Archive for the 'workout' Category

my favorite running day ever

Hey y’all!  

I sincerely hope that you each had a marvelous Monday!  I am just so excited right now because I hit a new running milestone yesterday!

In case you are new around here, I’m training for my very first half marathon.  The race is a little bit less than two months away now, and I’m trying to increase my mileage in an extremely safe way.  However, in the last few weeks, I haven’t been getting in my long runs on the weekends.  Sure, I’ll run two or three short runs during the week (usually 2-3 miles each), but the distance running just hasn’t happened lately.  Last time I ran any sort of long run (for me – remember I’m still a running newbie) was almost a month ago, and it was a six miler.  

Enter Monday: my favorite running day ever.

Yesterday morning, I woke up super early – 4:30 – and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I read my Bible (on my phone via the youversion Bible app – it’s awesome!) for about 30 minutes until my alarm went off.  I hopped up and started getting ready to go out for a run, and I was all set to go at 5:15.  I kissed Daniel goodbye and headed out the door.  Did you know that it’s still pitch black dark at 5:15 a.m.???  It may be just me, but I don’t feel safe running in the black dark with no street lights (too many CSI, Law & Order, and Criminal Minds episodes!).  It was also drizzling rain, so I headed right back inside.  I was determined to run today since I didn’t get a long run in over the weekend.  I packed up all my stuff for the day, took a quick shower, and drove to school to run on the track.



The track around our football field is one quarter of a mile.  I set out with the goal of running twelve laps, which would equal three miles (I know, I’m an amazing mathematician).  The rain had stopped and it was a cool 62 degrees with a light breeze.  I reached in my bag for my little shuffle, and came up empty-handed.  WHAT??????  NO MUSIC????  HOW WILL I RUN???  Yeah – all those things went through my mind!  I then remembered that I am strong (and extremely stubborn) and could get myself through 12 circles around the track.  As soon as I started, I decided to pray through the first lap.  Then, I decided to pick one thing to pray about for each lap I did.  This seems like no big deal, but I know I am guilty of the 2 minute prayer that encompasses everything, so it was a nice change to really focus on one thing or person and pray about nothing but that for at least two and a half minutes.  I kept thinking of more things that I wanted to talk to God about, so I ended up running 14 laps total (3.5 miles).  The run felt amazing.  I honestly did not even miss the music.  Prayer is such a powerful and peaceful thing, and it was the best start to the day and to the week.  I think this will be my new Monday morning routine!  Anyone else want to join me for a prayer run?


I went throughout my day planning, teaching, and prepping for the rest of the week.  I had it in my mind that I wanted to get in at least 2 more miles after cheer practice.  When I got home, I was having those “oh, I ran this morning” and “man, I just want to sit down!” thoughts.  I punched those thoughts in the face and mapped out my evening run.  I set out at 6:15 and ran a loop that ended up being 4.15 miles.  That’s right – I, Natalie, the former non-running-enjoyer, ran TWICE in one day for a total of 7.65 miles.  Yep, I’m proud!  On Wednesday, my friend Amy and I try to run after school together, and this week we are planning on either 4 or 5 miles depending on what time we get to start.  It’s supposed to be warm, but hopefully it won’t be too terribly bad.


I still can’t believe all this running talk is coming from me – who have I become?  🙂

I hope that y’all have a great day today!

much love,


so tell me…

Why do you run???

What motivates you the most to get out the door and start your run (or any workout)?


whirlwind weekend and the return of hot yoga

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope that you enjoyed your weekend and your Monday!

Looking back, our weekend was fun but a total whirlwind.

Friday night, my cousin and I went out for our girls’ night and had a blast.  We started with a delicious dinner at Coyote Blues, then went to hear some live music.  It was so nice to get to spend some quality time together and get caught up on everything.  Side note: during our talks throughout the night, I once again realized that I can relate any situation in life to an episode of Friends.  I seriously wish they would do a reunion.  We got home later than normal, and I opted to let my body sleep instead of pushing through a run early Saturday morning.  I was so thankful that I chose not to run, because by the third song in Zumba that morning my left knee was giving me fits.  After Zumba I elevated and iced my knee for a bit, and it definitely helped.

I can’t really remember what all we did on Saturday during the day, but I know that at some point we went and checked the yarden (I renamed it yarden instead of garden since it takes up the whole yard!).  We picked squash, zucchini and onions; and we will have cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers soon!  We are going to be having squash and zucchini at every meal I do believe.  That’s not a bad thing in our opinion!  Saturday night, Daniel grilled some hamburgers (we buy fresh beef from a local farmer) and roasted the veggies that we picked.  I topped my burger with caramelized onions and a quick sriracha mayo that I mixed together.  It was a perfect summer meal (if only we had our tomatoes ready!).  We watched Madagascar while eating dinner.  I told D that we had to watch it so I could get all geared up to see the third one!

Saturday night is when things started to get all crazy.  I think I’ve mentioned before that both Daniel and I love to cook, and that he is extremely crazy-talented when it comes to grilling and smoking meats.  Our church asked us if we would be willing to prepare the meat for our church picnic that was held last night. Of course we jumped on the opportunity, and Saturday night we got everything ready to start cooking.  We went to bed about 11 and got up a short two hours later to fire the grill. 


the burn barrel

Even though we had hardly any sleep, neither of us felt tired and we had a blast hanging out for 8 extra hours.  I told Daniel we should get up in the middle of the night more often just to hang out and have silly conversations.  We took turns asking each other questions like “If you could only have five foods for one month, what would they be?” and “Which five places do you want to visit the most?”  In case you were wondering, my answer to the first question was sweet potatoes, sushi, zucchini or asparagus, honeycrisp apples, and dark chocolate.  I had a hard time choosing between dark chocolate and nut butters.  Daniel’s answer was steak, zucchini or squash, bananas, seafood, and biscuits and gravy.  

Back to the cooking – we smoked twenty Boston butts (that’s a TON of meat, in case you didn’t know).  Since we were sitting out by the grill, we decided to go ahead and make a double batch of homemade bbq sauce as well.  The sauce takes about four hours to cook, so we took turns stirring the gigantic sauce pot throughout the night.  I can’t share the recipe with you because it’s a family secret, but man, it is good!  I was a little heavy-handed with the cayenne pepper, and it had a nice kick to it and left that slight burn in the back of your throat.  Perfection.


the meat before going on the grill


this picture makes me drool


Daniel’s famous deer poppers made a special appearance (these are one of my favorite foods in the entire world)

I decided to go run around 5:45, but it was starting to rain.  Instead of taking the loop I had mapped out, I opted to run up and down our street so I didn’t get caught in a storm or something.  After running 3.25 miles with the rain pelting into my eyeballs, I jogged back to the house.  For not having any sleep, I was proud that I ran at all.  I’ll go back my usual long runs this coming weekend.  After all, that half marathon is now less than three months away!  I think we may need to start a countdown!

We took the meat off the grill later in the afternoon, and oh my gosh y’all, it was absolutely perfect.  You could tell that it was incredibly juicy and was falling off the bone.  We took it to the picnic at the park down the street, and everyone went crazy for it.  It was a fun way to get to actively participate with our church, and we were able to meet several people we didn’t know by talking about the food and cooking.  After the picnic, Daniel and I went home and crashed.  I was trying to read, and I think I fell asleep like 16 times.  I kept doing the head bob thing.  Finally around 8:30, we called it quits and headed to bed.  It was a good thing we went to bed so early, because I had a lot planned for Monday!

After training my client, I met one of my friend’s at Gold’s Gym for Bikram yoga.  Bikram, also known as hot yoga, is a practice that is set in a very warm studio.  I think the temperatures in the room stay around 100 or 105 degrees (see picture of burn barrel above and you’ll get the idea of the temperature).  When I tell people this, they all freak out and say they couldn’t do it, and I try to remind them that it’s not a high impact cardio class in that warm of a room.  It’s similar to lying by the pool in the summer heat – it is hot, but you don’t really focus on that.  We went through 75 minutes of twisting, turning, stretching, bending, and holding.  It’s been over a year since my last hot yoga class, and I could really feel how tight some of my muscles were.  It was a great class, and I felt like a sweaty noodle by the time we finished.  I’m going back on Friday, and I hope to go twice a week throughout the remainder of the summer.


The rest of Monday was typical – I taught cardio dance, abs, then Zumba.  Tuesday will be filled with training, running, cheer practice, and teaching SHRED.  I think I may also have to spend some time reading – any good book suggestions for the summer?

I hope y’all have a FABULOUS day!  Much love!

So tell me…

If you could only eat five foods for a month, what would you choose?

Have you ever taken a hot yoga class?  What did you think?  Would you like to take one if you haven’t?

first little harvest and a workout

Happy Wednesday, people!  Am I the only one off on my days this week?  Long weekends AND being out of school means I have no idea what day it is at all.  I definitely thought yesterday was Monday all day long until it was time for me to figure out where I was teaching zumba last night.  

Since I know y’all want to know what goes on every second of my life, let’s start with Monday afternoon.

On Monday, Daniel and I hung out with my family at my cousin’s pool.  Of course we had to enjoy some delicious food before jumping in and swimming around (no, I didn’t wait 20 minutes or two hours or whatever).  I opted to skip the bun and just have bbq (pulled pork) and my dad’s famous hot slaw.  On the side I had a random combination of homemade cheesy salsa dip and guacamole, edamame, cheese, and a pickle.


As I took this picture, my cousin Jackson kept asking, “Nalale [how the boys say my name – it’s so cute – sounds like nah-la-lee], why you takin’ pictures of your foooooood?”  It was too funny, and I just ended up telling him I did it because I’m a weirdo and like pictures of food AND pictures of my favorite boys!


Before we could let the kiddos head out to the pool, we had some snake business to take care of.  I don’t know about y’all, but we have had more snakes this year than I can ever remember.  The first guy we found was coiled up in the yard, but thankfully he was already dead.  The other guy was in the koi pond and kept moving around under water.  He finally made a mad dash for the woods and got away.  He was almost three feet long!  


After our pool time, we headed back home to check the garden and relax a little bit.  Guess what is coming in!!!!!!!!!!  Squash and zucchini!!!!!  We should have a few ready at the end of this week, but in the next two weeks I think we’ll be picking every single day.  I’m pumped!  I also picked some of my Brussels sprouts on Monday (apparently these are supposed to be planted and harvested wayyyy later than we did – oh well – we’re learning by trial and error here, people).  I hope that my cucumbers and tomatoes start coming in soon!  The rest of Monday night included lots of lounging around, playing with dogs, and some tv.

Hatfields and mccoys history channel miniseries

Anyone else watching this???  It was obviously Daniel’s choice, but now I’m sucked into the story.

Yesterday started out with a humid early-morning run.  I set my alarm for 5:30 (this is NOT what I expected to do on summer break, but oddly enough it didn’t bother me in the least) and I was out the door by six.  Instead of jogging to the park this morning, I decided to take my time and walk.  I ran 2.5 miles at the park and then walked by home just in time to kiss Daniel goodbye on his way to work.  For my post-workout meal I devoured a breakfast cookie made with mashed banana, sun warrior, almond milk, cinnamon, pb2, and a few chocolate chips.  It was incredibly delicious, and it sure didn’t last very long!  After cleaning up, I ran some errands and then came back home for lunch.  I roasted up my freshly picked Brussels sprouts and used them as a salad topper.  This baby has red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, freshly sliced smoked turkey, pickles (I know, I’m a little strange sometimes), edamame hummus, chia seeds, and a little cottage cheese.  Enjoying my first little harvest from the garden made the salad that much better!  I remembered about midway through my lunch that I meant to put avocado on it, but it was too late then.


After an afternoon of cheer practice and then teaching SHRED, I started planning my workout for this morning.  Since it’s officially swimsuit season, I really want to focus on toning/firming/lifting my booty and my legs.  I found these two awesome Brazilian butt workouts the other night (via Pinterest, of course), and decided to give it a go this morning.  I have a feeling that I’ll definitely be sore!  This workout is on my pinterest workouts board, but since there is picture that could be offensive, I decided to retype it.  Please see the link for the original posting of this workout.



Okay, I have definitely said WAY too much in this post!  I guess since it’s summer now I should go back to daily posts instead of cramming it all in to three posts per week (or maybe I should just talk/write less??).


So tell me…

Are you scared of snakes?  I’m not, but spiders are another whole story!

Have you ever tried the Brazil Butt Lift workouts (from the infomercials)?  I’ve always wanted to!


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