My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

I Found a Dud

Today is a rest day in my training schedule, and man, did I ever need it.  I am a bit stiff and achy after yesterday’s 10 miles/16km.  Mostly its my hip flexors  that are killing me.  I really have to figure out a good stretch for these as they have always been a problem spot for me.  Other than that, I’m just a bit tired, feeling pretty good, but very glad I didn’t need to run today.  I went to bed early (well, early for me) and got to sleep in a bit, so I got a good sleep – almost 7 hours, which is very rare for me.

Today I was trying another new Clean Eating recipe.  Tonight’s dish was Turkey and Chick Pea Burgers, from the Best of Clean Eating Cookbook.  They sounded pretty good and looked good in the picture, but this was one dish that I won’t be rushing to make again.  They were very easy to prepare and looked good, but just didn’t have the flavour that I have come to expect from all these clean recipes.  Hubs and the kids ate theirs like a real burger, on a bun, but I skipped the bun and had mine wrapped in a lettuce leaf.  It looked good, with a slice of havarti, some peppers and a bit of honey mustard.

Despite looking good, it was rather lacking in flavour and was a challenge to eat since it fell apart a bit more with every bite.  I think this recipe would be better with a bit more kick to it.  I’ll put the recipe here for you…maybe you will like it, if you do, let me know.

Ingredients:
1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 C scallions, roughly chopped
1 t ground cumin
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1/4 sea salt
2 T Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb. ground turkey breast (12 oz)
olive oil cooking spray

Directions:

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, scallions, cumin, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse until smooth.  Transfer chick pea mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add turkey and mix by hand until combined. Divide turkey-chick pea mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4 inch patty. heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat skillet with cooking spray and cook patties for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Serve on whole-wheat bun if desired, topped with spinach tomatoes, onions and dijon mustard.

I didn’t have any Worcestershire sauce, so I substituted some HP to give it a bit of flavour.  I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a huge in the outcome.  They were just blah.  If I do make them again, I think I will put a lot less chick peas, add in something to help them bind together better (an egg and some sort of bread crumbs), and really kick up the flavour with some garlic, maybe some crushed chili peppers, and a few more spices.

I didn’t even finish my burger, so maybe I’ll have a popcorn snack later tonight while I watch some tube.  Nurse Jackie is on tonight!  Love that show.

Tomorrow I’ve got 4 miles to run plus a core workout.  Better get to bed early so I can get up and run before work.  I may switch my core day to Thursday when I’ve only got 3 miles to run.  Tomorrow after work I’ve got my putting clinic that was postponed from last week and then ball hockey at 10 pm.  Another busy day!

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Perfect 10!

Today was my long run day.  The schedule called for 10 miles, or 16km, and my sister Erin and I were going to run together.  I picked her up at her place and we drove to the Running Room to run out and back from there.  The Running Room was a busy place as the various run clinics were all meeting for their long runs.  We saw Kathy and her marathon group, who were setting out for 32km (20 miles) today.  We planned to run the 10 mile/16km route that another Running Room clinic was using today, with a slight modification to take us past Jack Rabbit’s marathon group’s cooler.

Shortly after 8:30 we were out the door and on our way.  This was a new route for us, which was a nice change from running the same path as always.  It was nice to not really know where we were going and just run.  As I mentioned the other day, I was going to approach this run as a series of smaller runs. Erin liked this idea too, and we decided that we would get the 4 mile chunk out of the way first.  We used the run mile, take a walk break strategy for today’s run and it worked great.  Before we knew it, our first 4 miles were done, and we were into the second leg of our run, a short 3 miles!  This 3 mile leg, took us past Kathy’s cooler.  We took a brief stop here and fueled up on some run nutrition.  Erin choked down a GU gel and I had some of my Honey Stingers.  I think the Honey Stingers were the better of the two options!  They were tasty little jujube type things.  Much better than the gel shot for sure!

We had to run a little passed the cooler to get to 5 miles, so on we went.  At the 5 mile mark, we turned around and retraced our steps back to the Running Room. For the most part, the run was pretty good.  I got a little sore and tired at about the 9 mile mark, but with the help of Erin and her words of encouragement, I made it back.  In the end, the run took us 2 hours on the dot.  So, not all that speedy at 5 mph, but for me, the run was a huge success.  I ran the whole thing, sticking to the 1 mile run/short walk break routine.  This is pretty much my first long run that I’ve managed to stick to the plan for the whole run. That alone feels like a great accomplishment for me.

So, it seems I’m getting better, and my sister says I’m much faster than I was since the last time we ran together.  I think it also helped a lot that I was running with someone.  We chatted a bit along the way, but not the whole time.  It was just nice having some company.  It was also nice having someone encourage me to keep going when things got a little tough…going up a hill every now and then, and definitely at the 9 mile mark.  Hopefully it will work out that we get to run a few more long runs together before the race.  Next weekend I’m on my own though, since she will be away getting certified to teach Body Attack at GoodLife gyms.  I think I will see what the Running Room clinics are doing next weekend and maybe see if I can keep up to a group of them.

On our 2 hour run, I burned over 1100 calories, which pretty much meant I could eat whatever I wanted today and not worry about it.  I should have taken better advantage of this.  I think I was almost too tired to eat!  I may treat myself to a Chai Latte after the kids go to bed.  It will depend if I have enough energy to stay awake that long.

After my run, I didn’t really do too much.  Enjoyed some sunshine on the front patio, planned out our clean eating menu for the week, and picked up groceries for the various recipes.  I’ll post pics of the new recipes as they come up this week.

Tomorrow is a rest day – YAY!!!  As usual, I’m looking forward to a little sleep in, and I think my body might really need a day off after the run today.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  Did you do anything exciting?  As always, it just wasn’t quite long enough.  Good thing in just 5 short days, another weekend will be upon us!

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Scrappy Saturday

As I mentioned yesterday in my Friday Five post, today was National Scrapbook Day.  To celebrate this special scrapbook day, I went to a full day crop organized by my Creative Memories consultant, Karen.  Thirty-two of us gathered in a banquet room at the local arena and scrapbooked all day.  Some did digital scrapbooking using scrapbook software, but the majority of us did traditional scrapbooking, physically cutting pictures, papers and using stickers to embellish our scrapbook pages and preserve our family memories.

I have quite a few friends who scrapbook and have made new friends through events held by my consultant, so these days are really just about hanging out with a group of girlfriends, sharing some laughs, and getting a few pages done in the giant backlog of pictures that I have.  As is typical for me on these days, I was slow to get started.  I have not been scrapbooking regularly at all, so when I do get back to it, it takes me a bit of time to get back into the scrap groove.  I really need to try to get a couple of pages done each week. This would really help make some progress through the more than 2 years worth of photos I need to scrap, and keep me into it so that when I do go to a full day event, I can just pick up where I left off and make better use of my time.

After my slow start, I did manage to get quite a few pages done, and I’m now working on pictures from 2010.  No, that’s not a typo, I really am over 2 years behind in my pictures.  At one point, I managed to get myself only a year behind, but then before I knew it, here I am over 2 years behind again.  I need to put some serious effort into my scrapping or I will not make my goal of getting all of 2010 and some of 2011 scrapped by the end of the year!  I’m going to have to figure out a realistic strategy to meet this goal.

After my day of scrapping, the family all went out for Pho dinner.  My older son has been asking to go for Pho for about 2 weeks now, so off we went.  It was very tasty, and gave me a bit of carb load for tomorrow’s long 10 mile/16 km run. We always get the Rare Beef Pho.  For those of you who may not be familiar with Pho, it is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually with some meat or seafood, and you add bean sprouts, fresh basil, and lime juice.  We like to add some zing with hoisin and hot sauce.  Very yummy!

Today I was supposed to run 3 miles, but I woke up a bit late, so only had time to run for about 15 minutes before I had to get all my stuff organized to go to my crop.  I didn’t get the full 3 miles in, maybe half, but it felt good and at least I got a bit of a run in.

Tomorrow is long run day.  10 miles!  I’m looking forward to putting my run plan into action.  I’m going to treat tomorrow’s 10 miles as a 3 mile run, a 4 mile run, and another 3 mile run.  I’m going to visualize these 3 shorts runs and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I’ve got my Honey Stingers and Cliff Shot Blocs to keep me energized on my run, but the biggest factor that will get me through the run tomorrow will be my sister.  She is finally feeling better and tomorrow will be the first time we get to run together in about 5 years!  She is a much better runner than I am.  When I want to stop, she always manages to keep me going with  words of encouragement.  I like to think I help her running by forcing her to run slow on long runs. She has definite Jack Rabbit potential!

Do you have a favourite run strategy?  I’d love to hear about it.  I can use all the help I can get!

Well, it’s late and I need to get to bed.  We are heading out at 8am.  I will let you know how it goes.

 

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The FRIDAY Five

In my hunt on the web for a picture to use in my Friday post, I stumbled across something called the Friday Five. I think this might become my standard post for Fridays.

So here are this week’s Friday Five:

1.  I have just discovered and love David’s Tea.  I hate coffee, but  I love Starbucks Grande Non-Fat, No Water, Extra Hot Tazo Chai Latte…but at 210 calories a shot and 43 grams of sugar, they are not the best for my new eating regime.  The other day at work one of my colleagues brought in some David’s Pumpkin Chai for me to try.  Well, I tried it and I liked it!  So, the other day, I went to David’s Tea and bought 2 different types of loose leaf tea.  I got a bag of the Pumpkin Chai and a bag of Coco Chai Rooibus.  I’m sitting in the family room, enjoying a cup of the Coco Chai as I write this post.  Mmmmmm…so relaxing…and zero calories!

2. Half Marathon Update:  This Sunday will be the end of week 8 of my training, which means only 4 weeks to go!  Man, it’s coming up fast.  This weekend’s long run is 10 miles, or 16 km.  I’m actually looking forward to it.  My sister is finally well enough to run with me, so I will have some company.  Also, Jack Rabbit shared some of her run clinic articles that dealt with race strategy and keeping motivated.  There were some great tips in the articles and I’m going to apply some of them to my long run Sunday.  The main idea that I’m going to implement is to break the run into smaller bits.  1o miles splits nicely into two 3 miles runs and one 4 mile run, and all of those distances have become a breeze for me to run.  So that’s my strategy.  Sunday I’m going to run 4 miles to start, then a 3 mile run, followed by a final 3 miles.  Piece of cake!  I’ll let you know Sunday how my strategy works out.

3. I have to adjust my weight loss goal.  I am only 3 lbs away from my original target weight, with some time left still until my target deadline.  I’m pretty sure I can drop a few more, so I’m dropping my target by 5 lbs, making my new goal weight 8 lbs away.  My original target date was by my half marathon.  I’m not sure I can lose 8 lbs in a month, but I’m going to give it a  try.

4. Tomorrow is National Scrapbook Day.   I’m a Creative Memories scrapper, and to celebrate NSD, my consultant has organized a full day crop.  This means that tomorrow I get to scrapbook all day with 30-40 other ladies.  It should be a fun day, with some much-needed, uninterrupted time to scrap.  Other than organized days like tomorrow or scrap weekend retreats, I really haven’t been doing any scrapbooking, which is not good since I am over 2 years behind in my pictures.  So, tomorrow I hope to get lots done and make a dent towards my goal of being finished scrapping all of my 2010 pictures by the end of the year.  I’ve got a way to go since I’m currently working on Christmas 2009.

5. It’s just turned into a kid free night! My oldest is at a sleep over birthday party for a friend from his school.  My youngest just got a call to go for a sleep over at a buddy’s place too.  I’m going to get a nice dinner out now.  Good thing I had a light lunch of a Starbucks Chai Latte.  I’ve got quite a few calories left for a good dinner!

I’m off to drop kid 2 off.  Enjoy your Friday night everyone.  Happy Weekend!

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Perfect Thursday Night

Before I get to my perfect Thursday night, let’s recap my Thursday day.

My day started off early.  Up at 5:45 to run 4 miles, but also to wake up my oldest who is participating in his school’s 30 Hour Famine and needed to eat his last meal before 6am.  He was not thrilled to be getting up so early, but ate a bowl of cereal and then went back to bed for an hour or so.  Once I had him set up with his cereal, it was down to the treadmill to get those 4 miles out of the way.  At the time, it didn’t seem like a great run, but when I was finished, I realized that it kind of went by quickly.  I watched an episode of New Girl and one of 2 Broke Girls and then it was over!  I did pretty much the whole run at 6  mph, which was a bit hard, but not a giant struggle.  This makes me think that I just might be getting better at this running stuff!

Work was busy, as usual, with today being a longer day than normal.  Since Nick was doing the 30 Hour Famine, he would be sleeping over at school tonight.  His school day ends at 3:30, but they weren’t due for the sleep over until 6:30.  So, I picked him up at the end of the day and brought him back to my office to watch movies and surf the next on his laptop.  While he killed time until 6:30, I crossed a few more things off my to do list, which is good since most of my day tomorrow is taken up with meetings and conference calls.

After dropping Nick back off at school, I had a great drive home.  Since it was late, traffic coming out of the city wasn’t too bad and I flew home in no time at all.  My youngest was out watching a friend play lacrosse and hubby went out to watch the Senator/Ranger game at a bar with the guys, which left me home alone enjoying some quiet time…a rare occasion in my house!  It didn’t last too long, and soon enough the young one came home from lacrosse.  We watched a bit of tv, chatted about our days, and then he was off to bed.

I now sit, with a bowl of popcorn cooked in coconut oil (my new favourite snack), watching Grey’s Anatomy, and writing this post.  It’s kind of a perfect night.

The best part of my perfect night is going to when I head to bed knowing I don’t need to get up before the crack of dawn to run.  Tomorrow is Friday and that means REST DAY!!!

I hope your Thursday night was perfect.  Enjoy your Friday…I know I’m going to!

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Run, Eat, Sleep…Repeat!

Today was a quiet day, with nothing really that exciting happening.

RUN:  4 miles.  Overall, it was a pretty good run.  I wasn’t quite as speedy as I was on yesterday’s 3 miles, but faster than I used to be.  4 miles took me 42 minutes, so I guess I’m getting better!

EAT:  Another Clean Eating recipe.  Tonight it was Spinach & Chicken Sausage Pizza.  This was another tasty meal.  If I make it again, I would probably use a different crust.  The recipe called for a Boboli Whole Wheat crust or making a Clean Eating pizza crust from scratch.  I couldn’t find a Boboli crust, and I didn’t want to make one from scratch, so I picked up an organic spelt crust from the health food store.  It was okay, but a little lacking in flavour, so next time I will try a different crust and see if it makes it a bit better.  The toppings were fantastic, so if I can figure out a way to improve the taste of the crust but stay “clean” then it will be a winner.  To see the recipe, follow this link:  http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/Recipes/Recipe/Spinach-Chicken-Sausage-Pizza.aspx  I forgot to take a picture, so here’s how it looks on the Clean Eating Magazine site.

SLEEP:  I’m trying to get more sleep.  I’m not being all that successful with it yet, but at least I’m aware that it need to be a bigger priority for me.  I’m aiming to get to be tonight by 11pm…which is at least an hour ahead of usual, if not more.  Some days it’s writing this blog that keeps me up late!  At least tonight I’m getting this out of the way a bit earlier.

REPEAT: I’ve got another 4 miles on the schedule for tomorrow.  I need to get that done early in the morning before work, since I’ve got some kid things to deal with tomorrow after work that will get me home late and likely not in the mood to run.  Besides, getting the run out of the way in the morning is such a great feeling. Knowing I can sit on the couch completely guilt free and watch tv all night is awesome!  I’ve got left over pizza for lunch so that’s a bonus as well.

This “Run, Eat, Sleep…Repeat” routine is keeping me on track with my training.  So is writing this blog.  Coming on here every day to “report” how my training and eating has gone for the day is helping me to stick to the plan and keeping me accountable.  So, thanks for stopping by and helping to keep me on track.  I need all the help I can get!

Cheers!

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Speedy Me!

After my rest day yesterday, it was back to the program today with 3 miles scheduled.  I set my alarm to get up and run before work, but when I went off, I just couldn’t drag my butt out of bed.  Instead, I turned off the alarm, and rolled over for another 45 minutes of sleep.  I knew this was not a very smart decision, but I’m so tired of being tired all the time, that I put more sleep ahead of my 3 miles.

So, since I chose sleep over a morning run, I had to figure out when I was going to fit it in, because I was not skipping it.  I was supposed to have a putting clinic after work with my golf league, and then go grab a bite to eat with a friend before heading to ball hockey at 8.  That meant I would be running after ball hockey. I was okay with that and had got my mind around that.  Then my putting clinic was cancelled because of bad weather (snow, freezing rain, hail), which freed up some time after work and before ball hockey.  Perfect!

In my new-found free time after work, I grabbed my iPod and headed down to the treadmill.  I would have preferred to run outside, but I was not going to torture myself by running in snow/rain/sleet.  I’m trying to be a runner, but I’m not a crazy runner…at least not yet!

Since it was only 3 miles, I had planned to try to run it faster than I would usually go.  I am not a fast runner at all.  I’m okay with being slow.  I’ve always been slow and I figured I would continue to be slow.  My sister recently put a different thought in my mind.  She told me that if I want to be able to run faster, then I need to run faster.  Sounds a bit obvious, but it clicked with me.  I’ve always gone slow.  I need to push myself and get out of my comfort zone and force myself to run faster.  The treadmill is a great tool for this.  I got on, did a couple of minutes of warm up and then just kept pushing the speed up higher and higher.  By the end, I was running at 7.5 mph.  That is crazy fast for me.  In total, it took me only 28:08 to run 3 miles.  That’s about 7 minutes faster than my usual 3 mile time.  It was hard and I definitely don’t think I could run a that pace out on the road, but hopefully if I do a couple more fast runs on the treadmill some of that speed will stick and my road running will become a bit faster.  Fingers crossed!

After my run, I mixed up a yummy strawberry smoothie to get some energy back in my system before I headed off to ball hockey.  I hadn’t had a smoothie in a while.  It was so good and hit the spot.  I need to make sure smoothies get added into by routine again.  Fat free yogurt, skim milk, frozen berries, a scoop of protein powder, and a bit of peanut butter…smoothie deliciousness.  Just now as I wrote that I realized I forgot to add one of my usual ingredients…flax seed.  I must remember to include it next time.  I pulled out my Magic Bullet and whipped it up in no time.  No excuse to not making these more often since they are so quick and easy and full of good nutrition.

Fueled by my smoothie, I was then out the door to go to my ball hockey game.  This is a great workout too. Very different from running since it is all sprints and quick starts and stops, but I think my running is helping my ball hockey, since I’m not getting winded as I sprint around out there.  Hopefully the sprinting will also be helping my running as well.  Even if it doesn’t, it’s still so much fun.  I play with a big group of friends, we drink beer in the parking lot after the games (I’m skipping the beer and just going for the conversation and laughs), and it’s just a fun night out.  It helps when we win too…which we have done both games so far this year.  Hopefully we can keep this up as the season progresses.

It’s now 11:26pm.  Another late night.  Try as I might to get to bed earlier and get more sleep, it just doesn’t seem to be happening.  So, still some work there. Oh well…I’m getting used to being tired.  In the words of Bon Jovi, I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

Good night, all.  I will leave you with this quote I found online.  I like it!

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Another Monday is Done…and I’m One Day Closer to Next Weekend!

It’s Monday…and that means…

The fact that Monday is a Rest Day in my training schedule is really the only thing that gets me through it!  I know it’s totally cliché, but I hate Mondays.  They always seem to come too quickly, after busy weekends with no real time to rest or feel like I’ve had a chance to unwind after the last busy week I had.  Oh well…not much I can do about it, Mondays will always be there, so I guess I better learn to make the most of them.  Enter Rest Day…one of the best days of the week!

Since there was no run scheduled for today, I got to sleep in a bit, but still managed to wake up feeling exhausted.  This just makes me realize that although I’m getting to bed a bit earlier, it’s still not early enough.  So, something to still work on!

Tonight for dinner I tried out another new Clean Eating recipe.  Making dinner has turned into one of the favourite parts of my day.  I find it so relaxing and enjoyable to get all the ingredients prepped, follow the directions, and make a healthy meal that my whole family enjoys.  Each new dish has been met with rave reviews from hubby and the kids.  The kids have started asking for repeats of their favourite dishes, and I’ve got a couple I would like to have again since they were so good.

Tonight’s dinner was Chicken Almondine with Green Beans (from The Best of Clean Eating Cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup slivered unsalted almonds, toasted, divided
  • 1 Tbsp wheat germ
  • ¼ tsp Spanish paprika
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb total), pounded to ½-inch thickness
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 to 3 tsp)
  • Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

Instructions:

  • Grind half of the almonds to powder using a food processor fitted with a standard blade or a spice grinder. In a medium bowl, combine ground almonds, wheat germ and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken breasts in almond-wheat germ mixture and set aside.
  • Set a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over high heat for one minute. Mist with cooking spray and heat for one more minute. Reduce heat to medium-high and saute chicken for three minutes per side or until golden brown with no pink remaining. Remove from heat.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add beans and blanch for one minute. Remove beans from water. In a large bowl, toss beans with lemon zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, sprinkle remaining eighth-cup almonds over top of chicken, dividing evenly. Serve each chicken breast with three-quarters cup beans.

Note:

  • To toast your almonds, add them to a small dry skillet over medium heat (no oil or cooking spray is required). When the skillet is hot, toast almonds for two to five minutes, until browned, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn them. Remove from heat immediately.
This was a very quick recipe to prepare.  I had some new potatoes left from the Potato and Turkey Skillet dinner from a couple of nights ago, so I quartered those up, tossed with some EVOO, S&P, and a little thyme and roasted them for 25 minutes or so at 425 degrees.  All in all this was a quick, easy and yummy dinner.
The Chicken Almondine, with 3/4 cup of beans and 1/2 Tbsp of slivered almonds is 220 calories.  A serving of the potatoes is about 80 calories.  Not a bad dinner for 300 calories total.

Tomorrow it is back to training, with a short 3 miles + core workout on the schedule.  There is a crazy storm in my area today, and it’s expected to continue into tomorrow, so I expect that I will be hitting the treadmill tomorrow morning rather than running outside.  I prefer running outside now, but I’m not about to run in sleet, snow and freezing rain.  Thankfully I’ve got the treadmill downstairs.  It’s only 3 miles, so hopefully I can get that done in half and hour or so.  I should use this treadmill run to push myself a bit and see if I can maintain a quicker pace for a bit longer.  My sister keeps telling me that I’m not going to get faster unless I run faster!  Guess I should try to run faster then!

Tomorrow is a busy day exercise-wise for me.  3 miles + core in the morning, I’ve got a Putting Clinic for golf after work, and then a ball hockey game later in the evening.  I’m looking forward to the golf clinic, but I’m a little worried about the weather.  It might be a little difficult to putt with 5cm of snow on the ground.  Hopefully this will be another case when the weather guys are wrong and we won’t be hit as badly as they are predicting.  I really hope not, because we’ve got about 18 ladies coming out to our clinic.

So, Monday is just about over and the insanity of Tuesday will be here before I know it!  Man, these days just fly by.  I guess that’s a good thing, right?
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Long Run Sunday

Sunday is long run day in my training schedule.  I love it and I hate it.  I love it because I get to see if I’m getting any better, and I hate it because the answer is usually not really…or not enough.  Today I had 9 miles to run.  Once again I was running alone, since my poor sister is still sick.  Hopefully she starts to feel better.  She is missing training runs of her own, and I want her company on these long runs.  I had planned to meet up with Jack Rabbit on the path through town, and I did, for about a second!

I planned out my route so I would be running north on the path and would meet up with Kathy as she and her Running Room group were running south.  I met up with them at about my 3.5 mile mark.  I was so happy to see her!  I would finally have some company!  Well, she and her run mates are all WAY too fast for me.  I lasted about a minute at their crazy pace and then said “Well, it was nice to see you. Have a good run.”  There was no way I would be able to keep up that crazy pace.  While it was so nice to meet up with her, it was so disheartening to watch her run away.  I had psyched myself up to run strong for those first miles until I had company to keep me going.  Watching them leave me in their dust sucked huge.  I kept going and did well for the next bit, and actually saw Kath again when she came back to pick up one of her run mates who stopped to use the washroom.  I made it about another minute with the speed demons and then was on my own again.  I saw them one final time at their cooler break.  They were all so nice, with words of encouragement for me and I headed off with them for the last part of my run.  Again, keeping up for a minute and then dropping back to my more manageable pace.

At about the 6.5 mile mark things got bad.  My legs started to seize up and my hamstrings and ass were killing me.  I walked a lot, and it sucked.  I’m 7 weeks into my training, I should be getting better, but I’m not sure I am.  I tried not to beat myself up about it too much, keeping the thought that I’m going faster than everyone sitting on a couch.  That little phrase might just be what gets me through this half marathon.  I would run when I could and walked when I had to and just kept moving.  In the end I finished my 9 miles in 1:45.  Not great, but better than I was expecting.

I came home and entered this into a pace calculator app that I have, and based on 9 miles and this time, my half time would be 2:36.  This is only 6 minutes slower than my goal for the race.  This is very encouraging to me.  If I can just run more of my long runs, I should be able to get in under my goal.  It also tells me that when I do run, I am faster than I used to be.  Kathy mentioned that to me too.  I ran with her probably 5 or 6 years ago when we trained for a half marathon with a group of friends.  She says compared to back then I’m definitely faster and she said that my stride looked really comfortable.  Both of those things were very nice to hear.  I’ve now got 5 weeks to improve my endurance so I can actually run more of these long runs.

Today was my first long run that I brought some “nutrition” along.  I went to the Running Room yesterday and picked up a few different types of products to experiment and see which ones I like the best.

 

 

Today I tried the GU Energy Gel first.  It was a bit rough to get down.  It is so thick.  It’s like eating a spoonful of jam straight. The flavour was pretty good, it was the consistency that got me.  Once I washed it down with a bit of water it was okay.  I took this 45 minutes into my run – just after Kathy and her fellow Jack Rabbits left me in their dust 🙂  I was trying to pay attention to how the gel made me feel.  It didn’t upset my stomach, but I’m not sure it really gave me any more energy.

I was going to try the shot blocks when it was time for my next energy shot, but instead tried a Cliff Shot Gel that Kathy gave me when I met up with her and the gang at their cooler.

Razz®

It tasted really good and seemed a bit smoother than the GU shot.  I also broke it up into a few “sips”, taking a bit, then washing it down with water before taking some more.  This made it seem a bit easier to get down.  Again, I’m not sure if it gave me any more energy, but my the time I took this, I was a hurting unit.  My legs were seizing and it was all I could do to keep moving.  So who knows, maybe without I would still be out there crawling home!

Next week I will try the Cliff Shot Bloks and see how those are.  A woman at the Running Room said they were the only thing that didn’t upset her stomach when she ran.  I’ll let you know how they are next Sunday.

The best thing about running for 1:45 (and then I had another 10 minute walk home from the 9 mile mark) was that I burned 1080 calories.  This pretty much means I can eat whatever I want today and not feel guilty about it!  So, at my sons year-end hockey party this afternoon, I enjoy a BBQ’d Cheeseburger.  It was so good!  I haven’t had a burger in a long time, let alone one on a plain white bun.  I don’t even remember the last time I ate a white bun.  We are a whole wheat family all the way, but I wasn’t in charge of the buns for the BBQ so just ate what they had.  It was delicious and I didn’t feel guilty about eating it at all.  I also didn’t feel the least bit guilty about eating 2 home-made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  That is my favourite kind of cookie and one of the other hockey moms makes what might be the best version of it ever.  Chewy, with chunks of chocolate.  It was a small miracle that I could limit myself to two!

Now, as I write this, I am waiting for the kids to finish their homework.  We were supposed to go out for dinner, but since homework is taking way longer than it should, it looks like it will be a cereal for dinner kind of night.  Too bad, I was looking forward to something yummy.  Oh well, I will probably consume fewer calories here than I would at a restaurant, which will hopefully translate to a lower number on the scale tomorrow.

One last thing. Today is the end of week 7 of my half marathon training.  To date I have made all but 2 of my 35 scheduled runs.  Not too bad.  I have also covered a total of 120 miles, or 192 km so far.  That’s nuts! Only 104 more training miles until Race Day!

How many miles do you have left before your next run? Or am I the only crazy one who looks at that sort of thing?  🙂

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Sensational Saturday

Today was an absolutely great day!

My day started with a 4 mile run.  I had to run alone since my sister is still not feeling well, so wasn’t able to join me 😦  Despite having to run alone, overall it wasn’t too bad.  It wasn’t my fastest run, and I did walk a bit more than I would have liked, but I was still pretty happy with it.  When I did stop to walk, I didn’t beat myself over it, I just kept telling myself that I’m still going faster than everyone else sitting at home on a couch.  I’ve shown this picture before, but I’m showing it again since it helped me get through it today.

After my run, the next item on my agenda was to head down to Markham for the Links for Women Golf Expo sponsored by Callaway Golf for EWGA members.  This gave EWGA members the opportunity to try out the latest Callaway clubs designed specifically for women.  These aren’t just men’s clubs with shorter shafts, they are designed with women to make the most of our typically lower club head speed. I tried out a driver, a Razr  X Black with a 10.5 loft.  Man, this thing was AMAZING!  I was cranking them 200 yards plus and straight down the middle.  This was in a golf simulator, but still they were going further and straighter than I’ve ever hit in a simulator before.  I think I just may need to pick myself up one of these drivers!

After I hit the driver, I wanted to see what the irons were like.  There was a closest to the pin contest hole so I gave that a shot.  I ran into a little problem here.  They didn’t have any left handed 9 irons, so I had to use an 8 iron and all of my shots were going TOO FAR!  What a problem to have!  I definitely need to check out the full Callaway Razr X line.  Lucky for me, Callaway gave everyone who attended the expo a free fitting session at their Performance Centre.  Here they will do a full swing analysis and tell me what kind of shaft will be best for me, what loft my driver should have, and whether I need to adjust the lie of my clubs at all.  They will also take a look at the clubs that I play with now and see if they are the right set up for my swing.   I’m hoping they are, since I just bought a full set of Adams 705’s last year. Not sure I can justify new clubs again this year…we’ll have to see how they do at the Performance Centre.  I may need to save my pennies!

Tonight for dinner I made a Clean Eating recipe that was chosen by my hubby when we were flipping through the cookbooks looking for recipes last week.  He chose:

New Potato and Turkey Skillet (from The Best of Clean Eating 2 Cookbook)

You will need:
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1lb. ground Turkey Breast
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
  • 1lb. new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1lb swiss chard, thick stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • pinch red chili flakes, or to taste
  • juice 1/2 lemon, plus four wedges for serving
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2oz)
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Cooking Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Coat a large (at least 12 inch) oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no pink is visible, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer turkey to a bowl, returning skillet to heat.
  3. Add potatoes and thyme to hot skillet and season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until lightly browned and tender, about 20 minutes, stirring once. Carefully return skillet to stovetop on medium-high heat(leave oven at the same temperature). Add brothand bring to a simmer. Add chard and stir until just wilted. Stir in tomatoes, rosemary, chile flakes, lemon juice and reserved turkey. Ensure broth is simmering and transfer skillet back to oven. Cook until tomato skins burst, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Divide mixture amoung 4 bowls and top evenly with feta. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
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This was another delicious recipe.  Each serving (1 1/4 cup potato mixture and 2 tbsp feta) is only 271 calories.  Yummo!
I don’t have much planned for tonight.  We’ve rented an on demand movie for the kids and I’m planning to head to bed early to rest up for my 9 mile (14.5km) run tomorrow. My sister is still too sick to run with me, so I will be running alone for at least part of it.  I am hoping to be able to meet up with Jack Rabbit when she runs with her run group tomorrow.  She is running 23k, and I’m hoping to meet up with her for the last part of my run and the middle of hers.  Not sure if I will be able to coordinate it or not, but it will be nice if it works out.  Running with a friend is way more fun than running alone.
Do you have strategies to keep you head in the game when you run alone?  I’m still trying to find something that works for me.  And what is this runner’s high that I hear so much about?  I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced it.
Have a good night, all!
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