Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day 5k

I have been so excited to run the Turkey Day 5k.  I have ran other 5k races during the Summer months but never have I ran a race during the Winter.  I was worried because it snowed last Saturday and I wasn't sure about running on snow packed roads.  Luckily the temps were in the 40's this week and the snow melted off of our 5k route. 
(Scroll to bottom to see my iPod playlist for my run today!)

Time - 23:24 (PR) Pace - 7:31/mile
Place - 11th of out 108 females/ 42nd out of 208 male & female combined

Playing with Stoli before leaving for the race.
My goal was to beat my PR of 24:46 (October 1, 2011)
My niece Jelly & sister-in-law Jackie
My running buddy Rachael!!

I forgot to grab a piece of pie after the race! (I had plenty at dinner though!)
Trying to take a pic with my wiggle worm.
Big smooch! :)

Here is my playlist I had on my iPod for the race.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Favorite Things

I had the best intentions of doing a "fave things Friday" every Friday but I have missed the past 2 weeks!  Oops, so let's get caught up and post this on a Monday...who says we can't bend the rules a little?!

In no particular order and no specific subject, here are some of my favorite things right now!

1.  BOOTS!  One perk to the weather getting colder is getting to wear fun boots.  I recently ordered a pair online from JustFabulous.  It's a site where you take a quiz, they figure out your style and each month they give you a selection of shoes, purses and jewelry.  If you don't like anything in your showroom that month you just skip and pay nothing.  If you like something you pay just $39.95 and shipping is FREE!  I am also a memeber of ShoeDazzle (same exact concept as JustFabulous). 

2.  Treadmill Workouts
We officially have snow on the ground now so I have been doing my daily runs on the treadmill.  I get extremely bored if I don't have a run plan before jumping on.  Some days I sit down and make up my own or I search the internet for treadmill workouts and adjust the speeds to my fitness level.  I like to do lots of intervals between walking, running and sprinting, sometimes I add in some incline to really work the legs and tush! 

3.  Homemade Pumkin Puree
My sister-in-law grows an amazing garden during the Summer and I was lucky enough this Fall to receive some of her pumpkins.  I made pumpkin puree and stored it in zip lock bags in the freezer so I have plenty on hand to use in recipes for smoothies, fruits dips, mix with yogurt and to make yummy baked goods. 

4.  New Family Vehicle
Jason has had his 1998 GMC Yukon for 10 years and for the past two years he has been looking to get a new ride.  We finally took the plunge this past week and we bought a Cadillac Escalade and we are in love with it.  Mollie is especially liking the built in DVD player which came in handy on our four hour trip to Minneapolis this past weekend.  We watched Little Mermaid (my favorite) while Jason drove.  I think Mollie was more fond of Dr. Suess which I can't even count how many times that was played in a 24 hour period! ;)

5.  Peanut Butter on EVERYTHING!
I recently discovered the wonderful combination of peanut butter and cream cheese on whole wheat bread.  This is a fabulous treat after a hardcore morning run.  I ate this paired with some scrabled eggs topped with hot salsa.  (This meal was from the breakfast buffet at our hotel in Minneapolis.)

One more peanut butter bliss combo: whole grain Kashi waffles, topped with natural peanut butter, sliced apples, cinnamon and 100% pure maple syrup.  Stack it like a sandwich and enjoy with a fork.  Next time I will cut out one of the waffles, one is plenty.  My husband saw me eating this and immediately needed to have one himself.  Pure heaven in your mouth!

6.  Mollie's Accessories
I just think it's so stinking cute when Mollie has a bow in her hair or wears a hat.  Little girls are so adorable with accessories!

7.  Thanksgiving Week
I like this week for a number of reasons:  Jason and I only have to work three days, I am running an Turkey Day 5k and we get to spend Thanksgiving day with family eating really yummy food!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Creamy Spaghetti Casserole (Healthier Version)

This one is a hit in our household and I have to admit the way I used to make it was not quite as healthy.  Now that I have improved my eating habits I have found a few ways to make this a bit healthier.  I would still consider this to be a treat, not something I would make on a regular basis due to some of the ingredients not being 100% healthy plus I try to keep my pasta consumption to once a week.  I wasn't really considering posting this until MS_FitTip on Twitter asked if I would be.  I thought, what the heck, sure I can!  It's really yummy! :)

Mollie & Jason approved! :)

Creamy Spaghetti Casserole
1 lb ground lean turkey*
8 oz. vegatable or whole wheat spaghetti (broken in to 2 in. pieces)
1/2 C chopped green pepper
1/2 C chopped white onion
1/2 C carrots thinly sliced
1  8oz. pkg fresh mushrooms sliced
1/4 C reduced sodium chicken or vegatable broth
1 10.75oz. can fat free cream of chicken
1 10.75oz. can fat free cream of mushroom
1/2 C fat free plain greek yogurt
2 C reduced fat colby jack cheese
salt & pepper to taste (I will list other seasonings I like to add in notes below)

Boil pasta in large pot of water for 8 minutes (make sure to break into small pieces before cooking).  Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Brown ground turkey in large skillet over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper (I like to add in some garlic powder, cayenne, dried rosemary and italian seasoning too).  Feel free to add in spices that you enjoy.  Push turkey to one side of pan when fully cooked and saute onions on other side with a drizzle of olive oil, stirring until softened.  Add in green peppers, carrots and mushrooms.  Cook about 5-10 more minutes on med-low heat until the veggies are at the tenderness you prefer. 
In a casserole dish mix cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, greek yogurt, broth and 1 C of cheese.  Stir in turkey/veggie mixture and stir well.  Lastly, stir in your cooked pasta.  Cover your casserole dish with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 C cheese and broil on high for 2 minutes.  Serve and ENJOY! :)

*I have also made this with chicken, just cook 2 large chicken breasts and cut up into cubes. 
**You could cut the cheese in this recipe to 1 C to cut some calories and fat (just omit the cheese that you stir into the casserole or the cheese on top...or just use 1/2 C in the casserole and 1/2 C on top).  Still just as good!

Running Challenge: Days 26-30

Days 1-9
Days 10-15
Days 16-20
Days 21-25

Day 26 - Saturday 11.26.2011
Miles 2.28 Time 20:00

Quick 20 minute treadmill run followed by an upper body strength workout.

I can see the end in the sight! Wowser, only 4 days to go!

Day 27 - Sunday 11.27.2011
Outside Run - Temp 36F Wind 11mph
Miles 5.25 Time 44:30

Only 3 more runs until the end of the challenge!

Day 28 - Monday 11.28.2011
Treadmill Walk/Incline/Run
Miles 2.81 Time 30:00

I started the day out with a quick full body strength workout (shown below) and I did my cardio after dinner.  Not ideal but sometimes it just works out that way. :)

Minutes 10-20 were inspired by an incline workout I saw on Peanut Butter Fingers blog a few days ago.  Check out her workout ---> here

Day 29 - Tuesday 11.29.2011
Outside Run - Temp 27F Wind 7mph
Miles 5.1 Time 44:20

Brrrrrrr!  My muscles felt like ice bricks during this run.  I was definitely happy to get back home and throw on some warm sweatpants, a fleece pullover and slippers!  Okay, enough about freezing my tush off...I can't believe I only have ONE more day left of this 30 day challenge.  I am so excited that I was able to stick with it.  It's so much easier to accomplish something when you just set your mind to it and tell yourself YOU CAN! 

My favorite online running tools:

Day 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wednesday 11.30.2011
Outdoor & Treadmill
Temp 30F Wind 14mph and it was SNOWING!
Total miles 5.1

I had a snowy running path tonight.  I intended to run 5 miles outside but between the snowflakes the size of hamsters and the wind I could hardly keep my eyes open to see where I was going.  I cut my run short at 2.6 miles and finshed with 2.5 miles on the treadmill.  Running in the snow is not a hobby I will be picking up on any time soon!  I know people driving by me were thinking "That lady must be out of her dang mind!"  I was thinking it too! :)

30 Days Completed!  YAY!!!! :)

Thank you to all the Tone It Up team for supporting me through this challenge, you kept me going every day with your encouraging words!  ((hugs))  I met my goal of running 100 miles in 30 days.  (100.68 miles to be exact) 

So now what?  This 30 day challenge occupied most of my November blog posts, time to move on the the next thing.  Stay tuned, I have a BIG topic coming up that will be lots of fun but I won't be starting it for a couple of weeks.  It's going to be EXCITING!!!  ;)

Running Challenge: Days 21-25

Find Days 1-9 ---> here
Days 10-15 ---> here
Days 16-20 ---> here

Day 21 - Monday 11.21.2011
Treadmill Jog/Sprint Intervals
Miles 3.23 Time 30:00

It's Thanksgiving week!  That means the Turkey Day 5k is only a couple of days away.  My running buddy, Rachael, called today and said she was thinking about joining me for the turkey run this year and I am giddy!  It is so much more fun to have someone to race with. 

I am going to take it easy on the runs the next two days before the race (around 2 miles or less).  Here is how my run looked today:

Day 22 - Tuesday 11.22.2011

Yes, you read that right.  I did skip a day of running.  At first I was disappointed to break the steak but then I realized I was still really proud of what I have accomplished so far. 

There were a few factors in my decision not to run today.  I woke up 5:30am to shower, get ready, get my meals ready for the day, pack Mollie's diaper bag, wake her up to get dressed and eat breakfast and out the door to go to daycare.  I then met up with my Dad and we drove to the office together (70 miles away).  That afternoon we drove another 40 miles to a city where we stopped at businesses to talk about their health care benefits.  We then drove another 35 miles to go to an appointment my Dad had set up to talk to a group of employees about their investment funds at 6:00pm.  I ended up pulling in my driveway at 10:00pm.  At that point I still had an hour worth of paperwork to get done before I could go to bed.  Knowing that I needed to get up early Wednesday morning to drive 90 miles for a doctor appointment, I chose to get some rest and pass up on a late night run.  I was exhausted and my body was needing the rest so I listened and crashed. 

Just because I missed one day does not mean this challenge is over.  I am going to finish out the 30 day challenge.  I plan on making up a today on day 31.  I do NOT see this as a failure, I see this as an opportunity to do my best and be proud knowing I have genuinely worked hard.  

Day 23 - Wednesday 11.23.2011
Treadmill - SLOW walk/jog/run
Miles 2.5 Time 31:23

Tonight I had no intention of doing hard run.  I knew I wanted to take it easy because I have the Turkey Day 5k in the morning and wanted to be rested for it.  After not running yesterday and taking it easy on my run tonight, I feel my body is going to be ready to give me a good run tomorrow.   

My workout looked like this:

Hunter got some snuggle time before my run tonight, he always finds his way to the workout room when I'm in there.  Such a love bug! :)

7 days to go!!

Day 24 - Thursday 11.24.2011
Check out my post about my Turkey Day 5k here
Miles 3.1 Time 23:24 (PR)

Day 25 - Friday 11.25.2011
Outside Run
Temp 35F Wind 4mph
Miles 5.25 Time 49:59

I love that the forecast shows Sunny but the sky was completely covered 100% in clouds, oops to the weather man on that one. ;)

So true!  I find it hard to make myself stop what I am doing and just go for a run.  Always feels amazing and refreshing afterwards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Running Challenge: Days 16-20

Check out Days 1-9 and Days 10-15

Over the hump!
Day 16 - Wednesday 11.16.2011
Treadmill Run
Miles 3.5, Time 30:44, Calories Burned 564

Jason told me today that he was proud of me for sticking with this challenge.  I told him that all my Tone It Up friends have kept me motivated with their positive feedback and it keeps me pushing through. THANK YOU TIU TEAM! xoxo

This was a run I found from Carrots 'n' Cake blog, just changed the end a little.

Hunter's version of working out on the treadmill. He usually sits on the workout bench and watches me run, such a great cheerleader! ;)

14 days to go!!

Day 17 - Thursday 11.17.2011
Treadmill Run
Miles 3.78, Time 35:00, Calories Burned 613

I forgot to mention in my previous treadmill posts that I like to do all these treadmill workouts at an incline of 1% or 2% unless otherwise specified on the workout sheet.  This way you get a workout that better simulates an outdoor run.  Here what today's run looked like:

Don't forget the importance of stretching after a workout.  It helps you stay flexible and gives you a good range of motion.  Hold your stretches 10-20 seconds in order for it to be effective.
I like to put my legs against the wall with my feet up for about 3-5 minutes after a run or even a strength training session where I'm working my legs a lot.  It calms and relieves tension in the nerves and blood vessels of the legs.  This is a good one to do everyday just before bed if you don't have time right after you workout.
(There's Hunter again, checking out the action in the workout room.)

Day 18 - Friday 11.18.2011
Short Treadmill Run
Miles 2, Time 16:48, Calories Burned 231

Today's workout was super short.  We were staying in Minneapolis and I needed to get a run in for the day so I did a quick 2 mile run at the hotel fitness center.  I had the gym to myself which was pretty fantastic.  I cranked up the volume on a run mix from Rock My Run on my iPod and rocked out a fun run.

Mollie checking out the fitness center (in her pj's of course).
Jason captured this great shot of Mollie & I in the mirror :)

Day - 19 Saturday 11.19.2011
Treadmill Intervals: Walk/Run/Sprints
Miles 5.83 Time 60:00

It snowed today!  I was really hoping we would make it until after Thanksgiving until we got our first snow of the season.  ALMOST made it!  Only a few more days until the Turkey Day 5k and I'm seriously pumped! 

Today I did my altered version of the Tone It Up Shredmill workout.  The first time I did this was back in September and it kicked my butt.  I can tell I have built endurance and strength since then because today it seemed so much easier. 
After my run I did a short (very short) strength workout pictured below:

11 days to go...unbelievable!

I am LOVING my new capris from Old Navy, I only paid $15 for them!!  They are actually better than some of the brands I have paid over $50 for.

Day 20 - Sunday 11.20.2011
Treadmill Run
Miles 3.5 Time 29:59

Today's run was very plain Jane and as simple as they come.  I jumped on the treadmill, set my incline at 1% and my speed at 7mph.  I did a total of 3.5 miles at this pace.  I don't usually keep one pace while doing a treadmill run because it tends to get extremely boring.  Today I kept distracted by having the TV on in front of me and blasting a fun music playlist.  10 DAYS TO GO!!!  :)

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