Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Monday & Weigh In Update

Once again I'm (literally) running a day late! My Sunday long run happened on Memorial Day Monday instead. Monday morning I slept in for as long as I could, and when I finally ran out of excuses to avoid running, I got out of bed and set off for an 8 mile run that would take me past my usual pedestrian bridge turnaround and deep into uncharted neighborhoods. 
Since I wasn't rushed, I remembered to bring money for the hash browns, bacon, eggs & whatever else they have at this place that I've passed/smelled a million times but have never entered. Except they were closed today for the holiday. Womp womp. 

 This mental health hospital 2 cities over from where I live has always intrigued me because it looks like a setting for a Stephen King book. I'm always craning my neck to stare at it whenever I happen to drive by, as if I'd catch Nurse Ratched chasing someone through the yard or something. Well, on my run today, I was  actually right up close to the mental hospital, WHEN ALL OF  A SUDDEN nothing exciting happened. I really don't know what I was expecting... 

 Eight miles run and done, although at a super slow pace. I need to get some confidence back this week, hopefully doing some speed work will do the trick.
After my run, I took a jar over to the Mexican street fruit vendor near my house. These little fruit vendor carts are awesome. They chop up all kinds of yummy fruit for you into bite size pieces, sprinkle it all with lime juice and chile sauce and then charge pennies for it! Since I was planning on indulging myself later today I wanted to eat something light but filling for now. This was perfect!

After a quick shower, INDULGE is exactly what I did! My friend Val & I had plans to go to the Dodger game but first we stopped at a little place in LA near the stadium for a pre-game BBQ feast. We went to the Spring St Smokehouse. It was filled to capacity with people in (Dodger) Blue. I am so glad that I have saved my diet "cheat" days for times that are truly worth it. This was one of those times. 

Cornbread, mac n cheese, ribs, brisket, pulled pork....but I was pretty much hooked as soon as I saw this on the table:
 I never never never eat cheap white bread like this one. Like since I was a kid I haven't eaten this stuff. And you know what? It is absolutely DEVINE. 

The Dodger game was definitely the highlight of the weekend. Last' night's giveaway: a Tommy Lasorda Garden Gnome. Gaaah! 
 Tommy Lasorda as a gnome...that connection is so obvious, how did it take this long to think of it?

The Dodgers beat the Braves last night 6-2. Perfect end to a great weekend. 

WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE: my weekly weigh-in on Sunday was 167.8 so I'm down a pound from last week. I know it's good news but the secret saboteur in me isn't all that impressed since I felt my weight last week was artificially high because I had eaten that cronut. 
We'll see how it goes this week. If I lose again next week, then I'll be convinced my efforts are in fact being rewarded.

 I was out running errands and saw this powdered donut someone had littered in the parking lot by my car. For real, I actually SERIOUSLY thought for a minute about picking it up and eating it!!!! It looked perfectly fine, as though some had just set it there and left, except that it was TRASH on the GROUND! UGH...#fatgirlproblems 

Hope your week is off to a great start! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

If I didn't spend all my money on running gear...

Don't know why but I haven't been out on the Sparkpeople site in forever. Back in my Weight Watcher days I was on this site every single day and now that I'm on this little Weight Loss Challenge at work it's like I'm visiting with an old friend! 

Here's an article about how to stay full longer. Spoiler alert: the answer is to eat more fruits & veggies! 
Hmmm...come to think of it, this may be exactly why I gave up Sparkpeople. Fruits & veggies...how obvious. I'm still on the look out for the weight loss site that says I need to eat more CRONUTS. 

On the running front, today's run was really yesterday's run that is one day late. I took my run today mid-day since the sky was totally overcast and the weather was cool (upper 60's). I didn't bring any water with me, and was SO GLAD to have come across this baby right at mile 1:

Once again I ran out of sidewalk, but found it on the other side after cutting through the tennis court. 

One of the great things about running through residential neighborhoods is that I can pick up some great curb appeal ideas for my own house. This is  one idea that is probably not going to make it onto my wish list: 
Doesn't everybody have a putting green in the front yard? 

This one was another slow run for me. I finished 4 miles at a 12:25 min/mile pace. I wonder why it was possible for me to run so much faster just a few days ago but this week my legs are all of a sudden filled with lead. So frustrating. 
What's there to do except to keep on keeping on? One of these days another great run will happen and when it does I'll enjoy every single step of it. That is the beauty of running.  

After work I picked up some "healthy" snacks and went over to a friend's house. 

I hadn't seen S in a long time and I stayed way too late grazing on veggies & strawberries, catching up and drooling over her new Loubs.

Sometimes I wish I spent less money on running gear. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Slow + Jog = SLOG and Back on the wagon

Happens every time: after I have a really good run, I tend to rest on my laurels and put off the next run until I feel so guilty about not running that when I finally go out to run I am hating life the entire time. Today's run was that resent-filled run. My legs felt like lead the whole way and it didn't get better even after the first two "warm up" miles.

My legs just wouldn't move. And there were no trains going by to give me a little break.
Today I did the 4 mile run + pickups that RunKeeper wanted me to do on Tuesday. Tomorrow I will do today's run and then I'll be all caught up with this week's runs. Per the usual, the GPS satellites are at odds with each other, but not terribly off. 

In other news, I'm back on the watching-weight wagon. And I got rid of the old Weight Watchers scale I had and bought a fancy new Biggest Loser scale. I didn't throw the old scale into the dumpster like i had threatened, but I did take it to an e-waste recycling center last weekend after church. 
I try as much as possible not to make "new" unnecessary purchases (I try to purchase as much as possible from thrift stores or from sites like www.liketwice.com and eBay), but a scale is such a sensitive piece of equipment I didn't want to take any chances. 

And in a happy coincidence, the girls at work are starting a weight loss challenge this week, which I promptly joined. I've submitted my starting weight as: 
I think I'm competitive enough to give everybody a run for their money, so we'll see how it goes. Last night my very lovely and skinny sister brought over cronuts, which I ate so fast I didn't even have time to come to my senses! I hope it's all out of my system though, and that my very lovely and skinny sister never ever brings cronuts again. They were sooooooo goooooood!!!

My eating today, Day 1 of the challenge, was not too bad. Not great but not bad. Today was my library duty day at the Puff's school so for breakfast I grabbed a quick bite from McD's: Egg White Delight, no cheese, no butter (did you know they put butter on them?), and added an extra egg white. Total calories, 210 and 22 grams of protein. The sodium count was pretty horrendous though I can't remember exactly what it was.

Lunch back at the office was a ginormous salad with beets, spinach, romaine, beet greens, pico de gallo, avocado & chicken breast. It didn't need any salad dressing because the pico de gallo was plenty wet. So good! (Not cronut good, but still really good.)

After work, the Puff wanted pizza, so I thought it would be fun to make our own. We ended up going to Trader Joe's because it was right on our way home and I remembered they have pizza dough in their refrigerated section.

I RARELY go to Trader Joe's because everything "fresh" is wrapped in plastic or boxed up in a plastic clamshell. UGH, no thank you. The amount of plastic trash that TJ's forces upon their customers is outrageous. I stopped shopping there regularly a few years ago and don't really miss any of their store-brand products.
Help I can't breathe!

But the Puff, on the other hand, DOES remember and DOES miss their store-brand products. So we picked up a box of Joe-Joe's at the checkout. Impulse Suckers. Sigh. 

We took our Joe-Joe's and our dough and went home and had a great time rolling out our pizza, spreading sauce & cheese. The Puff needed only minimal help which made it that much more fun for me. (Unlike those days when she was 3 and wanted to do everything "My- BYSELF" and just made huge messes.)

Next time, though, I will go to a local pizza place (there is one on our way home which we just as easily could have gone to if I'd thought of it) and purchase dough directly from them instead of TJ's.

Can you guess who's is who's? Didn't matter because they were both SUPER good!

Monday, May 18, 2015

That speed work stuff....actually works??

Earlier in the week I'd peeked at my runs scheduled for this week on RunKeeper, When I saw the Sunday long run I was like "Pppffffttt. As IF". There's no way I'd run under 12:00 min/mile for 7 miles.

Sunday morning I set out on my run hoping that I'd just be able to finish 7 miles and I really wasn't too worried about the paces I'd hit/miss.

I went past my usual 2 mile pedestrian bridge turnaround. It's a little unsettling to venture out farther than you have before and into unknown neighborhoods! 

Everything looked different on the other side of that pedestrian bridge. Like maybe I'd run through a worm-hole as I crossed under the bridge. Ha ha. 

I was SO SURE that at the furthest point out, right as I was hitting the 3.5 mile mark and supposed to turnaround to head back, I'd take a super nasty fall and have to limp all the way back home. 

Well, I stayed upright the entire run (thank the gods), but when you run in unfamiliar areas frustrating things DO tend to happen, like all of a sudden you'll turn a corner and discover you have no more sidewalk: 
Thanks for nothing, City planners!

Actually, there's no way I can be mad about anything on this run, because shock of all shock, I actually did it! I ended up running 11:36 for a little over 7 miles! I'm BEYOND pleased with that! I think those pick-ups and tempo-whatevers may actually be worth the trouble!! Go me!!! 
After the run, the Puff and I went to church and then stopped at the farmers market on the way home. We were able to hang out at the market for a little while since we get out of church a couple of hours before the rest of the family does. It was a gorgeous day!
At the farmer's market the Puff and I ended up winning the Big raffle prize for the hour! A giant box full of donations from each of the vendors. We got good stuff too! Can this day get any better??  

Well, yes it can. After Sunday Linner I had time to whip up a batch of homemade yogurt which I am now enjoying as I type up this post.....with free strawberries from the market & a drizzle of honey (and homemade granola and some leftover pineapple).