Thanksgiving…and stuff

Been some cold running as of late! Yesterday’s pre-dinner run was so cold running into the headwind I almost turned around and came home! The only other thing to report is that my pace is holding pretty consistent. Which I am totally okay with it, because there is something pretty freeing (and awesome) about running and not caring AT ALL about pace! I guess thats the good thing about running in November?

And then Thanksgiving happened. It is probably my favorite holiday. My parents are in Florida for the winter so we celebrated with PW’s family. We drove far and wide to the southeastern coast of Massachusetts for some dinner with his fam. It was, of course, delicious. I was embarassing PW so I could only manage a few pictures…

Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots, green bean casserole (my favorite side!), squash, and a wheat roll. Perfection. I went back for a little more potatoes and turkey but couldnt fit much more in!

After sitting for a while I was definitely ready for dessert though. PW’s grandmother makes this unbelievable fudge for Christmas and THanksgiving. I talk about it all year. It is PERFECT FUDGE!! It always comes in this blue tin, and I cant get enough!

I think I ate about 5 pieces of it…

And that was before this happened:

If you know me, you know I can put away a lot of food in dire circumstances. There was nothing dire about this situation, I just wanted to, because it tasted so good!
So, blueberry pie, Mother-in-Laws famous coffee cake, Sister-in-Laws new rice crispie treat on steroids, more fudge, chocolate chip cookie. It took me a while to eat this (2 hours!). And then, when we got home, I proceeded to eat the leftover green bean casserole they sent with me. I wanted a pizza but no place was open!

Now, today, a day in which I definitely DID NOT go shopping, I am missing leftovers! We got up at 9:30, hungover from all the food, and now I am ready for a meal that I wish was a turkey dinner!!

Because it is a Thanksgiving entry…

I am thankful for:

My caring, supportive, motivating, and fun to live with husband
My 2 hilarious and adorable dogs and the fact they keep me warm at night
My family, even though half live in Florida now, I can still feel the love
PW’s family, who make me feel like I am one of their own
My job and the people I work with, not a lot of people can say they look forward to going to work and enjoy what they do. I am lucky enough to love it, and to work with some great people to boot
My friends, who keep me constantly laughing, and I could count on in a moments notice
My health, our house, and the fact we can splurge and buy a pizza or some guacamole or a new bike when necessary!!

I am off to do a MOUND of grading. I have a lot of projects I would like to be done with so I can start lesson planning. And also because I don’t have any time to do it tomorrow–my in-laws are coming up tomorrow! PW and his dad are going to work on the dining room (its coming along–we have drywall everywhere now!) and my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I are going to Blackstone Valley Shops for lunch and an afternoon of shopping!

Hope everyone’s holiday was full of good food and laughs!

Reliving Ragnar

So, with the signing up for another running relay quickly approaching, I decided to relive Ragnar last year. It was a 200 something mile run I did 5 guys from Twitter and met for the first time at the race! We got sponsored by Brooks, were an Ultra team (6 instead of 12 people), it thunderstormed on and off for the entire race, I ended up running about 35 miles, and it was RIDICULOUSLY fun. The most fun running I have ever had, for sure.

And, if youve never met me, these videos show my personality pretty well. My favorite part of this one is when Chris inappropriately comments on looking good coming and going! Haha

And here is another one that Jamie made…

Watching those definitely psyched me up for another relay!

An actual meal…

and a hilarious text. The other day I got a text with this picture:

from our friend Mario, with the words ‘Macca to Mario: “I want no part of Pat Wheeler!”‘ We were laughing! He was interviewing Macca for Competitor so check it out!!

Now to the meal, last night I went to British Beer Company with PW and Ethan, who we havent seen in a really long time (he was doing a couple races in Mexico and did Miami, now hes in that awesome thing called The Off Season. Clearly he picked the place!).

(the picture is so dark! just know its a typical PW face!)

It was Friday…which means in November, its a free for all. P-dubs went for his usual:

Cheeseburger with swiss, and sweet potato fries.

Ethan got the fish and chips:

And I decided to get something off the “authentic English food” menu…a Chicken and Leek Pasty.

It was pretty much amazing. But how can you go wrong with a pastry crust browned like that? And there was bacon in it!

And because I was jealous of them next to me, some of my own fries, they were so good!!

I havent been on the internet in while, my first week with actual training and some sort of food poisoning from a really old Clif Luna Bar yesterday left me laying for a while. Luckily it went away before dinner, but I almost lost my lunch doing the leg press at the gym yesterday!

Some serious lesson planning on my agenda today, a 45 minutes run, and some easy bicycle riding!

WHAT?!

So, last night was kind of a big deal in our house. It was the First Offical Body Fat Testing and Weigh in Night.
Its what we base our macronutrients on. Its our starting point. And its our time to see who was grosser over the last 5 weeks and increased their percentage more. PW’s body fat percentage went up by 6%. Mine went up by…4.5%. WHAT?!?! Clearly he worked harder at it!! At least now we have our starting numbers. Now we start trying to decrease hem slowly, week by week. Except for Friday nights when we eat pizza!

I also went to the Y for the first time today. After my 15 minutes recovery run, the making and eating of core-friendly chili, and some mathy power point presentation making, we headed there to lift some weights (and get big!). As we will be doing for the next 8 weeks. It was nothing special, just a gym. The highlight is how easily annoyed I am by the “gym rats”. The guys that are dedicated to 3 hours of weight lifting every day. I dont know why, they just irk me and amuse me at the same time! Im sure I do the same to them…taking up space as I am pulling 20 pounds (TWENTY POUNDS!!).

Busy weekend coming up. Watching a school play tomorrow night, Book club on Friday night, Lia Sophia party on Saturday night, some running/swimming/biking and some SERIOUS lesson planning!!

Added!

So I made some changes to my blog.

The first, a race report link. I only have 3 race reports in there so far, no big deal. I have at least 3 races to run before the relay in May (New Beford Half Marathon, Hyannis 10k, and a random 5k), so expect more to come!

The second, a blogroll. Apparently, I forgot about this. I had a blog roll, it was just hidden! I forgot to add the widget. So, it is not up there. And if I am on YOUR blogroll, and you are not on mine, let me know! Then I can fix it!

The last and most obvious one, I changed the theme and the picture in the header! I did take the picture, but I am currently in the process of making a more custom to me header that should hopefully be up soon!

Next on my update agenda: Ran for 40 minutes today, phew. 9:19 pace. I despise running in the cold! My neck hurts when I run in the cold. It almost feels like the glands in my neck are hurting. Weird? I know. Luckily, I signed up for the local YMCA yesterday. It is the triathlon mecca of Central Massachusetts. Its the nicest Y I have been in, and it has a pool, treadmills, and all the weight machines I need, so I am good! In fact, since I have a meeting after work tomorrow, I have already decided (resigned myself) to run on the treadmill there straight after I get out! Another 45 minutes tomorrow.

Thats all to report! It is time for social hermit mode, because its BASE TRAINING TIME!!

Ill leave you with these awesome coasters:

It begins.

Alright peeps, this is it. Training for the relay and my next marathon officially starts tomorrow. I have 20 miles to run, 3 gym sessions, some swimming and biking (at my discretion), and hopefully some Bikram Yoga with some gals from work! Monday means its back to Omega 3′s and protein powder. Endurox and Clif Bloks. Reality TV on the trainer and hunting for my gloves before every run (how do I always lose them overnight?!) Looking forward to it! I have 4 boxes of Pure Protein Bars waiting impatiently for me!!

In other, non-running, news. I decided to dye my hair yesterday. I went from Blondie McBlonderson (awkward photo)

Back to my luxurious natural (brown) color:

I also bought something Ive wanted to try for a while. People rave about this stuff, but it has always been too expensive for me to justify. I went to the new Super Wal-Mart yesterday (a story in and of itself…my trip resembled this entire site) and they had it super cheap!

Back to lesson planning (which I am super excited about, because I am re-reading Teach Like a Champion–if you are a teacher, check it out!), and to the continuing effort of making over our dining room!

Chocolate Chip Cookies–My new go to recipe

Ive been craving homemade chocolate chip cookies for a while, and knowing that we might be going to a friends house for dinner, I decided today was the day to make them. I found a recipe on AllRecipes.com and then modified it to my liking (per usual! :) )

Started with a cup of butter (YUP!), 1/4 cup white sugar, and 3/4 cup brown sugar creamed together. Then added thr secret ingredient:

Who would have thought? I am not usually fan of pudding, but this made the cookies magical.

Once that was thoroughly mixed, I added 2 eggs and a tablespoon of vanilla.

Gathered the dry ingredients, 2 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda.

All mixed together than threw in the star of the show:

Man, do I love chocolate chips!

Seriously, this is when the magic happens!

9 minutes later at 350 degrees we had liftoff:

They are a-ma-zing! You cant taste the pudding (thankfully), it just allows the cookies to stay super moist and soft, which is totally my bag!

I might go as far as to say its the perfect cookie!

I am now in possession of 36 cookies. Please come by and take some!

2nd run back! And my marathon shirt woes…

Today was my second run back–30 minutes in the middle of Zone 1 at a 8:57 pace. I can definitely feel those extra 10 pounds! Same route as Tuesday, so at least I am consistent :) I am excited for next week and starting in on the actual training schedule. PW has some lofty goals for me next season. I’ll get into those later into the season!

On aforementioned run, I decided to wear my Bay State Marathon long sleeve tshirt for the first time. I was the third person to pick up my race number/tshirt and when I went through the line, I answered “The smallest you have!” when asked for my shirt size. The thsirt man said the smallest he had was a small (go figure!), and off I went with my loot.

Put that sucker on today and check this out….


Its enormous! I am not a miniscule person. In fact, Id say I am pretty average. And for a runner? Definitely average. And that is why I dont understand why EVERY race shirt I get is huge!! Frustrating, because I cannot think of any race shirt that has actually fit me. The sleeves are so wide in the above shirt that I could definitely fit both of my arms through one! Dear shirt designers and purchasers, think of the waste when you make your orders! Pick a company with normal shirt sizing!

Excited about some stuff coming up at work, and celebrating Veteran’s Day (thanks to all those Vet’s out there!) by eating some pizza, doing some grading, and giving a massage!

First Run Back!!

Today was it: My first run back. 30 minutes in Zone 1! It took me a very. long. time. to get motivated. It is VERY cold here! I finally layered on my tights, shirt, winter jacket, hat, gloves, and laced up my shoes. And headed out with Coach for what I thought would be a terrible run.

Maybe I psyched myself out, so that ANYTHING was going to be better than what I was imagining.

Or maybe, because last time I took time off it was 6 months instead of 3 weeks, I didnt realize the transition back wouldnt be as painful.

Or maybe it was a fluke, and tomorrows run will leave me weeping.

No matter what, today was 9:02′s in Zone 1! For my first run back! I am stoked about this! Before the marathon I was running 8:07′s at the same heart rate. Could it be? Could I only have lost a minute/mile of fitness during this 3 weeks of gluttony and weight gain? I dont want to get my hopes up (but they are!).

Speaking of gluttony….yesterday after I made that leisurely brunch, I made linner tacos for PW and I before he left for some Zamboni-ing. They were awesome. I love Wholly Guacamole so much!



And last, I got a FoodBuzz account. Finally. So add me!

We keep our heat pretty low to cut costs (so, its 58 degrees in here right now..)
We do a lot of this with the dogs to stay warm! Im going to go get back at it. Im chilled after that jog!


Some delicious food and..the wall is down.

So, as it always happens, when Im supposed to be back on the wagon is when I feel like baking/cooking. When I am in freeasabird time eating, I just want to sit around and have food delivered (and fed) to me. Anyways, I made these fantastic chicken fingers the other day and we had them with roasted potatoes. It was delicious. Way better than a McDonald’s #9!

All I did was cut up some chicken breast, made an egg/milk mixture in one bowl, and a flour/bread crumb/spices mixture in another. I DOUBLE coated the chicken to keep it extra crisp (egg/milk –> bread crumbs –>egg/milk –> bread crumbs –> pan). Then I sauteed them in some olive oil until they crisped up them finished them off in the oven. SO GOOD!


The last 2 weekends, PW and I have tried to get breakfast at all the local places. The wait is always at least an hour!! This morning, in the interest of saving time and money, I made us a breakfast fit for…a king? I dont know who it is fit for, but it was good!

Banana pancakes (from a box), hashbrowns (from scratch, of course!), scrambled eggs, and bacon.

Yesterday, PW’s dad and brother came up so they could all work on our dining room. And it was the day. The day when the wall came down. They drywalled the other two walls, and then dismantled the remaining one. It opened up the house so much!

This is a picture from our kitchen, looking towards the dining room, before.

And now, this is the view looking into the dining room from the kitchen:

Its going to be amazing! Next weekend they are putting in our “island”, there is going to be a counter/wall between the two rooms. Looking forward to it!

Alright, back to work. I am a busy bee as of late, grades close this week! And I start RUNNING again tomorrow. AHH!