Monday, October 31, 2011

5k & November Goals

Original goal: Complete 5k (3.1 miles) in 40 minutes by the end of October.
Today: Neither of those things happened.  Granted, I'm only 1/10 of a mile under the original goal. The total time was 41:42, average pace of all three miles was 13:55.

Anecdotal Recap: There were numerous obstacles, some mental and some physical.  I kept putting off my run today, which means I was afraid of what I knew would happen: I wouldn't do well.  Then, I found every excuse in the book to continue delaying it - my watch needed to be charged, I needed to wash clothes, blah, blah.  I ate a big, carby, late lunch.  Which caused my run itself to suffer, as I stopped three times (I paused the Garmin) to breathe out a side stitch.

So, basically I'm upset with myself for not working harder to make my goal happen, and also for not taking care of body so it can perform at its best.  The good news is that I am refocused and ready to recommit! 

November goals:  I have two, one related to food and the other to running.

1. Gluten-free till Thanksgiving.  Why? I've had too much of a good thing (i.e. my lunch today), and need to switch things up for a little bit.  I intend not to use supplemental foods either, such as gluten-free pastas or bread.  More or less, I'm giving up this part of the starch family for three and a half weeks.  I'm still friends with corn and potatoes.  Off to the freezer you go. . .
2.  Turkey Trot (4 miles) completed in under 53 minutes.  This means my average pace would be in the neighborhood of 13:30.   I first participated in this Thanksgiving morning run last year, and ended up walking half.  I think my racing chip logged me in at 15:36 per mile.  Yikes!  So, this year if I could shave off 2 minutes, I would be pleased.   Not to mention, I feel like it is a small, yet doable challenge.

My commitment is to blog every Sunday about these goals (to be named Thanksgiving Goals, or TG), documenting my progress and thoughts.  Thus, if you have any suggestions about gluten-free meals or training tips, do share!   I will, of course, continue with my usual 2-3 posts throughout the week - so there will be other topics, should these be of less interest to anyone!

Coming up: Photo Food Journal

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soup For Now & Later

I just spent four hours in the kitchen making three different kinds of soup.  I decided to do the chopping all at once, and divide the ingredients onto separate plates.

#1 Corn Chowder (adapted from a non-vegan recipe):  frozen corn, red potato, white onion, shallots, jalapeno, and celery.  Not pictured: almond milk, sea salt, pepper.
#2 Spicy Lentil Vegetable (oddly enough from Dr.Oz, found in You: On a Diet) - carrots, celery, red onion, green bell pepper, garlic cloves, no salt added canned tomatoes, lentils.  Not pictured: water, red pepper flakes, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, bay leaf.
#3 Cream of Cauliflower (I added mushrooms, and did a mix of shallots and garlic instead of only garlic.  From Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook) - cauliflower (half was roasted in the oven with olive oil and sea salt), porcini mushrooms, white onion, garlic, shallots, red potato (peeled).  Not shown: Earth Balance, almond milk, black pepper, vegetable broth.
The Corn Chowder turned out well, medium thickness and just as good as I remember! 
The Spicy Lentil Vegetable is light and healthy, obviously I pulled out the bay leaf before sampling. . .
I love cream of mushroom, and figured if I made some kind of combo with the cauliflower, it would turn out well.  As a side note, I tossed the mushrooms in with the cauliflower that needed to be roasted (instead of cooking them in broth).  It really enhanced the smell, I think. . .
This soup is my new favorite (as seen above with fresh pepper and green onions) - a great balance of flavors.

I'm letting them cool, then I"ll divide portions of each one into freezer containers.  A great option for lazy evenings in the future!

Coming up: 5k run

Friday, October 28, 2011

Workout Run Down and More!

Even though it's in the 50s outside, I was a wimp and decided to go to the gym.  Here's what happened (repeated three times):

Quarter mile sprint (400 meters)
Squat hops (20)
Zero degree crunch (25)
Thrusters with 20 lb bar (20)
Burpees (10)
Wall Balls (20)

This a workout created by a trainer I worked with last year.  It's great, all finished in less than an hour!

**Related to working out, I don't know if you read Oh, She Glows but you should!  There's a workout log challenge happening, and I've already downloaded her template!**

Afterwards, Remy and I visited a park. Be warned: with my old, crappy camera makes everything looks small and far away (which means it takes less than two minutes to reach the other side of the park, and the mountains are much closer - less than 30 minutes, and I could be climbing one).
Followed by a trip to Whole Foods.  I picked up a few new things, including:
I wasn't quite ready for lunch, but I had three bites just to see how it tastes - so far, so good!  I also saw this in the dessert case, and at 140 calories - don't mind if I do:
Once I try it, I'll let you know my review...

On the docket for this weekend:  cooking! Of which some will be put in the freezer for a healthy meal, when I don't have time or energy to cook.  And of course, on Monday I will run a 5k, in the hopes of completing it in 40 minutes.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's All About Being Flexible

Indeed, this is not the previously promised Work Out Run Down post.  Apparently, the virus I contracted was one of those "gets worse before getting better" types.  The good news is a) I'm feeling much better today than yesterday, and b) I'm off on Friday, so there will be a workout!  Documentation to follow!

Thus, flying by the seat of my pants, I give you a new product tried out last night:
Which is ironic considering that back in my meat eating days, meatballs always scared me.  I'm not sure why.  Nonetheless, the sensational Shenandoah Vegan ate them a while back, and I thought to myself: "Self, you need to try those."   I had them atop this sauce (what can I say?  It was on sale!), and whole wheat linguine.
It should be noted, veggies appeared as I did eat a cabbage salad (from Whole Foods) whilst the items cooked / heated themselves.  

I will say, it was all quite tasty.  

Also previously mentioned on Sunday: the first snow of the season arrived overnight and continued throughout today. I was hoping to capture Remy frolicking (or rather, bouncing) through the snow - but he was too excited to slow down.  

Coming up: Friday's workout

Sunday, October 23, 2011

5k Progress

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get another 5k practice run in this weekend.  I feel like I'm fighting a cold, and am down to mouth breathing all the time.  Sneeze, runny nose, stuffy nose, repeat.  I am currently trying to sleep / relax / juice the rhinovirus away, but unfortunately my career path involves getting sick a few times a year.  If you have any remedies, let me know.  I miss my olfactory system!

If I was to guesstimate my projected finish time next week, it would be 42 minutes.  I do hope to get in one more practice round before then, preferably before Wednesday (Colorado has extreme bi-polar weather, tomorrow will be 80 degrees.  Wednesday, a high of 35 with a chance of snow).  Thus, I say "before" Wednesday because there's nothing worse than doing distance on a treadmill.  Quarter and half mile sprints are fine, but I loathe distance indoors.

Today would've been great for a run.  Instead, I drank hot apple cider on a patio, and chatted with a friend.  C'mon virus, get lost!

Coming up:  Workout Run Down (here's hoping it's a run outdoors!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photo Food Journal

Deciding to take a break from the green smoothies, I made a Blueberry Muffin Smoothie - as recommended by Sarah!  When I first made it, I was able to stick to the ingredient list to the letter.  This morning, I had to sub in a frozen banana as I only had half the amount of frozen blueberries required.  It was still delicious!  I had half at 6:15am with my coffee, and the other half around 9:00am at work.
I feel the need to apologize for the lighting quality on my kitchen table; it makes my food look more yellow and less colorful!  So here's what I took for lunch: quinoa (cooked in veggie broth) along side roasted brussel sprouts and carrots (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper).
Post workday and pre-dog walk:
Because sometimes you feel like a nut.  And nothing you can make from scratch sounds appealing.  I give you - the unhealthy vegan packaged dinner. . .
But it's just so darn tasty.  Tomorrow I promise to have greens at all my meals, and lots of water to make up for the sodium.  Promise.

Coming up: 5k progress (only one week left - yikes!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Recipe Adventures

From Appetite for Reduction comes my most recent cooking adventure - Pasta con Broccoli.  I made it twice over the past week, and really enjoy it!  I'm usually intimidated by ingredient lists and various stages, but it's actually pretty quick and painless.
The first time I made this, I didn't have the garlic - so I substituted shallots.  The second time I made it with the garlic, and realized I liked it better with the shallots!  So here's how it's done: while pasta (gluten free is also fine) is boiling, saute garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme in olive oil.  Once fragrant, add broth, white wine, and salt.  After all is combined and beginning to simmer, add broccoli.
Cover and cook between 8-12 minutes, or until desired tenderness of broccoli.  After draining pasta, add it to the mixture.  Toss well, then add balsamic vinegar and black pepper.
Serve with a cute dog.  It should be noted, Remy rarely jumps up onto the chair (he knows it's not allowed!),  and he did proceed to beg more than normal when I made this.  Maybe he senses it's super delicious?  Too bad for him, more for me.
On another recipe note - yesterday I tried turnip greens in my green smoothie.  I tried to like it.  It was gross.

Coming up: Photo Food Journal

Sunday, October 16, 2011

5k Progress

Two weeks ago, I set out with a goal of running a 5k in less than 40 minutes.  This requires that all three miles be inside the 12:00 mile range.  As of now, I'm still in the upper 13:00 mile range.  Thus, my total time is close to 44 minutes.  This afternoon I will be running another 5k, and I'm hoping to finish around 43 minutes.  My hope is shave off one minute per week until Halloween, and then really push hard on that particular run.  Worst case scenario, I don't meet my goal.  It wouldn't be the end of the world, but I am running a four mile race at the end of November, and really want to crush my time from last year.  More on that race later!

Happy Fall!

Coming up: A new recipe I've recently tried 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Green Smoothie Update

Who would've known that I am still plugging away at these green smoothies, a month and a half later?!  I'm pleased, as I usually face a green vegetable shortage in my diet.  Now, I am starting off with it - and I'm feeling the benefits of extra vitamins early in the day.  Here's what I had the last three days (all smoothies had about 1 and 1/2 cups water added as well):

Monday - Arugula, frozen banana, frozen pineapple, and a fresh Anjou pear.
Tuesday - Red chard, two small red plums, and frozen peaches.
Today - Spinach and one Gala apple (as seen below)

In related smoothie news, you ABSOLUTELY MUST have a pumpkin pie smoothie.  I can't even talk about it.  Just make one.  Right now.

Coming up: Progress towards 5k goal

Monday, October 10, 2011

Workout Run Down

All about arms, sets of 15 repeated 3 times with an 8 lb weight (one in each hand):

*Tricep pull downs
*Tricep dips
*Tricep extentions
*Bicep curls
*Hammer curls
*Reverse curls

Afterwards, I ran one mile outside - not my best time (13:03 total time, 13:06 average pace), but at least it was something!
On a side note, for a post workout snack I had. . . .a pickle.  Apparently I needed salt! Ha! 

Coming up:  Smoothie update

Friday, October 7, 2011

Post Workout Snacks

Prepare yourselves - this is most likely my least interesting post to date.  I thought that by giving myself this deadline of the "coming up next" posting, I would have discovered some really amazing snacks.  I have not.  Thus, allow me to show you what I usually have post workout - and ask you to please give me some suggestions!

Starting with the not shown: depending on the workout, sometimes all I need is a glass of oj or coconut water.  When it's well after lunch, and I am in need of sustenance, I reach for a little more.  Such as a rice protein shake (chocolate flavored) with unsweetened almond milk, a frozen banana, and a glob or two of peanut butter:
Speaking of peanut butter - I'll take it on celery, apple, cracker or pretzel:
My last go to has been hummus (I'm not picky about brand or flavor) with veggies or pita chips:
Thus, we encounter the problem - I'm sick of all these post workout snacks.  I am in need of a snack-ervention.  Any ideas?

Coming up:  Workout run down

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Photo Food Journal

The day started with the usual black cup of coffee.  I then whipped up a green smoothie to take to work: 1 gala apple, 1 frozen banana, water and super greens (red & green swiss chard, tat soi, arugula, and spinach).
Lunch was produce I purchased from the farmer's market, and then roasted in a pan - and I have enough for several days!  Gold potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, and brussel sprouts (I bought a vegan-friendly french onion seasoning packet, and added some olive oil before roasting.)
After work and prior to the dog park:
For dinner, I was very indecisive and decided to use this:
It's mixture of wheat, pumpkin, basil, and beetroot pasta.  It's really vibrant when cooked!
Don't worry - the pasta was not naked for long.  It was soon covered in some Prego and nutritional yeast.

The lovely Sarah from This Is What I Eat  honored me with a "Tell Me About Yourself Award".  It asks for 7 random facts about you, and so here are mine (honestly, it took me a while!)
1. I've had a job since I was 14 years old.
2. I speak two languages.
3. I love sending & receiving handwritten letters and packages.
4. I secretly wish I was a fashionista. (read: I don't know how to put together an outfit.)
5. I refuse to text in shorthand or abbreviations.
6. Even though I have lived almost my whole life in a land-locked, mountain state, I feel most at peace near water.
7. Nine years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing my favorite painting in person.  I love the mystery in the background, and the passion in the foreground.  Is he just arriving?  Forced to leave?  Click here to see!

If you read this, I'd be so happy to hear at least one random fact about you!

Coming up:  post workout snacks

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Running Goals

As I enter the last week of 5k training, I decided to make a goal of switching my focus from distance to time.  I've already written out a training plan that keeps up the mileage, but also includes more interval training and shorter runs focused on time.  By the end of the month, I want to run a 5k (I'll use a path that is marked for a 5k, there are no races I've signed up for. . .yet!) in less than 40 minutes.  This means that all of my miles need to be somewhere in the 12:00 minute mile range.  I'll be updating weekly to monitor my progress!

And as a bonus, Remy visited the groomer yesterday, and asked me to share this picture with you:

Coming up:  Photo Food Journal