Friday, September 14, 2012

I Love SoCal

It's so great to be back in SoCal (that's Southern California for anyone who isn't lucky enough to have visited this amazing place).  Why do I rave about this location???  Well, I'm glad you asked:

1) Weather - it's always perfect weather here!  Okay, we get a little bit of rain here and there and sometimes it can be a bit overcast near the coast, but that makes for nicer runs!  

2) Food - as a vegetarian, this place suites me!  I used to be stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC (pretty much they live off of BBQ there) and it was not conducive to my dietary choices.  Everywhere you look here there's a vegetarian restaurant to be had (My favorite is Hill Street Cafe in Oceanside).  They also have farmers' markets EVERY DAY of the week!  

3) Fitness - everywhere I look people are outdoors doing something - surfing, walking, running, biking, hiking, and anything else you can think of!  If I'm ever lacking motivation, I just need to walk a mile down the road from my house to Pacific Coast Highway and I'm guaranteed to see at least a dozen people working out.  Additionally, there's always some kind of race going on every weekend, so you don't have to drive far for a challenge!

4) People - we have all kinds here.  Hippies, business people, surfers, tons of military, CrossFitters, triathletes, cyclists, yogis, tree huggers, gun rights activists - we've got them all!

5) Dog Beach - this might be last on my list, but it's one of the best parts about this place.  They have beaches where the primary users are DOGS!  As the proud owner of a five-year old Golden Retriever, Nessie, who loves to swim, this is a huge win.  As soon as Labor Day hits, the beaches allow the dogs to be off-leash.  She's free to roam around, swim, chase balls, and pee wherever she likes!

If you've never been here, you NEED to come!  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Afternoon Munchies

Since returning home, I've gotten back to my normal routine of working out first thing in the morning at 0600.  It's convenient because there's no traffic on the way in and the weather is still cool.  I always pack all of my snacks and lunch so I can save money.  I also eat a lot healthier if I bring food to work, rather than running to the store and grabbing whatever looks good.  

However, I have a big soon as I get home in the late afternoon I eat everything that is not nailed down!!!  Seriously, if it can't run away, I'm going to eat it (good thing our Golden Retriever, Nessie has legs!!).  

Any ideas for stopping the afternoon binges?  I try to drink a lot of water and keep myself busy, but I always wind up right back in the kitchen!  Any advice would be much appreciated!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Running Mantra

Do you ever get to that point in a run where all you can think about is how heavy your legs are, how ragged your breath is, how the sweat is dripping into your eyes, how you just don't know how you can go on?  If not, please share your secret!  If you're like me though, you get to this point.  Not during every run, not even during all of the hard ones, but occasionally your mind runs through all of the reasons you just CANNOT go on for another step.  And when I get to that point, I need something to get me through and that's when my mantra comes in handy (actually I have two).  My old faithful one is

Let Go and Let God

But very recently I came across another one in a book I'm reading that I absolutely love and it helped me through six miles and a LOT of hills this morning

I am the Lord, God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?

Do you have a mantra to get you through those tough moments when quitting seems like such a great option?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Words to Run By

Back in October of last year, we did a post called Inspiring Words with running quotes that we love.  I enjoyed doing that post, I thought it was time to bring it back!  When other people can say things in such an articulate manner, I think the best way to honor that is to quote them.

"Man imposes his own limitations, don't set any"
-Anthony Bailey

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.
-- T. Alan Armstrong

The five S's of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit;
but the greatest of these is Spirit.
--Ken Doherty

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. 
Try to be better than yourself.
--William Faulkner

Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can.
Lowell Thomas

What is your favorite motivational quote?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Goal Update - Week 1

After a week, it's time to provide an update on the goals I set last week.  Based on what's below, you might think that I would be disappointed, but I'm not!  I feel like any progress is better than none at all and I've learned not to be too critical of myself.  That just leads to discouragement for me and then I start to feel like I'll never get anywhere.  So, for all to see, here's the little bit of progress I DID make this week!

Exercise Goals
1) Run 25 miles a week - This was probably wayyyy too optimistic.  Having just returned home and after four months of barely running at all, I should have set a more achievable goal.  Additionally, Camp Leatherneck is very flat...and Camp Pendleton is NOT!  So with the lack of miles, the brutal hills, and me just trying to get back to normal life, I wound up only getting 11 miles.  But I'm okay with that!  It was 11 more miles than I got last week, so I'm happy!
2) Swim at least 3 times a week - fail on this one.  Big plans to get in at least one swim this week though ;-)
3) Bike to and from work at least once a week - Hmmm...seems to be a trend here.  Definitely didn't accomplish this one.  I did get a bike pump and will be ready to hit the road soon, I promise.
4) 10-dead hang pull-ups - Finally, one that I'm making good progress towards!  I'm doing a pull-up program called "Recon Ron" and it increases the number of pull-ups gradually each week.  I'm on week three and you do five sets a week.  This week I did 8-6-5-5-4 and I'm happy to report that I got all five sets in!

Nutrition Goals
1) One caffeinated drink per day - I did really well here.  In fact, I only had two caffeinated drinks all week.  I caved one afternoon because I had a headache and figured it might help.  
2) One carbonated beverage per week - Again - WIN!  I had one Monster (which also counted for one of my caffeinated drinks this week) on Tuesday and that was it!  
3) Keep a food journal...preferably one where I don't cheat and leave things out - I got a late start on this one, but after seeing some others Tweet about MyFitnessPal, I decided to check it out.  I have two days of logging everything I eat - without skipping anything!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Joy of Cooking

While I was deployed, one of the thing I missed most was being able to cook for myself!  Don't get me wrong, having three meals a day prepared for me in the chow hall was also nice.  All I had to do was show up and there was a buffet of choices waiting for me...the biggest issue was that the vegetarian fare was somewhat lacking.  The typical Marine wants meat to be a part of EVERYTHING!  

So now that I'm back my kitchen awaits me!  Last week I made a whole-wheat, green bean, and kidney bean salad that lasted me all week (I love to pack my lunch and save some $$$).  Today I decided to try something new - Black Bean and Chickpea Chili with Veggie Crumbles - a recipe I found on

My favorite part of cooking is actually the prepping of vegetables!  I love to lay them all out and chop away, I find it to be very relaxing.  This recipe called for an onion, two green bell peppers and five sliced carrots.  

It took me approximately 1.5 hours from start to finish.  And I had a delicious and healthy meal waiting for me for lunch!  According to the website, each serving has 147 calories, 5.3g of fat, and 16.5g carbs.  (That might be if it has ground turkey in it, which is optional.  The nutritional content might change with the veggie crumbles.)

And the final and delicious result!!!