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Showing posts from October, 2011

Half Marathon Training: Week 2 Report

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Happy Halloween! :) 
Last week was good. I technically had two long runs in one week, since I had to postpone the long run in week 1. So I sort of combined my long run with what was supposed to be a 6-mile run.. but I should be back on track now. This week's mileage should hold steady and come out to be around 24 miles as well. 
I decided to move around some things in my plan. I had my bike day on Monday before, but I decided that doesn't really make sense since Sunday is a day off. Bike day should be a rest/cross training day. So I switched the Monday column with the Friday column.
I got my pace tat for the Seattle Half Marathon. Omygoodness I'm so excited. I'm going for 1:57:30. That's a 8:57 mile. I ran an average 9:06/mile at the Chicago Half Marathon. So basically I only need to run 9 seconds faster per mile.. but it's on a hilly course. And the Chicago Half Marathon was totally flat. Hmm. My wonderful hubby said that he might run with me to help make sur…

Wearing Blue & More Waiting

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On Saturday morning, James and I went to the Wear Blue: Run to Remember running club. I had actually first heard of this club in an article in Runner's World, back in February. It started off as a club for Army wives and widows and now has expanded to anyone that wants to be a part of their mission to run to remember soldiers that have fallen for our country.  We gathered together and were each given a slip of paper with name of a soldier that had died on the dates of this week over the last couple years. We each said the name of our soldier and then were invited to call out the name of any other solider that you were running to remember. We ended with a prayer of protection for the soldiers and their families that are currently deployed and for those preparing for deployment.

I found a friend to run 9 miles with me and we got a really great run in. There were several water and Gatorade stops that someone in the group had set up, and someone had even marked turns of the 14-mile co…

My Running Goals for 2012

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Join a running club once I move back to ILFinish Chicago Marathon (my first!)Finish at least 6 Half Marathons 1:50 Half Marathon PRTrain Mocha to run with me What's that? You thought I had a cat? Well, that's correct. I have a cat. Mocha is actually my parent's dog. But since I'll be living with my parents while James is deployed, I decided I would try to train her to run with me. She is about three years old now, so now is a good time to train her (according to Runner's World anyway). 
Perhaps it's a little soon to be thinking about New Year's resolutions, but since I know I'll be on my own, I figure it would be a good time to start thinking about what I would be doing with my time that year.  
I'm thinking about an Olympic-distance triathlon too.. which is about twice the distance of a sprint. But training for a triathlon is a lot trickier since you have to fit in good swimming workouts and biking as well.. It would be a relief to myself if I deci…

Preparing for Deployment.. part 2

Well, I've got some good news and some bad..
Bad news first? Okay. Well, hubby's battalion is going over for a 12-month deployment, starting in December. You may have heard in the news that they are starting to switch over to 9-month deployments. Well they are.. in January. So another battalion in James's unit is leaving in January and they will be there 9 months. James is leaving a month earlier and he will be there for 12. Dang it. I really hope something changes while they are over there.
The good news? James almost got sent over mid-November to go with a team that goes over before everyone else. The only reason why he didn't is because his vaccines weren't ready yet. He's in the middle of the small pox vaccine (which takes 30 days) and he has to wait to get the TB test until the 30 days is over. So that's the only reason why he's not going sooner. Also, if he had left sooner, he wouldn't have gotten back sooner. It would have been a 12 1/2 mont…

Half Marathon Training: Week 1 Report

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Well, I would love to tell you that things are going smoothly, but it's been a little rough. Here are a few changes/notes about it so far: I totally forgot that we had the Zombie Dash 5k on Saturday. So I didn't do my long run. Zombies don't run long. They only run short, fast distances. I'm trying to keep Sundays totally free to relax with hubby and have a sort of Sabbath. Because of points 1 and 2, I did my long run on Monday (yesterday). It went well, except that I miscalculated on distance so I didn't get the full 8 miles in. My achilles has been acting up again. So I'm biking today instead of running 6 miles.. then getting back on schedule. Gah. Not really a good report of the first week. I'm running with a club at Fort Lewis on Saturday, which is their long run day. So I shouldn't have a problem getting that run in this week.

The Running Dead

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James and I did the Zombie Dash 5k in downtown Olympia this afternoon! Runners could register as either a human or zombie. Humans got a 2 minute head-start. Humans had these tails like in flag football and if a zombie got it, the human was then "infected." There was a prize for the first uninfected human to finish, the first zombie, and for the zombie to infect the most humans.
So of course, we registered as zombies.

I'm proud to say that James caught to most humans (26 total) and won a voucher for free running shoes! Yay!! I'm such a proud zombie wife.
There was actually only 4 humans that finished uninfected I think. There was also a protest going on in Olympia (this happens a lot, since it's the capital) and the race route went right by them. I think we were the most entertainment of their whole day.
Scary faces!

James, that's not scary enough. One more.
Okay in that one, I look like tired zombie. Oh well.
Anyone else doing a fun halloween/thanksgiving race…

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

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I found this Carrot Muffin with Cream Cheese recipe a little while ago online. It's probably the most amazing recipe that I've discovered to date. I'll never be able to appreciate carrot cake from a box again. So I started thinking.. why not try this with a pumpkin muffin? Pumpkin and cream cheese? Yes, one of the best combinations ever.
A visual of what you need:


This recipe has three acts.

Act 1: The Muffin (courtesy of Will Run for Food)

1 package (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.


Blend cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. I decided NOT to beat with a beater because I wanted them to be a little denser and moister, a little more like a muffin and little less like a cake. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full.

Act 2: The Cream Cheese Filling (courtesy of The Delicio…

Rise & Run

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I was recently re-inspired to run in the morning by Runner's World "Rise & Run" article in the October issue. In college cross country, we had to get up a couple times a week and be at the track by 6am. Thankfully, I never had to run 400s around the track for being late, probably because my roommate was also on the team and didn't seem to have as much trouble getting up as me (thanks Bekah!).

But I did love running in the morning once we started. The getting out of bed and the shivering bike ride on the way out to the track were not fun. But once I warmed up after the half mile or so, the morning runs were bliss. I still remember doing an out-and-back run with another girl from the team. We ran out in the dark, chattering along. When we turned around at the half-way point toward the sunrise, we both gasped at how beautiful it was.

But holy cow, it's hard to wake up without that accountability. I told myself I would get up at 7:30 this morning to go running. Hub…

Preparing for Deployment

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I haven't wanted to think about it, much less prepare for it. But it's happening. Sometime in December (we think). The Deployment Ceremony, which is an official "goodbye" to the unit that normally happens a few weeks before the first plane, is toward the end of November. I got the email from his unit telling me that it was strongly advised that I attend workshops in preparation for deployment. One of the workshops will cover "Red Cross, Casualty Notification Process, and Operational Security." My stomach kind of dropped at that one. Casualty Notification Process. Of course, I need to know how that works, but it just makes the danger all the more real, when I think I've been conveniently trying to forget about that part.

We still haven't received the orders in our hands that he is leaving. Because he is still so new to the unit, I don't think they know exactly what they are going to do with him. But he's not gone yet, and so I refuse to let m…

Orange-Chai Poached Pears

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(my adaption of Rachel Ray's Citrus-Caramel Poached Pears)


I decided I had to try this. But I couldn't resist adding Chai. This might be my new favorite way to eat Pears.

Ingredients
2 Pears, pealed
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 to 2 cups of Orange Juice
1/4 cup Sugar
1 shot of Triple-sec
1 scoop of Chai Latte mix

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cook on low heat, covered, for 30 minutes or until Pears are tender.

Carefully remove the pears (they are going to be really soft). Continue to boil liquid for another half hour, or until syrupy.

Drizzle pears with syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and chai mix.

Seriously. Try it.



Fall & Fruit Desserts

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It's definitely Fall. I'm so excited. I'm making pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes tomorrow night. Tonight, I'm trying out these caramel poached pears. OMG. I can't wait.

I gotta say one of my favorite things about living in Washington is the fresh and cheap produce. We're also in wine country, so you can get a decent bottle of wine for like 2 or 3 dollars. Because you know.. we're not stuck-up about our wine, so we don't mind the cheap stuff. So guess what we had last night for dessert?

Mhmm. Sweet red wine and red raspberries.

I also decided I needed to make some caramel apples. I had been craving one since we saw some amazing-looking ones at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory downtown Seattle. But alas, they were all over $7 and I just couldn't spend that much on one apple, no matter how beautiful they looked.









I ate the rainbow sprinkled one first. And then I ate the chocolate sprinkled one. I have no regrets. The chocolate one was James's. He's actu…

Adventures in Washington

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We went hiking this weekend. James picked the location. Ranger Falls. Of course. :) The woods here are absolutely gorgeous. We hiked over 9 miles. I'm pretty sore, but it was fun. I think I'd like to officially add "hiking" to my hobbies.





Then we went to the city. And searched Pike Place Market for the first starbucks. Which is trickier than you would think it would be when we both were too embarrassed to ask for directions (only tourist ask for directions and we are now locals!) and there are like 6 starbucks in Pike Place. But we finally found it. It was the one with a line of tourist going out the door.



So now we can say we've been there.

We also got a huge blessing: James was able to get permissive TDY. Which means he got more time to move us in. And we totally were not expecting that. Usually soldiers can request time off to look for a place/move-in. But James was hearing that a lot of guys that were reporting weren't getting it. But he did! Woohoo. So h…

Moved In!

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We've moved in, we're drinking lots of coffee, and we even have some plans to meet some fellow runners (/friends?).

Well. I say we've moved in, but that only means that technically all our stuff is in the apartment. In boxes. Our address is Olympia but we are in the middle of of a town called Lacey. We actually go through Lacey to get to downtown Olympia. I haven't figured that out yet.

Have I told you I love our apartment? We found one through this Army off-base housing program. Basically, the Army has a list of apartments that they have relationships with. It's kind of nice, because it's means that they have looked over the leases, so we know that they don't take advantage of military people. James was told in a housing briefing that sometimes apartments will offer "move-in specials" but if a military person has to break a lease (which he/she can do by federal law if it's because of deployment or change of station), then they can technically…