My Double Life

So, my Tuesday did start out so well (think: 4:30am mosquito attack, sleeping through my alarm, subway delays, etc). I’m sure I ate breakfast , but I don’t remember what it was. Let’s skip over to mid-morning…

I was recently sent some Kardea bars to sample. With 1 g of plant sterols and 7 grams of fiber (5g soluable) this product was created to help manage cholesterol levels. While I don’t have high cholesterol, I still found this to be an enjoyable and nutritious snack. Each bar contains 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams protein, and 7 grams fiber. The texture reminded me of a power bar  – very dense and chewy. The banana-nut flavor had a nice banana-y taste and didn’t leave any weird aftertaste in my mouth. The only thing I wasn’t thrilled about was seeing brown rice syrup (a.k.a. sugar) as the first ingredient. Overall, I enjoyed this bar and while luna and clif bars are still my go-to, I could see myself buying this again.

kardea

Because I stayed out too late on Monday night needed extra rest, I slept through my alarm and didn’t have time to pack a lunch. However, I redeemed myself by spending less than $2.50 on lunch (reason #345678 why I love my office cafeteria) – I snagged an organic peach and a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich on Zabar’s health loaf bread.

pbj

For some reason, my trusty pb&j didn’t hold me over well, so I needed a hearty afternoon snack – strawberries, cantaloupe, plain yogurt, honey, and lots of ice all blended together into a smoothie. Yum.

smoothie

So, I won’t get into the details, but my day was pretty crappy. I never felt like I “had it together” – I spent the whole work day scrambling to get things done and by 5:30pm my to-do list was still a mile long. It’s not usually worth it to complain, but sometimes a full-time job, blogging, freelance writing, running, and LIFE just feels a little overwhelming. Anywayyyy, I made the decision that I was going to track practice no matter what. Running is important to me, my t0-do list will still be here tomorrow.  

As I was leaving the office, a co-worker asked if I was headed home before the thunderstorms started. I immediately responded with “No, I’m actually headed to track practice”. After I got the requisite funny look (track practice?? Isn’t that for high schoolers?), I started thinking about my “double life”.  Most people who know me, know that I’m a runner, but sometimes I feel like my running life is a life of its own. Prioritizing track workouts over working late, long runs over long brunches, and running shoes over Manolos certainly isn’t the norm for a 20-something Manhattan-ite, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love the freedom that comes with gutting out a hard workout on the East River track or the happy exhaustion that sets in after a long run. For that brief period of my day, I’m not an over-worked 25 year old with piles of dirty laundry, a late rent check (it’s in the mail, I swear!), or a buzzing Blackberry. Instead, I’m a runner who’s only concern is hitting the correct splits and finding an icy post-run Gatorade.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, I did actually get to the workout on time and here’s how it went down:

  • 2.5 mile warm-up
  • 12 x 400m with 200m recovery jog
  • First 6 were supposed to be at 5k Pace: 95, 95, 90, 92, 92, 91
  • Second 6 were supposed to be progressively 1 second faster: 91, 89, 88, 87, 87, 82
  • 2.5 mile cool-down

I was pretty happy with the execution of this workout – the intervals ended up being a little faster than I was planning (I was originally shooting for 95 second laps, equivalent to about ~19:45 5k pace), but I was able to run faster for the last 6 and that’s what really mattered. I was feeling pretty spent by the end though (and dehydrated like whoaaa).

Jacqui and I stopped at Trader Joe’s and I’m surprised I didn’t buy the entire store. I ripped into a pb & j larabar on the train ride home, but still emerged from the subway feeling very dirty, tired, and hungry.

lara bar

After much-needed shower, I made the fastest dinner possible: spinach dip, celery, cucumber, and pita chips. I had seconds thirds of everything. I was hungry, but yet so hot and dehydrated that my appetite was just off. The crisp veggies and creamy yogurt dip were very refreshing.

spinachdip

I ended the night with a Skinny Cow truffle ice cream bar. I like the product, but I’m not a fan of the name.

Dear food companies: please stop calling things “skinny”. I don’t like it. Love, Megan

skinnycow

I had a little trouble falling asleep (my heartrate is always super elevated after interval workouts), but when I did finally drift off, I slept like a rock. A little too much like a rock, actually. I slept through my alarm again (FAIL) and almost missed Jacqui for our scheduled morning run. Thankfully we were able to meet up on the reservoir and I ran about 5.5 miles before work this morning. I was sore, tight, and really thirsty. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Happy Running Day!! Head on over to the Running Shorts page on True/Slant for a lots of fun articles – Geoff and I have a lot planned for this week.

Question: What are your thoughts on foods that are labeled “skinny”, “lite”, or “thin”?

  • Kate

    So I just started reading your blog (a friend turned me on to it when she said she’d actually found someone who loved PB as much as I do…) and I just have to say thanks. I have had a series of similarly crappy days as the school year winds down (I’m a teacher) and your blog re-energized me when I wasn’t sure if I was crazy for following long school days with long rainy runs…when everyone else was finishing up long school days by downing big long islands 🙂 Your insight & humor are great and I am excited to have found your blog!
    Hope your day today (Wed) was/is better than yesterdays!

  • So the crime scene tape was gone from TJs last night? That’s good! 🙂

    Great workout last night! Fast running through that soupy air!

  • Oh, and your question: I also really dislike thinks that are named skinny, lite, etc. I usually assume it’s going to taste like garbage and I’d rather have a smaller amount of the real thing. I do like skinny cow bars though. The mint ones dipped in chocolate are delightful!

  • Labels like that just trick consumers into thinking it’s better for them when in reality they need to look further and past the label on the front of packages.

    Sounds like you got some great runs in!

  • I have that double-life feeling sometimes as well. Most of my current co-workers know I run and always ask me stuff about what I run after work and races, so it’s kind of nice that they are aware of it. At my previous job I just got weird looks and people shaking their heads like I’m crazy – especially when I said I wanted to run a marathon.

  • Kate

    I see the marketing technique behind it – but I’m not a fan of the term “skinny”. Who has ever seen a skinny cow anyway? Unless it was sick… 🙂

  • Yeah, I’m not a big fan either. I can’t see myself ever trying a “Think Thin” bar for that very reason. Bad marketing, for someone like me, at least.

    Work, life, running does all get a bit much sometimes doesn’t it? It seems like something always has to give but it’s so great that you don’t let running be that thing! Good for you!

  • Can I just say that I was nodding like a bobble-lead doll during your double-life bit? I agree – something about being a serious runner is just so contrary to everything what you’re supposed to be as a young person. And although it’s hard, I think being a runner is often a lot easier than being a 20-something.
    Also, that is a FAST WORKOUT. Jeez.

    I hate the lite-skinny-whatever names. I order a latte with skim milk, NEVER a skinny latte. When I get Frappuccino Lights, I always mumble the “light” part. ‘Cuz that makes it better.

  • Emily

    Hi-I have also been reading your blog for awhile and can certainly relate to those days when nothing goes right. Like you, I make exercise a priority and I find that it puts me in a better frame of mind to tackle the never ending to do list! I enjoy hearing about your strategies for fitting everything in and all of your product/ordering tips. I’ve converted my whole office to the much more affordable Starbucks misto with one pump of syrup 🙂 Hope your week improves-at least it’s a short one!

  • Jul

    I can so relate to leading a “double life.” I spend so much of my time outside the 9-6 training, or thinking about training, or preparing to train. And I love it. But I don’t know that other people would understand – and I don’t know that I need other people to understand for me to enjoy it. Keeping that part of my life separate from my work life suits me just fine. But when those lines blur, it is strange indeed…

  • i love your words about leading a double life. while i am no runner, i do love the idea that there are many facets that make up who i am – some people know me as a theater person, some as a yoga person, some as a foodie, some as a traveler, some as a writer, some as something completely different. people might not always get our devotion to certain things, but having those hobbies outside of work makes us a heck of a lot more interesting!

    also, i get what companies are trying to do with the lite products – i don’t believe in it, but i also never buy them. i’d rather have a small amount of the real thing – or the same amount, and less of something else another time. i think life is too short to eat fat free ice cream, but then that’s just my opinion. 🙂

  • I second leslie’s comments. No tasti d lite for me- The real thing is so much better, and heck- life is short!

    In terms of the double life- uhm yes I understand! Although my run-dentity (running identity) has disappeared temporarily, I know I’ll regain that other aspect of myself soon. Sigh.

  • Elise

    buying ‘lite’ can get tricky and usually isn’t better for your health or budget…agreed on all accounts that I try to avoid ‘lite’ items that seem too good to be true!!! I have never tried skinny cow products but am tempted to after your review- thanks!!!

  • The words “lite” or “light” particularly irk me. There’s no federal regulation (like there is for low fat, reduced fat, etc.) so anyone can say it, and consumers buy into it without a second though. ARGH! I did, at one point in time, love me a skinny cow ice cream cone though, despite the name 🙂 Nice track workout!

  • HLS

    I feel your pain on leading the “double life” in NYC, especially with certain friends that don’t understand why you don’t want to stay up until 4 am on a Friday night, because you have a long run set for Saturday! It takes its toll on social life, dating life, whatever other life, but I keep telling myself that it makes up for it in how I feel, how I look, my self confidence, and my overall general happiness with being me everyday. Keep it up and keep up the great blog!!

  • I am glad you got to vent sometimes we all need that outlet!! 🙂 I personally don’t like the idea that things are called skinny. I don’t mind it as much when I see the word thin, lowfat, light, etc…but there is something about the word skinny that makes me annoyed. Like skinny is the end all be all. I personally get offended when people say I am skinny. I don’t want to be skinny…I want to be healthy. In my mind those 2 words are NOT synomous.

  • Nicole

    I know I have LOTS of days like those so its nice to hear I’m not the only one! I’m moving to NYC in a few months and commuting to NJ for school so I can only imagine the craziness to come…and I plan to keep running a priority but I know its going to be tough. Seems like you do a great job managing things and I know we all really appreciate your blog! I LOVE it, its one of my favorites 🙂

  • Ellen

    I think it’s awesome that you stay true to yourself in the big, bad city! I’d like to think I have to, but I’ve seen so many people get sucked into doing what is dubbed “cool” and “exciting.” I’m totally jealous that you have your own little life carved out here. I do in a sense, but I’m still trying to find my niche. Hope your week just gets better and better!

    http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

  • you’re a champ meg. i dunno how you do it…but you do! that 4.30am tweet started my day off with a laugh though haha. glad you finally got that a/c deal settled.

  • I totally feel you on the crappy days. Sometimes it really does feel so overwhelming!! Awesome job on the track! 🙂

  • Some days it just all hits at once, doesn’t it? A couple months ago a friend of mine and I went to the Cheesecake Factory and I ordered a salad off of their “weight management” menu. Now, I’m not exactly managing my weight, I just wanted the salad, but I felt pretty ridiculous saying “I want the weight management salad please”

  • I HATE when products use “skinny” in the name. Skinny Water, Skinny Martini, Skinny Cow… the grocery store is one place I go to get my zen on, and it messes up my flow when I get bombarded by these labels while I shop. Grr.

  • I don’t mind it when they say “light” but I HATE it when they say skinny. HATE it!!! I am not on a diet and everyone thinks I am when I eat a Skinny Cow product.

  • j

    I think the ironic thing is that most of the skinny and lite products are SUPER-PROCESSED and way worse for you than the real thing. For example, I make home-made icecream with real full-fat cream or coconut milk, and I firmly believe its more healthful than all those lite fat-free icecreams out there with ingredient lists a mile long.

  • Hang in there. When things get stressful just try to enjoy. I love pb&j larabars. YUMMERS!

    The skinny thing is a marketing technique that I definitely see right past. Like skinny latte at SB has less sugar bc it’s FAKE sugar instead of real. To me the savings isn’t worth it.