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I’m only running for the pancakes.

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Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.

Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year.  This used to be my attitude towards running:

phoebe

And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.

This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still utterly shit a far cry from healthy.

I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.

But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July,  a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.

Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.

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My only goal. Finish.

Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.

I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.

As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:

bassets

But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.


Jlaw

Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s!  Pancakes make me sooooo happy.

Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass,  running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor.  That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. 🙂 But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.

As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green!  Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.

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no pinching allowed!

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polka dots and shamrocks

That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.

But can y’all help a girl out?!

What say you,  fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?)  Am I crazy? 

…don’t answer that last one.

Recipe Share: Clean Eats Galore

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As explained in my FoodWars post, I’ve decided to take a more relaxed approach in my diet because trying and failing to be strict Paleo was driving me batshit crazy. I’ve been way happier in my new plan these past three weeks with some good old common sense clean eating. I’m still figuring out the balance, but I can tell you that my body knows the difference. I am already leaner. I feel better. And that rocks.

Here’s a sneak peek into my clean eats…

Breakfast:

French toast scramble – courtesy of CarrotsNCake, I was skeptical about the banana/egg combo, but found I enjoy it on the mornings I want something sweet. One mashed banana, 1 whole egg, a few egg whites, cinnamon and a splash of vanilla. Scramble it up in a bit of coconut oil and top with a scoop of almond butter or PB2. Full till lunch.

Everyday Paleo Egg Cupcakes – not a fan of this name. Let’s call them Veggie and Sausage Mini Crust-less Quiches, mmkay? These lil nuggets are easy and portable, they let me play with my new destroyer of food processor, and they are delish. Make em the night before and you’re set for more than a few days for breakfast. The recipe states specific veggies to use, but bollucks to that. Throw in whatever you want. These had: zucchini, squash, carrots, onion and spinach plus low fat breakfast sausage. But word to the wise. Too much spinach and they WILL turn out quite St. Patty’s Day-inspired. You’ve been warned.

1st batch = WHOASPINACH. 2nd batch = better.

1st batch = WHOASPINACH. 2nd batch = better.

Snacks:

Greek yogurt and fruit – if I need a quick pick-me-up I’ll just cut up an apple and dip it in 0% fat plain greek yogurt that I’ve mixed with a splash of almond milk and a scoop of PB2. <– If you haven’t tried this, you must.

You can also spend an extra 5 minutes and make Coconut Cinnamon Apples to go with your yogurt/PB2 combo. Here’s how easy: Take your choice of apple, slice it up, saute it for a few minutes in a teaspoon of coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon at the end. HEAVEN, I SAY.

appleWM

Cereal w/ Almond Milk – I have a confession. I love cereal after dinner/before bedtime. Um. I may or may not have gone through a whole box of Peanut Butter Multi-Grain Cheerios in five days. Wee bit obsessed? Nah.

Lunches/Dinners:

Let’s face it, when you cook at home 90% of the time, you will get bored and some nights you’re just not feeling very Domestic Goddess-y.  When that happens, I’ll treat myself to a Chipotle salad or some other healthy eat-out option.

But here are a few of my no-fail at-home standards.

Peach’s Go-To Veggie Saute

  • Heat 1T coconut oil (or olive oil or bacon grease) in large, shallow skillet. (not a stock pot – potatoes become mushy if they don’t have air while cooking.)
  • Add to oil: 1 sweet potato, cut into 1in cubes. Cook potato until it becomes browned but not yet soft.
  • Add 1 sliced onion and 1 sliced red bell pepper. Cook together until onions and bell peppers are softened, but still firm.
  • Add 1 medium yellow squash and 1 medium zucchini, cut into quarter or half moons
  • Cook all together until potatoes are done and squash/zucchini are slightly softened but not mush.

I use this veggie saute for everything: breakfast scrambles, omelets, frittata (frittatii?), as a base for pot roast, shredded pork, or in my Spaghetti Squash Bake. I even throw it into salads.  I’d be lost without it!

Everyday Paleo’s Salmon Cakes were super easy and turned out wonderfully, minus one thing.

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HOW THE HELL AM I GONNA EAT ALL THESE?

The freezer was my friend. Next time half the recipe, Peach!

PaleOMG’s Italian Meatloaf? Whoa, momma.  It was so good it was gone before I could take any pictures. But then again, when are pictures of meatloaf ever sexy? Regardless, this is definitely a keeper in the recipe arsenal!

Hands down, saved the best for last.

curryWM

Peach’s Crockpot Curry Chicken  (adapted from PaleOMG’s Brazilian Curry Chicken)

  • 1.25-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken boobies.
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 chunks each.
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 4 TBS yellow curry powder
  • 1 TBS ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the coconut milk, broth and spices in the crock pot.
  2. Add the chicken boobies and sweet potato chunks. Make sure chicken is submerged in liquid.
  3. Cook for 3 hrs on medium, then flip the chicken boobies over.
  4. Cook another 3 hrs, or until the chicken boobies fall apart when you fork them. (Where is my brain today?!?!)
  5. Once here, I removed the chicken/potatoes from the liquid and set aside. Then I strained the liquid, because the coconut milk had gone kinda separated/weird on me. (Does this happen to anyone else?)
  6. Once liquid is strained and back in the crockpot, shred the chicken boobs with two forks and put the chicken into to the liquid to cook on low for another hour. This lets all the little chicken boobie-bits soak up all the yummy curry liquid. I left the sweet potatoes out of the crock pot at this point because they were plenty cooked and about to disintegrate.
  7. Serve it up with the sweet potatoes, a veggie saute and some avocados.
  8. Devour.

Hell On Wheels

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Yes, this entry is definitely categorized under Hot Mess.

There is a REASON we only roller skate as children. Or, it could just be me.  I suck at skating.  I also suck at rollerblading, ice skating, water skiing, skateboarding, snowboarding and snow skiing. So, pretty much anything that involves strapping my feet  –> which are attached to my stoopidlong legs –> which make up 75% of my stoopidtall body –> into some device that involves inertia-meets-gravity? Yeah, not having it.

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A little while ago my gym threw a social at a skating rink. Do me a favor and picture 20 grown men and women who do CrossFit. Now picture them on rollerskates.  Yep.  The same men who routinely kill it in the workouts that destroy me were now windmilling their arms and winding up on their asses. I tried and managed about 5 wobbly laps around the rink, but it was ugly.  I had to seriously focus on not being flattened by the little kids zipping around me, not staring too much at the teens who were humping the wall to the tune of the [explicit hip hop song] playing, and keeping an eye out for people suicidal enough to fall in my path. Did they not understand that STOPPING is not in my skillset?  Maybe I should have tried using one of the granny walkers (seen below). Safer, yes. Cool points? Maybe. I could make it sexy if I really tried.

grannywalker

But, I will say that aside from the ‘I’m either gonna break my neck or kill a kid’ moments, it was a LOT of fun.

And then this was said:

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For the record, I did not say this.  I just wanted to be IN REAL SHOES and would have performed sexual favors to be rescued from this booty-rap death trap. What I did not count on was the way that the night would turn out.

I vaguely remember the following:

  • Sam Adams Winter Ale(s) – I lost count.
  • Learning a new dance called The Wobble.  Oh, you crazy twenty-somethings…
  • Flirting and being flirted with.
  • Playing board games at a different bar, while still drinking beer.
  • Telling my trainer friend that he really should shave his beard because he has such a good looking face. About 10 times.
  • Eating scrambled eggs, grits and a biscuit at 4am. #FAILEO
  • Falling asleep when the sun was coming up.

Oh man.  Most of the next day was spent on my couch recovering, thinking how much I’m too old for this shit. But even days later, I’m still smiling at how much fun it was.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta be a kid.

Day 29: Thursday’s Things

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I’ve had a cold all week. I don’t tell you this to get sympathy. Colds happen and no amount of bitching on social media will make them go away any faster. But I haven’t been going to CrossFit. Now that I feel like a heifer I am finally well enough to go back, I looked up what awaits me in tomorrow’s WOD (Workout of the Day):

“Diane”

21-15-9 reps of:
225 pound Deadlift
Handstand push-ups

That’s the men’s weight, in case you were wondering. Women’s weight would be about 150-ish. Which I can do, but handstand pushups are another story. I can do the handstand against the wall, but getting my head all the way to the floor while upside down? umfuckno. My arm/back strength isn’t there yet. Luckily the beauty of CrossFit is scaling: adapting the movement to something similar that will help you progress up to full strength (called Rx). The alternatives?

Modified handstand push-ups using a box. And HI, LOOK AT MY ASS.

Wall handstand with abmats – where I am.

End goal – wall handstand, no abmats, head to floor and back up. with those abs.

My only reason for posting this is that I tell people that I do CrossFit, and they 1. recoil in horror and say WHY?!?! and 2. Ask me if I can do a handstand pushup. What they don’t understand is that there are a lot of things in CrossFit that the majority of the population cannot do. You have to spend a lot of time building up to the crazy that you see in the CrossFit Games on ESPN. I’m talking years. Go with me on this: I compare CrossFit to Bikram Yoga. You’ll never be perfect at all 26 poses of Bikram unless you spend years repeatedly performing the same movements, the same way, and build the strength to get your body past many, many hurdles. But the satisfaction comes in reaching tiny portions of those goals, step by step, moving you that much closer toward the place YOU want to end up. Not where anyone says you have to go. It’s personal. Not everyone who does CrossFit thinks this way, but it’s how I see it.

Thursday’s Things:

Exactly what it sounds like. Foodonmydog.com

I don’t feel like this every day. But sometimes.  A few years from now.

How I felt about my lists this week. Trying to figure things out.

Anything using the phrase “bag of smashed assholes” gets my respect. Looking in the mirror.

I want this cat. When my bed eats my phone.

I’m not exactly a big deal on the internet, but mark my words. Best new tumblr out there right now. Yay for RANDOM PENGUINS!

Some new Camp Mighty bloggy friends. I’m diggin’ on reading their post-camp recaps. I’m sure there are plenty more that I’m remiss in linking – I will find you all and I mean that in an un-stalker-ish way.

  • Budget Fairy Tale – Things Mindy is good at: wedding planning on a budget and being an all-around sweetheart.
  • Inward Facing Girl – Melanie rocks as much as much as her hair’s green streak!
  • Leslie Fandrich – ridiculously talented writer, photographer and artist. Want to be her when I grow up.
  • The Amber Show  – so much heart in this lady. If I’m in Brooklyn ever, we’re totally having drinks.
  • SugarLeg – I should put on my Life List to run a race with her. That would rule.
  • GlutenFree Travelette – Adina is all over the map, except in how awesome she is.
  • Daffodil Campbell – her hugs make me wish Maui were closer.
  • Donuts Dresses and Dirt – Sheri. Gorgeous words, gorgeous pictures, gorgeous person.
  • Brittany Herself – where she posts about the crotch-numbing Vespa experience.

I saved the best for last.

Yeah Write. Oh, Yeah Write, how I love thee. I first joined up with this weekly writing submission group over the summer and haven’t looked back since.  Every week, I read so many posts that inspire me, make me feel big feelings, and push me to be a better writer. It has a competitive aspect to it, but it is not at all cutthroat or dependent upon who wins or not. I am grateful that Erica found me and encouraged me to link up. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to check it out. The people of Yeah Write are amazing men and women, crazy-talented, supportive and hilarious. They’ve become kind of like my little internet family and I’ve met some amazing people through them.

There’s my roundup of Thursday’s Things.  Which means, it’s almost the weekend. Tanks God.

Day 28: Lists and Longhand

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I’m a list-maker. Lists make me not crazy. I have been known to color-code and pivot table my grocery lists.

Not really.

When I feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done, I start with a list. Then I prioritize said list by a few sub-lists.

  1. Things that have to get done OMFGRIGHTNOW
  2. Things that have to get done TODAY or the world will stop spinning
  3. Things that have to get done SOON? (ie: the next few days or so)
  4. Things that can wait a while and no one will die.

Once I have a clear idea of the personality of my “things” I tackle those OMFGRIGHTNOW guys first, and in order of their own tugging on my pant legs. Once they are quiet, I move down to the next category and work my way through the line in order of their priorities. And so on and so on. This system works for me 99.99% of the time.

Now seems to be the 00.01% of the times it is not.

Thinking about it, I couldn’t be happier as to why my OCD-style lists aren’t effective at the moment. It’s because there is so much to do that is good. I just don’t know where to start! It’s all so big and shiny and exciting that I’m kind of sitting back, staring at my awesome to-dos in admiration… but not digging in yet. Silly, yes. But trust me, I also know this is a GREAT problem to have. I just need to pick a starting point and DO.

lemme stop.

Then, between doing NaBloPoMo (blogging every day for the month of November) via YeahWrite (which means reading my rowmies and columnites there, and once a week writing something with *substance* instead of my normal asinine rambling), plus all the post-CampMighty processing/brain-dumping, I’m kind of all over the place. Kind of like that last sentence, there. Hello, 2.5 college degrees, why do you desert me?

I’ll get my focus soon I hope, because I have a busy December coming up!

I want to continue my streak of writing every day, but in a different form. Get this – I signed up for Alice Bradley’s Month of Writing Prompts. In this MOWP exercise I’ll be using Alice’s provided prompts to free-write for 15 minutes a day, in longhand. Do not stop at Go, keep writing, do not edit, just WRITE. This will be a challenge for me, Miss Perfectionista, who wants to fix things the moment they appear from the tip of my pen or on the screen. Plus there’s the fact that my handwriting is completely illegible to everyone on earth but me. But in the end, I want to stick to writing fiction only. To use the prompts to let my imagination go where it wants and just wing it.  No personal blatherings scrawled on paper to muck through the allotted time. I want to CREATE something, for 15 minutes, every day. Just like Margaret Stewart said here:

… as “creators” of anything, we have to find and defend our time to MAKE. No excuses. It’s important.

Yes. Yes it is. Let’s just hope I don’t wind up with a notebook full of doodles instead of stories.

Aside from my writing commitment there is also: stick to my training schedule for my upcoming 15K, keep up the usual CrossFit self-torture, complete my holiday shopping, do some holiday traveling and continue my life list badassery.

Y’all ready to keep up with me???

I’ma need some stronger coffee.

A PR Hat Trick!

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CrossFit dorkery ahead. I’m sorry but not sorry.

  1. I did my first ever kipping pull-up last night!!! This is huge for me! Granted, I only did ONE at a time and still have no idea how to string them together, but YAY! I DID IT!
  2. Then I unexpectedly PR’d by a lot on a lift called a “split jerk” (think pushing a barbell overhead while dropping into a lunge position). Not only did my trainer push me way further than expected, I also used a “guy bar” on accident. Which means the numbers below are actually 10lbs heavier! stfu. No way.
  3. Then today I surprised the hell out of myself and did 8 unbroken double unders! (Speed-jump-rope – the rope has to pass under you twice per jump.) Considering I’ve maxed out at 3 or 4 at a time for a damn month now, I didn’t think I’d ever start to get it. Or that I’d ever stop whipping the shit out of my own arms/legs while I learn how. This is not the blog for Fifty Shades of Grey, dammit!!!  OW. I’m not nearly consistent yet with them, but WOOHOO!  Too bad they kinda make you feel like you have to pee a little.  Oh jeez, and I haven’t even had kids yet…is this what I have to look forward to? Kegals for me! (Too much? Nah. Put on your big boy/girl pants, folks.)

After my sweaty workout this morning, I hit the grocery store to shop for my party tomorrow!!!  iwillnotfreakoutiwillnotfreakoutiwillnotfreakout All that’s left to do today is cleaning the house, making the pumpkin granola, watching my Dawgs kick some ass, and enjoying how delicious my house is going to smell!

I’m making great progress on my Camp Mighty fundraising for Charity: Water, but I’m not quite to my goal yet! Again, if you want info on how to donate and help me kick some more ass for a great cause, leave me a comment and I’ll get you the details. xoxox

Okay, these babies are calling my name to get filled!

Oh and sorry for all the shouty capitals and exclamation points. I may have had too much coffee. Oops.

8 Week Challenge #9: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

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Yep. It’s last call, folks.  The Pish Posh 8 Week Challenge is coming to an end.  I will end this fun endeavor with my highlight/blooper reel but before I do, I want to thank Pish Posh.  This gal is incredible, not only as a writer and the fearless leader of this challenge, but as a person. She is going through some hard times right now, and I can only hope she knows how much we are all here to support her. Pish, I’m sending you all the good juju I have. You deserve it.

Without further ado, The Good, The Bad and The FUgly about my experience with the Pish Posh 8 Week Challenge:

  • Came to terms with my new bootylicious booty body shape/structure, and shopped for clothes that worked with it.

  • Had a nasty cold, which meant all I wanted to do was eat to feel better.
  • Broke up with my boyfriend, which meant all I wanted to do was eat to feel better.

totally stole this from Pish Posh.

  • Realized that my “cheat foods” on Paleo Faileo plus face-eating of pints of Haagen Dazs were causing stupid weight gain.

  • Flipped tires, climbed ropes, jumped over boxes and onto boxes, lifted a ton of weight, ran a race in a tutu, smashed my previous 5K time, and probably confused/bored you all to death with my CrossFit updates. But thanks for putting up with it!!! 🙂

  • Fought with the scale, but have stopped the calorie counting cold-turkey and replaced it with listening more to what my body NEEDS. Not wants. The mental adjustment continues… it is so difficult when you’ve been heavy and are determined to never let yourself get back there. Didn’t know that about me? Yep. Go read here if you want my body journey.
  • Took a break.  Ate my way through Vegas.

  • Upon return, I knocked all that cheating/emotional eating shit off and decided to sumo-tackle a Whole30.  Happy to report I’ve been completely, 100%, entirely dairy-free and grain-free, alcohol-free, and legume-free for 15 days now.
  • Jumped on a 4 week plank challenge over here and I better have some damn ab muscles to show for it when it’s over. 🙂
  • Tried a ton of new recipes and learned the hard way that blenders and wooden spoons don’t play well in the sandbox. Oops.

My goals for the rest of the year are:

  • Finish out my Whole30 without cheating.
  • Continue on the path of healthy eating, with kindness and love to myself instead of anger at a number on the scale.
  • Keep CrossFit’n like a badass. I want to be able to do kipping pull-ups by mid-November!!

In closing (snifffffffff waaahhh), I tried, and I bellyflopped a little, but I consider the lessons learned worthwhile.  I certainly know I couldn’t have persevered through the rough weeks or the days I did not want to work out without my challenge buddies cheering me on (or twitter-smacking me upside the head, THANKS GUYS). It helped to see myself through your kind and objective eyes. Eyes that are nowhere near as critical as my own.  It helped me be nicer to myself about what I see in the mirror or on the scale. Because Pish Posh is right, we all need to take better care.

Y’all stay in touch with your progress!