Running Conversions

I enjoy running alone when I just want to wake up and go for a quick run, no fussing, or if I need some alone time.  I like to think life decisions out on long runs.  I always come back with a clear head, endorphins, and an idea of what I want to do.  (Or, if it’s a situation where I can’t do anything, at least some peace of mind that I need to leave it up to the universe, and it’s out of my control.)

Flow.  I like being on that running flow, when all your thoughts just swirl around and you can focus on your breathing, and the air, and the sunshine (if you’re lucky), the breeze, or that delightful, slightly obnoxious hum of lawnmowers.

But yesterday, during my shopping trip, my friend Deanna and I made a pact: running today!

Image

Awwyeah, ready to run!  We were shooting for three miles.  We took a little detour to the beach, parks, and a quaint residential area I never knew existed!  We ended up running 3.18 in ~38.  Woo!

After all, we ate a lot of cheesecake yesterday:

The Cheesecake Factory’s 30th Anniversary cake.  Yuuuuuuuuuum.  Sugar coma

Deanna got the oreo cheesecake.  I’ve never tried it, but I don’t think you can go wrong with any flavor there!

I also had the gigantic (lunch portion!) barbeque chicken salad from The Cheesecake Factory that lasted for three meals (seriously, I just ate some more of it for lunch).  Craaaziness, what a deal, they really give you a lot!

Well, it’s off to pack for my upcoming trip to Vancouver/Alaska/San Francisco! Woohoo!

Have you been to any of these places? Are you going on a vacation soon, or did you have one already?

Favorite type of cheesecake?

 

The Week Where I Give In To Every Craving….

Okay, I’m only going to be gone for about two weeks before I visit home.

Still, the past week has been packed with visiting friends, eating a TON of delicious food, and basically traipsing around my house like I’m leaving forever. Oh, and shopping. I caved and bought New Balance Minimus Life sneaks. I love them so far–review coming soon!

Canceling my gym membership and returning all my library books seems so final. How did summer go so quickly??

With a number of things to do before I left, close to the top of my list was to make a Green Monster smoothie. I used the simple-yet-delicious recipe from JuliannaBananna. It isn’t the prettiest, but it was delicious! (My mom tasted it and was shocked when she heard I put spinach in it. I eat the most vegetables in the family, haha.)

Bottoms up!

I have been craving s’mores lately, so I finally bought all my ingredients at the grocery and concocted a ton. This one is made with a dark chocolate Reese’s. YUM. Dark chocolate + pb = amaaazing combination.

We finally went to a new(ish, new to me is about…a year?!) restaurant, CheeburgerCheeburger. I did the unthinkable and ordered a salad. They have unlimited toppings on their salads, so I went a bit crazy. It was gigantic, with grilled chicken, banana peppers, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, salsa, black olives, cheddar cheese, guacamole, onions, baby corn, and romaine. *phew* I think that’s everything! I liked the salad even better after it marinated overnight, and I stuffed it in a wrap, which toned down the spiciness a bit.





I leave with this (so flattering) photo of me, because my mom thought it was funny I was in bliss, and I made s’mores three nights in a row.

Have marshmallows, will microwave.

I might become a s’more.

What food can’t you get enough of lately?

I loved my Green Monster! I wish it had more green. Do you like smoothie/shakes?

Couldn’t Wait for Weights!

Ten past midnight–it’s officially Friday!

Lots of exciting events happened this week!

Monday was my first LONG RUN in about three months (thanks, dailymile!). Granted, “long” is twenty minutes for me now (and probably under two miles…my Garmin had died.) Still, it’s a HUGE improvement when I had to stop after six minute intervals (and I could only run two segments of six, so it’s a big deal!). I’m really pleased.

On Tuesday, I realized that the HIKING TRIP OF DOOM I signed up for departs on August 19th. That’s just about two months away, and I know my muscles have been quite comfy being wimpy lately. I headed to the gym for a vigorous ride on the wonderful Expresso bike. Nothing beats a ride outside, but my area isn’t the greatest for biking…so to the gym it was!

My weights workout took me about an hour. Everything is 12 reps, three sets:

Torso Rotation (30 lbs)
Seated Leg Curl (40 lbs)
Leg Extension (35 lbs)
Glute (or as I skillfully call it, the skip/push machine!) (45 lbs)
Seated Leg Press (40 lbs)
Fly (30 lbs)
Abdominal (30 lbs)
Row/rear Deltoid (30 lbs)
Shoulder Press (15 lbs)
Chest Press (15 lbs)
Triceps Press (30 lbs)

I was keeping track, and I starred the ones I had the hardest times with.

**Leg extension – (this machine was broken today, so I didn’t try it…)
**Row/Rear Deltoid – I can’t imagine what it must be like to row crew! Whoa. I kinda like this one, in a struggling, tough way.
*****Shoulder Press – HOLY COW. I only lifted fifteen lbs the first time, and I was struggling to maintain perfect form by the third set. Today was MUCH better, but it’s clear that these muscles (and my arms in general) are a weak point.
**Chest Press – (Okay. Tough, but manageable.)
Triceps Press – The first day, the machine was busy, and that was enough excuse for me. My muscles were so tired. Today, I tackled that machine NO PROBLEM.

Today was fine, but on Tuesday, I was like…I have to do more of this?!

YIKES.

Muscles learn so quickly, though! I’m really amazed. I’m working my way up to 40 lbs (the size of the backpack I’ll be carrying) by the end of July.

Wednesday I had a picnic in Central Park with friends. It was fantastic, and afterward we walked down to Times Square and through several stores. I might have picked up several items in Forever 21 (all for the good purpose of working out my arms, of course!). Hehe.

I came equipped with a whole wheat bagel thin topped with pb and banana,


and a bento box chock full of baby carrots, blueberries, and watermelon.


(Eating something in a pink container makes it cool, right?)

Today, I felt like quite the bad-a** with the weights. I dread lifting, but I know it’s so good for me. There’s nothing like pushing yourself! (Plus, I get to have an ice-cold glass of milk afterward, in the name of protein and fuel.)

I had a gigantic salad for dinner with romaine, corn, black beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pineapple salsa, and grilled asparagus.


(Note to self: next time–more cantaloupe, fewer cucumbers! They were a little bitter.)

While I had the grill out, I grilled a banana with crushed walnuts and cinnamon, and topped it off with honey. Delish!

Here’s to a great weekend!

Monday: 15 min. swim + 20 min. run.
Tuesday: 50 min. bike (9.1 miles) + 60 min. weights
Wednesday: LOTS OF WALKING
Thursday: 30 min. bike + 60 min. weights, 60 min. recumbent bike
Friday: Rest!

Week’s Total: 4 hours, 55 min.

What’s the toughest strength workout for you? What are your favorite machines (and the most dreaded)?

There Are Some Weeks…

where everything just rocks.

This week was one of those weeks!

Last Saturday, I finally GRADUATED! Done with high school at last!


Was it bittersweet? Sure, but I’m definitely glad it’s SUMMER! Time for my favorite things in the world: the state of practically living in the pool, devouring watermelon, ice cream, sleeping till whenever.

I am so excited! I’ve been so excited lately it’s practically my permanent state of being.

I was excited to make a GIGANTIC SALAD with all the summery food in my fridge:
Romaine, black beans, steamed broccoli, corn, seedless red grapes, cheddar, and watermelon.

Luckily, this excitement translates to my workouts.

Monday: 60 min. swim
Tuesday: Rest!
Wednesday: 60 min. swim
Thursday: 30 min. swim, 40 min. bike (~8.8 miles), 60 min. Zumba
Friday: 40 min. swim, 30 min. walk, 15 min. stairs
Saturday: Rest!
Sunday: 60 min. swim

Workout Thoughts:
Thursday was excellent! I really liked spreading my workouts through the day. I usually only take one rest day, but this week, two felt right, and I’m glad I did.

Can you tell I’m addicted to swimming? Since running long distances isn’t manageable right now, swimming has become the equivalent of my “long run.” It’s not quite the same, but…my shoulders have never been quite so toned. =D I love the rush afterward, of course, and I feel swimming makes me more flexible.

Are you addicted to a certain kind of exercise? (Running AND swimming for me!)
Why?