Fantastic Four

October 5, 2010 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls for: 4 miles

Miles Run So Far: 248.2

Days Left: 12

My hunch was right!  This morning’s 4 mile run was great!  Even though I smacked the snooze button once and sleepily agreed to wait until Sam’s alarm went off at 6 — once I was up and out of bed, I was alllll business.  I think I may have been the only one.  Both of the monsters had zero interest in leaving their cozy canine quarters.

Ruby gave me the (sleepy) stink eye once I turned on my bedside lamp (she sleeps on the floor next to my side of the bed).

Zora took a different approach and thought if she laid as flat as a pancake, I wouldn’t see her (she sleeps on the floor next to Sam’s side).

Adorable.  They could go back to sleep — I however, needed to suit up!

It was a chilly 46 degrees this morning.  The closer we get to race day, the more I wonder what I’m going to wear — and not in the 7th grade dance “OMG, whatareyougoingtowear?” way.  In the “I hope I don’t burn up or freeze while I try and do this because it’s going to be hard enough as it is” way.  The race starts at 7:30 — so daylight will have just broken and it’s bound to be cold.  It won’t be cold for the whole run, though…so do I layer and shed or just wait to warm up as I run?  I decided today’s run would be a good time to start taking note of how different clothing options feel in different temps.

Can you see me now?  Haha, I love that the reflector panels on my vest look nuclear in this pic :).  At least we know I was visible to traffic!  Visible…blinded them…meh.  Whatever.

I ran in shorts, a t-shirt and threw on an Under Armor hoodie over top.  I took some gloves with me, but ended up ditching them after about 5 minutes.  This combo was too warm.  It’s so hard to tell.

I feel like the running equivalent of Goldilocks.  Too warm, not warm enough, just right?

Sam and I ran together — a rare occurrence on a weekday (!) — and we covered those 4 miles in just under 40 minutes.  I know I’m always saying that pace is not important and numbers do not matter (and they don’t!), but these for these last runs before the marathon, I am going to be more conscious.  I want to get really in tune with how my natural pace feels so I can avoid the “pack mentality” on race day and not take off like a rocket from the starting line.  Too many people burn out in the first few miles from excitement — I need to know I can sloooooow it down and feel that my pace is right.

While I’d like to credit my fantastic four to my previous post on over-coming fatigue, I think more of it had to do with the hearty, healthy dinner Sam made last night.  Fuel is key!

This picture doesn’t do it justice because I camouflaged the delicious-ness with cheese.  Isn’t that always how it goes? 😉

Shepherd’s Pie means different combinations to different people, but in our house, it usually means browned ground turkey, seasoned with sauteed onion and garlic, with mashed potatoes (or cauliflower) spread on top.  In this case, Sam got creative and sliced a tomato on top, sprinkled black pepper over it and oven baked it for a little longer.

The results were so yummy — we had lean protein from the ground turkey and carbs from the potatoes and deliciousness from the seasonings and tomato.  Many people add some cheese in between the meat and potatoes, but he omitted.  I then added.  Compromise — keeping marriages happy for thousands of years ;).

Even though the picture is blah, the principle is fabulous:  this is a good example of a healthy swap.

Ground turkey subbed for ground beef.

(sometimes we sub) Cooked mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. *see below*

Spices and flavorful root veg (onion) subbed for butter, salt and grease.

If you’re starting a healthy journey or are looking to change things up a little, try and sub one thing at a time.  No one wants you to do a complete 180 on your dinner, but changing one thing may lead to more substitutions.  Taking it one step at a time, one ingredient at a time means you won’t go into shock trying new things.  Too often, people think they have to change everything, give up everything, sacrifice everything just to see a difference in their life.  It feels about as good as leaving the hot tub to jump in the pool.  What a shock!  That’s when frustration takes hold and quitting seems like the only option.

Not so.  One change at a time will add up to a big result soon enough.  Patience, grasshopper.

* Now, if you haven’t done the cauliflower/mashed potato swap before, here’s my advice:  try it.  No, really.  Cook the cauliflower (fresh or frozen) and then mash it either by hand or in a food processor.  It will get creamy and smooth like the mashed taters.  You can add some seasonings (garlic powder or Cajun seasoning) and a smidge of real butter and honestly, you don’t notice a big difference.

The difference in the nutritional profile of cauliflower vs. white potato, though — well, that’s something to smile about. 🙂

It’s off to work I go (it’s pledge drive time in my public radio job — wheeee!), but tonight, I have a feeling I’mma get crazy in the kitchen.

Stay tuned, my little soufflé!

Spread the love…Share a healthy swap you make from time to time!

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Group Run

June 23, 2010 at 9:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls For: 3 miles (again?!)

Miles Run So Far: 19.5

Days Left: 118

Yesterday, I decided I needed a little support for my 3 mile training run.  I’ve done most of the runs for marathon training on my own so far and I sure could use a running buddy lately.  Yes, I know, Sam is my built in running buddy, but with this crazy work schedule (5a-noon) I’m working, it’s hard to coordinate.

So, I took along the next best thing(s).

Well, hello, monsters.  Get ready to run.

I’ve taken Zora running before, but it’s been a while since Ruby hit the trails, so we took it a little slow.  I didn’t bother to wear my iPhone with my RunKeeper Pro.  Instead, I relied on the mile markers along the bike path.  We stopped to walk twice, probably for a quarter-mile total, which was a welcome change of pace for the puppers because it was about 85*.  Don’t call PETA just yet — I brought the necessary tools for a warm weather run:

Water for me, water for them (in the polka dot bowl Zora chewed up as an adolescent puppy).  Post-run was spent lounging in the grass under the shade of a giant tree (them, not me), panting hard (them, not me) with a look of disbelief that run just happened (okay, all of us).

Adorable.  Zora could have kept running (we think she’s part Husky…so go figure) but poor Ruby was tuckered out.  She didn’t even want to get out of the car after we got home.  Even so, I tried to take a group picture to commemorate our group run:

I think that pretty much sums up how everyone feels:  Zora and I are smiling, Ruby is trying to run away and get in the air-conditioned house.  She’s lunging for the front door in the picture, that’s why I’m grabbing her.   No come back!

Even though she was pooped, 30 minutes later, that dog was mosey-ing around the house with a doggie smile on her face.  I think she had a runner’s high!

Dinner last night was really the only meal worth photographing:

Make your own thin-crust pizza.  I used an Aldi multi-grain flat wrap, wiped it down with EVOO, sprinkled Italian seasoning, schmeared pizza sauce, plopped tomatoes and tossed basil on top and covered it with cheese.

Yum.

There was also a pro-tini served in a mega wine glass, for class’ sake ;).

It’s been a crazy day so far…and I have a feeling it’s only going to get crazier.  I’m looking forward to today’s 3 miler (although I’m ready for a little switch-up in the distance, Hal) as a means of stress relief.

Do you go on group runs?  Who is your running buddy?


Furry Friends

May 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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*whew* I had totally planned on another full post tonight, but we’ve had some furry visitors arrive and I need my two hands for more important things than typing.

Our back door is like a big screen tv to dogs.

Recognize our two monsters in the pictures?  Well, now add two more: Lilly the Chocolate Lab and Bernie the Golden Retriever.  Two more in our wolf pack — at least for the weekend.  My in-laws are heading to Georgia for Memorial Day weekend and since we’re sticking around the homestead, we agreed to babysit.  How can you say no to a face like this?

He really just wants you to throw his ball.

See you soon!

Recipe Resurgence

May 27, 2010 at 11:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Woot woot, peeps!

How’s your day going?  I hope you’ve experienced some fabulosity so far.  If not, go find it!  Sometimes you have to search a little harder for the good parts of you day — but they’re there. 🙂

Let’s rewind a little bit, shall we?

I bopped home from work and immediately satisfied my growling belly with an Earth Grains thin smeared with creamy Trader Joe’s PB.  A little glass of skim milk helped the PB from sticking to the roof of my mouth.

Yum.  I needed a little somethin’ in my system because I had serious work to do.

Real women ride tractors.  Period.  End of story.

Okay, it’s not really a tractor — it’s a riding lawn mower.  When I’m astride my red Troy Built Pony (in fact, its real model name) I feel very country in a Gretchen Wilson yee-haw kind of way.  Empowering!  Of course, the best part of yard work is the beer you’ve earned afterward.

Dinner was a recipe taken from the Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 cookbook.  This little gem has been scoring big points in the casa lately.   I made the Crazy-Good Coconut Chicken Taco recipe on Sunday…

Which resulted in a ton of “mmm” and “yummm” and one “you have to make this again!”.  I returned to the lovely Hungry chica for last night’s dinner: E-Z Tomato Basil Chicken.  The recipe called for crushed tomatoes with basil, but since we have a basil plant growing the goods right in the backyard, I opted for fresh leaves over canned.

I love the smell of basil.  It’s so easy to grow and adds great flavor to simple dishes.  Apartment dwellers, you can grow herbs too!  Planter boxes and pots will do…no need for a back 40.  Back to dinner:

This recipe called for a lot of sliced onions and all I could find was one sad looking one, so I subbed in spinach for a little more veggie oomph.  It turned out to be a delicious dish.  In all, 5 ingredients and 30 minutes in the oven.  Sold!  Best part: the ingredients were all natural and flavor was amazing.  A few slices of multigrain baguette rounded out the meal nicely.

The moral of this post: when you’re stuck in a recipe rut, turn to a cookbook for a recipe resurgence!

I woke up this morning with a 5 miler on my mind.  I had to get that baby out of the way and off my brain.  First things first, a little fuel in the form of a slice of Nature’s Pride whole wheat bread (all natural) and some Trader Joe’s Chunky PB.

That piece of bread looks a little like the Go Red for Women dress logo, no?  Some people see shapes in the clouds, I see them in carbs.  Whatev.

source

I pounded out those five miles like it was nothing.  I ran on a new (to me) stretch of the bike path.  It was cool (65 degrees) and a little foggy.  It felt like nature’s air conditioning.  I’m so glad I got the five out when I did — it’s supposed to be 90 here today.  Yowzas.  I’m getting more and more excited about the 10K with former roommate Rachel.  I think this little mini-training was just what I needed to keep my focus until it’s time to start training for the big dog.

Post-run breakfast: a super helping of protein.

And another Red Dress slice of bread.  I’m trying to get better about my protein intake after exercise.  I think my energy levels might be suffering a little and sometimes I feel it takes my muscles longer to recover after a hard workout than I’d like them to.  A little protein should help that.

Back to the grind for me…

But Ruby says, “come back later to find out why something Sam said made Bethany re-think the marathon training.”

Ciao!

Sister, Sister

May 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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So did you do something for yourself in honor of National Women’s Health week (assuming you’re of the lady persuasion)?  Well, it’s okay if you didn’t — you have all week. 🙂  Just don’t forget!

My Monday wrapped up nicely, just another work day behind me!  I started off the day with a pair of Toad in the Hole(s).

I apologize that I just realized this picture looks a little anatomical.  That was unintentional.

I love this breakfast.  So much fun, so unexpected — such a good way to eat eggs and toast.  The key is to lightly butter the side of the bread you put down in the pan.  That gives it a nice little crisp.

I took a good long walk with the monsters this morning, I feel like it satisfied my “stretch and strengthen” requirement for my 10K training.  My hamstrings were pretty sore this morning…maybe because I pushed myself a little bit yesterday?  At least my abs stopped yelling at me (thanks, Pilates).

This morning, I got ready for work, crated Zora and gave Ruby a treat and then headed out the door only to realize I didn’t have my car key on my key ring.  Huh.  I took it off yesterday so I would only be carrying just the key in my running belt during my awesome 4 miler.  Now, where was it?  I started tearing the house apart, dumping my purse on the floor, searching the running belt in my drawer.  No avail.

GAH.

As soon as I called my boss to let him know I was running a little late, I turned around and found the keys.  Like a dingbat, I left it on the windowsill of the garage window.  We all know that’s a logical place to put your keys.  😦

I ate lunch al fresco, soaking up some sunshine.  Good thing I made the best of the weather, it’s supposed to rain the rest of the week!  I ate a delish salad with red lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and a little honey mustard dressing.

There may have been one…

Or two…

Okay, three mandarin oranges consumed.  And an apple later in the day.

An apple a day, homegirls and boys; it does a body good.  This one was a Gala.

My four o’clock yogurt with cereal mixed in made it into my tummy a little early — I was super hungry today!  We bought a big tub of plain yogurt this time around and it’s taking some getting used to.  I had been eating vanilla, but Sam convinced me the added sugar in the vanilla really wasn’t worth the taste.  I have learned that plain yogurt is no bueno.  You MUST mix in something: granola, fruit, cereal, honey, SOMETHING.  I have distinct memories of my mom eating plain yogurt and grapes while doing Weigh Watchers back when I was in kindergarten.  Maybe that’s why I don’t like it.  Today’s mix-in of Aldi cereal was really good.  The cereal is pretty low in sugar and calories and I can add way more to the yogurt than I could have with granola.  Granola isn’t always good for you, gente.  Check those labels!

A new dinner recipe was experimented with today.  I found a recipe for Mac ‘n’ Cheese with cauliflower in an old Real Simple magazine and thought it deserved a try.  I am a big fan of hiding veggies in where you can and mixing cauliflower in with the mac and cheese seemed like a good way to camouflage a serving of veg.  Sam had this bad boy whipped up when I got home.

Overall, it was pretty tasty.  I had to substitute regular sharp cheddar cheese for extra sharp cheddar and I think this made it a little bland-er.  Having onion and cauliflower mixed in the pasta and parsley in with the bread crumbs made for a nice flavor combination.  I liked it well enough, good thing too!  We have plenty of leftovers. 😉

Yes, there was some of that, too ;).

The best part of my day included a Gchat conversation with my sister, Lisa.  Lisa is in South Africa right now, volunteering with a group to help at a battered women’s shelter.  She’s been gone a little shy of two weeks and has a little more than two weeks before she comes home.  I’m incredibly close with my older sister and consider myself ridiculously lucky to be such good friends with her as adults.  She is my oldest, bestest friend and I have to admit I feel a little off-kilter without our phone calls every day or every other day.  I especially miss laughing about running together — she trained for the half marathon and ran it with all of us.  Her insight was even funnier than mine!

Before she left for Africa, she reminded someone Gandhi said “be the change you want to see in the world”.

Boy, is she ever doing that!  I’m so proud of her.

Are you close with your siblings? Have you ever gone a long time without talking to them?

Edited to Add: My dingbat tendencies continue!  I totally forgot to title this post!  *Shame face*

Mish Mash

March 5, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I am SO glad it’s Friday.  I had work-related dreams last night and kept waking up in a panic.  Hate that.  It made for one groggy girl groping for her alarm clock this morning.  It also made me forgetful and I did NOT take a picture of the Green Monster Smoothie and coffee I had pre-run.  Tsk Tsk.  At least I have a “stock” photo of a Green Monster, haha.  So just use your imagination.

The run I was dreading actually turned out okay.  I gave myself a pep talk, took note of the beautiful sunshine and just got going.  Those 4.5 miles flew by and I ran it in decent time (decent for me…).  Sometimes, a run is all about the attitude.  I have to almost talk myself into it being a positive experience.  Then, during the run, I have to keep myself from stopping and walking with the following schpiel:

“Does anything hurt? No.  Is anything broken or bleeding?  No.  Is it just that you’re tired? Yes.  Well, suck it up and keep trucking.  You’ll get your breathing rhythm back and you’ll be glad you didn’t stop.”

Phew.  Sometimes the toughest love comes from within.  By the time it’s over though, I feel great.  RUNNER’S HIGH!

I came back to walk the monsters where I was greeted by one sun-bathing monster (Ruby)…

And one monster (Zora) who is just too much woman for one bed. 🙂

Lunch was yummy today and a little creative.  I wanted to pack a tuna sandwich, but I usually use Miracle Whip (what can I say? I love that zangy zip!).  Miracle Whip, in case you were uncertain, does NOT have a mama and does NOT grow in the ground.  So, it does NOT follow the guidelines of the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March challenge.  Dangit.  Looking around the kitchen in search of a solution to the great dry tuna catastrophe about to descend upon my sandwich and… Bingo.  Avocado and mustard came to the rescue.  Avocado provided a little creaminess and mustard gave great taste.  I’m going to remember this!

Add an apple, cut up pineapple and vanilla yogurt with granola and lunch was filling and delicious.  Best part was I could answer the questions “does it have a mama?” and “does it grow in the ground?” with confidence.  YES!

Now dinner was a little different story (well, in the delicious way, not the challenge-fulfilling way).  I didn’t have any set plans, but got creative with some leftover ground turkey.  I made “mash”.  I sauteed some onion, garlic and shredded carrots, browned the turkey, added some ketchup and pepper and BOOM.  Dinner.

It doesn’t look like much, but I based it loosely off some comfort food that’s a family recipe.  My mom made this Depression-era casserole every time I had my braces adjusted back in the awkward pubescent days of middle school.  It’s a layered dish of ground beef, potato, onion and carrot with tomato sauce and other spices.  In a pinch, my mash tasted almost like it, but not quite.

I’m not going to lie.  Dinner was totally uninspiring and the alternative was a bowl of cereal, so be glad this odd concoction is what you’re looking at.

I’ve got super exciting plans tonight *sarcasm*.   Actually, that’s all right by me.  I’m going to do some good stuff this weekend, so a chill Friday is a welcome wrap up to the work week.   I’m going to attempt to give myself a pedicure.  All this running has done a number on my feet — I don’t even recognize them any more!  I’ve heard Epsom salts can be a pal to rough runner’s feet.

What’s your favorite remedy to the maladies training and exercise can deal out?

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

March 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Ow.

I got a tetanus shot this morning.  The shot came with a warning that “this will feel like you’ve been punched in the arm”.

I have NEVER been punched.  I feel this was not an accurate description.

Don’t worry, I didn’t do a jig on rusty nails, I just went for a follow up doctor’s visit where it was uncovered I have not had a tetanus shot in more than 10 years.  Super.  At least I’m protected now.  Truthfully, we do a lot of renovation work on our house (we basically bought it for the yard, the roof and the exterior walls — everything else is changing slowly but DIY surely) and it isn’t a bad idea to have an up to date shot.

But still.  OW.

Later in the morning, Ruby (the older of the monsters) scared away a Jehovah’s Witness who had the misfortune to knocking on our door.  It was quite a spectacular display of territorial instinct.  Zora (the younger of the monsters), joined in with a half-hearted White Fang growl.

Poor evangelist never knew what hit him.  He backed away from our door, hands up, head shaking.

I had pretty good eats in the midst of all this craziness…

TOAD IN A HOLE! 🙂  I wanted more of that fab homemade bread, so this morning, I pulled out a piece with the intent of punching a hole in it and filling the void with an egg.  Warming up the skillet, I realized I couldn’t use my usual non-stick cooking spray — it obviously doesn’t fall within the guidelines of “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March.  I channeled my inner pioneer woman (which closely resembles a character on the Oregon Trail computer game) and plopped a small pat of REAL butter in the skillet.  I let it melt, toasted the bread on each side and then put that egg in its proper place.


Yummy.  A cup of coffee with organic half and half was also consumed.

Post dr’s appointment and monster walk, I was still a little hungry and knew I wouldn’t make it to lunch time.  Enter, a Green Monster Smoothie.

(It always looks better in a wine glass).  Still haven’t tried these babies?  What’s holding you back?  Is it the color?  Really, that’s it?  The color?  You’d probably drink a smoothie if it’s pink or orange.  Well, then close your eyes and pretend.

Now slug it back.  It’s so GOOD FOR YOU and you’ll be surprised at how amazing it tastes.

Lunch was provided by my good friend, Bob (of Bob’s Red Mill).  Vegi Soup!  Perfectly natural and oh so delicious.  You can read more about why I love this soup here.  I also prepped a salad of red leaf lettuce, tomato and feta, drizzled in EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar.  Some trail mix (walnuts, almonds and dried cranberries) and blueberries for good measure.  I forgot a fork though, so the salad will be interesting to eat.

You’ll note my 4 o’clock yogurt is no where to be seen.  Well, that’s because I’m switching it up today!  We had left over barley from last night’s dinner.  I sprinkled a little cinnamon and plan to heat it up later.  There’s some research that supports the notion that cinnamon helps your body slow down its digestion (esp. with carbs) and doesn’t give you a crazy blood sugar spike.  It’s the crash of that spike that can transform you into a refrigerator raider.  Just thought you’d like to know. 😉

That’s all for now…we’re going out to dinner tonight for a date night.  Tune in to see how I manage to stick to the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama and It Doesn’t Grow in the Ground” March challenge.  Can I do it or will be I be bound to the homefront for the whole month?

We shall see!!!!  Meanwhile, talk amongst ya-selves about this.


5K “Official” Results!

February 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Whew!  What a race.  😉  The competition was stiff, but we managed to blow ’em out of the water.  Sorry, no pics, those race officials were awfully restrictive!

I’m proud to report that Sam finished first in his age group AND first overall, I placed first in my age group and SECOND overall.

*whispers* this is the part where you laugh because we were the only two runners in the….

NOT UNLESS I’M BEING CHASED 5K!!!!

It was pretty fun actually, we were just racing against ourselves.  Sam and I set our own personal goals, told one another and then proceeded to OBLIVERATE (yes, I know that’s spelled wrong) them.

Sam’s time was 24:14 with a pace of 7:47/mile.  CRAZY!

My time was 28:49 with a pace of 9:17/mile.  MUCH better than my usual 10:10 pace, so I was pleased.

My splits looked like this:

Mile 1: 8:28

Mile 2: 9:23

Mile 3: 10:05

Mile 0.1: 8:30

Obviously, I was TOO excited and started out way faster than I meant to, but it was a good lesson on pulling back a little.  It also encouraged me to incorporate a little speed work into my training to improve my overall pace.  If I can run the half marathon at a good clip and have my last split be my usual 10:10 pace, I’ll be pretty happy.  We’ll see.  13.1 miles seems sooooooo long right now.

And now, a special introduction.  MEET THE MONSTERS:

There’s Ruby.

And Zora.

Ruby is actually older, though she is considerably smaller.  She’s about 5 years old, a Beagle/Yellow Lab mix and a perpetual puppy.  She’ll wiggle her tail end off trying to make friends with you and she thinks she’s in charge.  We got her more than 3 years ago after Sam proposed and I decided it was okay to bring another living creature into the equation ;).

Zora is a recent addition.  She’ll be 2 this summer and we adopted her last January (of 09).  She’s a Husky/Lab mix and a shy protector.  She’s very sensitive and reads peoples’ moods like you wouldn’t believe.  She’s also a fine running companion and is ready to go for a jog just about any time of day.

They’re both pound puppies — I have a soft spot for the mutts of the world and while they both came to us with emotional baggage (Ruby with a carry-on and Zora with a matching set of Louis Vuitton) with a little stability, regular feedings, toys and a lot of love, they’re turning into wonderful dogs.

But they’re still MONSTERS…mostly based on the mischief they create when we’re at work.  I’ll say they’re cute, but I’ll never say they’re perfect.

They’re ready to go for a walk whenever you are….lace up those sneaks!

See you tomorrow for a special month of March challenge!

You Win Some, You Lose Some

February 27, 2010 at 11:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So the score this morning for Not Unless I’m Being Chased household kitchen successes stands at:

Sam 1 Bethany 0

Good old Mother Nature dumped about 3 inches overnight, so we woke up to another winter wonderland.  Pardon my lack of enthusiasm, this is Winter Wonderland 4.0 for us.  The first version was exciting and new, the second one was mind boggling, the third one was annoying and we’re just resigned to accept with the fourth one that spring is never going to arrive.  Sam looked at all the snow and said very softly, “I don’t like snow anymore.”  All the childhood folly has been removed.

So we baked.

Sam got down to business making some of the best french toast I’ve had in a while, as I attempted something no one should try at home.  I tried to bake a Green Monster smoothie.  I don’t know what came over me, but yesterday, sitting at work, I felt like it was a brilliant idea.  In fact, I couldn’t believe no one had tried this before.  I should have taken that as a cue not to try, but unless you mess around in the kitchen, you’ll never know.

I found a basic muffin recipe online, swapped out some of the unhealthies (oil, sugar) for healthies (natural applesauce, bit of honey) and added the ingredients of my traditional Green Monster (spinach, pb, banana, soymilk).

They look cute enough…

But they taste like bread.  I spent all morning whipping up a batch of individual loaves of green bread.  Happy St. Patrick’s day?

Sam actually said he liked the taste, I couldn’t get over the fact that the kitchen smelled less like muffins and more like cooked spinach (note to self — drinking raw spinach is less taste bud offending that eating cooked spinach in bread form).

Luckily, no harm no foul.  I had all those ingredients on hand and really, it satisfied my curiosity.  Doesn’t mean I won’t try again, mwhahaha.

Off to go get a good long walk in with the monsters (Ruby and Zora) while Sam is at his indoor soccer game.  Then it’s back to the casa to open….

MY PACKAGE FROM THE FITNESSISTA!  WOOOOOT.  It came this morning, but I wanted to take pictures and I was still in my pajamas.  No matter my dedication to blogging, I draw the line at bed head and my alumni t-shirt/ancient pj pants combo.  No siree, that image isn’t going world-wide.  Sam said this was bull, as he wanted to put agave on something…anything.  We’re eager to try it all!

Later, tators.

Tools of the “train”

February 26, 2010 at 8:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Nothing like starting the day off right with a Green Monster smoothie.

Yum!  I stay pretty traditional with these and drink them every morning, so it’s probably time to show you what I’m slugging back!

🙂 1 cup light organic soy milk

🙂 1 frozen banana

🙂 1 scoop EAS vanilla whey protein powder

🙂 2 cups (for 4 big handfuls) of organic spinach

🙂 1 big tablespoon of peanut butter

Throw it in a blender and blend til creamy — tastes just like a peanut butter banana smoothie.  I love drinking these because they really fill me up in the morning, they taste delicious AND by drinking it, I’ve already knocked out 2 of my 5 recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  Ka-BLAM!  Any time you can sneak fruits and veggies in (especially veggies) you should, in my opinion.  Trick yourself just like your mama would ;).

Today is a cross-training day (since I switched it with Wednesday for a day of rest), so I’ll be hitting the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD while you’re reading this ;).  I’ve finally made it to level 2…obviously for over-training reasons, I’m not doing 30 days of this (crazy much?) but I kind of want to and see if I really do get “shredded”.  I’ll put that on the blog back burner for now.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some tools I’ve been using for the half marathon training that have worked for me, and may work for you should you choose this special level of insanity as I have.

First up, my Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training Schedule for Novices.

I’m relying on Hal (maybe a little too heavily) to get me through this.  His website was really informative and he has a ton of different levels of training schedules for a bunch of different levels of races (5K, 10K, Half, Full) so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.  Plus, he has definitions of his training terms, so it’s fool-proof.  I keep my copy printed out and I cross through each day I’ve accomplished, keeping track of my mileage for the week (which, scarily enough, just keeps building like the odometer on an old Ford).

Second, I use a training log.

Similar to the training schedule, this is a daily log Sam’s parents got me for Christmas.  His dad used one to train for his marathon in 2006 and found it really helpful.

With a page for each day and spaces to log your workout, weight, water and vitamins and energy levels, this little book has become essential for tracking my training.  Plus, I personalized it.  🙂

I love those Chinese fortune cookie sayings.  I think the best part of the log is the space that’s provided for your own commentary.  Sometimes I write down the factors of my run (weather, illness, etc), sometimes I write down how good I felt after running, sometimes I write down how surprised I am that I even ran at all!  It all depends, but it helps me to identify patterns for the future.

Finally, my last and most beloved tool of the train is my RunKeeper Pro on my iPhone.  I know I’ve mentioned it before (well, her really, because I named her Gertrude) but I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what she really looks like.

So when I’m running, this is the screen I see:

Obviously, this isn’t an actual screen, I had to manufacture one, so don’t judge those stats.  I was walking the monsters (Ruby and Zora) and it was windy AND garbage day, so the rolling Rubbermaids created quite a cautious walk.

Audio cues (which I’ve set for specific intervals) tell me every mile my pace and my distance.  I can play my running playlist on my iPod at the same time, it just quiets the music, Gertrude comes on and tells me (either encouraging or depressing) numbers and then we move on.

I can log on to RunKeeper online to see an accumulation of my stats like this:

I can see maps of where I’ve run, splits for my runs and all sorts of other cool things.  If you have an iPhone and want to start running, I really recommend the RunKeeper.  It’s a pretty cheap app, too, if I remember right.  At least it’s cheaper than a Garmin running watch (which, um, I still covet even with Gertrude by my side.  She understands.  It’s like a celebrity crush.)

So there you go!  Hope any of that inspired you to start training for whatever closeted run you’re thinking about.  Just get out there and start running!  I’ll be back tonight ready to toast the weekend...

What tools can’t you live without?  Anything that you find helps your training or exercise programs?

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