C25K Week 5: 2/3 Completed!

>> Sunday, March 29, 2009

This was a week of weather changes! On Tuesday, the weather looked cloudy and the wind started picking up about the time I planned to go outside and run. I decided to play it safe and run at the gym. As soon as I started driving, the rain came down! Day 1 went very well....in fact, it went better than I expected. Thursday came and the weather looked the same. Thank goodness I played it safe again because it poured as I ran to my car! I finished Day 2 with ease. I actually ran 8 whole minutes at a time on the treadmill! I think I've done it before, but not many times.

On Friday, Jason & I went to Austin to celebrate our friend's birthday. She's my Muddy Buddy partner and she runs, so I thought I would be able to finish Day 3 with her. However, the weather decided to get cold Friday night. By Saturday morning, it was literally 40 degrees outside. Now I don't even want to walk, never mind run, in that kind of weather. I planned to go to a gym, but she's not a local member, so it didn't happen. My plan for this week is to just proceed on to Week 6. The format is similar to Week 5, so I don't think it will make much of a difference. This Saturday is Race for the Cure, so I'll do the best I can following the C25K program for Day 3. This week will consist of:

Day 1:

  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 8 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • 5 minute cool-down walk
Day 2:
  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • Jog 10 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 10 minutes
  • 5 minute cool-down walk
Day 3:
  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • Jog 25 minutes
Wish me luck people!


Like A Lollipop.......

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

I was listening to the radio (I heart XM!) and this song came on that caught my ear. It sounded familiar, but the music was wrong. Remember Lil' Wayne's song, "Lollipop?" Yeah, I know. I don't love it either, but that's what I heard.

On the hard rock station! Ha!

Some group called Framing Hanley redid it and it made me laugh out loud. I can honestly say I've never heard the word "shawty" used in conjunction with rock music. Or "lady lumps" for that matter.

I also heard a Peter Gabriel song covered by Coal Chamber & Ozzy Osbourne. It was the '80s hit "Shock the Monkey." Peter Gabriel sometimes sang some weird stuff, so it's only fitting that Ozzy would get in on the action.

A couple songs that I have found myself listening to that are not covers are "Citizen/Soldiers" by 3 Doors Down and "Second Chance" by Shinedown.

For any of you that like the rock music like me, I was listening to station 48 on XM radio. I don't even know what it's called anymore because Sirius had to go and screw things up.


Ever tried to photograph a cat?

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They like to play...

And play....

And they don't like it when you try to take their toys away....

They walk away when you hit the snap button....

And they sulk when you actually get them to sit still. Except you forgot to set the flash to on.

Darn those sneaky kittys!


Zucchini Lasagna

I adapted this recipe from one I found in Clean Eating magazine. It's still clean, but I like my way better! This is an odd recipe that uses zucchini strips instead of noodles.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease about a 9-inch square pan. As you can see, my pan is very full, so I would recommend putting it onto a cookie sheet before baking. You could also just use a larger pan which is probably a little bit smarter. But I like a challenge. Your ingredient list is as follows:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1lb lean ground meat
  • 1 jar (about 16 oz) low-sodium, low-fat tomato sauce
  • 3 zucchini squash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 large container of fat-free/low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free/low-fat grated mozzarella cheese
Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Saute this in a pan with your choice lean meat (I used turkey). Cook until the onion is softened and the meat is almost completely cooked through. Add in the tomato sauce. I used a marinara sauce and thought it was a little boring, so I added some Italian herbs, a little salt & some black pepper. But you can do whatever you want. I usually go by my mother's mantra: "If some is good, more is better!" Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the zucchini squash and cut them into 1/4 inch strips. This part is important. If you cut them too wide, then they won't get cooked all the way and they will taste a little raw. And I don't like raw veggies that much. Once you've cut the zucchini, grab a bowl. Stir together the egg, whole wheat flour, the fat-free/low-fat cottage cheese and about a 1/4 cup of fat-free, low-fat mozzarella cheese in the bowl.

By this time, the meat mixture should be about done. Put a layer of zucchini on the bottom, follow it with about 1/2 the meat sauce and 1/2 the cheese in the bowl. Repeat the steps until you make your final layer of zucchini on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then add the other 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes. After taking it out of the oven, let is sit for about 10 more minutes to set.

Enjoy that cheesy, meaty, messy goodness on your plate! Yum!

This might be kind of interesting to use eggplant instead of the zucchini. Or instead of the meat, use more veggies as filler. There's many, many possibilities!


Winery tours!

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

Last weekend, Jason & I went to several wineries to celebrate my friend's mother's birthday. Did you get that? Jason's birthday was Sunday, so we threw him in the birthday mix. Since there were about 25 people going on this trip, we rented two vans and our hosts drove their truck. Here's our sweet ride along with TJ aka "Lil Pup", our communicator.

One of the hosts, Deseere aka "Big Dog" was located in the lead truck:

And her awesome driver/husband, Dre:

The first stop was Sister Creek Winery in Sisterdale, TX. You may notice that many people are dressed in green and are wearing ridiculous hats. You may also notice that Jason & I are neither wearing green nor wearing ridiculous hats. The theme was St. Patty's day since that was the birthday girl's birthday, but J & I didn't get the memo. Oh darn. I must also mention that it was really cold that day and none of us ever took our coats off!

We had been to Sister Creek before, so we didn't partake in the tasting here. I'm a recessionista just trying to save a buck! Here is the birthday girl, Laura, getting her first taste:

After the tasting, we toured the tiny little winery and took the obligatory picture inside the cask room.

And now behold! The best wine that Sister Creek makes: a Muscat Canelli. Yum!

After Sister Creek, we headed to Grape Creek Vineyards in Fredericksburg, TX to partake in more wine and have some lunch. Our awesome hosts are friends with the owner so we were able to use their room (normally you have to rent it) for free for our lunch.

I really liked this winery. They have a lot of wines that I likes (red, white...you name it) and it's very pretty. Since I did the "big" tasting, I also got a free wine glass. Now that's quality, folks.

Here's the group again, with a few more people that met up with us:

At this point, our hosts were slightly distressed that some of the vehicles were having trouble following the lead truck. Hello....the lead truck is supposed to be in front! So, they decided to do something about their dilemma and make it really, really easy on everyone:

After clarifying our directionality, we were able to move onto the next winery, Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, TX. This particular vineyard does all their tastings outside. Thank goodness they had those awesome burner-things that you can stand under. I think I spent most of the time under that thing.

This was the wine setup and the tables extended about 20 feet. I may or may not be exaggerating since I was too lazy to personally measure this.

Somehow, the birthday girl found a "boyfriend" who took a liking to her. I don't have the picture, but I may or may not be able to confirm that the "boyfriend" caught her off-guard stole a kiss from her. I think he was jealous of all the green. To throw everyone off, Laura got Deseere into the picture.

After the shenanigans at Becker, we headed to Torre de Pietra in Fredericksburg, TX. This is the only picture we have of the winery -- er, birdbath -- because the place was CROWDED. It was a small building and since they were so full, there was no way that 25 people would be able to get their wine on in a timely fashion.

So we moved on to the Woodrose Winery in Stonewall, TX. Before we could ever even enter the winery, Deseere had to stop and bust out singing, "Don't Stop Believin" which was reminiscent of some movie that I can't name right at this moment. Possibly the Wedding Singer.

After some a capella Journey, we went inside for more tastings!

Some of the wines here were a bit too fruity and sweet for my taste, but I LOVED the Port wine (the Tawny Port). It was a little sweet, but not overkill and it was KILLER with some chocolate chips. You must go try this one. We got the VIP treatment and had the winery workers bring the wine out to us on the deck at our tables. How much better does it get? Does it look like we're having a good time?

In between tastings, we played "Would You Rather" which is an interesting game. We decided to just throw the rules aside and simply read cards. This game gives you situations and you have to choose which you would rather do. Here's two questions that we decided to throw out because no one wanted to answer:

  • Would you rather die saving someone's life or let that person die but lose your hand?
  • Would you rather change your sex or your sexuality?
These were a bit too far on the deep end, but you get what I mean about weird. Here's part of the group yelling out what they would rather do:

After our tastings were finished, we got to be VIPs because we were able to bring in some catered BBQ. Yup, you guessed it, our awesome hosts knew this owner, too. And let me tell you that the BBQ was yummy! We also toured the winery itself, but strangely enough, those pictures are missing. (I was not the photographer this time). When we returned, we all bought some wine and shared the love as you see here:

Birthday girl Laura not only had to show off her glass that appropriately said "Winey Bitch," she also had to show off her St. Patty's day green socks:

As the day neared an end and the wine bottles emptied, we begrudgingly headed back to our pimp vans to go back to San Antonio. I think Jenny had the right sentiment here:

The lesson here is: Wine. Is. Good.


C25K Week 4 Completed!

>> Sunday, March 22, 2009

The second round of week 4 is done. I'm realizing that this running business is getting harder and harder. It's that last bit of running that kills me. I'm trying, though. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for week 5. It's a big week of change. Here's the breakdown:


  • 5-minute warm-up walk
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • 5-minute cool-down
  • 5-minute warm-up walk
  • Jog 8 minutes
  • Walk 5 minutes
  • Jog 8 minutes
  • 5-minute cool-down
  • 5-minute warm-up walk
  • Jog 20 minutes
  • 5-minute cool-down
Doesn't that sound rough? I can handle Tuesday and Thursday, but I am almost sick to my stomach nervous about Saturday. So how am I feeling? Physically, my shins are starting to hurt, but I'm not in full-blown shin splints so I'm not going to worry about it. By Saturday, my legs usually feel like jelly because of the weight lifting I've done during the week. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I guess I'll just keep it up so I can continue to tone them up. Now that I've started to take my inhaler 15 minutes before running, I can breathe a little better. My chest still hurts when I get home, but maybe that's normal. Who knows? Keep pushing, I say.

I thought this might be a good time to talk about speed and breaks. This week, I've had a hard time with the cool-down walking in between each leg of the run. Sometimes, I have to take an extra 30-60 seconds to breathe before I can begin running again. I decided that it was better to do this than to just quit altogether. As far as running, I know I'm slow. Yes, I'm tall and have long legs, but I'm not a natural born runner. I think it's more important to get through the time than to worry about how much ground I'm covering. That's why I have decided to do my C25K based on time rather than distance. I can always work on speed afterward, but I would rather know that I can get through 30 minutes of running first. When I have to run at the gym, I begin walking around 3.5 to 4.0 mph. When I run, I set it to 5 mph, which most people consider slow. It's around a 12-minute mile. I don't care. I'm not in it for time. I'm in it just to prove I can do it. So in case anyone is reading this and is discouraged because they are a slow runner, don't be! Slow runners unite!


C25K Week 4

>> Monday, March 16, 2009

As I mentioned last Tuesday, I started Week 4 and had a rough time making week transition outside. The weather turned very cold and rainy by Wednesday, so I ran on the treadmill indoors on Thursday. It went really well even though I was sore from lifting a little too much the day before. This past weekend was busy so I planned to finish Week 4 early Saturday morning before our winery tour trip. I had to be across town by 10am (30 minute drive), so I got up at 7, threw some clothes on and drove to the gym. I arrived at 7:30 and was prepared to get in there quickly, do my run and go home to shower and change clothes.

I was not prepared to find out that the gym wasn't even open. Really? REALLY? I had no idea that my gym didn't open until 8am Saturday and Sunday (they're open 24 hours during the week). I didn't have time to wait until 8, so I drove back home and got dressed. We were gone all day and didn't get home until well after dark and well after gym closing time. On Sunday, I worked a benefit for a friend's nephew and again, I had to be across town by 10:15 (35 minute commute), so there wouldn't be time to run this day either. I worked all day and then met Jason at his parent's house so we could have dinner and celebrate Jason's 32nd birthday.

Oh yes I did just say how old he turned! Ha!

To make a long story short(er), I decided to repeat Week 4 this week. I almost skipped W4D3, but thought that might be a bad thing. So, I'll be doing W4D1 tomorrow. Hopefully, the nice weather will hold and I can get back to running outside in preparation for Race for the Cure and Muddy Buddy!


Some people need a swift kick in the butt!

>> Friday, March 13, 2009

And a slap upside the head!

I was walking into Walmart today (don't even start about that) when I heard some man yell "SHUT UP!" really, really loud. As I turn the corner into the store, I see the man pushing a mostly empty cart containing a 2-year-old and an infant outside toward the parking lot. The 2-year-old is wailing.

Right after this, I hear him tell her "Stop! I'm so f-ing sick of hearing it!" (Yes, I censored myself.)

Seriously? That's how you talk to your children? I know that the caliber of people that shop at Walmart aren't always sharpest tool in the shed, but is that an excuse to talk to a child that way? I just wanted give him a good backhand. And a swift kick in the arse.

But I guess that wouldn't really teach him a lesson, would it?


Garlicky Hummus

>> Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I decided to finally try to make some homemade hummus. It was super easy! Just throw 1 can of rinsed garbanzo beans (chickpeas), 1 Tsp Sea Salt, 1/3 cup Tahini, 4 garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp olive oil and the juice of 2 lemons into a blender. You can make it as chunky or as smooth as you like. Mine came out pretty garlicky, so I may cut that down to just 2 cloves next time. But to be fair, I think I used gargantuan garlic cloves. I couldn't make mine pretty enough to photograph, so you'll get to enjoy this picture instead. :)

In case you're wondering where you find Tahini, it's next to the peanut butter.


Very Minor Setback....

Sunday I was supposed to start Week 4 of the C25K program. However, due to the time change, not setting an alarm clock & family obligations, I missed the day. I decided to go ahead and work out as normal on Monday, then start Week 4 on Tuesday. From then on, I would run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

I was already nervous about today because my running time would be doubled from last week and I was a day behind. But, to my surprise, I started out okay. I got through the first 3 minute and 5 minute runs with relatively no problem. The second 3 minute interval was hard, but I got through it. Then came the second 5 minute run. I was already tired, but I was determined to do it. At 2 minutes & 30 seconds, my legs gave out and I needed to breathe. So I walked.

I briefly considered tell y'all that today went great, but then I thought that wouldn't be fair. I am a real person and real things happen to me. I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm trying! My blog is my accountability right now so I want to be completely honest.

Even though I didn't make the entire 14 minutes of running today, I did make 11 1/2 minutes. That's the most I've run outside in my adult life. I am still proud of myself and I am actually looking forward to running all 16 minutes on Thursday.

On a side note, I have signed up for the Susan Komen Race for the Cure on April 4th. I know that I won't be finished with the C25K program, but that's okay. I plan to still follow my normal week that April 4th falls on. Race for the Cure is such a great cause and one that is near and dear to my heart.


C25K Week 3 Completed!

>> Thursday, March 5, 2009

This week was a hard one. I really fought with my breathing issues a lot this week. On Sunday, I ran indoors because it was really chilly and windy outside. Tuesday I ran outside and had a really rough time. I'm sorry to admit that I cheated. I stopped 30 seconds short on my last 3 minute run. I just couldn't breathe, my legs were giving out and I was pooped. I think that this not only had to do with my exercise-induced asthma, but also the fact that it had been a busy and worrisome week. I ran outside again today, but this time I took my inhaler exactly 15 minutes before walking outside. It did make a difference today! It didn't make running any easier, but I did recover afterward much more quickly. The only negative thing about running this week is that the bottoms of my feet are sore. I'm sure I bruised them a little, but oh well. No pain, no gain, right?

To reward myself, I went to Target and bought some headphones that won't fall out of my ears every 5 seconds and an iPod holder armband-thingie so I won't have to carry it around. That's right people, I've been holding my iPod in one hand, while trying to keep the earbuds in my ears with the other and trying to run at the same time. I upgraded! Unfortunately, when I got home I noticed that the iPod case covers the entire screen so I can't use the touch wheel while it's on my arm. So I'll have to return it tomorrow and find another one that works for me.

On Sunday, I'll begin Week 4 of the C25K training. This week I will start with a 5 minute walk, then:

  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 2 1/2 minutes
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
Afterward, I'll do a 5 minute cooldown walk. This will be a big jump from Week 3, but I have high hopes for myself! Happy running!


Just plain funny!

>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Today, while driving on the highway, I saw a Smart Car with a license plate that read: SMRT.

Think they're a fan of The Simpsons? Hahahahaha!!!

(Image courtesy of Dvice.com.)


Update on Grandma

Grandma had her wrist surgery today and is recovering well. She went home around noon and after having some lunch, had a great drug-induced nap. She had a T-shaped plate put in her wrist and the X-ray was so freaking cool! It completely outshines my screw X-ray. So guess what else?

She doesn't have a wear a cast at all!!!!

In fact, she can take off her bandages tomorrow and she can drive in a week! Crazy!! Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. We (and Grandma) are so thankful that she won't have to be so dependent on everyone for food & rides. It's been a hard week for her trying to eat and do normal everyday things with her left hand. My mom, aunt and myself have taken turns staying with her so that she won't be alone and helpless. Thanks again everyone!


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