Training Recap and Body Comp Check-in

Last week kind of got away from me.  I worked a lot of hours and missed a lot of workouts, and I was stressed, so I didn’t eat as well, so I really wasn’t expecting much when I stepped on the scale for the weekly check-in.
Monday – CrossFit
Tuesday – Walked 2 miles with dogs

Wednesday –Rest 

Thursday – Rest

Friday – 4.5 mile run and then worked in the yard.  I’m totally calling that a workout.

Saturday – Nada

Sunday – 6 mile run + core work

See?  Way less activity than what I’ve been doing, but I must have been doing something right because I still went the right direction this week.

Weight – 133.9 – down 0.9 pound from last week, 2.6 pounds total
Body fat % –  26.1 – down 0.2 % from last week, 0.7% total
BMI –  22.8 – down 0.2  from last week,  0.5 total

Not as much of a loss as the first week, but with a week like that, I’ll take it!

These Things Make Me Happy

The fabulous Kate at So Cal Runner Gal recently did a post, and I absolutely loved it, so I’m stealing it!  Her post was inspired by this question that she saw on Facebook:

My list right now would be…
  • The way my hair feels, looks, and smells right after I leave the salon
  • Cool nights and sleeping with the windows open
  • Snoring dogs
  • Smiling dogs
  • Seeing muscles beginning to develop where there used to be none
  • Falling asleep to the sound of a cat purring beside my head
  • New outfits
  • Vacation days and sleeping in–just because
  • Planting flowers

  • The year’s first blooms on Lucy’s rose bush.  I planted it at her grave in our yard the day after we buried her almost 5 years ago.  The new blooms remind me that she lives on.

Food for Thought II

As I mentioned, I’m working on cooking my way through some of my cookbooks.  All of these came from Everyday Happy Herbivore.  Since I’m actively trying to get leaner, I’m sticking to Lindsay Nixon’s recipes for a while since they’re all low-fat/no-fat.  I have three of her books, but EHH is by far my favorite.

Kidney Quinoa Burgers.  They’re hands-down my favorite bean burger that I’ve ever found.  The flavor is great, and the texture is perfect.  Most bean burgers are too soft for my liking, but not these.  They were very firm and held together very well during flipping and on the bun.  

Broccoli and Red Pepper Stir Fry.  I love a good stir fry and this one was no exception.  And the picture doesn’t do it justice because it was a beautiful dish.  I used black rice (Lotus Foods heirloom forbidden rice–YUM!!!) and it was so pretty with the red and green!

Creamy Dijon Pasta.  This. Was. HORRIBLE.  I ate it but only because it kills my soul to waste food.
I just tasted again looking at this picture.  *shudder*

Cuban Black Bean Cakes.  These were a great redemption from the dijon pasta.  Sooooooo very good.  And that lime creme sauce?  I could dip ANYTHING in that shit.  It’s crazy good!  I totally cheated on the Mexican rice with this one.  It came from a box.  Shame on me!
Eggless Salad  (full recipe in link).  I totally forgot to take a photo of this one, so I’m borrowing Lindsay’s photo from happyherbivore.com.  I don’t think she’ll mind since I am essentially doing free advertising for her here.  haha  (WITHOUT giving away her recipes.  That bugs me so much when people do that!)  Anyway, this stuff was PERFECT.  I used to looooooooooooooove egg salad, and this was dead on.  I added a little more black salt than what the recipe originally called for to give it more of an eggy flavor, but DAMN it was good.  Next time I will know to make it ahead because it was even better the second day after sitting in the fridge all night.

Do you follow a plant-based diet?  Even if you don’t, do you try to include meat-free meals sometimes?  If you have a favorite low-fat plant-based recipe, please share!

Training Recap and Body Comp Check-in

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’m trying to shed a little bit of fat.  I feel like I put forth a solid effort the last few days and am off to a pretty good start!

Sunday – 6 easy miles @ 11:12
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3 easy miles @ 11:08 + CrossFit (Weightlifting:  Hanging clean + four front squats x 8.  Metcon: 10 med ball cleans + 10 burpees x 7)
Wednesday – 2 mile walk with dogs (soooooooo sore from Tuesday!)
Thursday – 30 minutes on the spin bike at moderate intensity
Friday – Rest.  Punked out of a planned 4-mile run.  Shitty day at work.  Got home late and crashed instead.
Saturday – 3 mile fartlek @ 10:37  (75 degrees feels effing hot after this winter) and 2 mile walk with dogs.
Sunday – 2 mile walk with dogs and 4 easy miles @ 11:22 (79 degrees.  Low heart rate + rising temperatures = slower paces)

And most importantly!

Weight – 134.8 – down 1.7 pounds
Body fat % –  26.3 – down 0.5 %
BMI –  23.0 – down  0.3%

Headed in the right direction!

Product Review: Bia Sport GPS

I first heard about Bia Sport during their Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago.  It sounded like an awesome alternative to my Garmin.  I didn’t come off the money to be an original backer, but I’ve been keeping my eye on the company ever since, knowing that my Garmin Forerunner 305 would eventually bite the dust and I’d be looking for a replacement.  The initial backers are now starting to receive their units.  Since it’s been so long since they initially backed the product, I guess in the meantime some people had to buy new GPS watches because I’ve seen the Bias popping up for sale.  Thanks to Kristi who pointed it out to me, I bought one on eBay for $125–half of what the backers had paid for it.  It was brand new, but the backer had in the meantime bought and fell in love with her new Garmin and didn’t need the Bia anymore.  Well, I didn’t NEED it either, but for $125 I couldn’t pass it up.  If nothing else, it’s nice to know I have a backup for the days I pick up my Garmin on my way out the door for a run only to turn it on and be greeted with the low battery warning because my dumb ass forgot to turn it off before I stuck it in the drawer.

It came in this cute little box with the watch, one strap, the Go Stick, and the USB charger for the Go Stick.



There was no instruction manual, which I found odd, but after some googling and reading posts from other users on their Facebook page, I found the answers to most things I wanted to know.

I’ve used it for a few runs now, and it definitely has its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Size and weight.  It’s smaller and lighter than what I’m using now, and I like that.
  • It’s cute!

  • The SOS feature.  When you set up your user profile, you can program in cell phone numbers that an SOS message will be texted to if you push and hold the button on the watch.  From that text, the recipient can find your location and come save your ass.  In future software updates, the emergency services notification will also be added.
  • The run data automatically uploads to your My Bia Sport account wirelessly.
  • You’re connected to GPS in NO TIME.  Seriously, like MAYBE three seconds.
Cons:
  • There’s no lap feature.  Their latest backer update says that it was supposedly pushed to all units last week, but as of today I haven’t seen any sign of it.  At the end of a run, you have your total time, total miles, and average pace displayed, but you have no splits.  That’ll be okay for me on most runs right now since I’ve shifted my focus to low heart rate for a while.  I won’t need that info when I’m just out running to be running, but I hope to see the feature added soon.

  • During the run, I like to see my average pace, but the watch only displays your cumulative time, your miles, and your current pace.  And the current pace is VERY inaccurate.  During a run, it shows everything from a 4-minute to an 18-minute mile.  If you’re using the watch to race and you’re chasing a specific pace, you’d better be damn good at math or have a pace band because there is no way you’ll be able to pace yourself using the Bia.
  • The distance measuring doesn’t seem to be consistent.  I have a tried-and-true 3-mile course.  I’ve run it no telling how many times.  Start at the corner in front of Lowe’s, one lap around the park, down the street a bit, into a cul de sac and retrace.  It’s always 3.0 by my Garmin and was even 3.0 the first time my Bia measured it.  The next time I ran it with the Bia it measured 2.91.  I did nothing different at all.  Could have just been a fluke.  I’ll know more about this the more I use it.
  • There are still some quirks with the upgrades.  They are done automatically, and when I finished my run Saturday, my watch displayed a message that said, “Get ready to upgrade.  Keep your Go Stick close by!”  A few minutes later, my watch displayed Error 34.  Their latest backer update states “On April 10th we made (another) total amateur mistake with our first over-the-air update.  About 15% of customers got the now famed “Error 34″ message while the update to their watch was installing.  Turns out the update file got a teeny tiny bit larger, but the timing window we gave for that update to install didn’t.  Good news is that this problem has zero effect on doing workouts with your Bia, but Doh!  Let’s just say, that won’t happen again.”  Well it happened to me on April 19th, so I’m not sure what to make of that.

I get that this is a fresh-off-the-ground project and there are bound to be unexpected issues crop up.  That’s a given with technology!  So I’m not terribly upset about any of these things.  They seem to be working hard to resolve the problems.  And the fact that I only gave $125 for it makes it even harder to get upset.  haha  Now if I’d given the full backer price, I might be a little less patient.  For now I have kind of “it’ll do” feeling about the Bia.  When more of the updates go live, I’ll do an updated review!

Chasing Numbers

It seems like I’m always chasing numbers of some sort.  Miles in a month, miles in a year, minutes in a mile, number of reps, numbers on a scale… well, I’ve added a new one to replace that last one.  Well, maybe not replace, but more like modify.  The numbers will still be on the scale, but just a different unit of measure.  I’m not looking at the pounds anymore.  Okay, maybe peeking, but not obsessing over.  I bought a new scale Monday.  One that shows body fat percentage and BMI.  THAT’S what I’ll be looking at from now on.

Today, right now, this minute, my starting point is 26.8 with a BMI of 23.3 (at a weight of 136.5–there, I said it.)  Depending on what chart you look at, you’ll see words like normal, ideal, or fit.  Yes, I consider myself all those things, but I want to move down one category.  Most charts seem to be calling that category the same thing:  athletic.  YES!  That’s what I want to be!  No longer do I want to be X number of pounds.  I want to be ATHLETIC.  Because an ATHLETIC person HAS to run faster than a NORMAL person, right?!?!

Tuesday Tidbits

There’s been some pretty fun things going on here lately that I just haven’t taken the time to share.  In no particular order…

  • I had the opportunity for another blogger meet-up Friday night!  Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls (who I’ve been following I think ever since I joined this community) and Erika from MCM Mama Runs (whose blog I really wasn’t that familiar with, but I’m still stoked to have met her and made a new connection!) were staying in a town about an hour from me while they were in the area knocking a few more states off of their lists.  I drove up to meet them for dinner, and I’m just sorry that we all had to get up early the next morning and didn’t have a chance to hang out longer.

Kim’s friends Trish and Sonya, Kim, Erika, and Moi
  • My niece turned 21 a couple of weeks ago, so we had a big cookout at my in-laws’ in celebration.  There was family, booze, food, and cornhole–some of my most favorite things in the whole wide world!  I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed family time, but I think my mother-in-law’s ongoing battle with cancer has made me appreciate every minute even more.
Mariah and Dar (not pictured) totally cornholing me and D)
  •  I qualified for my permit to carry concealed.  I bought my first handgun about a year ago and have been shooting it fairly regularly but I just took the class last weekend.  I filed my application with the state and had my background check and fingerprinting done this week, so now I’m just waiting on the permit to come in the mail.  I’m excited to continue taking more advanced classes!  This was just the first of many to come.
  • One of my favorite employees at work retired at the end of March.  I miss him so much already.  He shared my inappropriate sense of humor and was always good for a laugh, and it’s just not the same without him.  I’m so happy for him and his wife though.  They’re enjoying themselves immensely.  We threw him a little surprise retirement party last week.
The Springville Crew–love them all to pieces!

  • And not that this was like a majorly exciting life event or anything, but we watched The Wolf of Wall Street Saturday night, and it was SO GOOD!  Best movie I’ve seen in a while.  Super long but damn good.
What’s the last really good movie you’ve seen?  I’ve also recently watched Dallas Buyer’s Club and loved it.  And Prisoners!  I had never even heard of that one till someone suggested it.  Excellent movie!

The Ever-Evolving Running Plans

Welp, I didn’t run the Murray Half Saturday.  For several months I had it pegged as my “A” race for this year, but the plans just didn’t come together.  Things just kept interfering with my weekend long runs, and I haven’t run more than 8 miles since the Little Rock Half last month.  A couple of weeks ago I was already struggling with the decision of whether or not to even run it, and then my clerk at work asked for a vacation day, so that was the nail in the proverbial coffin.  I COULD have pulled rank on her, but it was for her in-laws 60th wedding anniversary party.  I might be a bitch, but I’m not THAT big of a bitch!  Ha!  And I COULD have had another co-worker from another office come fill in for me, but I didn’t see the point of inconveniencing anyone else when I already knew I wasn’t “A” race ready anyway.  There was nothing lost as I hadn’t even registered yet.  It’s small, so I was putting registration off until the expo just in case something like this happened.  I hate losing out on race registrations!

So!  Where does that leave me?  Right now the only thing I’m looking at this spring is MAYBE a 10K next month.  I probably won’t decide on that one until race day, or at least race week.  Tennessee weather in May is fickle as fuck.  It might be 40 degrees that morning, and it might be 80 with matching humidity and a chance of scattered tornadoes.

Since my next planned long-distance race isn’t until October (RnR St. Louis), I’m going to be using the downtime to really try to focus on overall fitness, gaining strength and losing fat to become a stronger, lighter, faster runner.  I know I’m not FAT fat, but trust me, there are a few pounds of fluff hanging around in places I’d prefer they weren’t hanging around.  My plan of attack is strength training and low heart rate running, and backing off the sugar.  Yes, that means (*gulp*) wine and beer.  Except during vacation next month.  Screw that.  I plan to get my money’s worth out of that hefty all-inclusive fee!  If I put a couple of pounds back on that week, the way I see it I paid damn good money for them, so I will wear them proudly until I can lose them again.

Do you have a training plan that you swear by for increased speed?  What is it?  Heart rate training?  Speed work?  Tell me your success story!

Food for Thought

I love food.  I love shopping for it, I love cooking it, I love eating it.  I have been reminded this week, though, that I HATE photographing it!  You people that can take pictures of food and make it look good are freaking rock stars.

So here’s the deal.  I’ve amassed quite the collection of cookbooks, plus a gazillion bookmarked recipes I want to try.  I’ve decided to try to cook my way through some of them.  These are my stories.  DONG DONG.  (Also, I may have been watching too much Law & Order SVU.)

Creamy Potato Leek Soup from Isa Does It.  Not bad, but not a repeater, unless I have leeks I need to use up.

Ancho Lentil Tacos, also from Isa Does It, with fresh guacamole.  These were VERY good!  For taco meat, I usually use the recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad because it’s super quick and super yummy, but these are a nice alternative for something a little different every now and then.  Definitely a repeater!

Last Sunday we had a big family cookout to celebrate my niece’s 21st birthday.  You don’t get more cookout friendly than burgers and tater salad, and I chose these.

Cajun Potato Salad from Everyday Happy Herbivore.  This was PERFECT once I adjusted it to my taste.  I like my shit spicy, and I found the Creamy Cajun Mustard a bit bland, but once I added some cayenne and red pepper flakes, it was juuuuuust right.  Everyone liked it!

Smoked Chickpea Burgers from vegnews.com (full recipe in link).  Yeah, that’s a burger on bread.  Don’t judge me.  All the buns got used up at the cookout.  I had leftover burgers and bread.  I used what I had and called it lunch.  These were really tasty, but the damn things fell apart very easily.  Next time I make them I need to do something to make them not as soft.

Tempeh Spaghetti & Meatballs from Isa Does It.  These meatballs were really good!  I pan-fried half of them as the chef/author suggested, and baked the others in an attempt to save some fat calories.  In my opinion, the baked ones were even better!  I took the easy way out and just used Trader Joe’s marinara sauce, and it turned out to be delicious.

Black Bean & Salsa Soup (full recipe in link) from Everyday Happy Herbivore.  YUM!  I kinda hate to think about how many times I paid $2.89 a can for Amy’s Organic black bean soup when I could have just been making this.  SO fast, SO easy, and sooooo goooooood.  Hard as hell to photograph though.  The soup was hot, and before I could get a decent photo, my Tofutti sour cream had started to sink and melt.  (First-world foodie problems.)  It was just a little bit thinner than I usually like my soups, so next time I’ll decrease the vegetable broth a tad.  I’ll be making this a LOT more I’m sure.

And there you have my first feeble attempt at food blogging.

The end.