Monday, September 30, 2013

8k Training: 6 mile run

I ran 6 miles! This is something I have done only once before, and that was the 10k race I did last spring. For the race, I had Joey running by my side the entire time. I was a bit nervous about this run, partially because of the distance, and a little bit because of the bad feelings left from the run the day before. I decided to just make it an easy run - to go at a nice pace, and to stop if I really needed it. I looked at the map for a long time before leaving, to make sure I knew what to do (part of it was a new route for me), and then headed out. I got an early start than the day before, but it was actually warmer outside since the sun was out. 

All in all, the run was pretty good. I stayed at a really consistent pace the first 4 miles, and then slowed down for a pretty big hill in mile 5. I had some shin/knee pain in the beginning, but it subsided once I got to the middle of the run. My feet definitely hurt a lot - I think that for longer runs, my feet get sweaty and start slipping around in my shoes. This forces my toes to slam into the front of my shoe, and the ends of my toes get lots of blisters. At the very end of the run, my left knee started hurting a whole lot. I'm used to pain in the outside of my knee, from tight IT bands, but this was on the inside part of the knee. I pushed through it anyway (which Joey told me was insane, since I could have injured myself), and it stopped hurting after I finished the run and started walking. 

I'm mostly just really proud of myself for doing it! Since I went at a slightly slower pace than the 10k race I did, this was my longest run in terms of time spent running. Next weekend I'm supposed to do 7 miles! I told Joey he'll have to help me find a less hilly route to do. Once I accomplish 7 and 8 miles runs, I might think about doing the Charlottesville 10 miler. It's a distance I never thought I could possibly do, but now I'm starting to think it may be possible.

Splits: (average pace, pace in last 1/2 mile)
0.50: 5:07 (10:14)
1.00: 10:19 (10:19, 10:24) last mile 10:19
1.50: 15:20 (10:13, 10:02)
2.00: 20:31 (10:15, 10:22) last mile 10:12
2.50: 25:37 (10:15, 10:12)
3.00: 30:46 (10:15, 10:18) last mile 10:15
3.50: 35:57 (10:16, 10:22)
4.00: 41:09 (10:17, 10:24) last mile 10:23
4.50: 46:25 (10:19, 10:32)
5.00: 52:02 (10:24, 11:14) last mile 10:53
5.50: 57:17 (10:25, 10:30)
6.00: 1:02:43 (10:27, 10:52) last mile 10:41

Heart Rate Monitor Results:
Duration: 1:05:49
Calories Burned: 780
Average Heart Rate: 171 (88.6% max)
Maximum Heart Rate: 185 (95.9% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:15:56

8k Training: 3 mile run + speed intervals

I had an interesting run on Saturday. I stayed up way later than I should have Friday night, which means that I slept in on Saturday, and woke up starving. I knew there was no way I could go running while that hungry, so I ate breakfast and had coffee. Several hours later, once everything had settled, I decided to go for that run. I thought it was going to be pretty warm outside, and since I had missed my window of cool weather first thing in the morning, I decided to go running in just a sports bra - sans shirt. I spent a lot of time in front of the mirror before I left the house, trying to think about whether I was comfortable with it or not. The only time I did it before was for a quick 1.5 mile jog, and late afternoon, when it was really hot out. I eventually decided to just go for it, mostly because I convinced myself that I looked good.

I was planning on doing a 3 mile loop, and then going into the gym to do the speed intervals on the treadmill. The loop took me toward downtown, then back down Main St to go past the Corner. When I got outside, I realized it was cooler than I initially thought. The sky was overcast, and without the sun beating down, it actually felt a bit cool. I thought that was perfect, since I always prefer running weather on the cooler side. When I was in the downtown area, I got some slightly funny looks by some older people. I thought that was mostly because they were confused as to why I was wearing just a sports bra when it wasn't hot out. I think that non-runners don't realize how overheated you can become while running, and that once you get started, it feels 15-20 degrees warmer.

It was once I got to the Corner, that things went downhill (only metaphorically, since I was actually running uphill). It was extremely crowded, meaning I had to weave in and out of crowds of people. The good thing about the cool weather was that I wasn't quite as sweaty as usual - otherwise I probably would have been spraying the rude people who refused to move with sweat. Unfortunately, not only were the undergrads roaming around the Corner rude in their refusal to allow any space for people to pass, but they were extremely judgmental. I'm sure some of it was in my head, since I was already a bit self conscious, but it started with looks. Most of the girls I passed looked me up and down, and then made a face once they got to my exposed stomach. It was when I passed a group of frat (I'm assuming) guys, when I just about lost it. There were 3 or 4 guys walking towards me, and one of them pointed at me, laughed, and then said "cough FATTIE cough" and looked at his friends like he expected a reward. He had clearly been incredibly clever.

I turned up my music to avoid hearing anything else like that, and just kept going. I got to the gym and pounded out my speed intervals, and once I was done there, everything really hit me. At first I was stinking mad. How dare those stupid beer-guzzling frat boys and bitchy herd mentality girls judge me in any way? They probably can't do half of what I do physically. But then the shame set in. I started to feel bad about myself, and wondered if maybe I did look fat, if I was ridiculous to go out not completely covered up. I felt humiliated that I was targeted, and that I made myself a target.

Now, a few days later, I'm not upset about it anymore. I'm still a bit angry, but not nearly as much. I'd like to say - screw them, I'll run in a sports bra if I want to! But I don't know if I'm that brave. Thankfully, since the weather is cooling down (except for this week - high of 80 almost every day???), I will be wearing a shirt out of necessity on my runs. Maybe next spring, by the time it gets warm again, I'll feel good enough about myself that I'll run without a shirt. Maybe by then, I won't care what people say/think.

Splits: (average pace, pace in last 1/2 mile)
0.50 miles: 4:55 (9:50)
1.00 miles: 9:42 (9:42, 9:34)
1.50 miles: 14:35 (9:43, 9:46)
2.00 miles: 19:16 (9:38, 9:22)
2.50 miles: 24:17 (9:43, 10:02)
3.00 miles: 28:54 (9:38, 9:14)

I did 3 sets of 0:20 at 7.8mph with rests of 2:00 at 5.8mph in between.

Heart Rate Monitor Results:
Duration: 0:39:59
Calories Burned: 473
Average Heart Rate: 170 (88.1% max)
Maximum Heart Rate: 187 (96.9% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:10:41

Spartacus-Style Workout (Focus on Core)

Remember how I said that I was incredibly sore from Wednesday's workout? I was still really sore on Friday. Thankfully, I got less sore throughout the day. Thursday I definitely got more sore throughout the day. I put together a sparty workout that would mostly avoid all of my sore areas. In order to do that, I had to do a lot of abs/core exercises. This made it an easier sparty than usual, which was a welcome change.

One thing - I had originally included stability ball hamstring curls, but Joey told me to get rid of those if I wanted to be able to walk the next day! My butt and legs were already too sore to handle that. I switched them out for the inbred cousins. If you aren't crazy sore going into this workout, then by all means, do the hamstring curls. They're a fun exercise, and the stability ball is already being used.

Heart Rate Monitor Results:
Duration: 0:32:23
Calories Burned: 228
Average Heart Rate: 127 (65.8% max)
Maximum Heart Rate: 164 (85.0% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:20:53

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Finds: 9/29/13

Warning - I came across a new blog this week and went crazy pinning her recipes! Girl Versus Dough - I love your recipes!


Browned Butter Dutch Baby Pancakes with Vanilla Roasted Pears Dutch Babies are one of those things that look so crazy impressive, but are really incredibly simple to make. It doesn't hurt that they also taste amazing, and are the perfect thing to whip up for a weekend breakfast. This version was fancified with browned butter and roasted pears - the perfect variation for a fall morning.

Apple Cider Pancakes with Caramel Apple Syrup These pancakes are infused with apple cider, and then covered in a sweet and delicious caramel apple syrup for the perfect fall breakfast.

Banana Pancakes with Coconut Caramel Sauce Buttermilk pancakes, made with mashed banana, are topped with a delicious coconut caramel sauce made with coconut milk and brown sugar. 


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Lightened Up I've made the pumpkin cream cheese muffins many many times from Annie's Eats. This version uses honey to sweeten the cream cheese filling, instead of powdered sugar. It also uses whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour, a bit less sugar, and some applesauce in place of the oil. This makes it a lot more acceptable to eat these for breakfast!

Honey Chai Roasted Almonds Roasted almonds with chai spices and honey to sweeten them up. No other explanation required.

Stovetop Spinach and Artichoke Dip This would be perfect for a weekend of watching football. If it saves time, you can cook it ahead of time and then reheat later. I love that it doesn't use mayonnaise, like a lot of similar recipes do.

Garlic Mushroom Queso Fundido I didn't even know what a fundido was when I came across this recipe, and let me tell you - I still don't really know what one is. But I don't care because this looks so ridiculously good. Melty cheese and garlicky mushrooms are my kind of food, no matter the name.

Savory Ricotta Scallion Scones Who says scones are just sweet? These savory scones are really like a slightly denser and fluffier version of a flaky biscuit, thanks to the addition of ricotta. These would be perfect as a snack, or as a side to soup.

Panettone Muffins Panettone is so good. I made a homemade version once myself. However, it's such a big giant thing, that you don't know what to do with the leftovers. It dries out really quickly. These little mini versions would be perfect, and would make a great holiday gift.

Vanilla Glazed Rhubarb Oatmeal Scones These buttery, flaky scones have the perfect combination of sweet (from the vanilla glaze) and tart (from the rhubarb). Make these with either fresh or frozen rhubarb.

Smoked Gouda, Sundried Tomato and Parsley Muffins From the author - these muffins are tart, creamy and light all at the same time, and the combination of wheat and white flours gives them added texture and depth of flavor. They taste unbelievable straight from the oven — the shredded gouda cheese pockets still warm and gooey and melty — but they also taste great after they’ve rested overnight and let their flavors meld and develop. 

Cheddar Squash Muffins Another savory muffin! These use mashed butternut squash, scallions, and cheddar cheese for loads of flavor.

Oatmeal Raisin Scones These are scones that are healthy enough to eat for breakfast every day. They are made with whole wheat flour and oats, and are very lightly sweetened.


Cinnamon Apple Pecan Bread This bread looks incredible. This rich bread is a modified brioche, so it has lots of butter, and it is filled with cinnamon, apple and pecans. You roll it up like a cinnamon roll, then cut it down the middle and give it a twist, so it ends up looking like babka in the end.

Cracked Wheat Bread This bread is pretty cool - in addition to normal bread flour, you take cracked wheat that you first soak in water. It adds a lot of cool texture to the bread, while of course making it healthy.

Strawberry Almond Bread While the name of this bread sounds like a quick bread, this is indeed a yeast bread that would be good for sandwiches. The strawberries just melt into the bread, and the almonds give a slight crunch.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread I made whole wheat pita bread once, and it didn't turn out well. They didn't get fluffy, and most of them didn't form a pocket on the inside. This recipe looks perfectly fluffy and thick, and sounds to be pretty easy to make.

Chevre, Onion and Spinach Stuffed Rolls These are almost like strombolis, in the sense that it's bread stuffed with cheese and veggies. But in this case, it's goat cheese and caramelized onions with spinach. Eat them as is, or dip in marinara sauce.

Lemon Sea Salt Focaccia This very simple focaccia is topped with sea salt, rosemary, and whole slices of lemon. It looks so beautiful!

Triple Chocolate Chip Challah Challah is the most beautiful bread in the world. This version is a dessert-style challah, with three kinds of chocolate chips. It would make fantastic french toast or bread pudding!

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls Somehow potato breads always taste better than regular breads. These rolls use sweet potato, as well as browned butter, to really amp up the flavor. These would be perfect for a regular dinner, or for Thanksgiving.

Multi-Grain Focaccia with Herbs and Garlic This focaccia utilizes many grains - whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, ground flax, and oat flour. It is topped with garlic, cheese, and fresh thyme and rosemary. It takes a while to come together, since you make a poolish before making the dough, but the results are worth it. 


Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Wings Oven baked chicken wings tossed in a spicy honey mustard sauce. A must for your game day spread!

Kale, Corn and Feta Cheese Galette This savory galette is filled with kale, corn, dill and feta cheese. This is a fun way to use kale.

Shrimp Corn and Pepper Quesadillas These quesadillas combine the elements of a fajita plate but jams them all into a crispy/cheesy quesadilla. Shrimp is cooked in a skillet, Peppers, onions and corn get a little char and garlic bite. They are all tucked into a pepper jack lined tortilla with Tabasco Green Jalapeno sauce.

Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sour Cream Sauce I love savory dishes that incorporate pumpkin as a fall flavor. People forget that pumpkin doesn't taste like pumpkin pie - it's just like any other squash. I would obviously make these without chicken (or only put chicken in Joey's half), but this sounds like a perfect dinner for fall. It makes a lot, so yay leftovers!

Creamy Lemon One Pot Pasta Everyone is making their own version of Martha Stewart's one pot pasta! I've seen a lot that use tomatoes and onions, but this is the first that I've seen with a creamy sauce. I'll have to give it a try!

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole This is definitely comfort food. It's pretty simple, with cooked pasta, tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, pesto, lots of cheese, and a hint of cream and balsamic vinegar.

Shortcut Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto Have you ever spent hours standing in front of the stove, patiently stirring a pot of risotto? In this recipe, you don't have to! You add all of the liquid at once, which not only saves time (and arm muscles), but also allows you to cook the squash at the same time.

Honey Roasted Vegetable + Smoked Gouda Baked Penne More baked pasta dishes! A ton of veggies are cooked with oil and honey, and then layered with cooked penne, tomato sauce, and cheese - lasagna style. This is a great way to use up lots of random veggies in your fridge, and to turn them into a meal that will give you leftovers for days!

Roasted Squash with Thai Curry Squash and Spinach Filling Small squash are roasted in the oven until tender, and filled with a Thai green curry, made with squash and spinach.

Deep Dish Spinach Tomato Pizza This deep dish pizza is cooked in a castiron skillet. The crust is topped with lots of provolone cheese, chopped spinach, tomatoes, and more cheese. You don't need to go to Chicago for good deep dish pizza!

Creamy Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Lasagna This lasagna is filled with mushrooms and caramelized onions! The creamy sauce uses evaporated milk and dried mushrooms for even more mushroom flavor. This is perfect for a cool night, and gives lots of leftovers. 


Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Biscuits Use the last of your summer tomatoes for this recipe. Onions are caramelized, then tossed with cherry tomatoes and seasoned. The topping is a simple drop biscuit that's loaded with the best cheese ever - Gruyere. 

Zucchini Corn Pancakes Crunchy sweet corn is combined with soft fresh zucchini and tangy sharp cheddar cheese. They are mixed with flour, oil and eggs to form fritters, and are cooked in just a tiny bit of oil. They are great with salsa and sour cream. 


Apple Pie Cookies The best of apple pie, in cookie form. This recipe uses mostly ready-made items, like store-bought pie crust, apple pie filling, and caramel sauce, but I'm sure you could sub in homemade versions. You basically roll out your pie crust, pour on some caramel sauce and apple pie filling, cover with a lattice pie crust, and then cut out into cookie shapes. These sound like perfect portable mini pies.

Fresh Cinnamon Layer Cake This is a simple, rustic layer cake in appearance only. Instead of using pre-ground cinnamon, you make your own freshly grated cinnamon, which must boost the flavor to crazy levels. I'm a major cinnamon lover, so this sounds fantastic!

Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars These bars have three layers - an oatmeal cookie crumb layer, followed by a pumpkin pie layer, and then topped with more crumb. They definitely have more cookie than pumpkin, so you can play with the ratios if desired. They're said to be best slightly chilled, or eat them warm out of the oven with ice cream.

Pumpkin Magic Bars Everyone loves magic bars (also known as 7 layer bars)! These are a fall-inspired version with pumpkin. Instead of a classic graham cracker crust, gingersnap cookies are used. Pumpkin puree is mixed in with the condensed milk, and poured right over the top. I must try these!

Skillet Cranberry Vanilla Buckle A buckle is described as a cake that has fruit in it, and usually some more on top. This cake bakes up beautifully in a skillet - it is moist inside, but crunchy on top. The cranberries burst as they cook and give the cake so much flavor.

Browned Butter Pumpkin Blondies These are the typical dense, chewy blondie, but with the addition of browned butter, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. They are delicious with or without the browned butter frosting that accompanies this recipe.

One Bowl Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies These very simple cookies can be whipped up and baked in 30 minutes! They use melted butter and light brown sugar, which helps keep them chewy.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls The classic cinnamon roll is given a holiday twist - molasses is added straight to the dough, ginger is added to the regular cinnamon filling, and more cinnamon is added to the glaze.

Orange Pecan Sticky Buns Like my favorite cinnamon rolls, these rise in the fridge overnight, making the prep time in the morning very minimal. The dough and filling are infused with orange zest, and the caramel topping is brightened with both zest and juice.

Braided Lemon Cream Cheese Bread This very intricate bread is actually very simple to make. The bread is rolled out, a cream cheese filling is spread on the center, topped with lemon curd. The two sides are cut into strips, which are overlapped onto the filling.

Spiced Pumpkin Baklava Baklava is one of those things that is on my list of recipes to try, but always seems like too much work. I think the addition of pumpkin to this recipe immediately jumps it to the top of my list!



Things I Like: The real differences between single life and being in a relationship

34 Insanely Simple 2-Ingredient Recipes Cookie Monster

Friday, September 27, 2013

8k Training: 4 mile easy run

Like the title suggests, I was supposed to run 4 miles yesterday. I couldn't do it until after work, and I think you all know how I feel about running in weather warmer than 60 F. I decided to do half outside, and half on the treadmill. I planned a small loop that was 2.33 miles total, and was exactly 2 miles at the beginning of a hill. I figured if I was tired, I could just walk back the rest of the way, and do 2 miles on the treadmill. If I was feeling good, I could run the whole way back, and then do a bit less on the treadmill. I forgot to start runkeeper until I had been going for 1/4 mile, so I'm glad that I already knew exactly how long the route was, and where the 2 mile marker was. I ended up doing the whole 2.33 miles. I felt a bit funny walking into the gym already covered in sweat, but oh well.

I don't know if the running helped with my sore muscle recovery at all. Sometimes it's really helpful to get my legs going. My body was (and still is) just so sore that it's hard to tell. This is probably the most sore I've been since I started working out regularly. I'm glad I pushed myself to go out on my run. This is the most consistently I've followed the training plan since I started. Maybe that's why I'm so sore - my muscles were already sore going into Wednesday's workout due to all of the extra running.

I did the 2.33 miles outside in just over 24 minutes, and then did the remaining 1.67 miles inside in just over 17 minutes. Not bad for my "easy run."

Heart Rate Monitor Results:
Note - I think that the first part wasn't recording - I happened to look down at my watch at one point and it said it was trying to connect. For that reason, I'm showing the outside and inside parts separately as well as combined.

Duration: 0:24:37, 0:17:01 = 41:38
Calories Burned: 248, 194 = 442
Average Heart Rate: 167, 168 = 167
Max Heart Rate: 182, 179 = 182
Time in Zone: 0:05:52, 0:02:23 = 0:08:15

Peach Crumb Bars

Whenever I have a committee meeting, I like providing coffee, fresh fruit, and a baked good. I know it isn't required of us, but I feel like it helps get everyone in a good mood.

In the past, I've made blueberry coffee cake, chocolate chip cookie bars, and I've brought in local donuts. This time I decided on another kind of cookie bar, since they're easy to make, and easy to transport.

We had 2 open jars of peach jam in the fridge (one that was made in July that was being used for breakfast that week, and one that had just been made, but wasn't filled high enough to boil). I think Joey had another jar at work, so we needed to use some of this up before it went bad! I looked for some cookie bars that had a jam filling, and came across one that called for raspberry jam. I figured it would work just as well with peach, and went ahead making that.

A few things I'll mention about the recipe. First, I think you could get away with less of the crumb mixture. You mix up everything but the jam, and then put 2/3 on the bottom, top with jam, and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 on top. We had so much of it, that when I sprinkled the remaining 1/3 on top, the peach jam was no longer visible. I think because of so much topping, it also took forever to bake. The recipe suggested to cook for 30 minutes, mine had to cook for 45-50 minutes. The finished product however, was great. If you'd rather have a less thick bar, I would suggest making 3/4 of the crumble mixture (that would be 1 1/3 cup quick oats, 1 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 3/4 tsp baking soda, pinch salt, 1/2 cup almonds, and 1 2/3 cup butter). Otherwise, just be prepared to keep increasing the baking time.

Another note - we only have raw almonds that still have their skins on. I put them in a metal bowl, and poured boiling water over them. After 2-3 minutes, I drained the water, dumped them on paper towels, and just slid off the skins. They come off really easily.

Recipe: Peach Crumb Bars
Slightly Adapted from Big Girls, Small Kitchen
Yield: 35 bars

2 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (18 tbsp)
1 3/4 cup quick oats + 2 tbsp (or measure out 2 cups and take out 2 tbsp)
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of your favorite jam - peach, strawberry or raspberry would all be great

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 metal pan with parchment paper, trying to go up the sides about an inch.
Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and almonds. Pour into the butter, and mix until it is well combined.
If you have a cooking scale, measure the crumble mixture and dump 2/3 of it onto the lined pan. Otherwise, just eyeball it.
Press out 2/3 of the mixture onto the lined pan, trying to make it as even as possible. Use damp hands if it starts to stick to you.
Pour the jam on top, and use an offset spatula to spread it out evenly. Avoid the very edges.
Break the remaining crumble into pieces, and place them on top of the jam.
Bake for ~30 minutes (or up to 50), or until the center is set, and the top is golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then cut into squares with a sharp knife. I cut it into ~1.8x1.8inch squares, which was 7 rows by 5 rows.
Keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or refrigerated for up to a week.

Gruyere, Fresh Fig and Pecan "Grilled" Cheese

Joey always comes up with good ideas for food I should make. He came home from the store the other day with a package of fresh figs, saying that I had to make a gruyere and fig grilled cheese with them. I was sold on the idea! He said he had seen something similar online, using fig jam. Since it's fig season right now, why not make it with fresh figs?

This is really simple, so I'm not going to write it out in recipe format. Use your favorite bread - I used the honey wheat bread I've been making every week. Sprinkle some chopped pecans or walnuts on one piece of bread, top with lots of gruyere cheese, and then put in the toaster oven until the cheese has melted. Top with sliced fresh figs, and then the other slice of bread, and enjoy! I think this could also benefit from a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of black pepper, to really play up the sweet and savory combination.

Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Joey and I watch Food Network A LOT. We religiously watch Iron Chef every week (and Next Iron Chef, when it's on), and have seen almost every episode of Chopped. Guy Fieri kind of annoys us, but we still watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives sometimes. Joey was watching it one day when he saw them making something that sounded really great. He found the video on youtube, and then we proceeded to watch it, pausing every few seconds so we could write down what they were doing.

They were making spaghetti squash marinara. You cook the spaghetti squash, and then fork it out to get nice long spaghetti-like strands, and mix that with marinara sauce and a bunch of cooked veggies. You dump all of that back into your spaghetti squash shells, top with fresh mozzarella cheese, and put it in the oven until the cheese is nice and melty. We've made this a bunch of times now, but usually always use store-bought marinara. This time we decided to make our own, and it was really tasty!

This was a perfect date night dinner, accompanied by a glass of white wine :)

*Also, this recipe is completely gluten-free! Granted, spaghetti squash doesn't exactly = spaghetti. I still think this counts as a really filling meal, and you forget that it's basically entirely veggies (plus cheese).

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Marinara
Adapted from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Yield: 2 LARGE or 4 small servings

1 large spaghetti squash
olive oil
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup cauliflower, in bite-size pieces
1 cup broccoli, in bite-size pieces
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 jar marinara sauce (or make your own! recipe below)
2 balls fresh mozzarella, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
(Carefully) cut open the spaghetti squash, and scoop out the slimy stringy flesh and seeds.
Rub the open sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Turn oven temp up to 450 F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Put the carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms and onion on the sheet, toss with 1 tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
Once the spaghetti squash is cool, take a fork to scrape out the flesh. Run the tines of the fork down the squash, from stem end to bottom, creating long strands. Be careful not to puncture the skin. Put the squash in a large bowl, and mix in the marinara sauce and cooked veggies. Carefully fill the squash halves with the veggie mixture.
Lower oven temperature to 350 F.
Top with the fresh mozzarella, put back on the foil-lined sheet, and put in the oven. Cook for ~20 minutes, or until the veggies are bubbling and the cheese has melted.
Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Recipe: Homemade (Easy) Marinara Sauce
Adapted slightly from Barefoot Contessa

1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 medium yellow onions, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine (we used red cooking wine - don't judge!)
28oz canned crushed or diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (we used 1 tsp since the cooking wine was salted)
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat oil in a large (at least 12 inches) skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until translucent - 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the red wine, and scrape up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to high, and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Ready to be baked - coated with oil, salt and pepper

Just out of the oven! Look at that melted cheese

My half, with a glass of white wine. Don't judge the crazy messy coffee table with all of my stuff everywhere (don't you like my nail polish colors?)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One Pan Pasta - Whole Wheat Linguine with Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic and Onions

This recipe has been all over the blogging world since it came out in the June edition of Martha Stewart Living. I first saw Deb's version of it, using farro, and thought it sounded delicious. Then I started seeing the versions that use linguine, and wondered how it could possibly work. I finally decided that I had to make it. I sent Joey out to the store Tuesday night to get the necessary ingredients, so I could make it on Wednesday (last night).

I started out optimistic - everyone said it worked, so it had to work for me! Then I became apprehensive - my pan wasn't quite big enough for the noodles to lay flat. I added a bit extra of everything to make up for the fact that I had 13+oz linguine instead of 12oz. At first I had a really hard time getting everything to fit in, and I was afraid the water level was too low (I didn't add any extra water to compensate). Once the water got hot, and the noodles became more flexible, I was concerned that there was too much liquid! I thought there was no way this would cook down to make a sauce.

But lo and behold, it all came together! The sauce was really creamy and thick. Joey was actually a little weirded out by how creamy and starchy it was - I think if we made it again, we would use a can of diced tomatoes to even it out, as some others have done. It was comforting and delicious, and I topped mine with roasted shrimp, torn fresh basil, and a ton of freshly grated parmesan cheese (this is when I use the good stuff!)

Recipe: One Pan Pasta - Whole Wheat Linguine with Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic and Onions
Adapted slightly from Lottie + Doof
Yield: 4 large servings

13.25 oz whole wheat linguine (that's just the size of the box)
14oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1.5 medium onions, sliced thinly
9 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1/2-3/4 tsp red pepper flakes (we just ran out of that, so I used Trader Joe's South African Smoke seasoning)
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4.5 cups water
lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Put the linguine, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pepper flakes, sprigs basil, oil, salt and pepper in a large, deep pan with straight sides. Add water. Bring to a boil over high heat. If your noodles don't quite fit, just keep moving them around until they're soft enough to bend.

Stir and turn the pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente, and water has mostly evaporated. This will take about 9-11 minutes.

Serve with extra basil, parmesan cheese, and shrimp or chicken.

Everything barely fit! This is before I added the oil and water

I managed to get everything submerged in the water. You can see it's boiling away

Finished product! Look how thick and creamy the sauce is!

Comfort in a bowl

Postponed KB Workout

Last night I had a really hard KB workout. I was making up for taking Monday off, and did KB on Wednesday instead of the normal Monday. I don't know if the workout itself was really difficult, or if my body was just dead, but I was exhausted! The first set took me FOREVER, and then I barely had any energy left for the second set.

I had been planning on getting through the 2nd set three times, but I was too tired for that. I went two times through, and then did the 10 and 5 reps exercises a 3rd time through, for a total of 230 reps. I did the 20 American Swings the first time through, but was barely able to do that. I switched it to regular Swings for the second time through.

I am crazy sore already today. My butt muscles are aching because of the high pulls, my lower back hurts from everything basically, and my upper back and arms are dead because of 80 freakin pushups.

I took off the heart rate monitor once I finished KB - before I got to abs.

HRM Results:
Duration: 1:20:31
Calories Burned: 735
Average Heart Rate: 146 (75.6% max)
Max Heart Rate: 169 (87.6% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 1:12:50

Lifting Wednesday Workout

Last Wednesday I had a committee meeting. Basically every 6-12 months, we need to meet with our thesis committee and give them an update on our research. The first time we do this, we are presenting our entire proposed project, and they have to grant us permission to continue on with the PhD track. Each subsequent time, they are making sure that we are still on track. While it's still stressful to prepare for it, it doesn't have quite the same consequences that the first meeting has. I got some good news from my committee - they told me not to do a lot of the experiments I had proposed, and to start writing the paper that I will have to get published in order to graduate. They want a draft of this paper by January/February.

After the meeting was over, I went home. I was so exhausted from weeks of work and preparation. My plan was to change out of my nice clothes, eat a late lunch, and then just veg out watching tv, and take a nap once I got sleepy enough. I had only gotten through eating lunch (I was too hungry to even change first), when my boss sent me an email asking me to stop in her office when I had a chance. Ugh. I threw on some comfy clothes and headed back into lab. As annoying as it was, I really wanted to talk things through with her while everything was fresh in our minds. We had a good talk, I chatted with someone else in the lab, and then I headed back. Whole thing took maybe an hour, including travel time.

I had planned on resting for a while and then hitting the gym later on. Since that took up some time, I ended up resting longer than planned. I woke up with a start at 6:45, and remembered I still had to go to the gym. I changed into my workout clothes, and used a lifting workout from a few weeks ago. I did only one time through, and just did it at the gym downstairs. Joey was impressed that I was able to go straight from a nap to the gym, and that I did anything in the first place. So...yay me!

I didn't bother with the heart rate monitor, since I knew it would be a relatively short workout (~30-45 min), and this kind of workout is difficult to track with that.

I believe I used the 15lb weights for most of it and 5lb weights for lateral raises.

KB + Yoga Flexible Strength

I did another combination of kettle bells and yoga flexible strength last week. I end up being at the gym for a really long time (~5:15-8), but it's so worth it. My muscles were sore for days!

I did a really hard KB workout. I stole some stuff from Joey's site, per the usual, but didn't realize how hard the first set was going to be! I originally planned on doing 3 sets, but once I got through the first one, I knew that was definitely not going to happen.

Heart Rate Monitor:
Duration: 0:54:55
Calories Burned: 468
Average Heart Rate: 158 (81.9% max)
Max Heart Rate: 178 (92.2% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:37:39

I had about 10-15 minutes to rest before starting yoga. I changed clothes, which really helped. The class was really good!

Heart Rate Monitor:
Duration: 1:00:14
Calories Burned: 289
Average Heart Rate: 108 (56.0% max)
Max Heart Rate: 132 (68.4% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:02:22

Spartacus-Style Workout

I did my sparty last Thursday (September 19th), instead of Friday, since we left early on Friday for the beach. My usual partners in crime joined me for the workout. This time, instead of setting up 5 separate stations that we rotated through, I set up a mat for each of us, and put all of the weights and equipment in the middle. I think it worked out pretty well, although some mats were closer to the equipment than others.

We made it through two sets before everyone decided that was enough, and then I stuck around for a third set. I think the best part of the night was when I was making my way through the third set, after everyone else had left. I had left the armband with Joey, so he could try it out for a run, so I wasn't listening to any music. While doing the inbred cousins, some guy said "impressive" to me as he was walking past on the track. I just said thanks and smiled at him, while continuing to rock my way through them. And did a little happy dance on the inside.

I didn't wear my heart rate monitor this time - I didn't feel like dealing with the strap, and knew that results would be off slightly just due to the additional time it takes to explain everything with the workout newbies.

Workout Lessons Learned:

#7 Always work your hardest while at the gym - you never know who is watching you. Your hard work might inspire someone else to work hard as well. Think about it as paying it forward. All of the competitive guys there will want to be working at least as hard as you are. Make them work for it :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

8k Training: 3 mile easy run + 4x speed intervals

After a couple weeks of only doing weekend runs, I'm trying to get back to regular running. I was telling Joey, that there's no way I'll be able to increase the mileage each weekend if I'm not doing anything during the week to help!

Last night I did my running on the treadmill. I did 3 miles at 5.7mph (10:31 pace), then kicked it up for 4 sets of speed intervals. For each, I did 20 seconds at 7.7mph (the treadmill will let you increase the speed by up to 2mph if you hold it down - it takes a lot longer to do any more than that), followed by a 2 min recovery at 5.7mph. For the last one, I did 1 min+ at 7.7mph, and then slowed down to a walk. In the running, I did 3.85 miles total in 39:50. In the total time I was on the treadmill, I did 4.25 miles in 46:16.

I've been having some troubles with my IT band - I'm not sure if I've mentioned that here or not. A few months ago I noticed some knee pain, and now it's pretty regularly inflamed. On Monday, I was supposed to do a strength workout, but Joey and I both played hooky. We came home early, and curled up on the couch watching a movie (Sergeant Bilko) until he had to go to a meeting at 8. I think we both needed the day off (Friday and Sunday were technically off days, but 5.5 hours in the car isn't great for your legs either).

During the run last night, I could really feel the tightness in my knee and outer shin. I'm going to start trying to really work on my IT band with stretching and rolling. We have both "the stick" as well as a mini foam roller, and I've been using those to help loosen it up. If I can't work this out on my own in the next week or so, I'm going to look into some kind of knee brace or compression tights. Up until the last week or so, the pain had only been post-running. Now that it's giving me some troubles while running, I really want to fix this sooner rather than later.

Heart Rate Monitor Results:
Duration: 0:41:18
Calories Burned: 444
Average Heart Rate: 162 (83.9% max)
Max Heart Rate: 181 (93.8% max)
Time in Zone (65-85% max): 0:21:05

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 Mile Run in Bethany Beach

I went to the beach this past weekend! My parents recently bought a beach house in Bethany Beach, Delaware, and this was my first time getting to see it. We used to spend a week or two at the Delaware beaches every summer when I was growing up, first going to Fenwick Island, then switching to Bethany as I got older. I hadn't been in years, and was really looking forward to it.

I knew I would have to do a long run while I was there, and thought that this would be a nice opportunity to increase my pace a bit. I could take advantage of the completely flat terrain. We got in early Friday night, and met my family in Rehoboth to go to Dogfish Head (Joey was so excited!!). We got up Saturday morning to do our long runs (mine was 5 miles, Joey's was 10).

We both had a hard time with our run. Joey ended up doing 11.5 miles instead of 10, but had a hard time keeping up his pace. I started to get tired almost immediately, and didn't go any faster than I did in my last (very hilly) 5 mile run in Charlottesville. I ran from the beach house right to the beach, did a few loops on the (very tiny) boardwalk, and then ran back. Once I got closer to the beach, the sun was just beating down on me, and wore me out. I kept up a good pace in the first two miles, but then just got progressively slower and slower. I'm glad I still pushed through to at least finish the run.

Once I got back, I felt a lot better. I had done my exercise for the weekend and could completely enjoy myself!

Splits: (overall pace, pace in last 1/4 mile)
0.25 2:23 (9:32, 9:32)
0.50 4:46 (9:32, 9:32)
0.75 7:15 (9:40, 9:56)
1.00 9:28 (9:28, 8:52) last mile 9:28
1.25 11:58 (9:34, 10:00)
1.50 14:17 (9:31, 9:16)
1.75 16:48 (9:36, 10:04)
2.00 19:12 (9:36, 9:36) last mile 9:44
2.25 21:48 (9:41, 10:24)
2.50 24:20 (9:44, 10:08)
2.75 26:59 (9:49, 10:36)
3.00 29:32 (9:51, 10:12) last mile 10:20
3.25 32:09 (9:54, 10:28)
3.50 34:43 (9:55, 10:16)
3.75 37:20 (9:57, 10:28)
4.00 40:00 (10:00, 10:40) last mile 10:28
4.25 42:25 (9:59, 9:40)
4.50 44:58 (10:00, 10:12)
4.75 47:21 (9:58, 9:32)
5.00 49:59 (10:00, 10:32) last mile 9:59
5.01 50:03 (9:59)

HRM Results:
Duration: 0:51:14
Calories Burned: 675
Average Heart Rate: 180 (93.3% max)
Max Heart Rate: 188 (97.4% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:01:59

You can see from the HRM results that I was working harder than I was in my last 5 mile run. Or at least that I had a harder time running. Like I said, miles 1 and 2 were at a good pace, but miles 3 and 4 definitely slowed down. I kept them pretty steady though, and didn't really slow down much throughout them. I'm still proud of myself for doing the run!

5 mile run in Charlottesville

While it doesn't seem like it, I actually still have been training for my race in November.

On September 10th, I did a training run of 3 miles + 3 sets of 0:20 fast and 2:00 slow. I ended up doing 3.85 miles in 38 minutes.

HRM Results:
Duration: 0:47:01
Calories Burned: 512
Average Heart Rate: 163 (84.4% max)
Max Heart Rate: 180 (93.3% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:15:04

From now on, I'm going to try to use the HRM only during actual running, ie, turn it off before I start to cool down in the end. I want to be able to compare results from similar runs, so I can see if I'm getting in better shape (which would equal a lower heart rate).

On September 15, I had a fantastic 5 mile run. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I was supposed to do 5 miles, slow, and that is what I did. I just went at a pace that felt good. I felt like I had been running the same route over and over again, so I did a slightly different one. I knew it would be pretty hilly, but was surprised when Runkeeper told me I set a new record for elevation climb. That made me feel even better about my overall pace.

Splits: (overall pace, pace of last 1/4 mile)
0.25 2:39 (10:36, 10:36)
0.50 5:07 (10:14, 9:52)
0.75 7:23 (9:51, 9:04)
1.00 9:42 (9:42, 9:16) last mile 9:42
1.25 12:16 (9:49, 10:16)
1.50 14:49 (9:53, 10:12)
1.75 17:27 (9:58, 10:32)
2.00 19:53 (9:57, 9:44) last mile 10:11
2.25 22:24 (9:57, 10:04)
2.50 24:49 (9:56, 9:40)
2.75 27:24 (9:58, 10:20)
3.00 29:55 (9:58, 10:04) last mile 10:01
3.25 32:26 (9:59, 10:04)
3.50 34:50 (9:57, 9:36)
3.75 37:26 (9:59, 10:24)
4.00 40:02 (10:00, 10:24) last mile 10:07
4.25 42:35 (10:01, 10:12)
4.50 45:12 (10:03, 10:28)
4.75 47:47 (10:04, 10:20)
5.00 50:00 (10:00, 8:52) last mile 9:58
5.01 50:03 (9:59)

HRM Results: 
Duration: 0:50:39
Calories Burned: 619
Average Heart Rate: 174 (90.2% max)
Max Heart Rate: 185 (95.9% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:05:02

My overall pace didn't change that much throughout. My first mile was the fastest, but it did include some downhill. The second mile was the slowest, but it was almost completely uphill. All in all, everything made sense. I think mile 5 is what I should be most proud of, since it was mostly uphill, but was my second fastest mile. 

HABIT + Sparty

I am so far behind on posts. I will say that I warned everyone! What's funny is that I'm about 2 weeks behind on exercise posts, and about a month behind on recipe posts! I guess it's because for workouts, I have all of the data easily on hand to put up. For recipes, I have some pictures on Joey's camera, I need him to write up a few things for some (since he did most of the cooking)...excuses excuses, I know.

So, here is my doubleheader from September 13th. I did HABIT at the AFC, followed by two rounds of sparty with friends.

I felt like I wasn't pushing myself as hard during HABIT as the last time I did it - I felt really tired during it. My HRM results were still pretty good though.

HABIT HRM Results:
Duration: 1:01:59
Calories Burned: 550
Average Heart Rate: 144 (74.6% max)
Max Heart Rate: 174 (90.1% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:39:04

This is what we did for sparty:

Since there were 4 of us, I had to organize things a bit differently. I'm used to doing it by myself, or with just Joey. Then it's easy to go through the order, 1 through 10. With 4 of us, I had to organize it so there were really two sets of 5 things, and 5 separate stations to do them. We first went through 1-5, then 6-10. For example, if someone started at Squat Jumps, they then did Ab Extenders, DB Chest Fly, Leg Lifts, followed by IBC, before going to the second set of 5 stations.

While it took a bit of time to think it through, I think it worked out pretty well in the end.

Sparty HRM Results:
I forgot to start the HRM again for the first set of sparty, so this is just from the second set
Duration: 0:16:35
Calories burned: 148
Average Heart Rate: 145 (75.1% max)
Max Heart Rate: 168 (87.0% max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:13:34

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Finds: 9/15/13


Pumpkin Spice Bagels I love homemade bagels! This recipe uses a sponge, which I've never done while making bagels. They incorporate both purees pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices to make them the perfect bagel for a cool fall morning.

Fig, Oat and Banana Smoothie Smoothies are great for breakfast on the go. This one uses fresh figs, which are in season late summer/early fall. I'm sure dried figs could be substituted for other times of the year.


Blueberry Orange Scones These scones are soft, fluffy and bursting with flavor. Orange zest is rubbed into the sugar, giving a bright floral undertone. The scones are even better on day two - as long as they're stored in an airtight container.

Healthy Homemade Mango Fruit Rollups Everyone remembers fruit rollups from when you were a kid, right? Here you can make your own, with no added ingredients! You just take ripe mango, puree it, spread it out on a sheet, and slowly dehydrate it in the oven. You're left with a chewy (and tasty) snack.

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins It may still be 80 degrees outside, but fall is just around the corner. These doughnut/muffin hybrids sound like the perfect way to usher in cooler weather and changing colors of foliage. Plus I love any excuse to start using pumpkin!

Honey Banana Muffins Simple muffins with very few ingredients - the flavor of both the banana and the honey really shine through. 


Honey Oat Soft Dinner Rolls These rolls sound so good - perfectly fluffy with a hint of sweetness. They would be perfect when you're serving dinner to a crowd, since I bet they taste best when they are freshly baked.

Raisin Focaccia This is a light and fluffy bread with plump and juicy raisins, and is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The olive oil poured on top before baking gives lots of crusty perfection. 


Charred Corn and Avocado Pizza Pizza with pepper jack cheese, charred corn, poblano peppers, cilantro, avocado, cotija cheese, and fresh lime juice. This unique pizza is full of flavor and perfect for any pizza party.

Bean Burgers with Grilled Corn, Pesto, and Heirloom Tomatoes Yet another great sounding veggie burger recipe from How Sweet It Is. This one uses garbanzo beans and cannellini beans with some fresh herbs. The toppings sound like a great addition - this is the perfect end of summer meal.

Fresh Corn Grits with Oil Poached Tomatoes This sounds like such a flavorful summer dish. Use the last of your summer tomatoes to make the poached tomatoes, and make sure to save the leftover oil for salad dressings or a dip for bread. I've never seen this method of making polenta before - you actually use fresh ears of corn! I'm really intrigued by this entire dish.

Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage This is a very different take on a baked ziti. Deb uses a cool pasta shape instead of the typical ziti, to pick up more of the sauce, a bechamel sauce instead of a red sauce, broccoli rabe for an interesting bitter note, and mozzarella instead of the typical ricotta. This is a hearty meal that would be perfect for fall, and for leftovers.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Bone-in chicken breasts are cooked in a slow cooker, covered in a sauce made of honey, soy, blackberry jam, hoisin, and garlic, then the sauce is reduced to give you a perfect sticky chicken.

One Pot Pasta This is exactly what it sounds like - you throw everything in one pot, and you have dinner! Dried noodles, water and sauce ingredients all go in a pot and you cook them together. Unlike most pasta recipes, the amount of water used here is important, since you don't drain the pasta. 


Maple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting These sound like the perfect fall twist to cinnamon rolls - definitely use real maple syrup for these!

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pull Apart Bread I made pull apart bread once, and it didn't turn out exactly how I hoped it would. I think this recipe will serve as my re-do, since it looks and sounds delicious. 

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies These chewy chocolate chip cookies have a secret ingredient - cream cheese! Cream cheese replaces part of the butter to make these super soft. They use part brown sugar to stay chewy, and are chilled in the refrigerator so they won't spread.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream This recipe also uses cream cheese as a secret ingredient - the cream cheese makes the ice cream velvety smooth, without having to use a custard base. This is the perfect way to incorporate fall flavors into your cooking, while it's still 80 degrees outside.

Mixed Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake Use up the last of your summer berries in this delicious cake! 


7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know This is really helpful information for any woman who is interested in strength training, but is afraid to because of all of the myths she has heard in the past. My two favorites are "women shouldn't lift heavy or they'll get bulky" and "you can spot reduce fat." BOTH ARE NOT TRUE! I think another one that could be added to the list is "women shouldn't do any chest exercises or their breasts will get smaller."

Squat Variations We all love to hate squats. They are so effective at building muscle in your quads and glutes. Sometimes it's nice to switch it up, so here are a bunch of ways to add some variety, as well as some difficulty, to your squats.

5 Minute Ab Workout These 5 moves require no equipment and really help tone your midsection.


18 Runs to Mix Up Your Workout

45 Minute Speed Building Running Workout This workout can be done either outdoors or on the treadmill, and really helps you increase your speed. 

Food for Thought:

How to Actually Get Shit Done with a To-Do List I am the queen of to-do lists, but rarely get everything done on the list. I could really use these tips.


Animals Doing Yoga Even non yoga (or animal) lovers should get a kick out of this :)

Training for the Richmond 8k (2013)

If you haven't noticed from the increase in running posts lately, even after the Charlottesville Women's 4 Miler, I'm training for another race. On November 16th, Richmond will host a marathon, half-marathon, and 8k. Joey is doing the half-marathon, which will be his second. I decided to sign up for the 8k (5 miles). I like having a purpose to my running, so I looked around for a training plan. I decided to do Runkeeper's 10k training plan - this is a training plan I've started and stopped a few times now, since doing my first (and only) 10k last spring. I decided to modify it slightly, mostly since the race date is before the 16 week training plan ends. Since I can already run 5 miles, I chose this plan since it will push me a little harder, which will hopefully improve my overall pace and endurance. I have my modified plan below, in case anyone is interested in trying it out. This plan requires 4 days a week of running (albeit some are light days), so I'm definitely not going to be able to do all of it. It's just nice having a set structure to my running, and include different tempo runs so I'm not doing the same thing every time. My plan is to continue the training plan once I complete the 5 miler, and hopefully find a 10k to do soon after.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ab Class + KB Workout + 2 mile jog

I had a big day at the gym on Sunday. I was scheduled to run 2 miles for my training plan (actually I was supposed to do 2 miles on Saturday and 4 on Sunday, but I switched since the weather on Saturday was fantastic). There was also a 30 minute class at the AFC that I really wanted to try out - it's called Hard CORE, and this is what it promises to do:
Challenge your abdominals, back, and hips in this dynamic and intense workout. Learn to effectively strengthen the core using proper form and technique!

I also realized that I couldn't do KB on Monday, since I had something scheduled until 7, and really didn't want to start that late. I decided I would do everything on Sunday, since I would already be at the AFC. My plan was to do the 30 minute class, jog one of the miles on the indoor track, do 2 sets of KBs, then finish with 1 more mile on the track. Splitting up the running made it a lot easier, and made it so I wasn't too tired for any one part of the workout.

By the time I finished, it was almost 5:00, and I still had to go to the grocery store. I got home around 6 and was just completely beat. Next time I will remember to eat more prior to a big workout like that.

Anyway, here's what I did!

The 30 minute class was great. It got way more crowded than I expected - I guess I thought that all of the undergrads would be out doing fun things. The class looked like a sorority - everyone was wearing sports bras covered by those big loose tank tops where you can see the girl's stomach through the arm holes - since when did those become a thing? Besides that, the class was really good. It was definitely hard - I am super sore today. I liked that it wasn't just abs, that we did things for our back, as well as some upper and lower body exercises. There were a lot of plank variations, as well as a lot of leg lifts. I'm going to plan on doing it every Sunday I don't have plans - it's just a half hour, and was very effective.

I'm really glad I split up the running. It was really easy doing just one mile at a time, and it helped loosen up my legs. I did the first mile in ~10:15, and the second mile in just under 10 minutes.

For KB, I decided to do two cards. The workouts Joey comes up with are usually much harder than the cards, so I figured this would be a good time to ease back a little. I think I've officially moved up to the 25lb KB. I was able to do everything with that weight, except for just a couple exercises. I can't do get ups with that weight, and I keep forgetting to bring a lighter KB, so I just did russian twists instead. I also can't do windmills with that weight, so I just did them without any weight at all. They're still pretty effective without weight if you do them really slow and controlled.

I don't have any heart rate monitor data since I couldn't find it at the time. After I got back from the run on Saturday, I remembered taking it off, removing the actual monitor from the strap, and hanging it somewhere. 10 minutes later, when I was about to get in the shower, I looked for it so I could wash it. Couldn't find it anywhere. Still couldn't find it on Sunday, when I was going to bring it with me to the gym. It wasn't until I got back from the gym that I found it, and almost immediately.