With two challenges running simultaneously, and at least a week until either of them is complete, I figured I owed the blogosphere a little progress report.
First things first, my running challenge is moving along nicely. Last week, I was able to cut my 3.5 mile finish time down from 43:49 to 38:51. With more than two weeks remaining before my challenge deadline, I’m feeling confident that I’ll be able to hit my 35-minute goal.
Normally, I love a good running playlist, but in an effort to run farther, faster, I’ve been employing a new motivational technique: audio books!
Remember that AT&T commercial where the runner gets carried away listening to The Odyssey on his phone? I always thought that was a ridiculous idea. But maybe that’s just because The Odyssey wouldn’t really do it for me. Instead, I’ve been listening to Bitter is the New Black (on loan from the library), and author Jen Lancaster’s dry humor has me chuckling to myself spontaneously as I jog along. I have to admit, it’s pretty fun.
So, if you’re looking for a new trick to spice up your running life, might I suggest checking out the audio books at your local library? Using the OverDrive media app, I’m able to download titles directly onto my iPhone in a matter of minutes. Free AND motivational…what’s not to like?! If you’re thinking of trying it, I’d start with some sort of comic memoir – something light and easy to follow as you go. If you find something great, please leave me a recommendation in the comments!
Now, on a more serious note, today was the first day of my Live Below the Line challenge.
As evidenced in this compilation of receipts, I was able to succeed at purchasing all of the groceries I plan to use this week for a grand total of $7.48. My shopping list consisted of the following:
- Six bananas – $0.92 at Price Chopper
- One loaf of bread – $0.99 at Target
- Five slices of American cheese – $0.72 at Price Chopper
- One package of honey ham deli meat – $1.33 at Target (after coupons)
- One box of store-brand mac and cheese – $0.63 at Target
- One package of pasta shells – $0.75 at ShopRite
- One jar of three-cheese pasta sauce – $1.00 at Target
- One can of peas – $0.75 at Price Chopper
- One package of “defective” margarine – $0.39 at Price Chopper (after discount)
As I type this whole list, I feel like I really got a lot with my “below the line” budget. But I also feel extremely fortunate that I am living this way by choice rather than necessity. To think that I had to visit three different stores to purchase nine total items for less than $7.50 – it seems crazy. And it has made me truly grateful for the luxury of being able to shop where it’s most convenient. But I’m also realizing that I could probably live a little more simply if I were willing to sacrifice that convenience more often.
After just one day, I don’t think I’m feeling the nutritional effects of this challenge yet, but I’m sure I will experience boredom soon, if not full-fledged hunger. Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for in-the-moment updates, and please share your experiences if you, too, are living #belowtheline this week.