Scenes from the Weekend: Agility, Easter, Hiking

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I spent the weekend at a dog agility trial with my pups, plus friends. We also did a little hiking with the dogs and celebrated Easter in our own way. I thought I’d share some photos with you from the weekend:

If it's Springtime, we're at Keeneland! Love this place!

If it’s Springtime, we’re at Keeneland! Love this place!

In 2009 Mine That Bird went from 50-1 longshot to Kentucky Derby winner. No one knew anything about this horse, but it was great. They've made a movie about his experience, and the cast (including the horse) was at Keeneland.

In 2009 Mine That Bird went from 50-1 longshot to Kentucky Derby winner. No one knew anything about this horse, but it was great. They’ve made a movie about his experience, and the cast (including the horse) was at Keeneland.

I wish this wasn't so dark! Enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at Keeneland with my friends Ashley (left) and Jodi (right). My hubby got us a box!

I wish this wasn’t so dark! Enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at Keeneland with my friends Ashley (left) and Jodi (right). My hubby got us a box!

If we have an agility trial on a gorgeous weekend, we take the dogs hiking at one of our favorite parks in Cincy!

If we have an agility trial on a gorgeous weekend, we take the dogs hiking at one of our favorite parks in Cincy!

Photo ops!

Photo ops!

My beautiful tulips!

My beautiful tulips!

More photo ops!

More photo ops!

Your turn: How was your weekend?

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Happy Easter!

The Stump Kids have been looking forward to Easter all month! Ok…well, actually they’ve just been looking for the Easter Bunny. Dally keeps thinking she found him under the shed in our back yard, but I think we finally did on our walk Friday morning. (And he wasn’t in our back yard.)

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Happy Easter, everyone!!

Good Reads: Sports Bras, Healthy Cooking & Eating, Defending CrossFit

Sometimes I find it relaxing to just be able to sit down with my MacBook and read new blogs. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that in quite some time. However, here are some good reads from the week:

LinkLove

5 Sports Bra Commandments (Keep It SimpELLE): As a woman who is “blessed” with an ample chest, sports bras are always something that is a pain! I hate trying to find the right bra, but when I do, I try to buy as many as I can afford–and they can be expensive. There’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting sports bra as you’re trying to push for a 7-miler, or go through Karen in the CrossFit box (150 wall balls). Elle is right on point!

Healthy Cooking Solutions (Slim Sanity): I love if I can find a healthy substitution for cooking and baking, because then I hope I can enjoy my favorite foods without a lot of guilt. Alysia shares some great tips, some that I knew and some that I didn’t. I really need to try doing mashed cauliflower! M loves mashed potatoes, so why not try something different and healthier?

5 Adjectives to Avoid While Eating Out (Diary of an Ex-Sloth): Crispy, Slathered, Battered, Breaded, and Rich…yep, those are some tempting, but also some naughty adjectives when it comes to foods! Giselle offers great alternatives for some of your favorite foods that just might contain those words. Great things to remember!

In Defense of CrossFit (T-Nation): This paragraph says it all: Again, God bless CrossFit. Women in droves are lifting weights, squatting, deadlifting, climbing ropes, sweating, and building beautiful bodies. In an increasingly unfit world of sloppy cows and praying-mantis legs, CrossFit helped redefine sexy and gave women the green light to do what they should have been doing all along to look their best. Your wife or girlfriend, once content with lifting pink dumbbells and running on a treadmill, took one look at Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet and magically became interested in setting PRs, building thick, muscular legs, and learning to clean and jerk. Maybe she even bought a pair of bootie shorts. Thank you, CrossFit.

Your turn: Share something great you’ve read this week!

Food Prep: Delicious Recipes for Easy Meals

Life has been a bit busy lately. I’ve been trying to do some meal prep and easy meals to make life easier…and maybe a little healthier.

M’s been working long hours at the racetrack while live racing is in session. When I say “long hours” I’m talking from 6 am to 9 pm…five days a week. Poor guy. It sucks because he doesn’t get to eat much, and when I’m hanging out on my own I’m not that motivated to eat right. So, for both of us, pre-planning is the best route to go.

I’ve done easy things like washing and cutting up carrots and celery which I can take for sides for lunch, making chicken salad for M to take and snack on with some crackers when he gets a few quiet moments at work, and I’ve also marinated and grilled chicken breasts that can be heated up for dinner or lunches. I’ve actually really enjoyed the grilled chicken because it’s so flexible–shred it for a salad, eat it cold or heat it up and eat it with my carrots and celery.

Another easy, yet delicious lunch I discovered last week is a salad with chicken sausage. We buy this spinach and asiago chicken sausage from Sam’s Club every once in a while and I love it. I’ve sliced it up to have with whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce, as well as just eaten it plain for dinner. But one night I had a bag of salad and wanted something different. I poured some salad in a big bowl, sliced up some carrots and celery, added some slivered almonds and sunflower seeds, then heated up one sausage link. After cutting it up into smaller pieces, I added that and some light Italian dressing to the salad. OMG. I’m telling you, it might sound weird, but it’s delicious! So good that I had it for lunch the next two days (I just packed the salad in one container, the sausage in a sandwich bag, and brought the dressing with me to work).

One of the most satisfying work lunches ever!

One of the most satisfying work lunches ever!

Another favorite has been this Meatball Parmesan Casserole that I discovered on Pinterest. If you think you might be pressed for time, you can pre-make the meatballs and store in the refrigerator to bake another night. The longest part is the baking, but if you can have these ready to pop in the oven, it helps so much.

To add a little something, I place slices of zucchini under eat meatball, as well as scattered along the top under the cheese. I love zucchini, especially in Italian meals, so any time I can incorporate it, I will. Plus I think it adds some fiber and extra nutrients to the meal. The meatballs are great in a sandwich, as well as leftovers for lunch the next day.

Meatball Parmesan Casserole

Meatball Parmesan Casserole

And, finally, for breakfast, I have loved the Lean Green Bean’s Baked Oatmeal. I made this recipe in one pie pan, substituting chopped walnuts and slivered almonds for the pumpkin seeds and I used peanut butter instead of the Nutzo (but I added some cocoa powder as well as the cinnamon and some nutmeg). Baking this in the pie pan yielded four servings for me. And I loved heating these up every morning, adding some more peanut butter to the top and having some fresh berries on the side. It’s a great way to wake up! Next time I’m going to try adding some of my protein powder to it for some added protein.

The Lean Green Bean's Baked Oatmeal

The Lean Green Bean’s Baked Oatmeal

I’ve come to appreciate taking a little extra time, when I have the free time, to do some food prep. It might not exactly be Sunday night like some people, but it works…whenever I do it.

Your turn: Have you started doing food prep? If so, share your favorite pre-made meals!

Runner who CrossFits, or CrossFitter who Runs?

A year ago, I would have answered this question easily: I’m a runner who does CrossFit for my cross training. I started doing CrossFit in April 2013 as a means of cross-training to overcome my injuries from training for a half marathon. I knew I needed to do more cross-training than running to prevent the repetitive use injuries, and I was always intrigued by CrossFit thanks to reading Lindsay and Tina’s blogs.

A year later and I have more miles under my wrist wraps than I have in my running shoes I think.

I basically stopped running last summer, but the urge to race never died. I got back into running in the early Fall and hit the Race for the Cue for my big 5K personal record.

But now I’m trying to get back to running, but I still want to stay active in my CrossFit box. I know there are CrossFitters who still run half, and full, marathons–they’re just diligent about their nutrition, rest days, and athletic scheduling. So I need to be the same.

For right now I’m sticking with hitting Man O’War CrossFit four times a week, making Friday a complete rest day (minus a long dog walk for the pups). Tuesday evenings, when I can, I’m going to continue running with the West 6th Brewing Running Club (3-4 miles), and then Saturday mornings I’ll get in my long training runs with the Striders. Sundays will be recovery days.

I have been really lax on my nutrition lately, which is frustrating and unfortunate. Because of that, I’ve gained five pounds in the last couple of months, so I’d really like to get back down to my manageable weight. I know they say you don’t go through half marathon training to lost weight, but I would have to beg to differ because I know that if I weigh less, that’s less stress on my joints/knees when I’m pounding the pavement.

Your turn: Are you a CrossFitter who runs? Or a runner who CrossFits? If you have any advice, or nutritional programs you like to follow, I’m all ears!

Lacing Up the Running Shoes Again

I’ve been home from the National Agility Championship for a week now, but I’m still suffering the effects–a nasty viral thing that’s left me feeling like poo (sore throat, cough, bleh). But I’m still flying high from my best friend and her Cardigan Corgi winning the national championship in the 4″ Preferred division! It was awesome to watch, and she so  deserves it.

Merinda and PNAC Porter!

Merinda and PNAC Porter!

Getting back to normal life, I’m getting back into running. I missed a few races due to scheduling and finances–why are half marathons so darn expensive?? But when a local racing company announced a new race series that includes a 5K, 10-miler and a half marathon. It’s going to run through horse country (I’m seriously lucky to have such beautiful running views), including a Thoroughbred horse farm. The one kicker is it’s in mid-June, which can be a very hot time in Kentucky. But, I bit the bullet last week and registered before the price went up. I figure I’ll train my best for it and see what I can do, and don’t expect a PR from this race.

So now that I’ve finally registered for my third half marathon, it’s time to get serious about training. I’ve been doing some longish runs with friends while they prepare for their races this Spring, running up to 8 miles, but nothing too serious. But now I really have to start being serious. I don’t want to overtrain like I have in the past, which has caused some injuries that have curtailed my running. So I’m planning on sticking with my CrossFit WODs at Man O’War CrossFit, long training run on the weekend, and one or two shorter runs during the week. There will be some weekends where I won’t be able to run, but that’s OK.

I kicked off my training with a fun group run back with the John’s Striders, a group I trained with a lot last year. On Saturday we met up for a quick 2.5 mile “warm-up” run before we had a wedding-themed 5K for a couple getting married later that day. We ran around the Chevy Chase area, stopping at different places that were special. The end of the race we stopped at the church they were going to be tying the knot a few hours later and the leader of our group pronounced them “Running Partners for Life.” It was real sweet! (Not the 7 miles I was planning, but it still worked.)

Steven and Ryan, "Running Partners for Life"!

Steven and Ryan, “Running Partners for Life”!

For now it’s time for me to figure out my training and re-figure my nutrition. It’s time to get serious about eating healthy again. Any advice will be appreciated!

Your turn: Have you ever participated in a themed training run?