Yoga on a stormy night, followed by tea and toast? Not a bad way to close out a topsy turvy day. Happy Leap day everyone!!

Xo

Totally Tasty Together

February 28, 2012

Lets see:

5 mile run, BEFORE work  – check (!!!!!!!!)

Solid day at work – check

Preparation for gym/work tomorrow – check

Pickles and brussel sprouts – check…. eh? 

 

Ever have one of those random meals, where you accidentally make something that’s delicious?

That was tonight’s meal for me.

This week is all about getting the perishables out of the fridge for our 4 day weekend.  Which sometimes requires a little creativity.  Extra squash, zucchini and onion?  No problem, zucchini “crab” cakes and some baked onion and zucchini rings.  Tasty, but not the star of the plate. Oh no.  That honor goes to my beloved brussel sprouts on the right.   I have a big ol’ bag of brussel sprouts and I’m lucky that a) I love brussel sprouts and b) they don’t go bad too quickly.  Normally I just slice them in half and saute them with a little bit of salt.  But tonight, I wanted something with a little more flavor.  What I ended up with may not be traditional, but somehow tastes amazing.

When I started out with these, I had a craving for something with a little bit of tangyness to it, maybe a bit of a bite – but none of my condiments had the right smell to them.  Ketchup, BBQ sauce, a various assortment of salad dressings, a smorgasbord of A1 sauces, so on and so on and so on.  Until my eyes rested back  on these:

remember these?

image source

Pickles! Spicy pickles!  But tangy, with a little bit of sweet.  I may be crazy – but it sounded perfect.  Besides, its my kitchen, so why not??!!

 So I chopped some up with a bit of red onion and threw it all into the pan to saute together with the sprouts.  The result?

AMAZING.

I wish I had made more to eat tomorrow.  I’m hungry just thinking about them.  And sort’ve surprised that the combination worked as well as it did, but it was a perfect way to jazz up some veggies for my plate.    At this rate I’m going to work my way through these pickles faster than I’d like 😦

Tomorrow’s goals:  Work on some Hill intervals for XT, another solid day of work, prep for dinner and head out to YOGA!!! (fingers crossed I keep the times straight in my head…)

Ever have one of those random food combinations that sounds kind of weird, but turns out to be pretty awesome instead?

xo

Its Monday.

Is today weird for anyone else?  After last week’s insanely long week, I just can’t seem to get myself back into the swing of things, food, workout or work wise.   Which isn’t exactly inspiring for those last few weeks of a training program… :-p

I was really hoping I’d be in the mood for a body pump class this morning, to get myself back into a pre-work workout schedule.  Instead, I ended up waking up later than normal, a hurried shower and somehow ended up reading most through most of my free time this morning.  What?

I blame my week of crazy last week.  I blame my weekend of running around this weekend.  I blame myself for enjoying sleeping a little longer than not.  I blame excuses instead of solutions.  Time to get back into the realm of self-discipline.  I do best when I’m keeping myself busy with things to do – which means its time for a few lists!

I’ve mentioned once before, that there is both a morning and an evening to a day.  Not getting my morning workout in, doesn’t mean that I can’t get one in when I get home.  So I’m going to do just that.

Monday’s are my stretch/lifting day on my training schedule so I put together a lifting circuit to follow tonight.

Squats w/ shoulder press
Bicep curls
Lunges
Tricep kickbacks
Bentover DB rows
Lateral raises (side/front)
Supermans
DB Clean Press
Planks
Balance ball pushups

Some of the other lists I’ve made for the week include a menu plan designed to clean out the perishables in the fridge, a few weeknight “to dos”, which include laundry and some new recipes to try out for this week’s breakfasts and snacks and a Weekly workout schedule plan – which looks a little something like this:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
PM- lifting AM-5 mile run –speed intervals! AM-XT (hard bike circuit!)

PM – Yoga/light lifting circuit

AM – 5 mile run – hill intervals

PM – Body Combat

Rest or hotel workout

This week/weekend will be a tricky one to navigate, because we’ll be out of town for a long weekend.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get my long run in (2 weekends in a row, yikes!), but I’m hoping to use the gym as much as possible and keep active, when we’re not busy with family stuff.   But I’m still getting at least 2 nights of lifting in and 2 nights of XT (Body combat is an intense 1 hr cardio session – I love it!).

Man – the week doesn’t look so long when you section it out that way!   Now…if only today could just move itself along and we can all get back on track and on with our evening plans 🙂 

I’m curious – how does everyone else manage to keep on track and motivated to get things done and stay productive???

xo

 

 

Better, Better, Stronger

February 22, 2012

Whew.

I wish I had taken a picture to show you what our dining room has looked like for the past week or two.  Wedding warzone.  But finally, after last night’s marathon session, Wedding invites are OUT the door.

So after Sunday’s AMAZING run and Monday’s solid body pump session, I was feeling pretty awesome mentally, but physically I was BEAT.  I ended up sleeping for 8 hrs straight, then flipped my alarm over for another hour after it went off at 5.  NINE hours of sleep, no morning run and still sleepy.  But because I am a rather stubborn individual, I was determined to run.  And because I was going to be running in the afternoon, it was my new goal to run outside and see if I could push myself past a slow run pace.  Since starting this whole training thing, my goals have gone from “I just want to finish” to “I want to finish BETTER, run BETTER, be STRONGER”.  So I set out for my 4.5 miles outside after work.  Added incentive?  First time running in the evening around our neighborhood.  There are a few busy roads that people like to zoom through around us, so I wanted to get home sooner rather than stay out on  those roads for too long once it got dark.  Long story short, mission accomplished, sort’ve.  I got in my 4.5 miles AND I was decently under my slow run pace and there were more than a few hills.  Even though I’m proud of what I got done, I still think/know I can do better.  The question is, HOW.

This morning, the question was ever present in my mind as once again, getting out of bed for my early AM working, just wasn’t.gonna.happen.  What gives?!  2 mornings in a row where I simply could not get out of bed.   Here are my thoughts.

  1. I’m getting over a cold.
  2. I’ve had a few later than normal nights lately and 2 hard runs within that same time frame.  Not the best combo.
  3. I’ve added in at least 2 new classes to my already busy workout schedule – and am looking to add in a third.
  4. I’m not convinced I’ve been eating nutritionally balanced meals lately.  Sure, I’ve been housing the green veggies like there’s no tomorrow, but what about all of the REST of my food – am I overfueling (this is a huge question in my mind lately) am I not doing an ADEQUATE job of fueling?

All of these things could have an effect on my running and not getting better, even though I have to admit, that since I’ve started, I’ve certainly seen improvements in both distance AND speed.  But I’m stalling.  Which is why I wanted to incorporate more into my workout regiment.  So.  Here are my goals for the next few weeks, in order to make sure I STAY HEALTHY and can keep on improving.  I want to feel proud when I cross that finish line in March and know that I’ve done my best and look forward to doing better, again.

Goal 1:  Develop a BETTER idea and understanding of my nutritional balance.  With special attention to fueling before and after my workouts.  For example, I do NOT need to carb load before a 5k run and I certainly don’t need to refuel with a smoothie, power bar, oatmeal and PB toast (exaggerating here, people – I don’t eat THAT much) if I’ve spent my morning XT workout peddling away on the recumbent bike for 45 minutes while lazily flipping through a good read.  I’m not looking to count calories, but I could stand to learn a little more about making decent meals and figure out what nutrients I’m missing out on.   Tangible goal?  Try to make my plate at least ½ to ¾ Veggies and COLORFUL.

Goal 2: Focus on getting STRONGER. I’ve already talked about getting more weights into my routine and taking the lifting seriously when I do.  But my other XT exercise, the bike – is only as good as I push it to be, right?  Lately, “pushing it” has NOT been in my XT vocab.  Although I usually try for one hard resistance day and one day of less resistance, there’s certainly not a shortage of breath or increase in heart rate afterwards.  I read an interesting comment on an article that said something to the effect of most runners who use biking for XT rarely do it effectively enough to have it be considered proper XT.  If I take a serious and honest look at my biking, they’re right.  How is it going to help me get stronger, if I don’t actually push myself to a new level?  It should be no different than weight lifting.  The same goes for my running.  I’m working on upping my paces, but I need to push a little harder and not stick to the speed I know is “fast but doable for a bit”.  Its ok to hit that speed, but getting better means pushing past that speed, even if only for a minute.

So, lets check back in a week to see how I’m doing, eh?   In an attempt to get myself back on track, I’m off to hopefully try my first Yoga class at the new gym and NOT fall asleep – new yoga move, downward face plant?

Anyone else in a workout/nutrition rut??

xo

ps – I swear, I’m charging the battery to my camera soon.  Real live pictures on the blog again!? :-O

 

 

Happy Monday! For those of you who had today off, hope it was a well-deserved relaxing day and for those of us who didn’t, well, I hope it was productive and full of good moods 🙂

Guys, I am so stoked right now – I cannot get my weekend long run out of my mind.  Let me back up a few steps.  Saturday was a slight regression in the Katie vs. Cold grand battle royale.  I felt pretty miserable all day and we had a lot of errands to run.  My energy was down and I was sore (thanks to lifting, body combat –SO FUN- and 4.5 miles in the course of 24 hrs) and my cold was fighting back.  To top it off, I was made all the more miserable by that nagging thought in the back of my mind “you should get your run in today”.  I was scheduled for 7 miles last week, to top off a 16 mile week.  I finally reminded myself that rest days were important and that there were not one, but TWO days in a weekend.  I only had to start feeling guilty when Monday morning rolled around and I still hadn’t pounded the pavement.  So I gave in and stayed put once our errands were done (which ended up taking all day!!) and had some homemade pizza, read through one of my favorite blogs, which got me re-inspired and relaxed on the couch. Best. Decision. Ever.

I woke up early enough to fit in a pre-run snack and some coffee – and headed out for my 7 miler.  The first mile or so was a little rough, my legs were heavy and tired and took a bit to warm up, but as I’ve put more and more miles under my feet, I’m beginning to recognize when I start to warm up.  I usually hit my stride around mile 2-2.5.  My double loop is one of my favorite routes to date and before I knew it I was hitting the end.  I felt pretty darn ok, but starting to get a little tired from the hills, so I tacked on a short little extra bit through my apt complex before deciding I really had done enough.  Imagine my surprise when I got back in to check my distance – my 7 mile run, ended up being EIGHT MILES.  EIGHT guys.  That is 100%,without a doubt my best mileage tally and I felt SO good while doing it (and lets face it, afterwards – STILL riding those endorph highs).  I even maintained a respectable (for me) long-run pace.  I’m so amazed by runners who can maintain sub-9 minute paces, heck, sub 10- minute paces for longer distances.  Talk about motivation!

The best part about the run, is that 8 miles is a pretty solid better part of half of my 13.1 miler coming up at the end of March.  Until now, there was always SOME doubt in my mind.  13.1 miles is a long distance, especially for a newbie runner like me.  So much about it is daunting, the distance, the time, the “alone-ness” of a solo half marathon, but I have yet to stop crossing off those workouts off of my training schedule.  Yesterday’s run, was the first time since starting this training that I’ve looked back and thought “I can actually do this” and I’m already thinking ahead to what un-imaginable -to me- thing I can accomplish next.  Half-triath?  Full Marathon? Trainer cert?  So many possibilities that just one run can make feel so much more attainable.

First on that list?  Hitting up another gym class, solo.  If you know me at all, you know I hate doing things alone, especially for the first time.  But I am DETERMINED to work on building up my lifting regiment and have some killer arms (when my gym payment is due is also a good motivator to not waste that money!!).  This morning (6 AM!) I tested out the Body Pump class at our gym.  I went once before with my mom, but kept my weight low.  So this time I upp’d it (not a lot!) and am definitely feeling a little shaky.  I still can’t believe how effective light weights can be, but yikes!  I guess 800 reps in an hour will do that J.   Bonus points – taking the early morning class not only helps me feel so productive and good about myself BEFORE 7 AM, but it also gives me the evening at home to relax and not worry about fitting in my lifting with a big list of stuff to do! Monday’s workout?  Check.

So I apologize for the long post.  But revelations like this are just too overwhelming not to share.  And if you can take any motivation from my experiences, like I do from everyone else, I will be that much more thrilled.  So here’s to another week of training, sweat and motivation for the next set!

xo

 

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Dear Friday, welcome back

February 17, 2012

Three cheers for Friday!!! 🙂

Day three of fighting this cold and at least I can say that it hasn’t really gotten worse.   Its been a pretty consistent cycle of wake up clogged and stuffy, have a strong run in the morning and lose my energy mid-afternoon.  Lucky for me and my training schedule, i’m pretty stubborn.  I’ve been able to hit each goal for this week training wise, even though I swapped a few days and skipped a morning workout today in favor of some rest and an evening run.   Here’s a look at what i’ve been up to:

I’ve run a total of 9 miles so far, two days of 4.5 miles.   Happily, despite being sick, I’ve been able to keep both runs at under a 10 minute pace.

I’ve done two mornings of XT on the bike and have been trying out different workout programs to keep from getting bored.

This week I also joined a gym!  I stepped outside of my comfort zone and went to a class on my own for the first time ever.   Despite feeling drained and sniffly – I wanted to start making the most of my money right away.  So I took my first Body Combat class last night.  The class was SO Much fun – a high intensity mix of different Martial Art forms.  It was great to get back into some kickboxing moves and to be sweaty and out of breath.  I did some lifting before hand too, so my body is TIRED today.   I love that achy sore muscle fatigue that lets you know you did it right 🙂  I can’t wait to go back next week for another Body Combat class and to start mixing in other classes into my routine.

Lifting wise, I was sort’ve slacking this week, despite increasing my weights last night when lifting.  I”d really like to start seeing some change in muscle definition and I’m worried that the same old lifts just aren’t cutting it anymore – anyone out there have some lifting advice for how to tone up the arms???

Even though I’ve been half sick for the 2nd part of the week, I’ve really felt my best during and after a workout and even though its probably more of a mental thing, those smoothies I made the other night just make me feel 10X better and i’ve been on a HUGE greens kick ever since.  Almost every meal, while relatively unexciting this week, has included some sort of greens.  I just feel better after eating them, I even jazzed up some already delicious leftover Pad Thai with a mix of sauted brussel sprouts, kale and broccoli.  Ob.sessed.

And now, I am off to enjoy some hot tea with a bit of homemade bitters in it and fight to stay awake – 8:30 is an acceptable bedtime, right???

xo

PS for your viewing pleasure – here’s some of my favorite quotes this week that have kept me going.   The first is from my Body Combat class last night and the pictures can be found on my pinterest boards, some “pinspiration” if you will…

“This is a fight and in a fight, somebody’s gotta win and somebody’s gotta lose.”  Don’t. Lose.

 

 

So true for this week.

 

 

Kale Cures…we hope.

February 16, 2012

Day 2 of fighting off the ever-looming, threatening cold.  It seems like my remedies last night worked a little bit, I wasn’t quite as stuffy as I was yesterday, but still not 100%.  I still made it to the gym, but opted to switch out my 4.5 mi run for another XT session.  I tried another new program on the bike, called “Around the World”, which – if I’m reading the red squares on the screen right, simulates climbing different buildings from around the world?  I kept the resistance level low, but definitely am going to try again with upping the resistance for a better workout, seems like it could be a fun one!  Hopefully I can add that run back in tomorrow morning.

I’ve also been all but injecting green stuff into myself.  Last night was a dose of brussee sprouts and tonight isn’t going to be much different.  Its leftovers night and I am seeing a plate of Thai food mixed with some brussel sprouts & kale pan roasted in some olive oil and hot sauce.  YUM.  I’ve been craving green things like the sprouts and kale and broccoli, as well as tofu lately, which makes me wonder if I’m missing out on some essential nutrients lately.  To take care of some of that craving – I whipped up a smoothie last night, filled with some tofu, carrots, kale, the last of my Power C Machine juice from Naked Juice company, a handful of frozen strawberries we had in the freezer and a few bananas.  Some almond milk and sunflower seed butter for good measure to top it off (sorry for the grainy photos, i’m stuck using my phone until we get the camera recharged).

Chock-a-block FULL of goodies! 🙂

This smoothie is healthy and keeps me pretty satiated for the better part of the mornings/afternoons.  Add to that a gargantuan salad with tons of goodies like beans, broccoli, tomatoes etc etc etc and homemade dressing, I’m hoping to feel better sooner rather than later! ESPECIALLY since I’m hoping to hit up my first ever Body Combat class in my new gym tonight.

I know the world can be pretty divided about whether or not working out is good when you’re sick.  Clearly, if you’re running a fever, etc – exercising should be a no-go, but for me, when it’s a head cold, I’m more inclined to go for a low impact workout than avoiding a workout altogether – anything I can do to help the immune system!  Not to mention a wicked internal guilt system.  I know that listening to your body when it says it needs rest is important, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of that just yet.  Its so hard to tell when you actually need the rest, vs just don’t want to lace up the sneaks.  When I’m training for something, I find it so much harder to take a day off.  I realize in the end, missing a run or two isn’t going to derail the progress I make, but I just can’t shake that feeling. Anyone else have a hard time discerning between the two??

Fingers crossed you’ll see me at the gym tonight!

xo

ps – click on over to check out Jenny’s response to my Eleven post from last week! Fun to see her answers!