Swipe, Eat, Repeat

Not too long ago, I joined BASEendurance, a new company that hooks runners up with products they would actually use. (If you’re a runner and a blogger and are interested in signing up, check this out.) Anyway, I was able to try out this new product, Fuelstrip, through BASEendurance.

Fuelstrip is little strips that test your sweat to detect metabolites to determine when you need to fuel during activity. I used it during my run on Thanksgiving, but you can use it for any activity except swimming.

Ok, so here’s what you do: swipe one of these strips across your forehead every 15 minutes.

The strip will change to one of four colors and then you eat the amount of Fuelchews based on the color. Fuelchews are kinda like Gu Chomps, but not.

Anyway, I ran for 15 minutes then stopped to use my first strip. It was already yellow.

Somehow I doubted my need to eat two chews after only 15 minutes of activity but it probably had to do with my breakfast of Kix cereal and unsweetened almond milk instead of my usual 10+ mile breakfast of plain oatmeal or a low-sugar PB&J.

I ignored the strip and ran for another 15 minutes. The second Fuelstrip was green.

I brought the Fuelchews with me but wasn’t sure if I was going to eat them. (Remember, I can’t eat sugar when I’m running?) Since I was in a park and always, at most, one mile from a bathroom, I decided to play a little Russian Roulette with my stomach. I ate two chews instead of the recommended three, because three is just asking for a pants-pooping.

The Fuelchews were really good. They were easy to chew (like gum drops) instead of rubbery (like gummy bears). Now, I’m not saying this to blow sunshine up Fuelstrip’s, ahem, skirt – but I liked them way better than most of the other gummy-type chews out there. They didn’t stick to my teeth or take forever to chew.

After fueling, I ran for another 15 minutes, used another strip, and it was still green.

I ate one more Fuelchew, instead of the recommended three, and that was all my stomach could handle until I started feeling off.

I used one last strip 15 minutes later (still green) and finished up a seven miler way faster than I normally run.

That pace was probably a combination of the fueling and the 50 degree weather with a dash of me being generally awesome. ;-)

Since I was taking pictures during the run, I stopped to use the Fuelstrips. In a race situation, I wouldn’t want to stop. The strips are pretty small and I’d probably drop them. So that would be my only complaint. People will more coordination, I’m sure, wouldn’t have a problem. I did hear Fuelstrip is coming out with a bracelet unit early next year which sounds like a better option for the clumsy.

Overall, Fuelstrip made me realize that I need to eat way earlier than I have been during races. Usually I won’t eat anything until I’m seven miles in and that’s only if I’m struggling. Eating while running and I have a dicey relationship. I used the strips for my seven miler but I think these would be really great for marathon training so you know how to fuel for a long run. Plus, they’re so affordable that you don’t really have anything to lose.

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Things I'm Grateful For

My lovely friend Melissa sent me this post and I really, really liked it. So I’m going to take a break from being a complaining jerkface and reflect on a few things I’m grateful for. (For one day only. Jerkfacing continues tomorrow.)

1. Something about your body
This year, I’m most grateful for how strong my body is because of Crossfit. I love that my trainer uses hubs and I as guinea pigs for new workouts and bases the intensity of his other client’s workouts on what we can do. That makes me feel pretty badass.

2. The people who help you without even knowing it
This year, I’m most grateful for Michelle. I know for a hard, cold fact that I would not still be training and running races if she didn’t run them with me. Her excitement for running keeps me excited.

3. Something that has changed in the past year
This year, I’m grateful that I took a chance and left my higher paying, comfortable job for a lower paying job where I have less experience. Even though I’m working more, it’s made me so much happier.

4. Something you have enough of
This year, I’m grateful that I have one job that gives me enough income to pay bills on time, to put food in the fridge, and to buy gifts for my friends and family when I know that others out there work three jobs to try and do the same.

5. Something about your friends and family
This year, I’m so grateful that I got to spend Thanksgiving with my best friend, her mom (my second mom), her family, and friends for the first time since we were teenagers. And of course, my hubs. The BFF and her hubs made an amazing dinner and we laughed all night. It was definitely the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in years and years.

 

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Food Talk

I don’t normally talk about eating. Well, that’s not true. I do talk about eating a lot of crap. Like the fried ice cream that hubs and I shared.

Or my suggestive-looking German dinner. (I had a friend tell me it looks like a demented muppet, which is better than what I was thinking…)

Or giant beers on a Monday night.

I don’t talk about when I’m trying to eat well, which is basically all of the time except when I give in to things like desserts and drinks on the weekend. Anyway, I’m going to talk about that other eating. The non-crappy kind where I try to decline desserts and not spend evenings on intimate dates with the fridge.

About five years ago, I started Weight Watchers (WW). WW showed me this complete new way of eating and I was really successful on it. I lost 26lbs in a little over four months and kept it off for a good three years until I started gaining some back. (Some of that weight gain was from muscle I gained in Crossfit and some of it was from big fat cupcakes I shoved into my mouth.)

Anyway, when you’re on WW, you count points. So everything you put in your mouth has a point value and you have a certain amount of points you can eat each day. I kept a food log so I wouldn’t go over my points. This is where it started. Instead of seeing food as food, I saw everything as a point value. If it was too many points, I wouldn’t eat it.

Fast forward three years and I got soooo tired of counting points. I got to the point where I would look at someone else’s meal, calculate the points in my mind, and think, “omg, do they know that meal is 32 points? That’s more than you should eat in a day!” So, I quit WW and decided to use MyFitnessPal to count calories, because there was no way I was going to quit keeping a food diary. MyFitnessPal was different enough that I kept logging my food – every single day – for another two years. Which brings me to today. Big surprise! I’m soooo tired of counting calories.

I was talking to my friend, Kate, last week about how I’ve wanted to lose 10 lbs for the past 80 years and how the four pieces of cake I just ate at work weren’t helping with that. (There were a lot of flavors, had to try them all!) She asked me if I ever kept a food diary. When I told her that I’ve done that every day for the past five years, she said, “that sounds exhausting.”

Yep. It is. Now I’m at the point where the thought of food just stresses me out. I mean, once I’m eating it, I’m fine. Obviously. You can look at my ba-donk-a-donk and see that. I just hate accepting dinner plans because it’s out of my comfort zone of the five meals I eat regularly at home. Am I going to eat too much when I’m out? Am I going to eat just right? <—thats where the stress comes from

Later that day, I told hubs how sick I am of logging my food and how I wished I didn’t have to anymore. I tried to rationalize it by saying that it helps me know when I should stop eating for the day. He then lovingly told me I eat whatever I want anyway, but I just write all the crap I eat down.

Rude.

So here I am on day three of not logging my food for the first time in five years. It’s one of those habits that is so engrained in me that I’m still counting calories mentally but I’m hoping that will go away soon. I’m also hoping that not seeing how many calories I have left in the day will change my eating. When I see I have a certain amount left, I think I talk myself into being hungry even though I might not be. Then I eat those calories just to be hungry later and eat again anyway. I’ve never heard of keeping a food diary as being a bad thing, but I think it is for me. Maybe. We’ll see how this goes.

Long story short: I’m gonna eat when I feel like it and not write that shit down.

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Sunday Bunday

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts. Rest assured the princess is still doing well and is as sassy as ever. So I thought I would share a few shots of her being adorable. Or being a pain in the ass. Or being adorable while being a pain in the ass.

Pants gets to run around the house and play every morning. And by playing, I mean running from her cage to another room to lay down some more.

Pants helping me with the Christmas decorations.

Pants’s delicately balanced piece of poo on a stuffed animal.

That girl. She’s cute and talented.

And lastly, Pants staying still long enough so I could get an actual shot of that sweet face.

I love that the color on her mouth looks like an upside-down heart. <3

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Last Night's Workout

I haven’t talked about Crossfit in awhile, but that’s still happening. I go three days a week, which means I spend five days a week in some kind of muscle pain. I’m definitely back to my normal strength since the installation and even benched a 115lb PR last week that made me feel like a freakin’ hulkamaniac.

That lasted an hour until I realized you can’t see my muscles because they are covered by a layer of delicious cupcakes and brownies.

I thought I would share last night’s workout with you guys since I haven’t posted one in awhile. It was on the easier side as far as Crossfit goes (super thankful for that because I was tired) and I didn’t have too much trouble getting through it (except for the knees to elbows – those are always hard). Well, today things hurt. They hurt a lot. So maybe it wasn’t as easy as I thought.

Substitute knees-to-elbows with another ab exercise, like v-ups, if you don’t have a bar to hang from. You can also fake the jump rope to make this into a no equipment workout. It’s a good one. You’ll feel those jump ropes after the lunges, I promise. Then, you’ll thank me after Thanksgiving because you didn’t turn into a stuffed turkey.

 

 

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10 Things about Me

I’m seeing a lot these “things about me” posts going around Facebook. People are writing novels about themselves in status updates. Get a blog people! Ain’t nobody got time for that. Still, it sounds like fun, so I’m going to do 10 things you may not know about me. But on a blog. Where it belongs.

1. I had an entire wedding planned in Orlando – chapel, venue, photographer, caterer, all of it – and then cancelled everything six months prior and went to Vegas instead.

Totally worth it.

2. I had never heard of brown recluse spiders until hubs told me about them a few years ago. Now I think every brown spider I see is a brown recluse and it freaks.me.out. He often says he wishes he never said anything. That’s how bad it is. So, whatever you do, don’t Google brown recluse spider bites. *shudder*

3. I’ve never been out of the United States unless you cound the Bahamas, which I don’t, because the Bahamas is just sub-Florida.

See? Sub-Florida.

4. I’ve known my best friend for 30 years and we still talk and hang out all the time.

We had to fight them off with a stick back then.

5. If I could move anywhere in the U.S., I would move to Reno, Nevada. I love it there. It’s the perfect mix of big city and small town life. Plus, mountains. Mountains, people!

Almost broke my ass snowboarding that day, so that won’t happen again. I will look at the mountains instead of falling down them.

6. I own at least 50 bottles of nail polish.

7. My first job was at a small movie theatre in McHenry, IL. My dad parked across the street, pointed at the Now Hiring sign, and told me to go get a job. When I mentioned that I was 15 years old, he told me, “Well then tell them you’re 16!” So I did, got the job within 10 minutes, and worked there the whole summer.

8. The first time I shaved my legs was for a Belinda Carlise concert, even though my step-mom tried to talk me out of it. Belinda is worth shaving legs for. #fact

9. I shower by candlelight in the morning because turning on lights right after I wake up makes me angry. I have a much better morning if I turn on the lights after I shower and brush my teeth.

10. Whenever I take a personality test, I always rate as an introvert, which no one that’s met me seems to believe because I never stop talking.

What is something people might not know about you?

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Shoe Drama

Shoe drama. I gots it.

I’m sure some of you knew this post was coming. Running shoes and I have always had a dicey relationship. I think I’ve found the perfect shoe but then it gets discontinued. Or I seem to find something wrong with the shoe, even if there might not really be anything wrong at all. Like my Brooks Ghost 5, for example. They are probably the shoes I should stick with because they never gave me a problem, they wear right in the middle which may mean I’m heel striking less, and they even lasted a crazy 700 miles.

I just can’t stand the sight of them.

Ugh. Denim blue. The worst. Those are dying to be worn with some khaki Bermuda shorts and a fanny pack. (Sorry, to those who wear these. I’m sure you look beautiful in them. Especially this girl.)

Lately, I’ve been alternating between the Brooks Glycerine 12’s and the Mizuno Wave Creation 14s. The Glycerines feel good and I like the look of them a lot.

But man, the flexibility is not there. They feel so stiff after six or seven miles like I’m in a pair of clodhoppers, so I’m hyper-aware they are on my feet. Do people still use the word clodhoppers? We should bring that back into common rotation. Try it. ;-)

The Wave Creations are decent, but they wear on the inner heel so I’m probably heel striking more. They make my feet look more gigantic than they already are but they’re cute so I forgive them.

Also, after about 11 miles, I feel like I need more padding in the forefront of the foot. These aren’t anywhere close to minimalists, so I’m not sure what that’s all about because I never had that issue during the two years I wore the 12s.

So basically, I can run shorter distances in both the Brooks and the Mizunos fine but they will not do for marathon training. So, I’m going to do what I do best: buy shoes I don’t really need right now but have convinced myself that I do.

Say hi to the Mizuno Wave Rider 17s (and to your mother) for me.

I can’t decide which color. Help!

I wore the 15s for awhile but they were a bit too narrow and rubbed on my pinky toe to the point where I was limping after a race. I’m willing to give the 17s a chance since they were completely redesigned and are freakin’ adorable. Adorable is important. When you look like I do after a race, it’s important to keep something looking good.

The 17s go on sale on December 4, so expect me to be bitching about them around the 18th. If they don’t work out, I’m giving up and going back to the Brooks Ghosts. Hopefully the 6’s didn’t change too much from the 5’s because I need this vicious cycle to end so I can go back to spending my money on less important things like rent and electricity.

 

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That Time I Drank a lot and then Ran a Race

Yesterday I ran the Baldwin Park Half Marathon – my 19th half and the longest distance I’ve run since February. A lot of poor decision making (on my part) went into this race, including but not limited to a three-mile run on Friday that I should have skipped, spending all day Saturday on my feet at EDC, drinking more drinks than can be counted on one hand, and skipping dinner.

But I’m a trooper, ya’ll. So when I got home Saturday night, I drank as much water as humanly possible, got a better-than-expected six hours of sleep, and ran a damn half marathon.

Michelle picked me up at 6:15 – right on time, I might add. *so proud* The girl is always at least a little late.

The race is only 15 minutes from my house. We even scored some major rock star parking by the start/finish line when Michelle went through a “road blocked” sign that was guarded by a police car. No fear, that one.

Once we parked, I realized I left my Garmin at home. I was also too busy sleeping in and forgot to make my standard PB&J, so I grabbed my next bad decision.

Cola flavor. Totally disgusting.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I can’t eat anything with sugar (even natural) during a race. I ate one of those chews at mile 8, 9, and 10. Three is my limit. My stomach started churning after that.

I ran this race three years ago. It’s the same this year as it was then – small with a pretty course that is extremely familiar since it’s where I did a lot of my marathon training. I heard a few people complain that there wasn’t enough water on course, especially in the beginning miles, but I wore my new Camelbak so it wasn’t an issue for me.

Now for the race. Let’s just say that considering the night I had beforehand, it could have been a lot worse. So I am super grateful for the race I had. There was no timing on course, so I had  no idea what pace I was running and I didn’t see a mile marker until mile seven, which was annoying. Michelle and I leap-frogged each other for those seven miles, but as we know, the only time I ever beat her in a race is when she’s pregnant or has bruised ribs. We high-fived at the turn-around and that’s when I lost her. I ended up walking a good 20 minutes throughout (or more, I stopped counting after a while) because I was completely pooped, my left leg felt super fatigued while my right leg was fine (??) and the shoulder pain that started during my first marathon came back. (< — read that race review if you enjoy pity parties)

Things that didn’t happen include me pooping, barfing, or dying. So I consider this a major win. I came in at 2:21:54, not even a personal worst so I’ll take it.

Epic Sports Marketing puts on this race and I notice they keep getting better and more organized each time. They even had a really good spread of fruit, bagel thins, rolls, peanut butter and Nutella at the end.

Nutella!

I can definitely feel that I haven’t run that distance in some time. My legs are tired. Squatting to clean out the bunny’s litter box definitely takes more effort. But I’m glad I ran this one because I needed to get the miles in and they aren’t going to run themselves.

Next up is the OUC Orlando Half Marathon on 12/7. I’m using that race as a training run as well and then maybe I’ll get more serious about my races in January and March. I mean, at the least I’ll try not to be drunk for them.

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Back to Long Runs

I registered for another half marathon.

Best Damn Race

Actually, I have four half marathons coming up. I can’t remember what I’ve mentioned on the blog, so here’s my schedule:

To say I have not been training would be…well, that would be correct. I haven’t. I’ve been doing two 3-mile weekly runs but I haven’t been running long on the weekends like I should be. I have a really good excuse and I think that’s what counts.

beauty sleep

I knew the not running had to stop at some point. So last weekend I promised myself I would get back to long runs. About a month ago, I ran/walked 7.5 miles, which made nine miles sound reasonable without dying, so that was my goal. Good news. I lived.

Last week

I did those miles alone and I woke up early for them, thank you. Also, I was expecting a 10:30 pace, so it was way faster than I expected.

Besides a stop to take off my long-sleeved shirt because I thought it was cool enough for one of those (ha!), a stop to poop (you’re welcome), a stop to fix my crappy Garmin, and a stop at a water fountain, I ran the whole thing. Soooo I guess I didn’t run the whole thing. My point here is I did it and I have no idea how people train alone.

Yesterday, Michelle and I set out to do 11 miles. I even busted out my new Camelbak for the occasion. (Stole this picture from her.)

me and michelle

Two miles into our run, Michelle took a nose-dive into the sidewalk. I’m not exaggerating when I say she hit the ground hard and there was a lot of blood. (She got some pretty good scrapes including four stitches and some sore ribs. I’m sure she’ll tell you guys all about it in her next blog.) Because I’m a horrible person, I did quickly weigh the options of helping her up first or pausing my Garmin. Sometimes my decisions even surprise me.

Today

That’s right. I helped her up first for all of you who think I’m a monster. See? I do nice things sometimes. I even offered her CPR several times but she declined.

Anyway, Michelle’s husband picked her up. Since he had all the kids with him, I thought it would be easier to run the two miles back to her house instead of cramming in the car. I got back to her house, made sure she was ok, leveled up on caring points for the day, and headed to the gym to finish the last seven miles of the run.

I’m feeling ok on my long runs but I’m not ready to race yet so Michelle and I are using the Baldwin Park half this weekend as a training run. Tweet Michelle some good vibes so that her ribs feel well enough to run by next weekend!

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The Rest of DC

So, I need to back up a little. I already talked about all the good food during my weekend in DC but I didn’t talk about the fun. Because there was fun, even though Melissa hates fun. < — true statement

I landed in DC on Friday. Melissa met me at the airport and we took the metro back to her place. If there is one thing I don’t understand, it’s public transportation. So thankfully I have friends that are smarter than me.

Once we arrived at her apartment, someone there was very excited to see me.

I mean, really excited.

Roo has no clue that she weighs 50 lbs, that is for damn sure. She likes to drape herself all over you and get comfortable. I’m going to start doing that to my friends and see how it goes.

Friday we had a pretty big night planned, if I do say so myself: eat dinner in, have a few drinks, and watch Scandal. That’s how us old ladies do. But somehow, we still ended up at a bar around the corner from Melissa’s place where I had some hot whiskey/cider/cinnamon drink that was delicious.

Shortly after said drink, I found out that Pendulum was playing across the street at a place called the 9:30 Club. It hurt my soul that Melissa did not care that there is a concert venue, with big named artists, just steps from her place. I would make that place my second home.

We decided to go to the show if it didn’t start too late. Of course, it was sold out, which worked out just as well, because I was wearing capris and I can’t be seen at a concert in capris. (Don’t ask.) We went for a much more capri-friendly giant frozen yogurt which somehow made me just as happy.

Saturday morning, we got up early and took Roo for a hike on a really pretty trail in Georgetown.

That picture there is the closest I’ll ever get to fall here in the land of perpetual Summer. Anyway, the hike was an actual hike where we had to climb up and down things and hold on to tree branches so we didn’t fall. So, it was legit.

After our hike, Melissa and I stopped by my one DC request of the weekend. The film nerd in me had to see the Exorcist Stairs.

Yeah, they’re just stairs but it still made me ridiculously happy (and tired) to run up them. See? I’m easy to entertain. Just show me some stairs and make sure I don’t wear capris to a concert. Close to the stop of the stairs is the bar that was used in the movie St. Elmo’s Fire, so I nerded out on that for a minute or two and then we headed back home.

I’d love to tell you about Saturday night, but we didn’t take any pictures. Very unlike me. The night included about three different bars and way too many drinks. I’m sure it was a good time from my Foursquare check-in.

So that was the rest of my weekend in DC. The visit was too short but it’s nice to get away for a little bit and forget about work and being an adult. :-)

***

I hope you all have a safe Halloween! Did anyone dress up at work today?

 

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