Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spicy Thai Tofu Stir-Fry

Before my peaceful night was interrupted, I had the chance to enjoy this yummy stir-fry. It turned out really great and was really simple to throw together. I took pictures just for you :)

The main ingredients:
That's firm tofu, quinoa, teriyaki glaze, and mixed veggies (carrots, broccoli, water chestnuts). I ended up using only used one bag though.

It'll be tasty. Really, I promise.

Cube the tofu then lightly brown it using a little non-stick cooking spray. Add in the frozen veggies.


Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl:

4 tbsp teriyaki glaze (or use regular sauce and corn starch to thicken)
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp thai chili sauce
1/4c water

Add to the pan. Toss until everything is coated. Cover and leave on medium-low heat until veggies are heated through.


Serve over quinoa. Garnish with diced scallions.


Accompanied by my standard salad.


I was able to get 3 dinner size portions out of the recipe.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Murphy's Law

2 pm - M leaves on a 4-day trip
8 pm - stuff breaks

As we're winding down for the night, I realize I hadn't heard the ice maker run in awhile. I check inside and the food's turning into a soggy mess.

With a screaming, teething toddler in the background, M talked me through the process of thawing the freezer coils. Sometimes when the freezer is too full it has a hard time defrosting itself and shuts off. We've had to do this before.

Manually defrosting the freezer takes some muscle. I had throw all my body weight into pulling it away from the wall, and crossed my fingers it wouldn't topple over on me. I could envision the scene- the fridge on its side with just an arm, maybe a leg, and a blond pony tail sticking out from underneath it. But a few good tugs, and it was far enough away from the wall for me to work.

After the power was disconnected (critical step), I used a screwdriver to remove the inside back panel, covered the floor with towels, and went to town with a blow dryer to melt the accumulated ice. 

Then I plugged the fridge back in and...TADA!

.....er, nothing.

Only thing left to do was to put the frozen food in a cooler and drive it over to our neighbor's house to keep in their freezer. Then I ran to a convenience store and picked up 5 bags of ice to keep the rest of the contents of the refrigerator chilled. All the while E was screaming in her carseat.

Sometime around 11:30 we both made it to sleep.

Nothing like a relaxing Sunday night.



Sunday, March 28, 2010

$42.95

What I paid for pictures from my last two races. That got me 2 5x7's prints from my half-marathon, and a jpeg download from my St.Paddy's 10K. Three stinkin' pictures for $42.95.

Sure my hair looks like I put my finger in a socket. And who knew my face was that jiggly? I'm not going to put them on the mantel or anything, but I'd look back on them in 20 years and be like, Damn girl, you're so much faster now than you were back then. One can always hope :)

Plus, I want to share them with E. She's still too young to remember.

The 10K pic



Here's how my week looked workout-wise:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 6.48 mi @7:40 pace (the recovery run that wasn't)*
Wednesday: 7 mi w/ stroller @ 8:48 pace
Thursday: off
Friday: 70 mins elliptical, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: off
Sunday: 35 min run w/ stroller, 35 min elliptical (just wore Polar HRM)

* Tuesday was supposed to be recovery run.....7 miles @ 9:00 pace. The plan was for M to pick up E at daycare on his way home from the airport, but he never called to tell me he landed in Atlanta. By 5:30 I started to panic that he wouldn't make it there by closing time. so I high-tailed it back to the house. He was already there waiting for me with the kiddo and a pizza. I love that man.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Future's So Bright

I gotta wear shades....



(plastic glasses courtesy of the ING swag bag)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Running Expo Purchase

I only bought one item. Something I've wanted for awhile.





It's not people. I'm more nervous about large dogs.

Do you ever feel concerned for your safety when you run alone? What precautions do you take?

Monday, March 22, 2010

ING Georgia Half Marathon - Recap

My time was 1:40:00.

ON.THE.DOT

I can't stop shaking my head. I missed getting into the 1:30's by a fraction of a second. Un-friggin-believable.

Oh running gods, why do you mock me? lol

Despite that frustration, I truly am proud of the PR.

I broke my old half marathon PR by over 3 minutes- one that was set just a few months before getting my second BQ time. Didn't think there was any topping that. I mean, this time last year I was still recovering from a c-section and couldn't jog around the block. Now I'm running faster than before. Crazy.

I decided to try something new, and signed up to run with a pace group at the expo. My goal for the race was 1:43:00, but I was conservative and joined the 1:45:00 group. It turned out to be a good strategy because my legs felt stiff for the first few miles and I was doubting myself . I know I would have fallen off pace. But by mile 6, I had my rhythm established and felt confident enough to start pulling away. I ran negative splits for the rest of the race, and in the last half mile the leader of the 1:40 group came within view. I started booking it to the finish as fast as my legs could carry me.

Leaving my Ipod at home was the right decision. There was no need for it because the crowd support was fantastic. In spite of the rain and chilly temps, I don't recall any dead spots on the course. Lots of cheering fans and music along the way.

Overall, I'd recommend this race, and will be running it again next year. Two small areas for improvement- the post race refreshments were lacking a bit, and there weren't enough porta-pots at the start. I lost some time making a pit-stop at mile 3 because the line was too long to go before the start.

So it's that time again.... I need to pick my next race!

Stats:
Time/Pace: 1:40:00, 7:38/mile
Overall: 502/10499
Gender: 86/5871
Div: 26/1166

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ipod, Do you?

I have no problems with runners wearing Ipods during a race, especially for anything over 10K. That’s a long time to be listening to your own footsteps. 

The safety issue…. Really, can’t you manage to avoid colliding into something while listening to the Black Eyed Peas through headphones? I know they’re a talented group and all, but common. This is also the country that puts warnings on hot cups of coffee. Darwinism at it’s finest.

Until recently I would have panicked if you told me I couldn’t run with music, but I don’t wear my Ipod on runs with E, and I’ve gotten used to not having it. I fiddle with it too much while I’m running, and frankly, I’m getting sick of the tunes loaded on there.

They were strict about enforcing the no-Ipod rule at the half-marathon I ran in October, and I survived without it. Think I’ll go old-school and try it again this weekend.

Maybe I’ll come up with the next best invention since the Snuggie while I’m lost in my thoughts.

Breaking free from my hot pink ball and chain.

 

Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Paddy's Day RaceS!

When torn between choices A or B, chose A and B.
Don't you love when it's that easy?
I thought about it during the week and committed to the decision to run the race with E. I appreciated all your comments on my dilemma. She's only going to be this small once, so I need make the most of these opportunities.
The race was actually billed as a 5 and 10K. I didn't realize the 5k portion started at 8:00, not simultaneously with the 10K at 8:30, until I get there race morning. So I did what any type A person would do. Entered both races. I satisfied my competitive side by running the 5K by myself, and finished in 1st place for my age group in 21:12. After crossing the finish line I grabbed a bottle of water, quickly swapped out my number, and took DD from my mom. Then I ran the 10K pushing her. We stayed relaxed and finished in 57:37.
This wasn't a 5K PR for me, but it is in line with the times I was running Pre-E. There was a spring left in my step, and I felt like I had plenty more to give during the 10K, so I'm feeling pretty confident going into the half marathon next week.
So that's how we spent our St. Paddy's day. E's not really into bar hopping.
Did you do anything special to celebrate?
 
 

 

 
 
Stats
5K
Time/Pace: 21:12, 6:50/mile
Overall: 19/816
Women: 5/504
AG: 1/127
 
10K
Time/Pace: 57:37, 9:18/mile
Overall: 253/586
Women: 94/333
AG: 27/92



Monday, March 8, 2010

Race Dilema -WWYD?

The weather was warm and balmy Atlanta, and M’s trip got cancelled so he was home all weekend. It was fantastic. M had his own list of chores to catch up on, so I took E running with me as usual on Saturday. I was hoping to duplicate my long(ish) run from last week. Instead I had what was probably my best stroller run to date…. 8 miles pushing E at 8:18/mile pace.

Which brings me to this dilemma…

Last minute my mom decided she’s able to visit for a few days when M starts his next trip later this week. (I could use the help. I’d to clean out our closets and get our house back in order. Difficult when you have a toddler pulling everything back out of the box as soon as you put it in).

I’m registered to run a 10K on Sunday. I was psyched because it should be a decent sized race and they’re allowing jogging strollers. My original plan was to run with E. So now for the decision, do I let my mom keep E on the sidelines while I run the race for real?

I’ve been consistently finishing 10K-distance training runs in the 46-47 minute range, and would love to see how much improvement I’ve made since my 10K in September. Perhaps get down to 44-45 minutes? This would probably allow me to place, at least in my age group anyway. If I did, it would be a huge confidence boost for the ING Georgia Half marathon the following weekend. But if I don’t, I know I’ll be disappointed. Either way I won’t be left wondering what if?

I also get a kick out of racing with E, and my opportunities to race with her are as rare as my chances to race alone. Stroller Strides is one of the sponsors of the race, and I’d love to support the fact the race is allowing strollers on the course by running with one myself. There would be no pressure, it would be more of a warm up for the half.

Help me readers! What would you do in my place? Take it easy and have fun, or go for it and actually race?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dinner for the Single Gal

My typical dinner choices when M is on a trip:
1) Leftovers from earlier in the week on top of a salad
2) Lean Cuisine with a side salad

And ya’ll know by now, by “salad” I mean pre-washed iceberg lettuce with token shredded veggies, taken out of a bag. Really, it just serves as a filler with little nutritional value.

Therefore the main course needs to count. This is a quick, simple meal I’ve been hooked on lately. Lots of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. I don’t mind leftovers. A lot of things get better after sitting for a day or two. This makes enough dinners to last until M returns from a trip.

Here's what the filling contained:

1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 can red kidney beans (rinsed)
6 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo
~1/2c water
1 packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning (or cumin, garlic, chili powder, salt to taste)
Light Flat-Out wraps

Heat the first 4 ingredients in a medium sauce pan. I use the entire can of peppers and adobo juice, use less if you prefer., Mash everything together with a slotted spoon (or whirl in a food processor for a smoother consistency. Season. Serve.

Pictured here: 1 Light Flat-Out wrap cut in half, greek yogurt, chopped scallions, salsa, reduced-fat soy “cheddar”, sliced avocado




….And a side salad with Light Vidalia Onion dressing. In full disclosure, there’s also 2 tbsp of bacon bits sprinkled on there. What can I say, they're tasty.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jake Pavelka is Dancing With The Stars

Keep it going buddy! Being away moves M one more spot up the seniority list. We'll take what we can get these days.

And Vienna, enjoy riding S3. Don't fret the 1st time you're left behind in a strange city as the plane taxis away from the terminal without you. We've all been there. Consider it a right of passage.

Welcome to the club.
 
(We'll even tell you how to negotiate a crew rate hotel room, lol)
 
Jake- A Bachelor no more. Now he's a dancing machine.