Tag Archives: Gym

Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

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Maybe this makes me an extreme nerd or a yuppie foodie, but one of my favorite activities of late is meal-planning!

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I’m so serious.

I look for time during the week when I can sit down to plan my Thursday grocery shopping trip and my meals for the week. Meal prep ahead of time not only saves me time and energy when I come home exhausted from Internship, it prevents me from making lazy meal choices (i.e. canned soup) when I’m ravenous after the gym. For example, the other night I was feeling extra productive, so I sliced and diced the veggies to marinate overnight that I knew I’d need for the following night’s stir fry dinner. When I came home later than expected the next afternoon and grudgingly still went to the gym, my growling tummy was beyond grateful that I had felt so in the mood for meal prep earlier! All I had to do was cook some brown rice, saute the veggies and presto: dinner.

This week, I’ve been feeling particularly excited about meal-planning, especially with Fresh Market opening so close to school! Yesterday morning was the grand opening, and people were shoving queuing at the unholy hour of 7:55. Uhhh… no thank you!

Anyway, today I made my weekly trip to Kroger for staples, armed with my meal plan for the week and my grocery list. I am usually pretty good about sticking to my list and keeping “splurge” buys to a minimum. So, without further ado:

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Beverages: La Croix sparkling water ($4.49), lemonade mix — per Ian’s request ($1.89), O.N.E. coconut water — impulse buy ($2.99), Vita coconut water — impulse buy ($2.00), and organic milk ($3.69)

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Dairy: Chobani Greek yogurt and Chobani Flips (3/$4.00)… I misread the price tag and thought they were 10/$8.00

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Produce: bananas ($1.24), shredded lettuce ($2.99), seedless red grapes ($1.55), organic celery ($1.69), pomegranate ($2.49), cucumber ($0.75), green pepper ($0.77), Fuji apples ($3.29)

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Random: much-needed [and on-sale] highlighters ($1.29), brown rice ($2.49), organic seedless raisins ($3.49), Truvia natural sweetener ($3.99)

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Grand total: $55.83

I’m all set for the week with breakfast items I already had, fresh fruit for snacks and sides, meals for Ian’s visit this weekend, and five dinners! I’m still planning to drag bring Ian with me to Fresh Market on Saturday to explore, but I fully plan to have a list in my hand and a spending cap in my head. That place makes me giddy!

Now, on to equally as exciting stuff: I spent a little time playing around in the kitchen this afternoon, and I devised my own recipe for quick and easy Waldorf salad. I’m more than happy to share!

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Homemade Waldorf Salad
1 stalk celery
1 C plain Chobani Greek yogurt
handful of raisins
2-3 handfuls of red grapes
half of large Fuji apple
1/4 C whole almonds

Slice the celery, grapes, and apple into bite-sized pieces. Mix all solid ingredients together, then add yogurt. Stir until yogurt coats all ingredients evenly. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Bon appetit!

Well, blends, I’m off to prep for a double-dose of class tonight. Have an excellent evening!

Stay tuned this weekend for a peek inside my OCD fridge, as well as my exploits at FM! 😉

P.S. I’d love to hear about YOUR meal prep and/or meal-planning! Do you measure portions out precisely? How far in advance do you cut perishable items? Do you cater your grocery shopping to portable foods for on-the-go? Let’s chat! 🙂

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Gym Hiatus, Over

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I got back into the gym yesterday after having been out for more than two full weeks due to our family lake-cation and then my first week of work plus Bible School last week. I was anticipating a difficult run, but I surprised myself by not only powering through 3.2 miles in 34 minutes, but breaking my PTR for a 5k! I wish that in real life, my body kept me at the steady pace the treadmill does… But I guess that’s part of the “fun” in the challenge of competing in races.

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I am not above the post-workout sweaty selfie. I guess I'm not above not having friends, either...

I am not above the post-workout sweaty selfie. I guess I’m not above not having friends, either…

Today, I was able to get in 28 laps in the 25-meter pool before the teenage lifeguards up on their high-horses blew their whistles with all their might, acting like the British were coming over a few rumbles of thunder. Swimming is my favorite form of cross-training, and probably the only sport at which I’ve ever felt I was good.

I’m not nearly on the pace of my half-marathon training schedule that I’d like to be. However, my goal for June was to feel relatively comfortable running six miles at a pop; goal accomplished! My goal for July, then, was to feel comfortable running nine miles at a time. Not only am I nowhere near feeling comfortable with such a distance, I have never run as far! I’m hoping to get back on track with my training as soon as possible, though comfortability with nine miles in the next two weeks is probably not feasible.

Neither my half buddy, Lauren, nor I has maintained our training schedules as strictly as we would have liked to, and we’ll readily admit it. I’m glad that we’ve agreed to move our half back at least until October, which will give us more time to train, to save money, and to prepare ourselves mentally for the challenge which lies ahead. Neither of us wants to lose sight of the goal we set four months ago, but we also don’t want to pay good money to be unprepared for something that could potentially cause us injury. Kudos to all you working moms out there who train for marathons year-round; I have the ultimate respect for you and how much dedication it must take to be so disciplined!

In other news, I had a revelation recently. Pretty much up til now, I’ve blogged when I had “something to say.” I try not to post vapid,  empty material that isn’t worthy of anyone’s time. Not every post needs to be pithy or tug at your heartstrings, either. I just want to strike a balance. It occurred to me, though, that plenty of my favorite bloggers write something simple every day (or almost every day) in an attempt to give readers a window in their everyday lives. I’ve decided that as long as time allows, that’s the kind of blog I want to maintain. Here’s to making an effort at blogging as often as possible to keep you updated on what I do day-to-day! 🙂

P.S. Is there anything in particular you’d like to see on SWASOV? I’m happy to oblige!

Lackluster 10k Training

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So, I’m running (running being the questionable word here) the Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond this coming Saturday. Last May, when I was preparing to run my first-ever 5k, I trained for 12 weeks. That may seem excessive, but that training program was one of the most disciplined and challenging fitness experiences I’ve ever had.

I ran a 5k in October and another one in January, and I didn’t officially train for either one. Dad and I were able to cross the finish line of all three, running the entire time. Ever since my first 5k, that’s been my ultimate goal. In January, we even worked on improving our personal best time because we were confident we could run the whole thing.

This time around, though, I haven’t “trained” much at all. I went through a strength-training phase that lasted a few weeks, during which all I wanted to do was lift weights, practice lunges, and work on my core. I gained noticeable muscle definition and strength (don’t worry about your jaw dropping to the floor–I’m no Adonis), but my stamina didn’t improve whatsoever.

Usually, I’m all about cardio, but I tend to lean toward the elliptical.

In short, I’m not prepared for this 10k because I’ve been a bit lazy in the gym. A typical week in workouts looks like this:

Monday: strength-training session (30 minutes)
Tuesday: long-distance treadmill run (35-50 minutes)
Wednesday: elliptical workout (30-60 minutes)
Thursday: strength-training session (30 minutes)
Friday: zero
Saturday: zilch
Sunday: nada

I feel accomplished with a workout week like this, but it doesn’t help in terms of race preparation.

I’ve had several people tell me that the excitement on every block, the music pumping, and the spectators cheering helps runners not notice the distance of this particular race. Being that I’ve never surpassed 5 miles, I’m not so sure…

This week, I’m planning to run several days, do a bit of strength training to help my knees absorb the impact of running on concrete, and rest at least 36 hours prior to the race.

To say that I’m nervous about this race would be inaccurate. I’m more so excited and even a little bit anxious to see whether Dad and I can run the entire thing. Our goal is to finish in 70 minutes, though with 40,000+ participants, I’m not sure how we’ll fare even though we’re set to begin with other people running our pace.

Wish us luck! …just don’t tell us to break a leg 😉

P.S. If you’re going to be at the race this weekend, let me know! Oh, and if you have advice about running a 10k or about training for future races, I’d love to hear it!

Establishing a Routine

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As part of individual supervision today, my on-site supervisor at my Practicum and I were discussing self-care with regard to diet, exercise, and weight loss. I divulged that over the past 13 months, I have lost — and maintained the weight-loss of — 35 pounds. She asked me how I had done it with such a busy schedule. (I imagine that she was trying to place my running and strength-training sessions in her daily routine, and having difficulty. Everyone’s busy schedule is unique, so what worked for me won’t necessarily work for her, and vice versa.) She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), which is my down-the-road aspiration. Her schedule is so action-packed that I wasn’t surprised to hear her say she doesn’t have time to work out, and when she does find time, there are other things she’d rather be doing.

Our conversation got me to thinking…

When I’m out in the real world, I (hopefully) won’t be trying to balance a full courseload, planning a wedding, finding summer employment, establishing an Internship site, traveling back and forth between school and Richmond, managing a somewhat long-distance relationship, carrying out daily-living tasks and classwork assignments, and finding time to exercise and eat well.

However, I will be trying to manage a household, balance my career with my marriage and my social life, and find time to exercise and eat well. Lord only knows what my life will look like when kids are factored into that equation…

This not-so-distant-future got me to thinking:

How valuable it is to establish a routine so that when all of these requirements, time demands, and stressors collide, I will (again, hopefully) already know where treating my body right fits into all of that chaos! I have an established routine now, and even the added 10+ hours of weekly Practicum didn’t disrupt my routine much. Next semester, when I’m in my Internship, I’ll have to re-establish my routine yet again. This is all good practice for Big Girl World and the adult responsibilities that come with it.

That being said, I’m off to the gym for a little QT with my iPod and some weight machines 😉

[Edited to add: For the month of February, I traveled 56.22 miles! In keeping with my 2,013 in 2013 goal, I “should have” traveled 154.42 miles for a total of 325.389 miles in 2013 thus far. Last February, I traveled 41.83 miles. Always improving!]

Trash TV + Running

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Question: What do trash TV and running have in common?

Answer: Everything!

I am not ashamed to admit that while I’m watching trash TV, I can run all over creation (figuratively, of course). “Repo Games,” “Judge Judy,” “COPS,” “World’s Wildest Police Videos,” “Jerry Springer,” “Maury”… I watch it all.

This morning, the gym was blissfully empty. There was just little old me, sweating my ass off, watching the “Repo Games” marathon. You know, exercising the same brain cells that are earning my Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

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Sometimes I also watch “real” TV while I run, but the trashy shows are just so much more entertaining. I particularly like the trivia shows — hence today’s “Repo Games” marathon.

I ran 4 miles while people got their cars repossessed for thinking that California is a territory of the U.S., that the video game acronym GTA stands for “guns thrown around,” that an octogon has two to four sides, and that there is a television show called “That ’90s Show” on which the characters smoke weed 😉

Watching TV while I run may not be the best use of my smarts, but it sure does beat staring out the window, or staring down the time on a long run.

#sorrynotsorry

Question: Do you have a guilty-pleasure trash TV show?

A Hodgepodge of My Thoughts

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In my mind, the best kind of learning is unanticipated or unplanned lessons. I got a healthy dose of such knowledge this weekend. Warning: The following is a collection of my scattered, slightly overwhelmed thoughts.

I mentioned recently that I had a bit of a meltdown related to wedding planning… So naturally, I took a week or so off from the planning agenda and focused on me, myself, and I. I exercised mindfully and got myself more centered. I ate well and tried to stay away from the booze. I scheduled a physical and discussed diet and exercise with my doctor. And perhaps most importantly, I put a lot of effort into ensuring that I got enough quality sleep. All of that helped a lot, and when I was finally ready to think about wedding business again, I was actually excited about it.

Maybe some most people live(d) to plan their wedding and soak(ed) up every minute of planning bliss, but I am not one such bride. Don’t get me wrong — I’m loving exploring color schemes, floral arrangement possibilities, menu options, and dress styles; I’m just not so gung-ho about the pressure surrounding it all. It literally feels as though if you get engaged today, you should have had the reception venue and the photographer booked yesterday.

Okay, enough of my rant.

This weekend has been a busy and planning-heavy one. Ian and I had a venue tour scheduled for 4:30 yesterday, a belated Valentine’s Day double date with my parents at 6:30, a cupcake tasting at 1:00 this afternoon,

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and a plantation tour at 4:00. Whew! Needless to say, I am on information (and junk indulgent food) overload right now!

I don’t think I did myself any favors by indulging in (a savory but insanely unhealthy) Mickey D’s breakfast this morning… But on the other hand, it’s nice to know that my body has grown used to wholesome, nutritious foods, and that that’s what it craves. It pretty much rejected hashbrowns and McGriddles, which is fine by me. I don’t need more than one warning that grease and trans fat are no match for my Kashi with banana slices or my Chobani with chia seeds and granola 😉

Ian and I planned a more health-conscious dinner of grilled chicken Caesar salads and fresh mango and Granny Smith apple. Between the cupcake samplings and the multiple ciders at Cap Ale Friday night, I’m pretty sure I’ll be on workout double-duty next week in preparation for Operation Spring Break Cruise (T-minus 22 days!). My plan isn’t of the stereotypical cleanse-or-fast-until-I’m-bikini-ready variety; more so, I’m trying to tone up and do as much cardio as possible in preparation for a week of fantastic food and fun in the sun. I’m also attempting (attempting being the keyword) to train for a 10k at the end of April.

This weekend has been absolutely fabulous, especially seeing Ian so animated and involved in asking questions and touring venues. I am beyond ready to kick back with my salad, put my feet up, and watch some mindless TV.

[Yet again, my apologies for the photo-light post. I’ve been way too busy, and honestly, way too uninspired recently to write much of substance. I’ll have more for you when I’m not feeling like such a cottonheaded ninnymuggins. Thanks for checking in!]

Hope you are having a phenomenal Saturday, blends!

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Scenes from the Weekend

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Okay, not scenes from the weekend so much as anecdotes. I’ve been terrible about taking photographs recently – partially because I simply forget, and partially because I’ve been busy beyond belief. This past weekend was the perfect combination of productivity and time spent with friends.

Friday, I spent the morning reading for my toughest class – the source of a good bit of my academic-related stress. In the afternoon, I focused on kicking ass at the gym by bumping up my strength-training regimen. Friday evening, I grabbed dinner with a friend and her boyfriend. I gotta tell y’all, my resolution of making healthier choices at restaurants is not going as swimmingly as I anticipated. I reasoned with myself that because I had eaten a massive veggie-heavy salad for lunch and pumped some serious iron, that I should order the spicy-Cajun-Alfredo-pasta-shrimp thing. C’mon, A.K. The best part of my day was sipping on a few beers with Amy and Adam, with Wedding Crashers playing in the background, and laughing until I couldn’t breathe. (Side note: I’ve become completely obsessed with ciders. Original Sin, Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Crispin, Michelob Ultra Apple… you name it. If I’m craving beer, I’m craving cider.) Maybe I’m just getting old, but this is what I’ve come to think of as “raging” these days. In fact, I’m 97% sure I am getting old, because we called it a night at 12:00 on the button.

Saturday morning, I was rarin’ to go. I hit the road for Hampden-Sydney earlier than I’d planned because I was just too excited. Ian met me there around 1:00, and we walked around campus and visited some of his former professors before heading to the basketball game. HSC blew Bridgewater’s ass out of the water, nearly doubling their score! We bummed around campus a bit more and hung out with some friends before heading to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. I nearly did myself in munching on a bag of Bugles when my blood sugar got low, but I still managed to put away the spiciest chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. My taste buds are pathetic.

As disappointed as I was, I knew Ian needed to leave right after dinner. Technically, it was supposed to be one of his designated “study weekends,” but this was the only spring HSC basketball game we were able to fit in our busy schedules. A few hours with him were better than none at all 😉

Yesterday, my Internet was MIA. All. Day. Long. I considered calling the company, but I knew no one would come out to remedy the problem on a Sunday. Plus, it was kind of nice to be forced to take a break from compulsively checking my email, preparing blog posts, updating Twitter, conducting wedding business, etc. I unexpectedly had more free time than I normally do on Sundays to get ahead on some reading, fit in a nice sweat sesh on the elliptical, eat three square meals at home, and even catch part of the Honey Boo Boo marathon and the Grammys.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, with a perfect balance of work and play. I hope your weekend was good!

Question: Did you catch the Grammys? Some of those celebs were looking trife…