Thursday, September 27, 2012

Who AM I?!?!?

So this morning I was doing a 4-miler and decided to go longer with more hills and more running because I felt like it. Who am I? I really think the cooler weather has something to do with it, because it has been pretty gorgeous here lately, but I can't believe that I didn't want to stop when the prescribed distance was reached! Now if only I can say the same about my long days on the weekend. But I calculated today, and I only have 47 training miles left, and of those, only three long walks (runs) before race day. As Emily would say, EEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

I was lacing up my shoes on Monday morning and Dwight asked me if I was just going to be in the 'hood, and I said yes since it was just four miles. He said, "Did you ever think you'd say just four miles?" So true. Several months ago, if I would have thought that I'd be looking forward to "only" eight miles this weekend, I might have had my meds adjusted. I was talking about it with Alex, and he said it's all relative. A few weeks after he ran a full marathon, a friend asked if he wanted to go on a 15-mile run, and he didn't even think twice about saying yes. And speaking of talking with my son, The Orthopaedic Surgery Resident, I now know that I can take ibuprofen before hitting the streets, as well as after - as long as I drink tons of water.

With the change of seasons comes the change of wardrobe. It was easy this summer, since I lived in shorts and skirts. I tried on all my pants from last season and none of them fit. I know, it's a nice - albeit expensive -  problem to have. I went to buy a pair of running tights in case the weather on race day warrants them, and the salesgirl at Lululemon had me try on (and ultimately buy) a size whose number I have never seen on an item of clothing that belonged to me. Seriously. I know they're really stretchy, but I haven't worn a single-digit size since - oh, forever. And I have to say, they look pretty good!

This is not to say that it's been easy. I know that being busy with the wedding and this half-marathon training helped, and I fell off the wagon (hell, I fell off and lost sight of the entire wagon train) the other weekend, but the new me just caught up and climbed right back on. I guess that's how the rest of my life will be: being wary and watchful that the fat girl inside of me is trying to get out.

On to the food. While perusing the soup aisle (actually, waiting for a lady to move her cart so I could get to the chicken broth), I found a few new varieties that looked pretty good:

It looks like Campbell's is branching out from its "cream of" category

Another fun find:
Thanks, Whole Foods. This was delicious.
And now for a splurge. I had a $10 coupon at Sur la Table, so this was only half-price:

There's something about this flavor....

I know the GoLean Crunch isn't as healthy as the plain GoLean, but it tastes better!
Mix these two together and stay full all morning
Lunches (still my least favorite meal):
Rotisserie chicken, milk, and edamame caviar from the Whole Foods deli case
Chicken puttanesca pizza and salad. When you need a meal on the table STAT!
Mixed greens with edamame caviar and chicken
And a few dinner, both of which are long-time family favorites from Cooking Light:

Shrimp and crab gumbo
Browned butter gnocchi with spinach and pine nuts. And some more rotisserie chicken
Tonight we're having corned beef for dinner. I know, random, right? I was going through the freezer and I guess I bought an extra one in March when they were on sale. Oh well, it goes with the cooler weather. And for tomorrow, well, I do love me some reubens!


Friday, September 7, 2012

11 miles. Done and done.

I DID IT!!! I can write it in all caps now! I'm not gonna lie and say it was easy, because from about mile 9-10.5 I may have whimpered, but I did it! And that half-marathon doesn't seem so out of reach. It was in the mid 60's, overcast, with a strong north wind when I got to Lake Zorinsky, but I figured better that than the oppressive heat and humidity we've been having. And of course, rather than clearing, it started raining a little less than halfway through my walk. It never poured, just a gentle rain, for about an hour. When the trail ran through the woods, I hardly even got wet. But I was wet enough that when I was finished, I was pretty chilled by the time I drove home.

It was a nice walk. For awhile, every time a new song came on, I'd run the first minute of it. I had a nice chat in my head with my mom, telling her how proud she'd be of her grandbabies, and how much she'd love their partners. And I had some company:

I had stopped to use the restroom, otherwise I might not have grabbed my camera. There was a swan that I did not stop to photograph, so the wild turkey picture will have to do.

After a shower and some Aleve, this was lunch:

A two-egg omelet with mozzarella, smoked salmon, half an avocado, and spinach, along with some fresh fruit and coffee. I know, it looks like breakfast, but it was packed with the protein my body wanted. (I had started off the day with a bagel thin - PB on one half, and jelly on the other, coffee, a banana, and some juice - half diet cranberry and half Trop-50). During my walk I had two packets of GU, spaced about an hour apart. I may be figuring out this nutrition angle....

But back to the smoked salmon. It is one of our new favorite finds at Costco:

Another new find, and one that we blew through so quickly that we had to go back for more, is the seaweed salad. I would never have given it a second glance except that it was a sample on treat day. Not only did we go back to the store to buy more, Dwight bought his own container to keep in his refrigerator at work. The only downside is the need to floss after eating - those little shreds of seaweed are pesky!

Look how pretty it is!
Here it is with the Abs Diet Reuben Made Betta
Did you notice the bridal magazine in my lunch photo? Erin is coming home today to attend a bridal fair tomorrow with one of her bridesmaids who is also planning a wedding - and they're letting me tag along. I know they're both hoping to score some of the big prizes - like free photography or flowers!

While I am staying home to attend the bridal fair, Dwight is in Chicago playing in a Member-Guest. It is one of our favorite trips of the year, but how often do I get to go to a bridal fair and talk weddings all weekend? Besides having fun with our friends, I miss sleeping in the green bedroom at their house. I swear, I sleep like there are narcotics sewn into the pillows in that room. Of course Kathy said that maybe that has to do with the wine we drink, but still. And another thing I am missing:

They sent me a picture last night, damn them
Pot roast nachos. They are as unhealthy and delicious as they sound. The base is waffle fries, topped with different melty cheeses (including gorgonzola), chunks of mouth-watering pot roast, and some tomatoes and onions so it sounds healthy. Last year, we decided to wander downtown and wait for the guys to finish golfing. While we were waiting, we had the pot roast nachos as an appetizer. Then, when they arrived, what did they want? That's right - pot roast nachos. Oh well, vacation calories don't count, right?!

Everybody have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crashing to reality

So last Monday, the Monday after the wedding, I logged into MyFitnessPal only to see this on the home screen:

It looks like the Bollinger girls had a good time.

I didn't eat much the whole wedding weekend (or really, the entire week), and I really didn't drink much (seriously!), but I felt I was running on nervous energy the entire time. And then last week I was so tired and hungry. I was headed for the crash.

I sat down with my planner this past Sunday and mapped out my food and workouts:

I still like doing things the old-fashioned way - on paper.
Let's catch up on my half-marathon training. On wedding week, I did a 9-mile walk on Sunday, a 4-miler on Tuesday, then nothing on the scheduled Thursday (4 miles) or Saturday (6 miles). There was, however, some of this:

The two moms showing the kids how it's done. (Ignore my sock tan line.)
Last week I did the 4 scheduled miles on Monday, 4 miles on Thursday, and then since I missed a 6-miler the previous weekend and that Catholic guilt is hard to get over, I did 7.5 on Saturday. And I pretty much felt like crap. I can get a good endorphin rush from my shorter walks, but I'm still waiting for it on the long ones. (My friend Mark suggested that I dedicate each mile to someone special. I tried it, but I think I need more practice. I kept getting distracted.)

This week I only went 3.6 on Monday; it was supposed to be 4 but I started way too late - the heat and humidity got to me. Which brings us to today: 4.0 miles and I felt absolutely great. I could have easily gone longer. Good thing, since I have 11 miles on the calendar for Friday. THAT'S RIGHT, ELEVEN MILES! ON FOOT! It wasn't too many years ago that I thought that was a long BIKE ride. Maybe I shouldn't use all caps until I actually accomplish it.

I got an email from my friend Marcy, and in it she said that I was "so good at being creative with meals and eating healthy".  Do I ever feel like an imposter!

PBJ, apple, and milk. Creative? I think not.
Oh, and here are a few things you haven't seen before. You can be thankful I spared yet another photo of oatmeal with a glob of peanut butter in it.

Seriously. Breakfast on 9/2
Today's breakfast
Costco rotisserie chicken salad, cucumber and tomato salad with balsamic, veggies and hummus. And a Kombucha
Mushroom, feta, smoked salmon, and spinach omelet with berries and some rosemary-olive oil bread
Guess what opened in Omaha?!?! (I'm really not digressing; still talking about lunches here....)

That's right, a Bravo at Village Pointe. You should know that I really don't like chain restaurants, but I do love this one. Ever since we discovered it in Des Moines, when we can think of nowhere else to go, (which isn't often, thanks to Emily) we end up at Bravo. Dwight and I needed to run some errands on Labor Day so we decided to indulge:

Chopped salad and the ever-so-healthy lobster bisque
I did try a few new recipes. I made Chicken Spinach Pita Pizza from the Abs Diet Cookbook. It was pretty good, and a great way to use leftover chicken. I used a Flat Out Wrap instead of a pita. The cookbook called this a snack, but it definitely was enough for dinner.

I also tried, upon Emily's recommendation, Pasta with Shrimp, Artichokes, and Feta. While really good, I was a bit underwhelmed (sorry, Honey) as it tasted pretty much like a recipe I make already. The next time I make our family favorite, though, I will add shrimp and artichokes!

My favorite new find is one I forgot to take a picture of, but if you click on this link, Iowa Girl Eats is a much better photographer than I am. I made the Key West Grilled Chicken (actually, I mixed the marinade but Dwight grilled), the Mango Salsa, and the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice. The "rice" was a pleasant surprise - I think it goes to show how much texture plays a part in food. While it was just shredded cauliflower sauteed in canola oil with some salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro, it had the texture - and almost flavor - of rice. We served it to company, and either they were really good liars or they loved the meal. I think it helped that we served fun-size candy bars left over from the hotel out-of-town gift bags that we made for the hotel guests. Those things are going to be a challenge. I have them wrapped up and stored in the freezer in the garage. At least I'll have to work for it if I want one.