T.G.I.F..and Rest Day

imageThis may not have been my immediate reaction when I rolled out of bed but it is safe to say that by the time I walked out the work doors this afternoon, it went a little something like that.

I am not only happy that it is Friday but I am also very happy that it is rest day.  My body definitely needs it.  My legs are not nearly as sore as last week but my upper body can’t take another push up or push press…hell it hurts just to put my hair up. ha ha

Yesterday was a pretty long and eventful day.  It was one of those days where you just bounce from one thing to the next and eventually just cant wait to get home and go straight to bed.  The track team had a 6:45-9:30 meet.  When I first saw that time on the schedule, my immediate thought was..wait what?  People are still up at that hour..LET ALONE HIGH SCHOOLERS? From 9pm on, I am most likely passed out on the couch with the Big Bang Theory on in the background.  I often wonder if I’ve ever watched a FULL Big Bang Theory episode. haha.

Well the time was no joke.  With a stop at Whole Foods for dinner after Crossfit..

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…..and a Venti Americano on the way to the meet, I managed to stay awake and cheer everyone on!  Yup. I am complaining about having to be awake at such a late hour while the team is not only awake, BUT RACING. The athletes are ALL winners for just being able to do that!

I broke away from my oatmeal this morning because I was craving eggs and fruit.

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Oatmeal is great, but eggs with NuttZo and coconut flakes paired with an apple and cinnamon is just one perfectly, sweet concoction.

With no meat left in the house, we hit up a local farm stand this afternoon and stocked up on eggs and grass-fed beef.  Which obviously meant homemade burgers on Ezekiel toast for dinner…and Friday night wine of course.  No better way to end the work week 🙂

Speaking of that 9 pm bedtime that I mentioned earlier.  It is currently 8:50 and that time is fast approaching.  Then again, it is Friday, maybe we will live on the wild side and watch a movie.  Gosh, I really make myself sound like such a fun person 😉

Hope you all have a great Friday and enjoy the wonderful weekend!

Snazzy Snacking and a New Addition to the Schedule

Happy Hump Day!

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I can’t say my cooking has been superb in the last few days but thankfully I have a wonderful guy who had some delicious dinners waiting for me after Crossfit and night class.  My dinner game may not be on point this week but my snack and breakfast game has been superb.  Let me just let you in on what’s been happening when I get home at 3pm ready to eat my fist…teacher problem #1: absurdly early lunches

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Ezekiel bread topped with Nuttzo, 1/2 banana, and raw cacoa nibs (benefits of cacoa)

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Ezekiel bread with Nuttzo and an organic cage-free egg

Tuesday was an ambitious morning with a 4:30am wake-up for 5am Crossfit.  I had a 3 hour night class in the evening so I figured I would get it out of the way in the morning.  But of course..the school had a 2-hour delay so while everyone was hitting the Ignore button on their alarm, I was about 40 front squats and 200 double unders deep in my day and already home cooking up some wonderful egg-white oats.

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This right here is a glorious bowl of superfoods:  oats, egg whites, cinnamon, maca powder, goji berries, hemp seeds, raw cacoa nibs, unsweetened coconut flakes, and frozen organic strawberries.

Okay. Enough with food.  Lets talk about new and exciting changes in my already busy schedule!  This winter I will be helping out with coaching the high school indoor track team in the town I teach in!  This is even more exciting because I actually attended the high school when I was a kid/teen.  After years of playing basketball, I quit my sophomore year to join the newly launched indoor track program.  To go back and help out a program that grew me as a runner and an athlete is extremely rewarding.

However, when I first got asked to help, the mere thought of adding another thing to my schedule had me terrified.  I am a creature of habit…the thought of change immediately freaks me out.  I need to learn that every time my schedule changes, I always manage to make the adjustment just fine and it rarely interferes with my training.  In fact, this will actually HELP my training because I will be training with the girls… which means SPEED! It is time to incorporate track workouts into my training schedule!  Speaking of time, this also means I will be doing more 5am Crossfit rather than evening classes.  Hello 4:30am.  Like all things, it will be a little rough in the beginning but with time, it all becomes routine.

Today was the first practice and there was a rush of emotion being back on the same track I was on 8 years ago.  It was also extremely strange running with people.  I always run on my own with my lovely little iPod.  It was so nice to run and chat…man those miles just fly by when you’re talking. 

With another fitness related addition to my schedule, I need to really make sure that I take care of my body and listen to the signals.  The balance of Crossfit and running is always a bit of a struggle and takes tons of self-awareness and self-discipline to ensure that I don’t do more than my body can handle.  Sometimes it means skipping runs or skipping workouts but in the long run, it always beats an injury.

Hot Chocolate 5k Recap

Gosh, I can’t think of the last time I actually ran a 5k competitively…

..but today I did. AND GOT A PR – 19:17

I had this race on my calender for a while and though it’s just a local fun run, I thought I would take it seriously because I don’t have a solid 5k PR…and because I am competitive like that.  This past fall, I ran local Thursday night 5ks but I always just jumped into them after a morning workout or with those day-before-rest day tired legs.  My times were always OK and every mile was always a painful challenge.  Lets be honest, who wants to race on a Thursday night after a long day of work.

I didn’t actually train for this 5k, I just kept it in the back of mind and began incorporating a little speed in my daily training.  It wasn’t until the couple of days leading up to the race did I start getting all confused about the 5k training deal.  I wanted to have fresh legs at the start line, but I didn’t want to change up my usual training because realistically, it’s 3 miles.  That’s like mile 10-13 in a half-marathon, and I just kinda lump those 3 together and call them the painful and final push.  So to think of those 3 miles as being the WHOLE race..I figured I didn’t need much rest.  Thankfully, my rest days are Fridays so I took Friday off and Saturday was a nice 5 miler in the rain.

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I don’t know what it was about the run, but I weirdly enjoyed the rain beating on my face.  I wanted to keep going but I kept thinking about fresh legs at the start of the race.

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Nothing like re-fueling with eggs, fruit, peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds.

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Time to talk about the race!  Boy was it chilly, could have used that hot chocolate at the start rather than finish.  

I was a bit panicky about the whole getting to the start line, parking, what to wear situation. All I knew was that the race was BIG and the town is relatively small and tight with parking on a normal day so race day must be crazy.  I wasn’t meeting my team until 9:15 (race at 10) but of course, my race day nerves had me there at 8:15.  And of course, parking wasn’t an issue whatsoever and I ended up being a 4 minute walk to the start line. When will I learn that I ALWAYS make it to the start line. I do not need to stress.

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An early departure time called for an early breakfast so I made sure to get enough food in me to hold me over for 2 hours before the race.  Cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, NuttZo and 1/2 banana did the trick!

As for my festive Christmas outfit….My team is known for having outrageous outfits so I felt compelled to wear something “fun”.  But the competitive side of me was saying “you can’t wear anything that will slow you down”… I know, so boring. SO  I decided that I would find an ugly sweater to wear over my race gear and then toss it right before the start.

Stay warm for the warm-up AND look festive.  BINGO.  

But of course, I waited until race morning to act on that plan. I called my wonderful mother race morning and asked if I could borrow one of her ugly sweaters…probably not the nicest phone call I have made, oops.  Thankfully she had a pretty great snowflake turtleneck.  I rolled the turtleneck all the way up so it basically covered everything up to my eyes.  It was wonderful and pretty darn ugly-looking. Gosh, I wish I took a picture.

After a casual stretch session in Dunkin Donuts, I met up with my team and set out for a windy warm-up run.  It was pretty cold and I was already ready to call it a day.  Not the attitude to have as you are walking to the start line. But before I could dwell any longer, the gun went off.  I had to look down to make sure my legs were moving because they got a little numb on me.  Great, They’re moving.  Good Start.

And then a giant gust of wind blew my headphones out of my ears so I quickly realized that the music thing just wasn’t gunna happen. Probably a good thing, I am usually the only one at the front of the start line with headphones.  Meb or Kara…can you wear headphones in just ONE race to make me feel like it is possible to be a top runner and still listen to music!?!

Mile 1 came up pretty fast, kinda like the wind on my face.  It was weird to think that after Mile 1 I only had 2 more miles to go.  I’m telling you!…running half marathons and then moving to a 5k is extremely awkward.  After mile 1, it was a pretty tough fight against the wind.  I started complaining in my head (kind of like I am now)  and then told myself “everyone is in this wind, not just you, stop being a baby”.  Isn’t it funny that our thoughts literally fight each other?? Or maybe I am just crazy…ha ha.  Once I reached mile 2, I just hit the ground running.  There was a nice hill that my cold legs did not like that very but they tackled it and from there it was that exciting, tired fight to the finish line.  The third place female was in sight but I just knew it wasn’t happening, and that is okay.  I will proudly take 4th female and a 19:17 finish.

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…And while others grabbed water, my frozen hands proudly grabbed a nice cup of hot chocolate..  Or was it a cup of marshmallows with a splash of hot chocolate?? 😉 Either way.  It was great.

The race was extremely well run and my team did amazing.  Not just on the course but with fundraising. We raised $6,810 for Safe Passage.  Safe passage helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence take steps toward a brighter future.

It was a great day with a great team for a great cause 🙂

Breaking in the New Treadmill

Thank goodness it’s Thursday…

This week has been LONG and pretty uneventful.  Not much to chat about aside from this beautiful thing…

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Yup.  She’s glorious

This wonderful toy was my birthday present…my birthday was in September. Ha Ha  I guess it is time to finally put it to use with a little speed.  Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond grateful to have this but I am not a treadmill person.  I much rather run outside with the scenery and that feeling when you get lost in your music as you chase down the road.  BUT – I am a treadmill person when it comes to speed workouts…and negative degree weather. I like being able to set a fast pace and not letting myself slow down unless I consciously decrease the speed.

That being said, I decided to do a short and sweet tempo run and ended with a great ab workout. I have a 5k race on Sunday so I did not want to push it too hard.

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Thankfully tomorrow is rest day because my legs are ready for it.  After last night’s WOD of box jumps and walls balls, they definitely need a break.

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That moment when you just  pray that your tired legs get on top of that darn box because a box-to-the-shin will make the final minutes of this AMRAP brutal.. 

As for my eats this week…my cooking game hasn’t been all that strong.

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…or non-existent.  Ha Ha

When in doubt, just chop up a head of romaine lettuce, a couple of carrots, throw in leftover chicken, toss some BBQ sauce in there and THAT is a solid lunch.

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And of course, my frozen banana with NuttZo is a staple pre workout snack everyday.

I DID whip up a delicious meal after my Tempo run.  Thank you @ponytailpower for this wonderful Chili Fajita Meatloaf recipe.  So easy and so delicious. Just mash egg whites, ground turkey, pumpkin puree, and whatever veggies and seasonings you feel like. Toss it in the oven and let it bake with the other veggies.

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I said it before and I will continue to say it.  I just can’t seem to make my meals look pretty.  I just want it in my belly FAST.

My 1/2 pint Arctic Zero with PB2 and Fat-Free Reddi Whip has been my go-to dessert….and is probably the ONE meal I can make look pretty. But the chances that I risk my ice cream melting for a good picture is pretty slim.  Maybe one day you all will see it…

I hope everyone had a great Thursday and is ready to take on Friday!  TGI(almost)F

Getting Back into the Swing of Things…

Well those 5 days off for Thanksgiving were much-needed but it makes Monday that much harder.

Although our departure time from Ithaca was pretty early on Sunday morning, I wanted to get one last run in because the scenery is just so surreal.  I had no expectations on how far I was going to go, I just know I promised I would be back in an hour…

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..and just like that, I was back in an hour.  I am more impressed with my timeliness than I am with my run…

I even stopped to take some pictures..

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…darn, I miss this. 

Without leaving much time to spare after my run, I was forced to eat breakfast as we were heading out the door.

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Literally, heading out the door.  Classy.

With a heavy mileage 5 days, Monday was just a crossfit day…and I was not about the whole waking up early the Monday morning after a long vacation to run.

But today (Tuesday) was a different story.  With a primarily shoulder workout at crossfit later on, I figured I could handle a nice little morning run.

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Short and sweet to kick off the morning.  My breakfast was also pretty darn sweet.  I had an oatmeal craving so I made a nice little Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal bowl.

1/3 Cup Oatmeal
2 Egg whites
2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp Maca Powder
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Maple Extract
Pumpkin Seeds

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I am 100% incapable of making food look pretty, especially oatmeal.  I always think its going to turn out like…

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Close, right?! Ha Ha

Fast forward hours later and I got my shoulders annihilated at Crossfit.  It was painfully awesome and felt great to get some solid strength in after a week of just running.

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Well it has certainly been a little tough getting back into work mode after a great holiday but it’s almost Wednesday!  And soon it will be almost Christmas! 🙂 Positive thinking!

Can’t Leave Ithaca Without an Ithaca Bakery Panini and One Last Snowy Run

Hmm…How do I summarize these final 3 days in Ithaca after Thanksgiving..

With Pictures of Course…

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I don’t usually run the day after a long-run but when you don’t have access to a gym and the sun is shinning bright, you just have to do things a little different.  The weather was perfect.  I didn’t stop to take a picture because I was too busy embracing reality and all its beauty      .

My ‘posterior tibial tendon’ has been acting up a bit and it wasn’t feeling great on this run so despite everything else being perfect, I cut my run short at 6 miles.  However, I wasn’t ready to cut my workout short so I found a small area and did a short Home Wod.  I did 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Squat, Burpee, Pushup.  Darn.  That was rough in the snow after a total of 16 miles in two days…

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With snow covered spandex and wet gloves, I was ready to be done… and was anxously awaiting my eggs with Nuttzo and a side of cinnamon roasted butternut squash 🙂

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I was not a fan of this whole tendon acting up so I went down to the lake after a nice little nap and stuck my feet in the ice-cold water.

 I have a feeling that is not what they mean by the term, ‘ice’…I also don’t think that it was great way to wake up from a cozy nap.

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Ended the day with some (and by some I mean..A LOT) of sushi, pad thai, and of course…Froyo.

I decided to take today (Saturday) off because I my legs are pretty sore and I am not about to risk an injury for a run.  Instead, we spent the day shopping around Downtown Ithaca.  It wouldn’t be a complete Ithaca trip without picking up our favorite Finger Lake wines and a stop at the Ithaca Bakery.

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Because when in Ithaca…

This week was about enjoying a Thanksgiving break in a beautiful place with beautiful people.  I was lucky enough to go on glorious runs and I had plenty of wholesome meals but I also was lucky enough to be lazy, take long/relaxing naps and eat many delicious meals and desserts.

I like to limit myself to one or two cheat meals a week but every once in a while you need to just LIVE.

I hope to get out for one last beautiful, Ithaca run tomorrow morning before we head out.  But we’ll see if my legs have something else in mind…

Enjoy your Saturday and don’t forget to just LIVE 🙂

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?