Friday’s Five

One of my favorite blogs, Carrie Bradshaw Lied, does a Friday feature called “Friday’s Five,” that shows pretty/funny/inspiring things from the past week or the week ahead.

I look forward to her hip Friday posts so much that I’m going to start doing my own Friday’s Five! #copycat

1.  Inspiration for Saturday’s long run.

2. Finding the “lost” BIC Bands in the pocket of your workout jacket.

13.1

3.  This hilarious gif of Jack Nicholson being just as creepy as usual.

4. Bubble baths and starting a new book club read.

The bubble bath did help my back a little bit! I took an extra rest day yesterday in hopes it would magically heal my teensy muscle strain.

5. It is finally March…

Which means 17 days until the Shamrock Half. The countdown has officially begun.

What are your Friday’s Five? 

Advertisements

My New Favorite Thing to Do On the Treadmill

is….

READ!

nookontreadmill1It seems kind of crazy, because it is a little difficult – but seriously, it makes the time pass sooo much faster.

If I’m not running outside, the sights and sounds on the treadmill can be exactly the opposite of exciting.

A lot of the time I do like to zone out and use running as relaxation/meditation/a de-stresser and just listen to my tunes. But other times (especially on the treadmill) it is lovely to have a run fly by and just be over with!

I just finished my book club book, What Alice Forgot, last night.

It’s a girly fluff book that is a fast and fun read. Definitely a good vacation [or treadmill] book.

Now I’m starting The Secret Race, which obviously has some serious dramz.

I do love me some athletic man drama.

Keep in mind I’m reading on my nook! I think it would be a lot harder to read an actual book while running – but I haven’t tried it, so who knows.

If only I could get rid of the reading-with-drunk-goggles-on feeling…

http://edithwithgooglyeyes.tumblr.com/ (aka, funniest site ever)

http://edithwithgooglyeyes.tumblr.com/ (Why is this site so funny to me?!)

Warning: reading on the treadmill may cause slight motion sickness.

But I think I’ll get the hang of it eventually!

Do you read on the treadmill? Or while working out?

Unplanned Rest Day

I tried something new…

French dressing! And – I liked it!

This salad officially wins best salad of the month award:

20120726-132240.jpg

– “Power greens” (including kale)
– Shredded cheese
– Quinoa
– French dressing

I love the tomato flavor of the dressing – I never knew French dressing was made with tomato paste. I was always just weirded out by the redness of the dressing and assumed it was weird.

This salad reminded me of a wintery tomato soup with melted cheese in the center, but with the summer freshness you need an office lunch to have.

Delish!

*****

I’m actually quite pissed today because I really was looking forward to a relaxing 5 mile run this evening. I haven’t run since Sunday and it is pissing me off royally.

My week fitness wise so far:
– Sunday: 6 mi treadmill run
– Monday: Arms and Abs workout
– Tuesday: Rest
– Wednesday: Yoga

I wanted it to include

– Thursday: 5 mi run
– Friday: Rest
-Saturday: 7 mi run
– Sunday: abs + something

But my body apparently had other plans. My right knee has been hurting a little on bit on runs lately  from an old wrestling at track practice pole vaulting injury and yesterday my klutzy-ass self smacked my knee cap super hard on the side of my desk at work.

It still felt ok yesterday night, so I did some typ Sunset yoga. When I woke up this morning, I could barely walk on it! I think the yoga must have aggravated it. I hoped it would loosen up throughout the day, but I have been hobbling around and it hurts to straighten my leg all the way.

So, don’t think running is happening today. Wah/boo/hiss.

Hopefully the unplanned rest day will allow my knee to buck up and get better so that I can do some weekend running!

Maybe napping all evening will help too….

Homemade Lean Cuisine and Weekend Workout Inspiration

Last night I needed to have a quick dinner before trekking to book club. I knew I would snack a lot at book club, so I wanted to have something healthy and light.

Even though I hate Lean Cuisines because of their preservative-y taste , I kind of wished I had something I could just shove in the microwave and gobble down.

Then I thought – why not make my own Lean Cuisine?

I bought shrimp from Whole Foods on Monday for my protein source this week because I am currently too lazy to make chicken. I like to buy the already peeled, deveined, and cooked ones because I get grossed out by ripping out the shrimp poop.

All you have to do with these guys is thaw them by rinsing them under cold water for about 7 minutes in a cute purple strainer and they’re ready to eat.

I heated up some frozen organic broccoli in the microwave for 3 minutes and tossed it into a bowl with the shrimp, olive oil, salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes.

The steaming broccoli warmed up the cold shrimp nicely. It was a pretty sweet quick meal for a Thursday night.

There you have it – a plain Lean Cuisine without the preservative-y taste. Though I don’t really understand why frozen shrimp and veggies are still preserved but don’t have that nasty flavor and prepacked meals often do. Whatever.

It only took nine minutes to make, so I enjoyed my homemade Lean Cuisine on the balcony before heading off to book club.

 The book we chose last night for August’s book club read is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Here’s the book description from Amazon:

“On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.”

Since I just finished Born to Run, I can’t decided whether to start this one, finish Fifty Shades Darker, or keep up the running reading with Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run.

I’ll probably just work on all three and take turns depending on my mood. 🙂

*****

I need to live at the gym this weekend since I haven’t had a sweat-filled workout since Monday.

In order to get my butt off the pool lounge chair and on to  the treadmill and weight machines, I need a little extra workout inspiration for the weekend.

Was that good for you, too?

Going Barefoot

As I slowly navigate my way through the running world, I am learning more and more about basic things that I never realized were important.

I’ve almost done with Born to Run and not to sound sappy, but it has changed my whole perspective on running.

If you haven’t read it yet, you must.

The book description from Amazon reads:

“Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.

Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.

With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.”

Not only does the book inspire you to find happiness in running, which I love, it breaks down the mechanics of running naturally.

I tried switching my form yesterday and run how I should be – by aligning my feet with my center of gravity and hitting the ground mid-foot, and running with quick little strides to put less pressure on my joints. Apparently you should be taking around 180 steps per minute.

I felt so goofy and had no idea if I was actually using the proper form, but I sure as hell felt way lighter, smoother, and less fatigued.

I definitely want to work on my stride as much as possible while I’m still a beginner.

Born to Run also explains the ideology of barefoot running, which I am now obsessed with. This doesn’t mean actually running barefoot, except for Barefoot Ted, who would run up the canyons literally in bare feet, nor does it necessarily mean running in sandals or Tevas like the Tarahumara or the main gringo ringleader, Caballo Blanco.

Born to Run, page 168.

The idea of running barefoot is running with minimal cushion. The heel cushioning on many modern running shoes can make you more likely to heel strike, which in turn makes you more likely to get injured.

Well….I don’t want to get injured. And I have foot problems to begin with! Currently, I run in:

Saucony ProGrid Mirages.

I bought them about a year ago because I thought they were cute. Typ.

But lately, my left arch (on the foot I broke twice) has been aching during and after I run. I even went as far as to purchase orthotics.

I guess they work, because I have less arch pain when I use them. But after reading that orthotics are the devil, I reconsidered what was really at the root of the problem.

1. My stride (which we’ve already covered – I’m working on it…)

and

2. My shoes

My friend recommended these Merrell shoes to me:

Like most of the running research suggests, my friend warned me NOT to go straight into running with these babies. My feet are used to the cushioned 4mm drop shoes that I’ve worn for most of my life, and simply can’t handle the poundage. That would most certainly result in a stress fracture. No thanks!

Instead, I opted for these:

The description on the Merrell website says these beauts are, “for distance runners and those new on the path to barefoot running, our Bare Access Arc 0mm drop running shoe gives you a barefoot feel, with added toe to heel cushioning. Still allowing your foot to land flat and follow its own natural motion, its cushioning protects from sustained impacts due to longer runs or a new barefoot training program.”

I’ll still be careful, I promise! I will ease in to using them.

Soooo, they’re a little expensive (like all running shoes are), but it’s OK, my mom gave me a little cash money because she saw on the blog that I needed new running shoes. I shall start writing everything I need on CNG. Just kidding….kind of.

Oh yeah, I also bought these today. But seriously, I need them. Remind me to never buy an iPod shuffle ever again to work out with. As you know – since I’ve been complaining nonstop about them – the damn remotes on the headphones are just not waterproof.

Can you tell it’s payday?

I swear I’m not buying any other superfluous stuff/running gear/anything except food until after August 15th! Just like Janae is doing a personal challenge, that’s my personal challenge to myself.

Shut up, Georgina.

What is your take on the barefoot running debate?

Have you ever tried Merrell’s shoes?