Sunday, November 25, 2012

hbbc week 1

The carnage.  We had two 24 pound turkeys.
It's been a busy week here in Lake Wobegone.  Thanksgiving - my absolute FAVORITE holiday - means lots of family time, lots of great food and a fair amount of work for the husband and me.  We hosted dinner for 25 - our kids, my parents, my three siblings and their spouses and families, the husband's parents, the husband's brother and sister-in-law, and my SIL's sister - and it was a fantastic time!  The meal is a family affair with everyone contributing, so we don't have to make it all ourselves.

The food.  


It's amazing!!
Saving room for pie.
Two turkeys, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rutabagas, green bean casserole,'s a protein and starchy carb cornucopia. So yummy!!  But maaayyyybeee not the healthiest.  All the recipes contain copious amounts of butter, cream and salt, along with a healthy dash of family tradition.  You don't mess with family tradition, and frankly, the food is so good, no one wants to mess with those recipes.  My SIL and I decided we needed more veggies on the menu than usual so we added brussels sprouts and roasted carrots. Both were a hit. I think they might become permanent additions.

Did I mention the pies?  

We had eleven homemade pies. 

Yes, you read that right.  ELEVEN pies.  

French silk, pumpkin, pumpkin chiffon, apple, dutch apple, pecan and mincemeat. Served with fresh whipped cream.  Good lord, I think I gained weight just typing this.  

Thank heavens it was also week 1 of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.  

Trying so hard to get my 7 servings of veggies in!
You know it's been a tough few months for me with getting my workouts in.  I signed up for the HBBC to help me with accountability and motivation.  Week 1 was pretty good!

Monday: walked 2.71 miles, hit the elliptical for 3.99 miles, did 20 minutes of gut-busting core work.
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: Ran 2 miles, walked Jane 2.7 miles
Thursday: Ran 3.5 miles with Jane before the feast
Friday: Ran 3.5 miles with my SIL 
Saturday: Walked 2 miles
Sunday: Walked 2 miles, did 20 minutes of core work.
Totals: 40 minutes core work, 4 miles on the elliptical (yeah, I rounded up), 9 miles run, 9.5 miles walked. 

The day after Thanksgiving and ready for a cold, snowy run
 with my SIL from Indiana. Those cool red shoes would be my
size 11 trail shoes.  My SIL is the one with the dainty girl feet.
Black Friday, post-run.  Thanksgiving morning was 60 degrees and sunny.
The snow was a cruel and unexpected surprise, but we didn't let it stop us!
One of the challenges in the HBBC that I'm most excited about is to eat 7 servings of fruits and veggies every day.  I suck at that and have been known to resort to V8 juice in an effort to get more veggies in.  I have yet to hit the 7 servings goal, although I did come close on Thanksgiving. Oh well, something to shoot for, right?

Updated to show my week by the numbers:
Runs: 3
Walks: 3
Miles: 18.58 points
Strength/Core Workouts: 2 points
Elliptical: 3 points
Fruits/Veggie Servings: 0
Bonus points: 16

Total HBBC Points: 39.58

Monday, November 19, 2012

world's greatest cranberry recipe

I can't wait to eat these again!
Ok, I posted this recipe last year, and have gotten some requests to post it again.  These cranberries are AMAZING. I'm drooling just thinking about them. I found the recipe in the newspaper a few years ago.  Maybe I should make them more than once a year.  And it's a fat-free food!  

So here ya go!

Cranberry Apricot Relish
1 (12 oz.) package fresh or frozen cranberries, about 3 cups
¾ cup water
¾ cup sugar (or to taste) or mild clover honey (I recommend honey)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried apricots, quartered or coarsely chopped
¼ cup dark Bacardi rum
Pick over the cranberries, discarding shriveled berries and stems. Rinse well and drain. Combine the water, sugar, ginger and cinnamon or allspice in a medium-size saucepan. Place the pan on the heat and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, or just until the syrup thickens and the ginger is tender. Stir in the cranberries and the apricots and cook, stirring, until the berries begin to pop. Immediately reduce heat to low, add the rum, and simmer the sauce about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until most of the berries have popped but the fruit is still firm and has texture. Don't cook the sauce into a mush.
Remove the sauce from the heat and cool to room temperature. Keeps at least two weeks in airtight containers, preferably glass jars.
Serve at room temperature.

According to the paper, here's the goodness breakdown per ¼ cup serving:
Calories: 104
Fat: 0 g
Saturated fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 3mg
Calcium: 12 mg
Dietary fiber: 2g
Carbohydrates: wait for it..... wait for it..... 24 g (no wonder I love this stuff!)


hbbc 2012

This has absolutely nothing to do with
the challenge but...... well, duh.  Right?
It's that time of year again.  Ol' Fatty McButterpants LOVES to show up on my doorstep (and my gut, butt and thighs) during the holidays, and then stay well into the New Year. (Mostly because I have zero impulse control with the spectacular food choices that will be crossing my path the next six weeks of holiday fun, festivities and family gatherings.) Unfortunately for my gut, butt and thighs, I have an extended family of foodies, and while the food we make is amazing (pronounced "Ahh-MAAAY-Zing!! in a high-pitched, sing-songy voice) and delicious, it's also more often than not high fat and high calorie. And I'll be honest, I deny myself nothing during those spectacular meals.

So, I'm going to do the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge again this year.  It's hosted by Amanda at Run to the Finish and is a great motivator to stay active and keep your butt from expanding too much during the season of eating.  And you can win prizes!  I did it last year and had fun with the challenges but sucked at keeping up to date with blogging about my activities. I'm shooting for a better personal performance this year.

Did I mention the prizes?  There are prizes to be won, people!! So sign up and tell 'em Bitter Hag sent you.  It's going to be fun!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

diva dash 10k

My official time was 1:03:41.
And I'm pretty sure I ran the entire 6.2 miles
but GarminElectra disagrees.
I haven't run in three weeks.  Three weeks!  I've walked a fair amount but walkin' ain't runnin' now, is it?  So here's where my head was at..... I went to packet pickup yesterday and almost switched to the 5k. But I ultimately decided if I'm going to drive 20 miles, I may as well run the 10k, however slow it may be. Then this morning, the friend that I was going to run with had to cancel due to illness.  And it was thunderstorming out. And kind of windy.

So I considered skipping the race.

Seriously. Unless I'm really and truly sick or injured, WHY do I ever even entertain the thought of skipping a race?  I have NEVER regretted getting out there and running, regardless of how slow I end up going.  It's never a wasted effort!  Even if it does end up being a tough run, there's always more good than bad going on.  So I just need to quit that behavior.

Looks like he's a master at
getting rid of crabby pants.
So....back to the race.  Due to my pre-race waffling, I left the house late (another pattern I need to break!) and was worried I might miss the start.  It was raining and I was crabby.  I was all, "I'm going to have to park a million miles away and walk in the rain, it's late and I still need to go to the bathroom, WHY am I doing this????"  So I thought maybe some tunes might help.  I hooked my iPhone up in the car and God bless Ricky Martin, he was instantly there for me with "La Copa de la Vida"  ("Do you really want it? Do you really want it? Here we go, Ale ale ale!!  Go, go, go! Ale ale ale!").  The version I have is awesome, it's like being in the middle of carnival....

I heart Ricky and his simple, vapid, yet immensely appealing songs! You just know the guy has to have a good sense of humor.  Plus, he seems like a genuinely nice person.  And....he's kinda pretty to look at.

Ricky snapped me right out of my crabby pants mood.

And really, after Ricky intervened, everything seemed to turn around.  I got to the school where the race was being held and noticed that for some inexplicable reason, until now, NO ONE had parked on the road in front of the school.  So I (along with several other late comers) got to park right out front.  Score!

Then I'm heading for the porta-potties and I see the incredibly long lines....will I be able to get through the line and get to the start on time???  But then I see some porta-potties in the back of the school, and there are NO lines.  Can you hear the angels singing? Score again!!

My business complete, I headed for the start line, crammed in with about 600 other 10k runners and we were off.  I have to kind of laugh about this course.  I actually love it - it's very pretty but probably not the best race to try for a PR.  About 1000 feet from the start we had to squeeze through a very narrow opening in a fence - the whole crowd had to walk though it, going around was not an option.  And we were running on a narrow bike trail for a most of the race.  Tight quarters for sure and not the best for speed, but it really is beautiful.

Five minutes after the 10k runners started, the 5k runners were off.  You know what's next - the fast 5k runners were on the the slow 10k runners like a pack of dogs.  Add in the fact that this was an out and back for the 5k runners, the front runners had to pass the 10k runners again on their way back.

One of the coolest thing about this race is that "new runners" make up a huge portion of the participants. But that also means that many runners are clueless about moving to the side to get the hell out of the way of the faster runners, not running (or walking) 4 abreast on the narrow trails, etc..... It was surprising to me that people didn't move over when they saw the other runners.  I'm slow so it didn't matter much to me, but it must have been frustrating for the front runners.

My splits - I'm not ashamed of them! Was the course short,
did GarminElectra fail me again, or....
is this the correct distance??   We may never know.
Anywhoo, I was loving the run today!  It was the first run I've had in a long, long time that felt effortless!  And I was only (almost exactly!)  four minutes slower than last year!  (No protesters this time though, at least not that I saw.)

My training (if you can even call it that) for the past several months has been so sparse, I'm grateful that I was able to RUN the entire distance (with the exception of the two water stops, of course).  I could tell I was moving a little faster in the last mile and was totally digging the feeling of being able to pick the pace up a tad. I didn't push it at all, though.  It's probably bad enough that I'm off running six miles on no training, pushing it might lead to injury and I've done my time in THAT funhouse.

It was a great race to end the year on.

Now I need to set some new goals for 2013.  I already have a time goal....... I just need to decide which marathon to set my sights on next..... and maybe some other goals to push me out of my comfort zone a little more.

A sprint triathlon, maybe?  Intriguing for sure, but the swimming portion scares the hell out of me!!