Monday, March 31, 2014

Meal Monday: Best Chicken Strips EVER #recipe

This is yet another recipe I found using Ziplist and it was published by The Lemon Bowl.  I was a bit worried that my kids would detect the Dijon mustard but they ate them up and this has now entered our usual rotation.  It's super fast, easy, and really is delish.

Baked Chicken Fingers with Panko and Dijon

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast cut into strips
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, grated (I used jarred, minced garlic and that worked great)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil (maybe a little more)
1 Tbsp paprika

1. Preheat oven to 475* and lay a metal cooling rack on top of a baking sheet lined with foil (the foil is optional but makes cleanup easier).  Spray with non-stick spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine mustard and garlic.  Using a small brush, gently "paste" the chicken strips with the garlic mustard.
3.  In a shallow bowl or on a plate, use a fork to combine panko, salt, pepper, oil and paprika.  Add mustard coated chicken to crumbs one at a time and press evenly to coat all sides.
4.  Place panko coated chicken on metal rack lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned, turning once about halfway through cooking time.
5.  Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice.  I thought these were great with honey mustard.

We eat a lot of chicken breast at our house and I'm always trying to find quick, yummy ways to cook it.  What's your favorite way to serve chicken?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Things Thursday: giving thanks

Giving thanks for three randoms today!

1.  A super fun blogger run date with Corey on Sunday.  We ran a virtual 5k (Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas in the hopes to win a t-shirt) and then finished for a total of 5 chilly miles.  There was lots of cheesy picture taking around town and I got puppy snuggles from her sister's puppy Molly (and mistaken for a chew toy).

2.  Both of my kids ROCKED on their ACT tests (their scores came out yesterday).  They each improved by 2 points over their first try and their scores are pretty freaking impressive.  To top that off, my girl got her first collegiate recruitment letter yesterday for diving!  It's not a school that will work for what she's planning as her major but what a cool honor to be recruited.

3.  I started lifting again yesterday and I didn't die.  I used a few of the machines and dumbbells and I can even sorta move today (which probably means I didn't lift heavy enough).  Shameless gym selfie showing I totally forgot a headband and hair ties, so my hair was in my face the whole time. 

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: perspective?

This morning I had a whole post written in my head after I stepped on the scale and entered my (again higher) weight into MFP.  You see, they've now added a feature where you can see your "progress" from the whole year.  That little graphic only further emphasized in me how much I've screwed up my weight this year - to the tune of over 12 pounds.

I posted something about it on FB and I was reminded by a number of my friends that I've done a lot this year that's been good. It doesn't take away the disappointment and disgust I feel over gaining 12 pounds this year (on top of already being over what my ideal weight should be), but it does give me a bit of perspective that there is more to me than the stupid number on the scale and what's written on my jeans.

Then, I saw this on FB and it made me smile because maybe my mood has to do with the fact that it's almost April and we are still getting snow.
Photo: Andrew Storm, I think we should just move!
Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Training Tuesday: run date!

This week was pretty disjointed from a training standpoint. I ended up moving a bunch of things around on my training spreadsheet and this is what I ended up with.  I've kept up with my Lenten strength workouts, except I totally forgot on Sunday.  Turns out Sunday's don't count in Lent so I'm still good!

Monday 3-17-14 Plan: SWIM 45 / Actual: SWIM 1800 meters in 51:47. A hard 4 x 400m swim plus some sprints and I completely screwed up my watch so all I really have is total time.

Tuesday 3-18-14 Plan: RUN 30 & LIFT 30 / Actual: RUN 3.1 miles in my neighborhood in 30:xx (9:45 pace) and a 30 min NTC legs and abs workout that left me limping for almost a full week.

Wednesday 3-19-14 Plan: REST / Actual: REST except for Lent stuff.

Thursday 3-20-14 Plan: RUN 30 & LIFT 30 / Actual: RUN 4 miles in 42:xx (10:24 pace) while trying out 2 new pair of shoes. Then NTC 30 min arms and abs.

Friday 3-21-14 Plan: SWIM 45 / Actual: SWIM 1600 m in 43:15. This was 12 x 100 plus warm up and cool down.

Saturday 3-22-14 Plan: BIKE 90 / Actual: BIKE 24.27 miles in 90 min (16.2 mph) while I watched the movie Turbo.

Sunday 3-23-14 Plan: RUN 60 / Actual: Super fun 5 mile #blate (blogger date) in just under 50 min run with Corey (9:58 pace) plus a ton of walking around the outlet mall shopping afterwards.  

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 24, 2014

Motivation Monday

I posted this on Facebook over the weekend for the Shrinking Jeans Couch to 5k group I mentor and I thought it bears repeating here.
I've learned that I often underestimate myself (sometimes to my detriment).

What have you learned about yourself from your fitness journey?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Three Things Thursday

Combining because I couldn't decide which post to write, so 3 things I'm thankful for:

1.  Running stores and online retailers that let you return shoes after wearing them.  If this wasn't the case, I'd have about 10 or 15 pairs of shoes in my closet that meet the "most expensive shoes I own" description but also cannot be worn. Granted, this also means I'm going to have a ton of credit at Road Runner Sports because they don't do returns, only exchanges.  Anyone need shoes?

2.  I love people who are afraid of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and his exploding cans of biscuits.  Whenever I see a posting to that effect, it makes me smile.

3.  I get to see Corey on Sunday for some running and outlet shopping.  SQUEEEE!!! Can't. Freaking. Wait!  I'm hoping my legs have recovered from this week's lifting to actually keep up with her because as of right now, I'm rocking the Frankenstein walk.  (Note to self, only arms and abs tonight after running.)

What about you?  What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

I managed to lose almost 3 pounds this week but by this morning it was only 1.6. I guess that's better than the alternative but it still ticks me off that I gained over a pound in 2 days when I've eaten well.

Moving on.

My new shoes came yesterday & I took them out for a 3 mile spin around the neighborhood. Great run, terrible shoes.

Why oh why must companies screw things up? These have some new design that press all wrong on the outside of my foot. Wearing them to work again today but so far it's not looking good for the Newton Gravity III.

What do you do when a company changes your favorite shoe?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Training Tuesday

This was an ok week of training, but not spectacular.  I missed some workouts because of work and what I did on a few days was half-assed because I was sick.  I still managed to get in at least a few minutes of strength training every day as well as a great 10k on the TM on Saturday, so at least there's that.

Monday 3-10-14 Plan: RUN 30/LIFT 30 - Actual: LIFT for about 10 minutes.

Tuesday 3-11-14 Plan: BIKE 90 - Actual: BIKE/RUN brick that was an epic fail.  BIKE 60 min for 16.24 miles then RUN 1 mile in 10:42.  The run was horrible and I quit.

Wednesday 3-12-14 Plan: SWIM 45 - Actual: RUN 3 miles in 30:xx (10:08 pace) plus 15 min of abs.  I felt like I needed to redeem myself after Tuesday's horrible attempt at running.

Thursday 3-13-14 Plan: RUN 30/LIFT 30 - Actual: Only my Lenten LIFT stuff for about 10-15 min.

Friday 3-14-14 Plan: SWIM 45 - Actual SWIM 1600 in 46 minutes.  I actually stuck to the plan.

Saturday 3-15-14 Plan: RUN 60 - Actual RUN 6.2 miles in 59:10 (9:32 pace), my Shrinking Jeans Shamrock Shuffle virtual 10k.

Sunday 3-16-14 Plan BIKE 90 - Actual BIKE 22.8 miles in 90 min (15.2 mph).  Legs were really sore from Saturday's run.

I really need to sit down with my spreadsheet and work on a more detailed plan to get my running back up where it should be. I started working on it over the weekend but it still has a lot of holes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shamrock Shuffle 10k @shrinkingjeans #racereport

I went into this "race" not really knowing how I wanted to run it.  This "race" being the virtual Shrinking Jeans Shamrock Shuffle 10k.  I've only been running about 10 to 12 miles per week with no real speedwork training, so expecting any sort of a fast run or heaven forbid a PR was pretty much out of the question.  I woke up super early (like 3 am early because of stupid thoughts running through my head) and laid in bed until about 5.  Had some coffee and put some St. Paddy's sparkle in my hair.  Then I headed to the gym.
LOVE my SparklySoul headband!
I found my favorite treadmill (if one can really have a favorite) and set up my Virtual Run app to run through Central Park and started my tunes.  The treadmill did not want to get started so my first mile was super slow.  By the 2nd mile I was pretty sure a sub-60 10k was out of reach.  I hit the 5k mark in about 30:58 and figured my 10k would be somewhere in the vicinity of 61-62 minutes at best.  Then, I started to try to do math in my head to figure out what kind of negative split I'd need to pull off to go sub-60.  I decided to just keep cranking the speed every 1/2 mile or so until I couldn't hold on anymore.  At 58 minutes and 6 miles on the dot, THE DAMN TREADMILL WENT INTO COOLDOWN!!!  I don't know about you, but going from 7.2 mph to 4.0 mph in about a second is NOT a good feeling.  I kept forcing the speed up through the last .2 miles and managed to come in at 59:10!!!!

This wasn't a PR but was VERY close - my PR is 58:59 and was from a very hot, humid and hilly race last year.  I'm thrilled I was able to push myself and pull off such a great run.

Splits: 10:47, 9:49, 9:38, 9:17, 9:01, 8:52, 1:45 (8:45 pace for last .2)

  blurry cuz I was a bit shaky
The older gentleman on the treadmill next to me might have looked a bit concerned at my appearance when I finished, but I assured him I was fine :)

I managed to celebrate in true Bari fashion with a delicious beer for lunch.  Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Did you race this weekend?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Three Things Thursday

Three completely random thoughts for Three Things Thursday:

God, I hope so!
One of the teachers brought in a big bag of fortune cookies.  I might have had one for breakfast. Don't judge, it's been a really rough day so far.

epic fail on the packaging since I cut my thumb 

The Advil Cold and Sinus is no longer working.  Sucks that I have conferences again tonight and I'll be at work until 7 pm.

so cute
Playing with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head with a 3 year old is always fun.  Playing with Baby Spud is even better.  Remembering Disney every day when I have my coffee is the best.

Did you know there was a Baby Potato Head?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: not looking good

I'm continuously irritated by the effects salt and most foods have on my body and my weight.  I know for a fact I did not consume an extra 7000 calories between Monday morning and Wednesday morning, so why else was I up two pounds in two days?  It's dumb and I hate it.  I can eat healthy all week and have one meal that completely blows everything.

Basically, I'm maintaining at a weight that I feel is unhealthy for me and makes me look like crap. I look like shit in everything I wear and in 3 weeks when we leave for spring break, I'm going to have nothing that fits me.  I definitely won't be sitting on the beach in a bathing suit and forget about putting on a pair of shorts because they won't fit. I've been gaining and losing the same 2 or 3 pounds for months now and I'm still up over 10 pounds from what I think is a healthy weight (but by many standards would still be considered "overweight").  I thought this morning that I would try cutting out bread for the next few weeks, but then 10 min later I was making my usual egg mcmuffin sandwich because I didn't know what else to eat.  I don't want to restrict my eating to something that I know I won't be able to maintain.  What am I supposed to do? Only eat baked chicken and steamed broccoli for the rest of my life?  What kind of life would that be?

Ok, fat rant over for now.  I'm sure you all are getting sick of them anyway.

On a more fun note, I'll be running this bridge while I'm in South Carolina on vacation.
Any Charleston peeps have suggestions about the best way to tackle it?  It's about 2.7 miles long so I'm thinking over and back but I'm not really sure.  This will be a good bridge test for the Detroit Marathon where I have to run the Ambassador Bridge into Canada.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Training Tuesday: resting bookends

Not a lot to say this week. I ended up taking an extra rest day on Monday and switching up a couple workouts because of my schedule and wanting to take advantage of a really nice day.  In all honesty, last week had too many rest days and this week isn't looking much better with Parent Teacher Conferences screwing up my schedule.  
Monday 3-3-14: Plan SWIM 45 min / Actual REST - My neck/shoulder/back were still screwed up and after sitting at my chiro's office for my entire lunch and just getting adjusted, I didn't feel any better.  Then, I had a follow-up with my podiatrist after school and didn't get done in time to make it to the pool.  Fail.
Tuesday 3-4-14: Plan RUN 30 & XT 30 / Actual - I did a backwards brick in an attempt to make up some of my missed swim.  TM RUN 3.1 in 31 min (10:08 pace) and SWIM 1000m in 27 min.  The swim was a straight swim.  
Wednesday 3-5-14: Plan BIKE 90 min / Actual - BIKE 23.23 miles in 90 min (15.5 mph). This was also the first day of Lent and while I never give anything up, I've decided to add at least a couple minutes of strength work every day for the next 40 days.  I won't rehash them all here. 
Thursday 3-6-14: Plan SWIM 45 / Actual - I went rebel and threw the training plan completely out the window.  RUN outside and along the river for 3.2 miles in 33 min (10:17 pace). Not too shabby for my first run outside and on hills in over a month.  
Friday 3-7-14: Plan RUN 30 & XT 30 / Actual - REST. I had to work the school carnival and other than my Lenten strength work, I did nothing. Fail.
Saturday 3-8-14: Plan BIKE 2 hours / Actual - BIKE 30 miles in 2:01:20 (14.8 mph).  This was a LONG time to be on the trainer and my ass was not happy.  I'm also disappointed that I didn't average at least 15 mph but I also didn't try very hard.
Sunday 3-9-14: Plan REST / Actual - RUN 4 miles in 40:17 (10:04 pace) - I should have respected the rest day and created that bookend, but I knew I wouldn't be able to run on Monday because of conferences at school.  I mapped a route down at my sisters where we were visiting while my BIL taught my girl some more car maintenance, and headed out for 4 miles.  I was really discouraged by this run, but I'm trying to get past that.  I am getting stronger and my base and speed will come back eventually.
So, if you were counting, that was actually 2 rest days where I usually only take 1.  I need to get up earlier on the days when I might have after school conflicts so I don't miss so many workouts.  I just really hate getting up early.  Now, I'm also getting sick.  It looks like this coming week is going to be trashed as well.
Are you a morning or afternoon exerciser?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: spring is coming!

I've forgotten how to dress - I was too warm!
Yesterday I skipped my planned workout to run 3 glorious miles outside.  I highly recommend you all do that from time to time.  I might even do this again on Saturday.

Just keep in mind, 3 hilly miles outside will leave you much more sore than 3 TM miles.  Oy vey.

Any fun plans this weekend?  

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Pay It Forward

I'm taking a break from my usual programming to highlight a very remarkable young man.  My good friend, Corey, over at Learning Patience has an 8 year old nephew who has taken compassion to a whole new level.

8 year old Cayden wanted to raise $60 to pay off the delinquent lunch accounts of some of his classmates.  He didn't like that they were only given a cheese sandwich because they had no money in their accounts.  He took back cans, asked friends and family for donations, and within a couple days he had that $60 to pay off those accounts plus add some extra in so his friends could have a real lunch.
credit - Corey's blog
His story has snowballed from there.  Local and national news stations have picked it up and he was on the Today show yesterday.  You can read more about Cayden on Corey's blog here and on the Today site as well.

As of yesterday morning, Cayden has raised OVER 14 THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!  If you are interested in helping provide a hot meal to a child at school, please consider giving to this incredible cause.  1 dollar can provide 2 hot meals to a child who might not otherwise eat at all that day.  20 dollars can pay for a month of lunches.  You can donate through Cayden's FundRazr site.

I'm so thankful for kids like Cayden.  We should all be so lucky to know someone that compassionate.  Thank you, Cayden, you are an inspiration!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday: the Lent edition

This week I managed to lose 1.8 pounds.  As soon as it posts to Twitter from MFP, a bunch of my friends "favorite" the tweet or tell me good job. I need to turn that feature off.  Now, before we get all excited and celebrate that loss, let's not forget that I basically GAINED that much last week, so it's really a wash.  I'm still in the 150s and that's really too much, especially when you consider I maintained around 138 for so long and now here I sit, 14 or 15 pounds heavier than I should be.
sad but true
I don't doubt that my weight has something to do with the aches and pains while I'm running.  Lugging around this much weight, even though I'm running almost as fast as I was before I got injured again, surely can't be good for my knees and feet.  Plus, it's just a lot harder to run a 10 minute mile right now than it should be.  (10 m/m should be my "easy" pace, 9:40 or 9:30 my "hard" pace)

My CrossFit friends will try and tell me that I'm doing too much cardio, which isn't a belief I share.  Sorry guys. I still think burning calories is important and I like cardio.  But, I will agree that I need to add in more strength training.  

So, for the 40 days of Lent, I'm not giving anything up (because my giving up coffee or beer would be more of a hardship for those around me), but adding in something healthy.  I'm going to do at least 1 strength move every day because 1 is still better than zero in the hopes that it creates a better habit for strength training.  That move might be 10 triceps dips and squats like today, planks, pushups, lunges, bicep curls, whatever.  I'll post what I do on DailyMile to keep track.

Do you give something up for Lent or try to add in a healthy habit?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Training Tuesday: too much too soon

This week I learned the oh-so sucky lesson of trying to do too much too soon.  I feel like I'm falling apart and my podiatrist gave me snake eyes when I said I ran 7 miles on Friday.  Basically the knee pain and foot pain I still have is totally my fault.  I think next week's post will show even more completely blank days, which sucks out loud.
Monday 2/24/14 - Plan SWIM 45 min / Actual SWIM 1 mile in 43 minutes (obviously, I'm never going to swim anything longer than a sprint tri since I'd never make the time cuts)
Tuesday 2/25/14 - Plan BIKE 90 min / Actual BIKE 23.6 miles in 90 minutes (15.7 mph).  Happy to see my speeds improving on the bike.
Wednesday 2/26/14 - Plan RUN 30 & XT 30 / Actual RUN 3.1 in 30:29 (9:50 pace) & XT Arc trainer 1.62 miles in 30 min.
Thursday 2/27/14 - Plan SWIM 45 / Actual POOL WORKOUT 1250 m kicking since my shoulder was all messed up in 45 min.
Friday 2/28/14 - Plan RUN 30 & XT 60 / Actual RUN 7 miles in 1:13:00 (10:25 pace). I completely screwed up this workout. Got confused on how long my total workout was supposed to be (I was thinking it was only 75 min) and pushed the run much farther and harder than I should have.  I'm still paying for it.
Saturday 3/1/14 - REST.  This rest day was supposed to be on Friday but because of other time commitments on Saturday, I flipped them.  I should have probably tried to keep the schedule the same because I didn't have enough rests between 2 hard runs.
Sunday 3/2/14 - Plan BIKE 120 / Actual BIKE 15.2 miles in 60 min.  Epic fail.  My neck/shoulder was still very screwed up and I should've taken another rest day.  Instead I struggled and ended up back at the chiro on Monday.

I saw my podiatrist on Monday afternoon and he say "GO SLOW!" but that I could keep running.  He wasn't overly concerned about my knee yet and just said to keep tabs on it.  The doc made a few adjustments to the orthotics and told me to order a new pair of Newtons in a 1/2 size larger to see if that will help some of the toe issues I've started having.  Of course, they're backordered so it will be a couple weeks before I can try them out.

Clearly, I'm in love with my Newton Running Gravitys and I can't wait to try the 2014 Gravity III.  It looks totally different than my current Gravity so I might be scrounging later for a new pair of 2012s but I'm willing to give this update a shot.
2012 Newton Gravity
Newton Gravity III

Pretty radical update, huh?  What's your favorite running shoe?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meal Monday: Reuben Casserole #recipe

So, Sunday night I made what is probably one of the un-healthiest meals EVER.  Sometimes you have to live dangerously.

Like when you open the can of crescent rolls. Living on the edge, baby!
Reuben Casserole
Ingredients: (for an 8x8 pan - serves 4, double for a 9x13)
1 tube refridgerated Crescent Rolls (or make your own if you are afraid of the can)
8 oz sliced baby swiss cheese
1/2-3/4 pound sliced deli corned beef (I used 3/4 and it might have been too much)
1/2 can (about 7 oz) sauerkraut, rinced and drained well (I will use more when I make this again)
1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing
1 egg white, lightly beaten
a couple tsp caraway seeds

1.  Unroll crescent dough and place half in the bottom of a greased 8x8 pan.
2.  Seal the perforations and bake at 375* for about 8-10 min or until starting to brown.
3.  Layer 4 slices of cheese and then all the corned beef over crust.  Combine kraut and dressing in a bowl and spread over beef.  Finish with the other 4 slices of cheese.

4.  Unroll other half of dough, seal edges and lay on top of the meat/cheese layers.
5.  Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle caraway seeds on top.

6.  Bake at 375* for 12-16 min or until heated through and crust is golden brown.
7.  Let stand for 5 min before slicing.

This was better than I thought it would be.  Definitely going into the recipe book.  I would imagine, it would also be great as a California Reuben with turkey and cole slaw.  

Reubens are one of those sandwiches I never make at home but order when I go out.  What's your favorite restaurant sandwich?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...