My self-proclaimed oatmeal challenge

Generally, I like sticking to my whipped banana oats:

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Sometimes I add in eggs for protein, sometimes protein powder, sometimes greek yogurt. I love this breakfast. Bananas may just be my absolute favorite food, relating to the post below.

It was easy to whip together in my common room kitchen at school. Sometimes I went super wild and stirred canned pumpkin in instead, or splurged and bought some berries. But I never really strayed far from the basics, because I was in a dorm room, and grating up vegetables and shiz was out of the question.

But now I’m home! So, I set a mini-goal for myself this week to make 3 new oats recipes. After the first two, I was rather dissapointed:

Zucchini bread oatmeal (adapted from OhSheGlows)

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Too bland.

Whipped cottage cheese oats (again, Kath!)

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tbs chia seeds
1/2 banana whipped in
almost a cup of blueberries/chopped strawberries
spoonful of sunflower butter

Too soupy.

They were both delicious but stood no chance against my love for whipped banana.  And THEN. This morning happened.

Omg:

Adapted from OhSheGlows:
OATS:
1/3 cup oats
1 finely shredded carrot
1 tbs chia seeds
½ cup water
½ cup almond milk
Lots of cinnamon, some cloves, nutmeg, and ginger (precise I know)
1 egg white whisked in at end
TOPPING:
Handful of walnuts
Maple syrup
½ cup plain Fage mixed with maple syrup and cinnamon

It was cake. Carrot cake. Dare I say it’s tied with banana oats for number one? Yes, yes I do. I shall continue this oatmeal challenge my little darlings and keep you updated.

I love losing my car (plus yesterday’s recap)

I’ll start with the boring part (yesterday) and leave you in suspense for today’s scary moment.

I didn’t have work  (doing a whole 2 days this week, sweet) and I had all these plans to finish my unpacking, declutter my room, go on an awesome run, and hang out with friends.

Yeah, none of that happened. I spent the morning milling around my home, and finally at around 11:45 I texted Kirby to see if she wanted to go on a run then get sandwiches at my favorite place in the whole wide world, not really but probably top 20, Great Harvest. She said yes. Hooray!

We went on a very easy and un-scenic 4 mile, just an out and back. I was so not feeling this run, even though it was in the low 60s, low breeze, and sunny. I hate days like that, especially after having such an incredible running week last week. My body just felt like lead. Maureen and I had been feeling under the weather for a few days, perhaps we got some bug. Regardless I was glad Kirbs was there with me, it was 50% miserable and totez would have been 100% miserable without her there.

The Girl

After our run we biked to Heaven. My butt was absolutely killing me. Yes, apparently I am pathetic enough to have felt the 45 minutes of riding the day before. Lord save me. I got a delicious sandwich: hummus, cheddar, tomato, and lettuce on their Dakota bread (I had never tried Dakota before but after seeing Kath eat it time and time again, I just had to try it for myself) and a “sample” (this place is not stingy, they gave me an actual slice, I was oh so surprised) of apple scrapple bread, which is basically a little bit of bread with a piece or two of apple in there and then 10 pounds of that delicious butter/sugar mixture on top. I should have taken a picture of this, Great Harvest is definitely worthy of a snapshot. Next time.

Then we sat outside in the shade, developed a chill after 20 minutes or so (idiots, still sweaty from our run) and had to sun ourselves on a random bike rack in the sun for ten or so minutes before venturing home. We saw humans that we used to go to school with, but they were a few years ahead of us and it was definitely one of those situations where you know a somewhat creepy amount of information about them and there is a large possibility they have no idea who you are. So. We felt very awkward.

Do you ever realize how when you bike/walk/run somewhere, it’s always fun on the way there, but then when it comes time to go home you would rather shoot yourself in the foot? Maybe I’m just a lazy drama queen, but it happens to me quite a bit. Something exciting DID happen on our way home though: Kirby screamed, one of our bikes veered (we were going at a lightening pace of approximately 3 mph yet I am still unsure as to who it was), we almost, crashed, and then she started screaming about some baby lying in a yard. I turned around, and lo and behold, there was this little child, face down, in the front yard. Completely alone. I whipped my phone out to take a picture while Kirby rushed to see if it was alright (this is typical), then the mom came out and I had to stop because I’m afraid she would have brought sex offender charges against me or something radical like that.

PS! Look at this little dude.

I honestly did nothing with the rest of my day. It was glorious in a sick way. Oh wait, I made a failed almond butter.

The almonds looked pretty at least?

Today I had work. I do not think you want a detailed description of how I stuffed envelopes for 3 hours, However, afterwards I went on a run. I meant to run in the morning, but when my alarm went off at 6:13 (I always try to squeeze in those random minutes, I’m convinced they make a difference) I was wide awake but the thought of rushing to get a run in literally made me want to vomit. So instead I dillydallyed like a pro and made some zucchini oatmeal (recipe found on Oh She Glows, I added 1/3 cup of egg whites though), drowned it in maple syrup because it didn’t have much of a taste, and ended up being late to work because I spent too much time Facebook stalking and didn’t start to get dressed until 15 minutes before departure time.

Why do I always do this to myself – stall until the last minute? I do not know why but unfortunately I think it is incurable.

God I got off topic. MY RUN! I drove straight to a park (I packed my running clothes in my car), and started running. I wanted to do a longer run today. Ever week or week and a half I like to do what I deem as a “long” run (8 miles or more) and I decided today would be the day because it was perfect weather and it’s supposed to be hot again later this week.

It was a miserable run for the first 6 miles. I just really could not get into the grove. Also, I had an orange and Cliff Bar before leaving the office. Oranges I eat all the time before I run. Cliff Bars not so much. My stomach was NOT happy for those first 6 miles (I suppose it also could have been he stir fry I ate at lunch, my lovely bosses took me out to eat) and it really, well, sucked. I’m not talking ineedaportapottierightnow uncomfortable, but more there is a brick in my stomach and it is slowing me down. At mile 6, Eminem’s Til I Collapse came on, I got goosebumps, my tummy settled, and I was good. BUT THEN. Wait for it:

The part where I lose my car. I had wanted to do an out and back, but the initial direction that I started going on the trails took me on a 1.5 mile loop back to what I thought was the parking lot I had parked in. It angered me. So, I did the math (math takes me about 30 times longer than normal when I’m running. At least it’s something to pass the time) and decided I would turn around at 5.75 miles, so that by the time I made it back to my car I’d be at 8. Just go with it.

I got back to the lot. Did not see my car. Thought it had gotten stolen for an awful 10 seconds. Then I realized it was not the same parking lot.

I literally thought I was going insane. I checked my watch a few times (to check if it’s a dream, you know. The time always jumps in dreams. I do this oddly often because I used to be obsessed with teaching myself how to lucid dream, that’s one of the strategies, whateveryoudon’tcareandi’manerd) to be safe – nope, this was real life. After maybe 20 or 30 seconds of thinking, I realized that the “loop” I had taken was not a full loop and the lot I had chosen was a little ways up. All was well, I just ended up running 9 miles instead of 8. Worse things could have happened, like the Volvo actually evaporating into thin air. Talk about a disaster.

Life’s been chill here tonight. I got home and ate a delicious dinner Maureen had prepared (shrimp, pasta, brussel sprouts, some steak), hung out with my parents at the kitchen table, and video chatted with my friend Nancy from school.

I am lame. I love it.

Welcome Charlie!

This is Charlie. She’s a bike. Warning: I name everything because I tend to get attached to inanimate objects. Actually I get attached because I name them, but we’ll ignore that. Whatevs. I have a bike!

I’ve been wanting a “real” bike for a few months now. Even though I go to school in DC, the wealthy/uppity/successful Georgetown residents (they hate us, they hate us so much. And by us I mean the students) won’t allow a Metro stop in our quaint little neighborhood. You know, to keep the riffraff out and what not.

It’s really not HARD to get to the nearest stop, however. It’s enough to deter my friends and I from exploring the actual city. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I actually went to a museum, or did something cultural like that. My friend Natasha and I decided that having bikes would change this because we’d be able to ride them into the city, and go on nice long rides to work out. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes. This may be one of those plans that never really materializes. But who cares! I have a bike.

I was going to wait until I got back to DC to get this thing, but I walked outside yesterday and felt like Spongebob the first time he went into Sandy’s air bubble:

I may be slightly exaggerating, it wasn’t THAT hot, but I have not yet acclimatized to summer. (Btw: the world is ending, 80 degree weather in Chicago in the middle of May is not natural.) But I realized that there was no way in hell I will be able to run every day this summer. I didn’t last summer. I did a lot of elliptical nonsense on hot days. But I hate the gym. I hate being inside and just working out to work out. It’s no fun! So hopefully this bike will provide another nice little option.

I took it for an 8 mile spin and had an absolute blast. My previous bike was literally made for a child (I think I’ve had it since 6th grade? It still has a bell) and was slow as a turtle. Charlie is fast!!!!! Actually though. It freaked me out. Once I got on the bike path I was totally fine, but on the sidewalk/roads I was on the verge of a panic attack. I’m a sissy.

In addition to the bike nonsense, I made 2 trips to the grocery store yesterday (my favorite activity). I also made a variation of these granola bars, but subbed in rice protein powder for the oat flour and used Wild Squirrel nut butter instead of the oil. Oh, and tried using quick oats because I was running low on rolled. Yeah, don’t make these substitutions. They turned out kind of weird, I think the protein powder is what threw them off the most.

I also started unpacking my boxes that got shipped home from school. Unpacking is legitimate hell. It was overwhelming, exhausting, and just flat out annoying. It kind of ended up how packing up my dorm room went: I stood in the corner and watched in horror as Maureen did all the hard work.

Yeah, I’m a lazy piece of shit.

What college has taught me

Listening to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb3Yio3j-Vw&feature=related

Cambridge

I had a pretty idyllic junior/senior year of high school. I was an awkward and quiet mouse freshmen and sophomore year, but in the summer going into junior year I grew my hair out and went on this program to England. Surrounded by people even nerdier than myself, I learned it was safe to show a bit of personality. For the first time in my life, I had a tight little group of friends (BOYS INCLUDED OMG!!!!!) and returned to America with a new sense of confidence and inflated ego.

Freshman year. Don’t ask, I don’t know. This is my friend Lucy. If I actually tell people about this blog, she’ll no doubt be one of the first to know because she’s weird and will find it funny as opposed to socially unacceptable.

That said, my life totally changed as an upperclassman. I had a lot of friends, I went out a lot, and I was still a weirdo but not afraid to show it. Basically I changed; I wanted to spend more time with friends than with my horse, I totally betrayed my 8th grade pledge made with myself to not drink underage (ah, innocence), and boys became this fun little puzzle for me to figure out and obsess over. God I was an asshole.

I thought I had the world at my little fingertips. I thought I REALLY had life all figured out. Then I got to college, and realized how terribly wrong I was.

Maybe it’s because I’m an only child. By the way, I attribute pretty much every single character flaw to the fact that my parents deprived me of siblings. Anywho, I got to school and realized: my little high school self, that was not who I was going to be for the rest of my life. Again, I changed. The absence of my parents’ smothering freaked me out. I clung to things that gave me comfort: running, my daily routine, making sure I got all my work done. I had an amazing group of friends but didn’t fully appreciate it; part of me was afraid to trust them, part of me missed my group at home. I was displaced, out of my zone, uncomfortable. I was involved in no extracurriculars. But, like every other first semester college freshman, I pretended to love college (newsflash: I really think that 90% of students that say this are exaggerating. Perhaps they enjoy school, perhaps they don’t hate it, but “love” is a bit of a stretch).

I lived my first semester in a haze. When I returned home over winter break, I realized I was not living the dream. My friends at home told me that I had changed. I definitely responded passive aggressively (sorry) and completely denied it, but deep down I knew they were right. It was hard for my to accept; I liked the person I was in high school, and didn’t want to let that go.

I returned second semester completely defeated. But, the realization that my life (and myself) had changed did wonders for me. I missed the responsibility of being on a team/part of a club. So, I applied to the student-run bank and by some miracle got in, and I started running with Running Club instead of alone. By jumping into these communities that were outside just my friend group, I started to feel like I really belonged at Georgetown.

Hello skin cancer. 

I didn’t just start loving school overnight. It hit me over Spring Break though. My school friends and I went to Florida, and it just dawned on me: I was lucky. No, this was not my group from high school. And it would never be; though I love each dearly, the two are incomparable and by focusing on how they differ I don’t appreciate each for what it is. But still, I was on vacation with an amazing group of girls who I felt 100% comfortable acting my spastic self around. For the first time, I couldn’t wait to get back to school. I wanted to see my other friends at Georgetown, I couldn’t wait to go out and meet new people.

Basically, I chilled out second semester. My grades went down, I went out 3-4 nights a week as opposed to 1 or 2, and I was happy. I had grown used to the responsibility of being completely alone, and though it still scared me a wee bit, I didn’t let the fear of unraveling deter me completely from having fun.

I’m still incredibly responsible and anal, I’ll be the first to admit that. I am a dramatic control freak that absolutely DESPISES change, and I always have been. I didn’t realize this in high school. Now I do though, and gaining this knowledge has done wonders for me. By constantly reminding myself that I do not have the world at my fingertips, I can alleviate a lot of anxiety. I don’t suppress this aspect of my personality but rather accept it; I would love for it to go away, but chances are it won’t.

I made a lot of these judgments while running. That’s why I love it so much. It provides such clarity regarding things going on in my life – who I am, what I’m doing, why I do the things I do. I didn’t have a release like this in high school and I didn’t have this self-perception (plus my brain was less developed and all that shiz) but I am so grateful for it now. It really has become a meditation of sorts, and it’s created a more lucid vision of the world. I don’t live in a fog anymore. My actions all have a purpose (again, exaggeration, but we’re getting there) and I really try to pay attention to each passing moment.

Ah, I am rambling. Like that last part about running – did it have to be included? Heck no. I just felt obligated because it has been a major factor to my arrival at the following insight:  I was not a whole person upon arriving at school. Yeah, I knew that I was kind of out there and odd. But I was also more immature than I thought, not entirely ready for the transition to college. And I was blind to this. I thought I was set to take on the world.

So here I am, one week out of my freshmen year, and I couldn’t be more proud to say that in the whole scheme of things, I don’t really know who the fuck I am.  In this moment, yes, I do. But there are moments when I feel like an adult and moments when I feel like a child. A baby, rather. Things may come at me in life and tweak my personality in small ways, they may change the way I see the world. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Change still sucks and I hate it. I’m not going to sit here and claim that I embrace it now, because the thing is, I don’t. But, I’m at least slightly more comfortable with its existence. Rather than run from it, I have started to accept it. And that’s a start, right?

That time I was the office slut

I looked like a whore on my first day of work.
I really didn’t mean to. But my clothes that would classify as business casual were all somewhere en route from DC to Chicago, and I was left with slim pickings. I was also in a massive rush because I, along with 50-70% of the female population (maybe it’s lower but this false statistic makes me feel better about myself), am constantly running at least 4 minutes late. I was obvs nervous to arrive to work late on my first day, so I threw this blue thing that I bought last summer:

Yikes.

I swear, I remember it being at least three inches longer. I walked downstairs and my mother told me it was too short. I knew this already. I cannot stand it when she tells me things I already know. I forgot this about living at home: the nagging. I can just pretend it doesn’t exist at school, but here we share a living structure and it’s simply unescapable. Thank you Maureen, thank you.
By the way, this is Maureen doing Zumba. She birthed me. She really drives me mad but I love her dearly and we are basically the same person, much as I hate to admit she is me in 36 years. I say 36 because that’s how old she was when she and Gary (The Father) had me. He was 42. Yes, they’re ancient. No, I don’t have siblings. Apparently they tried (ew), but nothing ever worked out. People tell me I’m normal for an only child, I tell them they don’t know me well enough.
I must have looked like I was about to hypervenilate (I’m prone to getting hysterical when it’s not really necessary) because she told me I looked fine, and off I went. Work was nice. It’ll be awks if they somehow find this so I’m hesitant to talk much about it, but I’ll say this: I’m interning for a charity, working mainly with development/event planning. I don’t work every day. It’s not really a real job but I like the office so far and it seems like it’ll be a good experience. Plus I get to dress up and work in a cubicle and pretend like I’m living a grand businesswoman life. Like I said, it’s nice.
After work I went to Kirby’s house. This is Kirby:
She’s actually loads more attractive than that but this just makes me chuckle. She has a first name that no one really calls her by and she’s my best friend at home. Two of our other friends were over there, they were all making grand plans to go into the city that night. I was angry and bitter because I wanted to but could not. I was a working woman: I had to be at work at 8:30 sharp. If I was a normal college student maybe I would go, but the thought of getting home at 4AM and then waking up at 7AM literally makes me want to vomit. I’m one of those annoying people who really values sleep and can’t function on anything less than 7.
So, I went home for dinner with my little family. Maureen made her favorite salmon and I roasted some broccoli and rolled my eyes as Gary sat there and preached about Obama’s inadequacey and The Road To Serfdom. This is a book he is obsessed with. Gary gets very compulsive about things, I’m like him in this way. It’s annoying to be around, I apologize to all my friends. Then, I screwed around online for a bit, packed my lunch for today, and went to bed early.
It’s a wild life I lead!
Today I woke up at 6 to get a run in before work. I absolutely adore running in the mornings. If I get enough sleep the night before, there’s really nothing better. At school I’d run in the mornings on days that I couldn’t make Running Club, but that’d be like 8, 9:00, because I was lazy and my classes didn’t start until 11. But there’s such a big difference running at 6:15. The world is still asleep. I’m still asleep for the first mile or so. And then, the runner’s high kicks in. I ran with Kirby yesterday morning (the doll, she had nothing to do because she is currently unemployed. She’s deserting me for the summer and being a counselor at her hippie camp in Colorado starting May 31st. Luckily she returns just in time for my birthday in the middle of August. But she still awoke at the crack of dawn, now that’s impressive) but alone today. And it was just one of those runs (I’ve been having a lot of these lately, perhaps due to the fact that Chicago is flat as a pancake and I don’t have to deal with DC hills) where I was so unbelievably happy the whole time. I only had time for 4.5 miles but it was really all I needed.
When I got home I got started on my oatmeal. I don’t plan on making this a food blog. I’m a huge foodie but just don’t want to deal with documenting every morsel I eat and taking pictures of everything, it’d get real old real fast for me. But I just must show my nonexistent follower population this grand bowl of oats:
  
I’m really sad about this ugly picture. Guess that’s what you get when you take iPhone photos of photogenic things like oatmeal. Please not the sarcasm. Please. Anyway. It’s nice being home so that I can make stovetop oats – they’re so much more fun to make, and totes fluff up more than when I would do this in my common room’s microwave at school. Delicious. Extra plus with the egg whites – this is one of my favorite post-run breakfasts to eat because of the carbs/protein combo. It’s 11:00 AM at work, I ate at 7, and my stomach still hasn’t started to grumble. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

First blog post, aka what my life has dwindled to since I’ve been home.

This was written like 4 days ago. I apologize. 
 
 
 I honestly cannot believe that I sat through all 16 minutes of this; usually, I don’t bother to watch online videos that exceed 2 or 3. But, alas, something about Jenny got me hooked. Watching crap (and by crap, I mean gold. I’m just bitter) like this always makes me feel invincible. It convinces me that I, too, am capable of being an elite athlete. I see that she used to ride horses – so did I! She had a meltdown about not wanting to ride anymore? HELLO my sophomore-senior years of high school! She got hooked on running, and zomg we share the same initials. Jenny Simpson and I are long lost twins, I am just as good of a runner as she is, I should devote my life to running!
 
Slow down sistah. Who do I think I am? Much as I love to run, let’s remember that I putsied my way through JV cross country and track all four years of high school and even though I’ve run a few half marathons and have certainly improved in the year I’ve been at college, I’m no superhuman.
 
But you know what? I’m okay with that. Running still makes me feel invincible, it still gives me a sense of strength and control that I am absolutely addicted to. It’s amazing how it’s transformed my outlook on life. I worked out in high school to burn calories. I was terrified of gaining weight. I didn’t eat enough during the day, would eat unhealthy amounts because my poor body was screaming for fuel, and then felt like shit about myself. But something changed during my freshman year. I ran to get off of my clausterphobic and suffocating campus (I still love you Georgetown, promise). I ran to cure homesickness, because as adamently as I declared that I would not miss my parents or friends in August, I did. I missed them terribly. I ran to be alone, because as an only child, the whole constantly being around someone thing was a little difficult to manage.
 
Apparently I ran too much, because I lost weight that didn’t need to be lost. And I freaked out. It took a few months (I’m stubborn and don’t like admitting something is wrong), but finally I worked up the nerve to see a nutritionist, and suddenly, most of that weight came right back on. I learned how to properly fuel myself before and after runs, because even though I’m not an elite athlete, I was still running nearly double the mileage that I did in high school and I had to compensate for this. Sorry Glamour magazine, your recommended daily meals are completely outrageous – unfortuatnely, I bought into those measly portion sizes for a little too long. And now I’m declaring this whole process to the internet. This is pretty agressive. Maybe I’ll regret it. We shall see.
 
Anywayz. I’ve had little dreams about making my own blog for quite some time now. I read other people’s like it’s my job. This whole running blog scene is perfect for creepers like me. After finishing the Jenny Simpson video though, it just kind of dawned on me: you are home from college for the summer, you are in this weird little twilight land where you’re finally more comfortable with your new life than your old one, you work three days a week and make up errands for yourself to do the rest of the day, you are somewhat obsessed with yourself and would absolutely adore creating a blog that showcases you.
 
Jane, the time has come, make your blog. Yes I have an inner monologue, you were wondering I know.
 
So here I am, sitting at my little job (more on this later) in my little cubicle, writing an email to myself for my to-be-created blog because as busy as I’d like to think I am, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands this summer. So I may as well enter the cyber world. If I’m geek enough to watch a 16 minute documentary about Jenny Simpson (AND click on the link of her race afterwards), I’m geek enough to be a blogger. Toodles.