Archive for May, 2012

Half-Marathon Training


My next – and second – half-marathon will be in November. It is my goal to do the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg on Sunday November 18, 2012.

This course is very similar to the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon I did on February, my first. I can still remember that day so vividly and I literally had a runner’s high for days afterwards. I laughed, cried, ran, and walked my way through those 13.1 miles, finishing in 3:11:33, a good 13+ minutes before my estimated 3:25 finish.

The moment I finished, I knew I had to do another. I have my sights set on the Women’s Half with hopes of beating my previous time, even by just a little bit.

The trick now is to pick a training plan. From what I see, training plans vary from 12-19 weeks, perhaps longer. I like the run/walk method of Jeff Galloway as I don’t know that I can ever be a full-time runner. It is hard for me. I push myself and try my hardest, but it does not come easy for me. Honestly, while so many people finish in the 2+ hour mark (and they are all my heros), I would be happy finishing my next one in just under 3:00. As in 2:59 would make me a happy girl.

Here’s my problem… Summer is here. And summer in Florida SUCKS. It’s hot and humid. I can walk out my front door in the morning and instantly start sweating. The thought of running in it is very overwhelming. Running in the heat is so different than running in the cooler weather. I just can’t do it for long. If I do a 19-week training plan, that puts me starting mid-July (YIKES!). If I do a 12-week training plan, it’s early -September. I did not follow a training plan for my first, but if I want to set a PR, I know I need to train for this one. So… what should I do? Also, what kind of strenth training should I incorporate?

I welcome advice from runners and any input you might have. I know there are books out there, but I love to heard first-hand experience. Thanks so much!

Blog Love: My Fascinating Life


My favorite day of the week in blog land is Tuesdays because it’s Blog Love day! I get to share with you one of my favorite blogs!

This week’s blog is written by a woman named Caroline who I had the pleasure of meeting a week ago at our Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers meet-up in St. Petersburg. It’s always fun to meet people who share your love of blogging. She was also in charge of planning the meet-up at The Hooker Tea Co. in downtown St. Pete. She runs, she swims, she works out, and she is mom to two boys.

So, this week’s blog love goes to… My Fascinating Life

One of the things I love most about Caroline’s blog is that she updates it often and there are always a lot of photos. She goes to a lot of local places and events and it’s always fun to read about her experiences. She is also very active on Yelp and Twitter.

I hope you’ll check her blog out, I know you’ll enjoy it!

Friend Makin’ Mondays: One or the Other


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: One or the Other

1. Shower or Bubble Bath?  Shower

2. Money or Power?  Money

3. Country Music or Rap?  Country

4. Sunshine or Thunderstorms?  I like both, but I prefer thunderstorms if I’m home and don’t have to go anywhere.

5. Uniform or Suit?  Suit

6. Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate

7. Beauty or Brains?  Brains

8. Newspaper or Online News?  Online

9. Marinara or Alfredo?  Marinara

10. Lip Gloss or Lip Stick?  Lip stick

11. Beach or Mountains?  Beach

12. Talk or Text?  Text

13. CNN or Fox News?  Doesn’t matter to me, not much of a news person

14. Cake or Potato Chips?  Potato Chips

15. Movies at home or at the theater?  Both

16. Bar or Bookstore?  Bookstore

17. Rock or Pop?  Rock

18. Manicure or Facial?  Manicure

19. Book or e-reader?  Both, I love my Kindle Fire but I still love real books

20. Planes or Trains?  I don’t like to fly but I’ve never been on a train so I don’t know how to answer this, lol…

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday, and Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday in the kitchen {and a doozy of a headache}


This holiday weekend has not been what I had in mind when I looked forward to it all week. Thursday night, I had a sinus headache that thankfully went away on it’s own in a matter of hours. Friday evening, I was hit with another and it was a doozy, right above my right eye. I was in bed by 8pm just so I could be in a dark room with no noise. Saturday morning it was a little better but still there. After I helped hubby’s mom for a bit in the morning and came back home, it hit me again – this time on the left side. I’ve had a lot of headaches in my life and I can honestly say that the one I had yesterday was high on the list of worst headaches I’ve ever had. I could not get comfortable, I alternated between an ice pack on my head and a hot wash cloth. This headache was on the left side and it was throbbing. I actually threw up and that always makes me cry, and then I stood in the shower for 20 minutes with the hottest water possible running over my head. It helped a little but when I got out, I crawled right back in bed. I skipped dinner but was thankful when hubby finally came home from work and insisted I drink an ice cold frappuccino in hopes of the caffeine helping, along with maybe some brain freeze.

I haven’t been able to take any medication since Monday when I went to the eye doctor for the hemorrhage in my right eye. And while I know my body enough to know when a headache is sinus, stress, or whatever, I actually think I had a migraine yesterday. One side of my nose kept opening up which led me to believe it was still sinus-related, but the throbbing and my desire to be in a dark cool room makes me think it was a migraine also.

Today has been better, but I’ve still spent much of it doing nothing and napping. Still unable to take anything until all the blood clears from my eye, I have to rely on taking it easy. It’s not fun but I do NOT want to have another headache like I did yesterday. It. Was. Awful.

So, here is where I’ve spent much of my weekend. Thank goodness we have a super-comfy bed.

bed picasa edit

Despite my headache, I did manage to make brownies and cook dinner today. It wasn’t anything new or terribly exciting, but it was nice to cook dinner for hubby. I think he thinks I’m silly when I take pictures of food all the time, but I just love to take pictures of the food I make.

I made hubby a steak (no picture of that!) and a side of shrimp cooked in Carolina BBQ sauce. If you’ve never done this, it’s super easy, and he loves it.

shrimp 052712

I also had half a loaf of crispy sourdough bread from Publix leftover from Friday, so I sliced it up and toasted it with butter and garlic. Always a yummy addition to any meal.

bread 052712

I made myself my super-easy rice, beef, and diced tomato dish. It sounded good and there are leftovers to have for lunch tomorrow!

rice dish 052712JPG

And because I was feeling down in the dumps when I went to the store this morning, I decided to make brownies. If a girl can’t enjoy a glass of wine or an ice cold beer, then chocolate is the next best thing. They came out sooooo good!

brownies 052712

I was very glad to have hubby home with me today. He was working yesterday and I know he couldn’t be home with me. Blue and Ozzie, being the super smart Aussies they are, knew that I did not feel good yesterday and they were super snuggly. Whether I was laying on the couch or in our room, they were right there with me. Today, hubby has been good company, letting me sleep and relax. He also says my eye looks much better, which makes me happy. I am so ready to be over this.

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend!

Meal Planning


I decided to take stock of what we have in our kitchen and see what kind of meal planning I can do for the rest of the week and even into the next week. When I grocery shop and I buy chicken or ground beef, I package it up into single servings and freeze it. I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts and freeze one per bag. I split up the ground beef into single-serving patties and freeze them. Depending on how I need the ground beef for whatever it is I’m making, I can either cook it as a patty or crumble it up. Over time, it starts to add up in my freezer and I am pleasantly surprised at what I have.

After taking stock today, this is what we have both fresh and frozen:

  • 17 chicken breasts
  • 3 pork chops
  • 2 Italian sausage links
  • 4 pcs. Tilapia
  • 3 hamburger patties
  • 1 new York Strip Steak

The chicken, considering I make 2-3 pieces at a time depending on what I’m making and if I am making extra for lunch the next day, could make 5 1/2 meals alone! The pork chops is 1 meal, the sausage links are 1 meal, the tilapia is 4 meals, the hamburger will likely be 2 meals, and the steak is a bonus for hubby. Technically, we have enough for 13 dinners.

After checking to see what meats/poultry/fish we have, I went through the freezer to see what frozen veggies and foods we have:

  • 1/2 box fried shrimp
  • 1 bag hushpuppies
  • Chicken and Vegetable Steamer meal (for 2)
  • Garlic Chicken Steamer meal (for 2)
  • 1/2 bag sweet potato fries
  • Chicken rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Brown and Wild Rice Medley
  • Garden vegetable medley
  • Mixed veggies
  • 2 bags broccoli
  • Asian medley

Next up were fresh veggies and cheeses:

  • 3 baking potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • Onion
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Mild cheddar cheese

In our pantry, we have the following:

  • 1 can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 1/2 box penne pasta
  • 1 box angel hair pasta
  • 1 bag No-Yolk egg noodles
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • Soft taco dinner kit
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Carolina BBQ sauce
  • Turkey gravy
  • Mexican rice
  • Teriyaki noodles

All this, while possibly boring to you, means A LOT of meal options for us over the next two weeks and hopefully, a much lighter grocery bill! And while not all of these items are super healthy, they can be made healthier by how I prepare them. So many options for yummy meals in our house!

Do you meal plan? Do you use any specific websites to enter your ingredients to get ideas?

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