Hello November! Time is flying; September & October flew by and I posted so little. Work has been super busy for me lately (not a bad thing), and with the long days at work, so the last thing I’ve wanted to do when I get home is get on a computer again. So here I am and I feel like I’ve given little updates as to what’s going on lately!
Most of my cardio hasn’t been crazy-intense, but I have been focusing on form and skills quite a bit. Marni’s given my a sneak peak of her Training Transition plan, and I can’t wait to buy it once it’s available. It will be perfect for the winter time. For now, I’m focused on strength and form and am doing a lot of body-weight strength exercises. I’ve been debating re-joining my old gym so I can do some group classes like TRX and Body Pump but haven’t taken the plunge yet. My at-home planks, push ups, step-ups, wall sits, etc. seem to be serving me well so I’m undecided. I’m also thinking of buying a used TRX trainer. Does anyone have one at home and recommend it? Do you use it often?
Swimming: It’s finally getting to where the outside air is cooler and the water is warmer, and I just love it; I’ve been swimming 2-3 mornings a week when I can, and I really like to get in about 2500-3000 yards. Since I’d been out of the pool most of September, I’ve been trying to do drills during most sessions. Some areas I’ve been focusing on are the push cycle of the stroke (think splashing the water back while exiting) and also my kick. I‘ve finally learned to kick from the glutes; it’ still needs a lot of work but it’s coming along.
We also had an amazing and random weekend afternoon at the lake a couple weeks back. The water temperature was perfect – just on the verge of needing a wetsuit, but not quite. I swam 2 laps around the perimeter (about 30 minutes) and then we enjoyed reading in the shade. I recently finished A House in the Sky and highly recommend it.
Cycling: I’m still riding outdoors here and there, but with a bit of cooler weather sometimes the trainer is more convenient. I have been doing a TON of single-leg drills, and they have been such a help! I didn’t realize how little I was using my glutes until I did these. This is my favorite weekday trainer ride with drills so far:
Trainer Ride with Drills
WU: 15 min EZ spin, followed by 5 x 45 sec ON/OFF FPE’s (Fast Pedal Efforts … small chain ring, cadence 100+ rpm, OFF is just EZ spin).
2 – 3 min EZ spin.
5 min of alternating 30 sec right and 30 sec left leg single leg drills
2 – 3 min EZ spin
10 min of alternating 45 sec right and 45 sec left leg – single leg drills. If your glutes get too tired, go back to 30 sec and include 30 sec both legs after each right/left sing leg.
2 – 3 min EZ spin.
5 x 45 sec ON/OFF FPE’s.
10 min EZ spin to cool down.
All in Pink for 63-miles at Tour de Pink + single leg drills on the trainer
Running: David’s been running with his Houston Fit running group most Saturdays, so often I go run at the same time at Memorial Park or around our neighborhood and do some type of long run with intervals. Or we sleep in and run together 🙂 Then we head back home for post-run pancakes, waffles or smoothies; it’s the best! We also like to do 1-2 runs together during the week, usually around our neighborhood. Lately my runs are with a lot of focus on form: trying not to let my hips drop, and using my glutes/hamstrings/calves to propel me forward. Do you see a pattern? Lots of glute strengthening going on here!
I love starting my weekends with a run!!
Food: Something about fall makes me want to make nut butters, dehydrate everything, and store granolas like I might hibernate or something. I have been making a lot of delicious granola (most recipes from Tasty Yummies blog) and am enjoying being able to give them as gifts. Plus otherwise I will eat ALL of it 🙂
And I’m fond of making my own nut butters lately since store bought just seems SO expensive. It is pretty cheap and easy to make my own cashew and almond butters. The hardest part is cleaning the food processor.
Another favorite to mention – pumpkin spice waffles courtesy of Flapjacked recipe. I bought the Flapjacked mixes so I could use them if I ever wanted quick pancakes, and the pancakes are okay, but I found the mix makes really good waffles and muffins.
And as far as savory meals going I am having an obsession with hummus and hard-boiled eggs…
Amy’s tomato soup with veggies, tempeh & crackers with hummus
Lots of big salads with hummus/eggs/beans/quinoa etc.
Our favorite version of pasta lately: Aglio-Olio (Garlic Oil Pasta) made with garlic & red pepper flakes
Work: I moved offices back downtown (but I’m still in the same position), so now David and I can carpool to work again. There is so much more energy downtown and my commute is great. My cube overlooks a pretty nice downtown view and I get the sunrise in the morning so I can’t complain. And my favorite part about being downtown getting to walk with David to the City Hall Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and yumming over the BEST kale salad + quinoa from Chef Roy’s stand. It is so good.
I also wanted to capture what I look like going too and from work. Aka “the bag lady”. It was even worse during ironman. My bags often include: purse, lunch box (not shown), laptop case, bike backpack OR swim gym bag and sometimes bike. I realize I look very silly with all my bags, but what’s an active girl / career woman to do?
And I did make my week-long trip offshore to our platform and it went really well! I have no idea why I was so nervous. I could feel the motion sometimes, but I took Dramamine ahead of time and was never seasick. It’s hard to explain, but it felt really amazing (and sort of badass) to be so far away from land and to be surrounded by blue. I saw some of the most beautiful sunrises & sunsets out there.
Life: Every year we do a pumpkin carving party (2013, 2012) and each year the competition gets fiercer. This year I was stumped on what to carve, so I found an ironman-butterfly tattoo on the internet as a symbol of my year – Betty Designs & IMTX, and I stole the win! I thought David’s Brave Little Toaster was a pretty good throwback, and our friend Rohan’s shark was the scariest.
We dressed up for a Halloween house party, but we didn’t get around to putting costumes together until the day of, so with Walmart’s help we spray painted some roasting pans green for our shells (hard to see below) and made ourselves into our favorite Ninja Turtles. Maybe next year we will do some more advanced planning.
Turtles hitting the bottle early!
We’re getting excited to go home to Hawaii for Thanksgiving. I think it will be my first Thanksgiving with my parents since high school and I can’t wait. We’ll be hopping over to Maui for a week – yay! And we are probably going to have a plant-based Thanksgiving which I am super excited about since I really don’t like turkey. Bring on the cranberry & sweet potatoes instead!
So that’s most of it; life is good and I’ve been overflowing with gratitude lately – just very happy for all the family & friends that are in my life. We’ve had a lot of opportunities lately for social events, parties, and time with family, and it makes me really happy. Apart from wishing I had just a little less work and a little more free time, things are really amazing and I like that I’m feeling strong with my training but also balanced with my personal & work life. How is your fall season going?