strength

Week of Fitness 2/24-3/2/2014

Hello friends! I hope you are all doing great! I just wanted to stop in to let y’all know how my marathon training is going!

Sidenote: Ryan’s work and my school were both cancelled today because of icy roads! It’s so weird to me that it’s March and only a week before spring break and we are still having winter weather! Saturday it was 80 degrees here, and Ryan and I went outside to enjoy the weather. I wore shorts and a tank top! Now it’s freezing. Typical Texas weather.

Anyways, here are last week’s workouts!

Monday: 4.62 easy miles. My legs were extremely sore last weekend from my last long run, so I did this run easy. Then I did a new arm workout that I can’t wait to share with you guys! Also, I did some yoga poses that Christine said were good for runners!

Tuesday: 5×50 workout from PurelyTwins

Wednesday: Wednesday was a stressful afternoon that made me very short on time. I was only able to run a fast two miles and then do random strength and cardio exercises inside as I waited for dinner to cook.

Thursday: 5 miles, and I planned on doing abs in the afternoon, but we had a really busy afternoon and night and I wasn’t able to get around to it. That’s totally okay though

Friday: Yoga, oh how I am growing to love yoga and the challenge of trying to improve. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday: 20 miles!! I was happy with how this went, and I felt much better when I finished than I did the week before after running 18!

Sunday: Rest! After those super long runs, I always love rest days. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you read my last post then you know that I said I was going to go back on my mileage last week…that obviously didn’t happen since I did a 20 miler. I started thinking, and instead of taking a rest week, and then running 20 miles and 22 miles back to back weekends, I decided to run 20, cut back on my mileage this week, and then two weekends from now go for 22 miles. Last week I also didn’t get in near as much strength training as I was hoping for, so I am going to try to get in more strength workouts this week!

Okay, now time to go off and enjoy some time with the Hubs! Have a great day and week!

P.S. I miss posting more often! Love y’all!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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 

Push Yourself Pyramid Workout

Monday is here again! Time to use today to make this a great week, and not use today to wish it was still the weekend. I am learning to find joy in every day and make the best of everything, which is exactly what I did this weekend. So let’s make this Monday marvelous!

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I wrote in yesterday’s postย that Ryan hurt his ankle pretty bad on Friday playing basketball. Because of this we couldn’t do much this weekend, but we made the most of it, and it was still a fantastic weekend! We have been super busy lately, so to have a weekend of us just relaxing together was fantastic!

Saturday was spent watching some television, talking and playing games with friends, and of course eating. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ryan woke up Sunday and his ankle was still really sore so we decided to stay home from church and watch a sermon on-line. I finished working on my resume and finally finished it up yesterday afternoon and then went grocery shopping. Last night my parents came over and brought us dinner from Braums. I just had leftovers at home, but I did have them bring me some frozen yogurt for dessert. ๐Ÿ™‚

While my parents were here with us they helped me make some corrections on my resume, and my sweet Dad ย mowed our lawn for us since Ryan can’t right now! He is the sweetest!

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Over the weekend I was also able to wash all of our dirty towels and clothes, clean the kitchen, sweep, and clean our guest bathroom. I love getting cleaning done before the week gets started!

Saturday morning before our friends came over I started the day with this:

Push Yourself Pyramid Workout

100 jumping jacks

90 squats (no weight)

80 crunches

70 bicep curls

60 supermans

50 mountain climbers

40 shoulder press

30 lunges

20 dips

10 burpees

30 second side plank (each side)

10 burpeesย 

20 dips

30 lunges

40 shoulder press

50 mountain climbers

60 supermans

70 bicep curls

80 crunches

90 squats (no weight)

100 jumping jacks

30 second side plank (each side)

When I did the bicep curls and shoulder press I used a 3 pound resistance band, which doesn’t seem like much, but by doing 80 bicep curls and 40 shoulder press, I definitely still felt it even though it wasn’t much weight! So if you do this workout you definitely have to use a light weight on the exercises that require weight since you will be doing so many reps. This was much different from the other weight workouts and circuits I have been doing, so I enjoyed the change-up.

Like always, if you do it, please let me know what you think about this workout! Be ready to push yourself if you do it! ๐Ÿ™‚

So I hope everyone has a marvelous Monday, and I hope everyone makes the most of their day, no matter what the circumstances!

Questions:

1. What are you looking forward to about this week?

2. Tell me something good from your weekend?

3. Any good breakfast ideas I should try this week? I need to change up my normal breakfasts!

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!

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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™‚

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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