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Showing posts from October, 2011

Tex-Mex Skillet Bake, Running & Picnic Lunch

Skillet Bake Sunday
Last night's dinner ended up a semi-refrigerator/freezer special. I had some frozen rice that helped make this dish super simple and fast. Jason mentioned casserole, since I haven't made a casserole in ages. In the past, a casserole meant pasta or rice, cheese, frozen veggies, and a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.

These days, casseroles are comprised of none of those ingredients. So, they can be more complicated. And I think it's safe to say I have a tendency to complicate things anyway. Last night I peered into the cabinet, fridge, freezer. I thought pumpkin = creamy, so that's where that comes into play. The rest I just had on hand and thought it sounded like a good pairing.


Tex-Mex Skillet Bake
Ingredients:
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 package tempeh, crumbled
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small can green chiles
1 can no-salt diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and…

Soup Saturday & Blooming Platter Cookbook Giveaway

Soup Saturday
I must say, that while this recent half marathon training plan didn't really have many hill workouts (will add in to the next training), it did have lots of long runs. I know that they sounded crazy to most people - 3 13-milers, but I thought they made sense. I was prepared for the miles (just not the hills).

Not only was I prepared for the miles while running, my body was prepared for them in terms of recovery. So, last night, the only major issues were my sciatica. I was a little tighter than most runs, but I also raced rather than just ran yesterday. But the sciatica kicked my ass (literally).

We ended up going to Vino's for pizza because there was no way I wanted to cook right after the race. Then I firmly planted my rear end on the couch (with ice) and relaxed with a couple of mimosas.

When it came time for dinner, however, I was kind of tired of sitting (not one for being lazy) so I wanted to make something. Of course, I still wanted it to be simple. It wa…

Soaring Wings Half Recap

This morning started off dark and early. I actually slept really well and started waking up on my own around 5:20. The race was actually about 30-40 minutes away, so the plan was to leave by 6:45. It was so dark, and so cold. Jason brought his bike along so he could be my personal photographer and cheerleader (thank you honey!!!).

I was really worried about the cold and not having trained in it at all. Also, what to wear? I ended up buying some arm sleeves yesterday and cannot believe I have not owned any sooner. I knew that with those, I could slip them down my arm if I did get too hot rather than trying to peel off a layer while running. I also strapped on my iPod just in case I needed a pick me up (never used, but maybe I should have).

For the most part, I was fairly calm - as calm as you can be before a race I suppose. I made a pre-race pit stop at a gas station near where we parked then jogged over to the start. I figured the brief job would at least help me warm up a bit.

This …

Fun Facts Friday - Thoughts on My Half Marathon Training

Fun Facts Friday
Today is my second (gasp) rest day of the week. But, I'm not complaining mind you. I know it's absolutely necessary so that I'm better prepared for tomorrow's race (Soaring Wings Half Marathon) ...um run.

I'm trying really hard to not let nerves get the best of me. I know I have the mileage down. I'm not worried about that. I just get myself worked up being competitive with myself for starters. Yes, it's really stupid. I know this. My brain just doesn't know.

I'm actually a little worried about the temperatures tomorrow to be honest. It's supposed to be about 40 degrees at start time (8 am). I've not been training in colder temps - we haven't had them really. The coolest it's been when I've started my runs has been about 55 degrees, sunny, and then a quick warm up.

Tomorrow it's not supposed to be warming up quickly, or that much. It is supposed to be sunny at least. That will help make it feel warmer I kno…

Weights & Kabocha and Poblano White Bean Chili

Gym Day on Gray Day
I guess I am more worn out than I realized - plus less sciatica pain to wake me up means I slept straight through until just after 5 this morning. That never ever happens. No complaints mind you.

Even though yesterday's run was less than stellar, I am certainly glad I didn't have to do it today. The cold front that was supposed to push through last night was apparently running late. So instead of rain last night, we had wind, gray skies, and drizzle all day today.

It started off at close to 60 at about 7 am, but steadily dropped. So definitely would have been a treadmill run and I think that would have been worse.

I did hit the gym, but for weights only. I did warm up for about 15 minutes on the elliptical though. I did supersets for back and triceps (3x8) with some ab work done at the end.

SS#1
Underhand barbell rows
Overhead triceps extension

SS#2
Double-arm rows
Double-arm kickbacks

SS#3
Pullovers
Dips

It was a pretty decent workout. I had wanted to do…

Last Training Run & Barley with Tomatoes and Broccoli

Last Training Run
Well, I guess I had hoped the massage would work miracles and I would be 100% a-ok today. I will say that I had much less pain last night and was able to sleep almost through the night. Unfortunately, I sit most of the day, and the more I sit, the more it begins to ache.

I did force myself out for my final run at lunch. I should have gone earlier though. The half marathon training plan called for a total of 4 miles: warmup, 2 x 1 mile intervals at 7:47 min/mile with .5 mile recovery jogs.

I did one mile at a 9 min/mile pace for my warmup then jumped right into the first interval. The winds were gusting like crazy and it was about 74 degrees. Not ideal speedwork conditions mind you (it seems like every single speed run was like this though - apparently Wednesday is not an ideal speed day...).

I hit my first mile interval at an 8 min/mile pace. I was ok with this, but not ok with the side stitch that smacked me at the end. I started to do my half mile recovery jog but…

Run, Massage & Roasted Veggie Tofu Salad

Back to Running
Resting up yesterday along with more rolling and stretching seemed to help my sciatica. It was not nearly as painful today. So, I went ahead with my planned run. As a bonus, Jason went with me.

It was a gorgeous day, though a little warm and windy I'll admit, but so pretty out. We set out to do the run around the neighborhood so that it would take up less time than going all the way down to the river trails. I won't lie and say my sciatica didn't act up, it did. But it wasn't unbearable, and we kept a fairly slow pace.

I think I really needed the outdoors, fresh air, and the company more than anything. We ended up doing right at four miles before heading in to quickly get cleaned up to head back to work. It was a re-energizing run for me, much needed.

Massage
I did myself a favor and scheduled a massage for after work. Sounds super indulgent right? But, I'll be honest - I really don't like massages at all *gasp*. I just don't like someone to…

Necessary Rest Day & Vegan Fajitas

Home Style Dinner Revamped
Last night dinner ended up being simple, but rather homey. It felt like the meat and two sides type of meal most of us grew up with. Only, for us it was homemade seitan cutlet with a stone-ground mustard gravy*, roasted asparagus and kabocha squash.

*For the gravy, I simply took some of the leftover cooking liquid from the seitan and added in lemon zest, juice, super grainy mustard, small dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder and simmered on low until it thickened.

This is definitely not a meal I would have had growing up. It would likely have been chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes. It was either something along those lines or a casserole. Mom was casserole queen.

What did your typical dinners look like growing up?

Necessary Rest Day
Today was supposed to be a 3-mile run for me. After the dense fog finally lifted around noon, it would have been a gorgeous day for a run. The problem, however, is that I am in too much pain to run. There, admitted it. I&…

Gym, Errands & Lazy Sunday

Gym
I wish I could run 13 and 14 miles every day because despite how hard it is, I sure sleep like a log that night. I crashed out hard at 9 last night and slept until 8:20 this morning! I think I only got up twice during the night, which is like not getting up at all in my book.

It was a rainy, dreary start to the morning. No motivation at all. But, I needed to get myself to the gym and just get moving. Jason actually went with me. Huge shocker. He did his thing and I did mine, but it was still nice having him up there with me.

I started with 15 minutes on the elliptical. Surprisingly, my legs are not sore at all after yesterday's 14-miler. The only thing hurting is still my sciatica. Anyway, I did the elliptical then hit the weights for shoulders and biceps. I did supersets of 3x8 and finished with some ab work.

SS#1
Standing shoulder press
Alternating bicep curls

SS#2
Lateral raise
Hammer curls

SS#3
Front raise - pull into chest (not a clue what these are called)
Cross-body cur…

14 Miles. Done.

Long Run
This morning I actually slept in until 8 am. My immediate reaction was to feel like I had wasted time. But why on earth should I feel guilty for sleeping in for a change? I had my long run on tap, but I didn't have to rush out and get it done super early, so, I changed my mentality and took it slower for the morning.

In other words, I ate my pre-run meal (half bagel, PB & banana) and let it actually settle for an hour. It was really cool this morning, so waiting it out for the temps to warm up ended up sounding like a better idea anyway. Today was supposed to be another 13 mile run.

It was about 55 degrees when I started the run just before 10 am. Of course, I immediately ended up regretting wearing capris, but no chaffing was the bonus/trade out. The first 1 and a half of the run was actually really amazing. I felt incredible, was fairly giddy, smiling and waving at everyone I passed by. Good times.

Then it all changed. I barely remember the first part of the run, bu…

Fun Facts Friday - Fashion Faves

I was starting to think Friday would never get here. Maybe even more so because I was looking forward to a much-needed rest day. Thankfully, Friday is here and I am taking a rest day. Even better, getting my hair done too ;-)

Since I am getting my hair done, I thought it'd be fun to talk about fashion and style. I never really mention fashion other than random blurbs about shopping. The thing is, I love to shop. I think I need to get paid to shop actually. I love fashion, makeup, funky hairstyles.

Now, that doesn't mean I see myself as a fashionista by any means. I see what I like (hello new BFF Pinterest), but I don't always think I put it together correctly or that it just doesn't look right on me. But man I try.

So, for Fun Facts Friday, I'll do my run down of latest fashion obsessions:
Boots - Ok, all shoes really if I am going to be honestScarves - took me a long time to get on board with that trend, now I want them allRings - I like large, gaudy rings. I don&#…

Doubting Myself & Green Chile Soup

Running Woes
I know my friends from the north are laughing at me when they read this - but holy crap it was cold this morning - 40 degrees! At least the winds weren't going to sweep me off my feet.

We did warm up to 60 degrees thankfully. But that feels so chilly after the temps we had over the weekend and up until Monday. Can we just not ease into the cooler weather? I'd like some time to acclimate please.

I'll admit to being a huge weenie about cooler temperatures. It really made me rethink running today. Of course, I really wanted a rest day to be honest, so that didn't help my mental state. The cooler temps became an easy excuse. Plus, it was supposed to be a tempo run. Basically, I spent my day dreading the run and trying to talk myself out of then into the run.

Honestly, I don't know where my head is at this week with workouts and running. I flat out don't want to do anything. I feel mentally and physically exhausted and am questioning why on earth I s…

Another Plan B Workout & Chipotle Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili

Another Plan B Workout 
Wow, the weather here is just killing my running plans. Not only is it almost 40 degrees cooler than it was Monday, but 30 mph gusting winds? Really???? Mother Nature is not being very nice to me. I was planning on getting in an easy, 5-mile run. And while I've run in rain, sleet, ice, storms, I had zero desire to run in today's insane winds.

So, Plan B workout again today. I wasn't going to do spin again until after the half. But, considering Mother Nature's antics, I decided to go for it (spin that is). I was missing the class anyway, so this kind of worked out. I did do 2 miles on the treadmill before class. I know, crazy, but I'm trying really hard to stick to the planned mileage for the week. I will fall a little short, but not too bad.

I gotta say, again, spin kicked my butt. I don't know if blaming the half marathon training really is valid, but it's all I can think of that's making anything other than the runs feel soooo…

Plan B Workout & Plan A Dinner

Plan B Workout
Well this week's workout plans are just flying out the window right and left. Yesterday was good though. A 3-mile run with Jason trumped at 6-mile solo run in almost 90-degree temps. Today I was going to go for that 6-7 mile run after work.

We had a strong cold front move through which dropped the temps from 90 to 50. However, "they" said it was supposed to start clearing by noon so sunshine and low 60's. 2pm it was still gray and drizzly and 50 degrees with 20mph gusting winds. Not exactly fun running conditions in my book.

Luckily, I have become more and more flexible with my workouts. While I might be really annoyed that the weather is messing up my plans, I at least had a backup plan. It wasn't my first choice for the day, but it worked.

I ended up hitting the treadmill for 3 miles after work then got in my biceps/triceps workout for the week as well. Like I said, not ideal because I hate treadmill runs, but I did intervals so that helped.

1 mi…

Easy Run and Quesadillas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce

Sunday Dinner
Other than my workout and errands yesterday, I was pretty lazy. I managed to wash one load of laundry and paint my nails at least. We watched a silly movie (Gulliver's Travels with Jack Black) mid-afternoon, and flipped around through mindless tv shows. So when it came time to discuss dinner, I was fairly lazy on that one too.

Jason had one idea, but the main ingredient was frozen. Then he mentioned a dish I haven't made in ages. Basically it's pasta with spinach as the base and a Creamy Lemon Sauce. Typically I add in another veggie like asparagus or artichokes. Last night I made the dish with spinach, artichokes and chickpeas.

It's really simple and really filling. Silken tofu makes such a fantastic "cream" sauce.

Monday Run
Today I packed my bag for either spin or running. I really wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do. My half marathon training plan called for an easy 4 miles. The temps were supposed to hit close to 90 today, but drop …

Long Run, Long Day, Perfect Weekend

Long Run on a Long Day
First of all, I won't even apologize for not posting yesterday. I think perhaps I should take more weekend breaks and just enjoy life rather than blogging about. And honestly, I wish that more bloggers would do the same. While I had slight twinges of regret, I remembered that there used to be a time when I didn't stop every day to recap the day. I just enjoyed it. And that's what I finally did yesterday, no regrets.

I set my alarm for 7:15 am not to beat the heat for a change, but because I needed to get my long run in before the day began. On tap was my niece's birthday party (an hour away), a work related stop, a neighborhood festival (Hillcrest Harvest Fest), then my sis came to stay then night and that also meant drinks with friends, then pizza night. Wow, long day right? But a good one; worth every moment.

So, got up for my run. I thought I had plotted out a 13-mile route. Apparently I was really off. My 13 mile run ended up being 13.5 mile…