Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Hello Sunshine…

I almost forgot how good it felt.

To have the sun shine on your shoulders and let the breeze blow throughout the house.

Almost. Until yesterday.

(source)

The weather was a beautiful 72 degrees out of nowhere and has left me with a serious case of the Monday blues. The weather has returned to a normal wintery mix of rain and overcast skies. Farewell sun, see you in a few months!

With such great weather, I was happy to do my errands yesterday. I rode to the grocery store with my windows down and had some quiet time @ Trader Joe’s browsing food and finding oh so many things my diet allows. I heart TJ’s. Nothing makes me happier than a cart of new food for the week!

Can you tell there is a healthy person living with a not-so healthy person?! I swear for every tofu meal I make Chris eat, I have to get chips, pizza and dunkers to quiet any arguments on food in our household. šŸ™‚

I was really excited when I found that they just opened a Great Harvest Bread Co. right next door! What a great location!!!

(Look at those blue skies….ahhhhh)

I raced to put the groceries away and immediately threw on shorts, a t-shirt and my sneakers. I grabbed Daisy and we went for a run. Couldn’t tell ya how long or how fast. All I knew is I was happy to be out there. I can’t wait until warmer days, then maybe me and the pavement will reunite.

For dinner I was feeling something light and non-meat or dairy. šŸ™‚ Especially after Chris’s birthday dinner. I decided to make a robust salad and just add quinoa and orzo to the mix.

I cooked some extra corn and threw it in. It was surprisingly exactly what I wanted.

On another note, Chris’s birthday present came…a Keurig. I for one don’t drink coffee, but this little baby is almost enough to make me start.

I can however make tea, iced coffee AND hot chocolate with this thing! It’s so easy and quick, plus all the cute variety cups make preparing coffee a lot more fun!

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets or tools??

I personally lust over the avocado peeler, just because they always seem to give me so much trouble…and really I should just buy one because I think they are under $5…typical.

Fingers crossed that I can use the new blog design tomorrow! I know my friend is working diligently on it but there are always little road blocks with things like this…I really like the way it looks though and I hope you do too!

We Meet Again!

I made it to the gym last night! It was my first time backĀ in weeks but after reading a Meals and MilesĀ post the other day, I finally got the motivation. I am so HAPPY I did because I left feeling great.

I’ve noticed a trendĀ in posts this morning in the healthy living community (at least the ones I read) about a runners body vs. a strength-training body. I must admit that since I have taken up running more regularly I have not been as happy with my body šŸ˜¦ I think I have gained around 10-15 pounds and while some of the extra lb’s must be muscle I don’t feel nearly as toned as I did this time last year.

Just look at the difference. Last year I was in the gym 3x a week in preparation for our Caribbean cruise. I did very little running.

…and now (albeit I’m a ton whiter and that makes a small difference) I’m not nearly as “fit” or so it would seem.

(I realize I’m tailgating in this picture but trust me, there was no shortage of that last year)

My jeans are hardly fitting and I just feel so heavy. This could be due to the fact that I’m not getting enough aerobic itensity out of my runs but honestly, I think my body just flourishes more with strength training. This is not to say I’m cutting out cardio all together, I just need to incorporate more of what I was doing in the past, and not soley rely on runs.

I think people have to find what works best for them and after last night’s gym session, it was oh so clear that I want to be back more regularly. This is what works for me:

  • 7-10 minute warm-up on the Elliptical
  • 20-25 minutes circulating on the machines, either working on legs or arms
  • 10 minute ab-work-out conisting of 130 crunches
  • 20 minute cardio: 5 minute warm-up, 10 minute run, 5 minute cool down

Last night, I even caught the spread in Glamour on Reese Witherspoon during my warm-up!

I know some people don’t love the idea of working out in a gym, but I’m not one of them. I find it satisfying and like to people watch. They have good tunes playing without having to use my i-pod and most importantly…it’s warm.

Backtracking a bit, I had my normal breakfast-last photo, I promise. I’m switching it up a bit next week.

Oats, yogurt, apple slices and cinnamon.

For lunch, Chris packed me an awesome lunch using our leftovers.

I love how he used the compartments in the Tupperware so wisely. That brownie for dessert fit in there perfectly! Thanks hubs!

On to dinner, this was Chris’s concoction. He called it “Chicken with Strange Sauce.” All I could make-out were the mushrooms, onions and capers but it was pretty darn good. He likes to boast he does not use recipes.

After dinner me and Daisy sat on the couch and watched Finding Nemo. I am pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch arond 9:00pm.

That is what going back to the gym will do to you! Can’t wait to hit up a Group Power class tonight!

What works best for you when it comes to exercising? When do you feel at your peak?

Struggling with your Goals

One of the things I was most adamant about when I started this blog was that I didn’t want to only talk about things I was doing right. I wanted this blog to be relatable to my readers and give people some hope that even when you stumble, it’s never too late to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and keep trying. Some blunders have been opting for the double-bacon cheeseburger, with fries mind you, over the wrap. Currently, it’s realizing I’m not ready for Thunder Road.

I am a wanna-be runner. I want to be better. I want to run longer, faster and enjoy it more than I do. But the truth is I struggle with it tremendously.It’s a serious love/hate relationship that I don’t take lightly and am constantly trying to strive to be better at.

I like to run most days but honestly hate to run others. It’s inconsistent and due to that inconsistency I am not able to run the upcoming half-marathon. I could go out there and run/walk it, post on my blog how much I enjoyed it (which I probably would) but I would also be falsifying my journey.

The bottom line- I’m not ready to push my body to run 13 miles. I’m nowhere close to even having any competitive edge in the race.

After being disappointed in myself, I realized that this is no one’s race but mine. I don’t have to run the race for my friends who are participating, for this blog, for anyone but myself. I might not run this race or have trained well enough to attempt it, but I know one day I will run a half-marathon. It’s just not going to be on Saturday. I am however putting my best foot forward and running the 5k. I figure I can try and beat my time from the Rock N’ Read 5k I did a few months ago. Plus, I have a lot of friends participating in this race and I would LOVE to cheer them on. They are my heroes…serious runners, and trust me, that takes a lot.

Now enough self-loathing (because that’s only OK in small doses)

Friday was a good day! First of all it was the end of the week. I had my overnight oats with a double-whammy of jam.

For lunch I went out to Zaxby’s. They have one salad that I actually don’t mind ordering. It is so good and filling! Their chicken is good and it’s pretty affordable when I want to eat lunch out of the office.

After work I met up with some co-workers for a little Happy Hour. We have been going to Duckworths lately for their awesome selection of draft beers.

When I got home I didn’t feel like making a big meal so I just scrounged up some spinach, mushrooms and provolone cheese to make quesadillas with.

Saturday there was no time messing around with breakfast. A quick bowl of cereal was had before some serious Christmas shopping.

Lunch was our very own home-made Panera šŸ˜‰

After that, Chris and I opted to not get our Christmas tree due to the freezing rain so instead I begged him to go to Best Buy so we could buy Eclipse! I know I’m a twelve-year old when it comes to the Twilight series, but I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for romance movies with insane soundtracks.

Sunday Chris and I both woke feeling under the weather. We are convinced we caught something on the plane to San Francisco, that or all the traveling and cold weather is finally getting to us…

I opted for some power-fruit in hopes that it would make me feel better for breakfast.

For lunch I had leftovers that needed to be eaten or they were going to have toĀ  be thrown out. I reheated some quinoa and brussels sprouts and added some avocado and greek yogurt to the mix.

With the cold weather I was craving some soup so Chris made me some New England clam chowder with a toasted tuna-sandwich on the side. Perfect. Especially since I didn’t even have to make it!

I’m going to work on a realistic plan for myself for some upcoming races. Other than that I think I’m going to take some solace in my Group Power that I love so much as well as things that are more feasible for me to do to keep active through the colder months. Stay tuned to see what I can come up with!

Have you guys ever felt like you failed a fitness goal? What about a trying to stick to healthy eating? A girl could really use a pep talk about now… šŸ˜‰

Vending Machine Show-down

On Wednesday it was back to reality and with getting in so late from San Fran I still had zero food in the fridge or pantry. I was starving when I got to work so I was forced to have a show-down with the vending machine.

Have you ever sat in front ofĀ a vending machine trying to assess the healthiest option? It’s hard. I ultimately ended up with a Nature Valley granola bar-probably not the best breakfast but it was something…

For lunch I once again had to eat out and was craving Panera for their selection of soups. I decided to switch things up from the veggie sandwich I usually get and opted for a chicken salad sandwich instead, side of tomato soup, apple and water with lemon.

Ever since the bridal shower, I have had the biggest craving for Chicken-Salad.

I clearly needed to go grocery shopping after work so dinner needed to be quick and easy. It was pushing 7:00 pm by the time I got home and I still wanted to get in a run. I need to register for the Thunder Road Half before fees are astronomical but I have to admit I’m a little scared. What if I can’t do it?

The run was cold, dark and miserable but my morningstar meal helped revive me when I got home.

My dinner was a spicy black-bean burger from MorningstarĀ with melted provolone cheese, spinach and red onion. It was very tasty! I had some Kashi Cheese crackers on the side as well as an apple.

Dessert was neopolitan ice-cream. šŸ™‚

Dinner felt more like lunch but it took minutesĀ to make andĀ freed up some of my time to work on this disaster…

I loathe putting my life back together once we are done traveling. It took a few hours but I went to bed with everything back in its rightful place. I guess I’m officially back in the swing of things.

Have you ever been afraid to try something athletically before? Any advice for a first time half marathoner?

Gah-Gah Gorgeous Weather!

I can not get over how beautiful this weekend was, we enjoyed perfect weather in Charlotte. The leaves are absolutely breath-taking and my run today was border-line hot.

Just look at those trees! I enjoyed the beautiful scenery as I did an easy 4Ā  mile run with Daisy…

She was really tuckered out once we were done. I almost felt like I ran her too hard so I made sure to pamper her the rest of the night. Poor doggey is a little out of shape…just look at her staring into space.

For lunch I was feeling something easy and since we haven’t grocery shopped, I had to get a little creative. I settled on an easy tuna melt.

This was actually better than it looked and with such raw ingredients, it was ready in minutes. I also had some yogurt and triskets on the side.

For dinner we needed to use the salmon that was in the fridge but I wasn’t really feeling them as fillets. I wanted something different so I decided to make salmon cakes. These really hit the spot and were easy to prepare.

Salmon Cakes

Recipe courtesy of Eating Well

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 15 ounces canned salmon, drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked salmon (I used fresh)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (Trader Joe’s organic breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450Ā°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley; remove from the heat.

Place salmon in a medium bowl. Flake apart with a fork; remove any bones and skin. Add egg and mustard; mix well. Add the onion mixture, breadcrumbs and pepper; mix well. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, about 2 1/2 inches wide.

Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties.

Bake the salmon cakes until golden on top and heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

One of my favorite things to do on Sunday evening is to delve into some wedding planning. The plans are coming along nicely and if anyone is dying to know some details, I can post if you wish! šŸ˜‰

Hope everyone has a good night. I’m excited for a 2 day work week and then going home to San Francisco for the holidays.

What are you doing? Any big plans?

Ending Negative Behaviors

Lately I have been feeling like I’m pulled in a million different directions.

After doing some soul-searching over the last few weeks, I’ve realized that I have too many obligations and not enough hours in the day. While it’s not exactly time for New Years resolutions, I’m making one of mine early.

I’m going to try to focus on the authentic things in life. Mind, Body, Soul.

  • Mind-I’mĀ attending a meeting tomorrowĀ regardingĀ Wake Forest’sĀ Graduate program. I’ve been longing to go back to school and have been complacent and lazy in taking the steps I need in order for this to become a reality. Wake Forest has a great MBA program for people who work full-time.
  • Body-Still training for Thunder Road but after the half-marathon, working on trimming down and building strength are two things I’m striving for next year. The wedding is in May people!
  • Soul-Being a better friend, sister, daughter and soon-to-beĀ wife. There are many people in my life that I take for granted and too many people who I honestly don’t need to occupy my time with. I have always been social but as I’ve grown up, that area of my life is dwindling and I need to make sure that when I’m spending the little Ā free timeĀ  I have, it’s with the people I love.

Sorry if that is too heavy for a Tuesday morning! On to Dining and Dashing!

Lunch yesterday was a sub. Jersey Mike’s has the best subs and since I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet this week-food out was my only option. There might have been some Baked Layes in there too but I can’t be certain…;)

For dinner last night, Chris and I were both exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking or grocery shopping for that matter. We decided to go to Edomae, one of our favorite restaurants that is just around the corner from our house. It took me a good 10 minutes to decide on sushi vs. chicken hibachi but I was glad I did by the time the meal was over.

(Can you say un-healthy??)

After sushi it was of course pitch black even though it was not even 7:00. (I loathe Daylight Saving Time) I wasn’t up for a dark run and didn’t feel like hopping back into the car to the gym-so I reluctantly went with a TV work-out. I hate working out in my living room but I’m trying to really amp up my fitness level prior to the holiday foods and general lack of laziness that seems to come with this time of year.

The only person I can stomach when I do a living room work-out has to be Jillian Michaels. I hate this women and love her at the same time. She is the only one that doesn’t strike me as corny and she is really motivating.

I will be excited to do a Tuesday run tonight!

The Meatball Challenge

Sunday morning Chris and I were both feeling pancakes.

I made mine with chocolate chips and made him some originals…only to find out, IĀ should neverĀ do that again. (I really did think he wouldn’t like it!)

From the rest of the day on, Chris took it upon himself to make us lunch and dinner. Lunch was a pretty darn good sandwich made with turkey, red onion, spinach, provolone, mayonnaiseĀ and some very good tomato on whole grain bread. I added some Kashi crackers on the side since we split the sandwich.

After lunch I took Daisy for a nice 4.5 mile run. It’s hard getting acclimated to the colder weather when I’m running. I feel like my lungs are burning!Ā But I certainly wasn’ t cold after the first few minutes-so that made things tolerable.

For dinner, Chris and IĀ debated over who made betterĀ homemade meatballs.Ā Which then caused us to have…Ā THE MEATBALL CHALLENGE.

Chris likes to think he’s a better cook than I am, and while that was once true, I think he is having a hard time coming to theĀ realization that I have surpassed him. Hence, the challenge that ensued.

If you are an avid follower you might have seen my homemade meatballs from last week.

Now, Chris insisted that not only could his meatballs be better, but they would be bigger. So typical.

Having trouble finding his meatballs? That’s because there is only 2 and they take up half the plate šŸ˜‰

While I have to say they were good, I don’t know if all his boasting was deserved. We stillĀ can’t agree on who won.Ā One thing I will give him praise for is having the night off and welcoming a hand-delivered hot plate of dinner.Ā Especially since IĀ was completely sucked in to The Pirates of the Caribbean movie,Ā that was showing on ABC Family.

So random, but such a nice way to end the weekend.