Salads to Go

One of the best gadgets for creating fresh crisp salads , is the Salad Spinner.  After soaking and rinsing the lettuce, just put the torn leaves into the Spinner basket and with a few hard presses, centrifugal force pulls the water away from the leaves.  I fill it just half way with lettuce and do this twice for each half basket full.


In the past I would combine the salad for the week in a big bowl minus the dressing.


Now I have a better way…


It’s salad in a jar.  Very easy to create.  After cleaning and chopping all of the veggies, fruit, etc., just assemble.  Dressing goes in first then all of the wet produce (tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, berries).  Follow that with lettuce, and other leafy greens.  Make sure it’s stuffed not allowing for air, then seal Mason jar with lid.

I like to have boiled eggs handy to throw into a lunch along with the salad jar and some yogurt.  It’s fast and helps me get my 3 cups of raw veggies in each day.

The jars keep for a good week – sometimes up to 10 days.  These salad jars have Romaine and Butter lettuce with cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, olives and a Ranch dressing.

Try it and then circle back and tell me your favorite salad combo.

Have a great day and make it count!

Time to Register for the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon

Tomorrow I’m registering for the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon!

more halfThis will be my 5th half marathon.

I’ve covered 1,700 miles (estimated steps: 2.7 million) training and running the past 4 half marathons and my first full marathon in October of last year.  I’m going with a friend of mine and can’t wait.  This race is capped at 10,000 and usually fills up fast.  I did this event in 2010 and 2011 – loved it!  Here’s a clip of the 2010 race start which was my first race (cold and rainy with wind chill of 37 degrees).  It was brutal – don’t take it from me, read another runners experience.  Here’s a video that one of the participants put together from the 2010 race.  Central Park is my favorite and springtime in NYC is awesome.  If you are running this or another half marathon for the first time like my friend Kristina, you’ll want to read My First Half Marathon, From One Rookie to Another. All the tips, tricks and lists are there that you’ll need to finish your first half and achieve what you maybe once thought to be impossible.  It will be something you’ll never forget.

So, get your run on – dig in and get going.  This is your moment.  Do it.

Here’s your dose of inspiration:

Five Minutes for Sarah

In April my niece Sarah and her daughter Hunter ran a 5K with me.  It was one of my first days of training for the marathon I will run next month.

Sarah and Hunter finished before me that day.

Sarah is running her own marathon of sorts.  She has a more personal battle she faces.  I wish I could do more to help her.  She is in the fight of her life.

Even still, she finds time to do for others.  Also, she has signed up for the half marathon in St. Louis next month to run with fellow LIFE Runners.  She is a woman of great Faith.

In her youth she traveled to Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, more than once, on a pilgrimage.  (Something I have not done yet).  Not an easy trip.  Also, back then, pilgrims stayed with families there not in hotels.   She has set a fine example of showing Gods love through actions and signs of Faith.

Sarah needs a lot of prayers right now.  Serious prayers.  I hope everyone reading this will stop for 5 minutes and say a prayer for her.  The odds are stacked against her.

Stand with her in prayer as she faces off with probably the darkest force she has encountered in her lifetime…and may ever.

I am asking for 5 minutes for Sarah.

Visiting with Alex, Hardest Marathon Training Week and Digging In


Alex just finished reading The Catcher In The Rye and now…thinking about what college he will be attending next year.

I was pretty sore and tired today after my long run yesterday.  Went to bed at 7 last night and slept till 4.  Had protein bar and coffee, then…went back to bed (never do this unless ill).  Slept till 7:30.  I’ve napped off and on all day.  I don’t usually take naps either.

This is my highest mileage/hardest week of all the training – 36.  The end of September will be my second highest.  I’m up for it and meeting it head on.

This is where it gets hard.  The time commitment.  The things you can’t get to because of time/energy longer mileage runs require.


The Game Changers of Running Shoes – Vibram

Vibram Five Finger shoes.  Had to give them a test run tonight.

So, off  I went.  Running down the street in a pair of shoes that made me feel light as a feather.  I only went out 3 miles since this was just a test drive.  So glad I bought them today.

These shoes are game changers for sure – liberating and fun.  I’m going to ease into them though.  I know that it is suggested to do so.  Here’s what the Vibram website says:

In your typical running shoe, the heel is higher than the forefoot. In FiveFingers both the heel and forefoot lie on the same plane, so there is no cushioned heel. If you are a traditional heavy heel-strike runner or walker, you might have a biomechanical change to make, but this change is likely a good one. Humans are not meant to heel strike heavily, particularly when running. Try running without shoes on; you will see what we mean. Running barefoot with a strong heel strike will send you to the sofa to let your bone contusion or fracture heal. One of the goals of VibramFiveFingers footwear is to encourage forefoot striking, meaning your forefoot will contact the ground first then engage muscles in your feet and lower legs as your heel touches down. This style of running may be safer and lead to fewer injuries, in addition to being biomechanicallymore sound from an energy and force distribution standpoint. Basically, it is a smarter way to ambulate.

It’s a good thing to spice up your running.  Also, if I want to go back to my other shoes…I can.

Oh, and the exhaustion I was feeling this weekend?

Kidney infection.  I’m better though now.

And the diet?

Still going strong.

The jacket I’m wearing in the picture is one I’ve not been able to wear for 6 years.  This was me last week.

No problems there.



Marathon Pre-Training Going Strong – Down 10 Pounds


The last time I saw the scale hit 155 was in 2008, 4 years ago.  I still have another 10 to go.  This would be like hitting mile 13 in the marathon.  You know, when I said that to myself, that thought gave me a chill.   Mile 13?  That seems a long way from 26 – forget the point 2.  I am not mentally prepared yet for this event but that is what the training is for – both physical and mental.

Less than 4 weeks from now…official training begins (June 19)  for the full marathon on October 21, 2012.  Nervous????  Yes.

It won’t be easy.  The most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done.  There was a time I worked out in a gym for 2 hours 5 days a week.  However, that was working different muscle groups and alternating such to keep from working same group 2 days in a row.  This is different and I will have to really dig in.  Consistency is vital to building miles.  It will take a great deal of discipline and mind over matter.  Running becomes a priority.  If the day is full and something has to give, it can’t be the running…unless it is a scheduled day of rest.  I will struggle through that challenge.  Sometimes making time is harder than the actual run.

Below is Hal Higdon‘s training schedule.  He has several levels of training.  LIFE Runners lists all on their site.

Marathon Training Schedule: Novice 2

1 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 8 Cross
2 Rest 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 9 Cross
3 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 6 Cross
4 Rest 3 m run 6 m pace 3 m run Rest 11 Cross
5 Rest 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 12 Cross
6 Rest 3 m run 6 m pace 3 m run Rest 9 Cross
7 Rest 4 m run 7 m pace 4 m run Rest 14 Cross
8 Rest 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 15 Cross
9 Rest 4 m run 7 m pace 4 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon
10 Rest 4 m run 8 m pace 4 m run Rest 17 Cross
11 Rest 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 18 Cross
12 Rest 5 m run 8 m pace 5 m run Rest 13 Cross
13 Rest 5 m run 5 m pace 5 m run Rest 19 Cross
14 Rest 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 12 Cross
15 Rest 5 m run 5 m pace 5 m run Rest 20 Cross
16 Rest 5 m run 4 m pace 5 m run Rest 12 Cross
17 Rest 4 m run 3 m run 4 m run Rest 8 Cross
18 Rest 3 m run 2 m run Rest Rest 2 m run Marathon

I’ve lost 10 pounds since starting my diet and pre-training in April – 98% of the weight loss has been from fat, according to my body composition test.  I have another 10 pounds to go yet.  I have a lot more energy than I did before.  My recovery after running is shorter too.  I have a lot more agility and need less rest.   The stress and pulmonary function test as well as the others for my annual wellness visit – showed great results across the board.  No issues with breathing, heart, etc.  So I am cleared for the marathon.  In fact, when I lose the rest of this weight, I will probably be in the best fitness and health, of my life.

For the most part…the diet is easy.  In fact most of the time I have to really work at getting everything in before the end of the day.  I also have re-learned how to get by with a lot less fat and carbs.  The diet consists of 2 starches (ie, 2 pieces of bread – I had trouble getting by with so little bread and starches before – big weakness of mine.), 5 vegies (3 cups of salad and 1 cup cooked – something I wasn’t getting enough of.), 2 fruits (1 apple, 1 orange, etc – not a big fruit person but I am now), 2 fats (2 tablespoons of light dressing = 1 fat – okay, at first this was difficult getting by without more room for butter, etc.), 8 proteins (1 ounce of beef/chicken or 2 ounces of shrimp/tuna  = 1 protein – wasn’t getting near enough of this) and 3 dairy (1 light fat free yogurt = 1 dairy – the dairy that I was eating before was cheddar cheese – :)).  That allows me 1200 calories per day and I eat every 3 hours.    Also, 8 – 8 ounce cups of water daily with vitamins + supplements (this was already part of my daily regimen).

I take my lunch to work with 2 snacks and my bottle of water.  Before I wouldn’t plan ahead and then run through a drive through…again.

When I travel (which is about once a week) I may have to grab a Southwest Salad w/ SW dressing from McDonald’s or one of their grilled chicken sandwiches with nothing added.  Then I throw out half the bun.  I have pretty much stuck to that while on the reducing phase of this diet.  Before if I was in a hurry while on the road I’d drive through some place getting a hamburger and fries then eat in the car.

It’s been over a month ago since I’ve eaten fries.  The thought of such actually makes me queasy.  Heavy fatty fried foods would probably make me sick right now.  My gallbladder would have trouble processing it.

I’m committed to see this through and like anyone else…always checking my progress which motivates me to continue on that much more.

It’s all good.  Have a great day!


Solar Eclipse Ends Great Weekend Pre-Training for Marathon – Strong

Scope out a spot tonight that will give you the best vantage point to watch the sunset.  You’ll see something that doesn’t come around very often.

Much of the U.S and Canada, will see a rare partial eclipse at sunset Sunday. This photo is from the June 10, 2002 eclipse. Credit: Christopher Go

For more info about this eclipse click  here.  I found this blog pretty interesting. 

What a time we had at my nephew’s wedding.  Friday, my sisters and I hosted a bridal luncheon then later in the day we gathered with everyone at the rehearsal dinner.  Yesterday was the wedding with a dinner reception later in the evening and finished it off with a dance.  Click here to see the pictures.  Jon is about as good as they come.  So much fun to be around and full of heart and soul.  Malorie  is the girl of his dreams and we all love having her in the family.  They have dated for several years and finally Jon popped the question last fall. He is so cool, he had a photographer snapping pics and Malorie was so surprised.  This picture was used as a “save the date” card for their wedding.

Jon proposes to Malorie in St. Louis

Even with the wedding I still got my 4 miles in yesterday and then went on to dance up a storm last night (great aerobic workout My Fitness Pal says that it’s possibly another 400 calories burned :)).

Then today I did 5.3 miles.  It was about 85 degrees so midway through I did a half mile portion of it walking in our mall to cool down a bit.  The .33 miles was the cool down at the end.  I forgot to turn off my tracker though so it messed up my pace.  I ran 2.5 at 12 minutes then the rest I race walked.

The heat was tough.  I figure I had better get used to it since it’s just going to keep getting warmer.  Best strategy is to run in morning.  Will be easier to do that this week.  Burned 630 calories with today’s effort.   Pre-Training for Marathon is still going well.  Muscles were a bit tired today but no complaints.

Have a great afternoon!