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Showing posts from April, 2014

Vacation Workout - Full-Body Resistance Band and Cardio

Do you make it a point to work out when you're on vacation? Next week, I'll be happily sitting on the beach, relaxing. However, I do try to keep some sort of routine when it comes to being active and eating (mostly) healthy while I'm away.

I know some people use vacations as a time to completely ditch routine, to enjoy, relax and not feel guilty. I definitely make it a point to enjoy, relax and not feel guilty for some indulgences. However, I do try to stay active. It simply makes me feel better. My workouts are not as intense or as long. My running miles drop. I either take a week off from weights entirely or switch to a resistance band workout.

While I always try to stay at a place with a gym, many gyms do not have free weights. Resistance bands are a great option for travel. They are lightweight and easy to pack and carry along. You also don't need much space to get in a good resistance band workout. Plus, it can be a fun way to switch up your typical resistance tr…

Stormy Weekend and Rocky Running

This weekend was fairly low-key for us. I struggled with a too-warm, too-humid long run on Saturday. I started the run solo and got in 4 miles before meeting up with Jason. I was already struggling with my pace. I couldn't seem to keep it under control. I know it sounds stupid to say, but I couldn't seem to slow myself down to where I needed to be. I was just running wildly.

Thankfully, Jason is much better at pacing so that helped. It also helped having some company to keep me out of my head. He dropped off after 4.5 miles and I finished out my run very much glad to be back at the house and done with 10.3 miles (those last .3 may as well have been another full mile in my mind).

I'm definitely going to have to slow down and really adjust to the humidity again. I felt pretty crummy for a few hours after the run. I haven't felt bad after a run in a very very long time. In fact, probably this time last year readjusting to the temps again.

We ended up going for lunch then …

Fun for Friday - Loving. Not Loving.

Happy Friday! Don't know about you guys, but it's felt like a long week for me. Of course, we have a beach trip coming up, so I'm already halfway in vacation mode ;-)

I don't really have a nice segue into today's post. So ... Marcia at Marcia's Healthy Slice did a fun post the other day - Loving/Not Loving. It seems to be perfectly fitting for a Fun for Friday post. Don't you just love inspiration from fellow bloggers? So here it goes:

Loving: Warmer weather. It finally feels like spring.

Not Loving: The humidity and the warmer temps for running.



Loving: My recent morning runs and watching the sun come up.

Not Loving: No one to share the moment with.


Loving: Grilling out.

Not Loving: Mosquito bites.

What are some of the things your Loving and Not Loving lately?

Embracing Annoyances

Have you ever had one of those workouts where there seemed to be a million little annoyances plaguing you? That's pretty much how my morning run was today.


I had checked the weather before bed and the forecast was 49 degrees and 80% humidity. I was kind of looking forward to it being cooler. Tuesday's run was in the 60's, 90% humidity and just warm and muggy.

Of course, I should know better than to trust a forecast. I had pulled out running tights - my Brooks Nightlife for visibility - and a short sleeved top. I got downstairs and it was 54 degrees. Now, 54 degrees with low humidity is very different than 54 degrees with high humidity. In other words, I was very much over dressed. However, I didn't want to go back upstairs and wake Jason up rummaging around trying to find new attire.

I was fairly groggy as Maddie decided to wake us up twice during the night barking her crazy little head off. She's been doing that the past few nights. Good times. The sky was startin…

Eating, Running and Enjoying a Simple Weekend

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine started off nicely as I was off work on Friday. It turned out to be a weekend of eating, shopping, running and a lot of enjoying. Friday morning I got in a run then got my hair done before heading to my hometown.

I met my dad for lunch at a tasty place called Taco Mama's. The owners also have another restaurant that I really enjoy called Cafe 1217. I've been hearing great things about Taco Mama's, but have yet to try it out. I'm glad I did. I ordered their salad bowl with vegetarian filling. I'm usually leery of "vegetarian" fillings. But I was pleasantly surprised. The salad was not iceberg lettuce, a big bonus. It was filled with leafy greens, beans, rice, and a wonderful mix of zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes.

Dad and I spent about 2 hours eating and visiting before I left to meet up with my mom. Mom and I went and did a little bit of shopping at Home Goods and TJ Maxx before I had to head back home.

We met up wi…

Fun for Friday - Things I'm Happy About

Happy Friday friends. I feel very lucky that my company gives us Good Friday off. My day will be spent getting my hair done then lunch with my dad, shopping with my mom then topped off with happy hour with my husband and close friends.

I've had one of those weeks where I've  been up and down with my mood. I'm focusing on the ups though and making it a point to end on an up note. So, I thought the most appropriate thing for Fun For Friday would be to share my happies for the week:

Sunshine: Even though our temps have been way below normal (um 32 degrees for a morning run?) at least it's been sunny.

Interacting with Clients: I love chatting with my clients, especially when they are excited about workouts and accomplishments.

Running with Amy Wednesday: We enjoyed some interesting sites like one man tugging on a chain fence as if he was wake boarding and one interesting fellow twerking down the sidewalk. You never know what you might see on a run.

Food Should Taste Good: Came…

Don't Apologize for Living

There was a time when I would apologize for not having blogged for a day, and would have begged for forgiveness for missing four days. But that feels like a lifetime ago and terribly silly. Seriously, why apologize for living, for living in your moments rather than blogging about the moments?
The thing is, I often read blog posts about living, being in the moment, being present. But at the same time there are no blogging breaks, no lapses in tweeting, instagraming, facebooking. I'm not pointing any fingers mind you. It's just an observation. And I think many times the posts are meant to be encouraging. But the blogger should follow through too right?
And the thing is, I get it. As a blogger, if you miss a few posts, aren't on all the social media channels all the time, you get forgotten. Quickly. And that kind of makes me a bit sad. So if you want to keep your readers, if you want to keep your engagement up, then you have to be "on" all the time. You have to sha…

Fun for Friday - Runners' Contradictions

I think most people would agree, even runners themselves, that runners are a strange lot. We speak in code sometimes talking about 400s, 800s, BQing, DNS, DNF, and so on. Another thing I've noticed about runners is that we tend to contradict ourselves quite often. We say things like, "I hate racing." Then we brag about signing up for races. That's smart isn't it?
Wind
I hate the wind. Typically said when it's cold and/or gusting 20+ mph.OMG where is the wind??? Usually uttered on a hot, muggy run.Oh man that wind feels fantastic. Shouted with glee during the summer.  Rain
I hate rain. Usually grumbled during the winter, torrential downpour, or when it's gusting winds.I love running in the rain. Either said during the summer or right after a rainy run when you're giddy and don't know what you're thinking and saying.  Temperature
I hate running in the freezing cold. Said angrily during the cold, dark winter mornings when you're dressed in mult…

Think Positively

Do you ever have those moments when you really just need some inspiration, some words of wisdom? We all have ups and downs, we get sick, we get injured, we have bad days. I'm not going to bore anyone with my issues, annoyances, grievances. I do try to stay positive, as much as I can. Sometimes we need gentle reminders though.

So today I'm going to try to think positively about problems. Care to join me?  


Chipotle Maple Tofu Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Do you ever make dishes that sound like they're meant for one season, but actually can be good in another season? Last week I did just that.

I had a butternut squash that needed to be used, but I really wasn't sure how I wanted to use it. I also had some red quinoa stashed in the freezer, so I started to think about ways to incorporate the quinoa with the squash. I decided that a salad sounded good.

I know that it's spring, but it sure isn't feeling much like spring around here. So the comforting flavors of fall actually sounded appealing. I love the sweetness of butternut squash pared with the tartness of dried cranberries. But I also really like some spice to my food.

I ended up trying out a new marinade/dressing for tofu using maple syrup, something I almost never use unless a specific recipe calls for it. But maple syrup, butternut squash and cranberries sounded more like a desert. This is where the chipotle peppers come into play. The smoky heat helps offset the s…

Fun for Friday - Positives of Not Running

Well we made it to Friday! And while my general topic isn't fun (injuries), I wanted to turn it into something fun.

Let me back up a minute (or 6 days). For a few weeks I was having a niggling pain over a bone near my ankle and the upper part of my arch was feeling really fatigued and achy. But not like plantar fasciitis. I started backing off my miles and make a very conscious effort to include more slower runs.

I thought I was doing dandy. You know, playing by the rules. I've been adding in more strength workouts for deep core, glutes, and hips. I've been rolling my calves, piriformis, IT band, feet. However, I've been neglecting my feet again, with the exception of rolling the crap out of them. So, more specifically I've been neglecting strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the feet.

By the end of my 10-miler last Saturday, I was starting to hobble. My foot pain had reached it's threshold telling me I was done. As most of us do these days, I turned to the …

Workout Wednesday - Full Body Tabata Strength

I don't know about you, but when I hear the word, "Tabata" I immediately think of a cardio workout. Tabata workouts typically include exercises like burpees, squat jumps and mountain climbers for an intense interval workout.

However, the tabata set up (20 seconds on 10 seconds off) can also be used with resistance training as well. No, it's not quite the same fat-burning cardio workout as a normal tabata workout, but it provides a great circuit style workout that can be a welcome change from your typical resistance training routine.

It is important to note that proper form is more important than the amount of weight you are lifting. When you do a weight workout based on time rather than number of reps, you typically have to go lighter with your weights to ensure good form.

Begin your workout with 10-minute warmup on treadmill and/or using dynamic movements to warm up the muscles. Some examples include: jumping jacks, leg swings, no weight lunges, no weight squats, bu…

Measuring Progress Without a Scale

When you set up goals for yourself, how do you measure progress? I imagine that it varies depending on the goal. It likely often includes some sort of number, like a dollar amount, a certain weight at the gym, a certain distance for running, etc.
As a personal trainer, one thing I've noticed is that clients will set goals that include phrases like, "become healthier," "live a healthier lifestyle," "become healthier for my family." However, they almost all have very specific numbers in their minds that will equal those achievements. Usually it's a specific weight goal. Reaching x pounds on the scale somehow equates to being healthier. 
So then it makes sense that, for many people, you measure your progress by stepping on a scale. If the number goes in the direction you want, that's success. If it doesn't, that's failure. But scales lie my friends. And yes, sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact as well. Are you sure your scale …