August 14, 2011

Things I'm Loving: Yoga, Yummies, & another tiny RUN!

This morning I did NOT wake up at 4am, pin a bib to my shirt, enjoy a breakfast of chocolate gu and gatorade, and run 13.1 miles through Chicago.  Instead, I slept late, enjoyed a breakfast of yogurt, oats, and blue berries (with a brownie on the side...I am guilty of having breakfast dessert any time there are baked goods in the house...tell me I'm not the only one...), enjoyed some leisurely blog stalking, and went to a vinyasa yoga class.  A pretty great morning, but I'm not gonna lie--I was pretty bummed not to be running the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon that I'd been looking forward to for MONTHS.  Last months, when I came to terms with the fact that my body was NOT responding well to training and decided that this summer, 13.1 just wasn't going to happen for me, I felt very much at peace with the decision.  I was listening to my body and doing the right thing.  But over the past few weeks, I've been just a little bit sad that I wouldn't be racing.  Waking up to a cool, cloudy, breezy morning today made me even MORE disappointed--a cool race = a fast race.

Oh well.  There are so many other races in my future; this is just a "little deal" (as I tell the kiddos).  One thing that I love about blogging is that it helps me to consistently assume a positive attitude and look on the bright side of a bad situation.  I figure no one really wants to read my whiney rants about my class or injuries.  I think blogging is a big part of why I was able to keep a much more positive attitude about school all of last year than the previous year (that and I was just a better teacher after my first year!), as well as why I've been able to stay positive overall about the injury fest that has been my running life this year.  Sooo, that being said, instead of being bummed about the race that wasn't, let's focus on some happy things from the past few days!

First, I ran again!  (Don't you kind of love the small celebration that is each and every run after an injury??)  After a successful 2 mile run Tuesday, I decided to get up at the crack of dawn and try another tiny run Thursday morning before summer school.  I have to say, even though I'm not a fan of waking up at 5am, there is something so comfortable and nice about my early morning run routine.  Every time, it's exactly the same, no matter the length of the run.  The night before I lay pick out my clothes and lay out any gear I need.  Sometimes that's pretty involved.  This was the gear "spread" before my 10 mile run last month...
This was all the gear I needed this time...

(Note: that's a pre-run gu.  I definitely didn't need to fueling mid-run for a distance this short!)
I also change into my running clothes the night before.  This serves a few purposes: it saves 5 minutes in the morning (every minute of sleep counts!), and keeps me from backing out!  Seriously, it's just depressing to have to change out of running clothes after skipping a run.  As I got ready for the run Thursday morning, my tiredness was outweighed by my eager anticipation for the run.  Knowing my muscles are still a little screwed up, I take every run as a gift: I have no expectations, no goals.  Instead of getting nervous about how my legs will react, I commit to respect my legs and listen to my body, pushing myself only as much as I know is healthy.

I ended up making it 2.55 miles before my muscles and hip flexors decided they'd had enough!  I loved every minute.  There is something so special about early morning runs where you feel like you are one of the only people awake for miles.  I ended up running on a new trail--there's a little bike path that goes through the office park right across the street from my new apartment.  While it's not as isolated as my other trails, there are some ponds and trees and wildflowers along the way, and it was a nice little path.  I have missed these early bird runs!
On to another happy of the weekend--the YUMMIES!  Since I wasn't settling in for an 8pm pre-race bedtime, I invited College Friend over yesterday evening for an evening of pizza, funny TV, and baking.  I found a recipe on Pinterest last week for Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies and have been drooling over the picture ever since.  Last night we made them and were NOT disappointed!  I will definitely be making this recipe again (although they tasted best chilled).
Swirling the cheesecake and brownie batter...

Controlling our hunger while waiting for the brownies to bake by eating some frozen pizza...

(We were very amused by this label...seriously?  Do people really try and eat without baking??)


Yet another thing I've been loving lately is YOGA!  While I've always enjoyed yoga, I have never had a consistent yoga practice.  After a few people suggested to me to try some yoga to help loosen up my legs, especially these tight hips, I decided to try to get in the habit of attending two classes a week at the gym.  Hey, I'm paying for them as part of my membership anyways, right?  I have to say, I am in love.  The classes I've been going to are a perfect level for me--challenging but not impossible, both strengthening and relaxing.

What little things have YOU been loving lately??
What is your favorite dessert? It's so hard to pick just one, but red velvet cake is definitely at the top of my list! YUM!


  1. OO those brownies look so delish! Great job on your run! I absolutely love that you sleep in your running clothes, I have thought about it but wasnt sure I would enjoy sleeping in my sports bra :)

  2. Haha...that made me laugh..."Do not eat pizza without baking". :)

    I had baked some chocolate chip cookie bars earlier in the week and, last night, warmed one up and topped it with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. HEAVEN!!

  3. Those browines look yummy. Congrats on getting some miles in . Glad your hip flexor are alittle better. I love frosting.

  4. those brownies. omg. i need some of those right about now!!! haha. they look delicious. i am SO SO SO happy that you have been able to get in some great running lately! definitely brought a smile to my face!

  5. ooo gosh i can totally relate to this entire blog entry. i know how hard it is to watch your race pass you by and i think you did amazing things to cope with this. i like to say this just was not my race. it seems to help me anyway. and yayyy on running. i know what you mean. how amazing it is to start running post injury. those brownies look ridiculous, yes please i will take 5, ehhh maybe 7 haha

  6. Just found your blog while finding stuff for back to school. I am a teacher and a runner, too. Looking forward to reading more!

  7. I'm bummed that the half didn't work out for you, but I'm so glad you're taking care of yourself. It's wonderful that you've taken up and love yoga! I wish my yoga classes at my gym were at more convenient times.

  8. The brownies look so delicious! I wish I can pick them up from my computer monitor, hahaha! =) Those foodies are gratifying rewards for keeping a healthy and fit body. It’s like having my favorite doughnuts after a yoga session. It’s a good thing you include yoga in your fitness regimen because it conditions your body, thus improving your running skills.


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