Treadmills

Okay, I know I complain about treadmills whenever I run on one, but this time I’ve tried to research WHY it is so much harder for me. Last night I ran (on a 2.0 incline) 2 miles, walked a few minutes, ran mile 3, walked a few minutes, and completed mile 4 as speed increasing sprint intervals. It was exhausting and barely tolerable. 

Today I typed in google “why is running harder” and then it completed for me “why is running harder outside” OR “why is running harder on a treadmill”! I know runners have very different opinions on this subject but it surprised me how equal both sides seem to be and that there seemed to be science to support BOTH sides. Treadmill running appears to be more of a mental challenge, however there is also some evidence that running on a treadmill utilizes different muscles than running outside which may present challenges for those who run outside consistently. Part of the mental challenge is the physical feeling of propelling yourself forward while running outside, rather than staying in the same place on a treadmill. 

Running outside can prove more difficult to those who run on a treadmill because of the elements. Wind resistance and hills are difficult to replicate on a treadmill, which is why you should always run on a treadmill on at least an incline of 1%. This article HERE on Runner’s World even says that the treadmill is easier. I guess this just goes to show that my treadmill struggle, while shared with many others is not the same across the board and I’ll have to keep fighting the mental challenges whenever I have to run on a treadmill. 

Mileage – Rowing, Elliptical and upper body weights tonight, Yoga for Runners

QOD – Running on a treadmill shows me why hamsters are so crazy. 

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Technology Troubles!

So for the last few days I’ve been sans computer due to the fact that it is running at incredibly slow speeds! I was so excited to post things since I’ve been cranking out the workouts this week. I’m finally posting tonight from my phone!

Quick Recap
Sunday – 8 miles with Ben! (Our longest run together so far) and I did some serious yoga to stretch it all out!
Monday – 2.5 mile recovery run, which was actually rather speedy and my legs felt phenomenal! Plus a chest and triceps workout
Tuesday – Elliptical with a biceps, triceps and delts workout.

This week feels like it is moving at a glacial pace because spring break is just around the corner!!! While I’m not going home this year 😦 I am looking forward to just having 9 days of freedom to practice, clean my apartment, do some crafts, work on papers, and of course GO FOR RUNS!

Food isn’t very exciting this week, tomato soup and salads mostly because I felt very uninspired on Sunday when I was looking for recipes.

Hopefully I’ll have some time to hop over to library tomorrow and post something more exciting and get a post cranked out for Fitness Friday!

Mileage – 4.5 miles

QOD – Technology…

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Fitness Friday!

Here’s a new category for today: 
ABS
(I mean really who doesn’t need a few good ab workouts?) 
2 Week Crunch Challenge – I’m starting on Monday and it will take me all the way into Spring Break!  

Planks – The BEST way to get your abs into shape (I know I also just posted a crunch challenge but V-ups work you HARD)

Yoga 
As someone who has had surgery on both wrists, I feel like there is always some risk of wrist injury in everything I do. Articles like this need to be out there for EVERY activity. How to Protect Your Wrists in Yoga 

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Strength Training
Now that I’m not doing CrossFit for the time being I’ve been saving these kinds of workouts more often! Here’s a Chest and Bicep workout from Peanut Butter Fingers! 

And here’s more reasons to strength train as a runner – I swear it’s made a huge difference for me! 

Running
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Mileage – Rest Day! (light yoga and foam roll) 

QOD – Make each day your masterpiece. 

I survived TMEA Tour!

Here I am!!! Alive, significantly healed, and completely done with TMEA tour. TMEA was great – but going as a graduate assistant was rough, I actually only got to see 2 concerts (they were both AMAZING). I missed out on all the classes and clinics because I was in our extra rehearsals, hunting down places to return keys, and manning our storage room. But the symphony’s performances were all wonderful and had a great impact on our audiences from what I’ve heard. I thoroughly enjoyed performing in the theater there (it was probably one of the largest audiences I’ve ever performed for with an orchestra!) and I had an overall positive musical experience even if I was exhausted by the end of the week with all the additional work.

Although I spent most of the tour recovering from two infections, a stomach bug, and a cold (medicated with a Zpack, dayquil, nyquil, and a Vick’s inhaler) I did manage to get in 2 easy workouts at the hotel gym! Thankfully I didn’t miss more than 7 days of running so I won’t have lost any progress I’ve made towards the half marathon in March that I’ve been training for under the radar.  I haven’t totally committed to the race yet because I need my recital to be my priority right now, however if I can get up to 11 miles by the first weekend in March I think I’ll be in good shape.

Last week I missed Fitness Friday and didn’t have time to catch-up with Sunday Grubday either – although this week I only have 1 new recipe I’m trying. I went back to my new favorite tomato basil soup for lunches, my usual eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, and simple salads for my solo dinners. It will all be revived and then some this week! I have some great post ideas brewing. 

Last night I wanted to watch the Bobsledding and Ice Dancing Free Dance but I have recently rid myself of my horrible cable service. I decided to go to the gym (it was a cross training day anyways) and workout on the cardio machines while I watched the Olympics. I didn’t realize how LONG I was going to have to be working out to be able to watch Meryl and Charlie’s program which was last! I ended up on 3 different cardio machines, totaling 1 hour and 46 minutes of cardio. During commercials and a longer break from the competition I managed to get in a deadlift and calf raise cycle, bent-over rows, and an ab workout. That was between the treadmill and the cycle-fit-thing-I-don’t-know-what-it-is machine. But after 2 hours and 15 minutes in the gym I had seen the Americans win the bronze in bobsledding, listened to the Jamaican bobsled song, and watched some amazing ice dancing!!! I had forgotten my water bottle so I was really thirsty but overall I really enjoyed my workout and being able to watch the Olympics – I’m just one of those people who enjoys multi-tasking. 

Mileage – 3-4 miles (later tonight), yoga

QOD – Just do it.

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Monday Motivation

I’ve had a few people ask recently how I get/stay motivated to work out and I have to say, there is never a single reason that motivates me. It varies from month to month down to day to day. When people specifically ask me what they can do I take it on a person by person basis by evaluating other parts of their life to see what I think would do the trick for them. 

For example: A good friend from school is incredibly budget conscious, one of the ways I motivate myself is by paying for a race early on in my training. For me the financial commitment was enough to get me training and training well. This logic applied to CrossFit too; “I paid for that class I will wake up at 5:45am no matter what.” So I recommended my friend incorporate fitness into her budget to keep her motivated. 

Other ways I stay motivated are: 
1) Setting time, distance, or weight lifting goals 

2) Writing down a schedule on a calendar (I love checking/crossing things off!) 

3) Having an outfit or dress to fit in in the future. 
   – I’m not talking anything crazy here, just 1 size down or something I’d like to better in. 

4) Reading other fitness blogs regularly

5) My massive stash of motivation pictures and quotes
   – I have 2 folders of them on my computer, Used and Unused Fitness Photos, the used are ones I’ve put up on this blog before and I
     keep them to keep motivating myself and the unused are ready and waiting to be put up here! 
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Mileage – Elliptical, Rower, weights workout 

QOD – Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

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Sunday Grubday!

I’m not cooking much this week because I’ll be in San Antonio for 4.5 days this week for the TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) Convention. I am so excited to finally go to this convention and doubly excited to be going as a performer as part of the symphony orchestra! TMEA’s convention is the largest state music educator’s convention in the USA, over 25,000 people attend, and there is an INSANE amount of things to do and see. It’s definitely going to be an awesome musical experience. 

Thankfully unlike our tour last year most of our meals are not provided with limited options or from fast food choices. We receive a per diem to pay for our meals throughout the trip so it’s up to us to budget accordingly. That being said, I made homemade granola bars for breakfast everyday so I could save my per diem for healthy and delicious lunches and dinners. I’m also bringing bananas and apples to eat for breakfast/snacks. I used Peanut Butter Fingers recipe as my base but changed up the mix ins! I used fresh pressed peanut butter from HEB as my nut butter and chia seeds, raisins, and craisins as my “toppings”. I used extra oats and a little extra peanut butter and honey to make my bars a little more substantial. 

Yesterday I went outside for a gorgeous 6.25 mile run!!!
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Despite being cold and drizzly during the week the weather always seems to cooperate and give me perfect weekend running weather! And when I came home I had this delicious tortellini soup/stew concoction waiting for me:
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Find the recipe HERE. I used Neufchâtel instead of cream cheese as always and this was delicious. Ben loved it and there was enough for leftovers for both of us for dinner tonight as well! (Thank goodness because I have zero almost no food in the house!)

Time to log some mega practice hours because there won’t be any way to practice from midday Wednesday until midday Sunday! 

Mileage – 3miles, abs, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. 

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Fitness Friday! And the promised cake recipe!

Yoga 
Ekhart Yoga! One of my new favorite yoga pages on YouTube. I’ve loved all of their sequences! 

Workouts
Here’s a phenomenal list of Leg Workouts from one of my favorite fitness bloggers Peanut Butter Fingers! 

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Running
Toe Yoga?! Check out this unique running tip and several others from Shape! 

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Funny 
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Foodie 
So I wrote on Wednesday that I was looking forward to making my favorite cake and some new healthy frosting. Well let me tell you – we just enjoyed the cake last night sans healthy frosting. The cake itself is incredibly simple and has no eggs, butter, or oil! 
Ingredients
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix 
1 can pumpkin puree 
1 bag chocolate chips 
Directions
1) Mix ingredients
2) Bake in 2 greased and floured cake pans at 350 for 25-29 minutes
3) HEAVEN.

I mentioned this was an old family recipe, and some of y’all reading this are probably thinking “Uhm no I just found that on Pintrest!” Yes, the pumpkin replacement trend has become popular, however I’ve been making this cake (shown to me by my grandmother) since before Pintrest existed; thrifty women have known of the magic of pumpkin for quite some time. The chocolate chips were my addition and I think it’s a delicious extra punch. Normally I top the cake with a homemade, but calorically sinful peanut butter frosting. I wanted to make a greek yogurt frosting, since I love all replacement options, however no matter the amount of vanilla and sugar I added to the greek yogurt I just didn’t like the frosting’s taste so I left the cake beautiful and unfrosted. 

Mileage – CrossFit Circuit workout, Yoga for Runner’s 

QOD – Fit is not a destination, it is a way of life.  

The price of fitness…

A few posts ago I talked about the expense of running, and for awhile I’ve purposely remained blissfully ignorant of the price I paid every month for CrossFit. CrossFit is a workout style I love; it forces me to get up in the morning, I’ve found I can do things I never even considered, and it was fun. Unfortunately my current contract expires on Friday and renewing my contract would mean renewing at new prices. The price before was already steep for me (I’m not saying they are super expensive, I’m just really poor) since I basically live off of my grad student stipend. I never count on gig money for basic living expenses because that money isn’t a guarantee every month and since I had a signed contract, CrossFit was budgeted as a basic living expense. But as I crunched the numbers on the new price I knew it wasn’t smart to sign a new contract. So right now I’m pretty sad. 

Today was my 2nd to last workout and clearly the fates wanted a good laugh and picked 3 of my least favorite/weakest exercises. Power snatches, toes to bar (or knees to elbows for me), and burpees – actually bar facing/jump over burpees. I KNOW that is pretty accurate:
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But I still hate dislike burpees, which obviously means that when I work out on my own I need to keep doing them. 

However, I’m trying to find the good in this. One of the great results is that I can move around my workouts in my schedule more freely. Another also forces me to get back into creating my own routines (and maybe sharing them with you all!). I’m definitely glad I can follow the workouts of my favorite CF gyms and have all the workouts I’ve been saving for/sharing on fitness Friday. Following other fitness bloggers is an amazing thing. 

Be on the recipe lookout!!! 
Tomorrow night Ben and I are going to have dinner with friends and they asked if we would bring dessert. Ben has been talking an awful lot lately about my great-grandmother’s chocolate cake recipe that I make for him so I think I’m going to make that. But I’m going to hunt for a new, healthier frosting/topping that doesn’t negate the healthy components of the cake itself. I don’t even like cake normally (especially chocolate cake I know I’m a terrible female) but I LOVE this cake.  I will be sharing BOTH of those recipes tomorrow – BE READY. SO DELICIOUS. 

Mileage – CrossFit, yoga for runner’s video

QOD – It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold or silver. 

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Sunday Grubday!!!

My usual Sunday cooking started on Saturday this week because I knew I’d be busy cooking for and watching the Super Bowl today! (Go Broncos!!! Not like I care all that much) 

Yesterday I made this delicious smelling (haven’t tasted it yet) Tuscan Soup. I made mine without the chicken so I just started with the 2nd instruction. That’s my lunch for this week and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve really become a huge fan of making soup for lunch because I can cook my protein, veggies, and some carbs all in one pot or my crockpot and it uses less dishes to take to school. 

For dinner with Ben this week, I’m making a crockpot Tortellini and Sausage dish! Other than the cream cheese – which I’m replacing with Neufchâtel – it’s a pretty healthy recipe with spinach and tomatoes and it sounds incredibly delicious and warm. Which will be especially nice since it will be pretty “cold” (For Texas) again this week. 

For the Super Bowl party Ben and I are hosting I made a *hopefully* amazing jalapeño popper dip with Neufchâtel, 0% fat greek yogurt, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeños, and some panko bread crumbs. While I seriously love mayo and sour cream I try to make my dips like I would make the rest of the food I eat so I don’t feel guilty. I also made BBQ steak tip chili (all the fat drained and plenty of hidden veggies) and pull apart Cheesy Bacon Ranch Bread (this is the indulgence). Ben is making nachos and the famous queso recipe passed down in the percussion studio. 

I found a very interesting photo with a statistic stating that if you eat home cooked meals 5 times a week you increase your life expectancy by a decade. I’m curious about the other things that affect this stat, but it’s very encouraging because it doesn’t say eat clean, paleo, gluten free, Atkins, or any other specific diet. It just implies that homemade, semi-healthy meals are always going to be better for you in the long run than the mass amounts of sodium, processed fats, engineered ingredients, and unknown additions that are in the food you could eat while out. I like this because I’m a firm believer in the 80/20 rule and clean eating, but it means that what may matter the most is that I prepare almost all the food I eat myself in my own kitchen where I can control the ingredients – that has to be even better for me since it’s roughly 24 out of the 28 meals I eat in a week…right? 
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I’ve found that the best way to eat at home (and save money) is by meal planning. I think meal planning is an amazing thing and it has totally changed how I approach cooking, grocery shopping, and food in general. 

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Yesterday I got in a nice 6 mile run which made me feel a lot better about the half marathon I have coming up in March – I’m hoping they release the new race course soon so I can start running the hills of the course during my long runs! 

Mileage – Rest day! 

QOD – You are what you eat. 

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