Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tri Stats

Just a quick update on the event I put on for work and participated in yesterday...

The Indoor Tri went beautifully!  It had a few glitches like any event does, but we were able to troubleshoot those glitches pretty easily!  Not only was this my first time putting on this event or any event like this, this was my first time ever participating in a triathlon! Granted it was not a true triathlon, it was a good way for me to get my feet wet and get my first taste of what triathlons are like.  My feelings... I love the idea of doing triathlons!  My only problem is I SUCK at swimming!  I have never really excelled at the front stroke (not a good one to miss out on)  because when I was a kid I used to get ear infections from swimming and so I did not like putting my ears and face in the water.  On my first length I was keeping up with everyone (PS also my first time swimming competitively with others), but on the way back I was sucking air already!!  Now I should tell you I did not do an ounce of training for the swimming portion, so maybe if I trained for that leg I would have felt a little better.  But I'm not going to lie the swim portion was the longest 10 minutes of my life.  So to sum it up if I really want to do triathlons I either need to suck it up and figure out a way to get through the swim portion OR do triathlons that have an event other than swimming (ie. kayaking).  Here are my stats from the Indoor Tri...

Overall Female: 16th out of 56
Female 20-29 Age Division: 9th out of 31
Female Event Leaders: SWIM- 47th out of 55 (I wasn't kidding you!)
                                    BIKE- 12th out of 59
                                    RUN- 11th out of 57

(The number of people that participated in each event was different because some people DQ'd for some events)

Total Mileage Traveled in the 45 minutes of activity: 11.51 miles (29th out of 85 male and female)

I didn't take any pictures on my own personal camera, but there were pictures taken on the camera at work, I'll try to get some of those as soon as I can :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So Close...

Today I was SO CLOSE to receiving my new running shoes!  I purchased a pair two days ago and apparently the UPS guy came by but no one was home :(  No one home = no shoes!  They are going to try again tomorrow, but I won't be home then either!  I think I am going to leave a note for the UPS guy to leave it at the door... I think I can swing coming home for lunch tomorrow to pick them up so no one steals them.  I think they will be okay, but when I am going to be gone from 8am to 8pm tomorrow I would rather not have them sit outside my apartment door ALL day long.  A lunch break away from my desk will be a nice treat!

We are getting SO CLOSE to having everything ready for the Indoor Tri on Saturday!  For those of you who do not know I am the Special Events GA at UW-L and I put on events for the campus and for the community with the help of three great SE Sups that I supervise.  This years Indoor Tri has 103 people, a little down from last year, but what are you going to do when the University is hosting a Relay for Life the night before.  I will be sure to get some pictures to share with you guys from the event.

Since I played basketball last night and have a 6 mile run on my plate tomorrow I took it fairly easy with a 50 minute bike (moderate pace) today.  It felt sooo good to loosen up my legs from the night before.  I'm sure my legs will be thanking me for not doing my usual spin class (a little more intense then my bike ride this morning) when I get out on the road tomorrow.

Today wasn't my greatest day of eating, however, I had no time to snack so no extra calories in between my meals... which is no good for me because I LOVE my snacks.  I am one of those eat every 3-4 hours kind of girl.  How about you?  How often do you eat each day?

Breakfast- Smoothie (strawberry yogurt, blueberries, walnuts over Multi-Grain Cheerios).
I have never tried having my smoothie over cereals, but it wasn't too bad.  I think I would've liked it better without the walnuts in the smoothie mix though.

Lunch- 3 pieces of sausage pizza
I know terrible!  I LOVE pizza, it is probably one of my favorite foods!  Even though it is one of my favorites I do not eat it that often, however, when I do I cannot control myself!  Normally I do not eat out or order in at work during the week, but it was one of my co-workers birthdays and his girlfriend ordered him pizza from out of town and told him to share it with the rest of us!  Wahoo for birthdays and great girlfriends!

Dinner- 2 egg white & cheese sandwich, over night oats (1/2 c oatmeal, strawberry yogurt, & 1 Tbsp dry angel food cake mix)
This is the first time I have experimented with cake mix in my oatmeal.  The flavor it added was great!  Angel food isn't my favorite cake flavor, but it was all I had so I can only imagine how great my oatmeal would taste with Funfetti or Chocolate cake mix in it!  Warm oats with cake mix in it is my next adventure... probably tomorrow morning actually :)   Do you have any good oatmeal (warm or cold) concoctions?

That's about it folks!  I'm off to bed, hope you all have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cram, Cram, Cram

Today was a day of total chaos! All day I was rushing around!  Here was what it looked like:

6:50- Rise and Shine!
7:10- Out the door on my 5 mile run (this took longer than I expected since NO ONE clears their sidewalks... annoying!!)
8:05- Return from my run scoop up my things and get to the REC to meet my friend for lifting
8:40- Shower and get started at work on our event this weekend... Indoor Tri... work, work, work
10:30- Biomechanics class
12:00- Quick warm up my lunch... General Tso's chicken and rice (best left overs ever)!
12:15- Back to working on our event- logistics, graphics, t-shirt orders, volunteers and scoring... we were having a major crisis, because there were no records from the previous GA about how scoring was done and it's pretty complicated (we got it figured out now!)
4:30- Interpretation of Statistical Data class
5:30- Work on my take home test in Muscle Physiology that is due tomorrow... eek!
7:00- UW-L Women's Basketball game... they won and will be advancing onto the second round of play offs!
9:00- Grabbed a friend to help me dig my car out of the snow that I got stuck in this morning when I was parking... luckily the snow softened a bit so it was easy compared to when I tried this morning
9:10- Work more on my take home test

Fast forward to the future...
10:15- Intramural Basketball game
Who knows when- PASS OUT!

Whew!  Hope your day wasn't quite as hectic as mine!  What was the highlight of your day?  Mine was definitely the women's basketball game :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

VO2 Max

Human Performance Lab
In my lab today, we were testing aerobic capacity through VO2 max testing.  We used the Bruce Treadmill Test protocol, which is described below...

MPH     Grade     Time (mins)
1.7        10           0-3
2.5        12           3-6
3.4        14           6-9
4.2        16           9-12
5.0        18           12-15
5.5        20           15-18
6.0        22           18-21
6.5        24           21-24
7.0        26           27-30

In this test you try to go as far in the procedure as you can, I made it about 13 minutes into the test (5.0 mph).  There was only one person in the class who made it to the 5.5 mph level.  This test is seriously tough with the enormous grade levels (and a mask used to capture expired air).  Even if you do not have the equipment to measure VO2 Max and other measures, you should try the protocol.  Let me know how far you make it. My VO2 max was 44.7 ml/kg.  Have you ever taken a VO2 max test? 

Tuesdays are always crazy days full of classes and work for me.  So today I split my workout into three different parts.  1.) 20 minute bike ride when I woke up  2.) VO2 max test (only about 15 minutes of activity, but I worked up a little sweat)  3.) Pilates in the afternoon

Breakfast: Smoothie (yogurt, blueberries, peanut butter, clementine)
Lunch: Salad with Tuscan Italian dressing (best flavored Italian ever!), carrots, egg and cheese practice \
Snack: Strawberry fruit snacks 
Dinner: General Tso's chicken and rice, peas and cheese, cookie dough (sans eggs)

When I went to the grocery store the other weekend I picked up a bottle of General Tso's sauce!  General Tso's is my favorite Chinese entrĂ©e that I always order whenever we get Chinese food.  Today I decided to bust open the bottle!  I grilled up chicken and cooked some white rice and then poured a little sauce over the chicken and rice... Heaven in a bowl!  I'm super happy that I have left overs for lunch tomorrow!!  

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Official!

It's official!!  I just registered for my first half marathon!  The St. Clare Health Mission Half Marathon is part of the La Crosse Fitness Festival.  The Fitness Festival is a two-day celebration that gives area residents and vistors the opportunity to enjoy active and outdoor events in our gorgeous Mississippi River Valley.  The festival has races ranging from a full marathon to a 5K walk, youth events and cycling events.  The money raised from the Fitness Festival is donated to the St. Clare Health Mission, Youth Enrichment Association and Special Olympics of La Crosse.  One of my girl friends did the race last year and she said she enjoyed it, however she was disappointed that it didn't highlight the bluffs and river as much as it could have. Last year was her first time running a half marathon, so she asked if I wanted to do this race as my first half marathon too.  I jumped on the opportunity to have a friend to train with, now we're just hoping we will be able to run the majority of the race together at the same pace.

Kill the Bill Update
Last Thursday the 14 Democratic Senators fled Wisconsin to Illinois so that the vote on the budget bill would have to be postponed by law.  There are tons of articles on this event and many of the other events that have been taking place over the course of the last week.  My boyfriend and I went to Madison on Saturday to show our support to teachers like himself and millions of other government and union workers.

This ended up being an incredibly educational and eye opening experience!  This type of thing is not generally my scene, so I was really nervous at first.  I mean look at all these people...

I was not really sure what to expect when I showed up, but the protest was very peaceful.  It may have helped that any TEA Party people that were there left early when they saw they were highly outnumbered, so there was not much opposition!

Snow Business
On our way home from Madison it took what is normally a 3 hour trip, 5 hours because of the terrible snow storm!  It was reported 10 inches of snow yesterday.  We arrived back in Eau Claire at 3pm and I was hoping I would be able to drive back to La Crosse, but the snow DID NOT let up ALL DAY LONG so getting back to La Crosse yesterday was clearly out of the question.  I ended up making my trip back to La Crosse today, but it totally threw off my routine... I hate being thrown out of routine! Although I did make it back in time for my 10:30am class, I did not get my workout in today because I had to make up for lost time at work/school that I missed out on earlier in the day.  I'm ready to be done with all this snow business!

Since I spent the night in Eau Claire last night, I was not able to prepare my breakfast and lunch for today.  It was kind of nice, because I got some special treats today :)  First for breakfast I grabbed some Subway breakfast, this was my first time ever having their breakfast. The egg sandwich I got was very plain, but very satisfying!  I also grabbed some coffee, which had something go wrong with it... it tasted like burned nuts!  Yuck!

After my class and getting a little work done in the office, I proceed to go to one of the university cafeterias and order a hummus wrap.  I wish I would've had my camera on me, because it was a fabulous wrap!  Multi-grain wrap, hummus, provolone cheese, green peppers, lettuce, black olives, and avocado spread!  Even though I am not vegetarian, I love vegetarian options!!

For din din I was still hooked on my egg sandwich this morning so I made myself an English muffin with 2 egg whites, cheese and salsa on top.  On the side I had cheesy peas and lettuce topped with Zesty Italian dressing.  A little all over the menu on dinner, but all favorite foods of mine.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kill the Bill

Today's weather was a precursor to my murky mood today.
The blah weather
I think I am burning out with working full-time, going to school full-time and training for my half marathon.  I don't really have too many options to lessen my load other than cutting out my half marathon training, but if you knew me you'd know the only way I would stop working out is if I got injured (knock on wood).

This week has been a huge week for our state!  Governor Walker is proposing a bill to "fix" the budget.  There has been a lot of hullabaloo about the issue in the state.  Many of our La Crosse area schools closed (along with others throughout the state) down in protest to the bill.  There are a lot of articles and opinions out there about the issue and it has completely taken over Facebook in Wisconsin!  Being a future government employee as well as my boyfriend being a government employee (he's a teacher) this bill will affect us greatly if it is passed so we will be anxiously awaiting the results to the vote.  Stay tuned! Kill the Bill!

Smoothie (Strawberry yogurt, blueberries, coffee, mini chocolate chips)
Picante chicken noodles
Carrots & celery with hummus
Strawberry fruit snacks 

Corn dog
Hummus with pita chips

Homemade popcorn
Strawberry yogurt with Chocolate Cheerios 
Diet Brisk Iced Tea

Today was the first time in a couple weeks that I that I have been to spin class.  When I spin I use the cycling monitor to track how far I biked during the 40 minute class.  I tend to hit between 12 and 13 miles, so I know if I don't get to that point I am not getting the most out of my workout. How do you track your intensity during your workouts?  Before I started training for my half marathon I did spin twice a week religiously!  Now though, I keep my option open to do it twice a week, but I try to mix it up a little too by doing pilates or swimming to save my legs for my three running days every week.  Do any of you take a spin class?  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thanksgiving in February

Today we had our monthly all-staff meeting at work. All-staff meetings are a great time for a college student because not only do we get a free meal, but the food is always delicious! Today the meal provided was like a Thanksgiving meal.  It seemed even more so like a Thanksgiving meal because the turkey we ate was from our Turkey Trot in November that me and my crew put on.  Also on the menu were Bush's Baked Beans (originated from where my boyfriend is from!), coleslaw, potato salad, hummus and chips!  I don't know if you caught that last part, but I said hummus!  I LOVE hummus!  I have never had success making it, but I love store bought hummus as a dip for just about anything or in a sandwich.  Hummus is a treat for me because it is kind of expensive, so when I saw that hummus was on the buffet line I DUG IN!  I definitely had my fair share and then some.  Does anyone have a hummus recipe that has been successful for them?

For exercise today I did my four mile run outside!  I woke up with the best attitude ever about my run, because I knew it was going to be nice enough outside to enjoy my run.... that does not happen very often during this time of the year in Wisconsin.  Four miles flew by AND with the use of my heart rate monitor that I get to use for the semester through my Human Performance program, I was able to keep myself close to my goal pace of 9:30 the whole time!  I normally run way to fast for my running level and in turn burn out and get tired very easily.  Over the past couple workouts I have noticed that my ideal heart rate to keep me at my goal pace is between 160-180 bpm. Do you use a heart rate monitor?  What brand do you have?  On top of my run I was supposed to have an intramural basketball game, but it got cancelled due to the other team forfeiting.  When I heard this I was actually relieved because our game is at 10:15pm... WAY too late for this kid!! Last week I could not get to bed until 1:30am because my body was so alert after playing.

After finishing all my work at the office and my classes I headed to the UW-L men's basketball game, since the girls were on the road tonight.  This is one of the things that I love about doing my Masters here where I did my undergrad because I am still able to support the basketball program that I used to play for.  Both the men's and women's teams have been doing great this year!  The women have almost clenched the 2nd spot in the conference and the boys are in line to be #3 in the conference.  Woo, go Eagles!

Where did you go for undergrad/grad school?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Daily Feast on a College Budget

Today's Eats
Multi Grain Cheerios w/milk
Iced coffee

1 egg whites (hard boiled)

Wacky Mac Alfredo
Carrot slices
Celery w/PB

Ramen noodles (gotta love the college budget)

I generally try to eat a fairly healthy and balanced meal even though I am on a tight budget since I am a full time student.  Although today is not the greatest example of that, I usually have pretty balanced meals during the week.  Below I have listed my top 10 tricks that I use when "eating on a budget" or anytime really!:

1. Buy items that are on sale and use coupons.
2. Shop around the outside of the store.
3. Buy primarily produce.
4. Have 2 or 3 meals a week that are a simple pasta (cheap food) and add some veggies as a side to vamp up the health rating of the meal.
5. Buy one thing that is salty, one that is sweet and one that I just want each month... stay strong on this!
6. Grocery shop every week... since I tend to buy a lot of produce and it can go bad quickly, I buy only what I will need for the week so that I do not waste food.
7. I try to use one canned, frozen or boxed food each week because who know how long it has been in there and it is perfectly good food! If I don't force myself to incorporate it into a meal, I will just continue letting it sit  on my shelf or in my freezer.
8. Make a list and do not allow yourself to purchase more than 1 things that is not on there (you can do it!)
9. Take an inventory of your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer so you know what you have.
10. Make a general weekly meal plan before you go shopping so you know what you do and do not need that week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Loved One's Day

I hope those of you who celebrate Valentine's Day are having a wonderful time with your special someone, friends or family!

Since my boyfriend and I do not partake in this celebration of romance and love I thought I would share with you something else that we do to keep the romance in our relationship. A few months ago my sister gave me a book that her and her husband used before they got engaged to help their relationship grow.  The book is called 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged.

This book has been a great way for him and I to get to know each other even better than we already do.  Some questions we can already answer for the other, but then there are a few that we do not know how the other will answer.  We try to do one question every night before we go to bed.  On the weekends we usually get a little too busy to do one, but during the week we have a pretty good routine.  If you are looking for a way to deepen your relationship with your significant other I would recommend this book!  What special things do you do to deepen your relationship or keep the romance alive with your significant other?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The Grilled Cheese Experience was great last night in Retreat!  They are very entertaining and it makes it even more entertaining for me since I know the guys.  It has actually been a while since I have been to one of their concerts, so I haven't seen the new design for their koozies and shirts.  My buddy in the band gave me a complimentary koozie to replace the one I had brought with me... I felt like part of the club :)  Do you bring your own koozie to small town bars? I would never bring one to a nice place, but small town, low keys places I always appreciate a koozie to keep my hand warm.  The following pictures pretty much sum up the night.
Me and my boyfriend

JC and I

My new Grilled Cheese koozie

The Grilled Cheese Experiment

What are you or do you do for Valentine Day?  I have celebrated it with past boyfriends, however, Jed and I decided when we started dating that we would not celebrate it.  I actually like not celebrating more, I feel like there is a lot of pressure on both parties.  We do, however, celebrate our anniversary on the 15th which maybe that helps it be okay for me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2 Years of Bliss

This weekend my boyfriend and I are celebrating our 2 year anniversary, even though it is not until Tuesday.  Since we live an hour and a half away from each other because I am in graduate school right now, we had to celebrate early.  So far our time together has been amazing weekend!  Last night when he arrived we exchanged gifts.  He got me an alarm clock that I can hook my ipod up to, because I only use my phone and I have overslept twice in the past two weeks (grr!).  He also got me the official Packer Super Bowl Championship shirt (woo, Go Pack Go!), a really nice, huge picture frame and an apron!  I loved the gifts, they all go to show he knows me well :)  Of course we had to use the apron right away, so I put it on and we whipped up some brownies!

This afternoon I am going to make his favorite dish... chicken alfredo and garlic bread.  Then later we will be going to Retreat to watch our friends band play, The Grilled Cheese Experience.  These guys are amazingly entertaining, not to mention this is where my boyfriend and I went on our first "date" two years ago.

Implementing Race-Sim Runs

From the beginning of my half marathon training plan I told myself that I may (and probably would) have to adjust my plan according to how my body feels.  Well this doesn't have to do with how my body feels, but I really like the idea of incorporating race-sim runs into my training plan.  A race-sim run, from what I gather is similar to a tempo run, but instead of waiting until the day of the race to feel what running on lead legs feels like, you feel that during a training run :)  So I think when I get closer to my longer runs, that I am going to switch a tempo run here and there for a race-sim run.  I got this idea from Meganerd Runs and I am super interested to see what it is like!

On another note I need to get some new running shoes pretty soon for the half, any suggestions? I currently have a pair of Nikes and a pair of Adidas, I like both, but I think I prefer my Nikes. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creating My Half Marathon Training Plan

Like I said earlier, I am running a half marathon in the beginning of May.  This is my first one and as of right now I have never run in a race (I am signing up for a 5K next month though)! When I set up my training plan I considered a number of things. First, I looked around online at individuals who have a similar fitness level (or so I think) that I am at and checked out their plans.  Second, seeing that I am a former college athlete I have an appreciation for lifting weights so I knew I wanted to continue lifting during my training.  Overall when I devised my half marathon plan I took some ideas from others and added a few of my own little touches, like lifting, to my plan.  So far I am pleased with my training plan (minus the terrible cold weather that forces me to run on treadmills). I have posted my half marathon training plan on my Fitness page, check it out if you would like.  I would love to hear any comments or questions about it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Newest Purchase

Check this out!

Looks like just an ordinary bag, but it's not just some plain ol' bag... it's a purse lunch box!  I'm such a nerd for being so excited about this, but for someone who packs a lunch EVERYDAY for work, it's very exciting!  It is insulated on the inside and has a little pocket to hold silverware or other small items.  

In other news I did the treadmill wingate test today in my class, and it was exhausting!  I could not catch my breath for about 10 minutes afterwards and the sprinting part of the test only lasted 3 minutes!  Compared to the bike wingate I think the treadmill wingate was harder, but overall people seemed to feel better after the treadmill test versus in the bike test.  I was personally a bigger fan of the bike wingate, but that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I spin more than I do sprint/speed running.  If you are interested in what the protocol is for the treadmill wingate test feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment and I will get it to you.

My pilates class today kicked. my. butt.  We did a solid hour of abs and hip strengthening exercises.  The hip moves were killer since most people do not have strong hips (including myself).  I have taken both yoga and pilates over the course of this year, and I have found that I like pilates more.  To me it feels more challenging, it clears my head, stretches my muscles and leaves my body more refreshed than yoga does. Have you taken yoga and pilates?  Which one do you prefer?

Current Fitness Goal

My current fitness goal is to run a half marathon under 2 hours 10 minutes.  I have never run one in my life, in fact I have never run in a race!  Currently I am in the third week of my training plan and today is a cross training day.  Today I will be swimming, pilates and then I have to do a running wingate test for a class... yuck! For those of you who are unfamiliar with wingate tests check these two things out  It's intense!  It doesn't sound/look like it, but it is!  When my class did it, we  had 6/11 of them on the ground with their feet in the air afterwards because they were light headed.  Somehow all 11 of us made it through without puking, which is common.  I will update you later on our running wingate test.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To A New Beginning...

There is something sweet about new beginnings... Like moving, while many hate it, I like it because it means I get a new place to call home, possibly a new town to live in, and I get to decorate my apartment in a new way.  I can shape it anyway I want to without judgement and without criticism.  I get to start from scratch!  This is how I feel about my new endeavorer on Wealth is Health.  I have a new beginning to reinvent my "diet", fitness routine and commitment to a health lifestyle!