And just like that – it happens to be Monday. 

My weekend was stellar.  Seriously a fantastic weekend.  Brandon’s parents were down and we spent Saturday at the zoo for the Okto-BEAR-fest (ha ha) and a walk around the zoo.

A face only a mother could love?

Once again, I was reminded of how little we actually need to be truly happy and this weekend’s lesson came from the Elephants. 

The little (??) guy on the right was the baby elephant and on the left was his mom.  And you would not believe the amount of fun this guy had just rolling around in the water.  I’m not saying in order to be happy we should go jump in a pond (then again, why not?)  – but just to remember that its ok to take pleasure out of the simple things. 

 The rest of our weekend was a glorious Sunday in the DC/Alexandria area.  I got to spend the morning with some of my favorite people and  get completely covered in colored corn starch (err..what?).  Early Sunday morning, we headed down to the National Harbor to participate in the 2nd D.C. Color Run.  It was untimed, it was a gorgeous route ( I mean, SERIOUSLY gorgeous) and just a lot of fun. 

Before, all clean and pumped with my accidental running buddy, Lil

 

After, not clean and STILL pumped with one of my best friends, Heather. Note the color.  See also my short hair.  GROW HAIR GROW.

Although I certainly wasn’t breaking any land speed records, I was proud that I was able to get out and run the full race having not done any serious running in the past few months.  I won’t be shy in admitting either that it was a bit of a relief to know that I could.  I was anticipating the worst, mentally and even though I breathed a little hard going up the ridiculous hill, I think everyone did.  Long story short, I don’t know if it revived my interest in running, but it certainly did more for it than anything else has done lately. 

We topped off the weekend with an afternoon in Alexandria, VA. 

Gorgeous anytime of the year.  I seriously love this place.  

With a weekend of walking, running and walking in the books.  We were BEAT last night.  Early to bed and early to rise for me this morning, where I put my tired legs through their paces with a serious squat track for the new body pump release.   A solid way to start the week after a pretty solid weekend.

How was your weekend?

xo

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All smiles

September 28, 2012

Have you ever had one of those workouts, where you just get that perfect boost of endorphins and you feel like you could take on the world, if you weren’t already on top of it and you’re almost overwhelmed and may or may not almost cry (from pain or the endorphins, who knows, who cares).  Yeah.  My bodypump class was that good this morning and I am CONVINCED that this morning truly started with last night.  Because last night I set to work on listening to my body, which has had zip for energy and even less self-esteem.

I started with addressing my energy levels, or lack thereof.  While I’m fully aware that my body is probably trying to readjust to a full time workout schedule again, I also had this nagging thought that working out wasn’t the whole problem. So I took a good hard look at what I’ve been eating this week.  I was still eating healthy meals, but I’ve been on a clean the leftovers out of the fridge kick, so my greens and salad consumption have been down a bit – problem number 1.  And even though my meals have been healthy, I wondered if there may be a lack of protein and/or carbs thrown into the mix that was getting me down.  So last night, I whipped up aVegan Bread Pudding with some leftover Jalapeno Lime Cornbread I had made earlier in the week.  Ho.ly.Yum.

The recipe was a breeze to whip up and I used this as my starting point and adjusted with what I had in the fridge.  I ended up with a (jalapeno lime) cornbread pudding filled with some sauted mushrooms, onions and spinach.  I was a little unsure of the “tofu custard” but I liked how it would incorporate more protein in my meal and in the end, it was perfection.  I scarfed down 2 pieces and definitely could’ve had more.  Clearly, my body was craving the carbs AND the protein.

One of the best parts about the bread pudding, was that in automatically incorporated a 35 minute window for workouts (which turned into 20 minutes for a workout once I got dressed and out the door).   Even though I was feeling pretty tired (remember, this was before dinner), I tried my luck at a treadmill workout.  I figured a full 20 minute run wasn’t in the cards for the night, so I incorporated two separate workouts into one, hill and speed intervals.   It looked a little something like this:

update:  all of the “mph” should have been “minute miles” and have been changed to reflect that.  Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought I was running 10 mph – jeepers! Thanks to Mike for the heads up!

0-3 minutes – run  10 minute mile (6.0 mph), incline 0.0

3-5 minutes – walk, 4.3 mph, incline 7.0

5-7 minutes – run 9.5 minute mile, incline 1.5

7-10 minutes – walk, 4.3 mph, incline 7.0

10-12 minutes – run, 9.0-8.5 minute mile, incline 2.0

12-15 minutes – walk, 4.3 mph, incline 7.5

15-21 minutes – run, 8.5 -9 minute mile-8.0 minute mile

I ended up with 2  miles, a great booty busting hill workout and a great way to work my way back into some speed.  The 20 minutes was up in NO time.  Strangely, I found this to not only be a great workout, but I knocked it out with some …um…piano music, simple, relaxing piano music.  Even though I was sweating and loving every minute of it, it was 20 minutes of self-centering and relaxed focus. I felt so amazing afterwards and with the breadpudding masterpiece at home, I was one happy camper last night.  Topped it off with football, tea and some homemade biscotti.

So in case you ever feel down in the dumps, whip up some bread pudding, pop in some relaxing music and get your sweat on.  Guaranteed cure for EVERYTHING.

And as always,

cheers to Friday, friends 🙂

xo

Sorry about the MIA yesterday, its been a rough few weeks ya’ll.

Since the last few months, I’ve been actively looking for a job to replace the one that would finish as soon as my current contract was completed, which was yesterday.  Its been stressful to say the least.   But now that I can say that I’ve finally secured another round of paychecks and work experience, I can stop, step back, take a breath and try to figure out everything that has gone through my head in the past few months.

In the very beginning I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t good enough.  I had worked hard, but should I have worked harder.  What had I missed that I shouldn’t have?  In essence, I tried my hardest to make a bad situation my fault.    Without putting the full blame on any one person, I have finally come to the conclusion that this wasn’t my fault and that sometimes, bad work situations just happen.  My dad has a great quote, that I thought about a lot and rolled it through my head over and over again.

To paraphrase, it speaks about lacking the courage to know when to stop.

While I generally don’t promote quitting, I think there is some definite truth in the idea.   There are times, when we stay in a situation, simply because we don’t want to have failed.    But sometimes, its a lot harder to say “this isn’t right” or that its not where we need to be.    And I spent a few months trying to figure out how to not fail and it took awhile for me to be mentally strong enough to admit that wasn’t failing, but moving on and away from a position that simply wasn’t right.

Whew.  Ok.  So now that THAT’S off the chest, lets talk about how its affected me in other parts of my days.  Lets see.

I’d like to say that, like most people, when things got a little crazy, that I turned to running and to working out as a safe-haven from everything.  Something to provide structure, accomplishment.  But truth be told, I was the absolute opposite.   I think for me, the working out, the running, the structure of a schedule and a routine comes in the aftermath of having everything else lined up.  Instead of running being an escape for me, its more of an extension of my normal and daily routines, so when those are disrupted, the workouts are necessarily so as well.  Which has been pretty clear with my less than stellar workout routines (ahem. or lack thereof?).  So much so, that i’m not entirely convinced that a full marathon will be a reasonable or safe thing to try in October, but I’m determined to do what I can in the remaining couple of months, now that all the different parts are starting to settle into place.

The other clear (to me) change has been in what i’ve been cooking and eating, or again, lack thereof.  Late and unhealthy lunches, carb heavy dinners, lack of veggies, nursing coffee instead of switching to water – it goes on and on and on and on and on and ON and on and on.  Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been horrible, it hasn’t been a crazy unhealthy diet, it just hasn’t been what I’m used to.

And yeah – I am pretty annoyed at myself for letting one thing trickle down into other facets of my life, but I’m also not going to beat myself up about it.  In an attempt to not be overly dramatic about it all – its simply an explanation and the newfound personal ability to look at the situation and say

Yeah, that sucked, but in the end -its not my fault, it certainly hasn’t defined who I am, but it has helped me to work my way through what could be crippling mind sets if left unchecked.  So if you’ve made it this far through what was my attempt at an open and honest release of words, thank you.  I’ll end with a quote that was conveniently put up today by one of my favorite blogs, http://ohsheglows.com/

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
― Marie Curie

And now, it is time to move on.

xo

Seriously.  Its Monday again, already?  Where on earth did our weekend go??

You guys are going to think all I do is cook and eat anymore.  And sometimes, I’d say you’d be right!  We had our friends over for the weekend, and while it is sadly devoid of pictures of activities such as a brewery tour and a baseball game, I did manage to take some delectable shots of food I made for you.  Aren’t I sweet?

Dusting some scones

 

Saturday’s spread

 

I’m really sorry for that last shot.  It was pretty mean of me to show you something so deadly delicious so early in the morning.  But I did it anyways.  You guys are serious troopers. Those brownies are a slightly tweaked (and 100% NOT Vegan) version of who else, but my new obsession.   Clearly, mine looked nothing like hers.  But they still tasted good enough for me to instruct Brandon to take the rest of them into work with him so they didn’t have to occupy my dining room table for longer than absolutely necessary.  They’re definitely one of those sweet treats you always seem to crave, but regret taking a larger piece of than you intended.

 

As for my Marathon Monday training update.

Yikes.

That should sum it up nicely for you, no?  Last week, I left you with the cliff hanger of “did she? didn’t she?” in regards to my 7 mile long run on Monday.  Which I did do.  I was super proud of myself, albeit cursing my “great idea” the entire time. Especially since I felt it was a great idea to do it after my lifting set.  Luckily, that time I was smart and remembered to bring my water along.  Which was heavy and annoying, but absolutely necessary.  I followed that up with a not-so-great 3 miler the next day.   The heat managed to kick my butt that go-round and I was happy to get back to my ac’d apartment.  And after that, I declared my Wednesday a well deserved rest day.  Which turned into a rest for the rest of the week.  I was hot, tired and had a pretty annoying muscle tweak in my hip.  Enough to make me favor it going up and down the steps.  And so it goes ad I didn’t get anymore runs or workouts in for the rest of the week.   I could blame the heat, working out outside in 100+ degree heat isn’t always a good idea.  But there’s always the gym, there’s always cross training and no matter how many times I may slow down or stop to take a walk, its always a workout in the books afterwards.

I do, however, put a huge portion of the blame of my lethargy on my food lately.  I have had a distinct lack of fruit, veggies and protein and whole grains, replaced with easy meals that  don’t always have “balanced and nutritious” in mind. (Ahem..see brownies above?).  There’s also been an alarming decrease of water intake these days, with more of a tendency to nurse  a cup of coffee for a day, instead of finishing the coffee and switching to water.

Given my direct link between what I eat and how I feel, I don’t have much hopes for today either.  This weekend’s gluttony (although, in retrospect, could have been FAR worse – but remains less than admirably healthy) has left me with all the more reason to lace up the running shoes and get out there and get it done, but no physical energy to do so.  So its back to the (have we heard this before?) conscious effort of what i’m eating, why and how this week.

And keep the fingers crossed for some cooler temperatures.

How was your weekend?

xo

 

 

 

I made another round of roasted cauliflower this weekend.  I chose to spare you the details 🙂

 

 

I also made homemade peanut butter cups.

 

Yes.  I know you can buy them.  

But I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t  do things like this :).

These are adapted from yet another recipe from The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone.  I’m not quite satisfied with them yet, but they’re still a tasty little indulgence sitting in my freezer.

 

Marathon Mondays

With all of the food posts lately, ya’ll are going to think the only thing I do anymore is eat 🙂  But I’ve been getting myself back into the routine of working out again, slowly.   Last week, I got in 3 of my shorter training runs, my yoga and both days of lifting.  I did a run/weights set on Saturday, which is unfortunate in that the only thing I wanted to do on Sunday then was enjoy the gray morning with some coffee, enjoy the afternoon watching some TV with my husband and avoid the humidity in the evening.  But I did all of this, with the little sneaky thought in the back of my mind that come today, I’d get my long run in.  Did I? Didn’t I?  You’ll have to wait until next Marathon Monday to find out :-O

Food wise, you’ve noticed I’ve been focusing a lot on some simple lunches filled with veggies and my dinners have been summer influenced dishes.  Lots of corn on the cob and salsa, plus a self-indulgent night of easy peasy pasta with some veggie- meatballs.   I’ve been pretty boring in the kitchen lately, but I find a lot of times in the summer, that happens with me.  I’m not in the mood to cook or be creative, to turn on my oven and bake something fun.  Right now its all about lite and fresh and SIMPLE, which is pretty healthy too, as it turns out.  We’ve been starting to get antsy though with our menu planning, so I feel a cooking change coming on soon.

What about ya’ll?  What do you do to get out of a cooking rut? 

It was definitely a “for me” kind of weekend, I got a hair cut, indulged in some retail therapy, took advantage of a networking opportunity (super outside my comfort zone) and here’s what else.

As for my Marathon Monday updates, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things (which is scary to me, because I don’t have much time to do things slowly if I want to run this Marathon).  I’m going to train for it to the best of my ability, but be smart about it too, if I’m physically not ready to run the race, I have to be mentally ready to admit that.  It doesn’t mean I’ll give up on the goal, its been made public as a point on my bucket list.  But for now, I’ll do my best to continue training.

Workouts:  For the past week, I’ve been battling what I think is a mild case of Bells Palsy.  Its a scary phrase to say partial paralysis of the face.  I woke up Monday morning last week and suddenly only half of my smile worked and I couldn’t close my eye fully.  This results in a sore jaw (if I try to talk a lot), sloppy eating (corn on the cob becomes dinner and a show for B) and a dry eye from time to time.  Add to all of this a frustrating inability to fall asleep and then STAY asleep, last week was rough, on both the psyche and the workout plan.  The good news is that first and foremost, it will get better and it IS getting better.  I still feel like a jerk that I can’t smile when I go out in public and its also kind of embarrassing, and even though I can close my eye, I can’t do it fully yet. So its really just a waiting game.  My friend said “when someone up there decides its time for you to slow down for a bit, they make sure you do”.  And that’s really what i’m taking this experience as.  Trying to rest a little more than usual and let my body heal.  BUT, that’s not to say I haven’t tried to stay healthy.  Although I haven’t made it to the gym for my body pump or yoga sessions (hoping to change that this week!), I lifted at home and did some yoga at home each day.  I also made it to the gym for some cardio, since running outside isn’t too smart, given my eye (the breeze dries it out and if something gets in my eye, I can’t blink it out).  I got in a good elliptical and treadmill workout.  Despite not being my favorite piece of equipment for distance runs, the treadmill does help with speed intervals .

Food:  I made a conscious effort this week to try and sneak in veggies for lunch and dinner and to snack on fresh fruit when I do snack.  I’ve also been drinking a lot of water lately and am glad to be back on my water weekdays kick.  Even though I’ve been skipping out on the salads these days, I’m still getting a ton of veggies in through simple veggie sautes for lunch and sneaking them in at dinner.

 

And that’s about it!  How was your weekend??

xo

 

ps – for those of you keeping track of my Katie Learns to Cook series, I know I skipped yesterday, even though I had the chapter fully read (bad me!).   With the mindset of the weekend, it just felt better not having that as something I had to do.  I’ll have it up this week though and fully plan on staying on track as we continue!

This little girl is s.i.c.k. 😦 Or something like it.  I’ve been nursing a sore left neck/face for the past few days and its getting a little better, we’ve moved on from super sore to a little numb?  Weird.   In all honesty, I think i’d prefer the full on sore to the numb.  Lots of rest today!

 

This weekend we FINALLY worked our way back to Lancaster to pick up the two little four legged creatures.

 

 

Clearly they are thrilled to see us.

We also got to say hi to this sweet little thing, who has recently adopted Brandon’s parents.

Ladylike: youz doin it wrong.

 

And of course no weekend at home is complete without the requisite “mom you cooked too much” dinner.

Fruit, baked beans, asparagus, corn on the cob, veggie salads and a Field Roast sausage for me, yum! The best part about these dinners are that we somehow seem to acquire the leftovers!? 😀  Darn…

As for my Marathon Monday update…

I have been  L.A.Z.Y.  Does that count as a legitimate training week??   To be fair, vacation was last week and there was a LOT of walking and two bike rides, one 15 miler and a 25 miler.  So that counts for SOME cross training, but as far as miles logged on the road or treadmill – yikes.    Its probably been a good 1.5-2 weeks since i’ve pounded the pavement and there’s no excuse other than I just didn’t.  It was way too hot to safely and effectively run outside.  When you’re breaking 90 by the early AM, its not the time to run.  Luckily its supposed to cool off this week, so I’m ready to get back into it.

I was supposed to go to Body Pump this morning, but with the issues I’ve been having lately with the muscle fatigue, lack of sleep and soreness, I opted to try and get a little more rest – because I didn’t want to hinder, rather than help recovery.  I did feel guilty enough to fit in a small lifting workout this morning at home instead though.  Doing 3×10 sets with heavier weights for squats, tricep and bicep work and some shoulder work. I finished off with some dead lifts and  I threw in a few plank sets too for good measure.   It wasn’t a complete body workout like I love to get with Pump, but sometimes its nice to get some heavier lifting in too.  Plus, despite not making it to class, i still managed to get in a fairly decent lifting workout for the day.  Now…who wants to motivate me to start running?? 🙂

xo

 

ps – Hail storm in the middle of a heat wave?  Ca-ray-zy.