Bit of a short post today. I’ve been very busy this week! I was only supposed to work today and Tuesday, but I was called in to work for 2 hours on Wednesday and 7 on Thursday. Our weeks at work start on Tuesday, so my only day off this week is tomorrow, which should be quite busy as well – grocery shopping, 3 mile run, dropping Kris off to play Warhammer at some point, and then going to a reunion party with the awesome people that I interned with 4 years ago when I moved here. I have lots of good news, though:

  • Our Roku arrived! It cost more than an Xbox live subscription (we opted for the Roku 3 so that we could wire it in to the internet), but in the long run should keep us from having to pay that subscription again and again. We successfully watched 2 episodes of House of Cards on it. That show is just TOO intense.
  • Our cell phones arrived, too! Wow, now it sounds like we are big spenders. It just happened that both our cell phone contracts and our Xbox live expired in the same month. We have been planning these purchases for a long time and we will actually save quite a bit of money in the long run. Plus, these are used Nexus 4’s off Ebay, not like, brand new whatever phone is fancy now.
  • I got a hair cut! I always neglect this but I want to make sure I am looking nice and neat in case I ever get any more job interviews. Plus it always makes me feel nice 🙂
  • Belle and the cat, who shall be dubbed “Misty” unless the vet reveals that her fur was in fact thick enough to conceal her manliness, are doing much better together than we anticipated they would.  Kris let her in during the middle of the night last night and Belle did not fuss about her sleeping on the bed. I went out and bought all of the necessary cat stuffs today, so I guess she is ours now. Fun story: it took me 10 minutes to check out at Walmart because the lady did not want to use my coupon that applied to 20lbs or more of Tidy Cat cat litter for a 35 lb container of it. I apologized to the other people in my line.

Look how well we are all doing 🙂

Now, on to the food!

I didn’t make anything new this week, so I thought this might be a good time to do my Clif vs. Luna vs. Luna Protein vs. Larabar comparison. I touched on some of this in a previous post, but I’ll provide a fuller version here.

I have always been a pretty religious adherent to Clif bars, but mostly because I heard of them first, did not think they were gross when I tried them, and then only tried gross things like Quest bars.

I happened to try the Larabar Alt bars once when I had a coupon for them, and found that I enjoyed these quite a lot as well. I then basically bought combinations of my favorite flavors of those and Clif bars based on price.

I had been completely avoiding Luna bars because I felt that it was silly to have a protein/granola bar “for” women. When I was picking out bars at my local grocery store, though, I decided to give their “Luna Protein” line a try because they were much lower in calories than Clif bars with a similar amount of protein. I then noticed, though, that the regular Luna bars had a decent amount of protein, so I grabbed one as well, just to compare. My comparisons are based off of eating these different bars in the middle of long shifts (we don’t get breaks).

The verdict: I have now tried all of these kinds of bars, with the exception of the regular version of Larabars, and the only one I am not a fan of is the Luna Protein bar. First of all, it looks like this:

It bothers me that it is trying to look like a chocolate bar instead of something that is pretending to be healthier than a chocolate bar. Also, the appearance is misleading, it is nothing like a candy bar.

I also did not like the taste of the Luna Protein bars. I had chocolate peanut butter and cookie dough flavors and did not think either one resembled its namesake. Furthermore, the texture was off – I feel like these had a similar texture to Quest bars, which are extremely grainy. Perhaps I am the only person with these texture issues, but it was a huge turn off for me. Finally, I did not see much nutritional benefit to eating these fairly gross bars over the others – I think they only had 1-2 extra grams of protein. I know other things matter, but I primarily eat these bars as large snack/small meal substitutes when I lack access to normal meals for hours at a time, so I am looking for something that is filling rather than something that provides empty calories, which typically means something quite high in protein and/or fat. Despite the high protein, I actually did not feel very full from these at all, perhaps because I did not find them satisfying to eat.

The verdict: I will probably keep Clif and Larabar Alt in my rotation (especially the peanut butter cookie Larabars…I swear they are just mushed up coookies), but I will be giving Luna more of a chance. I found that some of the Luna flavors, like white chocolate macadamia nut, are actually tastier and more aesthetically pleasing than the Clif version, plus they seem to have more nutritional bang for the buck (less calories, core 4 vitamins, and about the same amount of protein). There are also some unique flavors! I’ve had lemon and peanut honey pretzel now, and there is a box of “nuts over chocolate” downstairs that I picked up on sale at Target to work my way through. My personal opinion is that it is silly for them to market them as a women’s bar, though – why not just make all Clif bars more like this? I will never understand!


Couponing and Healthy Eating

A few months ago I posted a grocery list and reflected on whether I was making mindful purchases or not. I’m one of those people who can sometimes cross the line between frugal and cheap (and can sometimes completely contradict myself by buying $22 eyeliners…). This is especially true when it comes to groceries – I will stand around paralyzed by the decision of spending an extra dollar. Kris hates grocery shopping with me and I understand why. Once, when he was at the store with me I stopped in the middle of the aisle and started yelling about how they only had name brand chili powder and it was 50 cents more. Kris calmly responded “well, what do you want me to do about that?” and an old man and his wife walked past and the man said something that implied Kris was catching on to the whole “how to deal with irrational wives in grocery stores” part of marriage rather well. Because of my grocery-spending angst, I try to use coupons. However, I haven’t decided yet whether I am just bad at using coupons, or if using coupons and healthy eating do not go well together.

I remember that my mom used to use coupons all the time as a kid. When I first moved out I was moving around too much to try to get a paper and we didn’t eat very many groceries anyway (mostly fast food). Therefore I didn’t worry about couponing too much. Trying to cut down my grocery budget only came with eating more actual groceries (and, I suppose, caring more about my financial stability). I still don’t get a Sunday paper because frankly, I have no idea how to get one. This means that I get most of my coupons from the internet. I know this is what is keeping me from some savings because a lot of sites like show you how to get items for essentially free by combining specials with paper coupons (i.e. drugstore X is running a 2/$1 sale and in this paper there is a coupon for $1 off 2).  I primarily print coupons from the creatively named and the Chrome extension. This gives me a lot of coupons I could theoretically use, but they don’t always work for several reasons: I don’t need the item before the coupon expires; it is for a brand my store doesn’t carry; or the store brand is cheaper anyway. I have also tried using the Ibotta app but it tends to be for incredibly specific products and my normal grocery store (Giant) isn’t on there so I have to figure out if one of their affiliate stores (Stop & Shop) will redeem rewards – I’d otherwise have to drive out of my way to go to Target or Wegman’s to use this program. So from this discussion you can tell that I am incredibly new to using coupons and still quite confused and I might just be doing it poorly.

The other issue is that it is not very easy to use coupons if you are trying to keep a healthy diet. First of all, there are almost never coupons for fresh produce. There are a few – for example, I’ve seen them for the bags of Dole salad, and my store will sometimes print me a “$2 off your produce purchases” coupon, but in general, a diet using a lot of fruits and veggies is not going to benefit much from coupons. Another issue is that even for other less-processed items, coupons tend to be for more processed versions or at least branded, pre-packaged versions. For example, there are not coupons for plain, brown rice; only coupons for those boxes of rice mixes. Another example would be that specific brands of pre-packaged meats will have coupons (rather than the meat packaged in the store). This leaves me with the few processed, pre-packaged things I buy being things that I can coupon.

For proof of how these two issues – me being bad at couponing and coupons being inappropriately matched to healthy eating – let’s discuss how they interacted with my grocery shopping yesterday.

Yesterday, I was able to use only 4 coupons during a huge (for me) shopping trip:

  • 2 for coffee. This was one of those deals that was so good I couldn’t pass it up even though I have plenty of coffee. Coffee at my store was only sale for like $5.75 a bag and I had coupons for $1.50 off the bags. I go through this quickly so it wasn’t a big deal.
  • 1 for pierogies (the wiki link is because I’ve met more than one person who thought these were a fictional food). This was another great deal. Pierogies were 3 for $7 at my store and the coupon was for $1.50 off 3. Score! Notice, however, that these were happy accidents – a good couponer would have known about these amazing deals in advance.
  • 1 for almond milk. I needed almond milk and this coupon made Silk (not my favorite, but better than Giant brand) cheaper than Giant brand.

However, I also had the following coupon issues:

  • I left a coupon for Halo brand clementines at home (one of the elusive produce coupons) because Giant “never” carries that brand. I wound up buying them because they were the cheapest fruit at the store anyway.
  • Giant does not carry “Treasure Cave” brand Feta cheese, apparently.
  • They also don’t carry Gardein vegetarian products.
  • I also forgot to look to see if they had the specific brand of string cheese or sour cream that I had coupons for. Oops. I didn’t really need them anyway.

I think the one exception to this rule might be in terms of toiletries – there are a ton of coupons for things like vitamins and skincare products. Unfortunately for my new-found drive to use a ton of a coupons, but fortunately for my wallet in general, Kris and I go through toiletries very slowly (the perks of not having little ones yet) and have a lot of backstock of things like sunscreen and body wash (well, women’s, I guess I could buy some men’s). Also I can never conveniently find a coupon for the toiletry I need when I need it 😦

Not Dreading the Dreadmill & Christmas Gift Lists

No “Food Friday” post today. My most exciting food moments of the week were going out for sushi (I love sushi, but I swear it is the only thing Kris wants to eat lately) and making snickerdoodle blondies, and neither one of those is particularly new or exciting. Sorry that there have not been many of these lately – I guess my eating habits have been quite boring lately!

Instead, I have sort of a double post on two things that really have nothing to do with each other. Enjoy, because I probably won’t be able to post much while visiting my family Saturday-Wednesday.

Less than a year ago, I was absolutely terrified of treadmills. Even when it got cold last winter and I finally moved my running into the gym I stuck to the indoor track for a few weeks. Then I attempted walking on the treadmill. And finally, I sucked it up and did a nice slow 5K to ease myself into it. They still aren’t my favorite thing, but now that I do not have access to one, I realize that I miss them because they allow me to run in bad weather conditions.

Due to the snow and ice, I still haven’t run – since Sunday! This is one of the longest breaks I have taken from running in the last year and I am not really enjoying it. All it does is make me feel lazy and introduce weird anxieties into my life like “what if I can’t run three miles anymore” or “what if I’m really slow now.” These thoughts make absolutely no sense (after all, it’s only been 5 days), but this is exactly one of the reasons that I run. I *might* be a ridiculously high stress person normally, and running really helps me to not be like that (instead I’m just a high stress person). I think this is especially telling because I’ve still been working out about 20 minutes a day at home. There is no way that I am getting out of shape or being lazy, but my brain is acting like I haven’t run in 6 months or something! Ugh. It must be obvious that I am feeling this way, too, because yesterday Kris basically okay-ed me joining a gym or getting a treadmill for the house for next winter when I am home full-time! Hopefully I can find some time/place to run when I am visiting my family – their treadmill is broken, and I could use my mom’s stationary bike to get some good cardio in, but it’s not the same.

I *should* be able to go for a run today, though. I’ve been able to tell that even if the park isn’t clean, the sidewalks along the roads mostly are, so I could run there if I absolutely had to. I don’t really like running on sidewalks, though, because I am more likely to trip and I have to contend with traffic at major intersections. It was in the high 30s yesterday, though, and should be in the 40s today, so I am thinking that most of the snow will melt and I will be good to go on my normal route. Either way, I really need to get out there – I am going to Kris’s office Christmas party tonight and I need to preemptively burn off cookies and beer! After I write this post I’m going to finally get dressed and take Belle for a walk so I will see what the state of things are then.

Now on to the second part of the post, which is of course basically a rant. Due to the impending holiday, I have been seeing gift idea lists for people who are into fitness and I must say that in my opinion, some of these are just TERRIBLE ideas. Now, many of these gifts are not inherently bad ideas – they would be good ideas for specific people, but they are not really appropriate for a list of random gift suggestions for a friend/relative who is a bit into fitness. They are the type of thing you should ONLY buy people who have specifically asked for them, not the type of thing you should buy people after Googling “gift ideas for health nut friend.”

First, we have meal/weight loss plan subscriptions. Yes, I have actually seen this suggested. Now, if you know someone who is on a specific plan (i.e. Weight Watchers) and you know they are thinking of discontinuing it for monetary reasons, this might not be a bad idea. But to randomly get it for someone who seems like they like to watch what they eat? No. Just no. First of all, it presumptuous because it implies the person cannot accomplish their goals without supervision/guidance (this is being nice to the gift giver and assuming that the person even has a goal that such a plan would be appropriate for, otherwise such a gift is just plain rude). Second, even if the person had expressed vague interest in such a plan, I imagine that unless the gift giver knows EXACTLY what plan the person wants to follow, this could really backfire. Like, if the person on the receiving end of this gift was thinking of trying Nutrisystem and you paid for Weight Watchers instead, you’ve put them in an awkward position. It’s like if your eldery grandparents with only good intentions went out and bought you a Microsoft Surface when you wanted an Ipad. It seems rude to return it for something that to the gift-giver is functionally the same darn thing, but you would really hate the gift because it wasn’t quite what you wanted, and then you feel like an ass. I hope this makes sense.

Second, we have the 80,000 gadgets intended to keep track of your bodily data, such as Fitbits with bodyfat scales that sync up to MyFitnessPal (or whatever). These are bad gifts for the reasons I already mentioned – a bit presumptuous, and what if you wanted the Jawbone thingy instead of the Fitbit thingy? There are two additional problems with such gifts, though. First, they constantly keep track of numbers such as calories, weight, and body fat. It is difficult to know whether a person can handle being constantly updated with that information or not. I am very good at dealing with calories, for example, but try to force myself to weigh once a week or less because otherwise I get very caught up with my weight. If I had some sort of freaking scale that synced up with all of my other data and constantly reminded me to get on it and was aware of every 5 pound fluctuation up and down I’d probably drive myself nuts (and I  mean this literally, there is not a word of humor in this sentence). I just can’t handle that, which is why I don’t own a scale. I weigh myself at gyms and other people’s homes so that I can limit myself. The point is that for many people, one or more of these numbers might be problematic, so don’t buy them this stuff unless they have specifically asked for it. Second, I have a feeling that these are things that are going to get rarely used by even the biggest data and fitness geeks because they just look ugly. Like, who is going to wear a Fitbit to work all day everyday? Maybe this is one of most “just my personal opinion” points here but I think if a numbers-cruncher such as myself thinks that looking silly isn’t worth it for a few numbers, there are not many people who are going to be willing to make that sacrifice.

So, what do I suggest instead? Stick with known quantities or things that aren’t offensive and presumptuous. If you know they are a runner, for example, you could buy them things like clothing/accessories, energy gels, or small things they could use at home like handweights or foam rollers. These types of things are easy to return exchange for inoffensive reasons (i.e. it didn’t fit, that flavor upsets my stomach) or are things that most people use (i.e. handweights don’t really imply that the giver thinks you need to lose weight/get fit to the point of a meal plan!). If you want to go for a more DIY route, make them some healthy holiday treats for a nice break in the sugar-cookie flood that Christmas is or do something like make them a display case for medals/bib numbers. If all else fails, just get them a gift card to a store that you know sells things for their hobby. It is less thoughtful than the other gifts, but it at least shows that you pay attention to their hobby, and is not necessarily NOT thoughtful. For example, my husband loves Warhammer, but everyone just gets him Games Workshop gift cards because we know we’d mess up trying to get him actual miniatures, so it is probably more thoughtful than a) getting him the wrong miniatures or b) just giving him like a Visa gift card and socks (except for runners – runners actually want and love all the running socks).

Have a happy holiday everyone, and hopefully I have a Christmas of running shorts and Clif bars rather than scales that follow me around!

Biking Adventures

The other day I was reading this post from the T-Rex Runner (you should read her awesome blog by the way!) and it reminded me that when I bought my bike, one of my thoughts was that since I live in the downtown area of both of the towns that I live in, I would ride my bike EVERYWHERE. I’d ride to the bars, to the store, whatever! It would be awesome. I think I have only managed to do this one time, though, and that was because I was dropping my car off to get fixed and would have had to walk home instead, making biking preferable. Here are my numerous excuses:

  • I just ran/biked and now I’m tired.
  • Where would I lock it?
  • For awhile, Kris and I were sharing a bike lock, so we couldn’t go anywhere together.
  • Too nervous.
  • I don’t know, probably laziness????

Today, though, I could not really think of any excuse. I was planning to go to the grocery store to buy ice cream and shotbloks (needed now that I’m getting to 10 mile + runs). The grocery store is only ONE mile from my house. The only real excuse I could come up with for taking my car was that I would have to find a way to cross over into 2 left-hand turn lanes. I decided that since I have done far scarier things (I’ve gone through a 6 lanes each way intersection on campus) I could probably handle it, though, and that the scary turn lanes were not a good enough excuse. I did wait for traffic to die down a little, though. The only other excuse I could think of was that I could not recall whether there was a bike rack at the store, but I have seen so many people riding their bikes to and from the store that I just knew there had to be one somewhere (there was).

Overall, my first real adventure at biking somewhere in a non-recreational manner other than campus went well. The turn lanes were not the scariest part at all. In fact, the worst part was probably the GIANT hill. I never realized how big that hill is in my car! It was also sort of scary because the hill has no shoulder and I was afraid that a car would hit me due to lack of room, but they all gave me plenty of space without even going in the other lane (the lanes must also be wider than I thought they were).

My only real issue was that I am so used to hauling about 75 pounds of stuff (slight exaggeration) with me to campus that when I was biking around with nothing in my panniers except my purse and u-lock that I kept getting a bit off balance and almost fell over twice! Once, I was turning my head to go over into one of the left turn lanes and almost fell over sideways (that would have been bad because there was a car directly behind me). The other time I held my arm up to signal a right hand turn while going downhill and braking and squeezed the brake too hard with my other hand while correcting my balance and almost fell over due to almost stopping. That would have been less bad because I was at a red light with no one behind me (meaning the hand signal was largely necessary, but I do like to practice).

One thing that makes me sad, though, is that when I bought the bike I really thought it would make going to the bars downtown more convenient. I always feel silly driving 1 mile to go to them, but it’s a bit far to walk. The more I think about it, though, the reasons that I do not want to walk are very similar to the reasons that I don’t want to bike. Yeah, it might take me a few minutes longer to walk, which is one reason that I don’t, but the main reason that I don’t walk is that I go to the bars at night, and I would be too afraid to walk by myself at night. I’d probably have to have at least one man or multiple other women with me to feel safe enough to go that far at night without a locked car door between me and the outside world. It’s not that I live in a particularly bad part of town* – I’d be scared anywhere. In fact, the only time I’ve ever actually encountered a creepy person at night was in my small 7,000 person hometown with almost no crime! I’m probably being somewhat irrational, as I’d be faster than most assailants on a bike, but I can’t help it. I’m going to the bar with a friend tonight and I am going to drive the short distance (it’s on my street for goodness sake!) to this bar out of paranoia 😦

So that I don’t end on a sad/paranoid note, one final thing to mention: I have started using Twitter again! Follow me if you’d like!

*Technically, I do live in the “bad part of town” where all the “people from Kentucky” apparently live. I’ve lived in some fairly shady places, and I have relatives from Kentucky who are totally normal people. Let’s just say I think the Indianans are overreacting.

Awkward Friday Post

 I hesitate to call this a “Foods on Fridays” post because I haven’t done much new food-wise this week, and I dedicated the other day completely to popcorn. I did try a new to me flavor of Clif bars (Sierra trail mix). It was ok. I’ve also decided to take a mild popcorn break due to the bloating from all the salt. Even if I figured out how many calories it had, I still was eating soooo much of it I was perpetually bloated. I did think about buying some new nuts that I saw at the store – they were chocolate peanut butter flavored mixed nuts that were sort of like the dark chocolate almonds I reviewed before – but they were EXTREMELY expensive. I might try some if I get a coupon or they go on sale, though.

Instead of food, I’m just going to talk about a random compilation of things. I have a feeling that my posts this semester are going to have this quality :/

In news completely unrelated to food, I got my computer back this week! I don’t know if I had actually mentioned this on here, but the day I got back to Lafayette, my CD drive fell out. Yes, that’s right. IT FELL OUT. The guy at Samsung who I spoke to about my warranty says that he has never heard of this happening to anyone and he had worked there for years!

The good news: they fixed the computer! They even cleaned it and fixed a few other minor cosmetic issues (i.e. I was missing a shift key). They also repaired it pretty quickly (less than 2 weeks), though I was doing ok without it due to a combination of a borrowed laptop (thanks to Gab!) and an external harddrive. 

The bad news: they wiped the hard drive. I had a back up, so I didn’t lose anything really (except possibly my GPS watch software…), but I am just BAFFLED about why they wiped it. There was nothing wrong software-wise. I’m not even sure why they had to turn it on! I’m also not used to my keyboard yet, so I keep accidentally typing things weirdly. Hopefully I re-acclimate soon!

In other good news, bike commuting is going fairly well. I’ve had a couple of near collisions (people pulling out of intersections when they shouldn’t have), but I’ve become a lot faster and more confident. Hopefully the improvements continue! I do notice a weird grinding/clanking noise when I am pedaling, though, so I need to take it in sometime this week to get it checked out before my pedals like fly off or something.

I’ll try to post a bit about my runs this weekend. I’m hoping they go better than last weekend, when my long run was laughably slow 😦 I’m guessing they won’t, though, because it as been like 95 degrees and humid everyday. Yuck!

My Semesterly Computer Death

Every semester, my computer dies. Seriously. At least once per semester.

My personal favorites:

  1. Computer stops turning on the day I need to print a 10 page paper. Luckily I am able to prove it to professor and get a local place to copy my hard drive for me (I don’t know how to do it myself yet) and turn it in the next day. While trying to figure out if Toshiba or Staples should fix the computer (I had warranties through both), the computer magically starts working again.
  2. Dumped about 1 oz of water on computer. Wipe it off and use it for hours. Leave the house. Come home to find out it won’t turn on anymore. It is important to note here I am in a new town and have no idea where to get a computer fixed. Freak out and rush it to the first place recommended, which is totally shady looking (it is actually an awesome place that I always go to now, looks can be deceiving). They tell me it is just the keyboard that is fried and help me to look through used keyboards to see if I can find one. When we can’t, they help me find a knockoff one on the internet so I don’t have to order an $80 from Toshiba. They even show me how to install it and CHARGE ME NOTHING since they “didn’t do anything.” Needless to say, I try to give them service when actually needed now.
  3. In general, my power cords tend to catch on fire. Luckily, shady computer store that is actually awesome always has some in stock for about 1/4 the price of Walmart.
  4. A few months after the water incident, I dump an entire cup of coffee on my computer. During finals week. It luckily dries out and seems fine. At this point a family member buys me an external hard drive as I had no backups of anything when this occurred.
  5. This January: the day before the semester starts, my computer stops charging. The cord isn’t on fire, but I try a new cord anyway (I keep backups around). Shady computer store isn’t open. I take it somewhere else, and they want to charge me almost as much as I paid for the now 4 year old laptop to replace the little port where the power cord plugs in. I buy a new laptop instead. Yay?

This brings me to today: a mere 6 months later, my new laptop is falling apart. I am already missing a shift key and one of the lock buttons for my battery, but those are no cause for alarm, so I just leave them the way they are. It gives the laptop character, yes? Then, today, with no warning whatsoever, the CD drive falls out. It was fine this morning, but apparently it did not like the drive from Ohio to Indiana, despite being in TWO laptop sleeves (in a portable one inside the one in my backpack). I just picked it up and the CD drive stayed behind. Luckily, the thing is under warranty until next April, so I call Samsung. The guy on the phone tells me that in all the years he has worked for them, he has NEVER heard of this happening. Apparently my luck is just that bad. So, here I sit tonight, one week before the semester starts, backing up my computer so I can send it away. Hopefully it doesn’t take 3 weeks (the max it could take – he said more like 8 days).

My posts might be a bit spotty till I get it back. But don’t worry – I won’t be able to waste time on the internet so I’ll be sure to stick to my training!

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.