Thinking Out Loud – A Confession.

Back to regularly scheduled programming for Thinking Out Loud! Thanks for hosting the randomness, Amanda. 🙂

Thinking-Out-Loud2

1. I dissapeared yesterday. really hate missing posting days for no reason, but I just could not get it together to blog on Wednesday. My circumstances have just changed so that I now need to apply for student loans, and the process is scary and overwhelming. Add the fact that the application only works on internet explorer, which I can’t get at home, and cue nervous panic attack.

2. It’s long run day! On a lighter note, today is my 8 mile run! I would have liked to be done right now, and be blogging about it, but alas, my mother was a bit too chatty this morning and I ended up waiting too long/getting too hungry to just have a banana + PB and get out the door. Yogurt bowl with muesli, banana and pear it was! And now we wait. (worst part of running EVER.)

3. It’s July 31. I literally just realized that this very instant. Tomorrow is August. Can someone tell me where summer went?! Oh well, at least I’m not dreading school start this year. Instead I am actually counting down the days. (27 until we leave. ❤ )

vancouver

4. Shopping before leaving. You guys, I have SO FREAKING MUCH that I need to buy! I have a list approximately seventeen pages long running on my computer right now. There also happens to be a computer on that list. Goodbye savings account.

5. MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro. I’m 100% buying this on my own, and I am willing to spend the extra money to get a Mac over a PC. It’s what I’m used to, and what I find works the best for me! Now the question is, should I get an Air for its wonderful portability or a Pro because it can do more? I’m not very technological, I’m taking Arts but planning to major in Media Studies and will have to take a few computer science courses. Thoughts?

macbook-air-or-macbook-pro

6. I’m sort of back on the Jillian Michaels train. A while back I said I really disliked her because of her obsession with 1200 calories + exercise, but I listened to one of her recent podcasts on my long run last week and really appreciated everything she had to say! I think its worth it to tune out her annoying calorie comments for the rest of what she has to say, because its a ton of motivational, uplifting content. Definitely needed at the last mile of a run!

7. The chai latte obsession is real. I bought chai tea from David’s Tea so that I can make my own at home, but I am at a total loss as to how! I don’t want to follow most of the recipes online because they come out sooooo sweet, but sometimes subtracting sugar just makes it taste gross. I also hate the ones that mix water + milk. The creamy factor is necessary.

chailatte

8. I just tried to spell “necessary” five times. I can NEVER get it right! It’s like the word “about” – it was the only one I ever got wrong in 5+ years of elementary school spelling tests. Never got over that.

Eat All The Chocolate.

Morning, friends! I’m currently working on making an obscenely unphotogenic recipe look attractive. Things aren’t going so well, so I collected my all-time favourite recipes to bridge the gap.

There’s something in common with them all…

CHOCOLATE.

I’m not sure what it is lately, but I have just been craving ALL. THE. CHOCOLATE. All the time. It’s basically been an “every meal and every snack” occurrence around here. Not that I’m complaining…

P.S. Dark chocolate with sea salt is a perfect breakfast appetizer.

Double Chocolate Mug Cake via Running With Spoons

Chocolate-Mug-Cake

This is a bit of an oldie but AMAZING(ie?). I make this multiple times per week. It is literally like eating chocolate cake and in my opinion there is no greater breakfast in existence.

Raspberry Molten Lava Cake via Chocolate Covered Katie

Single-Serving-Molten-Raspberry-Hot-Chocolate-Cake

Hmm…two cakes in a row…now that’s not suspicious at all! When I was younger my mom’s friend used to make these lava cakes that were to DIE FOR. I would literally drool at the thought of them. I (sadly) can’t quite remember what they taste like anymore, but I know that this one is seriously delectable. Also breakfast worthy.

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies via Gimme Some Oven

Coconut-Oil-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-10

So, for some reason unknown to me I haven’t tried these yet, but HOLY MAN ALIVE do they look delicious. For some reason we have no all purpose flour (?) but hopefully I will find some STAT and make these babies.

 

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars via The PB Lover

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

My first favourite thing about these bars is that they are DELECTABLE. Seriously, I’ve been on a major granola bar kick recently, but my wallet hates me too much when I do the store-bought thing. But granola bars without chocolate are just a sad crunchy oats, in my opinion. My second favourite thing is that Katherine did the exact same thing as me and searched FOREVER to find a recipe and none of them were perfect. #storyofmylife. Only difference is, she made her own amazing version. I’m not quiiiiite there yet, but just you wait. Until then, thank you Katherine. 🙂

What is your favourite chocolate recipe?!

Running Base Rebuilding Week One.

I’m a runner.

I can take a break to focus on rest/strength/etc no problem, but after a while I start to get the itch again. While I LOVED spending ~2 months solely focused on lifting heavy, I need running back in my life. I feel like a rockstar all day after a run, and obsessively reading running magazines > reading about pumping iron. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I feel like I just identify with being a runner too much to ever truly give it up, so I am BACK! I want to get to the point where I can run 10 miles on the weekend easily, so that I can say “There’s a half marathon tomorrow? HECK YEAH I’m running it!” 🙂 It’s sorta hard to call yourself a runner when you don’t run a lot –> what a concept, hey?

So this is how my first week of “training” went down.

Monday: upper body strength (am); 60 minute vinyasa flow (pm)

I was wimpy and didn’t work that hard in the yoga class. My legs and core burned a bit but nothing overly strenuous.

Tuesday: lower body + abs

Wednesday: 4 miles @ 8:15

Thursday: upper body + abs

Friday: 3 miles @ 8:38

When I woke up Friday morning, it just looked like it was raining. I wanted to go for a quick run to see what running in the rain was like –> future Vancouverian. When I started running, it just felt rainy and windy. When I finished running I was drenched, frozen, and feeling like an idiot. After showering/getting ready and attempting to leave the parkade, THE POWER WENT OUT. It was out all over the city. It stormed all day long, a fire hydrant exploded (!), but hey, I got my run in…

fire-hydrant

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: 7 miles @ 8:15

I had a rough idea of my route for this run so I was trying really hard not to look at my Garmin! The feeling at mile 2 of a 7 mile run is unpleasant so I wanted to avoid that at all costs. I felt like I was running easy and wondered why I felt like dying at mile 4…I WAS RUNNING WAY TOO FAST. My last mile, when I felt like I was going to be dead, was my fastest at sub-8…apparently my legs mixed up “slow down” and “speed up”. So it was a bit rougher than I had hoped, but a confidence booster nonetheless!

7-miles

TOTAL: 14 MILES. Low, mostly easy mileage helping my body acclimate to running regularly again! I’m really happy with the running/strength/cross training that I got in and can’t wait to tackle 8 miles this weekend. 🙂

Coming Back After a Running Break.

MARK. MY. WORDS. I am never taking a break from running again! The week of my half marathon I literally did a leg workout and then ran 3 miles @ 8:12 / mile all BEFORE breakfast barely breaking a sweat. This week? I ran 4 miles @ 8:15 pace and have never been so wiped out in my life. My easy runs used to be 8:30-8:40 and now they are upwards of 9:20. This is after only 2 months of minimal running! I know that’s to be expected, but YIKES. Running is freaking hard!

tired-halfThat feeling that used to come at mile 10? Hello mile 2. 

I know I can’t continue to run once or twice a week and expect to get back where I was. But I also don’t want to go back to ONLY running, barely doing any strength training and feeling like a one trick pony! I’m definitely going to continue lifting heavy, since muscles rock, and I also got a 2 week yoga pass that I would love to turn into a semi-regular habit.

As we know I am the definition of Type A, I need a plan to be successful at anything. SO this is my plan to get back into running while maintaining/becoming an overall (injury-free) balanced athlete!

Running: 3x/week. Yeah none of those everyday morning runs over here. I am going to do the typical: 1 easy, 1 fast and 1 long. The fast will more than likely be tempo since my speedwork tends to be “sprint all out for 1 rep until you can’t walk”. 😉 And my “long” run goal right now is a one hour run! I don’t care how far I get, I just want to be out there for sixty minutes.

Lifting: I’ve been toying with the idea of 3x full body workouts, but leg day needs to be just that – LEGS. So I’m going to stick with 2x upper body and 2x lower body. On one of the upper body days I will do a quick 3 miler after my workout, or run 2 miles to the gym and 2 miles home. Listening to the body!

baby-weights

Yoga: I like yoga, but I never feel like I get a great workout from it, so I’m going to do this either in the evening after I already worked out to stretch/relax, or on an off day.

Basically, my ideal week is going to look like this:

Monday: upper body + easy 3 miles + yoga (if Monday, not Tuesday)

Tuesday: lower body + abs + yoga (if Tuesday, not Monday)

Wednesday: tempo run (3-6 miles where some of them hurt)

Thursday: upper body + abs

Friday: morning: 1 hour run; afternoon: lower body + short cycle

Saturday: OFF or one of the above if I skipped it on Friday

Sunday: OFF.

Obviously, this is going to last for 33 more days before shit hits the fan everything changes, so I’m not expecting MAJOR results, I’m just excited to feel like a runner again!

Have you ever taken a running/break from your sport? How did you get back into it? 

Thinking Out Loud – Killer Bumblebees.

I’m going to make this intro quick today, because I am STARVING! It’s 9:10am and I haven’t had breakfast yet. This is blasphemy. Thanks so much to Amanda for hosting Thinking Out Loud, and giving all of our crazy randomness free reign!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

1. Canadian bumblebees are monsters. I kid you not, on my way to work yesterday afternoon I saw a bee crawling on the ground the size of my big toe. I wanted to take a picture but I was terrified it’s laser eyes would see it and instantly murder me. I almost got hit by a car trying to walk around it. 

2. The running itch is coming back. Man I love the feeling of lifting and seeing those muscles in the mirror, but this girl has a marathon to run! (Eventually…nowhere in the near future). I WILL run Boston someday which sort of requires me to be semi-adequate at running. Also the fact that there is nothing that makes me feel like a superstar as much as distance running.

HALF MARATHON

3. The world should be frightened in sixteen days. This girl will be LEGAL and set loose on the world! Apple breezers, I’m comin’ for ya. Also margaritas and liquer hot chocolate because I’m that girl.

4. Politics are SO HARD to understand! All jokes aside, the #1 thing I’m most excited about turning eighteen is being able to vote! I’ve been trying to read HuffingtonPost and Macleans articles to politically educate myself but man…no luck yet. There seems to be so much schmoozing/bias in the articles that I cannot for the life of me formulate an opinion. I KNOW, Emma doesn’t have an opinion? Insanity.

5. “Man survives on cheese pizza for 25 years.” Um, thanks HuffingtonPost? I don’t even want to click on the article for fear of what awaits me. It reminds me of the story (not sure if it’s true!) of the eleven year old girl that died a couple of years ago because she refused to eat anything but Ramen noodles. Gotta love parenting.

cheese-pizzaEvery. Day. [source.]

6. I’m not getting kicked out of university! I finnnallly got my diploma marks back last week. I honestly did not care what the results were, as long as my English mark didn’t drop 20% so UBC wouldn’t kick me out. It ended up going up 1% thanks to owning the written response essays (and notsomuch the reading comp), so SUCCESS. I didn’t need to submit math but I got a solid 75%, much better than the 7% I was expecting. 😉 Vancouver here I come!

7. 33 days. I had a mini freak out yesterday. I am moving out in ONE. MONTH. Cue panic attack. I don’t even know how to do laundry! And what do I do when something bad happens and I can’t just talk to my dear mother? YIKES. The real world is freaking scary. And university isn’t even the “real” real world.

8. I want pancakes. BUT I’M JUST SO LAZY. I’ve had too many pancake failures to count, so now I’m terrified of attempting them. I am so going to be that girl making french toast in the microwave. 

mug-french-toast

[source.]

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I’m back for round two of WWW Wednesday! I have a feeling that I am not going to follow my own advice AT ALL with these. I say that I will read one thing next, but then when the time comes its like…meh.

www_wednesdays4

In all honesty today should totally be a WIAW just because of the fact that I cannot. stop. eating. I literally do not know what has come over me this morning but I just need ALL THE FOOD ALL THE TIME.  It’s probably a good thing that I’m going to work this afternoon so I’m not spending the entire day eating mindlessly. 😉

What are you currently reading? 

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

poison-study

I have been SO frustrated lately because most YA books make me want to rip my hair out: Alice’s life was wonderful…and then she met _____ and everything changed…<– the plot line of 99% of them. But a lot of the “normal” fiction books are just not interesting at all and are way too intense to be enjoyable. Enter Poison Study! It’s really well written and doesn’t feel like a “young teen” book. I’m only about 1/5 of the way through it but I am really liking it!

 

What did you recently finish reading? 

So, I know I just spent all that time harping on YA, but…Extras. More specifically the entire Uglies series.

uglies

I bought them a loooong time ago when they came out (circa 2005) and read them, but didn’t remember a lot and was desperate for something to read! So I picked up the first one and ended up flying through all four! The series isn’t a love story, isn’t cheesy, and does a really great job at fusing both dystopianism(?) and fantasy/futurism into one. I was sad when I finished!

 

What are you going to read next? 

Yeah, so…this is a pretty pointless question for me to answer since it is ALWAYS changing, but I really want to finish all the books I’ve started! So one of: The Cuckoo’s Calling, The White Princess, or Harry Potter A L’ecole de Sorciers. 🙂

hp1french2

 

What’s the best book you’ve read recently? 

 

Squat Heavier Leg Workout. (Time Efficient!)

Can I get three cheers for a new squat personal best?

I don’t know how much it reeeealllyy counts, since my last couple of reps of each set were a teensy bit questionable, but I did it so I’m counting it. 😉

In 5 weeks, I’ve gone from squatting 45lbs (just the bar) to 95lbs (bar + 50lbs)! I’m not very close to my ultimate goal of a bodyweight squat (yet) but I am DEFINITELY making major progress and decided to share how I did it!

*I’m not a personal trainer! This is the leg workout I’ve been doing thanks to 10 years of weight training experience, trainers at my gym and the lovely world wide web. Make sure you modify for yourself as necessary. 🙂 *

I tried to do the whole “Do my set, rest” thing that is touted to be such an amazing muscle building technique. I JUST GOT SO BORED. When I go to the gym, I like to leave knowing that I WORKED the whole time, and didn’t spend half of it sweating all over the bench. But I definitely realize that my quads/butt need to rest between sets of squats, so I came up with supersets that alternate hard/heavy work with more plyo/bodyweight style moves! No burpees though. Never burpees.

Burpees-Dont-Really-Like-You-Either2

I also aaaalways start with squats because if I wait then my legs already hate me too much to do anything awesome. Which is why I spend my entire warmup staring at the squat rack. 

Superset One:

3 x 8 barbell back squat

3 x 20 calf raises with pause

 

Superset Two:

4 x 8 deadlift

4 x 10 (per side) lateral lunge

 

Superset Three:

4 x 8 leg press

4 x 10 back lunge

 

Superset Four:

4 x 10 Smith Machine calf raise

4 x 10 jump squats

 

Depending on how I feel, I sometimes finish with this wonderful contraption that works your lower back. I have absolutely NO idea what it is called but you start with your torso supported, and the top of your head facing the floor. Then lift yourself up so your entire body is parallel with the floor!

0706_back_extensionThis thing. 

 

And now I can’t move. In total, this workout takes less than 30 minutes, but does NOT feel like it. AKA try not to stare at the clock every 2 minutes. Just have fun. 😉

Tell me your favourite leg workout!