Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekly Goals and Workout Recap: Indian Cooking, Mountains, and Redeyes

Happy MLK Jr Day AND Inauguration Day! Four years ago on Inauguration Day, Sourabh and I were juniors in college on an off-term, living in a teeny basement apartment in D.C. and working as unpaid interns for two think tanks there. We'd only been dating a few months, but on a leap of faith (or rather, stupidity?) we decided to live together since it was the only way we could really afford to be unpaid interns. Not the brightest idea in retrospect since it could have ended badly, but hey, four years later and we're still together :)

Anyway, I have so much to write about from the past few days! Sourabh and my mini trip to Seattle, our last night with my family, traveling back to New York, and last week's training. I'm going to recap Seattle separately tomorrow so I can go into a bit more detail (and not overwhelm with mountain pictures in one post). Also, if you missed it on Friday, I posted a yoga flow for runners with lots of pictures illustrating each pose. Check it out!

Chef Sourabh
After getting home from Seattle on Thursday, Sourabh and I cooked some Indian food for my parents. We ended up cooking Friday night as well. Both times we made a very simple vegetable recipe -- it's basically sauteed vegetables with Indian spices. I'm going to post it on the blog soon! We also did a great fish recipe on Friday that I'd never had. It was delicious so I'll be figuring out the proportions (we were eyeballing) and posting that as well.

On Friday, we had lunch with my old piano teacher, Nancy. I was so happy that Sourabh got to meet her! I took piano lessons with Nancy for seven years, but more than being a piano teacher, she was always a surrogate grandparent to me. My mom's parents lived far away for most of my childhood and were never very grandkid-oriented, and my dad's parents sadly passed away before we could get too close. So I've always looked on Nancy as my grandma-fill-in, right down to the delicious cookies she always baked for piano recitals.

I was so glad Sourabh could meet her since he never met my grandparents. After a nice lunch catching up, my parents, Sourabh and I drove up the Mount Baker Highway so that Sourabh could see the gorgeous views in the Mt. Baker recreational area. The top part of the road was closed due to snow.

I have no idea why. It's not like there was that much snow. (Mt Baker actually gets some of the deepest drifts in the country because every time it rains in WA, it's snowing in the mountains)

We got to see the sun set over the peaks of the mountains, creating gorgeous shadows in the valleys while the mountaintops were capped with golden sunlight. It was breathtaking.

Mt. Shuksan, elev. 9,131 ft.
Sourabh doesn't share my (unhealthy) obsession with mountains, but even he admitted the hour and a half drive was worth it to see the Cascades up close. Trust me, if you're ever in Washington, you must drive up the Mount Baker Scenic Highway. If you go in August or September, then Artist's Point should be open -- it's the highest point of the highway at 5,140 ft. and has many trails you can hike while staring at the Cascades and Mt. Baker, which is a 10,000 ft. active volcano!

Ok fine, enough mountain talk. I'll stop. Even if you don't like mountains, there's a wonderful Italian restaurant partway up the highway, Milano's, which is a destination all by itself.

I'm so happy because we're in the mountains!
Oh, we also brought Mason up to the mountains! At first he was totally fine trotting around exploring. But after about 10 minutes, he suddenly ran to the car and decided he was done. I think his paws had gotten cold on the snow! He's not exactly a hardcore dog; definitely more of the coddled city dog type.

I forgot Mason's leash and collar, so my dad bought him a pink harness and leash. no gender conformity for him.
Saturday afternoon, after a 30 minute Nike Training Club workout that left me very sore the next day and my dad's yoga class, Sourabh and I took my parents to lunch to thank them for putting up with us and our finicky dog for a month. Then it was a flurry of packing and a 2-hour drive to Seattle Airport for our redeye flight to JFK!

Good bye, Washington. Till next time.

Weekly Workout Recap
Several of the blogs I read do a weekly workout recap, which I love reading. Yes, I'm a dork who likes reading about other people's workouts. Oh well.

Anyway, instead of just doing bullet points on how I did on my goals for the previous week, I've decided to start recapping my workouts a bit more, going day by day, before detailing my goals for the coming week. Let me know what you think of the change!

Last week's goals
• 2 short runs, 3 miles each
• 1 long run, 7 miles
• 1 tempo run, 35 minutes
• 2 strength workouts
• 2 yoga classes

Short 3 mile run around local golf course. It was cold (like, sub-freezing), but I had surprisingly few breathing issues, despite keeping an average 9:01 pace. My breathing was labored, but nothing that made the run difficult.

Rigorous vinyasa class taught by my dad. This was at a smaller gym than my dad's normal class, and there was only one other student -- a young guy in great shape. My dad led a very tough class, doing extra exercises with weights, so I felt like it doubled as a strength workout.

Rest day (Seattle).

Got home from Seattle after dark, so completed a 3.5 mile short run on the treadmill with an average 9:20 pace. I could have gone a bit faster, but the goal of these runs is to get my body used to the mileage more than speed up, so I didn't push it. I was really proud I made it happen, since I hate running on a treadmill and had just driven two hours, so was tempted to skip a workout.

Unplanned rest day. My parents wanted me to stay home and since I was leaving the next day, I decided to spend more time with them. Thankfully for my training, this distraction is gone now!

30 minute advanced toning strength workout using Nike Training Club app. The workout showed me how much strength I've lost over the past month since I wasn't prioritizing strength training. And I'm still feeling it! Lots of variations on deadlifts. I love the areas I'm feeling sore in -- hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quads. The areas that I need to strengthen to be a better runner.

Restorative flow yoga class. My last class with my dad for a while! Since he had a large class with quite a few new students, he made it quite easy, so it was more of a restorative class.

Unplanned rest day. Was supposed to do my long run, but after a redeye flight from 10pm-2am Pacific time where I got no sleep, I barely moved from bed except to buy groceries for our startlingly bare fridge. I am not capable of functioning on no sleep, despite my age. Luckily, today is a holiday and I am heading out for my long run shortly.

This Week's Goals
I mentioned on last week's run chat that this time around, I wasn't going to make excuses. So no excuses: last week was not good. It's hard to prioritize workouts when you're on vacation and not in your groove, but it was not a good start to NYC Half training. I'm not letting excuses get in the way of my workouts this week. So here are my goals!

• 1 spin session
• 2 strength workouts
• 2 yoga practices
• 2 short runs (3 miles each, 1 at 8:30 pace)
• 1 speed work session (7x400)
• 1 medium run (4 miles)
• 1 long run (8 miles)
• foam roll!!

What are your goals for this week? Can you work out if you're sleep deprived? Would you like to see some easy Indian recipes on the blog?


  1. LOVED seeing your photos while you were away, it looks so beautiful there especially with the mountains!

    Mason is SO cute, he can pull off pink :)

    1. Hah, I think so, too. But I'm a doting mom ;)

      Since you ski you should DEFINITELY visit the Pacific Northwest someday!! Where I live is actually only 2.5-3 hours from Whistler Blackcomb.

  2. I love Indian food, so I'm very excited to see the recipes! In college, my friends and I would go to a local Indian restaurant once every two weeks or so to get our fix. :)

    That's nice you have a great relationship with your old piano teacher. One of my younger sisters took lessons for a long time, and she had a strong relationship with her teacher as well. Yet *another* reason I wish I took piano lessons!

    1. I always wish I'd practiced more so I would be better! I never put time into the theory, so I can't sight read very well, meaning you'd never guess I took lessons for 7 years. But oh well, I can play a few pieces and fool people :)

      I think every college town has an Indian restaurant! My tiny college town had two, but only one was good, and everyone went there. My boyfriend said it was the only way he survived after eating Indian food every day for 18 years and then having only cafeteria food in college!

  3. Such a bummer you had to leave! But I feel like that since you WERE on vacation, the fact you did any work is commendable. But shew! Looking at your schedule I feel like I'd be bffs with my foam roller.

    We have Indian on the menu plan for this week coming up, it's my first time using Garam Masala so I'm looking forward to it! We eat a lot of Mexican and Italian here so I'm trying to branch out. Starting to dip my toes in to homemade Chinese too

    1. I *should* be BFFs with my foam roller, I just have a hard time making myself do it for some reason! It's weird because I never have any trouble booking a massage ;)

      I make a lot of Mexican and Italian, too. I think because it's so tasty and simple! A homemade tomato sauce, quinoa pasta, and some roasted veggies and shrimp = done! Or chopped sauteed peppers and tortillas with beans and salsa. I'm thinking of doing meal plans on the blog since cooking more is one of my intentions for this year and planning it out beforehand saves money.

  4. I love Indian, and need to whip myself up some soon.

    I am going to miss the pictures of the mountains, it all looks so peaceful. Welcome back to the city!

    1. What's funny is how many Indian dishes are quite healthy! It's just restaurants tend to use lots of cream and ghee (clarified butter). One of my favorite Indian places is an all-vegetarian South Indian restaurant on the Upper West Side, but it's a bit pricey to go too often.

      I am already missing the mountains, although I was happy to get back to the gorgeous skyline of Manhattan!

  5. You had a great workout week! And those mountains are absolutely gorgeous.

    1. I definitely had a twinge of homesickness as I ran through Central Park today. I adore the Park, but I just wish there were mountains in the background :)