Friday, June 29, 2012

Running & Fun Facts Friday - Pinterest

Friday Long Run
This morning I didn't have to set the alarm clock nearly as early as the previous Fridays. The reason was because we had decided to do the long run around the neighborhood rather than drive to the river (15 mins each way). This saved us 30 minutes easily. Of course, we still woke up just after 5, but we didn't have to rush, which was nice. 


 I will admit that making multiple changes for a long run isn't always smart. But, sometimes you're lucky. Like today, not only changing up the route in a major way, but trying out new running shorts. I'm cheap. I don't like to spend 40 bucks on running shorts even though I know it's worth it, I use them (a lot), and it makes a huge difference when you buy high-quality running gear.


 I have a few pair of Nike shorts, but only 1 worth wearing for longer runs and 1 pair of Brooks that I love but not for 9-10 milers because of potential chaffing. Anyway, 2 pairs of shorts that I keep washing daily means they're falling apart fast. 


I finally broke down and searched around for new shorts. Jason has several shorts and tops by Saucony, so I check out their site on Monday.  I found a pair of shorts, Saucony Run Lux Short II (on sale for 12 bucks even) and ordered them. 


They got here Thursday, just in time for today. And you know what? Love love love them. So much so I'm ordering 2 more pair! They are super light weight and have a nice size back zip pocket. No need to worry about keys falling out or how to carry your ID with you.
Source
Anyway, the route part definitely made a difference in the run though. We started off on our normal route putting us back by the house at 2 miles. Jason had to run in for a break so I ran around a few blocks (.4 miles) and then back to the house. Then we were off again heading towards the park we run through then towards the river.  


The route took us by the Clinton Presidential Library then over to the Heifer International building, then down right along the river. Definitely a nice change of scenery. We ended up at the RiverMarket at mile 5.5 for me. I was hoping for a water fountain to take my gel - went with Accelerade Accel Gel  because it has protein along with the electrolytes which I sometimes prefer especially if I am not able to have a full breakfast before the run.  


Anyway, I did have enough water for that, but felt like I was needing to conserve it. And when it's 80+ degrees out and humid, you need to take in the water and not save it. So, that's the one downfall of a new route for a long run. Note to self: find the water fountains.  


The last part of the run started taking it's toll on me as it was mostly heading back up slow, long inclines. I will admit that I'm usually lazy with my long runs and take the flatter routes. Well, it became quite apparent today that I need to change that. 

At mile 7.5 for me, Jason took a different, shorter route so that he would hit 8, which was probably pushing too far actually as he's typically been doing 6. So the last bit was solo. Which was good. I needed to concentrate.

The last part of the run was definitely tough. My legs were getting heavy, it was hot, and I started to dig deep. In fact, I actually started thinking about this saying to get me through:


So, not easy, definitely worked hard for my 9.5 miles, but I got them done and felt really accomplished. 

Fun Facts Friday - Pinterest 
Raise your hand if you're on Pinterest!! Ok, all hand raised right ;-) And seeing as how I just used a pin above, I think this Fun Facts Friday edition is very appropriate.

While it can be a major time suck, I do think you can find so many great ideas, inspiration, motivation, and information on Pinterest.

And it changes constantly. I definitely do a lot of pinning. I'm a bit obsessed with home decor ideas. And it's becoming quite the norm to see bloggers using inspirational pins on their blogs daily.

So, I thought it would be fun to share the things I've learned from Pinterest (or results from too much Pinterest):
  • I need pallets - I can make anything with them.
  • I need old doors too.
  • I could never drink enough wine in my lifetime for all the cork projects. 
  • I want a white kitchen, oh no, green, wait, red, oh no, yellow…too many choices.
  • I think I could build a house from the ground up.
  • I know that I can make the most beautiful curtains with only a sheet and glue.
  • People love food.
  • I'm a fashionista in hiding.
  • I have a strong urge to shop constantly.
  • I should be able to make all my own clothes with just old t-shirts.
  • Glue is awesome.
  • I need to find more old furniture to refinish.
  • I should go dumpster diving or never throw out anything because clearly I can repurpose everything.
  • Wine bottles really do work for watering potted plants - but Jason pointed out when they're in every pot, they look a little less classy.
  • You can write entire blog posts around Pinterest. 
So, Pinterest...share your thoughts. Do you find it really useful? Have you followed through with any projects you pinned? What have you learned?

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run with hubby
Watching the sun rise
The fact that it's Friday

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dinner & A Movie and Rest Day

Dinner & a Movie
As I mentioned yesterday, I disconnected last night so that we could enjoy a date-night-in, dinner & a movies style. I also mentioned that I was making a special dinner using our homegrown Japanese eggplant. I love Japanese eggplants because they tend to be milder and more tender. 

I had planned on doing some sort of eggplant/tofu stack. I wasn't sure if I was going to go with pasta or toast up bread to layer in between. But, Tuesday night, I actually prepped some of the dish so that I wouldn't be stuck in the kitchen all Wednesday. I made a red sauce using sun dried tomatoes (something I hadn't done before) and I also baked off some tofu.

I ended up going with the pasta option vs the the bread for a Pasta with Eggplant & Tofu Stacks. To make the dish, we grilled Japanese eggplant and the tofu - I had added some Italian seasonings to olive oil and lightly brushed it on the eggplant and tofu.

I cooked up some whole-wheat pasta, reheated the sauce, and sautéed some fresh spinach in vegetable broth. Then it was time to assemble. Basically I just layered starting with the tofu, then adding the eggplant, then spinach and repeating. 
It turned out really well. Loved all the flavors and textures. The sun dried tomatoes added a nice tartness and slight sweetness to the sauce that it usually doesn't have (I typically follow family recipe). 

Along with our semi-fancy mid-week meal, we also enjoyed watching a movie - Red Riding Hood. Not a bad Wednesday evening if you ask me.

Rest Day
Today is my rest day. I definitely needed it. My legs are super heavy from the running and my leg workout on Tuesday. Mentally, I also needed the rest as well. Funny how rest days aren't just for the body, but for the mind as well.

I guess this is becoming my typical Thursday rest day: errands then home to pamper myself and veg out. Jason is going to an evening master's swim class so we can run in the morning before work. So that means "me" time.

I have some errands to run like Target and grocery store. I do have a few household chores and one project I want to do (re-paint a mirror). But I won't be upset if that doesn't get done. Then my plan is to stretch and roll while watching senseless TV. I'll probably do a loaded sweet potato for my dinner then paint my nails.

Pretty simple evening.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Rest day
Relaxing
Painting nails

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mid-Week Mix-Up - Disconnecting to Reconnect

Another Double Workout
This morning I got up when Jason got up to go to swim. The plan was to do Cathe's MMA Kickboxing DVD then do back and triceps at lunch or after work. I really needed a day off from running - I had run 5 days straight.

And wouldn't you know it that my cross-training day also happens to be the first morning in months that it was in the low 60's. Really? Talk about bad timing. I almost feel like I let the universe down by not taking advantage of the crazy cool temps. And of course they go right back up the rest of the week. Humph....

But, I listened to my body, my feet, my piriformis...all telling me to not run. So, I didn't. I did my kickboxing workout (sulking just a bit I won't lie). But it was a good way to "kick" off the morning.

During lunch, I ran home to get in my back and triceps weights done. I went with my same back and triceps workout as last week. No gym means no assisted pullups or barbell rows. So, I do worry a bit that I'm going to sort of plateau with any strength gains not having the additional exercise choices.

I can't get a pullup bar at the house because our house is so flipping old that they don't fit in any doorways (we tried and had to return it).

I guess I need to start scouring the internet for new back exercises and try to find a barbell and bench that would fit in the room. The olympic size is simply too large. Anyway, back to the workout - giant sets of 3x8:

GS#1
Underhand dumbbell rows
Single-arm rows
Pullovers

GS#2
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Lying triceps extensions
Double-arm kickbacks  


I also did 3 sets of 10 reps of low back extensions on my stability ball. The back workout felt pretty good, but I felt super


Mid-Week Mix-Up
As I mentioned doing last week, I've decided that we really need to mix things up during the week, at least one day.

We tend to get so caught up in routine, that it easily becomes a rut. We forget to enjoy the moments and start focusing on weekend plans rather than enjoying something special during the week.


I guess it was sort of a date-night-in. Last week we went to a wine bar for a drink first, tonight we're just staying in, making a nice dinner, and watching a movie.

Something else I'm doing is disconnecting for the evening so that we can reconnect. Kind of funny how you have to do that these days huh? How often do you make it a point to disconnect or mix things up in order to actually reconnect?

So, I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of dinner - it includes homegrown Japanese eggplant and homemade red sauce.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Kickboxing
Weight workout
Cooler morning
Disconnecting & reconnecting

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Running in the Heat & Taco Tuesday


Morning 5-Miler 
This morning we got up a little after 5 am to get in our 5-mile run. Apparently cooling off from yesterday meant 80 degrees. At least the sun wasn't up and there was actually a strong wind that normally would have ticked me off.

We started out on our normal route, and my legs felt really heavy initially. The first mile was a slow one. We sort of sped up for mile 2, but then mile 3 was slower again, However, it did include a lot of right and left sharp turns that really slow you down. And, we took a slightly different route thinking this new sidewalk was finished. Let's just say there was some off-roading. 

The last mile was definitely a tough one physically vs mentally. I really felt like we were pushing so hard - it was up hill, down one hill, then up up up and more up before finally heading down.

I half expected the speed to be something like an 8:30 pace because that's how it felt. But it was actually an 8:57. Not bad mind you, but holy cow I thought it felt way tougher than that. I'm sure the hills, heat, and humidity all played a role.

But, 5 solid miles done before work is always a good feeling.

Running in the Heat
In light of yesterday's super hot, 103 degree run, I wanted to touch on running in the heat and safety. I didn't just head out for a run yesterday without preparing myself. I've been acclimating to the heat for a few months now, not trying to avoid it. Here, in the south, you simply can't. 
Also, I made sure to hydrate throughout the day more than I normally do because I knew the heat was going to be pretty bad. I knew I needed the extra water. I avoided salty foods as well. I made sure to slather on sunscreen, cover my head with a cap, wear my sunglasses to protect my eyes.

And even though it was a short run, I took water and so did Jason. No sharing. And occasionally splashing the water on the back of the neck really helps you to cool down too. 

We slowed our pace, the intervals allowed for recovery (in the shade as well). And we had a backup plan to walk or cut the intervals short. And we had the luxury of jumping in the pool after the run to get our body temps back down. 

So, from what I've read, running in the heat is doable, but you have to be careful. You have to plan ahead and play it safe. You can't go into the run trying to be some badass, "Hey look at me I ran in triple digits, I'm so cool." It's not about bragging rights. And if that's your goal, you'll probably end up sick. 

I think one of the key components to running in the heat is acclimating yourself slowly. Don't just start trying to run midday in 90 degrees one day. Nope, you gotta start off slowly, start off with the early morning runs when it's warm, but not HOT. Then slowly start running a little bit later, but short distance. 

Anyway, I did some additional research just to confirm that I wasn't making stuff up ;-) Runner's World has some really good articles about running in the heat as well. But they also noted that "A complicating factor for runners is that everyone reacts to heat differently.So you really do have to know your body, listen to your body, play it smart. 

From all that I've read, and my own experiences, here is a list of things you should think about before heading out in the sweltering summer heat:
  • Acclimate yourself slowly - there are some good articles on how to do this if you search.
  • Get the run done early  
  • Wear a running hat & sunglasses 
  • Sunscreen
  • Hydrate hydrate hydrate - you can even figure out the exact amount of liquids you need by weighing before and after and a little math - plenty of articles on this as well like this one from Livestrong.
  • Wear high-quality tech fabrics that will help wick away moisture and protect your skin
  • Slow your roll - don't try to break land-speed records. It's ok to do walk run intervals too.
  • Cool down - at the end of the run, jump in a pool, hose down, or wrap a cold rag around your neck (cold water on your neck also works very well). I've become fond of cold showers.
  • And most importantly - know the symptoms of heat illnesses. If you feel even the slightest bit "off" STOP.  Check out this article for a list of symptoms, causes, and treatments. 
Lunchtime Legs & Chest
I went home at lunch and got in another leg and chest circuit. I'm kind of liking this style of leg workouts right now, especially for working out a home without the luxury of a squat rack. I did 2 different circuits 3 times through. The reps varied, so those are noted to the side of the exercise.

Circuit 1
Squats w/ low-end pulse - 8
Plie squats w/ low-end pulse - 8
Calf raises - 20 reps
Single-leg deadlifts - 10 reps
Pushups with toes on step - 14

Circuit 2
Side lunges - 8 each side
Alternating rear lunges - 8 each side
Hamstring hip lifts with heels on step - 16
Weighted donkey kicks - 16 each side
Chest flye to chest press - 8

30 minutes from start to finish. Done and done.

Taco Tuesday
I decided to stick with the Taco Tuesday theme for an easy dinner. I do have something more special planned for tomorrow to use some of our homegrown Japanese Eggplants. But, tonight I kept it simple.

Basically it was the same salad I made last week: tempeh, black beans, onions, bell peppers, fresh corn off the cob, cherry tomatoes. I seasoned with chili powder, cumin, red pepper, salt, pepper, and a splash of lime juice.

Again, I went with just crisping up the tortillas in the toaster oven and breaking them apart rather than turning on the oven to make taco bowls. It's not like it changes the taste, just the presentation.  
And of course you have to top with jalapenos and Daiya Vegan Cheese.


Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run
Weight session
Easy dinner
Slightly cooler temps

Monday, June 25, 2012

Double Monday: Weights & 3 Hot Miles

Double Monday 
Today we decided to try moving our interval run to after work. Now, with the heat we're having (100+ degrees), not sure if it was smart or not to be honest. Actually, just going to admit that it wasn't the smarter choice.

The one good thing about in the evening is that the sun isn't as high in the sky. I guess there are a few positives like not spending two hours post-run sweating at your desk. Oh and we can jump in the pool right after the run to cool off too.

So, instead of the run at lunch, I went ahead and did my biceps/shoulder workout. I wasn't sure if I should do it at lunch or try to get it done before the run. But I figured it'd be better to not already be really hot before going to run.

Since my gym officially closes this week, I decided to just do the workout at home. I need to get used to my home workouts again for a bit until I figure out a new gym. I went with supersets of 3x8.

SS#1
Dumbbell curls
Shoulder press

SS#2
Cross-body curls
Lateral raise

SS#3
Preacher curls
Front open to side raises

I also did a short bit of Cathe's MMA Boxing DVD to hit my abs. I hadn't done preacher curls in ages so I started with the weights I used to use. I was very happy to have to increase the weights. Such a great feeling. Definitely had some strength gains.

By the time Jason got home from work, the temps were soaring into the double-digit range. I will admit that I was a bit trepidatious about attempting our planned run. I've run in the mid-90's so far, but not 100's. I knew it wasn't going to be easy.

We definitely had to take it slow and take extra water with us. And the backup plan was to do fewer intervals if needed and walk home if needed.

For the run, we went with the typical 1-mile easy run over to the park where we've been doing intervals. However, today we chose the front lawn as it's a lot larger/longer and would allow us to do 40 second sprints vs the 20 seconds we've been doing.

It was 103 degrees when we set out for the run, but the humidity was at least down. The first mile really wasn't that bad. We have been running in the heat for some time now, so it's not like we're not fairly acclimated (this is the ONLY reason I even went for the run). I also spent most of the day making sure to hydrate more than I normally do.

So, mile 1, not too bad. We recovered before starting the intervals - we did 8 in all which was just a little over a mile. I managed to maintain about a 6:20 mm pace during my sprints even on the last interval. We did makes sure to drink water during the rests too.

The mile back was a little more brutal. We were already hot, obviously and running west...aka into the setting sun. So, 3 miles done. Not easy, but honestly not bad. That being said, I wouldn't tell everyone to hop up and take off on a run in these temps. In fact, I think I might try to do a post about running in the heat this week.
Let's just say jumping into the pool has never felt so amazing!

Dogs for Dinner
The other day, Jason hit up Whole Foods and went a little nuts. Like a kid in a candy store. One of the items he came home with was a package of Tofurky Jumbo Dogs, which we've never tried. These weren't on the menu plan for tonight, but with the later run, I thought they'd make for an ideal, quick dinner.

I did make some baked sweet potato fries to go on the side. For the toppings, I sauteed onions and bell peppers then added sauerkraut as well.

It's funny because I never liked hot dogs as a kid. But I do like some of the vegetarian versions. I guess it's like bacon, never liked that either, but love the tempeh bacon. Guess it's likely because it doesn't taste like the real deal huh?

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Easy dinner
Weight lifting
Hot, sweaty run


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Full Weekend of Family & Friends Time

Full Saturday 
Well, this weekend was a full one. I feel like it was almost non-existent because it was so busy, but in a good way of course.

Saturday morning started at 7 am with a 4.5 mile run with Jason. It was a pretty good run, though really hot already. We had to rush after the run to get cleaned up and head to the lake to meet the family.

We got in some skiing. The kids weren't into any water activities this weekend for whatever reason. I was lazy and didn't even pull out the camera to get pictures of the adults skiing.

I will say that my legs and body were shaking like crazy after skiing. I swear I felt so out of shape like I've never worked out a day in my life. Apparently skiing muscles are a whole different set of muscles than I ever use or work!

After the lake we had to get home and try to straighten up the house a bit before our guest arrived. A dear friend of mine was staying the night. She lives in Virginia now, so we don't get the chance to hang out often. Her family lives about 2 1/2 hours from me though, so if she can, she tries to get here to visit me and another friend while she's in the state.

J is one of those friends that the minute we met (eons ago working at Waldenbooks) we clicked immediately and have been friends ever since. Even if we don't get to see each other all the time, when we get together, it's like nothing has changed (well except for having to catch up a bit).


We cooked in for dinner. I made a simple Tofu Thai Veggie dish that we enjoyed along with wine and lots of laughter. Again, no pictures because sometimes enjoying the moment is more important.


Relaxing Sunday
This morning I slept in...7:30...then got up and ran before everyone else got up. The heat has set in though, so it's making running a little slower. And when I run solo in the neighborhood I carry mace rather than my water bottle. I need to figure out a way to carry both.

Anyway, it was already 80 degrees when I set out for my 4-miler. But thankfully it was still a nice run despite the temps. And I managed to do negative splits with each mile (have no idea how though). My first mile was a slow one at 9:27 but then I steadily increased the pace: 9:09, 8:56, 8:53. No land-speed records mind you, but not too shabby either.

J stuck around until about 12:45, so at least we got to visit a little bit more before she had to head out. And it made for a wonderfully relaxing, laid back Sunday morning. Of course, the whole day ended up being pretty relaxed actually.

After she left, I got in the pool and enjoyed several hours of pool time. Some friends came over to join us as well. So, again, relaxing and enjoying visiting with friends. I call that a pretty successful day.

Jason got it in his head that he "had" to make chimichurri. He's been talking about it for ages, but we've just never made it. But today, he finally did. All I know is that he blended up parsley, oregano, cilantro, garlic, white onion, red wine vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and some spices.

He even made a trip to Whole Foods to pick up some seitan since I haven't made any recently. So, we marinated the seitan in the chimichurri sauce and grilled that along with veggies for dinner.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Running, Blogger Meetup & Fun Facts Friday: Chatty Cathe

Morning Run
This morning started off incredibly early. The alarm was set for 5 am, but it's really 10 minutes fast. Gotta be sneaky like that sometimes ;-)

Jason and I got up and got going, he was going much slower than me. I swear it's like pulling teeth to get him moving. Somehow, even though he has everything gathered up and ready (including his bike), and I make him start getting ready before me, I'm still waiting on him. Men....

We hit the Big Dam Bridge right at 5:30 and got started with the run at about 5:35. This meant that I'd be more likely to have time for 10 miles, which was my goal. It was already a very humid 75 degrees with almost no breeze to speak of.
Start of my run at 5:30 am
Jason was pacing a little slower, I think he didn't want to run beside me for fear I'd be too chatty. He thinks I talk too much sometimes. Me? Never.... LOL

I kept my eyes out for bunny rabbits or deer, while enjoying every minute of wearing my new Brooks Ghost 5's. I really didn't think they could get any better with the 4's. But the 5's are amazing.

I will say that the tread on the outer edge around the mid-foot area is a little thicker than the previous models. So, for some runners, this could cause problems. However, I over-supinate to the extreme, so this seemed to actually help me a great deal. I've been really focussing on not landing on the outside of my forefoot already, but then with this additional tread, it felt so very right. I felt like I was just zipping along on air.


Jason had to make a stop at mile 1, but I kept going know that I'd circle back and meet up with him, which happened at about mile 3.3 for me. We were going along and he had a sudden pain in his Achilles so he stopped and stretched, I kept going expecting to have to circle back that direction to finish out my run and get the car key from him. But, he did a sprint apparently and caught up with me at mile 4. 


It was weird today because I felt like I was going fast, not overly exerting, but felt fast. However, I was really all over the place with some miles ranging around 9:5 and others 9:20. Maybe it was the humidity getting to me, who knows. I just know my feet were happy!


Mile 6 was at the car where I took my GU, got more water and continued on. Luckily, the last part of the run was close to the water where the breeze felt much cooler. Very refreshing. 


I hit mile 9.5 right back at the car and just didn't seem to have the oomph left for another half a mile. Kind of kicking myself now, won't lie. But 9.5 miles is nothing to sneeze about.
The same view but after the run at about 7:15 am

Done and Done
Blogger Meetup
Today for lunch I got to meet up with a blogger friend, Jenny from Vegan and So Forth. She lives about 30 minutes away, and we've gotten the chance to meet up once before. But, it's been way way too long since our last meet up. And I'm missing her blog too (ahem Jenny LOL). 


But, she is kind of busy so I'll cut her some slack ;-) She's the mom of 4 and home schools. She just had her 4th in January, so she's just a tad busy to say the very least! 


We met at a local bakery called Boulevard Bakery. They have several locations, and recently opened one up just down the street from our house. They have great salads, sandwiches, and of course bread.

We had a nice visit. I got to meet the baby and one of her sons. Very polite young man I must say. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay and visit as long as I would have liked. But, hopefully we can get together again sooner rather than later.


Fun Facts Friday - Chatty Cathy 
Last week I mentioned that Jason thinks I am a wee bit too chatty during our early morning runs. He doesn't seem to understand how my brain goes so fast so early. 


I'll admit, sometimes it's just rambling, like just simply saying aloud what's in my head. Other times it's something I don't want to forget to mention, or trying to settle plans for later in the day, or heck, even patio furniture decisions. Very important stuff I promise.


So, here's just a snippet of some of the topics I might bring up:
  • What to make for dinner - yes at 5:30 am I'm already concerned about dinner.
  • Help me remember to add XXXX to XXXX list please. 
  • I need to wash the grapes for the lake.
  • I need you to help me remember to make the salad for the lake.
  • Can you take the laundry down when you get home?
  • Decisions on patio furniture - which we desperately need and can't agree on
  • Ideas about redecorating, repainting cabinets, remodeling the kitchen, you name it.
  • General thoughts on some possible speed work for running.
  • Oh and what days we might run the next week.
  • And why on earth would they doze all those trees.
  • Do you think the rabbits are all gone because they dozed the trees.
  • We need to do hill repeats.
  • Can you believe so and so is doing whatever...
  • Help me to remember to change the sheets.
And on and on it goes...I need to do another one from his perspective, what he really hears (probably blahblahblah and blah).

So, do you chat it up when you run with someone? What kinds of conversations do you have? Jason pretty much puts the kibosh on full out conversations with very minimal answers that I can't really expand on. Humph....

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run
Blogger meetup
The fact that it's Friday

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Winesday and Rest Day

Wednesday Winesday
As I mentioned yesterday, Jason and I made Wednesday more special. Not just another evening of rushing to get dinner done, sitting and blogging, or staring at the tv.

We went to a wine bar downtown called ZIN Urban Wine Bar. On Wednesday nights they have a wine tasting that they do: 5 pours for $15. Jason immediately went with that option. I, however, am not as adventurous, so I stuck with a safe glass of white - Acrobat, King Estate, Oregon Pinot Gris.

I did taste each of Jason's selections though. All were pretty good, even the chardonnay was drinkable, and I don't typically care for them. I was surprised at how much I ended up like a Pinot Noir Rose - Schug. Honestly, I have never had a Rose. This one almost reminded me of the Louis Tete Beaujolais Nouveau (which we can no longer get here sadly). It was very light, dry, low-sugars. 
Source: snooth.com via Heather on Pinterest

Anyway, I just stuck to my one glass, and after Jason finished his tastings, we headed home to make dinner. We had been sort of debating about what to make over the wine.

We ended up settling on a roasted kale salad with roasted squash, zucchini, and portobellos. I heated up some cannellini beans with garlic, a little vegetable broth, salt, pepper, thyme, fresh basil and oregano and let that simmer until all liquid was gone.

For a dressing, I simply blended together silken tofu with roasted bell peppers, almond milk, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and seasonings.

We decided to eat dinner and watch the Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian. However, we realized right away that we had already seen that one. I guess we had both added it to Netflix. We watched it anyway. It was definitely better than flipping around the tv channels.

Rest Day
Today was a rest day for me. Though, I'll admit that I really really wanted to take my new Brooks Ghost 5's out for a test run. But, the DOMS finally set in from Tuesday's leg circuit, and I'm planning my long run in the morning.


So, instead, I plan to spend some time stretching and rolling while watching Food Network. Jason went to an evening swim class, so I have the house to myself again. I plan on just making a loaded sweet potato for dinner and painting my nails - they're in sad shape right now. 


I do have a few house chores to get done because I have a guest from out of town staying Saturday night. But other than that, I plan to take full advantage of my rest day.


Daily To-Enjoy List:
Rest day
Relaxing
Painting nails

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kicking, Lifting & Enjoying The Moments

Kicking & Lifting
This morning I decided to go ahead and get up when Jason did (just after 5) to do some cross-training rather than running. He went off to swim and I did some kickboxing in my little gym room.

I went with Cathe Friedrich's MMA Kickboxing. I use 1 lb weighted gloves for my boxing or kickboxing workouts. It really adds on additional intensity and makes for an awesome upper body and core workout.
I gotta say, starting the day punching and kicking leaves you stress-free ;-) It was a good workout. At first I was sort of thinking I should have stayed in bed, not that I was sleeping mind you. But, I'm glad I got it done. It was definitely energizing.

At lunch, I decided to run home and do my back and triceps workout rather than go up to my gym. Right now it is not staffed (it's closing July 1), there are no towels, nothing to spray to wipe down equipment, who knows when anything was cleaned last. It's just depressing and not motivating.

So, home it was with my own music and a fan. Since I didn't have the assisted pullup option or a barbell, I had to go back to old school basics with my dumbbells. I did giant sets of 3x8 and then did abs at the end.

GS#1
Underhand dumbbell rows
Single-arm rows
Pullovers

GS#2
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Lying triceps extensions
Double-arm kickbacks

I did add in 3 sets of 10 reps of low back extension on my stability ball. And despite not having a barbell or a way to do pullups, I actually felt like I worked my back a lot better today than I've been doing. Maybe just the slight change in using the dumbbells.

Changing up the Week Day
After work today I headed over to my favorite running store, GO!, to pick up some new shoes. I usually try to keep two pairs that I rotate  out. The oldest pair is pretty much done. I tried running in them on Monday and realized that they were toast.

So, time to get a new pair. I'll wear the new ones for long runs now and the older for shorter runs. This seems to work out pretty well for me, extending the life just a little bit longer I think.

After the running store, I got groceries. I went to the Kroger right by the running store because I've gotten pretty fed up with the parking situation at the one nearer to my house. This particular store, however, doesn't carry a lot of the vegetarian/vegan items I like so that means a trip to Whole Foods down the road.

Last Thursday I blogged about trying to enjoy the moment rather than wishing it away for better days, or for the weekend. So while every day can't be the weekend, it doesn't mean that the weekday should be blah and boring right?

Source: tumblr.com via Heather on Pinterest

Rather than do the same old thing, go home, make dinner, sit on the couch and blog a bit, maybe catch up on a show, read, go to sleep. I thought we would make the evening more special. Not a full on date or anything, but something outside the day-to-day rut.

I don't know exactly what we'll do yet. Maybe a glass of wine at a wine bar or just cook dinner together and enjoy at the dining table, no tv. One thing I will be doing is disconnecting though. Living in the moment.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Kickboxing
Good weight workout
Sunshine
Running shoes
Something new

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two on Taco Tuesday - Running & Lifting

Two on Tuesday 
This morning the alarm at 5:15 was not a welcome sound. I was snoozing very soundly. How was it already 5:15??? But, once I got up and started getting ready for our run, I was awake and ready to go.

It was already 73 degrees and super humid when we set out. But, there was a nice breeze at least, so that really helped. We also kept the pace relatively slow today. Lately our morning runs end up speeding up with each mile, but today we were more consistent...maybe it was the speed work from yesterday.

The first two miles were pretty uneventful. We didn't really say much. Just running and in our respective zones basically. Maybe we were mostly still asleep ;-) The sun was coming up more by the second half though and we talked just a litte bit more.

No deep conversations mind you. Jason gets a little annoyed when I get overly chatty. In fact, last Friday he asked how my brain could work that fast at 5:30 in the morning. Um, it always works like that dear!

We purposely tackled a few hills at the end of the run. I definitely need to start doing that more often. Seriously felt like a badass sprinting out the hills for an 8:58 finish on mile 5. Not a bad way to start the day really.

And when you need a boost of energy midday...skip the coffee and hit the legs! It was another double day for me. I went the circuit route again for legs and chest at the house.

I did the circuit 3 times through, but the reps varied so those are indicated to the side.

Dumbbell squats with low-end pulse - 8
Plie squats with low-end pulse - 8
Calf raises - 20
Single-leg deadlifts - 10 each leg
Alternating front lunges - 8 each side (16 total)
Pushups with toes on step - 14
Weighted donkey kicks - 16 each side
Hip lifts with heels on step (for hamstrings) - 14
Chest flye into chest press - 8

This really went by quickly so I decided to add on 2 other exercises to focus on other glute areas and total leg as I'm really trying to get my legs and glutes balanced. I just did the exercises as supersets for 8 reps twice through.

Curtsey lunges
Single-leg squats

Even with the addition of the other 2 exercises, it was still on 31 mins long.

Taco Tuesday - Sort of
Seeing as how it's Taco Tuesday, I thought I'd make Taco Salad Bowls tonight. However, it's just too hot to turn the oven on.

Since I was going to grill up corn and bell peppers for the salad, I thought I'd just toast up the tortillas on the grill and break them up and have on the side. I mean, you always just break up the bowl anyway right?

While the veggies were on the grill, I did saute some diced onions and garlic along with crumbled tempeh, black beans, and the usual Tex-Mex seasonings.

When the veggies were done, I peeled the skin from the bell peppers and diced those up then removed the corn from one of the cobs (saving the other 2 for later). I mixed all that with the tempeh, bean mixture then tossed on a bed of lettuce and spinach.

I topped with cherry tomatoes, Daiya Vegan Cheese, and lots of jalapenos. 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Easy dinner
Grilling
Sunshine

Monday, June 18, 2012

Double on Monday & Easy Quinoa Dinner

Double on Monday
Today Jason and I decided to do another speed work run during lunch. This has become our normal routine on Mondays. I think the speed workouts are a great way to kick off the week. They are short, but effective. And while it's hot, it's very doable because the first and last miles are slower since the focus is on the intervals.

It was already 90 degrees when we set out for the run. 90 and super windy. But, the wind was very welcome since it was so toasty out. Honestly, I think it's good to try to get acclimated to the heat as much as possible. You can't avoid it unless you take the running inside, which I pretty much refuse to do.

Anyway, we headed over to the arts center where there is a nice park, lots of grassy area to do the intervals on. We did the same thing as last week. It basically ends up being 10 20-second sprints with a 30-40 second recovery jog (very slow). I think next week we will increase the intervals to 40 seconds for something different.

So, a total of 3, hot, sweaty miles done.

After work I headed over to the gym to get in a quick biceps and shoulder workout. I'm taking advantage of the gym as much as possible since it closes in two weeks. Then it'll be all back at the house until I find another gym.

I went with giant sets today done as 3 sets of 8 reps.

GS#1
Alternating curls
Hammer curls
Cross-body curls

GS#2
Over head shoulder press
Lateral raise
Front to side raise (front raise, open to a T, back to front and then back to start)

This actually turned out to be a better weight session than I expected. I felt pretty strong even doing the exercises as a giant set. Definitely gave me the shaky arms for the rest of the evening!

2-Pot Dinner
I really wanted dinner to be simple tonight. I had thought about grilling out, but ended up going with something on the stove.

I made some quinoa, which is always fast and easy enough. I sauteed onions, bell peppers and a lot of minced garlic until the veggies began to soften. I then added in white wine, drained tomatoes, tomato paste and spices (salt, pepper, chili flakes, parsley, basil, oregano).

You just let that simmer and thicken and you can add in any protein of your choice like beans, seitan, tempeh. Tonight I actually went with Tofurky Keilbasa.

This combo is great over pasta or even on sandwiches. This is the first time I've mixed it with the quinoa. I think I prefer the texture of a pasta. The quinoa did sort of get lost with the other flavors and textures. But, not bad overall and especially not bad on the clean up front ;-)


Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Sunshine
Lifting
Easy dinner
Relaxing

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Work Hard. Relax Hard. Enjoying the Weekend

One Busy Saturday
It's been another great weekend. I can't believe it's almost over. How does that happen so quickly? Yesterday was a lot of fun, but really really busy. We literally hit the ground running at 7:15 am and didn't stop until we got home at 8:30 that evening.

We got up and set out for a run early, but not painfully early for a Saturday. The plan was to do 4-4.5 fairly easy miles. What happened was the first mile was a 9:30 and the second one was 8:50. Um, clearly not the easy run I was going for.

We sort of slowed it down a little, but the average still ended up being around a 9:10 pace. It sort of set the tone for the day I suppose - go go go.

After the run we quickly cleaned up, packed up and headed out the door. We did have to make a stop at Dempsey's Bakery for Jason's mom. She can't have gluten, and really loves their bread. Since we were going to be making a stop by their house, Jason wanted to get some bread for her.

The first stop was Lake DeGray with my dad, step-mother, sister and her kids. It was a really nice day for the lake at the start, low wind, not scorchingly hot yet. The kids wanted to "monster tube" right away and that meant Uncle Jason had to be in the tube. He's such a good sport.
 

After tubing, Uncle Jason still had more water duties ahead. The kids both wanted to try to learn to ski this year. This meant Jason needed to stay out in the water with them to try to help them get up, to tell them what to do, that sort of thing.
 

They did amazingly well for their first times. Both almost got all the way up! Maybe by the end of the summer we'll have two more skiers in the family.

Everyone was getting hungry so it was back to the shore to have a quick lunch before going back out so the adults could ski too. I decided to stay back at shore though and it ended up being a good choice. A decided to stay with me. She was really tired and wanted to take a nap.

She never napped, but talked a ton. It was really nice spending some quality one-on-one time with her though. We never really get to do that. So she happily chatted away telling me her big plans for the future. She's seriously my child - she told me she was going to move to Florida to live on the beach ;-)

After the lake, we made a quick stop by Jason's parents' house so he could drop off the bread and see his dad for Father's Day (day early of course). Then it was a mad dash back home. We had plans to hang out with friends. We were going over to their house (along with another couple) to enjoy a taco bar and patio time. Oh and we took the pups along too so they could play with Bella the Beagle.

We had such a great time visiting, relaxing, eating. I know the pups enjoyed themselves too. But Jason and I were honestly worn completely out so we only stayed a few hours before heading home to just veg out on the couch with two also very tired dogs.

Work Hard. Relax Hard.
This morning I slept in - 7:30 LOL. I got up and decided to go out for an easy run. I will call it my "engaging glutes" training run. My focus was to really pay attention to firing the glutes. And it turned out to be a fantastic run despite the heat.

My plan was 2 easy miles just working on form. The awesome thing is that when you get your form in check, the run feels like less work. So I ended up with some awesome negative splits for a great 3.5 mile run. I seriously had to just make myself stop because I could have gone all day I believe.

My first mile was 9:20 then I continued to have shave 10 seconds from each mile for a 9:09 then 8:50. I messed up the lapping for the last .5 though so I don't really know that split. But that's no biggy.

After the run, I did some of Cathe Friedrich's MMA Boxing DVD and abs. Then I spent a good bit of time stretching and rolling before hitting my next round of cardio: gardening and chores.

I spent over an hour trimming hedges and wedding flower beds before heading in for chores like laundry, cleaning toilets, showers, sweeping, mopping...yep, exhausted by 11:30. But the yard was looking better and the house cleaner.

My reward? Pool time of course! So, I worked hard this morning, but the rest of the day is all about relaxing and enjoying the last bit of the weekend. Work hard, relax hard right ;-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Long Run & Fun Facts Friday - Why

Friday Long Run
This morning started of really really early. The alarm was set for just before 5am so that we could get up and out the door for my long run. Jason was going to run the first part with me then ride his bike after.

We drove down to the Big Dam Bridge to start the run. The sun was just starting to come up and was simply spectacular. This week I remember to at least bring my phone so I could capture a picture of the sunrise over the Arkansas River.
It was definitely a humid morning, and the temperatures were already hovering at 70 degrees. But at least the sun was still low in the sky so it wasn't too extreme. Just super sweaty!

I actually felt really good the whole run. It's surprising to have that much pep in my step at 5:40 am. But  I guess my legs were refreshed from my rest day yesterday, and I wasn't tired yet from a long day, and it wasn't blazing hot either. I know I've said it a million times, but there is something so serene about an early morning run. Just watching the sun rise, the day come alive.

Mile 6 put me back at the car where I took my GU and a quick potty break. Yep, I was hydrated! I continued on solo for the last 3 miles of the run. I was feeling so good; I so wanted 10 miles. But I was running out of time.

But, to make up for it, I pushed out the last mile at a very solid 8:52 pace. My overall average for 9 miles was 9:10. I think that's a pretty darn good way to start a Friday.

Fun Facts Friday
Seeing as it is finally Friday, I suppose that means it's time for Fun Facts Friday huh? It's funny, day-to-day people surprise me, shock me. And I don't know why really. People are just funny. They do funny, odd, quirky, even annoying things that make you ask, "Why?"

So, here is my list of those annoying things that I wonder about. Why do people do these things? Sometimes I just want to ask them even. Can you please explain why you think [insert whatever] is a good idea or why it makes sense to you? Of course I don't, but maybe one day I'll get ballsy and ask ;-)

Why do people:
  • Smoke at the entrance to a building. I don't want to walk through your secondhand smoke.
  • Tailgate - especially when the car in front clearly cannot get out of the way in traffic. Back the hell off.
  • Take the elevator for 1 or 2 flights of stairs. If you're not disabled in some way, that's just lazy.
  • Circle parking lots to find a close parking spot when they could have parked farther away, walked and already been inside. 
  • Talk on their cell phones while in the bathroom stall. I don't want to talk to someone and hear them pee or hear others pee!
  • Not flush the toilets in public restrooms. Sometimes I know the toilets don't flush of course. But sometimes it's clear that they didn't attempt to flush. 
  • Not recycle. Seriously? Please recycle.
  • Meander in crosswalks. Yes, got it. You have the right of way, but move along so I can turn please.
Ok, so what are some of your "why's"???

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run
Sunshine
Friday
Relaxing evening

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Enjoying Not Waiting

Yesterday's blah day sort of spilled over into today unfortunately. I hate it when that happens. I was hoping today would be a bit of a restart. In some ways, it was. I did take the day as a rest day to reset myself for tomorrow's planned long run.

But, I didn't reset my mentality. All I did was wish it was Friday already. I think it's ok to look ahead to the weekends sometimes. Look forward to plans with family and friends, or just some time to sit back and relax.

However, life is too short to wish it away. I have to remind myself of that often as I sit at work wishing it were the weekend. It can't always be the weekend. It can't always be lazy mornings and late lunches on a patio with friends.


So how do we (I) learn to enjoy every day, regardless of the day? It's something I've tried working on. Definitely some days are better than others. It's one reason I keep up with my "Daily To-Enjoy List." But you can't go out with friends every day, eat out all the time, stay up late each night, sleep in each day.

So even with my list of things to enjoy... sometimes that doesn't feel like it's enough. I still find myself looking ahead to that better moment - whether it be a better moment in the day like a break, a run, or just sitting at home, or a better moment like the weekend.

How do you get yourself through the days when you find yourself wishing it away. Wishing precious minutes of your life out the window essentially?

I find that when I start having a few bad days or less than stellar days, it can become a downwards spiral for me. It's like a darkness that starts to seep in. And it's not like I'm getting down because life is suddenly stressful, it's because I'm suddenly not enjoying. If that makes any sense at all. Probably rambling more than anything at this point.

So, maybe I should move along to the fact that the rest day meant I was able to go home for lunch with Jason. I got some laundry going and started prepping for dinner tonight (stir fry).

After work I needed to get to the grocery store and really wanted a fast dinner. Jason was going to swim tonight so I am basically eating solo.

Stir fry is quick, and it's even faster when I prepped everything (cut up veggies, started marinating the tofu). So, tonight I'll be sitting back, painting my nails, and probably watching a lot of Food Network.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Rest day
Painting my nails





Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breaking Rules, Lifting Weights & Blah

Back/Tris
I came really close to running this morning - just a short 2-miler. But I realized I have actually run every day since Friday. Um, that'd be 5 days in a row (6 if I ran today).

Normally I try to run every other day. I'm clearly injury prone. But, I think a lot of the previous problems came with not varying distances much. I either ran a long run or I ran 6-milers.

There were never 2- or 3-milers. Rarely even a 4-mile run. Sometimes if a training plan called for say an easy 2 one day then 6 the next, I'd combine them for an 8-miler.

So, I found it interesting that running the following over 5 days hasn't left me with tired legs, no additional pain or soreness even:

Fri: 9
Sat: 4.5
Sun: 2
Mon: 3 (speed work)
Tues: 4.5

It's definitely not something I set out to do, nor is it something I'm going to do often. I certainly don't need to test the running gods that's for sure. But maybe I've been wrong with my hard and fast (made up on my own) running rules. Maybe it really is ok to break the rules sometimes.

What rules have you broken recently?

Since I didn't run, I did hit the gym for back and triceps. I went with 2 supersets that I did as 4x8 unless noted then followed up with dropsets.

SS#1
Assisted wide-grip chinups
Weighted triceps dips - 10 reps

SS#2
Pullovers
Double-arm kickbacks

Dropset for back - double-arm rows: 6, 8, 10 reps decreasing weight with increase of reps.
Dropset for triceps - double-arm overhead tri ext.: 6, 8, 10 reps decreasing weight with increase of reps.

Blah
Today was one of those days that started off on a higher note but definitely trailed off rather quickly. By early afternoon I was ready for it to just be done and over with. And maybe a hard core happy hour if I'm being totally honest.

I thought that maybe a nice dinner complete with wine, maybe even sitting out on the patio would be a nice change of pace from the typical evenings - especially after a long long day. A nice, relaxing way to unwind and decompress. But, in the end, Jason had to work late so visions of happy hour in or date night in sort of vanished for me.

I really didn't want to get bogged down in the kitchen. It was almost a cereal night because I was just down and not enthused by the end. And my tummy had been bothering me a bit throughout the day anyway. It was one of those really weird, not hungry at all, bloated feeling days. Just blah.
I tried to convince the pups to cook for me, but clearly they were feeling the same way tonight:
 
 
With unhappy tummy, I really wanted something fairly light and healthy, but easy. So I went with a Portobello & White Bean Salad.

I sort of based if off a portobello salad I get at a place called Bosco's. I marinated some portobellos in a balsamic vinaigrette then just roasted them in my toaster oven. I topped the salad with white beans, roasted red bell peppers, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes and a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

I think my salad just might be better ;-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tofu on a Two a Day Tuesday

Two on Tuesday
Apparently I actually slept more soundly last night than I realized. It stormed and I had no idea. So I didn't think to check to see if it was raining when I woke up around 4:40. I made myself roll back over and doze because I had the alarm set for 5:20 so we could get up and run.

The alarm finally went off and we groggily got out of bed. That's when I heard the sound of rain. But I looked out and it didn't look like it was coming down hard. So I prepared myself for a wet run. I was happy thinking I wouldn't be hot!

I walked out of the bathroom and Jason was back in bed (with running clothes on). He asked if I knew it was raining. Yep. Get up. Get movin'.

By the time we actually walked out the door, it wasn't even misting. Just wet ground and humid air. Though, the clouds looked pretty ominous off in the distance. We managed 4.5 miles without getting rained on.

It was a pretty decent run for me. No runner's high or anything, but not horrible. I'm not sure Jason would agree. He didn't seem as pleased to be out running at that hour.

During lunch I got in a quick leg and chest circuit. I'm not sure how much I like this style of lifting, but it goes by really fast and I'm able to hit all around my glute area which I'm focussing on right now. I did 4 rounds and reps kind of varied, so rep count is out to the side.

Dumbbell squats - 10
Plie squats - 10
Calf raises - 20 (2 sets toes front, 2 sets toes turned out)
Single-leg deadlifts - 10 each side
Pushups with toes on step - 12
Weighted donkey kicks - 12 each side
Hip lifts with heels on step - 12
Alternating curtsey lunges - 16 (8 each side)
Chest flye into chest press - 8

It's a lot of exercises, and higher reps, but it really moves quickly and only takes me 30 minutes to complete.

Tofu Tuesday 
The sun finally came out by the end of the day, this meant grilling of course! I had a lot of kale that was starting to wilt on me. So what's a kale-loving girl to do? Grill it!

I did a pretty standard grilled veggies & tofu kale salad. Simple homemade Dijon mustard balsamic vinaigrette for the tofu. The kale was very lightly seasoned with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

For the rest of the veggies I just did squash, carrots, and used jarred roasted red bell peppers then tossed on some halved grape tomatoes. 

And just for fun, here are a couple of pupster shots. Heath is happily playing with his talky ball while Maddie is sunbathing, overseeing everyone.
 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Lifting
Grilling
Sunshine

Monday, June 11, 2012

Running & Lifting & Being Humbled

Another 2-a-Day
Today Jason and I had planned to do some speed work during our lunch break. I knew it was going to be hot, but at least with the speed work you get a few rests. Right?

Like I said, I knew it was going to be hot, I just wasn't prepared for how hot. The heat index was already in the low 90's when we set out on the run at 11:30. At first, the skies were cloudy and there was a strong breeze. Unfortunately, the sun came out in full force mid-run.

We ran 1 mile as a warmup to a nearby park before starting the intervals. They ended up being about 1 minute each: slowly start then build speed to 80% max effort for 20 strides (about 20 seconds) then a super easy jog back to the start (about 30 seconds) so we would wait the remainder to round out to a minute.

We did 10 intervals total and it actually put us right at a mile. The area we were doing the speedwork at is a grassy area that is pretty shaded. The wind really felt great when we stopped, but not so awesome when you're trying to sprint headlong into it.

The mile back to the house was definitely tough since we were already really hot and the sun was out in full force. I absolutely could not stop sweating either. I took a very cold shower and tried to get ready to go back to work but just couldn't cool down so my hair was a disaster and my makeup nicely smeared. I tried to just avoid co-workers the rest of the day.

After work, I did hit the gym for biceps and shoulders. My right shoulder has been really bothering me since my long run on Friday. So I tried to go easier with the shoulder work. I really don't know what's up with it - I mean, hurting my shoulder running?

Anyway, I went with 2 sets of supersets done at 4x8 then dropsets at the end.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Lateral raise

SS#2
Hammer curls
Front raise

Dropset for biceps - dumbbell curls: 6, 8, 10 reps decreasing weight each set
Dropset for shoulders - double-arm overhead press: 6, 8, 10 reps decreasing weight each set

Overall it was a pretty good workout.

Pasta Night
Since we were having some thunderstorms moving through we couldn't get out and grill. A grilled veggie sandwich or grilled kale and veggie salad was sounding really good too.

We had our first Japanese eggplant of the season ripen up. It was just one lone eggplant though. So I ended up making a veggie pasta with it along with zucchini, onion, red bell pepper, and some kale.

Basically you just saute a thinly sliced white onion with garlic until translucent. Add in white wine and/or vegetable broth. Allow that to simmer then add in your bell pepper and allow that to soften. Next you stir in tomato paste, tomatoes that have been mostly drained and the rest of your veggies and any protein (like cannellini beans, which I used tonight).

I stick to a very basic Italian style seasoning using basil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, red chili pepper flakes. It's really super simple because you can use whatever veggies you have on hand.

Being Humbled
There is something I wanted to talk about briefly. It wasn't something I'd planned to discuss at all tonight actually. I was just planning to do my typical posts, the ones I often question why anyone even reads.

There are so many bloggers out there putting out meaningful, well-thought out, inspiring posts almost daily. Me? I just yammer on about my workouts, what I cook, sometimes complain about injuries or silly nonsense that happens during a day.

I try to stay upbeat, but absolutely real, honest. Always. And there are many times recently when I question blogging. I mean, why would anyone read what I have to say? Why does it matter? It takes up so much time too. But in the end, I can't give it up. Why? The people I've "met" through blogging. The inspiration I receive daily. The support group.

So where is this all coming from? If you ever think that what you do and/or say doesn't matter, think again. While I don't see myself as inspiring, I've been told that I do inspire. That's very humbling to me. Sincerely humbling.

And I guess this was all brought on by a post from Melissa at Live, Love & Run. In her vlog today, she thanks all those bloggers that have become a support system or a source of inspiration. And she mentioned me. Me? Of all people. Again, humbling. And grateful.

So you may never really realize it, but you could be inspiring someone today with your words, your actions, a smile.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Easy dinner
Lifting

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Full Weekend of Runnig, Shopping, Relaxing

Jam Packed Saturday
As usual, the weekend has gone by way too quickly for my liking. Saturday I almost didn't know what to do with myself since I had gotten my long run out of the way on Friday. We were supposed to go to the lake with the family, however, my dad had not had a chance to put the boat in the water yet to make sure it was running properly. Trust me, you don't want to get in the middle of the lake and the boat poop out especially with kids on board.

So, I decided to get in a short 3-miler and was planning on Cathe Friedrich's MMA Boxing (or part of it) and some abs after. Jason finally got himself out of bed and was up for a run with me. We set out towards the arts center, then to head towards downtown.

Apparently he didn't really believe me when I said 3 miles. And of course he's got every right not to believe that statement. Over the years I'd say one number but really plot out another.

Anyway, we ended up heading out on a longer route. But it turned out to be fine really...except for the damn hills. I had wanted an easy run. Hills don't fall under the category of easy if you ask me. And for whatever insane reason, we have a habit of powering up the hills. At one point we were hitting an 8:15 pace. Um, not exactly what I had planned, especially upfreakinghill.

After the run, I did just 2 segments of the upper body only for Cathe's MMA Boxing workout then abs (20 mins total) then stretched out for a bit.

Since my day was pretty much free, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to meet my sister at a Target about halfway between us to take my nephew shopping for his birthday (which was May 19). I had taken my niece shopping for her birthday back in October and my nephew decided then and there that's what he wanted to do for his birthday.

We ended up being on vacation for his birthday party (of course I felt bad). But honestly, they never even notice us there with all their friends. So this individual, one-on-one time is really so much more special.

We got into the store and I asked C if he knew what he wanted (Sarah had already told me he had it planned). He looked at me with his sly little smile and said, "Nope, I was just teasing her." Ha. But he really did know what he wanted. We spent a very long time in the Lego's aisle I'll just say that much. The one boxed set he wanted they were out of and he had me searching high and low for it.

I have no idea what set he got, heck, I didn't know there were so many brands or types of freaking Lego's! All that matters was that he was a happy camper.

When I got home, I decided to jump in the pool and float around for a bit. Then Jason and I opted for a late patio lunch at our local haunt, Dugan's.

Sunday
This morning I got up and decided to head out for a really short 2-mile run. I wanted to use the short distance to try to focus on engaging my glutes and focus on my foot landing. Rather than being a pronator, I am the absolute opposite. I supinate to the point where the insides of my shoes look like they've never touched the ground.

I really planned on a very slow run, but was actually feeling really springy, especially when I was getting my form in check. If you get your form just right, you really go so much faster with less energy being expended. It's such a great feeling...I need to figure out how to manage that one all the time ;-)

After my run, I did just the punching/leg combos from Cathe's MMA Kickboxing then some major stretching. And I was done with workouts by 9:30 am. Love that!

I did get some yard work taken care of, then house cleaning and more laundry taken care of before being lazy and lounging on the patio (with a few dips in the pool of course). Jason and I decided to be bad and eat out again today for another late lunch.

He had plans to go to the movies with a friend, so I think it was more of a peace offering. We ended up going to a pizza joint down the street that we really enjoy called Vino's.

Now, I'm just chilling out with the dogs. I'll admit that I'm not always keen on being alone, especially on a Sunday evening. The weekend time is running low so being alone with nothing to really do is a bit depressing. Maybe I'll find something on tv. Or maybe some online shopping ;-)

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Running
Sunshine
Pool time
Relaxing