Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally a 60+ mile week

Okay 62.5 miles to be exact. I can't remember the last time I broke 60 mpw, I know it's been since before I was pregnant. It has helped that Ophelia has been taking great morning naps allowing me plenty of time to run, this combined with a long 5 day weekend off work helped me to get the miles in. The even better thing was I felt great all week during my runs, the bad thing is I've spent too much time running on the treadmill lately. Today I had planned to do my long run outside but the fresh coat of snow from Saturday on the paths scared me. The last thing I need is to fall again on an already broken arm. Even with this great week I've decided that I'm running Boston easy and just as a training run for Minneapolis where I hope to run a sub3:30.

Week in review
Monday: Temp Run 8.6 in 1:05:00
Tuesday: SDO
Wednesday: Interval 10.6 in 1:20:00
Thursday: Hills 9.25 in 1:10:00
Friday: Easy 10 in 1:15:30
Saturday: Easy 5.75 in 45:20
Sunday: Long Run 18.25 in 2:21:30
Total 62.5 miles

Looking at the week makes me realize I am doing all my runs at a pace faster then I should be, where is the easy pace, where is the LSD pace? This is the problem with treadmill runs, I just want to get done so I speed up knowing it will end quicker. I have been better at adding incline and mixing up speed during my runs. Please send Spring my way so I can get outside! And what happened to only running 4 or 5 days a week and crosstraining? I feel good and am taking advantage of it, but don't want to overdo things.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More thinking on the treadmill

Since the majority of my running lately has been on the treadmill to accomodate naps I've gotten in the routine of watching cooking shows and letting my mind wander to pass the time. Lucky for me Ophelia's naps coincide nicely with the 2 hour time window that our local public television channel has cooking on. Today I was watching Simply Ming whose show is wonderful; I can't wait to go to Blue Ginger when we're in Boston. I lost interest when he moved from the tempeh to roasted chicken stew and started thinking about the left over pumpkin puree I had sitting in the fridge. Bars, I can make pumpkin date bars like the Banana Bars I made last week. 9.25 miles and 1 hour 10 minutes later I had it all figured out. Now if only my treadmill thinking would solve real issues like figuring out a thesis topic!

Pumpkin Date Bars
1 cup plain almonds
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup molasses (about that, I just emptied the jar)
1 cup GF flour (I used 1/4 cup oat made from ground GF oats, 1/2 cup rice and 1/4 cup tapioca)
1 tsp each cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice
3 Tbsps flax meal
6 Tbsps water

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flax meal and water and set aside. Grind almonds until fine in food processor and pour into bowl, add flours and spices. Process dates in food processor until smooth, add pumpkin, molasses, agave nectar. Add date mix and flax mix to dry ingredients and combine.
Line pan with parchment paper and spread mix in (I used 9x13, could use 8x8 for thicker bars). Bake 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The search for gluten free pizza

I love pizza, especially homemade pizza but since eating GF I haven't found much for decent pizza crust. Today I saw this post from Gluten Free Goddess for pizza crust that I will need to try next time. Until then I have tonight's leftovers to deal with. They will get eaten, but I might do a little complaining while it happens.

Tonight was the 2nd attempt with Bob's Red Mill and it still isn't impressive. This dough was leftover dough that I had frozen from last time when I swore I'd never touch it again. The dough was so sticky and gooey, even after adding an extra cup of rice flour. I think I lost half the dough stuck to my hands, ridiculous! No cooking should be this difficult. I even contacted the company and their response "the dough will be sticky and hard to deal with. Unfortunately that is a part of gluten free baking. The dough can be smoothes out for use fairly easy by using wet hands. It the dough is still sticking to your hands, then use even wetter hands." Okay, but I can't add anymore water to my hands, thanks for the wonderful advice! Tonight I found the solution: place the dough on a greased pan and cover with plastic wrap which doesn't stick to the dough and now spread it. Not sure if it also helped that the dough was cold too but my pizza looked like a pizza tonight and no a pile of goo.

A much harder to find GF mix, but well worth the search was Chebe. This mix was awesome and didn't even taste GF. It was super easy to work with and even reheated well with the typical gooey GF texture. I loved the flavor, a hint of oregano and garlic, yum! This would even make great breadsticks. I'm even considering ordering in bulk from their website and keeping stocked up. Now to try some of their other products.

The search is still on, but I have options to continue with my pizza obsession! Pizza used to be my post-long run dinner loaded with pineapple, olives and tomatoes. I know weird combination, but it tastes great, just the right combination of sweet and salty and all the carbs, fat and calories needed to recover from marathon training. Oh and paris well with just about any wine!




Saturday, February 19, 2011

1 pound

No, I am not needing to lose 1 pound, this is the answer I received from the orthopedist on Thursday. A 1 pound lifting restriction with my right arm. Yikes, what actually weighs 1 pound? Honestly not much! Maybe a can of soda or soup, but how do you actually function with this limitation. Don't get me wrong I am happy that the splint is off and I am only needing to use the sling when I will be up moving a lot for comfort. He actually encouraged range of motion in my elbow, but no lifting "anything more then a pen" then he changed to 1 pound. This will be the case for another 2 weeks until my follow up when I'll have more films to make sure it is healing well. I guess for a fracture I can't complain: 10 days in a splint and another 2 weeks in a sling as needed with very limited lifted. When I mentioned my 12 month daughter he just hung his head and replied "things just get more interesting with you." I don't think he will ever forget the girl with the broken arm who was anxious to be running and had a toddler at home.

On the plus side I did manage to get in my long run today: 20 miles on the treadmill while watching a lot of cooking shows. I did learn the secret of perfect pan seared scallops which we had planned for tonight's dinner. I decided to stay inside on the treadmill in case my arm got too sore (who am I kidding I don't stop running doe to arm or any pain for that matter) and to avoid another fall on the ice that had formed back on the sidewalks after last week's warm up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day: and a restaurant review

Okay so I'm a little late, but we didn't actually celebrate on Monday I mean who really needs Hallmark to tell you what day to celebrate when you've been together as long as we have?! We celebrated with a great dinner at home on Sunday and a dinner out on Tuesday. Personally I celebrated Valentine's Day by returning to running and getting in a nice 9 miles after a week off.

Sunday night we had steamed lobster tails, asparagus, and garlic mashed potatoes. I'm so glad I found a use for the food steamer I insisted on getting when I was pregnant to use for making baby food. Up until 2 months ago it hadn't even been out of the box when we decided to give steamed lobster a try with great success. Yes, I still made all the baby food it just seemed much easier to use the old fashioned steamer basket in a pot and now that I have the hang of the steamer we are way beyond anything that resembles baby food.

Tuesday night we took advantage of the 1/2 price wine special at Biaggi's and I was able to give their gluten free menu a try. I was impressed! As soon as the waiter saw I had the GF menu he had the kitchen prepare a plate of GF bread which was pretty good although I still missed their great focaccia. He also brought Ophelia a plate of orange slices and crackers to keep her busy. The GF menu was pretty complete: pasta, pizza, and the typical salads and meats. We had a Cesar salad and Matt was able to get croutons on the side. I ordered the Mediterranean pizza: peppers, olives, tomatoes, and mushrooms and yes it had the GF taste to the crust but overall good. And Ophelia was thrilled with her plate of mushrooms, not sure where she gets this since both Matt and I hate them! So nice to find an Italian restaurant with a GF menu giving us more options for eating out.

In other news I now have my arm back, at least somewhat. The splint is off and I am now in a sling. Already after only 10 days I can see the loss of muscle in that arm, not happy about this after all my hard work over the past few months, but on the plus side this is making me focus on core work.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What a week!

Breaking your arm is never a fun thing, but I've learned it is really a bad idea when you have a 12 month old at home. Then to make things even harder my mom, who is our daily babysitter has been sick. First she found out on Tuesday that she had strep and an ear infection, then became dehydrated due to vomiting from the antibiotics and dizziness the ear was causing. Thursday she ended up in urgent care on IV fluids and a new round of antibiotics. This meant I was home all day both Thursday and Friday with a toddler who decided naps weren't fun! Mom wasn't having fun either! The worst part of this all for me was that running is what helps me through these stressful days and I wasn't even able to do that. I did make sure to have a couple glasses of Zin that evening :-) Oh and top this all off I have a paper due tomorrow, typing has been a slow painful process. It has been amazing the things that have become so difficult: eating (planned meals that are simple to eat), putting in contacts, make-up, breastfeeding a squirmy toddler, shaving (I think I'm just going to give up and get my underarms waxed), cooking. I have yet to attempt going anywhere with Ophelia, but plan to hit the gym and store later so it might be interesting.  

Precor Crossramp, my new love! 
The only good that has come from this past week is that I have done a lot of cross training and been back in  the gym, might even qualify for my insurance's frequent fitness discount. I spent a lot of time on my bike and even got in a few doubles : biking in the morning and my new found love the Crossramp at the gym in the afternoon. The Crossramp is the most similar to running that I have found and I actually didn't get too bored. Yesterday it was 47F here, a heat wave after the negative temperatures we've had and the gym was packed. Seriously? Why was everyone inside? I was kind of stuck there, but everyone else get out and enjoy this. I spent my workout thinking about how much I wanted to be running in shorts, getting muddy legs and just soaking up the sun. I love these mid-Winter warm ups. Maybe tomorrow, the splint comes off today and then my 1 week of no running will be over.

We were able to get outside and enjoy the weather a little yesterday, Ophelia got her first real taste of playing in the snow. Her oversized, highly immobile snowsuit kept her from doing too much. The other positive from this week is that she has avoided getting sick, one more thing I credit breastfeeding for! I figured a toddler with strep would be the only way to make the week even more interesting! Although she did manage to wipe out on the hardwood floors and cut/bruise her lip. Together we looked like a great pair.    

Monday, February 7, 2011

Injured!

I never dreamed of a running injury like this, but as I mentioned in my last posted I took a fall on the ice yesterday during a 5 mile run, luckily with only 1/2 mile to go. I was in pain immediately but figured that was just the initial trauma and things would be fine. I spent the next 24 hours denying that swelling, pain, and inability to move my right arm at the elbow didn't exist and would go away.

After being told by coworkers that it didn't look good I decided to run over to the walk-in ortho clinic at lunch. I've got to say this is a great concept and speedy care. I was in and out and back to work in under 1 hour splint in place. I can honestly say I never thought I'd have a broken arm from running! I have a radial head fracture in my right arm, yes I am right handed, and splinted from hand to nearly my shoulder. It is looking non-surgical, but a CT was done to get a better look at displacement.

The bad news: no running for 1 week and this was a compromise. I'm pretty sure he is now going to think of me as "that crazy runner" when I see him at work. At least this was a cutback week and I work 6 of the next 7 days so mileage would have been lower anyways.
The good news: if the displacement is minimal, like expected, then this splint is off in a week or two and then I'll just have a sling. Now to adjust to being left handed.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm a Winter Weather Wimp

A couple years ago Matt and I routinely ran long runs outside most weekends and I survived, but this year I think I have forgotten how to run int he Winter. In 2007 I ran RnR Arizona and it was 28F at the start, that day I wore shorts, a long sleeved shirt, light jacket and throw away gloves and was comfortable. So far this Winter I have ran three times outside and each time looked like an overdressed child waiting at the bus stop. My Winter running outfit now includes tights, wind pants, short sleeved base layer, mock turtle neck, heavy running jacket, hat, and mittens. Last weekend I even had hand warmers in my gloves and it was in the low 20s. I know my body needs to adapt again, but this is ridiculous, it takes forever to get dressed! And on top of all this frozen energy chews (this weekend Power Bar Chews) are hard to eat. Where is Spring and the sun for that matter?!

This weekend's 17 miler was much better then last weekend's 17 miles. I have spent way to much time on the treadmill that I think my training is suffering. I instability of running on ice and snow last weekend resulted in very sore legs. At least I finally slowed to a LSD pace instead of doing a long run at half marathon pace just to get finished with another treadmill run. Don't get me wrong I am very thankful for my treadmill and being able to easily fit in runs, but I'm starting to get a little tired of this routine. After the wipe out I took on the ice at the end to today's 5 miles I think I might be better off sticking to the treadmill until everything is melted. 

Chili and Corn Muffins: Perfect Superbowl Weekend Meal

In honor of Superbowl Sunday and Winter we decided that slow cooker chili and corn muffins were a perfect meal. After many failed attempts at GF corn muffins I think I have finally succeeded, everyone was impressed and the muffins lacked the density that my previous failed attempts had.

 4 Bean Slow cooker Chili
1 can each: black beans, dark/light kidney beans, white beans
4 cans tomato sauce (equal amount to beans)
1 onion diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 Roasted red pepper diced
4 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 package soy chorizo (or leave out)
1/2 cup quinoa
Directions:
Saute onions, garlic, pepper until soft. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high 4 hours. Add quinoa and cook another 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve topped with cheese.
This recipe is easily changed, we’ve done various beans, soy crumbles, chicken for non-vegetarian, different peppers, and added veggies such as corn or tomatoes.

Corn Muffins adapted from The Daily Dietribe Corn Muffin Recipe
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal
7 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate + 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup honey
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line muffin tins.
Mix flour, starch, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cornmeal.
In a separate bowl mix egg, juice, yogurt, and butter.
Stir liquid mix into dry.
Fill greased muffin tins to top and bake for 15 minutes.
Eat warm or reheat leftover muffins.