Monday, February 28, 2011

Soggy run

It's the 15th straight day of below-average temps in the Portland area. There was snow in the rain on my way to work... again. I put off my run yesterday, opting instead for the dry warmth of the garage elliptical. So I had to get out there today... no excuses!

After 48 minutes in the cold rain, I was really soaked. So I stripped on the front porch. No drippies in the house!
My run/walk program called for 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking - 8 times for a total of 48 minutes.
I didn't look at my Garmin again, keeping track of my time on my stopwatch. I ended up going 4.64 miles in 47:43 miles - 10:16 minute/mile pace. Not bad. I'm focusing on increasing my distance now, not speed, so that feels great to me :)

I was really dreading going out there this afternoon, but as always, I'm so glad I made myself do it!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Family dinner

Aunt Cynthia is in town to visit and help with my grandparents, who are in a transition stage at their retirement community in Newberg. We met up for dinner tonight at Village Inn, a favorite of Grandma and Grandpa's.
Can you tell these guys are related????
We all filled up and had a fun time hanging out :)
Thank you, Cynthia, for flying up from Arizona to lend a much-needed and much-appreciated hand!


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Despite the cold temps, yesterday was a run day... had to do it. It was just about 32 degrees and windy when I bundled up after work and prepared for a chilly workout. At least it was dry and sunny!
I chose my knit skull cap and then decided to add the fleece ear band - ended up being the perfect combo to keep my head and ears warm. I also broke out my Old Navy tights, which I bought recently off the clearance rack for $10 or something. BONUS: Because I have short midget legs, the tights were long enough to tuck into my no-show socks and keep my ankles toasty! Of course, I kept my fingers warm with fleece mittens.

My run/walk training program called for running 3 minutes and walking 1 minute - 10 times for a total of 40 minutes. I wound through my neighborhood at a comfortable pace and did 3.83 miles. Felt great!
What a beautiful day to get out and absorb some Vitamin D :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snowy flowers

Chores around the house kept me very busy during Thursday's snow day. But I never changed out of my PJs and did as much as I could (like sorting a huge stack of papers) in front of my fireplace, which I stoked all day.

Before the snow melted, I ran outside (yes, in my PJs and with my greasy hair going in all directions!) with Brad's camera to capture the beauty.

I hope you were able to take in some of the beauty yesterday, too!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cooking marathon: 8 meals in one night!

We keep our garage freezer stocked with hot lunches for Brad. When he told me he was almost out, I got to work picking out a bunch of recipes (new and old) and shopping for groceries. Wednesday night, I destroyed our kitchen cooking eight dishes for his lunching pleasure!

Pasta, Red Bean and Parsley Toss from Better Homes and Gardens:
Mexican Mac and Cheese from Better Homes and Gardens. (Brad missed this one in his photographing) I used Gimme Lean "Sausage" instead of real sausage.

Tex Mex Quinoa from Cooking Quinoa:
Mexican-Style Spaghetti from Better Homes and Gardens:
Triple-Decker Tortilla from Better Homes and Gardens:
Santa Fe Casserole from Healthy Tipping Point:
Spicy Black Beans and Rice from Better Homes and Gardens:
Fried Rice from Better Homes and Gardens:
I also threw some grains in my slow cooker for breakfasts this week:
Brad boxed his beauties and squeezed them into the freezer... mostly.
I also bought stuff for a couple other recipes that will have to wait for more freezer space :)

When I'm doing lunches, it's easiest to just do a bunch at once. These shared a lot of ingredients, so that made the shopping and the chopping and the assembly simpler. Plus, I can reuse pots, pans, bowls and utensils.

I enjoyed trying all the new recipes - and they were all yummy! I'd recommend each one :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Muffin Wednesday: Chocolate Lovers' Delight

Cassandra helped out with this week's muffin experiment: Chocolate Lovers' Delight!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line muffin tin with paper cups

3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T oil
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 c milk
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 t baking soda
1 c chocolate chips

1. Stir together cocoa powder and oil. Add eggs, vanilla and milk and blend well.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and baking soda. Add the chocolate mixture and half the chips, stirring just until moistened.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle on remaining chips.

4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

We had a lot of trouble with the first step - the chocolate just globbed up. I microwaved it several times and beat it with a whisk until it incorporated. But the rest was a piece of cake... or muffin.

We doubled the recipe and made 24 plus a small cake with the leftovers. I think they look like little spiky aliens :)
These were really good - bitter and not very sweet at all.

Ce2 students and staff enjoyed the treat! Cassandra thought she'd make them again...


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Long run... killed it!

I set out after work today on my first "long run" of my training... and I killed it!!

I'm using the Beginning Runner's Handbook to ramp up from my usual 5Ks to 10Ks and an eventual half-marathon. Week 7 called for running 10 minutes and walking 1 minute - five times for a total of 55 minutes.
Armed with some water and a Gu gel, I set off to pound out my 55 minutes. Since I raced Sunday and skied yesterday, I wasn't expecting much from my legs. I decided to ignore my Garmin the entire run and not think about speed at all. I wove my way through the neighborhoods, feeling comfortable-ish and thinking I was going pretty slow, especially when the strong wind was blowing at me.

I planned to eat my mint chocolate Gu during the walk of my third interval - at 32 minutes. It was my very first during-run gel. Because I had my stopwatch in my left hand and my water bottle in my right, I had a little trouble getting it open. Then I had a hard time eating it while breathing hard. Soon, my minute was up and I had to finish it while running. It was a bit tricky to time the breathing and the sucking, but I assume that will get easier.
It tasted amazingly good and went down fairly easily, though I was glad to have a little water to help. After, I had a little trouble with the sugary syrup getting stuck in my throat. I kept trying to cough and clear my throat to get it out. It was a little distracting to my breathing. I'll have to practice and get used to those. At least I found a flavor that works :)

So I got finished and took a peek at my Garmin:
I wasn't going slow at all! I'd done 5.6 miles in just under 55 minutes - a 9:47-minute/mile - including my walking.

I'm thrilled with my run - and I'm feeling more confident in my ability to ramp up my distance and do my upcoming 10K.


Crosstown Trail (2/21/11)

A day off + fresh snow = xc ski trip!

After running the Heart Breaker race Sunday, Brad and I were looking for some low-key skiing on our day off. We also wanted to avoid the holiday crowds and traffic, so Government Camp seemed like the perfect choice.
We parked on the main drag and started up the Skiway Trail. The snow was very nice - dry and fresh but solid and grippy. We took a left on Wally's Tie and then a right on the Crosstown Trail. After crossing the Glade Trail, we spotted the brand-new Camp Creek trail. It's not on the map, so we decided to explore and see where it led. It eventually took us to West Leg Road on the far side of Govey. We skied down West Leg to Summit Ski Area, where Brad found this race course:
My skis don't have his side cut, so turns are out of the question for me. Instead, I performed the amazing flying wedge all the way to the bottom of the slope!

We rejoined the Crosstown Trail and returned to the car - about 5 miles in all.
The weather was near perfect - warm and calm with sun breaks. The snow did get a little sticky toward West Leg Road, but nothing a little wax couldn't fix.