Goldy’s 10 mile training – Week 3

Another week of training in the books! This week was much better for sticking to the training plan. It was a good mix of running and cross training.

Monday – 3.5 mile run (10:30/mile pace)

Tuesday – 35 minute elliptical

Wednesday – rest day

I had plans after work and then headed home to watch the Duke vs. UNC basketball game. It was a tight game at the end and went into OT, so of course I had to stay up to make sure my Duke Blue Devils pulled out the win. They did! This pretty much sums up my Twitter feed after the game…

Dukewin

Thursday – 3 mile run (10:30/mile pace)

Friday – rest day

It was a rest day, but still had a running theme. I met some friends for happy hour after work and then we headed over to Mill City Running for their spring fashion show.

MCRfs2

It was a lot of fun! The models showed outfits for different spring running situations (e.g., trail run, rainy day, race day).

MCRfs

Everything the models were wearing was on sale after the show, so of course we did some shopping, too. I picked up a sweatshirt that I’ll probably be living in–so cute and comfy. Seeing all of the spring running fashion gives me hope that spring will be here soon!

Saturday – 35 minute elliptical

I got up and hopped on the elliptical for a bit before some friends came over to watch the MN vs. WI basketball game. Our Gophers lost, but still fun to watch a game with friends.

Sunday – 5 mile run (10:30/mile pace)

I’ve been itching to get outside for a run. It was a bright, sunny day, but when I looked at the temp and saw this…

cold

…I knew today was not the day. It. Was. Cold.

I settled for the treadmill, but the time actually passed by pretty fast. I had HGTV to distract me.

Who watched the Oscars? What are you most looking forward to this spring? 

Goldy’s 10 mile training – Week 2

Last week turned out to be somewhat busy and exhausting. But, a lot of my busy schedule was filled with fun stuff, so I can’t complain too much. Thankfully, this weekend was a long weekend, so I get an extra day to relax and recover.

Monday – 30 minute elliptical
Jumped back into my routine after the weekend away in Atlanta. After a longer run on Sunday, an elliptical workout felt like a good way to unwind after a long work day.

Tuesday – 2 mile run (10:30/mile pace)
Tuesday was another long day, so opted for a slightly shorter run.

Wednesday – Rest
I had a happy hour with coworkers and ran a couple errands, so got to take the day off from training.

Thursday – Rest
I wasn’t planning to take another rest day, but I ended up needing to run some errands after work so got home later than expected and was tired. One of those days where I decided rest was better.

Friday – Rest
Yea, again. I met up with a couple friends Friday evening to finish planning for a friend’s baby shower we were throwing on Sunday. We started decorating and did some food prep including decorating cupcakes. Here’s a sneak peek at the incredibly adorable mini panda cupcakes!

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Saturday – 4 mile run (10:30/mile pace)
I made myself get up early to get in a run. It was freezing on Saturday, so I had to hit the treadmill. I did a nice solid 4 mile run. I didn’t actually need to do that much, but I wanted to make up for missing a workout. My right calf had been a little tight at the beginning of my runs recently, but felt great on Saturday, so maybe the extra rest was actually good.

After my run I met my sister for brunch.

brunch

I got a haircut in the afternoon, ran errands and did some more food prep for the baby shower.

Sunday – rest

I headed out to meet some people for brunch in the morning. We were making plans for ways to get more young professionals involved in CCFA. I’m excited for the opportunity to participate in more volunteer opportunities and meet some new people!

After that, it was off to the baby shower! We had a great time, and I think we came up with some fun activities, food, and decor to help celebrate the day. I thankfully have some crafty and creative friends, so we had a lot of fun putting everything together. Here are just a few highlights.

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How do you handle balancing training and a busy schedule?

Goldy’s 10 Mile Training – Week 1

I signed up for Goldy’s 10 mile for the third year! I like the push it gives me to keep training in the colder Minnesota winter months.

With my sights set on the marathon this fall, I’m planning to take it easy in other races. So, I’m following a basic training plan (no speed work) that will just get me up to the mileage I need to be at. Here’s a recap of this week’s workouts.

Monday – 3 mile run (10:20/ mile pace)

I hit the treadmill after work for my first training run. Nothing big or special, just a solid training run.

Goldys training run 1

Tuesday – rest

I headed to the MN Wild hockey game with a friend. It was a great game that the Wild won 3-0!

Wild

Wednesday – 30 minute elliptical

Thursday – rest

Friday – rest/Atlanta walking

My friend, Hyedi, and I traveled to Atlanta to visit friends and get away from the MN winter for a couple days. No “real” workout on Friday with an early flight, but did get in some walking in the airport and walking around town a little.

I can’t talk about the trip without talking about the food. After we got in, our friends picked us up at the airport and we headed to Flying Biscuit for brunch. I’d been dreaming of the biscuits and gravy there since we booked the trip.

Flying Biscuit

We got to hang out and visit for awhile in the afternoon until it was time to check in to the hotel and get ready for dinner. We headed to The Spence. I’m a big Top Chef fan, and the executive chef there, Richard Blais, was on the show. I ordered the mahi mahi and it was delicious! Great spices and served with tomatillo sauce, blood orange, potatoes and rapini.

The Spence

For dessert, I splurged! Blondie cake with coffee ice cream and frozen caramel. OMG – fantastic!

The Spence2

Saturday – 2 mile run (10:30/mile pace) and 3 mile walk

On Saturday morning, we hit the hotel gym for a quick workout. I got in the 2 mile run I hadn’t done earlier in the week.

ATL run

We had an initial thought that there might not be enough treadmills, but as soon as we walked in we saw that wouldn’t be the case. The hotel gym was big – it’s actually a gym that you can join if you live in the area.

Gym

After getting cleaned up, it was off to brunch. We headed to South City Kitchen, just a short walk from the hotel.

Love palm trees!
Love palm trees!

Had to start the meal off right with fried green tomatoes (w/ pepper coulis and basil). I loved them.

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For the main course, I had to get the chicken and waffle. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered it before at brunch, so I figured ATL was the place to do it and I was right. The fried chicken and waffle were great, and it was served with real maple syrup. A bite with everything gave you a fantastic salty/sweet combo.

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After brunch, we met up with our friends again and went for a walk on the Atlanta BeltLine. It was a gorgeous day (60 and sunny). We walked to the Krog Street Market to explore some of the vendors and get some Jeni’s ice cream!

Krog

Jeni's ice cream

The total mileage for our walk to and from the market was about 3 miles.

Following that, we got ready for dinner and headed to Holeman and Finch. Apparently “The Burger” is a big thing on their menu. It used to only be available at certain times, but recently made it’s way to the main menu. Of course, we had to try it. It was really good! Nothing fancy – no special sauces or odd ingredients – just beef, cheese, pickles, and house made ketchup and mustard.

The Burger HandF

Sunday – 4 mile run (10:26/mile pace)

Before heading to the airport, we took a short walk to get bagel for breakfast, then it was time to say good-bye to Atlanta. All around, a really nice getaway.

I got home and unpacked, headed to the grocery, and headed outside for my long run for the week. It was in the 20’s and a little windy, so I bundled up but got in a great run.

What spring races are you training for? What do you do to escape the cold winter weather?

Buffalo Chicken and Easy Fried Rice

One of my 2015 goals is to keep cooking, so I’m definitely starting off the year right.

On Sunday I pulled out my new Crock Pot to make buffalo chicken. I love ordering buffalo chicken in restaurants, but it hadn’t occurred to me to try and make it myself. Then, I found this buffalo chicken slow cooker recipe that only required three ingredients so I decided to give it a shot!

It was perfect to have the chicken cooking for a few hours on Sunday afternoon while I cleaned, worked out, and got my apartment back together after the holidays.

I was so excited hungry that I failed to take a picture of the chicken before taking it out of the Crock Pot, but this gives you an idea.

buffalo chicken

I put the chicken in a wrap with carrots, green onion and blue cheese. Delicious!

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On Monday night, I used the chicken for lettuce wraps.

lettuce wrap

I plan to get a lot of use out of the Crock Pot this year!

I had extra chicken breasts after making the buffalo chicken, so I baked a couple in the oven which was perfect to have around to go with one of my favorite go-to recipes: Easy Fried Rice. I may have shared a link to this recipe before, but I’ll share it again. It really is easy, and even better it’s from Weight Watchers. It’s a great light option when you’re craving some Chinese food.

Cook up some rice. I like using brown rice. Cook some carrots and green onions in a skillet for a few minutes. I just spray the pan with cooking spray – you don’t even need oil.

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Then put the cooked rice, some peas, and soy sauce in the same skillet. Stir everything together and let it heat through for a minute.

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That’s it! It’s really that easy to have fried rice in about 15 minutes.

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What are your favorite slow cooker recipes? What are your go-to recipes?

New Year, New Goals for 2015

Ok, I know I’m a little late with the 2015 goals post, but honestly I just needed a little extra time to figure out what I wanted my goals to be. In the end, I’m keeping it fairly simple. A couple are sort of extensions to goals I had last year, and a couple are new.

Goal 1 – Keep Cooking

I’m not setting a specific goal for a number of recipes or anything – just the goal to keep cooking. Luckily, I’m already off to a nice start for the year. I busted out my new Crock Pot on Sunday night and made some buffalo chicken! More on that later this week, but here’s a sneak peek.

lettuce wrap

Goal 2 – Be Open, Be Present

Last year I had the goal of getting more comfortable with change. This year, I’m expanding that a little to work on continuing to be open to changes, challenges and choices. To me, this means taking on new experiences, being open to the good and the bad that may come, and enjoying all of those moments as they’re happening. I have a feeling far more good will come from being open than bad, but it’s always that small chance of something bad happening that can often hold me back.

Goal 3 – Work on Strength

I tend to slack on the strength training, but I want to make it a more regular part of my workout routine. At least doing something 1-2 days/week.

Goal 4 – Run the Twin Cities Marathon

Yes, if all goes well, 2015 will be the year of the marathon! When I first started running, so many people asked me if I was going to run a marathon. At the time I always said, “I doubt it.” It wasn’t on my radar at that point. Over the past few years, I’ve continued to take on new running challenges and distances and a marathon crept up my running bucket list. Successfully making it through the TC Loony Challenge this past fall pushed the marathon up to the top of my list.

I’m not gonna lie, it scares me a little. It’s a commitment. It’s a lot of time, training and dedication. But, in the spirit of being open and being present (please refer back to Goal 2), I don’t want that fear to stop me. I’ve felt that fear before taking on other distances and I’ve always been able to conquer them. I’m ready for the challenge, and I’ll be able to share the ups and downs on here. If anyone has training advice for a novice – let me know!

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What are your goals for 2015? How do you stay open to new experiences?

A Look Back at 2014 Goals

I didn’t set out to run 14 races in 2014, but that’s what ended up happening! Along with all that running, I managed to get PRs in my 10K, 10 mile and half marathon. I also beat my 5 mile time at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K, so I like to think of that as a bonus PR since the distances are so close. That surpassed my first 2014 goal of 2 PRs!

Big Ten 10K - PR!
Big Ten 10K – PR!
Goldy's 10 mile - PR!
Goldy’s 10 mile – PR!
Lola's Half Marathon - PR!
Lola’s Half Marathon – PR!
Shamrock Shuffle selfie
Shamrock Shuffle 8K – PR!

Goal #2 was to make 1 new recipe each month. I didn’t make 1 per month, but I did manage to make several, like:

mashed cauliflower

spicy poblano and corn soup

feb soup

spicy roasted asparagus

broccoli slaw “pasta”

broccoli slaw1

low fat lemon crinkle cookies

watermelon cake

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cauliflower soup

cannoli

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I just got a Crock Pot for Christmas, so hoping to do a lot more cooking in 2015!

Goal #3 was to get more comfortable with change. I made some progress at getting outside my comfort zone and trying not to let change throw me. I definitely stepped up to a challenge–literally–by signing up for and completing the TC Loony Challenge this fall.

loony challenge medals

That accomplishment set me up for seriously looking at a big 2015 running goal (more on that soon). Change is inevitable in life, so I by no means expect to ever master this, but I can keep working on it!

How did you do on your 2014 goals?

Holiday Dinner Party – I Made Cannoli!

Life tip: Become friends with people who know how to cook. It makes for some fun dinner parties!

On Saturday night, some friends and I got together for a holiday dinner party. We had an Italian menu with some fabulous dishes.

italian dinner

Menu: Ceasar salad, ciabatta bread, chicken parmesean, stuffed shells, lemon spaghetti w/ shrimp, and bacon wrapped dates. Holy delicious!

I was in charge of dessert, and I really wanted to do something to go with our Italian theme. So, I made cannoli!

cannoli3

cannoli2

Well, I made the cannoli filling. I bought the shells, but that made for a super easy and festive dessert.

I found the recipe on Pinterest. It only needed a handful of ingredients.

ingredients

I started by combining the ricotta cheese and powdered sugar.

ricotta

Then I made whipped cream to fold into the mixture along with the vanilla and chocolate chips.

whipped cream

I let the mixture sit in the fridge til it was time to head out. I assembled the cannoli after dinner so that the shell would stay crispy. They turned out great! A nice sweet treat to cap off our Italian feast.

cannoli1

What are you making for upcoming holiday parties?