Category Archives: workouts

The little things 

Do you know how I know my husband loves me? Well hopefully more reasons than I’m going to list today, but I’m a sucker for the little things so let’s focus on that today.

Disclaimer: The following interpretation is based on more than 6 years of close observation of a significant other who is the type A+ to my type A-. 

It’s not often that I get a chance to meet Matt at the gym on a workday. He prefers to go earlier in the afternoon and my work schedule limits me to short evening runs around the neighborhood and weekend mornings for maneuvering meat heads at the gym. Occasionally, our schedules overlap and I have a chance to workout at the same time. And by that I simply mean we enter the facility together and leave together with occasional winks and head nods in between. But on the rare occasion I have a chance to invade his gym time, you can almost guarantee I have not prepared a bag to make the transition. That’s where a quick text list of essentials and a thoughtful husband comes in. But not just any husband. One that will make absolutely sure you have everything you could possibly need, whether you are walking into spin class or the Tour de France.

Exhibit A:


Simple enough right? Not for the well-prepared man. Because this man I married will take no chance that I will not have enough supplies in that bag to make it through a light workout, or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  • Here were yesterday’s findings:  
  • 3 pairs of underwear to choose from (because unfortunately I’ve explained in detail several times how workout underwear is different than work underwear which is different than working around the house underwear, amiright girls?)
  • Two sports bras (if you don’t know me intimately I should clarify that I clearly only need one for support)
  • Socks (great addition for the girl that typically forgets those)
  • Spandex shorts, running shorts and wunder under crops
  • Nikes
  • Blue Lulu top
  • Two pairs of headphones
  • 4 hair ties
  • Deodorant (thanks babe)
  • Snacks (nobody wants to make bad decisions in Target following a good workout)

Feeling far more prepared than If I had packed my own gym bag especially in the perspiration area, I walk out of the locker room with a smile on my face and spot Matt doing some crazy exercise across the gym wearing the male version of my exact outfit. Mind you, the outfit he just chose less than an hour earlier.

I give him a head nod. He shakes his head.

Later, I bring up the twinning scenario (one we are all too familiar with) and learn he picked out his outfit even after packing my bag. I giggle and mentally check a point in my head for times my type A+ guy pulled a type A- Sarah move.

#igotdressedfirst

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(NOTE: photos is from a previous matching gym trip)

 

 

Race Recap: Sarasota Music Half Marathon

It’s been a while since I did a race recap for you guys. Probably because it’s been a while since I’ve run a race. If you care to read back as to why I took a little hiatus from running you can do so here. Now it wasn’t entirely because I briefly crippled myself as a result of my own stubbornness, but that may have had a little something to do with it.

The truth is I was really excited to be able to run year-round when we moved to Florida until I quickly realized that you really can’t do anything outside in Florida from the months of May-October. Let’s just say I have a new respect for air conditioning professionals and if I could I would purchase stock in cinder blocks and tile.

After boredom set in with my gym routine, I signed up for the inaugural Sarasota Music Half Marathon in February and was excited to have something to focus on after the holiday season. And then I realized that this race would require me to train THROUGH the holiday season. And then I realized that people who live in Florida don’t hibernate over the holidays. Instead, they rock their spandex and swimsuits right on through those holidays and into the New Year. As a Midwesterner I was thoroughly offended by this concept.

But I sheepishly got outside and ran with the rest of the spandex-clad Floridians, feeling every sugar cookie and piece of fudge along the way. And I will say, if you want to avoid the New Year’s resolutioners, just come down to Florida where no one takes any time off.

It’s pretty amazing how much more enjoyable races are when you run them healthy. I was a little nervous because I got hit with the plague a few weeks ago and really didn’t get my long training runs in, but when you combine perfect running weather, palm trees, gulf breezes, girl scout cookies and a solid brunch, it’s hard to find anything to complain about.

So here’s my mile by mile recap.

IMG_9271.JPGMile 0

Highs-giggling at runners with ear warmers and gloves to protect them from the frigid 55 degree with a high of 78 weather we were in for, watching the sun rise over the start shadowed only by palm trees and walking to the front of the starting line because apparently no one wanted to start by the 5:00 mile marker.

Lows-so only providing 20 Porta Potties for 2,000 runners may have been a little aggressive but no harm done.

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Mile 1

Highs-The Ringling Bridge. Literally. I was nervous about running a race with elevation but the marching band at the top of the Ringling Bridge helped to distract me from the crazy first-timers who were pacing at 6:30 1 mile in.

Lows-dead rat on the running path and no one in front of me raising a hand.

IMG_9289.JPGMile 5

Highs-This view. And knowing I didn’t have to climb that stupid beautiful bridge again for the rest of the race.

Lows-none. Feeling alive at five.

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Miles 7-9

Highs-Getting sprinkled with holy water (do you genuflect during a race?), exploring the bayfront and seeing a part of Sarasota I’d never traveled by foot before.

Lows-fewer spectators and forcing myself to run past the bloody mary bar because I was still feeling good with my pace.

IMG_9273.JPGMile 10

Highs-Girl Scout Cookie Station. Enough said.

Lows-Winding through a very pretty, albeit very twisted Selby Garden path on legs that only wanted to go in a straight line.

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Miles 11-13.1

Highs-Feeling familiar IT band pain and realizing I only had two miles to go.

Lows-Feeling familiar IT band pain and realizing I still had two miles to go. And not realizing how much more excited the lady in front of me was in the chute.

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IMG_9276.JPGPost Race

Highs-Best post-race party I’ve experienced in 10 or so races. Beer. Bagels. Bands and the Sarasota Bay. Doesn’t get much better.

IMG_9280.JPGIMG_9281.JPGLows-none.

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Remind me to tell you about our decision to finalize our wedding registry that afternoon and then stop by the greek festival on the way home instead of taking a nap or stretching like a normal human. Greek food makes everything better.

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Power of 30: September Challenges

I’m an idea person. The one you may or may not want to have at a brainstorming session because I’m going to use the crap out of my right-brain in order to come up with creative and innovative ways to solve the problem. And I know what you’re thinking. This girl must suck at math. But I’ll have you know I can handle the number game just fine thanks to forcible encouragement from my parents to complete advanced math classes just for the fun of it. (mom and dad- this is me backing into a thank you for making me take AP Calculus when I wanted to take another P.E. class) Plus, I read something this week that said us right-brained folks are going to rule the world or something along those lines so we have that going for us.

Anywho, bottom line is I am an idea person. And in being one, I tend to come up with new things before I let the other things I came up with have time to grow legs. I’m also an extreme creature of habit. And while these two traits may seem counterintuitive, it’s the combination of fresh ideas and the ever-prevalent Catholic guilt I associate with things I’ve already committed to that usually keeps me going.

Bet you’re wondering how this plays into my Power of 30 goals, right? Well I told myself as long as I was doing these challenges, I would continue to update you regarding the month prior in the first week of the next month. Confused yet? Let’s revisit September’s goals:

  • 30 miles in 30 days
  • 3:00 minute plank

power of thirty challenge, turning 30, 30 challenges, yoga, crow pose,

I have to laugh at myself a little considering last September I was gearing up for the Chicago Marathon and averaging 30 miles a week and this September I was lucky if I could get 3 consecutive miles in on the treadmill because it was too hot to run outside. That’s just the way life goes. When we first moved, the locals kept telling me to wait for October to get some great running weather so I’ve rescheduled this challenge for this month and I am already off to a better start. I guess that’s the perk of making up your own challenge. You get to try it again next month without any recourse.

power of thirty, challenge, fitness, plank, exercise, workouts, core, ab exercises

I did manage to reach a 3 minute plank last month. I’m not sure how much plank work if any you’ve done in your life but building yourself up to a 3 minute one without rest is harder than it sounds. It may seem silly to compare the concept of holding up your body with your forearms and toes to a metaphor for life but it is just that. You can’t just up and do it. If you can you either have 1) a very high pain tolerance or 2) an awesomely strong core. For the rest of us, it takes small incremental increases to build up to a larger goal. It takes more than just ab muscles. It takes mental and physical strength. It takes practice. And when built upon, second by second, you can reach that goal that may have seemed too lofty just a few weeks before.

And then you can collapse onto the floor in a giant heap of sweat and wonder how long it will take you to plank for 5 minutes.

Until next time.

 

 

 

7 things I just I don’t understand

In my life I try really hard to be a compassionate person. Someone who puts herself in others’ shoes before judging them. Kind, generous and the like. But I’ve come to realize that there are just some things even a mean-weller just can’t understand.

Here are just a few of those things:

  1. People who make the extra effort to pull out and carefully place the paper toilet seat covers and then leave the stall without flushing them down the toilet? So now there is physical evidence of yourbutt on that particular seat and you expect me to dispose of it before then using the same toilet? I’ll stick to hovering over anonymous pee drops in the next stallthankyouverymuch.

  2. That in the time it took me to run three miles on the treadmill, these two guys didn’t move anything but their mouths in the weight section. I’m all for small conversation, but let’s get serious guys. I’m really out of shape and you just sat on the incline ab bench talked for 3 straight miles. That’s a Seinfeld episode, the clock-time of half a basketball game and/or a massage at a spa’s worth of chatter.
    things I dont understand, gym, fitness, workout fails
  3. Drivers who slow down when they get to an on ramp on the interstate. And we’re coming around the curve going 45 and there’s the merge lane and oh golly, oh golly there’s another car three lanes over. I think I’ll just come to a stop here and wait for everyone else to swerve around my bumper. Should I put it in reverse? No. Justno.

  4. Any version of the following things at the gym: Denim, work clothes, wearing your long hair down, going shoeless and milk jugs filled with water. Are you working out or preparing to water-board someone?

  5. Why for the life of me I can’t remember that my washing machine likes to walk itself in front of the door if I shut it. I’ve now locked myself out of my own laundry room at least 4 times. I wonder how many times I have to do it before I get relieved of my laundry duties?
  6. False advertising. How does one know a neighborhood will be friendly when it hasn’t even been built yet? And last time I checked there was no grocery store or gym in our neighborhood so how the heck am I going to save on groceries?
    false_advertising_signs
  7. Affliction shirts. Ohio State fans in affliction shirts. Ohio State fans in affliction shirts and silver cowboy hats in a honky-tonk line dancing.
    ohio state fans, affliction shirts,

I know I’m not the only one out there with concerns that never seem to make sense so I’d love to hear yours in the comments below!

Tabbouleh Salad and Sangria

Before I share with you a super easy salad recipe that goes great with blazing hot weather, I want to give you a quick rundown of some observations from the weekend.

Bridge runs are for the birds

On Saturday mornings, we like to take Finn down to a park along Sarasota Bay where he can play with other pups, swim and run around for the 15 minutes it takes him to be completely exhausted and ready for a nap.

🎶down by the bay🎶

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If I’m not rolling solo, Matt and I like to take turns going up to the Ringling Bridge and running it for a quick and ridiculously exhausting workout. I thought the humidity and heat would be the toughest part about running in Florida but bridge running in hot and humid temps might just be my worst nightmare. So if you’re looking for a quick workout, go find a long bridge and run across it.

Not all movie theaters have two entrances.

Matt and I went to see Tammy this weekend and after arriving at the show during the previews we were faced with the dilemma of choosing which side of the theater to enter and find a seat. We hesitated briefly and both decided left would be the way to go. As Matt so eloquently pointed out, “All of America goes right.” So we opened the door to the left and walked into a utility closet. We laughed. Harder than we did for most of the movie so go ahead and save your $10 and wait until it comes out on DVD.

Ice Deli should exist in every city that I live. 

Need I say more?

Summer is meant for cold salads.

After making and eating Matt’s birthday cake all week, I’ve been sort of lazy on the cooking front. Loads of butter will do that to a girl. And whenever I’m feeling lazy as a cook I make a big batch of quinoa or other grain salad and eat it for every meal until it’s gone. You should, too.

tabbouleh salad, bulgur wheat salad, Mediterranean salad, cucumber tomato and bulgur salad, recipes, summer, greek

 

 

Tabbouleh (bulgur) salad

  •  3 Cups cooked bulgur (I use the 10-minute bulgur from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/3 C tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 C cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 C red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C celery, chopped
  • 2-3 TBL crumbled feta
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • fresh lemon juice
  • salt/pepper

Cook bulgur according to package directions. Let cool.

tabbouleh salad, bulgur wheat salad, Mediterranean salad, cucumber tomato and bulgur salad, recipes, summer, greek

Chop vegetables. Add to bulgur once it is cool. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

tabbouleh salad, bulgur wheat salad, Mediterranean salad, cucumber tomato and bulgur salad, recipes, summer, greek

Eat it straight from the bowl, put it on a bed of spinach with a little balsamic vinegar or serve it with a piece of fish for a complete meal.

And while we’re on the lazy front, I was messing around this evening and tested out a two ingredient sangria recipe for you. It was pretty tough. It took me about 30 seconds to pull a bottle of merlot out of the fridge and consider what would happen if I poured some San Pellegrino Limonata into it. By golly it worked. Chop up some apples and you have an individual serving of a decent sangria on your hands.

two ingredient sangria recipe, pellegrino limonata, wine, cocktails, drinks, summer, sangria,

 

Two recipes so easy you’ll have no excuse to cook this week.

Running in a humid climate

Hey remember when I used to run outside?

I don’t.

OK so I do remember it, but I also remember it being much more enjoyable. I was back in Illinois a few weeks ago and got a chance to run on the trail near my parents house. The weather was perfect. I could actually breathe. And for the first time in a long time I remembered how much I love to run outside.

To be honest, I can probably count on both hands the times I’ve run outside since we moved to Florida. If it’s not the heat it’s the humidity. And the humidity is usually preceded or followed by a pop-up thunderstorm that comes out of nowhere. We’re talking nowhere folks. This morning as Finn and I attempted to go out for our morning walk the sun was shining. The sun was shining, the skies were blue and it started pouring.

But yesterday morning there was a break in the heat so I headed out for a run as the sun was coming up, knowing that as soon as it did I’d probably pass out on the side of the road. I got four miles in and was pretty happy with it. And along the way I thought about the various mental and physical adjustments you have to make when you run in a new climate.

Don’t try to be a hero.

Who cares if you limped ran through 26.31 miles last October. When it comes to running, weather can be a huge factor. One that makes every training session unique. I’ve had days where I felt energy like never before, only to bonk 2 miles in. And I’ve had days where it took everything in my to agree to 1 mile only to breeze through 4. There are so many factors that come into play when you are running outside you can’t possibly meet your expectations every time. As the most covered song by bloggers and 5 year-old girls alike says, “Let it Go.”

You can walk if you want to. 

I say this even though it still kills me to actually do it. I’m as competitive as they come so even on runs by myself I try to justify reasons I can’t stop to catch my breath or stretch my legs. Human bodies are pretty special, but even they take a little time to acclimatize to changes in weather and environment. If your body is telling you to slow down, (and we’re talking really telling you not just whispering from 500 yards behind you telling you) stop and walk for goodness sake. The reality is that you still have to make it home don’t you? Slow down and recover. No one’s chasing you. And if they are don’t stop. Don’t slow down. Kick it in a little more why don’t ya?

Wear a heart rate monitor.

Remember what I just said about slowing down when you feel like you need to? Well wearing a heart rate monitor can help you make that decision more accurately. Running may seem like a fairly physical feat, but if you’ve ever been out on a run solo and find your motivation lacking, you’ll quickly realize how mental the feat really is. Wearing a heart rate monitor well allow you to match the way you think you feel to how hard you are actually working. Seeing those numbers gets you out of your head and helps you have a more efficient workout.

Bring water.

Oh just bring it. Even if you’re too proud to. I used to play by the rule that if it wasn’t over 6 miles, I didn’t need water. And while that’s sort of true, (you should be hydrated enough to exercise for 45 minutes without water) when your running in high heat and humidity I think you should throw that rule into the ocean. Heat and humidity can prevent your body from releasing heat as efficiently so by the time you realize you are dehydrated it could be too late. If you don’t like carrying water with you, plan an out-and-back route where you can leave it halfway. It’s only cumbersome for the first few minutes but if you don’t have it, everyone you pass will look like a giant jug of Gatorade or the Kool-Aid Man and you’ll seriously consider tackling them.

Mix it up. 

So you’re not going to get the mileage you thought you were because of the weather conditions. Mix it up. Do a set of walking lunges. Throw in some body weight squats, high knees or butt kicks. Alternate sprinting and walking as you make your way back. Yes, people may look at you funny, but it’s likely that they are really just picturing you as the Kool-Aid Man because they are just as thirsty as you are.

rock n roll half marathon chicago, running, running in humid climates, races, running in the heat.