Multi-tasker

I’m a busy gal – between working full-time, running 40+ miles a week, blogging, and social activities, there never seems to be enough time. Lately I’ve been finding ways to make the most out of every minute. Sometimes this means multi-tasking, other times it just means slacking off a bit!

For example, last night I really didn’t feel like cooking anything elaborate. Alma and I had gone running before work, so I was feeling t-i-r-e-d by 7pm.  In fact, all I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and watch Mad Men Season 3, so that’s exactly what I did.

Even food bloggers get lazy sometimes. My  “dinner” was PB & Co’s dark chocolate dreams and sliced banana on top of Wasa crackers. And then I dug into my remaining chocomize chocolate bars – these candy bars are dangerously good! To avoid feeling too much like a bum, I did some hip strengthening exercises and IT band stretches while catching up on Don Draper’s antics.

dark chocolate dreams

After a weeks of sleeping-in, I finally got myself out of bed for my favorite Tuesday morning spinning class. I need to make this a regular part of my workout routine – cycling strengthens my quad muscles and I think it helps my IT band feel better. Plus I have a tiny crush on the spinning instructor plays great 80’s music! I finished up with ~30 minutes on the elliptical and some magazine reading.

Sometimes, a sweaty solo workout is necessary to de-stress, but most of the time I try to multi-task i.e. running with a friend (social time + exercise!), reading a magazine while doing planks, or the aforementioned TV watching + hip strengthening combo.

Breakfast was eaten in 3 parts:

1) pre-gym clif z bar

clif z bar

2) post-gym Starbucks soy misto

soy misto

3) a “breakfast cookie” made with oats, banana, and dark chocolate dreams pb topped with 2% Fage.

breakfast cookie

During lunch, I spent a little quality time with one of my favorite authors. I first enjoyed Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird for a freshman year seminar at Wesleyan, but I recently decided to re-read it. Ms. Lamott, you make me smile. Along with my “food for thought”, I ate a salad brought from home: spinach, fruit salad, black beans, walnuts, dried cherries, and sriracha hot sauce. It was good, but not the same as my fun office cafeteria creations!

salad

Since my job is 95% sitting (hello tight hamstring muscles!), I use a baseball to roll out/massage my piriformis, hamstring, and IT band. The best is when the ball falls off my chair and I have to go hunt it down. My cubicle neighbors probably think I am crazy.

baseball

My afternoon snack (yup, I am 5 year-old at heart) was a dark chocolate-oat granola bar and a Adora calcium supplement. In my opionion, combining chocolate with anything is the best way to multi-task 🙂

Nature Valley Granola Bar

After work I’m headed to a social event with my CSA. Learning about organic vegetables + meeting new friends? Twice the fun!

Read my latest True/Slant article: What (not) to eat during a long run.

Question: What’s your favorite way to multi-task?

  • Danielle

    My office mates think I’m crazy as well: I keep an ice pack in the freezer, ice my legs under my desk, and use golf and tennis balls to roll out my tight muscles too! I hate when they fall and I have to search for them 🙂

  • Danielle

    Megan–Do you simply roll the baseball on top of your muscles with your hand? Does that supply enough pressure to work out sore muscles?

    Also, do you have any recommendations for sore peroneal tendons (they run on the outside of your shin to your ankle, but are not shin splints)?

  • Danielle – I put the baseball under my hamstrings and then sit down and roll it back and forth.

  • I will foam roll while watching TV…does that count? I liked your true slant article and I agree. When I do my long runs I very rarely take anything with my but water…it works for me!

  • Jeannine

    Megan – could I ask which spin class you like to go to. I also belong to Equinox, and haven’t found a spin class I really like.

    Much appreciated

  • I always do homework for one class during the boring parts of another class. Makes me feel rebellious 😛

  • You know, that lazy dinner is sometimes just as good as a gourmet five-course meal. Hey, it’s much better quality than the Michael Phelps diet and he seems to be doing alright 😉

    Uhhh…I tracked the Boston Marathon during math class because I couldn’t miss school for it…and I usually memorize Greek vocab while on the elliptical (maybe the only advantage to injuries?). That’s probably the best multi-tasking.

  • holy crud, i love your shoes!

  • I had never really thought of how exercise activity could be multi-tasking, but I guess that makes me good at it when it comes to things other than work! I have a magazine subscriptions galore (Rolling Stone, Chicago, Women’s Running, Running Times, and Public Manager), which keep my mind busy when on the elliptical or even a slow treadmill run.

    I’m actually pretty adept at multi-tasking in the kitchen. I can have things on the stove and in the oven, and then I like to kind of keep up on the dishes as I make them so it’s not a disaster when I’m done 🙂

  • ida

    love the shoes!
    it’s nice to know i’m not alone on the occasional lazy eats.

  • I eat your lazy dinner all the time! I am such a multi tasker. Right now I’m reading blogs, while also watching Buffy on my laptop (don’t ask), eating a snack, and mentally planning my lunch for tomorrow. My brain hurts.

  • Maren

    I definately study while I’m on the treadmill or elliptical. Or when I have to read for class (this is the first class I’ve ever read for everyday…and I graduate in two weeks!) Reading while exercising makes things go by so much faster. Sometimes the elliptical is SO BORING!

  • Oh, multitasking! I hadn’t foam rolled in a few days and then it hit me–I always foam roll/stretch/do strength and physio exercises while watching TV with the man at night! I hadn’t done it since I finished Season 3 of Dexter last week, eek. So now I stretch/roll/etc to baseball on TV.

    I also save up all my hand-sewing until there’s something good on TV and I catch up on old NPR shows while I cook. I wish I could chat while running so it could be social, but I’m just not there yet (wonder if I’ll ever be…)

  • Oh, and meant to say: Those shoes are THE BOMB!

  • Seriously, how do we fit it all in?! Sometimes being a runner means your schedule is just plain crazy and only other runners get this. Trying to explain to a friend why you can’t meet for dinner because you want to get an 8 mile run in sounds just plain insane to non-runners. I totally could have used a night of not making a real dinner last night.

  • Umm starbucks with a side of sassy awesome shoes!! LOVE.
    Multi tasking. I read an interesting article about how us young uns *think* we are awesome at multi tasking because we can check email/write email/read stories all at the same time…but actually we’re just way less productive.

    Anyway. That is by the by. My fave way to multi task is to run whilst listening to podcasts aka connecting with the world or while running through my mental to-do lists! Ha!

  • bird by bird is amazing. you should also read traveling mercies by anne. she rules.

    and i feel ya on the jam-packed life – lately, i haven’t quite found the right balance and have been slacking off in some areas, getting lazy and not finding a good balance of it all. work in progress…

    umm spinning + elliptical?!?! you crazy woman. work it out!

  • How is that chocolate and oat granola bar? I looked it up on the website and it is the first Nature’s Valley granola bar that doesn’t have ingredients I’m allergic to.

    I am always looking for a new bar to try!

  • I stretch in the shower with my coffee mug while planning my outfit for the day. Probably not the safest combination…

  • I do IT band rolling while I microwave oatmeal. One minute on one side, one on the other, the third minute to dust myself off from rolling around on the kitchen floor. I also multitask by reading blogs while earning an income.
    Love that at least half of your pictures include chocolate in some form. Welcome to my diet.

  • I want your orange flats!! Where did you get them?

    I actually wrote a guest post on multitasking last week for On A Lobster Placemat, but my go-to strategy is making lists. Lots and lots of lists!

  • I definitely have to multitask. With working full time, being married, pregnant, running, gardening AND social? Not to mention sleep. Sometimes it’s all hard to fit in but it’s what makes my life interesting. Can’t wait til I have a little buddy to do it all with!

  • Your blog inspires me to be more disciplined with food! Thx.

  • I’ve never seen that flavor of nature valley granola bar! I’ll have to find it and give it a try!

  • Allie

    i multitask as much and as often as possible. this morning i blew dry my hair while stretching, drinking coffee and eating breakfast. then i brushed my teeth. i have long hair.

    do your hip flexors ever bother you from spinning? i love spinning, but my hip flexors get so tight that my running suffers. i haven’t found a good solution.

  • How are you enjoying Season 3 of Mad Men? I still need to get to Season 2. Ugh, that show is so spectacular it hurts!

    As for multi-tasking, lately I’m findng myself doing squats, push-ups, and plank poses while watching TV. This is a nice shift away from stuffing my gob while catching up on pop culture.

  • Your blog inspires me to be more disciplined with food! Thx.

  • I’ve never seen that flavor of nature valley granola bar! I’ll have to find it and give it a try!