July 17, 2019

I Ran On The Treadmill Today

This wasn't my first ever rodeo on the treadmill, I just hate running on it.  To me, I'm in a hindering, tight space and confined to this small box.  My runs aren't near as good and worth it as they are when I simply run on the road.  I woke up today having to only run 3 miles.  Pretty easy peasy for me, sure, but on a treadmill, it's beyond torture.

The first two things I always do in the morning are go to the bathroom and check my phone for weather.  It's the dead of Summer so yeah, it's hot outside.  Our humidity has been increasing this week, however, and compared to what Monday and Tuesday felt like, this morning was a drastic change in temperature and humidity percentage.  I should also add that eve though today's run sucked in my opinion, I am just proud that I showed up the past three days and got up immediately with my alarm at 530am to get my workouts in.  That's all that matters in the end.

So this morning's temps at 530 in the damn morning were 77 degrees and 88% humidity!  I may as well run in an oven.  Blech.  Gross.  So trying to think quick on my feet and not waste too much time on where I should run, I had a though, a positive spin if you will on my disappointment  that I will just try the treadmill today because it's disgusting outside and it's only 3 miles.  I also haven't ran on the treadmill since March.  It will come in handy for downpours or of course, ice and snow but I know that to get the best out of my longer runs, I will have to suck it up in the oven and just run outside.

Which is fine, I kind of learned my lesson this morning but I am glad I ran on it because it's been a while. I still broke a good sweat  and had the fans that come on the treadmill on even though they suck and barely cool me down.  After I ran 2 miles ( barely and had to stop a few times for sips of water)  I walked until around 2.35 miles and then I ran to 3 miles.  I'm really not sure how.  Mariah Carey's Emotions song may have helped.  But again, it's done.

So to sum up, I won't be using the treadmill for training unless it's raining cats and dogs out there and/or there's a thunderstorm.  By Saturday, it's supposed to reach 100 degrees so I already know at 530 am it's going to SUCK out there with humidity and I have 6 miles to run.  Wish me luck!

Pros for using the treadmill:
-AC is on most likely so you're not as hot
-don't need to carry anything.  water bottle, food, phone, etc.
-no need to layer up in the dead of winter.  just shorts and tank top and you're good.
 - not much to think about.  just hop on and get started.
-speed runs ( if you're into that kind of thing)

Cons for using the treadmill:
- no pretty views
-boring AF
-confined to a small space
-not running as fast. ( I run much faster outside than on the treadmill) I hate running super fast on these machines.  They kill my knees and are too loud. But this is my view on the subject.

 Do you run on the treadmill?  

Outside or Inside runs?

Like them?  Yay or Nay?

July 8, 2019

Half and Full Marathon Training Plan

2018- no races and took a year off from running, only doing it occasionally.  This was when I got really interested in strength circuits and weights.  I still love a good 25-30 min strength workout!  Don't underestimate weights- it can be incredible cardio, too.  I had planned on running my 3rd half in March of that year, but my life suddenly stopped for a bit as I lost my mom to cancer in early February.   I just didn't have it in me to keep running and think about logging miles during that time.  The break was much needed.  Yoga helped too.

2019-decided mid-May I was going to run my first full marathon.  The reason?  Why not!  I will also be running my 3rd half marathon two months before the full.  I needed to begin running more and build a decent base consistently simply by just starting.  And I did, slowly.

I've been running since the end of May 3-4 times/week.  Also doing strength at least 2x/week.

I love seeing the different paces and times. There will always be good and bad runs.  I feel like I'm slowly getting my speed back and I'd like to beat my previous two half marathon times but for my first full, my goal is to finish. Time is not a priority since I have nothing to compare it to.  Just to cross that finish line, knowing I can run 26.2 miles will be , I'm sure, the best feeling I will ever experience.

Training Plan:   I used a random marathon plan online along with the intermediate Hal Higdon marathon training plan, and I customized it to fit my schedule and needs.  A really good piece of advice someone gave me is that the training plan is just that- a plan, a guide.  It isn't to take over all other life events.  Stuff is going to come up and the plan will not always go according to the plan.  I'm usually OK when things come up and ruin my plans, but I'm still learning to deal even better when shit happens.  I'm just going to do my best with what time/energy I have and not think too much about it.  Again, I set up my "plan/guide" and all I can do now is try and hope for the best!

7/15- Week One

Monday- strength workout. 30-50 min
Tuesday- 3 mile run
Wednesday- 3 mile run
Thursday- strength workout 30-50 min
Friday- rest or stretches/body weight workouts 
Saturday- 6  mile run
Sunday- rest

Since running for two months now, I haven't experimented too much with foods or stuff I'll bring on longer runs. Ideally, I would run most days starting around 5am.  The earlier the better for me, however, I will never get up before 5am.  I have been carrying my phone with me because I actually hate wearing an armband but for runs longer than 8 miles, I'm going to have to suck it up because I don't like carrying water with me either. I'm not really into the latest trends and styles when it comes to running.  I have regular ear buds with the cord, my phone for music and emergencies and a water bottle.  The only thing I'll spend more money on is good shoes.  I just recently bought myself a new pair of Brooks sneaks- Glycerin 17. This is my third pair of Brooks and I love them! They are sooooo cushy and comfy! I have a small running water bottle I'll bring on 8 miles or more runs and I picked up a few fruit Cliff chew blocks to try on longer runs.  Because I like to begin early, I'm rarely hungry that early and prefer to run on an empty stomach. 

A few things I have tried and love and which might be good before a longer run:

Built Bars-  these taste like a musketeer bar!  so good! 
Stroopwaffels- just try one.  you'll thank me later.
I like to chew gum while I run, at least for the first couple of miles.
Cliff Bar Energy Chews-  I picked up a sour watermelon flavor that's new to me and strawberry.  we'll see how they work!

My only concern for this is when my runs become longer, I know I'll need some fuel like a few bites of a bagel or half a banana. I get gassy stomach aches after a few miles of running, so running with food in me has made me feel worse sometimes.  It really just depends; it's not a consistent thing.  I just know I feel better overall when I've only popped my multi vitamin and drank some water before leaving for a run.  The meal I eat the night before matters too.  I try to keep it simple with grilled chicken or a big salad with lots of protein and some carbs.  My family and I tend to eat dinner on the earlier side too, around 5pm. That helps I think.  If I feel hungry later at night, 8 or 9pm, I like to have two graham crackers with tea before bed as I find it settles my stomach without being too fatty, sweet or heavy.  The extra carbs at night can't hurt if I plan on running the next morning.  I like to experiment when it comes to fitness, nutrition, food and losing weight.  I'm looking forward to more trial and error!

March 28, 2019

Five Years Later: The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

I wrote this post five years ago and I would like to read this book again some time.  Today was one of those days where I ate whatever I wanted.  Let me embellish this a little bit more.  Today was a rest day/relaxing day for me.  I typically like to have these days at least once a week or depending on how I feel, twice a week.

 It's healthy and good for the body to rest and recover from workouts or simply from just doing too much or from running around a lot. I try to workout at least five days a week and I just go with what I feel like doing that day whether that's weights, cardio, or a combo of both or simply a good fifteen minute stretching session. So I'll cut to the chase- today I rested, after taking my dog to the vet in the morning to have surgery.  I didn't have any breakfast, just coffee. I slept in until 7am and it was glorious.  I was pretty hungry once 10am came around but I was running around in the morning and just couldn't stop for food.  At noon, I picked my husband and I up lunch from chic-fil-a.  I had the grilled chicken sandwich with fries and their own sauce which is  made from crack, I'm certain.  I drank a good amount of water today and then about an hour later I enjoyed two homemade chocolate chip cookies.

It was about 3pm and I still wanted something sweet and felt slightly hungry.  I could have made a healthier snack like apples with peanut butter, or have some caramel rice cakes or yogurt. But today just wasn't that kind of day.  I had remembered a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby in the freezer and basically began craving it.  So, I went with how I felt and ate the ice cream.  It was basically almost the entire pint I devoured.  Let it be known that I rarely do this or eat that much ice cream, but it was just so good and hit the spot.  However, that's a lot of sugar in one sitting.  I of course felt slightly guilty when I was done eating it and I didn't feel too great.  I was shaky and had a headache; close to a hangover.  I decided to take a walk since it was beautiful outside.  Sunny and 60 degrees! I felt slightly better after that.  I drank another bottle of water and relaxed on the couch.

It's currently 530pm and I am getting a little hungry again.  We are going to order a pizza and wings soon and I'm going to enjoy my dinner.  And that's my Thursday!  

Take care of your body.  Rest is crucial.  Eating more calories is crucial sometimes too.  Go with how you feel.  There is such a thing as too many salads.  It gets old real fast.  I love eating healthy.  Today is not that kind of day though. I swear it's like clockwork for me- I have these kinds of days at least once a week.  The human body does speak to us.  Listen to it.

February 18, 2019

The Red Hen Review

The Red Hen
1303 Kings Hwy
Swedesboro, NJ 08085

My husband was the one to mention this place to me.  After finding out that this place is 9 minutes from us, reading their overall great reviews and seeing photos of their insane looking milkshakes on their Facebook page like this one, we had to check it out.  I have a thing for good customer service- i'm a stickler for employees who actually care about their customers and whom are also very helpful as well as professional.  This is probably because I worked in the customer service industry for over 17 years. As soon as my family and I walked in, we were greeted by not one 'hello' and a smile, but two!  I immediately was a fan of the place.  Our server was the same, though I do not recall her name unfortunately.  From the moment we sat down until the moment we left, nothing but helpful and kind service was provided. With a casual, not too big and not too small atmosphere, serving American -fare food with a twist on  a lot of great classics, such as their REAL Crab Fries- served with cheese sauce, and REAL jumbo lump crab meat on top that still had the flavor of Old Bay spice in them.  DELICIOUS!

I wish I had taken photos of all the food but I was a mixture of tired and hungry and I just wanted to enjoy myself.  I've taken a break from social media for the past three weeks and haven't taken photos of food in a while either, but it's been a refreshing break from it all.  That will change the next time we visit there.

So we devoured most of the REAL crab fries, but it's a huge portion for an appetizer!  We started with a couple of drinks from the bar- my husband ordered a Vodka Mule and I had a glass of white wine.  we had two drinks each and it felt wonderful after a long week on a Friday night! I decided to order their Salmon burger which comes with regular french fries or you can upgrade to sweet potato fries which of course, I went for.  You can add cheese to the burger but it comes with a tarter sauce on top and so I just added tomatoes and onions.  The roll is a soft, kaiser bun.  The burger was a good size and I did not finish it all.  My only complaint is that it's not served with enough sauce on top ( if you're a sauce person like me) so next time I would just ask for extra on the side.  The salmon itself was good but I think it could have used more flavor and the dish should be served with two lemon wedges because, well, it's a fish dish.  That's just my opinion though but it's nice to have available if you like like squeezing lemon your fish like me.  Overall, I give my dish a 7!

My husband ordered their buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.   Now it comes with pickles and ranch dressing which, looooooove all of that and holy yum!  However,  he's picky, so he ordered no ranch and no pickles.  Party pooper.  He had BBQ sauce put on their instead which is still yummy, and lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.  I forget  what kind of cheese.  It looked huge and totally drool worthy. I may have to try that next time OR we could totally split it.  I think overall, he gave his dish a 7 as well!  Our daughter ordered the kids hot dog ( no bun because I couldn't tell you why, but is she crazy?!)  and french fries.  She devoured her entire hot dog and ate a good amount of fries!  We always tell her she can have a special dessert ( which is typically ice cream) if she eats really well at dinner time.  This place gets another gold star in my book because they actually had mint chip ice cream which is he favorite!  They also have vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and probably even more flavors since they make intense milkshakes with all the crazy toppings! She asked for whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles , too.

When the waitress brought the ice cream out, it all looked homemade/fresh to me. That's never not a good thing. Maybe not the ice cream,but the whipped cream for sure!  The reason I know this?  My daughter loves whipped cream but she' used to Reddi Whip in the can- I mean, that stuff is amazing too!  She took one bite and instantly had disdain across he face.  It gets better, she is used to classic rainbow"jimmies", long rods.  These rainbow sprinkles were the pearls or round ones.  She wasn't a fan of those either.  So I thought she wouldn't like the ice cream , too.  She ate most of that which was a relief. ha!  Still, I know her favorite brand is Turkey Hill Mint Chip.  Turkey Hill is THE BEST ice cream in my opinion.  My husband would disagree.

Anyway, I'd say overall our experience at The Red Hen was a great one and we WILL be back soon!  My husband and I decided next time we go, we'll split the chicken and waffles appetizer ( yes, appetizer- which I hear is huge)!  and then split a crazy milkshake for fun.  Eek!  I see tummy troubles in my future but on the same token, YOLO.

Blog Worthy Baked Chicken Tacos

 ( click here to see how tasty they look).

my computer is being annoying currently and I can't seem to upload photos from my phone to my desktop.  Boo.

Lately, my family and I have been  ordering out to eat more than we'd care to admit.  We've been going out to eat too, which, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that but it comes down to balance and we need a detox of some sort again asap!  Today is Sunday and I decided to make chicken tacos after having cleaned and organized my fridge/freezer and could actually see what we have in there.  I had four peppers from a previous shopping trip, two red and two green. I just had to use them up!

I only used two with 2 smaller onions I had.  I love that these kinds of foods take forever to start going bad.  I had to hit the food store anyway so I picked up taco fixings like salsa and my meat and a 25% lower sodium taco seasoning mix.  I always have them on hand for nights like these!  I also had a brand new box of crunchy taco shells in my cupboard so I decided to go for backed tacos which is simply placing a few shells in a shallow baking dish, putting the tacos together and baking them until golden brown and crispy and the cheese is gooey melted-10 minutes tops!I got this idea from a food blog I follow- The Baker Mama. But she makes everything looks wonderful!  I typically use standing shells ( yup that's a real thing) because they are easier to assemble but I didn't have those this time.

Anyway- the fun part and slightly genius maybe?  I don't know but these were the best baked tacos I have made to date-and I've made a lot over the years.  I bought chicken tenders and cut them into 2 inch pieces.  Cooked them in some evoo for about ten minutes until mostly cooked and added chopped cilantro to the pan and fresh squeezed lime juice ( juice of two lemons) and then lastly added in the taco seasoning packet. *the lime juice is key for how flavorful these turned out*  I sliced up the peppers and onions and coked those down as well in some evoo, salt and pepper.  Turn the heat up under the chicken until the lime juice and seasonings thicken up and turn both pans off .  Get ready to assemble your tacos!!

This is how I made them:
-sprinkle some shredded cheese on bottom of the shell
-top with some onions and peppers
-add about 3-4 pieces of chicken
-top with more cheese ( be generous)
-place in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
-use any and all taco toppings you love and enjoy!!

These hit the spot because we were so hungry!  I'm all about balance, but tonight we're having leftovers because there's a ton leftover from that meal.  Tuesday night will be breakfast for dinner aka brinner!  Homemade waffles, scrambled eggs, apple-smoked bacon and breakfast style potatoes.  Can't wait!  My daughter will only eat the bacon and her min pancakes.  We'll see though.  She's always full of surprises!