Yay Friday

I’m so happy it’s Friday!

I thought today I’d go in the “things I’m loving Friday” direction.

Here goes…

My running group

This one is a bit of a surprise, but after last night’s run, i’m really really digging it!
I didn’t think I’d enjoy running with others so much.  But as someone else mentioned, especially in the winter, when it’s so easy to be lazy, it’s nice to be accountable.  The run last night was 4 miles (3 tempo) and it was dark and at times hard to navigate.  Knowing that others were around made a huge difference!  We’re the middle group and last night I think there were about 4 or 5 of us running and 2 coaches/pacers.  A great size!  Everyone is also really nice!  I’m just really happy to be a part of it!

My glowing gear

Related to the first item, I finally got to use all my light up stuff yesterday and it was awesome.  I was also told that I was easy to see and follow, which is the point.  I might have a new shopping addiction on my hands…light up stuff!

tutu
Definitely not me, I’m so not a tutu girl

The slightly longer days

The fact that it is no longer pitch black at 5pm is thrilling to me.  Progress!

Lara bars

These were my go to when I was teaching a 6a and a 9:30a class. As I’ve written before, eating and working out don’t go together for me.  One of the only things I was able to eat between classes was a Lara bar.  I’ve since rekindled my love for them.

A few of my favorites:

Cough Syrup

I hate to love it, but without it I wouldn’t be sleeping at all.  Last night I had to take it three times throughout the night.  Not a good thing, but without it, it would have been so much worse!

Picture it on Canvas

I’m borderline obsessed with having photos printed on canvas.  This is my go-to site.  They’re always having sales, and this last time I bought a Groupon and got two 16×20 canvases for less than $50 (with shipping).

The picture on the left is my two newest canvas purchases (yes, they’re very similar) and the picture on the right is my office wall.  Almost all of them are canvases.  And yes, that’s a super bowl pool in the bottom left.  🙂

I’m sure there are others, but this is all I’m coming up with right now.

In other good news, I am officially registered for the BAA 5K.  Hooray!  Anyone else doing it?

Have a nice Friday and a great weekend!  I’ve got 8 miles tomorrow and I’m scared!

Hello there Thursday

I’m so glad it’s Thursday.  I’m definitely ready for the work week to be over!

I have a lot on my mind regarding work and saw this image posted on facebook a few days ago. To me it is sooooo true!

boss

In a nutshell, all of my issues are tied to my boss.  I have the ability to air some of my grievances, it’s just a fine line of complaining with a purpose and sounding needy or whiny.

Work aside…

I’m feeling OK today.

Last night after work I hit the gym with the intention of running 3-4 miles.  Other than my 1.5 mile run on Tuesday, I hadn’t done any running in almost two weeks.  I wasn’t sure how my breathing would be since this cough is STILL here.  Thankfully my breathing was OK.

I did the first mile a little slower and then settled into my comfortable pace.  Towards the end of the 3rd mile, it felt a bit tough, so I took it down a little for 3-3.5 and then brought it back up for the last half, ending faster.

Honestly, it wasn’t so bad.  I did get this weird feeling in my foot right around mile 3.  It almost felt like my shoe had become mushy.  It was odd.  I actually wondered if it had anything to do with the light attachment on my shoe possibly moving around.  No clue!

I will say, I felt pretty hard core, almost like a real runner.  🙂  As i’ve said before, this is a unique gym with a unique clientele (I’m being nice) so there aren’t a ton of serious workout folks.  I was definitely on the treadmill running longer than anyone else and I gave myself a mental high five for that.

I’m not overly competitive, but when I see someone else who started running about when I did and they take a walking break while I keep running, it motivates me.  It makes me feel good.  It doesn’t make me think any less of them because I’m sure I’ve been that person for many others, but it does help me to keep going.

So post run I felt good, aside from a weird pull in my back/shoulder area (lats i think).  Only me.

I went home, still feeling good.  Had dinner.  Still good, no cough.  Went up to bed to read, still good.  Then I decided it was time to call it a night.

Hello cough!!!  SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!?!  It wasn’t as bad as it has been, but it kept me from sleeping.  Around 1:45a I went downstairs to get some water.  Didn’t help.  Around 2 I tried a cough drop. Around 2:30a I went downstairs and took some cough syrup.  Finally that seemed to help a bit and I dozed a little.  When my alarm went off at 6:30 I felt like I had just fallen asleep so I closed my eyes again and didn’t wake up till about 7:30.  Ooops.

I guess I am getting better slowly, but this whole not sleeping this is getting old.  It’s just weird to me that doing something as exerting as running is fine, but sleeping is not.  I’m pretty sure it’s the whole lying down thing, but still.  Argh!  I’m just venting.

Tonight is back to the group and a 3 mile tempo.  I’m just hoping the roads aren’t icy.  My group posted this attire guide and I’ve found it helpful so I wanted to share (although i’m sure people have seen it before).

layeringinfographic4

Forecast for tonight is around 37-38, so the arsenal of clothing I brought with me to work should be good.  I will FINALLY get to use my lights.  Hooray!

And on that note I will cut this vent-y post short.

Happy running!!

Getting back at it

Happy hump day!

Back to work yesterday and I felt pretty good for most of the day.

My Tuesday night class is at a corporate gym and I’m thankfully able to take advantage of their facilities as well.  I can’t even imagine if my company had a gym. I think seeing coworkers working out would take some getting used to.  But that said, this gym is a really nice size and it’s free to employees, so it is a nice perk.

Anyway, I got there a bit early and decided to run a little.  I got in 1.5 miles due to time constraints and felt OK.  Not great, but not bad.

I taught class and it was good.  I did feel a bit tired and had to stop and blow my nose too many times (with a paper towel, OUCH!).  But I worked through the class mainly without issue.

Post class I was coughing occasionally.  By the time I got home and ate dinner, I was pretty much coughing non stop.  Again.  I figured tea would do the trick, so I made some chamomile with honey.  That didn’t work.  I drank hot water, still no luck.  I took my prescription cough syrup, no luck.  I finally popped some cough drops, which made it bearable, but still not ideal.

I went to bed sitting up, once again.  I finally dozed a bit after midnight and got about 3-4 solid hours before waking up.  I didn’t dare take a deep breath at this time for fear of starting to cough again.  Thankfully I fell back to sleep somewhere around 4:45 right through to 6:30.  Thankfully.

So what is going on with this friggin’ cough?  I’m thinking maybe the exercise made it worse, but I’m not sure.

That said, I’m still planning to go to the gym and attempt to run 3-4 miles tonight.  Fingers crossed!

In other news, I registered for the BAA 5K.  I’ve heard it’s an awesome race to run and i’ll be in the area to spectate the marathon anyway.  I haven’t received confirmation, but registration opened at 10a and I had my confirmation email by 10:03, so I’m thinking I should be OK.  Will keep you posted.

Hope everyone is having a good (and healthy) day.  Any suggestions on battling a cough?

Another soup recipe

I love soup.  I could probably eat soup all the time.  The winter is perfect for soup, but I can also eat soup in the summer…as long as I’m in air conditioning.

On Friday night we ventured out and picked up a rotisserie chicken from Costco (plus some other things).  We weren’t sure what we’d use it for, but they’re such a good deal (and tasty too!).

Sunday my other half springs on me that I’m responsible for dinner (he usually does the cooking).  He said I should do something with the chicken, like maybe chicken noodle soup.  Chicken noodle is not my favorite, so he mentioned avgolemono or chicken lemon rice soup.  Yum!

While I love chicken lemon rice, I had never made it before and therefore I’d need to find a recipe.

Well my friends, I found a wonderful recipe and wanted to share it with you.  I’m still blown away that I actually made this soup because it was GOOD!!

It’s from all recipes, so here’s the link if you’d prefer to go direct.

I made a few modifications and noted them below.

avgolemono

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I probably used closer to 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (I used about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion  (I used about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery  (I used about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons chicken soup base (I only used 4 tablespoons based on some reviews I read)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper  (I only had black pepper, so I used that)
  • 1/4 cup margarine (I used butter)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cooked white rice  (I used whole wheat orzo instead of rice and didn’t pre-cook it)
  • 1 cup diced, cooked chicken meat (I used the rotisserie chicken.  You can definitely add more than 1 cup for a heartier soup.)
  • 16 slices lemon  (This is just for garnish, so you can omit it)
  • 8 egg yolks  (I used 6 which was plenty.  Some reviewers used only 4.)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions, celery, soup base, and white pepper. Bring to a boil on high, then simmer for 20 minutes.  (I added a little olive oil to the pot to start and cooked the carrots, onions, and celery for about 5 minutes before adding the other ingredients.)
  2. Blend the butter and the flour together. Then gradually add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.  (At this point I added the orzo so it would have time to cook).
  3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through.  Add the chicken.  (I let it cook for an additional 10-15 minutes so cook the orzo.) Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

Going into making this recipe, I wasn’t too sure about the whole egg yolk thing, but thankfully it was pretty easy to do and definitely makes a difference in terms of keeping the soup creamy.

I order this soup frequently when I’m at a Greek restaurant and felt that this version was just as good (if not better) than those I’ve had.

So definitely give it a go.

I’m a little nervous

My half is in 52 days.

I am sooooo behind in my training.  Thanks to this lovely chest cold (that I still have) I’ve done no running in over a week.

I knew the snow would be an issue and had figured I’d do a long run indoors on Sunday.  Too bad on Sunday I still couldn’t breathe.

I had every intention of hitting it hard yesterday and running my heart out (kind of), but then Sunday night I had a particularly violent coughing fit for the majority of the night and didn’t sleep at all.  That resulted in me taking a sick day, going to the doctor, and napping a lot.  Figured running wasn’t the best option.

That said, I think I might finally be feeling better.  While I didn’t sleep well last night (I blame the naps) I wasn’t up coughing all night, so I consider that a win.  Fingers are soooo crossed!

That said, my plan is to start running, and running a fair amount.  But i’m nervous because I was behind in my training to start.

I have 7 weeks.  Can I be ready to run a half marathon in 7 weeks?  I.Don’t.Know.

Keep in mind that I’m still a new runner.  Any thoughts/suggestions?

I’m obviously not looking to do anything spectacular in this half, but I would like to finish it (and not walk).

Have you ever been in a similar situation?

Tonight i’m teaching spin.  I may try to get a couple miles in on the treadmill before or after, but we’ll see.

I’m a little worried….

To run or not to run, that is the question

I’m stuck in a pickle.

pickle

I was really really really looking forward to my hill repeats group run tonight.  So much that I took it easy last night (even though I was feeling better).  Well that bit me in the a$$ as my cough came back with a vengeance last night and I was up most of the night coughing every few minutes.  WTF??

cough

So now I sit here trying to decide if I should still plan to do the run.  I’m torn.

Part of me says:
Do it.  You’ve taken it easy this week, man up and do the run.
You’ll be fine once you get going.
It’s hills, you like hills.

The other part of me says:
You legit have a chest cold, running in the cold could make it worse…or cause you to have a coughing fit.
My chest actually burns, even when I’m sitting still.  Am I crazy to consider running?
One more day of rest won’t kill you.

devil

I seriously don’t know what to do.  I sent a text to my sister for her advice but she hasn’t responded.

I went to the interwebs.  One site says a cough is OK, another site says anything below the neck is not.  Argh!

Guess it just might be a game-time decision.  And now, back to my tea.  Or maybe I head home and try a run on the treadmill.  That way, if it doesn’t work, I’m already home.  Hmmmm.

What’s your experience?

More music!

As I mentioned, I came down with the beginning of a cold on Sunday.  The timing was less than ideal because I was set to sub a spin class Monday night and then teach my usual class Tuesday night.  I couldn’t really get out of either.

The Monday night class was OK and I felt alright for most of it.  Towards the end my head clouded up a bit and I couldn’t really hear myself speaking, but apparently everyone else could.

Tuesday morning I woke up tired and blah and decided to start the day off working from home.  Starting the day turned into taking the whole day at home and I think it was the right decision.  That said, I still had to teach in the evening.

My Tuesday night class is at a corporate gym.  They only have 12 bikes and they’ve never all been filled, but it’s a great little group.  It’s a smaller room and the sound system is a Bose docking station.  There’s no mic.  I was nervous about the lack of a mic since projecting your voice with a cold isn’t always easy.  Thankfully it was OK and I felt pretty good for the whole class.  After the class, not so much, but it is what it is.

I put together new playlists for both rides.  While Monday’s playlist was good, I actually thought Tuesday’s was better.  And since I talk a lot more about running, I feel like this playlist would definitely transition well to a running playlist.

So here you go:

wwe11

I started the ride with an honorary Glenn Frey song.  Last week I was actually called out for not including a Bowie song, so I needed to make things right.

It was a fun playlist, all upbeat.  The time really flew.

If you’re looking to throw some speed intervals in, I’d recommend Perfect, I Found You, and My House (which I ended up LOVING for a heavy climb).

My running this week has been non-existent because of the cold.  I did hop on the treadmill on Monday before class but only managed to eek out .5.  Yuck!

I brought my gym clothes to work, so if I’m feeling OK, I’m going to give it a try.  Tomorrow is hill repeats with the group and I really really want to be OK for that, so fingers crossed!

Hope everyone is having a good week!!!

What’s your favorite song to workout to?

What are the odds? (and a weekend recap)

Happy Monday!

What are the odds that for the third year in a row, I’ve been sick in the middle of January?  In 2014 I had to go to a trade show in Germany and was sick before I left.  In 2015 I went to the same tradeshow and was healthy when I left NY, but got sick while in Germany.  That turned into horrible ear issues and is something I’d like to forget.  This year I decided I wasn’t going to go to the show because I didn’t want to get sick.  I felt fine until Sunday morning when I had that tickle in my throat

And now, boom!  I’ve got a freaking sore throat and cough.  Really?  I don’t feel miserable, but I could definitely feel better.  What is it about mid-January that makes me sick?  Am I allergic to the winter once the holidays pass?

Running this past weekend was a bust.  It was absolutely one of those weekends where life got in the way.  I should have stuck with my Saturday morning group run, but that would have meant an early night on Friday.  Since it was my other half’s birthday, cutting out prior to 10p would not have made him too happy.  So I decided to postpone my run to Sunday.  Of course Sunday morning I wake up feeling crappy.

My goal is to make up the miles this week, but first this cough needs to leave.  Immediately!

I’m subbing a spin class tonight (which I’ve been looking forward to) and will see how I feel afterwards.  I’ve found that working out either makes me feel better or makes me feel worse and I don’t know until it’s done with.  Fingers crossed that it’s for the better!

Aside from not running, the weekend was good.  A mix of being busy and being lazy.  I crave being lazy, although I’m actually not very good at it.

Saturday morning we hit up a new Bass Pro Shops.  While I know people go nuts over this store, it doesn’t do much for me.  There is a lot of camo!  That said, this location (or maybe all locations, who knows?) has a restaurant, bar, and bowling alley.  The bowling alley was so pretty! (it’s amazing that I managed to get a child-free shot, the place was a zoo)

bowling

I also saw this cute sign.  Made from “reclaimed wood” yet also made in China.

licker

Saturday afternoon into evening I colored.  🙂  Yes, I’m being serious.  With a gift card I bought myself a couple of “adult coloring books”.

coloring

I’m loving it, but boy is it time consuming!

Saturday night I also gave these a try.

chocolate-chip-scone-mix

Have to say, they’re pretty tasty and of course incredibly easy to make.  They’re not too sweet, which is good.

scone

I actually can’t remember much of Sunday.  We did go out for ramen/pho because it was cold and snowing (yuck).

And now here’s a completely unrelated photo that I should have shared a while ago.  This AWESOME Nike vest:

vest

It’s reflective, which I love, but it’s also $280!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  OK, i’m lying because right now it’s actually on sale for $225.  Seriously???  Why Nike, why?

So the goals for this week are:

  1. Feel better
  2. Run, run, run

Sounds doable, right?

I’m off to have some green tea and honey.  Have a great day!

An Easy Soup Recipe

Last Wednesday night I was going to be stuck in the house on dog duty (missing out on my beloved book club), and I wanted soup.

I could stop at the supermarket on my way home, but it had to be QUICK.

I put up a post on Facebook asking for soup favorites and got some great suggestions.  I was specifically looking for something easy and quick with not too many ingredients.

My friend posted the Southwestern Chicken Soup from Real Simple.

Boy was it simple.  So I made my four ingredient shopping list and off I went.

soup

What good is a photo of soup without a TV remote control?

INGREDIENTS

  1. 12-ounce jar salsa verde (my jar was 16 ounces and I used it all)
  2. cups cooked chicken pieces (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  3. 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  4. cups chicken broth (I ended up using 4 cups)
  5. 2 green onions, chopped
  6. 1/2cup sour cream
  7. tortilla chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Empty the salsa into a large saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, beans, and broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips (if desired). For a soupier dish, use 4 cups of broth.

 

Seriously, that’s it!   I will say that the quality of this soup depends greatly on the quality of the ingredients you use (because there are so few).  Unfortunately my supermarket seemed to only have one type of Salsa Verde, and it was by ChiChi’s, probably my last choice.  But I went with it.

I used Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and in the future I may not make that choice again.  And while it was good that night, I found that it was better a couple of days later.

Also note that I had to add some salt.  My friend suggested adding some lime juice, which might be good as well.

It’s easy and healthy to boot!

Do you have a favorite soup recipe?  If so, please share.  My favorite is of course Lasagna Soup.

Running Tunes

I think music is key to a good run.  Sometimes music is what it takes to get me to keep going.

I spend a lot of time listening to music.  I try to stay current since Spin requires it.  A spin class without good music sucks (no other way to say it).

Here are some screen shots of my running playlist in Spotify.  I typically just put it on shuffle.  Sorry for all the images, it’s 95 songs.

play5play4play3playlist2playlist1

The genres are all over the place.

For example, Derp is kind of hard techno.  It came on at the end of my run yesterday and was EXACTLY what I needed.  Then Hall and Oates came on which just made me smile.

I hope this list helps you or inspires you to get some new music.  I’ll do a more detailed post on my favorites in the future.