Monday, April 22, 2013

Mish-Mash Monday

Last night I was asleep by 11.  This morning I woke up before my alarm.  It was still dark and I wondered what time it was.  I didn't have a watch on and went to find my glasses.  Once I found them, put them on and found a clock, I saw that it was 2:45 a.m.  I thought that it was around 6 or so!

Good idea, Zooey. Good idea.

I knew I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep in bed between Kevin's loud breathing and my cat's bed-hogging, I decided to just go lay on the couch.  I turned the T.V. on I Love Lucy and fell asleep until I heard the Golden Girls on around 7.

I had off today, so I laid around most of the morning, drank some coffee, crocheted, and made a list of some things I needed at the grocery store.  I finally headed out at about noon.

A couple of hours later, I went for a walk with Melissa and her posse (aka her 3 children).  It was so nice out!  It was a bit windy by the lake, which is where she lives, but the way back was better since the wind was behind us.  We ended up walking almost 3 miles.

The bottom of my foot was still sore this morning, but I popped a couple of ibuprofen and iced it for about half an hour before I went walking. It wasn't sore during or after either.  Now though, it is a bit sore to walk on.  I wish I knew what the deal was, but I just have to hope that with ice and rest it will get better.  Too bad it won't get too much rest since I literally run around for 8 hours at work.  I will have to assess it after my run tomorrow.  I may have to take some time off from running.

Happy Monday!

Yeah, I'm Famous

I've mentioned that I read books by Joanne Fluke.  They are murder mysteries and the main character owns a cookie shop.  The books are filled with recipes.  They aren't just cookie recipes, but also main meals, breads, cakes, etc.  I've made several different ones and they have all been excellent.

If readers make a recipe, they can submit a photo of it along with where or why they made that certain recipe and they will put the picture up on their website.

I had submitted my Butterscotch Bonanza Bars recipe.  I just got an email from the webmaster that my picture is up!  I was so excited!  Maybe, too excited.  I'm a dork that way.

The pictures of the recipes are here.  The picture I submitted was this one.

So if you want my autograph, I will totally understand!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Easy Breezy

Today was my long run.  I'm on week 8 of Hal's Intermediate Half Plan, so my long run today was for 10 miles.  Yeah, I call him Hal.  We're cool like that.

The weather was pretty nice.  Not too windy and not too cold.  And the sun was out off and on.

Becky and I ran a reverse route than what we have done before.  This resulted in having to run up some pretty big hills.

Oh, Ryan
The first hill was right away.  I asked Becky if we could walk.  If Gosling were waiting for me at the top, I probably would have kept going.  Almost to the top we hear someone say, "Why are you guys walking?"  We turn and see Becky's boyfriend driving by.  Too bad we didn't keep running.  We would have looked pretty hard core.

The second hill we had to climb was right by the lake.  Halfway up I asked if we could walk again.  We were still in the first 3 miles and I was being lazy.

10 miles done!

The rest of the run went well. Neither of us were really in a hurry and were able to keep a comfortable pace.  We walked a couple of times to take some shot blocks/GUs.

We didn't start listening to music until about 3 miles left.  We put in our headphones and ran home.  We really sped up at the end and it felt good.

After I got home and took my shoes off, I noticed a really strong pain on the bottom of my foot.  It's on the heel, but right before the arch, so towards the middle.  I remembered that I had noticed it this morning, but didn't think anything about it.  Now, I can barely walk!  I have to hobble around in my slippers.  I have no idea what happened especially since I haven't ran since Thursday.  I'm going to try some ice and hope for the best.

Happy Running!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Waking Up to Sunshine

It's been a long and emotional week for many following the Boston Marathon bombing and the explosions in Texas.

I, like many, was glued to the T.V. yesterday as soon as I got home from work.  The wave of relief and sadness that washed over me when they finally had the second bomber in custody was overwhelming.  Hopefully justice will prevail and this will help bring closure to the many victims.  

It's been hard to think about anything else and blogging seemed pointless.    What could I say that hadn't already been said more eloquently by someone else?

The past week has been dreary, cold, windy, rainy, AND snowy.  This morning I woke up to beautiful sunshine and birds chirping.  It puts me in a better mood and makes me a bit more optimistic and happy.

Here's a couple of adorable pictures that always make me smile.

Source couldn't be found anymore, but I saw it on Pinterest (where else?)


May your weekend be filled with smiles and sunshine!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Race Shirt

I met Becky for our run today.  I wore a race shirt in honor of the Marathon victims.

The weather was a bit chilly by the time we left.  We took a hillier route than normal which was a bit rough after Sunday's long run.  The run felt good overall though.  It was therapeutic to get out and pound the pavement.  I've said it before and I'll say it again; running is very cleansing for me.

I wore my calf sleeves for the first time that Laura got me from Pro Compression for my birthday.  I like these a lot more than the full socks.  If I get another pair, I will definitely just get the sleeves again.

I was off Monday and got some cleaning done.  I finally have cleaned off my dresser.   It's the place I throw everything and just let it pile up.  I had to take a picture to prove that it was clean at one time.

Did you run today?

Monday, April 15, 2013


The Boston Marathon was rocked by explosions leaving many victims.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Running in the Wind

I had to work at the crack of dawn today.  I'm glad I don't have to do that too often.  Getting up at 4 in the morning is a little rough!

I tried to go to bed at a reasonable time.  I didn't want to be too exhausted for my long run today.  I was probably asleep before 11, so I felt pretty good today.

I met Becky at 3:15.  We had 9 miles on the schedule for today.  It was pretty windy out, but sunny and NOT raining for once even though it snowed this morning.

Weather according to my Garmin.

As we headed out, I could tell the wind was at our backs, pushing us on.  I was dreading the run home, because we would be running into it if we went back the same way.  Thankfully, Becky is smart about that kind of stuff and had a route planned out.

The worst part was when we were headed east towards the Lake.  The wind was icy cold and took our breath away!  I had to put my hood up on my sweatshirt to keep warm.

The rest of the run wasn't bad.  We walked twice.  The first time was at the halfway mark for a potty break.  Somehow I forgot to pause my watch, or I double hit the stop button, because when I thought I hit start and was running, it was stopped.  I noticed when Becky's watch beeped and I glanced down at my watch.  I was only off by about .15, so I decided to just run the extra minute.  I knew it would be all down hill anyway.

The second time we walked was about a mile and a half before the end.  Becky was getting some soreness and so was I.  Walking a minute or so really helped.  It also helped to know we were so close to finishing.

The last half mile we really pushed ahead.  After the last hill climb it is all down hill and so fun to run down!

I was starving by the time we were done.  I had three Clif Shot Blocks on the run, but my stomach started growling around mile 6.  I scarfed down a Greek yogurt as soon as I got in and drank some water.  Then I stretched right away.  I was so tempted to just hop in the shower, but I never stretch enough when I do that.

I was surprised how good I felt and still feel afterwards.  I haven't run that far since December and was a little nervous about it.  Next week is ten miles!  Only a few more weeks until my half! Can't wait for number 5!

Oh, and a side note, you will be relieved to know I am finally washing my Nike sweatshirt that I wear on practically every run.  I figured it's time.  It's probably been a couple of weeks...or emphasis on the "or so".

Happy Running!

Is anyone watching the Boston Marathon tomorrow?  I am going to try and remember to!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

6 Weeks to a 6 Pack

How many times have you seen a workout plan on Pinterest that promised great results and pinned it and then...never used it?  Yeah, me too.  A week ago, I saw a promise that if I did a few simple ab exercises everyday and some cardio that I would be rocking a six pack.

I knew I wouldn't have a six pack, but less of a one pack would be nice.  I've been wanting to do some kind of core/strength workout, so now was a good opportunity.

I started on Monday and have done the workouts all week.  The first couple days I was a bit sore, but the workouts are short and quick, so the pain isn't too bad.

Here's the workout. Have you seen this on there yet?

Just out of curiosity, I decided to measure my mid section to see if there was any difference.  I have actually gone down a half inch in my waist, stomach and hips, so a 1.5 inch loss!  Pretty cool!  Hopefully I can keep this momentum going!

Do you strength train or cross train?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Flooding

It's been raining almost all week.  Today we finally got a bit of a break.  It's been misting on and off.  The river by my house is starting to creep into the back yards of the houses around it.  All we need is a day or two of no precipitation!

The picture on the left is from two weeks ago and the picture on the right is from today.

The picture below on the left is from today and the right is from two days ago!

I tried getting the same angle so you could see the difference.  I walked down the path a bit to check out the other houses along the river.  

I just hope the water recedes quickly!

On another note, I had a four mile run to get in.  It was a bit chilly from the wind and the on and off again misting.  I decided to wear my leg warmers to add a little extra warmth.

I made them for the Halloween Hustle where I dressed up as a 80's/90's girl.  I still use them pretty frequently when I run.  They really keep me warm!  I keep forgetting to make another pair.

The first two miles seemed to take forever!  My shins and calves were feeling pretty tight as well.  The last two miles were better, but we ended up a bit far from home so we ran .3 more to get closer.  

Our splits were pretty consistent as well.  We have been running at almost the same pace every time.  We always seem to average about a 11:30 and that feels pretty comfortable.  


I hope the weather clears up a bit for my long run on Sunday!

Happy Running!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Speed Work Success!

I've mentioned that I've been following Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon program.  I have actually been doing really well following the plan.  The last couple of times I tried using this one, I reverted back to the Novice plan, because I really struggled with doing the speed work and the tempo runs.

I'm in week 7 and have done my 3rd speed workout (I missed week one).  The speed workout consists of running .25 miles so many times and walking/jogging comfortably for recovery between.  I always choose to walk, mostly because I'm lazy.  This week I had to sprint 8 times.  The workout says a 5k pace.  I really don't know how to determine that, so I use my goal pace which would be a 6.2.  It was hard, but I didn't feel like I was going to die like last time.  I can only conclude that I am getting faster!

It's blurry, because I was walking and trying to take a picture.
While writing down my workout, I noticed something else rather amazing. I am actually sticking to my workout plan that I laid out for myself at the beginning of the week.  There's a little spot to plan the workouts in my fitness journal and then you say whether or not you did it.  I have been able to say yes to all of it so far!

Now, hopefully I don't screw it up!

How is your week going?

Butterscotch Bars Recipe

My favorite books to read are quick mysteries, with a female leading character who solves cases on the side. Once I find a new series to read, I fly through them quickly until I'm done and then move on the the next.

Recently, I found books by Joanne Fluke.  The main character owns a cookie shop, is about my age, single, owns a cat, need I go on?  I think it's pretty obvious why I like her.   Another bonus, is that every book has about a dozen or more recipes.  They aren't just cookie recipes, but any recipe that someone in the book makes.  I've tried a couple of them out.

In the book, Devil's Food Cake Murder, there's a recipe called Butterscotch Bonanza Bars.  They sounded really good, because I love butterscotch, and the ingredients were really basic.  I actually had everything I needed.  So, I decided to try it out and oh my! They are so delicious!  They are crisp on the outside and chewy, gooey on the inside.  I made them plain, but as you can imagine, you can add all kinds of things to them.  Some of the suggestions are walnuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, fudge frosting, whatever else you can imagine.

When you go to the website, there's a place where you can submit pictures of the recipes you made.  I submitted mine to see if they would put up my delicious creation.  Mine isn't up yet, but hopefully I will see it soon.
Here's the recipe for the bars.  I must warn you that there is nothing healthy about this recipe, but they actually aren't too bad.  The nutrition info is included at the end.

Butterscotch Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups packed, light brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
1 1/2 c. flour

The first time I made these I shaved chocolate on top.  I prefer them plain.

*It's easiest to work this when the butter is still warm.  Have everything ready to go so it will go quickly and the butter won't cool too much.
**I used an electric mixer to combine the ingredients.  It made it much easier.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the butter, either on the stove top or in the microwave.  Put in a medium sized bowl.  Add the 2 cups of brown sugar and mix until completely combined.  Add the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.  Stir until completely blended.  Add the eggs.  You'll see that I used Ener-G egg replacer.  If you do this, combine the "egg" mix and water first.  Let sit while you mix the other ingredients up.  Just give it a quick stir again before adding it in.  Stir until combined.  Now, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until each half cup is completely combined.  Pour into the 9x13 pan and smooth out evenly.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.  The first time I made these I had to make them for 25 minutes, the second time for 30, but the instructions in the book say 25-30.  Also, when they come out they should have a golden color on top, but you will notice that it will seem very liquidy.  It will harden as it cools.  The recipe says it serves 40, but my nutrition info is for 32, because that's how many servings I got out of it.

They only have 100 cals a piece which isn't too bad.  They are really, really sweet, so you really don't want more than one or two at a time anyway.  

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thunderstorm Tuesday

Rain is in the forecast this whole week.  April showers will bring a whole lot of mud May flowers.

The worse the weather, the more determined I am to run outside.  Maybe it's all the people telling me not to go.  I was bound and determined to get my 4.5 miles in today.  All I needed was Becky's cooperation.  

It was thundering and lightening all day.  Becky was on the fence if she wanted to go outside because of visibility issues with her glasses.  I was being selfish and did my best to convince her.  She agreed and planned out a good route for us so we weren't being pelted with rain and wind the whole time.  

On my way to meet Becky, I started cracking up when I saw a news van that read, "Severe Storm Team" on the side parked by the river.  I knew they were there because of our flood watch, but I didn't think that was a good sign.  

The river is pretty high,

but it's been worse. 

Back in 2008 when the Root River flooded.

The run passed pretty quickly which I was a bit surprised about.  I was prepared to be miserable the whole time.  The worst thing about it was my freezing toes.  When I'm not running my feet are always hot, when I'm running, my feet are always cold.  I don't get it.

We finished our run where we split to go home.  We didn't mince any words today and made a quick departure.  I started to cool down and was really starting to get cold.  

When I got home, I was completely drenched!

Haha. You can see Kevin taking my picture.

I really didn't stretch afterwards like I should have.  I hopped right in the shower, made some tea, started my split pea soup (which is a whole ordeal in itself), and went to log in all my run data in the 4 different places I put it.

I'm still cooking my split pea soup.  I soaked the beans overnight like I'm supposed to and I cooked it for two hours.  When I went to taste it, the peas were still crunchy!  What the heck?  I'm going to be up all night trying to finish this.   At least it tasted pretty good - minus the crunchy peas.

Would you run in the rain?  Or treadmill all the way?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cleaning Out My Closet

I've been trying to lose weight for a while <-- understatement of my life.  I have lost close to 50 lbs from my heaviest ( I wrote about that here. ) Not seeing the scale go down very much, then up, then down, etc. can get a bit frustrating.  What's a girl to do?

Maintaining around here.
I've been using my food diary and at the beginning of each month I'm supposed to take measurements of my hips, waist, legs, etc.  The last time I did that was January 13, 2013.  I skipped February, because I wasn't really feeling like I had lost anything.  I kept gaining/losing the same 5 lbs. and I didn't want to have another blow to my psyche.

At the beginning of April, I decided to take my measurements again - sort of a fresh start.  I was so surprised to see that I have actually lost 7.5" total since January!  The scale may not be budging (through my own fault), but at least I'm still making progress through exercise.

I thought that maybe it would be time to try on my old, old jeans that haven't fit in years.  This led to a whole cleaning out my closet event that kept me up until almost 2am Saturday night/Sunday morning.  It was worth it though!  I now have 5 pairs of jeans I can wear, instead of the same one or two.  

I found these jeans that have not fit me in NINE YEARS!!! I bought them right after Kev and I started dating and quickly out-grew them with my rapid weight gain.  Super awesome moment for me!! 
Trying to sort through my stuff.

Eggroll helping me.

I bought two of these about 4 years ago and saved the other one for when we ran out.  I think it's time to open it.

Found this in one of my purses.  I bought it for my first 5k four  yrs ago.  Doesn't it look pretty?  It's in the trash now.

Pretty and organized!
So, don't give up if you aren't seeing results right away.  If you keep with it only good things will come!

Easy Barley and Mushroom Soup

I sort of forgot that I bought a ton of veggies before Easter.  I kept meaning to cut them up and either cook them into something or use them.  Over a week later, there they sat in my fridge giving me the stink eye.

I made a stir fry with a lemon lime soy sauce.  It was kind of bland and that's when I realized I forgot to put a sweetener in it (old age rearing it's ugly head).

I also came up with a super easy, super delicious soup recipe.  I have barley.  I have never used it.  I really wanted to.  So, my Barley and Mushroom Soup was born.

Easy Barley and Mushroom Soup
2 Tbsp. EVOO
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1c. barley (I used quick cooking.  I really don't know if it matters)
3c. water
5c. vegetable broth
2 green peppers, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped

Heat a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the oil and let heat up, maybe 2-3 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic.  Let these cook out for about 2-3 minutes.  You don't want them brown.  Add the barley and 3c. water.  Raise heat to high.  While that is heating up, prepare the vegetables.  Add the peppers, carrots, and vegetable broth.  Cook on high so it is boiling for 20 minutes.  Add the mushrooms.  Lower soup to a simmer, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes or until your barley is finished.


I REALLY like this soup.  I immediately gobbled a bowl down.

I wanted to make a split pea soup, but I didn't realized I had to soak the peas like any other dry bean.  I guess I've never cooked with them before.  I will do that tonight and hopefully tomorrow I will have a delicious split pea recipe to brag about!

How's your Monday going?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Runner-necking and Mexican Quinoa and Lentils Recipe

Today was my long run day.  I only had to do a 10k since it was a step down week.  I was pretty pumped about going, except I procrastinated getting ready all morning.  Thankfully Becky did the same and we finally met at almost noon.

By then I had started to develop a bit of a foul mood.  There's no real reason why.  I just felt like it, I guess.  I hoped that running would cheer me up.

I had dressed way too warm.  I realized it as soon as I walked out the door.  There was no time to change, so for the first time, I hoped there was a cool head wind.

The first couple of miles my calves were sore, and we were getting all of the green lights.  I enjoy the red lights so I can stop a minute and stretch.
We changed our route a bit when we noticed a ton of police cars down the road a bit.  We usually go straight and follow the bike path, but we decided to check out the scene.  It was a car accident and they had almost the whole road shut down.

Becky asked, "What's that word for people who slow down while driving by accidents?  Rubber-necking?"  I said, "Yes, but we are runner-necking!"  We decided that it is definitely going to have to be established as a new word.

At 3 miles, we turned to head back and put in our earphones.  I was feeling looser and more in the groove.  We really sped up the last couple of miles.  I think we both really wanted to be done.

I felt really good at the end.  The day was beautiful!

I had big plans to cook a bunch of veggies I have afterwards.  That didn't happen.  I did make some lentils and quinoa.  It's almost just like the Mexican Lentils and Rice recipe I love.  At the last minute, I decided to try it with quinoa to add a bit more protein.

Mexican Quinoa and Lentils

1 1/2 c. lentils
3/4c. quinoa
2 vegetable bouillon or 2 cups vegetable broth
3c. water (unless you use veggie broth, than just add 1 more cup)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder

Throw everything in a rice cooker and cook until finished.  I ate mine on a corn tortilla with some hot sauce.

Happy Sunday!