Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Running While On Vacation

Running on vacation - anyone else with me? It seems like every time I pack for a vacation, it includes a running outfit or two. Taking time to sneak in a couple runs on vacation really makes a difference for me, and here's how:

 

 Helps me stay on schedule and keep a sense of normalcy 
It seems like there's always a race I'm training for, so keeping up with a training plan (loosely) helps me stay on track. I don't usually go on vacation with the intention of running or working out daily, but sneaking in a few runs here and there really helps!


 Running in new places and seeing new sights can be fun!
There's something exciting about running in a new place, be it a resort, a cruise ship, or even a track at a hotel (yes that's happened once)!



A lot of vacays are centered around race weekends
A good way to stay active on a vacation is to include a race in your plans! 



Most resorts have a running track, path, or gym
It's been a long while since I stayed at a resort that did not have some form of workout location. Hitting the gym early before it gets crazy is always my plan and it seems to work! If I'm running outside, I like to make sure the sun is at least rising because running in a strange place in the dark doesn't seem like a safe idea.



Helps me feel less guilty about eating all the foods...and desserts
I mean, it IS vacation after all. Any calorie counting goes out the window and I tend to eat all the things! Adding on a few miles here and there helps me feel less guilty about indulging while on vacation. 

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hello Fresh Review

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a Hello Fresh box at a deal I could not pass up. I'm sure you all know about Hello Fresh but if you don't, it's a essentially a food delivery service with the purpose of making the cooking process easy.

For starters, I decided on the "family size" box with the two meal option. I was also given several different recipe choices to pick from.


Ultimately, I decided on the Maple and Rosemary Glazed Pork Cutlets (our favorite of the box) and the Carolina Barbecue Chicken.


The box arrived and was packed with plenty of ice packs and cold preserving padding. I also received an email when it was delivered to remind me to check the front porch which was really nice!


Each meal was packaged with all of the ingredients together in one brown bag. This was nice because it was simple to store away in the fridge for later use. The meat for each dinner was also packaged beneath the brown bags in a separate compartment so it didn't contaminate anything. (Also a nice perk!)


Our first meal to try was the Pork Cutlets and I mainly decided on this because I wanted to save the BBQ chicken option for the night before the 4th of July. Corny? Yes, I know.


After sorting through the ingredients and chopping several of the items, it was time to get cooking. This part took a little longer than I expected, but I guess that was just getting into the groove of things.


I do love to multitask while cooking and it was easy to do so. Both the pork and the couscous wer going at the same time.


While everything was cooking on the stove, I prepared the salad.


Even with the multitasking, this meal still took about 45 minutes to complete. It was absolutely delicious though, and we loved every part of it! 






My toddler loved it, too!


Next up was the Carolina Barbecue Chicken.


This recipe was delicious as well, although our fire alarm went off in the process of cooking the chicken. Whoopsie!


This recipe was a little easier to make time-wise because it didn't require as much prep ahead of time. Also, I added a few extra pieces of chicken from my own stock to the pan because I wanted to have something already prepared for lunch the following day.


We loved this dish as well. The chicken was flavorful and wasn't dry - just the way I like it! Also, the combination of the chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans was a perfect pre-fourth meal!

So, what did I think of Hello Fresh overall? Well, I have a few pros and cons. I like that the ingredients are all (mostly) shipped to you which saves a grocery shopping trip. I also loved the flavors of both recipes. One of the main things I don't care for with this delivery service is the quantity of food. If I'm going to spend 30+ minutes in the kitchen preparing a meal, I want enough to have leftovers for lunch the following day at work. An option to change this would be to add your own items like I did with the chicken but again, you're using items from your own stock which isn't the purpose of this box. Also, the price is a bit high for me, especially if leftovers aren't an option. I'm not sure I would subscribe to this on a long term weekly basis, but it will be fun to try from time to time! 

Have you ever tried Hello Fresh or another meal subscription service? If so, what did you think?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

VLOG: Day 5 - Grand Cayman & Snorkeling With The Stingrays!

Continuing with our Disney Cruise from this past October, (super late, I know) here's the next video in the series! On our next port day, we spent time in Grand Cayman and went snorkeling with the stingrays! This was by far my favorite excursion of our trip!


I loved making this video as it reminded me of all of our fun times in Grand Cayman! Check it out below!


After this, just three videos remain and the recaps for this trip will be complete. If anything, they are just making me even more excited for our upcoming Disney Cruise in August! I cannot wait!!

Have you ever snorkeled with the stingrays? What were your thoughts on the experience?
If you missed previous days,  check out the recaps here:


Monday, July 9, 2018

Houston Times

Over the weekend, we spent time with my parents in Houston, Texas to attend an Astros game and visit the Houston Zoo.

We had so much fun at Brayden's last zoo experience in San Antonio and were looking forward to more fun at the Houston Zoo!


My oh my how he's grown! The daily image I see on my phone is from his very first Astros game when he was only 4 months old. Pardon me while I dry up the tears. I know some parents say they can't wait for this phase or that phase to be over, but I'm not there. I love having my child small. He might be our only one and I'm cherishing each and every moment because I know they will be gone far too soon.


Anyway, back to the weekend...we made it!


We actually arrived before the gates opened, so we joined the massive line of people waiting on their free duffel bags. Yes, there was a massive line. I didn't have my heart set on getting one because I wasn't planning on waiting out there all morning. Well, we were one of the first 10,000 in line and we got one anyway! YAY!


This right here is my kind of ball park food. These quesadillas are some of the best I've ever eaten!


It also wouldn't be an Astros game without a picture with Mickey! Brayden was so excited to see Mickey! It was precious!


I've mentioned this before in a previous post, but we LOVE sitting in the 200 level section at the game, especially with having Brayden.


This area is a little more quiet, the alcove isn't as busy, the view is perfect, and the seats are a bit roomier!


We won! YAY!


Our typical field post-game family portrait!


On Sunday morning, we visited the Houston Zoo. We arrived not long after they opened and they weren't very busy which was nice!


There are several play areas at this zoo (including a splash pad). I can't wait to return and spend a better portion of the day! We were only a time constraint because Jason had to go into work that evening.


Hands down, Brayden's favorite animal was the sea lion! He loved watching him swim around in his pool!


Our tickets also included a ride on the carousel which he enjoyed!


Of course our animal of choice was the "seal"...hah. See what we did there?

Not long after our carousel ride, the bottom decided to absolutely fall out of the sky. Thankfully, we were near a large employee umbrella and we were able to have sanctuary there for a little while. After checking the radar though, we realized the rain wasn't going to let up any time soon. That's when I remembered that I had a dollar poncho stashed away in Brayden's diaper bag, so I put it on and used it to trek around the zoo to purchase more ponchos for my family. 


The zoo floods pretty bad and there were sections where water was up to my ankles. After about half an hour, I returned with ponchos for everyone and we were able to make our grand escape.


No one was angry or mad, we were grateful we had the chance to see most of the zoo before the rain, and we looked at it as another adventure. These are just fun stories to share in the future!

It was a fantastic weekend and we made it home in time for everyone's everythings!

I can't wait to go back. We LOVE the Houston Zoo - it's spacious, roomy, we were up close and personal to the animals, it's super clean, super shaded, the staff is friendly, the list goes on and on. We definitely need a zoo-redo! :)

If you're ever in the Houston area, consider adding the Houston Zoo to your list of things to do! You won't regret it!

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fitness Friday - 7/6

Fitness Friday

Currently Training For:
  • Dopey Challenge 2018 - Walt Disney World
  • Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2018 - New Orleans, LA 
  • Contraband Days 5 Miler 
  • 4 on the 4th
  • Rock n Roll San Antonino Half 
Saturday - Orangetheory - GREAT Workout
Sunday - Rest Day
Monday -
3 mile run outside
Tuesday - Rest day
Wednesday -
4 Miler on the 4th of July - and a new PR!
Thursday -
Orangetheory
Friday -
Rest Day

Well, what an interesting week it's been! I'm not going to lie, taking a day off in the middle of the week had me totally confused as to which day it actually was! I do love days off, though so I'm not complaining.

In all, it's been a great week of workouts!

It all began on Saturday when I miscounted my Orangetheory days and realized I would have one extra when the month was all said and done. So, I booked the 7 a.m. class and off I went!

Fitness Friday

We all started out on the treadmills which is totally new for me. I'm usually a run last kinda gal. It wasn't bad, though and I had a really really good workout. You know when you leave a workout and you're like WOW that was a good one? Yeah, that was Saturday!


I about lost it mid-class when Christmas music started playing! We all joked that it was just "Christmas in July", although July didn't start until the following day. Oh well, it was fun anyway!

Fitness Friday

On Monday evening, I decided to go for an outside solo run (minus Brayden), since I had the 4 miler on Wednesday morning and it had been a few weeks since I'd done so.

Fitness Friday

Why oh why did it still "feel like 100 degrees" at 8 p.m.? I love you, summer but I'm over your craziness.

Fitness Friday

While running, I found that I wasn't pushing myself hard enough which was shocking to me! I also didn't want to overdo it and possibly injure myself for Wednesday's race. 

Fitness Friday

Wednesday was the 4 miler on the 4th of July and I shared my experience with the race yesterday. Despite my ridiculous heart craziness right at the end of the race, I still managed a PR!

Fitness Friday

Even though this one was only by 3 seconds, a PR is still a PR and I'll take it! 

Fitness Friday

Yesterday was another Orangetheory day where we focused on strength. This workout was tough and hard for me to keep my heart rate in the orange zone, but it was a good workout overall!

This weekend, we are planning a little out of town trip to see the Astros and take Brayden to the Houston Zoo! I'm excited to share all of the fun with him! :) 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

4 on the 4th 2018

Another 4 miler on the 4th of July has come and gone and yes, this was another one to remember for sure! For starters, rain was in the forecast all week for the 4th of July and I wasn't sure if this race would actually take place.

After I picked up my race packet on Tuesday afternoon, they told me that if the race was called due to rain, it would be a last minute decision. 

When we woke up on Wednesday morning, the skies were overcast but it wasn't raining at that moment which was a good sign. (Although it had been raining off and on all night)

We arrived at the race start location and met up with my dad who came out to cheer me on.


After a quick port-a-pottie stop, I made it to the start line with literally moments to spare!


Literally as soon as the national anthem ended, the rain started. It felt cool although the humidity level was through the roof. I also figured that this race could go one of two ways - either a lot of people would come out since it wasn't a sweltering 100 degrees at 7 a.m. or no one would come out due to the rain. Well, the first one won out - there were so many people at the race this year!

We began running and I felt amazing. Y'all, there's seriously something to this Orangetheory thing! I was keeping a steady 8:20 pace and knew I could PR this race once again.

There were two downfalls to this race for me and neither issue was the race's fault itself. For one, certain parts of the course were incredibly slick, so I was constantly having to watch my footing so I didn't fall. Thankfully that wasn't the case for the entire course. Second, if y'all remember from WAY back with the little heart issue I have? Occasionally my heart will jump into PSVT, and it doesn't happen often (probably not in the last year), but I felt it coming on with just about .25 miles to the finish line. Although I tried to will it away, I couldn't. At the same time, something that's never happened to me occurred as well - I felt as if a giant rubber band was around my lungs and I couldn't fully inhale or catch my breath. When my heart does its crazy thing, I usually have to squat for a second and hold my breath to get it to stop. Well, I couldn't do either because I couldn't inhale. Then, just as quickly as they came on, both issues passed. The whole thing seriously lasted about 45 seconds. As I began walking again, I passed an officer who asked if I was ok. My response? "I'm fine...I have a heart thing...and I'm a nurse...we're good..." hah!



At that point, I felt ok to run again so I did...and I crossed the finish line while running without any problems. After stopping my watch, I realized that I STILL managed a PR! Even though it was just about a three second PR, I'll take it anyway!



I'm going to mention the lung thing to my doctor at my next appointment. I've already been checked for asthma but not exercise induced. I wonder if that could be the case? We shall see what he has to say.


While cheering runners on at the finish line, I realized that I recognized someone - she was pushing a chair for an "Ainsley's Angels" athlete - it was Jennie Finch! If you follow sports at all, she's a local star around here - she was a part of the USA Olympic softball team who won a Gold and Silver at the games. She was also more recently on the Dancing With the Stars Athlete edition! How neat it was to be running the same race as her! I kinda geeked out a little I'm not going to lie. :)




My cheerleaders!


A local business was out there with gourmet popsicles after the race...mine was watermelon mint and it was delicious!


I screen shot this after we finished. The weather was perfect the entire race, although the 93% humidity made it a little difficult.

Oh yes, and compared to last year where I placed 5th in my AG, (just to show you the crowd levels this year), I placed 14th in my AG this year.  I'm glad they had such a great turnout, though!


After a 2 and a half hour nap (for both of us), we had a late lunch at my parent's house. My mom cooked one of my favorites - roast with rice and gravy and it was delicious!


After playing at my parent's house a while, we went to my friend Kim's house to swim in their pool, then we ended the evening while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks via live stream!


It was beautiful as always!


In all, the day was perfect and more than I could have asked or hoped for! I loved spending time with friends and family and just simply relaxing and enjoying the day!

Thanks to Lake Area Runners for another great race and thanks to my friends and dad for coming out and supporting me while I ran!

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