Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday: hope

Today I'm thankful for the occasional day like this past Monday:


That reminds me of this:


And that gives me hope that this:


Will eventually be gone.

Are you as sick of winter as I am?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: a whole lotta nothing




Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 145.4
This week: 145.4
Change: down zilch
Total change: down 8.2

To say I'm disappointed in myself would be an understatement.  This is the first week since the beginning of January that I haven't lost at least SOMETHING - and to me, maintaining when you are trying to lose is just as bad as gaining.  It means I fucked up this week.  If I was logging everything correctly, staying under my calories, and working out enough I would've lost weight. I worked out a ton (cardio 45-90 minutes on 6/7 days last week).  According to MFP, I stayed under my calorie goal on 5/7 days and the days I went over it was only by a very small amount.  

So what does this mean?  It means I'm not working hard enough at tracking, which in turn means my calories haven't been as low as I've thought.  I've never been one to log every morsel I put in my mouth which is why I always try to end the day a good 100 calories below goal to account for the little stuff I don't log.  I don't write down things like ketchup, mustard and pickles on my veggie burger since I consider it enough of a punishment that I'm eating a nasty Boca burger while the rest of the family is eating real burgers. I don't measure everything.  I pour my creamer into my coffee and I pour dressing on my salads.  I don't weigh my food because I want to feel like I'm a normal person.  I know this week I grabbed a few tortilla chips and chocolate chips here and there and I'm sure I didn't remember to log every chip.  I'm not perfect and this simply proves that.  The sad thing?  I don't think I CAN be perfect in this without making myself completely crazy and if I'm not perfect I feel like a failure.  It's a horrible loop to be in.

This is what I hate about tracking. 

However, I'll continue to track and try to be as close to perfect as I can be, because it's obviously working on more weeks than not.  My dress pants are getting loose (I wish I could say the same for my jeans) and some of my skirts are falling off my waist.  I know that is more important than a number on the scale, but I need to see those numbers.  

I just hope this isn't the start of a stupid plateau or a trend in the wrong direction.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: week 6

How am I into week 6 already?? Holy cow, time is flying!  Hopefully this (and all the giant potholes in West Michigan) are signs that spring is on its way.

Here's how this week played out....

Monday 2/18/13 - Plan: RUN easy 5 miles at 11:14 pace.  Did: RUN very easy 5 miles at 12:31 pace.  My daughter wanted to run with me and had never run more than 3.1 miles.  We ran a hilly route and I'm so proud of her for sticking with it (granted, she really had no choice since we had to get back to the car).

Tuesday 2/19/13 - Plan: CROSS TRAIN.  Did: BIKE - We had yet another snowday so I hopped on the trainer for an hour and biked a slow 13.3 miles.

Wednesday 2/20/13 - Plan: RUN tempo 4 miles with 2 mile temp at 9:26 pace. Did: RUN - got my tempo done on the dreadmill before work because I knew the afternoon would be crazy. Completed 4 miles in 41 minutes, including w/u, c/d and 2 tempo miles at 9:19 and 9:24. Been running my indoor runs in my Newton Running Gravity's and they've been treating me well :)

Thursday 2/21/13 - Plan: CROSS TRAIN.  Did: CROSS TRAIN - went to the barefoot conditioning class I've found at my gym.  Lots of lunges, squats and balance work left my legs fried.  Finished with RUN - 1 mile on the indoor track in 9:43.  

Friday 2/22/13 Plan: CROSS TRAIN. Did: BIKE - tried to push the pace a bit and finished 10 miles in 39:48 (15.1 mph).  This is pretty fast for me on my trainer, so I'll take it.  

Saturday 2/23/13 - Plan: RUN "long" run of 6 miles at 11:14 pace.  Did: RUN - hilly and slushy 8 miles at an 11:18 pace (1:30:25).  This was mentally a very tough run for me, with a mini breakdown in miles 5 and 6 because I'm so sick of slipping and sliding but I pulled my shit together and kicked ass on the last 2 miles, running them in 10:49 and 10:32.  

Sunday 2/17/13 - Plan: BIKE Did: REST - the rest day wasn't entirely intentional, but life just got in the way. This is what I wrote on my dailymile post: Beer me! Aside from church this morning, I have not sat down all day. Multiple loads of laundry, an hour-long trip to the grocery store, house cleaning & a trip to the mall. After all this? 3 1-minute planks & 10 modified triceps push-ups, just so I could say there was some real exercise in there. Did I burn any calories today? Most likely, NO. But sometimes you just need to say "screw it" and pass the bottle opener. It's 5:00 somewhere.


Life is definitely about balance and sometimes you just need to say "f*ck it" and take the day off.

So, the running is going well.  I'm loving my Newtons (and really hope the weather gets decent so I can wear them outside - they don't have any stability or much traction so I'm worried about the slushy streets).  What's missing?  Strength training - I have been seriously slacking in this department and I can tell.  My weight is coming down, but I'm soft and my back is sore after my long runs because my core strength is GONE.  I need some help getting back on track with the lifting.  Hold me accountable...m'kay?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meal Monday: Guinness Stew

Since St. Pat's Day is coming up in a few weeks, I thought I'd give you all a nice stew recipe made with Guinness Stout. Y'all know how much I love a recipe that features beer - especially when you don't need the whole bottle and have a bit left to drink :)

Guinness Stew

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/4" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs beef stew meat
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
2-3 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup (or more) beef stock
1/2 cup (or more) Guinness
1 pound (I use way more than this) carrots cut into chunks
4-5 medium potatoes cut into 1/2" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut up
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste


Heat 6 quart oven safe casserole, add oil, onions, garlic & bay leaves. Cook for a few minutes and then add the meat.

Brown meat on all sides and cook for a few minutes until onion is clear. Reduce heat to low & add thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper & flour. Stir until smooth. Add the beef stock & beer. Simmer, stirring until the stew thickens a bit.


Here is where you can finish this in 2 different ways. You can add the veggies, cover & cook in a 275* oven for about 2 hours, stirring a few times. Or, do like I do & use your crock pot.

Add veggies to your giant crock pot.


Carefully pour liquid from the meat mixture over the veggies & transfer the meat to the crockpot. Add the parsley & cover.


Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until veggies are done.


Do you have a favorite St.Pat's dish?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday: inquiring minds - another 20 questions

I'm thankful for all of my readers and friends on FB and twitter.  Since 20 Questions part 1 is a bit old, I decided to write part deaux!  I've been working on it for quite a while and finally have enough questions for another post.  Here we go:
  1. How did you decide on your chosen profession?  I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and I sorta came upon the profession by accident.  Back in high school, I had to take one of those "career" tests and this was one of the professions that came up.  I didn't give it much thought, other than observing a therapist in a hospital once.  In college, I took a speech/language class as part of the psychology program and loved it.  Never looked back.  I worked in a private practice doing neurologic rehab (think strokes and traumatic brain injuries) then a rehab hospital.  For the past 8 years or so I've been in the public schools and I love it.
  2. Have you ever chosen Dare in a game of Truth or Dare and what was craziest dare you ever dared? Yes, I've chosen the dare and probably the craziest dare was skinny dipping.
  3. What got you into running / races / marathons? Most of this is answered in the first 20 questions page and the about me page here.  Since writing those pages, I've completed my first marathon and a few more half marathons.  I also have been struggling with my first real, side-lying injury.  I'd say the marathon was just the natural progression   I loved training for the half marathon on 25k, so I decided this past year was as good a time as any to go for a marathon.
  4. Did your moms death impact / influence your healthy living?!  My mom died of skin cancer when I was 14.  At the time, I'd say it didn't impact my desire to be healthy at all.  But now?  I want to be around to see my own kids graduate and get married, have kids, etc. etc.  I really do try to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen.  Also, my weight loss and foray into running has been an effort to get and stay at a healthy weight.
  5. Has running changed your social life? and how? Oh my word has it! I wouldn't have ever pushed myself to run past 3 miles if it weren't for social media.  Also, the majority of my closest friends are runners who I've met through twitter or races I've done.  I love running with these friends now. 
  6. If you could PR any distance by 20% which distance would you pick? Aka, which distance would you live to excel at?  These are really great questions.  Tougher to answer now.  When I received this question last fall, I was healthy and training for my full marathon.  This was the answer I had in my files. "I've been chasing the elusive sub-30 5k, but if I had to pick, I'd want to PR the 1/2 mary by 20%.  It's a challenging distance and I'd need to take a lot of time off per mile to do it. A 20% PR would put me under 2 hrs, which would freaking ROCK."  Since getting injured, I know this is extremely unrealistic now.  I have a goal to PR my next 1/2 marathon (Disney's Wine and Dine in November) but the PR won't be anywhere close to a 20%.  I think if I work my ass off, I might see a sub-2 hour 1/2 marathon, but it will be a couple years off.  At this point, my best hope for a 20% PR would be in the 10k (assuming I can get my mojo back).  My 10k PR is 1:09:57.  I'd need to run about a 56 min 10k for that 20% PR if I've done the math right.  When I've been healthy, I've hit right around an hour in training runs, so who knows. Maybe I'll see it in this next year (or two).
  7. If you could re-write the 12 days of Christmas, what would the 12 gifts be? I finally answered this one!  Here's the post.
  8. What is your favorite distance to run?  This goes with the previous question but isn't necessarily the distance I'd want that 20% PR at. My favorite race distance is probably the 10 mile.  It's challenging but doesn't totally kill you.  It's also the distance I set my pace PR at last fall (racing a 10 mile race near the end of marathon training will do that for you - in case you ever want to set a crazy PR) and beat my husband in last spring (it's the little things in life).  
  9. What's the most interesting place you've visited? I love to travel.  That much is obvious in the fact I picked trips for 25% of my dream 12 Days of Christmas gifts :) Probably the most interesting place I've visited was in Mexico.  It's hard to pick just one place, though.  I stayed at a resort in Cozumel but driving to and from the airport and town was eye opening.  I couldn't believe the poverty just outside the walls of our very swanky resort.  I felt a little guilty, to be perfectly honest.  While on that trip, we also took the ferry over to the mainland and went to Tulum and Xel Ha.  They were unbelievably beautiful and I highly recommend going.  My 2nd choice would probably be St. Lucia - this is where I've gone SCUBA diving and zip lining for the first time.  I can't believe it's been 5 years.
  10. What is your favorite workout gear? I answered that question in this post.
  11. If Disney was wiped off the face of the Earth, after an appropriate mourning period, where would your new "go to" vacation destination be? Thea's questions crack me up (she also asked how much I love her). The answers are here!
  12. What are the ups and downs of parenting twins? I think one of the biggest ups is the fact I got the perfect two-fer!  I only had to be pregnant once (which I really liked, so I'm also a bit sad I'll never have that experience again) and I ended up with a girl and boy as a result.  The first 6 months were pretty much zombiemom hell as no one slept, but after that it's been pretty smooth sailing.  Both kids are very independent and have completely different interests. K (my girl) is into sports and has excelled at everything from gymnastics and diving to volleyball and track. Just this week she actually ran 5 miles with me! D (my son) is into theater and music. He loves acting and is a great trombone player.  Not having them both in sports is nice since there aren't as many conflicts.  Right now, they are both working on accruing their hours to get their driver's licenses, which is a total PITA.  Not sure what we will do when they start both wanting a car.  I think that's probably the biggest downside is double cost for everything.  We're going to be hit with cars at the same time, graduation parties at the same time, college at the same time.  *runs off to start looking for a second job*
  13. Hobbies outside of running.  I'm not really a "hobbies" person - mainly because I don't have time.  I've never been into scrapbooking or crafts.  I do like to read - mostly mindless stuff like Janet Evanovich novels or crime/detective novels, think John Sanford and stuff like that.  I watch far too much television and my DVR is always full.
  14. Are you planning to get a tattoo to celebrate your tri? For those of you who don't know, I have 2 tattoos - one on my wrist that says "believe" and a firework on my ankle/calf with the words "strength" and a 26.2.  As of right now, I have no plans for a triathlon tattoo.  That doesn't mean I don't want another tat, however :)  One of my friends said they are kind of like an addiction and she was right.  I'm definitely thinking there will be more, but right now the design and placement are undecided.  
  15. Suzanne asked: "Are you planning another marathon or ultra?" No.  I won't say "I'll never run another marathon" because a few years ago I said I'd never run a 10k, a half, a marathon, do a tri... (you get the idea), but as of right now I have no plans to do so.  If the right race came along, I had the time to train for it properly, and the right person/people to run it with, I would consider another marathon. I can say with 100% certainty, however, that I have no desire to run an ultra - the marathon was bad enough.
  16. Kimert79 asked: "What is one thing my injury has taught me?"  For those who don't know, I overtrained last winter/spring and was diagnosed in April with (initially) a stress fracture in my left tibia that was then downgraded to a stress reaction.  Basically a stress "reaction" is a fracture waiting to happen. I spent almost 6 weeks in a boot and then slowly built my running back up over the summer.  What is the one thing I learned? I learned I really need running to stay sane.  The problem? Running is now harder (even though I've made a ton of progress and I'm almost back to my pre-injury self) and it isn't ever without some pain.  I think part of that is just getting older (and the weight I put back on while injured) but a lot of it is the lingering injury. Even so, I LOVE when I have a run that lets me forget about life for a little while and enjoy some me time.  I've learned a lot of other things too, but those little nuggets of wisdom (or whatever) could probably be their own blog post.
  17. Lani asked: "What's your favorite color and why?" I actually answered this when I did my first 20 questions post and at the time I said orange.  Right now I would say it's purple or turquoise.  I don't have any particular reason for liking those colors (except I look great in turquoise but not so much in purple).  I chose purple for my firework tattoo and my roadID is purple, so I associate that color with running - plus I ran my marathon in a purple Team Sparkle skirt :) Oddly enough, I wear some form of black almost every day.
  18. Ali wants to know: "If you weren't doing what you are doing right now (speech path) what would you do instead? (career wise or other)" At one point, I really thought I would go to medical school - even after I'd been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist I thought I'd like to go back to school and either be a Physiatrist (rehab doc) or get my Doctorate in Audiology and be duel certified.  Now, I'd just like to retire on a beach somewhere.
  19. Andrea asks: "What's your favorite ME time activity outside of exercise?" I actually love to zone out with a movie or TV show on the computer.  Fire up HULU or Netflix and see what I can find.  I used to read more than I do now - but lately it's been movies. 
  20. Megan wanted to know a while ago: "Cake or ice cream?" This one is easy. ICE CREAM!!! Cake is one dessert that I can easily pass up...unless it's in the form of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting - then I'm screwed.
I hope you guys like this little "behind the curtain" glimpse into what makes me, well, ME :)  I'd love to know more about my readers, too.  Pick one of these questions and answer it in the comments.  Please and thank you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: debatable

I really struggled whether to post today's weight, but it's what I do - the good, the bad and the ugly - so I figured I should put this one out here even though I think it's a false loss and could even be considered a gain. (I'll explain.)



Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 146.6
This week: 145.4
Change: down 1.2
Total change: down 8.2

So, why would I be thinking a 1.2 pound loss could actually be a gain?  Because I know I was 144 on Sunday and this weigh-in was AFTER I sweated my ass off for 4 miles in the hot gym this morning. It's probably sweat loss and not actual weight loss, but I decided to post the weight anyway because it's pretty close to what I weighed yesterday (actually a tiny bit higher, even with the sweat loss) so it's fairly close to accurate.  Still, having people say "congrats on the loss" on twitter this morning after MFP autotweeted my weigh-in made me feel like I needed to explain myself.

My weight this past week has been a roller coaster (and please don't blast me for weighing myself every couple of days - it's what I do).  I had a little outpatient surgery last Wednesday and managed to GAIN 3 pounds thanks to the IV fluids.  The doctor said I'd only get about 1/2 a pound of fluids (yes, I asked), but did you know those fluids are SALT WATER??? Yah, major water retention and probably some swelling from surgery.  Combined with losing the water weight and not really eating for several days last week, by Sunday morning I'd managed to lose those 3 pounds, plus another 2 1/2.  I spent most of church on Sunday trying not to pass out (dehydration? lack of calories? probably both?).  I made an effort to eat well Sunday through Tuesday and as a result, managed to gain some of that 2 1/2 pounds back.  Frankly, it pisses me off but it is what it is.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: week 5

We're just going to call this a week interrupted.  I had a little outpatient procedure done on Wednesday (no worries, I'm totally fine) that pretty much put the training on hold for the week.  Luckily, it's early enough that it shouldn't matter.

Monday 2/11/13 - Plan: RUN easy 4 miles at 11:16 pace.  Did: RUN- 2 x 1600 repeats plus wu/cd.  4 miles in 40 minutes.  The 2 mile repeats were at just over a 9mm pace, which pretty much rocked. I decided since I wouldn't be able to do this workout on Wednesday, I'd swap out the easy run for the harder one.

Tuesday 2/12/13 - Plan: CROSS TRAIN.  Did: BIKE - I just did an easy 10 miles on my basement trainer in about 44 minutes while watching TV.

Wednesday 2/13/13 - Plan: RUN intervals. Did: NOTHING

Thursday 2/14/13 - Plan: CROSSTRAIN.  Did: NOTHING

Friday 2/15/13 - Plan: REST. Did: WALK - I walked around the mall with my girl and then needed to come home and take a nap. (WTF happened with that font?  Sorry - no clue.)

Saturday 2/16/13 - Plan: RUN "long" run of 6 miles at 11:14 pace.  Did: RUN - since I wasn't sure how my body was going to feel running just 3 days after surgery.  I ran 2 miles on the TM, 2 miles on the track inside, and then 2 more on the TM.  It felt great and I ran the entire thing in my Newtons.  Finished in 1:06:46 (11:07 pace) and really felt great the rest of the day.

Sunday 2/17/13 - Plan: BIKE Did: REST I still wasn't feeling 100% and my eating this week after surgery has been minimal, so I figured it was in my best interest to not work out today and work on fueling my body.  

Obviously, this wasn't a great week training-wise.  I missed several workouts and did a very poor job of fueling my body after surgery.  (I had managed to "gain" 3 pounds from surgery and my Sunday morning, I'd lost those 3 pounds plus another 2.4 from what I weighed last Wednesday.  Not exactly ideal and it will be interesting to see what my official weigh-in is tomorrow.)

To those of you who'd like to vote, I'm still working to win a new medal display from Allied Medal Displays.  Could you please head over here and vote for my picture?  I'd really appreciate it.  (My odds of winning have gone down quite a bit, but I'd still appreciate the votes.) You can vote once a day! Thanks so much!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Monday: PB Overnight Oats

It took me awhile to get on the Overnight Oats in a Jar kick, but now I eat them at least once or twice a week. I used to think you needed an almost empty peanut butter jar to make them, but I've learned any container will do. This is one of my standby recipes, but the beauty of it is that you can really throw anything together and it'll be good - once you get past the cold oatmeal aspect :)

PB Overnight Oats

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup water (or more if you want runnier oatmeal)
1 Tbsp chia seeds (you can leave these out)
1/3 banana, thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp peanut butter or whatever is left in the jar



Combine all ingredients in an almost empty peanut butter jar or any container with a lid.


Give it a stir and put in the fridge overnight.


Give it another stir in the morning and enjoy. You can add extra fruit or milk if you want or eat it as-is.



Do you have a favorite overnight oats recipe? Do you ever eat them warm?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Friends!










I feel very blessed to have you in my life. Happy Valentine's Day.

Love,
Me

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday: whatever





Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 147.2
This week: 146.6
Change: down .6
Total change: down 7.0

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bayshore Half Training: week 4

I think I got back closer to the plan this week but I still moved workouts around quite a bit.  Recovery from the Groundhog Day Half Marathon was surprisingly easy (or maybe was easy because I took it so slow) and my runs this week went well.

Monday 2/4/13 - Plan: RUN easy 4 miles at 11:18 pace.  Did: SWIM - 1200 yards in about 33 minutes.  My foot was still pretty sore from Saturday's crazy half marathon so I figured a cross training day was my best bet.

Tuesday 2/5/13 - Plan: CROSS TRAIN.  Did: RUN/BIKE Brick - I had planned on running Monday's 4 miles, but 2 miles into the run (trying out my Newton Gravity shoes) I knew I wasn't ready to run 4 miles.  My foot started to hurt and I decided to play it safe.  I finished with 9 miles on the bike.  Total workout time was about 45 minutes.

Wednesday 2/6/13 - Plan: RUN Tempo 4 MI, inc w/u; 2 MI @ 9:33, c/d Did: RUN Tempo! I nailed this workout. I really hadn't planned on running since my run the day before was less than stellar, but the day was sunny and relatively warm, so I put on my Asics and headed out the door. Ran a mile w/u in 11:14 and then averaged a 9:25 pace for the 2 mile tempo. Finished with a 1 mile c/d in 10:56. Felt great the entire run - no pain other than some calf tightness.

Thursday 2/7/13 - Plan: BIKE/STRENGTH.  Did: BIKE - 13.8 miles in a hour.  Skipped the strength training.  Mentally I wasn't in a good place and it was a struggle just to get the bike ride done.

Friday 2/8/13 - REST. Did: STRENGTH/RUN - We had another snow day so I shoveled, then scooted over to the gym for a 45 min barefoot fitness class.  It was SO HARD but I loved it.  Tons of squats, lunges and balance activities.  Finished with a 1 mile run in my Newtons (10:10 pace).  I was surprised how good I felt today.

Saturday 2/9/13 - Plan: RUN "long" run of 5 miles at 11:18 pace.  Did: RUN - bitterly cold 5 mile run on the Butterworth hills.  These are a series of rollers that tend to make an appearance in every long race here.  Managed to stay pretty close to my training pace (ran the 5 in 54:55 - a 10:59 pace).  Had some calf tightness again but no real pain.  Finished the run looking like a girlier version of Frosty :)

Sunday 2/10/13 - Plan: REST  Did: REST  I threw in a little foam rolling and stretching.  Rest days are hard for me because I really value the calories I burn so I can eat more later.  When I don't have an activity like a run or bike ride, it makes eating during the day much more difficult.

I felt really good about this week.  Having that weird foot pain after last weekend's half definitely concerned me, but overall, I think I recovered quite nicely.

I'm still working to win a new medal display from Allied Medal Displays.  Could you please head over here and vote for my picture?  I'd really appreciate it.  (Last I checked I was in 2nd place and about 10 votes behind.) You can vote once a day! Thanks so much!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meal Monday: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Not really a meal, but makes a nice appetizer or side dish. One of the restaurants here has a similar dish on their menu & I found a recipe online that worked.

Ingredients:


1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp garlic powder
6 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450*. Cover a baking dish with foil & lightly spray with oil or cooking spray.

Combine water, flour & garlic powder in a large bowl. Toss in cauliflower pieces to coat. Spread out on prepared pan. (It will look gross - don't worry.)

Bake for 20 minutes. While cauliflower is baking, combine butter and hot sauce.

Remove from oven and poor hot sauce over veggies. I used a spoon to keep from making a mess. Toss a bit and return to the oven. Bake another 5 minutes.



Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing if desired.


This was surprisingly good! I wasn't sure with how garlicky it smelled before adding the hot sauce, but it ended up not garlicky at all.

Recipe serves about 6 people and is about 120 calories per serving (not including the blue cheese dressing).

Have you ever tried to duplicate a restaurant recipe?
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Fitness Friday: get what you can get!

Snow day again around these parts so today's workouts included:









What did you do to be active today?

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday: randoms

Today I'm feeling extremely scattered and stressed out.  Another epic snowstorm is supposed to be coming tonight and one of my kids is supposed to be traveling up north for a jazz band competition in the morning.  Plus, I have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow that because of my schedule next week it will be near impossible to reschedule.  But...I have a few things I'd like to be thankful for today.

The rare sunny winter day in West Michigan.

Kick-ass runs that come out of nowhere.

Caffeine in my favorite Disney mug that reminds me of happy times.
Friends who have been voting for me on Facebook to win a new medal hanger.
I'm currently in 2nd place and the voting is tight, so PLEASE!!! keep voting! You can vote once a day, so like they say - Vote Chicago Style - early and often!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: slow & steady




Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 148.4
This week: 147.2
Change: down 1.2
Total change: down 6.4


I'm at my lowest weight in 3 months and I lost more than Jackson did on Biggest Loser this week. (What was up with that? He has to be cheating on his diet or something.)

Anyhoo...onward and continuing downward I hope.

While you are here, I have a small favor to ask.  I've entered a photo to win a new medal display from Allied Medal Displays.  Could you please head over here and vote for my picture?  You can vote once a day! Thanks so much!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bayshore Half Training: Week 3

Training plan?  What training plan?

Monday 1/28/13 - Plan: RUN easy 3 miles at 11:18 pace.  Did: RUN 3 miles on the track at the gym in 31 min (10:21 pace).  Trying out some Newtons and ran the first mile in them, then switched to my Asics GT 2170s for the other two.  I totally blew my pace today. Oops. Sometimes the legs just want to move I guess.  FInished with a 45 min CROSSTRAIN yoga class that was more strength than stretchy.

Tuesday 1/29/13 - Plan: BIKE.  Did: BIKE 14 miles in 1 hour using the big gear (13.8 mph). 

Wednesday 1/30/13 - Plan: RUN easy 3 miles at 11:18 pace/STRENGTH. Did: RUN 3 miles on the track again, with 1.5 miles in Newtons. 33:48 (11:15 pace) This run felt TERRIBLE but the brightside? at least I nailed my training pace. Finished with 15 min STRENGTH abs.

Thursday 1/31/13 - Plan: BIKE/STRENGTH.  Did: BIKE easy 5.4 miles in 30 min (a slow 10.8 mph). STRENGTH 15 min of abs.

Friday 2/1/13 - REST

Saturday 2/2/13 - Plan: RUN "long" run of 4 miles at 11:18 pace.  Did: "RUN" 13.1 miles - I ran the Groundhog Day Half Marathon :) Or rather, I ran the first 4.4 mile loop and then mostly walked the other 2 loops. I hadn't run more than 7 miles since my half back in November, so I knew I wasn't in any kind of shape to run the whole thing.  Plus, this was my first "trail" half and I knew the conditions were NOT PR material.  It was an absolute blast with my friends, we dressed in crazy Groundhog Day costumes, and enjoyed the 15* temps and 12+ inches of fresh powder.  You can read my race report and see lots of pictures here!

Sunday 2/3/13 - Plan: I didn't have one.  Did: another rest day.  I threw in a little foam rolling and stretching, but mostly I iced my foot that I torqued a bit running for so long in the snow.  In hindsight, I should've tried to do something to move because I was VERY sore on Monday.  Anyhoo.  Going to take it easy on the running this next week and pray I didn't do any real damage.  

I guess looking back at the week, I didn't throw the plan TOTALLY out the window.  I just more than tripled my long run, blew my training paces, and managed to tweak my foot/ankle.  The foot and ankle are feeling better today so I'm going to try a short run after school.  One of those great workout days where you bring 3 pair of shoes to the gym - cycle, Newtons and regular running shoes :)  Have you ever gone completely off book during a training cycle?  How did it work out for you? 

While you are here, I have a small favor to ask.  I've entered a photo to win a new medal display from Allied Medal Displays.  Could you please head over here and vote for my picture?  You can vote once a day! Thanks so much!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Groundhog Day Half Marathon: race report!


On Saturday, I ran my first trail half marathon.  In a blizzard.  It was epic :)  The whole goal of the day was to have fun and not break anything.  Fun was had.  Jury is still out on whether anything is broken.  KIDDING!  Well, sorta. But I'll be fine.

This is a very photo-heavy post and I figure I'll let the pictures speak for themselves with a little captioning because I can't not say anything.

We had a good 12+ inches of fresh powder and the snow was still coming down at 7 am when I met up with my friends at the parking area.
photo credit: Molly
I was Miss Sunshine and Jenny was 6 More Weeks of Winter.  We also had 2 groundhogs, The Mayor, a weatherman, spring, and a couple of shadows.


With our costumes, we managed to win "Best Group Costume" and each of us got a free Groundhog Marathon hat!

Credit - Molly
Snowy start/finish/turnaround line.  The course was a 4.4 mile loop throughout Kent Trails.  We were able to run through a couple deep groves created by the faster runners, but it was in no way plowed.  I'd also forgotten about the little hills back there.  The half marathoners made 3 loops and the crazy full marathon folks did 6.

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This is probably one of my favorite race photos of all time!


I love these people.  Nuff said.


You have to appreciate the beauty that is West Michigan during a snow storm.  The ice flowing down the Grand River was pretty amazing.  


Chasing Groundhog Jenn :)


About 1/2 way and still smiling!  I love how relaxed we were.  No stress about pace, running or walking, just a group of friends having fun in the snow.  Also, having so many runners say, "Hello, Sunshine!" to me as we passed each other was very fun.  
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Aren't we cute!

The sun (well, besides Miss Sunshine) finally made an appearance!


The bridges were hard to run on - this wasn't one of them, though. It was just pretty.


Judi, Jenn and I stopped around mile 9 or 10 for a little warm up ;)  These two ran and walked with me the entire race.  I couldn't ask for better friends.
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Happy to almost be done


Look close and you can see the cardinal that kept us company on part of loop 3.
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I don't think I've ever smiled during a race as much as I smiled during this one.

Happy Bling Whore!


I was really stressing about how slow I was going to need to run this race, but in the end, it really didn't matter.  We ran the first lap in about 59 min and then realized on the 2nd lap that it was just more fun to walk and throw in a little running here and there.  The 2nd and 3rd laps took 1:14 and 1:15.  We stopped and socialized at aid stations.  We took pictures.  We had fun.  I can honestly say this was one half that I smiled on the entire time.  It wasn't easy by any stretch, but it was fun and I had a great time.  

I set a PR in fun :)


Got some pretty sweet swag, too!