Long Run and the “Streak”!

There’s something special about long runs for me. While I feel great after every run, the adrenaline left over from a long run gives me a rush for hours afterwards. Part of the long run feelings for me may come from my childhood aversion to running, being the kid who took 13 minutes to finish the mile in gym because I’d rather just walk. I liked sports and was  competitive in gym class, but if there wasn’t a goal at the other end of the field I wasn’t interested in running. 

 
I took my time getting into running and when I ran my first 7 mile run in August of 2010 I called my parents absolutely ecstatic with excitement about my 11:50something per mile long run. I didn’t run another long run until May of 2011, when I had begun training for my first marathon – and at first I dreaded them. I would often start incredibly slow, scared of tiring myself out to early, but often never picking up the speed I probably was been capable of. 
 
But as my training progressed I took great pride in even starting a long run. My new positive attitude has helped me continue to go on long runs even while not training for a distance race. The new goal of running 144 miles in six weeks will also continue to motivate me through the hot months (which is really not my favorite season to run). Saturday I ran 7.82 miles at an awesome pace and it was such a thrill when I finished – I need to start looking for a fall race or two to help me keep this up. 
 
TODAY I started my “streak” as part of the Runner’s World Running Streak. The goal is to run at least 1 mile everyday from Memorial Day until Independence Day – 39 consecutive days of running. I started my streak out with a run with my aunt and dad, and it was the best way I could have started! Join in on the streak!!  Streaks are often popular around the winter holiday season. Has anyone done one before? What’s your longest running streak? 
 
Mileage – 4.5 miles, stretching, P&S challenge 
QOD – People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree. 
 
Image
 
 
Image
Advertisements

Food Struggs in Summer. (Plus the dress is still up for grabs!)

In March of 2012 I was beyond stressed. Dealing with graduate school decisions, my senior recital, and some other life changes I unhealthily dropped weight, mostly from lack of eating. It wasn’t like the weight I had lost healthily from WeightWatchers and exercise. I was, for the first time in my life, in the “underweight” class for my height. When I realized how much weight I had lost once the stress was over I began to enjoy summertime a little too much. Unfortunately, I quickly regained the weight I’d lost (plus a lot more) by the time I was a month into my first semester of grad school. I primarily regained those pounds….because of summertime. 

Summertime always seems to mean cookouts, beer and wings, margaritas and any other fruity drink involving tequila or vodka, and vineyard/brewery adventures on days off. I love these things, really I do. Summertime also means it gets too hot to run in the middle of the day, meaning a few runs here and there get lost in the cracks. I don’t love this. 

Thanks to Texas and a better workout plan, my workouts will not go by the wayside this summer. But it’s really hard to say no when it comes to my favorite summer foods and drinks.  While many people say the battle is 70%food and 30%fitness or even 80/20, I am convinced my body prefers to operate at the 90/10 level. My eating habits need to be under control this summer for me to achieve my goals of losing at least 10 more pounds rather than gaining it – and I’ve already lost about 8 towards the end of the semester and so far this summer. I know a number on the scale shouldn’t be a goal, but I also know that when I eat even cleaner and weigh less than I do now, my body fat % is lower, my BMI is lower, and I feel more comfortable in my own skin. 

Today was my first summertime food struggle. I went out to lunch with the person I am interning under and we went to a Mexican restaurant (for those that don’t know me I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD). Actually I love any food in general, but I’m an especially big fan of spicy, cheesy, meaty, lime infused deliciousness, all wrapped up in carbohydrates and topped with guac. But I knew what I had to do – order lighter. I got chicken fajitas with no cheese, no sour cream, no black beans; I just ate chicken, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and not even a fork full of guacamole on my corn tortillas. I even peeled the skin off my chicken, and it still tasted delicious! I didn’t feel stuffed or sick, or even have that greasy after taste like usual. And I have to say I’m proud of myself.

I’ll indulge here or there, maybe even just have tastes of someone else’s indulgence. I think I’ve finally figured out that moderation means on a daily basis not “eat really healthy for 5 days, then spend 3 practically binging on whatever I want”. Haha, I know it sounds ridiculous but that’s how I operated last summer, and in the end you just end up always indulging and the healthy habits are gone. 

Food and I have a twisted relationship, through my cooking, clean eating adventures, and traveling I’ve tried to improve upon it. It’s a hard topic for me to discuss, so thanks for reading guys. I’m going to the beach this weekend with my family and having wrote all this out gives me all the inspiration I need to start building clean habits on vacations too. 

Don’t forget about the adorable dress you can win HERE!! There’s still time to enter! 

Mileage – P&SChallenge, yoga! 

QOD – We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.

Image

 

Image

Workout Wednesday!

For some reason I decided running outside after work at 10am was a great idea – then again my alternative was the treadmill. So I braved the heat and survived 4 miles, then ran sprints for an extra mile+ on the treadmill. I don’t mind the treadmill as much for sprints because it gives me a better idea of the sprint paces I’m capable of and still need to work towards. But I prefer longer runs in general and I think if I’m going to run out in the heat I need to return to running with my water belt because it really helps me battle through the hot runs. 

After running I did planks and abs, and then arms. I worked on my push-press and kettlebells, which I upped my weight on! 

This week has been tough getting in the amount of workout and practice time I’ve wanted too by working both jobs. It’s left almost NO time for relaxing, which I’d really like after a rough semester. This is why I am SUPER excited to go to the beach/Eastern shore this weekend with my family – we’re going to have a crab feast, a cookout, and watch ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!! Plus it is going to be pretty cool in Bethany this weekend so hopefully I’ll be able to get some longer runs in, no bikini this weekend that’s for sure. 

I’ve set a new goal on Nike+ to run 144miles in the next six weeks, which equates to 24 miles a week, which should increase the average mileage I run every time I hit the pavement. I’d love to not only reach my goal but surpass it! Hopefully this increased distance and frequency will help me reach my other fitness goals that I listed out a couple of weeks ago! 

I’m going to get in my squats later by doing them during my practice breaks, helps me stay focused so I don’t get distracted by the internet in the middle of practicing! 

Anybody else get in a great workout today?! I’d love to hear! 

Don’t forget about the dress giveaway! There is still time to enter!!! HERE!!! 

Mileage – 5.01 miles, P&S, abs, arms 

QOD – Running is a mental sport, more than anything else. You’re only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking.Image

Image

 

 

Sarah&Dad – 1 Heat – 0 (plus the GIVEAWAY!)

Tonight around 6:30pm my Dad and I headed out for a 3.75-4mile run. I am not a heat person, especially when I run. But it doesn’t seem to phase my father, he runs great in any weather, whereas I am usually overly bundled for the cold and choking/wheezing in the heat. I like 50-65 degrees; that is the perfect running temperature for me. Alas tonight it was 83 and felt like 85 – ALERT TOO HOT. 

But Dad and I ran in it, no walking or stopping despite my constant desire to give up and lie down in the cool grass. I added an extra cul-de-sac at the end to hit my 4 miles that I didn’t complete yesterday. Today was one of those runs where my dad and I needed each other to finish, let alone finish strong. We kept a decent (for me in heat) 9:30ish pace and I felt so much better having finished the 4 miles today. 

Running before my practice session made me really motivated to work hard tonight on my playing, hopefully I can recreate that tomorrow (and the whole rest of the summer)! 

Also, only have 10 days left on the plank and squat challenge! Today marked my first 8 day streak, because of my trip home and finals I unfortunately missed some days here and there. But my body probably really appreciated those rest days, because now I’m hurtin’. 

LADIES! Don’t forget that Paige, Tawny, and I are giving away the adorable “Swirly Dress” from Effie and Dru!!! To enter and see some pictures of the dress go HERE!!!! 

Mileage – 4 miles, P&S, push-ups, stretch! 

QOD – The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race. It’s to test the limits of the human heart.

Image

My FIRST GIVEAWAY Team-Up!

Here’s the surprise you’ve all been waiting for!!!

I have teamed up with the wonderful Paige and another of her blogging friends, Tawny,  to support a fabulous new fashion site called Effie and Dru! Paige did a great interview – that you can read here – if you’d like to learn more about the site and Brittany, the woman behind the magic! 

This is Paige modeling the “Swirly Dress” that we are giving away! 

Image

 

 

So, why a dress?! I’m a fitness and music blogger, I know – But if you’re workin’ hard you deserve a cute dress to show off the hard work in! I love dresses, they are my favorite thing to wear (mostly because it’s a quick look to accessorize and they are easy to play bass in). Fitness junkie or not, ladies you should enter to win this adorable dress!!! 

TO ENTER: Just go HERE to Paige’s site (check out more pictures) and enter at the bottom! 

Planks, Pedicures, Paranoia, and Paleo! (RECIPE LINK!)

These planks are really whats killing me in this month long challenge, tonight I collapsed 1min 45 in of my 2:15 plank. Some days I struggle through and go from elbows to straight arms just to make it, but other days I just can’t. I certainly can feel a difference and up to about 1:30 is really strong for me, I’d probably be even better at the other times if I took a day off. It’s the constant breaking and rebuilding of those muscles that make it harder everyday. 

Pedicures! I love pedicures! I will not let anyone touch my fingernails, let alone get a manicure – I live in constant fear that someone will ruin my callouses or my bass playing career forever! Pathetic, I know, but my hands are very valuable to me. But pedicures I could get one every week and be happy. Alas I normally get one 2-4 times a year. They are an amazing thing for me as a runner. I beat up my poor toes and nails constantly, sometimes they turn black or blue, they swell, and I’ve even lost a few toenails. So treating myself to a pedicure 1) makes me feel a little less like a monster 2) is incredibly relaxing and 3) is a healing process for my constantly abused feet. I usually only go in the summer time, when my feet are “more likely” to be bare – for those of you who know me well know that I prefer to be barefoot always, soooo sorry my toe nails aren’t usually painted in the winter. 

Tonight a car drove past me really erratically, stopping once, then starting again. It really creeped me out, despite how safe my neighborhood is and the fact that it was probably a bunch of dumb high schoolers in their mini-cooper. But I became paranoid anyways, cut my run short – at least I got out there. 

FINALLY – PALEO! 

On Saturday afternoon I cooked a great paleo chicken dish for a going away party. It got rave reviews (I’m in love) and is basically just a fabulous marinade-rub that I would love to share with you all! I got it from this fantastic website – Eat Drink Paleo! Everyone should check out her site for awesome recipes, articles, and resources. The chicken I made was Sweet Paprika and Lime Chicken, I doubled the recipe and sauteed my chicken because we didn’t have time to get the grill going (I was also trying to watch the Preakness and get ready for the party at the same time).

Ingredients

Image

 

 

Marinating Chicken 

Image

 

All cooked up! I served them with lime wedges, but I had already packaged those up when I remembered I needed a final photo! OOOPS! 

Image

 

 

Mileage – 2.15miles, P&S, abs 

QOD – We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.

Get your lift on.

After my run today I figured it was time to hit the weights. I used to use free weights at the gym at home and pretty much anywhere I worked out. Then when I committed to CrossFit, I realized my free weight routine wasn’t cutting it. It had made me as strong as it could, but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. 

I’ve really come to love lifting and I have a feeling before long I’ll be lifting more than I ever thought I could, especially with my wrist surgery. My wrists never feel stressed now when I strength train, especially now that I’ve learned proper forms. But I’ve noticed people always seem to ask about the weight lifting aspect of training, they assume because I want to lift heavier weights, I want to bulk up on muscle – that I’m going to look like a body builder. To be honest, that’s not what I’m after and most other women that train like me don’t want it either. I strength train to build lean muscle, to strengthen my bones, to shed fat, to increase my speed when I run, all sorts of things that don’t involve bodybuilding. Lifting weights does so much more for anyone (women and men) than just build bulk muscle – don’t be scared of it! It makes a huge difference. 

So today I did clean and jerks and had one of my awesome co-workers Darryl come in and watch once I had warmed up. I had him watch for the bar and my hands proximity to my body as I have the tendency to push away, which makes you weaker. It’s something I’ve been working on and I was stoked to see improvement today! I even tacked on 5lbs more than usual. 

Mileage – 4.2 miles, Clean and Jerks, Abs, P&S Challenge 

QOD – The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

Image

 

 

Music, “Binds”, and Surprises…Oh My!

2 weeks ago I talked about my summer fitness goals (I did push ups today!) and I mentioned I would follow up with my musical goals. This semester was rough for my solo bass playing with family things, two work intense academic courses, and wind ensemble tour. BUT I felt like I made a lot of improvements in my orchestral and jazz playing, I’ve also made large strides in technical areas I have been consistently working on this year. That being said, I have a lot of work to do this summer, especially to prepare for my recital next fall! 

Bass Playing Goals 

1) Scales/Etudes for 1.5-2hours every day

2) Work my way through the whole “Strokin'” book for right arm technique 

3) Learn and memorize Bach Cello Suite No. 1 

4) Strengthen the excerpts I already learned this year 
     – reach audition tempos 
     – learn other segments that may have not been on our final 

5) Learn the rest of my repertoire for my recital! 
    – Vanhal Concerto
    – 20th century work! 

 

Binds….so today I took my first actual yoga class in months. I usually practice on my own in my apartment and that is enough for my stretching needs. But today I wanted a good butt kicking in balance and strength so I took a flow yoga class. We did lots of “binds” aka ridiculous twist poses where your arms are through your legs or around your back and linked – or some similar crazy pose. The strength and balance was plenty killer, and the stretching worked out the pain in my squat pained legs. I think I’ll try and get to a class once a week outside of my own practice, I enjoy a hurt-so-good yoga session every once and awhile. 

Surprises! I’m working on a great surprise for my readers with my awesome blogging friend Paige and some of her blog friends! 

 

Mileage – P&S Challenge, Kettlebell push-up circuit, and flow yoga! 

QOD – Music happens to be an art-form that transcends language. 

Image

 

Image

Officially Summer

FINALS. ARE. OVER. FINALS ARE OVER!!! Hooray!!! I am officially done year 1 of graduate school. It was a rough semester so I am very glad that it’s over and I survived. My squat and plank challenge and running took a slight hit however on my adventure back to Maryland with my dad.

Today – my first day home, my first day of summer – I went for a great hilly run and got back on the squat and plank challenge bandwagon. I also had my first day back working at the gym, and let me say spending 3-8 hours at a gym really motivates you. It’s tiring being on my feet the whole time after a run, but it is totally socially acceptable to stretch while your working, or do calf raises when folding towels.

Tomorrow I’ll post my musical goals for the summer and talk about some super long term fitness goals – stay tuned!!!

Blogging friends – how do you expand your readership? I love my friends and family reading, but I’d love to reach out to strangers and the general online fitness community! Any tips? Advice?

Mileage – 5.5 miles , S&PC

QOD – Practice puts brains in your muscles.

Here are some photos from my trip!! The Book Depository where JFK was shot from (the slightly open window on the 6th floor is where Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly shot from) and the other picture is the memorial to Lincoln at his birthplace!!

20130514-205447.jpg

20130514-205523.jpg

Squats….

Wow, already I can tell a difference after 6 days of this squat challenge. Tonight I did them while watching the Caps game – and actually it was a nice distraction, plus it kept me from being lazy in front of the TV. And by lazy I mean freaking out the entire game. I was studying for Middle Ages during the intermissions, so I was doing work. 

But when I went for my run my legs were telling me I had neglected on stretching the past few days, and with the squats I’m doing, I really need to stretch. I hit the foam roller hard tonight and got in some good yoga time.  Also I’ve been pretty speedy the past few days, running an 8:32 pace on Friday, 9:10 pace yesterday and 9:11 pace today! That’s exciting for me!!! I’d love to stay below 9:30 on anything less than 5 or 6 miles. The squats and planks continue, but I’m interested to see how they make me feel on my long run on Thursday (10-13miles).

Mileage – 2.75, challenge, yoga

QOD – Commit to be fit. 

ImageImage