Monthly Archives: September 2010

Mini Vacay

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The Final Long Run

Today was my last official Montgomery Half Marathon training run. Next weekend I’ll be at a wedding out of town. I’ll be running on my own between now and then of course, but I’m definitely going to miss this great group of runners on Saturday mornings.

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I carbed up last night in preparation for my 10-miler with the group this morning. (Actually my kitchen is just quite barren right now except for pasta, thanks to my Publix coupon deals).

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Very simple, but really delish. One and a half servings of thin spaghetti, steamed broccoli, sautéed squash and zucchini and Newman’s Own Sockarooni Sauce.

The carbs must have worked because I felt great for my run this morning! Unfortunately my training partner, Marsha, didn’t feel great at all. After giving blood yesterday and partaking in too many glasses of wine last night she was seriously struggling.

We maintained a respectable (but slower than usual) pace for the first couple of miles, and then she totally hit the wall and starting having cramps. We dropped our pace significantly for several miles. At mile 7 she told me to go on without her and finish it, while she took a walking break.

I picked up the pace significantly and finished it out feeling strong!

Mile 1 – 9:04
Mile 2 – 9:29
Mile 3 – 9:29
Mile 4 – 10:00
Mile 5 – 9:57
Mile 6 – 10:23
Mile 7 – 9:14
Mile 8 – 8:20
Mile 9 – 8:10
Mile 10 – 8:08
<—- Zoom Zoom!

Marsha pushed through the pain, kept strong and finished out her 10 miles as well.

We met back up with the rest of the group and had breakfast and beer on the Riverboat.

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I had eggs, grits, a biscuit and fruit. A very yellow breakfast.

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I officially need to go grocery shopping, by my standards my fridge is barren.

I threw together a very random lunch with a few things I had in my pantry. Quite an odd combination … baked beans, vegetable rice, squash and broccoli (leftover from dinner).

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I mixed it all together and topped it with a little parmesan cheese. It was actually pretty tasty, the beans gave it a nice smoky flavor.

Lincoln and I had a scrumptious 3 hour nap together this afternoon. Then I cleaned the house and then it was time to eat again. Its amazing how hungry I get when I’m doing long runs.

I struggled to find something to eat for dinner. In the depths of my freezer I found one single lonely Falafel that I had made back in March!

I also found half of a tomato, a random cucumber, and red onion. I needed something saucy to put on it though … I’m totally out of hummus. Tim suggested I make a homemade tzatziki with sour cream, dill and lime juice.

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Rolled it all up in a Flat Out Wrap.

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Six month old Falafel + random veggies + homemade Tzatziki = amazingness!

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Filed under Food, Half Marathon Training, Long Runs, pictures, Running

Portobello and Parsnips

One of my most favorite things about being a vegetarian is the freedom to experiment with new foods and ingredients. When I was a meat eater I tended to make the same foods over and over again, or use ingredients in the same ways. I rarely branched out and tried new ingredients. I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with food lately.

I got the idea today to try a new kind of “french fry” from Caitlin’s latest Swaps and Additions post. I’ve actually been meaning to try this, but I had forgotten about it until today.

Nothing goes better with french fries than a burger. Ever since our Labor Day cook-out, I’ve been absolutely CRAVING portobello burgers. I can’t believe I had never tried these before!

So tonight I combined the two and made Portobello Burgers and Parsnip fries.

If you aren’t familiar with Parsnips, they look alot like carrots except they are white.

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I washed them, peeled them and cut them into fry shapes.

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I tossed them in olive oil and salt and baked at 425 for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

It might have been just a bit too much time, some of them came out a bit too crispy. But they were still delicous!

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Uh oh. Don’t forget the curry ketchup …

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That’s more like it!

A much healthier (and interesting) version of burgers and fries.

What healthy swaps do you make in your diet?

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Filed under Food, pictures, Recipes

R.I.P. Pa and Granny

My weekend started with me getting a phone call from my mom at work at 3:30 am on Saturday morning that my grandfather was dying. I immediately left work to head 2 hours south to see him. By the time I got in my car and called my mom back to tell her I was on my way, he was already gone.

I’m so glad I was able to get this picture of my Pa and my son while he was stile alive a couple of weeks ago.

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My Pa was a hard man. He’d tell you exactly what he thought, he never held back. He once told me that I was “as wide as I was tall”. He constantly told me when I was growing up that I “needed to get out and run around the house a few times”. These things seem sort of funny to me now, but they weren’t at the time. But he was still my Pa and I loved him very much.

September will be a hard month for my family. My Pa died September 11th and my Granny died September 14th, 2007.

Sunday morning I headed out for a run, I wasn’t exactly sure what my plan was going to be. I knew it would be a slow easy run, but I had no idea where I was going or how far.

As I ran all of my built up emotions hit me at once. This was the first time that I’ve ever actually cried while running. As I ran I thought about my grandparents, my childhood, my memories and I realized that I was heading to their grave.

I spent about 20 minutes talking to my grandmother and telling her about Lincoln and how my life has changed since we saw each other. I know she couldn’t hear me, but it helped.

R.I.P. Granny and Pa, you will always be loved and missed.

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Finally Using My Garmin

I’ve had my Garmin Forerunner 305 for almost exactly a year now and until today I’ve never used it for any function other than watching my time/distance tick off on the main screen. Today my training schedule called for a 4 x 1600 run at race pace, and I finally decided to explore some other function of my Garmin.

I didn’t have much time to explore pre-run, but I did find the interval function and set it up for my run.

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I set my repeat distance for 1 mile, my rest distance for .25 mile and my reps at 4.

To get to this screen go to: training > workouts > interval. Then I chose Distance/Rest Distance, but there are also time based options.

The one thing that I didn’t realize was that it would no longer show me my pace. I was aiming at running at 8:00 min/mile pace, but because I couldn’t see what pace I was running I had to estimate. I ran each of my intervals at what I felt like was my desired race pace.

I really liked that the screen counted down my distance (instead of counting up), it also beeped several times loudly when it was time for my rest distance. It kept up with my remaining reps (which I always have a hard time with). Very cool!

When I got back to my car and reviewed my lap info I realized that I actually ran faster than my desired pace (not necessarily a bad problem). I ran 3 out of 4 of my 1 mile repeats at a sub-8:00 pace.

Mile 1 – 7:49, Mile 2 – 7:42, Mile 3 – 7:55, Mile 4 – 8:07.

I was quite exhausted by my last rep; I actually considered ending the workout at 3 reps. I knew I’d feel better about myself if I pushed through and finished instead of giving up though.

I was STARVING by lunch time, and knew I needed volume! I made a huge Perfect Baked Potato.

My toppings included:

  • Arugula (stole this idea from Caitlin’s HTP Swaps and Additions post)
  • Provolone slice
  • Sautéed veggies (broccoli, onion and mushrooms)
  • Tbsp of hummus and Tbsp of Sour Cream

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Now I’m snacking on a yogurt mess.

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Yogurt, Raw Oats, Strawberries, Banana. See what I mean about a mess …. ?

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My curiosity was peaked after this morning’s run and I decided to spend some time with my Garmin (and manual) this afternoon.

I figured out that the function I should have been using is actually the Advanced Workout. Found right under the interval option.

The manual suggested setting up Advanced Workout’s in Garmin’s Training Center and then importing the workouts into the Forerunner. I set up two workouts and scheduled them on the calendar.

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There are several different options available, but I used the base distance option for my 3 Mile Easy run for tomorrow and the Tempo (HR) option for Thursday’s Tempo Run. (I took out the heart rate info and changed it to speed instead).

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Confession: I’ve never truly understood how to properly do a tempo run. I get that the point is to raise your lactic acid threshold by maintaining a fast clip for an extended period of times, but I’ve seen many different runners do them differently. Feel free to critique my steps above and offer any advice you may have. My schedule actually called for a 55 min Tempo, but I felt that seemed excessive. Thoughts?

Once I created the workouts I was able to import them into my Forerunner. To access them you simple choose the workout you want to do from your list.

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Anyway … if you are like me and have only used your Garmin for its most basic functions, I hope this post will give you a little insight and curiosity to explore the other functions available.

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Filed under Garmin, Gear, pictures, Tips/Tricks

My Day in Food

I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut lately eating the same things over and over again. I really needed some new recipes to make things exciting again. When I first became a vegetarian in January it was new and exciting and I really loved exploring new recipes that I probably would have never made when I was a meat-eater. Lately though I’ve been finding myself missing meat. Not the taste, but just the diversity of recipe options. I needed to bring some of that diversity into my vegetarian menu.

Today I did just that.

Breakfast was a bagel with a basil eggwhite omelet, faux sausage patty and sliced tomato.

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It doesn’t look that unique or spectacular, but the basil in the eggwhite omelet really made the flavors pop. This dish was inspired by my need to find a use for the 4 dozen eggs that I have in my refrigerator. It was really delicous and a great way to use up a few eggs!

Lunch was a grilled veggie pizza. I’ve made alot of pizzas lately, but I haven’t been able to find a good balance between perfectly cooked veggies and perfectly cooked crust. Either the crust is cooked well and the veggies are undercooked or the crust is burnt.

I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out but the key is to pre-cook the veggies, specifically grilling them.

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I grilled zucchini slices, yellow squash, mushrooms and onions on my George Foreman grilled with a light spray of olive oil. I used a pocketless pita from Costco as the crust, and Prego as the sauce.

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I made Tim’s with cheese and mine without. I baked them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 7 or 8 minutes. Soooo much better with the pre-grilled veggies!

Dinner was definitely the star of the day. I wanted to do some grilling for Labor Day, but I thought it would be difficult to find good vegetarian recipes for the grill. I finally came up with Grilled Portobello Burgers.

O … M … G!

I’ve never actually had a portobello burger before, they honestly never looked very appealing to me. I thought I’d give them a try tonight though since I was craving burgers and fries.

I marinated the mushroom caps in olive oil and italian seasoning (I forgot the balsamic vinegar that the recipe called for). They soaked up the oil very quickly.

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Tim grilled the mushrooms for about 6 minutes or so and then topped them with provolone cheese. We also grilled onions and the buns.

Our burgers included: grilled bun, mushroom cap, sliced avocado, arugula (soooo much better than lettuce or spinach), and sliced tomato.

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I served the burgers with baked Sweet Potato fries.

This is one of the BEST meals I’ve had in a very long time. Its nice to know that even though I’ve given up meat, I don’t have to give up really good burgers. I can’t wait to make this again and again. Its definitely going into a regular rotation. Give it a try!

I hid the last mushroom in the fridge so hopefully I can eat it for lunch tomorrow without any competition from the hubby. Hehehehe 😉

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Filed under Food, pictures, Recipes, vegetarian

A Day Trip to the Country

Yesterday Tim, Lincoln and I made a day trip down to my parent’s house for a quick visit. Its about a two hour drive from home. We arrived just before lunch. My mom made Eggplant Parmesan, green beans, garlic toast and salad for us.

After we filled our bellies and let it settle for a while we decided to go on a walk/run together. My family has all been taking some steps to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

I had been craving to get outside all day, the weather was absolutely perfect in the morning. Tim, I, Lincoln, my mom and my 6 year old niece headed out on a walk down to the creek. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite as perfect as earlier in the day, the sun was high, there was very little shade to be found, and it was nearing 90 degrees by the time we actually made it out for our walk.

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I ran up and down this dirt road while my family and the kids poked along.

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I was able to run 2 quick miles up and down the road before my family made it halfway down the road. When we all met back up there were some mini-meltdowns taking place. In the end Tim took Lincoln back to the house and myself, my mom and my niece drove the rest of the way to the creek, where we met my sister.

We had to either climb over or crawl under a fence to get to the creek. I tried going over a couple of times, but got scared. (I have an intense fear of heights). Ultimately I crawled under, which was apparently HILARIOUS!

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I haven’t been to this spot since I was a small child, with my grandparents. It brought back alot of memories!

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My family waded in the water a bit, and splashed my mom with the nasty cow poop infested water. They were under strict orders to not even think about getting me involved.

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After splashing around we headed up to the bridge.

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For some reason this bridge has terrified me for my entire life. I vaguely remember hearing a story when I was a child about a drunk man who drove off of the side of the bridge and died, and ever since I’ve been scared of the bridge. Its just one of those strange childhood things that sticks with you.

I still to this day can’t walk or drive across it.

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I stepped onto the bridge far enough to get these photos and then chickened out and turned back around.

After getting a few more quick pictures (courtesy of my niece), we walked back home.

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All in all, I walked/ran 3.54 miles in a little over 45 minutes. It was nice to get out in the sunshine and do something active with my family.

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