Home for the Weekend

I’m home for the weekend to see my family, go to a few grad parties, and run a 5k with Laura.  Today, though, I have nothing on my agenda, so I’m sitting on the couch watching mindless tv, drinking coffee, hoping it rains to justify not running a pre-race few miles, and willing up the motivation to do my laundry.  Something about being at home puts me in mega-lazy mode.

So the prison kick continues.  Ryan and I watched another episode of Breakout on Tuesday and Escape from Alcatraz on Wednesday.  I prefer Breakout because the show is set up like a documentary, and episodes are less than an hour.  It’s like watching someone else figure out a complicated puzzle that you assumed was impossible.  So hooked.

Here are our tough and mean Alcatraz faces.


And an exciting note from school: I made ear impressions on a patient yesterday for the first time!  We learned how to do it in January, but opportunities on real patients are pretty rare with the increasing popularity of open fit hearing aids.  The procedure went smoothly, and I really wasn’t nervous.  Yay!

Throwback from January!  Here’s Andrea waiting for the ear impression in her right ear to dry.


Wednesday: Great run!  3:00 pm, 80 degrees, and 7.5 miles.  My legs surprised me with a tempo surge for miles 4 and 5 at a 7:30 pace.  I’ll be happy if I can run that pace at the 5k this weekend.  I think I’ll be happy with any pace as long as my shins don’t cramp up.

Before I ran, my plan was to come back and do a quick ab workout and a quick arm workout.  After I ran, I sprawled my sweaty self out on my floor to find a new ab workout on Pinterest.  And then I stayed on my floor, pinning.  The ab workout didn’t happen.  Neither did the arm workout.

Thursday: Rest day in preparation for Saturday.  This may have been the first rest day of the month?  A side effect of a light May schedule + not training for anything is that my workouts are unconfined and decided on day-by-day.

Happy Friday!


Prison Escape Route

At noon, I went out for a run and tried the 30-20-10 workout from this article on Runner’s World:

  1. Warm up with an easy mile or so
  2. 5 x (30 seconds easy, 20 seconds tempo, 10 sprint) with no rests
  3. Run 3 minutes easy and repeat step 2 a few times
  4. Cool down with an easy mile

I had a very rough start to this workout and almost bagged it during the warm up.  After running two slow warm up miles, my shins were burning with pressure and I had a nasty foot slap.  I stopped several times to stretch out my butt, which helped for about a minute before my shins cramped again.  I tried to ignore it (not possible) and managed to struggle through one set of the workout in slow motion.  I had never tried to sprint with crazy legs until today, and it was quite an experience.

The shin pressure went away 30 minutes into the run, and then I was able to carry on normally.  Weird.  It had been a few weeks  since my last bout of shin pressure, so I’m not sure what caused it, but my best guess is tight glutes/hamstrings from the leg workout yesterday.

My main mantra to push me along this workout was I’m already sweaty and I’ll have to shower anyway, so I might as run hard.  It worked!

Speaking of motivation, here’s a post I found via pinterest from Heather at Then Heather Said about getting motivated to run in the evenings: Running in the Evenings.  Though I’m typically a morning runner, she lays out some great tips and mind tricks to avoid wimping out.  What usually works for me if I’m trying to pump myself up for an evening workout is to try something new, like mapping out a new route or running tempo intervals of varying length.  If all else fails, I think about the worst run I’ve ever had and tell myself that it can’t possibly be worse.

Ryan and I watched a show called Breakout on the National Geographic channel yesterday.  Breakout reenacts real-life prison breakouts in a detailed account from the point of view of the criminal (at least the one episode we watched was from the inmate’s eyes).  I was drawn in by the complexity of the escape plan and the skill and creativity it must have taken to devise it.

If I were in prison, I always imagined my escape as a heroic and graceful dodge-and-sprint as soon as the guard opened my door.

  1. Actually, I had never imagined my escape plan until five minutes ago.
  2. And really, we all know I would never have the guts to attempt such a feat.
  3. I’m counting on not needing to test this theory.

Since I was so enthralled by Breakout, I picked up a movie at the library to watch with Ryan:
Date night!


Food Post!

Ryan and I are on a summer mission to eat more vegetables.  Enter VeggieSummer2013.  I eat lots and lots of fruit, but my vegetable intake could use a little nudge.

The following weekends eats are brought to you by my kitchen, supported by VeggieSummer2013 and my and Ryan’s taste buds:

We made two new recipes on Sunday that were healthy, easy, and delicious!

Greek Quinoa Salad from A Better Life With Burgers

This was a light and refreshing quinoa dish with cucumber, tomatoes, feta, red onion, lemon, & olive oil.  Ryan and I added an orange pepper too.  It was delicious! The texture and flavor combination reminded me of unrolled sushi rolls, which is the perfect solution if you love sushi rolls but can’t make difficult things (like crepes). I want to add avacado next time.

Black Bean Meatless Meatballs from The Lean Green BeanDSCN0687

Yum!  We added diced orange peppers to sneak in another veggie.  And beans are kind of a distant relative…right?

After all of that fancy food, Ryan and I celebrated Memorial Day with a kindergarten classic:

Peanut Butter and banana sandwiches and veggie sticks with more peanut butter.


40 minute AMT (5 minute warm up, 1 minute intervals of hard/easy effort)
15 minute leg workout
20 minute arm workout
and some abs

Llama Friends

Ryan and I went to a bonfire on Saturday night at Brian and Amanda’s house, two friends from our church lifegroup.

A lot of people from church were there, and we all had fun talking, eating burgers, playing outdoorsy games, and sitting around the bonfire. Brian and Amanda have a gigantic and secluded yard that is home to a menagerie of animals: llamas, peacocks, and ducks (fuzzy little baby ducks too!).  The ducks were hilarious–they marched around the yard in a quacking single-file line like an oblivious duck parade.

Ryan and I snapped a few pictures with the llamas–as quickly as possible because they were a little intimidating.
IMG_5229 IMG_6760 IMG_0351

There was also lots and lots of good food.  Ryan and I brought veggies, and the two of us probably ate 90% of them.  Other and more popular items included Meg’s famous bruschetta, a glorious baked bean casserole with bacon, strawberry bars that tasted like pie, and three different kinds of green olives (okay, these weren’t popular and I ended up taking home all of them.  Win!).

As it started to get dark and late, some guests with kids trickled out for bedtime, but the majority of our life group stuck around.  Meg suggested we play Mafia, and I JUMPED on that train.  I love large group games–anything ranging from spud to charades–and haven’t had much of a chance to play them in grad school.

In addition, Mafia will always have a special meaning to me…
My group of friends in undergrad played Mafia all the time freshman and sophomore year until The Day That Almost Ruined Friendships: We were deep into the realms of Mafia when two people fervently claimed to be the cop.  Please note that my undergrad friends were cut-throat competitive with anything that could remotely be a competition.   RealCop and FakerCop viciously argued their positions and yanked the group into two camps.  It was an uncomfortable tug-of-war fueled by peer pressure that ended with FakerCop winning for the mafia and RealCop angrily storming out of the room.  FakerCop and RealCop didn’t speak for a week, and we never played Mafia again.

Anyway, the bonfire game of Mafia was good-humored.  Ryan was the cop and guessed both members of the mafia right off the bat, so it was a quick win for the townspeople.

Other scenes from this weekend:

  • Ryan and I made another batch of Awesome Cookies.
    They call for butter, but we usually use applesauce instead.  Unfortunately we didn’t have applesauce or butter this time, so I assured Ryan that yogurt would make a perfectly fine substitute.  Meh.  The cookies have a weird strawberry essence to them, but they’re still good.
  • My sister Laura and I signed up for a 5k next Saturday!  It’s the first 5k of the year for both of us.  I have no idea what kind of time to expect because my last  5k was a trail race last October, and made a lot of changes to my training (e.g. less running and more strength).

Here’s a wonderful and funny video to check out:

Great Musical Couple at the gas pumps–a husband and wife bust it out in song and dance at the gas pump.  This video is so happy!


Friday: 6 miles, moderate pace

Saturday: 10.5 miles (8:30 pace).  I haven’t been running double digits lately, so I was pretty tired at the end of this one.

Sunday: A new workout creation before church:

Run 1 mile

3 x (5 burpees, 10 walking lunges, 15 push ups, 5 squat jumps, 10 squat kicks, 15 tri dips)
Run 5 minutes
^Repeat 3x

Run 1 mile

Reading Session at the Front Desk

There is a big celebratory event on campus today for faculty/staff today, so Andrea and I *volunteered* to watch the front desk of the Speech & Audiology Clinic.  TrooperAndrea took the first shift, and TrooperKaren took over for the afternoon haul.  I packed along two books and an arsenal of snacks: a protein bar, 2 apples, and an orange.  In addition, the candy stash in the office will be out of cherry Life Savers by the time I leave.

I’ve been reading articles on Special-ism.com, a website with loads of short articles relating to special needs, specifically in regards to child development.

Some good finds:
Strategies for Learning Social Skills and Hidden Curriculum Rules by Judy Endow, MSW–a story on unspoken social rules from the perspective of an adult with autism.

What We Do With What We Hear by Susan Diamond, M.A.,CCC–a quick-read that introduces the idea of a “processing phrase” in conversation to acknowledge the question but gain thinking time.  I think this is a useful tactic; I know I’ve been in conversations where Person 1 has repeated a question after a moment of “thinking” silence by assuming that Person 2 didn’t hear the question.

“Aw Shucks!”-Dealing With Disappoinment by Karen S. Head, MS, CCC-SLP–a strategy to use with kids who need to go first, be called on first, be first in line, etc.


Wednesday: Strength day!  I started with 20 minutes on the AMT before hitting this killer leg workout from Tina’s blog:

I used two 20lb weights and loved that I only had to do 5 reps of each exercise per set.  I’m still pretty new to weight training, so it took me a round or two (or three) to realize that 25 reps each means total throughout the whole workout instead of per set.  I started this workout by doing 25 reps per set of each exercise (with minimal or no weight) and made it through 3 rounds before realizing the intended structure.  So then I picked up two dumbbells and started back in square one with two mildly tired legs; kind of like picking up the pace at the end of a long run, right?  Anyway, great leg workout!

I was gung-ho after working my legs and jumped right into an arm workout from Tamara at Fitknitchick:

Another pin, another winner!

Thursday: 7 mile run.  I was pretty sore from yesterday, so my first 2 miles were slow and difficult, but I got into a groove and picked up the pace for the last 5 miles (8:00-8:10 pace).  Wet and rainy!

Tonight Ryan and I have a quick dinner date, and then we’re watching our friends’ adorable little daughter so they can grab dinner & a movie.  I hardly ever get to babysit at school, so yay!

And then I cuddle my cat

Quote of the day: “I do cardio in the fitness center and then do ab exercises on my floor at home.  Well, I do a few crunches and then my cat climbs on me, so then I just lay there and cuddle my cat.  And I call it ab work.” -Andrea

If I had a cat, I might do the same thing.

Let’s talk about food for a minute and then more fitness.

Ryan and I made crepes last night!  Over Thanksgiving, I got to try Ryan’s mom’s crepes, which were delicious!  She is an excellent crepe maker.

I am not.

The ill-fated first crepe:


Looks like bad scrambled eggs, tastes like pancakes.  I mean, smothered with peanut butter, who can tell the difference?

I handed the spatula to Ryan and was demoted to lettuce washer.  CrepeMasterRyan harnessed his crepe gene and saved the day!


We enjoyed the crepes with peanut butter, Nutella, M&Ms, and a fruit creation made with apples+applesauce+frozen fruit+cinnamon.  (We had salad and asparagus beforehand to get our veggies out of the way).


I tried a new workout yesterday:

Run and do this circuit every half mile:
3x: 10 push ups, 10 mountain climbers, 10 squats

The idea is similar to the run-burpee-squat workout from last week with running and short circuits, though this one focused more on the arms than the legs.  My running segments were loosely half a mile–they ranged from 3 minutes to 5 minutes depending on where I could find a flat, shaded area with no people in sight.  I finished 8 circuits and probably 4ish miles, followed by a kitty-less ab routine.

Lately my workouts have been “new and nontraditional” for me, like adding burpees or squats to a run or doing a pinterest circuit.  I don’t have any upcoming races, so I’ve been free to run/workout whenever and however without following a training plan.  I like the freedom, and trying new/different exercises keeps me out of a running rut, but I do miss structure.  My plan now is to keep doing “new-and-exciting-but-not-necessarily-running” workouts a few times a week but stay in decent half marathon shape in case a fun or local race pops up.

The Tub Incident

Aside from the tub incident (which we will cover momentarily), today was a lovely day.

I started with a serving of sneaky speedwork with the :30 on/off workout.  I followed the same format as last time, so my speed bursts were 20 x (:30 on/off), 10 x (:30 on/off), 5 x (:30 on/off), and this workout kicked my butt!  I was so tired at the end that I couldn’t even jog the cooldown and had to walk.  Next time I’ll be bringing water.

After the run, I ate the breakfast experiment (overnight oats) that I had mixed together last night–uncooked oats, strawberry greek yogurt, milk, and chia seeds.  This morning, an unfortunate-looking, oddly textured gelatinous bowl of yogurt oats was waiting for me in the fridge.

The verdict?


I didn’t photograph the oatmeal because I’m hoping to forget about that disaster.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if I actually liked yogurt.

After the barf of a breakfast, I popped over to school for a bit and then visited Ryan in his office; our buildings are almost neighbors!

Then I was welcomed back to my apartment by the tub incident.  

Lauren and I are on the bottom floor.  Last fall, there was a plumbing problem that left the garbage disposal contents of our 2nd & 3rd floor friends in our sink.  It was an utterly disgusting backup that smelled about as good as it looked.  We refer to this the sink incident.

When I came back to my apartment today after visiting Ryan, I noticed that the water level in my toilet was remarkably low and both Lauren and I swore up and down we didn’t do anything.  I called the maintenance man, who came right over and surveyed the scene.

From my spot in the kitchen, I heard him open the shower curtain, let out an expletive, and leave with the promise of coming back soon with the reinforcements.

Long story short, the tub incident was very similar to the sink incident, but this time our tub wasn’t filled with garbage disposal.  It was much much worse.

A few hours later, we got the green light to use our shower, sinks, and toilet again.  I am 100% sicked out, but Lauren was a great sport about it.

       The tub incident                         The sink incident

I headed over to Ryan’s to grumble and moan about the poopy shower, and he went with me to Walmart to buy a new shower curtain liner.  We stopped at a park on our way back and had fun teeter-tottering, exploring, dangling our feet off a tall ledge, doing pull ups (Ryan), and attempting pull ups (Karen).

Then we made a Ryan-Karen Specialty for dinner: a rice, beans & veggie bowl with teriyaki sauce and peanut butter!  Yum!