Archive for April 2012

Meal Plan: April 23-29

It turns out that tortillas are very easy to make! The only (minor) setback was a smoke filled house causing the very loud smoke alarm to go off. I started off with the heat too high on the pan and it made a lot of smoke! Overall everything was much easier than I anticipated. They are delicious too! Both O & A have enjoyed them for a snack this week. 

This week I also made a batch of granola*, Wheatberry and Quinoa Salad, and a big batch of dried black beans for the freezer.

The Cabbage Rolls turned out o.k. but were lacking in flavor. I love the idea of Cabbage Rolls but in the future I would make them with a different meat…like Italian Sausage to give it a little more taste. We are adding cheese to the leftovers to make it work a little better for us. Also, the flavors had more time to mix together when we ate them as leftovers and they were much better the second time around.

Meal Plan: April 23-29, 2012

Cabbage Rolls

Chicken and Black Bean Taquitos with Homemade Tortillas
Frozen Corn

Cabbage Roll Leftovers

Taquito Leftovers

Homemade Garlic, Onion and Tomato Pizza

Pasta with Homemade Marinara Sauce
Cabbage & Cauliflower

French Dip
Mango, Blackberries, Blueberries

Mom’s Best Honey O’s
Mom’s Best Wheatfuls
Banana Oatmeal with Granola

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Wheatberry and Quinoa Salad
Grapes, Blackberries
Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches or Lettuce Wraps

Tortillas with peanut butter and honey
Goldfish Crackers (finishing out the last bag!)

*Recipes may be found on my Real Food Recipes and Links page.

Johnston’s Wichita Half Marathon Race Recap

Yesterday was beautiful. Low 60′s, gentle breeze, a few clouds in the sky. A perfect race day. Unfortunately the race was this morning and not yesterday! This morning I woke up to this:

and this:

on facebook. 

Lightning and hail were predicted but the Race was on and I was going to run in it. (I NEVER run in lightning…I guess I can’t say that anymore…)
Not happy about the predicted lightning. 
I didn’t want them to cancel the race. I wanted to run. I had trained hard and was ready. I was just upset about the lightning. Rain I can handle… downpours don’t make me happy but they are doable. 
Happy that Race Day is here!

The kids stayed home with Grandma and C.J. and I headed out to the beautiful Riverside area. For a good portion of my adult life I called the Riverside neighborhood home. I love running in that area and was very excited to run another race in an area that is very familiar to me. 

I was happy to find shelter from the rain at the Team In Training tent before the race. It helped me to stay dry until just before the race and I didn’t even need to wear my trash bag!

Heard from the megaphone before the race starts: 
  • Runners are responsible for themselves once the race begins. We are not responsible for the lightning. (I’m glad C.J. told me about that one later…that wouldn’t have helped my confidence at that point!)
  • 30 seconds to Race Start…let’s just go ahead and start now… (Too bad more races don’t start early!)
And we’re off.

I felt great at the beginning. I was paying attention to the neighborhood. Trying not to think about how beautiful it would look on a clear day. At this point it was just a light rain and felt cooling. Maybe even a little pleasant. The first few miles I held a great pace and I was starting to think that I might meet my (very challenging and not realistic) goal of breaking the two hour time. (8:42, 9:08, 9:02, 9:02)

I heard thunder around mile 3 and the rain started to pick up. 

My cheering squad was around mile 5. (C.J., Kristie and Lamont all came out to support me!)
So happy to see some familiar faces!
Yep, we were all drenched!

Then it started to get a little tough. Even though I was trying to stay out of the puddles as much as I could my feet were sloshing around in my shoes. I was trying not to think of the awful blisters that I was going to have. (I didn’t end up having ANY blisters but my feet were very wrinkly after the race!) The rain was coming down very heavily by this point. It was definitely not light and pleasant anymore. There was more thunder and a little lightning. I was amazed at all the people running in the cotton long sleeve race day shirt that was provided. I can’t imagine how heavy the shirt would feel after being saturated. Yuck! My clothes were soaked and it wasn’t comfortable by any means but I didn’t feel like it weighed me down that much. My water logged shoes were a lot more heavy and distracting for me than the clothing that I wore. (9:13, 9:13, 9:43, 9:44)

Mile 8

Mile 8 was tough. My legs were fine, it was my head that was tired. The rain was wearing on me. I only smiled for my mile 8 photo because I saw C.J. with the camera. I was not a happy runner at this point. My mantra over and over during this race was “My body is ready for this, I can do this.” I had read earlier in the week a selection from “Train Like a Mother” by Dimity McDowell and Sara Bowen Shea that stuck with me. In it they talked about how your body is ready after training but the hard part is getting over your mind struggling to finish. So true. 

The last few miles were hard for me. I had slowed down a lot. I decided that I needed to walk through the the last two water stations for Gaterade to help give me a little bit of a kick. My hopes for running under two hours were dashed. My next goal was to run under a 9:23 average pace. My watch kept climbing. Then I was determined to not pass the 9:30 pace. I was so close to finishing and I just needed to hold on. (9:53, 10:07, 9:57, 10:07, 9:58)

My average pace ended up at 9:30. Not what I was hoping for but with the conditions at hand I am still pretty happy with it. It was a huge PR for me. A 12 minute PR over my last half in the Fall. I’ll just have to train to beat the 2 hour barrier next time around!

Oh yeah, and I totally chicked that man by passing him right at the end. I had no idea that I even passed anyone until I saw this picture!

Official Distance: 13.1 miles
Nike+ Distance:13.08 miles
Official Time: 2:04:33
Nike+ Time: 2:04:33
Average Pace: 9:30

Place: 458 out of 923
Gender and Age Grade (35-40): 44 out of 103

Wrapping up my Half Training

Today I ran my last training run for the Johnston’s Half Marathon on Sunday….this Sunday! It feels like so long ago that I decided to run the race and train. It’s finally here and I’m READY TO RUN!

Numbers motivate me. I like to think about weekly and monthly mileage. I’m at 269 miles for the year. 

Compared to a lot of people out there that isn’t very much but for me that is a lot and I’m excited! I’ve never trained for a race in the spring and to have that many miles accomplished already before the year is half over is exciting….I already said that, I know. :)

Here’s something else that’s motivating: looking back on the mileage during a training cycle. I officially started training on Feb. 5th although I had been running a pretty steady base before that. Here are all of my training runs:

This training cycle I did a few things differently than I have in the past.
  • I added tempo runs
  • I added interval runs
  • I continued with strength training
  • I ran 5 days a week
The mix above is working so far. I was pleasantly surprised by my two races in the past couple of weeks. I was a lot faster than I have been in the past. That makes me excited and nervous for this weekend. I’m nervous because I want to run fast (for me) but I also know that beating my old PR by 16 minutes will be very challenging and it might not happen this time around. I need to give it my all and be happy with the results. (I’m going to say this over and over in my head for the next few days!)

So bare with me while I record the numbers to wrap up my training this time around.

Training for Johnston’s Wichita Half Marathon
February 5, 2012 to April 26, 2012

Total Miles: 228.96
Number of Runs: 53
Tempo Runs: 7
Interval Runs: 6
Long Runs: 9
Races: 2
Strength Training: 26

One last bit of information…my pace graph. This will be interesting (for me!!) to look back on after some time has gone by and compare it to a (hopefully) faster pace as I continue to gain speed during my running.

All screen shots are from my running log on