happy halloween!

This was the first year in many that I have dressed up – and at least it was for a good reason ;).  I am still sore from my run on Saturday – I managed a 3 1/2 mile run per my training plan, and I am so glad it was not any more than that!  I took them nice and slow and hoped for my legs to loosen up a bit, and I think it might have worked a bit?  We’ll see how the day progresses!

Crosby dresses up for Halloween each and every year, he just loves it, can’t you tell?

This year he chose to be a cow.  Actually I am pretty sure he was not really fond of us for making him dress up and wear a hat (how can you be a cow without horns?!).  This cute ensemble came from Target.

So adorable.

Yesterday, we baked up a Rustic Kitchen gluten free pizza crust in the shape of a pumpkin.  We picked up the dough at Willy Street Coop in Madison on Saturday and were very happy with the results!  It was delicious, thick crust and was not crumbly at all.  It was a little difficult to roll out – I don’t think I used enough water on my hands to avoid sticking, but it still turned out surprisingly pumpkin-shaped.  Talk about talent!

Topped with marinara on half and oil on the other, Smart Chicken sweet Italian chicken and daiya mozzarella shreds.  Can’t get much better than that, my friends!

Can’t believe another month has flown by, Happy Halloween!

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race recap: haunted hustle 10k

Have you ever heard of negative splits?  Well, during this race I managed to have positive splits.  Positive meaning not ideal.  I definitely learned a thing or two this race that will hopefully help me in my future races :).

First thing’s first.  My time – better than the Bellin 10k, but I am disappointed that I didn’t do better because I know that I could have done better.  Oh well, time to move on.  I finished in 1:02:58, averaging 10:13 per mile.  Bellin was 1:04:03, averaging 10:19 per mile.  Not much of a difference, but one thing that was a whole lot different was my splits.

Bellin 10k

Haunted Hustle 10k

I did so much better for the first 4 miles and then just absolutely crashed.  I know it was a fueling issue.  As in, I didn’t.  Not a good idea.  The main reason I didn’t fuel is because I haven’t had time to train while fueling.  Since my month hiatus from running due to the tendonitis in my foot, and beginning training for my half marathon last week, I haven’t gotten up to a distance that I have had to fuel for in quite some time.  I know you shouldn’t need to fuel for a 6 mile distance, but I know it would have helped my performance.

Anyways, back to the beginning since that is a better place to start!  My costume turned out so cute – I loved it.  And mine and Sister’s coordinated so well!

Obviously, I’m the good witch :).  We stayed in a hotel that was less than half a mile from the start/finish line so it turned out perfectly.  We didn’t have to drive, and I was close enough to go back for my post-run food between the time I got back from the 10k and Kinley got back from her half marathon.  The race was in Middleton, WI and this adorable pumpkin tree was in the middle of the strip mall that was on the way from our hotel and the starting line.  Someone loved our costumes and offered to take our photograph together – so nice!

Kinley insisted that we got to the start line by 7:15, even though her race didn’t start until 8 and mine didn’t start until 8:30.  Definitely going to hang out in the hotel longer (and eat later) next year if we do it again to help with the previously mentioned fueling issue (I ate two rice cakes with PB2 and jelly around 6 or 6:30 I want to say?).  Anyways, we at least got cute pictures before even though I was absolutely freezing and shivering for over an hour.  I was so glad I picked up the pink gloves from Target the night before!

We watched the marathoners take off at 7:30, and then tried to stay warm by a heater until Kinley headed off.  She left with the half marathoners at 8 and then I proceeded to go use the port-o-potty and stand by a heater until 8:20 when I lined up with the other 10kers.  Costumes progressively got more elaborate with the decrease in distance so almost everyone was pretty dressed up for the 10k.  I definitely do not blame the marathoners for not wanting to worry about a costume while running oh-so-many miles!  I can’t believe the Wicked Witch was able to keep her witch hat on for (almost) the whole time.

At 8:28 or so (not to be exact), the National Anthem was sung and then the fire truck siren went off to signal the start of the race!  This is when I did not take my time getting started and basically bolted out of the start.  Not good pacing, but was successful in finally feeling warm for the first time since 7am!  The race never felt easy, but that is what I was expecting since I wanted to do good and was not going to look at my iPod to see my pace.  After this race, I definitely want to look into purchasing a Garmin to help with my pacing and be able to accurately gauge how I’m doing and to avoid going too fast at the start.  At the halfway point I was definitely feeling it and was ready for it to be over.  Somehow I managed to make it to 5 miles and that’s where it got really tough.  The last mile was a loop, so I was seeing those nearing the finish when I still had a mile to go.  It was so taunting!

I also got a complete sense of accomplishment when I saw a the timer only say 55 or so minutes and I thought I somehow managed to run ridiculously fast.  I have no idea what was with the timer but it was a complete letdown!  I was like dying at the finish and was spacing out when the person with the medal was asking what race i was in haha.  I was sooo thirsty, I grabbed a cup of water, downed it, and then filled it up with the most delicious grapes I have had in so long!  I also grabbed an orange wedge and went to find a bottle of water.  I sat down for a few minutes after walking for a bit and tried to stretch, but there wasn’t really a good place to do so.  I ate my orange and most of the grapes and then walked back to the hotel to get our protein bars, more water, the camera, and then go back and hopefully see Kinley finish.

Well, I missed the finish since she PR’d, that ridiculous witch.  And then we walked over to get finisher pictures!

We also had a mini-photo shoot by some benches on the way back to the hotel.  When we got to the hotel, we ate some hard boiled eggs that we grabbed from the breakfast spread and my Luna Protein bar (new favorite!).  Also chugged a few Camelbaks!

The race was fun, but definitely not what I was expecting.  I wished I felt better about my race but just can’t get over the letdown and my lack of preparation, that was both in and out of my control.  For my next race, I absolutely need to not rush out of the starting line.  It was part being absolutely freezing (as I had been waiting for almost an hour and a half in only a t-shirt, and part adrenaline.  I also wanted to run my fastest and wished I could have maintained my sub-10 minute miles.  I also need to be sure to not eat so far in advance.  This was definitely part of the fueling during the race problem since I may have not needed to worry about that if I still had a little something in my system.

Lots of lessons learned, but a new tutu and race medal to show for it!  Less than two weeks until my next 10k in Hawaii, but that will be in a completely new climate so need to work on having ZERO expectations.  We also signed up for a Turkey Trot in Fond du Lac, WI the day of Thanksgiving.  A nice + easy 5 miler… right??

pre-gaming: haunted hustle

There’s quite a bit of preparation involved with races.  Especially when they’re out of town, which happen to be my favorite races to be in since you get to travel and see a different place while you’re running!  I don’t remember exactly when Sister and I decided to participate in the Summit Credit Union Haunted Hustle Ghost Tour, but I know I’ve been excited ever since.  I mean a race where you get to dress up?  Who wouldn’t be excited to run that?  Plus, it’s great a great way to help prepare for my half marathon.

We made the trek to Middleton, WI late yesterday afternoon once I got home from work.  Food is always a top priority for us, especially when we need the fuel!  We didn’t go quite as crazy as we did for the Bellin, but we still brought plenty to satisfy our needs the night before, morning of, and after the race.

But onto the important part – our costumes!  Sister knew right away what she wanted to be – Elphaba from Wicked, of course.  Suits her perfectly ;).  It took me longer to decide because I really wanted to wear a tutu, but couldn’t find a pattern to make one that I liked.  Plus, I pretty  much lack all sewing skills.  I know there are simple no-sew options out there, but I just didn’t think it would be comfy enough to run in without an elastic band around the waist.

The always-wonderful Target, however, made my idea come to life!  Who knew they had elastic-banded tutus in the little girls section that would actually fit me and work perfectly with my plan!  Pretty sure the cashier at Target thought I was nuts for checking out a sparkly pink tutu and wand, but Glinda is all about pink and sparkles.

Elphaba + Glinda = the perfect Halloween costume combo.

And of course no good costume is complete without a t-shirt!  Making puffy-painted t-shirts is one of my specialties, and of course I was up to the challenge.  I’ll post the actual race info and pictures of us in our costumes tomorrow, but here’s a sneak peak!

Time to go change and get ready to go – it’s racing time!

turtle cookies

I confess, I have absolutely no idea what to call these cookies besides delicious.  At first I was going for caramel-chocolate chip, but that’s a bit wordy and does not do justice to how incredible these are.  Then I thought monster cookies, since that’s somewhat where the inspiration came from but they did not have any other ingredients in them to make them actual monster cookies (m&ms, whole oats, raisins, etc.).  And then I thought, well I think it came from either my mom or sister when they were eating them that they were almost turtle flavored.  caramel, chocolate + nuts.  Although no nuts.  But close enough for me and maybe next time they will have nuts.

So if you can think of a better name for these delightful cookies, please share.

 

Turtle Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1/4 c grapeseed oil (or any other light oil)
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4c oat flour (oats ground into flour is what I used)
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits
1. In a small bowl, combine the oats, sorghum flour and baking soda.  Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat up the butter or margarine until it is nice and fluffy.
3. Mix in the oil to the butter or margarine until it is somewhat mixed well, and then add in the sugar and continue mixing.
4. Once the sugar and butter/oil mixture are combined, add in the salt and eggs.
5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until fully mixed together.  If this ends up being too sticky, you can add some more oat or sorghum flour.
6. Once the batter is a good consistency, add the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
7. Try not to eat the entire batter as-is… and then take small scoopfuls of what is left and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
8. Bake in a 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through if necessary.
I used the smallest scoop I had and these cookies were still a very good size, and it made 4 dozen cookies.  If you add in extra cookies for the amount of dough that was consumed.
Holy yum.
The caramel bits were such a random splurge at the store…
But definitely, 100% worth it.
They could also be called “I took way too many photos of these cookies” cookies, but that’s an even greater mouthful than caramel-chocolate chip…
Mouthful being the key word.

beer + cornbread

I have never been a huge fan of beer.  There has never been a real reason for it except I thought it tasted bitter and they all tasted the same – including the pumpkin varieties.  Oh, my parents are shuddering from the thought… ;).  Don’t get me wrong, I used to drink it pre-GF days, but I would ALWAYS feel hungover the next morning, no matter if I had one bottle or multiple.  Looking back, I think it was something to do with the gluten.

Beer was my last thought when I gave up gluten, but for some reason (of course), I started craving beer when I was never even a fan.  Living in Milwaukee, there is never a dry day here, even for the gluten-less folks.  Lakefront Brewery had a gluten free beer named New Grist, and it is officially my favorite beer of all time.  I had my first one at a burger place and then proceeded to buy a six pack the next weekend, and was gifted even more for my birthday :).  Since it was the first time in quite awhile that there was an excess of beer in the household, making a recipe utilizing it was a no-brainer.

I knew exactly what the beer should be used for, and it was quite a sad day when I went to search for Edible Perspective’s beer-bread cornbread and her site was down for the weekend.  This recipe may not be as good as hers (and I will try it sometime soon to compare!), but it is delicious nonetheless.

Beer-Cornbread

  • 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1/2c masa harina
  • 1/2t salt
  • 4t baking powder
  • 1/2c milk (unsweetened not-vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2c beer (I used New Grist, naturally!)
  • 2 egg whites or 1 large egg
  • 2T honey
  • 1/2c frozen corn
1. In a small bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, beer and honey.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.
4. Stir in the frozen corn.
5. Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour the cornbread in, spreading to smooth out.
6. Bake in a 350′ oven for 22-24 minutes.

*The next time this is made, I will probably use a 9″ square pan to try and make a thicker loaf, increase the cooking time if you do!

Beer and cornbread cannot be a bad thing.  This made for a delicious side dish and will be made many more times.  Might even make it into a cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving?

monday in a flash

1. Week #2 half marathon training – 3 miles, 33 minutes.  Legs were TIGHT from this weekend.

2. Almost caught up with Glee episodes… only about 15 minutes left of the last one!

3. Even when I leave for work at 8:20 it is possible to still arrive at 8:30.  I love living 5 miles from work.

4. Hour and a half long meetings make the morning fly by.

5. Leaving work to go get gas is an acceptable way to spend your lunch break.

6. It’s satisfying talking to a really annoyed person who can’t find something while searching your website, only to find out they are spelling the word wrong and that’s why they’re having issues.

7. Gluten free pretzels & rice chex make a delicious afternoon pre-Insanity snack.

8. Shawn T makes my heart swoon.

9. No workout DVD has ever made me sweat so much or jump so high.

10. Chickpea tacos in blue corn tortilla shells are a fantastic post-workout dinner.  Especially followed by not-so-healthy pistachio fluff.  You mean if it’s green it doesn’t automatically make it healthy?

11. Finding a pink tutu at Target is one of the highlights of my weekend.

12. Pink tutus and beer cornbread… and turtle cookies… recipes to come soon :).

Now off to create my shirt for the Haunted Hustle on Saturday and watch Castle!

pumpkin flapjacks

I cannot get enough pumpkin.  Period.  With the amount of squash and pumpkin I have consumed over the past couple of weeks I am quite surprised I have not turned orange yet.  Although that might give me a nice glow for my upcoming vacation to Hawaii?  Or not so much… but even with the possibility of having an orange hue, I am not giving up pumpkin – ever.

Many recipes of pumpkin pancakes are floating around the web.  Even some gluten free friendly recipes, but most of the gluten free ones call for rice flour, potato starch, etc.  Not exactly the healthiest gluten free flours in existence, but I am sure they yield a perfectly delicious pancake.  So, instead of relying on white flours to create pumpkin pancakes, we used the overly healthy buckwheat flour to add in much-needed protein and fiber.  Thus, pumpkin flapjacks were born!

Pumpkin Flapjacks

makes 8-10 pancakes

  • 3/4c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2c canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/2T honey
  • 1/2c buckwheat flour
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t allspice
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/4t ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, pumpkin, egg white, lemon juice and honey.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until everything is incorporated.
4. Preheat a griddle to medium-high heat.
5. Either spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray or spread some butter on the top (our preferred method since the brown butter gives the pancakes such good flavor!).
6. Spoon out an equal amount of pancake mix onto the hot griddle, repeating with the remaining mix until done.
7. To keep the cooked pancakes warm, place on a sheet pan and put in a preheated 250′ oven until ready to eat.

Have a gorgeous Fall Sunday, everyone!

my ‘first’ long run of 1/2 marathon training

Today was officially my first ‘long’ run of marathon training.  Technically not very long, as it was 4 miles, but it’s the starting point.  It is crazy to believe that in 11 weeks I will be done with my first 1/2 marathon… well, if all goes as planned that is ;).  I didn’t have high hopes for this run as I have been out of commission for about a month, so I was pleasantly surprised when I ran it in an amazing time (for me).  Here are my splits:

I typically run in the mid-10’s, but something must have gotten in me to make my legs pick up the pace to finish in under 40 minutes.  I definitely know not to expect this very often as I wouldn’t have been able to make it at this pace for a longer period of time, but it still feels like a good accomplishment!  I even ran so fast my headband flew off around mile 1 1/2 and didn’t notice it until I was done with my run – whoops!  I was definitely breathing and working hard, but since I have done four days of Insanity – it seems a lot easier, shall I say to push myself further.  Especially when no matter how much I push myself in running I don’t think I could ever sweat as much and get my heartbeat as high as those workouts do.  Thank you, sister, for making that spontaneous purchase.

Since my foot has been feeling almost back to normal (I think there is some residual muscle loss in my left leg from favoring it for so long), I decided to run out 4 miles, and then walk the 4 miles back.  I love starting off the weekend with a great workout!  Especially when there are cookies in store for later… ;).

When I got home the plan was to have oatmeal, but since I got back close to 11am, I definitely was not in the mood for breakfast.  So, I decided to use up a rice protein powder I have had in the cupboard instead and then shower and just eat lunch.  This was the second time I had this protein powder and I made it in the same way as last time, but fortunately for you I measured and photographed to share this post-run recovery drink.  I think this might become a staple for after my runs!

Iced Mocha Protein Recovery Drink

1. Blend all of the above ingredients in a blender.  The ice helps make it nice and cool.
2. Serve over ice with a straw, if desired.
Pretty good stats on this as well with only 100 calories and 12.5g of protein.

thoughts for fall

As I was leaving work today I had the strangest feeling.  It was cold, rainy, and darker than I like to see the sky at 4:30pm, and I was envisioning being at home, wearing my flannel pajamas, a sweatshirt, and my new favorite slippers.  That’s not the weird part since I am currently sitting at home in those three items, however I got the feeling that I really did not want to do homework tonight.  Wait, what?!  I don’t have to do homework anymore.

Just one year ago I was in the midst of my busiest semester.  20 credits of both bachelor and master level classes.  Needless to day, my nights were devoted to night class or doing homework for all of my classes… each and every night.  My days were split between 20 hours of work per week, 8 hours of driving to and from work, as well as my regular class load.  Doing homework was a normalcy for me.  Not just in college but all through high school I would get assigned homework that would be due the next day.

It still catches me off guard every once in awhile when I think that I do not have any homework I have to do at night.  Could I do work if I wanted to?  Well, of course.  I could bring work home from work but I like to keep work at work.  It’s just strange that so many of my nights have been devoted to something that (if I play my cards right) I will never have to do again.

Did I mention that one of the 20 credits I took last year was a Hiking class?  I came across the pictures today and it brought my thoughts back to school again!  It is so incredibly nice to come home and just be done.  No homework.  No classes.  No tests.  And hey, if I want to take a vacation I get to.  And get paid for it.  Although that also made me realize that in one month I will be on my way home from Hawaii – time is already going too fast!!!