Running is fun again!

Prior to moving to Colorado I loved running. I did it everyday, down to the beach and along the boardwalk. It was my stress relief during a very rough period of my life, my confidence builder during times I was shaken and one of the only things keeping me healthy. I channeled that love in to training for half marathons, excited to move to a town that was a running mecca.

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This was all before I learned what elevation did to my lungs. My first day here I burst out the door on my first run and barely made it half a mile without gasping for air. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am very sensitive to altitude and moving a mile up into the sky wrecked my endurance. Instead of pushing through it, I allowed myself to make excuses for not training and running fell to the wayside.

About 8 months after moving, I decided to try to pick it up again now that I was adjusted to the altitude, but then I broke my ankle and was benched for 5 months. Ever since then, I would sporadically get the urge to run, strap on my shoes to pound the pavement and find myself so discouraged that my mile splits were almost two minutes slower per mile then when I left LA that I would stop.

Recently I’ve gotten the itch to get back into running and searching for races online. The past week I ran everyday, trying to focus on enjoying the run and not constantly staring at my watch to see what my pace was. Today I went for a trail run, forgetting until I arrived at the trail that it had recently snowed meaning the trail would be icey and muddy.

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This meant that there were portions where I had to tread lightly, balancing over icy rocks and splashing through mud to get to the free space where I could stretch my legs and burst through the woods. My mind was focused on my steps and enjoying the beautiful snowy landscape around me.

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I loved it. I didn’t care about my time, I didn’t care about the distance. I was running for the pure joy of running, for probably the first time in over 2 years. Sometimes its good to leave the watches and measures behind and remember why you love doing something in the first place. Simply because it makes you feel alive.

Handstands, Powder, and Green Chicken

Although I’m not the biggest football fan, it’s hard to walk around today seeing the sad faces of all the Broncos fans whose dreams were shattered by yesterday’s game. Like a lot of people, I watch the game just so I have something to talk about with coworkers and for the commercials. I thought last nights commercials were pretty decent, minus the random Maserati one and the annoying bud light one. My favorite was the Budweiser puppy/horse one because I’m a sucker for emotional animals. Remember that happy elephant video that literally made me cry? Yah, it was around that level.

Prior to the game, I went to a WOD and stayed after to conquer my fear of doing handstands. Two weeks ago they made my stomach drop and tears come to my eyes, but this weekend I made some major progress.

Hand Stand Push Ups here I come! Just kidding, that might take a bit while to accomplish but being able to do a handstand is the first step! Just gotta work on keeping my feet together.

On Saturday I went up to the mountains with my boyfriend and our friend from CF because there was some ridiculous storm that dumped over 24 inches of snow, which is about waist level. I know this because I tried to walk on what I thought was solid ground in an attempt to sneak into the words to, um, relieve myself and fell in past my waist. Snow down my pants, not so fun.

ImageI had never snowboarded in real powder and it was a lot of fun. We went to the side of the mountain that isn’t groomed, so there were lots of bumps which was a bit rough for someone with not so much experience like me. At least when I fell it was like falling on a cold, damp cloud.

On Thursday my coworker had brought in some Green Chicken that she had made from a NomNomPaleo recipe. It was so good that I decided I had to recreate it myself Friday night. It’s supposed to be grilled, but (a) it was snowing and (b) I guess more importantly, I don’t own a grill. So I baked it. It was still delicious. I added some cabbage and beets that I had cooked in water/apple cider vinegar mixture (also courtesy of my coworker). I love cabbage cooked this way and thought it was also amazing.

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Did you watch the Superbowl? Were you rooting for either of the teams? Which commercial was your favorite?

What’s your favorite winter time activity?

Caveman Cafeteria Meal Delivery – 50$ Off PROMO CODE

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Imagine every city in the US having a vertical farm, so that all produce can be grown locally and organically, with a kitchen at the bottom to produce natural, wholesome food. That’s the vision that Caveman Cafeteria: Where the Hunters Gather, a Denver based gourmet Paleo company is aiming to achieve. They are hoping to become a household name over the next 25 years, creating delicious meals that can be delivered to your door for a simplified, healthy lifestyle.

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I had the pleasure of first discovering Caveman Cafeteria in May last year. I liked them so much that I wrote about them here, on the blog. Last Friday they were one of the vendors that came to the Chris Kresser talk that I attended. I chatted with the owner about their paleo meal delivery, which delivers 40 meals per month to people living in the Denver Metro Area. Some of their meals include: Curried Chicken Salad, Pepper Crusted Beef Steak with roasted red peppers and asparagus with garlic aioli,  Irish Lamb Stew, Slow Roasted Wild Boar and so much more.  The menu changes regularly, so you won’t get bored eating the same things over and over again.

The owner offered me a $50 off promo code, which reduces the cost of the meals to $12.40 per meal. No excuse to not eat healthy, wholesome foods if you can have it delivered to your door! Click here if you are interested and enter the promo code “BeAboutIt”. It’s time to start treating your body right so you can finally see just what you are capable of.

Paleo Slow Cooker Kahlua Pulled Pork.

I have an amazing co-worker who brings me delicious Paleo food on a semi regular basis (and also has a blog!). She introduced me to this delicious and incredibly simple recipe from NomNomPaleo. It is so easy that at 10:23pm I realized I had forgotten to make it, but by 10;30 I was in bed and it was cooking away in the crock pot. Now that is the type of mid-week recipe I like.

Paleo Crockpot Kahlua Pulled Pork

4 lbs pork shoulder

4 pieces of bacon

4 cloves of garlic.

That is literally all you need. It sounds like it wouldn’t be flavorfull, but trust me it took some self restraint to not each a lb of it as soon as it was done.

First, line the crockpot with the bacon.

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Then, stuff the garlic cloves into the folds of the meat, wherever you can fit them.

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Place the pork into the slow cooker and cook on low for about 12 hours, or until soft and thoroughly cooked. Mine was only 3lbs and I let it cook for only 9 hours and it was fine.

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The fat will melt off of the bacon and the pork, making it soft and tender when it’s done. Absolutely amazing. It will make you feel like you are at a BBQ in Hawaii.

Also, unrelated. you HAVE to watch this commercial. I am obsessed. If you don’t like it, we are no longer friends. It makes the song Applause by Lady GaGa a hundred times better.

Friday Evening Swim Workouts (2,000 yards)

Yesterday I was supposed to get a long run in, but my legs were so sore that I decided to do a pool workout. Swimming always helps to stretch out my muscles and get some cardio in, without the hard impact of running. After work I went to the CU Pool to do some laps. The CU swim team was practicing at the same time, so it added in some extra motivation (and also made me really conscious of my form and how much worse it’s gotten since my USS days.) My workout contained alotta backstroke, as I wanted to stretch out my chest and lats a little. It’s not a huge amount of yardage, but enough for someone who just wants to swim for some cross training.  (For Swim Workout # 1 go here)

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SWIMMING WORKOUT #2

WARMUP:

200 Yd. Freestyle

100 Yd. Free Kick

200 Yd. Backstroke

100 Yd. Back Kick

WORKOUT:

3 *100 IM Order (no free)  (50 Swim, 50 Kick)

2 Rounds:

3 *100 Backstroke for time (1st 100 – 1:45, 2nd 100 – 1:30, 3rd 100 – 1:20)

4*50 Alternate Free/Back 40 seconds each.

200 Lung Buster

(50 yds breathe every 3 strokes, 50 yds breathe every 5, 50 breathe every 7, 25 breathe every 9, 25 yds 1 breathe)

100 Warmdown

After my workout I was walking back to the locker rooms with my bag, looking at my instagram on my phone and walked into what I thought was the girls room. I took about 4 steps in before I looked up from my phone and saw a bunch of guys in different stages of undress staring at me. Turns out I had wandered into the guys locker room and the swim team was in there changing after practice. I muttered an awkward “Oh, this is the mens room” and walked out to the sound of guys cracking up. Whooopsiesss. Hopefully it just provided a good story and no one was actually offended.

As always, I remembered how much I love swimming. The silence of the water makes you really tune in to yourself and the way your body is moving. It also provides a good time to reflect on the day and any work problems I have going on. I think I might incorporate it weekly into my workouts, to help relieve my muscles while still working on my cardio. Gotta love swimming!

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Keepin’ Cozy in the Snow: Paleo Shepard’s Pie

The beautiful 60+ degree weekend we had is but a memory and it has been replaced with cold, wet snow. Tomorrow morning I will most likely wake up to this view out the back of my apartment complex.ImageOctober, 2012

To try to stay warm and cozy I decided to whip up a quick Shepard’s Pie (Paleo style, of course).

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Paleo Shepard’s Pie*

1lb ground beef (I used 1.25 lbs because I like meat)

1 Onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 parsnips

1 carrot

1 cup mushrooms (I didn’t use them in mine because someone I share my meals with hates them, but I think they would be good to add)

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Sage

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Rosemary

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Thyme

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 Tablespoon Potato Starch (sold in the cooking isle, right by corn starch)

1 head of cauliflower

1 egg

salt and pepper

1. Brown beef in large sauté pan

2. Add parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, onions and garlic. Let cook for about 3 minutes

3. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook until parsnips/carrots are soft. Add about 3/4 of the herbs and mix. Pour mixture into oven safe dish.

4. Steam Cauliflower, when soft use potato masher to lightly mash

5. Add 1 egg and potato starch and remainder of herbs to mashed cauliflower and stir

6. Spread cauliflower mixture on top of the meat/veggie mixture.

7. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.

8. Put a heaping portion on your plate and cozy up under some blankets to fight the cold!

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* recipe adapted from Health-Bent