Hooray for Winter Running!

To begin I must admit that we still have NO food in our house.  Not one trip to the grocery store this week!  I was lucky that we had a chili Valentine’s Day party at work with leftovers on Friday for lunch.  So before I even had water boiling for tea this morning, I was making a grocery list.  I have been itching to get outdoors and run all week.  Mostly because the weather has been a little warmer than usual, and I have seen the sun shining from inside my office.  So despite the 20 degree announcement on my cell phone this morning, I layered up for an outdoor run.

 

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Trail shoes and all!

 

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The sun was shining this morning, but failed to show up when I exited the front door.  I ran the long way through the neighborhood towards the forest preserve path.  It was definitely colder than I would have liked but tolerable.

 

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The path was quiet and peaceful!  I ran a little under 5 miles at a slow and steady pace with a few walking breaks over the icy concrete.

 

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I had to laugh that the only time I almost fell was when I slipped while walking, not running.  The benefit of all of my layers is that I had room to stash my phone to snap a few pictures.  Between the cold and my bulky shoes, I felt much slower than my recent speed intervals around the track, but I was happy for the longer run.

 

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Recently, my runs have been much shorter (30-35 minutes) due to some changes in my work schedule.  I was feeling much better about this after reading an article in Women’s Running Magazine last night about speed training.  New research is supporting that shorter runs can burn calories and improve your fitness just as well as longer runs when you increase your intensity.  One of the treadmill workouts, which surprised me, suggested sprinting for 8 seconds, followed by a 12 second recovery.  That is one that I have never heard of, but looking forward to trying.

 

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I have been doing most of my winter running along the track alternating between 90/90 second intervals, 60/120 second intervals, and tempo runs in preparation for a few middle distance runs I am signed up for this spring.  I am hoping to add in a spring half marathon, which will hopefully motivate me out of the house again for longer, cold weekend runs.  Post run, I have been refueling with multiple variations of the Green Smoothie.

 

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After this morning’s run, I drove out to Whole Foods to meet my Mom for lunch.  We both LOVE collecting our favorites from the hot bar and salad bar and sharing them tapas style with a big bottle of water.  She had to spend the rest of her Saturday working, so I got to wander the aisles of Whole Foods tasting samples and scooping up groceries.  Then moved on to Costco to do the same thing.

 

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I walked in the door with my arms full.  The BOY was involved with the Indiana v Perdue game…no surprise there.  After unloading my groceries, I baked up an amazing smelling cornbread for a get together with friends tomorrow.  I typically make more of a sweet cornbread, so this easy recipe from Paula Deen was a nice change of pace.

 

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I caught the second half of the basketball game while sipping some warm tea that we picked up in Sarasota.  I now have the perfect amount of time for a quick afternoon nap before the BOY and I head out for dinner tonight.

 

What kind of winter running have you been doing?

What is your favorite interval training workout?

Travel Plans (I hope!)

So…we are going to Florida!

 

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Hooray! Finger’s crossed this snow storm subsides and our plane is able to take off tomorrow! 

So that we can leave this behind…

 

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Oh and this too!  Picture below is from tonight’s big storm.

 

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Somehow this trip just snuck up on me, and I haven’t even dug out my warm weather gear yet.  The BOY and I are spending the weekend in Sarasota to celebrate the wedding of a long time friend of mine.

 

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This is us on the first day of kindergarten

 

This week has been a busy one rescheduling patients and getting ready for the trip.  Obviously, meal planning has been non-existent, and I have been relying on some of my quick and easy favorites for dinner.  ie Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, turkey sausage, frozen veggies, and baked sweet potato.  I whipped up a batch of Taco Soup for lunch and a batch of homemade energy balls to snack on throughout the week.  I even have a few leftover for the plane.

 

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I found this homemade LaraBar recipe on Snack Therapy, and it was right up my alley.

 

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Dates + Peanuts = Healthy and Delicious Snack Balls

 

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The first step is to chop up your dates until a large ball is formed.  Then add in the peanuts and process until smooth.  This might take a minute or two, so be patient.

 

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Then push the dough into bars or roll it into balls.

 

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These balls make the perfect afternoon pick me up.

 

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Their sweet and salty combo will satisfy any craving!

 

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Speaking of amazing and satisfying….I just received a huge box of KIND bars!

 

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A HUGE Thank You to Averie for this generous giveaway!  I have always wanted to try the KIND granola and even the BOY said he would eat these healthy bars.  KIND bars are one of my favorites!

 

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They came at the perfect time for me to take on our trip, and I stocked a few away in my carryon!

Needless to say, you won’t be hearing from me for a few days.  Unless of course our flight gets canceled in which case my next post won’t be so friendly.  The good news is…I will have plenty to eat : )

 

More of my favorite homemade bars and bites…

PB&J Bars

German Chocolate Fudge Bites

Fig and Date Energy Bites

Almond Butter Cacao Balls

Afternoon Energy Bars

 

 

Peanut Butter Date Bars

From Snack Therapy

 

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates, grossly chopped

1 cup peanuts

 

Directions

Place dates in food processor and process until combined.  Scrape sides and add in peanuts.  Process 2-3 minutes until mixed completely, scraping the sides as needed.

Press into the bottom of a pan or roll into balls.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Optional: stir in extra peanuts or roll in raw coconut

 

 

What do you snack on when you travel?

9 Degrees

I woke up this morning, saw 9 degrees on my phone, and knew an outdoor run just wasn’t gonna happen.  Since I don’t currently have a gym and have not figured out the best solution for this dilemma, it means I have to get creative with my workouts.

 

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So I heated up oatmeal for breakfast and sipped on some hot water with lemon (I recently read that this is a good thing to drink in the morning and find that I like it) before making a switcheroo.  Winter wear out…indoor gear in.

 

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I drove the 30 miles to work…kind of.  About a mile from work there is a fitness center with a FREE indoor track.  I tend to forget about this option before and after work and really should use it more often.  By the time I got to the fitness center (traffic was BAD), the sun was shining making the weather seem much warmer than it was.

 

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So I made the quick decision to stay bundled up and run along the nature path instead of going indoors.

 

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This trail is really beautiful and has the perfect training hill!

 

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I made my way to the hill slowly as I began to thaw out.  Then ran up/down 5 times to boost my heart rate and add some interval training.  19 minutes into my run, I could finally feel my fingers.  And the fresh air was a huge morning mood booster!  Although it was definitely COLD!

 

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The view from the top is a nice reward after each push up the hill.  I had to pause and take a quick picture timeout!

 

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I finished my 38 minute run with a 2 minute plank before showering, making a Starbucks run, and  then heading into the office for a long day of work.  I must admit that I had big plans to post a delicious chicken stirfry recipe tonight.  I also had plans to make it home before 8:30 pm, but that didn’t happen. So the BOY kindly made me plain chicken breasts in the oven which although they were tasty, are definitely not blog worthy. I’d much rather leave you with images from my morning run!