Tremendous Twelve

Hi Friends 🙂

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway – you have until 10pm CST tonight – winner will be announced tomorrow!

Jason is actually publishing this post for me – I am away at our Sister-in-Law’s house for the rest of the weekend. I know there is a way to set up an auto-publish in WordPress but I was short on time, so I showed Jason where the powerful Publish button is and asked him to do it for me.

Yesterday I ran 12 miles – and I was so nervous about how it would go. But it went great! I started off my morning with a good breakfast:

I think it is Denny’s or Perkins that has a breakfast called the Tremendous Twelve (2 eggs, 2 slices of toast, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 pancakes = 12!). Yes the only connection between the title of this post and the content of this post is the fact that the #12 appears in both. Moving on…

I chose to have a bagel with peanut butter and chia seeds on top and a sliced apple. This is my go-to breakfast before longer runs. It fills me up without weighing me down. I waited about 30 minutes and then I ran out the door!

Yes that means I ran outside – no more treadmill for the long runs. I just couldn’t bear the thought. And it was pretty nice out! At about 9am (when I started my run) it was maybe 25 degrees? But the sun was shining so I felt pretty good.

I was also bundled up with a jacket, long sleeve Under Armor shirt (love that shirt so much!), capris (from Target!), gloves and hat. I also had my fuel belt:

I keep tissues, chapstick and sport beans in the pouch, water in one bottle and Gatorade in the other. It took me a while to get used to having it on me, but now it doesn’t bother me at all. During my run I drank everything and the sport beans give me an extra boost when I need it. I love those!

I ran on some trails near our house – and I knew I was running 12 total miles because I entered it all into Map My Run before I left:

This is a great tool for me. I don’t have a Garmin or anything to keep track of the distance I am running, so I have to figure it out beforehand. Map My Run is easy to use and it is free! Plus you can search for mapped runs in your area — I have never used any of these though. I think there is a subscription service (where you can save runs, etc) but I don’t know if that is free or not. So I figured out how far I needed to run so that I was 6 miles away from home, then I turned around and came back.

12 miles took me about 2 hours, which is on track for how I have been running so far. I was just happy to be done! The hardest part was the last two miles – I knew how close I was to home and yet I still felt so far away!

I came home and iced my knees (just in case!), foam-rolled and then made myself some FOOD!

I made two over-easy eggs (my favorite), with a slice of toast. I also had a smoothie: 1 cup almond milk, ½ banana, 1 TBSP peanut butter, 1 TBSP chia seeds, 1 scoop whey protein powder, ice

Delicious! After showering I took a little snooze and I felt incredible for the rest of the day!

Have a great day!

~Holly

Living Debt Free Wrap-Up

Hi Friends!

I hope you have enjoyed my posts from the past few days — it is an overwhelming amount of information, but I hope you learned something!

I have wanted to write about this topic for months now, but I never knew how to fit it in with the rest of my blog. I usually write about my marathon training, or trying new recipes, or books I have read, etc. But I think part of healthy living is taking care of stress, and guess what — when we had tons of debt we were STRESSED OUT!

We can relax more, now that the credit card debt is gone. We aren’t debt-free now, but we have a plan and we are on our way — and that relieves most of my stress.

In case you missed one, or if you want to look back on them, here they are:

Monday: Steps to Financial Freedom

Tuesday: Budgeting and Paying off Debt

Wednesday: Getting your Debt Snowball Rolling

Other good resources to check out:

Dave Ramsey’s Website

Baby Steps to Financial Freedom

Mint.com

Cathy brought up a good point yesterday, which was about using CASH.

I totally forgot to mention cash when I explained the budgeting process. Jason and I use cash for  most purchases. We also use cash for our “fun money” — we take it out either at the beginning of the month or on payday — and that way, when the money is GONE it is GONE and that means no more spending. We use the same method for food: I take out the budgeted amount per week (let’s say we budget $400 for food/toiletries each month, so about $100 per week) — and that gives me 1-2 shopping trips and then we make due until the following week. Some weeks we have money leftover and we go out for dinner. Otherwise we only use our check card — that way it comes directly out of our account, but we have the convenience of plastic (used mostly for pumping gas!)

*

Back to somewhat regularly scheduled programming 🙂

I have been running and I’ve been feeling GREAT — Tuesday I had a short 3 mile run and I finished in about 28 minutes. I played with the speed on the treadmill and that made the time go by so quickly. I want to start switching up the incline, but I’m worried that my knee will start hurting again, so I’m going to continue to run on flat surfaces this week. Next week I should be able to run outside (hopefully!!!) or I’ll start upping the incline.

On Wednesday I ran 6 miles:

And after some foam-rolling and stretching I was good to go! I made some “Shamrock Shakes” after our run:

Ingredients:

1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
handful of spinach (for color and nutrients!)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract — I will use 1/8 tsp next time since this one was really minty!
1/4 tsp guar gum (to thicken it up – could omit)
5-6 ice cubes

We also got to babysit this beast all night:

He loved watching Top Chef with us!

*What are you doing for St. Patty’s Day? Today is actually the anniversary of our first date — 4 years ago! I’m still not sure what our plans are.

~Holly

Eleven Miles!

Hi Friends!

Meet Peter Sam: (again)

He loved modeling all of those hats – he didn’t squirm at all — it probably helped that he had just woken up from a nap!  🙂  And I love that with the first hat he is Uncle (Peter) Sam!

 

I even wore my UMD (Univ of MN-Duluth) sweater! Our mascot is the Bulldog! How perfect is that?

Jason totally laughed at me when I pulled this sweater out – he said “we’ve been together for 4 years and I have NEVER seen that sweater before!” True – I never wear it, but I just love it so much. My dad found it for me at Goodwill (or another thrift store, I can’t remember) before I started college.

Peter Sam is such a sweetheart!!! Sometimes I wish Jason and I had a dog, but Jason is allergic (and to be honest I don’t know how to take care of a dog!)

Rewind to Saturday morning –

I ran 11 miles.

I ran 11 miles in under 2 hours (my goal!)

My knee didn’t hurt. At. All.

I think the biggest difference has been my trusty foam-roller. In case you don’t know what one is, click here and you can see a picture of one and someone showing a few common stretches using it. Like I said earlier last week, this thing is worth its weight in gold. I really think daily foam-rolling is something I need to keep up with (and I intend to!)

And a few days ago I mentioned that reading about bloggers who run 7-8 min/miles – I didn’t mean to sound like I was complaining. I get caught in the comparison trap and I shouldn’t let those thoughts creep in. Running AT ALL is something I should be happy about – thanks to all of you who pointed that out in the comments or through emails.

Plans for the day:

-More work on the new blog (hopefully to be unveiled in a week or two…
-Grocery store
-Meal planning for the week (any suggestions on recipes to try?)
-Laundry (!!!)
-Yoga
-Read
-Relax!

Enjoy your day!

~Holly

Reunited with the Gym

Hi Friends!

Last night I finally went to the gym! I had not gone since last Wednesday. I skipped Thursday since we were out of town and on Saturday I was just too pooped to even think about going. And then we had Jason’s birthday on Tuesday and I skipped that day too.

But I went and it felt really good. Not at first of course – I hated every second of the first few miles. Instead of focusing on anything positive, I chose to FOCUS ON THE TIMER ON THE TREADMILL.

I do not recommend that if you want to enjoy your workout! After I was able to quit staring at the timer, I realized how GOOD I felt while I ran. The treadmills stop at 60 minutes and although I could have pushed it and ran 6 in 60 minutes, I decided to just keep it steady in case my knee decided to hurt again (it didn’t!)

Sometimes when I read other runner blogs and see that they run 7-8 min miles I start to feel bad. Like maybe I’m a slow runner? To be honest I don’t really care, but I think about it from time to time. Hell I should be PROUD that I even finished my run!  🙂

Afterward I set my timer for 10 minutes and stretched and foam-rolled. This thing is worth its weight in gold!!! It definitely helps my legs feel looser. And following up with a Hugh Jass Taco Salad was a good idea too, no?

spinach, romaine, bell pepper, onion, refried beans, browned ground beef, salsa, black olives, mashed avocado

I took the night off of reading since I’ve been reading the Hunger Games series nonstop for the past week – plus Top Chef was on!

*Did you give up something for Lent?

Blog Fail

Hi Friends 🙂

Yesterday was an incredibly frustrating day. I was hoping to have the new blog up and running, but we are running into too many problems. I am ready to throw my computer out the window! I have wasted my entire weekend and all of my energy on this and felt no closer to my goal. I *now* know what I need to do, it will just take more time than I had anticipated. Yes I was so stubborn that I tried to do most of it on my own — now I have asked for help.

The good news is that I ran 9 miles on Saturday with little knee pain — when I ran I felt fine, but during my cool down the pain was unbelievable. Stretching, ice and my foam roller helped me tons though — and this week is a lower mileage week, so hopefully I’ll be feeling much better soon. If not, I’m making a doctor’s appointment.

During my run I saw this commercial and LOVED IT — check it out:

Tomorrow I’ll have a recap of my February goals and I’ll let you know what I thought of The Hunger Games (yes I read it in two days, it was so good!)

Have a great day!

Holly

Smelly Scallops & Scary Scoby

Hi Friends 🙂

First things first – I have gotten a few emails from readers asking about the food I’ve been posting. I do not post all of the food I eat each day. I also do not photograph my plate of food usually – so please do not assume that is all I ate or that I ate “too much”, etc. Sometimes I just show a side dish, a breakfast, a snack, etc. I eat what is right for me – the blog is a place for me to post some meal ideas or recipes that I have tried. Thank you!

Second, the new blog name will be revealed sometime this weekend – I’m pretty excited for things to change around here!

I am DREAMING of Spring and as I flipped through an older Cooking Light magazine, I was drawn to this:

Seared Scallops with Fennel and Grapefruit Salad.

Ok – I didn’t have Fennel but I thought I could make this work. Look at the picture above and now look at mine:

So they are nothing alike except they share grapefruit  🙂  I did sauté up some scallops but to be honest they kind of grossed me out. Jason liked them – the smell was not something I enjoyed.

By the way, what is a scallop? I know it is some kind of sea animal, but I want to hear your descriptions. Does it live in a shell like a clam?

*

Before dinner, I went to the gym and pounded out 3 miles. I say pounded out because that is how my left knee/IT Band felt. It was pretty bad. I need to start foam-rolling more often because it does help ease that pain. I also need to start icing after each of my runs. I’ve been slacking in those areas – so I’m going to start doing those things and if my knee still feels terrible I’ll make an appointment with my doctor.

It feels like my knee is almost filled with fluid and feels very stiff – during my cool down it hurt just to walk.

*

I know this post is a random jumble of things – but that is how the day has been!

Let me show you the best part of my Thursday:

Getting a package from Averie which included this beast, a SCOBY:

I’m going to start brewing my own Kombucha! You can read more about it in Averie’s posts – I’ll keep you all updated on its progress. For now, it is fermenting away…

*What are your plans for the weekend?

*Am I the only person on earth who doesn’t know what a scallop is?

*Do you drink Kombucha? What do you think?

“Homemade” Cereal & Another Book Review

Hi Friends!

Well it seemed like a unanimous vote to put the Medal Holder at the top of the stairs (I think that is the best place as well so I’m glad we all agree). And because Katie and Christin liked the pictures so much, here are the close-ups of the Hippo and Croc pictures:

Jason bought me the Hippo poster and I found the frame at Target for $4! You can’t beat that. And my older sister Leah gave me that Croc picture – I’ve held onto it for years!

Last night after hitting the gym (I ran 5 miles in a little over 50 minutes) I came home craving something cold and cereal-like. However, I do not keep cereal in my house. I can easily eat way too much cereal, and all of that sugar just gives me a stomach ache. So, I don’t buy it at all. But I did have some cooked brown rice and raw oatmeal, and I thought, “why not?”

Brown Rice Oatmeal Cereal

¼ cup cooked brown rice

¼ cup raw oatmeal

1 TBSP chia seeds

1 TBSP chopped walnuts

½ chopped banana

½ cup almond milk (or more if you prefer)

I heated up the brown rice in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then added the rest of my “cereal” – topped with almond milk it was delicious. The brown rice added a neat texture and a nutty flavor.

After eating dinner (and watching some Shedding for the Wedding – did you watch?) I finished up my THIRD book of the month! Yes I made it my goal to read two books and lo and behold I shattered that goal by reading yet another book this month 🙂

After going to Charlotte’s book signing last week, I knew I wanted to read her book – SOON! So in the past 2 days I have read it all. I love quick reads and Charlotte is hilarious! I enjoyed reading about her (mis)adventures at the gym. She is so honest in the book and I really appreciate it – she lets you know her struggles and how she works to overcome them. Her book documents trying out 12 different exercise programs — she briefly explains the program, how she incorporated it into her workout routine and what sort of results she had.

What I liked best is that Charlotte and her Gym Buddies enjoy working out – and it seemed like even when they were 100% serious about a workout they still had fun. She includes essays at the end of each chapter and her honesty and openness is so refreshing to read.  Check out her blog if you haven’t already 🙂

*Are you a cereal fan? What is your favorite kind?

*Have you tried many different exercise routines? What did you like the best (and are you still currently doing it?)

*NOTE*: Blog changes are finally coming — new name, self-hosted, lots of fun stuff. Everything should be ready this weekend…

Help Me Decorate (AKA where should I hang our race medals?)

Hi Friends 🙂

Happy Humpday!

Over a week ago, Jason brought me these love tulips:

And now they look like this:

They look super fragile, but they are still super strong! (and even in a super tall vase they fall over like that) I changed the water and trimmed the ends this afternoon and not one petal fell off – I hope they hold on tight because they are one of the nice reminders that Spring will be here soon. Here is my reality:

(Yes they have plowed since this picture was taken, but it gets my point across!)

I tried to keep dinner light, fresh and somewhat Spring-y:

A TJ’s chicken burger with grilled pineapple, romaine and avocado.

After dinner and hitting the gym to run 3 miles (I love the short midweek runs in Hal’s plan) – I came home and saw this staring me in the face:

This is a race medal holder that I ordered from Allied Steel (and I first read about these on Healthy Tipping Point) – for part of Jason’s birthday gift. His birthday is in March, so yes I gave him this gift early – because I want to hang it up! Right now it just sits on the kitchen table. Here are a few ideas of where I’d like to possibly hang it.

Option #1 is next to our front door:

I want to hang the medals in a place where people will actually see them! I am proud of them and so is Jason – so why not, right? We can definitely take down the picture to the right of the door and hang it there. But then it will technically hang in the dining room, which I don’t like the thought of.

Option #2 is at the top of the stairs:

We could easily move that painting of the Colisseum (that Jason bought in Italy) to a different room. Then, when people come in, it is one of the first things they see. However, I wonder if walking up/down the stairs or vacuuming the stairs would disturb it/make it scratch the wall/knock it down? although I have never knocked down that picture so I’m not sure why I’m concerned…

Option #3 is in the living room: 

I *love* my crocodile and hippo pictures (no I’m not kidding so don’t make fun, thanks!) – but these could get moved. Here the medals wouldn’t be disturbed – but they wouldn’t be seen much (by guests or by us!)

Any input?

If you see Spring will you please tell her to come to MN?

February Goals Update

Hi Friends 🙂

How is your weekend so far?

Yesterday I ran a glorious 8 miles! (on the treadmill!) It took me about 1.5 hours – I walked every couple of miles or so. My new shoes are fabulous – my feet had plenty of room to move in them, but they gave me support and felt great! To be honest, the last few times I’ve ran I’ve had bloody feet afterward – my toes were pinched in my old shoes  😦  Not any more!

I also tried out the orange sport beans and boy do they taste good! No stomach issues either, which was great. I had an America’s Next Top Model marathon to keep my company at the gym, so I was good to go!

I thought I’d give a little update on my February Goals:

1. Train for Grandma’s Marathon – I have followed my plan and I’m motivated to keep on going!

2. Read 2 books. I am finished with Love & Respect and I will have no problem finishing In Defense of Food before the end of the month. I’m loving it so far!

3. Try 2 new recipes per week. YES I have actually done this:

Week 1 (Feb 1-5):

                Microwave Banana Cakes

      Spinach Pancakes

                Orange-Cilantro Black Bean Salad

Week 2 (Feb 6-12):

                Salmon Patties

      Quinoa Burgers

Week 3 (Feb 13-19):

                Vegan Alfredo

                Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce

                Egg Souffle (see below!)

4. Stay on budget – YES! Even with an impromptu visit to Trader Joe’s, we are on track for the month. What helped me was making lists before going to the store, planning meals, and using up ingredients I already have!

5.Blog more consistently – YES! I have blogged every day since my Feb Goal post on Feb 2nd (except I skipped Feb 3 to get on a more regular posting schedule…)

I definitely consider this month a success so far – I need to keep up on a few things, but other than that I’m feeling good!

Here is the Egg Souffle I made on Friday:

I followed Beth’s recipe…except I couldn’t find my electric beaters, so I used a whisk. I don’t think that whipped up my egg whites good enough. But it still tasted fantastic!

Click here for Beth’s recipe. The only change I made was using Garlic/Herb goat cheese instead of plain, and I didn’t add any dill to the eggs. Jason and I loved the texture of the eggs and I will definitely make this again (once I get new beaters!)

Today’s plans include some stretching/foam rolling, laundry (!!!), blog updates (blogroll, recipes, etc), relaxing, reading and resting. It should be a good day!

*Plans for the day?

*Do you make goals? (weekly/monthly/yearly) How are you doing?

*Are there any recipes you made this week that I should try this week? Feel free to leave a link!

~Holly

Posted in Dinner, Marathon. Tags: , . 15 Comments »

The Holly Llama Gets New Shoes

Happy Saturday 🙂

Did you see the beautiful Full Moon last night? Jason and I were on our way to Running Room when we saw it. I didn’t bother taking out my camera – I just decided to look at it instead of scrambling to get my camera. I hope you saw it!

I have bought shoes at Running Room before and now that almost an entire year has gone by, I decided to get a new pair. Plus my knee has been hurting when I run, so I figured I’d try new shoes to see if that helps.

I was amazed when I opened the door – Bill – one of my parents’ neighbors (and the father of my childhood friend) was working there! I had to tell him who I was, but he immediately remembered me! We had a nice time reminiscing – I don’t think I’ve actually seen him/talked to him in well over 10 years. But he still looks the same! He laughed so hard when I reminded him that he used to call me The Holly Llama (Dalai Lama…)

He fitted me for new shoes – meaning he had me lunge, squat and walk across the room. He determined (as have every other running store employee)  that I am an over pronator (click to learn about the different types) and recommended a few different shoes. I decided to get the Asics GT-2160 – they felt great on my feet!

I also picked up a few other things: sport beans, Clif shotblocks, and a Hammer gel. I have used sport beans before, but they upset my stomach sometimes, so I wanted to try a few different products to see what works well for my body.

After leaving Running Room (which I recently learned that Cathy works for them too!), we headed to Trader Joe’s. I only get to TJ’s about once per month at the most – the closest location is only 15-20 minutes away, but it still feels so far away! We picked up the “essentials”:

Three Buck Chuck, Bean/ Barley soup, stir-fry mix, almond butter, low sugar jelly, trail mix, brown rice pasta, chicken sausages, goat cheese, dates, larabars, sushi

And by “essentials” I mean anything that looked good at the time!

Well I’m off for an 8 mile run! See you tomorrow!

*Anything fun going on today?

*Do you stay loyal to a certain brand when buying running/exercise shoes or workout clothes? Why or why not?