Sunday, February 28, 2010

Training Week 3

Monday, 3 miles easy, with the pup & lifting (2A1)
Tuesday, unplanned day of rest
Wednesday, lifting  (2B1) with 1.45 miles of HIIT, and 2.5 miles easy with the pup
Thursday, lifting (2A2)
Friday, 3 miles easy, with the pup
Saturday, planned day of rest
Sunday, 7 mile long run (last 2 with pup)

Overall, A-. I did my lifting and mileage, but I subbed the HIIT + easy for my 4 tempo, and the 3 easy on Friday for my speedwork. I did run a big hill twice so I guess that is good.

My eating was not weight-loss friendly at all, so that was a fail...restarting that goal this week. Man it was a fun weekend though :)

Fitness goals for this week:
3 Easy
5 Tempo
8 Long
and lifting three times...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spaghetti Squash, a review

I've been seeing Spaghetti Squash for a while now in healthy recipe articles and some of the blogs I read (Jessica & Katy).  I saw some in the grocery store, and it sounded easy enough, so I decided to try it out.

It IS easy. Microwave for a couple of minutes to soften the hull (husk? I'm not sure). Cut in half. Remove seeds. Put in baking dish. Bake. Remove meat (I think its called meat anyway. I don't feel like googling this right now, clearly).  Mix with sauce. Eat.

OK, it does look like spaghetti, or at least angel hair. And the texture isn't that different from whole wheat pasta.  And I hardly eat anything without cheese. But this needed a LOT of cheese. It just tasted...squashy. I know its super healthy and all...but eh. I'm not sold on spaghetti squash in lieu of pasta.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pineapple Chicken Chili!

We LOVE a good chili, and in the winter months it is in our crock pot regularly. We've made 5 already this season (and there's 3 bags in my freezer for rugby season!).


My new favorite is Pineapple Chicken Chili, adapted from Adventures in my Freezer.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2)
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1 tsp onion powder (or half an onion, chopped)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste (6 oz) *****
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle powder, optional
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 can pineapple chunks (used whole can, a big can)
1 can black beans or kidney beans, or half of each (15 oz total) (drained and rinsed) (used one can of each)
1/2 jar salsa (1 1/2 cups) (used a whole jar, one of the midsized ones)

1. Chop raw chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put into crockpot.
2. Add spices, beans, pineapple juice, and salsa. Reserve pineapple.
3. Cook 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Add pineapple and cook until warm (about 15 min on high).
4. Serve with buns or cornbread. (We did oyster crackers. And no cheese which is super weird for me but the pineapple meant we didn't need it!)

**** The first time we made this, we didn't have any tomato paste, and we loved it so much we made a batch a week later...with tomato paste. We ended up adding a WHOLE bunch more BBQ sauce. It was just so...tomatoey. OK with the extra BBQ sauce but we wouldn't have made it again if it was like that the first time. I will make this again though, sans tomato paste!

My fav. thing about the recipe (besides the BBQ/Pineapple combo) - the chicken goes in raw!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Training Week 3/Countdown - 2/4/12

My Half is 10 weeks away. My goal for this 10 weeks is to not have any more fail weeks like last week and do all my runs! Its only 4 days a week and peaks at 22 miles! I can do this!!

This week:
two sets of 1x1200, 1x400 with 1 and 3 minute recoveries respectively
3 miles easy
4 miles tempo
7 miles, long

We're also 2 weeks to the beginning of rugby practice, 4 to our first game, and 12 to what will likely be my last game with this club. So, I am committing to adding some rugby-specific interval training to my workouts...starting now. This will also probably be really good for upping my fat loss (which has been a long time coming). I'll likely swap the easy and tempo runs for HIIT sessions. We'll see how this week goes.

And, noting fat loss above, I'm also committing to following Weight Watchers for 10 weeks. I need to lose 15-20 lbs to feel my best (the lower end of that is just below stupid BMIs overweight border, amusingly), and I think I can make the commitment with having a post-injury race PR in mind...

I started off this week right with a 3 miler with the pup this morning! Here's to Spring!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Training Week 2

Monday: Planned Day of Rest
Tuesday: un-Planned Day of Rest. Oops.
Wednesday: NROLFW 1A8. 3 miles with the pup, 33 min. I blame the narrow sidewalks and curb snow to climb ;)
Thursday: 2.2 miles on the treadmill with 1 mile warm up then 4x400 with 60 second walk breaks. 2 miles with the pup, 21 minutes (see above). This was supposed to be a 4 mi tempo run, but I left work too late to get it in before class so I did what I figured was most efficient.
Friday: NROLFW 1B8. Stage 1, done
Saturday & Sunday, Fail.

Dammit. I just lacked motivation this weekend. I need to start doing all my runs midweek I think. We did get our carpet ripped out and host a 200 person collegiate rugby clinic though!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Training Week 1, for realz this time

Monday:  Weights, 1B6. Up to 115 in the deadlift, and I think that is pretty exciting.
Tuesday: 2 miles with the pup in the morning. Slow due to snowbanks on the corner (and that's what cut it from the 3 I planned!). We did another 1 in the evening.
Wednesday: SNOW. 30 Day Shread, level 3, and about 20 minutes of Wii Fit Yoga.
Thursday: 5 miles OUTSIDE! Woot! (See YakTrax!) Since this took a lot of muscles I usually don't use (balancing while moving in the snow and all), I'm substituting this for my tempo run this week.
Friday: Weights, 1B7
Saturday: Intervals on the treadmill, 27:10 for 3 miles (1/2 mile to warmup, then 4x800 with 90 second walking recoveries. I did stop entirely 3 or 4 times for 30 seconds - a half mile warm up and not stretching was a poor choice - so even with that I'm under 30 min. total, which I think is good).
Sunday: 5 miles, outside, in 50:40. The first mile was with the pup, and the rest were under 10 min each, so that was decent.

Week 1, a success.

Week 2:
Speed Pyramid: 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800 400
3, Easy
4, Tempo
6, Long

I may do a race on Saturday, in which case I'll sub that for the tempo run.

Friday, February 12, 2010


In light of the forecast for this week, and my dog's need for daily walks, I bought some YakTrak last weekend.

Thursday morning, work was cancelled and the roads were plowed with about an inch of packed snow left. And it was 32 and sunny. SCORE.

5 miles, probably the best run in a while. Pace about 10:10, which I think is ok for an unstable surface and a few climbs in and out of corner plow-piles.  Too bad we'll have a lot of melt today and probably too much exposed concrete to use them again tomorrow. It almost makes me want a dusting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

toilet #2 leak

Remember that leaking toilet I mentioned last week that was sure to be a pipe-sweating-nightmare?

Thursday night, in anticipation of the massive snow this weekend, we bought all the supplies to fix it up - a new valve, some pipine, new guts...We removed cleaned out the space (its next to the furnace/crawlspace) on Saturday, I got out all my soldering tools, and we set to work.

Turns out, after spending the week emptying a 5 gallon bucket daily, the nut thing under the tank needed to be tightened.

$50+ in supplies went back to Lowes today and I bought veggie seeds to start in the front window and YakTraks to walk the pup with in the snow.

Another Win!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Father Winter:

The snow is pretty, and the pup likes it (see below) but this is a little ridiculous.

We've broken the all time annual snow record by several inches in only three snowfalls!  Its only early February! And right now the snow is blowing sideways, we have shoveled three times today, it hasn't stopped yet, and the windchill is only somewhat above zero.

If I wanted to live in MN, I would move there.

Mid-Atlantic Resident Who Really Wants To Live Someplace Warmer

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bathroom Facelift, Done!

For the past couple of weeks, we've been doing a facelift on our bathroom (part 1 - demo, part 2 - plumbing & tub tile, part 3 - fixtures & walls, part 4 - reinstalling).

This weekend, we did the finishing touches- new paint, hardware, and a shower curtain!

Here's the before:

And here's our afters!!
Re-tiled shower, new fixtures, and new curtain!
We added a line of subway tile amid the 4x4 squares for visual interest, kept original black border to add some vintage flair, and got a new vertically striped shower curtain to add height to the room. 
New flooring, beadboard to replace more awesome green tile, and new towel racks & toilet paper holders!
More beadboard...and the medicine cabinet is also original (the smallest options at the hardware store were too big!).

Our budget for the bathroom was $500. We didn't need to replace the toilet or sink, we have tile-tools from our kitchen facelift, and we borrowed my dad's wet saw, so we thought it was doable.

And it was!! We came close to blowing it since we needed a new TP rack and "stuff" rack for the shower, but I found them on sale for under $20 each at Target, as well as a new shower curtain for $20 less than this one that I love (but lucky for our budget, doesn't quite match the paint we picked recycled from our bedroom.)
Plumbing: $127.94
Tile: $109.50
Flooring: $55.45
Walls: $103.93
Total: $494.52


Monday, February 8, 2010

weekend in pictures

Snow, snow...snow. We also bailed on the Super Bowl party since its kind of icy out now...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

week 1

OK, I have no idea how to fix my schedule.

So this week, the plan!

4x800 at 10k pace
3 miles, easy
5 miles, tempo
5 miles, easy

And I plan to lift 3 times.
Based on my reach goal of 1:50, my goal splits for this week are as follows (I'll do the speed workouts on the treadmill, no incline despite the debate on that) - I put my goal into the McMillian calculator to give my splits as though that were my race time - these are the training splits it spit out:
800s - 3:38 - 3:48 (7.9-8.3)
Tempo - 8:03-8:24  per mile (7.2-7.5)

Training Week 1

In an effort to stick to my training program, here is my accountability report:

Mon: Weights (NROLFW program, Stage 1, Workout A5), 10 min walk with the pup
Tues: 2.0 miles, easy, with the pup. We did this in 19:30, which is 1-2 minutes faster than usual for a run with canine. I'm not sure if it was a result of him not wearing the gentle leader this morning, or the fact it wasn't pitch black and I was moving a little more surely.  Weights, 1B5
Wednesday: Day of Rest
Thusday: 2.0 miles, easy with the pup. A little slower than Tuesday, but dark out. And lifting, 1A6.
Friday, Sat, Sun....snow.....bathroom...couch

Sort of a fail.

But, technically my race training hasn't started yet. It occurred to me midweek it is going to be next to impossible to run 5 days a week in April, with rugby (playing a little and coaching) and work and two classes and my qualifying exam. (Note, yes, this is a terrible idea. In general.) So I dug around my old programs and found one I wrote up a while ago that's a motley of the Hal Higdon beginner and intermediate half plans and the Runner's World Rookie Marathon plan. 4 days a week + lower mileage (peaking around 22) is appropriate for doing 2/3 of my training during rugby season (read: 2 practices + a game a week) and with my wacky school schedule.  And I'd like to keep lifting, at least until we start practice in March, so this is more practical...


Week Week of M T W T F S S Total
1 2/7/2010   4 x 800 m @ 10k pace (90 secrec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 5 mi   Easy 5 mi   15
2 2/14/2010   400 m @ 5k pace (30 sec rec.), 800 @ 10k pace (90 sec rec.), 1200 @ 10k pace (2 min rec.), 1600 @ 10k pace (3 min rec.), 1200 @ 10k pace (2 min rec.), 800 @ 10k pace (90 sec rec.), 400 @ 5k pace
Easy 3 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 6 mi   16
3 2/21/2010   two sets: 1 x 1200 m @ 10K pace (1min rec), 1 x 400 @ 5K pace (3 min rec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 7 mi   16
4 2/28/2010   4 x 800 m @ 10k pace (90 secrec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 5 mi   Easy 8 mi   18
5 3/7/2010   400 m @ 5k pace (30 sec rec.), 800 @ 10k pace (90 sec rec.), 1200 @ 10k pace (2 min rec.), 1600 @ 10k pace (3 min rec.), 1200 @ 10k pace (2 min rec.), 800 @ 10k pace (90 sec rec.), 400 @ 5k pace
Easy 3 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 9 mi   19
6 3/14/2010   2 x 1600m @ 10k pace (3 min rec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 10 mi   19
7 3/21/2010   4 x 800 m @ 10k pace (90 secrec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 5 mi   14
8 3/28/2010   400 m @ 5k pace (30 sec rec.), 800 @ 10k pace (90 sec rec.), 1200 @ 10k pace (2 min rec.), 1600 @ 10k pace (3 min rec.), 1200 @ 10k pace (2 min rec.), 800 @ 10k pace (90 sec rec.), 400 @ 5k pace
Easy 3 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 10 mi   20
9 4/4/2010   two sets: 1 x 1200 m @ 10K pace (1min rec), 1 x 400 @ 5K pace (3 min rec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 5 mi   Easy 11 mi   21
10 4/11/2010   4 x 800 m @ 10k pace (90 secrec.) Easy 3 mi Tempo 5 mi   Easy 12 mi   22
11 4/18/2010   3 x 1000m @ 5k pace (2 min rec.) Easy 4 mi Tempo 4 mi   Easy 10 mi   20
12 4/25/2010   2 x 1600 meters @ pace (3 min rec.) Pace 3 mi Easy 2 mi     NJ Half 13.1 22
Here goes!!
My goal is to really hit 2 hrs for the first time since the foot break, and hopefully do even better. I only have one half (of...7ish?) under 1:57, so that would be cool too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bathroom Facelift Part 4

After retiling the shower, fixing the piping, and re-doing the walls and floor, the time came to put our toilet and sink back in (for those wondering, Part 1 & 2 were one weekend, and the walls/floor were another - we were only sans sink/toilet for an evening, and have a spare toilet).

Lesson learned:
Old rubber seals may prevent leaks while installed, but do not take well to being un-screwed and re-screwed and shimmied around and are prone to cracking and/or disintegrating entirely so you never even know they existed.

After two emergency trips to the hardware store - one of which involved me pretty literally running into the store at 6:59 to beat the 7 pm close time and playing dumb with the guy in the plumbing department so I could get my part - we got the toilet and sink re-installed.

Luckily, all of the emergency parts were inexpensive - just new seals for the toilet tank-to-bowl attachment and a gasket for the sink - and it just took a couple of tried to get everything tightened up properly and level (as appealing as a tilting toilet tank is!).

Next up....more paint!

And what to do about the medicine cabinet? It's original, and had matched the light fixture/outlet - which we swapped out last summer for a normal light and wall outlet (I can't even find a photo online of this thing; I really should have documented it before chucking it).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

getting on track

I took last week off from working out following the 3M Half, but now it is time to start training for my next race, the NJ Half in May.  I'm running it with a friend who I did a full marathon with in 2008 - who out ran me by 20 minutes at the Philly half less than a year after giving birth! - so I really want to be well trained and healthy for this!

So here's my training plan, curtosy Runner's World's Smart Coach. I put in my time from the 3M (2:03:08), told it I've been running 15-20 miles/week, and that I want to train hard. Here goes!
I'll probably do the shorter runs (2-3 miles) with the pup, which leaves me with 1-2 midweek runs to squeeze in (perhaps at lunch?) and a long run for the weekend. The 3/28 and 4/4 runs will be swapped since I'll be in Nashville for a tournament, but the rest should work out on schedule.

PS. You'll be hearing a lot more about my running, as I need to stay accountable to...well...someone reading  :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bathroom Facelift Part 3

This weekend we continued our budget and DIY facelift of our semi-original 1957 bathroom (Part 1, Part 2).

Out came the fixtures!

Down came the rest of the mint green tile! In came the new beadboard and trim!

And in came the new "grout-able luxury tile" (that makes me giggle every time I say it) to cover the mint green floor!  Like our other facelifts, we're doing this with budget and our moving plan in mind, so removing the floor and replacing the subfloor to install new tile seemed silly.

not bad!

Next up....fixture re-installation, paint, details!