Running Shoes are for Skipping

I’ve been meaning to get new running shoes for a while. I finally sucked it up and ordered a new pair. After all, I haven’t actually worn new shoes since…um, Christmas.

 

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I know, I know. You’re supposed to change them out every 500 miles, or 3-4 months depending on how much you use them.

 

Being the frugal girl that I am, I hate spending money unless it’s absolutely necessary. Especially to drop $100 on SHOES! However, during this past weekend’s 15k race, my knees began to hurt after only 4.0 miles. I’m talking MAJOR pain. I knew immediately that the old shoes were the culprit. I had felt this exact pain during the Disney marathon and I knew the solution.

 

NEW SHOES! My legs have been begging for these.

 

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I purchased my third pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10. I absolutely LOVE them. I have yet to get one blister from them, and they are one of the few shoes that come in a narrow width. (If I wear regular width my feet blister like crazy.)

 

Today was another looooong day at work. I worked two jobs today, which left no time/energy for running. At least I got to enjoy the fresh air and get paid at the same time! Perhaps I will get a run in tomorrow morning?

 

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I found another good use for the shoes: skipping to the park with a four-and-a-half-year-old! (Job #2 = Babysitting a few times a week)

 

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We stopped to enjoy the wildlife. She called it “mama kitty.” She always brings a smile to my face. 🙂

 

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It was already dark by the time I got home, and way past my normal dinner hour. I made an easy combo that never fails:

 

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Sweet potato + baked beans:

 

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Side salad with tomatoes and feta:

 

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Whew. I’m exhausted. Time for sleep!

 

Are you loyal to your favorite running shoe? I used to be an Asics girl, and now I’m all about the Brooks!

 

❤ MegaNerd

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Five Minutes

I think it’s safe to say that my life plans change every five minutes or so.

 

One minute, I think I have things all figured out. Then five minutes later, a new opportunity presents itself, and another door is closed. My life is a bit all over the place right now as I’m currently throwing around the some ideas:

 

  • Should I stay in Orlando?
  • If so… I need roommates. Living alone is $$$$$$$$$$$$.
  • Should I go to graduate school? ($$$$)
  • If so, how can I afford it? ($$$$)
  • If not… can I find a job?
  • Where is this job going to be?
  • Should I move back to Tampa with my dad?
  • Should I move to NC with my mom?
  • Blah, blah… you get the idea.

 

Too bad everything revolves around $$$ or my choices would be much easier.

 

I’m trying to be as flexible as possible since everything is so un-planned right now. I have a back-up plan, but I’m waiting for my “plan A” to unfold. Does that make any sense?

 

I’ve been on a salad kick lately, I think it has something to do with my desire to stuff as many fruits and vegetables into my body as it will allow. I have been feeling a little down about this whole, “my-life-is-so-unstable” thing — maintaining my healthy habits provides some sort of normalcy.

 

My newest favorite: The Five minute salad.

 

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I call it this because even if I change my mind every five minutes, there is something in this salad that will appeal to me at all times.

 

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It includes:

  • spinach
  • romaine
  • leftover chicken
  • leftover Trader Joes’s Grain Blend
  • corn
  • snap peas
  • broccoli
  • red pepper
  • carrots

 

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No salad is complete without amazing dressing. That is why Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian makes its way onto almost every salad. Unless I use the beloved poppy seed. Sorry Poppy, Tuscan Italian won this battle.

 

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There are so many ways to make a salad, and usually it always turns out well! I’m kind of feeling that way about life right now. I have so many choices, and they all seem so great!

 

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one graduating “without a plan.” I know this cannot possibly be the case.

 

❤ MegaNerd

Mandarin Pasta Salad

  With my air conditioning broken, heading to work at my warehouse job (also with no air conditioning) cold food was needed to keep my cool!!

 

Luckily on Sunday I made a delicious pasta salad with plenty of leftovers. It was easy to grab and go on Monday!

 

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I was craving fruit and pasta at the same time… random, I know. I decided to add fruit to my pasta!

 

Mandarin Pasta Salad

 

Boil half a box of bowtie shaped pasta, drain, and allow it to cool in the fridge when it’s done cooking. Drain and rinse a 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans and an 11 ounce can of mandarin oranges. Add the beans and oranges to the pasta, along with green onion and broccoli.

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For the dressing, combine in a shaker: 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 TBL olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.

Mix it all together, and refrigerate. Enjoy!

 

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It was light and refreshing. I think it would have been even better with a little bit of red pepper added to the mix.

 

I’m crunched for time… homework… due… soooon. Off to eat another bowl of pasta salad. 😀

 

❤ MegaNerd

Easy Black Bean Burritos

One of the things that I hate about working out after work is that I get done and I’m starving. Working out during dinner time makes for a very hungry girl!

 

It helps to think of what I want to eat either before or while I’m exercising so that I can immediately start making it when I return home.

 

Last night, I met Kelly for a 14.0 mile bike ride. We started a bit late, and ended up chatting some afterwards. I didn’t get back to my apartment until after 8:00 pm.

 

Luckily, I had a burrito in mind:

 

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I love Amy’s frozen burritos, but they are pricey! This was an inexpensive and tasty option. It was easier than I thought it would be to make my own burrito.

 

My mom made black beans while I was in NC and she sent me home with a couple of frozen bags worth. I took a whole wheat tortilla and added shredded cheese, mom’s black beans, and salsa. If I would have had some leftover rice, guacamole, or green peppers that would have been good as well.

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I folded up the sides…

 

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…and rolled it up…

 

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Ta-da! Black bean burrito awesomeness:

 

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It was kind of small, so I had some extra beans on the side along with leftover steamed squash.

 

The whole thing took under 10 minutes from start to clean up. I am obsessed with quick meals. Pretty much everything I make these days is fast.

 

What are your favorite things to put in a burrito? I am open to pretty much everything, but I absolutely HATE sour cream.

 

❤ MegaNerd

Flat Tire Fail

There are less than two weeks of spring semester left. It’s getting down to the wire! I will post when I can, but bear with me for the next week or two. 😀

 

I spent all day at school. I normally come home in between classes but with projects, labs, homework, studying, etc. I had plenty to get done! Once I got home, I needed to get OUT!

 

Mark came over to go on a bike ride with me. We planned on riding 15.0 miles which has become an “easy” ride! Around mile 2.5 I heard a loud hissing sound. My back tire blew…

 

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Lame!

 

I have a repair kit, but the ONE time that I don’t have it, I need it. During Saturday’s race, I took some of the pieces of the repair kit out and stuffed them in my SPI belt. I did this when it started to rain so that I could put my camera in the pack (which is under my seat) so that it would stay dry. Le sigh.

 

Mark let me take his bike back to the apartment so that I could pick up the car and come get him and the bike. It was a disappointing ride, but I still got 5.0 miles in! 😀

 

I’ve been eating tons of quick meals lately. It saves time and dishes, and that makes me happy.

 

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Tonight’s dinner featured a cup of veggie soup

 

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…and a ham, swiss, spinach, and honey mustard wrap.

 

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Flat tires are no fun!

 

I have never (knock on wood) gotten a flat tire in my car. One time when Jason (my ex-boyfriend) and I were driving to the farmer’s market we got a flat in his car. If it weren’t for that day I would have absolutely no idea how to change a flat.

 

Do you know how to change a flat on your car or bike?

 

I’m off to bed, I have plans to meet with Katy in the morning for a short run. I have my awesomely-lame training plan for my upcoming 5k which I will share with you in the morning!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Pedal to the Metal

One of the things I have noticed recently, while biking with Mark and Caitlin, is that we all three have different styles of pedals.

 

I have the first type, Platform. This is the most basic pedal, which comes standard on bikes.

 

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The rider’s foot just sits on top of the pedal, and is not connected in any way. It only allows you to push down on the pedals with your feet, using only your quads in a downward, repetitive motion.

 

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The second type of pedal type is toe clips. This is the style that Mark’s bike has. Having a cage-like holder for your foot allows you to make a more complete circular motion with your legs when you pedal, because your foot is strapped in, and you can pull up. This allows you to use both your quads and hamstrings, working them a bit more evenly.

 

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For cyclists that ride often and on longer rides, the clipless pedals are, in my opinion, a wise investment. This is the type of pedal that Caitlin just started using.

 

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Sorry the picture is so blurry, but here is what the clipless pedal looks like. It has a little metal piece that your shoe clips into.

 

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This type of pedal requires special shoes, which can get expensive. It is also most difficult to disconnect from, which makes it not as safe if you are riding on the road, or in traffic.

 

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The last two methods obviously are more efficient for a rider than the first. It allows you to get a full circular leg motion, giving you a better workout and not allowing just your quads to get sore.

 

Ashley let me know yesterday on Twitter that Orange Cycle in Downtown Orlando was having a sale on everything in the store. I literally jumped up right then and headed out the door. I have been wanting to upgrade for a while, but don’t want to spend a fortune.

 

I picked this toeclips set up for less than 10 dollars!

 

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It is the best investments I have made on my bike. In fact, I was SO excited, that I decided to make a video on how easy it is to install toe clips on existing platforms.

 

 

If you haven’t done this yet, I recommend it!

Making the video took longer than actually installing the toeclips. By the time I got done, I was starving and wanted a quick, easy meal.

 

Sweet potato and baked beans. Possibly my new favorite combination.

 

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With a side of mini trees.

 

Mark made brownies, and I happily ate one two. 😀 I have a major sweet tooth, and I am not shy about it!! It’s bad. 

 

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Thanks to Mark and Caitlin for participating.

 

Do you have a road bike? What type of pedals do you use? Do you want to upgrade? Have you noticed a difference since you upgraded?

 

❤ MegaNerd

Wind Blows.

It’s tough getting longer workouts in with my school and work schedule. I have a short break on Monday mornings to get stuff done. Normally I get school work done, but with the upcoming 31 mile bike race, I planned ahead, worked extra last night, and woke up ready to ride!

 

I rushed out the door for my 7:30am class without eating. OOPS. I was sstttaaarrrrvvvvviiiiinnnnggg by the time I got home at 9:00 am. I wolfed down a bowl of oatmeal topped with brown sugar, banana, and blackberries.

 

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It tasted better because I was so hungry. 😀

 

Once I got going on my bike ride, I realized that it was SO windy. As in, I thought I was going to be knocked off my bike by the winds. I think that if I would have stopped pedaling I would be going backwards. UGH.

 

Since when is it windy in Florida?!

 

I planned on riding 25.0 miles as my last long ride, but there was no way I wanted to fight the wind for that long. I ended up riding 15.0 miles, which felt more like 100. My legs were burning and it honestly felt like I was weightlifting, not biking.

 

My average pace was around 12.0 mph, which is way slower than average.

 

Riding against the wind BLOWS! Literally.

 

 

When I came home, I knew that I needed protein to help my muscles recover. I whipped up some eggs and veggies:

 

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  • egg whites
  • spinach
  • green peppers
  • onion
  • sundried tomato
  • cheddar cheese

 

Carbs are also necessary in any well-rounded lunch, so I piled it all on a toasted everything bagel.

 

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This was to die for. I loved it! It was so filling, and oozing with veggies.

 

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Later, I snacked on a huge platter of pita bread, celery sticks, and hummus.

 

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What can I say, I’m a hungry girl!? That workout kicked up my appetite!

 

Sometimes I feel like it’s not really about the exact mileage completed, but the effort put into it. Sometimes 15 miles feels like 5, and sometimes it feels like 100.

 

Do you tend to listen to your body (perceived effort) or go strictly by the numbers (miles, heart rate, speed, pace) when judging how well your workout went?

 

I felt like I got a great workout today, even though I was much slower than normal!

 

❤ MegaNerd