Wednesday, August 31, 2011

cardio dance.

Hello!  Happy Hump Day.  This week has felt really long, but at least we are more than half way done!

On Monday M and I were supposed to run but my legs were tired from Sunday's long run, so we took a break.  I went for a 2 mile walk and did some weight training at home instead.  Then Tuesday I was just too sleepy to run... oops!  So, I ran in the evening on the treadmill.  I was really proud of myself - I finished 3 miles in 30:50!  I wanted to run a bit farther/longer but people were waiting for treadmills and my foot kind of hurt.  Luckily after stretching and an ice pack my foot feels fine, but I didn't want to push it.

Today I went to my very first cardio dance class.  I'm trying to get better about cross training, so I asked my friend A if she would go to spin class with me tonight.  She already had plans to go to cardio dance, so I went with her to that instead!  It was fun and I definitely worked up a sweat, but I'm not sure if I would go regularly.  I was worried there would be long and complicated routines, but the steps were easy and there weren't long sequences to learn.  I managed to not care what I looked like and just focused on trying to get a good workout from it.  The class is one hour long, but between stopping after every song (so the instructor could find the next song and allow us to get a water break) and warm up / cool down, I probably only got 30 minutes of cardio in.  Also, the class was FILLED with freshman girls.  One of them saw A's Wisconsin shirt and got really excited that she was from Wisconsin, until A had to tell her that she was in graduate school and they couldn't be friends... haha.  I have heard other teachers are more intense, so I might have to look into them.  A and I decided we might alternate spinning and cardio dance every other week and see how that goes.

Since I had some time before cardio dance I also did weights at the gym.  I think I need to get a personal trainer, at least for one or two sessions.  I have a routine of what exercises I do (mostly arms), but I am not sure I'm doing all of the best things or hitting all the muscles I'd like to be hitting.

The Philly Cheesesteak Casserole was not nearly as delicious as I recall it being from last time I made it.  Reasons why: using milk instead of half-and-half, possibly using less cheese, and using ground beef instead of steak.  It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't as flavorful as I remember.  I also think it might be because I mixed in the peppers and onions afterwards instead of baking them in.  I did that so Scott wouldn't have to eat the peppers, but I think the flavors didn't seep in as much, if that makes sense.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

long run conquered!

This weekend M and I had an 8 mile run to conquer.  We were going to go Saturday morning, but Hurricane Irene was making conditions less than idea.  To be honest, we probably could have toughed it out - we live about 3 hours inland so it's not like it was dangerous.  But 90 minutes in the wind and rain didn't sound fun, so we postponed until today.  We decided to run on the American Tobacco Trail.

The first mile of this run was incredibly rough.  I don't know why, but we just couldn't get moving.  The ATT has mile markers ever 1/4 mile, which I can see being helpful.  But getting to the one mile mark and seeing my watch read 12:26 was discouraging.  I knew we were moving slowly, but, UGH.  This is a mostly shaded flat trail, what is our deal?  I think it took until about mile 3 to feel warmed up and ready to go.  Yikes.  But, I will say that once our legs were warmed up and we were 'in the zone' the miles went by nice and fast.  I even had the thought that I could probably go 9 or 10 if we needed to.  Alas, we stuck to the plan of running about 8.3 miles.
We finished our run in 92:32, for an average pace of 11:08.  Pretty good considering our slow start!  I don't have a Garmin so I can't do exact splits, but I do know that we ran the 2nd half WAY faster: at the half way point my watch said 48:55, which is an 11:48 pace, making the second around 43:47, a 10:31 pace.  Whoa.  Typing that out makes me feel pretty good about myself!  That's FAST!

After lots of stretching, I attempted a second ice bath.  This time I used all the ice in my freezer and a bag from the store.  It was definitely colder, but I'm still not sure it had it's full effect.  I feel like I need at least 20 lbs of ice or so.  I do think I got SOME benefit from it, but I'm definitely still sore a few hours later.  I almost got  talked into a spin class this evening, but I think I'll choose rest instead :-)

Dinner tonight is going to be one of the Betty Crocker recipes I love: Philly Cheese Steak Casserole!  I got bag of frozen onions and peppers to steam and mix into my servings so that I can let Scott enjoy his meal pepper free.  I'm pretty pumped for dinner, I'm ready for something hearty after a long run!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Yesterday I overslept and didn't go running and I felt lazy and terrible about it all day.  Luckily M was free and feeling better in the evening so we went for a run.  We decided to do 4 miles around West Campus.  It was HOT and humid, way worse than in the mornings.  Note to self: only run in the morning until ~October.  Without really meaning to for the most part, we ran REALLY FAST.  Our average pace was somewhere around 10:17.  I kind of wanted to keel over and die at the end, but in a good, satisfied kind of way.  It's good to have hard runs!

We have an 8 mile long run this weekend, which is supposed to be on Saturday, but apparently Irene is going to bring us rain and 25-35mph winds.  I'm on the fence.  I've actually never run in the rain before, but I'm not opposed.  I just think that 8 miles spent outside in windy rain might be miserable.  It's hypothetically going to clear up on Sunday, so we'll see what makes the most sense.

I'm a bit of a sports fanatic.  Especially when it comes to the Redskins.  I think there are only 5 people who read my blog, and I think all of 5 you don't care about the Redskins... but I'm going to give you my play-by-play thoughts on the game anyway, because it's my blog and I'll write what I want.  Here was my live reaction the game:

1st quarter
1. deangelo hall is the SHIT. interception return for a touchdown = love.
2. omg FIGHT?  ... no penalties? meh okay.
3. f YES reed doughty defense awesomeness
4. i heart our defense
5. i dunno.. play #1 with beck > sexy rexy.. he might be getting the edge for the QB position
6.  alright forreal i'm in love with hightower.  in LOVE.  my fiance's nickname is hightower. i don't care that he likes the patriots.  we are getting him a hightower jersey asap.
7.  "there's a new vibe and i can feel it" -announcer.  yessss. maybe the redskins won't break my hear this year!
8.  ryan kerrigan sack? i like you rookie.

2nd quarter
9.  jim haslett and i might just get along this year.
10.  yes, brian orakpo, i do still love you.
11.  sack.. ouch.. shoulda gotten rid of that beck.  lucky break on the defensive holding.
12.  oh rookie kerrigan, behave.
13.  the ravens look good all of the sudden. sigh.
14.  finally i have fast forwarded my way to real time! (instead of dvr delay)
15. sexy rexy... not looking so hot.  but then again, the o line might be at least partially to blame...
16.  "false start... offense... the entire offensive line."  haha! don't think i've ever heard that one before.
17.  kevin barnes! go TERPS! i love when terps become redskins.
18.   sexy rexy looking much hotter all of the sudden... what to make of all of this?
19.  this rule.. i do not understand.  he had possession in the end zone and then lost possession but he had already crossed the plain.  what is that?
20.  touchdown!!! thank god, after those incompletes!

3rd quarter
21.  dear self, it's our 2nd string D vs. their first string offense.  it's totally okay.
22. dear john beck, interceptions when you play vs. the 2nd string are not good.
23.  "above the neck intelligence."  lovely way to describe our QBs.
24.  oh hey john beck, one day, i might love you... reserving judgment for now though...
25.  "i've seen enough, i'm going on record tonight, that's the starting quarterback right there.  john beck.  he impresses me." - announcer.  i think most of the Skins nation is leaning towards agreeing with you...

4th quarter
26.  Tyrod Taylor!! Wooo! (my fiance went to VT so we like him.  too bad he's wearing the wrong color).
27.  .... i got bored and stopped paying attention.
28. Damn. We lost.  Oh wait it's the preseason, I don't REALLY care.

Other sports notes:
-22 is not a baseball score.  wtf. i HATE the yankees.
-Miami football: this is probably mean and self-centered but as a Terp alum I just hope those starters are all out for our Sept. 5th game against them!  More broadly: was it douchy for Nevin Schapiro to call out Miami just because he's in jail?  Yes.  No one likes a tattle tale.  That being said, I'm 99% these players are guilty of accepting improper benefits, and I'm sure they all knew it was wrong... so they deserve whatever punishment they get, most likely ineligibility in college sports.  On the other hand, I would estimate that well over 50% of current NCAA Division 1 football players receive improper benefits.  It's time for the NCAA to overhaul how they treat their athletes.  I'm not say we should pay them, but there is so little incentive to stay in college sports once you are eligible for professional drafts, and many of these athletes are trying to support families.  Something needs to be done.  I don't have any suggestions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

cooking funk.

So, who felt the earthquake today?  It wasn't that intense here but it was surprising that I felt an earthquake that was so far away!  I saw some crazy pictures of things damaged in DC from my friends there too!

I had Sunday, Monday, and today to come up with a grocery list, and I just could not come up with what sounded good to eat this week.  I ended up getting the stuff to make a Philly Cheese Steak Casserole, from the book I cooked part way through last year.  I also got some portobello mushrooms and hummus in hope of making some sort of sandwich.  I want to try eating less meat for lunch since meat is almost always involved in my dinner, so it seemed worth a try.  Does anyone have any great portobello mushroom recipes to share?

Running this week so far has been fine: I ran 3 miles on the treadmill on Monday afternoon and 3.4 miles this morning around East Campus, where I spotted the lovely Sarah from the SHU box!  I knew I would run into her eventually since she lives nearby and we both run in the mornings.  Speaking of East Campus, freshman move in has begun!  It's sooo weird to have campus crowded again.  I have to say, I kind of love the peaceful summer: no lines at the gym for machines, getting a seat on the bus, and just a general sense of calmness on campus.  But, I am excited to start working with the sorority that I advise again and for the Great Hall to reopen... I cannot believe they close the best place to eat on campus for the ENTIRE summer.  I miss my Chinese stir fry, Indian food, and salad bar!!!

Also, does anyone watch Bachelor Pad?  OMG, I cannot stand Kasey and Vienna.  I can't believe Kasey is staying.  It kind of makes me want to cry.  The ending was pretty weird too.  I get how they were going for a dramatic Sopranos ending, but the cut wasn't quite right.  Oh and yes, I just admitted to watching Bachelor Pad.  Other favorites in this house: Jersey Shore and Rivals.  We are so very classy!

Hmm, I think I need to make a list of fun things to blog about - I'm drawing a blank tonight!  See ya'll later :-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

sometimes, I cook.

Thanks for the comments on ice baths!  I'll definitely grab a magazine or a book next time, Danielle :-)  I wasn't actually all that sore after my 7 mile run, so I'm not sure it was totally necessary but I guess it can't hurt!  Actually, I tend to be way more sore after speed work than I am after long runs... I wonder if I should try my next ice bath after speed work, even if it's only a short distance? We'll see.

By sometimes I cook, I mean like 3-4 times a week easily.  It's just that my cooking has gotten... boring.

It's not my fault, seriously.  My fiance moved in with me, and while I love every minute of sharing my life with him, cooking for him is not so fun.  He is the epitome of a meat and potatoes boy.  He likes most meat, but not fish.  He likes most starches, if they aren't too crazy (white or brown rice, pasta, potatoes = good.  sweet potatoes, couscous, wild rice = no thanks).  And he eats basically NO VEGETABLES.  Seriously.  Vegetables he likes: corn, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, green beans.  Vegetables he tolerates sometimes: onions and peas.  Vegetables he dislikes: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, peppers of any kind, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, olives.
So, it's definitely been limiting in what I cook.  I know I can make things he doesn't like, but I feel silly cooking for myself and letting him fend for himself.  So I often will cook us a fairly plain dinner and then steam whatever vegetable I'd like on the side.  It works well enough - but I have a really hard time experimenting with fun new dishes... it seems like everything has either a flavor or a vegetable that he dislikes.
Anyway, here are a few examples of what I've made lately :-)

Mini cheesy meatloafs, before I cooked them

 Meatloaf and mashed potatoes (Scott's plate - mine had veggies too, haha)

 Chicken tamale casserole... sooo delicious!

Both of the above were from Cooking Light's website, and both turned out well!  I loooved the chicken tamale casserole, but the chopped green chiles in the cornmeal crust were too spicy for Scott.  I got so many cookbooks over the holidays, so I definitely will try to cook some new things and post about them soon!  Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

long run: success. ice bath: fail.

Today M and I ran 7.3 miles.  It really wasn't bad at all!  We stopped to stretch 30 minutes in, and then we had a 2 minute walk break around minute 55 / mile 5.  Other than that, it was fabulous!  We kept an 11 minute mile pace, which I'm super comfortable and happy with.  It's not too challenging to keep the pace but it also doesn't feel super easy or boring, so it seems just right!
I was actually not that worn out or sore at the end of the run.  I probably could have run further if we had needed to, which is an AWESOME way to feel.  I knew I was likely to become sore though, so after we did some good stretching I decided to head home and attempt an ice bath.

Mistake #1: thinking that the water that flows into my bathtub might actually be cold.  Even on the coldest setting, it was a pretty comfortable temperature.
Mistake #2: thinking that the ice in my freezer (we have an ice machine in there) was enough ice.  It melted in approximately 2 minutes.
Mistake #3: thinking that 10-20 minutes was a nice amount of time to just relax, and thus not bringing my computer or a book or anything into the bathroom... so boring.
Mistake #4: not having scrubbed my tub immediately before and then seeing every speck of imperfection while I sat there with nothing to do.

So yes, with the ice the water got much colder, but definitely not cold enough.  I put on a sweatshirt but I honestly didn't even need it!  I guess I'll need to buy a bag of ice next time.  After 10 minutes of boredom I got out and just put ice packs on my legs for a while before I went to work.  I'm somewhat sore this afternoon, but nothing terrible that I can't handle.

Have you ever tried an ice bath?  Did it help?  How much ice did you use, and how long did you stay in?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

i'm still heeerreeee....

I miss blogging.

I have (mostly) accepted that I don't have the time to have the blog that I ideally envision: daily posts, frequent new recipes, recaps on races, details about training/workouts, etc.  But I would like to do SOME blogging.

So where should I pick up?  When I started this blog, my goal was to cook 300 recipes in about one year, and to go from not being a runner whatsoever to running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  In approximately 8 months, I cooked 175 new things.  I'm still cooking.  That will have to be another post entirely.  As for running, I successfully completed my race - although my training wasn't as stellar as it could have been.

I should PROBABLY do a Cherry Blossom 10 Miler recap.  I'll add that to my to-do list.  For now, suffice to say I finished in 2:02, I couldn't walk for a day or two after, and it got me totally addicted to running.

So, RUNNING!  M and I spent the spring/early summer trying to become more consistent with our runs - you know, 3-4 times a week, not bailing just because we wanted to sleep in, etc., and then signed up for a half marathon for mid October.  I'm SUPER EXCITED for the half marathon, and am quite determined to do a better job training this time around.  Right now we are running four times a week.  Three of those runs are shorter: between 2.5 and 4 miles (we might get up to 5 closer to the race), and we usually try to incorporate speedwork into one of those runs.  Then we have long runs once a week, which started at 4 miles and will work their way up to 12 before the race.  Last week we ran 6.5 miles and it was actually not that painful AT ALL!  This week we have 7ish to conquer, and I'm pumped.  Or rather, I was pumped until we did a fartlek today.  Now my legs are sore and I want to never run again.  Sore as in, I'm up 1.5 hours past my bedtime because my legs ache so I can't fall asleep.  Oops.  I kind of want to experiment with an ice bath.  Are they only effective right after a run?  Also, how long do your long runs have to be before taking an ice bath is worthwhile?  And should I buy a foam roller?

Running has gotten so much better over the past few months.  I definitely had a time before the 10 miler where I told M that after the race, I was quitting running, because I hated it.  And I meant it.  But finally something clicked and running is starting to be way more fun for me.  I mean, the first 5-10 minutes are never fun because it's usually 7:30am, I'm half asleep, and my legs aren't warmed up yet.  But I can finally say there are moments (although they are often brief) during almost all of my runs where I genuinely enjoy myself.  Weird.

I'm also trying to get on board with that whole cross-training thing.  Apparently it prevents injury?  Also, (although I seldom blogged about this, nor do I intend to) I like myself more on days I exercise.  I'm also trying weight lifting.  I'm getting married in just over 6 months and I want my arms to look spectacular in my strapless dress.  Hooray motivation!  So far, cross-training is rough.  The elliptical is boring.  The bike is boring.  Spin class is at inconvenient times.  I feel like a klutz in the weight room.  But, a year and a half ago I felt like an idiot when I went running too, so I know it'll get better.

I think that's about all for my "first post back."  I do hope to be more regular in my blogging... but who knows with school/etc. if that will happen!