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! 🙂

Dealing with Stress 101: Crossfit/Running, NyQuil and Pray for a Snowday

Transitioning back to work after a long vacation is always hard but this week was MUCH more difficult than usual.  And I am to blame for this terrible transititon because I didn’t really make a dent in my massive workload that I planned to tackle over vacation.  I have a pretty large, and important portfolio due tomorrow and it was REALLY stressing me out earlier on the week.  I tried to remind myself that IT WILL GET DONE.  It may mean pulling an all nighter on Thursday or skipping crossfit for a couple days but I am the type of person that will find a way to get things done.  Isn’t that what I went to college for??? Learning to procrastinate and then learning to get out of that hole you dug…yup that was what my $45,00 tuition got me  But no matter how many times I reminded myself of that, I just couldn’t shake off the stress.

That is where running and crossfit come in.  The second I walk into Crossfit or head out for a run, my stress just seeems to dissipate.  At Crossfit, I have 60 minutes where my energy is focused solely on my lifts and my mind is in completely in the zone.  When I am running, I don’t necessarily tune out the stressor but I start to think about it with endorphins running through my body and I can think clearly about how I will tackle the problem.  That is why I love being both a runner and a crossfitter.  Running is what helps me sift through my thoughts and find answers to problems and crossfit allows me to just break free from the thought in general and focus my stress and anger on a great lift.  Oh, and then their is yoga where all thoughts just disappear because I am just trying to breathe/survive in the high temperature

So Tuesday morning when I was wide awake at 4:30 am because the stress was keeping me awake, I just laced up and layered up, and head out for a couple morning miles to clear my head.

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Maybe my brain was just frozen, but it certainly felt like it helped with clearing my thoughts.

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I also could not believe that my ‘throw on as many layers as possible in the dark’ outfit somehow managed to match.  That’s a first.

And this oatmeal bowl also contributed to my positive vibes.  How can frozen bananas, cacoa nibs, and coconut on top of warm oatmeal not induce instant happiness?

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After an evening crossfit session, I was able to make a pretty big dent in my workload.  I rewarded myself with a giant sip of Nyquil and an 8:30 pm bedtime.  9 hours of sleep never felt so good.

Another great way to manage stress is to pray for a school cancellation.  I can’t guarantee it will work all the time (perks of being a teacher) but I am pretty thankful and lucky that it worked for me today.

After yesterday’s crossfit session , I quickly whipped up my favorite dinner before another night of shipping away at my work…

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This dinner was great for two reasons.  1.) It was my first time baking cabbage which is now a newfound love.  2.) While consuming this meal the news added my school to the list of cancellations.  The thought of having ALL day to work on my portfolio had me smiling from ear to ear.

However, I can’t say I had that same ear to ear smile when reading today’s WOD at 5:30 am…

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Even with work cancelled, I figured it was best to get up for 6am crossfit for 2 reasons.  1.) I wanted the entire day revolved around my work. 2.) All those burpees hanging over my head until the evening classes would have just added to my stress. ha ha.

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And of course, another post workout oatmeal breakfast bowl.  For those of you who are sick of my constant oatmeal posts, you are in luck!!  On Monday I will be starting a 6 week Paleo Challenge that my crossfit box is putting on.  No oatmeal for 6 weeks! I am thinking some savory sweet potatoe omlettes, maybe banana pancakes!

Time to wrap up this post because I have a massage to get to. Yup, that is the reward I am giving myself for (almost) surviving the week and for completing my portfolio.  Putting that college tuition to use..

Christmas Craziness

Holy Moly.  I can’t believe my last post was Christmas Eve, 5 days ago!

I am pretty sure today was the first day I actually knew what day of the week it was since then.  The holidays were absolutely wonderful but man, I am excited to get back to a normal schedule.  I am still on Christmas break for another week so I guess MY schedule is not normal but I am OK with that.  I can feel routine simply by having other people’s schedule being back to normal.  SO, I thank all of you who are at work because it makes me feel routined 😉

My workouts may have been the only thing that remained normal this past week.  I think I depended on my crossfit WODS and my Hot Yoga sessions to keep me sane..and to work off those holiday indulgences…

Christmas morning looked a little something like this…

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The best thing about running is it is always Open, you don’t have to worry about those limited holiday hours.  My 6am Christmas morning run was especially open, the roads were dead….thank goodness because my outfit was ridiculous.  A winter hat to keep my hair dry from the sprinkling rain, a tank top because it was somewhat warm, and spandex pants.  Yup. I think I was sending a sign to Santa to bring me new workout clothes 😉

Despite the perfect running weather, the run was not all that great. It was the first time running after I decided to take a week off for my tibia tendon pain. It felt fine for the first couple of miles but that did not last long.  After mile 2, it went downhill fast. Mile 5 was a fight against my body and my emotions. It was one of those runs where you are fighting to hit your mile goal even though you know that it is not worth it. But of course, I can type the logical thing to do but in the heat of the moment I wanted the miles. So, although I completed 6 miles before Christmas brunch, I knew that it would be the last run for some time.

On a brighter note, Christmas brunch with my boyfriend’s family was absolutely wonderful.  Eggs, bacon, toast, and a delicious fruit platter.  After breakfast and presents we headed over to my parents house for more presents.

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Speaking of presents, check out this bad boy! A Ninja crock pot from my boyfriend’s parents.  We can’t wait to try this out! I have never really used one but have heard so many great things about them and have come across some really simple and delicious recipes using crock pots.  The idea of being able to start dinner in the morning and have it ready by the time I get home from Crossfit sounds pretty awesome.

How adorable is my mom!  She sewed my boyfriend a stocking that looks just like each of the family member’s stocking so he can “feel included”.

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After some family fun, we were in dire need for a Christmas afternoon, food-induced nap before we were back at it for another family dinner.

One of the many desserts consumed at dinner just happened to be the revealing of the sex of my boyfriend’s sister’s baby!

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IT IS A GIRL!..and a delicious cupcake.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were just filled with morning workouts/yoga, healthy meals throughout the day, lots of naps, and evening celebrations.  Last night I heard the line, “my waist is expanding like the national debt”…well said, ha ha.  I think many of us can relate to this…me included.

Although I am on vacation and allowed to sleep until late in the day, I decided to go to 7am Crossfit this morning.  I didn’t particularly enjoy waking up at 6:15 but I also did not want to have to wait to workout until the next class at 5:30 and it gives me the possibility to go for a walk or bike ride later in the day. YUP, a bike ride! The weather has been oddly warm, I was able to take my bike out for an afternoon ride on Friday!  One ride and my butt was sore..goes to show how biking activates so many different muscles.

However, that is NOT how this afternoon is being spent.  After a WOD that consisted of 100 overhead squats this morning and the realization that I haven’t taken a rest day since last Monday, I think it is time to rest up a bit.  No doubling up today.

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Just one workout and one delicious bowl of oatmeal for me today!

Oh and one large Americano of course….

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Running to a Podcast and Some R&R

 Hi!  Let me fill you all in on some things that are pretty great right now…

1.  It is almost Thursday therefore the weekend and Christmas break are getting closer! Awesome

2.  This is my current view/situation as I type this. There is something about Christmas lights that make everything better

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What was not as relaxing as this view was listening to a murder story Podcast on my morning run in the 5am darkness…lets just say I was a little jumpy.

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There has been much commotion amoungst my friends about this Serial podcast so I figured I would give it a listen on this morning’s quiet run.  I never listen to anything BUT music and often wonder what it would be like to run to a book or story.  When it comes down to it, I never want to give up my 98 Degrees and NSYNC pandora (yup.  My station of choice) for a boring book so I have never tested out my curiosity.  However,  today I gave it a shot and actually really enjoyed it.  The podcast is suspenseful/engaging, you kind of just drift off into the suspense of the murder story and don’t really focus on the miles…or pace. Whoops. Kinda slow.  However, I think I would have enjoyed the run much more if my shin/interior ankle tendon was not hurting…

It is hard to not become immediately frustrated when this ongoing aggrivated ankle tendon just won’t go away.  But of course,  I expect it to go away yet decide to run 9 miles onSunday..smart.

I think it is time to do what needs to be done and take a break from running for a good week…

Though my passion for Crossfit, running AND hot power yoga can be challenging to balance, it has also been my savior when it comes to injuries.  It is great to know that when I need to take a break from one thing, I have something else to focus on and help steer me away from dwelling on the rest.  I may not be running this week but you bet I will be working on my strength at crossfit and really connecting my breathing and muscle movement while at Yoga.  Sometimes you need a break from one thing in order to grow at another.

I cannot stress enough how great it has been incorporating power yoga into my weekly exercise.  My muscles are getting the stretch they need/deserve, I have a space to sweat (profusely) the toxins out my body and I have 90-minutes where I can focus on nothing but connecting with my body and mind. On top of all that….IT IS HARD AS HELL.  For a strong individual like myself, there are many moments where it takes every ounce of willpower and fight to stay in a position.

After a week starting with deadlifts, 300 double unders yesterday and this morning’s run…tonight’s yoga really tested my ability to not let my mind pull me out of certain holds.  The pain was there but the perseverance was stronger!

And on an even better note, I had a delicious meal all cooked up when I got home..

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I am a pretty lucky girl.

I guess that is what I get for cooking up a delicious stir-fry last night

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which also served as a wonderful leftover at lunch today. Double win

In case you were all wondering, which you’re probably not…my oatmeal game continues to remain strong.

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Just a lovely Cinnamon Maca Chia oatmeal base boiled/cooked with a Sugar Cookie tea bag to add some flavor.  Topped with whatever I feel like throwing on from my shelf full of superfood toppings…goji berries, unsweetened coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, raw cacao nibs, almond slivers, hemp hearts.

That about sums it all up!  Hope  you all enjoy these last few work days before the Holidays 🙂

A Turkey and Ten Mile Filled Thanksgiving

My first Thanksgiving in Ithaca was simply perfect.

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Nothing like starting the day with a snowy 10-miler with this as the view. It was my first snowy run of the season and I hope this is a sign that it will be a great winter season for running. It was absolutely breath-taking. The snow flurries just added the perfect touch…I would say it felt like heaven but there is nothing heaven-like about those hills.

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The mid-20 degree weather was surprisingly not too cold. I actually ended up shedding that top layer as always…

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I think the sole purpose of that shirt is to add color to my pre-run pictures because it always ends up being ditched on the side of the road within 5 minutes.  I wonder how long it will be until someone else owns it…

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What did stay on for the entire run were those incredibly warm and stylish socks.  Bought them at Dick’s the night before and they pretty much made my run doable.  I put them right over my ProCompression socks and they kept my toes completely dry.  It was amazing.

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I was tempted to do 11 miles but the final 3 miles were up a massive hill (after a few previous hills) and that pretty much sealed the deal.  My legs were ready to be done.  So I called it at 10…exactly.

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Came back to the house to a warm burning fire and quickly fired up some eggs smeared in Nuttzo and an apple.  Solid pre-game to the phenomenal Thanksgiving meal.

All in all, Thanksgiving was wonderful and there are so many things I am thankful for day in and day out.  I don’t need Thanksgiving to make me realize that.  I just need an open road.  

When people ask me, “Why do you run?”..I always respond with “It’s my time to think. It is the only time in my crazy day where I can sift through my thoughts with a conscious mind.  It is my time to reflect on life. Reflect on my future.  Reflect on my past.  Reflect on a conflict  Reflect on the things I can do to make myself a better person

Why do you run?

What is the best gear for snowy runs?

Did you get a Thanksgiving run in?