Category Archives: Running

Running Behind

That’s about the only running I’ve been doing.  I’ve learned the hard way that I am not a winter runner (I haven’t run – or done anything else – since December 6) and I am going to have to figure out a way to motivate my butt to get to the gym.  It doesn’t help that I’m pretty sure I got food poisoning from a Christmas party last Saturday and I’m just now getting over it and the chest cold I’ve been fighting for weeks is still hanging around.


I started my Christmas shopping on November 1 and was determined to be done by Thanksgiving.  Well, here we are on December 16 and I am not even close to being done.  I haven’t even bought my Christmas cards yet, let alone addressed them and sent them out and we haven’t gotten our tree yet, either.  I’m hoping to knock all of this out tomorrow, but my company Christmas party is tonight and more than likely I will feel lousy tomorrow.  At least both of my Secret Santa gifts have been mailed…

So, now I’m in panic mode.  Can I get it all done?  Is there enough time?  Should I just forget about the cards this year?  What about my Christmas baking?  And the menu for Christmas Eve dinner?

I have nine days.  Nine days.  It’s crunch time, people!  Time to get things done around here.

Are you done with your Christmas shopping?  Or do you usually wait until the last minute?

How is your running/exercising going? Are you still running outside?


Secret Santa

Not a whole lot to report since Monday.  I’ve run exactly once, on Tuesday, two miles in 22 minutes.  I was supposed to cross train Wednesday and run yesterday.  Didn’t happen.  Today is a “rest” day and I absolutely have to get my butt out the door and run tomorrow and Sunday.  I have been keeping up with #PlankADay, though!

Day 1 – 1:00

Day 2- 1:00

Day 3 – 1:15

Day 4 – 1:00

Day 5 – 1:15

I guess that’s better than nothing!  I’m feeling better…my voice is back and my chest congestion seems to be clearing up.  I’m also done with school for the semester (yay!) so hopefully having some more free time and being able to breathe will motivate me to get back on track with my exercise.

I am participating in two Secret Santa swaps this year!  I’ve never done one before so I’m both excited to see what I get and nervous about whether my recipient will like their gift or not.  The first swap is being hosted by Sarah at BlogStar.  I am sending my swap partner these beautiful earrings made by my friend, Marianna, at Star Girl Jewelry:


Aren’t they gorgeous?  I’ve been drooling over them for a while now, but now that I’ve said publicly that my swap partner is getting them, I guess I have to let them go!

My other swap is hosted by dailymile.  My swap partner over there will be getting this:


It’s a 2012 calendar from Run Pretty Far – 12 months of joy, beauty, and athletic inspiration.  I ordered it before the swap partners were announced and I was very relieved that my partner is a girl!  I don’t think a guy would enjoy this calendar as much!

We have two Christmas parties this weekend: Saturday night at a friend’s house and Sunday is our family Christmas party.  Add in a soccer game on Saturday and we’ve got a very busy weekend.

Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa Swap before?  Did you like what you got?  Did your partner like their gift?

Have you been keeping up with your exercise?  Do you have a hard time with it during the holidays?

What’s on your agenda this weekend?


My head cold has migrated south and it now feels like a 5,000 pound gorilla is sitting on my chest.  And I’ve lost my voice, which I actually don’t mind.  It’s kind of nice just waving to everybody and mouthing “I can’t talk.”  Fortunately, I don’t feel that bad today, so I’m not that irritated with myself that I came into work.  I have a ton of stuff to get to my boss by the end of the day tomorrow and then he is out of town the rest of the week.  That in itself is reward enough for pushing myself for the next two days.

I didn’t rest as much as I should have this weekend, which likely is the reason I’m still sick.  Friday night we went out to dinner and met a friend for drinks.  Has anyone ever tried Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka?  If you haven’t, DON’T.  This stuff tastes like candy but is actually poison that will make you hate yourself for days.  Don’t ask me how I know.  Saturday I woke up feeling horrible and running was out of the question.  I ended up spending the whole day cleaning and re-organizing my kitchen cabinets and pantry.  After making dinner (pan-seared tilapia, sauteed spinach and some yummy couscous-orzo-quinoa mixture I picked up at Trader Joe’s) my husband and I ventured out to Target and the grocery store.  We picked up a few ornaments for the new tree and got all of our grocery shopping done so we didn’t have to leave the couch on Sunday if we didn’t want to.   Saturday night I drugged myself (thank you, Alka Seltzer Plus Cold and Cough) and slept like a log.  Sunday I did nothing but watch football, which means once again no run.  I did get back on my plank bandwagon (I broke my streak when I missed Saturday) but that was about as much physical activity as I could manage.

Today is a rest day run-wise so my goal is to try to get as much work done as possible, go home, plank, make dinner and try to get some homework done.  Last class is Wednesday and my homework is due Friday.

How was your weekend?  Do anything exciting?

I did enjoy living vicariously (via Twitter) through all the runners that ran the RNR Vegas Marathon and 1/2.

Do you push yourself to get stuff done when you’re sick?  Or do you let your body rest?

I tend to push myself.  The last time I was really sick was the week of my grandfather’s funeral in January.  I seriously don’t know how I was still standing when it was over.  I held on to that chest cold for a month.  I really need to let my body rest when it needs it.

Vaporizing Action

Remember this episode of Friends?

That’s kind of what I sound like.  A cross between that and the episode where Monica is sick and can’t say the word “fine.”  “I’m fine-d.  I’m fine-d.  It’s a hard word to say.”

I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I’d been hit by a bus and it didn’t get better.  I left work a little early, went home and ran two miles.  Seriously, who am I??  Who runs when their sick?  Apparently, this girl does.  I ran two miles in 21 minutes in the cold and wind, but at least the sun was out.  Then I hit the floor to get my plank on: one plank for 1:30!  I made dinner for my husband and daughter (smothered pork chops and cheesy potatoes – total health food, right?) but it just did not appeal to me at all.  I ended up having a bowl of Cinnamon Oat Squares before my daughter and I had to head out to get our hair done.  That was the last thing in the world that I wanted to do but we made the appointment six weeks ago and I hate last minute cancellations, plus my daughter was looking forward to getting her hair cut so off we went.  We came home to discover our power was out.  I honestly didn’t care since all I wanted to do was go to sleep!  I slugged down some NyQuil, climbed into bed and cried when my husband woke me up for work this morning.

We have absolutely nothing going on this weekend so my plan is to become very acquainted with my couch, sleep a lot, take a lot of drugs and do a lot of nothing.  Oh, and you can bet there will be some vaporizing action going on, as well.  My training plan calls for today to be a rest day (thank God) but tomorrow is supposed to be my long run (long for me is only about three miles).  I guess we will just have to wait and see about that.

Have you been hit with a winter cold yet?  What are your remedies to get better quick?

Runners, do you run when you’re sick?

Any plans this weekend?

Mission: Possible

It’s December 1.  In my mind, the first of anything (month, year, whatever) means you get to start over!  Sadly, I tend to take advantage of this fresh start every single month.  I’m hoping to end this vicious cycle in December – a pretty ambitious undertaking in this holiday month.

Step One – The Plank A Day Challenge.  I wholeheartedly plan to continue this challenge that I started participating in on November 27.  A big problem with my body (which is carrying over into my running) is that I have a very weak core.  I am hopeful this will help.

Step Two – 10k training.  I started running in April and participated in five 5k races this year.  My goal for 2012 is to run all 10ks.  I’m starting a training program that will help me gradually increase my mileage until I am capable of running 6.2 miles.  Undertaking a running program in December in Michigan is probably not the the best plan, but it is possible to run outside most of the winter, plus I do have a gym membership which gives me access to a treadmill.  I HATE going to the gym (I bought a lifetime membership to a gym when I was 18 and I almost never go) but I’m going to need to push myself to take advantage of it this winter.  Maybe the planets will align and we’ll be able to purchase a treadmill this winter.  What?  It could happen.

Step Three – Eat better!  Food is my downfall.  What can I say, I’m a Polish girl who was raised to love food.  I was never that girl who ordered a garden salad on a date.  I’ve tried every diet in the book, dabbled with being a vegetarian, cut out sugar – they all failed.  Withholding food will not work for me.  The key is going to be portion control and moderation.  That is what I will be focusing on this month.  I also want to be more diligent about limiting (or avoiding) alcohol during the week.  I need to get out of the habit of coming home from work and cracking open a beer or pouring a glass of wine while I’m cooking dinner.

That’s it.  Simple enough, right?  Tonight I’m supposed to run two miles.  But I woke up with a head cold this morning.  And I have a hair appointment tonight.  Doomed to fail right from the start…

Do you like to make a “fresh start” on the first of the month?  What kinds of goals do you set?

Building an Ark

Apparently, it’s monsoon season here in Michigan.  It has rained non-stop since Sunday and this morning Mother Nature threw in a little snow to go with it.  Streets, lawns, backyards, basements – all flooded.  I had to take an alternate route to school this morning because the freeway I normally take was shut down due to flooding. 

Flooded Southfield Fwy 11-30-11(source)

Thank God we got our roof leak taken care of last week and we’ve had no problems during the current downpour.

Yesterday started off decent enough.  Breakfast was a smoothie of frozen banana, frozen mixed berries, coconut milk, vanilla soy protein powder, Chia seeds and plain Greek yogurt along with a tumbler of Tazo Awake tea.  Lunch was leftover cheese tortellini with marinara, spinach and pesto.  When I got home from work, I wasn’t really hungry and I had no ambition to cook anything.  Thanks to the aforementioned rain and flooding my evening run was out (I really need a treadmill), so I hit the floor to do some stretching and get my plank in for the Plank A Day challenge.


Then, I poured a glass of wine and laid down on the couch – big mistake.  I had no desire to do anything after that.  I did manage to make my daughter a cheese quesadilla before she went to soccer practice and my husband and I enjoyed a ghetto fabulous dinner of nachos (tortilla chips and melted cheese) with a side of avocado (for me – he won’t touch the stuff).  That in itself isn’t horrible, but the five mini Reese’s cups that I inhaled shortly before bed pretty much undid my day.  I blame PMS.

I slept pretty good until 3:45am when I woke up to go to the bathroom.  After that, I could not fall back to sleep.  The alarm went off at 5:30am and it took everything I had to climb out of my warm, cozy bed.  I did manage to get up and headed off to school.  Only one more class this semester!

Runners, do you run on a treadmill in the winter?  Or do you continue to run outside in the cold and snow?  Do you own a treadmill or do you go to a gym?

Any fellow students out there?  How is your semester going?  What are you studying?

That’s What Friends Are For?

Do they make a card that says, “I’m sorry I wouldn’t help you cheat your way into a job by taking those tests for you?”  If they do, I need one.

Yesterday was a pretty decent day.  I ate well (oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, leftover beef stroganoff for lunch, tortellini with spinach, artichokes and pesto for dinner) and I ran (2.01 miles in 22 minutes!) in the rain again.  Just as I was walking up my driveway from my run, I got an email from a “friend” (I use the term “friend” loosely here) asking me to do her “a HUGE favor.”  That favor was taking two tests (one on Excel and the other on Word) on her behalf to help her get a job she had interviewed for.  Yep, you read that right.  She continually applies for jobs that she’s not qualified for, scams her way through the interview, lies on her resume about a business degree that she never earned and job experience that she doesn’t have, gets the job and then either quits or gets fired because she can’t do the work.  And now she wants me to help her do it again.  I don’t think so.  I hadn’t heard from her in months before we saw her and her husband twice this weekend and now she had emailed, texted and called me all within a matter of hours.  And all because she needed a favor.  I politely refused and she didn’t respond.  I’m certain it will be months before I hear from her again.

That one thing burned me up for the rest of the night and pretty much undid my entire day.  All of my frustration went away, however, when I climbed into bed.  Oh, did I not mention?  I bought this yesterday:

Fiber Bed


A Fiber Bed.  You put this bad boy on top of your mattress and under your top sheet and it’s like you are sleeping on a cloud.  And with my 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond, it was even more heavenly.  My daughter now wants one for Christmas.  Good thing I have another coupon…

Speaking of Christmas, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

New Tree

We always buy a real tree, but for years (since we moved into this house seven years ago) we’ve discussed getting a fake one for the living room and continuing with the tradition of a real tree in the family room.  Every year we’d say we’d pick one up on sale after the holidays and we never would.  Yesterday, while my husband was wandering around Lowe’s (yes, he does that a lot) he saw this tree and fell in love with it.  Unfortunately, the only one they had left in the store was the floor model.  Fortunately, they gave him a huge discount on it and it’s now in my living room!  I need to pick up some bulbs for it but isn’t it pretty?

Do you have “friends” who only seem to come around when they need something?  How do you handle them?

Real tree or fake tree?


This wasn’t supposed to happen until 2012, but I guess it’s fitting that I carry my motto of being consistently inconsistent over here.  I like fresh starts (maybe a little too much) and I just couldn’t wait 34 more days to break in this blog.  If you read my “other blog that shall remain nameless,” you’ll be seeing my retirement post over there soon.

In a nutshell, Thanksgiving was a food and booze fest.  I stupidly weighed myself on Wednesday morning and then again on Saturday morning.

I gained four pounds.

I’m really not surprised, considering I ate enough food and drank enough beer, wine and hurricanes to choke at least three horses.  Everything in moderation?  Um, not so much this weekend.  I did manage to run 2.5 miles on Friday but that was pretty much it.  Naturally,  I woke up Sunday feeling like a cow so my all consuming urge to eat healthy and exercise kicked in.  This will last for approximately four days.

Sunday morning I made quinoa cereal.  I like quinoa and have been looking for other ways to eat it (other than as a side dish at supper or mixed into a green salad) so I thought I’d give this a try.

Quinoa Cereal (adapted from Whole Living)



1 1/2 cups skim milk

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa

1 tsp honey

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 sliced banana

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 T chia seeds

Sprinkling of sliced almonds


Bring milk and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan.  Simmer, covered, until most of the milk is absorbed, about 14 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in honey, cinnamon and dried cranberries.  Top with sliced banana, chia seeds and almonds.

This was delicious and super filling.  I will definitely be making this on a regular basis.  It’s a nice change from oatmeal.

Lunch was a spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and pepper jack cheese and a slice of leftover pizza with pepperoni and cherry peppers.  We don’t eat a lot of red meat but we were all pretty sick of poultry so I cubed up two strip steaks that I had in the fridge and made a quick Beef Stroganoff with a side salad for supper.  This Beef Stroganoff recipe is the easiest you will ever make.  Take 1 1/2 lbs of stewing beef (or cube up any cut of beef you have on hand) and mix it up with one can of Cream of Mushroom soup, one packet of dry onion soup mix (I used onion mushroom this time) and about a half of the soup can of milk.  Stir it all together until all the beef is well coated.  Spread it all out into a baking dish and pop it in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes.  Serve over egg noodles or rice.  I add a dollop of sour cream and a dash of hot sauce to my serving.  It’s delicious and very satisfying.

It rained all the live long day.  I kept waiting for a break in the weather to get out and run but that break never came.  Normally, I would have used this as an excuse to stay on the couch watching football, but around 3:30 I got up, threw on my shoes and headed out the door.  I ran 3.1 miles in 35 minutes in the rain!  It felt great.  I was soaked and my hair was a wreck when I was done but I didn’t care.  I guzzled a glass of chocolate milk, took a nice, hot shower then made supper in my pajamas.  I celebrated my running triumph with a glass of Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc.

I had a hard time falling asleep (thanks to the 2.5 hour nap I took) but I think I was out by 11:30.   I sure wasn’t happy to hear that alarm go off at 5:45 this morning…

Did you overeat this weekend?

Do you tend to start a new diet or exercise plan after Thanksgiving?  Or do you just wait until the first of the year?

%d bloggers like this: