Tuesday, June 28, 2011

YMCA Mini Triathlon

Lately I have been doing a lot of cross training along with running and have discovered that I really enjoy spinning and lap swimming. Believe it or not I am actually finding that since I started running less and cross training more, that my running is improving a lot!

Naturally, this has made me interested in triathlons. First step - Hillsborough YMCA's mini triathlon last Friday. It was an all indoor event that has given me the opportunity to see how I could perform in all 3 events back to back. Granted indoor swimming, running and biking is a different ball game than outdoors, but it was a great preview. I have since signed up for the Born to Tri Sprint Distance triathlon on August 6th. I am excited and nervous (especially for the open water swim!!)

The mini tri was the perfect training opportunity and a TON of fun! I finished in the middle of the pack, and I am pleased with that. I was particularly happy about how strong I felt during the run. I started off on the conservative side since I didn't know how I would feel but ended up running the last mile at a 9 min pace, SUPER speedy for me!

1/4 mile swim - 10:23
10 mile bike - 17:18
3 mile run - 30:38

Total time: 58:18

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pan Classic 10k Race Report

Yesterday morning I ran the Pan Classic 10k in Madison, NJ. It was a brutally hot morning and the start time was 11:00. Needless to say this race was not pretty, not at all. Actually, I think it was probably the worse race I have ever run. That being said, I am trying to focus on the fact that I finished and not that I added 5 minutes onto my last 10k time.

The race itself was pretty disorganized and I knew when we were waiting for the start that it wasn't going to be a good one. The late start time and hot temps are not a good combination for me. Plus, between my teaching schedule and the kids I have not had many opportunities to run outside in the heat.

I made a crucial mistake in the beginning and went out way too fast. I felt pretty good at first and ran a 10 minute mile. At the end of mile 1 there was a killer hill. I powered up it. I probably would have been better off taking it easy because I hit the wall soon after that. There was barely any shade and it was at least 85 at this point. At a mile and a half, the runners doing the 5k turned off, and many of the 10k runners decided to turn off as well. I let my ego get in the way and kept going on the 10k route.

At this point I knew there would be walking involved so I started running 4 minutes, walking 1 minute, so on and so forth. That lasted for about a mile until I was walking longer than 1 minute at a time. For the last 2 miles I was just surviving since every time I ran I felt like I was going to throw it. It was frustrating since my legs wanted to go but my stomach wasn't cooperating.

I finished around 1:16. I was disappointed because I thought I might have a shot at a PR since I have been running pretty fast (for me) lately. I am trying to focus on the fact that I didn't give up and finished the race, and not let this experience shake my confidence.

Trudging towards the finish

Finally there!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lentils Curry

If you told me a year ago I would be making curry, I would have probably laughed at you. But here I am, loving this dish! Really flavorful and super healthy, this is a great meal. Plus you can use any veggies you have in the fridge. I blogged about this when I made it with chicken a few months ago. It was good with chicken but I actually like it even better with lentils. The possibilities and combinations are endless!

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine does! Even the baby loved it, although my picky big girl would not give it a chance.

Lentils Curry


1/3 cup dried lentils
3 carrots chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped

1/2 large zucchini, cut into half moons
1/2 large summer squash, cut into half moons
3 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion small dice
1 large sweet potato med dice
vegetable oil
1 small can diced tomatoes
2 cups veg/ck broth
garahm masala
grated ginger
(or a premixed curry powder & masala powder)


Any of the ingredients and portions can be changed to whatever you want

heat oil
add onion and sweat it before adding garlic, ginger and dry spices to taste
cook til very fragrant (about 30-60 sec)
add tomatoes cook for 60 sec
add broth
add lentils, veggies and potatoes
bring to a boil then simmer and cover til cooked through about 45 mins

serve with rice, quinoa, cous cous, pita bread, etc

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Veggie Turkey Burgers

It's a miracle, a cooking related post!! I actually have been making variations of these burgers for awhile, but finally got around to blogging about them. Tonight I really love how they came out, so moist and flavorful, plus full of veggies.

These are a staple for us for a few reasons. They are tasty, healthy and convenient. I usually make them in the afternoon and cook two burgers for Cecily and Finn around 5pm. Then when I get home from my classes at night, I pop the rest in for Zach and me. Works out great for nights that I teach so I only have to prepare one meal even though the kids eat first.

Veggie Turkey Burgers
A Running Mama Cooks Original


1 lb ground turkey breast
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 med carrots, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 large zucchini, grated
1/2 large summer squash, grated
1/4 cup grated Italian blend cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients and form into 6 burgers. Place burgers on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with cheese and serve on whole wheat english muffins.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sugar Free Challenge - Complete!

Wow, I did even better than I thought I would!! Total weight loss = 4.5 lbs!

But more importantly I feel like it has put me on the right track. I have explored healthy food options that I probably would not have thought about before and feel like I can continue to eat this way for the most part. I feel better and more energetic.

It was a nice change from counting weight watchers points for weight loss. Don't get me wrong, I think weight watchers is awesome (and I lost 25 lbs on it between January and April!) but the more I do it, the more I find ways to "cheat" it by eating low point junk. This cleanse has opened my eyes to how much sugar I was consuming and has allowed me to feel satisfied by fruit and nuts instead of M&Ms and twizzlers.

I will admit that I wasn't perfect...I did start drinking coconut water which has sugar and a little bit of lite raspberry and walnut salad dressing too. But overall, I kept my sugar intake super low and my artificial sweeteners intake to zero.

Going forward I plan on adding agave syrup back into my diet because I love it in oatmeal and tea, and might indulge a bit on dessert on Sundays (If you know my Italian family, you know its really really hard to resist!) but I am leaving refined sugar and processed food behind. As I continue to explore clean eating, I hope to have some good new recipes to share!
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sugar Cleanse Day 4

Day 4 of the sugar cleanse and still going strong!! The 2nd day was the hardest, but I feel like I am in a good groove now. The most difficult part has been finding quick and easy things on the go that are okay. And I am shocked at how many things have sugar in them!! I have been snacking on cheese, almonds and plain greek yogurt, plus strawberries and raspberries. I caved today and had a coconut water. That counts as natural sugar right? Whole grain toast and almond butter has been a go-to lunch as well as turkey and cheese roll ups.

Dinner has been tricky but I've had shredded chicken from the crockpot with roasted veggies mixed in as well as a chicken and veg stir fry. I think we are going to grill tonight. Hopefully I will have more food related posts for you soon, I am really slacking in the kitchen lately!

I was happy that I was able to stick to the cleanse yesterday during a beach day, but it was hard to resist gelato!! This weekend will be tough, but I will keep reminding myself that it is only 10 days. I usually feel like treating yourself here and there is the best way to stick with good eating in the long run and will continue to subscribe to that philosophy! Thankfully I have yoga teacher training all weekend so it will be much easier to be good.

And here are some beach pics!

Cecily and Livy posing for the camera
My beach babies Me and my guy :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

10 Day Sugar Free Challenge

10 months post pardom and I have made it to my level one weight loss goal. Great, right? Definitely! But now that summer is here I am ready for level two and I only have 8 lbs to go. I hit a plateau about a month ago and have been stuck at the same weight, despite working out 6-7 days per week.

I am pretty sure I know what the culprit is - SUGAR. I have always had a huge sweet tooth and have not been very good lately at resisting certain things. Like sugary quick chek ice coffee. And nutella. And chocolate twizzlers (they are low fat, how bad could it be to eat the whole package in two days?). The list goes on and on. I have the constant urge to indulge on sweets and I would love to kick that.

I have decided to participate in a 10 day sugar free challenge from Run to the Finish in an attempt to reset my cravings. I don't plan on giving up the sweet stuff for good, but would love to not feel powerless over it. And if I happen to lose the last 8 lbs, bonus!

A Spoonful of Sugar Free is a great resource to check out if you are considering going down this road as well. She has some great recipes, tips and snack ideas. I have decided to keep fruit in my diet but have eliminated sugar substitutes and all refined sugar. Grocery shopping today was interesting, but I was able to stock up on some good food that will hopefully keep me satisfied. I'll be posting about the challenge over the next 10 days, so stay tuned for my progress!
Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hillsborough Hop 5k Race Report

This morning I ran the Hillsborough Hop 5k which is held at the Hillsborough YMCA. I was really excited for this race because I am both a member and employee of the Y. It was great being able to run with my fellow instructors, trainers and the members that I know and love. Such an awesome and inspiring group!!!

The weather this morning was perfect, a little chilly and overcast, just how I like it. I was feeling good and felt I had a good chance at running a pretty "fast" race. My last couple of training runs were very quick for me, so I felt confident. I tried to keep in mind that it is never a good idea to go out too fast and hoped I could pace myself well.

My pace was very consistent the whole way, but I knew towards the end that sub 30 wasn't in the cards for today. That being said, I was sure I would have a "post Finn PR" so I ran comfortably hard and finished strong. I crossed the finish line at 31:05. I shaved 2 minutes off my last 5k time (not counting the last race where the course was short) and 7 minutes off my first "post Finn" 5k. Not bad!!!

I feel like sub 30 is definitely do-able for me this summer and I will continue to work hard to get there. I am finding that running less and cross training more is helping me improve my pace quicker than running alone, so I will continue to spin and swim for cardio in addition to my runs. I am sure tons of hot yoga and boot camp isn't hurting either!

I am also starting to get the itch to try a triathlon. Anyone want to buy me (or lend me) a bike? :)


Mile 1 - 9:47
Mile 2 - 9:57
Mile 3 - 10:01
.1 - 8:47

Boot campers!

Waiting for the start
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