My Friday morning started off healthy and wonderful – with a 4.5 mile jog by the river. I felt a bit slow as I ran, but didn’t worry about it, since I wasn’t trying to achieve a certain pace – just trying to shake out my legs a little bit and break a sweat. However, thanks to the accountability of posting my runs to Twitter/Facebook, my buddy Adam later pointed out my pace – around an 8:45 average. I hadn’t even noticed that, and was very excited that 8:45 seems to be my new “so comfy it feels slow” pace. Years ago, when I first started running, I couldn’t break out of the 9:30 zone (even trying tricks like running to music with a faster beat in an attempt to help me pick it up); it was exciting to find that my norm now is so much faster.
I had a very busy day packed with appointments and meetings (including one very exciting meeting that I can say more about in a few weeks). When 7pm hit and I was done with work, I had no interest in happy hour or going out – for once. All I wanted was a quiet night, so I had made tentative plans with my best friend to hang out and catch up on episodes of The Office. However, he decided to go to bed super early, so I was flying solo. While I had already done a 4.5 mile run in the morning, I decided I was actually really in the mood to lift weights. (Boy, just a year ago, that sentence would never have come out of my mouth). So I headed over to the gym and did some hardcore weightlifting for 45 minutes, and then headed home to make a healthy spaghetti squash dinner.
While I considered having pasta to carb up a bit for all the crazy activities I was going to do the next day, the spaghetti squash in my fridge was calling to me. Seriously, how do I not make spaghetti squash for every meal? It is so delicious! This time, I made it with onions, zucchini, tomatoes, ground turkey breast, and some Italian herbs/spices: oregano, basil, black pepper, and tons of garlic. As I added all the veggies to my saute pan, I started seeing the volume getting bigger and bigger – and while I realized that it was going to be pretty darn low in calories, I also realized it was going to be huge. So I did something I usually don’t do (but probably should more often): left half on my plate and ended up freezing it for later. My stint on crackers after food poisoning has gotten me used to not eating as much volume and still feeling satisfied, and I was really pleased that even when I knew I could eat a lot (low calorie meal + hard workout right beforehand), I figured out my limits. That’s huge progress from me on the eating front, and I’m thrilled!
But Saturday was no day to skimp on calories – I began the day with a fabulous and energizing free Zumba class at Athleta Upper West Side, where due to the relatively early start time of 8:30am, I found myself one of only two students in the class. (That 8:30am start was no problem for me, Ms. Super Cool I-Went-To-Bed-At-9:30-PM-On-A-Friday-Night). Personal attention, woo hoo! I have to say, I am totally obsessed with the Zumba dance to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, which mostly involves lost of jumping and spinning and other fun stuff – it puts me in a fabulous mood for the rest of the day.
The activity for the day was not nearly over yet though! At noon, I lined up with a group of runners at Madison Square Park for the third edition of “Will Run for Beer” Claire‘s epic beer runs.
In case you don’t remember the last time I posted about this, here’s how it works: start at a predefined park. Run to first bar. Drink. Run to second bar. Drink more. Etc. While the last edition featured 6 bars, this winter tour covered only 4… plus a post-run bar in case we weren’t drunk enough already. Not to worry, though – what I lacked in utter drunkenness I made up for in drama and stupidity when I tripped over a pothole on the way to the last bar, fell flat on my face as a city bus approached (and briefly wondered if I was going to get run over), and skinned my hands and knees pretty badly. OUCH!
Of course, falling on the way didn’t stop me from inhaling a burger and shake at Shake Shack at our last official stop. Believe it or not, I had never had Shake Shack before (a sin, I know) – but while I found the Hopskotch shake (hot caramel sauce, chocolate toffee and Valrhona chocolate chunks) superb, I found the burger just okay. Next time, shakes only! We ended the night at Rattle N Hum (my favorite beer bar in the citY), where I alternated trying not to fall asleep (beer + running = tiring!) with wearing out my phone’s battery dramatically texting my friends about my war wounds.
Unfortunately, while I may have been dramatic about them on Saturday, by Sunday, it seemed fully justified. I realized that your knees are a pretty terrible place to get hurt, because they are constantly having to bend when you stand up, walk, etc – so the scabs are constantly having to stretch and whatnot. Ouch again! As such, I skipped the morning group run I had planned for the day, and then got my workout in the form of an awesome Greatist Gractivity, which I was lucky enough to get an invite to join. Too fun! (More on this tomorrow).
Overall – a pretty darn active weekend! Hopefully that momentum will stick with me as I get back to the old grind of traveling, long hours, and team dinners…