A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Funday - Low Impact Deck of Cards Workout!

What is Sunday Funday you ask? Well, it's the day of the week I will share some new ideas for workouts. Most of you have your RUNday on Sunday. So after your long run, kick back with some carbs and check out the Sunday Funday workout you can use later in the week!

Today's Sunday Funday Workout is a low impact Deck of Cards workout. After a week of pounding the pavement, try this workout that will make you sweat, make you strong, and also give your joints a bit of a rest!

Hearts = Donkey Kicks
Diamonds = Bicycle Crunches
Spades = Plank with knee tuck
Clubs = Push ups

Any other ideas for exercises that are low impact?

Disclaimer: I am a personal trainer, but I am not YOUR personal trainer. These exercises are not prescriptions. Please check with your doctor before starting any workout program.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

10k Training- Speed work!

It has been so long since I have done legit speed work. But Tuesday morning, I laced up my running shoes, slapped on my knee brace, queued up a Dan Savage pod cast, and hit my neighborhood streets for some 400s. I will be doing 400 repeats once every nine days to prepare me for a 10k in October. (My other “speed” workout is a tempo run every nine days.)

There are a couple loop-de-doops in my neighborhood that are very flat, so after a one mile warm up, I literally ran my 400s in a circle. I wonder what my neighbors thought of me running around their block fifteen times?

This was the workout:

Warm Up: 1 mile jog
8 x 400 sprints with a 400 recovery jog in between each
Cool Down: ¾ mile jog

Around the third 400 I wanted to be DONE. Speed work SUCKS. I mean, there is no other activity that makes me want to vomit and shit my pants at the same time.

I played mental games with myself. I told myself I only had to do six repeats. But once I got to six, I of course banged out the last two. The truth is, I am not used to my workouts sucking. I had to keep reminding myself what a coach once told me. “Anyone can run and feel good.” It’s so true. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But if I want to get better, faster, and stronger, at least some of my workouts are going to have to be uncomfortable.
Do you play mental games with yourself during a particularly difficult workout?
How often do you do purposeful speed work?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Not your typical post.

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You are reading this Friday morning but I am writing it Thursday evening.

I am on my second margarita. I need it, I promise.

I just had a horrible, horrible day. I can't go into the details because they are work related and "personal" related, so I simply can't talk about them. I know it is a cop out. This is a BLOG, right? I shouldn't write about something that I can't write about!

Sorry! Just this once I have to do the "I have problems but I can't tell you about them" thing.

The thing is, it doesn't matter WHY my day was horrible. You all have had horrible days and the shit that went down in my world today is probably that exact same type of shit that goes down when you have a bad day.

But it's finally 6:00 pm and I am done for the day. In fact, I am done for the next four days due to the holiday weekend. However, I just CAN'T RELAX. My shoulders are raised, my butt cheeks are clenched, and all I can think about are the one billion things that need to be done. But I can't do those things because I am simply too tired. I am also thinking about the people and situations that angered me today. Again, there is nothing to do, except let go of the anger and not worry so much. Very hard to do.

As a teacher, it is really weird transitioning from the summer months to the beginning of the school year. I am not complaining- I am very thankful to have the summers to simply RELAX. My problem is going from 0 (summer) to 60 (school year) in the matter of days. It's a HUGE transition. And I am definitely an all or nothing person. In the summer, I'm all about easy breezy, but during the school year, I just can't. turn. my. mind. off. I hate that so much!

I don't know what the point of this post was except that I wanted to get all of my feelings out. I try to share the good, the bad, and the ugly on here. Ooh, let's do that!

The GOOD about this week: I trained a new client!

The BAD about this week: The network on my work computer crashed and I couldn't get any of the materials I needed for my classes and I needed to rewrite lesson plans I already wrote for next week.

The UGLY about this week: My face has broken out so bad. I think it is the worst it has ever been. Proof that I am stressed!

Thanks for listening! Paul and I are headed out for our second DQ run of the week. First week of school, indeed....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

3 Things That Are Plaguing Me

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Lately, there are a couple things that have been bothering me that are fitness related. Pull up a chair so I can unload my problems on you! If you have any advice or words of wisdom, I would love to hear it!

1. Guys, I hate stretching so much. I try to make it more enjoyable while watching TV while I stretch, but that only helps a little. I dread coming home from a run and devoting even just 10 minutes to stretching.

I used to never stretch, but I started doing it regularly about a year ago. Then I got lax about and and probably only did it 1/3 of the time. Last week, I recommitted myself to stretching and while I'm proud to say I'm doing it, I'm still hating it.

Every time I psych myself up to stretch, I think: "Would you rather stretch for ten minutes at home or drive to physical therapy twice a week?" That gets my butt in the living room to stretch.

2. I need new shoes... but they don't make my shoes anymore! I wear Mizuno Wave Riders, but the last version of Wave Riders that I liked were Wave Rider 15s. They changed the 16s so much that they don't even feel like "my shoes" anymore. Several months ago, I ordered some 15s off eBay so I was okay for awhile. But now I need new shoes and I can't find any 15s in my size because everyone has moved on... except me. It plagues me to have to find new shoes! I have been wearing Wave Riders for EIGHT YEARS. I really should have bought like twenty pairs when I had the chance...

3. I miss trail running! I am so weary to do it in the summer because I HATE snakes. Some summers, I get over myself and run on the trail several times a week. This summer, I have not gotten over myself yet. My last time on the trail was early June when I did a long run with a bunch of friends. (Groups of people scare snakes away.) I suppose I should organize a group trail run so I have some protection against those scary snakes!

What's plaguing you?
Do you like stretching?
How do you feel about snakes?
Have they ever changed your shoes so much that they're not even your shoes anymore?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

8 Things I'm Loving Right Now!

1. Reading. I rediscover my love of reading during the summer and it tends to fall to the wayside once the school year starts. This year, I am determined to make the time to continue reading for pleasure. There is no reason not to. I have the time if I want to have the time. I read some awesome books this summer... Most recently: Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, Reconstructing Amelia, and a good 'ol reread of The Catcher in the Rye.

2. Nachos! Lately, my dinners have been the healthiest form of nachos I can manage to make. My favorite recipe: tortilla chips, chicken breast, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, cilantro, peppers from the garden, and taco sauce. It's SO GOOD!

3. Cooler weather. As soon as I type this, I am sure it is going to get scorching again. But I feel like in the last couple weeks, there were several days here and there where it wasn't too hot out and I could actually run without wanting to die.

4. Zach & Caleb on Big Brother 16. I am sure I have mentioned a couple times how much I love the television show Big Brother. This season, it is really hard to like some of the house guests, let alone love them. But there are two that are really tickling my fancy this year.

Zach Rance
Why I love Zach: He is hilarious, emotional, antagonistic, immature, and silly.

Caleb Reynolds
Why I love Caleb: He still thinks he's in an alliance that crumbled over a month ago. He also calls himself "Beast Mode Cowboy". ALL. THE TIME.

5. My husband's chili. Ground turkey, fresh tomatoes and peppers from the garden, corn, lotsa beans and spices. I know chili is more of a fall recipe but who cares!?

Yeah, this picture makes it look like barf. 
This is one of the many reasons I am not a food blogger.

6. High waisted patterned palazzo pants with a cropped top. Say that five times fast! I am looking for the perfect pair of palazzo pants but they are hard to find. The ones I tried on that looked good were too long and would need some major hemming. As for the cropped top, I fear I am too old for that look. I am sure there would be one or two places it would be appropriate... like maybe a party. But I can't remember the last time I was at a party!

This is the look I'm going for.

7. Cheesy Garlic Bread flavored Lay's potato chips. I got these for my husband and his friends to munch on during their fantasy football draft. Of course I had to try them! They really do taste like garlic bread!

8. This comic from The Oatmeal. Truth.
Tell us something you're loving right now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10k Training - 1st Tempo Run!

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I decided to train for a sub 45 minute 10k at the end of October. I devised a training plan where my "weeks" are 9 days instead of 7 days. The two most important days during each 9 day period are my tempo run and my speed work. The only way to run faster is to RUN FAST.

On Saturday, I had my first tempo run of my training. The goal was to do six miles with two of them at or near race pace. I sure procrastinated on Saturday morning. It was like I'd do anything except lace up my running shoes and get out there. The longer I waited, the more nervous I got. Mental Note: Next time I have a tempo run, I need to get up drink, coffee, eat, and hit the road before I have time to get nervous!

My splits ended up like this:

Mile 1- 8:45
Mile 2- 7:50
Mile 3- 7:11 <---- Pace
Mile 4- 7:10 <---- Pace
Mile 5- 8:13
Mile 6- 8:13

A couple things about this run I want to share with you...

1. During my third mile, I started to think about the very first marathon I ran. Then I thought about this post by Kristina. In it, she discusses and article by the New York Times entitled: Plodders Have a Place, But Is It in a Marathon? Well guess what? My first marathon took me almost four and a half hours to run and four years later I ran Boston. Everyone starts out somewhere, and for some of us, it's PLODDING. Eff the Times.

2. While my two miles at pace were almost exact, I was having a hard time maintaining a steady pace during those two miles. Sometimes I would look down at my Garmin and I'd be running a 7:30 pace and other times I'd look down and I'm be running a 6:47 pace. I hope with these tempo runs I will get enough practice running at my goal pace and know what it feels like without looking at my Garmin.

3. At mile four and a half, my right shoulder got so sore that I wanted to stop running. Whenever I run "fast" I tense up my right shoulder for some reason. Do you guys do this? When it happens, I shake my arms out or run with them down at my sides. Usually it is just annoying, but that day it hurt so bad that I wanted to stop running. A mile later, the pain went away. Weird.

4. I'm already envisioning the 10k. I would like to kick it up a notch and give it my all during the last half mile- if I have some energy left in me. I don't want to conserve energy for the last half mile, I would just like to kick it into gear if I am able to. I am thinking practicing this during my long runs is a good idea? My long runs are going to be at an easy pace and never longer than 10 miles. Sprinting the last half mile could sort of prepare me for the end of the 10k. What do you guys think?
How do you do tempo runs?
What do you think of my plan to kick it into gear at the end of long runs? Do you think that will be effective, at least mentally?
Do you ever tense up your shoulders like I do?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up - HIGHLIGHTS!

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Good luck to all my teacher friends who go back to school today!
I hope none of you were under your bed. I swear I wasn't!

I had a great weekend, but there are only a few exciting things to share. I mean, I could go into great detail about how I laid on the couch and cuddled my kitties and cleaned off the back porch and weeded... but that's no fun! So I shall just give you the HIGHLIGHTS!


Paul held his fantasy football draft at our house on Friday night, which meant I needed to fend for myself for several hours while they were in their little fantasy world. I wrote so many blogs it's not even funny. I need to stock up. The kids will be back at school on Monday which means my life is about to get a lot more crazy!


Our dear friends Bree and Geoff came over Saturday night for game night! We were supposed to roast marshmallows at the fire put but doggone it, it rained! We still had a blast inside drinking margaritas and scotch. I love being a grown up!

The lovely Bosso-Forrests!


Some wonderful food moments happened on Sunday! First of all, this is what I ate after lifting...

Two jalapeno garlic chicken sausages.

Then, my garden was extremely fruitful by producing two huge butternut squash!

I can't wait to eat those suckers!

I did have one low light. When game night was over, I sat on the couch with a bag of chips and watched TV and just mindlessly ate way too many chips. I wasn't even craving them and I wasn't that hungry. I felt so guilty about it that on Sunday morning, I went for a 5 mile run before lifting chest- even though my training plan called for a lower body rest day. Augh! I know this is just one mistake but it reminded me of several years ago when I was in the habit of stuffing my face and then compensating by overexercising. It was a vicious cycle! Next time I stuff my face (it will happen again) I need to make sure I do not overcompensate. I workout enough. I need to stick with my plan!

We can't end on that note! Here's a meme I made...

What was a highlight from your weekend?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Funday - Front Stoop Workout!

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Hello, Friends!

Thank you for all the feedback you gave me on whether or not I should continue giving a wrap up of my weekly workouts. I have decided to discontinue it. Boy was it freeing these past couple runs when I didn't have to take a picture of my Garmin immediately after!

However, many of you shared that you like when I post my workouts because it gives you ideas for your own. I am still going to give you ideas in a different way. I present to you...

What is Sunday Funday you ask? Well, it's the day of the week I will share some new ideas for workouts. Most of you have your RUNday on Sunday. So after your long run, kick back with some carbs and check out the Sunday Funday workout you can use later in the week!

Today's Sunday Funday Workout is all about your front stoop! Check it out!

1. Step Ups
2. Tricep Dips
3. Knee Up/Backward Lunge
4. Inverted Push Ups
5. Side to Side Jumps

Any other ideas for exercises you can do with your front stoop?

Disclaimer: I am a personal trainer, but I am not YOUR personal trainer. These exercises are not prescriptions. Please check with your doctor before starting any workout program.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

10 Day You Challenge

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Kristen @ Sweat Courage started a blog series- 10 Day You Challenge.

Yes, I am a leeeeeettle late on this one. But since summer is over and I am no longer going to be doing my Summer Weekly Workouts (I am sorry, I get bored posting all my workouts!), I thought this would be something fun to do once a week to replace that! Check back this Sunday to see how I am going to continue to inspire and motivate you with different fun workouts without me having to post every single one of my own.


Today is 10 Secrets!

This one is going to be a little difficult. I don't think I have 10 secrets. And if it is a secret I haven't told you yet, chances are, I don't want you to know about it! Okay, I will be quiet now and try to think of 10 secrets to tell you...

1. Sometimes I read things just to get mad and annoyed. There are certain blogs I lurk on and read just to make myself annoyed. There are certain people I keep as my Facebook friends even though I really want to delete them. I just take such pleasure in being annoyed by their posts. Is this bad to do provided I do it in moderation? Oh, I also listen to things to get mad. On the way home from work, I listen to a conservative radio show just to get ANGRY. Sometimes I'll be driving home from a long, difficult day in the classroom, and on the show they are just TRASHING teachers and teacher unions. Why do I listen to that crap just to get fired up? I don't get it.

2. I like when I find Christmas and Jelly's claws laying around the house. I love to pinch them between my fingers to break them. I don't know why it is so satisfying, but it is.

3. I drink coffee every morning and have an alcoholic drink every evening. One day coffee and red wine are good for you and the next day they are bad. So according to the experts, I am doing okay half the time.

4. I purposefully cut my toenails down REALLY low so that they are only slivers. If they are not super short, my toenails get sore while I'm running and eventually fall off. It's sort of a "get them before they get me" mentality. When you see my toenails painted, it is mostly skin that is painted. It's an illusion, guys.

5. In first grade, I cheated on a spelling test. I hid my spelling book open in my desk and used it to distinguish between the words "which" and "witch". I did not get caught and I never cheated again, even though I don't remember feeling bad about it. Although, I don't think a 6 year old would feel bad about something like that.

6. Paul and I (yup, throwing Paul under the bus on this one!) have watched every single season of Big Brother. We love the show! It is such a guilty pleasure for us.

7. I have a ton of Christmas decorations. They are my downfall. I have actually been pretty good these past couple years and only bought one or two new decorations to add to my collection. I wish you could see my house November-January. It is very merry here!

8. In the summer, I don't get bored. I find stuff to keep me busy. I'm not saying it's productive stuff, but I always have something to do!

9. I am getting more and more grey hair. I used to cover it with cheapo boxed dye... whatever was on sale. But I have some stingy roots, fly aways, and hair around my temples that come glaring through just two weeks or so after I dye my hair.

10. I don't keep in touch with any friends from college. I had two girls I hung out with a lot, but we did not stay in touch at all.
Tell me a secret!
Did you ever cheat on a test?
Do you have a guilty pleasure TV show?
Ever read blogs or stalk Facebook friends just to get fired up?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lots of RANDOM things!

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I have a lot of random things to share with you today. Let's get right to it!

1. I have been consistently foam rolling, stretching, and doing glute strengthening exercises for the past 4 days! I am really proud of myself! I am determined to show my IT Band who is the boss.

Jelly reminds me to foam roll. He loves his mommy.

2. My school is giving me an iPad to use in my classroom! Apparently, there are a billion different ways to incorporate an iPad into a music lesson. The funny thing is, a high school student is going to be teaching me all of those things because I don't even own an iPad let alone know how to use one to teach music.

I need to take this course!

3. I have a recipe to share with you. I don't normally do recipes (I used to, because I thought it was a blogging requirement) but this one is a goodie! I had a ton of peppers and tomatoes from my garden that I needed to use. I decided to make Stuffed Pepper Casserole. Why not just plain old stuffed peppers? Because that is too hard. It is easier to just chop things up, mix them together, and throw them in the oven!

You need: sliced peppers, sliced tomatoes, quinoa, cheese

Directions: Make the quiona according to the directions on the box. Mix with the sliced peppers and sliced tomatoes. Mix everything together including the cheese. Put into a pan and sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

It always is good to have Chrissy's help.

Margaritas and trashy Youtube crime shows are a very important
part of my cooking process.

You know what would be awesome to include next time?
GROUND TURKEY! Why didn't I think of this sooner...

4. We got a fire pit! I am so happy! We already roasted some weiners and on Saturday we're going to roast marshmallows.

5. Yesterday, I had an appointment at Ashley Stevens Salon to get my roots dyed. I left after 25 minutes because my stylist still wasn't done with the client that was before me. When I told the receptionist I was leaving because I had waited long enough, she acted shocked and didn't even offer an apology. Don't worry, I emailed the salon and also wrote a review on Yelp to warn people that this salon clearly doesn't value their client's time. I didn't know if I was overreacting by leaving (since I rarely go to salons) but my kind Facebook friends assured me that a 10-15 minute wait was long enough. I just hate waiting. What is the use of an appointment? I guarantee you a walk in came in before my appointment and my stylist decided to take them.

6. Karen @ Running Over The Hill shared this video with me. She said her cats love watching it. Well, Karen, Jelly is OBSESSED with the video and he loves to watch it with mommy in the morning. If mommy is busy, he goes down to the basement and daddy watches it with him.

See! He can't keep his hands off it!

7. Last, I saw this meme over at Sweat Like A Pig and I just had to share it with you. 

That's all, folks! Have a great Friday and a GREAT WEEKEND!
(But come back tomorrow!)
Have you ever made stuffed pepper casserole?
What do you think it the appropriate amount of time to wait for a hair appointment before walking out?
Do your fur babies have videos they like to watch?