Busy Weekend

Apologies that another busy weekend kept me away, especially from Food Friday. In all honesty, my diet has not been the best lately, so Food Friday would have been somewhat pathetic, anyway. Hopefully it will be a bit better this coming week, as I plan to try out at least one new recipe!

Mostly, I did not post on Friday because I was SO busy, though. On Fridays I always have to teach for 2 hours straight. On this particular Friday, I also had to pick up my bike from being repaired, grade a bunch of midterms, go out to dinner with a friend to celebrate finishing a major exam, and go to a concert!

River is very confused by this thing in her house.

After spending about $1 billion on fixing the bike (the shop doesn’t carry components as crappy/cheap as the ones that were on the original bike, so it was fairly expensive), I decided to stop being lazy and start lugging it upstairs to store on my porch. Hopefully no one decides it is worth it to get a ladder to climb up and steal portions of it again (the frame is locked to the porch). Also, you can’t see it in this picture, but my new cassette is SO SHINY. I somewhat afraid of getting it dirty!

I also must talk about the concert! We went to see Weird Al since he was coming to campus. Yes, I realize this was probably the most “old person” thing I have ever done, especially as I haven’t been to a real concert in YEARS (and yes, mostly because I’m “old” – one of my friends invited me to go see Imagine Dragons a few weeks ago and I had never heard of them). I was a little nervous because while I enjoy listening to Weird Al and find him amusing, the friends I was going with are super hardcore fans who I think know every word to every song, which is a bit intimidating. I had a nice time, though! Unfortunately, the pictures I took didn’t turn out very well due to crappy cell phone camera. I tried to get pictures of all of the fun costume changes (dressing up like Nirvana, Star Wars characters, etc) but they are either really small or really obscured by the lights on the stage.

On top of all of this excitement on Friday, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday visiting a friend in Illinois. She used to go to graduate school with us but escaped decided to move on to a more appropriate department about two years ago. She has been able to visit us a few times but it hasn’t worked out the other way around until now. We were able to enjoy a nice weekend of sushi rolling and drinking of seasonal alcoholic beverages (I am suddenly very jealous of the people in Illinois who can enjoy Cider Boys ciders on the regular) with her finally, though! Rolling our own sushi was awesome! We can’t get sushi grade fish in our town, but I will probably try to make some vegetarian rolls or rolls with things like crab sticks, smoked salmon, or fried stuff.

My first roll: spicy tuna, cucumber, and carrot. I got better at rolling as time went on, but my plate also becomes less attractive as time goes on. We also had rolls with regular salmon and tuna and cream cheese. Also, if you have never tried one of those tiny sodas you can get at Asian markets with the little ball at the top, do (the one pictured is pineapple – yum!).

I also spent a good portion of this weekend running, as my half marathon is in less than a week (eek!). I was scheduled to do 3 miles pace on Saturday and 12 miles on Sunday, but I decided to switch it around to 12 miles on Saturday and 3 miles easy on Sunday. I did this for two reasons. First of all, my half is on Saturday, but my training schedule assumed it to be on Sunday, and I did not want to have my last long run less than a week before the race. Secondly, due to my travel schedule, I was afraid that I would either run out of time to do my long run on Sunday or simply be too tired/hungover to have a good run, and I wanted a good run to build confidence before the race.

I am happy to report that my running went according to plan! I had a great 12 mile run on Saturday that is making me feel reassured that I won’t run the slowest half-marathon ever this weekend. The first 9 miles were perfect – I was running at a pace of about 9:00/mile, which is right on track for getting my race pace down below that, and I wasn’t even feeling out of breath or in pain! At that point, though, my stomach started to act up (probably from what I’d eaten the night before – let’s just say I had a Texas Roadhouse coupon and I ate something like 900 calories of rolls alone), and I had to stop at a McDonald’s to use the bathroom. My gastrointestinal problems vanished, but they were replaced by muscle cramps (probably from going from cold fall air into a super hot building then going back outside covered in sweat). My legs weren’t tired and I wasn’t out of breath, but a stabbing pain in my lower stomach forced me to slow down to about 9:30/mile (which I guess is still on track for my previous half marathon pace).

I also have a side story about this adventure into McDonald’s. On home football game days, Purdue students partake in a tradition known as “breakfast club.” From what I have been able to piece together, this means they get dressed up in Halloween costumes, go out for breakfast, and then start day drinking before the game (at like, 8 am). Because of this, the McDonald’s was full of a mixture of people in costumes carrying cups for different bars (you know, the kind you buy there then take back for drink discounts) and elderly men in Nebraska garb. And some chick in the bathroom dressed as like a sexy scary pirate carrying like three of these cups had the nerve to look at me as though I was the weird one. WUT?!

My three mile run yesterday also went well. It wasn’t race pace, obviously, since it followed my long run, but it felt good to go loosen up my stiff muscles. Most of my runs lately have been at least 5 miles and it was nice to be reminded of just how short three miles feels to me now! Today I will go do some foam rolling, then I just have a 4 mile run and a 2 mile run before the race. I am getting quite anxious!

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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: www.alltheweigh.com 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.

What a Productive Weekend!

Well, I never thought I’d utter THAT title.

So, what have I accomplished this weekend? I guess I’ll go in order.

Friday

  • Found a shirt for my husband to wear to a Harry Potter themed wedding next week (ok, I may have completely accomplished this until Saturday). The couple has asked everyone to sort themselves via an online sorting hat and dress in house colors. He is apparently a Hufflepuff, so he is required to wear black and yellow (I am a Ravenclaw, and shall post pics of me in my lovely blue and bronze outfit next week). We thought we had found him a yellow shirt, but it didn’t fit, so I went to the mall to return it and find a different one. Who knew finding a fitted yellow dress shirt was so difficult? The only decent one I found was at Express. I was misled by their promise that men’s dress shirts were buy one, get one $20 (I thought I’d even get him a present with that sale!). It turns out that their regular priced shirts are $70, however! WTF. I am all about spending more for quality, but that is just ridiculous, considering I’ve read online that they are similar in quality to the button downs at Target (did not have yellow). I ended up picking up one at Macy’s (which had no shirts over $50!) in a regular fit but his size and one at TJ Maxx (I did this Saturday) that has a 1/2″ too big neck but is fitted. We shall see what works. It’s just for a day, anyway.
  • Tried a new recipe out. My roommate left me leftover pancakes to eat, and I decided to make bananas foster pancakes. I knew from ordering the french toast version at restaurants that it is very sweet but not very caloric (1 serving of pancake + syrup + whole banana ~ 500 calories). Plus, since I was at home, and not in some chain restaurant with no liquor license, I got to actually include the rum!

Saturday

  • Ran 11 miles in 1:40! But you already knew this.
  • Actually found shirt option #2 for my husband.
  • Went grocery shopping and got the ingredients to make myself a homemade pizza! I topped it with italian turkey sausage, olives, and mushrooms. I was going to include spinach but my spinach went bad and I didn’t realize this before heading to the store 😦 I felt especially productive doing this because I was going to order a pizza (I certainly had the cals for it after a long run) but my favorite pizza place closed and I didn’t want a disappointing experiment in new pizza places. By making my own instead, I was able to eat half a pizza for just over 600 calories!!!
  • Tried to go bathing suit shopping. Target’s bathing suits have bikini bottoms that are too tiny (you could see like 90% of my underwear when I put the bottom on over them), they seem to reverse vanity size (like the small was occasionally too small, when I normally wear an XS at Target, which I know is normal vanity sizing), and the one pieces were all like…too short? I’m not even tall! At least I got to try on a monokini there. I had been fancying one because I’m a little self conscious about my loose skin and it would hide my tummy a bit (I don’t think they even make small one pieces that cover you normally, or at least I can’t find them). It was terrifyingly bad, though – I had worried the loose skin would look bad in a bikini, but it looked worse in this because when I bent over at all it would like smoosh out around the side of the stomach panel! It just looked super weird, and looked way more normal to just expose it.
  • Finished all of the lecture slides for my class! I still have a few computer lab sessions to prep, though.

Sunday

  • Cleaned my room! It was a terrible mess and Kris is coming to visit to go to that wedding and I don’t want him to think I’m bachelorette frog. I ended up finding a bunch of sweaters with holes in them and stuff to get rid of! Yay!
  • Had a great workout! 35 minutes on the stationary bike in “fat burn” mode (it basically meant constant high level of resistance), followed by this core routine, followed by foam rolling. I much preferred the core routine this week, as it was much more difficult –  I couldn’t even do the supine leg lifts, I could just barely raise my butt up off the ground!
  • Discovered that Starbucks has protein laden fruit smoothies? They have a lot of sugar, but my mango-orange smoothie also had 16g of protein, so I’ll allow it. It was a way better option than Coldstone, which was next door to Starbucks, and I considered.
  • Found a bathing suit! I only went to JCP because my mom texted me last night to tell me that they had a huge athletic clothing clearance at her store, but apparently not at mine (everything was like, more than normal price). After yesterday’s accidental bathing suit adventure at Target (I only went in to see if they had yellow shirts), though, I had to try. They ended up having bathing suit bottoms that fit me better, but the bathing suit tops were either way too tight or gigantic. They had no one pieces in my size 😦 Luckily, I found a tankini that came in my actual bra size!  It was also on sale and I didn’t know it (the full price was still the one displayed) so I was extra excited!
  • Finished the midterm for my class! I still need to make the study guide, though. I can’t believe students would take a 300 level class that is 4 weeks long. Writing a midterm after only 0ne week seems silly.
  • As I write, my laundry is finishing up!

I hope everyone else had a lovely and productive weekend, too 🙂

A New Phase of Strength Training

Today being Sunday, it was cross-training day, which meant a boring workout on the stationary bike. For the next month, though, I’m also going to add a core workout and make sure that I am foam rolling. The reasoning behind this is that  a) I should probably be doing preemptive foam rolling to prevent excessive tightness from making me take a break and b) by building core strength, I will hopefully get better balance and not cause so much tightness in my legs from trying to stabilize all the time. Today’s workout made both of my hunches very clear to me. First of all, there were areas that I did not even know were tight until I foam rolled them and experienced a ton of pain (quads). Second, I thought I had a strong core from doing a million planks and crunches, but the oblique workouts were really hard, implying that my holistic core strength is less than I imagined it was.

For now, I’m going to alternate between two core workouts and see which one I prefer, and I’ll probably stick to that. I did this one today, and thought the moves were good choices, but I was a little confused about how long/how many reps I should be doing some things for (especially the plank lift). Next week I’ll try this one. I’ve done it before, but it was a long time ago. I think I will like the simplicity of AMRAP in 45 seconds and that it will be more challenging, but I wanted to give the other a chance because it incorporates more (and different) moves. I’ll see what I think – perhaps I’ll even combine them.

Additionally, after my week hiatus from lifting (as recommended in NROL4W), I must return to it tomorrow. I looked at Stage 2 of New Rules, and I could already tell I was basically going to hate it, so I’m going to switch to an adaptation of this plan. I’ll add squats one day and deadlifts one day, and switch out some inconvenient moves for others that are more convenient, such as substituting in lateral pulldowns for chin-ups, as I don’t think I’m strong enough for a chin-up (yet!). As my mid-week run has increased to 5 miles, I will only do this 2 days a week (Monday and Friday).

I also have random good and bad news today. The good news: I start teaching for the summer tomorrow! I am very excited – I get to teach an upper level research design class all on my own! I have about half of the lectures and assignments prepped, which I think will help me since the course is very short anyway (4 weeks) and I am going to be very busy lecturing 2 hours a day, holding office hours, grading, working out, and doing fun summer things (like indulging in excessive amounts of ice cream and alcohol with my friends taking long walks with the dog while the weather is nice). The bad news: I slammed my finger in my car door and while I didn’t think I hurt it badly (it’s not really swollen or anything), I apparently cut it and it’s kind of stiff, so I’m afraid it will affect my lifting grip. We’ll just have to see.

Only someone as clumsy as me could manage to do this. Why didn’t all those years of sports give me the gift of coordination???

Oh, and other good news: despite my crazy eating this week and the fact that shark week is approaching, my weight remains in my normal bingey-water weight range (about 5 lbs up), which suggests to me it will return to normal once the sharks leave.