Thursday, May 31, 2012

Run Day, Leg Day & Physical Therapy

Running & Lifting
Let's just say today was a long one. This morning I set the alarm for 5:15. Jason and I were tentatively planning to run depending on the weather. They've been calling for rain all day today. It was not raining at all at 5:15 am (or even at 12:15 pm for that matter).

So, no excuses. We got up and got ready and headed out the door. It was definitely cooler (only 70 degrees) but a bit muggy. But, with the sun not yet up, it definitely felt pretty nice compared to my more recent runs.

The first mile was a slow one for sure (9:26), but I chalk that up to just waking up. The first mile is usually warming up anyway. Not sure what happened, but we kicked it into gear during mile 2 for an 8:50 pace. Mile 3 was just a tad slower, but we were taking more turns, curves, and crossing roads, but still not bad at 9:11.

Mile 4 was 8:58. I felt like we were zooming along, but that was another point where we were having to do some meandering through a park (sharp rights/lefts) and waiting for traffic. The sun was just starting to come up at that point too. The sky was gorgeous with pink hues. Love that time of the morning.

Mile 5 was 8:48. I'm definitely proud of this one because we tackled 2 hills. So it always feels good to finish really strong, especially on hills.

At lunch I ran home and did a quick leg workout with some chest included. It was 30 minutes on the dot in length. I like nice round numbers like that ;-)

I went with more of a circuit style or giant set style.

Set 1 - 4 sets at 10 reps (unless noted)
Squats
Plie squats
Calf raises - 2 sets with feet parallel, 2 sets with feet turned out, 20 reps
Stiff-legged deadlifts
Pushups with toes on step - 12 reps

Set 2 - 3 sets with varying reps
Side lunge with leg raise - 8 reps each side
Weighted donkey kicks - 10 reps each side
Hip lifts for hamstrings (heels on athletic step) - 12 reps
Chest flye into chest press - 8 reps

I really wasn't feeling it too much right after I finished. I was slightly disappointed thinking I should have worked harder or lifted heavier. Then I took my first step down the stairs. Wobbly legs!

I had a physical therapy appointment today after work with a new therapist. The one I was using moved away on me, and she highly recommended I see this particular therapist. He was her mentor at the clinic and he also does dry needling.

More Physical Therapy
Mostly he just evaluated the piriformis pain situation trying to get a full understanding of what was going on. Apparently I am barely engaging my glute muscles on my left side (the side that hurts) and almost not at all on the right (which doesn't hurt).

Sounds like I have some work to do on learning how to use my muscles properly when running huh? But, at least it means that I'm not just incredibly weak. I was starting to wonder why I bother doing half the exercises I do.

Anyway, he did recommend the dry needling. He feels I'd be a good candidate for it. So, I'm scheduled for June 15th. Now, I just need to not talk myself out of it.

Since I had PT after work, that meant I didn't get home until late. I just had Jason start baked sweet potato fries for fries and veggie burgers.
 

You can't really get much simpler or easier than that. Just bake the "fries" then heat up the homemade lentil & quinoa burgers and you have dinner.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Cooler temps
Easy dinner

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gyming & Grilling

Gym Day
Today was a gym day for me. I would have loved to have gotten out for a run instead, but it was raining at the time of my break. Of course, the rain would have felt pretty good during a run I must say.

I went with supersets of 3 x 8 for back and triceps today. I should have added in chest but was being a bit lazy I'll admit. And, I'm kind of glad I stuck with back and tris because the weight area got crazy busy with a bunch of guests from a nearby hotel. A little annoying. I think I say that a lot huh?

Anyway, I started with 15 minutes on the elliptical than ran over to claim a spot before all the benches were taken. I did have to shoo two guys off the assisted pull/chin up machine. They were just standing there leaning on it looking out the windows.

SS#1
Assisted wide-grip chin ups
Double-arm overhead triceps extension

SS#2
Double-arm row
Triceps pushdowns

SS#3
Pullovers
Double-arm kickbacks

I also added in 3 sets of 10 reps of low back extensions. I decided to do a short bit of cardio a la Tabata style. Do each exercise for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest before moving to next exercise. At the end of all 8, rest 1 minute then repeat as many times as you like (I only did twice).

Burpees
Alternating squats with front kick (body weight)
Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell figure 8's
Kettlebell swing into a squat press
Jabs with light weights
Alternating curtsey lunges with light weights
Plie jacks

Just two rounds burned just shy of 100 calories - hello HIIT! I was definitely sucking wind big time.

Grilling
Jason picked up more propane during his lunch break, so that meant grilling tonight. The rain cleared out and it turned out to be a really pleasant evening.

We went with a Grilled Kale, Veggies & Tofu Salad. Fairly standard salad for us these days. I made a quick marinade/dressing using sugar-free strawberry preserves, garlic, salt, pepper, balsamic and red wine vinegar, agave, and OJ. Easy peasy.

Then we just grilled everything up.We use a veggie basket for the kale, but the squash, zucchini, bell peppers, and tofu go directly on the grill. Perfect mid-week meal if you ask me.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Grilling
Slightly cooler temps
Good workout
Sunshine

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to Reality and Tempeh Fajitas

No Parties 
Yesterday was a good day - no Memorial Day parties or cookouts. I needed to try to get myself back into "reality" mode post vacation. It's always hard to do.

Jason and I managed a 4-mile run despite the 90-degree temps. It wasn't easy. I swear my Garmin was lying to me about mileage. I thought it was never going to buzz at mile 4. Longest mile ever!

After the hot hot hot run, I spent some time in the yard pulling weeds and trying to pull up trees that keep trying to grow (thanks to acorns from our Oak tree). Luckily, the front yard is mostly shaded and there was a nice breeze so I wasn't melting like I had been on the run.

I spent about 45 minutes in the front yard before heading to the back. I got rose bushes deadheaded and some more weeds pulled, though there are still plenty more left. I am officially waging war on the Bermuda and Crab grasses that are creeping into the flower beds. My hands were definitely sore after all that.

I got more laundry washed and then spent some time lounging in the pool. I figured I deserved it right ;-) I should have gone to the grocery store of course, but that's not a fun errand on a holiday. The pool was much more important.

Luckily, I did have some frozen veggies on hand as well as pasta. So, dinner was a very simple pasta salad with chickpeas.

Back to the Gym
This morning was like a cruel joke. I've not been sleeping in mind you, but I haven't been having to get up and get ready for work. Today was the first time I've done my hair or put on makeup since Friday. And apparently I'm rusty at it. I almost walked out of the house with my dress unzipped. Nice huh?

Today was also about getting back into the gym. I definitely needed the rest week from weight lifting. And from the inside of my gym to be honest. I think that was the hardest part about my workout motivation today - being inside the gym.

I really enjoy running for the ability to be outdoors. To enjoy the fresh air (even if it's 90 degrees), the sunshine, the scenery. The gym? Um, hot, stuffy, stinky. And I think a lot of my dislike for my gym stems from that being my only option for 6 weeks when I was unable to run and from all the turmoil going on right now with the gym itself. I wouldn't be surprised if it's closed by Friday (first of the month).

Anyway, I got myself there as I knew I would one way or another. I started with the elliptical as a warm up. The only good thing about the elliptical is being able to read magazines since I can't change the TV channels and watch something riveting like Food Network ;-)

I've been doing biceps and triceps. But am changing up my splits now. Today I went with biceps and shoulders. I went with 3 supersets done as 8 reps, 3 times.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Arnold press

SS#2
Hammer curls
Lateral raise

SS#3
Incline curls
Front raise

I did some ab work as well before calling it done. I must say, today I felt fairly weak. I actually had to go down in weight for lateral raises. Usually I do 4-6 reps at a higher weight then drop for the remaining reps. Today...I had to go with the lighter weight for all reps. Talk about bruising the old ego.

I know that one week off from weights isn't going to diminish strength like that, so maybe it's just changing up the split and doing biceps with shoulders. My muscles had to work differently than what they've been used to (or that's my theory and I'm sticking to it).

Tempeh Tuesday
Definitely feeling some of the post-vacation blues coming on. I think it always happens to me. It's just never fun to have to jump back into reality: work, house chores, errands, more house chores. To make it worse, I did something stupid today. I went to the grocery store AFTER work.

I love living downtown, but there are no decent grocery stores nearby. The closest one is in a nice neighborhood, and was recently remodeled. It's a shame they didn't think to work on the parking lot though. There are lots of restaurants and shops surrounding the store. Parking is already tight, so then when you have people using the lot for other stores, that means even fewer spots for those of us shopping at the grocery store.

I drove around for close to 10 minutes just trying to find a spot. Of course this left me frazzled and flat out ticked. List or no list, when I'm frazzled bad things happen. I always forget stuff. I have to circle around multiple times. And for whatever reason I start buying things I don't need or have plenty of. Anyone else do this? Sort of a strange habit/reaction I have.

Anyway, full fridge meant lots of dinner options. However, it's HOT and we're out of propane for the grill. So, dinner needed to not include the oven if at all possible. Jason suggested fajitas; so fajitas it was.

We just browned some tempeh then sauteed onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, and squash with garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
 
Super simple and it didn't heat up the kitchen so win-win.

Daily To-Enjoy List
Lifting
Sunshine
Easy dinner
Painting nails

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Leaving the Beach & 8's

Leaving the Beach
Our last night at the beach was spent in the company of amazing friends (and hosts). Our friends that have a house on the intracoastal waters (mentioned in previous post) have been talking about a place called Joe Patti's Seafood for ages. So, the plan for Friday afternoon was to head over to their house then head over to Joe Patti's.

Of course, the seafood part wasn't exactly appealing to me, but that's ok. I was along for the experience. The smell was really over-powering for me. But, they had several different areas other than just the fish market.

So I milled around checking out a variety of sauces, salsas, condiments and more. Some made there, some made in the area, others were known brands. But I love sauces and condiments, spreads and salads. So it was fun for me looking through, getting recipe ideas.

Joe Patti's also has a really nice wine store. They definitely carried many wines that we can't get at home. Jason picked out a really nice white wine to go with dinner, Jason and D picked out the fish, and then we headed back to their house.

D had to walk their neighbor's dog, and it was wine-thirty. So we had a glass of wine, then headed to the local grocery store (a really nice Publix) to pick up just a few more things for dinner.

A is an amazing cook. But, he was of course making a fish dinner for everyone. I didn't mind at all though. Truly I didn't. I picked up a few things to make a salad of my own. For me, it was about just enjoying good food, good wine, good views, and even better company. I really did mean to take pictures, but was caught up in enjoying the moment instead. And you know what...that's how it should be.

Saturday was uneventful. We woke up early, finished packing. We ate our breakfast on the balcony one last time. After loading up the car, we took one last stroll on the beach as well. The water was simply perfect, making it even sadder to leave of course.

It was a long day spent on the road. It took about 9 hours total with 2 potty breaks and a stop for lunch. We were pretty worn out from the drive and of course still had to unload and unpack. While it was good to be home, it was also a little bittersweet of course. We already miss the beach.


All About 8
This morning I woke up at little after 7. After checking the weather (already 74 degrees), I knew I needed to get my butt in gear if I wanted to get in a run. My plan was to do 8 miles.

I started my run right at 8 and it was already 80 degrees (clearly 8 is the theme here). The first part of the run provided some scattered shade and a breeze. Mile 2...sun and only sun. Mile 3 was nice though. That's almost all shaded. Mile 4 not so much shaded, but I did stop at 4.6 miles into the run to refill my water, take a quick potty break and take my GU. It gave me a minute to cool down as well, which was nice.

I got back to the run and realized my shade was starting to disappear. For the last 2 miles it was nothing but sun beating down as the sun had shifted and the once-shaded spots were no longer shaded. I will say that I was very thankful that we had a slightly lower humidity than in Florida. That helped somewhat. But it was still hot. And I felt like I was becoming one with the asphalt.

Not the easiest 8 miles, but not all bad either. It does make you feel a little tough when you finish a really hot run.

I think the best way to reward yourself for a super hot, long-ish run is pool time. I would say beach time, but that's not exactly an option. However, pool time is.

So, not really a big Memorial Day party or anything, but having our friends come over for some pool lounging time.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Sunshine
Relaxing
Pool time
Time with friends

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - Beach Vacation Tally

Last night I made some pizzas using Flatout Wraps. Super simple and tasty. I loved how crisp they were as a crust. And of course we enjoyed dinner overlooking the ocean. How could you resist?

This morning we woke up pretty early. But, even at 7:45 am, the heat was already on. Actually, I think it was really more the humidity and beating sun. But, we headed out for our run anyway. I was planning on trying to get in 5 maybe 6 miles.

We did take some new routes and got in some new views at least. We both enjoy gawking at gorgeous water front homes. But the heat was really zapping both of us. So, we ended up calling it done at 4.7 miles and I am absolutely fine with not pushing just a hair more for 5. We were done with all caps.
And here's the sweaty mess #PROOF

After the run, we cleaned up and hit the beach once again. It was our last beach day, so we wanted to make the most of it of course. We're about to go meet up with our friends again, so I guess I'll leave you with Fun Facts Friday - Beach Vacation Tally.

  • We spent about 30 hours sitting on the beach.
  • I finished reading 3 books. 
  • We listened to 1 audio book on the way down (will listen to 1 on the way home).
  • We watched 2 movies.
  • We went through 7 gallons of water.
  • We went out to eat only once.
  • We went through a bottle of sunscreen (2 if you count the spray one actually).
  • I actually put on makeup and did my hair 3 times.
  • We took 7 flights of stairs at least 3 times a day all week (with beach gear in tow mind you).
  • I ran 23.2 miles.
  • I spent 1 1/2 hours total on the elliptical (watching Food Network).
  • We enjoyed each and every single moment.
So, do you take the stairs? What's your max limit? And what would your vacation tally look like?

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Beach time
Reading
Relaxing
Time with friends

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Perdido Key Vacation - Day 5

I sound like a broken record I'm sure - but today started off pretty much the same way it's been starting while on vacation. Wake up, get in a workout of some sort, then hit the beach.

Jason decided to go for a run with me today. The plan was 5 miles. But it was already way too warm. I knew the minute we started running that it wasn't going to be easy. The humidity was really high, so breathing was tough. My legs felt incredibly heavy too.

The first mile wasn't great, but I finally started to at least get into a rhythm. And for whatever crazy reason, we started speeding up. Maybe it was just a subconscious desire to be done. Mile 1 was a 9:17 pace, Mile2 ended up at 9:04 and Mile 3 was a stupid 8:50. It definitely slowed after that point.

Jason and I were both struggling. The heat was zapping our energy. The sun beating down furiously. We ended up agreeing to walk for a minute to just cool down, but even then Mile 4 was still 9:13. Clearly we were on a mission to just finish. Five miles ended up being 4 1/2 miles. And you know what, I'll take it.

After the run, I took a cold shower to try to cool down. I literally could not stop sweating. Not a fun feeling really. Eventually, I cooled down. Grabbed a bite to eat. Packed up the cooler and off to the beach it was.

The wind and surf was up today. A big change over the past few days. But, the wind definitely keeps you cooler, especially under an umbrella. I finished my second book this week around 2. Then we heard some thunder coming from inland. I was getting hungry and decided to head on up to get cleaned up.

The plan was to go across the street to a place we visit each year called the Jellyfish Bar. They always have fun martinis, wakame salad, and sushi.
 
 

Usually we have a really nice time. Unfortunately, there was one really large and really obnoxious table. It was hard to have a conversation. Also, this year we had a coupon from restaurant.com that I had purchased. Turns out, they suddenly don't accept. I'm sorry, but that's bad business if you ask me.

They had an agreement with the company. Just because they no longer work with them doesn't mean they shouldn't honor a coupon that doesn't expire. Just me? So, really ticked about that. But we didn't make a scene and of course still tipped our waitress. It wasn't her fault of course. Have you ever had that happen?

Right now we're finishing listening to the last of the first Hunger Games. Dinner will be later since we had such a late "snack." I think we'll end up having spaghetti with a salad. But, that could easily change. Either way, I know dinner will be enjoyed on the balcony watching the waves crashing in. Perfection.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running (though tough)
Sunshine
Relaxing
Reading

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Perdido Beach Vacation Day 4

Today started off pretty much the same way as it has been starting since on vacation. I didn't really need to try to run again today. I put in 11.5 miles in two days and I know that's pushing it with my injuries.

So, the plan was to just do the elliptical for a bit and watch a bit of Food Network before Jason got up. But, the elliptical is really basic (aka crappy) so I lasted about 30 minutes before moving to the treadmill. Normally I loathe the treadmill, but if I can watch something on TV that I want to watch, it makes it so much easier to handle.

Yes, I just said I should not have been out running. So I did keep it scaled back. I only did 2.5 miles on the treadmill. And actually, I think it was maybe a good thing. It was a softer surface than the hard pavement I've been pounding. So for that reason, running inside wasn't such a bad idea. And it wasn't long. No intervals, no hills, nothing crazy.

After the run, we packed up the cooler with lunch, lots of water, some adult beverages and headed down to the beach where we spent the rest of the day. So, once again, a lot of reading, a lot of relaxing, a lot of toes in the sand time.

 
 
 
 
 
Tonight I'm going to make some quesadillas for dinner. They'll be black beans with yellow and red bell peppers and some chile peppers. I don't even want to attempt trying for a "pretty" shot of them. Quesadillas are nearly impossible for me to photograph and make even semi-appealing. So, I'll just leave you with the photos above instead.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Toes in sand
Ocean views
Relaxing


Monday, May 21, 2012

Perdido Key Vacation Day 3

Perfect Evening
Last night we had dinner at our friends' home. They finished building in December, and we couldn't wait to see it. As expected, it was perfect. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are all one open space. And from the oven/stove, you look straight out onto their huge balcony that overlooks the intracoastal waterways.
 

This is the view we enjoyed while visiting and eating dinner. As always, they were incredible hosts. We enjoyed much laughter, good food, and good wine. You just couldn't ask for much more than that.

Just Another Day at the Beach
This morning I got up and headed out for a run right at 8 am. The sun starts to rise so much earlier here than at home, so 8 am is already starting to get warm. Not only do you have the heat, but the humidity and no shade.

Yesterday there was a breeze to help keep us cool. Today? No breeze. In fact, the air was so calm, the ocean looked more like a massive lake with virtually no waves.
That would be my husband floating in the water
I let Jason sleep in so this was a solo run. I headed towards the area we ran yesterday since it was now familiar. Overall, I had a really good run. I got in 5 miles total. The only issues I had were dealing with the humidity. Makes for difficult breathing and definitely made me slow my roll. .

After the run, I had to shower before getting ready for the beach. Kind of funny thinking of showering before beach time, but when you're that much of a sweaty mess, it's necessary.

As we did yesterday, we packed up the cooler with lunch, snacks, lots of water, and a few adult beverages. Then we proceeded to park it on the beach for about 5 hours. I finished one book and started another. I dozed, daydreamed, and simply enjoyed.

The only annoyance was a family that had set up a canopy tent nearby. They pretty much yelled at their kids and spanked them for about 2 hours straight before finally going back to their condo. Good times. 

We did have some thunder storms move through quickly around 4 pm. It really was mostly thunder and heavy wind. Only a few sprinkles. Everyone cleared the beach pretty quickly - which is always rather amusing to watch really.

Since we don't have a grill, we went with Roasted Veggie & Tofu Salad for dinner. I just roasted up portobellos, red and yellow bell peppers, and squash. I made an easy marinade/dressing using sugar-free raspberry preserves, Dijon mustard, an onion & herb Mrs. Dash spice blend, and balsamic vinegar. After dry-searing the tofu, I let it marinate briefly then baked it off.
I also topped the salad with some cherry tomatoes and feta cheese as well as the rest of the marinade/dressing.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Beach time
Relaxing
Reading

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Perdido Key Vacation - Days 1 and 2

Saturday
Well, I won't talk about the drive down to the beach, that wasn't super exciting. Well, we have been listening to the Hunger Games, I guess that could be exciting. We're both really enjoying the first book. So much so we almost just sat in the car when we arrived to finish it.

We're here (Perdido Key, FL) and settled into our condo. The weather is incredible. It's actually a bit cooler here than back home. Only rain in the forecast for Wednesday, and that's just 30%. So I'm thinking lots of butt on the beach time is ahead.

Last night I just made veggie burgers with sweet potato fries. I had made up some lentil and quinoa burgers before we left and brought some with us. This was simple. The kind of meal you need when you just want to enjoy the beautiful ocean views and not fuss with making an elaborate meal.
We enjoyed it on the balcony and spent the rest of the evening just relaxing.

Sunday
This morning we got up and headed out for a run. I love using mapmyrun.com to map out routes in different cities. In the past, I've usually just used the treadmill or we've gone for short runs on the beach. The sand here is not compact enough to really run very far and it's incredibly slanted as you get to the water.

Anyway, the first mile put us on the main road. That part kind of sucks. Lots of speeding traffic. Nothing pretty to look at. But the route I found was really nice once we left the main road.

We wound through a neighborhood that sits on the inner canal. We of course daydreamed about owning one of these incredible homes. Total miles - 6.5.

After the run, we both showered before packing up and heading down to the beach. We pretty much spent the day sitting, reading, watching. 
Calm water
Bird (gotta look close)
Crazy hair
More crazy hair
Tonight we're heading over to our friends' home for dinner. They owned property here for ages and finally moved here last year, and they finished building their home in December. We can't wait to see the house and visit with them this evening. It's been a year too long.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Beach time
Time with friends

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - Exercise on Vacation

Today we're heading out for vacation. While Perdido Key, FL (Gulf Coast) is only about 8 1/2 hours away, we decided to get a head start. We're driving halfway today, then finishing up the drive tomorrow. It'll be nice to break it up, especially since prolonged sitting aggravates my piriformis/sciatic issues even more.

This of course means no long run for me tomorrow. And probably no long run until I get back actually, unless I can find a route with some shade, because it'll be hotter and more humid there than it already is here.

While on vacation, however, I always try to stick to workouts. I rarely am able to do weights - most condo gyms or hotels don't have weights - but a week off from weights will actually do me good. It's been probably a year since I've taken a rest week.

Since I can't run every day unfortunately, I'll take some low-impact boxing & kickboxing DVDs, and I've already written out some beach HIIT workouts to try. You know, for fun ;-) I also bring along resistance bands and weighted gloves.

For Fun Facts Friday, I thought I'd list out a few things I'll miss about my long runs, my usual workout routine, but also what I'm looking forward to.

I will miss...

  • Taking my GU during my long run. I rather look forward to that point during the run. 
  • Running through the wooded area I'm so used to.
  • Having the option of doing a weight workout.
  • Kettlebells.

I will enjoy...

  • A break from weights.
  • Running along the beach.
  • Running new routes.
  • Trying out new HIIT workouts.
Do you make it a point to workout on vacation or do you use it as a break? Do you take any special equipment or DVDs with you? 

I'll admit that I checked out gyms in the area (just in case). I've never actually used a gym on vacations though. But I always look. 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Start of Vacation


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running & Stuffed Portobellos

Morning Run
The 5:15 wakeup call came awfully early this morning. I did not want to peel myself out of the warm, comfy bed, but Jason and I had a rundate scheduled.

The temps are starting to get too warm, too quickly to get in a lunchtime run. I mean, we could...it'd just be unpleasant. I'll take 66 degrees at 5:30 vs 80 degrees at 11:30.

We definitely didn't try to push the speed today like we did the other day, and we avoided the route with the insane number of non-stop, where did they come from hills. The first mile was the slowest (it almost always is) at 9:22.

We picked it up a little bit, but nothing crazy. Although, there was one hill at mile 5 that we were pushing through like crazy fools - 8:05? WTH? Not sure why, but we have a tendency to power up hills. It sucks. It hurts. We bitch, moan, complain, but we go faster. Clearly we have some issues, but at least we're in sync I suppose.

Overall, we averaged right at a 9 min pace for 5.5 miles. Not too shabby for a Thursday morning if you ask me.

Using up Veggies
The only downfall - my eyelids were closing tight on me by 1pm. It was all I could do to stay upright the rest of the day. This of course also meant I didn't feel like cooking tonight. I just wanted to park my butt on the couch.

However, we have some fresh veggies that we must use up before we leave for vacation. Some things I can leave for my sister, but I know she can't polish it all off on her own.

We had portobellos, more squash and zucchini, and bell peppers. I had originally thought about just roasting them (gas tank ran out for grill) and tossing with pasta or quinoa. But I didn't want to make more leftovers.

Jason suggest stuffing the mushrooms. So I just sauteed onions, bell peppers, squash and zucchini and tossed on some quinoa and some cannellini beans (that I had opened to use for lunch). I lightly mashed the beans, then added in some feta cheese and filled the mushrooms. I baked until the mushrooms were soft.
 

The rest of the evening was spent trying to finish laundry, finish packing, cleaning the house, and eventually relaxing briefly before bed. 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Morning run
One day closer to vacation
Painting nails

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Need a Bigger Grill

Back & Shoulders
Today was a gym day for me. I think it's not so much the lifting that I'm bored with so much as my warm up and the scenery.

Lately the music has been blasting so that listening to my own iPod is futile. It's hot as hell and fans are scarce. And the weight area has been more crowded. I guess that's because there are virtually no classes so people are either on the cardio equipment or in the weight area.

I am growing to loathe the elliptical for warm ups too. The only good thing is that I can read a magazine while I'm on there. Or, maybe I'm just becoming an old grump....I mean, I'm really lucky that the door to the gym is still open right now. So I should change my attitude huh?

Source: favim.com via Nour on Pinterest

Anyway, today was back and shoulders. I decided to not do any dropsets this week, so back to regularly scheduled programming - meaning 3 supersets done with 8 reps, 3 times.

SS#1
Assisted chinups
Arnold press

SS#2
Pullovers
Upright row

SS#3
Double-arm row
Lateral raise

I also added on low-back extensions on the stability ball at the end. They are part of my list of PT exercises. I don't know if they're really helping my piriformis, but I do know they are good for my back and I shouldn't have stopped doing them. See, I really can be lazy ;-)

Need a Bigger Grill
At least I looked forward to dinner. Tonight I went with the Grilled Kale and Veggie Salad I had planned on having last night.

It's not complicated, but I'm realizing I could use a bigger grill for such meals. I'll gladly take donations ;-) Actually, I'd love to have a full outdoor kitchen while I'm asking.

Anyway, I had to grill in stages basically. So, it wasn't a hot salad, but that's ok because it was 90 degrees. Oh, and for some reason, I manage to make a huge mess when I'm prepping to grill. It's a talent of mine.
 

The salad was made up of grilled kale, tempeh, zucchini, squash, leftover grilled eggplant and corn, and red bell peppers.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Grilling
Kale


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Running & Grilling

More Running
Last night I set the alarm clock for 5:19 so we could get up for a morning run. I won't lie, part of me wanted to change the time when I woke up for the 4th time at 3:45. But, I'm glad I didn't reset it. While it wasn't easy getting going this morning, it was worth it.

It was only 61 degrees when we started our run. There was a steady breeze so it was chilly at the start. Of course that change within 5 minutes. It always does. For the first 3/4 of a mile we didn't say a word. I don't know why we take this particular route, it's nothing but a long, steady incline. Actually, pretty much any direction we start out puts us hitting an incline early on. So I guess it's best to just suck it up and get it done.

We hit the first mile at a 9:14 pace. Not too bad for just waking up. I commented on how light it already seemed. Funny how it's so gradual that it sort of sneaks up on you. The good thing about early-morning runs is that there is very little traffic, so a lot less time spent standing waiting for cars to pass.

Mile 2 was a 9:09 pace. We were starting to wake up I believe. This put us right at our house. Jason had to take a quick break, I got water, and we were off again. And of course it meant another incline. Brilliant. Mile 3 was 8:58.

We took a few different streets, which put us on several hills we hadn't expected. And I don't know what happened, but we really kicked up the speed. Despite the hills, mile 4 was 8:38. Apparently we speed up for hills. Why? Maybe it was simply too early to be rational.

We ended up going through a park path during mile 5 so that slowed us down a bit, but not much. I think we were both starting to get a bit competitive with the time at that point. A little impromptu speed work I suppose. Mile 5 was 8:43. Phew. Now that's how you start the day!

More Grilling
The great thing about getting my workout done early, is that I leave work at my normal time and have a free evening to get things done.

One thing I needed to do was make up some veggie burgers to freeze (and I'll take them with us on vacation too). I did use the oven for the burgers, but went with the grill for dinner.

Originally, I had planned on a Grilled Kale and Veggie Salad. But I had some asparagus that needed to be used up first. Yes, I could have put that on the salad of course, but do need to save veggies for the rest of the week.

So, tonight it was grilled corn on the cob and grilled asparagus with BBQ Seitan Sandwiches. Very summer-like dinner in my mind. And pretty simple to throw together too.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run
Sunshine
Grilling
Simple dinner
Free evening

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lifting, Rambling & Grilling: Eggplant & Tofu Napoleon

Rambling & Lifting 
Since I ran the past 2 days, I figured it'd be smart to hit the gym today and not test the running gods. Though, my heel and piriformis feel surprisingly good today. Of course, had I run, that might have changed.

In fact, my legs don't feel at all like I ran 10 miles yesterday. That got me to thinking about when I first started adding up the miles. My recovery was so much harder. Even after 7 or 8 miles I remember feeling pukey, my legs shaky and exhausted, muscles already getting sore.

I figured out my fueling so that took care of the pukey feeling. I also figured out how to better stretch and roll out my muscles post-run, so that now, I can still move the rest of the day and the day after. It's a great feeling honestly - to know that my body is so capable now. That I'm comfortable in the miles (well, for the most part). I think I coming back from injuries makes the miles somehow more special too. If that makes sense.

I know some people question why I am doing long runs right now. I mean, I'm not training for a race. My next half won't be until October. So why continue the long runs?

Actually, I enjoy the time running. I also want to keep a high base mileage. I think it will help me prepare for any upcoming half so much easier since I already "know" those miles. My body knows them. My body is prepared for them. And I'm also mentally prepared as well. There's definitely a huge mental factor in knowing you can do the miles and not second guessing yourself or your body.

Last year, right after my first half, I let my miles drop significantly. My longest runs might be 6 miles tops. And when it came time to train for the next half, it took me a bit to get my body used to the miles again. I wasn't starting from scratch necessarily, I was able to increase fairly quickly. But it was definitely a challenge getting back into that long-run mindset.

For the runners out there - do you like to keep up a long run consistently? Or do you drop back on the mileage until you're training again?

Anyway, back to today ... I started on the elliptical to warm up (and read a magazine) before moving on to biceps and triceps.

I kept it super simple and basic today. I just needed to get in, get it done, and get going. So, 3 supersets; 8 reps per set; 3 times.

SS#1
Alternating biceps curls
Triceps pushdowns

SS#2
Hammer curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions

SS#3
Cross-body curls
Double-arm triceps kickbacks

I felt a little weaker with biceps curls today, but stronger with triceps. It's definitely time to increase the weight again for the triceps pushdowns.

Next week I'll have a break from lifting as I'll be on vacation. The condo has a gym, but only has cardio equipment. But, it's been a really long time since I've taken a lifting break. Definitely overdue.

Grilling Eggplant 
Something else overdue - eggplant. I haven't bought an eggplant in ages. I actually prefer the Japanese eggplant, but am not seeing them at the market just yet. But I suddenly decided I "needed" eggplant this week.

So, Jason picked one up yesterday, and I decided to use it today. Originally I was planning a grilled veggie salad. But I decided to go ahead and do something more exciting and use the eggplant.

The weather was beautiful, so that meant the grill was calling my name. Who am I to ignore the grill? I decided to go with Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Sandwiches. I also opted to go more Italian-style with the sandwich. I'll say it ended up being a Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Napoleon though.

I dry-seared the tofu to remove the moisture. I then made a marinade using white wine, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and nutritional yeast flakes.

After I pulled the tofu out, I added in a drizzle of olive oil then let the eggplant marinate while the tofu was grilling. Originally I was just going to do salt and pepper on the eggplant, but figured it'd soak up the marinade and be extra flavorful.

I had a homemade marinara on hand so the plan was to spread that on bread and then layer on the tofu, eggplant and Daiya Mozzarella Cheese. I was going to toast it to melt up the Daiya.

However, all I had were sandwich thins. Jason sort of laughed and said everything else was larger/thicker than the bread. He suggested maybe layering as there'd be no way to eat as a sandwich really - hello mess.
 

So, I went with the layered suggestion. Hence the Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Napoleon with a side of grilled sweet potato fries (I mean, I thought I was making a sandwich after all).

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Grilling
Good workout

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Recap - Running and Enjoying

Saturday
Yesterday's long run didn't quite happen, but I still got in a really good 4.5 mile run with Jason. It was pouring rain when we got up. We had plans to go to our hometown to visit our moms, so I really needed to get my long run started by 9 am.

At 9:30 it was still raining though. So, we went with Plan B - short run. When we headed out it was still sprinkling a little bit, dreary looking, 63 degrees, and full on humidity. Yes, you can sweat buckets in the rain. I found that one out.

There was definitely a time when I never would have happily agreed to set out for a run in those conditions. Clearly times have changed.

After the run, we got cleaned up then headed out the door. I met my mom at Cafe 1217 for lunch. I absolutely love that place and sure wish we had one here.
They always have such unique dishes. For example, I got the sample salad plate where you can choose 3-4 items. I got green beans with almonds and cranberries, wild rice (loaded with veggies) and an ancho quinoa salad. One word: YUM.

Mom and I did some shopping after lunch. She needed to find a dress for an upcoming event. We hit up TJ Maxx first and had success right away. We found her a great dress. She also found some cute wedges she loved. I got a purse and a few other goodies.

Luckily there are several stores in the shopping complex where we were. We also hit up the bookstore (needed books for upcoming trip), Home Goods, and Shoe Carnival (where we scored 7 and 8 dollar shoes).
After successful shopping, we stopped at a new Mexican restaurant closer to her house for a drink. That's where Jason met up with us so he could pick me up and head home. We were pretty lazy the rest of the evening. We played cards and listened to music forgoing computers and TV for the evening.

All in all - a fantastic day.

Sunday
Today the plan was to get in 10 miles while Jason rode his bike. I was very ambivalent about the run to be honest. It's not that I was totally against it, but not fully into it either. But, I know myself. I knew once I got going I'd change my tune.

I ended up going slightly backwards from my normal route. I realized that there were some hills I didn't know existed. It's funny how doing the same route, but backwards gives you a totally different perspective.

I'm not sure why, but my breathing was super labored. Yesterday I understood because of the humidity. Today, the humidity was fairly low, but it felt like someone sitting on my chest. I also struggled with keeping my speed under control. I kept speeding up randomly. So I kept having to check myself. But then when I tried to slow my roll, I felt like I was trudging along.

At one point (about 3.5 miles in for me) I saw Jason approaching on his bike and remember thinking, "Damn, he's kinda hot." Nothing like seeing your hubby working out ;-)

I stopped at 6.67 into the run for a potty and GU break and to refill my water. I tried to psych myself up with the whole, "It's only a little over 3 miles left." The key word being "only." I wasn't hating the run at all mind you, but at that point if I had been near my car, I would have likely just said, "I'm good." I don't know how to explain it, because it didn't suck. I was enjoying it for the most part. But....

I hit 8 miles and then saw Jason running towards me. I was confused because I had no idea he was going to run at all. I thought we would just meet back at the car in an hour and a half. But he had decided to do a brick workout apparently.

So, I did have company for the last 2 miles of the run. We didn't talk though. I was getting tired and ready to be done, so we just ran side-by-side. I did manage to dig in and sprint out the last half mile though and finished strong with a final lap time of 9:12. Not too shabby by mile 10. My overall average was actually 9:16 (too fast to be honest).

After the run I spent a lot of time stretching and rolling then parked my butt on the lounge chair on the patio while Jason went to the grocery store. Then it was a late lunch before heading over to our friends' house. They're going to doggy sit one night, so we wanted to take Heath over there so he could get familiar with the house, the layout, all that jazz.

So, the rest of the evening? Lots of nothing. And I think that's exactly how a Sunday evening should be.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Running
Relaxing
Time with friends


Friday, May 11, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - The Power of a Word

That'll Wake You Up
Well, today is a much-needed rest day for me. My legs aren't nearly as sore today as they were last week. Kind of funny how doing the same workout just twice and the muscles already are more used to it. I guess that says volumes about needing to shake things up.

I did wake up super early though. Jason got up just before 5 am for his master's swim class and I never fell back asleep. I thought I'd do myself a huge favor and try a yoga workout. Jason has a DVD - The Athlete's Guide to Yoga.

I really don't like yoga, but I keep trying because I know it'd be so good for me. So, I was up, why not give it another go? Only the ancient DVD player wouldn't work. It's been giving me fits, but then started to work ok. So, I thought it was just because it hadn't been used a lot. Apparently it only plays Cathe Friedrich DVDs. No joke. I tried the yoga DVD, another totally different yoga DVD. Nope, nadda. Stuck in a Cathe DVD...played perfectly.

Let's just say that was not calming for me. So, I went ahead and started getting ready. I was trying to figure out which shoes to wear and felt something in my shirt. I thought it was just a hair and was going to get it in a second when I looked in the mirror and saw a big ass spider crawling up my neck! Not exaggerating I promise. This is not a tall tale of the big fish I caught. Nope, this was a spider just a bit larger than the size of a quarter.

I flung it off me as quickly as I could jumping around like a freaking lunatic. I spotted it on the bath mat just staring me down. But I won! I grabbed toilet paper and threw him in the toilet. Haha!

That'll really wake you up! So much for a calming, relaxed morning huh?

Fun Facts Friday
I've been talking a lot about running and working out and recovering from injuries and such. So I thought today I'd do something really simple, kind of silly, probably stupid for Fun Facts Friday.
I don't know why, but there are just some words that bug the snot out of me. Words I can't stand to hear uttered or even see written down. Do you have any of those words?

But, really it should come as no surprise that a word can evoke a strong feeling. Words have an amazing power don't they? They can make you angry, happy, sad; they can be comforting or stinging. And sometimes it's just a single word that has the power to illicit a response.

Some words that always make me smile are: sister, husband, pupster, friends, wine, running, sunshine.

But, then there are those other words, some totally random, that make me just cringe. I may or may not offend people with this. Some of you probably use some of these words. So please know it's not a reflection of how I view the person who uses them, it's just the word itself.

Words I that Annoy Me:
  • Aqua
  • Moist
  • Nom (nommy, nom nom or any other variation to include nummy, num num, etc.)
  • Nanner(s) (for banana)
  • Tit or titty 
  • Tat (for tattoo)
  • Pop or popped (Food Network ruined it for me, just listen to the number of times it's said in an episode)
So, what words annoy you? Or (to be positive) maybe words that you love to hear?

Daily To-Enjoy List
Rest day
It's Friday

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Running, Lifting & Stuffed Zucchini

Running
Originally, Jason and I had planned on running early this morning. But, we did have quite a cool down (so it wasn't as necessary to get out before the sun came up) and Jason has been up to either swim or run all week and was wanting to sleep in a bit.

I was kind of disappointed at first, but when I didn't sleep well last night, I was really happy we put the run off until lunchtime. Sometimes things work out right don't they?

We set out for the run just after 11:30. It was sunny, clear skies, 72 degrees but almost no humidity (or at least no humidity for here). There was a nice breeze, so it really didn't feel terribly warm. We headed towards the arts center where there is a park we have been running through more frequently. It's just nice to take a different route, see some different scenery.

The goal was 4 miles with no particular pace in mind. In fact, I never looked at the lap times until the last mile. I know we were speeding up. We both sort of sprinted out the last 2 tenths and ended mile 4 at an 8:29 pace. I love it when we finish strong like that. We might not have been doing that pace for the other 3 miles, but to finish fast always makes me feel good.

Lifting
After work, I did my leg workout at home again. I went with the same Cathe Friedrich DVD as last week - Power Hour. I will admit that at one point I told Jason I'd much rather do Happy Hour rather than Power Hour ;-)

This workout is basically squats, plie squats, and lunges - basic but effective because of the variety of rep patterns. So, I added on calf raises, single-leg deadlifts, and weighted donkey kicks as well.

Since I've been neglecting chest workouts, I went ahead and tossed that in as well. I mean, why not right? I kept it simple and did 3 sets of 10 reps of chest flye into chest press then finished with 21's (7 high end, 7 low end, 7 full presses).

I stretched for a bit then got cleaned up. I wasn't really feeling it until I took a step down the stairs. Thank goodness for railings! And then I went to paint my nails and my hands were all shaky from chest. Ahhhhh good feelings!

Stuffed Veggies
By Thursdays I'm starting to really feel lazy and worn out. I will admit that I wasn't super enthusiastic about the run until we got going and even less enthusiastic about weights.

Since I haven't been to the grocery store this week, dinner called for more creativity than I was willing to give. I told Jason that we had squash, zucchini, and bell peppers.

I half figured he'd want some pasta dish perhaps. I just wanted easy. Instead he decides we should stuff the squash and zucchini with a lentil concoction with a red bell pepper sauce. Um. Sure. My response was that if that's what he wanted, that's what he could make.

My hand in dinner was getting the lentils and the quinoa started. I let him do the rest. Basically he just diced up then sauteed onion, red and green bell peppers, a carrot with garlic and spices. He mixed in the lentils and quinoa then sprinkled with Daiya Vegan Cheese and baked until the squash was soft.

So how was it? Fantastic of course. I'm definitely lucky to have a man that cook, likes to cook, and is good at cooking.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running with hubby
Shaky muscle-inducing weight workout
Not cooking dinner
Painting nails
Sunshine

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Date with Gym and Why I Run

Date with Gym
Today I had to put my workout off until after work. My sister was flying back into town from a work trip and we needed to pick her up at the airport. It was nice getting a chance to see her randomly during the week, even if it was fairly brief, so I gladly put off the workout.

I will say, sometimes it's really hard to find that energy at the end of the day. All I really wanted to do was go home and be a slug. Yes, I really can be a slug I promise! But, I had a date with back and shoulders and I'm not one to back out of a scheduled plan.

For the past few weeks I've been doing two sets of supersets at 4 x8 with dropsets at the end. Today I went that route again. Next week I'll probably do away with the drops though as I have read that they are good to incorporate, but not to use them all the time. It's good to shake it up either way.

SS#1
Barbell rows
Arnold press

SS#2
Pullovers
Front/side raise (raise front, open to side, return to front, then return to start)

Dropsets - 6, 8, 10, 12
Double-arm row
Lateral raise

I did add in 3 sets of 10 reps of low back extensions as well (on my list of PT exercises to do).

After weights, I decided to go for a quick cardio session Tabata style. Most of you probably know how a tabata workout is set up, but in case you don't, here's one set up:

You chose 8 exercises. You do each exercise for 20 seconds full out, rest 10 seconds then move to the next exercise. At the end of the circuit (after all 8 exercises) you rest 1 minute then repeat for whatever length of a workout you're after. Basically each round is 5 mins.

  1. Burpees
  2. Squats with front kick
  3. Kettlebell swings
  4. Kettlebell figure 8's
  5. Kettlebell swing into squat and overhead press
  6. Tuck jumps
  7. Front jabs (light weights)
  8. Plie jacks

I did this 3 times and was done! I'm slowly adding back in the plyo (higher impact) exercises and man oh man I was sucking wind! And I'm still loving kettlebells. I wish my gym had kettlebell classes. I think that would be lots of fun.

Why I Run
Since I got home a little later than I typically do, we went with a super simple dinner. Yes, just like I can be a slug, I can go with simple dinners too ;-)

All we did was saute some green bell peppers, onions, garlic and seitan and then stir in BBQ sauce for BBQ Seitan Sandwiches along with baked sweet potato fries (I know you're shocked by the fries right??).

Since dinner isn't much to talk about, I thought I'd talk a little bit about running. I was inspired by my friend Jessica's post yesterday - Why I run: Today. It really got me thinking about why I run now vs why I ran before (like when I first started running).

I never really documented my running evolution actually. Basically, I started running for the cardio factor. Plain and simple. And I hated it. I always ran on the treadmill. Stuck inside. Hot. Miserable. I was too scared to take spin class and sick of at-home DVDs.

Jason eventually convinced me to run outside with him. I'd do about 3 miles and that was good enough. We ran fast. I thought too much. I planned out every second of the day. It was painful. But it was less miserable than the treadmill. In fact, I was kind of starting to like it in a weird way. I think it was being outside and spending time with Jason.

Eventually I started running around the neighborhood on my own when Jason didn't feel up for a run. One day, I picked my head up, looked around, stopped planning out every second and all the sudden I was in love.

I noticed things I'd never seen before. It was an epiphany. I ran 50 minutes straight that day and was beyond proud. I couldn't stop beaming. It was probably the proudest moment up until my first half marathon.

So, now...why do I run? I run because it is a release. I can run off all my problems. Even if it's temporary, it's pretty much the only time I'm not thinking, thinking, thinking.


I don't worry when I run. I don't fret, stress, or fear.

Running makes me feel strong, accomplished, beautiful.

Running makes me happy plain and simple.

So, if you're not a runner, maybe this can help you understand what it means to me. Why I was so desperate to get back to running after my sidelining injuries. I felt out of sorts, unsettled. I have people asking why I am upping my miles. People that are legit concerned of course.

But I NEED to be out there. I want to be out there. I look forward to spending the time free from worries and concerns. I mean, who wouldn't want that?



Do you have something that makes you feel this way? Walking, lifting, cycling, running...maybe even baking? 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Good workout
Easy dinner
Seeing sis

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Strawberry Infused Tempeh Tuesday

Morning Run
This morning started off super early. Jason and I opted for another morning run. A front has been pushing through so it was "only" 67 degrees when we started the run at 5:30 am. In other words, it felt really chilly at the start. No complaints though.

Since it was dark, we stuck with our usual route. It's fairly well lit by streetlights, and we know pretty much every bump,  dip, hole, or pebble in the road at this point. Sometimes that's ok to run the same route though.

It was a fairly uneventful run. That's not saying it was bad of course, just quiet, calm. We didn't do much talking at the beginning. I think we were mostly waking up to be honest. That's the beauty of a morning run though - waking up, getting moving, and enjoying the fresh air.

Usually I just jump out of bed and get ready as quickly as possible and am out the door to work within 30 minutes. So easing into the morning is something not typical for me.

We ended up with a solid 5-mile run and walking about .25 to cool down before getting back home and stretching. Then it was business as usual and I was out the door in under 30 minutes.

Do you ease into your day or do you hit the ground running?


Tempeh Tuesday

Dinner tonight had to include strawberries one way or the other. We bought some on Sunday at the new farmer's market by our house and they need to be eaten up quickly. My first thought was to go with a Strawberry Salsa. But then I wasn't sure what to pair it with.

My next thought was some sort of taco with tempeh (since we had tofu last night). I didn't have any flour tortillas though, only corn tortillas. So what I ended up with was Strawberry Chipotle Tempeh Fajitas with Strawberry Salsa.

Strawberry Salsa
Ingredients:
Diced strawberries 
Minced red onion
Finely diced green bell peppers
Minced jalapeno pepper (1-2 depending on how hot you like it)
Fresh orange juice (approximately 2 tbsp)
Lemon juice (to taste)
To taste: salt, pepper, agave nectar (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients then set aside in fridge to let flavors meld.

Strawberry Chipotle Tempeh Fajitas
Ingredients:
3-4 tbsp sugar free strawberry preserves
Chipotle flakes (to desired flavor or chipotle in adobe if you have)
Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
Orange juice (to desired consistency)
To taste: salt, pepper, cilantro
1 package tempeh - cut into strips
1/3 red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/3 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
Corn tortillas

Directions:
Mix together all ingredients except tempeh. The add the sliced tempeh into marinade and allow to refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

In a non-stick skillet, saute onions and bell peppers until they begin to soften then add in the tempeh and allow to cook until browned.

Serve in corn tortilla wraps and top with Strawberry Salsa.
 

This turned out really good with the exception of the fact that corn tortillas just crumble to pieces. I think I am going to start crisping them and making tostadas instead.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run
Strawberry infused dinner
Relaxing evening

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Deserves a Simple Stir Fry

Bis/Tris
Today was a gym day for me. I actually wasn't dreading it. I think part of it was that I only did weights at the gym twice last week. Other workouts were done outside or at home. So it was a nice break.

Since my injuries, I feel like I was spending all my time inside the gym. So cutting back the gym time (not necessarily lifting time mind you) is a nice, refreshing change of pace. I mean, I do have a pretty decent set up at home that I can take advantage of.

I was kind of looking forward to biceps today. I had originally thought I'd switch up my splits this week, but I think I'll do that after vacation, which will give me a week off from lifting as well. So I went with biceps/triceps and did 3 sets of 8 reps as supersets.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Double-arm triceps overhead press

SS#2
Hammer curls
Triceps pushdowns

SS#3
Cross-body curls
Lying triceps extensions

It was a pretty decent workout. I felt strong with the exercises and can definitely feel recent strength gains. It's always a nice mood booster when you have a good midday workout. Especially on a Monday.

Stir Fry Monday
Tonight I ended up making stir fry for dinner. We had picked up some Chinese cabbage at the little farmer's market on Sunday. Jason always makes it a point to remind me that I must use it up right away. Trust me, it's not wilting at all, but sure, ok. It made my decision-making easier.

I didn't go to the store over the weekend and used up the fresh broccoli, so Jason did make a quick trip to a store nearby (it does in a pinch but that's the only time we use it) and picked up a few things to get us by until I get to the "real" store.

I did take a pretty lazy approach tonight and used a pre-jarred stir-fry sauce. I did doctor it up a bit though, especially for marinating the tofu. I mixed in orange juice, sriracha chili sauce, and some PB2. Super fancy right ;-)

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Good workout
  • Sunshine
  • Easy dinner

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Life is to be Enjoyed

Super Saturday
Yesterday was one of those wonderfully random days when I was just happy all day long. Lots of plans? Lots of friend time? Nope. Just a really good, really happy day for me.

It started off with a run. The plan was to meet my friend (and physical therapist) for a run. We have been trying to plan a rundate for a while now actually. It finally panned out for us. I'll admit to being both excited and nervous to run with her. I've only ever run with two other people. She's training for her first Iron Man (May 19 in Houston, TX) so she's kind of a badass.

I started at my usual spot and met her her the Two Rivers Bridge, which was right at 2 miles for me. A nice warmup. Oh, but warming up was no problem! It was HOT. It was already 77 degrees and insanely humid when I started at 9 am. Hello first sports bra run of the season.

A's training plan called for 19 mins running with 1 min walk. But she decided to just run the full distance up to my usual re-fuel stop, which ended up being 7 miles for me. I refilled my water bottle, took a GU and she ate her Bloks and drank water and we were off again.

I kind of thought with her plan of the walks we'd be walking more, but basically, we ended up walking twice. Once a little longer because I had insane side-stitch. It's so rare for me, so maybe it was the heat getting to me. Or maybe I was talking too much and not breathing enough ;-)

Anyway, it was so nice running with someone who was trying to keep the same pace. We both had a tendency to start talking and speed up, so we had to keep each other in check, but it was perfect. The time really flew by for me, despite the intense heat that was just zapping my energy level.

I swear I was riding a runner's high the rest of the day. I hit 10 miles - hello double-digit club - and it really felt great. This run felt better than last week's 9-miler. I say that...but must say the heat was freaking killer. Last week's run I was actually hurting more with my piriformis. Today, it didn't bother me so much until after the run. So, maybe it was a combination of feeling good physically plus some awesome company, but it was an awesomely good run for me. <---yes runner's high still talking

After the run, I spent about 45 minutes stretching and rolling (and re-hydrating) before getting cleaned up. I felt like a nasty mess. I was covered in salt, sweat, bugs, ick. All the signs of a good run right ;-)

My sister had to fly out of town today, so we had to take her to the airport. I was happy to get to visit with her for a short bit before we had to drop her off. She hates flying quite possibly more than I do, and that says volumes. Anyway, got her off safe and sound and then Jason and I headed to Pizza Cafe for lunch.

Even though it was warm, I really wanted to sit outside and enjoy the day. They have good food and a nice patio with lots of fans, so it was the perfect answer to my two requirements for food and patio. The rest of the day was spent mostly relaxing, being lazy. And that was just perfect.

Sunny Sunday
Today Jason and I went out for a super easy 4-mile run. Again, it was flipping hot hot hot. I guess that at least kept me from wanting to go fast, or far at least.

After the run we got cleaned up and walked down to a new Farmer's Market that they are trying to get going in our neighborhood. It was the first day for it, so it was pretty small - but I still think it's really cool they're trying to do this sort of thing in our neighborhood.

I got some laundry folded, then spent some time lounging in the pool with my friend. Yep, the pool is officially open for the season. Usually we don't get the pool going until the end of May, but the weather has been so warm that we were able to get in today.

I really think lounging in the pool with a good friend and good conversation is just about perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

So, I didn't get tons of chores done, but that's ok in my book. I think having a relaxing, weekend trumps it all. The chores and errands will be there tomorrow.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Running
  • Sunshine
  • Pool time
  • Time with friend
  • Relaxing


Friday, May 4, 2012

NuNaturals Winners & Fun Facts Friday

NuNatural Giveaway Winners
Thank you to everyone who entered my NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway! Winners were selected using random number generator. Please email me your full name, address, and email address wheresthebeach10@yahoo.com.
@janscott
Tonee78
Lisa
Melissa

























Fun Facts Friday
I joke that I'm sort of the boy scout of my friends. If you need something, I most likely have it stashed in my gigantic purse. Food? No problem. Advil, Excedrin, Imitrix? Check all three.
I thought it might be fun just to do a run down of what I deem as essential in my purse. And those who've made fun of me but then needed something...well, they don't laugh anymore ;-)
  • Chapstick
  • Protein or power bars of some sort - usually at least 2
  • At least 5 different colors lipstick or lip gloss
  • Tissues
  • Lotion
  • Pain meds - got a headache? I got you covered
  • Lactade pills
  • Point and shoot camera - I am a blogger after all
  • Sunglasses
  • Pen
  • Coupons
  • Cell phone
  • Wallet 
  • Keys
  • Gum - usually 2 packs
  • A purse hanger - hate to put my purse on the floor
  • Hair spray
  • Contact solution 
  • Fingernail file
  • Tampon 
So, is your purse jam packed? Can you stop starvation, end a headache, and cure chapped lips?

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Rest day
  • Lunch with friend
  • Baseball game with friends