Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Week 1 Results

January 1-8. (Weigh-in on 1/9; all my weigh-ins will be on Tuesdays, hence the extra day)

Week 1: -4.9 pounds

What I Did:
+Tracked all food via My Fitness Pal
+Lots of cooking, largely w/ my Instant Pot
+3 days* at OTF (OrangeTheory Fitness)
+Took a zillion measurements that I will track monthly

*I was scheduled for 5 but cancelled 2 because of a bad cold/sinus infection.

Yes, I need to do a review on OTF.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


One lie is enough to question all truths.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Because why not one more blog post about Instant Pot?

So when my login actually works for Chicago Tribune online, I will occasionally actually READ stories beyond just the doom and gloom politics and crime stories--particularly in the food and dining section. Hot new restaurants/bars, the occasional recipe, the annual Christmas cookie competition, the top taco places (wayyy to many hipster locations), etc.

Back in November I came across a story about the Instant Pot craze. What initially intrigued me was an African-seasoned eggplant recipe (hook), but a link within the story led to another story about some chick who lost over 100 pounds in 1 year using her Instant Pot just about every day (line). I was a little let down by looking at her food log when she was weighing out 2 ounces of meat for some meals (sinker) and she lost all her weight without exercise (2nd sinker) (Search "food log" on her blog and read her entries for the 7's just not enough food for someone who is also pretty active. I've been down the starvation route before and don't want to do that again, plus I also don't want to compromise my athletic goals.) Ok, so THAT plan won't be for me unless I suddenly become incapacitated...but her recipes are pretty nice, focused on healthy, whole  and unprocessed foods.

I finally got my Instant Pot in mid-December, and broke it in since about the 20th. Here are the awesome recipes I've made to date, generally all pretty healthy:

Butternut Squash Soup
Pineapple Teriyaki Quinoa 
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Christmas Dinner
Turkey Breast
Mashed Potatoes **obviously not healthy**
Gravy **obviously totally not healthy** (I followed the gravy recipe on the same link as the turkey)

Split Pea Soup from a cookbook (with smoked turkey tails instead of hamhocks) **please note if I've ever written about hating peas, it's still true. I made this for someone who loves this soup** Even though I did try the Pineapple Teriyaki Quinoa recipe above with peas the first time.
Pineapple Teriyaki Quinoa, Take 2, with red peppers and broccoli instead (see link above)
Smoky Honey Cilantro Chicken (just finished and tasted it, going to eat for dinner in just a bit; in one bite I was instantly sure this will be made several times a month)

I'm pretty lazy in the kitchen plus I've also been known to buy a trendy small appliance and use it just a few times and be done. So for me to have made all this stuff in such a short amount of time is pretty spectacular. Every recipe has had lots of leftovers, which is great--I spend way too much money for lunch at work, so if I can look forward to packing my lunch (with a lunch that tastes great instead of boring), I'm all in.

Plus, the Instant Pot cooks stuff so quickly that it is easy to keep doing more recipes.

Anyway, I'm always late to the party and the Instant Pot party is no different, but I'm glad I arrived.

Carry on,

Monday, November 20, 2017

And then...

...there's days like today when you weren't even supposed to be at work but here you are, and you go to lunch with your Italian co-worker, meet a famous Italian chef, eat the most unique, amazing pizza flavors, listen to the staff and your co-worker talk in Italian while you imagine this is what life is like "in the old country", try an item they are testing out in the kitchen and considering for the menu, and take a picture of your co-worker and said famous chef because she can't wait to send it to her friends back home.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Sometimes I think to myself "I will show them all." And then other times I don't even know or care who the "them" are in the first place. F 'em.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A goal is a goal is a goal

I had a goal for myself to reach 300 (back again) on the leg press by the end of September. A little after 7pm I realized that tomorrow is October! And my gym closes at 8!

I tried to rationalize that I could just do it tomorrow, but it didn't sit well with me.

So I raced 25 minutes, scrambled for parking and got it done. 295 last time, 315 this time. (It's only in increments of 20 pounds.)

On to 400.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rule breaker

Rules are made to be broken...well, sometimes anyway. Tomorrow is the Rock n Roll Half Marathon and I'm breaking a big rule: never try anything new on race day.

So my training has been OKAY. I'm run/walking it, and slowly. I never moved ahead with longer run portions for my long run distances. While I do shorter runs at a 4:1 run/walk ratio, I haven't moved beyond 3:2 for my longer runs.

My 9 and 11 mile runs were hot and crampy. And the taste of Gu and also Gatorade are no longer doing it for me since I've tried hard to eliminate added sugars overall. I could barely get down the Gu on my last run, and this is even with just the basic plain flavor!

So tomorrow I am doing the following new things (or intending to):
-take Endurolyte pills (electrolyte) pills before during and after the race
-drink no Gatorade
-take Margarita clif shots in place of Gu

I almost talked myself into setting my run/walk timer to 4/2 but I figured "let's not get too crazy." Plus I can always run more during my walk times if I feel like it.

This will not be a fast race. (And this even with the consideration that fast is a relative term for me.) The victory will be finishing and doing so with a good attitude after not having beat myself up for several hours. Honestly, with all that walking, a 14:00 pace (3:05ish finish) is probably my best scenario. Anything under 3 is great. My 1/2 marathon PR seems like a distant memory, but I'll be back there one day. 2018.

Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

More on the galaxy,,,

Speaking of shooting stars and awesome things floating in the atmosphere, I am super excited about the upcoming solar eclipse later this summer--i think the date is August 21, at around 11am-ish. Here in Chicago it won't be 100% pitch black but it'll be close. The closest total darkness place is about 6 hours South in Carbondale, IL. It's so not a fun drive that even an eclipse that might nor come around again until I'm dead won't get me there, 😂😂😂

Anyway, I intend to take off work and look at the sun with the girls, maybe even stake out a watching place along the lakefront. I found a website to buy those goofy paper glasses. They come in packs of 25, so if you know of 22 people in need of some, give a girl a holla.

A few years ago we watched a lunar eclipse. Here's a decent photo, if you look super close you can sorta see the shading on the moon. We sat outside with the whole neighborhood, being neighborly and sh*t.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sign from above?

Early in the pre-dawn hours today I was contemplating the purpose of life, how did I get here, and life's other mysteries when suddenly a shooting star dazzled above for a second.

Fucking cool.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another exhausting day of being me

Shut up already.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In the morning

Everything is always better in the morning.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I remember

When this blog used to be something....used to mean something. Where has she gone?

Monday, August 15, 2016

What It’s Like to Finish Second-to-Last in the Olympic Marathon

As a collection of Kenyans, Ethiopians, Americans, and a Belarusian led the women’s Olympic marathon in Rio on Sunday, Saudi runner Sarah Attar ran in last place, juggling being both a spectator and a competitor.

“On the coast where we ran a 10K loop three times, I was able to see the lead pack on the other side,” said Attar, who spoke to Runner's World on Monday by phone from her hotel in Rio. “To have an eye on the women’s Olympic marathon while also being in it was surreal. They are the best in the world. I kind of just wanted to watch, but I was running, so I kept my eye out for the leaders.”

With a personal best of 3:11:27, one of the slowest in the field, Attar, who is a citizen of both Saudi Arabia and the United States, gave no thought to being last. Her goal: no collapsing at the end.

Rio is only the second time Saudi Arabia has sent a female delegation to the Olympics, and Attar wanted not to just finish, but to finish strong. “My participation is bigger than myself,” she said. “Finishing strong would speak to the importance of women’s presence in the Olympics, and the strength anyone can have.”

Her message of participation was highlighted in the London Games in 2012, when Attar finished the 800-meter race in last place to a standing ovation. This year in Rio, Attar expected to be last again. What she hadn’t anticipated, however, was that this year she’d have company at the back. 

Attar started the race with Neo Jie Shi of Singapore. Caught up in the excitement, the pair held pace with the rest of the field for a short distance before falling to the back. Later, when Neo—whose PR is 90 seconds faster than Attar’s—edged ahead, Attar chased.

“Her pace was a little quicker than I’d planned, but it was pretty cool to have someone to keep in the line of sight,” she said.

The two runners played leapfrog, trading last place and second-to-last multiple times. “It kind of felt like we had each other’s back,” said Attar.

With no other competitors around them, Attar, who usually runs ahead of the mid-pack in marathons, experienced what might be the beauty of the back of the pack—space. There was no jostling for position at water stations, no sidestepping runners who stop suddenly. “I compared it to running Boston where there is madness at every water stop,” she said. “In that sense, the Olympics were pretty relaxed for me.” 

Just before 30K, Neo passed her for a final time and Attar settled into her place in the rear, running, she said, what felt like any of her other nine marathons. She focused on pace, getting her fluids, taking in the ocean views—until the presence of the motorcade or the sight of the elites reminded her she was running the Olympic marathon.

Sometime during the final 10K loop Attar spotted a lone runner ahead with a different stride than her de facto teammate Neo. The heat had taken its toll on Nary Ly, a 44-year-old biologist from Cambodia who was coming back to Attar. Attar passed and shouted, “Good job!” as she gave the struggling runner a thumbs-up.

Sandwiched between two runners whose performances were also a symbol of the Olympic spirit of participation—like Attar, Ly and Neo had not met the qualifying standard and were participating with special exemption—Attar felt far from alone on the course. The three had created a race of their own, helping each other to finish.

The inevitable marathon tough spot came for Attar at mile 24. To keep going, she repeated the mantra, “Everything forward,” a phrase used by her coach, Andrew Kastor. She pictured Deena Kastor, the American marathon record holder and her training partner, winning the bronze medal in the Olympic Marathon in 2004. And she thought of Cariman Abu al-Jadail, her Saudi teammate who competed in her first Olympics this year in the 100 meters.

“Cariman came up to me at the Boston Marathon two years ago and said she was running because of what I did [in London 2012],” said Attar. “That right there is what this is all about.”

Fifty-two minutes after Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan women to win the Olympic marathon, Attar crossed the finish line in 3:16:11 relieved to be done. She and Neo hugged, and someone passed her a Saudi flag, which she held while turning to watch Ly run toward the finish. 

The Cambodian runner entered the final stretch and officials closed the gates across the road closed behind her, signaling the 133rd and final finisher had passed. Flanked by a police escort, Ly blew kisses to the thinning crowd.

Across the line, the two women hugged and smiled and went their separate ways. Attar answered a few reporters’ questions, but with the novelty of being Saudi’s first female runner having passed, she left the finish area quietly. No reporters stopped her as they had in London. No photographers held cameras high. With the satisfaction of having done what she’d come to do, Attar grabbed her bag, found her family, and caught the bus back to the Olympic village.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I took a week off and...

For the first three days, I iced my knees and right shin twice a day. I took ibuprofen around the clock, and turmeric twice a day. (More on that for another post.) And then I just chilled. And today I ran a short, simple and slow 2 miles run/walk with a longer walk portion than usual, especially for such a short run (6:00/3:15).

And I felt ok! Sluggish at first, but ok! I will survive this slowdown. I will catch back up to my long runs at the end of this week, shin and knees permitting.

Yay for rest!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What to do when you rest and have ANOTHER bad run...

Pannnnnnnicccccccc! Skipped a 6 mile and 5 mile midweek run (tried to run another time and got thru about .18 miles and ended it.) Today was a step back week of 11, did just under 7.87. Had to walk the last half mile.

Ok. I will have to get ahold of myself. This is no time for all out panic. More rest from running. More ice.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What to do when you have a bad run. .

Forget about it.

Bad runs can happen when you least expect them. A short 4 mile run? That's supposed to be easy!

They say that "tough runs don't last, tough runners do." I will have to repeat that til it sticks. I know all of this. This is what I'd tell anyone else that had a bad run.

Forget about it.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Wrap Up

Total Miles: 92.3
Longest Run: 13 miles
Run/Walk break down: 69.02 running miles

Long run distances/run-walk ratio/paces:
7/2--7 miles; 6/4 ratio;13:06 pace
7/10--10 miles; 7/3:20 ratio, 13:05 pace
7/17--8 miles; 6/3 ratio12:44
7/24--12 miles; 6/3 ratio; 13:07 pace (HOT)
7/31--13 miles; 6/3 ratio; 12:51 pace

Friday, July 29, 2016

Nobody said it would be easy

Was supposed to run an easy 3 miles today, and then 13 this weekend. Had all but decided to forego my 3 miles and just do the 13 tomorrow and get it over with....what's 3 measly miles?

A: the 3 miles you're supposed to do.

Q: Oh you got shortcuts to your training plan now? How have those worked out in the past for you?

A: But next week is super tough! Longer midweek runs, I want to kick those off on Monday, not Tuesday. Wah Wah wah.

A: get your rest days when you need them, but skipping a run for no real good reason shouldn't be an option right now. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Just say no, Part II

Even with freshly chopped basil, delicious red, orange and yellow tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.

Although I suspect this dish would taste great on a bed of actual spaghetti.

Just say no

Spaghetti squash. No. It is not a substitute for pasta.