Old Insecurities

I’ll tell you a secret. In junior high (and okay, high school also) I would make lists of all the people who were my friends. Admittedly, I was kind of a bookworm and wasn’t the most popular of teenagers. For whatever reason, these lists re-assured me that I did have friends, that I wasn’t a social outcast. I was pretty insecure about my social life – worrying that I wasn’t cool enough, that I wasn’t going to have anything to do on the weekends, etc. So much of my self worth was tied up in my relationships with other people. During my (college) semester abroad in Italy, I was quite homesick for the first few weeks. I had just begun to form tenuous friendships and was starting to feel like Florence was becoming “home”. And then some plans I had made with friends fell through and all those old insecurities and doubts came rushing back. I remember calling my mom from my cell phone ($1 per minute on my international plan….) and tearfully telling her how lonely I was in this country, so many miles away.

Why am I telling you this? Well, despite (finally!) having a strong network of girlfriends from college, blogging, my running club, and the office – those insecurities about my social life still linger. And so now when a friend asks me to go running, or grab a drink, or check out a yoga class – I have a very hard time saying no. A little voice in my head says “Don’t let this chance pass you by! You’ve gotta keep your friends, be social!” And don’t get me wrong – I truly do enjoy spending time with my lady friends, but often times I overextend myself and end up making more plans and promises than I can realistically keep. Trying to work full-time, maintain the blog, train for half-marathons, have a relationship with the man-friend, sleep enough, eat well, and keep up with social activities can sometimes leave me feeling a little overwhelmed and cranky.

Recently, I’ve been feeling more time-crunched than usual and have had to cancel on some friend-time. I’m trying not to feel guilty when this happens, but it’s a work in progress. So friends, if I end up bailing on you – apologies in advance. I’m still trying to figure out how to fit everything in and sometimes I just get so excited about the prospect of making plans that I don’t stop and think about how busy I already am. Case in point – I had promised to meet Kelly for a 6am run this morning, but after running a workout the night before and only getting 6 hours of sleep, I realized I needed to get a bit more shut-eye (the Brooklyn half is days away!!! ahh) and fit my run in a little later.

Ok enough of my #whitegirlproblems complainin’ !! Last night I grouped up with Jacqui and Lindsay to run a final interval workout before this weekend’s half-marathon. At this point, I’m not going to get much of a training benefit from a hard workout, but I think doing something fast helps the legs from feeling too flat/boosts confidence for race day.

  • 1.5 mile warm-up + drills
  • 3 x 1000m @ 3-5k pace w/ 2:00 minute jog recovery
  • My splits were – 3:51, 3:58, 3:51 (thanks Jacqui! for mapping out the 1k route ahead of time)
  • 4 mile cool-down
  • 7.5 miles total for the day

After Sunday’s long run, I took a rest day on Monday, and hence was feelin’ pretty fresh for this workout. My plan for the rest of the week is to keep the mileage low (4-6 miles/day) and go to a yoga class this evening.

When I got home, I made myself eat “real food” (i.e. a banana, yogurt, and cereal) eventhough I really just wanted to eat the delicious brownies I had baked the night before….

I was inspired by Amy’s blog a few days ago – she made Jessica’s infamous “Better Than Crack Brownies” and they looked amazingggg. Usually I’m a quite critical of my baked goods, but these might be the best thing I’ve made all year. Fudgy brownie base, melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter & chocolate layer, all topped with peanut butter rice krispies.

I created my own brownie-base recipe and made a few modifications to the original recipe -

Megan’s Version (inspired by Jessica’s Better than Crack Brownies)

Brownie Base

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces  unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  •  big pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, spray a 9″x13″ baking pan with cooking spray, and position a rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Turn off the heat, add the unsweetened chocolate, and stir occasionally until melted and combined. Set aside and cool slightly.

3. Stir the sugar and salt into the warm chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the flour until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes.

Better-than-Crack-Topping

  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1 cup chopped mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

1. After brownies have baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven, sprinkle peanuts and Reese’s cups on top, bake for another 4-5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a bowl (30 second intervals) until melted. Stir in rice krispies cereal.

3. Remove brownies from the oven and pour chocolate-pb-cereal mixture on top. Allow to cool slightly and then refrigerate for at least a few hours (or overnight). Cut into bars and place each piece in a cupcake wrapper (this looks pretty and will keep things from getting too messy!)

I gave the man-friend about 75% of the batch (he ate 3 for breakfast today!), but I made sure to save a few for myself and the roomie. They were the perfect post-workout reward!

These are not healthy AT ALL and I am loving every bite. Happy Wednesday!

  • http://secondcityrandomness.wordpress.com Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    You added more rice krispies, didn’t you? I bet that was an awesome change…  

  • http://twitter.com/runnerscookie Corey

    Wow those brownies look amazing! Those are going on my “must make” list.
    I appreciate you sharing your past insecurities and how they still tend to affect you. I used to have some of the same ones in middle and high school – especially after I was “exiled” from a particular group of friends…
    Anyway, I can relate to the struggle between time committed to work, social life, boyfriend (oops, man-friend :) ), running, sleep, etc. I’ve had to tell myself that its okay if one of those things takes priority one day, and other days other things take priority. For me its all about making sure one thing doesn’t completely take over. You sound like you’re doing a great job balancing all of it!

  • Nicole

     So glad I literally ran into you girls on your workout!

  • Anonymous

    yay, me too! i’m sorry i was so out of it during those intervals. you were
    an awesome motivator during that last repeat!

  • Rebecca

     My goodness, those brownies look AMAZING. I am such a sucker for peanut butter treats.Last Valentine’s Day I made these http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/peanut-butter-brownies/ “for” my boyfriend of the time. Ended up eating almost the whole tray myself. I’m trying to figure out if I can be trusted to make the recipe above…

    Anyway, see you next Tuesday :)

  • http://extraordinarymoments.wordpress.com Emily

     It’s great to realize these kinds of things about yourself! Balancing social life, work or school (or both!), working out, and relationships can be a serious struggle! Good for you for listening to your body and getting some needed sleep. You need to be all rested for this weekend, good luck girl!

    And those brownies look awesome. We all need a little indulgence :)!

  • http://www.caffeinatedrunner.com/ Emilia @ Run for Your Life

    I love this post! During my first post-grad year, I was doing my million (okay, nine) races to qualify for the following year’s NYC Marathon, and pretty much did my own thing without even thinking about it. I started my blog once I was officially “in” to do the marathon, and love that I’ve “met” so many nice people through it! Your blog was actually the only running blog I read regularly at that point (discovered it when I worked at Glamour and you guest-posted for them) and inspired me to start my own. :) I’m still feeling green at the new job, hoping my new coworkers will officially love me when I bring a batch of alfajores (dulce de leche sandwich cookies) to the office tomorrow. :D

  • Jacqui

    I was very happy to see you as well! I like Megan, I was so so out of it. Sorry if we brushed you off at all. <3

  • Jacqui

    For the record, I never ever judge you for bailing on plans. In fact I probably encourage some of the bailing ;-). I know full well how overstretched you are! But believe me, I’M not going anywhere even if you don’t hang out with me one week, so you have nothing to worry about <3. Ok, but literally, I am not going anywhere. I will be here for the next 8 years AT LEAST….

  • Jacqui

    Also one more thing – major props to us for doing this workout basically on our own. Certainly it’s easier that we have each other (and Lindsay! Thanks for joining us!), but I still think it says a lot about our fitness and determination that we can crank one out when we need it. GO US.

  • Anonymous

    ahhhh, i love smitten kitchen recipes!! i get so excited when twitter tells
    me she has a new post :)

  • Anonymous

    mush alert – when you decided to go to mt. sinai medical school – it was the
    best day of the whole year!!

  • http://mealsformiles.wordpress.com/ Kelly

    Oh, friend! I know exactly how you feel. I think you do an amazing job balancing everything, but sometimes, something’s gotta give. I missed you this morning, but totally understand. I’m actually not sure how/why I left my apt in a torrential downpour, to be honest :) Like Jacqui, I ain’t goin’ nowhere! And also, I heart you.

  • http://www.runlindsrun.wordpress.com Lindsay

    Aw, I appreciate your honesty. I also have a bit of insecurities when it comes to friends (especially upon moving to NYC), and I think this is totally normal. I am typically afraid to initiate plans with people because I’m afraid they will say no or think I’m being clingy (stupid, I know). I love when others ask me to hang out or do things, but I really need to get better about it being a 2 way street and asking others, as well!

    SO, thank YOU (and Jacqui!) for having me join you last night, it was a blast and 100x easier to get through those intervals together. Plus, I love chatting all things running :)

    Also definitely understand the feeling of canceling and guilt; I try to not over-commit to plans too much if I feel there is a chance I might not be able to, but then feel like I am letting someone down.It’s a hard balance but you seem to do really well at that. See you on Saturday hopefully (PS I am picking up my CPTC jersey from Devon tonight so I will be official– thanks for suggesting I email her!)

  • http://angryrunner.wordpress.com AR

    A lot of stuff I can relate with. I’m (clearly) mostly a lone wolf, but I’m convinced people will hate me for it after I’ve ditched them for the 4-5th time because I was too lazy to get off the couch. So I tend to go through those mental lists myself.

    One thing I totally don’t relate with:

    Giving away 75% of the brownies? BICH PLZ. I’ll give away a brownie then eat the rest of the tray.

    Related: These pants make my ass look…well…let’s not get into specifics. <3

  • http://www.insightfulappetite.com sofia

     obviously i’m mad and offended every time you bail. bounds for de-friending you on facebook AND in real life. OH SNAP.

    kidding, obviously :) we are all busy, and any good friends understand that we’ve gotta cancel on each other when we’re over-extended. no biggie!

  • Anonymous

    hooray! so glad you got the singlet from Devon. CPTC will be out in full
    force and wearing the uniform means extra cheers/support from the crowd
    (seriously…i couldn’t believe how much extra encouragement i got during my
    first “team uniform” race!)

    See you Saturday :)

  • Anonymous

    lol, yeah in retrospect giving away most of the brownies was a poor decision
    on my part. BUT i do have leftover rice krispies and reese’s so i might just
    make another batch. all for myselfffff.

  • http://twitter.com/ant5s Anthea

    Wow, wow, wow at your brownies. Maybe if you add marshmallow to that peanut butter topping too…

  • http://balancingme.wordpress.com Grace @ Balancing Me

    Nom nom nom. If I had a sweet tooth, I would totally be interested in those brownies! (Instead, I have a savory tooth and would happily eat a spicy fish taco at 8am.) 

    You have what my roommate and I affectionately refer to as FOLFD (pronounced FOL-ffffff-d). Fear Of Letting Friends Down. We have the same syndrome, don’t worry. We’re always trying to say yes even when we don’t really want to.

    And ;) for your future reference, we also refer to FOMO a lot. Fear Of Missing Out. This syndrome presents itself when you are really tired / not into going out, but you go anyway because you have unrealistic expectations of what a fabulous night it should be.

    Then you come home at 3am and realize it. was. not. worth. it. at. all. (Usually, anyway, ha!)

  • Anonymous

    i love these abbreviations – spot on!! glad to know i’m not the only one who
    feels this way sometimes :)

  • Sarah

    I really liked reading this post. I have definitely felt the same way. I remember being afraid to go to bed early during my first month at college in case my roommate thought I was anti-social. But you seem to do a really good job of balancing! I’m always amazed at how many people you hang out with and how much fun you seem to have. You do more cool stuff in one weekend then I can get done in a month! Plus if you keep baking stuff as yummy as those brownie bars you shouldn’t have any trouble making friends! :)

  • http://eatdrinkrun.wordpress.com/ shelby

     You have articulated precisely why I ran poorly in college.  I couldn’t say no to anything because I was afraid I’d miss out on a friend-making opportunity.  Ah well.  I did have lots of friends in college, even if my running sucked ass. :)

    Those brownie things look…wow.  Save some for pre-race fuel, yes??

  • http://www.keepinthepace.com ellen

     Those brownies look AWESOME. They have rainy weekend project written all over them. I’ll save for my post-Brooklyn treat on Saturday. 

  • Tessa

    I have wanted to make these brownies but need somewhere to take them for fear I will eat the whole pan. Yours definitely look great!

  • Katherine

     Those brownies look DELICIOUS!!!

    I have the same problem as you with always making plans and having trouble saying “no” to friends. It’s ok to sometimes say no to friends, but in the end, most thing are much more fun with good company :-)

  • http://yourdailygrace.com/ Grace

     I won these in a giveaway from Jess at Dalyauthenticity.com and they were amazing! I actually froze them and savored them one at a time…not sure if that is weird but a whole batch lasted me forever!

  • Anonymous

    can we skip this whole race business and just hang out/drink beer/eat
    delicious foods? heh…

  • http://emmerlees.blogspot.com/ Em Marie

     I can definitely relate to what you posted about your social life. I have always been more introverted naturally. Somedays you just need to spend an evening at home curled up with a good book, while others you need to get down on the dance floor. Neither choice is “right/wrong” or “better”. Your mind and body have different needs each day and it can be hard to “plan” in advanced how you’ll feel. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is something “wrong” with you for the choices you make – listen to yourself!

    p.s. those brownies look divine! :)

  • http://bellebottoms.wordpress.com/ becca @ bellebottoms

    where did you study in Florence? I studied there my senior year of college…and LOVED it! I was at Florence University of Arts. :) 

  • Anonymous

    I studied with Syracuse University in Florence – great place for an Art
    History major :)

  • http://bellebottoms.wordpress.com/ becca @ bellebottoms

    oh I remember that school! I passed by the building once or twice :) I lived on the ’otrarno’ side of Florence…right by the Pitti Palace…it was uh-mazing!  

  • Anonymous

    good area! my host family was also on the otherside of the Arno – but wayyyy
    out on via Danimarca. if nothing else, the distance from my
    school encouraged me to explore the city!

  • http://Bakerbynature.com Ashley@BakerbyNature

    Oh man, I just finished a tray of brownies a few days ago and these have me ready to make more. They look so addicting!

  • http://thewholeplate.com leslie

    i so so so relate to this post.  it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that i really established a strong group of friends, and then i got to college, aka nyu, the land of antisocial hipsters, and it took me a long, long time to make new friends.  i remember every time i met someone who i thought i really connected with, i would get so excited about potential plans we had discussed, and that made it all the more disappointing if they fell through.  plus a lot of times i was too shy to suggest definite plans in the first place.

    i think it says a lot about how much we’ve grown as adults that we don’t hinge our friendships now on whether every single happy hour happens. :) we all need breathers, and real friends know that. 

    speaking of plans though..see you next week, yes? :)

  • Anonymous

    Yummy… So cool I really like this Better-than-Crack-Topping recipe and I am also bring this recipe in my kitchen so thanks for sharing such a great  recipe.  This is my favourite recipe. ______-
     Kitchen unit

  • man-friend

    Man-friend thinks that there is a 117.943% chance that these will be made again

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