Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/22/12-10/28/12)


Run: 2.5 mi 


Run: 2 mi 


Twilight Thrill 5K Race!

Rest Day

I'm sure you noticed the decrease in my fitness activity this week. It's been a couple months since I raced a 5K. I know I have gotten faster since then and I decided to take it easy this week so I was completely rested for the race. I must have done something right...FASTEST 5K EVER! What's funny is when I got done I didn't feel like I had worked that hard and could have ran faster. And, I was only 21 seconds away from an age division medal...21 SECONDS. I'm not mad though, I'm actually very pleased.

I ordered a copy of The Paleo Diet for Athletes from Amazon. An updated and revised edition came out this month, but I got the original. Partly because I didn't realize the other book was an updated version, but mostly because the original was cheaper. I'm about a third the way through and I'm really enjoying it so far. I believe I will definitely be implementing their suggestions during Half Marathon training.

Even though I ran a monster of a PR, I kind of feel like I took it a little too easy this week. I'm ready to get back at it next week.

Goals for next week
1. Work hard.
2. Feel good.
3. Push my limits.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Foodie Friday (10/26/12)

Easy Slow Cooker Apple and Onion Pork Chops

6 boneless pork chops
2 apples
2 onions
salt, pepper, and thyme to taste
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1. Dice apples and onions into chunks and spread in bottom of Crock pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
2. Place pork chops on top of apple and onion.
3. Mix chicken broth and apple cider vinegar then pour mixture over pork chops and veggies.
4. Sprinkle pork chops with salt, pepper, and thyme.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours.

This recipe came from Denim and Dots.

This turned out very good. I think next time I will put the chops on the bottom of the slow cooker then place the apples and onions on top to prevent the chops from drying out. I used homemade chicken broth and Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar.
I decided this week I wanted to reconcile with using herbs and spices, hence the thyme. I didn't use a whole lot, but I used enough that I could taste it in the final product. Here are the herbs and spices I used this week: thyme, paprika, chili powder and oregano. Go me!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Make a Plan

Two weeks ago I discussed setting goals. I said it should encompass something important to you and be specific. Today I'd like to explain how to reach those goals: Make A Plan!

Some people can run and workout just by whatever they feel like doing that particular day. And that totally works for them! I do not operate this way. I've tried. I failed. I like structure and organization and lists. Also, when I have everything wrote down, it's more tangible to me.

Here are some great resources for beginners:
Runner's World - I love this magazine, I have a subscription, and I could spend all day reading their training articles. They also have this really cool thing called SmartCoach. It's free, you put in all your info, and it gives you a training schedule. Easy as that! - This site lists a lot of races and has a lot of good articles on running, swimming, cycling, and triathlons.
Cool Running - Again lots of good articles. They even include the Couch-to-5K (C25K) Running Plan for free!

I have recently been talked into running a couple half marathons next year. This will push back my triathlon plans, but I'm OK with that. Since I have never ran a half marathon before, you better believe I will be using a half marathon training plan. The first one is Rock the Parkway on April 13, and the other is Joplin Memorial Run on May 18. Yes, I realize they are only 5 weeks apart. Yes, I realize that is not advised. Yes, I still want to do it. Considering what lead to talking me into these races was the prospect of participating in the Heartland 39.3 Series, it will be fine. Seriously, go to the Heartland 39.3 Series link...I was considering it!

A couple Sundays ago, my husband fell asleep on the couch, and I had the opportunity to plan out my running and workout schedule in peace. I keep a training log and write down what I want to do in pencil. I like to use pencil because plans frequently change, and pencil erases. The running plan I came up with luckily works perfectly with getting ready to train for the half. I love it when things work out.

Speaking of plans changing...sometimes a perfect plan doesn't work out so perfectly. Sometimes you really need to rest instead of busting out a speed workout or strength training. Next week I'll talk about how to Listen to Your Body.

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/15-10/21)

AM-Strength Training
     *side lunge and press, single leg dumbbell row, single leg hip raise, T pushup
PM-Bike: 10 min easy, 2 x (2 min hard, 2 min easy), 5 min easy

Run: 3 mi fartlek

Bike: 10 min easy, 14 min, tempo, 6 min easy
    **it was SO windy***
Walk dogs with H

Run: 4 miles 
     **still windy**
Walk dogs with H

AM-Strength Training
     *overhead dumbbell lunge, single arm-neutral grip-dumbbell row & rotation, single arm setup & press, pushup, prone cobra
PM-Walk dogs with H

Run: 5 miles with Running Bestie

Rest Day!

I've never tried to ride a bike in wind like we had on Wednesday! It wasn't knock me over bad, but I was having to really work without going much of anywhere. On Thursday I chose a route where I mostly had a cross wind because it was still pretty windy. I started incorporating speed work this week (fartlek on Tuesday). I love fartleks! When I do them I run about a half mile warmup, then run fast between a couple signs or poles, then slow down till I feel recovered, then go hard again and repeat until I've finished the mileage. I finish off with about a quarter mile cooldown. I never plan out the distance or time of the fast/slow parts, I just go by feel.
I'm happy with the work I did this week. I can feel myself getting stronger. Also, I may have gotten talked into running Rock the Parkway Half-Marathon next would be my first half.

Goals for next week
1. Finish "Make a Plan" post
2. Figure out a costume for Twilight Thriller
3. Run a PR at Twilight Thriller 5K

Friday, October 19, 2012

Foodie Friday (10/18)

Spaghetti Squash and Garden Marinara Meat Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients
spaghetti squash
salt & pepper to taste

Spaghetti Squash Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff. I just threw out the seeds, but you can cook them like pumpkin seeds.
4. Place squash cut-side down in a baking dish. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish.
5. Put in oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until tender.
6. Remove the squash from the oven. Carefully (it will be hot!) take a fork and run it lengthwise through the flesh of the squash. It will come out in strings like spaghetti!
7. Put the flesh strings in a bowl and add some butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Garden Marinara Meat Sauce Ingredients
2 lbs. ground meat (I used ground chuck because I like beef and it was on sale. Feel free to use chicken or turkey or pork or whatever you like)
roasted red bell pepper
can diced tomatoes (the tomatoes in the store did not look good, so I used canned)
2 whole carrots (chopped)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
6 whole mushrooms (chopped)
basil (I didn't measure, I just sprinkled some in)
salt & pepper to taste

Garden Marinara Meat Sauce Directions
1. Roast the red bell pepper. A quick Google search reveals many ways to accomplish this. I used my gas stove. I turned the burner on high and used a pair of tongs to rotate the pepper until it was burnt on all sides. Then I placed it in a bowl and put plastic wrap on the top to cool. Whichever method you use, the end result should be an evenly burnt pepper. You can also buy roasted red peppers in the store, but I wanted to do it myself.
2. Start a large skillet to warm on the stove.
3. In a food processor (or blender) combine the tomatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms and basil.
4. If the pepper has cooled, remove it from the bowl and remove the skin. It should come off easily with just your hands. I read to not rinse it as this will remove the roasted flavor. De-seed the pepper, slice and chop and put it in the food processor.
5. Blend the ingredients together until they form a consistency you like.
6. Once the skillet is hot, cook the ground meat. When it is still slightly pink, add the sauce from the blender. Mix together and simmer until the thickness suits you.
7. Serve over spaghetti squash. Eat!

**Make the meat sauce while the spaghetti squash is in the oven.**

This was a very adventurous dinner. I had never made spaghetti squash or roasted a red bell pepper before. I loosely followed a meat sauce recipe but added in other stuff I wanted. I have a general dislike to peppers: I like their flavor, but not eating them outright. I really liked the roasted red pepper that was blended with the other vegetables. I could definitely taste it, but it wasn't overpowering.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Month Blogiversary!

Yep, bustin' out a Ben Franklin quote. I think it fits pretty perfectly.
I've had a lot of fun the past month writing this blog and updating on Facebook. (Yes, I have a Facebook page! Go give me a LIKE!) On my Facebook page, I honestly only expected my Mom and a few friends to LIKE it, but I have 55 LIKE's and only 25 of them are people I personally know in real life! 30 new friends in health and fitness in a month? I'll take it!

It is my hope that I have, and can continue to, live up to that Ben Franklin quote. I have a notebook that is quickly filling with blog ideas. The only problem is finding the time to write! For me it's also a matter of quality over quantity. I could write every single day but that doesn't mean half of it would be worth reading. So whether you have read all my posts, or this is your first one, Thank You and Welcome! I try to be entertaining and informative.

Starting this blog also helped get me out of the rut I was in. I didn't want to be blogging about fitness when I was slacking and barely doing anything myself. I'm also helping a very dear and long-time friend get back into shape. I love inspiring people to become better versions of themselves and through this blog and Facebook page, I hope I am inspiring even more people.

I know I said last week I would post the follow up to Setting Goals this week, that will happen tomorrow or Saturday. I couldn't let my 1 month blogiversary pass without a little fanfare!

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Wrapup (10/8-10/14)

Here's what my week looked like:

Bike: 10 min easy, 8 min tempo, 7 min easy
Walk dogs with H 

Run: 3 miles 

AM-Strength Training
     *single arm dumbbell swing, modified pushup and row, dumbbell thruster, stability ball jacknife
PM-Bike: 10 min easy, 10 min tempo, 5 min easy

Run: 3 miles

Strength Training
     *goblet squat, pushups, hip raises, dumbbell row, plank

Run: 5 miles

Rest Day

I reached all my goals I set for myself last week! I am super happy and super proud of myself. I didn't follow my schedule exactly but I still got everything done with a little rearranging. After feeling burnt out and adrift after my first 10K, I think I've found my focus again. AND...I got to run with my running buddy on Saturday! We haven't ran together in months because she's been injured but now she's back and I'm happy!

Goals for next week
1. Run 3 days for a total of 12 miles
2. Bike 2 days
3. Strength train 2 days

What did you do this week that you are proud of?

Cavegirl Runner

Friday, October 12, 2012

Foodie Friday

I love food! So starting next week, I will begin sharing a recipe on Friday of something I have made recently. I'm excited for this! Here are some things to know about my cooking:

*I like simple meals with few ingredients.
*I'm not adventurous enough to use a lot of spices or herbs. I like basil. The smell of parsley reminds me of the smell of alfalfa. I do not like the smell of rosemary or thyme. Bay leaves are ok.
*I'm not a big fan of peppers or onions. I like the smell and flavor of them, but I don't enjoy eating them raw or partially cooked.
*I like garlic.

I never follow a recipe to the letter. Often I will combine a couple different recipes. I'm telling you this because if you want to make my recipe, it will not offend me if you add in or leave out ingredients. Every one has different tastes. Maybe you love rosemary or thyme...I really don't.

Cooking is a relatively new concept for me, as I explained here. But I like eating and I like knowing what is in my food. So check back next Friday for my first "Foodie Friday" post!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cavegirl Runner

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Setting Goals

I'm big into setting goals. The day before every meet, my high school cross country coach had us write down three goals we wanted to accomplish the next day. Some weeks were easier than others, but mine were usually get a medal or run a certain time. I've only been writing this blog for a little over 3 weeks, but I've already talked a lot about my personal fitness goals (see here, here, and here).

Goals are a great motivator. They give direction and purpose to your training. A question I ask myself is: "How will this make me better/stronger/faster?" A big part of that is finding what works (or doesn't work) for you. Through trial and error I have learned that my body doesn't like to run more than 3 days a week. More than that and I reach a point of diminishing returns. (That doesn't mean I sit on my butt the other 4 days though!)

So, what kind of goals should you set? Honestly, it doesn't matter as long as it is important to you! As long as it is important to you, you have a much better chance of seeing it through to the end. And the more specific the better: What do you want to do? When do you want to do it? Why are you doing it?

Lastly, setting goals is great, but how do you reach them? How do you get from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (where you want to be)? You have to make a plan! Planning and scheduling go hand in hand with setting the goal. You can't know where you're going if you don't know how to get there. Next week I will explain how I plan and schedule my workouts.

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up (10/1-10/7)

What did I do for exercise this week?

Bike 30 min

AM-Run 3 miles
PM-Walk dogs with H (my husband)


Run 3 miles

Walk dogs with H

AM-Run 4 miles
PM-The Color Run (walk 5K)

Rest Day

Not a bad week. I'm happy I ran 3 days! I haven't done that for about a month because I was feeling burnt out after my first 10K. I wish I would have included at least one day of strength training. I had the time, just did not manage it well.

Goals for next week
1. Run 3 days
2. Run 11 total miles
3. Strength train 2 days

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pistachio Day!

I mentioned in my very first post that I have a tendency to overindulge in nuts. Pistachios are the worst. They are like catnip for this Cavegirl. The interesting part is, I never tried pistachios before going Paleo. My husband used to buy them all the time and I always turned my nose up at them. But from the day I cracked open that first salty shell, I was addicted. My husband and I could polish off a 1 lb. bag in a single evening!

In an effort to curb my crazy pistachio problem,  I started dividing the big bag into multiple smaller bags and putting them out of sight. Didn't help. The next step I took was buying the smaller packages. This worked pretty well until the local grocery store near my house started carrying them. Before then, I had to drive across town to Walmart for my fix. They were a bit more expensive at the local store, but I didn't have to drive across town, so in my mind it was worth it. That is until I realized I was buying a bag every time I went in the store, which was every day. I was eating an 8 oz. bag of pistachios every day!

I decided that this was way too much of a good thing. Just because a food falls under the Paleo Guidelines, doesn't mean you can gorge yourself on it. Not to mention how much I was spending on pistachios in a month. (Yikes!) Hence, "Pistachio Day" was born! Pistachio Day is Sunday and Wednesday. I buy a small bag of pistachios, and eat them all without feeling guilty. But only on these days.

This was very difficult at first. It took a few weeks to develop the self-control to not buy them. I'm pretty good about it now. Sometimes I'll be in an "I don't care" mood and buy a bag when it's not Pistachio Day. I let myself feel bad, and then I promise myself to do better next time.

It annoys me when people tell me that there are worse things I could be overeating. That may be true for them, but I don't eat sweets. Ever. I don't want to, so I don't. The box of cookies doesn't tempt me like pistachios. Or grapes. Geez, grapes are a whole other story.

My point is this: If there is a food that you can't help but eat until it's gone, don't keep it in your house. Do Not Buy It! The foods I have this problem with are pistachios and grapes. I have pistachios mostly under control. Grapes are a work in progress.

Cavegirl Runner

Monday, October 1, 2012

Race Recap: Combat Air Museum Winged Foot

Good things
*10K PR -- 56:49
*First place in my age division
*Got my name in the paper

Bad things
*Random foot pain
*Started too fast to maintain

So...the race. I ran a personal best and got first in my age division. My goal was to come in under an hour, and I did that. So why do I feel like I could have done better? For one thing I started way faster than I could maintain over 6 miles. But I decided to take a chance and I don't regret that. I did during the last two miles of the race, but I don't now. For me this race showed me what I am capable of and what I want to be capable of.

I'm going to need one of those display racks for running medals soon. Right now they are all hanging on the switch of the lamp in the corner of my living room. I guess when it falls over that will be my cue.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout-out to my Mom. This was her first 5K walk and I am so proud of her. Not just for finishing, but for her actions on the course. There was an older gentleman who had recently had back surgery and this was his first race back. He wasn't doing so great so my Mom got him to walk with her. Even though he didn't think he could do it and wanted to quit, my Mom was there to encourage him to keep going. I love my Mom.

Cavegirl Runner