Monday, July 30, 2018

Eating Healthier - Week 1

One week has come and gone since I decided to take a greater interest in my diet and eating healthy, and I am surprised at how great I feel! I cut out unnecessary sugar, as well as 95% cut out processed food (I had half of a banh mi sandwich, so the bread is processed). I have been training like normal, as well as kept my normal sleep habits. So far the only thing I have changed is my diet, and I don't feel as dragged down as I was before! I also don't feel so tired after lunch or after work, which means I can go workout and it doesn't feel like a job lol! This week I've been changing it up a little for dinner, but have stuck to the same things for breakfast and lunch. Here is a sample day for me:

Breakfast

Thanks to an instagrammer's suggestion, overnight oats have become my staple. I use almond milk to soak the oats in overnight, adding in blueberries as well and cinnamon in the morning. It's so good and sweet on its own.

You can find SO many different ways to make overnight oats on pinterest! 

Lunch

Lunch I have been eating salads and sometimes I'll have a small cup of soup as well, like today's turkey sausage kale. I have been adding EVERYTHING in my salads! For my salad today I have mixed greens (including arugula, YUM!), spinach, egg, cranberries, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, chicken, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, sunflower seeds, olives and a touch of cheese. I want to keep it interesting. 😀


Dinner
For dinner I have been keeping it simple with a protein, starch and vegetable. Below is pesto chicken, little potatoes and broccoli. Someone suggested to me that chicken and broccoli and rice were really good. I didn't have rice but these worked. Nothing too fancy or great looking in photos, but really healthy and I'm loving it.




Dessert

Sometimes if I'm craving a dessert, a bowl of fresh cherries or salted watermelon have been hitting the spot. They're just sweet enough to satisfy my taste buds, but don't make me tired like other snack foods can.

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Salted watermelon is the BEST! (Source)


What is your favorite healthy meal to make? 

Friday, July 27, 2018

2019 Big Sur Marathon Here We Come!!!

It's official! I got the email I never thought I would get - the one that says "Congratulations! You got in to the Big Sur Marathon!!". Yeah, maybe in my dreams. HMM. At first when I saw it, I wasn't sure my eyes were reading everything correctly, but I went to their website to confirm it and it was true!


After we decided on it, I signed my boyfriend and I up for the groups/couples wave of the drawing (drawings are still going on, b-t-dubs...you can find the webpage HERE), never thinking in a million years out team (We Are the Yuan) would actually be chosen. I'm so thankful to be chosen, and it feels just like I actually won the lottery since this race is so hard to get into, without spending an arm and a leg on a vacation package. I thought this race would be on my bucket list for a VERY long time.



This will be my 2nd marathon (my first one will be on my birthday weekend in January 2019), and Yuan's 1st (and he says only, haha) marathon. It's a very scenic, beautiful route. I traveled it once or twice with friends to our campground in Big Sur last year and it won my heart. Not only the views, but the little sea otters swimming around, sea lions, red wood trees, super nice people, and those crazy birds with blue mohawks ready to swoop down the minute you aren't looking and steal your campsite food made me fall in love with this area of the United States. When I found out about the marathon earlier this year I figured I'd put our names in the hat and see what happened. I honestly never thought anything would come of it.


The full 26.2 course (they also offer shorter distances on a first come first serve sign up basis) begins at Big Sur and ends in Carmel, but bus transportation to and from the start and finish. It is also a challenging course with an elevation climb of 500 (ish) feet, so I will be taking training of this race very seriously (while having fun at the same time of course😄).


I begin marathon training in September, and until then I'm working hard to get back into good half marathon racing shape, as well as training for BMX. I'm looking forward to this challenge, and to everything ahead. If anyone has ever run this race and has any suggestions, I'm all ears. 👂

What's your bucket list race? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

RUNderful Wednesday

The middle of the week is here, WOOHOO!!!! We've made it this far guys, so SMILE. 😊😊 I've been thinking about attitude and positivity, and how to keep it going even when times get tough, and what I've learned is that there is no simple answer. However, YOU are responsible for your own happiness; no one else can do it for you. I love reading funny or inspirational things, whatever makes me smile or think about something in a different way. My pick of the week is:

www.pinterest.com
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I'm not a slacker in general, but every once in a while I start slackin' and need a little reminder to get off my butt and make things happen, so here it is, for me and for anyone out there who needs a little push. Let's make the rest of this week the best of this week!!! Woohoo! Get out there 💆

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Healthy Eats Challenge

I always thought (or maybe took for granted lol) that living an active lifestyle and keeping in shape go hand in hand. It does, to a point. Throw in a diet laden with processed foods, too much added sugar, and the occasional junk food binge every now and then and your not getting healthier, you're just staying active to (hopefully) burn off all that junk. Recently I've started keeping a closer look at my own diet, and I was shocked at what I saw. We tend to justify and compartmentalize things, for example, "I ran 4 miles today, I can have two cookies if I want to", or "I'm way too tired to do anything and I do so much already. A little Taco Bell today won't hurt." I find myself constantly making these justifications, and in the end I'm setting back all my progress and training, and it's frustrating.

www.pinterest.com
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SO, I did a little research to see what else was going on in the healthy eating sector of the world. 😊 I got out a couple books centering around healthy eating for runners and athletes, and I also looked online for ideas.

One book I started re-reading is Racing Weight. I'm not too far into it yet but so far it's a good read.


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One You Tube video I watched focused on the subject of the video training like a Victoria's Secret model for 5 weeks. She followed a strict, very healthy diet and worked out two hours a day (1 hour weights and 1 hour cardio). By the end she had dropped three inches everywhere and had abs. ABS! While I'm not looking to start a career strutting down the runway (and she wasn't either), I saw how her dedication and hard work truly paid off. Not only was she more fit, but happier and healthier as well.

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Armed with this new inspiration and a bit more knowledge I have decided to clean up my diet. By this I mean NO processed foods and NO extra sugars. Whole wheat pasta only, three meals a day and no snacking in between. I also realize that while I may fall off the wagon a few times, that's okay and I'm going to get right back on! So far I'm on day 2 and I feel pretty good. I'm curious to see how much the effort of healthy eating, combined with training, will benefit me both fit-wise and performance-wise by the end of August.

At the end of August I'll compare with my before stats, so to hold myself accountable here they are below. Also, just a disclaimer, I am doing this for myself, no one else. I refuse to compare body types with anyone. Everybody's different, and everyone is beautiful. Okay, so now,

STATS on 7/24/18!

Weight: 124.5 lbs.

Arms: 11.5 in.

Waist: 29 in.

Hips: 38.5 in.

Legs: 23 in.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rest Days

Yay for rest days, those days that should be fun but you just don't know what to do with the day anymore. That has been my last few days, recovering from travel, etc. I know that rest days are good for you but either way I just feel way too lazy on my "days off". This is TOTALLY me this week😎:
On a side note, I got a Marketing kudos at work today!!! A company reached out to us for a quote because I followed and reached out to them through the Instagram I created for our company. The lady who reached out told us "Whoever does your marketing is amazing!!", and those kind words truly made my day! 

Okay, deep breath. Wheeeeeew. One more day of rest. This perfectly encapsulates what I've been reading about the positives of a rest day:

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

RUNderful Wednesday

The middle of the week is here, WOOHOO!!!! We've made it this far guys, so SMILE. 😊😊 I've been thinking about attitude and positivity, and how to keep it going even when times get tough, and what I've learned is that there is no simple answer. However, YOU are responsible for your own happiness; no one else can do it for you. I love reading funny or inspirational things, whatever makes me smile or think about something in a different way. My pick of the week is:


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The older I get and the more I grow, the more I dislike drama. Just be yourself. Remember that quote, "your vibe attracts your tribe". 

Maybe somebody doesn't like you because you're good at something, or because you are a tough competitor, or maybe because they have it in their head that you somehow have so much and have never had to work for it. It's strange, it really is, and in the past when this has happened to me I agonized over it, trying everything I could to get my "friend" back. It wasn't until later that I began to worry less about what someone else thought and concentrate more about just being me, my happiness, and doing my own thing. When this happened I suddenly found myself in the midst of some truly great people. It's funny how that happens! 

May your day be full of No Drama Llamas. You are AWESOME, and just do you!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Race Recap: USA BMX Las Vegas Nationals

From July 13th to the 15th, the USA BMX Las Vegas Nationals made a stop on the national circuit to the Southpoint Hotel and Casino in beautiful Las Vegas, NV for an action packed 3 day national. A 3 day national means that each day (Friday - Sunday) is a separate race. A racer's placing each day earns them points that go toward an end of year NAG (National Age Group) ranking. The setup in Vegas is hard to beat. If you stay at the hotel (the race is in the Expo center located on the same property), you can watch the races from the TV in your room. This comes in VERY handy when trying to time when to go down for your next race. Seriously. I wish every hotel next to a national had this! But let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Vegas, Baby! 


Since racing and practice began on Friday, I flew out early Thursday morning to do a little sightseeing with Yuan. Unfortunately, due to a huge accident on I-10 I missed my flight, but due to a "flat tire policy", the good people of United got me on the next available one and I was good to go. Once I made it to Vegas I met Y in the rental car, along with my new friend I met on the plane (we had so much in common and chatted the whole flight, and we even found out we are sorority sisters, how COOL is that?? Hi L!), we dropped her off at her hotel, checked into our hotel, put the bike back together and got it locked up, then made our way down to the strip to grab a meal and check things out.

The pool AND our room view 😎


Adios for now Houston!

The strip is so much fun to walk around on. I could have done with less people trying to hand me fliers, but I guess that goes with the territory, oh well. Everything was so beautiful and we ended up eating at a restaurant called The Yardbird. Y had the friend chicken and I tried the shrimp and grits. Nothing was really healthy at this place, but it was all really good! With practice for me starting at around 9 AM the next day, we made it an early night. 

Day 1


On Friday I woke up, ate a breakfast bar, got ready for practice and made my way down to the track area. With a lower gate, a long sweeping turn and larger obstacles, this track was the complete opposite of what I'm used to. It was a lot of fun to ride on, but it was a challenge as I practiced pedaling over everything. Nationals are a lot of waiting around to race, but there was so much to do here that it made the waiting parts better. Unlike last year, this Friday I had a class. I had some awesome women to race (but I did see some of my intermediate class there from last year and we said hi). I ended up with 2nd place all three rounds, giving me the 2nd overall. Mostly on Friday I was frustrated with the track and my goal was to never give up and keep getting faster and smoother on it.
Black helmet, bright pink grips.

The horse stalls (bike lockup)


Day 2


Day 2 ended up as a repeat (racing wise) of day 1, I ended the day with a 2nd place finish. I felt a bit better on the track, but my confidence and aggression wasn't there yet. I tried to focus on getting better, and I had fun each moto that I raced, because each time I got the chance to try again. After the races (and in between motos), Y and I walked around the Vendor area, and he is amazing at finding good places to eat. We ended up driving the few miles to Henderson, NV and trying a Korean place where you build your own bibimbap bowl; that was SO delicious. We also went to In N Out burger, and since neither of us have one in our cities, it was a good treat. We also did a little sightseeing!

Hanging out at the track, apparently with someone else's bike lol!
Capturing the magic of the 7 Magic Mountains



Hi, Joshua. ✋

Day 3


Day 3 day 3.....I still ended up with a 2nd place but I was beginning to get familiar with the track and started to ride more aggressively which paid off. I had been chasing down the woman in 1st all weekend, and I got SO close on day 3. Seeing that kind of progression made me so happy. I was actually sad to see this track go and be done with riding on it forever. It was a great way to practice something new and to get back my happy mentality, as well as the mentality of never giving up. When the day was over I got my stamps and hurried back to the horse stall I shared with several other teammates and friends from my home track. I got the bike disassembled and packed up, made sure the stall was cleaned out, and left the arena to store my bag.

I love my pink shoes. They are starting to get a bit old though...



Later, Vegas


Since the only available flights form United were close to 3:30 PM (there was NO time to make that) and 1:45 AM, the red eye flight very reluctantly won. I found a few ways to amuse myself since I had checked out of my hotel room earlier that day by 1.) watching my phone charge plugged in to a wall socket in the lobby and 2.) (and much more fun) I used my movie pass to see the Incredibles 2 at the movie theatre in the hotel, complete with popcorn. I kept thinking how much my nephew would have loved this movie. It's definitely worth it. There were times when the humor was a little too "little kid" and predictable for me, but that's okay. I'm glad it's made for kids! There was a little girl a few seats over from me who had the biggest laugh at times, and she ended up making the whole theatre laugh.

Senior Frog's favorite pirate ship haha 😆


Secretly A Golfer


After the movie I returned the rental car, took the tram to the airport, checked, checked my bag and waited around. My bag is a bike bag made by DK that say on it "DK Golf", in order to trick the airlines into thinking it's a golf bag. This way they won't charge me. People have definitely gotten caught and paid large fees for a bike, and I was afraid of that too. However, it turns out I can pass for a golfer quite effortlessly. The whole trip I was CONSTANTLY deflecting questions about what courses I play, what I hit, etc. Haha! It was pretty funny but since I don't golf I had to think fast on my feet. Mostly I told people I haven't played yet.

The red eye flight was good, I slept an hour or so on it but it was tough. I ended up making it home Monday at 8 AM, so I went right to bed and slept until almost 3 PM. I'm still really tired but happy, and today is going to be a rest day before training starts up again. Mostly I'm thankful that I got to go, that I got to race, to see Y, do well and travel safe. This weekend was one for the books.

Self explanatory? 

What is something you got to do that you're thankful for?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Workout Re-Cap 7/6 - 7/13

Friday 7/6/18 - Rest Day

Saturday 7/7/18 - 4 hot miles with friends in the Museum District and Hermann Park, stretching



Sunday 7/8/18 - Recovery from hurting calf, stretching

Monday 7/9/18 - 2 miles and stretching


Tuesday 7/10/18 - Run down from stress and resting up. Nada.

Wednesday 7/11/18 - 2 miles and stretching at a beautiful new trail




Thursday 7/12/18 - Travel day. I flew and my arms were SO tired.



Friday 7/13/18 - Las Vegas National day #1, so some practice and a lil racing.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Las Vegas and BMX

Today is a travel day, as I board a plane with my bike to go to the Las Vegas BMX Nationals. I'm incredibly torn on going this time since Mc Lovin is sick, but this trip is 1.) Non refundable (the plane ticket) and 2.) I need to just go and get my mind off things for awhile because sitting at home won't do anyone any good. I WILL be calling my family more than they would probably like to see how he's doing though, and I'm going to miss him so much this weekend.



This national is a 3 day national, meaning that each day is a separate race (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). My goal Thursday is just to get there safe, get the bike put together and safely in lockup, and see a bit of Las Vegas. I'm hoping to have a class each day. Believe it or not Vegas is a smaller national, at least girl-wise. In January there I raced Intermediates on Friday. I was super happy that I did well and made my mains, but points wise I like to have my own class. We will see. :)

It's an early flight time today, so it's time to get over there, check my bike bag and go to sleep on the plane. 😃

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

RUNderful Wednesday: McLovin Bear

This RUNderful Wednesday post is going to be a little different, because right now I'm devastated and I don't know what to do with myself. I'm losing my little baby kitty McLovin Bear to something the specialist thinks may be cancer, and he's only almost 11 years old. It's hard to accept this, and all I can think to do is go for a run.

McLovin came into my life at a time when I needed him the most. I got him from someone who turned out to be highly toxic, and I truly believe the reason I was meant to know that person for the short time I did was to meet this amazing little (well, 16 pound tomcat) kitty with a huge personality. McLovin was always there for me, and we've been through so much together. He came with me to visit friends at other colleges, and he truly loved it. Being so little, he was full of energy and loved meeting new people. I definitely socialized him a ton when he was little lol!

He was one crazy kitten, flying through the air at stuff I had tacked to my college apartment walls to get the tacks out, romping through my shoes, and jumping on my back one time because I was tying a bow behind me and he wanted to pounce!

He is one fun big kitty too. In the mornings he used to lay in the sink in the bathroom and watch me get ready, and he was always ready to grab my nail buffer block out of whatever drawer it was in (he always knew which drawer), and run away with it, me chasing behind him. One time he also took a whole bag of sanitary napkins out from a drawer, brought them out to the back door, ripped them open and scattered them everywhere. When I walked over and found out what he had done I couldn't stop laughing, because he was laying on his back in the middle of the mess, sunning himself.

I've always realized life is short so you spend it with the ones you love, and I have always loved spending time with McLovin and am truly blessed. For whatever time I have left with my little bear, I'm going to cherish, but I want him to have the best quality of life and I know that I can't be selfish. I'm truly blessed to know McLovin and his favorite animal, Honey Bear. I love that for his whole life McLovin has carried around his Honeybear, grooming it and always setting it in the doorway of whatever room he is in. I love you, McLovin. McLovin Bear, McMuffins, McLovinator, Baby Kity, Baby Bear, Bear. I’m glad I have a little time left with you.

Baby McLovin, August/September 2007



McLovin and Honeybear. He brought Honeybear with him earlier this year to ask for food. 



McLovin 💖

Monday, July 9, 2018

Running, Movie Time & Trying New Restraunts

This last weekend was a lot of fun. I got to catch up with good friends, workout, and the bf came into town.

We met up with a good group of friends Friday night for dinner at Nobu in the Galleria area. Nobu did have some good food, but it was extremely overpriced, at close to $75 a meal, unless you want to spend $20 on a tiny appetizer. Basically, if you're looking for a place that will leave you hungry with a much lighter wallet, this place is for you. I hope that's not too harsh, but I want to be honest about it, and I am glad I got to try it and be with everyone that night. All in all, I'm just glad I got to see my friends. 


The whitefish something or other

Saturday was a group run starting in Hermann Park and going to the museum district. It was really hard to wake up for this run, since we only got 3 hours of sleep from Friday, but we did it and for that I am incredibly proud lol! It was super hot and about halfway through the run my left lower calf started seizing up and getting really tight. No matter how much I stretched it wouldn't go away, but I managed to make it through to 4 miles. It's gone today so I think it was a product of dehydration. After our run we went up the 145 steps at the museum and got to play with some more twinning pictures haha! 



We found a few really good places to eat Saturday and Sunday, as well as got to see a 2 new movies movies with our Movie Passes. Movie Pass is great, for about 10$ a month you can see almost any movie in the theatre. There are a few exceptions, for example you can only see one movie a day, or if the theatre has a mix of IMAX and regular screens you can only watch a movie on the regular screen. They way around that is to just go to a theatre with all larger screens. They also started a new rule that movies seen at "peak times", like 7 PM would be subject to a $3 or $4 upcharge. Personally, that's fine with me because I don't really want to see a movie during peak time anyway. There's too many people around me eating and making noise, so 4 PM or 9 PM is just fine. 

The first movie we saw was Ant Man & the Wasp. This was the first day it came out, and it really surprised me with how good it was. The story was very well developed, and the "bad guy" was not the typical one dimensional character I'm used to seeing in some of these movies. The effects in the film were really good, and it left me wishing I had a remote that could shrink and enlarge random things. Just pick out your Matchbox car you want to drive for the day and...enlarge!!! Haha! I highly recommend seeing this movie.


The second movie we saw on Sunday was Tag. We originally went to see the Incredibles 2, but there was an issue with the movie times being later than we expected, so it left us with Tag, and to be honest I have been wanting to see this one. Tag is the real life story of this group of lifelong friends who have been playing a game of tag for the last 25 years. For the entire month of May, they show up in each other's cities, places of work, etc. and tag each other. This movie was both really hilarious and touching, because they play this game to keep in contact with one another. The acting was really good in this film, and  even though it was funny, it wasn't the overdone type of humor where the characters start acting stupid. I recommend this movie as well, and was really happy with how it turned out. 


 Also if you are in the Houston area or are looking for a good food suggestion, we found a really great ramen place off Dairy Ashford called Ramen Bar Ichi. This place has been in the area for awhile, and I'm so glad we got to try it. It is a smaller place with a very homey feel, is really clean and the staff seem to really be on their game. My bf had a ramen bowl with pork that he liked a lot, and I got the chef special. This bowl was called the El Pollo Loco, and was beyond good. If you try this one, don't forget to ask for it spicy with an egg in it. The spice was SO delicious. It wasn't too expensive, and both bowls ran about $24 together. If you aren't too full after, you can even head across the street to the old timey skating rink. I hope everyone had a great weekend! I'm so tired I'll be lucky to make it to 10 PM tonight.

Did you try anything new this weekend? 


The El Pollo Loco, spicy and with an egg added at Ramen Bar Ichi. 



Friday, July 6, 2018

Workout Recap : 6/30 - 7/5

Saturday, June 30 - Spin Class, weights, stretched and foam rolled

Hi Tiffany!

I tried out LOTS of new weight equipment today. It was a proud day. 

Having fun on the Crossfit hill

I felt like this when we were all done

Sunday, July 1st - 3 mile run downtown, core & stretching

Houston's new art installation, The Cloud



Also....BMX racing in the PM!

Some of my AWESOME team, Gold's Gym


Monday, July 2nd - arms & core

Tuesday, July 3rd - rest day

Wednesday, July 4th - 4 miles and stretching



Thursday, July 5th - gym in the AM for arms and core, 6 mile run at the park in the PM and stretching 

Park trail beauty never gets old