December 19th, 2014

Running shout outs- These ladies inspire me!

Woohoo! We made it to Friday of the last long week before the holiday break.  Are you feeling ready? Our shopping is almost done, and I need to have a wrapping party one of these evenings.  We’ll be gone about a week, so my next big project is to start a packing list.

I wanted to take a moment before the year closes to highlight some of the runners I’m coaching this fall.  I’m really proud of how hard they’ve been working and asked them to share a highlight from the last few months.  They inspire me.  Hopefully you’ll be inspired too!

Rachel 

Just completed my New Year’s Resolution to run 365 miles this year.  :)

(Rachel is a new runner with a lot of potential.  She already had a new 5k pr and I know she has many more to come!)

Runner Rachel B

 

Abby

I am most proud of my finish at the RnRSav half marathon.  It was my fastest half in almost 4 years and more importantly, I felt like I ran a really smart race and paced myself well the whole time.  Plus, I pushed for it!
(I’ll add that this weekend Abby surprised herself with another half marathon pr and also had two 5k prs in the last month! You can read her latest half recap here.)
Runner Abby
Lesley
My accomplishment this fall that I’m most proud of is running my first marathon!  When I first started running two and a half years ago my goal was to run 3 miles.  I worked my way up to a half marathon and thought that was it, that was the highest I was going to go.  I never thought I could run a full marathon.  I’m not a very fast runner and just didn’t think I was strong enough (mentally or physically) to do it.  On a whim I entered the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon never thinking I’d actually get in.  When I did I knew it was time to test myself and do something I was afraid of doing.  The training taught me that I am strong mentally and that I CAN run a marathon.  Running MCM was one of the hardest but greatest things I have ever done.  I truly enjoyed every single step I ran.  I learned that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for and that anything is possible.  I’m looking forward to running my second marathon next year.

(I am so proud of Lesley! She trained hard (and smart) to get to the starting line injury free and ready!)
Runner Lesley
Lisa

My dad and I ran a 10K together in October. This was a huge accomplishment because my dad has not run with me since I was a teenager, and never more than a mile or two. It was also a big deal because I cut off more than 5 minutes from my last 10K in April. I’m not the fastest runner, but I’ve learned two important lessons: 1) it’s really exciting to see improvement, and 2) you don’t have to be the best at something to enjoy it.
(Lisa has made such incredible progress from last year! She ran her first half marathon and had several shiny, new prs with more to come, I’m sure!)
Runner Lisa
Rachel
I’m extremely proud of my half marathon this training season with a 5 minute PR coming off of a back injury. I’ve never ran that fast for that long so I was extreme proud to accomplish that!
(I’m inspired by how hard Rachel has worked – she earned that pr!)
Runner Rachel M
Caroline
When I was training for the 2014 Houston Marathon last year, I signed up for a “warm up race” called the HMSA 25K. I had never raced a 25K so I was a little nervous about pacing myself. With the help of Laura, and using my goal time for the marathon, I came up with a goal of 2:27 for the 15 + some change miles. It was cold, windy and was also my first time to ever race alone and without friends or family on the course to support me (thankfully my sister surprised me and showed up for the finish!). I was nervous and doubting myself. Fast forward to the end… I ran the race in 2:15:xx and felt amazing! Running those 8:xx miles for the whole race was a HUGE confidence boost and also a reminder that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I look back on that race whenever I start to doubt myself and it’s a great motivator!
(Caroline is definitely stronger than she thinks she is! I’m excited to see how the Houston marathon goes for her this year!)
Runner Caroline
Kristen

My biggest accomplishment this fall was running my first marathon – the New York City Marathon! Running a marathon was something that seemed unattainable even 8 months ago, but once I got the opportunity to run the NYCM, I couldn’t resist taking my running to the next level. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis just over a year ago, so I decided to run as part of the National MS Society’s Race to Stop MS team. I worked with Laura to train for the race and didn’t doubt for a second that that I was going to succeed! Running the NYCM will always be a highlight of my life. I loved running, but I especially loved knowing that I was representing those who were unable to run, or live a high quality of life because of their MS diagnosis.

(Most of you know that my dad also has MS and I was so inspired by Kristen’s training and determination. She rocked that race!!)

Runner Kristen

How awesome are they?!
After reading their stories again, I confess I was looking up flights to Houston this week.  These pictures make me want to go run a marathon before April! But I think I can be content to focus on the half in January, instead.
(By the way, I’m not taking any additional running clients at this time but if you’re looking for a coach I know several fantastic ones that I’m happy to recommend!)
Who inspires you?
What are you most proud of in 2014?

December 17th, 2014

6 Fast Healthy Dinners for Busy Nights

This is the time of year when my meal planning falls apart.  I have the best intentions but when dinner-making time rolls around, I want something that takes 5 minutes.  There is just so much else to do (and as much as I enjoy cooking, I prefer holiday gift shopping, wrapping and gingerbread-people-making.)

I need a go-to list of some healthy, fast options when I’m in a rush.  These are a few of my favorites:

Frittata

Veggie Frittata Recipe

 

The name sounds fancy but don’t let that intimate you.  If you have a pan that can go on the stove top and in the oven (cast iron is ideal) this comes together in no time.  If you don’t, you can let the whole thing set with a lid over low heat on the stove.

Start by scrambling any veggies you have on hand (shortcut: use frozen onions/peppers or broccoli and spinach).  Add 6-8 eggs, whisked and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.  Let the bottom set on the stove top and then broil it for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.  Delish! (Full recipe here.)

Easy Coconut Curry

Have you ever tried the recipe off the curry paste jar? Do it.  This meal also comes together in 10 minutes and the sauce combo of coconut milk, curry paste and a dash of fish sauce is amazingly delicious.

 

You can use strips of frozen chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu and throw in any fresh or frozen veggies.  The combinations are endless.

Or add roasted squash, like in this curry:

Pesto

We like to make big batches of pesto in the summertime and freeze it in ice cube trays, then store in freezer bags.  Trader Joes also has jars of pesto you can keep in your cupboard for a last minute meal.

We like to throw it over pasta (or black bean pasta or spaghetti squash) with shredded or sauteed veggies and parmesan cheese.  Fast and good.

Or try this Spinach Avocado Pesto:

Stir Fry

There are endless recipes for stir frys but it can be so simple.  Our go-to 5 minute stir fry is to melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil, saute the meat or tofu and veggies, then add a few tablespoons of soy sauce and serve over anything… rice, baked potatoes (shortcut- use the microwave!), quinoa, etc.

For more spice, add fresh ginger and fresh garlic for the last few minutes and sprinkle with crushed red pepper or hot sauce.

Bean or Fish Tacos

We don’t use a lot of canned food but refried beans are handy for a last minute meal.  I try to keep tortillas in the freezer (homemade or not) for a throw together taco dish.  Warm the beans and tortillas and set out salsa, shredded cheese, greens, olives, yogurt or sour cream, scallions or whatever you have on hand.

Not a bean fan? Keep frozen white fish on hand for easy tacos instead.  Saute them in a bit of olive oil and squeeze half a fresh lime, salt, pepper and a dash of chili powder over them.

Or use pesto in place of the cilantro sauce in this easy recipe:

Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos

Salmon, Sweet Potato and Asparagus

Salmon and asparagus store well in the freezer and sweet potatoes keep for weeks.  This can be an easy last minute meal.  Salmon can even be baked frozen if you forget to thaw it in the morning.  And I love Trader Joes frozen asparagus.  We saute it in a little olive oil and it holds the texture much better that I would have expected.  Sweet potatoes can be cooked in the over for an hour, or 5 minutes in the microwave.

Of course, you can keep it really simple with scrambled eggs or canned soup for dinner.  Or teach your kids to cook.  I’m looking forward to that day!

What are your go to easy, healthy meals?

Does cooking get less priority during the holiday prep time in your house?

 

December 15th, 2014

3 Tips to Find Balance through the Holidays

How are we halfway through December already? The holidays are right around the corner! It’s one of my favorite times of year, but it’s always filled with an overload of parties and treats.

Here are a few simple tips for more balance through the season:

Remember that diets fail

Restricting food or telling yourself [...]

December 14th, 2014

4 month sleep regression, workouts + meal planning

I’m feeling a little tired this week. Soon after posting baby J’s 4 month update, we backtracked. Instead of getting up once to eat around 3 or 4am, nights became unpredictable. A few nights she was up twice to eat, then one night she slept through until 8am, then she had 3 nights in a [...]

December 12th, 2014

Houston Decision (+ winners)

Hey friends,

After going back and forth all week about what to do about Houston, I think I made a decision.

If someone would pay for my flight, watch the baby while I run, and drive me around all weekend, I’d do it! But there are so many details to figure out with a marathon [...]

December 10th, 2014

Year of Running 2014

Every year, Miss Zippy hosts this great year in review link up, so I’m joining her again.

When 2014 started, I was already 2 months pregnant so this year held fewer races (and slower paces) than normal but was obviously special in its own way.

Best race experience? Running the half marathon at 24 weeks [...]

December 8th, 2014

Two Group Challenges for 2015: Eat Cleaner and Run Faster!

There’s something about the start of a new year. A clean slate. I get excited about it every year.

What kinds of intentions do you set for the new year? I always have a few health related and running related. If you’re looking for group accountability, here are two opportunities to join me….

January Reset [...]

December 7th, 2014

Workout Recap + Meal Planning

Hey everyone,

How’s your weekend going? Yesterday we had my 4 yo’s ballet recital and went out to dinner to celebrate. Baby J was a trooper through it all and I think big sister appreciated all the fuss over her!

I got in my longest post baby run so far with 17 miles yesterday and [...]

December 5th, 2014

What are your favorite running accessories? (Plus a giveaway)

It’s the season for giving (and giveaways.)

What are your favorite running accessories? I love that running can be really simple. Good shoes and comfortable running gear is all you really need. But there are a number of “extras” that can be really helpful. Here are some of my favorites:

1) Foam Roller

I’m [...]

December 3rd, 2014

4 month old baby and mama updates

Last week, baby J hit four months. How?!

We’re in a really good groove these days. Her days and nights are fairly predictable and it feels like she’s always been part of the family.

Eat/Sleep: At her four month check up a week or two ago she was up to 14 pounds, 5 ounces! [...]

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