October 2, 2019

Weekend Recap: F45, Cookblog, and Superior Shindig

Weekend of September 21-22

I kicked off my weekend with Friday night dinner plans at one of my favorite local hot spots: El Five, in Lo-Hi. While the food at El Five isn’t my absolute favorite, the presentation is incredible and the views can’t be beat – the city skyline to the east, and the mountains to the west. I had a wonderful time and totally lost track of my time, finally heading home around 10pm. So much for my plan to get to bed early!

Turkish pizza… yum!

But I was able to sleep in pretty late on Sunday – my first plan wasn’t till 9:30am, when Sara and I were meeting up to check out F45. I’ve heard a ton about this gym, and had it recommended by a ton of friends… but to be honest, I didn’t love it. It reminded me of Crossfit in how it was bare bones and a little bit grunge-y, and I am totally a sucker for a beautiful boutique-like space 🙂 But more importantly, I felt like doing an exercise for only 45 seconds (and then having only 15 seconds to switch) meant I wasn’t necessarily picking up the appropriate weights for each exercise, and then there wasn’t time to switch. I also thought it was odd that during the switching time, the screen changed from demoing the exercises to showing you how to switch. It wasn’t at all hard to remember / figure out where to go next, but when you get to a station with just a set of dumbbells, it’s hard to remember what you’re supposed to do at that one (when it’s one of 26). Sometimes it would take me until a few seconds into the exercise to look at the screen and see what I was supposed to do, which further contributed to the workout feeling rushed and frenetic. I was glad I tried it, but I’m much more of an Orangetheory fan!

After the workout, I didn’t have much free time, but Sara graciously came over to hang out at my house while I put together a casserole for cookblog club. This month, my potluck group was all cooking from the Eat Yourself Skinny blog, and I had chosen to make this creamy lemon chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole. Unfortunately, while it came together easily, the recipe was a bit of a fail – there wasn’t nearly enough sauce to submerge the rice, and so the rice on top came out crunchy. Ew! I tried adding chicken broth and baking it longer, but ran out of time before cookblog club, so I pulled a bottle of wine out of the fridge and stashed the casserole in there to try to fix later. As it turned out, a sauce shortage ended up being a common theme – all the other ladies who made dishes with sauce said they ended up making a double or triple batch of sauce in order to have an appropriate amount. This is why we do cookblog club – to identify commonalities before determining whether we like or don’t like a blogger overall!

Elisabeth made sheet pan honey balsamic chicken and veggies (double the sauce), Karlin made my favorite detox salad (sooooo good!! I will definitely be making this myself), Dani made warm brussel sprouts and sage salad (I normally love sage but this flavor combo was a miss for me), Helene made zucchini noodles with creamy avocado pesto (triple the sauce, but then yummmmmm this pesto was awesome!), and Cathryn made balsamic roasted strawberry ice cream (I need to get an ice cream maker so I can make this… the coconut milk was SO good. I’d probably skip the topping though, as I didn’t feel like it added much).

When I got home, at Cathryn’s suggestion, I made another batch of the sauce for my casserole, and then added extra milk to top it off, before baking the dish for another 45 minutes at 400. (So – more than double the sauce and more than double the cooking time.) And then it came out… decent? I liked the sauce and would probably make that again, but I wouldn’t make this casserole specifically with it… even after the fixes, it wasn’t very flavorful, and the broccoli was mush by the end. C’est la vie!

After cookblog club, I had a bit of time to clean up, and then I walked down to Wildflower Park for our first (hopefully annual) Superior Shindig! This event was organized by our Cultural Arts and Public Spaces committee, and included barbecue, line dancing, arts & crafts, and the “very prairie dog” popup where guests could paint wooden prairie dogs that would later go up around town. I had friends visiting from out of town who met me at the event, and I did my best to entice them to move to Superior. This festival was definitely a huge selling point – so many friendly, wonderful neighbors, in a beautiful new park, all creating a small town feel in the middle of my neighborhood!

I wrapped up my night by taking my friends out to dinner in Louisville, at a restaurant that’s long been one of my favorites – Empire Lounge. Unfortunately, it seems that Empire Lounge got new owners over the summer, and I was disappointed to find that they’ve changed a lot. (Like some of my favorite menu items – gone!) While I understand perhaps they’d want to cut costs, there were a bunch of changes that didn’t really make sense – like redoing the interior, which now feels really sterile with bright lights and not much character, rather than cozy mood lighting and decor. That probably cost them extra to change it around, and it made the environment much worse! While Empire Lounge used to be one of my favorite restaurants in Louisville, I don’t think I’ll be going back unless I hear there have been some major changes again 🙁 But on the bright side, it was a great night with my friends, and I particularly loved some good conversation we had over wine next door at Zucca after dinner.

After all that wine, Sunday was pretty low-key – I was tired! Probably from a combo of the wine (I don’t normally drink a lot these days, but it’s by chance been pretty frequent in the last week or two) and the fact that I didn’t sleep well Saturday night. I desperately wanted to go for a long hike on Sunday morning to shake out the cobwebs, but I finally took the advice of my friends to rest my aching calf.

On that note – I’ve always had tight calves, but in the last few weeks, my right calf has gotten worse and worse, until now it’s in pain when I run / jump. Not good! I’m hoping that with some rest, it will ease up and get better… but I’m not at all happy about resting it. I thought F45 would be a nice chance to focus on strength, but I really miss going for long cardio workouts on weekend mornings!

And as I expected, especially without a workout, my Sunday kind of went bust. Honestly, my days are always better when I start them with a workout; when I don’t, it feels like I am just waking up and haven’t gotten into my routine. I lazed around most of Sunday, not really getting anything done, and that was a bummer. I knew I’d pay for my lack of productivity later in the week, when things got busy!

As an extra bummer / contributor to my laziness, I had wicked insomnia on Saturday night, waking up at 3:30am (even after going to bed at 11pm). I had hoped I’d nap on Sunday, but didn’t get around to it, even with me not doing much else. That meant even with a day of laziness, I went into my week totally unrested… not good when I had a big Board meeting Monday night I knew would go late!

I need to find a way to force myself to be productive when I don’t work out or have much planned for the day. Or maybe it’s just that I need to find some good cardio alternatives for when I can’t run / hike?? I am getting my bonus at work next week, and I’m toying with the idea of spending a chunk of it (rather than just saving, like I usually do) and getting a Peloton for my house. I’ve come to love the Pelotons at my hotel when I’m traveling, and think I can just about justify the $2000 cost of owning one, but it kills me that they then stick you with a $50/month subscription fee on top of the expensive bike. So I’m considering that, or going the DIY option with a cheaper spin bike. The advantage of the DIY option is that the Peloton subscription is significantly cheaper ($20/month) if you don’t have an official Peloton bike than if you do! Make no sense at all, but I’ll take it. (And perhaps I’ll sell some pricing/customer experience consulting to Peloton…)


4 thoughts on “Weekend Recap: F45, Cookblog, and Superior Shindig”

  1. I’ve had a lot of calf issues lately, and icing really, really helped me. Good cardio while you’re healing a calf strain includes: rowing, ski erg (if your gym has one), and even sidestepping on the treadmill in dynamic mode (Woodways do this), med ball slams, and battle ropes. So there’s more you can do than you think.

    Totally agree about the Peloton subscription. There are also some very decent free spin workouts posted on YouTube if you get just a regular spin bike.

    1. Ugh, so sorry to hear you’re having calf issues too! I started seeing a PT last week and now have a roster of strengthening issues for it – she thinks it’s a combo of weak glutes/ankles that finally caught up with me. I’m starting to realize lately that while I think I’m doing plenty of leg strength, my glutes aren’t really firing and I’m compensating with my quads/hamstrings… oops 🙁 I’ve been loving swimming and spinning, though, and now have a gym membership to do those at home. (Plus will be getting a generic spin bike tonight if a Craigslist find works out!)

  2. We bought a Peloton in March and I love it! I do Orangetheory 4x a week and ride the Peloton 3x. I usually follow up a ride with some Peloton yoga or stretching or core work. It is such great cross training, and because it’s low impact, it’s a great way to burn cals without injuring yourself. I do love the app and use it on the road. I just feel like the bike itself makes the experience amazing. I am not one for DIY though.

    1. I haven’t done any Peloton stuff other than the bike so far, but I’m excited to check it out once I subscribe to the app! Great to hear how you blend it in with OTF, which I will never stop loving 🙂

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