Healthy Habits

Well today isn’t the beginning of the month.  It’s not even the beginning of the week.  However, I’ve been thinking about really focusing on some healthy habits and I jotted them down the other day.  I folded my paper and I had 32 squares so I decided on 31 healthy habits.  And, as of tomorrow I only have 100 days until my next marathon so I thought I might as well start buckling down sooner rather than later.

So here ya go.

I’m looking at number 15 right now and I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to get a green smoothie before I leave at 5:20am tomorrow for my run and work.  This is going to take dedication.  I’m also looking at number 28 now and I’ve got to go!

Night Friends!

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Myrtle Beach Half Marathon

Last weekend was the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon!  It was so much fun.  Us two love birds decided early on that we’d use this little Myrtle Beach getaway as a celebration.  Ron’s birthday was on the 11th and then of course you have Valentines on the 14th and then on the 25th of this month, Ron and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary.  Happy 25th Honey!!

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Ron and I ran the race with our church small group. 

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We trained for 16 weeks together and had a blast.  There were 22 of us altogether and of that 22, 19 were running their very first half marathon.  The ages ranged from 12 years old to 58.  I cannot tell you how much I love running with friends.  Every single time I run a race with a friend, I have so much more fun than if I run alone.

Here are a couple of more shots of the group.

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(Angela, me, Sandy, and Priscilla)  All 3 of these lovely ladies were tackling their first half marathon.

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(Robin, me, and April)  Robin first got into running last year with our Run for God 5k group.  She is a huge inspiration as she has gotten off all her COPD and asthma medications since she took up running.  April and I ran together at almost every Saturday group run.  She’s a bit faster than me and really helped motivate me to keep up.  We talked and talked and talked every Saturday morning and I’m going to miss running together so much.

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This shot is of Jill and me at mile 10.  Jill and I ran together at Myrtle Beach and had so much fun.  We both were shooting for a sub 2:30 time and made our goal with 9 whole minutes to spare.  Woot!  Woot!  Way to go Jill!  That was an awesome 1st half marathon time.

Here’s a shot of the beach from our balcony.

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And at night it almost looked like Las Vegas to me.

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After the race on Saturday, we stayed a long time at the after race party.  There was plenty of good food and of course, Ron loved the IPAs.

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Later on that night, we went to the House of Blues for the marathon party and dinner.  The food was pretty good but they ran out of IPAs.   When I handed Ron a Michelob Ultra, you should have seen the funny face he made.  It was hilarious!  So funny that my beer loving man will not drink an American lager. 

The most fun thing to me though was while Ron was enjoying his beer after the race, I slipped into the massage tent. 

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10-15 minute massages were complimentary and man oh man was it awesome.  See that move that the therapist has on the person in the yellow shirt?  Well, my guy did this same move but once he got my knee up in the air, he did this shake kind of thing that really hit all the right spots.  I’ve only had a massage one time in my life other than this quick one.  I’ve got to budget some money in for more of them.  A full hour massage after a race would be pure heaven.

Next up for me is the Tobacco Road Half Marathon here in my neck of the woods.  The medal looks killer and I have to admit, that’s what made me sign up. 

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The ATT sits on an abandoned railroad corridor that has been preserved for recreational use.  That’s the significance of the train on the medal. 

25 days and counting.  Let the new training begin.  Smile

I’ve got this idea that if I can lose 20 pounds, maybe I can shave 20 minutes off my half marathon time.  Now I know I can’t lose 20 pounds in 25 days but maybe I can lose 6 or so.  And if I keep at it, maybe I can run a sub 2:00 hour half before 2013 comes to a close. 

Night friends!

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Eat and Run

This morning it was 20 degrees outside.

I’d say a perfect time for a run.  Smile

Good ole Garmin and Runmeter recorded my stats.  (both very close again today)

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I was very, very happy with the results.  I did start to lose steam on the last few miles but overall it was a great run.

Here’s my splits:

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You guys know that I spent all summer with my Galloway group, but did you know that I’ve spent 14 weeks this fall and winter with a small group from church?

Pastor Carley from Mt. Zion (my church) and her husband Pastor Eric from Sunrise and I are co-leaders for a wonderful running and fellowship group.

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Here Carley and Eric are with Keith, aka the tall one.  Smile  Keith and Eric have both run marathons and Carley got hooked last year when she ran a half marathon.

We get together at 8:00am each Saturday morning and have a time of devotion and then we go over a running topic.  We’ve covered things like cross training, nutrition, how to prevent injuries, and the like.  After we close in prayer, we head off on our run.  We’ve run at many different locations but today’s was my very favorite.

It was an 11 miler on the American Tobacco Trail.  I was concentrating so hard on my run I forgot to snap a picture of the trail.

Click here to see how pretty it is.

Here are some more shots of our awesome group.

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Sarah, Robin, Jill, Jason, and Jodi

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April and me  Smile

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LeAnn and Blair

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Alisa and another shot of Eric

We have some more members but not everyone could make it today.  (We missed you guys!)  I hope to get a group shot of us in 2 weeks when we run the Myrtle Beach Half.  (Keith is running the full.)

It has been such a blessing to me to have this group.  Running with friends Rocks!

My husband, Ron, is in our group too but he was on call today and wasn’t able to travel too far away from his work phone and work truck.

Instead, he cranked out some treadmill miles and then whipped up another scrumptious vegan meal.

Here it is.  Quiche made without eggs or cheese.

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Click here for the full recipe.

Dairy-Free Red Quinoa & Broccoli Quiche.  YummO!

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The ingredients were broccoli, red peppers, quinoa, onions, garlic, cashews, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and the secret ingredient that held everything together, agar.

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The recipe actually called for agar flakes or powder but we couldn’t find those.  I found this whole agar at the Grand Asian Market.

Here is what it looks like out of the wrapper.

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You ask what agar is?  Well let me tell you.  It’s seaweed.  Smile

Or rather:

agar (gär, ägär)

A gelatinous material obtained from marine algae, especially seaweed, used as a medium for growing bacterial cultures in the laboratory and as a thickener and stabilizer in food products.

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After that 11 miler today I ate almost half that quiche.

Ron made another quiche tonight but this time he put in mushrooms and some red pepper flakes.  Wowzer.  That one was very good too.

For our evening entertainment, Ron and I watched Vegucated on Netflix.  Very enlightening.

When I first started trying to get healthier back in 2009 I began enjoying so many different foods.  Everything I did was aimed at health.

Then I went through 10 months a a strict vegetarian.  Next came flexitarian.  Then vegan for 3 weeks. Now I’m back to mostly vegan but I did have Tilapia last night for dinner.

I really think my main focus is on health but I can’t deny my strong feelings for the horrors of how animals are treated.  And tonight what they showed about how fish are harvested made my skin crawl.

Don’t watch Vegucated if you are squeamish about a slaughter house.  It didn’t show that much at all and I still had my eyes buried in my knees and my fingers in my ears.

Oh well,  enough of that.  Let me close with a list of some items I never knew were vegan:

Teddy Grahams

Oreos

Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting

and my favorite peanut butter:  Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday and a great week ahead.

Night Friends!

Plan to be Kind

This wasn’t tonight’s dinner.  It was Tuesday’s but I’m just getting around to blogging about it.  Zucchini spaghetti is Lydia’s favorite and she had been asking me to make it for days.  This healthy meal is the very first vegetarian meal that I learned to cook.  My sister Rosa taught me and it is so easy and delicious.

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Put on your water to boil for your spaghetti.

Take one zucchini for each person that you are serving and run it through the shredder setting in your food processor.

Dice up one sweet onion and get it sweating in a large pan with some EVOO.  Use your garlic press and press in 2-3 cloves of garlic.  Let those cook a little and then dump in all your zucchini.

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Stir all around and make sure the zucchini is somewhat coated with the EVOO and the onions and garlic are all mixed around.  Put a lid on your pan and let it cook on medium low for about 10 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it.  You want it to reduce a little but not too much.

Add your noodles to the water.

By the time your pasta is ready the zucchini will be too.

Voilà!

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You can add parmesan cheese if you’d like.

I added some cannellini  beans for some extra protein.

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I also added a little Earth Balance for some added flavor.

On the running front, I had a great 5 miler tonight.  55 minutes!  So excited to see some faster times again.  I ran with my ipod and I think my awesome tunes helped me keep the pace up.  If there is a better trumpet solo out there than the one in Penny Lane, I need to be enlightened.  I just love that song!  I won’t mention the fact that this song is my second favorite and this one is a close third on my playlist.

I’ve been listening to Joyce Meyer and her daily devotions on my phone lately and the other day she was talking about the fruits of the Spirit.

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She said we needed to be intentional about showing kindness.  I am very intentional about planning my running.  A day doesn’t go by without me planning when I’m going to get my run in.  I decided that I would plan to be kind as well.

My first thought was to take a fellow teammate a treat.  The print shop at Durham Tech has been crazy busy because of the beginning of school.  And I mean CRAZY busy.  Everyone that has been working there is worn slam out.  Just last week, I worked from 7am – 10pm hardly stopping for a break.  I can’t believe the machine took that kind of punishment.  Well, I had to stop by Durham Tech to take them some supplies last night and on my way there I stopped to get gas.  I went in and got 2 Vitamin Waters and 2 bags of kettle chips.  One for me and one as a surprise for the person that was working the late shift at Durham Tech.  She was so surprised and happy.  I’m going to start planning kindness every day.

Goodnight Friends!

Spinach > Arugula

After church today, Lydia and I dined on salads.  Mine was the last of the spinach / arugula mix and hers was all spinach.  We had a variety of toppings including, boiled eggs, cheese, walnuts, raisins, celery, and carrots.

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One of my favorite food bloggers, Kath, reported that she had learned to make boiled eggs from someone who had learned from Julia Child herself.  I used that method today and these eggs were the best ever and oh so easy.  All you do is put the eggs in a pot and cover with cool water.  Bring just to a boil and then take off heat and let them sit for 13 minutes.  Next put them in a bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking process and help the shell to peel easier.  These eggs did peel extremely well and cooked to perfection.

I enjoyed my salad but I confessed to Lydia that I don’t really like arugula anymore.  I’m not sure if it was that awful smoothie the other night or not but I’m sticking to spinach and butter lettuce from now on.

Today’s sermon was on the 8th commandment.  Do you know it?  Click here for the complete sermon notes.  They might still have last week’s sermon up so check back often.  My favorite part was what our pastor ended with today.  He read the lyrics from Amy Grant’s,  I Have Decided.   I remembered it right away and have always loved it.  Listen to the words. They are truly powerful.

I’ve got a ton of laundry, housework, and grocery shopping ahead of me today.  I so wish I could be diligent enough to learn to get all my stuff done on M-Sat.  That way I could really keep commandment number 4.

Happy Sunday!

Time on my Hands

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, my new Galloway training plan?  Well I do!  Two 30 minute runs during the week and then a long run at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning give me so much more time.

It’s a lot like this quote I shared the other day:

“When you run in the morning, you gain time. It’s like stretching 24 hours into 25. You may need to sleep less and get up earlier, but if you can get by that, running early seems to expand the day.”

 Fred Lebow, Founder of the New York City Marathon

You just cannot imagine how much time I have on my hands and to be honest, I’m not sure what to do with it!  Getting my run in yesterday and getting home by 9:00am gave me the longest Saturday you can imagine.  And now today!!  A Sunday and church is done.  Ron is cooking dinner today and I have the entire day OPEN.  It is truly Inconceivable!

Last Sunday I did housework all day.  I finished up the laundry yesterday and did the grocery shopping.  I might do a bit more cleaning today.  I do want to incorporate some celebrating being it is Memorial Day weekend and all.  We’ll have to see.

I almost skipped church today.  I knew we would be going over the 7th commandment and that one is a gimmie to me as well.  I knew our pastor would bring up Matthew 5:27-29.  However, I didn’t expect him to cover my favorite verse in the Bible:  Philippians 4:8-9. Just as it is important to feed your body on healthy food, it is more important to feed your soul on what is noble.  Think of yourself as a daughter of the true King.  Consider yourself a princess and conduct yourself as such.

Go here for the complete sermon notes.  They might not have commandment 7 notes ready yet due to the holiday, but please check back soon.

Happy Sunday everyone!

The Precious Gift of Life

Today’s sermon was on the 6th commandment:  thou shalt not murder.  (Exodus 20:13)  I had always thought of this commandment as an easy one.  I could check this one off and never think of it again.  I would never murder.  Check.  Done.  Move on to the harder ones.  Number 6 was a gimme.

Unfortunately it’s not that easy after all.  Our pastor preached for one full hour on those 4 little words and has forever changed the way I will think of this commandment.

As a Christian, we’re really not supposed to do anything that diminishes the life of another human being.

He reminded us of the great commandment in Matthew 5:43;  “You have heard the law that says, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say, love your enemies!”   And from Romans 13-8-10, “….Love your neighbor as yourself…”

He reminded us of the time that Peter asked Jesus how many time he should forgive someone.  “…No, not seven times, Jesus replied, but seventy times seven!”  Matthew 18:21-22

Check out the sermon notes for a full explanation.

The 6th commandment teaches us to love life and that we have to forgive.

Check out this awesome song that I’ve been humming all day.

Happy Sunday ya’ll!

 

 

 

 

Rest

The current theme that our pastor is preaching on is the ten commandments.

Here’s a cool video we watched.  Today we were on number 4.

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

Head on over to the virtual church section to see all the sermon notes.  I liked it a lot!

This one quote was my favorite and really made a lot of sense to me.

 

“There is no music in a rest, but there is making of music in it.”  John Ruskin

Oh so very true!  We all need rest, reflection, and fellowship to recharge our minds and bodies.  We all need a little rest to be able to make beautiful music.

Is a nap on your Sunday agenda?  Not for me!  I dislike them greatly because they ALWAYS make me have trouble falling asleep later that evening.  However, a nice restful walk with Mason in his stroller and Lily on her leash beside me are just what I’ve got planned.

Where ya headed?

This week I said goodbye to a faithful friend.  My sweet company owned Prius got “refreshed.”  137k was too much for the fleet company to handle.  137k is really young in Prius years so even though I didn’t end up buying her, I hope she goes on to make some other person very happy for many years to come.

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I said goodbye to my OBX marathon sticker.

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I said goodbye to my UNCW mom sticker.

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No new stickers for me anymore.  My new company car (Ford Escape)  has logos all over it so if you know where I work, you’ll be able to spot me coming and going.

In all fairness though, I do love my new company car.  It has Siirus satellite radio and integrated Bluetooth technology.  So cool.  In my job as a floater, I often don’t really know where I’m headed each morning.  I could be driving to Fayetteville and get called back to Morrisville.  I might be half way to Jacksonville and get called to go to Cary.  You never know.  No worries though.  I love to drive and my new car is really neat.

I also said goodbye to another dear friend this week.  He was only 55 years young and had only battled cancer for 4 short months.  He died of lung cancer and never smoked a day in his life.  Crazy!  The good news is that he definitely knew where he was going.  My friend had a close, personal relationship with Jesus for as long as I knew him.  At his memorial service, all he wanted was for the pastors to tell everyone of the Good News in Jesus Christ and for people to make sure they know where they are going.

I might not know where my Escape will take me each day, but I definitely know where I’m ultimately headed.

I pray you do to.

Happy Sunday friends!

Run for God

I am so very happy that so many of our Run for God group were able to complete their first 5K.  Awesome, awesome job.   I have loved every minute of our 12 weeks together and I hope to get together and run many times in the future.  I love you guys!  You ROCK!

My Race of Grace time was 31:45  That is my Personal Record for a 5k and I’m very happy with that……but….I’m still chasing that elusive 29 minute mark.

My goal was to not walk at all and to not stop at the water stops.  I don’t need water on a 3 mile run.  No need to stop.  I knew this but somehow, the water called my name and I stopped.  It was pretty cool and delicious on this hot day.  However, that one stop made me give up the goal of running all the way and I ended up walking two other times.  I figured I had already stopped once, no way I could say I ran all the way so why bother.

If I could have just passed that water stop.

If I could have just focused and made it up those two hills.

Could I have gotten to 29 minutes?  I don’t know.

I wish so much that I didn’t have such a all or nothing mentality.  This is something I am going to pray about a lot.  I don’t like this character trait one bit.

Something happened to me as I was walking that hill.  I met a nice lady.  She was a marathoner like me but was struggling to get back into shape after taking some time off with an injury.  We walked that hill together and then we ran together for most of the last mile.  On our second walking break, I told her about me being there with our Run for God group.  She was so excited about it and wants to start a small group at her church.  I gave her the website:  http://www.runforgod.com/ and with such an easy address, I’m sure she will be able to find all the information she needs to get her group started.

So….it’s not about me running all the way.  I needed to walk that hill.  I needed to meet Jessica.  God wanted me to pass on that website.  All for the glory of God and may His will be done and not mine.

Maybe next time He will want me to finish in 29 minutes so I can meet someone at the finish line He wants me to talk to.  Maybe next time, He might want me to finish way in the back and encourage someone struggling to finish.  Who knows?!  I’ve got to remember what I’ve been trying to teach for 12 weeks now:

Run for God!