Mix it up

Can there be too much of a good thing?

When it comes to chocolate and PB, I’d like to say, “no, eat away.” But I’m pretty sure there are some nutrition figures to contradict me…

What isn’t so clear, though, is whether there can be too much of a good workout.

Recently, I noticed I was in a bit of a running rut. Whereas daily jogs used to be something I looked forward to, I now had to give myself a pep-talk before heading out the door.

Somewhere along the way, the fun of challenging myself with an extra mile of more speed had disappeared. All that was left was boring road and some severely lacking motivation.

I realized that like any good relationship, it takes an effort to stay in love with running. Complacency kills, folks…

Not willing to deal with what would have been an inevitably bad breakup, I decided to patch things up with running.

The first step was taking some space. I began to see more of hiking, biking and Pilates, with an occasional jog.

In time, I began to miss running.

But, with the memory of my workout rut fresh on my mind, I was sure to ease back into running.

I didn’t give myself orders, such as, “You must run for half an hour,” or “You mustn’t go more than a day without running.”

Also, I tapped into what my body really wanted to do. If I wanted to bike, I’d bike. If I wanted to swim, I’d swim (so rare!). If I wanted to run, I’d run.

Finally, when I began to rediscover my enthusiasm for running, I was sure to mix it up: Sprints, hills and distance runs all became part of the rotation. That way, each run was back to being new and exciting.

Today, I realized that I just wasn’t feeling a standard out-and-back run. Still eager to run, Rebecca and I decided to do a hill workout.

We started off with a 1.5 mile warm-up, to get the blood pumping. Then we ran four sets of strides up a really steep hill, walking back down in between sets. We wrapped it all up with a mile cool-down.

The workout really gave me the best of both worlds: I got to spend my quality time with running while also getting the benefits of sprints. Plus, I’m excited to go back for more tomorrow.

Not only was my workout more exciting and challenging, but it also whipped up a voracious appetite.

On the menu: Shower-to-Power Oats


After getting home from my run, I prepared breakfast by mixing equal parts raw oats (I used quick cooking oats) and milk. Thinly slice 1/2 banana and mashed in. Finish with 1 tablespoon PB, mixed in. Place in refrigerator.

Shower, smell good and look good.

Remove oats from refrigerator. Top with other half sliced banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon and some granola, for the crunch factor.

The oats don’t set up quite the same as overnight oats, but they have a good taste all their own. It was almost like eating a cookie dough for breakfast. Yes, I said cookie dough. Now are you sold?

After breakfast, it was time for school. Trust me, I’m as sick of saying that phrase as you probably are of hearing it.

Know what else I’m sick of? Cafeteria food.

I actually planned ahead today by bringing two slices of whole-grain bread from home. I made a sandwich using the veggies from the salad bar. I can’t really complain though, because today we had tomato caprese with deliciously fresh mozzarella.

I also had some of the pictured yogurt and saved the fruit for later.

With class over for the day, Rebecca and I walked to the store to pick up some last-minute gifts for family and friends. Two words: European chocolate. What could be a better gift? (Other than me being home, but that’s stating the obvious.)

Although I was less than enthusiastic, I did manage to crank out my last essay for German. Ever. (Insert celebratory “whoop!”)

I decided to mark the occasion by making a bowl of über-nuked apples, strawberry marmalade and a sprinkle of muesli.

There may have also been a bite of aforementioned chocolate that didn’t have a pre-determined recipient.

Tonight my professors are coming over for a wine and cheese dinner-party with my host-parents. Should be fun, or at least interesting.

Question: What do you do to avoid falling in a workout rut?

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