Working Out and Baking Out

It has been an entire day of baking over in my neck of the woods! Well, baking and workouts, it seems.

After I posted this morning, I was on my way out the door to a power yoga class when the husband called me and let me know his “gaming chair” (don’t ask…) would be arriving by 9:30 via FedEx and it needed a signature.

So instead, I turned around and turned the office into a yoga studio by cranking up the heat and setting out my mat.



While the room heated, I got in a 30 minute interval workout on the elliptical in the workout room. After I was hot and sweaty from the cardio sesh, the room was too, and it was time to bend, twist and jump – Dave Farmar style! I did a 70 minute pod cast which left me giving everything I had. There were several times I uttered a curse word at Mr. Farmar when he had us holding one side a little (a LOT) longer than the other. I hate that!

It also left me STARVING. I had a mini breakfast (the usual pre-workout breakfast as of late) a few hours before, but I needed MOAR! Look what happened upon my bowl of oats this morning:


         IMG_0430 IMG_0431    

PB Overload 2010 is over! Bring on the peanut buttah 😉



And a little Greek yogurt aside it.



If you haven’t tried Fage Total, do it, and it’ll change your life. I’m telling you, it’s worth the extra calories, and it’s extremely filling and satisfying.

My mid morning client cancelled, which I was OK with, because I had hours to spend in the kitchen. Here’s a glimpse into the next, oh, five hours:







I stopped a few hours in because I had the urge to do some strength training – at home, with no equipment. Have you ever visited before? Zuzana kinda makes me uncomfortable and like I’m watching something dirty with her barely there workout clothes and very primal grunts, but she does have some good workouts. I just did the Try This at Home workout. Felt good to really use my muscles:)

I also had a small lunch, really just to get in a second meal. The snacking and tasting while baking throws my meal times off!

Tasty Bite to the rescue!


Over whole wheat cous cous with a side of snap peas:



Now it’s after 5:00, and I’m no where near hungry because of all the tasting and quality control I’ve been doing all day. That, and I need to step awaaay from the caramel popcorn 😉



It’s addictive!!

Are you able to stay away from snacking while baking and cooking all day? I just can’t help it! I even caught myself snacking on a piece of raw pie dough that was leftover. Raw pie dough doesn’t even taste good!! lol


I think I’m going to retire for the night. All my baking and cooking is almost done to bring over to my aunt’s tomorrow. Then it all starts again tomorrow night for hosting at my house on Friday. And for this one, I have to serve turkey! I’m scared – Anyone have an easy no-fail way to cook a turkey??

Happy Thanksgiving Even, everyone!!! Be SAFE if you go out for Black Wednesday!! It’s sleeting here and I’m tired, so the only partying I’m going to do is watching this week’s Glee. Oh yeaaa 😉


Fish Food Beans For Dinner

My, my, what a marathon of a Monday yesterday was! It was one of those days that seemed daunting in the days before, and then at the very end you’re left thinking, “wow, I made it through!” You know?

Not that it was a bad day – there was just a lot packed in. I was at the gym working from 11 until about 7, then I trained a new client out of her house from 7:30-8:30, and then had a volleyball game from 9-10:30! Go go go!

The volleyball game was a blast – and we won all three games!! I left a happy, sweaty mess. Much happier than after last week’s loss 😀

I did manage to somehow sneak in dinner in between my obligations:


Squash + black beans + feta = best combination ever.


Or so I thought they were black beans when I bought them…


When I opened the can, I noticed I actually got black soy beans! No wonder they were on sale…

I wasn’t too happy about that, since I’d already had soy at lunch, but this is what made me less happy:


FISH FOOD!! I had a bad seaweed experience last year (it tastes like fish food flakes!!) so I was extremely leery.

I enjoyed the squash ‘n beans with some Brussels Sprouts seasoned with TJ’s Every Day Seasoning:



But fortunately, they tasted like regular ol’ black beans!

Around 11:00, after playing volleyball and showering, I was hungry again. Playing vball works up an appetite!


Whole wheat bagel thins I loaded up with some homemade pumpkin cream cheese (3 parts cream cheese to 1 part pumpkin, 1 T pumpkin pie spice, 3 T. Maple Syrup – whipped up) and called it good.

I got these bagel thins at the store the other day as an impulse buy. And they sounded perfect for a nighttime snack since they weren’t too heavy!


Have you jumped on the “thins” bread train? I’m not one to be afraid of carbs, but sometimes you just don’t need all that bread! And bread with wholes in it is just more fun 😉

Well, actually, I sat and ate almost half the bag of these before calling it good…


…but that’s neither here nor there 😉


My day’s wide open today, but I have so much to do! I think I’ll start it off with a little yoga 🙂 I might try to run a little later today, too.

Are you working this week up until Thanksgiving?

Odd Timing for a Workout

Hi guys! How’s it going? I don’t know about you, but I freaked out a little bit when I looked out the window yesterday at 4:30 pm to see the last bits of the sun sinking down in the sky.

This made last night’s volleyball game seem all the more late. The game was at 9:00 pm – and the game was a little over an hour, so I got home pretty late as is. But as I was driving to the game, I felt like I was leaving in the middle of the night!! It’d be easy to be mopey and not give it my all, but what fun would that be?! Even though the game was late, it was still a good time – as always.

Luckily we won.  

Luckily, my work schedule is flexible.

Today’s a BIC day, but I decided to go into the office about an hour later than I usually get there on Tuesdays so I could get at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep. After shower and a snack, I wasn’t in bed until about midnight.

Before the game, I took advantage of a time-saver meal I’d made on Sunday for dinner.


Polenta Casserole!!   

I had a small square of it since I’d be busting my booty for vball soon after. I have to say, this was delicious!! I really wasn’t sure. I mean – I like all the ingredients, but I wasn’t quite sure how they’d go together.


Verdict’s in – they go amazingly well together! 😀

Honestly I was still a little hungry after eating this – but I don’t like “working out” on a full stomach.

Frozen fruit is an excellent snack choice when you’re worried about this. Since it’s frozen, it’s hard to over eat and end up with a belly ache, but it gives that sweetness to finish off a meal:


When I got home from the game, I wasn’t quite sure what to eat for a “post workout” snack. I got in a really good workout playing, and wasn’t very hungry, and it was nearly 11 pm. But I knew since my metabolism was raging, if I didn’t eat anything, I’d probably wake up around 3 in the morning, ravaging the fridge!

When I want a snack that’s more for function than for taste, I have a go-to snack, involving three ingredients.


I use the crispy brown rice cereal – which has about zero sugar in it (good for when you’re going to sleep soon) and then mix in a half scoop of protein powder for satiety, and then pour in some almond milk!


It looks nasty, but it really a great re-fueling snack. It’s pretty tasty, too, in my opinion!

The plan was to sleep in today, but for some reason, I was up at 5:30 anyway… I took use of the time by getting in a quick 3 mile tempo run on the treadmill, and then doing some leg work. Now my stomach feels a little urpy after breakfast – hopefully that will go away soon!

What are some snacks that out eat close to heading to bed? Toast works well for me, too. Or a piece of fruit!

*Coming up in next post – an update on my favorite all natural beauty products! It’s been a while 😉

At Home It’s a Go At Gym It’s a No

Hi again 😀 Hope your days just swimming on by! How do you guys like this font? I’m not really too keen on what I had before. This is Calibri – it’s my favorite to use in the office, so we’ll see how it does in blog land. As a forewarning – this won’t be the first change you see coming to Running Around Normal. In the next couple weeks, it will have a whole new look! I’m SO excited about it 😀

So it sounds like we all deal with guilt from time to time. It’s a natural human response – but it’s how we deal with it that matters most, right? 🙂

In spirit of the new rule to cut running days down from five to four in order to avoid further injury, I woke up this morning knowing I would forgo my usual Thursday six mile run and instead get some cross training in.

This also meant I could exercise in the comfort of my own home! I split the session into cardio and strength training by doing 35 minutes on the elliptical and then full body weights – superset-style. It took about an hour in total.

Four Favorite Things about Working Out at Home

Pulling two completely random socks out of the “orphan sock bag” (you know, where all the socks that go into the dryer in pairs and come out all alone) instead of digging for two matches:



Looks good to me! I won’t mind!

Shamelessly Watching Days of Our Lives or sing my lungs out while watching MTV (no really, it’s actually music television before 6 in the morning)


No weird looks from gym-goers while belting out “TEEN – AGE DREAM..dadadadada TEEN- AGE DREAM…uhh.. dadadada”  this time! 😉

Leaving all the equipment laying around until the end of the workout:



No, I’m in fact not using that at the moment. So WHAT! 😛

And lastly, going from this:


To this:


In less than 10 minutes.      

I’m out of almond milk right now which is pretty much a key ingredients in ALL my breakfasts – oats, over night oat cereal, waffles, etc. So this morning, I had to think outside the box carton.

I think this is my first true all yogurt cereal combination:


There’s a boatload of ingredients in there, but almond milk isn’t one of them!


¾ c. plain Greek yogurt

½ c. pumpkin


1 tsp. pumpkin butter

½ scoop vanilla Jay Robb protein powder

1 T. raw almond butter

¼ c. oats

1 T. chia seeds

½ banana

¼ c. granola

Yum! I think it may be making a regular occurrence now 🙂

Well it’s a busy day at the Big Insurance Company today, better get back to work!


What’s your favorite thing about working out from home – whether it’s strength training, a workout DVD, yoga, or using your own equipment? I’m also a big fan of waiting to brush my teeth until afterword and avoiding the outdoors when it’s cold and snowy!

Go Ahead and Tri(set) Me

Happy Friday, friends!! How was your week? It went by pretty dang fast for me. Thank you SO much for all of your advice on Plantar Fasciitis. I was especially thankful for these additional tips that I hadn’t known about:

Beth and a couple others mentioned freezing a water bottle – it doubles as ice and a massage all in one!

Kasey who works at a running store mentioned wearing socks or boots to keep foot at a 90 degree ankle would help

Niki who is a physical therapist, said to stretch the plantar fascia before getting out of bed to ease it into a stretched position.

Thanks for the tips, guys!:D


I just got back from training an early morning client, and it was a great session! In fact, I plan on going back to the gym here in a bit to do the exact same workout myself. I would have done it right after training, but I didn’t get a breakfast in before I left, and there was no way I was going to lift for an hour on a completely empty stomach.

So instead, I came home and tried the fitnessista’s breakfast cookie dough cereal!




I made mine more fall-like by adding a 1/4 c. pumpkin, some golden raisins, and a little pumpkin pie spice.



After that digests (and after Niko’s morning walk,) I’ll be heading back to the gym to pump some iron. But, I love this workout so much that I just have to share it with you.




Confession: I love quick-paced, hard hitting, triset workouts.

disclaimer: before trying any of these exercises or beginning any exercise program, please check with your physician.

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Behind Neck Press 3 10 w/ 20 lb. barbell
1b. Long Arm Pullover 3 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbell
1c. Barbell side lunge 3 on each leg 10 w/ 20 lb. barbell

Go through exercises  a-c three times for the first three sets of exercises, resting for 30-60 seconds between each triset

Exercise Sets Reps
2a. Single Arm Twisting Seated Row 3 on each arm 10
2b. Pushup 3 10
2c. Dumbbell Deadlift 3 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells


Exercise Sets Reps
3a. O/H tricep cable extension 3 10 w/ 20 lbs.
3b. Lat pulldown 3 10 w/25 lbs.
3c. Step ups 3 on each leg 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells


Exercise Sets Reps
Plank on medicine ball 3 60 seconds each
Back extension on ball 3 10 w/ 10 lb. plate


The entire workout should take you about an hour to complete. I will also be posting this workout over on Fitconomy.


Sahale Snacks Anniversary Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Sahale Snacks giveaway is Cynthia from Pretend Cook! Congrats, girl:) Send me your info and I’ll forward it on to Debby to get you your goods 😀

Well I’m off to go do Friday! Bring it on:) Hopes are that by the end of the day, my car will be cleaned out and my house will be spotless. I also have plans for a Bloomington/Normal blogger run this afternoon that I’m really looking forward to 😀

But before I go, I have to show you this hot and steamy picture…




haha. Shane and I went out for Mexican the other night, and my veggie fajitas were so sizzling hot that they wouldn’t stop steaming for like 5 minutes!! I could barely see my date on the other side of the table for a minute!

Also – today kicks off 30 days of Vitamix meals on the blog! So far I’ve only made smoothies, so I’mma have to get creative up in here 🙂

Ok…off I go!

What’s your favorite breakfast of the moment? If you guys are like me, you’ll get stuck on one breakfast for a while before moving on to the next. Lately, mine is smooothies, but I have a feeling the cookie dough cereal could stick around for a while.


Have a fantabulous Friday, everyone!

Are you a Yes Person?

Hey friends! Thanks for all the congrats from yesterday’s post! Your encouragement means the world 🙂

The other night I headed over to a nearby city for a speaking engagement. I’d been asked to speak at a sleep apnea meeting about fitness, wellness, and low back pain. This was my first speaking engagement about fitness and health, so I was a little nervous:)


But it went pretty well! They were a very engaging audience and asked so many questions! I talked for about 45 minutes and then did some demonstrations. (I’ll be posting a recap over on Fitconomy soon!

Unfortunately, I got home right around 9…(and drove is a horrible thunderstorm on the way home!)…which meant I missed Glee. I missed GLEE!!! 😦 I’ll be watching it online tonight you bet your bootay. Has anyone found it online yet?


The “Yes” Dilemma

Never in my life has my calendar been so colorful. For example, this Saturday from 7-9, there are three different shades in that timeslot.



That’s because I’ve triple booked myself. And don’t even get me started on my Mondays…

It’s the “yes” dilemma. Making plans and putting yourself out there is great. But it’s just as great to tell people “no” once in a while.


I have a hard time telling people “no” – either because I feel that it’s my duty to do what they’ve asked or just because it plain sounds fun! But it can lead to stress. It can lead to emailing people at the last minute admitting that you won’t be able to attend __(fill in blank)___ because you have another obligation.

So from now on, I’m going to abide by the first come first serve MO. If I make plans for something, then it gets to have that entire timeslot. It does not get to share it with work, or a volleyball game, or dinner with a friend, or a training session, or class, orrrrr…

You get the point. So I’m a yes person!

I’m sure there are tons out there who can relate. Feel bad about turning down an invite even when you’ve clearly got something else going on? Besides being stressful, it’s really not fair to your family (and pets, for that matter!) I like to spend the evenings with my husband, but lately it’s been a rarity during the week. And Niko’s used to getting both a morning walk and an evening walk, but lately, a rushed morning speed walk as I try to make it out the door in time is all she gets.

OK I’m not here to complain, I promise;) I’m very thankful for all I’ve got going on. But my point is to encourage everyone (and myself) to use the word “no” every once in a while. You don’t have to take up every offer that comes your way!

Are you a yes person? Does it ever stress you out?

Firsts Workout

Heya Heya!

Whoa. Is it really the 24th day of August? Today was the first day of class for ISU here in Normal…made me reminisce back to my first day at ISU! I was so nervous!!

Although it’s the end of the summer (ouch, it hurts just saying it!) I had my first real summer pie on Sunday:




Strawberry rhubarb. You heard me; strawberry and rhubarb pie.




So I didn’t bake it myself, but Fresh Market did a damn good job of it for me.

With ice cream!




Growing up, my mom would always make a strawberry/rhubarb mush in the summer. All it was was frozen strawberries, fresh rhubarb, and sugar. And it was amazing:)

One of my clients is experiencing a first of her own as well…her first solo workout sesh at the gym! I’ve been working with her for four months now, and she’s finally confident to go in on her own and complete a workout – I’m so proud 😀 I wanted to have her get in a good mix of cardio + weights, so I drafted up the following workout.

This workout is sure to FLY by. It involves both cardio and strength training and is a complete boredom buster!

Total time: 1 hour


Minutes Incline Speed
1-5 1% 3.5
5-8 5% 4.0
8-10 8% 3.9
10-13 10% 3.9
13-15 4% 3.9

[switch to]


Minutes Incline Resistance
1-3 5 8
3-8 8 10
8-10 10 15
10-15 5 8




Stability ball squats 10 lb. dumbbells 12 reps
Arnold press 10 lb. dumbbells 10 reps

[repeat 2 x’s]


Bent over barbell row 40 lb. barbell 10 reps
Pushup [modified w/ smith bar] body weight 10 reps

[Repeat 2 x’s]


Deadlifts Olympic bar 10 reps
Planks body weight 90 seconds

[repeat 2 x’s]


Enjoy 😀 If you try out this workout, let me know how it goes! Let me know if you have any questions, and as always, seek the advice of your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Coming up this week in Fitness at RAN

  • How I create training plans for upcoming races
  • I’ll post the details of my next Friday Fun Run – it will capture how to utilize the last lovely days of summer while getting in a heart pumping and fresh workout.

Well I’m off to go do today! It’s going to be a marathoner – all day at the BIC, then a night full of clients (including a new one! 😀 )

How do you fit strength training in your workout routine? Since I’m all about running in the summer/fall, I aim for full body strength training twice a week, usually on its own or along with some lighter/easier cardio or run.

What’s your favorite summer pie? You knew I was going to ask this 😉 I’m going with rhubarb!