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Tag Archives: running


Green smoothie hack

I’m starting to feel like just maybe this warm weather is here for good now. These comfortable temps have finally inspired me to break out my blender for the first smoothies of the year this week!

Smoothie surface close-up

Normally, I wouldn’t quit drinking smoothies in the colder months, but our apartment has been so uncomfortably cold all winter that I couldn’t bear to even think about choking down a frigid smoothie while my nose was numb with near-frostbite. This past winter was hard on me and I’ve been begging for it to get warm enough to not have to wear several layers of clothes to bed at night with the space heater cranked up to 11.

So, this little life hack is something that I’ve had to wait a long time to be able to share on the blog— hope you find it as game-changing as I did.

Strawberry spinach smoothie

Don’t be fooled, the smoothie pictured above may look a fruity shade of red, but I assure you it’s heart is green!

I don’t think many people are phased by the thought of putting green leafy stuff in their smoothies anymore, and that’s a great thing. I know I don’t eat enough greens, they’re not my favorite things in the world, so learning that I could puree them into a smoothie to the point that they become nearly undetectable was a lifesaver.

There’s just one problem, my blender is not nearly powerful enough to liquify fresh spinach or kale, so what i end up with is always more of a chunky chewy cold soup. It can be pretty unpleasant to gulp down a smoothie that is little more than soft mulch, no matter how good it tastes. But luckily I’ve come up with a solution that has pretty much solved the problem for me (at least until the day I get a high-speed blender that can truly annihilate everything in its path.)

Frozen spinach.

Bag of frozen loose spinach

Not just any frozen spinach though. I’m talking about taking loose fresh spinach, bagged or bunched, and sticking it in the freezer. Not the cooked stuff that comes in a box in the freezer aisle and comes out in a giant green brick, you gotta use the fresh stuff.

I stick a bag of loose bagged spinach directly in the freezer. For bunched though, I would wash and trim it then allow it to dry on a towel before freezing it in a single layer on a baking sheet.

When the spinach freezes, it becomes extremely brittle and fragile. The leaves don’t stick together but freeze individually, so it’s easy to portion out how much you need. When this stuff hits the blades in even my weak little blender, it shatters into teeny tiny little pieces, not totally obliterated like a high-speed blender would do but small enough to feel like a drink instead of a fruit porridge.

Frozen spinach leaves

It was wonderful to drink a smoothie that was actually smooth when I got back from my run today.

A cold smoothie is so good after a hot run in the sun!

Liquid calories after my run

This one had frozen strawberries, frozen spinach, silken tofu, maca powder, chia seeds, coconut water, almond milk, and a little bit of leftover citrus-flavored kombucha.

Good stuff.

Maybe this hack isn’t news to anyone, but it sure has changed my smoothies tremendously, so I thought I’d share.

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?


Back in the gym

So sore today!

I missed working out. I finally started with a new gym yesterday since I’ve realized I’m just not into running in the freezing cold. If I were training for a race that was going to take place in frigid temps then I’d make myself do it, but since I’m not in training currently, the treadmill is fine.

I haven’t lost any ability during my time off but I have lost some flexibility. Too much sitting in front of the computer all day in an unsupportive chair. I need to make it a point to make a chiropractic appointment this month, get all loosened-up again.

This year is about fitness for me. I’m gonna get my money’s worth outta these shoes this year, for sure.

I’m narrowing down a few races for my first 5K of the year, I’ll make an announcement when I’ve signed up!

Also: Thanks to everyone for your comments on my post about understanding what motivates you. I feel like you guys are proud of me for kicking the nail-biting habit, and that makes me proud of myself all over again. Thanks!

What goal are you tackling first this year?


Run Like Hell 5K, 2010

So guys, before I even get started, lemmejustellyou……that today…….I drop-kicked my PR by a whopping 5+ minutes!!!

You probably can’t read my time card in this picture, but I finished in 37:38, down from 42:56!! For some reference, I was hoping to do 40 minutes flat at best.

Holy. Mother. Of. Pearl.  I never thought that I could accomplish what I did today, and I am so proud of myself.

Here’s how it all went down…

Got up just before 7am, and showered. (Yes, I shower before exercising. I find that I do poorly when I feel gross, so I like to at least be clean for the first part of the run, then I have a good reason to be gross thereafter.)

Ate a banana and had a cup of pu-erh tea, stretched a bit, then got my stuff in order. We were out the door at 5 til 8 and at the cemetery by 8:10.  I wanted to be early to pick up my race number and shirt.  I tried to do this several days ago but realized that I’d gotten my dates mixed up and had missed the last day of pre-race packet pick-up.

Jeff thought it would be cute to take pictures of my butt walking in…

And here I am at the entrance…

We got to pass by a ton of beautiful graves as we hiked to the packet pick-up area.

I guess everyone else was smart and got their’s in advance, cuz the lines were tiny.

I couldn’t pin my number on myself so I had my sister help me…

We stood around for a while listening to the band warm up then made our way down to the start area.

I got in the start-up line while Jeff and Danielle found a place to watch from. Turns out that there weren’t too many spectators, so they were alone most of the time that I was running. They snapped a pic of the band as it started playing the opening song.

Can you find me in the pack?

There I am!

It’s worth noting that because we didn’t have those tracker strips that you put on your shoes (I don’t know what they’re called,) everyone had the same start time on this race regardless of how long it took to actually make it through the line to the start point. It felt like longer than it probably was, but I’m sure I clocked at least 30 seconds of time that wasn’t actually part of the race. Kinda sucks, but it’s not that big of a deal.

Here’s where the fun part kicks in though.  As the band started blaring their opening tune, I cranked up my iPod and focused myself for the test ahead of me.  I listened to Florence and the Machine the whole time, cuz I’m rather obsessive about my music and that’s who I’m obsessed with right now.  It felt so good to start out to these lyrics:

Florence And The Machine: Dog Days Are Over

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the head
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your loving, your loving behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run


That really charged me up!

I don’t know why, maybe it was the adrenaline, maybe it was the herd mentality, but I just felt so ON in that moment. Previously, my record for distance ran before needing to walk has been about 1.2 miles. This morning, I didn’t take my first break until after the 2 mile mark!  It wasn’t even a serious break either, I did about 20 steps worth of fast shuffling while I took a few deep breaths, and then I was back at it full force.

The way back was very hilly and I was definitely not at my best, but I didn’t feel like I was really struggling.  There were two girls that I had been just behind for most of the race that I felt were running at an appropriate pace for me, so because I didn’t have any other way of tracking, I used them as a way to pace myself.  If they were way ahead of me then I needed to pick it up, if I passed them that was cool but it was also a warning that I was probably setting myself up for fatigue later.

I allowed myself to walk a bit in the last mile, but I’m positive that I didn’t walk more than a cumulative .2 miles total.  Towards the end though, I was really breathing hard, and I knew that we were gonna need to bring it home soon if I was going to run it in.

I pushed hard to make myself run the last .25 miles through the cemetery, and just when I thought I was going to have to stop I saw Jeff and Danielle!

I knew the finish was just around the corner. I could hear a man yelling through a megaphone in the distance and I thought I heard him say “37!” and I thought, “Wait, does he mean 37 minutes!!??”  I let out an obscenity as I realized I was about to finish a sub-40 minute race!

I did it.  I did it in 37:38 and that’s more than I ever imagined.

I hugged Jeff triumphantly. I turned in my race card. We went home. Stuffed my face with carbs and took a nap.

Today was a great day. I have achieved more with my running than I ever thought possible.

SO READY to sign up for another one. I’ve got the bug!