A Healthy Start to 2013: Polar Dash 10K

I am very excited to recap on my run from yesterday so I am not wasting any time today.

New Year’s Day (yesterday) I got up bright and early to eat my usual banana and peanut butter pre-run breakfast and sip on a half a cup of coffee. I laid out all of my running gear the night before like I always do, I even pinned my number on my shirt and tied in my time chip to my shoe.

My nerves took over temporarily while thinking about the frigid temperatures, and I started to second guess if I had the right amount of clothes and layers on. On the ride over the thermometer read -7°F. The last long run we did outside it was 9°F outside. That’s a big difference! Dana reassured me that what I had on would be just fine and eventually I came to the realization that yes, I would be fine.
IMG_1271

We picked up my brother Kevin and his friend Jeremy (who ran the half-marathon with us in June) and drove to St. Paul. We parked and took the shuttle over to the starting area.

IMG_1274 IMG_1273

We all did the bathroom thing then headed over to the starting line. At this point the temperature had probably crept up to a whopping -4°F. You had to keep moving to keep the circulation flowing so everyone was jumping, running in place, stretching, and trying to stay warm. This was the hardest part of the whole race for me. From the time it took for us to leave our car in the lot and head to the starting line was about 25 minutes, and my toes were just not having it. They were starting to go numb. All I wanted to do was start running! I have never wanted to start running so bad!

Once the race began and our wave took off, the toes were still feeling pretty immobile, but at about mile 2 they were feeling fine. I ran next to Dana, Kevin, and Jeremy the whole race (minus the very end when K and J took off) which made it so much fun. Jeremy wore an afro wig and crazy 80’s shorts with a fanny pack and got all the runners pumped up and was highly entertaining. One girl even came up to him after the race and told him she was keeping an eye on his afro the whole race and PR’ed because of it!

Another form of entertainment was seeing all of the runner’s iced over faces. It was especially hysterical when men had big beards because the ice completely forms around the beard and turns it white. We all looked like we should have been in some sort of Christmas movie.

Here’s my frosty hair:

IMG_1278

Between the entertainment and running with the three boys and keeping each other company, the race flew by. Even though the temperature was sickly cold, there was no wind so the run actually didn’t feel too cold. Dana was right, I had worn the perfect amount of clothes and layers. It’s the same thing I wore on this training run except I wore a wicking  thermal insulated head band instead of a hat.

I felt like it was one of my easiest races actually (albeit not one of my fastest). I finished the run in 1 hour and 37 seconds. I was hoping to get an hour or less, but that’s alright. I’ll blame it on the very slow first mile due to a large mob of runners. 🙂 I am still just very proud I finished a race in sub zero temperatures.

This was definitely one of the most fun races I have done too. I couldn’t believe all of the die hard Minnesotans who were out there running and out there cheering for the runners! I am so proud of my state.

Post-race the wonderful volunteers were handing out waters, goodies bags with bananas, salted nut rolls, and chips, and best of all HOT CHOCOLATE! I don’t mean any ordinary hot chocolate, this was like super chocolatey totally awesome hot chocolate. It tasted like heaven in my mouth. What a fun way to end the race!

IMG_1277

Our amazing team: Team Ice Pack.

IMG_1280

A little different from our group picture post half-marathon in June. Ha ha!

Besides the 10K, there was also a half-marathon and a 5K. The Polar Dash was put on by Team Ortho. I have raved about their races and the organization of the races in the past, and this one gets the same credit. The volunteers are so friendly, there is never a moment when you are unsure of where you need to be, they are right there for you if you need them, and they help you have fun and enjoy your races.

The Polar Dash race on January 1st was the perfect way to kick off a healthy new year! I felt fabulous!

We were all very excited to warm up and “thaw” in the car ride home.

IMG_1281

Immediately after walking in our front door I turned the heat up and hopped in a hot shower. I got into my coziest fleece pants and plopped myself on the couch for the majority of the day. I think the combination of the cold run and my body working hard to regulate my body temperature coupled with the fact that I slept terribly the night before set me up for a super drowsy day.

I did manage to dress the pup up in Polar Dash gear. It’s always good for a laugh or two. What a good sport.

IMG_1284

I was extremely hungry for lunch but had no ambition to make anything, so I snacked on some freeze dried salted edamame for some quick fuel and protein. These babies pack 12 grams of protein in a half a cup. They aren’t out-of-this-world fantastic tasting, but I do enjoy them and they are a healthy snack, and especially a good snack to pack if traveling.

salted edamame

Eventually I rounded up enough energy to make myself a healthy salad. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before but it did taste pretty darn good.

salad

A kajillion snacks happened in the afternoon. I had a bottomless pit of a stomach yesterday. I snacked on almonds, craisins, carrots, a banana, almond crackers, peanut butter. My appetite was insane.

Once dinner rolled around we were both still feeling pretty unmotivated, so we opted for easy. I found a can of refried beans in the cupboard, heated them up with some Parkers Farm salsa. I topped the beans on corn tortillas with shredded cheese, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and some more salsa.

bean tacos bean tacos

So simple and so delicious.

I did manage to prepare a meal for the crock pot that will be cooking all day today. I hope it turns out! I’ll let you know.

Off to work I go…Happy Wednesday (I keep wanting to say today is Thursday)!

More Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp Please

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I don’t know about you but I am feelin’ SO good in 2013 so far. 🙂 This morning we finished the Polar Dash 10K in St. Paul. It was a blast! Look out for a recap coming your way shortly.

First, let’s talk some New Year’s Eve business. Guess what we made a couple of days ago?! Two loaves of nutty gluten-free bread! Although we were a little short on the Greek yogurt so had to use 1/4 cup of almond milk. I actually think it turned out better this time!

Breakfast: Almond bread with pb and honey.

IMG_1264

We visited some friends in the morning. It was great catching up and visiting and playing charades with the kiddos. 🙂 I enjoyed a Lime Perrier sparkling water on the way. I liked it a lot, but not as much as the grapefruit flavor.

IMG_1265

Lunch was a bowl of fat-free cottage cheese with peas, tomato, avocado, pepper, and chia seeds and it was VERY good.

IMG_1267

Mom and dad stopped over in the afternoon to say hi and wish us a Happy New Year.

Then it was time to make dinner…..drumrolls please.

DSCN6319 DSCN6320 DSCN6321

Crab, lobster, shrimp, and caesar salad.

DSCN6322 DSCN6323 DSCN6324

I wish seafood wasn’t so expensive because I enjoy it oh so much. It was slightly sweet and buttery and tender. LOVE IT.

We finished off 2012 watching the movie New Year’s Eve (I know, very cliché of us) and sipping on some hot cocoa. We stayed up until around 11:00 so we were able to see the ball drop in New York. Then it was time to get some shut-eye before our big race in the morning.

Super crazy NYE 2012, right? It was the perfect.

I am going to continue relaxing on the couch in my big comfy fleece pants and soak up every last bit of Christmas vacation. Tomorrow, back to reality.

I am very excited for 2013. It is going to be one heck of a year. Catch up with you all very soon!

Love,

M

10 Things I Learned in 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve! Did everyone have a good weekend?! Mine ended with a Vikings’ football win. As much as I’ve neglected to watch them all season, I really get into the games especially at the end and if they’re doing well. Yes, I’m a fair weather fan. I’ll admit.

I guess I can rewind backwards from Sunday to Saturday since I started with Sunday night football. Sunday was pretty quiet. We ran our errands and seriously hit up the Target after Christmas clearance aisles. Dana’s already talking about putting the Christmas lights back up next year. 10 1/2 months to go!

target

We cleaned the house just to tidy it up again and then I headed over to mom and dad’s to watch the game and hang out. I stayed until the 3rd quarter or so then finished the game at my house with Dana and his dad. It was a nail-biter!

Saturday

We were feeling ambitious on Saturday. We started off by suitin’ up for a 3 mile outdoor run. This time the thermometer read 13 but said it felt like 3°F. My legs really don’t react well to this cold weather and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the tiniest bit nervous about it, but like I said, I need to remind myself….

It doesn’t matter how fast I go, just go. Just finish.

It’s as simple as that. I would really like to enjoy myself too! 🙂

After our run we start tackling our winter project list which included repainting our living room and creating another accent wall with some leftover paint we had from this wall. Over the past two years it got really nicked up from Moose’s toys and bags rubbing against it, etc., and needed a refresher.

DSCN6314 DSCN6315

I know it doesn’t look like much but it FEELS SOOO GOOD. You can sort of tell that the wall with the clock is a cocoa color. It makes the room look larger and more homey. I love it. After our 3 hour paint job, we showered up and got ready for dinner out…

At Roasted Pear. We had bought a Living Social deal for $20 to get $40 worth of food or drink and decided it was the perfect night to use it.

IMG_1241

melanie roasted pear

My dinner order was very non-Melanie-like. I ordered the petite filet with french fries. The chance of me ordering a steak is like 1 in 100 coupled with the choice of french fries over a healthier option….very rare. They both sounded good to me though, and I though what the heck?!

IMG_1245 IMG_1246

And I didn’t regret my decision. It was very good! We finished off our night out with a shared hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top.

IMG_1247

And then went home to our pooch who was waiting to dance with his mama. 😉 Not really, but he was a good sport!

IMG_1252

Since it is the last day of 2012 I wanted to put together some type of recap from the past year. I decided to make a top 10 list of things I have learned in 2012. It can be blog related, life, health, whatever. I just thought it would be fun. So here it goes…

2012

So maybe I didn’t learn all of these things this past year, but I was definitely reminded of the importance of each and every one of those statements. I am so looking forward to a very happy, healthy and “lucky” 2013.

I will be kicking my 2013 off with a 10K run; what better way to start it off! Happy New Year my beautiful friends! I love you all and cannot thank you enough for supporting me and accepting me for who I am.

Question of the day: What is something you learned in 2012?

Lentil Fajita Salad

Hola mis Amores! How is everyone doing? I am great. I just finished off a 3 mile run outside with Dana and Moose. It was basically brutal again because of the extremely cold temperatures, but we still finished nonetheless. The plan for the 10K on January 1st is not to worry about time and instead just remember to try to have fun. The goal will be to simply finish.

Now I am sitting on the couch in warm sweatpants, drinking a cup of coffee to warm up and we are going to er-er-er rrreewinnndd to yesterday.

Friday

Mark this on your calendar…I went to the gym yesterday! I eased my way back into the gym routine by cardio’ing 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stair-stepper, and 5 minutes on the row machine. I then finished with some core work with the Bosu ball.

I MUST get back into strength training again because I know how fabulous it makes me feel when I actually do it.

I am getting back on the healthy eating train for sure. Lunch was a pretty typical Melanie salad full of dark greens, olives, peas, sunflower seeds, asparagus and Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing. My fav. There is definitely something about olives, peas, and sunflower seeds on salads that I enjoy very much.

IMG_1227

After lunch I dove into one of the most un-fun tasks of all time….sorting through the sock drawer. It had turned into one giant heap of socks and drove me crazy every time I had to go find a matching pair, so I made yesterday a mission organization sock drawer.

IMG_1229

I did make it more fun by blaring the tunes and dancing around like a little girl.

IMG_1230

I cracked open one of my new cans of Perrier sparkling water. I went with the grapefruit flavor and I truly enjoyed this drink. It was so refreshing, with a perfectly subtle grapefruit flavor, and the can was just my size. This definitely gets a thumb’s up.

IMG_1231

For dinner I cooked up a batch of brown lentils: combine 1 cup of lentils and 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (you can use water instead if you would like) in a medium pan on the stove. Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Then drain the extra liquid off and set the lentils aside.

In the same pan I sautéed a half of a large onion and a half of a green bell pepper. I added in some homemade low-sodium fajita seasoning. Once the veggies were sautéed, I added in the lentils, added more seasoning, and let it all warm through.

In the meantime I prepared some quick guacamole: one avocado, one Roma tomato, cilantro, and pepper. I plated up two heaping mounds of dark green lettuce, followed by the warm fajita lentil mix, then some grated cheese, guacamole, and lastly I dressed the whole salad with Parkers Farm Mild Salsa.

IMG_1232 IMG_1236

Ya mix it all together and what do you get?

IMG_1235

Lentil Fajita Salad awesomeness!

After dinner Dana and I grabbed a cozy blanket, turned on the Christmas tree lights, planted ourselves on the couch, and watched the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love.” I read this book a couple of years ago and have been wanting to see the movie since it came out. Lo and behold Target had it on sale for $4.50 and I just so happened to walk by the rack and snag it.

IMG_1238

When they make movies from books, 9 times out of 10 I prefer the book (I prefer my own imagination apparently :wink:), but this time I would say I enjoyed both the book and the movie equally. They did a really great job with portraying the characters in the book on film.

Dana and I split a super juicy amazing pear that was the size of a softball.

IMG_1237

It was the perfect and healthy way to end the day.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite evening snack?

Mine is usually a few dates dipped in peanut butter or a small handful of almonds.

5-9 Servings of Fruits and Veggies

As I had mentioned before I am doing my darndest to continue to reach my fruit and veggie 5-9 servings a day goal throughout the holiday season (and always), and yesterday was no question a good day in that department.

I’ve definitely reused this photo more than once but here was my not so exciting to anyone anymore YET delicious breakfast yesterday!

parkers farm pb and banana

I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER and BANANAs! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! That is serving #1 on the F/V  tally.

One could say I am in a “rut” with breakfast but rut can sometimes sound like a bad thing, and I will never consider PB and banana a bad thing.  :smile

An unphotographed Skinny Ho Ho Mint Mocha from Starbucks was thoroughly enjoyed mid-morning; quite possibly the last one of the year for me, but we’ll see.

Lunch was very random. I wasn’t super hungry (probably due to the mocha) so I had a snacky day.

Fruit and Veggie #2: broccoli and hummus

broccoli and hummus

#3 (maybe a little shy of a serving): a handful of carrots

#4: Trader Joe’s dried pears from my stocking…..

IMG_1208

#5: An apple

Dinner

Serving #6 and 7 (and maybe even 8):  A seriously outstanding veggie hash. In the mix: kale, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, leftover scalloped potatoes, black beans, an egg to hold it together a little bit, and cheddar cheese. Seasoned with salt and pepper and garlic powder and OhEmGeee soooo GOOD!

IMG_1209

IMG_1211

There’s my 5-9 servings for the day! Booya!

It’s a good thing I had a healthy day o’ eats because I have nothing to brag about in the physical activity department. I was completely wiped out and the most activity from my day involved a couple of errands and 5 loads of laundry. That’s okay though, I know I’ll get right back on that activity wagon. Plus, we have our 10K coming up in 5 days! Yaya I’m excited for it!

I hope you all have a fabulous day my friends. Happy Thursday! xoxo

Question of the day: What is your all-time favorite breakfast?

Fitness Shoes and News

What a FANTASTIC weekend!

A quick summary of the weekend: I PR’ed in Hale to the Bird 5k, successfully hosted my first Thanksgiving, cleaned the house, took down the  fall decorations, put up the Christmas ones, got our Christmas tree, decorated our tree, put lights up outside, hung our wreath…I’d say it was a productive weekend. Now it’s over…waah waah. 🙂

So to catch you up…

Moose started his Saturday morning off with a very special treat: the few remains of a Parkers peanut butter container.

He licked that thing clean! Happy holidays to Mooser! Lucky duck.

The holiday decorations are up in full force in our house. I am realizing that I don’t have as many decorations as I would like. This may be my year to get out to the stores after the holidays and stock up on some clearance items!

Our decorated Christmas tree…

I mentioned that this year we went with a white pine whereas in years past we have gone with the Frasier fir. The needles are a lot different (longer) but I love how full the tree looks compared to the Frasier’s.

Here are a couple of photos from a few years ago…

2009 at Dana’s old house–before we were engaged

Our first Christmas in our house together–2010. This photo was taken right after our professional engagement photos, so I thought I would flash a couple of those for you too for the sake of good memories!

Awwww! 🙂 Our engagement photos were taken a day after a huge snow storm and it was absolutely freezing the day of our session. The snow made for some pretty great photos though!

Back to reality…

After Thanksgiving I have been on mission veggie load to get back on track. I’ve been getting in a whole lotta greens the past few days…

Saturday night dinner: mixed greens with tomato, black beans, feta cheese, broccoli, and hummus

Sunday morning: omelet with fontina cheese (we discovered this awesome cheese in Italy), spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomato

Sunday dinner: mixed greens with tomato, broccoli, black beans, corn, cheese, green olives, and light ranch dressing

I think it’s safe to say I’m back on track in the veggie department. I’m feeling better already.

**********

Fitness News

First, remember those snazzy Asics I bought a couple of weeks ago? Well, they weren’t fitting my foot quite right, so I exchanged them for another pair thinking that it was maybe just a faulty pair. After trial two with the same model of shoe, it turns out that whatever changes they made to the Asics Kayano 19 compared to the past couple of models don’t agree with the shape of my foot. So yesterday, we made a trip back to Marathon Sports yet again to find me some shoes.

I tried on a different style of Asics, but they weren’t right. Next, they tried me in a pair of Brooks. I took them for a test jog outside of the store. I really like how light they are, they seem to have enough cushioning, and are very comfortable and fit well to my foot. I decided to go with Brooks Ravenna 3; my first pair of Brooks. We’ll see how my first run with them goes tomorrow.

Speaking of running, on to the second part of my fitness news. In order to keep myself in check and keep me running over the holiday season, I have registered for a 10k on January 1st. That means not only will I need to continue to run, I will need to train outside in the Minnesota cold. It’s time to toughen myself up. I will be learning about safety precautions when running in the cold, experimenting with layers and warm gear, and amping up my mileage weekly. I will be keeping you posted on my progress as I go along.

The race is being put on by Team Ortho which is the same organization that puts on the half marathon and Get Lucky (to name a few), both of which I completed this past year. I really like their races. They are always very well organized and participants and spectators really seem to enjoy themselves at their events.

Team Ortho’s Get Lucky 7k: Race Recap

Team Ortho’s Minneapolis Half Marathon:

I am excited to start training! Dana and Kevin will be running it as well.

I am off to get loads accomplished today (hopefully). Have a great day my friends.