Fitness Friday


Why Humans are the Only Animals that can run marathons! 


PB Fingers works her magic again but this time with an AB WORKOUT! 

Pumps and Iron AMRAP Workout – this girl works you hard with these workouts! Love them! 

Deck of Cards workout!!! I LOVE this idea for traveling or a group workout even?? I can’t wait to try this! 


You can do anything with yoga… even get rid of a MUFFIN TOP

I love this list of ways to motivate yourself to workout! Motivation rulessss. 
28 Little Ways to Convince Yourself to Workout! 

Mileage – 3.3 miles, yoga 

QOD – Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.

Cajun Sliders Recipe and Tuscan Soup Recipe!

This week I made Cajun Sliders from a recipe I pulled out of a magazine. The recipe called for half ground beef and half ground turkey. But to clean it up I just used a whole pound of 99% lean ground turkey and it still tasted amazing.

Here is an image of the recipe page!

The best part was how easy the meal was. I was done in 20 minutes. I broiled my red peppers in my toaster oven for about 6 minutes while the sliders were done cooking in under 10 minutes. Talk about FAST. I was able to make the meal, serve up Ben’s plate and cover it with foil for him to eat later and wrap mine up and take it to go in no time. I served it with peas because I LOVE peas and the extra red peppers that didn’t fit on the sliders. We used whole wheat slider rolls and I halved the mayonnaise in the sauce to make it even healthier.

Now onto the Tuscan Soup! I’ve been eating soup everyday for lunch for the past 6 weeks or so and the weight I’ve been struggling to get rid of that I gained when I started grad school has just fallen off (more on that another day)!

Soup plus fruit, and sometimes a veggie if the soup doesn’t have a substantial amount of veggies, is my lunch 5 days a week and I think it works wonders. The past few soups I’ve pulled from my Weight Watchers cookbook and I loved them – this week is no exception. Here is a link to the soup I made this week (I used wine instead of water, which is in the cookbook!). I also split this soup into 4 portions and I have only needed to eat this and a piece of fruit to be totally full for hours.

Today’s workout was a 5:30 am Camp Gladiator workout with lots of running, lunges, squats, and resistance. I have a strong feeling my glutes are going to be a little sore tomorrow. Tonight I’m also going to do some yoga because I’m getting a massage this afternoon before a concert and I want to go to bed reaping all the relaxing benefits of my massage. I HIGHLY recommend massages for musicians and athletes alike – I feel like my whole body functions better after an intense full body massage! 

Mileage – CG workout, Yoga for Runners

QOD – Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment.



Recovery Week and Upcoming Recipes!

After the strenuous race on Saturday, this week has been a recovery week! And a fun past few days because I got to see the JMU Women’s Basketball team in the NCAA tournament in College Station, TX! While they lost in the 2nd round, they won their first NCAA tournament game since 1991 (which is before some of the team members were born!) and really gave A&M a run for their money in the 2nd round game. I was so excited to watch my favorite JMU sports team play live again and hear the Pep Band – proud alum right here! That band is always amazing and makes every opponents fans fall in love with them because they are THAT good. 

I did my Yoga for Runners on Sunday and Monday morning and Tuesday I did a CG workout. For the most part I actually felt pretty good on Tuesday. I think making sure I wear my compression socks, doing yoga, and foam rolling immediately following a long run makes a huge difference in how I feel after a rough long run. 

Today was supposed to be my first run since the race, but I’m truly exhausted. I’ve hardly slept the past 48 hours and I may have accidentally given myself food poisoning with a bad bag of lettuce….oops. And since it was raining and cold – I have no time to get sick, my recital is 1 month away! – I decided to take it easy today and just go hard tomorrow morning in my CG workout and get a run in on Friday which is my normal rest day. I definitely need to get a full night’s sleep the next few nights to get my body readjusted. I’m normally pretty serious about getting proper sleep (but sometimes it must be sacrificed)!

I missed Sunday Grubday, but tomorrow I HAVE to post this delicious recipe I pulled out of a magazine (probably years ago) and finally tried for the first time this week. Cajun “Sliders” with broiled red peppers. OH MAN. The recipe called for a mix of ground beef and ground turkey but I was sneaky and used 99% lean turkey and the meat seasoning did an amazing job of flavoring. Ben loved it and had no idea that it was ground turkey! I’ll also try to find a link to the delicious (and Weight Watchers) Tuscan sausage soup I’ve been eating for lunch this week.

Mileage – Rest day!

QOD – Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think. (Alberto Salazar)



Bearathon – Half Marathon Recap!

Today I ran the Bearathon Half Marathon for the first time… and they don’t call it the “Toughest Half in Texas” for nothing. The hills start around mile 3 and get increasingly steeper and more strenuous over the next 7 or so miles. After that you find yourself suddenly flat and sad that you were deprived of your great downhill into the last flat 3.5 miles of the run. I know many readers are probably shocked that there are hills in Texas, and while most of Texas is REALLY flat, Cameron Park in Waco is far from flat. Here is a photo of the beautiful cliffs in the park that over look the river. 

So as you can see there is definitely some height there. And if you don’t train for the hills your legs are going to be in for a surprise like mine were. I knew about 2 of the hills but I didn’t expect another 6 miles of it beyond those, which meant it was definitely the most difficult course I’ve ever run. I’ve done 3 other distance races in Texas that have been in “hilly areas” and none of them have had any hills that have compared to this race so I think it’s a qualified nickname. It’s not all horrible though – some of the run is very beautiful and I saw a lot of places that I didn’t even know EXISTED in my city. 

Overall I loved the vibe of the race! Despite a relatively small number of runners (1500 half, 800 5k runners) there were still A LOT of families, friends, and school organizations out on the course cheering people on, even between the aid stations which were at every mile. There aid stations were great, they had gels at miles 4, 6, and 10 I believe plus water and gatorade. I ran with Ben’s handheld water bottle because they were trying to encourage a cup free race and while I didn’t LOVE carrying the bottle at first I enjoyed being able to run around the stations and avoid the traffic of getting water. Most of the time the course was really wide and there was plenty of room at the start which is always nice. 

Ben was my “fan club” at my race today and I saw him just after the start, mile 1, and then he filmed my sprint to the finish. The race is a little tricky to follow along with as a spectator because quite a few major roads do get shut down for the race making it difficult to beat the runner you want to watch at the race to your next location. But it was nice to run a race again where I saw someone I knew afterwards – it was sad to just kinda wander alone after my last half when I went by myself. Ben even let me give him a gross hug! 

One of the coolest parts of the race was seeing so many friends and fellow musicians out on the course with me!!! There were quite of few of us running the race today (for some it was their first half) and we managed to get just some of us together for a picture! 

DESPITE the hills from Hell, I managed to squeak by and run a PR of 2:13:30, beating my previous time by 56 seconds. While I would have loved to have shaved off more time, I realized pretty early on that the hills were against me and I just wanted to finish strong (and uninjured to be honest). If I had trained better geographically my increased speed might have helped me a little more, but now I know how to train for the Waco marathon and the Bearathon next year (I mean I can’t say no to a student discounted race entry!). 

Mileage – 13.1, Yoga for Runner’s video (God help me), and slow painful foam rolling 

QOD – Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you’ve finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that’s all that you can ask for. (Paul Maurer) 


First Camp Gladiator Workout

This morning at o’dark thirty (5:30am) I went to my first Camp Gladiator workout. The workout today was the fitness test – which we will do again in a month at the end of this “camp” or session. I can’t say I love being referred to a “camper”, it takes me back to summer nature camp in elementary and middle school. However that was really the only thing I didn’t like about todays workout.

We warmed up running some laps and then did some moves similar to almost any aerobic class – fast feet, high knees, and butt kicks. We put in some ab work with planks and hands to elbows walking planks. Then we wrote down goals on some index cards and started the AMRAP fitness test.

The test involved running, squats to push press’s, V-ups, plank row with weights, weight lunge, burpees, hand release push-ups, and a few other moves. We had 20 minutes to complete as many rounds of these exercises as possible. I completed 6 rounds and barely into the 7th round. While I didn’t feel like the workout killed me, I felt like I worked hard and got a good burn. The classes are clearly designed around working to your level/potential which I can see makes it a great jumping point for people who may have never worked out or fell off the fitness wagon. It’s also an encouraging environment from what I can tell – very friendly and supportive, with cheers (a little campy-for me) and all! 

As someone coming in with a lot of fitness experience, today’s workout required me to motivate myself to move with a lot of speed to get my heart rate going and make sure I had moderate to heavy weights to feel “the burn”. This contrasts the workouts I was used to at  CrossFit where the workout was intrinsically hard and I had to scale down just to accomplish them. While I think the CrossFit workout style is more my preference because I enjoy being pushed beyond my limits, I definitely think the CG way of working out is a great place to start and even continue once you may have reached your fitness goals especially if fitness is farther down on your totem pole. 

I’m definitely intrigued to see how more of the classes are structured! 

Mileage – CG Fitness Test, Yoga for Runners video, foam roll 

QOD – I’m a competitive person and I love the challenge of mastering new things.


Free Fitness Trials – Anyone Tried Camp Gladiator?

This week I found out that as a graduate student I was offered 1 free cycle/month with Camp Gladiator and decided to do some research. I’d never heard of the program before and read through the website as well as some other reviews online.

In a few minor concepts it reminds me of CrossFit but seems toned down in intensity, for example the most weights they recommend women lifting are 8-15lb hand weights – plus everything is done in a parking lot. What surprised me the most was the cost – despite being in parking lots with no access to showers, open gym times, or high quality equipment – a 6 month contract (you get unlimited classes) seems a bit pricey to me. Although like most gyms the longer your contract the cheaper it is. 

From a work out perspective, I haven’t gone yet – a friend who doesn’t work out regularly went and said it was a good workout but it didn’t scare her away either – I think I’m going to go on Thursday. However a lot of the reviews online about the trainers and workouts themselves are really great. Most people only complain about the financial difficulties they have with the company. I’m intrigued to see how much it pushes me and I’m willing to give it a shot because it’s free, I don’t have CrossFit anymore, and I’ll have just finished my half marathon so maybe some speed training to start my next race training will change things up for me. Because of the prices – even if I loved the class – I probably won’t continue beyond this month because as a broke college student I can’t afford anything right now. I was also a little sketched out by the number of reviews that say it’s really difficult to cancel your membership – I’ll have to investigate that further. I’ve got access to roads to run and the SLC for weights and since I’ve got plane tickets to Europe to save up for no extra fitness expenses for me right now. 

I’ve tried other gyms, not necessarily classes or programs, for free or highly discounted usually when visiting places or when I just moved to Texas and wasn’t officially a student yet. It gave me an interesting perspective on what I like at a gym and what I don’t. I used a free week trial at Gold’s and I also have been to Planet Fitness while visiting friends and I can’t say I LOVED either chain. I’m DEFINITELY more partial to Gold’s business plan, offerings, and overall experience, but they are pretty out of the way for me here in Texas and I would never drive that far to workout when I was so close to the campus gym. Planet Fitness on the other hand, kind of really offended me as someone who enjoys power and olympic lifting and training really hard – I felt entirely unwelcome there because I fit some of their “lunk” descriptions. 

Have any of you tried Camp Gladiator?? What are some fitness trends or classes I should try?! 

Mileage – upper body, abs, elliptical intervals, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die. (Pre) 

*Disclaimer – These are all my own opinions and reviews based on my own research and visits, this is not a sponsored post.*




Sunday Grubday – with St. Patrick’s Day Recipes!

My 3 week meal planning project is 1/3 of the way complete! Yesterday was a cooking for fun kind of day and I made a recipe out of the Giada cookbook (this one!) that my parents gave me for Christmas! I made her ceviche and tomato-avocado salad! 
My thoughts on the dish:
1) I love ceviche, and while she recommended halibut I couldn’t find any so I used sole and I would have preferred a thicker fish. 
2) The ceviche “cooks” for 3 hours in the citrus juice and I think that was a bit too long – the lime was a little over powering! 
3) I LOVED the tomato and avocado salad, I don’t like tomatoes all that much and I still thought it was really fresh and a great vehicle for the ceviche 
4) Overall I would definitely make the dish again but I would hold out searching for the right thickness of fish and maybe marinate for a little less time. 

THEN to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I made Guinness Extra Stout brownies! You can find the recipe HERE – I originally found the recipe through Pintrest. I wanted to make cupcakes with beer but the only recipe I had required a few too many ingredients and was pretty labor intensive which I didn’t have time for. These brownies do have a few steps – but they are totally worth it. They aren’t as cakey as other brownies which I love because I’m not a huge cake fan and they have the aftertaste of a dark stout which makes them all the better for St. Patrick’s Day! Gorgeous brownie photo:

While I didn’t totally plan on it I’m making all my lunches this week pretty green with my Weight Watchers Cookbook Split Pea soup (here’s a link to the recipe) talk about a seriously easy recipe!! Plus my dinner tomorrow and Wednesday (which is also out of Giada’s book) is grilled tofu with a beautiful green avocado cream sauce. 

I’m making some really delicious foil packets this week for dinner with Ben so be on the lookout for that recipe!!! 

Mileage – 7.5 miles 

QOD – Real athletes run, others just play sports. (I find this quote hilarious mostly because almost every sports player has to run at some point in their athletic career)



Waiting to Register for a Race

Tonight I registered for my 3rd half marathon….which is a week from today!!!! I know it seems crazy to wait until only a week before to register (especially since I would have saved a little cash) but I wanted to make bass playing my priority and if the running worked out then I would do the race. 

It is definitely hard to wait to register for a race however. So many races now have limits on participants, fill up quickly, or are even a lottery system. When I found out the Marine Corps Marathon went to a lottery system I was SO sad! The advantages to registering for races on registration day or far in advance are definitely good ones, for example:
– When traveling to a race it allows you to book plane tickets and hotel rooms that suit your schedule 
–  Plus you know exactly how much time you have to prepare for a race and possibly what the course will be like geographically 

Waiting can be a good decision also however, especially when you’re concerned about recovering from an injury or committing time to the proper training. When you’re a regular runner, but not a frequent racer, committing to a 5k, 10k or maybe a 10 miler may not be a big change in your overall lifestyle. But moving from shorter races to a full (or even a half maybe) for the first time effects so much of your life that it necessitates a big time commitment, so waiting it out to register might be a good idea. 

As a poor grad student registering early can save me money – and I totally get that – but waiting and finding a local race saves me more money in the long haul when I don’t need to save for gas. Thankfully this time around the waiting paid off and I was able to practice plenty and still get a good amount of long runs and a taper in before the race. Do I think I will reach my sub 2:00:00 goal on this race? Probably not because I know the hills will throw me some curve balls. BUT I have been running pretty fast lately so I’m hoping for another PR! So here’s to positivity and my last taper long run tomorrow and some great speed and relaxation workouts this week. Time to get my head in the game! 

Mileage – At home CrossFit, Yoga for Runners

QOD – Once you’re beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line. 




Fitness Friday! (with an awesome Runner’s Guide!)

I found these two great stretching and recovery pages recently thanks to Bloglovin’ and Pintrest. While Yoga for Runners from Ekhart Yoga is still my go-to post run stretch sequence, these are quick and great ways to stretch out your body and recover! 
Stretching after Running 
Recovery Workout ideas 

Pumps and Iron is definitely one of my favorite blogs for body weight and lifting exercise and here are two great ones from the last few weeks – Kettlebell Blast and Body-Weight Tabata Workout

And of course I couldn’t leave out Peanut Butter Fingers AWESOME compilation of upper body workouts – this girl is so motivational and has the best workouts (probably one of my favorite fitness bloggers out there for sure!)  




THIS RUNNING GUIDE IS AWESOME!!! I found it on Pintrest and I absolutely love how it’s got so much information organized on it! 






Mileage – 3.2 miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – I’ll make a man out of youuuuuuu!!! 

Wind Running

I was woken up by the wind several times last night and I heard it all morning while I was reading, so I decided to wait until midday for my run today. Ben joined me and he wasn’t joking when he came in my apartment and said it was pretty windy. The run was ROUGH when we were running against the wind, it made my mouth and throat really dry and there was a lot of pressure against my ribcage. 

After we ran I decided to check the weather and we were running in 27 MPH winds!!!!! 

I know wind resistance training is really good for training, but I wasn’t sure what exactly it did for runners. So I decided to do a little research and found THIS article on Runner’s World. I guess we made a good choice to mix up the run both with and against the wind! It gets pretty windy in Texas in the spring months in general and preparing for a race here in a week and a half made running in the wind a good choice.

I run in the elements but not quite as frequently as I should. I do enjoy running in the cold and will often find myself the only person out running on the trail when it is “cold” by Texas standards – however I’m still pretty bad at running in the heat and am hoping to get more consistent this spring and summer running outside. When I ran last summer, I was frequently at the beach getting great breezes off the water, contrasting the very stagnant air and beating sun here in Texas. So hopefully after the half marathon, when the temps creep back up I can focus on shorter, faster runs in warmer weather!
Have you ever run in crazy winds or weather before?

Mileage – 3.75 miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.