Monday, October 12, 2009

Up and Running

Update your Google Readers!!


I am officially up and running at http://runninginpink.wordpress.com!


All further posts will be here for your reading pleasure.  Please bear with me as I do some redecorating over the next few days until I find the perfect set-up for the improved blog.


Thanks for all your support in following me over to the new address!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Exhausting 10-Miler

*Note:  I am planning on switching over to WordPress this evening.  The plan is to have it set up before my evening post tonight.  If not by then, tomorrow's posts will be on WordPress.  Er, fingers crossed, at least!*

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable and relaxing Sunday so far!

I woke up at 7:30 and lounged around with my coffee while updating my iPod and adding more songs to my running playlist.  Around 8, I realized I hadn't eaten anything yet, so I cooked up some oatmeal.



I added a sprinkle of brown sugar and used almond butter instead of PB today.  So good, so good.

I checked the weather forecast before bed last night and continued to do so about every hour this morning.  It didn't change much, but at least it wasn't calling for rain any longer!  By the time I got outside for my run, it was 36F (weather.com said it "feels like 22F").  I wore yoga pants and layered my long-sleeved Under Armor top over a tech running tank and topped it off with a baseball cap.

As soon as I started my run, my hands were freezing!  I definitely need to pick up a pair of gloves!!  Luckily, they warmed right up after about a half mile, so I didn't have to worry about icicle hands today.  After mile 5, I stopped to take a drink of water and have an energy chew.  The straw from my hydration pack was overflowing and I spilled water all over my sleeve and my hip.  THAT was cold!  I may have thrown out a few curse words at the time.  Once I started running again, though, I warmed back up quickly.

I felt pretty good finishing the last half of the run.  I took a couple short walk/water breaks, but I kept up a pretty good pace, finishing 10 miles in 1:31:57!  I was very happy to see that I shaved 4 minutes (exactly) off my last 10 mile run!!!  This works out to an average 9:12 pace!  Woot!!

I have a secret goal time in mind for my next half marathon in 13 days.  Okay....I want to run a sub-2 hour.  Looking at my last half time, it seems like a lot to ask, but that was also a very challenging trail run.  I keep trying to tell myself that I should just be happy with a new personal record, but there is a nagging voice in the back of my mind that really wants to break 2 hours!  I don't know....do you think I'm crazy?!?

As soon as I got home, I hopped into the hot shower!  Once I stopped running and started stretching outside, the cold really hit me.  I was very happy I brought a fleece jacket to throw on over my sweaty and damp top. My legs are feeling pretty sore, and overall, I just feel exhausted.  I could take a 3 hour nap right now, if I let myself!

I am also famished!  The first thing I inhaled, er, ate, was a big bowl of bran flakes with Chobani plain yogurt, honey, and a scoop of almond butter.



The plain Chobani gets a two thumbs up from me!  Great flavor and texture.

I decided to head over to my parents for some company while the husband is at work tonight.  My parents are notorious for having a pretty empty fridge, so I packed a bag full of snacks, since I know I'll be a hungry monster for the rest of the day.



As soon as I got to my parents, I cracked open a Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale.



I'm pretty sure they say beer is a great recovery beverage.  It has carbs!

Also, some pita chips and hummus.



I have a bunch more in my bag in the fridge right now, and I may be devouring them for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Not sure what's on the menu for dinner tonight.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Highlights, Tea, and Food

I've had a pretty low-key day, but I am definitely ready to hit the hay and get some much-needed rest.

I started out this morning with a hair cut.  I have been debating keeping my shorter hair or growing it out a little bit for a few months, but I keep cutting it every time.  It doesn't look much different after I got it cut today.  Just a bit shorter, trimmed bangs, and blonde highlights:





The short hair is nice, because it makes me look more my age than a 17-year-old.  However, I do miss having the ability to put it in a ponytail for workouts.  Maybe next time I'll grow it out a bit........we'll see.

When I left the salon, I had mixed feelings to see what was brewing up outside:





Okay, you can't see anything in these pictures, but I promise you it was snowing out.  Just some light flurries, but it was snow nonetheless!!  I won't technically count this as the first snowfall of the year, especially since it wasn't even enough to photograph.

After the hair appointment, I made a few quick grocery stops.  I haven't been to Econo in a while, so I swung by to check out their produce and natural foods department and found this lovely score:



64 glorious ounces of Honest Tea!!  After trying a few of the Honest Teas this week, I am definitely hooked.  The four flavors I tried were all delicious.  I was excited to see this large container, because it was only $3.69, I believe, which is a steal compared to buying 64 ounces of the individual bottles.  Little things like this make me happy.  :)

I also took a trip to Wal-Mart.  I heard they were now carrying Oikos, but they hadn't had any Greek yogurt before, so I had to see it with my own eyes.  I was thrilled to find they now carry quarts of the plain Oikos, as well as single serving packs in plain, honey, and blueberry flavors!  I was very tempted to buy some today, but I am still working on my stockpile from last weekend, so I resisted.

For lunch, I popped in an Amy's frozen tamale.



I love how Wal-Mart sticks their price stickers on every item about 20 times.  Geesh.

This was my first time trying any of Amy's frozen entrees, and this one was really good!  I added a little Texas Pete to both the rice and the tamale for some extra spice.



I also ate it out of the cardboard tray, cause I'm klassy like that.

After my food digested, I finally made it to the gym for a run.  I did an easy 3 miles at a 9:40 pace, finishing in 29:00 exactly!  I also followed it up with some strength training!  I have been a big slacker on the strengthening front the last couple weeks, and it felt so good to lift weights again!

For dinner, the hubby and I went to Lee and Adrian's for Main Street Pizza.  It was delish.  Plus, I got to hang out and cuddle with their babies!  They are both getting so big.  Bryce is running around and talking a bunch, and I think Bailey will be creeping in no time.  It's so exciting to see them growing up!

It's time to curl up with Harry Potter (I'm finally on Book 7!) until I fall asleep.

Have a great night!

Running In Pink

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to give a short update and a head's up.  I have opened up a WordPress account and will be transferring my blog over sometime soon (I will let you know when).

With this new change, I am also changing the name of my blog!  The url will be: http://runninginpink.wordpress.com.


The changeover should be completed (hopefully) by the end of the weekend, if not tonight, but I'm a little worried if I changed the name and URL, my current followers wouldn't be able to find me again!

Hope you are all enjoying your Saturdays!  I am off for a run shortly!  :)

Breakfast Buddy

Good Saturday morning!  I woke up at 7 and couldn't fall back asleep, so I've been awake for a little while now.

The best thing about Saturday morning is having time to make my oatmeal:





I am LOVING this combination!  The coconut adds delicious texture, and the chocolate chips mixed with peanut butter.....Oh my!

Every single morning when I make breakfast (and pretty often when I cook dinner), Willow walks around my legs, staring at me with her huge, blue kitty eyes, crying.  Not meowing.  Crying.  Begging me to pick her up where she can immediately perch on her favorite spot in the world.



It's kind of annoying to have a cat laying around your neck when you're trying to cook.  My baby loves her mama, and she's just too cute, so sometimes I have to give in.

I have to run and get ready for a haircut this morning.  This may be my last time seeing Stefanie before she leaves her styling days behind for the world of nursing.....

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Recaping the Week!

Wow!  In some ways, I feel like the week has flown by.  I have kept myself pretty busy during the last 4 days between work and extracurriculars.

Monday night was the big football game that I am not going to discuss due to obvious disappointment.


Tuesday, I finally met with my SLFP mentee and we attended a Mentorshop together.


Last night we had dinner over at Jesse and Kim's place (amazing Philly cheese steaks!).


Tonight, the hubby has gone out to play poker with some friends, so I am relaxing in my PJ's all by myself and very excited that tomorrow is FRIDAY!!


I should return to my regular daily posting schedule starting, well, right now!  :)



Since I slacked off on the food blogging, here is a recap of two of my favorite meals this week:




Oatmeal + cinnamon + chocolate chips + coconut + PB = dessert. Amazing!

Also, the perfect cold-weather dinner:




Chili!





With cornbread, of course!








Last night was also the first time I ran since Sunday. It's kind of bad that I think that two days off seems like a long time (especially when Monday was an actual scheduled rest day!), but I knew I had to go for a run last night or else I would feel really guilty.

I did a nice speed workout on the treadmill. I finished 3 miles in 27:24. I warmed up for 5 minutes at a 9:51 pace, then alternated 1 minute of running 8:00-7:30 with 2 minutes at 9:51. It felt awesome! The only downside was that my ankles started to feel a little sore--specifically my right Achille's tendon. I should probably be making more of an effort to stretch after my workouts. As a PT, you would think I'd know better, right? I've just been slacking on the stretching lately!!

I also tried out my new running shoes.




I don't think these were the cause of the ankle pain. They are quite comfortable, but they feel different than my old shoes. It's probably just a matter of breaking them in.

Announcement!

In other exciting running news: I signed up for another half marathon!! I will be running the Mackinac Island Great Turtle half marathon on October 24th!!!

I'm addicted, what can I say?!?!

I'm going to leave you tonight with my babies, because they are just too cute all cuddled together.




P.S.  The switch to WordPress will be occurring soon.  Hopefully this weekend.  These formatting issues with Blogger are p***ing me off, and I am wasting far too much of my time trying to correct all these quadruple spaces, only to find out that it doesn't work anyway.


I'm also considering a name change for the blog.  Run, Niki, Run isn't all that creative or unique.  Any ideas or thoughts on this matter??  Thanks!!

Helllooo!!

*Frantically waving*

Don't worry, I didn't disappear!  This week has been pretty busy and exhausting, which is the reason for the lack of posting going on.

I will be back with a full-length post this evening!

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Successful Shopping Trip

Yesterday was a long but fun day!  We set out for Appleton a little later than we intended, because someone had a hard time waking up (hint: it wasn't me).

The weather was pretty cloudy, and we dealt with a few sprinkles of rain, but it was nice to drive through the UP and see the fall colors coming out.



The hubby and I split a snack on the way:



Three hours and forty-five minutes later, we finally arrived!  We were ready for lunch and decided on Qdoba.



Really, not much is better than a burrito the size of your head.



We hit up the mall for a couple hours and I stocked up on some work-related clothing, jeans, and a new pair of running shoes.

For dinner, we stopped at the amazing Noodles & Company!  I was craving this all day long!

The most amazing cucumber and tomato side salad.



Plus the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese.





It was disgusting, obviously.  ;)




Our last stop of the day was the amazing Woodman's!



Yes, this was probably the highlight of my trip.  A grocery store.  Make that, a grocery MECCA!  (Remember, I live in a town where I just had to drive 3+ hours to get to an Old Navy!)

I've mentioned a few times on the blog about how it's difficult for me to find Greek yogurt in Marquette.  At least, Greek yogurt that is tasty and not overly priced.  My mission was to find Fage for less than $5.50 a pint and stock up.

*Cue dramatic, climactic music here.*



 Not only did they have Fage, but I they also had Chobani AND Oikos!!  I have been wanting to try these brands for months after seeing them all over other health and food blogs.



Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!




I also picked up some Peanut Butter Panda Puffs and a few Honest Teas (10 for $10!!), among the other items you see here.

But I was super stoked about these:



For real.  So excited!  How nerdy am I??



This weekend's shopping trip had SUCCESS written all over it!

Since this post is getting up a bit late, I might as well mention my run today.  I set off for a 9-9.5 mile run along the lake.  I was disappointed to find out, when I measured the distance when I got home it was "only" 8.77 miles.  I finished in 1:22:54, which gave me an average pace of 9:27.  Not too shabby.  I just wish I would have gone a tiny bit further to break into the 9 mile mark!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Day Tripper

Good Saturday morning! I had a great night's sleep and am ready to go today!

Last night, the husband and I met our friends Josh and Chelsee and my co-worker, Kathryn, out at Wings & Things for dinner. Keith and I split an order of wings and quesadillas, which were good, but I didn't really leave feeling satisfied. I guess that's what you get when you order bar food!

We got home around 8:30 and were pretty much wiped! I was in bed by 9:30 and lights out at 10. It was awesome!

We've decided to make a day trip to Green Bay and Appleton, Wisconsin to do some shopping. Yes, that is what my life is like in the UP now!! I have to drive 3 hours to do any real shopping!

Another excellent perk to a Saturday morning is making my oatmeal on the stove. I had another minor oatmeal explosion in the microwave yesterday.....ugh. Plus, it just doesn't taste the same in the microwave as when I make it in a big pot.





Nom nom nom...

Now that I am finishing up my breakfast, it's time to shower and hit the road! Hope you all enjoy a lovely Saturday wherever you are!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Countin 1, 2, 3...

Anyone hear the new Britney Spears song, 3, yet? It's pretty catchy and I keep getting snippets of it stuck in my head!

Last night's dinner was a hit, in my opinion! I made my first attempt at a
meatloaf and served it alongside mashed red potatoes and steamed broccoli.




I was never a big meatloaf fan growing up.  I mean, come on, how appetizing is the word "meatloaf"??  I recently had a strange craving for it, though, and it did not disappoint.  It was the perfect meal for the fall weather we are experiencing.


Continuing with my fall food theme, this morning I had 2 slices of pumpkin cobbler bread for breakfast.  I toasted it and spread butter on one slice and almond butter on the second.

When I picked this up at the store, the husband said, "You really are obsessed with pumpkin!"  Yes, yes I am.


I hit the gym after work for a tempo run.  I have found a new love for the tempo run during my half marathon training!  I cranked out a nice 4 miles in 36:54!!  I ran the middle two miles at an 8:34 pace.  Woot!


I wonder if there could be a reason for me wanting to do some speedwork right now?  Hmm...  Maybe we'll get an answer to that question in the next few days?


I was craving chili for dinner tonight, but it's really best when you let it cook all day in the slow cooker.  Instead, I searched for another cold weather dinner.  (By the way, I had to scrape FROST off my car this morning!!  Yikes!)


After a search in the pantry, I came up with a carton of V8 Butternut Squash soup that I purchased on a whim.  I have never had butternut squash in my life, much less in a soup.

It was awesome!  The soup had a great taste and texture, and was pleasantly filling.  Plus, the V8 soups have a full serving of vegetables per serving, and the list of ingredients is respectable.  This will be a future purchase.


I also made grilled goat cheese and spinach sandwiches.  Such a great combo!

Of course, there's always room for dessert.  I made the mistake of throwing Newman O's in the shopping cart the other night.

Yes, I have eaten all these cookies in the last couple days.  But they are so good!  My problem with Oreo-like cookies is that I just keep eating and eating and eating them!  I probably shouldn't take the whole bag to the couch with me...


I'm out for the night!  Hope you all enjoy a fantastic Friday tomorrow!  I'm hoping to get myself a special treat in the morning!


Tonight's question:  What is your favorite fall/cold-weather food??  I love stew, chili, pomegranates, pumpkin......


P.S.  Anyone else having these weird formatting issues with Blogger?  I keep getting all these extra spaces between paragraphs and photos and it's driving me insane!!!  I'm realllly thinking about switching over to WordPress (I hear the sooner you do it, the easier it is!).  Any thoughts??

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back to the Grind

Happy Hump Day! I am very happy that the weekend is only 2 days away! The husband and I haven't really worked out our weekend plans yet.  The weather is supposed to be yucky (cold and rainy), but that sounds like perfect curl-up-on-the-couch weather to me!

Let's recap yesterday's eats:

Breakfast included two bran muffins from Grandma Carol:



These babies are so delicious.  I heated them in the microwave, spread a little almond butter all over, and drizzled on maple syrup.  Amazing!

Lunch was quite pathetic.  I really need to make a more conscious effort to pack a lunch the night before.





Yup, that was it!

I was determined to make it out for a nice, easy run after work.  I was actually really excited to get my legs moving again, which is more than I can say for finishing my first half marathon.  I definitely used that race as an excuse to do nothing but laze around.  I only ran maybe 3 times in the 6 weeks following that race!  Yikes!

Luckily, I had a really nice run.  I intended to make it a slow and easy pace, which used to mean 10 minute-mile pace.  I feel like I have made huge gains in the last couple months, because the 10:00 pace felt way too slow!  I started with 9:50 and then bumped it up to 9:41.  I finished 4 miles in 38:30 and felt great!  I did not feel exhausted, and my legs felt so good.  Hooray!

For dinner, I found a quick, 20-minute recipe for Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia in the September issue of Cooking Light.  I had all the ingredients already, so it was a perfect, fast meal.  I also baked some sweet potato wedges, because that's how I roll.




The sweet potato looks really burnt, but it didn't taste that way (promise!).  My big "mistake" was going a bit heavy-handed with the seasoning mixture.  The recipe clearly states "sprinkle" the mix over the fish.  I thought, "I have all this mix, I might as well use it!" and poured it on.  Wow.  I could SMELL the hotness from the plate in front of me.  The hubby and I both took a bite and our eyes nearly watered!  It was a really good recipe, but next time I won't coat the fish in cayenne pepper.  :)


This morning I had another bowl of oatmeal in the microwave.



The almond butter sank to the bottom!

Lunch was a ham, pepper jack cheese, spinach, and mustard wrap with an apple.

For some reason, a beer sounded real good after work today.



Ah yes...the Silver Bullet!  Ha!

Off to finish making dinner!