Saturday, January 25, 2014

Milo Drama and Homemade Lara Bar Recipe

I was supposed to be running the Rain Run Half Marathon today. But, I'm at work since I couldn't find anyone to cover my shift. Oh well! Probably a good thing that I don't have to deal with the stress surrounding a race this weekend.

What a week! So much drama surrounding my sweet little boy.

On Wednesday I found out he had fleas. Which set my anxiety around a code red. Numerous phone calls, a trip to the vet, a trip to the groomers, back and forth to the laundry mat, a few grey hairs, and $200 later, I think we have the problem under control.

All of my friends who are dog owners didn't think it was a big deal, but none of my dogs growing up ever got fleas. Besides the fact that Milo was suffering, I'm most worried about an infestation in my house. I took up and threw out all my carpeting and have been vacuuming like a fiend. Hopefully those darn fleas don't make a resurgence!

Workouts this week have been few. I took a rest day on Wednesday to deal with all this. Thursday I ended up running about 6 miles, totally Garmin-less. Didn't worry about time or anything, I really just needed to blow off some steam. Thursday I ran again, although I was dragging and really didn't want to. Just a short three miles. Sometimes I wonder where the line is between pushing yourself through when you feel like that and giving yourself a break. Well, I decided to push through Friday. Typically when I feel that way, if I just tell myself to do a mile and then I can turn around, I will end up feeling fine and get in a longer run anyways.

In food news, I finally made some homemade Larabars with my Vitamix!

For the longest time, I held myself back from asking for a Vitamix because I knew I wanted to make Lara bars on my own and didn't know if I could do it in a Vitamix. Most "recipes" call for a food processor. 

After some research, I decided to just go for it. I chopped up the dates as well as I could and didn't even have to soak the cashews! Total success! And they taste just like cookie dough. 

Here's what I did:

Cookie Dough Larabars

1 1/4 cups pitted dates (if using a Vitamix, chop the dates first)
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs

Blend the dates, cashews, salt, vanilla and coconut in a Vitamix or food processor until the desired consistency. Remove from machine and mix in cocoa nibs. Make dough into bars or balls and store in the refrigerator. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Workout Wednesday

Another Wednesday workout. If you go straight through this one without any breaks, it will be 30 minutes. Make sure you warm up first, though!

Each 4 exercises comprise a circuit here. Go through each circuit twice, one minute for each exercise.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pup Training, Granola and No Racing

Here we are! Monday again!

I didn't update the end of last week, which was much the same as usual. Except for a fun pup outing to obedience training!

I got a gift certificate for Christmas for a training center next to me and finally cashed in one of our sessions. I was SO excited. Milo had no idea what was about to happen, but I was brimming with the anticipation.

We worked on coming when called and healing, which took most of the time. Milo caught on very quickly, and I was such a proud fur mama! We've been working on the commands since then and he's been getting better and better. 

We went for a run around Discovery Park on Friday. It was a perfect day: cool and completely DRY. And, of course, guess who found the only mud puddle on the entire trail?! 

Not only did he have to run through it, but he had to splash it all over his face as well. What a goofball!

I received another free week of yoga at Core Power Yoga in Ballard, so I enjoyed several hot hot yoga classes this weekend. I did the typical Core Power (vinyasa style) on Friday, after which I was CRAVING a Kombucha like CRAZY!

The little carbonation in them is so thirst-quenching. On a side note: GT's Kombucha is such a great company. Last time I bought a bottle, there was something stuck under the lid and the drink had gone bad. I wrote them an email and they apologized and sent me a coupon for a free drink. They must have taken care of the entire shipment because the next time I was at the store, they had pulled all the drinks off the shelves.

Saturday morning started with my usual lifting routine. I did back squats this time and worked my way up to 145 lbs. 

I also did lots of walking lunges and a bunch of core stuff. My legs were dead the rest of the day. Seriously, there is nothing better than dead legs after heavy lifting! It's such a different feeling from dead legs from running.

In food news, I made some granola this weekend. I've been on a yogurt kick and was craving some of the crunchy stuff to mix in. I did the following:

2 cups oats
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
a few pinches of salt

Baked at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Sunday I went back to Core Power Yoga for a Core Fusion class. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I wasn't thrilled with the class. It was more of a Bikram style class, which doesn't make me jump for joy. But it was free and I still sweat, so I was still happy.

And finally, when I've let Milo on the couch the past few days, he's been curling up on the opposite end away from me. Last night he finally migrated over to me for some snuggles. That little face. Gets me every time!

And a bit of bad news: I was supposed to be running the Rain Run Half Marathon this Saturday. And I can't get anyone to cover my shift at work that morning. Not only did I waste the race fee, but I was actually excited for this race! I haven't trained much (if at all), but it was a capped race so it wouldn't be too crowded and it was flat. Boo. Serves me right for registering for a race and assuming I could find shift coverage!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Workout Wednesday

Another workout for you on a Wednesday! This one is composed of 5 minute intervals. Each five minutes features two exercises to superset (rotate between). Begin with 5 of each exercise and each time you go through them, add one repetition. 

So, for your first 5 minute interval, complete 5 burpees and 5 spiderman planks (left + right = 1), then 6 burpees and 6 spiderman planks, etc.

Without any rest, the workout should take 25 minutes. Although I encourage rest between intervals so you can work your butt off on the next one =)

Spiderman planks
Straight arm pulldown

Monday, January 13, 2014

Identical Weekend

Ohhhhh can we go back to Sunday, please?!?!?! I really feel like I could use another day off this week! Oh well...just looking forward to next Sunday now!

This weekend was pretty identical to last weekend. Saturday started with an early morning lifting session.

Ivonne deadlifting/talking.
This time around, my friend Ivonne came to lift with me. I was deadlifting this week, so she did the same.

Allison's guide to lazy weightlifting. 
 My workout looked as follows:

10 @45 lbs
10 @65 lbs
10 @85 lbs
8 @105 lbs
6 @115 lbs

3 rounds:
8 jumping pull ups
10 goblet squats (35lb kettlebell)
12 ball slams (20 lb)

3 rounds:
10 ab wheel roll outs
10 hollow rocks
20 spiderman planks

The rest of Saturday was fine, but boy was I GLAD to be out of work at 1pm!

I took the rest of the day pretty easy, except for a long walk with Milo and then I still felt like moving so I did some hill repeats on a steep hill near my apartment. The heavy breathing felt wonderful on a cold, rainy evening!

Milo's Sunday morning position.
Sunday mornings are by far my favorites! For one, I get to sleep in! Which feels so nice after 6 days of early get-ups. Second, it is the only morning that Milo and I get to just hang out. I usually let him up on the couch for some cuddles.

After a few hours of Milo cuddles and Netflix watching, I headed out into the mist to another complimentary yoga class at Lululemon University Village.

Always have to remind myself to breathe. Good thing it says to on my mat. 
My hips were SO TIGHT after deadlifting the day before. I could barely get my hip to the floor in half pigeon.

This class was very different from last week. The instructor did A LOT of talking. Especially to start the class, and even during savasanah. Sometimes I like a guided meditation of sorts, but I was just not having it. I needed the quiet apparently.

I still really enjoyed the class and was really glad I went. My legs were so happy for some stretching!

Later in the day I took Milo to the park where he found a good gaggle of pups to play with.

Poppin' sticks.
He ran around with the other dogs for a good 10 minutes before he pooped out on the ground with a stick. My little baby weirdo. I can only imagine how parents feel, but I get so much joy from watching Milo run around and have fun. I swear he has a smile on his face and it just makes my heart happy!

Aaaaannndddd on to another week! Hope you are having a good Monday.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rainy Week

I am feeling so out of sorts this week! I haven't felt in the mood to do much of anything. I have a feeling it has to do with the weather. I guess we've been lucky for too long, because the rain is finally back. And it has been back ALLLLLLL week long!

So, workouts haven't been very exciting. I haven't been in the mood for running, which is making me nervous. I feel like a need a focus!

I taught my two strength classes on Tuesday and did some light cardio before work (the stairmaster to be exact) on Wednesday. I did do a run in the rain on Thursday, which surprisingly felt pretty good. Sometimes it feel so cathartic to run in the rain!

I've been rocking some good food this week! First off was soup, but the picture of it didn't turn out too well. What is better than soup on a rainy night?

I've continued the Vitamix smoothie obsession. I got some frozen pineapple chunks, which have been turning my smoothies into a tropical love-fest!

Does it GET any greener than this?
I also randomly decided I wanted apple crisp so I made a healthified version with apples, cinnamon, honey; and then oats, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon for the topping. Yum! I ate half of it Thursday night and I am hoping to save the other half for breakfast on Sunday!

Looking forward to the weekend and hoping the rain lets up a little bit. I saw this graphic somewhere and thought it was appropriate for the new year:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Workout Wednesday

Here's a quick little circuit today to get the blood flowing. I did a version of this in both my classes yesterday and it's left me pretty sore!

With a short warm-up and cool-down this should take about 20 minutes.

Runners lunge to jump
One arm thruster
Shoulder jacks
One arm high pull
Scissor kicks
Flutter kicks

Monday, January 6, 2014

Walking and Yoga

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Mine was pretty nice! It was cold here in Seattle (cold for us), so I froze my butt off!

As usual, my weekend got started after work on Saturday. After eating lunch, Milo and I ventured out to Golden Gardens for a little romp. It was SUCH a gorgeous afternoon. COLD, but beautiful. Lots of sailboats out and, of course lots of people.

We walked around the beach for a bit, but Milo got attacked by a dog AGAIN! This happened a few months ago at the park. Luckily, this time he was on a leash so I just pulled him away. We were just walking by this boxer, who suddenly lunged at Milo! The owner hardly said anything, and I was just so irritated! If your dog is aggressive you should be paying attention rather than on your phone and should have them on a short leash! I don't understand why Milo keeps getting attacked! Maybe he needs to be taught how to stand up for himself?

After that, we walked down the marina and back. I was SO cold by the end, but it was a good walk!

Sunday, I was planning to hit up the morning yoga class at my gym.

Love this!
I saw on the University Village Lululemon facebook page, however, that they were having a complimentary Sunday morning yoga session! I guess this happens ever Sunday and they change studios each month. New info to me! I was floored!

It was crowded, but they moved aside all their floor stuff and we did yoga in the middle of the store! Despite the crowd, it was a good class and felt great to move. I think the studio this week was I Love Hot Yoga from Greenlake. The instructor's name was Elvis and I just LOVED his music. Lots of peppy instrumentals from current hits. And some oldies...I think I even heard Somewhere Over the Rainbow. We did a pretty standard flow and the class was only an hour, so we didn't hit everything. Still, I left happy!

Kale, berries, banana, greek yogurt, orange concoction.
In case I didn't mention it, I got a Vitamix blender for Christmas and I have gone a little bonkers with it. Mostly lots of smoothies, but yesterday I even made a cookie dough dip that had beans in it! It was actually super duper yummy!

Here's to a good week! I think most people are getting back into the swing of things today from a long break, but I'm just glad it's going back to normal hours for me!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Early Saturday Leg Session

Happy Saturday!

Things have been pretty mellow this week. I've been struggling SO hard to keep up the running. It just isn't fun right now, which is so weird for me. Maybe I'm just super burnt out and need a break? Or maybe it's the weather? In either case, I've been getting to work early to get a short cardio workout in so that I just get it over with for the day.

Things have been really busy at work the past few days, which is expected at a gym. By the end of my shift I am SO done with talking to people. This has been my theme when people come to compain:

Yesterday, I did manage to get out for a short (maybe 3 or 4 miles) run with a friend, which was nice. Hard to get out the door, but once I did I was glad! It started sprinkling on us which wasn't fun, but there WAS a beautiful rainbow that popped up. I really wish I'd had my camera with me!

This morning I woke up early again (although not as early as during the week! Yes!) and came in to lift. I'm trying to lift heavy at least a few times a month and usually it's squats. After warming up I did the following back squats:

10 @45 lbs
10 @65 lbs
10 @85 lbs
8 @105 lbs
6 @125 lbs
3 @145 lbs

Far cry from my heavy squatting days last year, but this feels comfortable for now!

The rest of my workout was filled with lunges, ring rows and handstand wall walks. I finished up with some core work of roll outs and hollow rocks.

I've been thinking lately about how I'm having a hard time finding my fitness nitch at the moment. And I think I miss working on skills. I miss dance and working on specific things like pirouettes, kicks, and I miss gymnastics and having to train skills. So I'm thinking I may be headed down that road for a bit. We will see, more on this later.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pictures as of Late

Not in much of a writing mood today. So here are a few pictures from the past week!

Milo in my face while I was trying to do some home yoga. He just doesn't understand the concept of leaving me alone while I'm either yoga-ing or working out at home. He either lies on his back under me or, in this case, stuffs his toy in my face while I'm trying to do a chaturanga. At least he's adorable!

I've been getting into the gym early (like 4am early) to run or ellipticize before I start work. I've been REALLY struggling to get myself out the door to run in the afternoons. It's just been so cold and damp! I need to get over it and be thankful that it hasn't been raining much, but for now, early morning sweat sessions have become the norm.

I got a Vitamix for Christmas and have been living it up drinking smoothies like a crazy person! This was a coconut green smoothie, or what was left of one by the time I remembered to snap a photo! I'm so excited to see what else I can make with this crazy Vitamix contraption!

For Christmas, my Stepmom got a new painting from one of her favorite artists. She replaced this one in her office with the new one, and gave the old one to meeee! My apartment is slowly starting to look like a home and I was so thankful for a big painting for the wall above my bed.

New Year's Day started off with some cuddle time on the couch with Milo. Spending the morning with the person who loves me the most was a perfect start to the year! I was SO thankful for the day off and went for a run later in the morning to celebrate. 6 easy miles, not even worrying about my pace.

Like I said, I've been having a tough time motivating myself to run, but I am always so happy once I get out there. I didn't even bother to put my contacts in yesterday because I knew the rest of the day would be mellow.

Milo and I have been walking a lot. Down the river and through the woods. Well, not really, but we pass this pretty old railroad track near Lake Union.

Happy New Year! Here's to a great 2014!