Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Winter Runs

Today I'm giving thanks that I own YakTrax. As much as I hate them, I'm going to need them this weekend. This was the scene from my driveway this morning:


And this is what's predicted by tomorrow night - yep, I'm right on that line between 4-8" and 8-12":

Hopefully the YakTrax don't clash too much with my skirt.  On the bright side, if I fall into a snow bank, with the amount of orange and yellow I'm wearing and the fact the course is a series of loops, someone should find me before I turn into a Bari-sicle.


Recap next week if I survive.

Anyone else running or racing this weekend?  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: Need a Pep Talk?

I'm at the point in my weight loss where everything seems to stall or I gain for no apparent reason.  I didn't have much of a loss last week (only 0.6 pounds) after being really good all week, then I weighed myself on Thursday and was down another 2 pounds. Yeah me!  But, by Tuesday, I was UP 0.2 from last Wednesday's weight.  So I gained back the 2 pounds and then some - but I stayed within my calories on 5/7 days and on the days I was over, it was by less than a couple hundred calories.  It makes no sense to me whatsoever and I get discouraged and want to quit.

But I won't. 

I know I'm not going to pull the kind of weight losses like they do on Biggest Loser (Hello-was anybody else blown away by the Blue Team this week? Every single one of them had a double-digit loss!) but if I'm staying within my calories or barely going over, I feel like I shouldn't be seeing only 1/2 pound losses or even worse, gains. Somehow I managed to drop back down overnight, so I still have a loss for the week.  I just wish I was seeing more results at a faster pace, or at least at a steady pace.  I've been working on my weight loss and posting the results here for 2 months now and I'm only averaging 0.65 pounds per week. That's freaking pathetic, especially when I have My Fitness Pal set up to lose 1 pound per week.  (Any more than that, and MFP just defaults to 1200 calories which is only 40 less per day than I get now and any less than that puts my daily calorie goal lower than I think is realistic and safe.) Obviously I'm doing something wrong if I'm only averaging about 1/2 a pound a week.  I started really tracking my food/exercise about a month ago and I've had loses every week since then, so that part is helping, but I still feel like I have so far to go and that frustrates the hell out of me. (And before anyone blasts me and says they'd be thrilled to weigh what I weigh, remember I'm barely 5'2" so 148 pounds is A LOT on me and still at least 10 pounds more than what my "happy" weight has been.)

Here are this week's results:


Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 149.6
This week: 148.4
Change: down 1.2
Total change: down 5.2

This video was on Jaime's blog yesterday and I needed to share it.  I get so much encouragement and peptalks from you guys that I figured I could send you all one.

Now go out there and be awesome.  I'm going to fill up my water bottle and figure out tonight's run and dinner.  It's a start.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bayshore Half Training: week 2

This week went pretty well overall.  I'm not really getting in enough strength training though. I've got a basic plan outlined for the running, but the cross training and strength portions needs some work.  I also only logged 24 miles this week (compared to 50-something last week) so I obviously didn't bike as much as I should have, either.

Monday 1/21/13 - Plan: 3 miles at 11:20 pace.  Did: 3.1 mile Snowpocoylpse run at 13:04 pace.  Yah, I was a BAMF and ran outside during a blizzard and sub-zero windchills, but my pace tanked.  

Tuesday 1/22/13 - Plan: crosstrain.  Did: 2 mile run in the snow again at 11:02 pace.  I literally ran errands instead of crosstraining, then I shoveled snow for 25 minutes.  We'll call that "arms".

Wednesday 1/23/13 - Plan: Tempo 4 MI, inc w/u; 2 MI @ 9:37, c/d. Did this on the TM. My tempo pace was slightly slower but considering I haven't run 3 consecutive days EVER, I'll take it. Overall pace was 10:33 including the WU/CD.

Thursday 1/24/13 - Plan: Rest.  Did: Rest.  I managed a 10 min Gorilla App workout but didn't get anything else in. Had a small medical procedure in the afternoon and wasn't up to anything else after that other than laying on the couch.

Friday 1/25/13 - Plan Crosstrain 30 min/Strength 39 min.  Did: 45 min cycle workout (10 miles) on my trainer before going out for my friend's birthday party and dancing at a concert.  I managed to stay pretty much within my calories for the day, too, so I'm calling it a win.

Saturday 1/26/13 - Plan: Run "long" run of 5 miles at 11:20 pace.  Did: ran 5 miles in 1 hour (12 m/m pace).  This run basically sucked for many reasons.  I tried out some different intervals but mentally I wasn't in the right place and I think my fueling and lack of hydrating on Friday also hurt me.  Last week I had a great long run but this week it sucked.  Sometimes runs just do that.  

Sunday 1/20/13 - Plan: I didn't have one.  Did: another rest day.  I probably didn't need it but the day got away from me.  I did manage some rolling and stretching, but mostly I went to church, hung out with girlfriends, and watched a movie.  It was a good day.

I think looking at this week, I know I shouldn't run 3 days in a row again and I should make sure I fuel better for my runs, but overall it was a decent week.  I'm looking forward to logging some easy runs during the week and longer miles next weekend.  One of my girlfriends also loaned me a pair of Newtons to try out.  Might give those a little run as well.

How was your week?  Anything interesting to report?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meal Monday: Lasagna Cups #recipe

I wanted to grill out Saturday night, but the thought of standing in 8 inches of snow to grill didn't appeal to me.


The husband wanted lasagna and I remembered seeing a recipe on Pinterest for Lasagna Cups, so I thought I'd give those a whirl.  If you go to the link, you'll get a recipe for the sauce, cheese filling and everything, but I went the easy route and just made them like we would've made regular lasagna.  You can use whatever your family likes.

I used the following:
1 package Barilla lasagna noodles - cooked about 2 minutes less than the recipe called for. Keep 12 of them whole and then cut the remaining ones into fourths.

For the sauce:
2 jars Ragu chunky tomato, garlic and onion sauce
About 3/4 lb cooked up ground beef that was in the freezer
(plus I left out some plain sauce for 2 of the cups for the girl who doesn't like meat in her sauce)

Cheese filling:
1/2 of an 8oz package shredded mozzarella
1 container lowfat ricotta cheese
About 1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 egg
Some Italian seasoning

Directions:
1. Line jumbo sized muffin cups with parchment paper. They will not want to stay in there, but once you start assembling the cups it gets a little better.  But not much. Just saying.
2. Put one cooked noodle in the cup, overlapping the edge a little bit.  Warning - between trying to get the papers in the cups and this step, I was ready to dump the whole lot. It was a PITA.
3. Put a spoonful of sauce in the bottom, then a noodle slice, then cheese mixture, then more sauce, then a noodle slice, then cheese mixture, more sauce, noodle slice, sauce, and the remaining mozzarella cheese.


4.  Bake at 350* for about 25-30 minutes or until they are hot and bubbly.  They can sit for a few minutes while you make garlic bread and a salad.
5.  Remove from the muffin tin by pulling up on the paper.  You can then slide a cup onto your plate and it will stay together.
The verdict?  Kind of a Pinterest flop.  These were tasty but didn't get as hot and bubbly as baking a pan of lasagna. Also, we decided the outer noodle was not edible because it got really crispy in the oven, so basically we just ate the insides.  Kind of a waste if you ask me, but I guess I saved a few calories by not eating the main noodle.  Overall, I didn't think this was really worth all the prep, but it was something different.  I think it would be good if you have people in the family who like different lasagna fillings, too.  Maybe make some with red sauce, some white, with and without meat, etc.  You get the idea.

Have you ever attempted a recipe from Pinterest that didn't work as you'd planned?

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Fitness Friday: Suck it up, Buttercup

Winter running. I'm hearing so many people bitching about how cold it is & hitting the treadmills for their runs. That's totally fine, but I want everyone to know that it's perfectly ok - pretty badass even - to go for a run when it's cold out. Unless it's super icy, there really aren't many valid reasons NOT to run outside in the winter. Provided you have the right gear, it can be downright fun. (FYI - a Bondi Band can be a makeshift face mask.



When else can you get ice-crusted lashes & eyebrows? When else can you have a beautiful, snow-covered trail all to yourself?

So, suck it up, Buttercup. Go play in the snow this weekend if you have any. I will be.




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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday: rest day




Today is a rest day - not intentional, but for various reasons, I can't do any cardio after school today (no running, biking or swimming).  I need the rest day though.  My legs and arch are a bit angry with me after 3 consecutive days of running this week.  I ran twice in the snow and then did speedwork on the mill last night. Ouchie.



But, just because it's a rest day and I won't be able to work out at all tonight, that doesn't mean do NOTHING.  I'm hoping to get in 30 minutes of strength throughout the day using the Gorilla App.  Even if I only get in 10-20 minutes or a few planks, that will be better than nothing, because frankly:


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: I feel cheated



Starting Weight: 153.6
Last week: 150.2
This week: 149.6
Change: down 0.6
Total change: down 4.0

Yes, a loss is a loss.

Yes, even the people on Biggest Loser have weeks where they do everything right, workout every day, and stay under their calories but don't see the results on the scale they were expecting.

Does that make only losing 1/2 a pound any easier when my week looked like this (and this week Monday and Tuesday were just as good)?


No, it really doesn't.

So, while I'm happy to be back in the 140s, I'm feeling a bit cheated right now.  Moving on.

Questions for the day because I really don't want to talk about my weight: Do you watch The Bachelor?  Does Tierra drive you as nuts as she does me?  Who do you think Sean will choose?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bayshore Half Training: It's On!

I'm considering myself "officially" in training for the Bayshore Half Marathon.  It's still something like 19 weeks away, so the training is pretty minimal, but it's on my calendar and is training nonetheless.  According to DM, I logged 57 miles this week - granted, they were mostly on the bike - but they are miles!

Here was the week:

Monday 1/14/13 - Bike: 10 miles in 45 minutes (substitute for the 4 mile run on my schedule), plus stretching and rolling.

Tuesday 1/15/13 - Walk: 3 miles in 45 minutes

Wednesday 1/16/13 - Run: 3.2 miles (1/2 mile warm up then 2.68 miles in 29 minutes - 11 m/m pace).  My plan says I'm supposed to run 11:21 m/m this week but try as I could, I couldn't get down that slow - after more than a week off, my legs wanted to MOVE.

Thursday 1/17/13 - Bike: spin class, 16 miles in 45 minutes.

Friday 1/18/13 - Strength: 30 minutes using 3 separate Gorilla App workouts; Bike: 7 miles in 30 minutes.

Saturday 1/19/13 - Run: "long" run of 4 miles in 43:41.  Again, I completely blew my pace - averaged a good 30 sec per mile faster than my plan, but it felt good and I had basically no ankle/arch/shin pain.  I'm hoping this trend continues.

Sunday 1/20/13 - Bike: Today was the day of the Tinkerbell Half out in California.  I'd planned on taking a rest day, but watching all the tweets this morning made me want to do SOMETHING, so I decided to bike a half mary.  Biked 13.1 miles in 57 minutes.  It wasn't nearly as fun as running Tink would have been, but it was better than nothing.

So, my first week of half training I only logged about 5.7 miles of running.  Not ideal, but it's a start.  The key is for the run numbers to rise without any new or revisited aches and pains.

Did any of my readers run Tink this past weekend?  How was it?  It was my first Disney race last year and I LOVED it - it even still stands as my slowest half ever, but one of the most run races I've ever run.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meal Monday: Cinnamon Rolls

Yep, these have happened a couple times in the past few weeks (yes, I work out so I can eat). Not the healthiest of meals but fast for a yeast bread & really yummy. I found the original recipe on Pinterest but didn't like the frosting posted so that creation came from the web. I also don't own a stand mixer so I mix this with my hand mixer. A PITA but it's not worth the $300+ or taking more counter space so I make do.  This recipe makes 24 big cinnamon rolls, but I always cut it in half because I really don't need 2 dozen calorie bombs in my house.

Here's what you do:

Mix and let sit for 15 minutes:
3 1/2 cups warm water
2/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
6 Tbsp yeast

Then add:
1 Tbsp salt
3 eggs
10 1/2 cups flour

Mix together for 10 minutes, then sit for 10 minutes.

using my hand mixer - you need to stop frequently and clear the blades.
Oil cupboard (don't use flour), dump out dough.  Divide in half.  Roll one half out into a rectangle. I just use my hands.
Spread with 1/4 cup melted butter and then with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Roll up tight, but not too tight.  Divide into 12 rolls and place on greased cookie sheet (I use a piece of parchment paper, too, which makes clean up much easier).  If you make sure the edges are all near the middle, you won't have dry pieces.  Repeat with other half of the dough.  Let it rise for a few minutes - it won't take long.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees or until the tops are golden brown.

Allow to cool - if you frost them too soon the frosting will just melt.  I'm a sucker for cream cheese frosting and this is what I use:
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


I actually plugged this into My Fitness Pal, and each roll with cream cheese frosting is about 450 calories.  Sometimes you just have to splurge.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Fitness Friday: Squeezing It In

Sometimes I don't have 60 minutes to spend at the gym. I know, shocking, right? Being the "all-or-nothing" type person I am, I really struggle with this. However, I'm going to try something a little different to get in some extra strength work. Today, I have a goal to get 30 min throughout the day before dinner time (plus 30 min of cardio when I get home).

This is what I'm using:



The Gorilla App is available for iPhone - I don't know about droid - and each workout is probably 10-15 min long. There's a mix of cardio & strength, with the idea that you will do the workouts in order. Being the rebel rule-breaker I am, I'm picking and choosing. Hopefully by the end of the day, I'll have done 3 strength workouts. Keep an eye on dailymile to see if I succeeded!

Have you used the Gorilla App?


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Breakfast Ideas

This week I've been struggling to find fast, easy, filling breakfasts that don't break the calorie count for the entire day.  My calories on MFP are set at 1280, which many people have commented are too low - they might be since I lost another 1.2 pounds yesterday - but I'm back down to 149 (out of the dreaded 150s) and that makes me happy so I'm keeping the calories low for the time being.  My usual MO of Greek yogurt, fruit or a little dry cereal mixed in, and coffee had me starving by 10 am.  Yesterday I started having my Drink Click protein drinks again (at 120 calories they aren't horrible and they still have caffeine, which helps my fuzzy morning brain) with my yogurt and fruit (just a clementine).  I wasn't hungry until 11, so I figured that was a win.  On my blog yesterday, I asked for some other breakfast ideas and you guys really came through.  Here are 3 great ideas from yesterday:

  1. Scrambled egg (or any egg) cooked in the microwave.  This was suggested by both Brooke and Corey.  Corey even went so far as to suggest turning it into an egg mcmuffin sandwich with an English muffin and turkey bacon.  This morning I made an egg in the micro, added a tiny bit of cheese and put it between 2 slices of bread.  I also had my Click.  We'll see how I feel later this morning.
  2. Kimberly suggested breakfast burritos.  She makes up a dozen of them on the weekend with egg whites, turkey sausage, low fat cheese and low carb tortillas.  She freezes them and then nukes them for 3 minutes on 50% power.  I think I'm going to try this sometime this weekend.
  3. Thea sent me a link on Twitter for a bunch of "nutrient dense" breakfast foods.  You can find the link here. Primarily, the recipes are for smoothies and overnight oats in a jar but they look pretty yummy.  
I'm always looking for more ideas - so feel free to comment with your favorite, go-to breakfast!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: that's better!


sorry for the crappy pic
Starting Weight: 153.6
Last week: 152.2
This week: 150.2
Change: down 2.0
Total change: down 3.4

I've been tracking this week with My Fitness Pal (I'm barif0815 there if you use MFP too). Wouldn't you know, that sh*t works when you let it?

I stayed at or just below (I feel like I'm starving but I'm not) on 6/7 days this week. I'll call that a win. My weight graph isn't pretty, but at least it's moving in the right direction now.  The hard part for me is staying consistent.  I had a good week this week but next week will probably not look as good.  It's the way my body works.  I'm happy to be down 2 pounds this week, but the key will be if I can keep the scale moving in that direction.


I need some easy (read FAST) breakfast ideas.  I hate that my breakfasts take up 300 calories of my day and I'm hungry by 10:00.  I can't really snack at work, so the 6 meal a day thing isn't an option for me.  Suggestions?

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bayshore Half Training: not quite

I still haven't "officially" started training for the Bayshore Half Marathon, but it the training plan was supposed to start this past Saturday.  Since I took most of the past week off from running to try and let my calf/ankle/foot heal a bit more, I'm not starting my training until this week or maybe even next week.  I do have about 20 weeks, so I figure I have at least 2-3 weeks before I need to really start focusing on getting back into serious running training. My sports med doctor said I can try a few miles this week but he didn't say when.  I'll need to figure that out, I guess.

This was how the past week played out.  I'm not listing what my "plan" said I should be doing since the plan is pretty much out the window at this point.

Monday 1/7/13 - Bike: 45 min (9.25 miles) on the trainer.

Tuesday 1/8/13 - Strength: 25 min of arms and abs.
                           Run: Intervals - .6 mile walking wu/cd then 1.8 miles doing w2d1 of c25k.

Wednesday 1/9/13 - Strength: 20 min of abs and stretching after my sports med appt.  Was told to take the rest of the week off from running and do more calf and ankle work.

Thursday 1/10/13 - Bike: 30 min (6.5 miles) on the trainer.  My son was diagnosed with the flu today and I wasn't feeling great either.  Decided to take it easy.

Friday 1/11/13 - Yoga 60 min.  I really liked this class - wish I could afford to take classes here more often.  Much better than the ones at the Y.  The class was a fundraiser for my children's marching band, so that made it even more fun.  I'm definitely more flexible than their band director :)

Saturday 1/12/13 - Bike: 90 min (20 miles) on the trainer.  Set a trainer PR and watched (most of) the first Harry Potter.  Today was supposed to be my first official run of Bayshore training.  I have 2 plans that I'm looking at and depending on which one I follow, I was supposed to run either 4 or 8 miles (I would've done 8 since I did 7 last week).  Since I would've spent at least 90 minutes running, I decided to go for that on the bike.  Figured I could get 20 miles in and pretty much nailed it.  After my workout, I met up with a bunch of runner friends for a late breakfast.  Sitting and talking running is hard when you aren't allowed to run.

Sunday 1/13/13 - After following the WDW Marathon results on twitter and watching (virtually) my girl, Kirsten, kick the Goofy Challenge's butt, I decided to not take a rest day and threw in a few minutes of abs and some rolling and stretching.  I also started seriously thinking about training for the Goofy Challenge in the future.  I know I'd be able to finish (time wouldn't matter) but it's the cost, time off from work, and training time that are major obstacles at this point.  Plus, most of my friends have done it already - I really don't want to go down there and run it alone.  I wouldn't expect anyone to run in "with" me because I know my pace would be insanely slow, but I'd want the whole friends weekend.  That would be tough if I had to fly down Thursday night or Friday morning, run Saturday, run Sunday and then fly home Sunday night.

I finished up this week feeling pretty blah about the week's workouts.  None of them were especially hard, many seemed too short, and there just wasn't any quality running.  I got a little emotional following twitter Saturday and Sunday morning - even cried when I got the tweet that Kirsten had finished because I was simply in awe of her (and everyone running that day). I had a stressful week and none of my workouts help deal with that stress the way a really good run does.  Sure, biking 20 miles in your basement is awesome, but it isn't the same and doesn't give the same feeling an 8 mile run would have. And then to start thinking about a race that right now I'd be lucky to CRAWL through? Probably not my smartest, mentally-healthy move.

What did you do this past week to make yourself a little stronger?  Any Disney runners visiting my blog today?  If you ran Disney and wrote a race report, please link it here so I can read it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meal Monday: Homemade Pizza!

This is, by far, my favorite pizza dough recipe. If you have a bread machine, you can probably have pizza on the table in about 2 hours. I've never made it without my machine, but I'm going to give you both versions.

This makes 2 12-inch crusts or 1 deep dish.

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 (1/4 oz) package yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp from the jar)
1 cup warm water

1. Combine sugar, water & yeast in a measuring cup or small bowl.
2. Combine flour, salt & Italian seasoning in a large bowl & make a well in the center.
3. Pour yeast mixture & oil in well & stir into dry ingredients until you have a soft dough. If too sticky, add a little more flour.
4. Knead until smooth on a lightly floured surface.
5. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel & let rise until doubled.
6. IF YOU HAVE A BREAD MACHINE skip the above steps & put the ingredients in the machine according to the instructions for the "dough" setting (usually water & oil, then dry, then well in center for yeast). Once the dough is done, put in a well oiled bowl.



7. Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. Makes 1 deep-dish or 2 12-inch pizza crusts. Spread out on an oiled pizza pan.



9. Top with your favorite sauce, cheese, etc and bake at 450* for 12-15 min or until crispy and cheese is bubbly.

The kids had 1/2 sausage, 1/2 pepperoni and black olives.



The grown-ups had sausage, mushroom, a little mozzarella, goat cheese (if you've never tried this...you MUST) and fresh basil.






This time I put the basil on the pizza before baking & I should've waited and added it right before we ate. Fresh herbs lose something when they cook that long.

What's your favorite topping on pizza?

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Fitness Friday: To My #runDisney #wdwmarathon Peeps!

running quotes
source
And remember...
I wish Disney were still alive, running his business. I feel like it would be different.
source
I'm cheering you all on from Michigan and wish SO MUCH that I could be there in person. Have a great weekend my Disney running friends!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday: I have time


TIME

Yesterday I was put back on the disabled list. Sports med doc wants me to rest my ankle & arch this week. Lots of icing, rolling & stretching. Oh joy.

I'm thankful my half is 20 weeks away. I have time and it's not like starting my training a week or two later than now is going to make much difference in the long run (sorry - pun not intended).

I'm also thankful that I can cross train. Looking back at my year-end summary shows how much I cross trained after I ended up in a boot back in April (and how little I ran January through April, even though I ran 2 half marathons during that time).  Most of those summer miles were logged on my bike.


VACCINES

It appears the flu epidemic that is attacking Michigan right now has finally hit my house.  My boy is sick and I'm starting to feel it too.  I got the flu vaccine though, so I'm hoping all I end up with is this horrible headache and the little bit of a cough I have now.  I have 4 meetings scheduled tomorrow, so I can't be sick.  Also, moms aren't allowed to get sick because we have to take care of everyone else.  I can guarantee the kids won't be taking care of me if I go down.

SUNSETS

This was my scene coming home a couple nights ago.  I wish my iPhone camera could have done it justice.


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: wrong direction




Starting Weight: 153.6
Last week: 151.6 
This week: 152.2
Change: up .6
Total change: down 1.4

Suckage - Maybe I need to start tracking again, but that only seems to make me stabbier and more pissed off. Not sure which is worse - not losing weight or being pissed off about having to write everything down.  I look at my year end report from Daily Mile (I'll share it later) and I'm definitely burning calories, but clearly I'm still taking in too many.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon: Training Week Sub-Zero

source
My next official half marathon (well, the next race I've registered for) is the Bayshore Half Marathon in Traverse City Michigan.  The race isn't until Memorial Weekend, so I've got a bit of time to train and I'm sure there will be some other races in the meantime.  I'm also working on tweaking my training plan.  I've been looking at a few options and consulting with my coaches (read - running buddies) about a few different training plans.

Right now, I'm just focusing on getting my base miles back up where they belong and trying to stay healthy.  My shin is feeling better but I managed to roll my ankle a little almost 2 weeks ago running in our first really big snowstorm.  Dumb.  I ran on it several times after that (because at the time it didn't feel like anything) and now it's pretty pissed off.  I'll be good for awhile, but then I sit all day at work like I did today and go to get up - YOWZERS.  I see lots of rolling, heat and ice this week with not so much running.

Here was my "training" last week:
Monday 12/31/12 - BIKE: Capped off 2012 with a 12 mile, 54 minute bike ride on my trainer.
Tuesday 1/1/13 - RUN: Started the new year with a fast 5. Ran a hilly 5 miles in 50:37.  One of my best runs in a long time.
Wednesday 1/2/13 - Strength/Cardio: 30 minute arms and a 30 minute easy spin after weights.
Thursday 1/3/13 - Strength/Cardio: 30 minutes legs and 30 min of speedwork on the treadmill. 60 second runs/90 sec walks for 20 min with 5 min wu and 5 min cd.  Major sweat fest and ran most of the run segments at 7 mph or about an 8:30 pace.
Friday 1/4/13 - Rest day
Saturday 1/5/13 - RUN: Longest run since my half marathon back in November. 7.3 miles 1:16:44 (10:30 pace). Ran with the 5/3 River Bank Run group - hills, a fast pace and good company.  Felt really good during the run but by evening, my ankle was so stiff and sore that I could barely walk.  Clearly I messed my ankle up more than I thought a couple weeks ago.
Sunday 1/6/13 - Rest day

I could use a little advice.  I have the opportunity to "run" a winter (read - snow covered trails with booze at the aide stations) half marathon on Groundhog Day.  Right now I don't think my ankle can handle it but I really want to do the race.  I have a ton of friends running and it's the inaugural year.  Sweet bling and a hoodie.  Should I go for it and just have fun or skip it?  I'm thinking it's early enough in half training to take the risk, but with all my injuries last year, I'm a bit gun-shy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meal Monday: Pasta and Asparagus

Welcome to 2013 and what I hope will be a weekly post here.

Last week I was having the worst time trying to find one of my recipes because my recipe book looked like this:


I decided I needed to get organized so I bought another binder, tossed a bunch of crap recipes, and typed up others that were just on scraps of paper, receipts, you name it. This was the final result. Much better, no?


In the process, I found a bunch of great recipes that I haven't made in awhile, plus some new ones. I decided that I'd start posting a recipe here every Monday. Hopefully you'll find something your family loves as much as mine.

This week we're going with a vegetarian dish - but you could easily add diced, cooked chicken to this if you wanted, or serve it on the side of a meat dish.
Pasta and Asparagus
please forgive my awful food photo taking
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 lb grape tomatoes (I didn't use that much)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • basil, fresh - approximately 15 leaves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 13 oz package of pasta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Start a large pot of water to boil pasta.
  2. Trim asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Halve tomatoes.
  4. Julienne basil.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and asparagus and cook until the asparagus is tender.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente and drain.  
  7. Keeping the asparagus warm, add butter and cooked pasta.  Toss over low heat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the basil.
  8. Serve warm.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  

Are there any types of recipes you'd like to see here?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fitness Friday: 2013 Goals

I honestly wasn't going to write this post and I've restarted it multiple times over the past few days.  I guess if you're reading, I actually hit publish.

For me, 2012 was sort of the *anti* goal year.  I didn't set specific goals, but I wrote this little Dear Me letter last January from the perspective of me today congradulating my 2012 self on all the goals I accomplished.  Needless to say, they were pretty much all a bust.

  • Weight back under control - Nope, I'm just as heavy as I was last January, if not up another pound or two. I'm not unhealthy, but I'm not at a happy weight for me.
  • Run 12 races - Nope.  I think I ran 8 plus a few non-official, virtual ones.
  • Sub-30 5k - Yep! 28:15 on Thanksgiving Day!
  • PR the 5/3 River Bank Run 25k - Nope, I spectated it in an aircast. My first DNS.
  • PR the Grand Rapids Marathon - Nope, I ended up running the marathon relay. Didn't even try the half marathon there this year.
I only went 1 for 5 last year, which is really pathetic, but since they weren't set as official goals, does that make it less bad?

In 2013, I want to keep it simple and I'm putting these out there, even though a couple (ok all) of them scare the hell out of me and I don't know that I have what it takes to get there.  Here we go.
  1. Run a 27:xx 5k
  2. Run a sub-60 min 10k
  3. Run a sub-2:15:xx half marathon
  4. Complete and Olympic-distance triathlon
  5. Get and stay healthy this year.  This will probably be the hardest to keep.
Basically, this year I want to get faster and not hurt myself doing it.  Running that 28 min 5k and having some 5 and 6 mile training runs near the 10 m/m pace lead me to think the first 2 goals might be achievable.  I was supposed to hit that 2:15 half at Disney in November and it was not in the cards.  Maybe I'll have better luck in Traverse City at the Bayshore Half.  I figure, if the conditions are right and I show up to the starting line healthy, I might have a chance.

I'm also starting the year as a Mentor for 2 great ladies as they embark on the Shrinking Jeans Couch to 5k Virtual program. I can't wait to see how these gals will rock their 5ks in a couple months!!

What about you?  Any fitness goals for 2013?  Have you ever mentored another runner?  I'd love any advice you could give.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Ziplist #recipe

If you don't know what Ziplist is, you should check out that link right there. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Welcome back! I have found Ziplist to be invaluable, not only for making my grocery lists, but for discovering new recipes. It's super easy to use - just create an account and start making your shopping lists.  You can search for recipes and add the ingredients right onto your list.  Even email, tweet, and FB your recipes.  On NYE, I tried a winner. So much a winner that even the husband said, "you need to post this wherever it is you post winning recipes!"

I guess it's your lucky day, because I'm definitely posting this one!  I'll even make it easy by writing out the recipe for you.
I give you: 
BBQ Beer Chicken in the Crockpot!
This is a Ziplist screenshot

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large - I used 4 giant ones from Costco)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup beer (any kind you like: dark, light, amber, whatever - I used Shock Top End of the World Wheat which has some nice chili and chocolate tones) Bummer on the amount though - you'll have to drink about 4 ounces of beer :)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) of barbecue sauce (any kind you like - I used KC Masterpiece since its ingredients start with tomatoes)
  • hamburger buns
  • coleslaw

Instructions:

  • Add everything to the crockpot except the chicken (and obviously the buns and coleslaw).  Stir to combine.  Add the chicken to the crockpot, spoon the sauce on top so all the chicken is covered and has some sauce on it.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours (every crockpot is different, so yours may take more or less time - start checking it around 4 hours). Stir a couple times throughout if you want (I didn't). After 6 hours (or when the chicken is done but not overdone and mushy - mine took about 5), shred the chicken and add it back to the sauce in the crockpot.  Toss chicken with the sauce and let it sit for 15 min so it can absorb some of the sauce.
  • Serve on buns topped with coleslaw. Have some fries, a salad, whatever to make it a meal. Maybe throw in a vegetable if you feel so inclined. Drink some more beer - preferably the one you used in the recipe and put it in your favorite pint glass.

This was absolutely delish.  Everyone in the family loved it (except the girl who wasn't home to try it). The recipe says it's pretty forgiving and versatile - you can use broth, fruit juice, different beers, whatever and it will still turn out great.  If you use a very thick sauce, you might want to add more beer, but I didn't and I think the consistency was great.  We ate this again on Tuesday while watching some bowl games and it reheated great.  I even have some in the freezer that I'll pull out for a meal next week.  (Obviously, this makes a lot. Recipe says it serves 8-10.)

Have you every tried Ziplist?  Any favorite recipes I should add to my list?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: post-holiday suck




Starting Weight: 153.6
Last week: 150.2 (actually 2 weeks ago because I didn't weigh-in last week)
This week: 151.6
Change: up 1.4
Total change: down 2.0

The past 3 months has looked like this:



I'm really getting sick of it if I can be perfectly honest. Getting back to a healthy weight was a definite fail from my 2012 goals. I hate to think that my body wants to hover around 150 because, frankly, I think it's at least 10-15 pounds higher than where I should be. (And if you look at some sites I'm probably considered borderline obese and should weigh around 115-120.) I had friends talking on twitter about wanting to lose 10 pounds and they are already at what I would consider to be a very healthy weight for them. Guess this just proves we can never be happy with ourselves.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Is anybody out there?

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