I’ve Missed You Blog World!

Well   Hello   There   Everyone!!!

I am back and settled(ish)!  Cooper…is another story, but we will get to that! 

IMG_20160701_121219814

Let’s see…since last we chatted, life has been BUSY…

We packed up our entire house.  And by we, I mean myself and my parents.  The BOY did pack one full box but before you think he did nothing, he was in charge or organizing our last minute move on a holiday weekend. Not an easy job!

IMG_20160701_103524705_HDR

July 1st was a gorgeous day and our movers were amazing and efficient. Before we knew it, were standing in an empty home.  Full of emotion, of course, as the excitement of our next adventure begins with the nostalgia of having 10 years of memories in this house (including our first kiss!).

IMG_20160701_104515378

I was super grateful for the assistance of my P’s but even more thankful that they took us in to their home when we had none without question.  The three of us traded in our 3 bedroom home for a bedroom.  The first few nights were rough as we couldn’t find a thing and had Cooper crammed in with us.

IMG_20160710_213051549

But Saturday night we had a BBQ with my bestie and her family and it really did feel so good to be home!

IMG_20160702_212724064 

The rest of the weekend was catching up on life, unpacking, getting organized, laundry, and grocery shopping.  The 4 us had a meeting to meal plan out the week, which has been very successful.  My dad found a white board to keep track of everything and has also added a countdown until our move out date : )

IMG_20160706_192422794

Which brings me to the excitement of the week. We signed a lease for a Chicago apartment (and there was much rejoicing!) but it’s not available until September 2nd…

So we are living it up with my parents, appreciating the home cooked family meals (including my dad’s famous stir fry) and laundry service and hoping that Cooper can adjust to living with 4 adults as opposed to his usual 2. There has been a bit more hissing lately!

IMG_20160705_065840441_HDR

#trainselfie

The BOY and I are also commuting together which might be an even bigger challenge than moving in or planning a wedding : )

IMG_20160707_065204906

On the yoga front, I am LOVING my training.  We had some time off but are probably about half way done and I am already feeling sad for when it will be over.  I am reading a ton and learning a lot.

IMG_20160708_081229478

I am doing way more yoga than running and feeling really good about it.  Comfortable with myself as I am growing each day of this journey that I know (hope) is just beginning.  This past weekend we taught each other which was exciting and nerve wrecking!

IMG_20160711_172515871

And if that’s not enough excitement…the Tour de France started this week (more rejoicing!!).  I’ve got the entire family watching and cheering on my favorite riders.  Between that and the Olympic trials, our blooming social life, and trying to capture a few minutes of down time, life has been plugging along!

But I’ve miss you guys!  Tell me what’s going on with you…

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

It’s Monday and my 4 day weekend continues…woo hoo!  I think that I really needed a little time off to take care of some business and catch up on sleep.  Today isn’t as relaxing as I’d like.  I mean, ideally I would just nap on the couch with Cooper and watch hours of the tour.  But, it’s still a no work Monday!  I woke up around 8am, brewed a cup of black tea, and took my shopping list to the grocery store for a week of meals.

IMG_20150706_112056066_HDR

When I got back, I made 2 Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes for breakfast and changed for the gym.  After another tough arm workout (this seems to becoming a pattern), I drove back home.  I did a quick, but effective Ab Blaster (while watching the tour), showered and ate lunch.  My plan was to get dinner set in the crockpot, but I ran out of time before I needed to head back out the door.

IMG_20150706_112149765

This time, I drove to the train station and settled in with a book for the hour journey into Chicago.  I was probably only in the city for 90 minutes, and got caught unprepared in a wicked rain storm, before grabbing a tea and settled back in with my book for the ride home.  BUT, it was totally worthwhile though because my fiancé and I got to pick out our wedding bands!

IMG_20150706_170150255

There was plenty of time to make dinner and binge watch today’s stage of the tour when I got back home!  I was already pretty tired and I have a busy week ahead. I am trialing some new strength classes at a boutique gym by my house in the mornings.  Plus, work is busy with patients and yoga.  The BOY had to work late tonight, so I had a quiet afternoon…secretly jealous of Cooper who can nap all day and sleep all night.

IMG_20150706_170646374_HDR

Sadly, the BOY missed out on this delicious dinner!

IMG_20150706_192130615_HDR

This recipe is super easy and really, REALLY good!  Since he missed out, I promised that I would make it again real soon.

IMG_20150706_192151545_HDR

I added some extra veggies to the original recipe and the combo of taste and textures makes this my new favorite crockpot recipe!  I also left out the rice that’s in the original recipe, and I can’t say that I missed it.  Ok then, I’m going to call it an early night, tonight! 

 

What are you eating this week?

 

Meal Planning 7/05/15

Monday: Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Meatoaf

Wednesday: Pork Chops and Veggies

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Adapted from Cooking Classy

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped (I used half red and half yellow)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) can diced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce

Directions

Place chicken and garlic in pan, sprayed with cooking spray.  Cook until no longer pink.   Drain off liquid and pour mixture into a 5 – 7 quart slow cooker. Add bell peppers, celery, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and toss mixture. Cover and cook on low heat 2 – 3 hours until chicken is tender.

Stir in water chestnuts, cook until heated through 3 – 5 minutes. Separate iceberg lettuce leaves and serve with chicken filling.

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!

Beginnings…

The Tour de France began today!  If you follow my blog then you know that this brings lots of excitement to our house…and by our house, I mean me! (Insert eye roll from BOY who claims that the tour is boring but seems to know a lot about the peloton).  For the second year in a row, I was up before my alarm on the 4th of July.  I came straight downstairs to turn on the TV and dive into the tour.  I only caught the pre race updates on teams and the ‘Big Four’ while I sipped tea and whipped up eggs.  The BOY and I planned to go to Starved Rock today, but flooding led to parking lot closures and we didn’t want to drive almost 2 hours and not get to hike.

IMG_20150704_102833421

Instead, we drove 45 minutes to Waterfall Glen.  This area is more of a path than a state park and from where we parked, the waterfall was quite a ‘hike’…especially since we started off in the wrong direction.  The path was well used but not crowded as we passed bikers, dogs, and runners.  There was a good amount of shade as we made our way towards the waterfall.

IMG_20150704_102859044

We were tired when we arrived and stopped to rest our feet a bit and sip some water.

IMG_20150704_102920948_HDR IMG_20150704_103013

I must say that the waterfall was cool, but I was hoping that there was more than one!  The bugs made it tough to stay still, so after a quick break we hiked back to our car.

IMG_20150704_103231

By the time we reached our car, which was packed with a picnic lunch, we had walked over 6 miles.  There wasn’t a great place to pop a squat, so we decided to drive back towards home.  There is a great park, where I run in the mornings, a few blocks away from our house.  We pass it almost every day and always talk about picnicing, but never do.  We settled under a shady tree by the lake on this perfect day.

IMG_20150704_122343504 IMG_20150704_122421352

With a full tummy, I could have fallen asleep on our blanket!

IMG_20150704_124627753

Instead, we waited until we were back home to cuddle in (with Cooper, of course) for an afternoon nap!  Then, woke back up to watch the beginning of the Tour!

I can’t believe that it’s July and the beginning of the second half of the year (like my glass half full attitude?).  It occurred to me yesterday that meant I needed to check in with my bucket list!  This year has been so busy (work, wedding, life) that I barely remember what’s on my bucket list!

2015 Bucket List

LIFE

Set and follow a budget (for real!)- Oh man!  I swear I am super organized, but have totally struggled with this!  Something to focus the next 6 months on…saving up for a honeymoon!

Pass my test– Woo hoo!  All of that library time paid off.  I am know a Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS), which has me smiling from ear to ear!

Have a fun stress free wedding day– Yea, so some days are easy and some days my heart beats a little faster.  We’ve had more drama with planning than I would have liked (just found out the planner at the hotel we have been working with since October quit)…BUT, above all the marriage is the most important thing and the BOY and I are in this together!

Stay healthy– Other than those two weeks where I was REALLY sick, I have been feeling pretty energetic and healthy this  year. I’m hoping that continues through the end of the year.

IMG_20150516_141338436_HDR

BODY

Do a triathlonThe decision has been made that this won’t be a big racing year…so no triathlon.  And I am A-okay with that!  I am broadening my horizons a bit with exercise and doing tons of yoga!  This decision is helping me feel more balanced and less stressed, and we’ll just have to see what 2016 holds for races and tri’s.

Feel confident in a bikini- Work in progress!

Continue to build muscle strength– I think that my arms are definitely getting stronger and I am able to do 1-2 pull ups!  I’m hoping to continue to build my strength with the goal of adding in a consistent second strength day each week.

Keep my skin healthy– Success!  My focus on eating clean and drinking water, plus regular facials has paid off!

IMG_20150620_193708125_HDR

MIND

Be present– I have been soaking in every moment, big or small!  Case and point, feeling the wind in my hair as I drove the boat along the lake in the picture above.  I know that more excitement awaits around the corner, and I look forward to experiencing it all!

Teach more yoga/take yoga trainings- I think this may end up being more of a 2016 goal. I’d love to do a yoga retreat AND my adult yoga certification.  I was able to talk about kids yoga on a Podcast, which is something I never would have even dreamed of in January.  It’s fun to see where the year takes you…

Read good books– Check!  I started the year as a reading machine.  With work getting busier, I have been staying up later and reading less, but plan to devour a few more books from my ‘to read’ pile before the year is done.

Give back and volunteer- Ugh! Major Fail here!  I have been donating food, money, and clothes, but not as much of my time as I would like.

IMG_20150214_115254555_HDR

I know I say it every year, but this year has FLOWN by!  There have been some unexpected highs and a huge loss to our family as we said goodbye to our patriarch, Grandpa Al.  I know that there are more celebrations to come as we are less than 100 days from starting our life as husband and wife!  There is also a lot of non wedding excitement, vacations, and moments, and I am planning to breathe deep and appreciate all of the joy and gifts in the year ahead.   Stay tuned for June goals (and Tour de France updates) as this post is already way too long!

JenniferandBryan-5

2015 First Half Highlights

Lots of Kids Yoga

Bounding with my SIL

Taking engagement photos

Friendsgiving in April

Playing tennis with the BOY and my family

Wisconsin Weekends

Our first wedding shower

 

How’s your 2015 bucket list coming along?

What’s your ‘first half highlight’ of 2015?

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?

I am Not the King of the Mountains

I was so inspired by the first half of the Tour de France Stage II this morning, that I had to get out on my bike!  After our Saturday night festivities, nobody was jumping out of bed this morning.  Slowly but surely, my brother and his fiancé emerged and joined me watching the start of stage II.  My brother is just as into it as I am and his fiancé thinks he’s just as crazy as the BOY thinks I am!

 

As everyone made their way out the door, it was just me and Cooper watching the TV.  Feeling encouraged by the extreme athletic accomplishments of this hilly course, I pulled myself together with thoughts of a longish bike ride.  I paused the tour about half way through and decided to drive out to the Fox River Trail.

 

IMG_20140706_110054126

 

I think it’s been about 2 years since I’ve been riding or running out in this area.  I kind of remembered how to get there and find the trail.  What surprised me was how close the trail actually is to my house (only about a 12 minute drive).

 

IMG_20140706_112046829

 

I began riding north planning to go about an hour and then turn around and head back.  My bike computer is still out of commission, so I wasn’t sure how fast (or slow) I was going or what my exact distance would be.  As I rode into McHenry county, it appeared that they’ve redone their trail.

 

IMG_20140706_115239932

 

The pavement was smooth and the views beautiful as I weaved away from the river and up north towards the big open fields.  The clouds were dark and thick, threatening rain, so I was tempted to turn around at about 30 minutes when I saw a trail detour.  Instead, I pressed on knowing that there were big hills ahead.  I have vivid memories of walking my bike up these hills as they may be the biggest I’ve seen in this area.

 

IMG_20140706_121123934

 

Before I got to the big hills where I was planning to ride for the polka dot jersey, the skies got darker and the wind stronger.  At about 50 minutes, I decided it was smarter to turn around leaving the hills for another day.  With the wind at my back, I sailed back south towards my car.

 

IMG_20140706_112104436

 

I cruised back appreciating the views on this rustic trail.

 

IMG_20140706_123135808_HDR IMG_20140706_130930

IMG_20140706_123938629_HDR

 

When I arrived back at my car after about 95 minutes of biking, the sun was shining and I forgot that I was ever worried about the weather.  Despite having 3 strength training days prior to today’s ride, my legs felt surprisingly strong.  My next stop was the bike shop.  I have an appointment this week for typical maintenance.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had my hybrid fixed up and after much thought, I decided that I would take it in this summer instead of my road bike.  Mostly because I am not doing a triathlon this summer and also because the people I have been and will be riding with don’t have road bikes, it makes the most sense to spend this season on my hybrid.

 

IMG_20140706_112049470

 

Then, it was back to the grocery store before returning home for lunch, a shower, and of course the second half of this morning’s Tour de France.  I can’t wait to see who really is the king of the mountains!

 

 

Is anyone else watching the Tour de France?

What did you see on your bike/run today?

Guess What Starts Today???

The Tour de France!

I am so excited that I am bouncing on my couch watching the first day of this epic race!

 

IMG_20140705_092658855

 

By 9am, I had already been awake for 3 hours, gotten in an intense strength training session with my trainer, picked up pre studying bagels for the BOY, and attempted to go back to sleep.    When that didn’t work, I ate breakfast and then remembered what an exciting day it was and immediately turned the TV on to NBC Sports.  This is Cooper’s first tour in our house and you can see that he was extremely engaged in the action.

 

IMG_20140705_095557120

 

After the tour, I drove out to Geneva to do some errands.  I desperately needed to go to the Spice House and am pleased to have a restocked spice cabinet.  After lunch, I found myself napping on the couch with Cooper back on the purple blanket snuggled between my legs.  When I woke up, my brother had called to say that he and his fiancé were in the neighborhood.

 

IMG_20140705_120834 IMG_20140705_120857

 

I had stopped by the farmer’s market earlier in the day and invited them to come over for shrimp on the barbie with pineapple and mango salsa.

 

IMG_1753

 

The BOY had reminded me to use our salsa maker before he left for the library…like I was going to chop everything by hand?!  Ha ha!  I used an online recipe as my guide, but didn’t really measure anything out and added in some mango with my pineapple.  I’ve never made a fruit salsa before and I was pleased with how delicious this one turned out!  This could be a fantastic appetizer, and I know that it will be a beautiful topping to our BBQed shrimp.

 

IMG_1754 IMG_1756

IMG_1759 IMG_1760

 

Our game plan is to serve cilantro rice, shrimp, and salsa for tonight’s dinner…with bubbly and beer of course!  I’m looking forward to spending tonight with my bro and future SIL just 1 week before their exciting wedding day!

 

Ps Just in case you were wondering…dessert is left over Red, White, and Blue Trifle!

 

IMG_20140704_133626

 

 

Mango and Pineapple Salsa

Based on this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

 

Ingredients

2 cups diced fresh pineapple and mango

1 cup diced red pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 large lime

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

The Best Laid Plans

Saturday night I had big plans (in my head) to hang out on the back porch, drink wine with the BOY, and enjoy the weekend.  Instead, around 7:00pm, the skies got dark and I changed into my comfy clothes just moments before strong thunderstorms rolled in.  My back up plan?  Watching Stage 20 of the Tour De France and making next week’s meal plan.  This is my first post Israel meal plan, and I am still getting used to having Sunday as a laundry and errand day since Monday is a work day (I have had Mondays off for about 4 years).  After speaking with the BOY and searching through Google, I came up with the following game plan…

 

Sunday: Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf

 

Monday: Dinner Out

 

Tuesday: Loaded Baked Potato Bar (an awesome suggestion from the BOY)

 

Wednesday: Sausages on the grill

 

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Curry

 

I forgot how much sleep your body needs when you increase your running mileage.  I went to bed early last night and slept 10 hours easily.  I woke up a little sore this morning, which I expected based on my hamstring and adductor tightness last night.  I had some odd areas of soreness after my first Bikram class…my hamstrings (that can be expected), my right forearm (random?) and the back of my neck.  Since I did my 9 mile run yesterday, I had a cross training day scheduled for today.  And since both of bikes have flat tires (sooo sad!), I decided to go to another yoga class.  I want to take full advantage of my one month Bikram pass, so I signed up for the 10:30am class at their other location.  Three yoga classes in one week…this is AH MAZE ING!

 

IMAG2898

 

My second Bikram class went by much more quickly than the first. I think it’s because I had a better idea of what to expect.  I also got a tip from a few girls in class that one side of the room was hotter than another.  I immediately moved my mat to the less hot side.  At the end of the class, I felt strong and rejuvenated.  After class, I treated myself to Starbucks before heading to the grocery store.

 

IMAG2900 IMAG2901

 

Then came back home to watch the last stage of the Tour De France while chowing down on a fresh salad for lunch.

 

IMAG2909

 

At which point I noticed a missed call from my brother.  I called him back and he said that he and his girlfriend were in the area and asked what we were doing for dinner.  The BOY was at the library and I hadn’t showered since this morning’s yoga class but I said I’d love for them to stop by.  The BOY came home around 4:30 with my brother arriving shortly there after in the middle of a rain storm.  We all ended up going out for dinner and then coming back to our house to sit out back with a glass of wine and chat.  It was such a fun way to spend a Sunday night!  Everyone laughed at me and my lack of turkey meatloaf and I promised the BOY that chipotle meatloaf was coming soon.  During yoga this morning, I promised myself an early bed time tonight, so I am off to bed.  I’m sure the meal plan will come together later in the week, and I will have recipes to share, but tonight I’m much happier having hung out with my family!

9 Before 9

I woke up at 6am with the sun (ok the sun was already out and shining), but it felt REALLY early.  The goal was to get out the door by 6:30am and home by 8am.  My phone said 68 degrees which seemed much more doable than the last few days of 92 degrees.  My pre run breakfast was a Blueberry Dough Boy Smoothie and I packed some fuel for the road.

 

IMAG2885

 

I forgot how heavy my fuel belt can feel loaded up with ice and water (and this morning, my cell phone).  The sun was out, but there was a cool breeze and it felt like a beautiful morning to run.  I decided not to track my miles, but hoped they were faster than my 6 mile run earlier in the week.  It took me about 3 miles to find my stride but after that I felt good, saying good morning to the other early runners and riders.  After about 50 minutes, I found some shade and took a fuel break  I got the Powerbar fruit pack in a race goodie back and thought I would give it a try.

 

IMAG2886

 

It tasted like applesauce and was easy to eat on the go.  With just a few miles left, I got going on my way.  I was thrilled to see that I passed my 6 mile mark minutes faster than I finished Thursday’s run!  I needed that mental boost!  My 9 mile run was actually 9.3 and I was back home in 86 minutes. It was breezy enough that I could walk a little in the neighborhood and cool down.  Post race, I ate my Larabar.

 

IMAG2890

 

I was shocked to walk in the door and see the BOY awake and downstairs.  Oops!  I may have woken him up when I left.  I contemplated heading to bed for a nap myself, but instead decided to stretch my legs and foam roll while watching the Tour De France.

 

IMAG2894

 

If you followed my blog last summer, you know that I was slightly obsessed with the Tour De France.  Which was followed by a huge obsession with the Olympics.  I was sad to see that I would be missing some of the Tour during my trip to Israel (the BOY on the other hand was not so sad).  Thanks to modern technology (DVR), I have been able to watch the last week of the race.  I DVR the stages during the week and then watch it non stop over my long weekend off.  This morning, I am captivated by stage 18 in the alps. 

 

IMAG2892

 

These young riders are incredible and I am inspired!  After yesterday’s Bikram class and a week of running, my hamstrings are sore, so the foam roll felt wonderful!  So does sitting on my couch watching these bikers climb up and weave down the alps surrounded by crazy fans.

 

IMAG2895

 

I finished a strong 9 mile run before 9am.  Woo hoo!  What a happy start to the weekend!

 

 

What do you use to fuel your long runs?

Do you like the Tour De France?

 

 

Today’s Run: 9.3 miles is 86:02 minutes (just under 9:30 min/miles)

Weekly Mileage: 23.3 Miles

I tried Bikram Yoga…

And Survived!

 

I can’t thank you guys enough for your suggestions and encouragement after yesterday’s post!

I decided not to run this morning.  The main reason…

 

IMG_2324

 

I wanted to have a glass two glasses of wine last night.  After work, the BOY and I sat out back with some bubbly chatting about the week.  I just love summer nights like that and wasn’t about to rush in to bed.  Instead, I stayed up late and then slept until 8ish this morning.  Breakfast options were slim, but I was able to throw together a green smoothie with spinach, oats, and whatever fruit I could find for breakfast.

 

IMG_2329

 

So a Bikram yoga studio opened up a few towns over in December and I have been talking about going since then.  I was re-inspired when two separate people mentioned this studio to me this week.  I was excited to blow off my run this morning and meet a friend at the studio for the 9:30am class.  Although I’ve been doing yoga for 10 years, I had no idea what to expect of Bikram.  I knew that it would be hot and that it was a pre-determined serious of 26 postures…that was about it! 

 

So when class started with a breathing exercise and the entire class seemed on cue and I was lost, it was even more apparent how little I knew.  Post class, I looked up more information on the yoga studio’s website

 

Bikram Yoga is a challenging series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises developed by Bikram Choudhury designed to stretch, strengthen and restore health to every part of the body. Bikram’s beginning yoga class is designed for anyone that wants to improve his or her physical health and mental well-being. The Bikram Yoga practice is 90 minutes in duration and practiced in a 105 degree heated room, which helps to warm the body and allows for deeper and safer stretching. The heat also prevents injuries and rids the body of toxins while relieving stress and tension.

 

What surprised me most was that some of the poses were the same and some were different from my usual yoga class.  I was also surprised during the second half of class by the 20 second shavasanas in between poses.  And that we were encouraged to keep our eyes open.  In the beginning, I felt strong with the balance poses, but by the end, my cheeks were as red as a tomato and sweat was poring out of every pore.  I just wanted to lie on my mat and rest (for longer than 20 seconds).  I really liked the studio and found the people warm and welcoming.  As far as the class goes, I think I am more of a fan of a vinyasa style class that moves through a variety of postures.  This may be because it is what I am used to.  But I’m interested to see if my muscles will be sore tomorrow.  I was able to get a great 30 day introductory deal, so I am planning on trying another class and excited to have a friend to meet me at the studio.

 

I know that some of you do yoga…

Do you like Bikram?  What did you think after your first class.

 

I was crazy sweaty after class, but made a stop at Whole Foods on my way back home.  Then the BOY and I went out for a quick bite of lunch.  Good News…

 

IMAG2882

 

My farmer’s market is BACK!  Today was the first day that they were open in their typical location, and the BOY and I were there as they were still setting up fruits and labeling veggies.

 

IMAG2878 IMAG2879 IMAG2880

 

Sooo exciting!

Everything looked so fresh and their prices can’t be beat!

 

There will be no wine tonight as I am setting an early alarm in hopes of accomplishing a 9 mile run tomorrow before the worst of the heat.  It’s just me, my computer, and 4 stages of the Tour De France on DVR!