Friday, April 29, 2011

What's for Dinner? Chunky Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

Chunky Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette
Fitness magazine

Who says you need lettuce for salad? Seems more often then not my salads these days contain none. The first time I made this salad I changed up quite a few ingredients I didn't have the kidney beans so I just doubled up the chickpeas. I didn't use jicama in either one but I know it would be good and will use it the next time. The key is the dressing... I love, love, love it!!! I really like cumin although I gotta say it smells like BO. I never realized this until one of my sons pointed out and now I can't use it without that thought going through my head but it. This is a great salad that you can change up based on what you have on hand.
Mix together

1/3 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped jicama
1/4 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
and 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
Whisk together
juice of 1/2 lemon, (I used lime)
2 teaspoons olive oil,
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar,
1 teaspoon ground cumin,
pinch each sugar and salt;
drizzle over salad and serve

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter and the Virtual Jelly Bean 10k

Wishing all of you a happy Easter! Easter is a little different around here this year. We are not doing the usual family brunch so it feels kind of funny. We are however having dinner to celebrate my son's 17th birthday which is tomorrow. He is being honored tomorrow night at an awards ceremony at the 40th Annual Jefferson Foundation High School Art Exhibition at the Arvada Center.. It features more than 400 works from 23 different Jefferson County High Schools, Josh has been told he has taken 2nd place in his division, as well as having another photo displayed. One of the girls in his class has taken 3rd place and his teacher is having a solo exhibition! This is his award winning photograph! Have I said recently how proud I am of him?

Jelly Bean 10k

So I signed on to do the Jelly Bean Virtual race this week and opted for the 10k distance. I enjoy running on holidays for some reason..I think it makes me feel less guilty about the food I partake in so I had decided to do the race Easter morning. It's a good think I had committed to it too or I would probably have backed out. It's overcast and about 35 degrees this morning. Thankfully though it was dry. My nutrition for the last few days has not been good...ok the last week for sure (see cupcake post)

I can't help myself...I LOVE jelly beans!

I couldn't run without the jelly beans...this actually isn't the first time I've run on Easter and used jelly beans for a boost. :) So I set out and miles 1 and 2 just kind of sucked. Everything felt hard my legs felt heavy. Thinking maybe my legs are tired from the 1:30 bike trainer session yesterday.
1 11m 22s
2 11m 00s
By the start of mile 3 legs felt a little better and I was warming up. Gloves came off and I'm stating to feel better ...a few jelly beans at the 3 mile mark and head up a hill on mile 4
3 11m 13s
4 11m 40s
Going up the hill I start to get tired again...but soon I'm headed downhill and feeling better again. A few more jelly beans at mile 5 and I start to think my time is pretty good and even though this isn't a "real" race I could maybe have my fastest 10k time ever. So hit mile 6 pretty hard I don't even look at my time because I just don't want to know, I just keep going until I see 6.2 miles and I'm pretty much giving it all I got at this point. I really feel like I could not have gone much farther especially at this pace but lucky for me I don't have to I'm done!
5 10m 57s
6 10m 31s
7 02m 04s
Total 6.2 miles 1:08:47 11:05 average! I killed my previous 10k times! (Previous race times were from 1:14 to 1:18) So I'm pretty happy with that, no I'm really happy with that! Thanks so much to Jess at Run with Jess for putting this together. It was fabulous fun and just the kick I needed to get me out there this morning! Now I'm going to have to rethink doing the Boulder Boulder again this year and see if I can get a "real" PR.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ahhh the cupcakes....

Two dozen cupcakes is a lot of cupcakes!!! As you may remember I won the random drawing for doing the Cupcake marathon. These were sent to me Fed-Ex from the Sugared Bakery They arrived just as I was about to leave for work so I quickly opened them and took a dozen with me. Yes a cupcake for breakfast. I consumed far, far to many cupcakes over the next 2 days. They were wonderful! The frosting was so fudgy good you can not imagine they were also had a raspberry filling...oh yea...

Can I just say that I'm really glad the Jelly Bean virtual race does not have any food prizes, nor does it require me to consume jelly beans, although I'm guessing they will be consumed.

Training and goal update
1. Swim! Get to the pool at least 2 times. Went Monday am going tomorrow and may try Saturday too for a longer swim.

2. Track food better this week. I've tracked all food 3 out of 4 days so far. In Fact the 4th day I tracked most of the food just not all of. Now this doesn't mean I ate that great or stayed within calorie range just that I tracked it and can't say.."I was good this week how come I didn't lose any weight?"

Workouts have been ok a little shorter then I would have hoped on some but getting them in. A really nice run this morning. Just felt strong and it seemed easy always a real plus!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Now we are running for Jelly Beans!!!

And I gotta tell you jelly beans are really one of my favorite foods....seriously... I LOVE jelly beans! So this is a really simple one all you have to do is run a 5k or 10k. I'm signed up for the 10k and I plan to do it Easter morning which is the last day of the race. I had been looking at joining this race and just never did and then today I read this post showing that she had runners from 40 states and was just missing the Dakotas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Hawaii, West Virginia, Vermont, Colorado, and Delaware, well I knew I had to sign up. So if you happen to be from one of those state (or even if your not) hurry over and sign up! She has some really great prizes! And besides... I need to work of the cupcakes (post to come!) that I received from the last virtual race!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Winding up the Weekend.

All in all not a bad weekend. The weather on Saturday was just about perfect for a bike ride. I'm starting to try and increase my mileage on the bike now as I have a couple of rides coming up including the Denver Century at the beginning of June. I don't mind saying I'm frightened. It includes a climb up Lookout Mountain which looks like this.


This is what they had to say about it at Colorado Bicycle Rides

The climb up Lookout Mountain road is difficult, but it is only 4.5 miles long and it flattens out in sections.
Only 4.5 miles...LOL! But before I get to that I have the a metric century the Community Classic Bike Tour up in Loveland which includes some decent climbs too. So needless to say I need to work on my climbing. Yesterday when I headed out I intended on riding a road that I had seen on my last ride.

You can see how the road kind of winds up.

It's a new road that connects Indiana to Hwy 72 and is almost 3 miles of climbing and is virtually unused. It almost killed me.

Going up!

On the way up there was one bike in front of me and I passed a guy, not a young guy either, walking up with his helmet on (complete with horns) and his skate board. I'm sure like me he thought it was a lot more fun going down then going up, and I said as much. When I got to the top I was spent. I was kind of shaky and quickly ate some of my snack, almonds, kashi and dates. It had been awhile since breakfast. I was extremely thankful to have brought it as I got a bit of a late start, just after 11 and then got stopped only minutes in to my ride by my son and his step-mom which lead to about a 20 minute conversation and delay.

From the top...getting closer to the wind turbines!

Now the good part...I get to go down that hill. Oh yea...much more fun... I admit to applying the breaks a few times. I saw a top speed of 42 which for me is fast...very fast...and of course causes thoughts of crashing, but the road was so smooth and with no traffic it was fantastic.. and then I turned on to another road and whoaa can you say headwinds? Which then turned into cross winds when I turned. But it wasn't long before the worst of that was behind me. All in all it was one fantastic ride I ended up with almost 25 miles and an average speed of 13.84 which I was thrilled with.

This is the elevation profile for the ride. I believe this will be a great training hill and plan to do it often....maybe I can even try to do it twice...although I might want to have 911 ready on my speed dial. Saturday night my oldest son headed off to they grow fast.

I'm so proud of him.

I wrapped up the weekend with a pretty good run. Even though I wasn't really feeling it I managed to do 5 miles at a pretty good pace of 11:23. Now if you were to look at my log for the last couple of weeks it would be glaringly obvious that I've not been to the pool...I will change that this week. I'm going to start setting a some weekly goals for myself and that shall be number one this week. This weeks goals 1. Swim! Get to the pool at least 2 times. 2. Track food better this week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What's for Dinner? Asian Dumpling Bowl and homemade egg rolls

Does your kitchen ever look like this? A frequent occurrence when I'm putting together a meal.

I have to say I thought this was pretty good. The boys ate the soup, they didn't love the egg rolls but this was not my best batch either although they look really pretty and tasted fine to me. I believe I will make this again and if nothing else well it introduced me to bok choy which I had never used before and now will be using a bunch! Really very easy to make, hardest part may be the clean up.

Asian Dumpling Bowl

1/3 cup sake ( I just steamed over water)
20 frozen Asian dumplings (any variety)
5 cups (40 oz) canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch bok choy, stem end trimmed 1/3 carrot
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (I forgot this but think it would be good)

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the sake (water) until simmering. Add a steamer insert and then the frozen dumplings, and cover. Steam until they're tender, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Meanwhile, thinly slice the bok choy and carrot into 2-inch julienne strips. Add the vegetables to the broth and cook until crisp-tender. Add the steamed dumplings and cook 1 minute more.
3. Serve the soup drizzled with sesame oil and garnished with cilantro.

Egg rolls I really don't have a recipe for these. I just chopped whatever veggies I had cooked them a little, I think I added a little soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and maybe some hoisin sauce. It's all veggies right?

Wrapped them up sprayed with olive oil and baked...easy and delicious! The first night I made them by themselves I ate the whole batch...I think I had 6 of them!

Dinner is served! Yummy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This week I’ve been following my doctors advice....

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually.. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NO LISTEN! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No pie in the sky and no fondue at the finish Platte River 1/2 marathon race report

Well let's start at the beginning..packet picket up was a least for me, those at the beginning of the alphabet had a really long line to wait in but I walked right up. It was at the running store though and it was packed so I didn't take anytime to shop just headed home. Instead of staying off my feet all day and resting I did some cleaning but that's about it. Went to bed worried about what I would find when I got up in the morning, the weather was still calling for rain/snow in the morning and wind lots of wind as per normal in the spring in Colorado. Got a pretty good nights sleep and arose to find just a very light dusting of snow and as the sun came up blue skies WOOHOO no rain or snow! Started off my morning with a bagel thin, some peanut butter and a small banana as well as a couple cups of coffee...I love my coffee. Headed toward the other side of town for the race start. This was one of those races that ended in a different location then it started which is always interesting. Any way as I'm driving I pass the general area where the race will end and I drive and I drive and I drive some more...I think to myself... I CAN'T RUN THIS FAR!!! :)Everything went really smooth parking was easy, a couple of trips to the port-a-potty and found Kathleen to chat a little before the start. Also briefly talked with Matt one of the guys from BT

Me and Kathleen before the race

Just Me

They did start the race in waves so it was about 5 minutes or so after the start when we got started. Still it was a little congested. We started out on the streets for the first almost 2 miles before we then ended up on a bike/running path that follows the Platte River through town. The weather really could not have been much more perfect at this point, probably around 40ish degrees with blue skies. Once in awhile you would get some cross winds, big gusts. In order to reach my pie in the sky goal I would need to stay pretty close to 11 minute miles and through mile 4 I was feeling pretty good and staying well with in range.

1 -11m 07s 1.00 miles

2 -11m 06s 1.00 miles

3 -11m 12s 1.00 miles Cliff Mocha Gel (love these things!)

4 -11m 09s 1.00 miles

These photos were taken in the 5th mile which maybe why it was a little slower. Still feeling pretty good, not like I'm working to hard, although wishing I had brought some music although I rarely run with music on longer runs its nice.

This was the view ahead of me.

5 -11m 35s 1.00 miles

6 -11m 10s 1.00 miles

Things start to feel a little tougher about now. At the 1/2 way mark I was thinking wow really? Only 1/2 way. Legs felt a little sore but nothing major however things start to slow down and walking breaks are taken. 7 -11m 47s 1.00 miles Cliff Mocha Gel

8 -11m 36s 1.00 miles

And then the wind kicked in...or more likely we headed into the wind. It was pretty rough going for 3 miles and I have to say that I spent much time using EMZ's phrase of YOU'VE.GOT.THIS. With every step I would think on and on. I will be heading over here to thank her by making a donation, crazy woman plans to run for 24 hours on a treadmill to raise money for a Sojourner Center & Victims of Domestic Violence.

9 -12m 37s 1.00 miles

10 -11m 58s 1.00 miles

11 -12m 41s 1.00 miles I think it was at the end of this mile when I had another Gel Chocolate (not as good if you ask me and I love chocolate!)

12 -12m 01s 1.00 miles

The last mile took you up over a bridge which was way more hill then I wanted to face but I just kept up with the and ran, there were way more people walking this bridge then running. Then it was downhill and around a corner and you could see the finish line! 13-12m 00s 1.00 miles

14-01m 44s 0.16 miles

So while I don't have the official time yet, I know I didn't make my pie in the sky goal of under 2:30 I did however still have a substantial PR over my 1/2 in October (2:42). Garmin time shows 2:33:42 an 11:41 average pace and I was more then thrilled with that! At the finish I grabbed a bottle of water (I was one of the last to get a bottle as they seemed to run out!) And sat down to stretch a little. For some reason my muscles wanted to cramp up as I was stretching. Mostly my calf but also my quads a little. One really strange thing and I'm going to attribute it to the wind was I never really all...usually even in 24 degree runs I'm sweaty and my hair will get soaked I guess the wind must have kept me dry I've no other explanation. I headed up to see about getting some more water and couldn't find any then found a long...very long line...turned out to be the line for food, it stretched about a block and 1/2 and then around the restaurant. There were some guys with cups and water handing it out to those in the line but there was no way I was going to stand in that line. I headed back to stretch a little more and watch for Kathleen. I was able to cheer for her at the finish. Neither of us felt like standing in that line so we headed out. They were nice enough to give me a ride back to my car so I didn't have to try and negotiate the light rail system which I had never used before. They were also nice enough to give me a bagel thin they had in the car...I was starving by this point and really wanted to get at least something in me. Once back to the car I called my son and told him to put the pizza stone in the oven and lay out the dough I had in the refrigerator...Pizza was calling my name!

I ate the whole thing at it was delicious!!!!

So as far as the race went, it was very well supported on the course, water/powerade stations every 2 miles bathrooms too (although amazingly I never needed to stop) The shirts are great it's so nice to have the option of women's shirt. However after the finish line I think things went downhill...the fact that they had no water to hand out was really bad, good thing it wasn't hot, and the line for food...crazy...I would have loved to have had a banana or bagel anything really. I did see a few plates of food, burgers and hot dogs but I just couldn't see standing there in that line waiting for it. I believe there was suppose to be chocolate fondue stuff ( one of the sponsors was a fondue restaurant) somewhere too but I didn't actually see it and was bummed not to get any. So needless to say no pie and no fondue...but I will be having ice cream later!

Edited to add official results
1953/2231 Julie Taylor Arvada CO 46 F 1111/1340 45 to 49 101/126 2:33:42 11:44

Friday, April 8, 2011


Ok the crazies have set in….this morning on my way to work I was wondering if it would be possible to fit in training for a fall marathon with the 70.3 at the beginning of August. Then I yelled at myself WHAT!!??!?!? Ok maybe it was actually WTF!?!?!? I've always pretty much maintained that I would/could not do a full marathon or a full ironman and this thought truly came out of nowhere, NOWHERE!!! My mind was just wandering and that is where it went. Scary…at this point I truly have no intentions of checking if this is possible…

Half marathon coming up Sunday. Weather looks like this…

By the way as I write this at 7:40 p.m Friday the temps are around 70! I've been lucky enough not to have any really bad weather for a race I hope to continue this. Temps look fine but I really really hope to stay dry. I'm a little concerned about my Pie in the sky goal. My last tempo run yesterday was rough. I'm hoping the excitement of the race will carry me faster. I believe it's a pretty flat course so with any luck it will be a little easier then the R'n'r in October.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's for Dinner? Smoked Pumpkin Chili

For some reason I have in my mind a very definite idea of what chili tastes like...and this was not it...but this was GOOD! I will make it again. Very easy to make and freezes well and as you could see in my post with the refrigerator pics...I like freezing.

(never home)maker

What you'll need
•1 medium to large cooking onion, chopped
•3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•2 cans (or one large can) of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
•1 can of low-sodium corn kernels, drained and rinsed
•1 large (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, keep the juice(I used diced fire roasted tomatoes)
•1 can pumpkin puree
•1 cup vegetable broth (or beer of choice)(I used chicken stock)
•1 tablespoon smoked paprika (or regular)(I used regular)
•1 teaspoon black pepper
•1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
•10 to 15 sage leaves (optional) (I just added some dried sage)

1.In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions are tender.
2.Pour in the pumpkin puree and vegetable broth (or beer). Mix. Pour in the can of whole tomatoes (with the juice). Mix again.
3.Then add the kidney beans and corn kernels. Season with the paprika, black pepper, and salt.
4.Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. You'll want to use a spatula or mixing spoon to crush the whole tomatoes a bit. Keep them chunky, but try to crush each one a couple times to distribute evenly.
5.Then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 minutes. Again, stir occasionally.
6.Add in the sage leaves (I rubbed mine a bit with my fingers to get the flavor out before dropping into the pot). Cook at a low simmer for another 15 minutes

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wacky Weather

Colorado has crazy weather, always has, always will. Yesterday was a beautiful day with record breaking temps in the 80's. A beautiful day and a fabulous 20 mile bike ride outside! It was a little windy but nothing was going to get me down. I was in short sleeves and really warm, wishing that I had warn a lighter jersey....can I say it again BEAUTIFUL!

This morning I get up and decide to do a pre long run run to see how things are feeling. I went out the night before and had entirely to much Mexican food, a couple of beers and enjoyed some lacrosse (side note: this was a first for fun are lacrosse games!?!?) and had to little sleep. But it was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining the sky was blue and it was about 50 degrees. So I did an easy 2 miles and came home dropped the dog off and got ready to meet Kathleen out at Chatfield for a long run. As I'm getting ready to head out there some dark clouds drifting in.

But we decided to be tough and headed out to do around 10 miles. The wind was blowing but we hoped to be able to get it done before any other weather rolled in. It was nice to be out there running with someone and being able to chat. The first 8ish miles went pretty good. At around that point it was starting to cool off. I had to make a port-a-potty stop and Kathleen went on. I barley started to run again when the wind really kicked up and I looked down at my jacket and couldn't figure out what the white stuff on it was. Then I realized it was snowing!!!
And then it got bad. The rain/snow/sleet was coming down pretty hard and it hurt when it hit. The temperature was dropping rapidly and I wasn't dressed for this! Those last 2 miles were brutal! It was cold, my legs were freezing Me right after getting into the car. You can see how wet I am, and that's not sweat! Even my glasses have water all over them.
Me and Kathleen

Poor Kathleen doesn't have the extra insulation that I have and she was so cold she couldn't get her fingers to work.
Here's a shot out the window in the parking lot.
And this was on my way home. The weather got so bad on the drive home the visibility was about 100 yards and there was standing water all over the highway.

Ahhh I love Colorado. Fingers crossed for good weather for the 1/2 marathon next weekend.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I WON!!!!!


I was one of the winners of the Cupcake Marathon! I am so excited! This makes the first thing I've won in blog land and this is a fantastic win, a dozen cupcakes from the Sugared Bakery I can't wait to taste them! Who wants one?

Thanks again to Jason and Christel and all of the sponsor, especially The Sugared Bakery for putting this all together for us.