Friday, February 28, 2014

5 for Friday

1) It’s Friday and even better I’m not working (I’ll leave out that just means I work Saturday)! I got the sleep in until 6 and sit around in pajamas drinking coffee. My big plans for the day include: yoga, a short speed work run, Costco, coffee with a friend and seeing my chiro for muscle work on my hamstring that has been surprisingly happy since last weekend’s long run! Matt dropped O off at school so the day is all mine! I still remember the time when these days were so common, now a rarity but so worth it even though it means lots to do. What do you look forward to most on kid free days off?

2) Dance costume day was earlier this week. I got home to an entire lecture from my 4 year old on how we need to care for the costumes, not iron, hang them up and not pull on them. Way to listen O! She of course had to model but now has to wait 2 more months to wear them again. At least this renewed her love of dance since I’ve been hearing how she doesn’t like it anymore. We will see what the end of the year brings and readdress later but she did tell me it is only ballet she likes! That’s my girl! I was not a fan of tap either.

3) Tomorrow will be 1 month since Morgan left us for Doggy Heaven and I still expect him to greet me at the door every time I walk in. Miss you buddy!
The vet made this print for us, love it!
4) Remember when I talked about prepping the house to move well that’s not happening. Instead we decided to go far in the other direction and remodel our house, yikes! The only thing safe in the upstairs. Over the next few months we will be redoing the kitchen (new counters, refinishing floor, new appliances), finishing the basement and doing a bunch of new landscaping, deck and fencing. Yikes, what are we thinking? Guess I’m spending some time today at Home Depot researching counter tops and appliances, fun times! Any advice is welcome.

5) Not sure I can say this any more but I am DONE WITH WINTER! Yesterday was another brutal subzero day, winds gusting and temps never reach above -6F. Thanks to this fun weather I’m planning another long treadmill run this weekend instead of running in -5F. 20 miles on the treadmill, fun times! Here’s where I need the help, to make the time pass I’ve got music and Netflix (and sometimes a friend to join me). What new music should I add to my list? New shows or movies to watch?

Maybe this will make the time go faster!
From Run The Edge

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIAW and Red Pepper "Cream" Sauce Recipe: DF/GF

For the last month, through illness and bad weather and not great training, I decided the best thing was to focus on what I was really eating, think before I boredom ate and go through this dairy free experiment along side O. I'm happy to say she is doing great and her issues are nearly resolved! With this my cheese addiction had to stop or I had to find new alternatives and anyone who's eaten vegan cheese knows it lacks a lot! But success thanks to a friend, I have a new recipe to share.

But first since I'm talking food why not join in on What I Ate Wednesday. So here it is (minus a few items)...
My usual breakfast after 1 hour on the bike and a core workout: Coffee and banana protein oats

Lunch and morning snack: Strawberries and homemade granola (snack), salad with roasted edamame and sweet potatoes with chipotle hummus (lunch)

Afternoon snack and time to see the trainer for a few speed interval miles and strength work

Dinner and a recipe
Roasted Red Pepper “Cream” Sauce
1 pkg silken tofu
2 roasted red peppers (jarred or fresh work)
2 minced cloves garlic
1 scallion minced
Salt/Pepper to taste
2-4 tbsp Unsweetened non-dairy milk

Put tofu, peppers, garlic and scallion in food processor until smooth. Add milk and mix until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta with Spinach/Artichoke
~ 4 cups spinach
1 can artichoke hearts (the ones in water) or fresh
2 cloves garlic

While the sauce is mixing Saute spinach and artichoke hearts in olive oil. Add garlic and season with salt/pepper if desired. Mix with cooked pasta and top with red pepper sauce. Serve with red pepper flakes and Parmesan.

Even my milk drinking, meat eating husband loved this! I think next time I will top with sun dried tomatoes too. I’m now thinking of other fun sauces to make to mix things up a little.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

8 weeks to go

It seems like last week I was looking at the first week of Boston training and now we have 8 weeks to go. This training has been less than great with illness and nasty weather my runs have been tough. I finally feel like with 8 weeks to go I can say I'm really training!

2 weeks ago I ended with a 20 miler cut short due to hip issues which I relate fully to the nasty road conditions but after another session of muscle work and acupuncture I felt better. See I guess in my old age I'm getting smarter and learning to listen! After a steroid course and then antibiotics I think I have finally kicked this illness for good, now to down the pro-biotics in hopes of not messing up my gut. I am also nearly 1 month into being dairy free again and know this is helping everything.

Last week I ended on Saturday with a great run, I needed this mentally to tell me I wasn't out of my element. So how did the rest of the week go....
Pre-run ritual

Monday: Yoga and strength
Tuesday: 1 hour bike morning and 7 mile hill run evening outside in 40 degrees!
Wednesday: 6 miles: Tempo morning and strength + 4 miles: 1/4 mile repeats afternoon
Thursday: 1 hour bike morning and yoga afternoon
Friday: 2 mile easy run and strength morning and 1 hour bike afternoon
Saturday: 17.5 miles at Marathon Pace and faster (7:48 avg) when you're stuck on the treadmill make it worth it!
Sunday: 1 hour bike and core

Mentally I needed this week to tell me I can run again. I've rethought my Boston goal and plan to just enjoy the race and focus on other races for PRs.

Hope everyone else is having better weather and great running. It looks like my 20 miler this week will be on the treadmill again, ugh!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow, Steroids and Marathon Training??

I am less than 10 weeks from my 3rd Boston Marathon (25th marathon) and beginning to wonder if I will even be close to fully trained. I have already started rethinking my lofty goals and plan to just have fun. Can this winter get any worse for training? I mean multiple days in a row of temps never reaching + numbers with many wind chills -40 or worse, snow packed sidewalks and paths and very little warm up in there! Remind me why I stay here!

Now top that with illness after illness and you’ve got a tough run. I finally gave in after 2+ weeks of a nasty cough that turned in wheezing and barely being able to walk up the stairs and saw my doctor. I’ve had asthma since childhood but have not owned an inhaler in years, I know my triggers (cold air being the and respiratory illness being the worst) and tend to avoid. But this time I lost. I’m sure my constant on the go mentality isn’t helping, but I finally gave in skipped the gym rested and took care of myself! Not to mention the massive doses of steroids I’ve been taking for the past few days! Wonder if they will make me even stronger, kidding! But I can finally breath! I even ran yesterday, it was slow but it was a run.

And now with all hopes and excitement I look at the extended forecast and see upper 30s and can’t wait to run outside. Lungs clear, weather better…bring on the winter running! Can't wait to get out this weekend and try out the new snowshoes too.

So excited to get outside to run today, then enjoy a relaxing hour at the salon getting my hair cut! Happy Valentine’s Day to me! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Time to embrace winter

I’ve decided that after 35 years of living in the frozen tundra I’m going to do my best to embrace winter. After years of talking about it I was finally convinced after O’s birthday party last weekend. I wasn’t sure how things would go but as part of her party at the nature preserve the naturalist offered to take the kids snowshoeing to find animal tracks. O loved it, she immediately took off like a pro! This of course led to wanting to go again and Matt buying her snowshoes that night!

Ironically the next day we were offered a pair of skis for her as well, why not?! So now we have a 4 year old with her own snowshoes and skis and neither Matt or I own either, time to fix that! Thank you REI for your big 1 day sale on Wednesday, we are now waiting on our own snowshoes to arrive. I’m excited and hope that this will be extra motivation to get out and enjoy winter. What great cross training for running. I have been so limited with the cold weather and snow covered paths that way too many miles have been logged on the treadmill.

On Tuesday I ran for the first time outside since the start of the year (besides Disney) and it was not great, the uneven ground hurts my hip! Ugh, just got this healed, I can’t risk anything else. Once again we are starting another day with below 0 temperatures and wind chills of -30! Makes me wonder why I live here! Now we start the search for cross country skis, although that may wait until next year since I hope we are nearing the end of this brutal winter! Any advice for a newbie on snowshoes?

What is your favorite outdoor winter activity? I’m hoping with these new options I won’t hate winter quite as much, wish me luck!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Going Dairy Free: Menu Planning and Pumpkin Cookies

The post I had planned for Wednesday (and then Friday when our power was out!) takes a much happier attitude! Thanks everyone for your kind words and thoughts about Morgan.

The weather this week has once again been awful, no school for many Monday and Tuesday due to wind chills of -40 below and worse! Then Thursday brought a huge dumping of snow and wind, yuck! Monday O still had school but the call came around lunch that they had no heat in the building and it hadn't been fixed so things were cold, yikes! Come pick her up if I could, luckily my afternoon at work wasn't bad so I was on my way. The selfish runner in me was frustrated I had to skip the gym, but we made it work. 

After a short argument because someone didn't want to leave school, she loves it! We were home, O took her afternoon quiet/nap time and I threw in Jillian Michaels 6 Pack in 6 Weeks workout. I love this workout for times like this when I'm limited. Then per O's request it was cookie time!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
1 banana mashed
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup date paste
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins

Mix dry ingredients, add in wet and mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls on prepared baking sheet and flatten. Bake 10-12 min at 350 degrees

And now on the the rest of my weekly food talk...February 1st marked the start of elimination diet trials (again) for O. We did this a couple years ago but she was too young to communicate her discomfort or symptoms and outwardly the changes were little. After daily complaints of tummy aches, huge bloated belly and lots of respiratory crud I've had enough. First we are doing dairy, I also need to re-eliminate this from my diet so I am in with her. Plus I need to get even better at what I eat. So what's on the menu this week?

What is on your menu for the week? Any good dairy free meal suggestions?

Today we are off to celebrate O's birthday party with family and friends. Can't wait to see how good this cake tastes, wish me luck on the frosting and decorating!