Good Reads: Failing Reps, Saving Relationships, Winter Shape Up

Another chilly week means another week or searching for some fun, educational reads that I’d love to share with you!

LinkLove

When to Move On… (Catalyst Athletics): I found this post one day after failing on a 75 pound snatch at Man O’War CrossFit. I dislike snatches…I think a lot of people do. There’s just something about them. I attempted the 75 lbs a couple of times, walking away each time. I then went back to the PVC pipe to work on my form, dropped weight back to 65, and performed a successful snatch. I stopped for the day, mostly because we had a WOD to do and I knew I was getting tired. It was probably smart, after reading this article. What move have you had trouble with lately? (Another good read from Catalyst Athletics, for those having issues with their knees and squats: Squatting, Valgus Knees, The Knees-Out Cue…)

The Questions That Will Save Your Relationship (Huffington Post): I might not be a stay-at-home-mother, or a mother at all, but I am married, and I am already feeling like the usual questions M and I ask each other at the end of each day are throw-away questions already, and we haven’t been married for two years yet, even. We have to really be thoughtful in our questions towards each other if we really want to talk with our loved ones.

Winter Shape-Up 2014 (Fannetastic Food): Looking for a little extra motivation during these cold Winter months?? Anne, with Fanntastic Food, and Gina The Fitnessista, are teaming together to provide you that motivation with this fun Winter shape-up challenge! Anne’s providing the nutrition insight, while Gina is providing the workouts. It’s free to join in, plus there are some pretty cool prizes. I’ll be participating, and so should you!

You turn: What good reads have you stumbled upon lately?

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Thursday Thoughts: A Random Post

  • The past few mornings I’ve woken up to frigid temperatures, reluctant to get out of bed and head to CrossFit. But then I think about how lucky I am, that I woke up in a warm bed, protected by my house, and sleeping next to my pups–there are many that aren’t as lucky. My thoughts are with those who aren’t as lucky. This has been a rough winter, and it’s not over yet.
  • On another weather note, I think it worked out nicely that we got hit with 3 inches of snow on Saturday, then by Sunday it was mostly melted away. Perfect way to get to enjoy the snow and then have Mother Nature clean up after herself. If only my family in Indiana were as lucky (I can’t imagine how much snow they’ve had so far already.)
  • I realize I’ve slacked a lot with this blog lately, and for that I’m sorry. I’m struggling with coming up with things to talk about lately because by the end of the evening my brain is fried with work, then coming home to write articles on deadline. I’ve also had to rethink a lot of things lately. I’ll post about that later.
  • I’m so pumped for the Super Bowl this weekend! Of course I’m cheering for Peyton Manning and the Broncos–us Indy fans still claim Peyton as one of our own! It’s going to be a great game, I think, definitely one for the record books! Who are you cheering for?
  • I’m trying to really focus on my form in CrossFit lately. My coach at Man O’War CrossFit, Taylor, worked with me on my jerks Wednesday morning. Lately I’ve been pushing the bar out and up, thus using up a lot of strength. So I’m trying to focus on keeping the bar close to my body, close to my face, and just push up.
  • Speaking of Man O’War CrossFit, we’re excited that one of our own is competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month!! Dallas Robinson has been named a member of the USA Bobsled Team, and we are so excited for him! Go Team USA!!
  • And, finally, speaking of CrossFit, here’s a WOD for you to try. The Every Minute On The Minute (EMOTM) of 5 Man O’War Makers are burpees over the plate, clean the plate, then do two step back lunges. Those were rough! By the end of the WOD my quads were toast!

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Your turn: What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning?

Recipe: Sandwich Pockets

I remembered I had wanted to share the recipe for the “Sandwich Pockets” M and I made to go with our potato soup last weekend. I call them “Sandwich Pockets” for lack of a better name because that’s kind of what they are, like Hot Pockets, but better!

M found the recipe some time last year. They’re so easy to make, and even better because we make them four at a time, so we have leftovers. In fact, I was able to take my leftover pocket with some soup to work the next week. Luckily we have a toaster oven in our break room, so I was able to warm them up like they were fresh from the oven again. Win!

The thing that’s also great about this recipe is that you can make these however you’d like. Vegetarian? Load it up with veggies. Meat lover? Pack in the protein punch you want. We’ve stuck with shredded chicken and veggies, but you can try other meats (as long as they’re already cooked). So this recipe is what I did with my pockets.

One of the best "football meals" ever! So easy and so yummy!

One of the best “football meals” ever! So easy and so yummy!

Sandwich Pockets

1 can pizza dough (I use Pillsbury)
2 chicken breasts, shredded (you won’t use the whole amount, but it’s good to have extra on hand)
Veggie cream cheese
Diced vegetables of any kind (I had diced green & red bell peppers and leftover broccoli, M had diced green & red bell peppers, diced cherry tomatoes, and pickles)
Herbs/spices

  1. Preheat oven to 400* F (or the temp designated by the crust)
  2. On a nonstick cookie sheet, roll out the pizza dough from the can, pressing from the middle out, until you have a decent sized rectangle (but don’t make the dough too thin).
  3. Using a butter knife, cut the dough into fourths. 
  4. Spread the veggie cream cheese on half of each fourth.
  5. Add your fixins to that half.
  6. Fold over the naked half and crimp the open ends together to seal the pocket.
  7. Sprinkle some seasoning (I do garlic powder and Italian seasoning)
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Enjoy!

This is the perfect lunch for everyone, or a side to soup or chili.

I’d love to hear your combinations!

Good Reads: Dogs & Running, Type A’s, Infertility

I have yet another rendition of Good Reads, this time it’s a little all over the place, but that’s  OK because hopefully there’s something here for everyone! So snuggle up with a warm blanket, a fuzzy friend, and get ready for some link love.

LinkLove

10 Ways Having a Dog is Like Running (Olive To Run): I love, love, love this post! As a dog mom, and as a (sometimes) runner, I totally agree with all of these! Especially No. 2, I truly understand how running (or even just working out) and your dogs can be there for you no matter what.

16 Signs You’re A Little (or A Lot) Type A (Huffington Post): Umm…yes. I hate waiting in lines–I feel like it wastes my time. Speaking of which, I hate wasting time. I do tend to talk over or interrupt others…but I’m always so sorry that I do! I have a hard time falling asleep at night (my mind won’t shut off), and everyone has a hard time keeping up with my long, fast strides on the sidewalk. Shall I go on?

It’s Not Easy for Everyone (The Lean Green Bean): This is a very raw, emotional post by Lindsay, and I have to give her props for being brave enough to post it for everyone in the world to see. While M and I are not in a place to have children right now, I know friends who struggled for years to try to conceive, and I know their trials and tribulations. And I appreciate the frustration that those who are struggling feel with those who have “oops” occurrences. Kudos to her husband for contributing to the post as well. No matter where you are in your personal life, read this.

I Don’t Give a Damn (Olive To Run): I know I don’t usually feature multiple posts from the same person on here, but I loved this post! This was a reminder to me that I don’t need to give a damn about what anyone else think, just worry about my own happiness. This is a reminder to you to worry about you!

Your turn: What was your favorite read in the past week?

Football Fanatics & Yummy Food

One of the things you’ll first notice about M and I is that we’re both football fanatics. We love football, and we love our teams. We’re both Indianapolis Colts fans (I don’t think I could marry any other fan haha), love the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and will cheer against any SEC football team, no matter what! (If you live where I live, you’d understand.)

Even the pups get in on the football action. They didn't care the Colts weren't playing--we still consider Peyton Manning a Colt!

Even the pups get in on the football action. They didn’t care the Colts weren’t playing–we still consider Peyton Manning a Colt!

We love to try to do big things for big games–New Year’s Day we always have a get-together with friends with tradition New Year’s Day foods to bring good luck for the year (corned beaf, anything black eyed-pea, anything round) and the college bowl games. Super Bowl Sunday? Definitely have to celebrate with friends…and food.

So Sunday we knew we had to have a gathering for two great games–unfortunately our Colts lost to the Patriots last week, but we still had Peyton Manning (forever a Colt) and the Denver Broncos to cheer for against the evil Pats.

On the menu? CrockPot Potato Soup…so good and so easy!

One of the best "football meals" ever! So easy and so yummy!

One of the best “football meals” ever! So easy and so yummy!

Happily, the Broncos won, so you know who we’ll be cheering for in the Super Bowl! 🙂

We celebrated with some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. It’s a mouthful to say, but so delicious!

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So now we have plenty of leftovers for our lunches, which is always nice. The soup and chicken pockets will be easy to heat up at work on the cold days we’re expecting to have this week, plus it’ll be nice to start the day with some PBCCP Bread for breakfast. We also have lots of shredded chicken for me to come up with uses for this week, since we had a lot left over from the pockets.

I’ll share the recipe for the chicken pockets later this week!

Your turn: What’s your favorite football food line-up? We usually do chili, or soup, of some sort, so it just depends!

Battling the Binge: Eating, Drinking, Working Out

A week or so ago the news stations were talking about how many drinks equaled “binge drinking.” The talk of bingeing always seems to come in waves: binge drinking one week, binge eating the next, … binge anything else later.

Now, you probably are thinking, “Well the title of this includes working out, but I’ve never heard of binge working out…” True, maybe you haven’t. But, to me, there is such a thing.

I haven’t been too shy talking about my episodes of binge eating. It’s a nice that comes in waves, personally. A lot of times it happens just around that certain time of the month, which happens with a lot of women. For me, it happens a lot when I’m stressed, lonely, bored, or just any thing that I try to suppress.

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If there is something semi-tasty in the house, it’s in my belly. 

I have no willpower. 

If I feel I’ve worked for it, by God I’ll have it.

My thinking? Well, I’ll sweat out the calories at CrossFit, so I’m golden, right? A little here and there won’t hurt. Etc. Etc.

It’s totally unhealthy. I know it’s the reason for my recent weight gain and horrible feeling. But I can’t help to want just that scoop of ice cream, or that handful of cereal…multiple times throughout the night. Even though I had a filling, nutritious dinner just a few minutes ago.

At the box for my 2014 resolution, I put that I wasn’t going to snack after 7 pm, or else I’d have to do 50 burpees. Ugh…I have a lot of burpees to get through after this past week.

Hence what brings me to “binge working out”. When I had a gym membership, you could find me at the gym for an hour or so before work, then after work I’d be there for another hour or so. At some points I’d just want to work out more and more, to make up for the unhealthy decisions I had made previously.

I don’t believe I’ve ever really participated in binge drinking (well, except maybe during college…), but some times I worry about the thought of “Maybe just a drink will help me relax after this stressful day…” Shouldn’t I find other ways to relax? I walk the dogs after work, I surf the Internet, I try to just enjoy television. But it doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

I’ve gone into 2014 hoping that everything that was horrible in 2013 was going to instantly disappear as soon as chorus of  “Auld Lang Syne” was completed. But, it hasn’t. Instead my faults have been magnified: I’m making as much money as I used to; my writing isn’t exactly what one editor wants it to be so maybe I suck as a writer; maybe I made the wrong decision about the new career; maybe I’m not cut out to be a competitor; maybe I’m just wrong.

So hence the bingeing with everything. I’m trying to combat things so I’m restarting my healthy lifestyle. My wish is my husband will work with me to keep out the bad stuff from the house (“out of sight, out of mind, out of my mouth”), and maybe even start encouraging me to do more activities together and not just mope alone on the couch, thinking negative thoughts.

Mountain

And, yes, I do worry that maybe I’m not as “cured” of my depression as I thought maybe I was a few months ago. Depression isn’t just one textbook diagnosis and treatment, like I thought maybe it was. It’s not an easy fix and end-all, like I had hoped. But it just means that I need to fight harder to find myself, find my happiness, and keep it that way. Life isn’t easy, and we can’t just sit back and think we’re just observers–we have to live our lives.

Fly

 

You turn: Please share your story, comments, or inspiration.

Half Marathon #3 on the Horizon?

This time last year I was already training for my second half marathon. I had lucked out and  got a discount code so I was able to run in the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon for only $25. I tackled the miles with vigor–running 3 training runs a week, with yoga the other two days, then my long runs on Saturdays with the two running groups I joined. The end result? A 10 minute PR over an extremely hilly course…and patellar tendonitis.

I thought I had been doing everything right for training. I ran in the mornings with friends (most weeks it was 2 days of running, 1 day on the elliptical) before work and did some weight lifting (upper body) after work. The long training runs I tackled with knowledgeable running groups, getting in either two or three (I can’t remember) 13 mile runs before the race. I had some off weeks (which I took entirely off because I was at agility trials, etc.), so I thought I was good to go.

For the second half marathon in two years, though, I came out of it injured. In 2012 I had bad IT Band problems during training and while running the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon. Then in 2013 I was diagnosed with patellar tendonitis (then later plantar fasciitis). Both years stopped me from running for a period of time after the races.

Medal

Half Marathon #1: 2012 Kentucky Derby Half Marathon

 

Half Marathon #2: 2013 Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon

Half Marathon #2: 2013 Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon

But this time it seems harder for me to get moving with my training.

I had plans to do the Run the Bluegrass again this year, but the the dates for the AKC National Agility Championships were announced for that same weekend. Since it’s an honor to qualify, and Dally and I worked hard for it, I can’t say no. So now I’m looking at the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon, or maybe even the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon. (I’ve ever been able to run the Indy Mini because it’s the same day as the Kentucky Derby horse race, which I always worked at for my old job, but now that I’m no longer there, I just might have that first Saturday in May free.)

Saturday I jumped in head first back into half marathon training–Run the Bluegrass was hosting another training run over the course at Keeneland Race Course and I had been working at 3-3.5 miles, so I tackled the 4-mile course. The hills are always killers, but surprisingly I kept up a decent pace over the course (and this is after a jump rope and back squat heavy WOD at CrossFit the day before). When I got back to the parking lot, I decided to push for another mile to hit 5. My legs were starting to tire, but nothing too horrible. I probably could have pushed for 6, but I know the trouble you get into when adding on too much mileage too quickly.

I haven’t registered for any races yet–fund-wise that’s not a priority to the pocketbook. I know registering for a race pushes you to motivation, but for now I’m just trying to ride my friends’ motivation as they train for their races. I’ve set a goal to running at least twice a week–I’d like to keep my CrossFit training up, as well, so I have to find a nice balance between the two so I’m not tiring out my body. I’m a little nervous about jumping into training because I don’t want to get hurt again.

Any advice about training to prevent injury, while continuing CrossFit, would be appreciated. I’m also looking for any race ambassadorships to help fund my registration fees while spreading the word of the race that I look to dominate.

Your turn: How do you train for big events and avoid injury? 

Good Reads: CrossFit Finds & Starting 2014 Right

My first Good Reads of 2014! Through the holidays I had seen some great links about CrossFit and other ways to kick off the new year, so I saved them so I could share them with you!

LinkLove

20 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year (Mind Body Green): The new year means a fresh start, so you don’t want to carry around grudges or negative thoughts into that fresh start. I know I would love to just dump all the negative thoughts and negative energy from 2013. I particular like #3, 13, 16, and definitely 20. What about you?

CrossFit Women: Dirty Little Secrets (The Box): Masculine man hands? Oh yeah, I’ve got those. Preworkout poo? Sorry, gonna get a little personal here, but yeah, I do that too, even before my runs. Not pretty pee pants? Well, I have to admit I hadn’t heard about that at all until I read this… Swass? Yeah…hello summer workouts! So, OK, ladies, let’s read, laugh and admit our dirty little secrets below.

Squats are Safe, But You’re Probably Doing them Wrong (The Blog on Huffington Post): I can totally relate to this article because I remember initially thinking that squats should only go parallel with the floor. When I started CrossFit it was hard to break that habit for about a week, until I was constantly (nicely) reminded to “Get LOW!” However, I am having a hard time with the “sets of five reps doesn’t hurt your knees” because my knees are always bothering me and it makes it hard to get below parallel. Perhaps I need to work with my coach more on my form before I continue adding weight to my bar. How are your squats?

I hope you enjoy these good reads! If you’re anywhere amongst all the snow, I hope you’re staying warm, cozy, and safe! Lexington’s frigid with some slick spots, but no snow to really play in.

Your turn: Share your favorite read from the week below so I can discover more!

Saying Goodbye to 2013

Happy New Year’s everyone! I am definitely happy to see 2013 go away–this was one year I didn’t feel bad was going by so quickly.

The past year has been one of so many changes for me. From professional, personal, location, and physically, I’ve changed in so many ways.

Professionally:
A crushing blow slapped me upside the face mid-year in which I was forced to take stock in what I wanted to do with my life. I dove back into my freelancing, only now full-time. I had to push myself to get out there and network with other publishers. It’s been fun writing for different magazines and trying to create my business. I’ve started a professional site for my work and will continue growing my business throughout the year.

I’ve since accepted, and started, a new job at an animal health technology company in a newly-created position. My boss is hilarious and very laid back. The job itself is a little mundane as I start sifting through 15 years of work that’s been lacking. I’m interested in seeing how this job and my career grows in 2014.

Personal:
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so down. But I’ve never felt as crushed, lost, bitter as I did midway through the year. I was diagnosed with depression and put on some prescription medication to help with things. It wasn’t meant as a permanent solution, but just to help balance me so I didn’t alienate my husband, family, friends, and ruin things like my partnership with my dogs in agility.

If I hadn’t dived into CrossFit like I had, I don’t know where I’d be today. My Man O’War CrossFit community helped me make it through everyday more than they really know. I was forced to wake up to my alarm clock in order to make it to the morning class. After class, I knew I had to walk the dogs, take a shower, and take care of myself. Without those workouts, I probably would have stayed in bed, been a slob, etc.

Physically:
Speaking of CrossFit, I became stronger in so many ways this year. My mental and psychological strength grew while I was getting myself out of my slump. I learned to focus on different things rather than the “I can’ts” because of CrossFit. I’m stronger physically because I can know deadlift and back squat my body weight, hit the 100s in cleans, and continually see improvement on things everyday.

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I ran my half marathon PR on the hilliest course in the area, and crushed my 5K PR on the anniversary of my race running debut. I overcame injuries, thanks to physical therapy, and I realize that strength is more important than anything. I haven’t run as much as maybe I should the last half of the year, but I’m going to get back into it and learn to balance CrossFit and running training and hope for an injury-free 2014.

So proud!

So proud!

Location:
Finally, M and I moved to a new house just a few weeks. We may have only moved a few miles away, but it’s a symbol of a fresh start for us and our lives, which is something we desperately need. The new house allows us to start new, positive memories. (I’ll have a post about it soon, because we’ve been doing some speckling and painting!)

Sean even helped pack--he wanted to make sure we didn't forget him.

Sean even helped pack–he wanted to make sure we didn’t forget him.

I’m still considering my goals for 2014, so that will come at a later time. All I know is that I’m hoping for a happier, healthier, luckier year. It’s a fresh start, and I’m happy to dive right in!

Your turn: 2013: Good or bad year for you?