It Must Be Monday

Oh, the humanity.

photo (48)That, right there, is my whole entire day in a heap on the floor. I was laying next to it for a while, but I managed to pry my limp soul off of the ground and find my computer just to write this little post for you. I hope you appreciate it.

The day started off promisingly enough, as you know, I prepared my whole day last night. From breakfast to lunch to my gym bag for after work, I was rearin’ and ready to go. It didn’t take too long for things to take an…interesting(?) turn. The whole vibe of my day is really pretty clearly illustrated with one short anecdote: today, the bathrooms at work were out of order for hours due to water pressure. Fun, right? Wrong. Sure, running water (or lack thereof…) can’t define a day, but it can certainly throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing!

Lunch time looked a little like this:

photo (49)

Although you can’t see it, the sandwich thin is filled with shredded BBQ chicken. It was quite tasty and SUPER easy to prepare. I even managed to incorporate a whole serving of fruit into this one in the form of an orange! How far we have come from the protein bars of last week!

And now, let’s talk about workouts.

So this is nothing new, but I have had (nearly) enough. Tonight, after a looooong day at work followed by an interview (this time I was the interviewER instead of the interviewEE which was a nice little switcheroo!) and some random work-related shopping tasks, I made my way to the gym to meet up with Katie. When I arrived, guess what was waiting for me….

Well, I will tell you what WASN’T waiting for me: a treadmill. Or any of the other machines that I was hoping to use. As I mentioned yesterday, I have actually really been itching for a run. It is something that clears my mind and drives me and makes me feel powerful and I love that feeling (even though that powerful bit is usually wiped away pretty quickly by feeling like the Grim Reaper is knocking on my forehead…) Anyway, I have been feeling like I’ve been a little tangled up in my own thoughts quite a bit recently and nothing does quite as good of a job at clearing that up as a nice little run does for me.

(WARNING: Gym rant ahead.)

So what did I do? I stood around for a bit, waiting around and attempting to predict when/ where a spot would free up. In the meanwhile, I did jump on an elliptical and “ran” like my life was depending on it. Eventually, a treadmill was finally available and I scooped it up right away. By that point, I was even more frustrated than I was when I got there, but I think my frustration and fury fueled a SUPER run. I didn’t go far, but it was fast and furious. I was actually pretty proud of myself by the end, but despite the fact that it was a great run, it didn’t really produce that feeling of clarity that I was so looking for. I’m pretty sure that was because of the initial stall when I first got there accompanied by the fact that the whole day was just plain infuriating. I don’t think that I actually ran long enough for it to have that de-escalating effect, but it still felt great to be being ACTIVE again. Enough was quite enough.

Now, with all of that being said, I am seriously considering switching up gyms again. It is so insanely frustrating to me to not have the equipment available to me when I finally make my way to the gym. Granted, if I were still able to go at 9:00 in the morning, I am sure that I would have the whole floor to myself again, but that just isn’t possible anymore! I counted today, there are 12 treadmills available and at the peak hours, that isn’t even 1/4 of how many should be there. When I was at college, this was the name of the game. It was a total crapshoot whether or not you’d get ANY air time with the machines you wanted. Skulking around behind the treadmills until one was available was a sport in and of itself. This was especially the case in the weeks right after New Year’s, but hey, that’s what you get when you throw thousands of students plus faculty and staff members into the same facility. That was kind of expected. But when you’re actually paying for a membership, that really doesn’t fly with me. I am not sure what the answer is, but if I can find a cheaper alternative that is still semi-convenient, it is MINE.

Anyway, better luck to me tomorrow, huh? You can’t win ’em all! Time to read and make my way to dreamland very soon! (Waking up at 5:30 takes some getting used to!!)

I hope you had a fantastic day and I will see you all tomorrow!

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Uphill Runs and Pro/Con Lists

Late last night, I had the brilliant idea to book my gym buddy for “10:30” this morning. What I did instead was book her for “10:00” this morning. I woke up at about 10:15 to a text message from 10:05 saying, “I’m here!”

Oops, I did it AGAIN. (Thanks, Britney.)

So even though I am The Worst Ever, we still managed to have a good workout and in order to sufficiently punish myself (once again), I ran uphill! (Aka on a steep incline!)

Holy workout! (For the record, I didn’t actually do it as punishment, but it’s fun to pretend. 😛 ) As strange as it’s going to sound, I actually REALLY liked running on an incline and felt that I might actually be able to do it for even longer than I did. For some reason, the incline took some of the drudgery out of treadmill running. It was like I was on a mission! (A mission to climb a never-ending mountain…) I would really, really love to be training for a race right now, but I haven’t found one that I was excited enough about to actually register for (races are QUITE pricey!). Beyond that, the ones that I have found, are a little too soon to realistically train for in a safe and healthy way, which we are ALL about here at 5ks and Coffee Beans! There will be ZERO running-related injuries on my watch!

Next, we went to the floor to complete an “ab workout” that was somewhat half-assed and morphed into sitting on our mats and planning our futures and also detangling the present.

I have mentioned it before, but there are a few things that never fail to make me feel like a real adult. Those things include:

  1. Driving after dark 
  2. Driving on the expressway (part of this is probably because I hated expressway driving and avoided it for the longest time after I got my license)
  3. Drinking coffee from a coffee pot to “wake up”
  4. Running errands in the middle of the day
  5. My gym time with Katie. I am really not sure why this is, perhaps because we typically go in the mid-morning which is not a time that anyone in school would ever be able to go. Or because oftentimes, we follow up with a coffee run (see point number 3!) where we sometimes make pro/con lists (perhaps I should add a number to this list that incorporates “having serious enough decisions to make that they actually warrant well-developed pro/con lists.”)

After a couple of random outings and meetings strewn throughout the day, I made my way to the bookstore to get lost for a few minutes. (I love going to bookstores during the day when there aren’t tons of people milling about. I love books and something about wandering through aisles and aisles of them is very relaxing for me!)

I will talk to you all tomorrow! Double check your plans for the morning… a half an hour can make quite a difference! 😉

Night!

Left-Over College Habits

Hello friends!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. I think the temperature nearly hit 60 degrees! A lovely day off indeed.

Around noon today, I hit the gym for a workout of my own (instead of the typical exercise classes that I have been frequenting). Since I never really go to the gym that late in the “morning”, I threw myself off a tad! I was quite confused when I returned home around 1:00 instead of the typical 9 or 10. Also, the crew on the floor was quite different from what I am used to. There was not a single woman there, and it was packed. I guess I missed the memo. 😉 

First I completed a two-mile run on the treadmill that started off with a pretty steep incline. Generally speaking, I feel like my soul is slowly being drained out of me when I’m on the treadmill, but today I was feeling my oats! I know that it is a little early for this nonsense, but I actually had Christmas songs playing on the iPod as I ran and they energized me! I love my triumphant Christmas music and even though Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived yet, I am 110% in the Christmas cheer spirit. (Hey, whatever works, eh?)

Next I darted down to the vacant aerobics room to complete the following ab routine:

I don’t know why I decided to go Victorian on this, but I do like those fancy little corners!

Next, (because I’m the most predictable person alive?) I made a stop at my canal-side coffee shop and worked on some MORE versions of the famous resume. As I sat there with my laptop, I realized that there are a few habits from college that I am pretty sure I will be stuck with for quite some time:

  • Cafe/ Library Required: For some reason, when I was in school I could NOT study at home. Even without the distraction of the television/ business of other people around, I just couldn’t do it. I would always relocate to a library, cafe or bookstore. Apparently, I still have that problem as I always feel the need to visit my favorite coffee shop to work on anything “important”.
  • Online Procrastination: First of all, I hardly ever visit Facebook anymore. Other than meeting up with a friend for a “scheduled” chat, I just don’t really find it that interesting anymore. However, apparently when I should be doing other things (like writing resumes and filling out applications), every-other click takes me to America’s favorite social networking site. I find myself perusing the photos of my “friends” that I hardly even speak to anymore. I write statuses like there is no tomorrow and I post random links on other people’s timelines. The procrastination runs deep.
  • Coffee Addiction:  Next, the coffee habit is one I will never be able to kick. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years at school, I didn’t drink it. Ever. I just couldn’t get past the bitterness of it and never found a flavor that I found to be especially enjoyable. Then things took a very sharp turn. Even the feel of a mug in my hand is enough to make me feel a little better about life in the mornings. Today, I managed to sleep in a bit and ran right to the gym and did a few random things afterwards so the coffee never made an appearance. Around 6:00 my head was pounding and I even felt a tad nauseous. After I mentioned my headache to my mom, she asked if I had any caffeine today at which point I realized that it was another caffeine headache. I made a pre-dinner cup of coffee and within minutes felt 100% better. Thank you, on-campus Starbucks. Thanks a bundle.
  • “Midnight” “Snacking”:  Towards the end of my senior year, I fell into a nasty habit of ordering midnight meals with my roommates. I wish I could call it midnight snacking, but the “snacks” consisted of: chicken wings and french fries, XXXXL pizzas and Chinese food. Even though I no longer give in to the temptation, whenever I am up just a little later than usual, I find myself craving those same foods in all of their caloric, MSG-ridden, sodium-swimming glory. (Side note: The XXXXL pizza thing is real. Since we were both night owls, Josh and I used to go in half and half on pizza for those late nights when I’d be working all night long after returning from my job. –let it be known that two XL pizzas somehow managed to cost less than one medium. He would eat a whole entire pizza and maintain his fitness regardless. I’d eat three slices and gain 14 pounds. Life isn’t fair.)

My 7:00 cup of headache remedy.

Anyway, I didn’t accomplish very much at today’s working outing. Better luck next time, I suppose.

In true Monday style, I also met up with Katie for lunch! I did something wild. I purchased a salad. 

Where did that come from!? That’s a spinach/arugala salad topped with garbanzo beans, feta cheese, beets and raspberry vinaigrette. As you may know, I typically hate salad. I just don’t understand it and I hate greens, but this was 100% enjoyable and I wasn’t 2,000 calories as some salads can end up totaling! (For some reason, more than any other exercise, running makes me feel more conscientious about my food choices. Perhaps that’s because it is so difficult for me and since I am well aware of the fact that it really doesn’t burn that many calories–especially for the amounts of time that I run– I feel that I should be extra careful not to negate its benefits.) 

Since we ate in the restaurant that is above the grocery store, we wandered down to do some very quick shopping which is when I picked up yet another bottle of nail polish (it’s quite possible that I have a problem. 🙂 )This is the perfect fall color and will definitely be my Thanksgiving nail polish!

OPI, Germanicure, Germany Collection, Nail polish I’ll stop buying new colors for a little while now. Maybe…

I think that’s all she wrote for tonight! I will talk to you all tomorrow.

 

Do. Not. Put. Treadmillsinfrontofwindows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Greetings my fancy friends.

Tonight, I had about nine dark chocolate-covered coffee beans at work. Ohmygod. SO tasty, but they went STRAIGHT to my brain! I was going 101 miles a minute once they kicked in. It actually took me a little while to figure out what the heck was going on, but once I did I couldn’t help but laugh. Especially after last night’s post. The days at work will soon be getting longer and I think I found my antidote. Although I also can’t help but wonder whether or not those magical little beans had something to do with the spazz-ery that was my trip to the gym this evening.

As I mentioned, I got a week-long pass to test out this new gym, but it’s only valid from 8 am – 8 pm (if this were the gym’s actual hours of operation that would not fly. When I was training for the 5k, I used to go around 9 just about every night.) Today I worked almost straight through those hours, but I was left me with a whopping 55 minutes to sneak over to the gym and give the place a test drive! So after looking like a crazy person leaving work with gym shorts + sneakers + a sweatshirt from my job and driving over to the gym, I decided to hit up the treadmill ( I know, how I could I possibly be so adventurous ??) It was a disaster and a half.

Apparently, I’m not very good at switching gears anymore. I thought that after spending a whole day at work, the gym would be a nice change of scenery. A good little boost. Whoa baby. I was very wrong. Granted, by the time I pulled myself together and hammered out my planned workout, I was feeling just fine and happy as a clam that I went tonight, but let me tell you, it took me about 95% of the workout to get there. Let’s recap, shall we?

(Haha, it took me about 5 minutes to even figure out where to start/ which parts of the fiasco I actually wanted to include. It was quite a mess.) So first of all, let’s talk gym logistics. If any of you ever decide to open your own gym, please, please heed my warning: DO NOT PLACE YOUR TREADMILLS IN FRONT OF GIANT PICTURE WINDOWS THAT LOOK OUT OVER BUSY STREETS. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Seriously though, there are so many things wrong with that setup. First of all, it was dark and I could see my own reflection in the window. Secondly, it was dark and everyone driving by could see me. I don’t like that. There was also a nice full-length mirror to my right side that much like the train-wreck effect, I couldn’t help but looking at. Let me tell you, it just confirmed this little sentiment that’s been in my head since I stumbled across it in a magazine: 

Source

Alright, let’s face it. That’s a total exaggeration in every way. No, I never actually thought I looked like that chick in the top picture. Nor did I really look like a rabid beagle today, but you get the idea. NO WINDOWS. NO MIRRORS.

Next, I planned to start off with an easy, ten minute/ one mile run and follow up with a killer incline walking set for 20 minutes. That’s a quick thirty minute workout which was perfect given my time constraint. Well, what did I do but accidentally stop the treadmill somewhere around seven minutes into the run. Granted, not a HUGE deal, but it always throws me WAY off when I have to take the time to re-set things and mutter to the screen for loosing my stats. The belt stops, and I’m left standing there like a fool. I always used to do this when I was doing longer runs pre-5k. There’s nothing worse than trying to pause the treadmill when you hit the three mile mark, but stopping it instead. Goodbye hard work. It’s sort of like running an ultra marathon and stopping to take a picture at the 105 mile marker, but instead, you just have to start over at mile 2 again instead. Bad news. (That was an awful analogy. Whatever.)

So “Then what!?”, you ask? Well next, I dropped my iPod and watched it bounce around, I dropped the paper with my inclines written down on it and it slipped halfway under the belt. I continued to look like a fool for a few more moments and then once again stopped the treadmill. It was like a sitcom routine, I couldn’t believe it. Anyway, after that lovely little strugglefest, I managed to FINALLY complete the mile run followed by the 1.5 miles of crazy intense inclines at 4.5 mph (sounds simple, but holy cats, inclines are nasty little buggers.) I must have RE-started the whole workout about 4 times. Good thing about that is that I got some extra work in, but I’d rather just plow through it uninterrupted! Good grief!

The good news? I still really like the gym. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the fact that 95% of the clientele seems to be in the 16-28 age range. I’m fully aware that this declaration probably makes me sound quite antisocial, but I really don’t enjoy working out with people my age unless I invite them (read: Jordan, Josh, Katie, that’s about it…) I’d much rather be working out with my Silver Sneakers buddies for some reason, but other than that it’s great. I’m sure they’ll be SO excited that their crazy little corner-treadmill-using, spastic, arm-flailing, window-abhorring friend with the sneaker that’s missing a good chunk of its sole is in it for good. 🙂 “Who invited her?”

Other than that eventful trip this evening, I don’t have much else to report! I did find a recipe for a protein shake that is supposed to taste just like a Wendy’s chocolate frosty. I plan to try this tomorrow. I will definitely report back on how that goes!

Have a nice night and if you hit up any treadmills, please don’t pull a Brittany. Hold on to your iPods, hold on to your papers, avoid the windows and DON’T. PRESS. THE RED BUTTON!

Day Off = Pancakes, Turkey Vultures & Novacaine

That’s right guys, pancakes, turkey vultures AND Novacaine. All in one day. Let’s get down to business. (For those of you who only read this for the workout updates, I’ve made it nice and easy for you to scroll down to that section 😉 )


Pancakes 

I LOVE pancakes. Any kind of pancakes, any time of day. Today, since I had some time free time this morning, I decided to make some oatmeal pancakes and they were quite delicious, if I do say so myself. (MUCH better than the lemon-blueberry-quinoa-pancake-mishap of LAST week.)

Oatmeal Pancakes This is the recipe I followed. It was a combination of about four different recipes I found… here’s what I ended up with:

Oatmeal Pancake Recipe

They were delicious AND filling! A double win.

Turkey Vultures 

Alright, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no ornithologist, but today on my way home from the dentist, a GIGANTIC, RED-HEADED, ENORMOUS-WING-SPAN TURKEY VULTURE skulked in front of my car. That’s right, a turkey vulture. It was TERRIFYING and the size of a small dinosaur. I have photographic proof so when people like my own mother doubt the validity of my bird sightings/ question whether or not I know what the heck I’m talking about, I can whip this baby out:

After he crossed in front of the car. Doesn’t look gigantic, but you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Novacaine 

I know that all of you dear readers who pursue each post carefully have been DYING to find out how my dentist appointment went today. Well, in true Brittany style, evidently the cavity was much deeper than they originally thought it was. The dentist left me with this little gem, ” I think you should be all set now! It was very deep, so if it continues to hurt after this week, a root canal may be necessary. But let’s hope not!”

Gee thanks, doc. This seems to be a trend with my teeth! They’ll be perfectly fine at one visit and then BAM. There’s a cavity the size of a crater. Also, I didn’t have a single cavity until I was twenty years old and that one DID end up needing a root canal! Sheesh. So much dental drama!

The filling was pretty uneventful, aside from the part where the Novacaine hadn’t taken full effect when he first started drilling (gaaah $%@^#!@ ouch.) annnnd it took about 2 million years to wear off. I was quite cranky and tired by the time I got home.

And now for the good stuff that you’ve all been waiting for!

Workout 

There was a brief window this afternoon after the dentist where I considered totally skipping the workout again today, BUT my better judgment took over and by about 9 I was totally in the zone again so I headed to the gym where I completed the SINGLE most intense treadmill workout that I have ever, ever attempted. It actually maxes out the incline on the treadmill by the end and burns more than 300 calories in less than half an hour! After that, I powered through an ab workout that I found in an old issue of shape and left the gym happy as a lark at 9:59. Exactly one minute before they would have kicked me out 😉 All day long, I had big plans for a pumpkin smoothie at some point today, but by the time I got home, I didn’t feel like making it and it would have been too many calories for my liking anyway (dinner was a little on the naughty side!). So instead, I finally had a serving of the Beachbody p90x  Results and Recovery drink that a friend gave me in a protein-powder-for-recovery-drink-swap-out. It was actually quite tasty.

For some reason, today as I was huffing and puffing on the treadmill and trying *desperately* to convince myself that I could make it through, my thoughts shifted to the fact that workouts like tonight’s would really help me out if I were ever caught in the wild and had to run away from a crocodile, or a python or insert name of some other terrifying creature here. True? Sure. Normal thought? Not at all.

Also, HERE is the incline workout. The inclines go up as the mph goes down. The nice part is that every minute, you’re switching things up so as soon as you think you couldn’t possibly go on, you get to change!  I found this online a while back on another fitness blog (or possibly Pinterest?). PLEASE REMEMBER: I did NOT create this workout. I am NOT a certified personal trainer/ dietitian/ exercise physiologist/ cardiologist/ psychologist/ornithologist. I do NOT ENCOURAGE THE USE OF THIS WORKOUT, rather I am just *sharing* with *you* what *I* did tonight. User discretion is advised. (If you DO decide to try it at some point in your life, you can always tweak the incline level/ mph to make it just right for you!)

You’re pretty cool people. Let’s talk again tomorrow.