Just run (and listen)

I have a new “rule” – I would like to make sure that I do something active for at least 20 minutes every day. This does not mean a 20-minute interval run or a 60 minute bootcamp class is a must – just 20 minutes of something to get the heart rate up. I think that should be doable. :) This new rule came in handy yesterday. You guys know I exercise regularly but the trick is that I do it during lunch. There are great classes available at my gym and I love the way it breaks up my day at work. Yesterday Adam had the day off so I chose to come home and make lunch for us instead. Yup, that means my workout had to be pushed to after work… and I am really not good at that, especially when there are no classes (they were all cancelled due to the marathon). I find every excuse in the book to not do it and the excuses came flowing out of me yesterday the second I stepped foot outside.

This is when my new rule (and the fact that my husband was in fact at the gym that very moment) came in handy. I planned on going for a run (if thousands can run 26.2 miles on this day, surely I could do a few miles, no?) but I told myself that just going out there and walking for 20 minutes will be enough, if that’s all I feel like (redefining success). I changed into my running gear, grabbed my ipod loaded with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and took off.

About a minute later my garmin died. Normally this would freak me out and I’d treat it as a sign that a run was not in the cards, but all of a sudden the sun came out and it was gorgeous out. I checked the clock on my ipod and just started running. It was an easy jog, I ran while listening to my book and I swear I could keep running forever. It was amazing!! I think I can partly contribute this to the book “on-tape” because my mind was occupied the entire time (and it wasn’t occupied with ways to convince myself to stop). I finally stopped because I got really close to home and wanted to do a short cooldown walk – 46 minutes my ipod said. I’m guessing I just banged out 5 miles. Sweet! I felt like a million bucks. From now on – 20 minutes, that’s all I’m committing too. I’m sure some days that’s all it will be, but on others I may just surprise myself with a 5-miler. :mrgreen: Now I can’t wait to go for another run!!!


TJ’s European style nonfat yogurt, 1/2 mango, All-bran flakes, apple butter + coffee



The mangos were not sweet enough and the whole mixture was pretty sour so I added a serving of TJ’s nutty american trek mix. The chocolate chunks transformed this breakfast into a new level of deliciousness. :)





This lunch was such a treat because both Adam and I got to eat a freshly cooked meal at home during lunch. It didn’t take long at all! I followed Cara’s recipe for sizzling haloumi with roasted asparagus and tomatoes but Whole Foods was out of the haloumi (which was supposed to be on sale) so I subbed some fresh tilapia for it instead.


I stir fried the fish in a sprayed skillet + 1T of EVOO, cooking it for maybe 3 minutes (if that) on each side. Wow, this was beyond fantastic!!! It was bursting with flavor. The delicate fish drizzled with the EVOO/lemon/caper sauce was so beautiful paired with the young roasted asparagus and the roasted tomatoes that popped in your mouth.


Both Adam and I were floored at how delicious and fresh tasting this was. Very spring-y. It’s going on our favorites list!!




A little brownie with walnuts from our secretary (my treat for the day)


Chocolate peanut butter granola for a pre-run snack



During my lunch break, I also plopped all the taco soup ingredients into our crock pot. I love that the chicken breasts go in whole so there is no prep work. This literally took less than 5 minutes to “make” and dinner was waiting for me after my run. Adam already sampled it and “warned” me that it was amazing. 2 for 2 today? 😀


I topped my taco soup with a bit of lite mexican cheese and a dollop of nofat yogurt + 1/2 tortilla wrap toasted and cut into pieces. After mixing the yogurt and cheese in, the soup got super creamy and man was it flavorful! A nutritious and delicious dinner in less than 5 minutes of prep? Sign me up. We’ll be making this again :)


I got used to having dessert after dinner but I’m trying to stick to one treat a day and see how that goes. Since I already had a brownie mid-afternoon, I chugged a bunch of water after dinner and it totally did the trick. Some tv, cuddled up with the hubs on the couch, also took my mind off snacking.

Are you a morning, afternoon, or a night exerciser? Is it hard for you to get out there if you’re thrown off your regular schedule? What are you tricks?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

28 comments to Just run (and listen)

  • I love to work out at around 3 or 4, but that usually isn’t possible during the week, so I go for either lunch time or after work.
    I ran yesterday and had no idea what my time was after I lost my running buddy who had the garmin. It was awesome not watching a clock and just going with my body!

  • Isn’t it amazing what we can accomplish when we actually take the pressure OFF?!?! :)

    I am definitely a morning exerciser, and I do struggle when my schedule doesn’t allow for that. If I must work out in the afternoon, it helps if I do so with a partner – either my husband or a friend. I’m more likely to stick to it then because I’ve got someone else waiting on me.

  • I’m a morning exerciser for sure. But if my schedule is thrown off I just get my workout clothes on and get out there!

  • Husband Adam

    Lunch and dinner yesterday were awesome :) Dinner was especially awesome for only taking 5 minutes of “work” to make! Crock pots are a great gift for the lazy :)

  • I’ve been thinking lately about listening to a podcast while I work out instead of music. Normally I save the postcasts and books for daily walks but maybe you’re right and the distraction of a good story would take my mind off running…

  • I’m a morning exerciser. I wish I could exercise at work. That sounds like a great way to relieve stress!

    Are the books on tape available on itunes? I have no idea about such things.

  • Elina

    Melissa – yup, that’s actually how I bought it. :)

  • I would be totally psyched if I had a run like that! What an awesome way to unexpectedly succeed.

    I exercise after work because I am not a morning person. My office has a small employee gym downstairs (I know, I’m very lucky) and I could, in theory, work out in the middle of the day but I’m nervous about showering/drying my hair and whatnot. How do you handle that?

  • I usually have to work out in the morning because I go to bed so early and treasure the last couple of hours between work and bed. Also, I just find it hard to motivate myself (like you) after work. It really helps me if I have a workout date with a friend because then I think I see it more as a social activity than “exercise”.

  • The like to get out early in the morning, but am good to go pretty much anytime if I know well in advance.
    Is that a homemade granola bar, it looks great!

  • Wow way to go! Sometimes the biggest hassle of working out is getting ready. If you can get changed and go out it can make a big difference.

    I usually work out when I get home, so very early evening for me. I love to get a run in when the suns up since I go to the office very early in the morning.

  • sister inna

    i usually exercise after work — because i’m usually too lazy to get up early… Thursdays are my only ‘for sure’ early morning days. there’s an amazing 7am hot yoga class 2 blocks from my office ( and one block from my gym shower) that i take almost religiously. it’s a great way to start the day, and it reminds me i’m only one day away from friday :-)
    weekends are definitely morning workouts though. gotta get the workout outta the way before all the eating and drinking begins, ya know 😉

  • i need to try these books on tape! might be perfect for my trip :)

    sounds lie a fabulous day!! i’m totally used to treats after lunch and dinner… gotta shake that 😉

    and i usually prefer the morning, unless i haven’t been sleeping well, in which case lunchtime wins. of course, if i’m waiting for a certain class, that wins sometimes!

  • Jen

    I love to workout in the mornings, however, this hasn’t been possible for a few months due to some classes I am taking. I do better studying in the mornings when my mind is fresh! So, workouts have been after work – and I have skipped SO many because of that. :( Can’t wait until I am back to normal! Because I need to stop feeling bad for myself for missing a workout.

  • Elina

    ChubbyNewlywed – I shower and blow dry my hair at the gym. It often takes a little longer than an hour with everything but I put in sufficient hours at the office so I’m not worried about it. If working out after work works for you, that’s great. Otherwise if you want to get into the lunchtime workouts and don’t have my kind of time flexibility, maybe you can make them a bit more intense so you still feel like you are doing enough? I love mid-day workouts!! :)

    Runeatrepeat3– yep, homemade! Here is the link to when I made them: http://healthyandsane.com/2010/03/bitten-by-a-baking-bug/

    Innz – I never miss my weekly yoga either… although it’s still during lunch 😉

  • I love that you can make a break for working out at lunch. I really should do that, even if it’s just a quick walk around the neighborhood.

  • I’m an immediately after work workout person. If I sit for one moment after work, I find it hard to motivate myself to go work out.

    I like your 20 minute of activity idea. Sometimes, when life gets too hectic, you just have to make do with what time you have!

  • Not a morning person at all-forget about exercising! :)

  • I also need to jump on the books-on-tape bandwagon! SOunds like the perfect distraction!

    That soup looks AWESOME! Gotta love the crock pot. We must just have very similar tastes because I feel like I always love the recipes you pick for dinners ands such! And thanks for reminding me I have Haloumi cheese in the fridge and need to cook it!!

  • I workout around 9:30-10:00 every morning throughout the week. It’s harder for me to get motivated on weekends and often my workouts just don’t happen. So I’ve committed to doing SOMETHING everyday though out the week, even if it’s just a long walk.

    I think your goal for 20 minutes a day is awesome!

  • With such a positive attitude and no pressure to run X number of miles, I bet you find you love running again.

    I am definitely a morning exerciser. If it doesn’t happen then, it likely will not happen.

  • Since I don’t work til 4:30, I normally exercise around 10:30. I do find that if my routine is thrown off it is harder for me to get out there but I am right there with you on “doing SOMETHING for 20 minutes”. I found that on the days I am dragging if I get out there telling myself (you can just walk around the neighborhood) I almost always end up making it a real, awesome workout! Half the battle is just getting out! Delicious looking meals by the way. How gourmet to have that for lunch! You must really love cooking in your new kitchen :)

  • I never thought about working out to a book on tape! What a great idea! I think that would definitely work for me because I’d be so focused on the storyline instead of trying to make up excuses to get off of the treadmill!

    The soup looks yummy! I’m going to have to add that to my “must try soon” list!

  • That is a great goal for yourself 😀
    I will usually exercise in the afternoon. I get out of classes at 2:25 and before leaving campus I’ll hit up one of the machines (if I’m not too sleepy haha!)

  • I love tilapia too, but you must make it a point to find the haloumi at some point – it’s SO good! I can’t wait to make it again.

    Great idea for committing to 20 minutes of exercise. I always find that if I make a deal with myself to “just do a small workout” I always end up doing more. In fact, that happened yesterday! I really didn’t want to go to the gym, I was feeling particularly lethargic, but I knew the workout I had on the schedule was fairly short so I told myself to stop whining and just go. So I did- and ended up adding several extra exercises on top of what was planned. And I’m sure I felt better than I would have if I had done nothing at all!

  • Noelle

    Can I just say I love this post! Forcing myself to do 20 minutes is the perfect gateway to get me going and have a good workout. This post motivated me to just shut off the negative anti-exercise excuses this morning and do the damn thing :-)!

  • sometimes just running sans watch is the best thing for us compulsive runners!!!

    I always start with the mindset of I’ll just go for a little bit on days where I’m tired and it almost always turns in to a great workout

  • I think I’ll join you in your 20-minutes rule. I think that’s a great idea.

    Ok, I want to make the taco soup so bad but I don’t have a crockpot! Do you think I can do it on the stove?


A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.