Five Friday Fitness Favorites: Christmas edition

It’s the return of my 5 Friday Favorites! This week is my Christmas edition for Fitness Junkies looking to add to their Christmas lists. Okay, maybe some of these things are just what want for Christmas but that’s just because I haven’t gone shopping for myself in awhile!

midnight navy

 

1.A versatile gym bag. This is personally at the top of my wish list this year. For the past couple years I’ve lived close to work so I usually load up a backpack when I’m walking around the city so that I don’t end up ruining my posture. But now that I’m not doing that anymore and I need to bring more with me for the day I want something that will hold my life. Gym clothes, lap top, chargers, books etc. I currently have my eye on this one: (Lululemon)

 

2. Fitness tracker. Okay, I know this may be so 2015. But in this world of technology, I love stats. I like to keep track of my runs, swims, bikes and other work outs. I like to know if I sat in my office too much during that day and didn’t move around enough. I do have a Garmin 920XT, but it’s huge and bulky so I don’t wear it a lot, something that is gym proof but slim is ideal for every day use. Particularly this one: Nike watch

 

Brooks Ravenna 8 Running Shoe (Women's)

3. Shoes. Basic. But really. You shouldn’t be wearing the same pair for everything. I don’t walk around the city in my running shoes and I don’t run in my lifting shoes. You need different support for every activity. This is going to kind of a personal thing, so I suggest you get  fitted and try on different pairs to know what you like. These are my go tos: Brook for running and Reebok for lifting

 

 

4. Nutrition. Whether you’re an endurance athlete or a power lifter, everyone likes some kind of supplement to help with their performance and we go through it quickly. Being an endurance athlete that likes to lift, I get a little bit of everything. My favorites: (nuun, BCAA and vega one).Image result for nuun

 

5. Sweet tunes. Last but not least. I have no idea who doesn’t work out with music. A crazy person I guess. But a Spotify or Itunes gift card would definitely come in handy.

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Tacos are definitely a staple in our house, and not just Taco Tuesday. There can basically be tacos any day that ends in a Y. But on our mission to eat healthier we’ve been trying out different recipes and since I’m not a fan of following directions (hence why I don’t really bake…that would be a disaster!) I like to change things up and make them my own.

tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp ground pepper
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • avocado
  • Mango salsa (I used Newman’s Own, but you can make it homemade or buy it)
  • cilantro

Combine Chicken, garlic and all the spices with orange juice and lime juice in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours. Once cook, shred the chicken while still in the juices. Warm the corn tortillas on both sides in a skillet over low heat. Spoon the chicken onto tortillas and dress with salsa, avocado and salsa!

Getting faster and stronger!

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated all my lovely followers out there on my own fitness journey. I left you last when I was getting ready for the Chicago Marathon, ready to train and kick some butt. Unfortunately, that race kicked my butt instead.

During my training I found myself dealing with an old nagging injury in my right hip, which left me unable to run, let alone walk or even sleep peacefully at night. I tried to keep my fitness up best I could because there was NO WAY I was going to Chicago and NOT running this race. But what little I could do just didn’t compare to full on marathon training. I thought about writing a race report, but it would have been sad and miserable and I decided to just move on to the next!

So what does an endurance athlete that has been injured almost all race season do in the off season? Well, get faster and stronger of course! So here are some things I’m focusing on to get back to where I was.

foamrollMobility. This is why I got injured this year in the first place. I really ignored warming up and treating my body right. So for two-three weeks after the marathon this is what I focused on, getting my body to move without pain. I foam rolled, focused on stability and mobility in my joints through a range of movements and stretched a lot.stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

strengthStrength training. For the past month or so I’ve been working on building back up these muscles. Who ever said that endurance athletes didn’t need to be strong was WRONG. You’re using the same muscles over and over whether you’re swimming, biking or running so they need to be able to with stand all that motion!

 

 

watch

 

Base training. For an endurance athlete, I did very little of endurance this year. Actually, I did very little of anything, but you already know that story. So I’m paying the price now. My mile times are slower, swimming feels like I’m going through mud and my legs are lead on the bike. But I’m slowly, slowly working on building back up my base, mostly in swimming and running because biking is my strong suit and will come back fast.

 

It’s a hard road to go down starting over, but whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remember where you started and know that every day you’re moving forward. You have to love every step of the journey.

 

jummping