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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just Salad

I'm not going to lose any weight at this rate, but it's sooo good.
My boss's boss (does that make her my grandboss?) told me about this life-changing chain JustSalad and now I get my lunch from there practically everyday. JustSalad is technically a misnomer because they do serve wraps, but why bother when there are so many salad's to choose from (and you get a free piece of bread thrown in)?

You can create a custom salad like I did today, or you can choose a salad from their extensive menu. Yesterday I ordered the Fall Slimdown and added chicken. But then I was reminded that I have a loyalty card and could choose two more toppings for free. I let the salad guy choose for me and he added butternut squash (great choice) and beets. Umm, I wish that I had known that I don't like beets before I had him chop them all up in my salad. I spent the afternoon trying to distinguish between beets and dried cranberries. Oops.

Kale-Iceberg Lettuce Mix, Dried Cranberries,
Walnuts, White Mushrooms, Sliced Radishes,
Reduced-Fat Cheddar
Suggested Dressing: Cranberry-Maple Splash 90 Ca

Today I made a delicious salad creation with mesclun greens, almond slices, garbanzo beans, celery, cucumbers, wheatberries, pesto chicken, edamame, and balsamic vinegar. It was 676.8 calories including the piece of bread that came with. Oh, how do I know the exact nutritional information? Because there is a calculator on the website! Check out my meal here.

I had no idea what a wheatberry was until I looked it up the other day. A wheatberry is the entire wheat kernel including bran, germ, and endosperm. Who knew? They're tasty so you should get them when you go. Make sure you buy a reusable bowl and a get a loyalty card to get discounts and extra toppings.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Everybody's Working for the Weekend, and NYC Fitness Blogger Playdate

I quickly realized that I would be working this weekend, and that was not cool. This was supposed to be my quiet weekend filled with downtime, but somehow I ended up with a bajillion hours to work and I'm not even getting overtime. To make this scheduling snafu suck less, I decided to make other people work with me. Luckily for me, my company, and copyright infringement laws, the 34 year-old volunteered to take pictures for my acceptance packet. (Bret Easton Ellis refers to his boyfriend as the 25 year-old. I think I should be able to refer to the person I sleep with as the 34 year-old.)

The 34 year-old and I actually had a pretty fun Saturday traveling around the city taking pictures of neighborhoods and landmarks. We stopped by his office to get the camera and then headed over to Union Square. On the way we passed a street fair.

Street fair! Who doesn't love meat on a stick?
I wrote about Union Square and its Greenmarket in my packet. We got a bunch of quality photos, but I like this one particularly - something about the lighting. Some idiots were trying to occupy Union Square. I ignored this nonsense and bought some apples to eat this week.

Union Square Greenmarket
The 34 year-old and I headed back uptown to Lincoln Center. He couldn't get the shot he wanted and my feet were cold. We decided to grab dinner at PJ Clarke's to remedy this situation. We had cheeseburgers, French fries, and creamed spinach. By this time the sun had set and the 34 year-old was able to take this awesome shot.

Lincoln Center at night.
We headed back to our neighborhood for some well-deserved downtime and some warmer clothing. Then we ventured up to Harlem to get a photo of the Apollo Theater lit up.

the Apollo Theater
Sunday morning I blew off my long run (again), but I did manage to get down to Union Square in time for the NYC Fitness Blogger Playdate at Yoga Vida on University Place and 12th Street. I met these awesome fellow fitness bloggers for yoga and then an awesome brunch at The Barrel NYC. I suck and didn't take any photos so I will direct you to Keelie's post.

I ended up at the office after brunch, but did fit in some quality time with the 34 year-old before bedtime. This week is going to be the LONGEST WEEK EVER.

*All of the photographs in this post are property of the 34 year-old. I sleep with him so I get to use them. Please do not reuse without written permission.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Personal Professional Alignment

So last week I had to attend a webinar (a conference call combined with an Internet component that allows you to see a presentation on the host's screen - this one included webcams...) about personal professional alignment. We don't do work/life balance at my company because apparently those two things don't always have to be even. Personal professional alignment, however, allows you to set goals that best reflect where you are in life.

Today my personal professional alignment goals told me to peace out at 4 PM and go to Equinox.

I worked a lot this weekend and I needed some down time. I went to the 85th and 3rd location for a little Zumba and a half-hour abdominals class. It was just what I needed because I feel like a new person. I still suck horribly at Zumba, but it was a good and fun workout. 

Ashley of Freckles & Spice, whom I met at yesterday's NYC Blogger Playdate, was telling us about the sports bra challenge she did at Soul Cycle. I kind of remember this happening, but there was this event last year that challenged women to workout only in a sports bra and bottoms of their choice to celebrate body acceptance. Now I used to workout in only a sports bra all the time, but I was fucking hot. Since I gained a lot of weight back I have shyd away from displaying my not-so-rock-solid abs and have been wearing a shirt and pretty baggy shorts. Today I went with a pair of spandex and my oh-so-little Yves Maco tank top. 1. I need to accept myself, even if I am heavier than I want to be. Life's too short to be ashamed and 2. Maybe if I wore skimpier things I would be more inclined to put down the Skinny Pop.

Still on my "do something nice for yourself" kick, I decided to make myself dinner. I'm not sure why I thought this was doing something nice because I suck at cooking.

I made chicken with mushrooms and peas over gluten-free pasta.
I own actual dishes but the bowls are too small for my aggressive portions dinner.
I had to make the chicken in two batches because my saucepan is so small.
The second batch is for tomorrow's lunch.
I have to clean my apartment. I am beginning to look like a goddamn hoarder.
See my tiny bowl too? I need to go to Bed Bath and Beyond.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Moderation is a 4-Letter Word

"It's party time, but make sure that you take good care of your health. Moderation is a good rule. Physical exercise works wonders to clear the mind and refresh your vitality." - am New York Leo horoscope

Not even frozen yogurt could fix this.
After running the 28th Annual Oyster Festival Town Supervisor's 5K on Saturday, I seriously overindulged at the Masonic Lodge's Biergarten. I spent all of Sunday dying in my bed. I actually woke up at 6 AM to do my long run, but promptly fell back onto my bed after realizing that I was suffering from a serious case of the spins. I managed to drag my ass to the nail salon at 2 PM. I thought a little Red Mango would fix me up, but not even frozen yogurt and Fruity Pebbles could fix this stage 5 hangover.

Back in Manhattan, I had a Slurpee before bedtime and lo and behold, I was cured. Never underestimate the power of the Slurpee.

I don't do moderation, but I am a firm believer in exercise and its ability to clear the weekend's bad decisions. T and I did hill repeats in the park this morning, and I felt better at work today than I would have expected after spending a good portion of Sunday throwing up bile. Eventually I will come to terms with the fact that I cannot party like the good old days. I blame the brief stint of healthy living. Once your body knows a life without excessive alcohol consumption, it refuses to take the regular abuse it quietly suffered for so long. Take away message: Don't stop drinking.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oyster Festival 5K

Maryanne was my babysitter. Now she is a runner.
Today I ran the 28th Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor's 5K. This race kicks off Oyster Bay's annual Oyster Festival, which is our weird way of celebrating where we live. It's a good race and this is my second year competing in it.

Experience brings knowledge and knowledge is power. I learned my lesson last year and made sure I was much closer to the front. The Greater Long Island Running Club doesn't put a starting line mat down and the race officially begins when the gun goes off - if you're stuck behind the slow fatties you're time is affected.

I haven't raced a 5K since June and I was a little nervous today. Would I doing as well as last year? Has marathon training made me slow? I didn't have a good understanding of my pace until I got to the 1 mile sign in 7 minutes and 1 second. I knew the most brutal part of the race would be the run uphill between miles 1 and 2, and I think I handled it well. Another female runner told me to chuck my water bottle because we were running so fast but I told her I had to stay hydrated because I need to run twenty miles sometime today or tomorrow. I also like carrying a water bottle because I don't have to slow down at the aid station at the halfway mark. I ended up tossing it there though anyway.

I've realized that I'm pretty good at running downhill and this would be my strength for this course. The course is downhill from the halfway mark to mile 3. I pounded it out and passed a lot of people. This dick of a guy had been in front of me from the starting line. I noticed him because he was wearing a green racing outfit, blue socks, and red sneakers. Not color-coordinated. He started boxing out this woman named Mary during the run down Sandy Hill Road and that pissed me off. With so much space on this course, there is absolutely no reason to box out another runner. We are a fun bunch and jackass moves are not appreciated. I put him in his place by gently cutting him off, running five strides directly in front of him, and then taking off. He came up to me at the finish line to tell me I did a great job and knew how to handle to downhill portion of the course. Yeah, I do. I also know how to handle myself as a civilized human being, thanks.

This year's race felt a hundred times better than last year's. I turned left onto East Main Street and had a lot of energy left in my legs to power on towards the finish line. I decided to race in my Nike Frees without socks. Not my favorite shoes, but they are lighter than my Brooks Adrenaline's, and shoe weight affects time. I'm glad I went sans socks because my feet didn't rub. I think a lot of runners forgo socks when wearing racing flats, so this was kind of similar. As I got closer to the parking lot and the finish line, I decided to ignore the clock and my watch and just go as fast as I could. I finished in 21:41, fourteen seconds faster than last year!

6:59 minute miles!
Technically I came in 3rd place for my age group, but the overall winner of the race is 25 so I got bumped up to 2nd place. I won a plaque and had my picture taken. I will add the picture when I find it online.
I'm going to put it in my cube at work.
After I stopped hocking up flem and spitting it on myself the ground, I went to get some water and an apple. Then I got a leg message from the physical therapy volunteers. I used to never go over to the massage tables because I was a little embarrassed because I'm not an elite runner or anything, but now I'm obsessed. Why pass up the chance for a free massage when your legs are all tight?
I went back to the food station when I heard there were cupcakes!
Fat kid nation!
My mom and I watched the other runners come in and waited for the awards ceremony to start. Last year I came in second for my age group as well, but I left because I didn't know any better. This race gives awards to practically everybody. Had I identified myself as an Athena runner, I would have won my division by nearly two minutes. Maybe next year, but definitely if there is money involved.

There is a runner in Oyster Bay named Vince who everyone calls The Runner. He is always running in all types of weather. He is also rather cute. Vince placed (I think first) in the 20-24 male category. I think I was more excited for his win than he was. Perhaps he would like to celebrate with me later...

At some point this weekend I have to run those 20 additional miles. I want to go to the Oyster Festival this afternoon so I have a strong suspicion I will be running them tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Standing is NEAT

There's a new fad in the office! A colleague on my team rearranged her cube today and now her computer is on her bookshelf. She created a standing desk! Apparently another member of our staff located back by the conference rooms has had her desk like this for weeks. Everyone was drawn to the new standing desk. I am intrigued.

NEAT is the acronym for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Basically you can burn extra calories everyday doing things that are not exercise. Fidgeting burns extra calories. Talking with your hands burns extra calories. Standing burns extra calories. You can burn an additional 50 calories an hour simply by standing instead of sitting.

I wear high heels at work. This deters me from switching to the standing desk. However, I would be interested in wearing my heart rate monitor for a day of sitting at my desk and another day of standing. Then I'd have a better grasp on this NEAT stuff.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cat Hill Repeats

T and I have decided to put some variety and planning into our morning runs. Today we did hill repeats. We met at the entrance at 72nd Street and headed over to East Drive. Our plan was to do five Cat Hill repeats. Cat Hill is the hill that goes from East 75th Street to East 81st Street on East Drive in Central Park. It gets its name from the panther sculpture located on these rocks there.
I did the first run up Cat Hill at a moderate pace. My foot has been bothering me and I feel tight over, but soon my competitive nature took over and I sprinted up the next two times. You are supposed to run the hill and jog back down when doing hill repeats. As you can tell, my photography skills while jogging leave much to be desired.

This is my ghetto ass photo I tried to take while running down Cat Hill. #fail
I did the fourth run up the hill at a moderate pace but then got my ass in gear for the fifth and final sprint. T and I then ran the two-mile lower loop clockwise. There is so much more to see when running against the crowd. Of course I had no idea where we were and tried to exit the park on the westside, but I imagine I'll figure it out after I run it thirty a few more times.

I don't mind waking up early to workout because I used to get up at 5 everyday to go to my old job. I'd much rather be running than fighting for a seat on the subway first thing in the morning. I do have issues getting ready in a timely manner though. I am easily distracted and always seem to lose ten minutes doing ridiculous things. I think it's because I am both ADD and OCD. (I've gotten distracted by my shoe collection while organizing my closet by color and item. True story.)
I redid my ponytail 6 times and still couldn't get rid of that bump!
I ended up leaving 5 minutes late because of it.
I lay my clothing out the night before to make it easier to get dressed. At least three times a week I decide to wear an entirely different outfit. Today I decided my preplanned outfit was too girly and I had to choose something else.
I went with spandex and a cut-off t-shirt.
Who else has been running in the morning? What do you do to make getting ready easier?

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Take on Biggles' Breakfast

T and I met at the park at 6 AM for another run. We did the 5 mile loop. We had barely gotten started when we realized we had meant to bring up the same point: we only run the park counterclockwise. Running a route in only one direction can develop imbalanced muscles. The counterclockwise loop explains the awkward feeling I get that my right leg is becoming shorter than my left. Once you start thinking about uneven running surfaces, it's all you can think about. I could feel my right leg muscles shortening with every stride. No more. From now on we're alternating directions.

The run was pleasant if uneventful. I realized I had absolutely nothing to eat for breakfast, and to avoid another Fat Kid Friday situation, I needed to go grocery shopping before work. Luckily the Fairway on 86th Street opens at 7 AM. I exited the park at 6:57 AM, bid T farewell, and ran uptown.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art at 7 AM

I picked up raisins, Fage yogurt, and this Paul Newman cereal I found. I decided to take Biggles' advice on yesterday's post and eat cereal flakes and raisins with my yogurt.
No fructose corn syrup.

I used my food scale to measure out one serving of cereal, a little less than one serving of raisins (about 2/3 of a serving actually), and 8 grams of pecans. Food scales make eating a healthy portion of higher calorie foods easy. I bet you have no idea what a serving size of cereal, raisins, or pecans looks like and I challenge you to find out. This article from the New York Times explains the merits of using a food scale for cooking and baking. I don't do either, but I can pour dry ingredients into a to-go container and I love my scale. I use one made by Taylor.

I ate breakfast at my desk while managing struggling to tame my Outlook Inbox. It was absolutely delicious. I recommend sprinkling the cereal mix on top of the yogurt and eating it off. Continue sprinkling and eating. I don't like when crunchy things get soggy and I have found this to be a practical solution.
Tasty treats. Nasty Inbox.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Establishing New Schedules

Three weeks ago I started my new job at a non-profit and I finally have normal work hours. This has completely screwed up the schedule I've had for the past three years (for the better), and now I'm trying to figure out how to schedule my workouts. This morning I got up at 5 (okay 5:10 after my Ritalin kicked in) and met T over at 72nd & 5th. I ran the mile over there. We did the five mile loop and the two mile loop together. It was fun to catch up, and I felt much safer with another person. The sunrise was beautiful. I kind of wish I had stopped to take a picture of it. I had finished a 9 mile run by 7:08 AM. (I ended up doing closer to ten because I ended up running back to my apartment after I turned my GPS off.)

I don't normally wash my hair in the morning, but I have to after I run. I get disgusting no matter how cool it is outside. You're not supposed to show up to an office with wet hair, but I have a way of getting around this - this is where it pays off to have heavily layered hair. After I shower, I dry the top layers.

Then I clip the rest of the wet under layers on top of my head. Sometime around noon I take the clip out and all that wet hair has turned into dry waves. Don't hate me because my hair is beautiful.

I think green goes well with leopard print.
I like to match my underwear to my outfit.
My eating has been horrible for a while and I am trying to get back to a more structured diet. By diet, I mean way of life, not some kind of temporary solution or sketchy quick-fix.

Last night I put ice, cold coffee, protein powder, sugar-free chocolate syrup, two spoons of Better'n Peanut Butter, and So Delicious Coconut Milk into my blender. I had this caffeinated mocha treat for breakfast and it was quite tasty. Disclaimer - I put a lot of coffee into this bad boy.
The Great Cow Harbor 10K gave out free Pure Protein bars post-race.
It was disgusting as expected, but for some reason I kept nibbling at it.

I'm trying to eat more vegetables. Does a head of iceberg lettuce count?

I am going to try to workout in the morning 2-3 times a week. I definitely want to get a run in, and then the other workout(s) could be running or spinning. Spinning is offered daily at 6:30 AM and I should just get in the habit of going on Monday mornings.

I also need to plan out my meals and figure out what I need to bring to work. I haven't been grocery shopping in almost three weeks. I do have a freezer full of leftovers. I do not cook.
I came home one day and found that my mom and aunt had stocked my freezer.
Not complaining.

This is entirely disgusting but I thought I'd share. The callous on the ball of my foot just fell off last night. I knew someone would appreciate it, so I took this gross picture.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fear and Fury

I know I am in a very bad mood when I'm not interested in sex or dinner. Last night I cancelled plans for a night of Criminal Minds and Chinese food with this guy I've been seeing because I just couldn't be civil enough to bother.

I woke up in a crappy mood. I had set my alarm for 5:55 AM and had a bike booked for 6:30 AM spin over at Equinox. When I couldn't find my contacts, I announced, "F*ck it," and then wasted the next nine minutes trying to cancel the damn bike. I finally just called the front desk.

I stayed in bed until 7:45 AM and somehow still made it to work a little early. I spent the entire day feeling like I wasn't doing a good job at work and being annoyed with myself.

My training plan said to run 7 easy miles. I didn't leave until around 8 and I was scared to run in the park alone and at night. I went anyway. I did my fastest Central Park loop fueled by anger and fear. Nike+ GPS has me at 8.14 miles including stopping at lights for the mile run from my apartment to the park.

I wasn't that nervous to be out except going up that bitch of a hill at 110th Street. The lamppost is out and I imagined all sorts of people lurking in the shadows.

I really dislike night runners who wear all black or navy. 1. They look like they're hiding from something and 2. It's dangerous when cars and cyclists can't see you.

That's why I went with this glorious neon ensemble. I wore my Day-Glo yellow C9 shorts and a new Patagonia capilene. This midweight synthetic baselayer was perfect for last night's chilly weather. I did have to scrunch up the sleeves a bit after the first 2 miles.

I have a sick pair of sneakers that match my Patagonia but I couldn't photograph them because they are shoes I weartested for Brooks.

I was ready to go to bed after my mad sprint around the park but unfortunately I wasn't feeling any nicer.
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