Thursday, April 30, 2009


...and very busy! Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday's post about TSL Challenge! Although I will still eat on out occasion, I already bring my lunch to work every day and cook most of our dinners, so I am looking forward to seeing how much further I can take it :)

Also, for more on the benefits of drinking coconut water, here is some info from the Vita Coco website (my fave brand because they're the cheapest!). Also, don't confuse coconut water with coconut juice...not the same thing!
  • the 5 essential electrolytes: potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous
  • more potassium than a banana (don't tell the monkeys) & 15 times more potassium than the leading sports drink
  • potassium which helps regulate blood pressure, heart function and enhances the hydration process
  • properties which promote smoother more hydrated skin
  • no artificial sweeteners and is low in carbohydrates
Some healthy eats yesterday included a sweet potato, avocado and salsa wrap with a spinach salad for lunch; some plain non fat yogurt with applesauce, cinnamon, honey, PB and a banana for a snack; and sauteed swiss chard with a Morningstar Ginger Teriyaki Rice Patty (and some more lima beans with buttah).

Also been getting ready for my big race! Making a list, and checkin' it twice :)

That's all folks! We are driving up to North Carolina after I get off work this afternoon and will be staying with my dad for the race in Greensboro. I'm getting excited!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Simple & Clean

This morning when I opened my reader and discovered Bobbi's May Challenge to lead the Simple Life, I was excited because not only have I already been doing most of these things, but because for the past month I have been slowly transitioning myself into eating very simply and cleanly.

And I must say, I have been doing a fabulous job!

For me, my figure and weight loss are always looming in the front of my mind as I would still like to drop 5 to 10 pounds. However, leading a simple life in the way of what food I eat doesn't really have any bearing on the fact that I want to lose some weight. I know the only way I am going to lose any weight is by adding another component to my exercise regime because I already eat pretty healthy.

So, the way I see this Simple Life Challenge is just a way to further my own agenda of not only putting pure/simple/clean ingredients into my body but by also adapting this idea to other areas of my life.

I have posted before about my thoughts on healthy eating and I sometimes mention what I eat throughout the day, or I may post occasional recipes of meals I particularly like. You probably remember my posts on eating healthy on a budget. But this blog wasn't started to be a food journal and I don't intend to make it that.

But I do intend to further explore the things I love which is of course running and exercise, but also healthy eating, fresh ingredients, organic foods, sustainability, and easy ways that normal people can achieve a healthy balance.

After my first marathon is over on Saturday (!) I can quit thinking about my training for a minute and really start looking at whats next for me, whether that be another race in the fall, a new exercise activity to help me reach my goal weight, or simply a fresh outlook on my life. I think it's definitely due time! I have been stuck in a rut for a while and it's high time I do something about it.

So! Here are a few things I have been chomping down on this week in order to prepare myself (the best way I know how) to be nutritionally sound come Saturday morning.

First off, I have been eating Green Smoothies almost every day since last week! I honestly love them, and I really love all of the nutrients I am eating with my greens. I usually eat them for breakfast with some sort of whole grain for me to "chew" on. I think I am up to using almost 2 to 4 cups of greens, 1 cup of milk (soy or whatever else), 1 T ground flax, 1 spoonful of chunky natural PB, 1 banana and some ice. I haven't strayed too much from this, and have been primarily using kale.

I also made a big batch of dried lima and black beans Sunday night that I have been sitting in our cupboard for a while (probably too long) and have been incorporating them into my lunches and dinners this week. (Which is a very cheap and easy way to add some protein to any meal.)

I have also been eating veggie & protein packed salads and wraps for lunches.

Drinking tons of water as well as coconut water (as I can afford it) after my workouts and during the day.

And the number one thing I have been working on, is not to eat anything after dinner! This has grown increasingly more difficult for me lately and last night I finally said enough is enough! And I feel much better today :)

That's all I have for now, but here is a bit more about Bobbi's Simple Life Challenge and please head to her site for more information and to sign up!

The Simple Life Challenge from Bobbi at NHerShoes

"How about a SIMPLE LIFE challenge that will get you to save money and eat healthier?? I don’t know about you, but I need to save some money and get back to the more simple pleasures of life.

The challenge comes in three parts!

First part give up eating out for the entire month of MAY!!! I know a lot of you wanted a challenge to get that bikini body, well this is a great way to get there.

Second part, Health Commute Challenge!! Ride your bike at least three times a week(or more) to work or to the store, or taking public transportation, walking, shoot even running!

Third part, Being Simple & Green. Here is a list of ways that you can get simple, and I would love to hear more of your ideas as well.

  • Having a date night out at the park
  • Inviting friends over for dinner instead of going out, have everyone bring something.
  • Do your own pedicure and manicure
  • Instead of buying that cup of coffee every day, make your own at home, or shoot give up coffee all together.
  • Make all your own breads instead of buying them
  • Have a garage sale and make some extra money!
  • Read the news online instead of buying the newspaper.
  • Do a cloths swap with your BFF’s
  • Making a gift for someone instead of buying them something, which is always better anyway.

This May challenge is keeping life in it's RAWIST and SIMPLEST form. I understand that some of you can not bike to work or take public transportation, but what about carpooling or riding your bike to the grocery store??Do you need to simplify your life and get clean inside and out, then this challenge is for you"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Countdown Begins....

Well hello all and good morning! Sorry for the lack of posting since Friday, but I was pretty busy yesterday. It was a good Monday at work all things considered, and I managed to get a ton of things done. My big day is only 5 days away!!! I am counting down big time and getting more nervous by the day...

But back to the interesting part, the weekend!

Friday night Matt and I just chilled, cleaned up a bit and watching TV. I decided to take Friday and Saturday off running and do my final "long" run before the marathon on Sunday morning. So when I woke up Saturday morning I let Matt sleep a bit and did some organizing around the apartment before I finally woke him up around 11 so we could haul it to the beach.

I was kind of nervous about the traffic that late in the day to the beach (by the time we left it was after 12, prime time for going to the beach) and I was right...I think it took us about 45 minutes when it normally takes 20. Bumper to bumper. But all was forgotten by the time we got there and the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the water was cool.

We spent a few hours at Folly Beach County Park laying in the sun, playing in the water, and walking the beach. We usually don't go to this park, but I was glad we did today. The coastline here is unspoiled by houses and hotels and for a few miles it is just serene and empty, with a wide expanse of marsh land meeting the ocean, something almost out of a magazine. I forgot my camera, so sorry no pics!

Saturday night we met up with our pals Sandy and Jason and headed out to Brick downtown for four rousing games of darts!

Matt wanted to play best out of five (especially after were 2-2) but Sandy had to work the next morning so we left it at that.

Check out Sandy's INSANE closer to game 4!

I mean really, who does that?! ;) After our late night out (and too many beers for me) I was still planning on getting up early Sunday morning for my 8 miler. And I did! Although I think I left around 9ish, instead of 7 as I had hoped....but the run went well for being slightly hungover! Nothing spectacular, but here are my split times & totals:

Time: 01:19:07
Distance: 8.00 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,117 ft
Total Calories: 906 C

Total Time
Total Distance
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Average Speed
Max Speed
110:02 1.00 88 95 10:02 09:05
210:13 1.00 248 257 10:13 09:21
310:33 1.00 155 180 10:33 09:24
410:26 1.00 101 79 10:26 09:00
509:49 1.00 58 50 09:49 08:42
609:47 1.00 73 28 09:47 08:37
709:27 1.00 185 229 09:27 07:54
808:46 1.00 210 207 08:46 06:50

At one point (I guess around mile 4) I looked down at my Garmin to realize I was running an 11:00 pace! I immediately sped up but realized that when I don't have this thing to look at, I can take it easy without even knowing it! Needless to say I was considerably faster for the rest of the run, and actually sped it up for the finish.

After my run, Matt and I were debating between boating with Sandy and Jason (in the sun! on the water!) or hiking as planned. Matt was stuck on hiking so off we went! I packed us a nice fruit salad and we stopped and picked up Subway for after the hike.

The trail we decided on was the Swamp Fox portion of the Palmetto Trail. The Palmetto Trail actually goes all the way across the state of SC, but this portion was only 42 miles long.

We figured we would hike in about 3 or 4 miles and then turn around. We only got to 1.25 before we got bored. (Yeah I know, we suck right?!) I kept saying to Matt, "You're right! This is sooo much more fun than boating!" :)

The trail was just very narrow, not many clearings, and nothing much to look at. There were some pretty parts though.

Last night, I went on a short 3 mile run. My legs are seriously sore and tight, I have been stretching and icing as much as I can but hopefully by Saturday I will be okay. My left knee is also bothering me a little bit and that worries me the most. My runs this entire taper have been difficult, so although I am worried, I am staying optimistic that this is normal! (**I might also be worried about contracting the swine flu seeing as it has reached the Carolinas as of this morning...Are you guys worried about this new scare, or do you think it will pass over??)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Foto Friday

I promised some more pics from last weekend, so here goes! I'm outta here!

Bird poo!

Now get outside and soak up some sun!! Good luck to any and all racers this weekend!

Getting Nervous!

Happy Friday all! Short and sweet from me here today as I have a ton of work to do before the weekend. A few things:
  • This week has been good for me foodwise. Green smoothies every day for breakfast and tons of veggies and fruit in general. Lots of salads!
  • I might have been craving mac and cheese last night so I made a huge bowl of a quick "home made"version. It wasn't the best but it did the trick! (I also made BBQ tofu which was so gross I actually threw it out. Unless I get some good tofu recipes I might be giving up on the stuff.)
  • Ran 5ish miles last night. It was hard.
  • All of my runs this week (12 miler Monday, almost 4 miler Wednesday, and 5ish miler last night) have been VERY tough. My legs have felt sore & heavy and I generally have felt like I was out of shape or something. I'm trying not to worry about this, but I can't help it seeing as my 4 miler was almost too much for me Wednesday night. What is going on??
  • I'm drinking tons of water (well over 70 oz. a day) and taking my vitamins, but I am still thirsty. I think I have a condition of some sort. Seriously.
  • My shins hurt.
  • My knees hurt.
  • I have a date with Mr. Clean tonight and my apartment.
  • I also have a date with ice bags tonight and will be taking the day off running to let my body rest...WTF?
  • My final long run before my marathon next weekend will be 8 miles either tomorrow morning or Sunday.
  • Next week I only plan on running two days prior to the Saturday race, and will be resting Thursday & Friday.
  • I haven't really had too much soreness/aches/pains throughout this entire training period. That may be because I have been ice bathing it after each long run, plus I have been icing my shins and knees semi-regularly. I also have good shoes and insoles. I have felt very lucky!
  • However, I did not ice bath after my 12 miler Monday...maybe that has been my problem this week???
  • I will be hitting up the beach this weekend as it is supposed to be sunny and in the high 80's all weekend here!
  • Matt and I are also planning on going hiking at some point.
  • The rest of the weekend will be spent with my nose in a book as I prepare for my Series 7 General Securities Exam that is coming up....
Anybody have thoughts on why I'm feeling this way? Why have my runs all week been sooo hard even though they're incredibly short? Is this normal during taper time?

Hope everyone has a great Friday and I will be back this weekend with pics from the beach!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Golden Beet Chips + Kale Smoothies + Tag You're It!

Good morning folks! The lovely RunningLaur tagged me in this craziness, so here goes!

8 Things to which I am looking forward:
  • Running my first marathon next Saturday!
  • Hanging out with my family & friends in NC before/after the marathon next weeekend
  • Going to the beach A LOT this summer
  • Getting a sweet ass tan
  • More green smoothies! (I just discovered these, love them)
  • Wild West Relay in August!
  • Meeting more people through this blog :)
  • Training for Wild West Relay + other post-marathon races (MCM? Chicago?)
8 Things I did yesterday
  • Had my first green smoothie which I loved
  • Skipped my 4 mile run to come home and snack/watch trashy TV (i.e. Real Housewives) while he BF was at school
  • Went to Whole Foods at lunch and got some sweet deals (avocados for $1.69??)
  • Found out I am 2 months behind on cell phone bill. Crap.
  • Talked to my mom! (Who was going to the Jimmy Buffet concert last night!)
  • Made yummy BBQ baked chicken (that I haven't actually tasted yet, but it looked/smelled great!)
  • Was really sore from Monday night's run
  • Paid bills and got really depressed at my lack of fund$
8 Things I wish I could do/I want to do
  • Plan my yearly international vacay (prob not going to happen this year)
  • Spend my days doing something I LOVE vs. kind of like
  • Work more on making myself happy vs. relying on others to prop me up
  • Hike more! Go to the mountains more. Visit Colorado or Utah or Washington state.
  • Run another marathon this year & do it faster than my first
  • Meet more people in Charleston!
  • Visit a good friend in Seattle
  • Start cycling!
8 Shows I watch (we don't have DVR anymore, so I'm not really a regular of anything other than the first 4)
  • LOST
  • Amazing Race
  • Real Housewives
  • The Office
  • Grey's (sometimes)
  • Seinfeld re-runs
  • Family Guy (with the boy)
  • ER (well, it's not on anymore, but I have been a long time fan! Love Dr. Green)
And I tag these eight people (if you've already been tagged/hate doing these/just don't want to, completely okay with me):
Nothing much new to report today, but thought I would share with you some yummy things I cooked/whipped up yesterday and this morning. I bring to you...Golden Beet Chips!!

I found this recipe one day while I was searching for kale chips, and it looked so good I had to try it! The original calls for baking these in a 325 oven and just keeping an eye on them "for a few minutes" until they're done. I would say these baked for maybe 20 minutes or so, and they weren't getting crunchy enough to I yanked the heat up to 400 for about 5 more minutes and they crisped up! Although, I don't have a mandolin so I think if mine had been potato chip thin 325 would have been okay.

These definitely tasted like beets, so if you don't like beets, don't make them! But I like beets and with enough heat/olive oil/sea salt, I can trick myself into thinking anything is tasty :) That being said, I ate the entire golden beet on my own (like you think the boo would eat beet chips? Yeah right.) and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely make it again! This was my first time actually cooking a raw beet, pretty cool! (I have only eaten the canned pickled kind before.)

Also tried a kale smoothie this morning, and I must say, it tasted healthier than yesterday's spinach smoothie and was so light and refreshing!!

In this one I added 2 big kale stalks (hard stem removed), 1 chopped pink apple (skin and all), 2/3 cup soy milk light, & 4 ice cubes. Very, very good. I like to chew on something for breakfast though, so had a slice of whole wheat double fiber toast with PB to help fill me up.

Yes, I skipped my run yesterday. I was so sore, so I just came home and relaxed and stretched. Tonight I will be heading out on a run though, 4-6 depending on how I feel!

Thanks for everyone's comments on my upcoming race, I really don't think I would have been able to keep up this grueling training on my own without the support of all of you out there! Seriously!

Since I don't have too many people in my life who are big fans of running/eating as healthy as I do, it's been such an eye opener to have all of you out there to answer my running questions, inspire me to run further/faster/longer, and to generally propel me forward through this training! So THANK YOU!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On My Own

I can't believe my first marathon is sooo close! I'm starting to make plans this week for when we drive up there, where everyone is staying, pre-race dinner, etc. and it's getting exciting/terrifying.

I think I mentioned a while back that I was running the race with a friend from Raleigh, we will call her M. (She was the one pictured with me here in Greece). M and I have been attempting to train for a marathon for almost two years now. Last year we were hoping to do the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, but ended up only doing the half. (She got the flu a few weeks before the race and I half assed my training.) So this year we were both pretty determined to get it we decided on a race close to home & our families, the NC Marathon in Greensboro/High Point, NC and started training together/apart in January. My dad lives in Greensboro and the rest of my family is scattered throughout North Carolina and Virginia, so I was hoping that they could make it out to the race if we did it somewhere close.

Unfortunately during her training, M has become injured and so she will not be running the race with me. When she first told me the news, I was pretty sad about it/worried about running the race solo. But I figure if I can do all this horrendous training on my own, I can definitely run the race on my own! Plus, it's not like she intentionally injured herself, so I will have to make do!

So there's that. But fortunately, a lot of my family is going to come out to support me during the race! My grandmother from VA, my dad of course, I think my younger brother (who is in school at NC State in Raleigh), and my mom who lives in the Charlotte, NC area. Plus Matt will be there with me, and M and her boyfriend will be coming out to cheer me on! (I'm going to convince her to run miles 22-25 with me if we can meet up! I know I'm going to need some support at that point...)

I am very grateful to have family and friends that want to come out to support me in this! I love running races and seeing them along the sidelines, it definitely gives me a boost of energy and with 26.2 miles to run I will need all the help I can get!

Last night I completed last weekend's long run of 12 miles in 2:06:37 with an average pace of 10:33. I was actually pretty shocked that my pace wasn't slower, as it was the toughest run I have had in a while! I started out feeling okay, but my legs felt heavy and sore and my stomach was seriously not happy with me for almost the entire run. I had heartburn, I felt nauseous, I was tired, and I was cranky because of more seriously stupid wind. But, I kept on running and never stopped for a walk break, which I think is a true testament to my training. If this had happened a little over a month ago, I would have been walking every few miles, but I have been training hard and I think I finally got my fitness level up to where it needs to be to tackle long runs --even when they suck hard and I don't want to keep going.

Taper Schedule & Race Prep
Tonight I am going to do an easy 4, tomorrow an easy 5, another 4 on Thursday and a final long run this weekend of 8 miles. I am also focusing on seriously hydrating the next two weeks, taking my vitamins, getting a lot of sleep, and eating as cleanly and as healthy as possible.

For example, this morning for breakfast I had a green smoothie with two big handfuls of spinach, 1 chilled banana, 4 strawberries, 1/2 cup soy milk light, and some ground flax. (Although it would have been much more smoothie-like if I had a good blender, my food processor could be better.) I also had a piece of whole wheat double fiber bread with some chunky organic all natural PB. So far it has kept me full without needing a mid-morning snack!

I am so proud of everything I have accomplished so far, and I am really looking forward to setting even more ambitious goals post-marathon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

North Meets South + Two Weeks to Go!

Hello lovelies! It has been a while, I know. I was busy all weekend romping on the beach, shopping on King Street, and drinking way too much wine with my BFF who now lives in DC. Friday however, I did manage to get in a measly 6 mile run. It was good, it was easy, and it was pretty quick for me. My last mile came in at 7:47!

I was planning on also getting in my 12 miler at some point, but really, there was just too much drinking for my light weight self and I didn't want to leave my guests at home alone without me for 2 hours while I I just cooked them lots of yummy food instead and decided to do my run tonight! Whatever, it's my taper and I'll do what I want.

**She has most of the weekend's pictures on her camera, so better ones should be surfacing later on this week.

Here's the weekend recap:

Thursday they arrived around 2:30, and I got home from work around 4:30. (Matt was sweet enough to pick them up at the airport.) We headed straight to Red's on Shem Creek for happy hour where we also ate some dinner and did some dolphin watching. We might have come home and ordered pizza. Maybe.

Friday morning I got up to run, then I made everyone a big breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon and toast. Then we went walking around Charleston/shopping/catching up and the boys eventually parted ways to go shooting. Yep, with guns. At a range. I was perfectly content with the shopping! Oh, and then we went and got a much needed pedicure. We might have also had some mimosas. Then I made stuffed chicken and baked sweet potato/regular potato fries and we played Scene It Seinfeld while continuing to drink.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early and made whole wheat flax pancakes with turkey bacon. On mine I added greek yogurt, PB and bananas. My pancakes are awesome btw. Then we headed to Isle of Palms beach and got sunburnt/a little drunkskies/the boys played horseshoes for 4 hours. The BFF also managed to get shat on by a seagull, literally less than a minute after I said, "I really hope I don't get shat on again." (It has happened to me 3 times before.) Then we went out to dinner downtown at the Noisy Oyster, hit up Wet Willie's for a Call a Cab, and played darts at Brick until we were about to pass out with exhastion.

This is how things were looking through my eyes Saturday night. Really dark and a little blurry.

Sunday morning we got up and ate MORE turkey bacon, biscuits, and I decided to do a "make your own" omelet station where everyone got to choose their own omelet fillers which included ham, black olives, steamed broccoli, chopped summer squash & zucchini, fresh mozzerella, two different kinds of feta & diced tomato. I make pretty damn good breakfasts I must say! Then we headed out to Folly Beach for a few more hours in the sun/more horseshoes/and a trip to Taco Boy for lunch! Oh and the BFF's boy got shat on as well! It was much worse than when she did... Later than night we grilled out bratwursts with cilantro lime slaw and played Spades.

We had a very relaxing and fun weekend and I was sad to see them leave this morning at 6 AM!! Although I know they are ready to be home in DC relaxing on their last day of vacay before heading back to work.

So....tonight I am running 12 miles, and hopefully I will be okay enough tomorrow to continue on with my running without a rest day. I don't want to push the schedule back this week any more than I have to. These next TWO WEEKS before my first marathon are going to be filled with clean and simple eating, structured exercise and an all out detox to prepare myself for the race on May 2nd.

Any seasoned marathoners have any tips for me for these final two weeks?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wouldn't you rather be in the Greek Isles right now?

Since I was so long winded yesterday, here is something short 'n sweet for ya.

Photo Friday! (Hey, I'm off tomorrow so it counts)

This one is me and my bud M in Santorini, Greece two summers ago...

And this is the view from our hotel room. Pure paradise.

Me on the side of the clif, overlooking the caldera and one of the cruise ships (we didn't cruise there)


Sweet and Fit is giving away some custom blondies to raise awareness for her Lupus Walk!
Meghann is giving away Honest Food planks
Fitnessista is giving away a Stoneyfield Farms package
JoyRuN is giving away Stoneyfield gift certificates
Jenna at Eat, Live, Run is giving away MixMyGranola
Caitlin is giving away another Stoneyfield Farms package!

...almost my weekend!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MCM + Farmer's Tan + Purple Sweet Potatoes?

First off, thank you all for your comments/suggestions on yesterday's post about whether or not I should sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I was also excited to have some new visitors! I hope I don't bore you guys too much and you decide to stick around...

I am pretty sure that I want to do this race, and now I realize that I don't have to hurry up and register if I run with a connected charity. After posting, I contacted our local TNT rep who answered some of my questions and gave me a better idea of how TNT works. I am planning on attending an informational meeting the week after the NC Marathon so at that point I will be more likely to make a decision.

As RunningLaur so kindly pointed out, there are dozens of other charities that partner with MCM that I could run with that also have spots reserved for their participants. My first thought was to run for troops wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan, as my boyfriend Matt was wounded in Iraq in 2006.

I really want to make this next marathon mean something to someone other than myself, and for that reason, I really want to take my time researching the charity that I decide to run with. Obviously I would love to have the team aspect that TNT would provide, but that isn't as important to me as raising money for a reputable cause (not that TNT and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society isn't, I just want to research them a bit more first).

Tuesday's Hill Workout
OK, that being said...last night I was trying to decide whether to head to the track for a speed workout, or do my usual 5-6 mile hill workout over the Ravenel Bridge. I was feeling kind of lazy so I chose the hill workout.

I set out after work and immediately discovered that my headphones were only working in one ear. Great. Fantastic. Must spend more money on yet another pair of those. (My cat likes to chew the wires, I have lost about 4 pairs that way.) So that was crap thing number one about the run.

Then once I started up the first climb, I realized that it was considerably windier than I had previously thought. Awesome. I was still sore from Sunday somewhat so my legs were already tight and heavy, add on some wind and I was in for an unpleasant run.

Well, I generally don't like to let weather conditions make decisions for me too much, so of course I kept on going. Plus I figured that on the return trip the wind would be to my back.

With wind, comes the bearing of Kristin's ass/thighs (which are particularly white with farmer's tan compared to the rest of me. I'm actually quite worried about the beach this weekend) as my shorts basically become non-existent. I try not to worry about this usually, but it was rush hour traffic time on the bridge and there were three lanes of vehicles stopped in traffic sitting there waiting to stare at this crazy girl with white thighs huffing it up the bridge (with some difficulty, I might add).

So that was crap thing number two. I finally made it over and started climbing down the other side and the wind was still there, pissing me off. When I turned around at the 2.5 mile mark I was hoping that the wind would be to my back, but of course, it was a side wind so it was still there to make me angry.

I was in such a bad mood yesterday, definitely not even wanting to run, that this added irritation just made me so mad I wanted to just shout out THIS F***KING SUCKS! as loud as I could, but instead I just kept tugging at my stupid little shorts and hoping that the end would come soon.

I don't have my totals or splits but I did look at them last night, and basically every mile was in the 10s except for the last mile which I finished in like 8:20 or something rediculous.

Obviously, I was so over that run and just sprinted as fast as my legs would carry me back to my car.

Nom Nom Nom
When I got home, all I wanted was something fried to make me feel better. So I settled for the next best thing, Baked Spicy Purple Sweet Potato Fries. I have been making these fries for a while with regular sweet potatoes based on this recipe, but last night I changed it a bit and woofed these babies down.

Basically, I get out my coffee/spice grinder and pour in a bit of the following spices: fennel seeds, coriander, oregano, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. I grind them up (I have added the sea salt to the grinder before, but I like big chunks of salt so I left that for last this time) then I mix these spices together with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, toss the fries/wedges in the oil/herb mixture and then sprinkle them with sea salt.

Then I spread them out on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 425, check on them and turn them over and then continue baking for another 20 minutes or so. I like to keep an eye on them so they don't get burnt because sometimes they don't take quite that long.

Last night I only used one small potato, so I just eyeballed the spices based on what I know I like :) If you haven't noticed, I don't really follow recipes and so if I post any, I will most likely just say, 'I used these ingredients and threw it together." So there ya go!

These definitely are worth trying though, and they kind of made me feel better after my pull-my-hair-out-irritating run. I will say that I think I liked the purple sweet potato better than the regular! It just seemed to taste better, but maybe that was my mind tricking me out. I picked mine up at Whole Foods, I haven't seen them anywhere else.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, but I was starving and was in no mood to deal with my testy iPhone camera. The purple color was really bold once you bit into the fry!

One the running schedule this week:
Tonight I am going to attempt an easy 6 miler, do a TON of cleaning for our guests who are arriving tomorrow, and make sure I have enough groceries stocked for the weekend. I have not been doing so well with my ab work & calisthenics, but I plan on doing some of that after my run tonight and trying to get back into the groove.

Tomorrow at around 2, our guests arrive so running after work is out of the question. If I am feeling up to it (which I probably won't be) I will run my 5 mile speed workout before work tomorrow morning, otherwise I will take Thursday off and try to make up the miles later on in the weekend. I don't do well with running at night and then immediately again the following morning.

I have 12 miles on the agenda for this week's "long run" and will do that whichever morning this weekend that we didn't drink too much the night before. So, there's that. Since I am off Friday I would love to get it over with that morning before everyone wakes up.

Ideally, I would like to fit in both my speed work and my long run at some point this weekend.
Did I confuse everyone yet??

***Question: How do you guys generally respond to comments on your posts? I want to answer the questions/comments you all leave, but if I answer them as another comment I feel like no one would go back to read that. How do you guys do it?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Am I Crazy?

Well, my marathon is less than 3 weeks away now, and after Sunday's run, I am feeling okay about it. Of course there is still the chance that the race will go awful for me, and I am prepared for that, but at this point I think I have done as much as I could have done to train and prepare myself for my first 26.2. (Well, I could have done more, but for my first marathon training I think I did pretty well.)

So this morning I was thinking about what races to do in the fall and I was thinking about how I really would like to have a 2nd marathon on my list by the end of this year....I know, I know...I must be crazy because I haven't even finished my first one yet! What if I hate it? What if it goes horribly wrong? Well, then I guess that is all the more reason to train hard for a rematch with myself!

The one thing I have been thinking that I wished I could do with this race, is to run for something/someone/some charity. So Team in Training obviously came to my mind, and after doing some searching I found that they have an informational meeting in Charleston coming up May 7th for their fall training program! For whatever reason, I had looked this up before and thought that they didn't have anything in Charleston, but I guess I was wrong.

So now I have a dilemma. I would really like to do the Marine Corps Marathon in October, but if I want to do that, I need to register ASAP because they are already 94% full. But should I register now before I know how this first marathon will turn out?

I am going to think about it today and make my decision as soon as I can. Are any of you running the MCM?

**Updated to add: After I posted this, I found out from my local TNT rep that they have unlimited slots for the MCM so no need to worry about registering! So now I can relax, run my first marathon, and then the week after that got to the informational meeting about the TNT program and make my decision.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Last Long Run Before Taper Time! 21.5 Miles with a New Friend

Happy Easter everyone! I have had a pretty fantastic day so far, all things considered. Before I get into today, how bout a wrap up from the last time I saw you guys?

So on Thursday I said I was going to do my 20 miler Friday morning since I had the day off work. But unfortunately (or fortunately as it turned out) I woke up Friday morning feeling nauseous and hung over...even though I only had two beers the night before! I think the true cause was all of the crap that I ate throughout the day Thursday. I was having a bad day at work and I basically was consuming anything and everything that I saw...including 1.5 donuts, some leftover pasta and 3.5 huge slices of sausage and black olive pizza for dinner! So I went to bed sick & bloated, and woke up "hung over" & nauseous. I tried to wait around a bit to see if I would feel better, I even went back to sleep for a while, and eventually I decided that some sort of run was in order.

At about 2 PM I finally headed out the door, I told myself that if I was feeling good, I could try the 20 but that my first loop of 4.5 was just okay too. I only did 4.5 :) After that I decided that I needed some more rest & recovery time, so I skipped running Saturday and decided Sunday morning would be my day.

Saturday night I was on Twitter, and saw that the lovely Amanda was doing her 15 on Sunday as well. So I suggested to her that we meet up and run it together! She thought that was a good idea as well, so I started out with a 6.5 mile loop this morning at 6:45 AM and met up with her at around 8:45ish at my apartments to finish up our run.

Amanda and I had never met in person, only via our blogs and Twitter. So I think we were both kind of worried about doing such a long run with a relative stranger. I was worried that my run would be awful and I would have to walk, she had some crazy idea that I was fast...I think she knows I'm not as fast as she thought after today though :) But I was totally excited to meet her in person and also excited to have someone to distract me during this LAST long run that I had been dreading! Marathon training solo has been very challenging!

When I got done with the 6.5 mile loop, I got back to my apartment's parking lot and looked for Amanda. I chugged down some Sport Beans (good, but too hard for me to eat in motion) and some H2O. After a few minutes we found each other and headed out. I would give you a mile by mile play by play, but honestly I don't really remember anything significant about any of them up until the end because we were too busy chatting! It was for sure, hands down the easiest long run I have ever experienced.

I decided long ago that I wanted to do a bit over 20 for at least one of my long runs, so I made my solo loop this morning a mile longer than usual. I am so glad that I did this, because now I am feeling pretty confident about the full 26.2. (I also have a better idea of how tough it is actually going to be.)

The route we took was a 15 mile out and back, over the Ravenel Bridge & into Mt. Pleasant and then back. Once we were done with the bridge, we were both feeling the tiredness in our legs but it wasn't really showing too much in our pace so we kept on. At that point, I tried to resist looking at my Garmin because I knew we had roughly about 5 miles left and I was getting pretty run down. I would say that around 18.5 was when I started to hit the wall, we had 2 miles left.

But Amanda was so supportive and we just kept telling ourselves (and each other) that we could do it, that we were rockstars, and that we were sooo close to being done. This would be both of our longest runs ever! Just knowing that was enough to push both of us to the end.

Finally, my building was in sight and we started to push it (as much as we could) to get to the finish. When we stopped at 15 miles for her and 21.5 for me, we were both so thrilled that it was over, but more importantly, we were both so proud of ourselves for finishing our longest runs ever! And for finishing strong!

Here are my totals (I will spare you all of the splits):

Time: 03:54:26
Distance: 21.50 mi
Elevation Gain: 3,167 ft
Total Calories: 2,444 C
Avg Pace: 10:54 min/mi
Best Pace: 8:23 min/m

Once we stretched a bit & said our goodbyes, I headed back upstairs for a nice, cool ice bath. Then a shower. Then a lay on the floor for a really long time.

For my celebratory meal, I was craving something cheesy and not good for me! I tried to eat a banana with PB & some cantaloupe, but it just wasn't cutting I woke Matt up and we headed to Bojangle's!! For those of you who are not lucky enough to have Bojangle's (it's a southern thang) you sure are missing out! I had a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit with seasoned fries and a sweet tea! I never drink sweet tea so I enjoyed the hell out of that.

Now I'm feeling pretty good and looking forward to dinner :) Hope you all have a fantastic Easter and are looking forward to making this week a good one!

Thanks Amanda for the company today, I had a really good time considering we were running an extremely long distance! Let's make it happen again soon!

Also, I am lucky enough to have some very special house guests arriving Thursday evening, one of my best friends who now lives in DC LiLu (not her real name :) and her lovely boyfriend B. We are hoping to get into some serious trouble this weekend and have a great time!

You might have noticed I changed around the blog a bit. I kind of effed it up last night, and now I don't know why the comments are at the top of the post, but please continue to comment! At least my header looks better now...I will probably be editing this a bit more this week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Planks + 8 Miler + Eggplant Marinara

Yesterday was a pretty decent day for me. I ate well (minus the 3/4 of a blueberry donut someone snuck into our office kitchen), I finally took the plunge and got back on for this month to kick start some summer bikini-bod weight loss, and I ran an easy/speedy (for me) 8 miler after work.

Wednesday's Run:

Time: 01:19:00
Distance: 8.22 mi
Avg Pace: 9:36 min/mi
Best Pace: 6:33 min/mi

Total Time
Total Distance
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Average Speed
Max Speed
19:54 1.00 140 164 09:54 08:23
29:36 1.00 69 76 09:36 08:20
39:55 1.00 84 95 09:55 08:32
49:48 1.00 62 71 09:48 08:33
510:06 1.00 46 41 10:06 09:13
69:54 1.00 87 52 09:54 08:16
79:20 1.00 180 196 09:20 07:31
88:44 1.00 262 295 08:44 07:24
91:38 0.22 11 14 07:28 06:33

The run was just great. The weather was cool and windy (a bit too windy actually) and I started out with a 4 mile loop around Hampton Park and back. For me, usually the first half of the run isn't that great. This one was no different as I could feel the soreness in my legs from Tuesday's speedwork (did I mention that I got spat on at the track from one of the super runners? Yep! Not on purpose of course, plus he apologized so it was all good) so it took me about 4 miles to warm up.

But once I got past mile 4 I started to kick it into high gear and the rest of the run was cake. I managed to sprint it in for the final stretch down Calhoun Street to my apartment and I felt good once I stopped.

I made sure to stretch well and then came inside for some ab work...more PLANKS!

Wednesday's Abs:
  • 1 x 60 second regular plank
  • 1x 60 second left side plank
  • 1x 60 second right side plank
  • 20 reverse crunches (I think this is what they're called? When you raise your butt and legs in the air while on your back??)
My abs were pretty sore all day yesterday from doing ab work Tuesday night. And I liked it! I don't do nearly enough ab work, and my goal is to start seeing some impovement in a month or two (in time for hot weather/bikinis). You may have noticed that I have been doing a lot more ab work and leg calisthenics. Since I don't have a gym membership (oh to be poor) and I think I have decided not to get one for a while, I have made a goal for myself to work with what I've got. So every day I am going to try to do some sort of exercise on my own other than running.

I would like to do some sort of ab work every day and possibly alternate days of doing leg work (squats, lunges, leg lifts, etc.). I'm just going to go at my own pace with it and see where it takes me. I would like to find some hand weights this weekend to get some arm work in, as well as to aid in squats/etc.

Wednesday's Dinner:
I made another super easy dinner last night for the boy and I (vegetarian even!) with our groceries from Sunday and unfortunately I forgot to take a pic, but if you're interested here is my (somewhat) recipe.

What's good about this recipe, is that you can add in many other ingredients to make it your own. I added Worchestershire Sauce this time, but last time I made it I carmelized the onions with white wine. It would even be super tasty (but not as healthy) with some melted provolone or goat cheese.

Eggplant and Veggie Marinara
  • 1 medium to large onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 2 yellow squash (or any other seasonal veggie) diced
  • 1/2 large eggplant cut into thick slices
  • Bread crumbs
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Egg whites
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Minced garlic
  • Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 to 3/4 jar basic spaghetti sauce (or you can make your own!)
  • 1/2 box whole wheat rotini
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray
Preheat the oven to about 400F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside. Pour a small amount of egg whites into a bowl (large enought to fit the eggplant slices), fill another bowl with some whole wheat flour, and another filled with some bread crumbs. I usually mix the bread crumbs with some sort of spice, and last night I used some rosemary and garlic powder.

Dip the eggplant into the flour, then the egg, and then finally the crumb mixture. Place onto baking sheet and then spray the nonstick cooking spray over the slices so they will turn golden. I use an olive oil based spray. Pop the eggplant into the oven for about 30 minutes, just keep your eye on them to make sure they don't burn. When they're golden and tender to the touch they are done.

While the eggplant is baking, start boiling some water for the pasta. Let the pasta cook while you prepare the onions and veggies.

Heat a large skillet with some olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the onion and let cook on MH heat until transulcent. Then add in your veggies and turn up to high heat (I have used acorn squash in that past, but I used yellow squash last night) and also the minced garlic (about 2 cloves).

The first time I made this, I used a white wine to carmelize the onions. This was excellent, but last night I went a different route. While the veggies were cooking, I added some Worchestershire sauce! Probably just a few turns of the bottle. (I was going to use balsamic vinegar as I usually add this to my pasta sauce, but we were out, so i went with the next dark liquid we had in the pantry...oddly enough it worked!). I kept stirring the veggies until they were good and charred.

Once the pasta is done, drain it and return to heat. Add in some tomato sauce and let heat through. You also might want to add some more sauce seperately (heat it up in the microwave) to pour over the eggplant. I would suggest this!

To plate this dish, I usually put the sauced pasta on the bottom, then start adding the eggplant while adding the extra sauce between each eggplant slice. Then top it off with the veggies and possibly some sea salt.

I might have poured some BBQ sauce onto mine as well, possibly. If I did, it was really really good that way.

I am taking today as a rest day from running and will only do some ab work and calisthenics. Tomorrow morning I am heading out early for my final long run of 20+ miles before I start to taper for my first marathon on May 2nd. It's getting closer!