Running A Ragnar

It's shifted into a blog that's mostly about running with a twist of horses, food, weekends, and much more. A place for advice, inspiration, amateur photography, and a good laugh.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Body Pump- Some routines and workouts

If you have been following this blog for a while.  
Then you rock.  

And you also probably heard (saw?) me mention body pump, and my extreme love for it, a few times.  I refuse to go near the weight section of the gym (it's intimidating) so it is important for me to learn some weight training routines in the comfort of my own home or smaller gym. Body Pump has been wonderful for providing a comfortable environment to weight train, as well as an educational tool to properly weight train at home.

What is body pump? 
 A kick ass workout where you get to stay in one place.  Coming from a runner- this is awesome.  Okay, now what it really is, is a full body workout using a weighted bar and hand weights.  This is perfect for people who want to learn how to properly use weights, and pro's alike.  4 pounds on your bar or 40, this is a class for everyone and can be as challenging as you want to make it.  Even with light weights, you will be so sore the next two days that you will never look at stairs the same way.  And the second day is always worst. 

All body pump routines follow this sequence:
Warm up
Cool down

When I was back in Connecticut, I was taking classes regularly for a great price.  However, here in Utah, I am having a really hard time finding body pump classes that fit my graduate student schedule and budget.

So I did what any poor 20 something does. 
 I went to Pinterest to scour the selection of free workouts.  
And let's be honest, Pinterest never disappoints.

From quick routines, how to moves, to full length body pump classes, I found it all.  I found a website Tone and Tighten that has a lot of great at home exercises. 

My apartment complex has a mini gym (it's tiny)  but has all of the heavier weights that I do not have in my apartment.  There is no bar so I just improvise with a set of hand weights.  After my run Wednesday I decided I wanted to get back into weights and ran through a few of my favorite body pump moves.  Two days later I am still so sore. 

Links to some great work outs:
This 15 Minute at Home Arm Workout is perfect for a post run arm workout
Here is an hour long video of an actual body pump class so you can follow along at home and learn all the moves. 

So even if you are on a budget, you can work out at home with a set of hand weights.  Let me know what you all think of these routines!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Valentines garland DIY

There is something about decorating for the holidays that makes a home feel so much more like, well, a home.  Living out in Utah, 2,200 miles away from my family and friends, it is important to do the little things that make this new terrain feel like home.  I love decorating for the holidays and even though valentines day is my least favorite holiday, I decided to embrace the pink and get pink festive color in my life with this super simple really fun Valentines Day Garland. 

I have my crafting supplies pretty organized (labeled plastic clear bins from the dollar store ROCK) so I already had all the supplies I needed.  Ribbon, tissue paper in a few different colors, scissors and a hot glue gun. 

I was able to complete this project while sitting on the couch sipping wine on a Saturday night.  My kind of lazy crafting- stationary and wine.  

Oh and the instructions are pretty simple. 

Perfect for #decor or #parties #howto make #tassel #garland #diy

So basically, some folding, some snipping, some twisting, some gluing. 

After about ten minutes I had three piles of dark pink, light pink and white tassels.  I strung them onto a piece of ribbon and hung them across my beloved metal moose/antelope heads.  

The finished product is really fun, really cute, and cost next to nothing. 

It makes me pretty happy every time I sit on my couch (which is a lot). 

I will definitely be making different sets in different colors for the various holidays.
Pinterest for the win!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Inspiralized Black Bean and Butternut Squash Noodle Tacos!

Vegetarian friends,
and Meatless Monday Menu Searchers... 
you are going to love this one. 

Ali over at posted this picture on Instagram one day and I was sold.
Butternut squash spiralized noddles are my favorite.  And I love anything in a lettuce wrap (especially Cheesecake Factory's Lettuce Wraps). 

 This combination of spices, sweet and savory butternut squash, feta, black beans and cilantro, with a kick of the jalapeno makes this a tasty meal. 

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Noodle Tacos

I decided I was going to replicate this yummy dish for a healthy delicious lunch.  
And share it with all of you!

First off, you are going to need a spiralizer.  
order yours off amazon here.

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, Blade C
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ a lime
  • ½ small red onion
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, to garnish
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lay out the butternut squash noodles, drizzle with olive oil and season with cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.
  2. While butternut squash is cooking, slice the jalapeno into thin slices, deseed and set aside. Slice the avocado in half, remove the core and mash the insides in a small bowl with the lime juice and set aside. Thinly slice the onion and set aside.
  3. When butternut squash is done, assemble the tacos. Lay down a bibb lettuce leaf and add in a spoonful of the mashed avocado. Top with butternut squash noodles and then onion slices, black beans, jalapeno slices, and cilantro. Finish with a crumbling of cheese.

This would make a great Meatless Monday dish, or even be perfect for a a party/gathering.
The cumin in this makes me love life. 
  Healthy Superbowl Sunday?  Add this to your list!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
January 2015

Bonneville Salt Flats has been on my bucket list for a while now.  I heard it was a really amazing landscape and while there wasnt much to actually "do" there, it was a sight worth seeing.  I did a little research before heading out there and discovered:

  1. It is about 1.5 hours west of Salt Lake City, right by the Utah/Nevada border
  2. The Salt Flats were formed when ancient lake Lake Bonneville dried up.  It eventually shrank below its outlet and so its water became salty. As water continued to evaporate, salt deposits were left in many areas (the Great Salt Lake is a remnant of Lake Bonneville)
  3. The salt flats are about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide with total area coverage of just over 46 square miles. Near the center of the salt, the crust is almost 5 feet thick in places, with the depth tapering off to less than 1 inch as you get to the edges. Total salt crust volume has been estimated at 147 million tons or 99 million cubic yards of salt! The Bonneville Salt Flats are comprised of approximately 90% common table salt
  4. It is realllly hot in the summer (no shade Utah)
  5. It is an international famous speedway where many world records are set, competitions held, and movies filmed. 
  6. It is covered in water in the winter (learned this when I arrived) so the racing is only in the spring summer and fall (also learned this when I arrived-oops).
  7. The road is built back up in the spring to support the racing community
  8. There are two spots to view the salt flats- probably the best being the rest area right off I-80 W, and the second being off exit four where the races are held. 

Olive joined us for the drive out to the Salt Flats 

The scenic drive out to the flats along I-80W was probably the best part of the trip.

A lot of salt processing facilities along the flats- Good ole' Morton salt company was spotted! Popular table salt company. 

Viewing area off exit 4

Viewing area from the I-80 W rest stop

One of my favorite pictures from the weekend.  Slightly edited to enhance the features of the mountain and colors :) 

Viewing area off exit 4.  

Salt crust/where the road is built 

A thick salt crust at the speedway.

We couldn't head all the way west without dipping into Nevada.  Because how fun is it to say you stopped in Nevada over the weekend?
I was not prepared for what I was about to see. 

The instant you cross over into Nevada, you find this little town called Wendover, and you are greeted by "Wendover Will".  It is basically a small town dedicated to small cheap casinos, a liquor store, gas stations, and fast food chains. 
Good Ole Nevada.

Again, the drive back to Salt Lake City was gorgeous and the mountains were a stunning backdrop for the hour and a half back to the city. 

If you are in the area, or on a trip west on I-80 W, make sure you stop at the salt flats and take in the beauty of this unique lanscape.  And swing by Salt Lake City for a visit ;)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Home for the Holidays

I was so happy to go home for the holidays.  I spent about 9 days celebrating the holidays with my friends and family and it was just what this homesick New Englander needed.  Here are some clips of my time home back on the East Coast :) 

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