Friday, September 30, 2016

Low Impact Activities Give Me Balance

A morning walk after a few days of HIIT workouts felt pretty good, especially with views like this. I walked the hilly route yesterday for my low intensity sustained state workout and enjoyed every step.

When I got back, I spent some time outside with my SIL's dog. I'm trying to teach her how to take selfies like Booney. She's a little camera shy.

It was so nice outside that I decided to do some backyard yoga. Earlier in the week, the weather forecast said it was going to be grey and rainy all week. I wasn't going to spend an extra second inside if I could help it!

My look: tank and pants and flip flops

My backyard yoga flow focused on poses that give me a good stretch and open up my hips and shoulders. Then I did some poses that are challenging to me. They challenge my flexibility and my balance. My left heel is still bothering me (so I have to say on my toes), but I can still move through my go-to yoga sequence without much pain.

Not wanting to go inside, I helped my SIL out by watering the new lawn. It's amazing how fast the grass is coming in.


Yesterday was the kind of morning that runners wait all summer for. I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss it. I found myself thinking about it a lot on my walk yesterday. But I've also come to really enjoy taking walks and I do a lot more yoga than I ever did pre-knee issues. Walking and yoga give me a feeling of balance that I think was missing from my fitness before.

Balance: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Stability of one's mind or feelings. 

My workouts ---> high intensity and low intensity combined make me feel balanced both physically and mentally. During HIIT workouts I'm in the go, go, go frame of mind and pushing my body to its max. There's no room for reflection. Even when I was running, I was always thinking more about the distance, the time, my body. LISS workouts let my mind and body rest. I'm able to connect with myself more emotionally. I feel more aware and STABLE doing both types of workouts.

Speaking of awareness...October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I'm joining up with FitApproach and AfterShokz to get #AwareWithPink and I challenge you to join in too!

Until October 31st, AfterShokz is donating 25% of proceeds of every unit sold on to Bright Pink, a nonprofit organization specializing in breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education. AND every time #AwareWithPink is used on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, AfterShokz is donating an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink! So get to hashtagging, sweeties!

All month long you can help spread the #AwareWithPink message. Follow FitApproach on Instagram and Twitter and look for the weekly prompts every Wednesday and Friday and help raise BCA awareness.

How do you find balance?
How will you challenge yourself to raise BCA?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Arms and Abs HIIT, Yoga and a Recipe (just because)

It was arms and abs day yesterday.

This HIIT workout is intense. It is harder for me to do than the leg day workout.

The first circuit is doable. I eventually have to do the push ups from my knees, but I can keep a good pace through the entire 7 minutes. Both times.

Circuit 1 - Push ups, straight leg sit ups, tricep dips, straight leg raises

The second circuit is the killer. I modify the beginning and the end of this one because I cannot do all the reps. Eventually I end up doing 50 mountain climbers (dumping the push up) and I will never be a fan of commandos (aka forearm plank push ups).

Circuit 2 - mountain climbers + push up, toe taps, lay down push ups, commandos

After all the arm work, my yoga video was a blessing. We worked on balance and focused on some core movements. It was a nice complement and a good cool down to the HIIT workout.

What I'm wearing: this tank and Oiselle shorts


Last night's dinner is one of our favorites, so I thought I would share the recipe here on the blog. I used shrimp last night, but often use chicken breast. I also use gluten free pasta.

Shrimp Florentine with Penne Pasta

1 box penne (or farfalle) pasta
16 oz large shrimp
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 bag baby spinach

Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
In a deep large skillet, combine shrimp, milk, yogurt, parmesan, and garlic. Cook until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Reduce heat and add spinach.
Add the drained pasta once the spinach has wilted.

We tried a new GF pasta and it was really good. More protein, more fiber, but less carbs than regular pasta.

Which is harder for you? arm or leg day?
Favorite way to cool down?
Have you tried Banza

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Interval Run, a Water Bottle and on a Booty Roll

When I woke up this morning I had a feeling that it was time to go for a run. It had rained over night, but Mother Nature was on my side and kept the skies dry. I set up my interval timer with a goal to do 25 intervals doing 25 seconds run/25 seconds walk.

The run went pretty well. I had to stop after the 20th interval because I had a little pain on the meniscus side of my knee. The sidewalk near my SIL's house has some pretty good dips that may have aggravated it. But I ran/walked almost 2 miles. I'm happy with that.

Oddly I didn't know what to wear today. It was 50 degrees, which in the past would mean tank and shorts (no brainer). My body doesn't always warm up as much doing run/walk intervals. In the end I opted for a tee, but could've done the tank. Oh well.

Even though my runs are short nowadays, I still carry my water bottle with me. It's been a while since I talked about my water bottle. This bottle is designed with a hook shape to be carried hands-free. It hooks onto the back of running bottoms (which should be tightened to hold up to 13 oz.), running belt, a pocket, or even a sports bra.

The first time I ran with this bottle (4 years ago!!), I actually FORGOT that it was there! That's how simple it is. And it's made in the USA!! If you are interested in getting one for yourself, let me know...I'm a member of the Run Team and have a DISCOUNT CODE! PS - this is not a sponsored post. Just a shout out because I love this bottle that much!

More info on the Simple Hydration website

After my run I was reading blogs about running (you do that too, right?) and Amanda reminded me that I need to make sure my glutes are awake by taking a couple of tests. Since I had that little knee pain during my run, I thought it was perfect timing. After taking the tests (which I think I passed), I went ahead and did the recommended exercises plus a few more. Check out her blog post here.

I figured I was on a booty roll, so I did a few more exercises using the resistance bands. I don't think I was over-doing it because these also worked my other leg muscles.


How do you solve your what to wear to a workout dilemmas?
Ever test your glutes?
Favorite meal in the fall? ---> I made my favorite crockpot chili (leftovers pictured above)

Monday, September 26, 2016

And on Mondays We Squat (plus a Presidential Debate Drinking Game)

This morning after everyone went to work, I got to workout! Today I started Week 4 of the Sweat with Kayla program.

The temperatures have dropped BIG TIME in Springfield. This morning it was only 35 degrees and I don't really have cold weather outdoor workout gear with me. Using the Sweat with Kayla app on my phone makes it easy to workout anywhere. I easily found a place in the house to do my resistance leg HIIT workout.

Circuit 1: squats with overhead press, step up knee ups, jump rope, static lunges

Circuit 2: jump squats, walking lunges, burpees, step ups

After an amazingly relaxing weekend, I needed a good, hard workout to start the week and this delivered. The whole time I was working out, I pushed myself and stayed focused on giving 100% during each exercise. When I started to feel tired, I thought about all the calories my body was burning and was going to keep burning later.

After completing the post workout stretches, I went right out for a 30 minute low intensity sustained state walk. As cold as it was when I started my HIIT workout, it was almost perfect during my walk (just a little cool after my sweaty body cooled down).

My shoes

There were some signs of autumn on my walk. I love the look of pumpkins and mums, and falling leaves.

mrC gave me a tennis ball so that I could work on my calf muscles. I'm still dealing with the stinger in my heel (that still only flares up when I stretch) and I'm hoping at some point I will pinpoint the cause. It's messing with my yoga game.

Sun in the backyard means two things:

- watering the lawn where my SIL just had a new septic tank put in.

- putting my feet up because, life is good.

Before jumping in the shower, I did a spontaneous strength workout. Just a quick one using my beloved resistance band system. I am really happy to be taking this back to China with us.


Tonight is The Big Night in politics and a lot of people will be watching the Battle at Hofstra. Some people are speculating that the candidates might come out and play it safe and the whole debate might be pretty boring. Just in case, I thought it would be unfair if I did not share this drinking game that a friend posted on Facebook with you.

Do you have a Monday workout mantra? I like "Never miss a Monday"
Favorite signs of Fall?
Ever have a stinger in your heel?
What words would you add to the drinking game? I would put Huge on Trump's list.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Weekend of Favorite Things

This weekend was pretty much perfect because it involved so many of my favorite things. I'll get right to my favorite favorite thing. The d.o.g.

We got to visit with this handsome guy on Saturday. Booney was supposed to go to the Cape with his adoptive parents, but they let him stay behind so that we could have some time with him. 

We get as excited to visit with him as we do any of the kids. He has been one of the family for past 13 years!

I'm glad he didn't forget how to take selfies since we last saw him! He's so photogenic!

After spending (not nearly enough) time with Booney, mrC took me to Boston. We walked around Fanueil Hall, grabbed a bowl of our favorite chowder from the Union Oyster House and stopped for our favorite Chipyard cookies.

Then we headed to Cambridge to watch women's professional soccer at Harvard University. The Boston Breakers were playing the Western New York Flash. Before running, soccer was my all-time favorite sport. I'm 99.9% certain that an old soccer injury and subsequent knee surgeries are the reason for my nearly non-running status now. I still love to watch it though.

Before the game we explored a little of the campus and hung out in the fan zone playing corn hole. When I lived in Ohio, my dad made me a set. I loved having friends over and playing in the backyard. It was one of my favorite things about summer nights and fall weekends.

I found a new pair of favorite jeans ---> outfit details here

I was filled with runner pride when I saw so many people running the stairs inside Harvard Stadium. These people are so lucky.  Then we walked by the beautiful indoor track. Doesn't it just make you want to run?

Today we went to church and then picked up some groceries for his parents. I saw this and thought it was a sign that my Bengals were going to win today, but they didn't. They're still my favorite team.

Some of my eats from the weekend:

Tell me your favorites...pick one or all to answer in the comments!

Fall activity?