Sidewalk: 1, Me: 1

I will claim victory in my battle against the sidewalk!

I had a minor accident involving a stumble and some concrete yesterday morning as I tried to start a 3 mile run. Luckily my minor damage will probably heal in a week and doesn’t impede running (tested that today), especially with the running endorphins covering the stinging sensation of my open wounds and the cold autumn air.

I had some low mileage weeks since I last wrote on here, but I’m looking forward to fixing that soon.

Su 10/23:   3.06 mi 31:00 (avg. 10.13 min/mi)
M-W 10/24-26:   rest days
Th 10/27:   2.12 mi 25:00 (avg. 11.79 min/mi)
F 10/28:   2.12 mi 24:00 (avg. 11.32 min/mi)
Sa 10/29:   rest day
= total 7.3 miles
Su 10/30:   3.06 mi 32:00 (avg. 10.46 min/mi)
M-W 10/31-11/2:   rest day
Th 11/3:   2.55 mi  25:00 (avg. 9.8 min/mi)+ 30 min. Baron Baptiste power yoga video
F 11/4:   1.49,
Sa 11/5:   3.55 mi,
Su 11/6:   rest day
=weekly total of 10.65 miles
M 11/7:   1.49 mi,
Tu 11/8:   3.0 mi,
W 11/9:   Yoga 30 min, rest day
Th 11/10:   3.16mi, 
F 11/11:   rest day
Sa 11/12:   2.55 mi
=weekly total of 10.2 miles
1. Pace of 10 min/mi. or less
2. Yoga after running at least half the time, if time allows
3. Increase my per week mileage to 12 by 11/19, 13 by 11/26, 15 by 12/3, 17 by 12/10, 20 by 12/17, and 22 by Christmas! I don’t have a race planned yet, and am working on increasing mileage and maintaining the running habit for now.
4. Make 30 miles/week in early February, doing a long run of 13 miles one week!
5. Sign up for a 10k or half-marathon for early next year!
Smoothie recipe of the week:
Chia seeds are our current ingredient of the week and are a yummy addition to this smoothie. I started with a base of a terrible recipe for pumpkin frozen yogurt that was too grainy and just not fitting to our tastes. Mix the following in a blender until smooth:
3/4 c. greek yogurt
3/4 c. pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s canned pumpkin puree)
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 yellow banana
handful of raspberries
5 ice cubes
2 tbsp of mixed seeds (chia and flaxseed)

Ginger fizz smoothie.

I’ve been seriously slacking on exercising lately, which I at least partially attribute to my job hunt and the exam I took for my online class yesterday. I put off studying until yesterday and of course did more poorly than I hoped.

I missed two interviews on Tuesday because I attempted to get a first interview during a job fair, and ended up standing two hours before I realized it would be at least another few hours until I would probably speak with hiring managers. By that time, I was grumpy, hungry and needed to leave for another interview. On my way home, I stopped for some coconut water and a Nutz over chocolate Luna Bar, and then promptly missed my second interview due to rush hour traffic, and third due to my knees and hips aching from standing too long (the third would begin with a 3 mile run, and achy joints would get me nowhere in a run).  Frustrating!

At least things perked up yesterday, when I sent in a barrage of job applications, contacted some new contacts and made delicious vegetarian shepards pie. There’s something ironic about eating Shepard’s Pie while watching Hannibal (we did last night), so I’m glad it was the vegetarian version! eeks. Ours was vegetarian because I added some buttah to the cauliflower and potatoes mixture. To make it even awesomer after pre-preparing it and stuffing it in the fridge with the potato portion on top of the lentils, I put it back in the oven for 20 minutes at 350, covered, then 20 minutes uncovered, which browned the topping nicely.

Thursday was made even better with a short run of 1.5 miles at a 10 min/mile pace followed by 20 minutes of a Jillian Michaels dvd with hubby.

I ran out of coffee and desperately needed caffeine, so I was hoping for green tea at breakfast, so today started with a Spicy Carrot Green Tea Smoothie (the “spiciness” comes from the ginger):
8 baby carrots, washed
1 tbsp. ground fresh ginger root
1 cup of unsweetened green tea
1/3 cup of sparkling water (I used pomegranate flavor)
2 tbsp. whole oats
1 banana
1 kiwi
1 tsp. white granulated sugar
5 ice cubes
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Fitness and Health Goals this week:
1. Run 10 miles total, -1.5 mi. already done; I’ll likely do two 2.5 mi. runs and a 3.5 mile run
2. Drink more water and tea!
3. Map all my runs and workouts this week, and make time for those runs so I stay in shape! It helps me to see my workouts, and because I’m slightly compulsive, I want to fill in all the little squares of the MapMyRun Calendar with runs and workouts!

Pumpkin cravings…

I thought I might not jump on the pumpkin recipe bandwagon, but a recent trip to Ghiradelli Chocolate in downtown San Francisco left me with some unfulfilled cravings. The shop is apt at luring in potential customers with their simple decorations and of course the greeter at the door offering free “samples” of pumpkin chocolate squares.


Unfortunately I didn’t buy any because I having no paycheck means a $20 package of pumpkin chocolate happiness is money poorly spent. But the pumpkin chocolate combination was so delicious that I’ve been thinking about it ever since Saturday, and even purchased a can of pumpkin at the store to try my hand at making something with it (and to fulfill my one “novel ingredient” per week goal)! Luckily there was a container of organic chocolate chips in the freezer waiting for a purpose, so I made these delicious chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and a pumpkin banana smoothie to munch on while studying for my online class. Next up? These pumpkin gingersnaps, which we surprisingly have all the ingredients to make!  I loosely based the smoothie on this recipe, but my version was prepared with a limited spice collection:pumpkin loving

Banana pumpkin smoothie

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup ice
1/2 tbsp. flaxseeds
Blend all together until smooth, stirring as necessary. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

I’ve been trying to keep up with a workout habit lately, and I say habit because it’s not anything that resembles something that anyone could label as a “routine”.  I’ve been all over the place trying Jillian Michaels’ workouts, courtesy of the library of Contra Costa and of our South SF friends, and running fairly increasingly longer distances a few times each week. I’d like to sweat 6/7 days, because it makes me feel more awake and more focused on tasks at hand! I’d also like to hit 10 miles of running per week by the end of October, which I think is do-able, as long as the cooling weather doesn’t turn me into a slug.

This last week… (yes, I realize that calenders don’t start on Wednesday, but I don’t care)

Wednesday: 0 miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 1.85 mile run 10:48 min/mile, 
Saturday: Long walk in SF from the airshow to Chinatown and back to Bart (very very slowly, and very far),                                                                                               Monday: Jillian Michaels Shred Step 1 20 minutes                                         Tuesday: 2.4 miles at  11:40min/mile (I walked about 5 minutes of the total time; Boo.)

Planned workouts (for a total of 7.7 miles this week)

Today: Jillian Michaels Shred Step 1 and Step 2 DVD (40 min)
Thursday: Run 1.85 miles, Gaiam Yoga cooldown (Hulu)
Friday: Jillian Michaels “No More Trouble Spots” 40 min. workout
Saturday: Run 2.5 miles
Sunday: Run 1.49 miles
Monday: off! (interview day)
Tuesday: Run 1.85 miles, Yoga cooldown (Hulu or netflix)

Rain! Finally!

It’s finally starting to feel like autumn, since it just rained yesterday for the first time in ages! The cooling weather means more running, since it won’t be so hot that I get dehydrated by just going outside. I think I did sufficiently on my goals for the last week because I hit most of them even though I’m starting from only getting exercise from housework and an occasional yoga sesh on netflix.

I found a new website to obsess over: It’s great for pinning my favorite things to and come back to. I remember things usually by their website’s appearance, so this is perfect for me! And it’s even better for sorting through recipes by what they look like when prepared!

Goals for the next six months:

#1    Try a new *healthy* cooking ingredient each week, not counting dishes eaten at restaurants. We did quinoa last week, and this week I don’t have a new “ingredient” exactly, but a new style of cooking will have to suffice: we had one almost vegan dinner (Cajun spiced dirty rice), which hubby liked, but I wasn’t especially excited about. It was fantastic to be able to make the spice mix (I found a simple one on, though, and even though I messed up the dirty rice at first by adding too much water (I prepared slow cook brown rice before cooking, then added enough water to cook instant rice in the casserole too, oops!) It was easily fixed by adding about 1 tbsp. of cornstarch! Love that stuff!

#2    10k by December 25th and half-marathon by February 25th.

Working on it! Up to 3 miles walking/jogging so far.

#3   Seek out active hobbies or activities to add to our lives!

Hoping to start a crocheting project with the help of a friend this week!

Weekly goals:

#1     Oatmeal 6 / 7 days this week for breakfast

Fail. I had 4 days of oatmeal last week, breaking for cereal and eggs and toast.

#2    3 runs, min. 5 miles

1.5 miles x 1(Check!), 1.9 miles x2 (did 3.2 miles, but had to walk part of it, so almost)

#3    Yoga 3x

min. 30 minutes (only 1x can be checked off, but Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown killed my muscles and made me sore for the next three days…does that mean I can count the exercise 1x for each day I was sore after? ha)

#4    Tennis 1x

min. 1 hour (check! Played doubles Sunday)

And a 5.5 mile bike ride to top it all off!


Let’s get to this week’s goals:

#1    2 Vegetarian dinners and oatmeal 5 days of the week

We had one (Cajun dirty rice) last night, which will be leftovers tonight, plus vegetarian meatloaf another night. I think oatmeal will be doable for most mornings, as long as we have some awesome tailings of the late summer fruit (thank goodness for Strawberries and Cream oatmeal)

#2    Three runs, at least 6 miles total

#3    Yoga or 30 Day Shred video, at least 3 hours total

Tired raisins and beer brownies

Okay, so this is from two nights ago, I’ve been preoccupied with a game of catch-up for my online class. Forgive me.

As of Thursday at midnight:

I just polished off a second beer brownie, which was a fantastically rich reward for all the exercise I did the past few days. I borrowed this beer brownie recipe and made the gluten-full flour recipe. I’ve got the starting-exercise-munchies, which makes me hungrier than I should be after mediocre workout performances and small amounts of calorie-burnoff. Which means my body is trying to fatten me up in preparation for the apparently stressful activities I’m forcing on it.


Silly body. Soon you’ll be doing 10 mile runs and consuming calories (eating and burning them) more reasonably. In good news, I’m on the way to completing my week’s goals.

Saturday updates: Of my six month goals,

#1    Try a new *healthy* cooking ingredient each week, not counting dishes eaten at restaurants.

This week’s ingredient: QUINOA! I prepared it with lime and cilantro as per my adaptation of this rice and paired it with delicious and easy mole chicken. I’m looking for inspiration for next week’s culinary adventure.

#2    10k by December 25th and half-marathon by February 25th.

Quite obviously I’m a ways away from that…My mileage has only hit 1.5 miles so far.

#3   Seek out active hobbies or activities to add to our lives!

Everything’s an idea still: crocheting? tennis? Running (duh!!)

Weekly goals:

#1     Oatmeal 6 / 7 days this week for breakfast

Only one day of cold, processed cereal, so far, but I was craving bacon this morning, so we had a protein-loaded meal of bacon, eggs and toast!

#2    3 runs, min. 5 miles

1.5 miles x1, 1.9 miles x2 (still to go…)

#3    Yoga 3x

min. 30 minutes (Once so far! 2x to go)

#4    Tennis 1x

min. 1 hour. We’re planning on a double date with some friends for tennis tomorrow. Yeah!

In other news:      So pumped about it being October and starting to actually cool down here! I’m actually sipping some cider (one of those silly packets of cider you add hot water to, but soon I’ll find a recipe to make some real, awesomer cider. I’m getting obsessed with making everything from scratch to avoid the yucky fake ingredients that are used as preservatives and for artificial flavorings.) Bring on the hot cider and scary movies, October!

I can ride my bike with no (brakes and when I, by divine intervention, don’t fall over the) handlebars.

I’m usually pretty hesitant to get on my bike (Lucille) and just go for a spin, even though it could be an excellent way to get to and from short distance errands and appointments. Maybe it has something to do with the problems stopping while going down hills that I’ve had since it’s lived in California with me.

I found out just how out of shape Lucille was too, when I very ambitiously decided to ride her the 5.4 miles home from grad school. (A bike shuttle brought my bike and me up to school in the morning). Obviously that’s not very far on a bike, any inexperienced person could ride downhill 5 miles without much exertion besides white-knuckle brake-gripping. As I glided down the hill from campus to a red light at the very first intersection at the bottom of the campus hill, I squeezed my brakes and promptly slid into the intersection. Lucille probably only had her front wheel in the intersection, but it felt too close to the cross traffic for the brakes to be acceptable.

Months previous to that, I had asked my parents to *send* me my bike by postal mail so that I could have it for school. I have NO idea why I considered that to be a good idea, besides that I thought that I could save money by using an old bike rather than buying a new one. Yes, the ones in Santa Cruz started at $200 in many stores, and easily went upwards of $500 for a nice “cruiser”, but I couldn’t be bothered with style choices. At this point, I’m fairly certain I had four or 5 brake tightening events since receiving my bike in the mail, all of which definitely added up to more than the bike’s cost. Good choice, me.

This morning…

The hubby and I are going for our first bike ride in our new hometown, which is mostly flat ground (yay!) I’m pumping myself up for it with a nice beaker of coffee.

Here’s some excellent literature on the benefits (and non-issues) of drinking coffee before a workout:

Runner’s world- Good Buzz

NYtimes- Time to Make a Coffee Run

Freshly brewed

Just as I start every day with a hot cup of almost opaque coffee, thus starts my journey to a healthy, running life (with opaque goals, and fresh energy for what is ahead…and an actual cup of coffee of course!)

One of the important motivations for me to maintain healthy habits is avoiding boredom. I get easily bored with eating the same foods every week and doing the same exercise activities, and let’s face it, I stop doing them altogether.

Goals for the next six months:

#1    Try a new *healthy* cooking ingredient each week, not counting dishes eaten at restaurants.

I’m a compulsive planner and like to plan out an entire week of meals at once for the purposes of having fewer grocery trips and determining the most cost-effective meals for the week/season.

#2    10k by December 25th and half-marathon by February 25th.

These will require some planning for training.

#3   Seek out active hobbies or activities to add to our lives!

I’m looking forward to trying some new sports and hopefully modes of transportation (depending on where my current job search yields a position).

Weekly goals:

#1     Oatmeal 6 / 7 days this week for breakfast

#2    3 runs, min. 5 miles

1.5 miles x1, 1.9 miles x2

#3    Yoga 3x

min. 30 minutes

#4    Tennis 1x

min. 1 hour