So This is Goodbye

For once I’m at a loss for words.  How do you write an intro paragraph to the demise of something you’ve enjoyed doing the past year? I guess you don’t, you just jump into it.

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for sharing this journey with me.  13 months ago I started Noshing on Asphalt as a way for me to keep family and friends up to date on training for one of the biggest challenges I had accepted – running my first marathon.  While every ‘first’ marathon is absolutely special the one that I chose to be my first had extra meaning.  I would be running the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my brother who was killed in Iraq.

Roger

On October 28th, as Hurricane Sandy started showing her ugly face, I laced up my tennis shoes and set out on a 26.2 mile journey.  They say you discover who you really are during a marathon.  Your mental and physical strengths pushed to the limits.   What I discovered during that race was that it wasn’t the race itself that showed me who I was; instead it was the months of preparation that went into it.  During those months of training highs and lows, I realized that I had finally come to some peace about my brother’s death.

MCM

So that’s how Noshing on Asphalt got it’s roots.  But something happened during those few shorts months of training and blogging about my experiences, I discovered you, my readers.  We forged a bond through your sweet comments, advice and encouragement.  I had friends who weren’t active asking me how they could start living a healthier lifestyle.  Even though I’m nothing special, I realized that people were motivated and intrigued about my lifestyle and that excited me.

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So I kept blogging.  I kept sharing my ramblings.  Bits and pieces of my quirkiness.  My love for all things bright, colorful and obnoxiously neon.

My love for running.  Without running, I don’t know where I would be.  It is my bliss.

109141-111-018fI shared my passion for healthy eating and expanded my knowledge of what it really means to me.  I discovered that I feel better when I follow a more Paleo diet instead of the beloved clean eating which was one of the cornerstones of my blog.

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Ah spaghetti squash, how I love thee.

Ah spaghetti squash, how I love thee.

I discovered some truly fantastic bloggers that have helped me grow in my fitness and healthy living life.  Make sure to check out my Good Reads tab if you’re looking for some good blog recommendations.

Ready to rock-n-roll.  Bring on the brains!

Zombie Run with several of my fun blogger friends.

During the past 13 months I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing companies and found several products that I seriously can’t live without.

Nothing but thumbs up for Handana after a very sweaty run!

Nothing but thumbs up for Handana after a very sweaty run!

To say the least, I’ve really enjoyed breaking out of my comfort zone and sharing my adventures.  I’m not quite ready to shut everything down but life is funny with how it happens so I now need to devote my time to other matters.  I don’t know if this is my absolute last post or if I’ll pick it up down the road when things calm down a bit.  However, for now at least, this is goodbye.

Thank you again for sticking with me and enjoying this fun roller coaster journey I’ve been on.  I will miss you all very much but I know you’ll continue to do exciting things.  Keep pushing yourself; don’t stop striving for healthier lifestyles.  Remember, you’re a role model for others – even if you don’t realize it.

Love

I feel like I’ve been whining a lot lately and I’m starting to annoy myself.  So today I want to talk about a topic that I really can’t complain about at all.  Love. {insert deep sigh & harp chord}

8 years ago this week I walked down an aisle a “Miss” and walked out a “Mrs.”  Committing my life to my husband was one of was one of the best days of my life. Although it wasn’t without it’s fair share of wedding day snafus like not having my dress when the photographer showed up because it was accidentally locked in the house and no one had a key, our cute little candle lighters having issues with the candles during the ceremony (seriously, it was way too cute), or his father comparing me in his celebratory toast to Peggy Bundy from Married With Children (big hair – don’t ask).   It’s hard for me to reconcile that it’s been 8 years already. Honestly, I don’t feel old enough to have been married that long.

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We were so young and thought we knew it all. Naivete at it’s best.

57 years earlier, my Modie and Wampie (grandma & grandpa) also made the trip down the aisle on the same day.  They are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary this week.

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Sharing a dance on our wedding day / 57th anniversary.

A love like theirs is one you don’t see every day.  After 65 years together they still ooze love for each other.  There’s still a sparkle in their eyes when  the other walks into the room.  It’s an inspiring type of love. Though they may not know it, they’re role models for how I want my marriage to be.

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As fairytale(esque) as I just made their love sound, it hasn’t been without its fair share of adversity throughout the years.  See that’s the thing about life, something is always going to happen, it’s just how you choose to handle the situation that makes a difference.   What I’ve learned from Modie and Wampie is to laugh a lot, draw close to each other during the hard times, and always rely on God.

Modie (grandma) trying to figure out how to work a dustbuster on Wampie (grandfather).  It's never a dull moment with these two.

Modie (grandma) trying to figure out how to work a dustbuster on Wampie (grandpa). It’s never a dull moment with these two.  Picture circa 1980s.

One of the most surprising things I’ve learned firsthand is that marriage isn’t easy.  Disney lied…happily ever after takes hard, hard work.  But the great thing, for me at least, is that you get out of it what you put into it.  We both put in 110% an dyield a return of love that grows stronger each year.  There’s no doubt that Jody and I are two very different people (yet so similar at the same time). We don’t always agree on everything but that’s part of what makes us so great together.  He is the jelly to my peanut butter sandwich; without him, I would just be a nut.  I bring whimsy into his life and he keeps me grounded when my crazy ideas threaten to take flight.

You have to be somewhat of a nut to run a marathon but I know he'll be on the sidelines cheering.

You have to be somewhat of a nut to run a marathon but I know he’ll be on the sidelines cheering.

When I look back at the past 8 years, I get so very excited for our future.  I had no idea back then where life would take us and I have no idea now where we’ll be in another 8 years.  I’m just looking forward to enjoying the ride. (And maybe doing a bit of backseat driving along the way.)

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Oh and before I forget…..(like I almost did)….. the winner of the Gymboss Interval Timer is:

gymbossgymbossCongratulations Melissa!!  Be on the lookout for an e-mail from me on how you can claim your prize – yay!!

Weekly Workout Recap

Earlier this month I mentioned that I was shutting down Noshing on Asphalt and that my last post would be on June 26th. Unfortunately one of the {unspecified} life events that I mentioned on my horizon has officially (and unexpectedly) jumped forward. It’s now staring me in the eyes, demanding my full attention. I hate it when life doesn’t follow my timeline….Ugh. So this Friday will be my last post. I’m sorry to be so vague but since this is a public blog I don’t want to advertise everything to the world. A girl’s gotta have some secrets, right? ;)

As far as workouts go last week, they were hit or miss.  Honestly, more miss than hit since I was dealing with some personal stuff.

Weekly Workout Recap:

Monday: Yoga.
Tuesday: Nada.
Wednesday: 6 mile beach run.
Thursday: Nothing.
Friday: Nothing….again.
Saturday: 7 mile run.
Sunday: House/yard work. Lots of it in 103* heat index.  Totally counts as a workout, right?

Speaking of Saturday’s long run, I have a confession to make.  It almost didn’t happen.  Friday night, I was the embodiment of a stress eater which is something that rarely happens.  I got home late, got some not so great news and didn’t have any clean or paleo food prepped. I was tired and didn’t feel like going to the grocery store to get ingredients to make anything.  So what did I do? I hopped online and ordered pizza.

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And I paid for it dearly…..let’s just say my body HATED me.  When 4:30am came around to get up for the long run I was still feeling incredibly sick. Why did I eat that crap??  I know my body can’t handle it.  I considered not going but I knew I needed to for my own sanity.  So I hauled my butt out of bed, questioned what in the world I was doing, and got dressed. I selected my Zombie Run t-shirt since it was most reflective of my grumpy disposition…and I felt like the walking dead.

Yikes. No makeup, 4ish hours of sleep and

My poor running girls, this is what they had to deal with on Saturday.  Grumpy, sick Gina with only 4 hours of sleep and no makeup.

I met my favorite running girls for 7-10 miles (ended up with 7) and I was so glad I did. By the end of the run I had perked and felt much better.  I <3 my running girls.

I’m so disappointed with myself and my workout last week but it is what it is.  And this week isn’t going to be much better. Although, I know I will at least get some exercise this week since I’m committed to a duathlon. YAY!!! This was my first ever duathlon and last year I placed 3rd in my age group. I’m in better shape this year so  hoping to come home with another trophy.

My running buddy Lorena signed up, too, which made this race even better!

From last year’s duathlon.
This is Lorena, one of my best running friends. She keeps me accountable when I don’t want to be (or when I eat pizza the night before a run).

Don’t forget, today’s the last day to enter my Gymboss giveaway! :)

Question:  Were your workouts hit or miss last week?

Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger?

Ok, so Power Rangers have absolutely nothing to do with this post.  I just like to bring it back to my childhood every once in a while.

I seriously can't believe I liked them so much.  I wanted to be the yellow one so badly.

I seriously can’t believe I liked them so much.  I wanted to be the yellow one.

So if Power Rangers aren’t the topic of today’s post, what is? Body types.  I’m talking about them and had fun doing my research.

All my life I have been that skinny girl.  You know the one that I’m talking about.  The one that can eat whatever she wants and doesn’t gain weight, the one that looks awkward with her gangly limbs, the one people whisper about having an eating disorder because ‘she unnaturally skinny’. Yep, that’s me.  Hi, nice to meet you.

{This is where I would normally insert an embarrassing old photo. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I don’t have access to any right now.}

But in full disclosure, I don’t want to be that girl.  That skinny girl.  The fact that I can eat anything (even though I’m very particular about what I eat) and not gain much weight annoys the snot out of me and is really the bane of my existence.  While most people workout to burn calories, I’m in a desperate fight to hold onto all the calories I intake.  I crave muscle tone and body mass but can’t seem to build it.  I could seriously workout in the gym for hours on end and only get leaner.

On the other hand, I have plenty of friends who struggle with their weight.  They have to watch what they eat like a hawk.  BUT put them in a gym and they get buff just looking at the dang weights.  (Yes, that was a twinge of jealously you heard.)

So what gives?  Body types.  That’s what gives.  There are three main ones:

  • Ectomorphs
  • Mesomorphs
  • Endomorphs

Ectomorphs (ahem, me) are characterized by the following traits: delicate built body, flat chest, fragile, lean, lightly muscled, small/rounded shoulders, takes longer to gain muscle, thin.

Jim Parsons AKA the fabulously funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Jim Parsons AKA the fabulously funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Mesomorphs are characterized by: athletic, hard body, hourglass shaped (female), rectangular shaped (male), mature muscle mass, muscular body, excellent posture, gains muscle easily, gains fat more easily than ectomorphs, thick skin.

Ah, young Marky Mark.

Ah, young Marky Mark.

Endomorphs are characterized by soft body, underdeveloped muscles, round or pear shaped physique, weight loss is difficult, gains muscle easily like the mesomorph, has trouble keeping lost weight off.

The stunningly beautiful Marilyn.

The stunningly beautiful Marilyn.

And just to complicate things a bit more, I should note that you can also be a combination.  To read more about body type characteristics, this is a great article.

So what’s the point of all this body talk?  Because it’s important to know what you are when setting goals for yourself.  A few months ago I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment that I can workout as much as I want, inundate myself with calories and protein, yet still fall short of the muscular body type I so desperately desire.  It’s the same thing with people who are struggling to lose weight.  If you have curves, wonderful, natural curves, you will never get rid of them – it’s kind of hard to change your bone structure.

It doesn’t matter if you’re overly thin or overweight, if you have an unrealistic expectations you most likely will not succeed.  You’ll get frustrated, overwhelmed and end up saying to heck with that goal.

But don’t get discouraged, that’s not the point of this body type talk.   In fact, discouragement is the exact opposite of my intent.  Instead, my point is to empower you to succeed with your goals.  Knowledge is power and understanding your body is key in setting attainable goals.  Not sure where to start or how to set realistic goals?  Consult with a professional; internet research will only take you so far (not to mention it’s wildly unreliable).

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Wow, this post went full circle from body types to goal setting.  It wasn’t quite the body type post I had in mind but sometimes the tangent that I go on is much better than what I was going to write.  Hopefully that’s the case with this one and you learned something new and helpful.  The best version of you is possible.  Hard work, dedication, perseverance.  Don’t let anybody stop you in achieving what you want.

Before I forget, don’t forget to enter my Gymboss giveaway!

Question:  Have you ever taken into account your body type when setting goals?

HIIT it Like a Boss! {Gymboss Giveaway}

Every once in awhile I come up with a blog title that just makes me giggle.  Today’s one of those days.  In Friday’s post, I had briefly mentioned a new gadget that I’m loving: Gymboss Interval Timer.

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A few weeks ago I was asked by Gymboss to do a review / giveaway of their product.  Of course I said yes; it’s been on my wishlist for awhile now.  But before I get into the review, I want to talk a bit about HIIT workouts – no, I didn’t just misspell hit in my post title – because what good is a product review if you don’t know what to use the product for?

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training.  Briefly summed up, a HIIT workout is a short, balls to the walls workout.  You go through several cycles (intervals) of max intensity to fatigue your muscles followed with a brief low intensity break.  These workouts are highly favored for their fat burning and metabolism boosting properties.  The graphic below gives you a small idea about interval training but you should really check out the full infographic when you get a chance.

HIIT

To see the full HIIT infographic click here.

HIIT workouts are becoming more and more popular as we become busier and busier.  If you can get a 20 minute workout that reaps the same benefits as a 45 minute workout, you’d be all over it, right?  Uh, yeah.

Gymboss and kettlebells...a match made in masochistic heaven.

Gymboss and kettlebells…a match made in masochistic heaven.

Killer HIIT workout. {source}

Killer HIIT workout.
{source}

So how exactly does Gymboss fit into all of this HITT madness? Well because, my dear fitness friend, you need something to help track your effort.  Something to alert you when to start/stop both the high intensity and low intensity parts of your workout.

Sure, a basic stopwatch works for one round but you have to reset it for each high & low intensity interval.  This means that you’re having to start and stop your workout every time to fool with the dang stopwatch.  It’s really less than ideal when you think about it.  With Gymboss you just program your high intensity interval time, the low intensity time, how many reps you want to do and hit start. Voila, it does the rest.

Gymboss vibrates and alerts you with a loud beep every time you should switch from high to low (or vice versa).  And it’s really, really user friendly.  Seriously.  I hate reading instructions and I was able to figure out how to work it less than 30 seconds.

Here are some of the product features:

  • Program 1 or 2 intervals – 2 seconds to 99 minutes long
  • Intervals repeat up to 99 times
  • Beep or vibrate alarm settings
  • Compact Size (1 ¾ x 2 ¼ x ½ inches)
  • Stopwatch setting
  • Water resistant
  • Shock resistant
  • Belt clip (can be used to clip onto shirt, sports bra, wrist strap, shorts, shoes, etc.)

I’ve used this at the gym several times already and love not having to keep messing with the stopwatch on my phone.  I’m slightly a germaphobe so I love not having to touch my phone with gym hands (you know what I’m talking about) and then put the phone to my face later.   I don’t have to worry about sweating on the Gymboss or getting sand stuck in it like I do my phone.  It clips onto clothing, is roughly the size of a pager/beeper and is very light so you can’t even feel it.  And the best part of it? It comes in fabulous neon colors! Y’all know how much I love my neon colors.

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The Gymboss retails for $19.99 which is well worth it in my opinion and cheap compared to other fitness gadgets.  HOWEVER, one lucky Noshing on Asphalt reader is going to WIN a Gymboss interval timer.  Say what??  Yep, the lovely folks at Gymboss want you to win a timer so you can HIIT it like a boss, too.  There are several different ways to enter:

Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment telling me how you would HIIT it like a boss if you won.

Additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each):

  • Follow Gymboss on Twitter.
  • Like them on Facebook.
  • Tweet about it, something like:  I want to HIIT it like a boss and win a @gymboss timer from @asphaltnosher! http://wp.me/p28bf6-Ni
  • Load a picture on Instagram of you getting after in your workout (make sure to tag both @asphaltnosher & @gymboss).

That’s 5 chances to enter! The contest closes Monday, June 17, 2013, at 12amCST and the winner will be announced Wednesday, June 19th.  Good luck!

Weekly Workout Recap

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m finally getting back on track with my workouts.  I wish I would have gotten a few more miles in but I’m definitely happy with myself.

My view from Saturday's long run. Gorgeous.

My view from Saturday’s long run. Gorgeous.

Monday:  3.5 mile beach run.

Tuesday: Cycling (8.54 miles in 30 minutes), weights – hip abductors & adductors,  triceps, biceps and deltoids.

Wednesday: Happy National Running Day! 4.5 miles with my two favorite running girls.

Thursday: Quickie weights session – biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats.

Friday: Rest day – holla!

Saturday: 10 mile run.  First double digit run in way too long.

Sunday: HIIT workout.

Well there you have it, last week’s sweat sessions.  And I have big plans on the workout front this week, too.  Ok, not really.  I’m just hoping to keep up the momentum, add some yoga and foam rolling into the mix.  I definitely feel less stressed when I can get some good workouts in.  I sleep better and am a happier person to be around – my hubby can vouch for that.

Speaking of The Hubster, I have to brag on him for a minute.  He ventured outside of his NON-clean eating comfort zone to try some Paleo banana raisin bread I made.  And {drumroll please} he liked it!  Maybe I shouldn’t have written him off as a lost cause. =D

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Big props to my friend Carrie at Fitness and Frozen Grapes for the awesome recipe.  It was super simple to make and I can vouch that it’s worth the ingredients to try it.  Although, I noticed that I lacked a bit of self control -3 huge pieces right out of the oven- so I will only make this periodically.  Even though it’s paleo, it still should be viewed as a decadent treat.

Question:  What did you do this weekend that made you happy?

Friday Favorites

Hoooooray for Fridays! In anticipation of the weekend, I thought I’d share some bits and pieces of things in my life that I’m absolutely loving lately.  These things never fail to bring a smile to face.

Cat bearding. Seriously. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop whatever you’re doing and search #catbeard on Instagram.  It’s so wrong in so many ways but I just die laughing.

My failed cat beard attempt.

Failed cat beard attempt. My poor cat….

Gymboss.  I have been wanting an interval timer forever and finally have one! I especially like that it looks & feels like a ’90s pager.  Every time it vibrates and beeps I’m temped to make a huge scene in the gym like I just got an emergency page. If only I had the stones to actually do it…. Be on the lookout for a fun Gymboss giveaway I have coming your way.

Kickin' 1990s style complete with neon.

Kickin’ 1990s style complete with neon.

Vega Energizing Smoothie.  This made my favorites list for two reasons.  1.) My breakfast isn’t complete without it, and 2.) I’m lazy and this is a great way to get nutrition in a glass.  Breakfast is a meal that I really don’t like spending much time on.   With this shake (it’s not smoothie in my book) I get to start my day with two servings of veggies, protein, fiber and Omega-3.  Plus it’s gluten/dairy free.  I like a bit more protein so I still eat either eggs or turkey sausage with it.

Vega

Vega Energizing Smoothie. I’ve gone through 3 1/2 bags of this in 8 weeks…

Freshly cut grass.  Did I just admit to that? Whatever. I don’t care if you know I’m weird like that.   I love it. It instantly reminds me of summer and floods me with memories from growing up.  I don’t know why, but I have Minnesota (where I spent a lot of my childhood) attached to that smell.

The beach.  I guess because I live on the coast most summers I don’t have much of an interest in going to the beach.  I mean I run it ALL the time but never just go and hangout.  However, I’ve already enjoyed several days this year of lounging around with my Nook and I plan on enjoying several more.

Super windy trip to the beach.

Super windy trip to the beach.

Woodchuck Hard Cider.  No, this isn’t real food and yes, I realize that this is absolutely nutrient void.  I don’t drink Woodchuck Hard Cider very often but when I do, one word: YUM! This gluten free cider is the perfect compliment to my hubby’s fantabulous grilled steaks.  I recently discovered the summer version which has just a hint of blueberry.  Plus it’s paleo approved which makes me feel a bit less badly about imbibing it.

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Question:  What are you loving lately?