Monday, December 21, 2015

And Unto Certain Shepherd Brought Tidings of the Same

I am going to have a busy week and next week I have family in and I'm off work so I doubt I'll be posting anything. Figure today is as good of a day as any to post my 2016 goals.

But, first, a recap!

Here were my goals for this year:
Goals for 2015
1. Walk./run 1000 miles.
2. Lose at least fifteen pounds.
3. Walk 10,000 steps a day, everyday.
4. Run a race every month.
5. Run a half marathon outside the state of Michigan.
6. Run a 2:30 half marathon.

Let's see how I did:

1. Fell short of my Walk/run goal. I am currently sitting at 765.35 miles. It would be impossible for me to get 1000 miles this year. But, I did move more than I did last year so that's a bonus.
2. I did not lose fifteen pounds, but I did lose ten pounds and the scale is still heading downwards so I will call that one a win.
3. My Jawbone died on me about mid-November and I said, eff it and didn't bother replacing it. 10K steps is a lot!
4. I ran a race every month except August. A couple of months I ran TWO races. I call this one a success.
5. Shit, no race outside of Michigan. Although I did run the Monroe Half Marathon which is almost in Ohio.
6. My current PR for the half is 2:43. I say game on to you 2:30. I'm coming for you next year!

 2016 you are going to be my year! I've got high hopes. Here are my goals for 2016:
1. Run six half marathons
 *Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon: March 20, 2016
*Let's Move Festival of Races Half Marathon: April 30, 2016
*Charlevoix Half Marathon: June 25, 2016
*Chicago Half Marathon: September 25, 2016
The other two are TBD
2. PR all my race distances
3.  Meet some of my Lovely Ladies
4. Run a half marathon outside of Michigan
5. Run 1000 miles  (Seriously, I am going to do this damnit!)

There you have it. I would also like to keep up my monthly races, but this time I am going to look for races with distances for the boys. They love racing!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and very happy New Year!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Run, Run Rudolph

 On Saturday, the boys and I ran the Santa Hat Hustle in Hazel Park. It was supposed to be in Royal Oak, but the company couldn't get permits and had to switch locations at the last minute. I was a little nervous about that because in the article in our local paper Royal Oak seemed quite happy to not host the race, complaining about the company. Uh-oh.

I picked up our bibs that morning. There was a wait, but it wasn't bad. Then C. decided he had to go potty. Packet pick-up was in a high school and thankfully we were able to use a real bathroom. I am not looking forward to porta-potty duty with the Guys!

We made it to the start about a minute before the race started. It was close, something I hate to do. I wasn't really running this for time. The main reason I signed up for this race was so the boys could run the 1/4 mile Kids Dash which was held after the 5K.

For about the first two miles the boys did great. Then C. kept asking when he could get out and run. I promised him when we saw the finish line I would let him out. We turned the corner and there was Hubs and his parents. I let the boys out and C. took off. He hugged his dad, then kept running. Kid was on a mission.
A. was happy to run along holding my hand.

It was in the high 40's for most of the race which was great for the boys. I was worried they would be too cold while I ran.

After the 5K the kids lined up for the 1/4 Mile dash. C. almost didn't make it because of another potty run, but the race director held the start for him. Again, C. took off super fast and A. hung back with me. As we got close to the finish line the announcer asked for A.'s name. It was sweet to hear it get announced as he ran over the finish line. Against his will, mind you,  he really wanted me to carry him.

I have to post this last one. Santa was at the race, I think he even ran. You can tell the boys are less than impressed with him, they kept their distance.
It was a great final race of the year. Now to start thinking about race goals for 2016!

How was your weekend?

Friday, December 11, 2015

That's When Those Blue Memories Start Calling

Tomorrow I will run my last race, OK possible last race I am looking at running the same New Year's Eve race I ran last year, of 2015. And my sons will run their second fun run, a 1/4 mile Kid's Dash. Here is hoping they have as much fun with this one that they did at the last one.

Of course, right now, weather predictions are AM drizzle. Blergh. Eh, the boys have run in worse with me. It's supposed to be almost 60, so we can handle a little drizzle.

After that run I will have run four times this week which is a non-training record for me. Meaning I am not in training for anything and ran that much. In case that doesn't make sense to anyone. My brain is weird. I want to end 2015 on a high note so I am really busting butt this month. Hopefully that will bleed into 2016. I've been challenging myself to run 1000 miles in a year pretty much since I started running and you guys 2016 as God as my witness IS GOING TO BE MY YEAR!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jingle Bells, Jing-Jing-Jing Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way

I missed my morning run because my two guys woke up extra early yesterday. All day long that missed run hung out in the back of my mind until finally, once the boys were asleep for the night, I said screw it and went for a run.

To get myself to go I came up with a plan. This whole not being in training for anything can make it tough to actually run. Last night I put on a Christmas music station on Pandora and decided to just run through my neighborhood and go down the streets with the best Christmas lights.

Pre-run pic in front of the tree
 I didn't set my intervals, I just ran at an easy pace so I didn't have to worry about tripping on anything and I could look up and around at the lights instead of down at the sidewalk.
Side story, I saw Michael Buble in Forever Swing in 2000 with a group of co-workers. He was completely unknown in the U.S. at the time. I bought his cd from merchandising and as we were leaving one of the ushers told us if we wanted we could wait to meet him and get his autograph. We hung out because we were young, had nothing better to do, and he was cute and could sing. He came out in track pants and a white t-shirt, I can picture this so clearly, carrying an Adidas gym bag. There were four of us in total and he signed our cds, talked to us, took pictures, and hung out for about twenty minutes. It was such a wonderful experience that I think of every time I see super famous Michael Buble and his Christmas show.

I thought of it last night because a lot of the songs on this particular station were his songs.

Enough of that.

I ended up running three miles total. Like I said, easier pace. I felt good the whole time and enjoyed some lights. Pictures of Christmas lights NEVER turn out that well, but I have to post this one.
You can't really tell but all of the little lights on the house were created by some sort of LED spotlight with a filter and are not, in fact, individual little lights. I saw a bunch of houses with this set up and thought it looked really neat.
I am going to make headlamp selfies a thing!

I will definitely be doing this again this week. It was such a peaceful  run. Like I said, no training plan makes it hard to get out and run. But, running for the pure pleasure of getting out and looking at lights, now that is worth it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

One Seems to Hear Words of Good Cheer From Everywhere Filling the Air

 We packed a whole bunch into our weekend. Boys had breakfast with Santa on Saturday, then we made Christmas cookies for my cookie exchange on Sunday, then I went to a euchre tournament. If you don't know how to play euchre, I will teach you it is fun!
We used ALL the cookie cutters in the house, hence the Christmas Triangles!

On Sunday, Hubs took the boys to his parents house so I could sleep in and get stuff done around the house in the morning without a toddler attached to my leg. It was great, although I did miss my stinkers. I did laundry, cleaned up in prep for the cookie exchange, then went for a run, also in prep for the cookie exchange. I had a great run. Man, it is no joke about the first mile being the worst. Before I was done with the first mile I was talking myself out of my three mile planned run into a two miles run. Then by the time mile two finished I said, screw it, and went for four. Crazy how the body and brain work.

Cookie exchange ended up getting sorta cancelled. Really, a bunch of people backed out. Now I have way too many cookies at my house that are going into the freezer because I just don't need them around. I don't even LIKE cookies that much but I know I will eat them if they are available. Stupid cookies.

This week my goal is three days with running and two days of walking. I have stuff planned for this weekend including a 5K for me and a 1/4 mile dash for the boys so that's a day of running right there. I think I'll aim for Tuesday and Thursday. We'll see how that goes.

How was your weekend? What's your plan for the week?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love In My Tummy

There are so many thoughts running through my head right now. This blog has never been a political thing so I won't go there, but just know I am not posting this in light, I am posting a blog about a recipe today because I just don't have the words for anything else.

I got this recipe from a friend and tried it out last night. I have linked to the original recipe creator. Now, I am by no means a vegan. But, I also don't love meat so this is a good option for me. Unfortunately, my husband wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole so I made this for myself and he got a carryout. And pie. My husband got pie and I am dieting. Anyone else want to help me beat him up?

Vegan Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserol via Vegangela
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chili powder (more if you like things spicy)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 11 oz can corn kernels, with liquid
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Toppings of choice: vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese, etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan (or stove-top-safe 2.8 liter/3 quart casserole dish). Add onion and garlic, and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; and transfer to oven-safe casserole dish if not already using one.
  3. Add quinoa, deced tomatoes (with juice), water, nutritional yeast, tomato paste (or ketchup), and spices. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. COVER and place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
  5. Caferfully remove casserole from oven and stir in drained beans and corn (with liquid). If the mixture looks dry, add a half cup of water.
  6. Return to oven WITH LID and set timer for another 30 minutes.
  7. Caferfully remove casserole from oven and stir in spinach. It will wilt from the heat.
  8. Top with sour cream, diced avocado and/or cilantro and serve.
  9. IF FREEZING: Make full recipe but leave-out the spinach and toppings. Let cool and freeze in airtight container(s). To serve: defrost fully, lightly reheat (in microwave or on stovetop), stir in spinach and add toppings of choice.
I didn't use the ingredients in the italics because I didn't feel like chopping an onion. After thirty minutes I added the beans and corn and a little bit of water since I was using frozen corn and not canned corn. Put it back in the oven for thirty minutes and it turned out perfectly. If you aren't vegan you could try using chicken stock instead of the water or even add some browned sausage.

I also only used half the beans and half the corn because I didn't want that many carbs in it and it was still great.

I topped mine with some sliced avocado. Final result, not too shabby. I would definitely make it again and I will be having it for lunch for the next few days.
If you aren't sure about quinoa, I would say this is a great starter recipe. The mexican flavors really come through and the consistancy is more rice-like than anything.