Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up!

I wanted to get a blog post out on Wednesday, but I left my laptop at work, so here's a bit more than usual!
I've been going to Barry's Bootcamp Arms & Abs class on Monday mornings at 6 am recently. I really like the fact that Barry's incorporates treadmill work, along with weights & core work. Half the class starts on the treadmill & half on the floor. Then every 10 minutes or so you switch  spots & this happens about 2-3 times during the entire class. It is similar to places like OrangeTheory, Shred, Shed, etc.
My Tuesday began with a track workout again that consisted of a 2 mi warm up (9:30 pace), then 2 x 2 mile tempo w/ a 400 recovery (the tempos between 8:00 - 8:15), 1 mile warm up. Actual workout times were 8:13, 8:14, 8:05, 8:00 for the splits.
That night a few of us had gotten tickets to the Bluebird Cafe as our very talented runner friend, Jenn Schott, was playing in the round to raise $$ for Alive Hospice Charity. She has written quite a few hits over the year & is an amazing singer & songwriter. It was my first time to the Bluebird Cafe & did not disappoint!
After getting home a bit later than usual, I woke up in time to get to Krank in Green Hills for Mark's Spin class. It was a very challenging class with lots of hill climbs & long hovers. Mark is a great teacher, very energetic & positive! He makes the time go by fast! If you're interested in Krank classes, visit here. They also offer strength classes with TRX, sandbags, & weights, along with a 30/30 class consisting of 30 minutes of spin & 30 minutes of strength.

After class, my friend Jen & I went to Juice Bar, where I took down a monster ACV shot (apple cider vinegar, cayenne, organic coconut water, and Himalayan pink salt). I heard over  Christmas break how good apple cider vinegar helps build your immune system & helps cleanse your body & was told to take 1 tablespoon of Bragg's ACV mixed in water (hot or cold). It is very sour by itself, so that is why people say to dilute it with water. I also heard it can have some bad effects on your throat after awhile if you don't mix it (not sure if that is true or not).

I met up with the Brentwood Breakfast Club at First Watch and got in 7.6 miles @ 9:02 average pace. This run is supposed to be a moderate pace run for me (between 9:00 and 9:20). Seth came to his very first Breakfast Club run & of course beat me by quite a bit!

That night, we were invited to the opening of Donato's Pizza in Nashville. This is a pizza chain that I have loved from back home in Ohio, so I was more than happy we were getting one here! The pizza was delicious, their Hawaiin is my favorite! At the end we were given warm brownies & Christie's cookies! I was also having a very "rungry" day (runner hungry day) & devoured my pizza fast!  They offer gluten free & vegan pizzas.

Friday consisted of a 3.75 mile recovery run (9:40 pace) with some hamstring stretches & core work.  I was then off to work for the day, hit the grocery, & cooked up some Betty Crocker Lasagna Roll-Ups (receipe to follow on Monday)!

Do you run with a group or by yourself?

Have you ever tried Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar? If so, how do you take it?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Munchies & The Weekend

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to cook one new thing per week, whether it be a side dish, main dish, dessert, appetizer, etc. Last Sunday, my mom hosted a family dinner when I was in Ohio and I made a copy of Applebee's Maple Butter Blondie Bars for dessert. Everyone gave it two thumbs up!

- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking power
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 c butter
- 1 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 c chopped pecans
- 1 c white chocolate chunks (I used Ghiradelli & broke off little pices in a cup)

Maple Butter Sauce:
- 1 1/3 c sugar
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1/2 c grade B maple syrup, must be the real deal
- 2/3 c butter

1) Melt the 1 1/2 c butter over medium heat. Watch carefully as the butter becomes golden. Allow it to become light brown & then remove from heat. Cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

2) Blend butter & brown sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.

3) Sift the flour, baking power & salt together and add to the butter mixture. Blend with a spoon.

4) Fold in the white chocolate chunks and pecans.

5) Grease a 9 x 9 pan and spoon mixture into pan & smooth the top.

6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine only took 20 as the oven cooks faster).

7) To make the sauce, combine the sugar, syrup, and butter and bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.

8) Cook for 2 minutes

9) Remove from heat & whisk in the sour cream & vanilla

To assemble, cut the brownies in nine squares & cover with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream (or vanilla) and drizzle with the warm syrup and sprinkg with more chopped pecans.

Recipe was found on pinterest here: Applebees Maple Butter Blondies

The roads were still bad from the 8 inches of snow we got, so all the training program runs were cancelled. Seth & I ended up going out to Brentwood to meet some friends & run in the snow. We covered 8 miles in about 1:30, which was pretty good considering how deep the snow was!
Our crew before we began:
The crew at the end, running in the snow is fun after all, right?! We always say our friend Corrie has a ninja pony tail!
In the afternoon Seth & I walked down to Party Fowl in Nashville for a beer & some hot chicken
For dinner we checked out a new restaurant in The Gulch called Otaku Ramen. It was a pop up restaurant that did very well & they've now been open about 5 weeks. It was delicious!! We shared the Duck Confit Buns as an appetizer. Seth chose the Shoyu Ramen & I picked Tennessee Tonkotsu.

A few of us were going to run the trails, but it was still icy & we were nervous about how bad it would be, so we opted not to go. I decided to switch up my workout & complete an Insanity DVD (it wasn't pretty). Other than that did some food prep, cooked, cleaned, & ran errands.

Do you enjoy running in the snow?

What's your favorite dessert?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Gear + Weekly Workouts

Here are some great ideas for gear if you are in the market for some new items! Check out some of my newest picks below...

Garmin Forerunner 235:
This watch is linked to my phone & sends me texts, comments on social media, phone calls, calendar updates, my steps, heart rate, & any other notifications I have set up on my phone. I consider this pretty neat, but you certainly don't have to have all of this information sent to your watch. It connects to the bluetooth on your phone, but if you aren't near your phone, it will disconnect. I've pictured the one I have below..
Check it out here (along w/ other Garmin devices): Click Here

Lululemon Runderful Long Sleeve in Space Dye Camo, Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew in Heathered Ultra Violet, Speed Sock, & Run with Me Gloves. Click Here

My spinning class was cancelled on Wednesday due to weather, so I took the day off.

Thursday consisted of a 7 mile run w/ my Brentwood Breakfast Club. This group gets together every Thursday morning to run at 6 am year round for either a 4 mile or 6 mile run with breakfast afterward. We change the restaurant of where we eat every week, but frequent First Watch, Frothy Monkey, The Perch, & Starbucks. The picture below is of our group & my total run was a 9:08 pace.

Thursday Night a few of us tried out a new restaurant in town, Le Sel. It's a french restaurant in the bottom of the Adelicia building and my favorites were the Crab "Louie", Petrale Sol, & Pomme Frites. The desserts weren't my favorite, but we devoured them anyway. Le Sel Menu

I woke up to a beautiful snow fall outside & took a pic of our apartment's courtyard (below). I also received a delightful email that our office was closed!!

I wanted to move immediately to the couch, but I forced myself to go downtstairs to my building's gym & do a light workout. It consisted of a short recovery run (3.25 miles @ 9:45 pace) + some hamstring stretches, ab work, & squats. It was then time for my new gap sweats (courtesy of my brother's girlfriend) & coffee in my Grand Canyon mug to prepare for our trip there in May!

We ended up being snowed in all day (tough to get work done when keeping an eye on a chewing puppy) so dinner called for some comfort food consisting of brown rice fusilli & my mom's homemade spaghetti sauce with a leftover Olive Garden breadstick!

Last is Oliver out in the snow with his new sweater!

Have you had snow this winter yet? This is the biggest snowfall Nashville has had in a decade!!

What's your favorite winter gear to wear while running?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Oliver + Track

This Christmas I was blessed by my family & boyfriend with a new little shih-tzu puppy & I chose the name Oliver. He is my new pride & joy. He's now about 5 months old & almost 7 lbs! I had wanted a puppy for a longggg time & I had been really laying it on thick to my mom telling her how cute it would be to open up a present that was a puppy with a red bow on them.
The week leading up to Christmas, my boyfriend sat me down with a bunch of reasons as to why we should not get a puppy because the day before the place my mom went was out of puppies. The next day, however, she called somewhere else & they had ONE puppy left (fate)! They surprised me with him when I got home for Christmas vacation & he had a red bow tied around his little neck!! I was beyond surprised & of course, cried when I saw him!

Back to reality....
Monday I had the day off from work in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day. Below are two quotes that strike me still today.

Here is little Oliver snoozing away after he got his last round of shots. Since I'm originally from Ohio and that's where I got him, we had to make the trek back for his shots. He's the best little passenger (don't tell my boyfriend!).

Tuesday @ the Track:
Every Tuesday I drive out to a high school track & meet some friends for speed workouts in between Fleet Feet speed sessions. Twice a year, Fleet Feet hosts a formal winter & summer speed session in where I join up with many people who are training for 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, & full marathons. We start each speed session with a time trial (1 mile for summer & 2 mile for winter) and our workouts for the sessions are based off of our time trials. Fleet Feet makes up the workouts each week and we bring our times with us to use for our splits. It has been amazing to see how much people progress throughout the sessions. I started with them in July of 2014 & have already seen a different in my running! If you are in the Nashville area, you can sign up through this link:

The workout this Tuesday was a little different as we had Thad Beaty come to give us the STRYD power meter testing.  It consisted of a 10 minute warm up, 3 minutes all out wearing a heart rate monitor, 30 minute rest, & then 9 minutes all out again. The 9 minute one was tough considering it was 12 degrees. My hands were freezing, but I can't wait to see the results and how it will affect my run times!

That's all for the past 2 days, thanks for reading, Cheers!

Do you have any pets?

Do you do any speed workouts during your weekly routines?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone!

So glad you've decided to come to my blog! I'll be honest with you, this is my first time taking a stab at blogging, so here goes nothing.

I guess I should start out by telling you all a little bit about myself and why I decided to start a blog. I enjoy running & I enjoy wine & I figure why not put two of my favorite things together! I've come a long way since drinking boxed wine & running my first 5k, so hopefully you'll enjoy reading about my journey.

Growing up, I played soccer and worked out, but it wasn't until I tore my ACL & miniscus in a co-ed soccer game 6 years ago that I started running. I was living in Chicago at the time and after healing from surgery I was too nervous to play soccer, so I decided that I could fulfill my fitness goals by running and strength training. I then ran a few 5ks, 10ks and one 15k in Chicago. Three & a half years ago, I met my boyfriend who was really into triathlons/running & encouraged me to start signing up for some races since I had only done a few (longest was one 15k).

A year and a half ago I was transferred from Chicago to Nashville for work & had previously been convinced by my boyfriend to sign up for the Chicago Marathon & had gotten in. Upon moving, I realized that a great way to meet people was to join a running group that was training for some fall marathons as well. I ended up joining the Fleet Feet training program & trained with them for my first marathon. Little did I know that the running group would spark passion inside me and introduce me to some pretty amazing people. Now, running has become more than just an activity for me. It's a therapy, a way to think about things going on in my life, a positive way to start my day, & a great way to make new friends & get more involved with people in the community. With my blog, I hope to inspire people to do something they love, whether it be running or not, you should always strive to get out there & do something you enjoy just as much as I enjoy running.