Sunday, August 16, 2015

Savory Sunday #1

I was on vacation this week so it was a great time to try out some new recipes. I've been following along on some of Bob Harper's Skinny Rules so I recently picked up his Skinny Meals cookbook. This week I tried two recipes.

The first, Baked Squash, has butternut squash, kale, Greek yogurt, egg whites, garlic, lemon zest, spaghetti squash, chicken breast, feta cheese and fresh mint. It is certainly an interesting combination. I typically love both kinds of squashes, but the texture of the egg whites and yogurt reminded me of finding long lost sippy cups with really bad curdled milk when the kids were younger. I thought it was a tad bland, but the mint did add a refreshing taste.

The next recipe I prepared was Spaghetti Sqush Pad Thai - a healthy way to make a high carb, high fat favorite. This recipe called for chicken, mixed veggies and the spaghetti squash. The sauce was a creative mix of chicken broth, tamari, Sriracha, almond butter and some other seasonings. Wow, was it flavorful. I will definitely make this one again.


So, it's back to work for the new school year tomorrow. In trying to hold myself accountable, I have spent some time preparing lunches and fruits & veggies for the week. I want to make it as easy as possible for me to get my exercise in every morning, get ready for work, and have healthy eating options. Plenty for me to snack on rather than be tempted by the traditional "welcome back to school" feasts. Must...have...willpower...


Sunday Summary

This was week one of a fifteen week training plan created by me and Jeff Galloway.  It was a pretty easy week in that there was no speed training and the long run was only five miles. I experimented with some of the intervals this week and found that I really think I need the one minute walk breaks, even though he has revised his thinking to take shorter intervals. I'm wondering if it is just the heat and humidity, but it really gets to me when I try a 30 second walk break, so much so that I walked out a couple of miles on two of my runs this week. I'll stick with the longer intervals for now and perhaps try the shorter ones again in the fall.

This week's accomplishments:
1. 18 miles and 1 yoga class
2. thoroughly cleaned and put back together 2 of the rooms in my house after having the majority of the inside painted
3. was pretty close to the 80%-20% rule of clean eating this week
4. celebrated Julie's 19th birthday!!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Magic Mile

So, I've been a bit sulky for the last day and a half.

The first part of my new 15 week training program, submitted to and revised by Jeff Galloway himself, required a Magic Mile. He sees this as a reality check of sorts, and it helps to provide a reasonable goal and also is used to calculate training paces.


So, off I went first thing Tuesday morning. I did an easy three miles using a 4:1 run/walk ratio, took a walk break and then did my Magic Mile straight through. UGH! I automatically felt very defeated.

In my previous post I acknowledged my newfound inspiration and that I was going to meet myself right where I was, however, I made the mistake of looking back on my Garmin to see what my fastest mile had been (in November 2014). 

My thoughts after looking at my time on Tuesday - a whole two minutes per mile slower than that November mile:

1. I suck!
2. Running sucks!
3. I'll never PR again.
4. I am so much slower than my running partners.
5. Just more proof that I am getting old.

OK, so I stewed on it for quite some time, and came to my big reality check:

1. I was out with an injury most of the year and have only accumulated 245 miles this year.
2. It is freaking HOT and HUMID in Florida in August!
3. Trust the system - it was developed by a former Olympian!

This morning's run called for bridge repeats. I slowed the pace WAY down and then just did one set over and back. I walked the second set. I will work my way up to the full two sets through the course of the program. Tomorrow will be another easy run for 3 miles.

Time to keep plugging away in hopes that my Magic Mile will somehow eventually produce the Miracle Mile at the pace that will project that elusive PR. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fresh Start

I was very excited to be able to go to running school on Saturday. Not only did I learn an amazing amount from Jeff Galloway, but I was able to attend with my two great running partners. 

I have been using the Run-Walk-Run method for quite some time now, but without a lot of the background knowledge that Galloway shared with us during our three hour session. I share a lot of his same philosophy. How can you not when he believes in no pain, no puking and no dying

As I sat in class, I felt he was talking to me. Really, he kind of was, since there were only about a dozen other people there. He clearly explained his training plans and drills and we were all given plenty of opportunity to ask questions. I came away very inspired!!

The next day, I spent a great deal of time re-reading my notes and his book. From there, I revised my thinking for training for the fall races I have on my schedule and crafted a new plan for myself. I sent it off to Jeff Galloway himself, and received some great feedback. With his tweaking, I know I will be very prepared for my fall race schedule.

So, today was a major shift in mindset. Today is my Fresh Start. I am over the hump of yet another birthday. I succumbed to the age thing and even gave in and "highlighted" my hair so that I wouldn't see those stray strands of sparkle when I look in the mirror. Summer vacation is nearly over and it will soon be time to get back into a regular routine. 

Moreover, I have decided to meet myself. When we meet someone new, we accept them as they are, not try to make them into something they are not. So, I will start my new training plan this week and will accept myself right where I am. Right Here, Right Now. I have never really trained hard for races, I just put in the time and mileage and whatever happens happens. No speed training or drills for me. Yet, without training I keep expecting to PR. My last PR was five years ago. Another may come, but obviously it won't come if I don't work for it. I will do my first Magic Mile tomorrow and select a reasonable amount that I expect to improve and then train for that time. If I am consistent, then I will get there, probably not this fall, but eventually. 


As I was approaching the aforementioned birthday, I half-jokingly let my family know that this was the year of me. I was going to be selfish this year. So, as I begin my Fresh Start, I will become a bit self-centered. I will prioritize my training. I will also do the training at the speeds and intervals that are best for me and not follow along with others as I have always done. As Jeff Galloway said, "Running with the fast crowds can get you into some trouble." It'll be good for me to focus on me. In fact, it may actually make running enjoyable again.

So I started a bit today with some focus on the diet. Yes, I still need to lose a few pounds. Clean eating will obviously help my body and help me train better. Dinner was a great recipe from Bob Harper's Skinny Meals Cookbook, Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce.


Now, if only the 15 week training plan would result in a 15 pound weight loss, everything would be wonderful, but I suppose I'll have to work for that too!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Time to Get Down to Business

It was a beautiful weekend celebrating Andrew's graduation from the University of Central Florida. We were able to get together with family, attend the ceremony, have a nice dinner and spend some time relaxing by the pool. His smile shows it all. He is very happy to be finished with school and excited to begin his new job adventure. I am proud beyond words!

But now it's time to admit that I have been indulging all week long. Dinners out and not enough exercise to combat the excess. Not that it was all over one week, but still - it's time to get down to business.

There are forty days until we leave on our big vacation to Alaska. I'm continuing to train for the Mayor's Midnight Sun Half Marathon, but now I'll be adding some cross-training. I began a round of the 21 Day Fix program today. I have had it since last summer and have yet to complete the three weeks. Today was Extreme Cardio Fix...30 minutes and I'm already sore!

I have also been promised by Bob Harper that I am going to lose weight fast. I purchased his Skinny Meals cookbook and am going to make my best attempt to follow the four week meal plan. I need a lot of luck here! I made Chris promise not to take me out to eat or let me eat anything that wasn't on the meal, how long do you think I can last?

A breakfast of Avocado Toast was both tasty and filling. It was fairly easy to prepare and I can see how I will be able to make the egg mixture ahead of time for a quick go-to on the mornings when I am in slow motion.
 I enjoyed the Epresso Smoothie as a refreshing mid-morning snack. It tasted like a good ol' coffee frappe! Lunch was also delicious. The Terrific Tuna Salad had just enough pasta and really didn't need a dressing due to the flavorings of the capers and kalamata olives. Who knew!
Feeling very full, I opted for an apple for a snack instead of the veggies and hummus, given Bob's Skinny Rule of eating an apple a day to help get enough fiber. Moving on to dinner, Pan-Seared Salmon with Zucchini and Yellow Squash. Again, just some quick chopping and mixing of some seasonings before putting it to bake in the oven.

On this first day of trying out the cookbook, I did find a couple of things confusing. The recipe for the hummus did not reveal the serving size. The Pan-Seared Salmon recipe did not include any directions for pan-searing, just baking. And, another of Bob's Skinny Rules is to eat berries every day - I think it's a half cup. Overall, it was a great day of eating! I don't crave anything at all and am feeling very satisfied.

So, now I'm off to prep meals for tomorrow. I'll finish with the berries and hope that I'm not up in the bathroom all night. I've been peeing like a race horse all day. Two cups of water before every snack and meal - WHEW!