May 26, 2010

HP Blast Run #4, #5, & #6

Training Run #4 was not as bad as I expected it to be. I was anticipating a rough run because of a cold that I've been fighting, but once I got going I felt pretty good. We met in Newport, KY again this week, so the route took us on an out and back course. We had done a similar route the week before, so I was familiar with some of the elevation challenges (other wise know as hills!). Near the beginning of the run we came upon the Licking River Bridge, which can be troublesome because there's only room to run in a single file line across the bridge and last time I got smashed in the middle of a pack of people that were much faster than I am. So, this time I was more prepared for it and positioned myself closer to a group that runs at my pace and made it across the bridge with no problems. It was nice not having someone bearing down my back to move me across that skinny pathway, this time I was able to work on conquering the uphill as we approached the bridge, then I let gravity take it's course and coasted down the small downhill that was after the bridge. Toward the end of the 2miles, I met up with a nice gal and we ran it in for the last bit together.

Training Run #5 made me feel like a whole new person. I finally kicked my cold and was ready to take on the world (or at least approx 3 miles of it)! This was a Saturday morning run, so I was up about 1 & 1/2 hours before meeting time to have some OJ and an english muffin with peanut butter to be sure I had some fuel for the workout. My group ran a new route this time and it covered 2.75 miles. The beginning of the route took us up a pretty long hill - the thing about this hill is that it's not all that steep, which is good, but it is super long, so it just feels like it's never ending and there's not one bit of downhill on the other side. Overall, I was a machine during this run - I was at the front of the pack the entire 2.7 miles, I was not winded like I had been at the end of our 2 minute runs, I was even able to keep up a good conversation with our running coach about a book she recommended. I left that morning feeling like I could have kept going - that feeling alone was enough to make me smile all day long!

Now, Training Run #6 brought me back into reality - that's right, my "runners high" only lasted one afternoon, because by the time run #6 rolled around, the temps had soared into the mid 80s and it was really "hot and sticky" outside. One good thing about this run was that the majority of the route followed along the a large portion of the Hyde Park Blast course that we'll be tackling at the end of June. Tonight's run was all about hill conquering - and lots of them. There were some other elements that came into play also because there was a ton of construction along the main road, so we were dodging huge street signs along the sidewalks, lots of loose gravel debris and a good amount of dust floating through the air. We hit a huge hill on a street called Handasyde and man was it ever steep - the type of hill that makes you want to double over in pain when you approach it. Everyone was groaning their way up this bad boy - huffing and puffing, one foot in front of the other - it was that bad! It got the best of me and I had to walk up the majority of it, however there was a huge downhill and a water stop on the other side, so there was some immediate relief from the heavy panting I was experiencing. I'd say my favorite part about training run #6 was heading out for beers after the 3 mile run that night. It was really great to meet some more people in the training group and hear about the reasons why everyone got involved with running.

This weekend's training run is actually going to be the Kicks for Kids 5k charity run, so I'm really looking forward to participating in that event. More updates to come - thanks for reading about running experiences.

May 23, 2010

Summer Pasta Salad

I decided to fix up a batch of pasta salad to have in the fridge for the weekend and it must have been good b/c we crushed it in less than 3 days!

The cast of characters:
•1 green pepper-chopped
•1 red pepper-chopped
•1/2 red onion-diced
•1 pkg mushrooms, quartered
•1 pkg pepperoni minis
•1/2 bottle Wishbone Italian dressing
•Several generous shakes of Mcormicks Salad Supreme seasonings
•1 box of cooked Tri-color Pasta

Mix all ingredents together and chill for a few hours before serving. Enjoy!

- Posted Using BlogPress

May 19, 2010

Recipe: Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground turkey and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat. Drain off fat. Add seasonings, soup and milk. Cook over medium heat about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sour cream and heat through. Serve over cooked egg noodles.
A couple of weeks ago, I invited the parental units (aka - my parents) down the the 'Nati for dinner and I pulled a fast one on my Dad - I got him to eat ground turkey! Now I come from a meat and potatoes kind of family, and my Dad's favorite food is pizza. So, knowing that, you can imagine the surprise in my Dad's eyes when I told him I made the stroganoff with ground turkey, instead of the traditional ground beef. Despite his hesitation, I think he liked it. However, I did notice that sometimes he was pushing the turkey off to the side of the plate, eating only the noodles & mushrooms. (Though he claimed it was because I loaded the plate too full with the toppings - but I'm not convinced on that!)

Either way, I thought this was a great recipe to add to the mix and wanted to share it with you. It tasted great with the ground turkey, and I know it would be just a good with ground beef - if that is your families preference!

May 18, 2010

HP Blast - Run #2 & #3

So far so good with the training for the Hyde Park Blast run at the end of June.

Training run #2 was great. My group, which is the beginners 2 & 1 group, went out for a 25 minute workout. With the 2 & 1 interval running style, we started out running for 2 minutes, then walk for 1 minute and followed that pattern for the whole workout. We took off from our meeting spot and ran on some of the most beautiful streets Cincinnati has to offer. No doubt looking at all the beautiful homes and landscaping made it a bit easier to keep my feet shuffling one in front of the other. This route had a lot more hills to tackle than the previous week's, so that was challenging. Overall, I felt good and enjoyed meeting some new people who ran with our group.

Training run #3 was pretty hard. I ended up getting a cold in between the two runs and by the time run #3 came along, I was really wiped out, feeling sick and unsure if I should even go out for the run. I decided that laying in bed wasn't helping me feel better, so I laced up my shoes and met the group at our meeting spot. That day we did 2 miles and it was rough. For the first 2 runs I was able to stay near the front of the group, but with this one, I was near the back and had to take a few walk breaks during the 2 minute runs. Overall, I really did feel better after pushing through the run - I think it helped get some of the gunk out of my lungs.

So, on to run #4 tonight - still feeling sick with a cold, but pushing through to get ready for The Blast at the end of next month!

May 11, 2010

Vote for Me!

Update - Thanks for all the votes blog readers, I am one of the winners for the Honda visa gift card. I appreciate your votes!

Hey blog readers - I need your help - I entered a contest at my local Honda dealership to win a gift card. We were asked to submit a picture of us and our Honda, so click here to vote and look for my name & this picture. I'd appreciate your vote if you have time - Thanks!

May 10, 2010

Print Friendly Button

Hey Blog readers - I have been browsing lots of great blogs lately and noticed that most of them have some type of "print" button for their posts. This comes in handy when I'm looking up recipes and want to print off the ingredient list & directions. For a while I was always copying & pasting the text from a blog to a word document or just printing the whole blog post. This definitely gets the job done, but I wanted to find a way to offer you all the option of printing just the necessary info from a particular post if you wanted to try out a recipe I've posted about.

After some googling, I came across this website called Print Friendly. I've added this button to the end of my blog posts, so readers can now print the post without having all the info on the sidebar of the web page come up. Once you click the print friendly button, a separate page will open up with the text and images - please note you can click the "remove images" if you don't need the pics that go along with the post. You can also hover the mouse over the post in the new printer friendly box and delete paragraphs from the post if you want to take out some of the information.

Let me know if you have any problems with this button. I'd also love to hear your thoughts/feedback if you use the new print friendly option. Here's a link to get your own print friendly button if you want to add it to your blog. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

May 08, 2010

Hyde Park Blast Training Group

Today is a big day - it is my first day as a member of the Bob Ronckers Running Spot Training Group for the Hyde Park Blast Run. The Hyde Park Blast is a 4 mile run at the end of June - the course goes through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Cincy and after the run there's a huge party to celebrate!

The first training run kicked off at 8:30am this morning. I woke up at 7:15am, had a piece of toast with peanut butter and half a banana. At last weeks informational meeting, some of the coaches suggested it was important to eat around 200-300 calories before a run, to make sure you have enough fuel to help push you through the run. They also promoted good hydration throughout the days leading up to a run, making sure you drink plenty of water 2-3 days before a training run. So, I woke up, put on my jogging clothes and new Saucony shoes and then the nerves set in. That's right, even though I was the one who signed up for this, for some reason I was really nervous when I was about to get in the car to head to the meeting spot. I didn't let them get the best of me though, and I showed up - joining the beginners Run/Walk group who would be training with the pace of Run 2 minutes,Walk for 1 minute.

I managed to hang with most of the pack the whole time and as a group we decided to do the suggested route twice. We were scheduled for a 1.15 mile route, so we ended up completing a 2.3 mile run. I learned a lot today - about running form, how to tackle the hills and that it's okay to stop and walk if your body needs it! I was glad to hear that this run/walk option was available in this training program. It's a good place for me to start and I'm looking forward to challenging myself to work up to the Run 3 minutes/Walk 1 minute group. And maybe by the end of the program, I'll be jogging along with the beginner runners, who are clocking about a 12 minute mile.

They gave us a suggested schedule to work on in addition to the Saturday morning and Tuesday evening runs that are part of the program. I'm really excited for this challenge in my life. I'm proud to have taken the first step and I'm looking forward to seeing if I can "become a runner". Some of you reading may remember when I tried the Couch to 5k program, which I had good success with, but didn't end of finishing, though I did complete a 5k back in March of '09, which was a great feeling. As I've tried to keep up with my workouts, I've found over the years that I really benefit from a group setting - I enjoy taking group classes, like boot-camp workouts, spinning, etc. Now knowing that, I think this 4 mile run training program is going to be a great match for current skill level and my desire to participate in group activities!

How about those of you reading, what are you doing to stay active? Do you like working out with a group or jamming solo to your iPod while you pound the pavement? Either way - good luck with your goals, what ever they may be!