Hair and beauty · Healthy living

Pedicurious

I tend to have gross feet. I’m on them 40 hours a week, when I’m off work I’ve been known to cram them into cute shoes in the name of style, and I run. Let’s face it, those puppies spend most of their time sorely neglected. Not to mention, I’m typically too cheap to spring for a pedicure.

Enter Mom. She desperately needed a pedicure, too, so she booked us appointments at a swanky place near her apartment. Considering my pedis consist of walking into whichever salon is advertising a special, this was awesome.

Apparently, Mom felt like spoiling the crap out of me. Seriously, I could not have asked for a better day.

We started the day with brunch at Another Broken Egg, which was absolutely fantastic.

omelette

I got the Stan’s #1 omelet with no ham. It was shrimp and crawfish, cheddar-jack cheese and mushrooms. And from the picture of my plate above, I clearly hated it.

After brunch, we had some time to kill so we shopped ‘til we dropped. Anne Taylor LOFT was having a 40% off everything sale. Yes, please! Mom and I hit it hard, and I walked out with essentially a new spring wardrobe. I even took a risk and got some colored jeans. You’ll see pics of the clothes soon. Prepare yourselves for lots and lots of shameless mirror shots showing off my new wardrobe.

After a couple more errands, including new throw pillows at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (pics to come once I hang the new curtains I got), we made it to the Posh Spot, a local spa. And boy, did they take care of my tootsies! I didn’t take a before picture because honestly, no one needs to see that. Let’s just say that there was a half-black toenail from the half marathon involved.

And the awesome staff at Posh turned that mess into this:

pedi

I’m still trying to figure out if my pedicurist is a good witch or a bad witch.

Now, I just need spring to you know, spring so that I can show these babies off in some sandals.

How often do you treat yourself to pedicures?

Since I’m so tight on money, it’s whenever I feel like I can let $25 go. So not often at all.

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Mine used to be bacon, but it’s evolved into goat cheese and mushroom omelets.

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Dental Dash at Dawn 5k

Instead of sleeping in like normal people do on Saturdays, I got up at the crack of dawn (5 am) to run the Dental Dash 5k down in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta.

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Y’all know I included a 5:30 am selfie. And a shoe shot.

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Since I’ve been dealing with some pain in my right IT band, I promised myself I’d take it easy on this race. I wasn’t there to run fast—I was there to get an idea of where my training is for this season.

The verdict? Not so good, not so bad. I’m faster than I was this time last year, but I am definitely not where I want to be at the end of the year.

The race itself was really small (only 288 runners) and very family friendly. I saw a lot of baby strollers and dogs in the race, which gave the race a very relaxed vibe.

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The course, however, was no joke. Hills, hills, and more hills. The course had almost no flat parts; we were either going up or down the whole way. Not good for a girl with a bum hip. I ran as much of the hills as I could, and when my hip started to twinge, I walked.

Something about this particular course just felt long. It really felt like I ran a lot further than 3.1 miles, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the hills, or that there were a good number of turns. Maybe it was because this course overlapped some with the half course from 2 weeks ago and I still associate that with long. I don’t know, but I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to PR.

So I was shocked to see:

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An eleven second PR. Since I wasn’t racing hard, I wouldn’t have been surprised with slower, but honestly, I’ve done some training runs faster than this. So it was bittersweet. I get to say a new PR, but it’s definitely not the one I want to say.

One thing this race did have was SWAG.

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Why no, I will not need to buy a toothbrush for the next year.

One realization that I came to after this race is that if I want to run fast, I need to train harder. Speedwork, definitely hill work, and I’ve got to start taking my recovery seriously. Rolling out my muscles, icing, and stretching are all going to be key. I’ll post a new tentative training schedule soon.

If you hear me whining about how “I don’t wanna” feel free to ask me if “I don’t wanna” break 30 on my 5k. Seriously.

How seriously do you take your training? Do you run for fun or run to race?

For me, this has evolved. I used to run purely for fun and exercise, but now I’ve become more focused on training and racing.

Running

Holding the group up

Last night I decided to try my first ever group run. I showed up at my local Fleet Feet Sports at 6:30 ready to hit a few miles and maybe make some new friends. Let’s just say, it wasn’t what I expected.

For starters, I was the only girl who showed up. Second, it didn’t take me long to size up the situation and realize that I was by far the slowest runner there.

You know that half marathon I was proud I finished in 2:34? Yeah…one of the guys in the group finished 20th overall in that same race. In 1:20. As the three guys were stretching out, I started plotting my exit. But then I would waste a cute running outfit, and I can’t do that. And I’d already used a Nuun tablet to start hydrating. Not wasting that to not exercise.

pink shirt

nuun tri berry

Hey, whatever motivators work, right?

Plus, they’d already introduced themselves, so I’d look like a total pansy if I skipped out.

We ran an out-and-back just under 4 miles in somewhere around 40-45 minutes? I wasn’t keeping track of my pace, but they were going an easy recovery pace and I was huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf. There was also a monster climb at the turn around. I ran half of it before my hip started feeling funny, so I walked the second half.

3.82

My hip’s been a little off ever since the half—I think the slant in the ground over 13 miles got it a little out of whack. For Saturday’s 5k, I’m going to go in with no expectations, and if I walk, I walk. I will definitely be listening to my body. Lots of foam rolling and icing tonight to try to get my hip to hold up through tomorrow morning.

The guys were super nice and refused to ditch me, even though I was totally slowing up the group. Um…embarrassing. But kudos for being chivalrous, guys!

I’ve been trying to find ways to keep running fun, so I’ll probably try the 8am group run on Saturdays that I don’t have races planned. That might be a group more my speed, so I won’t have a guilty conscience about holding up the super fast guys.

On another running note, I drove by the renovations on my complex’s gym this morning. Looks like it might be cool. Now if they can just get it open in time for summer, I’ll be a happy girl. I may hate treadmill workouts, but they’re better than dying in the July/August heat.

Or is it?

Treadmill or outdoors? What kind of weather will prevent you from running outdoors?

Have you ever tried a group run or other group exercise? Why or why not?

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Weekly workout update

Well, I’m on track to do wayyyyy better with workouts this week than I have in probably 3 or 4 months. That half marathon seemed to reignite some kind of fire in me. This is a good thing.

I ended up taking two unplanned rest days on Tuesday and Wednesday due to some serious exhaustion and tummy trouble, but today I’m feeling loads better and I’m going to try my first ever group run (dun dun dun…). However, if I stick with even short workouts today-Saturday, I’ll hit 5 workouts this week. That’s a huge improvement over the 1 or 2 workouts I’ve been forcing myself to do.

Sunday night I totally didn’t want to work out, but my yoga mat was staring judgmentally at me from the floor, so I sucked it up and tried a 30 minute video from Cassey Ho at Blogilates.

yoga mat

Stop looking at me with those judgey circles.

casseysshot

I wasn’t expecting to feel as much of a burn as I did. I have pretty strong abs, even if they are buried under a layer of flub, and ab workouts don’t usually give me too much of a sweat. I did Cassey’s Bangin’ Hot Body workout on YouTube, and I definitely felt it. In a rare move for me, I actually had to modify a few of the ab moves so that I could finish the set. You win, Blogilates. I’ll definitely keep incorporating Pilates into my workout routine if I feel my muscles like I did Sunday!

Monday, I packed up my workout gear to get in a lunchtime workout. We’re required to take an hour for lunch, and it generally only takes me 15-20 minutes to actually eat, so fitting in a quick run beforehand makes sense for my jam-packed work days.

lunch run

The pace was more like 10:30 because I got stuck at a few lights, but I’ll take 11 minute miles. I remember when I was excited to hold 12 minute miles, so I’m going to be grateful for this kind of improvement. And there were lots and lots of hills (the bane of my running existence). Midtown is hilly! From now on, I think I’m going to use Mondays to do hill repeats. There’s a killer hill right near my work that’s right at .25 miles long, so I think some repeats on that monster are in order. Plus, I see the personal trainers from the gym down the street using it all the time, so it must be effective, right?

The plan for the rest of the week is a group run at a local running store tonight, an upper body circuit tomorrow, and a 5k and yoga class on Saturday.

Hope everyone’s having a productive and sweaty week!

How are your workouts going this week?

Any workouts you’ve tried that surprised you with how hard they were?

Get fit · Healthy living

The best veggie burger in the world

Despite getting to bed super late Thursday night (no reason, just stayed up past midnight—I know, I’m super rebellious), I found myself awake and rarin’ to go by 7:30 Friday morning. This whole being a grown-up and having a big girl job is seriously ruining my ability to sleep in. I thought about waking up by going for a run, but my body was really been craving a good yoga sesh after Sunday.

So instead of hitting an early workout, I threw on some yoga clothes, a bunch of layers since it’s mad chilly, and took the bus down to Starbucks to get some blogging done. Two hours, a venti skinny vanilla latte and an egg and cheese sammich later, I had my posts planned out for the week, and I was ready to head to yoga.

Unfortunately, my favorite yoga studio is nowhere near convenient for me to get to anymore so I tried Peachtree Yoga Center which is only a few miles from me and is walking distance from S-bux.

PYC

PYC was good. It’s definitely not like my favorite studio, because it’s much bigger and more established, but the class size was small (probs because I took a noon class), and the instructor was pretty good. Not as hands on as my girls April and Flo down at Active Sol, but I got a good stretch on. There are a couple other studios in the area I want to try out, because I would really like to start going back to yoga classes a couple times a month. I enjoy practicing by myself, but well-led classes are what really push me out of my comfort zone and deepen my yoga practice.

After yoga, I was starving, so I walked the block from PYC to one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta, the World Peace Café. My non-vegetarian momma and I came here for brunch, and we both left very happy. World Peace only serves vegetarian food, but they do a darn good job with it.

Which brings us to the title of this post. Their veggie burger is easily the best I’ve ever had. It’s thick and meaty, and full of flavor. No bland burger here! They also have tons of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. This is an awesome place to bring anyone who has food allergies or sensitivities. And the vegan deserts are off the flippin’ chain.

world peace burger

I got the Frisco burger with Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms and a side of baked potato wedges. I’ve had a few of the burger variations here, and they have yet to disappoint me.

So if you’re in Atlanta, give World Peace a chance!

Recipe time

“Chicken” a la Vodka

I’m a sucker for pasta dishes. In a world of carbophobes, I’m a proud carb lover. I’m also a proud cheapskate. And pasta is cheap.

I was craving something beyond normal spaghetti, but not as heavy as alfredo. Then it hit me: vodka sauce! The perfect mixture of tomato sauce and creamy sauce.

I threw in some veggies for color and because, you know, veggies are good for you. Even though I don’t really eat meat (mostly pescatarian), I still haven’t gotten totally on board with no meat in my recipes. Especially when I’m cooking something delicious! So I spoiled myself a little and bought a pack of meatless chicken patties. I totally already threw away the packaging, so I can’t even remember the brand. But they were awesome. Next time I buy them, I promise to post a picture!

The meal turned out absolutely delicious, and I had sweet leftovers to take for lunch this week.

vodka chickn

“Chick’n” a la Vodka

Ingredients

  • meatless faux chicken patties, 1 per serving
  • olive oil to coat skillet
  • 1 box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 jar Classico vodka sauce
  • 1 package white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • garlic salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add chick’n patties and brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. When patties are done, set aside and cover to keep warm. (pic of chicken)
  2. Add mushrooms and zucchini to leftover oil and chick’n drippings. Saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add vodka sauce, balsamic vinegar and pepper, then simmer on low 20 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, boil pasta in a large pot until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, then transfer back to pot.
  4. Cover pasta with the vodka sauce, then stir to combine. Serve pasta mixture and set a chick’n patty on top. Serve hot.

See? Easy peasy. Because y’all know I’m not about the crazy hard recipes. Okay, that’s a total lie, but I do love my simple, healthy and delicious stuff, too! And each serving comes to less than $3 per serving. Sweet for a broke foodie.

What are some of your go-to recipes?

Are you a carbophobe or carbophile?

Get fit · Healthy living

Figuring it out (or an exercise in realism)

After not being able to walk move after Sunday’s half, I forced myself to take a few rest days from working out. Work was painful enough! Seriously, my coworkers got a huge laugh out of my old woman routine. That’s what I get for massively undertraining for a big race.

But by Thursday (my first off day of the week), I was feeling almost back to normal, so I hit an all about the abs circuit routine!

all about the abs

Lots of planking. And not the funny picture kind. The whole workout took 35 minutes and left me nice and sweaty at the end.

sweaty face

Going into summer, I definitely want to up my training regime. It’s really hard for me to get in workouts if I leave them until late in the day, but getting up early is sooooooo hard for me. Yes, I’m whining. I feel awesome when I actually get up and workout, but I know that it’s not the most realistic thing in the world for me. Most of the time, my bed acts like a black hole that sucks me in until the last possible moment.

Actually, that’s not even true. I get up plenty early to get ready for work and give myself time in the morning. But I think that makes me even more selfish with my sleep! And somehow, remembering how awesome I feel every time I do get up and work out doesn’t act as enough of a motivator. Early birds, how do you make yourself do it?

However, with the weather getting warmer and ATL heat and humidity about to kick in, I think I’m going to have to suck it up. If I’m going to be serious about training, I’ve got to make it a priority.

I’ve signed myself up for a pretty good number of races for this spring and summer, and I so want to get back on the yoga grind. Or as I call yoga, “Caroline’s Sanity Provider”. Since our gym at my apartment complex is currently undergoing renovations, lifting is out, so the current plan is running + yoga + circuit training = fit Caroline.

I’m still trying to figure out a realistic workout plan for me. Ideally, I’d like to workout 6 days a week. That might not happen, and I’d be okay with 4 or 5. But this 1-2 workouts a week thing has got to end.

www.blogspot.stoyfitness.com

After all summer will come whether I work out or not…