Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week #3 Begins

This morning, I was signed up to work the morning shift at work for overtime.  That shift starts at 5:45am.  That means I have to wake up and start getting ready for work no later than 4:30am.  I had 4 miles on the run schedule for today.  I live in central Texas and it’s the end of August so guess what…it’s hot outside.  H-O-T.  I sure as heck wasn’t going to run in the afternoon or the evening because it’s still way too hot out…and I wasn’t about to miss my run either.  What did I do?  Wouldn’t you know I set my alarm for 3:00am and was out the door no later than 3:30 to hit the pavement.  Yep, I’m crazy for sure now. 

I wore my new blue Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s and they were great.  They felt really good the whole run and I’m very happy with them.  I felt strong and good on this run.  Yesterday’s day of rest was definitely not wasted.  Sure, I *should have* done yoga or I *should have* done the P90X x-stretch session.  Blah blah blah. 

Something I’ve come to notice about my motivation level.  As far as running goes, I’m at 100%.  When it comes to eating healthy or doing anything other than running, not so much.  I would really like to drop at least 10 pounds in the next couple/few months.  Originally I had wanted to be at or at least near 170 by my birthday/marathon in mid-December.  I don’t think that’s going to happen simply because I can’t seem to get myself to stick to a diet long enough to see any lasting results.  It’s so frustrating, but I only have myself to blame.  I’ll get a handle on it eventually, I know I will.  I have faith in myself that I can succeed. 

So, this week is week #3 of marathon training!!!  So exciting!  I’m very happy with myself that I’m sticking with the program that I have laid out for myself.  A friend of mine that has run for years and who currently runs with an organized running program/group has been trying to get me to join up with a running program/group…not necessarily the one she runs with, but just to join one.  While I know I would benefit from joining one, I’m not sure it’s for me.  Most of these groups meet up between 5 and 7pm.  I’m at work.  If…IF…they meet in the mornings, it’s at least an hour after I prefer to start my runs at this time of year.  Plus, I’d have to drive, quite possibly in morning rush hour traffic, to get to the meet up to run with them.  Plus the $50 or whatever monthly membership dues.  It’s just not for me…at least not right now.  I’m not going to rule it out for some time in the future, but for right now it’s not for me.

When I was at Texas Running Company buying my new blue shoes, I noticed that they had a plethora of GU’s.  I grabbed a few that looked intriguing: lemonade, pineapple and watermelon!  Monica at Run, Eat, Repeat is in love with watermelon, pretty much to the point of obsession and she had mentioned this watermelon GU in her blog a while back.

Right now, since I’m getting up super early (for me) to do my runs before it gets super hot out, I’m just getting up, getting dressed, prepping my water and then heading out the door to run.  I’m not eating breakfast before I run like I do when I run later in the morning during the winter.  You really shouldn’t run on an empty stomach, so I have been taking in a gel before I head out the door on any 4+ mile run.  On my longer runs (8+ miles) I will take a second gel with me to refuel during my run.  

Oh, mileage total for August is 54.5 miles.  Not too shabby, especially when you consider that was only half of the month!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2 Week Update

First, I want to address the obvious...the new blog name and web address.  YAY!  I really believe they suit the actual feel and content of this blog so much better than the other name did.  The other name basically gave people the idea that this blog was 100% about running when it's not.  I write about my efforts at weight loss and about what's going on in my life as well.  This is just a much better fit in my opinion.  I hope you like it too!

Last week went fantastic as far as my marathon training is concerned.  Here’s what it looked like so far:
• Sunday: ran 4 miles
• Monday: ran 3 miles
• Tuesday: ran 5 miles
• Wednesday: worked overtime Tuesday night, so just slept
• Thursday: ran 7 miles
• Friday: worked overtime in the morning, so no run
• Saturday: opted to let the hamstring rest, so no run again

That gives me a total of 19 miles in 4 runs for the week.  Not a whole lot of miles considering I’m training for a marathon and they really recommend an average of like 40 miles a week…but I’ll get there.  Before this is done, I’ll have 40 mile weeks…mainly because I’ll be doing 18 to 22 mile long training runs.  Haha!  But, for right now, I’m just easing into it.  My goal for this marathon is to finish within the 6.5 hour time limit.  That’s it.  So, just easing into increasing my mileage is just fine for that goal.  I’m not going with any published marathon training.  I’m just doing my own thing.  I had found a 3 day a week marathon training plan, but it’s too rigorous and demanding for someone who’s goal is to just finish.  I don’t really need to do any speedwork with that goal.  I mean, really, it would probably still be a good idea to do it, but I don’t really think it’s necessary *for me*. 

Last week I worked out a tentative run schedule for this week and the next 2 weeks.  If I don’t pick up any more overtime shifts, it will go as it is currently written, but if I pick up overtime, I will have to rearrange some runs and add mileage to some of the days to make up for it.  I’m adding a mile to my long run each week.  I think that’s smart to build that up gradually.  And then, as each week goes by, more and more of my other runs will be what I consider “median” runs, the 5-8 mile range.  But, as my long runs get longer and longer each week, I’ll be able to stick a shorter 3 or 3.3 mile run in there every now and then, give my legs a little rest, you know?

But, training is going great so far.  I did have a bit of a twinge in my right hamstring during my 7 mile run on Thursday last week.  I had to stop a couple times during the run to stretch it out so I could continue and finish the run.  One of my coworkers, I think I’ve mentioned before, used to be a physical therapist, so I asked him to do some acupressure on the hamstring after we had gotten to work.  He said that it was lactic acid build up, which I’m sure is completely due to me not running for a month and then bam! running 3 days in a row.  He got it to release and it was so much better. 

Last Sunday I got to thinking I needed to register for a race in October because, at that time, I had none on the burner for October.  Not even a list of “maybes” to choose from.  I hadn’t looked into it at all.  Well, I started doing some research online and found the Hill Country Marathon & Half Marathon.  It happens in Marble Falls, TX which is about an hour and a half drive away from where I live.  I’m not about to drive an hour and a half and immediately run 13.1 miles.  Besides, I don’t think they have race morning packet pick up, so I would HAVE to go the day before and rent a hotel.  So, a 3 hour round trip driving plus a stay in a hotel.  That’s some serious $$.  But, I decided that when I get paid next week, I would register for it.  It’ll be a great training run at about the halfway point to my marathon in December.  Well, Tuesday evening, I got one of my emails from Groupon and the main offer in this email was for the Austin Halloween Half Marathon!!!  $50 registration fee.  The Hill Country Half was $75 (discounted from $85 due to my being a veteran).  Also, the Halloween Half is only a 30 minute drive from where I live and, if I can’t get the day before the race off work (I requested), then they have race morning packet pick up!  YAY!  Also, no hotel stay necessary.  They encourage costumes and while I haven’t made a final decision on what I will wear, I WILL be dressing up to run this race. 

So, here’s my race schedule for the remainder of 2014:
• Sept 6th: Frozen Hot Chocolate 10K (dedicating this race to my grandpa that just passed away as the service for him is the same day)
• Sept 14th: Run With The Heroes 5K
• Sept 27th: NAMI 5K (this is a walk, not a race, so doesn’t really count, but I’ll be doing a scrapbook page on it, so figured I’d include it)
• Sept 28th: Schlotzsky’s BunRun 5K
• Oct 25th: Halloween Half Marathon
• Nov 8th: Karaoke 5K
• Nov 27th: Thundercloud Turkey Trot 5 mile
• Dec 14th: Dallas Marathon (also my birthday!)

Something else I did last Sunday was look into some races I want to do next year.  Here’s the rundown of the ones in my sights right now:
• the Austin Half Marathon
• the Alamo Half Marathon
• the Stand Up 5K
• the Autism Speaks 8K
• the Portland Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon
• the Freedom 5000
• the Austin 10/20 (if it doesn’t conflict with another race, which I think it does)
• the Run With The Heroes 5K
• the Thundercloud Turkey Trot 5 mile
There are some other runs on my radar, but those are the main ones.  I would like to do a duathlon in July, but I’m still undecided about that.  But I do want to do an organized event that at least includes the bicycle.  But, we shall see what happens next year.

This week, my marathon training looked like this:
• Sunday: 3.3 mi
• Monday: 5.7 mi
• Tuesday, worked overtime Monday night so just slept (aka-rest day)
• Wednesday: 5 mi
• Thursday: 8 mi long run
• Friday: 6.5 mi
• Saturday: rest day

I have to say, I’m REALLY loving getting up early almost every morning to run.  I’m apparently really excited for it because I’m usually waking up anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour BEFORE my alarm goes off.  Haha.  I haven’t had to fight or bargain with myself or talk myself into getting up, getting out the door and going for my runs. 

Before I took that month off from running, it was ridiculous trying to get myself to do my runs and to make sure I was doing 3 a week.  There right before I stopped running, I was only running once, maybe twice a week.  Now, I’m happily…HAPPILY…running 4-5 times a week!  I’m so happy I’ve gotten my running mojo back.  Part of the reason I think I’m super motivated to run now is due to my grandpa’s passing.  I’ve decided that not only am I going to dedicate the 10K I’m running on Sept 6th (services for him are happening that same day) to his memory, but I’m dedicating my entire marathon training and the marathon itself to him and his memory.  I want to make his soul proud of me.

Happy news!  I bought a third pair of running shoes to rotate with my other 2 pairs while I train for my marathon.  I might end up replacing my pink shoes (Mizuno Wave Inspire 9’s) in October or November just because they already have over 400 miles on them…but we’ll see how they’re performing.  I haven’t noticed any telltale signs of breakdown going on with them, so they may still be good for a few hundred more miles <looks hopeful>.  Anyway, the shoes I bought today are the next installation of my pink shoes; they are the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s…they come in multiple color options and I chose the medium blue with the pink roadrunner logo.
The store I went to, Texas Running Company, had 3 of the color options for this shoe.  The other 2 colors they had were a light blue with a gray roadrunner and a dark grey and I don’t remember what color the roadrunner was on those.  But dark gray running shoes?  Blah, says I!  Anyway, I’m super excited to run in them.  Sunday [super extra early…aka 3am] morning before work when I’m running 4 miles.  I can't wait because I'll be running in my new blues.
Another legs are so sore and tired right now.  Haha!  But that's not going to stop me from running.  I do wish I had been able to get up (I went out with friends last night and got home late, so slept until almost 10 today) and do a quick 2 mile shake out run, but it's okay that i didn't.  I'm mostly just a little stiff.  Maybe some yoga or some P90X X-stretch should be on the books for sometime today?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Friend Making Monday: Randomness

So, let me start off with I’m sorry I’ve been silent.  Things have been a bit rough for me the last 2 months since I returned to Texas after my Oregon vacation.  Before I left for that vacation, I got a new car whose payment is $200 MORE than the car note I had previously.  Then, to top that off, my first payment was due in June and not July like I thought it was.  I guess that’s because it’s a lease instead of a loan?  I don’t know.  I just know in the past when I’ve bought a car (this is my first lease), I’ve always had about 45 days before my first payment was due.  So, I had all that stress going on.  Stress doesn’t always hit me quickly.  Usually, it builds up inside and takes a while before the physical symptoms manifest. 

After buying the car, I had this roadtrip to finance.  I got 3 new credit cards to help pay for the trip…a gas card, a regular but low limit credit card and a card I call the “ridiculous card” because it has an astronomical annual fee and a ridiculous interest rate.  Anyway, the trip happened without a hitch.  I only wish I had had a day where I could have scanned a boatload of old family photos into my computer.  Oh well…next trip.  I’ll make sure to schedule an entire day for that when I’m there next May. 

After the trip, I vowed to start paying off all my credit cards.  I paid off 5 of the lowest balance cards upon my return and have since been unable to pay off any other cards due to other things coming up financially.  So, I’ve got that stress too.

Also, after the trip, I come back to Texas and try to run.  It’s stifling and hot and miserable.  I poke out once and twice weekly runs (my preference is three times a week…minimum) for a month after my return.  Part of me is really missing the 50’s and 60’s I ran in up in Oregon.  It was so perfect for running while I was there.  So, as soon as I stop running (my last run was July 13th), my coping mechanism for the stress stops as well.  That means the stress can now build up and manifest.  I didn’t run for an entire MONTH.  I didn’t run again until last week, on August 13th (see?  Exactly a month).  I have been depressed ever since my return from Oregon…but it didn’t really start getting too bad until after I stopped running, though the depression is why I stopped running for the most part.  I just used the heat and humidity as an excuse so I didn’t have to admit that I was depressed.  Denial…it’s great, isn’t it?  Anyway, since I quit running, I was sleeping all. the. time.  Like, seriously, I would wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep.  On the weekends, I was awake for like maybe 8 hours a day.  The rest of the time: asleep. 

So, Thursday, August 13th I ran 3 miles.  Then, Friday, I get notification that my grandpa was taken off all of his treatments and medications and was only on pain medication.  They referred to this as “comfort care.”  Make the person comfortable and all then they pass away in peace, basically.  I had planned to run Saturday morning, but was too grief stricken to be bothered with getting out of bed.  Sunday, I ran 4 miles.  Sunday night, my dad called me about an hour after I had gone to bed and left me a voicemail.  My dad never calls me.  I knew something was wrong.  I figured it was because my mom was too upset to call me, which meant only one thing.  Monday morning, I slept in.  I was going to avoid my run.  I went to a doctor’s appointment mid-morning and was home by 10:45am.  I decided if I was going to call my dad back and get the news I was sure he had called to give me, that I needed to go for a run first because I would be too upset to do so afterward.  So, I went for a 3 mile run in the 86°-but-feels-like-93° temperature.  It was rough.  I wanted to stop and rest or stop and walk so bad.  But, seeing as how I didn’t start running until 11, I didn’t have the TIME to stop running.  My miles were slow, almost 12 min/mi slow…but I didn’t stop and walk or stop and rest once.  I got back home, stretched and showered and then called my dad back.  He didn’t answer.  But then, he was at work so I kind figured he wouldn’t answer anyway.  I left a message and said I’d call him when I got home Monday night.  Then, on my way to work, my mom sent me a message that said my grandpa had passed away Sunday night…about 45 minutes before my dad had called me.

SO, the good news is I’ve started running again…which is great because as you’ll recall, I signed up for a MARATHON in December, which means I had to start training THIS WEEK.  I was a little lot worried that because I had taken that month off of running that I wasn’t going to be adequately trained and ready for my marathon on marathon day.  Then I watched last week’s Extreme Weight Loss with Sara Murphy…the “little person” with a lot of weight to lose.  Her milestone that Chris gave her was to run a half marathon at her 6 month weigh in.  A few weeks into her phase 2 (second 3 months of the year long process, in case you don’t watch the show), she called Chris and said she didn’t want to run a half marathon…she wanted to run a full marathon!  And if Sara Murphy, a “little person” with absolutely no experience running more than a mile before her participation with this show can train for a marathon (albeit she did hit the wall around mile 20...but she finished!!!) in less than 3 months, then I should be okay.  I kept the DVR recording of the show because that is my favorite episode of that show and I want to watch it again when if I'm feeling defeated in my marathon training.  Sara Murphy is just plain awesome.  She never made excuses or took the easy way.  She powered through it and she more than succeeded.
she lost 56% of her original body weight!!!
When I got paid last week, I signed up for the Frozen Hot Chocolate 10K on September 6th and the Run With The Heroes 5K on September 14th.  I decided Sunday that I wanted to find a race to do in October.  Well, I found the Hill Country Marathon & Half Marathon.  Guess what I’m going to do?  Yep, the Hill Country Half Marathon!  I think I will have enough on my next check to register for it so I’ll register for that at the end of this month.  I figure it will be a great mid-training training run for me.  Plus, it’ll get me some more bling!  And we all know how much I love me some bling!

And now for this week’s Friend Making Monday questions!  This week's is totally random and is based on things I have read about this week.

1. If you were given $10,000 and told you could donate it to a single charity of your choosing, what charity would you choose?
Wounded Warriors.  No thought needed for that.

2. If you were given $10,000 to spend on yourself (not to treat others or give away), what would you buy?
I actually would pay off my credit card debt first, then I would probably, honestly, put the rest in savings.

3. Toilet paper (or loo roll as we say in England) do you have it hanging over or under on the roll?
Over the top!

4. When you drink your water do you like it plain or with a slice of fruit?
I either like just plain water or flavored sparkly water.

5. Are you left handed, right handed or ambidextrous?
Right handed, but sort of ambidextrous.  I can write (slowly) with my left hand and I can use a baseball bat left handed and I believe I cartwheel left handed.  But I cannot throw a ball left handed.

6. Thinking of the amazing Robin Williams who passed away this week :( What is your favorite Robin Williams movie?
probably Aladdin

7. Do you prefer cow's milk or a different kind of milk?
I love cow’s milk but if I use milk for cereal or a recipe, I usually use almond milk

8. Do you prefer to read an actual book or on an electronic device?
An actual book

9. Oatmeal - hot or cold?

10. Pies - sweet or savory?
Definitely sweet.  I love a rhubarb or rhubarb-strawberry pie.  Yum!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Do I Need Therapy?

Something I discovered when I went off diet over the weekend and the first part of this week was that when I’m ON diet, I have no problem with urges or cravings for junk foods or with thinking obsessively about food…but, when I’m OFF diet, I start having urges and cravings and thinking obsessively about food.  This is very interesting to me.  This makes my idea to just stick to this diet as my standard way of eating after I’ve hit my goal weight even more of a really good idea.  I mean, without the obsessive thoughts about food, the uncontrollable cravings and the insane urges to binge, why do I need to spend all that extra money on copays for therapy?  I’m not saying that therapy wouldn’t help me greatly, but, if sticking to this diet curbs the issues I have, then why do I need to go through it right now?  I’ll just put going to therapy on the back burner for the time being and revisit the idea in the future.

I know that with my going off diet for those 5 days that I gained a little bit back.  I slipped up and gave in to cravings and urges.  The good news is that I stopped it quickly and got myself back on track without too much “damage” done.  I mean, there was weight gain…about 2 lbs.  Ugh.  Not a lot, but for being “off the wagon” for only 5 days…it IS a lot.  But, I’m back on track now and I won’t let a possible TTOTM derail me in the next month like it did this month.  I just allowed myself to get overwhelmed because I was wholly unprepared for that to occur.  This next month, I will just assume that TTOTM will happen.  If it doesn’t, that’s fine, but if it does, I’ll be mentally prepared.  And, other than this coming Saturday, I will stick to the diet 100% and have faith in it.

The good news is, even though I gain a couple pounds back over the last week, I still have at least a 10 lb loss for the first month on the diet and that is still a success in my book.  I’m hoping I can match that 10 lbs in the second month and, if I’m lucky, maybe a couple pounds extra.  All I can do is follow the diet and START EXERCISING again.  Geez.  I really need to get on the exercise.  Now that I know there is an open wifi network in the fitness area of my apartments, I can watch programs I have DVRed on my TV on my tablet and keep myself unbored while running on the treadmill.  Not that I want to start running solely on the treadmill, but I’ll be doing the majority of my runs on the treadmill for the foreseeable future because I simply do not want to run outside.  I mean, I DO want to run outside, but not with the humidity and heat that’s going on right now.  But, right now, I just want to focus on actually exercising.  That is the most important thing right now.  I want to get in 3 runs a week and if they have to be on the treadmill, then so be it.  I also want to get in at least one day of strength training and then, if I can motivate myself I also want to do a bike ride and/or some yoga next weekend some time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday...late again, of course!

So, I had issues staying with the diet over the weekend.  Ugh.  I’ve got to get back on it and stay true to it.  I have no “real” excuses not to follow it.  I love the food in it.  I feel full and satisfied on it.  I don’t have any cravings I can’t just brush aside on it.  I love how I feel.  And I did tell my friend Heather (the one that’s been doing this exact diet off and on for the last few months and has had great success) that, weight loss or not, I love eating the way the diet has me eating. 

I’ve been feeling a little “under the weather” the last few days.  It all started Sunday night when I didn’t sleep more than 3 hours and then went to work for 16 hours, went home, slept for 5.5 hours, then worked another 16 hours.  Monday and Tuesday, I had a splitting headache.  It literally felt like someone had driven a railroad spike through my head.  And there was nausea.  I’m pretty sure it was a migraine, but nothing was helping it.  I took way more ibuprofen than I wanted to take and it didn’t even make a dent in the pain.  A friend gave me a migraine pill and that at least took the nausea and a little bit of the edge off the pain.  I was also feverish Monday.  I slept good Monday night for that 5.5 hours.  The headache came back on Tuesday and was accompanied by severe gas issues.  It was horrible.  My throat also started to hurt and so I thought maybe I was getting strep throat.  I remembered I had some Emergen-C in my bag, so I took some of that.  It helped with the throat pain and the general “I’m feeling like I’m getting sick” feeling.  Then, Tuesday night, I slept a LOT.  I woke up Wednesday morning and took some more Emergen-C and flushed my sinuses (as I’m sure this was all centered around something going on in my sinuses).  I’m sure part of the reason I was feeling crappy was because I was eating healthy for a good while and then I just started throwing in junk.  But, Wednesday, I decided to go back on the diet and stick to it.  I will be off diet on Saturday but that’s only because I’ll be out and about all day with my awesome friend Amanda.  We’re going to the Ice Cream Festival and to the Austin Zoo.  So, I’ll at least be eating a bunch of ice cream.  If her and I don’t go somewhere for a late lunch or dinner together, I’ll probably go get some fajitas at my favorite Mexican restaurant after we part company.  Then, Sunday, back on diet again.

I have no overtime scheduled at work until the 19th.  That’s the week after next!  So, no overtime next week at all, unless I pick some up last minute.  Which means I need to go to work each day next week prepared to stay all night…that way I don’t have to break my diet like I did last Friday when I stayed unplanned for.  I’m also going to use the fact that I currently have no overtime for next week to start exercising again.  I asked my apartment office people the other day if there was an open wifi network for the office/fitness center area and they said there was.  This means I can take my tablet and watch my DVRed programs on it while I run on the treadmill.  This will solve the problem of not wanting to run in the heat & humidity that’s going on right now in Texas.  So, 3 runs on the treadmill next week.  I’ll just run until I’m not feeling it anymore since I’ll be on the treadmill and won’t have to worry about making it back home in a timely manner.  Then, I’d really like to make it to the gym twice, but if I can make it at least once, that will still be an improvement over what I’ve been doing.  And, if I can get in a bike ride as well that will be awesome.

I received my new chest freezer Sunday evening via Lowe’s free delivery service and am now storing food in it!  YAY! 

I was going to do the meal map out of the cookbook for the FMD, but I was looking at it the other day and I think I’m going to just use the blank meal map and choose the foods I eat based on what the meal map says (ie: phase 1 grain + phase 1 fruit, etc).  I’ll chose some more recipes out of the cookbook to beef up my food selection in my freezers that I can choose from for my meals.  I think I’ll choose 2-4 recipes each week to cook up and add to my freezer stockpile.  This weekend, I need to go through my frozen meals and label them according to the phase they’re part of (phase 1, 2 or 3) so that I can select them easier.  I think I’m going to go through the breakfast selections and choose 2 breakfasts per phase that are my favorites and just stick to those.  Like, for instance, I love the strawberry French toast in phase 1.  And I like the toast with tomato and red onion slices with a fried egg on top…not sure off hand what phase that’s from.  For phase 2 there’s a breakfast that includes turkey bacon, and I really like that one, so that one will be one of my favorites for phase 2 for sure.

This week’s Friend Makin’ Monday topic is 'Veggies' (following on from last week's fruity topic)…

1. What is your favorite vegetable?
hmmm…if I go simple, I think I’d have to say cucumber…the cucumber is so versatile.   You can eat it plain with just some sea salt sprinkled on it, you can marinate it in oil and vinegar or in a vinaigrette dressing, or you can eat it with cream cheese or hummus, or pretty much whatever you want.  If I’m getting “fancy” my favorite would be acorn squash.  It’s so tasty.

2. Is there a vegetable that you really really don’t like?
greens.  Mustard, collard…they’re just plain disgusting to me.

3. Do you drink vegetable juices? If so what flavors?
I like the spicy V8…so yummy!!!

4. Potatoes - do you count them as a vegetable serving?
only if they’re sweet potatoes.  I believe that a regular white potato is a starch, not a vegetable.

5. How many portions of vegetables do you eat a day?
probably at least 5

6. if you were making a smoothie would you add vegetables?
kale, swiss chard, spinach

7. Are you allergic to any vegetables?

8. Do you have a favorite vegetable recipe? Feel free to share the recipe with us.
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushroom and Sage

1 medium Acorn Squash
3/4 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground Black Pepper
6 Tbsp. Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 large Portobello Mushroom, chopped
1 small Onion, chopped
2 tsp. Fresh Sage, finely chopped
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim off each end of the squash. Stand
the squash upright and halve lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and the
seeds and discard. Brush each squash half with olive oil, and then
sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt and the black pepper. Arrange cut sides
down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the squash
until the flesh is tender and the edges are golden brown,
approximately 25-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the squash
halves over and set aside.

While the squash roasts, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over
medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute 2 minutes, or
until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms, sage,
1/4 tsp. salt and the red pepper flakes if using, and saute until the
mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Fill the roasted squash
halves with the mushroom mixture and bake again for another 10

Makes 4 servings

Per serving:
Calories: 254
Protein: 2 g
Fiber: 2.5 g

9. Do you grow any veggies in your garden?
I wish I had a garden.  I live in an apartment.  So, let me tell you what I would grow in my garden if I had a house with a backyard: tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini & other squash, a variety of peppers, berries, eggplant, onions, carrots, melons, and whatever else I think would grow well.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I Signed Up For What?!?!

One of the blogs I read regularly (Carina’s Running Career) recently posted this paraphrased quote from one of her yoga instructors:  “Try.  Try the posture.  Even if you can't do it all the way, you need to try.  It's not just going to magically happen one day.  You have to work at it.  You get 1% better one day, and 1% better some other day, eventually that's how you make progress.  Standing it out, watching it, not trying is not going to get you any closer.  Just try it.  Don't think about it, just try.”  Basically, just because you can’t do something perfect your first time doing it, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth practicing and practicing until you CAN do it as close to perfect for you as is possible.  Things worth having aren’t free.  Things worth doing aren’t easy.  Great advice and wisdom right there.  Just because it’s hard now doesn’t mean it will still be hard a month or 3 from now.  I need to apply that to running lately.  I’ve been wholly unmotivated to run due to the heat and humidity in central Texas right now.  That’s just a crutch and a super lame excuse.  And I need to stop using it and just get out there and try.  Why?  Because I love to run and I’m depriving myself of a great joy in my life.
I recently did something completely crazy.  If you follow me on Facebook, then you already know what that something is.  For those of you that don’t follow me on Facebook, I registered for a MARATHON.  Yep, 26.2 miles.  A full marathon.  The full mary.  I have never run more than 15 miles at one go, and never more than 17 in one day (2 runs: one 9 miler and one 8 miler).  Needless to say, I’m very excited but I’m also quite scared.  I wish they hadn’t capped registration at July 31st.  I wish there had been more time for me to “get comfortable” with the idea of me actually tackling this feat.  But there wasn’t.  I had to throw all my chips in.  I’m scared because, right now, I haven’t ran since July 13th.  I haven’t done any sort of exercise since July 13th.  Nothing.  Well, I did an hour and a half hike with a friend this past Saturday.  But that’s it. 
Everyone says “if you can run a half marathon, you can run a full marathon.”  I’m sure that’s 100% accurate, but that doesn’t lessen my apprehension over this.  Now, when I’m doing my long training runs and I’m getting up to around 20 miles, at that point I will relax and believe I can do it.  Also, don’t take that adage to mean that just because I can rock a half marathon that a full marathon will be a breeze for me.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  While I’m almost completely convinced that I will enjoy the experience, it will not be easy…I WILL have to work to finish it.  And I’m perfectly okay with that.
So, while I registered for the marathon with my end of July paycheck, I had also wanted to register for 2 races I want to do in September with that same check, but I’m going to have to wait until my mid-August check for those 2. 
Also with my end of July check, I went yesterday and bought a 5 cubic foot chest freezer!  YAY!  It’s being delivered on Sunday.  If I have the money with my mid-August check, I will be buying a vacuum sealer that will help my prepped and portioned food stay good for longer.  Tomorrow, I need to clean up the clutter that’s in my dining room where I’ll be putting the freezer.  I’m going to take most of it to my storage unit and put the other things, like my sewing machine, in my closet.  So, tomorrow, a bunch of cleaning.  I’d like to also get around to unpacking my suitcases from my trip to Oregon in June! 
I have a confession to make.  I cheated on my diet.  Shame, shame, shame.  I feel it, let me tell you.  The heavy protein days (Wednesdays and Thursdays) are the hardest for me.  The rest of the time, no cravings.  So, this past Wednesday and Thursday, I ate candy.  Then, on Thursday, when I got home from work, I added a rice cake with almond butter on it and 8 whole grain Ritz crackers with peanut butter on them to the mix.  Ugh.  Good news…as much as I feared a gain on the scale the next morning, I was the exact same weight as Thursday morning.  Whew.  I’m totally okay with that.  BUT!  TTOTM is now over, so hopefully I’ll see a drop on the scale now.  <fingers crossed>
Also, Friday night, I got asked to stay over for the night shift and I wasn’t able to go home and get my planned food, so I had to break the diet...that showed up as a 1 lb gain on the scale this morning...but I'm pretty sure that's some water weight and not actual weight gain.  So, not worried about it right now.

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