Listen to Your Body

Hello! Things have been pretty quiet in the Moellering household this week.

After I completed jury duty on Monday, I worked from home for the rest of the day. It was nice to be able to relax on the couch while I answered emails and finished up a few projects. While I was working, Cooper spent his time grilling me from the other couch. Sometimes when he really wants to go for a walk he just sits and stares at you with this pathetic look on his face. I guess he didn’t understand what we were doing inside when the weather was so nice outside.

Cooper on the couch 4.7

After awhile he started grumbling and barking at his leash, so I gave in and took him for a walk. Cooper and I had a fantastic time walking along the ocean and checking out the beach scene, which was pretty packed for a Monday afternoon. It felt good to be walking outside and getting some fresh air and sun, especially since I had spent the majority of the day sitting in the jury lounge and courtroom.

cooper walking 4.7

Ever since my 9.5 mile run on Saturday my left hip has been bothering me a little bit. During my run I felt fine, but I noticed afterwards that my left leg/hip was pretty tight and felt a little sore.

In order to give me legs a break this week, I did a strength training workout that focused on upper body on Monday and I didn’t exercise at all on Tuesday. I was feeling pretty good on Wednesday and I had little to no pain in my left leg/hip area, so I decided to go for a short run.

As soon as I started running my left leg/hip immediately started to bother me. I should have stopped running, but I was an idiot and didn’t. I figured that if I slowed my pace down and stopped at the halfway point to stretch that I would be okay. I was wrong. My run was a complete disaster. My iPod shuffle ran out of batteries, my body never loosened up, and I was super hot because I was wearing too many layers. Like I said it was a complete disaster.

I should have listened to my body and stopped running. However, I am a fairly competitive person and I hate when I have to bail out of a run or workout. I always think I can push through the discomfort and pain, but sometimes I shouldn’t and by moving forward with the workout I end up doing more harm than good.

I think the hills combined with the increased mileage has finally started to catch up with me a little bit.  In fact, I think the training for the half marathon is starting to get to all of us. Both Ray and Matt have been having some knee pain and Ray has also been dealing with plantar fasciitis.

I love this photo. Notice that Ray is icing his foot, playing with Cooper, and trying to find something to watch on TV all at the same time.

ray multi tasking

I am pretty sure that the culprit behind my leg/hip pain is a strained IT band, so yesterday I went to the gym to do some stretching and foam rolling. I am hoping that if I take it easy through this weekend and I continue to stretch, ice my leg/hip, and take Advil that my legs will be as good as new and I will be back to running next week.

 

 

 

 

You are not a dog

Some Mondays I dread more than others. It is always hard to get back into the work week after a fun weekend, but I was particularly not looking forward to today because I had been summoned for jury duty. Until today I have never had to report for jury duty, but from what I gathered by talking to those who had, it didn’t sound like a fun experience. I was at the Hall of Justice bright and early this morning armed with two books and my computer to help keep me busy and entertained while I waited to see if I would be selected for a jury.

While I was serving my jury duty, I spent some time searching for a quote to use for this weeks Monday Motivation and during my search I stumbled upon this quote:

Dont reward yourself with food quote

I started laughing as soon as I saw it because I do this all of the time.

Run 6 miles and enjoy a huge plate of french toast from Cody’s La Jolla (which, by the way is the best french toast I have ever had).

french toast

Go for a hike and enjoy a large ice coffee with vanilla powder from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

ice coffee

Complete a strength training workout and enjoy a bagel and cream cheese with bacon (this also happens to be my cure for hangovers).

IMG_1932

And I can go on and on. To be honest, sometimes when I have a reward in mind it helps motivate me to push through a challenging workout or is my incentive to do something active on the weekends instead of sitting on the couch. Although I think the quote is funny, it is something that I obviously don’t follow in my own life. I don’t think there is anything wrong with rewarding yourself with food as long as you are thoughtful about it. The key is to find a balance and strategy that works for you.

The first time I trained for a half marathon I used food as my rewards for completing runs a little too often, which I think was the culprit for why I gained a few pounds while I trained. This time around I am still using food as rewards during my training for the La Jolla Half Marathon, but only for completing  long runs and I am incorporating other types of rewards in as well.

Like getting a pedicure.

pedicure photo

Or treating myself to a Stitch Fix…check out my cute leggings from a recent fix.leggings

 

Sometimes my reward for working out hard or challenging myself is just knowing that I pushed myself and I made it through. Last Saturday Ray and I ran 9.5 miles and I completed it in one hour and thirty minutes, which is an awesome pace for me. We ran the middle part of the La Jolla Half Marathon course, which included the Torrey Pines Monster Hill (~1 mile at a constant 10% grade – and this is just one of the hills featured in the La Jolla Half Marathon).

This is a picture of the start of the Monster.

Torrey Pines Hill

When I finished I couldn’t help but think about how far we had actually run and how far I have come since we first started training. Just the idea of running up the Torrey Pines Monster Hill made me nervous and was enough of a reason for me not to do the race.  With a little time and work I have started to tame the Monster and I am feeling confident that I will be able to run the entire half marathon at my desired pace.

warm up quote

Previous Monday Motivation Quotes:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Start the Week off Right

I can’t believe January is almost over. It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating the start of a new year. Time really does go by quick.

This past weekend my Dad came into town for a visit. The weather was awesome on Saturday and we were able to sneak in some beach time. Ray, my Dad, and I ventured to Blacks Beach with some of our friends. Blacks is famous for two main reasons –  its surf break and it is a nude beach. Not that I have anything against nudity, but I am happy to report that the other beachgoers on Saturday were not taking advantage of being able to be in the nude. It was a bit of a trek down to the beach, but the hassle of getting there was totally worth it. I can’t believe Ray and I have been living in San Diego for 3 years and last weekend was the first time we went to Blacks.

blacks 1

It was cool to see the blimp that was covering the golf tournament at Torrey Pines circling above us.

blacks 1.2

We spent a few hours hanging out on the beach watching the big waves and the surfers. There was also a game of horseshoes played, but I didn’t partake because I was busy taking a nap 🙂

blacks  2

blacks 3

On Sunday, we all thought it would be a good idea to move around a little bit so we went for a short hike/walk in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

hike torrey

After our hike, we decided to try a new place for lunch and ventured to Bull Tacos in Cardiff before taking my Dad to the airport. The food was good and very tasty, but the view was awesome. I think I could have easily stayed out there all afternoon enjoying the view and snacking on chips and guacamole.

cardiff bull tacos view

Since my weekend was full of lots of indulgences, I made an extra effort on Monday to get my week off to a good start. For me eating a nutritious breakfast on Monday morning is a great way to help me get back into my normal eating habits. I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping over the weekend so I ran to Green Acres, a cafe by my work, to pick something up.  Even though I was eating out I made sure to pick something that was on the healthier side and decided to get an acai bowl.  The fruit, acai, greek yogurt and granola were very tasty and totally hit the spot. It felt good to eat something fresh and light.

breakfast bowl

My workouts lately have not included much cardio so I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate some into my workouts this week.  On Sunday night, I spent some time looking for cardio based workouts and stumbled upon a few treadmill routines from WedMD and Self.

Check them out:

http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2013/10/ten-boredom-busting-treadmill-workouts

http://beta.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/5-treadmill-workouts-in-an-hour-or-less

All of the workouts look awesome and seem like great ways to beat treadmill boredom while burning some serious calories.

For my workout on Monday I used the Gauntlet Workout from Self  as my inspiration.

Self Gauntlet-Treadmill-Workout

I made some modifications to the workout because I am not a fan of kettlebell swings and I wanted to perform more of a variety of strength training moves. Here is what I came up with:

Warm up run at a comfortable pace for 6 minutes 

Complete 3 rounds of Set 1 and then complete 3 rounds of Set 2.

Set 1

Set 2

Cool down – run at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.

I made a cheat sheet for myself so I would remember what I was supposed to be doing and for how long since there are so many different parts to the workout.  I also setup a mat and dumbbells as close to my treadmill as I could in order to make running back and forth between the two easier.

cardio blast routine

I worked up quite a sweat. My arms felt like jello from performing the arm exercises, which made them feel extra heavy while I was running. A workout routine like this one would be hard to do in a crowded gym or if the treadmills are not located close to an area you could do the strength training moves. It was also a little annoying have to restart the treadmill so many times. Next time I would increase the interval time on the treadmill and limit the number of times I performed strength training moves.

Overall, I enjoyed the workout and I am glad I tried it. The workout was challenging and kept me from getting bored. Plus it felt extra good to sweat and workout after a weekend filled with lots of eating out and rich food.

What are some of your favorite ways to start the week off right after a weekend filled with indulgences?

First Run of 2014

Over the holidays, Ray’s brother was talking about running his first half marathon and asked if Ray and I would be interested in running it with him. Ray and I ran the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in 2011, but since then we have only done a few 5ks and 10ks and our running has been pretty sporadic. With all of the running talk over the holidays and the wonderful weather we have been having in San Diego, I thought it was time to grab my running shoes and go for my first run of 2014.

running shoes

I have not been running since I completed the Father Joe’s 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (which by the way was a ton of fun), so I thought it would be best to ease myself back into running and not push myself too hard.  I decided to run from Windansea Beach to La Jolla Cove, which is about 3.5 miles.

windansea run LA Jolla Cove

I love running this route because you spend the majority of the time along the ocean, which provides you with amazing views and great people watching. I always find that the views and people watching are excellent distractions and really helps the miles fly by. The route is mostly flat, but does have a few hills!

windansea la jolla cove run 1

While I was running to La Jolla Cove the other day I couldn’t help but think about the first time I ran the route.  It was the first run I did in San Diego after Ray and I moved from Boston and oh boy did it kick my ass.  Ray discovered the route and one weekend he dragged me along with him. I struggled through the whole run especially on the hills and had to walk multiple times. By the time I finished the run, I was red, hot, dripping with sweat, and almost completely out of breath. I swore I would never run that route again! After I recovered from the run, I was mad that I had let the route get the best of me and made it a goal to run the whole thing. I couldn’t let the hills get the best of me! It took some time, but eventually I worked up the strength and stamina to complete the run without stopping.

It is funny that three years later that route is my all-time favorite run and I am able to complete it easily. I actually look forward to the hills now! After my run, I was a little hungry so I threw together a post run smoothie to hold me over until dinner.

In the mix was:

– 1 serving of chocolate protein powder

– Half a banana

– 3/4 tablespoon of peanut butter

– Approximately 1 cup of almond milk

– Ice

smoothie

I will admit it isn’t the prettiest looking smoothie, but is was super tasty and hit the spot!

Did you know that if you workout at a moderate to high intensity level a post workout snack can help you replenish your muscle’s glycogen (sugar or energy) storage and repair muscle tissue? According to Ace Fitness, your post workout snack should be consumed within 30 minutes of your workout and include easily digestible carbohydrates and protein. The American Dietetic Association recommends that your post workout snack include 1-1.5 grams carbohydrates and 10-20 grams of lean protein per kilogram of your body weight. I didn’t strictly follow these guidelines when I made my post workout smoothie, but my smoothie did have a good mix of carbohydrates and protein and wasn’t too high in calories.

Even though the Windansea Beach to La Jolla Cove run isn’t as challenging as it once was for me it still gave my knees quite a workout because they were sore afterwards.  If I am going to run a half marathon this year I need to keep my knees in good shape, so I iced them for 30 minutes.

knees with ice

At first Cooper kept trying to still the ice pack from me, but he lost interest quickly and passed out next to me.

cooper asleep on bed

While I was icing my knees I picked up an old version of Health magazine and noticed an interesting article on Walking vs. Running that I must have missed on my first read through. I was surprised to know that with some extra time you can achieve the same calorie burn from walking as you do from running.

walk vs run

Later today I am going to my first Pilates Reformer class. I will let you know how it is.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!

A Run on the Treadmill and Date Night

I have been slacking on my running lately for the Pile on the Miles Challenge. This past week my goal was to run 8 miles and before Saturday I hadn’t been running once. Now that it is getting darker earlier by the time I leave work it is pitch dark outside, which caused me to lose all motivation to go to the gym and run last week.

On Saturday, I had some errands to do which were right by my gym so I decided to pop in and get a 30 minute run in. The last few times I went running outside my knees bothered me a little during the run and were pretty sore afterwards. I thought it might be good idea to run on the treadmill and give my knees a little break.

For my warm up, I walked on the treadmill for about 5 minutes at a leisurely pace and then stretched my legs and hips since my body was still feeling a little stiff. I started my run at a nice and easy pace and as my body continued to warm and loosen up I increased my pace. I ended up having a great run and my knees didn’t bother me at all.  I ran 3.2 miles in 28 minutes and 36 seconds.

After my run, I was a hot sweaty mess and my cheeks were pretty pink…they were almost  the same color as my shirt!post run

Historically, my cheeks always get really red/pink when I am running and stay that way for a long after my run is finished.  Usually, I  get pretty bored on the treadmill and a 30 minute run feels like it takes forever, but on Saturday the time flew by. I downloaded some new music before I went to the gym on Saturday, which must have helped keep me going. I rocked out to Burn by Ellie Goulding and a bunch of Lana Del Rey’s songs that were remixed.

If you are new to running or get bored easily on the treadmill like I do you should try varying your pace throughout your run so you are running and walking/jogging for timed intervals. For instance run at quick pace for 4 minutes and then jog or walk at a slower pace for 2 minutes.  When I started getting into running this workout helped me build my stamina and now that I am a more experienced runner it has helped me run faster.  I also find when I do a 30 minute run on the treadmill if I break up the run into timed intervals and mix up the paces it helps the time fly by because I focus on how much time is left in the interval rather than the total time left in my workout.

After my workout, I headed home to clean the house and get ready for my date night with Ray. However, the weather was too nice to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning the house so I decided to grab Cooper and take him for a walk.  Walking with Cooper was a great way to cool down after my run and Cooper had a good time watching the people at the beach and looking for squirrels. Windansea 11.9

Cooper Walk  It was pretty warm outside and on the way home Cooper got hot and decided to plop down on someone’s lawn. It took me forever to get him to start walking again. Cooper Walk 2

After our walk, Cooper took a nap and I managed to quickly clean the house before I jumped in the shower and got ready for date night. My mom sent Ray and I a gift card to George’s Ocean Terrace for our 1 year wedding anniversary. Ray took me George’s Ocean Terrace for dinner after he proposed to celebrate.  The drinks are great, the food is tasty, and the view is amazing.  The terrace overlooks La Jolla Cove and gives you a great view of the coastline.  Check out the view…it really is a cool place to have lunch or dinner. Cove viewWhenever we go to George’s Ocean Terrace I always have a lemondrop martini (okay maybe two) and Ray and I always get the mussels for our appetizer and the sticky toffee pudding cake for dessert.Dinner Out

As usual the food and the drinks were awesome last night and we had a great time at dinner. We haven’t been on a date night in a while so it was fun to dress up and have a long, leisurely dinner.

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Last weekend Ray and I were in Northern California for a family event and to celebrate our friend’s 30th birthday. It was great to be able to hang out and catch up with our family and friends, especially over lots of great food and drinks!  The weekend was over in a blink of an eye (time really does fly when you are having fun) and before I knew it we were heading back to San Diego. Ray and I got back late Sunday night and on Monday I woke up feeling stiff, sore and bloated (not a great way to start the week). I wasn’t surprised though. Travel can sometimes take a lot out of me – lugging luggage around, sitting in the plane, driving long distances, and not getting enough sleep. Not to mention that my diet over the weekend had consisted of bagels, hamburgers, pizza, and seafood (did I mention Moscow Mules and beer). 

When lunchtime rolled around on Monday, I decided to run to Whole Foods and make myself a salad. I am not sure I consumed one vegetable over the previous few days and I was in need of a healthy lunch full of veggies. My salad included sunflower seeds, carrots, red cabbage, almonds, sesame sticks, cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini, red quinoa, cheese, kale and romaine lettuce.

photo salad

It totally hit the spot!

Sometimes I find that salads don’t always satisfy my appetite and my stomach is grumbling a few hours later. I have found that  by adding a mixture of nuts and quinoa the added protein and fiber makes my salad heartier and keeps me fuller longer. If you have never tried adding quinoa to your salads, I would definitely recommend it.  Quinoa has a lot of great nutritional value and is low in fat and high in protein. According to About.Com, 1 cup of quinoa has about 222 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 15% of your recommended fiber.

After work, I came home to find Ray working on his computer and Cooper sleeping next to him.  The exhaustion from traveling, lack of sleep, and a full day of work had finally caught up to us and neither Ray nor I felt like doing much. However, I knew we would both feel better if we went for a run and got outside for a little bit.  Plus I had downloaded a bunch of new music to my iPod shuffle that I wanted to listen to. New tunes always makes me excited for a run.

IMG_1195

Ray, Cooper and I went for a thirty-minute run by the ocean and when we were done we were both glad we had gone.  The run worked up a great sweat and helped loosen up my stiff and sore muscles.  The run also did a number on Cooper because he barely made it inside the house before plopping down for a nap.

cooper after run 2

After a weekend full of indulgences and fun, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of your normal routine. Fitting in a workout early in the week helps motivate and inspire me to get back into my healthy eating habits and normal workout schedule. Sometimes the days you don’t want to exercise the most are the days you end up having the best workouts.  I think it is because you feel extra good about yourself for working out instead of giving into the laziness and skipping it.