Monday, April 28, 2014

What I've been eating lately

As I was writing last night's post about Jimbos and nachos and biscotti and hard candy from the bottom of my car, I realized that I probably sound like a bit of a pig and you may be thinking, "Geez, Katelyn is sure sucking it up at eating healthy..."

Well, I did want to write a little about what I have been eating and the food decisions I have been making.  Now, there certainly have been some poor choices in the mix and some indulgences, but I have also been trying to make an effort to eat smartly and make good choices when it comes to food.

Last week I tracked my Weight Watchers points every day, even when I went over (okay, except for Friday with the nachos...) and thought about the food I was eating.  This weekend, despite the candy, I have been writing down and accurately tracking what I've been eating.  Being sick may have helped curb my appetite a little bit, but at this point, I will take any of the help I can get!  I'm now a few days in of being really happy with my food choices and eating some delicious food in the process.  So, let me share what a few of those things have been.

First, what I mentioned yesterday.  English muffin toasted with a wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb cheese spread on it and some cut up tomatoes.  And also tea. Lots of tea (sickness... bleh...)

Some weeks salads just taste really good and this past week was one of those weeks.  This salad I had on Saturday night was seriously out of this world.  Mixed greens with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled egg (whites only), alfalfa sprouts, and some slivered chili maple almonds. OMG delicious.

I ate a cornish hen!  This is the evidence of my tiny bird, which came with kale on the side and also french fries, which I got on a totally separate plate so I wouldn't eat them all and shared them with the table.

Beverages.  Beverages up the wazoo.  I'm back on my breakfast protein smoothie kick which I am making with frozen fruits, almond milk, kale, and protein powder every day.  They are so delicious and yummy and keeping me full til lunch!  And then coffee.  We've had a few nice days and I love me some iced coffee when the weather is warm.  I tried to give up coffee and did for a couple years, but lately coffee has been tasting oh so good.  I still avoid Splenda, which was one of the reasons that I gave up coffee... I would always have it with artificial sweetener and wanted to avoid that.  I now drink it with just skim milk and it is still very enjoyable!

Tonight I roasted up some brussel sprouts so I can't really say that it is something I've been eating regularly now, but I really love these things.  Is there anything better than a deliciously cooked brussel sprout?  I can't believe I was just introduced to these things in the past couple years because they have quickly become my favorite vegetable.  Love these guys.  I also roasted up some zucchini, garlic and carrots last week that I ate with quinoa.  Quinoa is another thing that was just introduced to me that has become a new favorite of mine.  Yum, yum, yum. 

So, that is a short list of some of the foods that have been making eating healthy a bit easier for me.  I also need to get back into saving my sweetness until the end of the day for a bit of chocolate, but all things with time, right?  I can see myself getting there, which I am happy about.

What have you been eating lately that you are loving?  I love getting new recipe ideas and am hoping to have some new things to try soon.  Since I haven't been feeling well, I pulled some chicken noodle soup out of the freezer that I'll eat this week, along with salads and a few dinners out that I have planned.  But for the coming weeks, I would love a new recipe to try.  Or perhaps another new food!  Any suggestions?  What do you love?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Celebrity Weekend

Despite spending 75% of my weekend doing pretty much nothing, I had a really great weekend you guys.  And it started with my night as a "celebrity judge" at the Mop & Bucket Company's improv show on Friday!

I stole that picture off of their website, but if you see those numbers they are holding up -- that was what I got to do on Friday night.  Hold numbers in the air telling people how funny they were (or weren't.)  Pretty awesome, right?

I started having fun with the experience of being the judge at the improv show long before the show actually started on Friday.  Since the role I was playing was called a "celebrity judge" it was fun to just tell people that I was a "celebrity judge" and see their faces as they wondered if I had some sort of secret celebrity life they didn't know about (I don't...)  My friends know about my ridiculousness and ability to get myself involved in random, interesting situations so it was pretty normal for them, however, kind of funny when the head of the business I worked for asked me to do something Friday night and I had to explain I couldn't because I had a commitment as a "celebrity judge" at a local performance.

My friends and I met after work for drinks and dinner at Bomber's -- a local Mexican bar -- where I warmed myself up with a jimbo (mix of margarita and beer... so not on in the WW points range...) and nachos (...I'm supposed to be eating healthy?...)  It's always a good time enjoying drinks and food with friends and I was really happy that everyone had come out!  I went over to the show early to get briefed on how to be a judge, which was pretty simple, hold up a card based on how I thought the scenes went -- 1 is terrible and 5 is best thing I've seen in my life -- and honk a horn if the scene just needs to end.

I have never been to an improv show so I wasn't sure what would happen next but there were 2 teams and they would "challenge" each other to a "scene that is loud" or a "scene that involves the audience" or something else along those lines. The two teams would then go back and forth with different types of scenes that went along those lines.  It was really interesting to watch and all of the members of the teams were so impressive!  Scenes would end when the person controlling the lights shut them off, when the horn was blown, or when the ones that involved battling back and forth had a winner.

One of my favorite scenes of the night was when they involved audience members to sort of play a live version of Mad Libs where the cast would say a sentence and then stop half way through and let the audience volunteer fill in the word.  It was funny, impressive, and I loved that my friends decided to volunteer and take part!

These are the only two terrible pictures that I have of the evening that I had to sneakily take when my friends were up on the stage!  The other skits I loved were the ones that involved singing. I love singing and making up songs as they go along and although the members of the improv group would put me to shame, I have to say that I don't generally do too terrible of a job in making up my own songs!

Anyways, all in all, I really enjoyed the show and the experience and will definitely want to return at some point as either a judge, or an audience member because it was a fun, different experience!

The rest of the weekend consisted of running events, errands, and some time with my laptop catching up on work.  My day on Saturday started with the MOPS fun run, which was a 10K race I had found online and signed up for.  MOPS stands for Mothers of Pre-Schoolers and it was a small race, where I am pretty sure I was the only one there who was not somehow affiliated with the group (aka a mother of a preschooler...)  It wasn't chip timed, but I had decided to do it just as a motivation to run FAST.  And by fast, I mean fast for me.

I've been wanting to work on speed now that the marathon is over and I haven't run for speed in a while since I've just been working on distance.  The fastest I have run an "official" 10K was about 57 minutes before this race, but I know that when I did my half marathon in September, my split for the 10K was around 55 minutes.  That was the time I was aiming for.  When I crossed the finish, the time said it was 55:36 as a finish but my Garmin watch actually only clocked the race as being 6.12 miles so I kept running until my watch said 6.2 (a 10K) at which my watch said 56:07.  I'm not sure exactly what to think of the time, but I will go with 55:36 but still really want to improve on that.

To be honest, although I guess it was "technically" a PR, I was a little bummed with how hard it felt to run for speed.  I know that it was the first race I've done in a while so it probably should have been expected.  I've been focusing on distance, keeping a consistent, slower pace, and have also put on a little bit of weight over the past couple weeks, which matters.  But still, it was a little hard.  One of my goals is to run a half marathon under 2 hours and the race I am aiming to do in is the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon in September.  It's weird, I know I've gotten close to it with a 2:03:46 half marathon last year, but I couldn't imagine continuing to run another 7 miles at the pace from Saturday!  I guess I have my work cut out for me over the summer to work at getting faster.

Anyways, on Sunday (today), I did a little part to give back to the running community by volunteering at a local 5K that was taking place this morning.  I've been wanting to do this for a while and finally did when a co-worker told me about this race she helps organize because it supports ALS, which her brother passed away from a few years ago.  I was given the role of "course marshal" and was set up by the 1-mile mark directing runners around a corner.  It was really a fun time and felt good to be at a race as a supporter, like at the Boston Marathon (but on a much smaller and more intimate level, obviously.)

After a chilly few hours outside at the race, I stopped at a coffee shop on the way home with my laptop to warm up for a few hours with a cappuccino and biscotti.

So, besides some laundry, some grocery shopping, a little cooking, and organizing, that was pretty much my weekend.  I came down with a cold on Friday so I decided to keep it low key and got some rest and caught up on a number of TV shows like Parenthood, Mindy Project, and Sherlock.  I'm still weeks behind on TV, but got a big hunk done this weekend.  Exciting, right?

Anyways, one more tidbit from the weekend I should share because this is the "Hungry Twenties" is my "fat kid" moment of the day today.  I was driving to the grocery store and eating a snack in the car of an english muffin I toasted and spread with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge and some cut up tomatoes (my new favorite thing, by the way.)  A piece of tomato fell between the seat and the center console so I pulled over to get it out right away, otherwise, I knew I'd forget about it until I had a rotten, gross tomato stinking up my car.  When I moved the seat back to get it out I found a piece of wrapped, hard candy, which I was pumped about and ate immediately.  It was only after it was in my mouth that I thought to myself.  Is this gross?! I have no idea when or where the candy was from, but didn't really care.  I love candy, haha.

Happy start to your week everyone!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter & Marathon-ing!

So, before I get started writing, I have to confess that I am having a bad few days.  I have been having a hard time getting back on track eating wise since the marathon and since the month I traveled.  Last week I went back to counting Weight Watchers points but then I went home for the weekend and pretty much let myself go.  I didn't think about what I was eating and consumed way, way too many calories -- most of which were on food of ZERO value like candy and sweets.

I thought that once I got back to Albany I would be able to get back in the groove but I've still struggled today.  I just ate an entire chocolate Easter bunny filled with caramel and ate a ton of chocolate covered pretzels and yogurt covered pretzels from the bulk food section and enchiladas from Trader Joe's and then some shredded cheese right out of the bag.  I know that just those things aren't bad, but it's been a series of days.  I said that after the marathon and after traveling I would get back on track and then I said after Easter I would get back on track and ugh, now I'm struggling again.  It's really true that sugar is more addicting than cocaine.  It's insane.

Anyways, back on track with what I wanted to post about!  The Boston Marathon was yesterday!

I was SO looking forward to going to the race and just cheering and supporting all of the people conquering their own "Everest" on Marathon Monday in Boston. Despite growing up having always watched the Boston Marathon on TV, I have never actually been there in person to watch the race.  Yesterday was definitely the day to do it.

It was gorgeous.  It was the first race after last year's tragedy.  The runners were totally badass running this year's race and the "Boston Strong" message rang loud and clear all throughout Boston.  And I'm not going to lie, although I was just a spectator yesterday, it did feel pretty cool cheering on the runners knowing that I was one of them.  That I am a "marathoner" as well.

However, yesterday was not my day, it was THEIRS.  I first saw the elite runners pass, which was very cool, and cheered for a high school classmate of mine who is sponsored by the B.A.A. and finished in around 2:35!  Craziness!

I really enjoyed cheering on the runners who came by hours later though.  "My people." I tried to give them all of my energy and encouragement ringing my cowbell as loud as I could, cheering until my throat hurt, and giving out high fives whereever they seemed they were needed.

I knew how amazing it was when someone yelled out my name from my race bib so I tried to cheer for anyone by name that I could.  It was such a fun experience and I also got to see one of my coworkers run by, who had actually done a training run with us this winter - Jessica's Birthday Blizzard Half Marathon.  Go John, go!

All in all, the day in Boston was great.  There were definitely some annoyances with the security and access to areas like the finish.  However, I understand why they were doing it.  And although it was frustrating to not be able to get in to where my friends were cheering and watching at one point because access had been closed down, I tried not to let it bother me and appreciated the service that they were providing in making sure the race went smoothly.

There was inspiration every where you looked in Boston yesterday and it warmed my heart and made me excited for the races I have in store and for someday running Boston myself!  I love this city!

The rest of my weekend after I left you on Saturday night was great.  It included lots of family time with my mom, spin class on Sunday with amazing shout outs from the teacher about my marathon, celebrations at my grandmother's on Sunday, Boston-ness, a run along the river, and a stop at my dad's on Monday on the way home.  We had a big Easter dinner on Sunday, cleaned my grandmother out of her jelly bean's and enjoyed the sunny weather outside.  However, I left my family celebration a little bit earlier than usual on Sunday to head in to Boston and enjoy the Red Sox vs. Orioles game on Easter night.  It was an amazing come-from-behind win in the 9th inning by the Red Sox and a beautiful, fun evening with some of my best friends!

So with that recap of my Boston-filled weekend, I just want to answer a couple quick questions of yours before signing off for the night!  I realized from one of your comments that I never actually posted my marathon finish time!  I wanted to share that as well as my splits.

Now, I mentioned my A goal was to finish strong, B goal was under 5 hours and C goal was to finish as close to 4:30 as possible.  I was SUPER happy about my finish time of my first marathon at 4:37:25!  I have the following official splits via the Paris Marathon tracker.

And my Garmin mile by mile splits are below.  As you can see, mile 9-10 was when I was looking for Jess and Dani and then, I picked it up around mile 20ish with my "I will NOT hit a wall!" mindset!  Otherwise, I had a fairly consistent race!

And for those of you who want to follow me on Instagram, you can join the fun at @HungryTwenties!

Enjoy your weeks!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Early Easter!

Hey everyone, I hope that you are having a great weekend!  Blogging on a Saturday night... I'm pretty cool, huh?

Anyways, I ended up having a pretty busy week and haven't had the chance to blog until now.  It's nice to have busy weeks, especially, as I mentioned, I am "fighting the blues" just a little bit.  Let's recap on that a little bit.

On Wednesday morning I woke up early and when I stepped out of the house to go meet the girls to run, I opened the door to a couple inches of snow on the ground. WHAT?!?  It had been around 70 on Monday!  So ridiculous.  After being in milder temperatures in Europe for a month, I felt so discombobulated and didn't know what to do.  What do I wear?  How will I stay warm?  Should I start my car?  Ahhhh!!

We did a 3-mile run that was one of the worst runs condition-wise of the whole season.  The city was not prepared for the weather and there was no salt on the ground so the whole road was just a sheet of ice.  We had to tip toe run and "balance beam" run through the tire tracks that made a somewhat ice-free path for us to run on.  It was not fun and I am officially SICK and EXHAUSTED of the cold.  I'm done.  No more!

Luckily the weather warmed up throughout the day and by the evening most, if not all of the snow was gone.  I had a fun evening where I went to the All Over Albany 6th birthday party.  I go to this event every year and I always love connecting with people in the local blogging community.

Plus, it is always in a cool location and there is great food, cupcakes and drinks.  This year was especially cool because I met some really interesting people from the Mop & Bucket Co. improv group and was invited to be a "celebrity" judge at their show next Friday night!  I am pretty sure that the word "celebrity" is synonymous with "random person" in this case, but whatever, I am vain and they said "celebrity" so I am going to continue to call myself a "celebrity judge."  I am really excited about the opportunity and think a bunch of my friends are going to come out and watch next Friday.  Stay tuned til then to see how it goes and thank you so much to AOA for a great event as always!

Thursday morning I rejoined my friend for a Tough Mudder workout, the first for months.  And in the time that I stopped the workouts and went away and returned, they've advanced a couple levels on the workout plans and things have gotten a bit... tougher!  But it was nice to get sweaty in the gym again and I am really getting excited to train more for this race and run the Tough Mudder in May.  If you are interested in the workouts we have been doing, you can check them out on the Tough Mudder website.

That evening after work I caught up with more old [and some new!] friends for drinks.  I'm excited because I think I've recruited a couple new people to join our morning running groups and some more local runners to do races with.  It was also just fun to see friends and catch up more after my weeks away.  I'm looking forward to this summer and enjoying time outdoors with my local group of friends.  It's funny because time goes by so fast and you don't always realize it.  It seems like just yesterday I was writing my "5 year" blog post about when I first moved to Albany and now in a blink of an eye, another year has passed.  My friends here mean so much to me and take care of me in many ways.  Thursday's night out was really needed and left me really happy.

As did our great 5-mile run on Friday morning that was followed by a Starbucks Friday with some special guests.  This week has been killing it with the sunrises.

It is one of my favorite ways to start a day, and I was lucky enough to have the day end in one of my favorite ways also.  With my best friends in Boston!  I don't have any good pictures of us or of the delicious food we ate at Back Bay Harry's but it was fun.  We also started the evening with a drink of Sam Adam's Marathon Brew at Dillon's on Boylston.  Boylston, and the rest of Boston for that matter, is completely decked out in marathon excited.  It was so exciting and fun to see and I was definitely feeling a bit of runner envy seeing everyone walk around with their bags from the expo and marathon jackets on.

This morning I tried to shake out some of my runner envy by going for an easy 3 mile run around Back Bay and towards Fenway.  There was a B.A.A. 5K going on and lots of runners dressed up for Boston and I am so excited to be there on Monday and so excited about the idea of someday running the Boston Marathon.

I have been wondering what could possibly be as good as the feeling of running my FIRST marathon but I think that running the marathon that I grew up watching on television every year could possibly do it.  Running the marathon that is so symbolic and meaningful to me is definitely something I will someday do.  Bucket list: ADDED.

I do feel like I am going a little bit nuts with the races lately.  I am right now signed up for at least one 5K, 3.5 mile race, 10K, 15K, half marathon, marathon, relay race, mud run, and triathlon between now and October.  I am a race registering fiend and I just keep finding more marathons to add to my list of ones I want to do.  I had lunch with Daniella on Friday when she was in town for the day and we just kept listing off all the marathons we wanted to run.  New York City! Chicago! Berlin! Istanbul! Boston! Amsterdam! London! Barcelona! South Africa! RUN ALL THE MARATHONS!

After my morning in Boston I head to Rhode Island to spend the day with family, which was really amazing.  Ate way too much food and got to see my mom and grandparents for the first time since the marathon, which was really exciting.  And luckily, it was an incredibly beautiful day, which made for a really nice afternoon like with my mom & bro.

I hope that you are having as great a weekend and enjoy your weekend - no matter what you celebrate!