Archive for December, 2009

Running Unplugged and DJ Earworm 09

Imagine the world of running before the infiltration of gadgets, gear, and GPSs. A run with no numbers in mind. No way to know how far you ran, or how fast you went. No knowledge of splits, tempo, pace, finish time. Would it be pointless? or relaxing? I’d have to say I’d chose the latter.

I’ve been struggling to force myself to run this 6 miles that I just can’t seem to do. As I engaged in mental battle with myself, I started to wonder why it mattered. WHY was I trying to run 6 miles when clearly my body wasn’t ready? Because a sheet of paper says I’m supposed to? Because if I don’t I won’t be able to run 7 next week? Because other people can?

All silly reasons. Who cares?! Nobody really,  so why I’m I making myself care? With this new philosophy in mind, yesterday I drove to a park halfway between my house and work, laden with running trails. No nagging numbers on the treadmill, scrolling dreadfully slow, reminding just how far away I was from my target.  My mind was clear of any sort of goal. Just to run until I felt like turning around and running the other way. If it was 6 miles, awesome. If it was 1, equally awesome.

And awesome it was. I quickly became enraptured in the beauty of my surroundings. Who knew, that just an extra left hand turn on my way to work could lead to an entirely different world. No cars, no traffic lights, no looming tall buildings. Just trees, grass, and dirt. I had no idea where I was going, I just haphazardly chose a path whenever I came to an intersection of trails. Paved, gravel, mud, dirt.

It brought me back to what running was about. Getting lost in your mind, experiencing something greater than yourself. It was absolutely freeing. I almost felt smacked in the face when I stopped running and was brought back to “reality”. Somehow I managed to loop all the way back to my car, when I thought I was running the complete opposite direction. Imagine how lost I could have been. I guess I ran for about 35-40 minutes. I wore my Nike+ but resisted the urge to constantly check it (it was a bit harder to detach from than I thought). I still have no idea how far I ran- the final report said I ran 1.3 miles. Now, I know I’m slow as molasses, but I’m pretty sure I could walk farther than that in 30 minutes. It also said my average pace was 0 miles per hour, which I know to be false since I did in fact move from one point to another. But it doesn’t matter- I had a wonderful, refreshing run, and it was well-timed to remind what it’s all about anyway.

On another note, this is freaking awesome:

It’s DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop 2009- a mash up of the 25 Top Billboard hits of 2009.

Hope you all enjoy the last day of the year!

December 31, 2009 at 11:05 am 1 comment

Resolutions for 2010

I didn’t make any resolutions in 2009. I tend to shy away from things like New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t like setting myself up for failure, and I don’t really like doing things just because that’s what people do.

I’ve been thinking this year that maybe I haven’t made resolutions because I never took the time to really think about it. So now I’ve been thinking about it.

I started by reflecting on some things I’ve accomplished this year:

– I started running again.

– I completed a triathlon. I swam. I biked. I ran.

– I’ve overcome an injury (well, work in progress..but progress is progress)

– I finally threw that charity Christmas party I’ve always thought about but never did

– Got into grad school!

My list isn’t long. (Although I’m proud of what’s on it). But I didn’t set any goals, and I didn’t set my sights high. I think I will this year. And if I fail, my list for 2011 will be that much easier to make 🙂

I’ll think of these more as “suggestions” rather than resolutions per se.

Stay injury free

– Listen to my body. Don’t go crazy. Run smart.

Run regularly

– Ideally 3 times per week. Less only if related to above goal.

Finish a half marathon

– In March! In March I’d like to finish. After that I’d like to work on sub 2 hours if I’m still in one piece. (This may not seem to go with the goal above, but I hope to utilize cross-training to the fullest)

Compete in another triathlon- not just finish by the skin of my teeth

– August, if not sooner.

Find freelance writing

– I love writing and want to build my experience to enhance future endeavors. I love nothing more than to sit at my desk in my office, basking in the afternoon sunshine, writing.

Start my own nutrition business

– My dream is to start an online nutrition counseling practice. Who says dreams need to wait? I want to have my business up and running by May.

Get into grad school (I’ve applied…I’m still waiting with fingers crossed) I start January 11th!

Cook more often

– Much to my chagrin, I’ve discovered the world of frozen pizzas- dinner for two for $4 in 11-13 minutes? Yup that’s nice. I enjoy cooking- I don’t know why I’ve let it get away from me. With a little planning I can make a meal just as cheap and easily, but full of health instead. Heck,  I even make a pretty good pizza from scratch 🙂 I plan to make at least one new recipe a week this year. Even if it means drawing a random number out of a hat to pick a page in a cookbook 😉

Stop my love affair with Target.

– I’m usually financially savvy–until it comes to my endless obsession with “just stopping by” Target. I never come out empty handed.

Keep my house clean

– I’m a pretty organized person. I’ve been described as Type A and OCD on more than one occasion, but I think my husband’s exact opposite characteristics have been rubbing off on me this year. I’d like to keep the clutter-accumulation under control (not setting things down to put away later, using downtime waiting for something to clean up a little, etc.)

Stop procrastinating!!

– If there were awards for procrastinating, I would undoubtedly clinch first place. In other areas I’m a perfectionist, so this doesn’t really jive with that. Imagine all the things I could accomplish if I just did them!

As a reread this post, I realized I have 10 resolutions…seems appropriate, right? It’s my 10 for ‘10 🙂

Although I do have a bonus resolution:

Appreciate the little things in life; don’t get irritated so easily.

– This has little need for explanation. Irritation is just leads to negativity. Appreciation is nothing but positive.

Do you make resolutions? If you could only pick one resolution to make, what would it be?

December 31, 2009 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Christmas Weekend Recap: Part 2

Did you check out Part 1 of my Christmas weekend?!

Sunday morning arrived at a leisurely pace…one by one everyone woke up and made their way downstairs. We planned to go to breakfast, but it was taking quite awhile to get everyone up and ready, so I had a quick snack of coffee toast while my mom and I chatted in the kitchen.

We decided in the driveway to turn breakfast into brunch instead. The family wanted something “local” instead of a chain, so we headed towards Village Tavern, a restaurant known for it’s scrumptious brunch. I was pleasantly surprised to find the brunch prices were quite reasonable!

After a slight mishap- about 3 rounds of tea before we got hot water, and a cup dumped on my brother-in-law- we were presented with a delicious brunch.

I started with a fresh-baked apple walnut muffin with a touch of whipped honey butter. MMmmm. Then I had the Cruz Bay Breakfast: Spicy black beans served over toasted English muffin halves with two poached eggs, grated Cheddar, fresh chopped tomatoes, spring onions and sour cream. Served with Tavern hash browns. I skipped the tomatoes and asked for the sour cream on the side.

It was delicious!!! I made a mental note of everything on my plate so I could recreate this dish at home.

After brunch we did some shopping and strolling around.

Eventually we made our way to an early dinner (since we had such a late brunch). My step-dad chose Outback Steakhouse. I’m not a big steak eater, so I wasn’t really excited, but I found a great-sounding tilapia dish on the menu and decided to give it a shot.

I started with a Chopped Blue Cheese Pecan Salad with romaine, blue cheese, candied pecans, shredded carrots, and a vinaigrette-type dressing (I’m not sure what kind it was) and a glass of house red. And of course a slice or two of bread 🙂

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Then came the main course. Tilapia topped with stuffing, white button mushrooms, and lump crab meat and finished with lemon butter Chablis sauce. I asked for the sauce on the side because I wasn’t sure if I’d like it—turns out I didn’t. It was also served with fresh veggies.

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I ate about half of my entree, and I’m glad I did because then came dessert:

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My mom, husband, and I split the dessert trio which was a warm pecan brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter pie, and cheesecake with raspberry sauce. I ate the peanut butter pie  🙂 (On the right)

After dinner we drove around looking at Christmas lights. There’s a nearby neighborhood that does such a fantastic job with tree light balls that people often drive through slowly with their headlights turned off. My pictures didn’t really work so well.

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Then we went home and watched Wanted before going to bed. I had NO idea it was going to be such a good movie! I had no interest in seeing it but was playing along to be a good sport- boy, was I surprised. The filming was amazing, and it ended up being a pretty good story too.

My family had to head back home the next morning, but I was SO glad they came and can’t wait to see them again!

December 31, 2009 at 7:58 am Leave a comment

Christmas Weekend Recap: Part 1

I celebrated Christmas with family this past weekend after they surprised me at my front door Christmas night!

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We each opened one present on “Christmas Eve” (aka Christmas to the rest of the world), which seems to have become a new family tradition. Then we all went to bed to dream of sugarplums and reindeer hooves dancing on the rooftop.

I really did have trouble sleeping- I felt like I was 6 again, unable to sleep in eager anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Except this time I was excited because I couldn’t believe my family was actually here!! I kept waking up and needed to remind myself it wasn’t a dream.

Eventually morning rolled around. We started “Christmas” (aka Saturday) with delicious homemade cinnamon cake made with applesauce. (I only had blueberry applesauce, but you couldn’t notice when it was cooked at all!) Apparently we were so eager to celebrate no one even sat down at the table!

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Then came stockings for the “kids’.

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Then we casually opened gifts and enjoyed spending the morning together. I love watching people’s faces as they open the gifts I’ve chosen for them. My mom and step-dad both got plenty of books, my step-sister and bro-in-law got lots of kitchenware. My husband got Rockband (aren’t I a good wifey?). My gifts seemed to have a theme: cooking or running 🙂 I got a new blender, a SpiBelt, and a subscription to Runner’s World!

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I’d say we enjoyed throwing the paper at each other almost as much as opening gifts!The end result:

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After the festivities we went to meet my in-laws for lunch. My step-dad LOVES barbeque, so there was no question where we would go. I almost watched his heart break as we pulled up to the restaurant and quickly realized it was closed. He doesn’t give up easily where barbeque is concerned, so we drove across town to check out their other location and success!!

I had a barbeque sandwich topped with lots of their secret barbeque sauce and I may or may not have stolen several of the husband’s hush puppies (you can’t beat fried cornbread).

Then we came home and rocked out!

DSCN0030 DSCN0033 DSCN0034The rocking continued throughout the dinner preparations. I made my own version of a Christmas dinner. We ended the night with some movie watching and card playing.

Part 2 coming soon!

December 30, 2009 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Dinner Revisited…Again

I promised you would see my Christmas dinner leftovers again…this time magically transformed into casserole form!

I mixed a good portion of the wild rice, cranberry, and chicken dish with a can of low sodium cream of mushroom soup and a box of frozen broccoli. Topped with some basil and black pepper, then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and little shredded mozzarella. Baked at 350 for 20 minutes; new dinner in an instant.

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Then this morning I mixed up a delicious bowl of stovetop banana oats and some Fresh Market Christmas Blend coffee.  I love the subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the coffee.

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Please excuse my recent picture quality. I’m still working on the camera thing. The color balance seems to be off no matter what I do, and I just can’t seem to capture a clear image. Check these out:

My camera:

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My mom’s camera:

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Something’s not right! I’m going to take it to the store today to see if it’s just MY camera, or the model of camera. You really shouldn’t upgrade cameras and end up with worse pictures!

December 30, 2009 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

Leftover Lunches

One of my favorite thing about going out to eat is bringing home leftovers 🙂 The food is just flowing in my fridge right now- leftovers from restaurants, cooking for the fam, you name it. Today’s lunch was a combo of those leftovers:

Fish topped with stuffing and crab, honey wheat bread, and green beans. Then I rounded it out with a side of tomato basil soup 🙂

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This afternoon I’m going for round two of attempting 6 miles on the treadmill. No over ambitious expectations this time though, we’ll just see what my legs tell me I’m going to do 🙂

December 30, 2009 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

Off Run

As I trekked to the gym today I had every intention of driving the number on the treadmill up to the big 6.0.  I decided to do my run on the treadmill even though the sun was shining since my knees and feet were in much better condition following my 5 miles on the treadmill last week than they were after 4 miles outside the week before that.

I started with a walking warm-up, then bumped the speed to 5.7. After one thirty second walk break I bumped it up to 6.0. I didn’t have a specific plan on running/walking intervals, just decided to take a quick walk when I was feeling tired, but to get right back to running.

However, today was one of those days where my body just wouldn’t listen to my mind.  I felt just wiped out after a mile and a half. Although my rear had been feeling better over the weekend, running verified that it was not in fact completely healed. (If you ever wonder if you use your butt when you run—trust me, you do!)

I finally told myself it’d be ok if I just got to 4 miles. I didn’t need to turn my butt into a permanent injury. Unfortunately I couldn’t even get to that. I set a goal of at least 3.1, so at least it was a 5K distance. I did about 5 min cool down on the recumbent bike, but even that wasn’t feeling too great.

So I left the gym a little disappointed in myself, but understand it’s probably just an off day. I’ll do a better run tomorrow. And hey, I ran 3.1 miles more than 0 miles!

December 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm 2 comments

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Welcome! This blog is all about food & fitness, and trying to find balance after an injury. Read along as I train for a half-marathon, triathlon, & have FUN while staying healthy!

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