Saturday, October 31, 2009

Running hills on vacation

Last weekend, while we were out of town, we decided to get in a run around my cousin's neighborhood. I slapped on my new Garmin and out the door we went. Before we knew it, we were running down hills, up hills, and all over the darn place. I don't have a lot of experience with running hills, but I think I did pretty good overall.

We ran 3.26 miles (C25k - W9D1) in 41:51 with an average pace of 12:50 (I love the Garmin and the fact that I now know all these great stats about my running)
Mile 1 - 11:59 (lots of down hill)
Mile 2 - 13:10 (some up hill)
Mile 3 - 13:49 (some walking)
Last 0.26 - 2:52 (all out sprint to the end)

We had not originally planned on doing any runs while we were out of town, but since we had the Garmin, we decided to bring along our running clothes just in case --- and I'm very happy we did. This weekend we will be out of town again and we are planning on getting in two runs while visiting my family in my hometown. This means more hills since my mom's neighborhood is hilly. I'm actually looking forward to it.

By Sunday I will have "graduated" from the C25k program --- which means that all my runs going forward are geared towards 1/2 marathon training --- 20 weeks to go! I can't wait to start seeing my mileage increase especially since Sunday is the first day of the POTM 2009!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday


  • My amazing husband :)
  • My family & getting to see them this weekend
  • That today is the last men's soccer game which means we'll finally get to start spending more quality time together during the week AND that 1/2 marathon training is really going to start kicking into high gear
  • Return policies - we had to take back our new 20" LCD wide-screen computer monitor and exchange it because it had a bad pixel, while we were there we picked up some DVD discs & computer speakers only to get home and find out the speakers had a burn hole in them and the AC adapter was missing. Back to Best Buy we go ...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meatless Loaf

Meatloaf is quite possibly one of my most favorite foods. Ironically, I have not had it with actual ground beef in a long time. Most recently I've made it with ground turkey, but then I discovered this recipe and was excited to try it out. I'm so glad I did ... it was sooo good! Try it ... and you might discover that it's an excellent & yummy substitute for traditional meatloaf.

Meatless Loaf
From Branny Boils Over

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (I used white onion)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced green pepper (I used 1 cup of sliced frozen mixed peppers, defrosted & chopped up)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce, divided
2 cups of mashed cooked peeled baking potatoes (buy a few extra potatoes and make enough to have some for leftovers)
1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (we didn't have any Dijon mustard buy I really wanted to follow the recipe exactly so I bought some and told the hubs he had to use it for his sandwiches for lunch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
16 ounce can of beans (kidney, black or pinto) mashed (I used black beans)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heal oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients; saute 3 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup BBQ sauce, potato, and the next 7 ingredients (potato through beans). Spoon the mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife along the border of the pan. Place a baking sheet on top of loaf pan and flip entire ensemble over to release the meatloaf from the loaf pan onto the baking sheet. Brush 1/4 cup BBQ sauce over the loaf and bake for an additional 10 minutes, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pile on the Miles 2009

I'm excited to be participating in a Pile on the Miles challenge being hosted by Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point and Bobbi at N Her Shoes. Caitlin stated on her website that "The POTM 2009 Challenge is a great way to stay motivated, participate in the blog world, have fun and be healthy during the holiday season!" The challenge starts November first and goes till Thanksgiving!

There's still time ... you can join too --- you have until October 31st! Go over to Healthy Tipping Point or N Her Shoes to find out how to participate. Last year the group that participated piled on 1,763.52 miles combined!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meal Plan Monday (10/26)

I've only got two meals to prepare this week & I'm looking forward to the little break as I'll be preparing some baked goods on Thursday for a potluck at work on Friday & it's my birthday today!!!

Monday - it's my birthday, drive home from cousins then out for dinner with the hubs & the in-laws :)

Tuesday - Veggie & Cheese Lasagna

Wednesday - Black Bean & Corn Burgers

Thursday - leftover lasagna (and freezing any that we don't eat to use later)

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - road trip to my hometown to visit family :)

For more Meal Plans check out Org Junkie

Friday, October 23, 2009

Running in the Winter

I've seen a few people posting about how they plan to keep up with their training & running during the winter months - most recently this post by by Amanda at Modernation. It really got me thinking about how we are going to keep active and keep on schedule with our training as the winter months approach.

Recently, the hubs & I have decided to run a 1/2 marathon so we set up a 22 week training plan that leads right up to the 1/2 marathon we've chosen. The first few weeks we'll be keeping the mileage around our current averages and start to incorporate cross training, strength training & some yoga. Our plan is to run an average run on Monday, a light run or cross train on Tuesday, an average run on Wednesday, rest & yoga on Thursday, cross train on Fridays, a long run on Saturday, and strength & stretching & yoga on Sundays. We plan to run our long runs at our local park that has a 1.44 mile loop or at a local bike trail. We plan to do a many of our runs outdoors as possible (read: weather permitting). Luckily we have a gym membership to a small local gym in our neighborhood so we will have access to run the treadmills if necessary --- and we can do our strength training and cross training at the gym too.

I'm really hoping that the weather cooperates with our training schedule and at least allows us to do our long runs outdoors as running more than 3-5 miles on a treadmill sounds absolutely dreadful. I actually don't mind running in the rain occasionally - we've done it a few times, but never farther than a couple of miles. I definitely won't mind if we run in the rain a few times with fall/winter/spring while training --- it's a nice change, but not one I want to encounter every single run.

Speaking of the treadmill ... it's been a few weeks since I've run at the gym on the treadmill. Between the weather finally changing to fall (my favorite time of year and favorite type of weather to run in) and my new birthday present (that I'm obsessed with) I've really been enjoying running outside around our neighborhood and at our local park. But, now that I'm almost finished with the C25k (as of last night only 3 more 30 minute runs till I "graduate") - I'd really like to get back on the treadmill for comparison.

I'm excited for our winter training plans. I recently cleaned out our "junk" room and set it up as a craft room and home gym. I've taped up our training schedule along with some basic yoga moves and some magazine clippings of strength moves. We don't have a lot of at home gym equipment (a stationary bike, an exercise ball, a yoga mat, and some hand weights) but its just enough to get started on my cross training (riding the bike) and strength training & yoga. As a matter of fact, I've done two 30 minute cross training sessions this week - both followed up with about 30 minutes of strength training, stretching & yoga. It's empowering to get back into the groove of a workout routine and enjoy it. I hope my motivation, stamina, and enthusiasm lasts.

On a non-running related side note ... I'm still working on getting the craft side of my room set up. So far I've got my old computer desk and small folding table but all my "supplies" (paint, paper, etc) are still boxed up. I'm hoping to get some kind of storage shelving in the next couple of weeks and get that set up in the closet in that room so that I can unpack my supplies and get organized as I've got a couple of projects I want to start (one being a wedding related scrapbook with items such as our invitation, program, etc) and I'm about half way done with a pretty amazing project I've been working on for a week or two ... it's a painting, but that's all I'm going to share with you right now. I need my table space, which is currently being occupied by my boxes of supplies, in order to finish up the project --- and I can't wait to share it with you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Need to get warmed up while running?

Then check out this post for an awesome giveaway by Tall Mom on the Run.

How do you stay warm while running outdoors in the cold???

Thankful Thursday

Visit Mrs. Dew's blog, Life After I Dew, for the Thankful Thursday button

Today I'm thankful for:
  • My amazing husband and the fact that he was craving pizza last night just like me!
  • My job ... even though I have to remind myself of this!
  • My family :)
  • My health & my husband's health
  • Really starting to feel like a "runner" again
  • Road trips ... I can't wait to get out of town tomorrow for my birthday weekend to visit my cousin!
What are YOU thankful for?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seven Months

Today is our seven monthiversary!

Photo by Debbie Brown Photography

Our Hand Blessing Ceremony

Now as an expression that your hearts are joined together in love – please face each other and hold hands by first joining your right palms, and then your left palms - forming an infinity symbol with your hands, which symbolizes a love that will go on forever.

With eyes locked, and hands linked, this ritual is a beautiful symbol of the union of two hearts, two lives, and two souls. The hands are a connection to the heart, and a hand blessing symbolically brings two hearts together.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you. They are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you hold your family as one. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Our prayer for you today is that both of you will use these hands to build a marriage where all your dreams come true.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meal Plan Monday (10/19)

7 days till my birthday!

We got up at 4:30am and did a quick 20 minute run ... so now I'm ready for the day and have some time to spare :)

We had a pretty good weekend ... did a nice 3 mile run on Saturday & a 5 mile bike ride on Sunday. We did some shopping on Saturday which started off with a stop off at Best Buy - we had the intentions of purchasing a new computer (our laptops fan is no longer working and it shuts down whenever it overheats) but we were not successful as Windows 7 is coming out this week and they don't have any computers to sell until Thursday! We also continued my hunt for new boots (unsuccessfully - maybe that means a shopping trip with my cousin next weekend) and continued on our hunt for a new couch (also unsuccessful). I spent most of Sunday cleaning out our "junk" room and getting it set up as a craft & exercise room ... which is great since I plan to be riding the stationary bike more often & I'm working on a couple of craft projects currently and need the space to work. I'll post photos soon!

I'm really looking forward to our weekend getaway next weekend to Santa Maria to visit my BFF/Cousin for my birthday!

Monday - Crockpot Orange Chicken

Tuesday - Burrito Bowls

Wednesday - Leftover orange chicken

Thursday - Turkey Burgers

Friday, Saturday, Sunday & next Monday (my b-day): WEEKEND BIRTHDAY GETAWAY

For more Meal Plans check out Org Junkie

Friday, October 16, 2009

Goodbye ... hello Garmin

Actually, its probably not "goodbye" forever to as this is a very good website and I really like to use it ... but it definitely is a GREAT BIG hello to my new Garmin Forerunner 205!
This was my (early) birthday present from my amazing husband (and, yes, of course I knew I was getting it --- you may recall, I'm not fond of surprises). I've been wanting a Garmin for a long time. I actually wanted one last year for my birthday, but that's okay (I got the Coach purse & wallet I had been lusting after instead). I had originally asked for a purse again this year (a Dooney & Bourke) but once we decided to run an 1/2 marathon ... we agreed that this would be a better investment at this time (and I'll be reminding the hubs about that purse 'round Christmas time, you can be sure)!

My present arrived yesterday afternoon and I quickly opened up the box and charged it up so we could use it. We went out for a quick 1 mile run last night and just got home from a C25k run (28 min). I love the Garmin! I don't know how I ever ran without it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday


I stumbled upon Life After I "Dew" and saw the Thankful Thursday's button and decided to participate. I've been seeing the Thankful Thursday's around the blog-o-sphere for a while now ... and I'm excited to start joining in.

Today I'm thankful for:
  • My amazing husband!
  • The upcoming Holiday season (Thanksgiving is my favorite)
  • Our upcoming trip to Santa Maria for my birthday to visit my BBF (9 days)
  • The fall weather :)
  • My birthday present coming in the mail today (hopefully)
  • My family :) xoxo
  • My job - even if it can be super frustrating & stressful
  • Trying out my new running shoes again tonight since my knee is feeling GREAT

Monday, October 12, 2009

New shoes, new goals ... and a minor setback

This past weekend the hubs & I went to our local running store and got fitted for and purchased proper running shoes. It was (1) informative and (2) long over due and (3) quite expensive. But we know that the investment is very worth it because ... you see ... we've decided to train to run a 1/2 marathon in the early spring of 2010!

Currently I'm still working on finishing up my C25k (I'm in week 8 right now) so we've taken a basic 12 week training plan and extended it out for 22 weeks (the number of weeks until the 1/2 marathon we've chosen) that way I can finish up C25k and start to train slowly for the 1/2.

This is a pretty big step. I'm awfully scared ... especially since we went out to do my C25k W8D1 run this afternoon (28 min) and had to stop after only 9 min because of severe knee pain. I'm now icing my knee and hoping I'll feel better tomorrow. We have both been very lucky to not have sustained any injuries in the two years since we started running. I am really hoping that my minor knee issue is just a result of pushing too hard the past few runs and that after some much needed TLC (aka ice and advil and rest) tonight and possibly tomorrow that I'll be feeling as good as new.

So ... as I (we) embark on this new journey ... do any of you fellow runners out there have any advice? Training tips? Training do's and don'ts?

Meal Plan Monday (10/12)

We had a mixed weekend of warm weather on Saturday and cooler weather on Sunday ... and fall is making it first big appearance this week with a big rain storm coming in tonight. Our yard (aka - the flood zone) is not ready so I guess we better dig out the submersion pump and hook it back up ...

Monday - breakfast: strawberry/banana/blueberry smoothie, dinner: leftover White Bean & Turkey Chili

Tuesday - spaghetti with semi-homemade marinara sauce

Wednesday - Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

Thursday - Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Friday - leftover Baked Potato Soup

Saturday -leftover Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday -Crockpot Risotto with peas

Today is my new brother-in-law's birthday ... and two weeks till my birthday too!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Turkey Marsala Burgers

I made these a couple of weeks ago and they were so yummy I'm really looking forward to making them again!

Turkey Marsala Burgers
Adapted from Lauren's Kitchen

You can click on the link to get the original recipe/posting - below I've adapted it based on our eating preferences and items we did/did not have on hand the night I made them. We ate ours w/out bread -but the original recipe calls for crusty french bread (yum-o)!
  • ground turkey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 TBSP EVOO (that's extra virgin olive oil for those of you that do not watch Rachael Ray)
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup of Marsala wine
  • 1-2 TBSP of dried rosemary
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.

Shape the ground turkey into to patties. Drizzle the patties with some EVOO and then sprinkle with the salt & pepper; repeat on both sides.

Cook the patties until the turkey is fully cooked. Remove from the pan and cover/keep warm.

Using the same pan, add the butter and the EVOO. Add the garlic and shallot, saute until fragrant. Add additional EVOO, if necessary (I added about another 1/2 TBSP). Add the mushrooms and saute until tender. Add the Marsala wine and the dried rosemary and season with salt. Simmer until reduce by about half. Return the patties to the skillet and cook until the juices are almost all evaporated.

Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese and cover with a lid so that cheese can melt.

Once the cheese had melted, remove the patties from the pan and top with mushrooms and sauce. Serve, knife and fork style, with your favorite side dish!

I totally forgot to take a photo - but that is because they were so good I didn't even think to grab my camera --- I was too busy stuffing my face :)

This is a must-try recipe! Check out the original - or adapt to your own taste/preferences like we did.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scarf Swap

Kate over at Simply Said by Simply Me is hosting a Scarf Swap! I saw the info over at Life As We Know It and was intrigued so I decided to partake!

It's such a fun idea and I'm really excited. I love scarves ... and it just finally starting to feel like fall time here in the valley so I can start wearing them again!

Go over to Kate's blog to check out the rules & sign up to participate!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cowtown 5k recap

So, the day before the race I posted my goal for the Cowtown 5k. I started the journey to become a runner back in the early fall of 2007 - since then I have participated in 12 5k's. It was my goal to finish the Cowtown 5k without stopping to walk ... AND I DID IT!!!

We got to the race location around 7am, parked our car and walked over to the park. It was chilly! The hubs had to use the facilities so we got in the huge lines and waited ... and waited ... and waited. Finally, after about 15 minutes of waiting we finally reached the front of the line. We made our way over to the starting line to watch the marathoner's and half-marathoner's line up and get ready for their race to start (7:30am). After they had started, we lined up at the 10 min/mile pace marker sign. I really wanted to pace myself so I could finish the entire 5k without walking.

It felt like we waited, lined up, for a long time - but eventually the race started and off we went. We had a really slow start, lots of walkers to weave in and out of, and then we finally were able to set a good pace. The first mile was pretty easy. The course was flat and easy, and beautiful. After a few minutes I could feel my body starting to warm up (did I mention it was cold?!?). After we passed the first mile marker I was still feeling really good so I picked up the pace for a little while. Around mile two I was starting to get a little tired, but I knew it would be over soon and that I didn't have that much farther to go (as if 3.1 miles is far anyways). Between mile two and mile three there were a couple of super tiny little inclines/hills and they were killer (at least for me) but I pushed on and before I knew it there was only 1/2 a mile left. I stay very focused and kept my pace nice and slow and even and then when I say the three mile marker I really started to pick up the pace. I was determined to finish strong and that just what I did ... I pulled my earphone out just in time to hear our names announced (missed that at the last race, so that was the first time I heard them announce my new married last name) and crossed the finish line with an official chip time of ... 36:40

That's more than a minute better than my last personal record of 37:59 that I set almost a year ago at the Thanksgiving Run to Feed the Hungry!

It is a HUGE accomplishment to have set a new personal record AND to have finished my first 5k without walking!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meal Plan Monday (10/5)

This week is full of new recipes & lots of leftovers ... which I'm hoping will give me some time to get some cleaning done around this house!!!

Monday - Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice

Tuesday - Spaghetti with semi-homemade marinara sauce

Wednesday - Meatless Loaf

Thursday - leftover spaghetti

Friday - White Bean & Turkey Chili

Saturday - leftover loaf

Sunday - leftover chili

*Coming up ... Cowtown 5k recap!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week 6 divided by two

The past two weeks have been a little lacking in the exercise department. I've been able to keep on schedule with my C25K but I split W6 into two weeks which ended up working well for me considering I have not had a lot of time to get a lot of exercising done lately. Yesterday was W6D3 (25 minute run) - it was in the afternoon and we went to the EG park and it was tab bit warm AND I probably ate too many M&M's at the end of my work day (which was only about 1 hr before our run) so the run was a little rough BUT I was able to complete 25 minutes without stopping (I'm SO not counting my bathroom break as a "stop" because I absolutely had to stop) and was able to do just over 2 miles in 25 minutes. I LOVE running at the park, especially in the fall time. I love that the weather has started to change which allows us to run at the park more often. Tomorrow is the Cowtown 5k (and half & full marathons) --- I've been wanting to participate in this race for 3 years now and I'm super excited that we finally are this year! I'm really looking forward to it. I was thinking about starting W7D1 (25 minutes) BUT I'm hoping that once we get out there I'll be able to run the whole thing without stopping. Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it!

Miles for September

September 2009 - 26.65

9/2 - 1.71 miles (C25K - W3D1)
9/5 - 2.88 miles (C25K - W3D2)
9/6 - 1.92 miles (C25k - W3D3)
9/7 - 15 mile bike ride
9/8 - 2.25 miles (C25K - W4D1)
9/9 - 2.30 miles (C25K - W4D2)
9/10 - 15 mins on the bike
9/11 - 20 mins on the bike
9/13 - 3.1 (39:25) - (C25K - W4D3)
Sac Valley Aids 5k
9/14 - 35 mins elliptical (3 miles, 400 calories), 20 mins bike
9/15 - 2.61 (C25k - W5D1)
9/16 - 38 mins elliptical (3.38 miles, 455 calories)
9/17 - 2.30 (C25K - W5D2)
9/19 - 2.30 (C25K - W5D3)
9/22 - 2.40 (C25K - W6D1)
9/30 - 2.88 (C25K - W6D2)

Miles for August

August 2009

8/17 - 30DS
8/18 - 30DS, 1.8 miles (C25K - W1D1)
8/19 - 30DS
8/20 - 30DS, 1.77 miles (C25K - W1D2)
8/21 - 30DS
8/22 - rest
8/23 - 30 DS, 1.77 miles (C2K5 - W1D3)
8/24 - 1.86 miles (C25K - W2D1)
8/25 - 1.91 miles (C25K - W2D2)
8/26 - rest
8/27 - 1.92 miles (C25K - W2D3)