Racing photogenic?

Ok I will admit that I am not actually photogenic at all.

Check out this little beauty.

I’m not sure how I missed my calling to become a model.

I’m a member on Sparkpeople and people post the nicest race photos of themselves. Smiling and waving, looking like they are just floating on by. Nice hair, cute outfit…


I ran the Women’s 5K by the Bay and I honestly look like a baboon. I know people tend to be more critical of their own pictures but seriously, you have to TRY to look this bad in pictures. Check it out.

Oh hey thunder thighs.

How is it possible that I look the most normal in this one??

Am I trying to catch bugs or something?!

I look like I have a forehead the size of Texas. The outfit is not very figure flattering (and here I thought those spandex pants were really pulling things in). I was even wearing a little mascara but perhaps I should have just thrown a bag over my head. This is the bazillionth race I’ve done and I have yet to get a somewhat decent photo. This is just humiliating.


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Melty cheesy goodness.

Just as I was about to leave work, someone mentioned that they saw a coupon on Facebook for FREE Outback. Um, I love Outback and I love free even more. After a quick investigation, however, we discovered the coupon was a hoax.

Unfortunately, the seed had been planted. I am obsessed with their salad (their ranch is awesomeeee), bread and cheese fries. Drool. Yes, I’m aware that there are about 1500 calories in the SMALL cheese fries appetizer. But considering my two favorite food groups are cheese and salt, these are right up my alley. I thought about getting carry-out the whole way home, but when I walked in the door I had a change of heart – I’d eaten so well today that I didn’t wanna ruin it, and if I really wanted it, I could get it for dinner tomorrow (a Friday, much more of an appropriate night.)

So I ate my dinner of a big salad and a piece of my homemade lasagna and realized I still wanted the melty cheesiness of the fries. So I took about 6 Tostitos chips and sprinkled some reduced fat shredded cheese on them, and popped them in the microwave. While that still doesn’t pack a whole lot of nutrition, it satisfied my craving with a lot less calories (and money).

I used to make these as a kid, and while they aren’t nearly as good as real nachos, they are pretty darn close. I also used to just melt cheese on top of club crackers. Can you tell I’ve always loved cheese and salt?!? Considering my top junk foods are probably cheese fries, mozzarella sticks, and macaroni and cheese, I think I’m noticing a trend here.

Come to mama. Heaven forbid I ever develop lactose intolerance.

Speaking of eats, here’s what I had today:

-Breakfast: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal with a spoonful of PB, hard boiled egg

-Lunch: Lean Cuisine – Chicken Carbonara, a pear, 2 Dunkin Donut holes

-Snack: Whole wheat hamburger bun with more PB

-Dinner: Big salad with pickles and light caesar dressing, homemade lasagna

-Snack: Microwave nachos

Not bad, not bad.

This morning’s workout was pretty kick ass, too. After warming up on the treadmill, I did sprint intervals. Please, take the word sprint with a grain of salt here considering my tortoise-like pace. Basically, I run at a fast pace for 1 min, recover for 2, repeat for 30 minutes. Then I followed with calf raises, lunges, squats, bicep curls, planks, straight leg raises, and donkey kicks. Phew, I think that was it.

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I had to put this somewhere to keep myself accountable, and it’s too embarrassing to tell someone in real life. So let’s just talk about what I had to eat today:

-Chocolate milk (post workout)

-Cinnamon Burst Cheerios with a banana and skim milk

-Homemade lasagna

-Baby carrots

-Everything Bagel Thin with one laughing cow wedge

-Snicker’s Bar (BAD BAD BAD)

-Way too many Cocoa Roast Almonds (had to be two servings)

-Turkey sloppy joe (no bun), asparagus, salad with berries and balsamic vinaigrette

-Apple Cinnamon Vitatop with Eating Right Mocha Cappuccino ice cream

I finally feel full. All day I’ve felt hungry, and I hate feeling hungry. I feel like that makes me decide that it’s not worth it to eat healthy and feel hungry all the time. It makes passing up the bad food even harder. It makes me think that I can’t do this for the rest of my life, and if I can’t keep it up, then why even bother?

I want so badly to be one of those people who find it easy to eat healthy. One that can stop at just a couple or pass up on the junk altogether. I am so admirable of those people who eventually train themselves to find unhealthy food to be unappealing. I have never reached that point. I truly enjoy healthy food, but nothing beats greasy fried food. NOTHING. At least not yet. I wonder if I can ever get over this. I want to be able to happily pass on it, or be satisfied with just a little bit. Is this even possible?


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I’m sure it happens to the best of us… we lose our motivation. It is hard to get up at the crack of dawn to fit in a workout. It is hard to order the salad (as yummy as it may be) over the cheese fries (my weakness). It is hard and annoying to track your calories every day and figure out how to squeeze in that ice cream, etc.

So why do we do it? There are actually a lot of reasons. They are super easy to forget when that steaming fresh pizza or that juicy cheeseburger is sitting in front of your face. (Are we sensing a theme here? I think I’m abnormal for a female – it isn’t so much sweets or chocolate that does me in, it’s GREASE. I’d fry my salads if I could.)

I thought, as motivation for myself and maybe you, I’d list out why I do this everyday.

1. To live longer.

2. To not pull out those shorts from last season and wonder if they will fit.

3. So I don’t have to suck it in when I’m standing in just my bra.

4. To not cringe when I look at pictures.

5. To not wear long shirts to hide the muffin top.

6. To have good blood pressure and cholesterol readings at the doctor.

7. So people aren’t surprised when I say I’m a runner.

8. To get that “look” from my boyfriend.

9. So jeans are comfortable, not constricting.

10. So baggy clothes look good, not frumpy.

11. To work out in just a sports bra.

12. To have energy and feel alive.

13. Skinny jeans.

14. Feeling secure at the beach, and not have to sit at just the right angle.

15. To run a half marathon.

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So there is a ton of debate on the advantages of working out first thing in the morning. Supposedly since you have not yet eaten anything that day, your body turns to your fat stores for energy. I’m not sure if I buy that…. but it really can’t hurt.

I have to force myself out of bed every. single. morning I get up earlier to work out. The absolute worst part is that I don’t even have to get up THAT early to fit it in – 6 am will get me a good hour at the gym. I actually sleep in my gym clothes, too. That way I can roll out of bed, put my shoes on (I even put them in the bathroom the night before), and go. Pathetic, isn’t it?

I mean seriously - who doesn't love doing this?

I am actually worried because I start a new job on April 18th, and I won’t have the luxury of walking 5 minutes to work anymore. So that means *gasp* I have to get up early just to get to work on time!!!!! I am actually debating whether or not I will switch my workouts to evenings again because I’ll be getting off of work much earlier. But then I can’t decide because I realllllly like having my evenings free. But anyway, I digress.

So this is the list I recite in my head over and over to get my butt of bed at the crack of dawn:

1. I start drinking water much earlier. Like, 2 hours earlier. If I don’t go to the gym, I don’t drink anything until I get to work. This sounds bad, but it’s really because I am so lazy I don’t leave any extra time aside from getting ready.

2. My hair looks better when I shower and blow dry it. When I work out in the evenings, I shower afterward and just let my hair air dry. It’s a hit or miss on what it will look like the next day when I do that.

3. I come home and my evening schedule is CLEAR. It is so so so so nice to go throughout the day knowing that you already worked out and did something good for yourself. People say it gives them more energy, too… the jury is still out on this, but I’ll keep telling myself it does.

4. Things can’t come up and cancel your workout. Nobody is going to call you at 5 a.m. to see if you want to grab breakfast before work that day. Work can’t ask you to come in that early without advance notice.

5. This better simulates race days for me. Since most races at insanely early, your body is used to running in the morning. Personally, my runs are much different depending on the time of day.

6. Full House is on. ‘Nuff said.

7. In the summer time, running outside will be much more bearable. It’s still pitch black at 6 a.m. so I haven’t tested this out yet (plus it’s still freaking cold). But I like to tell myself I’ll be glad I did this in August.

This is all I can think of for now. I will add more if I think of them, because I really need as much motivation as I can get to drag my butt to the gym in the mornings. Afterward I am SO glad I did it, and always tell myself it’s so worth it. Weird – that is exactly like running.

Seriously, don't google "sleeping puppy". Hours of your life will be lost.

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An apology letter to Strength Training

Dear Strength Training,

I don’t even know how we ended up at this point… I feel like I don’t even know you anymore. We used to be good friends back in college. Remember the good ol’ days when the gym was free (ahem – included as part of the $25k annual tuition) and classes were in abundance. Body Sculpt was my favorite – an hour where I was forced to curl, lunge and squat until my muscles begged me to stop.

There was a summer when I saw Jillian Michaels on TV more than I saw my friends. I did No More Trouble Zones like it was my religion. That DVD really works, too. (Unless of course, you eat 2939803 calories a day, but I wouldn’t know anything about that…)

Now you only show up once or twice every other week, maybe for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. When you do show up, the next day I need help getting out of my chair at work because I haven’t seen you in so long. Then I give you the silent treatment to teach you a lesson.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, I feel my resolve crack and I drive by your house find myself picking up a dumbbell. There are visions in my head of sculpted backs and toned thighs that one day, I will achieve. The ultimate goal? To wear a sports bra with no shirt. I know, it’s getting a little wild in here…. ahem.

So I suggest we start couples counseling and work on our relationship. A healthy balance will keep me from limping around like I’m 107 and keep you from feeling neglected. I think we should see each other at least twice a week. We can split up our time into upper and lower body so we keep it fair and more importantly, keep me off the IcyHot. When we do spend time together, we need to dedicate at least 20 solid minutes of one-on-one time – no texting, no phone calls, no distractions. Just you and me.

Because after all, a healthy relationship will turn me into her, right?

Wearing a smoky eye to the gym is standard, no?


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I only love running when it’s over.

Ok not really. But that is almost true!

I think it takes me a realllllly long time to fully warm up. When I run weekday mornings, I usually only run for 30ish minutes (after walking to warmup for 3.5 mins… why .5? Not really sure.) I feel the best at the END. Maybe because it’s almost over? I’m not sure.

My longest run to date is 7.2 miles (the .2 counts). I felt awesome at the end. I do out and back routes (obviously so I can end up at home), and during the first half these are some thoughts I tend to have:

-Ugh, do I really have to do this for another whole HOUR?

-My legs feel heavy.

-This is kind of boring.

-Am I so slow I’m going backwards?!


But then once I hit my turnaround point, I feel soooo much better. That’s when I get my “runner’s high”. I think this also may be why 5Ks are hard for me. The Shamrock 5k was my speediest but I felt kind of crappy the whole time. It must just take me forever to really hit my stride and find my rhythm. Does anyone else feel this way too?

The point of all this is… it makes it kind of tough to go running all the time. I dread that first 20 or 30 minutes. I feel GREAT after, so I do it, but it’s hard for me to get motivated to get going. I definitely force it. I fake like I am excited to go to other people in hopes that one day, I’ll truly be excited. Don’t get me wrong, I love running… but mostly at the end of it!

Oh and I love races. I may feel crappy during the whole thing but man does it feel good to finish! Let’s take a look at my upcoming races:

-Women’s 5K by the Bay – April 10th

-NCR Trail Half Marathon Relay (7.5 mi leg) – May 7th (sidebar: I am excited to do this one because I’ve never run a race with a medal before! I want a damn medal!)

-Survivor Harbor 7 miler – June 12th

-Baltimore Ten Miler – June 18th (AM I CRAZY!?)

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