Beachin’ Weekend

I had a beachin’ weekend! (Yeah, I started with a pun, NOT SORRY). My weekend kicked off on Friday night as I headed home, enjoyed a glass of wine with a chicken stirfry, and some tv catch-up. It was glorious to go to bed and know that I had nothing planned for the next day. And then to wake up on Saturday morning, then roll back on over for a little bit longer. When I did get up, I enjoyed a pancake breakfast- all from scratch, using my peanut butter pancake recipe.

Since switching my workouts to the morning, I’m able to have a weekend day as a rest day and Saturday was the chosen one. It was SO nice out, like 85, and all I wanted was to be outside. How can you not celebrate Earth Day when nature gifts us with this!?:

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However, drink enough water before you leave the house, boys and girls, especially if you’re going to lounge out in the sun. I had a wonderful vision of me laying my towel out on the beach and getting in some quality writing time.

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What ended up happening was I sweated profusely, melted the chocolate in my trail mix, and suffered from a headache. Out of principle, I stuck it out for the hour because I had paid for the parking (not too much thankfully), but I needed to not be there. The water I had didn’t even ease my headache, nor did going to a shopping mall and Target! When I’m not in the mood to shop, you know there’s a problem. Once I got home, I drank a lot of water and made my dinner.

Once I was feeling better, my friend Brad came over to “start” Big Little Lies. I say “start” because we watched four or five episodes already. Had we started earlier, I think we would have finished. Maybe he won’t notice if I finish without him…we’re still on season two of Downton Abbey because we were waiting on each other.

On Sunday morning, I made some scrambled eggs and waffles, drank a ton of water, and headed out for a run/walk. When I started, I didn’t think much of where I was going, but eventually, I did find my way to the beach. I’m four miles away from the beach, which is amazing, so of course I have to take advantage. I mean, look at this.

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The beach is (9 times out of 10) my happy place. There is something so imperfectly beautiful about waves crashing onto the sand that moves me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my writing tools with me, but it was nice to spend some time relaxing, meditating, and unplugged.

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But, once you run/walk four miles to the beach, you also have to run four miles back. I had anticipated this because I’m not a complete idiot, but had I planned better, I would have brought water or money to buy water. The journey home was a little more unpleasant, but not altogether bad. The flowers must have loved the rainy LA winter because these flowers went on for acres.

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By the time I got home, I was sweating from my eyeballs and really needed water, but it was an accomplishment! In the end, it was a perfect four mile run, four mile walk split, so I was pleased. After a much needed shower and rehydration, I was a hungry girl. I headed out to a local hole-in-the-wall spot for delicious Indian curry, rice, veggies, and naan. So good! The price wasn’t bad either, so I’ll definitely be back!

The rest of my Sunday evening was spent writing and prepping for the week ahead. Have a fantastic Monday!!

broken wing

I’m hoping I’m not making the wrong impression with this fly situation. It’s not like I have fleas or that my room is swarmed with bugs. I’m a clean person. There isn’t food lying around or mass amounts of trash. There was (is) one fly zooming around, haunting me. Just so we’re clear.

Probably looks like this:

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On another note, I’m starting to age. Well, yes, as this is a fact of life, but I’m starting to feel it. I put myself through grueling workouts six days a week and yet, I bust my shoulder PICKING UP MY BAG IN MY CAR. I must have twisted the wrong way and twinged the muscle in my wing because it was bothering me a little when it first happened and a lot later that afternoon. I found a makeshift foam roller to apply pressure to it, as well as someone willing to massage the area (don’t judge me) and it seemed to help a lot. I can still feel it right now, but it’s not anything damaging.

I know that it’s one of those cases where I pay close attention to every movement during a workout and not so much when I’m living every day life, but still. It’s almost offensive.

Feels like this:

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But I just enjoy being dramatic from time to time.

Side note: I don’t know what’s up with the animations, except I get more views when there’s pictures and I don’t have actual pictures, so. I got them from Google. I did not make them, nor am I taking credit for them. But I am accepting your laughs.

Because I was nursing my sore wing, when my friend suggested Happy Hour after work, I decided a rest day from the gym was in order. Felt like a Friday night, still just a Thursday. Regardless, it was a fun night chatting away with a friend, sipping a margarita, chomping on chips and queso, and eating a salad I didn’t have to prepare.

It’s Friday now, which means the weekend is near! Lots of adventuring, writing, and relaxing is in store for this girl.

What are your weekend plans?

workout updates

I’m quite pleased with my new workout routine I crafted a week ago. Before, I would either do total body almost every day or break it in different variations of triceps, biceps, chest, back, shoulders, and legs. For whatever reason, my body rebels against leg day and I have struggled to not resent those days.

However, I think I’ve found my antidote. Many people who do split routines do legs all in one, but this time around, I decided to break it up much like I do with the upper body. Here’s what my new routine looks like:

Day One: Triceps, Chest, Quads, Core

Day Two: Quick Total Body (Run Day)

Day Three: Biceps, Back, Hamstrings, Core

Day Four: Quick Total Body (Run Day)

Day Five: Shoulders, Ab/Adductors, Glutes, Core

Day Six: Yoga (Run Day)

And on the seventh day, I deserve a helluva rest!

Again, I’m only on my second week of this routine, but my muscles are sore and feel as though they have received the proper attention to each group. On Week 1, I ran through each exercise in three sets of twelve reps and Week 2 is four sets of ten reps at a slightly higher weight. For Week 3, I’ll do three sets of fifteen reps at a lower weight, and then my highest weight on Week 4 for five sets of eight reps.

Repeat.

For strength training, I like to incorporate body strength moves with weight training for the best results. For example, I’ll throw in some plyometric moves to hit my lower body, such as jumping lunges or jumping squats, and for my upper body, I’ll add a lot of push-ups and triceps dips. This adds a nice little dose of breathless to the equation.

For my core training, which I do every day at the end of my strength routine, I’ve tried to be better about hitting each spot of the comprehensive core. I do a lot to hit the obliques, like twists and lean downs, as well as stretch out the upper and lower portions of my stomach with rollouts or leg lifts, and finally strengthen the lower back  and pelvic regions with supermans and hip lifts.

On my non-run days, I do little bouts of high intensity cardio, including the spin bike and jump roping. It’s been awhile since I’ve jump roped, but I’m getting back into it and I just love it. It’s one of the best total body workouts you can do.

I’ve left the gym feeling sweaty and accomplished, which is really the reason we go in the first place. Or at least for me. I can’t speak for you.

My workouts are intense, but I love the challenge. My problem area has always been the eating and I know I need to rein in the sugar and extracurricular eating I tend to do when stressed or bored. Mindlessness is nobody’s friend, but I am feeling better about it.

What makes you feel strong?

Nasty November

All you Bad Hombres and Nasty Women, let’s bring it to the polls in November.

That debate last night was…sad. It’s sad that politics have come to this. If I can find a clever way of being “Nasty Hillary” or maybe even “Puppet Hillary” for Halloween, I will. Unfortunately, I’m not creative in such regards. We’re getting close to the election date and I’m scared, excited, and relieved all at once.

Moving on…

Breakfast was a big bowl of oats.

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Lunch was salad and soup (not pictured).

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Dinner was fish tacos with asparagus– not photographed because I was hungry girl and devoured immediately upon sitting. Also, I was distracted by the debate.

No gym time thanks to a late day, the debate, and a tired body. I’ll be able to hit it harder and stronger tonight!

Tis Thursday, which means we can officially start talking about the weekend. Hit it.

Homesick in the City

It’s rare when it happens, but sometimes you need an unscheduled rest day! I was tired after work and was looking forward to going home, so I did. I know I’ll get back to it today, twice as hard, so I won’t sweat it (Ha! Punny).

I started my day with this bowl of oats:

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And ended it with this snap shot:

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Yesterday, I was feeling particularly homesick. When I keep busy it’s easy to forget, but in quiet moments, I remember how far away I am. I miss my people! On top of that, Facebook “reminded” me it was my birthday coming up and I should send out invitations to celebrate. Thanks a lot, Facebook, because I don’t have that many people out here to celebrate with, jerk face. I know I’ll still receive lots of love, but it’s not the same!

I also really miss fall in New England. It’s hot hot HOT here and everyone’s all “oh, it’s getting so chilly.” Insert side-eye emoji here. Yeah, I know, I’ll be one of those people in a few short months. But still. At least when it snows a lot back home, I’ll still be warm.

Happy Thursday!

Windy Wednesday

It’s not exactly morning, but I’m still here to offer you a blog post. And with an alliteration in the title!

Let’s start with breakfast, which consisted of a ham and cheese omelet, waffles, and berries. It was quite the meal to enjoy while the wind whipped around outside.

  
Speaking of weather, last night it snowed and I had quite a driving adventure on my way home from work. To reach my house, I have to go hill upon hill anyway, and everything was fine as I started out with strong momentum. Some truck thought it was a brilliant idea to stop to let another car pull out of its driveway in the middle of the hill, forcing me to stop and lose all traction. It’s a miracle I made it home as my car would not drive above 7/8 mph. Yikes. There might have been a lot of screaming involved.

Anyways, lunch was a quick quesadilla with cheese and leftover ground turkey from last night’s dinner. For a punch of veggies, I sautéed some spinach and paired it with some leftover broccoli.

  
Today was my rest day from exercise, but I did take my dog out for a quick, windy, and cold walk. Seriously, the wind. It’s trash day and there is trash lining the road thanks to the wind’s power. I had to drag the Christmas tree back to the curb after it blew across the driveway.

Winter is here.

Fuel Your Fire

My title is actually the slogan I have on two of my new workout pants. I bought them because they were cheap and great material, even if the slogan is a bit silly. I have to say though, as far as workout inspirational quotes go, this one provides decent motivation and is kind of fun!

Workouts this week started on Thursday morning with a strength workout using the stability ball. It was heavy on the legs before hopping on the treadmill for a run. I felt sweaty and energized and ready to get the day going!

On Friday, my only workout for the day was a quick walk of the dog around the block because i had an early morning wake up call and I was sore!

I was ready to go on Saturday to meet Nouha for hot Yoga. The class was stuffed, which made the already heated room, stuffy. I was slick with sweat and a bit disgusting when I sat down for lunch and couldn’t wait to shower. I waited a little bit longer so I could fit in a run after hydrating. It felt good to stretch my legs and get my heart racing.

On Sunday, after lunch, I started my workout with a dumbbell strength training routine. I went with six sets of eight reps and was nice and sweaty before I kicked off a Plyometrics workout. Starting with box jumps, I continued onto jumping jacks, high knees, skater jumps, jump rope, and ended my circuit with push ups. Besides the jumping jacks which I completed four sets of fifty and jump rope which was a minute and fifteen seconds long four times, I did four sets of twelve. Finally, I finished with a quick twenty minutes on the elliptical, knowing it would be a heavy eating night with all those apps.

Monday turned out to be busier than I expected and I didn’t make it to the gym for a full on workout. I was on my feet most of the day, grocery shopping, readying my meals for the week around the kitchen, and folding my laundry. I ended up just walking the dog for two miles and riding the stationary bike at home for forty five minutes while I watched Veep and typed up some blog posts, such as this one!

Tuesday, it was back to the early mornings with a kettlebell strength routine followed by a run. I was feeling nice and strong after having done a lighter workout the day before after two heavier days. Even though it’s on the treadmill, my running has been stable and I’m finding that with the right music, I’m able to stave off boredom.

When I’m not feeling like a straight up run, I have two running routines I go to on the treadmill. One is the 5-4-3-2-1 run/walk combination that leaves me nice and sweaty and my body constantly second guessing itself as I move throw different speeds and inclines. Starting off with a five minute walk on a lower incline, I move onto a five minute run on a flat surface at a slower pace. For four minutes, I walk again at a slightly higher incline, before running for four minutes at a faster pace. I think you get the pattern. By that last minute, I’m running pretty fast. This takes me to 30 minutes on the nose, which is great. To make things even more challenging, I like to walk for one more minute before ending my routine with Tabata intervals for four minutes. That’s only 35 minutes in the treadmill with a great workout!

The other treadmill run I’ll incorporate is pretty fun and it’s also about 35 minutes, though either could be elongated or shortened. I start running on the flat surface at a medium pace for five minutes. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either then slow things down to a light run or a brisk walk and turn up the incline for another five minutes. Next, I’ll lower the incline back to 0 and rev up my pace so I’m running fast for the next five minutes. I repeat this cycle once more before ending with a final medium pace run. These are both good workouts because it changes up the pace and the incline, which prevents the body from making adjustments.

Anything that can be deemed fun and interesting always leads to a better workout, especially if you’re not in the mood to be inside in a stuffy treadmill. Do any of you have any go to workouts?