New Running Plan: Less is More or More is More?

Hi friends! Today (Tuesday) is my last day before I start working again! I’m going to be working at the vet I’ve worked at in the past.

I started my morning with a delicious Cara Cara orange and a Flapjacked muffin.

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The first thing on the agenda for the day was a walk with Chloe! It was nice and sunny out!

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Next, it was time for a track workout!

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I feel like this track is at the edge of the world. It’s got great views of the bay.

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My workout was 400m repeats. I’m officially in 5k speed training mode! I spent a ton of time warming up, because I was pretty sore from squats on Monday. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a great workout. The past week or so, I’ve been dealing with a little bit of tendonitis in my Achilles, and on my first repeat it started bothering me. I got through 5 repeats and called it there. I think a combination of a 5k on Sunday and a lot of double unders in 17.5 on Friday put a lot of work into my calves, tightening my Achilles. It came on kind of suddenly during my track workout, so I’m hoping it goes away as quickly as it came!

I want to talk a little bit about 5k speed training. For the last 5k, I was trying to get in 2 runs a week, but sometimes it was only 1. Now that I’m not teaching so much spin and the Crossfit Open is over, I want to put some work into speed. My goal race is April 23. Last week, I was thinking about my training. I was ready to step up my running a lot, and go for 3 days a week including a speed day. However, my formerly broken foot was feeling a little achy after a few intense workout days in a row, and I realized I would have to be smart about how I train. This little tendonitis flare up is another example. So going forward, this is the plan. 1 day of a normal 3 mile run, 1 day of a speedier 3 mile run, and 1 day of EITHER a track workout OR directed cross training, depending on what was happening that week. If Crossfit has a lot of jumping, it can be hard on my foot, so I would skip the track workout. If I’m on my feet all day at the vet and my foot is feeling it, I would skip the track workout. For now, my directed cross training will be 8 rounds of HIIT on the spin bike. 1 min on, 1:15 off. But for this to actually be effective, I have to really crush the intervals. Because of my tendonitis, I’ve already decided to scrap my planned run on Thursday!

After my workout, I drove to the mall for lunch at a bakery with my parents. I got a small fruit salad with chicken and a sesame ginger dressing.

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After lunch, we walked over to See’s to pick up some Mint Scotchmallows before they get phased out. For those not in places with See’s, first of all, I’m sorry. Second, a Scotchmallow is caramel and marshmallow, covered in dark chocolate. For the mint ones, the marshmallow is mint.

Of course, I wasn’t going to turn down a free sample! I had a free Chocolate Buttercream, and one of the mint Scotchmallows.

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Later in the afternoon, I had a Lemon Luna bar for a snack. It’s been FOREVER since I’ve had a Lemon one! These used to be my jam a few years ago, and the bright lemon flavor tastes like spring!

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For evening Crossfit, we worked on 5×3 cleans at a heavy weight. I used 115#, and it felt far heavier than it should have. Yeah, cleans need some work. The WOD was dips, sit ups, and running, but I subbed rowing for the running.

For dinner, we made hearty chicken stew with butternut squash and quinoa. Served with Brazilian cheese bread.

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For dessert, again I had salted caramel Halo Top with marble bread.

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I’m still loving my rice cakes. Evening snack was the same rice cake with cream cheese.

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Now I’m off! Big day tomorrow!

Life Post-Crossfit Open

Hi friends! I have another Quick and Easy meal idea for you, and then I’m going to go through some food and fitness post-Crossfit Open.

Today’s meal idea is PaleOMG’s 5 Ingredient Butternut Squash and Sage Casserole.

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The flavor combo of butternut squash and sage is genius. I modified the recipe a little bit to meet our needs, and I have a few suggestions for how to make this even quicker and easier! For the eggs, I used a full carton of egg whites because #lazy. In lieu of sausage, I added Quatro Formaggio cheese and spinach.

We served it with french toast with nice maple syrup! (Apparently it’s nearly impossible to get Grade B maple syrup anymore? This one was “formerly Grade B.”)

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So how can this be even quicker, easier, and better for a single person? First of all, buying pre-cut squash is key. Second, the squash can be steamed in the microwave instead of roasted. Lastly, it would be easy to assemble a single serving and just microwave the whole thing!

Monday morning began the beginning of Crossfit post-Open. We haven’t really been doing any strength since the Open started, and our strength pre-Open was long sets.

Pre-Crossfit, I had a small handful of Chocolate Cheerios because squat day.

For the workout, strength was 5×5 bench press at 80% and 5×5 back squat at 75%. Oof, I haven’t squatted in a while. The first set honestly was the worst.

The WOD was a quick one, since the strength took most of the time. It was:

3 rounds:

15 wall balls

12 step ups with kettlebell

9 knees to elbow

Also, now that the Open is over, I’m breaking in my new Nike Metcons! They’re the 2s, so the same as my old ones, but a different color!

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Post workout, I broke out a throwback “yogurt” bowl.

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This throwback is from Summer 2013. Peach kefir, vanilla cereal, and sunbutter. Plus a pink lady apple from our CSA.

Mid-morning, I took Chloe for a walk in the lagoons. I listened to a couple of podcasts, and she was relatively well behaved!

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For lunch, I made a salad with leftover roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, dried cranberries, deli turkey, and balsamic vinaigrette. Avocado toast with everything bagel seasoning on the side.

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I spent some time in the afternoon cutting t-shirts in preparation for making a t-shirt quilt. Obviously I had a helper.

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I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this before, but we actually found Charlie as a kitten at a softball tournament when I was in high school. He was actually sleeping on the shirt from that tournament!

For a mid afternoon snack, I had a slice of chocolate cranberry bread from my freezer stash, along with a ginger chew.

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I went to an evening yoga class. I like this one a lot because it’s a lot different than my typical vinyasa. This class stretched out my muscles that were already sore from morning squats.

For dinner, we made a veggie scramble with mushrooms, shredded carrots, spinach, tomato, scallions, and a delicious goat gouda. Served with rosemary potatoes from our CSA.

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For dessert, I broke into my freezer stash again for marble bread (chocolate banana swirled with persimmon) and salted caramel Halo Top.

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Then, my nightly snack was a brown rice cake with whipped chive cream cheese.

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17.5, Goats, First Place

Thursday night, Dave Castro announced the workout for the Crossfit Open 17.5, surprising absolutely no one.

That’s right. I think pretty much everyone guessed that 17.5 would be some type of couplet with thrusters and double unders.

Thursday dinner: roasted carrots+spaghetti squash mac n cheese.

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Friday was a rainy day in these parts. Low key day, but I have to highlight a trip to Costco because one of the free samples was Ghiradelli bunny shaped caramels! So cute!
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Lunch was another Quick and Easy meal I’d like to highlight.

This salad is crazy simple, healthy, and delicious. It’s literally just lettuce with hummus as dressing, goat cheese, and an egg. This is one I’ve packed for lunch countless times, with just a microwaved. Of course, when the egg is perfectly runny and the goat cheese is higher quality, it is taken up a notch.

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Finally…17.5!

17.5 was simple: 10 rounds, 9 thrusters (65# for women), 35 double unders.

I figured the double unders would slow me down. My double unders can be pretty hit or miss based on the day, and they go downhill a lot when my arms get tired!

The other little interesting part for me was that my jumprope has a little wire sticking out the bottom, and if I whip myself a certain way, it cuts me. So sometimes I randomly start bleeding during double unders. Fantastic.

My only real strategy for this was to try and go unbroken on the thrusters for as many rounds as possible, with the goal of getting at least 5 rounds unbroken.

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^From our Facebook page.

This workout was definitely a gasser. I was breathing heavy early on, but nothing at least was too crazy heavy. I struggled with double unders early on. I came out the first set of thrusters way too tight, and had a lot of difficulty stringing together sizable sets. After a few rounds though, I started to find a better rhythm. I kept up my unbroken thrusters throughout all 10 rounds. I wasn’t planning on it, but by the time I got to rep 5 or 6 and wanted to put it down, it seemed like more effort to put it down and pick it back up than to just push out a few more reps. Also, I’m very glad it was 9 and not 10. Because I kept for some reason thinking 10 and then being pleasantly surprised to be none at 9.

About halfway through, all I could think was “f*** this.”

I didn’t start really REALLY gasping for air until the last round, but it was a short enough period of time (one round) that I figured, ehh who needs to breathe?

I finished in 19:19 Rx.

After watching and judging some other people, we had an end of the Open party.

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Barbells and beer. Nothing better. Semi-still considering changing this blog’s name, hah!

We have such a great community here, and it was a fun way to celebrate the Open.

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I thought I escaped without too much rope damage, until I was getting ready for bed and saw the tell-tale tiger stripes. Yeah. No blood though!

Saturday morning, I realized why having mostly beer calories for post-workout recovery was maybe not the best idea. I had some food at the party, but no real protein until about 3 hours after the workout. I woke up Saturday sore already!

For breakfast, I had another throwback yogurt bowl: vanilla Greek yogurt, pumpkin bread, sunbutter. This is always a good one.

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Saturday morning, we learned that my sister’s cat had somehow gotten out the previous night, and was missing. We spent a lot of the day Saturday helping out with that (with Chloe as well), to no avail. Thankfully, we got word early Sunday morning that he came home all on his own!

In between this, I spent a few hours driving down to Pescadero with some high school friends to visit a goat dairy! We had the pleasure of petting 5-6 day old babies!

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As well as some 1 month year old kids!

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And of course the ladies! We also had the opportunity to sample some really delicious goat cheese. Not only was there chèvre, but also really delicious ricotta and feta.

The drive down the coast is always beautiful!

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We made a quick stop at the beach at Half Moon Bay before heading home.

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Dinner was assembled in no time at all later that evening. We got precooked chicken stuffed with rice and broccoli as well as a kale caesar salad mix at Coscto, which I served with some of my fresh chive goat cheese on toast!

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A little later in the evening, I went back out with the same friends for some wine and a really confusing board game.

I was in bed nice and early Saturday night, so I awoke well before my alarm on Sunday for RACE DAY!

I did the Hellyer 5k, which I’ve done 3 times in the past. Fun fact: when I did this race last year, I had a broken foot. I just didn’t realize it yet. This was one of the early indications that something was wrong. It was also 2 days after Crossfit Open 16.4, which destroyed my lower back and I legitimately could not straighten my body. So I figured I should do better this year!

Once again, Chloe came! She made a friend again, before even leaving the parking lot!

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Obligatory awkward stretching picture:

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Race ready!

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(Also, aren’t my shoes so pretty?? I got them for myself with graduation money, but they didn’t come before I left for my summer internship so now I get to use them!)

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I knew I wasn’t PR trained for this race, so I wasn’t even going to go there. I’ve been putting in some work, but the reality of it is I haven’t run as much as I probably needed to to be there, thanks to lots of travel, plus teaching spin 3 classes a week, plus the Crossfit Open. I decided to just do my best, but race smart. Negative splits, my friends! My original plan was to go for miles at 8:25, 8:15, and then 8:05 for an average of 8:15ish, but pushing the last mile more if I could. IMG_0032

My spectator! She spotted me on the course about halfway through and had a fit!

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My first 2 miles clocked in at 8:20, which I decided was just about right. Since it was a small race, I also didn’t think there was anyone in my age group ahead of me! During the middle miles (aka the rough part of a race), I thought about one of my training runs. It was really awful. It was 6am in Philadelphia (3am CA time) on a treadmill at the hotel, before I had to board my flight. The whole thing was sluggish and I didn’t enjoy it at all, but I didn’t turn down the speed. It’s the little moments in training you remember when it’s time to dig deep.

I picked up the pace for the last mile plus!

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The race course was changed due to some flooding, so they actually had to lengthen it a little bit. My watch did notify me of my 5k time though!

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And overall:

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I’m not sure if you can tell in this picture, but we have matching blue ribbons!

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The cherry on top was finding out I got 1st place in my age group! Gotta love these small races!

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As wild as Chloe was for the race and race festivities? On the drive home?

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After reading last year’s recap, I knew we needed to stop at the local gluten free bakery for brunch. My mom and I split a turkey avocado sandwich on foccaccia.

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As well as a cinnamon roll and a lemon poppyseed loaf. YUM.

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When we got home, my family and I iced our various ailments. My dad recently pulled a muscle, and I’ve been dealing with a wonky knee lately. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but my left knee has been sore lately. It doesn’t seem like activity I do hurts it, but it hurts when I bend it a certain way, off and on. It started after my long trip to the East Coast, and I think I might have hyperextended it a little bit by slipping on snow. Either way, it’s not a big issue but it get creaky on and off. While icing, we tried a Campfire Stout from Costco, which was basically S’Mores Stout. The verdict? Delicious.

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That’s all for this post, but look out for another quick and easy idea for tomorrow!

 

 

Quick and Easy: Turkey Red Pepper Wraps

I’m popping in today for a Quick and Easy meal idea!

This I saw on Blogilates years ago, and have gone through phases of enjoying it off and on ever since!

It’s easy, healthy, satisfying, and requires just a few basic ingredients that are easy to have on hand!

Turkey Red Pepper Wraps

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I’ve mentioned this before, but there are only a few occasions for which I enjoy red pepper, and this is one of them. For smaller tortillas, I make 2 wraps. The tortillas I have now are larger so I stuff everything in one!

All you need is deli turkey, tortillas, laughing cow (this is really good with the sundried tomato laughing cow), spinach, and sliced red pepper.

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For a larger tortilla, spread 2 wedges of laughing cow (the white cheddar is also delicious in this), then add spinach, turkey, red pepper, and roll it all up!

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Is It Legit?

In the age of the Internet, there are a million pieces of information you can read, especially related to health. Anyone on the Internet can write just about anything, so how do you know if the information is legitimate?

Today, we’re going to discuss how to tell if an health article has information that you can trust.

  1. Look at the author. Is he/she an educated professional? Is he/she an RD, PhD, MD? What else has this author written? Look for credible authors who have a strong background in what they are writing about.
  2. Where is the article? Is it a random blog? A trendy magazine? More credible sources are those that require more scrutiny in their research, such as WedMD, Mayo Clinic, or major news sources like the New York Times or Newsweek.
  3. Does the article cite science? If there is no scientific basis stated, it is likely there isn’t any. Anyone can come up with a theory and write about it on the Internet. Make sure there are some studies, or at minimum a scientific explanation. One person’s personal experience might be interesting, but that alone isn’t science and should be taken with a grain of salt.
  4. How valid is the study? Honestly, anyone with an idea can probably find some sort of study that supports it, but not all studies are equal. A small study on an extremely small group of people may have one result, but because the population of the study is so specific, it may not translate to all people at large. Ideally, multiple studies would support the idea, and the studies would be well controlled (no confounding variables) and on large groups of people. Randomized blind studies are generally good. Also, look at who is funding the study. Studies funded by Coca Cola interestingly show that sugar is “just an empty calorie,” versus non-soda industries that show sugar has other negative metabolic effects.
  5. Be wary of any diet recommendation that cuts out a food or a food group completely. With the exception of trans fat, there really is no food that can’t be part of a healthy diet. People are often looking for a quick fix, and cutting one item out completely often offers the promise of a quick fix. Which leads us to…
  6. Be wary of any diet recommendation (or food supplement) that promises rapid weight loss. There truly is no such thing as a quick fix. If a actually product causes you to lose 10 pounds in 10 day, that’s honestly kind of concerning. It’s not possible to lose fat that quickly, so you have to question where all that weight is coming from. It’s often water. Consistent nutrition is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
  7. If you are looking at a general nutrition article, be suspicious of anything that promises weight loss as an effect. Let’s be honest: most of the United States wants to lose weight. It’s a MAJOR selling point, and a really easy way to manipulate people with marketing. For instance, if an article about gluten promises weight loss. Cutting out gluten is something that only matters if you have a sensitivity to it; it doesn’t cause excess fat. Or another example: I was looking at a test you order online that measures food sensitivity. It seemed interesting, but I clicked out as soon as I saw promises of weight loss. Those things are usually not that connected. Sure, if you have an intolerance, it could cause inflammation that could cause a little excess weight, but that claim made me question the credibility of the science in this particular test.

And since I’ve talked your ear off, let’s move onto food, shall we?

Pre-Workout:

I woke up hungry, so I had half a piece of banana bread before 7am Crossfit.

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At Crossfit, it was a small class of 2. Strangely, the coach didn’t show up. The coach who led 6am had to leave, so he left me in charge! We did the workout as programed. We started out working on handstand holds against the wall. Mine actually felt pretty good, and I practicing the act of kicking up onto the wall (without actually doing it). I felt like I was maybe going to be able to kick up, but didn’t want to try it while unattended.

Then, we did a 10 minute AMRAP:

12 lateral burpees (over the bar)

9 clean and jerk (I used 85#)

6 kettlebell goblet squats

We both worked hard, and I finished just under 3 rounds.

Breakfast:
I had a throwback breakfast! I made a yogurt bowl with vanilla Greek yogurt, banana, and sunbutter. This is a throwback to my yogurt obsession in 2013.

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Later that morning, I took Chloe for a nice long walk while listening to a podcast. We thankfully avoided the rain, but there were quite a few puddles.

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Lunch:

I made a salad with a drizzle of champagne vinaigrette, rotisserie chicken, hummus, and Tzatziki sauce. Crackers on the side.

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Snack:

One exciting event was getting an apple fritter! I’ve been wanting one for SO long, and when I won a free pastry in Safeway Monopoly, I had to make it happen. I split one three ways with my parents.

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It was absolutely everything.

In terms of how I felt with gluten, I would say weird. No stomach flare, but there was some brain fog type of stuff going on. I again felt this weird (slight) disconnect between my brain and my hands, and I fell asleep within 20 minutes of eating it. I sort of felt intoxicated. Weird.

To try and lessen the effects I might get from it, I finished off my bag of Mochi crackers, and later had some egg whites with American cheese.

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Dinner:

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A delicious rice bowl that made use of our fresh CSA veggies. Mushrooms sautéed with garlic and thyme, brown rice, roasted asparagus, and an egg over easy.

Dessert:

Banana bread.

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Night snack: Thin Mint cereal. Seriously, this stuff is so good.

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