A (day late) Mother’s Day Post!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I wish I could say this post is a day late because I was too busy making sure my mom had the most amazing Mother’s Day but unfortunately that is not the case.  I can say that we celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom and Grandma on Saturday night and it was so great to have everyone together.  Those two are definitely worth celebrating! They have done one heck of a job as wonderful mothers.

I may not have spent the morning with my mom but I did go on a long run in preparation for the Boston Run to Remember Half Marathon that my mom and I are doing in two weeks!

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Oh it was a hot one.  I can’t complain about the warm temps just yet because I spent the winter complaining about miserable, snowy and cold runs.  Regardless of the beating sun and the need for a water stop at a local cafe, I’ll take summer heat over winter snow any day.  At least with the heat, you can wake up earlier to try and beat it.  You can’t really beat the snow, once it’s there, it’s there…especially this winter.  Overall the run went great.  My body could definitely tell that my long runs these past few weeks have been consistent 10 milers.  When I get past that 10 mile mark, everything gets tough. Last week’s 13 miler was the same, everything is enjoyable until about mile 10, then that’s when it goes from a long run to a bit of a fight.  But it eventually all gets done 🙂

I was in a bit of a rush to get to my parent’s house to give gifts to my Mom and Grandma but standing in front of the window fan with water for a solid 5 minutes was necessary.

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A post-run smoothie bowl was also just was I needed to refuel and allow my body to cool a bit.

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Thankfully, I finally stopped sweating and was able to finish 3 more pages in my racing scrapbook just in time to show my mom for Mother’s Day.

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I wanted to finish these pages because they were from our Disney Challenge and capture the amazing experience and the fun that we had together.  I love creating this scrap-book for so many reasons.  With each page, I get to relive some incredible memories.  The scrapbook was designed for just half marathons and hopefully a marathon, but the entire Disney Challenge deserved a spot in the book because it was so special.

Though I managed to finish the pages, there is no gift or day that can amount to how thankful I am to have such an incredible mother.  She is amazing is so many ways.  We certainly have had our moments – there is something about that mother-daughter relationship where you know just what to say or do to make them mad, or even worse, make them hurt.  There is no justification for it but you just need to learn from those guilt-filled moments.  And at the end of each day, I truly am blessed to have such an incredible and passionate person in my life.  She has and continues to support me in every aspect of life.  She is the reason I am who I am.  Based on her most recent half marathon times, she still has a ton of fight left in her which makes me incredibly happy because I hope to have many more race-cations.

My scrapbook still has many more pages left and I can only hope that those pages are not just me but us.

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! 🙂