Changing my pace

I could tell it was going to be another doozy when the day started off like this…

Even though I didn’t get home from editing until past my (weekend) bedtime, I still had to get up for 9 a.m. class.

Apparently, my lack of sleep decided to ignore my alarm this morning. By the time my consciousness kicked in, I just had 20 minutes to pull myself together and go.

Therefore, breakfast had to be portable.

Consumed: PB&J with banana chips.

The next few hours went a little like: Class, class, newsroom, lunch (in newsroom) and class. In other words: Thrilling, thrilling, thrilling, delicious and thrilling.

It had been raining off and on all day, so I worried about my ability to fit in a four-mile training run.

Fortunately, the skies cleared up by the time I got home. Even better, the rainy day took a bit of the heat out of the air… Although not “perfect,” the conditions were bearable.

I planned on running to the recreation center to meet Dan for weight lifting, so I just did a two-mile loop around the neighborhood with a different running partner.

What I didn’t take into account was that Lola is apparently part terrier, part goldfish (She get’s her looks from the terrier genes, her attention-span from the goldfish side).

Honestly, I don’t know if I was more afraid that she’d run in front of a car or if I’d break a leg by falling over her. Fortunately, it came to neither of those…

Running with Lola actually had a plus-side: She was a great pace-setter. Since I was dealing with her constant weaving, I had to slow down my speed, which is a good thing.

Even though I ran cross-country in high school, I was a sprinter (rather, hurdler) at heart. In the 4K cross-country races, I had a knack for starting off fast and losing all my steam by the second mile.

Since high school, I’ve built my endurance up quite a bit. Still, a 10K isΒ  different from a half-marathon (15K different, to be specific). Knowing this, I need to slow my race-pace down.

Easier said than done.

At the beginning of the summer, I set out to run a 9-minute mile. I ended up somewhere around a 7.5-minute mile. Whoops…

Since then, I’ve gotten better, but still have a way to go before I’m comfortable with my half-marathon pace.

For that reason, it was good to have Lola to preoccupy me today. Because I was more focused on her, I just fell into a naturally comfortable pace, which ended up being just about right.

Another thing I could use a little extra help pacing in? Life in general.

I have a tendency of strolling the fine line between good stress and “I want to scream” stress.

This year, one of my goals is to do a better job of day-to-day pacing. A big part of that is eating.

As part of a trial and error system, I’ve learned that it’s best for me to eat satisfying, filling and convenient foods. That way, even if I am running around campus from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., I never go hungry.

Today, with the little time I had between workout #1 with Lola and workout #2 with Dan, I threw together something that is sure to come in handy for another busy day…

Mocha Protein Bars


  • 1 C oats
  • 1/4 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • 1 t instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 C egg whites
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 C chopped almonds
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips


  • Mix oats, flour, protein powder, cinnamon and coffee in medium-sized bowl.
  • In separate bowl, mix egg whites, applesauce, vanilla and sugar. Add to oat mixture. Stir until combined. Mix in chopped almonds and chocolate chips.
  • Spread evenly in greased or foil-lined loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

In less than 30 minutes, I went from having random ingredients to having warm protein bars right from the oven.

Just in time, too, because I was off to meet Dan.

I’m kind of clueless when it comes to weight lifting. Fortunately, Dan is much better (and stronger) at weights, so he is able to lead me in the right direction.

After that, we walked up to Dan’s hall for some pool playing (he has high hopes for me) and dinner eating.

Then home, homework and relaxing. Best of all, I got to go to sleep before Cinderella turns into a pumpkin!

A night of sleep and homemade protein bars? Maybe pacing myself won’t be so hard, after all.

Questions: Do you have any tips for running with dogs? How do you pace your life?


13 responses to “Changing my pace

  • jacqueline soboti

    love the life/running paralells!! πŸ™‚ a few things that work for me are:

    waking up a half hour early so i have time to settle in with my day, develop conscious awareness and make sure i have a good focused, clear, positive head on my shoulders

    make a nice filing breakfast

    (like you) plan my meals accordingly, make sure i have snacks and a good lunch to carry me through my day

    listen to upbeat music in the car or on my ipod

    and if i see my temperament or mood shift throughout the day i look within and ask myself gentle prewing questions about what is realllly going on.. am i tired? did something or someone say something that didnt sit well with me? that way at the end of my day i am not processing ALL of it and trying to unwind.. i am taking care of all parts of myself (mind body soul) with a balanced approach..

    hope this helps and keep blogging, i love reading your stuff each morning!!

  • couchpotatoathlete

    I’ve never ran with a dog, so I have no idea!

    I hear you on the “slowing life down” in addition to slowing your pace. I’m trying to slow down and appreciate what I have now, instead of only focusing on the future. I mean, goals and deadlines are fine, but for me, life is good now and I want to take the time to appreciate it!

  • Emily

    Hi Mimi – Thanks for visiting my blog! I have just started running with my dog (she is young and I had to wait until she was developed), and I think it might only be worthwhile if she is off leash. Otherwise there is a lot of sniffing and stopping involved! I am looking forward to doing it more, though. It kills two birds with one stone… let us know if you discover any effective methods for running with the pup!

  • greensandjeans

    When I lived in Maine I ran with my boss’ dog every day. We started out slow and worked on keeping her on one side of me. I found it a lot easier to run with her leash around my waist than in my hands once she got the whole “sticking by my side” thing

  • barneymccoy

    I agree with greensandjeans; Once your doggie pal is trained to run with you, it’s easier/safer to run with the leash tied around your waist. Having a k-9 running companion is also more interesting and good exercise for you and your pooch pal.

  • collegegirlruns

    Those protein bars look great! I love the ingredients you used–I definitely want to try to make my own soon.
    I try to pace my life by living in the present. I have the tendency to feel guilty about certain choices and dwell on them. I have noticed that living in the moment and planning for the future helps me pace!

  • Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear

    Those protein bars look so good πŸ™‚

  • Angela (the diet book junkie)

    i’ve been meaning to make my own protein bars. yours look great! (and don’t worry, i’m probably more clueless when it comes to weight lifting πŸ™‚ )

    sorry, i’ve never had a dog so i don’t have any advice. er, maybe just go with the ones above :S

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  • Jessica @ lacesandlattes

    Those protein bars look amazing! I will definately give them a try for back to school. πŸ™‚

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