Key to Balancing a Crazy Schedule

Hi All!

I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible I feel about not posting this past month.  Who knows if anyone actually cares/noticed about my recent blogging absence but if there are people out there that like to read my posts (besides my wonderful mom!) then thank you and I am sorry!  With April vacation over with and some much-needed down time, I am back to work with a bit more energy and hopefully some extra time to blog.

Life has been crazy busy but crazy fun!  I have finally found a great balance between my teaching, my coaching and my crossfit/running!  The first couple of weeks with coaching were rough. I tried to put a smile on and not complain but exhaustion and my hectic schedule was getting the best of me.  I don’t know about any of you, but working out after a long day is just not my thing.  It is hard to have a great workout when you just don’t want to be there.  I have said it before and I will say it again, just because I love running and Crossfit, does not mean I enjoy doing it ALL the time.  It is so important to find a balance and a time where you never dread what you are doing.  That being said, I have found MY time.  I am much more of a morning person than an evening person.  I like to have dinner done, dishes done and be on couch with my favorite person…and animals by 8 pm.

imageI get the demon eyes if I don’t give them some quality cuddle time 😉

My Crossfit gym has a 6am class but I always thought it would never be possible to do a 6am class and make it to work by 7:30/7:45.  Well my friends, anything is possible if you don’t really care about how smelly you are 😉 Just kidding..kind of. The 6:30 pm class was just not working out well after long days so I decided to give the 6am a shot despite the time crunch.

Prior to my first 6am class, I had everything packed up for the day and in my car the night before – breakfast, lunch, after-school snack, work clothes, coaching clothes, makeup, toothbrush…everything!  I must have checked that bag over and over again.  I knew that if I forgot ONE thing, there was no cushion in my schedule to pick it up at home.  I guess you can say I didn’t sleep that much the night before. But once that alarm went off, it was go time!  I went to 6am, had a great workout, rushed into the bathroom, washed my face, changed my clothes (maybe still a bit sweaty but a little sweat on work clothes never hurt anyone), put on a little mascara on because everyone knows mascara is the difference between ‘I just rolled out of bed’ and ‘I am ready to be seen in public’…and within 15 min I was out of the gym and off to work.  I even had some time to eat my packed breakfast before the students arrived!

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I guess you could say it was a success and has been a success ever since.  I am so glad I took the risk and tried it out because it has made my busy days/evenings much less stressful.  It is so nice to know my workout is done and I can focus on work and coaching for the rest of the day.  And if I do have energy at the end of the day/it doesn’t feel like an obligation, then I can get in a nice little run with the pups as well.

Speaking of running, I haven’t done too much of that.  I jumped into a local 10k a couple of weeks ago and ended up placing 4th overall.  There were not that many people in the race so I can’t brag too much and my time was certainly not brag worthy, but a race is a race.  After the race, I took some time to reflect on why my past few races since Disney have been an exhausting and unenjoyable struggle.  I realized that I just don’t have the mileage behind me right now to expect great outcomes.  It seems like an obvious observation as I type it, but with my personality and passion for competition, I tend to jump into things even when I am not ready yet still wonder why it didn’t go in my favor.  Lately I have been focusing on Crossfit during the week and get in a long run on Sundays.  I guess I keep thinking that my Sunday long runs are enough to power me through all these races.  Not so much.

Oh well. At the moment, I am just concentrating on balancing everything.  If I can get in a great workout to start my day, get through the work day with enthusiasm and motivate my players through practices and games in the evening, then that is a success.

Despite my lack of mid-week running, my Sunday long runs have been wonderful.  I did a great 10 miler on Easter…

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And I may have refueled with a piece..or two of the Reester Bunny that I found in my car from a special someone 🙂 The only thing better than a Reese Cup is a giant Reester Bunny!

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This past weekend I had exactly 1 hour to get in a run before I had to start getting ready for a baby shower..

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and of course my lack of punctuality wins again.  It was such a great run, I did not want to stop.  I squeezed in an extra mile and decided that straightening my hair was not that important 😉  And thankfully I had a little help with the wrapping  while I was gone…

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Yup. That’s duct tape because I didn’t buy enough wrapping paper….classy.

Lets talk food.  My smoothie bowls that were in my last post continue to make constant appearances.

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I heard about adding frozen cauliflower but never tried that idea until recently.  It is brilliant.  You can’t taste it, it adds volume and thickness and you get an extra serving of vegetables on top of the tons of spinach already blended in.

Another common occurrence at night are homemade quesadillas.

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Ground turkey or crock pot chicken make for great fillings.  Add a little shredded Swiss cheese, guacamole, mushrooms, onions into a sprouted grain tortilla, throw it in the oven for a few minutes and you have a delicious Mexican inspired meal with half the calories and fat in minutes!

I had this wonderful fruit and nut bowl before one of my workouts.

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It was so simple yet so perfect!…and so is the happy little Corgi in the background.

Feels great to be back on here and I hope that I don’t have another month break after this post!  Also, congratulations to everyone who ran the Boston Marathon.  I had my eyes clued to my iPad for a solid 2 1/2 hours.  I can’t explain to people what makes watching people run for 2 1/2 hours enjoyable but I love it.  It is so inspiring and straight-up jaw-dropping to see these runners move so fast for so long.  I truly admire every individual that has ever run a marathon.  The commitment, the training, and the mental strength you need in order to complete a marathon is beyond impressive.  I signed up for the San Francisco Marathon last year but an injury held me back from the full and stuck me with the half.  I would love to go back to San Francisco this summer and tackle the marathon like I had planned a year ago.  We will see what happens 🙂 but right now I am not making a game plan – it seems whenever I make a game plan that is when things go wrong.  This time around I am just going to run when I can, slowly increase my long run mileage, maybe recruit someone to run with and see where it takes me!

A Long Overdue Check-In and a Killer Smoothie Bowl

Wow.  It is safe to say that my blogging activity will hit an all time low this Spring.  I am three weeks into coaching Varsity lacrosse and despite how much fun it is to watch the team grow each day, my stress level is in overdrive which has not been very helpful when trying to kick this cold that has been lingering for the past 2 weeks.

But here I am – a little less stressed now that I am adjusting to my busy schedule, my cold seems to be just about gone, and the weather is looking a bit more like spring which is enough to put a smile on my face.

Since my last recap/half marathon post (3 weeks ago, WHAT?!), I have done a good amount of resting.  My body and mind needed it.

Two weekends ago (week after my half marathon), I had a St. Patrick’s Day 10k.  Despite the brutal beating my body took during the last half marathon, I didn’t want to take the ENTIRE week off after the half and show up to the 10k out of it, so I did some workouts here and there.  In hindsight, I was probably better off just taking the week completely off because every workout I squeezed in just hurt.  It was my first week of coaching lacrosse, every muscle in my body was still sore from the race, and my cold was coming in strong…let’s just say it was a tough week.

If there is one thing I have learned over the past couple of weeks, it is the amount of training you do and how hard you push becomes completely meaningless if you are not taking care of your body.  I pushed through the half marathon on little rest after a brutal workout which resulted in a terrible race.  In the midst of trying to recover from that race, I tried to squeeze in more workouts to prepare for my 10k, hence little recovery.  What do you think happened at THAT race? Another poor and painful performance. My time was 42:20 and I placed 20th female.  I hate to complain and say “ugh I did so bad” because to someone reading this, it could be a phenomenal time.  So I guess I will go with this…I am grateful to have been able to run a 42:20 and I am proud that I pushed through some pretty painful miles, but this was about 2 minutes slower than the 10k I ran in Disney and I am pretty sure it had nothing to do with my training and more on my inability to pay attention and listen to what my body needed. REST.

After the 10k, I did have one more thing I had to take care of… Crossfit Open Workout 15.4.

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I promised myself on Sunday morning after the rough 15.4 open and a day after my 10k that I would take 3 complete days off.  Those three days were just what I needed.  I just needed to get home after practice with not a care in the world about getting a workout in.  I just needed to be home before 6 to enjoy down time.  I just needed to get to bed early and kick the cold.  It was a perfect few days of rest.  I did have that itch to get back into it so on Thursday I was ready to get in a 5am crossfit WOD.

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It wasn’t my favorite thing to set this alarm..but once I was up and had the music blasting with a cup a coffee on my ride over, I was ready to take on the Hero WOD.

imageOh man.  What a workout to come back to. It hurt.  But finally a good hurt. One great thing about WODing in the morning is the great stretch you get before the day has even started.  Despite the sore legs, the rest of your body feels so lose.

Another great thing about Thursday morning was the start of a delicious smoothie bowl kick that I have been.

imageQuick, delicious, nutritious and doesn’t leave the full/bloated feeling that I sometimes experience after eggs.  I used my new Ninja food processor to blend up 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1 scoop Vega Sport protein powder, spinach, mixed frozen berries and almond milk.  The mixed nuts and cacao nibs add the perfect crunch!  It is safe to say that this has been my breakfast for the last 2 weeks and I not sure if that is going to change anytime soon.

Another wonderful meal was our Sunday evening homemade burger night..

imageTrader Joe’s 90/10 ground beef cooked on the grill, chopped and broiled sweet potato fries and homemade tortilla chips with melted cheese.  It was perfect.  

imageThe homemade tortilla chips are something I have been meaning to try but never got around to it.  I guess I didn’t realize just how simple they are.  Sliced Ezekiel tortilla sprayed with coconut oil and sprinkled with Himalayan seat salt, garlic powder and curry powder – baked @ 350 for 8-10 min.

Another great meal was chicken cooked with curry sauce topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, broiled Brussel sprouts and broiled sweet potato fries.  I am convinced that any meal can be made delicious by adding broiled sweet potato fries and covering everything in mushrooms and onions…

imageOn a less attractive note is this wonderful battle wound from another 5am WOD with burpees….

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At least I had a cute little pup to serve me a post-workout smoothie bowl at 7am as I rushed to work..

imageI think I have hit the point where this post is getting obnoxiously long so I will leave you with a couple great pictures.

imageMy Disney Princess Challenge prizes came in!

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..and my babies are enjoying the warm temps just as much as I am! 🙂

Warmer Weather, More Daylight and a Long Run

I don’t know why, but since I have been back from vacation it seems like my life has been a whirlwind of craziness and it has been extra tough to get on here.  It bums me out that I have been slacking on the posts but sometimes other things in life take priority and that is just the way it goes.  But here I am, ready to quickly share some updates.  Springing ahead is one of my  favorite times of the year because it finally feels like Spring.  There is nothing better than walking outside at 6pm and it is still light out!  That in itself is enough to make me smile.  However, this daylight savings hit a little harder than usual with the whole losing an hour of sleep on top of coming down with a cold.  That being said, this will be a short and sweet blog post so I can get to the NyQuil and bed that is waiting for me.

This weekend was full of great workouts.  I rested up Friday so I could tackle the Crossfit Open 15.2 Workout on Saturday morning and a longer run on Sunday.

Oh Man.  15.2 is no joke.

imageI had to scale a bit because I have yet  to conquer the chest-to-bar movement and I am not about to try and do the workout Rx knowing that I won’t be able to get far.  This is definitely one of those workouts where Rxing is not always the smartest.  I like to lift heavy and push myself  but I also value a great workout and not one where the majority of the time is spent trying to do one rep.  That being said, I scaled to assisted pull-ups and managed to get further into the workout.  Nothing noteworthy in terms of my reps and weight but it was an all around great WOD.

Sunday was planned to be a long(er) run because I figured I should hit the pavement before my half marathon on Sunday.  Since the Disney Challenge, I have only done a couple runs and they were by no means long.  I am sure I could still do Sunday’s half marathon without this long run but mentally, I felt a longer run was needed to help ease my nerves.  I set out on my run with no goal in mind.  Just wanted some pain-free miles to better prepare myself for my race.  The weather was a perfect 40 degrees and I even had to shed some layers after a mile which is something I haven’t done in AWHILE.

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My goal for the run was 7 but as I got going I started shooting for 8…and then 9…and then with the little energy I had left, I pushed for 10.  It was great.  No pain. Warm weather.  and JUST what I needed.  It was actually the longest training run since Thanksgiving Day!

imageAnd after a glorious run comes a glorious breakfast.  Omelette with berries and peanut butter banana toast.

Speaking of food – Tonight’s post-workout meal was amazing.

imageSteaks on the grill with a side of Asian inspired stir-fry.  Cooked brown rice, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, onions, garlic and celery sautéed in coconut aminos and sesame oil.

That is all for now.  Time to kick this cold!

Hello from Disney!

Hello from Disney..and more specifically, the “Pirate Room”

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Yup.  We thought paying a little extra would land us an ‘upgraded’ room, but we should have known that here at Disney, an upgrade means more animated.  So here we are..just two adults hanging out in pirate beds 😉

And I mean that literally…we have been napping and watching T.V for the past 2 hours and will probably call it bedtime as soon as I am done here.  The pouring rain and the early morning flight put a bit of a damper on our plan to hit Epcot tonight.

However, the rain did hold up so we could get a short run in around the resort.

imageI forgot how awesome it is to run in just one layer and without worrying about frost bite taking over my toes and fingers.  I have been wanting to run in the warm weather for so long so I will not complain about the heat..but I will say that this long-sleeve was not the smartest decision.

imageThe high winds convinced me that it was chilly… and I am not sure why the ‘YOU ARE IN FLORIDA’  logic didn’t kick in.

Before I sail away in my pirate ship for a good night’s sleep before an early morning rise for Crossfit, I must talk about some great finds at Trader Joe’s that made packing meals for this trip  extremely easy.

imageIf you have ever been to Disney, you are well aware that, although there are some amazing restaurant options, they are not always healthy or cheap.  Last year I individually sealed and froze 16 meals and ate them despite how soggy and gross they were.  This year I made it MUCH easier on myself and my sanity.  Instead of packing individual meals, I just picked up a variety of nuts, greens, fruits and protein to have on hand to avoid eating out every day.   A carton of liquid egg whites, a bag of oats, some cacao nibs and goji berries is less than $25 and will give me a fulfilling and hearty breakfast everyday.  That’s a little better than a $20 one-time breakfast buffet…

4 more days until the Disney Princess Challenge calls for a #TBTuesday

imageTime to rest up. Goodnight 🙂

7 Miles Never Felt so Brutally Awesome

Happy Hump Day!

For all you workers..two days until the weekend!

For all you teachers..two days until vacation!

For all you Disney Princess 10k and Half Marathon runners…10/11 days until race day!

There is a lot to be excited about over here!

What’s also very exciting but not too enjoyable was this run..

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It may not look like anything special, especially not the pace, but it is huge for me!  Since November, I have been battling some posterior tibial tendonitis.  My running has been limited however, I am thankful that it hasn’t been an issue in yoga and crossfit.  Since January I have been working my mileage back up but I haven’t been able to get past 6 miles without some pain.  And all this snow is NOT helping.  Running through the slippery and slushy snow just exacerbates the pain because stability and form fly out the window when your just trying to move through the slush.  On a positive note, my hips are getting much stronger with each snowy run!  Today was the first run in a couple of weeks with clear roads and NO PAIN.  My legs were super sore from yesterdays 3 mile morning run and afternoon WOD consisting of 200 double unders, 80 box jumps and a strength component,  but my mind wanted to make this run worthwhile.  These days my runs just go as far as my tendon will let it and today, it was willing to go far. My sore legs had to call it at 7.35 but I am confident/hopeful that a rested body could handle longer. Which is kind of needed seeing as I have a half marathon in 11 days!

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It wasn’t a bad day but it certainly wasn’t a good day in terms of my body feeling strong.  Regardless, I gave it all I had and am happy I pushed through the soreness!

I wish I also had a quote that said, “On good days I eat bananas, and on bad days I eat them covered in almond butter and dark chocolate”…

imageI just had to snap a pic of the casual plate of frozen bananas that I always have on hand.  If there is one thing I never get sick of, it’s bananas.  Especially frozen bananas with almond butter.  Every single day after school and before my workout I have a frozen banana with some almond butter.  It is a perfect and delicious pre-workout.  You get your carbs, your fats, and your protein without being too full. And as you can see by the little piece just rolling around, I also sneak little bites with some dark chocolate when the sweet tooth attacks 🙂 I haven’t attempted banana ice cream which is just frozen bananas blended together to form an ice cream consistency but I have a feeling that will make its ways into my desserts soon..

Another thing that never gets old is steak..especially topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

imagePart of me felt bad that I made such a delicious meal while my boyfriend was sitting in a cold snow plow BUT the steaks were going to go bad so it just had to be done.  Tip: one way to score leftover steak is to overcook the other person’s steak so that they don’t want it anymore 🙂 Steak two nights in a row sounds good to me!

Well I think that is enough running and food talk for now! Have a great Wednesday and congratulations for making it halfway through the work week!

Some Exciting Life Additions

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One of the many Monday morning thoughts.   Except once again, I can’t complain about this Monday because it is now the second Monday in a row where we have had a snow day.  With February vacation in just 5 days, this day off is definitely not needed.  But then again, I can’t complain about sleeping until 10 and being in pajamas for the majority of the day.

It has been some time since I’ve posted last because this past week has been extremely busy BUT very exciting!  A couple new things have come along…

imageA new member to the family and a soon-to-be new running buddy.  Her name is Mei and she is absolutely beautiful and perfect.  She is only 4 months so we are going to let her little bones grow before taking her out for runs but she is certainly going to be one hell of running buddy.  Gosh, I hope I don’t slow her down!

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She may be younger and more energetic but Cooper still knows how to hold down the house and can put up a good fight when Mei is being a feisty one.

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..And this right here sums it all up.  Ha ha

And since these past two weeks have been all about new things – new car, new pup..I am happy to announce I also have a new job.  It is more like another job but new fits the theme.  I am happy to announce that in addition to my 6th grade teaching job, I am also the head varsity women’s lacrosse coach for the town that I teach in.  Even better…it’s the same team I once played for.  The thought of my schedule being even more crazy than it already is is a bit intimidating but I am beyond excited to work with a great group of girls and really take the team to a new level.  I can’t wait to build a team with strength, endurance, trust, confidence and skill.

When I think about the type of coach I want to be, my crossfit coach definitely comes to mind.  She is blunt, she is harsh, and she is loud but she CARES.  She believes in her athletes and sometimes that means yelling at them to step it up.   It may not always be easy to hear, but it is always what I need to hear.

I write this not only because it describes the trusting relationship I hope to have with  my players but because it is what pulled me through one of the toughest mentally workouts this week.  Mid workout, I failed a clean and from there it was downhill.  The weight was doable, I had already done a couple successfully.  But with just one failed attempt, I was mentally defeated.  My personality and mental defeat do not mix well.  I could have/wanted to just drop some weight and cruise through the workout but my coach did not give that as an option.  She had me step back and clear my head but most important, she just trusted in me.  She knew I could finish the workout with that weight despite the struggle and mental frustration.  And with that trust, I was able to successfully clean two more reps.

All in all, I hope to be the coach that instills perseverance, trust and confidence in each player.  As a coach, you can teach your players all the skills in the world, but without confidence, without drive, without determination, without perserverance…those skills are purposeless.

On that note, I hope every takes on the work week strong!

Life is Testing my Blog Words…

Funny how I ended last night’s post with the words “sometimes things shake up your schedule and you just have to roll with” and then when my schedule was shaken up this morning, I did not handle it as well as I wrote it.  Yup, that must be ‘reality’ checking in on me and making sure I am practicing what I preach.  I can’t say I initially “rolled with it” seeing as I was pretty annoyed that I rolled out of bed at 5:15 despite my two-hour school delay to make it to 6am crossfit…only to find that they don’t have 6am crossfit on Tuesday mornings. I was pretty annoyed and wasn’t sure if I should just drive to a gym to workout seeing as I already had coffee and a little breakfast in me.  But I was not going to pay another $10 just to put my banana and coffee to use so I went home, took a little power nap and then suited up for a short run outside.  A mile into my run I had to head back home to grab my face mask because 4 degree weather can really sting the face. I really should start checking things before I start… like the schedule and temperature

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So, did I roll with the scheduling issue this morning. Kinda.  I managed to get in a nice morning run and I still managed to make it to crossfit this evening to WOD it up so everything worked out. But was rolling with it easier said than done – yup.  I had to remind myself that it was just a small mixup and I will simply have to adjust my schedule later in the day…and accept that the extra hour of sleep I lost is really not important.

So despite a rough start, everything worked itself out and I still managed to whip up a pretty delicious breakfast.

imageSautéed spinach, mushrooms, onions, and butternut squash in coconut oil and topped with a fried egg.

All that being said, I will say it again..sometimes things shake up your schedule and you just have to roll with it. (lets hope I didn’t jinx myself for tomorrow too..)

Hope everyone had a great Tuesday! Hump Day Tomorrow! 🙂