lifestyle

A Confession of a Grocery Shopper

I have a confession to make…  

I do the majority of my grocery shopping at Walmart, Target, Wegmans or our local super market Shoprite.   I don’t enjoy grocery shopping that much and I go in on a mission, get my food and leave.  I don’t spend hours scouring each individual aisle.

grocery cart

I’m not a foodie.

I’m not great at cooking.

I don’t spend a small fortune on food.

I use coupons when I remember them.

I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes 3 times a year (if that).

I don’t buy the latest and greatest organic protein powders and nut butters.

I do, however, eat well and take in the proper nutrients (most of the time).  I actually have a public health college degree and have taken multiple college nutrition courses.  In personal experience, those who studied nutrition are the least stressed about it.   They don’t worry about the newest foodie fads or the most expensive gourmet foods.

The majority of our household meals take a maximum of 30 minutes to make. I have no problems eating the standard meat, potatoes and veggies multiple times each week.  It doesn’t bother us and we know it works and is healthy.  We will add variety with different meats, starches and vegetables but we don’t cut out food groups.  We have no need to substitute carbohydrates for more vegetables (such as cauliflower crust pizza).   Our food is simple and identifiable.

It is not that I can’t afford to shop at specialty grocery stores.  If my interest was to try multiple specialty foods, I would.  I don’t have a need to complicate my nutrition.  I don’t have a need to spend 50 dollars on a tub of protein powder that would last me a week.  When did we transition to be “trendy grocery shoppers”?  What makes the Whole Foods brand of cereal O’s better?

As a society, we obsess too much over food.  Whether we are obsessing over the latest fad diet or we are obsessing over the brand of our cereal.  We are obsessed with food.   We complicate food and nutrition.

The bottom line is a common myth and misconception is that it is necessary to shop at a specialty grocery store to eat well.  That is not true and any grocery store is going to provide quality food and nutrients to keep your body healthy (from Walmart or Trader Joes).

Questions for you:

Where do you do most of your grocery shopping?

How long does the average dinner in your house take to cook?

Feel the Love 5k (20:12)

Tim and I decided to run a 5k on Valentine’s Day.  The Feel the Love 5k was a team event.  We entered the “lovers category” and made our team name “Planes and Pancakes”.  It was in Philadelphia at 3:30pm.  It made for a really odd race time, especially on Valentine’s Day but Tim and I didn’t mind.  I went into this race with the strict mentality it was a workout.  I had run a successful 20 mile race before and I was finishing my marathon peak week.

Ready to go

Ready to go

I ran 5 miles in the morning to shakeout my legs.  I am normally a morning runner.  I always prefer a morning race but this was a unique experience.  My legs have also been feeling stiff since the 20 miler. As much as I do want a 5k PR in the future, I haven’t been training for that.  My plan through the summer is to run more 5ks and hopefully work towards a PR.

Anyways, around 2pm it started snowing a lot in South Jersey.  Tim and I tossed the idea around (too much) of just skipping the race.   We were cold, I was grouchy and my legs weren’t feeling the best.   I had already taken off work as well as payed for the race so we headed over.

For the race itself, It was really cold so I wore pants.  There have only been 4 races in my running career that I’ve worn pants for!

Logistics wise, after getting lost a few times we made it to the Navy Shipyard to the race in Philadelphia.  We grabbed our bibs and did a 2 mile warm up.  I felt significantly better in the morning but still not great.

This particular race had two “courses”.  Each team member would run a different course and you would see each other several times during the race.  Both courses looped around each other and you ended up doing 12 turns!  It felt like a track.

The race started smoothly and the team members went their separate ways.  The first mile I hit in 6:40.  Despite going into the race with a “workout mentality”, I was disappointed.   I quickly shook that feeling and realized that it was a good time for where I currently was (untapered, tired and on a difficult course).  I was passed by a lot of people during the first mile.  I saw T on the course.  With the course directly on the water, the first loop also allowed me to see where the wind was the worst.

The second mile I also ran in 6:40.  I passed many people and was also passed by many people.  I think I moved places the most in this 5k.   Normally I’ll be in the same place for half of the race but people were passing (or I passed a few people) more often in this race.  Not that it really matters but I could tell it was a fast field.

The final mile I ran a lot faster.  I don’t know how or why but I just picked up the pace.  I think I was ready for this race to be done.  I knew I wouldn’t hit my original goal of breaking 20 minutes but I pushed the pace as much as possible.

I passed a few women and finished in 20:12 (which was surprising after my first mile).  The finish line was a hard left at the end and I didn’t see it coming up.  All of a sudden, the race was over.

A terrible photo but proof I wore pants.

The proof is in the pants (wow TWSS)

Tim and I finished 15th team overall.  We were happy with it because it was a very competitive race.  The first few teams average 17:XX 5k times, which was incredible!  We did 2 miles cooldown.  I would have liked to have been faster but due to the workouts and mileage I put in last week, that was not possible.  This was a lot of fun and I’m glad we both got out there for a solid workout.

Questions for you:

How did you spend Valentine’s Day?

Have you ever done a team race?

Week 12: The Best Week (73 miles)

It’s hard to believe there are two weeks until the Phoenix marathon.  Last week proved to me that I’m as ready as I’ll be for this race.  After my short back injury last week, I was extremely nervous going into this week and for the race in general.

My goal for the week was to get one long run and workout in.   

Monday: 10.65 miles easy
Tuesday: 20.16 miles (7:40 pace)
Wednesday: 5 miles extremely easy
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 10 miles easy
Saturday: AM: 5 miles easy
PM: Feel the Love 5k (20:05)
Sunday: 15 miles easy
Total:  73 miles

 

This week was exactly what I wanted.

Tuesday’s run was the best and the most motivating of the entire training cycle.  I don’t run a lot of miles at a harder pace but I wanted to get a a final long run in. I ran two loops around my area (it was boring but I was easily able to get fuel halfway through). My legs felt good and I felt strong.  I don’t think I could run another 5.1 miles at that pace (hopefully taper allows me too) but I am proud of how it went.

Then on Wednesday-Friday, I took it easy. My run on Friday was one of the most miserable runs I’ve had in a very long time.  It was extremely cold and by mile 3, the wind hit me like a train.  The first few miles weren’t as cold but once the wind hit, it truly felt like the -1 that the weather channel had been talking about.  If I had known how cold it was I would have run inside, no questions asked.  I got to work and was frozen the rest of the day.

Tim got back on Thursday and we signed up to do a team “Feel the Love” 5k on Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t know if I would be able to do this race due to my work schedule but thankfully they were really nice and allowed me too.  The race started at the random time 3:30 pm.  I woke up on Saturday knowing that my legs weren’t feeling that great (I would hope not after my workout earlier in the week).  I gave it my best and had a great time along the way.  I ran a 20:05 5k on a tough course.  It had so many turns it was like running on an indoor track (not an exaggeration because it had 12 turns).

Tim and I’s team name was “Planes and Pancakes”.  HA!

feel the love 5k

Sunday was also extremely cold.  I’m to the point that I’m not going to force myself to be miserable while running.  If it feels like -5 outside, I see no problems running inside.  I ran inside and caught up on news and trashy TV.

Cliff notes:

This week was exactly what I wanted and needed for my training cycle.  I got my last long run and workout in.  I got a smaller speed workout and in and I felt good (not injury free).  It’s time to start relaxing and tapering for the next two weeks.

Questions for you:

How do you taper for marathons?

What was your best workout of the week?

Why Phoenix Marathon?

With the Phoenix marathon about a month away, I realized I never explained my reasoning for choosing it. There were a lot of factors that went into choosing Phoenix as my first “goal race” of 2015.  I know I won’t be in peak fitness but I know it will be a good way to test my fitness level.  Since my plane tickets are now secure and I am officially signed up for the race, it’s becoming more real.  If you know me, then you know I wait until the last possible minute to sign up for races.

pheonix full marathon

I chose Phoenix for many different reasons.  The first reason is that it gives me plenty of time before my wedding in April.  I don’t want to be juggling marathon training and wedding planning in the same month.  I also don’t want to be exhausted from marathon recovery.  The ruled out a lot Spring east coast marathons such as the NJ full marathon and the Shamrock Full Marathon.

Next, The Phoenix course is flat and fast.  NYCM is the opposite. The New York City course is hard! I struggled with since it was my first and only marathon. I never realized how hard of a course it is! For my second marathon I want to race something flat and fast.  That was a big reason I chose to train for Wineglass last year. It is now the reason I chose to train for Phoenix this year.

Third, the weather is normally pretty decent in February. With some research and advice from friends, I’ve heard the weather is pretty nice for the race.  I can race in my trademark Runderwear and that is certainly a positive.  The average temperature is moderate with minimal wind.  Since we are currently receiving a snow storm on the east coast, any other weather seems better to race in.  Wind is a huge factor for east coast Spring races. Wind is another factor I didn’t choose an East Coast race.

I originally wrote this with the downside that T would not be able to come. After a positive change of events, it looks like he will come with me. In the length of time we have been together he has only seen one of my “goal races”. Words cannot express how excited I am to have him to to travel with me.  That is a huge plus.

The downside:

A direct flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix is 300-400 dollars.  While that isn’t bad, airfare does cost a bit.  My only choices for a winter marathon would require travel. I have a chunk in savings for occasions like this.  While I don’t go travel the world every other weekend, it doesn’t mean I can’t take a mini vacation. It’s well worth it for me to go run this race (I’m not associated with any of the blogging happenings going on at the race).  Honestly that isn’t a downside because it will be a nice mini vacation to the warmth. Everyone knows I’m always 10 jackets ahead of the norm.

Believe it or not, this is the first race I have flown too.

Cliff notes: The race is flat, fast and has great timing for my personal situation. I have a long enough training cycle for a good marathon build up but a short enough cycle to avoid an overuse injury.

Questions for you:
Have you traveled to a goal race before?
When is your next goal race?

FitStudio

As most people know, I was a SEARS ambassador throughout the Holiday months.  In exchange for Holiday gift cards (which we bought lots of Christmas lights), I posted about my Holiday shopping.  They have asked me to continue working with them on another campaign and I could not be more excited.

Sears has partnered and created a new website called Fitstudio.  My role as a Sears blogger is to bring awareness to this new website.  I don’t receive  compensation if you click the link, ect. I wanted to wait a few weeks to test out the website for myself to gather my own thoughts.  I can’t bring awareness to something I don’t know anything about.

————-

The website FitStudio.com by Sears allows you to put your fitness apps and tools to good use and get rewarded at the same time. Not only that but it features gear reviews, rewards, exercises, workout programs, and tips.

The short summary is: Fitstudio is a new social media website that allows you to exchange exercise for points.  You can use the points to shop at Sears.   One thing I personally like is that the app is completely free.  There are a lot of online workout programs that cost a monthly fee to belong too.  They also give exclusive deals to their members.  Yesterday I could have saved a bunch of money on a new elliptical (just for being a member).

Not only is it free but it rewards you for being active with the Points for Progress program’s #Achieve15 (wahoo more hashtags)

How to Earn Points:

The #Achieve15 program encourages members to run or walk 15 miles or burn 1,500 calories each week.  Then they reward you for achieving these goals with $5 of Shop Your Way.  So each 15 mile week goes towards Sears store credit.  You can break this up however you like: 15 mile run…1 mile walk 15 times…whatever.

Before I was a Sears blogger I had a general idea of items Sears sold.  I have bought several pieces of clothing, power tools (not for me LOLZ), furniture and jewelry at Sears.  When I became a Sears blogger and did more research, I learned how extensive their online store is.  I had no idea Sears has almost as much stuff as amazon.  It’s overwhelming.

online shopping meme

Fitstudio allows you to earn SEARS credit to purchase anything online.  You earn money just by being active.  For some people (which is easily the majority of people reading LOLZ!), they could be earning 5 dollars a week just by utilizing the new fitstudio social media website.

healthy rewards

Questions for you:

Would you use a social media website like this?

I am now because who doesn’t like free things for staying active.

Do you shop at Sears?

Training Week 9: 61 miles

As I mentioned earlier in the week, my calves were tight this week.  This lead to my plantar fascia becoming tight.  I know if I hadn’t taken proper measures, I would have ended up with plantar fasciitis (Proper measures meaning a deep tissue massage and a day off). This lead to my mileage lower then planned but I don’t care since I’m issue free.

One thing I struggle with when recapping each week is I feel like each week is “unusual”.  I always seem to have something pop up that caused my schedule not to go as planned.

This weekend I had a work gathering last night (which means I had to change my long run).  I was up late last night and running 20 miles this morning would have been painful.  (Hashtag: I need my sleep).  Since I don’t live my life to run, I changed my schedule a little bit.

Monday: 5 miles easy recovery
Tuesday: 11 miles
Wednesday: 10.75 miles
1.5 miles jog back from dropping my car off
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Long Run 21 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 10. 75 miles shake out
Total: 61 miles

 

So was this exactly the week I wanted? No.

Did I get in my long run workout in? Yes.

The runs earlier in the week were enjoyable runs.  I was recovering from last week’s long run and none of my runs were anything unusual.  I had to drop my car off at a repair shop to get some work done so I just ran the mile and a half home.

On Wednesday, I noticed I was feeling overall tight and sore.  My calves were extremely tight and I noticed my plantar fascia misbehaving too. I scheduled a deep tissue massage and it cleared everything up.

My original plan was to do a long run on Saturday.  Just like last week the weather did not cooperate. It poured rain, sleet and snow on Friday night and the roads were dangerous on Saturday morning.  If I had run on Saturday, it would have been on the treadmill. 

On Saturday evening, we had a work party until late.  I also couldn’t schedule a long run the night after a night drinking. My options became running long Friday before work or next Tuesday.  I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday in case something else popped up.  So Friday before work it was!

The run: I ran 10.5 miles at 8:30 pace in my Asics Nimbus.  I came home and ran the second half in my flats around 7:30-7:45 pace.  I always forget how much wearing a heavy shoe plays a role in training.  I didn’t feel like I was working a lot harder in my flats but my pace was almost a full minute faster.  I don’t train a lot in my flats but always notice a decrease in pace when I do train in my flats.

I plan to do one more run before my marathon similar to this.  It gave me motivation and I felt strong during the entire run.  It was one of the workouts I know I’ll look back at for the marathon and say “I’m ready”.

I finished the entire run by 9 am since I had to work by 10.  That’s how it goes.

I rested on Saturday and ran easy today.  It wasn’t anything too exciting but it was smart.

Overall thoughts of the week:

I would have liked to log another 70 mile week but due to the timing of my long run (and extra rest day) that didn’t happen.  I got the main run done which was the most important.

Plans for next week:

I’m going to Rochester, NY next weekend so I don’t have a long run planned next week.  I would like to get a higher mileage in next week.  I’m about 1 month away from race day so it’s time to peak my mileage and taper down.

Questions for you:

What is the earliest you have started a workout?

How is the weather this weekend around you?

We received a small amount of snow and ice.  There is a lot of black ice on the ground.

Articles: Jan 23

I alluded to this yesterday but this has been a weird week for me.  It’s hard to believe it’s actually Friday.  That being said, working in retail weekends are just another day.  Thanks to everyone for some great ideas on TV shows to DVR.

I’ll keep my post short and sweet today but here are some articles I’ve found the last week or two.

article meme

Blogging Articles:

4 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burn Out

9 Things only a Blogger Would Understand (So many LOLZ…so little time).

Fashion: 

Stylish People Say How Much They Spent This is so interesting!  There are some clothing options I cannot even imagine spending 5 dollars for!

Running:  

Running in Your 20s

How to get Excited about Training Again  Such a great and timely article, especially training in the winter!

Do Epsom salt baths really work? 

Interesting Articles: 

How to be Imperfect  & Still be Perfectly Happy  No one is perfect but accepting that is key!

25 Ways to Stop Feeling Over worked and Overwhelmed I’ve found this so true.  I’m often guilty of filling my life plate way to full.

From LOLZ:

A Look at my Personal Eating and Marathon Training

Don’t Survive Winter Running…Prosper

Are Paying for Facebook Ads Worth it For Bloggers? 

Questions for you:

What articles are you enjoying this week?

Do you have any weekend plans? 

 

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