Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The year of change

2010 was definitely the year of change and new beginnings. The biggest being the birth of Ophelia and becoming a mother, I also made some big decisions about school and dealt with months of illness without answers.

Looking back my 2010 goals: How did I do?
Yearly Miles: 1330
-Pain free running after baby and a strong comeback: Yes, no injuries and plenty of PRs

-Continue with my new found attitude for running/racing: Kind of, as I started seeing my potential and setting PRs late Summer I started pushing harder, but I am still enjoying running more then ever.

-Start racing again and BQ: Yes, 3:31:44 at TCM

-PRs at all distances, actually run some 5Ks/10Ks: Kind of, Marathon PR (above), Half PR (1:39:56) and 10 Mile PR (1:10:36 ). I didn't run a 10K and only ran 1 5K and this was the day after a 17 mile long run.

-Continue with weights 2-3x week and XT 2x week as I get back to running: Another kind of here, I've been very good about strength training and even started working with a personal trainer recently, but XT not so good until the past few weeks when I got back on my bike.

-Find a good balance between being a mom and running: I think so, Ophelia and I enjoyed many runs with BOB and lucky for me her new found love of naps has let me get in longer runs the days I don't work. 

So what about 2011? I see more changes ahead.
-Continue to run injury free
-Keep up with the strength training 2-3x week and XT 2x week, maybe even add in some yoga
-More PRs and run 5Ks/10Ks and PR: I would love sub 3:30 marathon, 1:35 half, sub1:10 10 Mile, 42:00 10K, and sub 20:00 5K
-Be a better mom and wife, the majority of the year was rough with adjusting to parenthood and how bad I felt most days with fatigue, pain, etc. I am feeling human again and enjoying my time with Ophelia and truly appreciating everything that Matt has done and all that he has put up with.
-Decide on my thesis topic by Spring and have a plan for the remainder of my school
-Run an ultra (maybe)
-More trail running and races
-Start biking to work once the weather is nicer
-Continue with gluten free eating and experiment with more meals: be better as weekly menu planning

2011 Races (so far)
April: Boston Marathon
June: Du at the Dam
July: Napa to Sonoma Half (coaching)
August: Mpls 13.1

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

11 months

What a great toy!
 11 months already, guess it's time to start planning the 1st birthday party. A lot has changed over the past month. A few weeks ago Ophelia started walking and is now more mobile then ever! She also has 4 more teeth, that was not a fun teething experience for any of us. We've been signing since very early and she has recognized some signs, but really only used "milk". Now she signs "eat", "more", "dog", "cat", "change", "sleep", "all done" and "bath". I am a huge fan of baby signing it is making communicating so much easier instead of trying to figure out what she is trying to say. I am really starting to love this age, just watching her play and discover new things is so great.

Over the past few weeks she has been a great sleeper and even manages to get herself to sleep. The naps have even improved, I even managed 10 miles on the treadmill this morning during her nap! This new found love of sleep makes for a much happier mommy and Ophelia. My inaccurate measurements: weight 17 1/2 lbs height: 29".
Attempting to wear a barrette.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


The hat I took from my cousin
Not that I had any doubts but my child is spoiled! Our house is full of toys and her wardrobe keeps growing. I wasn't sure how Ophelia would feel about opening presents but the empty boxes/bags and ripping the paper and handing little pieces to mom and dad was much more exciting then finding out what was inside.

We continued my family's tradition of non-traditional holidays with a great menu lacking all the typical foods (all gluten free with minimal changes):
Lentil tacos
Spanish rice
Pumpkin cheesecake (with a few adjustments) and all the cookies I baked last week
And of course wine

The food/cooking theme continued in gifts: we received a crockpot, espresso maker, beer and wine and gave my parents an ice cream maker. In all the excitement of the day Ophelia skipped her nap and still managed to stay happy. She had a blast playing with her older cousin and showing off her new found skill of walking and asking everyone for food.
4 Generations

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Good thing I'm a runner

With all the baking (and eating) I've done over the past week I need a way to burn all the calories. Since starting on a gluten free diet the beginning of the month I've gone a little crazy searching for recipes and have tried many of them. Some successful and others not so much. I had to add the pictures since I often choose recipes based on look, sorry mine aren't so pretty.

My favorite: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
1 large egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter (I used half creamy and half crunchy)
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanuts
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat together egg, sugar, baking soda and vanilla in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer. Beat in the peanut butter. Stir in peanuts.
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, pressing lightly with the back of a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly set. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies
 Another Good One: Fruit/Nut Bars (very easy to change the toppings)

1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (or a combination of ground nuts, rice cereal, gingersnaps)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vanilla chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven 350° F. Coat 13x9x2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In prepared pan, mix gingersnaps, butter, and vanilla; press into pan. Sprinkle dried fruit, nuts, etc. evenly over gingersnap crust. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top. Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and light brown.

Cranberry/Pecan Bars

This one needs a little help: Pistachio Lime Cookies
1 package Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix
1 cup pistachios, shelled & crushed
1 tsp grated lime peel
For the lime icing:
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
Prepare cookies according to package instructions, add 1/2 cup pistachios. Just before baking, roll bottoms of cookies into crushed pistachios. Bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes. Meanwhile, make the icing: Beat powdered sugar, milk and grated lime peel until smooth. If frosting is too stiff, beat in a few drops more milk; if too soft, beat in more powdered sugar. Drizzle on to cooled cookies.

Pistachio Lime Cookies

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Photos

We were a little behind and finally got holiday photos taken on Sunday and sent Christmas cards today, better then the ones I never sent last year!
Finally a family photo

She sat still long enough just to get this pose

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vegas Adventure: The Sequel

Last year's trip to RnR Vegas resulted in an overnight delay in LA and cold, rainy weather, so I was hoping for a smooth trip this year. That wasn't the case! Starting Friday afternoon we got hit by a big snowstorm resulting in about 8" and leaving nasty roads. By the time we de-iced twice and finally took off we were over 3 hours behind schedule meaning that once we got to the hotel in Vegas we'd been awake for 24 hours, not fun!

The rest of the trip ended up smooth and with wonderful running weather. Saturday we took full advantage of the great Indian buffet that we'd found last year and then met some friends for drinks. That evening was the group pasta party with wonderful gluten free food, they even had angel food cake. Luckily for me I wasn't running for time since I started Sunday morning with a soy latte, banana, yogurt and GF granola, very different from my typical pre-race food. Race day was perfect, started in the 40s with highs of the low 60s and sunny. All my runners finished and felt great, many even ran PRs. I love the atmosphere of big races when not racing, 29,000 is a little too big for me I hate running elbow to elbow.

Team Minnesota

The weekend continued to be great, Sunday night staff/coach party in a penthouse suite complete with food and drinks followed by sushi with Matt. After a long coach certification on Monday we actually made it home without any issues, even landed early!

Walk coach Kathy and I

Ophelia enjoyed her weekend with my parents and I'm really happy we decided not to bring her. I think I would have run over a few people along the Vegas strip with my stroller. Walking alone was difficult enough with all the people stopping and just being dumb that I couldn't imagine doing it with a stroller.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Noncompliance or just failure, where are the answers?

Trying to decide if I can classify myself as the noncompliant patient or if I am just failing at my diet. I'm not one to complain, but I've had enough so here goes...

As I have mentioned over the past few months, I've been having a lot of GI issues that continue to get worse and no one knows why. These have actually been going on for years but to a much lesser extent and have gotten worse especially over the past couple months. A few years ago I had the first doctor suggest I had celiac, instead my blood work showed hypothyroid, then again last year my endocrinologist thought I had both celiac and hypothyroid so I attempted a gluten free diet for a few months, but the pregnancy cravings got the best of me I gave in to "real" food again.

Fast forward to this Spring when the abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, bloating, etc returned. Over the Summer and into the Fall it has gotten worse and now add to that extreme physical fatigue and weakness combined with continued weight loss despite extreme hunger and eating like a teenage boy! I am still running what I can and breastfeeding, but I think the 4,000-5,000 calories I am consuming daily are plenty to make up for that. A few weeks ago I was in for my routine endocrinologist appointment and she too suggested celiac, so I followed up with my primary MD who's first thought too was celiac. That was shot down when the blood test was negative to everyone's surprise, although I did my research and found that there is a 20-40% rate of false negatives, almost seems like a pointless test then. We decided anyways to do a gluten free diet trial, that's where the noncompliance or failure comes in. Despite food help for friends, a lot of $ spent on gluten free food, and meal plans I just can't seem to make it the entire day. The pain returns and I just say "forget it" I want something and eat it anyways. The hardest part is breakfast, I am a cereal addict and have yet to find a gluten free cereal that meets my standards.

So here I sit half asleep and exhausted as I eat everything in sight without an answer. Yes I am happy that the pregnancy weight came off so easily, but not that I am now 15+ lbs below pre-pregnancy weight with a BMI of 17 and per my personal trainer 9% body fat, no wonder why I lack energy. The lack of diagnosis is frustrating! Today is the next step a CT scan, I am not looking forward to my berry flavored barium waiting in the fridge, yuck! I guess if it will give me answers and let me function again then I'll suffer through.