This is How I Roll

I apologize for the lack of posts this week.  We’re starting to feel the stress of the upcoming school year in my office, not to mention I’ve been dealing with web development all week to completely scrap my program’s website and redo it.  ARGH!  So for a few days, blogging seemed to closely related to web development and I had to distance myself.  My campus’ web developer program and I have conflicting personalities and we don’t get along. At all.

Aside from my weekend workouts and coming in to the office on Saturday to get things done (lame sauce!), I don’t have any exciting plans other than the typical laundry routine.  I mean really, I’d envy my life too. HA!

Really cool blog post by Greatist this week about foam rolling.  Check it out! A foam roller is like a toothbrush for your muscles – it gets all the “gunk build-up” from workouts pushed out of your muscles to prevent/break up scar tissue formed during the “healing/recovery” stage after a workout.

Are any of you a dedicated foam rolling machine?  I was until my quad gave me problems.  I’d practically live on my foam roller after long runs to prevent and work out any “kinks”.  Foam rolling (or foam “rollering” as I call it when am talking faster than my brain can think) is just like a free massage.  It’s not necessarily meant to hurt, but any soreness being “worked out” will bring an awareness of “HEY! I’m an overworked muscle and need some TLC!”.  What? Your muscles don’t have conversations with you…?  Hmm… My hip flexors and IT band have been extra tight recently so I need to “punish them” with some foam rolling this weekend.

Next week begins the month of “cupcake excitement”…Key Lime Pie, Summer Crush, Banana Split….oh my!  My mouth is already watering 🙂

 

Weekend Round-Up and…Cupcakes…

This weekend was just like any other – long bike rides, ab workouts, dissertation editing, cleaning, and laundry.  Actually, the cleaning isn’t an every weekend “thing”, but with August looming (the point in my year when my job gets crazy and I can’t catch up on life until May) I was “nesting” and felt the urge to clean, clean, clean!  Definitely a good calorie-burner!

I might have eaten a lot of frozen custard this past weekend…but that didn’t stop me from checking cupcakes off of my “Cupcake Challenge” list.

Grasshopper

GRASSHOPPER

I don’t like to give negative reviews, but this is definitely my least favorite cupcake thus far.  I am a HUUUUGE fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream (it doesn’t last the weekend in my house) and any chocolate/mint combo.  But I’m also leery of “fake” mint flavor.  What was it that didn’t work for me with this cupcake?  The icing…it’s hard to explain.  The cupcake as a whole was good and everything a cupcake should be.  But the odd tasting mint-icing just didn’t do it for me.  Even the dark chocolate “cake” portion didn’t seem to have much flavor.  Since I’ve never had a bad cupcake from The Cup, I’m willing to consider this one as a fluke.  Sometimes my taste buds are just “off”.  I haven’t even been “craving” anything lately…even around meal times, nothing really sounds good even though I’m hungry.  Weird.  So maybe in a month when The Grasshopper returns, I’ll give it another go.

Until then, there are several upcoming cupcakes in August that I’m so excited to try!  Better up my mileage that month to justify my extra sweet treats 🙂

Leg update:  PT is going well – my stupid quad is pretty finicky and hurts during some exercises some days but not others when previous exercises that caused me no pain suddenly do.  BUT, the pain level has significantly decreased.  There was MAYBE a FAINT promise of POSSIBLY incorporating some light running into my PT regimen next week.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed! 🙂  Those descriptor words make it seem promising, eh? HA!

Cupcake Challenge Update…Finally!

Another one I said I didn’t care if I tried, and boy was I silly to think that!

Graceland

GRACELAND

This one is only available the month of July. In honor of The King himself, this delicious cupcake consists of a light & moist banana cake, comforting peanut butter buttercream frosting, and a chocolate-dipped banana chip.  I was nervous about the banana cake.  I’m always leery of anything banana, other than real bananas, since most of my banana-flavored experiences tend to taste to “fake”.  You know, like the banana Runts or banana Laffy Taffy flavor?  Yuck!  Not so with this cake.  DELICIOUS!  Very decadent and just the right about of flavor.

Since I’m the queen of adapting recipes and I’m also obsessed with mini-chocolate chips, I pressed a layer of mini-chocolate chips onto the frosting.  WOWZA!  The chocolate chips REALLY enhanced the peanut butter AND banana flavor.  MMMM!

Two thumbs up, The Cup!  Maybe if I reference their website enough, they’ll get wind of my Cupcake Challenge and hook me up with some free cupcakes.  A girl can dream…

Weekend, & Weddings, & Hills, OH MY!

Happy Tuesday, friends.  I trust everyone had a good weekend.  Just a few things to catch you up on:

Saturday & Sunday were long bike rides.  Saturday’s was 35 miles, Sunday’s was 42.  Both days, my legs were feeling just a tad on the “tanked” side.  Sunday’s ride was a little hotter since I allowed myself to sleep 1 hour later to an oh-so-late 6:30am.  Seriously, I need to be more disciplined ;).  Saturday day/night was spent celebrating one of my best friend’s wedding & reception.  Not only was I pooped from the all-day affair, the heat, and the all-night dancing, I was up until 12:30am (I know…ridiculous!) so I forced myself to get at least 6 hours of sleep.  Pushing back my workout by 1 hour shockingly made a huge difference with the temperature…blah.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the wedding:

My dearest friends, the Crazy 8s.  I love them and appreciate them more than words can say.  ❤

How’s the leg, you ask?  It’s shockingly getting better after only 2 days of physical therapy and 3-4 days of PT exercises at home.  It probably helps a lot that I sincerely haven’t run in almost 2 weeks…I say ‘sincerely’ because I’ve been known to lie and say “Nooooo, I haven’t been running, I’ve cut back A LOT”.  Translation? I’m still doing my long runs and 1 weekday run.  Eh.  Fortunately, I was only at my 12-13 mile long run so once I’m cleared to run again, I won’t have missed too many long runs to be ready for the race.  Eeek!

Speaking of the race, they released the course map.  It’s a doozy.

See all the red loop-de-loops on the left?  That’s Forest Park and it’s HILLY.  So are Miles 1-6 and Miles 13-16.  Yikes.  Might have to kiss my time goal good-bye.

Anyone else have a killer workout this weekend?

Veggies & Cookie Dough

Let’s be honest, that’s really all I ate yesterday.  Well, and a few other “good for me” foods, but all I really remember is the abundance of veggies and cookie dough (the healthy kind…sorta…).

Just to break it down for you, I throw nearly 1/2 – 1 cup of spinach into my post-workout protein shake. Then, I tear up about 1/4 cup of spinach and 1/4 of a green pepper into my scrambled egg for breakfast.  Lunch consisted of my massive salad (1 cup of spinach, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 1/2 of a cucumber, 1 green onion, 1/2 cup of broccoli) and roasted zucchini & patty pan squash that I made up during my lunch hour (how’s THAT for time management?!).  Never heard of patty pan squash?  I hadn’t either…they look so bizarre!

Dinner consisted of more roasted zucchini & squash and baked beef stew with biscuits.

(I always add a bag of frozen veggies to make the beef stew “go farther” and the added veggies never hurt!).  Surprisingly, the not-so-clean Beef Stew & Biscuits gets a “B” on the nutrition front.  Easy and relatively healthy?  I’ll take it.  Nutritional info can be found here.

The Roasted Zucchini Recipe was courtesy of The Food Network’s Robin Miller.  I’d forgotten how much I love her recipes (and her cooking show!).  Plus, this wasn’t a fancy recipe with ingredients I didn’t have.  Here lately I’ve been trying to only use recipes with ingredients in my pantry (unless I’m out of a common item, of course).  I still have an abundance of zucchini, even after this recipe.

I’ve been jonesin’ for cookie dough since last weekend and haven’t gotten my fix yet.  So during my typical evening Pinterest session, I found this amaaaazing and clean cookie dough recipe.  I didn’t have any egg whites (well, I do, but I need those eggs to get me through this week’s breakfasts!) so I subbed 1/4 cup watered down Greek yogurt for the 1/4 cup egg whites.  AHHHH! Delish!  I wasn’t planning on baking the cookie dough and simply have been eating it raw, which is totally acceptable since it is egg free…but don’t worry, I’d eat it raw even if it was made with eggs.  Whatever… 🙂

So there you have it, my day full of veggies and delicious cookie dough.  They proved to be good fuel for my 17-mile bike ride this morning.

In other updates, my follow-up orthopedist appointment post-MRI is tomorrow morning.  So I’ll get the scoop on what the deal is with my leg.  Maybe they’ll offer to saw it off and give me a new leg.  That’d be swell.  I’ve got my fingers crossed for a “Hm, we don’t see any tears or anything else…PT for 4-6 weeks” solution.  That way, my race is still a go!

Welcome to Hell…sort of…

Satan called.  He wants his weather back.  Oh my GOODNESS!  This recent heat wave did me in.  Friday, weather.com claimed it was 111 degrees in Edwardsville, IL!  And that’s not with a heat index folks!  SHEESH!  I’ve never witnessed the mercury get THAT high.  I’ve seen the heat index be higher than 111, but not the actual temperature.  My shoes truly felt like they were melting during my walk into the office.  Needless to say, this heat has me getting up at 5:30am on the weekends in an attempt to squeeze in my long workouts before it’s too unbearable.  I’m usually done by 9am, and even then it’s already been hitting the 90-degree mark.  Good grief.

Fortunately, the temperature today isn’t supposed to be above 90 degrees.  It’s sad that 90 degrees feels “cool”.  That’s adaptation for ya, eh? 🙂

I have been feeling so great lately.  After a solid week or two of a super-disciplined diet, I’m feeling fantastic.  Wearing my BodyMedia armband has REALLY helped with that.  Now I have a better idea of what MY body burns throughout the day and on specific days.  Call me a control freak, but I love seeing the results when I sync my armband in the evening.  It’s cool to see which part of the day shows me burning more calories based on my activities and body temperature.  Plus, I love seeing my sleep efficiency.  It’s scarily accurate at everything it records.  I won’t deny having doubts at first…

How do you all do with the heat?  Is exercising outside more difficult for you in hot temperatures?

As much as I hate heat, I think I hate running in the cold more.  The grass is always greener though…

I LIVE for this!!

Epic weekend of physical activity.  Seriously. Epic.

Obviously, I’m still on a cycling/running high.  Saturday, instead of doing hot yoga in a 100-degree room, I decided to tackle a 30-mile ride on my awesome bike in 100-degree weather.  And it was awesome.  It felt so great to be back on the saddle again (literally) and I was living on a high the rest of the day.  It was a great workout, definitely a new Saturday workout!

Sunday was, of course, Sunday Runday.  With the pain I’ve been dealing with in my right upper leg, the “smart” runner in me knew I shouldn’t run, especially a long run.  But I’m not chalking up this marathon just yet and I wrapped my right quad (I really do love compression.  It feels so safe and secure!) and I set out for an 11-12 mile run.  The first mile wasn’t the most comfortable, but my leg warmed up and didn’t feel too bad.  By mile 7 I realized my leg didn’t hurt at all.  This is one of the many things I love about long-distance running.  At a certain point in your run, you really can’t feel anything, physically or mentally.  And it’s great.

I ran 9 miles at a consistent pace of 10 to 10’20” miles.  Then mile 10 and 11 hit with the heat and I slowed down by nearly a minute per mile.  A big “woof” to the insane heat. Crazy.

I managed a 20-minute cool down on the bike and some ab-work before I headed home to begin the typical Sunday Runday recovery: protein shake, shower, ice on injuries, delicious comforting breakfast & coffee, and the rest of the day to do nothing but lay on the couch.  Yup, Sundays are the best day of the week ever.  Until 5pm hits…Oh well.

I’m taking advantage of the holiday being in the middle of the week, which is just cruel and took off today and tomorrow.  Just a little 5-day weekend, no biggie 🙂

Also fitness-related:  I downloaded Chrissie Wellington’s new book (audio version), A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Story.  I’m just a TAD excited to read it.  This will make me yearn for the Kona Ironman to be on TV again.