Weekly Rundown – Marathon Training Week 13

What a difference a week makes!  The tiredness I was feeling has subsided this week.  I knew that I was not running at my right paces for a lot of my runs and running too fast was wearing me out.  So this week, I threw on my heart rate monitor and wore it on all my runs and guess what?!  I had an amazing week!  All of my runs went off perfectly, even my long run, finally!  I mean it is week 13 (my lucky number), so it had to go well!

Marathon training:  Week 13 down, 5 more to go!weeklyrundown

FITNESS

Finally, finally, finally!!  A really great week for my training!  I wish I would have worn my HRM sooner for training.  I realized that all my easy runs were creeping into tempo range and my tempo runs were moving towards my 5K pace.  Bottom line, over training.  I was vigilant on all my runs this week to keep my HR in check to make sure all my runs were what they were supposed to be.  My easy runs were easy (under 13o HR), my tempo was right on (avg. HR 152) and my long run was perfect (avg. HR 142).  By adding that one little thing, I nailed all my runs!  The HRM is here to stay for the rest of my training and race day.  I have to keep my eye on the prize, that marathon in 5 weeks!  I have to run smart in the coming weeks to make sure I’m rested and ready to run those 26.2 miles.   I also made sure that I wore my water belt for my long run vs stopping at the water stops.  I have been training with Essentia water and I need to stick with that, even in a race.  I will be wearing my water belt for my marathon too.

MEAL PLANNING

The highlight of the week was our grilled chicken Casear salad pitas.  It was great to mix up our favorite meal and put a slight twist on it.  We also enjoyed pork chops and mac and cheese and cheeseburgers.  We went out to dinner Friday night with my sis’ family at one of our favorite places where I enjoyed a delicious Buffalo chicken wrap.

chickenpita

Fitness and Meal Planning

One high mileage week down, one more to go!  Taper time is almost here!  I’m so excited to start backing down, but the marathon jitters start.weeklyfitnessbanner

FITNESS

Monday – 70 min progression

Tuesday – 3 miles easy

Wednesday – staggered hills (4 miles)

Thursday – 3 miles easy

Friday – 1 mile easy

Saturday – 20 miles

Sunday – 1 mile

 

Meal Planning

This week is a bit different.  We have a lot going on and unfortunately, I’m not sure how our meals will go.  It’ll be a day of decision for most meals and I may have to shop or get take out.

I do want to make a pasta this week for us.  I might just keep it simple and just make spaghetti.

I’ve been craving a tuna melt on rye bread, so I might throw that in this week too.

And I’m fairly certain Chicken Caesar salads will come back around too! It’s one of our favs!

Show some blog love too and visit Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers (co-hosts) and Running with Racheal, where I linked my Fitness and Meal plan this week!

 

WIAW – Sample Platter

For this WIAW, I decided to highlight some of my favorite eats from the week.  Let’s call it a sample platter of all the yummy goodness that I ate!

This weekend, Cara and I got to try Chuy’s, an Austin, Texas based restaurant that has finally made its way to NC!  I’ve had several people who raved about it and we were excited to give it a try.  With so many tasty sounding choices, we had a difficult time deciding what we were going to order.  We quickly ordered guacamole while we checked out the menu.  It was served with warm tortilla chips and it was really good!   Cara ordered the quesadilla and I ordered a fajita steak burrito.  The real star for me was the creamy jalapeno dip!  Holy smokes that stuff was addictive!  It was like a kicked up ranch dressing and went perfectly with my burrito.  We enjoyed our visit to Chuy’s and look forward to trying it again!chuyguac

Yesterday, we had a variation of our weekly Chicken Caesar salads.  Nick grabbed some pitas and we made stuffed them with the salad mix, grilled chicken pieces and some diced tomatoes.  We loved them!  It was just nice to mix it up a bit on one of our favorite meals. chickenpita

My cheat of the week was some boxed mac and cheese.  I was craving some for a few days now and didn’t want to go to the trouble of making real mac and cheese.  I gave in and it was worth it. macandcheese
Nick grabbed some super big pork chops from the grocery store to go with the mac and cheese (which I ate as an appetizer).  They came out perfectly, just a little salt and pepper!  We love our cast iron skillet.  Man, that thing works awesome on chicken, pork and steak.  porkchop2

Check out other WIAW posts over at Peas and Crayons!

What were some of your food cravings this week?  Did you give in?

Favorite Things

HOORAY!!  It’s FRIDAY!

After a really long week, (I woke up thinking it was Friday on Wednesday) I am excited that the weekend is peeking it’s head around the corner.  Thank goodness!  This Friday is all about Favorites!  Here are some things that really stand out for me.

SURPRISES

My friends, Christie and Cindy, both love their Momentum Jewelry bracelets and I’ve adored them since they got them.   They are just super cute and I love that the bracelet part is like your favorite worn tee!  I finally have my own now!  I treated myself to one as a pre “Your 20 miler is going to go awesome!” gift. 2014-09-18 07.10.28

ROAD TRIPS

Cara and I are back at it again!  We are headed to Raleigh today to pace the Race 13.1 Raleigh Fall race.  We are super excited!  The weather looks to be near perfect and we have several friends who are coming too!  It’s also a bonus trip because we are staying with my sister and family who live near there.  I get to have some baby niece time with two sweet girls and catch up with my sis and brother-in-law.2014-08-08 10.47.45

NEW RESTAURANTS

I’m a planning Queen!  I love to research and look for places to eat and visit when we head out on our run-cations.  So the first thing I did was jump on Yelp to look for places to eat near packet pickup.  After a little bit of research, I found out that Chuy’s was near there!  Nick, after visiting Texas for work, and Christie have RAVED about it.  My usual pre-run meal is a steak burrito with rice and beans so I’m pretty excited that we will try this place out! 

THAT SECOND CUP OF COFFEE

It was a 2 cup of coffee kind of day on Wednesday!  Usually, I try to have just one cup a day, but I gave in and went for the second cup!  It was worth it! 🙂

TAKE OUT and A THOUGHTFUL HUSBAND

Yesterday was a 13 hour day!  I left the house around 7:15am and didn’t return until 8:15pm.  Nick was such an awesome guy!  He stopped and got one of my favorite meals from a local Greek restaurant and it was awesome to have a chicken pita waiting for me when I got home!  It made a long day much better!

 

What are some of your favorite things that happened this week?! 

Check out my post again and others when you head over to this week’s Friday Five linkup:  Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What?, and Eat, Pray, Run DC.

Happy Week!

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WIAW- Imagination Required!

So this could quite possibly be the worst WIAW ever for me.  I won’t apologize for not having any pictures, that just means that the food was that good, the company was that great and the time I was having had me not even thinking about taking a picture of the food.  I’d say THAT might make this WIAW one of the best!

Anyone else struggle with the same thing? Remembering to take pictures?


If I would have remembered to take a picture…

You would have seen the most amazing plate of chicken nachos.  When Cara and I arrived to Fayetteville on Saturday, we wanted a snack and nachos were calling our name. We were having such a great time people watching and talking, I never took a picture.  The nachos were piled high with tortilla chips and topped with spicy cheese, chicken, jalapenos and lettuce with a sides of sour cream and salsa.

If I would have remembered to take a picture….

You would see a big plate of spaghetti with marinara and two huge meatballs on top.  That was my pre-race meal but the four of us girls were so busy eating and chatting, I never took a picture.   The spaghetti was really tasty and I loved the side salad and garlic bread too.

If I would have remembered to take a picture….

You would have see the most awesome cannoli that I ordered as takeout.  It was the perfect lay in the bed eating dessert.  Cara ordered cheesecake and we both watched tv and ate our goodies!  My cannoli was so good!  Loved the added chocolate chips!  I was too busy eating it to take a picture.

If I would have remembered to take a picture…

You would have see a big huge juicy cheeseburger!  We were all craving burgers after our race on Sunday and I enjoyed one with guacamole, bacon and cheese on it.  It was amazing!  Totally hit the spot!  We were celebrating our runs and talking about the race that I never took a picture.

If I would have remembered to take a picture…

You would see a Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha, one of the many reasons why I love fall!  I have been waiting for this to make its return!  Cara and I were chatting the whole way home in the car, I never took a picture.

And finally, a picture!!

Here’s our no frills but super tasty dinner from Monday night.  Nick was grill master again on the cast iron and grilled up some chops.  We just salt and peppered them and they came out perfectly!  We had a side of mashed potatoes and some roasted corn.  It hit the spot!porkchop

 

Hope your imagination loved the meals as much as I did!  🙂

Happy Week!

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Weekly Fitness and Meal Plan

This week is going to be one for the books.  Marathon mileage are starting to climb and my weekly mileage is getting to be pretty heavy.  Those 20 milers are just around the corner.

weeklyfitnessbanner

FITNESS

Monday – 5 mile steady (After yesterday’s race, this may just become miles run, depends on how I feel)

Tuesday – 4 miles easy

Wednesday – 6 miles with 4 miles at tempo

Thursday – 1 mile

Friday – 1 mile

Saturday – 18 miles

Sunday – 1 mile

MEALS

We have three meals planned for the week:

Grilled pork chops with a veggie and salad

Tator Tot Hot Dish from Sarah N’ Spice (leftovers for lunch too)

Chicken Caesar Salads

Show some blog love too and visit Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers (co-hosts) and Running with Racheal, where I linked my Fitness and Meal plan this week!

Happy Week!

 

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Eat your Veggies!

Anytime we have to bring a snack to share, I almost always bring my spinach dip!  It has become a staple at most of our parties and I took it to my parent’s cookout on Sunday.  For something that is so easy to make, it’s amazing how good it tastes.  Everyone loves it and it never sticks around very long once it’s served.

Spinach Dip

1 box of frozen chopped spinach

16oz of sour cream

1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip

1 can of diced water chestnuts

salt and pepper, to taste

Defrost the spinach.  The way I do that is to take a colander and place the frozen spinach block in it.  I run hot water over it, breaking it up as it defrosts.  After it’s broken apart, I gather it into a spinach ball and squeeze out as much water as I can!  Set the spinach aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream and the ranch dip.  Stir with a spoon until it completely blended together.  Add in the spinach and the diced water chestnuts.  Stir again.  I usually add a little bit of salt and a lot of pepper, more than I think I actually need.  I usually taste as I go along.  Use the salt and pepper to your taste.  I’ll chill it in the fridge until it’s served.  I usually buy Scoops to serve with it.  You definitely want a heavier chip that can hold up against this dip.  Regular thin tortilla chips usually break!spinachdip

PROS

Super easy to make!  It literally takes maybe 10 minute from start to finish.  The creaminess from the sour cream with the crunch of the water chestnuts and the mix of salt and pepper with the spinach just make this dip amazing!  I also love the simplicity of this dip.  It’s no frills, but super tasty!

CONS

As many times as I’ve made this, I can’t find one.spinachdip2

 

Easy Pasta Salad

I have not made pasta salad in a while and it seemed like the perfect time to make a batch this weekend for our cookout.  This recipe is seriously one of the easiest things to make, but the flavors are awesome!  It’s even better the next day once it marinates all together.

160z of corkscrew pasta (I like to use the tri color pasta just for the color)

Assorted veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and green pepper) about one cup each chopped to bite sized pieces

One small can of sliced, pitted black olives

One packet of Good Season Italian dressing (Make dressing per directions on packet)

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed on package.  Once drained, set aside to cool.  While the pasta is cooking, chop all of the veggies. Mix them together in a large bowl.   Add in the pasta.  At this point, you will want to make the Italian dressing according to the directions on the packet.  I use a dressing bottle that I bought with a packet a long time ago.  It’s super handy!  Shake the dressing and pour it over the pasta and veggies.  Mix together until it is coated well.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Place in the fridge until served. pastasalad

PROS

Again another really quick and tasty recipe!  From start to finish, maybe 15 minutes.  The variety of vegetables can be changed to suit your tastes.  Add in your favorite vegetables and even cheese!  It’s also a great recipe to make ahead of time and eat throughout the week as a side dish.  It actually tastes better the more it marinates together.

CONS

Really, not a one. laborday4

What’s on your table today?  Check out other delicious dishes at Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday or Pint Sized Baker.

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WIAW – Labor Day Grub

It’s the last hurrah of the summer, Labor Day weekend!  Time to prepare for cooler temps, Fall festivals, settling into a school routines, and hearty food.  This weekend we had not one but TWO cookouts to attend and they were not without some delicious food.  So for this WIAW, I bring you my Labor Day Grub.

Sunday’s Cookout

My family and my sis’ family headed to our parent’s house for a cookout.  We had a potluck cookout where we all brought our own meat and a side to share.  We bought ground meat for burgers for this week’s plan, so we just used it for the cookout instead.  I also made my super yummy, highly addictive spinach dip and a simple to make Italian pasta salad.  I’ll post both recipes tomorrow so come back and check that out!

laborday1

Here’s that yummy spinach dip!  spinachdip2

Monday’s Cookout

It was Nick’s family’s side for Monday’s cookout.  His dad made some amazing ribs, his brother brought some baked beans and we brought our favorite Southwestern chopped salad.  Everything was so tasty and although I can take or leave ribs usually, I was in love with these ones.  They were seriously the best ones I’ve ever had.  laborday2

And for dessert….homemade ice cream and a chocolate chip cookie!laborday3

Check what other folks are eating over at Peas and Crayons for WIAW.

Happy Week!

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Weekly Fitness and Meal Plan – September’s Here!

My favorite season is quickly approaching!  Something about Fall that just makes me smile!  Here’s my fitness and meal plan:

weeklyfitnessbanner

FITNESS

Monday, Labor Day – I have fartleks (3 x 15, 30, 60, 90 sec fast/slow).  These might be tough.

Tuesday – 3 miles easy

Wednesday – 50 minute progression

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – 1 mile

Saturday – 1 mile

Sunday – Fayetteville Race 13.1 (PACING with Cara!!!) + 4 miles

I am so excited to be pacing again this weekend and this is Cara’s first time pacing and I know she’s going to love it!

 

MEAL PLANNING

Thanks to Labor Day, we will be enjoying a get together today so that’s one less day I need to worry about meal planning.  We’ll be enjoying some baby back ribs and other goodies with Nick’s family.  I really liked the Chicken Caesar Salads we had last week so we’ll make those again.  We’re also going to make cheeseburgers.  I love a good juicy cheeseburger and crave them a lot during training.   Thursday night’s meal isn’t decided yet.  I did research a great place for dinner for Cara and I when we’re in Fayetteville on Saturday.  It’s called Mash House Restaurant and Brewery.

Show some blog love too and visit Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers (co-hosts) and Running with Racheal, where I linked my Fitness and Meal plan this week!

Happy Week!

 

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WIAW – Weekend Meals

For this WIAW, I took some pics here and there of my weekend meals and snacks.  I remembered to take pics for some and forgot for others.  Why did I forget?!  I was way too busy shoveling the food in to remember to take them!  My lunch on Saturday was such one meal.  After my 16 miler, I was starving and my awesome steak fajitas didn’t stand a chance.  Anyone else have the same problem?!  Too hungry to remember to take a pic?

Here was my usual pre-run bar.  I still haven’t found anything that works as well as the Clif Builder’s Bar Max.  For me, it’s the right balance of carbs and protein and it’s really helping me to stay full on my long runs.  My favorite bar is the Caramel Peanut. clifbar

When I finished running, I was not really hungry.  Some weekends it takes me awhile to get my appetite back.  By late afternoon, I was back to wanting food.  We were out school supply shopping for Hayden and we stopped at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for a quick bite.  I only snagged a pic of the chips and salsa.  chipsandsalsa

For dinner, we kept it simple and made some good ol’ grilled cheese sandwiches. Nick makes the BEST ones…buttery and super cheesy.  grilledcheese

I ran to school for a little bit on Sunday and when I got home, we wanted a little snack to carry us over until dinner, so we made some Friday’s potato skins.  They were pretty good for in a pinch. taterskins

One more weekend eat!  Nick started a crockpot of chili late Sunday morning and we kind of ate off of it for a late lunch and again for dinner.  I may have had two bowls. 🙂   He made it a bit more peppery than normal, but I loved it!  That’s the cool thing about chili, no two pots end up the same.  chili

Check what other folks are eating over at Peas and Crayons for WIAW.

Happy Week!

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