Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunflower Seed-Crusted Tilapia

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe on the blog.  I've made some really delicious meals lately, but  for some reason I cannot remember to photograph the process.  Today, though, I remembered.  You're welcome.

On the menu this evening was a recipe inspired by Cooking Light: Sunflower Seed-Crusted Tilapia.  When I was searching for a fish recipe for the tilapia we had in our freezer, I came across the five-ingredient seafood section of Cooking Light's website.  This particular recipe looked like it was super easy and would take no time at all, and due to my laziness crazy-busy schedule, I deemed it perfect for a Thursday night.

(Truth be told, this particular dish has been on the menu the last three weeks.  It has just gotten put on the back burner when we've gone out to dinner or been in the mood for something else.  Now, though, I think it'll be moved to part of the rotation.  It's yummy.)

Here's what you'll need:


Ingredients:

  • Two filets of fish (Cooking Light called for orange roughy, but I used tilapia since a.) I couldn't find OR and b.) we had some in the freezer)
  • Lemon zest
  • Black pepper
  • Egg whites
  • Italian-seasoned panko
  • Sunflower seed kernels
First, whisk the egg whites, black pepper, and lemon zest together in a bowl that will eventually be big enough to hold the fish.

Then, mix the panko and the sunflower seeds on a medium-sized plate or in a shallow dish.



Then, dredge the fish in the egg-white mixture and cover with the dry rub.  Place the fish filets on a wire rack for ten minutes (and cut up the Brussels sprouts for your side dish).


Coat a baking sheet (that has been warming up in the preheating oven) with cooking spray (and line with foil if you're lazy and hate doing dishes) and plop the fish on there to cook for ten minutes.



Let cool so that you don't burn the roof of your mouth when you're shoving the food in as fast as possible and enjoy!


Like I said, we loved this dish and will likely be making it again in the very near future.  Hope you like it, too!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Are Beautiful

Let's talk self-esteem and body image today, shall we?

Sorry for the vulgarity (not really)
And sorry for the lack of source citation -- I pulled this off of a friend's Facebook page.
I've been thinking a lot about this lately for a couple of reasons.  First, this is something that I have thought about pretty much every day since all of the boys liked my best friend in third grade and not me.  And second, Farrell's 10-week testing is coming up this week, and if I win the grand prize, my before and after photos will be plastered in the gym and online and, quite possibly, in the store-front window.

Obviously I'm not too excited that my before picture will be broadcast for everyone to see, but I'm not yet fully satisfied with what my "after" photo will look like.  I mean, I still have a lot of work to do!

(Side note: I'm obviously going to post my before/after photos here, which I totally understand is public territory.  The gym, however, is located in the neighborhood in which I teach, and y'all, 15-year-olds can be mean!)

Also, while I lost eight pounds and over 11 inches in the first five weeks of Farrell's, I don't feel like I've made drastic improvements these past five weeks.  I have felt especially icky the last few days, which is weird because I've been doing everything right -- and more.

See why we're talking about self-esteem and body image today?  Clearly, despite all of the work I've been doing, I still have some issues.

As I'm brainstorming the content of this post, I am quickly realizing that it could be pages upon pages upon pages long.  I mean, I could talk about the recent controversy with Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries, I could talk about the blogger who deemed the NBA cheerleader too chunky to cheer, I could talk about the incessant chatter about women's weights during the 2012 Olympics, I could talk about the fat-shaming that is plaguing our nation, or I could talk about the fat talk that occurs far too often.

And obviously, I could go on and on and on and on and on.

But I'm not going to talk about those things.  Instead, I'm going to talk about my favorite topic: me.  :)

I have never been a stick-thin girl; I've always been athletically-built, and even when I'm not in the tippest-toppest shape, it doesn't take too long for me to start toning up and developing those hidden muscles.  While I've had a fairly flat stomach for most of my life (until I hit 29, um what?!), but my thighs have always been a lot sturdier than I would like.

And, I feel like I weigh way more than I should, I feel like I'm a way bigger pant-size than I should be, and I feel like I look way larger than I actually (probably) do.

But I have felt that way my whole life.  I felt that way when I weighed 150 pounds, and I felt that same way when I weighed 190 pounds.  That is just the way my brain has been programmed by Vogue, Victoria's Secret, and Gossip Girl.

Something that The Boy said the other night has really stuck with me.  Essentially, he told me that I was so super sexy and that he thought I was just so darn beautiful.  (Aw, so sweet.  I'm a lucky girl, I know.)  But then he said, "I just wish you would see it, too.  I just wish you would believe me."

Don't get me wrong: I am not constantly self-deprecating.  I know that I am getting fitter by the day, and I know my tummy, arms, and legs are getting pretty darn toned.  (And I know that The Boy would love me regardless of what I looked like.)  And here's the deal: I do believe him.  I do believe that he thinks I'm sexy and beautiful, and at times even I think I'm not too shabby.  Apparently, though, I still exude the lack of confidence that has followed me since, oh, forever.

I guess some things just take time to change.  I'm trying.

I do need to note, however: I'm not working out like a crazy woman and eating ├╝ber-healthfully because I want to be a size zero.  (That's never going to happen, nor would I want it to.  I like my curves!)  In fact, I could not care less if I stay the exact same size I am now forever, as long as I get more toned (which, I guess, would make me go down a size or two).  Rather, I am exercising and eating well because it makes me feel good.  I like being able to see my muscle definition.  I like feeling sore after a long run.  I like the rush of endorphins while I'm kickboxing.

I am being mindful of my fitness and my nutrition because that is who I am.  If I don't workout and don't eat well, I am not the Emily that everyone knows and loves.  It's not okay.

In fact, while The Boy is supportive of Farrell's and doesn't mind eating the healthy food that I cook, he says that the only reason he likes me doing the program is because he notices how different I am, how happy I am.

I apologize for the completely discombobulated post.  I feel like it made no sense and didn't really get anywhere, but here's the (lost in the post) moral of the story: let's figure out a way to get our society to stop caring so darn much about the number on the scale, the number on the dress, and to start caring more about people.

Have a very Happy Hump Day, and just remember:

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Peace out, yo.

What are your tips to a positive self-image?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Addictions

My name is Emily, and I am an addict.

No, no, no, an illicit drug isn't my choice, nor is alcohol or even caffeine.  (Speaking of, I splurged on a light latte while running errands yesterday and a glass of red wine last night.  That's the first time in seriously two weeks that I've had either of those things!)

Back back to the point: I am not addicted to drugs, alcohol, or caffeine.  No, I am addicted to different things entirely.

Let's explore, shall we?

Sunflower Butter

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Ladies and gentleman, this isn't just an "I-love-sunflower-butter" kind of an addiction.  This is a jar-a-week kind of an addiction.  Seriously.  I gob it on my oatmeal, I scoop it up with my apples, and I just straight-up eat it by the spoonful.  I could give or take peanut butter, and I don't really care for almond butter, but y'all, I cannot get enough of this stuff.

I do, however, try to limit myself to two tablespoons per day.  After all, it has 200 calories per two tablespoons, so I don't want to overindulge too much.

I know it's expensive (what vice isn't?) at $5-6 per jar, but give it a try.  I promise you won't regret it.

My Camelback BPA-Free eddy Water Bottle


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This is pretty much the only water bottle I use.  I cart it everywhere with me: the gym, school, the mall, Spanish class, the grocery store, the bowling alley, etc.  For some reason this particular water bottle makes it so much easier for me to drink gallons of agua a day.  I think it might be the "straw" feature.  The Boy absolutely hates this, as he says it feels like he's drinking out of a baby bottle, but I love it: the water doesn't splash in my face, I don't risk getting a Kool-Aid mustache, and it doesn't make gross slurping noises when I'm guzzling the entire bottle at once.

I use this so much that I'm tempted to buy a second one just so that I can be certain one is clean at all times.  Since, let's be real: I don't wash this one nearly enough.

Hey, it's good for the immune system, right?

Crystal Light and Mio


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I have no problem chugging water, but plain ol' water gets a little old when it's the absolute only thing that you drink every. single. day.  So, I have recently started adding in a little sumpin' sumpin'.  I started with Crystal Light because it's The Familiar.  But, I quickly realized that as fast as I go through it, it's not the most cost-effective option.

I quickly realized that I could get more bang for my buck with MiO.  So, I bought a little egg of it and pretty much cart it with me everywhere.  It'd be nice if I could figure out a way to just attach it to that aforementioned handy-dandy water bottle.
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And yes, I realize that both of these delicious delicacies contain artificial sweeteners and that there are plenty of articles stating that they're going to give me cancer, but I'm going to go ahead and drink it regardless.  I'm pretty darn healthy otherwise.

Orange Leaf


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The first thing I'm going to do when I'm done with Dam to Dam on Saturday (since this will also be after my Farrell's picture and 10-week testing) is go to Orange Leaf and scarf down the biggest tub of frozen yogurt and cookie dough crumbles that I can manage.

This is seriously my kryptonite.  I have always been an ice cream lover, but a frozen yogurt company that allows you to get as much as you want of whatever flavor you want and then top it with whatever deliciousness you want?  I DIE.

I would probably eat this every day if I could.

And The Boy is the same, sadly enough.  We have been known to get off the couch, put on real clothes, and drive to Orange Leaf at 9:30 at night.  We have no shame.

Candy Crush Saga


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I cannot believe how much I am absolutely addicted to this damn game.  Seriously.  It's pathetic.

My students even know how crazy I am about Candy Crush Saga.  One of my little girls even made me read an article about CCS addiction.  (Of course I cannot find this article for you now, but just Google "Candy Crush Saga addiction" and find pages upon pages upon pages of articles.  At least I'm not alone, right?)

Y'all, it's bad.  I am fairly stubborn in that I don't pay for apps, but I will gladly give Candy Crush Saga 99 cents every time I finish an episode, simply because I need for the game to continue.  I haven't yet paid for additional lives, but I have figured out that the lives on my various devices don't synch, so I can play five times on my phone, five times on my iPad, and five times on my computer before I am completely out of lives.  I told you: pa-thet-ic.

My advice to you?  Don't start.  Don't. do. it.  STAY AWAY!

Or...don't.  It's pretty darn entertaining.

What are your "must-have" products?  Food that you can't live without?  App that totally wastes every second of your day?  DO SHARE!

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Girlfriend Run

I love random days off in the middle of the school year.  I especially love when my non-teacher friends also have those days off of work.

Today, two of my bestest girlfriends and I took advantage of our rare time off and hooked up for a nice jaunt around the 'hood.

AM, BFF, and me (cheesin' it up, obv)

We headed out on a five-mile route that the kiddos and I were supposed to run on Saturday.  However, due to the raging storms that have been hovering around Des Moines this entire weekend, the Saturday run did not happen.  And, interestingly enough, this run was questionable as well do to incessant thundering and sporadic showers all morning.

Luckily, we were able to find an hour of storm-free time to get our run on.

We met at the school and headed out toward Drake University, hurdling puddles and branches the entire way.  In the middle of the city, we passed a lovely babbling brook:


I'm not sure if this brook is always babbling, but it sure was after our inch of rain last night.

We continued east to the campus where we found some mild storm carnage on the grassy knolls:

Oh, Drake, how I have missed you.
It was actually nice being back on campus, as I haven't wandered that way in quite a while.  And after spending five and a half years there (for my bachelors degrees as well as my masters), it was nice to be back.

We were going so fast that the picture blurred.  My apologies.  :)
We didn't run down the painted street, but we still got a nice (albeit wet) view of what the students did over Relays.  Ah, vodka-filled memories.


And we continued further east toward Sheslow Auditorium and the back of Old Main, my favorite building on campus...


...and the sun dial, which is absolutely gorgeous when the sun is shining and the tulips are in bloom.


Once we turned south and got to Kingman, we headed back west to our starting point, but first we had to hurdle some downed trees (and some flattened opossum and squirrels):


We rounded out 4.8 miles in just over an hour.  While it's certainly not our fastest time in the books, we got out there and did it, and we had a blast doing so.  (And considering I got my butt whooped at Farrell's this morning, I'm okay with this time.)


I can't wait to suffer through 12.4 miles of Dam to Dam with these girls next weekend!

Wish us luck!

But for now, since there's yet another lull in the crazy weather, I'm off to grill some burgers with The Boy.

I hope y'all had a lovely, relaxing weekend!  See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bargain Buys

I have been all about the deals lately.  Yesterday, I got eight pairs of Victoria's Secret undies for a total of $16.  Right?!  And, I bought The Boy a nice polo and me a summer purse from Express for a total of $54.  (I thought that one was going to be cheaper, but they wouldn't take my coupon on top of the 40% off.  Bummer.)  Today, I went to Old Navy and bought a pair of workout pants, two swimsuit tops, one swimsuit bottom, and a pair of flip-flops for $45 (and $22 of that was for the workout pants).  Shut up!

So yes: I am all about the deals.  (And yes: I am done shopping for quite a while!)

Before we get on to the real post, though, those swimsuits from Old Navy?  They're bikinis.  Normally, trying on swimsuits would be a hellish experience for me, as I generally critique every flaw I find with myself, especially when they're all exposed while wearing two pieces of tiny fabric in front of glaring fluorescent lights.  However, this time was different.  BOTH bikinis look pretty darn good on me, which means that something's working!

Back to the beginning: I have been all about the deals lately.

Every week when I go grocery shopping, I make it a goal to do it as cheaply as possible.  I try to beat the prior week's total, and lately, I've been succeeding.  It's actually kind of ridiculous how competitive (and excited!) I get regarding this weekly adventure.

This week's grand total -- for six "meals" each day for two people -- was a whopping $65.  (The total bill was actually $73.09, but four dollars of that was for a cat toy, and $3 was for hairspray.)

Did you read that correctly?  Sixty-five dollars for a week's worth of groceries for two people.

Here's our dinner plan for the week:


DINNER
Short rib Ragu + polenta + kale salad
Burgers w/ Blue Cheese Mayo and Sherry Vidalia Onions + veggies
TJ’s Vera Cruz fish + sweet potato + veggies
Honey-lime chicken kebabs w/ mango slices + veggies
Sunflower seed-crusted tilapia+ sweet potato + veggie
Fazoli’s (carb load for Dam to Dam)

I must 'fess up to a couple of things before continuing, though:

  • Tonight's dinner (short rib Ragu and polenta) is provided by BFF.  Our contribution is bread and cheese, which we still have to purchase.
  • I already have Tuesday's dinner (the fish from Trader Joe's) and the tilapia for Thursday's dinner since both are frozen and in the freezer to have for busy nights.
  • I still have to buy the chicken for Wednesday's dinner.
  • Friday's dinner is courtesy of Fazoli's since I have, oddly enough, found that to be the best pre-race food in the universe.
So, I guess you can tack on an extra $10 for bread and cheese, an extra $6 for the chicken, and an extra $7 for Fazoli's.  But still: I did a pretty darn good job this week.

Here's the loot:


Fridge food includes Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, blue cheese crumbles, eggs, string cheese, Laughing Cow cheese, half a pound of turkey, and a pound of ground sirloin.


Pantry food includes Ryvita sesame crackers, whole wheat hamburger buns, generic water flavorer, thyme, sunflower butter, and Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter.

Produce includes green apples, tomatoes, mangoes, limes, Brussels sprouts, and arugula.


The string cheese, eggs, sunflower butter, and Ryvita crackers will likely last well into next week, so that's a nice way to save money as well.

I am pretty pleased with all of my money-saving lately.  Woot woot.

How much do you budget for groceries per week?  What are your stellar money-saving ideas?  Fill me in, yo!

Have a fabulous rest of your weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Daily Dining

I haven't posted lately about absolutely everything that I eat every day for a couple of reasons.  First, it's pretty boring: I find something I like, and I eat it non-stop for several days.  Second, I am usually a.) in a hurry, b.) super hungry, or c.) surrounded by 14-year-olds when mealtime rolls around, so therefore taking photos is not at the top of my list.

Lucky for you, however, I made it happen yesterday.

So, here goes:

After getting home from a tough day of strength-training at Farrell's, I took a shower and whipped up my most favorite breakfast: Dessert Oats.


I know it doesn't look pretty, but trust me: this breakfast is delish.  The sunflower butter makes the whole thing sooooooo creamy.

At school, I chugged down two huge water bottles of water + Mio, my new favorite invention, and immediately had to pee every 30 minutes for the rest of the day.

Side note: when your classroom is at the opposite end of the school from the restroom and you constantly have 25 ninth graders harassing you at any given moment, going potty is quite the feat.  I swear, my bladder is made of steel.

For my morning snack, I had one of my two usuals:


One apple, two pieces of string cheese, and 1/8 cup of wasabi peas.  I have found that I have to have an apple each and every day.  And, I have to have that apple around three hours after breakfast.  If I don't, I am super cranky.  The cheese adds the necessary protein, and the wasabi peas adds the extra carbs/protein that I didn't get from the other two.  Plus, they are nice to munch on throughout the morning because they take forever to eat due to the wasabi.

After teaching another block-and-a-half and chugging even more water, it was time for lunch.  Normally, I bring leftovers.  But due to my echocardiogram and The Boy running random errands, we were not in the mood to cook on Wednesday and instead grabbed some grub at one of our neighborhood restaurants.  So, I was left to freezer food:


I microwaved an Amy's Texas Veggie Burger and topped it with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, which totally hit the spot (and gave me the extra protein I needed to round out the meal).  I sided the burger patty with some baby carrots and half a serving of Garden Vegetable Wheat Thins (Fiber Select).  My grocery store didn't have my normal Multigrain Wheat Thins for some reason, so I opted for these, and they are pretty darn good!

After school, I "ran" a couple of miles with the kids.  I put "ran" in quotation marks because I did a pretty darn good job for the first mile, but then I hung back with a student who was struggling for the remainder, and we ended up (not by my choice) mostly just moseying our way back to the starting point.  While it wasn't the workout I was necessarily hoping for, I know that it was good for this particular student, and I know that she will do much better next time.

After the run, I inhaled half of my afternoon snack:

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A Peanut Honey Pretzel Luna bar.  It was really, really good.  I'm digging Luna bars right now because the carb to protein ratio is pretty close to what I need for each meal.  (I am also supposed to accompany this with a piece of string cheese, but since I was pretty close to dinner, I left that part out of the snack today.)

The Boy and I were lazy again for dinner, so we opted for an easy, new-to-us frozen meal:

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Tortilla-crusted tilapia from Sea Cuisine, that I sided with roasted Brussels sprouts and The Boy sided with white rice.  (I apologize for the product photo, but I completely spaced on taking a picture until my plate was pretty much licked clean.)  Okay, y'all: this fish was good.  The topping was super crunchy, and the fish was perfect.  Put it in the oven frozen for 26 minutes, and you're good to go!  I seriously recommend this meal.

For my before-bed snack, I had my usual: a protein shake.


I put a heaping scoop of Arbonne protein powder (vanilla) into about two cups of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, and it is soooooooo good.

I also cheated a smidge, y'all.  Oops.

The Boy made a late-night run to the grocery store to return some Red Box movies and picked us up some ice cream.  So...I had a small scoop of Light Caramel Pecan deliciousness.

Here were my totals for the day:
  • Calories: 1,737
  • Carbs: 187 grams
  • Protein: 86 grams
  • Fat: 75 grams
Percentage-wise, I was at 42% carbohydrates, 38% fats, and 20% proteins.  While I would like the fats to be a lower percentage, most of them came from healthy fats, so I'm fairly okay with that.

What does your daily meal plan look like?  How often do you "cheat"?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Miles Aren't Going to Go Away

I know I've mentioned this before, but running the Market to Market Relay was a challenge for me.

Yes, it would be a bit of a physical challenge since I hadn't been properly training, but that actually wasn't as big a deal as I thought once I got going.  I mean, aside from the heart issues that I'd been experiencing (I'll know more on Friday), I am super healthy and in pretty darn good shape.  So, despite not having run several miles for several months, the running wasn't the real challenge.

The mind was.

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So, to conquer that inner voice that was telling me that this was going to be hard, that I wasn't going to be able to do this, I broke out -- for the first time in my life -- some mantras.

(Side note: the whole "for the first time in my life" piece may not be 100% true.  When I'm running hills with the kids for See-Us Run Des Moines, I tell the girls over and over and over that our butts are going to look so good.  Hey, whatever helps, right?)

Many people think that mantras are a religious thing, or perhaps that they only belong in a yoga studio in the fitness world.  However, that is absolutely not true.  Mantras can be so, so powerful (especially when they're more motivating -- or perhaps more serious -- than thinking about a good-looking butt).

Interestingly, I didn't remember the whole concept of mantras until it was nearly my turn to run.  I knew that I was not going to be able to pull one out of thin air while I was huffing and puffing up a mile-long hill, so I turned to my tried and true source for all things inspirational: Pinterest.

Here's what I came up with:


And:

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As I was chugging along my 2.9-mile route and then my 4.6-mile leg, my mantras were on repeat: "The miles aren't going to go away.  The only one who can beat you is you.  The miles aren't going to go away.  The only one who can beat you is you.

And you know what?

It helped.

I think the first one especially made the difference: I was still going to have to move my body 4.6 miles, whether or not I wanted to.  Those 4.6 miles weren't going to go away.  They would either take a really long time with me dawdling, or they could go by semi-quickly with me running them.  Regardless, my body was going to have to do it.

The second one came into play and motivated me a whole bunch when people started passing me.  I am not the fastest runner in the world, nor have I ever claimed to be.  In fact, I'm certain that some of the mall walkers could beat me in a 5k.  (Some of those people are fast, y'all!)

But, none of that matters in a race.  I run for me, not to come in first, not to win a prize, not to beat so-and-so.  I run for me.  And therefore, the mantra is true: the only one who can beat me is me.

Now, when I talk again about dreading Dam to Dam, remind me of the effectiveness of mantras.  :)

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Peace out, yo.

What are your running mantras?  How do you just keep going when you really don't want to?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two-A-Days

I was thinking about this blog post in the shower (where all of my greatest ideas occur, obviously), and I couldn't stop thinking about this TV show.

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I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single episode of this show, but regardless, it's the first thing that popped into my head when I realized that I was doing two-a-day workouts.  The commercials must've been swarming the air in the midst of my Jersey Shore addiction, or something.  Oh, and speaking of Jersey Shore: I just bought the JWOWW tanning lotion (don't judge -- on either account) and it's seriously the best lotion I've ever used.  It smells so ridiculously good that I find myself smelling my arms throughout the entire day and into my morning workout the following day.

What can I say?  I'm hot.

Anyway, back to the actual topic of this blog post: two-a-day workouts.

As you know, I've been kickboxing three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and have been doing strength-training three days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) at Farrell's.  About a month-and-a-half ago, See-Us Run Des Moines started, and those practices are on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Let me break it down for you: if I do all of the workouts I'm supposed to be doing at the times that I am supposed to be doing them, I will have four days a week of two-a-days, two days a week of one-a-days, and one day a week completely free.

Currently, I am only able to make two or three SRDM practices a week due to job commitments and, lately, doctors' appointments.  Despite only being two or three times a week, though, those two-a-days are killing me.

I mean, Farrell's is super intense.  We're in week nine of the ten-week program, so the workouts are fairly killer in and of themselves.  Adding a full day of on-my-feet teaching to the 5 a.m. workout and topping it all with a two to four mile run afterwards is brutal.



Let's look at yesterday, for example.  The bands workout was our first experience with the "push/pull" strategy.  Instead of doing solely upper- or solely lower-body, we did all push exercises, a combination of upper and lower.  (For example, we did donkey kicks for our glutes since we were pushing our muscles, we did lat raises for our shoulders since we were pushing our muscles, and we did seated leg extensions for our quadriceps since we were pushing our muscles.)  After that tough workout, I worked all day and then headed out with the kiddos for our track workout.  We ran a half a mile to the track and then did six laps (1.5 miles) of sprinting the straightaways and jogging the curves.  We then did two cool-down laps (another half a mile).  All together: two-and-a-half miles, most of which were speed drills.

I was so pooped last night that I could barely manage walking around Target with The Boy.  In fact, I whined mentioned that my legs needed to stop working.  And, I'm not going to lie: I was half tempted to have him push me around in the cart.

So yes: I am doing two-a-days.  And yes: they are tough.  And yes again: there will be whining.

Be prepared.


Good thing today was "just" a one-a-day.  :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dam Crazy

Do you remember that race last year where I almost puked at the very end?  The largest 20k in the country? Remember how I was SUPER prepared for it since I had just finished a half marathon not even a month prior?

Well, that same race is happening in just 11 days.


When registration opened months ago, I snagged a spot right away since I know Dam to Dam sells out every year.  After all, it's only open to the first 8,000 entrants.

When registration opened months ago, I had an entire training plan scheduled and vowed to be prepared to run the 12.4-mile race.

When registration opened months ago, I was unaware that I was going to forgo running for kickboxing and resistance training.

So, while I have secured a spot in the race, I do not at all feel prepared.  I mean, I have not run more than 4.6 miles since I ran the marathon in October.

However, I am going to run Dam to Dam, and I am going to run it well.  (And, now I don't have the choice to back out since I put it in writing.  Crap.)  I am in extremely good shape right now: my cardio endurance is up due to kickboxing and shorter runs, and my leg and core strength is up due to resistance training three days a week.  While I was running three to four times a week last year, I wasn't doing any strength training, my nutrition was fairly lackluster, and I did not feel as good as I do now.

The real motivation to crushing Dam to Dam, however, comes from a couple of weekends ago: I felt completely, 100% unprepared to complete my legs of the Market to Market Relay, but despite the wind, the chilly temperatures, and my complete lack of training, I surprised myself and totally kicked butt.

Therefore, I am confident that I can do the same at Dam to Dam.  Let's just hope I can cross the finish line with a smile instead of like this:


We can hope, right?  :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Amateur Mistake

We're nearly finished with Week Eight for Farrell's, and aside from the three days I spent in Chicago and last weekend's Market to Market Relay, I have perfect attendance.  (Granted, one day in Chicago I ran three miles and did some push-ups and sit-ups, another day I did the same band workout that my team did in the gym, and one of the days I ran 7.7 miles...)

Four days a week, I even do two-a-day workouts.  However, my attendance for those is anything but perfect.  It is hard to make every single practice immediately after school due to various meetings, appointments, etc., but I try to make as many as possible.  And as soon as summer comes, I'll be at nearly every single practice.

Today, however, was one of the days I skipped.  I had all good intentions of running 2+ miles with the kiddos today, but I made an amateur mistake yesterday that rendered me incapable of running today.


Get ready.

CW, one of my grad school friends who is a super great real-life friend, and I went on a walk with her beautiful baby.  I thought it was going to be a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, and while it certainly was, it was much warmer than I thought, and we ended up going much further than I anticipated.

All of this was wonderful and would've ended perfectly had I planned my outfit accordingly and worn workout pants and tennis shoes.  Instead, I went straight from work in my little plaid skirt and sandals.

While I was super comfortable for the majority of the walk, I soon realized that I was experiencing the worst chafing of my entire life.

This is approximately the time that I started walking like a cowboy in an old western.

Source
Unfortunately, despite trying to walk as bowlegged as I possibly could, my inner thighs were pretty much raw by the time I got home.  (They were so raw, in fact, that I told The Boy that he was about to see me in my most unsexy form possible: I slathered zinc oxide all over those puppies, caked it on in a thick paste, and camped out spread-eagle on the bed for the entire evening.  HOT, I tell you.  Good thing he loves me.)

And if that's not enough, I have quite the blisters on the balls of my feet.  Apparently the calluses that I had from last summer had gone away.  I'll save you the horror of a photograph (you can thank me later), but just imagine a nickel-sized ball of blister.  Yep, lovely.

Regardless of all of my hot mess-itude, the walk was awesome.  It was so, so, so good to catch up with a good friend, one whom I had not seen for far too long.  I love the friends who -- despite the length of time between reunions -- pick up right where you left off.  Although it had been about six months since we had done our usual get-together, it was like a day had not gone by.  But, it also made me realize how much I had missed CW and how much I need to see her more often.  :)

So anyway, back to me being a disaster.

I skipped running today.  I probably could've managed it, but I also more than likely would have done more damage to my "injuries" and would've caused myself even more misery -- which in turn would've resulted in me taking even more time away from my two-a-days.

I will, however, be running four miles with the kids on Saturday -- whether or not my legs and feet are back to normal.

Eek.