Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Long Run of 2012

Week 10: Half Marathon Training
The fearless threesome at mile seven.
Goal Total Miles: 23 miles
Actual Total Miles: 24 miles

I'm slowly but surely making up those five miles I missed in Week 8. So far so good with my new Garmin 410. I had a little trouble getting it set up for my first run, but it was total user error and not a problem with the watch itself. While I have no idea what I'm supposed to be watching for when it comes to my heart rate, it is an interesting piece of data to have and a nice way to track how many of those Christmas calories I'm burning.

This week's long run was a threesome for the first seven miles. Faith, my 5k partner in crime, is training for the Princess Half and she is up to seven miles on her long run. It was awesome to have an extra on our route, despite the crazy cold wind that was blowing at 20 mph. Those last three miles with the wind in my face were not fun, but as Andrea often reminds me, "you can't control the weather on race day." Well, I've practiced in the wind now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Ho! Ho! Ho!
I was one of those annoying kids who woke my parents up crazy early every Christmas. I'm sure they hated me.

As an adult without children, I enjoyed sleeping in on Christmas morning and then I treated myself to a quiet run throughout the neighborhood.

I loved seeing all the surprises Santa had delivered while I was catching some extra Zs. In my brief four mile loop I saw a trampoline, an awesome purple bike and a dad and daughter doing a little target practice with a new bow and arrow. I had a number of Christmas surprises in my lifetime. Probably one of the best was when I was four or five and I received my first puppy, in a basket, with a bow - a dachshund that I named Ginger.

This year, Santa brought me a Garmin Forerunner 410 with a heart rate monitor. I'm pretty psyched to upgrade from my MotoActv, which has decided to have an attitude lately and add a heart rate monitor into the mix of data. I think I read hundreds of reviews about the 410 before making a decision. You know, sometimes too much information is a bad thing. Some people love the touch bezel while others thought it was the dumbest thing ever created. I came to the conclusion that the touch bezel wasn't that big of a deal for me and if I hated it, I'd send it back. This review was a huge help for me in choosing the right watch for me.

And while I've not written a movie review recently, we've been seeing films like they are going out of style. I think for the first time we won't be scrambling to see a film when the Oscar nominations come out in January.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let's Go Pats!

Week 9: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 18 miles
Let's Go Pats!
Actual Total Miles: 19 miles

Well, I made up a mile this week on last week's total. I thought I'd be able to make up a few more since this was a scheduled low mileage week, but travel plans and work commitments prevented this. C'est la vie.

I love football. High school football, college football, pro football - I love it all. I love good defense. I love hard hits. I love seeing the QB sacked - well, anyone other than Tom Brady. That's right, we're Patriots fans. The husband is from Boston, so it's expected. 

We took a weekend road trip to see the Pats play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Without actual tickets to the game, we figured we could easily find a couple of great seats by trolling the tailgating area. It took an hour or so, but we managed to find a nice lady trying to get rid of a couple of awesome seats. 

I cheered on handsome Tommy and the poorly performing Patriots defense to a down-to-the-wire victory drinking a couple of fancy liquor drinks out of plastic mason jars. Cute, right? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's a Long Run, Charlie Brown

It's a Nativity, Charlie Brown
A mid-week long run was necessary this week to get one in the books. It was supposed to be a short mileage week with the longest run being six miles, but I think the long runs are important no matter what that piece of paper says. I'm lucky enough to have a very flexible work schedule, so running for a couple of hours on a Thursday is doable. Andrea and I normally run throughout downtown on Saturday or Sunday -  so we weren't ready for busy traffic throughout the entire route.

My new running friend, Jackie, joined us for the first half of our run and was attempting to tackle her longest run to date - six miles. We see her occasionally on the back half of our route, but this time she started with us and did great. Not only did she kill those six miles, she ran at a faster pace than she ever had.

Jackie's house is right along our normal route, so when we dropped her off we noticed her neighbor had a huge wooden cut out of the nativity with Charlie Brown characters. Absolutely the most unique holiday decorations I've seen all season. Here I am with Charlie as Joseph.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Epic Fail

Week 8: Half Marathon Training
Happy 11th Birthday Ren!
Goal Total: 22 miles
Actual Total: 17 miles

Yep. A whopping five miles short this week. It just goes to show you that having a running partner makes a huge difference.

It was horribly foggy this morning and we just didn't feel like it was safe for us to be out and about on the roads. Safety first - right? So, my long run was shortened to a solo six miler around my neighborhood. Bah humbug.

I did see this cool sign that a family had made to wish their eleven year old a very happy birthday. I don't know if the sign rolled down with the garage door, or if they put it up there to surprise Ren when he/she pulled into the driveway. And how cool is the name Ren, by the way?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Running Rascal

This is Rascal. He lives down the street from me. Rascal likes to run. In fact, he joined me for almost a mile today before flopping down in front of me and demanding a belly rub. Most folks run with a dog. I'm totally on the cutting edge. Rascal the Running Cat Rocks!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Dirty Snowman

Week 7: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 21 miles
Andrea and Frankie - two thumbs up!
Actual Total Miles: 21 miles

That makes two weeks in a row meeting goal miles. That has to be a record, right? 

Each run was faster than the plan suggested - well I think it was. My watch screwed up early in my run on Thursday, so I really don't have any idea of what pace I was running. So much for speed work. After I pouted like a five year old, I got over the fact I couldn't track my pace and just focused on getting in the miles for the day. My MotoActv has an attitude - and it needs an adjustment.

This week's holiday photo bomb is of Andrea and Frankie the Dirty Snowman. This lawn ornament was probably white at one point in its existence, but this guys is a long way from white now. I guess you really can't launder these blowup decorations. Frankie teaches us a valuable lesson about being selective when it comes to choosing the right holiday blowup character for your yard. One day, not to far down the road, Frosty won't be white anymore and you'll either have to trash him or continue to drag him out every year and face the embarrassment of a dirty decoration on your lawn. 

I'm guessing next year, that santa bear will be sporting a nice gray hue. At least Frankie won't be alone.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Running

Week 6: Half Marathon Training
Vintage decorations rock!
Goal Total Miles: 20 miles
Actual Total Miles: 20 miles

Right on track. My speed work really helped my 5k time on Saturday - do doubt. I kinda look forward to those mid-week runs on the schedule. However, I really shouldn't make the mistake to run really hard on the day before a long run day. My legs really hated me on Sunday afternoon - and today.

Andrea and I have decided that we are going to take a picture with someone's holiday decorations each week on our long runs. Our first picture is of me in a johnny boat with a snowman circa 1971. What you cannot see is the blue lights they have placed under the boat that represents water when everything is illuminated.

Despite the fact I was sitting next to a snowman, I was sweating like it was July. Where did the winter go?

Reindeer Run Recap

Reindeer Run 5k
December 1, 2012, Macon, GA
25:07, 8th out of 71 in age group

Can we say PR? If anyone was taking pictures at the finish line on Saturday, my smile was a mile wide as I came around the corner and saw the clock, which read 25:20. That would have been 11 seconds faster than my previous best 5k time, but this was a pretty big, chip-timed race and I certainly didn't start near the front of the pack. A quick check of  my watch and it said 25:07 - and my chip agreed with my watch!

The course was anything but flat. In fact, reading Facebook posts of other runners and hearing folks lamenting at the finish about the hills has made me even more psyched about my finish time. I actually really enjoyed the course. Sure, there were plenty of uphill spots, but there were just as many downhill sections. I certainly hate when a course is all one slow incline without any breather. These hills you could see the top of so I like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I know I'm at the top.

This was my last race of 2012 and I'm so excited that it was my best of the year and I head into 2013 feeling like I could run a sub-25 race at some point!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Personal Turkey Trot

Gobble, Gobble!
Week 5: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 15 miles
Actual Total Miles: 16 miles

Whoo hoo! I exceeded expectations this week in spite of the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, corn casserole and cobbler I put into my body this week.

Blow up lawn ornaments crack me up. It seems that every holiday now has blow up decorations. I think I've seen every version of Christmas blow ups available. This Halloween I saw a giant blow up spider on a lawn. But I'd never seen a turkey before - until our long run last Sunday. Yep, a blow up turkey. Full out gobbler. Awesome.

I also appreciate that the family included Veteran's Day in their display by adding the American flag and the Air Force plaque (which you can't really see here). This house is on our normal 10+ route, so I'm kinda excited to see what they bust out with for Christmas. I mean, if you invest in a blow up turkey, you must have some serious commitment to Christmas decorations, right?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Light More Homes 5k

We rock Christmas socks
Light More Homes 5k 
November 17, 2012, Macon, GA
25:50 - 3rd in age group

I love a cute race shirt. If it is a tech shirt - even better, but to me if I spend $20, $25 or in the case of this race $30 - on a race it should have a cute shirt to offer participants. In spite of the expensive entry fee, the shirts for this race were absolutely ugly. There's really no nice way to say it. While it was a tech shirt, the very large gray fabric with black, red, yellow, green and blue primary colors and a list of sponsors a mile long on the back will be going to the very bottom of my running drawer.

The money is going to a good cause (Habitat for Humanity), so the shirt really shouldn't matter. But what this organization failed to realize is that the 300 people who ran this race and got this shirt would probably wear it in public and advertise your organization year-round if it were somewhat attractive.

Note to all race organizers - post a picture and the measurements of the shirt on your registration site.

Faith and I wore festive holiday socks for this race. Have you ever tried to find pink Christmas socks? I mean, red and green would clash horribly with my hot pink shoes so those weren't really an option. I did find two pair believe it or not and I'm wearing the others in December for the Reindeer Run.

As far as my time is concerned - the clock said 25:41 when I crossed the finish line. They posted 25:50 as my official time. My watch said 25:45. I guess the truth lies within there somewhere. The course wasn't easy - two laps of the same route with three large hills. I'm not a fan of running the same route twice, especially when there are challenging hills. I mean I ran them once - wasn't that enough?

I think I may skip this race next year and spend my money on a turkey trot somewhere.

Week 4: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 19 miles
Actual Total Miles: 20 miles

See, I told you I'd make up that mile I was short on last week.  I'm listening to an audio book right now while I run - Defending Jacob by William Landay. I'm lucky to live in an area where you can check out audio downloads to your iPod from the library. The only downside is that you have 14 days to finish listening to it, which can be challenging if your book is 50 hours long. I find that days when I have to long run alone, it helps keep my brain busy and I don't look at my watch as often.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Run For: Crack Dip

Top Left: App State wins.
Right: Roxy and I enjoy the Greenway.
Bottom Left: Kev and I during pre-game festivities.
Week 3: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 18 miles
Total Miles: 17 miles

Yeah, I'm a mile short this week. I didn't map out my long run quite right.  I'll make it up next week. Nothing more to see here.

We went to my favorite part of the world this week for a family reunion/tailgate/Appalachian State University football game. Family reunions that involve sports, alcohol and food are the only type of family reunions I want to go to.

My contribution for the event included a simple pasta salad, crappy box brownies, and my signature tailgate crack dip. Just make it - you'll find out why it's called crack dip. Be sure to have lots of crackers on hand. You'll thank me later.

Tailgate Crack Dip
16 oz sour cream
1 packet of Fiesta Ranch dressing mix
3 oz bacon bits (the real kind in the bag)
1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 to 3 tsp hot sauce (optional if you like hot stuff)
1 green onion sliced thin (optional)
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Mix everything together and refrigerate for 24 hours. I like to serve it hot if I'm at home. Just heat in the oven at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Add a little extra shredded cheddar on top before you put it in the oven for extra yumminess. Enjoy!

Source link to original recipe that I've gussied up for my own taste.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cotton Pickin' Cotton Picker!

This is a John Deere Cotton Bailer. 
Week 2: Half Training
Goal Total Miles: 17 miles
Actual Total Miles: 12.5 miles

Yep, that 14.5 miler killed me last Sunday. I wasn't prepared for the distance. I hadn't built up to that distance. I wore my legs out - period. Those extra six miles I ran last week will have to apply to this week. It all counts, right?

Today's long run was interrupted by this cotton bailer. We had to stop our watches and make our way to a church parking lot to let this darn thing pass. If you are dying to know how this thing works, here's a video of one in action - not the same model but it does the same thing. You know you run in the country when a cotton pickin' cotton picker interrupts your run.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Running Birthday to Me

Ease to 5k app diary from a year ago today
One year ago today, I started the Ease to 5k program. I'd tried to start the program using my treadmill back in September 2011 and I made it through three and a half weeks successfully before falling off the running wagon. Despite the Young and the Restless on the television and air conditioning blowing in my face, I really didn't like it.

Things changed for me when I laced up and ran outside for the first time - October 31, 2011. It wasn't so bad. Just me and my iPod and my running app touring my quiet neighborhood. I joined a challenge on My Fitness Pal - Run a 5k by New Year's Day. There were 15 to 20 of us committed to the program and we cheered each other on week to week. By New Year's Day, only two of us were left and we continue to cheer each other on daily in our workouts a year later, even though we've never met each other. 

Instead of running today, I decided to reflect on my journey.
  • I cannot believe how much progress I've made both time-wise and distance-wise since a year ago. I ran 14.5 miles on Sunday - something that I never thought I could do a year ago. 
  • My body has totally transformed. I'm down more than 20 lbs and I'm leaner all over. Do I wish I wasn't as lean as I am in the chest area - maybe, but then again I don't have to spend money on expensive sports bras. 
  • I can tell a difference in my mind. I'm not restless. I'm more focused at work. I sleep more soundly. I'm more dedicated to taking care of my home. I'm not nearly as scattered - well, most of the time. 
  • I'm more confident. Most people would tell you that I didn't have this problem before I started running. The truth is, I was really good at faking it. I don't have to fake it any longer. 
This time last year, I had just one goal - run a 5k in 2012. Instead I've run:
  • Twelve 5k races - placing in the top three in my age group in six of those events
  • One 10k race - placing 9th in my age group and finishing in 56 minutes in 85 degree heat and 100% humidity
  • One mud run - a fun experience and a nice change from a typical race
For my next year of running I've started thinking about my goals, after all I've got to set up some sort of plan for myself. Here are just a few of my running goals for November 1, 2012 - Oct 31, 2013:
  • Run a 25:15 5k - I'd really like a sub-25, but baby steps, right?
  • Run a sub-2 hr half - who knows if this is even possible, but a girl can dream.
  • Hot Chocolate 15k - Atlanta, GA - I will do just about anything for chocolate
  • Museum of Aviation Half Marathon - Warner Robins, GA - this will be my first half ever and right in my backyard. 
  • Disney's Princess Half Marathon - Orlando, FL - I'm planning a sick snow white costume.
As you can see, I've not gotten too far on my list - I think that's everything through February. I'm not much of a planner, so for me that's like setting up a calendar for three years in advance. Now I think I will go celebrate with a cupcake. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Birthday Run

Happy Early 43rd Birthday Andrea!
Week 1: Half Marathon Training
Goal: 17 miles
Achieved: 23.5 miles

Half marathon training officially started this week. I have a print out from Smart Coach on Runner's World that is coffee and food stained as I review it daily over breakfast. The weekly mileage doesn't scare me. The long runs don't scare me. I really need to not focus on how fast I'm running and just focus on taking care of business.

The weather is crazy. While you would think it is cool in October in Georgia - it isn't. Thank you global warming. It's humid and still 65 degrees in the morning. I shouldn't complain since it was 80 in the mornings most of this summer, but still - the leaves should be yellow and I should be able to unpack my sweaters from under my bed.

This is me in an ice bath post 14.5 miles
with my Click protein drink on ice
My running partner, Andrea, wanted to celebrate her 43 birthday by running 43 miles this week. She and her husband both accomplished this feat, although he planned and started with a full 7 days to get his miles in. Andrea is a procrastinator believes in a good challenge, and decided to give herself 5 days to get her miles in. So we set out today to do 10 and then it turned into 12 which turned into 14.5.

Yes, I do love her - my legs might not after tomorrow, but she's that much closer to her goal of 43 miles by Thursday, November 1. I am proud to be a part of such a journey.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Race Recap: Jay's Hope 5k

Wonder Woman & Bat Girl 
Jay's Hope 5k
October 27, 2012, Macon, GA
25:30, 3rd in age group

After running in costume in Vegas I was on the look out for somewhere else to bust out in my Wonder Woman costume. I worked hard on it, after all. Thank goodness Halloween was right around the corner and the Jay's Hope 5k encouraged runners to dress in costume. I didn't want to show up and be the only goofball in a costume, so I bribed convinced Faith to run as Bat Girl so Wonder Woman wouldn't be lonely.

The Bat Girl costume was easy. A combination of:

  • one Batman logo cut out in iron on glitter vinyl
  • some black lame fabric for a cape
  • a pair of awesome caped Batman socks
  • black running shorts or skirt if you prefer
  • Bat Girl costume accessories from the local Halloween store.

We made quite the dynamic duo, don't you think?

Well, someone at the local running club thought so. Faith checked the results later that night and I was the cover girl on the Macon Tracks' website. Not the most awesome pic - chunky white thighs, weird arm pose and all - but believe it or not I've seen a lot worse of me.

This was my first 5k since July when I lost my lung at the Beach Mountain 5k (5200 ft). It was also the coolest race, weather-wise, I've run since March of this year. I was a bit curious to see if I'd gotten any faster. I was pleased with my time, especially since the whole first half of the race was a long slow uphill climb.  A solid 3rd place in my age group and I won an awesome Nike Dri-Fit hat with the Jay's Hope Logo on it - in a Wonder Woman costume. Bring it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ramping Up

Latest Workouts:
Monday: 3.03mi/28:01
Wednesday: 4.10/37:04

Vacation hangover continues. All of my miles have felt slow and short lately. I've struggled getting up in the morning to run. Thank goodness it is cooler here in the south so I can still get my run in at 8a instead of 6:30a. I'm hoping a race or two on my calendar will bring my mojo back.

I think I've focused on distance and not speed lately and I totally expect it to impact my 5k times in my upcoming races. We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of distance - I really have to decide what plan I'm going to use for the half I want to run in January.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Runder Women

Latest Workouts:
Glow Run 2012-
10/7/12 - Freemont Street Experience
Saturday: 6.12mi/1:34 - Red Rocks in NV - 5800 ft.
Sunday: 3.15mi/29:26 - Glow Run 2012, Las Vegas

The miles may not be piled up this week, but the fun certainly has. Running with a life-long friend, no matter how rough the terrain or crazy the environment, is incredibly enjoyable.

KC and I flew to Vegas last weekend to celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary. This trip has become a staple in our lives. He likes the gambling. I like the shows. We both like the food and the people watching. Bonus for both of us - we have childhood friends who live in the area so we get to spend time with a couple of our favorite people!

This trip was way more active than previous trips for me. My BFF Angel took up hiking and rock climbing when she and her husband were stationed in Vegas three years ago. I'm too clumsy to do either of those things, so past trips have mostly included shopping, spas, eating, drinking, clubbing and recovery (pretty much in that order). In the last year, Angel has taken up running - trail running to be more specific - and is training for the Moab Half-Marathon in early November. Our time together this past weekend included a serious 6 miler at Red Rocks and a very fun race/rave in downtown Las Vegas.

Saturday's trail run was tough. I'm not going to lie. The first two miles were great. A little downhill. A little uphill. The footing was somewhat challenging in places but totally do-able. The next two miles were serious. All up hill. Incredibly rocky footing and big elevation increases that made me feel like I had a black lung. Needless to say - we dropped the pace to a quick walk/hike in the middle of the trek. Miles five and six got us back to fabulous trail running with narrow, but good footing that led us down into a wash and back up to the top of the trail. It was a bright 85 degrees, brilliant sunshine, awesome breeze and NO humidity. I could get used to that combo.

Saturday's trail run - the down hill section!
Sunday night we joined a few thousand other runners, walkers and partiers in the old part of Las Vegas for the first ever Vegas Glow Run. Now, I have plenty to say about the race organizers and none of it is good. So I'm following that old advice (if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all) and just focusing on the fun we had. This race was un-timed and you were supposed to dress in costume - something Vegas folks are really good at. Our costume of choice - Wonder Woman.

This was Angel's first official race and she did great despite all the crazies, drunks, walkers, dancers, strippers and what not we encountered along the course. I played pacer and we decided we'd run an 11 minute mile since Angel trains run/walk, but wanted to run 90% of this race instead of 60%. For the record, I was a horrible pacer. In an effort to make some room for us, I took us off at a 9:30 pace, but we never dropped under a 10:30 and Angel did a great job. I pushed her and she killed it. Her first 5k and she finished in under 30 min!

I'll do a post about the details of our costumes another time, but we were awarded $25 gift cards from race sponsor, Zappos, for our creativity. If we end up on some weird Wonder Woman fetish site it will not shock us with the number of photographs we posed for.We celebrated Angel's awesome finish at the After Glow Rave until the wee hours of the morning. The evening was memorable for sure, but you know what they say - what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Run for Tailgating and Crack Brownies

Latest Workouts: 
Between the Hedges at Sanford Stadium.
Student section is behind me.
1.5 hours before the game.
Thursday: 6.01 mi/56:03
Friday: 3.52 mi/35:32
Sunday: 9.0 mi/1:31:32

My knee is feeling so much better. Anyone with runner's knee will tell you that your knee feels great when you are running, but is incredibly painful when you're just sitting around. I've had a lot of success with Advil 3x a day for the past week, ice 3 to 4x a day, wearing my knee strap on all runs, wrapping my knee in an ace bandage post run for about 3 hours, elevating, stretching and finally rolling.

KC and I enjoyed an awesome Saturday at the University of Georgia to see the Dawgs play the Vols. I love a good tailgate. In fact, I probably like it more than the football game itself. When you live in SEC country football Saturday is an event. The game might not start until 3:30, but you are in a parking lot with your e-z up tent set up, chairs out, tables full and a drink in your hand (bourbon preferably) by 8:30a.

Women of all ages worry about their cute game outfit all week. The boys continue to debate the best set up of the travel DirecTV dish and television that someone sets up so you can watch all the other games while you prepare for your own.

Oh, and the food. I find that it is best to select a tailgate theme. It helps to make sure your tables aren't just covered with chips and dips and no actual food to help soak up some of that bourbon you've been enjoying since 9a. Without a theme you end up with an outdoor version of the Golden Corral. We did BBQ this past weekend. It is traditional. Most Southerners like it. You can dress it up with fixin's like slaw and the sides are easy to make, transport and serve without worrying about giving someone food poisoning by the fourth quarter.

First two layers
And don't forget to plan for the post-game tailgate. Who wants to sit in traffic when you can kick back, have some supper while you watch all the crazy people fight to get out of the parking lot. Wait an hour and you'll have no problem making it out of town - with a full belly.

This week's dessert of the week is my Crack Brownies. You can't eat just one - or two - or three, for that matter. I get requests for these on a regular basis, but I only make them when we will be with more than six people to avoid any left overs coming home with me.

Dessert of the Week: Crack Brownies

1 package of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 package of Double Stuf Oreos
1 brownie mix - prepare following either the fudge or cake directions. I like fudge, personally.

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF
Finished product
Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. I use the disposable cake pans because I am always taking these to events and I got tired of losing my plastic wear.
Layer 1: Press in the cookie dough to make the crust. I just flatten it out by hand as even as I can.
Layer 2: Line up the Oreos on top
Layer 3: Pour prepared brownie batter over the top of all of that
Bake based on your brownie mix's instructions.
Cool and cut.

This is a pretty popular Pinterest recipe, but I've tried my own variations on it layering the following together:
Peanut butter cookie dough
Marshmallow cream
Nutter butter cookies
Brownie Mix

Sugar cookie dough
Peppermint Patties
Brownie Mix

Really any cookie dough flavor and just about any candy or cookie would work as the second layer. I've not tried subbing out the brownie mix for a cake mix, but its on my list to try. The key part of this recipe is save yourself one or two because they go that fast! Now go run a few miles so you can have seconds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Runner's Knee Sucks

Latest Workouts
Sunday - 6.09/59:51
Tuesday - 3.63/32:56

Yep, runner's knee sucks. I guess the best part is it doesn't hurt when you're running. It only hurts when you're sitting still. I backed off my mileage a lot last week with only 9 miles for the whole week. I think that hurt more than my knee. The constant icing, the Advil, the knee brace and a new pair of insoles have seemed to help and I'm not dying this week. I plan to run Thursday and Friday. My long runs are going to be on Sunday until mid-November due to weekend commitments.

I'm getting ready for the Las Vegas Glow Run on October 7th. It's an un-timed 7k with full costumes, beer and craziness. The best part - I'll be running it with my best friend. We've known each other since 8th grade and she lives in Vegas with her handsome Air Force hubby. I'm so psyched!

We are going to dress like Wonder Woman so I'm in full costume preparation mode. The first part of any awesome running costume (IMHO) are fabulous socks. And these Wonder Woman socks - complete with capes - are the perfect foundation for our take on my personal childhood cartoon hero.

As the pieces of our costumes come together, I'll post them here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Run For Apple Crisp

Latest Workout:
Monday: 3.5 miles/ 33:10

Apple Dump Crisp
Well, it's official. I have runner's knee. I don't know if my "fat knee" was just the start of it or if my fall 10 days ago jarred my knee off track. Maybe it was both. But, despite me wanting to get up and run the last two mornings, I haven't. Not because it hurts when I run, but it burns like hell-fire when I sit with it bent or go down stairs. Crap.

I've been icing like crazy for the last two days and taking Advil like it is going out of style. The burning has eased off quite a bit, so of course I'm going to try and run tomorrow. I wanted to do six miles tomorrow, but it isn't going to happen. I must think long-term. I'll do three and see what happens. I have a new brace and I got new insoles for my shoes to give a bit more support. Fingers and toes crossed.

Dessert of the Week: Apple Dump Crisp

It's called a dump cake because that's all you do - dump it in the plate and put it in the oven. I took this recipe and added a bit more spice to it because you know I'm spicy and all.

1 box yellow cake mix
2 (21 oz) cans apple pie filling
1/2 cup of butter, cut into 1/2 Tbsp slices
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter melted

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
2. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray
3. Pour both cans of apple pie filling into the dish
4. Spread the dry cake mix on top of the pie filling. Try to get this as even as possible.
5. Evenly place the butter cubes on top of the pie filling. This is important to avoid a lot of dry cake mix in the finished product.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the butter.
7. In a bowl combine the oats, brown sugar and melted butter and sprinkle on top of the cake
8. Bake for approximately 50 minutes. It should be bubbly and golden.
9. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Runny Boo Boo Child

Road Rash SUCKS! Day One.
Workout Updates:
Last Saturday: 8 miles (the Ugly Eight)
Monday: 3.31 miles
Thursday: 5.0 miles
Today: 8.0 miles

I'm not the most coordinated person in the world. Despite 20 years of dance lessons throughout childhood and college, I'm still very clumsy. When I started running, it seemed to be a safe choice for me with my limited coordination. We will not discuss how my one and only tennis lesson went. Well, I guess running and talking at daybreak isn't a good combo for me.

Last Saturday I wiped out pretty good at mile 3, skinning both of my hands, bruising my left knee and right hip and getting a horrible road rash on my right elbow. Brilliant.

Lumpy knee, day three.
Day 5 in my dress at LGA
We were crossing a road with those elevated white cups that create a make-shift turn lane/median in the road. I guess I was being a bit lazy and not picking up my feet like I should and my toe caught one of the cups. If I hadn't been carrying my water bottle, I think I would have caught myself with both of my hands and avoided the road rash.

It stung like crazy, but I poured some water (with Nuun in it) on my wounds and just kept going. Stopping to walk for a minute at mile six actually hurt my knee worse than running, so we picked back up the pace and finished up strong.

Back home, I iced my knee like crazy and applied Arnicare Gel every hour or so to try and avoid the giant bruise that I knew would crop up. After all, I bruise if you look at me sideways. I think this combo helped it not become totally black and blue until a few days later. I still wore a dress to a new business meeting on Wednesday and felt OK with how it looked.

I was sore from my bruises, but nothing has hurt worse than the road rash. I've had cuts and scrapes like any kid, maybe a few more. I fell off my horse in 2007 and was stepped on and dragged. But nothing has throbbed and hurt like my elbow. It is still ugly, gooey and gross. But I'm keeping it clean and covered and taking Advil when it gets uncomfortable. According to my research, road rash should be kept moist to avoid scaring. I'm hoping this advice is correct. My research also tells me that I'm in for another two weeks of this crap.

It hasn't stopped me from running this week. Although my miles were low - a combination of business travel and me not wanting to push my badly bruised knee too far - it felt good. Especially today as we ran the same route as last week's Ugly Eight (as it will be forever known). A little redemption today with a great run, beautiful sunrise and great company.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Labor Day 10K Race Review

This is what 9th Place looks like!
Andrea and I each place 9th in our age groups.
Labor Day 10K 
September 3, 2012 • Macon, GA
6.26 miles/ 55:58 chip time
9 out of 45 in age group;  213 of 560 overall

I've taken a break from my blog for the last week. Not really intentionally, but work does get in the way sometimes. My office responsibilities did not get in the way of completing my first chip-timed, official 10K on Labor Day in Macon.

Race day morning I got up early, ate some overnight oats with chia, had a cup of coffee and got dressed. My right knee felt funny. I call it fat knee, because that's the best way I can describe the feeling. On top of feeling "fat" it burned when I knelt on it, so I was a bit cautious of it for certain, but I wasn't going to let it stop me from racing. I debated wearing my knee brace the whole half-hour drive to the race, but I chose not to wear it and it all worked out okay.

There were 2500 people registered between both the 10K and 5K races through downtown Macon, Ga. I was pretty anxious the night before and that morning as well. Despite laying everything out for the race 12 hours in advance, I kept feeling like I forgot something. Finally I just told myself - if you have your shoes, bib and some shorts on your butt, you can run. So just get in the damn car.

I was so thankful to have my neighbors with me and it helped to have four teenagers chatting about stupid stuff while we waited for the race to start. Andrea's whole family runs and her husband and youngest son won second in the parent/child team division. Not to mention her youngest son got second in his age group and 14 year old daughter got third in hers. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Is that a banana in your fuel belt or
are you just happy to see me?
The Runner's World plan I was using (Smart Coach) had me training for a 53:45 finish time. If it had been overcast or at least 10 degrees cooler than what it was, I think that time would have been totally do-able. But that plan doesn't take into account no shade, blazing sun and 80 degrees with 100% humidity. Oh, yeah - and I think I've mentioned before how much I hate the heat.

I was pretty psyched about the race, so I just put the heat out of my head. Put the tunes in my ears and tried to stay focused. I slowed down enough at every water station, not to drink, but to pour water down my back or on my head. I fell in with four other women about my age and speed who were marathon runners (well, they were wearing marathon race shirts, so I am making assumptions) and seemed to keep a pretty solid 9 minute pace. I fell a little behind during my water stops, but ended up finishing 10 seconds behind that group.

My watch said 56:00. My chip time said 55:58. My only goal was to finish under 60 minutes, so I'm pleased with the time I put up. I'm actually anxious to run another 10K without the extreme heat and humidity. I know I have a 53:45 in me. I just know it.

Latest Workouts:
Thursday: 3.5 miles/38 min treadmill
Friday: 4.02 miles/37 min

I've been on the road for work, so my running days got all mixed up this week. Running on a hotel treadmill is the equivalent to the second level of hell in my book and without a travel partner to know when and where I am going, I just don't think it is smart to run alone in places you don't know well. I've been babying my knee all week with ice, compression and Advil, so an extra day of rest on Wednesday was probably good for it anyway.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Catching Up

Latest Workouts
Yep - that stupid belt continues to be
a giant pain in my butt.
This is at 11.7 on Sunday morning.

Sunday: 11.8 mi/ 2:02
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 mi/ 38:00 - on dreadmill
Wednesday: 4 mi/ 37:01

I started this week behind. I did my long run on Sunday, which threw the rest of my typical running schedule off. I had all intentions to run on Monday, but I got up feeling like garbage so I decided to make it a rest day instead. Thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac, I got pushed inside on Tuesday morning. Even with an old episode of Teen Mom on the television, it was painfully boring. This morning my run was way more productive outside. Tomorrow, speedwork.

I did officially register for the Labor Day 10K on Monday. No turning back now. I'm sure I will whine and bitch about the heat, but I've got my fingers crossed for cloudy weather that morning. I want to get a chip timed 10K to use for corral placement at Disney and any other crazy race I decide to run this fall/winter. I've been running pretty well despite the humidity - much better than I was in June - so fingers crossed I'll perform well on race day.

I haven't really set a goal yet. I thought about it today on my run. Under an hour seems to be a reasonable goal, especially since "the plan" has said I should run it in 53 minutes, but I'm not going to let that piece of paper decide what my goal will be. I've never run a 10K before, but I'm hoping that running with others will help energize me, not to mention I'll be running a course that I used to drive daily when we lived in Macon, Ga. I think it will be fun to look at it from a different perspective.

Tune in tomorrow for Dessert of the Week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Run for Butter

Latest Workouts:

Brooks Pure Cadence
Wednesday: 5.34 miles/ 51:28
Thursday: 3.54 miles/33:59

I ran in my pink shoes for two days in a row. I don't know if the shoes are the issue or if my feet really hate me. Both? While my left foot (not the movie) seems to be improving in these new shoes, my right foot has gone and shown its ass. The inside arch of my that foot, especially around the ball of my foot and the joint of my big toe isn't liking something. I'm sucking it up and keeping up the ice soaks, taking Advil, and wearing compression socks. I'm not sure there's much else I can do. Eventually it will get better or I'll have to gnaw it off like that guy in 127 Hours.

Dessert of the Week: Gooey Butter Cake

I had a serious boyfriend when I was in high school and his mom baked once a week and made crazy good Tex-Mex. She called these golden bars of gooey goodness blondies, but every blondie recipe I've ever made tasted nothing like what I remember. That was until I tried this recipe for Gooey Butter Cake - bingo!

My research tells me that Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis, MO, delicacy. I almost don't believe this since the the over-use of butter was perfected by Southerners, but whatever. Warning: it is incredibly sweet. Make this recipe if you have company that likes sweets. While they are in a sugar-induced coma you can convince them to do anything for you - like paint your house or clean your cat litter box.

It is also important to have someone to give some of this cake to because you might eat the whole pan, no matter how sick it makes you.

Gooey Butter Cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of melted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1. Combine the cake mix, 1 egg and 8 tbsp of melted butter. Make sure mixture is nice and smooth.
2. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased pan. I used 9x13, but 9x9 will work too.
3. Whip cream cheese until smooth
4. Add remaining 8 tbsp melted butter, 2 eggs, vanilla to the cream cheese
5. Once smooth, gradually add in powdered sugar one cup at a time
6. Pour mixture over cake mixture already in the pan
7. Bake for 40 minutes

Check the cake so it doesn't over brown. It doesn't cook all the way through, so the knife test doesn't apply here. It should be gooey. Allow cake to cool before serving or else it will fall apart on you when you attempt to cut it.

Experiment with different flavors of cake mixes or add chocolate or pumpkin to the cream cheese mixture for a different flavor.

Link to Original Source: Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Monday, August 20, 2012

Call Me Mrs. Maybe

Latest Workouts:

Saturday: 9.5 mi/ 1:34:21 - wicked hot even early
Monday: 3.85 mi/ 37.26 - raining

Who's the dork with the fanny pack under her boobs? 
Long run Saturday was a bit more painful than last week. I struggled most of the way. I don't know why. Maybe it was because we left an hour later than usual. Maybe it was because there was no cloud cover and by 7:30 it was 80ºF. Maybe it was because I was PMSing. Who knows. But I just didn't feel as strong as I did last week.

Maybe it it was my new running belt that I trotted out for the first time on Saturday morning. I looked at 100 different types all week and if I had just made a decision and ordered one on Monday I would have had it in time for my long run on Saturday, but I screwed around and waited until the last minute and had to make do with what they had at Dicks Sporting Goods. I could have just run without one, of course. I did last week, but I had it in my head that I needed a belt and I was going to have one.

Dessert Shroom
It's an okay belt. It holds stuff. The problem is I can't figure out where to wear it comfortably. I started off with it on my waist, but it kept bouncing or creeping up and it drove me crazy. So I tightened it as much as I could around my mid-section and it was comfortable there, but I looked ridiculous (see photo evidence). I used it again this morning and tried to wear it lower on my hips but it didn't stay put. Maybe one day this week I'll figure it out.

Today's "recovery run" was supposed to be 2 miles, but it felt so nice out this morning with the rain and the cloudy sky, I just did as much as I felt like at whatever pace I wanted. It was more than 2 miles, but it was a good run. Check out this weird mushroomI spotted in my neighbor's yard. It looks like flan or creme brulee to me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Run For Cobbler

Latest Workouts:

It is shocking that my size 10.5 feet fit in anything.
Thank goodness you can't see
how badly I need a pedicure. 
Wednesday: 5 miles - 3 mi tempo run with 8:24, 8:21, 8:13 splits, 1 mi each warm up/cool down
Thursday: 2.20 mi recovery run/ 19:38

I totally shocked myself with the tempo run on Wednesday. I really pushed it and I'm happy with the results. Today, "the plan" said to do 2 mi at 10:25. That's a tad slow for my tastes, although I didn't really intend to run as fast as I did. It was horribly humid out today and after 20 minutes I looked like I had been in the pool.

I'm fighting tendinitis in both of my feet. On my left foot, it's on the top of my foot and runs up the ligament from my outside three toes and up across my ankle. Changing how I lace my usual running shoes has helped the burning I feel in that foot a lot. In my new shoes, the current lacing pattern seems to be putting pressure on a nerve and I'm losing feeling in those toes on that foot.

On my right foot, the pain is in my big toe. I've had tendinitis there before and a doctor has given me a giant shot in that joint before - an experience I'd rather not repeat. The way the joint itself is swollen, it is probably the start of a bunion. It was bound to happen as much as I abused my feet dancing and wearing pointy toed stilettos. I'm using my yoga toes at night to help reposition that joint and it helps some.

For both feet, I've started doing ice baths post-run instead of the usual ice packs. It's not fun. I have no idea how in the world elite athletes submerge themselves in bathtubs full of frozen water on a regular basis. I do think it has been more effective than those blue gel packs. We'll see if I have to go to the doc and get a big needle stuck between my toes again.

This Week's Dessert: Best in Show Blackberry Cobbler
KC loves fruit-laced desserts, so we're working our way though the berry family this month. This recipe would work great with any berries for sure. It reminds me of the quick cobbler my grandmother used to make and I chose to sprinkle the finished product with a little sugar like she used to do.

I doubled the butter in the original recipe because I'm southern and adding butter is never a bad idea. It is weird to put the batter in first and top with the berries and then pour water on top of that, but people who write recipes are way smarter than I am, so just embrace the weirdness. It all works out in the end.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups blackberries (I used frozen because that's what I had and it worked out fine)
1 cup water

1. Preheat an over to 350ºF, grease an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish
2. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar together with the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and melted butter until a batter forms. Scrape into prepared baking dish.
3. Add blackberries on top of batter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Pour in the water on top of the berries and sugar.
4. Bake until the batter has risen and the top is brown - 45 min to 1 hour. Cool before serving.

Recipe source: All Recipes

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Long Run Fun

Latest Workouts:

Saturday: Long Run - 9.8 mi/1:40:38
We are still smiling post-run!
Monday: Recovery Run - 2.56 mi/ 23:45

While looking at "the plan" on Thursday afternoon for the impending long run on Saturday, I started to freak out. I'd not run farther than 7 miles all summer, and that was in NC in July where it was cool and lovely. Not in Georgia where it is hot and muggy all the time. Thank goodness I have a wonderful neighbor, Andrea, who is a superwoman, marathon runner. She invited me to tag along with her on her l2 miler. I only needed to do 8, but decided to stick with her as long as I could.

Love my Pro Compression socks
I never thought I could run 10 miles (I did run an additional .2 to make it an even 10, but I'd shut my watch off by then so it didn't track it). I certainly know that I couldn't have done it without Andrea. We had fantastic weather at 5:30a and I loved having company. If I had to do 10 miles alone, I'm pretty sure I would have gone bananas. We are both chatty, so the conversation kept my mind off the actual mileage.

I came home, soaked in an ice bath for 10 minutes, drank some low fat chocolate milk, and slid on my Pro Compression socks for the rest of the afternoon. Sunday morning, my legs felt great. No soreness in my legs of any kind. The tendinitis in my feet is bothering me today, but I plan to soak my tootsies in an ice bath this afternoon so maybe it will help.

Brooks Pure Cadence
I was pretty proud of myself all weekend. I needed to run that far for a number of reasons, the most important being my mental state. The self-doubt that I could actually run 13.1 miles is fading into the background quickly.

The short recovery run on Monday was used to break in my new Brooks Pure Cadence. I love the pink color, although I think the pink socks and pink shoes might be a difficult combo to pull off, so the next sale they have at Pro Compression, I think a pair of black and white socks will be in my basket.

Movie Review: Bernie

This movie is actually a true story of a Texas funeral director who befriends a wealthy widow and ends up killing her. While that's the general plot, there's so much more to this story. Jack Black, who is genius in this role, plays Bernie and Shirley MacLain plays the widow. Black's performance is award-worthy. Director, Richard Linklater's documentary style approach to this scripted dark comedy makes you feel like you are one of the towns people enjoying some juicy gossip. Incredibly funny in so many ways, this is a quirky film that will tug on your heart strings in unexpected ways. Free Bernie! A-

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Run for Pie

Latest Workouts:
Wednesday: 5.1 mi/ 49:17, speed work
Thursday: 2.2 mi/ 19:28, slow run

I'm still not sure what these two mile runs are supposed to be doing for me, but I almost feel like I shouldn't even bother putting on shorts and a tank top because I'll be done so quickly. I guess I could actually do something else to make the effort of putting on clothes worth it. Don't even get me started about the effort involved in showering and washing my hair.

I loved everything about my speed work on Wednesday. On the three 800m repeats, I ran a 3:52, 3:52 and 3:44 which was a pleasant surprise. I like picking up the pace a bit. That's really all there is to it. I've not mastered the long run, zone-out yet. But, I better start figuring that one out.

To celebrate my swiftness, I made my aunt's Blueberries and Cream Pie as the dessert for the week. Blueberries are a super food, right? I'm sure Dr. Oz would approve.

Just a word of warning on this one - use fresh berries and not frozen. There's just too much liquid in frozen berries and my pie never sets up correctly when I use them. If you know a trick of how to add more flour or whatever to help it set - you'll need to use it if you use the frozen fruit. This pie is good with fresh peaches or a mix of raspberries and blackberries if blueberries aren't your thing.

Blueberries & Cream Pie

1  Frozen pie crust - or you can make your own if you are BFF with Martha Stewart
1.5 to 2 cup  Blueberries or other fresh fruit (see note above about frozen fruit)
2/3 cup  Sugar
1 cup Whipping Cream (do not whip)
4 tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF
Line pastry dish with pie crust
Pour berries/fruit in bottom of the pie crust
Mix together all other ingredients and pour over fruit
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes
Let cool to allow the pie to properly set up

I know you will want to dig right in as soon as you smell it, but believe me you want the pie to have time to cool so it doesn't run off of your plate. We put it back in the microwave for l0 seconds to warm it up and serve with fro-yo on top. Enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

Today's Run:
2.2 mi/19:15

No, I wasn't swimming.
It just looks like I was.
Who runs just two miles? I mean, I know my mileage last week was less than impressive, but 2.2 miles? I should be embarrassed. It wasn't because I didn't want to run farther. I did. The weather was semi-bearable. My legs felt good. I was ready to run. And then in less than 20 minutes, it was all over.

I've come to the realization that I need a plan. I need something or someone telling me what to run and when. I started running using the Ease Into 5K app and I loved it. I finished the Bridge to 10K app as well, although I never ran an official 10K race. Like every newbies, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to actually training for a specific distance, but there's an app for that.

All summer I've been kinda waving in the wind with my mileage with no real plan on what and when to run. I've been more concerned with not passing out halfway through a 5 miler in the 82 degree sauna I wake up to each morning. Now that cooler weather is supposed to be right around the corner, I need to figure out what to run and for how long and how fast and how often.

Because I cannot afford to hire some hot trainer to motivate me daily or to at least plan my runs, I decided to try out the Smart Coach on Runner's World Magazine to help me get ready for the Labor Day 10K, that is if I grow a pair and sign up. It's only five weeks away, but the mileage on the plan didn't scare me and seems manageable. I thought it would be a good way to see if I liked their training recommendations before committing to a half-training plan, which I will need to decide on soon enough.

So, I did what I tell my clients - "plan the work and work the plan." The paper said two miles, so who am I to argue. They know a heck of a lot more than I do.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Twitter Road Race - Summer Edition

Latest Workouts:
Friday: 3.38 mi/ 29:21
Saturday: 3.11 mi/ 27.01

My Friday run was uneventful, although my neighbor saw an ENORMOUS snake (dead) on her route. I chose to avoid that road all together as my fear of snakes, dead or alive, is significant.

This morning I participated in my first ever virtual road race, hosted by Doug at I Run Because.... I signed up for the Twitter Road Race - Summer Edition a month ago after realizing the lack of racing opportunities throughout July and August in my area. Obviously, the experienced runners in my area know that no one likes running in 100 degree heat/humidity at 8 a.m., so they don't even bother to host a race.

I love the idea of a virtual road race - people from all over the world running on the same day and compiling the results. I love looking at this race results list and seeing participants from the UK or New Zealand. It was like our own Olympic 5k or something. I will absolutely participate in another virtual race.

My time was not a PR, but it was respectable. I even got a new running skirt for the occasion. More on that tomorrow. My 15 year old cat, Walter, was the only spectator cheering me on and I celebrated with a glass of low fat chocolate milk, post-race.

The rest of the morning was spent at a Southeastern Region Little League playoff game. The kids from our area are the Georgia State Champions and the SE Little League tournament is hosted here, so we sat out in an oven for two and a half hours. Our boys came back to win their second pool-play game 7-6 against Florida. Good, sweaty times.

I got home in time to cheer on Galen Rupp in the Men's 10,000m race. Is it just me or do they look like they are barely working to run that hard and fast? I know I look nothing like that when I run twice as slow as they run. Inspiring and sickening all at the same time.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ruby Berry Run

Latest Run:
3.36 mi/ 29:22 min

A nothing special run on Wednesday. I worked while I ran, brainstorming about a theme for a client campaign and it made the time go by faster. The humidity was horrible so just thinking about anything other than the weather was what I needed. 

Also on my run I thought about what I would cook for dinner for the next few days. It's only been about 9 months since I made the commitment to really changing my lifestyle where eating and exercise are concerned. KC and I ate out entirely too much. It is almost embarrassing to admit how frequently we went to a restaurant. I now cook dinner two times a week at a minimum, sometimes three. We eat leftovers or have a "do-it-yourself meal" the rest of the week and go out to a restaurant once or twice at the most. 

In sticking with this plan, I've found that I'm a pretty good cook. I can't do fancy meals, but I've learned how to make a number of different dishes that have become fast favorites. I like that I have control over what goes in it and how much I put on my plate at each meal. 

I've started making one dessert a week as a part of my menu planning. Cobblers and pies are popular this summer as I try to take advantage of the fresh fruit of the season, but I plan to add in cookies and brownies as the weather gets cooler.  The goal is to do everything from scratch. No box mixes. Our desserts last as long as we allow - again portion control and self-discipline come into play here. 

Yesterday, I decided I must make my favorite cobbler of all time - Ruby Berry Cobbler. Strawberries and rhubarb with an oatmeal topping and it's made in the microwave in a total of 15 minutes. I grew up eating this as it was my dad's favorite too. Served warm with some vanilla fro-yo and it might be my favorite dessert in the world. 

For the record - I know this it has sugar in it. Feel free to doctor it up as you would like with honey or agave or Splenda. I know it isn't great for me, but other than partaking in a bite or two of dessert throughout the week, I don't eat sugar in anything else. Moderation has worked for me and I'll stick to it until it doesn't. 

Ruby Berry Cobbler

3/4 cup of sugar
3 tbsp of all purpose flour
1 10 oz pkg of frozen sliced strawberries
3 cups of rhubarb, chopped 

1/3 c butter or margarine
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsifted all purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a 2 qt baking dish, combine sugar and flour. Add frozen strawberries and cook uncovered 4 minutes on high (microwave), stirring once to mix in thawed berries. Stir in rhubarb. Prepare topping by melting butter in mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until crumbly, sprinkle evenly over berry mixture. Cook uncovered for 8 minutes on high or until mixture is bubbling toward center. For crisper toppings, place under broiler for a few minutes. Serve warm

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Yesterday's Run:
3.68 mi/ 32 min

I know I didn't post Saturday's run. I'll sum it up for you - it sucked. I was slow. It was hot. I just didn't feel like I had any energy. I ran 2 miles, walked a full mile and then ran another 2.5. It just wasn't my day. But Monday's run made up for that. I've been told that the bad runs only make you appreciate the good ones even more. That is true. For the first time since early June, I ran close to my typical 5k pace on a regular weekday run.

I've never been so thankful to see 8-somethings on my MotoActv. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever run faster than a 9 min mile again. I was pretty much convinced that it wasn't going to happen. I know none of this is rational, but it was starting to bring me down. Yesterday's run helped my confidence.

Today I purchased my first pair of PRO Compression socks. My dad had a circulatory disease, so I'm quite familiar with medical compression socks. These are not those ugly, white, smelly socks like I remember. These are pink and awesome and on sale. I've read so much about them but they just weren't in the running equipment budget at $50 a pair. Today they were half off - score!

I think I will start wearing these as a recovery aid until I start seriously training for my half or until it gets under 65 degrees on my morning runs. But they may be too cute to wait to wear.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sweat to Street Sunday - Lady's Who Lunch Edition

Sweat to Street Sundays!
When I found the Sweat to Street Sundays link party on Erika's blog, I knew I had to join in the fun. Nothing better than showing off awesome workout gear and cute outfits in the same place! Count me in! 

Meet Your Hosts!
Wild Things RUN Free (Charlotte)
MCM Mama (Erika)

Sweat to Street has been created as a place to link up your favorite outfits of the week as a new Sunday blog feature. The idea is to have some fun and change it up! Each week we encourage you to post one workout outfit and one outfit you wore that isn’t fitness related.

I feel like I wear this get up frequently, but I like the gray/pink plaid combo. And the Nike hat is a must this time of year. I sweat too much for sunglasses, at least I've not found a pair that doesn't fog up.  Roxy tried to photo bomb me.

Top: Danskin Tank from Walmart ($5)
Shorts: Nike Tempo
Hat: Nike
Shoes (np): Brooks Ravenna 3

This is what I wore for a casual lunch with an dear friend on Friday. She recently lost someone very special to her and we spent some of our hour or so together teary eyed and sharing stories. I love having a friend that is so passionate about life and can remember the smallest of details about everything. Please ignore my messy bedroom. I'm in the process of sorting and removing my old clothes and shoes. My process is to remove everything from the closet and drawers and then put back what I want. It's a disaster zone for a few days, but it works for me.

Top: TJ Maxx ($7.99)
Capri: Elle for Kohls, Dark Wash
Wedges: Madison Studio for Belk