Race Schedule

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lost and Found

I seem to have lost my motivation.  Have you seen it?

I have another of factors working against me right now, not the least of which is that I had to make a tough decision last week.

I've taken Disney's Princess Half off my race schedule for next year.  I'm incredibly bummed about this especially since my mother was planning on making this trip with me (it would be the first time she came to a race). There were quite a few reasons I called off the trip, but we'll just say that being a grown up really sucks.  A lot.

So now my next race is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon in April.

Unfortunately, with nothing to train for, I'm not feeling very motivated, especially on days like today.  When I was on my way home from work the wind chill was hovering right around zero.  I did not go back out to work out.  I don't even feel that guilty about it.

So if you see my motivation, give it directions home, okay?  Thanks :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beat the Clock

Thanksgiving is next week!  November is going so fast, I can't believe it.  I was hoping to get all my holiday shopping done by Black Friday and I'm not sure I'll pull it off, but I'm going to be darn close!

I've already bought seven gifts but I've got a lot to go!  This is what Christmas Eve looks like at my house:

I think the first picture best depicts the kind of "standing room only" situation we've got going.  The rest are just because my family likes to pose for pictures ;)

What are your holiday shopping goals? Do you have a date you want your shopping done by or when you want your gifts all wrapped and ready to go?  Do you have a budget to stick to?  Or maybe one person you're looking for the perfect gift for?  Please share!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bustin' my Bootie!

Tonight I joined Amanda's Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!

I know, I'm already doing Courtney's 100 Day Challenge, right?  However, the 100 Day Challenge is almost over - we're already on day 85 -  I can't believe it!  December 1st  I'll be posting to discuss my progress over those 100 days.  December 1st is also my next doctor's appointment, so hopefully we'll have lots of good news then!

So, why start up a new challenge before I'm done with the last?  Well, these are two different challenges, while I can (and probably will) set my own goals for the Bootie Buster, this challenge is structured differently and right now I think its just what I need.  It award points for activity and that's definitely where I'm struggling now.

I've been doing okay eating well, which is very important since my activity level is way down right now.  I've worked out once since the last time I was able to run.  Yep.  That's it.  Once.  In two weeks.  But once every two weeks isn't enough (no matter how careful I am about what I eat).

I've lost 20 pounds this year, which isn't a lot in a year, but I lost that weight slowly and the way I wanted to lose it - so that it will stay off.  My first weight loss goal was to make it to the same weight I was at when I started college.

I'm finally there.

This is by no means a final goal, but its a start and I'm not giving it up over a minor injury, so I'm digging into the Bootie Buster Challenge starting November 20th.    This is the accountability I need right now.

I'm not looking for a miracle right now.  I will be absolutely perfectly happy to make it through the holidays without gaining any weight.

Who else has a goal for the rest of this year?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time for Team Work

Today was the big day and I came out of my appointment with mostly good news.  I'll warn you, you might want to get comfy and maybe get a drink or a snack, this is going to be a long post.

I'll start with the bad news and get it out of the way and over with:  I cannot run for three weeks.

Here's the rest of the news:
My leg never fully recovered from being casted for an unrelated injury.  My left leg is 1.5 inches smaller than my right and as a result quite a bit weaker.  As a result, I've overworked my poor left leg, have a mild case of posterior shin splints BUT my doctor feels this has already more or less resolved itself (yay #1).
There were no visible fractures on my x-rays (yay #2).
My doctor feels this situation can be corrected and I will be able to resume my training after suitable rest and rehab (yay #3).

That said, I honestly cannot express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful doctor at this moment.  I was terrified going into the appointment to the point I was actually shaking.

When I got to the office this morning, I of course had to have x-rays right away.  As I walked back to their radiology department, I saw some TNT purple on the wall.  Then I realized it was me.  My doctor had hung a picture of me, all decked out in TNT gear on his wall next to all the other athletes he's treated.  That was the first time I almost broke down.  The second time was when my doctor walked in the room.  I was so keyed up I could barely sit and the second my doctor walked in, the first thing he said was how proud he was of everything I've done since I got out of my cast last year.  And near breakdown number three came while he was measuring my legs.  This was when he noticed I was shaking.  When questioned, I admitted I was scared he was going to tell me I needed to quit running.  This is when doctor dear earned my eternal love and devotion.  He sat down on the table with me and very seriously told me this: "My job is  to help you find a safe and healthy way to achieve your goals, not to crush your hopes and dreams."

That's right.  I have the best doctor ever.  Be jealous, people.

Doctors orders are that we will approach this as a team:  I'll shut up and actually do as I'm told; diligently rest, stretch and ice.  He will help me find ways to stay active until I'm ready to run again and find a physical therapy program that will be able to heal my leg so I can still reach my goals.

So there it is: I'm not dying, I don't require amputation and I will run again.  My short term goals need some reevaluation, I think I'm more or less done for the year, but next years' races are still on the calendar.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Something a Little Spicy

I've been craving spicy food big time so I decided to give in today.  I made chicken tacos.  I love - LOVE - this recipe because its easy, it makes tons and it freezes well.  You can also easily adjust the heat level with the addition of a couple peppers. And BONUS - this is basically just chicken and veggies - what you choose to put on top of it is between you and your god, I was happy with a little low fat cheese, lettuce, tomato and more hot sauce.

Spicy Chicken Tacos

2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, trimmed of fat
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, lightly smashed (just give them a quick slap with your knife, that's plenty)
1 16 oz. jar Salsa of your choice
1 can chopped green chiles, drained
1-2 hot peppers of your choice (optional)
Juice of 1 - 2 limes
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Chili Powder

Mix together salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder, season both sides of chicken thighs with mixture and place in the bottom of slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker.  Cook on 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.  Chicken should shred when stirred, if not, shred meat with two forks.  Serve with what ever type of taco fixings you like.

According to my calculations, the chicken breaks alone down to about 100 calories in a 1/4 cup serving - which easily made 2 tacos for me and was plenty to fill me up.

In other news (and I know this isn't new at all) tomorrow is the big day - I see my doctor.  I'm really nervous about the appointment, but its first thing in the morning, so it will be over soon.  I'll be back tomorrow to let you guys know what news I've got then!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good News

I've gotten a few different pieces of really good news the last few days.  One of them is not yet publishable but it will be soon - suffice to say it made for an exciting day yesterday though.

The other news came this morning, just as work was starting to overwhelm me.  I got an email - a travel itinerary from Southwest.  My friend is coming from Kansas to visit me!  We'd been talking about her coming but then it looked like it wouldn't happen, but everything ended up working out and in a little less than a month I'll get to see Mrs. P. for the first time since her wedding in May!

I needed that news today; not being able to run has been harder on my psychologically than I thought it would be.  I see my doctor Wednesday and I hope I'll have something more to report by then besides "my leg hurts."  I know that gets old ;)

I've also been checking out ShoeDazzle tonight - I'm going to blame Jenn for exposing me to this.  For all my shoe-minded readers go check it out, the shoes are a steal and they're super cute!

What happened to brighten your Monday?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Failure is a Detour

First and foremost, I want to encourage everyone to visit Jenn's blog to read her post from today.  She's got something to say, its important, so please take a moment out of your day to check it out.

And back to our regularly scheduled programing:

I have to make a choice in the next 24 hours.  Saturday is the race I've been training for.

If I had to decide if I will run right now, I would say no.  I'm not feeling confident this is going to change.  This is a big disappointment to me but I'm currently in pain even while walking.  I don't think I would finish this race if I started and even if I did I'm afraid I would come out of it seriously injured.

I will see my doctor next Wednesday (Mr. Popular couldn't get me in any sooner) but until then the plan is rest.  I hadn't planned on a Turkey Trot this year, but if he clears me to run I may register for one after all.

I'm a little mad and extremely disappointed by this turn of events, I was really looking forward to this race and I've been working really hard training for it, and I've done a little wallowing this week but I'm ready to move past it....

So I present you with Plan B:  Triathlon Training!  I'm going to hit the pool, I haven't set foot in my gym in weeks and its time to get working on improving my swimming for next summer's Tris!

Please share, how do you cope with injury and illness that interferes with your running?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mighty Meatballs

What's this?  A recipe?  Crazy, isn't it?

I made meatballs tonight, I've been craving them for a while.  So, what are the big bads in meatballs?  Well, there's an assortment of ground meats you can use.  My favorite combination is lamb and veal - not at all economical, just for reference.  There is always the conventional beef.  I went for turkey this time, however, I have learned from previous experience (and when I say experience, I mean DISASTER) that you cannot make meatballs from extra lean turkey.  The extra lean turkey falls apart, you need a little fat for whatever kind of binder you choose to attach to or you're just going to have really well seasoned turkey crumbles!

The next big bad is the aforementioned binder.  Typically breadcrumbs and egg for meatballs.  I usually half the breadcrumbs and use parmesan cheese (the powdered, canned stuff) for the rest.  I swapped out my egg for Olive Oil this time.

All these measurements are estimates, when I make meatballs (and meatloaf) I just dump stuff in the bowl.  I'm guessing we don't all have the same size hands, so "a handful of bread crumbs" doesn't really work.  As a result of my guestimations when I cook, no nutrition facts on this either.

So, here's how you make these happy little guys happen:

Mighty Turkey Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs lean (93%) ground turkey
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 healthy pinches kosher salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced

Mix all ingredients well and from into 1 inch balls.  Place in mini muffin pans (one meatball per cup) or in foil lined pan.  Cook 1 hour at 350 degrees.

You can do what you wish with your meatballs from here.  I like to simmer mine in a red sauce and serve over whole wheat pasta.

A side note to this recipe.  SALT.  Sodium in large amounts is bad for you.  I'm really careful about sodium in processed foods but I use salt when I cook.  Here's the reason:  Salt makes food taste good.  Sweet food, savory food, it needs salt to round out the flavors.  Reason #2 I cook with salt:  I'd rather control the salt I put in my recipe when I cook it then finish, decide its bland, grab that salt shaker and go to town.  Say what you want about my methods but I think food should taste good.

Nothing new to report on the injury -I hate to use that word- front.  Still not able to run, so I'm in the same place as before.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We'll Run 'Til We Drop. . .

I had a really, really bad run today.  Not my first bad run, won't be my last, I'm very aware of this.  What upsets me is that this particular run happened to my last long run before my race next week.  

I've been doing exceptionally well the last few weeks but a few days ago I started feeling some tightness in my left leg and then some actual pain Thursday when I went out with Courtney. I rested Friday and thought by this morning I'd be good to go but I was having the same pain again.  Instead of the 8 miles I had planned, I walked a slow 3.

I'm resting, icing, stretching, all that good stuff.  I'm not in severe pain when I walk but I am a bit sore.  I'm torn between going out tomorrow and trying to run this off or resting a couple more days. 

I know nothing is going change my run next Saturday that much right now but I really, desperately do not want to be injured. More than anything, this is a mental blow. I was feeling so confident (probably the most I've ever been so close to a race) and now I am...well, not.

This race is going to turn into a mind game I think, so I'm going to get my game face on.  This time next week I'll have met HoCho 15K and there's a chance only one of us is going to be standing at the end.  I'm going to run until I drop - and I only intend to do so on the right side of the finish line.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

There's an Exception to Every Rule

Tonight is my exception.  I'm training for a 15K (as you all know) and I've been off booze, junk food, taking it easy (2 cups ONLY) on the coffee.

Sometimes you have to break the rules.

All I have to say is this:  A good friend takes you out for a drink when you've a bad day.  A best friend buys you a bottle of wine and helps you drink it while you're both wearing your PJs.

Tomorrow I'll have to start running again so if you think of it, shoot me a message and remind me to hydrate ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Lecture to No One in Particular

This post is partially a follow up to Courtney's post on negativity and partially a reaction to what happened yesterday following registration for Boston.  Beware, Becca is a little hacked off and there is (mild) adult language ahead.

For those of you who don't know, after registration closed yesterday, the BAA facebook page was besieged by angry, rude people who were upset about not getting a spot and evidently decided charity runners are to blame.

Now, I'm biased because I AM a charity runner, but I have to say I'm disappointed for a number of reasons, the least of all being that we're all adults and the fact that these people are conducting themselves in a manner befitting a school yard bully or two year old prepping for a tantrum is mildly ridiculous.  I understand you are disappointed.  Perhaps you should challenge yourself and join one of the wonderful charity groups participating in next year's marathon to get that spot you covet so much you have to use mean and hateful language to express your disappointment.

I recommend Team in Training.  Perhaps when you realize how hard we charity runners work, not just training, but fundraising too, you'll sing a different tune. Running builds character.  Some of these runners need to build a bit more character, it would seem.  I think completing any event with TNT will show them the TRUE spirit of charity runners.

The other reason I'm disappointed is this:  Last week, on our Saturday morning group run I discussed with Amanda and Michelle the recent negativity that has popped up here and there (such as people suggesting if you walk a few miles on a marathon course in 90 degree heat that you didn't really run a marathon).  I said I was really upset by these comments because I have found the running community to be a supportive environment that welcomes anyone that wants to be there.  Can everyone run a marathon?  No, I don't think so, there's a mental element to endurance events and some people just haven't got it.  But is everyone welcome to try?  HELL YES.

To the people anonymously spamming blogs telling people they aren't runners because they walked a few miles I say this:  Put up or shut up.  If you're going to talk like that, then at least own up to it.  Oh, and make sure to tell us what YOUR marathon time is too.

Quite honestly, if I was confronted with this sort of bull shit when I started running I probably would have turned around and walked back into my house and never started.  I had friends and family to support me, and now I have even more friends, a wonderful, loving community of people I've met online who offer encouragement and advice.

Running is the one sport that should welcome everyone.  Yes, there are elite divisions and some are faster than others, better than others, more experienced than others.  But we all fall under the same category:  We are RUNNERS.  We train hard and long, we fight through illness and injury and doubt, during tough races we encourage each other and when those races end, we should embrace each other in the same way.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today is 10-10-10.

Today would have been my grandmother's 96th birthday.  Grandma was a bad ass, and if I live to be 95 I hope I'll be a rock star little old lady just like her!  We lost her in July but in the last year I learned a LOT about perseverance from her.  So today is happy birthday Grandma, she is dearly missed but certainly not forgotten.

Yesterday I wanted to talk about my run, but I decided to hold off until today because I didn't want to psych out anyone who was running the marathon this morning.  I really did have a great run yesterday, I ran through the next neighborhood over and the change of scenery was great.  I did three miles in that direction, came back by my house, stopped for more water and popped a couple sport beans.  I headed right back out - and it was HOT by then.  I ran in my own neighborhood after my break.  We have fairly heavy tree cover but it didn't make a difference.  I went through four bottles of water on that run and if I had been able to carry more it certainly wouldn't have gone to waste.   The whole experience made me very nervous for all the runners headed out this morning.   I'm so glad everyone made it alright!  I'm hearing a lot of "It was hot and I'm exhausted" but nothing as bad as what happened in 2007.  Congratulations  to all the finishers, everyone earned their bragging rights today!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Six Facts

1)  I got in a 5 mile run this morning - and it felt AWESOME.

2) I am multitasking hardcore right now.  Blogging, baking, watching the Blackhawks raise their Stanley Cup banner, watching Kona on my computer and keeping an eye on all my Tweeps running Chicago.  Oh, and I've got about six craft projects scattered about.

3) I heard rumblings on Twitter today that Team in Training raised over 1 million for the Chicago Marathon! (Okay, that's not a fact, its a rumor)  Here's the fact:

4)  TNT is an incredible organization and I am so proud to be an alumae.  GO TEAM!

5)  The Chicago Marathon begins in 10:10:10...yeah, that's a total fluke, I just happened to check the clock and I thought that was pretty cool.

6)  This isn't a fact either, but just a little reminder to everyone running tomorrow morning:   "When your legs are tired, run with your HEART!"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who is Going to Stop Me?

Yesterday I registered for the Hot Chocolate 15K.  I'd planned do this race for a while and it is part of my goals for the 100 Day Challenge.  The race is one month from today.

I haven't been great about running since I've been sick, if I'm totally honest.  I did get out for one Saturday morning run right after I started feeling better but that's more or less all I've done in almost a month...yikes!

Tonight I was going to run no matter what, I've got just enough time to get ready for my next race.  Courtney is still sick, so it was just Amanda and I.  We ran a different course which was a nice change of pace, and its pretty flat and not as dark, too.  I think we'll be sticking with that course for our evening runs for a while.

I have my training plan and I'm excited for this race - I've never done this particular distance, so I'm really looking forward to it, I do like trying new things!

Now I just have to keep myself on track through my training.

We all have our goals and each is important to us in its own way.  But we are the only ones that can accomplish these goals, no one can accomplish them for us.

So I'll leave you with this:

"The question isn't 'who is going to let me;' its 'who is going to stop me?'" - Ayn Rand

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday....

In yesterday's post I mentioned a party I attended on Saturday.  This party was a surprise 15th birthday party for my cousin, Drew.  My regular readers will note that I celebrated a birthday of my own just a week ago.  Drew's birthday comes 6 days after my own and  we have celebrated our birthdays together his entire life.  Sharing your day might not be some people's cup of tea, but to those who don't think it sounds like fun, I say:  Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

I had 10 birthdays on my own before Drew came along and I've had 14 birthdays with him (I'm accounting for year 0 here because I guess I suddenly care about math).  I always celebrate my birthday with with my friends and my parents, but somehow it doesn't feel real until Drew and I have taken cheesy pictures together and fought each other to see who could blow out the most candles.  Drew was the first baby in our family after I was born, he was the first chance I had to be a big cousin, he was the first kid I babysat for and the first kid I put in time out (he bit his little sister).   He used to sit on my lap while we took those cheesy birthday pictures - if he did that now you wouldn't see me in the picture!  Needless to say; I feel his increasing age more acutely than I do my own.

So I'm 25 now - its official. I feel like I should have an aura of wisdom about me or at least feel smarter than I did.  I don't.  Perhaps that will come in time.  I was surfing around some blogs today and I found this post at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit.  Take a trip over there and get some good life advice!  A lot is health related, but a lot is just good sound advice from people who have lived a lot longer than I.    So what have I learned in these 25 years?

1) The past is just that.  What you were matters much less than what you are now.
2) If you think you can't do something, you're right.  Remove the word from your vocabulary.
3) Your grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle or parent possesses a skill you think is old fashioned.  Ask them to teach it to you.  The lesson you will learn has nothing to do with that skill.

I'll give it back you, gentle readers:  What have you learned in your time on this earth?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Better Late Than Never?

This is ... Friday's post?  I believe I was going to discuss my weekend plans.

Saturday morning was a regular group run with BGRC, we had a new member, Kim join us, which was exciting.  There was a lot of traffic on the path that morning since Chicago is only two weeks away.  It was my first run since before I got sick and my cough kind of got in the way, but I still made it just fine.  It really felt good to get my legs going after all that time!

Saturday afternoon I helped Court set up for her wine tasting, which was one of her final fundraisers for the fall season.  Her raffle is ending today as well, you still have a couple hours to enter, the link is on this page.

Saturday evening I went to a surprise birthday party for one of my cousins.  We had a lot of fun and I think my mother, aunt and myself convinced my cousin to join us in Disney World for the Princess Half in February.  I'm so excited for that trip and even more excited for the race!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Signs of Life

Good news darlings!  I am finally getting better!  Granted, I have infected my entire family now, but seeing as how this illness seems to not be life threatening (though I was wondering Monday night if the end was neigh...) I don't feel that bad about it.

And, since I am well, it means back to work for one young blogger.  Depending on how I feel and when I leave work tomorrow I'm seriously considering spin class in the evening.  Regardless, I will be reclaiming my title of Bad Girl on Saturday morning for our regularly scheduled group run.  Go HERE for more info on that.

Also:  There is the tricky matter of P90X.  Those DVDs are staring at me, mocking me, challenging me.  Dare I make the commitment?

Two other business matters to address:

1) My best friend has been working her butt off all summer.  Do you know why?  Because she is trying to save some lives.  Courtney is a mentor for VTNT's Nike team.  Not only is she fundraising and training for a half next month, she's also guiding her TEAM as they do the same.  Right now Courtney has a super awesome raffle for LLS and donating just one dollar qualifies you for an entry!  Help her out if you can in anyway, her fundraising deadline is almost here!

2)  I used the word "regardless." Properly in this post.  I did that just for one certain person...she knows who she is.

Tomorrow. . . a post about the weekend to come.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegetarian Chili

As promised, here is a lovely recipe that can be made totally meatless.  I make mine with ground turkey, but you can sub it out for meat substitutes or just skip the meat all together and add more beans to beef it up (no pun intended!)

Olive Oil
1 Large Spanish Onion, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
4 - 6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and minced
2 cans chopped green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Bay Leaves
2 Cans Chili Tomatoes
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
2 Cans Black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Cans Chili-ready (spicy) kidney beans
1 large can tomato juice
Salt, Chili Powder, Red Pepper flakes and/or Cayenne pepper to taste

In a large soup or stock pot saute onion, green pepper and garlic until onions are soft (watch your heat, don't burn your garlic or you'll be chopping all that onion again).  If you intend to add meat/meat substitute, do so now. Add Chiles and Cumin, cook through. (If using meat, make sure its cooked through before moving on)  At this point you will have a kind of yucky yellowish/green goo if you're not using meat.  It will look gross.  I promise yummy things shall come out of it.  Add both cans of Tomatoes.  I do not drain my tomatoes, but you can if you feel committed to it, I like the juices off the chili tomatoes though.  Add beans and stir thoroughly. Pour in tomato juice and stir.  Add bay leaves, and any spices you want at this time.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Serve hot or allow to cool and freeze in one batch or smaller containers.

Variations:  You can substitute fresh peppers for the green chiles.  This will be a matter of personal preference and what is available in your area/that season as well.  I would probably use 1-2 Serranos or several Anahiem peppers if I were able to come by them at that time.  1-3 Jalepenos would also be a pretty safe bet.  However, feel free to experiment, just keep a glass of milk nearby!

Beans are the bulk of this meal, and you can use any kind you like.  I've done this recipe with Garbanzo beans, corn, navy beans, kidney beans and black beans in any and all combinations.

Also, watch your tomato juice!  That stuff is LOADED with sodium, so this recipe shouldn't need much salt.  Low sodium V8 works well and packs a little extra in the vitamin department.

There you have it, tell me:  how spicy do you like your chili?

What I Need is a Good Defense....

I have a confession:  I've been a bad Mommy to my little blog.  What have I got to say for myself?  Well, I've been sick for a week - REALLY sick the last three days.  However, the week before that I was just being plain old lazy.    I owe you lovely readers recipes and stories and many, many things (I haven't forgotten that vegetarian recipe I promised either!).

Tonight, we shall address two things:

1)  Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes, you're far too kind :)  I'm now a quarter century old and said birthday was celebrated with all the pomp and circumstance that is appropriate for a woman of my slightly advanced years.  Seriously, birthday weekend was rocking and I'm sure I partied harder than was good for me, which is no doubt why I'm suffering now.  That said - TOTALLY worth it!  Check out Court's blog for details and pictures!  Which brings us to....

2)  I have been extremely remiss in not plugging Courtney's latest fundraising effort.  She is holding a crazy, massive, awesome raffle to benefit Team in Training.  I'm a TNT alum and I know some of my readers are too.  Its an excellent cause and her prizes are absolutely amazing.  She's got running jewelry, t-shirts, bags, sunglasses, GU packs....the list goes on.  Take yourself on over to Run, Courtney, Run to check out her full list of prizes and find details on how you win them!

That's all I've got for you tonight, my lovelies.  I promise more tomorrow.  Leave me a little love.  Oh, and if some one can tell me who I blatantly stole the title of this entry from you shall be held in high esteem by this crazy blogger forever!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Challenge: Week Three

Week three started yesterday.  I'm definitely starting to struggle now.  Between the holiday weekend and life getting busy in general I'm finding its hard to find time to work out, hard to find time to plan meals and hard to remember to to give a little love to my blog.

I have P90X now and I should have started it last week, which didn't happen.  Now I'm getting nervous because I know I have two busy weekends coming - My cousin is getting married this weekend and next weekend is my birthday - and I'm afraid I'm going to completely lose sight of my goals.

Long term goals are easy to set, but short term ones are easier to achieve.  From now on, I"m going to set weekly goals to help me achieve the goals I've set for the 100 Day Challenge.

So here are my goals for this week:

1) Start P90X.
2) Be a good girl (or Bad Girl) and run tomorrow.
3) Eat healthy foods for the remainder of the week.
4) Run 10 miles by the end of the week (I'm aiming low, but tomorrow is Wednesday).
5) Not let everything I need to do for this weekend steam roll these goals!

What are little goals you set for yourself that help yourself stay on track long term?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bad Girls

Courtney and I are bad girls!  This evening was the first meeting of the Bad Girls Running Club.  We were joined by Amanda from Get to Goal. We're super excited to get this group off the ground.  If you know any Bad Girls in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago send them our way, we'd love for them to join us!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Mahi Mahi Tacos

Holy Monday!  This was a rough day at work and for life in general.  I have to say, this was the worst day for me since the 100 Day Challenge started.  I definitely will not be working out today.  My grandmother passed away last month and we've been cleaning out her house - today we turned over the keys.  It was a very long weekend with a lot of hard work and I can barely move right now.

I've been doing well with food though and I've been forcing my family to eat better as well.  Today's recipe is a grilled fish taco, you can adjust the spice level to suit your preferences.  I like spicy food so I went all out :)  Before anyone says it, yes, I cook my meet and veggies together.  I know all about cross contamination.  I also know all about blending flavors.  I'm a risk taker, but feel free to separate your protein from your veggies.  You could also substitute chicken breast or lean beef for you non-fish eaters....Courtney ;)  I do not have a calorie count on this, sorry guys, too many variables.

I also had a small fire while I was cooking this.  And instead of just putting it out, I stopped to take a picture with my phone.  All in the name of blogging.  Bet that makes my family feel safe!

2 pounds Mahi Mahi, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Large Red Pepper cut into 1 inch squares
1 Large Green Pepper cut into 1 inch squares
1 pound fresh or frozen and thawed pineapple cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut in wedges
2 packages corn tortillas (or one large package)
1 jar of Salsa - Tomatilla if you want it mild, but we used Mango Habanero

Soak bamboo skewers for 30 minutes, then place fish, veggies and pineapple on them. Grill on a high heat (be sure to oil the grates or the fish and pineapple will stick) until fish is cooked, turning frequently to keep the pineapple.  Remove from grill and serve on skewers with warm tortillas, using the tortilla to remove the skewer from the good stuff.  (Or skip the tortilla and save yourself the calories)  Top with your choice of salsa and enjoy!

Next week I'm planning on a vegetarian recipe but I haven't decided what it will be yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brown Baggin' It

Even more new followers, very exciting :)  I'm extra excited to see another VTNT alum!

One of my goals for the 100 Day Challenge was to eat healthier.  I do good for breakfast and dinner, its lunch that gets me.  Even as a little kid I didn't really see much appeal in a sandwich that had been sitting around for four or five hours getting mushy and warm and my feelings in that area definitely have only gotten stronger with age.  I'll occasionally take some left over pasta or soup with me to work but for the most part I eat with all the girls I work with.  I love each and every one of them in their own special way, but I don't want to share their eating habits!  When I eat food that's bad for me, I FEEL bad.  I can guarantee if I eat a half a french fry at lunch I will be tired and cranky by the end of the day - and I won't work out that night.

I've worked hard at it this week and I've got to say, it has been a challenge.  Today I had a salad, yogurt and fruit for lunch.  I've already found a perk (besides the calorie payoff!) to bringing my lunch.  My "scheduled" lunch time is 2 p.m.  I start work at 9 a.m. and usually eat breakfast around 6:30 or 7.  Everyday, around 1:30, I get a headache.  I've always attributed this headache to stress.  Guess again!  That would be my blood sugar talking!  Now that I have food available to me, I can eat it when I get hungry around noon, rather than waiting up to eight hours.

Now I just have to find a way keep myself interested in my homemade lunches.  I think this weekend I'm going to cook a couple pasta dishes and freeze individual servings to bring with me to cut down on prep time in the mornings.

I'm throwing it back to my readers now:  Do you bring lunch with you to work or order out?  How do you keep your lunches healthy?  Anyone have a way super extra amazing lunchtime recipe I can't live without?  Please share, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Plan B

Hey fellow 100 day challenge participants!  How was your day two?  I'd love to hear!

My day two didn't go as smoothly as planned, but I'm going to make the best of it :)

Tonight I planned on meeting Courtney for a spin class at 6:45.   We both have to go straight from work when we do this, so sometimes it doesn't work out at the last minute when one of us gets held up.  Let's just say this was NOT Court and my day.  She was stuck at work late and while I made it to the gym with plenty of time to spare, I discovered when I was changing that I forgot my shoes!  I just made it home from there, so I obviously won't be getting back in time for class.

Now its on to Plan B:  Dinner with my best friend and then a run on the treadmill.  We had good intentions going into today, and we'll get a workout in one way or the other!

What do you do when your workout plans end up not working out ?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dinner Time!

Thanks to all the new readers and followers.  And to Court for the free advertising!

I cooked dinner tonight.  I feel a lot better when I'm the one that cooks because I know exactly what goes into the food - ultimate control freak, I know.

I made a pasta dish which I fully intend to make again for several reasons:
1) It was cheap!  I spent less than $8 on the ingredients and it made tons...The picture I took is what was left after everyone had eaten!
2) It uses mostly fresh ingredients.
3) It only has 265 calories in a serving :)
4) It made everyone happy!  Courtney came over this evening and after she picked at the food while I was cooking she wanted some to take for her lunch tomorrow!

This recipe came to be when I saw some very pretty zucchini at the grocery store yesterday.  I love pasta and I was trying to come up with the healthiest way to make some this week.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Italian Sausage and Summer Veggies

1 Box Whole Wheat Penne, cooked and drained
5 Links Jennie-O Sweet Italian Sausage
3 Zucchini, sliced
2 Summer Squash, sliced
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
5 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Medium Red Onion, Roughly Chopped (you want bigger chunks or they'll get lost with the other big veggies)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Cook sausage ahead of or at the same time as the veggies.  You can grill them (that's what I did) or cook on the stove in a grill pan, just make sure any grease drains off (there should be very little grease if using lean turkey sausage). When cooked, slice into small pieces.
In a large saute pan, heat garlic in the olive oil with oregano and basil.  Add red onion, cook for about two minutes.  Add the zucchini and squash, cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.  Add sliced sausage and stir.  Add tomatoes last, cooking only until they are warm.
Combine with drained pasta and serve!

This makes about 10 very generous servings.

One last thing....I'm still playing with my layout and such, so bear with me while I'm ironing out the kinks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Step

My first step is starting this blog.  Join me on my journey while I train for the Nation's Triathlon next September and work to live a healthier life.  I know I can't change everything the second I wake up tomorrow morning, but I hope each day I can take one step forward - make one small change that can become one of many.

I've starting this blog as part of the 100 Day Challenge hosted by my best friend at  Court invited her friends and fellow bloggers to join her in dedicating one hundred days to improving their lives.  As part of the challenge we were asked to submit our goals for the challenge.  These were my goals:

Eat healthier
Work out 5 days a week
Lose weight
PR at the Hot Chocolate 15K

I'm adding one more goal and I've asked Courtney to update her list for me as well:  I want to maintain my modest little blog and hopefully be able to help other people improve their lives!