Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Trash Snack Mix

Every Christmas I like to send a holiday treat to family and friends. Once I had this mix, I knew it was a winner. It is easy to make and stays fresh for over a week if kept in an airtight container. It travels well in the mail too. White Trash Snack Mix is covered in white chocolate, hence the name.

If you need a last minute gift for someone, or an extra treat for your party you can whip this up quickly.

White Trash Snack Mix
1 1/2 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
1 1/2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups pretzel sticks or mini pretzels
1 1/2 cups M & Ms 

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl. 
In a separate bowl, melt 1 bag (12 oz) of white chocolate chips in microwave for 45-60 seconds,  stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Pour chocolate over cereal mixture. Gently stir to coat.
Spread cereal onto tray lined with wax paper to cool and harden, about 30 minutes.
Store in air tight container.  

Makes 9 cups 

Happy cooking and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marathon Training Week 17

Before the run
Week 17 contained the longest run of my marathon training - 20 miles!  Never imagined I could run this far - it just goes to show what you can do when you stick to a training plan.    

To prepare for this run I got up about 5:45am with plans to leave the house by 6:15am. Rain was forecasted starting around noon. Plus, I knew it would take me over 3.5 hours and didn't want the entire morning to be gone before I finished.  I ate a clif bar and drank a glass of water for breakfast. It was 50 degrees when I left, but I knew I needed to dress for 20 degrees warmer because that's what it feels like once you get moving. Although I wear compression socks after long runs, I have never worn them to run, but decided to try it out.  I got all my gear ready, filling my fuel belt with 3 G2s and 1 water and grabbing my Garmin and ifitness belt to hold the ipod.  I left the house at 6:17am.  

I decided to run the same route as my 18 mile run with some extra loops in the neighborhood.  Because it was dark when I left, I started with the extra loops in the neighborhood.  This is what it looked like at the end of mile 1.

The first 2 miles felt sluggish, fortunately that went away and I was feeling good.  I dropped my long sleeve shirt by home and picked up my sunglasses at mile 3.  Then, headed out of the neighborhood for the remaining out and back portion of the run. 

 One of my  goals for this run was to fuel earlier and more often.  I had my first drink of G2 at mile 3 and ate my first 2 Honey Stingers during mile 4.  I ate more every 3 miles.  I think this really helped me make it through this run.  This is more than I have fueled in the past. 

 The path I run is in a newly developed area with minimal traffic.  It is surrounded with natural scenery of cow pastures and ponds.
Mile 6
Mile 9
On mile 11 I encountered a pair of Sandhill Cranes.  I had never seen these birds before moving to Florida.  They stand 4-5 feet tall and come quite close to people.  They are very common as you see them in both urban and rural areas.  They were in the pasture with the cows.

Mile 12

 It started raining around mile 10, but just lightly.  I thought it might be a passing shower, but no such luck. By mile 12 it was seriously raining!  I was 8 miles from home and had no choice but to keep going.  This rain was not going anywhere.  As I got wetter, I also got a bit chilly.  I did pass a few other runners out and misery loves company so I was glad to see them.

On mile 17, my husband drove by to see how I was doing.  I stopped to give him my phone so it wouldn't get any wetter.   Despite the rain, I wasn't feeling too bad.  I was a little concerned about running in wet socks, but luckily got no blisters.  My legs were starting to get tired around mile 19. The soreness was in the front of my thighs.  I don't know if the compression socks helped or I just believed they helped, but my lower legs felt good the entire way. The compression of the socks was invigorating. 

By the time I got home, I was soaked to the bone and cold.  My husband greeted me at the door with a warm towel and then I remembered to take a photo.  Needless to say, I never needed my sunglasses.
Mile 20
My recovery from this run was better than I expected.  After getting clean and warm, I used the foam roller to work out the soreness in my legs and sat down with my feet up for a while.  I am usually so exhausted from these runs that I take a nap, but despite the snoozing cat next to me, I did not nap. I had more energy than I thought I would.

 Now that I have completed 20 miles, I finally feel like I can do this marathon.  It was a very empowering run and I am glad it is behind me.  I can't say I am a fan of runs this long, but I only have to do it one more time on race day.  

Here is the breakdown of my run.  

Avg Pace

Friday, December 17, 2010

Augmented Reality

My birthday was this past Wednesday and it has been a week of fun!  My friend Cheri, gave  me this great Hoops and Yoyo card that not only sang a song, but allowed me to watch Hoops and Yoyo ride a roller coaster in augmented reality.  Using the card and my web cam, these guys came alive in an animated ride that included motion and sound.  Just like in real roller coaster rides, there was a tunnel cam to take their photo.  Here is the one I took. Aren't they cute?
This was fun, I did it a few times and had to take a screen shot to show everyone.  Hoops and Yoyo make me laugh.  I love their cards!

My family made me a delicious birthday cake this week.  It was one I have been wanting to make for a while.   This three layer lemon coconut cake was fabulous!!

Tomorrow is my long, long run of 20 miles.  This will be the farthest distance I will do as part of my training.  From here on out I will begin to taper.  I am looking forward to conquering this distance.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Favorite Things

I am excited to share a few of my favorite things with you.  Unfortunately I cannot send you home with each one, but I would if I had my own TV talk show.  I love getting recommendations from others so here are mine for you:

1.  Sanuk Flip Flops -The best flip flop!!  Living in Florida I wear a lot of flip flops and this one is a keeper.  The sole of the shoe is made from recycled yoga mats and each step is cushiony comfort.  The bonus is it comes in many great colors too like orange, red, yellow and electric blue to name a few. They are sold in most major department stores and cost about $26.

2.  Snapple Diet Peach Tea - Although I live in the South, I am not a fan of real home brewed tea, but I do love Snapple Tea!  When I quit drinking diet soda, I found this delicious alternative.  It has some caffeine which is nice since I don't drink coffee and 0 calories.  It comes in glass bottles which I prefer over plastic and the bottles can be  reused after a run through the dishwasher. Each bottle also contains a Snapple Real Fact under each lid! I look forward to each one. I am now the queen of factoids and impress everyone I know with all these gems. For example:  Did you know flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp?  $1

3.  Apples to Apples - Great game for the entire family!  It has won all kinds of awards and comes in a junior version for younger kids.  The red box is for ages 8 and up. It can be played with up to 10 people. The two decks of cards in the box consist of Things and Descriptions.  Each turn, the current referee selects a description. The other players must pick the best thing that matches that description from the cards in their hands. The Thing that most appeals to the referee wins that hand.  Play continues as everyone takes a turn being the referee until someone wins the designated number of hands. The unusual combinations of Things and Descriptions quickly leads to a roaring good time.  $20

4.  Southern Living magazine -  This magazine is one I have subscribed to for years.  The magazine focuses on Southern food, gardens, home design, travel and healthy living.  The recipes alone are enough of a reason to subscribe, but I have learned a lot about gardening and gotten some great travel destinations from it too.  You don't have to live in the South to enjoy it.  $20/year

5.  Martin's Potato Dinner Rolls - I LOVE bread and this is one of my favorite kinds. This 12 pack of rolls comes from a company in Pennsylvania in the heart of "Pennsylvania Dutch" country.  I grew up on potato rolls and now I can get them every week at the grocery store.  I use these rolls instead of sandwich bread.  At only 90 calories it is the perfect size for a sandwich.  I like it right out of the bag, toasted and  I can tell you it makes the tastiest peanut butter and jelly ever.  Potato bread is a pillowy golden bread with a smooth texture.  It comes in many different sized rolls and sandwich bread too. $3

6. . Running Skirts - I heard from many runners that running skirts were awesome and I agree!  They are super comfy and have plenty of pockets to hold your stuff.   You can tell they were designed by runners.  I rarely run in anything else. My newest addition has been the skirt with capris for cooler weather. With so many styles to choose from, the hardest part will be to pick only one, so not only are they functional they are cute! $48

7. - This is a fantastic site for downloading audio books.
I primarily listen to books while driving and exercising, but sometimes while I'm working around the house too.  I love to read, but find I don't have as many opportunities to sit and read as I have books I want to read.  Listening is a great way to spend my commuting time and helps the time go by on long runs.
I have an annual subscription that allows me to purchase 12 books a year for a flat fee.  I get to "read" so many books this way.  I download the books to itunes and then put them on my iphone and ipod for easy listening.  Audio books are so entertaining. One of my favorite has been The Help by Kathryn Stockett, it was recorded with multiple readers each portraying a different character.  It made the characters come alive!  Annual subscription $150

8.  Garmin Forerunner 410 - Although this has been a recent purchase for me, it has changed my life!  I like to keep track of my running stats and be aware of my pace and heart rate as well as keeping track of my time and distance.  This does it all and more.  I used to use a Nike+ to track my time and distance, but this has everything I need in one watch.  It has been pretty easy to navigate and use.  I don't know all the ins and outs yet, but it has exceeded my expectations.  I just turn it on and run and it does all the work.  It has been very helpful to monitor my marathon training and has motivated me to run because I am excited to use it.  It is a big investment, but if you run regularly it is worth it. $375

These are a few of my favorite things, what are yours?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Marathon Training Week 15

Today I completed my longest run yet - 18 miles!  I have to say the thought of it made me anxious.  I did not  have a great experience on my 16 mile run, so I didn't know what to expect.  The good news is I lived to tell about it, and it wasn't awful.

I wanted to leave the house at 6:00am, knowing it would take around 3 1/2 hours to run that distance, but with the cold and the dark I waited until 6:40.  I knew I needed to eat before hand so I had a Clif bar - This is my new favorite flavor.  But because it is only seasonal, I bought a box so I can enjoy them longer.  I am still experimenting on what to eat the morning of the race.

  I had a hard time deciding what to wear today.  I wanted to be warm enough, but not too warm.  It was 44 degrees when I left but I knew I would have plenty of time to heat up.   I ended up wearing capri pants, long sleeve tech tee and a lightweight tech pullover.  I warmed up quickly and was happy with what I chose. It ended up to be a beautiful morning! I wore my 4 bottle nathan fuel belt  filled with orange G2 and my ifitness belt to hold my Ipod.  

The first 12 miles felt good. I wasn't breaking any records, but I was keeping a decent pace.  I had to take a bathroom break at the end of mile 12 and walking felt good.    Starting back up again I was slower, but steady.  I did take a few brief walk breaks during the last 6 miles. I feel a little bad about this, but it was what I thought I needed at the time. 

I don't know if I am fueling correctly.  With it being cold, I did not drink very much the first 6 miles.  I ate 6 Honey stingers (orange blossom flavor) at mile 11 and chased it with some water.  
The rest of the run I sipped orange G2, consuming 24 oz during the run.  
                          How do I know if I am not eating/drinking enough?  What does it feel like?  These long runs are hard, but I expect them to be challenging due to the distance.   If you have any advice about this, please share. 

The underside of my right thigh started to feel sore around mile 13, but it was manageable and did not hurt after I was done.  My biggest challenge is to continually pick up my feet and keep moving forward as I get into mile 14+.  My lungs feel good, but I have tired legs. On the plus side, my recovery today was much better than it has been. I took a short nap after getting clean, but I was actually productive today.

I have two more weeks of training before I being to taper, with one more super long run in 2 weeks (20 miles).  The race is getting very close.  Just a little over a month!!

Here are the stats from today:

Avg Pace