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Showing posts from March, 2014

Pros and Cons of Running With or Without a Partner

My original post for today was going to be about dreams - not your hopes and wishes kind either. But as I was out on my first solo, dark-thirty run since the time change, my mind was wandering around as is typical. I started thinking about all of the pros and cons of running solo vs with a partner. 
When I came upon the Clinton Bridge, I realized I didn't have anyone to marvel at the lights with. But at the same time, no one would be miffed at me for stopping too long to take a picture. 


I know I've mentioned it before, but when I first started running about 6 years ago, I only ran with Jason. I finally weened myself and then only ran solo. Then I met Amy about a year and a half ago (a little longer than that) and we ended up running 2-3 days a week at first. But as I got faster, we ended up running most of our runs together - or some day it'd be 4-6 miles together then a few solo. 
Unfortunately, my reliable running partner doesn't live two blocks down the street fro…

8 Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer or Running Coach

Why Should You Hire A Personal Trainer?
While you can go online and search for free exercise plans, nutrition plans, even running plans, they are generic and not personal to you and your specific needs. What weight rotation works for some, may not work for you. With nutrition, it's never a one-size-fits-all solution. And what running plan works for one person, may not help another one bit. 
If you're new to fitness or new to running, then generic plans may leave you more confused and frustrated or possibly even injured. Generic plans do have their place of course. I offer many free workouts. But they aren't geared towards someone's very specific goals or needs. They're great when you're in a rut with your own workout and offer something new and different, maybe even something challenging. But they aren't part of a well-planned workout rotation.
This is where having a personal trainer or running coach comes into play. As a certified personal trainer and run…

Restful Weekend with Running, Cooking, Daffodil Spotting

This weekend turned out to be rather relaxing, and the weather turned out far better than originally forecast so that's a double bonus. Right now we're dog sitting for my sister and my dogs are loving Lily's bed. Maddie and Heath keep alternating control.



But it wasn't all lounging around. I got in a pretty good 11-mile run Saturday. The temps were in the low 60's and the sun was out for the majority of the run. I just tried to enjoy the colors that are starting to emerge in the trees and flowers. Not a bad way to start the day.


We ended up going out for pizza for lunch. Recovery right? Then we decided to get creative in the kitchen for dinner. I had bought wonton wrappers for pot stickers a while back. We finally decided to give it a shot.

Neither of us had made pot stickers before. They're a little time-consuming to put together, but well worth it. And if you're in the kitchen with someone, it makes it way more fun.


I had plenty of the filling leftover (c…

Fun for Friday - 5 Happy Instagram Snippets

Hello Friday! This week I thought I would do a Fun for FridayInstagram style and share 5 Happy Instagram Snippets from the week. You know, Five for Friday ;-)

1.  Monday morning I woke up to snow on the ground. What? When did Arkansas move to the north? Thankfully it was very short lived, but pretty for the minute it was there.


2. My sweet furbabies lounging in the evening. Well, Maddie doesn't lounge, but clearly Heath has the concept down pat. Must be a male thing.


3. Hard to believe that this was the day after the snow. Hello spring weather and a good run.


4. Fiery sunrises always fascinate me. I might not be able to see this during a morning run since the  time change, but at least I can still enjoy from my office window.


5. Grilling season is in full swing at our house and last night Jason grilled tofu using a sauce I had made for another dish and had plenty of leftover, asparagus and baby potatoes. This was most definitely a nice treat after an 8-mile run with Amy after work…

Pros and Cons of Morning, Midday, Afternoon Runs

Happy first day of Spring! Thankfully, it feels like spring today. And at least for a few more days anyway. Spring makes me happy. Not just for the warmer weather, but the buds of color. I always feel like winter is so stark and drab. So those first bursts of color seem all the more vibrant and exciting.


The one thing I am not loving right now is that it's pitch dark again in the morning. The sun isn't rising until around 7-ish, while I'm sitting in my office. Thankfully I have an east-ward facing window.


I've moved my morning runs to midday or after work for a couple of reasons. One, the time change kicked my rear. Two, I really don't feel super comfortable running alone in the total dark. Third, it's warmer when the sun finally comes up.

While I am enjoying the warmer temps of a midday or afternoon run, I am very much missing my morning runs too. I feel rather torn between the change of time for my running.

I think there are pros and cons to the various times…

Lentil, Quinoa, Kale & Tofu Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing

Do you try to eat the so-called super foods regularly? Do you think they're over-hyped or hold true to their nutritional claims?

Sometimes I do think certain food trends end up overly hyped, but probably with cause. I don't think anyone will argue that lentils or kale are bad for us. Well, actually, if you have blood clotting issues, then excessive amounts of kale could be an issue because it is high in vitamin K, a natural coagulant.

But, that aside, super foods are nutrient-dense foods. They are often cleansing as well as offering healthy doses of minerals and nutrients our bodies need. For example, lentils are a fantastic source of iron, folate, thiamin, and manganese. Quinoa is also a great source for manganese as well as magnesium and even protein. So, why not combine some of these ingredients for a nutritionally dense salad?

I had on hand some cooked lentils so I thought I would try pairing those with a massaged kale salad. I wanted to "beef" up the protein so …

Downtown Dash 10K Recap

Did you race this weekend? It seemed like there were tons of St. Patrick's Day races going on.

I had signed up for a new 10K - the Downtown Dash - put on by the Junior League. They had a 5K and 10K. Because it was an inaugural race, it was fairly small. I believe I heard that they had 500 people sign up overall for both race events. Of course, I think that's pretty good for a 1st time race.

The race was downtown, my running grounds. I knew the route really well with the exception of one small stretch. I knew where the gradual inclines were as well as the downhills. So I felt really prepared for this race, with the exception of typical race-day nerves.

Initially I had pulled out a tank top and shorts for the race, but then it ended up just a bit cooler than I had expected - around 48 degrees and damp. I made a quick top change then headed out to do an easy run down to the start of the race - 1.2 miles to be exact. It was a great  way to warm up before the race and to shake out …

Fun For Friday - Childhood to Adulthood Quirks

Has the time change wiped you out this week or is it just me? I love that it's light later in the evenings, but am very annoyed about it being dark at 7 am. I have to watch the sunrise from my office rather than during a run.

Speaking of running, I haven't even been able to peel myself out of bed for a morning run this week. I've been getting in midday runs instead. Those do have their pluses of course, it's light out, enjoying warmer temps, and a boost of energy for the rest of the day.

But, I am missing starting the day with a good run. They can really set the tone for the day even if it's hard to convince yourself to get up at dark-thirty.

As has become typical, I have been a little stumped lately on a Fun for Friday topic. Maybe it's time to move on. But, last night while I was making dinner (veggie quesadillas), I realized I was washing my hands a million times. My dish towel was completely wet by the time I was done.

I'm not a germ freak by any means…

Plyometrics and a 5 Round Pyramid Workout

As a runner, I am always looking for ways to safe-guard myself from injuries, ideal strength training workouts, and ways to improve my overall performance. It's not always easy to incorporate in the necessary cross-training into running, especially when you itch to get out and run, run for fun.

I will admit that I had gotten really lazy about my leg workouts, but finally forced myself to re-incorporate them into my workouts. Not just for aesthetic reasons, but for injury prevention and power/strength.

Another way to increase your power and strength is through plyometric exercises. Another admission is that I've slacked off with plyo workouts. I used to do them at least once a week, sometimes twice a week in conjunction with leg workouts. You're probably asking, "Why is this a bad thing?" or "What's your point?"

As a personal trainer and running coach, it's not just important for me to train properly, but to learn how to train others properly, ef…

A Good Weekend for Running & Time with Friends

Once again, Monday rolled around way too quickly for my liking. The time change certainly didn't help with that. While I love the extra daylight in the evenings, I'm really not thrilled that it's still dark at 7 am again.

Saturday morning started out with a great 10-mile run with Amy. The weather was just about perfect. Not too hot, not too windy, with gorgeous blue skies. We meandered over to the North Little Rock side of the river trail enjoying the water views of the river. We laughed and joked our way through the 10 miles so the run went by quickly.


After spending a little time on my Triggerpoint Therapy kit and stretching, I decided I wanted to do a bit of yard work. I started off weeding in the back yard and pulling out all the dead plants from the garden. Then I got a little over zealous and decided I needed to rake the front yard.

It's not a large front yard by any means. We only have one very large, very old tree. However, it's a Pin Oak. The leaves are na…

Fun for Friday - 5 Things I Will Enjoy

I'm sure I don't even have to ask who's happy that it's Friday. That's usually a given right? Though, this weekend we're springing forward so that sort of stinks. I'll appreciate that it's light later, but not that it'll be dark again in the mornings. I was just getting used to seeing sunlight before 7 am.

I don't really have a theme for today's Fun for Friday post. So, I thought I'd just do a 5 for Friday list of things I'm enjoying or plan to enjoy. It's Friday, so I'm thinking happy thoughts!

1. Improved Weather. I'm loving the looks of our forecast this weekend and the forecast for my Saturday morning run. A vast improvement from last weekend.


2. Happy Hour with Friends. Definitely looking forward to meeting our friends after work for a bit. It'll be nice to catch up with them and just relax and unwind.

3. Not Having a Race. It'll be nice to not be thinking about weather for racing this weekend. It was all-consu…

I'm Not Comfortable with Selfies

How comfortable are you in your own skin, with sharing pictures of yourself with others? I will admit that I'm not very comfortable or confident. And, I think it shows in what I post and share on my blog as well. 
For those who have been followers of my blog for quite some time, you know that I used to post my weight workouts all the time. Not pictures of myself, but the workouts at least. But after my blood clot, I wasn't allowed to lift for about two months. There was concern about internal bleeding and joint damage because of being on blood thinners. I very quietly, very slowly started easing back into lifting. 
I was a little disappointed in how much muscle mass I had lost during the 2 months I wasn't allowed to lift. Lost muscle and increased fat. It wasn't really anything I talked about though. I shared workouts that I thought others might like to pin and re-use. But I didn't post all of my weight workouts on a regular basis. 
Instead, I shared how many mile…

An Epic Race - Little Rock Half Marathon Recap

Sunday was definitely an Epic day to say the least. That was the theme of the this year's Little Rock Marathon and it lived up to the theme for sure. I apologize for the length of this ramble in advance.

This race has always been tough for me. Even though I run portions of the race route during almost every single run I do, I am always shocked at how difficult it ends up being. And the half course isn't as hilly as the full. It starts off relatively flat, even a great downhill going into North Little Rock. But then you come back over the bridge and it's up, up, up .... up before finally getting to some downhills. Of course, by that time, any of the rolling hills on that last mile feel like mountains.


The forecast for race day was not looking good. All week they were predicting severe storms rolling through with frigid temperatures behind the front. Thankfully it wasn't pouring rain with thunder and lightening at the start, that was to come later, for those doing the fu…