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Staying Prepared on Long Days

Staying Prepared on Long Days

Recently I’ve been out of my house a lot.  When I mean a lot, I mean most days I’m away between 10-14.  Which for me, is a lot!

Between work and volunteering, I’ve been spending a lot of time in my car. For the first week, I wasn’t as prepared and forgot anything from clothing to food.  I quickly realized that I need to start planning ahead.

Now I have an entire day kit in the trunk of my car, complete with running shoes.  If I can squeeze a 3 mile run in, it’s a good day!  (Like yesterday).As most people know, I like Quest Bars a lot.  I’ve talked about Quest several times on LOLZ blog, so when they asked to partner together last year I was more than excited!

Thinking out loud, I’ve used them since college.  At first, it was hard to locate them, and the only place you could buy them was online.  It was one of the first foods I actually bought online!  Now they are becoming more accessible and are in many grocery stores, but the newest place they can be found is 7-11.

While driving home one day, I stopped at 7-11 for coffee and a snack and found the cereal bars.  I was pleasantly surprised, and even though my coffee had plenty of sugar in it, Quest Bars do not.

quest cereal bars

A few reasons why I like Quest Cereal Bars:

  1. Each of the bars has 12 grams of protein, 110 calories, 2-3 grams of net carbs and 6-7 grams of fiber
  2. They have less sugar and carbs compared to other cereal bars
  3. They contain more protein than the average cereal bar
  4. Just tastes good (let’s be honest, some protein bars taste like cardboard)

Since I’m not running as much, it’s important to look more at the quality of things going into my body.  I can’t get away with eating a lot of extra junk every single day.  I’m not saying give up sweets, but I would rather focus on quality nutrition and save desserts/treats for another time.

So What Else Do I have in My Car for Personal Needs?

  • Two full sets of clothing. Do I need a more casual look, or more dressed up?
  • One full set of running clothing complete with shoes (I’ve used this 5 times in 3 weeks)
  • An entire Box of Quest Cereal Bars (Because you never know when you want more snacks)
  • A gallon of water: It’s easier, cheaper, and faster than stopping when thirsty.
  • Rain Jacket/Umbrella because I basically bring all inclement weather to me.
  • Emergency cash: I do keep $20 in my car incase something happens that a credit card is not usable.
  • Backup Cell Phone Charger: You never know, in high school, my car got stuck on the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel in Newport News, VA when the transmission went out. Guess who didn’t have a usable cell phone?
  • First Aid Kid
  • Duct Tape: I don’t know, it fixes things.

I can honestly say even though I’m busy and running less, I’m enjoying where my life is right now.  It did take some adjustments and getting used to but staying prepared was the main key.

Thanks to Quest Nutrition for sponsoring this post.  I have been using Quest protein bars for years, and I strongly recommend them.

Questions for you:
What do you keep in your car incase of emergencies?
How long are you out of your house each day?

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Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes

Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes

Working in a running store, I get to learn a lot about running, in general, new products and of course shoes.  When I began working at the running store, I knew of the show I liked but not much else.  Like anyone, I went through the whole process of getting my foot remeasured; my gait analyzed, and my (now) coworker brought out some shoes that worked well for me.  To my shock, my feet were wide and had grown.

There are plenty of fascinating facts about shoes that you might not know.  Working in a running store, they are now common knowledge for me, but I thought I would share.

Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes

Your Feet Change and can Grow:
When they are measured, many people are shocked to find their feet have grown. Your arches can collapse as you age and therefore your feet can get longer or wider.  Woman your feet change after pregnancy.  No one cares about your foot size but just get what is most comfortable.

Running Shoes are not Meant for Lateral Motion
This includes side to side motion, tennis, etc.  Running shoes aren’t reinforced on the sides and using them for lateral movement can break them down much faster.  They are comfortable to do so, but your shoes will wear out faster.

Putting your Shoes in the Dryer Ruins Them
Some technology such as gel can break down when heated.  Eventually, a shoe will get dirty, don’t wash and dry it.  Spray it with a hose if you must.

Socks are Normally the Cause of Blisters
Most people believe the shoe causes the blister, but it’s usually a sock that has cotton in it.  An exception is if the shoe is too small and thus rubbing but the majority of the time the sock is causing the blister.

Shoes Don’t Have a Break in Period
A running shoe shouldn’t have a break in period unless it’s too small.  Do you see a trend here?  Most people buy their running shoes too small and have to “break them in” or they have to stretch.  If you purchase the correct size, they won’t do that.  You should be able to wiggle your toes before a run, during a run, and after a run.

Other related articles:
There is No Perfect Running Shoe
Why Running Shoe Reviews are (Mostly) Worthless
There is No Perfect Running Shoe

Questions for you:
What is something interesting you’ve learned about running shoes?
What is one running shoe you’ve tried, but realized it wasn’t for you?

Existing in Real Life? Maybe….Maybe…Maybe Not…

I haven’t posted a lot about my life lately because I’ve been boring but also busy.  Between work and volunteering, I haven’t even had a lot of time to meet with friends at diners much.  (You know I must be busy then!)  If I haven’t seen or talked to you in a while, my apologies.  This post is all over the place, so hopefully, it makes some sense.

Typically March and April are the busiest times for work.  Outdoor track is always a busy season, but there are also quite a few road races including the Broad Street 10 miler and NJ Full Marathon.  Even though I’m not always in the store selling shoes in the store, I’ve been busy.

To be honest, I feel like I’ve been in a cave for most of 2016.  Like most people, I blinked, and both January and February went by.  Normally February creeps as slow as possible, but this February felt like it went by quickly.

Now here we are 11 days into March and nearly 11 months after I got married.  I have a whole post dedicated for that, but that must wait until my husband, and I can eat our frozen-year-old wedding cake.

So in this random style post what else can I talk about?

I’ve been cooking a lot. 

It’s unusual

It’s weird

It’s abnormal

…but nothing has burnt down yet, and everything has been (relatively) edible.  It’s also helped both my husband and I eat a lot healthier than we were.  To be honest, both of our diets got out of control.  We were both eating cake, cookies, ice cream, burgers most days.  We both committed to eating healthier during March and April (when a few bigger races are).  We’ve both opted to clean up our diets, cooking more.  So far we both feel a lot better.

Experiment 1: We made our homemade bagels (recipe found here).  It was honestly super easy, just time consuming.  We’ve made the recipe a few times, and they’ve come out well.  We even experimented adding cinnamon/sugar on a few which turned out just as good.

homemade bagels

Experiment 2: Homemade Ice Cream

We purchased an ice cream maker months ago.  We used it a few times but not many, in the last week we’ve made ice cream most nights.  It’s simple and sweet.  I haven’t done a lot of research of more recipes because I’ve been happy with the ones online that came with the ice cream maker.  They are simple, easy and taste good.

homemade ice cream

Experiment three: Not so much an experiment because we’ve made it before but I like squid.  We sautee it with oil and garlic.

grilled squid

Posts from the week:
A Look at My Race Mornings
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (23:58)
Asics FuzeX Review

Questions for you:
What is your favorite food?
Has 2016 flown by for you?
What are your plans this weekend?
How many questions can I ask?  #atouchtoomuch

A Day in the Life…

Every few months I try and write a “What I ate Wednesday post”.  My food doesn’t change a lot. All of my dinners are simple and easy to prepare.  I would prefer to spend time doing other things versus cooking for hours.  I can guarantee that 90% of my dinners consist of meat, vegetables and starch.

So here is a typical day in the life from last Monday. I don’t normally photograph my food so I had to remember to take photos! Here is a day in LOLZ life!

Breakfast: 5:30am

I like to eat before I run.  I know a lot of people don’t but I am someone who prefers to eat beforehand.  My current breakfast is: home brewed coffee and a waffle with peanut butter and syrup.

Waffle topped with peanut butter/syrup.

Waffle topped with peanut butter/syrup.

Run: 7 am

I ran 10.75 miles locally.  One thing I enjoy about where I live is the ability to run so many places around my area.  I don’t get stopped by a lot of cars or traffic because I normally run around parks and neighborhoods. South Jersey is much different than most people think!

Shower, snack: 9am

Titled: "New me after a humid run" selfie

Titled: “New me after a humid run” selfie

Until this year I was not a smoothie person.  With the heat this year, I’ve been enjoying smoothies.  My favorite smoothie “recipe” right now is 1 cup of milk, spinach, 1 scoop of protein powder and trivia).

I buy all of my protein, most bars and other things like that from Netrition.  I’ve been a loyal customer since college in 2010.  We didn’t have access to decent protein powder because we were so far north.  I don’t get payed to promote Netrition but I do receive 20% off if anyone purchases anything.  It’s the cheapest place to buy protein and shipping normally takes less than 48 hours (that is my favorite part).

This does not look good at all...but it is...

This does not look good at all…but it is…

Work: 10-7

Eating at work is always tough for me.  Since I work in retail, it’s impossible to tell when people will come in the store.  We are normally busy around lunch hour and dinner because that is when people have breaks.

Personally, I cannot bank on having a “lunch break”.  Before working at this job, I was never a snacker (I would always eat 3 square meals).  During the work day, I normally snack throughout the shift. It keeps me from getting hangry, which is not good customer service.

I love my job but it’s taught me to be flexible of meals…sometimes my lunch is at 10 am…sometimes it’s at 3pm!  Snacking keeps me from never getting too hungry!

12:00 pm Powerbar and coffee

I normally walk down the Starbucks and get a coffee.  Right now it’s been iced and half the time it’s decaf as well.  It’s always got whipped cream though.  My coffee from Starbucks normally has about 200 calories (not an exaggeration) of cream.

The chocolate chip cookie dough ones are my favorite

The chocolate chip cookie dough ones are my favorite

2:00pm Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 

As I mentioned yesterday, I won a lot of peanut butter from my last race.   I forgot to photograph my boring sandwich!

earth balance peanut butter

 

I also had an apple and the Greek Gods yogurt…the yogurt was not my favorite because it was so tart.  I’ve been enjoying all the NJ (the garden state!!) produce lately.

applegreekgodyogurt

5:00pm

We got busy again!  I was hungry around 4 but I can’t say “sorry customers, forget about you…it’s my food time”.  I ended up eating 2 apples and a pear.

Everyone should get a apple/pear slicer.  It makes eating them so much easier.

Everyone should get a apple/pear slicer. It makes eating them so much easier.

Looking back, I eat a lot of fruit, power bars and sandwiches at work. It’s easy, quick and fine for me.  It’s hard to eat big meals because you never know when people will come.   The worst is getting stuck mid bite and having to greet someone!

7:30pm dinner 

On days I don’t work, I normally eat dinner around 5.  On days I do work, I eat between 7:30-8.  It’s never a big deal but I don’t like to come home and cook.  I will either heat up left overs (normally fish or chicken) or cook something that takes less than 15 minutes.  I’m not spending an hour cooking after work (or ever LOLZ).  I have experimented with the crock pot too but honestly I would rather heat up fish.

On Monday, I heated up leftover chicken and put it on a salad. My “salad” staple is greens, goat cheese, onions, banana peppers, red peppers and a local creamy balsamic dressing.

salad

After dinner, I like to catch up on blogging and watch a little bit of TV. My job isn’t stressful but this allows me to decompress. Around 9-9:30pm, I shut down all of my technology.

I like to relax in bed with a good book or do a little bit of painting. I think shutting down the technology (and not sleeping with my phone in my room) has allowed me to sleep better at night.

So there you have it…a day in my life! I’m not that exciting on work days but I love my job!

Questions for you:

What are some fun snacks you eat at work?

Do you have any smoothie recipes to share?

What time do you normally go to bed?

WIAW

I’ve gotten several requests over the last few months about what I eat daily (And by that I mean maybe 3 in 2 months).  As a self proclaimed walmart foodie shopper I can’t say I’m that thrilling of an eater but I did go out of my way to remember to take photos.  By going out of my way I I wrote on my hand: take some photos.  I knew breakfast wouldn’t be an issue but remember to take photos for lunch and dinner?  That’s a whole different ball game.  I’m really scatter brained throughout the day so if I don’t write something down, I don’t remember.

My hand writing is so lovely!

My hand writing is so lovely!

Lately I have been eating a lot of pancakes again.  I went through a phase a while back (around 3 years ago) where I ate pancakes for breakfast nearly every day.  They were fast, easy to make and simple.  In fact about two years ago, I posted a new pancake recipe on my blog every week. I got sick of them, moved on to eggs for a while, then bagels and now I’m back to pancakes.  It will probably change again  I normally just add ¾ cup of flour, an egg, baking powder and if I’m feeling cocoa powder then cocoa powder too.  I used to post a lot of recipes about it but then realized that was not my style and some recipes were weird.  So I stopped doing that…

Breakfast 6:00 am

Some pancakes

Some pancakes

Then I went to the gym for about an hour, did some elliptical as well as lifted weights.  I showered and headed to work.

Coffee: 9 am.  I stopped at Wawa and got my coffee.  Since you’ve never seen a photo of coffee, here you go!  20 ounces is the following: 16 ounces coffee and 4 ounces cream.  I think I like my cream with a few tablespoons of coffee.  I also had a cliff bar.  They were on sale at the grocery last week so they are my “bar of choice” this week.

Coffee and cliff bar.  Mint was okay, not my favorite but not the worst.

Coffee and cliff bar. Mint was okay, not my favorite but not the worst.

12 Lunch It was craving a roast beef sandwich and the deli makes really good wraps.  It was exactly what I was craving.  I really wanted roast beef.

roastbeefsandwich1

Then I continued to work and I continue to stare at people’s feet.  I truly enjoy working so normally it goes by pretty quickly.  There wasn’t too much of interest this particular day.  Many new runners came in for a first pair of shoes, a few people wanted a pair a new pair of their favorite styles.

By 5:00 pm I grabbed a cliff bar.  I have been enjoying them lately and I needed something to hold me over.  I don’t normally get home until between 7:30-9 (depending on our closing hours) so I couldn’t wait that long between lunch and dinner.

This one  was better.

This one was better.

Then at 7pm it was time to head home.  So I drove back home and was exhausted.

7:30pm I decided to make some boring dinner.  I normally just decide on the way home what I want to eat.  Depending on my day (was it a stressful day at work…am I just lazy to cook?).  It all depends on what  I’m craving.  Since T has been gone, I don’t have to worry about judgement about what I eat for dinner (kidding, he doesn’t judge).  I ended up having some left over salmon that I made the other day so I just had a salmon salad.  It took me about 5 minutes to reheat.  So I get home at 7:33 and I’m eating by 7:38.  That is pretty much that.

Salmon Salad

 

After I’m done eating (and while I’m eating) I tend to just watch TV, catch up on news, blogs, current events and whatever else I feel like.  I pretty much give myself until 9pm to just relax and do whatever.  Around 9, I like to turn off my internet and just relax.  Whether that is just watching some TV or whether that is just going to bed.  I’ve noticed I sleep a lot better when I turn off technology and I sleep with my cell in another room.

I guess this turned into a day in my life and what I like to eat.  I can see why food bloggers are always so busy and have no free time.  This post took forever to do and it was a real pain to remember to take photos of my food.  It’s a lot harder then blogging about running.

Questions for you:

What is a day in the life like for you?

What did you eat today?  What are some good lunch suggestions?  (Or am I the only lazy person who enjoys the classic peanut butter and jelly).

 

Fall into Being Busy

I’m glad other people can relate to being boring and adult (IE: yesterday’s post). I feel like September is one of the most busy times of the year.  For students, you are getting back into the nitty gritty of class and courses.  For offices there is something about fall that screams “new and fresh start”.  For businesses like a running store, we are in fall marathon mode as well as cross country mode.  We are also busy.  It seems like most people are busy the month of September.

That means less people are on the internet.  I can see a reflection of that, not only with myself but with my blog stats as well.  Maybe I’m just getting more boring or something?  Or something like that anyways.  Blog stats aren’t something that I’m really concerned about but I always notice certain trends.  One being that I tend to get more page views in the summer and less in the fall.  YAY for people existing in real life and not worrying about my blog.

Across all of social media, I’ve seen more and more people indicate they are busy.  Too busy for this, too busy for that…and you know what?  That is completely fine.  We all go through periods of having a busy schedule versus having a less busy schedule.  It makes life interesting (kind of like that hill right in the middle of a run).

Like I’ve always stressed in my own personal life and blog space, it’s important to look at your big picture.  A novel isn’t written with one chapter and neither is your life. It’s important to realize that these times come and go.  For instance on Tuesday, I had a day off of work.  I thought I would really enjoy my day off. By 1 pm, I had already cleaned everything that needed to be cleaned.  I had gone for my workout and caught up on all my TV (while cleaning).  I had read some blogs.  I found myself at a loss of what to do.  Normally on my days off I try and make plans but most people were busy so it didn’t work out that way.  Personally I like to have something to look forward to daily whether it’s hanging out or treating myself to something.

I had finished everything I needed (and wanted) to do and it was now 2pm.  I honestly had no idea what to do.  Somehow I just zoned out and relaxed until going to bed.  I talked to a few friends.  I wondered what on Earth I would do on Wednesday I had two whole days off in a row.  After being so busy for the last two weeks, I didn’t know where to begin with a couple of days off.  I decided to work on some paintings and just relax.  Both I did

Then on Wednesday I woke up and got a call asking if I could come to work. It was something to do to fill my time.  I had gotten everything I wanted to do (For me right now I have come to the conclusion that back to back days off aren’t the best for me when I don’t make plans).  I need to have something to look forward in.  I do better with a little bit of structure and get bored sitting online after an hour (that’s really pushing it).

So with that I found myself even more busy this week than I originally planned.  That isn’t a bad thing or a good thing.  It’s just a change in schedule thing.  It leaves me with more free time and more things to do next day off.  Maybe I’ll even get some blog posts in.

My point is, September appears to be a busy month for everyone.  There isn’t a need to stress about it and life will eventually level itself out.  There is no need to stress about an individual day, month or year.

Question for you: What are you up to this September? 

The Boring Real Life

It’s not a secret that I’ve been working a lot more than usual lately.  I’ve said that a lot.  My work is anywhere is from 30 minutes-1 hour from my house.  Working more days gives me less time to blog and less things to talk about via blogging.  With a 40 hour work week, I’m also driving between 5-10 hours a week.  That means I’m outside of my house (work related) around 45-50 hours weekly.  That doesn’t count time hanging out with friends.  

I haven’t been blogging any less (nor do I really want to stop blogging) but I often times find myself with less things to say.  I mean I could talk about waking up, working out, driving to work, coming home, playing around on the internet and then going to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  That doesn’t seem that exciting to me, nor does posting my daily eats.  Sorry that’s not my blog flow. I guess if posting about my daily food intake and food payed my bills I might be more inclined.  Changing my blog to create more content seems like a lose for me and a snooze for readers.  That’s my humble opinion though and if you like posting your daily food intake, good for you.  I digress.

On my (work) off days, I’ve found I like to hang out with friends and relax.  I don’t like spend more then an hour or two blogging.  So I don’t like to spend all my free time blogging.  I really enjoy blogging but I don’t live to blog.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m saying, I guess more or less that while I’m having a social life and exist outside the internet, it’s not life riveting or things I feel are necessary “blog worthy”.

Do you really care what kind of food I ate today?  (Only if it’s a diner).

Do you care my favorite color is yellow?  Not really.

So anyways what have I been up to outside of boring, adult things?

Last week I got to hang out with a good friend Melissa.  It was a really good time and really nice to catch up.  Melissa has been a huge support system for me and our help and advice is untradeable.  It seems like so long ago and it was only last week.

 

Say "Smile so we exist in real life"...no...really.

Say “Smile so we exist in real life”…no…really.

I also got to hang out with Danielle and Amelia who led me into the city.  (PS: Danielle just PRed in her 5k on a hard, hilly course in the middle of marathon training..).  Last Tuesday, I started a pretty rigorous schedule where I went to NYC and then drove straight to work Wednesday in South Jersey that morning.  I worked from Wednesday to Monday (around 50 hours).  Outside of meeting Kate Grace, I didn’t talk a lot about my time in NYC.  I really surprised myself with how much fun I had.  We walked around NY, tried a cool foodie truck (my first foodie truck ever!) and then headed to the Brass Monkey to meet some Oiselle teammates.  While I was nervous to physically go into the city, I had a lot of fun.

Train selfie

Train selfie

Foodie truck: A goat cheese wrap thing and glass noodle salad.   It was really good.

Foodie truck: A goat cheese wrap thing and glass noodle salad. It was really good.

Then I worked, worked, and worked.  I am glad I did and I enjoyed each day but it was tiresome for sure.  Those days consisted of work, sleep, work sleep (and two workouts I believe).

I’m now reaping the rewards of just relaxing and getting my house straightened up.  I was going to plan more events with friends but found I just needed some time to just relax.

I think as a blogger, there is an unseen pressure that “my life is so exciting, therefore I blog”.  That certainly isn’t the case and I have several weeks of being “boring” or just lather, rinse, repeating.

I wish I could post more exciting life moments but I don’t have any.  My biggest life update is that I’m just continuing living my life. 

I created an anonymous question box so if you have any idea’s or questions feel free to ask below.  

 

Questions for you:

What are you up to this week?

Any big plans this weekend? 

It’s RnR Philly so I’ll probably be watching and cheering with that.  Since my work is partnering with Brooks we have a lot of cool things going on.  Let me know if you’ll be there!

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