Life lately + a workout + molasses smoothies?!

Hi friends! It’s been a bit… Let’s chat.

I’ve been on the injured bandwagon since the beginning of April… the 5th to be specific. In my last post I told you guys it’s a sprain of my left ankle – ATFL and peroneal tendon inflammation . Shortly after this post I went back to the doctors again as things weren’t necessarily getting worse but there was also zero improvement… insert x-ray number 2 which came back normal, and an MRI which showed a stress fracture in the distal fibula (lateral malleolus). When the injury initially happened I kept saying it wasn’t a stress fracture, it didn’t feel right, it hurt “too much”, it felt like the peroneal tendon was ON TOP OF the distal fibula and I blamed the tendons/ligaments (so soft tissue) rather than bone. I mean after all I’ve had stress fractures before and I know what they feel like/how they present themselves. I also am MUCH healthier now and my body shouldn’t be in a position to develop one. However when it swelled a week after the initial injury and the bone hurt to palpitate I knew something was amiss.

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I know my hips are off kilter as I have hip dysplasia in my left hip. Yep it happens in humans and not just dogs. I swear 96.4% of the time people find out I have this they say “doesn’t that happen a lot to dogs?”… My biomechanics are off because of this, asymmetrical hamstring and hip flexor strength/movement patterns, compensations, ect. I have found a way to work with this in terms of lifting and hiking but running is an entirely different ballgame. Every single stress fracture I’ve dealt with is from running (e.g mechanical/use due to lack of shock absorption), or a combination of running and other activities (e.g volume/overuse).

My PT (whom I have seen for every single injury mind you) essentially told me that my foot/ankle mechanics are not designed for running. Especially road running, which I hate but the trails have been very snowy until now. My dorsiflexion is crap, things are tight, I have a bunch of scar tissue, my natural gait pattern is supination (aka I try to walk on the outside of my foot…placing stress on the lateral ankle), ect.

I’m accepting that this is going to be a work in progress. While I ultimately want to get back into distance racing, my current goal is to finish the NH 4000 footers in a year, so by July 20th. I’ve thought long and hard multiple times about this goal since this injury and if I have to push the date back it will NOT be the end of the world. To be honest, if I hadn’t already healed five stress fractures, have a good overall awareness of my body, and built a solid mental health base I’m not sure how I would be handling this. I’m still irritated, anxious, and annoyed, but I’m accepting the process better than I ever have with an injury before. It’s been a lot of letting go of my natural need for control, allowing myself the space to think things through, and not blaming myself too harshly.

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“Count your rainbows not your thunderstorms.” – Alyssa Knight

So… the workouts. How does one train with a lower extremity stress fracture that can’t take extra weight? Well, I went from 6 days a week 1-2 workouts a day to 4-5 days and one workout. I’m being smarter, taking more rest (something that will inevitably stay even upon fully healing this injury), and working with what I CAN do versus overthinking what I can’t do. It has been a mix of upper body, core strength and stabilization, mobility, lower body which is safe (e.g lateral band work, monster walks, hamstring curls, gentle biking/spin bike, GHD back extensions). I’m making it work. I’m sharing yesterday’s workout with you guys, and note this bench rep scheme is not my normal style of high weight/low rep. I’ve been enjoying changing things up here and there to create a different stimulus, have some fun, and see what my body can do. It’s kind of HE** at 110 total reps and something I may do once every other month… if you give it a whirl please let me know what you think!

1. Bench press: 20.18.16.14.12.10.8.6.4.2 reps. Start at a weight and increase by 5 lbs. each set. Plan it so that the 2 rep is a weight you could usually 4-5 rep because after 108 reps things feel a tad different…

2. Weighted dips 3×6

3a. Dips 3×12

     3b. Hanging leg raise 3×20

4a. Pull ups 4 sets max effort

     4b. L-sit on rings 4×15 seconds

5a. Push ups 4×15

     5b. V ups 4×15

6. Cable press 3×10

7. Tricep push-down 3×10

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In other news I created a new favorite post workout smoothie concoction! It’s like peanut butter banana meets a cookie full of cinnamon and molasses goodness. The flavor profile is broad and it’s classified (to me) as a strange but good combination for sure.

What you need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or almond/dairy, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup water (you could do less, I just like the volume!)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Pescience peanut butter cookie flavor)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. blackstrap molasses (can do more/less, depends how much you like molasses!)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • Hemp hearts
  • Ice

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Directions:

  1. Add everything except molasses, ice, and toppings to blender and blend until smooth
  2. Add molasses and QUICKLY blend as it will try to stick like cement all over the blender
  3. Add as much ice as desired for goal thickness
  4. Top it if you feel like it (I used hemp hearts!)
  5. Drink up, buttercup

Well, if this wasn’t the most all over the map post that I’ve ever put up on the blog than I’m not sure what is.

“Time will pass anyway, you can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want. The choice is yours.”

That fitness thing

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday. When it’s Tuesday, I don’t workout Winking smile I’m actually being serious though. I’ve talked before about my gym routine and even given some examples of at home workouts. Today I want to talk about what I’m currently doing, which although fairly similar in structure to 2014’s post, there have been some changes and also about two years since I’ve talked about this with you guys. I can’t explain how often I get the question from friends, other bloggers, and readers… what do you actually do at the gym? I’m here today to begin answering that.

Before I lay it all on the table I want to quickly point out that I’m thinking about making this blog a bit more fitness, workout, lifestyle oriented. Just a thought. Everything from workouts (weekly workouts?), supplements (another super common question), what I learned in my sports nutrition course, gym clothing reviews, mobility, daily eats and snax, mental health and self care. These are all topics I’m super passionate about, so naturally I want to delve into them more. It will give me some direction to head in with future posts especially seeing that school is done until the end of August, I no longer work weekends, and have more free-time on my hands.

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Cool? cool.

So my workouts… The general outline is 5 weeks “on” and 1 week “off”. On meaning I’m pushing it, off meaning I do a deload week. During my “on” weeks though I do 1 active recovery day and one full off day. Deload weeks I will lift 40-60% of my usual weights and cut the length of my lifting sessions by about half by taking out some accessory work. I also take out metabolic conditioning workouts for this week to let my body completely restore and replenish itself. You can read more about deloading here if you’re interested. This general outline seems to work super well for me though as I have energy to get through the five weeks, feel refreshed after my deload week, am gaining both strength and endurance, and haven’t been injured since 2012 (knock on ALL the wood).

I’m not going to get super specific in this post because it would be way too detailed, rather I’m just showing an outline of what a 6 week cycle looks like and I’ll get into more of WHAT I do in following posts!

Typical week

Monday: morning lifting + evening conditioning (1 hr – kickboxing) I freaking hate the word “cardio” haha so I use conditioning instead because #IdowhatIwant

Tuesday: active recovery day OR full off day (whichever option I choose here, I’ll do the other on Friday – I choose full off day or active recovery depending on my soreness level and how busy I am on the particular day).

**Note: Active recovery = something like a yoga class, or a short and slow “run” aka casual jog (1-2 miles @ 12-13 pace). Whereas full off day = I do nothing other than typical daily living.**

Wednesday: morning lifting and metabolic conditioning (10-20 minutes high intensity) (CrossFit terminology: “metcon”)

Thursday: evening conditioning (1 hr – kickboxing)

Friday: active recovery day OR full off day

Saturday: morning lifting

Sunday: morning lifting and metabolic conditioning (20-30 minutes high intensity)

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Playground.

Another common question that I’ll answer in this post is “do you do CrossFit?”… Put simply, no. I don’t workout at a CrossFit gym so I try to avoid confusing people and answer no. That being said, the gym I go to has a huge weight room and then a turf area (pictured above) with things like a rower, ski erg, slam balls, medicine balls, a plethora of kettlebells, boxes, tires, ropes, a Rogue rig (not pictured), gymnastics rings, ect. The metabolic conditioning workouts I do are either taken from Crossfit Invictus, made up by me but are things that would also be seen in a CrossFit gym, or taken from Instagram (because lets be honest, people post some good workouts on the gram’).

One thing is for sure though, double unders make it into just about every single workout I do because I love them and am completely biased towards the sport of jump rope.

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Weighted pull ups are another favorite. Mainly because I get to #dickaround Winking smile So there’s that for your Tuesday entertainment.

Like I said, I’ll get into more specifics in following posts, so like what my lifts consist of and a few examples of metabolic conditioning workouts. I’m thinking a weekly workout post idea could be of one of my metcon workouts from the week because those change each week whereas lifting is essentially the same week to week so that would be as boring as boring can be for you guys to read and therefore nobody would read. Kapeesh?

Questions: what are you favorite things to put into a workout (mine being double unders and pull ups)? Do you take a deload week/rest days?

“We often want it so badly that we ruin it before it begins. Overthinking. Fantasizing. Imagining. Expecting. Worrying. Doubting. Just let it naturally evolve.” – Anonymous

What to do when you can’t get to the gym

Hi there! Happy Sunday 🙂 This is my first Sunday off in quite a while and I’m already digging it and it isn’t even 9am! Going to be a fabulous day. So what’s on the docket for my day off? posting this, finishing my genetics homework that I was SOOOO close to completing last night but decided to go to bed, a yoga class, meeting a friend (trying to get my social life going a bit, I heard it’s helpful in decreasing stress levels or something…), a few errands, and then studying a bit and getting another post ready for early this week!

Over the past couple months there have been a handful of times when either the gym is closed or I just don’t have the time to get there and back plus do a workout. Insert home workouts. Before this year I was never really a fan of home workouts to be honest. I’m not sure why, I guess I just prefer the atmosphere of being in a gym? I mean people watching is a thing. As is competing with the guy next to you on the treadmill. 😉 Kidding, kind of.

As my life ebbs and flows from being busy to not busy I’m embracing the ability to get in a good butt kicking workout in as quick as possible. I figured I’ve received some positive feedback on posting some of my workouts on instagram so why not start compiling them onto the blog? I will most likely create a fitness page on the menu up top so that I can keep adding more over time. Perhaps other fitness/workout/wellness related things as well – suggestions welcome! Now that I’m a NASM personal trainer I’d really like to start incorporating some of that knowledge into my blog and just see where that goes.

Onto the workouts:

Workout #1: for when you want your shoulders to be on fire

FIVE ROUNDS:

a. 1/2 mile run

b. 10 pull ups/chin ups (overhand, neutral, or underhand grip)

c. 15 push ups

d. 15 sit ups

Then…

50 DB overhead press per arm (I split these up into 2 sets of 25 per arm)

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Post the little medley listed above. Shoulders = toasted.

Workout #2: for when you want your legs to feel a tad spicy (what does this even mean?!)

30 seconds on, 15 seconds off (and swap movements) for 10 minutes (i.e two times each). Do this twice.

a. double unders (can sub or just jump in place if you don’t own a jump rope)

b. walking lunges

c. goblet squats or air squats

d. frog jumps

e. stair runs

Workout #3: for when you only have 15 minutes

THREE ROUNDS:

a. 1/2 mile run

b. 30 double unders (can sub 60 single jumps or just jump in place if you don’t own a jump rope)

c. 15 sit ups

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All the double unders… #imcompletelybiased

I hope you guys try one or all of these out and please let me know if you do! I always find myself naturally adding either running and/or jump rope into my home workouts just out of simplicity but will try to get a bit more diverse in my exercise selection for workouts I post on here for any readers to try because I realize not everyone is in love with running and jump rope like me 😉

I hope you all have a great rest of your day and that you have the chance to get outside, catch some sunshine, get some movement in, and spend time doing what you love! Catch ya soon.

“Every morning you have two choices continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.” – unknown

Thinking out loud: 12/4/14

Hi there! I hope you all are having a wonderful first week of December. If your family celebrates Christmas, is your tree up yet?! Ours isn’t. Lame, I know, but I digress. I really enjoyed participating in Amanda’s Thursday thinking out loud for my first time two weeks ago so I’ve decided to jump back on that bandwagon.

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1. Class registration. I met with my initial advisor at UNH yesterday to discuss class options and needless to say I’m beyond excited. I’m not entirely sure what specific classes I’ll be taking quite yet but I’m well on my way with that whole process. I do for one know I’ll be taking both chemistry 2 and psychobiology (as long as it doesn’t full up!). Along with that I really want to get into an upper-level course but that all depends on scheduling. Time will tell! 🙂 It was awesome just to be on campus though walking around, I think I’m going to love it!

2. I’m fairly certain I’ve eaten the exact same afternoon snack everyday for the past month. And I’m totally ok with it. Obsessed with Perfect bars. Don’t fix something if it isn’t broken. Perfect pre-workout snack or just anytime snack. Especially with coffee. But, I mean, everything goes with coffee.

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3. I’m fairly certain I have put on over a pound of lotion in the past day. If anybody has any tips and/or product recommendations for dry skin I thank you in advance. Holy crud through seriously I don’t even understand how one can have such dry hands!!!!!! Splits on each finger. Bleeding. Cracked. Super hot. Why did I feel the need to tell you guys about the poor health of my hands?!

4. Buddha quotes 😉 I mean, I think Buddha definitely said this.

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5. Entering the final two weeks of the fall semester! This semester has flown by. Last time I checked it actually just started and I was a major stress-ball. Again, chill homie. I’m really enjoying chemistry, as I mentioned in my last post and looking forward to future courses. I have three classes left: a test + lab day, a review day, and the final exam. After that it’s five weeks of break until the Spring semester begins!

6. I have made the gym into a giant playground this week. I always love the gym anyways, but this week I’m doing an early de-load just because I haven’t been sleeping quite enough and my body is telling me to change it up and have some fun so I am listening! On Monday instead of a fully packed lifting session I did 5×2 deadlifts increasing up to an easy 175# and then 4 rounds of: 8 deadlifts @ 115#, 50 double unders, 10 med-ball power cleans @ 15#. That little crossfit-esque medley left me craving more of that style workout, because it’s just fun, in my opinion. Yesterday I played around with some movements which I haven’t done in years: box jumps and wall balls. I was shocked because both felt good, natural, and not at all awkward. The whole workout was:

1a. 5×5 pull up

1b. 5×15 sit up

2a. 3×10 box jump

2b. 3×10 dips on parallel bars @ BW

3a. 3×10 wall balls

3b. 3×10 handstand shoulder taps (5/side)

4a. 3×15 push up

4b.3×40 double unders

nothing crazy, moved at a moderate pace and kept it to de-load mode in a sense of work/effort output and the mental side. this is fun for me. just movement. body weight stuff. double unders + gymnasty stuff 😉

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7. I’ve been on a major swiss chard kick. Major. I was eating kale on the daily, lately it’s chard. Just look at that burst of color. Glorious greens indeed.

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8. Black Friday shopping. It’s okay because, well, deals. In all seriousness though I was in desperate need of a winter coat and winter boots. Especially considering I am going to be walking much more outside come mid January, I figured I needed to get myself together to ensure I don’t actually freeze. I will say I love the deals that stores offer, however I hate that employee’s of some companies are made to work on Thanksgiving and/or early early Black Friday. Can’t we just calm down and wait a few more hours? I don’t see the big hoopla to get all worked up about. I went around 3pm and still found what I was looking for and there weren’t even many people out and about at that point! #winning.

9. Something to remember. You are perfect as you are. Accept that and love everything about yourself.

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“We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

xo, S