Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Speedin' it up....

So today I thought I'd see how fast I could complete a mile. I found the gym treadmill is the easiest place to prove to myself I could do a mile in 10 minutes. So off I went to prove to myself I could speed it up, I set the treadmill to 6 mph, and I started running.

I was tempted at the half-way point to give myself a short walk break, but I told myself I could hold out for the last five minutes to complete my goal. I did it!!!!

I know you can't read the screen real well, but if you quint you probably will be able to make out that it reads 1.0 miles in 10:05 minutes. Yeah!!!!

I didn't stop there though, I kept it up. I took a 1 minute walk, then picked it back up for another mile. Took one last 1 minute walk, then completed mile 3.

Now there is no way I could do a half-marathon at that pace (at this point), but over the next month I do plan to continue to have fast runs each week so that I will be able to improve my expected half-marathon pace.

Have a great night!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meeting new people and eating sweets...

Those are some yummy Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting....don't they look tasty. The red sprinkles and shaved chocolate really help out. Hopefully they will be a hit at the potluck dinner tonight, and hopefully there are some other yummy foods to try.

Hope everyone has a great night!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Green machine...

So this week it is time to get back on track with my eating, so I've started to have green smoothies for breakfast. Basically you get your fruit and veggies all in one drink. It sounds not so good, but trust me it has a sweet taste. If you don't trust me, trust the movement- The Green Monster Movement, which gives you recipes used by many different people. The great thing about a green smoothie is you can change it up to what you like.

Last night before bed I gathered my ingredients together, so I could easily put them in the blender in the morning.

I used the following in my smoothie:
1 cup almond milk (I will probably use half water next time.)
2 cups baby spinach (approximately)
1/2 banana
Frozen mixed berries
Flax Seed Meal

The results:

It turned out super tasty, but a little bit thick. I added some water to thin it out. It was very much like a milkshake, and wasn't bright green. I guess I can try to use more spinach next time.

After a great gym workout tonight, which included running to the gym to meet Matt. I thought we should start off dinner with a green smoothie. He loves them and recommends them too!

Consider trying it out! Another option is to pick one up at the store, but just be careful that the only sugar is from the natural fruits. Some brands to look for are Bolthouse Farms and Odwalla. Once you get past the green you be able to really enjoy and you're body with benefit!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Full speed Ahead...

During my recent lapse in posting (since Thursday) it's been very busy. I feel like I say that all the time, but Matt and I do tend to stay pretty busy.

Friday was spent traveling home from Chicago, which tend to be almost of full day. I took the Chicago Subway from my hotel to the airport at 8am, although I can take a taxi I prefer to use the train system. I also tend to get to the hotel super early, but I'd rather be early than late. I arrived back in Buffalo by 2pm, and Matt picked me up. Gone only a short time and I still missed him! We grabbed a bite to eat, then headed home to meet up with the fridge repair man. The fridge is currently working but might need more repairs in the near future.

After the fridge was running again, I decided we should head to Pittsburgh. We were planning to leave super early on Saturday morning, but I figured it would be easier to travel Friday evening. I found a super great deal on a hotel on Hotwire!

First thing Saturday morning we went to IKEA Pittsburgh to finalize our Kitchen!!! Many of you know we've been debating our kitchen remodel basically since we purchased the house, but we're finally in a position to take a step in the right direction. Back in December we went to Ikea and had a consultation for the kitchen, but we needing one more trip to make sure that what we were ordering was appropriate and we weren't missing any important details. Our consultant was great and help us fix some issues with our previous design. We ordered all the products we need and will hopefully be able to pick them up in two weeks!!!! So get prepared for some remodel post over the next two months, we'll hopefully get started with some prep work next weekend. It will probably take us until the end of June to be done, but that's only because we have day jobs and some busy weekends coming up. It will get done, and we can't wait!

After our 3 1/2 hour Ikea day we made a trip to Whole Foods Pittsburgh, then headed back to Buffalo. We were exhausted and laid down for a few minutes- only to wake up 15 hours later. I guess we were more tired than we thought.

Today we spent running errands, planning meals, and getting ready for the upcoming week. We also took some time to hang out at Barnes & Noble, browsing the rack and sipping some coffee.

As you might have noticed I didn't mention any long run this weekend. I was suppose to have one in the plan for today, but I decided my body needed a rest. Tomorrow I'm back on the running train, and next weekend I'll probably do 11 miles. Just over one month until the 1/2 marathon!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

It's Earth Day!

Today we as a country focus on what we can do to help preserve our earth for ourselves and future generations. As the years have gone by I think that as a society we've allowed modern conveniences to get in the way of preserving the planet. Just think about how much garbage we create on a daily basis, and the number of pollutants we release into the air we breathe.

So here are a few suggestions of things I do:

1. I drink water and other beverages from a re-usable container or washable cup. Occasionally I still end up with a plastic bottle so I'm always sure to make sure I'm returning it for the deposit so it can be recycled, or I recycle it myself.

2. Matt and I recycle a lot of stuff. I'd even say that some weeks our recycling outweighs our regular trash.

3. Matt and I have also started using natural cleaning products. This helps to reduce chemical toxins being released into the air, and they do actually work really well. So far we have only incorporated dish soap and spray cleaner, but will continue to purchase other natural products as needed.

By no means are my efforts perfect, but every little bit counts. And I find as I get use to doing one thing, I am able4 to add more over time. Baby steps.

What do you do?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grill it up....

So after my hotel oats this morning I headed off to my training seminar, and found that they had quite the spread of foods. Unfortunately it was mostly gaint bagels, pasteries, and muffins. But after a few minutes I was able to locate some fresh cut fruit so I created a fruit salad- so fresh and yummy!

I packed my own granola for snacks throughout the day and there was a supply of water available so I was all set.

For lunch we had an hour to venture out for food. We found a nice sandwich shop, and I choose the grilled veggie sandwich on multigrain, which came with homemade chips. I ate the sandwich first, and tried a few chips out.

For dinner it was back out to downtown Chicago, and we chose to try Weber Grill. As you walk in they have the classic weber grills a blazin'.

And a classic burger with fries. It was huge! So I didn't finish it and I only had a few fries.

After dinner we talked through some shops and through the streets of Chicago. Now off to get some relaxing in, and then sleeping.

Early morning workout in the am.

Up and at 'em...

It's 6:30 am here in Chicago, and I've already run 3 miles and completed my strength training for the day. I know you're probably thinking it is crazy to get up at 4:45 in the morning to hit the gym, but I've found if I don't do it before my training sessions then I don't do it at all. Plus it nice the have nearly free choice of machines and weights because there are only a few other people as crazy as me.
I seem to get sucked into doing things in the evening while in travel status, which although I could say no to it seems like a great opportunity to network. And although I typically don't workout in the morning it is pretty easy when you just have to take an elevator a few floors down.

Alright off to eat some fresh made hotel room Oatmeal that looks like it is ready to eat.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Doing Good....

Last night was date night with the hubby. We went to dinner and a movie. The eats were awesome...

A flight of wines. Red for me and White for the hubby. Feeling good!

An appetizer of Grilled Flank Flat bread.

Rustico salad with cranberries, pear, tomato, and walnut.

The hubs Tilapia with Crabmeat, very tasty and fresh.

Balsamic Chicken for me, a great choice.

We had a great time and ended up with plenty of leftovers to enjoy for lunch today. After our early dinner, we strolled through the mall. We both picked up some new workout clothes, which were much needed! Then we got a coffee and did some people watching to kill time before our movie started.

We went to see 'Date Night'. It was really great, we both enjoyed it and found it very funny. There were some intense moment when Matt had to watch one his dream cars being destroyed, but it was funny at the same time! I'd say this movie is a go see, date or no date.

Then after all that fun, it was home to get some sleep for a long run this morning.

This morning I got up, ate my oatmeal and then hit the road shortly after 7am. I ran for 2 1/2 hours. I jogged nearly the whole thing, but took a brief walking break after I fell. Yup, I was running along happy when tripped on the sidewalk. Nobody saw me so I just got up and walked it off. Just few scraps, and probably a bruise will show up on my knee. I'm so graceful. I walked for a little bit then pushed on through to finish up the last 20 minutes of my run.

Along the way I had an energy every few miles, which provide electrolytes. I don't like carrying a water bottle so I hydrate before and after my runs.

Alright its off to eat a second breakfast, get ready for church, go to church, and then run some errands to get ready for my trip tomorrow. I'll try to write again later about my plans for meals while in a hotel room.

Chicago here I come!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Playing the weather game...

So this week's long run is 12 miles, which I typically do on Sunday. My original plan was to run a six mile loop twice on local roads. I thought I'd get up early and knock it out, but I was tired and decided to sleep in. When I got up this morning I had some oatmeal, then got ready to head out. I expected it to be cold out today, what I wasn't look for was rain or snow. There was so kind of precipitation going on, so I'm now postponing my run.

I plan to get the 12 miles done this weekend, and hopefully today. I'm now thinking I might just head to the gym, and take ownership of treadmill for 2 1/2 hours. The gym activity usually dies down after 3pm, so that might be my best bet. By going to the gym I'll have direct access to water and a bathroom if needed- neither of which would be available if I was running outside.

Hope everyone is having a great day and getting their exercise in! I'll give you an update once I've run 12 miles!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green living and healthy for me...

Today while driving home from work a thought popped into my head, "I should run to the gym in this beautiful weather." So when I got home I changed into workout clothes, got my water bottle filled, and hit the road. Yes I could have driven to the gym, and completed my run on the treadmill- but what fun is that? Plus, it's better for the environment!

Here are my splits:

mi pace
1 11:09
2 11:55
3 11:02
4 11:01

I actually only went a total of 3.5 miles, but when I stopped I was running at an average pace of 11:01 minutes per mile. Overall, I'm very happy with this run. I tried to stay focused on my breathing and my stride, and it worked.

But the one thing I realized is that I really need to make an investment in my running gear. The seams on my shirt, sports bra, and pants are trying to break me by chaffing my skin- they won't win! I always thought that the only thing needed for running was a good pair of shoes, but I guess after a certain amount of miles it just takes a toll on your skin (or I've just got sensitive skin).

Anyways speaking of miles covered. I'm happy to report that since I started running in January I have run for almost 32 hours and covered 155 miles! Yeah! It really adds up quickly, and I've still got a month of training left. This weekend is the big 12 mile run.

Now that you're probably thinking that I'm perfect with completing my workouts, let me confess to you that I have had to make some adjustments and skip runs. The important thing was to not give up on the overall goal. It definitely has been hard cutting myself some slack, and I keep reminding myself that as long as I'm headed toward my goal I'm still on track.

Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back in action....

I was back in action tonight in the kitchen with this meal. I made us Tilapia with Mediterranean pasta. The pasta was whole wheat with lightly sauted garlic, roasted red peppers, and artichokes. Yummy!

It was good to be able to cook a meal for my husband again, although it will be short lived because I will be headed out of town again.

Tomorrow night is burgers, but I'm not sure what else. Any suggestions?

Back in Buffalo...

Sorry it's been so long again, but it feels like I keep running from one thing to the next. The few minutes I do get I prefer to take a few minutes to get something done around the house. This is actually the first time I've touched my computer since landing in Buffalo on Friday. So where's a brief and random recap for you...

Since getting back in town on Friday I've been trying to get back into the swing of being home, but it's been difficult since I know I have to leave again next Monday. Actually I didn't official get to our house until Saturday because we had to see some friends. And I'm actually still living out of my suitcase at the moment, but I might be able to get it unpacked tonight.

Matt and I have been busy getting the house in order, and are trying to make some solid decisions on our kitchen. IKEA is having their semi-annual kitchen sale so we need to decide what we are going to do, if we are going to do the full remodel or just a slight upgrade. Hopefully by this weekend we'll have a better idea of the total remodel costs.

Another item on the to-do list is to clean out the old car, and have it inspected for lease turn-in in the next week or so. Then it's off to the DMV to get the new car officially on the road- for now it is just a "lawn ornament" until it has license plates.

This past Sunday I did another long run with Matt leading me on his bike. He was at the ready with water and support. The gps on the phone wasn't functioning for a portion of the run so I'm not sure that I made it the full 11 miles, but I know I ran for a little over 2 hours so I imagine I got pretty close. Next week, it is on to 12 miles- which will be the longest until the actual half.

Alright, for now those are my random thoughts. Now off to put the laundry away and then it's time to clean out the car to get ready for the inspection on Friday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I'm back from a whirlwind...

So you might have noticed I've been missing from my blog for a little over a week longest time away! So sorry to all of you who check for new posts each day. I've been real busy between weekends plans and daily activities related to the training class (meaning working in the evenings too!). So here goes my attempt to catch you up:

Last Saturday I rented a car and took a roadtrip South of Dallas to Killeen, TX see a great college friend that I really needed to catch up with. I didn't have a lot of time for side trips but I did find my way to a Harely Davidson shop to pick up a souvenir for my dad. I typically don't bring back souvenirs, but I know he'll use it so I made an exception. Anyways back to the purpose of the trip, seeing Celia and finally meeting her husband and baby. Her baby is an awesome little guy so very happy- loved flirting and laughing. I hope someday my baby is that good! After a great but too short visit I had to get back into the city to return my rental vehicle.

After returning from Killeen I was suppose to complete a planned 10 mile long run for the week, but I have to admit that it just didn't happen. After the long drive I was not mentally or physically into completing 10 miles. Plus I noticed that it was extremely windy in downtown Dallas and fighting the wind would have made it that much more difficult. So for those of you that believe I'm so perfect about meeting my training plans to a "T", here's proof that adapting your plan to how you feel it just as important as following a plan.

Monday to Friday of last week I completed my running and lifting exercises as planned to stay on track, and because I gave my self a break on the long run. As for training it was very busy- all day class and then planning/reviewing at night. Needless to say there wasn't much time left at the end of the day to blog.

Then since Saturday was our day off, we ventured out of Dallas to see some sights and do some shopping.

First up was enjoying some nice weather while looking at sculptures in Frisco, TX. Here's a few pictures for you to enjoy:

After touring the sculptures, we head to IKEA!!!! My boss had never been to Ikea, it so fun to explore Ikea with someone who has been never seen all the neat stuff they sell. We spent lots of time walking around, and she picked up lots of little things to help her get organized. I picked up a surprise for Matt.

By this point we were all gettting hungry, so I suggested we stop a Whole Foods for lunch and so I could pick up a few groceries for this last week. I picked up some Seedduction bread, fruit & nut mix, Ezekiel cereal, and almond milk. For lunch I got a chicken sandwich and loaded with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. So good and half filled me up.

After lunch we explored the Texas State Fairgrounds, which is home to the big event held in September each year. However in the off season there are museum exhibits and this weekend it was the finish line for a bike race.

Lastly, today's big adventure was a 10 mile long run. I completed the run by starting at the hotel, running to Katy Trail, running the entire trail then I turned around and ran back to the hotel. Before the run I had a Power Bar, at mile 5 I had some Gel Chews, at mile 8.5 I had more Gel Chews.

It took me 2 hours and 9 minutes to complete and here are my splits:

mi pace climb (ft)
1 11:01 -25
2 11:49 40
3 12:05 9
4 12:31 46
5 15:55 29
6 12:30 -30
7 12:47 -52
8 13:34 -16
9 12:48 6
10 14:00 23

The 15 minutes at mile 5 was because I forgot to hit pause on the tracker so it counted my break into the time. Oops!

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter and made it through all the updates from me!