Gifts for the low-carb love in your life

I love this time of year! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are my favorite! The food (oh so much of it), the parties, the decorations, the music, family, friends, all of it. Shopping has evolved for me a little over the years. I now much prefer to shop online and I’m more careful about what I spend our money on. I’d rather buy someone something they really want than 5 things that they maybe want. So, I’m going to do a 2 part series on a few Christmas ideas that I would love and maybe someone you know would love as well.

This post contains affiliate links. 

First up, are the low carb / keto people. Do you or someone you know eat low carb? I’ve made a list of a few things my husband and I use and have tried, they would make great gifts for someone watching their carbs and sugar.

I LOVE Mexican food. Specifically, tortillas. Imagine my dismay when I realized tortillas aren’t exactly keto friendly. I was beyond ecstatic to come across these wraps that are only 9 net carbs for a 12 inch wrap. We have used them for quesadillas (both for dinner and breakfast), chicken salad wraps and I really love them fried as chips. I just cut them into strips or triangles if you are fancy and very quickly fry them in coconut oil. I’ve also seen some people bake them. There are tons of ways to use these wraps from Cut da Carb. There’s usually a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on Instagram too!

Here’s a photo of fajitas and the chips. So good!

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Next would have to be Good Dee’s Baking mixes. SO GOOD. I think I tried her Blondie’s first, I’m not even sure what my favorite is anymore. I currently have Blondie’s, yellow cake mix and pancake mix at home. The Yellow cake mix is amazing with lemon extract, and I added a powdered sugar glaze made with Swerve. The pancakes were a game changer for us. I really, really miss pancakes. These are a good substitute though. The muffins are unflavored, you can customize with your own ingredients and extracts or eat them plain with butter!

I have a 15% off code for any of Good Dee’s mixes, use HMWR15.

Here’s the Yellow Cake Mix with the Swerve Confectioner’s drizzle.

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And my half eaten pancakes!

Pancakes

Next on my list is a book called Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore. I read this book while on our cruise this summer. I learned a lot! And there’s so much research being done on how the keto diet can help. I found it very interesting and helpful. Not just for newbies either!

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Next favorite is MCT oil and MCT Powder. John prefers the oil for his coffee, but since I don’t drink coffee I prefer the powder. The kind we buy is unflavored from Perfect Keto. I actually mix it with my Crystal Light. I’m actually on auto-ship every 30 days for the MCT oil powder.

The MCT oil is Bulletproof. John did some research and found this company on Amazon. They do not use palm oil. Some companies that use palm oil are cutting down rain forests which in turn destroys orangutan habitat. The bottle says “100% orangutan friendly oil”.

MCT oil has many benefits, including healthy fats (Medium chain triglycerides), and eating healthy fat can help you lose fat (hence the Keto diet). Also claims to aid in digestion, helps clear your mind, keep you focused, improve mood as well as a few other benefits.

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The next one is Swerve Sweetener. I tried a few others to bake with and nothing has tasted as good as Swerve. I’ve seen several bakers that mix their own, I have not tried that yet. There is a “cooling” effect with Swerve, it’s less than others I’ve tried. Stevia is awful to bake with, in my opinion. They have a granulated version and confectioners version. I have made cream cheese frosting and a drizzle with the confectioners. See below muffin with frosting. So good! They sell them each individually or as a 2 pack.

swerve

That’s my list of favorites! These would make great gifts for yourself or someone else. We have really adapted to this life and normally I don’t even think twice about skipping the sugar or carb-laden foods. These items can make that easier and hopefully you don’t feel deprived.

Contact me if you have any questions about any of the products here. Keep in mind there are affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing you help keep this little blog up and running. Thanks for stopping by!

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Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

We have adjusted very well to our low-carb lifestyle. I do get asked if I miss carbs. It’s a loaded question. If I place emotion on food, then yes I’d say I miss it. But, I don’t miss how I felt. I don’t miss being overweight despite working out 6 days a week. I don’t miss feeling like crap, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. Plus, I’ve adjusted a lot of recipes to work for us and there are TONS online, so many bloggers cooking and baking low carb, it’s hard to feel like I’m missing something.

This is a lazy enchilada casserole. I used to make it with tortillas and corn. This one replaces the tortillas with poblano peppers and just recently I added a few sheets of the Fathead dough, recipe found here. No corn at all. The Fathead dough can be used for so many things! It does have carbs, but it’s low.

Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

Ingredient list:

  • Poblano peppers, leave whole without seeds and stem
  • Ground beef, turkey or chicken. Whatever your preference.
  • Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, Pepper jack cheese, again preference.
  • Ro-tel tomatoes. I buy the brand at Aldi, it’s the lowest carb I found.
  • Fathead crust. I made 3 sheets for my 8×8 pan.
  • Cream Cheese. Philadelphia is the lowest carb I’ve found.
  • Salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning. Whatever you like to use.
  • 8×8 pan
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)

Check your brands. So many off brands add carbs, even if it’s the full fat version. I don’t quite understand that. Also, some name brands are higher than store brand. I check constantly for something better.

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Here’s the carb count of the Philadelphia, less than 1 carb so we round up. The Kroger brand I was buying had 3 carbs per serving.

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Start by roasting the poblano peppers. You can do this in advance to save time. I buy these several weeks during the month, we use them a lot. They can be roasted and frozen whole (minus the seeds and skin) or pureed for all kinds of recipes. Mostly not spicy. I did buy one batch that was!

Here’s how I roast my peppers.

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I already had Fathead dough made, in the fridge. I usually double this recipe when I make it. It freezes well. Just throw it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to warm it up so you can roll it out.

No, it’s not perfect. :)

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Here it is out of the oven! Watch it closely, it will burn quick. I start mine at 5-6 minutes.

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On the stove top, cook your meat, add ro-tel and cream cheese, cook until it’s melted. I did use 1.5 packages of cream cheese last time. Depends on how much sauce you want. If you have a larger family you may want to double this whole recipe.

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So yummy!

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Next, grab your 8×8 dish and all your ingredients to start assembling. Start with Fathead dough on the bottom, layer the meat sauce, peppers and cheese.

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This is what I mean when I say leave it whole, in “sheets”.

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Now cheese. This time I did pepper jack in the casserole.

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Now continue your layers. I topped it with monterey jack slices since I ran out of shredded pepper jack.

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Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Everything is hot and cooked, it just needs to set up. I turned the broiler on at the end to get some color on the cheese.

enchilada done

I served it with a salad this time. Guacamole, sour cream and salsa go great with this dish! If you have family members not watching their carbs, give them tortilla chips. I’m sure that would be tasty!

It may not be pretty, but it tastes good!

enchilada

We love our Tex-Mex food and I am so happy to be able to convert some of our favorite recipes!

Do you have a favorite Tex-Mex recipe?

Are you low-carb?

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Our low-carb life

I’ve touched a little bit on John and I eating low carb. Some people think we are crazy but it also surprises me how many people are eating this way and I just didn’t know. Besides the weight loss, we sleep better (he says I don’t snore), feel better, and no, I don’t have the crazy sweet cravings. Every once in a while I’ll make a low-carb treat because I still like to bake and so does Ally. And there are plenty of yummy low carb/sugar free desserts out there.

There are some links in this post, I don’t get anything from you clicking on them. :)

Our low-carb life (1)

 

John started us on the road last October and I followed in November. He really keeps me in line most of the time. I have had days where I have extra carbs, like vacation, for instance. It doesn’t take too long to get back on track though, we were strict from day 1 once we got home. Most days I don’t even think twice about it. It’s our new norm. Not a fad diet, but a lifestyle change.

I got my physical this month with x-rays, EKG, full blood panel. Everything from cholesterol to liver and all the numbers are normal or better than normal. So no, eating bacon and butter is not going to kill me. My doctor still takes a second glance at my resting heart rate and said “you don’t look 40.” Thanks, I don’t feel or act it either!

She did ask about my diet and for 2 seconds I hesitated. But she said, if it’s working for you, keep doing it. It does take a lot of self control. You really have to want it. You have to be so ready for a change that you are willing to put in the work. No matter what diet, or lifestyle change, you have to work. Anyone that tells you it’s easy is lying. Easy is ordering pizza or eating cheese fries instead of a salad with your bun-less burger.

Zucchini cheese bread (recipe here) Served with ranch or tomato sauce.

zucchini

I’ve been tossing around the idea of carb cycling or re-feed days, rarely though. I am at my goal weight but I don’t want to just start adding carbs in and start feeling like crap. I’m not talking about loaves of bread and cheesecake every week. I’m talking about rare date nights having pizza instead of chicken, or making whole wheat pancakes, something along those lines. I do not like how I feel when I over-eat on carbs and sugar. My body doesn’t like it and it tells me so.

We don’t use ketone supplements to get our bodies into ketosis, we do it with diet. Eating the right foods will do that without supplements. Yes, we eat bacon, butter, full fat dairy, cheese, beef, chicken, veggies and fruit. We steer clear of starchy veggies like potatoes and corn. We eat fruit in moderation like strawberries and blueberries. Lots of meat and veggies. Probably more veggies than I’ve ever eaten in my life.

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I can guarantee we aren’t deprived of good food. These are beef fajitas on low carb flat bread (found here) with homemade queso (NOT velveeta), guacamole under there and chips I made from the flat bread.

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I do meal prep, every week. If not, we will be eating take out. I make a breakfast casserole or egg muffins, hamburger patties, bacon, cut up lettuce and fruit and anything else I can think of. Ally has to take her breakfast to school to eat after morning practice. So she gets an egg muffin and this year she wanted sausage rolls. She gets them homemade and they are made with a low carb dough. Score! And before you ask, no her carbs are not restricted. If she wants pasta she gets it. She has chosen to cut her sugar and sweets way down and has been eating less pasta and bread lately. She’s a runner and I think she finally realized that the professional runners probably aren’t eating ice cream and brownies every night, or chips for that matter. She has made a few choices on her own. We don’t shame her or restrict her diet in any way.

Homemade meatballs served over spaghetti squash. One word, yummy.

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Some of our favorite recipes we got from Pinterest, other bloggers and every day people just trying to make this work for them. I will include a few below.

Anyone else eating low carb / keto?

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She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

What’s new?

The date is May 16, 2017. I honestly can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve written anything. So much has happened in the last few years. Good, bad and everything in between.

I have so much to say, but where do I start? Injury, oh yeah, that. I started running in late 2011 and ran injury free until about May 2016. Something happened, still not sure what. But I’ve been fighting an achilles issue for almost a year now. I ran off and on, took breaks, walked, did intervals. Thought I was good and then November 2016 after limping for 2 days following a 10 miler, I knew I was done. I have been to several doctors and rehab, nothing was helping. So, I hit the gym full on, got my eating under control (more on that later!) and got strong and healthy. Stronger than I’ve been in a long time.

Fast forward to today and I’m doing some interval running, very low mileage. Some days I want to cry, thinking about the progress I’ve lost. But I have so much to be thankful for and the gym is growing on me!

The achilles injury really made me stop and reevaluate my priorities. I love running, but I love the social aspect of it more. That’s what I was missing so badly. My running group is also my gym group so it’s not the end of the world. I have figured out if I keep my mileage low, my pace low and my stride short I can run and not hurt. So for now, it’s what I’m doing. And I’m actually learning to love it!

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And the gym dates with John aren’t so bad either! We got a new Planet Fitness near us (aka The Purple Palace), anyone else a PF member? It is a lot of purple.

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John and I celebrated 20 years last year with friends in California. Definitely more on that to come! We have a driver in the house now. (yikes) We got a puppy. (double yikes)

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Meet Bear. He’s about a year and half now. Molly isn’t a fan, but they have their moments.

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Ally had her first high school cross country season, track season and we are sooooo close to the end of 9th grade! We are all ready for summer. So proud of this girl and how she handled her academics and athletics. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for her!

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John and I started eating low carb / high fat or keto last fall. He started in October and I dragged my feet for about a month or so. Still couldn’t let go of my carbs, even after my doctor suggesting it last summer. Fast forward 8 months and we are doing great! Hubby is down 50+ pounds and I got that 18 or so off that I gained during marathon training and life happening.

LOVE this guy!

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Just got an Apple Watch, still trying to get it set up and figure out how to use it. I got the Nike version, it didn’t cost any extra and I used to run with a Nike Watch so I’m hoping it’s similar. I ran with it this morning but the Apple workout app didn’t collect any of my run info. I’m sure it was user error but I’m not impressed with that just yet. I’m going to try it at the gym tomorrow. I still have my Garmin and will go back to it if this watch doesn’t get any better. I have 2 weeks to decide!

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Anyone else workout at Planet Fitness?

What watch do you run with?

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Zucchini-Poblano Lasagna {recipe}

Remember I’m not great at writing recipes, so just stay with me. This one is good. We started the Keto/Low Carb High Fat diet last fall. John started it in October and I dragged my feet for another month before getting on board. I didn’t want to tell him he was right. Last summer when I went for my check up my doctor even said that I may need to try cutting carbs or whatever it was in my diet that was adding the weight. I workout 5-6 days a week and was gaining weight. News flash: you can’t out exercise a bad diet. In case anyone was unsure.

So here we are 6 months or so in and hubby is down 50+ pounds and I’m down about 18, both of us lots of inches! Funny thing is I/we don’t really miss the carbs and sugar that much. Every once in a while I have a craving but John has some serious self control.

A lot of the recipes we use are ones other people have tried and perfected. This is one I created, although someone out there has probably done something similar. I just kinda threw some things together. A friend of mine puts green chilies in her lasagna and she brought it to me one night and it was so good! That’s what made me think to put the poblano peppers in this lasagna. Plus we’ve been using poblano peppers in a lot of recipes lately.

This recipe is low carb when compared to regular pasta lasagna, but depending on your ingredients could still be 8-10 carbs per serving. That’s way, way less than lasagna noodles! It all depends on your goal for the day.

Zucchini-Poblano Lasagna

First, roast the poblano peppers. Here’s info on how to roast the peppers. I roasted mine about 20 minutes in my oven, this recipe says 30-40. Depends on how charred you want them. Definitely place them in a covered dish and let them cool before peeling the skin and taking the seeds out.
Roast the peppers. I pureed some (more on that later) and left some in flat “sheets”. Here they are straight from the oven. Cover them and let them steam, it makes it easier to peel later.
Make your meat and sauce like normal. I typically use Jennie O’ Turkey sausage. You can use ground turkey, Italian sausage or go meatless if you prefer!
So far, the Kroger Organic 4 cheese spaghetti sauce is the lowest carb I’ve found so far in the store, already seasoned. I bought San Marzano whole tomatoes in a can this weekend and made sauce. It’s 3 carbs compared to 5 + in most jars. I found a brand called Rao’s, but it was $9.29 at Kroger. I don’t have that kind of budget!
Try not to add any other liquid because the zucchini has lots of water.
Next up, the Zucchini.
I cut up 6 this last time, but only needed 5. You may want more depending on how many people you are feeding. Roughly peel it, cut the ends off, slice very thin strips top to bottom. Don’t use the core. Cut strips all the way around. I use a trash bowl when I’m peeling and cutting veggies. Surely I’m not the only one!
Lay all the strips out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels and try to squeeze the water out. Mine sat out for several hours and still had water in them. I baked the strips for a few minutes too. Just watch them, they will burn.
Back to the peppers. Peel the charred skin, remove the core and seeds. You can see what I mean by “flat sheets”. These make good replacements for tortillas in a mexican casserole as well. Then I pureed some of the peppers in my food processor.
Pureed peppers! I save the extra for breakfast casserole, soup, just about anything you want to make yummy!
Ricotta cheese mixed with the puréed poblano peppers, if you want. I added Parmesan cheese. You can add basil, spinach, oregano, whatever you like. We have fresh basil growing in our kitchen window. I use it whenever I remember to grab it. It smells amazing!
The sauce is simmering while all this other prep is happening.
I did 3 layers total in my 8×8 pan. I started with zucchini on the bottom.
Then a layer of meat sauce.
Then add ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Then I did a layer of the pepper “sheets”.
Then more meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Bottom and top was zucchini with the middle being poblano.
I baked mine for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remember the zucchini is watery, so the dish may be too. Once it sits in the fridge over night it does hold up better, but right out of the oven you will notice the water. It still tastes good, trust me! If I wasn’t in such a hurry to eat it, it might be better if it rested a little on the counter before serving. Y’all let me know if anyone tries that!
This recipe is time consuming, I’ve only made it twice and it was on my day off.  I initially cut it into 6 servings but we ended up with closer to 8 servings.
Anyone tried a zucchini lasagna?

 

Weekly run-down

I made a decision a while back to work on getting my pace down. I’ve been comfy at 9:30 for a while, it’s really become my easy pace. My body automatically goes there. So, I’ve been trying to break that since I want to break a 1:45 half this year. It may just be my pea brain, but if I want to run an 8 minute mile in a race I need to run faster on training runs (at least sometimes). That being said, 8′s are tough. Real tough. Like vomit pace for me right now. But I guess that’s where I find out what I’m made of!

weekly rundown

I feel like a little bit of a slacker lately. I need to find a good schedule that works for me again. I like Monday mornings at the gym, good way to start the week off. Friday’s are almost always rest days for me. Wednesday is usually a gym day (but not the last 2 weeks). And Saturday long run.

Training last week:

Sunday: Gym day

Monday: Gym day

Tuesday: Tempo run, 1.5 miles tempo, .5 mile recovery, that tempo part included a double hill, we ran it 4 times. Total miles 7.5, average pace 9:06.

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 4.25 miles, average pace 8:35

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Raced a 5k

Saturday was my first 5k race in almost a year. I haven’t really been training to PR it specifically, but was going to try. It’s a race I’ve done before, close to home. I love those races. Easy in and easy out. They had a new course this year and I think I like it better than the old one. I got up about 2 hours early and ate a really light breakfast (first mistake). We headed over to get our shirts and then had time to kill. Hence the second mistake, no fuel. I completely forgot about taking something else to eat or at the very least a gel.

Race started and I was feeling good for 1 mile. I swear I could feel the exact moment I used all my energy. It was gone, y’all. Nowhere to be found. I used whatever I had to get me from mile 2 to the finish. I could feel myself slowing down some. Got near the finish line, it’s in a park so you think you are almost there then you make a right turn and have about 1/2 mile in the park before coming back to the finish. I crossed paths with Ally and kept pushing.

One of my friends was out there yelling at me to run faster (thank you Dana!) It was her revenge for me telling her to run faster at track! In the end I got a PR but I know I could’ve done better had I prepared better. My PR last year was 22:30, I got a flat 22 in this race. Ally got a huge PR, almost 3 minutes for her first sub 20 minute 5k. I’m so proud of her!

heart of heath 5k 2015

We both placed first in our age groups.

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Last week was the district track meet for Ally. She finished the season so strong, took 2nd place in both the 1600 and 2400, finished less than a second by first place. They were so close we couldn’t tell in the stands who won. She PR’d both distances as well. I’m looking forward to seeing her compete again. Final 1600 was 5:36 and 2400 was 9:08.

district track meet

Softball season started but already halted because of the rain. We need it desperately here, so I’m trying not to complain. I’m pretty sure we will have lots of make-up games to play!

Are you training for anything?

Did you run today?

Happy running,

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She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Weekly run-down

The last week was a blur, I’m not even sure I remember everything. Let’s start with the easy stuff: training.

weekly rundown

Recent posts you might have missed:

Training last week:

Sunday: RnR Half Marathon

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Track, 12×400, 200 recovery, 7 miles with warm up and cool down, average pace 9:02 (workout laps 7:30-7:50 pace)

Wednesday: 6.2 miles, uphill both ways, average pace 8:57

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Last week every single thing that could be planned and put on a calendar happened. We will start with Thursday, Ally’s district qualifying track meet. You’ll have to excuse all the proud mom moments about to happen!

district qual

She ran the 1600 and 2400 again. Placed 1st in both, set school records and PR’s for herself in both. Her 2400 was 9:18 (last week was 9:47) and mile time was 5:38 (last week was 6:02). I cannot even express how proud I am of her. She finally figured out she can run fast. She finally figured out she’s strong enough to do it! I held my breath on that 1600 though. It was hard to watch, but she makes it look so easy.

district qual 2

She has some fierce competition in these two events. She will not be happy for me posting this picture but her face shows she was working hard! The district meet is tomorrow night!

Then Friday came along, and that was the start of the Youth Fair. Remember those rabbits? She had to be at the barn at 8AM Friday. That’s the day about 1000 3rd graders and teachers from our school district come to the barn for a tour, to see the animals and learn more about 4-H. That afternoon, went home, changed, grabbed all the rabbits and got back by 4 to get them weighed in. The judging and showmanship started at 5pm. She came in 11th out of 28. Not too shabby considering we had no idea what we were doing. We were just hoping they all lived for the 5 weeks!

4-h show

Saturday morning she had her first softball game. They had a tournament but she was only playing 1 game before heading back to the barn. She pitched the first game since the other pitchers had 3 after this one.

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It went into extra innings and ended up being a 2 hour game! What a way to start the season.

Back to the barn for the auction. Time to sell these bunnies!

4-h fair

There were 70+ exhibitors and she was #47. It was a long afternoon. Kinda cool seeing all these kids with the animals they raised.

rabbits 4-h

When this was over we headed to the mexican market near us and grabbed some meat to grill. Went home and Ally jumped in the pool (yes it’s still frigid!) and John fired up the grill. We relaxed the rest of the evening. We even had dinner outside Sunday night, after some yard work, of course. It was a crazy couple of days but we were all pretty much together the entire time. I can’t remember the last time that happened. It was nice.

How was your weekend?

Anyone else out there do 4-H?

Do your kids run?

Happy running,

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She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Rock n’ Roll Dallas 2015 re-cap

Since I never got my New Orleans full recap up, I figured I’d better get busy on this one ASAP! This race was a different one for me, in a good way. It’s so fun to be there when your friends hit their goals they work soooo hard to achieve!

Rock n' Roll DallasHalf Marathon2015

Ally went with me to the Expo and packet pick up on Saturday. She likes to go and shop, of course!

RnR expo 1

RnR usually has really good expos, large, with lots of vendors. This one was better than New Orleans was, but the one in Dallas 2 years ago was still the best. Brooks has a huge showing at these expos too.

RnR expo brooks

I was looking for headbands but didn’t find the ones I wanted so I’ll just order them online. We grabbed a cute shirt from one booth then had to back and get the head band for a friend!

This was the best I could get from her. She’s a mess!

Ally RnR

Snapped a picture of the course map.

RnR Dallas map

I checked the elevation and saw there were some hills, but I didn’t realize how hilly it was. More on that later.

Dallas big 2015

When I got back to my car my MRTT (Moms Run This Town) magnet had been flipped upside down. I assumed it was someone from Rockwall but apparently the Allen chapter loves this game, someone there was the culprit. Too funny! So, if you see an MRTT magnet on a car, it’s perfectly acceptable behavior to flip it upside down. She took a picture (and so did I) and posted it in her chapter group. Be sure and leave the license plate out of the picture. :)

flipped mrtt magnet

That night I finally made a choice on what to wear (or so I thought). I had it narrowed down to tank top, maybe shorts, maybe capris. If it rained I wanted capris and since that was still a maybe I chose capris. I took my throw away sweat shirt but forgot my gels.

RnR Dallas flat mama

Got up at 5:15 on race day, got dressed, had breakfast, grabbed my stuff and John took me to meet friends to head out.

The race started at 8am, we left Rockwall at 6:15, thinking that was plenty of time to get parked and get into our corrals. We barely made it. But at least we didn’t have a bunch of time to stand around and get nervous! Two years ago when I ran RnR Dallas it was a point to point race, you parked at the end and they shuttled us to the start. This year it was point to point again with about 1 mile in between start and finish. No shuttle. You basically were on your own, park where you can and walk it. I disliked that very much. We parked easily but had at least .5 miles to walk to the start.

We got to the race at corral 1 and bag check was at corral 15. It was very crowded along the corrals but we got to bag check and found a ton of port-a-potties, took care of that and headed for our corral with about 12 minutes to spare. We got into our corral and took a picture, sang the National Anthem and we were off. They didn’t waste any time.

The weather was gloomy looking, I kept thinking it was going to pour down rain on us, but it never did.

RnR shoes

There were four of us, we’d all been training together the last few weeks to help two of the girls hit new goals. They both badly wanted a sub 2 hour half, their first. We stayed together for about 4 miles, then broke into two groups. It’s hard to make that choice to push a friend unless you really know they want you to. I was torn between staying with her and leaving. I was afraid she would be mad either way, even though she told me to go. (She wasn’t mad at me, but still wants that sub 2.) We are all busy making goals for the Fall.

RnR pre race

I ended up running on my own for a little while, saw a few friends on the way. Luckily Anna had an extra Gu on her and had given it to me just in case. It was salted watermelon and not the worst I’ve had but it’s so thick. I really can’t hardly stand it. I use the Advocare rehydrate gels but I was desperate. I made it to about mile 8 before I needed it. I just ate it slowly.

Got to about mile 9 and caught up with the other half of our group and finished the race with them. Anna was still on target for a sub 2 hour, she was fighting for every step. I have been there. You want it so bad, you just have to convince your legs to cooperate. I think she had mostly 8:50 miles until that point.

We hit the mountain at mile 10, it seemed to go on forever, and that slowed us down. We were still ahead of the 2 hour pacer so we had time in the bank. I would run a little ahead to stay on the 9:10 pace and would slow down some then speed up a little. We were bouncing around at that point, but still pushing forward. We got passed by the 2 hour pacer somewhere about mile 12, I think. It was all kind of a blur after that, like a scene from a movie. You are in that final stretch, you get passed but still don’t quit.

Up ahead we see runners from Rockwall cheering and I tell them Anna needs a push, we are so close! The 2 hour pacer is still in front of us, we have less than 1/2 a mile to go. I’m staying with the pacer to try to draw her my way, our other friend is with her and just ahead cheering and telling her she can do it. She dug deep and sprinted ahead of that 2 hour pacer in the final stretch, we may have even been in the finish line chute. Seriously it was a blur. Got it by 3 seconds.

Here we are literally right after crossing. The look on Anna’s face tell you how hard she worked! I’m sure you can guess which one is Anna! I have the biggest grin on my face, such a goof!

Anna rnr finish

We grabbed our medals but still weren’t sure if she came in under 2 hours, that pacer could have been off. We got Gatorade, potato chips (seriously the best post race snack ever!), and then headed to the engraving tent to check her time.

RnR Dallas finish

My friend Cynthia also go her first sub 2! These ladies are rock stars!

RnR Dallas post race

We caught up with several friends that had hit their goals that day. It was so fun hearing the stories and celebrating with them!

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We found coach and took more pictures, got our stuff from gear check and went to get our free beer. And take more pictures!

Rnr pic with coach B

We have some pretty awesome runners in our group, quite a few are headed to Boston next month. They were out there cheering us on at this race.

rnr finish line party

Here’s my medal, I forgot to take a picture of the shirt.

rnr dallas medal

John picked me up from the finish and we tried a new place for lunch, Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. I had some ridiculously good food. Yes, that’s bacon on a skewer.

rnr dallas lunch

We shared fries and rings for all three of us.

rnr lunch fries

I got the grilled cheese with mozzarella, pesto and tomato. So YUMMY!

rnr dallas lunch grilled cheese

After that, we headed home and you would think I’d be sitting on the couch…..

Wrong. Laundry, vacummed the house, cleaned out the fridge and did the dishes. Thankfully I talked John into going to the store for me. Oh and Ally had softball practice. The season starts this weekend!

Now our group is busy making goals for this fall. No matter the pace, we are all training together, cheering and supporting each other and just running.

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What are you training for?

Do you make goals? Write them down?

Happy running,

Blog sig

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Weekly run-down

Last week was busy! Ally started middle school track. They only have 4 meets. The first one got snowed out and the second one almost got rained out. The field events did get cancelled. This week is the district qualifier, I’m not sure how that works since there haven’t been any field events so far.

Ally ran the 400, the 1600 and the 2400. She’s definitely a distance runner, not a sprinter. She came in 1st in the 2400, that race was about 4:30pm, then maybe 7pm she ran the 400 and came in 7th, then finally about 8:30pm ran the mile and came in 2nd place. That 400 was just a warm up for the mile. It was fun and I’m so proud of her! She has been working hard. I know she will have some competition in the district qualifier, so she has work to do this week.

Here she is in the first lap, taking her lead. Once she got out in front she kept the lead. She made it look so easy, but I know she was working hard!

first track meet

She was in 3rd place for the 1600 until the last 100 meters. I don’t know where she found the boost but she kicked it in gear and finished 2nd. This is the same girl that she came in 2nd place to during cross country. She wasn’t that far behind her, probably should have kicked it in gear sooner than she did.

1600 race

We had a busy weekend and a busy week ahead. Softball hopefully starts next weekend and she shows her rabbits at the Youth Fair. I’m glad this project is almost over!

weekly rundown

Training last week:

Sunday: 3 miles, average pace 7:58. Have no idea where that came from! :)

Monday: Early morning gym time. Abs, abs and more abs. Was feeling this by Tuesday.

Tuesday: Track, 5 x 1000 meters, with 400 recovery, 8 miles total, average pace 9:17

Wednesday: Rest day. Had intended on getting to the gym but never made it.

Thursday: 5 miles, average pace 9:11

Friday: Gym date with the hubby. We were there at the same time, but different workouts.

Saturday: Rest day. (feels weird)

Last Sunday I was running out of time to make it to the gym. Ally had softball practice in the middle of the day. It was at the park, the sun was out, so off I went for 3 miles. It got warm, quick. And of course our city hasn’t turned the water fountains back on yet. Fortunately I was close to the car and that made me run even faster. That 7:58 pace came out of nowhere. I’m happy to know I can still do it though.

I ran the Dallas Rock N Roll Half yesterday, that recap should be up in a few days!

What are you training for?

Did you race this weekend?

Happy running,

Blog sig

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Proverbs 31:17

The perfect time to train for a marathon

When is the right time or the perfect time to train for a full marathon?

perfect time marathon

Christina at Crazy Mama Runner asked that question last week in our Sweat Pink Ambassador group. She got varying responses but almost everyone agreed, there’s never a perfect time.

Everyone has their reason for running. A marathon is no easy feat so deciding to train for one isn’t an easy decision. I didn’t start running until Ally was 10. She was fairly self sufficient, didn’t keep me up all hours of the night crying so I may have a skewed outlook.

But, here are my thoughts anyway.

  • Kids ages. Ally was 12 or so when I decided to train for my first full. I was already running before the sun came up while my family slept so it wasn’t a big adjustment. The biggest thing was my early bedtime. To get up at 4AM for a mid-week long run I had to go to bed by 9:30 at the latest. Sometimes I was in bed before Ally (still am). While I didn’t have the all night feedings and diaper changes, she had homework, sports, church, dinner had to be made, laundry done. All the other things that parents have to do.
  • My age. Since I didn’t start running until I was about 35 I guess it’s never too late. I was 37 when I ran my first full. And my training partner was 40. So no age excuses.
  • That pesky job. I train before the sun came up. I had to, still do. If I don’t, it won’t get done. I’m actually used to it now. Sure, there are days when I just want to skip it, but I have people waiting on me to show up. After working and dinner and all of Ally’s activities I have no time to run at night. I don’t even make it to the gym in the evenings either.
  • Your pace. I don’t like that excuse. As long as you can finish in the posted time limit no reason not to do it. You can run it or run/walk it and it’s still a full marathon!
  • Your family and friends will tell you not to. I still get “those” comments. Usually from non-running friends, about how running long distance is bad for my knees, etc. So was being 40+ pounds overweight with high cholesterol. I’m in better shape in my 30′s than I was in my 20′s.  Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you.

There are always going to be reasons not to train. But for every reason not to I could find a reason to do it. It wasn’t easy, there were days I wanted to quit and almost did. My running buddies can attest to that. It’s a huge accomplishment and you will feel like a rock star!

run for

When you make the decision you want to do it, just do it.

Are you currently training for a marathon?

Just finished one?

Happy running! You are a rock star!

Blog sig

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Proverbs 31:17

P.S. I love Proverbs 31!