Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Hamstring,

I hate you. Well, that's what I was saying Monday night. I've now moved on to "Dear Hip, I hate you." 

It all started with last Wednesday's less than brilliant idea to run with the 5 am crew. See, Pete was up EARLY to catch a flight to Denver for work so naturally, I was too.

I'm not one to go back to sleep so I decided to meet the 5 am madness crew for a once in a blue moon crack of dawn run. When I've gone to this run before, there has always been a decent size group and at least a few people willing to hang back in the 8:30s pace.

That should tell you something about this group. You're a serious runner if you get up in the 4 o'clock hour to get your run on.

Alas, against my better judgement, I hung in with last week's group, who are all speedier than I for the entire 9.3 miles. Gah, it sucked. Well, at first it didn't suck, but by mile 6, my legs were begging for mercy. 

For most of them, that was an easy conversational pace. But in my world, 7:40-8 min pace is not easy. I should have turned around early, but the whole 5 am pitch black thing had me a wimping out and hanging on for the ride.

Anyway, fast forward to now and my whole left hip and hamstring is seriously unhappy. Lucky for me, I recently bought a 1 month unlimited pass to a local yoga studio ($39 for new students) so I have a place to take my sorry self. I've also been considering getting a massage soon.

Yeah, I know I shouldn't stand in bare feet on a bathroom floor. Sorry 'bout that. 

Since that fateful run, I've managed to drag my leg around two pathetic, painful runs. Luckily, these runs have ended less painful than they started so I know it will get better, but still... injuries suck.

Luckily, I've dealt with this hamstring/hip weakness before and thankfully I'm not training for a marathon just yet (although we DID get registered for Chicago Marathon in October!). No pressure to train hard. Just want to get the body healed and back to running for my sanity and health.

And to think last week after my 9 mile runner's high I was going to tell you how I need to run with faster people more often. Um, yeah... Going to put that thought on hold for a while. ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend in Photos

Whew! Last week was exhausting for no particular reason. Felt like I was behind on sleep and just mentally wiped out. 

Tuesday for example, I scratched my plans for a post work run or any meal prep and picked up Laughing Planet burritos to go for a relaxing night on the couch. Just a general reminder that you don't have to do it all to be successful

A few photos from my weekend for you...

Saturday morning cardio circuit before the perfect yoga class {Teacher Kira is finally back from maternity leave!}. 

Saturday after a work event, I got to watch the Ducks beat Stanford and spend some time with my brothers and Sabrina. 

Because my brother Kyle and his wife Sabrina were staying the night, I had the motivation to do a serious clean of our spare bedroom, which happens to also hold my closet and dresser (small house = tiny closets). I'm going to work to keep this room clean because it looks so nice and frankly, stress free. 

Sunday morning, the manfriend and I headed out to the country roads for a 23 mile bike ride. While I've been spinning regularly at home, these road rides remind me how weak I am at cycling. Always room for improvement!

 Can't beat open roads and sun on your face

And finally, some much delayed studying for my muscle and joint test this week. 

Goals for this week: focused studying, eat clean, run easy, yoga when I can, wear a few outfits I enjoy (last week was no bueno outfit wise).

How was your weekend? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Girls Weekend in Hood River

Hello from Hood River, OR, the windsurfing capital! We're here for our annual girl's weekend. 

We got into Hood River (just an hour east of Portland) on Friday night and headed to 6th Street Bistro for dinner. I chose the mushroom swiss burger as I was a starvin' Marvin.

This weekend Zwickelmania was happening around Oregon so we opted to take advantage of the brewery tours and free tastings straight from the barrels at both Double Mountain and Full Sail Breweries.

Also got free pint glasses at both breweries!

Fun fact: Full Sail Brewery is employee owned and operated and was started by a woman back in 1987.

The weather has been gorgeous, making for two beautiful runs along the river.

Views inside our rental house haven't been so bad either. The kitchen and bathrooms are what house dreams are made of with an open floor plan and heated bathroom floors and towel racks.

Our house (and nearly every house in Hood River) has great views of the river and mountains in both directions.

Back in Eugene, it's time for a little studying and catch up on chores before heading back to work tomorrow. I'm feeling a serious need to declutter and just trash things I've been saving for too long. I may even get out on my bike as the sun just peeked out. Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Naked Face Project

A quick hello and happy Wednesday to you!

I wanted to post about my recent experiment with The Naked Face Project. Last spring, I heard about the project through Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point (also the woman behind Operation Beautiful). 

For the last few years, I've worn makeup almost daily to work for a few reasons: 1) I like the way I feel when I'm wearing it. 2) Makeup is fun. 3) It can help me look more awake and put together. 

However, last week I decided my face needed a little break from makeup so I went to work with only a little SPF moisturizer on. 

And you know what? It wasn't so bad!

Sure, some days I had darker under eyes than others, but my skin also felt lighter and fresher overall. This week, I've gone mostly "naked face" simply brushing on a little bronzer and mascara.

I can't say that it's made me feel that I'll never wear makeup again, but it has proved that I don't need to wear it. Plus, it saves a good 5 min!

Do you go "naked face" to work? Are there other beauty regimes you've ditched because you decided you just don't need to do them? 

YOGA! Lately, I've been taking advantage of my yoga mat at home. It's nice to realize you don't have to go to a class. Yes, I typically prefer attending a class, but it's the perfect solution when you don't have a lot of time or $$. And not a lot of studios offer a 30 min session at 10 pm! ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Truffle Shufflin'

Saturday morning, I was up and long running before sunrise with a group of girls. The entire 11 miles felt harder than our pace (8:40s) both in my legs and lungs, but I got 'er done. 

After our respective runs, the manfriend and I had a date at the Original House of Pancakes as it's rare we go out to breakfast. 

Already looking forward to my next stack of their buckwheat pancakes

Our goal was to knock out a few wedding to do's this weekend, so we headed to the mall to do a little registry research. We ended up setting up a registry in store (Macy's) and then adding a few things when we got home. 

It's so handy you can do it all online, although going to the store is very helpful too (i.e. to find the soft, fluffy towels). 

That long run really wore me out. After errands, I downed more food as well as some zinc and Vitamin C and spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch. 

Saturday night dinner  was a "bomb diggity" salad 

Romaine topped w/ sweet potato, turkey pepperoni, avocado and olives

Sunday was another run{day}. I am starting to get the itch to ride my bike outside so hurry up, sun!

I met the run group for an easy 5 miler, then studied for a bit before heading to the 32nd Annual Truffle Shuffle at Alton Baker Park.

The Truffle Shuffle is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lane County that offers a kids 700m run, 2 mile run, 2 mile walk and a 4 mile run.

I had signed my BBBS mentee and I up for the 2 miler, but she had a major fever and wasn't able to make it. So, I opted to run the race anyway.

Construction cone orange is sure to ward off any hunters along the path ;) 

I had downed a veggie/egg wrap about an hour before the race and that came back to haunt me during those 2 miles. I did what I could to run fast, but keep my food down. Finish time was 14:02, with my first mile at 7:17 and the second at 6:45.

Unfortunately, my stomach was off the rest of the day.

A 30 min yoga session and ginger lemon tea did just the trick. 

How was your weekend? Any favorite Grammy moments?  This year's seemed particularly good, but then again I don't remember last year's...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dress and Heels

When my schedule gets extra busy (test weeks, social events, fitting in hard workouts), it's rare that I have much energy to think (or care for that matter) about my outfits. Several days I leave the house feeling "meh" rather than "pretty good" about my look. 

But Wednesday, I was inspired by a recent dress purchase to step up my game. I threw on the dress over a black Gap long sleeve (for warmth) and then added tights and a cardigan. 

The final step up my game move was opting for the heels over black flats. 

Sweater: Tar-get, dress: Forever 21, necklace: LOFT, long sleeve: Gap, tights: ?, heels: Tahari

You know those women who go to Old Navy and Forever 21 and always come out with these awesome pieces and create super cute (not to mention affordable) outfits? Well, I envy them and want to be one of them.

Anyway, I'm convinced Eugene doesn't get the cream of the crop in the way of clothing and shoe selection, but I still keep my fingers crossed when I occasionally pop into a store for girls 10 yrs my junior (F21). A few weeks ago, I bought this dress for $23 and hoped I could find a way to wear it.

Moral of the story is: don't get blinded by the bright lights and bumpin' music. Be brave and try something new even if it scares you {or requires wearing 3" heels}.

Have a fabulous Friday! And if you have a recent fashion post, please link it up in the comments! I'm excited to have my workout out of the way already. Blasted out 3 miles around the neighborhood and then 30 min strength work for week 2 of the Winter Shape Up.

Something to eat: You guys should try Ashley's recipe for orange ginger veggie noodle bowl. Lindsey and I had dinner last night and made this recipe. Lindsey added steamed/pan cooked tempeh and didn't roast the oranges. The sauce was super good and you could use any veg you like.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Manfriend Meals

I now present to you another Manfriend Meal! Don't worry, this isn't becoming a total food blog. 

Last night I got home from a short run and an hour study session at a local coffee shop to the smell of something tasty in the oven. Just like last week, I had a meal plan written for the week, but hadn't planned for the manfriend to come up with a meal. 

So I was pretty excited to come home to a healthy dinner surprise. The manfriend also gets bonus points for taking photos for the blog, while making dinner. 

On the menu: Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa
Recipe from Cookie and Kate

All the goods

Prepped and ready to go...


The tomatoes were stuffed with a mix of quinoa, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta and garlic. The ingredients spoke for themselves and each bite was a burst of flavor. 

*I also loved that Pete found the recipe on a food blog (that I'd never read before). 


On the running front:

I was thinking tonight during my run how 'keeping it consistent' is the name of my {running} game these days. Sure, my ego would like to run 5+ miles most days, but my schedule just doesn't allow for it. As it is, I should probably spend 5-10 more hours per week studying, but I get easily distracted by tv or the internet. ;)

Anyway, it's more so a personal reminder and general statement. These runs/strength sessions/yoga flows are more for my mental sanity than anything. 

I want to run. 
I want to feel sore legs.  
I want my heart to pound. 
I want to be challenged. 
I want those run happy endorphins. 

Amber, Lisa and I started planning our trip to Chicago for the marathon! I'm excited to run this BIG race and see these ladies again after our  fun at the Victoria Marathon.  

On the study front:

This week I have a test on bones. For those of you who haven't taken anatomy & physiology, this requires checking out bags of bones (seriously) or an entire skull. It's a bit freaky at first, but it becomes totally normal. We're required to memorize 100+ bones, indentations, holes, etc. Wish me luck!

How's your week going? What time do you wake up each morning? And bedtime? For me... 6:15-6:30 am wake, 10:30 ish bed. I don't operate well on < 7.5 hrs of sleep. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pizza Pockets in Tracktown

Pizza pockets {a la Mama Pea} were just the fun Super Bowl dish I wanted to prepare. I was studying for half the game, in awe of Beyonce's performance and then got to work on the eats. 

From chopped ingredients...

To mini pizzas...

To pizza rolls covered in parmesan...

To baked pizza pockets!

And birthday vino I got from friend Sarah.

Side note: I always struggle with whether to use a flash on evening photos or not. First three photos are all flash and the last two are not.

The pizza pockets were good, but I think I still prefer plain ole homemade pizza. The manfriend prefers the pockets.

While I was sort of rooting for the 49ers, I'm not terribly upset. We had former Oregon Ducks players on both teams.

Check out the fog from my Saturday morning long run. It was thick, but definitely wintery feeling.

I ran with two other girls from run group and we saw a ton of other runners out (in the 8 am hour!) thanks to a few Eugene Marathon training groups. It's cool to see your small(ish) town become a marathon city. 

And Sunday I celebrated with few hundred? others the 50th anniversary of Bill Bowerman's first jogging class. Those moments are when you're reminded you really do live in #Tracktown USA.

Oh, and I had to take a photo for you of the birthday card I gave my mom on Saturday. I bought it not only because of the cute vespas and sunglasses, but the verbiage too. I love picking out cards and often think how cool it would be to have the job of "Greeting card copywriter." 

I hope you had a fabulous weekend! I'm ready for a busy week of studying for two tests (skin and bone identification), friends and work.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fly By Friday

Happy Friday! It's been quite a week. They seem to fly by with school, work, running and wedding stuff.

This week was a little less stress free because I wrote a meal plan for the week on Sunday night. Each night we knew what we were eating and all of the dishes were simple to put together.

Monday - tortilla veggie and goat cheese pizzas
Tuesday - tempeh veg stir fry
Wednesday - spaghetti and salad
Thursday - grilled tuna & cheese melts
Friday - breakfast for dinner
Saturday - likely out
Sunday - Super Bowl snacks?

I also got back to Lifeforce Fitness on Wednesday night, which was fun. Highlights were 4 min of straight low squatting and 2 min full sit ups.

Last night's track workout was a fun strength builder. Tip: don't drink a beer and eat chips with your coworkers at 4 pm when you have to do speed work at 6. It could have been worse (I didn't yack or anything), but I wasn't feeling 100% as I blasted around the track.

The workout:10 min warm up, 10 min @ tempo pace, 10 x 300m @ mile pace w/ 100m jog in between, 10 min cool down.

I did the Winter Shape Up strength circuit Monday and Friday mornings and dang, I forget how good jumping lunges are (hello, sore rear)! But the hardest exercise by far is the plank w/ knee tuck - while balancing on L arm/R leg, tuck opposite knee and elbow in to touch x 10 (check out her photo in her workout). The balance factor makes it super tough.

Fashion Friday: It's been a while

During my run on Tuesday, I was reminded of one of the best bang for your buck running pieces: the vest!

 I love that my cycling vest also doubles well for running. 

Now, hands down, I believe that gloves and ear warmers are the ultimate running accessories as far as bang for your buck in keeping you warm. But the vest, it's pretty high up there.

The running vest keeps you warm without causing you to overheat. It gives you that extra layer of protection against the wind (or days you just feel too wimpy to head out in a long sleeve alone). And if it starts to rain, you won't be totally drenched. This vest from Novara has a mesh back panel and a nice big zipper pocket where I can stash gloves or fuel if I need to.

How has your week been? Is anyone making a fun recipe for Super Bowl Sunday? Mama Pea posted some fun recipes. I especially like the sound of pizza pockets or strawberry avocado salsa.

Something fun: Check out Katy Widrick's 28 Day Blog Challenge to update your blog layout, social media photos, update your bio, etc. There are so many things I would love to do to this here space. Someday... 

For me, a lot of these updates (self hosting, switching to wordpress format, new header) feel overwhelming because I'm not tech or graphic design savvy, but would love to be. I am going to try to find some of the smaller items I can achieve during the month of February.