Tag Archives: couch to 5k

American Craft Beer Week


If you don’t live in Minnesota and weren’t celebrating MN Craft Beer Week last week, you can celebrate American Craft Beer Week this week!

In honor of American Craft Beer Week, I thought I’d share with you my personal favorite craft brew right now. It comes out of this brewery in Wisconsin:

CW - Overview

Talk about craft brewing, eh?! You’ve seen Central Waters Brewing before on this blog, when I wrote about barleywine.

It’s not always easy to find Central Waters beers in Minnesota, but they do distribute here. So when I saw both of these available at the same time, I decided to pick both…

CW - 4pks

And do a little side-by-side tasting…

CW - BB beer bottles

But then I realized rob had a leftover bottle of this…

CW- Satin Solitude

So we had to do a little tasting of all three.

CW - BBS Color

Left to right: Central Waters Satin Solitude Imperial Stout, Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout, Brewer’s Reserve Barleywine Ale

Let me just say that ALL of these beers are absolutely extraordinary.

There is one that wins out for me, but only by a narrow margin.

CW - BB Stout

Yes, the Central Waters Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Amherst, Wisconsin is my favorite American Craft Beer right now.

I need to take a brewery road trip.

  And now it’s time for….




  • MondaySan Marzano Tomato Pasta
  • Tuesday – Dinner either in or out – TBD – with a friend
  • Wednesday Andouille Sausage with Red Beans & Rice and Creole Roasted Veggies
  • ThursdayChops with Butter Sauce and Pesto Green Beans
  • FridayCheeseburger Wrap at Carbone’s – It’s our Final Poker Tournament and I am so lucky to have snagged a seat at the Final Table!
  • Saturday – 5k Race – Yes, we signed up for a 5k the morning after our Final Poker Tournament. Crazy? Probably. Brunch afterward – I’m guessing here.
  • Sunday – TBD


  • Leftovers – We’ll have a lot this week!
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts and dark chocolate



We completed Couch to 5k – Week 8 last week. I haven’t run a full 5k in a year and a half. I thought about trying one on tonight, but fear I’ll wear myself out for Saturday’s race. Runners, thoughts on this one? I can do a shorter run on Wednesday and rest Thursday and Friday.

  • Monday – Run – 5k
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – Run – 2mi? 20 min? Not sure if I want to do a time or distance run.
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Challenge Obesity 5k Race
  • Sunday – Yoga

What is your favorite craft beer right now?


MN Craft Beer Week {Food & Fitness Link-Up}


Somehow, someway, Minnesota Craft Beer Week takes place just the week before American Craft Beer week.


It may be Cinco de Mayo, but today also kicks off Minnesota Craft Beer Week, aka 10,000 Minutes of MN Craft Beer. We are lucky here in MN to have gained quite a prominent craft beer scene over the last few years. In fact, our state is number two in the nation in terms of growth. I’m quite pleased to be able to try new beers here in Minnesota; but I also can’t quite keep up. 😉

Today, I thought about posting about all of the craft breweries in Minnesota. Then, I realized, that was quite an undertaking. I haven’t even scratched the surface of all of the beers Minnesota has to offer. And defining “craft” beer is a little complex. When I asked my husband what was his favorite, he went into explaining why one brewery I liked was not considered “craft” and why another was. Seriously? Right now, that is arbitrary.

What really matters is if we’re drinking local.

So as not to make this too complicated, I thought that I’d instead share just a few tidbits based on our experiences – thoughts for the visitor or for the locals who may want to narrow down their choices. You can find the entire list of Minnesota breweries here.

Just Traveling through the Twin Cities?

Got a layover at MSP? You can get a taste of our craft brews at the MSP Airport! According to Thrillist, “MSP’s bars and restos showcase over 15 regional and local breweries.”  You’ll find the bulk in Concourse G in Terminal 1 (Lindbergh) as well as a Local Craft Beer Gear shop with apparel and souvenirs of your favorites!


MN Breweries and Tap Rooms We’ve Visited:

  • Townhall Brewery (Minneapolis) – Established in 1997, this newly renovated brewpub is where we used to go before craft beer was cool in the Twin Cities. They brew their own beer, but serve others as well. It’s time for us to check out the renovation!
  • Excelsior Brewing (Excelsior) – Our favorite? The Mr. Jimmy Ruby Brown Ale
  • Lucid Brewing (Minnetonka) – The Lucid Cammo used to be our favorite DIPA (Double IPA), but since that has gone the wayside, we haven’t found much too spectacular.
  • Badger Hill Brewing – (Minnetonka, moving to Shakopee later in 2014) –  We’ve enjoyed their Foundation Stout best, but I’m curious about the new Traitor IPA!
  • Steel Toe Brewing (St. Louis Park) – This is one of Rob’s favorites. Try the Dissent Dark Ale {Trufthfully, it’s closer to a stout, but I believe there are some proprietary naming rights.}
  • Fulton Brewery (Minneapolis) – You can’t go wrong with anything here. The Sweet Child of Vine IPA is a solid choice, but my favorites are the seasonal Libertine and Worthy Adversary. Even Rob can handle a Lonely Blonde once in a while. 😉
  • Dangerous Man (Minneapolis) – You can only get their beer in their taproom! The Chocolate Milk Stout is the most revered; however, the Hazelnut Porter gets my winning vote. And the Triple IPA is DANGEROUS!


MN Brewery Visits on our Wishlist:

  • Surly Brewing (Brooklyn Park) – This is the local brewery that paved the way for all the MN craft brews to follow. We must get ourselves to the Brooklyn Park location before their new destination brewery opens up in Mpls. While I love the Surly Darkness, I don’t know if I have the patience to wait in line for a bomber of it one night a year like the rest of Surly Nation!
  • Hammerheart Brewing (Lino Lakes) – This brewery isn’t even a year old; but the first time I checked out their beer list, it included a bunch of Bourbon barrel beers. I don’t see them listed now, but they still show unique offerings besides your average/run-of-the-mill styles.


In addition to those listed above, here are some of our other local faves:

  • Surly (Brooklyn Park) – Furious IPA – a solid choice, which you’ll find many places on tap in the Twin Cities if you are visiting.
  • Summit (St. Paul) – Rob enjoys the Sága IPA, while I prefer the Oatmeal Stout. The Great Northern Porter is worth a try, too.
  • Lift Bridge (Stillwater) – Hop Dish IPA – I love a good IPA and I adore this name for a Minnesota Brew. {Hot Dish is a delicacy here. 😉 }
  • Flat Earth (St. Paul) – Cygnus X-1 Porter – Not long after they changed their recipe, I fell in love with this one at an Ike Reilly concert at the Turf Club, {You might get a glimpse of Rob and me in the front row in the Hanging Around video around 3:29 here.}
  • Bad Weather (Minnetonka) – Ominous Midwest Warmer – Usually better on tap than in the bottle.
  • Indeed (Minneapolis) – By now, you can tell that I generally drink darker beers and love a unique brew. My absolute fave here is the LSD Honey Ale. For a winter seasonal, it’s Stir Crazy, hands down.

And if you can’t make it to a taproom {i.e. you are in MN on a Sunday}, many local beers are served on tap wherever you go. But for the best selections, try these places.

Happy Minnesota Craft Beer Week!


Now it’s time for this week’s…planning




  • MondayPork Chops with Butter Sauce and Roasted Vegetables and/or these potatoes because I didn’t actually make this last week.
  • Tuesday – Dinner at my friend Kim’s
  • Wednesday – I found some Portabella & Asiago Smoked Beef Sausages at Aldi. Now the question is if I want to serve them along side the same veg and potatoes as I do on Monday or try this easy Grilled Sausage and Pesto Pasta recipe. Or I could just serve the sausages naked along side this more traditional pesto pasta recipe like I had in Cinque Terre, Italy. Decisions, decisions.
  • Thursday – Cooking for 1: Baked Tilapia with Tomatoes and an easy side. Suggestions?
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD


  • Quick & Easy Bowls My favorite combo lately is listed below. I assemble three bowls on Sundays for the week. When I get to work, I just pop it in the microwave at work for a minute or two:
  1. Base – handful of spinach or other greens
  2. Grain/Starch – 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
  3. Protein – 1/3 can garbanzo beans, drained
  4. Veggies – 1/3 can diced tomatoes and sauteed onion and zucchini
  5. Fat – These goat cheese medallions I found at Costco!
  6. SauceRoasted Tomato Dressing



This is the last week of the Couch to 5k! I can’t believe I’m running 20+ minutes straight. I’m slow and it’s so much harder than I remember! But, you’ve got to start somewhere…

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 2
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 3
  • Saturday – Golf
  • Sunday – Yoga

What is your favorite local beer and brewery where you live?




Scaling Back Generous Portion Sizes


It’s supposed to be 60-degree weather this week here in Minnesota. YAY! It’ll make for great outdoor running weather. And with that I want to send my well wishes to all of the Boston Marathoners today. I know it’s going to be an emotional run. Cheers to all of you participating!


Last week, I made this Beer and Beef Risotto. It was only my second time making risotto; but I think it turned out pretty well. It seemed to consist of more beef than risotto. But I think I prefer that.

Beef & Beer Risotto

Beef & Beer Risotto

The only changes I made were that I used an amber beer instead of a wheat, beef broth instead of chicken {you know, that whole fins and feathers thing}, two cups of baby portabellos instead of one and three cups of chopped spinach instead of four. Oh, and I added a sprinkling of shredded parm on top because, I mean, who doesn’t like that? I think the beef broth may have given it some added depth. It made four servings clocking in at about 610 calories each. The portion sizes were generous. It could definitely serve six.

When portion sizes are generous, break ’em up into more portions.

Speaking of generous portion sizes, we tried our second round of Plated this past week because we had two free plates coming. Get your two free plates here. For my full review of Plated, click here.

The Plates
Fontina Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables
770 calories (30-40 minutes)

I was really surprised when my husband agreed to a meatless meal. When he gave the approval, I jumped on it! We had our first polenta in Italy and fell in love with it. This was my first attempt at making it.

Before making this dish, while I was amidst my Couch to 5k run that night, I wondered what would happen if a Plated customer was missing an ingredient. I mean, because warehouses make mistakes all the time, right? We’ve all had missing items from online orders. Missing an ingredient could make or break a dish! And what if you had no backup plan?

After I began chopping and separating the veggies, I noticed that there were no carrots for me to chop. How could this be that I the night I thought about it, I’d be missing an ingredient?!

I finally accepted that our roasted vegetables would be sans carrots; but it was not a make or break ingredient. So I began unwrapping the other items. DOH! The carrots were in the same bag as the asparagus, just hiding on me. So it ended up that we weren’t missing any ingredients. In fact, we were plus one shallot!

My trouble making this dish was that my polenta wasn’t turning smooth and creamy, like the recipe card stated. Instead, it was a sticky, massive clump. I am wondering if I should have measured the polenta. Maybe I shouldn’t have made the assumption that what was in the bag was what I needed. My solution was to add more water throughout.

I should have used a bigger dish for this massive amount of polenta and roasted vegetables. How could this serve just two people?!photo 4

I don’t know if adding more water to the polenta to smooth it out increased the size/amount of polenta that was yielded; but even when I put it on the plate, it looked like so much food! I even left some polenta in the dish and just scraped out all of the roasted veggies.

photo 5

Rob thought the polenta tasted more like grits. The flavor was fine, but neither of us ate all of it. It was just too much. But we did gobble up the veggies. If there is any one thing we’ve learned from Plated, it’s that we do love roasted veggies! This blend of carrots, peapods, cremini mushrooms, grape tomatoes, green onions and asparagus was the perfect mix for me, tossed in a vinaigrette and roasted for 15 minutes on 450. We will be having those again!

This dish could have made three or four servings, with the amount of polenta I made.


Lemongrass Pork with Vermicelli Noodles
800 calories (20 – 30 minutes)

When we received the ingredients for this dish, I couldn’t believe the amount of vermicelli that arrived for just two people. I didn’t understand. Did it shrink when cooked?  I don’t think I’ve ever made this style of rice noodle before.

But I was right, there was waaaaayyy too much vermicelli. Enough for at least four people. I dished up huge portions on our plates and still had this leftover:

photo 2

No worries. I put it into a container and plan to add some peanut sauce and some sort of protein to it this week. But it still left a lot on our plates.

photo 1

Rob was disappointed because in his mind, the sauce wasn’t really a sauce. I knew it was going to be a runnier sauce, of which he is not a fan.

photo 3

But that wasn’t the issue. It was the fact that you could barely taste the sauce because it didn’t cover the mound of vermicelli on the plate. All of that being said, the pork was so tender, juicy and just perfectly seasoned. I must say that Plated really knows how to do a pork marinade. That’s 2 for 2 for us!

So in sum, here’s what we learned this week:

  • We love roasted vegetables.
  • We love marinated pork.
  • Plated offers generous portion sizes and we should break them down into three or four portions if need be.

I wouldn’t count on getting three or four portion sizes every time you order two plates, though. Instead, think of it as a bonus and just be mindful when plating.


And now, for this week!



*Another Plated week for us! Get your first two plates free (minimum order of four plates) by clicking my referral link here! To read my Plated review, click here.


  • Monday – Another Meatless Monday! Ricotta Gnudi with Aspargus Peas and Mint from Plated.
  • Tuesday – Having some girlfriends over for dinner. I’ll be making this Greek Turkey Casserole (thanks to Racheal’s suggestion!). For dessert, I’ll be making Easy Homemade Mango Frozen Yogurt, based off this recipe.
  • Wednesday Basil Beef Bowl with Quinoa Stir-Fry from Plated.
  • Thursday – Our Anniversary! You’ll probably find us here. But it is Dining Out for Life night, so it would be probably more appropriate to dine at a restaurant that supports the cause.
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD




I wanted to share a Yoga Downloads deal I got the other day: Just $18. Yes, you can find lots of free yoga apps online. I just need a real routine and to start from the beginning to go back to where I was pre-back surgery. Plus there is a lotincluded. I think it’s going to be #worthit. Trying it out this week!

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 6, Day 1
  • Tuesday –Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Wednesday –RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 6, Day 2
  • Thursday –REST
  • Friday –REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 6, Day 3
  • Sunday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga

His & Hers Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese


This past weekend, I made an impromptu visit to see my friend Stacy. While there, Stacy was kind enough to help me get my sushi fix!


I was delighted that my visit included not only going to one of the painting classes with which I’ve been obsessed, but also that it was a fundraiser for Stacy’s daughter’s school.

photo 1(2)

There was an excellent turn-out.

photo 2(2)

Stacy made painting one-handed look like a breeze. But the cast on her broken arm did make for great shadow entertainment on her canvas. E.T., anyone?

photo 3

And a couple of hours and glasses of wine later, this:

photo 4(1)

…became this:

photo 5(1)

Wait? Who set Stacy’s hand on fire?!!


So what’s on tap this week? Well, first I think I should share a dish I made last week with all of you. Because sometimes I get ideas for meals or snacks when people post what they’ve eaten. I’m sharin’ the love. I’ve definitely gotten some great ideas from these gals.

Last week, I made this Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese for the first time.  I really wanted to make my husband swooooooon! I knew it was high-cal, so I separated into six servings instead of the suggested 3 – 4. I dished up our meals into his and hers servings:

His was topped with a little extra bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Hers was a slightly smaller portion served over a bed of spinach and topped with chopped tomatoes. The only trouble I had making this dish is that it was really runny. And if there is anything Rob despises, it is a runny sauce! I tried to let it sit, but it was starting to get cold; so I popped it back on the heat and slowly stirred in some corn starch. That seemed to do the trick.

Rob went absolutely nuts over this dish.

He said he’d order it in a restaurant any day and that it’s probably the best mac and cheese he’s ever had! I wouldn’t go that far. It was great, but I’m not a huge bacon-in-my-food lover. Yes, I just said that. I’m an alien to this planet.

I’m trying to incorporate more meals into our routine that Rob will love and just serve smaller portions, rather than trying to make healthy things he gets bored with or just doesn’t want to eat.

We had a couple free plates coming, so we are trying Plated again this week. To read my Plated review, click here. If you want to give it a try yourself, click my referral link, to get two free plates yourself!

Now for this week:




  • Monday – Fontina Polenta with Roasted Spring Vegetables from Plated.  Meatless Monday! We were originally going to go with the amazing Grilled Cheese concoction with the chickpea-tomato salad, but they were sold out by the time I placed the order. Lesson learned!
  • Tuesday – Lemongrass Pork with Vermicelli Noodles from Plated.
  • Wednesday Beer and Beef Risotto. Hey, I made Rob soooo happy with the Blue Cheese and Bacon Mac & Cheese last week, that I thought I’d go with another combo of things my husband loves: Beer, Beef and Risotto. Crossing our fingers it rocks his world just as much!
  • Thursday – Leftovers
  • Friday – Family in Town
  • Saturday – Family in Town
  • Sunday – Family in Town




  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 2
  • Thursday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 3
  • Sunday – REST

 What is your favorite twist on Mac and Cheese?


My 3 Favorite Smoothies (Food & Fitness Link-up)


I don’t know when it was that I started drinking smoothies. Maybe when I started running? When I started reading blogs? I don’t have them every day because sometimes I’d rather have something savory. They are also ideal the day after you’ve had one too many cocktails because they are chock full of nutrients! And they can kind of taste like ice cream. 😉

For me, the key to a great smoothie is the ease of putting it together. Five ingredients or less is ideal.

Here are my top three favorites:

1) Magic Green Smoothie – I got his one from  Kim at Living Laughing and Losing. It’s the one I make the most because it is made of just five ingredients and they are ones I almost always have on hand. I think the consistency is perfect and the cinnamon is what really kicks it up a notch!

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Butter (or favorite nut butter of choice)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or Chinese Five Spice)
  • Optional: 1 tsp honey (or sweetener of choice)
Magic Smoothie Ingredients: 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 Tbsp PB {I was out of almond butter!}, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 frozen banana

Magic Smoothie Ingredients

2) Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie – I found this at a time when I had some cream cheese to use up and found some graham crackers leftover in the back of my pantry. I also happened to have strawberries on hand. But I think blueberries and raspberries would make an excellent cheesecake smoothie, too. 😉

3) PB & J Smoothie – This one was a recent discovery for me. It tastes just like PB & J! Another reason it’s great is that it’s one of the few smoothies that doesn’t require a banana. So it’s perfect when I’m all out of those. I do add about a teaspoon of honey as a sweetener, though.


Smoothie Tips:

~ Use frozen bananas. Then you don’t have to worry about ice. When my bananas get too ripe, I peel and cut up each one up into 10 pieces and lay all of the pieces flat in a zip lock bag and date it before putting it the freezer. This way, I know that a half of a banana is about five pieces. When I’m ready to make my smoothie, I just take out five pieces and plop them into my food processor.

~ When you have spinach that is on the brink of going bad, make a smoothie! One day, when I had nearly a whole bag of spinach about to go bad, I had the genius idea of dumping it into a ziploc bag for freezing. It stopped the spoiling process and the frozen spinach works just as well. This way, I have it on hand at all times, too!

~ Clean out your blender immediately. I use a food processor to make my smoothies. But it is really hard to clean later after it’s been sitting all day. So after I empty my smoothie into a glass, I immediately rinse every piece of my food processor. It takes about two to three minutes but saves me the headache of having to scrub it later.

~ Up the fiber/nutrient content. I love smoothies because they are vitamin-packed. They are generally made with fruit, sometimes a vegetable and often a nut butter protein. You can increase the nutrient level by adding things like chia seeds or flax seeds.

~ Check out this tutorial on How to Make the Perfect Green Smoothie. It offers up ratios of fruit to greens to liquid, etc. so that you can make a smoothie with whatever you prefer or have on hand.

Now it’s time for…




  • Monday – Am I crazy? I have some sauerkraut on hand that my cousin Stacie canned that I’m anxious to use. When I came across this recipe for Pierogies made from scratch, I had the urge to attempt to make them… and pair them with steak. I’ll ask again – Am I crazy? My husband loves the Steak and Pierogies at The Lowry. There is no way my first attempt will ever live up!
  • Tuesday & Wednesday – Rob requested Croque Madames this week. Only, I’ll use some English muffins. Do you have a favorite style or recipe of croque monsiers/madames? At first I thought I’d serve them with some simple mixed greens tossed with a lovely vinaigrette just like in France. But then I found this recipe for Roasted Tomato Dressing. There’s a pint of grape tomatoes in my fridge begging to be used for this purpose.
  • Thursday – Leftovers
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD




  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 2, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 2, Day 2
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 2, Day 3
  • Sunday – Recumbent Bike/Yoga

What is your favorite smoothie?


Running Again!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Did you see my {Shamrock} Saturday post revealing his breeds from the DNA kit we used? If not, check it out. He’s a-dog-able.


I have great news. My broken toe is pretty much healed! I walked on the treadmill this weekend a bit and decided I’m going to give the Couch to 5k another go. I’ll start slowly. I’m not going to worry about speed at all… I’ll go slow if I have to and back off if I have toe or back trouble. But I’m just going to do it!

I ran my first 5k about two years ago. Then last year, while recovering from back surgery, I participated in the same 5k. Only, I had to walk it. It was then that I decided that I’m going to be a part of the Challenge Obesity 5k every year as a re-commitment to health each spring.

The great news is…

The Challenge Obesity 5k normally takes place in April. However, it’s been scheduled about a month later this year – on May 17th. This gives me just enough time to complete the Couch to 5k program. And if for some reason I need to slow down and scale back… Well, then I can always walk it!

I want to incorporate some yoga to continue to build my core and some strength training, too. And I’m looking for recommendations. I did find this 5k training program, which includes links to stretches and yoga workouts, those of which I’m going to try to add to the Couch to 5k program. What do you think?

Do you have specific yoga moves you’d suggest? Also, does anyone have an easy, beginner strength training program that you’d recommend? How ’bout links to your favorite stretches or yoga poses post-workout?

Now it’s time for…




  • MondayOne Pot Ravioli Lasagna from Tiffany at Cute Dogs and Hugs. She had me at San Marzanos. This makes eight servings, so we’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunches and such this week!
  • Tuesday English Muffin Pizzas <– We finally had these this weekend! The recipe makes eight English muffin halves. I made the sauce for all eight, but only put four in the oven. We’ll have the other four (two halves for each of us) this week. They are so good!
  • WednesdayGarlic & Herb Pork Chops with Parmesan Asparagus
  • Thursday – Dinner at a friend’s place.
  • Friday – We are going to see the Sing-Off Live. I’m proposing dinner out beforehand at the Loon Cafe. I haven’t been there in years and even then it was only for drinks. They’ve won awards for Best Burger and Best Chili. We’ll be the judge of that. 😉
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – It’s my turn to choose for our girls’ dinner night out. Only… I chose breakfast at Victor’s 1959 Cafe. I’ve been there for dinner with my mom, but the breakfast menu looks even better! Can’t wait for more Cuban coffee! Oh wait. That’s breakfast. Dinner with Rob TBD.




  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Day 1
  • Tuesday – Cross train/Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Day 2
  • Thursday – Cross train/Yoga
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Day 3
  • Sunday – REST

This week, I’m looking for some of your strength training and yoga links for runners!

Please share!


Walk FUR Love & Food & Fitness Link-Up


Last week, I attempted to run three miles. 

During my first attempt, I stopped and walked. I couldn’t handle (or thought I couldn’t handle) the hills in my neighborhood. I was angry with myself because I’ve done it before. I almost walked home. I turned the corner and started running again, anyway, just to see what would happen. Another runner was running toward me, a young guy. I always nod or lift a hand to wave to whomever I pass when I’m running. Before I had the opportunity to do so, he extended both of his pointer fingers toward me as if to say, “You go, girl!”

That’s all it took. It immediately lifted my spirits. A young, fit kid was giving me props. It was enough for me to finish the route. I was slow. But I did it all, despite the walks and made it home.

The second run was difficult, too. But I made it three miles without stopping. Despite the fact that it took me 39 minutes. I still didn’t feel ready for the 5k, especially because I’ve have intermittent back pain. Not while running, but in the evening later on or during the day at work.

I told my friend Stacy that I almost considered not doing this 5k… that I though about skipping it entirely. But while I was running, I thought about all of the people who donated to the cause. I thought about all of the dogs who needed adopting. I knew in my heart that I needed to go and support this cause.

Now here’s the part where I hope you aren’t disappointed in me…

I walked the 5k.

I could tell you about all of my excuses. How I woke up with a charlie horse in my left calf. How I didn’t walk the dogs this week, so I wasn’t sure they would be ready and didn’t want to leave Rob behind handling both of them. How after sitting in the grass for an hour my back hurt and I was stiff. I could tell you all those things (okay, so I did) and more.

But I walked it anyway. And you know what?

I had a hard time walking it.

I didn’t do so well. Neither did the pooches. After about a half mile, I could tell they wanted to be done. Pathetic. I felt like a bad doggie momma not walking them enough. Then I tried to think of the positive things instead.

  • Now I had the chance to walk again with Rob. It’s been one of our favorite things to do together when I was doing the LOST Virtual Race Series.
  • At least I was walking this thing. I know we would have been catching up on episodes of Downton Abbey on the couch if we hadn’t!
  • And I also knew that walking is the best thing for my back.

I do have to say that I was really surprised by how small this event was. I knew it was going to be small, but not this small. I think Rob counted six runners. {It wasn’t timed.} But you know what? It was more about the dogs. My favorite was the kissing booth! You could get puppy kisses for just $1.

I did expect more staff, too. I thought they would recognize alumni or do an adoption announcement with the pets needing to be adopted. None of that happened. But what do I know? I’ve never organized one of these things. I truly wasn’t looking for recognition for adopting Shamrock. It was more that I think when you show those things, people’s hearts fill with joy and they may be inspired to do the same. I will say that when we parked ourselves in the grass about an hour before the walk, we loved passing the time watching all of the other dogs and their owners, occasionally letting our dogs interact with some of them.

I also felt that they gave away too much. There were a lot of items in our goodie bags, although I’m sure they were most likely donated. They offered free t-shirts and hats with suggested donations of $10 and $5 respectively. That’s it! And they served lunch – barbecued sandwiches, potato chips, cookies and pop. Yes, I’m sure – donated. But there were donation boxes set up everywhere. Honestly, I just wanted to give, give, give to make this not only a better event, but so they could raise so much more money! It’s such a good cause and we would never have that wonderful new addition to our family without it.

So, in terms of running, in terms of fitness, what now? I’m not really sure. I’m thinking I should back off on running. I don’t think I should be experiencing back pain again. After the walk, I iced and napped. And I’ve gained 12 lbs since the surgery. But I have to start somewhere.

Since I haven’t tried hard enough to incorporate all of the things I need to, I’m going to start simple. And since walking is the best thing for my back, my goal is to walk a minimum of one mile every day no matter what. I can surely do that. My plan is to do that through the end of this year.

What I want to do is finish the LOST Virtual Races. Joe has added four more races to reflect the last Stations of the LOST Dharma Initiative. I wanted to run them. I need some sort of goal.

Or maybe I’ll start with the 7 miles of walking the first week and increase 10% every week.

And I need to strengthen my core.

There’s a lot I need to do, but I’m going to start with the walking, until I can wrap my head around everything. Until I can get past the fact that I’m not where I was pre-surgery and I can formulate a real plan.

Now it’s time for:


Last week…


  • MondayPork Chops with Veg – It was a 100 degrees. Rob didn’t want me heating up the house. He called an audible and we went to Roasted Pear for half-price wine night and pizza.
  • TuesdayHot dogs (Nathans) & Veggie – I reheated some leftover green beans and added some pesto.
  • WednesdayChicken Taco Skillet (with beef) – I went with the Bertolli’s bag meal this night. These are only in our freezer for last-minute, I-feel-too-busy-and-emotionally-drained-but-it’s-better-than-eating-out nights.
  • ThursdayChili or Bag Meal – Our plans changed. Rob had a Happy Hour planned with the boys. It just so happened that I had last minute plans with the girls, too. My friend Jen picked up a Papa Murphy’s Herb Chicken Mediterranean deLITE pizza. So good.  We had grapes for dessert. This night also doubled as a puppy play-date for Sophie, Shamrock and Sohpie’s old pal Finnegan.
  • FridayHealthy Take-out – Another audible. I stopped at the grocery store and was about to call Rob to find out what he wanted when he called me to find out where I was. He had already made plans to meet a couple of friends at Sul Lago. I wasn’t about to complain. I will say that it’s the first time I ordered the scallops there and they were crazy good. The crisp salad on the side was so refreshing, too. I will definitely get those again!
  • SaturdayWalk FUR Love 5k. Dinner out – most likely here. You’ll see a post this week on where we went instead!
  • Sunday – Packer Game Day at the Buffalo Tap. Another post on that this week.
  • BreakfastsMagic Smoothies, Overnight Oats, Granola with Milk, Peanut Butter Toast
  • Lunches – Leftovers (Lasagna Soup!) and Snack Lunches


  • Monday Walk on treadmill and/or pilates/yoga. Nothing. It was 100 degrees. No excuse.
  • Tuesday – Run 30 minutes – I didn’t do very well with this one. See above. I think I stopped running at about 28 minutes before I started walking. But I kept going.
  • WednesdayPilates/Yoga, walk one dog around the block
  • ThursdayRun 30 minutes – Run 3 miles. Completed! YAY!
  • Friday Walk one dog around the block (Rest Day)
  • Saturday – 5k Race (walked)
  • Sunday – Nothing

So let’s look at what’s in store for this week:


  • MondayThree Cheese Lasagna Skillet
  • Tuesday – Black Bean Burger (cooking for one after getting my hair done) with Caprese Salad
  • Wednesday – Pork Chops with Pesto Green Beans
  • Thursday – A variation of these Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
  • Friday – Poker night! It’s the first of the season and we are expecting 22 people. Rob plans on going to Happy Hour. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don’t. It’s always a last minute decision (based on what I have left to clean!) There’s always something healthy at the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, but if I don’t go, there’s plenty that I can eat at home, too.
  • Saturday – Dinner out with the girls. It’s my turn to pick and I’ve chosen Barrio. I’ve never been there. What would you choose?
  • Sunday – Another Packer Game we can’t watch at home. There are only four this year, but the first two happen to be back to back. Will we go back to the Buffalo Tap? We have a few other options. Not because we don’t love the Tap, but because it can get spendy!
  • Breakfasts90-Second Breakfast Sandwiches, granola with greek yogurt, Magic Smoothies, and/or Peanut Butter Toast
  • Lunches – Leftovers and Snack Lunches


See my notes above. This week’s goal is to walk one mile every day. That’s it.

How do you adapt when you can seem to do what you used to do?