Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly review

Time for another review of my weekly works.  I started out the week with a rest day on Monday and Tuesday was yoga at work.

Wednesday was supposed to be speed work on the track with my training group but I had a meeting and couldn't make it.  I used the elliptical at home after the meeting instead.

Thursday I tried to do the speed work on my own on the treadmill at the gym at work. It went pretty well.  It was 800 meters fast, 400 meters slow, and then another 400 meters even faster than the 800m pace.  There was a 2 minute walk and then repeat the above cycle 2 more times.

Friday was a rest day and Saturday was the Rockville Twilight 8k race.  I ran it with a couple friends and we had a great time! My review of the race will hopefully be up later this week.

I ended the week with yoga at home on Sunday afternoon since I was feeling a bit sore from the race. The yoga really helped my muscles feel a bit better.

I'm not sure of the plan for this week.  I have a family member in New Jersey dealing with some medical problems so I'm going to take a couple days off work to go help out at the end of the week.  The plan is to run on Monday, yoga on Tuesday, and running on the track with the group on Wednesday. Thursday is the day I'm driving up to Jersey so it will probably be a rest day.  I thinking going to try to do yoga on Friday and run on Saturday since Sunday will be the drive back.

I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Five Favorites

It's time for another Friday Five with the DC Trifecta - Mar, Cynthia and Courtney. I love this link up and the incredible bloggers that participate.  There's more than 40 people most weeks!

This week's theme is Favorites and I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to talk about my current favorite running accessories since I received some things for my birthday that I haven't had a chance to talk about.

1.  My Garmin Forerunner 220 was a birthday gift from my parents.  I've been using it for about a month at this point and I love it so far. I had been using runkeeper on my phone before that and it was fine at first.  But for some reason the accuracy really began to decline starting in the spring.  It told me my last 10 k race was more than 8 miles! The Garmin seems much more accurate.  I also love that it's on my wrist and therefore easy to glance down and check pace, time, etc.  I just learned how to set the intervals on the watch as well.  I definitely have to keep learning how to use it so I can figure out all the options.  The only thing I like better about run keeper is that the online interface is more appealing, but that's subjective anyway.

2.  Mike got me a flipbelt for my birthday and it's awesome!  I know you're not supposed to try something new on race day but the first time I tried it was for the 10k race I did in June. Before that I had been using an arm band but it starts to be uncomfortable around 4 miles.  Plus, the flipbelt holds so much more. For those that aren't familiar with the flipbelt, it's essentially a long tube you wear around your waist or hips.  It doesn't have any separation so you just pull is on like a pair of pants.  There are four access points to the inside of the tube around the outside of the belt.  The inside of the tube is just one long pocket. I put my phone in there, as well as raisins for fuel, ID, money, and keys.  It all fit with no problem and I didn't feel any uncomfortable bouncing at all. I was worried about things falling out but it's all very secure.  The only downside I've noticed is that it can ride up from my hips to my waist and can shift around a bit.  For example, my I'd started out towards my back and was more at my side when I finished my last run.

3.  I wore two new things for that 10k race to compound my don'ts.  But thankfully both were awesome!  My in-laws gave me an amazon gift certificate for my birthday and I used it to purchase a pair of running sunglasses.  I really needed a pair that wouldn't fall of while running but I had been hesitant to spend a lot of money and they all seemed to cost a lot.  Yay for gift cards!  I had read a couple reviews for the Under Armour Marbella sunglasses so I decided on those.  They are so comfortable, lightweight, and fit so well.  I love them and they definitely help out on these hot and sunny summer runs.

4.  Speaking of hot summer runs, I've needed to have something for electrolyte replacement.  I've visibly noticed salt on my skin after my long runs, which is kind of gross.  I knew water alone wouldn't cut it any more.  I had gotten a few Nuun samples in April and they worked well so I bought a nuun sample pack from Amazon.  I love them!  They have very few calories but provide the needed electrolytes and taste pretty good.  I definitely feel better with them than just drinking water.

5. Does the treadmill count?  I don't enjoy the treadmill as much as running outside and I run slower on it but I have to admit it's a refreshing change to running outside when the heat and humidity are high.

As an added bonus have you seen this video about things cats do that would be creepy if we did them?  It's pretty hilarious :) 


I hope you all have a great weekend! I'm running an evening race tomorrow with some friends and it's my first 8k to boot. Anyone else racing this weekend?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Grilled Ratatouille

I'm linking up with Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday. She has a great blog and this is definitely a cool link up to check out since it is a fun way to see new healthy recipes every week.

I can't believe it's July and I've just had my first trip of the year to the farmer's market.  I usually try to go as often as possible but it's just been a busy summer.  But better late than never! We got a great haul of fruits and veggies this weekend and here's some of the bounty.

We're trying to use the grill as much as possible so Mike grilled up the vegetables.  I cut the cherry tomatoes in half and wrapped them up in foil and we stuck them on the grill too. The other veggies were cut into large pieces, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  They were grilled on one side for 5 minutes, flipped, and then grilled on the other side for 3-5 minutes until they were easily pierced by a fork. Mike put the vegetables in a mixing bowl as they finished grilling and then brought the whole thing back to me.

I chopped up the grilled vegetables into bite size pieces and put them back into the mixing bowl.  I unwrapped the cherry tomatoes from the foil and threw them in with the rest of the veggies. I added some extra salt and pepper to taste as well as garlic powder, smoked paprika and thyme.  I finished it off with a small splash of apple cider vinegar.

And voila... Grilled ratatouille! I have to be honest and say that's not necessarily what I was going for when I started cooking but that's what the final product ended up looking and tasting like.  I had mine with some grilled garlic toast while Mike had his as a side to a burger.

It was a delicious and light meal, perfect for a hot summer evening. We also grilled up some peaches and had them with a dollop of greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some slivered almonds on top.

The ratatouille was even better as leftovers the second evening.  The flavors benefitted from having some time to blend together.

Do you have any favorite summertime meals?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekly review

Another weekend has come to an end and it's time for a weekly review.  My workouts went pretty well this week.  I ended up having my rest days early in the week on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was supposed to be a track workout but it looked like rain so I bailed and did strength training at home.  It didn't end up raining until later so I should have just gone.  Oh well.

I tried to make up for it by doing speed work on the treadmill on Thursday.  It was 2400 meters and then four 200 meters at a fast pace with 200 meters at a slow pace in between.  I tried to really push myself on the 200 meters and felt it. Though it doesn't look like it based on the pace below.  I always go slower on the treadmill then when I'm outside and I'm not sure why.

I did a yoga video from You Tube on Friday.  I chose a random one I hadn't done before and suffice it to say it wasn't very good.  I should stick with ones I know or have heard good reviews for.  You Tube can  be a bit hit and miss.

Saturday was 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Sunday was a long run with the training group.  This week was supposed to be a "recovery" week (hence the elliptical instead of running on Saturday) and I did the same amount of miles on my run as the previous Sunday.  We ran at Beach Drive, which was beautiful.  I didn't quite realize that it's closed to vehicular traffic in certain areas on the weekend so that runners and cyclists can use the road. I loved having all that space!

I found someone else who went at a similar speed to me and she was doing 3/1 intervals so I ran with her for the first half of the run. She was planning to run a bit longer than I was so I turned back when I was ready and did the return on my own. I had some garmin issues and it didn't start right away on the first half so it's short by about 5 minutes.  Overall it was a bit more than an hour and a bit less than 5 miles.  It felt good but the humidity was challenging.  According to the garmin when I checked later, it was over 80% humidity!

So that was my week.  I hope everyone else had a good week too!  The plan for this week is yoga on Tuesday, track work on Wednesday with the group, running on the treadmill on Thursday, rest on Saturday, the Rockville Twilight 8k on Saturday, and some yoga at home on Sunday.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Five - places I work out

Happy Friday!  I missed the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia last week since I was traveling but I'm happy to be back at it this week!  The theme for the week is snapshots so I thought I'd share some photos of places where I regularly workout.

First, I run on various trails, whether in the area or while traveling.  They're usually paved trails but I have ventured off the pavement a couple times recently.

I also workout at the gym at work for yoga classes and the treadmill.

I use the track at a local high school for speed work with my training group.

When I'm running solo runs, I often go to a local neighborhood park that has an approximately half mile loop since there are always people around.  It feels safe and is interesting since the people scape is always changing.  There are tennis courts, basketball courts, play grounds and a dog park.

And of course, I workout at home.  I do yoga videos and strength training in our messy living room or use the elliptical machine in our basement.

I'm really lucky that I live in an area with so many beautiful places to run outdoors and that I have access to a gym at work as well as room to work out at home.  The paved trails are my favorites.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and stone fruit topping

It's time for Tasty Tuesday with Lean Lena.  When my brother asked if there was anything specific we wanted to do in Columbus, I said try Jeni's Ice Cream! It's a local ice cream chain in Columbus that's supposed to be amazing. I've heard about it from several people and even seen it on the Food Network.  My brother, of course, agreed.

We went and Mike and I both decided to try an ice cream sandwich. He had the oatmeal cream pie and I had the salted caramel with smoked almonds.  My brother had the chocolate truffle with backyard mint.

All of them were delicious so we decided to get a pint to eat at home after dinner. We debated over a couple samples and settled on the Riesling poached pear sorbet. It had a light and refreshing flavor with an intense pear taste. My brother also had some peaches, apricots, and plums that needed to be eaten so I decided to make a stone fruit topping for the sorbet.

I halved all the fruit and cut them into slices.

Next, I melted two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.  Once it was melted, I added two tablespoons of sugar and let it cook with the butter until it began to brown.  I added in the fruit, some cinnamon and some nutmeg.  I covered the pot and let it all cook together for 5 minutes. When done, the fruit had softened and there was a delicious sauce in the bottom of the pot.

We spooned the hot fruit into the bottom of the bowl, covered with the sorbet, and then drizzled the sauce over top if the ice cream. It made a total of 4 servings.

Everyone agreed that this was delicious! This was by no means low calorie but it wasn't bad as far as desserts go. And it was all natural ingredients and really tasted like a perfect summer dessert.  I bet the topping would also be good over greek yogurt or oatmeal as a slightly healthier option.

I love finding local food finds while traveling.  Have you come across any great local food finds?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekly review

I'm back from celebrating the 4th of July in Ohio.  We had a great weekend but it's always great to come home as well. It was a pretty good workout week as well. Monday was a rest day.  I didn't get a chance to go to yoga on Tuesday because work was busy but I did some strength training in the evening.  Wednesday was supposed to be a track workout with my training group but there was lightning on the way home so I skipped it for yoga. This meant my runs were concentrated toward the end of the week.

Thursday was a run on the treadmill at work.  I rushed a but since that was the night we were flying out. However, our flight ended up cancelled about at least we were able to reschedule for the first flight the next morning and we found out before we left for the airport.

Friday was another rest day.  However, we did go with my brother to take his dog for a walk.  We came across a strange little playground with a mini rockclimbing wall for kids and we played around there for a while.

Saturday morning I went to a park by my parents house with my dad and brother. There was a paved 1 mile path where I ran.  It was a lovely area with plenty of people, bathrooms and water fountains.  There was also half mile off shoot loops by the river and in the forest which added some interest to the run.

Sunday, my dad and I returned to the park to try a different trail.  This one was labeled as "moderate difficulty" and it was grass and dirt.  It was definitely more challenging than the paved path from the day before and had uneven surfaces. But it was beautiful.

I had forgotten my garmin so I used runkeeper.  I think it was a little off but I probably ended up doing 4.7 or 4.8 miles.  If so, that's more like 14.25 minutes per mile.  That makes sense as it was definitely slower on this trail than on the paved path the day before.

I loved exploring this park.  My dad and brother hadn't been there before but both said that they're going to go there more often now.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!