Way overdue, headspace, and beginning running…

10 Mar

This post is way overdue. I’ve been wanting to write something new for quite a few weeks now, all the while racking my brain for the reason I haven’t written anything.  I say I’m “a wife, a momma, a teacher, a runner, trying to keep it all in balance”.  And the funny thing is, I’ve struggled with this balance in the last month.

Historically, February is a tough month for me.  Having lived 3 years in Alaska, and now almost 2 years in Northwest Washington, the weather seems to take a great toll on my mood, my thoughts, my focus, my energy.  I anxiously await more sunshine and lament the rain.  February, heading into March, is the long waiting period between Christmas Break and Spring Break.  I know that if I can just make it to Spring Break, then the end of the school year is right around the corner. Sunshine and warmer weather is sure to follow as well, lifting my mood and improving my overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.

So…this is not an excuse, simply a brief insight into my headspace- my lack of focus should be very apparent in the ramblings of this post.  I never want to come across as someone trying to be an expert, when I’m NOT.  I want to be transparent and honest about the place I’m coming from.

With that said, my running has not suffered, it’s actually really blossomed.  I’m just now finishing up Week 6 of 18.  Last Sunday, I ran 10 miles and felt great.  Tomorrow, my long run dips down to 7 miles and then jumps back up to 12 miles for Week 7.  I do want to include an excerpt from an email I received on My Fitness Pal (soon to be reviewed in my next post).  It was a question from a beginning runner, and I was a beginner just 1 year ago.

“I wanted to check , how often should we run, how long, any pointers to web resources?…I was reading about Bridge to 10K , sounds good to me.”

“In terms of how often you should run, I think it depends the individual.  I know people who run every single day and swear by it.  I think you should do as much as your body allows.  What’s great about the online training schedules, such as the Bridge to 10K, Couch to 10K, Hal Higdon’s plans, etc. are that they incorporate days of rest.

Personally, as much as I love running, it’s good for my body and my mind to rest a couple days each week.  Running is very hard on your knees and joints, and when I was about 20 pounds heavier, I felt it alot more, so from the beginning I got used to running about 5 days per week.  It would also be helpful to incorporate some strength and resisitance training into your program.  Building your muscle strength will help you improve in your runs.  If you have the time, you could do your runs and some body resistanc/ light strength training on the same day, or throw in a couple days per week to mix it up.  Again, you should really go with how your body feels.  You don’t want to push yourself to the point of injury.

I used the Couch to 10K program for my first 10K and I loved it.  I just Googled 10K training programs and looked at different ones until I found one I liked and thought would work best with my busy schedule.  Check it out and see what you think: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_4/138.shtml

I’m also a huge Hal Higdon fan http://www.halhigdon.com  I used his half marathon plan and am using his full marathon plan for my race in June.  He’s got some really great resources and information on running.  I also subscribe to Runner’s World; it’s got great articles and I love the inspiration I find throughout the magazine.  They also have info on races nationwide.  I ran for about a month and then started training for my first race.  It was really helpful for me to have a goal that I was working toward, it helped hold me accountable.”

Well, I’m gonna wrap this up.  This lengthy post is a direct consequence of not posting for a month.  Next time, which will be much sooner than later, my ramblings won’t be quite so…you get the idea.  🙂

Until next time (soon)…

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Week 1 Marathon Training

5 Feb

Week 1 of Marathon Training completed: Check!
15 miles run over 4 days: Check!
That sense of accomplishment that comes naturally with running: Check!

Strait of Juan de Fuca

This week, my running has felt different.  I’ve been running faithfully since April 2011, and while my mileage wasn’t really any different than the past 6 months, my state-of-mind was different.  I felt my love of running renewed.  I was more motivated to stick to my training schedule and carve time out of my very busy schedule to lace up my running shoes and hit the road, or the treadmill.  And I am 100% convinced that my renewed drive comes from having a goal.

While this is a huge goal for me, running a marathon has been on my bucket list for 5 years, I don’t feel it is an impossible one.  I’ve set a solid foundation over the last 10 months, and I really, truly, deeply, madly, love running.  I know that I wouldn’t even be able to even attempt training for 26.2 miles if I didn’t love the sense of calm and peace as I run my favorite trail along the water, or the rush of happiness and feeling of accomplishment when I push myself just a little farther.  I think you could say that the loves of my life rank in this order:  my Heavenly Father, Jon, Tristan, my family, my friends, and RUNNING.  Yup.  I am that obsessed.  But, it is a good obsession.  One that has changed my life in so many ways.

On the plate for Week 2- Monday: Cross Training; Wednesday: 3 mi; Friday: 4 mi; Saturday: 3 mi; Sunday: 7 mi.
The mileage will steadily climb, but so will my strength, endurance, and committment.

Until next time…

Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup

31 Jan

I originally found this recipe on my friend Tina’s Pinterest board.  By the way, Pinterest is one of the best sites.  Ever. http://www.pinterest.com
I find so many healthy and yummy recipes on there; only problem is I haven’t had time to try them all.  But, I did try this one.  Tina said it was amazing, and she wasn’t kidding.  I made this for my family on Christmas Eve.  It was warm, and comforting, and tasted completely indulgent, exactly like lasagna should taste.  We enjoyed it with some nice crusty bread, and still had enough calories left at the end of the meal for one, or two, Christmas cookies.

Bobby’s Tastes Like Lasagna Soup
Makes 8- 1 cup servings

http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/bobbys_lighter_tastes_like_lasagna_soup/

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
8 Whole-wheat breadsticks or grissini (optional)

Directions
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan. Serve with the breadsticks, if using. (whole-wheat lasagna noodles take a little longer to cook.)
PS- I could not find whole wheat lasagna noodles anywhere, so I used regular.  This may affect the nutritional content, if you have the same problem I did.

Nutritional Information: Per Serving (1 cup) 225 Cal (27% from Fat, 42% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 23 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 17 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 108 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 826 mg Sodium;
53 mg Cholesterol

Fruit and Nut Pancakes

31 Jan
Who doesn’t love to laze about in our pj’s over a big breakfast, but we love it even more if our jeans still zip when we get dressed.  That’s why I absolutely love these yummy yet healthy cakes, created by SELF magazine contributers.  These delights pack whole grains for energy plus fruit for extra tang, potassium, and antioxidants.  Pass the maple syrup (but only a smidge!)

photo by Kat Teutsch

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  •  1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed walnuts or crushed pecans
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 cup nonfat or almond milk
  • 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries or frozen mixed berries
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions
In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.  Mash 1 banana; in another bowl, mix mashed banana with milk, egg and vanilla or almond extract.  Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients; stir until smooth.  Slice remaining banana and stir into batter; add berries.  Warm a skillet over medium heat; coat with cooking spray.  Measure 1/4 cup batter; pour onto skillet.  Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Repeat until batter is gone.  Servings: 2 5-inch pancakes

Nutritional Info-per serving
Calories 247, Carbs 41g, Fat 6g, Protein 9g, Fiber 6g, Calcium 22g

My First Marathon

30 Jan

Week 1:  I just signed up for my first full marathon- the North Olympic Discovery Marathon.  It’s a gorgeous trail, from Sequim to Port Angeles, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, here in Northwest Washington.  It truly is a beautiful run.
I have 18 weeks to train. I’m excited because this is something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time, and I’m finally gonna do it. I have a solid running base; I have been faithfully running since March 2011.  I ran my first 10K and then an ultra-trail half marathon last summer.
I’m also super nervous because this is a huge committment, of both physical and time. As one of my friends shared, the next 18 weeks will be filled with ups and downs, but it will all be worth it when I cross that finish line.
I plan on sharing this journey with all of you; it will help hold me accountable in my training. Each week, I will be posting my runs through Nike+GPS, so you will be able to follow along and cheer me on! (If you feel so inclined) Looking forward to these next 18 weeks. Here I go!