Friday, March 26, 2010

How to make a long week better...

It's been a long week, but a did a run this morning doing my 3 miler in just 32 minutes (4 minutes less than normal!) I was dealing with a headache the whole day. The great news is I made it, although I figured I probably would. So to cap off long week I...

Had a beer...

Bought myself a small present...

And now I'm getting ready to go see Celia!!! And I get to meet her husband and baby! Isn't it great to get to see a friend that you've haven't seen in almost 5 years, and the even better part is that we'll just pick up where we left off. I'm renting a car and hitting the highway! I'll fill you in on Sunday. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hump Day!

It's hump day...and it been a very long week. And unfortunately I think the next two days are going to be long too.

I plan to start tomorrow off with a great strength training session, then it's off to work where the trainees will be taking a test. Then it's back to covering the class material. I've actually been getting a little more involved in the 'instructing' aspect than was originally expected, but I'm taking it all in stride and know that it will benefit me in the long run.

Previously I would say that I wasn't much into public speaking, but I'm growing more comfortable each day. I do have some points when I start to speak fast, but I've been working on it this week. Mostly I just need to relax!

Anyone have any good advice for public speaking? Do you like being up in front of large groups? I know I have teacher friends that think nothing of it, but was it always that way?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm official...

I'm officially training for the 2010 Buffalo Marathon & Half-marathon!!! Well, okay I've been training since January, but my training t-shirt that came with registering just arrived at the house yesterday. Matt was kind enough to open it and take a picture. The bad news it is too big for me to actually wear when training, but maybe Matt can wear it as he cheers from the side of the race course.

Onto working out, I got up this morning at 4:45am to do my strength training, but wasn't quite feeling it. So I made a deal with myself to get up, get dressed, and do 15 minutes of my routine and then go from there. After about 15/20 minutes I just mentally wasn't in it so I decided to call it done for the day.

So feeling a little guilty this evening (and enticed by the nice weather) I decided to head out on the streets of Dallas for a little walk. Well I got outside and decided to run- and ran 2.5 miles out to the West End area of Dallas then turned around and headed back to the hotel. I had a great run out to my turn around point (2.5 miles in 22:55 min), but ended up being slower on the way back (2.5 miles 35:45 min). Overall I ended up with an average 11:57 min/mile, which made me happy!

Strength training tomorrow morning!

Monday, March 22, 2010


It appears that since I've reached nine consecutive miles of running, I've been experiencing some discomfort. Something that can be fixed by investing in seamless, moisture wicking fabrics.

Yesterday after completing my nine miles I noticed that I had some bad skin reactions to my workout:

1- Around my collar bone the seam caused chaffing and redness- I can still feel the bums!

2- On my chest I've also broken out from the rubbing of my sports bra and just having a sweaty shirt on for almost two hours.

3- The oddest injury was to a few of my toes. The seam on my socks has been rubbing and irritating the cuticle area of my toes.

So I guess it means that it is time to invest in my running gear!!!

My shopping list:

1- Running shirt/tank made of sweat wicking fabric without seamless. I need at least one for my long runs, but I think at least two would be better.

2- A new sports bra, again made of sweat wicking fabrics. (I know you didn't really need to know about my sports bras, but at the same time you do.)

3- Seamless socks to keep my tootsies happy.

Basically I need seamless, sweat wicking products. I plan to find a running store here in Texas and see what I can get. I plan to rent a car this weekend to visit a friend so I'll have to make sure to find something in my travels.

Any good products you'd like to suggest?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where am I?

It's the second day of spring, and I thought I was in Dallas when I went to bed last night- but now I'm not so sure. This morning I had planned to hit the streets and running trails in Dallas to do my 9 miles, but at 30 degrees and snow I did not have appropriate cold weather gear. I was stuck on the hotel treadmill. I guess it doesn't really matter because I got the distance done- but I would have liked to see some sights in Dallas.

Maybe if it warms up I can try again. Next weekend though I will down near Fort Hood, so I guess I can try to run around there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Food Temptation Everywhere...

Thursday and Friday were busy days. We were over at our main training site finishing our prep work and meeting the newbies. The temptations at the new site are out of control.

To start the site has set up a beverage center that is stocked all day. They provide the choice of coffee, hot teas, iced tea, many types of soda, and bottled water. I've been sticking with a cup of black coffee in the morning, then water the rest of the day.

If you think that sounds pretty good, then you'll love the foods they provide. Mid-morning they put out some type of danish, croissant, or breakfast bread. Then mid-afternoon out comes some type of sweet/salty snack- the last couple days we saw a cooler full of ice cream bars, chips & salsa, 3 types of popcorn with boxes to fill, and luckily an assortment of fruit. So far I've only taken advantage of the fruit- and I've managed to stay away from the rest because I bring healthy snacks with me.

The hotel I'm staying at offers free breakfast each morning so I usually grab a yogurt and piece of fruit that I take with me to the training class.

Let's just say there is no shortage of food around here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I must confess...

It's the end of day three here in Dallas, and I must confess I haven't gotten in any of my strength training yet. And I miss it!!!

Unfortunately at the end of the day, we are still kind of working through dinner. It is a little more casual talk, but at the same time there are some important topics I should be around for- so I haven't made it to the gym at night. I guess it is good that I'm getting up for my runs before work!

Tomorrow's plan is to get my strength training in at 5:00am, since I only run four days a week. So here's the modified plan as it appears to be working itself out:

Sunday: Long Runs w/ strength training (completed in the morning or afternoon)
Monday: 3 mile run (5am on the treadmill)
Tuesday: Strength Training (5am in hotel gym)
Wednesday: 5 mile run (5am on the treadmill)
Thursday: Strength Training (5am in the hotel)
Friday: 3 mile run (5am on the treadmill)
Saturday: Rest & Relaxation

How does that sound? I figure I might as well get up at the same time everyday so my body's clock doesn't get confused. On weekends I don't plan to get up at 5am, but I'm guessing my body will wake me up by 6 or so. I'll have to let you know how it works for me.

Have a great night!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I did it!!!

What did I do, you ask? Well, I got up at 4:45am to run. Yeah, I know that I'm crazy- but it was nice to get my run done first thing in the morning. I woke up, ate half of a Glo Bar, then took my water and headed down to the treadmills.

I don't currently feel comfortable enough with the city to head outside in the dark at 5am, so the treadmill works just fine. The only problem I found was that the gym was like a sauna- a steamy 75 degrees at 5am.

The rest of the day was spent in a very hot office prepping for the upcoming training class, but the day went pretty quickly considering. For lunch I got a bowl of soup with a small salad and fresh fruit. I had half my morning glo-bar at 10am and around 3pm I had some grapes for a snacks. Dinner was at a local restaurant called Jason's Deli. I got the salad bar with a side of chicken for protein. The salad bar was awesome so great fresh veggies- I'll definitely visiting that restaurant again.

One more fun item I didn't get a chance to mention, I saw someone famous while waiting for my baggage! It was chef Curtis Stone, some of you might know him others might not. He had a cooking show called - Take Home Chef at one point in time, but I think he just did Celebrity Apprentice. I really wanted to say something, but feel that it would be annoying to have someone always chasing after you. I snapped with the iPhone, but it didn't come out well.

Alright well off to do some a little more prep work!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I have arrived...

Well it was a full day of travel, but I've arrived safely in Dallas and have settled into my hotel. It's only 7pm here right now, but it feels like 8pm. I took some pictures during my travels today to share with you, check them out.

During my layover I got a bottle of water (which I refilled), and a turkey wrap. Not the best food, but better than greasy pizza or McDonald's.

The next three pictures are my hotel suite, it's like having a small apartment. Very nice!

After I got my bags mostly unpacked, I hit up the local 'grocery' store for some food to have available for meals at the hotel and snacks to take to work. My co-workers don't eat six meals a day, but I still do.

Then it was dinner time so I decide to meet my two co-workers for dinner, one is actually my boss and the other is from North Carolina. We went to a Mexican restaurant within walking distance. I ordered a grilled chicken bowl with steamed veggies, rice, and beans- super yummy! I took a picture, but blogger thinks I have too many pictures so it won't load another.

Alright off to finish settling in...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Busy, busy bee

I know you're probably wondering where I've been, but it been a busy few days. We've had things to get done before I leave for Dallas on Monday.

Saturday was our busiest day. We went over to Ohio to pick up our new car. It was a very rainy drive 3 hours each way, but we had a good day. The couple we purchased the car from was super to work with, we even had enough to enough a great lunch with them at one of their local organic restaurant spots. Then on our way out of town we also stopped off at Whole Foods to get some new products to tryout.
Out with the old...

(We actually still have this car until the end of April,so it will be driven until I have to turn it in.)

In with the new...

Whole Foods in Chagrin, Ohio

Some of the products we bought to try out...

Then once we finally made it back to Buffalo, we had a few errands to run then it was home to get some sleep due to the losing of an hour. I turned my clock back before I went to bed, and set the alarm for the early morning hours so I could get my run in. Yup got up had some oatmeal before heading to the gym for eight fun filled miles of running on the treadmill. It felt good to get it done, and I completed it in my 5 mph pace.

This morning after running we met up with our friends for some breakfast and to celebrate Sabrina's Birthday with some French Toast. Yummy! Then some more errands, and home to pack. I'm almost done packing, two suit cases and a carry on- pretty good for being away for a month.

Oh and one more thing...
Matt got me a new book I've been eyeing that we weren't able to find the other day. Yeah!!! It goes along with the Food, Inc. concepts- so I'll have something to read on the plane and at the hotel.'ll hear from me when I get to Dallas! Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Traveling Workout...

Needless to say I'll be bringing my gym gear with me to Dallas. I'm still planning to follow through with my three days of strength training on the Belly Off Dumbbell Challenge and maintain my half-thon training.

Dumbbell Challenge: I plan to stay on my regular schedule of completing strength training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. It is an easy to follow plan and doesn't take up a lot of time. I will go to the gym upon getting back from the training class so I can get it out of the way, then I'll either go to dinner or make dinner in my room.

Half-thon Training: My running plan calls for runs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The first week I am going to try out morning runs in the hotel gym, which should be easy because the gym will be so close. I think it will feel nice to get the run done first thing in the morning. Another plus is that Dallas is one hour behind my current time so I "really" won't be losing sleep as long as I get to bed at my normal NY time. Then long runs are on Sunday, but I might do them on Saturday depending on weekend events. I plan to take my long runs outside to explore the Dallas area, and I've already found some running routes and populated areas to go. It will allow me to explore the city and get my long run done- I love multi-tasking!

Running Fuel: Oh and I finally decided to take the plunge and order some GloBars from Angela's Glo Bakery. I got two variety packs that have ten different flavors each for a total of twenty bars. Normally Matt and I make our own bars, but I'm running out of time to prepare. Plus I've been wanting to try them for a while, so I figured I'd bring them to Dallas with me. I will most likely be eating them before my early morning runs, so I have some fuel.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ready, Set, Eat....

First up my dinner....

I had a veggies burger with the fixings, wheat berry salad, and a pickle. Yum!

Onto Dallas planning:
The main question is how to handle meals? I will be in a new city, living out of a hotel room, and most likely working longer than normal days. Here's how I am going about tackling all these challenges:

New City: Thankfully the Internet provides access to maps and searches, so I've been able to locate stores and restaurants. Nearby stores include the basic CVS Pharmacy that will give me access to come general products, but then there is also a grocery store just two blocks away. It looks like the grocery store is not a chain store and might just offer some of the more health-oriented products. I'd like to be able to get some Ezekiel cereal, Ezekiel bread, unsweetened dried fruit, almond milk, oranges, bananas, apples, salad, and oatmeal just to start. I also noticed they have a prepared food restaurant that has many healthy options and allows you to replace the fries with fresh fruit at no charge! I'm packing one of our reusable shopping bags too!

Hotel Room: Well the good news is I won't just have a simple hotel room, I'm getting upgraded to a suite because I'm staying so long. Yeah! It's got a full-size kitchen that is stocked with all the necessary dishes and cooking tools I will need. It probably won't have an oven or a food processor, but I can work around that. It will feel a little like home with the kitchen and living room- although Matt won't be there.

Long Days: Being that I'm part of the instructor team I will have to arrive early and probably stay later each day, and I think some evenings will be spent reviewing tests and cases studies. It is important to me to eat smart meals throughout the day. I plan to bring along sandwich bags and Tupperware bowls to make lunch packing easier. I plan to eat breakfast at the hotel, then pack snacks and lunch for during the day. Some evenings I will go out to dinner with my co-workers, and I plan to take home half my meal for lunch the next day. Then some nights I will stay in and make something for myself using my hotel kitchen. My co-workers know I'm health-conscious so they know I won't be planning to eat out for every meal, so I won't feel any pressure to conform.

Anyone have any other ways to handle these challenges? What would you do if you were away from home for a whole month?

(It's not hard to leave a comment! I'd like to know who is reading, but you can comment anonymously if you really want! Just leave me a comment!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

This week...

This week is going to be very busy! By next week at this time I will be settling into my hotel suite in Dallas to spend a month participating in the new hire
training. It will be a good opportunity for me, and it will give me a chance to explore some of Texas! So this week I plan to do some blogging about how I'm preparing for spending one month out of town, and how I plan to stay on a healthy track while out of town- so look for that to start hopefully tomorrow.

This Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3 miles w/ strength training
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 5 miles w/ strength training
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3 miles w/ strength training
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 8 miles (yup that is right...we can do it!)

This week's meal options:
~Vegetarian Chili
~Healthy Beef Stroganoff (I had this for dinner- two thumbs up)
~Veggies burgers with wheatberry salad
~Turkey Sandwiches
~Black Bean Soup

We tried to make simple, easy options because last weekend did not allow much prep time and this week isn't going to give us much more time!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

The goal of the day was to complete the 8k at a 12 minute mile pace, basically 60 minutes or less. Now this might not seem like much, but maintaining an average speed over the 5 miles was quite an accomplishment for us. Sabrina and I did great, we stayed together and encouraged each other to just keep jogging along! Sabrina's calves have been giving her some trouble so it was great she was able to work through it. Toward the end I decided to give it an extra push and see how quick I could bring it in, so that is why our times are slightly different- but they aren't much different. Either way I'm very proud of us both!

First step was to wait in line to get our chips. Chips are zip-tied onto your shoe to allow for accurate and instant timing!

Headed toward the starting point, just trying to stay warm. It was sunny but a bit windy and about 35 degrees.

A little pre-race flexing for you to enjoy!

Here's the BEER MAN! He's not only got a fuel belt loaded with beer, he also has a small speaker strapped to his helmet so he can pump the beats! Let's just say that this race brings out some characters!

A leprechaun kissed me!

Our post race nutrition was Homemade Oatmeal Cookies w/ raisins and dark chocolate. Matt was kind enough to carry a backpack that had cookies and water for us after the race. The recipe was from Clean Eating, mine look different- but they tasted great!

Jen's Official Time:

Sabrina's Official Time:

So there you have it. It was a beautiful day here in Buffalo, and we really proved to ourselves we can do this. So onward with the Halfthon training!

(Note: Halfthon is not a actual word, but I'm making it a word so get use to it.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting Ready....

for the Shamrock Run. Tomorrow is the first race since I've been actively running on a regular basis. Previously I've run a few 5K, but mostly they were just done on a whim. I would try to run, but didn't have the endurance to be consistent.

Tomorrow will also be only my second run outside since starting training. I'm not a really big fan of the cold weather. Tomorrow is suppose to be around 40 and sunny- which sounds great to me! As long as there is no wind it will be an awesome day for a run.

The plan will be to hit up our favorite breakfast spot at 9am for some pre-race fuel, Sabrina is meeting us there. Sabrina and I will then get ready to run and headed toward the race! We start running at noon...

Check back Saturday for a recap...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Night....

Tuesday and Thursday nights are typically rest days from the normal gym activities, which gives us both a break and a chance to get stuff done. Tonight I had a couple errands to run.

First up was picking up the race number for Saturday's Shamrock Run, which is an 8k through the 1st Ward of downtown Buffalo- the original Irish area of Buffalo. If I had signed up sooner I would have gotten a free jacket with registration, but instead a got a nice little knit cap. Everyone loves free stuff, and a warm head isn't bad either!

If you are in Buffalo be looking for #4718 to be crossing the finish line!

Next up was a trip to Fleet Feet to see if they had a spibelt, but they didn't so I got something just like it. I tried it out "jogging" and jumping around the kitchen- Matt is now calling it the world's smallest fanny pack! Oh well, if it holds my phone and my key I'll take it. Oh, and they were having a 50% off sale on all the long sleeve gear, so I picked up a green/grey running top.

Then we were hungry, so I decided to take Matt to Amy's Place. It's a little place over by the university that offers an array of food from vegetarian, vegan, and other typical diner like options. I only took a picture of my meal, which was a Lentil-Berry Sandwich (Vegetarian). It actually is more like a wrap, and resembles a giant burrito. It was huge, so I have lunch for tomorrow now too.

Have a great night!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's for dinner?

Here's what dinner time brought to our house...

For Jen it was Chili Mac & Cheese with a salad...

Chili Mac & Cheese (Serves 6)
2 can Kidney Beans (rinsed/drained)
1 pound ground beef (95/5) or ground turkey
2 cans diced tomato w/chiles
6 servings whole wheat pasta or elbows
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chili seasoning
2 cups shredded RF Cheddar

1- Cook pasta.
2- Cook beef then add garlic powder and chili seasoning
3- Combine all other ingredients and serve.
(Note: This recipe can be reduced if you don't need six servings.)

For Matt it was Blueberry Spelt Pancakes...

Blueberry Spelt Pancakes (1 serving)
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1/8 t maca powder
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c blueberries

1-Combine dry ingredients.
2-Add almond milk and blueberries.
3-Cook over med-low heat in a non-stick pan.

They smelled so very yummy! It makes me want breakfast now. Maybe Matt will make me some before the 8k on Saturday...wink, wink

Monday, March 1, 2010

Time to Run....

I just finished my run at the gym a little more than an hour ago, it felt pretty good. I was a bit sore after yesterday's 7 mile run, so I felt like the three mile run gave me a chance to stretch those muscles out a little bit.

This weeks goals:
Monday- 3 miles
Wednesday- 5 miles
Friday- 3 miles
Sunday- 7 miles

I've actually decided to replace Sunday's run with the local Shamrock 8k Run. The 8k distance actually only equals 5.97 miles, so I will not be running quite as far but I'm willing to trade this because it will give me a chance to run outside and around other people.

Running with others is difficult especially when the race starts out because everyone has their own pace. So my goal is to do my best through the congestion and use it to warm up, then when it finally starts to spread out I'm hoping to find my pace.

Tonight's dinner:

Chicken Sausage w/ Homemade Sweet Potato Fries and a yummy honey mustard sauce.

And tonight I'll leave you with a photo of me and the hubby from dinner over the weekend...