Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Let's Get Weird

I don’t have a ton to report on the running front, aside from the fact that my PT worked on my tight left calf on Monday night and left it feeling like there’s a baseball it. Can’t wait to limp back there tomorrow and see what he has in store.

Let’s get weird really quick, I have a few things in mind.

I watched Pitch Perfect twice this past weekend. Is that sad? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that it made me wish (again) that I could sing better. So for the past few nights I’ve been practicing in the shower; the acoustics are really quite beautiful in there.



We have this baby pool up on our deck and I don't know what to do with it. I originally got it back in June thinking it would be fun to fill with ice and put beer in it for a party… but that never happened. And now it’s just sitting there. Come October it will probably just go in the garbage, but if we have any suggestions for great uses before then please let me know.

This.

I hate to be a materialist B, but Under Armour makes some pretty awesome underwear.
Worth every one of my $12, I LOVE them.


This gem popped up on my phone on Tuesday morning after a crucial Starbucks stop:


 On Monday afternoon we had a water main break at work, and were told that the water wasn’t going to be drinkable for the day… AKA… no making coffee at the office. So I grabbed myself a blonde roast, and BOOM, two stars away. I don’t even know what Starbucks Gold Level means, but it sounds awesome. I will probably go around letting everyone know that I am a Gold Member.

Hi I'm Kait, I'm a Gold Member.
Hot yoga is on tap tonight, and then I’m going to try to knock out 15 miles tomorrow before Kar & Les get into town for the weekend. After that, it may be a few days until I get back on here. You know the deal.

The bottom line? We most likely will not meet again until my September my friends. Do you know what September means? The start of pumpkin everything. EVERYTHINGGGGGGGGGGGG.

I will leave you with this link: An awesome guide to pumpkin beer. There are so many brands out there – I already grabbed a 6 pack of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale this past week. Can’t wait to try it come Sunday.

Hope Labor Day Weekend treats you well – we have shenanigans planed in Baltimore, Ocean City, and Annapolis.  Always a good time when I’m with my wolves.


Cheers!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The 21 Day Wrap Up


Well, I said I was going to write this post last night, but the truth is, I was in bed by 8 PM watching The Breakfast Club for my first time ever. Sorry I’m not sorry.

My 21-Day Sugar Detox is over. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but somehow it flew by. The first week felt like a month, and the second two weeks felt like two days. No joke.

source
Let me start by prefacing with this: I learned a lot. A lot about my body, food and the way my body responds to certain foods. I learned a lot about the Paleo Diet in general and the thought process behind it.

Let me clarify a few things. The 21-Day Sugar Detox (Level 1) is not 100% Paleo, as I was ‘allowed’ to eat full-fat dairy, and not allowed to eat most fruits. However, for the final week I tried to phase out most dairy, and slowly phase in a bit more fruit towards the end.


 This could get incredibly lengthy if I let it, so I won’t. But just know I'm passionate about this. I do want to share some final takeaways from these past three weeks, and reasons why I’m glad that I tried it out.

1. The #1 reason why I enjoyed it is, I knew exactly what I was putting into my body, on a daily basis. I literally knew just about every single ingredient that I was consuming, as it’s all about eating whole, real foods. None of that chemical processed crap.

2. Because of this, I didn’t really have to worry about ‘watching what I ate’ the past 3 weeks. I mean sure I was working out and running a lot, but it wasn’t about worrying over the calories in my meals/snacks, it was more about the content of what I was fueling with. And guess what? Without even trying, or wanting to, I lost weight following the detox rules.

My plantain paleo pancakes on the deck yesterday morning.
 Chocolate sauce & coconut as toppings.
SO.GOOD.
3. I wasn’t 100% perfect, and I’m not upset about it. The first week I caved and ate a mini cheesecake with my roommate at WholeFoods. Week 2 I had ice cream, and Week 3 I had a handful of m&m’s. See the pattern here? While these 3 weeks have definitely changed the way I see my diet, chocolate will never die out of my life. Ever. HOWEVER, discovering the fact that I can mix unsweetened cocoa with coconut oil for ‘clean chocolate sauce’ may have changed my life.

4. I missed my fruits. I LOVE fruit, and am excited to have that option again. I already ate a carton of raspberries today alone. However speaking of fruit, plantains have reached the top of my list of favorites. I’m so glad I discovered them as an option during the cleanse, and see them sticking around as a staple.

5. If you are an athlete/runner/competitor looking to try out the 21 Day Sugar Detox, make sure that you check out the ‘Athlete Modifications’ section. This was a life saver – once I discovered I could be eating more of the dense carbs listed in there, my training was able to return to its normal intensity levels.

 Moral of the story? I really, really like the paleo style of eating. I don’t love referring to it as the Paleo Diet because the word diet can have such a bad connotation. It’s far from a ‘diet’ because it’s really just a simplified way of eating. These diagrams helped me to see the differences between Paleo and clean eating:



                                

 I’m not looking to become some die-hard paleo phene. Technically paleo = no alcohol, no dairy, no grains. I would say on my average day to day, I would love to stay leaning more towards the paleo side of things, as it seemed to make my body happy doing so the past three weeks. Am I going to stop eating nachos and drinking beers on game day? No. Am I going to forever avoid cheese and ice cream and pizza? Absolutely not. I’m not going to be uptight at restaurants and ask what kind of oil my meat was cooked in, as this just isn’t a life or death matter for me.

But if it’s up to me, on a normal week day when I’m cooking for myself, I’ll stick to the paleo plan.

The paleo jalapeno poppers I made on Saturday...
I realize I’m a little out of the ordinary, and thinking that food experiments like this are ‘fun’ isn’t necessarily the norm… but if you’re looking to clean up your diet, trying to change the way you see food, and even make some positive changes to your body, I would honestly considering giving the 21 Day Sugar Detox a try. It definitely positively impacted me.

Would love to answer any questions or address any comments out there, feel free to ask away!

This girl's off to celebratory sushi with friends.
Cheers to good health!

Kait

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crow

It's that time of week again - when the sun shines a little brighter, and the commute seems just a little bit shorter...

Hopefully?

Happy Friday! This morning I decided to link up with one of my fellow Baltimore Bloggers, Kerry, and participate in Five Things Friday...

from The Adventures of Z & K
Ready?

1. I'm very excited about this. Yesterday at yoga, for the first time ever, I managed to hold crow pose!

Oops - wrong picture...

Unfortunately, it wasn't in a cool shirt like hers....

For any of you who know what my flexibility is like as well as my general yoga abilities, this is a big deal. Feel free to leave gushing praise in the comments below.

2. I'm seeking running shoe advice. I'm serious - brands, models, anything. Help me out runner friends, give me some thoughts.

3. My girl Beth and I have been doing a lot of rides together the past few weeks. One of our favorite things to do lately is to head down to Fells Point for yoga a couple times a week. I've found that since I don't have to worry about parking with her, it actually takes less time than if I were to drive.

Beth's parking spot in my room.
4. Last night I was craving a treat after my tilapia dinner, so I threw together this bad boy:


A banana, fried in coconut oil, with a dash of unsweetened cocoa powder mixed in. Coconut sprinkled on top, 100% 21-Day Detox approved.

It was good - seriously, try it.

5. This weekend I'm pup-sitting one of my coworker's furry friends.


We have plans for long walks, movies of her choice, and cooking meals that she can smell and I can enjoy.

That's all over here folks, I'm off to work. Hope your day is marvelous-

Cheers!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Charming Charm City

Hey what do you know, it's hump day, AKA the middle of the week, AKA Weird Wednesday.

After 8 miles on the day, there isn't too much weirdness running through my veins (I sweat it all out in this beautiful humidity) but here's a weird fact for the day:

Recently I became an official grown-up when I bought my first ever shower curtain. The past two months I've just had that clear liner in there, but decided to spice it up and hang an actual green curtain to match my comforter.

It looks tan but I swear it's green.
I felt accomplished. HOWEVER...

I now have developed a slight complex from not being able to see into my shower, and have begun convincing myself on a daily basis that when I get home from work, there is a man hiding in my shower waiting to get me.

I don't know. I'm weird.

Another one of my recent mid-year goals was to join a Baltimore running group. There. Are. Tons.

I've been dragging my feet on this goal. Literally. My ankles make a lot of noise when I run, I like to listen to music, the excuses have been endless. Really it boils down to the fact that I really enjoy running alone; it's me time.

Why did I make this goal?

Regardless, I agreed to accompany two of my coworkers to the Charm City Run meet up tonight. I won't complain about the views:




I took a few pics of my coworkers running from behind, but I feel confident they will set my desk on fire if I post them, so I won't.

It was a muggy night, but we chatted and enjoyed the company of the several thousands of other runners who had ventured out to shuffle around the harbor. When we got back to the Charm City Running Store where we began, this pretty lady was waiting for us:


I love her.

I tried on a pair of Mizunos because I'm trying to figure out what I want my race shoe to be for D.C. Love my Brooks, but I'm just not sure the Cadences cut it upwards of 12-14 miles.

We'll see. There's another running store that is just down the street from my house that I may spend hours some time at this weekend trying to figure out my next best friend for my feet.

Moral of the story? I still don't like running groups, I need a new pair of shoes, dogs are the best.

The end.

Cheers!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pushing 20

Well, if I’m not mistaken I owe you all a little bit of literature.

This was a very solid weekend, for really no reason at all. Perhaps due to excessive productivity? I found myself in a rare crafty state yesterday, and made this:



Two months after moving into our Baltimore house, I’m finally putting some finishing touches on my room. My jewelry (and race medals) have literally been sitting in a tangled mess all summer, and so yesterday I decided to do something about it. It’s amazing what $12 at Michael's will do for you.

I’m also happy to announce that I came out of this weekend with both legs intact. I wasn’t sure how my body would respond to an (almost) 20 mile weekend. Saturday morning was a beautiful cool morning in Baltimore, and I did 8 out and back along the harbor, followed by 5.1 around a nearby park…




Can you tell that the park was hilly? Time to start hitting those hill workouts a little harder.

On Sunday I was worried I would be too tight to do 6 miles at race pace, but I felt good by mid-afternoon, and flew through them (a little too fast) at a 7:33 pace.

Successful running weekend, not only because my body parts held it together, but I was also feeling good energy-wise. My race pace run last week was the definition of horrific; I had almost no energy, was over-heated, etc. I felt 500 times better the second week of the sugar cleanse, and I’m going to take a gander and say this is largely due to me finally finding my stride on the cooking front. 

Eats the past week have included:


(I didn't include bacon, and it was still SO good)




I have continued to see positive body changes, and in general feel really good. I hate sounding like an advertisement on here, but my energy levels are up, my mood has improved and in general this style of eating (very Paleo-like) seems to agree with my body.

This is the final week of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, and my plan is to allow even less dairy, and no cheats. (The first two weeks I allowed one ‘cheat’ per week, for my own psychological well-being.)

I don't feel bad about that.

Does anyone know if the period goes inside or outside of the parenthesis? This is driving me insane, I can’t figure it out.

Last but certainly not least, congrats to my friend and coworker, Amy, who completed her first Irongirl Triathlon this past weekend. I had the chance to swing by and see her finish – it was an awesome event to spectate, and I’m super proud of her!

Cheers to a marvelous Monday!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Last Night

I would be lying if I told you I'm not already in my pajamas. Ahhhh marathon training, it's a beautiful thing.

I had my Friday Panera date with myself again this morning, but not before a quick WOD in my own home gym. 

50 reps of each:
-Air Squats
-Burpees
-Butterfly sit-ups
-High knees (50 each leg)
-In & outs (suitcase sit-ups)
-Tuck jumps (knees must hit hands)
-Pushups (some were knee pushups, I'm weak)
-Russian twists
-Lunges (25 each leg)

It took me just over 17 minutes to complete.

While we are on the topic of my home gym, look what came in the mail for me this week:



Not necessarily a workout accessory... but kind of, as it will soon start coming with me on runs when the days start getting shorter. I love you fall, but I hate how you start stealing our daylight.

Want to see a few of my first-ever triathlon pictures?


Copyright of ChessiePhoto
Cool eh??

Last night was one of those nights where I really didn't get much done. It felt rather lovely; sometimes productivity can be exhausting.

I turned on this music documentary-type movie when I got home from PT, and instantly got sucked in. The music in it is awesome.

Bucket list for 2014: see Mumford & Sons live. Has to happen.
Sometimes it just feels so damn good to get off task.

I danced/ jumped around my room for awhile as the bands sang me sweet nothings. Jumping around without a care in the world, completely alone.

Goal number something or other of my mid-year goals is to do just that; dance alone in my room more often.

In the midst of my mindless musical dreaming, I spotted my violin sitting in the corner. Dusty and horrifically out of tune.


So I decided to tune that bad boy up and see what my fingers remembered. I used to be fairly decent in Middle School - I took lessons for almost seven years or so...

Add caption
I think I'm going to keep playing, and maybe even start teaching myself some new music. Running/health may be my #1 passion, but music isn't too far behind. I may even break open the case again tonight.

13 miles on tap early tomorrow morning for me. Mornings have been fairly cool here in Baltimore all week, I wouldn't mind if that stuck around through the weekend.

Hope your's is great, full of things you love!

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

speak more of joy than of darkness

Do you like that title? It's another one of the mid-year goals that I made. They are slowly being revealed on here.. they aren't all to share but most are.

This is a hard goal for me. So, instead of b*tching, I'm going to do something simple. I'm going to talk about recent things that have made me very happy.



Free coupons from Starbucks. Because when I ordered an orange spiced coffee and they were out of the orange slices to put in it, they wanted to make it up to me. 

Let's just say I'll be stashing this bad boy away until the pumpkin spice lattes hit the shelves.



Grocery Shopping. Especially in the mornings, when the store isn’t crowded. It's simple, and I love it.

Free boxes in the mail:


This came about two weeks ago if I recall. LOVE what Kona Kase does, they've never let me down. I tried a couple of these delightful treats pre-sugar detox, and can’t wait to dive back in afterwards. I can say that I LOVED the Garuka Bar – check out their badass website here. Honey at its finest.



 Mr. Luke Bryan ladies and gentleman. In case you live in a hole, he released a new album today, and hot damn is it sexy. Listen and weep - I know I did.







In other news, my lovely roommates are slowly and brilliantly decorating our house. Look at the masterpiece gallery they created on Sunday night. I take zero credit, I literally stood there agreeing with everything said until I was excused to my room to go to bed at 8 PM. 
(this was post-triathlon + 5 miles, sue me)



My far away lover who I currently miss like no other sent me an awesome quote today. I'm a quote girl - particularly on Pinterest - but this one definitely hit me today. It's beautiful. I can't expect other people to be as enticed with sugar detoxes, running miles upon miles, etc., for the same exact reason that I have zero interest in interior decorating.

To each their own grind.
I like it.

I hope this post made you happy, if nothing else. I'm going to stretch, ice, and pass out. It's been real.

Cheers!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Try Try Tri

Where oh where do I begin?

How about at 4:45 AM this morning, when the alarm went off?

Confession: I was a little worried about properly fueling for the race being on Day 7 of this sugar detox, and very few grains/no processed carbs being allowed in the picture. The good news is, I prepared plantain pancakes the night before, and loaded those bad boys up with almond butter when 5 AM rolled around.

(side note - plantains are my newest fav addition to my diet)

Fueling problem, solved.

I had no idea what I was walking into as I rolled Beth into the transition area to set all my stuff up. You all know what it's like, trying some for the first time. Walking into a completely unknown environment. Plus there were all those 'professional triathletes' strutting around with their perfectly toned calves and sponsored tri suits, making me feel even more unsure about myself.



I don't have a tri suit. I don't own clip-in shoes. I actually didn't even wear socks for the biking or running portions. I managed to do alright.

Before I divulge anymore detail, I want to the moral of the story to be this: almost anyone can do a sprint triathlon. Find yourself a bathing suit, a bike (any kind of bike) and strap on some kind of shoes (I saw people doing the run portion barefoot). You're golden.

My transition area.
I set up my transition area and realized that most of the women were planning on swimming in their compression/biking shorts, and so I made the last minute decision to pull mine shorts over my speedo and hop in the pool with them on.

I read a lot of articles to compete only in the attire that you are used to training in.
  I guess I'm a rebel rule breaker.

The pool swim flew by - it was short - 300 yards total. I underestimated my swim time pretty horrifically (underestimating myself is one of my favorite pastimes) and ended up starting pretty far back, therefore having to pummel pass 5-6 swimmers in the pool portion. At one point I did end up getting a kick to the face from the swimmer ahead of me, but hey I guess I deserved it.

If we are being honest, I can't wait to see the professional pictures of me sprinting across the street from the pool to the transition area, swim cap and goggles in hand, water flying off of me. I probably looked like the biggest badass ever.

If I had to pick an area I felt the weakest in, it was the bike course. 8 miles - two 4 mile laps - with a couple of small hills, and one pretttty decent size hill. Decent as in several people got off their bikes and walked up the hill...

Guys come on now, you see the subtitle of my blog up there. Life's too short to walk.

Kidding, kidding, but seriously, Beth and I groaned up that hill twice together, never stopping, and zipped back into the transition area for the final stretch. I threw off my helmet and took off, legs feeling just like the bricks that brick workouts promise.

The run was a 5k. My PR for a 5k is 20:30 (hoping that one day I break 20) so my on-the-fly goal was to come in around the 21 minute range for the run, knowing that this was going to have to be my strongest area. The first lap (of two) felt like I was possibly holding a 9 minute pace... the second, maybe closer to an 8?

Come to find out, I actually held a 6:54 pace... lining up well with my goal and finishing my run at 21:26.



Final Time: 59 minutes, 18 seconds

15th out of 138 women for my first ever try/tri? Ya I'll take that as a win. Not only that, the bike ride portion was through the Baltimore zoo, and my glass that I was awarded for placing 2nd in my age group has a GIRAFFE on it. Whaaaaat!?!?!



SO DOES THE RACE SHIRT. BEST DAY EVER!

Other random facts: Having numbers written all over my arms and legs makes me feel extremely cool. Because of that, I think I shall do another triathlon some time.



I got home from the race and was like "Oh ya I'm still training for a marathon" and realized I was scheduled for 8 miles today, so I packed a quick 5 around the park. Now my legs are dead, and there is currently an ice pack upstairs calling my name.

I'm so glad that one dreary day this past March/April, as I was lamenting being unable to run due to that stupid stress fracture, I made the decision to sign up for a tri. At the time August seemed years away. But here we are, and I'm pretty stoked to be able to add the honor of triathlete onto my athletic resume. More to come there, I'm sure of it.



I hope you enjoyed your weekend, and did something active as well. I made a point on the last mile of my race today to reflect on how grateful I am to have a body that allows me to compete, and soak in the joys of life while doing it. I recommend doing the same in areas of life you are grateful for.

Cheers!!