Thursday, June 19, 2014

Because These Are A Few of My Favorite Thiiiiiiiings!!!

What do I do when I'm injured and can't run?  Talk and think and write and dream about running, naturally.

Running gear:

My current shoe rotation (I would add EVEN more shoes into the mix if I had more money!)
Nike Free Runs (used for short, recovery runs and when I want to feel light and fast!)

Nike Zoom Vomero 9+ (used for longer runs when I want to have some support but feel slight and springy!)

Brooks GTS Adrenaline 13 a.k.a. my old, forever friends (give me support and stop my flat feet from overpronating)

Adzero ClimaCool Tank
(By far, the lightest, softest, loosest running tank I have ever come across; love it!)


Oiselle Flyte Shorts (3.5 inches)
#flystyle

Target C9 by Champion Waterproof Digit Watch
(old faithful, 5+ years running!)


Goody Ouchless Headbands (for when I want to give shape and style to my slicked-back-french-braided hair-do--or don't depending on who's judging)


Wigwam Ironman Triathlete Socks
(These socks = good-bye blisters and foot funk)

Sennheiser headphones (wrap around my ears and never slip off; perfect match for my iPod shuffle circa 2006)


Music:

My current rotation ( I promise that I have far better taste in music than what this playlist current shows; these songs just help pump me up for my long-distance training)



Food/Fuel:


Honey Stinger Waffles
(I have an incredibly sensitive stomach and usually have a hard time finding foods to go down during long runs; these are easily digested and have the carbs my body needs to keep truckin')


Pedialyte Powdered Drink Mix (the electrolyte count in these bad boys is OFF THE CHARTS; I drink one packet mixed with cold water the night before my long runs)


Skittles (sugar, sugar, sugar BABY; helps to push through the last couple of tough miles every once in a while)

Earth Balance Crunchy Coconut & Peanut Spread (I swear to god once you try this, you'll never go back to boring JIF or Peter Pan; it's that good)

Skratch Labs Powered Drink Mix (basically an all-natural alternative to Gatorade)

Sobe Life Water (not sure how great it is for you--sweetened with Stevia--but I like it better than Vitamin Water)


Synergy Chia Seed Kombucha (cha-cha-cha!)

Trader Joe's Just Mango Slices (if I could condense the season of summer into a food, this would be it)

TV Shows:

If MTV creates a True Life: I'm Addicted to Television, you know where to find me :)

American Ninja Warrior (2nd best to the true Japanese version that my cable network no longer supplies me with)

Fargo: the TV Show
(Billy Bob Thorton.  Martin Freeman. Bam.)

Gilmore Girls
(Because we all want to live picture-perfect Stars Hallow and go to an Ivy League school for free and eat junk food and never gain an ounce)

Game of Thrones
(Blood. Bath.)

House Hunters International
(Some Americans should NOT be able to live overseas; they embarrass us all and they suck at buying houses)

Dance Moms
(Because I enjoy watching overweight women give young girls PTSD)

Law & Order: SVU
(By far, the best spin-off of the series.  And no matter what my grandma says, Ice-T, you will always suck as an actor)
Books:

Too many... I will devote an entire post to my literary library later.

Running Inspiration:

Mainly for my benefit...I need all kinds of inspiration on a daily basis.








Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Difficult Transitions and Trying to Keep Normality!

Haven't posted an entry in a while but have no fear, am still running more than ever (set a new weekly mileage record this week: 50.85 miles) but have had a bit of a change in my life.

My grandfather passed away in December and since his death, my grandmother, who is in the beginning to middle stages of Alzheimer's, has been shuffled between living with my family in Colorado to living with my two aunts in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.  While the rest of my family is traveling to St. Louis for a week to celebrate my great-Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary, I am watching my grandma for a couple days in Northern California.

I love my grandma to death but I feel like it's a tricky transition for us both.  Since I'm very much like an elderly woman myself, I understand that this change is uncomfortable and difficult for us both.  I want to make her so happy and content and comfortable but I'm not sure what to do!  I want to be perfect but I guess in order to be perfect I have to learn from mistakes and find my way.

Anywhoooo...that's my spiel; enough of this anxiety and apprehension.  Let's get to the greatest news ever: I ran 20.35 miles that past Sunday, my new long run record!!!  Though I may have crawled the last 5 miles, that's beyond the point!  It's been 3 years in the making and I did it!!

This is basically what I looked like for 48 hours after completing the run:

#swag

Be thankful that my knees are covered up; I took a HUGE tumble on the sidewalk about 14 miles into the run.  I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and skinned both of my knees and my left shoulder (not really sure how that happened...) Needless to say, I have been walking like a 95-year-old arthritic man ever since.

The aftermath.  My knees and my feet have never been so swollen.

A couple of days ago I was perusing a few running blogs and saw that a lot of people have been having trouble with "runner's knee."  I distinctly remember remarking to myself, "Oh, I've never had any problems with my knees before; I don't want to read any of this.  BOR-ING."

Low and behold, three days later and my knees are feeling FUNKY.  I mean--OUCH.  It feels like every time I walk down stairs, try to bend over in tight-fitting pants, or lengthen my stride, my right knee feels like it's going to pop out of place.  Thanks for bringing me back down to earth, universe.  You sly, sly, unforgiving dog...

So I am feeling sorry for myself by drinking diet cherry Pepsi and eating coconut-cream pie.


The sweet, sweet nectar of the gods.  All for the low, low price of $1.39 and my teeth enamel.

I'm thinking that my knee pain may be the product of 1) overtraining (duh) and 2) my weird shoe rotation.  I've added a pair of Nike Vomero 9's to the mix and I'm pretty happy with them so far.  I've gotten a little blister on the back of my foot from rubbing but I think once they soften up and I wear socks that aren't my 13-year-old brother's then they should be just fine.


True life: I may have bought them partially because of how fancy they look...

Off to make breakfast for grandma and go to my first day of my summer job!!! To say that I'm freakishly and irrationally anxious is quite the understatement.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy B-Day, Pop! You Can Have Your Pepperoni Cake and Eat It, Too!

Today is my papa's XXth birthday!!!  (No, not twentieth, all of you Latin nerds, but "XX" as in, "undisclosed-for-fear-of-being-labeled-a-near-senior-citizen").

Here's a picture of Señor Cumpleaños himself.
So bashful...

To celebrate, I made "Apple Kuchen" (German for "kitchen") for his highness.  Deeeeeeee-lectable!  My mom and I decided it was a cross between cheesecake and apple pie and when paired with ice cream...Holy Obesity, Batman!  I'm going to need a crane to airlift me back to my bedroom because this chick is stuffed!

Behold, a blurry picture of my beloved, my blood (I cut myself while cutting the apple so yes, my literal blood), sweat, and tears.  My pride and joy.  Even if it does look like pepperoni pizza.

But before eating our dessert, we had a family dinner at Jasmine, our family favorite Chinese restaurant.    I was too excited to wait and take a picture before I ate, so here's the aftermath.

Sadly, there weren't many leftovers :(
#firstworldproblems

So today, after having my rest day yesterday (Wednesday, incidentally National Running Day--of course the one day I want to run is the day I've scheduled to not run) I did a brutal 7 mile, all uphill workout from my house to the dentist's office.  Now don't be startled; I did not go get my teeth cleaned post-run (what a sight that would have been!) but I ran to meet up with my mom who was getting her molar implants checked (notice how I had to specify her implants as being "molar;" I don't want anyone getting any wrong ideas about my mother!)

But it was a toughie.  More intense that I had planned for, to say the least.  And it was incredibly hot for being 9:30 in the a.m. as exhibited by my brand-spankin-new tan line.

'Tis the season.

It's been crazy rainy here in the 303, definitely not what I'm used to what with Colorado's documented 300+ days of sunshine.  It's almost like Mother Nature decided to use up her 65 day deficit within the past few weeks.  But it does make for some pretty gnarly clouds!



(Please excuse the rotated pics; I'm new to blogger and have just discovered that there is no way to flip images.  Must remember for next time.)

Adios, muchacho/as!  I'm off to finish Season 2 of Game of Thrones!  Let's hope Joffrey dies!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Whazzup Summer?!

Yaaaaay!!!  The days are longer, the temperature's rising, and finals are O-V-E-R, over!

I'm back in Colorado after a loooong, cold winter in Chicago and I'm ready for some summer nights ("Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh humph!").

Since I've been back home and have had little to do, I've steadily increased my mileage and have been working hard to finally get up to my twenty-mile long run.  This week I clocked around 43 miles total (I think...should probably double check) and have been feeling really energized due to my new habit of running first thing in the morning (I never knew how many people finish their workouts before 7 a.m.) and I'm loving it.  The only thing that I feel weird about is when 3 p.m. rolls around, I'm thinking that I should be getting ready for my run (3 p.m.'s the time that I run during the school year, after all my classes have let out).

It's be H-O-T, hot (well, compared to Chicago weather) here in the 303, as if you can't tell from my choice of attire this morning.  Can you say "SPAAANDEX" (cue Oprah voice).


Woke up bright and early this morning and went on a 8.3 mile run.  I'm loving running my longer runs in the morning because by the time I'm even remotely conscious of what I'm doing, 4 miles have flown by!  I didn't run too fast this morning (around 8:30ish minute miles) but I've definitely gone slower (and I've definitely gone faster).  I'm still achin' from that Jillian Michael's 6-Pack Ab Workout I did on Sunday.  Yikes.

Here's the note I wrote to myself that I put on my alarm clock this morning.  If anyone sane saw this, they may very well think I'm just a teensy bit obsessive about my running...Nah.


Went to Plato's Closet this morning to earn some "cashola" for the outrageous amount of clothes in my closet that have been trapped in there for years and are never worn (I'm so sorry, clothes!). Coming back from college and wearing the same 4 outfits just makes me realize how much stuff I have that I DO NOT need.  However, I will admit that I was a liiiiitle offended that they didn't take my Costco jeans and much of my Eddie Bauer apparel.  Sor-ry I happen to dress like a 60 year-old woman.

31 dolla'!
Off to donate the rest to Goodwill or Saver's--which ever one is closest to a gas station.  This girl wants some Diet Coke, yo!

Trader Joe's Chinese smorgasbord for dinner last night, mainly because we couldn't fit all the packages in the freezer (#firstworldproblems).  Not too bad, Mr. Joe.  The Orange Chicken maybe even rivals that of Jasmine (my favorite Chinese restaurant) if I do say so myself.

Shrimp Pot-stickers

Vegetable Stir-fry

And we'll just end the post with a picture of my dog, Ted, because how can anyone say no to that face?   

Monday, February 17, 2014

Songs to Make Running a Little Sweeter (Or as Sweet as It Can Be)

It's that time of year again: marathon training!  Please, don't for a second believe my enthusiasm...  Yes, marathon training.  A time when I would rather run to the refrigerator than 16 miles in the cold and wet Chicago weather.  But, in order to shake things up a bit, picking an upbeat, electrifying playlist has the capability to reboot my motivation and make the miles pass by a little quicker (but, of course, never quick enough).  Here's my latest playlist and please, feel free to judge me all you like:

1. Ain't Messin 'Round by Gary Clark, Jr.

2. Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter by Herman's Hermits (It helps that my mom's maiden name is Brown.  I like to imagine David Cassidy serenading me with this song on a yacht in Cabo.)

3. Love Me Again by John Newman

4. Team by Lorde (I know, I know, she's mainstream and by liking this song, my "hipster" card should be revoked but I don't care; she has cool hair.)

5. Father and Daughter by Paul Simon (Cliché but so darn cute!)

6. Mr. Brightside by the Killers (2004 anyone???)

7. Somebody Who Loves You by Betty Who (Australian Euro-pop!)

8. Basically anything by John Denver because I'm just so homesick for Colorado

9.  Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill

10.  I'm the Man Who Murdered Love by XTC

Geez, I just noticed that for being a self-described feminist, I sure listen to a lot of male singers.  Joni Mitchell, where art thou???





Running sucks.

But not really.