The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

Friday Favorites #5

Hey y’all! Sorry about my comment-y absence yesterday on the blog! It was just one of those days where every time I sat down to do my reading and commenting something popped up that needed to be handled right away, and all of a sudden it was 11:00 at night and I was beat. But, I suppose there’s nothing like a crazy busy Thursday to make for a much more relieving Friday. So without further ado, some favorites from the week:

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Hot Weather Running Tips @ SkinnyRunner: It’s finally heating up out there, guys! Can you believe it?! Summer is finally here with gusto, and after a winter like that, I personally couldn’t be more relieved! But, along with summer running comes running in the heat – which takes just a little bit more preperation and awareness on our parts to stay safe, healthy, and still running in to the heat and humidity of August (which I’m pretending isn’t going to happen. Just like I always do, lol). This article is absolutely a must-read before you lace up and hit that burning hot pavement – even if you’re pretty sure you’ve got it down, you never know when you might run across something new!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Triple Berry Summer Salad @ Iowa Girl Eats: Fair warning: this isn’t the only Friday Favorite from Iowa Girl this go-round. Let’s be honest – I’ve talked about Kristin’s blog on here before, because I’m basically always in love with everything she makes. But it seems like this past week or so she’s just been ON A ROLL in terms of making things that make me go “I must immediately make this or die.” This salad is one of those. I mean, come on! Berries! Goat cheese! Almonds! Avocado! I really think that’s the main reason Kristin is just making gold this week – with summer here, so are some of my favorite flavors and food combinations. But that doesn’t change the fact that…damn. Doesn’t that salad look amazing?

Another week of Portable Workouts @ Fitfluential: Oh, Fitfluential! There you are again, showing up every week with great motivational pictures and on-the-go workouts and other things that put to shame all the excuses I have at the ready whenever, you know, I just don’t give a damn that day. Which happens more than it should. I won’t say I’m totally in love with all of the workouts on this round of ‘Portable Workouts’, but I thought that this “Beach Attack” workout looked challenging enough for even this land-locked, ocean-starved girl. I mean, 1-minute single leg squat hold? Bring it on!

Life lessons from a Pup @ Mangoes and Miles: You guys know that I love Beth – I think she’s inspirational athletically, and I’m MONDO impressed by her med-school aspirations. Plus, her dog makes my heart melt and reminds me of my dog all at the same time, which, for those of you who know my dog, makes that only 1000% more awesome! Anyway, I loved this post from Beth for three reasons: while the concept is a little corny, Beth truly pulls out some pretty great wisdom that we could all pick up from our little furry friends (“play often”, “keep track of your stuff”) and she illustrates this with AMAZING PICTURES. Also, there’s a bad-ass looking pancake. Also – Up GIFs for the win!

Chili-Lime Shrimp Bowls with Black Bean-Mango Salsa | iowagirleats.com

Chili-Lime Shrimp Bowls with Black Bean-Mando Salsa @ Iowa Girl Eats: It’s like Chipotle, if Chipotle had sea-food options, was homemade with love, and had approximately 1/10000 of the calories. You guys have seen on the blog that I’m a huge fan of one bowl, one pan, one container meals (less cleanup, less dishes, less having to reach for multiples things while I’m shoveling still-burning food in to my mouth) and this one really hit the nail on the head. Everything about this dish looks filling, healthy, spicy (or at least, it’ll be that way by the time I’m finished, lol) and full of my absolute favorite shellfish. Once we get access to a grill more permanently, you may be seeing a ton of variations on this theme this summer 😀

And there you have it, everyone! The fifth round of Friday Favorites is over for today 😦 I know, I know! But I’ll be back same time next week, so get out there and make your Friday an amazing one!

Most fantastic thing from this week?

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150 Posts and a love letter

Can you guys believe it’s already been 150 posts? Not that that’s, you know, an official unit of time measurement or anything, but still! It feels like a pretty cool deal to see 150 pop up next to the “posts” link on the Dashboard – all you WordPressers out there pick up my drift! Anyway, I wanted to take today, in honor of the fact that you all have been super awesome, and the fact that come June 1st I’m starting a couple months of hard-core beat up on the body, to write a little love letter.

I’ve been seeing a lot of great discussion going on lately about the expectations we keep for ourselves, valuing our bodies, and why the human body is as awesome as it is. And since this blog makes frequent mention of the things I wouldn’t mind changing about myself, I thought I might put up this little reminder (for myself as well as for all you lovelies out there) that your body is already pretty darn amazing just as it is right now. So, deep breath and…

Dear Body,

Thanks for doing so many awesome things every day, even when I don’t request that you do them? Blinking? Who has time to think of that. Breathing, converting glucose, shuttling gallons of blood around my body every day – I don’t actually have to tell you to do those things, you just take care of it. Which is totally awesome, as it’s a pretty good sign that you’ve got things under control, at least at the most basic level.  So let’s move up a level.

Feet – you’re gross. You smell, you’re all lumpy and knotty and you occasionally smell. Hands, you’re not much better – short, stubby, giant knuckles. But you know what? In case of fight, those hands could do some potential ass kicking. And feet, you could get me away from a situation pretty damn fast if I asked you to. Not to mention you carry me every where I’m going and every where I’ve gone. All without much of a thank you. So thank you.

Legs, I don’t even care that you’re tree trunks. I don’t really care that I don’t have that inner-thigh gap, mostly because I think my thighs like touching. It lets them know they have a friend in the world. I don’t mind because all that thickness just means that much more weight I can bear, that many more babies I’ll be able to tote around one day, that many more bends up and down to grab my favorite book off the bottom bookshelf. And my flapping grandma wings (what do you call that bit of fat under your arms?)? One day those things will delight grandchildren for hours to come, and even now they do a pretty good non-skinny job at offering hugs, high-fives, and pats on the back. Sometimes the world gets hard, and that means having broad shoulders to carry it. So thanks for that to, upper body, even if the shoulders doing the carrying aren’t that defined yet.

And then we have the stomach. Oh, abs – will you ever truly get to see the light of day? I know you’re down there somewhere, like the dwarves of Moria, but I would be quite surprised and delighted to actually make face-to-face contact with you one day. But it’s cool if you’re comfy down there – that little bit of extra padding on top is okay. It means I’m warm in winter; it means I’m ready to grow, nurture, and produce a tiny human life one day. And it serves as a gentle reminder that we can all have work to do while still being okay with who we are as people.

Last but not least – the other stuff. The hair. The eyebrows. The nose that’s too long and the cheeks that are too round. And the only thing I have to say to all those extra parts, it’s that I’m sorry. Because they always take the extra beating for being the quick fix. Those abs may be a long time coming, but chopping off the hair can be done NOW, with CHANGE guaranteed! I’ve always loved my smile and the length of my hair, and sometimes that’s all I have going for me on “the list of things I love about my body right now” – so thanks for always being those one or two things.

Body, to wrap up, I think you’re just so amazing. And I wish more people thought the same thing about their bodies. Every day our bodies do FUCKING MAGIC inside us to keep us alive. Seriously, the best factory in the world has nothing on the human body. So maybe you’ve got an extra 20 pounds – hell, an extra 40. And maybe your hands are too wide, your feet are too long, your legs are too spindly and you hate your chicken arms. But your body is still miraculous. So recognize. And respect.

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Let’s talk Daily Burn

Yesterday, one of the things I knew was directly related to the Daily Burn website, so I wanted to come back a bit more today to talk about just what this website is, how I came across it, and why you should probably be the most awesome person on the planet and go ahead and sign up as well. I’ll go ahead and let you guys know now that I am in no way sponsored for this post, I just have had really great interactions with the site and wanted to share!

So what do I actually DO when I log on to Daily Burn? Well, here’s the run down. When you sign up, Daily Burn has you pick a “program” you want to start – they have a cardio dance option, a kettlebell program, a P90X style bootcamp – not to mention multiple levels and formats that range in between in intensity. Most of the exercises don’t require anything other than what most home-workout-ers will already have handy: a medicine ball, some dumbbells, a yoga mat. Anything special you need (like ranging weight kettlebells) they inform you before hand so you can come prepared. And, as always, it’s completely up to you what videos you want to do when – all the videos are available, all the time, regardless of what “program” you choose. And you can always search the videos by format, length, intensity, instructor…basically until you get to that ideal exercise video!

So let’s look at an example, shall we (I feel like I’m in school teaching you all about split infinitives or long division or something, lol). When I signed up, I wanted something that I could do with NO excuse that would also be super challenging, so I went for the Tactical Body Training, the program focusing on bodyweight interval training. I watched the preview video, grabbed my mat, and prepared. The structure of Tactical Body Training is two days of tabata-based bootcamp style classes followed by two days of active recovery – yoga, mobility stretches, and guided foam rolling. So I did the first workout – and that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far, lol. I DEFINITELY was too out of shape to do the workouts back to back, as the schedule said, so I mixed in a cardio day and some extra recovery before going back. Maybe not perfect, but I figure as long as the program gets done eventually.

Daily Burn is a website similar to FitnessGlo, another service I’ve seen popping up on the blog rounds lately. The primary differences, from what I can tell, are that FitnessGlo is primarily marketed at and focused on serving women and their exercise needs, whereas Daily Burn doesn’t make those same kinds of claims. Also, Daily Burn is organized by “programs”, as opposed to a few programs mixed with an assortment of other workout formats available as well. Daily Burn is also about $5.00 a month cheaper than FitnessGlo, although if you also want access to Daily Burn’s nutrition and diet services, they end up being about the same cost at $15.00/month. As per usual, you get the first 30 days free to try when you sign up, so even if that’s all you do, I’m already finding the website to be a great resource for those days when I don’t want to go to the gym – or when I’m at the gym and have no idea what I’m in the mood to do next!

I should say before I wrap up that there IS a nutrition/diet component, like I mentioned, but it’s an extra cost, so at this point in time I’m not using those services. I’m trying to re-train my body and my mind back more towards intuitive eating and away from calorie tracking and the like (this is a different post, for sure, but I’m coming to realize how bad counting calories may be for me on the mental end of the battle), but for those of you out there who are truly looking for a holistic and well-rounded approach to changing your body, these extra services might really be worth taking a look at!

So is it worth it? I think so, so far! I mean, the one true workout I’ve done from the site left me pouring sweat, sore for days, but still had me coming back for more…so yeah, I’d call that a success for sure! I’m really excited to check out some of the videos outside my “program”, and would love for you to check out the website, maybe give those first 30 days a try, and let me know what you think!

PS: unsponsored, remember? 😉

What’s your go-to when the gym is a no-go? Any great DVDs/websites you’d recommend – I’m always on the look out!

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Things I Know

I know that sometimes, when I wake up and put on the same sweatpants I’ve been wearing in the morning for days, I’ll drink my coffee black but sweet (HELLO, Stevia!) and pretend I’m still in college when I thought drinking coffee black was the epitome of academic mystery…yeah, I was that girl. And sometimes I like to pretend to still be that girl! 😉 Just a little dash of recent-nostalgia to keep the mornings interesting, hopefully you guys know what I’m talkin’ about!

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I know that this weekend was one of the longest I’ve had in a while. My father-in-law was in the hospital with heart problems, and while he ended up being fine and is now on the road to getting better and better, there were definite tears and stresses this weekend. Sadly, there was no pie. Even for memorial day.

I know that I didn’t know WHAT I was thinking when I took on the first round of Tactical Body Training on the new fitness website I joined! I recently signed up for Daily Burn, a pay-by-month website that offers, like, a bajillion work-out videos and different work-out programs to become involved in, all for just $10.00 a month (with a 30 day free trial and the opportunity to earn another free month by trying their nutrition counseling services). The Tactical Body Training program is a tabata-based body weight workout, and during the first workout we did moves like the child’s pose push-up and the “splay”, which is basically just a burpee. It took about 30 minutes for the tabata workout, 45 total with the mobility warm-up and cool-down, but HOLY GOD DID MY ENTIRE BODY HURT. Seriously. I did this workout on Thursday, right before things with my father-in-law got dicey, and to be honest, I’m still lowering myself on to the toilet. That’s a TMI, but you get the picture – body. hurt. In a great way that was also death.

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I know that, without a doubt, errands are the worst thing in the entire world. Yesterday before work (at 5:30) Mark and I spent the entire morning running around and taking care of errands and plans: lunch with his parents, grocery shopping, laundry, picking up various things for the summer plants – and then the day was gone. And while sometimes I feel nothing but accomplishment at getting things done, yesterday was nothing but draining. Maybe it was because I then had to go to work immediately afterwords, and maybe it was the fact that my introversion was just catching up with me and I was wiped from how busy we’d been over the rest of the weekend, but one work was over, I was straight home to bed. Not even to read and then to bed. Just to bed.

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I know that I’ve got very little else to say this Tuesday, but wanted to point out that, in case you missed it, yes you can indeed use Modern Family and it’s accompanying GIFs to fit basically any situation on the planet. Which is exactly what should happen. 😀

How was your Memorial Day? Anything amazing happen, or any crazy stories? What’s your favorite sitcom?

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Happy Memorial Day

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Just stopping in to say hello to all you beautiful faces out there! No real post today, just a quick stop by to say I hope your Memorial Day is fantastic. Thank you to all those who serve in the hard jobs I could never do in order to guarantee freedoms I am blessed with every day. Now everyone go enjoy a delicious beergarita, and stay safe!

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Friday Favorites

I thought I had so much more to share with you guys this week! But when I went back to my “saved posts” folder, the majority of what I bookmarked was from my reading blogs! And not that I don’t think you guys would find that fascinating, but it’s mainly just books that I want to read in the next few weeks. BUT, all hope is not lost, and I do have a few pretty baller pieces from the interwebs to bring you guys this week!

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Book Fetish Volume LXXIV @ BookRiot: You guys know BookRiot. You’ve heard me blather on about it before. But this week their ‘book fetish’ article was particularly to die for! This series of articles is all about book-related bling, toys, home goods – you name it, if it’s literary but not actually a book, then this page will most likely get to it eventually. It’s one of maybe five or six regular features on the internet that I make sure to check up on regularly, and while I’ve never bought anything they’ve shown, I’ve been mighty tempted to more times than I can count!

May Mini-Challenge: Homemade Cleaners @ IHeartOrganizing: Oh, IHeart! I am a hoarder clutter bug and if the recent massive spring cleaning has taught me anything, it’s that I need a serious overhaul in my methods of cleaning (shockingly, my organizational skills are pretty top-par, they are just those organizational skills that don’t look organized, lol) and as this blog is all about healthy living, I was really excited to see a way to knock off the great things I love about Mrs. Meyers products – the fact that they’re all natural, powerful, and smell pretty good – using stuff that I mostly have around the house already. Yes, the recipes call for Borax, which has fallen in to debate regarding it’s safety, but with the cursory reading I’ve done, it seems to be one of those ‘in moderation’ kind of things. Plus, this post covers everything from all purpose cleaner to duster to toilet bowl cleaner!

Many People Thinking of Questions

Fancy that Feedback for Runners @ OlivetoRun: So, Cori is all over Friday Favorites over here all the time, because I love her and she’s amazing at this world we call blogging, and especially because every now and then she comes out with these kind of…composite posts? She’ll post a survey on her blog or ask for email contributions, and then post the answers in these big treasure troves of tips, tricks, advice, and preferences amongst any runners who answer her questions. It’s a great combination of reader survey, which are always fun to read, and general advice from among the community. You never know what amazing advice someone might turn over that you’ll get to read about on Cori’s blog! This article specifically took reader responses to some recent posts she’s done, and shared anything she thought would be of value to others!

Braving the Craving @ Commitness to Fitness: Charlotte blows my mind all the time with her amazing posts, hence my total thievery of that amazing GIF from Charlotte’s post this week. Unlike myself, who likes to dance around fitness and nutrition related things, Charlotte likes to dive right in and be all, like, “okay, let’s talk about ___”. And this week we were chatting all about food, nutrition, eating – and, in this amazing post that challenges us all to face our own s@#%$ and get over it so that we can work though our cravings for food – she talks about Camp “You Crave Because You’ve Got Drama” and Camp “You Crave Because your Body Needs Certain Things”. Check it out – it’s quite the conversation!

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Oldies Workout Playlist @ Peanut Butter Fingers: So, guilty confession: I have the musical tastes of a seventy year old woman. Or a flamboyantly gay man. Or both. But a good 60% of what I listen to was originally produced before 1975. So when Julie was looking for suggestions for her upcoming water aerobic class and needed some oldies tunes, I knew I had a great playlist coming my way. And I wasn’t wrong! I saw this a few days ago, and now there is a pretty new iPod playlist bearing a very similar name with quite a few of the same tracks 😉 They may not be the best for the most hard-core of speedwork, but they get me through the elliptical with a big ole’ smile on my face and a groove in the step!

What did you run across this week? Any awesomely stand-out moments?

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Lets talk books

As you guys probably know by now, I’m currently in the process of getting my masters in library and information sciences. Which means I want to be a librarian for a living, mostly because I love books and talking about books just slightly more than I love running 🙂

One of my classes this summer is a class focusing on resources and services for teen readers. So I wanted to do two things on the blog today:

1. I just finished the most wonderful book for the class

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is about a chubby redheaded girl and a half-Asian boy fall in love (don’t worry, that’s no spoiler). But its also about so much more than that!! Its a book about punk music and having a shitty family and being true to yourself. And love, of course, and high school, and how we communicate. And it didn’t make me feel cheesy or smarmy or like I needed to hide the front cover, which is a sensation I frequently get when reading teen fiction 😀 So I just wanted to tell you all about it so that the next time you’re in a bookstore you can look for it, because its fast and short and will make your life at least temporarily better 🙂

2. I wanted to ask you guys what the last great book you read was?! It doesn’t have to be a teen book, but it totally can be. I mainly just want to know what the last book was that you stayed up to read, took a long lunch to finish, and/or couldn’t stop talking about?

Hope you all are having a wonderful Thursday. Tell me something that’s made you happy today? 🙂

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Stop! Summer time.

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Sorry for how totally awful that picture is! But did you guys know that it’s basically summer time?! While this means a great many things in general (cookouts! camping! mojitos!) it also means that it’s time for my annual summer time fitness goals! Summer just seems like the perfect time for going balls-to-the-walls crazy over just a few goals for those two months.

So what’s on the agenda for this summer, you ask?! I’m case the calendar didn’t give it away, this summer I REALLY want to focus on:

*Drinking a TON of water! I don’t drink nearly as much as I should, and on days I workout it gets even worse. And no, no tea or coffee or diet coke. Just legit water. Hopefully! Lol.

*Arms, arms, arms baby!!! I know we all have parts of our body that we’re not all that stoked about, and for me, my chicken-flapping arms have got to go! So it’s arms at least two to three times a week on top of everything else.

*Bring on the yoga, baby! I’m determined to get back to the mat this summer, not only because it’s great active recovery and muscle toning, but it’s a great spiritual practice for getting back in touch with your mental self.

*Last but not least, the running! I’m thinking about maybe maybe signing up for a half marathon?! With only one 5K ever under my belt, this seems totally sane lol 😉 but either way I definitely want to work on upping my mileage, which means I’m planning on slowly working my way from 4 miles now to just over 7 by the end of the summer!

And there you have it! It’s a pretty regimented plan, which I’m hoping works out for the better, but I’m giving myself permission to mix things up a bit, as long as the end goal is still in mind!

What about you?! Do you have set summer goals? What are your plans for the summer?

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Things I Know Tuesday

Hey, y’all! This week’s “Things I Know” is going to be a bit of a short one because today is officially the Outlaw Family Spring Cleanathon in which Mark and I have promised each other to take on the task of our apartment over the next day or two. We try to stay tidy all the time, but the house is due for a good deep clean, so wish me luck as I’m off to vacuum, dust, and otherwise sweat my way through the housework du jour! Let’s talk about what I know this week first, though.

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I know that I may have started this blog as a method of accountability, but that what I’ve gained way more of is amazing friends who, like this lady or these girls, send me nothing but tons of internet love and support whenever something is happening, good or bad. I love them to pieces already, and can’t wait to see what their own fitness and life adventures lead their way – fingers crossed for an IRL meeting, well, someday down the road!

I know that summer school is finally here, and it got here really, really fast! Like, two weeks after the end of the spring semester fast. True, I go to school primarily on the internet, so it’s not like there’s a physical classroom I need to go to all the time or anything, but still. Nothing like opening up your school email just for fun to see a “welcome to the semester” email from a teacher!

I know that my heart is literally breaking for everyone in Moore, Oklahoma and it’s surround areas right now. I have family who lives in the Oklahoma City area, and I thanked God an infinite number of times last night that they were safe through this insanely scary tragedy. I spent this morning following the news stories and images coming out of the area, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have your entire life physically torn into something different in a matter of minutes. I have a very deep phobias of tornadoes, and I just…can’t.

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I know that house cleaning blows. I’m really, really bad at it and hate doing it almost more than I hate anything else on the planet (short of tornadoes and the sound people make with their mouth when they’re eating bananas) which is why it piles up to the point where I hate it even more. It’s a viscous cycle I call my life. But I know that if I can just keep the Doubtfire in my mind, maybe it’ll all work out 😉

And with that, it’s Outlaw out!

What’s your biggest fear? Have you ever experienced a natural disaster? If you could choose one household chore to do every time, and one that you never had to do again, what would the two be?

side note: if I had to answer that last question, I would do dishes every night of my life if it meant I never had to dust another counter/bookshelf/flat surface ever again!

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Rave Run 5K: Race Recap

It finally happened, guys! That first 5K EVER that you guys saw me sign up for, talk about ad naseum, and flip my lid over – it’s come and gone and it was AH. MAZING. Seriously, you guys, I can’t think of a better race to cut my teeth on in terms of running, and I can safely say that not only will I be running more 5Ks in the future, but I’m actually really, REALLY excited to start pushing myself towards longer distances, pushing towards that half marathon! But enough of this philosophical nonsense – how about some race pics?

The whole event was, obvs, a night race, so the registration tables and race location opened at 6:30 that night for all those who were registering last minute (PRO tip: don’t do that. It’s awkward and takes forever. Because, you know, I’m a pro now and can give tips, lol). We got there at about 8:00, which gave us about an hour to stand around, stretch, drink water, use the bathroom, get our glow stuff ready to go, and of course take a ton of awkward cute pictures!

The race registration came with a necklace, bracelet, and glow glasses, but the Outlaw/Brown family don’t play that. My dad went to Party America earlier in the day and picked up a few more packets of glow bracelets/necklaces and it’s a good thing he did – even as blinged out as we were, there were definitely folks there who really made sure to prep for race day! The race itself had maybe…1,500 people running? I have no idea. I’m horrible at gestimating big numbers, and since the race was untimed and “non-competitive”, there isn’t even a stats list of all the runners. I took this picture of the crowd right before the start gate opened, and we were maybe 2/3 of the way back in the corral?

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Either way, it seemed like there were enough people there that things had a good energy, but I didn’t notice any major hang ups. Let me tell you, if you’ve never run a race with other people before – LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING. I see a ton of legit runners giving advice about fueling, pacing, stretching, but no one seems to talk about one very basic but overlooked component – how to run in a crowd of people without tripping over your feet, theirs, or tripping them in the process. The only advice I have is short steps. Wait for the crowd to thin out. The race course itself, which I suppose I should talk about, was an out an back on the property of Kemper Arena, a KC sports complex, and while there was a set of hills that weren’t exactly the most fun, they weren’t steep and they were well lit, so I was kept distracted. The turn-around came at the end of an alley, which made for some bottlenecking and “cheating” I guess you could call it – I saw a bunch of people hopping over the cones to reverse direction early, rather than getting caught up in the big crowd at the actual turn around. Having no point of comparison, I’m not sure how ‘normal’ this is, but I definitely saw it happening!

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Mark and I finished in 35:00 minutes and my parents, rock stars that they are, actually finished just before us in just over 30:00 minutes. This is the part where I’m going to get all emotionally gooey, so brace yourself: I’ve never felt something cooler than crossing this finish line, hand-in-hand with my husband, seeing my parents there smiling and sweaty, and I knew that I’d made the right choice to run slow and wait for my family and just take this in more as an experience than anything…there will always be more races. That I can guarantee you, especially now that the first one went so amazingly. But there won’t always be another race that my entire family decides to run with me (especially one that starts at 9:00 which, for those that know my early-bird momma, is quite a feat in and of itself). So all in all – the race was a SMASHING success and I can’t wait to run my next one!!!

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No final pictures of sweaty Mark because he just wasn’t having it. But there the rest of us are, in all our sweaty, glow-y glory! We hung around the post-race party just long enough to have a beer and look longingly at the mini funnel-cakes, and then it was off to home and to bed!

What’d you guys tackle this weekend? Any major new developments?

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