Thursday, October 31, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 4

Day 4:

I am really getting the hang of this now! Breakfast was my already prepped up egg muffins with a bowl of fruit. Lunch was the leftover sweet potato quiche from last night, broccoli, and an apple. Dinner was a chicken burger on a bed of iceburg lettuce, a tomato basil salad, and a side of tahini sauce (which I bought to make cauliflower hummus but hadn't done it yet. It's not as good by itself, as I discovered). I also had an apple while the kids ate their Trick or Treat candy.

And, I didn't have a single piece of candy! What?!?!?! I know! I am super proud of myself!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 3

Day 3:

So, in the morning, I decided that I wanted something a little different than my usual egg muffins so I whipped up some Two Ingredient Pancakes for breakfast. Of course, right after I ate, I was on the Whole30 page and saw this...

Know what? I don't care. I stuck to the plan AS BEST I COULD and that's that.

Lunch was 2 "approved" hot dogs and the end of that bland cauliflower soup. I didn't want to waste it because of the "starving kids in Ethiopia". Yes, some things really stick with you, don't they?

Dinner was supposed to be this recipe for Sweet Potato Quiche and it was...kinda. I basically just took 2 large sweet potatoes and threw them into the microwave for 7 minutes then peeled them and cut them into chunks. I sprayed a pie pan and then put the chunks in. Then, I took the last of my carton of egg whites and 5 eggs and after whisking those, threw them in as well as some cut up green onions. Then, I sprinkled a little bit of nutmeg on top. It was delish! I also had some fruit salad with it and that was yummy as well. I made extra so that I will have a "go to snack" when needed.

Note: I also had an apple and some Trader Joe's Vegetable Root Chips as snacks throughout the day but I can't be expected to find my phone to snap a pic every single time. *wink* And yes, I am pretty sure the chips aren't "approved" but again, I am doing the best I can.

Day 3 = done!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Whole30 - Day 2

Day 2:

I had 3 more of those delicious egg muffins for breakfast with oranges. They were pretty good but I am definitely missing ketchup or salsa for my eggs.

Lunch was leftover Triple Meat Italian meatballs and some sauteed peppers. My afternoon snack was a banana.

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast, broccoli, applesauce. and cauliflower soup. I had made the soup in the afternoon and knew right away that I wasn't going to love it. And, I was right. It was pretty bland. Some cheese would have helped but alas....

I did have an apple with a glass of water before bed but didn't snap a pic of it.

 So far, I am feeling like this lifestyle is too limiting, but maybe once I do my mid-week shopping trip to stock some more fruits and veggies into the house, I will feel better about it.

Stay tuned....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Whole30 - Day 1

Day 1: 

For breakfast this morning, I had some DELICIOUS egg muffins with veggies and a HUGE Honeycrisp apple. I was feeling really good about my choice.

Then, at lunchtime, I decided on a salad with grilled chicken and a hard boiled egg on it. I gave myself another pat on the back for an excellent choice.

When it was time to prep dinner, I glanced at my meal schedule and saw that I had written "Triple Meat Italian Meatballs and a green salad". Since I had already had a salad for lunch, I grabbed a bag of frozen mixed veggies from the freezer and microwaved/steamed them. As I scooped them on to my plate, I remember "no legumes" and took all the green beans out, placing them on my husband's plate instead. It wasn't later that I thought to myself "Oh corn!!!!!" And, as it turns out, green beans are one of the legumes that are approved.

I'm not too upset about it because these 30 days are a learning process and I really don't think this small portion of corn is going to make or break this experience. I will not be restarting Day 1 tomorrow. Just moving on...

Marine Corps Marathon

Yesterday, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.  This was my fourth marathon but my first one running for a cause. I chose to run for Team Fisher House, along with a few fellow IHS grads, their friends, and also a good friend of mine. The nine of us, known as Team Jack Shick, have raised $11,361.00 to date but the link is still good until the end 2013, so...if you want to contribute go HERE and do so.   
I had a lot of anxiety going into this race. For one, I had put a lot of pressure on myself in training to get a sub 4 hour marathon, so when it came time to taper, my body didn't know what to do without the crazy runs in which it was familiar. Also, I had this bizarre hamstring pain that started on Thursday, my legs just didn't feel good at all, and I woke up every morning with a sore throat and a runny nose. I was pretty much convinced that I was either going to quit mid-run or run with pain the entire time. Luckily, I think a lot of that was mental because by expo time, I felt just fine. Even my cold symptoms were getting better.

While unpacking, I realized that I had forgotten my contacts at my parents house but I managed to get a new pair at America's Best. I spent the day with a friend that I hadn't seen since 5th grade. It was really great having someone who was familiar with the city in the driver's seat because hello, DC drivers are cray cray! 
We went to lunch at this cute place called Busboys and Poets, where I wanted a bowl of chili but got eggs and hash browns instead because I didn't want to make my belly mad this close to race time.
Me and Leah outside of the restaurant.
The Expo was held at the Armory. Apparently, there had been an electrical outage earlier in the day so the lines were insane. Lucky for me, pretty girls don't wait in lines... *wink*
At 6pm, the team dinner was held right in the host hotel where I stayed so that was awesome. The speakers were ahhhhh-mazing and made me so proud to run for such a great cause. I was really fired up at the end of the dinner but luckily, I was able to fall asleep within about 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow, at 8:15pm!

The bad news is that due to my early bedtime and some residual nervousness, I woke at 2:15am and couldn't fall back to sleep. I decided to shower, even though I was about to run because it's easier to pull my newly short hair up when it's wet. After that, I applied my Glide, got dressed into my team shirt and a pair of shorts and untied and tied my shoes about a dozen time. I ate a banana with PB2 at 6am and headed to the lobby of the hotel to meet up with the rest of the team. 
The leaders and Champ the Cow walked us to the charity tent, where I had a LaraBar, got my last bathroom trip out of the way, and saw a beautiful sunrise. 
I got to the start line in time to see Skydiver Marines jumping out of planes while holding American flags - soooo awesome. I had already found one of my teammates earlier in the morning and we lined up with the 4:00 - 4:10 group. Right before the start, the three other teammates joined us and I was excited that we could, at least, start together. (Note: We had a few other team mates but the two other women weren't at the start with us. One had an injury right around taper time so she wasn't running and the other one was completely MIA, leaving me as the only chick among these boys men) Before I even had a chance for some more nervousness, the howitzer started us off. It took us about four and a half minutes to cross the start. For the first couple of miles, I was running with a few members of my team; They were 3 guys I knew from high school: Keith, Scott, and Brian. Unfortunately, they were going faster than I wanted, so I just did my own thing.

There is a lovely hill early in the race then lots of rolling hills and bridges. The crowds were so amazing that I didn't need my music until about 7 miles in, when we hit a quieter section. I took my first Gu at that point too. At mile 8, I knew my sub 4 dreams probably weren't going to happen unless I really picked it up and I didn't feel comfortable enough to do so, so I just kept myself running at a speed that I knew I could maintain for awhile.

I was very glad I had chosen to wear my bright yellow team shirt because the Team Fisher House supporters were super encouraging. I zig zagged a bunch to slap high fives and thank people for their support. I was actually having fun out there which was great!

I took my 2nd Gu at mile 17-ish. At that point, I started counting down to the end instead of counting up. I passed mile 20 (the beat the bridge part) with not much thought because at that point, I was just thinking that I only had a 10K left. At mile 22, my legs really started to feel the fact that I had been on them for so long and I started taking walk breaks here and there. At mile 23-ish, I saw THE BEST SIGN EVER that read: You don't have to marathon train tomorrow.
 I crossed the 40k mark at 3:59:59 which I thought was funny, given the fact that I had wanted to sub 4 initially. At that point, I thought I might be able to squeeze out a PR (lower than the 4:11:09 I ran 2 years ago) but then I saw a guy collapsed and they were doing chest compressions. At that moment, I realized that picking up my pace just wasn't worth it to me.

I went up the last .2 mile HILL to finish with a 4:13:57. I'm super proud of my time and even though it wasn't a sub 4 or even a PR, I feel like I did really well out there. 
Brian, Scott, Keith, Rob, and Maria
Our Team Results:

Brett - 3:33:15
Brian - 4:08:50
Maria - 4:13:57
Keith - 4:14:40
Scott - 4:39:29
Rob - 4:45:08
Warren - 5:12:36
Pam - 6:33:04

Congrats to Team Jack Shick and to all the Marine Corps Marathon finishers. You can hold your heads high, knowing that you accomplished something - that you are one of the 0.5% of Americans who can say they have run a marathon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Healing my gut

In the next installment of "Healing my gut", I will be doing the Whole30 program. And no, I won't be paying $14.95 as I have found all the necessary materials online for free. Cheapskate? Yup! Smart? I'd like to think so...

Here are the rules in short form:

With my 4th (and final?) marathon coming up this Sunday, I decided to wait until I return from that to begin. I don't think it would be a good idea to mess with my stomach right before a long run plus I have already bothered the folks at Team Fisher House to make sure I got a gluten free meal at their carb load dinner on Saturday night.

And since I have alllllll this extra time (Thanks, taper!), I have already made my meal plan for the next couple of weeks.

Here is my first week:

SundayMCM time! I have no clue what I will be eating. Day 1 of Whole30 is Monday.

Monday - Triple Meat Italian Meatballs with a fresh greens salad (on crusty Italian buns for my husband who isn't quite ready for this lifestyle...yet.)

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken with Cauliflower Soup 

Wednesday - Sweet Potato Quiche with a fresh fruit salad

Thursday - Chicken Burgers (again with buns for Mr. Gluten-lover!) and a Tomato Basil Salad

Friday - Harvest Spiced Chicken Stew with a fresh fruit salad

Saturday - Leftovers Night

I'm excited for all this TASTY food! And if it helps

that is EVEN better!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Things I NEED to accomplish....

I have put A LOT of things off while marathon training so here is the list of things I need to do after I run this marathon:

1. Cross training
2. Continue writing blogs for Mt. Lebo Magazine
3. Get back to some healthier eating habits
4.  Work on our budget and stick to it
5. Clean up the basement
6. Sell stuff we aren't using
7. Decide which fitness certifications I am going to complete this year
8. Get new cabinet doors, paint the existing cabinets, get a new counter top and put down a new floor in the kitchen
9. Get back to my earlier bedtime routine
10. Yoga

Someone remind me to check this list next week, please.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two Word Tuesday.

Taper. Madness.

Obsessively checking the weather...

Watching inspirational videos...



Unnecessary gear acquisition...


4 days, 19 hours, and 25 minutes to go!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taking a break...

It's an easier day for me than normal (read: just 1,000 things to do instead of a million), so I am taking a break to catch up on blogs and let myself breathe for a few minutes. As I tend to do when I am on break, I drifted over to Facebook. And the first thing I saw was this article that my friend posted as a link. Thank you, random Onion article for capturing my thoughts so clearly.


I'd say that I am ready for a break but since I am already on one, I guess I'll continue goofing around for a few more minutes before I have to switch the laundry and start organizing the bathroom cupboard.

My. Life. Is. Awesome.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Journey to Emmaus

Luke 24:13-35

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

This past weekend, I attended an Emmaus Retreat.

We are not allowed to share specifics about what happened at the retreat but I can tell you that it was powerful and oh so very real. If you have an opportunity to go, do it! 

What I can discuss is the circumstances that gave me the opportunity to attend. About a week ago, I got this message from my friend, Sheila: "Thought of you with this retreat. It is beyond any experience I have ever had. I know I am sending this kinda last minute, but that's how I by day! If you can perhaps sneak away for a weekend, and don't have a race, it's a perfect place to gather and reflect (and take some awesome runs around the beautiful grounds)." 

Usually, I would stew on something like that for a few days but (a) it was time sensitive (b) I knew that my stress level had reach an all time high and this was *just* what I needed.

I replied that I could go and got all the wheels set in motion for it. The weirdest thing was that I looked at my calendar and saw that we had next to no plans. This is a VERY RARE thing for us and the weirdest thing of all was that I didn't see a long run on my calendar. Huh?!?!?!?

 So, here's what happened...

Way back in the beginning of the Summer when I was calculating out weeks for my marathon plan, I must have made a mistake and skipped a week. I only just realized it when I realized that I had run my longest run of 22 miles with 4 weeks to go until the marathon. For those not well versed in marathon plans, that insane run usually happens when you have 3 weeks left to go. Because I had done that 22 miler the weekend before, it made it much easier to say "yes" to a retreat. Ummmmm, that is soooo a God thing, right?

On that Friday, I packed up my bags and got dropped off. Again, I can't share the details of the weekend but I can tell you that I didn't bring my phone or my purse or my calendar. And it was soooooo awesome. I needed that time away. Though it wasn't exactly a relaxing weekend (they keep you pretty busy), it was well worth the time. 

And bonus! I did get a chance to run during a Saturday afternoon break. It was over 80° and I only went 4 miles but a run is a run, right?

So, if you are contemplating an Emmaus retreat, I hope that God shows you that it is possible and well worth it.