New Month…New Goals!

The BOY and I had an ‘Us’ weekend!  We spent Saturday morning hiking, picnicing, and napping (in that order) and then relaxed a bit as I soaked in the start of the Tour de France time trials.  The BOY grilled dinner and we sat out back enjoying the gorgeous summer evening with one of our favorite wines.

IMG_20150704_184546002_HDR

And then we crashed the neighbors party for a couple more cocktails.  We did the responsible ‘go to bed around midnight’ thing, and I was happy because I had biking plans with a friend Sunday morning.

IMG_20150704_203305107

I woke up feeling a little more tired than I would have wanted (perhaps I had too many drinks with our neighbors).  I packed up my car and pulled my bike stuff together.  It’s been too long since I’ve gone for a bike, ride and I am way out of practice.  I had to turn around twice because I forgot my helmet and bike lock.

IMG_20150705_112236038

I met my friend at a forest preserve to do a BRICK. She is doing a triathlon and has an interesting training program that involves intervals of biking and running.  Which is what we did for about an hour and then continued to bike for another 45 minutes.  It was a gorgeous day for a bike ride and my head cleared up quickly.  Afterwards, we went for coffee and supplements at the Starbucks/Whole Foods.

IMG_20150705_112246686

I returned home feeling super tired, but dove into my never ending house and wedding to do list.  I also noticed that my bike chain is rusted and needed to make an appointment to bring it in.  It felt amazing to start crossing things off, and I was reminded about why it was so important to have some down time this weekend.  I also used my time to watch more of the tour, loving the views of the Netherlands and the thrill of the sprint.

I did a big Bucket List post yesterday, but then remember that I had more short term goals to think about…so here we go!

 

June Goals

Eat Clean, Train Dirty– I cleaned up my diet this month and have been exercising often and hard.  The benefits…my clothes fit better, I have more energy, and my stomach has calmed down.

Cook and Bake– I got myself back into the kitchen after a bit of a ‘lack of time’ induced hiatus.  This month, I shared some new dinner recipes and of course some incredible ice cream recipes!

Drink More Water– My water bottle has been with me all day every day.

Slow Down and Enjoy Every Moment!- I had a great talk about this with my friend during our morning bike ride.  It’s always a challenge, but well worth the effort.  There were some great moments to enjoy this month!

IMG_20150704_194822840

 

July Goals

Strength Train 2x Each Week

Keep it Clean, Add in Green

Stay the Course with Wedding Planning (and Stay Calm!)

Have the Best Bachelorette Weekend!

I’m Still Addicted to the Tour!

After not getting to watch much of the tour this week, I arrived home from work last night with Chipotle for dinner declaring that I would be watching hours of the tour to catch up before today’s time trials.  The BOY was too exhausted to fight and knew that not only was he outnumbered (Cooper is now a fan) that he really should be studying!

My triathlon friend had a last minute change of plans and invited me to join her on her longest BRICK this morning.  I confessed that I was nowhere near 100% and with my company may come a few snot rockets.  She didn’t seemed phased and we agreed to meet at the River path near my house.

IMG_20140726_105659845

As I fell asleep last night, it occurred to me that I didn’t have anything to eat for breakfast and was lacking the usual fuel I would bring along for a training ride.  When I woke up, I decided to go to one of my favorite training breakfasts, the Dough Boy Smoothie.  Typically, I would set everything up the night before, but instead, I threw the ingredients (using a peach and some blueberries instead of banana) into the blender first thing this morning.  Then, got about feeding Cooper breakfast and pulling together my gear for the BRICK, before blending it all together.

IMG_20140726_081943549

Breakfast was lacking some protein, but super delicious and exactly what I knew my stomach would need on a day like today.  And, I found a few Kind Bars in the pantry to nosh on during the ride.

IMG_20140726_092045922

I met my friend at the Dairy Queen and we took a quick pre ride selfie before riding north.  This is the same path I rode a few weeks ago at the start of the tour.  I made it farther north today than last time, but still didn’t find the mountains : )  We had a time goal instead of a mileage goal, but after 3 hours, we had almost 33 miles behind us.  We rode a pretty slow pace, which was perfect for my body, but I had more energy than I expected.  Finally, some benefit of sitting on the couch for a few days!

IMG_20140726_104100860

It was quick switch out of helmets before making our way back to the trail for a 30 minute run jog during which we talked books.  I raved about Reconstructing Amelia and she told me how funny Bossy Pants was.  I need to pick that up before our trip to California!  I was definitely tired when we strode back into the Dairy Queen parking lot, but not nearly as wrecked as I expected.

IMG_20140726_130008201

Post Brick Selfie

I stopped at my favorite sandwich shop (Which Wich?) on the way home to grab a warm chicken pesto on wheat that I devoured during the start to today’s tour on the DVR.

IMG_20140726_135012978

After lunch and a shower, I wanted nothing more than to sit back and watch time trials.  But I had a first birthday party to attend!  I was able to watch Tony Martin and saved the rest for tonight, which I knew might take some convincing when the BOY returned from the library.

IMG_20140726_153042525

The First Birthday Fiesta was super fun!  It is always wonderful to catch up with my high school friends and clown around a bit. 

IMG_20140726_173034414 IMG_20140726_180056898_HDR

On a fun note, the uncle of the birthday boy is a chef in Napa Valley.  He and his girlfriend cooked up the most incredible fiesta meal complete with homemade churros.  Of course, I introduced myself and they had a few suggestions for our mostly unplanned upcoming trip.  The BOY returned from the library with food on his mind.  I’m sure you guessed it, but he called in an order for Thai food, which I happily scooped up on my way home.  Even though I ate at the party, I always have room for a few bites of Thai.

IMG_20140726_190026

We ate dinner in while watching the nail biting finale of today’s time trial, and I’m sure I won’t make it up late tonight after this morning’s LONG workout.  I am looking forward to a revitalizing morning yoga class.  On a totally different note, thanks to everyone for the pep talk after my running woes. I have no expectations for this upcoming half marathon, but appreciate you letting me vent about my lack of training and cheering me right along!

 

Have you been following the tour?

What was your workout today?

Summer Saturdays

Ahh…one week into summer and I am loving me some Saturdays!

This morning, I woke up, got in a good cuddle with Cooper, and then made breakfast.

 

IMG_20140627_181830465

 

Instead of my usual eggs, I went with a Quinoa Cake.  Yum!  Although I didn’t have any bananas, so I smothered it with almond butter, agave, and coconut.  It was fantastic!

 

IMG_20140628_071506423

 

And gave me more than enough energy to power through an awesome and inspiring hot yoga class.  Let me tell you…my dancer pose has never looked felt so good!  After yoga, I spent some down time on the couch watching trashy TV.  Then, packed up my car to meet a friend for a bike ride and a run.

 

IMG_20140628_111757422

 

She is training for her first triathlon, so I offered to tag along to keep her company and live vicariously through her since this is the first year in a few that I am not training for a triathlon.  This is the same friend that I ran the 10 Mile Coffee Date with, so there is always plenty to talk about.

 

IMG_20140628_122340837

 

We rode along the Des Plaines River Trail, which was beautiful.  It was really fun to ride a different trail and get a new perspective and of course, workout with a friend.  There was a little flooding, so we got slightly sidetracked on our way north, but easily made our way back.  We were talking so much and enjoying the sights (we saw a deer) that I barely took any pictures.  After our 130 minute bike ride (a little over 20 miles), we locked up our bikes and set out on the next portion of our workout, a 20 minute run.  This was my first BRICK since last summer and my legs felt heavy and slow, just like they were supposed to.  And I felt happy and strong, just like I expected!

 

IMG_20140628_152824266 IMG_20140628_154038589

 

After our 2 plus hour workout, we knew we deserved smoothies and fro yo samples, and there was a place just across the street to serve up both.  Then we said our goodbyes and I drove back home.  The BOY and I brought in dinner from one of our favorite restaurants and the rest of my evening is looking like this…

 

IMG_20140628_195529306

 

Now that’s one happy day!

 

 

How do you like to spend your summer Saturdays?

Tidbits of Saturday

Wake up (kind of), roll over, open eyes, blink at alarm clock, 9:30! No Way!!!

Consider going back to sleep, see the BOY smiling next to me, realize that I really should get up.

Stare at pantry considering breakfast, based on options, decide to make pancakes, sprinkle them with cinnamon.

 

IMAG2461

 

Change into biking clothes, apply sunscreen, fill water bottles, prepare fuel for BRICK.

 

IMAG2474

 

Don helmet, reset watch, reset mileage, ride out towards the path.

Ride north towards Barrington, enjoy the fresh air, smile and nod at fellow bikers, turn around and head back towards home.

 

IMAG2465

 

Enjoy the green trees and cool breeze. 

 

IMAG2467

 

Ride 16.75 miles in 70 minutes, which is longer than expected.

Arrive home, ditch helmet, change shoes, head back outside.

 

IMAG2471

 

Adjust 30 minute run to 20 minutes for time’s sake, return to the path, legs feel tired, but body feels strong.

Finish 20 minute run covered in sweat, drink cold water, cool down, take a shower.

Make lunch, lucky to have random leftovers of turkey burgers and lentils.

 

IMAG2479

 

Drink lots of water, pack up a snack (cantaloupe), and drive to the movie theater.

Order an iced tea, get comfy in seat, remember why I love this theater.

 

IMAG2485

 

Watch Star Trek movie, this is a GOOD movie, you should go see this movie!

Movie is over, must use the bathroom after drinking huge iced tea, pick up wine of the month at Cooper’s Hawk.

Drive home, take a few minutes to chill out, get ready for dinner, watch the Preakness, get excited about seafood.

 

IMAG2489

 

Decide to wear white before memorial day, haters need not comment.

Drive to Bob Chinn’s, get excited about no line, sit down, order dinner, and chat with the BOY.

 

IMAG2494

 

Love every bite of dinner, drive back home, crack open wine, and sit out back listening to music and chatting with the neighbors.

 

IMAG2495

 

Is there any better way to end the day?

 

 IMAG2496

 

 

Share a tidbit from your Saturday!

Banana and Quinoa Pancakes

During the week, breakfast is usually a make ahead option or something pretty quick.

Luckily, I have complied a list of easy and delicious healthy week day breakfast options…

 

Breakfast Stirfry

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Dough Boy Smoothie

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Overnight Oats in a Jar

 

So on the weekends (and Mondays), I like to do something a little more fun.  For example…Pancakes!  Yes, this blog is full of them.  Mostly because they can be made quickly, offer tons of flexible options, and fuel a morning workout.

 

IMG_1825

 

This morning, I went with a twist on the 2 Ingredient Pancake adding in some leftover quinoa for protein and texture and cinnamon because that just makes everything taste better.

 

IMG_1828

 

I ended up with a plateful of tasty mini pancakes that I couldn’t wait to devour!

 

IMG_1829

 

There’s just something about starting off your day (and week) with a warm breakfast that just feels fun!

 

IMG_1831

 

IMG_1832

 

IMG_1837

 

By 10am, the weather had gotten about as warm as it was going to get for the day.  At 57 degrees, I was slightly disappointed, but it was time to climb onto my bicycle.  Over the last week, I didn’t get in all of my workouts (because it was busy AND because I was recovering from my half marathon), so I knew today needed to be worthwhile!

 

IMAG2431

 

I was happy that I added a long sleeve shirt before going outside because on my bike, the wind was chilly!

 

IMAG2433

 

I had the most peaceful and enjoyable 11 mile ride this morning.  The 45 minutes whizzed by as I soaked up the sunshine.  All of the water from the flooding is gone, and I swear that the grass and trees look even brighter than a week ago.

 

IMAG2434

 

I finished up my ride, returned my bike to the garage, and headed inside for half a Larabar and to change my shoes.  I have retired my original Pure Cadence shoes after the half marathon, and thought that this morning’s BRICK would be the perfect slow and steady run to start breaking in my new shoes.

 

IMAG2438

 

BTW, I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to have purple running shoes!  Although the same shoe (Brooks Pure Cadence) this is the second generation so it did feel a little different on my feet.  I ran for 30 minutes and this time took off my long sleeve layer to the heat and sun.  As I was walking out the door, the BOY started talking about lunch.  When I arrived home, he had a rich beer on the container with chicken prepped for the grill.

 

IMAG2440

 

I showered and got started on laundry, and the BOY excitedly manned the grill out back.

 

IMG_1841

 

He made himself a colorful Buffalo Chicken Wrap.

 

IMG_1842

 

And I stuck with simple grilled chicken, a sweet potato, and veggies.

 

IMG_1845

 

He made extras so I’d have lunch for the week.  AWESOME!

 

IMG_1844

 

The sun is calling my name, so I am heading out back to hang with the BOY.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Banana and Quinoa Pancakes

 

Ingredients

1 overripe banana, mashed

1 egg + 1 egg white

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Cinnamon to taste

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Preheat skillet or pan over medium/high heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Drop batter onto skillet with 1/4 measuring cup.  After ~5-7 minutes flip pancakes if ready.  Let sit another 4-5 minutes. 

Serve warm with fruit, syrup, nut butters, coconut or your favorite toppings.

 

 

What is your favorite easy week day breakfast?

What do you like to make for breakfast on the weekends?

Indoor BRICK

With the launch of running season behind me and a Shamrock Shuffle 8k PR in my pocket, it is time to dive into some more serious training.  Ok, so probably not super serious, but definitely more time consuming!  I took the time to schedule out my workouts leading up to the half marathon on May 5th and sprint triathlon on June 16.  I am behind a bit in long runs, but have a weather dependent 10 miler scheduled for tomorrow with a friend.  On the calendar for today, my first BRICK of the year!

 

Unfortunately, I had a conference call this AM and missed my new spin class and the weather was not conducive to busting out my bike.  Total bummer because it’s almost May and my bike is still hanging up in the garage.  Since I am new to joining the park district, I sometimes forget about the resources I have access to for training.  When I arrived this morning, I asked if I could use the spin room for my workout.  They said that’d be fine but since the room was locked, it didn’t work out.  They mentioned that there are spin bikes, with clips in the gym that were currently empty.

 

IMAG2134

 

I walked over to the bikes and discovered this high-tech spin bike.

 

IMAG2135

 

Have you seen anything like this?

Since It’s been over a year since I had a gym membership, I have not.  I flipped through some of the programs and got started with an endurance ride.  However, the ride was pretty boring and so 10 minutes in, I switched to intervals.  It was much more engaging to have the instructor in the video pushing me along, but the music was pretty lame.  He claimed it was to help me ‘relax my upper body’.  Personally, I prefer something a little more upbeat, so I plugged into my ipod while following the directions written on the screen.  After 45 minute, I was sweating and pleased with my ride.  Not as exiting as a spin class but definitely better than pedaling away alone on a stationary bike!

 

IMAG2137

 

I changed my shoes, wiped down the bike, and found my way to the track for a 15 minute run.  Ahh…now I remember why this workout is called a BRICK.  It took me about 8 minutes to get into my groove, but the last half of the run left me feeling strong!  It was definitely a solid workout considering I had to stay indoors.  Here’s to hoping the rest of this year’s BRICKS can take place outside!  We had late lunch plans, so I came home to shower and have a quick snack.  I was craving a banana and almond butter, but my banana was super mushy…yuck!  So I mashed it up, stirred in the almond butter and a dash of cinnamon.

 

IMAG2138

 

I know it probably doesn’t look appetizing, but I dug in with a spoon and it tasted awesome!  The perfect carb/protein combo to tide me over until lunch.

 

 

What was your workout today?

Any random post workout snacks that you like?

Let’s Call It a Tie

This morning’s winner…Blueberry Muffin Bread

This afternoon’s winner…Biking

Final Ruling…It’s a Tie!

 

The BOY reluctantly headed off to the library to work on Law School stuff, and somehow despite the decadent breakfast and my strong desire to sit on my couch and watch the Tour de France all day, I motivated myself into workout clothes and out the front door (well actually I used the garage door).  But either way, it was an accomplishment.  Typically if I don’t get out first thing in the morning, then it’s hard for me to get out for an intense workout.

 

IMG_5698

 

Maybe it was these brand new socks that I found on sale and wanted to trial before the triathlon.

 

IMG_5689

 

Or all of the biking I’ve been watching on TV. 

Either way, I loaded up my bike to hit the road for an undetermined distance. I was a little nervous that I might get hungry on the ride after having a not-so-typical (but super yummy) pre workout breakfast, so I packed up a Bonk Breaker bar.  This bar was given to me by a friend who is a huge fan.  I have had the PB version before, but I was eager to try the fig flavor.  What impresses me the most about these bars is their natural ingredient list.

 

IMG_5699 IMG_5702

 

The bar looked a bit like a Fig Newton (bonus!) and I sliced it up to keep in my bento for the ride.  One goal of this ride was to practice refueling on the bike in prep for my tri in a two weeks.

 

IMG_5703 IMG_5704

 

As I’m mounting my bike and about to hit the road, I realized that I forgot my sunglasses.  I ran back inside to grab them, snap a photo and then finally hit the road in full gear!

 

IMG_5705

 

My thought for today’s bike ride first was to just get out the door. Once I managed that I decided to head east to another forest preserve path that’s about 10 miles away.  I haven’t gone along this route in awhile, but I used to use these back roads to ride my bike to the gym.  The start of my ride was quite literally bumpy!  The path and roads were not so smooth, and I rode up and down for a bit before finding a calm road to take me east.  These quiet neighborhood streets really aren’t great for a road bike, but I was in the mood for a change in scenery.  It was a 10 mile ride to the path, and I arrived feeling stronger than I expected after my slow start to the day.

 

IMAG0021

 

The negative of this 7.7 miles forest preserve path is that it is almost always crowded. 

But the positives are the beautiful scenery…

 

IMAG0022

IMAG0023

 

The flat and shaded path…

 

IMAG0029 IMAG0030

 

And the elk!

 

IMAG0025 IMAG0026

 

I elbowed my way to the front of the fence…not really, but I did pull up next to a dad with his two young kids who were also checking out the elk.  The dad looked at me funny as I explained that I was stopping to take some pictures.  I’m always interested in the wildlife during my rides, even when they’re not so wild : )

 

IMAG0032

 

I’ve run this path numerous times including during my pre marathon 20 miler, but I haven’t biked it recently.  I was happy for the change and the camaraderie of the other bikers and runners.  I even saw a guy rocking the Team SKY jersey.  I decided to try a different route back home taking a more popular rode instead winding through some of the neighborhoods.  Bad decision!  The sidewalk was awful, twisty and I had to duck branches.  The road was crowded with drivers who don’t know how to share the road and covered in big potholes.  I had a nice little adventure dodging obstacles the entire way.  As I made it back to our street after a 28 mile ride, a dark cloud was just rolling in.

 

IMAG0034

IMAG0035

 

I made a snap decision to turn my bike ride into a BRICK and quickly went inside to change shoes to take these muddy legs out for a short run.

 

IMG_5711

 

15 minutes later, I was back home having finished my BRICK (115 minute ride/15 minute run).  Hooray for me!  This morning, I wasn’t sure if I would even change out of my jamies, and now I was exhausted and ready to dig into some lunch.

 

IMG_5709

 

I made it home a few minutes after the BOY who was taking a study break for lunch.  He had quite the operation set up when I walked through the door.

 

IMG_5712

 

I managed to get my tuna sandwich put together just before a dark cloud began dumping buckets of rain over our house.

 

IMG_5713 IMG_5714

 

After a 2 hour workout, I was ready for some food and a little more couch time.

 

IMG_5715

 

And it was perfect timing to be back indoors!

 

IMG_5716

 

I was pleased with my successful workout…especially since I am two weeks away from my triathlon and nervous about getting in rides while I am in class next weekend.  So happy that my Saturday had a good mix of Blueberry Bread followed by some Biking!!!