Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Check-In Wednesday: New Rules of Lifting For Women

In an effort to add more strength training to my plans, I re-started the New Rules of Lifting for Women program on June 2nd, 2013.  On this program, you gradually increase weight and sets (but reduce reps as the weights increase). I'd made it through stage 1 once before (back in 2012) and looking back, didn't really have decent results then either.  I did things a little differently this time.  In 2012, I was completing the workouts 3 times a week instead of the 2 times a week this round (I just couldn't fit 3 in with triathlon/relay/half marathon training without going completely nuts).  I also didn't alternate the exercises the way they prescribed because I found an app to help keep track and I couldn't get it to work that way, so I did them all in straight sets.

Maybe these 2 changes are why this time it was a fail - again.

Or maybe I'm still not eating right.

Or maybe I just suck at strength training.

In any case, here are the changes I made over the course of just over 8 weeks:

If you scroll through my training logs, you can definitely see I increased the amount of weight I could lift.  But who's to say I couldn't lift that much from the start.  I also topped out pretty quickly on some of the weights.  I could never go higher than 15 pound hand weights for the shoulder presses, for example.

Now for the measurements.  They ended up a little better than I thought they would, but I'm still not very happy with them.

I haven't posted a weigh-in for about 3 weeks now because of some really stupid choices and events.  I had managed to get back up to almost 149 and I know a lot of that was salt/water but it still pissed me off.  This week I'm basically back to where I was 3 weeks ago (I lost 2 pounds last week and another 2.6 this week).  Pretty awful because that means the 5 pounds I gained weren't just salt and water or they would've been gone the next day.  I tried cutting out beer completely but I just couldn't do it.  At least I cut back quite a bit, but what can I say? It's summer and beer tastes good.

I started investigating the Whole30 plan and decided I'd probably rather be fat since according to their plan, EVERYTHING I eat and drink is WRONG.  No sugar, no grains, no legumes (like hummus!), no alcohol, no dairy.  No running fuel like honey stingers or gummy bears.  No carb loading.  How the f*ck would I still train and run?  Carry broccoli on my long runs? Pack a steak in my spibelt?  They say start today, no matter what events you have coming up - you can plan around them.  Um...How would I run my relay next week?  I'm pretty sure we aren't packing a grill and oven in my van.  I know there are a lot of vegan and paleo runners out there who have figured this out and major props to you.  I just don't see how I'd make it work.  I finally figured out what I can have without feeling like I'm going to puke or bonk and all that is wrong too.  It's pretty frustrating if you ask me. They say you can do anything for 30 days, but I can't cut all that out without wanting to cut someone for a cookie, so I think for the safety of my family, I need to stick with what I've been doing.  Even if I'm forever stuck in the mid-140s.  Maybe this shows I really don't care enough or want to be skinny bad enough.  I think I'm starting to be ok with that.  I like to have a life and be able to go out with friends and order off the menu.  Even have a beer if I so choose.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Streets of Fire 8k #racereport

I hadn't planned on writing a race report today, but I also hadn't planned on racing last weekend. I knew I needed a double on Saturday for relay training and found this local race that would fit in nicely as the evening run. (I ran my own 5k route at 5:30 am in my night gear since my 1st and 3rd relay legs will require the lights and vest. I finished the weekend with a triple by running another 5k route Sunday morning in the pour rain - cuz I'm a crazy like that.)

The Streets of Fire 8k is staged at a Polish hall in Grand Rapids and is put on by the Grand Rapids Running Club. My neighbor runs it every year and has always spoken highly of the race so I figured, WTH.  I registered a couple days before the race and just picked up my race packet at the race (don't think I've done that before). One of my girlfriends was also running so we chilled and chatted before hand. We might have snapped pics of a righteous mullet too.

I had zero faith this thing would stay on.

Right before the 6:30 race we headed outside. People were just milling about I'd told her I was hoping for around a 10 m/m pace but we'd just run & just see what happened. The start was just a "go" but as you can see from the high tech cardboard chip twisty-tied to my shoe, we were getting times.

Nice shirt, cool bag, a koozie and mason jar beer glass!

We sorta took off like rockets. I was trying to keep up with her and ahead of some other people & at the mile mark I knew I needed to back off or I was going to end up hurt. I told her to run ahead and I walked a couple times up the giant hill.

9:17, 10:54

I managed to catch her around mile 2.5 or so & we ran together to the end. She really pushed me & I finished with one of my fastest miles ever!

10:01, 9:13, 8:53!

Holy crap on a cracker - a sub-9!!!!
My official time was 47:54.3 - good enough for 5th in my age group but there were only 6 though. I finished 67th overall out of 95 people.  Those stats are discouraging given how hard I'd run.  Maybe if I hadn't walked I could've done a little better.  Or I could've ended up injured.  Tough call.

I both love and hate these small races. Streets of Fire had great swag and was very well supported for a race that only cost $25 and I was surprised at the number of spectators.  Pizza after the race and my husband winning a $20 gift certificate to one of the local running stores was pretty cool too - especially since he gave it to me.  Listening to awards, I'd manage to beat the girl who took 2nd in the 20-24 age group but couldn't come close to placing in my own. That part pisses me off.  Had I run last year - I'd have taken 2nd in my AG with the time I managed on Saturday. What I do know? I managed to set a 5 min, 42 sec PR over my only other official 8k race!

The most important thing is we had fun and managed some girl time.

horrible selfie but aren't we adorable?

Next time we run together, I'll be sharing van space and handing off our baton to her at the Fred Relay!

Local, small races? Yah or nay for you?  Do you put much faith in the AGs or just try to beat yourself?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Monday: Black Bean & Cilantro Hummus #recipe

This past weekend I had the opportunity to sample a black bean hummus at one of our local farmers markets. It was delicious and I decided to try and reproduce it at home. I found a few recipes online & combined them into this. Mine has a lot more heat than the one I sampled but it's a pretty decent attempt.

Black Bean and Cilantro Hummus

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 to 1 small jalapeƱo pepper, seeded (I used one and left in the seeds - a bit too much)

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Yes, it looks nasty but it's so yummy! Serve with chips, pitas, veggies, or add it to a burrito even!

Ever tried other beans in hummus? Any favorite flavor combinations?

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday: runner meet ups!

If there's one benefit to this little thing called social media, it's the opportunity to connect with people you wouldn't normally get to know.

This week I got to meet three of my favorite tweeps, Mike, Lani and Betsy! Lani is originally from Michigan and was passing through on her way home from spending time with her family and suggested a meet up. Mike and Betsy are in the Detroit area, so we figured just east of Lansing was a nice mid-point.  I made the drive over toward the east side of the state to a cute park where we had a little picnic and talked running while Lani's kids played on the playground.  Betsy is the queen of the mud run and tough mudders, Mike is training for his first full marathon (Chicago), and Lani is going Dopey at Disney in January (6 medals - I might have to do this someday for the bling alone!).  I was in VERY good running company :)

me, Betsy, Mike, Lani and her little guy T.
Because Mike is the co-founder of #PlankADay and the CORErection officer of the Plank Police on twitter, we couldn't get away without a #plankaday! Pretty impressive - over 9000 people are using that hash tag on twitter now when it just started as a way for Mike and his friend Sherry to keep each other accountable :)

note to self-wear an appropriate shirt if planking is to occur
As a matter of fact, I felt compelled to plank this morning while writing up this recap.  I hope the Plank Police take my 60 sec plank as payment for missing many months of planking.

Have you joined in with the #plankaday nation?  If you want info on how to get in on the fun, click here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday

Yes, it's supposed to be weigh-in day and I am 2 pounds down from last week's horrific gain, but not back to where I want to be yet.

I'm tired, sore & had a both amazing and shitty morning (events within about 30 min of each other completely negated my awesome run endorphins & royally pissed me off) so I'm not posting weigh-in crap today.

Instead, I stole this off of Facebook because I need to remember it for many areas.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tri Del Sol #racereport

Oy - not quite sure how to write this one up - it's gonna be long so you might want to grab a beverage.  I put in the work for the past couple months and it was time to get paid on Saturday.  I woke up at the ridiculous time of 4:30 and was out the door by 5:30.  I ate a real breakfast since I knew I wasn't going to be racing for another 3 hours and I figured it wouldn't hurt.

This triathlon takes place at a YMCA camp.  Very rustic surroundings - and spotty cell service at best.  But you have to admit, the morning was beautiful.  The 90+ degree temps we'd had earlier in the week had broken and it was in the mid 70s at the start.

My daughter came with me and we made it to the race site in plenty of time to get set up in transition.  The race was really relaxed in that no one stopped her for not being an athlete and she was able to hang out with me and some of my other friends who were racing.

I got my bike racked and was very happy to see my friend, Jim, had his bike right next to mine.  It was good to be in familiar company.  Looking back at my transition times, I should've set up my shoes facing the other direction, but whatever. It's not like that 10 seconds would have made any difference.  After getting set up, K and I walked around to check out the swim, bike and run start and finish areas.  I really psyched myself out by doing this because I started to obsess about how far away the buoys were for the swim (in that photo of the lake you can't even see the turnaround buoy) and that the beginning and ending of the run would be on trails (sand, woodchips, dirt and grass).  After transition closed, we headed down to the beach to watch the kid's races.  They were so cute and little!  (I apologize for the lack of pictures but I had turned off and put away my phone at this point and the bike course wasn't an area my daughter could get to once the race started.)

SWIM - 750 meters in 23:24
Like I said, I was pretty much freaking myself out waiting and watching the swim start.  My wave was one of the last ones for the sprint and I kept watching how unorganized the swim was turning out to be.  In the picture above, you can see some giant red balls out on the water.  Those were supposed to indicate the swim course and be in a horseshoe shape, but by the time the swim started, they were moving all over the place and people were swimming every which way.  I was starting to panic and got some hugs from my friends and even Angie's dad before the start.  (Angie went on to win the Olympic Tri Masters division - rockstar.)  I gave K a hug and thanked her for getting up at 4:30 to come with me, then walked down to the water.  Angie caught up to me and told me to just aim for the big triangle inflatable at the turnaround since the other markers were so fraked up.  She told me not to swim any farther than I absolutely had to, relax, and have fun.  I started making conversation with some other girls in my wave who were just as confused as I was (we weren't even sure it was our wave because you couldn't really hear the announcer).  I finally heard "sprint women 14 to 44 you have 30 seconds" so I got my goggles on and headed farther into the water.  There was a horn sound and we were off.  I wasn't too bothered by the people around me and I think I took off a little fast because I was completely winded just 2 minutes in.  I forced myself to try to slow down, get focused, and just swim, but I kept looking up and it seemed like I had so far to swim - only to turn around and need to swim back.  I felt like a failure every time I switched to sidestroke and I even did something I said I'd never do and switched to backstroke for a couple minutes to catch my breath. I at least made sure to keep moving though - I knew treading water would just make me more tired and I wouldn't get anywhere. I finally made it to the turnaround and headed back to shore, only to be blinded by the sun.  I couldn't see a damn thing and just prayed I was headed in the right direction.  I even kept looking for the lifeguards on kayaks just in case I wanted to bail.  Finally I could see the lodge on the beach and just headed for that since I knew it was near the swim exit.  I've never been so happy to see my daughter and friends as I was when I ran up that beach after getting out of the water.  I was slower than my goal but I made it out without quitting.  I was the slowest swimmer in my age group but I did make it out of the water before a few people so I'll take it.

T1: 2:39
This was wayyyyy too slow and I was even trying to be fast. Most of my age group (of which there were only 8) were out in about 1:30. Suffice it to say, I suck at transitions, but this was only my 2nd triathlon so I'm trying to give myself a break.

BIKE: 13.79 miles in 48:47 (17 mph ave)
I was very happy with my bike portion.  I felt like I pushed hard and I did a lot of passing (yes, I got passed too).  The hills were tough but not killer and I really let it fly on one of the downhill areas (averaging over 23 mph!).  I never needed to get out of the saddle on the uphills either, which made me happy. I was glad I had taken the time to preview the course on July 4th so I knew where to go and what to expect.  Being able to practice on those hills was helpful, too.  Since the course was the same for the Olympic distance, I wanted to make sure I turned the correct direction at mile 6. I was the slowest in my age group, but not by much, and I beat quite a few people on the bike.  I wanted to finish the bike in under 55 minutes and I crushed that goal.  Still lots of room for improvement though.

T2: 2:10
Again, too slow in comparison to my age group peers.  I should be able to change shoes and take off a helmet faster than this.  I swear, I didn't stop and eat a sandwich.

RUN: 3.2 miles in 32:49 (10:09 pace)
I was dreading the run for most of the last 1/2 of the bike route.  I kept trying to tell myself to bike the mile I was in, but my head kept going to the trail running I was going to need to do.  The last thing I wanted was to roll and ankle or something stupid like that (I NEVER run trails.  EVER.)  I got out of transition and realized I hadn't had much at all to drink on the bike and the weather was now HOT, so I grabbed some gatorade from a volunteer, threw it back (GAG) and started to run.  I saw my friends and K again and they seemed surprised to see me so soon :) I gave them a wave and off I went.  The beginning was just as bad as I'd lead myself to believe.  I was struggling to keep my footing and then coming out of the woods was a hill that went straight up.  WTF, seriously??? I walked. Lame, but true.  Once out of the woods, the full sun hit me and it sucked anything I thought I had left.  I really let the inner mean girl get the best of me on this run and that pisses me off.  The run out was mostly uphill (even though the data looks flat) and I let myself walk a couple times.  I walked through the aide stations. I walked WAY TOO MUCH.  I was looking at my watch and I knew there was no way I could make my sub-30 5k goal.  I did kick it in for the 2nd half and ran a nice negative split with a great kick (in grass, no less) to the end. (10:17, 10:13, 10:07, 9:25 pace for last .23)
FINISHED! 1:49:51
I was done and I finished strong (after a pretty rocky start).  My goal was to finish under 2 hours, knowing this was a much harder course than my first tri last year where I finished in 1:52:56.  My super-ambitious goal was to finish in under 1:50 and I made it - just barely!
I met up with my friends, got some snacks and stopped at the finisher tent for my bling.  Triathlons don't usually give out medals unless you win - which is disappointing for us mortals  - but more and more are giving out pint glasses or water bottles, which are a special bling in and of themselves.
I hung around for a while longer and watched my friends finish who were competing in the Olympic distance.  I'm so impressed with how well everyone did!  I'm not sure that the triathlon is really something that I will ever love, but I do like the challenge and that it forces me to cross train.  I just need to get over the fear parts.  Maybe I need to start looking at the duathlon and eliminate that nasty swimming portion :)

Did any of you race this weekend?  Have you done a tri?  Suggestions for how I can improve in transition and get over myself in the swim?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fitness Friday: swim-bike-run

Tri Del Sol is tomorrow.

Beginning around 8:23 am (after getting up at 0 dark:30) I'll swim 750m, bike 13.79 miles and then  hopefully have enough gas left in the tank to run a 5k.

I have some rough time/speed/pace goals but I'm keeping them to myself for this one.  Obviously I'd like to do better than my last tri, but comparing last year's tri to this one would be like comparing apples to oranges - or short swims to long swims and flat rides to hilly rides and healing legs to relatively healthy ones.  Mostly I'll be happy to finish. 

It'll be fun, right?!?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday: girl time

This week I've been able to spend lots of 1:1 girl time with my almost 16 year old. One of the highlights was an afternoon at our local museum to see the Titanic exhibit.

The artifacts were very cool and the block of iceberg they had which represented the water temperature was FREEZING. I think K and I both learned a few things too. I wish photography was allowed because there were some very interesting pieces - like a set of china serving bowls all lined up in the sand and ceramic dishes with fossilized sea worms that had attached themselves 100 years ago. I'm also happy to report that our passengers both survived. (You are given boarding passes at the start and at the end you find out your fate.)

We also spent time just being silly in the museum.

She kicked my butt in Jumbo Connect Four

And we rode the carousel.  When was the last time you did that?

Have you done anything fun yet this summer?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: lesson learned

Here's a tip to anyone trying to lose weight or maintain their weight.

If you eat this for lunch...

(Date with my girl and she picked a hotdog place,
yes, I should've only had one or none but I haven't had
a hotdog in forever and it sounded really good at the time.)
And then have leftover pizza for dinner...

And don't drink any water all day...

You will gain 3 pounds overnight. 

The number on the scale this morning was horrible and I'm not posting it because it really isn't accurate.

Lesson learned.

Now to chug water all day and hope the 3 pounds are gone tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tri Training Tuesday: week 7

The past week has been a bit rough. I'm a tiny bit injured & trying not to make things worse, so there hasn't been much running going on.

Saw this on Facebook yesterday and felt it was appropriate to how I'm feeling about this whole triathlon thing.

Here's how the week played out.

Monday 7/8 - STRENGTH with NROLFW A6 then walked for 3/4 of a mile.

Tuesday 7/9 - RUN 3 miles in 30 min (10 m/m pace) and later in the day SWIM 30 min (backyard pool)

Wednesday 7/10 - BIKE/RUN brick: 11.2 miles on the bike (45 min/15 mph) then 1/2 mile run (10 m/m pace). Later in the day STRENGTH with NROLFW B6

Thursday 7/11 - I was completely burned out and having meltdowns on Wednesday, so I took a rest day and spend the day reading and floating in the pool.

Friday 7/12 - Saw the sports chiro and he benched me from running.  My heel and achilles are pretty messed up. Turns out my body is burning out too.  He said I could bike easy and swim.  BIKE 10.5 miles in 45 min (14.1 mph).

Saturday 7/13 - BIKE 10.6 mph in 44 min (14.4 mph) then a little later in the morning SWIM 1/2 mile in 20 min in the lake.  Not really a brick because they were spread out.

Sunday 7/14 - SWIM/BIKE brick - went back to Saturday's lake and did 6 laps SWIM for about 3/4 of a mile (1200 yards or so) in 30 min then tried to BIKE around the area but freaked myself out about getting lost and only went 5.4 very slow miles in 23 min (13.9 mph).  Was extremely pissed and disappointed in myself, so when I got home, I did another BIKE ride of 6 miles on the trail in 22 min (16 mph).  I still feel like I'll never be a "real" cyclist.  I just get too nervous and scared about biking on the roads and my speed is too slow even with my road bike to keep up with group rides.  It is what it is, I guess.

This coming Saturday is Tri Del Sol race day.  The weather looks pretty close to perfect and might even be cold in the morning (I'm worried about being cold on the bike after getting out of the water and biking soaking wet).  That happened in the tri last year and in 15 miles my feet never warmed up.  Maybe if they're frozen, my planar fasciitis won't hurt?? #wishfulthinking

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meal Monday: Banana-Chocolate-Almond Smoothie #recipe

I'm not sure that this counts as a meal but it's been my go-to post-workout treat this week. It's cool, refreshing & has lots of protein and some carbs for refueling.

Banana-Chocolate-Almond Smoothie

In a blender, combine...

  • 12 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk if you prefer)
  • 2 scoops Click Espresso Protein powder - mocha flavor (but you could probably use any chocolate-flavored protein powder)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp slivered almonds
  • 5-6 ice cubes
Blend until it's smooth and creamy.  This makes a ton - probably enough for 2 smoothies depending on the size of your cup and how much ice you put in it.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Fitness Friday: 2 out of 3 ain't bad

So, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm not 100% healthy. My Achilles & arch have been hurting for a couple weeks & today my sports chiro benched me from running for the next few days & possibly until next weekend's triathlon.

He said I can still bike and swim, plus I need to be rolling my arch, Achilles & calf a few times a day.

I guess, like Meatloaf says, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Rest Day

I have a lot of friends who are much smarter than me. They pointed out after my rant yesterday that I haven't had a total rest day in quite a while.

Today, I'm taking their advice.

What's your favorite rest day activity? So far, mine has been sleeping in until 8:30 but we'll see what the rest of rest day brings.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: burnout

Without turning this post into a rant, I'm just going to say I'm burned out.

Burned out on training.

Burned out on trying to lose weight.

I'm just burned out.

I've seen basically no improvement in any area and it's frustrating.  

It's frustrating to know that I'm trying but it's just not good enough.

Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.

Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 144.8
This week: 144.4
Change: down 0.4
Total change: down 9.4

Rather than show you a picture of my stupid scale again, I'll leave you with a picture from my bike ride this morning. It's prettier. It's also blurry because I was moving when I took it. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tri Training Tuesday: Weeks 5 and 6

Since I had to talk about my awesome 10k last week, I got a week behind on my training posts.  Hope you didn't mind :)

Here's the last 2 weeks.

Monday 6/24 - RUN 4.1 in 42:40 (10:24 pace) - completely BAKED outside on this lunch run.  Then went into the gym and did STRENGTH - NROLFW workout A.
Tuesday 6/25 - BIKE/RUN brick - It was storming so I did a 50 min spin class and then just 1 mile RUN on the treadmill, but that mile was at a 9:20 pace :)
Wednesday 6/26 - STRENGTH - NROLFW workout B, then SWIM about 15 min in the pool for 500 yds.
Thursday 6/27 - RUN 3.2 in 32:15 (10:04 pace) Another steamy one.
Friday 6/28 - BIKE/RUN brick - just a baby brick, 7.45 mile bike in 28:33 (15.7 mph) and a .5 mile run in my new shoes at a 9:07 pace.
Saturday 6/29 - RUN - Reeds Lake Run 10k and a killer new PR!!! Ran my first sub-60 and finished in 58:50 (9:29 pace).
Sunday 6/30 - SWIM/BIKE brick - swam for 20 minutes in my girlfriend's pool and then she took me out for a very hilly ride on real roads. 13.12 miles in 53:47 (14.6 mph).  This ride kicked my already shredded legs collective ass.

Monday 7/1 - I was really sore from the weekend and just did NROLFW workout A. This week it upped to 3 sets and I even upped my weights a bit more.
Tuesday 7/2 - RUN double.  3.1 miles in the morning in 32:38 (10:21 pace) then 2 miles in the evening with my girl in 21:25 (10:42 pace)
Wednesday 7/3 - BIKE Upright spin bike at the gym, 20 miles in an hour.  For the record, I don't think that's accurate at all.  STRENGTH Lifted for 25 minutes.
Thursday 7/4 - Wanted a preview of the Tri Del Sol bike route, so I biked it, but I missed a turn and added 6 miles to the route.  BIKE 20.75 miles in 1:31:11 (13.7 mph).  Then RUN 1 mile in 9:55.
Friday 7/5 - SWIM did a 20 minute open water swim.  It went ok.
Saturday 7/6 - RUN 10.11 miles in 1:51:42 (11:02 pace).  HOT HOT HOT run. I downed over 50 oz of water and still felt like it wasn't enough.
Sunday 7/8 - Trifecta! Brick in the morning: BIKE 14.5 miles in 58 min (15 mph) followed by RUN 2 miles in 19:21 (9:40 pace). Then before dinner: SWIM 20 minutes at my friend's pool so I have no clue on distance.

I'm going to start freaking a little bit that Tri Del Sol is now less than 2 weeks away. I feel much less prepared than I did for my first tri last year but the last few brick workouts have been pretty good and I'm becoming more comfortable on my bike and in the water.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Meal Monday: Turkey Stroganoff #recipe

I had a package of ground turkey in the fridge that needed to be used, so I went searching for a recipe. This is what I found (a Ziplist recipe I modified a tiny bit).

Ground Turkey Stroganoff


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (I used a small one)
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey
1 package (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 large sweet red pepper, cored and chopped
1 can (14.75 oz) chicken broth
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pound egg noodles
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (I used a Tbsp dried)

1.  In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat, add onion, and saute for a few minutes or until it starts to soften.  Add turkey and break it up into pieces.  Then add mushrooms and red pepper.  Saute until turkey is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

2.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together broth, flour, salt, paprika, thyme and black pepper.  Add to skillet and stir.  Bring to a simmer and simmer about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until it's thickened.

3.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir in sour cream and mustard. Heat gently for 1-2 minutes until heated through.  Don't let it come to a boil or it will burn.  Sprinkle with parsley.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook your noodles according to the package directions.  Serve turkey mixture over noodles.  If you want to be healthier, have a salad to go with it :)

According to Ziplist this recipe serves 8 for about 450 calories each, with 18 grams of fat.  Ouch.  I used regular sour cream and might try it with light next time, but overall this was pretty tasty.

Do you ever swap out ground turkey for ground beef?  Definitely a way to lighten up some recipes without sacrificing a ton in taste.

In case you missed it - I posted yesterday at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans on finding balance in your life.  Go check it out!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday: am I on a string? #weightin #weightloss

Have you ever felt like a yo-yo? I'm pretty sure my body is doing its best impersonation. I had a really great weigh-in two days ago and a less great (but still good) weigh in today.

I'm pretty sure a lot of last week's awful gain was water but I'm still not liking the number on the scale. I know that no one cares but me, however, I have 6 weeks until my birthday and I'm going to try my hardest to make it back into the 130s by then.

Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 148.2
This week: 144.8
Change: down 3.4
Total change: down 8.8

So, I have 6 weeks to lose 5 pounds. You'd think it shouldn't be that difficult, but I also have a bunch of stressful and/or fun events in the next 6 weeks as well. My triathlon is in less than 3 weeks and I'm feeling completely unprepared, but now our weather is crap and I can't get out for any open water swims or bike rides. My dad is having major back surgery in Chicago on 8/1 and my 25th HS reunion is that same weekend (still haven't decided whether I'm going to the reunion - I'm thinking of boycotting the $120 a couple charge). Then my twins turn 16 the day after their birthday is my 200 mile relay.  Pretty sure losing weight in the middle of all that is going to be next to impossible.  Maybe my goal should just be to not gain any weight.

It's going to be a crazy 6 weeks. Here's hoping I make it.

(As a random side-note, my heel has been hurting since my 10k last weekend. It's in the heel itself - not where planar fasciitis would be. Any ideas?)

If you haven't checked out my first post over at Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, go visit and show the rest of the site some love while you're there too.  It's a pretty amazing and inspirational group of writers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Spoiler alert: HUGE PR! Reeds Lake 10k #racereport

Tri Training Tuesday will return next week.  Instead, I'm celebrating my "long" run from last week still today :)  On Saturday, I completed my 4th ever 10k in beautiful East Grand Rapids, MI - the Reeds Lake Run 10k.  Even though this was a local race and in it's 35th year, I'd never run it before.  Crazy, I know.  In fact, I hadn't even PLANNED on running it at all, much less RACING it, until some of my friends on FB badgered encouraged me to sign up ;)  I registered on Monday or Tuesday I think and by Friday, I didn't even want to run.  Mentally I wasn't feeling it and my sleep had been shit, so I wasn't hopeful for much.

EXPO - there really wasn't one :)  This is definitely a small race and packet pickup on Friday night was just at the EGR High School gym.  I got there, found my number and picked up my stuff pretty quickly.  Unisex shirts (boo) but at least they had size smalls left since I got there early and they are tech (yeah).  I was pleasantly surprised to see the "special gift" for the 35th anniversary was a pint glass!  I headed home and had my usual pre-race dinner of Subway (oven roasted chicken with lots of veggies and southwest sauce, if you're wondering).  Hey, if it works, why screw with perfection :)  I also enjoyed a New Holland White Hatter in my new pint glass.

Race Morning - It was muggy/humid (so humid it was like breathing water - 91% or something crazy like that) so I wasn't expecting much.  This race has a 5k and 10k, or you can run both.  I had a few friends double dipping so I got there pretty early to see them off. While the 5k was going, my friend Pete and I ran a little warm up (probably about 3/4 of a mile) and then I did some strides and stretches.  I was already having trouble breathing because of the humidity and made sure to use my inhaler before the start.

The Race - This felt like a tough course, with some rolling hills on the first half and a nice uphill right before the 5k split (but looking at the Garmin data makes the course look pancake flat).  I had no real time goals going into this race, but in the back of my mind I wanted a sub-60, I just didn't think I had it in me with the heat/humidity.  Guess I was wrong :)  My plan was to treat this like a tempo run.  Start easy in miles 1 and 2 and then push as hard as I could for the last 4.2 miles.  I ran with my friend Cat for a few minutes in miles 2 and 3 and she asked if I was going for sub-60.  We chatted about what my splits would need to be and I was already behind, so I told her I was just going to run as hard as I could. I saw my friend Tim at the bottom of Hall Street Hill and his smile & encouragement gave me a boost to get up the hill without walking.  Seeing people puking at the top was extra special. When I hit the 5k split at 30:10 or so I almost backed off because I didn't think I could pull off a negative split with as tired as the humidity and hills were already making me.  The entire 2nd half of the race was a mental tennis match - "you're done, slow down" to "you can breathe when you're done so suck it up cupcake" to "omg another hill, can I walk now?" to "move!".  The course is also very cruel in the last mile.  With about .75 to go, you can see the finish line but they make you do a .5 mile loop through one of the swanky EGR neighborhoods.  I can honestly say I didn't look at a single McMansion.  All I focused on was the ground and my watch (and anyone I thought I could turn into roadkill). That last .25 mile was probably one of the hardest stretches of road I've ever run.  It's called "Gas Light Village" for a reason and the street is very quaint and interspersed with brick.  I was so afraid I'd wipe out right before the finish but I really kicked it in, giving every ounce I had left. I could see the timing clock at the end and it still had a zero in the hours spot.  I CRUSHED my previous 10k PR and knew I'd hit sub-60 even if my watch was off! I left everything out on that course and couldn't breathe at all when I was done.  (That was actually a little scary.) I've never had to sit down and use my inhaler at the end of a race before, but I'm so thankful for the bench my friend found for me and the puffs from that little piece of plastic. I couldn't even operate my phone - I tried to snap of picture of my watch but I was weirdly shaky and couldn't hold my arms still.

Right after the finish, I found Pete and then Mindy and Cat.  We all PR'd!!! I ran into a few more friends and it seems everyone ran a great race. We grabbed some water, trail mix and bananas, and then I tried a bagel that I thought was cinnamon but it was actually onion.  Clearly my brain wasn't working. Not good. Sorry to anyone who saw me spit half chewed bagel into my hand and retch a little.  After hanging around for a bit, we went back to the van for a celebratory beer :)

I'm THRILLED with how this race went.  I wasn't feeling it at all yesterday and really didn't even want to run.  I woke up with a sunnier outlook but still didn't believe I would run as well as I did.
Splits (from my Garmin): 9:32, 9:35, 9:30, 9:42, 9:17, 9:26, 2:09 (8:01 pace!!!).

Age group (F 40-44): 13 of 42
The totals for each group on the QR code we could scan were WAY off on the instant results, as in it said 140 in my age group, making me think I made top 10%. Not cool, timer people. Burst my bubble a little bit when I checked the official results later, but I'm not going to let that get me down. I still kicked serious ass.

This race was AMAZING on so many levels.  It was a great course and while I didn't use any of the aid stations (I carried my own water but hardly drank any - oops) they looked well stocked and the volunteers were all really friendly.  The water at the finish line was ice cold and there was a variety of post-race foods to choose from.  I especially loved how the race finished with Reeds Lake right behind the finish line - it was beautiful.

I pushed through a lot of mental shit to knock over 9 minutes off of my previous 10k PR of 1:08:15.  I'm so glad I decided to run and that I really went for it today.  Check one more goal off my 2013 running goals list.  Sub-60 10k - DONE and with time to spare!

(Today is also my first blog post over at Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans!  Please go check it out - I'm so excited to be writing for them and I'd love to hear what you all think.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meal Monday: Hummus! #recipe

I've wanted to try making my own hummus for years and I finally have a decent food processor so I can make it now! I give you two versions!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This makes a lot!
32 oz chickpeas - drained and rinsed
12 oz jar roasted red peppers - drained
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2-4 cloves garlic (I ended up using 4)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 cup water
chopped parsley and additional paprika for garnish

Place all ingredients except water and garnish into food processor.  Process on high until hummus consistency.  Add water a little bit at a time until it's the consistency you want.  Taste it a few times to see if you need extra salt or garlic.

Spread some on a plate, top with garnish and enjoy.  Put the rest in the refrigerator - it will be even better later :)

"Original" Hummus

1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon (maybe more)
1-2 cloves garlic (I used 2)
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1/4 cup water
chopped parsley and paprika for garnish

Place all ingredients in food processor except water and garnish.  Process on high until mixed - it will be very thick. Add water a little at a time until desired consistency.  Taste along the way to see if you need extra garlic or salt.

To serve, spread on a plate, top with garnish and enjoy!

The red pepper was definitely my favorite but both were very good. Do you have a favorite flavor of hummus? I think I'm going to try pine nut next.

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Happy New Year 2020

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