Monday, September 30, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm feelin' 22...

Miles, that is.

This past Sunday was the longest run of my training plan - 22 super long miles. I still can't believe I actually did it. Yes, I know I have run marathons before but it's been nearly 2 years and after the injury I had, I wasn't sure that I would ever run another distance run like this. Can I just say how happy I am that I am able to do this?!?!?

So...the day before the 22 miler, I ended up walking around my hometown. And down the train tracks. With my kids. In my boots. Over rocks and sticks. And on lots of big hills. Basically, I tore my body up before it was time to tear my body up. I seriously thought about canceling the run. Luckily, this teeny tiny little voice in me kept egging me on, so when my alarm went off at zero dark hundred, I rolled out of bed and got all my stuff together.

I had forgotten my Glide at home and couldn't find Vaseline in my parent's cupboards so I smeared on some baby rash cream. <Ahem, it worked> I also inadvertently left my fuel belt behind so I decided to stash water on the course.

I left 1/2 bottle of water, a Gu pack and a stick of gum along the road.
 I got to our meeting place and saw that my aunt was already running. Overachiever. I joined her, doing laps around the parking lot while we waited to see if anyone else was going to join us. One other lady did end up coming along and we headed toward town.

I had stashed my water at what I thought was going to be the 6.5 mile mark of our run, but due to the early laps and the fact that we changed our course to accommodate the other runner who joined us, I realized I wasn't going to be passing it until quite a bit later.

My aunt and I were alone by the time we headed back out of town to do "the airport loop". This loop is among the favorites for getting mileage in a small town but it is also riddled with hills, some of them quite steep. I was feeling good with the exception of my bladder. For some reason, I kept having that "gotta go" sensation, even when I didn't have to go.

I grabbed my planted water, Gu and gum at the 8.7 mile mark and then we went back to our vehicles at close to the 13 mile mark, where I had some Gatorade and popped in another stick of gum. Then, we headed to the Hoodlebug Trail. We ran on the trail to Sheetz in Homer City where we stopped for a potty break and my second pack of Gu. 

And since my GPS read 17.5 miles and we were about 4.5 miles from our vehicles at that point, we had no choice but to turn around and run back. When I looked down at my wrist and saw 21.65 miles displayed, I decided to sprint out the last quarter mile-ish. I figured that if I still had energy for that, I would have been fine to continue for 4.2 more miles of a marathon.

My overall pace was just above a 10 minute mile but given how many times we had to stop for traffic and how many hills we did, I will take it. I am feeling VERY confident about the Marine Corps Marathon but I know that the weather plays a major role in how quickly I can run, so let's all hope it's 50° at the start and that the sun is behind the clouds for most of the run.

I am writing this on Monday afternoon and my legs feel completely fine. I stroller walked for an hour this morning with friends and had no issues. Tonight will be a sloooooow recovery run. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A letter to Gluten

Dear Gluten,

We need to talk. I think it's time we break up.

No, no, no, don't be offended. It's not you - it's me. My belly just can't handle the way you make it feel.

I've been without you for 19 days now, and to be honest, I am doing just fine. Sure, there are moments when I see a brownie or a hunk of garlic bread, when I feel like throwing caution to the wind and taking a bite, but instead, I have decided that my self control could use the exercise and I walk away.

Thank you for understanding.

                                                             Goodbye (for good?),


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Discovering the joys of flourless baking....

My sweet tooth reared its ugly head today and I knew....


At this point, I am 11 days into being gluten free, and to be honest, I am feeling pretty darn good about it. My stomach issues have pretty much disappeared, and I feel stronger and healthier than I did just a couple of weeks ago. It's a MIRACLE!

But, ohhhhh that sweet tooth of mine has been a little less than pleased lately. I don't eat processed foods so buying the gluten free cookies at the store wasn't a possibility. If I was going to satisfy my cravings, it was going to require baking. Now, as you know, I adore baking but I'm still learning about this gluten free nonsense. *wink*

I decided to pick something easy to start me off.

Enter the Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookie.

This recipe seriously only contained peanut butter, brown/white sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla, and salt (which I just realized I forgot to add...). I didn't have a ton of peanut butter in the house so I made 1/4 of a recipe (9 cookies).

And may I just say that they are truly DELICIOUS?!?!?!?!?

<Pats self on back> My next attempt will be using some of the crazy flours that I felt the need to stock up on last time I was at the store....

Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 7/90 - 83 days to go!

IT'S A MIRACLE!!!!!! Not only am I feeling better but I ran a half marathon this morning, pretty successfully, I might add.

Breakfast - Fueled up with a banana and PB2

Lunch - Max and Erma's has a gluten free menu. This is the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken with field greens. Delish!

Snack - Apple

Dinner - Grilled chicken breast over brown rice with a side of applesauce

Snack - I was watching a friend's son and took my own little guy along with me, so I walked them both to the ice cream shop for a treat. After running the half, I felt like I deserved to have a little something as well. Luckily, they had a gluten free list of ice cream flavors and the guy who was working was really nice about making sure to change his gloves and get a new ice cream scooper, just in case.

And, as for the half, I had initially thought I was supposed to run it at my hopeful marathon pace of 9:09 which would have been a breeze, but on Friday night, as I laid in my bed being sick, I glanced at my training plan and saw "Half Marathon - goal of 1:52" Ohhhhhh, crapwaffles! I ended up pushing harder than I thought I would have to, but it was all good. My final time:

Clearly, the course was a little long. No worries.

As much as I am enjoying blogging every single freakin' meal *wink*, I am guessing no one in their right mind wants to read this, so I am going to resume normal programming and will be sure to check in on the gluten free thing when I can.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 6/90 : 84 days to go!

Ok, seriously....I have been feeling SO GOOD and then day 6 comes along, and I start to feel like a piece of crap on the bottom of someone's shoe.

Last night, I had a really bad run. I got on the treadmill at the gym for an easy 5 miler, and within the first quarter mile, I was sweating and felt nauseous. I made it a grand total of 2 miles in 22 minutes and some change. I was a mess. Hubby and I went home and I crashed.

Friday arrived and fortunately, I don't have much on my agenda.  I was able to get the kids on the bus for school, load up the dishwasher, and do the grocery shopping before my body was able to figure out what I was doing. After the groceries were put away, I grabbed a bowl of Vanilla Chex and laid in my bed, watching DVR's for longer than I care to mention. At some point, I remembered that I hadn't truly had lunch so I stumbled out of the bedroom, spread some PB2 on rice cakes, threw a few grapes on the plate, and went back to my bed to relax.

I am decidedly calling it "Leftover Night" and going to bed early. This means no First Friday action for this girl. *sad face* Half marathon tomorrow - outcome not looking good....

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 5/90 - 85 days to go!

Day 5 was NO PROBLEMO! I think I am getting the hang of this gluten free thing now....

Breakfast - 3 egg whites with a turkey sausage patty and melted cheese, apple

Lunch - 4 oz deli turkey (certified GF, of course) and some leftover zucchini with quinoa stuffing

Snack - 3 GF crackers with PB2

Dinner - THE most delicious homemade soup ever and a salad

So....Here is the recipe for the delicious soup:


Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
3-4 split chicken breasts (free-range organic, if possible), rinsed, patted dry
8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 heaping cups thinly shredded cabbage (bagged cole slaw mix is fast and easy)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut up
1 yellow summer squash, cut up
2 zucchini squash, cut up
6 to 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cut up
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles- mild or hot, to taste
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon each of: dried basil, oregano and parsley
Hot red pepper flakes, shake to taste
1 14-oz. can Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 or more cups organic chicken broth, as needed
A dash or two of balsamic vinegar to taste

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a crockpot. Lay the chicken breasts in the bottom; top with half the chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, bell pepper, yellow and zucchini squashes, potatoes, and green chiles; and toss them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, ground pepper, herbs and a shake or two of hot red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.
Pour the veggies into the crock in an even layer. Pour on the diced tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and a dash of balsamic vinegar, to taste. The liquid should just about cover the veggies. If you like more of a brothy soup than a stew, add more broth.
Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender and easily breaks apart into pieces with a large spoon (my chicken was very cold when it went into the pot, so adjust your cook time accordingly, if you need to).
Taste test for seasoning adjustments. I added a pinch of brown sugar to mine to balance the tomato-garlic and spice. Stir in any seasoning adjustments and serve.
Makes four hearty servings to soothe you - body and soul. This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free.

Thank you Gluten Free Goddess for another wonderful recipe.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 4/90 - 86 days to go

Another day and another gluten free recipe. This one was courtesy of Real Simple.

Breakfast - 3 egg whites mixed with spinach, grape tomatoes, and an apple

Lunch - Chipolte burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, steak, salsa and lettuce.

  • Ok, I *know* that I just had Chipolte for the first time YESTERDAY, but I have a reasonable explanation for why I had it again. See, it is a rare occasion for me to have a day off from watching kids and this happened to be one of those days. I decided to run down in Oakland and meet the hubby for lunch. We agreed to meet at a place I had seen online called the Red Oak Cafe. Urbanspoon had them listed as gluten free friendly. Well, we went in and I asked about my options. They said any of their sandwiches could be made gluten free but when I asked about what kind of bread they used, the guy just kind of stared at me and then went to the back and brought out a bag of Udi's bread. As I surveyed the scene, it didn't look like they had separate areas for the gluten free items so I decided that cross contamination was too much of a risk and we walked out. And of course, right across the street there was a Chipolte *wink*
Dinner -  Chicken breast, applesauce, and zucchini with quinoa stuffing.

Snack - Cheesy bacon dip and apple slices
  • I went to a craft night at a friend's house where we were making wine bottle vases. I had brought the cheesy bacon dip so I knew I was safe with that. I would have brought along some gluten free crackers too but the hostess had mentioned that she would have veggies for dipping. Unfortunately, there were no veggies so I just ate it plain. And someone had brought sliced apples so I was able to eat those. 
  • There were brownies on the table that looked DIVINE but I didn't want to have to restart my 90 days so I just looked the other way. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 3/90 - 87 days to go!

Day 3 and I have discovered the BEST place for gluten free eating - CHIPOLTE! (Which I refuse to look up for fear of finding out that it is not as healthy as I think it is...)

Breakfast - 2 Deviled egg halves and a banana
  • I am STILL trying to use up those deviled eggs....
Lunch -  Chipolte burrito bowl with brown rice, beans, chicken, salsa and lettuce
  • A bunch of us met up for lunch and this was the perfect place to go:)
Afternoon Snack -  A small Gala apple

Dinner - An all beef hot dog, 3 slices of Natural Nectar Cracklebred with garlic hummus and organic applesauce
  • We had someone here giving us a quote on the basement project so I had to eat quickly before going to my Juniors board meeting (read: gluten fest)

Snack - Fruits and Veggies
  • Thankfully, one of the 2 meeting hostesses brought the naturally gluten free fruits and vegetables :) I didn't have the dip because I wasn't sure.

So far, so good. My belly still hurts though so we'll see....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 2/90 - 88 days to go!

Day 2 and I tried my first gluten free recipe, thanks to the Gluten Free Goddess.

Breakfast - Al Fresco Italian Sausage and some sauteed peppers with a side of 2 deviled egg halves and a few slices of banana.
  • Tasty breakfast and it fueled me perfectly for my 5 mile run on the treadmill - yippee!

Lunch - Weight Watchers chicken burger with 1/2 portion of sharp cheddar cheese melted on top, a small spring mix salad and a handful of grapes
  • This was exactly what I would have normally eaten except that it was missing a bun. I did buy some Udi's gluten free buns but I decided that I didn't need it.

Snack - Hershey's peanut butter cup ice cream
  • We were out all afternoon and my family wanted Dunkin Donuts. I watched them eat their treats and then practically ran to the shop where I had seen a sign for gluten free ice cream flavors. 
Be sure to turn on the sound for the video below by mousing over the top left corner and then clicking it.

Dinner - Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas, 1/2 ear of corn, and 1/2 serving of chips with salsa on top.
  • I am UBER impressed with myself for following this recipe. And it was worth every bit of work that was put into it. Sooooo delish!

Bedtime Snack - 1 portion of Vanilla Chex
  • Tasty but I probably need more for a bedtime snack...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gluten Free - Day 1/90: 89 days to go!

Here it is, my very first day of being gluten free, and yes, I've already discovered where I can find gluten free bakery items. Enter Eden's Market in Mt. Lebanon, who carries a wide range of gluten free products AND they get a weekly delivery from a gluten free bakery in Ligonier.

Breakfast - 3 egg whites and a turkey sausage with 1/2 portion of sharp cheddar melted on top, a few grape tomatoes, and some cut up watermelon.

  •  This was simple. It's pretty much what I have every morning but without the bread or wrap.
Lunch - Eat n Park's Grilled Chicken Salad without fries or croutons with some ranch on the side.
  • Nick ordered the Bananas Foster French Toast, which, admittedly, looked pretty yummy, but my salad was filling and tasty as well so I was okay. 
Snack -  A gala apple
  • Hooray for a naturally gluten free food!
Dinner - 1 all beef hot dog, small Caesar salad, 1/2 ear of corn, and 2 deviled egg halves plus my sweet treat from Eden's Market for dessert.
  • We had hosted a picnic the day before where my Dad and youngest sister (both Gluten free) were in attendance, so I had leftovers from that. The sweet treat was DIVINE!