If We Were At Happy Hour…

One type of post that I love to read from fellow bloggers is a “coffee date” post. Basically, the author chats about things going on in a cozy, drinking hot coffee type of way. Since I don’t drink coffee (I know, I know), I thought I’d do a happy hour post. Same thing as a coffee date, except more my style.

Summer beer, not coffee

If we were at happy hour, I would be grinning ear to ear, and not be able to stop, because I am a new aunt! My oldest sister, Kate, brought Parker William into the world this Tuesday. He is absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to meet him at Christmas!

Kate is on the right

If we were at happy hour, I would also be grinning ear to ear because two of my friends had their babies on Monday! It has been a baby filled week and everyone is happy and healthy.

If we were at happy hour, I would tell you that I am really enjoying the life group Rob and I joined. Everyone in the group is kind, personable, fun, and I am trying not be a stalker and ask them all to hang out in a non-life group setting. Not only that, but I feel like my relationship with God has deepened from attending our church and life group.

If we were at happy hour, I might be blushing a little because I am still getting comfortable talking about my faith, especially with those who don’t know that I attend worship every Sunday.

If we were at happy hour, I would ask you about your house buying, owning, and hunting plans/situation. House hunting is heartbreaking. Rob and I know where we want to live, how many rooms we’d like, and my complete aversion to creepy basements. We thought we found “the one” last week, but lost the bid to a higher offer.

In the backyard of the house

If we were at happy hour, I would tell you that I have to get home before the craziness of Halloween begins. I don’t want you, or I, to be on the road with the drunk drivers, droves of kids trick-or-treating, and the general mischief-makers. Plus, Amazing Race starts at 7 and Rob and I have a date to watch it.

RQ: Are you more of a coffee date or happy hour type?

November Challenge

Well, well, well, hello almost Friday. Thanks for taking your dandy old time. Anyone else feel like this week dragged? I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

At least the weather was absolutely beautiful this afternoon and I got in a pain free 4.5 miles outside in shorts and t-shirt!

Rob on the bike path on Sunday

With November upon us, I wanted to share a daily fitness challenge with you all. I haven’t done one of these since August, but I figured it was high time to get back to it.

November Challenge

Click here for a visual of all the moves put together in one document.

This challenge showcases 15 butt-kicking moves. Complete the set reps of each move every minute on the minute for 3-5 minutes. Using plyometrics in an EMOM style is a great way to torch some extra calories, and setting this challenge in November will have you feeling good going into Thanksgiving.

You will go through each move once in the first two weeks and then just repeat them, with slightly higher reps, in the second half of the month. Enjoy!

RQ: How has your week been? Are you a fan of EMOM style workouts? 

Resolution Run Virtual 5k

I am so excited to announce Wrecking Routine’s first ever virtual race!

Resolution Run 5k! resolution run logo What is it?

The Resolution Run 5k is a virtual race to kick off 2015 on the right foot!

When is it?

January 1-7, 2015. Any time. All accountability pictures must be submitted by midnight on January 7. This is one of the best parts about virtual 5k’s; you have a full week to run it!

How much does it cost?

$0. That’s right; this race is FREE! The goal is to get up and get moving through the holidays as you spend the next month or two training, and then kick butt on race day itself!

Why should you register?

Many of us tend to get lazy around the holidays and procrastinate our fitness goals until the new year rolls around. Knowing that you have to tackle 3.1 miles during the first week of 2015 will help keep you motivated to stay active throughout the holiday season and not slack off. Plus, how badass would you feel if you ran a 5k within the first week of the new year? Marathon finishing

Who can register?

Anyone over the age of 18! A virtual race means there is no pressure to make a certain cut off time; it is truly for all ability levels.

How does a virtual race work?

  1. Register for the race using the form below. (It’s free!)
  2. Train for the race. Even though the race is not officially timed, you should still train on some level so you can beast out those 3.1 miles.
  3. Receive your electronic race bib. Print it and wear it during your 5k if you’d like!
  4. Run your 5k between January 1-7, 2015. You can run it inside, outside, in the morning, at night, running, walking, crawling, your choice!
  5. Submit your accountability picture: sweaty face, watch time, treadmill time,the course you ran, whatever you want to show that you did it! You can submit your picture via email (wreckingroutine@gmail.com) or through social media using #virtual5k and tagging @wreckingroutine.
  6. Be entered into a finisher’s raffle!

What could you win in the raffle?

Just for completing the 5k, and submitting your accountability picture, you will be entered into a pretty sweet raffle! Each finisher will be given a number based on when you submit your picture, and winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Here is what you could win:

Skoop and Energybits What if you can’t wait for the raffle?

You can save 10% on Skoop with the code ROUTINE10. You can also save 10% on ENERGYbits with the code BLOG.

How should you train?

If you’re new to running or consistent activity, I highly recommend starting with a Couch to 5k program. You can find a whole bunch free online, but I like this one and this one the best. If you’re not new to running or consistent activity, and regularly complete 30 minutes of exercise three times a week, then consider a one or two month Wrecking Routine run plan. If you opt in for the accountability piece, we will chat once a week either over Facebook, google, email, or by phone to see how your training is progressing.  Email me at wreckingroutine@gmail.com if you have any questions about any of these plans!

The two month plan lasts 9 weeks and will have you ready to run your 5k on January 3. I suggest starting this plan on November 3. (Click the banner to be taken to Paypal.) two month 5k training two months with accountability

The one month plan lasts 5 weeks and will have you prepared to run your 5k on January 3. I suggest starting this plan on December 1. (Click the banner to be taken to Paypal) One Month 5k Run Plan one month with accountability

If you are currently doing the Fall Burn, and/or plan to register for the Holiday Burn (Dec 2 – January 3), then you don’t need these run plans as the Burns have a 5k run plan you can focus on.

Register:*

To register for the FREE Resolution Run 5k, just click here or fill in this form! *Disclaimer – By entering this race, or purchasing a training plan, you agree that you are at least 18 years old. Please consult your physician before starting any new workout program.

RQ: How do you stay active through the holidays? Have you ever run a virtual race before?

Tall Tales Tuesday: The Guinness Storehouse

On our last day in Ireland, Rob and I just walked around Dublin while waiting for our 4 pm tour of the Guinness Storehouse. The Jameson Distillery in Cork had been a blast and we figured the brewery would be very similar.

DSC02829

Since we walked to the storehouse, we passed through a not-so-nice area of Dublin. Lots of stores were closed down, the buildings weren’t very well kept, and it was not the kind of place I would want to be after dark. However, once we turned at the clearly marked signs,

Signage

we walked through the alleyways of the old storehouse. The cobblestone streets and brick buildings really gave us a feel of what it would have been like to live and work there when the brewery first opened.

DSC02826

The Guinness Storehouse itself is shaped like a pint glass and could hold 14.3 million pints if you felt so inclined to fill it up. As a heads up, you save 20% on your tour ticket if you buy them online!

Beer glass brewery

At one point during the self-guided tour, we were ushered into a red-roped line by an elderly tour guide. Having no idea what it was for, but assured that it was worth, we filed down this fun-house type of hallway with loud music, neon lights, and slanted ceilings and walls.

Fun house hallway

The other side brought us to a sterile, white-everything room that held nothing but beer taps and smoking pillars. The idea was to assault the senses on your way in, so when you hit the white room you were totally ready to absorb the layered tastes of Guinness. Sounds like baloney to me, but I’m not a beer snob. The smoking pillars were the scents of the different stages the beer goes through before it’s drinkable.

White room for tasting

You can see one of the smoking pillars with a green tint on the left.

After grabbing a tasting glass, we headed to a darken room where a Guinness guide taught us how to properly sip the drink. The key is elbow up.

Elbows up!

When we finally arrived at the official tasting room, the place was packed but the views were spectacular. You could see all of Dublin in the 360 degree top floor.

Views from the top floor

Our bartender was extremely serious about this job, utilizing all the proper wait times to waterfall the beer and let it settle. I guess when you work at the Guinness flagship, you better know your stuff.

All business

Since I’m not a huge Guinness fan, I had a few sips of mine and pawned it off on Rob. The mellow music and view was enough for me!

Top floor tasting

Even though Guinness is not my thing, I definitely recommend checking out the storehouse. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon!

RQ: Are you a fan of brewery tours? Guinness: yay or nay?

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Nuggets

Ah, chicken nuggets. So many memories.

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Nuggets

When my parents used to go out for date night, leaving one of my older sisters (and later on, me) in charge, we would splurge on a dinner of chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese in front of the TV.

When I used to work as a nanny (for 4 girls under the age of 9), I would pull out chicken nuggets for dinner and turn on Jimmy Neutron when the girls were exhausted and their parents were going to be home late. It’s a proven fact that those little golden bites are a babysitter’s best friend.

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Nuggets

Now, when I want the oven on to heat the apartment and am craving some comfort food, it’s chicken nuggets to the rescue once again. This version, however, boasts a better ingredient list and more lasting fullness.

Serve with a mustard dip (honey, mustard, salt and pepper whisked together) and a big salad and you’ve got a tasty, giddy, back-to-your-babysitting/babysat days dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2/3 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cut to nugget size

Instructions

  1. Process cashews in a food processor until powdery.
  2. Add breadcrumbs and pulse until combined.
  3. Transfer breadcrumbs and cashews to a large bowl or plate.
  4. Combine flour, paprika, and chili powder in a large bowl or plate.
  5. Whisk together honey, egg, and water in a shallow bowl.
  6. Dip one nugget into flour to coat, then into the egg, and finally cashews.
  7. Place coated nugget onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Repeat with all nuggets.
  9. Lightly brush remaining egg on top of nuggets.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
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RQ: What are some of your best chicken nugget memories?

Denver Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Recap

I did it!!!

I can’t even contain my excitement, joy, pride, and disbelief over Sunday’s marathon. Spoiler alert: I met every single one of my race goals!

Pre-Race Jitters

Before I get into this extremely long race recap, I just have to say thank you to all of you. Your messages, tweets, calls, and texts meant the world to me. I know it sounds strange, but I could honestly feel the positive thoughts being sent my way throughout the race. Thank you so much for all of your support.

Now, let’s recap!

On Saturday, Rob and I hit up the expo to pick up my race packet and peruse the booths. Some of Rob’s students were actually volunteering at the event handing out race bibs! My memories might be slightly skewed, but I think the Phoenix expo was about double the size to the one in Denver, which was still huge! Regardless, it was a successful afternoon as Rob had his gait analyzed by the Brooks representatives. (Apparently he has a mid-foot strike.)

Rob getting his gait analyzed

After a peaceful evening of staying off my feet and not sleeping much, Rob and I found ourselves on the 6:15 Light Rail full of runners on our way to Civic Center. The compartment was alive with nervous energy and chatter among the runners.

Lite Rail of runners

I didn’t want to wait around at the start line too long, and we arrived at Civic Center right at 7 for the 7:15 start. I had just enough time to slather on sunblock while waiting in the bathroom line before heading to corral 8. Rob and I said goodbye once it got too crowded for him to walk with his bike.

With the full marathon, half marathon, and 5k all starting at the same time in the same place, the start line was seriously packed! A bunch of runners and I were just standing on the side of the corral barriers waiting for the waves to start and thin so we could find a space. It wasn’t a big deal, but it did not help my pre-race jitters.

Getting in line, or trying to

Once my wave crossed the start line, I seriously couldn’t stop smiling for about a mile. With goal #2 being to have fun, I was just trying to enjoy my time on the course and soak everything up. Plus, I couldn’t believe this was actually happening!

The first few miles were more hilly than I had expected. In truth, I did about 0% studying of the race course (besides a vague idea of the locations it went). I didn’t look at an elevation map and I didn’t study street names or mile markers. I wanted to know as little as possible so I couldn’t psyche myself out. It worked.

Start line

I’m not sure what I did, but around mile 5-6, my right knee started giving me some problems. If I wasn’t running in a super straight line and with perfect posture, my knee would shoot some pain and force me to limp along until I got my posture under control and/or came out of a turn. Uphills were equally as painful.

I will tell you that I had some seriously angry thoughts at this point. It was mile 8 for pete’s sake and I was considering pulling out because of the pain. I put that thought behind me because this was NOT going to be how my race turned out.

Since goal #3 was run the whole thing, I didn’t stop running through my knee issue, but just slowed down (though according to my watch, I was still holding steady at 9:30 averages). Once the 4:15 pace group caught up to me, I decided it was mind over matter and stayed with them for a few miles before the pain subsided for good and I was able to pull ahead. Phew.

Still going strong

The course was super crowded until mile 12.5, when the half marathoners branched off for the finish while the full marathons headed out for a few more out and backs. Though I was really enjoying listening to people chat and the motivation a large group brings, the open space along the road was welcomed.

Race crowds

At mile 16, my confidence soared. I was feeling great, holding onto my 9:30 pace, and knew I was going to finish this thing. My stomach was under control and the only cramping I was getting was in my forearms (from holding my water bottle). I desperately wanted to pick up my speed, but I had to remind myself that there was a lot of race left and to keep it under control.

The 4:15 pace group passed me for the second and final time around mile 20 when my splits slowed to 10:15-10:30′s. Even though I wanted to hang with them, I wanted to run the whole thing more and I wasn’t sure I could hold their pace, so I let them go. My calculations were also telling me that I might still finish under 4:20 (goal #5), so I figured I didn’t need to rush.

Running Running

Those last 6 miles were funny. Part of me was ready to pull off and sleep. Part of me was ready to sprint so it would be done quicker. Part of me so so desperately wanted to stop and walk. Resisting these things, I grandma shuffled my way through the last few miles. Though, according to Rob, I was looking strong at mile 25 even though I felt like I was going at a snail’s pace.

When that finish line finally came into view, and the spectators were crowding in so much that a narrow alleyway was formed, I was ecstatic and in utter disbelief. I could finally feel confident in calling myself a marathoner!

I can see the finish line!

Rob was the best spectator. On his bicycle, he was able to see me at about 10 different spots along the course, track me via text, take photos, and message both our families to keep them updated. I think this officially earns him ninja status!

The entire course was absolutely gorgeous. From the golden leaves to the three separate lake views combined with the perfect, slightly cloudy weather, a runner couldn’t ask for a better day to tackle 26.2. Not only was the scenery a major perk, but the spectators were the best! There was only one section of the course (City Park) that felt slightly lonely. The rest of the course had people cheering, signs every few steps, and little kids with their own aid stations. It was so motivating!

Capital Building

Here it is, 3 days later, and I am feeling just fine riding this marathon high. No muscle soreness and just some slight pain in the balls of my feet. My knee is ok and working fine.

RQ: Are you a fan of crowded races? How would you have dealt with unexpected pain/injury so early in a race?

Tall Tales Tuesday: The Crowds of Japan

Japan is probably one of my favorite countries. The ancientness, the modernness, the bullet train, the cherry blossoms, the food, the kindness of the people.

Mysterious Alleyways

Ah yes, the people.

Japan, for all it’s perks, is one crowded place.

Kyoto

Sure, the majority of the time I spent there was in the big cities of Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo, but I’ve been to Times Square at Christmas and it has nothing on the everyday streets of Japan.

The off-hours subway tunnels also rival the rush hours of New York and London both.

The covered “high” streets, the neon lights, the window shoppers, evening revelers, and sushi devourers all mix together in a surprisingly peaceful flow.

One of the high streets

Unless of course, you plan to cross the street. In which case, keep your eyes on your path and stick to it. But even this is a kind of choreographed dance that only Japan can do without road rage or bumping into each other.

I’ll take the crowds just for the pure awe-inspiring vibes that Japan gives off.

RQ: Where is the most crowded spot you have spent time? New York on Christmas…yay or nay?

Fall Burn!

With the holidays fast approaching, and the cold weather coming in, it’s the time of year where our activity starts to dwindle and we start to hunker down in warm pajamas and hearty meals. Instead of becoming sedentary, let’s make it a point to stay active!

Introducing the Fall Burn! 

Fall Burn Logo

If already know you want to sign up, click here!

This workout plan is 4 weeks of full body conditioning to help you reach your fitness goals and feel your best in time for Thanksgiving.

Why is this Burn perfect for Fall?

  • To keep you motivated. With the weather cooling down, you might feel more motivated to start hunkering down and less time being active.
  • To improve/maintain your overall fitness through full body strength and conditioning.
  • If you have your sights set on completing a Turkey Trot or other 5k race this winter.
  • There is a max of 6 moves, more often less, in each workout, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by learning new moves.
  • Each workout takes about 30-45 minutes tops!
  • To have you feeling your best in time for Thanksgiving.
  • If you need a change in, or some fresh air put into, your workouts.

Here is what you will get during the 4 week Burn:

  • 6 days a week of full body workouts
  • 5k Run Plan Add On. This is optional and includes 3 days of running each week. ←-Perfect if you have  Turkey Trot coming up!
  • Nutrition suggestions that will help you make minor changes that can lead to bigger ones
  • A goal of moving at least one mile a day
  • Picture sheets of all workouts
  • Membership into a secret Facebook group for tips, motivation, encouragement, and accountability from me as well as other members of the Burn
  • Beginner modifications and advanced progressions for every workout to make it more manageable and more challenging depending on what you need
  • Tracking sheet to monitor your progress
  • Six days a week of motivation, encouragement, and accountability from me (via Facebook)
  • Daily Bonus Workout Challenges
  • A daily photo challenge for inspiration and accountability
  • Access to your very own personal trainer (me!)

Items you will need:

  • timer/stopwatch
  • free weights
  • space to move, jump, twist, and lay down
  • mat, or soft place for floor moves
  • cardio machine, or a place to walk/run

The Fall Burn runs from October 27-November 22, 2014. The price of this Burn is only $40! Click here, or on the image  below, to sign up!

Fall Burn Logo

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email from me. The official welcome email, first week of workouts, and nutrition suggestions will be sent on Sunday, October 26.

Please email me with any questions or concerns you may have at wreckingroutine@gmail.com. If you are interested in online personal training, but this program doesn’t fit your needs, check my Training Services page for other options. I would love to work with you!

You can also read testimonials about training with Wrecking Routine here.

**I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Women’s Fitness Specialist, but am not a Registered Dietician. Please consult your physician before starting any new exercise routine or diet.**

RQ: Are you in?

Chicken, Feta, Spinach Puffs

With the weather taking a chilly turn, turning on the oven to warm up the apartment sounds more and more appealing. And with Rob and I trying to clean out the freezer and pantry in preparation for a possible move (we are currently house hunting), I got a little creative in the kitchen a few weeks ago.

Chicken, Feta, Spinach Puffs

From the freezer came a single sheet of puff pastry and some chicken I defrosted. Combined with a sprinkle of feta, a touch of onion, and a bit of spinach and these tasty puffs were created. Serve with a side salad (or eat them on their own) and you have a tasty, warming dinner.

Chicken, Feta, Spinach Puff

Since we only had one puff pastry sheet, I rolled it out so it was close to double in size. It ended up being plenty of food for both Rob and I!

Fill Er Up

Chicken, Feta, Spinach Puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts (you may have leftovers)
  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry, rolled out thin
  • 1/4 cup Spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta
  • 1 Egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Poach chicken with seasonings of choice (pepper, garlic powder, basil, etc.)
  2. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized bites.
  3. Cut rolled puff pastry into 3"x3" squares.
  4. Layer chicken, spinach, onion, and fetta into center of one puff square.
  5. Fold over edges and dab a bit of egg to "seal" it shut.
  6. Repeat until all squares are filled.
  7. Brush tops of each puff with remaining egg.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
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RQ: What is your favorite thing to make when the weather changes? Do you ever get creative when cleaning out the freezer/pantry?