Thursday, March 28, 2013

26.2 Relay

So I am running a Marathon... with a little help from some girlfriends of course!  None of us are crazy enough to attempt the whole thing on our own so we decided this year to join a relay team.  5 of us signed up on the most awesome team ever "Is there wine at the end?" yea classy I know HA

In training is def a lie because my portion of the event is only 4.4 miles but I am the one that gets to finish it which is really awesome.  2 of the girls on my team have never ran this race before so it will be really fun to all train together and get pumped up together the morning of the event.  This isn't until October so my main goal is to get my speed up. I am thinking since I only have to run 4.4 miles I should be able to bust out a sub 10 potentially 9 minute mile but since I am still at about a 10:30 I have some work to do. 

It is really exciting that running has become such a friend event.  I started running just over a year ago because a few of my friends and my BF did it.  They would always talk about their races and training and honestly I just wanted to be a part of it to.  The coolest thing is that now I have gotten many more of my friends running and it is awesome to see what it has done for them.  Many of them have hit their weight loss or fitness goals, or just done things like run a 5K which is more then they ever thought they would do.  Having friends along for the journey makes it a lot more fun and I am so proud of those who inspired me and those I have inspired along the way!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quick Healthy Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

We like to keep a lot of veggies and cooked meat in our house for quick and healthy meals.  The other night the BF and I needed a quick and satisfying meal that wouldn't break our calorie count.  I found this pasta sauce in good housekeeping and love that I can add whatever I want.  For this night I made up the sauce, added some cut up broccoli, and poured it over whole wheat linguini with cut up chicken.  Paired with a side salad it is the perfect quick evening meal.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
For the Sauce:
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion minced
1 1/2 tsp all purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 box whole wheat linguini
Cooked chicken breast
1) Cook pasta according to box directions and set aside
2) In medium sauce pan, heat oil and cook onion until slightly tender (about 3-5 minutes)
3) add in flour and cook for another minute, then stir in milk and bring to boil stirring frequently
4) the sauce should thicken slightly, after bringing to a boil remove from heat and add in parmesan cheese and broccoli
5) Pour over pasta and add chopped chicken
6) Enjoy!
This sauce can really transform into anything you want, adding in different cheeses can make it a totally different flavor and feel free to add in any other veggies or meats!

10K Training Plan

I have signed up for 2 upcoming 10K's.... one is in Grand Rapids with a bunch of my girlfriends in mid May and the second is only a few weeks after in early June.  Even though I have been keeping up with my running I have decided that my goal for spring/summer is to increase my speed.  I have to admit it was really cool to be able to google "intermediate" training plans rather than beginner this time since I knew I could comfortably run a good 3-5 miles.  I am now 7 weeks out from the first of the races and this training plan fits perfectly.

This is the first time I will be working on speed-work is is actually kind of cool... anything to break up the constant running is welcome in my book.  Sadly this week I am still fighting off the last bits of the flu so I haven't been able to get in the training but I am not too concerned that I will be able to pick it up on the LR this weekend. 

Happy training to anyone else working towards something!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lucky Dash and SPD

Welp this is only a week late but oh well at least I am catching up now!  Last weekend a few of us decided to run another St. Patricks Day 5K so that we could feel a little less guilty for the amount of drinks we knew we would be consuming.  Thr course was really easy and was actually in an area that most of us run often.  It was an interesting race because 1) the 5K was actually only 2.9 miles long (the boys were so happy about their times until they learned this HA)  2) half way through we were stopped by a train due to poor planning and 3) it was only about 30 degrees!  J and I decided that we would "run" it together but since the weather was so cold we couldn't really breathe and decided more to power walk the course and plot our outfits for SPD.  It all paid off though with our awesome tutus.  Pretty sure as of right now there are no other races planned until my 10K in early May which I am really excited for.  I will be posting the training plan and such later but for now here are the pics from last weekend!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Corktown 5K

So somehow I got talked into running 2 5Ks this St. Patricks Day season and the first one was this past sunday.  The Corktown 5K is just a loop through the Corktown area of Downtown Detroit and then is followed up by a parade and basically a huge outdoor party.  A big group of us went down for the race last year and decided that this time we would think ahead and tailgate instead of having to deal with the chaotic bar scene.  I was happy to be running with a big group of friends again and the day ended up being perfect.  The weather was in the mid 50s and the sun was out for most of the day which was awesome.  I feel like spring is finally here!

I haven't done just a 5K since last August so I was actually excited to see the time I could pull off since I wasn't going for distance.  I usually try to train at an 11 minute mile and in my distance runs usually average an 11:30 pace.  I was shocked that I was actualy able to keep the whole race under 10:30 pace.  The official times are not yet posted but I am guessing that I was just above 30 minutes. We are running another one this weekend so I am going to try to beat myself and try to get under 30 minutes for the first time!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spanish Quinoa side dish

I have always been a fan of Spanish rice and decided to make it a bit healthier by making Spanish quinoa instead.  The quinoa packs in more protein and more fiber then rice and since I made it from scratch I didn't have to worry about any of fake boxed ingredients.  Mix this with Mexican chicken packets and a gingerita and have your perfect low fat high protein Mexican meal.

Spanish Quinoa

1/2 small yellow onion chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups quinoa uncooked
1/2 tbs cumin
1/2 tbs chili powder

1) Heat oil in large skillet and add in onion and garlic, saute for 3-5 minutes until onions begin to soften
2) Add tomato sauce, broth, quinoa, cumin, and chili powder then bring to a boil
3) Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is tender
4) Enjoy

Mexican Chicken Packets

Saturday the BF and I finally had a whole day to just relax and enjoy ourselves which never seems to happen.  We ended up eating out  for lunch so I knew that I wanted to make dinner but didn't want to have to prep a ton of stuff or clean a bunch of dishes.  I realized that with the stuff that we had at home I could make one of my favorite summer grill dishes.  Now since it is still chilly in the D we baked them but they still tasted amazing.  You cook the chicken in tin foil packets so there is virtually no clean-up and the method makes the chicken super moist.  We didn't have any boxed spanish rice so I decided to get creative and make spanish quinoa which actually turned out amazing!  You can find the spanish quinoa recipe here and a gingerita recipe here to finish off your Mexican meal!

Mexican Chicken Packets
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa of choice
1/2 can corn
1/2 can black beans
Tin foil
1) Drain and rinse corn and black beans
2) Place chicken breast in the center of a large square of tin foil (large enough to fold into a tight packet)
3) Place 1/4 of the salsa and 1/4 of the black bean and corn mixture on top of the chicken breast
4) Wrap foil up over the chicken and fold the edges over in order to create a packet
5) Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast
6) Enjoy

Friday, March 8, 2013

Keeping it up!

I've learned that I do best when I have real motivation, such as a race or event to keep me moving.  Since I am officially out of half marathon training I am making sure that I keep up all of the progress I have made and make even more. 

We are doing a few 5k's within the next few months and then I have a 10k in May.  I am pretty confident in my abilities to do the distance but I need to make sure to keep up my endurance.  My plan right now is to run at least 10 miles a week.  Based on my current schedule I am thinking this will be broken down into 3 small weekly runs (1-2 miles) and a longer weekend run with the BF especially now that the weather is getting better. 

One thing that does keep me motivated is shiny new workout gear.... yes it may sound petty but I love going to the gym when I have new shoes or new workout clothes to sport.  As my reward for the Princess half I decided to get some new running shoes since mine were well past their prime anyway.

I am a size 5-5 1/2 so to find shoes is a nightmare but I was lucky enough to be in Grand Rapids and go to Gazelle Sports where they did a bunch of treadmill tests and specialized things in order to make sure I was getting the best shoe for me.  It was also a bonus that they carry most of their shoes down to a size 5 which is not standard for almost any shoe store!

 Now that running can be done just for my cardio I am planning on really concentrating on lifting and getting the rest of my body as toned as my legs have gotten.  Since I haven't concentrated on lifting in a while I am planning on doing these exercises that I found on He and She Eat Clean which is an awesome website with tips and tricks.  I posted 2 of these a bit ago and they added more so I figure I will put them all in one place.

In order to get them all in during the week I plan on doing leg day with chest/tri day on a non running day but with some other cross cardio work, and then do the back/bi and shoulder on my running days.  I also finish up every workout with some abs. 

And just to make sure that I wouldn't get bored I just bought a groupon for a 4 week women's bootcamp which I hope to start as we get closer to summer and the BF and I both bought groupons to a new Crossfit place in the D that we are excited to try.  Hopefully all this will keep me going and get my bikini body in check!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013

Wow I can't believe I haven't blogged in 2 weeks! I got super sick before our vacation, then went on vacation, and then tried to catch up.... I need another vacation lol

But the big story of the last 2 weeks....... the DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON!!! I was so excited for this race, and Disney did not disappoint.

We got into Disneyworld late Friday night so we just went to bed and set our alarms so we could go to the expo first thing in the morning. We got to the expo about 20 minutes after it opened and oh my! Advice for anyone wanting to run a Disney race, go to the expo the first day and go early. Packet/swag bag pick-up was easy but the actual expo was chaos. There is only a small area selling "official" merchandise and the line when we arrived was already about a half hour. When we got to the area so many things had already sold out which was really disappointing but I guess we learned our lesson. We still ended up with some cool jackets but I was sad the Mickey Ear 13.1 stickers were all gone :-(

After the expo we decided to get some color by the pool and just had a relaxing day.  We knew we would need it because after looking at the race time, bus schedule, and everything else we realized we were going to have a 2:30 am wake up call!  Most weekends I am still up not setting an alarm at 2:30.  We ate dinner at an all you can eat buffet at the Disney Wilderness Lodge and it was the best idea ever.  We were able to carbo load to our hearts content for only $20 a person which is nuts with Disney pricing. 
2:30 came way too early but at that point I was just so excited that it didn't even matter.  We got all ready and were out the door at 2:50 am.  It started off chilly so I brought a jacket but quickly ditched it at  the baggage check at the beginning of the race.  We were bused to the pre-race party area and from the moment we got off the busses it was non stop fun.  They had an awesome DJ that kept the music pumping and when you have 28,000 running milling around the energy is high!  The walk from the pre-race area to the start of the course is about a half mile so we decided to head out and get to our corral to warm up.

We had to wait about 30 minutes after we got there for the start but they still had the music pumping and there was so much excitement.  At about 5:20 the race finally started and the moment I had been waiting for began..... FIREWORKS!!  They had the fairy god mother count down the start of the race and then the fireworks started.  I was like a little kid at Christmas!  The best part through is that I though the fireworks would only be for the first wave but to my surprise they did a whole firework display for each wave so even though we started 2 waves back we still got our very own firework show!!!

I have never been and pretty sure will never be as excited as I was to start running 13.1 miles!  The first few miles have a ton of little things to keep you distracted and entertained and like I said Disney really does know now to make even a long stretch of road into something magical.  But when we ran through the magic kingdom gates it really all started to be real.

Little did I know we still had about 3 miles until we would be in the park but the excitement was enough to keep me going.  Then finally we reached the part that I couldn't even imagine... the park!  I have never been to Disneyworld but I thought I knew what to expect from Disneyland, I was wrong.  Everything is so much grander and I was so excited when we finally made it into the park.  Pics probably show everything the best!

 This was at mile 5-7 so we still had a long way to go but it was seriously one of the coolest things I have ever done.  The rest of the race was kind of a blur and before I knew it we were at epcot and about to finish!  We didn't get any pics of epcot but there are some awesome professional ones that I can't wait to order. 


On the actual running side I was shocked at how easy this race was compared to my Detroit half.  I think its because we were constantly distracted and amazed at everything going on around us.  I also stuck to my training a bit more which of course helped HA.  Running with the BF also helped, it was nice to have the constant motivation to make it just a little farther.  Our official end time was 03:04 however that included the stops for photo ops which sometimes had lines, the BF stopped his watch for the photo ops so we were actually able to run the race in under 02:40 which is a ton of time off my first so I was a very happy camper.  My hip still gave me trouble around mile 11 but this time it wasn't unbearable and I was able to run through it all the way to the end.

We followed up the race with an "ice bath" in the swimming pool and wanted to have a few drinks but the fact that it was only 9 am meant we were out of luck.  This was honestly the coolest race and most amazing experience, anyone thinking about doing it should.  The price is a lot compared to most races but Disney makes each penny worth it.  I think I am done with the half marathons for now but I can see myself doing more Disney races in the future!