Monday, February 28, 2011

Week in Review: Training Week 5

Hey, I'm actually posting my training recap before the middle of the following week! I. Am. AWE-some.

And away we go!
  • Sunday--Does bowling count as exercise? :P
  • Monday--4 mile treadmill run 46 mins (approx?) 11:30 pace--Terrible treadmill run. I had to stop and walk a few times and almost quit twice. It was just no good. And I accidentally hit the emergency stop button so I lost all my stats halfway through. Sigh. I was glad when it was over.
  • Tuesday--No clue. Nothing on DailyMile, so I guess it's another missed workout...
  • Wednesday--Run Club! 3.82 miles, 40 mintues (10:35 pace). That was a FAST run. I tried keeping up with the fast runners, and managed to stay within a 1/2 block or so. We clocked the first mile at right around 10 minutes, which is super crazy fast for me and would explain why I was DYYYING. The second mile was about the same, and then times dropped off after that. But overall all am I happy with this run. Heck-to-the-yeah.
  • Thursday--LPRD Spin Class, 40 mintues: Our regular teacher was out, so we had a sub. She was fine, but different and you know how that goes. Is the class "meh" because the instructor wasn't as good or simply because the instructor was different? It was a bit more aerobics-y/choreographed than what I was used to, but I did get a good workout and I suppose that's all that matters.
  • Friday--Rest Day
  • Saturday--Long run got punted to Sunday because of weather issues. You'll read about it next week!
All in all a good week. Some good runs, some not-so-good. Still missing workouts during the week, which has to stop. Part of it is lack of motivation on my part, but another factor is how to arrange it when I have to move my long run day to Sunday.

Take this week, for instance. I should've done my long run on Saturday, started a new week yesterday with strength/stretch and done a 4-miler today. But because I switched Sat/Sun on the schedule I did my long run yesterday, which meant I wasn't real keen on doing another 4 miles today (my legs were stiff and sore), even if it had been possible with the Hubster's schedule. So, I've already lost 4 miles this week or everything is shifted around and I might be running on back-to-back days at some point. It's a logistical nightmare. I can't seem to figure out how to flip workouts around and still keep miles without doing back-to-back runs, so I inevitably drop the strength workouts. I guess I'd rather keep the miles at this point? It's a struggle and I'm not sure I'm doing it "right."

How do you handle scheduling hiccups? When training for a specific event, do you think it's more important to hit the mileage each week (even if it means dropping other workouts and rearranging days) or is it better to skip a shorter run in order to keep a strength workout?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week in Review: Training Week 4

Yikes. I almost finished this week before posting last week's recap. Without further ado...

I will start by saying I KNOW my strength training has completely fallen off the map, and I'm disappointed in myself letting it happen. I don't have any legit reasons, other than the usual excuses: I'm tired, I'm busy, I didn't feel like it, life got in the way, etc. The bottom line is that I NEED to make it happen. I know it's essential for training purposes (or it wouldn't be in the plan) and I also feel better when I'm strength training.
  • Sunday: 5 Miles! 5 Miles! 57 Mintues (11:21 pace) The weather was absolutely perfect for a run, especially for my first real "long" run. The run started out rough, however, and I felt queasy for the first mile or so. Once that passed, I was utterly enjoying myself and felt like I breezed through it. I never thought I'd say that about a run, let alone a 5 mile run! It was a great way to start the week!
  • Monday: No workout posted, which makes since because I'd just done my long run the day before. But still--boo!
  • Tuesday: Two strength workouts: Legs/core, upper body
  • Wednesday: 4.11 miles, 44:31 minutes (10:49ish pace) My notes say that it was not the smoothest run for me. My legs were tired and heavy (maybe too many leg exercises the day before) and I felt sluggish the whole time. However, I see that my time was pretty good and my notes say that my first two miles were done in 20:30, which is fast for me. So maybe I was just pushing myself harder than usual?
  • Thursday: LPRD Spin, 45 minutes. A killer, killer class. Lots of sprints and concentrated leg work. Good times!
  • Friday: Rest day!
  • Saturday: 5 miles, 55 minutes (10:58ish pace): Again, the run was not pleasant. I don't recall enjoying this one very much, but look at my time. I'm starting to see a direct correlation between miserable runs and better times. I know it's a matter of pushing myself, but I also want to enjoy myself out there. And maybe it's because the longer distances are a challenge (it would certainly make sense anyway). I guess the good news is I'm still doing them, challenging or not!
Another week done!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm woefully behind on blogging, and I even have a draft sitting in the hopper waiting to be posted. Of course it's old now, and will need revising. Ah hell, maybe I'll post it anyway. And I owe you a weekly recap for LAST week. Egads. But quickly--QUICKLY...

I registered for my first sprint triathlon today! I'll be participating in the YWCA of Minneapolis Women's Sprint Tri with my three far-flung BFFs: B, L and M. I'm nervous and excited, but mostly just excited. Right now anyway. Of course I still have to complete my half mary, and a 5K and a 12K before THAT. And probably another in July, to repeat the first 5K I ever completed. So, lots to keep me busy until August.

And now to break it to the Hubster why there's a $100 charge on the card. La-di-da!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week in Review: Training Week 3

Another week has FLOWN by. Whooooosh. It was a pretty good week overall, but I had a few training hiccups. However, temperatures have started creeping upwards, which is SO nice. The snow has started melting, days are getting longer, and weather is cooperating for outdoor running.

  • Sunday: Leg/balance workout, and some extra stretching
  • Monday: Treadmill flat run, 3.5 miles, 40ish minutes (11:17 pace): Was having a great run and probably could've done more, but I was already over my time on the treadmill. Feels good to have GREAT treadmill runs--never thought THAT would happen!
  • Tuesday: Cross-training--Jillian Michaels' 6 Week 6 Pack. Ow.
  • Wednesday: 2.4 miles, 25 minutes (10.18 pace!): Man, this was SUCH a great run up until they kicked everyone out of the cardio room for a class. I was FLYING and felt phenomenal. So frustrating to have to quit right when things are getting good. Went home and did 15 minutes of upper body to make up a little bit of the lost workout.
  • Thursday: Ugh. Another "lost" workout! Supposed to be spin night, but class was cancelled and I didn't know until I got there. However, I did discover the cardio room at the third city rec center and they have six treadmills and six bikes, including two that are more "spin" style. Ended up doing a 20 minute stationary bike routine. Better than nothing.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: Supposed to be my long run, but ended up punting that until Sunday (will include on next week's report) because the hubster was out of town all day and I didn't have childcare. I did squeeze in 30 minutes of strength training (which is my normal Sunday workout).

I had some decent runs in there! I feel like I'm turning a corner in my training. My times are improving (11:30 is a "slow" run for me now), my distances are increasing, AND I'm feeling good most of the time. I like the direction I'm headed!

Sixty-two days and counting!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eat This

Vegetarianism is something I've mentally toyed with for a few years now. My friend M is veg and has been for years and I know she doesn't starve to death. But I live with a meat-eater, and I don't think I can live without bacon, fried chicken or gravy, so I've never made the switch.

My reasons for thinking about vegetarianism are varied: a little bit of ethics/morals, a little bit health, a little bit cost, a little bit "eh, I can usually live without meat". Locally raised, humanely treated animals would seem to solve several of those issues, but the cost is definitely prohibitive, especially if we keep our usual quantity of meaty meals. And I can generally do without meat in most meals, and Belly (our 3yo daughter) usually picks the meat out of whatever she's eating anyway. So that leaves the hubster and all his meatloaf, hamburger and pork chop loving ways.

Luckily he loves me too so he didn't ask for a divorce when I told him I'd devised a completely vegetarian dinner meal plan for the week. And to his credit, he took the "news" well and didn't put up too much resistance. I tried to find recipes that were already similar to what our normal meat meals would be, with just a few tweaks/improvements so that the meatlessness wouldn't be as noticeable. I'm trying to avoid meat replacers as much as possible, simply because they're expensive and they're overly processed and not particularly good for you. In the interest of full disclosure, I did buy fake chicken nuggets for Belly and a locally-made veggie burger for the adults to have on the night we usually get fast food. I figure even a processed fake nugget/burger is probably waaaay better than McD's. And I did get tofu to try in a stir-fry dish. I can't really say I have high hopes for that--even with me--as I tend to be pretty picky about how tofu is prepared. So we shall see.

One major challenge to this experiement is that I live with two people who dislike both beans AND mushrooms. Have you ever looked at a vegetarian cookbook? If so, you'll notice that probably 90% of the main course recipes contain beans of some sort and/or mushrooms. The hubster will put up with a little bit of beaniness--chili, beans and rice, refried beans in a burrito--but that's about it. Belly won't touch them at all. And the hubster is adamantly opposed to anything even remotely resembling a 'shroom--in appearance or flavor--in food. He MIGHT pick them out if I was insistent, but I think he'd complain that the flavor was too "mushroomy". Le sigh. So, I'm not pushing the bean/mushroom issue too hard this week. I figure asking him to give up meat for dinner (he's welcome to eat it at lunch if he wants) is probably enough stretch for this week.

As I mentioned, my main goal this week was to take the meals we usually eat and adapt them slightly to be vegetarian. Spaghetti and meatballs? Spaghetti with extra veggies and garlic bread (which is a treat for us). Bacon and eggs? Veggie omelets, hashbrowns and smoothies. Meaty chili? Oh, well, that leads me to the point of this (ridiculously long) post...

I found this recipe the other day and made it for dinner last night. Oh my GOSH was it delicious, and even better today for lunch. If I calculated the calories correctly, it's about 200-250 a serving, which is fantastic for a meal. I'm sure it's chock full of vitamins/nutrients from the beans and sweet potatoes too. I did tweak the recipe slightly based on what I had at home already and based on suggestions given in the recipe's reviews. My version is below--and I promise you'll love it, vegetarian or not!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili, adapted from Eating Well's original recipe

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 can vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and potato and cook, stirring often, until the onion is slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth (and a little water, if necessary, to make sure veggies are covered), bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week in Review: Training Week 2

Another week gone already? Wow.

Training week two went quickly but wasn't without its share of challenges. You may have heard about a "significant weather event" that hit most of the US? Yeah, we got that. It pretty much wiped out two days of training for me. OK, I LET it wipe out two days of training. I definitely could have done some indoor training, I just chose not to. Oh well. I made up the workouts later in the week, so I don't feel too bad about it. Here's how the week went:

  • Sunday: Uh, I don't have anything recorded, so I think I may have skipped that day's workout. Oops.
  • Monday: 3.1 miles in 36.5ish minutes; 11:46 pace: This is the day the storm started rolling in, but I managed to get to the rec center to do my required 3 miles. Oh, and I did 30 minutes or so of upper body strength stuff while I waited for a 'mill, so I guess I made up Sunday's missed workout.
  • Tuesday: Snow day--didn't do a thing.
  • Wednesday: Snow day--At least 30 minutes of shoveling has to count for something, right?
  • Thursday: 40 minutes of spin
  • Friday: 3 mile treadmill run, 33:45ish minutes, 11:15 pace: This is the run I should've done Wednesday.
  • Saturday: 4 mile treadmill run, 44:04 minutes, 11:01 pace: My required 4 mile run. I didn't have high hopes going in since I'd done 3 miles the day before, but it was surprisingly good treadmill run. Felt great most of the time and even kicked up the speed quite a bit on a few songs. The strangest thing was that at this rec center, the 'mill is RIGHT in front of the wall of mirrors so I looked at myself the whole run. It was a little bizarre, but at least I had a great view. :P

All in all, despite the weather challenges, it ended up being a pretty good week. I ended on a high note which always makes the whole week seem better. Next week should be interesting. I start increasing miles slightly, 3.5 for my regular weekly runs and 5 miles for the long run, which will be my longest run ever. I'm oddly excited! And I hope the weather is decent come Saturday because I really would prefer to do that run outdoors.

Oo! Oo! I almost forgot--I weighed in at under 180 today, y'all! Only 4.5 pounds until my goal weight!