Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, the Thursday edition...

I just realized it's already Thursday and I'm falling behind here again. This has been hell week at work, so I haven't gotten to sneak in any blog time this week :(  I also just heard we're supposed to get our first snowstorm on Saturday! Time to get out the winter clothes...  Brrrrr!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week in Review, Hair color, and Cookies!

Hiya peeps :)  Not much to report this week.  I didn't get my 2 mid-week runs in because I've been having some minor chest pains. I'm sure it's nothing serious, and at least it's helped me to really cut down on smoking.  Today I was feeling quite a bit better so I did get my 9-mile long run in.

I've been blonde for 2 weeks now. I got quite a few compliments the first couple days, but now it's turning orange (my hair is naturally red), so I've had enough.  As soon as I finish up this post I'll be heading to the salon (aka the bathroom ;)) to see what kind of chaotic color I can come up with next, heheh :)

I managed to whip up a couple really good (easy) recipes over the past couple days.  The first isn't so much an actual recipe- it's just a new way to saute mushrooms.  I heated up 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil then dumped in about a pound of fresh, sliced mushrooms and shook garlic powder all over them. Once they started to brown I poured in about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, mixed it so the mushrooms were all coated, then covered and let it cook on med-low for about 15-20 minutes.  That's it.  I poured the mushrooms over some whole wheat pasta and it was yummy!

But even better are these cookies!! Well not even cookies, but cookie dough balls :)

Cocoa-nutty cookie dough balls:

- 1/3c oat flour
- 1/3c ground pistachios
- 1/3c ground cocoa-roasted almonds
- 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4c chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life mini chips - vegan)

Mix everything together, form into (10) balls, and pop in the fridge. I ate 2 of them before they even made it into the fridge. On my way out the door for my run I grabbed 2 out of the fridge. Wow, are they good! If you make 10 balls, they are 100 calories each.

I better go do my hair before it gets too late.

Have any of you NEVER colored your hair before?  I go through periods where I can't stand my hair and change it frequently, but for the most part I only color it about twice a year.  I do have quite a lot of wigs though ;)

Oh and by the way, have any of you tried the new Salted Caramel Mocha Latte at Starbucks? I had one the other day (soy, no whip) and Oh my! I don't even want to know how many calories were in that thing, but it was DELICIOUS!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Virtual 10k today, and Week in Review

This has been such a LONG week! I'm having to put in some extra hours at work because my boss is on vacation, and we're so short-handed as it is. Ugh. And where did Saturday go?! I can't believe Sunday is almost over and it all starts again tomorrow! 

Today as I was heading out to the garage (to my treadmill) for my 7.5 mile long run, I remembered I had a virtual 10k to run.  I was going to do 2/:30 intervals but ended up doing 2:30/:30. I did the running between 6.5 and 7mph, and walked at 4mph. This averaged out at about 9:30 minutes/mile.  I finished the 10k at just under 58 minutes which, while not a PR, was pretty good considering all the walk breaks!  My main problem with the walk breaks is that I get tired out way to soon, and then it gets harder to go back to running.  And speaking of which, after the 10k I ended up walking the rest of the 7.5 miles.

I was pretty bad at tracking again this week, but my weight stayed between 112 - 113, other than this morning which was 111.  I did well today (a peanut butter & chocolate chip wrap for breakfast, and my Boca pasta concoction for an early supper) until I overindulged on my latest batch of Happy Herbivore's Chocolate Chip Cookies ;)  Now I just want to lay down and sleep! And as a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to do! Nighty night :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Magic Mile, and my first award!

So last night after work I went home and jumped on the treadmill to start week 2 of marathon training. Just a 30-minute easy run, but since I've been having a hard time with intervals, I thought I'd do the magic mile test to see which intervals I should be using. To calculate your "magic mile" you run a warm-up mile and then go "all out" for a mile, but without feeling like you're going to die at the end. The last time I did a magic mile was about a year ago, and it was outside. What a difference from trying to do it on the treadmill! I wasn't sure how fast to set the treadmill so I started at 7 and steadily increased it to 8 throughout the mile. I ended up with just under an 8-minute mile (7:50), but I know I could have done better :(  Last year I ran it in just over 6.  Regardless, since I'm using the treadmill a lot more now, I'm going to use the 7:50 to calculate my training pace. According to the Jeff Galloway website, I should be doing 4/1 intervals, which I will try on Friday's run.

I am proud to be the recipient of the Liebster Award!  The word Liebster means 'Beloved' in German--and a show of love and support is what this award is all about.  The idea is to bring attention to new blogs with fewer than 200 followers. 

The rules of winning this award are the following:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment at their blog.
3. Post the Award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people on the Internet!

A huge THANK YOU to The Vegan Tummy for awarding me this honor! Please visit her amazing blog; you'll be glad you did.

Here are my 5 picks:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week in Review

Hiya Peeps :)

Not much to report from this week. I did my first couple short easy runs and today is a 6-mile long, slow run. I started messing around with intervals on Friday's run: I tried 3/1 (3 minutes running, 1 minute walking) and didn't care for it much at all. 1 minute walk breaks is way too much and made me feel like I never even got warmed up before it was time to stop.  For today's run I'm going to try 2:30/:30, but at a slower pace than what my "normal" speed would be.  Tomorrow is not a run day, but I may attempt a "magic mile" just so I know what pacing I should be using for my training.  For those who don't know, the magic mile test is where you run one mile as fast as you can, but without feeling like you are going to die at the end ;)  You would then make calculations from that time to determine race pace, long slow run pace, etc...  I haven't done a magic mile test in about a year, so I'm curious to see if I've improved at all.

On the food front, I've been terrible at tracking this week (again) and am thankful to have stayed between 113 - 114 all week.  I went grocery shopping yesterday and found (what turned out to be) really good Pad Thai meal starters. The box just has rice noodles and sauce, to which I added sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, green onions, and bean sprouts. I portioned it into 4 containers and then proceeded to eat 2 of them, Lol!

I also made another batch of my Jalapeno Hummus and my Super Salsa (see Recipe tab above). Today I'll be making a TVP crockpot taco concoction to batch up for the week, and I also cut up and bagged a bunch of romaine lettuce for quick easy salads.

Oh, last night I broke down and chopped my hair off. Then I dyed it blonde. It didn't come out quite the color it was supposed to (my hair is naturally red so anything I put in it just turns a different shade of red), and I can't decide if I like it or not.  It kinda glows ;)

So do I leave it or do highlights (or lowlights)? Hmm, decisions... decisions...  Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Marathon Training!

Today is Day 1 of Marathon training and if all goes well I should be doing my first 26.2 mile-run on Feb 19th!  After going back and forth between two different training programs, I actually ended up settling on a third (one of Jeff Galloway's plans).  I'll be doing shorter runs on Wednesdays and Fridays, and my long runs on Sundays.  I did very little "tweaking" of the program; I only added an extra week at the beginning so that my Farm Sanctuary run (on World Run Day 11/6/11) falls on an 11-mile long run day.  So I guess I'll be doing 11 miles instead of 10 :)

Here's what the Sundays look like:

Week 1:  6 miles
Week 2:  7.5 miles
Week 3:  9 miles
Week 4:  5 miles
Week 5:  11 miles (Run for Farm Sanctuary / World Run Day)
Week 6:  5 miles
Week 7:  13 miles
Week 8:  5 miles
Week 9:  15 miles
Week 10:  4 x 1
Week 11:  17 miles
Week 12:  6 x 1
Week 13:  6 miles
Week 14: 20 miles
Week 15: 8 x 1
Week 16: 7 miles
Week 17: 23 miles
Week 18: 10 x 1
Week 19: 6 miles
Week 20:  26 miles (Eek!)
Week 21:  6 miles
Week 22:  12 x 1
Week 23:  6 miles
Week 24:  29 miles (Really?!)
Week 25:  6 miles
Week 26:  14 x 1
Week 27:  7 miles
Week 28:  Marathon!

If I follow the plan exactly, Marathon Day will be April 15, 2012. That may be cutting it kinda close to my next half-marathon which is April 29th, so there will probably be some changes.  Especially since I won't be running an actual marathon until September.  Do I really need a 29-mile training run?!  What I'll most likely do is either 1) Get rid of Weeks 24 and 25, in which case I would have a full month before the half, or 2) Stop at  Week 20, which will be 26 miles. And at this point, all I really want to know is that I CAN do it!

Any opinions?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan -vs- Insects, and Marathon Training

Happy Monday. I'm in between my 2 Weight Watcher meetings and while I'm waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, I wanted to share something that's on my mind.

Before I get started, I'd like to give a shout-out to This Vegan Life.  I've been non-stop reading her posts for the past couple days now, and they are really well-written and thought-provoking!  She addresses what most people question when it comes to being Vegan.

This brings me to my own beliefs.  After partaking in a survey over at CarpeVegan (another blog I love to read), I'm led to believe that I'm not the only one who may think like this...  I'm referring to insects/bees.  While I get that the bee is "exploited" for it's honey (which I don't even eat; I'm just using this as a point), how many of us really care about exploiting bees (or bugs, or other creepy crawly insects). Who really wouldn't kill a bee if it was about to sting them?  Or swat a mosquito?  Ok yes, bugs and bees are living, breathing creatures, but I don't put them in the same category as dogs or cats, or cows, pigs, chickens, etc...  Do you see where I'm going with this?

I have a really difficult time putting my thoughts into words, which is probably why this blog sucks ;)  but I'm really in a dilemma over this.  My reasons for going vegan are because of animals. Because of ethics. It wasn't about the environment and I was already healthy. My complete change of diet and lifestyle was ONLY because of the animals.  The farm animals.  Not bugs, bees, insects. Farm animals. Animals that are inhumanely treated to become "food." That is all.  So does this make me not vegan? Veganish? Extreme vegetarian? I know people hate the word veganish, but really- I don't eat any type of meat, dairy, or eggs. I'm an advocate for farm animals. I "preach" about the atrocities of factory farming and inhumane treatment of farm animals.  I do what I can to live cruelty-free.

But I will not even hesitate to smash the crap out of a mosquito if it lands on me.

So what does that make me?  How ethical can I be if I don't think of bugs the same way as I do "real" animals.  That's honestly the comparison I make. Insects are insects, not animals.  Sigh.  I should stop before I give myself a headache.

I wish more than 3 people read my blog ;) because I'd love some opinions on this, whether I get flamed or not.  So if any of you 3 want to share this among your readers...

And on a lighter note, I've got my marathon training plan all set up.  I have it tweaked to include the 10-mile run on 11/6/11 and should have me able to run 26.2 miles on or about January 29th! That also lets me be able to take a week's rest and then go right back to HM training for the St. Luke's Half Marathon in April. I'll post a pic of the training log as soon as I get all the dates put on it. Right now they are just hand-written in.

Alrighty then, the coffee must be ready by now...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And on a lighter note, World Run Day is November 6th :)

My "Walk (Run) for Farm Animals" support page is doing better than I thought (thank you!!!), and with the big day (11/6/11, which also happens to be World Run Day) being just about a month away, I figured I'd go and "officially" register.

Of course, you don't have to register to run on World Run Day, but I want the bib and t-shirt! 

While I was there registering, I again checked for upcoming marathons.  I had it narrowed down between the Flying Pig in Ohio, or the NJ Marathon in Long Branch, NJ.  Instead, I registered for the St. Luke's Half Marathon in April 2012, and have decided on the Lehigh Valley VIA for my first full marathon. The official date for 2012 hasn't been announced yet, but it should be right around 9/11/12.  I figured I'll be stressed out enough without having to deal with traveling and all the added expenses.  The VIA is about 5 miles from my house!

After checking out several training plans, I think I'm going to use Hal Higdon's Novice 2 plan.  I was leaning towards Jeff Galloway's program, but I need to run more than just two 30-minute runs during the week (besides the long weekend run of course).  Then again, I have plenty of time to find/tweak training programs since it's like a year away! Lol!

Oh, and it looks like my sore throat is winning out over running this weekend, but with everyone sick at work, I don't want to take any chances and make it any worse than it already is!  One more day of rest should do the trick :)

World Farm Animals Day

I just discovered that today is World Farm Animals Day.  Finding out about the horrendous treatment of farm animals is what caused me to make the sudden switch to a vegan diet/lifestyle just this past May.  I'm thinking that maybe if more people become aware of how that "food" ends up on your plate, it will stop being looked at as "food" and be seen as what they really are- living, breathing creatures who no more deserve to suffer than you or I.  

This video is short but is EXTREMELY disturbing! However, I will not apologize for sharing it here. I can understand if you don't want to watch it, but sometimes you have to see it to believe it.

If you'd like to help, or learn more, please visit Mercy for Animals. Thank you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Wrap-Up and a Yummy (no-bake) Vegan Cookie Recipe!

First off, I'm not sure about the new blog design and will probably change it again soon. Like today. What sucks is that I used to (like 15 years ago) do web design and coding, and I could throw together a pretty cool site in no time flat. Not anymore. Now I can't even edit the code without all kinds of screw ups :(

So for September, I ran 74 miles which, while not anywhere near the 101 miles I ran in August, included TWO 13.1 mile runs! Once in a training run and then again at the Philadelphia Rock-n-Roll Half-Marathon! While I'm not ecstatic about my finish time, I am super excited to be a half-marathoner! And I can't wait to start training for a full 26.2 miles!  Since I'm not as focused on time as endurance, I'm leaning towards using a Galloway training program which is comprised of run/walk intervals. I'm hoping to get that all sorted out today too.

As for my weight, it fluctuated between 114 - 110 for the month of September. I consider that a huge win since I was really bad about tracking for most of the month. I also ate way too many cookies. Both of the cookie recipes I've been making are ridiculously simple and no-bake! One I followed exactly from the Forks over Knives book, and the other I don't remember where the original recipe came from but I changed it so much that it really became my own ;)

Nutty no-bake Cookies (my recipe):

  • 1/2 cup Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds, ground
  • 1/4 cup shelled Pistachios, ground
  • 1/3 cup Oatmeal Flour (or just grind up 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract          
  1. Combine almonds, pistachios, oatmeal (and salt if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Note: You can either measure/grind the nuts/oats separately, or measure/dump all of it together into grinder.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine agave, coconut oil, and vanilla.
  3. Add wet to dry. Mix until dough forms. You might want to use your hands :) *My dough was pretty dry so I added the 2nd tsp of vanilla extract here* Tip: Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. This is about the size you want to make your cookie balls. Unless you have really big hands or long fingers. Then make them a little smaller ;) My dough made 8 cookies. 
  4. Roll into balls then shape balls into cookies (or just leave them as balls ;)) 
  5.  Put the cookies on parchment paper and put in a gallon-sized freezer bag. 
  6. Put in freezer until firm (about an hour).
  7. Try not to eat them all in one sitting ;)
Nutrition info: 
(Per cookie based on 8 cookies total)
  • Fat 8.6
  • Carbs 7.3
  • Calories 110.2
  • Protein 2.7
WW PointsPlus: 3