Friday, January 30, 2015

Fitness Flash

Last year, Ryan and I really got into biking. Over the course of the summer we biked 1,000 miles. We brought our bikes on our vacation to Connecticut and rode around Mystic. We even bought new fancy bikes on a vacation in Maine with a stop in New Hampshire. 

@arlabarge on instagram

Then our awesome friends, who have both finished two ironmans a piece, encouraged us to do triathlons. So we started running. After a 10 week intro to running program, we competed in our first 5K EVER in early November.

@arlabarge on instagram

We ran our second 5K on Thanksgiving morning a few weeks later. Then the pain started. Every time I would run, I would be faster, but I hurt. For days my hip would ache. It would go away. I would run. Then it would hurt again.

So I stopped running and Ryan did too. We gave it time but the ache wouldn't go away. It was ever present in the background, ready to pop up when I would do the easiest of things. The doctor suggested physical therapy and I started right before Christmas.

It turns out that my butt (as large as it is) was weak and the muscles supporting my hip weren't sturdy enough for the activity I was hammering on my body. Six weeks through PT and I'm making tremendous progress. Some days it still aches, but if I stretch it out, my hip feels much better. I can actually do my daily stretches with little to no pain. I'll just feel a good burn from it.

I'm not allowed to run yet, but I'm working up to it slowly. I'm itching to though. My physical therapists, Beth and Don, have cleared me for moderate cycling and full blown swimming, since that doesn't aggravate the pain.

Since Ryan and I are still set on completing triathlons this year, we've focused our efforts on swimming while I'm healing. While we both love swimming and hanging out in the pool each summer, it's definitely our weakest part of the triathlon.

When we joined the local YMCA, we got in the pool right away. After talking more and more with other swimmers, they suggested taking the adult swim stroke class to help tweak our technique. After our first class this past Sunday, I can honestly say that I'm going to love it. Our instructor is helpful and insightful with her directions. I can't wait to see the difference at the end of the lessons.

For now, our training schedule is busy. We're trying to keep our muscles engaged and in shape for each of the three events. Here's what I did this past week:

Ryan's schedule looks a little bit different, you know, since he's not broken. On the days I do physical therapy, he does a bicycle trainer workout. When I workout before our swims, he runs on the treadmill.

By the time May comes around and brings with it our first triathlon, we're going to be BEASTS. Full on triathlon machines. At least I hope.

A girl can hope, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 Recipe Chase | Apple Chips

This year, I made a resolution to try fifty-two new recipes.

I've gone a little crazy and tried at least a dozen new recipes. So I'm amending my resolution. To finding fifty-two new recipes worth keeping. 

I think that's the best way to expand my list of rotating recipes. Andddd I get to try all these new fancy things. Like apple chips. Who knew they were so fantastic?

They're totally healthy too. I mean apples? Fruit. Lemon juice? Zero calories. Cinnamon? Helps fight the common cold. Brown sugar? Well, that's just delicious.

Apple Chips

Makes: 1 Snack

Prep Time: 15 min          Bake Time: 120 min          Cool Time: 60 min


1 hearty apple (like red or golden delicious)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon


1. Preheat your oven to 220° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, breaking up the brown sugar as much as possible to fully combine the spices. Pour the lemon juice in a separate bowl. 
3. Using a mandolin (or super awesome cutting skills), thinly slice the apple (1/8" to 3/16" thick).
4. Dip the apple slices in the lemon juice to wet both sides before coating with the brown sugar mixture. You may need to rub the coating to get it to an even appearance.
5. Place the apples on your baking sheet close together but not touching and bake for one hour.
6. Flip the apples and bake for another hour.
7. Remove from oven and let the apples cool in the pan for an hour before handling.
8. Once cooled the slices should have a fruity, leathery texture. They're perfect for snacks and you can store them in tupperware for a few days. (Mine were gone in three so I'm not sure after that!)

Calories: 200

This recipe was inspired by The Italian Dish and Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.

This is the perfect snack to take to work and make all your coworkers jealous. Unless you share. Then you're their hero and they beg you for the recipe. True story. It happened on Monday.

Don't you want to be a hero? Make these this weekend, you totally won't regret it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

National Spouses Day

It might be fitting that I'm starting over today, on National Spouses Day.

@arlabarge on instagram

I think it's because my everyday starts with him. And today might seem like a silly holiday but I want to celebrate that. I want to celebrate every moment I have with this amazing man.

It's not about gifts or presents. It's simply about appreciating him and all that he does to make my life wonderful. Some days might be harder than others, to see how he shows it. I just have to remember that he starts my car on chilly mornings, he does the laundry so I don't have to, and he does the dishes even though he hates them. He kisses my forehead, holds my hand when I'm sad, and always makes me laugh.

So here's to the little things. The mundane, often unappreciated, acts of love we do for each other everyday. Here's to you, cutie. I love you.

@arlabarge on instagram