Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Week


Monday: Run 4.05 miles (13:43 pace)

Tuesday: Bike trainer 6.35 miles (15.1 mph, 71 rpm) 

My parents were spending the night, on the way to us all heading up to Tacoma on Wednesday, so while on the bike I coached my mom through a weights workout.

Wednesday: Run 5.0 miles (13:25 pace)

Thursday: Turkey Trot 5k (34:08 - 11:00 pace) + run 1 mile (back on the course to see my sister and parents before they finished) (12:36 pace)

Friday: Run 1 mile (13:04 pace)

Saturday: Run 4.1 miles (13:53 pace) + bike trainer 5.3 miles (15.8 mph, 72 rpm)

Sunday: Run 1.35 miles (12:14 pace) + bike trainer 10.7 miles (14.2 mph, 67 rpm)

Total biking: 22.35 miles
Total running: 19.6 miles

Doing a running streak with a facebook group I'm in; the group is doing any variation of 1 mile per day - running, walking, biking, whatever you want to do, from Thanksgiving to Christmas. While I'm doing other activities that could count, I think where I could benefit most from that kind of motivation is just running, keeping up the consistency when I don't have a running goal (nor a mileage goal, since I met my 1,000 miles for the year already!), so sticking with the classic of running at least 1 mile per day.

I was planning on doing longer distances over the weekend (especially on Friday), but came down with a cold. I used the guideline that symptoms above the neck (mostly stuffy nose and a sore throat for me) means it's ok to run, and I had the energy to something, but not something super long. I'm really not that sick, but it's the sickest I've been in a couple years.

Friday, November 27, 2015

August Recipe: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

August's recipe (caught up finally in October) was from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, a cookbook by the Post Punk Kitchen team. (We also have their pie book - that's on deck for December's recipe!) 

Abe has also made some other cookies from the book, that have all been pretty good - blackstrap gingersnaps, tahini lime cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, fruity oat bars, lemon bars. 

For my foray, I went for a classic: cowboy cookies.

Cowboy Cookies

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

It's your standard cookie preparation - dry ingredients in a bowl, wet ingredients in a bowl, fold in dry ingredients. The got a little bit difficult to work with by the end of scooping out the  cookies (maybe it got too warm?), a bit sticky, but otherwise no problems.

Enjoyment: 4 out of 5

Who doesn't enjoy cookies? :) They taste just a smidge on the healthy side of the spectrum (they're not, by any means, healthy - you should see the amount of oil in the recipe - but the nuts make it feel a bit like they are), but overall quite good as anything that involves chocolate chips generally is. 

Likelihood to make again: 5 out of 5

I already have made them again! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Are You a Turkey, Tofurkey, or a Turducken?

Well of course I am!

You Are a Tofurky
You're the type of person who likes to pay it forward. You are a big believer in karma.
You have trouble partaking in the biggest Thanksgiving tradition. You feel bad for the turkey!

You are compassionate, kind, and selfless. You are a big believer in justice.
You don't push your beliefs on others. You think that differences should be celebrated.

Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NROLFW Phase 5 Recap

See also recaps of phase 1phase 2, phase 3, and phase 4. See weekly workout recaps in phase 5 here

I did the four weeks of this phase over 5 weeks - I took a one-week break in the middle between weeks 2 and 3. I started the phase two weeks after the marathon, so I was just doing easy running, whatever workouts I wanted. Not too hard to fit in two hours of weights.

Like phase 4 was a repeat (intensified) of phase 2, phase 5 was the same workouts as phase 3 (intensified). Instead of 3 sets of 6 reps, it went up to 3 to 4 sets of just 4 reps - so I really tried to use the heaviest weights I could.

Performance progress

I didn't do great on some of the bodyweight stuff - doesn't help that those are at the end of workout A, but didn't improve on planks and the body weight matrix (a series of squats and lunges). But I did move up on weights a good amount on other things! Even using 25 pound dumbbells for virtually all of workout B.

I'm still making progress on the pull-ups, although these overhand pull-ups aren't quite as strong as the underhand grip chin-ups in previous phases. But I am using my smaller resistance band, and upping the reps I can do with. Hoping by the end of the program I can do a full pull-up without any assistance.

Workout A

Workout B

Appearance progress

Over the course of 7 weeks (two weeks between phases 4 and 5, 4 weeks of phase 5 plus a week break in the middle), I've just maintained my weight at 124, but I have lost some partial inches. Same on top, but a quarter inch from my waist, half an inch from my hips, and (unless I made an error in measuring) apparently half an inch from my thighs! Not sure if that's the weights, or ballet, or what, but I'll take it! I gain more weight in my lower half when it's coming on, so it's nice to see it coming off more significantly on the bottom, as well.

Overall thoughts

I enjoy the fewer-reps sets, makes it more motivating to really max out on the weight I'm capable to using. I do not, however, enjoy, the freaking two minute rest between sets. Which, to be honest, I do not do. The amount of rest has increased over the phases, 60 seconds in phase 1 to 120 seconds now. If one really did that, you're resting for more time than you're lifting! I'm sure there's a physiological purpose for it, but mentally I just can't fathom working out like that. If there are some trade-off in benefits because of that, it's ok, I am still making progress. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

August PDX Restaurant: The Whole Bowl

August's restaurant (and our lunch after the Underground Tour) was actually a food cart, The Whole Bowl. They have multiple locations, but we went to the downtown spot, where it's part of a whole block of food carts, between 9th and 10th and Alder and Washington.


Genre: Bowls

Price: $5.50 (small), $6.00 (large)

Setting: Food cart

What we tried: The only thing they have, of course! I got the small and Abe got the large. 

The bowl is a rice/beans dish, along the lines of Cafe Yumm's main product. Though fully customizable, by default it contains rice, beans, avocado, salsa, olives, sour cream, cheddar, cilantro, and a special sauce. It's all vegetarian, and can be made vegan depending on what you leave off. 

I got mine without avocado or sour cream, because those things are gross, but kept everything else (so I supposed I cheated for purposes of this project, it wasn't fully vegan - but you can get it vegan!). Abe got everything on his.

Overall impression

It's fine. It's not really particularly unique - Cafe Yumm and plenty of other restaurants have a similar bowl, either as a primary or one of their options. The sauce is good, but also something along the same lines as other places have. But if you're looking for something at the food carts, it's certainly a healthy, tasty, and veganizable option. 

For this particular location, the food cart block doesn't have much seating, so the best bet for eating is probably what we did, going kitty-corner to O'Bryant Square. 

Would I take my parents?*: Probably not. My mom might like it, but I don't think my dad would care for it at all.

*Scale: Heck no. No. Probably not. Maybe. Eh, yeah. Yes. Definitely. 

Bonus: After lunch, since we'd taken the MAX into downtown, we realized we were walking near Blue Star Donuts, so decided to pop in to try a couple. If you're in downtown and wanting the Portland donut experience, I'd probably recommend this over Voodoo (while Voodoo donuts are very good, they're not worth the line that's at the main location 24/7 - I went there once as part of a bachelorette party, and we were in line for like an hour at 2 am; but I'd recommend over either, the NE Voodoo locations, as I think I like their donuts better but there's rarely a significant line there (from my experience and what I've heard)). 

Blue Star is a more artisan vibe, while Voodoo is a more hipster vibe, and I think that's reflected in their taste, if that makes any sense. Voodoo tastes more like junk food than a treat, which is proper, I believe, in a donut.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week of Nov 16 - 22


Monday: Swim 2,000 yards + run 2.65 miles (13:22 pace)

Tuesday: Bike trainer 11.5 miles (14.1 mph, 73 rpm) + yoga (25 min)

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday am: Bike trainer 4.25 miles (12.8 mph, 59 rpm)
Thursday pm: Ballet class (75 min)

Friday am: Run 2.25 miles (13:32 pace)
Friday pm: Swim 1,500 yards

Saturday: NMA group run 2.85 miles (11:43 pace) + bike trainer 22.5 miles (14.8 mph, 79 rpm)

Sunday: Yoga class (90 min) + hike 2.7 miles 

Total swimming: 3,500 yards
Total biking: 38.5 miles
Total running: 7.75 miles

A week off in between phases of New Rules; will get back into weights with the next phase this week (phase 6 out of 7! almost done!). 

This weekend was cold but clear and beautiful, so I made sure to get some time outside to enjoy it, before it starts raining nonstop.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Five: Favorite Cool Weather Drinks

Linking up today with MarCynthia, and Courtney for Friday Five. Today's theme is favorite cool weather drinks. While I tend to skip the non-running related link up topics (I can think of plenty of off-topic, rambling thoughts to force invite you to read on my own), this one sounded fun to join in, primarily because it's a chance to share my mom's spiced cider recipe. 

1. Hot chocolate. Probably one of the most obvious! Lately on rainy afternoons at work, going to the kitchen and putting together a mug of hot chocolate (we have some packets of powdered mix in with the tea supply) has been a lovely pick me up.

2. Hard cider. Not a warm-up kind of drink, and sure you can get it year-round. But it tastes better in the fall! I love the Cider Boys combo ciders (e.g., strawberry apple).

3. Lemon tea. It reminds me of visiting my great-aunt after holiday get-togethers like Thanksgiving and Christmas. She'd have home baked goodies and tea, and my family would meet up with her for breakfast.

4. Peppermint hot chocolate. There are only a couple things I get at Starbucks - double chocolate chip frappuccinos (which I fully acknowledge are basically a milkshake), and the peppermint hot chocolate when it's in season. It's delicious and tastes like Christmas!

5. My mom's hot spiced cider. It's fairly basic, but she's made it for parties and holidays for as long as I can remember, and I love it!

Mom's Spiced Cider

2 quarts apple cider or juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves (can put in a teaball for easy removal before serving)
dash of nutmeg
dash of ginger
dash of cinnamon (optional)
orange slices (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot or large pot. Heat on low heat for a few hours.
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