Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just My Luck...

The Monday following the half, I did a great shake out 3.1, and I had every intention of doing a short 30 minute jog with my fellow Stroller Warriors on Tuesday (as usual). My husband said, "You should really take the day off today." Naturally, I objected because I have my routine, and I love running with my girlfriends. So he relented and said, "Hey, I just don't want you to over do it and end up with an injury down the road." I took it into consideration, but decided to meet the club anyway.

So Tuesday morning, at 8:55, I headed out with Jason's uniforms in tow (to take to the dry cleaners) and the Weasel's breakfast to go. We were supposed to got to playgroup immediately after the run, so I wanted to get the dry cleaning dropped off BEFORE our 9:30 run. Unfortunately, in my hurry to get things done, I sped through a school zone (the flashing lights were overhead and not a place I typically look). It was a speed trap!


I was clocked at 44 in a 25 during school hours. Totally busted. I handed over my license and registration and shortly after had a serious breakdown. It was enough to upset the Weasel who was previously riding happily in the back with her waffles:( The cop returned, ticket in hand, and told me how to take care of it. Unfortunately, I didn't need the instructions as this is my 4th ticket since moving to NC in August 2009! 

Background: In November 2009, on the way to a friend's wedding (in which I was a bridesmaid and running ridiculously late), I received a ticket. I was going 90 in a 55, but the nice cop wrote it as 70 in a 55 so I didn't go straight to jail. Thank goodness he was understanding. This was the first ticket I had gotten since I was 16! On my way back to Jacksonville that same weekend, I was 10 miles from home on a long trip with a crying baby and an anxious dog and got my second ticket...73 in a 55. I had to wait for a call from my husband, who was training in CA for an upcoming deployment, to relay my discretions. Luckily, I caveated the bad news with the fact that I had just found out we were pregnant! I drove slowly for a while, but earlier last year, I was pulled over coming off a bypass into town where the speed limit drops from 65 to 45 without much warning. I got that ticket for 59 in a 45. So that officially brought me to 9 points on my driver's license. Not good!

Coming back to the ticket at hand, I was so distraught over my newest mistake, that I decided to skip the run all together. I dropped off the dry cleaning and headed straight to the local courthouse. As luck would have it, I ran into my neighbor, a deputy sheriff, as we entered the building. I explained my situation, and in very certain terms, she told me exactly what to do. I checked in at the front desk and requested to be an add-on to the court docket for that day. The Weasel and I waited approximately 3 hours (thank goodness I had lots of snacks!) and within that time, we met with a DA and had the charges reduced to 40 in a 25 not in a school zone, and then went before a judge to request a Prayer for Judgment. My request was accepted, THANK GOODNESS! So now, I absolutely cannot get another ticket within the next three years, or this one will be reinstated. 

Needless to say, I definitely ended up taking the day off running:( But my dear friend came over with milkshakes in hand and a great birthday gift to boot. So thankful for my great friends. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Need a little motivation?

I snagged this from The Happy Runner blog after Googling running motivation...and I fell in love with it immediately! So what are you waiting for? GO RUN!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A New Favorite Recipe

Since getting married, I have learned a LOT about cooking, and I actually enjoy it now. My husband never complains about my cooking, in fact, he'll eat just about anything. However, he never raves about anything either:( Thus, it's sometimes difficult to decipher wether or not I should make a meal a second time. 

Over the last three and a half years, we've developed somewhat of a system. If he just consumes the meal without mentioning anything, I put that recipe in the toss pile. If he asks for seconds, it goes in the keep pile. And if he asks for leftovers, it goes in the you-better-never-lose-this-one-and-make-it-once-a-month pile! Hey, it works for our family:)

So here's a recipe I made last night that rates being taken today for his lunch!! 


Spanish-Style Noodles w/ Chicken and Sausage (Found in Food Network Magazine) Serves 4

-3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 in chunks
-1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 in chunks
-Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
-1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-2 medium onions, diced
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 bay leaves
-3/4 cup tomato puree
-12 ounces spaghetti, broken into 3-in pieces
-Grated Manchego or parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional) 

1. Bring a large kettle or pot of water to a boil. Season the chicken and sausage with 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and the marjoram. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the chicken and sausage and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
2. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and tomato puree to the pot. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until the oil turns deep red and the onions are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. If the onions are sticking, add a splash of water and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the spaghetti to the onion mixture and stir-fry until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken and sausage and enough boiling water until the pasta is al dente and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cheese, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 776; Fat 36g (sat 8g); Cholesterol 102mg; Sodium 1,600 mg; Carbohydrates 76g; Fiber 5g; Protein 30g)

I realize this isn't the healthiest meal, but with a few tweaks, you can definitely cut some of the calories and fat. Swap the chicken thighs for chicken breast and the Italian sausage with turkey sausage. Leave the cheese off as a garnish. I'm sure it would still be delicious! And I honestly wish I had tried this recipe last week, because leftovers would have been perfect for carb-loading on Friday or Saturday!

What is one of your favorite, go-to recipes (share the link please!).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quintiles Half Marathon Recap

***Warning*** This post contains pictures of gross runner's feet!!

My friend Cody (who was visiting from DC) and I woke up EARLY Sunday morning and hit the road at 4:35 am! Wilmington bound, we arrived at the hotel where my running buddies were staying by 5:15. In the car, I enjoyed my pre-race breakfast: hard boiled egg, a banana, and some nuun Lemon-Lime. We met up with my friends and took a 15 minute walk to the shuttle area. I started to get nervous that we were too late when I saw the ridiculous lines of people waiting for shuttles, but the marathon organizers were on top of things. Shortly after we arrived, 6 buses and trolleys pulled up and we piled on for a quick ride to the starting area.

We joined more long lines of runners waiting for the port-a-potties and quickly took care of business. Then we met up with the rest of our Stroller Warriors to wish everyone luck. (There were about 20 running the half and another 5 or 6 doing the full marathon.) We set off for a warm up jog and made it back to the start just in time for the national anthem. We hopped in line around the 3:45 marathon pacer sign and before we knew it, the horn had sounded. The weather was holding at 60 and overcast with a bit of mist...PERFECT running weather!

Our first mile, like that of almost every big race, was slower than we would have liked due to dodging people, but around mile 2, we got into our groove. This was my friend Jill and her husband, Pat's, first half. We did some of our training together, so we decided to form a little team. This worked out great and we chatted through the majority of the race, sharing fruit punch flavored Clif Shot Bloks and taking turns pushing the pace. It was a great course with several opportunities for large groups to gather and cheer for those running. Some of my beloved SWs were scattered throughout the course just to cheer for us! There were plenty of water/Gatorade stops along the way too.

Around mile 12.5, we saw a lady cheering wildly and holding out open cans of Bud Light. Feeling frisky, I grabbed one and got a great response from the crowd. I took a few sips and then set the can down on the curb because it was causing a burning sensation in my throat! Perhaps that wasn't the brightest idea:)

During the last mile, I felt a blister squishing around on the bottom of my right foot. It wasn't too painful, mostly just distracting, so we picked up the pace to cross the finish line. My goal before my husband came home was a 1:45, but after a stall in my training and way too many beers and good food while we were in England, Scotland and Ireland, I shifted the goal to just breaking 2 hours. We rounded the last corner and knew that not only did we smash the 2 hour mark, we were on track to break 1:50!

My friends and I crossed the line at 1:48:04 and couldn't have been happier!

Jill, Pat & me

We were running in support of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) research, in honor of our SW leader's son, Cole who was diagnosed with SMA last year. The girls ordered shirts, cotton and technical, for us and I decided to wear mine for the first time on race day. BIG MISTAKE! It was a regular cotton shirt and my underarms were seriously chafed at the end:( Lesson learned, always practice in your race day attire beforehand! 

I waited for Cody to cross the line and ran back into the crowded finish area to link up with him. As soon as we could, we headed back to the car, and although the 15 minute walk back felt miserable with my newly formed blisters, I'm sure it was the right thing to do to give our muscles a cool down. Once we got to the car, I stripped off my shoes and socks expecting to see blisters, but not expecting this:

Yup...they weren't just blisters, they were blood blisters! GROSS! My right sock was bloody because the blister on that foot burst sometime in that last mile (hence the squishing). Luckily it looks more painful that it actually is. I donned flip flops and we hopped in the car and drove straight to the beach where my favorite people were waiting for us with Gatorade and donuts!

The Weasel LOVES the beach!

It was my fabulous husband's idea to meet at the beach so we could walk in the cold water as a pseudo ice bath to relieve our aching feet and legs. Best idea ever! 

My feet felt so much better after walking in the ocean!

This was my second official half (I ran one with my SW group late last year for fun) and I bettered my PR by 14 minutes. I couldn't have been happier. And here's the swag:

The shirts ran small, so not sure how often I'll wear it, but it's super comfortable! And now I have another medal to add to my display rack! 

I did a 3.1 shake out run this morning and felt good. I did cut away part of one blister, but I'm going to let the other ones fade away on their own. Now hoping to get in a few short races and then turn my focus to training for the MCM in October!!