Friday, December 28, 2012

Easy and Delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

This was my 3rd chicken broth attempt. The first two weren't bad, but this one was SO GOOD! It's based on a recipe from The Primal Blueprrint Cookbook by Mark Sisson. There's lots of great stuff in there. Anyway, this is super easy and super aweome! It takes some time and planning ahead, but so worth it.

1 whole chicken
1 onion, chunked
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 whole peppercorns
4 whole garlic cloves
2 T apple cider vinegar

1. Remove chicken from packaging and rinse. Place chicken in slow cooker breast side up.
2. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and garlic.
3. Fill the slow cooker with enough water to just cover ingredients.
4. Add apple cider vinegar.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
6. Once it has cooked, set a large cutting board and a large bowl next to the slow cooker. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on cutting board. My chicken completely fell off the bone, so I had to retrieve it in pieces with tongs.
7. Let the chicken set and cool a bit.
8. After it has cooled, remove the meat from the carcass. This is easiest done with your fingers, which is why it needs to be cool, but still warm. Place the meat into the bowl you set out, and everything else back into the slow cooker.
9. Save your meat to eat later or make soup or something.
10. With all the extra bits back in the slow cooker, add some more water to about 1 inch from the top. Simmer for about 20 more hours, halfway through add more water again.
11. When 20 hours are up, turn off the slow cooker and let the broth cool for about an hour and a half. Ladle the broth through a fine mesh strainer into storage containers.

The bigger your slow cooker, the more chicken broth you get. I got about 10 cups. Homemade broth will keep in the refrigerator a few days and the freezer a few weeks. I use Bell plastic freezing jars, but you can also use ice cube trays to freeze the broth in. This broth is rich, so I mix it with equal parts water when I use it in recipes. Enjoy!

Cavegirl Runner

Sunday, December 23, 2012

16 Weeks!

Monday (4 burpees)
Track Repeats
12x400 (90 sec recovery)
400 Target Time - 1:50

Tuesday (5)
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday (6)
8 min easy
10 min tempo
5 min easy

Thursday (7)
Tempo Run
2 mi easy
3 mi @ 8:17 pace
1 mi easy

Friday (8)
20 x (kick 1 length, rest 30 sec), using a kickboard

Saturday (9)
Long Run
8 mi @ 9:07 pace

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Little Break

I've decided to take a break from the blog this week. Don't worry! I'll be back next week when I start...HALF-MARATHON TRAINING! See you then!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Running Safely in the Dark

Is anyone else finding themselves squeezing in their run right before the sun goes down? The amount of daylight hours will keep diminishing until the Winter Solstice in a week. After that we will slowly have more daylight each day. Running in the daylight is ideal, but can't always happen. If you have to run in the dark or fading light, there are safety precautions you should adhere to.

Here's some advice from
  • Run against traffic. It's easier to avoid traffic if you can see it.
  • Don't wear dark colors at night. White running attire is the easiest to see at night, but orange and yellow are also appropriate. Black, brown, dark blue or green are not recommended.
  • Run behind vehicles at intersections. Even if a car or truck has stopped at a stop sign, there's no guarantee the driver has seen you.
  • Don't wear headphones. Wearing headphones diminishes a runner's ability to hear a car horn, a voice or a potential attacker.
  • Wear a billed cap and clear glasses. The bill of a cap will hit an unseen tree branch or another obstacle before the obstacle hits your head. Clear glasses will protect your eyes from bugs and other unseen obstacles.
  • Vary your routes. A potential attacker can watch for runners' patterns and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area.
  • Run with a partner. There's strength in numbers.
  • Try to make eye contact and acknowledge a driver. The interaction, however brief, could save your life.
A few points I would add:
  • If there is no sidewalk and you must run on the road, ALWAYS run against traffic.
  • If I come to a small intersection, I ALWAYS run behind the vehicle if there is one stopped. At bigger intersections with no stoplight. I just stop, wait, and cautiously cross.
  • I don't run with music, so I don't have to worry about not wearing headphones. It really helps some people, and if you are one of them, I think wearing only one ear bud and keeping your music low would be ok.
  • Varying your routes is a good way to cut down the possibility of an attack and a good way to keep your workouts fresh. I know it's easy to lose yourself in your run, but just because you vary your routes, that is no excuse for not being aware of your surroundings. This is especially true in the dark because there are not as many people around as in the daylight. That being said, attacks can still happen during the light, so ALWAYS be aware of what's going on around you.
  • Knowing there is someone waiting for you when it's 30 degrees out is extra incentive to get your butt out of bed. As long as you are not lazy on the same day...
  • ALWAYS make eye contact with a driver in an intersection.
This is my first time running through the winter. At the Thanksgiving race I ran, I got a reflective vest. I was super excited about that because I don't have a lot of reflective gear so I'm limited in what time of day I can run.

Hope you found this helpful! Stay safe and run hard!

Cavegirl Runner

Do you have any tips you would add?

Monday, December 10, 2012

This Week's Workout Plan

Interval Run:
1/2 mi warmup
4800m - 200m fast, 200m slow
1/2 mi cooldown

Row - technique work (20-30 min)

Tempo Run:
2 mi easy
2.5 mi @ 8:17 min/mi
1 mi easy

Row - technique work (20-30 min)


Long Run:
7 mi easy

Last week I decided to turn my fartlek run into an interval session at the track. It went really well and I'm glad I did it! I'm going to go back to the track this week and next to get used to it before I have to do it "for real."

I have the money for a membership to the YMCA now, so I will probably take care of that later today. The only swimsuit I have is a skimpy black one andI would like to get a proper exercising swimsuit in the next couple weeks. I bought one a couple months ago from the Speedo website, but it was way too small and I sent it back. I guess I should have ordered a different size back then...oh well. As long as my body is covered, it will be ok. Haha.

Countdown to Half-Marathon Training: 2 weeks

Cavegirl Runner

Any swimsuit suggestions for me?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good Luck, Haley Ruther!

Hang ten!
This lovely lady is running her first half-marathon today! Keep your eyes peeled for a guest blog by her later, too!

Good Luck, Haley! You can do it!

Friday, December 7, 2012

100 Day Burpee Challenge!


No. Really. I do.

What is The 100 Day Burpee Challenge? On Day 1, perform one burpee. On Day 2, perform two burpees. On Day 3, perform three burpees. Seeing the pattern here? All the way to Day 100 where you perform 100 burpees! If you miss a day, you have to do that day's burpees the next day! (In other words, don't miss a day.)

What is a burpee? This is a good description:
"A burpee is like a pushup on crack.
  1. Start in a low squat, hands flat on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump your feet back so that you're in a high push-up position.
  3. Complete a full push-up.
  4. Jump feet back to the starting squat position.
  5. Spring up off the ground and clap your hands over your head.
That's one.
The key is to focus on form. Getting into a solid push-up position each time makes a big difference.
Burpees have a reputation for building strength and character while torching body fat. I like the sound of that." Lean Machine NYC
I started this challenge once this past summer. I only got a couple weeks in because an unexpected trip to Tennessee kind of derailed my workout plans. I want to finish it this time! I'm going to start on December 21st. That will make Day 100 exactly two weeks prior to Rock the Parkway Half-Marathon.

I start in 2 weeks. Who's with me??

Cavegirl Runner

Anyone else crazy enough for The 100 Day Burpee Challenge?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Most Important Thing

Grab a piece of paper and number 1 through 5. Now list the 5 things you feel are most important to look and feel your best--the 5 most important things to be the healthiest and happiest you possible. Now rank them from most important (#1) to less important (#5). Here's my ranked list:
  1. Love
  2. Sleep
  3. Diet
  4. Balance
  5. Exercise
The Beatles sang "All You Need Is Love." No, it's not really all you need, but it's important enough that I ranked it #1.

For me, "Love" encompasses many things. First, there's love for yourself. I think that in order to make a long-term and sustainable lifestyle change, in order to make yourself a better, happier, and healthier person, you have to love yourself enough to make that commitment. You have to value yourself. You have to decide that you are important and deserve to have the best life possible. Because you do!

There's also love for what you do. I enjoy running. Sometimes it feels like a huge hassle, but once I'm out there doing it, I don't regret it. I know there are more efficient methods of cardio...but I like running. If you don't like running, then it won't do anything for you. I have heard so many times, people say, "Man, I need to run. I'm gaining weight. I hate running." Yeah, if you hate running, it's not going to help you much. There are better forms of cardio that will help you lose weight, and you will probably like them more than running.

Next I chose sleep. If I'm not well rested, I am a bear. Seriously. I don't like being around me when I don't get enough sleep. Our lives are stressful enough: work, bills, family, etc. Not getting enough sleep is one more stressor you are subjecting your body to. During the week I aim for at least 7 hours at night with a 20-30 minute nap during the day. Sometimes I only get 6, depending on my work schedule.

"Diet" is next. You can workout like a crazy person, but it won't matter if you eat crap food. Health starts on the inside. Eat real food! Not processed from a box fake food!

Next for me is "balance." This refers to how I balance the priorities in my life. If I'm supposed to workout, but I've only slept 5 hours a night the past couple nights...I'm probably going to take a nap first. Or postpone my workout till tomorrow when I'm more rested. If I've been working like crazy, and the house looks like a pigsty, I'll probably take a day off subbing to clean all day. When I let one part of my life take over the rest, I feel out of balance, and I don't like that.

Finally comes exercise. Yes, I always make time for exercise. But to me, it's not as important as the rest in order to make me feel the best.

All five of these things are important priorities to me. And they may move up or down depending on the day and how I feel. On average though, this is probably where they would fall.

Cavegirl Runner

What was your number 1? Did your list surprise you?

Monday, December 3, 2012

This Week's Workout Plan

Mon. 12/3
6 mi easy

Tue. 12/4
Fartlek Run:
1/2 mi easy
2.5 mi fartlek
1/2 mi easy

Wed. 12/5

Thur. 12/6
Tempo Run:
1 mi easy
2.5 mi @ 8:32 min/mi
1 mi easy

Fri. 12/7

Sat. 12/8
Long Run:
7 mi easy

Most of the time life doesn't go as planned. I visited my parents last weekend to go deer hunting with my Dad. We saw some deer, but they were too far off to take a shot. I had a 6 mile long run scheduled for last weekend, but after tramping through corn fields and thicket for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday morning, I was pretty tired! Not to mention, a rifle gets kind of heavy after a few miles. I still want to get that run in, so I'm rearranging what I had originally planned for this week.

I've mentioned that I like to plan things out. It helps me know that I'm getting everything done. But that doesn't mean I let it take over my life either. I think it's important to have balance like that. If a schedule causes you anxiety, or if you abstain from things you enjoy because it doesn't fit in your workout schedule, I think you need to reevaluate your priorities.

I have, have, HAVE to get my membership to the Y this week. Then I'll have a couple weeks to practice rowing and swimming before the real workouts start.

Half-Marathon Training Countdown: 3 weeks!

Cavegirl Runner

How do you find balance between working out and the rest of your life?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Fitness Goals

Hey! It's December! How the heck did that happen? It feels like November just FLEW by! Here are my goals for this month:

1. Get a membership to the Y.
**I've been meaning to do this for a while, and if I want to row and swim for cross training, I really can't wait anymore.

2. Prepare for Half-Marathon training
**more focus on mileage and pace
**less focus on strength training
**practice pre-, during-, and post-workout fueling plan

3. Learn and practice proper rowing and swimming technique.

4. Buy a swimming suit for cross training! (It will be too cold outside to ride my bike!!)

5. Finalize Half-Marathon training schedule.

6. Half-Marathon training begins December 24! (Yeah, Christmas Eve...)

7. Stay focused, work hard, and have fun!

Cavegirl Runner

Goals are good for the mind, body, and soul. Do you have any goals this month? What is one?