the milk, pour in a little bit of CM for flavor and stir.
  • One sprouted grain organic English muffin with natural apple butter.  When I first started using natural apple butter I found it lacking in flavor.  However, as I have gotten used to it I have started to appreciate the real apple taste.  Anything else I try with added sugar and flavoring tastes artificial and overly processed to me now.
  • Three Laughing Cow cheese squares.  I like to eat one about every 1/3 of the way through my English muffin. 😀


  • Chobani Pomegranate Greek Yogurt – My first time trying this flavor and it was awesome!!  Loved the crunchy, juicy arils.


  • Cobb salad with romaine, spinach, grilled chicken, hard-boiled egg, bacon, tomato, avocado, blue cheese, and a touch of mustard vinaigrette.
  • I stole a can of Coke from D’s office.  My throat has been sore & puffy so a soda sounded incredibly delicious and refreshing at that point (it still does).


  • Large, juicy black seedless grapes.  Delicious.


  • I stopped by a special women’s-only sale at the running store after my trip to the gym and scored two chocolate coconut balls and a cream cheese/chicken/bacon/toast appetizer while I walked around.  Does that sorta kinda count as my post-workout carbs + protein?  Not so much.
  • I had one Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark square when I got home.


  • Two bowls of six bean soup with low sodium organic veggie broth, onions, celery, stewed tomatoes, and various spices.
  • A banana.


  • 30 min. heavy lifting & abs, including crunches, leg lifts, cable rows, and lunges.  Also drop sets.  I love drop sets.
  • 15 min. stationary bike, level 7, above 85 rpm’s.

After the gym I stopped by the running store for the aforementioned women-only promotional sale.  It was pretty fab.  Free snacks, t-shirts, door prizes, free chair massages, a free pair of specialty running socks, discounts on everything in the store, and even deeper discounts when you bought a pair of running shoes.  Too bad I didn’t need a pair because I would have been all over that!  Loved the free socks, though.  I bought a pair of Super Feet inserts to replace my well-used and well-loved pair that I transferred over into my New Balances when I ended my relationship with Adidas Supernovas.

Tomorrow is a day absolutely full of meetings.  I don’t think I’ll get a chance to run as I had hoped so it may turn into a rest day.  Hope everyone is having a great week!


Running Through The Snow

Here are some very high quality cell phone pictures from the first mile or two of my snowy six mile run on Saturday.  It was lovely.  And cold.  And also a little windy at times when I hit the clearings that separate the large patches of woods.  I frequently found myself with two choices, especially as I got farther into my run and there was more snow: to either run through the powdery snow or to slosh through the squishy slush.  I usually chose the snow and I think it was the right choice because my socks stayed dry the entire time. 🙂  As always, I employed one-minute walk breaks for every mile run.

The weather was about 30-35*F with winds at 6-8 mph.  My outfit consisted of mix-and-match items that I found in my closet and figured would suffice.  They worked well as my temperature fluctuations during the run reached neither extremely warm nor extremely cold.  They included:

  • Lower body
    • Tights tucked into my socks – TJ Maxx
    • Yoga pants – Target
    • Regular running socks – Target
    • Shoes – New Balance
  • Upper body
    • Sports bra – Under Armour
    • Performance t-shirt – Race t-shirt
    • Performance long-sleeved shirt – Avia? TJ Maxx
    • Mid-weight lined jacket – Target
  • Accessories
    • Gloves – Target
    • Ear warmer headband – Old Navy
    • Garmin + HRM
    • RoadID
    • Car key
    • Cell phone
    • Hammer Gel + Sports Beans

‘Twas a lovely morning.

My four mile run this morning was lovely (pardon the thumb). ❤

morning run 11-13-09

Again, my pre-run snack (small banana) and running outfit worked out nicely.  It was about 45-50 degrees F.  Afterward I did a long, thorough stretch and felt really refreshed.  I usually have a delicious strawberry recovery shake (I do like some supplemental shake powders although I prefer to eat mostly real foods) after workouts but my current flavor makes me pretty nauseous so I’ve been avoiding it.  Instead, I had a large glass of organic skim milk with a little bit of chocolate syrup and a mini Twix bar for a mixture of easily-digested protein and simple carbs. 🙂  I don’t like extremely chocolatey milk….yet I was fine with a piece of chocolate candy on the side.  Go figure.

Once I got to work I had my usual breakfast of a sprouted grain english muffin with natural apple butter, four cubes of LC cheese, and coffee with skim milk.

Today has been a busy work day with nothing to report.  I snacked on and shared a bunch of grapes late in the morning.  Lunch was a veggie burger with steamed veggies and sweet potato fries on the side.  And, of course, a few squares of rich dark chocolate as a mid-afternoon snack. 🙂

I would love to hear answers on the following two questions:

1. What are your affordable and consumable or eco-friendly go-to gifts this holiday season?

2. How do you keep your home clutter-free and handle all of the excess paperwork/receipts/magazines/forms that come through the door on a regular basis?

Two-And-A-Half Workouts

For dinner last night I made this easy mushroom sauce and it turned out fabulously.

(Her pic, not mine.  I was too hungry to stop for pics!)

Next time I’d add a little less white wine simply because D prefers less but the sauce was delicious.  I served it over whole wheat egg noodles with a side of steamed broccoli.

After dinner, we met some total noobs to go see “Men Who Stare At Goats.”  I think they showed all of the funny parts in the ads.  It did have entertaining tidbits but overall there wasn’t much going on.  However, I did see a preview for “the crazies” beforehand and I can’t wait to see it.  I lovelovelove creepy goosebump movies, especially zombie-esque ones. 😀

Today started out with a 6:15 alarm.  Up and out of bed and into the bathroom (it was less bouncy, more draggy) to change.  I had worn some of my running clothes to bed the night before.  One small banana down the gullet and then I was off to the paved trail.  The run started out pretty full of shivers since it was in the 40’s but I warmed up nicely within the first mile.  My performance t-shirt + long-sleeved shirt + vest + gloves + tights + shorts + running-hat-to-keep-the-heat-in combo was perfect.  I seriously considered doing four miles but I had an early meeting so I capped it at three.  I followed it with some quick stretches and headed home to speed-prep for the day.

It was my first day in my new office.  There were only three of us there so it was very quiet and even a little lonely.  I’m looking forward to later in the week when more people join us.  Despite the uberquiet, my office was really cozy.  I’ll share pics once all of the furniture is in place and my files are in their new home. I think I’m going to like it there.  That is, assuming I ever get used to my desk! Holy crap, I think my kneecap has been smashed to bits.

Lunch was pieced together at the grocery store since we don’t have a fridge in the new place yet.  I was starving and tried to balance my meal out with carbs, protein, veggies, and caffeine.  By the way, this is what happens when I buy new batteries and dust off the old point & shoot versus using my camera phone.  Much better, eh?

lunch 11-9-09 001

A fat free pasta salad with low fat pasta primavera plopped on top…I don’t normally go for fat free labels or even low fat as a lot of those items have fake ingredients in them.  They are not only not great for you, but also don’t taste very good.  However, the selection was fairly limited so I went with it.  I preferred the primavera of the two.  Also, spinach/strawberry/sugared walnut salad with fruit plopped on top.  Add a greek yogurt for protein and some Honest Tea to pick me up.

lunch 11-9-09 004

I left work a little early for my follow-up eye exam.  I am no longer inflamed!  Good stuff.  On the way home, the box of Cokes I had sitting on the front seat (for D’s work – ha, I felt the need to defend it) plus my purse full of bricks next to it set off the passenger seat alarm.  It was annoying at first but then it started hitting to the same beat as my Franz Ferdinand song and I LOL’d.  It’s also a clear message to clean out my purse.

After work I got my tush to the gym to lift for a bit.  Workout #2.  Following that, I felt so bouncy (as true night owls do, we drag in the mornings and bounce in the evenings – that doesn’t sound right) that I ran another mile (workout .5), which made a total of four miles run today.  I haven’t felt this bouncy in a while.  That tells me that I am finally recovering from that long bout of exhaustion.  W00t.  I should be able to get back to my regular workouts now.  Speaking of which, I am down two pounds due to more exercise, better eating, and no monthly bloating.

Got a lot going on right now and I have work to do and emails to answer.  Chop chop!

New Threads + CSA

I’ve been in need of cold-weather running gear so I went to TJ Maxx on Saturday to see what I could find.  I scored four items for less than $45: a pair of tights, two long-sleeved performance shirts for layering, and a cute Adidas women’s running hat.  Apologies for the picture quality.

Seamless, footless tights (I’m pretty sure they’re not exercise-specific but for $6 I’ll give them a shot) and black Avia half-zip layering shirt:

tjmaxx 002

White Jockey Sport half-zip layering shirt and Adidas X-Static running hat:

tjmaxx 004

Sweet!  I will no longer be that improperly-dressed runner.

Check It Out: Balance Is Beauty is giving away a Chocolate & Coffee Lover’s variety pack of Glo Bars!

I’ve been thinking about joining a CSA program – a Community Supported Agriculture program – where individuals pledge money and/or time toward the operation of a farm in return for harvest from the farm. As a result, growers can provide local produce at better prices and focus on earth-friendly production.  Risks and benefits are shared by the growers and consumers.

I need to do a little calculating to make sure this would be financially worthwhile for us but I suspect it will.  It should cut down on my trips to the grocery store (YES! I hate grocery shopping) and thus cut down on spending on extraneous items.  I may also be able to find a friend who will split a half-share with us.  Yum.  That regular box of CSA produce would be like Christmas every week!

My First 10K – Race Report

The day started out with a 4:15am alarm.  Way too early. Showered, changed into several layers as I wasn’t sure how the weather would turn out, made breakfast to go, kissed D goodbye, and was on the road at 5:30.  In the car I had a sprouted grain english muffin with natural pb and ab along with a few Laughing Cow cheese cubes and water.

The drive was dark and rainy but uneventful until I had almost reached the North Carolina border. A flashing sign warned me of high winds.  All of a sudden I was surrounded by fog so thick I couldn’t see past my headlights.  I dropped my speed by 20-25 mph and hit the flashers. Then the rain, which, until that point, had alternated between light and manageably moderate, started pouring sideways.  The wind whipped around my car and the roads looked like they were swimming.  All of this while it was pitch black outside and I’m driving through mountains with a bunch of semis and a severe drop-off on one side. For a brief moment it occurred to me that a race wasn’t worth the risk.  Just as I started to consider pulling over for a few minutes, the fog cleared, the rain died down, the winds stopped, and life was good again.

Those events had gotten my heart up pretty well so by the time I pulled up to the race I felt practically warmed up.  I had 30 min. until the race started.  I went and picked up my packet.  Not the best swag but, hey, the race was only $20 so I really can’t complain!  The skies were overcast and drizzly with temperatures around 65* F.  It was pretty windy, too. Aside from the occasional downpour and gust, it was very comfortable running weather.  I wore a performance t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses to keep the rain out of my contacts, and had a Hammergel and Sports Beans tucked down my sports bra.

There were maybe a couple hundred people there?, most of whom looked like decent runners.  We all lined up and hit the ground running while hitting our Garmins as the gun went off.  Right about this time it also started to rain.

I haven’t looked at my Garmin splits yet but I know my first couple of miles were a little too fast despite efforts to control myself.  I felt really good.  I remember being glad I had my sunglasses as it kept raining.  However, I also remember that they fogged up a lot.  There were several hills in the beginning of the course but after about a third of the way through, the course flattened out and was great – smooth and even with lot of clearance on the pavement.  The course was also very well manned by volunteers and police and there were plenty of drink stops.

Miles three, four, and five were spent focusing on maintaining my pace but allowing some slowing if necessary to keep my energy.  I had a few Sports Beans around 3.5.  I was also taking a brief walk break about every mile or so.  It continued to rain off and on.

Toward the end of mile 5 I picked up my pace and tried to hold it all the way to the end.  I started to falter as I rounded the corner. I’d like to go back and tell myself to keep pushing it because I was seriously almost there!  Finally I saw the finish line and maxed out all the way to the line.

I could tell my hips and thighs were a little trashed afterward. Did some easy jogs, stretching, and walking for about 20-30 min. while getting drenched in the on-again, off-again rain.  I had some water and a banana.  It seems my stomach does best when I get something simple like sports drink, beans/gel, a couple of cookies, or a banana into it immediately after a race.  Let it digest and recover for a while, then eat a larger meal later.

By the time I headed back to the car, I was absolutely soaked to the bone…and realized I had no towels in the car.  However, I did have a ShamWow that my mom gave me a while back.  Yes!  I shut myself in the back of my RAV, toweled down with the ShamWow, put one of the seats down for more room, and changed into dry clothes.  So glad I had extra socks and shoes.  This is a lesson to always bring a backup set of gear to a race in case something fails/breaks/gets wet!

Of course, to spite the horrible weather driving down, the trip back home was absolutely gorgeous.  October in the Blue Ridge is breathtaking.

I don’t know my exact time but I think it was in the low 55’s (forgot to hit my Garmin again at the finish line.  I’m so bad at that game.).  Not my preferred goal, but at least I hit my realistic goal again.  I really enjoyed that distance.  I’d like to try something longer in the future if my joints can handle it but I made it through the 10K distance and would love to do another soon.

One thing I have noticed – I am more sore now after 55 min. of running than I was after 1.5 hours of triathlon.  It’s definitely not a gentle sport!  I have had a couple of black toenails for a while now and they were pretty painful after the race.  I finally got up the courage to do something about it.  I won’t go into details but let’s just say a sterilized needle does a lot of good.

So there ya have it.  The last of my races this fall.  It’s been a remarkable year. Two 5K’s, two triathlons, and a 10K in a matter of a few months.  I did not expect to be here after battling patellar tendinitis for most of the year.  However, rest and attentive care really do work. 🙂

wasn’t worth it for

Run run run.

Saturday’s easy run:

Two miles inside to test out my new shoes.  At first I was a bit unsure about the fit but after stealing the SuperFeet inserts out of my old shoes and throwing them in these, they were perfect.

Five miles outside.  It was c~o~l~d and kind of windy.  I don’t have much experience with cold-weather running (and most of it took place 10 or so years ago!) so I layered up with whatever I had on hand and went with it.  I also took a GU and Sports Beans.  Figured I’d be in the mood for one or the other at some point.

During this run I saw two other girls wearing gloves.  Smart move.  Next time I’m definitely wearing gloves.  They were also wearing running tights.  Smart move again.  My warm-up pants were noisy, slightly cumbersome, and didn’t seem to handle perspiration very well.

On top I wore a performance t-shirt, my new Mizuno vest (in blue) that I picked up this week from the running shop during a 70% off! sale, and my warm-up jacket.  The jacket was a last minute addition found in my car after I belatedly realized just how chilly the breeze made the air.  Ideally I’d like to have a long-sleeved performance shirt to go under the vest and ditch the jacket.  It, too, was not ideal for handling perspiration.

I got really overheated about a mile in, ended up tying the jacket around my waist for a few miles, then had to put it back on as the sun set and it got chillier.  Make up your mind, Sam!

I passed three deer grazing at my turn-around point.  They accepted my first pass and simply watched me go by.  However, I think they’d had enough of my leaf-crunching by the time I’d turned around to make my second pass and they bounded into the woods.

… How about that.  I just used Runner’s World’s “What Should I Wear?” tool and it told me to wear gloves, running tights, a vest, and long-sleeved shirt in this weather 🙂 : http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/whattowear/0,7152,s6-240-325-330-0-0-0-0-0,00.html?ambient_temp=16&temp_units=0&wind=1&conditions=1&preference=2&x=&y= .

The first two miles were done at about a 10:40/10:50 pace.

Splits from the five miles outside:






Avg – 10:47

I noticed my energy dropping around mile three of the five-miler as it had been a while since I’d last eaten, so I dug into the sports beans and that helped.  I had a few more at mile four.  Once I got home I also had a recovery shake with a 2:1 carbs:protein ratio plus a yummy Kashi oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.  Veggie pizza for dinner with green peppers, mushrooms, and spinach.

I’m counting todays’ runs as a 7-miler since there was only a brief break between the two and the five (driving from the gym to the running trail 10 min. away).  It’s the longest I’ve run yet (um, probably not a good idea for someone breaking in new shoes!).  I wanted to KNOW that I can do 6.2 miles for the 10K next weekend.  I’ve noticed that whenever I add an extra mile onto my long runs, I always get a bit sore and really have to push through that last mile.  However, the next time I go out and do that distance I’m fine.  I’m a little stiff now but I iced the knees when I got home and it seemed to do the trick.  Hopefully next weekend I’ll handle the 6.2 miles at race pace with ease.