Friday, February 27, 2015

In Comes the Winter Breeze That Chills the Air and Drifts the Snow

I am by no means a nutritionist or a diet guru or anything like that. I am just a person who figured she would give a shot at giving up added sugar for the month of February. For more info check out this post. The key, February is a short ass month, so giving up added sugar for twenty-eight days isn't THAT hard. Right? Right?

Per my own rules, I allowed myself a few provisions. First, I had a Valentine's Dance that I went to for work and I let myself eat dessert there. And the other, if I went to a party or gathering I would not ask people what ingredients they used in dips, etc, I would just do my best to avoid foods I knew contained sugar. Basically, no sweets other than Valentine's Day.

With one more day left in February, I figured I would talk about my month with some random bullet point thoughts. I'll also throw in some tips. AGAIN, not an expert, these are just ways I handled the No Sugar Added month.

*There is added sugar in EVERYTHING! Seriously, next time you go grocery shopping or to a store that has groceries pick up a can or a package of something that you would not think would have sugar in it and read the label. Canned kidney beans...just plain old kidney beans, not baked beans, have added sugar. The spinach tortilla wraps I was using to make quesadillas in January? Added sugar. Progresso Light Santa Fe Style Chicken Soup? Added sugar. Macaroni and cheese? Added sugar. I could go on and on. It really blew my mind. And I just felt like there was no reason t here was added sugar. Why does a southwestern flavored soup need sugar?

*The only cereal I could find without added sugar was Shredded Wheat. You know what is sad and depressing? A bowl of shredded wheat with a packet of Truvia (stevia).

*I bought a big tub of quick oats and separated it into individual servings. Then used the hot water from my office's Keurig to make oatmeal in the morning. Oatmeal with Truvia is also depressing.

*To prevent Cereal Sadness I bought freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe's and started adding that to my oatmeal and cereal. Oh man, does that make a difference.

*Trader Joe's is your friend! If you don't have one by you, I am sorry. If you do and you want to go No Sugar Added then lucky you! Not that everything at Trader Joe's is automatically sugar free (even TJ's organic kidney beans had added sugar. I know, it seems like I am obsessed with that, but I wanted to make chili early on this month and had to sub the beans for white kidney beans and chick peas) but there are definitely more options.

*Oh yeah, salsa, spaghetti sauce, dried cranberries...all added sugar.

*Trader Joe's makes a quinoa and brown rice spaghetti that is awesome! It totally fills me up way more than white flour pasta. Seriously, I could barely finish my serving.

*Fruit is delicious but not as delicious as a cupcake.

*And I don't even like cupcakes that much.

*Processed food is pretty much out.

*Which means lots of yummy homemade soups and meals! I think that was and still is the best part. Hubs and I experimented with things. I tried to make homemade tortillas and they were terrible. I am not a baker. But, Hubs made a vegetable beef soup that was awesome. And I made a homemade spaghetti sauce that rocked my socks off!

*Dried fruit is awesome. But, if one only eats dried mango one will get sick of it quickly.

*Nuts are also awesome.

*Lunch meat has added sugar! So does peppe-freaking-roni!

*I play pub trivia every Thursday and plan my day around enjoying some pizza with friends. Much like my Valentine's Day allowance, I allowed for the pizza nights.I think these kept me sane. Thursday is a run day for me, so it helps to have the extra calorie burn. But, I never went crazy, one maybe two slices if I was really hungry. I enjoyed the pizza, I didn't binge on the pizza, and it fell within my calorie limits.

*I also allowed for whatever sort of fuel I needed during a long run. I didn't end up with any long runs this month that I needed to fuel on thanks to a stomach bug that derailed me for over a week and super cold temperatures. But, had I needed it, the sugar in a Honey Stinger waffle would have been allowed.
Does not include planned walks for today and tomorrow
That's it right there. In looking back, I think that's how I made it through this month without mowing down Entemann's donuts. I allowed for certain things, certain PLANNED things, and they worked for me.

I am not weighing myself until Sunday. But, even if I didn't lose a ton of weight, I am still going to keep up without the added sugar. I am really enjoying finding recipes that work with that. And I simply don't need cupcakes or brownies. But, if I were, say, celebrating my husband's birthday at the end of the month and there was cake, I might have a piece. I won't obsess over it, but if I want it, I will eat it and enjoy it. And if I don't enjoy it, I will stop eating it and let him finish it.

Now, let's hope March doesn't come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. I am ready for spring.

How was your February?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sometimes I Run Sometimes I Hide

In three more days it will be March. I know that doesn't mean the snow is going to automatically melt or that the temperatures will immediately rise, but in my mind any sort of crap in March (snow, ice, freezing temps, etc) is better than crap in February. Because March means it will be Spring soon!

Daylight Savings Time also begins on March 1st. Yay for not having to wear a head lamp on my morning runs.

Not that I don't rock a headlamp like a boss.
Can imagine walking out to your car in the morning to head out to work and coming across this person?
What that picture doesn't accurately show is the frost on my eyelashes. Frost. On my eyelashes. Piss off, Winter.

I would be a terrible Stark.

The good news: if things continue to go as planned this will be the first week of my half marathon training where I have actually completed my scheduled training.  With only fifty days until my half marathon, this makes me feel really damn good. I can do it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In the Middle of the Night I Go Walking in My Sleep

The Galloway half marathon training plan that I am following doesn't give set mileage for most of the training except for the long runs and the speed work. My weekday runs are set up by time, which is awesome because it makes it easier for me to get runs in before work. I am simply blown away by people who run six mile or more runs during the week. Sorry, Mama doesn't get up that early unless it is to get on a plane and fly somewhere warm.

This week my Tuesday and Thursday runs are forty-five minutes. Last week I had to do those as "runs" as in jogging in front of my t.v. Bleh. I'm still a little buzzed from Sunday's run so last night I said, screw you winter I am running in the morning. When one has to wear two pairs of pants, two shirts, plus a jacket, one should rethink running outdoors.

But, I am stubborn dedicated  and a Michigander so I got up this morning and went for a run. For the most part, it wasn't bad. I need to get a balaclava, my face just gets too cold. When I had to run into the wind (which kept switching directions on me, piss off, wind!) it was pretty brutal. I ended up cutting my run down to thirty minutes and change because I didn't want frostbite.

Just because I have friends in the south:
Yep. It was four degrees when I ran.

I love morning runs. There are very few cars or people out and about so I can just focus on me and my music (only one ear bud in, I'm a safety girl) and enjoy the exercise. It's a little harder to do that when it is this cold, I tend to get distracted pretty easily.
I get it, believe me I do. Our Christmas lights are currently frozen to our roof and won't be taken down until probably April the snow melts. I've noticed lots of houses still have lights up. But, we don't turn them on. This reminded me of Anna and her stand-off with her husband over their Christmas tree. Although, not gonna lie, it did make me smile to see the lights. They look so pretty!

Monday, February 23, 2015

'Cause When the Feelin's Right I'm Gonna Run All Night

For a brief moment in time, in between the -14 on Friday and the -3 today, it was warm enough for me to run outside. And you bet your ass I was out there running.

After a busy Saturday of taking the boys to visit Nana and her bionic knee (she is doing awesome, by the way) I wasn't up for a run. I kept my fingers crossed Sunday would still be warm. And now all you Southerners can laugh because by warm I meant in the twenties or thirties. Sad indeed.

Somehow it was still "warm" on Sunday. The running gods were smiling on me, oh yes they were. I layered up, it wasn't THAT warm, and headed out armed with some good tunes and the desire to get some sort of half marathon training in.

On my original plan, the one I had to scrap because it is a frozen tundra here I was unable to get in long runs for three weeks, I was supposed to run nine miles. I was super ambitious a few weeks ago and put all my training in my Google calendar so I would know what I needed to run without checking the internets. Nothing like a little salt in the wound every time those reminders popped up.

Nine miles wasn't in the cards for a variety of reasons, mostly because I didn't want to injure myself by trying too many miles too fast. Oh and because I knew I would be unable to run nine miles. That's no joke.

My goal was four miles, five if I was really feeling it. I also had a just in case goal of three miles. Just in case I didn't feel good or my legs were super tired.

At three miles I was still feeling good. I know I have mentioned this before but I will tell you again (Meg's Awesome Running Tip #349), I have found running away from my home or starting location for half the distance I am aiming for and then turning around and running back works the best for me. Three miles doesn't seem so bad if you break it down into 1.5 away from the house and then turning around and heading home.

At three miles I figured I would go for four, but I would head away from the house  for that mile knowing I had to head back at least another mile which would put me at five.

I felt great the entire time. Only thing, I should have planned better and brought water. I wasn't dying of thirst or anything but by the time I got home I was ready to chug a gallon of water. Oh, and fuel. I need to start bringing fuel to practice fueling on my long runs. I was STARVING by the time I got home.

About halfway through mile four, a blizzard struck.
The picture doesn't do it justice. There was a lot of blowing snow.
Thankfully it only lasted about fifteen minutes. I turned the corner onto my street at 6.01 miles and called it a day. I am not kidding you when I tell you I felt AWESOME! I know some people hate running and just tolerate it as a way to lose weight. I am not one of those people. I felt so good, I was buzzed for the rest of the day.
My training long runs should be about 13:30 per mile. Not bad.
I really think signing up for that half marathon helped change my mindset about running and being bummed about the cold. I am looking forward to spring weather getting here. Soon? Please?

After an awesome run I did not eat everything in the house like I really, really wanted to do. I had a grilled cheese and homemade soup, all no sugar added things. Hubs has hockey on Sunday night so I knew I would be flying solo so I went to the store and got some healthy treats for my Oscar Viewing Party. I don't know if it was the run or just being in such a good mental place but I ended up with a small container of bean dip and some tzaziki. And when I had my party I ended up slicing up a cucumber and using that instead of tortilla chips. Who is this person?!?

Friday, February 20, 2015

When I Get Older, Losing My Hair, Many Years From Now

Sometimes you just have to say , "Eh, screw it." and give up on complaining about the shitty weather. Pardon my french, but it is shitty, I'm just calling it like I see it.

Screw it.

Instead of whining and belly aching and laying around eating sugary treats and bemoaning my life blah blah blah I bit the bullet and finally registered for a half marathon in April.

That means I need to get serious about my training and get serious about my eating so my training can be even better.

While I have somewhat given up on my chances of a PR...who am I kidding. I have not given up. I am going to bust ass and make it happen.

This particular race, The Martian Marathon, (I am running the half) has pace groups so I will stick with one and hopefully kick butt. It can happen. I have a good feeling about this.

And since the race is exactly one week after my 35th birthday I will officially move up an age group. I will not let this bother me. Ok, I will let it bother me, but just a tiny bit. I think planning for a rockin' PR for my first ever race in the 35-39 age group seems like a good idea to me.

Eff off winter and snow and ice and negative temperatures! Mama's got a half marathon to train for!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

The heat is out in my office at work so I am bundled up and hoping the space heater actually does something. I dread answering the phone because the receiver is cold.

With the wind chill it was -14 this morning.

I just want to run outside. Is that too much to ask, Mother Nature? Huh?

Can you tell I am in a crabby mood? I am crabby.

I feel like the whole "if you don't have something ncie to say, don't say anything at all" thing applies to me here. Yet I am sharing with you. You're welcome.

Thankfully this is not Narnia and it will be spring soon.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Than The Rivers That Run The Land

We are currently in the middle of a cold snap. And unlike other much braver souls I do not have the equipment or the will to drag my body outside in temperatures that are below zero BEFORE factoring in the wind chill.


February is a short month, right? And before we know it, it'll be March. And even if it snows in March snow in March is like fake or bonus snow so it doesn't really count. Right?

This is the stuff that runs through my mind to get me through the winter.

I don't own a treadmill and I'm not freezing my ass off running outside so I had to come up with an alternate plan. New plan: running in place. It sounded silly to me at first, because I know I am not really working the same muscles I would if I was running outside or on a treadmill. But, it's still moving and getting a calorie burn and according to my Jawbone I am getting some distance in. I ran in place this morning and "covered" two miles. I'll take it.

It is so much easier to get up and do that instead of layering up to go outside. Seriously, I throw on a sports bra under my t-shirt and my running shoes and I was good to go. It usually takes me ten minutes to get out the door for an outdoor run. Plus, I have to wait a few minutes staring at the sky and holding my arm up like a crazy person for my Garmin and Nike + app to find satellites.

Oh yeah and I get to do this AND watch Parenthood at the same time which makes it even better. Honestly, how have I waited this long to watch that show? I love it! And I am mostly in love with Adam Braverman. Seriously. Puffy heart in love with him. Peter Krause, you are a genius and a stud.

I didn't realize how much I missed working out in the morning until I started doing it again. I just feel so good today! Clearly getting the juices flowing that early makes a difference with my mental state. Yay workouts! Yay endorphins! Yay working out and watching a handsome man on the t.v.!

And just in case I thought about maybe trying something different over the next few days:
Yep, that would be cold, colder, coldest, back up to mostly cold. Balls. Saturday it's supposed to be in the low thirties, but snowy. And Sunday will be in the twenties. So I get to play the "Which of These Conditions Will Suck More?" game and figure out when to do my long run. I am supposed to be at eight miles but with missing all that running last week (damn you stomach bug!) I figure I will aim for five and go from there. Feel free to do the No Snow High Temperatures dance with me. It looks a lot like to Macarena but with more booty shaking.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Knowing You Can Always Count On Me, For Sure

Happy Galentine's Day!

If you don't watch Parks and Recreation you are dumb you are not very smart you are missing out on a brilliant, funny, pro-woman show. It had it's rough patches in the beginning. Honestly, I didn't even watch the first season because Leslie Knope annoyed me. But, then it hit it's stride, and my goodness I am going to miss that show when it is gone. The final season is going by way too quickly.

And back on track! If you don't watch it, Galentine's Day is the day before Valentine's Day when Leslie celebrates all the awesome women in her life.

So happy Galentine's Day to you! You are awesome!

And yes I did just call you dumb for not watching Parks and Rec and awesome for being you within three paragraphs. I am a woman of many contradictions.

Game plan. I have a super fancy pants dinner dance for work tomorrow night. To off set said fancy pants food and drink (oh yes there will be drink) I am planning on a run tomorrow morning. Since I currently have the energy of little baby Voldemort before he (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) attached himself to Professor Quirrell's head I don't know how long of a run I will end up doing. But, I just want to get moving, get a calorie burn going on, and hopefully not completely derail my half marathon training plan. I'll aim for three miles. We will see.

That is my weekend. If you love Valentine's Day and are already getting all goopy thinking about it, good for you, yay cupid and love. If you hate Valentine's Day, then also good for you, boo to that stupid holiday, yay to 75% off chocolate on Sunday. Not that I am going to buy any. Because I'm not.

Happy, happy weekend to you!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bad Medicine is What I Need

The Stomach Bug got me. It got me hard, Mal.

"Guy killed me, Mal. Killed me with a sword."

I tend to be the least sick one in my family. I don't know if it comes from a somewhat healthy immune system or just the fact that Hubs has asthma so any sort of cold tends to knock him out harder than me. Either way, I am usually the one who makes it through cold and flu season relatively unscathed.

So when I get hit with a bug and take time off work because I am sick then I am SICK.

I feel a bit it Mean Girls? Someone help me out here, but where they talk about one character getting skinny because she had mono? I know someone knows this. I know my people. I feel like that person. Because of being sick I am down a whole pound for my weigh-in this week!

Yay one pound loss! Boo to not being able to walk much further than from my bed to the couch to the bathroom. Which means my streak of at least 10,000 steps a day since January 1st came to an end.

Of course, I was sick and home with the Guys which means I didn't REALLY get to rest up that much. We watched a lot of cartoons. They would play together really well for an hour or two then get scrappy with each other. I did the best I could to mediate, but I had zero energy so the t.v. inevitably came on. Mom win!

My running has been derailed like crazy. My half marathon is a little over two months away and my longest run has been five miles. Balls. I may have to change my goal from a "time goal" to a "finish strong" goal.

Ah well. Maybe I can find an early summer half marathon to use as a time goal.

For now I will focus on drinking some fluids and attempting some soup at lunchtime. Wish me luck and may you stay healthy and make it through whatever is going around right now!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Another Turning Point A Fork Stuck In The Road

After giving myself a week of rest, I finally went for a run on Sunday. Part of it was because I was in a foul mood and needed to burn off some anger and part of it was I just really wanted to run.

My plan was to keep it slow and to run for forty minutes or three miles, whichever came first. I had a slight ankle twinge when I started but I think it's the shoes. I tend to wear my crappier shoes in the winter as to not beat up my newer running shoes. Bad idea, since my older shoes are beat up and not supportive at all. Live and learn. Looks like I just have an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes come springtime!

The run felt great and while my anger and bad mood weren't completely burned off, it certainly helped.
On the eating front, I did pretty darn good this past week. I stuck with my meal plan every single day except for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening I went out to eat with my sister and two girlfriends. It was a great time catching up with everyone. I had shrimp and a baked potato, well worth every calorie.

And on Sunday, I tried a new "pancake" recipe. I use the quotations because it's one of those no flour recipes. My friend Mary gave me the recipe and I was up with the Guys on Sunday so figured I would give it a shot. It's two eggs, one overripe banana. Smoosh the banana up until it is pretty much liquid, add in the eggs and beat together. Grease a pan with cooking spray and cook thirty seconds or so on each side.
I would say these were more crepe-like than pancake-like. They look pancake-ish, you can tell that from the picture. But the texture was lighter and fluffier than a pancake, more sponge (like scrambled eggs). I didn't love them, but my boys did, so I will keep this one for them. I posted about it on Facebook and another friend recommended a recipe that uses cream cheese instead of banana. I will try that one next week and report back.

I also had a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Fudge Brownie ice cream last night. I have had a hell of a weekend, the kind of thing where we need to open a bottle of wine and I will tell you all about it. And probably cry. One of my truly awesome friends showed up last night with Ben and Jerry's. And then left with it. Now that is a friend. Brings over ice cream, shares a scoop, and then takes it away. 

It's Hubs week to cook. He went through his menu plan and asked me what I could and could not eat, what I wanted to eat, etc. He has already given up on the No Sugar Added thing. He's not buying Ben and Jerry's and bringing it into the house or anything, but his mom did send him home with cookies the other night and he managed to eat those just fine. I don't care, he's supportive of my choice and that's all that matters. And he hides the cookies.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I Hurt Myself Today To See If I Still Feel

Wow, yesterday was a marathon! My mom had a total knee replacement. Her surgery was scheduled for 8:00AM so we (my brother A., mom, and I) were all at the hospital at 6:15AM. Whew. A. and I stayed with my mom in pre-op until they took her back for surgery. After that we headed to the cafeteria for some breakfast.

Luckily, this is a super hospital so their cafeteria consists of pretty much awesome good for you food. I had a breakfast burrito on a whole wheat tortilla with turkey sausage. And home fries. Yum! I especially enjoyed that they had the calorie breakdown of the food posted on the menu.

We both ate and then sat around waiting and waiting. I would do a quick lap of the waiting area whenever my Jawbone buzzed at me but,for the most part, I spent the morning sitting and reading.

By the time my mom was in recovery it was almost 11:00AM. And then I just hung out with her there while she dozed on and off and we waited forever for a room. I got her settled in and headed home. I had missed lunch, it was almost 3:30 by the time I left the hospital, and I really, really, really wanted to stop and get fast food on my way home.

I didn't stop.

I got home and the Guys were still napping so I had some leftover soup for a late lunch and called it a win.

I somehow managed to get my 10K steps in, but did have to spend a few minutes before bed doing laps around my house.

On a side note, my mom's surgeon was least a few years younger than me. And I realized I am getting to an age where I am older than doctors. When did that happen?!? Hubs, bless his heart, was all "Did he hit on you?". To which I responded, "I think it's really sweet that you think I am hot enough for a cocky young surgeon to want to hit on." I love that man, I really do.

Tonight is pub trivia tonight. I am going to bundle the boys up and let them run around the neighborhood so I can get a little exercise in and they can burn off some excess energy.

All in all, not a bad two days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You Are My Candy Girl And You Got Me Wanting You

I have been sidelined by injury.




Yesterday morning, after shoveling snow in the morning and maybe even after my snowy run on Sunday, I was walking around my office at work and I got a sharp, stabbing pain in my right ankle. I couldn't walk on it for about a half hour, then it just went away. What?!?

Dr. Google thinks it might be a tendon issue. Since it went away so quickly I have hopes it is a tendon issue that can resolved with rest, rest, and more rest.

That's what I will do.

I had quad issues last year in the spring and after the hilly, snowy run on Sunday my quad was a bit more tender than the norm. Between the quad and the ankle my body is telling me to slow the eff down. I will listen to you, Body.

I am taking the week off of running. I might walk, depending on how it feels, but if I get any wonkiness at all, I won't walk either. I mean, walk any extra, obviously, I will still do my normal moving around walking.

I think I might look up some pilates videos or some low impact workouts. I know Fitness Blender has some of those so I will look up videos and maybe do some of that tonight. The idea of not working out for the week has me somewhat stressed.

The good news is I had an excellent eating day yesterday!

 Dinner was great, the Tuscan bean soup, was delicious. Hubs even had seconds! And for dessert I had Shredded Wheat with a Truvia packet for sweetness. It was pretty good. I'm actually not a fan of sugary cereals. We never had them growing up, so I am used to Shredded Wheat and Cheerios and Grape Nuts. Note to self: check Grape Nuts for added sugar next time I am at the store.

I have been using MFP to track my food. My only concern is I feel like I am eating a TON of food. I'm within my calorie limits, but it just seems like so much more than I am used to, which has me worried on the weight gain side of things. We will see next Monday.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious/Super 5K Race Recap

This weekend was just the right amount of family time, running time, and relaxing time. Friday, Hubs had a hockey game and I took the guys to it since it was early enough. The boys had a blast running around the stands and watching hockey. At one point they split up on me, but I managed to mostly wrangle them for the evening. They were wiped by the time we got home so I enjoyed some peace and quiet after they conked out.

On Saturday I grocery shopped. We were expecting a blizzard in our part of town, which I forgot about, so I was surprised to see Trader Joe's as busy as it was. I usually shop on Sunday morning. I managed to get a whole bunch of healthy groceries woo hoo. Then I picked up my packet for Sunday's race.  And then spent the evening with my family.
I noticed the cows in my shoes when I was cleaning up the Guys toys Saturday night. This just makes me smile.
And then Sunday was of course my 5K, my February race, the Super 5K. I had signed up for this one last year but got sick the night before so I ended up with a nice DNS for that one. Boo to that. Not this year! I wasn't even going to let Snowmageddon keep me from running!

Luckily, the snow was just starting Sunday morning and not really that heavy.
Clearly I wasn't the only crazy person out running this race.
 This race was put on by Running Fit, a local group that been putting on runs for years. Some of my favorite races have been Running Fit races.  They do a great job of getting our pre-race information and setting up interesting courses.
Look at all those runners!
The snow really bothered my quad so I ended up switching from 2:1 intervals to 1:1 intervals. Even with that I really struggled.

And of course there were hills.
Pictures never really do uphill climbs justice
I finished in 41:30. Not my best time ever, obviously. I went into this one with one goal, not to fall. and I didn't!
I like to call this "Pensive Finisher"
I ended up with frozen eyebrows and a super slushy jacket. But, I'm glad I ran this one. Race #2 of the year is in the books!

Of course the snow didn't stop when my race did. It snowed and drifted and snowed some more. Hubs shoveled our driveway multiple times yesterday and still I went out to my car this morning and saw this:
Why yes, that is a drift all the way up to my minivan door! It took Hubs and I forever to dig it out, but we did and I made it to work only a tiny bit late. I am counting my shoveling as my cardio today!

As for my food, I am proud to say I made it through a Super Bowl party eating pretty darn healthy! I stayed away from all of the sweets. In hindsight I wish I had thought to bring some dried fruit or something sweet like that to nibble. But, I resisted temptation. I stayed away from things I KNEW had added sugar. And I felt good. Well, I felt good except for the tiny headache that has been plaguing me since last night.

My slow cooker veggie soup cooked all day on Sunday and I packed it up in containers for lunch this week. Of course, I had to try it to make sure it was alright and it is GOOD! And way better for me than Light Progresso soup!

How was your weekend?