A Pie for a Pie

August 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Training Calls for: Cross Training

Miles Run So Far: 173.1

Days Left: 79

I spent most of this afternoon counting my dough rolling skillz (yes, with a z) as cross training.  For shame.  What kind of marathon runner am I?

Answer: The kind that loves pie and recognizes when cherries are on sale, you must bake.  Must!

I had a little help pitting these delicious dark beauties.  Sam used our brand new cherry pitter to force those pits flying out of the fruit.  I ❤ cherry pitters for making pie creation so much easier.

Action shot!

The pre-bake final product.  I even did the real criss-cross lattice work.  I was not messing around.  Pie making reminds me of my grandma.  She’s been gone for 8 months now and sometimes I’m caught off guard by how much I miss her.  I’ll be doing just fine and when !wham!, something reminds me of her and I get a little teary-eyed.  I’d be lying if I said that pie crust was completely tear-free.  A drip drop or two may have made it into the oven.

But you probably don’t read this blog because I wax poetic about my grandma.  You read it because I’m training for my first marathon.  Let’s get back to that, then, shall we?

Friday night’s dinner was a new standard in my household: pasta!  I know there is some disagreement about carb-loading and whether it makes any difference in your glycogen stores, but I say to heck with all that nonsense.  I like pasta.  Pasta is easy to make.  Done and done.  This Friday’s pasta dinner included a few special guests.  They traveled far and wide, from the freezer section at Aldi, to be a part of Friday night’s feast.  Please join me in welcoming The Mussels.

Yep.  Frozen mussels.  I was skeptical, being that I don’t really “do” discount seafood (*cough* Captain D’s *cough* Gorton’s Fish Sticks *cough* Long John’s), but at just $2.99, I got sucked in by the box and the price.

With instructions to steam them open myself, things looked a little sketchy at first…

They stayed in box formation longer than I thought was absolutely necessary, but eventually, it was a beautiful union — on my plate.

They were delicious!  I officially nominated the Sea Queen mussels in a box as the surprise hit of 2010.  Very awesome.

Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 6, then again at 6:30, then once more at 7.  Finally, Sam and I dragged ourselves out of bed, but not in time to miss the beginning of the hottest, most humid day we’ve experienced in a very long while.  With 10 miles on the schedule, we dressed, stretched and loaded up the car with water and towels to head out to the bike path.

I thought for sure 10 miles would be a piece of cake (pie?).  12 had been fantastic, 13.1 was phenomenal.  10 was terrible.  I am not meant for 10.

The heat + the humidity + starting too late + blaring sun = disaster.  Well, and something else thrown in the mix.  And here’s where I confess something to you in the name of education.

I had been calorie counting this past week.

I know for different people that means different things, so let me explain:  I don’t usually calorie count.  I didn’t have a great weight loss journey that brought me to this point in my life.  I have always been average-sized.  When I started running, I naturally slimmed down because my activity level picked up significantly and my body (I think) naturally wanted to let go of a few pounds of un-fitness.  I had been previously thin and out-of-shape.  Now, I’m thin and in-shape.

Well, our vacation at the beginning of this month threw me for a loop.  Dessert every night, wine with dinner and beers on the boat (or on the shore, or in the house, who cares the location?!) had me coming back several pounds heavier.

Looking back, my attitude is, “what did it matter? return to your regular, healthy, mostly dessertless eating and you’ll be fine”, but my attitude the minute I saw those numbers on the scale was, “oh geez, oh geez, what happened?”  Then, I threw myself into get-rid-of-it mode doing what I know has worked in the past: counting calories.  While this can be an effective way for people to lose weight, it’s not the healthiest thing to do when you’re in a heavy training schedule.  Why?  Here’s the niblet of education for you:

Marathon training is not a weight loss program.

My runs this week were exhausting, lackluster and draining.  Our long 10-miler was no different.  It was probably the worst run I’ve had in a long long time.  It wasn’t just the weather, it was the fact that my body was telling me it could not perform the way I wanted because I had not fed it the way it wanted.

Shame on me.

I reason that I should share this with you because I want you to know I’m human and I freak about weight gain like 99.9% (damn you, Gisele) of the female population.  It’s normal to be conscious, but it not normal to be extreme.  I learned the difference the hard tiring way, and now I’ve put my little calorie notebook away…as evidenced by my weekend eats:

French toast post-run (with blueberries and REAL syrup).

A little road trip with Kelly to P-burg for shopping and Panera’s smoke turkey breast sandwich and black bean soup (is it just me or have their portions gotten smaller?!).

Green Monster Smoothie with 2 scoops of protein powder.  Can’t you still see the hungry look in my eyes? 😉

And a cookie.

Plus a bunch of un-pictured other nibbles.  Didn’t count a single thing.  Worried more about natural, healthy, balanced eating.  Felt tons better.

This morning, after a cup of coffee, I inhaled 1 egg + 2 egg whites, dribbled with Texas Pete hot sauce.

And bacon.  I believe in bacon.

See?  I’m starting to look less hungry already!  This was turkey bacon.  All of the flava, less of the guilt.

I can’t actually remember what I had for lunch, so it must not have been all that great.

I feel foolish I let a couple few several pounds motivate me to chose poorly for my body.  It isn’t about the number, it’s about the feeling.  I felt a little off after all my vacation indulgence and instead of doing what would make me feel better, I did what I thought would “fix” the “problem”.  This ended with me feeling worse.  Since I believe you can only learn from your mistakes in an effort not to make them again, I’m doing just that.

I’m working towards feeling fabulous and fit.  Screw those numbers…I think I learned firsthand that the word “numb” is part of “numbers”.

I’m curious though: what are your thoughts on calorie counting?

The Post My Mom Will Flip Over

July 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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…with a title like that, you can’t help but wonder, eh?  Oh, I’ll tell you why, but first, let’s take care of two items of business:



Training Calls for: Cross Training

Miles Run So Far: 46 Miles

Days Left: 99

Yesterday was such a peaceful, non-scheduled day — I loved it.  I slept in, we took the dogs to the dog park for a romp with four-legged friends (and one very talkative 12 year-old boy), ran our scheduled 5 miles (thanks, Hal Higdon) and took in a movie.  Oh, and tofu was on the menu for dinner.

Yep, that’s the part my mom might flip about.  She’s not exactly a tofu kind of woman.  Neither am I, incidentally, but more on that later.

Breakfast was a glorious serving of homemade multigrain pancakes.  Sam found a recipe on Epicurious, and in an instance where I am truly glad he owns an iPad, used the technology to whip up a great breakfast.

I ate mine with a little REAL maple syrup (with the real stuff, a little goes a long way!).  There was also some unpictured turkey sausage and strawberries.  The s-berries were on sale at Aldi — 79 cents a pound.  Um, expect to see a lot of red berries in future posts ;).  We hoarded stocked up!

I’ve been promising myself I will make a more concerted effort to get veggies into my day and supress my irrational/sleep-deprivation induced cravings for carbs and sugar.  Lunch suited this promise just fine!

A delicious, filling salad of spinach, cucumber, tomato and carrot.  Topped with a little Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing.  I still managed to get some carby fruit love in, though.

Sam-nana bread.  Over-rpe bananas on the counter never stand a chance — they’ll be pulverized into bread before they know it.  Delicious.

After a little time at the library (Sam studying for the GRE, me doing some of my returner-learner homework), we hit the road for a 5 mile run.  We both remarked how easy it was going to be, since it was just 5 miles.  So easy, in fact, it was worth doing a little hill training.  We live in a pretty hilly town but the bike path runs flatly along an old railroad track, so by doing almost all our runs on the bike path, we’re not preparing very well for hills.





We ran up long hills with slow, steady inclines.  We ran up short hills with steep, sharp inclines.  We ran down, all around, up and over, back and forth.  At one point, I wanted to throw my water bottle at Sam — because he was leading and this was his course. 😉  I didn’t.  It would have defeated my vow to not be negative on long runs anymore.

Even with all the hills, three short walk breaks to drink water and some serious mental anguish, we managed a good pace and felt pretty proud of ourselves.  You have to push yourself to improve.  If you find that what was once hard is now easy, find a way to make it hard again — it’s the fastest way to get better. 🙂

Now, dinner.

We picked up this organic tofu during our usual grocery expedition to use in this week’s stir fry.  I have had tofu exactly twice before (one time being accidental) and each time was in a restaurant.  I have no idea how to prepare it or how to serve it.  I’m not a vegetarian, so I don’t seek it out.  I am not a tofu-toter.

Why eat it then?  Because I’m all about trying new things.  I like to eat the occasional meatless dish because it’s better for your body and usually, for your wallet.  So let’s do a tofu taste-test.

Sam made dinner using extra firm silken tofu (which he pressed before hand — tofu is kind of water logged, so you have to press the water out of it before cooking), frozen stir fry veggies, creole seasoning and stir fry sauce.  The result:

Yum!  It was actually pretty tasty.  Once I surrendered to the fact that the consistency was different, I actually enjoyed it.  I was definitely full after eating dinner, so it’s not all foo-foo food.  Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in or with, so don’t eat it raw out of the container.  Yuck.  I’d buy it again, I’d experiment with it again — but it’s all at the risk of my mom thinking I’m becoming a hippy ;).  Just kidding, Mom.  I know you love me no matter what I’m eating — sticks and twigs and berries and tofu.

After the tofu experience, we experienced a “T” of a different kind: Toy Story 3.  I got all gussied up because it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to feel like a pretty girl — working early mornings doesn’t exactly jive with accesorizing and extra time spent on hair and makeup.

3D glasses are the new aviators.  Trust me.

I’m off to ride bikes with my friend, Kelly.  Yes, I said it just that way to make you feel like I’m 6-years-old all over again.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are!

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