And so it goes – 2014

January 2, 2014

Ah.  The obligatory – “NEW YEAR NEW ME!” post.    In all honesty – these are some of my favorite posts to read that are written by others and some of my favorite to write.  I’m a New Years Resolution junkie and am constantly bugging my friends and family with “whatcha gonna change? How are you going to change it? Huh huh huh??”  – so here goes.

2013 was a tricky one for me, it took a lot from me and my family.  So, I’ve decided that 2014 is my year.   

In the spirit of rising to the challenge, I went to town on resolutions for myself, but since this is a lengthy post as it is – I’ve decided to break down the resolutions over the next week or so, hopefully interspersed with legit posts to get back on track.  So lets start with list number 1:  probably the easiest and most relevant to this blog.  Fitness resolutions.


1.  Be active each day.  Whether or not its a scheduled day of training or just getting out for a long walk, doing yoga or a hike – I want to feel like I’ve moved each day.

2.  Be committed to lifting.  This year I re-discovered my love for traditional weight training and I started to put some efforts into creating an at home gym that I could  workout in, in lieu of a gym membership.   I slacked off a bit over the holidays and worked through some confusion of how to eat and train in order to get the kind of body I want.  Its a work in progress and although I have a sneaking suspicion I used it as a coping mechanism this summer, I really do enjoy lifting and have great respect for female lifters.

3.  Run 5 miles a week – that’s 260 miles in a year.  A few years back, I opted to train for races as my goals and did fairly well.  Last year, I didn’t sign up for any races and my running dropped significantly.  This year, I’m trying a new to me tactic that I’ve seen floating around before, which is set a weekly mileage goal.  Its a concrete goal that I can work for, without having something to train for specifically.  I’ve kept my goal fairly small (cough cough: attainable and maintainable cough cough:), because I know my mind’s ability to overwhelm itself when I’m thinking about too stressful of a goal.   And  since I have a hard time admitting that a few miles and not 3-4-5 miles is worth the time, I’m trying to remember that its not how I get to the goal, but that I achieve it.   In preparation for this, I bought myself some fancy new kicks to start it off right.

4.  Put at least 20 miles on the bike a month – that’s 240 miles in a year..  We have bikes.  Mine is my baby.  We have not explored the trails nearly enough to make its purchase worthwhile.  Biking is something my husband and I both truly enjoy, both by ourselves and with friends.  So this year, in an effort to get out on the bikes more, I’ve set a monthly mileage goal.  Anyone who’s hopped on a bike, know that its definitely not a difficult goal to meet and I have big plans of crushing this mileage goal.  But at the very least it’ll get us out for a weekend ride 1-2 times a month and that’s really what is most important.

5.  Incorporate Yoga and Insanity into weekly workouts.   I have a tendency to have tunnel vision when it comes to my “training”.  If I’m weight training, then I absolutely cannot replace a lifting day with a cardio day or yoga day, etc.  I also have a really hard time saying “OK well, Wednesdays are Yoga only”, because whether I’m lifting or running, its hard for me to give up a day of training, period.   But I enjoy yoga, and damn it Insanity was expensive.  So as a tie in to goal number 1 – I’d like to include more flexibility to my fitness routine, which will go a long way for making it a lifestyle habit, rather than a training for a specific goal habit.

So far – its been only a day since yesterday, so I haven’t really gotten a chance to put these resolutions into practice, although I got a head start on a few and lifted at home on Monday and Tuesday, which while not a lot – was better than nothing.  I have plans to get in a workout tonight and am thinking that an easy little run is in order. I’ve got some shiny new Nike Frees and 5 miles to get in by Sunday, eh?

So there you have it, my fitness resolutions (give or take a few).  I tried to keep them concrete and obtainable, which I think is so incredibly important for tracking progress.    I’ve got a hefty list of other resolutions that include personal, foodie and work related ideas, but they can wait for another day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful set of holidays and that they stayed relatively healthy 🙂 and here’s to 2014.








Back to Bal’mer

July 5, 2012

ughhh.  That first day back from vacation is such a wash of a day.  Mentally and physically exhausted from the 12+ hour drive home and definitely zoned out for the entirety of the day.   Needless to say my workout did NOT happen, but I have a chance to make it up to you guys tomorrow.  Body pump at (gulp) 5:45 am is callin my name and despite my legs feeling like jello today, I know I’ll feel amazing after I go.

And remember that workout plan of running intervals on the treadmill?  Yeaaaaah, that didn’t happen either 😦  We had early AM breakfast plans the entirety we were out and there was very little free time for workouts.  But there was a lot of walking in the record breaking triple digit heat   we had all week.  We even stood for an entire baseball game in the shade instead of sitting in our seats it was so hot.

But of course, the trip had its high points:

Food:  I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I managed to do fairly well with my food options all week.  The baseball stadium had a Vegan chicken patty, that was expensive, but nice to have something I could eat, especially so close to our seats.  However, I can happily go a few weeks without touching another french fry…sheesh.  The rest of my meals consisted of the typical veggie wraps and salads, with the ever present surprised look on the waiters face when I ask for no cheese, no mayo, etc.  Although, I will say that no matter how surprised they thought my requests, everyone I met was gracious and accommodating.  Breakfasts were usually oatmeal with some dried fruit and pb swirled in and two of the nights we went to dinner with some amazing family friends, once at the Casino Queen (where last time my veggies were literally swimming in butter) and once at their house (where my broccoli was swimming in cheese).    This time around my friends went out of their way to grill some portobella mushrooms for me and make sure I had a plate to rival the rest of the guests and the casino was happy to steam my veggies for me when they could (I NEVER thought steamed broccoli would be so glorious, don’t tell my 10 year old past self…).  I’m learning to be a lot more flexible with things and reminding myself that i’m not identifying as a vegan and that while I certainly avoid dairy when possible, I’m not going to go and make mountains out of mole hills.  So no, my meals weren’t all Vegan, but they were as healthy as I could make them and I got the added bonus of enjoying my host’s hospitality without worrying too much about the little things.  In the grand scheme of thing a sprinkling of parm cheese on the plate, really not a big deal.

workouts:  I told you already that any ideas of making it to the gym were dashed by our pretty packed schedule.  The, ahem, National Personal Trainers conference being held at our hotel didn’t really help matters anyhow.  I”m still getting over the “everyone is staring at me” and “i’m not doing as much the next person is” syndrome that used to prevent me from going to classes, the gym or really working out to my potential.  While I’ve gotten A LOT better at this, something about running on a treadmill next to a group of personal trainers didn’t seem altogether appealing… 🙂  HOWEVER, we did manage to get in not one, but TWO bike rides while we were out there, so our drive was well worth it (we had to drive, in order to take the bikes).    Our first trip was supposed to be a simple and short little ride that turned into a little over 15 miles in the dead heat of the day.   The thing about the trails in St. Louis is that there is VERY little tree cover, so most of our rides were in the open sunlight.  Despite the longer than intended ride, I did manage to push past the fears of riding on the road and spent a good half of the first trail doing just that, enjoying the farms and small town views.

Our second ride of the trip was a 25 mile ride from a town just outside of St. Louis down to the arch.  Even though this is generally considered a shorter ride for us, I was glad we hadn’t planned for anything much longer than that.  A lot of open sunlight, but beautiful views alongside the river.   We pedaled along with a river barge for awhile, saw some wildlife, the Lewis & Clark Expedition building and a lot of the industrial side of St. Louis.  I’m a big fan of industrial buildings, how they look, etc., especially when they’re older – so I really enjoyed it, despite it being a major deviation from the types of trails we usually ride.  Of course, riding to the base of this beautiful structure was a pretty awesome deviation from our typical trails too 🙂


please excuse the whiteness of my legs.  Despite being out in the sun all week, I was slathered in what appears to be spf ghost.  And how dorky my helmet looks…but that one is a non-compromise!


A few other highlights of the trip? Five baseball games and grabbing two more charms for my charm bracelet, my mom gave me her old one from when she was my age and I’d like to do the same someday.   There was some wandering through antique shops, spending a mesmerizing hour at a glass blowing gallery (ps – a hand blown glass sink and faucet? To diiiieeeee forrrrr) and despite entering the city with two books (which I finished!) and may or may not have left with 7 MORE books…ooops.  😀

And now, vacay is over and its time to settle back into a routine and count down the days until its time to do something fun again 🙂  Did everyone have a wonderful 4th of July? Even though I spent mine driving, I still managed a veggie dog with some mustard and sauerkraut (am I German or WHAT?) and a beer at the end of the day.  Satisfaction, indeed.



Whirlwind Weekend!

November 6, 2011

Whew.  Sunday night and what a weekend!  Did everyone remember to turn the clocks back? Thankfully, my alarm clock automatically resets itself, so I didn’t have to worry about it.  But I’ve definitely played the “run from room to room trying to figure out what the right time is” game.  Oops.

This weekend Brandon and I tried out another bike trail, heading from Baltimore down towards Annapolis.  Round trip it was a little over 26 miles.  Mostly pavement, which made it a nice smooth ride, but a bunch of hills – which we were definitely feeling last night and today.  It was definitely an “urban” trail, whereas the York trail we did was far more scenic, in terms of the scenery.  Brandon didn’t like it as much and while I have to agree that the York trail was something pretty spectacular, I really enjoyed our ride  yesterday too – the hills made it a GREAT cross training workout to compliment a strong week of training.    And as you can tell, it was still a pretty gorgeous day and trail 🙂

This girl is NOT complaining!  

Sunday morning, we woke up to sunlight at 6:30 am!  I’m a morning gal, so I loved it – although seeing it pitch black outside at 5 pm was a little sad 😦  Today was such a “Katie zen day”.  Grocery shopping in the AM, which is always a plus for me, I’m an apparent freak of nature and L.O.V.E. to grocery shop.   After that, I spent the better part of the day in the kitchen, trying to be creative AND use up things in my fridge and pantry.  First up?  I tried my hand at making some homemade bagels, using Savory Simple’s recipe as a base:  .  I had other plans for the last bits of pumpkin in my fridge, so I changed up the recipe, forgoing the pumpkin and adding some packets of Instant oatmeal (Cinnamon and Spice), some raisins (two small boxes), flax seed (obsessed), and used whole wheat flour and a combo of sugar and maple syrup.  The dough was a little dry, but I just added some water a tbsp at a time until it sticky’d up enough to roll into a ball to let it rise.   I rolled those bad boys up into what could arguably pass as bagels, which earned a “this MAY actually work”, from Brandon.

See?  totally bagels.  

I’m super impressed that I was able to make something that I’d never even think to try myself.  It was such an easy recipe to follow and I’m glad my modifications weren’t disastrous!  If you haven’t checked out her site yet, do it!  her stuff looks divine!

The rest of the day was spent prepping for dinner and the week.  I combined recipes from two more of my favorite blogs ( and to make a yummy and healthy dinner of Butternut squash burritos (ohsheglows), topped with a caramelized onion black bean sauce (dailygarnish).  I added some chipotle adobo peppers, and swapped out shallots for onions.  I love how these recipes were easy to combo, delicious AND Healthy all at the same time. Plus, Brandon tested AND approved.  Gotta love that.

  pretty in the pan AND on the plate?  I like it.

Last but not least (I KNOW), I made some baked oatmeal for breakfasts for the week.  I’ve been getting pretty hungry lately with having increased my mileage these past few weeks.  So I’m trying to find ways to keep myself full and nutritionally balanced.  I’ve been doing well with eating fruit during the day, and I’m going to try and up the ante on that and added some almond butter to eat with my pear tomorrow.  Back to adding more veggies into my diet too.  So for my baked oatmeal, I added the last of that canned pumpkin (in place of any oil) and 2 bananas.  Swapped out the regular milk for some Almond Milk (yum), threw in flax seeds (i think I have a problem guys) and some dried cranberries, plus the usual spices etc.  I also tried a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax: 3 tbsp water, wisk) in place of a regular egg.  I was really excited that I had made a vegan breakfast, until I realized that the breakfast powder mix that I added had nonfat milk in it.  Durr.   Oh well, i’m looking forward to it, looks good, doesn’t it?  The pumpkin gave it a great color and you can see the chunks of dried cranberries.  Yummmmmm.

Other than that, its been a day of resting and reading – in an effort to accomplish  some of the goals on my list, i’m reading a book “Becoming Vegan”, that i’m hoping will give me a lot of information on nutrition while eating a more plant based diet.  Hopefully I’ll have fun things to share as I learn!

Sundays are also my long run days – where I’m supposed to run at a slower pace than my goal race pace.  While my race pace is embarrassingly slow (10 minute mile), I was reminded today that no matter what, I was always going to be slower and faster than someone else when I run. I was so grateful for that (probably unintentional) pep talk.  It helped me to remember that I wasn’t doing this to beat anyone, I was doing it to be a better me.  So with that mantra in the back of my mind, I set out for my long run, 4.5 miles (ended up a bit more than that)…of hills.  I won’t lie, I was definitely cursing the route about 3/4 of the way  through, but somehow, my legs kept moving, my lungs kept breathing and4.5 miles later,  I made it back to my apartment in one piece.  It wasn’t a fast run, but it wasn’t all that slow either – and it was a RUN.   Does anyone else feel proud when they’re done with a workout?  Even if halfway through you want to throw in the towel?

Off to watch some Football, read and drink tea on my couch.  I used to hate the idea of sitting and doing nothing, but since starting to train, I’m really starting to appreciate being able to sit down and relax.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!