My First Experience with Speedwork

According to my half marathon training program, today’s workout was 5x400m at a 5K race pace. I was a little nervous, because I have never really done speedwork before. Well, I did in like, high school track, but I didn’t consciously know what I was doing/why. I was just being told to by the coach!

I was mostly nervous because I didn’t know how well it would work without a treadmill or track. At school, I will be able to go get on a treadmill in the gym and set the paces that I want. Here, I had to not only pace myself, but I also had to get on the internet and try to measure out a 400m length on my running route.

Overall, I think it went…okay. I started out jogging 1 mile for a warm up, then began the 400 m repeats. I wasn’t sure how long to “rest” in between them, so I just jogged the 400m back to the starting point each time. Hopefully that wasn’t a terrible method, as I am guessing that one should not rest as long as one runs quickly (like I may have been allowing myself to recover too much) but if I wanted to make sure I was running 400m I had to keep running the same segment over and over.

One thing I was pleased with after looking at my pace data was that I was able to actually run a large portion of the intervals at my 5K race pace (8:00 per mile). I was a little slow towards the end of a couple of them, and ran a little slower (about 8:30, it looks like) on the last one, but even without a treadmill I did pretty well at guesstimating my pace. I was especially glad to see this because when I would glance down at my GPS watch it would say something like “current speed 6.5 mph” so I was afraid I was going a wee bit slow. It is probably just that instantaneous current speed on a GPS is somewhat inaccurate compared to average speed (which makes no sense when you are doing intervals like this) and I think I slow down just a tad when looking at my watch because I’m not very coordinated (so I avoided doing it as much as possible).

What I was NOT pleased with, however, was my pace on my warm up and my recovery intervals. I feel silly being displeased with them because they are actually not that unreasonable (I usually run a 3-5 minute warmup at a 10:00 pace if I’m doing non-running workouts at the gym, for example). In fact, my plan for these workouts when I finally get around to a treadmill is to warm up at a 10:00 pace and then try to do recovery intervals at that pace as well but go down to a 12:00 pace if needed, so I should be thrilled that I accidentally did it on feel alone. I think it frustrated me, though, because I didn’t feel like they were “easy.” Also, I think it is my frustration from general summer running spilling over – I HATE running in the summer because it makes me feel like a depressing failure until I start running again in the fall/winter and suddenly I’m super fast! I’m also WAY faster than I was last summer so I shouldn’t be complaining (last summer I was excited about getting under 11:00 per mile and thrilled to be hitting my current speeds in the winter). I’ve just been feeling really down about my fitness progress lately and it’s annoying me.

I must comment on one thing I LOVE about the GPS watch, though: look at how clearly you can see my turn-around points. You can see that I did half a mile out and back when I warmed up and then that I turned around between every change in speed. The fact that I can see that is SUPER cool to me (I MIGHT be a bit of a data geek)! It is also reason to do this on a treadmill – I won’t get slowed by having to turn around! I also just found out how to look at my heart rate over time on there and I must also say that is super cool. It actually helped me to feel slightly better about my pace that I was just complaining about because you can see that my warm-up and recovery intervals are all at an equal heart rate and my pace interval are all at an equal (much higher) heart rate. Actually, I just put it up on here so you can see what I mean. Ignore the part where my heart rate is like whoa high because I still don’t know what on earth that is all about.

Look at all this beautiful data!!

Tomorrow I will have to get creative with my workout yet again – I have a 3 mile run and strength training on the schedule. The 3 mile run is easy, but remember that I do not have a gym or weights here! I have an idea, but I’ll save talking about it for tomorrow, because I’m not sure how well it is going to go, yet.


Friend Makin’ Mondays

Today is day one of my training program for my half marathon on October 19! I should really get around to getting signed up for that….

Anyway, it doesn’t really feel like day one because Mondays are stretch and strength days basically meant for long run recovery. Once I’m doing long runs, I am sure they will be welcome, but right now I’m just bored. Also, I don’t really have any strength equipment here.

So, what is my plan for today? For the stretch portion, I plan to do some of these yoga moves I found on Pinterest. I’m not a big yoga person but with how tight my hips tend to get these might be beneficial. Some of these even remind me of stretches recommended for IT band problems. for the strength portion, I plan on resorting to a core workout that requires no equipment.

Today is also Friend Makin’ Monday! I didn’t do it last week because it was about TV and I don’t really watch TV (To be fair, I do have Netflix so I could have probably rambled on about old TV shows or any of their original series. By the way everyone who wants to see something that is actually different, original, and awesome go watch Orange is the New Black right now. You will thank me). This week’s topic is easier for me, though, so I’m jumping back in!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Ten Things that Make me Happy

  1. Being in Pennsylvania. I enjoy my time at school, but miss my husband and our little doggy Belle when I am there. I also like the area where we live. We live downtown in a small city, which I highly prefer over the rural area I grew up in because there are always things to do, even if it i just going to the park (where I grew up, you had to drive like 10 miles to get to the closest public park!). Also, when I am in PA, I am usually working on my own projects and spending time enjoying my own hobbies rather than dealing with the stresses of grad school.
  2. Various foodstuffs. I really like to savor and enjoy a good latte, alcoholic beverage, flavor of ice cream, or pastry. And of course, pizza in all its forms.  Because I am in weight loss maintenance, this can be a real struggle. Luckily for me, it is more of an “ice cream increases my current mood” than “I am sad must eat ice cream” feeling, so I can MOSTLY control it.
  3. Pampering myself with beauty products. If I am in a bad mood, taking a nice shower with a nice smelling soap, then getting out and putting on lots of lotion and doing slight grooming (like shaping my eyebrows) and putting on my fancy makeup can make a world of difference.
  4. A closely related one is wearing put-together outfits. I am not a person who can stay in my pajamas all day – I’ll just feel depressed because not getting dressed makes me feel like I didn’t even do anything all day but lay around (even if I am wearing those pajamas while working on a major project from home or something). This means even lazy days at home usually involve at least wearing real pants rather than yoga pants or workout shorts. Even if I’m just going out to run errands, I try to make sure I am wearing a somewhat nice (though usually still casual) outfit, as I just feel so much more happy and confident.
  5. Running. I am a very anxious person and running really helps to reduce that. I joke that I am expending so much energy on running that my brain cannot divert any of it to worrying anymore. In all seriousness, I think it helps because it gives me a peaceful, solitary time where I am alone with my thoughts and I can focus on them and sort them out rather than trying to worry about them while simultaneously grocery shopping or something.
  6. Being able to be active in general. I love being able to walk my dog, bike with my husband, or do other normal activities that require physical exertion without much thought. I think this one is particularly important to me because it used to be quite difficult. Yes, I still walked the dog a lot, but it felt like a chore and a workout rather than a pleasant, relaxing experience.
  7. “Shopping” for big purchases. I will spend hours online looking at $400 boots and purses that I won’t be able to afford for years. I really over think purchases and will spend hours “agonizing” over them but I shouldn’t really call it agonizing, because I actually sort of enjoy it. I think I spent an hour last week debating between two rear bike racks that held the same amount of weight and cost the same amount of money. Seroiusly. I also love researching things like homes/apartments and vehicles. I have probably been driving poor Kris mad looking at homes in our city this summer that we will not be able to buy for probably at least 2 more years (you know, when we actually live together and I have a real job and we can actually save enough for a down payment). I think I pick this up from my dad – both of us are constantly talking about things that we could probably never buy or are at least unattainable right now and making our significant others think that we are going to run out and buy a $4,000 lawnmower (ok that one might be my dad). At least I come in handy when it is actually time to find a new apartment or whatever!
  8. Wow, this is getting difficult. I think it’s because I am doing such abstract topics. Like, I could have split number 3 into like taking relaxing showers; grooming; and using fancy makeup. Oh well, it’s too late now. Oh! Talking! I love talking. I love rambling on and telling stories and jokes and making people smile. Kris is a very introverted person and I joke that we go well together because I love talking and he hates talking so I get to talk twice as much by talking for him and never needing to listen!
  9. On a closely related note, teaching. I am always a little nervous about teaching a whole class in the abstract, but I’m never nervous about going into the classroom for the day to teach the “kids” (some of them are my age or older) a new lesson. I am lucky in that I work in a college setting where even if the topic is not my main interest I get to focus on what I am passionate about, so I basically just love that my job is to go in everyday and help young people learn about these topics that I love. It is especially rewarding when they come to love them as well. Even if they do not come to love the topics as well, I try as hard as I can to make the topics exciting; share my passion for them; and at least get them to learn something new, and from what they claim about me on teaching evaluations, they at least usually come to understand the information that they have learned and why it is that I am so passionate about the topics and enjoy that I have been able to share that with them.
  10. Finally: warm clothes and blankets. I love being bundled up in about 50 layers of wool. It just makes me feel so safe and comfy. Summer clothes are fun because I love the bright colors and honestly the thin, flowy fabrics are more flattering on my new straight body type because the big boxy sweaters make me look like a box, but I much prefer my literally 100% wool winter wardrobe (ok, a FEW things might be wool blends). what can I say, I get cold very easily.

I Love/Hate my Cycling Progress

Now that Kris is fully recovered from his surgery, we are finally able to do active things together again, which lead to us taking an 18 mile bike ride yesterday! Wow!

We headed down to a local rail-trail for 9 miles out and back. There wasn’t really anything THAT exciting, so I didn’t take any pictures, but here is a link to the trail map if you are curious about it. The trail was pretty nice – it was mostly paved or covered in crushed stone/gravel with only a few rough-ish spots that were somewhat hard on our non-mountain bikes. We also had great weather – we got there around 10 am and it was overcast and cool, and even by the time it warmed up (to “only” 80) it was still overcast so we at least had relief from the sun (it rained later in the day).The biggest problem was the hills on the way out – the first like 5-6 miles were uphill! According to my GPS, there was over 3,000 feet of climbing! At least this meant that on the way back to the car we were “zooming” over the 3,000 feet of descent. Our only other problem was that the reviews of the trail and the map were a little misleading – we assumed that trailhead parks with restrooms would mean that there would be a place to get water but there was totally nothing but portapotties and parking spaces. We were unable to get any water until we got off the trail to ride into a town and get water at one of their parks! What kind of 15 mile long multi-use trail does not have a single water fountain?! To be fair, there may have been one at the park where we turned around, as we turned around  without entering it.

There were a lot of good things about this ride. First of all, holy cow we rode 18 miles! I never thought I’d be able to ride that “far.” (I know this still isn’t THAT far, but it is for me). Also, I am making a lot of progress with being able to balance on the bike. I still can’t manage to pull out my water bottle in motion, but I can itch my face, adjust my clothes/helmet/whatever, and mess with my GPS watch. I was even able to take both hands off the handlebars for like 1 second! I was also able to test out some of my new equipment and found that it all pretty much worked great. Having the panniers to lug around all of our crap instead of a backpack on such a long ride was quite the relief, and I didn’t even notice they were there. We’ll see how I feel about not even noticing them after Kris makes me bike around town with calculus books in tow for practice, though! In general, I am feeling a lot more confident about my abilities, which I am happy about. I also find that I am genuinely enjoying cycling – I had a really great time yesterday!

There were also a few bad things. These are mostly related to how new I am still am at cycling. I feel like because I am in good shape, I should be picking up on the whole performance/endurance aspect of the sport much more quickly. I am still terrible at going uphills and pathetically slow, however. In fact, MyFitnessPal classifies my pace as “light” or “leisure,” which makes me feel like a loser because it feels like a super workout to me, and I see people on blogs who are going WAY faster than me talking about how slow they are all the time, which makes me feel like even more of a loser. Like, I’m so slow I feel like I must be doing something horrifyingly wrong. Plus, Kris is just SO much faster. I feel bad the whole time we are riding together because he is like coasting along and I am pedaling as hard as I can just to stay like 100 feet behind him. I know it is partially his bike (for example, he has thinner tires), but I know that part of it must be that I am just not very good at cycling. Plus, despite my higher level of physical fitness (he has had two major surgeries rendering him mostly inactive in the last year), the ride hit me WAY harder than him. We both took naps yesterday afternoon after we got home and even after that I still felt so tired that I almost cried when faced with the prospect of having to cook dinner (luckily, Kris is wonderful and cooked dinner for us). Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get faster and I’ll still just be that kid that everyone makes fun of for being terrible at cycling because I’m lagging behind them huffing and puffing and unable to move a single muscle for fear of falling over for the rest of my life 😦 I’m sure this isn’t the case, but it’s a really difficult feeling to shake.

Today looks like it will be a lazy day just cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc. It’s kind of rainy outside but I might do a short run or something. I’d rest after such a long ride yesterday but tomorrow starts half marathon training and therefore a planned somewhat restful day. Mondays are supposed to be strength and stretching, so I’ll probably do a few very light things. Once I get back to school and have gym access, it will probably consist of foam rolling and some stability ball workouts, but until then I will have to be creative.

Foods on Fridays

Crap, I almost forgot to do foods on Fridays because I forgot it was Friday!

To be fair, I had a fairly hectic day. This morning Kris had to leave early for work, and due to the change in routine I forgot to give Belle her anxiety medication. She was behaving completely normally, though, so I had no reminder that if I left she would turn into a demon-dog, and set out for a 5 mile run. It was pathetically slow, despite the beautiful weather, but enjoyable. My heart rate was still obnoxiously high, so I’d hate to see what it is when I am actually running at my normal speed!

Anyway, due to the lack of anxiety meds, I came home to this site:

She was able to pull the door inwards because she somehow lodged the cage against the dresser (it is normally like 5 feet away from it) and then some plastic in the door frame that she had chewed finally broke. She seems to be in good health, though, unlike last time where she shattered a tooth.


This sort of sent me into a panic mode and then I was stressed out the rest of the day. Then, Kris and I got some pizza (just the same Mediterranean veggie) and took Belle for a 2 mile walk. It was still a little hot so she got lazy and laid down so we sat with her for awhile.

Then, we came home to put the finishing touches on my bike! I decided to just attach the rack to the seatpost using the clamp from my rear reflector. I now have a water bottle cage (and new, insulated Camelbak); headlight and taillight with multiple modes (and the headlight illuminates in front of and beside me); a bell (legally required, though I imagine I will still be endlessly shouting “on your left”, and it isn’t pictured because I need a longer screw for it); a rack; and panniers. Hopefully these panniers work well. I will probably use them mostly to transport my gym gear and lunchbox – I still plan on carrying a backpack due to my laptop (laptop panniers were WAY too expensive and not multi-functional enough for me). They are really big and waterproof, though, have a shoulder strap for easy carrying, and seem to be sturdily attached.

Ready to go!


Wow, they really weren’t kidding about the reflective elements on the panniers, were they?

Oh crap, now I started writing this post when I came to the horrible realization that as of 10 pm I had not yet written it, but I haven’t actually talked about food. Again, I have an excuse. You see, on top of my busy day, I decided about an hour ago that I was going to drink half a bottle of wine because I had a ton of calories left and didn’t want to ask Kris to go out for ice cream three days in a row (I went by myself yesterday, and I bet I can convince him tomorrow when we go bike riding if the weather holds up).

I’m drinking the wine out of this incredibly swanky wine glass I got for free from my sad, bankrupt city.


Ok, now on to the real reason that I haven’t talked about food. I ate nothing exciting this week. Seriously. Here was basically what I ate everyday:

  • Yogurt with fruit and granola or blueberry pancakes for breakfast
  • PB&J sandwiches with rice cakes and fruit for lunch
  • Boring snacks. Cheese, crackers, peanut butter, fruit, carrots, hummus, etc.
  • Steak + potato + vegetable for dinner. The grocery store had bogo steaks so I got like 5 lbs of steak for $12. I guess I made spaghetti one night?
  • ICE CREAM for dessert.
  • Oh, I did try the highly praised cookie dough Quest bar. I still don’t really like them. Like, they don’t taste bad, but unless I decide to low-carb it, I’m going to stick with my Clif bars that taste like amazing instead of like sand with good flavoring.

At least I’m under my calorie goal for the week. I’ll try to be more exciting while sticking to my diet next week instead of just making the same old same old and then blogging about it while tipsy while I sit around on the internet on a Friday night like an old married woman whose dog can’t be left alone for 10 seconds.

Note: to be fair to Belle, after I gave her some meds and let her calm down, I did head out to the farmers’ market and she did not manage to injure herself during this outing. OH! The farmers’ market! That involves food! I got the following things there for like $15:

  • Fancy grape jelly.
  • A pint of cherries. I feel bad because I don’t remember the difference between a pint and a quart and they had prices up for both so I asked the lady if the little box was a pint and I think she thought I was complaining about the fullness of the pint and threw extra cherries in.
  • Like 2 lbs. of sweet potatoes for 75 cents a pound!
  • Green beans.
  • Habenero cheddar cheese! Yay spicy things!
  • Also, because I promised myself I wouldn’t split another $20, I avoided the gigantic and amazing looking red velvet cupcakes! I’m actually proud of that. I’m a sucker for baked goods at these things. Remember: I live in Amish country. These were red velvet cupcakes baked fresh by old Amish ladies. Avoiding them is a major accomplishment, ok?

Oh, and now that I fixed my bike up, I could bike there. This makes my rambling about the bike relevant to foods on Fridays, yes?

I Don’t do Technical Things

I FINALLY figured out my GPS watch. Well, I figured it out enough to record exactly one actual running activity on it, anyway. The data it shows me is pretty nifty!

Workout Summary!

Mile Splits!


Now that I’ve figured it out, though, I do have a couple of concerns. First of all, it seems to be reporting that my heart rate is super high – I mean look at that average heart rate (I believe that as a 24 year old my max should be 196)! It also kept telling me that I was hitting my max heart rate. I’m not sure if I actually am, or if the device is inaccurate. Also, if I am, I’m having a difficult time finding out from Google if that’s dangerous. The basic result on there is that as long as I don’t have a heart condition, I should be ok (maybe). The high heart rate makes me worried that something is wrong with my heart, though (or maybe that is just my worrying nature showing through). I think I should talk to a doctor, but I have a long track record of doctors dismissing my concerns or even outright accusing me of making them up. It’s normally in the form of “There isn’t anything that wrong with you why are you here?,” but it has been as bad as “Where did you get diagnosed with allergies and asthma? Because I don’t see you having trouble breathing right now (in a cool room with filtered air while sitting calmly while on asthma and allergy medication…).” He seriously called the other doctor’s office to make sure I wasn’t lying before ordering me an inhaler refill. Now do you see why I worry that if I, a young, healthy woman, were to walk into my doctor’s office (not the same doctor, I never saw that guy again) and said “when I run long distances my heart beats fast do you think my heart is messed up” that I imagine they’d just laugh me out of the office? I swear the only doctors that have ever treated me like a normal person are my current ob/gyn and Kris’s neurosurgeon (and I’m only his patients’ caretaker!!!).

Sorry about the rant. As you can tell, mentioning the doctor obviously upsets me.

So, on to my second (potentially related) concern with the watch: it tells me I am burning WAY more calories than MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper (the app I had been using to keep track of running and now just use to store my .gpx files). You see, I have always been afraid that these two are overestimating the amount of calories that I burn – 2 minutes on the MFP forums and you will be bombarded with people saying that the counts are inaccurate and that the only way to ever lose weight is to have a heart rate monitor and weigh everything you eat or you might eat 23 extra calories and then you will gain back all 115 lbs (ok, this might be an exaggeration of what they are saying). I have always managed to keep my weight going in the direction I wanted it to on the basis of me eyeballing/half-assed measuring portions and using the calories burnt estimates, though, so I figured that for some reason this was accurate enough for me and getting a heart rate monitor would not produce drastically different estimates. However, yesterday, after my run, when I entered it into MFP it said I burnt like 354 calories and my watch said around 500! To be fair, the watch was including all the calories from my warm up and cool down, but still, that is maybe like 50 calories, not 150! Kris suggested that I have been underestimating calories burnt from running this whole time and this is why I have been having trouble keeping my weight up (I started trying to be in maintenance last year at 140lbs, dropped down to 127 accidentally, then tried to hover around 127 and ended up hovering around 125 with more days on the low end of hovering). Still, even if I have been slightly underestimating, I think 500 for 3.6 miles of running about ~half a mile of walking is an overestimate when they say the average person burns about 100 calories per mile run (I don’t remember how much on average for walking…I’m guessing like 80?). The only thing I can think is that it says I am burning SO many calories because of the high heart rate, but I don’t know if I trust that heart rate. I wish I wasn’t so confused and frustrated over this.

Now, of course that I have conquered the technical problem of operating my watch (though I obviously have not tackled its interpretation), I find myself faced with a new technical problem: my bicycle. I got a large-ish sum of birthday money to put towards swag for it, and most of it arrived yesterday (still waiting on panniers and a bell, and the bell is what I probably needed most). I installed the water bottle cage and headlight with  no problem, but the rear rack that I ordered, despite being “universal” is not going to fit. Behold:

At least my living is clean enough for me to present it on the internet without cleaning it! There is one win for today, at least. Unless I am supposed to be embarrassed by the tissue boxes I never put away. Oh, and if you don’t know what the problem is, those long silvery supports need to be connected to the frame by the screws clear down behind that pink part of my seat post. Ouch.

I asked some people on r/bicycling for suggestions, and I was basically told to

a) not believe that I could possibly safely haul anything on a bike with such shitty geometry even though it was obviously designed for that (you know, with the built in holes for a rack and all)

b) return my crappy $25 rack and go buy the same one at 2x the price at a local bike shop where they could install it for me because why am I a mean person who hates local bike shops

To be fair, I am putting some words in their mouths, but this is pretty much the elitist attitude of cyclists that I was expecting when I submitted to there, and they didn’t prove me wrong. I wish there was a non-elitist non-sexist subreddit about cycling that I could go to (to be fair, I once messaged the mods about something really really blatantly sexist and against website policy and they removed it without question). The only realistic advice I got was to attach it to the seat post using the support for that reflector, which is what I am going to try next (I am replacing the reflector with a tail light). Still, if anyone has any other suggestions, such as other racks that are not $1 million and will hold at least 40 lbs, that would be awesome!

Sorry for all that ranting. That was a really negative post. Here is a pitbull with a bucket party hat on its head:

What a Weekend!

I have returned from a long weekend out of town! Rather than reflect on my poor food choices (pizza! wedding cake! vodka and cranberry juice in mason jars! large size McDonald’s!) let us focus on, well… anything else. In my defense, I asked Kris to order me only a large (diet) soda and leave the fries medium, but he large sized them to make it “easier.” In his defense, he fed the difference between the large and medium size to the dog and apparently expected me to do the same instead of eat them all. BUT HOW COULD I NOT EAT THEM ALL?!

Anyway, on to the story of my weekend!

It was a dark and stormy night…no, seriously, right when we wanted to leave town on Friday, it started to storm. Like, really really really really badly. The first indication was when a tiny branch fell on my car and a larger one fell directly behind it (I may have spent the whole storm watching my car to make sure it did not get crushed after this). Then came the hail. Then the tree fell, blocking one end of our street. Belle was freaking out the whole time, of course, because I had failed to give her one of the sedatives, because the storm didn’t look “that bad” on the radar. Usually I’m not that wrong about storms! Then, when we decided to make a run for it and leave during a lull in the storm, our neighbor was like “hey did you know your back door fell off?” Ugh. Luckily, it was just the screen door, so Kris put it down on the ground where it wouldn’t fall over and break and we were able to leave anyway.

Lots of trees fell in the park, too. This one is cleaned up now, but it wasn’t on Monday, so I wasn’t really able to run…or at least that’s my excuse, ok?

The tree that fell on my street – it is still laying there. At least it was pushed from the road to the sidewalk.

In case you are wondering, here is the sedated Belle during a thunderstorm. The meds worked well for their purpose, but she was still high WAY more than 6 hours later. Like so high she peed the bed. I might halve the recommended dosage (the vet said to adjust as needed).

Then, on Saturday, we went to a wedding. Kris’s roommate (and friend) from college was getting married! I mean, because he lived with Kris, I knew him as well, but he is most accurately described in this manner. We were a little nervous about the wedding because we had a falling out with some of the people in that friend group in like 2009 (when they graduated from college) and we had not seen them since. As soon as we saw them again, though, everything was fine, and it was actually really nice to see all of them! Overall, we had a really nice time at this wedding. It was held on a farm, so it had that Pintersty-rusticy thing going on, but since you know, it was actually on a farm, that worked really well. THERE WAS ALSO A PAIR OF GOLDEN RETRIEVERS WITH PUPPIES. I am now requiring every wedding I attend to include an entire dog family or I will review it negatively.

My immediate seating area captures all of the “rustic” elements. I think because there were few and they fit well it seemed nice rather than Pinteresty. Plus, they had smores. Who could dislike smores!? Oh, and you can also see that I finished my salad, so it was okay to eat a smore, right?

Plus look how smokin’ hot Kris and I are in our pre-wedding hotel room selfie. This didn’t last long. For some inexplicable reason, these clothes are now covered in spilled alcohol.

Sunday was mostly spent driving and resting – first a 2 hour drive from the hotel to my parents’ to get Belle, then a 3.5 hour drive from my parents’ to our house. Yuck! At least Kris was off his pain meds and able to split the driving with me. Then, I was so exhausted on Monday still from basically staying up all night on Saturday that I didn’t feel like working out. This was ok in terms of eating, because I was also so bloated from all of the food that I had no desire to eat anything extra, but when I was finally able to head out for a run today, my body was displeased. Apparently I cannot take more than 2 days off of running without my legs rebelling against me. They were sore the whole time, which made tonight’s short (only 4.5 miles) bike ride I took with Kris to test out whether he is well enough to bike commute again feel terrible (even more sore than normal).

At least I won’t be taking any time off of running for awhile, now – training for the Purdue half marathon on October 19th starts next week!! I am planning out on starting out with the intermediate version of the training plan I did last time (Hal Higdon) and if it is too difficult/time consuming I will fall back to the novice level. It will definitely take some getting used to – I will be incorporating speedwork and tempo runs for the first time! I mean, I used to do these in track like a million years ago but now I will be doing them without a coach and a whistle to guide me. It will help once I am back at school and have treadmills to use, or if I could figure out my GPS watch. I finally figured out how to put it in the right time zone and enter my correct age today! I also sort of figured out how to save activities, but messed up on both my run and my ride, so I only have data from my short walk with Belle. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon. I have a master’s degree, after all, so I must be really smart at these sorts of things, right? (Wrong. I am only smart at things that have nothing to do with technology or physical coordination, which makes GPS watches for running basically a foreign language to me).

Foods on Fridays

Other than on my birthday (yesterday), during which I may have consumed half of an ice cream cake (to be fair I became confused because it had 6 marks on the box indicating where to cut the cake, so I assumed 1/6 of a cake was a 170 calorie serving, so I thought I was eating 3×170 calories…when in fact the listed serving size was 1/11 of the cake, wtf), I have done really well food-wise this week. I’m probably not going to stick to my diet very well this weekend, as I’m going out of town to go to a wedding, but honestly I’m not that worried because my weight is still ultra low (122 yesterday :/) and the dress I’m planning on wearing is just a teensy bit too big.

The unhealthy cake and Mexican that I had for lunch is balanced by this healthy sushi dinner, right?

I also tried 2 new recipes this week in an attempt to use up the buttermilk that is still sitting in my fridge from when I made the cheesecake.

The chicken recipe I found by googling something to the effect of “healthy buttermilk recipes.” I used chicken breast tenderloins to make them more like chicken tenders and left out the egg – the breadcrumbs (I didn’t have panko, only whole wheat bread crumbs) stuck to the chicken just fine as it had been marinating in buttermilk for hours. I would highly recommend this – it is incredibly easy (marinate in buttermilk and spices; roll in breadcrumbs; bake) and it was sooooo good that I made it TWICE! You might have to adjust the amount of breadcrumbs you use and baking time based on how much/what type of chicken you use. I used like half of the recommended breadcrumbs and baked for 20 minutes instead of 30, for example (to make 2-3 chicken tenders each, depending on tender size).

The coffee cake was also incredible – I cut it into 8 pieces but we ended up eating 2 pieces each at a time, so I really should have only cut it into 4 pieces (that would have been just over 300 calories per serving as I made it). I did alter a few things in the recipe – for example, I used Greek yogurt instead of butter in order to use up my yogurt, and I used a lemon glaze instead of a butter-vanilla glaze (can you tell I am almost out of butter?). I also used sugar substitute instead of real sugar. Note: I also had to adjust baking time on this recipe, though I can’t remember how much. I just remember I checked it and it was brown on the edges and the center was set so I pulled it out.

The only problem with this cake?


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All of the glaze like…soaked in?

It looks slightly better on a plate.


Oh, and unfortunately no updates on how well the GPS watch is working. I’m still having trouble saving my activities – I think I keep deleting them accidentally instead 😦