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Showing posts from April, 2012

Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Pumped Up Workout
I'll readily admit that I did not want to go to the gym today. I had no real excuses to not go though. I was just feeling lazy to be honest. But, I did myself a favor and made myself go. I knew I'd regret it if I didn't go.

I think part of my reluctance stems from a bit of boredom. I've gotten into a rut again with workouts. That and sometimes I just am flat out tired of seeing the inside of that place. But, that part aside, boredom all the way. So, I decided to try to do something a little different for my biceps/triceps workout. It's nothing earth-shattering. But it's a switch up from my typical 3 different supersets done as 3 sets of 8 reps....yawn.

So, today I did 4 sets of 8 reps for two supersets then I did dropsets at the end starting with heaviest weight for 6 reps, then increasing the number of reps by 2 as I decreased the weights. I did this 4 times (6, 8, 10, 12).

SS#1
Alternating bicep curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions

Running, Relaxing & Playing

Running and Relaxing
I must say it's been a really good weekend. Yesterday I ended up waking up way earlier than I had wanted. But, it turned out to be a good thing really. At 7 am it was already 70 degrees with high humidity.

I still didn't get my run started as early as I should have, but 9 am on a Saturday was early enough in my mind. I set out on my usual route for longer runs down at the river trails. I was sweating bullets pretty much from the start. The wind started to pick up, which at times felt good because it helped cool me off, but then at the same time I felt like I was running in place.

I definitely had a hard time judging my pace because of the wind. It always throws me off and it sounds crazy but I end up going faster somehow. Like my whole idea of perceived rate of exertion is thrown out of whack. I assume it's hard because of the wind, not because of my speed. So I definitely had to remember to check my pace more frequently.

After the shock of seeing bot…

NuNaturals Giveaway & Orange Chocolate Cookie Balls

Baking
I don't often post baking recipes. Actually, I don't really bake that often. But when the kind people from NuNaturals contacted me about trying out two new flavors (orange and lemon), I knew I needed to get into the kitchen.

The basis for this recipe came from Kristina at SpaBettie. You should check out her variety of iterations of this recipe too. But, the base? It's a quick, easy, vegan and gluten-free cookie base.

When I thought of the orange flavoring, I thought about Ghiradelli Dark & Orange squares. I am not really a chocolate person, but will admit those are pretty darn good.



Orange Chocolate Cookie Balls
Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas - rinsed, drained, peeled
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 dropper NuNaturals Stevia
1 1/2 - 2 droppers NuNaturals Orange Stevia (depending on taste preference)
Zest of 1 orange
2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1/4 to 1/3 cup vegan carob chips or dark chocolate chips

Dir…

Fun Facts Friday - Weekend Plans

Today is a much-needed rest day that I am going to take full advantage of. I can't believe there was ever a time that I didn't look forward to rest days. Now? You better believe I'm going to take that day off ;-)

I have another physical therapy appointment this afternoon. Something has to give with my piriformis situation. I am so tired of being in near-constant pain. I refuse to pop pain pills like candy. I know they would help, but I just won't go that route.

On a more positive note, I'm also getting my hair trimmed up and going to buy a new pair of running shoes. Definitely something to look forward to on a Friday. I hope to give them a good test run tomorrow.

I had a really hard time coming up with an idea of today's Fun Facts Friday post. I was over thinking it to be honest. I wanted to be funny, witty, something....But maybe I can't always be funny, witty, intriguing.

But with all the thinking, it was becoming contrived. And I never want my posts to f…

Hot Run, Hot Fajitas

Hot Hot Hot
Today I had a 3.5 mile run planned. I thought Jason was going to go with me, but he had a meeting. So I decided to head out early for my break and get it done as the temps were going up quickly.

I started my run just after 10:30 and it was right at 80 degrees already with high humidity. It started off overcast, which I was thankful about, but then the clouds burned off (of course).

Since I was running solo, around the neighborhood, I decided to stick to more populated streets. I set off in the direction of the arts center and park. It was mostly shaded with a slight breeze. I was settling into a nice groove, or so I thought.

The start of mile 2 is where it started to get hard. I was going up a long, gradual incline, with no shade, and headwinds. It actually made me feel nauseous to be honest.

Once I crested and the road leveled out, I turned a corner and the headwinds subsided, but no shade to be found for about half a mile. I ended up finishing the run on a typical route…

Leg Day & Grilled Kale Salad

Leg Day
Originally I had planned on getting in a run today. But the weather had other plans. It wasn't raining, but the winds are a breezy 35 mph. Um, I love running, but I do NOT love fighting the wind. So, I took the "easy" route and hit the gym for legs. Yes, easy route haha.

I started with the elliptical to warmup and low and behold, the short tights guy was there again today on the rowing machine next to me. Thankfully his shorts were longer today ;-)

I went with giants sets of 4 sets of 8 reps unless noted.

GS#1
Barbell squats
Barlbell plie squats
Hamstring roll-ins on ball - 12

GS#2
Single-leg squat
Calf raises - 15 (2 sets with toes straight ahead and 2 sets with toes turned out)
Curtsey lunges w/ dumbbells

I definitely should have gone heavier for barbell squats. Right now I'm not really feeling it at all. But we'll see tomorrow.

I really need to come up with a solid leg workout to help with all of my crazy imbalances, but also one that doesn't take…

Short Shorts & Spaghetti Squash & Spinach Toss

Gym Day
Today was beautiful. I had really thought I might get in a 3-4 miler, but I thought it was best to rest the running legs (and feet) since I did go farther yesterday. Instead, I hit the gym. But man oh man the sunshine was so inviting.

However, every once in a while you see some funny stuff at the gym that you might not witness running. Though, you witness a lot of funny sh^t running I must say. I never thought I'd have to put this on a do-not-do-at-the-gym list - but this one is going on there. Men, please wear workout shorts, not tights, not underwear-looking booty shorts. Please for the love of anything and everything holy, don't do it.

I've never seen this particular person up there and it was all I could do not to just flat out stare. I noticed him at first because I hear this crazy noise - he was doing burpees, but horribly wrong. It's like he was jumping up with shoulders and back still rounded down so it looked like one of those scared cat cartoon drawi…

New Bicep Exercise and Running #PROOF

Sunday Gym Day
Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day. It was sunny but insanely windy - like 30+ mph winds all day. So glad I got my long run done on Saturday that's for sure.

I hit the gym a little after 9 am to get my weights done. I started with the elliptical to warm up while reading the May issue of Oxygen magazine. I almost stopped at one page, but am glad I turned the page. The next article was all about biceps. And that's what I was working.

I saw a new exercise I really wanted to try - the drag curl. So I scratched  hammer curls from my workout and added in the drag curl.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Weighted triceps dips

SS#2
Drag curls (not sure I did these correctly, inconsistent videos on how to perform)
Triceps pushdowns

SS#3
Incline curls
Lying triceps extensions

Dropset - biceps curls - 6, 8, 10
Dropset - double-arm overhead triceps extensions - 6, 8, 10

Overall, really good workout. I definitely need to figure out how to properly do the drag curls. The image…

9 Miles & Running Lessons Learned

This morning started off rather cloudy and cool. A front moved through and the temps were in the 40's. Of course this was a great excuse for holding off on my run for a while. Jason obviously couldn't go with me today, so it was the first solo run since before my injures (so early February).

I don't know why, but I was really nervous about doing a long, solo run all of the sudden. I never really minded before. I usually enjoy the "me" time. But this morning I was doing my best to come up with reason to not run.

I even told myself I'd do 4 today then do my long run tomorrow instead...as I was having Jason tape my foot with the KT Tape. The sun started to come out and the temps were in the mid-50's. I knew deep down that I needed to just get out there and stop being a baby.

Actually, I had one thing to look forward to (sort of), I spent Friday evening downloading some new songs for a playlist. But that's a lesson learned I'll get to in a minute. So,…

Fun Facts Friday - Kreativ Blogger Award

The other day, the beautiful Kalli from Fit and Forty Something gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award. I must say I really do feel honored and very appreciative.


With this award, I am supposed to share 7 things about myself, then of course pass the award along to some other fantastic bloggers (that's the hard part, choosing).
I am someone who always feels that it's necessary to be doing something, but I am somehow still pretty darn lazy. My to-do list is out of control. 
I have only had a manicure once. I have 2 certificates right now, but am too lazy to make an appointment. So, I paint my own nails. 
I always think people with short hair are super sassy, confident, and outgoing. I, however, am really none of those things, yet I have super short hair. I think I keep my hair short as sort of a russe, to pretend I'm all of those things.
I always worry that I'm going to say something really stupid, offensive, or inappropriate so I tend to keep my mouth shut. Trust me, it happens al…

Vegan Sloppy Joes & Weights vs Run

Kidney Stones & Eating
I must start off by thanking everyone for their well wishes for Jason in regards to yesterday's post. Right now he's still in pain and just waiting for the stones to pass. If that doesn't happen soon, then they will have to do surgery (not sure how invasive the procedure is to be honest). So, fingers crossed that doesn't have to happen.

I started looking up information about kidney stones - apparently I forgot everything from the last time this happened. Some causes can be eating foods too rich in oxalate. And apparently everything we eat is on this list. From sweet potatoes, peppers, beans, and soy to wheat, coffee, and even blueberries.

Apparently we should be eating mangoes, cheese, graham crackers, cauliflower, and beef, ham, or poultry according to a list of low-oxalate foods.

Um, no to the meat for starters. And where do you get a good balance of nutrients from when apparently most fruits and vegetables are high-oxalate foods? And then…

Kidney Stones & Moroccan Inspired Quinoa Veggie Salad

Kidney Stones Suck
Well, last night ended up being a rough one - as some of you guess from Facebook posts and tweets. It was definitely rougher for Jason than me though. After dinner he started saying he had been hurting and was afraid it was a kidney stone. He had one (or a few) four years ago.

He had actually stashed the pain medication that they had given previously because he was so afraid of having them again. Yes, not supposed to take expired medication. But he was desperate, so he took one. Of course it had lots a lot of its potency so it wasn't kicking in.

Finally, he admitted he needed to get to the ER. I know he was holding out because a trip to the ER is never enjoyable. But he was desperate and I could tell. I got us there in record time is all I'll say about my driving.

Of course we had to wait, and wait...and continue to wait. Most people didn't look ill at all, except for one person who vomited everywhere and a wheezing infant. The whole time, Jason is stil…

Speed Work, Grilled Kale & White Bean Quesadilla & PSA

Speed Work
We had another cool and mostly cloudy day. It was supposed to be sunny and upper 70's. But it was only about 65 and overcast when we set out for a run at 11:45.

We decided to actually, willingly do speed work. I haven't done any real speed work/drills since probably January. We've done a few tempo runs, but those were mostly unplanned. We warmed up for a mile while heading to our destination.

Since we weren't on a track with marked distance (ran on a park lawn), we measured distance by our strides. Jason had this workout from years ago - it's similar to striders or gentle pickups. You start off easy then gradually increase speed to about 90% of max effort. Most suggest ranges of like 80 meters (just one example). Then a brief rest before repeating.

We counted our strides for right foot strike. Jason was counting 20 (so 40 steps total) and I chose 25 because 20 didn't seem to get my little legs very far ;-) We repeated 12 times total then ran another…

Running, Lifting and Grilled Tempeh & Veggie Salad

Weekend Recap 
I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Mine was good. Not quite as planned, but still good. I decided to pretty much log off most of the weekend, so no blog postings. I didn't really have anything super exciting to post. Not that it was a bad weekend mind you.

Saturday Jason and I got in a good 8-mile run. It was insanely humid so the wind was actually a welcome thing for a change. For the most part, no pain. My piriformis started to get pretty tight towards the end of the run, but I made sure to stretch, roll, stretch and ice (foot as well).

I am so happy that running is back to being enjoyable. My first few runs after my hiatus were simply awful. I honestly thought I'd never enjoy running, never want to go back out there again.

Sunday I hit the gym rather than the pavement. I really wanted to run again, but Jason's feet were feeling tight. It was gusting winds too, so I think the gym was the right choice. I did biceps and triceps as supersets of 3x8 (unless …

Fun Facts Friday - An Athlete's Home

Last night as I tripped over a pair of Jason's running shoes, it just hit me, this is a house of athletes. Not professional mind you. But athletes nonetheless. I run and lift, he runs, swims, cycles. So we have an abundance of workout related gear strewn about the house. Pretty much in every nook and cranny to be honest. So, I thought it'd be fun for Fun Facts Friday to do a "you know when..." kind of post.

You know you live in a household of athletes when...

You have 4 different types of aches and pains creams (such as Tiger Balm, Icy Hot, BioFreeze....)Shoes are piled up all around (and this is not even half of them)

80% of your laundry is workout clothesYou have multiple workout bagsYou have 3 containers of KT Tape (in 3 different colors of course)Part of your book collection includes books on running, injury prevention, anatomy, triathlon training, and weight liftingYou keep sweat towels in your car at all timesYou have a shelf in the cabinet just for all the water …

Running, Lifting, Grilling & Heath Update

A New Route
Another cooler, but sunny day for us. This morning it was 48 degrees, a far cry from our lows of 60. When Jason and I set out for our lunchtime run, I had on a short sleeved top and shorts. I had to talk myself out of capris or sleeves because I knew I'd warm up. It was right at 60 with a cool breeze, but lots of sunshine.

The minute we started moving I mentioned that I was cold. Jason agreed. I had mapped out a different route, well, part of it I mapped. Just wanted some different scenery. For the most part, it was a pretty good route. Some gradual inclines, but definitely new views.

I should have mapped the whole thing though. I had planned to head straight down one street and take a right onto 23rd. I saw 22nd then realized there was a 23rd on the left, but not the right. Ok, so we get to 24th and take a right but it dead ended so we had to take the next right and I thought we'd just take a left at 23rd....still no 23rd. So we were forced to hit 22nd. Oh 22nd s…

Giant Sets & Grilling Bok Choy

Giant Sets
Our weather this week has definitely returned back to more normal-spring-like temps. Today was just downright cold after almost 90 degrees last week. We struggled to hit 60 and it was gray and dreary. Good thing my workout plan was to hit the gym.

I started with a warmup on the elliptical then did giant sets for back and shoulders. I did 8 reps for each exercise and 3 sets for each giant set.

GS - Back
Assisted chinups
Double-arm row
Pullovers

GS - Shoulders
Overhead press
Lateral raise
Front raise

Giant sets go by super fast, but they are no joke. I had to go down in weight for my lateral raises because my muscles were just too fatigued. Love tossing these in once in a while.

Grilling Experiment
We had some bok choy that needed to be used. Of course I could have gone the easy route and made up a simple stir fry. But we've really been wanting to try grilling it. Luckily, the sun did finally come out at the end of the day so it made it feel more like grilling weather - …

New Running Gear & Non-Steak Salad

New Running Gear
Today I had extra incentive to get out and run - new running gear! I ordered a couple of things for myself and Jason from Brooks Running on Friday and it already arrived today. Love fast shipping like that! Needless to say, I "had" to take my new hat and shirt for a test run.

HVAC Infiniti Mesh Cap
HVAC Synergy Sleeveless
I loved the hat. It is super light and kept the sweat out of my face - huge plus for me. It was a little big so I kind of had to rig it a little, but I have to do that with almost every hat I buy.

The shirt is the ideal shirt for warm-weather running. Normally I just wear a sports bra when it gets hot. But I have wanted to try singlets but never found any that didn't stick to me, make me feel claustrophobic. They all seem to make me even hotter, the last thing I need when it's it's 80+ degrees out.

It was about 73, so not terribly hot mind you, but definitely sweat-inducing after you got moving. And this shirt? I wish I would hav…

Piriformis Update & Grilled Veggie Salad

New Piriformis Exercises
Today wasn't too terrible for a Monday. Of course, I did leave a little early. That always helps huh ;-) I had another round of physical therapy today. My PT has been really researching piriformis syndrome and found an interesting article that discusses the use of McKenzie Exercises - typically used for back pain.

I have started adding in low back extensions (one of the exercises) but now have a whole new list of exercises to add into my workout rotations. But, if it helps, I'll do it. I also asked her about dry needling (thanks Sarena), which is sort of similar to acupuncture, but is more about trigger point and intramuscular stimulation.

And I'm glad I asked because the timing is uncanny. One of the doctor's in the clinic happens to be going to get certified this weekend. They both believe that I am a prime candidate for the procedure. So we'll see how that goes. Kind of scared because I hate hate hate needles.

Have any of you tried dry…

Running, Relaxing, Enjoying Family Time

Saturday Recap
Yesterday turned out to be a great day for so many reasons. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Oh and cooler temps in the morning - perfect for a run. Jason and I got in a great 7-mile run. For me, it was ideal because I had zero heel pain during the run. This was the first run since probably November that I can recall having no heel pain. A-mazing.

After the run, it was a little tender, but nothing at all like it's been. I truly believe that my plantar fasciitis pain is on the mends. Not just starting to feel better, but definitely healing up.

My piriformis is now my main issue to contend with. During the run, it didn't bother me. But anytime I sit for more than about 30 minutes, my sciatic nerve starts screaming at me. And I know this means my piriformis is still very much inflamed and not on the mends. I do have PT tomorrow and she plans to discuss some more invasive options - hopefully just injections.

Anyway, after our run, we had to get ourselves ready and he…

A Day in Pictures - Mount Nebo

Well, yesterday didn't go quite as planned. This poor baby didn't get his surgery after all.
We spent an hour talking with the vet about everything, the surgery, complications, etc. before leaving him in their care. They had to do a few other tests just before surgery to check his retinas and other areas of the eye. But that needed to be done when he was under anesthesia. 

In the end, he was diagnosed with progressive retinal atrophy. He's going blind, and there is nothing that can be done. The cataract surgery would have simply been a waste of money, as it (at best) would have given him his sight from about 6 months ago and it wouldn't have lasted but maybe 6 months at the most.

We found this out after our hiking and picnic, so we did at least have a good time doing that. Jason and I are both terribly sad about the whole thing. I know that he's healthy and happy otherwise and must remember that this isn't a death sentence by any means. I just wanted my furman …