Saturday, February 28, 2009

Badge Of......

I felt a lot better this morning so I decided to go ahead and go out for the run. It was cold and rainy :( That did not make for a pleasant run. I wasn't feeling that great once we got started, my legs were tired and I didn't have that much energy. We ended up doing 9 miles but it was more of a walk/run then an all out run. That is just fine with me, the point is, I (WE) got out there!

While we were running we started talking about how we should get a badge for this. It was funny because we started listing all different badges we have earned during our training. We didn't actually make up NAMES for the badges but for the purpose of this blog I'm going to make up my own names for the badges we mentioned as well as some I just thought of.

Snow Patrol Badge - for completing a run in the snow
Rainmaker Badge - for completing a run in the rain (we definitely earned this one today)
Beat the Heat Badge - for completing a run in 90+ degree weather
Trail Master Badge - for completing a trail run

Ummm, I can't remember the other ones we talked about. What about you? What badges have you earned during your running adventurers?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Uh Oh

My throat started hurting when I woke hurt during is still hurting.

I drank a lot of tea today in hopes that it would soothe my hasn't. I'm currently drinking some orange juice, hopefully that will help.

I really hope that this gets better and not worse. I'm nervous because half of the office has been sick and coughing all over the place so who knows what kind of germs I have been exposed to all week long.

I have running to do! Not to mention I really REALLY planned on cleaning out my closet this weekend and I know that isn't going to happen if I wake up in the morning feeling even worse.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2nd Wind

*note* I'm going to start posting the details of my runs. I got this idea from another blog I follow "Vegas Runner".

5 mile run: 55:25 minutes (average pace of 11:05). Avg heart rate: 168bpm. Fastest pace: 8:41 Max heart rate: 196bpm. I felt really good during the run and picked up the pace the 2nd half of the run. The weather was perfect and it was nice to have a run in good conditions.

Today we met at the shop (after numerous emails back and forth about where we were going to meet) for an evening run. We decided to forgo running through the park/greenway and instead decided to just run straight down Lawndale. That way was a straight shot and pretty well lit due to the street lights and car headlights. Running in the dark is still a bit scary to me and sometimes makes me dizzy.

After we got to the turn around point I started feeling really good. I decided to kick it up a notch and run the second half of the run faster than the first part. I had a really nice woman running with me so that was nice. This was my first time meeting her, she's not a regular member of the running group but was at the shop and asked if she could tag along with us. I was happy that she wanted to pick up the pace too.

I was surprised I was able to do that seeing as I had been feeling tired all day long and really didn't even want to go on the run. I really think I'm getting stronger and faster which makes me happy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Perfect Week

I was thinking today while I was in Pilates class (which by the way was both challenging and great - I shouldn't take off a week again), what would a perfect week of exercise entail? I thought of various scenarios and decided that if I was going to detail the PERFECT week then I might as well do on that assumes that I don't actually have other stuff to do in my life like work. It might be feasible for me to do a slight variation of this workout except for the fact that I'm really NOT a morning person so getting in the morning to workout before going to work isn't a viable option. I'm not putting in actual distances because that would vary and plus I didn't think about it THAT much, I mean I was supposed to be concentrating on my breathing.

Anyway...I is the point of my post, my perfect workout week.

Monday: morning swim (drills), afternoon bike(short), evening Pilates
Tuesday: morning swim(short), afternoon run(speed or hills)
Wednesday: morning bike(med), evening Pilates
Thursday: morning swim(med-long), afternoon run (short-med)
Friday: afternoon Pilates(easy)
Saturday: morning run (long)
Sunday:afternoon bike(long)

Hmmm......just typing that out made me tired. Yeah, that would pretty much only be feasible if I didn't have to work at all because I would need to sleep in between the workouts, LOL.

What would your perfect [workout] week look like?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Like I Never Left

I thought that my run tonight would be extremely difficult since I hadn't done anything for over a week. To my delight it went wonderfully. We did 4 miles at a steady pace and I didn't fall out! I had a moment where I thought I might not make it but that faded fast.

I love running with friends, especially after a long day at work. All the deadlines, obligations, and frustrations just fade away while I am out there running and having great conversation. I always feel better after a run, no matter the distance. I feel good that I have made the effort to do something for my body and for my health.

Running is like an old friend; although you may not speak for a while, when you get together it is like you never left.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up and Goal Setting #2

Last week was about as bad as it gets when it comes to nutrition and exercise. I was on a business trip to Switzerland which isn't a valid excuse for my behavior but it is my excuse nevertheless. I ate too much chocolate, too much rich cheese, too much food in general. I did absolutely no exercising unless you count dragging my suitcase down a flight of stairs during which I broke off one of the wheels which led to me having to drag the suitcase along the ground for the rest of the trip because I don't know how to pack light so it was much too heavy for me to pickup! I didn't drink nearly enough water and entirely too many Espressos. And let me tell you...the ones they drink over there are MUCH stronger than what we drink here!

OH and I gained 3 pounds last week. WTF!!! How is that even possible??? I would have to starve myself to LOSE 3 pounds in a week. This is some bullish.

Goals for the Week
I feel like I am trying to get sick so I'm not going to do TOO much this week. I may wait until next week to start back swimming depending on how I feel.

-Run at least twice. I MIGHT be out of town this weekend so I'm not sure if I will make my Saturday run.
-Attend Pilates class
-For REAL develop an eating plan. I don't know what my problem is and why I'm procrastinating with this.

That's it, I'd rather under promise and over deliver than the other way around, LOL.

What are YOUR goals for the week? How did you do last week? Better than me I hope.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Healthy Travelling

My recent (1st) business trip has made me realize how difficult it is to stick with a healthy eating/exercise regimen. It also made me start to think about various ways to make it easier to stay on track while away on business. I Googled "how to stay healthy while travelling" and came up with numerous articles providing advice on how to stay healthy while travelling. I decided to summarize some of the things I read as well as add in my own opinion/tips. *These tips are mostly related to business travel but could also apply to leisure travel as well.

The Difficulties
-Full days followed by busy nights which doesn't leave much time for exercising.
-Dinners with clients and/or colleagues that are paid for by the company making in more tempting to splurge.
-Rushed meals which often lead to grabbing some unhealthy fast food.

-Pack your own healthy snacks for the car or plane ride. This will be much more healthy than what you would get on the plane or pick up at the gas station.
-When you do eat out, make wise choices and pick something healthy on the menu. Limit alcoholic drinks, choose wine over beer or mixed drinks.
-Bring your workout clothes with you on your trip. At least if you have them you can't use that as an excuse not to do your workout.
-Hotel Room Workout I would suggest adding some bicycle crunches to get in a quick ab workout.
-Make sure to get some sleep. While I know it is important to catch up on your emails and other work it will do you no good to be tired for the next day. Try to get enough sleep each night so you will be refreshed in the morning.

Bottom Line
-You know what you should be doing....the same things that apply every day still apply when you are travelling.
-Eat healthy, exercise and get the proper amount of sleep.
-These things are more difficult when away from home and when you are trying to keep up with a busy schedule, just like everything else, it comes down to willpower and personal responsibility.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quick Updated from Switzerland

I don't know why I thought I could come over here and actually be "good".....

So I haven't worked out AT ALL! Ugh, I need to but I am out all day long and then when I get back to the hotel I need to catch up on what's going on at work in the US. Not to mention I'm extremely tired so I don't feel like doing any kind of working out. I really understand why it is so hard for people that travel to stay on track.

I haven't been eating TERRIBLE but I surely haven't been eating great either. When I get back I am going to have to start back counting calories and planning out all of my meals (not just dinner) and factor in the amount of exercise I am going to do that day. This is the only way I am going to get any trimmer (read: less fat) and to make sure I am actually getting enough nutrients once I factor in my exercise.

I AM in could I pass up all of the wonderful cheese and chocolate that is all around me????

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Possible Posting Interruption

I will be travelling to Switzerland tomorrow and I will be there until the 20th sooo I don't know how much posting I will be able to do. I'm going for work so I already know I won't have access to the internet during the day. Oh my, I am shaking just thinking about going that long without checking my gmail, facebook, myspace, google reader, etc. Not to mention not having access to my DVR/American TV! I'm starting to break out in a cold sweat.

This will be somewhat of a detoxing period for me. Even though (hopefully) I will be able to get on the internet at night from my hotel room, I will still be cutting back on the internet and TV drastically which might be a good thing. It will give me some time to focus on more important things and to just clear my head from all this technological clutter.

Had I really planned ahead I would have written a bunch of posts and set them to post to the blog at different times during the week. Well I did think about doing it, it just never happened because I procrastinated and then I had too many other things to take care of (like packing which I still haven't finished and it is midnight).

So, if I can get on the internet I will post something. It probably won't be related to exercise because I don't foresee much of that happening this week but I am taking my running shoes and some running clothes just in case!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Need for Speed(work)

I had this great idea to attempt to run approximately 3.1 miles as fast as I could. Now I'm not sure what I was thinking seeing as I haven't really run faster than a 10 min mile since before the marathon. Early October was probably the last time I did any speedwork. I set out and I should have known immediately that this was a bad idea. I hadn't gone 2 minutes when my lungs started burning. I could make a bunch of excuses as to why my run didn't go as planned....I was tired, my lungs hurt, I think I'm getting a cold, my shorts kept riding up, blah blah blah. When it comes down to it, I haven't been training to run fast.

I have been running nice, pretty leisurely runs of around 10:30 to 11:00 min/miles for both my long and short runs. While this is great and will definitely aid in increasing my endurance, it isn't helping me get faster. My main goal for this year is to successfully complete a triathlon. The run in the tri is 3.1 miles and I want to be able to complete that portion of the race as fast as I can. Right now, that isn't very fast.

What is my plan? I am going to start (when I get back from my trip) to add at least one day of speedwork a week. Once Marisa starts her tri training I think that will help too. I decided at the beginning of the year I wanted to get faster but so far I haven't actually done anything to help me do so. It is time for me to pick up the pace, literally......

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wet Pilates

Well I didn't ACTUALLY do Pilates wet but I did go swimming right before my Pilates class which probably wasn't the best idea. We had a new instructor and she worked us! I had a long day at work and then a long workout after work so I am beat.

I was very pleased with my swim though. I did 3 x 250 meters and each of the 250 meters took me 5:20 (almost exactly) so that means I'm pretty sure I could do 750 in under 20 minutes. I'm still working on what my goal time should be.

I need to get in a good workout this week though since I'm going to be in Switzerland all next week. I am going to look up the hotel I am staying in to see if it has a gym, not that I'll have that much time to actually do a workout.

I didn't really think this post out and my eyes are getting heavy so that's it folks!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poor Planning :(

Short post....I'm too weak from hunger. This is what happens when you don't take the time to plan out the meals for the week like you should and you also don't take the time to go to the grocery store so you don't have anything to eat in the house. You end up starving half to death at 10pm while you are waiting for you husband to bring you the dinner he said he would bring 3 hours ago!

Oh and to make this evening even worse, I think I've somehow gotten a virus on my work laptop :-/ Guess I will have to stop by IT in the morning before I connect to the system and infect the entire network!

I think I will just go to bed hungry......

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up and Goal Setting

I have decided to start doing a "weekly wrap-up". I debated on which day to do it and finally decided on Mondays because I generally don't do that much exercise-wise on Mondays.

I would LOVE it if you would share your weekly exercise/eating accomplishments and what your goals are for the coming week.

Here are my accomplishments from last week:
- Ran little over 9 miles (6 one day and 3.5 another)
- Biked 42 miles! (my longest ride ever....yeah!)
- Prepared 2 new recipes that were both great.
- Swam once (although it was such a short distance it doesn't even really count)

Goals for this week:
- Run 3 times
- Swim at least twice
- Go to Pilates class
- Actually eat breakfast, I was really bad about that last week
- Keep a check on my eating in general (this is always a struggle!)

Now it is YOUR turn!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Longest Bike Ride Thus Far!

Earlier this week Paul asked me did I want to go biking on Sunday (today). Of course! The weather was supposed to be beautiful and after the freezing cold bike ride last time I was looking forward to going for a ride in nice weather. The day after I agreed to the bike ride I read on Paul's blog that we would be doing 30-40 miles. WHAT! The furthest I had done at this point was 21 miles. I was a little nervous about attempting this distance but I figured that I'm in shape so I can do it. And guess what??? I DID!!!

We ended up doing 42 miles and at least 20 of those were uphill. Some were up very long and steep hills. I think I need to do a little more hill work on the bike before I go for a ride in the mountains. The hills today were kicking my butt. Towards the end of the ride I was strongly considering stopping and calling Paul on his cell phone to let him know to keep going and just come back with the car to get me. However, my pride wouldn't let me do that so I just dug in and kept going. If I have real aspirations of doing an Ironman then I'm going to have to learn to keep going when I want to stop.

Overall the ride wasn't that difficult but I did realize that Paul and Susan have it a little bit easier because they coast a lot faster and further than I do. After every downhill I had to push it to catch back up with them. They were nice enough to slow down and/or stop so that I wouldn't fall too far behind. I promise I'll get faster!!

The only negative part about the ride was all the dang dogs that tried to eat us. I understand that dogs like to chase things but I would really like for them not to chase me! I'm not scared of dogs (well, most of them anyway) but I am scared of a dog causing me to fall and then mauling me to death or deformity. There were several instances where dogs came out and ran along with us, some seemed friendly while some seemed like they were craving some people meat. Susan and I found that the best way to handle this was to put Paul between us and the dogs. He's pretty good at scaring them off by yelling at them and kicking his foot at them. If I tried to kick while riding I'd probably fall over and then get mauled. I might have to invest in some pepper spray, that will teach them!

I can't wait for my next ride!!!!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Flank Steak with Red Wine & Oven Fries

Went on a wonderful 6 mile run to day with Amy R. and one of her good friends, the weather was perfect! I just wanted to make that statement for the record.

The other night I made a dinner and it was delicious.

-3 med russet (baking) potatoes (8 0z each)
-3 tsp olive oil
-1 1/4 lbs. beef flank steak, trimmed of fat
-1/2 tsp dried tarragon
-1 med. shallot, minced
-3/4 c. dry red wine
-1 bag microwave-in-the-bag baby spinach

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Cut each unpeeled potato crosswise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 8 wedges.
2. Spray 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place potatoes in pan and toss with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Roast potatoes in oven 25 minutes or until fork-tender and beginning to brown, stirring once halfway through roasting.
3. Meanwhile, rub steak with tarragon and 1/4 teaspoon salt to season both sides. Heat 12-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet on medium-high. Add 1 teaspoon oil and steak; cook 12 minutes for medium, turning over once. Transfer steak to cutting board. To same skillet, add shallot and cook 1 minutes, stirring. Add wine and heat to boiling, boil 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup.
4. Cook spinach in microwave as label directs. Thinly slice steak and serve with wine sauce, potatoes, and spinach.

Nutritional Info: About 415 calories, 35 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 14 g total fat

Tamara's Tips
- I followed the directions as written and it turned out great. The meat was a little more medium-rare than medium so if you may want to cook it a few more minutes if you don't like it that rare.

Final Verdict: 8.5 - It was delicious, I have been on a roll lately!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It Was a Clear and Cold Night

I went for a run today! I really needed today's run. It has been a hectic and somewhat stressful week and due to weather and laziness I hadn't run all week. I am glad that I decided to run today because it was worth it. It was just Amy R. and I out there running in the dark and cold night. I was concerned it would be too cold but it wasn't, it ended up being a fairly pleasant run. I am happy that it will be warmer this weekend, I have a run and a long bike ride scheduled.

After the run I came home and I made a delicious dinner. I will make sure to post the recipe tomorrow, right now I am tired and need to get some rest.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ready for Spring

I am SO over this cold weather. It isn't like I was ever really into the cold weather to begin with but now I am even more so ready for it to pass.

I planned to run yesterday evening but it started snowing. Now, I barely will run in the cold so you know I am not going to run in snow. Maybe if I were training for a specific event I would run in the snow but that is exactly why I don't schedule any big events that would require me to train in the winter. I should have braved the weather and went for the run anyway because my stress level has been high lately so I did need the run. Good thing it won't be snowing tomorrow so I will be able to get my run in.

I have been in a slump lately and I need to figure out a way to get out of it. It is going to take my on strength and dedication, which I know I have. I promise to get it together really soon so I can stop boring y'all with post about how I'm such a big slacker!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Zesty Crab Cakes

Last night I made some delicious crab cakes from a recipe I found in Martha Stewart Living. Say what you will about that woman, she knows how to cook her @ss off!

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted better, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons sour cream (I used light sour cream)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving (I used bottled lemon juice)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (reduce this if you don't like your food spicy)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over (I used a blend of lump and claw meat, we're in a recession!)
3 hot picked peppers, such as Peppadew, coarsely chopped (I don't know what a Peppadew is so I used habeneros)
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cornmeal. Whisk next 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Gently mix in crab, peppers and breadcrumbs.
2. For each crab cake, shape 1/3 cup crab mixture into a patty; place on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook crab cakes in batches, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (It turned out to make 8 crab cakes for me)

Tamara's Tips:
- If you aren't used to very spicy food, you may want to choose a milder pepper.
- I served this with boiled potatoes and coleslaw which made for a delicious meal.

Final Verdict: 9 - I will definitely make this again! It was simple and delicious. I would like to try it with only using lump crab meat but I will have to wait for it to go on sale or for a special occasion because that stuff is over twice the cost of the mixed crab meat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

To-Do List

I need to get back on task with making lists. I need to make a list for all the things I need to do around the house and start checking them off. The first thing that needs to be done is conquering clean clothes mountain and then washing the pile of dirty clothes so that I can finally implement my clothes washing plan. I don't understand how two people can generate so many dirty clothes.
I'm also planning to make two new recipes this week so I need to go to the grocery store to get some supplies. Be on the look out for those posts later this week - they should be really good!

I'm tired, I attempted to go for a swim at lunch....I say attempted because I only managed to do 250 meters before I felt completely drained and decided to stop and go back in the locker room. I was contemplating getting in the hot tub however it was full of naked old women so I took a pass on that idea. I guess I'm tired from staying up late to watch the Superbowl (really the Superbowl commercials). I posted my thoughts on the commercials on my other blog, "Because I Said SO!"

OK, enough rambling for one post......

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saturday Morning Run

Amy R. told me it was going to be cold on Saturday but I didn't really pay it any attention until I woke up and looked at the temperature and it said 25 degrees! Luckily it was sunny outside so after a few miles it warmed up enough to be bearable.

We ended up doing about 6 miles although it wasn't a particularly successful run (we walked some towards the end). I guess that's what happens when you skip 2 long runs. I don't plan on skipping anymore so hopefully my future runs will be much better. I'm still contemplating what my running goal is for this year. Part of me wants to do another marathon but another part of me wants to focus on speed and perhaps completing a half-marathon at a significantly faster time than last year. I guess I have a little bit more time to decide but not too much because I don't want the marathon I might choose to fill up before I get the chance to sign-up.

The run ended on a weird note....clearly I watch too many crime dramas.....