Monday, March 29, 2010

Rock the Parkway 10K

Well,  it rained.  A lot.  I was really worried all week about having to run in the rain. I've never done it before. Usually at the first sign of rain during a scheduled run, I head straight for the treadmill, or just call it a sign and skip the workout all together (bad!).  It wasn't raining at all until I was standing around waiting for my race to start.  My hands started getting really cold and I could feel myself getting tight.  I bounced around and stretched as much as I could.  Luckily the race started just as I wanted to say eff it and go home.

Running in the rain isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I might even venture to say it was kind of fun! For the first mile it was only sprinkling, nothing too bad, just slightly annoying.  Mile two the downpour started. It was raining, raining.  Much to my surprise it didn't slow me down at all, I just kept going.  Once I was totally soaked through I didn't even realize it was raining anymore. Weird huh?  My shoes got a little squishy, but never felt heavy like I feared they would. So yay! Running in the rain! 

This was the first ever Rock the Parkway race and I'm giving it mixed reviews.  Leading up to race day it was great! Lots of communication (but not too much...coughhospitalhillcough), super easy packet pickup, nice people, you know, good stuff.  The day of the race there was plenty of parking, which was surprising considering how many people signed up.  There wasn't a lot going on before the race though. I think there was music? No "pep you up" announcer guy, that I could hear anyway. Actually the sound system at the start really stunk.  I had no idea what time it was, when I was supposed to line up or if they even said anything!  Nothing too bad though. It's the first year, I get the kinks.

The course itself was kind of lackluster.  We were only on "Ward Parkway" for less than half the race. The other half we were on some side street that was narrow and boring. But whatever, I wasn't really in it for the atmosphere. I'm sure the Half Marathon got all the good scenery. The course was "out and back", which I thought would annoy me, but while slightly boring, I liked knowing where I was heading back. It really helped me pace myself.

Now here's where I'm not so happy.  The timing. The website promised "chip timing".  We did not get our chip timing! The only thing that was posted was our gun time.  Gun time is the time on the official race clock from the second the start gun is fired until you cross the finish line.  Chip Timing is done with a little dohickey that you put on your shoe and times you from the second you cross the start line to the second you cross the finish line. There are always lots of people at start lines, so you really don't even cross the start line after the gun for a a little bit, even so much as a few minutes, depending how far back you are. So usually Gun Time is way off from your actual time. Luckily at this race I was toward the front of the pack for the start, but still, my time is off.  It upsets me because I'm pretty sure I finished in less than an hour, but I will never know.. Boo. I'm so mad I forgot my watch!

Anyway, Here are my stats:
Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)
Gun Time: 1 hour, 41 seconds
Overall: 484/1079
Age Group: 80/187

Not too shabby!  I really wanted to be faster, but I was purposely making myself go slower than I wanted to because I thought I'd putter out at the end, but after finishing I know I could have gone faster.  Good to know for the next race I guess.
Soaking wet, but happy to finish!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Four-Cheese Pasta Florentine with Chicken

A couple of weeks ago I got the latest Kraft Food & Family magazine in the mail. They claim it's a subscription based magazine now, but I keep getting it for free. Shhh, nobody tell!  It's one of my favorite things because the recipes are super simple and usually don't require every random ingredient known to man like a lot of other recipes tend to. The first thing in this issue that caught my eye was the Four-Cheese Pasta Florentine. Four cheeses you say? Yes please!  I knew there would be no way that Zach would eat a meat-less meal like this, so I decided to add in some chicken as well.

Four-Cheese Pasta Florentine 
Adapted from Kraft Food & Family

3 cups mostaccioli, uncooked
1 package (10oz) frozen chopped spinach
4 oz (1/2 8oz package) cream cheese, cubed
1 cup 2% low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 package (8oz) shredded mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (Stephanie addition)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (Stephanie addition)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook spinach as directed on package; drain well. Place in large bowl. Add cream cheese; stir until melted. Stir in cottage cheese. Italian seasoning and eggs until well blended.
Drain pasta. Add to spinach mixture with mozzarella and chicken; mix lightly. Spoon into medium sized casserole dish; top with Parmesan.
Bake 25 min, or until heated through.

Simple and easy! I've often found that recipes from Kraft Food & Family are a little on the bland side, so that's why I added the seasoning. I also told Zach that next time I'd add some garlic and salt and pepper. But, overall I think we have a winner!  Definitely CHEESY! Mmm...cheese.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's Race Season!

Spring is here and it's time to get running! 

I have my first race this weekend. The "Rock The Parkway" inaugural race down KC's famous Ward Parkway. It's my first "out and back" race, which means you run straight out (in this case, straight down Ward Parkway), reach the midpoint and turn around and come right back.  Sounds a little boring to me, but at least I'll know where I am, so perhaps the trip back won't feel like it takes too long. We shall see.  Unlike my first 10K last year, I actually feel really ready for this race.  I've gotten in a few long runs here lately and I'm feeling strong, so hopefully I get a good time. (and hopefully the weather is nice...)

Here are all the races I have planned so far!  I'm gonna be busy!

March 27 - Rock the Parkway 10K
April 17 - CAPA 5K - another first annual race coordinated by a friend of mine
April 25 - Trolley Run! 4 Miles. This will be my 3rd year and I hope to actually beat my time instead of tie it like I did last year.
June 5 - Hospital Hill Run. Another 3rd year race for me.  I did the 5K in '08 and the 10K last year. A tiny part of me wants to try for the Half, but a larger part of me thinks that's just silly. We'll see how many wild hairs I get when I decide to register...
October 16 - KC Marathon - I'm torn on this one.  Unless I really decide I want to do a half, I might sit this one out. I felt like a total lame-o when I did the 5K back in '08. Not many people do it and I feel like a liar every time I wear my tshirt from that day.  I wish they still had the 10K!!

Looks like I have some space to fill up in July through September. I need to start hunting for some more races. Lord knows they exist. I think I could run a race every weekend if I really wanted to, but that gets really expensive, really quick. So, we'll see.  I still have a nagging desire to try a Triathlon, but since I changed gyms last year, I no longer have a pool, so training would be tough. Plus the bike I bought is more of a recreational bike than a racing bike.  I mostly think I'm just a big chicken.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meet Redford

Back in February my parents (well mostly my Mom) decided to add on to their family. Zach and I were out and about one Saturday afternoon when we got a random Mom-Text with a picture of her new furry friend, Redford.

Redford has had quite the journey. He was found as a stray by a local shelter and covered in scratches from being out on his own. His time was about to run out at that shelter when Wayside Waifs saved him.  Now, everybody knows I have a special soft spot in my heart for Wayside Waifs, as it is where I got my Missy. A few years ago I also volunteered there and it was so rewarding. I need to get back on that.  Anyway, Wayside saved him, cleaned him up and got him ready to adopt. He was at Wayside a couple months when my mom saw his furry mug on the internet. She talked my dad into "Just Going To Look", which in my family translates into "Go Get A Dog".   He was missing a few patches of hair due to being shaved for the scratches to heal and had some stitches on his chest, but was in otherwise good condition for his age (6 years).

He's turned out to be the worlds most perfect dog.  He's barked probably a total of 7 times since he's been home. Never once had an accident in the house, doesn't jump or beg, does what he's told and is just generally the worlds most happy and content dog.  I cannot imagine how someone could just let him go.  He's pefectly willing to spend most his day just lounging around on his pillow and will occasionally bring you a toy to toss.  Such a good boy.  He's even helped Ted out with some training issues.  He is very patient when it comes to training Ted, as is my dad. We are very grateful.

So, say hello to Redford!  Zach and I call him "Big Red" for obvious reasons. Go Huskers!

If you are thinking about adding to your family, please consider rescuing. Trust me, it is so worth it. There is no greater gift you can give a dog. They will pay you back a million fold in slobbery kisses, cuddles and loyalty.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick's Day has never really been my thing. I don't really think of myself as being Irish, even though apparently I am a little tiny bit.  One year my friends and I were in Vegas for our first Spring Break and it happened to be over St. Patrick's Day, so that's really the only one I can remember where I had a wee bit too much fun.  Otherwise, St. Pat's usually comes and goes without much notice from me.

I wanted to try to do SOMETHING Irish-ish this year though. I browsed around on the internet and quite honestly most all Irish food looked absolutely disgusting. Basically the only thing that popped out at me was this Irish Soda Bread.  I like bread, so I thought I'd go for it.

Irish Soda Bread
from "Simply"
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp Sugar (I used 3)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry cutter, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour and gently knead dough into a rough ball. (it will be kind of like biscuit dough)
Trasfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iorn skillet or baking sheet (I used a round 9"cake pan). using a serrated knife, score the top of the dough with a deep "X" shape.
I also sprinkled some sugar over the top, because, I love sugar.
Cook about 35-45 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
Remove from oven and let bread sit in pan for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Lots of people say that Irish Soda Bread is best warm, right out of the oven, and they are correct.  It's a VERY simple tasting bread. Kind of like a biscuit with raisins. Not too sweet, but not too bland. It was perfect for me.  It was really, really good right away, but after sitting for a day it got hard and dry. So if you make this, plan on eating it all right away.  It makes a lot, so have company over :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ted is 1 Year Old!

Good lord! Ted is one year old!  He's turning into quite the dignified dude (nevermind all the things destroyed in our home...) and we just love him to bits and bits.  Here's a look at his first year. I had trouble narrowing down the pictures, so this might be total Ted overkill. Trust me his cuteness will make up for the longness...

Happy Birthday Tedders!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


(Seriously, the formatting of this post is horrible.  I need a blogger tutorial or something. Yikes.) 

Can I just say how excited I am that Nautical is in for this spring?! I love it! I actually didn't realize just how much I loved it until I got home from shopping on Sunday. I was hanging up all the clothes I've purchased (shhhhh, nobody tell Zach!) in the past two weeks and was pleasantly surprised how a lot of them work together so well! Here are my favorites from the past two weeks. Love!!!  Bring on the spring!

Striped Nautical Top from Forever 21


"Pirate Pants" from The Limited

Nautical Inspired Necklace from New York & Company

Striped Ruffle Top from The Limited

White Jacket with Grommet Details from TJ Maxx

(I just got a new computer and this is the first time I've really been able to try out the new formatting stuff blogger has. I'm hating it right now, but I don't have time to argue with it, so it's just going to have to be messed up. ARGH!  Next time will hopefully look better.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Miss Moo is Two!

(Yes, until I have real life children, I will continue to treat my dogs as such.)

My Missy girl is two today! I can't believe it!  I can't remember life without her, but it feels like the last couple years have gone so fast!  She's much calmer now than she was a year ago (thank goodness!) and she's the most lovey dovey dog I've ever come across. She's constantly at my side and her favorite thing to do right now is curl up on the couch next to me with her head in my lap.  I love that dog so dang much.  

 What a pair!

1 Year Old

Happy Birthday Missy Girl!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My "Lazy" Workout

I wasn't really in the mood to go to the gym today. I was totally going to just lay around and watch tv and be a total bum.  I had an irritating day, so I thought I deserved it.  Until on a whim, I stepped on the scale.


Anyway, I didn't feel like getting everything ready to put the dogs on lockdown to leave the house, so I resorted to a few fitness videos I recently bookmarked.

The first one was Jamie Eason's Plyometrics workout. I don't know who Jamie Eason is, but I found her video through facebook. A friend was a fan or something, I don't know.  Anyway, she uses a deck of cards to count how many of each exercise she did, but that seemed like a waste of time so I just did 20 reps of each exercise and repeated the sequence FOUR TIMES.

Here's the program:
  • Squat Jumps
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Alternate Jump Lunges (no cheating, gotta do both legs to count as 1, same with all the exercises that alternate legs)
  • High Knees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Butt Kicks
  • Pushups
  • Jumping Jacks (again)
  • Cruches or Bicycles
It might look easy, but I was sweating like a crazy person. It was HARD. Ted kept barking at me because he probably thought I was dying.  I made it though. I have a feeling my legs are going to hate me in the morning.

NEXT I decided to get ambitious and try Gwyenth Paltrow's arm routine. I found this on my most favorite gossip website. Bricks and Stones! Great time waster if you are ever in need of a mind break.  Anywhoo. Apparently this is the "Tracy Anderson Method" Again, I do not know who Tracy Anderson is, but I have a feeling I'll be looking into it because this was great!  It was fun and I think once you get the hang of it, you can even get a little funky with it!

So there you have it! My in-a-pinch workout! The best part was that there was no equipment needed, so it was super easy! I feel like I got a pretty decent workout in, which is good because I really need to get back with the program. It's GO TIME.

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States