Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Holy Overwhelmed

The past few weeks have been crazy.  To be fair, much of my obligations have been self imposed and for fun (blowling with friends, going to see shows, marathon training runs), but since there isn't much wiggle room in my schedule, thing's have gotten a little...errr tight.  Given my need to mental free time, coupled with the demands of school and work and sleep, I have NOT been getting up before work to run.  I know.  It's pretty bad.  My weekly mileage looks more like that of someone training for a 5K than a marathon.  Ooops.

Not to fear: Groupon has come to my rescue!  New York Sports Club offered a one month "passport" membership for $24 and I jumped on it.  There's a NYSC in the building where I work, which means I can squeeze in a few miles and a shower during lunch or between work and class whenever I can spare the hour.  Awesome, back on track!  (I'll give a full report on how it works out.)

Since I havevn't been running enough, I've been dealing with my emotional and mental overwhelm-ed-ness in other, not so productive, but equally fabulous ways:

Retail therapy!  Who doesn't feel great when they have on some cute new underthings and new makeup? 

Malbec!  I got halfway through that glass, put it in the fridge to finish tomorrow and went to bed.  Nothing like a little resveratrol for your health, right?

Expensive greek yogurt!  Umm, just yum, so much yum.  Plus, all I need to do is throw it in my lunchbag and breakfast is made.  Quick, delicious and full of much needed protein to start my day off right.

HUGH JACKMAN! This Friday, LIVE on Broadway, with these wonderful ladies (my grad school classmates, Melayna drew this on the board before our design class last night, mad skills, no?). 

What do you do when you just need to cut loose?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sooo, it's one month to my marathon and I just knocked out my 20 miler.  It took me 3 hours and 10 minutes which I'm pretty proud of and the run itself was surprisingly pleasant.  I will be fighting for the additional 6.2 when the race comes around.

1) I now know that I will be able finish the marathon (I will be walking through water stations, but still).

2) I also know I will be in pain when it's over because right now my butt legs and toes (sooo many blisters) are sore as all get out.

In spite of the fact that I'm sore and tired I'm enjoying my afternoon:

Chinese food, a beer and college football: I am officially in sloth mode. 

What do you do post run?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Busy Girl's Guide to Lunch: Baked Potatoes

In the interest of being useful, I'm going to share my tips for quick and easy packed lunches/dinners for all you over scheduled folks.  Up first: Baked Potatoes.

Potatoes get a bad rap since they are king carbs, but they're also pretty good for you (especially if you eat the skin, mmm fiber!), and serve as a great vessel for other healthy foods.  Honestly though, the reason I really love a baked potato is that it takes NO EFFORT to make.  Wash, fork, let sit in the oven for an hour. Done.  I can bake potatoes while I do my homework, my laundry, the dishes, while playing Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii; the possibilities are endless (as is my to-do list). 

Once the potato is cooked you just load it up with something good and it's ready to go.  This week I piled on some black beans and salsa, packed them to go, and instantly had multiple meals for the week. 

Yum.  Total time expenditure on 2 lunches for the week: 3 minutes. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun + Friends + Work + School = Not enough miles

Sooo, I've been a scheduled weekly mileage the past two weeks, but I'm not disappointed in myself.  I started running a few years ago to keep in shape in the absence of a gym membership, but I grew to love it.  I decided to run a half marathon because I thought it would be fun.  I decided to run a marathon because I wanted to accomplish something epic.  I run for me.  Running is something that's completely natural and freeing and makes me feel both relaxed and exhilarated.  This is why I'll never get down on myself for cutting a run short, missing my goal miles for the week, or even deviating from a marathon training schedule.  The fact of the matter is that I run because I love it, but there are many things I love in life: beer, theatre, sleep, learning, and more importantly friends and family.  Lucky for me, there have been lots of friends around lately, new and old, that have taken up some of my running time.  (Don't worry, running knows I have a life and it loves me anyway.  We have a very healthy relationship.)

As I mentioned earlier this week, I took a trip to the homeland and got to spend time with my wonderful parents and a couple of elementary school buds.  When I returned, one of my favorite ladies from college was visiting NYC from London.  We did happy hour, did lunch, went dancing with fabulous ladies, took shots of tequila (only one), and ate lots and lots of fro yo (it was really hot last weekend).

The lovely Adi

This week I got to spend a number of delightful dinners with my classmates (yea grad school!), including one that began at a Thai restaurant (Yum Yum....not sure which version), traveled to a bar for pumpkin beer ($5 special what whaaaaat) and ended with one of the most amazing pieces of theater I've seen since I moved to New York.  Seriously, go see Sons of the Prophet at Roundabout.  I say no more.

Green curry...yes I'm obsessed 

Shock Top Pumpkin Ale.  mmmmm.

Best Classmates Ever.  

These are just some highlights of the glorious disregard for deadlines I've been reveling in lately.  Yes, I have a marathon to run in a little over a month.  Yes, I need to find a full time job soon.  Yes, I'm in charge of making a huge event happen in early December.  Yes, I have a flurry of school deadlines looming over the next few weeks.  No, I haven't accomplished as much as I should have on any of these things, but I haven't been wasting any time.  I've been taking good care of myself and my personal well being.  I've been treating my relationships with the wonderful people in my life with all the care and time they deserve, and I've been enjoying every minute of my life.  And you know what?  I'm not behind on any of my big projects either.  I still went on my long run on Saturday (which went great), I've gotten all my work done for this week's deadlines, and that event is going to be awesome. 

Work hard.  Play hard.  Love life.

Do you prioritize fun?  How do you feel about missing a workout?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My First 5K

This weekend was a whirlwind of awesome (with just a hint of sadness over Philadelphia sports)!  After work on Friday I hopped on a bus to my hometown, Pennsylvania (legal official name, obviously).

After an awesome dinner of delicious Italian food from a local spot I went to bed, like a baller at 10pm.  I had to run 10 training miles before my first EVER 5K the next morning (I know, I totally skipped this really basic distance). 

On Saturday I got a slow start and only squeezed in 7 but whatever, I'm still nursing a cold with limited mileage (justification of lazy much?).  I headed over to the race (which was a memorial for my friend Lauren's father who passed away last year and was a hugely wonderful member of the community) with about 15 minutes to go and got to catch up with a few friends from my childhood.  We decided to line up together and intended to run the race together, until Lauren looked at me and said, "I'm thinking 7:30s, that's doable right?" 

My face did this (I do NOT run that fast...EVER).  When I got my words back I said, girl leave me in the dust I ain't runnin that fast.  Lauren shot off like a bullet (girl is FAST), and I plodded along like my jolly self is prone to do with another one of my lovely friends.  The whole first half was downhill, so I let gravity pull me a little bit, but I knew I'd have to go back up that hill so I tried not to push too hard.  As I neared the finish line I realized I was still under 25 minutes and sprinted the last 50 or so yards to try and finish under.  I finished in 25:05 womp womp.  Next time.

Anyway, as it was a small hometown race I was the 4th place female finisher (and 14th overall out of about 150)! Woot!  I even got a prize (on a technicality since Lauren finished third and was not prize eligible).  I can't wait until I'm done with this marathon and can bring some serious speed training back into my life. 

What are your thoughts on the 5K? Love it? Hate it? 

Which do you prefer: distance or speed?

Friday, October 7, 2011

I have my priorities straight (Frozen Yogurt and the Phillies)

I've been short on words this week, I imagine because I have a nasty cold and talking hurts, but I've got some pictures of important things that are going on in my life right now.

Frozen Yogurt.  My dear friend Adi, who lives in London nowadays is in town on very professional business.  Yesterday we met up for lunch and she suggested frozen yogurt.  Now I've avoided the fro yo chains since I moved to NYC because I KNOW I will develop an expensive habit, but with friends it's always worth it.  So, I give you Pinkberry pomegranate and original fro yo with raspberries, mango and chocolate shavings.

TODAY, is game five of the NLDS series between the Cardinals and the Phillies.  I am psychotically (mildly) obsessed with the Philadelphia Phillies (some day I will blog about the wall in my home dedicated to this regal sports team), so I'm wearing my colors today.

I'll be watching the game tonite in the Philadelphia area with my family because it is a million times better than watching it with some angry Mets fans at a Brooklyn bar.  See you tomorrow New York!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Vegetables have something to say.

I thought this was really cute.  Unfortunately I couldn't figure out where the original source was (I found it on tumblr), so if you created this lovely little piece of art, let me know and I'll credit it immediately!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things that make me really happy

1) Getting something DONE (and consequently scratching it off my list)

2) Red October!!!! GO PHILS!

3) Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

4) Seeing dear friends who now live very far away when they come to visit

5) Cool crisp fall mornings to run in

I get all of these things today.  Today is a very good day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just call me a foodie (aka I've been playing pretend)

So, I'm going to be really honest with ya'll.  I LOVE FOOD.  I really truly do, but I'm definitely not a foodie.  I often go out looking for swiss chard and come back with collard greens or bok choy.  I don't usually go to organic locally sourced resturants (although I very much enjoy them when I do), and I'm not averse to swinging by Subway when I'm short on time and refrigerator resources.  I buy most of my groceries at one supermarket because it's easier than going to several different spots, and to me, spaghetti with canned sauce and some shaved parmesan totally counts as cooking dinner.  Suffice it to say, I am a casual food lover and healthy eater.

That said, I'm trying to expand my cooking abilities and have decided that given my ethical standing on a number of issues, that I'm going to try to buy local as much as possible.  This weekend I was basically chained to my computer since I had a LOT of schoolwork to do.  Since I spent so much time in the apartment I decided to try some new recipes.

On Saturday I gave Women's Health Magazine's Creamy Pumpkin Peanut soup a shot.  While this is probably obvious to every other person on the planet, it never occurred to me that you can make creamy soup in the blender!
Since I didn't make this one up, and followed the recipe very carefully, it turned out fantastic.  It's a little unusual, since you've got pumpkin and peanut and a little zip in there, but it TOTALLY works and is super filling.  Sweeeet.

Sunday was the most boring homework filled day ever, except it started with a BLT.

Made on fresh multi grain bread from a bakery in my adorable neighborhood.

However, now that I knew I could make broth soup into creamy soup just by putting it in the blender, I had to try something else!  I took a look at the goodies I got at the farmer's market last week and decided to make Aubrie's version of creamy tortilla soup (If you know me, you're cringing right now, it can't end well, right?)

Well guess what kids, it worked!  It needed a little salt and spice when it was done, but on the whole, it's kind of delicious.

Aubrie's Made Up Tortilla Soup recipe

1) Simmer one onion and 2 tbsps of vegetable oil until golden
2) Add diced tomatoes, chopped peppers (I used a red, a yellow and a green), simmer for 20 minutes
3) Stir in tsp of medium chili powder, tsp of cumin, two mashed cloves of garlic and one jalapeno chopped and de-seeded, simmer 5 more minutes
4) Add 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes
5) Pour half into the blender and blend until smooth (don't fill the blender more than halfway full..... you will make a mess.  I know.  Pour into a bigger pot and then do the other half :)
6) Add corn (I shaved mine off of boiled cobs as opposed to using canned or frozen, but anything would work.
7) Add shaved chicken (about 2 cups... this should be cooked already, you can bake or griddle or roast, just cut it into little peices or shave it before it goes in the soup.  Salt and spice (with hot sauce of your choosing) to taste
8) Cook on medium for 5-10 minutes and serve!

If you make it and it's awful, I apologize for making up bootleg recipes and sharing them.