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Showing posts from March, 2012

Grilled Kale & Fun Facts Friday Randomness

Grilling
Let me just say that I have discovered a new favorite grilled vegetable - kale. Yep, grilled kale is amazing. Just de-stem, rough chop, toss with small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and grill in a veggie grilling basket.

You will get some pieces that are nice and crisp like kale chips, and others that are soft and so full of flavor. Such a fantastic combination of textures and flavors.

So this brings me to last night's dinner - Grilled Kale and Veggie Pasta Salad. Jason actually did the grilling last night, which was a nice treat. He grilled the kale, squash, zucchini, red onion, red and green bell peppers.

In the meantime, I cooked some whole-wheat rotini. After the veggies were done, he chopped them up and everything was tossed into a large bowl along with some cherry tomatoes.

Jason made a simple Dijon balsamic dressing and poured that over the veggies and pasta, mixed well and served. This was a fantastic spring dish. There are so many options for veggies here …

What's Your Proof? Plus Fitness Things

My #PROOF
I haven't really mentioned my affiliation with FitFluential recently. And I really should because it's an amazing group of highly motivated individuals. Recently, they introduced a fantastic new idea based on "Proof," on showing what you did to kick some workout booty, to live healthier, or to motivate others. They ask the question:  What's your #PROOF?

My proof is usually a puddle of sweat, shaky muscles, or an ear-to-ear grin after a wonderful run. It's not the calories burned displaying on my Garmin, though sometimes it's the mileage (I won't lie, that's pride). My proof is usually logged in my blog daily, but I often just take that for granted since it's just what I do (if that makes sense). But today, I wanted to draw more attention to it. Feel my proof and see my proof.

Today was another nice day, though warm for sure. When Jason and I set out for our 3-mile neighborhood run at 11:30, it was already 80 degrees. Thankfully there…

Weights on Wok Wednesday

Weight Day
I won't lie and say I was just super excited about hitting the gym today. But I did it, and I felt better after. Sometimes you gotta just get moving and tell your brain to be quiet for a bit. It was sunny out, and the thought of being in a steamy gym was not exactly appealing.

Gyms on the 29th floor, with all windows are a good idea in theory. Heat rises and the windows seem to just draw in the radiant heat. At least when it's that warm outside, you have a breeze.

Anyway, I got my rear in gear and started with 20 minutes on the elliptical before moving on to back and shoulders. I went with 3 sets of 8 reps done as supersets unless noted. For some exercises I am trying to increase my weights so I have been doing as many reps as possible with the heavier weight then dropping down for the remainder of the reps. It seems to be helping me push past some plateaus.

SS#1
Assisted wide grip chinups
Cuban press

SS#2
Pullovers
Lateral raise

SS#3
Double-arm rows
Front raise

SS#…

3-Mile Run & More Veggie Grilling

3-Mile Run
I won't brag too much about our weather as I know that some of you are actually experiencing real spring, as in it's gotten cold, or rainy, or cold and rainy again. But it was another beautiful day here. Though, I will admit that 80+ degrees in March does feel a bit wrong. I keep waiting for some freak snow storm now.

But, in the meantime, I'll take full advantage of the weather. I won't even complain that it was sweltering for a run at lunch today. I won't have any problem adjusting to running in summer heat at this rate. I'm pretty much already doing it.

We set out around 11:30 for a quick 3-miler. The first thing we were hit with was a wonderful headwind for the first 3/4 mile, which also happens to be a nice long, steady, sneaky incline. Let's just say I wasn't a Chatty Cathy today.

For the most part (other than standing at street corners waiting on cars that took forever to move along) we kept around an 8:30-8:40 pace. There was a time …

Boring Cardio But Fun Veggie Grilling

Moving It
I had sort of hoped to get in a run at lunch with Jason today. But I definitely needed to rest both my heel and piriformis. So, I hit the gym instead. Since spin is out, the cardio was pretty boring - hello elliptical.

I did the elliptical for about 40 minutes then did 3 rounds of a tabata session using kettlebells and body weight. It probably didn't actually help my piriformis one bit, but I couldn't stand the elliptical for a minute longer. It was a super simple workout as I hadn't exactly written it down. I just chose 4 exercises for a circuit that was repeated twice  before a break so each circuit (with break) is 5 minutes.

You do each exercise for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest before moving to the next exercise. After all 8, you rest 1 minute.

Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell figure 8's
Alternating front lunge holding kettlebell in both hands chest level
Squat thrust with pushups

Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell figure 8's
Alternating front lunge …

Super Sunny Weekend - Running, Lifting, Relaxing

Super Saturday
Yesterday turned out to be a great day. It was mostly about relaxing and enjoying the great weather really. I did get up and do a few house chores, but mostly...relaxing.

We did get in a good run as well. We drove over to the Two Rivers Bridge to start the run. Jason wanted to run through the "woods" or the prettier part of the trail. I was a-ok with that. If you start from the Big Dam Bridge (usual starting point), it's 2 miles just to the Two Rivers Bridge. Normally, not a big deal. Injured...big deal.

So, we got going with our run. I was just happy as a lark then Jason suddenly stopped. I thought he might have hurt himself or something bad. But he had lost the key to the car. We turned around and headed back the direction we came. Mind you, this was about 5 minutes into the run. Apparently he dropped the key at the very start of the bridge. So, the first .77 miles of the run was a bit chaotic. But, we found the key.

After all of that, we got back to th…

Fun Facts Friday - Friendship

Today I hit the gym for upper body. Nothing terribly exciting. So rather than list out my workout for the day, I thought I'd jump right on into Fun Facts Friday.

I know I've talked about it before, but friendships are so incredibly important. And it's not how many friends you have that matter either, it's the quality of the friendship. And as hard as it may be to realize, not all friendships are meant to last, but some withstand the tests of time.
You meet friends in so many different ways as well. Sometimes, if you're lucky, it's your sister or brother. Some you meet the first day of pre-school or kindergarten. Maybe you meet in college. Sometimes it's a totally random meeting. And you can even find the best of friends through blogging. They don't all have to be IRL (in real life) to be special.


I am blessed to have my sister as my best friend. Not everyone is close to their siblings, I realize. I really cannot imagine having grown up without her.

And t…

Thankful Things Thursday

Today the rain finally cleared out. The sun was shining and everything had a nice, fresh look - in other words, not a heavy layer of green pollen. I would have loved to have gotten out for a run, or even gotten in a workout at the gym.

But, I had appointments after work (finally a hair cut and more PT) that meant I had to leave a little early. So, today had to be a rest day for me. I mean, I could have gotten up early....right......

Since I don't have too much to talk about (no workouts) and won't be home early to make a fantastic new recipe (Jason will likely get veggie burgers started), I thought I'd do something a little different - Thankful Things Thursday.

Here are just a few things that I've been thankful for recently, or that have made me smile.

Wine outside with my sis on a perfect, sunny, Saturday

Email from a friend - the subject was "This reminds me of you."

Finishing my last half marathon with Jason - this picture makes me smile.

Source: iknowhair.com

Leg Workout on Wok Wednesday

Leg Day
Today has been nothing but rain, rain, more rain and gray skies. Definitely one of those days when you'd prefer to stay inside and veg out on the couch.

Thankfully my workout motivation wasn't as drab as the day. Oddly enough, I was looking forward to getting my leg workout done. I started with 20 minutes on the elliptical then went with supersets of 3x8 unless noted.

Barbell squats - warmup set of 10 reps

SS#1
Barbell squats
Plie squats

SS#2
Steps ups
Stiff-legged deadlifts

SS#3
Bulgarian split squat (though I think of these as a split lunge...)
Hamstring rollins on stability ball - 12 reps

SS#4
Narrow stance squats with dumbbells
Calf raises with toes turned out - 20 reps

I also did some ab work.

Overall, a pretty good workout. I did lower the weights for squats by 5 lb because I felt like last week my form was a little off. It might be that I'm subconsciously trying to avoid putting weight on my right heel, so something I really need to pay attention to. Someti…

Spinning & Black Bean Tacos

Spinning
Today I went ahead and opted for spin. I did try re-adjusting my bike to try for a better fit. My PT thinks (and I agree) that spin is aggravating my piriformis issues because I can't get the bike adjusted for my height (or lack thereof).

I usually go with the seat all the way down because just one notch puts me too high, but I know all the way down is too low. I need someone to drill a middle notch just for me ;-) So, since I can't make the seat height perfect, I did adjust the seat's distance from the bars.

I do think this made a little bit of a difference. I did feel my piriformis start to hurt towards the very end of class, but I think that might be because it's already unhappy with me to begin with. For those that spin, do you fight with trying to get the bike adjusted just right?

Of course, this is just one more reason in Jason's current list of reasons that I need a road bike. So I can ride outside and we can then rationalize the purchase of a train…

Running & Balsamic Tofu Salad

Running
Today was probably the last sunny day until Friday, so Jason and I took advantage of it and got in a 3-mile run at lunch. It was already close to 80 degrees and a bit windier than I would have liked, but when it's hot, sometimes the wind can be a very welcome thing.

I'm slowly starting to feel my running endurance returning, but I still feel so slow and heavy. No, I'm not healed up all the way, which Jason keeps reminding me, so that probably is playing a huge role (duh) in how I'm feeling. I also feel like I am so focused on all the nuances of my body, that it's hard to just settle in and enjoy the run.

I'm constantly thinking about how my foot is landing, if it's starting to bother my heel, if my piriformis is starting to get tight, or oops was that an IT band twinge???? I feel like a total running disaster to an extent. One thing here offsets something else there, which then starts to offset something somewhere else. Talk about feeling off kilte…

Super Weekend: St. Patty's Day, Sister Time, Sunshine

Saturday Re-Cap
This weekend has been really good. Jason and I started Saturday off with a 4-mile run. It was mostly good. Definitely felt more like my old running self. It started sprinkling too, which was sort of fun - and it felt good considering it was already in the 70's and rather humid.

My sister got here around 11:15, so lots of sister time this weekend. We started off the day going shopping. We hit up DSW (big fail, no deals) and Charming Charlie. I found a couple of bracelets and Sarah found several tops and accessories.

We were getting pretty hungry, so we thought we'd try to hit up Dugan's. However, being St. Patty's Day (Dugan's is an Irish pub)and a parade going on, eating there wasn't going to happen. It was standing room only, and even that was iffy. We ended up at another place nearby called Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro. They had outdoor seating which was a big score, but terribly slow service. Of course, we were hungry so even minimally slow felt …

Giveaway Winner & Fun Facts Friday - More Fashion

Food Should Tast Good - Winner
This morning started off a little hectic. It started storming probably around 5:45. Luckily it was short-lived, but Heath was still a little out of sorts when I went down to feed him. After he ate, he went outside and proceeded to hide under lawn furniture and wouldn't budge. It's always fun to have to uncover wet lawn furniture in the dark at 6:45 am to try to pull your scared pup out and get him inside.

But, it's Friday!  And....
As promised, the winner of my Food Should Tast Good Giveaway is:
Jen from Running with the Girls

Rest Day = Lunch Date
Today was a rest day for me - much needed physically and mentally. I used to be one of those people who dreaded rest days. Not so much anymore. I look forward to the recovery. Since I wasn't working out today, Jason talked me into going out to lunch, something we never do during the week.

There is a local restaurant just down the street from us called The Root Cafe. Jason has been a few times, bu…

Weights, Tabata & Veggie Burgers

Weights & Tabata 
If I had time to workout tomorrow, I think I would have ended up taking today as a rest day. But, I am glad that I got my workout done and look forward to the break tomorrow - and on Friday too ;-)

I started with about 20 minutes on the elliptical before hitting the weights for back and shoulders. I went with supersets of 3x8 unless noted.

SS#1
Assisted chinups - dropped the weight today
Overhead shoulder press

SS#2
Underhand barbell rows - increased weight
Lateral raise

SS#3
Pullovers - 10 reps
Front raise

I finished off the workout with 3 rounds of a low-impact kettlebell workout done tabata style. I ended up doing 3 rounds for a total of 15 minutes.

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PT & Burgers
After work I had another round of PT. She did have a new exercise for me to try in order to strengthen the deeper muscles of my feet. She had read a new article discussing the idea that the previous strength exercises for plantar fasciitis might not truly be getting to the root of the problem…

Short Run & More Grilling

Short Sunny Run
It sounds like almost everyone is have just insanely awesome weather right now. It was another 80-degree day here again. Sunny, warm, but really windy. I guess that's spring for you. I am loving all the new blooms of color right now. Just so refreshing - other than the pollen that is. We are already having pollen alert days if you can believe that. But I'll certainly take a greenish/yellow car if that means warmer days and vibrant colors.

I have decided to follow a 10K training plan from Smart Coach. I chose a moderate plan with low miles. It's not necessarily so I can race. It's merely a tool I am going to use to ease back into running. So no 6.5 mile runs right now. Nope, easy 2 milers or short tempo runs is all this plan has for me slowly building towards 5 miles tops. And I think that's what I need to scale back and start fresh.

Who knows, maybe it'll help me rebuild my speed and endurance much better than before. If nothing else, at least …

First Vegan Grilled Dinner of Season

Elliptical & Kettlebells
Today was another oddly warm day - 80 degrees in March. Rather than hit the gym at lunch, I had to make a quick trip to Target. It was nice being outside even if it was just a quick errand spent mostly in the car. The sunshine definitely helped my mood.

I won't harp on it; I feel like it's becoming redundant. But I really had no motivation for the gym. It just felt too nice outside to be stuck indoors. Thank goodness my gym does have a nice view. That helps some. But my PT wants me to lay off spin for now, so that really only leaves me with the elliptical, weights, and the kettlebell tabata that I've been doing (low-impact).

In other words, it's kind of hard to get excited about doing something not terribly exciting. I can definitely understand why people stop working out if they aren't doing something they really enjoy. On a positive note, I did pick up some new magazines while at Target. I've gone through A LOT of magazines since…

Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Leg Day
While the time change sure made it hard to get up this morning, it was a gorgeous, sunny day. This means you can really appreciate the time change in the evening. Yesterday it was dark and rainy so you really didn't get the full effect.

While I would have loved to have gotten out for a run, I knew I needed to stick to the gym. I ended up working through lunch and just going to the gym at 3 today. I thought the gym would be totally deserted, but oddly enough, it wasn't. I thought I was going to have to throw down with some guys to keep my space and a bar ;-)

I went with legs. I figured I'd been putting off my leg workout long enough. I really wasn't super excited about it, but once I got going, it was all good. I did increase weights for 3 exercises as well. After a 20-minute warmup on the elliptical, I went with supersets of 3x8 unless noted.

Barbell squats - warmup set of 10 reps

SS#1
Barbell squats - increased weights
Barbell plie squats - increased weights

Running Mind Body Disconnect

Re-Thinking My Running
Yesterday ended up being one of those days that turned out to be a good one, but totally not planned. It was a sunny, warmish day. I really couldn't stand the thought of the gym to be honest. So this leads to the first unplanned activity - a run with Jason.

We started off slow and steady. He had a route that he wanted to go. And his routes are very very different than mine. I wanted a simple out and back. I actually would have chosen to drive to the river trails. He, on the other hand, meanders, starting from the house.

So, while I'm just trying to get my running legs back in action, he's meandering around for the run. Sudden left turns, now a quick right turn. It might be planned out in his mind, but he wasn't sharing his plan with me. Let's just say I was a little annoyed at that, but was trying to be a good sport and just enjoy being outside running.

It was definitely windier than we had expected. Hello running in place feeling. But, the …

Food Should Taste Good Giveaway

Yesterday I came home to these awesome goodies waiting on me.

The wonderful people at Food Should Taste Good sent me a few bags of their awesome chips to try out.

I love their chips and almost always have a bag of the Sweet Potato flavor on hand. The ingredients list is simple, straight forward, and gluten-free. Not only are they made with ingredients you can recognize and pronounce, they taste amazing.

They have several new flavors now like the Lime, Kettle Corn, and even new Kettle Cooked flavors. The flavors are subtle, but very much there. You won't be blown out of the water and feel like you're eating olives out of the jar with the Olive flavor (as an example), but you get the subtleness of a nice kalamata olive. It's perfect.

Here's what the company has to say:
In case you aren’t familiar with our product our all natural chips are made from real, simple ingredients. All of our chip varieties are free of cholesterol, preservatives and trans fat, and do not use…

Fun Facts Friday - Sephora Addiction

Non-Rest Day
We were supposed to have rain for 4 days straight. Sometimes it's great when the weather people are wrong. Hello sunshine. It's definitely cooler, and windy, but sunny. Since I took my rest day on Monday, that meant gym today.

Initially I was going to hit the legs. I even pulled my resistance band out of my bag. I started with a warmup on the elliptical then ended up hitting back and shoulders instead of legs. I thought I'd give them one more day to recover from the half marathon.

I went with supersets of 3x8:

SS#1
Assisted chinups (gettin' easier)
Overhead shoulder press

SS#2
Underhand barbell row
Front raises

SS#3
Double-arm rows
Upright rows

I also did some ab work.

Fun Facts Friday - Sephora Addiction 
I was really not sure what I wanted to do for Fun Facts Friday. Sometimes I have great ideas, sometimes no ideas at all. Today was a no idea kind of day.

While I was getting myself ready again after the gym, it hit me...another Fashion Edition - Makeup. I…