Sugar sandwiches and GLEE

Check out what Andrea brought for me today:IMAG0507
An almost-empty peanut butter jar!  In case you missed it from the last few jars I’ve shared about, I like to eat oatmeal out of them because the oatmeal gathers up all of the extra peanut butter.  I owe an extra big thank you to Andrea’s husband Alex because he probably could have made one more PB&J out of this jar before Andrea snatched it for me.  Alex gets an A+ for peanut butter consumption, and Andrea is the best for thinking of me with every jar.

So remember the pumpkin cookies?  I’ve discovered that if you cut a cookie in half lengthwise and make a frosting sandwich, it is the best thing ever.  I think my current favorite food is pumpkin cookie attacked with frosting.  In other words, my current favorite food is sugar.

Fueled by sugar, today’s workout was a circuit workout on the indoor track at the rec center:
Run 3 laps (3 min)
20 walking lunges/leg 
20 push ups
20 of a random ab move
20 of another random ab move
15 weighted squats + press
10 burpees
1 min plank
I completed 6 rounds in an hour–time well spent!  I opted to do this circuit inside instead of outside because I was having some problems with motivation, and being around  other people and fancy equipment makes exercising seem much more exciting.

I’m off to do some homework before my date tonight with Bre and Chunk.  We’re having a pj party for the premiere of Glee season 5!

Running bummers

This is not my week for speedwork.  After Monday’s speed flop that turned into a tempo run, I tried to do my 2 x 2mile repeats today, but my shins kept cramping.  Instead, I ran a tempo with a stretch break between each mile:  2, 4mi@ 7:30, 1.  I was bummed that my shins burned, but it reminded me they’d been feeling pretty good up until this morning!  They used to cramp a lot more often, but I think the 5 minutes of foam rolling I do every morning (that I forgot to do today) has really been helping.

Another bummer to share: I won’t be running Boston 2014.  The race was capped due to field size limitations, and they couldn’t accept all of the applicants.  For my age group, they accepted marathon times of 3:33:22 and better, so my 3:34:45 was above the cutoff.  I’m sad but okay–I wouldn’t have changed anything about my race because it was such a cool experience.  But it’s awesome that so many people want to run Boston, and it’s inspiring to know how many incredibly talented runners there are out there.  Congrats to my friends and other runners who will be running next year, and I’m hoping to qualify faster for 2015!  I’ll be on the lookout for flat spring marathons.

On a different note, I gave 4 presentations today and yesterday on otoacoustic emissions, so I’m done with presentations until Monday.  And then I give 4 more on Monday and Tuesday.  Year 2 is all about presentations.

But I get to see my family this weekend!

—–
Do you prefer presentations or exams?
Recommendations for flat marathons in the spring?

Pumpkin desserts

This post is all about canned pumpkin and running.

Now that it’s officially fall, I’m on a canned pumpkin kick because it is a festive way to eat more fruit without washing, cutting, and prepping.  Until one minute ago, I thought pumpkin was a vegetable, but the two pumpkin FAQ website I just visited told me that it is a fruit.

I made two pumpkin recipes this weekend:

1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies.
IMAG0506
These were right up my alley because they have THREE ingredients: spice cake mix, canned pumpkin, chocolate chips, (and frosting is optional) and they are impossible to mess up.  Unless you mix them by hand.  I stirred with a spoon for approximately 300 strokes because I don’t have a mixer, but I still had clumps, so I walked over to Bre’s to say hi to Chunk and borrow her mixer.
P.S. Does anyone else have these plates?

2. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.IMAG0503
These have more than 3 ingredients, but nothing crazy.  Ryan and I made them last fall and I remember thinking how good they were even if they look like bird seed.  The key is to use dark chocolate chips.

Monday is typically my speed day, so I headed out to do 2 x 2 miles this morning, just like last week.  I opted for the road + Garmin over the track.
As soon as I took my first step, I knew that speedwork was probably not going to happen.  Today was the day: My first mile was over 10 minutes (10:08) and I didn’t want to go any faster.  Fortunately I was able to accelerate to a speedy 9:39 second mile..

After a few short sprints (8min/mile paced sprints), I began my first repeat and actually felt okay but not as fast as I had hoped.  I ditched speedwork and ran a tempo instead, which was a good choice because the tempo felt awesome: (10:08, 9:39), 7:22, 7:28, 7:26, 7:27, 7:12, 8:30.  I took a little breather before my 2nd to last mile.
I’m getting better about being flexible with my workouts.  Thursday is my normal tempo day, so I’ll either do speed or just another tempo.

—–
What do you do when you’re not feeling speedwork?
Easy pumpkin recipes?

Lunch crepes and a vending machine warehouse

After yesterday’s 15 miler, I was so tired–both the sleepy kind and the “I don’t want to move” kind.  It’s crazy how 15+ miles can seem like no big deal if your body is used to it and like an arduous feat if your body is not (yesterday it was the latter).  I think I sat in every chair that I passed yesterday because my legs were being very dramatic and never wanted to run again.  Fortunately, they got over that quickly because I went on a [slow] 7 mile recovery run this morning before church and they felt fine.

So to appease my sore self yesterday, I set up camp at my kitchen table all morning while Ryan worked at school with the fancy computers, and then we met on campus for lunch crepes.

IMAG0497
Truth: I look like a boy on Saturdays

IMAG0498
Truth: Ryan ate two crepes.

And then we hunted around campus for a certain kind of software Ryan needed.  While he talked to the tech department, I worked on a lab report is this creepy room with NINE vending machines.  Pop, pop, snacks, [microwave cabinet], ice cream, coffee, snacks, pop, and two more pop machines across the room.
1. This makes no sense.
2. Every machine was humming loudly (I used a sound level meter app in my phone to survey the room).
3. I am proud to say that I did not buy a pop during my stay in this vending warehouse.

IMAG0501

Sunday was church, a suprise birthday party for one of our friends (she was super surprised!), and a lab assignment with Andrea.  We had the genius idea of collecting our data and then heading to Panera to write the lab report with food and endless Acai iced tea.  Here is a youtube video on how to pronounce Acai if you were wondering.

—–
Have you ever had a surprise party?  Have you ever wanted one?

15 miles and a casserole mountain

Perfect morning for a run.  Chilly, no humidity, a full moon, and a sunrise!  I met up with the running group early this morning for 11 miles, and then I added 4 more.  15 is the longest run I’ve done it quite a while, but we kept the pace relaxed (averaged 8:40s), so I survived the whole distance.  And then I skipped core work and stretching because my legs were too tired.

The rest of today is dedicated to classwork, and I have big plans to cross a lab report and a few presentations off the whiteboard on my fridge.  Ryan also has a lot of work to do and he is able to stay on task a million times better than me, so I am trying to summon his impressive work ethic to stay focused.  …which will begin after I write this blog post.

But first, a quick recap of yesterday’s workout.
Yesterday morning Ryan and I went to the rec center to fit in a workout before my 8am clinic.  I can’t complain how early it was because it was an hour earlier for Ryan’s Central-Time-Zone-Self, and he didn’t complain about getting up in the wee hours of the morning.  I did about an hour of strength work with weights, focusing on arms & legs and a tiny bit of abs (that’s like the whole body, right?  I wish someone would plan my strength workouts for me.)

Oh, and let me share what ever happened with Zucchini Zeke’s almost-as-large cousin.  Ryan made Tomato Zucchini Casserole from a recipe on Allrecipes, and it was fantastic!  He bought the ingredients two weeks ago to make last time he was here and we didn’t have time, but we learned that tomatoes, onions, and a few basil leaves out of the pack can last two weeks in your refrigerator!  Good thing I don’t have time to cook and therefore kept them in the Kroger bag in my fridge without using them.

We were determined to fit the entire extra-large zucchini in the recipe, so we layered until we could layer no more and then secured the mountain with foil:
IMAG0495
You know how you can look at several pictures of each recipe from Allrecipes?  Maybe we should submit this one.

Here’s what it looked like out of the oven:
IMAG0496

The picture may not do it justice because its taste can be described as a mozzarella stick with some tomatoes inside or like a mixed up pizza with extra veggies.  Yum!

Off to be productive!  Enjoy your Saturday!

—–
Best part about fall?
Have you eaten candy corn yet this season?

I love Thursdays and we’re finally eating the zucchini

This wonderful thing happens to my schedule every Thursday at noon: it is OPEN for the rest of the day.  There are so many possibilities on how to use the day: Write a lab report? Write the other lab report? Read an article?  Read one of the other 6 articles?  Read a textbook? Make a presentation?  Do my laundry?  Put away the groceries I bought on Monday?  All of the above? Ohh yeah.

Maybe this is what working from home feels like; Having a day-consuming list of tasks but with the freedom to start with whatever one you want.  I like it.  And I like also how close the coffee pot is.

Okay so actually today wasn’t as productive as I was hoping it would be, but I finished what is due tomorrow and I cleaned my apartment before Ryan came (yay!) so he didn’t have to see how messy I really am.

Ryan just got here, and he is so awesome that he offered to make us dinner while I study (and blog and sing along to Pandora and tell him where to find pots and pans).  He set his laptop on the fridge for recipe reference, which I think is hilarious because it’s so high.

IMAG0493

He’s using the GIANT zucchini that I never used, plus other ingredients that actually require cooking.  He is way ahead of me.

Now on to running…

Tuesday: Restday Tuesday

Wednesday: One hour of full body strength at the rec center.  A perk of most college rec centers is that not a lot of students work out in the morning, so I almost had the entire ground floor to myself.  I circled 3 times from 5 minutes on a cardio machine to arm weights to leg weights.  It was a good workout!

Thursday: 8.5 mi tempo.  I think I am switching my tempo run from Wednesday to Thursday from now on because it gives me an extra day to recover from speed on Monday.  The downside is that my Thursday legs are tired from Wednesday’s strength workout, but maybe this downside will go away when my legs get stronger.  My legs (but mostly my butt) were sore for today’s tempo, and it was almost too slow to even call a tempo.  Plus there were hills..er, a hill.  A for effort, right? 9:21, 8:16, 8:00, 7:55, 8:22, 7:56, 7:58, 8:21.

Monday speed and weird skittles

The next time you want to feel like a Monday morning ALL-STAR, do a speed workout the morning after a weekend trip.  It shocked me right back into reality.

I took my speed to the road instead of a track this morning because the gas meter in my car was on empty and I had to ration fuel to drive to school.  Luckily, I had 2 x 2 miles on my schedule, so my Garmin worked just perfectly.

The workout: 2, 2 x 2mi, 1

I actually liked this distance because I didn’t have to sprint.  For those of us who are scared of the very short and very fast, 2 miles was nice.  Plus, I still haven’t gotten over how cool it is to check my watch for my speed!  Imagine if humans automatically knew how fast they were going and could “clock in” to a certain speed.  Kind of like how someone with perfect pitch can label any note on a whim.

These are the kind of thoughts that consume my brain while I am trying to understand confusing articles about suppression and evoked emissions.

And these are the colorful pieces of sugar that I study with:
IMAG0489
Riddles Skittles: the colors don’t match the flavors.  They are a little bit strange, and I think that’s why they were on clearance at Target.