Tag Archives: stress

Spring Changes!

Hello all – happy spring…err or maybe summer? It’s supposed to hit almost 80 degrees this week. Kind of crazy for March.

But, I will NOT complain about warm weather while in the midst of marathon training. That would be absurd. I will simply say, thank you, thank you, thank you – over and over again.

Before I get into a marathon training update, I’ll explain why I’ve been gone again. There were some major changes in my life. I started a new job a little over two weeks ago – and as you can imagine – that was a pretty big deal. I had been at my last job for almost three years, but an amazing opportunity came along at an organization I REALLY love, and a position that basically rocks. After a lot of hemming and hawing, and talking over the pros and cons with my husband and family, I finally accepted the job and gave my notice.

I’m not exactly what you would call good with change. I like my routines, my schedules, knowing what’s going on, etc. So starting a new job was somewhat stressful and a big adjustment. Hence, the blogging fell to the bottom of the list. But I’ve still been reading and running, so now I’ll try to catch up. Last thing I want to say on the job front is that I’m VERY happy with the decision I made. I know it’s only been a few weeks and I still have a lot of learning to do, but so far this has been a great change! And I want to thank my husband, my friends and my family for all supporting me in making this decision, and listening to me go on and on questioning my choice. It was the right one!

And Now Onto Running
On the running front, things have been progressing. I won’t lie and say that I’ve stuck to my training plan 100%. I’m currently at around 215 miles in week 9 of my training plan. There have only been two weeks where I did NOT reach my weekly mileage goal. The first was due to illness and the second was due to St. Patrick’s day. I just completely messed up my schedule last week and left too much running to happen on the weekend, and then of course I was exhausted. But we had fun!

We hit the parade and then enjoyed a full day out in NYC – so running was kind of forgotten.

But I am trying to get back to the plan this week.  I ran 7 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles this morning. I have a 7 miler planned for tomorrow, 3 miles on Friday, and then a lovely 17 miles on the schedule for Saturday. Of course, it’s supposed to rain this weekend – the only rainy days this week.  I’m hoping the Saturday forecast might be a little wrong and some of the nice Friday weather will hold on until Saturday.

All in all, I am feeling a little bit better running-wise. My legs are finally losing their lead and I am getting back some of my speed. It’s still not feeling easy or as easy as it has been in the past, but I’m hoping I’m getting there. Hubby’s training is also going very well. He is running four days a week and has been following his plan pretty closely too. I’m hoping we’ll both have a great race on May 27!!

How are you enjoying this spring weather? Have you changed jobs in the past year – did it stress you out a lil bit? Who’s running a spring marathon – how is training going?!!

Have a great Wednesday all!

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Sunday Football and Food

So this post is a little bit late, but here it is anyway. Sunday was an uber productive day for me. After the race on Saturday, I pretty much just vegged. So Sunday was go time.

I started the day with a nice breakfast….

Then I cleaned the apartment from top to bottom while jamming out to the music channel (Party station). I finished cleaning in decent time, so then I thought I’d try bringing our laundry to the laundry mat. Usually Hubby brings the giant bag over because there’s so much laundry between the two of us, I can barely carry it. But I only packed the essential stuff to wash and waddled myself over there with our giant bag.

I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself as I loaded the clothes into the washers. However, the feeling quickly turned to utter embarrassment when I realized the machine to refill the wash card only accepted cash and I only had my credit card. I stood for a moment contemplating my options and then reluctantly took all our clothes out of the washers, repacked the bag and trudged back home. At first I was just embarrassed and then it quickly turned to annoyance and then anger at myself and the laundry mat. I huffed and puffed around the apartment and cursed our broken dryer in the basement. Then I cursed the guy who was supposed to get it fixed. And finally I decided I needed to go for a run.

I threw on some warm running clothes and headed out in the 20-degree weather. And you know what, within the first half mile I felt better. I was releasing my tension and anger and working through the issue as I ran. I ran a short three miles along the East River and headed home. And when I entered our apartment, it was like I was a new person.

Do you ever use running as a source of therapy or stress relief?

So instead of pouting, I ran out to the store to get a few things I needed to make dinner. Hubby was away for the weekend and requested “something snacky” for dinner. We had planned to watch the Steelers vs. Jets game at night because Hubby is a HUGE Steelers fan.

So I made a veggie platter to snack on, along with some tostitoes and salsa.

And then I made a Broccoli and Cheese Soup adapted from this Cooking Light recipe.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Total: 33 minutes
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Ingredients
1  cup  chopped onion
2  garlic cloves, minced
3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat  skim milk
1/3  cup  all-purpose flour  wheat flour
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
8  ounces  light processed cheese, cubed

Preparation
Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

It’s not the lightest soup ever, but it was delicious! I won’t make that everyday, but on a cold winter night, it was just perfect.

And while eating dinner, we watched the Steelers kick butt and secure their spot in the Superbowl!

Juggling it All…

Hello Monday evening – I’m so glad that the day went by like lightning. Well that’s good and bad because there was definitely more I could and should have gotten done during the day. But, in keeping with my 2011 goals, I’m not stressing out about it. 🙂

Hubby and I just finished a nice healthy dinner of baked tilapia, broccoli and brown rice.

Confession: I’m not a huge fan of broccoli on its own. In a casserole, with cheese and chicken, in a stir-fry – sign me up. But as you can see, I’ve sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top of it here. All by itself, it just doesn’t taste great to me. I’m trying to learn to like it sans toppings, but, does anyone have any healthy suggestions to spice up your broccoli?

And now I’ve got to finish blogging quickly, do the dishes, shower (I ran 3.5 miles at the gym after work), prep my running stuff for the morning, make my lunch for tomorrow and then finally, I’ll settle down and paint my nails while watching The Bachelor before passing out.

Do your evenings look similar to this?

I’m constantly trying to find more hours in the day to squeeze in more activities. And God forbid I drop anything – I just can’t. How am I coping? The only option left…getting up earlier. 😦 EEk! Yup – I’m shooting for morning runs 2-3 times this week so I can get more done in the evening and perhaps even have some free time to read the three books I’ve got started right now.

Yup – full disclosure. I’m being a pretty bad book floozy. Switching back and forth from book to book. It wasn’t intentional, but now I don’t want to give one up. I’m almost done with 50/50 by Dean Karnazes; but I started the last book in the Stieg Larsson triology before buying 50/50 and now feel guilty putting it off; and lastly, my friend organized a book club and we have to read The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa, by February 3rd. I’m going to attempt to power through them all.

Gee, do you see a trend here? Taking on too much? Who me? Never. Haha. 🙂

How do you juggle it all? What are your tips and tricks?! I could certainly use the best ones right now.

Weather.com Strikes Again!

Good afternoon – I’m posting during my lunch today.  A morning post just did not happen. I’ve had kind of a stressful past two days, so I’m feeling a little grumpy and I know that’s not the best time to be posting on my blog, but what can ya do?

Anyhoo – for a quick recap of yesterday I’ll start off with my delicious oatmeal breakfast yumminess with banana and peanut butter.

Doesn’t that just look divine?

My workday was super busy yesterday, so I squeezed my lunch in kind of late in the day. I had the leftover chicken dish from dinner the night before. Yum!

Good lord I hate florescent lighting. Afternoon snacks, an unphotographed Chobani yogurt and a new flavor of KIND bar.

The cranberry almond was really good, but a little bit sticky.

Towards the end of the day, my work started to spiral out of control. I had a lot to work on and it needed to be done asap. I ended up getting out of work a little bit late and then was so upset when I walked outside and big fat raindrops landed on my head. I check weather.com every morning and the forecast was clear. If it even hints at a chance of rain I bring gym gear with me to work.

Weather.com totally screwed me yesterday. So I went home tired from work, stressed and then upset by the rain. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the gym for any kind of run. GRR!

I was starving when I walked in the house, so I made a pre-dinner snack of Triscuits with melted cheese and then I spooned a little salsa on them. It’s kind of like eating nachos.

I also poured myself a glass of much-needed wine. After my pre-dinner snack, I made a big salad for dinner with romaine lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, raisins and walnuts. I drizzled balsamic vinegar on-top.

Delish!

Oh but my weather.com struggles do not end there my friends. I happened to glance outside a little while ago and see that it looks eerily dark. Mind you, I checked weather.com this morning as well before leaving work, and then around 10:00 a.m. and my local forecast was all clear. Plus – do you think I learned my lesson and brought gym clothes just in case – Nope!

I just checked the website again and now there are thunderstorms forecasted for on and off between 3-6 and then 9:00 p.m. and on! How, why, what – that’s not fair!! Theoretically, I can try to squeeze my run in between 6-9, but I know in an hour it’s probably going to tell me torrential downpours for the whole night. Darn you weather.com – I am shaking my angry fist at you!!

Lastly – I’m running the More Magazine Half Marathon this Sunday and just guess what weather.com has to say about the forecast…You got it – RAIN!! Not even showers or drizzle – solid Rain! Should be fun. I was also planning on tacking on some extra mileage at the end for my last 20+ run – looks like it’s going to be a wet one. 😦

Stress Test

So yesterday was not a better day. It was likely one of my most stressful days in recent history. It started off well with a nice breakfast cookie, which fell apart a bit, but was still very tasty.

But my day slowly transitioned into stress mode once I got to work. The project from the day before continued to linger and heighten in stress. I had my usual granola bar mid-morning snack and then popped out to get a salad for lunch. It was filled with romaine lettuce, cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, chickpeas, carrots and topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

I then went back into work mode, trying to make a 4 p.m. deadline. Well…we missed the 4 p.m. deadline, but figured out a way to still make everything work out if we hit an 8 p.m. deadline. Back to the drawing board. Work, work, work, stress, stress, stress… oops I’m hungry and totally forgot about my afternoon snacks. Finally around 4:30 p.m. I had my Chobani yogurt filled with a Kashi Go Lean/Granola mix.

I gobbled that down and then it was back to work, work, work and stress, stress, stress. We finally wrapped everything up and dropped off our package at 7 p.m. Phew – made the cut.

However, now it was 7 p.m., I was exhausted and slowly coming down from my peak of stress and knew that a stop at the gym was probably not in my future. Then I started to get angry with myself and tried to rationalize that if I made it to the gym by 7:30 and ran 3 miles I’d be done by 8:00 p.m. and could head home and have dinner by 9:00 p.m. But after eating so little throughout the day (seriously, I usually snack way more than that – especially when prepping for the gym), I knew my run would be lackluster, distracted, and I’d probably be starving. Dinner at 9:00 p.m. sounded too far away. I coudn’t make it.  

So I headed home and had the easiest dinner ever: Amy’s Black Bean and Vegetable Soup with a side of Kombucha.

For some reason, I really liked the Kombucha much better the second time around. I still have a little bit left, which I’ll probably finish up tonight.

I have to admit that while waiting for the soup to heat up, I did snack on a few Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips that Hubby had in the house (sorry Hubby!). I couldn’t help it! They are my FAVORITE chips and I blame my weakness on stress. So yes, I partook in a little emotional eating last night.

Have you ever found yourself eating more or eating something you normally wouldn’t because of stress or any other emotion?

As I was eating dinner, I was watching The Biggest Loser and then followed up dinner with half a grapefruit with a  Truvia packet sprinkled on top for dessert.

The grapefruit really hit the spot – it was so juicy. I can’t wait to finish the other half.

Now as far as BL goes – I am torn. Part of me wants to believe that the red team woman isn’t that conniving and manipulative as to throw the weigh-in, but then the other part of me finds her really annoying and pompous a lot of the time and agrees with Jillian that if she was really working out that hard and not doing anything else (like scarfing down extra food), then she would have lost more weight.

Anyway – I finished up BL and then raced to bed. My plan of attack for today (Wednesday) was to hit the gym in the morning in case any work snafus should arise, forcing me to stay late. I was sad that I couldn’t read my book before bed, but there just wasn’t any time. So, did I get up and make it to the gym… SURE DID! More to come on my great workout and hopefully making this a new routine in tomorrow’s post.

And lastly, some health news that caught my eye:

Exercise: In Women, Training for a Sharper Mind – I swear I’m going to work in some strength training during my workout tomorrow.

Big Benefits Are Seen From Eating Less Salt – DAD: You should read this article!

Huge variation in salt content of processed food – Umm… so I think salt is the big focus for 2010. NYC is coordinating a nationwide effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods. I am all for it! Reduce the salt or take it out, and then if people really want it, they can add it to their food on their own. What do you think of the less/low salt movement?

Have a happy Hump Day everyone!