Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIAW #19: Pre-race Eats

Hey everyone!  How is your week going?  I'm dubbing this week "The Week of Meetings," as I pretty much have on each day this week (except Friday!).  Busy, busy, busy!  But, it's Wednesday, which means these meetings are almost over!  It also means that it's...
This week's What I Ate Wednesday features my meals from Saturday.  I was still following the Insanity meal plan, while also carb-loading for my half marathon the next day.  Let's see what that looks like!

As always, thank you to Jenn for hosting the link up!  Check our her blog Peas and Crayons to see what the rest of blog land is eating!

Meal #1
4 egg whites scrambled with tomatoes, onions, and a pinch of mozzarella cheese.  It's nice to be able to cook breakfast on the weekends!

Meal #2
Another weekend treat: making smoothies!  I threw 1 frozen strawberries, 1 frozen banana,  1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, and enough orange juice to get everything moving.  Tasty!

Meal #3
I wanted a salad, so I went to Panera and picked up the Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado.  I got the bread on the side (carbs) and an M&M cookie (again, carbs ;)).  This salad is quite good, and I ate half of it.  I had to save room for this cookie!
It was delicious.  All in the name of carb loading!

Meal #4

The epitome of carbs: I had some whole wheat rotini with mozzarella cheese on top.  This is one of my favorite simple meals, and it worked its' way in perfectly to both goals of food for the day.

I didn't have the 5th meal due to my large lunch, but I did have some chips later in the evening when my stomach was rumbling.

I think I ate well on Saturday for preparing for a race.  On Sunday morning, I felt ready to run.  Too bad I didn't train properly, or else I probably could have had a really great race!

Question for you: What is your go-to meal the day before a race?
I have to have pasta.  It's treated me well for my half marathons!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Recap

Half Marathon #3 is in the books!
To recap the race, I'm going to talk about the race itself first, then how I did afterward.  I really, really enjoyed the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon, and there were a lot of great things about it!

The organizers of this race provided a lot of information beforehand (parking info, start/finish, etc.), which made the race morning very easy.  I got to the parking area just before 6am, and this is what I saw from my parking spot:
Yes, that is the bridge we ran over in the last mile.  They had us park at the finish, and we had to walk over that bridge to get to the start.  Great idea!  I'd rather do that mile walk before rather than after (more on that later).

The starting area had plenty of porta-potties for the approximately 2,000 runners.  There was also a bag check, which was very easy.  Only downside: you had to provide your own bag, which they did inform us of beforehand.  I came prepared :)  I put my phone in the bag, so no pictures along the way.

The starting line itself was very high-energy.  They had flashing lights and a DJ who got everyone ready to run!

One really cool thing about this race was that the water stops were manned by the 10 high schools in the area.  The money raised for this race was divided evenly among the schools for their athletic programs.  The schools had an opportunity for an additional $500 for being the most spirited water stop along the way.  One high school had about 20-30 volunteers (the others had about 10) with a pre-made cheer for us as we ran by.  They won the contest by a landslide!

The course was essentially out-and-back, running along A1A (the road by the beach) to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse (which I toured with my family during the summer), then back on Peninsula (the road by the causeway) on the way back.  Other than the last mile, the elevation was flat and very easy to run.  The last mile was the dreaded bridge, the most difficult part of the race.
At the finish, there was a breakfast buffet for runners, as well as free beer and recovery food and drink.  It was quite a party, and there were lots of perks!  Here's my finishing time:
Ouch.  Ugly time.  Here's what happened:  Bobbie Jo (my running buddy) and I were doing GREAT for the first 2/3 of this race.  We'd run a mile, walk a minute, as well as walk when one of us needed the water stations.   We were right at a 11:30 pace, which was normal for both of us.  Then, we started falling apart.

My right knee started KILLING me when I would run but would feel better when I walked.  Bobbie Jo got a cramp at about the same time, so we decided to walk mile 9 to get it together. Well, neither of us did.  We pretty much walked the rest of the race.  We'd run for a little bit, then my knee would hurt to bad and I'd have to stop.

We decided that we were both going to finish no matter what.  We kept pulling along as best we could, and Bobbie Jo finished running once we got to the downhill part of the bridge.  I tried, but running downhill hurt my knee even more.  I did, however, run once the course flattened out, so I ran through the finish.

Obviously, not my best race BY ANY MEANS.  But, I learned a lesson: I need to actually TRAIN FOR A HALF MARATHON!  Meaning, more than just two runs between the half on Sept. 1st and today!  I think I got a little cocky about my fitness level after PRing last time and thought my body was still in running shape.  Obviously not.

However, the fact that I ran a terrible race didn't get in the way of enjoying it!  The Lighthouse Loop is definitely a local race that I will be doing again and again because of the great organization, fun course, and the great cause that it supports!

Question for you:  How do you bounce back after a bad race?  Did anyone else race this morning?  Tell me about it so I can celebrate with you!
I'm planning on getting in some walking, some yoga, and a lot of foam rolling to help my body recover.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Problem with Approval-Seeking

It's the weekend, y'all!  I hope it's off to a good start for you.  Yesterday after work, I picked up my packet for the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon I'll be running on Sunday.
I'm a bit nervous because my mini-training didn't happen.  I've found a running buddy (the Social Studies department chair at one of the schools I'm the math coach at), though, and we're planning on running a mile then walking for a minute until we finish the race.   Also, running this bridge for the last mile is no joke:
Until tomorrow, I'm going to do some foam-rolling, walk/stretch today, and get in the mindset to succeed!

As those of you who have been reading for a while know, I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study right now.
This past week, the homework and video session really resonated with me.  Today, I wanted one of the things that I learned.

How many of you really seek the approval of others?

*raises hand* This is something that I do A LOT.  I'm a people pleaser.  I want others to like me and approve of what I do.  A lot of times, my mood throughout the day is based on whether I've received praise or criticism from others.

Well, this week in the video session, Beth Moore said something and referenced a Scripture verse that hit me like a ton of bricks:

"We become servants, bondslaves of whoever's approval we are trying to get!"

This comment came after reading Galatians 1:10:

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God."

You know what I thought after reading that verse? "Ouch."  Based on my desire/need/goal of please others, I am preventing myself from being a servant of God.  That is the exact OPPOSITE of what I really want out of life!  What a wake-up call for me.

I've also realized throughout this study that seeking the approval of others is really a stronghold keeping me from true freedom in God.  The purpose of this study is to break free of such strongholds so that we can enjoy all of the benefits of the freedom God intends for us.  Approval-seeking is certainly something I need to work on before I can fully enjoy that freedom.

Since Wednesday, I've been praying to God to move in my heart and shift my approval-seeking focus to Him.  This obviously isn't going to happen overnight, but I have seen a tiny shift in myself that I can only attribute to Him.  Praise God!

Question for you: Who do you seek approval from?
I certainly seek approval from my boss, as well as my co-workers.  My parents and husband are also people that I continually seek approval from.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vanilla Protein Frapp

Hi there!  We're halfway through the week, y'all.  Hope it's a good one for you so far!

Usually, I have a What I Ate Wednesday post for you, but I just didn't take any pictures of food this week.  I made a little something today that I wanted to share.  It's not exactly food, but it is certainly tasty!

This afternoon, I came home needing some caffeine before Bible study.  I knew I didn't want hot coffee, but I also didn't want a soda.  That's where this Vanilla Protein Frapp came from.
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite brewed coffee (cold brew, if you can)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Ice
  • Sweetener of your choice
Put all ingredients in the blender and mix until ice is broken up.  Add more ice until at desired consistency.

I was interested to see how this would turn out, and I actually really liked it!  It tasted like something you'd get from a coffee shop without the $5 price.
As you can see, this made enough to fill my 20-oz. tumbler twice!  I certainly needed it, though, and enjoyed this afternoon treat.  I used this protein powder that I found at Wal-mart, and I've gotta say, ithe flavor is enough to mask that protein-y taste.  Good stuff!
Other alterations you could make: add a little (a very little!) vanilla extract, try a different flavor of protein powder, add/subtract some of the milk depending on your taste preferences.  If you try this out, make sure to let me know what you think!  

Question for you: What's your go-to drink/snack when you need an afternoon pick-me-up?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Fun Football Weekend

Hey guys!  Even though it's Tuesday and the weekend is long gone, I wanted to do a little weekend update.  Joe and I had a fun one, so I wanted to share the pictures!

Before I do that, I wanted to let you know that registration for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge from Amanda at Run to the Finish opens TODAY!
Image Source
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I participated last year and LOVED IT!  You earn points for eating right and working out while competing with others of your same fitness level.  There are lots of prizes to be earned, so it is GREAT motivation to focus on your fitness and health during the holidays.  I highly recommend you sign up!  (Shameless plug: if you do, make sure to say that I referred you!  You can reference my blog or just put Amy H.)

Now, on to the weekend!

Friday night started by finally taking a wedding present out!
My sewing machine!  I had a project to work on Friday, so I went ahead and got it set up Friday night.  We then had a little visitor from a furry friend.
This adorable stray hangs out in our neighborhood.  Kitty cat (as we call her) loves us now because we feed her tuna every now and then.
She's a cutie!

The main event for the evening was walking around Main Street for Biketoberfest.  Each year in October, there's a mini-Bike Week here for a weekend.  It's great people watching, so we went down to check out the scene.
Joe likes to dress the part during the bike festivals, and I'd say he fit right in!

Me, not so much.  We had a good time walking around, seeing our landlord who runs a beer tub at one of the bars, and just taking everything in!

On Saturday, we watched a lot of college football.  Just the way we like it :)  I also worked on my projects for the day.  First, I needed to decorate for Halloween!
I bought these decorations on sale at the end of last Halloween, so I had to put them up this year.  I love how festive our house looks now.  Next, it was time to break out the sewing machine.
Joe had a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey that said M. Jones on the back, so I changed that in to say Joe.

This was the first time using the sewing machine by myself, and I'd say I finally got the hang of it!  Loading the bobbin was one of my favorite things.
Joe needed the jersey for Sunday because we went up to Jacksonville for a football game!

We had a great tailgate, and even though the Jaguars are terrible, we had fun at the game as well.
Notice how few fans were around during the 2nd half!  Fun fact: The Jags have yet to score a touchdown at home THIS SEASON.  They're bad.
Another fun fact: You have to take a clear bag in to NFL games (unless it is a very small clutch).  Didn't know that, so I had to leave my purse at the gate and hope it didn't get stolen.  Hope you don't run in to that same problem!
After we got home, I wound up sleeping on the couch for a little bit before heading to bed early.  I feel like this weekend was really busy, but it was productive and fun at the same time!

Question for you:  What did you do this weekend?  Any projects you've completed lately?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Slow and Steady

Good evening, y'all!  I hope your Monday was great.  Today was a teacher work day, so while there were no students, I still had a busy day of meeting with teachers!  No rest for the math coach :)

Last week, I finally got back in to my running!  I can really tell that I haven't been consistent with training when looking at my pace.

On Tuesday, I completed an out-and-back run.  I focused on negative splits for each mile.  Here's what they looked like:
  • Mile 1: 10:42
  • Mile 2: 10:08
  • Mile 3: 11:25
Well, I got negative splits between Mile 1 and 2!  The 3rd mile was going well for the first quarter, but I just ran too hard at the beginning and had to walk.  It taught me a good lesson, though, for my half marathon!  Make sure to start out slow if you want to finish strong :)

I turned Thursday in to Treadmill Thursday!  I got on the treadmill for a 3 mile run using intervals.  I ran 4 miles at 6.0, followed by 1 minute at 5.0.  Here's what it looked like including the warm-up and cool down.
I usually amp it up a bit on the treadmill, but again, my body wasn't feeling it.

Knowing that my half marathon is 6 days away, I think the theme of this race is going to be slow and steady!  I still want to finish strong, which means I'm really going to need to focus on starting out at a pace I can maintain throughout.  I'm going to practice that on my short runs this week and see how it goes!

Question for you: How do you determine your goals for a race?
I usually have a goal in mind beforehand, but in this case, I need to alter that goal based on how my body is doing right now!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pizza Muffins

Looking for a quick and easy snack?  Here's one that Joe and I had that goes along with the Insanity diet.
-1 whole wheat English muffin, cut in half
-Tomato sauce
-Mozzarella cheese, part-skim
-toppings of your choice

-Slice English muffin in half.  Cover each half with tomato sauce (about two spoonfuls per half)
-Top each half with an amount of cheese of your choosing (I used about one and a half large pinches)
-Add any other toppings you want (we used some grilled chicken)
-Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
-Eat and enjoy!

I prepared these the night before and reheated them the next day.  We both enjoyed this snack a lot!  It's filling, satisfies the craving for pizza, and is healthy too!

Question for you: What's your go-to quick, healthy snack?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIAW #18: Insanity Diet

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  I hate that I forgot to post this post on Sunday!  I added the photos but never went back in to edit them.  Oh well!

Anyway, I've been staying late at work the past few days, which makes me want to come home and do nothing.  Therefore, no blogging has taken place.  Sorry about that!  I do have a pretty interesting What I Ate Wednesday post for you today, though.  This week, Joe and I started eating the Insanity diet!  Check it out!
Thanks to Jenn for hosting the link-up!  This month's focus is Halloween-themed snacks, but sadly I don't have any this week.  Check out some of the other WIAW participants if you need an idea for a festive treat!

So, the Insanity diet.  Joe is doing the workouts and decided he wanted to follow the meal plan, too.  Guess what that means?  I chose to do so, as well!  Makes cooking a lot easier :)

The basics of the diet are: 5 meals a day, each of approximately equal calorie count.  You do a calculation based on age, height, weight, activity level, and your weight goals.  After doing mine, I learned that I'm supposed to eat 5 400-calorie meals throughout the day!  That seemed a little crazy to me.  Here's a look at what we've been eating this week:

Meal #1
This is the Protein Cereal Bowl option.  We chose Kashi Go Lean! Vanilla Clusters cereal with a few chopped walnuts and half a sliced banana on top.  This isn't the exact prescribed meal, but it works for us!

Meal #2
This calls for a nutrition bar.  There are options to make it more calories if you need it, so I added an apple to my meal.  These Luna Protein bars are DELICIOUS.  Joe has a chocolate chip protein bar, and we both agree that this meal is more like dessert!

Meal #3

A roast beef pita pocket with spinach and tomato inside.  I also had a side salad of spinach, tomato, and onion.  I had other veggies to add to the salad, but I haven't chopped them up yet!  I've really enjoyed the pita pocket.  The roast beef I bought is great!

Meal #4
No picture of this, but the meal was peanut butter toast with raspberry preserves.  Essentially, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  This is actually a great afternoon meal, as it is satisfying AND has a little bit of sweetness to it.  Yum!

Meal #5

Salmon with honey mustard on top, some whole-wheat pasta, and steamed green beans.  I think there's better toppings for the salmon.  I think next time I'll just top it with some lemon juice.

Overall, the diet has some great options for each meal.  We are going to try some of the other options later in the week, and I'm looking forward to some of the other meals!

Question for you: Have you ever done a diet that goes along with a workout program?

Virginia Weekend

***I wrote this post on Sunday and JUST realized that it never posted!  I decided to post it anyway so you'd know what I was up to!***

Hey, everyone!  Long time, no post.  We had a busy week last week, and we just returned from a weekend up in Virginia.  We got to see my family and go to a Virginia Tech football game!  I didn't take too many pictures, but here's what I've got:

Our trip was a bit of a whirlwind, but it was a lot of fun!  I also got in a lot of reading during our travels, which was really nice.  I haven't done much reading lately and enjoyed getting involved in a book again!

One of the reasons I haven't posted much lately is that I haven't been making myself a priority lately.  I'm in a little bit of a rut, you could say.  I haven't been eating right, I haven't been exercising (despite the fact that I have another half marathon coming up in 13 days!), and I really haven't made my daily quiet time with God a priority (despite being in that Breaking Free Bible study).  BUT, Joe and I figured out some things today (meal plans, workout schedules, etc.) that I think are going to help me make myself (particularly my health) a priority again...

-We are starting the Insanity meal plan/diet.  Joe is doing the Insanity workouts right now and wanted to follow the diet.  I figured it'd be much easier for him if I did it too, and it gives me incentive to eat right.

-Joe is doing his Insanity videos while I'm at home, so I'm going to get in a workout while he is doing the same.  Plus, a lot of our dinners will be prepared ahead of time, so that makes it seem "easier" in my mind to make working out a priority.

-I'm also going to set some new goals for Best Body Bootcamp to motivate me to get my priorities straight.  One of those goals is going to be having a daily quiet time.

Question for you: What did you do this weekend?  What do you do to get yourself out of a rut?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

While doing my homework for my Breaking Free Bible study, I read something that I wanted to share with y'all.
Beth Moore, the author of the study, was discussing Matthew 18:5-6 as it relates to child victimization:

"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."
Matthew 18:5-6

Child victimization is a tough subject, and we often wonder why God doesn't do anything about something like that happening.  We question why God would let that bad thing happen to an innocent person, a good person, someone who doesn't deserve it.

One of the points Beth makes is that God does not ordain bad things happening to us.  "When you are trying to discern whether God or Satan is the author of a hardship, one of your best clues is whether or not sin is involved."  After reading that quote, I reflected on a lot of the bad things happening on our world today.  For the most part, these hardships are brought about because of someone else's sin.  

I think this is a really good thing to keep in mind.  I know what's it like to question why God would let something so horrible happen.  I distinctly remember our youth group meeting after the September 11th attacks in 2011.  Many of us were wondering how God could let something like that happen.  But, God did not ordain that situation.  God did not plan that situation.  Satan intervened, caused someone to sin, and thus our heartbreak over those terrorist attacks occurred. 

The good news is that, while God does not cause these things to happen or "ok" them, He will use them for our good.  Romans 8:28 says:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
We may have pain and suffering, but God will use that situation to teach us something and help us grow for the better.

Beth's teaching gave me a good perspective as to why bad things happen in our world.  I hope that you find this uplifting and helpful to you in the future!