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31.1.11

Monte Cristo Sandwich - Healthy Style

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I really like this sandwich because it mixes the best of sweet and spicy. It fills me up after a long run, and packs a huge punch full of the protein and other good stuff I need during my body's recovery process. Did I mention that it tastes scrum-didely-umptious?

The Motley Crew:

  • 4 turkey breast slices -- aprox 4-oz each
  • 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 1-oz slice low-fat Swiss cheese

The Method:

Start it out in a bowl and take the turkey slices and drizzle the olive oil over top. Toss in the oregano, salt and black pepper. My favorite part, get messy and make sure that the surfaces are all covered with the ingredients.

Next up take a nonstick pan and put it at about medium heat. Take out the turkey slices and throw them in and cook each side until it is light brown. Should go pretty fast, just a minute to a minute and a half a side. Take them out of the pan, and I just threw it back in the original bowl while I worked on the next part.

In a different dish, whisk up the egg beaters and milk. Toss in a little smidgen of sea salt, pepper, and cayenne. Okay, I tossed in a bunch of Cayenne, but that is up to personal preference. Push off to the side for a few minutes.

Now take the slices of bread and spread the honey mustard on one side each. Start layering on the ingredients. Be generous with the spinach because it will shrivel up a bit in the next step. Add on the pear and turkey. Finish with a lovely piece of cheese, and the other piece of bread, and voila! Ready for the really fun part.

Heat up the nonstick pan again and add a teaspoon of oil back on medium heat. I find using tongs works the most efficient for keeping the little bugger together. Dip the sandwich in the egg beaters mixture, immersing a good part of the bread. Move it over to the pan and cook until golden brown (like if you were making french toast). Remove and soak other side of sandwich, then put back on the pan for another few minutes.

That's all there is, it is ready to eat. I love this after a good workout.

The Healthy Facts:

  • Calories: Aprox. 430
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Sat. Fat: 2 g,
  • Carbs: 34 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugars: 9 g
  • Protein: 53 g
  • Sodium: 750 mg
  • Cholesterol: 105 mg
Adapted from Clean Eating
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30.1.11

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

I am a lemming. Not really, but I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. The winter weather is driving me crazy and I need to mix up my workouts a bit. Others seemed to have some mild success with the 30 Day Shred DVD, so why not give it a try? With my super saving deal I purchased this and 6 Week 6 Pack for only $9.

I am going to keep a running tally of my 30 day's in this post. It should be noted that I am also mixing in my traditional running and weight workouts. This is only going to be a supplement to my regular training schedule.

Let's rock it out!

DAY 1, LEVEL 1: Did not realize I needed hand weights. Need to buy some of those. Oops. Temporary replacement, two cans of corn. It worked. I can feel it in my biceps, triceps, biceps femoris and sartorius muscles. This may also be from my 5 mile run last night, but I suspect the lunges in the workout have something to do with the it all. Surprisingly, after 20 minutes I actually did work up a bit of a sweat.

DAY 2, LEVEL 1: I messed up my calve muscles and was walking around all day with the "saddle walk". Since I was so cramped up this morning, I waited to do the workout in the evening. Still did not buy weights, so the corn cans had to do. A twitter buddy suggested, "Cans work... so do water bottles.. and if you are feeling adventurous gallon jugs :)" To which I replied, "I'm only up to half gallon jugs o_0" I'm waiting for the 6-pack to develop, but alas, right now I will settle for my calve muscles cooperating.

DAY 3, LEVEL 1: I was a slacker and didn't do it. Okay, not really a slacker, I ran 7 miles and think that qualifies as enough cardio. Back to the grind tomorrow though.

DAY 4, LEVEL 1: I went out today and purchased some cheap 3 lb hand weights. Apparently they do make the exercises more difficult than cans of corn. Who knew? And to think, I almost sprung a couple extra bucks for the 5 lb weights. Thank goodness I am cheap because my arms were crying at the end. I also decided to multitask a bit and watch the season finale of "Downton Abbey" on PBS with Jillian on mute on my computer. FYI ~ Jillian is just as effective as a trainer with or without volume.

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The Winter Warpath

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My first mistake was thinking that if my sidewalks were cleared off, everyone would be diligent enough to clean off theirs as well.

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This face about says it all. I would like to publicly thank all the folks that remove their snow in a timely fashion. For those that are not as diligent, well I was always told that if you don't have anything good to say--

Anyways, I am going to take the suggestion of my blogger buddy Sharla and consider this to be my own personal Warrior Dash/Muddy Buddy/Hell Run. But I would also like to add in a new kind of race -- The Winter Warpath.

In the course of just over an hour, I trudged through snow drifts, splashed with slush by on coming cars, climbed over snow banks, and slid on icy patches. It was awesome!
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A couple highlights, as I was running over an over pass I almost rolled my previously injured left ankle. That would have stunk, thankfully after stretching it out for a bit the tenderness wore off. Was able to continue on with no pain.

At one point I had to go into the road because there was simply no way to stick to the sidewalk. Of course there are vehicles who do not understand the whole -- lets slow down because it is slick outside -- mentality. Nervous that they would swerve at me, I threw myself into a snowbank, also listed on the graphic above as "Dug tunnel through snowbank".

It was windy, it was slick, and it was snowy. Thankfully my feet stayed pretty dry and I was able to finish my scheduled 7 mile run. Absolutely tickled pink with my 8:51/mile pace considering the conditions. Honestly, I felt like I was going like a snail, so it was a bit of surprise when I plugged that into my computer.

A side note: I love that the nike run girl on my green chart is wearing shorts and a tank, because she would not. survive. it. in. Wisconsin. Just sayin'.

Apparently playing in the snow makes me feel like a kid again. Makes me wonder if there are winter run races with snow tunnels and required snow angel making during the course? If so, could someone send me the info because I think I may have found my new love?

22.1.11

Triple Threat Challenge #1

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My new blogger buddy Tonyne over at Unlikely Success Story has thrown down the gauntlet for a challenge of the blogging ages: Triple Threat Challenge. Complete a circuit of 20 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the treadmill, and 20 minutes on the bike. Back to back to back. Log the distance and calories and complete four times over the next five weeks.

The grand prize: pride.

I dedicated my highly coveted Friday night at the gym for my first try. I walked toward the row of elliptical machines and one sparkled at me. That was the one. Climbing on I set up my headphones and cruised to some CNN headlines.
  • Elliptical end results: Distance, 1.83 miles. 210 Calories
I hopped off of the machine and headed over to the treadmill rows, grabbing a towel and wiping my brow own the way for dramatic effect. One was open between two serious runners and figured this was a sign that their energy would motivate me through my 20 minutes. I started off at a nice, easy pace and settled in to watch the Daily Show. The volume was a little low and I moved to crank it a bit and accidentally hit the emergency break. The two serious runners gave me the stink-eye.
  • Treadmill end results: Distance, 2.03 miles. 247 Calories
My final stop was the stationary bike. This time I grabbed my towel and wiped my brow, and not for dramatic effect. Hoping on it felt odd, not having rode on one in over a year, much preferring road biking to stationary bikes. Settled into a nice easy ride, without any incidents and peacefully watch the end of the Colbert Report.
  • Bike end results: Distance, 4.15 miles. 112 Calories
Finished up the night with some weights and headed home. Woke up this morning and feeling great. With the exception of my breakfast, this "Weight Control" Quaker Oatmeal tastes like over-salted cardboard.

I definitely left some room for improvement, not intentionally, but after my long week I wanted to take it easy. Did feel good to put in an hours worth of cardio though and mix things up a bit.

But what if I combined two of them the circuits to speed everything up? Nah, no one would be stupid enough to try that!





I stand corrected.

20.1.11

In the Light of the Moon

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NOTE: I feel rather introspective today since the temps around here are perfect running weather for--I don't know--only an abominable snowman. Let's see how I do with being serious:

My middle school cross-country coach used to bike along side us during our warm up and then subsequently subject us to quarter sprints. I am not built to be a sprinter, even at 12 years old I recognized this fact. I would groan under my breath and mutter to myself,

"That which does not kill me will only make me stronger."

The winter brings not only the frigged cold to the frozen tundra, it brings the long, dark nights. It tests my resolve in strength, and I pull out my mantra from many years ago. If I dig down deep enough, I can make my mind will away the cold, but I can not create light.

Bundle up in layers, throw on my gaudy reflective shirt on top, and take to the streets.

And on that rare evening when the winter sky is clear and a beautiful full moon is out I find my contentment. The daylight is gone, but the moonlight is alive. It does not warm like the suns rays, but it illuminates bouncing off the snow covered ground.

I wander down pathways and main streets that are alive in the summer with pedestrians, but near silent in the winter. Only the headlights of passing vehicles join in the moonlight.

Five miles, that is all I need this evening. Five miles in the night.

My checks are chapped. My thighs are most likely a bright red under my running tights. The temps are now in the low single digits.

I hit my halfway point and turn back. The moon illuminates the icy patches and I do my best to navigate around them. It is so bright tonight, much better than the street lamps.

I have no sarcastic musings, no deep profound thoughts. Just a girl running in the freezing cold in the light of the moon.
The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost
I've tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.

I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.
ENDNOTE: This being serious stuff is hard work. How does Anderson Cooper keep a straight face night in and night out?

14.1.11

Keys to Surving Teen Night

Friday night is my time to go to the gym and work out. I have no work the next day and generally few obligations over the weekend. Friday is perfect for working out because it is typically quieter than any other night of the week and more of the machines are open.

In short, Friday night is my zen time at the gym.

All except that one Friday night a month where the entire building is inundated with overzealous mongrels know as, dare I say it, preteens.

Their parents happily dismiss them from there presence in a rather abrupt manner. Dad pulls the family mobile around the front door, comes to a rolling stop, while Mom shoves Junior out the door toward the building. The now childless parents barely stop to wave pleasantries and remind their child to behave before gunning it down the street to their night of freedom.

The preteens congregate in the lobby where they are checked in and start to form herds with their friends who have just been rolled out of their family mobiles. The herds move in large clusters down the hall, and unsuspecting adult members are forced to duck into wall crevices. Dare an adult try to go head on into a herd assuming they will show courtesy and make room on the side will likely be trampled. The preteens will hardly even notice the lump curled up on the ground as they continued their texting/mindless walking/path of destruction.

The adults will try and find sanctuary in areas where "Individuals under 18 are prohibited". They will find little solace as there are continual announcements over the PA, "Junior, please report to the front desk. This is your herd, we are planning a coup d'├ętat of the Judo class in session. Junior, please report to the front desk."

In order to take back my Friday night at the gym, I am proving my essential survival skills to make it through preteen night.
  1. Befriend the preteens. This may at first appear to be counter-intuitive, such as, if they know you, they are more likely to pester you. However, I volunteer at a youth organization and mentor many preteens. I garner a small amount of respect, and hold a secret weapon, their names. When I am trying to go through the herd gauntlet I shout out, "Hey Junior, how's it going?" And instantly he looks up from his texting and walks with me a bit to catch up, proving safe passage amongst his peers and reducing trampling risks.
  2. Avoidance. Take the back passages in the building when possible and find low traffic routes in and out of the adult areas.
  3. Travel in packs. Every other adult is in the same predicament. They understand the delicate nature of the situation. Under the circumstances, it is imperative to leave the locker room in groups no smaller than four. Find the scrappiest one in there and flank her until you reach safety.
  4. Work on your "mom voice" and "the look". Even if you have no children, borrow some to practice on. Two mothering techniques that have mystical powers and served women for centuries.
  5. Invest in a pair of headphones with some sound proofing. Ignore the pesky PA announcements. How likely is it anyway that an actual emergency or something you need to pay attention to is said anyways?
  6. Never show fear. The preteens can sense your weakness. No hesitation, no exceptions. The moment your hand trembles or your lip quakes, you are a goner.
While not an absolutely comprehensive listing, it is important to develop your own personal pre-teen night plan. This evening I was able to make it unscathed through the masses. Others were not as fortunate.

Remember, zen is worth it. You are worth it.

Even I will look on the bright side of the situation, I rather like knowing the preteens are at the gym and not out--I don't know-- toilet papering my yard or something. At least they are accounted for.

12.1.11

Cat Motivation in the Morning

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The one thing harder than to start training for my first marathon, is training after a nasty cold. I feel physically weak, and it does not help with the whole mental attitude either.

I wake in the middle of the night feeling hungry. Apparently dinner is not satisfying enough. It is 1am and I really want to just go back to bed and sleep in.

My alarm goes off at 6am and I try to hit the snooze button. My brain wars between not having enough sleep and finding the motivation to just get out of bed.

My cat makes the decision for me. He nuzzles me for a moment then agilely leaps to the floor. For some reason my body instinctively follows, albeit not as gracefully. Standing beside my warm bed I seriously contemplate diving back in and resetting my alarm clock. Instead I force my feet toward the chair with my laid out winter weather running clothes and mindlessly dress myself as my kitty rubs against my leg looking for his morning breakfast.

I shuffle to the kitchen and grab kitty's food first. He is so demanding. I pull out some Greek yogurt, pumpkin flax granola, and a little honey. Kitty eyes me suspiciously, as if he knows I am dragging and do not want to head out the door.

My hat and mittens are on and I am out the door. It is cold out, but not unbearable. Still dark outside, and a light covering of snow is on the ground. A little traction on the slippery sidewalks I muse. In my revised running plan this run is just a feeler, about two miles. Just enough to see if I am really over this nasty cold.

I take it easy the first half mile or so. At first I am not as self conscious about hocking luggies.

"A mass of mucous and saliva that is forcefully ejected from the mouth onto a person or object. "
Not very ladylike behavior, but I am stuffed up. Pretty sure by body wants to expel that crude in an efficient manner, and it is still dark out. Who is going to catch me?

Until a turn and see an older gentleman coming outside of his house bundled up in a hunting parka. I shrug unapologetically and continue on. If he wants to scold me, he has to catch me. Which may not be as hard as it sounds since I am still fairly sluggish.

A mile out I can feel how the inactivity is affecting my muscles. Even after a short run they are strained. I run around a small block and double back.

I pass the hunting parka man who is now walking down the block. I smile and nod, he just stares impassively. Grumpy.

My pace picks up a bit as my muscles warm. Still strained, but feels lighter too. They need the release after a sleepless night. Sprinting the final stretch I stop my watch and am amazed my pace was clocked at 6'44/mi those last few meters. There is still some energy in the tank. That is good news.

Overall, I run 2.4 miles in 21:01. A 8'44/mi pace. Not terrible considering I am hocking up more luggies into the snow bank as I enter my kitchen to finish my breakfast and make lunch.

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I discover that grilling chicken breasts that have marinated all night is soothing after a short trip outside. Kitty jumps on the counter and eyeballs me, I get some too, right?

Pull out the kitty treat jar and he relaxes. Darn him and his cute little pouty face. But he deserves something, he motivated me to get out of bed after all. He commandeers his prize and runs from the room to terrorize his little kitty sister. I'll sneak her a treat later for putting up with him.

I pour some chocolate milk into a cup. After all, my bed was calling, but I ran instead. Treat for me too.

11.1.11

Mental v. Physical



Some truth in advertising in this title, this is pretty darn funny. And I needed that.

I will take the adage that laughter is the best medicine, because at this point nothing else is helping to get rid of the monster off all head colds.

This does not bode well for the start of my marathon training plan. Or my sleep schedule. But I am more upset about the marathon training.

Half of me is screaming to go out and get the runs in anyway. That is the ambitious half. The sickly half is throwing snot tissues at the ambitious half and snuggling up on the couch and prepping to watch the Biggest Loser.

Rest. Fluid. Foods. That is all I am allowing myself until this thing passes. No reason to make it worse. I'm battling physical health versus mental health right now. You win this round physical, my mental side sneers, but when we hit mile 20 during the marathon, you'll be glad I'm around.

Don't worry, I'll keep you busy mental side. Let's go watch that YouTube video again.

5.1.11

Full Marathon Confirmed


Registration Confirmed.

Dear Blog Diary,

I am either incredibly awesome or incredibly stupid awe-inspiring because I just hit the submit button on my full length marathon.

I have roughly 18 weeks to get my lazy bum that has been "relaxing" after the last half marathon back into shape and able to hit the pavement for 26.4 miles.

Just not today. I have a cold today. But tomorrow, tomorrow I start in earnest.

Probably not a good idea to start training for an ambitious race when I'm sick, because my fever is the only thing that is going to be running today.

Under the influence of several cold meds I will now proclaim my rather ambitious goals for this race:
  1. Finish -- I really want to run the final leg around Lambeau Field!
  2. Aim for a goal of under 4:30 -- Just over ten min miles
  3. Stay injury free
  4. Make the most kicka$$ signs for my mom to hold along the race route
  5. Stick to my training plan
Now, I have to finish my training plan that starts tomorrow. Hmmm...

Cherio!
~Clarkie