Archive | August, 2011

Shin Splints, Migraines, and Destruction

31 Aug

Great title, don’t you think? Well, besides work and volunteer commitments, shin splints have controlled my life for one week. I took about a week off of running to rest my shins. It’s really pained me, no pun intended, to stay off my feet but I’ve paid for two half marathons in two months and there is no way I’m giving up. I’ve had shin splints before and gone back to running too soon, only to be sidelined with the same injury. If there is one thing that I’ve improved on a lot in the past five years, it’s patience. I still have quite away to go though (ex. starting to ask for my presents way before the day they are due).

Last night we had a shower for an employee who was recently married. I had a wine spritzer, chicken lasagna, Caesar salad garlic bread and corn. For dessert I had a piece of Lemon Lush and Blueberry Cheesecake. When I got home I started to get a pretty bad headache. Luckily I was able to sleep, but today the headache came back with a vengeance and turned into a migraine. I need to start recording what I ate the day before or the day of my migraines because it has to be food related. I have a pretty strong hunch it’s sugar.

Edie reverted back to her puppyhood tonight and ate the sound bar remote. She didn’t have it very long but it was enough to completely destroy it, which is funny because there is only one tooth mark. Apparently it was in the right spot. Edie has destroyed many things over her three years.

One of many books

More books

One of several cell phones

Did I mention books?

And part of the wall in one of our apartments

Needless to say, Papa gave Edie a timeout in her kennel. 😦

Well folks, if I’m going to keep eating healthy I need to go prepare my tempeh for some Chipotle Lime Tacos tomorrow and tofu for my Hugh Jass Salad à la Mama Pea (that one you have to buy the book for).

Party Rock

29 Aug

We had a jam packed weekend to end our vacation, but it was definitely worth it. Friday some friends of ours had a going away party since they are moving to Portland. 😦 Sad, but also a little exciting because that means I will have one more reason to go there and one more place to stay! They rented a back room out in the bar which was jam-packed with people and they only had one waiter for all of us (at least twenty people who were VERY thirsty). Nathan and I waited over an hour for our beer before we realized we were probably forgotten. When we went to ask the waiter, he said he was out of one of the beers so he was “trying to find” us. Fortunately we were comped a couple of free beers. We decided to head home rather than try to for more drinks or a different bar. It was definitely an occasion for Dance Central.

Jessica and Denton

Our friends Denton and Jessica came to stay with us (since they live in Seattle and we all had a wedding to go to on Saturday). The first time I played Dance Central was at Denton’s house so I figured it was only fitting we stay up until 2am practicing our moves for the wedding. Since Jessica and I have the same name it was a tad confusing, especially after we realized we both had painted our toenails coral, go to bed at 9pm at the latest, and like to get up early. Course, that’s where the similarities end. She’s way taller than me (who isn’t), she KILLS it at Dance Central and I’m a smidge older. 🙂

We split up the next day because they had to do some last minute shopping. Nathan and I got to the wedding with about twenty minutes to spare. I got to take a few pics.

Where the couple got hitched

So cute!

Gorgeous view

I loved all the tree branches with candles that scattered the room. I always wanted that at my wedding (since we cheaped out and went to the courthouse I may just have to have a “second” ceremony sometime….). There’s just something about trees and branches…Maybe it’s because I love the outdoors. The flowers were gorgeous, bridesmaids dresses were classy and the bride looked absolutely stunning. I loved loved loved her dress…And earrings…And her mom’s veil she wore…And her hair…And everything!

The beautiful bride

Marcy and Ryan

Me and the Hub

Dinner was really yummy. We got breadsticks and Caesar salad. The entrée was surf and turf so I gave Nathan and Denton my turf (flank steak). They said it was super good but it looked really raw and pink like flesh, and you know I don’t eat cows (they have beautiful long eyelashes). The panko crusted halibut was really good (so good that Nathan ate it!) and the mashed potatoes were addicting. I ate Nathan’s since he will only eat potatoes in a fried form. I liked the spinach Florentine tomatoes except for the tomato! I decided I don’t like stuffed tomatoes because the texture of the tomato just doesn’t sit well with me. For dessert Jessica and Jessica (I mean I) shared a cheesecake piece that tasted like Oreo cookies. Mmm…

I forgot to take a pic until I already dug in!

Then it was time to party. As soon as the DJ said they had karaoke I ran up there. This is something you probably don’t know about me but I have an obsession with rapping Salt and Peppa songs. Yes, I know. My favorites are “None a Your Business”, “Whatta Man”, and “Shoop”. I would prefer “None a Your Business” but most people don’t have it and there is no way I can actually sing, so “Whatta Man” is usually my last choice. I decided to go with “Shoop”. Someone at work said, “Oh you must have been drunk” and I said, “No, I can make a fool out of myself completely sober.”

The night goes on and we’re dancing. The bride or groom even got a surprise guest, Nathan Cox who rapped “Bellingham State of Mind” which you can check out here. Then the DJ and his buddy rapped a few songs. And then it was karaoke time. I waited patiently (yeah right) for my song to come up but it started getting later and later and no “Shoop”. I finally asked the DJ and he scrambled to find it. A few songs later and it still didn’t play. I went to the bathroom because I gave up hope. I came back into the reception room and heard the DJ saying “Where is that girl who wanted to sing ‘Shoop?’” I came tearing across the floor in my bare feet (high heels were not welcome after 10pm) yelling “Here I am!! Here I am!!” All in all the performance was quite good. I stumbled a bit on one part but the crowd seemed to be digging it. The DJ even came up to me and told me it was awesome and that he did not expect that at all. I’ll take it as a compliment.

A short while later it was time for the after party. Mr. P was looking a little worse for wear and my throat was hoarse so we decided to head home. It was definitely one of the best weddings I’ve been to in awhile. Even if you took out “Shoop”. 🙂

Back To The Grind

29 Aug

Ugh…Going back to work on a Monday after vacation is never easy. Going back to work on a Monday after vacation is especially not easy if you’re slammed with things to do and you have to be away from home until 9pm. After work tonight I have a meeting with the Friends of the Library Board which I so graciously volunteered to be the treasurer for. I actually enjoying doing it but it’s just not the way I want to ease back into my work week. Tomorrow night will be a late one as well since we are having a shower for a recently married co-worker.

So because of all these plans, I am blogging to you straight from the lunch room at work! This is my delicious lunch.

 

Hugh Jass Salad; chicken, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, cranberries, sunflower seeds, croutons and balsamic dressing

This is one of four recipes I am making this week from Peasandthankyou.com. I didn’t have time to press the tofu last night though so this Hugh Jass Salad has chicken on it. Sorry Mama Pea!

For breakfast I had the Pumpkin Cream Pie Oat Bran (you have to buy the book for that one!). It was really good. I didn’t add any sweetener in it because I wanted to see how it tasted alone. I am definitely going to add some honey tomorrow morning. I just think it would pair really well with the pumpkin flavor, and something about honey always reminds me of fall too (my favorite season!!!).

For snacks today I’m having some Fage with chia seeds, flax meal and blueberries. I already ate my morning snack of Protein Trail Mix cookies, another recipe courtesy of Mama Pea. I really liked the cookies which pleasantly surprised me. I don’t generally like the strong vanilla flavor of the protein powder; I think it’s a little too sweet. But the recipe had just the right amount where it doesn’t overpower the whole cookie. I didn’t have any almonds or pepitas so I used pistachios and walnuts.

Protein Trail Mix Cookie

Dinner tonight will sadly be a Clif Body Builder Bar inhaled during the library meeting. After a long stressful day at work, all I want to do is go home and curl up with the hub and the pup. But duty calls!

Happy National Dog Day!

26 Aug

In honor of National Dog Day, this post will be pictures of a day in the life of Edie. 🙂

Sigh, it's rough being me

I'll just hide under here while mom cleans

I love the dog park!

CANNONBALL!!!!

Walking on water

Time to dry off

What is that thing flying above my head? *it was a dragonfly*

Do we have to leave?

Until next time dog park, until next time

New Shoes from Fairhaven Runners & Walkers!

25 Aug

Yesterday after my run I felt a familiar twinge in my shins. No, please no, not again. I stretched, iced and soaked in the jetted tub. I even popped some ibuprofen, but my right shin still felt tight and achy. I decided to rest completely today and apply ice. I took Edie out to go to the bathroom and jogged just a short distance but it didn’t matter. Pain shot through my shin on the right and a dull pain on the left.

I’ve been plagued with shin splints several times. I’ve never seen a sports doctor about them, just my regular doctor. He just said the normal thing, ice and rest. Of course, he didn’t really go into the why so I did the research on my own. There are several reasons you can get shin splints–

  1. Too much, too soon. Working out too much before you have built up the stamina can cause various injuries in different places. Running too many miles too soon can cause shin splints.
  2. Incorrect shoes or old shoes. If you haven’t replaced your shoes after about 500 miles (or six months, depending on how far you run per week), the support system could be shot.
  3. Weak muscles. I’ve read several articles that claim weakness in different muscles are responsible for shin splints. I’ve heard weak hips, hamstrings, and ankles can all be at fault. Since I’m not a doctor, I can’t really say which one is correct but general strength training to protect all your parts is definitely important. I have very small weak ankles. I’ve sprained my right ankle over five times and have very weak tendons in that side. Just so happens, it’s also the side where my shin acts up.

Typically I run on trails but since the move I’ve had to add some street running. Since my needs are now different and I can’t remember the last time I bought new running shoes, I knew I had to go visit my buddy Steve at Fairhaven Runners and Walkers.

Best Running Store Ever

I met Steve when I worked in the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met. When I found out he owned the store, I peppered him with questions about running, fitness, and health. He was always more than happy to answer all of my questions and then some. Each time I saw Steve, he asked me how my running was going and asked about my goals. He really held me accountable and always encouraged me. Steve genuinely wants people to succeed in all their goals and aid them in any way he can. I’m so happy I have the privilege of knowing him.

Holy shoes Batman!

Even before I met Steve I bought running shoes at Fairhaven Runners and Walkers. They are experts on what shoes will work for each running style and foot type. The employees watch you walk and run to determine your stride. This is imperative if you plan on running a long race or doing any extensive running. Just stopping in any store and grabbing a shoe that’s labeled “running” is like going into Macy’s and just grabbing the first dress you see. You need to try it on and pick something that works for your body; something that enhances your best features and aids you in areas that aren’t your best.

I'll take both of the pink tops please

All the men's clothes

Steve picked three shoes in neutral strides for me. He also took into consideration that I was doing a lot of street running and my tendency to get shin splints. I tried on two pairs of Mizunos (my past 2-3 pairs have been Mizunos) and one pair of Brooks. I narrowed it down to a pair of Brooks and Mizunos. I ran down the block in both and was really torn. The Mizunos gave a lot of support, as did the Brooks. The Brooks felt a little more cushy, but I tend to veer away from anything too soft for running because I’m afraid it would give out sooner. Steve reassured me that this wouldn’t happen, and he felt the Brooks would support better and impact some of the running vibrations better.

They have organized runs throughout the week and clinics!

I ended up going with the Brooks Defyance 4 shoe. I didn’t take a picture because I was lazy and, I know this is very ungirlie, I don’t really care what the shoe looks like. This might come as quite a shock to some, especially since my original major in college was Retail Merchandising, but now, I’m more concerned with how the shoe performs than the look. Wow…little Jessica is all grown up! 🙂

I also grabbed a couple of packages of Clif Shot Blocks (I’m not a huge fan of Gu but I will use it) and a new energy chew Steve recommended, Honey Stinger. They are organic energy chews with Vitamin C and electrolytes. I’m really intrigued since they are made with organic honey and organic tapioca syrup, and I can pronounce all the ingredients on the package. That’s always a plus in my book!

All in all, it was a great shopping trip (also got my hair did!). I highly recommend you visit Fairhaven Runners and Walkers if you are ever in Bellingham or are in need of some new shoes. It’s great to shop local and it’s definitely worth it for all the personal attention and advice you get. I love working with Steve but I’ve bought two other pairs with the equally capable staff. Run there now!

I heart Steve!

Vacation In Photos

24 Aug

Vinyasa Yoga

When I’m on vacation I try to find a gym to buy a day pass at or a yoga studio. I also go for runs, which is a great way to tour neighborhoods and look at houses (my favorite). I was able to find this studio online. They offered one week of free yoga for $20. I was going to go twice but Tuesday morning I woke up with debilitating cramps. I had six ibuprofen in three hours (P.S. Don’t do that at home; I was desperate).

Eazy E; The reason Edie is not allowed in Portland

Edie isn’t allowed to stay at Uncle Adam’s because of this gangsta. When a dog was brought to their house, someone ended up in the hospital due to cat injuries. Edie stayed with Aunty Elisa.

But he looks so innocent...

I wake up super early so I went to an amazing café for breakfast to blog. It’s called New Deal Cafe and they had an abundance of organic and free range options. I was really impressed and would go back there in a heart beat.

Mango Black Tea, Breakfast Burrito, and Potatoes

Kennedy School

We hit up one of our favorite breweries in Portland, McMenamins. We went to their Kennedy School location and played pool in the Boiler Room Bar. If you aren’t familiar with McMenamins, I recommend checking out their website. They purchased an old school and turned it into a hotel with several bars, a movie theater, a restaurant, a brewery and soaking pool. This place is a MUST see.

The last day in Portland I went to the Whole Foods near my BIL’s house. They have a tea café that has at least 50 different choices of tea. I could not leave without checking this place out.

Black Lychee

Here are a couple shots from our journey from Seattle to Bremerton at the beginning of the vacation. Sorry, I did this a little backwards!

Yes, that is a dog riding a bull and yes, I would've ridden the bull but I was wearing a skirt

Willpower and Chafing

24 Aug

A few weeks ago on my birthday, I brought home treats I bought at work for charity. I purchased a dozen brownies and a dozen peanut butter cookies. I left a half-dozen at work and a half-dozen were brought home for Nathan. The whole night they sat on the counter taunting me. I asked Nathan if he would bring them into his man cave so that I wouldn’t be tempted. He argued that if he kept them in there they would all be gone in one night. He said, “Why can’t we just leave them out here and you can use your willpower?” Apparently he didn’t see the irony in that comment.

I went to a nutritionist a few years back when I was having stomach issues. I told her that I ate pretty well but when confronted with “treats” at work, I have trouble leaving them on the plate. The nutritionist, who was about ten inches taller than me and probably weighed ten pounds less than me, said she had trouble saying “no” to treats when they stared her in the face as well. Although I found it hard to believe, I was a little comforted by that. I have no trouble ordering something healthy when we go out to eat, but it’s much harder when free food filled with addictive sugar is staring right at you. And because of the addictive nature it’s difficult to say no to “just one more”. I prefer just to not even have a bite.

Another time my willpower is tested is that wonderful time of the month when your hormones scream for sugar. That happened to me this week.

Bucket 'O Donuts

Unfortunately, we started a tradition last year of buying a bucket of donuts from Voodoo Donuts (um, not a great tradition). $5 for a huge bucket of donuts? What a great deal! Nathan’s brother has about seven people living in a rented house with him in Portland so we knew these would go quick. However, Jessica the PMS Monster was on the prowl. I swear, I must have eaten about four donuts. Then when we got home I made Mama Pea’s Dough Balls which was another mistake. On my run this morning I could feel sugar oozing out of every pore.

So my tips for avoiding your trigger foods and pigging out on them–

  1. Don’t even take a bite unless you are confident that you can eat only one. To help, tell another person you are only eating one or heck, tell your whole office. They may look at you crazy but you will be the one who doesn’t have a tummy ache at the end of the day.
  2. Don’t even put it in front of you. If you are going out to Mexican and not having a “treat” night ask them not to bring out chips and salsa (same with bread). If the people you are going out with have to have it, keep it towards them and/or let them know you aren’t having any. I find saying things out loud really helps you hold yourself accountable.
  3. Let people know you are eating healthy. They may not make food you can eat but at least you can justify yourself when you don’t eat any.
  4. If you do want a treat, go for something full fat. I’ve tried doing the low-fat low-cal treat before and that “itch” does not get scratched. Eat something full fat but in a small portion. You will get the flavor you were looking for.

As for chafing…well, everyone has it. Blisters? Those are essentially chafing. My chafing mostly involves my inner thighs. Yeah, I said it. My inner thighs touch when I run. I’m a curvier gal and I always will be, so the odds of my thighs never touching are slim to none. This does not bode well for running in the standard running shorts. I have to wear tight capris or shorts. If I don’t have any that are clean, then I have to use my anti-chafing stick. If you are considering any long distance run, I highly recommend purchasing some. It will save you every time. I put it on my armpits, between my thighs, and on the bottom of my feet. It looks and goes on like a mini deodorant. I found mine at REI but I’m sure any sporting goods or running store would have some.

Those are my thoughts for today. 🙂 A little random match but that’s how I roll.