Tag Archives: running

My relationship with running

Happy National Running Day! Today is a day to celebrate a shared passion for running, which is a great (mostly) free exercise to enjoy!

Since I haven’t been able to run much lately due to my ankle, I thought I would reflect back on my relationship with running over the years. Here is my history with running and I’ll try to keep it brief.

I’ll just get it out there–I hate running long distances. I know I’ll never run a marathon and I am ok with that.

I always knew I was more of a sprinter because when I played softball as a kid, the coaches would tell me I was really fast.

During middle school gym class, I discovered hurdles. Oh did I love the hurdles and I went on to compete in all of the hurdle races in high school and in relays. My love of running quickly turned sour when I ran over a hurdle during an indoor practice my senior year of high school and my knee popped. I didn’t hit the hurdle, but I heard and felt a weird sensation in my leg and then I fell to the floor. I later learned I had torn my meniscus and had to have surgery, which I did that summer. I hated not being able to run. I sat on the couch and gained weight. I felt awful. While at college my freshman year, I hurt the same knee again and had to have surgery the following summer because it kept irritating me.

I never considered myself much of a runner during my college years, but discovered my love for it again when I lived in California for graduate school. The weather was always nice and I wanted to use running as a tool to control the stress I was facing with graduate school. Well, it worked and I felt like I managed my time better. When I needed a break from writing my thesis or studying, I knew I could lace up my sneakers, hit the pavement, smell the flowers and get away for a little while. I also discovered trail running and found it to be quite fun!

Fast forward to the fall of 2004 when my sister-in-laws called me up and talked about running a half-marathon in October. It was the first ever Nike Women’s Half Marathon/Marathon in San Francisco. We didn’t have much time to formally train, but I wasn’t worried because I had been running outdoors so much. On race day, we did ok. I had trouble breathing on the hills and I mentally shut down at about mile 11. I had never run that many miles in my life, so it was only natural. I was proud that we finished the race, got our Tiffany & Co. necklaces and were able to enjoy the beauty of San Francisco.

(That’s me on the right)

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After that first ever half marathon, I ran another Nike Women’s Half and did ok with that. I also ran two 5ks & the crazy Bay to Breakers 12k. I have no clue what my times were for any of these races, but those don’t matter. I know I ran them and did the best I could.

I even worked at a running shoe store in California and learned about the different types of shoes, gear, etc. It was great and I still utilize a lot of the knowledge I gained from that job today when I shop for new running shoes, help a friend find new ones, or when I buy gear.

Currently, my relationship with running is this: I enjoy it, but think I would rather do it leisurely than train for a race. I know many people thrive on training for races because that pushes them to run faster and stronger. I am not one of them and this is ok with me. I know that my current ankle injury won’t allow me to accomplish one of my goals for 2011 and I accept that fact. I will finish the 10k race in July, but it will be by walk/running and not running to get a great time or anything like that.

So, on this National Running Day, it’s clear that my relationship with running certainly has had it’s ups and downs. Now it is time to find out about yours.

Do you enjoy running and why? Have you always enjoyed it or learned to love it over time?

Injuries stink

There is no other way to put it, injuries are devastating. I managed to injure my ankle tonight while hopping off the treadmill. I had just run 2.85 miles in 33 minutes (walked part of that time as warm up/cool down). I felt fine the whole time on the treadmill. When I stepped off the back, my left ankle gave out on me. This is the ankle that has an old break in it from an injury that occurred about four years ago now. Amazing how it just keeps creeping back up. Anyway, I fell down to the ground and felt awful. The pain surged up my leg and I instantly was depressed about what had just happened. A nice guy lifting weights asked me if I was ok and I thanked him for asking. I walked it off and felt a little better. I also stretched and took off my shoe to see how it felt. The pain was really bad so I just decided to leave and get home ASAP to ice it.

Luckily I had a paradice pack in the freezer and a good nurse to help me feel better just by petting his cute little face.

icing my ankle, Karma in background

Breakfast: honey nut cheerios and coffee

coffee and honey nut cheerios

Snack: Almond Latte and Blue Diamond raw almonds

blue diamond almonds; almond latte

Lunch: lemon chobani with strawberries (such a good combination); a bagel thin with pb & j, a string cheese and an unpictured nutella cookie.

strawberries, lemon chobani, string cheese, bagel thin pb & j

Dinner: since my foot was killing me, I warmed up the rest of the beer battered tofu and chowed down. I also had Stonyfield plain yogurt with Kashi cocoa granola and chia seeds.

Stonyfield yogurt, Kashi cocoa granola, chia seeds

My goal is to read A Homemade Life or an e-book tonight and catch up on my google reader, so off I go.

Morning workout success

I got back to the gym this morning and it felt great. I got up around 5:40, meditated for 25 minutes and then was getting my workout clothes on when Craig yelled my name and said, “I think Osama Bin Laden is dead.” I replied “are you sure it’s not Gadhafi?” Of course, I looked it up right away on my nytimes app on my iPod and sure enough, it was the top story.

Anyway, back to the gym. I ran the three miles I was supposed to run yesterday and I did ok. I only ate half of a cherry pie larabar before leaving the house and I think that was perfect amount of food for my sensitive stomach. Towards mile 2, my right hip started hurting. This is the hip that seems to bug me lately, especially if I haven’t done yoga for a while. That is why I am incorporating at least two yoga sessions into my workouts this week. Once I was all sweaty and warmed up, I lifted mostly arm weights and felt pretty weak. Maybe it was because I only lifted once last week and the rest was all cardio? Anyway, noticing that made me want to stay consistent with my workouts even more now, plus try to do Body Pump more often.

It felt good to get my workout done in the morning and go into work a little later for a change. Maybe I will try that off and on throughout my work week.

Breakfast was the rest of The Greek Gods yogurt plus some plain Stonyfield yogurt with chia seeds and Bonne Maman wild blueberry preserves.

greek yogurt, Stonyfield yogurt, chia seeds, blueberry preserves, coffee

Lunch was an Amy’s Vegetable Pot Pie, string cheese, carrots, grape tomatoes and a small apple. Running this morning made me super hungry, so I grabbed a lot for lunch today and I am glad I did.

amy's vegetable pot pie, veggies, apple, string cheese

For dinner,I was just craving a smoothie, so I whipped up a strawberry banana protein smoothie using almond milk.

strawberry banana protein smoothie

Well, I am heading to a Vegetarian Indian cooking class tonight through the local rec dept. I am looking forward to it because I love Indian food and want to be able to cook it for Craig and I once in a while. Here is what we are supposed to be making: Vegetarian Dahl, Basmati Rice, Vegetable Korma with Cashews, Yogurt Raita and Apple Chutney. YUM! I’ll recap the class in tomorrow’s post.

With that, I need to go to class now! Have a great Monday night.

A Lovely Day for a Wedding

Seems like lots of bloggers were as excited as I was to wake up and watch the royal wedding early this morning! The first thing I did when I got out of the shower was turn on the TV. Of course, it took 2 minutes for them to show the dress and I was flipping out saying to myself, “stop showing these choir boys and show Kate.” Gorgeous dress and beautiful bride!

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I wish William and Kate a lifetime of happiness and love. I know this is sappy, but I teared up watching it. The emotion came from thinking about my own wedding day. The wedding was definitely the super bowl for women, wouldn’t you agree? :)

No fun British food today, just my normal eats. I had a cup of tea during a meeting, does that count?

Breakfast was honey nut cheerios and coffee.

coffee, honey nut cheerios

I actually got out of the office for lunch today and ventured out into the beautiful sunny weather (at last). I had to go to the Metro Market downtown again because they mischarged me for something the other day and I didn’t realize it until I got home. Yes, I am one of those people who goes back to customer service. In my defense, it was a $4.99 Amy’s veggie lasagna meal that was supposed to be 50% off. I actually didn’t expect this, but I got $5 cash back because of their mistake. Sweet!

So, I spent more money there anyway and got a salad at the salad bar.

I loaded my container with spinach, romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, tofu, sesame crackers (yum, need to add these to salads more often), blue cheese, baby corn, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and artichokes. I topped it with balsamic dressing.

salad from salad bar

This tasted so good and different! Just what I wanted!

Later in the afternoon, I pulled out an Apple Pie Larabar.

Apple Pie Larabar

Craig received a package tonight, opened it up, and said the following to trick me, “aahh, they sent the wrong thing.” He brought the package over to me, told me to take a look at it, and I opened up my mouth in shock because it was a beautiful little Amazon Kindle! He ordered the special offers $114 Kindle that features advertising and deals such as a $20 amazon gift card for $10, etc. I have been wanting a Kindle for a while, so I was super excited for this surprise. We are going to share the device and I am fine with that! Down the road, we’ll hopefully be able to check out books for free through the Overdrive site.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle menu

Amazon Kindle

Do you have a Kindle or an e-reader? If so, do you find yourself reading more now that you have one?

Dinner was Chobani greek vanilla yogurt with Bonne Maman wild blueberry preserves and beer battered tofu. I didn’t take a picture because you’ve seen those meals before!

After playing with the Kindle for a while and downloading some free books, it was already getting late. I decided to do my 10k training run outside because it was somewhat nice out still. I ran around our neighborhood and completed only 15 minutes, when I was supposed to do 20-25, but I figured it was better than nothing!

All in all, a lovely day. What more can a girl ask for–a Royal wedding and a surprise Kindle ordered by my sweet Prince.

Have a wonderful Friday night! I just have a couple of plans this weekend. I am meeting my friend Danielle for shopping and lunch tomorrow. We wanted to have Indian food, but because of my tummy, I need to be safe with my food choices. On Sunday, I am going to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s b-day with her a day early.

Beer Battered Tofu using New Belgium Beer

Hooray for a good day at work! I was able to get away from my desk for a little while and work with the public, which I’ll admit can either be really fulfilling for me or really frustrating. Luckily, it was fulfilling. It was nice to get away from my desk too.

Breakfast this morning was Eggo fiber plus calcium frozen waffles and a coffee. My coffee tasted excellent and I think the trick is sticking to Starbucks coffee when I make it at home. I really have only found a few other brands that even come close in flavor. I know some people don’t like Starbucks and think it tastes burnt. I also like Peet’s coffee, which is based in California, but you can find their beans at the Fresh Market. That’s the strong coffee that got me through grad school!

Eggo Fiber Plus Calcium waffles

Eggo Fiber Plus waffles

At work, I snacked on a banana because I had wanted to eat it for breakfast, but knew it wouldn’t fit in my little tummy so I chose to eat it around 10 a.m. with some raw almonds.

Lunch was a Bruschetta Boca burger on an Arnold’s Thin, an apple and two peanut butter girl scout cookies.

lunch

After work, I went straight to the Metro Market grocery store in downtown Milwaukee and picked up some ingredients for my dinner.

I made beer battered tofu for dinner using New Belgium Mothership Wit beer and Bob’s Mill cornmeal.

Bob's Red Mill cornmeal; New Belgium beer

making beer batter

I literally came up with the idea for beer battered tofu as I laid in bed the other night, thinking of what I could make for another New Belgium beer recipe. This recipe is one that I didn’t create on my own, but had to adapt from here. Like the person who posted this recipe, I don’t like fish, so that is why I wanted to make beer battered tofu.

* 1 (16 ounce) package of drained firm tofu (firm works well, but extra firm will make it easier to handle) or 1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu (firm works well, but extra firm will make it easier to handle)
* 1 (12 ounce) can cheap beer
* 1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat, but regular white works too)
* 1 cup cornmeal
* 1 tablespoon paprika
* 1 tablespoon garlic pepper seasoning
* 1 tablespoon parsley
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 3/4 cup canola oil
* tartar sauce or sweet chili sauce

Directions:
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

1. Mix beer and flour in a bowl until you have a thin batter. Sometimes this uses more or less flour. Just adjust until it looks like a thin pancake batter.
2. In a second bowl, mix remaining 6 ingredients.
3. Cut tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices. I got about 10 or 12. Place slices on 1 piece of paper towel then place a couple of paper towels on top of the slices and pat to dry a little.
4. Heat oil in heavy skillet or cast iron pan until one drop of water splashed in spits around the pan.
5. Carefully dip slices of tofu in beer batter shaking off the excess. Place in cornmeal mixture and tap each side to get coating to stick.
6. Place in hot oil and fry until golden about 3 minutes each side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain.

beer battered tofu

7. Serve with tartar sauce or sweet chili sauce.

It tasted yummy and was oh so appropriate for this week’s British fever with the royal wedding. I seriously LOVE tartar sauce and it’s such a shame I don’t eat fish to enjoy it more often. I even dip french fries into it when Craig gets fish and chips at a restaurant.

Tartar Sauce

tartar sauce, beer battered tofu, New Belgium Mothership Wit

Since my stomach has still been acting up, I felt really full after eating tonight, but dragged myself to the gym. I was excited to workout, but my body didn’t feel the same way. I was bloated and my legs felt so heavy when running on the treadmill. I cranked out 2.0 miles exactly and walked for a warmup and cool down, so I did a total of 24 minutes. I also lifted a few weights, including free.

Once I got home from the gym, I had to meditate right away and here I am blogging late tonight, around 9, so it’s off to relax a bit and then get ready for bed.

If you use WordPress–be aware that they must have changed something because I just noticed that my “allow comments” button wasn’t checked like it usually is automatically. Ever since they adding this “writing helper” widget at the bottom of my post, it must have changed something.

Easter brunch, a nap, baking, and a good run

Hi everyone! Happy Easter to everyone celebrating (well it’s almost over, but better late than never). I didn’t even indulge in any Easter chocolate today because if I buy it, I’ll be in trouble. The only thing I want to scope out tomorrow is if Cadbury mini eggs are still available because that is my fav Easter candy.

Rewind to the rest of Saturday evening. After I got back from the gym (biked 17 minutes; did a full circuit of weights), we made pizza on a Boboli whole wheat crust. Craig is sick of making these pizzas but I was so sick of frozen pizzas that were full of junk. I filled my half with mushrooms, red peppers, and kalamata olives. I had plans to add some broccoli, but that didn’t happen because I tend to overdo it with the veggies.

pizza

mothership new belgium beer; veggie pizza

I enjoyed my pizza with a New Belgium Mothership Wit beer while watching Eat Pray Love.

New Belgium Mothership Wit

Eat Pray Love

I had already seen it in the theaters, but I wanted to watch it again. I loved the book and thought the movie was ok. I want to reread the book again, so I’ll have to add it to my list of many books I want to read this year! When I read the book, I was living in California and was pretty depressed. I had just come off of canceling my wedding, another boyfriend breaking up with me and Elizabeth Gilbert’s story certainly inspired me to see that there is more in life than relationship after relationship that doesn’t work out.

This morning, we prepared a small Easter brunch and had my sister-in-law over.

To fill my tummy until 11 a.m., I had Kashi Summer Berry granola with almond milk and some coffee.

Kashi summer berry granola; coffee

I made a Berry Good Oatmeal Cookie Cake from this cookbook.

Too Hot in the Kitchen

Berry Good Oatmeal Cookie cake recipe

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baking

The crust wasn’t complicated, but for some reason, it didn’t turn out perfectly. I had to cut the recipe in half but I followed the directions perfectly. The crush didn’t stay together well and broke apart when we cut the pizza.

crust

Berry Good Oatmeal Cookie Cake

It looks as yummy as it tasted though. I have had better fruit pizzas, but I’ll experiment and do better next time or find a different recipe to try.

I also made scrambled eggs and Craig made some bacon. Sis-in-law Lisa brought fresh squeezed orange juice that was delicious.

Here was my plate, minus the few piece of bacon I ate.

Easter brunch

easter brunch

After chatting for a bit, we went on a 20 minute walk around our neighborhood. It was nice to walk after eating all of that food.

Then I did what is becoming all too regular for me on the weekends–I napped with Karma on the couch while Craig and his sister played Mario Kart. I was out and didn’t hear a thing.

After my sister-in-law left, I made beer bread by following this recipe and it was so delicious! The only change I made was not putting the butter on top at the end because I am ashamed to say that we don’t have a brush I could have used! I also added flax seed to the recipe.

beer and bread mix 1

For the beer, I used a New Belgium Fat Tire bottle that I was able to purchase and use in a recipe as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.

new belgium fat tire amber ale beer

New Belgium beer

I actually don’t think I have ever baked a bread in my life. I know it sounds weird, but I guess this was my first time. Also, I am still relatively new to the whole cooking and baking world. I didn’t always love doing both like I do now.

beer bread

The recipe was super easy and the bread turned out delicious. My husband had a couple of pieces and loved it too.

beer bread

And I just got back from a 2.09 mile run outside not too long ago. I felt strong on it. Guess the beer bread I ate before helped! Glad my 10k training has been going well so far and I feel stronger with each run I do.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Hoping for a more positive week than last week!

Runner’s high

I definitely got a runner’s high tonight after running 2 miles on the treadmill and walking 1/2 mile. What a good feeling! I told my husband that running is starting to clear my mind more than meditation. It definitely helps me sort my thoughts about the day out.

Once home, I showered, changed into my jammies and iced using paradice ice packs.

paradice packs

Rewind to this morning…

Breakfast was chobani greek yogurt with almonds and honey. I realize I have been pretty boring with my food lately, but I am trying to eat up what is in our fridge and not waste it!

yogurt, almonds, honey; coffee

Lunch was a ham sandwich, applesauce, a clementine, some pita chips and two girl scout peanut butter sandwich cookies. I realize that sounds like a lot of food! I sort of snacked on the pita chips prior to lunch though. By the looks of this very brown themed lunch, I need to go grocery shopping for some veggies soon.

pita chips, applesauce, clementine, ham sandwich, peanut butter cookies

My afternoon snack was a raisin bran vitatop and a half a cup of decaf coffee. The coffee tasted yummy, especially because it was a dreary day in Milwaukee and coffee comforts me on rainy days. I really liked the raisin bran flavor–so good!

raisin bran vita top; decaf coffee

Dinner was late, when I got back from the gym. I needed something quick but relatively nutritious, so I cooked up my go to meal of late, pierogis and brussell sprouts.

brussell sprouts, pierogi

I cooked up this meal quickly while watching Food Revolution. Jamie always inspires me and makes me laugh, especially when he shows up in a tomato costume.

Jamie Oliver tomato

Rumor on the radio today was that he does eventually get into LA schools and the LAUSD gives in. It’s about frickin time!

Anyone else here this shocking food news today? The NY Times headline read: “Vegan Promoter Uses Photos of Meat and Dairy items and fury follows.” How disappointing for the readers of VegNews.

Hope your Tuesday was fantastic!

Food coma

The bridal shower for Craig’s cousin was a lot of fun this afternoon.

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One of the guests was a lady that is in the yoga classes I go to at the YMCA. I recognized her right away, so I introduced myself and we talked about how much we like our yoga teacher and how yoga is so good for our bodies. Turns out, she was one of Craig’s cousin’s teachers and now teaches at the same school as the bride-to-be. What a small world it is!

Holy food coma though. The hostess of the party had such a great selection of food to choose from. Here is what I ate:

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I won a few prizes too–peanut butter sandwich Girl Scout cookies and a big jug of glass cleaner! Turns out, I knew how to match up famous couples pretty well. It’s my strange ability to memorize random things like that which serves me well at times. I couldn’t remember the silliest ones, like who Donald Duck’s lady was (Daisy), but I did know Grace Kelly was married to the Prince of Monaco and Humphrey Bogart was married to Lauren Bacall.

Here is the beautiful bride-to-be with some beach towels my sister-in-law and mother-in-law gave her.

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When I got home, I had tons of energy and sort of a sugar/caffeine high (too many desserts and a cup of coffee will do that). Then I crashed and literally took a nap with Karma on the couch.

After meditating, I went for a 2 mile run, per my 10k training schedule. I did ok. I ran that distance in 18 minutes and I consider that pretty good, seeing that it was cold and windy out. My lungs were sure burning at the end! I just signed up for daily mile, so it’s cool I can map my route and keep track of my runs on there while training.

We’re watching the end of Inception now because we didn’t finish it last night and then it’s Amazing Race time!

Aaah, sleep, I love you

I slept in this morning and it was glorious. After a week of feeling really tired as a result of not getting enough sleep, it felt so good to sleep until 8:45. I forced myself to stay in bed that long because I have to stay up until midnight for work. The kitties were all cuddled up next to me and it’s hard to get up with them in our bed.

I lounged around a bit this morning, ate breakfast and then finally got myself to the gym.

Breakfast was Chobani non-fat plain yogurt with sliced almonds, chia seeds, and honey.

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At the gym, I lifted a few weights, biked for 20 minutes and then ran for 13 minutes. I pushed myself pretty hard on the treadmill and did some intervals to mimic running outside. I ran into a co-worker there and his talking about the event I have to work tonight kind of put me in a sour mood. I just want it to be over with.

I quickly showered and then made myself a Morningstar black bean burger on an Arnold’s Thin for lunch. I had red grapes on the side.

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And now I better get ready for work. Have a great Friday afternoon/night!

The Food Revolution has begun!

Wow, Twitter was crazy tonight during and after Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I am glad he is getting people to support his cause. Too bad he can’t get the LAUSD to do that so far. Go Jamie! We have you’re back!

It was so sad to see all of that food the kids brought in from their schools. We can do better than nasty food in plastic packaging and sugar loaded flavored milk. Come on America, wake up! What a sad society we are becoming with our food choices and laziness. Maybe we’ll really become the future human society featured in Wall-e someday.

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source

I tweeted that his beef info made me want to become vegetarian. He tweeted in general to everyone that his point wasn’t to do that, but to have people become more educated on the meat they are buying. I agree, but since I was a kid, I really never liked meat and thinking about where it came from. I still am considering becoming a vegetarian since my diet is about 90% vegetarian anyway.

My food choices for the day were:

Breakfast–Post Great Grains Cranberry Almond Crunch with skim milk and coffee with So Delicious coconut milk creamer.

great grains cereal, coffee

It was a busy morning at work, so I woke myself up with a nice walk outside to Starbucks. My tall coffee was free because I handed in a Starbucks coffee bean bag.

I also munched on a whole peanut butter cookie larabar. I always tell myself I will only have half, but then once I start eating, I can’t stop!

starbucks and peanut butter cookie larabar

I wore my pedometer at work today and by lunch time, I had about 6,000 steps in!

Then it was time to sit, have lunch of leftover tofu & asparagus. I coated the plain tofu in the lemony garlic olive oil mixture from the asparagus and it was divine.

chobani strawberry, tofu, asparagus, clementine

I ate the chobani and clementine as a snack at about 3 p.m.

Lunch was actually spent away from my desk instead of reading blogs and a book. I got to attend a lecture at my work and I geeked out with the famous person who was speaking. If I would reveal who it was, my workplace would also be revealed. Let’s just say it was one of the best lectures I have ever attended at my work.

I had to stay somewhat later at work, so after I got home from work, I meditated and then Craig was home. We went for a walk/run right away around the neighborhood.

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Today was a training day for me to run for 20-25 minutes. I just ran for part of our walk, but we definitely walked for 20 plus minutes.

running/walking

running in the park

Dinner was a plain bagel with an egg white, cheddar cheese and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. I also had skim milk and some red grapes on the side.

bagel with egg whites, grapes, skim milk

It’s late and I want to read before bed, so I am off to read some blogs and a book.

Did you watch Food Revolution tonight? If so, what did you think? Did you watch the West Virginia episodes last season?