Food: Travel Food + Tips

Whew! Day 3 in Missouri, day 1 of the official conference (kicked off with dinner + bar party at ‘Shorty Pants’ last night) and I am tired!

Something I do when I travel (which is frequently for my job) is to bring some snacks with me to eat because, especially on work trips, I don’t know when or where I’ll be able to get my meals or snacks. I’d rather bring something that I know is (mostly) good for me and tasty than to be stuck hungry and at a fast food joint with a rumbling tummy.

For this trip, I had the luxury of packing Blend treats in addition to my own. Some easy travel snacks I packed this trip include:

Popcorn (homemade)

I always bring my own water bottle (and usually my travel mug for tea) because I cannot stand spending $2+ on a bottle of water. It’s WATER!

This Bobo’s Oat Bar bar was excellent for a car ride. And tasted exactly like banana bread. LGSMASH approved!

More snacks!

 

An apple, more popcorn, The Simply Bar & Pure Bliss Eats granola.

LGSMASH tips for travel snack food:

  • Bring your own. Yes, you can buy smart snacks but I much prefer bringing food that I already know is good and that I like.
  • Think small! A big ass grapefruit will not travel well (trust me, I tried). Stick to something hand held size. You can pack more snacks and they’ll easily fit in your purse or backpack.
  • Think portable. Each item I bring is self contained - individual bags of popcorn or granola bars, single apple. They require no additional equipment, no additional or special attention.
  • Think WHOLE foods. When I travel for work, I don’t always have the ability to choose my meals (case in point: buffet of foods for dinner at the conference that I never would have ordered myself but a girl’s gotta eat! Maybe not cake AND cheesecake… but hey). So I try to pack good-for-me and whole foods so I am doing my body at least a little good.

And – if you’re ever traveling through the Denver International Airport, Terminal A, and are looking for a healthy meal option, go upstairs to Mesa Verde. Amid Pizza Hut, Ben & Jerry’s, Hope’s Cookies and Micky D’s, Mesa Verde offers a build-your-own burrito bowl/salad that kicks booty.

They don’t offer a ‘salad’ option but if you ask for no rice and extra lettuce, you have a salad! I like: lettuce, tomato salsa, 1/2 scoop of black beans, shredded chicken, fresh jalapeno and guacamole. Always the guac.

PS. DIA has a cool feature on their site that lists all the restaurants by terminal, food type, cost and amenity. It’s a slick way to plan ahead and see what foods will be available before your flight or during a layover.

Now that I’m in the thick of ‘travel season’ – I’m looking for new snacks to bring! What travel snacks to do you like to keep you energized and feeling good? I can only eat so much popcorn! (<– Not true. I could eat popcorn on end. But I do need more variety in my snacks!)

Fitness: Adult Swim Lessons

I made it back to the pool yesterday after a weekend hiatus to spend time with fabulous ladies at Blend. I expected the swim to be a bit rough after 3+ days off (I’m not great at swimming) but it wasn’t too bad.

I’m following this 0 to 1650 plan to build up my endurance to swim 1 mile for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful challenge. Technically, I should be on Week 2 but I’m going to be out of town this week with likely no access to a lap pool so I am going to keep Week 1 as my workout for this week, too.

Last night’s workout:

  • Warm up: 100m kick
  • 4 x 100 (12 breaths rest)
  • 4 x 50 / 4 x 50 kick (alternating)
  • 4 x 25 (4 breaths rest)

I can feel myself getting a bit stronger but I’m not really getting any better at swimming. I don’t have the proper form and once I start to get tired, I really struggle with maintaining any sort of pace or breath.

So while I was checking in at the YMCA, I asked about adult swim lessons! I felt silly asking – doesn’t everyone already know how to swim? I mean, swim lessons are for little kids, right?

Nope! The YMCA offers a few different options of swim classes (group, one-on-one, masters swim) that I’m looking in to. I want to improve my form and technique. When I watch other people swim, they splash a LOT less than I do and don’t look like they feel like they’re dying, like I do.

The coolest part about asking about swim lessons: In the locker room after I changed into my swim suit, a very nice older woman approached me and asked if I was the one who’d inquired about swim lessons. She had been checking in as I was speaking with the YMCA staff. She told me she’s always wanted to learn to swim but always thought she was too old. But after hearing me ask, I inspired her to get the swim lesson information and she plans to sign up for the summer group lessons. Too cool! If that’s not FitFluential, I don’t know what is.

After getting home, I broke into some Blend treats.

Homemade Birthday Cake Fudge from Colorado Fudge Maker

O.M.G. I don’t have a sweet tooth but this was the BOMB. It tasted just like confetti cake!

I also enjoyed my Ginger Cherry juice from CheriBundi. I tried a sample of the Ginger Cherry this weekend after Tiffany and Lena raved about it and I am on board. It’s less tart than normal cherry juice but still packs a nice punch.

One thing I look for when I buy juice is that it’s 100% juice. I’m not down with the watered down or processed stuff. If I’m going to drink juice, I want to drink JUICE! I choose pure fruit juice.

CheriBundi has 5 flavors in total – I foolishly didn’t try any of the others while I was at Blend but I’m keeping my eyes open when I’m at the store! Cacao Cherry is too intriguing!

Today, I’m off to Lake Ozark, MO for work for the week. A short plane flight + 3 hour drive to the lake = a LONG travel day. Good thing I packed some snacks!

Fun: Blend Retreat 2012

This weekend was full of blogger, friends and fun! Bloggers who were online friends who became real life friends and bloggers who became new real life friends and are now online friends.

This weekend was the first annual Blend Retreat. I’d never been to a blogger conference before (mostly a logistics and lack-of-extra money problem) but when I learned about Blend and that it was to be held in Boulder (a short 35+ minutes from Denver), I jumped on a ticket.

For me and Tiffany, our Blend weekend started a day early when Lauren got into town and invited us to meet her and her husband, Greg, for a drink at the wonderful RootDown in Denver. They were meeting friends for dinner so Tiffany and I stayed for a drink and bowed out when their friends arrived.

(Lauren’s photo)

Lauren’s blog is one I read regularly and someone I was really looking forward to meeting in person this weekend. And I’m happy to say, she’s just a fun in ‘real life’ as she is on her blog! :)

Friday night was the official kick-off for Blend and the group had a wonderful, gourmet dinner and dessert… So I heard. Because the retreat was held in Boulder and both Tiffany and I worked on Friday (and planned to carpool this weekend), we decided to not stress about getting up to Boulder for dinner on Friday. I also felt it was very important to spend a night with Alex – he worked 12 days straight (full Saturday and Sunday work days) and I am leaving on a business trip on Tuesday – Friday. So it was important to me to spend a date night with him if I was going to be gone all Saturday and Sunday.

Next year, though, I would definitely make plans to get out of work early to make it to dinner because it’s the first time everyone is new. And I heard the food and cupcakes were excellent!

Lindsay, Janetha and Katie could not have picked a better spot for this retreat – Boulder is easily accessible from the Denver Airport and is a great little city with a lot of character and at the base of the beautiful Flatiron mountains. And Denver/Boulder/Colorado is an active place with a giant outdoor playground – no better place for a bunch of women who enjoy health, fitness and food to spend a weekend!

(Tiffany’s photo)

I met Tiffany bright and early on Saturday to trek up to Boulder to meet the group for a fun day of hiking, Boulder beers and margaritas! But first – breakfast.

Breakfast was provided by XAGAVE which I’m very interested to try. I’ve heard about agave sweeteners but haven’t wanted to shell out the money to just try it at the grocery store.  So these little packets and the sample bottle they sent us home with will be perfect for trying! Apparently I can swap this stuff for sugar for fewer calories and less sugar… Very interesting!

After breakfast, it was time to head out for a nice, easy 4 mile hike.

(Kelly’s photo)

Hiking a popular trail with 70+ girls raises a lot of eyes and questions from the locals – in a good way!

We hiked the Royal Arch trail at the Boulder Flatirons which was literally, right across the parking lot from the cabins. I’ve hiked this trail once before but this hike was not as easy as I remembered it – lots of elevation gain in the 2 mile hike to the summit.

(Tiffany’s photo)

But the view from the top was worth it – a giant, natural arch!

More photos here.

2.5 hours later, the hike was over and it was time to EAT! Some of the group decided to hit up the Boulder Farmer’s Market, some went to a CorePower Yoga class and the rest of us went to Mountain Sun Pub for lunch.

(Lauren’s photo)

One buffalo chicken sandwich, copious fries and a beer (FYIPA) recharged my batteries instantly.

Next, we were off to Avery Brewery’s Tasting Room for some local beer. Avery’s tasting room is easy to miss – it’s in an industrial park, off the main drag. They have indoor and outdoor seating and offer a nice selection of their beers and a decent menu of food.

These little samples were only $1 and are the exact right size to get a feel for the beer. I only ordered samples – it was nice to try a variety of Avery’s beers that I hadn’t tried before. We had a large group at Avery and it was really nice to have some casual downtime to chat with girls I hadn’t gotten a chance to spend time with yet (Hi Kim! Hi Calee!)

A couple of hours at Avery later, stomachs started to rumble again. Trying to figure out what 20+ girls want to eat for dinner is no small feat – fortunately for us, it was Cinco de Mayo so, of course, we had to eat Mexican food. Many of us ended up at the Rio Grande in Boulder which is famous for strong margaritas.

Because our group was so large, we ate in tables of 4 rather than as a large group. I enjoyed my dinner with Lauren and her husband and Tiffany and then it was time to head back to Denver and faceplant in my bed.

Most of the girls stayed on-site in the cabins at Chautauqua Park – many of us Denver attendees did not. However, next year, I would absolutely stay in the cabins. Even though we’re only 40 minutes away, it would have been worth the time and money to stay with the rest of the group.

Sunday morning came WAY too early and Tiffany and I were back on the road to Boulder for breakfast and the ‘closing ceremony’. Sunday’s breakfast was provided by the retreat’s main sponsor, Chobani - and we even had the pleasure of meeting Lindsay and Emily from Chobani! These ladies are handle the social media and blogger relationships with Cho – it was really cool to meet the people behind the popular brand. And even cooler when they remember who you are just by name!

For the closing ceremony, Lindsay, Janetha and Katie raffled off prizes from the very generous sponsors of Blend. Everyone walked away with a gift – from Bob’s Red Mill gift certificates to boxes of ProBar to Keurig Coffee Machines, these giveaways ROCKED! I went home with a box of Peanut Butter Chocolate Simply Bars.

We had time for a group photos before it was time for the cabin dwellers to check out and girls had to make their way back to the airport to head home. The weekend was over just as quickly as it began.

(Lauren’s photo)

(Tiffany’s photo)

It was such a fun weekend and I’m already excited for Blend 2013. My fingers are crossed for another weekend in Boulder next year – it’s such a beautiful and accessible location!

When I got home on Sunday afternoon, I finally had a chance to dig through the Swag Bag we were given. The Blend sponsors seriously rock – they hooked us up! My arm hurt from carrying this in from the car – this bag was so heavy. Seriously!

I am looking forward to tasting and trying all of these goodies over the next days and weeks!

I will definitely go to Blend again next year – Boulder or not. The ticket cost was so reasonable compared to other blog get-togethers – only $70! Such a great deal considering the food and swag we were given. How can you say no?!

For those who are interested in attending next year: I highly recommend staying in the cabins with the group and not missing out on Friday’s dinner. I had a fantastic time but did feel like I missed out (my own doing). There was a bootcamp Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 a.m. that I could not pull myself out of bed early enough to make it to Boulder in time but if I’d been in the cabins, I could have woken up later than I did t0 drive and walked outside and been able to participate. Lesson learned!

I would also bring a real camera. I relied on my cell phone which is having major issues so I didn’t get as many photos as I would have wanted. Luckily – everyone else took photos. The beauty of a blogger event.

I met some really beautiful and inspiring women this weekend who have become really great friends (and so many Colorado bloggers I didn’t know were out there!). Lindsay, Janetha and Katie did a phenomenal job organizing this event – everything went off without a hitch and everyone enjoyed their weekend to the max. It was so nice to get together and just hang out! No speakers, no sessions, no pressure. Just a weekend to meet, mingle and make friends.

If Blend isn’t on your radar for next year, it needs to be!

Food: Foods I'm Loving Right Now

In no particular order, here are some food stuffz I’m loving:

1. Salmon. It was on sale last week at Kroger King Soopers so I bought 2 lbs, cut into 6 servings. I ate 4, Alex got 2. So good, so easy to make and so healthy. I really like cooked salmon the next day for lunch… cold.

2. Stone Ground Mustard. This stuff is the bees knees. Great on lunch sandwiches (with Udis Gluten Free Bread!), grilled chicken or hamburger patties. It costs a bit more and you get a bit less than ‘normal’ spicy mustard – worth it!

(P.S. WordPress isn’t letting me rotate that photo. Sorry folks.)

3. The Best Homemade French Fries. Ever. I have tried making homemade french fries in a myriad of different ways. Then, I remembered these delicious looking fries from Susan’s blog. Made them 2x (see Salmon above) in 3 days last week. So effin’ good! Who knew parboiling was the trick?!

And yes, I ate 2 hamburger patties. The cheeseless one fell on the ground and the cheese fell off… and I ate it anyway. You say, ‘GROSS!’, I say, ‘HUNGRY!’

4. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Made these with Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (same recipe as here). Just as tasty! Unfortunately, most of the 3 dozen I made went to feed Alex’s office. But I kept a few for us. #BreakfastOfChampions

5. LaMar’s Donuts. Ho-LY COW. I’ve heard a lot about LaMar’s since moving to Denver but in the 3 years (exactly! Today!) I’ve lived here, I hadn’t gotten my mouth on one. This morning at my office’s brunch potluck, my world changed. Best. Donut. EVER. So fluffy, so melt-in-your-mouth soft. Happy Friday to me!

This weekend, I’m attending the Blend Retreat in Boulder and can’t wait to meet, hike, eat and drink with some fabulous bloggers (and non-bloggers!) and friends. From what I hear, I’ll be eating and drinking a lot more great food stuffz this weekend. I can’t wait!

 

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Photos

**Wedding Wednesday is a feature on my blog documenting our wedding planning process – thoughts, reflections, ideas, milestones. Follow along as we plan a wedding in our home city of Cincinnati while we live in Denver.

A few weekends ago, Alex and I met our wonderful engagement photographers, J-K Photography, at Washington Park on a Saturday morning in Denver for our engagement photos!

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It was a beautiful morning in Denver – sunny, slightly cool and surprisingly, with no one at one of the most popular parks in Denver. Our original engagement photo session was supposed be the following evening but the forecast called for cold rain and snow. When Jeanette and Kathi generously offered to reschedule our photos, we jumped on it.

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We had a great time with Jeanette and Kathi – they were so fun and came equipped with so many ideas and props for us. This chalkboard was a GREAT idea!
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I brought 2 different outfits to wear, one more ‘dressy’, one more casual – Alex opted to wear the same one. I wore my casual outfit for a majority of the photos but changed toward the end.

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Fun fact: these are the outfits we wore the night we celebrated our engagement!

We used the chalkboard to write a Thank You note – I anticipate using one of the Thank You photos for our wedding thank you cards… If I am feeling crafty enough to make my own card. (Where/how do you do this? Any tips?!)

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More photos here.

Taking these photos in Denver was really important to us – it represents the Us as we are now.

If anyone is looking for a very reasonably priced photo session in Denver, I cannot recommend J-K Photography enough. So fun and easy to work with, amazingly fast turn around (and in person delivery of our photo disks!), full rights to our photos and a super cute DVD case!

Now to decide which one to print and frame!

Wedding Wednesday: Flights Booked!

**Wedding Wednesday is a feature on my blog documenting our wedding planning process – thoughts, reflections, ideas, milestones. Follow along as we plan a wedding in our home city of Cincinnati while we live in Denver. 

Flights booked! For a honeymoon?! Not yet. Even MORE exciting! (Seriously!)

We booked our flights home to get MARRIED! (And for less than $11!)

This is an (expensive) milestone that probably most couples don’t have to stress about – most of my friends and family who have gotten married have done so in the city they live. But because we live in Denver and 90% of our (very large) families live in or near Cincinnati – and it’s where we grew up, met, went to college – we decided to have our wedding in Cincinnati rather than Denver.

I guess this technically makes ours a destination wedding – except we’re the ones traveling to the destination.

Booking our flights home has been on my radar since the beginning of our engagement. I knew it’d be a big cost for us to fly home so I wanted to make sure we bought our tickets at the absolute lowest price possible. I checked Kayak obsessively (always on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when fares are traditionally lowest) and finally, on Monday, I found fares with Frontier to be only $300. A steal!

But! It gets better!

Because I fly so often on Frontier, I had more than enough points for a round trip ticket in the US. I had been saving my points in the hopes that I could use it for a fun trip somewhere but instead, Alex and I decided that it makes the most sense to use the points for our flight home.

So I booked Alex’s flight using my points. I paid $5 for taxes.

Then I booked my flight using a $300 voucher I had with Frontier (bumped off my flight to Vegas). My flight was actually $305.XX so I paid $5.XX for the balance of the fare.

So we booked our flights home to get married for less than $11. This. Is. Incredible!

Now that i’s ‘official’, it feels so much more exciting! It’s REALLY real! We’re down to the last few months – with still a whole lot to figure out – but it will all come together.

All that really matters is that we show up on August 31st and say ‘I Do’. And now we know for sure that we’ll actually be there to do that. :)

May Goal: Limit Discretionary Spending Month

It’s MAY! I can’t believe it! May already!

This post doesn’t really fit into my blog ‘genre/theme’ but I want to make it public so I keep myself accountable.

You know how the weather starts to get warmer, days are sunnier and suddenly, you’re unknowingly spending more money? On new spring/summer clothes, on new make-up, on dining out on a restaurant patio, on happy hours, on brunch. Maybe this is just me. But the past few months, I’ve been spending a bit recklessly but always attributing it to visitors in Denver (we HAVE to go out for dinner! Every night!) , birthdays, tax returns.

And truthfully, I’ve been spending my money a bit less carefully since Alex moved in. Once I had him to split rent and expenses with me, I ‘got’ some of that money back, right? Not right. But that’s how I’ve been acting. It’s the first time since graduating college that I felt like I had ‘extra’ money. Money I *should* be saving is instead going to TCBY treats, Bull & Bush burgers, and concert tickets. My spending is not out of control by any means but I’m not doing myself any favors by spending ALL of my discretionary money each month.

So, for the month of May, I’m challenging myself. I will limit  my discretionary spending – and Alex is doing the same.

I will bring my lunch to work (potential savings = $20-40/week!), we’ll eat dinners at home instead of picking something up or eating out (potential savings = $150+/month!), we’ll drink our own beer on our patio instead of happy hour (potential savings = $40/month!). No shopping (online or in a store), no impulse wine purchase at the grocery store.

These ‘potential savings‘ are based on how many times I know we do these things (buy lunch, eat out, drinks, etc) and an average of how much they cost. (I have Mint.com to tell me exactly how much I’ve been spending in all of these categories.) Our biggest money pit is eating out – seriously – it’s so easy and lazy to buy lunch or dinner out. And no dishes to clean! I know that committing to eat at home will be our biggest saver.

And of course, this means that our grocery bill may be a bit higher but if an extra $20 in groceries means 4 lunches not eaten out, we’ve saved money.

I do have a few events that I’ve already committed to and will bring myself an allowance to spend – dinner at Blend Retreat on Saturday night, a beer at The Fray concert in a couple of weeks, etc.

I know that this month will be a big challenge for me – but a very good one! I think once Alex and I get into the routine of NOT eating out all of the time (and after we see the savings in our bank account), this 1 month challenge will become less challenge, more habit.

Are you a spender or a saver? I like to save but I also like to DO and EXPERIENCE and TASTE which sometimes (most of the time) costs money.

Fitness: 2 Workouts in 24 Hours #WhatsBeautiful

The first challenge I took on for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful challenge was to workout 2 times in 24 hours.

Man, it was a LOT harder than I expected.

I decided to try the first swim workout of my 1 mile plan to get a feel for how long it will take for me to complete. The plan I’m following is 0 to 1650 and will ‘officially’ start it this week. The first week of training is the same workout, 3 times:

  • 4 x 100 meters  (12 breaths rest between 100s)
  • 4 x 50 meters (8 breaths rest between 50s)
  • 4 x 25 meters (4 breaths rest between 25s)

Post-surgery, I’ve been flailing through my ‘active’ life – no training plan, no focus. It’s been pretty willy-nilly – whatever I was feeling that day or week, I would do it. Yoga, dog walking, Pure Barre, etc. When this What’s Beautiful challenge came up, I was happy to have a reason to have a focus again! It’s SO nice to have workouts and a goal!

So yesterday, I jumped in the pool for my trial Week 1 workout. It took me about 45 minutes from leaving the locker room for the pool to returning to the locker room post-swim. The swim was really tough – my arms and legs were tired by the time I finished my 4 100s but I pushed through. If it’s not tough, I’m not pushing hard enough, right?

(Swim tip: write out your workout and put it in a plastic bag! It keeps your plan nice and dry.)

I knew I’d be tired and sore after swimming and I know that yoga solves all problems. For realz. I hit up CorePower Yoga (my favorite yoga studio in Denver!) for a 4 p.m. CorePower 2 class – heated, more advanced yoga flow. Our instructor, Ruby, said this would be a ‘light’ flow class (#twss) and it was, compared to other classes. It was less fast, less intense than the other C2 classes I’ve been to. Perfect! Just what I needed – a nice, slow flow to get my blood and lactic acid moving.

Unfortunately, after a 700 m swim workout (that my body isn’t used to!), even a ‘light’ yoga flow was very challenging! My quads, arms and mind were so tired – I’m proud of myself for working through it. I made my favorite yoga quote my intention for entire class:

*When the mind says stop, this is where yoga begins* (and it/I was featured on the Gaiam Facebook page!)

I know as this What’s Beautiful challenge progresses, I’ll get stronger, my body will adapt and doing yoga after a swim will not be as tough as it was yesterday. And swimming won’t be as tiring as it was yesterday!

Today, my mind and body are really tired (some puppy potty issues early this morning didn’t help!) and my arms, shoulders and legs are sore. I’m not sure if it was the swim or the yoga but my booty is feeling the burn this morning too!

As tired as I am though, it feels so good to be back into the swing of a training plan! And I’m ready to get back into the pool tomorrow.

Fitness: Under Armour Women's What's Beautiful Challenge

Earlier this week, I got an email about the Under Armour Women’s What’s Beautiful Challenge and I’ve jumped in to the competition.

What’s Beautiful is a 9-week challenge, encouraging women to redefine what it means to be beautiful and to be a female athlete. Throughout the 9 weeks, there are various challenges for the women to complete and at the end of the competition, UA will pick 10 finalists who’ve documented the most impressive, inspiring, monumental journeys. From these 10, 3 winners will be chosen to be the new face of Under Armour Women (2 picked by UA, 1 picked by public vote).

My first love and what I’m so wanting to get back to is running. However, after 2 knee surgeries last year (October, December) I know it’s not the right time for me to be running yet. So I mulled over what I wanted to make my challenge – something that would push my limits and out of my comfort zone.

That’s right. I’m going to train to swim ONE mile.

I’m really terrible at swimming – and since I’m not great at it, I’ve avoided it since my elementary school swim team years. Post knee surgeries, I started swimming as a way to get moving and start getting some fitness back. I enjoyed it but, as soon as I felt comfortable walking, moderately running, doing yoga, I dropped swimming like yesterday’s news.

But now I’m back at it and committing to learning and improving. This is exactly the challenge I need – just like training for a running race, it gives me a fitness goal to focus on. Before, I was swimming just to swim – no plan, really. Now, I’ve got a plan, schedule and drive.

Follow along on my 9-week journey! I’ll be blogging about it here and you can also find me on What’s Beautiful here.

Who’s with me?! Who has signed up for the What’s Beautiful challenge? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for! Jump in and let’s meet our goals together!

Fitness: Overdoing It & Playing It Safe

Last week, my knee and body was feeling SO GOOD! Last week, I ran 2.6 miles on Sunday, 2 miles on Tuesday evening. Because I was feeling so great, I got up early on Thursday Morning in Kansas City to run 2 more miles.

Not the right choice.

My body was tired and I listened. I stopped the treadmill after 1 mile stretched out and got ready for the day. But my  left knee (surgery #2, December) was feeling really sore. Yikes! I pushed too hard, too soon.

Well, today is Wednesday and my knee is still sore – not like it was last Thursday but still sore! A clear sign I over-did it. Too much, too fast. Very stupid!

I know should have followed a plan (Couch to 5k) and graduated myself back into running. But until about a month ago, I didn’t feel safe running. Once I did run with no pain, it was just too tempting to see how far I could go – especially when I was feeling so great! I was completely bull-headed about it and just took off. My body isn’t ready, my left knee isn’t ready. This is something I need to EASE back into and build time and distance slowly. This was the wake-up call I needed to chill out on the running for now.

Unfortunately, way back while I was on crutches, I signed up for a race as motivation, a goal. I signed up for the 5 Mile Cherry Creek Sneak  run on Sunday. (This is why I was trying to run 2 miles for a 3rd time) This was a lofty and unrealistic goal from the beginning but I thought that I may have been able to do it. That with my new knees, I’d be invincible, right?! Wrong. it turns out I’m still human, even with bionic knees.

So in light of the new knee still feeling sore, I’m going to play it safe (and smart!) this weekend and drop from the 5 mile run to the 5k run. I will also certainly not be running the 5k – I will be walking 3.1 miles to my beer at the finish line.

However, I’m still on the fence about actually walking the 5k. On longer walks with the dog, my knee is feeling sore by the time we come home – and I’m not walking 3.1 miles with the dog. So I plan to reevaluate on Friday or Saturday about how my knee feels and if it’s a good idea for me to participate.

A 5k (or any race) isn’t worth risking the health of my knees and the new cartilage that’s trying to grow. If I forego the Cherry Creek Sneak race registration I paid, oh well. Better to have ‘lost’ those $30 than to go through another expensive ($$$) surgery and 6 more weeks of crutches.