Monday, November 18, 2013

My Marathon is Done, Now What?

Every since I ran my marathon over a month ago, I have just not been into working out at all!  I went to a spin class - which I always love.  I went to a new class called body combat - which was aMAzing!  I even ran once or twice...or once.  But that's it.


I blame the marathon.  It's the only logical answer.  I read blogs where the writer ran a marathon and feels great, is already running again, and has another marathon in a couple of weeks.

I ran my marathon and I never, EVER wanted to do it again.  Ever!

Accurate face of pain of how I was feeling.

The actual race passed quickly.  I wasn't in pain until around 16 miles.  And even then, I knew I would finish.  I walked more than I wanted, but I wasn't really negative self talking. I just kept telling myself that I will Never have to do this again once I finish.  That is really what got me through that race.

I was in pain for a couple of days, but I have a job where I am running around for 8 hours so that helped work out the tightness pretty quickly.  I made myself wait to run, but then I never started running again.  I went once for three miles.  It was hard.  The whole time I couldn't believe I ran 26.2.  Why is this so hard?!?!

I love running, really!  I love the freedom, the quiet, the battle with myself, and the feeling of becoming stronger physically and mentally.  But lately, I guess I like sitting on the couch more.  I know the gym class schedule by heart so I can go right after work, but I've done it twice.  Why?  Why have I become such a bump on a log?

Ok, this is really why I love running.

Today is Monday.  I know most people hate Monday's, but I like them.  It's the start of a new week, a fresh beginning.  I am setting the goal to work out 3 times this week any way I want, as long as I get some cardio in.

I hope everyone has a great and successful week as well!

Do you get in work-out slumps?  What helps get you out?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fear the Deer

I headed out today for my 3 mile run.  Now that I'm not training for anything specific, it's hard to motivate myself to get out and exercise.  I was excited to wear some leg-warmers today.  I made a couple of pairs last year for a costume and really like wearing them for running.  I can wear my capris and still keep my calves warm!

After the first mile I head into a wooded park.  Once in a while I see deer on my evening runs, but figured I'd bee safe this early in the afternoon.  As soon as I rounded the first corner I see a deer ahead staring at me.  I could tell he was a young buck, because of the antlers starting to grow on his head.  I stopped and debated what to do.  I am scared of deer when confronted with them.  They can get cray!  As soon as the second one peeked it's head out from the other side of the path I knew I better just turn around and head back.

They may look innocent enough, but one wrong move and who knows what could I right??

So, I headed back and got in 2 miles.  They were good miles though and I was glad I went out.

Do you run in the woods and ever see animals?  Do you turn around or just keep going?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dr. Scholl's Active Series Influenster Review

Influenster sent me some complimentart Dr. Scholl's Active Series insoles to try out and review.

I am generally pretty active, so I was interested to see how these worked.  I wouldn't say I needed them though.  I wear neutral and minimal running shoes, meaning I like little to no support in my shoes.  I like to feel the ground below me and wearing cushioned shoes actually bothers my feet.

Here are some benefits that the insoles say they will deliver:

The first time I tried these out I used them on the elliptical at the gym.  I ended up staying on the machine for almost 2 hours while I watched Spirit of the Marathon.  They seemed to work fine, but my toenails on my big toes sort of throbbed.  I think it was a combo of me needing to cut them and the insoles being thicker than the normal ones so my toes were hitting the top of my shoe more.

I also started wearing them to work.  I have a very active job and am literally running around for 8 hours straight.  The first couple of days, I noticed the insoles were pushing up on my arch.  It caused some discomfort, but I didn't notice it after awhile.  They seem comfortable enough and haven't caused any more discomfort after the arch problem.

Would I buy them?  Probably in no.  Like I said, I like minimal shoes and don't need the extra cushion, especially when working out.  I will keep using them in my work shoes though.

Have you ever used insoles?  What kind?

 "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes." 

Saturday, October 26, 2013


It has come to my attention that I seem to like doing things that end in -athon: triathlon (close enough), marathon, sleepathon.  So, I've been on a documentary kick over the past week or so.  What did we do before Netflix?

I usually like to watch documentaries that focus on the food industry and how horrible it is; especially when I am trying to eat better.  I've watched a couple of those and more.

There was Bananas!*, a documentary about the Nicaraguan banana workers and the dangers they faced from the pesticides that were rained down on them.

There was Maxed Out, about how credit card companies prey on the poor and unknowing and make it virtually impossible for you to ever repay your debt.

And then my food documentaries: Fat, Sick and Nearly DeadFood MattersVegucated, and Farmageddon.  I was surprised to see Dr. Fuhrman in a couple of these docs.  If you don't know, he wrote Eat to Live and encourages a clean eating lifestyle.  It made me want to reread his book and start  incorporating juicing like in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Eat to Live

So, I am borrowing my younger brother's juicer while he is gone for a couple of months and I will use it as soon as I get the thing clean.  He may be a great brother, but great at cleaning things? Definitely not.

I don't have the time to juice 3-6 times a day, but  I will definitely be doing it as at least one meal replacer.  I'm pretty excited to try it and will let you know how it goes!

Have you ever juiced?  If so for how long?  Have you ever done any type of cleanse? What did you do?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's Next?

I've spent the last few weeks wondering what to do now that I've finished my first marathon.  I have no running schedule to keep. It feels...weird.

During my marathon I told myself, "NEVER AGAIN!"  After my marathon I asked myself, "When can I do the next one?"

I waited about a week and a half to run again.  I figured I would go to the gym and just do a couple of easy miles on the treadmill.  I started to run on the random setting.  I felt very stiff and slow.  After about half a mile I stopped running and reset the treadmill program to no incline.  I walked a bit before giving another go at running.  I made myself go to a mile before quitting again.  I couldn't push myself any faster than a 13 min/mile, which was pretty discouraging. I left the gym with a pretty low ego.  I mean, I had just ran 26.2 miles!  How could I not even get to 2?

I tried running again today.  It was a beautiful fall day - sunny and chilly. I told myself to just take it easy, no pressure, if I have to walk a little that's fine.

Right before I started running again. I love fall!

I took off.  I glanced at my watch, because I was a little out of breath, and was only at about a 13 min/mile.  I felt a little disheartened again, but just kept going.  After just over a mile I decided to take a walk break.  I walked for about half a mile.

I knew I could run the rest of the 1.5 miles home.  I put my favorite song on repeat, Daddy Yankee's Limbo, and just took off.  I felt good.  I was starting to get a little out of breath again and saw that I was at a 10:30 pace.  I slowed down a little and felt comfortable at about an 11:00 pace.  It felt good to finish strong!

Tried out my new BAMR band.  It worked awesome!

But, now what?  It's hard for me to work out without some kind of plan to follow.  I need some kind of race to work towards.  I'm going to have to use the next couple of days to figure out what I want to do.

How long do you wait to run after your marathon?  Do you always follow a  training plan or just work out for fun?

Monday, October 7, 2013

My First Marathon!

I've been training for 3 months (and four years) for this moment; the moment that I crossed the finish line after running 26.2 (26.44) miles. It happened October 6, 2013 at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.  I am finally a marathoner!  It was worth every sacrificed weekend and sore muscle.  And now that I've had a good night's rest, I would definitely do it again.  I mean, not tomorrow or anything, but in a couple of years when I've forgotten how much pain I'm in right now.

The start was at 7:30 at Grafton High School.  My husband and father in law drove me up there to watch me take off.  They dropped me off at the start and went to find a parking spot.  While I waited, I immediately got in line for the port a potty.  I was jealous of all the guys walking into the woods to relieve themselves, but glad they were leaving the line, thus shortening it for us ladies.

The start line.

I found Kevin and his dad on the way to the start.  They had run into his cousin who was running it too!  He was already lined up at the start by the time I got there so didn't see him.

Before the start with Kevin.

I was pretty nervous about doing this.  I kept trying to push the negative self talk out of my head, but the distance was still so unreal to me.  Could I really do it?  Is it possible?  Would this be the first race I didn't complete?

When I lined up at the start, I found the 5:30 pace group led by Gary.  He was pretty awesome and told us about his first marathon in 1980 (the year I was born!), his races in South Africa, and Mt. Kilamanjaro, and the time he had to be carried off Comrades after running 10 minute miles for 56 miles!

My view from the start line.

We started pretty fast for the pace group.  By mile 7, I was only at 1:25 instead of my anticipated 1:31.  I had fallen back from Gary, but I was concentrating on keeping him in my sight so I had something to keep me going.

There were some pretty funny race signs I wish I had taken pictures of, but I didn't want to stop.  One sign had an arrow to the right saying,"finish line 18 miles" and another to the left saying. "Green Bay 96 miles".  And right after that there was a sign that said, "Run faster. Kick off is at noon"  Only in Wisconsin!

The race course was beautiful and pretty flat, like promised in the course description.  There were hills, but they were gradual rolling hills and nothing like I have to run on around here.  I passed a lot of people when I was running up them, which helped the self-esteem.

The actual race itself passed pretty quickly, except the last 2.2 miles.  The first half of the race I stayed pretty steady.  I was at a 2:45 at 13.1, which would have been perfect to finish in 5 and a half hours if I held that pace.

I had gotten teary-eyed a couple of times, once at the start as I crossed the starting line and a couple of times on the way while people were cheering. Right at the half way point I looked up to a group cheering and I saw Becky!!  I almost started crying again!  She ran with me a bit and encouraged me and asked if I was okay.  She came back mile 16 and 18 to help me through.  It distracted me from my pain for a little bit at least.

Mile 16 - courtesy of Becky

Mile 18 - snack break with Becky

At the mile 21 water stop they had a cardboard, broken brick wall for us to run through.  Again, I teared up.  I only had 5 more to go.  There were people cheering the whole way and a couple of them even had snacks for us!  One family was handing out breakfast bars, another had bunt cakes, and another had licorice!  I just took some licorice.

At the top of the hill on Lakeshore Drive, just a couple of miles from the finish, I knew where I was!  I charged down the giant hill and was running at about an 11:30 pace towards the finish at Veteran's Park and gradually slowed down and then walked.  It seemed so far away!  I decided to take one more gel since it had been about 6 miles since my last one.  Hopefully, the caffeine in it would propel me to the finish.

I started my shuffle to the end.  I had to start swinging my arms first before my legs would follow.  I would run for a few minutes then walk a minute.  I finally made it to 25 and a half and started running.  There were people all along the walk way who had finished and were cheering me on.  Our names were on our bibs and everyone was yelling, "Go, Jordan!" and "You're almost there!".  I was tearing up again.  It meant so much to hear the encouragement of the other runners who had already finished.  They knew how much I was hurting and they knew what I had been through to get to this point.

I crossed the finish line right under my goal time of 6 hours at 5:57:56!  I got my medal and tin foil blanket and hobbled to find Kevin.

 Here is my finish that Kevin taped.  I have a video from mile 18 that Becky filmed, but I can't figure out how to save it off of Facebook.

Today, I am SO sore!! I feel like I have a 6 pack of abs, my quads are screaming, and my left ankle is throbbing, but I am a marathoner!  Yesterday, I said I would never do this again; that it wasn't worth it.  I lied.  It's worth it.  It may be a while until my next full, but I loved it and it's everything everybody hypes it up to be.

I can't wait until next weekend to cheer Becky, Heather, and Marin on at the Chicago Marathon!!  It's going to be a blast!

What was the best part of your first marathon?  Did you think you would ever run a second one?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running 20 Miles

Becky found an event that is a 20 mile supported course for those with fall marathons.  It's called 20 Miler, and they've been doing this for at least the last few years.

It was down in Elk Grove, right by Chicago, and it had an elk preserve inside the park!  It's called the Busse Woods Forest Preserve  The course description let us know what miles that we would get to see them!

Yesterday morning I got up at about 5, had an egg and toast (from homemade bread - YUM), and of course my coffee!  I had packed everything the night before, including laying out my clothes that I was going to run in.  I am always glad I do this on the morning of.  It saves a lot of stress and worry, so I definitely suggest this for everyone doing any kind of race.

Becky picked me up at about 5:45 and it was a pretty uneventful drive down.  Traffic was obviously light so we got there in about an hour and fifteen minutes.

We walked up to get our packets right as the first wave went off - the 7 min milers - so we had some time.  We checked our gear and got in line with the 12 min pace group.  Our friend Marin caught up with us here as well.  She got there minutes before we took off.  I haven't seen her since my cousin's wedding (about 12 years), but we keep current on FB with each other.  She is running the Chicago Marathon, which will be her first!

The three of us ran together for maybe the first 2 miles, but Marin is quite a bit faster and took off.  We saw her a couple of times after when the course looped back.  Below are just some pictures of the trail.

The first 10 miles flew by.  We both knew we were going too fast, but with all of the other runners and energy it was so hard not too!  We kept to our plan of eating something every 3.5 miles and did our best to run 9, walk 1, but we kept missing the walking.

Half Way!

I lapped my watch at the 10 mile mark and we were at 2:04, which is a lot faster than we've been on training runs.  The last half I started to struggle a lot more.  The miles started to drag and the other runners were starting to get a bit sparse.

The course was beautiful and despite having several out and backs, which usually seem to make miles drag on, made it fun to see all the other runners go by and motivate me.  The day was also absolutely perfect.  It was around the mid 60's and sunny with beautiful, fluffy clouds.

Running by the elk was pretty cool.  There were a ton right by the fence of the reserve, but it was too dark and I couldn't get very good pictures.

Overall, the run took me 4:18, 9 minutes under my goal time!  I was really sore and walked right to the food and got my veggie dog (was super excited about that) and went to find Becky.

We stretched and ate and then had to shuffle back to the car where we changed before starting the drive back.

We stopped at the Oasis for some food, where I was cracking up at Becky's outfit.

She had on capri's, compression socks, and flip flops.  I, on the other hand, looked like a homeless person with my sweat pants, sandals, and two shirts.  Nothing I had on matched.  I just grabbed the first things I saw.  Thankfully no one got a picture of me!

I definitely have some mental preparation before I complete 26.2 miles, because after the 20, I don't know how I can go any further, I just know I will!

I was also pretty glad after I talked to one of the pacers that parked next to us.  Her first marathon was the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, which is the one I'm running.  She said it was a great course and the end is a big downhill to Veteran's Park.  It gave me a little something to look forward to!

Two more weeks until the big twenty six point two!!

What's the fursthest you ever ran?  How was your first 20 mile run?  Any advice for a first time marathoner?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Banana Cake Recipe

I had the day off today, so of course I used the time wisely by getting up early to catch up on my DVR and pin things on Pinterest.  I came across this recipe for chocolate zucchini cake.

I didn't have the right amount of zucchini, so I changed it a bit.

Chocolate Zucchini Banana Cake Recipe

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup mashed banana ( I used 2 bananas and threw them in a blender)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the zucchini, banana, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until blended.  Add the flour,cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and mix until smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 cake pan that has been sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 35-45 minutes (mine took 45).

*This had a banana flavor to it, a little stronger than I had anticipated.  So, if just zucchini is used, it would be just like a chocolate cake.  It's very moist and delicious either way.

Maybe I shouldn't have eaten 3 pieces before heading to Zumba class, but what can I say?  I was watching Man vs. Food and that show always makes me hungry!   Hindsight.

What did you do today?  Are you trying to use up your zucchini?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Winner, Winner, Pancake Dinner

As predicted (by myself), I came out the winner for the pancake eating contest.  Before the contest started, my nephew asked what the prize would be for the winner.  Pancakes of course!  And the satisfaction of winning.

Here's a little video of the event.  It's a little blurry, but you get the idea.

I only had to eat 11 to win since my nephew stopped at 10, but I ate 20.  I must say, I felt a little sick while I was eating the last one.  But now, I could totally go for some pancakes.

He said we can have a pizza eating contest as a rematch.  I'm down with that since it will be after my 20 mile run!

When I got home, I took a nap and then went to my neighbors to watch the Packer game.  It was a good one, but too bad they lost.

What did you do today?

JoMo vs. Food

Yesterday was my long run - 18 miles.  That is the furthest I have ever ran!  And let me tell you, it wasn't so bad.  Yeah, I said it.  I wasn't that sore and today I feel like I really didn't run.  Trust me, I know how weird that sounds.

We ran later in the day and it had just stormed out, leaving it very humid and sticky.  It also resulted in bugs galore!  They were flying into us with a very strong force and flying around us everywhere!  And the gnats!  They were just landing on us and drowning in the sweat.  For some reason, I was just covered in them.

At around mile 15, we stopped at a gas station to get some more water and gatorade and Becky couldn't believe when she saw my neck.  I made her take a picture so I could see it (and put it on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook of course!).

It took just over 4 hours to finish.  My legs were a bit sore after.  I gave Becky a ride home, showered, and ate the leftover zucchini parmesan I had.  It tasted SO good!

I'm off to pancake eating contest against my 11 year old nephew.  For some reason he thinks he can out eat me.  He has no idea what he is up against.  I mean, I can out eat my husband.  I watch Man vs. Food and think about how I could eat that amount easily.  

What are your plans today?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

August Totals and September Goals

I'm about a week late, but I've been busy catching up on the RHOOC reunion special. I mean, it was 3 parts!  That took some serious time commitment!  Oh, and I was running a little...or a LOT!

I had my highest mileage month EVER!  August was just over 100 miles!  This has been a goal of mine for, oh I don't know, forever!

I want to keep my September goals pretty straight forward. 

1) Stick to my running schedule.  Exactly 4 weeks until the marathon!! 

2)  Bring lunch to work and make dinner...aka, plan meals and take my lazy butt grocery shopping!

All a girl needs.

3)  Get some sleep!  I have been working early, but staying up late.  I need more sleep to function a little better and reduce my coffee intake a bit. 

What are your goals for the week or the month?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flu Shot and Free Starbucks

Today, was only a half day for me at work. It was even shorter, because I took some time to get a flu shot.

I forgot all about it until about an hour ago when my arm started aching! I couldn't figure out why until I remembered the shot! The same thing happened to me last year. It didnt get sore until hours later. 

On the plus side, I got a free Starbucks Americano for getting the shot, which I didn't even find out until after I had gotten it. Score!!

Tomorrow, I have 18 miles scheduled. I am excited and nervous to tackle it!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Run With Your Heart

The last two long runs I've done were 15 miles last week and 16 miles this weekend.  Thinking about the distance pretty much freaks me out and I can't believe I accomplished that!

I woke up on the morning of the 15 excited!  I had made my own gels and I thought I had the recipe close to perfect!  I also brought boiled potatoes sprinkled with salt that I cut up to alternate with the gels (I read that they are a good fuel for endurance sports).  I also brought a bottle of water and money to stop for more later.

Homemade gels. It's just geletin, chia seed, and juice. 

I had thrown the gels in the freezer the night before, but by the time I ate my first one at 3.5 miles, it was already liquid, it was supposed to have a more jello-like consistency.  On the plus side, the potatoes worked really well and were delicious!

The run also seemed to pass quickly, except miles 8-10 seemed to drag a bit.  I even sprinted the last bit to finish strong!  I felt really great afterwards...besides the fact I could barely walk because my feet hurt.

The next day, I laid on the couch and watched the whole first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.  That would be  reason I was so sore - I didn't move!  By the second day, though, I felt fine.

The 16 mile run was a little tougher.  I was really excited to run! I had Clif Shot Bloks and a Luna bar for fuel along with water and money to stop for more.  Becky planned a new route to Kenosha, which followed the bike trail out to UW-Parkside and through Pets.  Once we got to  the park, the route started getting pretty hilly.  There was one hill that I would have walked if Becky weren't running in front of me!

 I was also really, really thirsty the entire run.  I started with a bottle of water, then I bought another water at mile 6 or 7 when we stopped at a gas station for the bathroom and beverages.  Then, I refilled my water when we got into the park.  And I filled up again at mile 13ish when we stopped at another gas station, where I got a large bottle of Gatorade, which I chugged, and a water to refill my bottle!  

I was SO ready to be done with this run.  I was just mentally drained.  I really didn't care if I finished (even though I really did).  I was telling myself to let Becky go ahead and I would just walk home.  I was already a few strides behind her.  Then, Becky turned around, waited for me and said, "We are finishing this together!"  So, we ran side by side until there was about .2 left and she took off to sprint to the end.

Next week is only 12 miles! I'm way too excited about that!

What's the longest distance you've ran?  Do you run with some one or solo?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lifeway Kefir Smoothie Recipes

Influenster sent me a coupon for a free Lifeway Kefir product that I reviewed here. I made a couple of smoothies that I really liked.  Here are the recipes!

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

1 c. Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Plain
1 c. Strawberry
1  frozen banana (softened, per instructions below)
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1 oz. coffee, hot or cold

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

I use at least one fruit as frozen, usually the banana.  Just throw your bananas into the freezer once they begin to get too ripe to eat.  When you want to use it, throw it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and the peel will come right off!

Mango Protein Smoothie

1/2 c. Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Plain
1/2 c. Simply Nutritious Morning Blend
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1 Tbsp. NutriBiotic Rice Protein Powder

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

I had the mango one after a long run for some quick protein.

Do you like smoothies?  What's your favorite?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Influenster Lifeway Kefir Review

I'm fortunate to be a part of Influenster. They send out products to be tested and reviewed with your honest opinion. I've been sent a Voxbox, which had a lot of different items in it, a new type of Palmolive dish soap, and now I was sent a coupon for any free Lifeway Kefir product.

I chose the Lowfat Plain flavor. I figured that way I can add it to a variety of foods to see how it tastes. I tried it in a couple of different smoothies and some in my scrambled eggs.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

Mango Protein Smoothie

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Spinach

The taste has a bitter sort of sour flavor, just like a plain yogurt. The texture is like a thinned yogurt, very thick and creamy. I don't think I could ever drink the stuff straight up, but the girl at the grocery store and someone on Twitter told me how much they loved every flavor!

While I chose the plain flavor, there are a ton of others, including frozen products such as fro-yo and frozen Kefir bars!

Here are some perks of Kefir directly from their site:

-Lifeway Foods ONLY uses milk from grass fed cows that is rBGH free (Bovine Growth Hormones) and Antibiotics free. The milk also comes from farms that take great care for the cows, treating them in a humane way

-Lifeway Kefir Products are sweetened with Organic Cane Sugar not High Fructose Corn Syrup

-Lifeway Plain Kefir is unsweetened for the sugar conscious

-Berries like Pomegranate, Blueberry, Acai, and Cherry contain a higher 
Antioxidant count. Lifeway makes all of these great flavors loaded with Antioxidant Power.

-All of Lifeway's products are gluten free.

My overall opinion of the plain flavor?  It was okay.  It added protein to my smoothies and didn't bother my stomach like dairy milk does.  I didn't care for the thickness or bitterness of it, which I could taste through the other flavors. I also wished they had some recipe suggestions on their website like other products do and because of the thick consistency, I couldn't think of much else to try it in.

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  As always, the opinions are my own."

Have you ever tried a Lifeway Kefir product?  Love it or leave it?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Pepper and Barley Soup Recipe

Today, I had a 7 mile run to do.  I was determined to get it done, but I took a while to get going.  I finally hit the pavement at 1:30.  I thought the run would go well...for some reason.  It was a tough one.  It was hotter and more humid than I thought and I was drinking more water than I planned.  I was taking it slow though, with my miles between 12:30 and 13:00.

I did a simple out and back; run 3.5 out turn around and run back.  By mile 4, I took a walk break.  I was so hot and thirsty.  After a couple of minutes, I started running again.  I walked two more times by mile 7.  I had saved about 5 oz of water for after my run.  It was hot, yet delicious.  I need to remember to just keep a couple of dollars in my fuel belt so if this happens again I can just stop somewhere and buy some water!

After that, I ran another 2 miles with my friend Melissa who is starting the Couch to 5k.  I offered to go with her for some support.  It's always easier with a friend!  And we would have to push 2 strollers for her 3 little kiddies.  We ended up only needing one, because the third stayed home with his Grandma to sleep.

I have to say, moms who run with strollers get a lot of respect from me.  I don't think I could do that with one, much less 3 kids to push!

I also made some soup today.  I've had a craving for some lately.  Maybe it's the cooler weather we've been having.

Sweet Pepper and Barley Soup

2 c. chopped sweet peppers
2 c. cauliflower, chopped into pieces
2 c. kale, ripped into smaller pieces
1 c. barley
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
3 c. vegetable broth
5 c. water
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Pour in the EVOO.  After about a minute, add the onion and garlic.  Let them cook for about a minute, until softened.  Add the sweet peppers and cover.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until they've softened up a bit.  Add the cauliflower, barley, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a bowl.  Then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Do you eat soup in the summer?  What's your favorite kind?  
Do you run with a stroller?  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rock My Run

Someone on Twitter suggested the app Rock My Run for running music.  I checked it out and decided to download it.  They have running mixes that are different lengths of time (30-120 min) and also give the bpm for the mix.  Any mix under 45 minutes is free to listen to.  If you want longer mixes, it is only $2.99/month.  For now, I just downloaded some free mixes.

Rock My Run

Yesterday, was a 10 mile run.  We only listened to music for the last 2-3 miles.  I turned on my Rock My Run music and really liked it.  It's a DJ mix where the songs are pretty seamless and just float into each other.

I really liked the app, because I didn't know what songs were coming up as opposed to when I play my iPod.  I feel like even in "shuffle" it plays the same songs in the same order.  There were a lot of songs that I've never heard before, which I liked.  It made the time go by.  If you are someone that is picky about your music, then you might not be interested in something like this, but for someone like me who doesn't really care, it was a welcome change.

The run went pretty well.  Becky and I both worked that day and went afterwards. We have both been struggling to eat well lately and spent a good portion of the run talking that out and planning for the week.

We each came up with some weekly goals to keep us on track.  Here are mine:

1) Drink a lot of water.  4-5 of my bottles a day which will be 100-125 oz

2) After today (because I have some bread to eat) limit carbs.  Brown rice, beans, etc. ok, but no bread, tortillas, cake...

3) Limited dairy (because of my Kefir I have to use up).  After that, none.  I feel better when I don't eat it.

4) No added sugar, including in coffee. (Eek!)

5) Cook!  Make at least one new recipe and at least two other go to meals so I have something on hand.

6) Follow my running plan.  I have the time, so I don't have any good reason not to. 

7) Make sure I'm getting enough sleep.  No falling asleep with the T.V. on.  Listen to relaxing music if I feel restless.

Have you ever tried Rock My Run?  Do you make weekly/monthly goals?  What are they?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tuna Avocado Salad and a Whole Lot of Fruit

Today, I went fruit and veggie shopping so I would be well equipped to handle my healthy eating goal for August.

I love going to Aldi.  They have such amazing prices on fruits and veggies and let me tell you, when you're a vegetarian (most of the time) you go through a lot of that stuff.

I ended up spending about $30 dollars and here's what I ended up with

1) 2 lbs bananas
2) 3 avocados
3) 4 cantalopes
4) 4 pints blueberries
5) 2 lbs strawberries
6) 2 tomatoes
7) 4 nectarines
8) 4 mangos
9) 4 lbs grapes
10) Sweet peppers
11) 1 lb of broccoli crowns
12) 3 sweet potatoes
13) 3 bulbs garlic
14) 3 pack of multi colored peppers
15) Whole wheat bread
16) 4 cans tuna

When I got home, I cut up the peppers, and half of the strawberries and threw them in the freezer and put half of the blueberries in the freezer right away.

For supper, I made an amazing combination that I threw together.  I call it Tuna Avocado Salad.

1/2 avocado
2 oz can of light tuna in water, drained
1 Tbsp onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 large tomato, chopped in cubes
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  4 servings at 1/4 cup each.   I put mine on corn tortillas.  It was SO good!  It would have been even better if my avocado were a little riper.

What did you have for supper?  Do you ever make up your own recipes?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Totals, August Goals and Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

It's the end of the month! I feel like June dragged on and July flew by!  Here are my July totals:

Notice there's no swimming?  I did.  I decided to skip the tri I wanted to do in 11 days since I am absolutely not prepared at all.  I just couldn't get a balance going between marathon training and working (and laying on the couch watching T.V).

I use to register for all of my races in January so I would, a) get a cheaper price and b) have time to plan and prepare.  I think that is what I will do next year.  That way I won't be trying to squeeze in all these other races and workouts that don't really fit in.  And maybe I'll have a new bike by then, eh??

Onto August goals.

While I was cleansing, I felt really good after a couple of days.  I lost a ton of weight and my runs felt really good.  I told myself I would eat healthy after the 10 days were finished, but it has been a bigger struggle than I thought it would be.  I've just been lazy and have had junk food in the house to munch on, which I didn't during my cleanse.

My husband is trying to eat healthier as well, so I think it's a great time to try and stick to clean eating.  So, my first goal is

1) Don't eat out (unless it's something without processed foods) and eat as clean as possible (minus running nutrition).  I've tried to make my own gu twice before, the second time was just last week.  Neither time turned out well.  So, I think I've accepted the fact that I just have to buy them for the best results.

My favorite things to eat during my cleanse were the easiest to make.  A recipe to curb my salty potato chip/french fry craving used a sweet potato.

Sweet Potato French Fries Recipe

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in thin circles
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
.5 tsp chili powder
.5 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine EVOO, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined.  Put sliced sweet potatoes in a large zip lock bag and pour EVOO mixture over sweet potatoes.  Seal bag and move potatoes around in the bag until they are covered with the EVOO mixture.
Take a 13x9 cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil.  Spray nonstick cooking spray onto it.  Pour sweet potatoes onto aluminum foil and spread evenly over the cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.  I like mine very crunchy - almost burnt - so I cooked mine for about 30 minutes.

 2) Stick to my running plan!  I am following Hal Higdon's Marathon Novice 1 program for my first marathon in October.  I know it will be here before I know it.  I want to make sure I'm ready and I don't go into the race wishing I had done more.

3) Lose at least 5 lbs by August 31.  I think that's a very conservative and realistic goal.  I would like to be down at least ten more lbs by my race in October.  I think it will help with my endurance and speed to make me a better runner.

Hopefully all of these goals will work together and I will end up with a very successful August!

Do you have any goals for August?  What are they?