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Quote of the Week

You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.”- Percy Cerutty

Isn’t this the truth?  I saw this quote come through the Runner’s World feed this week and it stuck with me.  This year has definitely stretched me and I’ve grown as a result of throwing myself outside of my comfort zone.  Personally, in opening myself up to a new relationship, which resulted in marriage, all within a year!  And now, getting to know the new “norm”, establishing relationships with a new family, adjusting to life as a couple, and not being focused solely on me and my needs.

Now, I find myself outside of my comfort zone in my training.  It all came together when I buckled down and trained hard last summer and fall.  I have to admit, I was expecting to coast back into my training this summer, after taking a few months off.  That has clearly not been the case, and it is definitely throwing me out of my comfort zone. It’s challenging.  It’s hard.  I’m left questioning why I’m bothering.  But I know the reason why.  And, this quote puts it rather simply:  I will never grow unless I do.

Sound Advice

I had lunch with a good friend yesterday.  A good friend, I might note, who recently smoked a marathon, running a PR and finishing feeling fabulous.  All 3 major accomplishments- I’m so proud of her!

As we were catching up on her marathon success, she asked about my knee and what caused me to fall on Saturday.  As I started to explain to her, checking off all the excuses I had lined up in my head- I had over trained last week, I have a sinus infection, I pushed myself too far- it became apparent to me that I just don’t feel well.  In an honest moment, I shared that with her.  Everything feels so much tougher than it should be right now.  Yes, I made some poor decisions last week (3 workouts in 1 day), but if I’m honest, I feel tired, light-headed, groggy, out of it, and lethargic most of the time.  Which, in turn, is making any attempt at normal activity (ok, marathon training may not necessarily be normal activity) hard!

She shared with me some sound advice.  I just had surgery.  No matter what type of surgery or how minor, your body still needs to recover.  And as it recovers, it will pull resources from the rest of your body to do so.  Which, will leave you drained.  Because your body is trying to take care of itself and heal, it doesn’t have the extra oomph I’m asking it to give at this time.

Hmmm.  Sound advice.  It makes sense.  Although, it doesn’t make it less frustrating.  And, leaves me wondering how long this feeling is going to last.  In the meantime, it does allow me to re-prioritize and focus on my goals.  Which, are associated with improving my running.  What does this mean?  It means I will have to hold back the intensity during spin class.  It also means less intensity during Group Power.  In order to maximize my performance during key workouts – track work, hill repeats, and pace runs- I need to dial back and conserve some energy for those extra efforts.  It also means giving my body plenty of rest and sleep.  It has been crying for more of it.  And last night, I followed suit and put myself to bed around 7:30pm to read and was sound asleep by 8:15.

When the alarm went off at 4:45am, I was pretty groggy and thankfully, the hubs was too.  We hit snooze 3 times before rolling out of bed and getting ready for our run- a first crack at hill repeats.  The entire time I was getting ready, I just kept thinking about how much I didn’t want to run.  I wanted to sleep.  Instead of playing the wimp card, that I’ve been playing too much lately, I prayed for endurance, strength, and energy to complete this run.  We started out slow on our warm up.  I mean, real slow.  We were passed by several other runners.  Which, is humbling.  For once, I didn’t care.  I knew I was doing the best I could this morning.  The fact that I made it further than a half mile was progress since my epic fail and fall on Saturday!  We got to the hill.  I drew in a big breath and we started up it.  I knew during the first one, I wasn’t pushing it.  Instead, it was like my legs were reorienting themselves with the motion.  The hubs started coaching me – telling me to drive my knees and arms to the top.  It helped.  Round 2 wasn’t much faster.  At the top, the hubs offered a goal pace- which meant shaving off 3 seconds.  The next 3 rounds were 1 second off.  However, I was going full-out.  Driving to the top with my knees and arms.  It felt very much like a test run this morning.  My mind and my body adjusting to effort it takes to sprint to the top.  If anything, it proved that I can do it.  I just need some determination, renewed fire, and the sound advice of trusted, good friends to get me there.

Spin Monday!

This week, I headed over to fellow blogger, The Dancing Runner’s site for some inspiration.  I know she teaches a spin class at the ungodly hour Monday mornings as well and sometimes, it helps to know I’m not the only one drudging myself to the gym before most people are even awake!

This workout includes a great mix of climbs, speed, jumps- you name it!  It’s a good one to keep class on it’s toes and keep the heart rate up!

  1. Warm up
  2. Jumps
  3. Standing run
  4. Accelerations
  5. Active Recovery
  6. Climb
  7. Sprints
  8. Climb
  9. Standing run
  10. Sprints
  11. Cool down

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Even the mighty fall…

This morning the hubs and I woke up in the great city of Madison, Wisconsin (Go Badgers!!!)- en route to my nephew’s high school graduation party.

After a late night of traveling, I had trouble getting the sleep out of my body. As we started out from the hotel on our pace run, I couldn’t shake the thought “I do NOT want to do this today.” Alas, I sucked it up, knowing both mental monkeys would leave at some point. It was already hot- 76 degrees at 8am and I knew the run was going to be challenging for me all around. Though, I knew I was up the challenge.

I purposely kept my pace slower stating out so I could nail the pace portion later. I was getting lost in my thoughts, wondering exactly where the street we were running on would lead us and what we would see on the run… When… BAM! Before I knew it, I was hitting the ground with my left knew and rolling in a ball to protect myself from any further injury. Damn.

I laid in the ground, clutching my left leg for what seemed like minutes. I kept telling myself to get up, but the thought wasn’t processing to get my motor skills actually working. Finally, I slowly started to move and stood up. My left knee was pounding and the world was spinning. Double damn!

I called it quits and started walking back to the hotel with the hubs at my side. Begrudgingly, I told him he could still run without me. Wisely, he said no.

Perhaps, it’s the result of the fatigue I brought on myself earlier this week. Perhaps, it’s the ensuing sinus infection I am battling that leaves me dizzy and disoriented.

Whatever the case, I’ve got to shake this. Week 2 of marathon training= Epic Fail.

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Foodie Friday

TGIF!!!  In an effort to use up our fabulous green, fresh goodies from our weekly CSA box, I have been busy whipping up some fabulous recipes this week!  So, let’s get started!
Crustless Veggie Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cups parslane
  • IMG_1819
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • garlic scape, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 slices proscuitto, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8-inch pie pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and salt until well-combined.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the parslane.  Cover and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until just beginning to wilt.
  4. Add the parslane and remaining veggies into the pie pan. IMG_1820
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables.IMG_1821
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the eggs are set.
  7. Let the quiche sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve warm or at room temperature.IMG_1822

 

Turnip “hashbrowns”photo 1
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium turnips
  • 1 1/2 Ts olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut turnips into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Place in bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (may consider using higher heat oil to aviod transfat opportunity from breakdown of oil) next coat with salt and pepper.
  4. Oil aluminum pans with remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Place turnip matchsticks on pan and place in oven. set timer for 10 minutes, rotate pan and turnips at 10 minutes. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Check for doneness, turn on broiler and broil on high for 5 minutes.

**NOTE:  These hash browns were PERFECTION!! I served them with the quiche.  The hubs and I ate them so fast, I forgot to take a picture before they were all gone!

Summer Chicken & Veggie Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. cooked chicken (I used part of a rotisserie chicken I picked up at the deli to keep it simple)
  • 1 portabella mushroom, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 3 sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 Ts Blue Gate Farm Pesto (recipe below)
  • Pasta, cooked (I used rice pasta noodles)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan.  Add mushrooms and cook until soft.  Remove and place on a plate.
  2. Add peppers to the pan.  Once the peppers begin to soften, add squash.
  3. Add mushrooms back to pan.  Add chicken.  Toss ingredients together.IMG_1876
  4. Mix pesto into pasta.
  5. Plate the pasta and top with chicken and veggies!IMG_1878

 

Blue Gate Farm Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs Sunflower seeds-toasted (can substitute pine nuts)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (garlic lovers can add more) green garlic or garlic scapes are also good.
  • 2 c. Basil (any variety, a mix is particularly nice)
  • ½ c. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Salt (if using pre-salted sunflower seeds, can reduce salt amount)
  • ½ c. Parmesan cheese, fresh grated (not the stuff in the can) *I substituted DF swiss cheese

Directions:

  1. Place sunflower seeds and garlic into food processor then pulse several times.
  2. Add basil and drizzle with half of oil. Pulse several times.
  3. Add remaining oil, Parmesan cheese and salt if desired.

IMG_1877

Defining: Awfully Good

Can something be both awful and good at the same time?  That is the only way I can think to describe my massage last night.  It was both awfully painful and good to the core at the same time.

First, let me set the tone for this week.  Monday, I cross-trained with spin class.  I planned to run 800’s Tuesday morning and then instruct Group Power, but I forgot that I was subbing for another instructor at the 5:30am Group Power class and at the last minute found myself teaching 2 Group Power classes.  That’s more than 200 squats and lunges in a day.  The hubs thought we should still get our 800’s in, so I sucked it up and went to the track with him after work.  Yes.  That was intense workout #3.  The first 800 wasn’t so bad.  In fact, I actually hit my goal pace!  I steadily slowed after that, although, my pace was still pretty consistent with what I was running to train for Tucson (my goal pace is a bit faster this time).  During the 4th 800, my legs felt so wobbly, I thought I might collapse, so I quit halfway through.  After a longer walking rest break, I was able to run the final 800, but I was completely spent.  I walked it back home.

Yesterday, I “faked” it during spin class with plans to follow up with an 8 mile run with one of my friends.  I felt ok starting out, although I knew my legs were still worn out from Tuesday’s marathon of activity.  About 3 miles into it, I told my friend I wanted to run 6 and quit.  Thankfully, she encouraged me to keep going and reminded me how strong I was and that I could do this, we’d just take it slow.  I worked hard to get the mental monkeys out of my head and say focused on the road ahead of me.  As we headed closer to home, I caught one of my shuffling feet on a crack in the sidewalk and lunged forward.  I grabbed my friends arm- hard! in order to maintain my balance and not hit the pavement face first.  Whew!  It was a close call, but I managed not to fall.  Immediately after, my friend suggested we cut the run short and finish at 7 miles.  I didn’t argue, especially considering I had slowed close to a 10 min/mile pace!  I was completely spent for a second day in a row.  I spent the rest of yesterday battling the shakes, hunger pains, and waves of nausea as my body revolted against what I had put it through, without proper fueling or training.

I walked into  my massage last night with a list of “problem” areas: sore IT bands, a recurring, sporadic spasm in my right tricep, and tension in my upper back and neck.  To my surprise, my masseuse found a “problem” area every where she touched.  My body is a complete wreck.  My hips were especially tight.  My back and shoulders were tight, as suspected. It took my breath away as she worked out the knots.  As she moved to my legs, my calves were tight wads of muscle that I had no idea about! And when she moved to my right IT band, everything went white for a moment as sheer pain shot through my body.  There wasn’t enough time for her to work out the knots.  It was a good start, and she left me with instructions to keep foam rolling.  For the first time in my life, I scheduled a follow up appointment for next week.  IT bands are not something to mess with, especially as I ramp up my training!  I felt better post- massage.  It was a pain that hurt so good and left my body longing for more “abuse”.  Not the abuse that I continue to inflict on myself with 2 more Group Power classes today and a pace run on tap tomorrow morning.

I told myself last week that it was time to buck up and get myself in shape- cutting back on sugar, alcohol, and other “fluff” I’ve enjoyed since January.  I guess adding in 2 errr, 3 a days is a sure fire way to jump right in! Maybe the question I should be asking myself is to define: crazy.  :)

Quote of the Week

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