Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
More info to come. I feel sore but super proud. About half way through, the cops blocked off the road with crime scene tape. I laughed out loud when I thought that there was going to be a crime scene soon because I was going to kill this race.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
When I came home tonight, I hit up the cake I brought home from my mom's house. Last night, I went over to her house for celebrating. My parents got me a ceramic pumpkin for my front porch and a new coat. Katie gave me a hot new running outfit and Mandy picked up
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I would have loved to have an awesome 10-mile run Sunday, but it just wasn't in the cards. Instead, I'll focus on a little cross training this week, a few shorter runs, rest, lots of sleep, hydration and proper nutrition. I'll also be working on the mental aspect of this race, visualizing a strong and painless finish with less than two hours on the clock and planning our Kentucky jaunt.
Mantra: I have run the miles. I have followed the plan. I have laid the groundwork. I will own this race!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
1. This week is Wellness Week at work. I love it. Seriously, I look forward to Wellness Week. So far, I've gotten a free total blood workup, a free flu shot and a morning snack of an apple and granola square every day this week. Tomorrow, we'll get a body fat test (which the exercise physiologist told me not to put stock in, more on that later) and free toothbrushes. Yeah, I'm a nerd. But a nerd that's really geeked out about health and wellness.
2. My new favorite snack is a protein muffin made with pumpkin instead of applesauce and no chocolate chips. This brings the calorie count down to 114 calories with 11 grams of protein. Topped with 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter, it's an awesome 300-ish calorie snack that packs 20 grams of protein. Since I've been told to eat more protein, this snack rocks.
3. I'm more than a little irrationally angry about the results of my blood work. Last year, my cholesterol was just a little on the high side, with a count of 202 (200 and below is normal). The morning they took my blood, I was at my lowest weight ever and had just finished my 9.3-mile run. My cholesterol was 216. I don't eat that much meat, and I can't remember the last time I bought ground beef. I exercise and eat several servings of whole grain each day. I seriously have no clue what else to do.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Easy Italian Crock Pot Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 bottle Newman's Own Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions
Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of your crock pot and top with 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottle of sauce, enough to coat. Cook on low for eight hours. Shred the chicken and top the pasta with a 1/2 cup of the shredded chicken pasta sauce. Yum!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I got up, had a great breakfast and then decided I was going to hit the streets and see what my legs could do.
And I surprised even myself. I felt strong. I felt happy. I felt fast.
I maintained some mostly negative splits, up until the seventh mile. A great song came on my new favorite Pandora station (did you know there's an alternative rock station under the workout tab? Perfect.) and really opened up on my speed. It left me a little on the empty side, so the rest of my miles were a slower.
However, psychologically, this 9.3-mile run was really important. I finished it in 1:30. Because of this run, I know I can finish the half marathon. My body has the ability to run a sub-two-hour half, I just need to get my head in the game and stick with these next two weeks. I plan to give myself the food my body needs, hydrate like I mean it and sleep like it's going out of style.
On a related note, I had an awesome meeting tonight with an exercise physiologist. I've always loved data and research, so I've volunteered myself as a human guinea pig. In the coming weeks, I'm going to get my body composition, metabolism and VO2 max measured and analyzed so I have solid data about my level of fitness. Does anyone know if I can cram for a VO2 max test?
Anyhow, he mentioned in passing about nutrition, and I told him that my diet would be awesome, if I didn't love Taco Bell so much. He told me that at my training level, calories shouldn't be my main concern, but instead, eating food that makes me feel good and perform well. Best news of the night: he told me if I want the Taco Bell, go for it, but maybe get a salad with a taco instead of my standard meal. He also told me I should monitor my protein intake for muscle building and performance. A good goal for me would be 1 gram of protein per kilogram of weight each day. So I'm going to take my homework to heart and start tracking my food again. As much of a pain in the ass it is, tracking calories is how I first started losing weight, so now at least I'm doing it with a goal in mind other than "get skinny."
I'm really excited for the half marathon that's just a week from Sunday. Rachael and I are going to rock this race and show Louisville what we can do. After that, I'm looking forward to finding out more data about my fitness level so I can start training for the next challenge. What's that? Stay tuned ...
Mantra: My feet hurt from kicking so much ass.
Monday, October 17, 2011
This tasty crumble is pretty healthy and was so good after my long run yesterday. I don't keep ice cream in the house because I tend to tear through a gallon in three days, but I imagine this would be delicious a la mode. Otherwise, it's a great breakfast or dessert. While I baked this dish in the oven, I imagine it would be easy enough to make in the crock pot.
Baked Pear Crumble
3 pounds pears, halved with cores removed
Splash of lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
1/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup margarine
Place the pears in a baking dish cut side up. I used a stone casserole dish, but a glass or medal dish would work, too. Sprinkle the citrus juice over the top to prevent browning. Mix the remaining dry ingredients, the cut the margarine into the dry ingredients using your fingers until you get a crumble with the consistency of wet sand. Spoon over the pears and baked for 45 minutes in a 375-degree oven until the topping is golden brown.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The weather was cool, I found a great new station on pandora and the miles were easy. I even felt fast!
In honor of this fabulous 9.3-mile run, I have another post about what I eat and drink on long run days to fuel and recover.
First, I started with a hearty breakfast of a 1/2 old fashion oat meal made with Splenda, a few shakes of cinnamon, a chopped gala apple, a 1/2 ounce chopped walnuts and enough water to get a nice texture. I microwaved all that for one minute and chased it with two glasses of water and my daily vitamins.On my run, I ended up having two Clif mocha shots with caffeine. I planned to eat one, but I started dragging with only three miles under my belt, so I ended up having one a mile 3.5 and another around mile seven. So tasty ... love these things. It's amazing how 200 calories of caffeinated frosting makes an hour and a half of running so much easier.When I got back, I stretched and took a bossy little puppy out before consuming another 200ish calories in drinks. I consumed, in order, water, a cup of skim chocolate milk, more water and a glass of sports drink (it was some off brand powder from Aldi. It's banana strawberry something or other).Before I hit my ice bath, I made myself a pumpkin coffee. I don't drink a ton of coffee, but I like to have something warm while I'm soaking in freezing water. I made my homemade version of a pumpkin latte with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin-flavored creamer, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon splenda and 1 1/2 cups of coffee. I warmed it all together in this cup I got through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. It's made by Tervis and is insulated, so it kept my coffee warm, even though I was impersonating a popsicle in my ice bath.By the time I got cleaned up, it was lunch time. Lunch was more water, a strawberry Chobani with puffed rice cereal and a baked pear crumble. It was so yummy.For my afternoon snack, I made a chocolate protein muffin with pumpkin instead of applesauce. 'Tis the season for pumpkin awesomeness! And yes, I was photobombed by the dog.Along that theme, I also had a candy apple. They were on sale and I love them so.For dinner, we kept it low key with grilled chicken breasts (I topped mine with a little barbecue sauce) and some broccoli pieces.I'm off to drink some more water and ice a little more to keep the soreness at bay.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I also love coming home to a tasty meal that was cooking with love in the laziest possible way. I was in the mood for some soup and had a bag of carrots in the crisper, so I set out to make something that wasn't too heavy but still kept me full.
Slow Cooker Carrot Soup
1 large onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
5 cups stock (I used home made turkey stock, but you can use what you prefer)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup of Splenda
1 cup of brown sugar
Place the onion, garlic, carrots and stock into the crock pot. Cook on low for eight hours. When you get home, add the remaining ingredients, stir and cook on high for one hour. If you have an immersion blender, it would be extremely helpful in pulsing this all together. Instead, I used my food processor in batches.
I rounded this meal out with a simple salad topped with Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressing in the Caesar flavor. I got this sample through the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program. Now that I'm so close to my half marathon, I'm trying to limit the amount of crap that I'm eating, so I appreciate that I can pronounce all the ingredients on this product.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Pork chops were on sale that night, so that was the protein du jour. I seasoned them with spicy curry powder, pepper and salt and threw them on the grill for four minutes per side.
While that was working, I steamed a head of broccoli and dressed it with salt and pepper. Finally, I rounded out the meal with some Simply Potatoes that I got through the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program. There are a bunch of different varieties, but I went with the original flavor. I like that they're real potatoes, but I only have to heat them up in the microwave and serve them. And I'm Irish, so I know potatoes (it's true, if you're on Sparkpeople, you know my user name is ILovePotatoes). They're giving away a year of free potatoes, so if you want to keep carb loading for a full year, enter here.
And in less than 15 minutes, we were eating a healthy, balanced meal that was delicious.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
It was as glorious as I thought it would be. There's just something about standing around a camp fire in a cozy hoodie making smores on a crisp evening that screams fall.
I felt a little bad when I got home, though, that while I was enjoying the great outdoors, Tim was stuck inside studying. I thought I'd try to replicate my favorite aspect of camping for him when I got home last night.
My secret to smores at home is smearing one side of both graham crackers with nutella, then add semi-sweet chocolate chips. This gives the whole sandwich a little sticking power when you add the marshmallow. I toasted a marshmallow on our stove and put the whole thing together. I served it all alongside some Cafe Solano from Peet's Coffee. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, the company sent me a bag, along with a bag of the new Cafe Domingo. The Cafe Solano is a medium roast blend of a bunch of tasty coffees that made the whole house smell delicious when we shared a pot. Tim really enjoyed this coffee and insisted that we must buy more. I was a big fan as well and had some with my breakfast again this morning. As for the smores, I made another for Tim tonight, so I think he's a fan.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
We stayed at Riverbend Campground in Noblesville, which was old and a little strange, but hey, it was cheap and just eight miles from the quidditch games. We were right on the water and had plenty of room to set up a screen tent (which was challenging, mostly because we tried to assemble it inside out). The bathrooms were similar to every horror movie I've ever seen, so I resolved to only use the trailer shower.
In case you're wondering (I know I was), here's how the bathroom situation works. Imagine an airplane bathroom, except with a shower. And the whole bathroom is a shower. When it's time to take a shower, the entire bathroom is your shower stall. There's plenty of hot water, but not a ton of water pressure or space.
The trailer sleeps three. There's a queen-ish sized bed at the front of the trailer, a slideout kitchen with a fridge and two burners across from the bathroom and a table at the rear of the trailer. The table also folds down to a single bed. I brought my sleeping bag and hunkered down there.
The only thing about a trailer is that everything has to have a place to go, or else it looks messy. Hence this photo of me in my little nook. It wasn't really that unkempt, we were just moving things around before getting ready for bed.
Saturday morning, we had a little breakfast and then headed out to Conner Prairie, where the 2011 International Quidditch Association was holding the Midwest Cup. The competition included 18 colleges and my sister's school, Purdue, was hosting. That meant that my sister was running around and barely sleeping while organizing this whole ordeal. My parents and I found a shady spot and watched quidditch.
There's a lot of strategy in quidditch because there's essentially three games going on simultaneously; one is a basic scoring system where kids throw a white ball through a ring. The second is a dodgeball scenario where the players try to hit other players with a red-colored ball. The player that is hit has to drop everything and go touch the ring. The final game that's going on is catch: every university playing has to provide a snitch, which is a person dressed in yellow that can run around everywhere and do anything. Each team has one seeker and when the seeker removes the snitch's tail, the game ends and the team that caught the snitch gets 30 points. Therefore, if you're really far behind in scoring, you don't want to catch the snitch, but you do want to make sure the other team doesn't catch it, either.
My uncle lives in the area and met us out at the field. Eventually, we headed back to the campground and had some food my mom made in advance for dinner. She even made me my favorite, turkey chop suey! Yum, yum, yum.
My dad started a fire and I had the smores I was promised. We repeated the routine today, but we packed up the trailer and took it with us to the field, then left from there. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my queen-sized bed and showering in my full-sized shower.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Should I dress Napoleon as:
- A bee?
- An emperor?
My mother called me last night to say "Enjoy sleeping in your bed tonight, because tomorrow, you're sleeping on the kitchen table. Don't plan on sleeping in, either, because we need that table to have breakfast."
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
One of Tim's favorite sweets is Rice Krispie Treats. But I'm not content to just make regular Rice Krispies - I could buy those. So I added some of Tim's other favorite flavors: peanut butter and chocolate. Really, who wouldn't adore this combo?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Krispies
In a small saucepan, melt together the butter and marshmallows. Once combined, mix with the cereal, then press into a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. Set aside.
Heat together the chocolate and peanut butter, either in the microwave in one-minute increments or on the stove over low heat. Do not overheat. Once incorporated, pour over the prepared krispies and use a spatula to smooth over the top.