Check Me Out

Hi there!

I’ve made the crazy leap into self hosting this little ol’ blog. This giant leap is a big commitment and I’m excited to figure out how this self hosting thing works. So please come follow me to http://www.fitfoodnerd.com but please bear with me as I (try to) figure everything out and make it presentable to company :)

What the MD Half Marathon Means to Me

Though last week marked the half way point of my half marathon training this week of training is what keeps me motivated and helps me push past my limits.

Four years ago this week my grandmother passed away from brain cancer. It came out of no where and happened too fast. Time has passed but I still tear up just thinking about what we shared and all of life’s experiences that have been missed.

She was a warm hearted, giving woman, that – no matter what obstacles she came across – always kept a positive outlook.

I’ll never forget her chicken fried steak with sawmill gravy or sour cream enchiladas. Her food was always as good as a hug when you were feeling crappy.

Our running family joke was her deep love of cheesy tv and movies. She always picked up the newest Steven Segal movie and watched the most outrageous Spanish novellas.

We lost her too soon but I know she’s watching my brothers and I and hopefully we’re making her proud. I know this post isn’t doing justice to everything I feel and want to say but it comes down to this: I’m running this race and fundraising to help kick cancer’s ass. (earmuffs grandma ;) )

If you’d like please visit my fundraising page http://www.ummsfoundation.org/runningforwine and donate if you can. My goal is $200 and every little bit helps.

Start it Right

Oh hi there.

I hope everyone’s had a good start to the week :) This is the last week of training and the last couple of days have been filled with studying and preparing my presentation. I’m presenting my information as a race with water stations #runnerd

I have to say I kind of feel like I’m back in school with all of this homework.

My week has started off right thanks to my quick set up on Sunday.

Planning meals and workouts for the week keeps me on track and takes tons of stress and thinking out of the equation. Another time saver is cooking big batches of some favorite clean eats that I can grab quickly throughout the week.

Smoky vegan black bean dip

Wild rice

Apple/almond protein muffins

Some recipes were delicious (smoky black bean dip FTW! recipe coming soon!) and others were just meh (the apple almond protein muffins were a little dry). Another time saver that ensures I have plenty of clean eats during the day is packing my food the night before – so I’m off to get my breakfast, lunch, and snacks together.

How do you make clean eating work for you during the week? 

Oh Hey Saturday

Another work week bites the dust!

It’s been a weirder transition to the 9-5 office world from the hustle and bustle of the hospitality industry than originally thought. Sure it’s nice to have a set schedule and be able to actually have a weekend but I never thought workdays could feel so long.

With that being said I now savor the weekend like my dog savors her salmon treats :)

I packed today full of fun fitness activities and a father/daughter bonding session. This morning started off with some oatmeal, almond butter, and apple butter. It was a very blah neutral color that was not pretty to photograph.

Once I was fueled and hydrated I was off to the gym for some weight lifting and a free fitness assessment from my new gym. It was a quick sweaty workout followed by an equally quick “assessment” of my current fitness and nutrition regimen. I’m not sure if I’ll use my two complementary personal trainer sessions with the same trainer that conducted my assessment. It could have been that I’m not 100% sure how to utilize a trainer in what I’m already doing for my fitness or maybe the fact that we just didn’t click…

After my time at the gym I came home to bond with Dad over brewing some beer. We brewed a slightly richer/darker version of a hefeweizen from an easy to follow kit. For our first time hands on brewing I would have to call this a success :) We’ll have to wait until mid/late April for an actual taste test before declaring a total success. I’ll leave this post with some pictures of our afternoon brewing adventures. I’m off to watch the Washington Capitals game at a local bar with the boyfriend. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!!!

Halfway to the MD Half

It’s mid February and I’ve come to the halfway point in my training for the MD Half Marathon. I can’t believe there are only two more months until race day!

I have run only one other half marathon – UnderArmour Half in October 2010 with minimal training and planned to run the MD Half Marathon in May 2011. I took it a little too hard, too fast and ended up with a knee injury that made me defer to running this year’s race.

I decided to run the MD Half Marathon to raise money for University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. My grandmother passed away from cancer in 2008 and felt that fundraising through running was a great way to personally make a difference in the fight against cancer. Dad and the little brother tackled the 13.1 miles in 2010 and did a great job fundraising.

I wrote about my intent to race here and my actual training plan here. So far so good at the halfway point. I started strong with dedication and motivation to tackle every run but was hit with illness and had to take a couple week hiatus. I’ve been slowly getting back into the training plan but haven’t quite recaptured that something that motivated me in the first half of my training. I would have to say that speed runs are always a workout that I seem to magically forget … but I do love me a long run on Sunday.

For the second half of my training I am recommitting myself fully to running – especially speed runs. I just have to believe in what my legs can do – I won’t fall apart. I still plan to stick with a couple of easy runs, a long run, and alternating speed and tempo workouts every week. And to avoid injury, there will definitely be a more consistent effort to cross train.

I have a good feeling that if I keep the focus and remember why I’m doing this I’ll   fly across that finish line with my PR :)

Any motivational tips to keep dedicated through the tail end of training? I feel like I’m so close but sooo far away.

Work and Working Out

Work has definitely been keeping me busy with training and learning a lot of new things in a short amount of time… I’m proud to say this hasn’t thrown off my clean eating or working out efforts. I’ve had a habit to let rapid change and the stress that comes with that change negatively effect my healthy lifestyle.

So … I’m now known as the chick with the many many tupperware containers in the office lunch room. What can I say I like to have food readily available :) During the week I’ll always have a wicked delicious breakfast at home – oatmeal, eggs with greens and turkey bacon, or some greek yogurt with fruit and granola. Then move onto snacks/meals every 3 hours – dried fruit and nuts, sandwiches or salads with easy protein, or veggies with dip. I take no more than 15 or 20 minutes before I go to sleep to pack up my lunch – make sure I have enough fresh fuel for whatever my day has in store.

I’d like to have more actual pictures of what I eat to share but I’m still not super comfortable taking pictures of my food in the office – I don’t want to be the weird girl with too much tupperware and who photographs her meals…

To really make it easy on myself I’ve also joined a new 24/7 gym with some of my favorite group fitness classes (hot yoga studio inside of a gym??? yes please!) that is just 5 minutes from the office. The proximity to work finally makes it a little easier for me to get my ass out of bed for a morning workout without hustling around to not be late to work. So many treadmills, a spacious area for free weights, and (yes, I’ll mention it again) all the classes I love to take – I’m definitely in gymlove :D I think the quality of their indoor/outdoor pools might even convince me to give that whole swimming thing a try.

I know everyone’s different but this system has (so far) been working for me and helping me balance a 40ish hour work week, social life, and being fit. It really is true what everyone says – if you just take some time to plan out what you want to accomplish in the gym and how you’re going to fuel you’ll be set up for major success.

Any other 9-5ers have tips for eating clean and keeping fit while at work?

My (un)Triumphant Return to Yoga

Wow – This whole 9-5 thing is something I’m going to have to get used to. I guess this is grown up life for real #biggirlpants I’m happy to say that the training is going well – I don’t feel quite as lost as last week but the information is still coming hot and heavy.

Though it’s been a little busy around these parts I’ve kept going with my lifting, running, and eating (always eating – sometimes clean, a lot of this weekend was not). I want to focus and incorporate more cross training activities because I’ve definitely been noticing more aches and pains after my runs.

While going to school in Charlotte I set foot into a proper yoga studio for the first time and found my favorite style of yoga (so far) – the hot and sweaty kind. Being a poor student hot yoga at this particular studio was a once in a while treat but I supplemented with other yoga and piyo classes at my local YMCA while lifting and beginning to embrace running. (how active young Alex was before real world stepped in …)

Well fast forward a couple of years and I’m beginning to re-embrace fitness and thought “Hey, why not try that hot yoga thing again?” – I will be feeling that decision all day tomorrow. With that being said I decided to hit up my new gym’s hot vinyasa class tonight. What a humbling class – my body was so not prepared for what happened in that room.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t regret going but I do regret thinking my body could do more than it can right now. Yogis can say it til they are blue in the face but everyone is competing in that studio. And not with themselves – with that pretzel girl on the mat next you.

I fell into that “I’m just as flexible as you.” trap and really pushed it tonight. It wasn’t pretty or graceful or maybe even proper form sometimes (bad, so bad). I felt like the newest of the newbs with shaky limbs and sweat dripping in both eyes. But at least I can’t claim the title of the one who farted – several times – in class :)

I’ll be back next week hot vinyasa class – get ready.

NROLW Stage 2 Recap

I finally finished Stage 2 at the end of last week and have some time to review my experience.

I finished Stage 1 (you can read my recap here) around mid-December and felt super successful – being able to get through this weight lifting regime while balancing my half marathon training was pretty empowering.

With Stage 2 I started off strong and motivated but that definitely fizzled out. I became a little too flexible with my workout schedule and a little too generous with my “treat meals”. Couple those with illness that took me out of the fitness game for a little over a week and I felt like Stage 2 dragggeed on.

By the time I felt well enough to finish my last two workouts I felt a little weaker (in regards to how much I was lifting and how hard I could push myself) than before I had gotten sick. That put a damper on my motivation so I just kind of phoned it in for those last couple of workouts – especially for the core work. I know it’s important and (obviously) beneficial to strengthen your core but it’s my weakest area and I can’t really get into doing the work.

With all of those obstacles (both self made and out of my control) I was still able to make progress in my measurements.

Left Calf – 14.75 in                       Waist – 32.25 in

Right Calf – 14.75 in                     Bust – 33.6 in

Left Thigh – 21.3 in                      Right Bicep – 10.75 in

Right Thigh – 21.25 in                  Left Bicep – 10.7 in

Hips – 39.4 in

Here is my progress in pictures at the end of Stage 2

There’s some change between Stage 1 pictures and these recent pictures …  kind of … maybe

The number on the scale has also sort of – kind of changed – but I don’t put too much stock in what the scale says. I understand that there are so many outside factors that can cause my weight to fluctuate on a daily basis (hello PMS and water bloat) not to mention that muscle is a bit heavier than fat. But there is still that allure to be at or below a certain number …

With Stage 3 I have the added element of a job to balance along with half marathon training – but I’m totally excited to see how this next Stage furthers my fitness :)

Any tips for keeping the fitness morale and motivation up after coming back fr oman illness or injury?

New Kid in the Office

Well hello there blogosphere

Hopefully everyone enjoyed their weekend with or without the Super Bowl – but how could you pass up the chance to eat, drink, and laugh at crazy commercials or geriatrics trying to dance (Madonna looked cray)

(that was hands down my favorite commercial from last night)

I took a few days to basically unplug, try to combat this weird lingering cough, and get ready for my first day on the job :) I always feel so nervous meeting new people in the work environment – it’s kind of like I’m invading their space .. (just me? ok) I’m thinking this is going to be a great challenge – not my typical workplace but I’m excited to tackle this new adventure.

No awesome training runs to speak of for last week. I just can’t seem to shake this congestion :( But I did finally finish Stage 2 of NROLW – recap post coming later this week.

I’m excited to say that clena eating has been on track – not too much beer, pizza, or wings were consumed last night. I even had time to pack up an awesome lunch with plenty of snacks this morning to make sure I was fueled well for the day. Not that sitting at a desk requires that much fuel… (no rushing around the kitchen or lifting wine cases for me)

With all of that sitting during they day – it’s time to stretch it out with some at home yoga.

How do you deal with being the new kid in a situation?

Yea That Happened

A coffee pot in the running dishwasher when I wake up means a trip to Dunkin Donuts for a small coffee and of course what is coffee without a donut? Especially a heart-shaped, vanilla cream-filled, chocolate donut. So yea that happened after breakfast this morning.

I really wasn’t thinking how that lovely donut was going to sit in my stomach as I tried on blouses at the mall. So this happened – I felt super bloated and, by the looks of it, unkempt as I was piecing together a cost effective (read: cheap) first day on the job outfit for my new jay oh bee starting on Monday.

Only these cool girl blouses from the Gap (definitely not the pants – cropped pants on someone just over 5 feet is not a good look) came home with me. This is my first time working in an office 9-5 setting so I’m kind of nervous/excited for all that comes with a new adventure.

I’m used to working with knives, fire, and booze so I’ve always dressed accordingly – now I’ll actually get to be kind of girly looking :) Obviously I will run a brush through my hair, put some make up on my face, and ditch the pink socks before heading to the office this Monday.

Any first day on the job advice? Yea I’m nervous but I’m beyond ready to get to work.

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