Time Flies When You’re Running!


This is how many weeks I have been training! Wahoo! Where has the time gone?

This will be a short post! I feel terrible taking so much time off from my blog when there have really been some exciting things I have been doing, learning and goals met!

I won’t bore you with the details of how busy life can be – we already know these things!

Well Shane is away for several weeks in Thailand so I had to drop out of my early morning group fitness class – which really bums me out because I was enjoying the moral we all were building and the friendships too! BUT – I have to say – I have been feeling eager to get back to my one-on-one thrashings with Jeanne! PLUS – I really enjoyed the time that we had chatting about life stuff, fitness tidbits and well – this might sound lame but… it was the only time I got “girl chit-chat” time in…no, really! (Lame, I know – I need to get out more!) So lets catch-up on where my training has gone!

The trail we run is called the Habu Trail - and these are Habu's in Sake! Supposed to be strong stuff!

WOOT Run – a few weekends ago Jeanne sent me a goal of 8:30 min pace for a 4mile run. I decided that I was running with the local Women’s running group (trail running that is) for that run. This was a paved trail and one that I have run several times but never that fast. I made sure to let my goal be known – keeping myself accountable for it! Then, I immediately set out to pace with the leaders of the pack! I was really just chasing after them for the first mile or so and then slowly closed the gap. These ladies kept me honest and I ran the 8:30 pace all the way up and down those crazy farm roads! Seriously – proud of myself!

Last Wednesday I was really proud of myself – I ran to the morning group session (the last one I was able to attend) at the Plaza Housing pool, did the swim workout with the group, and then ran home! Total mileage was a little over 8.5 miles and it took me roughly 1 hr and 30 minutes. I averaged a 10:43 pace with the run there all uphill and the run home all downhill!

This weekend I was running with the stroller (27lb monkey plus 20lb chariot) and I still made my LSR (8.47) in an 11 min pace! I wasn’t running it for pace I was just trying to survive it! I picked the beach run since it is the flattest place I know of around here and even though that meant making the loop 3 times – it was worth it! I headed out early enough that we were in the shade for almost the entire run!

Todaywas my first day back to one-on-one training! Jeanne was tough – my quads are smoked!

The workout:

800m run @ ¾ pace

20 Thrusters w. 18lb bar

400m run @ slightly slower than sprint pace

20 thrusters w. 18lb bar

200m all out sprint

and then we did it all over again working backwards and ending w/ a set of thrusters.

This is an example of a Thruster - I was not that bad-a$$ - I only had the bar and no weights added!

ME = Broke OFF!

Then this afternoon – still needing to get some mileage in since we are up-ing my overall weekly mileage – I headed to the gym for a treadmill run (needed to take it a little easy on my legs and we were in “black flag” conditions – so no outdoor PT allowed) – I ran 3.5 miles at an easy 10min pace. I really started to feel my quads getting tight at the very end of the run so I made sure and iced my legs when I got home! My longest run to date is still 9 miles – but I love that Jeanne gets me to reach a new distance and then we hang with that mileage and build a strong base there – so by the time I am adding even more distance to my longest run my legs are very ready for it! This has really been the key to keeping my legs injury free and my mental state where it needs to be as well! When you feel string and confident it shows in the LSR’s!

Nutritional Tidbits:

Hybrid Mini-Meatloaf

These came out so yummy tasty!

I have been trying to find ways to send my husband off to work with some Paleo approved foods and easy to eat, carry with, and reheat foods – so I had to get creative. Since my husband bikes to work her carries his lunch in a backpack that I am sure gets jostled all over the place. Enter the mini-meatloaf! I took the Everyday Paleo meatloaf recipe and my mother’s meatloaf and came up with a hybrid version that we ALL (including the monkey) really dig! This is not Paleo because I have added a few things – so anyone who is hardcore Paleo please skip over this recipe! ;o)

Ingredients:

2lbs Ground Meat (whatever you prefer)

½ tsp white pepper

1 pkg Dry Onion Soup mix

2 Eggs

½ tsp Marjaram

½ C. water

1 C. Almond Meal

1 tsp Basil

1 can Cream O’ Mushroom Soup

Sauce: Mix together ½ onion soup package w/ cream o’ mushroom soup, add water, pepper, marjoram, and basil – stir well, set aside.

Meat: Mix beef, eggs, almond meal and other half of onion soup mix together – blend well. Add large serving spoon scoop of sauce mixture to meat mixture – bland well. Add meat mix to mini loaf pan – these don’t expand much when they cook so you can really fill your more than mine – this was the first batch and I wasn’t sure – they can be pretty full but leave room for your sauce mix. Top with sauce mix. Bake in the oven (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Another snack we have all come to love is a recipe I took from Robb Wolf’s book and sort of tweaked it a bit as well but it is all Paleo still! I just have to work with what fruit is fresh here.

Cinnamon Fruit

The picture does this sweet treat no justice!

1 Orange – peeled, sectioned and chopped 1 Apple – peeled and sliced or diced 1 tsp cinnamon Mix all of the ingredients into a Tupperware container – toss to coat – put it in the fridge and it gets better and better the longer it all soaks!

Tuna Cabbage Salad

This is such a great snack or lunch!

This is by far my very newest and favorite creation. Again, I took the idea from Robb Wolf’s book about a crunchy cabbage salad and just made it my own!

Ingredients:

¼ head of cabbage

1 can albacore tuna – drained and fixed however you like (I added mayo sometimes or just Olive Oil)

1 whole carrot or 3-4 baby carrots

Sesame seed oil or poppy seed dressing

I like to start with the cabbage and toss it into my food processor with the top blade on shred. Then I add the carrot to the same blade – looks like coleslaw! Then I put it into the bowl I intend to eat it out of and add the tuna mix – stir well. Then I add in my sesame seed oil or sometimes I do a poppy seed dressing.

I devour this as a post workout lunch and I ALWAYS eat this with Plantain Chips! It’s truly not the same without it! You can really make this dish your own – add nuts or other veggies and make it a meal instead of a snack!

Miles ran so far this week = 5.25

Miles Ran TYD = 225.19

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Getting to Know Your Body and Finding Balance!


I have been finding that there is no better way to get to know yourself (truly) than on the journey to better overall healthy living, eating and exercising! Since January I have truly transformed and I have the blog posts to prove it! My view of myself has changed and my view of my own abilities has really changed the most!

I used to just day dream about all the athletic things I wanted to do and vicariously live through the stories I would read in Runner’s World Magazine or Women’s Running Magazine. NOW, I am making my own stories – I am finding so much strength in my body and in my ability to stay focused.

I have Jeanne to thank for so many things…motivation, guidance, and partnership! It seems like just the other day I was meeting her for the first time in the lobby of Gunner’s Gym w/ all of my “Living Runner’s World” plans!

I also have all of my family and friends to thank as well. My family, even though they don’t comment much, I know they read and send me love in other ways! My friends keep up with me on Facebook mainly and send me their positive vibes for my goals! And then the best of all…this morning I was told by a woman at the group fitness class that I was the reason she was there, I couldn’t hardly believe my ears. She told me that she had been reading my blog a few months ago and it really motivated her. She is a mom of 2 (ages 4 & 6), active duty military and a wife. WOW – I inspired her! That alone makes me posting my pain, sweat and training all worth it! I will definitely try to make more time for this blog in the hopes that I can continue to motivate others.

 

School – Week 2

This marks week 2 in the summer session of school. Have I told you how crammed I am for time this session?! I am taking 4 courses and I have to divide my time up among them strategically in order to be more efficient and get all of my work done throughout the week. So I set my schedule up like this…

Mondays = Nutrition 100 (Rest Day)

Tuesdays = Financial Management 140 (Group Train)

Wednesdays = Psyc 441 – Learning & Behavior (Group Train)

Thursdays = Psyc. Of Sleep (Group Train)

Fridays = Rest Day and wrap up of all unfinished schoolwork.

Saturdays = Family day/Run

Sundays = Family day/Run

By the end of the week I aim to have all of my work done so that I can spend as much time w/ Shane and Nola as possible. So far that has worked out well but it is only week 2! By the time week 5 (MidTerms) rolls around I am usually a basket case!

In order to be able to stick to this schedule we all have to work together! I set some rules about the household tasks and everyone seems to be happy.

Mainly, I said – there will be NO cleaning by ME from Mon-Fri. If you need something washed you better do it yourself! I will cook but it will mainly be in the Crockpot so I can set it on a break from studying and then forget about it until it’s time to eat! (Considering there are only so many dishes that work in the Crockpot I do have to stop studying early some days to prep dinner.) Also, I set Sat OR Sun to be the house-cleaning day. Everyone helps. Shane and I basically just ask each other what we prefer to do that day (you want floors or bathrooms?) and go to it! All laundry is done the day we decide to clean (usually about 4 loads) and we take turns folding a load that is ready.

Life is much better now that we have set some boundaries on what gets done and when! I am so blessed to have a super helpful husband. He cleans without question – and he even does things the way I like them to be done so I’m not going into OCD shock afterwards! He always empties the dishwasher if he sees it needs it – and it usually does! AND he cooks whenever I ask him. He has no problem admitting when a recipe seems complicated – so sometimes I just prep everything and then he finishes. Either way – we work as a very good team and life is so much better now that I don’t feel like I am “expected” to do everything in the house on top of my personal goals with school and training. We established this set of rules shortly after Nola was born and I was at home losing my mind!


Reshaping – Where did my Ta-Ta’s Go?

Well – there is no good way to write about this so I am just diving into it! I have no boobs now. After breast-feeding I still had some boob-ish boobies but just a deflated version of my previous ones. Now, I am very very lean from eating Paleo and the more fat I lose the less boobs I have. I went online to try and find out what size I am now… and I am AA. So in other words, as I explained to my husband – “the reason why I need to buy more bras is because I have no boob to poor into the cup! So even the A’s require that your boob have some volume in order for it to fit properly into the cup of the bra.”

Well after breastfeeding there was no more volume. As my mother-in-law put it – they look like old tube socks! I went from (before prego) A to a full D while nursing and now to a AA. WILD, huh?

Me - Dec. 2009 - Nola was only 1 month old

Today! Nola is 19 Months!

I have totally come to terms w/ this fact about my new reshaped body. I am an athletically built person now…I don’t care about the boobs (especially since my ass looks amazing!) but what I care about is still feeling sexy and feminine in my underwear. I have been doing some googling on this matter and have found some great “petite bra” websites! LET THE ONLINE SHOPPING BEGIN! Lol!

Wish me luck!

Paleo Talk

I went through a little spell where I was really snacking like crazy (kitkat heaven!) and also still really laying on the cheese and dairy too. Shane and I discussed our interest in really doing Paleo the right way a few weeks ago and since have been doing really well. I went through a phase where I was really dropping weight again, I went from 130-ish to 125lb in two weeks but I wasn’t happy about it. I don’t want to lose more weight. I need fat for my body to use as fuel during my training (started reading Paleo for Athletes). I upped my protein intake more and also focused on healthier ways to refuel and since have come back up to my normal 127-128lb range.

I have been learning in my nutrition class about how the body breaks down food and all the interesting stuff about phytochemicals – which are the plant based nutrients in seasonings! It’s really interesting and as soon as my notes make more sense – less scribbly – I will share what I am learning! But until then – use lots of seasoning – it’s a good thing!

Training tidbits – my mileage is still at the 8mile LSR range and is starting to progressively get a little longer w. each weekly LSR. July will be when we really just start focusing on mileage! Until then, strength training is the focus. The bad thing about July is that it gets sooo stinkin’ HOT hear! I mean, melt your face off HOTTA! So I will definitely be maintaining my wake-up and workout at 5am routine until October sometime.

It is definitely super hard to do this group training from 5-6am and still find the time and energy for my other runs I need to get in as well as all the reading and writing this session is requiring. Life is very busy right now but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! After this session I will only have 3 classes left until I can graduate. September I will (hopefully) start substitute teaching at the DODD schools on base and I will be a few months closer to seeing what running 26.2 miles feels like!

Fueling w/ Paleo Nutrition


It’s been a little over a week since I met-up w/ Jeanne. We took last week off for me to get back to the basics of why I love to run and for her do to some visiting/entertaining w/ family who are on island visiting!

The break was a well-needed one for me! I really liked not having to kill myself last week and just getting out and running…no agenda…just RUN! It really brought me back to why I am doing all of this! I’ve slowly been coming to the realization that the idea of “living life” and the actual act of “living LIFE” are two VERY different things.

For Instance…I remember when I got pregnant and I was all upset about the weight I was about to gain and the changes my body was about to go through…yet I was shopping for maternity clothes (and even wearing them) way before I needed to. My idea was that I would be miserable w/ this new body but my actions were saying something more like, “Where’s the baby bump already!?”

Another for instance…I remember having endless conversations w/ my mother about how I would BE after the baby – I would say, “I’m just going to be one of those vagabond moms who just throws their baby on their backs and keeps on truckin’ like nothin’s changed!” In reality…I was reading sleep books, passing up brunches, shopping and exploring fun and becoming a hermit for the first 12months of my child’s life so that she could be a “good sleeper.” Don’t get me wrong – I am very blessed; she sleeps 12hrs a night and still takes a 2-3 hr nap in the middle of the day at 18 months old. BUT it’s just that I thought I would be one parent and then in the action of living that part of my life I am a very different parent.

And I see these sorts of things all over my life. I used to say, “You don’t need a big car just because you have one baby! And then when Nola was 2 months old we sold the Toyota Raum and bought the Honda Spike…and now that she is 18 months old I am coming to the realization that kids only come with as many accessories as you are willing to tote around with you. Now…I am back down to the smallest car possible, the smallest stroller I could find, and a purse/diaper bag that never leaves my car.

So what does this have to do with my blog or running…well, the other day Shane, Nola and I drove to the local Air Force Base and ran in the monthly 5K (more on that specifically later) and afterwards I ran all the way home just so I could log my miles for the day. During that run I realized that all of these years I’ve spent reading about all these mother runners and female athlete’s who seem so driven and they go to such lengths to accomplish such amazing physical feats all the while living their lives. They fit in love, parenting, school, jobs, kids sports, etc, etc. and still maintaining DRIVE for themselves and their own goals. For so long now I have felt in the shadow of all the women I read about…thinking how amazing they are for doing all these things in conjunction w/ one another – so many balls to have in the air and smoothly juggle…

…and as I was completing my 7.6 mile run along highway 58 in Okinawa Japan I was thinking in my head how nice it is to not have my husband deployed anymore, about what to cook for dinner, about the two research papers I am in the middle of writing and about how well Nola has been adjusting to daycare – I slowly came to the realization that FINALLY the IDEA of who I wanted to be when I grew up and what I wanted my life to be like and the act of LIVING my life are finally in sync and I couldn’t be happier! I no longer need to be envious of the strong and ambitious women I read about because I am one of them – I am driven, I am wife, mother, college student and I am a runner!!!!!

Just got my book and L.O.V.E. it! Reviews coming soon!

Nutrition Updates:

I started on the Paleo journey April 12th, 2011. Weighing in at 132.6. Since then I have completed Robb Wolf’s 30-day Challenge in his “Paleo Solution” book and am feeling amazing. I am now much more confident in my ability to fuel my body – I am no longer going to be keeping the nutrition log on the blog for Jeanne to review. I will instead just be posting updated recipes that we try here at the house.

I never thought I would write about my relationship w/ food anywhere for people to read but I have to say – switching to Paleo and the experience/knowledge you gain from it are definitely worthy of passing on to other people. I am now a much more lean 130lbs and am not trying to loose weight. I eat portions the same size as my husband – mainly because my activity level is higher than his. Once he gets back into running and weight training he will be eating way more than me again. I have such a better appreciation for learning about and knowing my grocery store now too. Especially with living over seas, lots of people who want “specialty items” just order them off the Internet but I have had great luck with finding things I never knew the commissary had. I just wasn’t looking before.

FUELING YOUR RUN! Check my Tested Recipes page for details!

Let’s start with Breakfast!

Poached Eggs, 1/2 orange, strawberries, blueberries and bacon! - Learned how to poach eggs from Sarah Fragoso's blog - http://www.everydaypaleo.com

Brunch: Salmon Patties, small salad w/ orange and berries

 I added feta and balsamic vinegar to the salad. Keep in mind – though I am mainly eating Paleo – I am not cutting out dairy…yet!

Now some lunch!

Chicken Fajita Salad - Paleo Solution recipe

Cheese Burger w/ Salad and salsa on top - from Robb Wolf's book - Paleo Solution

And how about Dinner!

Steak, Steak Kabobs and Roasted Asparagus - Kabob recipe from Everyday Paleo

Leftover Kabobs and veggies on top of a salad the next day!

Tilapia, Roasted Green Beans and steamed Cauliflower

Training Updates:

Last week I ran a total of 21.43 miles, completed and PR’d in a 5K (time of 27:33) and maintained a steady 10min pace in my LSR for the week! YAY!

THE 5K: Shane pushed Nola in the stroller while I ran next to them. Wow – so nice to have running buddies for races and one of them be my little girly and I’m not the one pushing her! I was amazed when I rounded the last turn for the finish and realized I was about to PR and wasn’t even trying. I was actually chit chatting at Shane while Shane’s face turned red as he was gasping for air and driving hard for the finish. I remember the days when I was practically throwing up after a 5K race and Shane was all chatty and ready to run more. WOW – have I come a long way!

 

Today: Met w/ Jeanne at the gym. RAINING but we trained outside anyhow.

Jeanne’s: recap: Today – started with sore groin.  Completed 5 rounds of 100m sprints (fooled around with arm position, which shortened your stride, smoother and more comfortable for you to go with natural stride), then groin bothered you too much.  Completed 100 burpees.

Miles ran Y-T-D = 193.49

I have been icing my groin…never thought I’d blog that one either! Lol! Already feeling a little better but tomorrow will really tell me what I did to it.

I have a 10K coming up this weekend that Shane and Nola are going to be running with me! It will be on the hilly course of Futenma MCB.

Welcome to the Real World!


Have you all seen that movie called “The Matrix”?

Okay – so you know that scene where Neo and Morpheus are discussing – The Rabbit Hole – and if Neo takes the Red pill “all will be forgotten and he will go back to life as he knew it” and if he takes the Blue pill “he will begin his journey to seeing the world as it really is.”

Bare with me here!

I really think that I am having a “this isn’t Kansas anymore” moment. I know, I know…how many movie references can I use here!  So I told you last post that I have started to read a book called the Paleo Solution and I have to say – It is certainly maddening (in a really good way).

I see myself as Neo, the author of the book Robb Wolf as Morpheus and the book is the Blue Pill! Are you with me?!

For the first time I am really starting to see the full/big picture about the circle of life. The chain of things. How what we eat really does play an enormous role in the way we feel, sleep, act, and even think. For years now I have been a proponent of being eco-friendly, eating healthy, exercise, conserve where you can, reduce when it makes sense, and by all means – for the love of God – RECYCLE! Being a steward to Mother Nature is important – we just take from her and pollute her and rarely think twice. But I never stopped to think that maybe what I thought were healthy choices in food were actually polluting the most important thing to me – my body.

I recently read a very interesting article in the NYTimes (In favor of Paleo eating – found here) and the author talks about vegetable oils and states something to the effect of – IF CARS CAN RUN OFF OF IT – IT CAN’T BE GOOD FOR US! And this is SO stinkin’ true. I mean, look at what they are doing with corn – that’s in the same category – and why do they call it vegetable oil? It’s not made from vegetables or anything even derived from vegetables. Veggies are not oily.

Anyhow – You should just read the book yourself. That last thing I will say in promoting being a skeptic is that it’s a good thing to question everything. I just assumed that I was already eating as healthy as I could (not counting my wicked sweet tooth) and never thought anything of it. Even though I take Gas-X so much I’m surprised I didn’t give birth to a green mint flavored liquid gel cap instead of Nola! I also take regular doses of any type of heartburn medicine on hand – DAILY! So why were my “healthy” food choices causes me so much internal distress…you’ll just have to read the book to find out. Lets just say that there are all sorts of links between the way we eat and numerous health conditions that doctors would sooner prescribe medications for and not tweak your diet and nutrition. If I put diesel fuel in my gasoline engine car – what happens? The fuel we give our bodies is very important to how well we function on many levels.

P.S – I cleaned out my pantry this morning and even though I am known for not really keeping much “pantry food” on hand – it is virtually empty now. Paleo here I come!

Training Updates:

Today – Whew! What a day – I did SPRINTS for 1 minute straight x 8!

Jeanne had me do a heart pumping/cardio juicing warmup to prep my legs for the sprints ahead of me. She explained – pointing down the road behind the gym – that I was going to run as hard as I could (throwing up exhaustion we’re talking here) for ONE MINUTE STRAIGHT and then I would do a recovery shuffle/walk for two minutes – then REPEAT EIGHT TIMES!

Needless to say – I was having a hard time conceptualizing myself S.P.R.I.N.T.I.N.G for one whole minute – me…running that hard…for that long…Hmmm. Okay!

The first 1 minute Sprint - not so hard!

Also, needless to say – but I will – the first one minute was not my hardest – it wasn’t even a sprint! I just couldn’t see how I was supposed to run that hard for that long so I immediately planned to portion my energy out. Next thing I knew the minute was up and I realized that even though the 8 rounds of sprinting would be tough (I didn’t know just how tough yet) I could sprint for 1 minute!

I sheepishly admit to Jeanne that the first effort was not my hardest and she of course tells me she knew that!

Round 2-5 Sprints!

OKAY  – now that my head is wrapped around this sprinting for one-minute thing I am ready to go. Jeanne blows her whistle – I take off in a GREAT sprint, I can feel that my legs are most definitely stronger then they were the last time we did sprints (well short distance sprints were in Feb – but we do sprints frequently). My whole gate is different with sprints. I get low and take way bigger strides. Pushing hard and driving down with all the force I have – making my hips flexors very sore the next day!

By the end of the FIFTH round I was hurting – mentally mostly. My lungs were burning and I was beginning to fight off side stitches. Jeanne told me we had 3 more rounds to go…I think I whimpered a little. Then she said that we would do two more and then see how the third one goes – sooooo we’re still doing 3, right?! YES we are – see she was trying to mess with my fatigued brain but I caught on to her crazy talk mix-me-up math stuff!

Just trying to survive to round 8!

When you are in the middle of running that one-minute – which seems like 5 minutes sometimes – you start to focus on your body A LOT. Mostly how your stride is getting sloppy and your mind is playing tricks on you – “you can make it, no you can’t! – Push, I don’t want to!”  But, as Jeanne tells me, I will face all of these challenges and more on my 26.2 endeavor and I need to start pushing my VO2 max and my Lactic Acid Threshold.

All-in-all today was tough day but I got some daps out of her! That has only ever happened once before so I must have been doing something right today! I hung in there and did all eight rounds and ended with a pretty tight side stitch but I didn’t buckle over – I walked it off and breathed through it. I had to put my hands on my head and try different types of controlled breathing before it started to subside.

Nutrition Updates:

Tried to use Paleo influences on my cooking tonight. I got a lean cut of pork tenderloin (pre-seasoned) from the commissary. Used my super badass Pampered Chef Dutch oven to cook it in. I added a little bit of water and about a half a can of Veggie Stock. Cooked for about 15 min. on 450. Then I added cut carrots, diced & peeled acorn squash!

This was the first acorn squash I have ever bought – squash looks to me like weird planets in a long lost solar system somewhere and I have no idea what to do with them normally – so I never buy them b/c I don’t even know where to begin with them. I chopped ¼ of an onion and some fresh parsley – added it all and put it back in the over for another 30 minutes.

The pork was so juicy and tender! The picture does no justice to the meal!

OMGosh – this was so super yummy! And for my something sweet I had a handful of red grapes! YUM! These were so sweet and full of water that I hardly ate any before I felt satisfied and never felt munchies again the rest of the evening.

 

Miles ran this week = 5 (as of Wednesday)

 

Speed’s Back & Creamy Cauliflower Mac


March’s RW issue wasn’t overflowing with recipes or inspirations for me but I did get some good take-aways…

Latest tested RW recipe:

From RW March 2011 Issue

Creamy Cauliflower Mac From Mark Bittman

Taken directly from the RW website…Instead of using high-fat butter and cream, Bittman makes his healthier mac and cheese with pureed cauliflower, chicken stock, and a moderate amount of cheese.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental, or a combination)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs

How to:

Heat oven to 400° F. Boil a pot of salted water. 

In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes. Put cauliflower in a food processor.

Cook pasta in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse to cool; put pasta in a greased, nine-inch square baking dish.

Process cauliflower with stock (discard bay leaves), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, working in batches.

Pour sauce over pasta, toss, and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes. Serves four.

CALORIES PER SERVING: 420 
CARBS: 57 G 
PROTEIN: 20 G 
FAT: 15 G

My MESS: SOOOO….I didn’t particularly like this recipe but I didn’t hate it either – I think that if I had all of the ingredients that this called for mine would have come out better. I used vegetable stock. I couldn’t find whole-wheat elbow mac so I had to use another type and style of whole-wheat pasta. I didn’t use fresh Parmesan and THAT was a mistake. I used spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon. I also couldn’t find whole-grain breadcrumbs either. Oh yeah – and I added a can of albacore tuna to this!!! So basically I made this recipe into my own recipe and it came out just so-so. The baby won’t eat it but I will b/c I know it’s healthy and well… I have a huge casserole full of it! But I will say (for sure) that this could have been delicious had I gotten all the ingredients correct. All that being said – I would recommend it if your needing a one dish meal.

Training Updates:

I’m back into SPEED baby! Man, speed work is so tough – mentally and physically. I really had to stay mentally focused to push through these rounds of speed intervals on Tuesday.

Here is my recap Jeanne sent to me!

Tuesday: warm-up 500m row, 30 situps, 200m row

Workout: -sprint 400m (1:19), 800m (1:26/1:46), 800m (1:34/1:52), 400m (1:32) – ok – what does this tell me…  you went out hard on your 1st 400 (just like I said) – you ran each set individually, as hard as you could.  Your times slowed, as we expected, because it was an all out effort each time – 800s were a new distance and I mixed up the 400/800 to tire you out.  Concentrated on turning corners (over exaggerated movement for today).

Your 1st 400m is consistent with your other 400m times – that is good!!!!  Your body remembered your 400m pace!  800ms were a new sprint distance, so it was tougher for you to gauge the pace – that will get better as we work at that distance.

It’s so funny how your own mind can sometimes be out of your control! I do like speed work – I sometimes dread it b/c I know its hard – but it is honestly some of the most rewarding work we do (mentally). If you really look at those times and add them up – plus the 2min rest in between – I sprinted for a little over 8 min and rested for 6 min = total workout time of roughly 15 minutes (rounding up). Crazy HUH! The rest of the time was spent warming up and cooling down – and of course you all know I can’t NOT talk – so the filler time is all of my gabbing and gibberish to Jeanne! Anyhow – my point is – it doesn’t take a long time to get in a good and effective workout or calorie burn.

Other nonsensical things:

I’ve decided I definitely need to find new places to run. I have a list of potentials but just haven’t tried them out. Running the same route gets old – I like that I can gauge myself by landmarks and such but I need a change of pace. PLUS now that my LSR days are getting beyond the 5 mile mark (HELL YES!) I will need to find longer routes anyhow. I hate to run out and backs and I also hate to run loops!

On the list: Kadena trail, Futenma Habu trail, and parks out in town.

Upcoming Races: Earth Day 5K! This is something I celebrate every year with a RUN! I love Earth Day – and getting to have a shirt that says so! Last years ED 5K on Kadena AFB was great – they handed out reusable grocery bags and cool hemp t-shirts. My neighbor Liz ran with me – she kept saying she didn’t like to run (we used to walk every morning together) but I talked her into running the 5K with me and she was elbow to elbow w/ me throughout the whole run, we talked through half of it and she did GREAT! But she still doesn’t run – she’s a natural though!

The Goodies we got for running!

Liz and I at the 2010 Earth Day 5K

The Rowing Machine


Happy Women's History Month!

Today I got a taste of what it must feel like to be on a Dragon Boat race team! Jeanne had me on the rowing machine today. I have never used one of these before and at first I struggled with the movement and keeping momentum but as soon as I stopped thinking about it – the rhythm came.

Today’s workout was great! I was worn out, dog tired afterwards (I curled up fetal position on the coach and attempted a nap while Nola was down) but left feeling good about what I had accomplished.

Jeanne had me do intervals of rowing and running. I would row for 500 meters and then immediately take off for a 400-meter sprint. I was able to finish very strong, which I like! I pushed really hard after turning the last corner and drove my arms and legs hard for the last 100 meters.

and apparently white business men give each other DAPS as well! ;o)

Jeanne is totally gangster and I didn’t even know it! She gave me DAPS for the first time ever so I must have really impressed her! I really enjoy this one-on-one “team” for my training. I got to skype with Shane this afternoon and was telling him how awesome it is to have someone be able to give you immediate feedback about your stride, pace, strength, etc. I feel like b/c of this training I have become such a better runner. Jeanne also let me know that she thinks my running has improved as well! I can feel it – I am trying to incorporate all of things I am learning into each run I do. Being on my toes more, letting my arms relax more, feeling the pace I am aiming for, etc.

I’ve been having some kneecap pains and the front of my feet and toes were hurting a little too – the culprit – worn out shoes! I bought these Asics in November of 2010 and I am sure they were ready to be replaced. Considering, I have more running to do this week and my FIRST EVER 10K next weekend (so excited, still need to find a sitter or someone to tag along with me) so I don’t have time to wait around for Amazon to ship me a pair – I took off for the Risner Pro Shop when Nola woke up from her nap but they were closed. So I had to head to the BX on the local Air Force Base to see if they carried the shoes I wear. Thank goodness they had one pair of the Asics GT 2100 series that I like. They are the newer models so that is definitely an upgrade for me. Usually I’m a penny pincher and always go with the older models for cheaper prices.

Here are the shoes I got today! At least Asics is improving their color schemes!

Among many lessons being learned in this process ONE of the things I am really enjoying is the true value of the right equipment (can someone say Gear Junkie!?). My Garmin is priceless, Under Armor and any other type of “technical wear” – priceless, my CamelBak – priceless. All of these things totally enable me to focus on just running and not being worried about carrying my water bottle and it getting warm from holding it or running out of water because I didn’t want to run with a huge bottle. The technical gear is great because there is no chaffing and when I am drenched in sweat I don’t feel like my skin is suffocating. The Garmin is priceless in so many ways – knowing my pace and distance – those speak for themselves. So…of course…while at the BX I somehow (must have been Nola’s fault) ended up in the sports clothing section…hmmm. So I got myself a new running outfit that is in honor of my first 10K! I can’t wait to wear this on race day!

Oh – if anyone reading this is like – What 10K? It’s the Courtney Athletics “Lord of the Tengan” 5K/10K annual race. You can pickup registration forms at any MCCS gym. It’s $15 and there are t-shirts and BIBS! They do track you on this race. I even found some old stats from the 2007 race online.

A picture from their website

Speaking of new pairs of running shoes – that obviously means I am going to have OLD pairs of shoes. So…w/ Earth Day just around the corner I was seeking out an organization to donate my old shoes to. I googled “donate running shoes” and came up with lots of options listed on the RW website but most of them send the shoes to other countries and not that I don’t like helping people in faraway lands – I would really prefer to help out a fellow American. So there was only ONE organization that donates the shoes they receive to local impoverished families, started by a guy named Jack Thornton, Jr. Warren Striders Track Club is an organization out of Ohio. This organization not only promotes physical activity but they also have programs that promote academic achievements as well. There are no age limitations for this group – you can be young or old, male or female, and any ethnicity and they will welcome you into their group, put shoes on your feet and get you running! SO if anyone reading this posting thinks they might have some old running shoes that could be passed on please send them to:

Jack Thornton, Jr.

Head Coach/Program Coordinator

P.O. Box 3440

Warren, OH 44485

Please keep in mind – I only used RW as a resource for finding this information. There might be many other organizations out there that only give the shoes donated to local US people in need – this is the only one I found listed on RW. The link to the page is here and it was published in 2006.

I complained today (no surprise to those of you who know me well) – no, really I actually think I was whining in an articulated way – the only way I could find…by trying to seem like I wasn’t really whining. I told Jeanne that I have been mentally anguishing over starting back into Speed work. I told her I had been reading about how some people just don’t recover well from distance running (endurance type stuff) and others find it hard to recover from speed work…and I went on to explain that I MUST be one of those people. Right?! I mean it makes sense – sprinting makes my body hurt in ways it has never hurt before…and my memory of this says, “don’t do that to me again!” So I thought, “maybe if I actually said it out loud to her it would somehow save me”… but alas Jeanne, as always, so poised and professional – gave me permission to complain! She reassured me that NO ONE likes to do speed work. Oddly enough, this made me feel a whole lot better – a little sheepish for whining but still – better. I know that after I am done with speed work I feel so amazing. I am proud of myself and I am always impressed with how my body responds to the demands I put on it… but I am always fearful of the days I know we will do speed work again!? WHY? I don’t get it – but it makes me feel much better to know that I am not alone!

Miles ran this week = 8.20

to date = 80.56

Speed Thrills and Lactic Acid Kills


WEEK 4 for my training!

The past 3 weeks have been somewhat of a roller coaster… I pushed through my extremely painful DOMS, didn’t always having someone to watch Nola during training meet-ups, experienced lots of gassiness from the influx of carbs to my GI system, stress over this deployment, a sick baby and college being back in session!

But Week 4 here we go!

Yesterday I met with Jeanne, all I knew before hand was that we would be doing sprints and it was going to be tough. I woke up early out of sheer nervousness, had a nervous stomach all through breakfast and thought about all the runs we had done so far wondering which one we would be doing today… would it be the dreaded door tap and return. I also wondered “when are we going to do those short sprints I remember seeing on the calendar?!

To my surprise…On the menu for today? 10x100m Sprints!!! I never thought I would be so excited to see 100m written on a piece of paper but sprints never sounded so good!

Before we got started Jeanne lets me know that today’s workout should push me to the outer limits of my Lactic Acid Threshold and there might be some puking involved! (I’m ok w. that – I thought) We also discussed my upcoming mileage and what to aim for this week – it was at this point that I truly realized that I am so OK with taking it slow w/ my mileage gains.

Had I done this on my own I would have probably hurt myself by now. Before I thought that I needed to add distance at a faster pace than this and I would have tried to run in the higher mileage realm of the RW training plan. Going at the pace Jeanne has set for me has been great; I feel good but always challenged in the distances I am running. The main difference between the runner I was and the runner I am becoming is that I am now able to connect mind and body more and really listen to what my body is telling me. I am working my body in so many different ways I need this low mileage right now. I am NOW able to feel it and understand it. In the past I would have blindly pushed myself w/ the idea that the number of miles were more important then the quality of the running while getting to those miles. I had it so backwards.

We head outside for our workout and I confess to Jeanne that I actually fear these workout sessions – and mainly it’s because I have never had a trainer push me so hard! I went on to explain just how glad I am that I feel this way b/c typically I am so driven I already know I can handle the workouts – but Jeanne pushes me outside my comfort zones and outside of my previous experience.

She preps me for where to start and where to end on the road – pushing clear through the finish HARD! Ok – here we go… Jeanne heads up to the finish area while I… I feel like I’m back in high school on the track team… but wait, I can’t remember how my stance was in the starting line… how should I be, which leg leads, what do I do w/ my hands…oh crap she’s counting down – Shit, did she say go? Ahhhhhhhh… Push, push, push…I’m pumping my legs as fast I can and my arms are pumping too. “DIG IN” Jeanne yells…and I do and I can feel it. Whew…. 17 seconds! Okay – RECOVER – walk back easy… but my body doesn’t want to slow down. My mind is reeling – Wow, that was fun… wait, did I just say running a 100-meter sprint was FUN? (Don’t tell Jeanne!)

By the 3rd one I was still feeling eager but seriously thinking about how many were still left to do… 7 more of these after this one… 5, 4, 3, 2, GO! So I take off, wait, this isn’t right…I can feel it – my body is moving slower than the other two times and I echo this thought out load to Jeanne as I cross the finish. I was right, 21 seconds this time. Jeanne coaches me, “This should be your slowest time, don’t go any slower than that one.”

And I didn’t – Even though I could feel my legs fatiguing I wasn’t going to let myself down. I was right where I needed to be mentally, I was still having fun and eager to see how this would end. Sprint after Sprint I was thinking to myself while I pushed hard, “streamline your body, your fast, be fast, push, push, push” and before I knew it I was grunting and wincing all the way to the end pushing hard each time.

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Warm-up:  75 counts of ab work, 10 plank push-ups, 400m slow jog

WORKOUT:  10x100m

1 – 17s

2- 17s

3 – 21s

4 – 18s

5 – 18.5s

6 – 19s

7 – 19s

8 – 19s

9 – 18s

10 – 19s

Cool down – jog 400m, stretching

I knew at the time I would be sore…but what I wasn’t prepared for was just how tired I was going to feel the rest of the day! I crawled into bed last night at 8:15pm, read a little bit and called it a night at 8:45pm. I never thought going to bed so early would be so appealing.

THE NEXT DAY!

Because of my early bedtime I woke up bright and early at 4:45am (well Nola woke me up – she was cold so I had to go in and cover her up but I couldn’t get back to sleep). How did I feel this morning???? VERY SORE! Earlier in this post did I say that I was happy to be past the pain…hmm… I guess I am back in the pain.

No time for moaning and complaining though I still had to clock 4 miles today so since I knew I would have to use my time at the COOP for the massage (YAY for sports therapy massage) I decided to make today’s run a treadmill run. (The treadmill is easier on my legs too) This run was tough though – the soreness was always present. I stopped at the 2-mile mark and walked for .05 and then back to running. My iPod wasn’t keeping my distracted like usual (listening to Dean Karnazes: 50/50 book) and all I could think about was wanting to walk…I battled that feeling my entire run. Very tough run today.

Now, back from my massage (it felt great – she incorporated some stretching w/ the massage) but battling a headache. I am chugging water down today b/c I know my body needs it. Tomorrow is Cross Training w. Jeanne and I just know I’m gonna be back to limping around the house after! No pain – no gain!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Here are some of the Women’s records for 100 meter sprints! Clearly I have work to do!