Friday, March 30, 2012

Thankful – Wk13

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 {Source}

This week I’m thankful for …

  • Comfort food … because sometimes you just need a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Wearing jeans to work … especially on those days you just need the extra comfort
  • All the bad (days, moods, runs) because they make the GOOD that much better
  • Love songs … and signing out loud along with them in the car
  • Uggs.  Enough said :)
  • iPhone games (Words with Friends, Draw Something, Scramble with Friends) and being able to “connect” with the husband, family, and friends during the day
  • The amazing people I’ve met through running :)


What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Race Goals

I’m running a half marathon this weekend!  I’m really excited for this race.  It’s local (starting line is less than 1 mile from my house); it’s the inaugural race; it’s flat; I know a lot of people running it; they got awesome sponsors and lots of post race fun going on; my running coaches are apart of the race committee and very involved in the race; it’s projected to SELL OUT :)

Race Goals:

  1. Have fun, thank the volunteers, and enjoy the race!
  2. 2:30 finish or 11:30 overall average
  3. Race smart, pick up the pace when I can, fuel early and often, and give it all I have :)

2.  Sciatica

Now that I’ve shared my race goals … I guess now would be a good time to discuss my worries.  Last Friday at work I got a shooting pain down my right leg that forced me out of my chair to stretch.  I knew immediately that it was sciatica related.  After a few minutes of standing and stretching it went away.  I ran that night (5.12 miles in 54:33, 10:39 avg) and felt fine.  On Saturday during my long run (10 miles in 1:44:36, 10:27 avg) my right hip was tight as well as my right hamstring.  After the run (I really pushed the pace and surprised myself with my overall average) and some stretching/relaxing I felt better.  I skipped my planned recovery run the next day and on Tuesday I had more hip tightness and some tightness in my right groin.  For the last several days I’ve woken up in the morning with lower back pain.  As I sit here writing this post I am having some tightness in my right hip.  I’ve been doing lots of stretching and using The Stick, Foam Roller, and my tennis ball (on the sciatica nerve/piriformis).  This is all too familiar.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m worried.

3.  Streaking

I’ve lost some of my momentum and motivation for my monthly challenges.  I’ve kept my Plank-a-day streak going but I’ve slacked off on the leg and core workouts as well as my PT Exercises (not good considering #2 above) and cross training (I’ve only been to the gym once since I started my new job).  Also, my “walk or run at least 1 mile a day” streak that I started on 12.31.11 ended after after 86 days and 358.68 miles.  While I would have loved to keep my run/walk streak going it just wasn’t realistic any longer :(


What’s on your mind today?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An ode to the 13.1

Last fall, before my injury escalated, I decided my long term running goal was to stay in half marathon shape.  I even mentioned it.   I wanted to keep my long run mileage between 8 – 12 miles every week so that I could run a half at any time.  Then I got injured.  And I took 8 weeks off.  And I had to rebuild my running all over again.  And three months later, I’m back.  In fact, I’ve already run the half marathon distance once in a training run.  And I’m looking forward to racing this weekend.

Here’s the thing … I love the 13.1 distance.  But that wasn’t always the case.  In fact I never thought I would run a half marathon, or a marathon for that matter.  And yet, I did.  And I survived.  In fact, at times, I’ve thrived.  It’s never been easy.  There have always been struggles and injuries.  But there have also been adventures.  And smiles with the tears.  Friendships have been forged from the camaraderie of group training.  I’ve learned more about myself, and about the sport, than I thought was possible.  I’ve been fortunate enough to share my love of running with my husband and we’ve had some amazing times pounding the pavement and piling on the training miles. 

Only a fellow runnerd can understand my love affair with running.  Those that don’t understand can’t fathom why I would want to run 13.1 miles, or beyond.  They don’t understand the thrill or the joy of the accomplishment.  They don’t get that a good run is like the first warm spring day after a long winter or that a bad run makes those good runs that much better.  Or that crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles is about more than just that run on that day … it’s about every single mile in the weeks and months leading up to it.  It’s about early mornings and track workouts and electrolyte drinks and gel’s and never ending laundry.  It’s about the love of the sport.  It’s about the run

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meal Plan Monday {March 26}

Monday again?!? 

I’m declaring this week another “detox” week after way too much overindulging last week, especially over the weekend (trips to the vending machine at work, candy, cookies, cupcakes, eating out, wine, beer --- I’m getting another stomach ache just thinking about it all).  I’m getting back on the healthy eating train … and perfect timing since I’ve got a half marathon on Sunday :)

Speaking of indulging … last night we had one of my favorite “comfort foods” for dinner --- mashed potatoes and corn.  Followed up with a glass of wine and way too many chocolate chip cookies (another favorite “comfort food”).

What is your favorite comfort food?!?

I also spent some time yesterday evening cooking up a big batch of quinoa and we had some mixed with chicken alongside the mashed potatoes and corn last night.  The rest of the quinoa I used to make a big bowl of quinoa salad for my lunches this week.  I also cooked the Chicken Pot Pie Soup below on the meal plan this week.  I spent some time pre-prepping the rest of my lunch and snacks for work too so I would have a little extra time in the mornings (you know, to do things like BLOG --- because I just haven’t found the time anywhere else to do it yet).  I still want to share my quinoa salad recipe … it’s so yummy and quick & easy too.  I can’t wait to eat some for lunch today :)

What is one of your favorite lunch meals?  Do you bring your lunch to work and if so do you pre-prep your lunch or do you go out for lunch?

Monday ~ Spinach & Feta Pasta

We ended up having Chinese Food last Friday night instead of making pasta (I know, it was a surprise to us too since we almost always have pasta before a long run) so I decided to add this pasta dish to the menu this week.  It’s one of my favorites :)

Tuesday ~ Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I cooked this last night so it will be easy to reheat after our group workout on Tuesday and reheat the leftovers on Thursday for dinner.  I had a little sample and let me just say … YUM-O!

Wednesday ~ Lentil Tacos

Super easy.  Super yummy.

Thursday ~ leftover soup

Friday ~ Pre-race Pasta Party

Hosted by fellow members of our running group and most of our running group members will be in attendance :)

Saturday ~ Pasta with marinara sauce and turkey meatballs

Typical pre-race dinner :)

Sunday ~ Post race PIZZA!

Don’t know yet if we’ll go out for pizza or have it delivered or get a take-n-bake … but I do know we will be having some form of PIZZA.  Heck, I might even bake it myself :)


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 in {03.26.12} = 137.4 lbs
Loss/Gain from previous week = +1.8

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thankful – Wk12

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 {Source}

This week I’m thankful for …

    • My husband ~ my best friend, my soul mate, my partner, the yin to my yang :)

We celebrated our third wedding anniversary this week and we’ve been together for seven years this month.  Often times, in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, I take my husband for granted.  I feel very lucky, and fortunate, to have found the one person in the whole world who understands me and completes me. 


What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Hi friends!  It’s almost the weekend, can I get a woohoo?!? 

1.  My next half marathon is in 10 days!  I’m getting really excited.  This race is going to be great.  While the course is not that “scenic” it is pancake flat.  I’ve got a few goals for this race … but I’m going to wait to talk about those until next week. 

2.  Is it some type of Murphy’s Law that states anytime you have plans or want to get out of work on time … you end up having to stay late?  Or does that only happen to me.  I’m not really complaining because I love my new job (and I’m extremely happy to be working again) … but it’s just a strange phenomenon that has happened to me twice in the past two weeks.  Does that ever happen to you?

3.  Remember a few weeks ago when I was talking about my pants and shopping for new ones for my new job?  Well, it turns out that I can wear jeans!  So, I returned half of the new pants I bought and I mix up my wardrobe with jeans, khakis, and black pants.  I’ll start adding in some skirts and dresses during the warmer months too.  My credit card was very happy that I made those returns especially after two expensive vet visits over the weekend for three sick animals.  (The dogs went on Saturday for a slew of reasons and then the cat ended up having to go on Sunday evening for worms).   


Some updates:

Linus is adapting well and the other pets are adapting to him also.  He is going to need a lot of training and work but we are happy that he is apart of our family.  He gets to go for his first walk tonight! 

Lucy’s walking streak ended last Tuesday (the day we brought Linus home).  I got home from work with minutes to spare before having to leave for our group run and when we got home there was just too much going on with the new puppy.  Then she came down with Kennel Cough.  I really miss walking her each day :(

I have skipped several days of core and leg workouts (part of my March Goals) but my Plank-a-day streak is still going as well as my walk or run 1 mile a day streak. 


What are your plans for the weekend?  After two busy weekends in a row … this weekend I’m looking forward to my last long run before my next half marathon and then spending some time at home relaxing, cleaning, organizing, and blog reading! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three Years

Today is our three year wedding anniversary!

jjw321-0113 copy





All photos by Debbie Brown Photography

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meal Plan Monday {March 19}

Today was a long day!  I went straight from work to a meeting for an organization that I’m planning on joining later this year.  I didn’t get home until after 8:30 p.m. and when I walked in the door the first thing I did was change and hop on the treadmill to walk a mile to keep my “at least 1 mile a day” streak going (today was day 80).  Thankfully we had leftovers for dinner tonight and I just finished eating.  There is no time to let my food digest because it’s way past my bedtime and tomorrow is going to be another long day! 

Our meal plan is very plain, simple, and easy this week and Wednesday is our 3rd wedding anniversary

Is your week going to be as busy as mine?  Anything exciting going on that you are looking forward to?

Monday ~ leftover Vegetable Lasagna

Tuesday ~ Chicken Tacos

We purchased a rotisserie chicken at Costco over the weekend to use this week for quick(er) meals.  For only $4.99 we couldn’t pass it up!

Wednesday ~ Third Wedding Anniversary, out to dinner to celebrate :)

Thursday ~ Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni

This didn’t get cooked last week so I moved it to this week and I plan on using some of the rotisserie chicken in it.

Friday ~ Pasta with marinara sauce

Saturday ~ leftover pasta

Sunday ~ Chili {freezer}


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 in {03.19.12} = 135.6 lbs
Loss/Gain from previous week = –0.2 lbs

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I can’t sleep when my mind is full

Woke up at 6 a.m. – after not getting into bed until after 11 p.m. and 3 strawberry margaritas last night.  I can’t sleep when my mind is full or when I know I have a lot I need/want to do. 

1.  I love my new job.  But, as much as I love it … I miss blogging, reading blogs, and interacting with bloggy friends.  I’ll get back into the swing of things soon.  Hopefully.

2.  Yesterday Lucy had a bad accident in her crate (she was crated in the hallway) and Linus escaped his crate (apparently he’s an escape artist) and had accidents all over our bedroom (he was crated in our master bedroom with the door shut).  Both had bloody stools so off to the vet we went … two hours later and a vet bill larger than my first paycheck from my new job we discovered Kennel Cough and parasites for both doggies.  We came home with 6 different medications.  :(

3.  Linus also escaped the house via the garage on Thursday morning while the husband was trying to get out the door.  Luckily we chased him down, in the rain, pretty quickly.

4.  I missed WIAW and Three Things Thursday this week.  I had 238 unread emails this morning and my Google Reader is up to 770 unread items.  Every time I think I’ve found some free time to sit down at the computer and catch up … something else comes up. 

5.  It’s our third wedding anniversary this week!  Yay :)

6.  I ran in the rain three times this past week.  I always run faster in the rain.  Tuesday 4 miles @ 10:24 avg pace; Wednesday 3.1 miles @ 10:10 avg pace; Friday 3.44 miles @ 10:34 avg pace.  (This reminds me that I need to update my Daily Mile.)  No rain for my long run yesterday (12 miles @ 11:38 avg pace with my running buddies Kat & Rene).  Don’t know yet if I’ll run today or not … and right now it’s not raining but it’s forecasted to later today.  I thought about a relaxing day today but then I realized that after yesterday I have a million and one things to get done today.  :(

7.  Do you think a chocolate chip cookie is appropriate for breakfast because I have a whole plate of them on my counter that I baked last night and I really want one right now at 7:40 a.m.  I think it would go really well with my cup of coffee …

8.  The husband and I are thinking about running a 10k race next weekend.  It’s right down the street from our house (like less than 2 miles away).  We ran this race in 2009, but only the 5k.  We still have not yet decided. 

9.  Gas prices are on the rise.  I’m sure you knew this already.  Lucky me --- they started to go up right around the time I got a job with a 40+ mile round trip commute.  Boo.

10.  Thanks to the husband (who only recently started drinking coffee and coffee flavored drinks) and our running buddies I recently discovered the joys of a post run coffee treat.  Some of our running friends have been making a trip to Starbucks post long run and I mostly avoided it due to extra calories and frivolous spending (since I usually have coffee at home).  Last week I had my first post run Starbucks visit and I felt so amazing the rest of the day.  Not overly tired like I usually do.  I’m now convinced it’s necessary after every long run!  (I usually get a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte for only 120 calories.)

Seriously I bet I could ramble on all day with random thoughts and tidbits.  But, I better go make some breakfast.  I’ve got a busy and full day ahead of me.  I’m determined to find some time this week to catch up on all your blogs. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thankful – Wk11

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 {Source}

This week was … challenging.  Traffic, rain, having to work late, a new dog.  I thought about all these things, and many more, as I reflected on the week and realized that it’s definitely times likes these that I need to be extra mindful and grateful for all the blessings in my life, big or small.

This week I’m thankful for …

    • Adventurous long runs, the kind where the laughs never stop
    • My Bluetooth and using my commute time to chat with my parents
    • The husband’s patience with the new dog
    • My first paycheck from my new job
    • Running in the rain with the husband, not worrying about our time or our pace and just enjoying each others company
    • Being able to see all our running friends race last weekend
    • Coffee :)


What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The newest member of our family


Introducing Linus – the newest member of the Journey Thru Life family.  We adopted him on Sunday and brought him home from the shelter today.  He is a 15 month old English Coonhound.  We are hopeful that he’ll make the transition into our family smoothly and that Lucy (and Layla the kitty) will adapt and learn to love him.  Wish us luck!

Weekly Recap {03/05-03/11}

Hi friends!  I’ve got about 10 minutes before I’ve got to get off the computer to finish getting ready for work.  I’m still adjusting to my new work schedule and trying to figure out the best work/life balance I can while maintaining my priorities.  This has been a big adjustment since my previous job was less than 5 miles away (and my commute was about 10 minute total) and I worked an early shift which meant I was home usually by 4 or 4:30 p.m. --- now I’ve got a 40 minute commute each way and I work until 5 or 5:30 p.m., not to mention I was unemployed for over a year and had a lot of free time!  My Google Reader has over 500 unread items and I’m trying to read sporadically and catch up with everyone but I haven’t had much time (I haven’t been able to comment either).  Last weekend I was hoping for some down time but I ended up being on the go almost all weekend long (this weekend I should have a lot more down time as I don’t have any plans other than running, church, and grocery shopping).  I am working on a recap post from my adventurous long run last weekend (if we are friends on Daily Mile --- you can read the mini recap HERE) … it was such a fun and unexpected run that I can’t wait to share more about it (including photos!).  Anyways, just know that I am still around … and I’ll get back into the swing of things soon!  In fact, I should have an exciting post to share later tonight so check back :)

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

This week I returned to work (Wed-Fri) and I managed to stay on track with most of my workouts (I missed one day of PT Exercises and only made it to the gym once – though I did run 5 days!). 

Tuesday night we had a hard workout at the track with our training group – in gusty winds!  Wednesday morning I ran on our treadmill at 5 a.m. while watching a movie (also this was my first day at my new job).  Thursday I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and made it to the gym for some cross training.  Friday morning I got up super early (again) and ran with the husband (it was chilly out but at least there was a full moon).  Saturday I ran with my husband and our friend Kelly instead of with our running group.  It was a great run and I’m going to post more about it separately (hopefully soon).  We woke up early on Sunday too to go spectate the Shamrock’n Half Marathon in Downtown Sacramento.  Some of the members of our running group ran this race so we were out on the course in Old Sacramento to see them and cheer them on (with our cow bells!).  I didn’t take any photos because I was too busy cheering everyone on but we did get to see every member of our group that ran the race!  This was the husbands first time spectating a race and we both had so much fun!  I think as a runner you really understand the appreciation of race spectators.  Anytime I saw someone looking like they were struggling I made sure to make eye contact with them and smile big and ring my cow bell and I always got a big smile back from them.  Later in the evening on Sunday we took Lucy for a short run around the neighborhood. 

All in all it was a pretty good week.  There are only three weeks until my next half marathon! 

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 {03.05.12 – 03.11.12}

Monday 3/5

Walk:  2.09/40:27

Plank-a-day #64, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, March Madness Leg Workout, Pushups, & PT Exercises

Tuesday 3/6

Run – Track Workout:  2.56/24:07
4 sets of 400, 200 RI, 200, 200 RI

  • Set 1 - 400 @ 2:15, 200 RI @ 1:32, 200 @ 1:02, 200 RI @ 1:20
  • Set 2 - 400 @ 2:15, 200 RI @ 1:19, 200 @ 1:12, 200 RI @ 1:14
  • Set 3 - 400 @ 2:06, 200 RI @ 1:25, 200 @ 1:04, 200 RI @ 1:25
  • Set 4 - 400 @ 2:10, 200 RI @ 1:19, 200 @ 1:05, 200 RI @ 1:18

Run - Warm-up:  0.66/7:24
Run - Cool Down:  0.55/6:11

Walk:  1.69/32:40

Plank-a-day #65, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, & March Madness Leg Workout

Wednesday 3/7

Run – Treadmill:  3.54/45:00/12:42 avg

Plank-a-day #66, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, March Madness Legs Workout, Pushups, & PT Exercises

Thursday 3/8

Walk:  1.64/33:03

Elliptical:  35min

Strength Training:  14min

Plank-a-day #67, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, & March Madness Legs Workout

Friday 3/9

Run:  4.21/47:51/11:21 avg
Warm-up:  0.24/5:40
Cool Down:  0.22/4:24

Walk:  1.63/32:42

Plank-a-day #68, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, March Madness Legs Workout, & Pushups

Saturday 3/10

Run:  13.36/2:44:08/12:17 avg

Walk:  1.02/19:52

Plank-a-day #69 & Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts

Sunday 3/11

Run:  2.0/22:10/11:04 avg
Warm-up:  0.24/5:01
Cool Down:  0.19/3:36

Plank-a-day #70, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, March Madness Legs Workout

Total = 35.84

Running = 26.88 (# of runs = 5)
Walking = 8.96

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meal Plan Monday {March 12}

Whew, what a busy weekend I had.  I was constantly on the go with very little down time.  But I did manage to squeeze in a few fun activities like some adventurous running across a dry lake bed and down some fun trails on Saturday morning and some race spectating on Sunday morning.  The weekend flew by and now it’s Monday morning and my first full week at my new job is ahead of me (I only worked three days last week).

I spent some time yesterday afternoon prepping for the work week --- made a quinoa salad, cooked some muffins, picked out my clothes for the week.  This week is going to be busy and exciting … and rainy.  It’s going to rain all week long which means running in the rain.  I’m mentally preparing myself now for it so that when it comes time to head out the door later in the week into the rain I’ll be ready. 

We didn’t stick to our meal plan exactly last week and ended up eating out on Saturday and picking up a take-n-bake pizza for dinner on Sunday from our grocery store (they make the best stuffed crust take-n-bake pizza).  I did do very well at work though and was well prepared with enough snacks and food to get me through my work days (while avoiding the cafe and vending machines).  I plan to share the recipe for the quinoa salad I made sometime this week (it was so good I made it again for this week’s lunches too). 

How was your weekend?  What do you eat for lunch at work during the week?


Monday ~ Tex Mex Sloppy Joes over shredded cabbage

I didn’t make these last week so they got pushed to this week :)

Tuesday ~ leftover pasta

… from last Friday night.

Wednesday ~ Madras Lentils (pre-packaged)

A friend gave us a box of these from Costco after I mentioned to her how much we have been enjoying lentils lately.  I’m planning on running Wednesday evening after work so I thought this would be a quick and easy meal for the husband to “cook” for dinner while I’m out running :)

Thursday ~ Tofu Tacos 

Simple yet delicious. 

Friday ~ Homemade Vegetable Lasagna

Look --- it’s something besides “pasta with marinara sauce” but it’s still technically pasta with marinara sauce.  I’ve been craving some lasagna for a few weeks (ever since I saw an episode of The Chew where Mario Batali was making 100 Layer Lasagna).  I’m going to cook my sauce on Thursday evening and I’m using no-boil noodles so prepping this will be easier when I get home from work on Friday night (which is good because if last Friday is any indication about how tired I’m going to be at the end of the work week then “easy” is definitely going to need to be a requirement for Friday night dinners – last Friday I fell asleep on the couch while the husband was cooking dinner).

Saturday ~ Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni

I’m adding poached diced chicken to this dish to make it a “meal”.

Sunday ~ leftover lasagna


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 in {03.12.12} = 135.8 lbs
Loss/Gain from previous week = –0.6 lbs

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thankful – Wk10

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 {Source}

This week I’m thankful for …

    • My father-in-law … he came to our assistance again last weekend by helping the husband fix our lawnmower on Saturday afternoon and then helping him build a dog house for Lucy on Sunday afternoon :)
    • My local running community and seeing so many familiar faces at the 5k last weekend
    • My supportive family … all the parents {mine and the husband’s} and my SIL checked in on me after my first day at my new job to see how it went, and I got a super sweet card in the mail from my cousin :)
    • The husband’s help this week around the house while I adjust to going back to work
    • My motivation to get out of bed super early to get in my workouts before work … and I’m hoping it continues!
    • MY NEW JOB and all the people I’ve met there so far … everyone has been very welcoming and helpful :)
    • The warm wishes of congratulations from my fellow bloggy buddies :)

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  So, I started my new job yesterday and so far, so good.  I’m really looking forward to learning more about my position in the next several weeks.

2.  I’m exhausted.  I got up early on my first day at work and ran on the treadmill.  I got up early again today to hit the gym.  Tomorrow I’m planning on getting up early to run with the husband.  And of course I’ll be up early on Saturday for my long run.  Sleep is overrated.  And despite how exhausted I am at the end of each day, I wouldn’t change a thing.

3.  This is the lamest three things Thursday post I’ve done so far.  All that is going on over here is sleeping, eating, working, and running.  I think it’s going to take me a while to get back into a routine.  I haven’t had time for reading blogs in my Google Reader or even checking Facebook or Twitter.  {I gave up Facebook and Twitter on my iPhone temporarily because it was too distracting – I say I’ve given it up for Lent but I’m not sure how long it will last.  I may cave before Lent is over – or it may go longer.  So far, I’m not missing it because I felt was too connected to the phone all the time and not connected enough to the life going on around me.} 


What’s on your mind today?  When do you fit in your “social media” interactions during the day?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012



WIAW is hosted by Peas & Crayons

This month WIAW goes GREEN

Jenn encourages us to:
Challenge yourself to eat more great fruits and veggies this March!
In addition to your WIAW post, share some green goodness with your readers:
Tell us all about your favorite green fruits, veggies, and herbs!
How do you take an everyday dish and green it up?
Set a goal for a daily/weekly/monthly amount of green produce you'd like to eat.

Today’s eats are from Wednesday February 29th – LEAP day :)

In mid-2008 I overhauled my eating and started to make healthier choices.  One of the changes I made was to start eating more fruit and vegetables.  I started with small changes --- having a piece of fruit for a snack; adding a salad to dinner every night.  As I started to consciously think about the number of fruit and vegetable servings I was eating {or not eating} my habits evolved.  Eventually I started eating a “raw” lunch everyday consisting of a combination of fresh fruit and vegetables that I still continue to eat each day.  I no longer worry about getting in a set number of fruit & vegetable servings each day … in fact some days I wonder if maybe I’m eating too many servings {especially when citrus is in season!}.  On average I eat anywhere from 7-10 servings of fruits/vegetables a day.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll turn into a carrot … LOL.

Do you struggle with adding fruits/vegetables to your meals/snacks?

 IMG_7805 IMG_7796IMG_7808 photo(1)IMG_7811 IMG_7812 IMG_7813 IMG_7814 

Pre-run:  2 PowerBar Engery Blasts Chews {Raspberry}
Post-run Breakfast:  Homemade Chai Tea Latte {brewed some decaf chai tea and then added 1/2 cup of organic vanilla soy milk – so yummy!}; banana; English Muffin with organic strawberry spread from Costco
Lunch #1:  Jamba JuicePomegranate Pick-Me-Up {I was out-and-about shopping this day for new work clothes and needed something to hold me over until I got home!} 
Lunch #2:
  Half of an apple, carrots, grapes, celery
Snack:  String Cheese, Raisins, Pretzel Sticks
Dinner:  Dirty Quinoa {I added some PEAS for green} with sautéed zucchini {more green!} with some milk and a side of Trader Joe’s Macaroni and Cheese {we had one box in the pantry and I was craving it after seeing it in there – so random but so tasty!}



Thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for hosting!

WIAW rules
I created this image using the words on the WIAW rules page

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Race Recap: Elk Grove Fun Run 5k #2 for 2012 {03.03.12} + a new 5k PR

Race:  Elk Grove Fun Run 5k #2 for 2012

Hosted by The Running Zone for The Running Free Foundation {Connecting Kids in Need with the Soles for Running --- donating shoes to needy Sacramento County student athletes}

Date:  Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Official Results:

The Jesse:
3.10/27:36/8:54 avg {PR}
Females 30-34:  2/20
Overall:  39/179

The husband:
3.10/21:11/6:50 avg
Males 30-34:  3/4
Overall:  11/179

Garmin Results: 

The Jesse:
3.15/27:33/8:44 avg
Splits:  8:54, 8:47, 8:43, last 0.15 = 1:09 {7:51 pace}

The husband:
3.11/21:10/6:49 avg
Splits:  7:04, 6:57, 6:38, last 0.11 = 0:30 {4:41 pace}

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This race was the second in the four part series hosted by The Running Zone for 2012 and my second race for this year. 

The husband was up early and out the door before 5am to run some extra mileage before the race.  Our plan was to meet at the race start a half hour before the start time.  He ended up running 12 miles before the race and still managed a sub-7 average pace for the 5k {have I mentioned that I think he is a machine lately!?!} AND ran extra mileage after the race with me and our running buddy Kat!  He’s a running addict.  I created a monster!  Anyways … back to the recap.

I set a few goals for this race and was ultimately aiming for a PR.  On race morning I spent some time planning my pace strategy to achieve my goal.  I decided to aim for negative splits, starting off slower, and use fartleks to pick up my pace as needed.  My pace plan was 1st mile = 9:00, 2nd mile = 8:50, 3rd mile = 8:40, last 0.10 = 1:00 for a finish of 27:30.  Once I was lined up for the race I started to have some doubts that I would be able to pull off my pace plan and PR.  After all, I had ran 6 miles the day before with the husband.  I just decided to try to stick to my plan, aim for my goal, and see what I could do.

We live really close to this race location so I didn’t have to worry about leaving early for traffic or dealing with parking since it’s a small race.  I left our house and arrived to the race start within 5 minutes.  I had plenty of time to find the husband, get our bibs, use the restroom, and chat with fellow running friends and members of the training group I help mentor. 

The race started right on time and I started comfortably fast, getting swept up in the momentum and energy of the other runners.  I had my Garmin set on my lap pace screen which gave me the data for the current lap {lap pace, lap time, lap distance, and current pace}.  After about a quarter of a mile the crowd started to thin.  I would speed up as needed to keep my overall lap pace where I wanted it to be by doing fartleks of 0.20 and then recover as long as I needed.  My first mile came in at 8:54 which was faster than I planned but I was happy to “bank” the time. 

Just before the half way point I passed my running buddy Kat, whom I had been “chasing” since the beginning of the race.  At this point I was starting to get HOT and stripped off my gloves and was really wishing I hadn’t worn so many layers {I was layered up because it was super chilly at the race start}.  Just before the 2nd mile marker I really started to feel tired but my 2nd mile came in at 8:47, still faster than I planned so I slowed down to recover for a little bit. 

The last mile I was planning leap frog with a little boy {10 year old; it was his first race} who would speed up then slow down --- I’m sure he had no idea he was doing “fartleks” or that I was chasing him!  He was great motivation and I would make it my goal to speed up and catch him anytime he passed me.  He would then speed up and pass me again.  He really helped me push to the finish.  {He came up to me after the race to say “good job” and I made sure to tell him I was chasing him and that he did a great job, was super speedy, and my motivation.}  Just before the 3rd mile marker I saw another female runner coming up behind me and I didn’t want her to pass me so I sped up sooner than I had planned for my “sprint to the finish” to keep her from passing me.  {I’m glad I did; she was in my age group!}  My 3rd mile came in at 8:43 and knowing the course always measure a little long on my Garmin I was glad to have “banked” some extra time each mile.  I ran as hard and as fast I could until I crossed the finish line.

My previous PR was 27:49 – my goal for this race was 27:30.  I ended up finishing in 27:36 {official} and shaving 13 seconds off my 5k PR.  I definitely reached my puke threshold a few times and I’m glad I was able to get past it without loosing my breakfast and I was able to finish strong.  Honestly, this was so tough.  I don’t remember the 5k back in September {my previous 5k PR} being that tough.  The husband had to remind me that I’m just getting back the level of stamina I had back then and that is why this felt so much harder.  {Not to mention I hadn’t ran the day before that race like I did this time.}  I don’t actually enjoy running that fast and I don’t want to run that fast again anytime soon {except for shorter speed workouts} so it’s a good thing I don’t have another 5k planned until September! 

With my running buddy Kat :)


After the race we hung out for the raffle {I won some Sport Wash} and then the husband and I headed out with our buddy Kat for some extra miles.  Post race I ate a mini Clif Bar and a mini bagel while waiting for the raffle to start.  It was really starting to warm up and I struggled a bit.  I was tired, my legs were tired, and the food I ate post race was not sitting well in my belly.  But we managed to get in 5.5 miles in 1:03:04 {11:28 average} while chatting away about our upcoming races {I’m excited to be racing with Kat a lot this year!}. 

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What I learned:  I can run fast if I push myself {remember, fast is relative!}

What I would’ve changed:  Nothing.  I ran a smart race and achieved my goals!  Well, maybe I would have worn less layers to avoid getting so hot mid-race.

How I was brilliant:  Duh, I PR’d.  I planned out a good pace strategy and stuck to it even when I wanted to slow down. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekly Recap {02/27-03/04}

Well, I skipped Spin Boot Camp on Tuesday because my hamstrings were still really sore from the previous week.  Then I skipped (regular) Spin Class on Thursday because my right achilles was sore and tingly. 

For our Tuesday night group workout with our training group we did a “tempo” run of 3 miles.  I started with my running friend and fellow training group member Veronica but she switched to a run/walk after about a mile.  I ended up running a “progression” run instead of a tempo.  I finished 3 miles in less than 29 minutes and that sparked an interest in me to aim for a 5k PR at my 5k race on Saturday. 

On Wednesday I woke up to rain and knew that if I didn’t run first thing in the morning I probably wouldn’t so I headed out for my first solo pre-dawn run!  It was a little creepy at first but I quickly got into a groove and daybreak started about half way through the run.  Surprisingly I felt good after a speedy run the night before.

Friday morning the husband woke me up at 4:22 AM and we headed out for a early morning 6 miler just before 5 AM.  It was much less creepy to run in the pre-dawn with the husband by my side.  We ran a new route that he had ran the day before {when he did 13.1 miles before work!!!}.  I think we might be doing early morning runs more often on Friday’s now that I’m headed back to work :)

Saturday was the 2nd in the 4 part series of the Elk Grove Fun Run 5k’s for 2012.  The husband headed out for 12 miles pre-race so we met at the race location.  After my speedy run on Tuesday I decided to try for a PR and I was able to shave 12 seconds off my previous 5k PR from last September!  {Race recap to come this week!}  After the race we {the husband and I} headed back out for some extra mileage {5.5 miles} with our running buddy Kat :)

I skipped a “recovery” run on Sunday morning with the husband and Lucy because my quads were super sore from the 5k.  I also skipped the gym all week {FAIL} and my PT Exercises on Monday.  There was a lot of good runs this week but a lot of skipped cross training :(

This week marked the end of February and my Daily Pushups Challenge {I completed all 29 days!} and the beginning of March.  With a new month comes new challenges.  This month I’m going to be doing the Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts challenge and a March Madness Leg Challenge.  I’ll also be continuing Plank-a-day and doing pushups and my PT Exercises three times per week.  I don’t know if you noticed yet but I LOVE CHALLENGES :)

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 {02.27.12 – 03.04.12}

Monday 02.27

Walk:  1.64/33:10

Plank-a-day #58 + Pushups Day 27

Tuesday 02.28

Run – Group Workout:  3.0/28:45/9:34 {tempo progression run}

Walk:  1.80/33:33

Plank-a-day #59 + Pushups Day 28

Wednesday 02.29

Run:  3.77/41:16/10:57 {1st solo pre-dawn run}

Plank-a-day #60 + Pushups Day 29 + PT Exercises

Thursday 03.01

Walk:  1.83/35:31

Plank-a-day #60, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, March Madness Leg Challenge

Bonus:  4 pushups on my TOES

Friday 03.02

Run:  6.0/1:06:45/11:07 avg {pre-dawn run with the husband}
Warm-up:  0.23/5:27 + Cool Down:  0.22/4:24

Walk:  1.79/35:03

Plank-a-day #61, Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts, March Madness Legs Workout, Pushups, PT Exercises

Saturday 03.03

5k Race {Garmin Results}:  3.15/27:33/8:44 avg {PR – race recap to come}

Run:  5.50/1:03:04/11:28 avg {post race with the husband & running buddy Kat}

Walk:  1.03/21:07

Plank-a-day #62 + Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts

Sunday 03.04

Walk:  1.03/22:18

Plank-a-day #63 + Dr. Oz’s 7 Days of Belly Workouts + March Madness Legs Workout

Total = 30.99

Running = 21.42 {# of runs = 4}
Walking = 9.57

Meal Plan Monday {March 5}

Last weeks “detox” went well --- we managed to avoid the Girl Scout Cookies until Saturday as well as alcohol.  But we did splurge on a take-n-bake pizza from Costco for dinner on Thursday {and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch on Saturday}.  I’m really striving to limit my indulgences to one “cheat” day per week so I’m hopeful that this week will be similar to last week.  It helps that we instated a “no eating in front of the TV or computer” rule for March.  This makes it easier to avoid snacking after dinner.  I’m starting my new job on Wednesday so daytime snacking will lessen {since I’ve been at home it’s easier to snack a lot during the day instead of eating a real “lunch”}.  This morning I cooked up a big batch of quinoa and I am going to use it for lunches this week to make a quinoa “greek” salad {quinoa, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese}.  I am so excited to go back to work!

What are you excited about this week?


Monday ~ Marsala Chicken and Mushroom Casserole 

I didn’t end up making this over the weekend like I planned last week.  After racing in the morning and then spending the afternoon at my FIL’s I didn’t feel like putting in the effort to make this dish so we had some penne pasta with diced chicken and oil-free {and nut-free} pesto instead {the pesto was in the freezer and needed to be eaten anyways}. 

Tuesday ~ leftovers

We don’t get home from our group workout until after 7:30 PM on Tuesday’s so I always try to plan leftovers or easy meals for these days. 

Wednesday ~ Lentil and Black Bean Stew 

Wednesday will be my first day at my new job.  I’m not yet sure how long my commute will take {I’m thinking 30-40 minutes} and I will have a different schedule after training so I decided to plan an easy and quick meal for my first day back to work.  I plan to cook my lentils on Tuesday evening as well do any additional prep I can do so that I can throw this stew together quickly when I get home.

Thursday ~ Tomato Orzo Soup {freezer}

Another quick meal --- we’ve got a stock pile of soups in our freezer that need to be eaten :)

Friday ~ Pasta with marinara sauce

I found two jars of marinara sauce from Costco in the cabinet the other day so we are backed to the jarred sauce again until it’s gone. 

Saturday ~ Tex Mex Sloppy Joes over shredded cabbage mix

I discovered this recipe in March of 2011 and I’m just not getting around to finally making them.  I might have to share a photo of my recipe binder so that you’ll understand my obsession with finding/saving recipes!

Sunday ~ leftover pasta


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 :)


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Weight in {03.05.12} = 136.4 lbs
Loss/Gain from previous week = -1.2 lbs

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thankful – Wk9

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 {Source}

This week I’m thankful for …

    • The new opportunities beginning for me!
    • The amazing people I met at my last job … and the fact that I’ve been able to use some of them for references
    • My wonderful stylist and the fact that she got me in this week, on short notice, for a much overdo hair cut … and for spending an hour relaxing in her chair chatting! {Bonus – she gives THE BEST scalp massages, including the neck, during shampooing!!!}
    • Registering for races :) {ahem … CIM … ahem}
    • Chatting with the husband about our future and our goals, dreams, and aspirations
    • Being brave and going out for a pre-dawn run solo
    • My ever growing family (two new cousins born recently back east, one on leap day!) … near and far, always in my heart

Last week was the 8th week of thankful posts and I love that you guys have been sharing some of the things you are thankful for in the comments. Recently I discovered a new blog, Beth’s Journey, that I’ve been really enjoying reading through. While I was reading through the older recent posts I found THIS POST about the #1 Happiness Trick from Health Magazine:

Once a week write down five things you’re grateful for - “People who did this for nine weeks … felt happier and healthier. Plus … the more gratitude you fell, the less sensitive you are to perceived slights. ‘Counting your blessings helps you empathize’ … likely result: you’ll sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.”

I knew there was a reason I felt compelled to do these posts each week! All week long I think about all the little things in life that bring me joy and happiness and it really transforms my mood and outlook :)




What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.   It’s OFFICIALI got a new job!  I’ll be starting next Wednesday :)

2a.  Speaking of my new job … remember last week when I mentioned that my favorite pair of dress pants {purchased in 2005 for almost $100} are too big?  Well, after I heard that I got the job I interviewed for last week I decided I better try on the rest of my large collection of dress pants.  I should mention that at my previous job I didn’t always pay a lot of attention to what I was wearing --- I worked in a small office without any face-to-face customer contact surrounded by truck drivers and dock workers where everything was constantly covered in forklift brake/tire dust {a gross black gritty substance}.  Occasionally I would wear my nicer outfits and shoes but often times I looked “frumpy” is too large pants/shirts from when I was heavier {we were required to dress in “business casual” attire}.  Anyways, I tried on every pair of my dress pants and determined that almost all of them are way too big {like 2-4 sizes too big}.  Of course I could wear a belt but you know how when you put on a belt on a pair of pants that are too large and all the extra material collects and creates a bulge?  Yeah, I’d like to avoid that.  I’m aiming for a more sophisticated and business professional look at my new job.  Yesterday I went shopping for new pants.  And you want to know what I found?  Black dress pants by the same company that my favorite pants are from for a fraction of the cost at TJ Maxx.  Epic score!  You know I purchased several pairs.  Plus a few additional pairs from Old Navy and some new shirts from Kohl’s.  I like to think of a new job like the first day of school … you’ve got to have a few new outfits … plus any excuse to go shopping :)

pants 03.01 10 pair of pants that don’t fit properly

2b.  I have a realllllllly hard time parting with clothes which is probably why I have so many.  Most of the pants in that photo are from Old Navy, Gap or Target so they were probably $20-40 each … that’s $200-400 worth of clothes.  What if I need a size that’s in that pile and not in my closet?  That’s always my biggest worry.  I’m going to stick them in the “to donate” pile.  I’m going to do it.  Today.  You want to know why?  Because I’m not going to be “that” size again.  Look forward --- not back.  Let go. 


3a.  I found these two links this week and I want to share them with you guys.  Both are “running” related.  The first one is a series of basic strength exercises for runners and the second one is some great post-run yoga moves to do.  Enjoy :)

Basic Strength Exercises for Runners

Post-Run Yoga Moves

3b.  I’m racing this weekend!  I’ve got a 5k on Saturday.  Let’s talk goals …

  • A Goal = PR.  What?!?  My current 5k PR is 27:49 {that’s an 8:58 pace} and I busted out a speedy 3 miler on Tuesday in 28:45.  My strategy?  Increase speed slowly using fartleks and aim for negative splits.  {Speed is RELATIVE.  My speedy may be your slow; your speedy may seem impossible to me, etc.  The only person you need to compete with is YOURSELF.  Don’t compare.  Use fellow runners as INSPIRATION.}
  • B Goal = Sub 30:00
  • C Goal = Race smart and finish strong.  Besides, I’m running extra miles after the race so …


Anyone love shopping as much as I do?  What was your latest epic score while shopping?  Anyone racing this weekend?  If not, what workouts are you planning to ROCK?