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Showing posts from January, 2012

Kettlebells & Something for Everyone Dinner

Weights, Kettlebells & Tabata 
Since I'm not supposed to be running right now, I had to come up with another workout option today. I couldn't do spin because I had an afternoon meeting and honestly think the pressure from the pedals would have hurt my heel.

So, I decided to do shoulders and chest with a bit of a low-impact tabata style workout at the end using kettlebells (with the exception of the squat thrusts - though I should have done squat thrusts w/ pushups).

I started with about 20 minutes easy on the elliptical as a warm up. I did the weights as supersets of 3x8 unless noted before started the tabata workout.

SS#1
Shoulder press
Flat-bench dumbbell press

SS#2
Upright rows
Pushups with toes on bench (10 reps)

SS#3
Lateral raise
Staggered flat-bench press

Tabata Workout
Do each exercise for 20 secs with 10 sec rest then rest 1 min after each circuit, repeated 3 times

Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell figure 8's
Kettlebell squat pulls
Squat thrusts
Kettlebell swings
K…

Friendships and Stir Fry

Sappy Friendship Monday
Source: google.com via Happy HouseWife on Pinterest

I saw this quote on pinterest, and it is so incredibly true for me. If someone doesn't know me, they tend to think I am very reserved (well, I kind of am) maybe even snobbish because I am so quiet. It's hard for me to put myself out there to start up a conversation. I always feel awkward, like I'm going to say something totally asinine (which does happen).

So, I stand back, watch, listen. I try to figure out where I might fit into the conversation, into the group. Sometimes I never do. Maybe I miss out on friendships for not putting myself out there. I've always had just a small group of very close friends - the ones that love me because I am indeed a nutcase.

I will say, however, that blogging has actually pushed me into new realms of friendship. I never thought you could be friends with someone you didn't know in person, that is, until blogging. Now I truly believe that you can indeed have …

Kick Butt Workout & Dinner with Friends

Weights & Tabata
Today was a gym day for me. I started with 20 minutes on the elliptical (but the treadmills were calling to me sadly). Then I hit the weights for biceps, back, triceps. I went with 3 sets of 8 reps unless noted then followed up the weights with a tabata session.

TS#1
Barbell curls (with EZ bar) - 6 reps
Pullovers
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions

TS#2
Hammer curls (increased weight)
Wide-grip assisted chinups (struggled with these today)
Weighted triceps dips (increased weights)

TS#3
Incline curls (increased weight for half the reps of each set)
Single-arm row
Triceps pulldowns

Tabata - 20 seconds each exercise with 10 seconds rest. Rest 1 minute between circuit. Repeated 3 times
Plie jacks
Speed skaters
Kettlebell swints
Tuck jumps
Lateral hops
Kettlebell figure 8's

Um, yowzer on the HIIT/Tabata workout. I have sooooo lost any of my quick burst endurance. Let me run for 10 miles and I'm good. But short back-to-back bursts kicked my butt. Of course, …

Fun Facts Friday - 11 Randoms & Answers

Today is a much-needed rest day for me, just as much mentally as physically. While I enjoy working out and it usually helps relieve stress, it really is mentally taxing when you think about it. So brains need a break just as much as muscles sometimes.

I always worry that my posts are going to be sub-par on rest days or on days when I don't have any recipe to post. Unlike a lot of bloggers, I don't post incredibly thoughtful posts dealing with topics like gratitude, finding happiness, finding true balance, or the meaning of life.

I would like to think that some of those things do come out in my blog in bits in pieces, in how I live my life and who I am. If that makes any kind of sense (and not even taking a muscle relaxer right now either LOL).

Perhaps this is why I rely on Fun Facts Fridays for Friday posts. It's usually a rest day, rarely a recipe kind of day, and it's a good time to just do something different, fun, random, sometimes silly. I think it's safe to s…

Pooptastic Day - But Still Thankful

Poopy Round 1
Literally, it was poopy. In reality I'm saying shitastic in case you want to know the truth. It was raining this morning, so I pulled on my handy rain boots. I didn't realize it until I had already gotten to work, but I managed to step on wet dog poop walking to the car. This, of course, meant that their was poop in the car. Yay.

I had my doctor's appointment for my sciatica and foot pain at 9:15 this morning. Without going off on a major rant about doctors prescribing an assload of meds to mask the pain and not really and truly trying to figure out what's wrong, I'll just say that I have 4 prescriptions for pain meds, muscle relaxers, steroids.

I rarely even take Advil or Ibuprophen let alone a cocktail of pain meds. However, I really am in enough pain that I did start the prednisone and left work early to take the muscle relaxer in hopes of some relief. The doctor is setting me up with an orthopedic specialist next week. So, maybe we'll get to t…

Leg Day & Spicy White Chili for Cold Night

Leg Day
Today I hit the gym for legs. I was oddly looking forward to leg day actually. I started with 15 minutes on the elliptical as my warmup then did 1 set of 10 reps of squats with no weight on the bar as an additional warmup for the legs. I did either supersets or trisets as 3 sets of 8 reps unless noted.

SS#1
Barbell squats (increased weight again)
Calf raises - 15 reps with increased weight

TS#1
Step-ups (with dumbbells)
Stiff-legged deadlifts (increased weight)
Firewalkers - 4 each direction

TS#2
Alternating front lunges
Plie squats with low-end pulse
Hamstring roll-ins on ball - 12 reps

SS#2 - only 2 sets of 8 reps each leg
Single-leg squats
Outer thigh raise with resistance band

This was a pretty good workout overall. I was glad I was able to increase weight again for squats. Next week I need to increase the weights for alternating lunges. I do think I need to add in more single-leg moves as well like the single-leg squats and maybe single-leg deadlifts as well.

Cold Rain =…

More Spinning & Kale Loving

Spin In Lieu of Running
I'm going to try to set up the workout in the most positive manner as I can. Today was sunny and mid-60's. It seems that almost everyone is experiencing some incredible late-January weather. It would have been ideal for a run. In fact, I had my running clothes packed. I was determined to get in a run today.

However, my foot and sciatica are really causing me some serious pain. So much so, that I skipped the run and hit up spin instead. This about killed me (ok, a bit dramatic, but you get the picture). Ideal weather for running in January (so rare) and I can't run? It just doesn't seem very fair at all.

While spin was a great workout, it was not at all what I wanted to be doing. All I could do was stare out the windows and dream of what it feels like to be out there running, and running pain-free.

So, I did something I've been putting off...I made a doctor's appointment for Thursday. While I have an idea what's going on, at this poi…

Motivation Monday - Inpsiring Quotes

Spin & Motivation
Today was supposed to have been warm and sunny, but the sun was very slow to come out. That was probably a good thing though, less tempting for me to try to run. Instead, I hit up spin.

I guess yesterday's interval run kicked my booty more than I realize. My legs felt like dead weights during spin class. In my mind I was keeping pace with the music, in reality it probably looked like I was barely moving. The only reason you'd know I was truly working was from the sweat pouring off of me.

After work I spent about 20 minutes stretching. I'm hoping it loosens up the tension or tomorrow may end up having to be a rest day.

Tonight is going to be simple - fajitas (for Mexican Monday). I'm just using homemade seitan and sauteing with onions, bell peppers, and portobello mushrooms. It's not really even much of a recipe really. In fact, I sort of feel bad about how measly this post is today. I don't feel like I have any great workouts to share, no…

Intervals & Housework on Dreary Sunday

More Intervals
Originally it was supposed to have been about 66 degrees today and sunny. Instead, it was heavy fog, mist, and about 36 degrees when I woke up. While I know I couldn't have done a long run today, I had still hoped to get outside for a medium-distance run at the very least. But that just wasn't happening.

After having a mini-meltdown about not knowing what other workout I could do, I packed up the laptop and headed to the gym. I briefly thought about shoulders and chest today, but my biceps are pretty sore from yesterday, so that wouldn't have made for an ideal lifting session.

My next thought was to try to do 2 maybe 3 miles tops on the treadmill depending on my foot situation. Then I could set up the laptop in the cardio room and do some boxing or kickboxing.

So, I hopped on the treadmill and stared out into the solid wall of white clouds. I must say that can be very disorienting. Usually I get to look out over the river, today, no view at all. I had low h…

Weights, Errands, Late Relaxing Lunch

Gym Day 
Today was a gym day. I did legs yesterday knowing that today would not be my long run Saturday as it has been in the past. It was really kind of damp, gray, and cold out, so that worked out nicely I think....the fact that I hadn't planned a run.

I did 2.5 miles on the treadmill as a warmup and to try to loosen my legs up. The first 1/2 mile was a total pain in the ass and foot (literally) and very mental. I was getting really mad at myself, at my body, at everything. I am really starting to have doubts about this next half marathon, so those thoughts were creeping in.

Negative thoughts never make for a good run, especially a treadmill run. As my body warmed up, everything did start to loosen up at least. So the foot pain subsided as did the butt/hip pain. I tried to just zone out, to listen to my music, to not look at the time at all. So, 2.5 miles done. That's pretty much all I can say about that one.

Today was biceps, triceps, back. I had to adjust my plan a bit mi…

Fun Facts Friday - 5 Things to Smile About

Leg Day
I am so used to Fridays being rest days. It was really hard forcing myself to get in my workout today. Definitely feeling more fatigued because of this sinus crud - or maybe it's just the medicine. Plus it's really heavy fog, gloomy out today. A big recipe for sleep.

However, I was meeting a friend to get her started on a weight workout rotation I put together for her. So, the pressure was on. I couldn't back out. I was also excited to meet her up there and get her started. The fact that she trusts me makes me nervous of course. Talk about pressure!

So, while I was a little tired, I had motivation. And, of course, once I got going with my own workout, I actually felt much better, much more awake.

Today I opted for legs. I went with supersets and went heavier for most exercises. I did 3x8 unless noted.

Barbell squats - warmup set of 10

SS#1
Barbell squats
Plie squats

SS#2
Stiff-legged deadlifts
Rear leg elevated lunges

SS#3
Step ups
Calf raises - 15 reps

SS#4
Hamstr…

Treadmill, Tofu, Thankful on Thursday

Treadmilling It
Today I was still really stuffy, but I felt less like I had been run over by a truck at least. Just the stuffy then runny then stuffy nose with sinus headache to contend with.

I had really planned to go run outside after work. It was supposed to be sunny and about 60 degrees. Then I got it in my head that I wanted to run at lunch, at which time the sun disappeared. I wasn't sure if it was really going to get sunny and warm again or not and was dead set on working out midday. So, I ended up running on the treadmill. I honestly didn't know how long I could go with this congestion going on.

I figured it would be safer and smarter to just go up to the gym and if I could only do a mile, then it's not like I had wasted time driving to the river trails. Plus, if it's allergies, then maybe running outside isn't so smart either.

The plan was to see what I could do with the goal of 4 miles doing some interval speed work, which I've been slacking on big t…

Doing the NotSick Chant & Happy for Chili

NotSickNotSick
Remember how I said yesterday started off at 70 degrees? This morning it was 25 degrees. It makes it so difficult to just get used to one temperature when it's all over the board. At least it was sunny and not windy. I had packed my gym bag with clothes to go for a run actually. The high was supposed to be about 45 degrees. For me, chilly, but I was so wanting to get outside.

My body had a different plan for me though. I have been sneezing my head off for the past couple of days, then the sinus headache came on yesterday. This morning it hit me...I'm getting sick, but doing the "NotsickNotsick" chant of course. I'm really hoping it's just allergies. I don't think I can blame it on the temperature swings, but I think I'm going to anyway ;-)

Needless to say, today was a rest day. I had absolutely no energy. And if I had tried to do anything, snot would have been flying. Gross, but true. I did find some Mucinex to take, but I'm not so…

Spin on Thai Tuesday

Spin Again
While today was actually sunny, and surprisingly warm to start (hello 70 degrees), we had a major front moving through bringing in more whipping winds. Yep, another bad hair day around here.

It was one of those days that started off warm, but the temps continued to fall throughout the afternoon. But it was sunny out thank fully. Sun = happy.

In all honesty, I have been itching to run so badly that I seriously contemplated battling the winds today just to get out for a run. In reality, I need to continue to rest my foot even if it is feeling a little better. That doesn't mean I should just take off for a 6-miler. I know this deep down.

Jason said he'd go to spin today, so that actually helped making the right decision a little easier. I did get shoulders done before class. It was a goody; already feeling it actually. I went with a giant set of 3x8. I keep starting with shoulder press, but today I switched it up and I know that's part of why I feel it. That and t…

Spin, Salad & A Movie

Spin Day
Today I decided to rest my foot again, oh and not fight stormy weather and high winds trying to run. So, I hit up spin class.

I must say, my quads are killing me from the HIIT workout I did yesterday. Seriously feels like I did a weighted leg workout not "just" plyo exercises. Apparently I really need to add HIIT back into my life.

So, needless to say, spin was a bit on the difficult side today. I really wasn't certain my legs were going to hold me upright after I got off the bike at the end of class. But, it was a great class regardless. Of course, my quads might disagree with me.

Salad & A Movie
Today was one of those really weird weather days when if a tornado blew through you wouldn't be shocked. It was in the upper 60's with high humidity and even higher winds. You either felt like you were going to be pushed down or you couldn't move forward one.

While I should have gone to the grocery store after work, I didn't want to risk getting cau…

Celebration Recap & HIIT Workout

Celebration Recap
As I mentioned yesterday, my sister came up to stay with me to celebrate her birthday. We started of the afternoon with a late lunch at Canon Grill. We were supposed to meet friends at a wine bar about a block away at 5. Funny, our friends walked into the restaurant while we were finishing our meal.

They had wanted to grab a snack and watch a game on the tv there and then just meet us at the wine bar - Diversion. I missed the text so had no idea they were going to Canon Grill and they had no idea we were there. But, it worked out nicely.

The girls went to the wine bar at 5, and the boys went to another bar with tvs to finish the game (not a clue what game to be honest). The vibe was really laid back, hip. But it was almost a bit too dark. I mean, I would like to read the menu list ;-) I tried to not be too shocked at the prices....but wow. Proud of the wine. But we were there to celebrate and have fun, so I just went with it.

We all ended up getting the same wine -

Treadmill Run, Weights & Pizza Party

Early Morning Cooking & Workout Switch Up
This morning I ended up waking up around 7:15. I had hoped to sleep in a little bit, but I was wide awake. I had plenty to get done, so it worked out nicely I suppose. By 11 am I had made 2 pizza doughs, marinara sauce, and prepped all veggies for tonight (which I'll get to in a minute).

It was really cold and windy, but sunny at least. Supposed to be in the mid-50's. I was trying to get myself psyched up for our long run. My half marathon training plan had me at 12 miles, but with my recent food pain, Jason and I decided it'd be best to start at 10 and do 11 tops depending on how I was feeling.

I kept watching the weather, refreshing to check the temps and the wind. Forecast included up to 18 mph winds. Ugh. Not fun to deal with for 10 miles. Not even fun for 3 miles really. After lots of debating both in my head and out loud, Jason and I settled on gym today and run tomorrow.

I don't know why this stressed me out, but it…

A Serious Note on Fun Facts Friday

On a Serious Note
Wow, I wasn't sure this week was going to end. And from what I gather, it's felt that way for a lot of people. Let's just all blame it on the full moon we had earlier in the week. Agreed?

Actually, I can't totally blame it on that. This might be a little too serious for Friday, but it's something I've been thinking about this week, mostly because it's what I've been dealing with - anxiety and depression.

I try to keep my blog happy, but real. So the reality is that I've battled depression and anxiety most of my life. I've been on this med and that med and realized that I don't want to be on any meds. I don't like how they can make me feel (often too numb). They never really seemed to work for me and then there were side effects like 3 weeks of vertigo and additional medication to combat that just trying to get off of one of the meds.

Anyway, I feel like I've learned to regulate my moods fairly well. When meds did w…

Cold Weather Means Gym and Soup Day

Weather Obsessed = Gym
I feel the need to start off by apologizing for always talking about our weather. I'm a little obsessed perhaps. I'll blame that on my dad. Part of it boils down to trying to figure out when I'll be able to get outside for a run in the most ideal conditions. Also, around here, weather change can be drastic. I know we're not the only ones of course, but I know some locations have pretty regular weather patterns.

Here, it can be 45 one day in October, 75 in December, snow the next weekend. January we can have mid-70's or 60 one day and sub 30 the next. It's always a surprise really. Even when the forecasters say one thing, it might be something completely different.

So glad I took advantage of yesterdays mild temperatures because today we had a windchill of 25 with gusting 30mph winds. Good times.

Needless to say, workout was taken indoors. I kind of thought about a rest day, but probably wouldn't be able to get in a workout tomorrow. …

Much-Needed Run, Running PSA & Vegan Burritos

Much-Needed Run
While this morning started off just a little cold and drizzly, the sun finally came out and it warmed up to about 60 degrees. After so many crummy days, I was just happy to see sunshine and blue skies again. Jason hadn't exactly been planning on running today as he did his master's swim class this morning.

But I think he was starting to feel the need for sunshine and fresh air as well. So we decided to head out for a 5-miler at lunch around the neighborhood. My half marathon training plan actually had me doing a 6-mile tempo run. But a run with Jason sounded much better. Plus, I really didn't know how far I was going to truly feel like going.

I think we were both a little fatigued (he had a tough swim this morning and my workouts have been 11-mile half marathon training run, leg day, spin, and spin). But, despite the seemingly increased effort level, it was a much-needed run for both of us.

Once I got into a good rhythm, I could just feel stress melting aw…

Working Out to Beat the Blues

What do you do when you're in a funk? I workout.

When I get into a funk, I try to rely on exercise to help boost my mood. But we all know that when you're kind of down and out, finding the motivation or want-to to exercise can be even harder. It makes me realize how easy it could be to just stop working out and why so many people likely do actually. I keep trying to remind myself that I almost always feel better after the workout though. 
I skipped my 3-mile run yesterday, so I'm definitely off my half marathon training plan this week. I kind of thought maybe I'd do the run today on the treadmill then do back and chest. But when it came right down to it, I was NOT going to run even a single mile on the treadmill.

I know it's a big mental block I have, but if I wasn't going to have a damn enjoyable run, then it wasn't going to go down period. And it's raining and cold, so that meant treadmill if I wanted to run. Why is this half marathon training in winte…

Plan B & Black-Eyed Peas

Plan B Not Smart Idea Well, today was one of those days when I should have stuck to Plan A, well, my revised Plan A (Plan A.2), which was to run. Originally I had thought it was going to be raining all day. So, I was going to do a 3-mile treadmill run (my half marathon plan called for 3 easy miles) then back and chest.
The rain, however, was holding off. It was dreary look and chilly, but no rain. So, Jason and I were talking about maybe doing 4 miles at lunch. But, he was feeling less than motivate and my foot has been bothering me, so I decided to go with Plan B to rest my foot. Plan B was spin, usually a good call.
Did you already catch the drift that Plan B was not a good idea? Um, 'cause it wasn't. Got to the gym and there were no towels. Odd for a Monday. It was hot as hell. The TVs were still out and the pass swipe wasn't turned on to get in the doors. Saturday night the power was cut for maintenance in the building so this reset everything apparently. But…

Weights, Kitchen Time & Spicy White Bean Chili

Weight Day
Today has been one of those chilly, gray, drizzly days here. Not very motivating I must say. Jason and I did make it to the gym at least. He tried out a CrossFit workout in the latest Runner's World magazine and I hit biceps, triceps, and hamstrings

I started with 15 minutes on the elliptical to warm up then started my weight workout. I went with trisets of 3 sets, but the reps varied a little bit because I went up in weights for a few exercises.

TS#1
Barbell curls - 6 reps, increased weight
Double-arm overhead triceps extension - 8 reps
Bulgarian deadlifts - 6 reps, increased weight

TS#2 (all 8 reps)
Zottman curls
Lying triceps extensions
Dumbbell step ups

TS#3
Hammer curls - 10 reps
Weighted dips - 10/12/12
Hamstring rollins on ball - 10 reps

Squat jumps - 2x10
Burpees - 2x8

I did some ab work as well before stretching a bit and calling it done.

Low-Key Day
After the workout, we headed to the grocery store. It was packed and there were only 3 lanes open (one was expres…