Friday, August 12, 2011

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Will Run For Popcorn

I've talked about money being my motivation... but what about food?

I'm not lying when I say that there are times in my run when I think about one thing... one salty, buttery multiple of a thing:

Really, it's not much a surprise if you know me even just a little bit. I am OBSESSED with popcorn. As a fat, lazy child, I would eat a bag twice a week with no shame. Microwave popcorn isn't terrible for you. It's just not good. There's no nutritional content in it and it packs some weird carb/fiber ratio you have to be careful of. But mainly, it's the chemicals in the artificial butter that make it unappealing.

Now I make my own with my favorite kitchen gadget, the popcorn maker, every Sunday. I have some tricks that make mine extra delicious- like, putting a spritz of water on fresh popcorn to help the salt stick or spraying it with oil to bring out the butter flavor. I've also done away with regular salt for all cooking, so I stick to sea salt. It packs more of a punch. I use a vegan butter to reduce the fat and sodium content. I'm not saying that my method is good for you, but comparatively, a bag's size worth of homemade popcorn is about 30 calories, 10 grams of fat, and half of the sodium less. Oh, and it doesn't have all the chemical additives and sticky, frustrating mess the microwave leaves.

And because I'm healthier, I share. B gets half of my popcorn when he asks for it. And believe me, my popcorn is like crack. You'll want more.

Back to the story, so it's 10am on Sunday and I'm at mile 8.5 of my 9 mile run. I see a group of ladies in pink and instantly realize that they are part of the 3 Day Breast Cancer walk that an online friend of mine was a part of. She flew in from Colorado to participate, so I knew this was a rare chance to find her. However, I didn't have a phone on me (mine broke on Thursday) so I couldn't directly get a hold of her. I instead decided to follow the walkers back to their pit stop. There, I asked around for her in vain. She hadn't come through yet, but she was on her way.

About ten minutes in to waiting and chatting with the walk volunteers, it started to rain. Ok, no, not rain... monsoon.

Eventually, it got so bad that I was yelled at by a man in a neon pink bra and cowgirl hat to get under the undepass for shelter. They wouldn't let anyone leave till it let up. After about an hour and a ton of impatience on my part, I decided to sneak out with some softball players also forced in the pink filled underpass. When one of the volunteers was distracted, five of us booked it out and in to the rain.

Bad idea. The only thought getting me home was the promise of that popcorn crack. Seriously, many runners have a motto or motivational thought to help them get through a wall. Mine is: Popcorn. POPCORN. POPCORN!!!

After another half mile run home, I came in looking a bit like this:

But, I ran 10 miles, felt great, and even did it in the downpour. I felt amazing. And that popcorn I had later that night was so worth it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eat Run Eat

For some reason, as I was typing the title of this blog, this song got stuck in my head:

I'm. So. HUNGRY. So much so, that I'm googling this:
Yes, that is the Hot Doug's menu, and no, I've never been there before. JUDGE ME!!!
I've been eating poorly this week. Between the Sonic, ice cream, Rainforest cafe, 2 bags of (eek!) microwavable popcorn, Taco Johns, etc... well, I haven't done so hot. 
I'm just so hungry.
No. Really. My stomach is singing symphonies to me, and they are more on the line of:
In my head, I tell myself over and over that I should be satisfied with between 1300-1800 calories. That's what I need to maintain and/or lose weight. I dont need anymore. 

Than I read articles that tell me to eat as much as I like. I'm a runner for Zeus-sake. Putting out over 20 miles a week means I earn a friggin' cheeseburger or nine. And those fries--carb loading for the weekend. 

But, deep down, I know that this binge is not meant to be. Want to lose weight? You have to eat less, but also more. Try to get a deficit in calories in vs. calories out, but dont take too much out or you'll hit starvation mode. 


I just want to eat. And eat. AND eat. Preferably, I want to munch on salty, hummus covered anything. As I run longer and farther, that want turns in to a need as the stomach basically threatens to eat itself. Sometimes, this hunger is frightening just in its intensity. Of course, it comes with headaches, tiredness, Modesky-esque rumbling... etc. 

So, I feed it, and I remember that if my stomach is to the point that it could overpower an 80s cover band, then I should eat. I try to be sensible about it. I continue to promise myself that when I ramp down my running in two weeks, I'll eat less, especially less carbs until this all begins again for marathon training.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

It has been one week since my last strength training session. My muscles are exhausted. My physical capacity for moving at anything over a turtle's pace while lifting anything but the remote has dwindled. I am sunburned (and blistered) from relying on a 9 year old to apply lotion at the beach on my pasty back. And my brain has been turned to mush from a proper melting from this man:

I've spent my entire weekend in a state of exhaustion, to say the least. On Thursday, I was still feeling feverish, so I wisely took the day off. I never take sick days. I always have this guilt complex about it. I feel like if I can type and answer questions without vomiting, than I should go in. But for some reason, I was compelled to take off Thursday. My head was throbbing, I felt feverish, and my stomach was aching. And my productivity would have been at a zero. So, I reluctantly took the day off to lay around in my pjs, watching tv and checking my work email from home.

On Friday, still feeling ill, I skipped my morning run. I was supposed to do 6 miles, but after about 3/4ths of one, I had to stop. My legs were cramping and my headache was almost unbearable. I knew I had a long day ahead of me, so I just gave in and walked home (tail between legs).

Luckily, I had enough energy to entertain my 9 year old niece for our pre-planned slumber party. We spent several hours at the beach (hence the blistering sunburn on my back... soooo painful), took a bit of a nap, rode the L to the Rainforest Cafe, played in the Faces Fountain, and then saw Beauty and the Beast. I ate too much junk, overloaded on carbs, and spent precious water time jumping over waves instead of actually swimming. But it was worth it to spend some quality time with the little one.

Unfortunately, I learned the pains of waking up a 9 year old at 7am on a Saturday after a long night out. She fell asleep on the ride back home. The baby nephew was awake enough for me to give him his present:

Isn't this not the most essential toy? We had one (minus the creepy eyes and cup holders) and played with it for years! Now they only make them for the toddler set, so they are much safer with a door lock and foot board, and are about half the size. I do miss the days when we would roll this down the yard at my grandma's house.

Oh. And I beat Brendan at several hands of poker. I won $2.40 off of him.

Sunday morning, I awoke to beautiful, clear blue skies... which is the opposite of what I wanted to see. I had a 12 mile training run planned and I did not want to run in anything but clouds, a steady breeze, and temps under 70. Instead, I got starting temps at around 82, no breeze, and no shade covering. My first 5 miles were easy, but as soon as I made it for mile 6-7 (easily the hardest because of it's location right on the water and no shade or benches), I was dead. I slowed and made it to the rest station at mile 8. I then made the decision to suck it up and run past the smelly Lincoln Park zoo trails so I could run under some tree cover. That's when my watch started fizzing out and telling me that I had run a 22 minute mile. I mean, I guess it could be so, but it then told me I ran a 9 minute mile... so there' that. Damn GPS. Either way, I finished my 12 miler in a respectable time (that didn't count my five-seven minute pit stops at the rest areas). I recovered pretty quickly after some Gatorade, soy milk, and a pretty hardy lunch.

8 hours later, I was sitting/standing in historic Wrigley Field waiting for Paul McCartney to come on. He put on an amazing show. I couldn't help but taking moments to remind myself how much of a dream come true it was. I saw Paul McCartney live. I sang along to Hey Jude and air drummed Let 'Em In. How cool is that?!?

Anyways, so obviously not much fitness and way too much bad eating. Here's my intended schedule for this week:
Monday: Spin class (taking it light since my sunburn is horribly painful)
Tuesday: 3 mile run, ST
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 6 mile run, ST
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Spin class, ST
Sunday: 9 mile LSD