Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cinnamon Biscuits

3 degrees out this morning.  I was craving eggs and fried potatoes for breakfast, but I didn't have any potatoes, and wasn't quite up to venturing out in the frigid air to buy some.  So I had to come up with an alternative.  I have been craving chocolate croissants for awhile now, but they seem like way too much work for first thing in the morning.  I've never made biscuits before.  They seemed relatively quick and easy, so I decided to go with that.  Cinnamon has been making its way into a lot of things of course it made its way into this morning's biscuits as well.

(after mixing in this amount of cinnamon, I added about this same amount, again)

Cinnamon Biscuits
preheat oven to 425

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
cinnamon (to taste)
1/3 c butter
1 c almond milk

Mix together the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, mix in the milk.  Flour a work surface, knead the dough for a minute or two, adding more flour if it is too sticky.  Pat it down to 1/2 inch thick,and cut out the biscuits.  Place them on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Not to completely let go of my chocolate croissant/chocolate cravings, I had to add chocolate to some of the biscuits.  I used Dove Dark Chocolate squares. 



So much deliciousness.
I wish I had put chocolate on all of them...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

In which I dug my car out of the snow. Twice.

Running this week was very frustrating.  After the snow we got last Saturday, the roads never got completely cleared.  It was just too cold for the snow to melt away.  Between the frigid temps (-9 for my Friday morning run to school to turn on the heat!), and the snow covered roads, my runs were mostly short.  My legs got so restless from such short runs, I ended up going for a run on Friday night because I just needed to MOVE!  We only had school on Wednesday and Friday so there was a lot of sitting around at home.

The up-side to all that snow?  I finally started working-out again.  Long overdue.  Doing my first workout in a very long time the day before I had to unearth my car from a snow pile might not have been one of my more brilliant plans, but I survived.  At least that first snow was really easy to shovel.  The cold air helped keep the snow really light so it was easy to scoop up and throw onto a pile.  It only took me an hour to clear my car and all around it; the sidewalk next to it, 6 feet behind it, and 3 feet in front of it.

A snowpocalypse rolled in early Saturday morning and dumped snow on us All. Day. Long. And at least half of the night.  There was almost 8 inches of snow on the sidewalk leading out of my building when I shoveled around 12:00.  By the time I had shoveled all the way to the road, I turned around and the whole sidewalk was covered again.  It took me a good two hours of shoveling this morning to unearth my car and clear around it, and then I spent some more time after my run clearing some more icy slush and moving my car back and forth to get as much out from under it as I could.  It went up to 40 degrees today, so the roads were very clear for my run, but there's still some icy slush glued to the pavement under my car, which is going to freeze solid tonight.

Thanks to an awesome friend with 4wd, I got to go check on Pony yesterday evening.  She was super stir crazy and really wanted to get outside, but then she wasn't really sure what to do with all the snow.  She attempted unsuccessfully to dig through it for grass.  I ran her up and down the driveway a little bit to stretch her legs, and then put her back inside.  

Today pre-shoveling

Today post-shoveling round 1

Today's run on clear roads, in 40 degree sunshine was amazing. It felt so luxurious after the previous runs.  I wish I could have run longer, but I hadn't eaten enough for lunch to get me through much more than I did.  I am very glad I got to enjoy a longer run before the temperature drops back down for the foreseeable future!

This week:
M: workout : 10 exercises*, 5 rounds 30/10
T : 4.3 miles, 1 hr snow shoveling
W : 5.1 miles
R : 3.2 miles, repeat Monday's workout
F : 4.6 miles (AM), 5.9 miles (PM)
Sa : workout 60-50-40-30-20-10**
Su : 9.1 miles, 2+ hrs snow shoveling
total miles : 32.1

*30 sec on, 10 sec rest, 30 sec between rounds : squats, push-ups, plank, leg raises, side plank right, side plank left, burpees, shoulder bridge, lunge hold (switch 1/2way), jumping jacks

**60 jumping jacks, 50 sit-ups, 40 lunges, 30 squats, 20 push-ups, 10 burpees, no breaks.  9:29
The push-ups were the hardest, I couldn't crank them all out without pausing a few times.  I'm going to try to do that workout at least once a week and see how my finish time varies as I (hopefully) get stronger. 

And...because this post isn't already long enough... 
here are some pictures of food I made this week.  

quesadilla filled with broccoli, turnips, and mushrooms, topped with fried eggs and avocado

Sandwich with rosemary pork tenderloin, fried egg, avocado, and a bit of mozzarella
(my new favorite sandwich)

Shrimp-Brussels Sprout Lo Mein

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blacksburg Classic 2015

10 miles
184 bpm

about to cross the finish line

5th place female and 1st in age group just like last year!  I was hoping for a course/distance PR this year, but it wasn't meant to be.  It's hard to run fast when you are fighting 20 mph winds.  It's also hard to run fast when your lungs are still weak from battling some sort of plague.  I'm happy with how I did because I know it was the best I was capable of given the circumstances.  There's always next year to try again for a PR!

This was only my second run with a heart rate monitor.  I just got a gps watch because my Soleus is not very reliable and it was driving me crazy.  So I got a Garmin, and it came with a HRM.  Being numbers-obsessed like I am, I decided to try out the HRM so that I could start obsessing over yet another piece of data.  It is not the most comfortable piece of running equipment, and I don't know if I will use it frequently or infrequently, but I am curious to track my running heart rate for a bit.  I went for a jog on Friday to test it out, and my average heart rate was 161, vs. 184 for the race.

Since the race was held on Valentine's Day this year, they did a "couple's challenge" where you could register with someone as a team and the fastest couple would get a prize.  My friend and I registered as "Lewisburg Legs" and won.  Our prize was a $100 gift card to Sal's Italian Restaurant.  We weren't sure we would be able to get in on such a popular eat-out day, but we also didn't want to drive all the way back to Blacksburg to use the card another day, so we figured we'd try.  We got there before 5 and there was a 40 minute wait for a table, but lucky us, the bar was empty, so we got bar seats.  The service was excellent and the food was delicious.  I got their pasta special, which had filet mignon, lobster, crab, spinach, and tomatos with penne and a pink cream sauce.  It was delicious, and I'm eating the leftovers for brunch right now.

Here's a race summary from the race director.  I wouldn't call our dinner romantic...but I suppose it could have been if we were actually in a relationship instead of just being race buddies for the day.

Getting home was a ridiculous and harrowing adventure due to a white-out snowstorm, but we were able to make it home safely thanks to Dan's superior driving skills.  It just took 3.5 hours instead taking under 2 hours like it should have.  I am very glad that we were not in my car and that I was not the one driving.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Marathon Musings

I ran my first half marathon in 2010 and my first marathon in 2011.  I ran my second marathon in 2013.  Now that it is 2015, I need to decide if I am going to try and stick to an every-other-year marathon, or if I am going to abandon a pattern and just run another one...someday...maybe.  I have recently started this debate in my head.

Then, this came in the mail today. 

Beckley hasn't had a full marathon before.  They have had a half marathon on the first Saturday of October, and I have run it the past 4 years.  I could run the half in September.  Or I could take advantage of a marathon that is actually within an hour of where I live, and stick to my every-other-year marathon plan.  

Decisions, decisions.  I have a feeling that I will be starting to train for a marathon in the very near future...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A long overdue long run

Happily, I got back to a normal running routine this week, and ran 5 times.  I didn't impose a 6 mile minimum on myself though, I went back to my 4.5 mile minimum for now.

Runs this week : 
M :
T :
W :  4.5 
(sprint, avg 6:42 pace)
R : 4.6
Sa : 12.2
(jog, avg 8:29 pace)

total : 31.4

I was really happy with Wednesday's sprint!  Wednesday is faculty meeting day, so it often turns into a day off because of how late I get home.  However, I really wanted to save my days off for later in the week, and I got home with enough time for a quick run before sunset, so I decided to go for an overdue sprint run.  I'm glad I made that decision, I have a race next Saturday and I'm sure it will be helpful for my body to have run something close to race pace beforehand.  

I was even more overdue for the long run than I was for the sprint.  I am running a 10 mile race next Saturday, and haven't really done a long run since my last half marathon in November.  I decided to run an out and back to the top of Muddy Creek Mountain.  It is the perfect place to train for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon.  Check out that elevation profile... a totaled 1,344 ft of elevation gain.  

I crashed pretty hard after this run, but I had anticipated that.  I really need to start doing more long runs so that my body can get used to them.  

In other news, I finally found something to keep my hands warm during winter runs!  I bought ski mittens.  Waterproof and windproof, well insulated, fleecy inside.  I tried them out for the first time on my long run.  It was hard to decided what to wear, because it was in the high 30s when I started, and was supposed to get into the 50s.  (it was probably in the mid 40s when I finished).   I have had such bad luck lately, with my fingers getting painfully frozen no matter what the temperature.  My fingers get cold and numb even in 50 degree weather.  I knew my new mittens would probably be too warm for this run, but I was afraid none of my other gloves would be warm enough.  Lately my fingers have started hurting in the first 2-3 miles of my run, and I knew there was no way I would survive 12 miles if that happened, so I decided to err on the side of being too warm.  Hot, sweaty hands were a very new feeling.  I ended up alternating wearing the mittens and carrying them.  They came in handy when 2 dogs rushed at me on the top of the mountain, it was nice to have something to swat them with when they were snapping at my legs.  

The weather this weekend was awesome. High 50s yesterday, and up to 70 today!  I happily went to visit Pony both days this weekend.  Today I enjoyed lying on a blanket and basking in the warm sunshine while she was grazing.  Yesterday, she was so excited to see me, she started running in from the far end of the field before I even got out of my car.  Today, she was already at the gate when I pulled in.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

an unfortunately lazy week

...because I have been coughing up a lung.

I took Monday off because there was no running water and I didn't want to run if I couldn't shower.  Tuesday I ran 6.1 miles and enjoyed a luxurious shower after 72 hours of filth.  I know it's a first world problem, but I hope I never have to go that long without washing my hair again.  Clearly I will not be going on any camping trips anytime soon.  Or possibly ever.  I ended up taking off the rest of the week because my cough got too bad to ignore.  I was coughing so hard it was making me gag.  Not much fun.  Really hard to sleep at night with that kind of a cough.  Lucky me I had a previously-scheduled doctor's appt on Thursday.  The doctor recommended Delsym cough syrup, so that's what I went with.  It seemed to make me cough even more violently at first, but once that wore off I coughed less, so I guess it worked somehow.  I decided that running in freezing air was probably not the best idea for my lungs while I have this cough, so I haven't run since Tuesday.  Last night I finally slept through the night without being disturbed by coughing fits, which was really nice.  I was so tempted to run today, but decided to give it one more day.  I will probably run tomorrow, before I go completely stir-crazy.

I was on the fence about the Blacksburg 10 miler for this year, but I found a friend to go with me, so I signed up a few days ago.  I am looking forward to it, I miss racing!  I just hope I am able to get some training in during the next 2 weeks.

I didn't get to run today, but at least I was able to venture out for a bit of fresh air.  

what a burr-filled mess!

hello there!