Tuesday, August 31, 2010

no more p90x!

Saturday was day 90 of the p90x program.  I tried my best during those 12 weeks to really get into the program and attempt all of the exercises.  I think for the most part I did pretty well and even did my first chin-up ever.  Towards the end of the program I found myself substituting the cardio days for running.  I am a runner.  Or at least I try to be.  I don't really like jumping around or doing any other type of cardio.  I'm glad I gave a different style of working out a chance but I'm going to stick with running until I'm old and gray.

If people are looking for an exercise program to get them into shape then they should definitely try p90x.  The trick is to stay focused and not to cheat during any of the 60-75 minute work outs.  Following the eating plan would also be way more beneficial, although maintaining a healthy diet in general would help as well.  I'm pretty sure Ryan is going to keep doing most of the work outs from p90x and incorporate running into the rest of his exercise plan.  Who knows I might do some of it too.  For now I need to focus on my running goals and continue to do my own weight training during off days.  Let's get physical people!

friends in town + too much drinking = overall good weekend

Before jumping into a recap from this past weekend's festivities, I should probably start off with Friday.

Ah yes Friday ... how I love this special day in the week.  I had a half day from work and left the corporate world around 11:30am.  Once I got home I had a lot of cleaning to do since we had friends staying with us on Saturday night.  I was pleasantly surprised around 12:30pm when Ryan walked through our front door and said he would work from home the rest of the day.  Woo!  That meant having lunch with my husband (which we never really get to do).  We headed to Black Bean Deli and feasted on Cuban specialities.  I had roasted pork, black beans and rice, and fried plantains.  Delicious.  The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning and around 5:00pm we finally got motivated to head outside for a run.

It was so incredibly hot and muggy outside.  Ryan and I struggled through 5.35 miles in under 50 minutes.  I was relieved that my long run for the week was done and I could focus on having fun the rest of the weekend.  We "raced" home ... ha ha sorry ... and got showered and ready for dinner at Season's 52 for Mike's birthday.  I love our little friend family (Bree, Mike, Chris, Ryan, and I).  After dinner we continued the celebration at Dexter's and had a couple (some had 5) drinks.  No one is judging here though.

While the boys all had their fantasy football drafts on Saturday, I had filled my day up with some other fun activities.  I had lunch at Cityfish with my friend Ralf and his girlfriend and mom.  After enjoying 1/2 dozen raw oysters and macaroni and cheese (truly a balanced meal), I headed to Wallstreet Plaza for the UCF tailgate/pep rally.  We drank and we rallied and there was pep all around.  I somehow managed to stay out the rest of the day/night and met up with Ryan and Co. at another bar downtown.  Good times were had by all.

Sunday morning was not pretty.  I fell asleep in all of my clothes AGAIN.  Sometimes jean skirts and tank tops are way more comfortable to sleep in than pajamas.  Really you should try it.  The morning improved when we arrived at Winter Park Country Club to play golf with Pablo, Alex, and Chad.  Although it was only 9 holes of golf we were all moving at a snails pace and took 3 hours to finish.  We rewarded ourselves with some late lunch at Dexter's (seems like we really like going here doesn't it?).

The rest of Sunday was spent on the couch with Honey watching television.  I like to call this my favorite way of winding down after a fun filled weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

speed racer

Maybe I shouldn't get ahead of myself and make my new nickname be Speedy Gonzalez, but yesterday's run was definitely faster than normal.  It might've had to do with the fact that it was hot outside and I wanted to get my run over and done with.  Whatever the reason was, I was really moving it around Lake Eola.  Ryan and I finished our 2.52 mile run in 20:15 minutes.  When I checked my Garmin at the 2 mile mark I had noticed we were on a 8:15 minute mile pace.  This is much faster than I usually run.  Once I saw we were close to our house I definitely started sprinting.  I felt great after yesterday's run and looked forward to refueling at Tijuana Flats for dinner. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

mmm free and delicious

I like to read blogs while I'm at work.  There I said it.  As long as I get all of my work done (and don't overly look like I'm a huge slacker) I think my occasional blog reading is ok.  There are just so many out there to read!

I found Shelby's blog while I was catching up on Julie's blog this morning.  Anyways she mentioned a LARABAR giveaway and I loooooooooooove those things.  One of the ways to enter is by posting a link to her giveaway.

So here you have it LARABAR giveaway from Shelby

I've been lazy ...

and unmotivated ... and pretty much not interested in doing a whole lot of anything (ie. blogging, running, etc.)

I'm not sure why I've been in this funk but today is the day to come out of it.  The sun was shining this morning, the birds were chirping away, and I made the decision to stop worrying about things I cannot control and just go one with my life.

The work situation is still in limbo and every day I wonder when I'll be laid off.  It's not exactly the best work environment and since I'm here most of the day it ends up souring my mood all around.  Since I have no control over when I'll actually be let go it's probably a good time to stop thinking about it day after day. 

I haven't stopped working out completely but have definitely noticed a decrease in miles ran during the past 2 weeks.  After the 5k on the 14th I've only run 4 times.  Yesterday I managed to do some cardio and split 40 minutes between the bicycle and the treadmill. 
  • 20 minutes, 2.12 miles - treadmill
  • 20 minutes, 3.9 miles - bicycle
I'm looking forward to running again today with my favorite running partner (Ryan).  There should be a long run this weekend as well and by next week I should be back on the half marathon training plan.  Let's get motivated!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Celebration of Running 5k recap

This past Saturday I ran Track Shack's Celebration of Running 5k.  It was the 4th year that I participated in this race.  Looking back at my previous times makes me glad to know that I've become a better, faster runner.

  • 2007, 28:09
  • 2008, 26:28
  • 2009, 25:48
  • 2010, 25:31
The Celebration of Running 5k is the first race of Track Shack's running season.  There is usually an organized race at least once a month for the next 8 months held by Track Shack in various parts of Central Florida.  After having a summer off from racing (other than the 5k in July) I was excited to get back into running mode.  

The race itself went really well.  My only complaint was the miserable high temperature outside and humidity.  At times I felt as though I was running through a sauna.  Gross.  Regardless I managed to finish with a good time (10 seconds shy of my PR back in February).  
Crossing the finish line ... 

Like usual I wish I would've pushed myself harder.  Oh well I have faith that once it becomes cooler outside (and its not over 90 degrees) I'll be able to shave off some more time. Ultimately I would love to run a sub-25 minute 5k.  A girl can dream ... 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

another early morning

So I have a confession to make.  I did not do the shoulders and arms and ab work out from p90x when I got home last night.  After working all day and then going to Track Shack to find a good deal on some new running shoes (which I subsequently bought an older model of these Asics for only $40) I was way too tired to even think of working out once I got home.  So instead I hung out with Honey, made some dinner, and watched "So You Think You Can Dance."  Why didn't anyone tell me how awesome this show was months ago??  I just started watching it last week and tonight is the last show (I think).  Oh well I guess there is always next season.

To make up for my "laziness" last night I decided to wake up extra early today to do the shoulders and arms work out.  It usually takes 60 minutes to get through the entire program but I ended up fast forwarding each segment after I was finished with the set.  I also skipped most of the breaks in between.  Using a set of 5 pound weights I did the following exercises, alternating between shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

  • 10 minute warm-up/stretch
  • 12 alternating shoulder press
  • 16 in/out bicep curls 
  • 12 two arm tricep kickbacks
  • repeat
  • 15 deep swimmer shoulder press
  • 12 concentrated supination curls
  • 12 chair dips
  • repeat
  • 15 upright rows
  • 16 static arm curls
  • 10 flip/grip twist kickbacks
  • repeat
  • 10 seated shoulder fly
  • 16 crouching cohen curls
  • 12 lying down tricep extension
  • repeat
  • 3:30 minute cool-down/stretch
Although I didn't have time for the ab ripper segment, I still managed to get a good work out in.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

early morning run

Ryan is going out of town today and won't be back until Friday afternoon.  Since his flight isn't until this afternoon we decided to do part of our work out together before I left for work.  That required waking up a little earlier than usual to get our run in. 

We ran 2.4 miles in 21:30 minutes around Lake Eola.  I've been wearing my gigantic Garmin 305 a lot more lately and love being able to know exact statistics about each run.  After the run Ryan continued his work out with the p90x program for today (arms and ab ripper).  I plan on doing the same work out once I get home from work later today.

I haven't made any green monsters in a while and decide to bring out the blender this morning to make one.  I used the normal ingredients to make 2 drinks:
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • crushed ice
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1 spoonful creamy Smart Balance peanut butter
Delicious!  Hopefully that will hold me over until my mid morning snack.  For now I'll continue to drink my coffee.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

fast run, fast dinner

Before I set off for my run today I decided to start the prep work for dinner.  I found a recipe on Epicurious for tilapia, and although I didn't have all of the ingredients, I decided to try it anyways with a few modifications.

Tilapia and Mashed Yams with Bacon-Thyme Breadcrumbs

  • 2 slices low sodium bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 medium yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), pierced all over with fork
  • 1 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 2 tilapia fillets 

Sauté bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to small bowl. Add breadcrumbs and 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme to drippings in skillet; stir over medium-high heat until breadcrumbs are almost crisp, 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bacon. Cool (reserve skillet).  - This is the part that I did before running.

Place yams on plate and microwave on high until very soft, 5 to 8 minutes per side, depending on size of yam. Transfer yams to work surface. Cut yams in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp and place in medium glass bowl. Discard skin. Add 1/2 teaspoon dill, 1/2 tablespoon butter, and 2 tablespoons sour cream to yams; mash until almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sprinkle fish fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Melt remaining 1/2 tablespoons butter in same nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets and cook until golden brown on outside and just opaque in center, 3 to 4 minutes per side. If necessary, re-warm yams in microwave. Divide mashed yams among 2 plates. Top each serving with 1 fish fillet, sprinkle generously with bacon-thyme breadcrumbs, and serve.
finished product ... bad lighting like usual

After I cooked the bacon and breadcrumbs, I set the bowl aside and headed outdoors.  I ran 3.6 miles in 31 minutes.  Once I was done running I stretched, drank some water, cooled down enough to finally shower, and then finished our delicious meal.  On the side I cut up some grape tomatoes and cucumbers and drizzled them with balsamic vinegar and added freshly ground black pepper and some dried basil.  

This was a great recipe and the modifications I made actually worked out.  Way to go Chris for suggesting I use thyme instead of sage.  I had read online that there is sage in poultry seasoning so I used both spices in hope of a good substitution; they worked just fine.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Downward dog

One of our favorite yoga positions is downward dog.  We've had to do this pose many times during p90x.  I think Honey started feeling left out and wanted some mat time herself.  Or maybe she was feeling a little tightness in her back and wanted to stretch it out ...
am I doing it wrong?
is this right?

will run for pizza ...

Last night Ryan and I plowed through 5.15 miles in 47:55 minutes.  We passed by 4 different downtown lakes, ran uphill, downhill, on streets and brick roads, through puddles, and apparently through dog poop.  Well Ryan ran through dog poop ... I always hate finding it on the bottom of his (or any) shoe once we're back inside.  Lucky for Honey it wasn't hers.

Once we were back inside our apartment we leashed Honey up and made a quick phone call over to Metro Espresso and ordered our favorite pizza ... pizza picante!  The two toppings on this very delicious pizza are pepperonis and pepperoncini peppers.  We ended up sitting outside of Metro and ate our pizza.  I think someone (Ryan) couldn't wait to walk home before devouring his half of the pizza pie.

I think I wouldn't mind running over 5 miles all the time if I was rewarded with pizza afterwards.  Kind of negates any of the calorie burning benefits from the actual run. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

tacos and trivia

Thursdays have turned into tacos and trivia night at Tijuana Flats.  It's basically an excuse for me and Ryan to eat massive amounts of tacos while attempting to answer questions correctly during the trivia portion of the night.  We play alongside a group of other semi intelligent adults, aptly called "I can't believe it's not gutter," formed by Bree, Chris, Lenarz, and various others depending on which week it is.  Last night it was just three of us, huddled at our high top, chugging pitchers of bud light draft.  We got 1st place after playing three grueling rounds.  Anyone know what nationality Catharine Zeta Jones is?  Welsh.  Know who actually knew that?  Chris.  He's really good at random celebrity trivia, oddly enough.

Before heading over to trivia I managed to run all around downtown/Thornton Park.  I ran over 3.5 miles before calling it quits in an effort to make it to trivia in time.  Oh the things we do for draft beer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

it's that time again ...

to train for a half marathon.

The first and only half marathon I ever ran was the OUC Half Marathon on December 6th, 2008.  My time for the 13.1 mile run was 2:07:05.  I maintained a pace of 9:42 and placed 86th in the female 25-29 age group.

My new (and possibly unrealistic goal) is to break the 2 hour mark and finish 8 minutes faster.  The race that I am looking forward to running in is the Beachside Half Marathon in Vero Beach on October 16th.  At only $55 per entry, this race is quite the discounted bargain among other races I've researched.
October 16, 2010
With a little over 10 weeks until the race I have decided to start my training in the next couple of days.  Since this past Sunday I have already run twice, totaling 5.65 miles.  My total week mileage should be closer to 15 miles so I plan on running tomorrow and Saturday as well.

After looking at various training plans, I think I'm going to stick to running around 2 miles twice a week, 4-5 miles once a week, and then a longer weekend run (starting at 6 miles).  By increasing the long run by a mile every week I should be ready for the half marathon by October.

I'm relieved the p90x program is almost over and that I can dedicate my work outs to runs and yoga.  I'll probably try to incorporate some strength training since I've been doing so much of it during the past 10-11 weeks.

mmmm is for Mussels

The first time I had mussels was during a food crawl in NYC with my bestest Jacqui.  We were in this downstairs vodka bar and ordered the sweet mollusks in a light white wine sauce with the crispiest french fries on the side.  The beverage of choice was one of the best bloody Mary's I've ever had ... and trust me I've had my fair share of bloodies.
Since then I've tried to order this dish as much as I can.  I finally realized this past Saturday night that I could make mussels myself in the comfort of my own home.  After going to 2 different supermarkets I finally bought a 1 pound of what I hoped was fresh mussels.
I used one of my favorite websites, Epicurious, to find the perfect recipe.

Mussels alla Diavola 
adapted from Epicurious

5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
10.75 oz can of tomato puree
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/6 cup red wine
1/4 cup Kalamata black olives, pitted and chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 lb dried whole wheat angel hair pasta
1 lb mussels, cleaned

clean mussels

all of the ingredients

simmering the ingredients

finished dish with a side of garlic bread
  • Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée, tomato paste, herbs, olives, and wine and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.
  • Cook angel hair in a pot of boiling water until al dente, then drain in a colander.
  • While pasta cooks, increase heat under sauce to moderately high and add mussels, then cook, covered, until mussels just open wide, checking frequently after 3 minutes and transferring to a bowl. (Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 6 minutes.)
  • Serve angel hair with mussels and sauce.

The verdict?  Delicious!  The pasta dish was so very spicy ... just the way Ryan likes it.