Friday, November 30, 2012

Running and Fun For Friday - Fitness Wish List

Oddly Good Run
I ended up making Wednesday a rest day. I wasn't necessarily feeling any worse, but decided to just give my body a break. This meant I had time to get to the grocery store. Not the most exciting thing on a Wednesday evening, but necessary.

Today was a long long work day. I was looking forward to getting in a run, but was still feeling stuffy and lots of drainage. I went ahead and went for it, meeting my running partner at her office at 4:45 for our usual route.

I remember to bring my blinking light this evening since we got stuck in the dark on Tuesday. I should have brought the headlamp she got me actually. We ended up with a great 6-mile run. I have no idea how I did it, but I managed an 8:38 pace.

The only downfall (other than really choking on snot and not having water) was dodging lots of traffic and almost getting hit by drivers totally not paying any attention, dodging meandering pedestrians, random potholes, and then a Doberman that darted straight at us. Good times.

Well, it was good times in the end. It was a great run, and I really enjoyed the company. "A" and I have so much in common and so much to talk about. Sometimes it's hard to stop the run because we're just visiting.

Fun For Friday - My Fitness Christmas List
Speaking of running, I thought it would be very appropriate to share some items on my Christmas Wish List. This would be the fitness portion of the "wants" of course. Though, I might say some of the items are needs, like cycling gear now that I have a bike and the Nightlife gear for running and safety.

Love Nightlife products for their visibility. Need a short sleeved.
I only have a few pairs of running tights.
I have a black/yellow long sleeved, I think the pink would just be fun.
Source

I'm obsessed with my compression socks now. I am sort of living in them.
Saucony Arm Warmers
Arm warmers are so handy on those iffy-weather days. 

Kettlebells & workout DVDs - I miss my kettlebell workouts I was doing at the gym.

Cycling tights & jerseys (no brand in particular - recommendations welcome) - I only have a pair of shorts and gloves. So tights, jerseys that sort of thing is really needed now.

Running glasses - Mine are terribly scratched so these are a need.

Bike trainer (now that I have a bike, had wanted spin bike)

Ok, that's a partial list. What's on your fitness wish list? Any favorite brands?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sniffles and Workouts on Way to Go Wednesday

Sniffles and Workouts
Sunday afternoon I started to steadily sneeze and sneeze and sneeze until my upper lips was red from blowing my nose. Monday morning I could feel the sinus drainage getting worse. I took a Zyrtec D - usually dries me right up - but my sinuses continued to drip and drain until I had a nice sore throat.

My plan was to just skip my workout. But I ended up going ahead and getting weights done for biceps, triceps, shoulders. My rationale was that if it sucked horribly, I could stop. And it would be a fairly short workout.

I surprised myself actually, and felt a little bit better once I got going. I went with a triset of 3x8 (unless noted). I've been doing high reps for the past 3 weeks, so this was a great switch up and my muscles felt it.

TS#1
Biceps curls with rotation
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Overhead shoulder press

TS#2
Hammer curls
Double-arm kickbacks
Lateral raises

TS#3
Cross-body curls
Triceps pushups (10 reps on knees, I am so weak on these)
Front raises

I also did some abs then stretched before calling it quits and cleaning up.

Maybe the workout got the sinuses moving out the front (gross I realize) but my throat was feeling a little better. That is, until I went to sleep. Within an hour of dozing off, I woke up with a screaming sore throat and what I call a "squishy" ear. You know that feeling that every time you swallow it makes a squishy noise? Please tell me you get it ;-)

Anyway, slept poorly. Got up and got myself to work determined to stick it out as long as I could. I started feeling a little better once the meds kicked in again and after sucking on Halls like it was my job.

My plan for the day had been to run with my running partner. I would run from my house to her office like we had been doing. I wavered back and forth on what to do. Either it'd make me feel better or worse right?

I went ahead and went for it knowing I could just drop off and circle back home if need be based on the route I had plotted out. I'm kind of OCD on plotting routes. But sometimes it comes in handy.

It ended up being much cooler than either of us expected. As soon as the sun gets low, the temps drop fast. Of course, this makes you move faster too. Though, we did have lots of stops/starts because of the 5 pm traffic. But sometimes that's ok.

I managed to get in 5 pretty good miles despite my sinuses and sore throat. The run actually seemed to clear out my sinuses for a bit. 

Do you workout when you're feeling under the weather? Do you have a certain point when you know you must rest or do you push on? I'll workout up to a point. But if it's in my chest or I have a fever, it's an absolute no go.

Way to Go Wednesday
Since I was just talking about running, I suppose it's appropriate that the Way to Go Wednesday shout outs are running related.

Laura (Mommy Run Fast) for knocking out an awesome 20:22 PR for a 5K Turkey Trot and sharing her perspectives on what running means to her.

Mr. Pavement Runner (and wife and The First Lady for their 1st 5K) for a kickbutt, speedy 10K and beating his super secret goal of 45 mins.

Heather's son for an awesome 5K Turkey Trot.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Running, Cycling, Enjoying

Long Run & Pizza
Saturday morning I had wanted to really sleep in. I made it to about 8 am because Maddie was barking like a crazy nut downstairs. It was really cold out, so I decided to procrastinate on my run. I just kind of piddled around the house wasting time.

Jason and I finally set out for our long run around 11:15. It was sunny, but pretty windy and in the upper 40's. I of course ended up over dressing. I never seem to learn. We ended up getting in 7 miles together then I made a stop at the house to get more water, drop off my gloves, take a gel then headed back out to finish out another 3.25 miles. I almost went for 11 but stopped at 10.25. My body thanked me.

I stretched out for a while before cleaning up and donning my compression socks. Then we headed out for lunch. We were both starving and feeling lazy about cooking or even re-heating leftovers. We ended up at a yummy pizza joint we love called Pizza Cafe. I'll admit that we rarely go there unless it's patio weather. Their inside just isn't very exciting. But the pizza was totally worth it.

After lunch, back in PJs and more being lazy. This was a theme for us over the long holiday weekend. We did end up making chili for dinner while just listening to music and enjoying the evening.

My First Brick
Sunday morning I made myself stay in bed until a whopping 8:45. I almost felt guilty...almost. I had gotten up around 6-ish, but made it a point to crawl back in bed and stay there. I wasn't fully sleeping, just sort of dozing in and out. But it was really nice and indulgent to just stay in that warm, comfy bed.

I ended up going for a 4-mile run at 11. I had originally planned to make it a slow, easy run, but was feeling peppy so I pushed it a bit. I ended up with a 8:36 average and actually eked out an 8:20 for mile 3. Whoop!

After the run, I quickly changed into cycling gear. Normally a brick would be the ride first then the run, but I'm not training for a triathlon or anything, but it still counts as a brick right?

The plan was for my running buddy to meet me and Jason at our house to go for a bike ride. Yep, she cycles too. So, 2nd outing on my new bike and we were starting from the house. This means traffic. I was nervous to say the least.

We rode down to the parking lot at Heifer International again to do a bit more practicing. "A" is still trying to get used to clipping in, so it really was good for the both of us. After the practice, we headed out on the river trail.

It was definitely windy, but the sun was out, and it was a gorgeous day. I will say my sits-bones were a wee bit bruised feeling from Friday. So after an hour, I was really uncomfortable. Ok, mild understatement. We ended up with a 2-hour ride (I think A said it was 19 miles). Really great way to spend a gorgeous day other than the sore bum.

After cleaning up, I stretched and rolled out on my Triggerpoint Kit. Jason went and got a haircut while I watched mindless TV. Again, you're seeing a theme of some laziness going on. But, I was productive too so it all balances out right?

I did muster up enough energy to make some homemade ciabata bread to go with soup for dinner. Though, I do use the bread machine to do the hard work before turning out the dough for the baking part. It was still yummy though and allowed me to be lazy but feel like I was doing something really productive ;-)

I feel like the extended weekend was a great combination of productivity and flat out relaxing. Do you do well with balancing both being productive and lazy?

It's a fine line sometimes, but it feels so good when you pull it off. And I think it's so important to realized that the word lazy isn't always a bad thing. We deserve to just "be" sometimes and not be so consumed in how much we can cram into a day. What good is that if you're not enjoying the day?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving, Running and Cycling

TDay Recap
Thanksgiving day started off by prepping food: caramelizing onions, chopping up bell peppers and onions, blanching green beans, and roasting butternut squash. After doing all of that, Jason and I set out for a run. The plan was 6-7 miles. Jason dropped off at 6 and I finished up another mile for 7.

Then we had to quickly get cleaned up and on the road. At least our families all are all in the same city - an hour away. It definitely makes it convenient but also hectic sometimes. My mom's husband had to work so rather than her be alone, my sister, mom and I had a light lunch at my sister's house.

I found a recipe on Pinterest that I thought would be great - Penne with Butternut Squash and Kale. Mom brought the kale from her garden, my sister provided the GF pasta, and I made the butternut squash and caramelized onions. I tried to stick to the recipe but made a few changes like adding in chickpeas for protein and basil. I also sprinkled in some locally made goats milk feta.
This dish was really easy to put together, super flavorful too. I think adding in some toasted pine nuts would be another great touch.

For dessert, I had picked up slices of a gluten-free pumpkin espresso roulade from a local gluten-free bakery called Dempsey. They are absolutely amazing. You would never in a million years guess that anything there is gluten-free. And I totally failed and didn't get pictures. We kind of destroyed it pretty quickly.

It was really a nice, relaxed time for the three of us. My sister's kids were there, but they were outside playing their little hearts out with a neighbor. They didn't even notice mom and I were there ;-)

Jason had gone over to his parents' house then we all met up at my dad's house around 4:30. This year dad got all wild and crazy and did the manicotti for Thanksgiving vs the typical spaghetti and meatballs. Usually we do spaghetti Thanksgiving and manicotti on Christmas. 

I had brought green beans and bell peppers and onions to saute up as a side dish to go with the other dishes. Again, very relaxed. Low-key.
And we even got a picture of us with dad smiling. I tell you, all wild and crazy ;-)

Did you get to enjoy a relaxed Thanksgiving or was it hectic? Any new recipes to share??

Friday Funday
Friday I did not wake up early to brave Black Friday chaos. I slept in until just before 8 am. I stayed in my PJs until about 11. I did get some chores done at least. I wasn't completely lazy. I had wanted to run, but my feet were not going to let that one happen, so Jason and I ended up going for a bike ride instead.

I really needed to practice riding my new bike, just getting comfortable on it basically. So we drove over to a large parking lot near the river so I could practice stopping, starting, and taking turns. After about 30 minutes of zigzagging around the lot, we ventured onto the river trails.

The weather was mid-60's and perfectly sunny, so there were lots of pedestrians out and about. That made me really nervous I won't lie. But I managed to not run over anyone so that was a bonus.

We ended up riding for about 2 1/2 hours before calling it quits. I was getting super hungry, and that can mean cranky too. We both got cleaned up and ended up back in PJs eating leftovers. Jason watched the Arkansas/LSU game and then we just watched random tv like Food Network and HGTV. Super super lazy afternoon, but kind of perfect.

Rather than make this the longest recap post in history, I'll continue the recapping tomorrow. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend - and if it wasn't a holiday for you, still a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

8 Miles and Way to Go Wednesday

Another Hot Run
Yesterday, my running partner and I set out for a run around 4:10-ish. Well, she had run about 3 miles before we met up and I had gotten in a mile before meeting up. And that crazy girl ran from her house to mine with a gift in hand for me. I am now the owner of a light that clips onto the bill of my hat. Perfect for dark runs. She's too sweet. Now we can blind people together ;-)

It was an icky kind of warm - 74 degrees, high humidity, and almost no breeze. Thankfully the sun was lower in the sky. We made our way downtown near the river then back up up up to her house. I dropped her off at her mile 8+ and then finished out the rest of the run solo hitting 8 miles myself.

I enjoy the afternoon runs but find myself totally pooped afterwards. I cleaned up, put on my compression socks and stretched for a while before starting dinner. I went with an easy veggie soup (kind of a toss everything into the pot deal). The only problem is that it took longer than I would have liked.

Not only am I pooped after an evening run, I'm starved no matter what my pre-run snack might be.

Way to Go Wednesday
I know it's Wednesday (technically) but it feels like Friday since it's the last day of work for the week. A girl could get used to 3-day work weeks! This week's shout outs:

Nicole at Simply Nicole for running her first half marathon - the Philadelphia Half. 

Lindsay for doing herself a huge favor and taking the whole week off!

Corey at Learning Patience for taking on her first half marathon after some major trials and tribulations this summer. 

Last but certainly not least - a huge shout out to my mom and dad for putting up with me for 30coughchoughplus years. Without you both, I wouldn't be who I am today.



Your turn - leave a shout out in the comments! I always love to hear them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Weight DVDs and Hug a Runner Day

Turning to DVDs
Last night I managed to get in biceps, shoulders, triceps from Cathe's High Reps DVD. I'm liking doing the DVDs right now because I don't have to really think. However, I'm ready to get back to the heavier weights vs the higher reps.

Though, it has been a great shake-up for my muscles changed up to the lower weights, higher reps. It's amazing how sore you can actually get from just changing up the rep patterns repeatedly throughout a set.

The big plus with these workouts, however, has been how short they tend to  be even if you do a set a second round (yes I do this). I need to really do some research and find some effective, but also shorter heavy weight workouts. I had gotten in such a rut of the very standard, boring 3x8 sets usually as supersets.

They go quickly, but can be really boring and easy to just go through the motions. Of course, that could partially be that I'm working out at home so that can get a little boring sometimes as well.

Where do you turn for new ideas, workouts, rotations, etc? Do you get bored working out at home?

Hugs
I feel pretty boring lately. Not really posting any workouts or new recipes. I feel like I've gotten in a bit of a rut with dinners too. I guess it happens though. You get a little lazy (or too busy) and just stick to the tried and true basics.

Today the plan is to get in a run after work with my running partner. She's off work so we can hit the pavement earlier and get the run done before the light runs out.

Speaking of running, did you know it's Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day (G.O.H.A.R.D)? Really, it is, I'm not cleaver enough to make this stuff up ;-)


Did you hug a runner today?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Running Plus New Mizunos and a Bike


No Double-Digits
Saturday morning we got up fairly early, but not to get in a long run. Instead we got ready and hit the road for a 2 hour drive to buy a bike I found on Craigslist. Yep, I'm now the proud owner of a Specialized Dolce. After picking up the bike, we had another 2 hour drive back home.

It's amazing how 4 hours on the road can sort of zap you. It's not like I was doing anything other than sitting and getting really antsy. We got home just before 1 and the day was gorgeous, but definitely warmer than I would have liked for a long run. 

My legs were incredibly heavy feeling from the start. I had pretty much resolved myself to the fact that I was not likely to hit double-digits. It was just hot. Almost no wind. And for whatever reason, there were tons of unsavory characters out milling about. This made me run faster, but that did not make my legs happy at all. 

I ended up giving up on the 10 miles at mille 7. I didn't even have the heart to try to push on at that point. So no double-digits, but I got a bike ;-)

Jason wasn't feeling very well Saturday, so it ended up being a very low-key day of couch sitting. 

Much of the Same
Sunday I got up and just piddled around. It was pretty cool, and I was feeling lazy about a run. So I figured I could procrastinate for a bit. I had thought I might run 4 miles then we could take the bikes to a parking lot so I could practice and get the hang of the new bike. But, the bike came with clip on pedals and I don't own clip on shoes.

My running partner has some pedals, but she couldn't find them. So, after procrastinating, I ended up going out for a run. I just wanted something easy, planned 4 miles. It turned out to be a great run day for me though. Man I should have held off on the miles Saturday and done my long run Sunday was all I kept thinking. 

But, I didn't push it. I stuck to lower miles even though I had that little spark of an idea to go for 10. I stopped at 5, went in and stretched and rolled out. 

Since I couldn't ride the bike, I went ahead and cleaned up and we stopped by my favorite local running store. My shoes are in sad shape. I blow through them like crazy because of the way I run. I supinate and run really far up on my forefoot. Almost to a fault really. My heels never hit the ground and the insides of the shoes don't either. Absolute opposite of someone who pronates. 

Anyway, this means that I can barely get 3 months out of my shoes. I literally wear the tread right off down to the white of the shoes. This gets expensive I must say. I am very loyal to my Brooks Ghosts. However, I really felt that I needed to try something different. Maybe a different shoe will be better for me. I am trying to even out my landing, and it is getting better, but sill destroying shoes.

I had read that with high arches and the supination, I might look into more cushioned shoes. I ended up with a pair of Mizuno Wave Riders
Source

They really seemed to have more arch support. It's really rare I find shoes that even touch my arch. They just felt right. So I thought I'd give them a shot. I hear rave reviews about the brand.

And More Running
Today the plan was to meet up with my running buddy for a lunchtime run. She's off all week so it worked out great to meet up midday. It also gave me a chance to try out my new shoes. 

It's another gorgeous day out, but definitely warm for running. Neither of us brought water and both regretted that decision. I had gotten used to not having to carry water for 5-milers when it was about 10 degrees cooler. Oh well, it was a good run regardless.

My new shoes felt fantastic. I had gotten the laces a little too tight so had to readjust but then they were perfect. They really seem to hug my feet like no shoe has before. I'm really glad I made the decision to try them out. 

Do you get nervous to try out a new shoe? I have had so many issues with my feet that I just worry that I'll end up in something that hurts them even more.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Playing Frogger and Fun Facts Friday - Sh^t Runners Say

Running or Playing Frogger?
Yesterday I ended up meeting up with my running partner after work for a run. As we did on Thursday, I just ran from my house to her office and we looped around the downtown area.

We did make a change to our usual route as we had heard news of some crime in one area of the route. Tuesday we had noticed that there seemed to be a large number of unsavory characters milling around. So even though we both carry mace, better to just avoid that area for now.

The only downfall was that the traffic was horrendous. I have no clue what was going on, but it was bumper to bumper all through downtown. This is not usual and certainly wasn't the case on Tuesday when we ran. What sucks is that people in this city have no understanding or concept of crosswalks and pedestrians.

People will pull all the way into the crosswalks. They do not yield to pedestrians and they never seem to look right. So this made it a little tricky to say the least. Felt a little bit like we were playing Frogger than just out running. But we managed and had a great run regardless. I ended up with 6 miles and "A" hit probably 5.5 by the time she made it to her house.



Are people in your city cognizant of pedestrians?

Fun Facts Friday - Sh^t Runners Say and Know
Today is my rest day. Though, I was up around 5:20 because Miss Maddie was downstairs barking her head off. Jason had gotten up at 5 to go to his master's swim class, and I know he let the dogs out. Apparently she didn't poop though so she was yelling at me to let her out.

Don't worry, not going to talk about poop for Fun Facts Friday. Though...I could based on the topic - Sh^t Runners Say. So I guess I am talking poop huh ;-)

Runners are definitely a unique group. How many of you are nodding your head right now or smiling? Yep, we're weird and proud of it too. We run in the rain and brag, we run in the dark and brag (and complain while bragging), we talk about things while running with friends you wouldn't talk about any other time like having to make immediate pit stops or chaffing issues.

So I thought it'd be fun to list out some of the odd things we say that non-runners probably don't get.

Sh^t Runners Say (that only other runners get)
  • I accidentally ran 12 miles.
  • I'm going to take it easy this week and only run about 25 miles.
  • I needed an easy run so I only did 6 miles.
  • I ran naked (as in no electronics not sans clothing)
  • I finally learned how to do a snot rocket.
  • That was the worst run ever, hopefully tomorrow's will be better (runner's amnesia already kicking in).
  • My legs are so heavy, I'm going to do an easy recovery run...maybe 4 miles.
  • Look, my toenail is black. 
  • I found the best deal on compression socks, they were only 30 bucks! (as if any normal person would be excited to pay $30 for socks unless they had gold thread)
  • YAY - GU is on sell!

And just for fun, Sh^t Runners Can Tell You:

  • The forecast down to the half hour
  • Dew point, humidity, wind chill and wind speed
  • Time of sunrise and sunset
  • The exact mileage from just about any given point
  • The incline of a stretch of road
  • Where sidewalks end
  • What sidewalks you might be able to navigate and those to avoid entirely
  • Where to find water (either city spigot or actual water fountain)
  • Easy routes, hard routes, flat routes, hilly routes, long routes, short routes....you get the idea

What would you add to either list? 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kale Kabocha Soup and Thursday Things

Productive Procrastination
Yesterday morning I woke up for all of two seconds when Jason got up to go swim at 5 am and then totally crashed back out until the alarm clock made me nearly jump out of bed. It's not normal for me to fall back asleep quite so soundly after waking up in the morning. Apparently I was really tired.

I had thought I might get in my workout (weights & kickboxing) at lunch, but by 11 I was thinking of calling it a rest day. My plan changed to going to the grocery store after work. But then by about 3:30 I had decided working out sounded way better than battling the grocery store and after work crowd.

Let's just say that was the most productive procrastination I had ever done. I did legs, shoulders, back, biceps and abs from Cathe's High Reps DVD and then did the MMA Kickboxing DVD for an hour workout.

Luckily I had enough items to throw together a soup for dinner. I had a kabocha squash and some kale on its last leg. No white onion, but I did have a red one and 2 cans of chickpeas. I also had some Israeli couscous I'd picked up and had yet to try.

I was, however, out of vegetable stock, but I did have some no-beef bouillon cubes. Surely I could make it work. I kind of had to or it was going to be cereal for the night.

Kale and Kabocha Squash Israeli Couscous Stew
Ingredients:
1/2 red onion, diced
2-3 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 - 3/4 kabocha squash, cubed (could use butternut squash or even sweet potatoes)
4 cups water
2 not-beef bouillon cubes (or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can no-salt tomatoes
1/2 cup Israeli couscous (also known as pearled couscous)
1/2 bunch kale, cleaned, de-stemmed and finely chopped
To taste: salt, pepper, curry powder, garam marsala, cumin, parsley, red pepper

Directions:
In large soup pot, saute onions and garlic with a dash of salt. Add in the squash and allow to saute for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the water, bouillon cubes, tomatoes, chickpeas, spices. Allow to simmer until the squash begins to soften, approximately 20 minutes.

Add in the couscous and let simmer for another 15 minutes then add in the kale. Cook another 10 minutes or until kale is softened. 

When Jason walked in the house his first comment was, "It smells really spicy." I asked if he mean hot spicy, and he said he meant fragrant, rich spices. I'll admit that I was a little worried because I sort of just started throwing things together without any real direction.

In the end, I am super happy with how this turned out. The Israeli couscous added a nice additional texture, slight bit of chew. The squash was soft, but the chickpeas had texture. Just a great combination of textures and flavors. I think there are several variations and additions that could be done with this too like possibly adding in raisins.

Thursday Things
When I got home from work, I found a box on the porch. I usually have things shipped to Jason's work. I couldn't remember ordering anything and having it sent to the house. I also didn't remember winning any awesome giveaways recently and giving my address to anyone.

It was like an early birthday gift or Christmas in November when I opened the box. I dug through searching for a not, a letter, anything that gave me a clue. Nope. Nada. All I found was a card that said: Simple Survival Kit (#simplesurvivalkit) with a list of the products inside.

And here's what was inside that box.

Food Should Taste Good chips (chocolate and sweet potato), Justin's Peanut Butter Cups, Larabar, Little Duck Organics (strawberry & mango dried fruit), SmartWool socks, Sprout Wellness Basics lip balm, and Teatulia tea.

Um...wow! I absolutely love Food Should Taste Good chips. I've never tried the chocolate flavor though. Larabars are awesome and I'm excited to try the new uber bar flavors. I love the Justin's nut butter packets, especially for travel so how on earth can the PB cups be wrong?? It was awesome getting new products to try. The Little Ducks Organics dried fruit was super tasty. I am thinking they'd be fantastic in oatmeal or maybe a dessert. Wheels are turning.

I'm always on the lookout for a great lip balm, and love the simple, all-natural ingredients in this Sprout Wellness Basics lip balm. And warm socks? For a girl who always has cold tootsies, these might be the best things ever.
 
If I won this from you, please let me know (and I apologize for not remembering). Have you ever received something awesome like this???

And what are some new things you've found recently?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meal Prepping and Way to Go Wednesday

Not so Lazy
Well, while I was super lazy on Sunday (thoroughly enjoyed by the way), I made up for that Monday. My original plan was to go into work a little late. But I ended up going in on time and just took off a little early instead. It was only 3 hours, but sometimes that makes such a huge difference.

This meant I had plenty of time to get lots done including an 8-mile run. Our temps have gone from 75 to barely touching 55 overnight. I ended up slightly overdressing with the exception of the wind for my run. It was sunny, not quite 55, windy. So I wore long sleeves and shorts. Like I said, if it hadn't have been for the cold wind, I would have been miserably hot.

I really was feeling wishy washy about the run. I knew once I got out there and going I'd be just fine. But sometimes I get this weird trepidation before heading out. I have no idea how to explain it. I just get a little anxious.

Anyway, my goal was 8 miles at an easier pace. And I did just that.

After my run, I took a hot shower then spent some time on my Triggerpoint rollers and stretching before deciding to tackle some projects/chores.

I managed to get 4 loads of laundry done and mostly folded, dusted the house, made some vegan Black Bean & Tempeh Chipotle Enchiladas (casserole style) for dinner and also made some Curried Pumpkin Soup for tonight. I figured I was already in the kitchen making a mess, so why not get 2 meals done at once. I didn't bother taking pictures of the enchiladas...they always look like such a mess anyway.

For the soup, I mostly followed this recipe but used bell peppers as I was out of carrots and did not use coconut milk as I was out of that as well. I also used one of the big big cans of pureed pumpkin that I scored on a dented can clearance. Don't know about you, but I don't care if the can is dented but I'll certainly take the clearanced price ;-)

Tuesday night the plan was to run 5 miles with my running partner. I went home, changed, then ran down to her office. The temps had topped out earlier at 54 degrees but were dropping quickly as the sun began to go down. I swear I always forget how to dress myself this time of year.

During the summer it's simple: take water and wear as little clothing as possible. Now? It depends on the wind chill, the time of day even. I ended up in long sleeves and capris and my arms were hot but my hands frozen. "A" wore shorts and long sleeves with gloves and she ended up warm up top but frozen legs. And the temps just continued to drop pretty quickly. By the time I got home it was 45 degrees.

We had a really great run. It's been over a week since we've been able to run together so lots of catching up to do of course ;-)

Anyway, it worked out perfectly having the soup pre-made. All I had to do is re-heat and then toast up some curried chickpeas to go on top. Not only was it perfect b/c it was already done basically, it was also warm and comforting after the run.

I really should plan out meals like that more often. Are you good at planning out and prepping up meals for the week?

Way to Go Wednesday
Today I am either going to take a rest day or do biceps/back/abs and some kickboxing. We'll see how the day progresses. But most importantly, it's Way to Go Wednesday!

Brittany at Little B's Healthy Habits for making it in Oxygen Magazine! 

Mrs. Stuftmama for being crazy enough to run a half marathon with a double jog stroller with a 1:37 finish. AMAZING 

Pavement Runner for his well-deserved mention in the latest Runner's World magazine. So cool!

Angela at Happy Fit Mama for knocking out a PR at the Seacoast Half Marathon.

Miss Zippy for being a pacer. I think pacers rock!

Your turn - who do you want to give a shout out to this week?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Recap with Running, Girls' Lunch, Lazy Days


Impromptu Long Run
This weekend was a good one. Mostly low-key, but still lots of fun. I ended up getting in my long run on Friday. That wasn't exactly the plan. Jason was out of town, so I was going to run 5 miles then meet up with friends for a drink. Well, the happy hour plans fell through. But the run didn't.

I actually ended up running with someone from work. We've chatted via email and talked about trying to run together, but it's just not happened yet. But, it ended up working out for us on Friday. I had worked extra to take off earlier on Friday. So I left work just before 3, went home and changed then ran from my house back down to the office to meet up with "B." 

I won't lie, I was a bit nervous. I am always nervous when I run with someone new for the first time. You don't know what their pace might be or what if you have a crappy run. Anyway, it was really hot (70's) and the sunny. But there was a wind that kind of helped. We ran down in the river market area then sort of zigzagged and meandered until making our way back to the office. 

At that point, I was at 5.75 miles with a mile back to the house depending on the route I went. I got back to the house and got more water then decided to just go ahead and go for it. I mean, all I needed was 3 more miles and my 10-miler was done for the week. With that in mind, I took a few Honey Stinger Chews then headed back out. 

Overall it was a good run. But, I went way faster than I should have. Part of it was the fact that I was planning a shorter run, so going faster wasn't a big deal at 5-6 miles. I ended up with an overall 8:44 pace that I kind of paid for afterwards. My legs immediately let me know they weren't pleased. I quickly got cleaned up and pulled on my compression socks and stretched and iced my heels. 

I decided to re-heat some leftover chili, which ended up being a terrible idea. The chili was fine (as in not old or bad), but it did not set well on my tummy after the long run. Note to self: chili is not a good recovery meal. I was worn out from a long week and the long run, so I went to bed really early.

Saturday Fun Day
Going to bed early also meant waking up early, but I refused to get out of bed at 6 am on Saturday. So I just laid there for a bit before finally getting up at 7:30. I kind of piddled around for a bit before deciding to go out for a run. Let's just say running 5 miles about 12 hours after 10 miles is not a brilliant move. 

My legs were so heavy. Not sore, just heavy like running in mud. And it was terribly humid out. There was also a Color Run going on with the route taking over part of my usual route. Humph. How dare they..... So that meant I had to kind of circle around one area more than I would have liked. I hate to circle and circle. 

The air was so thick and damp that I actually felt clammy as if I were feverish. Very strange and not enjoyable at all I must add. But I'm stubborn and was determined to finish that darn run. 

After the run, I got cleaned up, pulled on those compression calf sleeves and waited around for my sister. We headed to the mall, did a little shopping then met up with some girlfriends for a late girls' lunch. We had so much fun talking, eating, talking, eating...laughing. 

Sarah and I didn't do anything else after we got home. We both quickly changed into PJs (ate way too much at lunch and wanted Thanksgiving pants on ASAP) and just sat on the couch, listened to music and talked. It was perfect really. 

Around 8 we decided to make up a gluten-free pizza. I had picked up a package of Bob's Red Mill pizza dough. So easy to put together and really tasty too. So, just a really nice, laid back kind of day.

Lazy Sunday
Sunday my sister left around 9:30. It was a gray, dreary looking day with a storm front pushing through. I stayed in PJs until 11 before deciding to get off my butt and get my workout done. 

Originally I thought I'd run 4 miles. But, I decided to not go for a run. It was warm, humid, gusting winds. And my feet were hurting honestly. Instead, I went with legs, chest, triceps and abs from Cathe's High Reps DVD. I rarely do high rep workouts, but man oh man they get you. Sneaky sneaky. 

After my workout, I cleaned up and put on comfy clothes again. Not exactly PJs but pretty darn close. The rest of Sunday was completely lazy. I did one load of laundry and that was about it. We had rain and storms rolling through by mid-afternoon, so it was the perfect day to stay in and do nothing other than catch up on The Walking Dead episodes. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ouchie Legs and Fun Facts Friday - Hugs

Ouchie Legs
Let's see, I guess I can do a quick recap of the past few days before getting to Fun Facts Friday. Wednesday I went out for a run after work. My plan was 6, but I kind of wanted 8 miles. I ended up compromising with 7 miles.

I kind of had to reel it in a bit as my running partner was going to come over for some yoga. And my legs were screaming at me to stop anyway. I had done legs Tuesday night. So 7 miles on Wednesday was over-kill to say the very least. I had hoped the run would loosen them up. Um....not so much.

"A" stopped by around 5:45 and we did the same flexibility set up I've been doing. She's having a major hamstring problem, so this was ideal for both of us. After the yoga session, I cleaned up, put on my compression calf sleeves, and Jason and I had dinner - curried veggies w/ tofu using the curry paste I made last week. Hopefully I'll get around to remaking, tweaking and posting the recipe soon.

Thursday morning started off with an application of Biofreeze for the quads. Yep, running after weights then yoga...holy no-hovering day. Oh, and it meant a rest day no ifs ands or buts about that one. Each step jostled the poor quads as it was. Clearly I've been neglecting my leg workouts (this is a note to self really).

So, planning on a run today after work. Mileage is TBD. I'm just hoping my legs don't disown me at this point.

Fun Facts Friday - Hugs
Now...Fun Facts Firday...

I'm not a random hugger. I'm not opposed to hugs mind you. I typically have a fairly large personal space though and reserve my hugs just a bit. I am getting more open with hugging though. Like hugging people I meet for the first time in person (but I already feel I know them so I don't know how much that counts).

Anyway, where does this come from? Yesterday I mentioned to my oldest and dearest friends that I needed one of her special hugs. She can fix anything with a hug I swear. Well, ok, maybe not fix it but she sure can make me feel better with one.

That got me to thinking (shocker right?) about hugging, the types of hugs, what they mean, that sort of thing. So here are hugs from my point of view:

Source: saifou.com via Samantha on Pinterest

Sister hugs - Pretty much the end all be all for me. My sister and I will just hug, hug so so tight and it's our "Sissy Hug." We can say volumes with this hug.

Husband hugs - Well, it's hard to beat that one either. It's the enveloping, pure love kind of hug. That hug that makes you know everything will be ok.

Friend hugs - These hugs are like smiles. You hug your friends when you see them and then before you leave.

Healing hugs - This is the type of hug I mentioned earlier - this is the hug my dearest friend gives. Her smile is that way too. I think it's a special person who delivers this type of hug.

Parent hugs - My mom is a big time hugger. But she means it. And she hugs tight, reminding me of her comfort as a child. My dad isn't a big hugger at all, so his hugs are special in that they are reserved for only a select few.

Are you a hugger? Do you reserve yours or do you share freely?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cross-training, Minestrone Soup & Way to Go Wednesday

Cross-training and Minestrone 
Monday night I ended up running 4.5 miles. It was one of those much much needed runs. Not a matter of should I but I must. I really should have only done 3 miles, but I just kept going and finally just had to stop myself.

That meant today I really needed to not run. My plan was 8 miles. But in reality, I knew I needed to give my feet a break. In 3 days I had hit 19.5 miles. Time for some cross-training. I ended up doing legs and shoulders from Cathe's High Reps DVD. I've never tried that one. I really don't normally like high-rep workouts.

But, I needed something different, something to keep me on my toes so to speak. And man oh man did it ever. I always forget how high reps can sting big time when it's not the workout you're used to. I followed the workout up with Cathe's MMA Kickboxing DVD.

After all that, it was time to get down to the business of dinner. I was starved. The plan was soup for dinner since the temps have dropped (yet again). Based on what I had in the fridge, I ended up throwing together a Kale and Zucchini Minestrone.

Kale & Zucchini Minestrone 
Ingredients:
1/2 white onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 can no-salt diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 32 oz container no-salt vegetable broth
To taste: salt, pepper, parsley, basil, red chili pepper flakes, thyme
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 package of green beans, chopped (a couple of handfuls)
1 bunch kale, cleaned, de-stemmed and chopped
1 zucchini, diced
2 oz pene pasta (or any shape you prefer)

Directions:
In a large soup pot, saute the onions, garlic, and carrots until onions begin to soften. Add in the tomatoes, broth, seasonings, nutritional yeast, and beans.

Allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Add in the pasta and let simmer 10 minutes. Then add in the kale, zucchini, green beans, and pasta. Allow to continue to simmer until pasta is cooked and carrots are soft.

I served with Sarena's Chickpea Oat Flatbread. I made it with sundried tomatoes, parsley, oregano, and basil this time.

I really wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, but was pleasantly surprised. It definitely hit the spot and will definitely be something I make again. 


Way to Go Wednesday
Now, onto the important part of today's post - Way to Go Wednesday thumbs up and shout outs. I know I miss so many shout outs, so I do hope you all add them into the comments please!

Mr. Pavement Runner for getting an awesome 15-minute PR during the 2 Cities Marathon.

Laura (sprint2thetable) for competing in her first figure competition and taking 4th in Figure Class A. 

Madeline (Food, Fitness & Family) on her 3rd half marathon and PR!

Melissa for passing her personal trainer certification and following her dreams!

Kierston for rocking out her 3rd figure comp in as many weeks AND taking home 1st place in the Figure Medium/Tall Category plus 2nd in Bikini. You rock my friend!

Cherie for finishing her first half marathon. That deserves a high five too!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Running Weekend

Humidity Sucks 10-Miler 
How is it Monday already? Didn't the weekend just begin? At least we had that time change finally. I am not really happy about it getting dark so early, but at least it won't be pitch black until 7:15 in the mornings now. Always a trade off I suppose.

Saturday morning we got up planning on a 10-mile run. While I understand Jason's desire to take it slow on Saturday mornings, as in sleep in, watch cartoons, eat a leisurely breakfast and THEN go for a run, sometimes waiting bites us in the butt.

It's hard to believe that a week ago we were wearing sleeves and capris for our half marathon. This Saturday I had on shorts and a sports bra as it was steadily climbing into the 70's. And the humidity was 97% with a front coming through. So it was hot, humid, windy. And the sun was out in full force too. Gorgeous day for sitting out and enjoying, but not so much for a 10-mile run.

I decided to give my new calf sleeves another shot for a run. So that certainly didn't help with the heat. My legs felt so heavy from the very start. And we kept letting the speed creep up too fast. I don't know if we were both just subconsciously wanting to get the run over with or what. But we were hitting close to half marathon pace repeatedly.

We stopped at mile 5 because I had to re-collect myself. I stretched my legs, took my GU, and tried to refocus. Humidity just zaps me. Plain and simple. We got going again and ended up making a quick stop at our house at mile 7 to get more water. There was no way I could finish another 3 miles without getting more water in me.

After the quick water break, we headed out again to finish the last 3 miles. I do think the brief break helped, and also knowing there were only 3 miles left. Those were probably the best of the miles done that day.

We both got in and went into recovery mode. Stretching, rolling, all that fun stuff. I cleaned up and put my calf sleeves back on and then we headed out for lunch. We opted for Pizza Cafe because we could enjoy their patio. It might have been the last patio day for a while as the weather has cooled back down again.

My sister was in town meeting a friend. So we ended up joining them for a glass of wine before heading back home. Then we ended up playing pool for several hour Saturday evening. We hadn't played in ages. Usually I'm too lazy to stand around and play pool even though the table is just sitting right there in our house. Sad right?

All in all, it was a really good day. It's hard to beat a nice, relaxing patio lunch and being able to spend some time with your sister.

Sunday Fun Run Day
Sunday morning I got up and met up with my friend for a run. The plan was 4 easy miles, but it ended up being 5 (fast for me) miles. But a really really good run. It was only about 50 degrees (huge difference from the previous day), low humidity, and sunny. I felt so much lighter and energized. You'd think after a 10-miler I'd be too tired to run again. But I felt great.

I felt great enough to keep up with A's pace. My first mile was my slowest and it's mostly because it was all up hill to get to where we were meeting: 9:04, 8:33, 8:28, 8:26, 8:37. I just went with the pace rather than try to fight it. It felt good, never incredibly hard. I was working, don't get me wrong, but I wasn't struggling.

I did not wear my compression socks or calf sleeves for the run. And don't think I'll use them for running in again honestly. Each time I've worn them my legs have felt horribly heavy. I asked my friend if she felt that way and she said yes.

So, after our zippy 5-miler, I got home and stretched out and rolled then put on my compression socks for the duration of the day. For the first time in about a year, my feet are not tender after a run. Is it the compression socks or coincidence? Not sure, not going to question it, but I'm going to keep on using those socks and sleeves after every run now.

How was your weekend? Did you take advantage of the time change and get some extra sleep??


Friday, November 2, 2012

Evening Running and Fun Facts Friday - Fashion Finds

Evening Run
Yesterday my running partner and I had made plans to go for a run after work. I got off work at 4 and A was getting off at 4:45. We actually work in buildings just diagonal from each other. The plan was that I'd run from my house to her office and she'd just run straight from her office home.

I overestimated how long it was going to take me to get there. I guess I thought crossing traffic might take me longer. It was a gorgeous afternoon, but quite a bit warmer (low 70's) than it's been. So back to warm-weather running again....

I donned my new pink compression calf sleeves to test out as well. Again, it was warm. A and I headed down towards the river where there are pedestrian only paths to follow. The downfall of afternoon running is afternoon traffic. Though, A and I were both wanting to take it easy, so lots of stops for traffic wasn't tragic by any means.

The other thing about evening running is your fueling is off. I overestimated my water intake and had to take a potty break at mile 4. A needed to stretch an achy hamstring though so it worked out. Then we were off again. The route we took was great until we realized we then had to cross over a long, gradually ascending bridge and then continue the rest of the run home up a long, gradual ascent. I got in a solid 8 miles and A hit 7 by the time she finished the run to her house.

It wasn't an easy run. I think we both struggled a little bit. But we had fun, great conversations, enjoying the weather...so it was all worth it. Sometimes a run is just that....a run. It's not spectacular, it's not horrible either. But you're glad you did it.

I'm still out on the calf sleeves for during a run vs just for recovery. I plan to run in them again though. They did take just a bit of getting used to, just a general different feeling. Not sure how to explain. It's like trying out new shoes I suppose.

Fun Facts Friday - Fashion Finds
I've mentioned before how much I love to shop (especially for shoes). I thought it might be fun to do a fashion post for Friday just to share some of the fashion finds I love. Especially those that I didn't realize would work so well and others I'm questioning.

Jessica Simpson Leopard Print Heels - DSW
Source: dsw.com via Taylor on Pinterest

I used to think leopard print shoes would only go with brown, black, or tan. But they are really almost like a black or nude shoe and can go with so many other colors - especially reds and blues.

Steve Madden Taupe Heaven Flats - DSW
Source: ebay.com via aperire on Pinterest

These shoes seem to go with just about anything. Even better...they're comfy. Definitely worth the price.

Kochi Colored Low Rise Skinny Jean - Hautelook

I don't know how the color of these jeans look to you guys, but to me they were pretty yellow. The jeans that actually arrived are slightly more mustard. Not bad, but different. They do fit at least and are super stretchy and comfy. But now I can't figure out the right top...

Pinterest Inspiration

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

I saw this outfit on Pinterst and replicated with a Red Cardigan from Old Navy, a black/white tee from Limited, Always Skinny Jeans from Gap, the nude flats above, and a big chunky pale aqua necklace from Limited.

White Lace Tee w/ Black Trim - Limited

I got this shirt to go with black skinny jeans, but now I can't figure out the right shoes. I don't have any black pumps that are a flat/matte black.

So there you have it. Just a few random fashion finds. Do you ever buy something and then can't figure out how to actually wear it out, how to pair it correctly? Or what have you bought that you weren't so sure about but then it became one of your all-time fave go-tos?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Things for Athletes

Recovery & Running Plans
Yesterday my plan was to do weights after work. What happened was I felt worn out and decided to do some yoga instead. I figured I could use the additional stretching if nothing else. So, more of an active recovery day for me.

Today the plan is to get in a run after work with my running buddy. It's really nice being able to run in the daylight now that it's not 90+ degrees. The only downfall is that there is definitely more traffic, so lots of stopping and starting. Of course, our plan is to take it easy, so that might end up being a good thing for us after all.

Thursday Things
I usually don't talk a lot about products I like. There are a few things I mention like my Triggerpoint Therapy Kit or my Cathe Friedrich DVDs. But today I've actually got a few things I've been using recently and liking that I'd like to share. I think it can be fun to hear about new products.
I ordered these SLS3 Compression socks via Amazon last week before my half marathon. I have been skeptical about compression socks, thinking they were more hype than anything. But with all my issues, I thought I'd give them a shot (and I got a good deal on Amazon).

I pulled these babies on after I had cleaned up after the race on Saturday. I guess I half expected them to squeeze the life out of my calves and feet. But they didn't. It was just a gentle pressure. It took about 15 minutes before I really started feeling a difference.

I was thinking they weren't doing anything, but then all the sudden I just felt relief. Not really sure how to describe it. It's very subtle. But my feet didn't feel like they were swelling and the pain that I was feeling in my feet was easing up tremendously.
I loved the socks so much that I ordered some CEP Calf Sleeves (in pink) to try out during runs. I'm picky about my running socks - I think most runners are - so I didn't want to tempt the blister gods by trying to run in my compression socks. (I will be testing the sleeves today.)

We recently got the large Trigerpoint Therapy Grid. They have a smaller version, but we decided to go with the larger version. It's a great accompaniment to the kit we already have. I'm a firm believer in the power of rolling out and hitting/releasing the triggerpoints.


We've had this DVD for several years now, but I've only recently started to really and truly try to use it. It's called the Athlete's Guide to Yoga. What I like about this DVD is that I can pick and choose the sequences and flows that I need the most.

(Note: I did not get paid to talk about these products. They were purchased with my own money for my own use and these are my own personal opinions.)

What are some of the things you've been liking recently? Any great new finds?