Thursday, June 24, 2010

Insanity Peer Pressure

Last time I blogged, I went on about how everyone on Dailymile was on the naked running kick. So I had to try it out for myself. Well, there's also an Insanity thing going on. Everyone is either doing P90X or Insanity. I looked into P90X months ago. I was turned off from the cost, along with additional contraptions needed that you have to buy separately. I hate strength training anyway. Not a good match.

But everywhere I looked, people were talking Insanity this, Insanity that. I've done triathlons and Insanity still kicked my ass but I love it, type thing. So let me check it out. Apparently, some part of me wants to get my ass kicked. Luckily, I found a website that sold legit ass kicking dvds for cheap. It was shipped from China, but who cares? I paid only $65 AND got the deluxe version that would cost close to $200. So I got it, put it off for a couple weeks, got a little visit from a year + old injury, then started the program.

Each dvd starts off with a disclaimer basically saying: If you're a couch potato, this is not for you. Please consult with your doctor because you may end up within an inch of your life. Don't be a fool. If you know your fitness sucks, we won't call you a punk for starting with something less intense. It's better to be a wuss than to be dead. For whatever reason, I decided to go through with it. So I began last Thursday with the Fit Test. He starts you off with a warm up that I quickly learned is not a warm up. It's a mini workout. Yeah, I had sweat dripping into my eyes and everything. Then into the actual test of various exercises that I expected to hate. Come to find out, the exercises I thought I'd be bad at, I was pretty good at. I did more than I thought I could. After doing some online research, I saw that my initial results were better than average. Go me! Really, I surprised myself (I've come so far, but that's a story for another blog post all together). But then I got worried wondering if I'll actually improve on the next Fit Test. Will I get any better?

As of yesterday, I finished up the first week of workouts. I've noticed improvement in my endurance so far. I'm able to go faster in some exercises. There are some exercises that still kick my butt, and will continue to do so. That's what they're designed to do. In between circuits, I find myself gasping for air like I just did sprints. And it's all good. Do what you can, take a break if you need to, and keep it moving. If you can do that, it's not scary at all. And believe me, I was scared to even begin. But now, it's Kool and the Gang. I'll actually start running again soon while doing Insanity. I don't think it will be too much for me to handle. I guess that says something about my fitness. I've come a long way, baby!

So I've put three videos up on Youtube about Insanity. But I'll just show the one I did yesterday. It's a wrap up of my first week. I think I'll keep the videos to once a week. I figure if I do videos, it will keep me motivated to continue with the program. Well, just the workout portion. There's a handy guide for meal planning and such, but food is not my issue. I have no weight loss goals. I'm at a healthy weight and my body fat percentage is in order. Actually, I wouldn't mind shaving a bit of fat. Just a bit. But mainly, I want to improve my fitness. You can always improve your fitness. I get stronger every year. I love knowing that I get better with age.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Naked..It's the New Black

So there has been this naked running trend going down on Dailymile. No. I'm not talking about exposing booty butt cheeks. I'm talking about running sans music and Garmin. Well, going without music may not be a big deal. I did a 10 mile race without it. But the whole no Garmin thing, well that's HUGE. Once you get into the world of running, you become obsessed with numbers. How fast did I go? How far did I go? What's my best pace? What are my splits? All this goes on and you start to forget why you started running in the first place. And it stops being fun. Yes, it's nice knowing that I can run fast if I want to. But do I really enjoy it? Not that much.

I hit the road yesterday without a damn thing. In all honesty, I've been running without the supposed necessities for a bit now. I don't do socks, unless it's cold. I got rid of the stability shoes 3 months ago (viva la minimalist running!). I've been without music for 2 months (because I'm waiting for an ear bud replacement from Hong Kong..Long story. And now I can't tell you where my mp3 player is.). So yeah, I was almost there. But I never ran without my Garmin until yesterday. I wasn't tempted to take my Timex Ironman watch. I didn't set the stopwatch on my phone. Heck, I didn't even look at the time when I started/stopped. And you know what? It was a wonderful feeling. And the best run I had in ages. I wasn't even a minute into it when I started smiling. Who does that? Apparently, I do. I haven't run with a smile probably since the very beginning. Running went from something I enjoyed to me saying, "Okay, let's just get this over with." What are the chances of having a good run when you think of it that way? It shouldn't be that way.

So I enjoyed naked running so much that I may do it for the rest of the week. If all goes well, I'll be knocking out a 6 miler by the weekend. I won't stress about it. I won't try to hold a certain pace or beat a certain time. I'll just do it because I like to do it. And I'll remember how overjoyed I was when I started. Because running was something I was never capable of (damn anemia!). I dreamed about it, but couldn't do it. And when I finally did it, my thought was, "Thank you, God." I need to get back to that. And yesterday was one of those moments. I had no distractions. It was me, the sun, the blue skies, and the Canadian geese (one hissed at me).

Speaking of dreams, a couple weeks ago I dreamed of running a half. I know I mentioned the possibility of running one. But you don't understand. When I dream something, I must make it happen. Or I'll keep dreaming about it until it happens. That's how I got into running in the first place. If I dream it, it shall be or I shall be nagged to death in my dreams. So if all goes well with my running, all the sudden, you'll check my blog to find a race report out of no where. Yeah, that would be funny considering how much I hate racing. Hmm, maybe I'll race naked. That's a thought. But first, let's hope my mojo continues and that nothing breaks down on me.

Happy running or whatever it is you do. Be free! Run naked!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My God, I Think I Found It!

Found what? My running mojo, that's what! I was reviewing my running log last night (well, early this morning). And I was wondering what the heck happened. I haven't run consistently since some time in 2009. Then I took 10 weeks off due to injury. I started back slowing going "barefoot." I went to Miami. Caught the flu on the way back. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the flu in my recap. Told you I'd forget something. Anyway, I caught the flu at the very end of March, like the 29th or 30th. I spent about a week or so laid up. So yeah, the beginning of April was not productive in the least bit. I ran once after, and it was horrible. Got lightheaded and everything.

Then not too long after that, like the following week, I had some type of stomach thing going on where I couldn't keep any food in me. I guess it was stomach flu gone wild. That lasted over a week, close to two. I was absolutely miserable. I love food and couldn't enjoy any of it. I was limited to yogurt, apple sauce, rice and other blandness. Then I would get hard headed and eat something normal like an orange. And then pay for it within minutes. That's another couple of weeks of no running.

Okay, so that's over with. I'd run and I'd hate it. My cardio was all jacked up. I got turned off. I felt like all my runs would be crap, so I didn't run. In the meantime, I've been dubbed Yoga Queen, so that's good. That reminds me, last week I DID A HEADSTAND! I was not against a wall or a door. I had no help. I was alone in the middle of my living room floor. Pretty soon, I'll be balancing all of my body weight on just my fingertips ;) Ha! Is that even possible?

Anyway, back to what I was saying...RUNNING. I haven't been doing it. But now I want to. I've had a couple good runs. I've got a new "barefoot" approach. I've got a new mindset. I've got some goals. I want to develop my own plan. And I don't want it to feel like a chore. When it feels like work, that's when I shut down. I don't like that. So no pressure. No races on the calender. No training runs that MUST get done. No running back to back days, unless the weather dictates otherwise. No running more than 4 days a week. Honestly, I just want to keep it at 3 days (a medium run, a fast short run, and a slower long run). I operate better with a rest day in between anyway. Then maybe, once I'm back to running like a well oiled machine, I'll consider a race. Most likely, it will be a half. I prefer longer distances. I ran a 5k once and hated every minute of it. However, 10ks are pretty decent.

As far as my own plan goes, I'm trying to get into the habit of taking my resting heart rate in the morning. I just started yesterday. It was 57. Today was 56. I will be monitoring my RHR so I know when to workout and when to rest. Elevated RHR could mean I'm over-training or I'm getting sick. Either way, it's a good indication of when I should sit my butt down. I think this will be a better approach instead of going by some program made up by someone who has no idea how I feel. I gotta do what's best for me. I've been injured one too many times. And I'm not going down that road again. If my body says no via elevated RHR, irritated head of fibula, hip or IT band, headache, or whatever else that causes me to run in pain, I'm going to listen to it. Damn what the plan says. It's not worth it.

So ladies and gentlemen, that's where I am right now. The I'm-Gonna-Run-When-And-How-The-Heck-I-Want-To Plan starts this week. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oops..Please forgive me.

I'm such a slacker when it comes to maintaining this blog. If I still have readers out there, I truly apologize. Now if you took a hint and followed me on DailyMile or Twitter, then I don't feel too bad. A lot has gone on since I last checked in. I'm not going to recap everything. For one, I don't have that kind of time. And two, I probably don't remember it all.

But here's what I will recap...I've gone up to 5mi "barefoot." My calves have gotten used to it. So I don't even think about foot strike and all that other foolishness. I just run the way my body says to. But the thing is, I haven't been running much. Yes, that's part of the update. For whatever reason, I'm just not in the mood. I'm still very much active. In fact, I've been really into yoga lately, more than usual. I've noticed great improvement in my strength. There were poses that I couldn't do that I now can do with NO issue. Yay me! In other previous news, I went to Miami and had a GREAT time. That's a trip I need to make every year. I got a nice tan :o) Then lost it with this crappy weather :o( Also, I've been spending a lot of time on various dance floors. I guess that makes up for the lack of running.

So what's new? I finally figured out what I want to do. It's kind of been sitting in my face for a while now. Months even. People were coming to me like I'm some kind of fitness expert. So why don't I become a fitness expert? I'm one of the laziest people I know. I think I could motivate someone else to not be lazy. So yeah, I'm studying to become a certified personal trainer (in-home). I completed a workshop a couple weekends ago. Last week, I took classes to become certified in CPR, AED and First Aid. And now what's left? I have to study for the CPT exam. It's some dry reading, so I've had trouble motivating myself to crack the book open. But I need to hop to it so I can get to the fun stuff. Maybe later on I'll also take some courses in nutrition and such. I know how to eat, but I need some type of certification to rightfully tell others how to. Please wish me luck. I don't want to step foot into an office again. Too many times have I wanted to leap across a desk/cubicle and choke a b!tch. And with my improved strength, I could really hurt somebody.

In other news, I learned that my fitness is damn near excellent. During the workshop, I completed a series of fit tests. I was surprised at how well I did. I scored excellent in the push up test and partial curl up test. My cardio is in between good and excellent, based upon my heart rate after cardio exercise. Flexibility is good. And my personal favorite is finding out that I have 19% body fat after being measured with calipers. That's better than I expected. By their standards, I'm considered an athlete. That's not too shabby for someone who never played a sport in school. I couldn't run. I couldn't do much of anything. And now, many years later, I'm healthier than I ever was. I grow healthier each year. That is truly a blessing.

In any case, I may be going in a completely different direction with this blog. Every move I make, as far as exercise goes, is recorded on DailyMile. And whatever else that just happens to cross my mind, if I choose to share, is on Twitter. What else is there to talk about after that? So we'll see.

Anyway, I hope all is well with all of you. And I'll try to hit up your blogs soon. I'm so out of the loop.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Barefoot" Running

Here's how I feel about it so far. I'm noticing that my calves are less irritated after each "barefoot" running session. I've had 5 so far. I ended up running back to back days to avoid the treadmill. I knew we had rain coming, so I did a 4miler yesterday instead of today. My calves are a little sore, but nothing serious. Considering that they had no rest, they feel great. I'm still not hobbling downstairs or busting out the liniment. When I ran in my stability shoes last Saturday (to supposedly give my calves a break), my left foot got irritated. I've been cracking my left ankle ever since. It was harder to run properly on my forefoot. With that being said, I think I'll be switching to EVOs (Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot EVO) as my primary running shoe. They just feel better. I'm still easing into the EVOs and back into running in general. So I'll be increasing mileage slowly. Don't expect a 10miler from me any time soon :)

In case you care, here's what I did since my last post. And yes, I'm still going strong with yoga, 13 days straight. Namaste.

3/9 - Yoga Meltdown Level 1 (34min)
Swim (1700yd - 49:09)

3/10 - Yoga: General Practice w/Backbends (38min)
3mi Run (27:36 - 9:12 pace)

3/11 - 4mi Run (See below)
Weights (11min)
Yoga: Hip Mobility (30min)

3/12 - Shimmy (21min belly dance)
Yoga: General Practice (46min)



Activity
Route:TrackElev. Avg:36 ft
Location:Willingboro, NJElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:03/11/10Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time:04:42 PMDifficulty:1.7 / 5.0
Weather:Overcast
59 F temp; 64% humidity
59 F heat index; winds N 5
Performance

Distance: 4.00 miles
Time:0:37:21
Speed:6.4 mph
Pace:9' 20 /miHeart Rate:172 bpm (Avg)
Calories:448193 bpm (Peak)
Notes
Cool Down = .55mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
Heart Rate Zones
ZoneRange
(bpm)
Time
In Zone
Distance
In Zone
Zone 5180 - 2000h 07m19% 0.83 mi
Zone 4160 - 1800h 28m75% 2.99 mi
Zone 3140 - 1600h 03m8% 0.32 mi
Zone 2120 - 1400h 00m1% 0.04 mi
Zone 1100 - 1200h 00m0% 0.02 mi
(none)out of range0h 00m0% 0.01 mi
Splits
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
Rate
Elev
Gain
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 45+0' 256.1-0.31590 ft
29' 29+0' 096.3-0.11730 ft
39' 16-0' 046.5+0.01760 ft
end8' 49-0' 316.8+0.31820 ft
Versus average of 9' 20 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So Far, So Good

I've run three times since my last post. I have to say, I really like the EVOs, despite the pain they cause. I've hobbled down the stairs for a couple of days due to sore calves. I had to put a liniment on them and everything. But it's all good. I ran in them again last night, and my calves feel fine today. Maybe they're quick learners. On Saturday, I gave my calves a break and ran 3mi in my old bricks. Talk about being aggravated. It was probably a bad run in general, but the bricks didn't help. I know I'm coming back from a long break, but I just felt so slow. It took so much effort to maintain a pace that was once easy. But it's to be expected. Unless you're Super Athlete, you're not gonna pick up right where you left off. I'm over it. I had a good run in my EVOs yesterday, where I felt almost normal. Sub 9:00 paced short runs were a distant memory. But after last night, I left the track feeling like I'd be back there sooner than I thought.

But I must confess, I've had hip irritation after my second run. It's only after a run, never during. Then a fellow runner, Dan, posted an article that may be helpful. The first injury mentioned describes what I've got going on. So I've been doing weighted side leg raises since Saturday (2x15, 5lb). I'm going to keep up with that and see how it works. I won't consider any serious mileage or races (not like I like racing) until I get that figured out.

So with the muscle soreness I had going on, I've been that much more on top of yoga. Yesterday made 9 days straight of yoga practice. And with every session, I see improvement. It's nice to be able to measure progress without having to depend on the scale. The scale hasn't been my friend lately anyway. I'm convinced it's mostly muscle. I am stronger. And I see that when I finally master a pose I couldn't do. Or improve my swim stroke. Or by doing something as simple as pushups, because Lord knows, I could only do them on my knees. I'm not busting out my jeans or running skirts, so it's all good.


Snapped a quick pic yesterday before hitting the track.

In case anyone cares, here's a recap of what I did since my last post. I'm so happy to share because I have NOT been slacking!

3/2 - Yoga: Hip Mobility (30min)

3/3 - Yoga: Power Yoga Total Body (1hr)
Swim (43:21 - 1500yd)

3/4 - 2.36mi Run (23:00 - 9:44 pace)
Yoga: Hips, Legs & Feet (43min)

3/5 - Yoga: Power Yoga Total Body (1hr)
Shimmy (21min of belly dancing)

3/6 - 3mi Run (27:44 - 9:14 pace)
Yoga: Hip Mobility (30min)

3/7 - Swim (30:45 - 1150yd)
Yoga: Wringing Out the Old (36min)

3/8 - Yoga: Power Yoga Total Body (1hr)
3mi Run - Awesome stats below :-)



Activity
Route:TrackElev. Avg:36 ft
Location:Willingboro, NJElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:03/08/10Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time:05:50 PMDifficulty:1.5 / 5.0
Weather:Fair
57 F temp; 30% humidity
57 F heat index; winds W 6
Performance

Distance: 3.00 miles
Time:0:27:27
Speed:6.6 mph
Pace:9' 09 /miHeart Rate:181 bpm (Avg)
Calories:335198 bpm (Peak)
Notes
Cool Down = .43
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
Heart Rate Zones
ZoneRange
(bpm)
Time
In Zone
Distance
In Zone
Zone 5180 - 2000h 19m71% 2.17 mi
Zone 4160 - 1800h 07m25% 0.72 mi
Zone 3140 - 1600h 01m3% 0.09 mi
Zone 2120 - 1400h 00m0% 0.02 mi
Zone 1100 - 1200h 00m0% 0.02 mi
(none)out of range0h 00m0% 0.00 mi
Splits
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
Rate
Elev
Gain
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 29+0' 206.3-0.21690 ft
29' 11+0' 026.5-0.11850 ft
end8' 47-0' 226.8+0.31900 ft
Versus average of 9' 09 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are You There, Running? It's Me, Christie.

It's been 10 weeks...10 LONG weeks since my last run. My hip/pelvic bone thingy needed some me time. Your body talks, you listen. In the meantime, I've been cross training. Thanks to Jillian Michaels, I've been introduced to plyometrics and other painful things. I figured if I could jump around my living room with no irritation, then I could go out for a spin. I just needed my new kicks first.

Speaking of kicks, instead of VFFs, I went with EVOs. I ordered them last week. They're shipped out of Jersey, so I got them the next day. Too bad they run small. My toes came to the top without socks. So I sent them back for a size up. I got them today. I was excited to try them out, BUT I had to get rid of my headache first. Damn headaches. Luckily, I didn't have swimming on the agenda. The slightest headache + swimming = DISASTER.

Now on to the actual running...I hit the track with Week 6 Day 1 of the Couch to 5k programmed into my Garmin. I wanted to start back slow. And I had to remind myself that I'm starting back with a somewhat barefoot running shoe. That should take some getting used to. I started the 1st running interval on my toes. I didn't want to come down too hard on my foot. About time the 2nd interval comes around, I'm landing more on the whole foot. I'm also noticing that my calves are getting a serious workout. Guess that means I'm running correctly. Now I'm on the last interval. I started out fast, not trying to be fast. I was completely warmed up at this point. Come the last 30sec, I speed up for a strong finish. I'm sort of running on my toes again, actually the ball of my feet really. It felt good. It made my other kicks feel like bricks.

Alright, so I blink and the run is over. I cool down. And all I'm thinking is that my calves could use some me time with yoga. Actually, they were chanting, "Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!" Again, my body talks, I listen. So yoga it was. Now that I'm running again, I bet no one cares that I swam 3 times last week. Or that I did a strengthening yoga routine yesterday that still has me sore today. So feel free to scroll down to my pretty graphs below. It's been months since I've posted them. Come on. You know you really wanna.

I'm truly excited to be running again. Even more excited about the new kicks I'm running in. And I'm doubly excited that I have my cardio of choice back. I have about 3 weeks to get it together before I hit Miami. Yes, I'll be in Miami for the Winter Music Conference + 3 more days just to chill. I'm UBER excited about warm weather and getting my tan back. Glad I don't have to wait for the weather here to act right. If I see one more snow flake, I'm gonna go postal.

And on that note, I'm out. Happy running, walking, biking, yogaing, chiseling, shredding, lifting, dancing, swimming or whatever it is that you do! Just do it!



Activity
Route:TrackElev. Avg:36 ft
Location:Willingboro, NJElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:03/01/10Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time:04:58 PMDifficulty:1.4 / 5.0
Weather:Fair
47 F temp; 43% humidity
47 F heat index; winds NW 9
Performance

Distance: 2.36 miles
Time:0:24:00
Speed:5.9 mph
Pace:10' 10 /miHeart Rate:169 bpm (Avg)
Calories:247194 bpm (Peak)
Notes
Cool Down = .45mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
Heart Rate Zones
ZoneRange
(bpm)
Time
In Zone
Distance
In Zone
Zone 5180 - 2000h 09m36% 0.95 mi
Zone 4160 - 1800h 08m36% 0.87 mi
Zone 3140 - 1600h 06m25% 0.50 mi
Zone 2120 - 1400h 01m4% 0.08 mi
Zone 1100 - 1200h 00m0% 0.01 mi
(none)out of range0h 00m0% 0.00 mi
Splits
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
Rate
Elev
Gain
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 38+0' 285.6-0.31590 ft
210' 18+0' 085.8-0.11730 ft
end8' 44-1' 266.9+1.01880 ft
Versus average of 10' 10 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's Official

I am crazy. I gotta be. Wednesday night, I came up with the bright idea to do not one, but two Jillian Michaels workouts the following day. If I've been slacking, I'm the type to do some ridiculous workout as a come back. If you follow me on DailyMile, you'll see days of inactivity. Then all the sudden, BAM! I did everything in one day. I do the same thing with running too. If I haven't run in a while, my first run back is short, but HARD. I always push the pace when I should be easing into things. I figure, pushing it will get me back to where I need to be sooner. Get the pain out of the way now and it's smooth sailing from there.

So I started out with Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. This was the workout I was afraid to do after previewing it. I put it off and didn't tackle it until about 2 weeks ago. The exercises I thought I would hate were okay. And the ones I thought would be okay SUCKED. Lots of plyometrics and such. Lots of muscle burning. When I did it yesterday, it wasn't as bad as the first time. But it was still a tough workout. I was completely expecting to feel somewhat beat down at the end of this (53min including warm up and cool down). But I was cool. I refilled my water bottle, ate some raisins, did a couple things around the house, then started the next workout about 10min later.

I moved on to No More Trouble Zones. Now remember, this is the workout that had everything but my face sore. This was my third time. And I must say, the more you do it, the better. As long as you get the first workout out of the way, it's all good from there. Even if I haven't done it in over a week, it feels easier. Somehow my body remembers what it's supposed to do. My abs, shoulders and arms were nice and tender from the previous workout. Any time they were engaged, the burn was extra special. But when it was all said and done 52min later, I still felt good. Actually, I spent the rest of the evening wondering when I'd feel like I was hit by a bus. It never happened. I woke up this morning sore. But it was the I-can-tell-I-worked-out sore, instead of Oh-my-God-did-someone-just-beat-the-crap-outta-me-with-a-bat sore. Two completely different feelings.

Out of all the body parts I worked, my traps were the most sore today. That's nothing. So I did about 30min of yoga. There was a portion dedicated to abs. And I worked them hard. But then I decided to do another one of Jillian's workouts, Level 3 of 30 Day Shred. This was my first attempt at Level 3. The Shred workouts are much shorter (26 to 27min). For the most part, if you've done her other workouts, the moves are nothing new, except a couple. But she picks the ones I hate to do most (walking planks, mountain climbers, sumo squats, jumping lunges, traveling pushups, plank rows with leg raises, and jump squats). In this short amount of time, sweat was dripping off my face onto the mat. I was trying to keep it out of my eyes. Mind you, I had the fan on. Yeah, it really didn't matter. Needless to say, I got that Yeah-I-worked-out-and-kicked-ass sore going on. Who knows what I will feel like in the morning. But I hope to get a swim in before Saturday night's festivities. I'm heading to NYC to act a fool celebrate a friend's birthday. Whatever soreness I got going on won't keep me from traipsing around the city. Should be lots of fun. On that note, I'm out. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cooking with Chef Christie


Anyone who somewhat knows me knows that I cook. Anyone who really knows me knows that I tend to cook at the oddest hours. No matter what time it is, if I'm hungry or have the taste for something, I will cook it. I'm the type to not keep too many convenience foods around. For one, they're not healthy. Two, they're crap. Three, my food tastes better anyway. Four, I discovered that I actually like cooking. If you ever have stuff on your mind, start chopping onions or something. It's therapeutic. Okay, well not the eye burning part. But I've noticed that my eyes aren't irritated if I'm wearing contacts.

So last week, I got a sweet tooth and ended up baking pumpkin muffins around 1am. Last night, I was determined to get into my spaghetti squash. So I started cooking in the wee hours again. If you were on twitter last night, you were probably wondering what the hell I was doing up so late (or early depending on how you look at it) getting my Lidia's Family Table on. Yes, I can throw down like a big boned, Italian wench (with some veg friendly and healthy modifications) when I want to. So it was about 3am when I finally ate. I woke up with my kitchen still smelling like Lidia was in there putting in work.

And now for the Cooking with Chef Christie show that I put on last night:

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil.


Add tomato paste and red wine. I'm using burgundy.


Add spices. I got oregano, thyme, basil and marjoram going on.


Add whole tomatoes. Then break them up with your spoon. Don't forget to add a pinch of sugar to cut down on the acidity. Just a pinch. Don't go crazy with it.


Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. I like mine spicy. Then let it simmer.


Add tofu for protein. I like a balanced meal. Use your protein of choice. Continue simmering.


Time to tackle the spaghetti squash. I don't think my knife is big enough.


Got it open without a struggle. Time to scoop out the seeds.


Spaghetti squash is easy. Just microwave face down.


Scoop out the 'spaghetti'.


Plate and serve with garlic toast and maybe some wine.


In case you're wondering, I'm not vegan or vegetarian any more. I eat fish occasionally (no creepy crawlies, no sea urchins, nothing in a shell, just fish with fins). Even knowing that, people still call me vegetarian. But whatever. I eat what I eat. Most of my cooking is vegan, since I don't eat eggs. If I make any type of pastry, baked goods, or pancakes and such, they are vegan (so I'm vegan on those days). I don't cook with dairy unless I specifically want dairy, like a grilled cheese sammich (making me vegetarian on those days). Then there are times I will cook a piece of salmon or tilapia to go with a side of veggies and a baked potato (making me pescatarian on those days). Most of the time, I use tofu or tempeh as my protein of choice . But hey, cook how you want to cook. Just make it tasty and healthy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nope. I'm not doing it.

I'm still not running. It's not about laziness or cold weather or whatever. I'm still injured. Before I had taken close to 4 weeks off. But I found out quickly that it wasn't long enough. It didn't matter how long or short the runs were, my hip region was still irritated afterward. It wasn't a problem during the run though. So it's quite tricky. Usually if you're injured, the discomfort hits you while running. But that's not my issue. I can still run. And I had run as much as 10mi with the injury. But it's after the run that would kick my ass. It's been, what, six weeks now? It has improved a lot. But it's not 100%. So I'm still not running. Part of me really wants to go out for a spin. I miss running. I really do. But I don't want to re-injure myself by not giving it enough time.

In the meantime, I'll keep up with my cross training. Well, somewhat. I got caught up watching the Australian Open at ridiculous times of the night and morning. It completely threw my schedule out of whack. So there was a week that I did absolutely nothing, not even yoga. But the tournament is over now. Back to business as usual. I've skipped my Y classes simply because I don't feel like going. But I replaced them with some kick ass Jillian Michaels dvds. I did No More Trouble Zones a couple weeks ago. And I was sore from head to toe. Everything, except my face, hurt. I did it again today and I have no post workout muscle soreness (yet). I also did 30 Day Shred a couple times. It's a lot less painful, yet effective. Next, I plan to tackle Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. Something about it scares me. I gotta feeling I won't be able to lift my leg. But we'll see.

Whatever I've been doing for the past few weeks has definitely been effective in the strength training department. You know why? Because I can do push ups now! I can't do a bunch. But I can do more than ten at a time. That, to me, is HUGE. My arms are easily cut because I don't carry my weight there. But my strength (and weight) is in my legs. Previously, I could only do modified push ups. And that alone, was enough work for me. My, have things changed. I hope that all this other stuff will make me a better runner once I get back to it.

Speaking of running again, I am seriously considering buying a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. There's something to this barefoot running thing. Heck, my dad even brought up barefoot running the other day. He's not a runner. I'm hoping it will cure whatever I got going on, if I start slowly. I read somewhere that it can be good for those who were jacked up but now coming back to running. I can't see running in them all the time, but it would be a great training tool. And I've seen a bunch of blogs/training logs of VFF runners who adore them. It's worth a try. But first, I need to stop being lazy and measure my foot. Where's my ruler?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Before I Forget...

Here's what I did this week:

1/11 - Swim (33:35 - 1250yd)
Yoga Class - (1:30)

1/12 - Yoga: General Practice w/Backbends (38min)
Chisel Class - (1hr)
Bike (50min - 10.54mi)

1/13 - Elliptical (50min - 5.47mi)
Swim (45:19 - 1600yd)

1/14 - Yoga: Finding Balance (36min)

1/15 - Yoga: Going with the Flow of Life (40min)
Elliptical (50min - 5.54mi)
Bike (50min - 10.71mi)

1/16 - Yoga: Open and Strong Heart (30min)
Strength Training (12min)
Dancing!

I tried to do something every day, even if it was just yoga. Actually, this is the most yoga I've done in a week. Yoga is the perfect thing to do when you feel like doing nothing. There are lots of days I want to do nothing. So instead of nothing, I'll do yoga. But today, I'm actually resting. I am so tired. And it has nothing to do with my workouts. My period is due this week. And right beforehand, I get so beat that I could fall asleep standing up. Well, not really but you get what I mean. When my body says rest, I do so. I dosed off numerous times during the football games. I just hope I can sleep tonight and wake up refreshed tomorrow. I hope to swim and such.

Usually, I would write more but I'm just not in the mood. I'm watching tennis. And I just feel like being lazy. So on that note, I'm out. Have a great week!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I love a challenge??

Who needs bikram yoga when you can sweat to death in your own living room? Okay, so I'm not really sweating to death. But I manage to get quite a workout. My yoga classes definitely improve my home practice. And I'm not sure why people get the impression that yoga is just stretching. If it were just stretching, then it would be called stretching. And I've never experienced muscle soreness from just stretching. Nowadays, my yoga sessions feel more like strength training workouts. My goal is to practice more at home, especially on days I feel like doing nothing at all. There are many people who get into yoga and eventually cut out everything else. If you can support your body weight with just arm strength, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you really don't need to do anything else. No, I don't plan to give up everything else. I just want to do more yoga. It's just good for you. It makes me feel stronger and stand taller. I'm trying my best to make 5'5 1/2" look as tall as possible :) By the way, I spent most of my life thinking I was an inch shorter. Then I measured myself a couple months ago. So I grew a bit after high school. Who knew?

Now that I'm doing this yoga thing more, I find myself wanting more of a challenge. Some people like to workout within an inch of their lives. They wanna feel like they've just had their asses handed to them. That is so not me. I'm totally okay with not feeling the burn. Sweating is a good enough indication that I'm working hard enough. Yes, I'm a wuss when it comes to working out. No challenge? No problem. But I find myself doing more intermediate yoga routines. Heck, I actually want to do the arm strengthening exercises. What? That is unheard of. My upper body is my weakness. And I hate working on my weakness. What's going on with me?

That brings me to swimming. I found myself in the pool on Friday because I wanted an upper body workout. What in the world? But I skipped chisel class this week. Mind you, this is the class I hate. I call it torture. Different muscle groups are burning in every class. And all the sudden, I find myself missing it. I felt like something was lacking. So to the pool I went. I got my fill with the breaststroke. I felt every bit of that. Front crawl didn't bother my arms as much. After 2 swim free weeks, I decided to throw in some 5 stroke bilateral breathing too. What was I thinking? At times, my lungs wanted to kill me. And other times, I felt like I was breathing normally. My goal is to get up to 7 stroke bilateral breathing, but I'm a ways off. And eventually, I want to practice with the Masters Swim team. But my cardio is not ready for all that. I don't want to die a watery death. In the meantime, I will practice, practice, practice.

Maybe this whole challenge thing is about measuring my improvement. I love, Love, LOVE seeing results in the activities I do. I guess that's why I have a love-hate relationship with chisel class. It hurts, but I get fast results. I went from feeling sore and broke down to feeling normal the next day. My arms look great and I'm a lot stronger. Heck, I'm halfway tempted to do pushups again with someone standing on my back. Okay, I'm not gonna take it that far, but you get what I'm saying. The more I improve, the more I want to do. It's funny how that works. So here's to putting my wussy ways behind me!

Oh, and here's a recap of my week in case you care...

1/5 - Elliptical (50min - 5.38mi)

1/6 - Yoga Class (1hr)
Elliptical (50min - 5.42mi)

1/7 - Yoga: Fire in the Belly (42min)
Dancing

1/8 - Yoga: Going with the Flow of Life (40min)
Swim (53:31 - 1800yd)
Dancing!

1/9 - More Dancing! (Is there a contraption to measure the calorie burn?)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Alive!!

Hey Everybody! Happy New Year! I know, I know, I've been a sucky blogger. Honestly, it just hasn't crossed my mind. For one, I've been slacking. Not bad, but by my standards anyway. I stopped running again, because I'm still not completely healed. It's been maybe two weeks? Or is it three? I'm not sure. I caught a cold that had me coughing my lungs out. Yeah, didn't work out much then. I stayed home instead of infecting everyone at the Y. I hate when people insist on spreading their germs. I didn't wanna do that. Then it just got too cold to get outta bed. Yeah, I'm not motivated to do a thing when it's cold. And then the holidays. So yeah, lots of excuses for not being consistent. But I didn't stop working out all together. I post all workouts to Dailymile. And I'm always chit chatting on Twitter. So if you don't see me here, you can catch me there.

So what have I been doing? I've been getting my party on. Where there is good music, you can count on finding me on the dance floor. My cardio is still very much together. My clothes size is the same. I have my social calendar to thank for that. I dance, I socialize, I enjoy myself. There's gonna be a time when I won't be able to do that. So I'm gonna get it in when I can fit it in.

Now back to what this blog is all about...I'm getting back into my workout schedule. But I was extremely annoyed when I ran into all the New Year's Resolutionists at the Y on Tuesday. The parking lot was packed. My chisel class was packed, so I left. The actual gym was packed, but I managed to snag an elliptical machine. I'm always complaining about chisel class. It's torture from beginning to end, so it seems. But I can't complain too much when I see noticeable improvement in my upper body strength. Arm strengthening yoga poses are a lot easier because of it. So I have a love-hate relationship with the class. But it annoyed the hell outta me to skip it. Bummer! I have class tonight. Not sure I'll make it though. The social calendar calls.

Since I'm not in the mood to recap everything I've done since I last blogged, I'll leave you with random pictures.

At the class reunion, Thanksgiving weekend

In my winter running gear about 4 weeks ago

Random trip to NY to party about 3 weeks ago

Pizza eating before said party

My friend's sister's pups. They're the cutest.

Pumpkin muffins NOT for the holidays but because I like to eat.

Chocolate chip w/walnut cookies. No special occasion except me being greedy.

Funny street sign in Philly

At the club a couple weeks ago

Yesterday after yoga and the elliptical

My lil guns thanks to yoga and chisel class

Today's breakfast: tofu scramble, breakfast potatoes, broccoli and toast

Happy Running Everyone, or whatever it is that you choose to do! Just keep moving!