Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two for the Price of One

I had two topics in mind that I wanted to discuss this week, and both have enough weight to them that they could be their own blog posts... but I got antsy, so here's a BOGO deal from me. You're welcome.

First up - vacations and exercise.

Like many of you, I'm traveling for the 4th of July holiday. I'll be hanging out with my family (parents, grandma, cousins, aunts, etc.) for about a week, starting tonight. While I'm basically already on an extended vacation until graduate school begins in August, I'm still excited for a week of tanning, relaxing, drinking, swimming, and being with family in a new location.


You can feel the "but..." creeping up behind you...

This means no accessible gym. No machines. No weights. And all around more difficultly in fitting in exercise.

There was once a time in my life where this would be a SERIOUS problem. While it still causes me discomfort and a little anxiety, I'm much better about going with the lack-of-routine flow. I know I can fit in makeshift circuits when I don't have equipment (like the one here), but sometimes I'm left feeling like I sort of half-assed my workout.

It's so much more important to spend time with your loved ones than obsessing about your fitness. Trust me, I've returned from vacations in a cloud of regret, wishing I had spent thirty minutes laughing and playing cards with my aunts rather than huffing and puffing about "feeling lazy." 

Maybe this is extreme, but think about it - when you die, do you want your tombstone to read "Great Daughter" or "Great Legs?"

Next up - relationship with God.

As I've briefly mentioned, I have a Bible that's sectioned to take you through it in two years. I just finished.

Throughout the whole thing, my daily reading reminded me about His love for us. It reminded me to pray, to always think about Him, to thank Him, and to consider what really matters. I had this thought that as soon as I finished, I'd be struck with such knowledge, such Biblical wisdom, that I would do what was right more often than not, pray hourly, and show my love to others on a much greater scale.

Yeah, not quite.

Actually, the opposite has happened. As soon as I closed Revelation, it's like I closed my relationship with God. My daily reading was my meditation, my habit-former, and in its absence, I've forgotten all that I've learned. Horrible, but honest.

Don't worry, guys - I plan on starting a new devotion program in order to keep up this relationship. I could tell that I was so much happier when I was talking with Him constantly and when I was loving others the way He loves me. I hate that I've forgotten, but I'm grateful that He's reminded me.

How do you deal with traveling and exercising?
For those of you who are religious, do you ever push God aside?

Monday, June 29, 2015

He's going the distance, among other events...

This was a whirlwind weekend full of all kinds of emotions.


Mother and I went to our town's minor league baseball game, and she caught a foul ball! She's the one with the hand-eye coordination in the family; that's why I run.

Though there wasn't much competition - look at those filled seats...

Our team ended up winning in the last inning, which was exciting, but the game was a far cry from my days in DC watching the Nationals.

Friday. Yikes. I ran 5 miles outside (longest distance in six months, whoop whoop!), but unfortunately, I decided to foam roll the completely wrong part of my body. Dear friends, when you have possible nerve damage in your hip/groin area, please do not irritate it by repetitively smashing your body against a cylinder for twenty minutes. Needless to say, I was quite upset and teetered on another "all is wrong with life" moment. Luckily, I realized this wasn't the run's fault (although there was mild pain during it), this was my stupidity, so I didn't dwell for too long thinking I had regressed in recovery.

Then it was early to bed, early to rise, becauseeeeee...

JOE FLEW IN FROM CALIFORNIA. Pardon his squinty eyes. And my ridiculous cowlick.

He traveled the cross country distance to spend one day with me to accompany me to my high school friends' wedding! Most gorgeous. wedding. ever. Because I don't want to be obnoxious and try to get their permission to post pictures or details online while they're on their honeymoon, I'm going to refrain from showing you just how gorgeous - you'll just need to take my word for it. I saw SO MANY good friends from high school that I haven't seen in years. I laughed, I cried, I randomly decided it was a good idea to drink Baileys, I ate too much cheesecake...

Even with his wearing cowboy boots, I was taller.

Sunday made its way to impolitely end my weekend, and something in the back of my mind said, "Run." I tried to shove it off - I ran Friday, and it didn't end well. I was scared. 

But I did it anyway...

Joe has always been my good luck running charm. He has been with me through a ton of races and injuries, and he's sat patiently entertaining himself while I've been off on my long runs.

Sunday I demanded asked him to sit with me as I ran on the treadmill.

3.5 miles and zero pain. None. Nada. It was incredible. I cannot express (ha, you all know) how much I've been wanting and how long I've been waiting for this run - this painless, freeing, emotional, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel run.

After prancing and screaming and jumping and singing and hugging, we went to brunch with my parents, and then I sadly drove him back to the airport. 36 hours wasn't enough.

I didn't have too much time to mourn because as soon as I got back home, my parents and I went to a downtown symphony concert!

And the weekend ended with a visibly disgusting, yet oddly pleasing salad with cottage cheese and salsa.


How was your weekend? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Being the Middle Man - er - Workout

We live in a world that oftentimes works in black or white.

The answer is yes or no; situations are good or bad.

As a mathematics undergraduate, I loved definitive answers. You knew whether you were right or wrong. Huzzah binary choices!

Ahh, but life isn't this simple.

On the blogosphere, we console each other with "oh, not every run will be a good one..." and congratulate each other with "awesome workout!"

What about when your exercise for the day is neither good nor bad but sort of both? What about when it falls in the middle?

How do you react when your workout is mehh?

I struggle with this from time to time - it wasn't a good workout, but you can't consider it as one of the "bad" ones because it really wasn't crappy. Does that make sense? Sometimes I think that I might as well mark it off as a rest day, but then I consider the fact that it wasn't rest, and believing (or pretending) that it was and nixing a REAL rest day could lead to injury. Then I think I should do more to make it "worthwhile," but that could also lead to an injury from doing too much when your body doesn't want to. Over-analyzing, eh?

Yesterday, my legs were uber sore from mad ellipticalling and squats. I knew I wanted an easier day, preferably upper body, so I did a little makeshift arm circuit workout at home. I didn't have time to go to the gym due to other plans (hello Swedish massage and baseball game!), so it had to be quick.

Side note: That was the best massage I've ever received. Not only did he help work out my kinky hip, but he put a warm eye mask on me that smelled like oatmeal. You all know how much I love oatmeal.

Unfortunately, I ended my workout feeling as if I hadn't done anything at all. I was a little discouraged; I didn't have any endorphin high, and my arms weren't sore.

If only this could be my excuse.

Later, I stumbled upon this BuzzFeed post that quotes:

"Glorifying pain leads to more injuries, inconsistent results, and a very limited understanding of what it really means to harness the body’s power.

Learning how to balance high-intensity workouts with moderate and low-intensity workouts is a crucial skill for creating a balanced, sustainable program.

—Jonathan Angelilli"

I know low-intensity is an important aspect of training. I know that... but what about the mental satisfaction that was lacking from this workout?

My dad has a favorite saying: "It is what it is."

Accept it, learn from it, mark it in your "DO NOT DO" exercise list, and move on.

Easier said than done.

How do you deal with mediocre workouts?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I want these, please.

Let's take a quick break from running, fitness, injuries, and food, and allow me to show you pretty things that I would like to have.

"No questions - get in the banana."

This is bread. This scares me... but not enough to keep me from wanting it.

That pool.

Except you can't have this AND a cat... good thing I don't have a cat.

Half whiskey, half frozen glass to keep it cold but not watered down!

I like all of this.

I never had a tree house, but I think this one would be the one I would have wanted.

Because food.

How adorable would this be hopping around your house!? And oh so flyyyyy.

All photos have been found via the wonderful, amazing, addicting site, theBERRY.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

10 Pescetarian Points to Ponder

It's been about a month and a half of pescetarianism (word?), and I'd like to share some insight.

But first!

Shifting your diet is a big move, and I highly recommend doing so with a flexible attitude. Just know that you don't have anything to "prove" - if you choose to give up meat but then decide a few days/weeks/months later it's not for you, you didn't let anyone down, you aren't a failure, and no one can or should judge you.

That being said, allow me to enlighten you on a few things to remember before shooing away the furry and feathery protein crowd:

  1. Realistically assess your favorite fast food restaurants. Chick-fil-A has the word CHICK in it for a reason. There is a void in my life that only a char-grilled sandwich can fill. Alas.
  2. Have a conversation with the members of your household and their olfactory preferences. It's a new rule here that after I make my meals, all the trash goes into the street trashcan, not the kitchen one. 
    Mmm, dat smell.
  3. If asked, you're a vegetarian. It's much easier than saying "pescetarian" and requested to explain.
  4. However, although verbally you're a vegetarian, you can stray from veggie menus. Sometimes those menus won't have shit, but if you look at the normal one, it'll have some delicious seafood option that you can enjoy!
  5. But on the flip side (again), Finding Nemo takes on a whole new meaning when trying to agree on a restaurant.
    We found food options for BOTH of us!? Totally excited.
  6. Contrary to popular belief, you are NOT what you eat. I have yet to find any scales, fins, or gills on my body.
  7. Your wallet will be a little lighter. $ seafood > $ deli. 
  8. Beg ask your boyfriend not to boast about his new and improved buffalo wing sauce that you won't get to try on buffalo wings (not to say spicy tuna isn't a thing).
  9. Obviously, you can get your protein from sources other than fish (cough - eggs, beans, and almonds - cough). 
  10. Lastly, however you choose to classify yourself, don't let others classify you! 
    Did I miss anything? ;)

Monday, June 22, 2015

All Kinds of Crunchy

Crunch [kruhnch]:

1. verb. to crush with the teeth; chew with a crushing noise
2. noun. one of the most common abdominal exercises

1. Used in a sentence: MK loves to crunch almonds.

From my Instagram.

Typically, I'd choose the Sriracha as my favorite flavor, but I honestly think all four of these are really, really good! The Honey Chipotle are a bit more subtle than you'd expect but still excellent. The Wasabi have the most flavor dusting, so if you choose those, be prepared with napkins. At least they don't leave your fingers orange like Cheetos... ;)

Pre-wrapped wrap: spinach, cottage cheese, Wasabi almonds, curry powder.

2. Used in a sentence: MK still wants abs, but she has read that crunches aren't the best way of getting there.

Conventional wisdom says that crunches bend your spine incorrectly, yadda, yadda, yadda. With all of my recent hip problems that are starting to go away, I really want to err on the side of caution with anything I do.

I found this 30 day ab challenge, but I'm making some modifications. I'm replacing the sit ups and crunches with side planks and keeping the leg lifts and regular planks. Sunday began the challenge with a 2:00 minute plank, 1:00 right side plank, 1:00 left side plank, and 20 leg lifts. I also found this site listing alternatives for sit ups and crunches!

Ultimate goal, amirite? I'll let you know how this goes...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hi, I'm MK, and I'm an Over-Analyzer.

If over-analyzing had been a college major, I would have been valedictorian.

I over-analyze everything - from did I really need that second cup of coffee? I don't want to screw up my nervous system! to I can't believe I said "bye" instead of "GOOD bye..."

Recently, I've been over-analyzing my future running and all that comes with it. With the amazing healing that I'm so thankful to be feeling currently, I've picked out three possible half marathons in order to choose my "comeback" race, so to speak. All three are in the same general location, spread out by a few weeks - one is October 10th, one is on the 17th, and one is on the 24th.

I'd need to start training earlier for the one on the 10th. I don't have a base yet! But I didn't really have any sort of base for my very first half... my training was my base, and it was great! But that was before you really did any sort of specific workouts, MK. You weren't concerned with speed or strength, you just ran. 

The one on the 24th is a trail race. You primarily run on streets, MK! You won't be prepared! But the site says it's a good trail race for those who don't do them often... Plus this gives me a way to NOT worry about speed since trail races are slower. I don't need to worry about paces. That's what got me hurt in the first place! 

The frustration is real.

Maybe I should find one in November? No, I want a good mental break from keeping up with a training plan before Boston training. But I don't want to rush into a race! But I want to race!

What if my training plan for this half doesn't work? What if I get hurt again? No, no, I've done many halves using this plan and was fine. Maybe I should add more distance to the three-a-week runs? You didn't for the past several years, if it ain't broke don't fix it. But I did break! But you broke at marathon distances...

I need new shoes. *Insert mother buying me two pair of New Balances here.* But what if I shouldn't be running in NB!? No, I've always run in NB - except this past cycle when I got hurt in Brooks! Well, it's not the shoes' fault you got hurt, it was your "balls to the wall" mindset... But shoes are important!

I sound like Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

My precious...

I finally settled on the October 24th trail race - plenty of time to train, and different, slower terrain. Rhymez.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Running Flashback #2

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, here is yet another running flashback. As with the other flashback, I wrote this a while ago, and here are some snippets from my injured marathon!

" [...] I spiraled downward after that, over-thinking every little twitch in my knee. I spent the hour+ drive up in prayer with my eyes closed. “Please don’t let the pain be that bad…”


The remainder of the night was spent in a jaded, numb stupor. I was so sick of thinking about my knee, so sick of worrying about this marathon; I just wanted to go to bed. So we did, but apparently the rest of the hotel didn’t get that memo. Our lovely neighbors were up until our alarms went off.

[...] I downed some oatmeal and Nature Valley shrapnel and taped up my knee. Naturally, I began worrying if I’d taped it correctly. I was silent the majority of the way to the race. My attitude was almost the exact opposite of my giddy self before the New River Marathon.

Things started to turn around after we parked. The hushed excitement of my fellow pre-dawn runners was contagious, and I began to feel ready. The starting line was extremely well-organized, and the MC did a great job. Joe was beside me until the last ten minutes when I began merging to the middle. I was right by the 3:35 pacer in order to try to qualify for Boston (a still unattainable feat at that point).

The gun went off[.] [...] My knee felt fantastic, and I started smiling.

The next few miles were really good. My knee started acting up, but it was nothing like what happened a few days ago on the treadmill. I knew if it stayed at that dull throb, I could do this. I was behind the 3:35 pacer a bit, but since I didn’t cross the starting line right as the clock started, I knew my real time would be a few seconds behind. I could still sprint ahead at the end if I needed to pass the 3:35 runner. I enjoyed these miles for the sheer joy of running. This part of the race was around a beautiful community situated on a lake. The houses were gorgeous, the spectators were enthusiastic, and the signs were hilarious (ex: Run like someone just called you a jogger!) I felt amazing. I was running outside again! No longer sentenced to a treadmill, this was the kind of running I lived for.

[...] Then all of the sudden the sharpest pain went through my knee. It was fleeting, but it brought up the worry I had been wanting to avoid. If this pain is coming now, will it get worse exponentially throughout the remainder of the race? Nothing to do but push on. The 3:35 pacer and I played tag for a while. He’d get ahead, then I’d get ahead, and it messed with my mind. Could I hold this pace? Did I go out too fast? I started thinking about my fueling. With my music, I couldn’t hear the volunteers calling out either “water” or “Powerade,” so I had to guess at stations. When I had guessed incorrectly (water) too many times, I started to worry about my personal Gatorade supply in my water bottle. I did one of the things that marathon experts advise against – I tried something new on race day. I tried Gu… and it worked like a charm.

I left the 3:35 runner in the dust at mile 17. I got a second wind, and I started repeating phrases to myself. “Make it hurt. Make December worth it.” [...] My smile was back.


Then I heard it: the familiar, deafening, bone-chilling beep of lost satellite reception. I looked down at my Garmin, and sure enough, the little UFO icon was blinking. I actually almost laughed to myself. This was a true test. Could I finish this in my time without the aid of the pacer or my watch? My watch timer was still going, so I noted the time as I passed the 20 mile marker. I kept reminding myself to stay in the mile that I was in. Beat the clock. Focus on these seconds… And that’s what I love about running. Beating yourself, pushing yourself to see what you’re capable of. Intense focus on a piece of the whole. Repeat. Mile marker 21 rolled by, and I checked the time. Perfection. I grabbed more Gu and took off.


We made a turn, and the finish line was visible. I started striding, unbelievably happy. [...] My music got soft, and I heard, “MK!” Whipping around, I saw Joe beaming and running toward the finish. I turned again and crossed the finish line with the biggest grin. I did it. Well, God did it. I qualified for the 2016 Boston Marathon [...]"

Monday, June 15, 2015

Blessings and Curses

But first! My current top 5 country songs:

Anything Goes - Florida Georgia Line
Cheap Seats - Dallas Smith
Real Life - Jake Owen
Sirens - Lee Brice
Crash and Burn - Thomas Rhett

I tell you these because 1) I'm obsessed with them, and 2) I've put them on my RUNNING PLAYLIST!

Yes, you read correctly, running. I was released from physical therapy last week (!!) and instructed to keep my runs between 3 and 4 miles until the pain goes away completely. Each run has moved me closer to negligible fatigue and farther from leg-dragging pain!

Yesterday, I ran outside at a normal pace for the first time in six months. I smiled the whole time; I felt as if I were flying. I pumped my arms and yipped a bit... I probably looked slightly insane.

You all know this feeling.

A little tidbit I learned from PT (disclaimer: this is one therapist's casual comment, not a medical certainty, but it's something I like to repeat to myself): When recovering and after being cleared to workout, feeling some pain is okay and common. What really indicates healing is how quickly the pain subsides after exercise. Last Monday, I ran three miles on the treadmill and was pretty much out of commission all day. Any movement hurt. Yesterday, I ran three and a half miles outside with much less pain during the run (like hardly any), and it went away in an hour. Progress, not perfection.

Now for the blessings and curses: summer and technology.

We all know summer running is hard. We all know summer running slows you down. I am thankful for these facts - coming back from an injury, I'm going to be slower due to lost fitness... but I can also look at my times and not feel SUPER down, because I know some of it is due to the time of the year! Yay!

The curse part? Summer running is hard, and summer running slows you down.

I use a Garmin and RunKeeper on my phone to track my workouts - sometimes one, sometimes both (I'm a little crazy).

All the gadgets!

I LOVE being able to look back at past runs! I love being able to give myself a little boost of confidence after viewing my stats from a hard run, and I love being able to see progress! But... while it's true that heat can slow me down, I can also look back at runs from LAST June and compare. Yikes.

I'm working really hard on not comparing. I'm pretty sure I've commented on that notion 39,233 separate times on ya'll's blogs. What I want to remember is that feeling I had yesterday - that smile, that mid-run fist pump. Wish me luck!

Any country music suggestions?
Anyone else a victim of comparison?

Mid-June Detail Dump

I have no idea what to write about today.

I don't like workout recaps, I have no spectacular hip news to throw at you that's any different from what you heard here, I didn't cook anything amazing, and I don't have any deep thoughts on a particular subject.

So why not a summary of what I did Friday through Sunday? Sound okay?

Friday morning started off normally. Went to the gym, came home, binged on Gossip Girl (not embarrassed - I never got around to watching it in high school, so yes, 24-year-old me decided now was good). My mom and I left to visit my aunt that evening, and we hit up some delicious sushi. My aunt and I could live off of the stuff, but my mother detests anything that even resembles fish... you can bet she's happy that she's now living with a pescetarian for the summer.

Looking thrilled.

Saturday morning, we all got up to walk the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! I've done this race walk a few times, and my aunt does it a lot since it's in her neck of the woods each year. It's a 5K for breast cancer, and some people do get intense and race it, but we leisurely make our way. The support this race gets is AMAZING. Not only are there 39,423,948,294 volunteers (I'm only estimating here, guys), but the residents of the neighborhoods that it goes through come out and participate too! People set up speakers on their front lawns, some people were having brunch on their porches and toasted the runners/walkers, and some people even brought out sprinklers and squirt guns to help us cool off in the 90 degrees! Some teams also had the most creative names; example: The Treasured Chests! Saving more than just the booty.

Not my Instagram.

The rest of the day, we baked in the sun at my aunt's community pool.

Sunday was spent out on a boat on the lake! I haven't been out on a lake since high school (seems like I'm just reliving my teenage years, huh?), and it was great. Anyone else put life vests on as diapers so you can use them as chairs to float in?

Me, Mother, Aunt... obviously.

Needless to say, I'm sun beat and sunburned, but pretty pleased with my weekend. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fun (and Debatably Weird and Unnecessary) Facts About Me

Random ramblings - kind of like two truths and a lie, but these are all truths.

1. I really like to eat in the shower and/or bathtub.

And sometimes I look this creepy doing it.

I'm not sure what it is - maybe the combination of two comfort activities - but I rather enjoy it. Tip: Try to finish your food before you clean yourself, else you're kind of countering the goal of bathing.

2. I'm a fan of cutting open bananas, stuffing some sort of chocolate item inside, and microwaving.

I realize this looks less than ap-PEAL-ing. Ha! Get it!?

And then BuzzFeed decided to try to one-up me on my genius-ness.

3. I hate beets.

How about 0 ways to eat NO beets, Suja? That didn't make sense...

4. For about 6 years, my favorite TV show was Survivor. Then they sort of changed the rules, the girls started wearing jewelry to challenges, and my childhood fantasy of people actually cast away on an island was ruined.

Outwit, outplay, outlast? More like outprimp, outflirt, outscript.

5. I once burned my leg pretty badly trying to use Veet.

This has scarred me for life; I will not use anything but a razor now.

6. Every year for Christmas, my mom gets me tampons as stocking stuffers.

7. I wear Chanel No. 5. No, it's not an old lady smell.

Timeless. And classy. My middle names.

8. My boyfriend and I have matching freckles near our eyes, which is sort of strange.

9. I have a "Read-the-Bible-in-2-Years" Bible, and I just got to Revelation. I'm stoked.

10. I have a tattoo of the symbol for pi on my foot.

I was a math major in college, but it has deeper meaning. Pi represents something seemingly perfect - the unit circle - but it itself isn't perfect; it goes on forever. It's kind of like us. We can try to represent something perfect (Jesus), but we will never be perfect ourselves.

Tell me something random!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Progress, Not Perfection

Whenever I hear the phrase "progress, not perfection," I usually think of weight loss. I think about being on a quest for new, clean, healthy eating while dropping pounds and living by the 80/20 rule.

However, a quick Google search will show you that this phrase applies to a lot of areas in life...

... like business. Think about trying to hit it off with clients. Sometimes they'll take the bait, sometimes it's just not in the cards, but as long as you're making progress, you don't have to seal every deal you attempt.

Ha Ha! Memes!

... like music. I recently wrote a post on musical performance, and practice is a huge part of getting better (thanks, MK Obvious). When you go through pieces, you won't hit every note every time, but it's about getting better over time that teaches you the dedication and determination needed to succeed.

Oh, Mickey, you're so fine.

... even alcoholism came up on the search with "progress not perfection in recovery." I clicked the link, and the site offered some great advice:

"... it does not mean that people should not be trying to be the best they can be. The point is that perfection is too high a goal and that people should aim for something slightly less ambitious. If the individual make an honest attempt at overcoming their character flaws they will be moving closer to perfection, but it is not likely that they will ever fully complete this journey. Humans are fallible, and the only important thing is that they try their best."

But what I realized is that this phrase can be a handy thing to remember even with events out of our control. Like my injury.

I'll be honest, I've had the occasional frequent daydream that one day I'll wake up, and my body hips down will be healed forever and ever, amen. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. It's a process of healing; it's not a snap-of-the-fingers fix.

I used to get extremely upset if one day I was feeling a lot better, and then the next day was absolutely horrible. I only focused on the bad, thinking I had regressed, and I didn't take into account all of the good days - all of the times I stood up and felt less pain, all of the walks I took where the pulls and stings wouldn't be felt until much later in.

Too often I look at my life under a microscope and forget to step back and see the whole picture. I'm staring at the missing puzzle pieces instead of standing up and viewing the beautiful image that's forming.

I should be thrilled that I'm progressing and forget my unrealistic desire of waking up with a perfectly healed body all at once.

A week ago, I took a walk. Pain in my hip came on 20 minutes in and grew with the remainder of the walk. Yesterday morning, I took the same walk. I felt flares of soreness that quickly went away and stayed away. It wasn't perfect, but I'll be damned if that's not progress. And definitely worth celebrating.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Can I play too?

Typically, bloggers' weekly workout recaps give me slight major jealousy. If you are one of the, like, eight people that read this blog, you know why - my current injured state leaves my life void of running, so seeing your casual ten miler brings about self pity.

However, I've been keeping active in any way possible that doesn't aggravate my injury (big lesson learned the hard way... injuries don't heal unless you let them heal). And I want to join in on the documentation of exercise! Maybe this will be helpful in the future for someone who needs ideas on what to do (or not to do) during recovery.

Sunday 05/31
Attempted run. I say attempted because this was the run that made me realize I need to continue physical therapy. I walked/ran (let me tell you, these slow walk/run intervals are humbling when your stupid, earthly, egotistical mind wants to show the world you're a marathoner) for 28 minutes while dragging my right leg behind me. I cried the rest of the day as my workout. Crying burns calories, right?

Monday 06/01
PT homework and 45 minutes on the stair-climber. My PT homework can be found here. I have a love/hate relationship with most machines at the gym (except the treadmill). If I get into a groove, I love it, and I did on this day. I like to find songs where I can step to the beat on the climber, and country music usually hits the correct pace to leave me drenched in sweat 10 minutes in. I also pretend I'm climbing some unknown mountain. Usually at the end of a workout, I'll whip a flag out of my pocket and claim the stair-climber as my own.

Tuesday 06/02
I went to my NEW therapy on this day (yes, I was lucky to get an appointment within two days), so I wanted to keep it semi-light. I did this yoga video at home afterwards. My leg was still sore from Sunday's downfall.

Wednesday 06/03
I went to the gym before another PT appointment and did hip work, PT homework, and then I biked for an hour. Since my hips are the issue, I think strengthening them is going to help a ton. Hip adductor and abductor machines, while extremely awkward, give me that great leg burn (the good kind) and surprisingly don't hurt! In fact, they made it feel a little bit - dare I say it? - better. When it comes to the stationary bike, I keep things interesting by adjusting the resistance constantly. Wednesday, I picked an "easy," "medium," "hard," and "extra credit" level of resistance, and went up the ladder every five minutes. Once I got to "extra credit," I started over at "easy." Then I went to PT, and he had me run 1.3 miles after stretching me and pushing me and popping me and casting a spell on me, and I had significantly less pain... we'll see where it goes from here...

Thursday 06/04
I went rollerblading. While listening to the Chess musical soundtrack. Can we all agree I'm the coolest kid ever?


Friday 06/05
Friday I did one of my favorite arm workouts ever; I call it "Rock Arms" - not because my arms resemble rocks in any way, shape, or form, but because I always listen to classic rock while doing this workout. Grab your handy dandy timer and some lighter (but don't be a baby about it) dumbbells and:

1:30 minutes - hammer curls
0:30 rest
1:30 minutes - tricep kickbacks
0:30 rest
1:30 minutes - shoulder presses
0:30 rest
1:30 minutes - bicep curls
0:30 rest
1:30 minutes - side arm raises
0:30 rest

Repeat twice more for a total of 30 minutes.

I also did more hips and homework.

Saturday 06/06
Active rest - yoga at a local studio with a side of almost headstand and a dash of tanning in the backyard with some of Milwaukee's finest.

My one true love. Sorry, Joe.

Sunday 06/07
Hips, 45 minutes on the stair-climber, and 25 minutes on the bike. Country music and varying resistances were used as aforementioned.

Also, I now spend about 10 to 20 minutes foam rolling and stretching after my workouts.

Alrighty, guys...

Monday 06/08
I went to PT. Things have been getting better, but they aren't perfect. He pulled and poked some more and then said, "Go run a 5K. Come back in an hour." So I did... and there was pain, but not like before. I would not have done this if my PT did not give the okay. Fingers crossed, prayers prayed...

What do you like to do when your #1 workout/exercise routine is out of the question?

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Team Sport

As I'm sure you know, the horse American Pharoah won the Triple Crown on Saturday evening - a title not bestowed for 37 years.

As I'm sure you know, the jockey Victor Espinoza won the Triple Crown on Saturday evening - a title not bestowed for 37 years.

As I'm sure you know, the trainer Bob Baffert won the Triple Crown on Saturday evening - a title not bestowed for 37 years.

As I'm sure you know, the owner Ahmed Zayat won the Triple Crown on Saturday evening - a title not bestowed for 37 years.

... And I think you know where I'm going with this.

Many people shared in the victory on Saturday - a team, if you will. One could not have done it without the others. Unfortunately, I found myself stuck in the "well, who is the real winner?" cycle after the three minute race, but fortunately, I was able to pull myself out. They are all winners. It was a team effort.


I think in a lot of cases, our accomplishments are team efforts. I know for a fact I could not have completed and succeeded in all of the races I've run without the support of my family and friends, without the guidance of online training resources, or without God's power and mercy. I could not have graduated college without superb professors or aid - both financially and emotionally - from my parents.

I like to think of myself as self-sufficient, but then I laugh. I can't even do my own taxes.

We were made to be in a community together. Just like American Pharoah could not have won without a rider who could not have ridden without the horse being taught by a trainer who could not have worked without being employed by an owner who could not have owned anything without a horse, we all count on someone for something. Bit of a run-on sentence, but whatever.

One final comment: The longest horse race in the triple crown is a mile and a half. When are they going to run 26.2?

Friday, June 5, 2015

All the World's a Stage

As embarrassing as this is to admit, sometimes I get so wrapped up in fitness and activity and moving, that I forget it's not one of everyone's top priorities. What I mean is that some of us relate so closely with "athlete" (there go those damn labels again... I don't mean to bucket us into groups, so hear me out) that it doesn't always occur to me that others consider themselves more in tune (ha, it's going to be a pun so get ready) with other hobbies.

I'm talking about musical performance. (See!? I'm so punny).

I've been raised around music. My mother was a voice major for a bit in college and has participated in musical theater her entire life. I used to play the piano and cello. My college graduation present was to go to London to see The Phantom of the Opera.

via Giphy via Tumblr

I love music a lot, but I consider running and building physical strength bigger parts of my life. Others find their passion in singing or playing an instrument.

With the Tony's this Sunday and with my hometown choral society putting on a little Broadway show this weekend also, I thought I'd talk about this type of performance.

Being on stage is difficult. It can be nerve-racking and stressful, but it can also be fun and rewarding. And it has so many parallels with sport performance. The same focus and concentration used to shoot a basketball is used to hit a note. Memorizing football plays is kind of like memorizing Broadway dance numbers.

But he could do both... Giphy/Cheezburger

And in a lot of events, you're watched. Not only do you have to execute a certain "game plan," be it a song, a piece, or a play, but you have to do it in front of people. Free-throws are technically solo acts. There are spectators at races and an audience at a show. All the world is a stage - a real stage, football field, basketball court, running route...

Where am I going with this? I'm not sure, I'm kind of letting my fingers do the talking typing.

I think an important thing is to always remember why we do what we do. Why do we run? To compete with other runners or because we love it? Why do we sing? Why do we play the flute? Why do we drum? To out-sing, out-play, out-beat someone else? When the world is a stage, it makes comparisons easy. The stage doesn't display the work done alone, behind closed doors, on solo treks, in practice rooms.

I think the stage is where we should show the why.

Why do you do what you do?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kitchen Triumphs

The day I had my woe-is-me moment, I opened one of the coolest books ever and read the following:

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Peter 5:10-11

I needed that.

Anywho. Onto the kitchen!

Many of you have been posting about your June goals, and it reminded me that I had a summer goal myself regarding the poaching of pre-birds.

Well, I did it!

I'll spare you the details, considering you all probably know how this is done. I'm a late bloomer.

The stringy whites separated themselves... beginner's luck?

I let the egg sit for about three and a half minutes before scooping it out.

See!? It's own separation. Such a smart egg.

And the finished product:

Sandwich thin, spinach, and of course, Sriracha.

And another culinary concoction - black bean burgers! Doing my best on this pescetarian thing!

1 can of black beans
1 egg
A sufficient amount of crackers (I used 34 baby saltines)
Garlic powder

Pulse the crackers in a food processor or blender, and then separately pulse the beans until gooey (but not like a sauce). Combine the crackers, beans, egg, garlic powder, and Tabasco, and mix.

Mmmm. Yum.

Form into patties! Mine made three. They were also very slimy and slippery (probably could have used more crackers, but they turned out amazing, so I'm not complaining).

I let these puppies go for about three minutes on each side, then I stood them up to get around the edges.

Nom nom nom.

I prefer salads to sandwiches, so a salad it was!

The insides were still soft, but it held together nicely. I was very pleased.

What's your favorite thing to cook?