Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Friday!

Ahhhh rest days...there is nothing like guilt-free gym-skipping!

Tomorrow I have a 9-10 mile run on my schedule, and then heading east to the Lexington area for a round of birthday parties. And FOOD. Lots of food to fill up the ol' calorie deficit.

My route is still up in the air. I have two options: tackle a monster hill at mile 1.5, or wait to tackle the monster hill at mile 9.5. Something to sleep on.

I'll leave you with Gracie Lou, giving the internet the stank eye:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love/Hate: The Last .25

I love...the last quarter mile of a long training run.

I hate...the last quarter mile of a curiously hellacious 3 mile treadmill run.

Thoughts for a Thursday Morning

My buddy RC sent me an email to let me know that the American Girl company finally developed an American Indian character to join their cast of...well, "American Girls."

I never had American Dolls as a kid ($95 for the doll and the book!) but I thought this was a good thing...and then I met Kaya.

Oy vey. Kaya is a Greek and Japanese name. And look! She's friends with a WOLF. Nice. I don't know whether to laugh or cry!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Warning: Non-Food Blogger Blogging About Food

Although I skipped the gym before work (I am so lazy) I did knock out my workout during my lunch hour.

Going to the gym after work is not an option because it's LOST night...and if I started to blog about Lost, it would be all I talked about. For a fun Lost blog, check out Dispatches from the Island. And yes, that is the real Jorge Garcia (aka Hurley)!

And because it's Lost night, I wanted to get my prep for dinner out of the way...

Join me on my tofu journey! It kind of looks like cheese:

I LOVE Indian food, but I rarely eat it. This is a mango curry marinade with just the right amount of heat:

Thanks to some helpful vegetarians (via Google) I learned the art of pressing's under those fancy plates:

And then I bagged the tofu and added the marinade. Each bag = one serving:

So I'll be frying this up later for dinner and fueling up for Lost. It's going to be a good one too!

Tofu and Tempo

I went to the grocery last night to stock up on some healthy ingredients for some new healthy recipes I'm trying. Running begets the inevitable shift to healthy eating, I guess.

Last night I tried the Baby Spinach was soooo good and really filling. I'm going to press and marinate some tofu in preparation for dinner. That should be an adventure. There is a real chance my kitchen will smell like mango-curry tofu for several weeks.

Tonight is tempo run night!

I always enjoy tempo runs because the time seems to fly by-- isn't the strange? If I pay attention to the minutes ticking by on a run, they go by faster.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fast! (for me)

Mondays are the worst night to go to my gym. It is always packed and I end up having to wait for a treadmill and...well, you know how the story goes.

There is a huge neighborhood right behind my office, so I packed up my gear during lunch and decided I'd run as soon as I got off work.

My training schedule called for 4 miles. I started out at a faster than average pace, mostly because I was hungry and wanted to get home. When it was all said and done, I ran my 4 miles in 32 minutes.

That's an 8:00/mile. That's abnormally fast for me! And I felt great when I was finished; not tired or winded at all. I still can't believe it...

The next race on my calendar is the Rodes City Run, a 10k at the end of March. I guess the question is: can I maintain that kind of pace for 6.2 miles?

Monday, February 23, 2009

And now for the REALLY important stuff...

BB's Oscar Best Dressed List:

5) Anne Hathaway
4) Marissa Tomei
3) Angelina Jolie
2) Natalie Portman
1) Freida Pinto

Someone should have told Maniston that she was going to the Academy Awards and not a bonfire at the beach...that braid...ugh, that braid. (Yeah, I'm on Team Angelina).

The Free Meal Blues

Operation Fit-in-Bikini is really losing it's charm...dieting is no fun.

I'm currently on a calorie cycling schedule which keeps me pretty satisfied. There are no built in "free days" (entire days when I suspend calorie counting and just go hog wild), and I think this is for the best.

I thought it would be prudent to have at least one "free meal." Metabolically, it's nice to keep your body guessing: switch up your caloric intake to jump start more weight loss...and after all, doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Oh, I switched it up alright:

- Friday: Favorite Mexican restaurant = chip binge.
- Saturday: Quiznos (not so bad), homemade chili (not so good) and chocolate cake (very bad)
- Sunday: KFC buffet at a birthday party (no explanation needed)

Granted, I had a deficit to make up after Saturday's run, but methinks I overdid it.

Now I'm back on the wagon.

Weekend Notes

Just a couple notes:

- My 8 mile run on Saturday was fantastic. I really enjoyed the route and my legs felt great.

- I can't wait for my next long training run!

- Instead of splurging on a Garmin Forerunner, I bought new clothes for my cruise. Eh...

- To fill the void left by not purchasing the Garmin, I bought a $14 pink Timex from Target.

- I had a bad food weekend, for sure. More about this later.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's happening...

What is this strange feeling taking over me?

I'm actually really excited about my long run tomorrow.

Weird, I know. It's going to be 8 miles in the rain, snow and 20 degree temperatures, but I'm just excited to get runnin'.

There are, sadly, no exciting historical points of reference included in this route to merit a mid-run pit stop. Unless you are really into golf-course which case, I guess I could snap a few photos for you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Attention: Baseball Fans

If you are a baseball fan, go check out Arches and Ivy. It's a blog dedicated to all things related to the always colorful CUBS - CARDINALS rivalry!

The authors are both very near and dear to my heart...

Rob is a great friend from college who happens to be married to one of my BFFs, RCP. He is a MEGA St. Louis Cardinals fan and an all-around baseball nerd.

Chad shares the same kind of passion for the Chicago Cubs and baseball in general. He is Rob's ex-roommate and my current roommate...I'm married to him.

If anyone can attest to these guys' to the sport of baseball and their teams, it's me. Arches and Ivy is sure to satisfy baseball fans young and old!

Groom's cake at our wedding

Lame Mantra

A couple of months ago (in a fit of running passion), I signed up for the Hatfield and McCoy Mini-Marathon that takes place in June. The race starts in eastern Kentucky and ends across the state line in West Virginia.

Reasons why I picked this race:

a) It's relatively close to home
b) Eastern Kentucky is a beautiful part of the state
c) I'll be on my own (no friends running with me)! Very exciting, in a weird way
d) It's never to early to go Marathon Shopping -- and I've read that this is a fun one!
e) The Hatfield/McCoy reunion festival is really cool
f) Hubs said I could

Reasons why I have slowly realized I may have made a terrible choice:


Wow, that's really scenic...look at all those...lovely...MOUNTAINS.

So last night I hit up my favorite park to do some hill workouts. And after my first set I wanted to die. I just felt so incredibly out of shape! But then, when I felt my most worthless, I found a new mantra: "West...Virginia...West...Virginia...WEST VIRGINIA!"

I had to keep reminding myself that in June I will have to run a mini-marathon in the hills of West Virginia. It was sort of like "this hill is nothing, try harder!"

And while it may be the lamest mantra in the history of running, it worked. I powered through that hill workout with the wind in my face.

I may be less a toenail, but I've revived my excitement for my June race!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Want to hear a scary story?

Check out Healthy Tipping Point for a cautionary tale for runners, cyclists, and walkers.

Stuff like this makes me seriously re-think my running routes. I LOVE to get out in the country and check out the back-roads...but at the same time, the prospect of no-side walks makes nervous.

One sweet day there will be a brand spankin' new trail system connecting the city parks but until then I guess I gotta work with what I got. The sidewalks may be boring, but at least they are safe(r)!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lately I've felt really blah in terms of my diet, and I can only attribute this feeling to the lack of delicious cheeseburgers and McNuggets in my life.

But instead of giving in, I splurged on SOY, including meatless "burger" and "chick'n" products at Kroger.

I know how this sounds...and I have no intention of giving up beef, chicken or any other kind of animal flesh. But DANG this soy crap is actually pretty good!

I'm not big on the flavor of the food as much as the texture and these soy things (I have to use air quotes if I call them burgers) are very similar to real meats. And they are very low cal. Ole'!

Hubs thinks I'm crazy. He's just mad because I wouldn't share my "chick'n" with him.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hi, my name is BB and I'm a big redneck

Nice to meet you.

I just returned from a Daytona 500 party where we bet on everything from the overall winner to the occurrence of caution flags. We also played Nascar Keno, which was such a success that we are already planning the next party for the race Sunday.

And if you care, my babydaddy did not win.

Anyway, while at Walmart on the hunt for the perfect Nascar shirt (read: I am a redneck) I found this:

...which I will be wearing in the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon in April.

Hubs is all "No! You can't wear that! You're going to meet my coworkers!" (his boss is running the race also) and I'm all "But everyone loves Homer!"

And yes, it's cotton and cheap and will make me miserable during the actual race BUT I care more about irony than comfort.

Even with a wiiiiiild Nascar party with wiiiiiiild Nascar snacks, I didn't blow my daily calorie total by that much. Operation Fit-in-Bikini is in full effect: 11 weeks 'til Mexico!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What did you do on Valentine's Day?

Oh, me? I ran 7 miles and along the way visited two historic cemeteries and helped a lost hooker find her John.

Babies, I can't make this stuff up.

It all started innocently enough with Map My Run. I plotted out a 7 mile trek starting at my favorite park. I knew there was a historic cemetery along the way, so I planned on making a pit-stop to check it out.

Please note: I AM A HUGE HISTORY NERD. I read that Abraham Lincoln's paternal grandfather was buried there, and also the foundation of one of Kentucky's oldest churches still stands in the cemetery. NERD ALERT NERD ALERT.

The cemetery was tucked away off the lightly traveled country road:

I read that the cemetery had been used since the 1700's, and that the majority of people buried there no longer have headstones marking their graves. This became very apparent the moment I stepped in the cemetery: my feet sunk with each step. I audibly "Eeeeeek"ed the entire time.

It was very creepy...and very neat:

Fancy headstone...I was too creeped out to look for what it was pointing at.

Honest Abe's Grandpappy. His farm used to be where the cemetery is now. He was killed by Indians "in stealth" according to Lincoln (the president's) account recorded on the plaque. Harry S. Truman's great-uncle is buried there also. Raaaaaandom.

Two graves with a wooden sign in between them. I think it said "Stop taketh pictures on ye olde Blackberry."

Old church foundation.

With my thirst for nerdy momentarily quenched, I pressed on. There was ANOTHER historic cemetery at my turn-around point, so I had that to look forward too. However, when I got there I neglected to take any pictures because...well, it wasn't that interesting.

As I was climbing a nightmarish hill, a woman that I took to be a prostitute pulled up next to me in her Trans-Am and asked me where the park was. I know, I know...I shouldn't make snap judgements...she just had that vibe...and when I saw her again she was in some guy's truck, parked in a hidden-away corner of the park. My hooker radar was going nuts!

When I got back to my car and was ready to leave, the Hooker and the John bid farewell while his truck blocked me in so I couldn't leave my parking space. Yeesh! I help a hooker on Valentine's Day and this is the thanks I get? Never again!

The best part (or creepiest part) about my Valentine's Day run was that the actual distance from my parking spot to the cemeteries and back was 6.66 miles.

I can't make this up.

I happily tacked on the .33 to get my 7 miles in AND to avoid demonic possession.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

True Life: I think I have the flu.

So here I am, stuck at home, too sick to stop the dog from eating Walter the Houseplant.

Anysicky, here are some random headlines from a medicated mind...

Mother Nature Hates Kentucky
  • We had another windstorm last night (the second one six months)...we kept power but lost the hardware on our fence gates.
  • I stepped in dog poo trying to assess the damage on the fence.
  • I clogged our toliet trying to clean my shoes...too many paper towels.

File this under "I Can't Believe that Actually Worked"
  • I hit the dreaded diet plateau...I stepped up the exercise and dropped the caloric intake. The scaled didn't budge...
  • I tried a calorie cycling schedule (different day totals through the week with the same weekly total) and WHAT DO YA KNOW it worked! I'm through!

That's all...sleepy time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Outside vs. Treadmill...ugh

I'm 0-3 with going to the gym before work. Loser!

Anylazy, the sun is shining in the Bluegrass and I am debating on running outside vs. going to the gym. The good ol' training schedule on the fridge tells me it's tempo run night, so I should suck it up and go to the gym. That way I can "accurately" up my pace and not wuss out on that last 1/3 of the run.

But the SUN is out, it's 60 degrees and I miss the aggressive swans at my park! What if they forget who I am?!

Oh well. I'll brave the crowds at the gym and try my best to avoid a psychotic episode.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Music and What Hurts Today

My ankles hurt today. Weird.

Lately I've had incredible luck picking out running music. Usually it's hit or miss, but I've really been batting 1000. (Ugh, the English Major in me wants to apologize for using two sports cliches in one sentence...and to point out that I typically say "batting 100," only to be corrected by Hubs...batting 100 would relegate me to Single A ball in Missoula).

Anyway, CC hooked me up with the Lady GaGa CD and I loooooooves it. It's poppy, up-tempo and 90% of the lyrics make no sense whatsoever. Perfect for running.

Brit-Brit's "Circus" is also pure, unadulterated crap which is what I like. So it gets alot of hits on my ipod as well.

Also, the Miranda Lambert's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is probably the best pop country CD I've heard in a while, if you're into that.

But all of this new music fell to the wayside as the mercury crept above 60 degrees this weekend... 60+ degrees = our house/vehicles become Jimmy Buffett only zones.

I want my cruise and I want Mexico NOW.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Words of wisdom from T.I.

Rant ahead: proceed with caution.

I rolled in to the gym at 5pm (first mistake) and naturally all 12 of the treadmills were occupied. This didn't upset me in the slightest -- I'm used to it. I stood behind the 'mills like a creeper and waited. And waited. Then I went to hang up my coat and when I returned another girl had stopped to wait for a treadmill also.

Eventually, someone finally got off a treadmill so I turned to the girl and said "Do you mind if I go ahead and grab that treadmill?"

I should have kept my mouth shut and just took the damn treadmill. I, technically, had been waiting longer than her. There was no question. Anyway, here is what followed (including my inner dialogue):

bb: "Do you mind if I go ahead and grab that treadmill?"

Girl in Blue Pants: eye roll...exaggerated sigh..."Yeah...go ahead. Whatever."

bb's inner thoughts
: she...getting an attitude with us right now?

: "Oh ok...are you sure? I know we've both been waiting."

: siiiiiiiiiiiigh..."Yeah, I've been waiting longer. But...whatever."


: "No. That's ok. I've been here, but..."

: Ok, stop playing patty-cake...pour on some good ol' passive-aggression.

: "Don't you want one with a TV? The one that's open doesn't have a TV. I hate watching a TV while I run. I can't focus on my workout."

: Nice.

: "Haha...No, I don't care."

: Is she laughing at us or with us?

: "You know what? Just take it. It's yours."

: "Really?! Are you sure?!"

: Is this girl for real? Now she's grateful? Kick her in the back of the knee while she is walking away!

: "Go for's all yours. Whatever."

What. the.

NEVER pop off an attitude with a complete stranger. This is my NUMBER ONE PET PEEVE. You never know who you are messing with. What if I were a psychopath, just waiting for someone to push me over the edge?!

It's hard to put into words what exactly I gleaned from this encounter...I think the venerable TI said it best: "You don't know me."

Beyond that, I have short temper and a low tolerance for stupid. And I have a better than average vocabulary. But I pick my battles, and this was not the time to make blondie-blue-pants cry.

I was mad at myself for being annoyed by the whole situation, but it was time for speedwork so I used my emotions to push myself a little harder. And then I found out it's supposed to be 60 degrees on Saturday and I felt much better.

Rant over. Carry on.

PS -- Listen to Christian Bale's monumental blow-up for a real rant, if you haven't already. It's totally not safe for work.

Monday, February 2, 2009

On Gym Attire and Getting "Faster"

I guess the body heat from all the power-walkers (hogging the treadmills) restored full power to my gym, so I am back in (training) business.

And get this-- I am marginally "faster."

My training schedule called for 3 miles on Saturday, and I ran it in 25 minutes. More importantly, I wasn't tired or winded -- I was very, surprisingly comfortable. That is incredibly fast for me (my first and only 5K was 28:18 and I thought I was going to die as I crossed the finish line).

On Sunday I ran 6 miles in under an hour! On a treadmill! I couldn't believe it. I looked like a swamp creature with sweat dripping off my eyelashes, but I didn't care. I ran 6 miles...on a under an hour...and I didn't pass out (always a bonus). This is unprecendented progress for me.

On a semi-related note -- a lot of 20something girls at my gym really do it up for their workouts -- hot pink built-in bra tanks and spandex yoga pants, hair neatly braided with matching headbands, the works. I guess they are trying to get a date, I don't know.

I have no one to impress. Hubs doesn't care what I wear to the gym and he already bought the cow. And I always say the nicer your work-out attire, the less you are likely to actually accomplish in the gym. That's why I dress like this:

Teeshirts with the sleeves hacked off, likely covered in holes (the shirt in the picture had the back completely missing) with shorts that don't match anything (and leggings if all my shorts are in the laundry). See that halo circling my head? That's my hair-frizz. I don't believe in hair spray.

This picture was taken in Florida after a morning run -- my friends wanted to know what happened to my shirt, so I blamed it on an run in with an alligator.

I think that's what going on in this picture, but I can't be sure. I make that face a lot. I'm making it right now!