Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Too Late Now!

Come Novemeber 6th around 9:00 a.m., I'm really going to be sorry I did this...
But just once, just to say I've finished it...because life isn't worth living without setting big, scary goals.

Thank you for submitting your entry for the November 6, 2010 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon: Marathon.

Please note that registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable.

This is your registration confirmation. Please print this page and save it for your records.

A charge of $64.90 to will appear on your Visa statement.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

San Francisco and the U.S. Open

Brent and I took off for a long weekend in California last weekend to see San Francisco, go to the second day of the U.S. Open golf tournament, and experience wine country.  We flew in late Wednesday night and stayed at the airport, which is also next to a BART station (San Francisco's public transportation).  We decided to figure it out without a rental car for the first three days, which means we walked a ton.  Which also means we could eat more calories...key for vacation.

At Champps in the Indy airport.  In honor of the tournament, I had to order the John Daly drink special.  It's an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) with the addition of vodka and triple sec.  So wrong, but so tasty.

Celebrity sighting in the Milwaukee airport #1 - Bill Cartwright of the World Championship Chicago Bulls.  Circa...1991.  Guess which one of us recognized him. 

Celebrity sighting #2 - a Manny Del Gado look-alike.

Thursday morning - we made it downtown, coffee is in hand, I'm rockin my new monogrammed birthday bag from Ashley, and we're ready for a full day of sightseeing.  The Bay Bridge to Oakland is behind me.


Lombard Street - the curviest stretch of road in the world.  I've now driven down it and walked it, and walking is much, much better.

Clam Chowder in San Francisco sourdough for lunch.  Yuuuummm.

Story: We ate lunch at Fisherman's Wharf and decided that we really wanted to walk on the Golden Gate bridge.  Here's where not having a car became an obstacle.  Bike rental was out because I had my huge bag and thought that balancing it on the handlebars for 5 miles there and 5 miles back could get annoying.  So...we walked.  And walked.  Then we failed to take a turn and ended up UNDER the bridge and had to turn around.  We made it finally...and took a bus back.

A few of the remaining sea lions in the Wharf.  We hear that most of them have headed north to Oregon.

After the Golden Gate we went back to the Wharf for dinner and to board our boat to Alcatraz.  We were taking the last tour of the night, which I thought would be really creepy because it got dark when we were still on the island.  The audio tour was great and it was really an interesting place to go. 

Three rows of cells...and a few of the eleventy billion people who were also on the tour.


Mom, Dad, and Grandma flew out for the tournament and we hooked up with them on Thursday evening.  Here we are in Ghirardelli Square for a smidge of chocolate.

And now to the Main Event and checking something else off the Life List!

9. Attend the Masters and US Open golf tournaments

We drove down to the Monterey Peninsula VERY early Friday morning.  Here are some old Army barracks in Fort Ord.  I only point these out because Dad was stationed at Fort Ord in the early 1970s.  He didn't have to stay in these because E-4s and higher could live in nicer digs, but close enough.

Coffee explosion on my shorts at 5:30 a.m....making these shorts even more ridiculous than before considering that it barely peaked 55 degrees all day.  I just really thought it would warm up!  I got desperate enough to buy an official U.S. Open sweatshirt blanket after lunch.

In the parking lot before boarding the shuttle buses to Pebble Beach.  This was the last time we could have cell phones and cameras, so unfortunately I don't have any other pictures.  Pebble Beach is ridiculously beautiful.  I loved it!  Phil had a great day of golf, which we feel somewhat personally responsible for.  We should have stayed all weekend for him I guess!  Mom and I gave Tiger the stink eye when he was walking to his drive on 16...I'm pretty sure that's why he didn't win. 


Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Favorite 'Cut' Recipes

Sorry, I think I promised to get you these recipes about a week and a half ago.  Over promise, under deliver.  We're home from vacation and watch out - the blog posts will be hitting your Google Reader like crazy.  (I might be setting myself up again with that statement.)

So here are a few sample recipes from Jillian Michaels' "Making the Cut" that I found not only bearable, but tasty.  Some are for lunch, some are for dinner - I think you can figure it out.  I am only putting these three on the blog because I don't want a call from Jillian's lawyers.  You'll have to buy the book if you want more of these delectable dishes.

Moroccan Chicken with Wild Rice - a new dinner favorite at our house
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 box Near East Wild Rice

Spray chicken breasts with cooking spray.  Combine oregano, allspice, cumin, cloves, and garlic in a large bowl.  Add the chicken breasts and cover with the herb mixture.  Cook in a skillet in the olive oil for about thirty minutes or until chicken is done.

Prepare rice according to package directions.  When ready, divide rice among 4 plates, and place one chicken breast on each plate.

Serves 4
Nutrition Info per serving: 309 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 32.7 grams of protein

Spinach and Ricotta Chicken
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 large egg

6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350.  To prepare filling, combine all filling ingredients.  To prepare chicken, cut a slit in the top of each breast to make a long pocket.  Place each chicken breast in a 9x13 inch baking dish, slit side up.  Spread mixture evenly between all chicken breasts and cover pan with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, basting chicken with wine every 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Serves 6
Nutrition Info per serving: 265 calories, 7.3 grams of fat, and 40.5 grams of protein

Chicken-Apple Crunch Salad
2 cubes cooked chicken breast
1 cup diced Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1/3 cup fat-free mayo
1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl combine mayo and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.  Add mayo mixture to chicken mixture, tossing well to coat.

Serves 4 (serving size is 1 cup)
Nutrition Info per serving:  180 calories, 2.6 grams of fat, and 22.4 grams of protein
Great lunch item that you can make on a Sunday night and have two or three days early in the week.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Making the Cut Finale

My 30 days are up and all the workouts have been checked off the schedule.  Did I Make the Cut?  Eh, I wouldn't say I'm ripped.  But I would say that I'm in the best shape of my entire life, between this strength training and all the running this spring.  I fell off the food wagon the last two weeks and didn't lose the weight I had hoped.  My goal was ten pounds for the month, and I lost five.  Hey, better than gaining five, right?   

It wasn't particularly fun, but I will say that I'm glad I did it.  For me, it was easy to get the workouts done, but following the meal plan exactly was next to impossible.  I tried to alter it with lunch options that worked for me instead of the new recipe you had to prepare each and every day for lunch.  That is just not practical if you're working or have a life.  By the third week, I let some bad habits like sweet tea, McDonald's ice cream, and eating out creep back into my life and didn't really lose any weight past that point.  Is that telling or what?

All of my skinny clothes now fit again and I notice more definition in my arms, shoulders, and legs.  Another benefit is that I think I have a better idea of what I should eat and at what times of the day.  Dinners should be lean protein and veggies, and my breakfasts should be more substantial than what I would normal eat.

I highly recommend giving the program a try if you're even considering it, because the 30 days will pass regardless.  Why not be a little thinner when they're over?  I think that Jillian's methods are the real deal.  They fall in line with other things I've heard/read and it provides you a way to have a diet/workout plan that is sustainable. I feel more confident and am really happy to fit into things that were too tight last summer.  I'm down to my wedding weight and hope to use this experience as a good base to drop the last 25.  I bought a Groupon for a $39 bootcamp that runs the entire month of July, so I'm excited (as excited as you can be for bootcamp) to see what else can be done with this bod by the end of the summer. 

Here are the final results:

Total Weight Lost: 5 pounds
Total Inches Lost:
  Upper Arm - 1"
  Bust - 2"
  Waist - 2"
  Hips - 3" (must have been all those squats)
  Thigh - 1"
Tomorrow I will be posting my favorite recipes from the program, ones that have made their way into our weekly meal schedule.  WARNING: Your significant other will lose weight, too.  If your SO is a tall, willowy runner, you might want to always make a box of pasta to supplement your dinner (and try hard not to eat it yourself). 
The clothes in the washing machine are calling.  Happy Sunday!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Weekend Update (a.k.a. I Can't Think of Anything Better to Title This Post)

Our jam-packed summer weekends have officially begun!  We have something almost every weekend from now until the end of August...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Since I was home alone this weekend while Brent was running in South Bend, it was a perfect time to have my long-lost college friends come and hang out.  I hadn't really seen Domonique and Rachel since we graduated FIVE YEARS AGO (sick.), so it was great catching up.  We went to dinner, chatted, and snacked on Friday night, and then did a little shopping and lunching on Saturday before the girls went home.

Klassy Monkey Plate, anyone?

We went to a consignment shop where I got a huge mirror, a lamp, and a pear dish for $43!!  The mirror is similiar to some I saw at PierOne, only I paid $27 instead of $400.  And who says I'm not frugal?  If it doesn't work in the room, I'll not feel too bad about changing to something else. 

After they left on Saturday, I quickly threw together some macaroni and cheese (not Kraft, just to clarify), kissed my tired, sore husband good-bye, and headed for Northern Indiana.  Ashley hosted a cookout with our whole group of girlfriends and their others.  Very fun!  We played the game Celebrity, which is kind of a made up game from a Will and Grace episode.  Ladies, if I'm wrong about that, let me know.  It was very fun, took no props other than paper and pens, and had very simple rules. 

And finally, the last bit of my post is dedicated to my runner.  We officially have a Marathoner in this house!  Brent ran the Sunburst marathon on Saturday morning with one of our friends.  He didn't really train other than a few 10-milers after the mini and said he felt like it, but I think he still did great.  He ran it in 4:20, which didn't quite beat Daris from the Biggest Loser's time (his main goal), but still sounds good to me.  On Saturday night he said he wasn't sure if he would do another one, but now he's already planning out his training schedule for one in Iowa in September or the Monumental here in November.  Good work, Running Man! 


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Race Day - The Things We Dropped

The heat was on at the greatest spectacle in racing this year.  An announcer on the PA said it was the hottest race day in history, and I believed it.  We started the day with a greasy McDonald's breakfast on our way to Will's mom's house, the unofficial meeting place of the Indianapolis 500.  I think all four of us had looked forward to that McDonald's breakfast all week.  Yummmmm.  We walked to the track loaded down with our coolers and boxed wine, of course.  You can't go to the race without boxed wine, duh.  I think we started to sweat about 3 minutes in, and at the 5 minute mark I remembered why you don't bring boxed wine to the race - it's heavy!  


Made it!  Taking a quick break before walking to turn 4.

Party on, Wayne. 

Rachel and Emily ordered cookies from Taylor's for my birthday.  So sweet - thank you again, girls!!!

We parked ourselves in the stands and set up our food/beverage stations.  And by stations, I really just mean coolers underneath our feet in the bleachers.  This leads us to the things we dropped, in case you wondered where I was going with that title.  You see, like most bleachers, there's a large gap between the floor board and the seat part of the next bleacher down.  When you're parked in the bleachers all day long with lots of stuff, it becomes pretty hard to keep all that stuff safe.  Maybe it was just hard for me, because I was the dropper of 80% of these items. 

Here were the fatalities of the day, in order of their disappearance into the bleacher abyss below:

1.) Brent's new water bottle
2.) Our sunscreen
3.) Brian's $100 race radio (this wasn't my doing, luckily.)
4.) The entire bag of Sangria after the bottom of the box fell out.  I thought that shoving a bunch of ice in the box was a good idea, but totally forgot about the potential of the bottom ripping out.

My driver's license and credit card were loose in my pocket because I didn't want to carry a purse in.  I think you can guess what I'm going to say next.  Yup, dropped them.  By some miraculous stroke of luck, Rachel noticed them on the floor of the bleachers teetering on the edge of the ledge and grabbed them.  

I'm wearing an oversized fanny pack next year.  I've heard they're coming back in Europe.

Great idea, random race guy!

By Lap 32 I was absolutely melting, so I wandered down to a tunnel underneath our seats to get out of the sun. 

I was definitely more into the race this year.  Okay, maybe just the last 25 laps.  My favorite part is the hoopla in the beginning, when the troops are out on the track, the anthem is sung, and Jim Nabors belts out "Back Home in Indiana".  Hands down, this is the best weekend of the year and one when I am always proud to call Indianapolis my city.