Half Marathon Training Week 2

So this week marked week number 2 of half marathon training and I have to admit it wasn’t the greatest. With Thanksgiving this week, I was pretty busy cleaning our house and getting things prepped for all the festivities that we were hosting at our house. The last day I ran was on Saturday, November 23rd with Sofie in preparation for the a Tulsa Turkey Trot on Friday, November 29th. Which you will see a race recap on tomorrow.

Even though I didn’t get my runs in this week I did start on my 2nd round of P90x.

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After my first day, I was already pretty sore, but I could happily say I did not have to modify push ups anymore like I had to do in the very beginning of round 1. Day two was one of my favorite DVDs, Plyometrics. It always gives a good calorie that’s for sure! I happen to take Thanksgiving off due to cooking most of the day and rested with Sofie in preparation for her first timed 5k, in which she finished in 31:30.

Today I will end week two with a 4 mile run. Easy enough for the second week. My first of two half marathons will be March 23, 2014 at the Rock n Roll half in Dallas, TX

Thanksgiving Yummies

So Thanksgiving is over and I used a lot of new, untried recipes this year, trying to make a “healthier” version for my family.  I am happy to say that all the recipes that I used and tried were DELICIOUS!  The whole family enjoyed them.  My favorite I will have to say was the Pumpkin Pie recipe.  I had tried the recipe on the back of the Libby’s can last year and my husband and son weren’t a big fan of it, so it was back to the drawing board this year.  After this year’s recipe, my husband told me to save it as that was a “keeper” as he will tell me when a recipe is good or not.  I did not manage to get a picture of the Pumpkin Pies as they were gone very quickly!  They however looked like normal Pumpkin Pies.

Pumpkin Pie recipe I used:

Skinny Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp light butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 frozen pie crust sheet thawed to room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place pumpkin in a large bowl. Add light butter, and mix well. Using an electric mixer,mix in brown sugar, milk, eggs, egg whites, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.  Bake 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping and enjoy!  (Or if you are like my daughter and don’t like whipped cream…odd child I tell you!  ;-P)

 

Skinny Sweet Potato Casserole

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch allspice
  • 8 oz can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 C brown sugar

Directions:

Cut sweet potatoes into large chunks; boil potatoes in a large pot covered with water until potatoes are soft if pierced with a fork. Drain and return to the pot.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Mash the sweet potatoes and add in raisins, agave, spices, brown sugar and pineapple.  Lightly spray a pie dish, casserole dish or even individual ramekins with oil, spoon in sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans and marshmallows. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Lightened Up Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz) loaf french bread, cut into small cubes
  • 2 slices bacon, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 medium stalks celery, minced
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 2/3 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cooking spray

Directions:

It’s best to let the bread sit out overnight to get hard, but if your pressed for time you can put it in the oven at 250° for about 30 minutes, stirring half way until the bread is completely firm.  Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large saute pan over medium heat cook bacon for about 2 minutes.

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Add butter; when melted add onions, celery, parsley, sage, salt and pepper and saute on medium low until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes

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In  a medium bowl, combine chicken broth and egg.  In a large bowl add bread and combine with sautéed vegetables. Add chicken broth and egg mixture and combine well. If stuffing is too dry, add a little water until you have the right consistency.  Spray a casserole with baking spray, add stuffing and bake uncovered 35-40 minutes, or until golden.

 

Cranberry Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of cranberries, washed
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 small package of Raspberry or Black Cherry Jello mix
  • 1 package of mini marshmallows
  • 1 small container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 – 8 oz can of Crushed Pineapple, drained

Directions:

Place cranberries in food processor and chop up.  Place chopped cranberries into a large mixing bowl.  Add in sugar, Jello mix, crushed pineapple and combine.

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Add in marshmallows and stir.

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Add in Cool whip and stir.  Cover and refrigerate.

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This is a MUST in our family!  We don’t have a Thanksgiving or Christmas without this recipe.  It is so good that I have to buy several bags of cranberries to freeze for making this throughout the year!

Add lastly,

Homestyle Mac N’ Cheese

This is not necessarily a “healthy” recipe, but it is VERY popular in our family.  Reading the ingredients it seems odd, but it tastes AMAZING!  Definitely a MUST try.  Also this recipe makes a HUGE pan of it, so I usually half the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz Macaroni
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 C milk (I use skim milk)
  • 1 – 8 oz pkg of cream cheese (I use Neufchâtel cheese)
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp pepper
  • 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard (I actually add more than this, for my half recipe I made for Thanksgiving, I used 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 C shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 C dry bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil.  Add in macaroni pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, drain.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour.  Mix in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard.  Continue cooking until sauce is thickened.  Add cooked macaroni and cheddar cheese.  Pour into a 2 qt casserole dish.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over Mac N’ Cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

This year for Thanksgiving, I skipped the baking part and my husband wanted to try smoking it since he was already smoking the turkey.  He placed it in the smoker for ~20-30 minutes until lightly browned.  Had a wonderful smoked flavor to it!

Playing catch up and ramblings

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So today I finally have some quiet time to sit and think before the hustle and bustle of the holidays start.  I can’t believe Thanksgiving is in less than 5 days!   That means it’s almost my birthday AND it’s less than one month til Christmas!  This time of the year just flies for me.  This is my favorite time of the year though.  I love all the decorations and being with family.  It is truly a blessing every year that we get to spend together.

So not too long ago I posted on my Facebook page a question, asking people what they would like to read about to get ideas for my blog.  Everytime I get quiet time to sit down and write, it feels like I get “writer’s block” and my mind goes blank!  Yet when it’s crazy and chaotic I have all these ramblings in my head.  Go figure!  So one of the things someone brought up was running.  Not just the usual “how do I start running…,”  “why do you like running…” and etc.  They asked about specifically about my longs runs.  How do I get through the monotony of it?

Well to answer this question for the most part, I honestly enjoy my long runs.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to HATE them, dread them, and even resented them!  However I found a cure to it earlier this year.  For nearly 12 years I ran solely on a treadmill, or rather a “dreadmill” as I call it.  The only time I ran off of it was when I ran races.  Even the treadmills at the gym that have the fancy, smancy T.Vs on them I loathed!  It wasn’t until earlier this year and the beginning of last year that I learned to actually love my long runs.  For years, all I ever ran were 5ks, but this time last year my neighbor/friend talked me into training for a half marathon.  I signed up with a training group with her to run the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon.  It was truly a blessing in disguise.  I had learned some tips on running through my years of it before that, but it wasn’t until I went through the training group that I actually learned a LOT of stuff about running.  It was actually very informative even though it was mainly set up to give us a group to run with on the long run days.  Yes in the beginning as I transitioned from treadmill running to outdoor running, it was nice to have a group to run with.  I still enjoy having a running partner, that you run similar paces with and can chat with along the way.  However I find running by myself enjoyable too.  For the most part all my running is by myself.  I have little kids (if you haven’t heard this yet), and they or someone else is always wanting my attention, so to have time for myself, alone time to think, is kind of rare!  Running outdoors with just myself and my music is truly a joy.  I don’t have to worry about anyone for that hour or more that I have to enjoy.  I get to have complete thoughts without them getting interrupted.  I get to complete a task without having to stop and do 10 other things in the process.  It let’s me regain my sanity and clear my frustrations and energy levels.  At the gym I didn’t get this, I stared at the timer on the treadmill constantly, wondering when my time or distance would be up.  I would count down the seconds as they ticked by.  I tried to cover up the timer so I wouldn’t look at it, but it would never help.  Getting out and actually running outdoors was a blessing!  To get to see outdoors and places that you drive by every day in a different light is amazing.  Near my house we have paved trails and I always enjoy the people who I pass or encounter, no words are spoken or exchanged other than “Hi!” or a smile and a wave.   It’s almost like it is my time to meditate and reflect.  My husband has his storm chasing as an outlet, I have my running!

On the longer run days, meaning for me, 10+ miles, I have my moments when I have to turn my thoughts elsewhere when my body starts to tighten up and things start to ache.  It is amazing at how much sooner your mind gives out before your body does!  I look at things around me, the cows, the horses, just items around me.  I think about  my groups and things I want to accomplish, my goals, the people I help, my family and friends.  I think about the people I help on a daily basis with work that aren’t physically able to do this, that experience far worse pain then I am at that moment that push through it.  I keep running because there are so many people in this world that can’t.  I keep running because there are people with far worse things going on that keep them from running.  I run because it releases any stress I have and because I know at the end of it, I will feel like I can conquer the world.  The act of running is very monotonous, however when you look at all the things it does for you and how it makes you feel, it is not.  Yes there are days that it feels like a chore or like I am dying, but I look at aspects of it and the circumstances.  Am I tired?  Has it been awhile since I have ran?  Did I start out too fast?  Is it windy?  What is the temperature out?  Am I overdressed?  There are so many different aspects to running that you have to take into consideration.

Anyone that isn’t used to exercising and starts running, yes you will feel like you are dying and thing that running is monotonous, however don’t give it up, give it some time.  It never gets easier, BUT you WILL get better.

Half Marathon Training Take 2!

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So let the half marathon training commence NEXT WEEK!!!  I’m so excited now!  After my 15k at the end of October, I had kind of take a running sabbatical so to speak.  I had been running with my daughter to get her ready for the Turkey Trot, but other than that I hadn’t really ran.  However now that I got all my planning mapped out for next year with not one, but TWO half marathons, both within the first third of the year! The Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon series in Dallas-Fort Worth in March and then the amazing Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon in April.  (I highly suggest the OKC!  It is simply amazing at all the supporters and work that the city puts into this race every year.  I was actually brought to tears towards the end of my race at how amazing it is!)   Maybe I’m crazy, but this distance has grown on me since my one earlier this year.  I love how my body proves to me just what it’s made of and what I can do when I really set my mind to it.  Not to mention at the longer distances, it’s not so much my body that I have to convince, it’s the MIND!  There is something in my mind that can run 9.3 miles without fear, however the thought of 10 miles (a double-digit!) makes me nervous.  I want to END this fear and show my mind (and my body) that it can do it again!  Plus my sister-in-law started this thing by wanting to run a marathon on every continent (yes, even though she has never run a marathon), so I asked her to scale this back some.   Since she is one of my frequent running buddies, I helped “reconstruct” her idea, how about we try a half marathon in every STATE.  Seems much more doable in my mind then a marathon on every continent.  Have you ever even ready that book Alisha???  😉  I had read a book about a year ago about a woman who basically goes through a mid-life crisis and decides to run a marathon on every continent.  The book is called Second Wind:  One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents.  I HIGHLY recommend this book, even if you are NOT a runner.  Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL book!  If you are in need of some inspiration, READ it!

I am also excited about this HM training for another reason.  Remember my friend Jennifer that I got hooked on running and ran her first 5k at the beginning of October?  Well she wants to run a half marathon now too!  I have every ounce of faith that she can do!  This woman is incredible!  She has managed to lose 50 lbs since July and is STILL shrinking before my very eyes!  She went  from couch to 5k to losing 50lbs,  and now to half marathon training in LESS than a year!  SUPER WOMAN status just might be achieved with her!

Weekly Chase #15

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LAST WEEK’S GOALS:

1)  Run at LEAST 3 times. – DONE!

2)  Continue to log my walks with my family and water intake DAILY. – I got 2 walks in with the family and only tracked water intake about 50% of the time.   Need to do better on this.

3)  Stay on schedule with exercise. –  Yes for the most part.  Only one day was off and it was the day I got my run in early in the morning then Sofie decided she wanted to go for a run that evening.

4)  Continue to eat healthy and help my husband stay focused on his weight loss. – YES!!  He has lost 11lbs in 2 weeks!  

5)  Finalize my next 30 day group and start planning for New Year’s group. – DONE!

6)  Try to finish The Compound Effect (book I’m reading) – Touched it once. 🙁

 

THIS WEEK’S GOALS:

1)  Run at LEAST 3 times.

2)  Log walks and water intake DAILY/CONSISTENTLY.

3)  Stay on schedule with exercise this week.

4)  Continue to eat healthy and help my husband.

5)  Prep for final group of the year and prepare for New Year’s.

6)  Start planning for Thanksgiving at our house

7)  Enjoy the company of our friends this weekend!

Home made Chicken Nuggets

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Homemade chicken nuggets

2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 C Italian bread crumbs,

1/2 C planko

2 eggs beaten

1)  Cut chicken into strips or chunks.

2)  Dip in egg then into bread crumbs/planko mixed together.

3)  Place on baking sheet coated with non stick spray. Spray a thin coat off olive oil on chicken.

4)  Place in oven at 375 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes or until done.

Chicken and Noodles

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Chicken and Noodles

~6 Cups of water

4-5 chicken bouillon cubes

~1lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast

3/4 package of Reame’s Homestyle frozen egg noodles

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1)  Pour water into crockpot with chicken bouillon and add uncooked chicken.  Cook 6-8 hours or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken and shred.

2)  Pour chicken broth into large sauce pan on the stove.  Add shredded chicken to broth.  Bring broth to boil on high heat.

3)  Add in frozen egg noodles.  Return to boil and let boil for ~8-10 minutes or until egg noodles are done.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.

4)  Remove from heat and serve over mashed potatoes.

 

Our family likes to eat this over mashed potatoes.  This has been a recipe or variation of it that I grew up on, as well as my husband.  Not a whole lot of people eat it like this, however I actually have found it in a cook book a few years ago and was surprised!  We also love to do this same recipe but substitute Super trim beef stew meat in place of the chicken and use beef bouillon cubes instead of chicken.

Sum it up Sunday #1

Well it has been another crazy week around here in this household with work, school, activities and staying on top of things.  I managed however my blogging fell through the hole!  OOPS!  I apologize!  Part of it was not having the time, then when I would have the time, I would have a brain fart and couldn’t think of what I wanted to write about or put my thoughts in order to get it down on “paper” so to speak.  If you guys have any suggestions on topics that you would love to hear about please feel free to leave me a comment below.  I would greatly appreciate any and all ideas that come to you.

So one thing that was new this week was my sweet husband decided he was going to take up cooking more, which I am NOT going to complain about!  He managed to make stir fry one evening, which was delicious!  Plus him AND all the kids loved it, which for 2 out of the 3 not being big on bell peppers and onions this was HUGE!

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Plus he made chili, which is something he ALWAYS makes and Sofie loved it this time!

On another note, we went and had family photos taken by a wonderful lady from Connie Jones’s Photography.  She took BEAUTIFUL pictures!  I would highly recommend her!

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In all my escapades from this week, I did have to stop and take pictures of my dear, sweet son.  He is always doing crazy and funny things, this just being one of them.  He will probably beat me when he is older for this, but I got a good laugh from it!

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So for my weekly recap of exercise since the 2nd of the month.  I failed to get a post up last week for it.

Saturday, November 2nd:

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Sunday, November 3rd:

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2013-11-10 15.32.27Tuesday, November 5th:

2013-11-10 15.38.43Wednesday, November 6th:

2013-11-10 15.40.30Thursday, November 7th:

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Friday, November 8th:  REST!!!!

Saturday, November 9th:

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Well that’s it for the week!  I’m hoping this week to get back into a running routine again as there are 2 half marathons I want to complete at the beginning of the year, one in March and one in April!  I better get busy!

Weekly Chase #14

So how was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was relaxing and uneventful for a change!  Much needed to say the least!  We hung around the house for the most part.  Did do a few mundane things.  My family surprised me with an early birthday present that I had been wanting!  A Polar FT4 heart rate monitor!  They are by far the best.  Not because they get me presents, because they KNOW me and what I like.

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The kids had a great weekend too.  My daughter got to play with her friends and enjoy the beautiful weather.  They had plenty of leaves to rake up and try to create a pile to play in.  We got the Halloween decorations down and started putting up Thanksgiving ones.  My son absolutely LOVES the inflatables and has to go out every single day to see it and gets so stinkin’ excited when he sees it.  It’s so cute!  He also has decided to take on Daddy’s role.  I think he has some pretty big shoes to fill!  What do you think?  <3

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So now it’s time for the Weekly Chase!  I hope this inspires others how important it is to set goals as well.

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LAST WEEKS GOALS:

1)  Run at LEAST 3 times. – Managed to get 2 runs in.  I was a little more fatigued this week after my 15k

2)  Log my family walks AND water intake DAILY. – COMPLETE!  

3)  Stay on schedule with exercise and recover from my 15k. – Other then getting my runs in like I was wanting, I DID manage to stay on schedule.

4)  Get signed up for my Turkey Trot with my friend Jennifer and possibly my daughter. – DONE!

5) Prepare for my next 30 day group. – DONE!

6)  Keep up the blogging!  Blog at LEAST 3 times between Tuesday and Sunday – DONE!

 

THIS WEEKS GOALS:

1)  Run at LEAST 3 times.

2)  Continue to log my walks with my family and water intake DAILY.

3)  Stay on schedule with exercise.

4)  Continue to eat healthy and help my husband stay focused on his weight loss.

5)  Finalize my next 30 day group and start planning for New Year’s group.

6)  Try to finish The Compound Effect (book I’m reading)

 

What are your goals for the week?

 

Fantastic Friday Edition #1

So it’s November 1st and I’m sure by now you all know how much I love the start of a new month and a fresh calendar! A new month for me is a time to reflect on the past month and plan/set goals for a new month.

I would say we had a fun month both family and fitness related. I ran with a friend of mine in her first ever 5k, and just yesterday we signed up for her second, the Tulsa Turkey Trot the day after Thanksgiving. All together for my training this month in preparation for my 15k just last week, I ran a total of 47.6 miles. I need to get back to it since I have kind of taken this week off for the most part from running. I have kept up fairly well with my Les Mills Combat though.

On the home front, Sofie got to enjoy her Girl Scouts Stranger Danger class and has decided she is going to run a 5k race with me in the near future.

The kids had a fun Halloween and definitely got plenty of candy. So much in fact I think we will be donating some! Taylor really got into the hang of trick or treating and picked up what to do really quick.

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Speaking of Taylor he has finally decided to expand is vocabulary. Before he was pretty much a “caveman” grunting and pointing at everything only to say “gaga” (dog), “bye'” and “mama,” but completely understands what you tell him to do. Now he still does this for the most part, but he now says “dada” regularly as well as “Sis” (for Sissy), “love you,” and “see.” We think even was even trying to say thanks on Halloween night. It’s hard to believe that he will already be 19 months old here in just a few days! Golly the time flies!

How was your week/month? What do you have going on for next month?