What I Ate Wednesday

I know some people are against the whole What I Ate Wednesday thing, but I love it. I’m kind of nebby, so I really enjoy seeing what other people are chomping on and it’s great meal inspiration for when I plan my weekly menus. I think it also helps me physically see where I can/need to make improvements in my diet.

 This wasn’t a perfect day, and my “grand” plans for dinner were derailed when I come home from my run to no water…womp womp. It’s so easy to forget what a great thing running water is until you don’t have any!

Breakfast always starts with coffee and my chemical laden creamer. This is the second Bailey’s flavor I’ve tried and I’m not crazy about them. Number 1, there’s no booze 😉 (what’s the point then?) and 2, they don’t really seem to have a flavor. The label says ‘crème brulee’, but I taste nothing. Too bad I still have one of these in the downstairs refrigerator to use up…

Lies

Lies

Kitties got their breakfast on too….

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Gizmo’s new thing is to eat straight out of the container. For whatever reason she just can’t wait the 3 extra seconds it takes me to dump the food in her bowl. It’s strange, and hilarious and adorable all at the same time.

A little later I made a lame breakfast of an English Muffin with a fried egg and a slice of Swiss. I normally try to have some veggies or fruit on the side but I didn’t have anything prepped and didn’t have the time to slice/dice/cook.  It was delicious, and fairly filling which is at least half the battle.

Could be better...could be worse

Could be better…could be worse

Today was apparently temptation day because one coworker brought in donuts and the other brought in some leftover food from the Pirates game. Not wanting to be rude, I helped myself to a taste…

If this is wrong...I don't want to be right!

If this is wrong…I don’t want to be right!

Lunch was these beauties. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats. Oh.My.Goodness. If you haven’t tried these yet, you’re missing out because they are YUM. My pictures are terrible (it was dark in my kitchen when I packed my lunch) but trust me when I say they’re winners. Even the Tall One likes them; in fact, he requested these for dinner Tuesday night.  I also had some rice on the side <— I’m really sorry, but I have such a hard time getting on the brown rice train. I want to like it, but more often than not I am left seriously underwhelmed. Oh well. It happens.

It looks strange, but tastes amazing!

It looks strange, but tastes amazing!

And, not wanting to be rude, I had 2 garlic chicken wings that my coworker brought in. They were tasty!

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Berries were a post lunch snack, and some pretzels were my pre-run snack. 

snacks

Water, throughout the day as always.

That is some high quality H2O

That is some high quality H2O

Dinner was supposed to be Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole, but upon arriving home from a humid, sweaty 3 mile run I discovered we had no water.  Not only could I not shower, I couldn’t make dinner either. Sad Panda over here. Not wanting to dirty a ton of dishes, I had the extra healthy dinner of Special K and almond milk.

Mix of multi-grain and vanilla almond. Not too shabby

Mix of multi-grain and vanilla almond. Not too shabby

I’m really beginning to think I’m not supposed to make this dish. I bought all of the ingredients over the weekend for this…except the noodles. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’m pretty sure that’s a key ingredient. Then last night I had no water to boil noodles or wash dishes. Third time’s a charm, perhaps?

 I gave it a few hours, and the water didn’t come back on so we headed over to my in-laws and took advantage of their shower.  Of course, by the time we got home the water was back. Figures.

 

Today was far from perfect, but I’m working on it. My appetite has been kind nonexistent and it’s just starting to get back to normal, so the fact that I ate this much is winning in my book.  My skin is letting me know that I’ve been eating too much cheese/dairy lately so I’ll have to back off that and maybe hold off on that Tuna Casserole for a while, even though I was finally going to try it with plain almond milk. Sad Panda.

What did you eat today yesterday?

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Meow!

I’m slowly but surely making my way back into the running/blogging world.  I took a significant amount of time off from running (about a month), and am finally getting back into the swing of things.  As life returns to “normal”, whatever that is, so does my routine! Side note: it’s kinda depressing how quickly you lose your running fitness, isn’t it?

Since I don’t have much running to share right now, I figured I could at least touch on the other part of my blog name and share some cat pictures. They always know when something isn’t right and have been acting extra adorable lately in trying to cheer me up!

Serious bird watching

Serious bird watching

Hiding in the toy drawer

Hiding in the toy drawer

I really don't have anything to say for this one...

I really don’t have anything to say for this one…

Hellooooo, ladies!

Hellooooo, ladies!

Hopefully these made you smile! 🙂

Apps I love

First, thanks so much for your kind words from my last post. Everyday is getting a little better.

Second, I’ve had this draft saved in my archives for almost 3 weeks and just never got around to posting so here it finally is! (I know you were all waiting with bated breath)

 

Are you an app person? One of the big reasons I wanted an IPhone a few years ago when it was time to renew my contract, is because they had all of the cool apps. Now Android has caught up and most apps can be downloaded to either operating system.  I have all of the usual apps – Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram and love them. I’m also always on the lookout for new ones that are either (a) fun (b)functional or (c) both. And, if they are free it’s even better! 🙂 I’ve found 2 (technically 3, but two are really similar) so far this year that I really love and figured that other people might love too.

Sleep Cycle.

This app is awesome! I believe it costs .99, but I downloaded it for free as a ‘Pick of the Week’ from Starbucks. This bad boy monitors your sleep, through the accelerometer in your phone and is designed to gently wake you up when you are in “your lightest sleep state”, known as the ‘wake up phase’.  You can set your wake up phase in increments (mine is set for 15 minutes) and your alarm will wake you no earlier than 15 minutes before your set alarm time.

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This app also tracks your sleep pattern, and every morning when I wake up to a gentle, soothing sound I can see how long I slept, and what the quality of my sleep is.

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There are also other graphs that show things like your sleep quality per day of the week, how many hours I spend in bed by day of the week, etc.  

sleep quality

time in bed

Getting a good night’s sleep is important no matter what, but as a runner it’s crucial. Not that this helps me sleep better, per say, but it does help me see when I ‘m not sleeping well and I can hopefully take steps to correct it. My goal is always to get a 100% – I’ve had two since I downloaded this app in March…and I lost one when I updated my new phone. Bummer.

Nap Cycle

This is really similar to my sleep cycle app, but doesn’t come with all of the fancy charts and graphs, etc. You can set your nap timer for 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes or 120 minutes.

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You keep the phone close to you so it can track your movements, and it will gently wake you up just like your sleep cycle. This app was .99 and after seeing how awesome Sleep Cycle was I gladly paid the whopping ninety-nine cents for it. I love taking naps, but hate sitting down to close my eyes and waking up 3 hours later. Then I toss and turn all night long. Sure, I could set a normal alarm on my phone, but let’s be honest…where’s the fun in that?

Outsider.

This app is so cool. I read about it on-line (Runner’s World, I think) and downloaded it right away. It works with The Weather Channel and factors in things like air temperature, humidity, air quality, chance of precipitation, and wind speed and tells you on a scale from 1-10 how ideal the weather is for running.

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You can also look to see hour by hour what the quality is predicted to be.

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I’ve only had this for about two-ish, but I’ve used it every day. So far, I’ve run in a 1, a 9 and a few in between. I really like this because I can’t seem to comprehend humidity for the life of me. I know it also has something to do with dew points, but some days my Weather Channel app says the humidity is low and I walk outside and can barely breathe. Other mornings, the humidity is high but it doesn’t seem bad at all. ( <— not a rocket scientist over here. I don’t even play one on TV) At least with this, I have an idea of what I’m getting myself into!

 

What are your favorite apps?

Bonus points if they are FREE 😉 !

 

 

Saying Goodbye

Three days after I posted this, my stepfather passed away. We are all just gutted – of course we knew this would happen, but none of us imagined it would be this soon. I can’t/won’t go into any details because it’s just too much, but I am so grateful that we still had a chance to say ‘I Love You’ one  last time.

I always knew that we shared a special bond, but over the last few days, I was able to meet so many of his friends and coworkers who told me that he has referred to me as his daughter for years. I can’t tell you what it meant to hear that. And it just made it that much harder to say goodbye.

Instead of focusing on the last few weeks, I can take comfort in all of the good memories – and there were so many!

I wish I was a better writer so I could convey all of those wonderful memories, but I’m not and I would hate for those memories to be marred by my shitty writing. Maybe one day, I’ll try.

This is a wound that will take a long to time heal… in fact, I don’t think that it ever really will.  His passing has a left a void that we will never be able to fill.

We will try to move on…I hear that over time it gets easier. I’ll believe that when it happens.

 

I still need a little time, but I’ll be back soon with normal posts about running and cats and happy things. 🙂

Until then:

Grief

 

Air Force Marathon – An Update

I’m not really sure where to start with this update, so I guess I’ll just come right out and say it.

I’ve decided to NOT run the Air Force Marathon in September.

In some of my other weekly recap posts, I’ve alluded to some problems and having a hard time with life things and I decided that I’m just not in the right place to train for, and run a marathon.

Just before I started my training my step-dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Since then, it’s been an insane emotional roller coaster and two weeks ago we learned that he can no longer continue with his chemotherapy. I don’t have to tell you what this means.

As I was trying to run my 13 miles 2 weeks ago, it occurred to me how much time I was wasting while I was out there. The marathon will always be there, and the awful, terrible reality is that my step-dad won’t.  I couldn’t finish that run, and when I managed to run my 16 miles the following Monday I just kept thinking about how selfish I’m being with my time. All of my long runs from here on out are 18, 20, 22 miles and that is a lot of time. For me, that’s about 4 hours to be out there…plus getting back home, then showering, eating and then getting out to their house to visit. That’s more than half the day, and in a few months I know I’m going to want that time back.

For some people, training for a race might be the perfect distraction but I just can’t do that. When I’m out there, alone with my thoughts, that’s when I lose it. My heart and head just aren’t in right now.

I fully plan to continue running, but this takes so much of the pressure off – if I have to skip a run then I skip it. It won’t impact my training at all, and I won’t have to stress about needing to get the miles in.  I may throw a half marathon in there somewhere, but I’m not counting on it and it will certainly be a last minute decision if I do.

The Tall One and I talked about this on our way to Wisconsin and he fully agrees with/supports this decision. He could tell these last few weeks that I just wasn’t into it, and that I was struggling.

Once I made the decision I really felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest.  Obviously there is still another huge weight on there but at least this helps. I didn’t do any running on vacation and I didn’t worry about it at all. I’m not really sure where I’m going from here – maybe work on some speed and definitely some more strength work. I haven’t been doing that and can really tell the difference.

I know this is probably a very rambling, disconnected post but…that’s where I’m at.