Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Being frugal and workout clothes

This issue has been on my mind recently because I've noticed my sports bras haven't been doing their job as well as they used to.  And when I began to think about it, I realized that I've been using a bunch of then since I started running more than 2 years ago.  And I started thinking about my active wear and realized that I have workout pants I've had for more than 10 years.  Though I promise I don't go out in those, I still use them for at home work outs. And my workout tops tend to be mostly race shirts since they're free and I might as well use them anyway.

Old work out pants from when I was in school - they're even cotton!

Sigh.  I think in the back of my mind I still feel like clothes I'm going to sweat in aren't really worth paying much for.  I'm working on changing that mind set.  And also working on ways to still be frugal about buying workout clothes.  I've been keeping an eye out on sales.  Earlier this year, there was a great sale at Under Armour and I got a pair of cold weather leggings that I love.  I've also gotten some great deals at Fabletics on gym clothes.  Yesterday, I was able to use some Old Navy coupons I had on new sports bras and a pair of running capris.

Shelby inspecting my new clothes from Old Navy

But I'm still figuring out the right balance there.  I bought another pair of Under Armour leggings on sale through Amazon and wore them out on a run for the first time this past weekend.  And I could tell that they would cause chafing on any runs longer than 3-4 miles.  So I guess they'll be reserved for short runs.  And maybe not so much with the online purchases for things like that.  I might just have to keep an eye out for sales/coupons for physical stores where I can try things on.

I'd love to hear any tips for saving money and still changing out workout clothes as needed.  I've read that sports bras should be switched out approximately every 6 months but that seems so wasteful.  What do you think?  How about things like leggings and tops?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon training - week 9

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was a good mix of relaxing and being productive.  Plus, I was participating in Mar's 14 days of self care so I remembered to engage in a bit of self care every day.  It's amazing how much of a difference that makes.  So here's a summary of my training this week.  I got my runs in but still didn't get all the strength training in that I wanted.

Monday - rest day, with plenty of foam rolling and stretching

Tuesday - unplanned rest day since my stomach wasn't feeling well

Wednesday- Yoga for strength training from Yoga with Adriene

Thursday - Running on the treadmill after work

Friday - rest day and a fun dinner in the evening catching up with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time.

Saturday - A short run in my neighborhood in the morning.  It was a cold morning but beautiful.  Sadly, there were still some icy patches and places where people hadn't shoveled the snow from the sidewalks.  It's not that big a deal for me, I could step over or go around.  But I know there are people with mobility devices in the neighborhood as well as people with strollers.

Sunday - Long run with friends on Beach Drive.  This was a beautiful run and I even saw some horses along the way!  Though we made a bad decision at the end and ended up wading in ankle high icy water for a bit.  Thankfully that was when we were almost done so I ended up walking from mile 8.8 to mile 9.  My feet were so frozen it was more of a shuffle than a walk.  That 15.24 pace at the end was because of the time we were wading in the water.

And the evening ended with a super bowl party at a friend's house.  We had a great time with lots of yummy food.  Our contribution ended up being a mix of healthy and decadent :)  I made parmesan roasted chick peas and Mike baked brownies.

So that was my week. I'm linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday 5 - Self Care

It's been a super busy week at work but it's finally Friday!  Almost time for the weekend and time for some relaxation.  Friday also means it's time for the Friday 5 link up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia.

Speaking of relaxing, I've been participating in Mar's 14 days of self care that started February 1st.  Given how busy work has been, it has been a much needed reminder to do something for myself every day, no matter how little it is.  Just taking that time to even think about self care every day has really helped keep it a priority!  And I've noticed that there are some forms of self care that are easy to do but there are other forms that are more difficult to motivate myself to do, even though I know that I will get an immense amount of satisfaction at having done it when it's over.

So here are 5 things that count as self-care for me.

1.  Kitty cuddles! This needs no explanation and it's one of those things that are easy to do and that I look forward to every evening.

2.  Working out - This is one of the ones that I sometimes have a hard time motivating myself to do.  I know that there has never been a time I regretted getting a work out in, but I still have a hard time motivating myself to get up and moving.  Inertia is definitely a thing. 

3.  Family and friend time - Another easy one that I'm always motivated to do and that always leaves me feeling good afterward.  Now scheduling may be a difficulty, but not the motivation.

4. Cooking nourishing and tasty food - This is one that I have a hard time with on busy weekdays.  This week, I've been starving in the evenings after work and that makes it hard to take the time to go home and cook a healthy meal.  I really needed to do more meal prep over the weekend.  But I actually enjoy cooking, it relaxes me, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of feeding other people nourishing food that I've created.

Tortellini soup we made during the blizzard

5.  Spa time - This last one is something I love, and not even necessarily going to the spa.  At home facials and manicures can also be incredibly relaxing.  But this is something else that I have a hard time finding the time for.  One of the things I'm committing to this weekend is taking the time to do my nails and a hot bath after my long run.  Mar shared a great recipe for an Epsom Salt bath that I'm hoping to try out and enjoy.

My last jamberry experiment

So those are some of my favorite ways to take care of myself, though I do some more easily than others.  What are your favorite ways to relax and take care of yourself?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon training - week 8

Week 8 of training went ok.  I got in 2 runs and 1 elliptical session as well as 1 yoga session but did not manage to get in any strength training.  Which ended up being a good thing because I have some weird pain in the inside of my elbow.  I think perhaps from shoveling?  It's getting better though so hopefully back to body pump this week.

Monday - Yoga by Adrienne

Tuesday - About 40 minutes on the elliptical since our street still wasn't plowed and I couldn't get out

Wednesday - Rest day and flying to Toronto.  I woke up to a plowed street, which was great news.

Thursday - Unplanned rest day. I meant to run on the hotel treadmill in the morning but I just could not get up in time.  I did have a lot of walking around Toronto since all of my meetings were downtown within a mile or so of each other.  And yes, the snow did follow me to Toronto.

Friday - Rest day

Saturday - Ran on Beach Drive with the 5k training group.  The blanket of snow really made it beautiful, but it was icy in spots.

Sunday - Ran 8 miles with friends on the Capital Crescent Trail. This time, I remembered in advance that the way back was all uphill so I didn't let it discourage me when the return was so much harder than the first 4 miles.  And I was happy that the trail was plowed so I didn't have to run in the same place as the day before :)

So that was it for last week.  I think the plan for this week is yoga today, running on the track tomorrow, body pump on Wednesday (if my arm feels better), the treadmill on Thursday, body pump on Friday and 9 miles on Sunday.

I hope you all have a great week too!  Also, I'm linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon training - week 7

Well, I'm still working at home and haven't seen any plows in my neighborhood yet.  Still snowed in and the weather did affect my workouts last week.  But it's fine.  I'm just going to have to be flexible and shift around my runs a bit this week but it will be fine.  But here is what did happen last week.

Monday - Rest day

Tuesday - Rest day.  This was supposed to be a track day but the group canceled it's track run due to wold temperatures and wind alerts.  So we took this evening to get gas and groceries instead in preparation for the upcoming blizzard.  I'm glad we did as things weren't too crowded at this point but got crazy later in the week.

Wednesday - I thought about going to the gym for the treadmill but I was reading reports about horrible traffic due to the dusting of snow we were getting.  It took some people 2 hours to go 10 miles.  So I just went hard on the elliptical at home.

Thursday -  My one and only run of the week was on the treadmill at the gym.  But I will say I felt much stronger than I usually do on the treadmill.  I'm usually increasing walk breaks by the end but this time I was decreasing walk breaks and increasing speed at the end.  It was a different style of machine than I usually use so I might try for this one in the future.

Friday - This is the day the snow started.  I worked from home and a friend came over so we had fun doing a cardio dance workout together.  And it really got the heart rate up.  I love when workouts are a lot of fun as well.

Saturday and Sunday - Well, my workouts were limited to shoveling these 2 days.  About 30 minutes on Saturday and around 45 minutes on Sunday.  And a bit more shoveling left for today.  But I didn't do any other workouts since I was sore from the shoveling.  I still feel it a bit in my shoulders, back and thighs (I tried to remember to lift with my legs).

So that's it for my week.  This week, the plan is for some yoga today to ease my muscles, running Tuesday (track is already cancelled since schools are closed but I'm hoping to get to the gym), Wednesday is a rest day since I'm supposed to fly to Toronto for work, Thursday running at the hotel gym in the morning, Friday rest day,  Saturday body pump and Sunday long run.

I hope everyone else's week went well and that you stayed warm if you're having Winter weather! Also, I'm linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday 5 - things I'm doing during the snow storm

Well, it looks like we're going to have a bunch of snow dropped on us today and tomorrow.  The good news is that both Mike and I are able to stay home and do some teleworking.  And also that it's time for the Friday Five link up with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar. That means there will be plenty of reading material because there are a ton of great bloggers participating in the link up!

So what will I be doing with my time during this blizzard?  Here are 5 things we have planned.

1. Baking - it always a great cold weather activity.  And Mike even looked up some healthy baking options so we're not "stuck" eating a bunch of treats on our own.  I believe the first project is going to be Irish scones.

2. Crafting - I've gotten away from knitting and crocheting just because I haven't seemed to have the time recently.  Well this is the perfect opportunity to get back to it.  I've still got a bunch of yarn and unfinished projects.

3.  Cleaning - it doesn't sound exciting but I feel like this is a great time to get to some of those tasks that are far down on the list and never get done.  Cleaning out the pantry is hug on our list for this weekend.

4.  Photos - another task I need to get to is editing vacation photos and making photo books.  I also want to make my dad a photo book with photos from our Jingle Jungle 5k and Disney trip.  Bonus, at least looking at all those warm weather photos will be a nice break from the snow outside the window!

Caribbean cruise sounds so good right about now

5.  Work out videos - I'm not planning to go for a run in the snow but I'm planning on checking out some new work out videos on you tube.  And of course, there's always shoveling.  That's quite a workout too!

And of course, there are the classics of movies, books, and video games.  Mike vetoed The Day After Tomorrow, but I have a book about Everest and an indie movie about a trip to Iceland on tap.  They seem appropriate for the snowy weather.

How do you guys deal with a period of enforced staying in the house?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Impromptu quinoa salad

I've mentioned before that things have been busy and I haven't had as much time to really cook lately.  I'm hoping that will change a bit now that the holidays are over and it's 2016.  But in spite of the not trying out new recipes, we've still been trying to eat healthy.  It just involves throwing things together and taking some short cuts.  So I thought I'd share one of our recent quick dinners.

We've been doing a lot of these grain bowls and I love them.  They're versatile, you can generally use whatever you happen to have around the kitchen, they tend to be good for left overs, and if you cook the grains in advance over the weekend you don't even have to turn on the stove when making the weekday dinner!  

Like I said, this isn't really a recipe as it doesn't have amounts and the specific ingredients don't even matter so much.  It's more of a method. And my method is combining some sort of grain, fresh vegetables, a protein source (beans, lentils or tofu are my vegetarian go to's), a sauce or dressing, and then finishing it off with optional flavor elements such as cheese, nuts, herbs, etc.  So here's how last week's quinoa salad worked out.


1 cup of raw quinoa.
Veggie broth (I prefer low sodium)
Broccoli (I used the already cut florets that I can steam in the bag to make things quicker)
1 can of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
Cherry tomatoes (this was the only thing I chopped, I cut them in half for ease of eating)
1 package of feta
Dressing (mustard, cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper)

We had the quinoa already cooked and ready to go so we didn't even turn on the stove.  But if you don't have cooked grains ready, the quinoa cooks quickly and you can put it on the stove to cook while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  We just cooked the quinoa according to the package instructions, using vegetable broth instead of water for some added flavor.

I chose vegetables that are easy and don't require much cooking or chopping.  So bagged broccoli that we steamed in the microwave and cherry tomatoes, which I chopped in half so that didn't take too long.  Another favorite time saver I like to use is shredded slaw (our grocery store has various varieties such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc.).  Such an easy way to get extra veggies into your weeknight dinners. Just make sure you choose a bag that is all veggies and doesn't have extra ingredients.

And then the last component is the dressing.  You can use store bought dressing but it's so easy to make your own that it's what I usually do.  I take a small tupperware container with a tight lid and make the dressing in there.  I put in mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and any other seasonings I'm using.  I mix those things up with a fork and then add in the oil.  I generally like to use equal amounts of oil and vinegar though you can adjust that to your own tastes (the joys of making your own dressing).  And then I put the lid on tightly and just shake until the dressing is incorporated.  Voila!

So for the quinoa salad, I threw the quinoa and veggies in a mixing bowl along with a can of chick peas, a package of feta, and then the dressing on top.  Mix it up and it's all ready to eat.  This made 4-6 servings so we also had leftovers for later in the week.

Not exciting or new, but easy, quick and nutritious for a weekday dinner.  I'd love to hear about some of your easy go-to meals as well!