Sunday, February 5, 2012

Groundhogs & Grocery Stores

Good morning! First, I wanted to recap my very FIRST race over 5k! This year, I decided I wanted to go farther, faster & harder. Last year was my first year of running & I felt like I was ready to step it up. Since the second week in January--I’ve been packing on the miles. I started running with the OKC Landrunners on Saturday mornings & it’s been such a great experience. 

DG Productions puts on a Frozen Nose Series to keep people running through the colder months. {All on my races page of the blog} I missed the Elvis Run due to Fitness Mania at Chesapeake--but I was excited to run the 3rd race. My goal was to finish the 5 miles in under 50 minutes {goal decided at the 2.5 mile mark.}

Loving all the pink! 

 This was my first time running at Lake Overholser & I really enjoyed the location. The weather put a damper on the run--it was 40 degrees but the winds were blowing at about 20 mph. The 2.5 miles out was hard with the wind in my face, but once I got to the turn-around it eased up...until the finish {I could see the finish with .75 miles left} ! The wind was pushing me backwards but I was determined to beat the clock. I could see it ticking as I was nearing the finish line. At that moment when it was at 49:00 I was afraid I wouldn’t make my goal. I pushed with everything I had left & finished in 49:27!!! My body felt fabulous while running, but when I stopped I could feel my knee throbbing from my fall at Thursday’s soccer game. I’m so glad that Sunday is my rest day. :)

Now for my grocery store review! In the past few months, good ol’ Oklahoma has opened both a Whole Foods & a Sunflower Market. Previous to this, the only other “health food” store I visited was Akin’s. These visits were few & far between because of price. Most things at Akin’s can be found cheaper somewhere else, but some things can’t be found in regular grocery stores. As a vegan, there are certain things I need & want--so I was always grocery store hopping!

Both Sunflower Market & Whole Foods are less than a mile from my house. I visit them frequently for specialty items, great produce & fun vegan-y items that I have a hard time finding elsewhere. Although I don’t require a gluten-free diet, my body is happier with a 90% gf atmosphere so I also purchase items for that. 

When I go to the grocery store {one of my favorite activities}, I expect a good selection, decent prices & a staff member to help me {with a smile} if I need it. So here’s the scoop:

Sunflower Market:

Pros- Friendly staff, Great produce, Bulk bins {love}, Amazing store-brand hummus, Good selection, Decent prices
Cons- Bulk bin scoops aren’t the cleanest, Herbs & bulk lettuce aren’t always fresh, Smaller store, less selection

Whole Foods:
Pros- Amazing produce, Bulk bins, Great selection, Friendly cashiers, Kid’s club with snacks, Best coffee bar ever, Awesome prepared foods
Cons- Prices are high, Floor staff isn’t always knowledgeable or helpful, Bad selection of house goods (foil, plastic wrap, trash bags)

And the newest gem that I have discovered {Thanks Joey!!} is Buy For Less. There used to be one right by my parents house, but I remember it being sub-par & everything looked cheap & processed. There are a lot of grocery stores I no longer visit because I can’t find anything I need. 

Buy for Less around NW Expressway & Hefner Parkway has really stepped it up! They have gluten free & vegan {almost} everything I need. The floor staff asked if I needed help twice while I was there & one staff member gladly set down his box to help me pick a pepper. The store is HUGE & I really enjoyed looking at everything. The only thing that was missing were bulk bins, but even I can forgo that when prices are better & the selection of items is so big. This store also carries Oklahoma made items which is a big plus for me. The produce was not all “Whole Foods quality” but most of it was great: very fresh & colorful. There was also a good selection of organic items.

Are you particular about your grocery stores? 

I realize I’m quite picky & “high maintenance” as some people like to tell me--but I pay for good quality & big selection. I want someone to be there for my questions & I want people to smile at me. Most of us work 40 hours a week & I think during this work day-no matter your occupation- you should make at least one person’s day with a smile. 

So smile!! I did a lot of smiling at my race yesterday. I was so proud of all the people that passed by me. Some old, some young--some looked as if they felt defeated by the race, so as I passed, I would clap & smile. Hopefully I made someone’s day. :)

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