Monday, April 30, 2018

Weekly Review

Hope everyone had a good weekend!  Our weekend ended up weird in that we had the whole weekend blocked to go to an event in Baltimore with friends but it ended up being cancelled at the last minute.  So we had a rare weekend without plans.  But we decided to try to take advantage of that to get a bunch of errands and things around the house done.  But before the weekend, here's how the week went.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - rest day.  I meant to get up early to go for a run but I slept right through my alarm.  And I had a late meeting in the evening so wasn't able to run after work either.

Wednesday - 20 minutes on the elliptical plus body pump. Didn't get a photo of the elliptical because I accidentally paused and re-set the machine.

Thursday - 40 minute run with some speed work

Friday - easy 40 minute run

We also saw Infinity War in the evening.  I really enjoyed it! I had appropriate attire for the move too :)

Saturday - Strength training.  Ugh, I somehow messed up.  I went to the gym for body pump but when I got there, it turns out I was wrong about the timing of the class.  It had started 30 minutes earlier.  I went home and did some strength training on my own in the afternoon but it was a little lackluster.  And I wasn't as productive as I wanted around the house either, getting in a nap instead.  We had a friend come over in the evening to hang out, which was nice.

Sunday - Met up with friends again and we did 4 miles on a trail by my friend's house.  It's so much better when I have friends to run with!

So that was my week.  Here's the tentative plan for this week.

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - morning easy run
Wednesday - body pump
Thursday - rest day
Friday -  Speed work
Saturday - easy run and body pump
Sunday - 5 miles with friends

 I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Five - Entertainment

 It's Friday!  For some reason this week has seemed very long and it seemed like the days were crawling by.  But it's almost time for the weekend.  And that means it's also time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  I realize that the last Friday Five I linked up I also talked about entertainment but I'm going to do it again :)  Here are 5 things that I'm really enjoying or looking forward to at the moment.

Friday Five Linkup 2.0

1. Janelle Monae - I love the article with her that came out in Rolling Stone earlier this week.  She's coming out with a new album that I'm looking forward to and she just released tour dates and she's coming to DC in July!  We're going to try to get tickets so fingers crossed they don't sell out too quickly.

2. New song "Don't Stop" by Hael - I was watching tv and there was a great song on a DSW commercial.  I had never heard the song before but I loved the snippet on the commercial so I had to look it up.  It's great and I'm looking forward to checking out more songs by this artist.

3.  Prince concert - I have always loved Prince and his music.  It really hit me hard when he passed away.  But a friend and I saw that one of the outdoor concert venues around here is doing a Prince tribute.  It's curated by Quest Love, billed as a "symphonic celebration" of Prince, and should be amazing!  It's not until September but that's something else I'm really looking forward to.  It's a beautiful venue, and fingers crossed it will be a nice day for an outdoor concert. 

Our last concert at Wolf Trap was Weird Al

4. Avenger's Infinity War - We have tickets for tonight!  I'm really looking forward to it and I just have to make sure to stay spoiler free for the rest of the day.

5. Reading - I've been making progress on my goal of continuing to read non-fiction books this year.  I just finished "The Lion in the Living Room" and it was really interesting.  The subtitle is "How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World."  And that's pretty much what it talked about.  I love cats but I didn't quite realize how murderous they are!  Apparently they're responsible for the extinction of several other species. Thankfully Perry and Shelby stay inside so I know they're not out there indulging in a lot of killing.

Image result for The Lion in the Living Room

So those are some of the things I've been looking forward to lately. I'd love to hear of any new music you've been enjoying or recommendations for books to read.  And of course, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Eggplant and black bean chili

I've already mentioned that I've been using Hungry Harvest.  And I love it for many reasons but one of them is getting a produce box like this can force me to dig up new recipes that work with the produce we get.  So we've gotten eggplant a couple times and I found this amazing eggplant black bean chili recipe online at the Veggie Table.

I think we've used this recipe twice in the past month.  It's so good that we were looking forward to having it again.  And you guys, it's pretty easy too!  I have to admit that both times we've had it, I've had a late meeting and my husband cooked it on his own.  Coming home to the house smelling amazing from this chili was such a great experience.

It sounds a bit weird but all the ingredients work really well together.  The eggplant gives it a meatiness and heft that vegetarian chilis can sometimes lack.  And the chocolate (yes, I said chocolate!) gives it an interesting complexity.  We weren't sure about the chocolate and only used half of it the first time but we used the full amount the second time and it was even better.

Here's my version of the recipe.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 eggplant, cubed and peeled
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate, grated(we had semi-sweet chocolate chips in the pantry so that's what we used and it was still good, didn't taste sweet at all)

Heat oil over medium heat, add the eggplant, and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Add onions, peppers, and garlic to remaining oil and sauté about 3 minutes, until soft. Add the eggplant back to the pot with the tomatoes and spices and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the beans and chocolate and simmer another 15 minutes. 

Of course, you can add any optional toppings like cheese, sour cream, avocado, etc.  We've eaten it over tater tots or baked potatoes.  It's also great with tortilla chips to scoop it up with. 

I'm linking up with Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday.

 Jalapeno Quinoa Lentil Slaw

Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I had a busy week last week with some work travel thrown in the mix.  The week started and ended well for work outs but I had a hard time fitting them in the middle of the week.  But here are the details.

Monday - 30 minutes on the elliptical plus body pump.  I had time on Monday and I knew I might not have time later in the week so I doubled up.

Tuesday - Rest day

Wednesday - 30 minute walk in the evening with Mike

Thursday - Took advantage of some extra time at the airport to get in a 30 minute walk

Friday - Yoga for strength training in the hotel room before my meetings started.

Beautiful view from my hotel room

Saturday - Rest day plus going to see Cirque Du Soleil's Luzia in the evening.  It was an amazing show!

Sunday - 3 mile run with friends around the town center.  Mike and I also went to see Ready Player One in the afternoon and really enjoyed the movie.


So that was my week.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Short run in the morning
Wednesday - Body Pump
Thursday - Treadmill
Friday - Short run
Saturday - Body Pump
Sunday - 4 mile run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Frustrations with running

I've been pretty frustrated with running recently and I'm going to take a moment to be negative and write about it here since it's what I'm dealing with at the moment.

I started running in 2014, was always slow but saw improvements in my speed through 2016. My first half marathon was 2:57 and my half marathon PR in December of 2016 was 2:50 (about 13 minutes per mile average). I also had a 5k and 10k PR in 2016 so it was a good running year.

My 10k PR in March of 2016

But since then, I've just been getting progressively slower and slower and I'm not sure why. I didn't train consistently in the beginning of 2016 but starting in June 2016, I upped my running from 3 times per week to 4 times per week. I do speed work and I run hills. I strength train. And I still just keep getting slower. I started training for my first marathon (WDW 2018) and training went fairly well. Got in my 20 miler and everything. But I was swept a bit past mile 20 since I was behind pace due to knee problems. My half marathons last year were 3:10 and 3:19, a pretty drastic difference from the year before.

I had some tendinitis at the beginning of this year after the marathon so I haven't run for 4 weeks. I tried again this past weekend, just 2 miles, and it was an average of 17:30 per mile. Plus my heart rate was high. 40% was in zone 4. I can walk faster than that! I don't understand why I can feel like I'm working so hard but barely moving forward. It makes me wonder if there's something physically going wrong that I'm unaware of. I do have thyroid problems but I've been on medication for that for a long time and those numbers are normal on my blood tests. My most recent blood test did show high cholesterol and low vitamin D. I have started taking a Vitamin D supplement.

At least the Spring flowers provided beautiful scenery on my run

I guess I'm partly venting and partly looking for any tips. Can anyone think of other reasons that people may have a drastic slow down like this? I did turn 40 last year and I had gained some weight (7 pounds since my half marathon PR). So back to being positive, here are some things I am going to do.

1. I am working on losing weight, mainly for the purpose of getting my cholesterol down but hopefully that will help with running as well.

2. I guess I should re-evaluate my running form since clearly, the effort I'm putting in is going somewhere but it doesn't sound like it's going forward.

3.  I'm going to ask the doctor for a full blood analysis.  Someone mentioned iron, and it has been a while since I've had that checked.  I've also considered it may be peri-menopause or something hormonal like that.

4.  Be patient with myself.  I know this is my first run in 4 weeks after being in an ankle brace and no activity so I need to be patient.  Hopefully as I get some more runs under my belt the pace will naturally increase back to where it was last year before the marathon, and then I can work on speed after that.

It's just frustrating to feel like I'm working hard and doing the right things but continuing to get slower, to the point where I can walk faster. And if I can walk faster, what's the point in running?  I've always felt that as I got older, there would come a time when I switched to walking and that's fine because I would still be able to get the main things I love out of running with walking.  But I just didn't think that time would be so soon.  Hopefully it isn't that time yet and I can figure out what's going on with my continued slow down.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  We had a pretty quiet one which is pretty much what I needed.  It's nice when things work out that way.  I'm also happy to say I was able to go for a run and my foot did not swell up the next day!  I took things pretty slowly last week since I'm a bit gun shy about the tendinitis coming back and I scheduled in a rest day after every work out day but I think it worked out well.

Monday - rest day - much needed after the wedding weekend in Ohio and the late flight on Sunday

Tuesday - Strength training at home, squats, lunges, crunches, glute bridges, clamshells, planks

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - 20 minute walk and strength training, same routine as Tuesday

Friday - rest day

Saturday - Short, easy run.  This was sooo ridiculously slow :(  But I did it and hopefully it will get better from here.  My foot that had tendinitis seemed fine but I was having some knee pain on the other side.  It may be that my gait is off from compensating due to the three weeks of wearing the ankle brace so hopefully that will go away.

Sunday - Yoga with Adrienne.  I felt really good after the yoga and I have to remember to keep that as part of my routine.  We also took advantage of the rainy day at home to get frames and put up a bunch of art that was just sitting around. Plus, now we know where we have some holes and can buy more art :)

I also slept really well on Saturday night.  I ended up getting more than 8 hours of sleep. The top photo below is my sleep Saturday night and the lower photo is my sleep from Friday night, which is more typical and results in somewhere between 6 and 7 hours of sleep.  I'm not sure what happened on Saturday that resulted in sleeping so well but I wish I could replicate it on a regular basis.

So that was my week.  Here's the plan for this week, still taking it slow since I don't have to start training for anything again for several months.

Monday - Body Pump after work
Tuesday - Short run in the evening
Wednesday - Elliptical
Thursday - Rest day - Flying out for a work trip
Friday - Elliptical at the hotel gym and flying back home in the evening
Saturday - Body Pump
Sunday - 3 mile run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home (and guest host Teresa) for the Weekly Wrap.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Weekly Review

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you've seen that I was in Ohio for my brother's wedding last week.  It was a great time but definitely tiring!  I didn't get much done as far as working out but I got in a little bit.  I managed a 20 minute walk at the airport, did yoga 2 days, and some dancing :)

I did take off the ankle brace on Friday and the foot seems ok, so fingers crossed!  I'm going to try to ease into things with strength training and the elliptical and if things continue to seem ok, I'll try an easy run on Friday.  And I'm looking forward to the nice weather we're supposed to have later this week!  But for now, here's the breakdown on last week.

Monday - rest day and recovering from Awesome Con

Tuesday - rest day and packing for Ohio since I left it until the last minute

Wednesday - Waking up bright and early for a 7am flight to Columbus.  I did get in a 20 minute walk around the airport terminals while I was waiting for my flight.  Once I got to Ohio, my mom and I got mani/pedis and then I helped out with decorating their house for a religious ceremony they were having there on Friday.

Selfies while waiting at the airport

Thursday - This is the day all the family started coming in to town!  We had people visiting from Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New Jersey and India. So we coordinated airport pick ups and hanging out with people at the hotel.  Then in the afternoon I met my brother and his fiancee so we could get our henna done for the wedding.

Friday - We had a religious ceremony at the house in the morning, followed by lunch.  There was a little time for a rest and then back to getting ready for the evening festivities.  There was some Indian folk dancing and again, my foot seemed to hold up pretty well!

Saturday - This was the actual wedding day!  Sadly, we started out the day with the hotel fire alarm going off bright and early and we walked down 9 flights of stairs to find out it was a false alarm.  At least we were able to take the elevator back up to the room.  By that time, it was time to get up for the day anyway so we got ready and had a nice brunch with my brother and his fiancee.  After that, we met up with other family members to hang out and also ran some errands for the wedding ceremony.  We had a great time at the ceremony and it was wonderful to celebrate with everyone.

Sunday - And this was the day that everyone was leaving.  Our flight didn't leave until 5:30 in the afternoon so we were able to see most people off.  Sadly, our flight was late and it was later than anticipated by the time we got home.  I was exhausted but overall, it was a really fun weekend!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Weekly review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was a lot of fun.  But first, here's the information on the week.  I was still in the ankle brace and last week, had less than 20,000 steps for the whole week!  That was an average of less than 3,000 steps per day.  So I knew that I needed to work on gradually increasing time on my feet this week so that it wouldn't be too abrupt of a change on the weekend.  The convention center that Awesome Con is held at is large and involves lots of walking and I wanted to make sure that it didn't set my ankle back.

Monday - 6,565 steps.  This was mostly walking around the office since it was a day full of meetings, no extra walks.

Tuesday - 6, 432 steps.  Again, this was mostly daily steps walking around the office but it also included a walk after work.

Wednesday - 7,072 steps.  This included a walk at lunch time as well as a walk after work.

Thursday - 12, 514 steps.  I was meeting friends for happy hour downtown after work so I parked a bit away from the place we were meeting.  So this included a walk before happy hour and a walk back to the car after happy hour.

Friday - 12,316 steps.  This was the first day of Awesome Con and we had a great time!  We had several friends that were there and we had dinner with them afterwards as well.

Some fun cosplay I saw other people doing Saturday and Sunday

Saturday - 15,297.  More walking around Awesome Con but we also went to a party in the evening for some dancing.  I was a little worried that I was overdoing it but I think it was ok.

My costumes from the weekend, Mike's not the storm trooper, that's just a random person I ran into :)  The first costume is Dr. Aphra, a character from Star Wars comics and the second is a Disney Bound version of Nick Wilde and Judy Hops from Zootopia.

Sunday - 8, 453 steps.  I had initially thought I might go for a run this morning but I woke up with really tight calves.  Since that was part of the issue leading to my knee and ankle problems, I decided to take it easy and not rush back to running after so much walking and dancing the day before.

People were still going hard with the costumes Sunday!

So that was my week!  I'm still wearing the ankle brace but I don't think the weekend set me back.  I'm going to keep up with the walking this week and will try to add in the bike or elliptical as long as I don't feel any pain in my foot.