Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feb Totals


  • 28.4 miles by seat (2 bike rides)
  • 43.7 miles by feet (31.7 run, 12.0 walk)
  • 800 yards swimming
  • 3 hill workouts
  • 5 nights in Grand Cayman
  • It is *so* wonderful to be running again.  And to be doing a little bit of cycling.  And to have gone on vacation with husband.  Definitely a good month.
  • Keep running! 
  • Get some races/events onto the schedule. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Catching up

Husband & I spent last week in Grand Cayman.  I posted just a few photos here; if you are interested in more, find me on FB.  I would like to say that this is only the third trip we've been on alone since having kids.  This probably goes without saying, but vacationing alone together is fabulous!  It was also the first time that both of them are truly able to fend for themselves since they are now both young adults.  We left Daughter in charge of things at home, and she did a great job.  I definitely foresee more of these types of alone trips in the future.

While we vacationing, we got a decent amount of walking done, I gave myself credit for 7 miles over 6 days, and I'm fairly sure that's an underestimate.  I also gave myself credit for about 800 yds swimming, although that was all with fins on while snorkeling.  As for running, well, what can I say?  Once again, my running clothes proved to do nothing more than take up space in my suitcase.  Oh well.

However, I did meet up with the running group bright and early Saturday morning after we got back and ran 4 miles with one of my running partners.  Brrrrrrr, it was a brisk 28 degrees when we met to run!  My knee felt great, actually the best it has since getting the recent shots.  Next weekend we plan to go 5.  I'm hoping to find time for a few mid-week runs as well, but we'll see if that materializes or not.

Sunday afternoon was absolutely beautiful.  Sunny skies, high near 60 deg with just a touch too much wind, otherwise perfect for a bike ride.  Husband & I went out for 16.4 miles with a few climbs.  Again, the knee felt terrific.  I'm ready to start building out on distance.  Have my eyes on a potential metric century later in the spring.

Sadly, now that it is Monday morning, it's back to reality.  I'm sure I have a big pile of work waiting for me at the office.  Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Seven (things not miles)

1) Running - Complete two short runs earlier this week, 2.6 miles and 2.1 miles.  Odd mileage, huh?  I keep over-running my intended turn point a bit.  Knee was feeling okay so I decided to run with* the group Saturday morning.

* Maybe "with" is stretching it a bit.  They are all running further and faster than I am right now, so it was more like meeting with them in the parking lot, running the warm-up with them, and running the rest of my 3.5 miles solo.  But it's all good.  After so much down time due to my knee, I was super happy to be out there again.  And the two people that usually run with me both happened to have conflicts this weekend, so I'm sure I'll have running partner(s) again soon.

2) Haiti - Remember me mentioning about my daughter going to Haiti during spring break?  Well, as it turns out, I have to travel for work the week before she leaves.  And I'm not going to return until 16 hours after she departs!  Husband assures me that he can handle anything that she needs during that week, but I'm bummed that I won't be around for the final trip preparations or to see her off at the airport.

3) Weight - Once again, I seem to have packed on some excess poundage over the winter.  It's all hands on deck as attempt to get back to "race weight."  No more binge eating of Death by Oreo Cupcakes or peanut butter cookies.  When I get the hankering for something sweet, I've been grabbing a fruited 0% Fage yogurt which has 120-130 calories (depending on the flavor) with 13 grams protein.  A much healthier option, don't you think?

4) Weather - After snowing last Sunday, it cleared up for a few days, then snowed again on Thursday.  I really shouldn't complain, but this off-and-on spring/winter weather is frustrating.  Never quite sure what kind of day we're going to get, making it hard to plan things like bike rides.

5) Races/Events - I'm barely back to running and certainly not doing it well enough to have confidence to sign up for any races at this point.  However, I *am* toying with the idea of a St Patty's Day hilly 5K.  Also considering a metric-Century in June if the weather ever cooperates so that I get back on my bike outdoors.  For what it's worth, I don't run on treadmills and I don't cycle on the trainer.  I just don't.  So it's outdoor training or nothing.

6)  Zipp Fizz - A while back I was provided samples of Zipp Fizz to test out and review.  I received the samples pretty much at the same time that my knee started acting up.  I've *finally* had a chance to test the product so that I can share my thoughts.  I'll just cut to the chase.  I really wanted to like this product which promised to be an all natural, low calorie, energy drink.  However, I was turned off by two things.  First, to me it tastes too much like a children's vitamin in liquid form (which is not a good thing).  Second, despite their claims to be an all-natural product, it does contain artificial sweetener (sucralose) which is a deal-breaker for me.

7) Crew Games - Last weekend I volunteered to help with crew games for a local hot air balloon rally.  I was in charge of timing an "envelope roll" race.  What a hoot that was!  The balloon event was also at the other end of a park where a 5K/10K was occurring.  So my other job was identifying lost runners and redirecting them to the correct end of the field for their race.  :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

mid-week ramblings

I'll start with a few photos of what I've worn to work fairly recently (It's a weeks worth of outfits, but these aren't all from one week).

I'm learning more about what looks good and not so good on me, but I think this is the last installment for a while.  I am getting really tired of snapping self portraits in the bathroom mirror in the morning.  Hahahahah.

There are two outfits that I wish to comment on.  The first is the jeans and camel sweater (right side, second one down).  I happen to like this a lot, so that is what I wore on my birthday. And yes, I had a lovely day, thanks for asking. :-)

Second is the long black skirt outfit (left side, third one down).  Remember when I mentioned getting compliments on the black short skirt with boots outfit a few weeks ago?  Similarly, this is the only outfit of the five from this post that I received any comments (all positive) about what I was wearing.  I'm thinking I need to wear skirts/dresses a bit more often.

On to a more running-related topic.  I managed to get three runs in last week topping out at a 2.9 mile run as the longest of the three.  I ran again today, just barely beating a storm, and got 2.5 miles in.  I'm hoping to run at least two more times this week and work my way up to a 3.5-4.0 mile run.  After that, I should be able to rejoin my group and it will be back to business as usual.  This whole return-to-running thing is a bit discouraging as I am so far behind where I was when I had to take a break for my knee and I'm still a bit reluctant to push too hard.  

Husband & I were hoping to get in a nice bike ride on Sunday only to wake up to find that it was snowing!!  So no bike ride.  I guess it *is* still the middle of winter, so I shouldn't be too surprised that the weather didn't cooperate, but it had been so nice all week that we really surprised about the snow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TTT - Short Runs, Decision Made, and B-day Weekend

Slow Short Runs - So far this week, got in another couple of short runs (2.5 and 2.1 miles).  I'm currently running really s-l-o-w, but it's getting easier compared to the runs last week.  It seems so unfair how easily it is to get out of shape, and how hard it is to get back into shape!  But make no mistake, I am thrilled to be running again pain-free, no matter how slow or short the distance right now.

Decision Made - Talked it over with Husband, and we've decided not to do the Sweetheart Run this year.  It comes down to not wanting to spend the $$ for a race when I know I'll have a frustrating result due to just barely being running again after a multi-month hiatus.  I never wear the race t-shirts from this event, so getting another race shirt isn't motivating me.  And it will cold Saturday morning (in the 20s) when the race happens, whereas we can run or cycle together later in the day after it warms up (40s-50s).

B-day Weekend - Husband & I have birthdays surrounding this weekend.  His is Friday, mine is Monday.For some reason, even though this isn't a milestone birthday for either of us, I'm really starting to feel old.  But I guess getting older beats the alternative!  One of the things we are doing to celebrate is going out to dinner Friday then to a performance of My Fair Lady by Big League productions.  This particular musical is special to me because I played the part of Eliza during my senior year of high school nearly 30 years ago.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Actual running and stuff

You'll all be shocked an amazed to find out that I finally went out and bought a notebook to log my 2012 activities in because I needed it.  Yes, that's right.  I actually ran!  and cycled!

The point is that I got out there and busted out 2.5 and 2.0 mile runs and my knee did not hurt one little bit. I also got out on my bike for a 12.0 mile ride.  

It was slow and sluggish and a whole lot harder than it should have been.  But that's not really the point.  I mean, everybody's got to start somewhere, right?  Besides, it was farther and faster than sitting on the couch eating cupcakes.

Now a dilemma.  The local Sweetheart Run is this coming weekend.  I'm even entertaining the idea of signing up to run the 5K with husband.  Kind of on the fence though.  I don't really need to pay money to slowly run a race just to celebrate that I'm able to run again.  I could just as easily run a 5K (or possibly try to go farther) on my own.  We shall see.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TTT - test run, wiw2wtw, & cupcakes

TEST RUN:  After work yesterday I met with a friend who is a relatively new runner.  She was doing a run/walk and I figured that was a great way to test my knee.  I had decided that if all went well, I'd meet with my running group this weekend. If not, I'd wait another week and test it again.

In the end, it didn't hurt, but it didn't feel quite right either.  I've decided to take the middle ground and go for a short 2 mile solo run this weekend rather than run 4 miles with the group.  

WIW2WTW:  I've included photos of how I've shown up at work thus far.  Prepared this post before getting dressed for work, so today's outfit is missing.

The dress on Monday was comfortable, but I think I need a different belt.  The peace sign belt made me look like a hippy. LOL.

The scarf that I wore on Tuesday is in high demand at my house.  My daughter keeps "borrowing" it and "forgetting" to give it back.  I'm not sure what to think of that other than she & I like similar colors.

And while I don't think it photographed all that well, I will tell you that I got a lot of compliments on Wednesday (black skirt outfit with tights and boots) whereas nobody said anything to me about what I was wearing any of the other days this week or last.  So I'm thinking that outfit is definitely a winner.

CUPCAKES:  Enough of you asked for more info on the death by Oreo cupcakes that I mentioned, so I am passing on the recipe.  Be warned, they are addicting!!  Recipe maked 24 cupcakes. 

What you'll need:
1 pkg regular oreos
cupcake liners
1 pkg chocolate cake mix (I prefer Pillsbury chocolate, which has you add 3 eggs and for high altitude I add an additional 1/4 cup flour to the mix.)

For Frosting:   Do not use this full recipe.  Either make it all, use half and save the rest for later, or make half a recipe.  Trust me on this.
8 oz cream cheese - room temp
8 T butter (1 stick) - room temp
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
2-3 T milk

Add cupcake liners to cupcake pan.  Place an Oreo at the bottom of each liner.

Coarsely crush half remaining oreos (I break them up by hand).  Prepare cake mix per instructions.  Add Oreo pieces to mix.  Fill cupcake liners with mix & cook.

Note:  I cook for 15 min at 350 deg even though the boxed mix instructions say to cook longer.  Not sure if that is a high altitude thing or because of that added cookies to the mix.  In any event, I suggest checking after 15 mins.  

Finely crush remaining Oreos (or, if you make half a recipe of frosting, eat 3 cookies and finely crush the rest. just kidding. sort of.).  I do this in a food processor.

For frosting, mix cream cheese and butter with vanilla until smooth.  Add powdered sugar.  Add milk as needed to get desired consistency.  Blend in crushed oreos.

Frost cupcakes when cool.  Enjoy!!