Healthy living

Green eyed monsters

It’s so easy to want what other people have.

The body, the house, the car, the husband, the half marathon time, the blog readership, the money, etc. I used to get very stuck in a cycle of “if I can get this, then everything will be perfect.”

Anyone else ever go there?

I get stuck in that cycle far less these days, but it’s still so tempting to compare myself to other people. Especially other women. Why do I do that?

Why is it so easy to focus on everything positive about her and focus on everything negative about me?

I can look at a picture of myself, like it, then keep looking at it until I loathe it.

I’m my own biggest critic. And that leads to me giving up rather than trying because, frankly, I’m terrified of failing. It’s so much easier to blame it on something else in my life. To say that if I had more money, or more time, then everything in my life would just effortlessly fall into place.

Guess what? Time and money are two things I’m not getting more of any time soon.

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Harsh, but probably true.

It really comes down to not wanting to fail. I’m still really, really terrified of failure. Completely petrified.

But each failure is a learning lesson. I’m starting to drill that into my head. Missed my runs this week because I couldn’t drag my butt out of bed? I learned that I only get up when I put my phone on the other side of the room so I have to physically get up. Ate like crap the last two days? Remember to pack lunch the night before. Unhappy with my home décor? I’ve been procrastinating on cheap decorating ideas.

It’s the simple things. These are the things the women I envy do. Most of them work out at 5 am. Most of them have busy lives with jobs, kids, significant others, school, and a bazillion other things. Maybe, just maybe, I can use them as inspiration instead of envy.

Except for running skirts. I’m always going to envy those of you who can pull running skirts off without looking ridiculous.

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Recipe time

Overnight oat obsessed

Ummm , so how did I not try these before? I’ve been reading about other bloggers eating overnight oats for months, but I was never very interested. Dumb.

On Saturday, I hit up Harry’s Farmers’ Market and realized that organic rolled oats were only $1.59 a pound. It was enough of a push to try overnight oats for the first time.

I based my oats off a recipe from Kathy Eats Real Food and after a few days of playing around, got to a consistency I really dig. I like mine best with vanilla Greek yogurt, agave, and cinnamon. Soooooo yummy.

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Only a few simple ingredients.

I make mine in a mason jar so that it’s easily portable. I love having some left over for a mid morning snack! Plus, everything looks cuter in mason jars.

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Super filling, super delicious, super cheap. Winner in my book.

What’s your go to breakfast food?

How do you like your oats?

Very crafty

Decorating is hard for the undomesticated

I moved into my apartment last January, and just resigned my lease for another year. I’ve been meaning to decorate oh…since I moved in. Hasn’t happened yet.

I have friends whose houses look impeccable. Everything goes together, the pictures and artwork are framed and hung, and they have liners in their kitchen cabinets. Not I. My apartment is a mishmash of free furniture and sale finds. I have ideas to make it all come together, but my undomestic side tends to get in the way.

However, a few weeks ago, I got creative with a girlfriend and recreated a few things I saw on Pinterest. It’s a start right?

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I saw this little gem done with another state (Ohio, maybe? Geography isn’t my strength), and I knew I wanted to do a Georgia version. It’s pretty simple. I think the whole project cost me about $7. Here’s the original link: http://theharpsterhome.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/heart-in-ohio/.

Next, I decided to make a monogram for my bedroom. The joke is that if monogram my forehead if I could. I painted some letters from Hobby Lobby with polka dots. Again, less than $10 for the whole project. Super simple. I still need to hang them though…

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I have plans for a few more projects, like the afghan I’m crocheting, actually putting together a dining area at my kitchen bar, and getting a picture wall together. Maybe it won’t take 9 months this time.

Recipe time

Granola goodness

I love, love, love granola. I eat tons of it, especially in the morning with Greek yogurt. So I was thrilled when I got to my mom’s house for dinner and she has whipped up these yummy granola squares.

My mom found this recipe on allrecipes.com. The original has corn syrup, but I modified it slightly to use agave syrup instead.

Gobble Up Granola Snacks

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a large bowl, stir together cereal, oats, and raisins. Set aside. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine brown sugar and agave syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cereal and oat mixture. Mix well.

3. Press mixture into greased pan using the back of a large spoon. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.

These are super delicious and satisfying. And they make the perfect snack while watching football!

What are your favorite football snacks?

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Healthy living

The 5 am club

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you know that I am not a morning person. I look at people who get up at 5 am to do stuff with amused skepticism. C’mon, you don’t really feel better when you work out before the sun has even thought about coming up, do you?

Well, given that my schedule is now insanely hectic, I’ve come to the unfortunate realization that I’m going to have to join the 5 am club if I want to keep any kind of balance in my life.

Tuesday morning, I started the painful process of a 5 am wake up call. Shocker: I’m a big baby and it wasn’t that bad. As much as I rag on morning people, I do truly enjoy the early morning hours. I just usually enjoy my bed far more.

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Note the super hot I-just-rolled-out-of-bed selfie.

I hit a 5k before 6:15 am and then spent some time getting myself spiritually fit to face the day.

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I liked it so much, I talked myself into doing it again this morning.

Let’s get something straight. I’m not saying that I am thrilled to get out of bed at the crack of dawn. I’m saying once I get up, it’s actually a pleasant way to start my day. I felt much more prepared to tackle my daily tasks by getting in some time just for me first.

Maybe the “morning people” are onto something.

Running · Uncategorized

Slow and steady

I want to get real about running for a few minutes. While I love reading the blogs of super speedy runners, I’m not one. I don’t know if I ever will be one. I’m simply not a fast runner.

It doesn’t come easily to me. My natural stride is not something pretty to watch. Going out to “knock out a quick 10k” isn’t even something I can comprehend.

But I keep going. In two years, I’ve dropped almost three official minutes from my 5k time, and four minutes unofficially. I’ve run a half marathon. I’m planning to run a full marathon.

When I started running, I could barely run for a quarter mile at a time, at a 12:30/mile pace. I usually hold almost a minute faster than that for a long run pace these days.

lap couch

I’m not the kind of runner who adores every single mile. I certainly have never trained like I probably should to see awesome results.

That’s okay. Maybe someday I’ll get more serious and more competitive with my training. Maybe not. Maybe all racing will ever amount to is a way to keep me running.]

What I do know is that when I get out there, whether it’s a training run or a race, something about me changes that day. I feel accomplished. I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile, and I feel like I’ve done something for just me.

Yes, I like getting PRs and yes, I like beating the person next to me, but at the end of the day, I run because I can. Summer of 2011, I dreamed of simply finishing a 5k. That seemed insurmountable. Once I did a 5k, I set my sights on a half marathon, a goal that materialized in 2009. That seemed insurmountable. These days, a marathon doesn’t seem that way. I truly believe I can do it.

While I’m never going to lead the pack, I am lapping the old me.

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One painful, deathly, slowpoke step at a time.

Uncategorized

Peachtree Road Race recap and what’s next?

The last road race I ran was wayyyyy back on July 4th. The Atlanta Journal Constitution Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10k in the US, if not the world. Entry is done by lottery system, and the race cap is 60,000 runners. I used my Atlanta Track Club membership to my advantage, and was able to sign up early.

The Peachtree is an annual tradition in Atlanta, with many people who have run it for decades. One girl I know is in her twenties and ran her 13th Peachtree this year. People line the streets cheering, restaurants come out early and provide on-course fueling, the volunteers are superb, and the whole experience is absolutely incredible. This was my first Peachtree, and while I was expecting a big event, I was blown away by the reality of it.

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One of my coworkers was running the event as well, so she and I met up at Starbucks to ride the train down to midtown. Because of the size of the race and the increase in security, getting from the train to the start corrals took a long time, and I noticed a lot of people who were missing their heats. The good news is that you can move back in the start waves, so they didn’t miss running.

It was humid and muggy, so my plan was to use this race like a training run. I don’t think I was aware exactly how not-PR friendly this course is. It was hilly, hot, and the skies were just waiting to open up with rain. I ran somewhere around a 1:14. Keep in mind, my PR is a 1:06. However, everyone else I know was also 5-10 minutes off their best times.

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Obviously, I had fun though.

As far as a training run, the run itself was excellent. I ran the hills strong, and I had a lot of kick left at mile 5 to bring it home. In fact, I’m pretty certain I took it out a little too conservatively.

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Also, this is what I was fighting the entire race. One of the disadvantages of it being my first year, and my not running a qualifier meant I was in the very last start wave, so I was weaving through walkers the whole time. This year, I’ll definitely make sure to run a qualifier before March so that I can get a decent start wave.

So yes, I am planning to run it again.

Piedmont Park was one big mud field, so my coworker and I split shortly after she finished. The t-shirts are cool, but I didn’t get a look at much other swag.

As far as what’s next, I’m running a 5k this weekend, so bring on the pain. I’m also planning to return from mid-distance to distance races with a 10-miler, a half on Thanksgiving, and my first full marathon in March. Training for the half kicks off next week, with the 10-miler serving as a training run.

Bring it.

What races do you have planned?

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