Knee Pain

The knee pain in my left knee that I mentioned the other day is mostly gone. I’ve been icing, foam rolling, and generally taking it easy. I’ve avoided taking an anti-inflammatory because I feel like I tend to do too much when I can’t feel the pain. Plus, I want to know when it feels better unadulterated by medication.

My long run today obviously didn’t happen because of my knee but I think I’m going to try for my recovery run tomorrow and knock back my long run mileage 1 or 2 miles next week.

This injury isn’t the end of the world though, especially since I’m probably switching fall half marathons. I had to plan on giving my recital the same weekend as the Houston half, so unfortunately I had to find another race. I THINK I’m going to do the Dallas running club half the following weekend, worked out a little too perfectly! However I’m still determined to finally go to Houston this fall to see a bunch of friends and check out the city.

Today is JMU’s and Baylor’s first GAMEDAYS of the season!!!! So excited to be tailgating and going to the game tonight – but also really sad I’m missing every JMU game this season! GO DUKES! SIC ‘EM BEARS!

QOD – “I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.”

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First Week Craziness!

This semester….actually this whole year….seems like it will go at lightning speed! I can’t believe the first week is over. It’s given me a false sense of time of course since all my classes didn’t meet this week, giving me plenty of extra time for homework and practice. But we’ve already had readings for my one academic class and it’s been nice having my schedule back  – I really love the structure of school, haha, hence why I’m staying in college for 7 years straight! 

It’s also been my first week back at CrossFit and I’m so glad to be back. It’s nice to have the coaches there correcting my movements, after being home for the summer I’ve returned to or created a couple bad habits and I really enjoy getting the feedback. Plus I workout harder when I’m at the gym and I know it will help me build strength for all my races this season. HOWEVER, my legs feel totally torn up and I’m so glad tomorrow is my rest day. 

Actually…..I had some serious knee pain, just above the joint, this morning so I’ve been icing my knee and kept it wrapped and elevated this morning. I actually switched around my practice time so I could give my knee some recovery time before biking to campus and keeping my knee bent all morning. 

Since my running is in the morning to avoid the heat, I’ve switched my CrossFit classes to early in the morning rather than at night. I’m trying to make myself a super morning person….I’m getting there….slowly. 

I think today is a day for a double dose of tea since I woke up at 5:15am – I fell asleep watching the U.S. Open last night and I’m sure I will do the same thing tonight. School is exhausting but I’m so happy to be back making music with all my colleagues here at Baylor. My auditions didn’t go as well as I was hoping for, and I will be exploring some new avenues to prevent my severe performance anxiety, there’s always something to learn from mistakes and failures. It is incredibly inspiring to be back with the bass studio here, all the talent and hard work in our studio is such great motivation! 

Mileage – CrossFit, yoga, foam roller 

QOD – Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. 

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Recipe Recap and Meal Planning

School starts tomorrow!!! 😀 🙂 😦 So trying elaborate recipes is over for the time being. However that doesn’t mean I won’t be looking at trying new clean recipes with a few (cheap) ingredients and a very quick cook time! Here’s a recipe recap of what I made this week! 

Dill PicklesHERE
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Hummus from scratchHERE 
I don’t have a food processor and using my mediocre (at best) blender it turned out a little chunky but still WAY delicious! Yummy ingredients!
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Salsa
Guacamole
HERE
Zucchini FettuccineHERE
Protein PancakesHERE

I also made some kale chips (which is hard without a salad spinner), baked eggs for the week, portioned out carrots and hummus, and made rice with chopped spinach, lemon, and garlic for lunches. Haven’t quite figured out my dinners yet – probably just salad and shrimp or chicken. I’m also going to make PBFingers chia seed pancakes for breakfast this week either tonight or tomorrow morning!  

Mileage – 3 miles recovery, foam roller

QOD – Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.

Texas Long Runs….

This morning was my first long run in Texas since my 10 mile race in mid-April. The weather has probably changed a little since then – but mostly I’m just not used to it anymore. Today are the seating auditions for orchestra and the ensemble placements for jazz – which means I still have a long day ahead of me. But I was monitoring the violin auditions this morning which gave me no option but to be up and out really early on my 9 miler today. Didn’t make much difference. 

IT WAS 78 DEGREES AT 6am IN PITCH BLACK DARKNESS. And my body is not used to it yet. I promise I will stop complaining about the weather tomorrow. I promise. It’s only my first week back and I’m acclimating very slowly. 

But I managed to accomplish my run only stopping to refill both of my 9oz my water bottles twice. My pace was a little slow and I felt weighed down wearing my fuel belt for the first time in at least a year, but I almost gave up a couple of times – though it wouldn’t have helped much because I ran an out-and-back – AND I KEPT GOING. I was proud of myself because the heat frequently defeats me more than anything else.

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I think what really helped me was getting a full 8 hours of sleep on Thursday night and about 7 last night – I was in bed by 9:30 but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I know my nights won’t be like that during the semester but I think more sleep might be key for my sanity and health. Plus, I can’t just go out with my friends, go to concerts, hang out, or etc just on Saturday nights! 

I did make a good meal last night to keep me going all through my run today – Jalepeno Pesto Zucchini “Fettuccine” with ground turkey. I don’t really believe in carb loading the night before a race. Pasta makes me happy, sleepy, and feel a bit like a stuffed animal and can just be too heavy for me before running. Since I’m trying to eat more of my carbs earlier in the day anyways I figured this would be a great alternative.

I was inspired by this raw recipe that I saw online but since I need protein and I had bought this Austin-local pesto I figured I’d make it my own way.
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ImageI’ve never eaten zucchini before last night and it was good! I ate my leftovers for lunch today – yuuummmmayyy! 

Mileage – 9 miles, yoga, foam roller 

QOD – Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero! – Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow!

Protein Pancake Recipe!

I was up later last night doing some grocery shopping for kale and chia seeds with my friend Sean who is paleo – I had to laugh a little when the other people around us were buying pizza or ice cream and we’ve got kale, chia seeds, and protein powder. This morning is a cross-training day so I had no need to wake up before the sun for a run – thank goodness – and that health food trip had me all excited to try something different for breakfast. 

Today’s breakfast was a delicious pancake creation that was inspired by Peanut Butter Fingers blog – one of my favorite fitness bloggers who always has awesome workouts and recipes. But I have a habit of making recipes my own so after searching through her pancake recipes I came up with my own protein pancakes. 

Protein Pancakes!
Makes 6  small pancakes (2 servings)

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Ingredients
– 3/4 cup of oats 
– 1 6 oz container of plain non-fat greek yogurt 
– 1 packet (usually 30g) protein powder
    *I used strawberry but I bet vanilla would be delicious too! I also chose this brand
      because it had 26g of protein and 1g of carbs, plus I haven’t found a favorite yet*
– 2 egg whites 
– 3 tablespoons (maybe 4) whole milk 
– Delicious toppings: Banana, almond butter, strawberries, syrup, etc. 

Directions
1 – Grind the oats in a blender or food processor. 
2 – Combine oats and protein powder in a bowl
3 – Whisk in greek yogurt and egg whites until all ingredients are combined together
4 – Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between, until the batter is the desired consistency 
     *I used 2 tablespoons of milk and my pancakes were a little denser than usual* 
5 – Heat a lightly greased (or buttered/cooking sprayed) pan to medium heat and pour batter in 1/4 cup dollops
6 – Flip when small bubbles are forming around the edge of the pancake, cook until golden brown on both sides. 

Serve with your favorite toppings! I used banana (for that strawberry banana flavor) and  some almond butter because I’m not a syrup person – I don’t even own any – but I’m sure they would be delicious with anything. I’m not the biggest “sweet” person so the flavor is definitely a little tangier than usual flapjacks, but substituting a fruity yogurt or adding a sweetener like honey would counteract that I’m sure. 

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Nutrition Facts (roughly! per serving)
Calories – 250, Fat – 2.7g, Carbs – 30g, Fiber – 5g, Protein – 26g

Mileage – Cross-Training, yoga 

QOD – Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake. (Julia Child) 

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Homemade…EVERYTHING.

I was incredibly inspired at Whole Foods on Sunday when I went shopping (plus there was an amazing deal on avocados aka most DELICIOUS green food ever), so I decided to go for the gold and make all sorts of things that I usually buy there from scratch instead. I also meal planned the hell out of this week, which hopefully means I can keep this up throughout the semester. 

Yesterday I:
– prepped mangos to freeze and store on my own
– cooked chicken for salads all week (mild seasoning so I can top it with anything)
– portioned and packaged goat cheese 
– made salsa from scratch
– made homemade pickles (still fermenting away) 

Today I:
– made guacamole (some for tonight’s salad and some portioned to freeze)
– made hummus from scratch!!!
– baked eggs for the rest of the week’s breakfasts

Tonight’s dinner is salad with 1/2 a chicken breast, chili goat cheese, homemade guac and salsa, and lime juice! An amazing meal entirely clean – and mostly paleo. Some people argue about goat cheese being clean or not but I see it ALL the time in clean recipes on a variety of well versed websites so that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

The recipe I’m going to share today is my guacamole recipe so here goes: 
Ingredients
– 2 large ripe avocados, halved and pitted 
– 1 clove finely minced garlic 
– 3 dashes hot sauce 
– 2 or 3 Tablespoons lime juice (usually juice from 1 lime fresh, to taste) 
– 1 – 2 Tablespoons minced pickled jalepenos (optional) 
– salt (to taste) 

Directions: 
1) In the skin cut the avocados into cubes by making vertical and horizontal cuts down each halve, put into a bowl
2) Mix in 2 Tablespoons of the lime juice and the hot sauce, smashing and slicing the avocado as you mix 
3) Stir in the garlic, jalepenos, and salt – mix evenly and make avocado chunks your preferred size 
4) TASTE! Add more lime juice, hot sauce, or salt to your liking! 

I’ve got a few more recipes up my sleeve for this weekend plus more of the recipes mentioned today to share so stay tuned haha! 

Mileage – 4 miles, yoga 

QOD – “I liked the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it.”

 

EHWO

Guacamole!

Guacamole!

Food, Music, and Running All Back in Texas!

I spent Friday and Saturday in the car with my awesome dad driving 1450 miles back to school! We had a great time in Nashville and went to my favorite restaurant when we finally arrived in Waco. Then I had to take him to the airport and say a sad goodbye – I miss my family a ton when I’m at school. 

But the nice thing about going to Dallas or Austin, on top of all the awesome things to do in those cities, is that there are WHOLE FOODS there! Since I hadn’t gone grocery shopping since I got back to school I went to Whole Foods and stocked up on delicious foods. 

Today and tomorrow are big days because I’m trying and creating a whole bunch of new clean and paleo recipes which I’m so excited to share with you guys throughout the rest of this week (samples: pickles, hummus, freezing my own fruit)! 

It’s been so nice to be back in the music building here to practice leading up to orchestra placement auditions today. My past 2 practice days have felt pretty good and I think having my usual surroundings back has improved my consistency. Auditions are a huge head game for me and something I commonly struggle with – but today I read an incredible article about the mental toll it takes on much more experienced musicians than myself. It’s appropriately titled The Audition and I encourage everyone to READ it.  

Also, this year I have my bike with me. My old walk to campus was 18-20 minutes, now it is 7 minutes and I don’t arrive drenched in sweat! I’m excited to go on some bike rides too with my friend Sean! (Maybe I’ll finally tackle that triathlon!)

Tonight was my first run back in Texas. I started after dark at 8:10pm AND IT WAS STILL 91 DEGREES OUTSIDE. Ugh. I don’t like the heat. I felt like someone had sucked the life out of me, but I finished my run anyways. I’m hoping I adjust to the heat faster than I did last year – I’ve cranked up my water consumption already! 

Mileage – 3 miles, 1.5 miles intervals, stretching 

QOD – “There’s a vastness here and I believe that the people who are born here breathe that vastness into their soul. They dream big dreams and think big thoughts, because there is nothing to hem them in.” (Conrad Hilton on Texas) 

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Weather Spoiled

Today was probably my last east coast run until Thanksgiving and I was completely spoiled with the weather. I’m down at Bethany Beach for a 48 hour mini vacation with my mom and one of my best friends, Caitlin! I went out for a shorter mid run this morning and it was 60ish degrees with a strong ocean breeze and some cloud cover. It felt like perfection! I think my first run in Texas is going to kick my butt unfortunately.

It’s nice being at the beach also for some of my last meals here because I can get fresh, quality seafood. Seafood in central Texas is totally questionable and I miss the ocean/bay to table eating I have on the eastern shore of Maryland and at the beach. Seafood, especially shell fish, is one of my favorite healthy foods because it doesn’t need dressing up to taste amazing. Nothing tastes better to me than steamed Maryland Blue Crabs with Old Bay – hands down my favorite food ever and I don’t mind working for it! So tonight we’re headed out to one of my favorite restaurants down here, where I can guarantee I’ll get some delicious seafood tonight.

I’m excited to head back to Texas but I sure will miss the ocean breeze!

Mileage – 5.5 miles

QOD – Preserve and treat food as you would your body, remembering that in time food will be your body.

Caitlin, Mama, and I at the beach!

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What do you think about when you run?!

So I was thinking about a blog post while running today (haha irony) and I figured I would talk about what I think while I’m running. I’ve broken it down into a range of topics, that often depend on how my body feels and my mental state before the run. 

Great Day, Great Run 
“Man, I love running, I’m so glad I came out here today”
“I wonder where I’ll be in 5 years? Wouldn’t it be cool to move to Europe?”
“What should I cook for dinner? OOO fish sounds good”
“This weather is PERFECT”  

Tough Day, Tough Run
“Okay maybe walk at the end of this song for 30 seconds, NO YOU CAN DO THIS”
“This will make me feel better right? Because I feel like death right now”
“2 days ago I ran 5 miles no problem, why the hell can’t I run 2 right now?!” 

Great Day, Tough Run
“Ugh, but I would regret being inside right now, it’s beautiful outside”
“I’ve eaten so well this week, that dress is going to look bangin’ tonight, don’t stop.”
“This will totally be worth it on race day when I PR” 

Tough Day, Great Run 
“Well at least I can run” 
Sometimes I cry. A good run always kicks my emotions into shape. 

On the in between days, when I need a distraction for a half mile or so I think about blogging, the rest of my workout, or how the song I’m listening to currently totally rules. Today I was so excited to take my flow yoga class after my run and that helped me through my recovery run (aka not super fun run). However, I ended up not going to yoga. Thankfully one of my coworkers gave me the heads up that the class would probably not be as strenuous or exciting as I would hope. 

Instead I came home and baked some delicious Apple Pumpkin Bread for my Mom’s parents and Dad’s mom who I am visiting tomorrow! It is topped with granola and while I used a box mix today for time sake, I think I need to find myself (or create?!) a clean recipe for this delicious looking breakfast bread. I did my own yoga while the bread was in the oven. The smell of apples and pumpkin makes me soooo excited for fall! If only we got the crisp fall weather in Texas…. 

What do you think about while you run or work out?? Anyone else a fall lover out there? 

Mileage – 3 miles, yoga 

QOD -You go through your 20s sort of like a chrysalis in many ways, stretching into your own skin and trying to bust out of a cocoon.

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Strange Events…

Normally when I take yoga at the gym I work at in MD, I take a flow yoga class. The classes are pretty strenuous, focusing on building strength, incorporating difficult balance poses, and deep stretching. I wanted to take a class yesterday so I signed up for an evening “Yoga I” class. I know that fitness classes develop followings, but this class should have been labeled “Yoga for Injuries”.

I understand why the instructor asked the girl with the wrist brace about her injury before class, but not why every person in the room had to inform him of every physical ailment. The class started very late, went wayyyy over, and the instructor spent half the time giving specific instruction to various individuals. When my foot dislocated itself and I walked it off for a minute, I was essentially reprimanded for not informing the instructor of this strange quirk in my feet. To be honest, it’s so much a part of my life I hardly notice it and I’ve never asked a doctor about it because I just pop it right back in – I was reprimanded for this as well. 

I got over my yoga disappointment and ran a 8.25 miler this morning – during which I witnessed SERIOUS road rage. As a pedestrian, I almost felt in danger with this jerk’s driving and over the top flipping the bird. Thankfully the run for me was not eventful – although I did have to remind myself a few times to dial back my pace or else I wouldn’t have made it the whole distance. 

After my run, ice bath, and delicious protein packed breakfast – 1% low fat cottage cheese, guys, it is a miracle food – I headed in to my last shift at the gym where I met a new coworker filling in. As we talked about Texas (he used to live there) I mentioned my up-coming races and he says:

“I’m sorry, but are you in shape enough to run a half marathon?” 

My thoughts were “NO, first of all you are not sorry sir. Secondly, you are an incredibly out of shape individual who asked me to walk around the gym for you because you’re ‘injured’. Finally, you probably wouldn’t have these ‘injuries’ if you didn’t carry 50 extra lbs in your mid section. You work in a fitness facility be ashamed of yourself.” 

But I didn’t say any of that. I just informed him of my previous and upcoming races. I know I don’t look like an Olympic athlete, but seriously?! Ironically Runner’s World just posted a great list of things not to say to runners. Check it out HERE

Has anyone ever asked you a question like that? Was I right to be a little peeved? Let me know in a comment!! 

Mileage – 8.25 miles, foam roller, stretch

QOD – What is more worthy of your time and energy then your health? 

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