Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pre-Yoga Post

Sweat Hard - Think Sharp

I'm not entirely sure which is the appropriate heading for a post about yoga, since I will be doing the non-hot sort of yoga tomorrow.  And while said yoga type is still a challenge...I do not anticipate it causing me to sweat hard...or at all.  And in a way, yoga is about thinking.  Or not thinking?  I feel that Gilbert and Sullivan probably wrote a campy musical number on the subject in one of their operettas.

I have nothing to say yet, except that I like yoga, but usually just practice at home when I can.  So I am excited to go tomorrow.

And I had to have a Pre-Yoga Post so that I can have a follow-up Post-Yoga Post.  Pathetic, I know. 

Me and my mat...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crappy Run

Sweat Hard

So...yesterday I had a 75+ minute run scheduled.  Usually I have been doing my training runs around noon or later in the day, but for some reason I decided to get it out of the way first thing Monday morning.

This might have been a fine idea...except for the fact that I have been rather sick this week.  Which kept me from eating much dinner at all on Sunday...and kept me from eating much breakfast at all on Monday.  And the bottom line is that I used up in about 15 minutes all the calories I'd consumed in the previous 12 hours.

With about 3 walking breaks and 1 break to run to my car for some kind of food, I managed to limp through 55 minutes on the treadmill.  After that, I managed not to faint in the locker room or at work.  Which I suppose is an accomplishment?

Conclusions (from my own experience...please check with your doctor, personal trainer, life coach, whatever):
  • It is better to take walk breaks earlier when they can do you some good
  • It is better to postphone your run and have to switch around your day's schedule than to run on a virtually empty stomach
  • It is better SOMETIMES to run when sick (with a cold, perhaps), but sometime it is better to not run (in my case of a weird flu/chills/exhaustion thing, I could only work 5 hours before going home to sleep the rest of the day)
Wishing you wisdom in all you do...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Running Shoes!

Sweat Hard

Check out Fitness magazine online for their recommended running shoes this spring!

Also...happy birthday to my hubby Jared.  You are an amazing man and you inspire me every day.  Glad God put you in my life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God is Good

Think Sharp

No time for a super long post today, the last couple of days, God has been teaching me a lot about Himself.  One thing that just blows my mind is how God/the Holy Spirit comforts us.  And by that, I don't just mean when life is rough or when we have been hurt (although that is a truly wonderful gift as well).  I mean that God would have the compassion not only to forgive us our sins if we trust Jesus as our Savior, but that He would also comfort us in the times when we are broken by our own sin against Him.

I saw this a lot as a child, with my parents always giving us a huge hug after disciplining us and letting us know that they loved us and wanted good for us...and I see it now in my marriage, the way my husband forgives and then comforts me when I have sinned against him.

What a truly amazing God we serve - He totally shatters the myth that God is a mean grandpa trying to ruin everyone's fun and the devil is the cool uncle who will let you do what you want.  If you follow selfishness and sin and Satan, you will find pride, despair, devasatation and ultimately, death.  If you follow Jesus, you will find freedom, grace, joy, and ultimately, eternal life with God.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pizza Is Good For You...and So Are the Psalms

Eat Well

...and not just in an emotional way.  Below you'll get a glimpse of one of our recent creations.  Every so often we have time to go completely from scratch, but in everyday real life, we start with a thin crust frozen pizza (Freschetta and California Pizza Kitchen are both good choices) and work up from there. 

This pizza started life as a thin crust, pepperoni-type offering from CPK.  Jared is adding spinach.  (I told you we put it on everything!)

Notice the kalmata olives, if you will

Add horseradish cheese for flavor + added calorie burn


And for one more idea, take the CPK bbq chicken thin crust pizza, add spinach, red spicy peppers, unsalted pistachios, green bell peppers (cheaper than the red, orange, and yellow variety...probably cause they aren't as fun), and, of course, spinach:

One big perk of adding all the veggies (beside the obvious nutrient-packed punch) is that one slice of this pizza fills me up, whereas I can eat two of the frozen pizza with no added toppings.  This means I'm not overeating, and I can take leftovers to work!

Think Sharp

Reading Psalm 41 this verse 9 prophetic regarding Jesus and Judas Iscariot? "Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me."  Not sure...interesting thought, though.

I love how honest the psalmist(s) always are.  It's a really good reminder that there's no use trying to fake anything before God.  He already knows what's going on and how you feel about it.  So stop wasting time and be straight up when you talk to Him.  He's a good God.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Keen-wuah - Protein of Grainy Proportions

Eat Well

We frequently try to add something new and different to our diet...and one of our recent additions is quinoa.  It's kind of an odd little grain - tiny little round balls with the flavor of styrofoam.  But really not bad if mixed into other things.  Jared made this for us a short while ago, adding shrimp (for added protein), honey (for flavor), coconut (for texture), and mango (no reason necessary).  Pretty delicious, if you ask me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Sweat Hard

Coming around the bend, first of his leg!

The cool medal...

...and the new bike!

Event shirt for 2011

Not sure of the final points and everything, but he's all done.  Way to go, Jared!

Rain Man Tri, Leg 3: RUN

AHHH!!!!  Final leg!  Finishing up on the bike and heading out to the only outdoor section of the competition. 

Sprint distance tri, so he'll be coming around to the finish line very soon...keep it up, Dearling!

Rain Man Tri, Leg 2: BIKE

Transition time after 15 minutes of acting like a fish...

He's the blurry one leaping out of the pool...

He looks like he's already making up ground from the swim - come on, Baby!!!

Rain Man Tri, Leg 1: SWIM Continued

Sweat Hard - Eat Well

And here he goes, into the water!  Pretty exciting (and I'm so glad it's not me - I'm a horrible swimmer).  He's had a cold this week so breathing in the water is tough.  Here's some of the action...

Jared is 3rd from the bottom, next to Yellow Swim Cap
And here is my post-run/tri watching snack...the trail mix I packed before we ran out the door; walnuts, craisins, and Annie's cheddar bunnies.  YUM.

Rain Man Tri, Leg 1: SWIM

Sweat Hard

Here I am, having just finished my recovery run of the week...but this entry is not about my sweat.  I am getting ready to cheer on the hubby for his first triathlon EVER!  Here he is, ready for the indoor swim:

Friday, March 18, 2011

C is for Cold

Eat Well

My poor husband has come down with some combination of sore throat, runny nose, and exhaustion...typically referred to as the common cold.

While we like to share most things in life, I would rather not have us both sick at once.  So I have been eating vitamin C...and you know what I learned this year?  Bell peppers have WAY more vitamin C than oranges.  I had an orange and half an orange bell pepper yesterday...the orange was not a very good one.  The bell pepper was delicious. 

I also learned this year that vitamin C helps your body to better absorb iron.  (Or is it the other way around?)  So I had my bell bepper slices along with my chicken/swiss/spinach sandwich. 

Now I am fully fortified.  Be afraid, little germs.  Be very afraid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cutest Necklace EVER

Dress Cute

Recently, one of my favorite bloggers (kendi everyday) posted about a contest where if you voted on your favorite piece of jewelry at Silver Lining Decor , you could win a lovely vintage-inspired necklace.  Well, I asked my husband for his opinion (the man has great taste), and he told me, "If you really like one of them, you should just buy it."  Good guy, that one. 

I already knew which one I wanted...the hard part was waiting even a couple of days for it to be shipped to my little mailbox!  Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long...and the adorable packaging made the whole experience thoroughly delightful.

And so, here it is: quite likely the cutest necklace I have ever owned:

Perfect length - not too long!

Don't hesitate to check out  Silver Lining Decor on Etsy for more darling vintage jewelry.  I am more a necklace gal myself, but there are some very cute earrings that make me seriously consider converting...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why Take the Shuttle...When You Can Run?

Sweat Hard - Eat Well

Took our little car in to the shop today for a full service at Greg's Auto - definitely recommend these guys.  They did great work and stuck to the originally estimated time of completion and cost of repairs.

The shuttle dropped me off at work this morning, but since Mondays are my long-run days, I thought, "Hey, I can just run back over there to pick the car up!"  And so, I did.  Started the run indoors at the gym since my knees were complaining yesterday...grabbed some of those Clif shot blocks, and ran the rest of the time outside (in the sun) on the way to get the car.

I was really impressed with the shot blocks - can't remember which flavor we got - maybe the cranberry razzberry?  Easy to carry, quick to eat, and they give you a boost of energy without making your stomach hurt mid-run. sells a few varieties.

We're also excited about 100% cherry juice and Zico coconut water these days...the cherry juice is supposed to minimize swelling and pain in your joints, and the coconut water is really effective for hydration.

Well, happy Monday - enjoy the later light!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Breakfast

Eat Well

Not the most creative title, I know.  But posting time is running short, and I had to get these photos up before they made me drool any longer.

My darling husband let me sleep in till 7:30 (which with Team Matson is like noon), WHILE he made me eggs with cheese and spinach AND unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher.  Once I got dressed and ate the healthy half of my breakfast, he drove me to this adorable bakery we've been wanting to try: Belle Pastry.  After much deliberation, Jared got a bear claw, and I a raspberry cream cheese croissant.  YUM.

Take a gander, or better yet, take a trip there yourself!

Delectable happiness, here we come!

Being Irish has never made me more proud...


Looking forward to a baby shower this afternoon and family night this is beautiful.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Core-porate World

Eat Well - Dress Cute - Think Sharp

Apparently thus far, I prioritize sweating over what I wear, eat, or think.  Yeesh...hopefully I will be posting some yummy food pictures soon.  Lately I'm putting spinach on everything - it's cheap and comes prewashed and ready to use.  Plus, it goes with just about anything - you've gotta love all that iron!  

You can also look forward to a very belated, photo-filled update on  the 30 for 30 remix challenge.  Yup, inspired by the classy Kendi Everyday.  I'm rather ashamed to say I am already on day 9/30 without a single photo uploaded.  I mostly chose my 30 items based on what I felt like wearing the first several days, so we'll see how I make it through.  Already enjoying the learning experience, for sure.

Reading more Psalms and also listening to Emma for the thousand time.  I wish that I could say one of the more popular Jane Austen heroines like Elizabeth Bennet was my kindred spirit, but I have to admit I am Emma all the way.  I tend to think I am better than everyone else, to be convinced of something I have determined in my mind until absolutely forced to give up the delusion, and hurt and affronted when any caring friend deems it wise to correct me from my selfish or rude course of action.  Thankfully she marries Mr. K in the end, and I have Jared, so our likeness extends to at least one redeeming circumstance for us both.

Sweat Hard

Thanks to my "life coach," several months ago I determined to quit doing the same workouts week in and week out.  I now force myself to change things up once a month, at minimum.  This forces my muscles to work in different ways, making them stronger, and it keeps me from getting bored to tears.  I get inspiration and ideas from a range of websites and magazines...and this month is no different.

Try this ab workout from Health magazine - all you need is yourself and a Swiss ball. 
(Some of the exercises could probably be done almost as well swapping the ball for a regular chair.)  I must say I find the first exercise to be a little looks dumb to sit and bounce up and down for a full minute at the gym.  So I skip that part and throw in this move at the end so I still have seven different exercises total.  Do two sets if you have time, but one is definitely enough to make you sore. 

I recommend doing this workout at least 3 times per week.  It's excellent for anyone trying to tone up love handles or improve overall core strength.  Using the Swiss ball will require more concentration from your brain and greater stabilization from your core.  Plus, it's a thousand times more fun than regular situps and crunches.  What's not to love?

Only 9.5 more hours in the work week...SO looking forward to date night tonight with the hubby.  Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Takin' Care of Business...and Workin' Overtime

Sweat Hard

Yesterday was the first run of training week two.  Instead of 45 minutes stuck alone on a treadmill, I got to run outside with my fave coworker, Lica.  We made up the route as we went along...which turned out to include some barbed wire and one very killer hill.  (So far, not too sore...)

Since we are now putting in overtime, and we are overtime wimps, our new rule is that we can't talk about work outside of work.  This is supposed to keep us from whining and remind us that we have a life outside of the office.  So we talk about people and food and shopping...way more fun.  Getting outside and getting my heart rate up makes a huge impact in my energy levels and my attitude.

Running is an amazing way to beat stress, but even an hour of exercise a day is not enough to combat sitting at a desk for 8+ hours 5 days a week.  I'm happy to say that Fitness magazine has this awesome workout that you can do in your cubicle!  I throw in several of these moves throughout my day...nice way to get the blood flowing and refresh the brain.

Keep moving at the office, and GET OUT whenever you can!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Photographic Depression

One thing this blog obviously lacks (other than a more staunch avoidance of helping verbs and ellipses) is the addition of any visual images whatsoever.  While I tend towards a preference for things verbal and numerical, I have realized that almost all fun in reading a blog is lost if there are no pictures to brighten the flow of text.  (I have also realized that after three tries, I could not avoid "is" in the previous sentenct.  Believe me, I tried.)  And so, please allow the following reflection:

Sweat Hard - Think Sharp

Running and I do not get along.  I love weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, the elliptical, the stationary bike, the stair climber, resistance bands...give me any type of exercise that does not involve participation in a sport, and I am happy.  So long as I will not have to run.  Ironically, the man I married is not only the good-at-any-sport-he-tries type, he also enjoys running.  In particular, running with me.

And so I found myself faced with a challenge; one of the biblical principals of marriage centers on serving one's spouse.  I find that I prefer to do the things which, in my head count as serving my husband, but are really just things I enjoy doing anyway, like looking cute on date night or reading aloud to Jared while he drives or puts together our furniture.  I tend to find the "real" serving (in my case, waking up earlier to pack Jared's lunch, doing laundry when I would rather sit on the couch, etc.) much more like...well...serving.



A few months ago, my sweet husband informed me that he thought the two of us should run a half marathon together this year.  He had talked about running a marathon/doing a triathlon/finishing an Ironman in the past, so I thought perhaps I'd mis-heard slightly. 

Me: "You mean you want me to come and be there to cheer you on and stuff?  That sounds great!"
Him: "No, I mean I think we should run one together.  I'll probably do other ones in the future, and you wouldn't have to, but I really want our first one to be together.  I'll run with you the whole time and you can set the pace...When else in our lives will we have time to do this?"

And so, the cute, buff, blue-eyed boy talked me into the unthinkable.  I realized that this was a great (although not at all referenced in our premarital counseling) way to serve the man I love.  After searching through a myriad of dates and locations, we settled on a relatively cheap half marathon close to home.  We are all signed up, which is obviously a huge motivator, and to make training more fun, we kicked it off with a Valentine's Weekend 5k...which ended up being the most fun race I've ever run.  
Pre-race, VDay Dash 2011

 One more step on my quest to take good care of our marriage and our health...Maybe I like this running thing after all?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Runnin' On Sunshine

Sweat Hard

Yesterday was the weekly long run of my aforementioned half marathon training spreadsheet.  (If you put anything into spreadsheet form, it becomes instantly and exponentially more beautiful.)  Due to a series of happy circumstances, the run took place out of doors in the gorgeous weather instead of indoors in the sweaty gym.

It's amazing how delightfully distracting I find people-watching while running...all the jogging moms pushing strollers, all the dogs and puppies and dogs-acting-like-puppies, all the folks out getting some excercise while enjoying friends or blissful solitude.  I was scheduled for an hour long run...which in my case is roughly 6 miles if I am pushing it...which I did. 

To entertain myself if people-watching wears thin, I often count while running.  Apparently my husband does the same, and it turns out that we both count every fourth step.  Soul mates.

I followed up the run with some stretching, and this strength training routine from Runners World:,7120,s6-238-263--13823-3-1X2X3-4,00.html.  It's amazing how much fun it can be to do pushups in the grass.

Think Smart

Lately I have been reading through the Psalms in the mornings, and have been struck by the emphasis on interpreting God's actions through what is already understood of His character, rather than the other way around.  The focus is on praise, but not simply praising God for answering prayer.  Rather, God is continually praised for His goodness, faithfulness, and righteousness, and then supplicated to move in a certain way through the author's circumstance. 

I've always enjoyed the Psalms, but had not really focused much on the theology of the Psalms until I started listening to a book by C.S. Lewis: Reflections on the Psalms. His honesty is refreshing, and his style is (as always) thoroughly engaging.  Reflections makes some thought-provoking observations about justice and other themes without being overly technical.  I'd highly recommend giving it a read.

Today is a day off from training...but not from work.  A domani!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

First post on first blog...on the first day of the workweek.  Fitting?  Here goes:

This weekend, in my eyes, signaled the coming of spring.  The sunshine and relative warm weather turned a normal Saturday of errands into utter bliss.  I walked instead of driving to the bank, then toodled over to the library on foot, and sat out of doors to read a bit of one of the magazines I'd picked up.  I floated down the aisles of the grocery store (always a highlight of the week, rain or shine), where I, of course, bought 2 bouquets of gerbera daisies - one orange, and one white.  Their mission this week is to remind us that all hope is not lost as we plunge into the dismal forecast of two weeks' rain.

Eat Well

Highlights of the weekend included:
  • Mini pre-game picnic on Saturday night
  • Breakfast Sunday morning
    • Brown-sugar broiled grapefruit
    • 100% whole wheat English muffins with leftover vanilla spice butter from the hubby's recent waffle escapades
    • Egg, mozzarella, ham and spinach omlettes (putting spinach in pretty much everything these days...)
    • Coconut water mixed with 100% black cherry juice to help (in preparation for our run)
Hoping to do more grapefruit these days after reading this article in Shape:

Sweat Hard

Saturdays my core looks most forward to the weekly date with a Mat Pilates class at the local gym.  This class is, to me, an ideal workout, because I work my biggest trouble spot (abs) for almost one solid hour, without really working up a sweat and having to hose down afterwards.  Ironic, if this blog is supposedly about sweating hard...but I sweat hard for most of the other 6 days a week, and I want to be cute and not gross when I run my weekly errands.  Call me a girly wimp.  I don't care.

As before mentioned, Saturday included a good deal of walking outdoors.  Though with no real cardio-vascular benefits (since I prefer to stroll rather than power through my walks), I thoroughly enjoyed the mood-boost and the vitamin D. 

Sunday is my recovery run day on the training plan for my very first half marathon...courtesy of Fitness Magazine.  I bumped the days around since Mondays are a great day for me to run...and Tuesdays always find me struggling to squeeze in my workout.  Beautiful day for running - especially since I got to share it with the hubby. 

Finished up the weekend with some at-home yoga and stretching...aaaahhh.