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Martini Fridays: Let’s Focus on the Positive!

Just another 8-mile, lovely run in upstate New York.
Just another 8-mile, lovely run in upstate New York.

Three weeks into 13.FUN and regular updates on Martini Fridays. In this one, we learn a little about Adrienne's grocery store background, among other important things.  

Last week marked my first Eminem run of this training cycle. It’s been at least three months since I’ve done 8 miles and, given how lousy my last 6-miler was, my hopes were not high. Perhaps it was simply a result of low expectations, but the Eminem was fine. Kinda good, even.

Which is one of the facts about running that always humbles/gratifies me: things change. A good six miles one day doesn’t mean they’ll be good the next. They might be fabulous. Or they might suck like a Hoover. You can’t predict with complete accuracy how any run might go until you run it.

Deep, eh? These are the sorts of highfalutin’ thoughts I have at mile 6 or so.

Warm and foggy beats cold and icy anytime.
Warm and foggy beats cold and icy anytime.

Part of the reason this long run was better, I think, is that I moved it to Thursday rather than try to cram it into an already jam-packed weekend. I’m trying to be sort of smart about moving workouts around. I’m not putting intense runs—like a long run and an interval run—on back-to-back days. I might have to do the same with strength training, since I discovered that my form on the 13.FUN strength training routine was off enough on the morning after the Eminemer that I extended too far over my right knee on a lunge, which made it grouse for the rest of the day. It complained even more vehemently with each of the 9000 loads of laundry I carried up and down two flights of steps, but had given up its klaxon calls by the next morning.

Week three’s ladder intervals—I think that’s where they are called—were on tap for Sunday morning. They break down in a 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 pattern, which I interpreted as 1 minute hard as you can, then 1 minute easy; 2 minutes hard, 2 easy; and so on. Ten minute warm up (um, before you start the ladder, silly) and a ten minute cool down. According to the plan, this should be about five miles. For me, it was more like 3.5, for I am not a speedy engine.

Despite that, I kicked that first hard minute’s arse. I pushed out a sub-8 minute mile pace and felt like a goddess. I walked for a minute, then busted out two minutes at 8:30ish. I walked for two minutes, then, well, didn’t go nearly as fast for any of the following intervals. In fact, during the 3-minute haul, I had an 8th grade gym class flashback to the day we were forced to run a half-mile and I nearly barfed from the exertion in front of a boy I liked.  On top of that, I failed the exercise because I couldn’t haul my 14-year-old self around the track fast enough to please the P.E. teacher. Related: I may still be a little bitter about this.

Does she look scared?
Does she look scared?

Still! Let’s focus on the positive. A 7:36 mile pace! Fear me, Kara Goucher!

Given that a) I’m doing OK with the spicier Race plan so far and b) the Race plan ramps up the intensity and distance pretty quickly in the cycle, I’m now at a place that I haven’t been since halfway through my journey through the run plan last winter: I am starving all of the time.

Unlike Dimity, I actually like to cook and do it frequently. I am a meal planner from way back because I intensely dislike having to go to the grocery and deeply prefer to only force myself to do it once a week. The loathing stems from a summer I spent as a cashier at a Publix near my mom’s in Orlando. Still a little bitter about that, too, it seems.

Anyhoo. Dinner is easy. Breakfast, too, because cold cereal and warm oatmeal exist. But I really can’t get a handle on lunch. That mid-day meal is the one I don’t want to have to think about. To quote a friend: I just want kibble in my bowl.

Lately I’ve been cooking a big batch of brown rice, then heating up lunch-sized portions with whichever frozen veggies I seem to be hoarding. But I am getting bored with that kind of kibble and it’s not keeping me as full as it used to.

So, mother runners, how do you deal with lunch? And does anyone want to come over and make it for me?

33 responses to “Martini Fridays: Let’s Focus on the Positive!

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  2. I’m a sandwich girl for lunch. Right now I’m loving multi-grain sandwich thins with a tablespoon of hummus. Pile with a couple slices of smoked turkey or ham, baby Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato. Yummy!

  3. One go to for me is – crackers with whatever I find to put on top of them. Today was apple slices, pepperoni and cheddar cheese, then a yogurt for dessert.

  4. I make a very large salad that takes me an hour to eat. I use all different types of veggies, throw in some craisins and a little cheese than I add my light dressing and some lean protein. I tend to go with tuna but sometimes use chicken instead.

  5. I always make extra dinner to have leftovers. Any extra protein gets thrown in a big salad with anything else that looks interesting in the fridge. I always keep homemade vinegrette in the fridge for salads or mixed beans and veggies.

  6. Almost every day I have 2C baby spring mix, 1 packet of salmon, strawberries(or apples, blueberries, fruit of your choice), a bit of feta cheese, pepper, Marzetti balsamic vinegarette (1TBSP). Shake or toss in a bowl to cover with the dressing/pepper. Lunch is served! Sometimes I’ll use left over grilled chicken too.

  7. Don’t get me wrong – I love shopping at Publix. Working there was another kettle of mangos entirely.

    Are you near a Central Market in Texas?

    And keep those lunch suggestions coming. I’m taking notes!

  8. “The loathing stems from a summer I spent as a cashier at a Publix near my mom’s in Orlando. Still a little bitter about that, too, it seems.” –
    I’m having a hard time getting past this line…. having recently moved from Florida to Texas where there are no grocery stores that compare to Publix… I’m missing it so… everyday.
    As for lunches, I’m a recent fan of drinking my lunch, since no one puts kibbles in my bowl either. A frozen banana, pineapple with our without the juice, some strawberries, blueberries, an orange… and either some coconut or regular milk and a few ice cubes. Into the vitamix, whirrrrrrr, and wa-la! Great for a hot summer day, easy to make, and just plain good for ya!

  9. I enjoy a mixed bean salad, with chopped tomato, vinaigrette, fresh mint and chilli….sometimes add tuna but usually that’s enough!

  10. Make a big salad to last several days, then add meat on top when you are ready to eat. Fruit on the side, or on top. Plus nuts. Yum. For meat, I’m not a huge fan of deli meats because they can have a lot of yuck in them. But I have a local meat market that makes fab roast beef. Ham and turkey are good too. I also like to make a bunch of boneless chicken breast tenders at once, and have them for several days for the salad. Or left over sliced pork chops or loin. I even use leftover taco meat on top of a bed of lettuce with salsa on top.
    Dinner leftovers are also awesome for lunch, just cook more at dinner so you always have leftovers.

  11. I’m a sandwich kinda girl, too. Tuna salad, ham, leftover grilled chicken breast (sometimes I make it into a salad-type sandwich, too, with grapes and mayo).

  12. A great protein-filled gluten-free breakfast (that you can make ahead and reheat): 1 mashed banana, mixed with 3 scrambled eggs, 3 tablespoons almond meal, a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. Cook like a large pancake using coconut oil or your oil/spray of choice. Top with fresh fruit or just eat plain. Modified from http://www.fannetasticfood.com.

  13. Breakfast is my challenging meal…being gluten free for over a year now, I thought I’d have it down pat by now, but not so much. I will usually eat leftover rice/quinoa with banana and yogurt…but that’s getting old pretty fast. I’ve been trying to switch it up, but get stuck in a rut…lunches will usually resemble my previous nights dinner…but it’s hard. I pack my breakfast, lunch and snacks for my day at the office, so my lunch bag resembles a suitcase on my “hungry” days.

  14. I LOVE bread, so sandwiches it is!!! Sometimes fancy, mostly not so, but almost always include cheese (which I love as well). And I can easily eat it at my desk – perfect!

  15. Green monster smoothie. Simple and nutritionally power packed. My version goes like this: frozen banana, HUGE handful of power greens or just straight spinach, one cup of whatever type of milk is in the fridge, and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

  16. I tend to be the only one in my house who eats leftovers. So I always pack up dinner leftovers so that I can grab them for lunch the next day. Sometimes I mix them with some salad or frozen veggies if there isn’t quite enough.

  17. I am a lazy launcher, and keep this in the work fridge: big ziplock of spinach, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, red wine dressing, envelopes of tuna, and pita bread. Five seconds to assemble a salad, and keeps me full. When it gets boring, I switch out ingredients.

  18. I am a creature of habit. For some reason, eating relatively the same thing for lunch is comforting: smoked turkey, hummus, swiss cheese on multigrain bread and a side of cottage cheese. If I want to get ‘crazy’ I will switch up the hummus flavor or add in some banana peppers. Delish!

  19. So, lunch is my worse meal too….I make 2 PB&Js, one for my son and one for me….very boring, but it does the trick 🙂

  20. Many times I’ll go with a stirfry using a frozen vegetable blend I buy at our local wholesale club. Recently I’ve started making a really great chicken salad with pecans, grapes and celery that I combine with a honey/apple cider vinegar/light mayo dressing as well as a pasta salad with artichoke hearts, black olives and tomatoes. I can make both the night before and eat them over the next couple of days. They’re great for summer.

  21. I love big Sammie’s full of veggies. I use hummus instead of mayo, spinach, arugula, any color bell peppers, pepperocinis, I even slice zucchini or cucumber or throw some shredded carrots on too. I’m not too picky on the meat, but we’re really on a Sara Lee roast beef kick right now. Sirracha sauce adds some zip if I’m in a spicy mood. With a fruit or veggie on the side, I’m usually stuffed after lunch!

  22. I keep a stash of Lean Cuisines in the freezer at work, along with hummus and carrot sticks in the fridge, for days when I don’t bring a lunch or don’t have the energy to prep one the night before.
    If hubby is grilling, I’ll get him to grill an extra-large batch of veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, eggplant and bell peppers, plus a couple of chicken breasts marinated in balsamic dressing. I’ll make lunches of that for days- whole wheat tortilla, veg, sliced chicken, hummus, mixed greens, and feta.
    Also loving cold faro salads on mixed greens right now, with deli turkey/ Swiss cheese rollups for protein and calcium.

  23. Holy speedy martini, good work!

    I’m stuck on this lunch – two corn tortillas heated on an iron skillet topped with wilted kale or spinach scrambled with two eggs, salsa and maybe cheese and maybe avacado.

    Keep on truckin’!

  24. I am in the midst of training for my second marathon, and can certainly relate to feeling ravenous all the time! My go-to lunch is two pieces of raisin Ezekial bread, toasted and spread with peanut butter or almond butter and slices of apple. I also have a Greek yogurt with a little Kashi mixed in….delicious!! I know there is a fair amount of sugar in this lunch but it satisfies my sweet tooth, tops off my tank and still has a decent amount of protein. I don’t really eat much meat, so I pretty much live on nut butters during training.

  25. Lunch for me is usually leftovers or a massively sized salad filled with good stuff like beans, hard boiled egg, avocado, goat cheese, loads of veg. Huge as in mixing bowl sized. My daughter thinks I’m insane but it fills me up and keeps the afternoon munchies/slump/candy monster at bay.

    Great ladder workout! My numbers were not so impressive. In fact, at some point, a lady pushing a double jogging stroller sailed past me!

  26. Rice and veggies are good, but where’s the protein? Think of lean things like beans, chicken, turkey, etc. I personally love making taco bowls with brown rice, extra lean ground turkey (cooked with a pack of taco season), black beans, low-fat cheese, tomatoes, onions and sauce or salsa. YUMMY!

  27. Adrienne! Great job on the pacing. I’m training for the Chicago marathon so I’m hungry all the time as well. When I’m home, I eat a lot of omelets for lunch. I love eggs. And they have a lot of protein, which you might need more of to fill yourself up and fuel your overworked muscles. For work, I bring a lot of big salads, with cubed chicken as the protein, and then I throw on whatever else I have around. I also buy frozen pastas from Trader Joes, which are cheap and tasty.

  28. salads in a jar!!!! I make 3 or 4 salads on Monday night and they last me all week. They are all over pinterest if you need ideas.

  29. I try to cook at least a pound of beans a week. I can then throw them in with rice or pasta or salad. I almost always put some sort of salad dressing on this to get a little good fat (usually oil & vinegar dressing of some sort). Another go to for me is egg or tuna salad (or any other flaky, leftover fish laying around).

  30. There is a Whole Foods a few blocks from my work so, I usually walk there to purchase something off the salad bar. I end up spending a small fortune on a salad loaded with veggies (who knew veggies weighed so much?). If I’m really feeling industrious, I will make my lunch the night before work and take it with me. Usually it consists of hummus and veggie sandwiches on Flat Out wrappers or turkey sandwiches on high fiber bread, with fruit. Not very creative but very eaay. There are rarely dinner leftovers at my house so that is not an option for lunch!

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