Tag Archives: running

Confession…

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Excuse me readers, for I have not penned.

It’s been almost a month since my last Impression…

Restaurant Impression that is…

There are several restaurants we’ve tried over the past few months; but I haven’t written a single word. I’d like to say that’s because I’m busy enjoying summer. But, truthfully, I think I’ve had a case of the summertime blues. And because I was feeling that way, I was angry because I wasn’t appreciating summer like I told myself to this past winter. Being angry about being sad was a vicious cycle!

But I think I’ve discovered the root roots from which these feelings have stemmed. And I have plans in place to turn them around… Because I have nothing really serious to be sad about when I’ve got beautiful summer weather, day lilies smiling back and me…

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… not to mention a trip to Australia to look forward to this fall!

The #100HappyDays Challenge has helped me with this, too.

Part of the downer, is my running progress. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to have so much trouble getting back to the point where I was pre-back surgery a year and a half ago. I was slow then. I’m even slower now. Urgh.

Rob and I did the Bacon Chase 5k this weekend.

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It was a cool theme, but far too many people for Rob (2200). And while it was a fun, casual event and the course was pretty easy and flat, I couldn’t run the entire thing. I know most of it was in my head. Because the crowd was so huge, Rob stayed back to run it with me. He could have injured himself running so much more slowly than his ability. And while I appreciated his gesture, I just felt guilty holding him back. And there were times I felt he was crowding me. It wasn’t his fault. It was all inside my own head.

This was an untimed race and we left our iPhones behind. I learned that part of the reward of finishing a race is learning your time.

Then there’s the re-occuring back pain. I’m in the process of taking my doctor’s 3x3x3 approach.

Get over it, Carrie. Better days are ahead!

And now it’s time for…

planning

Food

Dinners:

  • MondayGrilled Pork Chops with Mushrooms and side salad
  • Tuesday – Cooking for the girls. I think I’m going to make this Ground Turkey Zucchini Skillet, based on what I have on hand. But it sounds a little boring. Any other ideas out there?
  • Wednesday Angel Hair Pasta with San Marzano Meat Sauce
  • Thursday – leftovers
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – Dinner out with the Girls
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

Breakfasts:

Fitness

Rob and I are starting a Run Streak! Starting Wednesday, we are going to run 1-mile per day, no matter what,every day up until we leave for Australia this fall. It’s how we decided to make ourselves accountable to continue to run when we don’t have a race scheduled! We may increase the amount on some days or add other cardio or strength training, but we have to do at least one mile and keep improving on our individual times. There’s no way we can’t fit a mile in!

  • Monday – REST
  • Tuesday REST
  • Wednesday – 1-mile run
  • Thursday – 1-mile run
  • Friday – 1-mile run
  • Saturday – 1-mile run
  • Sunday – 1-mile run

Cheers to moving forward!
Carrie

 

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Chicken Thighs – What’s Your Best Recipe?

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It’s always difficult coming back from a week long summer getaway. Especially when you are busy at work catching up, you didn’t exactly follow do any of the the running program you had planned, and your dining options and choices weren’t very healthy.

On second thought, maybe it doesmake it easier. I feel gross. I want fresh vegetables. I am sick of sugar. I want to get moving again. I don’t want to feel so sluggish.

When we got back to Minnesota, I knew that I had to formulate a plan for the week quickly. I had to pick some easy dishes that I could put together quickly to make that first hectic week back go smoothly. It’s time to take a look at that Recipe Arsenal!  Rob and I have also decided to try our own thing this week and only eat together once this week. This gives me the opportunity to make myself some fish and chicken. I’m so out of practice and may need your help…

planning

Food

Dinners:

  • MondayGrilled Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and side salad
  • Tuesday – Shrimp with Zucchini & Tomatoes
  • Wednesday Angel Hair Pasta with San Marzano Meat Sauce
  • Thursday – Chicken Thighs with Grilled Asparagus – What’s your favorite easy recipe using chicken thighs? I have about 2 lbs. I could make 1 lb, or cook them all up for leftovers for salads, etc.
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – St. Paul Farmer’s Market & Unplug Day!
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

  • Poorman’s Caprese
  • Leftovers
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts or string cheese and dark chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness

  • Monday – 2-mile run
  • Tuesday walk/yoga
  • Wednesday – 2.5-mile run
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – 1.5-mile race-pace run
  • Saturday – Unplug Day and Long Walk!
  • Sunday – 3-mile run

What is your favorite way to make chicken thighs?

Looking for an easy, no fail tasty recipe!

I am hoping to round up a bunch of favorites into one simple post.

Cheers~
Carrie

 

It’s Been A Week + Recipe Arsenal

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It’s been a week since I posted. Where has the time gone?

But I did put together a new Recipe Arsenal on the site. Sure, many of these recipes are pinned, but I wanted to share them with you and introduce you to some of the places where I find recipes. These particular links are my tried and true go-to recipes.

And I really do need a list like that this week!

planning

I don’t have anything planned for cooking this week because we are prepping for vacation. {No, it’s not time for Australia, yet! But I have been busy planning that, too!} This list will make it easy to pick things out of my pantry when I need to throw something together this week.

And as for fitness, we are still running.

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What’s in your recipe arsenal?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

The Nearly Perfect Weekend

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This has been a nearly perfect weekend!

On Friday night, I finally won the Champion Title at our monthly Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament!

We’ve been hosting for eight years, nine times a year. So this means that out of 72 games, I finally won one. It does feel strange winning, almost wrong, when you are the host. But now that I’ve won, I’ve redeemed myself as a player in my own eyes. And I don’t feel like I need to win again. 😉

orbsop trophy 1

Then, Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Minnesota.

My husband and I participated in the Challenge Obesity 5k. It was the first time I was to run a 5k since my back surgery just over a year ago. I walked a couple of them last year. However, the last 5k race I ran was in November of 2012.

But this was Rob’s first 5k! We had a lot better weather at Lake Como this year than I did with the girls last year. It was The Perfect Weather for a run.

Lake Como

Yet, this was the most difficult 5k I’ve ever done.

I started off strong, feeling great; but I think I did that first mile a little too fast. By mile 2, I had petered out. I wanted to stop so many times. And I finished horribly – almost four minutes more than my slowest 5k race: 42:40. That was a little disappointing. {And what made the day nearly perfect, instead of just perfect.} As I crossed the finish line, I was completely out of breath and dizzy for several minutes after the run. I had to keep walking around because I felt like I would fall over. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

On the other hand, Rob had the best first race experience!

This was his first time running more than 21 minutes at a time. He felt great the throughout the whole race! He even picked up the pace at each mile. Rob said that about two thirds of way through the run, a guy who had about twenty pounds on him and was six inches shorter passed him. This made Rob mad! Since the race was two laps around Lake Como, he thought he was being lapped by this guy. He wasn’t going to let that happen! So he picked up the pace and kept the guy just in the distance to pace himself. About a half-mile later, the guy veered off onto another path. He wasn’t even in the race! He was just a guy running around the lake in the neighborhood.

Rob laughed and loved the fact that he had that guy as a motivator. And he finished his very first 5k in 35:18.

He now has the running, bug, too.

Carrie & Rob 5k 5.17.14

Our next race is the The Bacon Chase on July 19th. You may know hat I’m not a huge bacon fan. I’m okay with bacon by itself. I’m just not into bacon-flavored foods or bacon added to dishes or sandwiches. But when I saw this race, I knew it was right up Rob’s alley. It’s going to be fun! And it’ll keep us running until then. I always need an upcoming race to keep me going.

I took Rob out for brunch to celebrate his first 5k at Ward 6 in St. Paul. We also found that they have a great cocktail list and all Minnesota beers on tap. Restaurant Impression to come!

ward 6

When we got home, we were determined to enjoy the day and perfect weather to its full extent. We played a little cribbage on the deck while the dogs frolicked in the yard. We followed that by an afternoon nap with the windows open, creating the perfect cross breeze.

I ended this near perfect day by enjoying some Punch Pizza with some friends while watching the Veronica Mars movie.

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Punch: The only certified Neapolitan pizza in Minnesota

Sunday was equally beautiful.

I slept in. That felt great. Then Rob discovered that they sell Izzy’s Ice Cream at Kowalski’s in Eagan. For the record, Izzy’s is the best local ice cream in the Twin Cities!

There is absolutely no reason to be inside on a beautiful weekend like this. Remember this post from Winter Carrie? She told me to get outside. So I did.

I tried to savor this perfect weather as much as I could, even with a Sunday nap out in the hammock. {I puffy heart weekend naps.} Dinner was a cook-out at our friends’ place. We were spoiled with an excellent dinner outside and enjoyed every moment of this perfect weather sans mosquitoes. {We are smart enough to realize that won’t last long!}

Who could ask for a better weekend!?

Here’s what’s on tap this week: planning

 Food

Dinners:
*We didn’t make a few of these last week, so they’ve been pushed to this week!

  • Monday – Dinner out after golf league
  • Tuesday – San Marzano Tomato Pasta
  • Wednesday Andouille Sausage with Red Beans & Rice and Creole Roasted Veggies
  • ThursdayPork Chops with Garlic Green Beans and perhaps this Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD

Lunch:

  • Caprese Salad {Not a poorman’s caprese. I’ve got mozzarella on hand for the real deal this time!}
  • Leftovers – We’ll have a lot this week!
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts and dark chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness

We are using this Advanced Beginner’s 5k Program to keep going with our running. We are going to start at Week 3, so I can attempt to move into the 5k to 10k program easier later this summer.

  • Monday – Golf
  • TuesdayRUN2 miles
  • Wednesday – cross trainYoga
  • Thursday – RUN – 1.5 miles at race pace
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN- 2.5 miles
  • Sunday –yoga and/or cross train

What was the highlight of your weekend?

What do you do to enjoy the outdoor weather?

Cheers~
Carrie

Running Again!

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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.

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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…

planning

Food

Dinners:

  • 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.

Lunch:

Breakfasts:

Fitness:

  • 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!

Cheers~
Carrie

Dear Summer Self…

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This post was completely stolen from inspired by Racheal. It couldn’t have come at a better time with the blizzard and eight+ inches of snow last night. While we are amidst winter, it’s time to remind our summer selves, just how much we need to appreciate it!

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Dear Summer Carrie,

Remember this past winter when temps dropped not only below zero, but up to forty below with the wind whipping every where? It was so cold, it hurt to breathe. Remember the multiple snowstorms that shut down schools so many times that your parent friends were ready to scream?

What we woke up to this morning....

What we woke up to this morning….

Remember the winter before when you participated in the April Challenge Obesity 5k with snow and ice lining the ground and wind whipping everywhere? Or when it snowed in MAY?!

Here’s my advice for you, Summer Carrie:

GET OUTSIDE!

Get outside now. Stay outside for as long as you can. The only thing that should bring you in are hoards of mosquitoes.

Take the dogs for walks. Lots of them. They don’t have to be long ones. Even 10 minutes. They LOVE THIS. Remember, they have been cooped up all winter, too. They want to get out! To explore!

Run some races because you should be healthy by now, so you CAN!

Even when it’s raining, get outside. You won’t melt. Wear the appropriate gear and use an umbrella. Remember how much Mom loved walking in the rain in Paris? You can do that at home, too.

Run in the rain – It’s your favorite!

Go to the Farmers Market.  Walk there. Run there. Don’t drive. Stop for a coffee on your way.

Eat fresh produce like you won’t have it for a long. Because you really won’t have this fresh, local goodness come winter again!

Always get more tomatoes than you think you need. And then don’t let one single tomato go bad.  {Racheal, I’ll eat yours! 😉 }

Use the grill.  Grow some fresh herbs again.

Go swimming!

Go to an outdoor play or concert.

Go to restaurants with patios and eat outside whenever you have the opportunity.

Walk around the lakes. Run around the lakes. Go on walking dates with your girlfriends.

Go on walking dates with Rob. It’s been one of your favorite things to do together like here, here, here and here.

And take Racheal’s advice, too:

Work outside.  Blog outside.  Drink your coffee outside.  Just stay outside.  

Most importantly, when you walk outside and feel the heat from the sun kiss your face and squint your eyes, don’t you dare for one second take it for granted, because in 6 months you will be longing for that feeling. 

I agree whole-heartedly.

With love,

Winter Carrie

What do you love about summer?

What would you say to your summer self?

Cheers to Summer~
Winter Carrie

Walk FUR Love & Food & Fitness Link-Up

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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:

planning

Last week…

Food:

  • 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

Fitness:

  • 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:

Food:

  • 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

Fitness:

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?

Cheers~
Carrie