Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking forward: February 2012

In keeping with my this new monthly approach for my fitness & lifestyle goals this year, I’ve set a few goals for February.  A lot of these look similar to my January goals and, overall, I’m very happy with the way my January shaped up {I’m planning on posting my recap later this week} which makes me optimistic about February too. 

I’m enjoying have these monthly goals and I even use a checklist each week {posted on my fridge} to help me reach my goals.  I feel it has been a lot easier for me to achieve my goals using this monthly breakdown and my checklist which helps me stay on track.

Workout goals for the month

  • Cross train 2x per week
  • Yoga 1x per week
  • Continue Plank-a-day {plank, side plank, and bridges}
  • Start Daily Pushups using this calendar as a guide
  • Continue PT Exercises 3x per week {clam shells, calf raises, prone leg lifts, and standing hip abductor}
  • Begin Weight Training 1x per week {using machines, free weights, boot camp classes, and/or body weight}

Non-workout goals for the month

  • Continue to use the de-cluttering calendar
  • Complete one craft project or household project form my 2012 Goals list
  • Get up to date on reading the Bible {based upon this schedule}
  • Eliminate frivolous spending --- spend $0 on non-essential purchases {clothes, Starbucks, gadgets, etc.}

Weight-Loss goals for the month

  • “No Ice Cream” February
  • Continue to Track/Journal all food daily
  • Eat out no more than 3 times this month
  • Limit “sweets” to 1x per week {excluding hot chocolate and popcorn}
  • Reach 10% loss {from starting weight} + an additional 1%

Races for the month

  • None planned

The first month of 2012 flew by!  I can’t believe just 31 short days ago we were ringing in the new year and now we are about to welcome the shortest month of the year. 

Do you have specific goals for February?

Weekly Recap {01/23-01/29}

I went back to spin class again this week but class had been changed from a regular spin class to a spin boot camp class.  It was a lot of fun and very challenging.  We used the spin bike for cardio and weights and kept changing between the too.  I was very sore the next day, but in a good way.  I’m excited to do this class again!

I ran 5 days again this week and completed my first race of the year {race recap to come}.  I felt really good overall, with the exception of how sore I was after the boot camp class.  We didn’t have a group workout on Tuesday because our coaches hosted an Injury Prevention Clinic for our group so I opted to do speedwork {400s} on my treadmill after spin class.  On Saturday I led a small pace group for a run/walk with a 2:1 ratio and the four of us had a great time chatting away the miles!  At Sunday’s race I ran with my two running buddies and had a GREAT time :)

I totally slacked off on my PT Exercises again :(

I linked all my workouts to my Daily Mile logs if you really want to read about them. Are we friends on Daily Mile yet?!?

Weekly Recap {01.23.12 – 01.29.12}

Monday 01.23

I ran with the husband around our neighborhood.  I forgot the camera which is too bad since we saw a beautiful sunset!

Run:  3.57/40:00/11:12 avg
Warm-up:  0.23/6:00
Cool Down:  0.30/6:00

Walk:  1.34/25:00

PT Exercises:  10min

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {65min}

Plank-a-day # 23 + Core

Tuesday 01.24

After Spin Boot Camp {so hard yet so fun} I ran 400s on my treadmill at home while finishing up watching Pretty Woman!  I can’t wait to go to Spin Boot Camp again :)

Run {treadmill speed work}:  2.03/30:00
Warm-up:  0.59/10:00
Cool Down:  0.67/10:00

Walk:  2.05/42:00

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {30min}

Spin Boot Camp Class:  55min

Plank-a-day #24

Wednesday 01.25

I woke up very sore from boot camp on Tuesday so opted for an active rest day and did some yoga and took the puppy for a walk.  I haven’t used weights since before my injury but I’m glad to be easing back into it.

Walk:  1.02/22:30

Yoga:  22 min {Yoga for Runners:  Injury Prevention}

Plank-a-day #25

Thursday 01.26

I was still a little sore from boot camp on Tuesday so I decided to do a run/walk of 3:1 and I ended up surprising myself with faster paces than I thought I was going to be able to do.  Felt good --- forgot the camera, again!  Fail.

Run:  3.10/35:14/11:22 avg
Warm-up:  0.25/5:01
Cool Down:  0.26/5:00

Walk:  1.87/35:00

PT Exercises:  10min

Plank-a-day #26

Friday 01.27

I got to the gym later in the morning than usual and I got stuck using an elliptical that I don’t like.  Lesson = get off the internet and get my butt in gear if I want to get there earlier!  Haha :)

Walk:  1.64/30:30

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {65min}

Plank-a-day #27

Saturday 01.28

I’m LOVING the leg warmers!  These purple polka dot ones were knee high toe socks originally, that I never wore, so I cut off the toes and my legs stayed warm during my workout :)


Group long run day!  I originally planned to only do 30 minutes but once I got started I stuck with the girls I was pacing and we ended up with 4 miles in 50 minutes doing a 2:1 run/walk.   

Run:  4.0/50:29/12:37 avg

Walk:  2.0/39:00

Plank-a-day #28

Sunday 01.29

I rocked another pair of knee high socks turned leg warmers for my 5k race!  These pair were actually purchased recently specially to be used for leg warmers!  I’m addicted now :)


I had a really great 5k race and I enjoyed running along side my running buddies again!  I know I could have pushed harder if I would have been running alone but I was glad for the company --- I’ve missed my running buddies!  I busted out a sub-8 minutes pace for the sprint to the finish :)

Run:  Elk Grove Fun Run 5k #1 for 2012 --- 3.14/32:21/10:18 avg --- {race recap to come} 

Walk:  1.10/21:30

Plank-a-day #29

Total Miles = 29.16

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 12hrs, 23mins
Calories Burned = 4880


Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 61

Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe: Lentil and Black Bean Stew

I discovered this simple and tasty meal in Runners World after I used lentils for the first time {in a Turkey and Lentil Chili – recipe HERE}.  Actually, the husband found this recipe first and told me about.  I decided to give it a try and added it to my meal plan since I’m always looking for hearty vegetarian dishes and more ways to eat #healthyonabudget :)

black bean and lentil stew 

Lentil and Black Bean Stew
Source:  Runners World, Bowled Over, December 2011 Issue


  • Half a large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup black beans, partially mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Sauté the onion in a large pot on medium heat until soft.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika; sauté 1 minute. 
  2. Add the vegetable broth and tomato paste; bring to a boil.
  3. Add the lentils; cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
  4. Add the black beans, salt, lime juice, and pepper.  Cook five additional minutes. 
  5. Serve and enjoy!  {Garnish with cilantro if desired.}

NOTES:  I used green lentils.  Also, in the future, I think I would cook my lentils separately and then add them to the pot after they are tender --- they absorbed all the liquid and I had to add 2 cups of hot water.  I used dried beans that I cooked previously and froze but you can used canned beans – make sure to drain & rinse well.

WW NOTES:  This made 4 cups = 4 WW Pts+ per 1 cup.

Recipe: Tofu Chow Mein

Chow mein is one of those versatile dishes that you can make so many different variations of.  For this recipe I chose tofu for several reasons:  I really like tofu and I’ve used it enough over the years that I am comfortable working with it;  tofu takes on the flavor of the foods it’s cooked with which makes it versatile; and it’s cheap.  My local grocery store sells it for $0.99 --- that’s a bargain and a great way to eat #healthyonabudget :)

tofu chow mein

Tofu Chow Mein
A “Journey Thru Life” Original Recipe by The Jesse
Adapted from several sources to create the variation and combination of ingredients I was looking for


  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 gloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cups bok choy, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 3 cups of bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups canned water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 cups cooked noodles {I used Wel-Pac Chinese Noodles; use any noodle of your choice}
  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu, drained & pressed, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  1. Drain your tofu block and wrap in a towel; place on a plate with another up-side-down plate on top; place several heavy cookbooks on top of the top plate; let it set 30 minutes to squeeze out the water; dice into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Cook your noodles according to the package directions.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet or a wok and coat with cooking spray or oil.  Sauté garlic then add carrot, celery, and water chestnuts and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add in the mushrooms and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.  Remove and set aside. 
  4. Coat the skillet or wok again with cooking spray or oil and cook tofu until browned.  Remove and set aside. 
  5. Add the bok choy, bean sprouts, and ground ginger to the skillet or wok and sauté until bok choy is wilted and bean sprouts are tender like noodles.  Add in the carrots, celery, and water chestnuts, mushrooms, and ground ginger.  Add the cooked noodles and the soy sauce.  Add the tofu and the crushed red pepper flakes stirring constantly until well combined and heated thoroughly. 
  6. Serve topped with green onions and enjoy!

NOTES:  You can make this recipe with any combination of vegetables and you could use chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp instead of tofu or just make it vegetarian with veggies only.  Get creative and eat #healthyonabudget :)

WW NOTES:  I used 20 ounces of Wel-Pac Chinese Noodles that I weighed dry and uncooked and ended up with 7 cups = 4 WW Pt+ per cup.

Meal Plan Monday {Jan 30} + WW {Wk37}

I’ve got two recipes that I want to share that I hope to get posted later today so check back for those.  {Tofu Chow Mein & Lentil and Black Bean Stew.}

This weekend is Super Bowl Weekend and we will be hosting our third annual Super Bowl Party!  My dad & step-mom will be making the trip down to spend the weekend with us and some, if not all of, the in-law’s will be coming over too.  We will be serving up a big batch of Grandma Gene’s Award Winning Famous Chili {a secret family recipe from the husband’s grandma} as well as Skinny Taco Dip and Creamy Parmesan Spinach Dip

Before I get to this weeks meal plan I want to share two TIPS I learned on Pinterest last week regarding hard boiled eggs.  Seriously, I learn the greatest things when I’m wasting time on Pinterest.  I also pin the funniest things like this, this, and this

  • To make hard boiled eggs --- put eggs in pot; fill with COLD water to 1” above eggs and place on HIGH heat; bring to a RAPID boil then remove from heat and put a lid on the pot; let it sit for 15 minutes then pour off the hot water and replace with ICE and COLD water; let it sit for 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are cool and then drain off MOST of the water reserving about an inch; replace LID and shake, shake, shake for about a minute; VIOLA when you remove the lid most of the shells will have cracked and/or will be easy to peel off.  *I have tried this trick and it WORKS*
  • Another tip for easy to remove shells --- add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the water {it’s said to raise the pH of the water and makes the eggs easier to peel} *I have not yet tried this trick but I will*

Monday ~ Chicken & Mushrooms in a Garlic Sauce with orzo pasta and salad

This is actually Chicken & Mushrooms in a Garlic WHITE WINE Sauce … but I really don’t want to open a bottle of white wine for just 1/4 a cup so I’ll be using extra chicken broth instead.  This is my first time making this dish and I’m eager to try it. 

TIP --- For my chicken broth I use Better than Bouillon that I found at Costco.  It’s an organic paste that you add to boiling water.  It’s MSG free.  It is also fat free and contains 1/3 less salt than ordinary bouillons.  I really love the flavor and that I can cook up as much, or as little, as I need quickly.  It also freezes well. 

Tuesday ~ Lentil and Black Bean Stew with salad #healthyonabudget

This turned out so good last week that I wanted to make it again.  I’m going to share the recipe later today :)

Wednesday ~ Broiled Salmon with quinoa and salad

We don’t eat salmon very often but it was on sale this week and we can’t resist a good sale!  {Wild caught – not farmed!}

Thursday ~ Veggie Rice Bowls with salad

Just a simple dinner.  I want to make a big batch of rice to freeze so I thought a simple rice bowl would be perfect for dinner.  I’ll be using kidney beans, zucchini, and teriyaki sauce

Friday ~ Pasta with marinara sauce and turkey meatballs with salad

Really, nothing new here.  If we are running “long” on Saturday then we are eating pasta on Friday. 

Saturday ~ Leftover pasta


What’s on your menu this week?
What are your big plans for The Big Game?
Do you meal plan? Why or why not?
Got a favorite recipe that I’ve got to try? Please share :)
Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover! There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Weight Watchers Week 37 {01.23.12 – 01.29.12}
Weigh-in {01.30.12} = 136.6 lbs
Week 37 Loss/Gain = –1.4 lbs
Total Weight Loss = –13.6 lbs
Starting Weight {05.16.11} = 150.2 lbs
I earned 61 activity points! {And used 37 of them}
I exercised everyday!!!
*Previous WW recaps can be found HERE.

01.30-1I had good days & not-s0-good days. 
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday = ice cream
Saturday & Sunday = wine & beer 
It’s all RELATIVE.  I still had a good week overall, indulged a little too much {we really need to stop buying ice cream}, but ended up with a good weigh-in that I am happy about. 
Can I do better?  YES.  Am I going to worry about it?  NO.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Thankful – Wk4

It’s all the little every day things that make life so extraordinary and this year I want to make sure I am appreciating and focusing more on them.  In an effort to remember to slow down, let the little things go, and enjoy every moment of this life I am going to share what I’ve been thankful for each week.

be joyful 2 copy 
This week I’m thankful for …

    • Unexpected generosity from the least likely sources
    • Spin class
    • My thoughtful husband who always knows exactly what to say or do to make me feel better
    • Discovering yummy new recipes that are quick, easy, and affordable
    • Learning tips & tricks from fellow bloggers, online articles, and Pinterest 
    • Getting lost in a good book


What are you thankful for this week?


{Thanks to Sam at Fitness Food & Faith for this wonderful idea … I’ve enjoyed reading her thankful posts ever since I discovered her blog!}

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I really enjoyed putting together my WIAW post from yesterday.  In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I’m photographing my eats again today to do another WIAW next week.  Except I ate half my breakfast before I remembered so my first photo is of only half a bagel thin that already had a bite missing from it.  Speaking of food … last night I made a really yummy vegetarian stew that I found in Runners World.  It was quick, easy, and #healthyonabudget.  I will definitely be sharing the recipe soon :)

2.  I enjoyed spin class so much last week that I went again this week.  Except class was changed from “spin” to “spin boot camp”.  The class combined cardio on the spin bike with weight training.  It was still really great and I really enjoyed it but I was so sore yesterday!  That was the first time I’ve used weights since before my injury.  Today I am feeling much better and I’m anxious to get out for a run this morning.  And to go back to that class again next week :)

3.  I’ve got a 5k this weekend.  I’m really excited because it will be the first race I’ll get to “run” in since my injury.  {I walked two 5ks after my injury last fall.}  This 5k is the first in the four part fun run series that our local running store, The Running Zone, puts on each year.  I’ve only got one goal --- to finish.  Well, that, and to not push too hard.  I’m definitely not going for a PR and I just want to enjoy every step.

3 turkeys Since its Three Things Thursday here’s a random photo of three wild turkeys we saw wandering around our court last week.

Got any randomness you’d like to share today?

What are your weekend plans?  Any races? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I first learned about What I Ate Wednesday {WIAW} from Marlene at Mission to a(nother) Marathon.  I hopped on over to Peas & Crayons to learn all about WIAW and decided I wanted to play along!  I figured it would be a fun opportunity to do something new and to showcase some of my #healthyonabudget meals. 

I knew I’d enjoy this once I read this quote on the WIAW page on Peas & Crayons:

“WIAW is about food and fun! It's about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so much more <3”

WIAWbutton What I Ate Wednesday {WIAW} is hosted by Jenn at Peas & Crayons

My eats are from Thursday 01.19.12

Pre-workout breakfast:
1/2 cup Fage Greek Yogurt {2 WW Pts+}
3 TBSP of raw oats {1 WW Pts+}
1 TBSP Organic Strawberry Spread {from Costco} {1 WW Pts+}
1 Banana {0 WW Pts+}
3/4 cup of Simply Orange OJ {2 WW Pts+}
Coffee {half-caff, black, no sugar} {0 WW Pts+}

2Post workout breakfast:
Leftover yogurt mess {I couldn’t eat it all pre-workout}
Pear {0 WW Pts+}
More COFFEE {half-caff, black, no sugar} {0 WW Pts+}

Mid-morning Snack:
1/2 cup of grapes, 1/2 cup of celery, 3/4 cup of baby carrots, 1/2 apple 
{0 WW Pts+}

Snack #2:
3 Mandarins {0 WW Pts+}
String Cheese {2 WW Pts+}

English Muffin {3 WW Pts+}
1/2 TBSP of Soy Nut Butter {1 WW Pts+}
Cucumber {0 WW Pts+} , Tomato {0 WW Pts+} , & 1 TBSP Feta Cheese {1 WW Pts+}

Afternoon Snack:
Starbucks Tall Coffee {black, no sugar} {0 WW Pts+}
1/2 Orange {0 WW Pts+}
*This is a lot of coffee for me in one day {I usually one have 1 cup of half-caff} but we were going out to a concert so I knew I needed the extra bolt of caffeine so I wouldn’t get tired.

Pre-Dinner Salad:
1 cup Green Leaf Lettuce {0 WW Pts+}
1/4 cup julienned zucchini, carrots, and radish {0 WW Pts+} 
1/2 cup each of mushroom and tomato {0 WW Pts+}
2 TBSP Homemade Ranch Dressing {1 WW Pts+}
1 TBSP Feta Cheese {0 additional WW Pts+ --- 2 TBSP = 1 WW Pts+; I had 1 TBSP with my lunch & 1 TBSP in my salad}

Leftover homemade Tofu Chow Mein, 1 1/2 cups {6 WW Pts+}
*I’m going to post this recipe soon!
Fat Free Milk, 1 cup {2 WW Pts+}

Total WW Pts+ for the day = 22 
*My Daily Point Target is 26 Pts+
*I earned 8 Activity Points

This was fun!  I enjoyed sharing my eats.  Thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for hosting!!!

I recently talked about not reaching my WW Pts+ Daily Point Target for a few days I think it may just of been a fluke last week.  This week I am not having any problems reaching, or exceeding, my Daily Target.  {Though we do have some non-fat frozen yogurt in the house so that may have something to do with it.  Haha.} 

As you can see from my photos above I generally snack on a lot of low-point or no-point foods.  It’s rare for me to have something like an English Muffin for lunch {we bought those during a moment of weakness at Costco so we have a lot in the freezer} since I usually have soup or a quesadilla or a smoothie and the bulk of my points normally come from dinnertime.  One of my biggest obstacles is late night/post-dinner snacking.  Except for this day … but that is probably because we left shortly after dinner for a concert and I was the DD so I wasn’t tempted to drink :)

What is your favorite mid-day snack? 
Mine is string cheese.  It’s filling without weighing you down. 

How do you avoid the late night snack attack? 
Uh, I don’t!  I’m bad.  LOL.  Though, not always :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Training Tuesday: My Spring Half Marathon Training Plan

Once I was given the green light to return to running after my injury I immediately started thinking about how I would make a comeback and get ready in time for a spring half marathon. 

I knew the first few weeks were going to be slow going.  After 8 weeks off from running, and most all activity, I had lost a lot of endurance and stamina.  My goal was to start slow, do a run/walk, and to run for time {not distance} for the first couple of weeks.  Right after I returned to running I was contacted by my running coach from our local running group and asked to be a mentor for the new spring training group.  It was perfect timing!  This is a fun opportunity and I am really enjoying it.  After attending the first pre-training meeting I came home with the groups training plan used that as my base for my training plan. 

The group training plan calls for 5 days a week of running.  For a long time I’ve been a 3 day a week runner so I knew jumping into 5 days a week of running wasn’t something I could just start immediately.  But I was excited about building up to that.  The first few runs were a little rough but, honestly, I enjoyed every single step.  I missed running so much when I was injured and unable to run that I didn’t want to take a single mile for granted.  And I’m not.  Every day that I can run, or do any other combination of activities, is a blessing and I fully intend to relish every single day. 

The first week of my training plan I ran 3 days, for time.  The second week I ran 4 days.  And last week I moved up to 5 days.  I am running two days per week for time {not distance}, two days a week for distance including one long run with the group, and one day a week I am running with the group at the local track doing speed work.  Also I am a cross training machine.  I have a lot of free time and staying busy with activities is the only thing keeping me sane right now.  {I’ve been unemployed for almost a year and its driving me crazy.  I think of it this way --- I could be day drinking or I could be working out.  I choose working out.  For now.  That could change at any time, FYI.  Haha.}

I’ll be running the First Annual Running of the Elk Half Marathon on April 1st.  I am really excited about this race because it’s the first half marathon in our town and I know a lot of local fellow running friends, including most of the group I’m mentoring, will be running it. 

2012 spring half training plan 
If we are friends on Daily Mile or if you read my weekly recaps you know that I am doing a lot more than just running.  I’m enjoying cross training at the gym on the elliptical, my new found love of Spin class, and yoga at home with You Tube videos.  I’m also keeping up with my Plank-a-day challenge and walking the puppy.  Like I said, I have a lot of free time.  I have no visions of grandeur that I would be able to do all that I do if I was working.  But since I’m not then I’m going to go ahead and continue to stay active and keep busy.  If I don’t then I end up spending entire days on Pinterest.  Seriously.  I have 1490 pins.  Must PIN ALL OF THE THINGS.

I am making sure that I am taking the time to adequately stretch after all activity and I use my foam roller often.  Just the few days of yoga I’ve done so far this year have helped immensely with sore, tight muscles.  I have an “active” rest day on Sunday {which usually just means that I walk and possibly do yoga} and I have a feeling that my cross training will taper off as my mileage increases, especially on days that I’m currently doing double workouts.  My plan is flexible and I believe that is the most important aspect of any successful training plan.  I’ve got two 5k fun runs also scheduled between now and my half marathon race day.  These two 5ks are the first two in the four part series of 5k fun runs that our local running store puts on each year.  For the past two years I’ve completed the whole series and received the All-Series Participant award --- which is one of my goals this year too. 

Shortly after the Running of the Elk Half Marathon I’ll begin training for The San Francisco Marathon and I’m very excited :)

What spring race(s) are you training for? 
Do you enjoy cross training as much as I do?  I know a lot of runners despise the elliptical but I really enjoy it. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Recap {01/16-01/22}

This week I stepped outside my comfort zone and attended a Spin Class at my gym.  I really LOVED it and I’m looking forward to attending again and again.  I also bumped up my running from four days to five and I felt good.  I had several days of double workouts.  I’m trying to build my endurance back up and I’m experimenting with what works best for me, my body, and my training plan.  For now, a few days of double workouts is doable. 

My plank-a-day streak and my working out/run or walk 1 mile a day streak both live on!  However, I realllllly slacked off on my PT Exercises this week and I only did one day of core work.  January Goals FAIL.

I linked all my workouts to my Daily Mile logs if you really want to read about them. Are we friends on Daily Mile yet?!?

Weekly Recap {01.16.12 – 01.22.12}

Monday 01.16

I mentioned to the husband over the weekend how much I miss running with him and since we’ve both got easy 30 minute runs on our training plans for Monday’s so we decided to run together on Monday’s. 

This was my first run since returning from my injury where I didn’t need or want to stop to walk.  Yay for progress.
I’ve got NOTHING against walking; I love to take walk breaks and I think they are highly beneficial.  And I plan to continue to take walk breaks if and when I need them for as long as I’m a runner.  It just happened that on this run on this day I didn’t need to and that is big improvement, for me, from just a few short weeks ago :)

Run:  2.63/30:02/11:25 avg
Warm-up:  0.22/5:41
Cool Down:  0.28/5:26

Walk:  1.12/23:06

Plank-a-day #16

Tuesday 01.17

Its been really cold lately {as it should be this time of year} and the temps were down in the 30s by the time we met our group for our weekly track workout.  I wore three shirts.  A tank top {I always wear a fitted wicking tank top bottom layer}, a long sleeve super thick & warm thermal wicking layer and a top layer that was thick & warm also.  Three shirts.  It was that cold.  My top layer zipped all the way up to my chin.  I also had on a beanie, an ear warmer, and gloves.  Brrrrrrr.  I’m a wuss.


I also always wear capris.  I only own one pair of running pants and I don’t particularly like them.  I didn’t want my legs to freeze so I decided to take an old pair of knee high socks that had holes in them and make them into leg warmers {I got this idea from Michelle at Runn Princess Runn}.  They definitely did their job of keeping my lower legs warm! 


Run:  2.37/26:41
{track workout with training group}
Warm-up:  0.68/7:38 + Plyos:  0.25/6:18
Cool Down:  0.71/8:08

Walk:  1.88/36:00

PT Exercises:  20min

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {30min}

Spin Class {55min}

Plank-a-day #17 + Core Work

Wednesday 01.18

My sitting bones were so sore from Spin Class on Tuesday!  I had planned to go again on Thursday but I decided I’ll wait until next week instead.  My legs were also very tired after two hard workouts on Tuesday {spin class + track workout}.  I wanted to do 60 minutes on the elliptical but after about 35 minutes I knew I was toast so I cut the workout early and headed home.  To eat {again}.  I was famished {I had breakfast before going to the gym}.  It seemed like all of Tuesday’s workouts caught up with me while I was at the gym!

Walk:  1.65/33:30

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {45min}

Plank-a-day #18

Thursday 01.19

I opted to run on the treadmill at home so I had the husband help me move it so that it wasn’t facing a blank white wall anymore.  Then I moved our extra 13" TV with a built in VCR player into the spare room where the treadmill is  so I could watch a movie while I ran.  We own very few VHS tapes so I opted to watch Pretty Woman!  Love that movie :)


Run {treadmill}:  3.10/36:36
Warm-up:  0.23/5:00
Cool Down:  0.24/5:00

Walk:  2.10/40:00

Plank-a-day #19

Friday 01.20

It was raining but we didn’t let that stop us from running!  The husband ran with me again and we geared up in these matching Adidas wind jackets that my FIL gifted us for Christmas.  {Mine is a men’s medium and its way too big but that’s okay, it still does it job --- no waterproof, but definitely helped with the WIND.}  I knew they were not going to be waterproof but we opted to wear them instead of our rain jackets.  We wanted our rain jackets to be dry for our Saturday morning long runs since rain was predicted for all weekend.  We got soaked but we had a good run!  The husband took Lucy out for a quick run afterwards.  She had a blast in the rain even though she normally is not a rain fan.  {We have to force her to go out to go potty when its raining usually!}


I wore my Zensah compression sleeves as leg warmers this time so that I wouldn’t get water on my legs from my feet kicking it up!  Worked like a charm :)

Run:  2.96/35:01/11:49 avg
Warm-up:  0.25/5:34
Cool Down:  0.12/2:25

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {65min}

Plank-a-day #20

Saturday 01.21

I had a great slow long run and chatted away the miles with a fellow running group member!  It was chilly and I wore my rain jacket but the skies cleared and there was no rain!  I felt really good, even though this was my 5th day of running this week, and I didn’t walk once!

Sat 01.21 long run collage

I wore my Zensah compression sleeves again as leg warmers so that my lower legs would stay dry.  {Though it didn’t end up raining on me.}  After every run I do a 3-5 minute wall drain.  It does wonders for recovery --- try it if you haven’t already.  {Lay with your butt close to a wall and extend you legs up the wall.  Easy.  Effective.  Relaxing.} 

Run:  5.0/1:00:10/12:08 avg
Warm-up:  untimed plyos
Cool Down:  0.38/7:00

Walk:  1.43/27:00

Plank-a-day #21

Sunday 01.22

Active recovery day.  I did a short walk with the puppy then some yoga.  Felt good to flex and stretch the muscles after a long week of working out every day. 

Walk:  1.87/35:00

Yoga:  25min {Yoga for Runners}

Plank-a-day #22

Total Miles = 29.47

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 11hrs, 39min
Calories Burned = 4851


Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 64


Meal Plan Monday {Jan 23} + WW {Wk36}

Yesterday I had one of those days where I wasn’t feeling particularly like myself … I wasn’t sad or upset or angry, but I wasn’t happy or energetic either. And, unfortunately, it has flowed over into today also. I can’t really pinpoint the issue so I’m just hoping to get back to feeling like my normal self soon.

This is going to be a pretty simple week. We’ve got two new recipes we are trying {one rolled over from last week} and three meals that will create enough for leftovers!

Monday ~ Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken over rice with salad

I didn’t end up cooking this last week so it rolled over into this week. I’m really looking forward to it.

Tuesday ~ leftovers

Wednesday ~ Lentil and Black Bean Stew with salad

I found this recipe in a recent issue of Runners World. I’m very optimistic about it and I’ll share the recipe if it turns out good.

Thursday ~ leftovers

Friday ~ Pasta with marinara sauce with salad

Saturday ~ leftovers

Sunday ~ Turkey Burgers with salad

What’s on your menu this week?
Do you meal plan? Why or why not?
Got a favorite recipe that I’ve got to try? Please share :)
Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover! There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Weight Watchers Week 36 {01.16.12 – 01.22.12}
Weigh-in {01.23.12} = 138 lbs
Week 35 Loss/Gain = –1 lbs
Total Weight Loss = –12.2 lbs
Starting Weight {05.16.11} = 150.2 lbs
I earned 64 activity points! {And used 45 of them.}
I exercised everyday!
*Previous WW recaps can be found HERE.

01.23-1For the most of the week I had a hard time reaching my Daily Target
Saturday ~ used some activity points for a couple of beers & take-n-bake pizza
Sunday ~ Fat Free Frozen Yogurt :) :) :)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Thankful – Wk3

It’s all the little every day things that make life so extraordinary and this year I want to make sure I am appreciating and focusing more on them.  In an effort to remember to slow down, let the little things go, and enjoy every moment of this life I am going to share what I’ve been thankful for each week.

be joyful 2 copy 
This week I’m thankful for …

    • Quality time with my familylast weekend we were in my hometown to celebrate my niece’s 9th birthday AND my mom’s birthday!  I don’t go home to visit as often as I use to so I cherish these family times together – especially around holidays/birthdays!
    • My father-in-lawwhile we were out of town our rear license plate fell off.  Luckily it was barely hanging on when we discovered it so we didn’t lose it.  When we got back home we got an estimate to get it repaired {the screws needed re-welded} that was outrageous.  My FIL came to the rescue and had it fixed for free yesterday!
    • Quick jewelry repaira few days ago I noticed one of the prongs on my wedding ring was lifted up and had a crack in it.  I immediately removed it and put it in my jewelry box until I could take it to get it fixed.  Yesterday afternoon I stopped by our local jewelry store where my ring was purchased and there were able to fix in the same day!  They eve were able to clean out all the hard water stains and dipped it in Rhodium – it looks brand new again! 
    • Local music venueslast night we went to see the one-man jam-band Keller Williams at Harlow's Nightclub in Downtown Sacramento.  His shows are always amazing and its a treat when he comes to our town so we don’t have to travel to see him :)
    • The rainwe need it.  Though, I wish we didn’t. 
    • Good friendsespecially those that you don’t see all that often but when you do it’s like no time has passed at all!
    • Inspiration … found in the least likely of places.

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend … rock your workouts, long runs or races :)



{Thanks to Sam at Fitness Food & Faith for this wonderful idea … I’ve enjoyed reading her thankful posts ever since I discovered her blog!}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Heather at 365 Days of Awesome is hosting an amazing virtual race right now that supports her fundraising efforts for Team Gab and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation for the Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon in honor of her daughter Gabby who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011. 

Go HERE to find out how you can participate in the virtual race and support Team Gab!

DO IT.  Heather has some AMAZING prizes lined up and will start choosing winners on Friday January 20th.  You don’t want to miss out.  Choose a race distance.  Donate.  You’ve got until February 17th to run your virtual race.  CANCER KNOWS NO AGE.  #cancersucks


2.   Since we are already talking about running … I ran for 30 minutes without needing or wanting to walk on Monday!  That’s progress friends.  Last week I ran 4 days.  If you’ve been reading for a while then you know for all of last year I only ran 3 days a week.  This week I plan to attempt to run 5 days.  And going forward that is my goal.  5 days a week.  I’m tired just thinking about it.  Also this week I stepped outside my comfort zone and took a Spin Class at my gym.  I’ve taken spin once before about 6 years ago but I don’t remember it being anything like class was this week.  I LOVED IT.  I can’t wait to go again.  I was thinking about going today but my sitting bones are sooo sore still and I would rather run!  Next week I’ll be back!

3.  For those of you who don’t know I’ve been following the Weight Watchers program since last May.  On WW every food is assigned a point value.  Recently my daily allotted points went from 29 to 26 because they overhauled the program.  At first I was concerned about loosing 3 pts a day but lately I’ve noticed that I have a hard time eating all my daily points.  I think this has to do with the fact that I’ve been avoiding junk food this month and that I recently made a change to our dinners and started to include small salads.  Having a small salad before dinner each night has been filling me up and I haven’t been wanting to snack as much after dinner.  {Salad includes green leaf lettuce, half a tomato, and a mixture of julienned carrots, zucchini and radish topped with homemade ranch dressing --- also sometimes I add whatever other veggies I have on hand like mushrooms or broccoli and/or feta cheese.}  Even though yesterday I felt like I couldn’t eat enough all day long I still had leftover daily allotted points at the end of the day.  {Don’t worry, I eat a lot.  In fact I am going to do a “What I Ate Post” soon.  Its just that I eat a lot of no-point or low-point foods all day long.}  Anyways my point of this randomness was that I decided to increase my greek yogurt serving for breakfast in an attempt to increase my daily points.  So this morning I had 1/2 a cup {instead of only a 1/3 of a cup} mixed with a mashed banana, strawberry jam, and raw oats.  And?  Well, I couldn’t eat it all!  It just seemed like so much more food so I ended up putting the leftovers in the fridge and I’ll eat it later as a snack.  Oh vey.

Did you click on the links above to donate to Team Gab and run the virtual race?  WHAT are you WAITING for?!? 


Got any randomness you’d like to share today?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weekly Recap {01/09-01/15}

This was another really great week with lots of workouts.  We had our first weekly training group session for the spring half marathon training group that I am mentoring through our local running store.  It was a info session on form and then a speed workout.  I had to remind myself to take it easy because I really shouldn’t be doing speed work quite yet. 

This week I tried something new … I ran 4 days instead of only 3 and I felt great.  I also kept up with three days of core work, a day of yoga, cross training, my PT exercises {though I missed two days, #FAIL} and my plank-a-day.  I’m hoping to get my running up to 5 days a week {two days for time, two days for distance including a long run, and one group workout at the track for “speed” --- where I plan to keep it slow & easy for now while I am still rebuilding my base and endurance}.  {Also I plan to get my spring half marathon training plan posted soon.} 

The husband missed a day of planking so he had to restart a day 1 --- which means I finally beat him at something!  Woohoo!!!  I’m still doing 30 second planks and they are finally starting to feel more controlled and I’m less shaky.  I feel like my core is getting stronger and that I #suckless than when I started. 

ALSO --- so far I’ve worked out every single day of this year {either running or at the gym or active rest days with walking} and I plan to keep my run/walk streak going as long as I can!  I’ve almost reached 50 miles for this month already :)

I linked all my workouts to my Daily Mile logs if you really want to read about them. Are we friends on Daily Mile yet?!?

Weekly Recap {01.09.12 – 01.15.12}

Monday 01.09

Walk:  2.36/45:00

PT Exercises + Stretches:  40min

Plank-a-day #9 + Core work

Tuesday 01.10


This was our first group track workout night and since it was dark I decided to wear bright colors! 

Run:  2.52/32:02 {track workout w/training group}

Walk:  1.76/35:00

PT Exercises + Stretches:  20min

Yoga:  34min {two videos today:  Hip Opening + Yoga for your Cycle}

Plank-a-day #10

Wednesday 01.11

Walk {treadmill}:  1.67/30min

PT Exercises + Stretches:  22min

Gym – Cardio:  Elliptical {40min} + Recumbent Bike {30min}

Plank-a-day #11 + Core Work

Thursday 01.12

It was chilly even after 8am.  I dressed in layers including my favorite running jacket that has thumb holes!



After my run I bundled Lucy up in her fleece jacket and we went for a walk.

Run:  3.0/33:47/11:15 avg + Warm-up:  0.22/4:12 & Cool Down:  0.29/5:48

Walk:  2.0/38:00

Plank-a-day #12

Friday 01.13

I ran on the treadmill at the gym.  That’s all I really need to say about that :)

Run {treadmill}:  2.59/30:00 + Cool Down:  0.24/5:00

Walk:  1.78/35:00

PT Exercises + Stretches:  27min

Gym – Cardio:  Pre-run Elliptical {20min} + Post Run Elliptical {30min}

Plank-a-day #13 + Core Work

Saturday 01.14


We were out of town visiting my family in my hometown for birthday celebrations and ran along the river.  I didn’t really think about the hill course we choose until we were out there so I just walked up the hills as necessary.  I felt really good.  It was cold and the soccer fields were covered in frost!

Run {Oroville}:  4.20/50:00/11:54 avg + Cool Down:  0.79/15:00

Walk:  1.0/19:35

PT Exercises + Stretches:  21min

Plank-a-day #14

Sunday 01.15

Walk:  1.15/27:19

Plank-a-day #15

Total Miles = 25.57

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 12hrs, 19min
Calories Burned =  3865


Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 56


Monday, January 16, 2012

Meal Plan Monday {Jan 16} + WW {Wk35}

We spent the weekend in my hometown with my family for two separate birthday celebrations. My sweet little niece turned 9 on the 10th and we had a party at my brothers house on Saturday with her friends and some family. My mom had a birthday yesterday {the 15th} and we {me & the husband and my brother, his girlfriend & my niece} took her & our step-dad out to a late lunch / early dinner {“linner”} and then had ice cream and cake back at her house before we headed back home. It was great weekend and we got to spend lots of quality time with family {we also snuck in a visit to my dads house on Sunday morning to see him & my step-mom} --- the best way to spend a weekend, especially when cake is involved :)

Last weeks Turkey Chili with Lentils turned out good --- except next time it definitely needs more seasoning/spices. However, it was cheap and healthy and low in WW points. Plus I’ve got half a bag of leftover lentils which means I’ll be finding a way to use them again. #healthyonabudget

Here is the recipe I followed:

Turkey Chili with Lentils
Adapted from THIS recipe by Rachael Ray

10 oz cooked ground turkey {lean – 97/3}
*I cooked up a whole package {we get our ground turkey at Costco} but froze half to use later
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans {chickpeas}
1 – 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 cup dry lentils

Brown turkey, drain off fat. Add in onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add spices, beans, tomatoes, lentils and 2 cups of water. Simmer until thick and lentils fully cooked, adding more water and/or spices as needed. Served topped with green onions.
{I ended up adding about 6 cups of water total because it kept getting evaporated.}
*Next time I’d add more chili powder, some cayenne powder, and some red pepper flakes. Also I might cook the lentils separate so they don’t absorb so much of the water.

We didn’t end up eating the leftovers last night since we had such a late lunch + cake & ice cream … so we’ll be enjoying the leftovers tonight. I think I’ll add some more spices while I’m reheating it on the stove top :)

Also, the pork chops turned out really good. The husband grilled them on our propane barbeque and dinner was done in a jiffy. We got the chops {lean & boneless} on sale and we’ll definitely keep an eye out for future sales since we got two chops {about 0.75 of a lb} for under $3. #healthyonabudget


Monday ~ leftover chili from last week with salad

See recipe above.

Tuesday ~ Black Bean & Wild Rice Burgers {freezer} with salad

Still trying to slowly eat our way through some of the stocked up food in our freezer :)
*I lost the link to the recipe :(

Wednesday ~ Tofu Chow Mein with salad

I’m hoping this turns out as good as its sounding in my head! I’ll share the recipe if it does :)

Thursday ~ leftovers with salad

Friday ~ Pasta with Marinara Sauce {freezer} & Turkey Meatballs from Trader Joe’s with salad

Saturday ~ Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken over rice with salad

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I’m excited to give it a try :)

Sunday ~ leftover pasta with salad

What’s on your menu this week?
Do you meal plan? Why or why not?
Got a favorite recipe that I’ve got to try? Please share :)
Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover! There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Weight Watchers Week 35 {01.19.12 – 01.15.12}
Weigh-in {01.16.12} = 139 lbs
Week 34 Loss/Gain = –0.6 lbs
Total Weigh Loss = –11.2 lbs
Starting Weight {05.16.11} = 150.2 lbs
I earned 56 activity points {and used them all}
I exercised everyday!
*I had another great week and tracked everything I ate {even ice cream + cake + eating out} the best I could. I used all my activity points and most of my weekly allowance points on cake, ice cream, and going out to eat for Chinese food.
*Previous WW recaps can be found HERE.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Thankful – Wk2

Its all the little every day things that make life so extraordinary and this year I want to make sure I am appreciating and focusing more on them.  In an effort to remember to slow down, let the little things go, and enjoy every moment of this life I am going to share what I’ve been thankful for each week. 

be joyful 2 copy

This week I’m thankful for …

    • my amazing, wonderful, supportive husband because he always takes the dog out every single night to go potty before bed AND for always being the one to get up with her in the middle of the night …
    • … and for always going shopping with me!
    • my gym membership!
    • my spring half marathon training plan and for three weeks of pain free runs thus far :)
    • the abundant sunshine and warm temps we’ve been experiencing so far this year … I know the rain is coming so I want to enjoy the sunny days while I can!
    • big, no HUGE, salads with dinner every night this week … so yummy loaded up with my favorite veggies and so filling :)
    • fresh brewed hot herbal tea on cold mornings!

Happy Friday the thirteenth!  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend … rock your workouts, long runs or races :)

{Thanks to Sam at Fitness Food & Faith for this wonderful idea … I’ve enjoyed reading her thankful posts ever since I discovered her blog!}

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  So … a while ago I saw THIS on Pinterest {are you on Pinterest?  If so, follow me HERE --- if you need an invite leave me a comment with your email address} and decided that it seemed like a GREAT idea.  I added it to my January Goals {so I would remember to do it} and during the first week of the year I spent some time switching all my hangars.  Now, I’m just OCD enough that I had to turn every garment around because I need all my clothes to face a certain way which meant I couldn’t just turn around every hangar.  It was a little tedious but didn’t really take that long.  Here’s the thing though … you’ll notice in my photo below that not that many hangars have been turned back around yet.  We are 12 days into the new year.  You’d think I would have worn more than 1 or 2 outfits, right?  Um, no.  I live in sweatshirts and pj pants around the house all day and if I’m not in that then it means I’m working out so I’m in running clothes!  Seriously.  Must.Get.Out.Of.House.More.Often.  Ugh.  Today I did actually get dressed and get out of the house … but then I violated one of my other January Goals {to not spend any $ frivolously}.  Oh vey. 
{The husband also turned around all this hangars – I’m interested to see who has more “unworn” clothes at the end of year!}

2.   Speaking of frivolously spending … I got dressed and out of the house today so I could go to The Dollar Tree for wrapping paper.  But since that store is in the same shopping center as our local used bookstore I decided to stop off there too.  You see I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas but I also had about $80 in store credit for the bookstore and my SIL got me a $20 gift certificate for Christmas.  And I had some books to sell for more credit.  While the clerk was processing the books I brought in I was browsing the shelves and ended up picking out 9 books!  After my gift certificate and my store credit I spent $28 {you can only used store credit to pay for half the price of the book you buy}.  Not too shabby for 9 books.  The husband and I are both using the Kindle Fire to read books so my stack of books to read when he is using the Kindle is growing!  Luckily, I read much faster than he does.  I also ended up at Sport Chalet where I picked up a gym bag.  I use to have a bag that I really liked but I let the husband use it and it quickly got destroyed.  For Christmas I gifted him a new bag and after he used it to pack all his running gear when we out of town over the Christmas weekend I realized that I could really benefit from having a separate bag for my gear when we travel too.  So, I picked out a bag for me today and I’m looking forward to using it soon.  Oh shopping … you are my biggest weakness :)

duffle bag  
My new bag.  I realllllly like that it has a separate compartment for shoes!

3.  The year of the goatee ended!  Back story = right around the end of 2010/beginning of 2011 I mentioned to the husband that he should grow his goatee for the whole year {2011} to see how long it could get.  He grew it out once before back in 2008 but only for a few months {it was long in our engagement photos form October 2008 but short & trimmed for our wedding photos in March 2009}.  The husband says I “dared” him but I don’t recall actually using those words.  Whatever.  So, 2011 became the year of the goatee.  It really didn’t bother me all that much for the majority of the year but around the end of the summer I really started to despise it.  Loathe it might be a better term.  But on Janurary 1st 2012 it was finally shaved off!  Woohoo.  I made him promise to never ever grow it out that long again!  It ended up being over 5 inches long when stretched out --- ridiculous.  Of course I documented the shaving process for your viewing pleasure :)


This was a really random three things Thursday … so I thought I’d add a random photo of the kitty & puppy too :)

L L  
Layla {kitty} + Lucy {puppy … errr, dog?!?  She’s two now}
They don’t always snuggle like this but they both enjoy laying in the patch of sun on the carpet during the day in the office :)


Got any randomness you’d like to share today?