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Archive for March, 2012

Running On Bricks

No, this is not a post about triathlon training! My legs have been feeling like bricks lately. I guess it’s no surprise that after a 14-mile bike ride on Sunday, a three-mile run on Monday, and a four-mile run today, my legs are as heavy as they could be. Thank goodness I only have two miles scheduled for Friday, and then I’m done for this week. Yay!

(Please note that I do still enjoy running. Sometimes.)

The Stats:

  • Distance: 3.85 mile (6,2 km)
  • Time: 45:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:40 min/mile
  • Feeling: Hot & thirsty

Co-worker/running buddy Alex and I ran during lunch break again, and it was way hotter than we had thought! I was sweating buckets and my head was bright red when I returned. I’m so grateful for an awesome shower option at my workplace! And now I’m chugging water like it’s my job, desperately trying to avoid one of those nasty dehydration headaches.

See you!

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Back On The Road

Yesterday my husband and I went on our very first outdoor bike ride of the year. In short, it was amazing!

But let’s back up a little. Last week I was feeling under the weather for a few days. Add to that some sudden stress at work and by Friday I was completely wiped out. That also means that I skipped two of my training runs. Oops! Not an ideal start, I know. Today I ran three miles though, so I’m kind of back on track.

I used the weekend to rest and unwind, as usual, and on Sunday I was finally feeling a lot better and longing for some exercise. My husband can’t run with me these days, as he has some foot issues, so we decided to start the annual outdoor biking season.

For our first ride we chose a medium long and moderately difficult loop around our village. (There are hardly any easy routes in our awfully hilly area!)

In the end, we rode for about 14 miles in a little over an hour. Apparently, all those hours I’ve spent on the stationary bike in the past few months really paid off! I felt strong the entire ride. My legs were a bit tired and heavy afterwards, but not much.

I’m confident that I could also handle a longer and more challenging ride the next time.

Will this make me a better runner? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. I simply love riding my bike through the little villages and small towns around here, spending quality time with my husband, while improving our health and fitness. It’s a win-win-win!

Who else loves outdoor cycling?

See you!

P.S. Those two photos are actually from one of last year’s rides, but we took a similar route yesterday, and the fields looked exactly the same.

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In my part of the world, most people don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Some haven’t even heard of it, like my husband. But I had my own little party last Saturday, feasting on lots of naturally green foods.

I’m feeling a little under the weather today, so let’s get straight to the food, ok?

I made an omelette for breakfast, added frozen herbs to the batter, and topped it all with fresh garden cress.

Ratatouille

On Friday I made a big pot of ratatouille, so I could have leftovers for lunch the next day. Millet on the side, parmesan on top.

Smoothie

This was meant to be a green smoothie, but I accidentally added too many frozen berries. I swear there’s also some spinach in there! Anyway, it was delicious.

Carrot fries with salad

Dinner was some home-made potato fries, tahini covered carrot fries, and a side salad with tomatoes, raw mushrooms, arugula, and balsamic dressing. Of course, I added lots of ketchup after taking that photo.

Green Tea

Lately, I’ve been drinking at least one cup of green tea almost every day. Those two flavors are my favorites at the moment, jasmine and rose on the left, lemongrass and orange mint (?) on the right. So good!

Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

See you!

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Cautious Comeback

You may or may not have noticed the recent lack of running related posts. A few weeks ago, my right foot started to hurt after a run. It was the same kind of pain that plagued me last summer after my second race. So I took a break from running for about two weeks and did a few bike rides instead. Now my foot feels a lot better, thankfully. Let’s hope it will stay that way, as I’m slowly increasing my running mileage again.

Last week I started training for my next race, the Munich Airport 12k on May 18th. I’ll probably skip the Landshut läuft 10k on April 22nd, as I’m invited to an epic bachelorette party the night before.

I’m loosely following this 15k novice training plan by Hal Higdon. This plan has me running three times a week, focusing solely on distance. As I only want to finish that 12k – I’ve never run that far – I don’t really need any speed work or tempo training.

I’ve modified the plan a little to better suit my schedule, moving the runs to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with Friday being my long run day. This plan also includes a lot of strength and cross training. Honestly, I’d be very happy to simply get those runs in, but I will try to do at least a little cross training, mostly in the form of walking and biking. I also plan to return to my weekly Pilates class next month. My back and shoulders are already looking forward to that.

Week #1 of my training went quite well. On Monday I ran one mile on the treadmill, to test my foot, and ran two miles each on Wednesday and Friday, also on the treadmill. It felt so good to be running again! Despite the fact that I also enjoy biking a lot, I really missed being able to run.

Today I ran three miles on the treadmill and felt amazing! Apparently, all that biking has helped me maintain my endurance.

Let’s hope I will stay healthy and injury-free in the next few weeks, so that I can conquer a new-to-me distance, finishing my third race with a big happy smile on my face.

See you!

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This is actually what I ate last Saturday. My weekday meals are usually quite boring, so I’d rather show you some weekend eats.

All week I had been craving salads, so I had a big, colorful, filling salad for lunch almost every day. By Saturday I’ve had enough greens and was craving something … different.

Breakfast

Breakfast was the usual. Ajvar and fried egg on the left, peanut butter and tomatoes on the right. Yes, pb and tomatoes! Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!

Pizza

Time to get real around here. My meals aren’t always perfectly healthy, and I do crave ‘junk food’ from time to time. Whenever that happens, I honor my cravings and enjoy a reasonable portion. Just like this frozen veggie pizza that I had for lunch. I chose one with a lot of vegetables on top, and shared it with my husband.

Tofu, rice, broccoli

Dinner was a simple Korean-style meal: pan-fried tofu with soy sauce, rice, and steamed broccoli. Look, it’s green!

Strawberry smoothie

In my opinion, a day is not complete with a little sweet treat. So I made myself a late night smoothie, with frozen strawberries, banana, soy milk, and protein powder, topped with chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

Cravings -> satisfied!

Do you honor your cravings? Or do you rather try to stay ‘on track’?

See you!

P.S. By the way, today is my birthday. Just sayin’. 😉

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Happy Birthday Grandma Rosa

Today Husband and I went out to have lunch with my family, to celebrate my Grandma’s 85th birthday. That’s right, this little lady is 85 years old and sharp as a tack!

Grandma Rosa

Grandma Rosa

I thought this was a great opportunity to show you what my usual vegetarian meal options look like in a typical Bavarian/German restaurant.

Salad

Salad

I was surprised to find a pretty decent self-serve salad bar. The options were limited, but everything was fresh. My bowl contained mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh radish, and potato salad. The typical Bavarian potato salad is made with a light vinaigrette and without mayonnaise. This one even contained fresh dill. It was amazing!

Kaesespaetzle

Käsespätzle with fried onions

Unfortunately, my entrée was not as good. My only option was a dish called ‘Käsespätzle’, which is the South German version of mac and cheese. It was quite heavy and very salty.

Sometimes it’s hard to be a health-conscious vegetarian around here, especially when it comes to eating out, but I’ve learned to make it work. I know that this meal wasn’t quite as healthy as I’d like, but hey, it’s just one meal! Now I’m back home and can eat as much fruit and vegetables as I desire.

See you!

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In honor of the beginning of Spring and the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Jenn of Peas And Crayons has announced a new theme for the month of March.

It’s probably no surprise that I love green food. Despite the fact that my meals usually aren’t completely green, I do try to include some green vegetables as often as I can.

Here are a few green-ed up meals from the past few days:

Breakfast Sandwich

Why yes, I tend to have some vegetables with my breakfast, usually cucumbers and/or tomatoes. The latter are currently out of season, which makes me very sad.

Lunch Salad

Lately, I’ve been craving salads like crazy, so I’ve had one for lunch on most days. This beauty was topped with quinoa, sweet corn, ajvar, kidney beans, and sunflower seeds. Tasty and filling!

Pasta

This pasta dish needed something green, too, so I simply added a few frozen peas to the boiling pasta.

Cucumber Snack

That was probably the most random snack in ages, but I was craving cucumbers and cream cheese, so that’s what I had.

Lunch Salad

Another day, another salad. This time I paired it with some grain burgers, that I made from a dry packaged mix. It was labeled as ‘Mexican style’ and was surprisingly spicy! But also delicious, I’m glad I still have another pack. I topped the burgers with hummus and ajvar.

Miso Soup

How do you turn a simple miso soup into a satisfying meal? Just add some cubed tofu, brown rice, and frozen vegetables, like carrots and broccoli.

What’s your favorite way to ‘green up’ your meals?

See you!

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