Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tail wind out = head wind back. Also, my butt hurts.

Today was my first time on my bike since last season, and it was (mostly) glorious. Well, the first half was glorious, the second half had some moments of sucking. It's a beautiful spring (finally!) day here in Nebraska, with temps in the 70's, and another part of spring in Nebraska, a good 20 mph south wind. I usually try to factor that into my rides so I end up with the tail wind, but I wasn't so lucky today. At the end, I was thinking what gets me through some tough runs - just one step pedal stroke at a time.

I only rode  a little over 14 miles, but the last half took me a full 11 minutes longer than the first. It could be that I haven't been on a real bike in months, that my biking muscles are definitely not the same ones I use for running, or just that I am out of shape for biking. Or all of the above. And you know what else is not in shape for biking? That's right, my butt. But I'm thankful for the chamois in my shorts; it would be really bad otherwise! (On the plus side, though, I got to wear the pretty jersey that Alex and Aly gave me last summer. No, not the one pictured, although I have that one, but a beautiful art reproduction of a Japanese lady doing calligraphy - they gave it to me at the same time that I was doing the calligraphy for their wedding invitations! I seriously looked for a clip of it but couldn't find it. And I am for sure not putting it back on to take a pic because it is in the hamper and I've showered. And also, no one wants to see me in cycling gear unless I am on my bike. Trust me on that.)

I found a new snack, which I suspect is really baby food. I wanted something quick to eat that wouldn't upset my stomach before working out:

Glad I didn't buy a lot of this. I got 50 easy calories, but not wonderful.
We have been living in a fishbowl - almost literally - since Wednesday. It finally stopped raining so the window guys could replace all our windows - which of course necessitated Dwight taking down all the window coverings. At the same time, the siding guys are here. I tell you, I am glad I have to be somewhere several hours a day because there is a lot of pounding. And not only that, but they are all over our house. There was nowhere to go where they couldn't see in! Dwight had a meeting last week and I ate dinner in the basement with the blinds closed. They'll finish up this week, along with the gutter and downspout guys, but in the meantime, this is our patio:

Yes, the first nice weekend of the year. We just wanted to sit out back and have some wine.
Meals have been fairly uneventful. Last night was taco night at our house, served with a black bean-avocado salad (1 can of black beans, 1 1/2 diced avocados, some cumin, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice.) I used ground chicken instead of beef, and with the taco seasoning, you couldn't even tell.

 I mixed it all together today for lunch and served it over lettuce for a great salad.

Favorite breakfast:

Protein waffle, berries, and coffee
Favorite lo-cal dessert:

Diet root beer, light ice cream. Makes a delicious root beer float.

Favorite dessert involving booze:

Dessert martini made by Stevie: Godiva something, Baileys, some other liquor, and chocolate sauce. I may have licked the glass.

I'm off to the card store - we are going to a good-bye party for the daughter of our good friend. Bailey is leaving to be part of the entertainment on a cruise ship for the Alaska voyages. The party will involve karaoke (fitting, as she is quite the singer.) I will definitely be playing the part of "audience member." But this is the first time I can buy and actual Bon Voyage card for someone who is leaving on a ship!

Have a great week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oops I did it again

Yep. I just registered for the Des Moines (Half) Marathon again. It's on October 20th this year - y'all come! It was so much fun last year - seriously. Right, Jeanie?! Although I am planning on actually running more of it this year so it probably won't be as much fun, but still.

I figured it was a fitting time to register for the race (which I had been planning on doing since last October) in light of the events at the Boston Marathon this year. I particularly like this quote that I saw on Pinterest:

I started reading a book last night, Running for Mortals, by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. After the second page of the introduction, I knew I'd be needing to read it with a highlighter. I am through the first three chapters, and here are several of the lines that spoke to me: "You can be a runner even if running isn't what you do"(p.x), "It doesn't do any good to have the legs of a runner if you have the soul of a nonrunner" (p.xi)," Today's runner understands that the old days of doing what someone else expected of you are long gone....the search for one's own excellence and potential must be undertaken alone." (p. xii).  See what I mean? And these are just from the introduction!

Before I leave the topic of running, just a few more thoughts: there are any number of Facebook groups that dedicate the next 26.2 miles of your running/walking/slow jogging to the memory of those affected by last Monday. (Isn't that everyone?) The distance can be done in a day, a week, a month... For me, it's just something to think about when I feel like quitting. And as I referenced on my FB page, Emmy wrote a wonderful post on running in light of Boston. If you haven't, read it here.

I tried a few new recipes this past week, but first - some breakfasts:

MaryLu's protein waffle and berries (guess who went to Costco?!)
PB English muffin, berries, and coffee
Oatmeal with blueberries and almond-coconut milk, and of course, coffee

 Lunches (AKA the Worst Meal of the Day) this week were a Kind bar, a store-bought Atkins protein shake, a PBJ, and leftovers.

For dinners, I made Kung Pao Chicken Burgers from my favorite recipe blog, Iowa Girl Eats. I was not too impressed since they were a little dry. As a matter of fact, I didn't even save the recipe. (It could be because I might have overcooked them; something about raw poultry makes me nervous...) HOWEVER, Dwight had one for lunch the next day and declared it way better, and I had one yesterday, and it was better yet. I think the sauce had time to soak into the burger. I might just make them again. And decrease the cooking time by a few seconds.

I topped the burger with spinach to get in a few more veggies 

And of course our favorite salad - baby cukes, grape tomatoes, good olive oil and balsamic vinegar

The other new recipe I tried was from this month's Cooking Light - Spring Vegetable Penne. This was fabulous, and will be in the meal rotation. And the serving size is huge - always a plus because I am pretty much starving come dinner time.

I love it when the meal looks like the photo!

My work hours have shifted a bit this week - to noon-3:30. I like these hours a lot, since I can actually get a (kind of) lunch in before I leave. I get up early, eat breakfast, work out, do any chores/errands I need to get done, eat lunch, then head to work. Now if there was just enough time to get everything done while I'm there! I was told that it would take three months to feel comfortable in this position; I am 1/3 of the way there. And still learning new things every single day. For someone who likes to have her checklist complete, it seems there is almost always some carry-over to the next day. I'm trying to breathe through it. If that doesn't work, there is always Xanax.

On that note, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work I go....


Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm baaack. Again.

I have been absent. From writing, working out, and although I have been eating relatively healthily, it hasn't been anything worth writing about. If it ever is.

one of the Story People by Brian Andreas

Time to play catch up, since the last time I wrote I was totally overwhelmed with my new job. I am less overwhelmed now, at least most of the time. And often, I even feel like I have a clue!  I have to tell you, though - it was a rocky start. I am used to being the smart girl who catches on quickly, but there was a steep learning curve here. Emmy and Tony were home during the week the store opened, and Erin came home the next week to do wedding stuff (flowers, invitations, reception details - lots of meetings), and I was still trying to figure out how to be efficient at work. (It included Erin helping in the back room for a few days!) And then to make it all more exciting, I somehow got a UTI - something I have not had since college. Oh well - antibiotics and gummi probiotics...

Tomorrow starts half-marathon training in earnest, instead of just messing around and being casual and running (walking) when I feel like it. Week one is two three-milers and one four-miler, plus a day of cross-training. Since I don't work till 11:00, I have no excuse not to work out in the morning. So it's Monday and Wednesday for a run, Friday for a cross-train (bike) and Saturday or Sunday for the long run. If I can choose, I'm going for the better weather day!

Today's meals were pretty yummy. Breakfast was yogurt with granola and almonds (you'll have to use your powers of imagination since I didn't take a photo.) Lunch was 1/2 cup cottage cheese, a packet of tuna, a few tablespoons of  Greek yogurt, and some capers all mixed up and spread on two pieces of toast. And it was filling - always a plus. I was going to chop up the tomatoes and cucumbers and mix them in with the tuna and cottage cheese on Emmy's recommendation, but they were so pretty and I just felt like eating them plain.

Check out Pete eying the tuna!

I tried a new recipe for dinner: salmon with capers, chives, and sweet chili sauce. SO GOOD! And I don't love salmon! The flavoring was strong enough to cover up any fishy flavor of the salmon,  and since it was baked, the house didn't even get stinky. I have learned to buy wild salmon, and I particularly like sockeye. It seems to be the mildest and the least cat-food-tasting to me.

Roasted peppers were the perfect side

Last week was our annual golf trip to Pinehurst, and it was a perfect time to leave the Midwest. We left early in the morning on Tuesday, and that day there was a huge hail storm in Omaha, which left us wondering what our car looked like at the airport (just fine.) But since were were in North Carolina with our good friends, lots and lots of wine, laughter, and golf, I didn't worry about the state of my car for too long.

View from our deck

Our condo
At Pine Needles
Check out one of the many bunker complexes at Tobacco Road - one of my favorite courses ever

The next few weeks will be exciting expensive here. We are having our house re-sided and having new windows put in, except for those we have already replaced. Our next-door-neighbor said "I can't believe you're doing all that the same year that you're buying a wedding!" Go big or go home.

 Time to go relax with my husband. Even though we had some time off together, there were always other people around. I love quiet time with him.