Friday, April 29, 2011

You guys are awesome.

Seriously. AWESOME. I love yall.

The Astros were terrible last night, but we had fantastic seats and good company and a really drunk and obnoxious girl in front of us so it was ok. I only took one picture because I was too busy gossiping with Sean.

Then we came home and watched You Tube videos because we are 12 years old. There is nothing better than Kitten Mittens. I laugh my head off every.single.time.

I woke up super early this morning (before my alarm went off) and was wide awake. I debated trying to go back to sleep (by debated I mean I laid in bed with my eyes closed praying for sleep to come back to me) but my alarm went off and I yelled at myself and got out of bed.

Can someone explain to me why it's 58 degrees outside? Not that I'm complaining (I kind of am), but I live in Houston for a very good reason. And it's not the cool weather.

Since I've been so crappy all week I decided I'd do a punishment run this morning. My punishment runs always vary with what the 'punishment' portion of it is - sometimes its hills, sometimes its sprints, today it was no music.

Best.decision.ever. I had a good run. Not the best, but definitely the best this week. I cleared my head. I thought a lot. I made to-do lists. I prayed. I giggled to myself. I scolded myself. And I just ran. And I remembered why sometimes, I like the absolute quiet of 5am runs with no music.

Because I am awesome I then came home and did the weights that I didn't do yesterday. Back on track, baby.

Unfortunately, it's now 9:40am and I'm EXHAUSTED. Happy Friday! I have a MUCH needed girls night tonight and I can't wait.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you there weekend? It's me... Rachael...

Bloggers: I need some encouragement right now! I have (no lie) BINGED for the last 3 days (I don't even want to get into how much sweet stuff I've eaten today in addition to the two days outlined below). Clearly, I'm stressed. So please please please send a little prayer my way that I GET MY HEAD ON STRAIGHT and get up and start nice and fresh tomorrow. :) kthx.

This week has been one for the books. Seriously. I can't remember the last time I was so unbelievably exhausted.

I also can't remember the last time I spent two days binging on junk food without a care in the world (until late last night that is... And don't think that made me get up this morning and work out.)

Work has been... stressful and tiring. And that's all I'll say about that. No one likes to hear complaining.

And workouts have been... I don't know. I think they've been a little off because of work. Stress has a way of making its rounds into every aspect of life.

Tuesday the hubs was sick (poor thing) so I skipped Pilates and came straight home after going to Target to buy a thermometer, orange juice, sprite, and chicken noodle soup for him. After realizing he was running a fever I went to CVS and bought him medicine and bought myself a pint of ice cream. I ate the entire thing.

Dinner looks like this when you know it's going to be followed by a pint of vanilla/chocolate ice cream:

Yes, I roasted two entire heads of broccoli and ate that for dinner. Followed by:

Don't discount that I ate a bag of Nutter Butter bites after lunch Tuesday. I rationalized that it was OK because the bag says "Made with real peanut butter!" Oh well in that case, don't mind if I do...

Yesterday started out OK enough. I suffered through an excruciating run that should have been easy, but was not. At 2pm my BFF/coworker and I went and had Mexican food. Sigh. I ate it all except the rice. I left in a food coma. And followed it up with another bag of Nutter Butter bites (REAL PEANUT BUTTER!).

By the time I got home I thought I was going to fall over from exhaustion, so I did the next best thing and Sean and I went to Willie's Ice House. IN MY DEFENSE I got a salad. There's no pictures because I pretty much inhaled the whole thing, but it was field greens, dried cranberries, pears, artichoke hearts, Gorgonzola cheese and some delicious vinaigrette on the side. It also came with candied walnuts, but for the sake of calories (what a laugh) I skipped those.

Then I forced Sean to take me to YOGURT CUP! AKA Heaven.

That's red velvet and vanilla ice cream with kiwi, strawberries and dark chocolate chips if you're wondering. And I came dangerously close to using my fingers to scrape the bowl entirely clean.


Please ignore my cheezy smile and the fact that I look like I was run over by a car before entering. Stress I tell you.

I also proceeded to sleep in this morning, pop in a weights DVD when I finally pulled myself out of bed, and then turn it off 15 seconds into the warm up and drink coffee.

There's not even a shot of a workout today because I'm going to the Astros game tonight. Oh well, at least Yogurt Cup is still fresh in my mind (and heart). Now that I know just how close it is to us, I will be frequenting it A LOT more. I've even considered running there so that I can indulge guilt free.

:-/ Being a girl blows sometimes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm baaack!

I hope you all had a spectacular, family-filled Easter weekend.

There is a good reason for my blogging absence, I promise. Reason being: I have zero patience at blogging via a cell phone. I don't know if this makes me un-dedicated or just rational, but it takes me way too long to post from my cell phone touch key board and my "." is right next to my space bar so I spend a lot of time deleting because my

I also took only one picture all weekend and it wasn't for the sake of this blog but to remind my husband what he was missing out on by staying in Houston while I ventured out to El Paso. :)

That being said, I'll go on ahead and start my recap now and supplement this post with old pictures and pictures via Google images.

Because I am super dedicated knew that eating healthy was out of the question this weekend, I pulled myself out of bed at my normal 5am time Friday morning for an hour run, followed by 10 mins of abs and then 40 mins of running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to make sure that we had coffee, I ate some semblance of a breakfast (okkkk it was a Clif bar), and that I had everything I could ever possibly need for a two night stay in El Paso.

My parents came and picked me up, I kissed that boy goodbye, and my dad dropped my mom and I off at the airport and we were off to spend Easter weekend in El Paso with my mom's side of the family. This was a girl's trip :)

Thursday afternoon I went into Barnes and Noble and snagged this book to read on the flight:

It is so good. You all need it.

We got to El Paso early (our flight left at 9) and went straight to my Oma's (grandmother in German) apartment to drop off our bags, catch up for a few minutes, and then head out to lunch.

I had a delicious salad of spring mix, dried craisins, blackened shrimp (which were divine!!), sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette. Oh and one of the best rolls I've ever tasted. It was without a doubt one of the most delicious salads I've ever had and I will most definitely be recreating it at home. Yum.

Then we went back and napped/read for a few hours. My mom and I had coffee and cookies (what? I worked out beforehand!) and I read like a mad man about my new BFF Kara.

Before I knew it, it was dinner time (this is what you do on vacations, right? eat?) so we met my two uncles/aunts for dinner at a steakhouse. Dinner consisted of another roll (that was not nearly as good as the the one at lunch), 2 glasses of cab (my absolute favorite red wine) and my mom and I split a rib eye, baked potato, salad, and pineapple coleslaw. Um - delicious. I never have steak, but it's by far one of my favorite meals.

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and my mom and I laced up and went on a slow, hard, HILLY, 3.75 mile run. It was glorious having a running partner (something that I really wish I had more often!) because it made the whole run fly by, despite being as hilly as it was. My Oma ended up being really sick all day Saturday, so we just hung out at her apartment, kept her company, and hung out some more. Since she wasn't feeling up to going anywhere for dinner, it was frozen pizza and cab. A totally acceptable dinner by my standards.

And carrot cake. We may or may not have eaten WAY TOO MUCH carrot cake.

Sunday we were up early again, walked 2 miles easy, and then packed, loaded up, and headed to my uncles house for more wine (seriously? who drinks wine at 11am? oh I guess I do. sheesh) and a brunch of a WONDERFUL salad, ham, green beans, au gratin potatoes, fresh home-cooked bread, and homemade strawberry shortcake. My stomach has not hurt so bad from being THAT full in a long time. I may or may not have also made my mom split half a chocolate bunny with me. Oops.

And before I knew it, I was back home. Back to the grind. Back to most definitely sleeping through my alarm this morning and forcing myself to change today's run to a night run. Oh well. :)

Oh and the one picture I did take? It was this one, simply to remind my husband of what he was missing out on:

Yep, that's me. Post 3.75 mile, hard, hilly, SWEATY run.

But in case you were wondering, he is an extra good sport and followed up with:

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Zombieland V. 1.0

No sleep = Zombie. I didn't sleep at all last night.

I did a k.i.l.l.e.r speed workout on Tuesday after work. And I was so.happy. There was no sarcasm in that last sentence. If people looked into the window of my makeshift workout room they probably would have thought I was a huge creep. I was running along at level 8 on the treadmill anticipating when I would have to bump it up to level 9 and for whatever reason it was just working right then. I had a huge, goofy smile on my face and every now and then I would pump my arms in enthusiasm.

I have no good explanation. It was just a phenomenal five miles of speed work. I also had a great run Wednesday and a fair strength workout today. But those are not worth mentioning right now.

In other good news, I can not stop eating that stupid wedding cake. And it is never ending. For such a small circle of cake that is left, I don't get how Sean and I are still able to eat it every.single.night.

But that's the boring news. Let's get on to the exciting news.
I should never be allowed to bring this stuff to work with me:

Get real. Like I would ever just have a teaspoon of almond butter. It just makes me feel like I'm being healthy, all sixteen times I fill it up.

When I got home from work yesterday I literally squealed like a small child (or pig, you take your pick) in excitement at this:

AHHHH!!! It's like Christmas in April!!

Can you feel the anticipation building??

YAYYY CHOBANI!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SENDING THIS TO ME!! You are officially the love of my life. Sorry Sean, you lose out to INCREDIBLE Greek yogurt. And no, you can not have any, just stay away from the second shelf of our fridge!

I cleaned out the entire fridge right then just so I could dedicate an entire shelf to my soul mates up there. I wish I was joking.

Since I was home alone last night while the hubs was at softball I decided I would take a page from Hungry Healthy Happy:

Um, you just need to go to this blog post on her website. I would share the recipe, but I really want her to have all the credit for this PHENOMENAL meal.

And just to make her happy, I even sat down at the table, just like she did:

Twice baked sweet potato, you are hands down my new favorite meal. HANDS DOWN.

When Sean got home and crawled into bed and asked me how my night was I told him I made the best meal ever. And then I spent 15 minutes describing its goodness while he told me he hated me for making the best meal ever while he was gone. LOVE YOU HONEY!

:) Best wife of the year?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

LASIK + Anniversary

Mondays are such a drag. Especially went you spent all day Sunday loading up on liquid carbs.

Unfortunately, Tuesday is also turning out to be a real big drag, but I'm trying to snap out of it.

How unbelievably cute is this:

Well it happened. I had LASIK on Friday and I am beyond thrilled. Seriously. The fact that people see like this all the time with no glasses or contacts just floors me. Because I enjoy yall, I am totally willing to share this picture with you:

yes, those are "eye shields" very professionally taped to my eyes.

Yep, that's how I spent all day Friday after surgery (a surgery that lasted a whopping 13 seconds per eye. I need to be an opthamalogist, clearly). I was supposed to "sleep" all day (then what the heck am I supposed to do at night!), was banned from the computer and from texts. What do you do then?!? So I drank mimosas, took two naps, and did laundry and housework (in my eye shields, duh).

Ummm... how cute is he:

My parents took pity on me and brought Sean and I dinner Friday night and Saturday night (I need to have surgery more often).

Saturday Sean drove me back to the doctor and they did a vision check. 20/15, baby, take that! Stupid Sean wanted them to give him an eye test as well. Apparently he has 20/15 vision on his own (lame).

And then I did nothing. And it was glorious. I spent all day reading.

Sunday I won wife of the year award when I made banana-walnut pancakes. Happy Anniversary, honey.

Uhh, yes, they are the cutest things I've ever laid (new) eyes on:

Then we went to the Museum of Natural Science because Sean was dying to see the Texas exhibit.

Then we went to Bodega's, which is reminiscent of a Chipotle with phenomenal margaritas. We split a salad and got caught up in the Astros game... Which I don't even want to talk about. Another margarita and two beers later we left mid-8th inning because I was disgusted with our uncanny ability to give games away.

But I'm not bitter.

We went to a 3d IMAX, which was awesome, about orangutans and elephants and then we went to MAX'S WINE DIVE. That's in all caps for a reason, my friends. If you are looking for a cool little wine bar in Houston go there. The guy that runs the place is awesome!

We got a free glass of champagne for celebrating our 1st anniversary and he discounted the price on our bottle of wine (I love you!). I think he was feeling a little sentimental because he had just gotten married two weeks ago. I promised him I would social media the sh*t out of his place, so in case you missed that, it was MAX'S WINE DIVE.

We went and had sushi after at Soma and I was going to take a picture, but I got as far as the soup before something weird happened and I inhaled all the sushi... I'm not sure what that was about.

When we got home we got out the top of our wedding cake from this time last year (it was frozen til now) and had a slice (that we shared!!) and it was surprisingly delicious. I was a little nervous about year-old cake, but I promise you we ate that slice quickly.

To counteract the million calories that I ate Sunday, I am happy to announce I am cleared for running again. And as much as I DID NOT want to go run when I got home last night, I killed it. A good 7 miles of pure sweat in 83 degree Houston weather.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011


After the Blue Bell Fun Run 5k I realized something: for as much as I train and run and cross train and strength train and do yoga and pilates, I never really focus on hills. I do some speed work here and there, but hills have been, well, obsolete in my life.

The Clover 5k in all of its suckiness SHOULD have been an indicator to this, but I gleefully ignored why the race sucked so much (other than poor layout). Hills.

The Blue Bell 5k was even more hilly than the Clover 5k, but for whatever weird race reason I floated through this race.

Once I crossed the finish line one of the first things I said to Sean was that I needed to spend some time with hills and speed work.

Hills and I had our first official date this morning, along with the trusty and reliable treadmill. We all three met up nice and early in the quiet and dark and I left a hot, sweaty mess.

6 miles of hills is brutal. My poor calves are just plum tuckered out.

This whole week (since the 5k) has been an intensive work out week. I did a 33 minute speed session Sunday, a training run Monday, Spin Class and ab work Tuesday, a training run and strength session Wednesday, 6 miles of hills, 10 minutes of Pilates and (will do) an hour of yoga today, and tomorrow I have a training run, strength work and probably another 10 minutes of Pilates. That really doesn't sound too bad when I read it. In fact, a lot of my weeks look similar. But it's been awhile since I've taken a day off. Remember when we talked about that?

I have a good reason, I really do. See tomorrow morning, I get to go and have LASIK. No more eye infections for me (hopefully).

And after I have LASIK I can't work out at all (not even yoga, boo) for at least 3 days. My running self almost cried (I wish I was kidding). No running? No. What about yoga? NO. ehhhhhh ok. fine.

They said I could do a "light walk". What a tease.

Anyway, I get to take the day off work tomorrow and force Sean to spend all day with me (he's a good husband!). So hopefully I'll have some time to update my bloggin' friends on the rest of my life. But today, today all I can think about is those darn hills. And how much I really love them. Is that weird? Don't get me wrong, they were AWFUL. I wanted to quit so many times. But as soon as it was over, even though I was dripping with sweat and wanted nothing more than to just sit and die, all I could think about and have been thinking about is how much I wish I started doing hills sooner.

Oh and P.S. Our one year anniversary is this weekend :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Living Blogs: Friend or Foe

As much as I want to drone on about my fabulous trip away with the hubs, I came across something while blog stalking reading yesterday that I really want to touch on before I go back to explaining how happy this makes me:

It's stupid, how cute and ridiculous I think he is.

I have a tendency to look at what other people have said in the "comment" section on blogs that I read and sometimes I'll venture over to another blog because of something witty someone said, or because another blog linked up with them, etc. I'm sure all you bloggers out there know what I'm talking about.

While reading someones blog that I had never read before, I came across a paragraph in her post where she talked about how she had abandoned reading "healthy living" blogs because she had eaten ice cream one night and then wanted to throw up after reading blogs (or something like that, I'm paraphrasing and honestly don't even remember whose blog it was considering happened upon this blog).

It really made me sad and I've been thinking about it ever since. I don't think that any of us that do "healthy living" blogging ever intended for our blogs to act as something negative to make others feel bad when they made a "poor" choice, or had a bad day and slipped up on their diets or skipped a work out.

I can say full-heartedly that is not my intent at all.

And I will be the first to tell you that I still make a lot of mistakes when it comes to being healthy. I am nowhere near perfect. There are days I don't want to work out, there are days when I straight up skip working out, there are days when I get caught up at the bar with my friends and I drink too much or I make poor food decisions, there are days when I exist on a purely liquid carb diet because I'm having fun and I'm 24 and I'm not perfect. And there are certainly days when I want to give up.

But I don't. Why? Because one slip up is not a big deal. It happens. You are human. You will never be perfect, and you're supposed to indulge every now and then.

Am I influenced by other people's blogs? You bet. I definitely have laid in bed hitting the snooze button and then something has made me think about the girls whose lives I follow and think about if they would skip a work out or get up and get it done, and it has given me the push I needed to get out of bed and go to spin class or go on that run. But I've never allowed reading someone else's blog to negatively influence me. That's not the point! We're all in this together, really. We all have our struggles and our off days - whether we blog about it or not.

For me, "healthy living" blogs are a support system. They're a reminder to stay on track and to learn from others - but not to make you or me feel bad.

What are your thoughts on this?

Have you ever felt bad about yourself from reading someone else's blog?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blue Bell Fun Run 5K

I have quite a few things to post about, but I'm going to break it up. I'll start with Friday/Saturday morning.

Friday started off like any other - work. But I was on pins and needles all day because I knew that I had a nice, long weekend away from Houston with Sean planned... Plus there was the whole running a 5k thing, and that always excites me. And this one included free ice cream at the end - WIN.

So Sean picked me up from work, and we were on our way to Brenham. The good thing about Brenham is that it's far away enough to be considered "out of town" and close enough to get away to quickly. We drove straight to packet pick-up and as we were wandering through the hallways and I was spouting off all of my "running knowledge" (read: sounding like I know what I'm talking about so that Sean is impressed) we ran into this gem of a sign:

Wait, what? Which way is it? You can rest assured we found it.

Race day goodies are one of my favorite things, and I enjoy laying out all of the coupons I will never use and such and looking at them. I also enjoy how everyone talks about all of the "free" things they get with their packet pick-up (nevermind the registration fee you paid) ;)

After that we scooted on over to a cute little cafe (Brenham Grill) that I have no pictures of because I am a horrible photographer, and it wouldn't really have mattered anyway because I use my phone for 100% of my pictures (go on ahead and be jealous of my awesome quality photos... or not.)

I did have a pretty bomb salad of chicken, baby spinach, walnuts, feta, avocado, tomato and some delicious sort of vinaigrette. And apparently now I drink before races because we each had a Miller Light (and wine on the drive). Regardless, Sean and I, being the big partiers we are these days, were in bed and asleep by the ripe old time of 9:30pm. I will tell you that for sleeping at a Comfort Suites, Sean and I both agreed we slept the best we had in a long time. I woke up super refreshed and ready to tackle this 5k.

Before I go into the race, I'll go ahead and get it out of the way that every race I run, I want to PR. Is this reasonable? Probably not. There's a huge difference between running flat, fast courses and running hilly courses. There's a huge difference between if it's windy, hot, cold, whatever. This does not change that I routinely want to drop time. Since 5K's are such short distances in the running world, I want to continually be faster.

Oh and at one point, all the 5K runners were lining up facing each other since no one knew which way to start (being prepared at its finest). They finally got everyone facing the right direction and lined us up by mile times. I didn't want to start with the 8 min/mile times, so I squeezed in with the 7 min/milers. Even though I belonged in 8. :-]

I thought it was going to be a really small race. Obviously, this was not the case.

I started off great. Not too fast, not too slow. I tracked it well, making sure to keep it at a slightly harder pace than normal, but one that I was comfortable running. We went through the high school parking lot and then came the big challenge. Downhill. What? Downhill a challenge? Well yeah, because inevitably that means there's an uphill.

So I did what I do on downhills, I slowed down. Focused on breathing. Thought about my arm swing and my pace. Watched as a guy pushing a double stroller breezed past me. Snickered to myself. Geared up.

Hit the uphill and passed that sucker. Went up it strong and determined. Once I hit the turn-around (it was an out and back course) I slowed for the downhill again, picked an unsuspecting runner in front of me and made it a point to watch him and try to pace with him.

I'll stop right now and tell you that I had thrown the whole PR thing out the window. I kept looking at my garmin and thinking that my splits were a little slower than I wanted. The guy and I were averaging about the same pace... Occassionally he'd pass me and then I'd catch up. Eventually, I over took him and picked out another guy. I have a thing for wanting to pass guys.

And then I rounded the corner. Finish line in sight. Boy in front of me in sight. And I just got this unexplainable surge of fastness. Yes, you read that right: fastness.

I killed that guy at the end.

Ignore that I look like I'm about to die, or that my leg coming forward is awkward looking.

I paced around for a long time. Mainly because I still haven't officially figured out how that garmin thing works and I wasn't sure my time was accurate (It said 25:36... which was a bit slower than my last 5K).

I was gearing up to be OK with not PRing, and factoring in different things (such as the hills - the last 5K I ran in 25:08 was a very flat course) and then they posted the results. Slam dunk on that one - I finished in 24:44.

I also placed 6th in my age group (20-29). And then our trip to Brenham concluded with a lime fruit bar.

Win for Blue Bell Fun Run.