Category Archives: Foam Roller

Late Night Swim


After work yesterday I went to my friend’s house to help her move.I gave her this fridge magnet when I moved last year. It cracks me up.

Honestly, moving should be considered a workout! I was sweaty and tired but we finished moving a bunch of stuff early so I headed to the pool for a quick swim. But not before my friend sent me home with fresh mint from her garden:

Fresh Mint

I can’t wait to try the mint in my tea.

The water aerobics class finished at 7:30 and I arrived at the pool with 5 minutes to change. Perfect timing! I got a lane and started swimming my laps.

I pulled a muscle in my calf on Wednesday. It started out feeling like a Charlie Horse but I realized it was a pulled muscle either from running or gardening, or both. Swimming felt really good on the muscle!

I did a mile in 40 minutes, sat in the hot tub and then headed home.

Since Michael was on his own last night, I wasn’t surprised to come home to this:

AND:

BOYS!!! 😉 They really do need us in their lives.

Of course, I had two slices for dinner! I was famished and it was almost 9:00pm–too late to cook something.

I also had two scoops of light vanilla ice cream.

I was feeling dead on my feet but I did my Foam Roller and then used another roller just on my calf.

It’s sort of like a Tiger Tail. And it worked! I woke up this morning with the cramp/soreness gone!

Time Travel Post #2 – Moving


About this time last year, Michael invited me to move in with him. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was an easy decision to make, despite my independent nature. I’d lived on my own for about 8 years. No roommates, completely self-sufficient.

I loved my old apartment. I had the perfect neighbor, a quiet neighborhood, and lots of storage and space! The local community pool was literally a mile from my apartment and I spent many, many, many days there swimming off my 110 pounds!

When Michael asked me to move in with him I was very happy and packed up all my crap. 🙂 I had a lot of stuff. I decided I wanted to downsize and purge as much crap as I could. It was a very long process. I had TONS of books I had to sort and decide which ones to get rid of. I donated too many carloads of stuff to count to Goodwill. It felt great to get rid of junk.

Of course moving was stressful. It was a big decision and a big life change for me. Having been on my own for so long, I worried and over analyzed the idea of giving up my own space. It turned out to be a good thing and I’ve never regretted giving up my apartment.

Of course I got a little emotional looking at my empty apartment but then I moved on (literally).

Sometimes unpacking can be fun. Other times, it’s not fun. Fat Kitty of course had to explore every nook and cranny and “helped” me unpack. 😛

This time last year Portland was experiencing a heat wave of over 100 degrees. My little apartment was NOT air-conditioned and it was miserably hot. 😦 There seems to be a repeat this year! However, I’m now in an air-conditioned house thankfully!

Last night was very hot and I was happy to have air conditioning. Today it’s supposed to be 100 degrees. Just a reminder in hot weather: make sure your critters get extra water and don’t get too hot!

For dinner we grilled steaks outside. I made a salad and cooked the gnocchi.

I topped the salad with goat cheese crumbles. What a great addition!

I realized we were out of pesto. Bummer. I love the steak/gnocchi/pesto combo. Instead of pesto, I sprinkled olive oil on the gnocchi and shredded fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

I’ve been having problems with a tooth for a few weeks now and in retrospect, steak probably wasn’t a good choice for dinner last night. Oh well! It was tasty!

For dessert I had two scoops of light vanilla ice cream, a little light chocolate sauce and less than a handful of M&Ms. Because of my tooth I haven’t been eating a lot lately. I’ve been way under my daily calories all week. I also have to eat a lot slower, so that’s been a positive!

Finally, congratulations to our friends Dave and Kat who just welcomed their daughter Norah into the world!! I can’t wait to meet the little cutie! 🙂

Friday Night Swim


Last night’s swim was really good. It was the first time I forgot that I had an injury. My hip didn’t bother me at all and I swam fast and hard.There were some teenage boys in the lane next to me racing each other. It was pretty funny to watch because neither of them have ever had swimming lessons obviously. There was a lot of splashing and flailing about! And I was still faster than them .;)

Something else I noticed is how many people insist on jumping/diving into the pool at the gym. There are signs clearly saying “No Diving” and the pool is very shallow–about 5 feet. Maybe I’m just a stick in the mud but I’d rather not risk a back injury to dive into a shallow pool. I used to work at an Insurance company paying out claims and I kid you not: more often than not, the quadriplegics I paid for usually broke their back diving into the ocean or a shallow pool. I just shake my head when I see people doing that now.

When I got home we made chicken quesadillas for dinner. First: drinks! I created a Vodka/POM/Sparkling Water drink that was absolutely wonderful!

I used just a splash of the POM. I figure each drink was about 150 or 160 calories.

The vodka was a tad on the strong side, so I got a bigger glass to dilute it more with the Sparkling Water. Much better!

Michael cooked the chicken in the skillet while I prepped the other stuff.

I chopped onion, jalapenos, olives and put that on top of the shredded cheese and black beans.

Dinner was delicious but next time we really need to shred the chicken, or chop it up really small. The chunks were just a tad too large.

It was gooey and delicious!

My kitty woke us up at 7:30 this morning. Doesn’t she understand that it’s the weekend?? Since I was up, I decided to head down to the track and go for a run. I ate half a bagel with cream cheese on it and left the house. My main objective was to run without any hip pain and to also recalibrate my Nike+. I didn’t turn the Nike+ on until I got to the track.

To help myself remember how many miles I did on the track so I could check it against my Nike+, I moved the hairbands from my right wrist to my left wrist after 1 mile was completed. High tech, huh? 🙂

My track run was a mixed bag this morning. The good news: I didn’t have any pain in my hip/butt/back. The bad news: I had a really bad cramp in my side the entire time. I varied my speed and that didn’t help. I walked a bit and the cramp went away. It was weird. I didn’t know what it was and I was feeling frustrated. I completed 4 miles around the track and recalibrated the Nike+. It was off by almost 1/2 a mile!

When I got home, I had a glass of chocolate milk as my recovery drink, stretched, and did my Foam Roller.

Today’s Stats:

Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Total Distance: 5 miles

Track Distance: 4 miles

Calories Burned: 641

Have a great day! Get out there and enjoy the holiday weekend! 🙂

Healing Yoga: For Aches and Pains


I got home from work tonight and decided to do some yoga. It’s been a few weeks (um a month?) since I attempted yoga at home and with my stiff, sore hip and possible pulled BUTT muscle (snicker) I decided it was desperately needed. A quick search in Netflix brought me to: “Healing Yoga: For Aches and Pains.” The description is such: “uses yoga to address and correct chronic injuries and illness. This installment of the series teaches moves that focus on relieving the symptoms of arthritis, back pain, neck pain and pain from injuries. Designed for all fitness levels, the simple moves help increase the range of motion to one’s spine and joints while promoting flexibility and fluid body movement.”

I got all my yoga and stretching gear out.

And my yoga mat:

I did the 35 minute yoga video on Netflix. It was a great video. I did a lot of really good moves that stretched out my hips and thighs. I realized pretty quickly that I am very, very tight. I need to be doing yoga more than once a month, clearly. I think I will dedicate 1 Rest Day a week to yoga and try to fit in another 30 minute yoga stretching video sometime on the weekends. Maybe after my “long” work outs that I usually do on Saturdays.

The video had a lot of moves with a chair involved. At first I was skeptical, thinking I wasn’t going to get a very good stretch with the chair. But I was pleasantly surprised! I was really feeling the stretch! In a good way! No pain. I took it easy and didn’t push myself.

I used my chair and did the suggested stretches. Not only did they work, I realized that I could do these stretches with the chair in my cubicle at work. Perfect!

Chair Yoga

Marie over at Cheaper Than Therapy also posted some links for me to try out. I watched and followed this Video three times. It’s from the Runner’s World website and show specific exercises and stretches for hips and thighs. Watch the video! It’s really good. I know for sure that these stretches will be going into my regular stretching routine now. I also did my Foam Roller.

Guess who helped me with my yoga?

Fat Kitty

Yep! Fat Kitty! He’s ALWAYS been a fan of yoga. Whenever I’m on my mat, he wants to be right there helping me out. He did a little of his own yoga! Just like his Mama: stretching those hips!

Cat Yoga

I did 50 minutes of yoga and stretching. I feel much better. I will ice later and use Icy Hot and my hope is that I wake up tomorrow feeling 100% better! If not, swimming will probably stretch my muscles out. All I want is to be able to enjoy my upcoming long weekend with the planned activities: walking, hiking, and biking! Summer is finally here!

QUESTION: What is your favorite yoga video?

Adventures in Foam Rolling


I wanted to provide some photos of the wondrous Foam Roller. I firmly believe everyone–especially Runners–should own one of these! I use it every single night. It takes less than 10 minutes to do all positions and I always feel better afterward.

What is a Foam Roller? It’s a dense foam that when used acts like a deep tissue massage. Using it on a regular basis can prevent common injuries from training and working out. If there’s a certain spot that is particularly sore or tight, roll over it slowly for about 10 seconds at a time and it will loosen up the tissue. How the Foam Roller works is that you use your body weight to apply pressure on the sore spots.

There are different densities you can purchase. The one I used at the gym was too soft for me. The one I use at home is very firm and dense. It’s recommended that if you are a muscular person, use a denser foam.

I know it’s a tad dark, but the foam roller is the black thing underneath me. Here’s the first position:

Working the Shins: great for fixing “Shin Splints”.

Shins

Working the Quads: great for runners AND cyclists. Michael does this one every night and he commutes by bike to work.

Quads

Roll back and forth as slowly as you can and really feel the Foam Roller working your muscles.

More Quads

Next, work your calves. It takes some ab work and strength in your arms but do what you can and take a break if you need to.

Calves

Tight calves are another danger of cycling. Somehow I managed to make a ridiculous face in every one of these photos. Lame!

Next do your hamstrings:

Hamstrings

The most BRUTAL of positions is working the IT Band. Ugh.

IT Band

Finally, if you ever suffer from back pain, I’ve read on various websites that the Foam Roller can improve that as well. Fat Kitty decided to “help” with the Foam Rolling and strategically placed himself in almost every photo. 😉

Back

Finally, I have a new stretch that I’ve been doing recently and it really helps my legs.

Stretching

Here’s an internet picture to give you a better look at what the actual roller looks like:

To read more about the Foam Roller, check out the Running Times Magazine article Here. I bought my Foam Roller off Amazon.com for about $15. It was the best $15 I ever spent.

QUESTION: Do you use a Foam Roller? How has it helped you? Also, do you have any recommendations on yoga poses for runners?

A Weird Dinner


I was on my own for dinner last night so I made kind of a mish-mash of food we had in the house.

Baked Sweet Potato

The last sweet potato, baked at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Baked Salmon

I seasoned the salmon with Lemon Pepper seasoning, salt, pepper, and butter. Baked for about 20 minutes or so. I steamed some cauliflower as my veggie side.

Dinner

I didn’t end up eating the entire sweet potato. It wasn’t cooked all the way through I think and parts of it were too hard. So I ate about half. It also turned out to be a strange combo. The salmon and sweet potato did not mesh well together! Oh well. 😦

A coworker of mine was selling tea cups for a scholarship charity. I bought one and made some tea for dessert.

Tea Time

The tea cup came with a few tea cookies. Yum! The tea was actually a nice treat because the weather was so dark and gloomy last night.

Tea and Dessert

I spent some extra time last night with my Foam Roller. My inner thighs were also strangely sore–I think from running stairs.

This morning I woke up to sunshine! It’s supposed to be a pretty nice day. I’m really looking forward to running at lunch today.

I fried up 2 eggs, ate the last slice of Dave’s Killer Bread and topped it with some new jam I got from New Seasons.

Breakfast for One

Organic Jam

QUESTION: Do you drink tea? Have you ever made your own sun tea?

June Goals


Have I mentioned that my bf’s mom is a great cook? We headed over to the other side of town to celebrate a birthday (and eat yummy food). She grilled up some amazing T-bone steaks.

T-Bone Steaks

The pictures from last night are a bit blurry. I was trying to be sneaky taking pictures. Question: If you’re a blogger, do you get embarrassed taking pictures of food in front of people who “don’t know”?

There were also baked potatoes with all the fixings.

Potato Fixings

Green onions, REAL sour cream (not the light I usually eat), shredded cheese, HOMEMADE bacon bits. Oh, heaven…

Awesome Dinner

The steak was incredibly flavorful and juicy. Michael’s stepsister made amazing Red Velvet cupcakes for dessert. They were moist and delicious! I ate two of them (they were miniature).

Bite Size Dessert

I’m not too sore today. I have no pains from my new shoes (yay!). My hamstrings are MUCH better. The Foam Roller worked! My quads are on the sore side though.

June Goals

I’ve been reflecting on what goals I want to work on this month. Last month’s goals went pretty well.

1) Drink more water.

2) STRETCH!!

3) Use sunscreen.

I feel pretty successful in being consistent with my goals. I could have been better with the stretching but I did okay. And just because it’s a new month, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to continue to do those things. I think I’ve incorporated them into my routine so that they will become habits.

So my new goals are going to be:

1) Lose 2 pounds in June (making my weight 149).

2) Think positive thoughts (especially about my body image).

3) Create a Running Playlist on my iphone.

QUESTION: What’s your goal for June?

Holiday Eats


This weekend was full of eating. I struggled to make good choices ordering Bar Food, I was crippled from gardening, and drank more than I had wanted to. We had a fun time with my cousins visiting from Washington, a BBQ with friends, and the good news…we bought kitchen tiles yesterday!

We’ve been remodeling the kitchen for about 2 years now. Michael was unsure of what kind of tile to get so that slowed down the process. Do we get light beige and go neutral? Or go for super modern black tile? We finally found something we both liked. The picture doesn’t really show the rich browns in the tile but it will look great with our cherry wood cabinets. I’m excited to be closer to a finished kitchen!

A finished kitchen = more cooking and baking. I got Michael a book on how to make bread for Christmas 2 years ago. Bread making is something we both want to try.

I slept in a bit on Monday. It was nice to have the day off! Breakfast was some Oikos Vanilla Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit:

We ran a bunch of errands (tile shopping was one of them) and we worked up QUITE the appetite moving 17 50 pound boxes of tiles into the house! For lunch we grabbed slices at Pizzacato in Sellwood.

Lunch

I got the Verdi Salad: red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, red onions and vinaigrette dressing. The slice of Puttanesca pizza was to die for! Fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, feta, garlic, olive oil and basil. It was delicious!

Puttanesca

The guy working at Pizzacato is a runner and he saw my Nike+ on my shoe. He told me that I shouldn’t wear it all the time because it wears out the battery! I had no idea. FYI. He also said he’s doing the Helvetia Half Marathon soon and training for the Portland Marathon.

Michael and I both decided yesterday that it SUCKS being adults. We spent the three day weekend doing responsible, adult things like errands and chores. BOO.

We finally finished errands and chores and were able to finish up “Parenthood”. We walked around the nearby track for over an hour before dinner too. It was a nice stroll.

Dinner last night was Ahi Tuna steaks. Ahi is like eating a thick steak. It’s the same texture. Michael blackened the Tuna.

Blackening Spice

Check out how thick it is! I honestly prefer the Ahi to be a tad thinner. But it’s good. He flipped the steak over and applied the Blackening Spice to the other side and seared it. Searing only takes a few minutes and the point is to not cook it 100%.

Here’s the steak seared:

I steamed a bunch of veggies as our side.

It’s a big meal to be honest. Neither of us could eat the whole thing. Leftovers!

Dessert was a few scoops of Vanilla ice cream, a few chocolate chips and Lite syrup.

Dessert

Yesterday I took a much needed Rest Day. My hamstrings were tight and sore to the touch. The Foam Roller was brutal!

QUESTION: Have you ever eaten Ahi tuna? What did you think?

Gym Pet Peeves


I had a great work out at the gym! I did 45 minutes on the stair-master.

I felt energized and not slow at all. I got sucked into “Flip This House” on A&E (I’m addicted to those HGTV type house shows!). Before I knew it,  2 episodes and almost an hour later I got off the stair-master and headed over to the treadmill to give my new shoes a try. I did about a mile on the treadmill at a medium pace and finished up with a bunch of weights.

New Shoes

I don’t want to give a review of my new shoes until later. I will see how I feel tomorrow and then hopefully I can get a real run in this week.

Gym Stats:

Calories Burned: 713

Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Activities: Stair-master, treadmill, weights, triceps/deltoids, abs, hip abductors, leg presses, stretching

Gym Annoyances

About half way through my workout, a girl got on the stair-master next to me. I almost got off and left because she smelled so bad. Seriously! It smelled like she’d eaten a gallon of garlic and was sweating it out of her pores–oh and to hide the smell she was chewing watermelon bubblegum. It was so gross. Who does that? Note to all gym members: please don’t smell weird if you can avoid it. Thanks so much!

Around the same time, another chick got on the elliptical on my right side. She was wearing a dress and stripper boots! No joke! They were knee high boots with stiletto heels. I own a pair. And she wore that to the gym to work out? I was so baffled and I was also tempted to ask her if I could take her picture just to PROVE it happen. 🙂 But I didn’t.

Finally, the last annoyance was how very few people clean off the machine after they use it. I watched person after person sweat on and touch the machines and then just walk away. I wanted to yell, “Oh my god you are so vile!” But I didn’t. I always spray down machines BEFORE (and after) I use them because I’m so skeeved out.

QUESTION: What are your gym pet peeves?

Workout over and feeling pretty good, I drove home and decided to do some gardening before I hopped in the shower. I ended up doing almost 45 minutes of weeding! Our yard is completely out of control. The weeds have taken over.

Weeds Taller Than Me!

I filled the bin with weeds and blackberries.

Weeding burned almost 250 calories. I was shocked! I cleaned the house, showered, and fixed lunch.

Lunch was leftovers from yesterday – Indian food, couscous and steamed brocolli.

Added a little of this:

Lunch was the perfect size.

Now to do the Foam Roller and then I’m off to return the Asics shoes!

Craving Indian Food


I was craving Indian food tonight. For dinner, I made some couscous and topped it with Trader Joe’s Dal Makhani. I love their Indian food! It’s got a lot of flavor in it and the lentils are packed with fiber. They are also Vegetarian.

I steamed some cauliflower and broccoli and added that to the top of the Dal Makhani and also added some chickpeas.

I added a little bit of Goddess Dressing to the veggies but realized later I didn’t really need it. The lentil stew was flavorful enough! The only thing missing from dinner was some Naan bread or maybe pita bread. But it’s not like the meal wasn’t complete without it.

Dinner Stats:

1 Serving of Dal Makhani (2 servings in a package) = 170 calories

1 Serving of Couscous (plain) = 220 calories

Goddess Dressing = 120 calories

Cauliflower and Broccoli = 25 calories for 1 cup

Those are good numbers for me! I feel full and satisfied with dinner.

While I ate dinner, I watched the rest of “Lovely Bones” and then did the Foam Roller. I am so excited to write the update about today’s adventure to Foot Traffic!

Have a great night! 🙂

I’m a Nike Girl


I don’t think I like the Asics. When I got home last night I noticed that my right shin sort of hurt. My shins usually don’t hurt from running. I was also a bit tight and sore in the heel. I think I’m going to return the Asics shoes. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? I like Nikes, I’ve had success with them, I’m going to stick with Nike.

Neither of us felt like cooking last night. Michael picked up a deLite pepperoni pizza from Papa Murphy’s. I like it because it’s thin crust and low calorie.

I’d been craving Sriracha lately and thought “That might taste good on the pizza.” Um…not so much. It was just a tad off. I usually like red pepper flakes on my pizza–spicier the better. But Sriracha wasn’t good. 😦

QUESTION: Have you ever eaten a combination of food you thought would be good together, but wasn’t?

I did the Foam Roller last night before bed. I’m trying to use it on my IT band more often. Ouch!

I woke up sore this morning! It’s the lunges I did yesterday. How is it that I can bike 55 miles, or run a fast 5k and NOT be sore, but 5 minutes of traveling lunges cripples me? I don’t get it!

On Tuesday there was another #fitblog chat on Twitter. One of the questions was:

Q3: How do you stay inspired as a healthy living blogger? What do you do on days when you are feeling anything but healthy?

Some days it’s hard to eat healthy and having a blog I feel like I should be on my best behavior. After all, hundreds or readers will judge what I eat.  I thought about that last night when we ordered the pizza. But I rationalized it with the fact that a slice is 175 calories.

How would you answer that question?

Low Key Dinner


I felt sucked of all energy yesterday. By the time I got home from work, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on cooking. First, I made a salad using the fresh greens from our friends.

Fresh Greens

I used green and red leaf lettuce and spinach. I realized the leftover chickpeas I wanted to use were bad. 😦 Tossed those! The salad entailed:

-cauliflower

-apple

-Craisins

-Blue Cheese

-Orange Peppers

-Sliced black olives

-Fresh pepper and oil and balsamic vinegar

The salad was good. I also cooked some spinach ravioli from Costco and topped it with pesto. It may look ugly, but it’s delicious!

While I was making dinner, the skies seemed to explode. There was an intense downpour, thunder, and hail! Fat Kitty was fascinated by the hail.

Hail

We watched this week’s episode of “Lost,” “The Middle” and “Modern Family.” I was so exhausted, I don’t even remember falling asleep!

I’ve been doing the Foam Roller every night and I did it this morning too. I can’t remember the last time I was this sore from a run! I so don’t understand it. And using the Foam Roller on my IT Band is brutal.

I don’t know what is in store for me this weekend. It’s the first weekend in months that we weren’t training for Reach the Beach. I suppose I have a touch of the “After Race Blues.”

QUESTION: Where you live are you actually experiencing spring weather? Or is it crazy weather like it is in the Northwest?