Day 46 – Find what you love and do that

Last night we has some homemade salmon cakes and veggies for dinner. I used a crazy amount of Trader Joe’s sweet chilli sauce. That stuff is so good. J went for Cholula hot sauce. We have a lot of condiments in our house.

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Wednesday night has once again established itself as climbing night. We met some friends that we regularly climb with but also a friend who had never climbed before. So I was showing her the ropes (sorry………….not really! Ha!). She loved it and was about a million times braver and more confident than I had been on my first visit to the gym. It was also really fun introducing someone to a sport that you love. I felt like a little like a proud parent showing off my awesome kid. And it made me realize just how far I have come not only in the last two years but also in the last 10ish.

Growing up I was the nerdy girl who was never into sports. I was a little too anxious to play any kind of team sport (fear of being judged or being not good at something (hello Type A)). And as I got more unfit it became less appealing to even try to take up a sport. There were occasional forays to the gym and classes in college and grad school but nothing really stuck. Until I found sports that I really enjoyed doing. Ones that as soon as I finished I wanted to do again. For me, this is running, yoga and gym climbing. When I finish a run or a class I immediately plan my next session. I don’t dread going – I look forward to it. I even started a blog about it! And this is my key for being and staying active – find what you love and do that.

Bonus: Being active means pizza for lunch is just fine and dandy. Even better when it’s free and vegetarian.

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Had an awesome yoga class this morning: core-flavored power hour. And it’s beautiful and sunny out – so I’m doing the running home thing. Don’t be too impressed it’s 3 miles all downhill. Plus tomorrow is Friday. Win. Win. Win.

March mileage: 43.6 miles/70.2 KM

Day 32 – Monthly total and crosstraining

Today was my last run of February – 3.5 miles at 8.31 min/mile pace. To be honest I ran this at medium effort and thought that I might be a little faster. Oh well. On the plus side I felt strong and I think I might be finally getting the hang of this new running form. I also totalled my miles for the month (love my data)  – 84 miles for the month. About 30 more miles than I ran this time last year. Plus it puts me right on track for one of my major goals for the year – 1000 miles for the year (this averages about 83 miles per month).

Injury update: My knee still feels a little stiff. So I’m icing it a lot. And doing my PT exercises. Man they are tough – l now have three different types of resistance bands. But I’m pretty psyched that I managed all this mileage despite not being fully fit.

Dinner last night was glazed salmon and stir-fried veggies. I basically made this sauce and used it to glaze the salmon and then to finish off the veggies. Would recommend.

3 tbsp Oyster sauce

2 tbsp Teriyaki sauce

1 tbsp Honey

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It was also really quick to prep which is my number one criterion for mid week cooking.

Afterwards we went to the local climbing gym to do a couple of routes. For anyone sitting on the fence about trying climbing I would definitely recommend it. Even if you are terrified of heights (like me) you’ll eventually get comfortable on the rope (like me) and find it’s a great way to cross train.

I mentioned yesterday how I thought that my leg strengthening exercises were really paying off with my yoga practice. Well, I think the same applies to my climbing. Despite what you might think the best way to move in climbing isn’t to pull up with your arms but rather to push up with your feet. Your quads are way bigger than your biceps! You also need good balance and a strong core. So strong leg muscles and decent core – sound familiar?

You also have to learn to “trust your feet”. This means having the confidence to put all of your weight on your feet – even if you are on a tiny little foothold -and use your leg muscles to stand up and reach the next hand hold. It’s quite the psychological battle!

But last night I felt like I rocked it. My legs felt strong and routes that I thought I would struggle with I climbed easily. It’s kind of like the feeling you get when you have an awesome run – climber’s high maybe? It’s like exercising without realizing you’re working out. And while you’re doing it all you think about is how to solve the next problem. A great way to clear the mind.

Have you ever tried climbing? Do you want to?

Day 20 – Relaxing Saturday

For Valentine’s Day we did an hour walk up in Park City with some friends followed by a pot-luck dinner. The area we walked around was at Round Valley – a no-fee area that’s great for trail running and mountain biking in summer and cross-country skiing in winter.

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It’s a great place and there’s a really great Trail Series held there over the summer. The snow was a little slushy and I was definitely glad i wore waterproof boots. For pot-luck (I had never heard of this before I moved to the US – awesome idea BTW) I made some stuffed mushrooms using http://www.skinnytaste.com (I forgot to photograph them but they were amazing).

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I also managed to have 3 (!) desserts. Yum. I love having friends who can cook so well!

This morning was a nice and easy 3 mile run. It felt really good and I felt really strong. Minimal knee pain and the pace felt pretty easy which was a little weird because my pace was 8.27 min/mile. Great start to the day. I even managed to catch an episode of Scandal while I was doing my PT and having breakfast – love that show. It was also the first day this year that I ran outside in something other than my running tights.

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I guess it was a black and blue kind of day.

At lunchtime we hit the climbing gym and did 6 routes. The first climb was a little hard but after that everything was flowing. I guess I should feel lucky that it was one of those days.

Luckily for us our climbing gym is right beside REI so we checked out their clearance racks. I have a hard time paying full price for any workout clothes. I found these – Brooks running shorts and long sleeved tech shirt for $10 each. Bargain.

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Run happy!

Day 18 – Placebo effect?

Yesterday we had to do a quick dinner before heading out for the evening. So I made one of my  favorite – and easiest – recipes from last year from Kalyn’s kitchen. It’s almost vegan (which I am not) but so tasty. You fry your protein of choice (I used tofu) until golden and then add this sauce for about 3 mins – it thickens really quick. I served it with egg noodles (the non-vegan part) and green cabbage sauteed with toasted sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Added some green onions and sesame seeds – gotta decorate.

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 tbsp agave nectar

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp sriracha

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So good. Would probably work with chicken too. And takes 20 mins. My kind of meal.

So where were we rushing off to? The climbing gym.

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J and I first tried out this gym using a Groupon about 2.5 years ago. I’m not going to lie this was totally his idea. I am terrified of heights and can get really anxious when I feel like I’m out of my depth. I didn’t love it at first. They have a kiddies intro wall going up from A to Z. My first couple of times I couldn’t get past L. L for lame. But I persevered and grew to love it. I feel like gym climbing is like solving a puzzle with your body and that is pretty awesome. Its all about core and balance and trusting your body. Cross training that doesn’t feel like working out. And if I can do – ANYONE can do it. Still working on feeling like this when I get outside!

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The gym gets pretty busy during winter. SLC has a pretty big climbing community.

I also had to try out my new climbing shoes. They hurt like MOFOs but I think that’s normal.

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This morning was planned to be a 30 minute run. I thought about going to yoga but with two bruised elbows (from my two falls) and a sore knee I decided to give it a miss. I did 3.89 miles at 9.00 min/mile pace. Not bad. Felt pretty comfortable. Trying to make sure my knee stayed straight.

I think once a PT tells me I’ll be fine and just take it easier I take it as Gospel. I felt so much better today. Way less knee pain all day. My quads are still super tight and I’ve been rolling them like crazy. But I’ve decided to be positive and am pretty confident that I can beat this thing. That’s the power of positive thinking or maybe the placebo effect. I don’t care which!

Day 13 – My 22 min mile

Yesterday I picked up groceries straight after work and found this on sale. Friday night sorted.

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It was J’s dinner choice last night – burgers and fries. Lucky for me he’s on board with healthy eating so it was black bean burgers with avocado and chipotle mayo, oven-baked potato wedges and zucchini, tomato, feta and cilantro skillet fry. Yummy comfort food. Paired with some homebrewed IPA. Perfect Friday food.

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We watched the first two episodes of The Following. It was a little silly but good fun.

Today was long run day. I got to run in daylight (!) and even saw other runners. For the first time ever my Garmin was acting up – I had run almost 3 miles by the time it registered my first mile. A new record of 22.28 min/mile. I’m hoping it was just a blip. I had planned out my route and wasn’t too worried about pace so I kept going and plotted my route on Runkeeper once I got back. 6.46 miles at 8.42 pace – I’ll take that. Bonus – it started raining about 2 minutes after I finished my run. Perfect timing.

On the plus side my hip is totally fine. Unfortunately, my right knee (opposite side) was twingey. Not painful but the last thing I wanted to happen. I mean the PTs are meant to fix me right, not give me a new injury. I think my body hates me a little. Will take it easy -tomorrow is a rest day. Vitamin I. And have it assessed at my PT appointment on Wed.

For this run I figured I might be out for about an hour so I decided to bring my handheld water bottle and try out one of the Nuun flavors we got at the Park City Trail Series last summer.

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Purple means Grape. And I found it not very grape-like and a little sickly sweet. I’m not sure if this is true for every electrolyte powder but it didn’t sit well in my stomach. More experimenting I think.

Breakfast was a feast – homemade pumpkin granola with Greek yoghurt and honey, my weekend homemade smoothie and homemade soda bread with as much jam as possible.

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After breakfast I went to the local climbing store and got these bad boys.

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My last pair went missing after a trip to the climbing gym in December so I’m ready to get back to my usual Wednesday night climbing!

I have a yoga class planned for this afternoon. It’s a new class – half core and half restore. So you work your butt off for 30 mins then get to stretch it out for the second half. Then tonight we’ll put on our fancy pants and head to the Utah Symphony! Happy Saturday.