strength

Week of Fitness 2.17-2.23.2014

Hello again! Sorry for only posting the weekly fitness updates. Until I can get my blog self-hosted, this will be about all the posting I do. But I want to keep you updated on my marathon training, so I will make sure I keep these posts up. Last week was another good, hard week of training!

Monday:5 miles, 11 minute yoga with Ryan. I scheduled 7 miles for this day, but didn’t have time for that long of a run that morning.

Tuesday: This superset workout that was great! Then I did Olive to Run Ab’s workout that you can find here. Just scroll down the page a little to find the workout I did. I only had time to go through the ab workout once before I had to shower and get ready for work.

Wednesday: 8 hard 400x’s. I would run one 400 at a comfortable pace, then run one 400 hard until I had ran 8 400’s at a hard pace and 8 at a comfortable pace, for a total of four miles.

Thursday: Unexpected rest day. I was out late Wednesday night bridesmaid dress shopping with my beautiful friend Shelby who is getting married in June, so I didn’t go to sleep until about 11:00 Wednesday night. This is incredibly late for me, and I knew my body needed sleep, so I let myself sleep in until I had to get ready the next morning, and I wasn’t able to work out in the afternoon because we had plans.

Friday: 1 hour of very challenging yoga. I loved it!

Saturday: 18 miles! Now my longest run yet. Friday night my dad actually asked if I wanted to run a 15k with him Saturday morning. He knew I needed to do 18 miles, so he suggested I do the course twice. I can never turn down a chance to run a race with my Dad, so of course I jumped at the opportunity and just ran the course twice. ๐Ÿ™‚ This long run was very hard though! I struggled the last five miles, and those ย were a lot slower than the ones before. Part of this might have been because my competitive side got the best of me. I might have run the first nine miles a little too fast since I was running against other people and obviously wanted to beat them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, it was all worth it when I finished my 18 miles and my parents held up a trophy and told me that I placed second place in my age division! I was pretty excited since I really wasn’t planning on running this race for speed.

Sunday: rest!!

I have been increasing my ย mileage for the last four weeks, so now I will decrease my mileage this week to give my body a break. I am excited for this break because I think my body needs it. It’s crazy to think that I only have two more long runs before the marathon! In two weeks I have a 20 mile run, and then the week after that I am scheduled to run 22! I can’t believe the race is coming up so quickly!

I hope you are all doing great! I really miss blogging regularly, and I’m hoping to be self-hosting soon! Even though I have not been commenting as much lately because life has gotten busy, I have still been keeping up with blogs, and I still love reading everything y’all post!

Questions:

1.ย Tell me some fun things from your weekend.ย 

2. What workout are you most looking forward to this week?

3. What are some delicious meals you have eaten lately?

4. Do you have a good, easy homemade granola recipe? I would love if you would share it with me; I want an easy recipe to make! I love me some granola! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I’m Really Bad at Coming Up With Names for Workouts…

How do you fellow bloggers always seem to come up with a cute name for the new workout you are sharing? I am the worst at this! If you look at my Workouts page you will see that I don’t have many creative names for the workouts I have made up. Maybe I will get better at this, or maybe my workouts will just have boring, corny names. Most likely it will be the latter. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did some strength training as part of my marathon training yesterday and made up a new workout I wanted to share. Because it’s a strength workout and ย you are working your muscles, I gave this workout the clever name, “Work All of Those Muscles.” I know, I know, I don’t know how I am so creative. ๐Ÿ˜‰

real work all of those muscles

I did 15 reps of all of the exercises except for the lunge pulses into a bicep curl and the wall sit, and you can read in the picture what I did for those. (Note: for the lunge pulses into bicep curl, I did 20 total, 10 each leg). I went through this for a total of three times, and could feel the burn! Make sure you use weight that is challenging enough for you!

Here are a few links to some moves that you might not be so familiar with.

3 Lunge pulses into bicep curl

Push-ups on medicine ball

Hamstring curls on ball

And before I go get ready for bed I want to share a picture of my dinner because it was sooooo delicious! And yes, all of those o’s were necessary in “so” because it was that good.

IMG_5377

Now that I am posting this picture, I see that this actually isn’t a very good picture and it doesn’t look that appetizing. Please trust me though; this was delicious. Ryan put it under the “phenomenal” category! This was taco chili with nacho cheese sauceย from Angela at Oh She Glows. This is also where I got the recipe for the amazing whole wheat pizza crust we made on Sunday.ย None of her recipes have disappointed us yet! If you have never checked out her blog or recipes, you should!

I ate my chili on a bed of spinach, which you can see from the picture above, so that I could get in some extra veggies, but this chili is perfectly fine by itself. Ryan ate it in a bowl with some shredded cheese on top and some tortilla chips. I also think it would be amazing on a bed of quinoa. So many options!

Lastly, I also made some homemade almond butter for the first time last night in our food processor.

IMG_5379

Oh my gosh, I’m so happy I decided to do this! It was so easy and absolutely scrumptious! All I did was put one cup of almonds in the food processor and put it on high for a few minutes. Anyone can do that! I will probably use more almonds next time so that it will make more almond butter! This is a much more affordable option since almond butter can be a little pricey.

Now, off to bed!

Questions:

1. What is a good strength workout I should try?

2. Tell me something good about your life right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Have you ever made any type of homemade nut butter? I really want to make more now! I am thinking cashew butter next!

Shoulder and Arm Burner AND a Quesadilla Recipe!

Glad to be back posting today! I worked hard to publish a post yesterday, but wordpress was being extremely slow, which made it impossible for me to publish the post that I wanted to. I was going to share about our wedding reception, so now I just have most of that post published for next week. ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t share that post today because I was too ready to share a new recipe and workout with y’all before the weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

First things first, food!

I am big on meal planning, and every weekend I plan out the meals for the next week so that I know what to cook and so I make sure I have the ingredients I need on hand. Wednesday night I was planning on following this recipe for black bean quesadillas, but as I started getting ready to cook, I decided I would much rather do my own thing and make up my own recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚ Risky, I know, but I felt like if I made a few tweaks and added some personal touches the Hubs and I would like it better. However, since I pretty much like every food that is edible, I wasn’t worried if I would like it, but I had to please the man in my life.

I took one bite and thought it was absolutely delicious, but I anxiously waited for my husband to start eating his so I could hear his opinion. When he said, “it’s really good!”, I knew this recipe was a winner. ๐Ÿ™‚ So of course, I wanted to share it with all of you.

Black Bean Veggie Quesadillas

This meal was extremely easy, which automatically makes it one of my favorite weeknight foods to cook.

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas (personal choice here, whatever you like. The picture above is a low carb whole wheat tortilla, but I also made one with a corn tortilla. Both were delicious.)
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped bell pepper (whatever color is fine)
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Roasted red pepper hummus
  • Almond Milk
  • 1 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • Spinach
  • Taco seasoning
  • Avocado, salsa, or whatever you like for topping.

Steps:

1. Heat some olive oil in a pan on medium heat and sautรฉ onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms. I didn’t say exactly how many onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms to chop up because it really just depends how much you want to stuff your quesadillas with. I can’t even remember how much I used of everything. I also think you could experiment and try a lot of different veggies for this recipe, or take out whatever veggies you don’t like. I plan on trying some different ones next time!

IMG_5313

2. While vegetables are cooking, heat up black beans in a separate pot on the stove.

3. When vegetables are done transfer to a plate, and when beans are fully cooked remove them from heat.

4. Make this “cheese sauce” from ย Ashlee using two tablespoons of hummus and one tablespoon of almond milk, and then spread some of it on one tortilla.

IMG_5309

5. Spray the pan where you cooked the vegetables with more cooking spray, and place the tortilla, hummus side up, on the pan over medium heat.

6. Load up the tortilla with beans and the veggie mix. I also put spinach in mine, and I loved it! You could sautรฉ the spinach with the rest of the vegetables earlier if you would rather. After you load up the tortilla, sprinkle some taco seasoning on top. I didn’t measure how much I sprinkled, just use however much you like. (Preferably homemade seasoning so you don’t have any of the nasty, added ingredients, but if you use a package that’s okay too. I will admit sometimes I even have to do that for lack of time/ingredients. Luckily, I had homemade taco seasoning for this recipe.)

IMG_5308

7. Take another tortilla and spread more of the hummus mixture on one side, and then place the tortilla on top of the ย other tortilla that is now loaded with toppings, with the hummus side down.

IMG_5310

8. After 2-3 minutes, flip the quesadilla so that the other side can cook.

9. After the other side cooks, remove the quesadilla from heat, and begin to use the rest of the ingredients to make however many ย more quesadillas you can make! I was able to make one more quesadilla this size, and then one more smaller quesadilla using corn tortillas.

10. Top the finished quesadillas with whatever you want! We topped ours with avocado and salsa!

Black Bean Veggie Quesadillas

I took a picture before I put salsa on top though. And of course I enjoyed some more veggies on the side. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sidenote: If you didn’t want to make the “cheese sauce” with the hummus and almond milk, I think it would taste just as good by spreading the hummus without making the “sauce”. Also, for you meat lovers, you could easily add chicken or whatever other meat you like to this quesadilla. And if you just want meat and no beans, do that! That’s one of the things I love about this recipe; you can constantly change things and make it different! Oh, and if you want real cheese, you can also sprinkle some real cheese inside your quesadilla. I did this for Ryan. ๐Ÿ™‚

This recipe was so good, and so easy! If you make it, please let me know what you think!

Now, because it’s Friday and I’m happy, I am also going to share a workout with y’all! I did this yesterday and really enjoyed it!

Big shoulder and ab toner

I know my picture looks very “springy”, and we are smack dab in the middle of winter, but that is exactly why I made my picture look this way. I know I live in Texas and the weather I experience is nothing compared to what some of you are having, but I am sick of this cold weather, and I am so ready for spring! So making this bright colored, flower filled picture made me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope it makes you happy too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and if you do this workout, your shoulder and core muscles will be happy too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did this exercise yesterday for a total of three times, and as I have mentioned before, I want to make sure I keep doing strength exercises while I am training for my marathon. I am not overdoing it, but I am doing enough to keep me strong. I have grown to love strength training, and I don’t want to give it up. Besides, I know it makes me a better runner.

In case you don’t know what a plank punch is, you can watch this short video here to see it. I used weight though, so I held a barbell each time I punched the air in front of me.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you get a chance to make my black veggie quesadillas or try my shoulder and ab toner, let me know your thoughts!

This weekend I have a wedding shower for a friend from high school that I am going to with my Mom, and tomorrow night we are celebrating my grandpa’s 80th birthday with my family. Should be a fun weekend!

Questions:

1. What are your plans this weekend?

2. What is your weather like? Are you sick of the cold or do you enjoy it?

3. Do you ever plan to follow a recipe but then do your own thing?ย 

4. I will be meal planning for next week soon, any meal ideas for me?ย 

When You Have a Bad Run…

Sadly, as runners, not all of our runs are good, fast, or full of energy. Some of our runs are slow, hard, and just not enjoyable. Sadly, this morning was not my best run. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I have tried to increase my mileage in my long runs, so last Saturday I ran the longest distance I have ever run, 14 miles. I felt great, was happy with my time, and was so ecstatic I was smiling at the end of my run. Today, I decided to only run 7 miles since Ryan and I stayed with my parents last night and I didn’t want to spend as much of my Saturday morning running. As I was running today I just felt tired. Not like I can’t run tired, just I need more sleep tired. I couldn’t seem to push myself to run faster than I was going, even though I knew I was more than capable to go much faster than I was going. Several times during my run I considered stopping and ending early. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that and ended up finishing the seven miles I set out to do. My time was much slower than normal, but when I was finished I was at least happy that I finished what I said I would do that morning.

never regret a run

So what do I do when I have bad runs like this? Obviously tell myself that I am a horrible runner and I will be slow for the rest of my life. Just kidding. Please don’t ever tell yourself that. Everyone has bad runs just like every athlete has bad games, and just like every person has bad days. You have to tell yourself the next time will be better and then…GET OVER IT! Don’t kill yourself. I mean after all, it was just a run. It’s not life or death.ย 

good and bad runs

But you should think about why you had a bad run so that you can try to have a better run the next time. For me this morning, I knew I had not had enough sleep (I went to bed at 11:00 pm last night! My body was probably in shock since I like to be in bed by 9:30 ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I think I was also just tired from the week. So since I knew I needed more sleep, after I came home and had breakfast (oatmeal with a banana, blueberries, and peanut butter. Yum!) I took a much needed hour nap. Tomorrow is also my rest day, so I am sure that by then I will feel much better and I look forward to a successful, enjoyable run!

Some other reasons you might not have a good run is because of lack of proper nutrition the night before, an overworked body, or lack of good running apparel. Just take the time to think about what it is that you need to do to make sure your next run is better.

Okay, on a brighter note, let’s take it back to yesterday morning. Fridays I like to do some other form of exercise besides running since I like to go for a long run on Saturday. I started out and rode 30 minutes on my bike. Since it was dark I obviously had to bring the headlamp out.

headlamp

Please ignore my sleepy, no make-up face, and my crazy hair. It is 5 something in the morning, give me a break. ๐Ÿ™‚

After my bike ride I wanted to do a strength workout for my arms, but I didn’t have much time before I started getting ready. I was determined to use my time wisely so I made up this hard-core ten minute Autumn Arms Workout. We still need pretty, strong arms for Autumn even if we aren’t wearing those tank tops from the summer!

autumn arms

I did this and definitely felt the burn! It is the perfect workout if you don’t have much time! Make use of every minute you have! If you do this workout, let me know your thoughts. I would love some feedback!

Now I have to go get ready for Kaleigh’s (my brother’s fiance) bachelorette party tonight! They get married in two weeks!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Questions:

1. What do you do if you have a bad run? Are you hard on yourself after a bad run?

2. Favorite body part to workout?ย 

3. What fun thing are you doing today?ย 

Speed and Strength Workout

Happy Friday everyone! This week has just flown by, and I know next week is going to go by even faster as I finish up last minute wedding things. ๐Ÿ™‚

TGIF

This picture made me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

I realized yesterday that I haven’t shared a workout on the blog in a while, and yesterday I had a pretty good one so I wanted to share.

A couple of months ago, during the Forever Fitness Challengeย I said I wanted to work on my speed training more. I have not done this every week like I first tried to do, but I have done it more than usual! I have to remind myself to take it one step at a time, so just the fact that I am doing speed workouts is good since I hadn’t done any since high school.

Yesterday I went to the track and combined some sprints with some strength workouts using my awesome resistance bands Ryan gave me for my birthday!

2013-05-12 10.05.24

I did a total of twelve 100 meter sprints and 3 sets of these exercises.

  • 20 jumping lunges
  • 12 bicep curls
  • 15 squats
  • 12 tricep extensions
  • 10 jump squats
  • 12 wide flys
  • 15 push-ups
  • 10 shoulder press

I broke this down to do four 100 meter sprints followed by one set of these exercises until I completed twelve 100 meter sprints and 3 sets of the exercises.

Do whatever amount of weight is best for you, and feel free to do more or less reps.

This workout was really challenging, and the last four sprints were much harder than the first four! By the end my muscles were tired, but I loved it! It was a beautiful outside, and surprisingly Texas hasn’t gotten too hot yet, so it was a perfect morning for a workout!

Am I the only one who while I am sprinting, I feel like I am running as fast as these girls.

olympic sprinters

But then after I sprint, I look at the time on my watch and realize I was actually running at about the same pace as this girl.

fat girl running

I am not fast in the least bit, but that’s okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ladder Sprint and Strength Workout

Now I have been gone from the blogging world for so long, I feel like I owe everyone reading at least two workouts in this post. ๐Ÿ™‚ On Mother’s Dayย I did a different speed and strength workout at the track that I also really liked and planned on sharing with y’all several weeks ago, but I never got the chance. I did a ladder workout for the sprints and focused on arms for the strength portion.

I started out with this set:

  • Bicep curls
  • Shoulder press
  • Tricep kickbacks
  • Wide flys
  • Tricep extensions
  • Back flys
  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Diamond Push-ups

After this I completed the following sprints:

  • 100 meters
  • 200 meters
  • 400 meters
  • 800 meters

I did a set of the arm exercises followed by the sprints in order from shortest to longest, another set of arms, the ladder again from longest distance to shortest, and then a third set of arms. I finished with a 1:30 plank.

For the first set of arms I did 12 reps of each exercise, but for the second and third set I did 10 reps. Feel free to do however many reps is best for your body. I used resistance bands for all of the exercises that required weight. Again, make sure you do the amount of weight that is appropriate for you.ย 

I remember after this workout my arms felt like jello, which is obviously a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

2013-05-12 08.03.05

I actually hate track workouts (because I always feel so slow), but I though this made a great picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions:

Do you ever do track workouts?ย 

Would you rather do sprints or long distance? I would much rather do long distance, but I know sprints are good for me too and will make me faster.ย 

Do you have resistance bands or ever use them? I highly recommend getting them! You can get all different weights, and they are so easy to transport for traveling.ย