Weekly Recap 6-18-12 to 6-24-12

A pretty normal week this week.  Headed down to Charlotte Friday night for the NHL draft party, which of course then the Canes made a trade rather than make a pick so was kind of a waste.  Had some good barbeque and good local made NC beer (One from Charlotte, one from Winston).  After three hours in the car (bad traffic) and sleeping late Saturday morning, I pushed my long run off till Sunday morning but I made up for it with a long 7 mile trek around Salem Lake.

Starting weight – 260.0
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles (tempo run)
Friday – REST
Saturday – REST
Sunday – Run – 7 miles + Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 13 miles
Ending Weight – 258.6 (1.4 pounds lost)

I’ve bumped up my mileage a couple times the past few weeks, so I went back and looked at how I was doing towards my goal.  I’ve run 329 miles so far for 2012 in 176 days which puts me at roughly 1.9 miles per day.  My goal for the year is 2 miles a day, and I’m staying pretty close to that.  A couple more long lake runs between now and September, and then the increase in mileage that comes with training for two half marathons I might just stay at 2 miles a day.  I was slipping down to around 1.75 miles a day and was looking like I wasn’t gonna make it.

So, I lost a little bit of weight this week.  Not sure if this dreaded plateau is gone or not, we’ll have to see next week.  I’m not ready to call it dead just yet.  We’ll see how it goes.

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

I actually made this weeks ago and never got around to blogging it.  This is the simplest red beans and rice recipe you will ever come across.  Trust me when I was looking for recipes they all had 18 ingredients and cooked for 4 days and I’m thinking it has to be easier than this.

I give you…. 4 ingredients.
Beans, rice, sausage and seasoning… that’s it.

Of course if you want to jazz it up with onions and peppers and whatever, feel free.  I used the Lousiana Brand cajun seasoning, you can use whatever you like, Zattarans, Tony Chacere’s etc.  Also, if you want a vegetarian version, feel free to leave the sausage out, since the rice and beans already make a complete protein.  I just like it.  The first time I made it, I used kielbasa but this time I broke out the traditional andouille.  It’s spicier and more flavorful.

First I chop up the sausage, and saute it in the pan.  I don’t like dealing with raw onions since I used them so very rarely, so I keep some dehydrated onions for this purpose, sprinkle them in with the sausage and let them saute as well.  If you like fresh, knock yourself out.

Add the beans, along with a healthy dash of cajun season and let cook until the beans soften.  Yup, that’s all there is too it.  Now when I made it this time, I used canned red beans, I’ve since bought some dried red beans but have yet to make anything with them yet.

I cooked the rice in the microwave, and it takes just as long as it does on the stove top pretty much, but I cooked it one serving at a time instead of having a big blob of gummed up leftover rice.  I separated the beans into 4 servings and then each night when I was going to eat it cooked up a cup of rice to go with it.

As you can see I went pretty heavy on the bean to sausage ratio, which you can scale back if you like, but I happened to like it.

I don’t remember exactly what this cost, but suffice it to say it’s not expensive.  The canned beans are 89 cents a can, the 1 pound bag of rice (that I didn’t even use all of) is maybe 3$, and the sausage, which is the most expensive ingredient, is 4-5$ for 12 oz.  So a grand total of maybe 7$, for 4 meals.  Cheap eats, but good eats.

For what is a very filling meal, it’s not too bad nutrition wise.
610 Calories, 113g carbs, 8g fat, 30g protein.  Pretty high carb from both the rice and the beans.  The little bit of fat is from the sausage, so very low fat and virtually fat free if you go all veg.  Great protein from the beans and sausage and a little from the rice.

Weekly Recap 6-11-12 to 6-17-12

Another low mileage week as my race this weekend was a 5K, but it was a good week.  Managed to set a PR at my 5K and got to spend some time with my parents which was nice.  I switched up my eating habits and trying to shake things up to break out of this plateau.  It’s not working so far, but the damage done was not as bad as expected.

Starting weight – 259.6
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – 5K race
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 9.1 miles
Finishing weight – 260.0 (0.4 pounds gained)

Ok, so I gained less than a half a pound, while increasing my calorie intake by 1400 calories over the course of the week.  I’m OK with this, since I assumed a gain this week as my body adjusted, and this is a very small gain.  Let’s hope things go back down next week.

Best Eat of the Week:  Well, I didn’t think I’d be able to repeat this segment this week, but I have to say, the Brunswick Stew from Gary’s was just as good as advertised, so thanks to Kathi for the suggestion!

The Joy of Running?

I love running, I really do, else I wouldn’t keep doing it.  But I haven’t yet gotten to the point where running is “effortless” and “fun”.  I enjoy running races, and I had a blast as my race yesterday, but the fun doesn’t start until the race is over.  I don’t know how to really explain it, so I’m hoping some other runners out there have experienced this.

I was pushing hard yesterday to make a new personal best, and I succeeded in that, so that’s fantastic.  But I felt like I was out of breath the whole time, had to walk through the water stop to get even the tiniest sip of water and then I could feel myself slowing down the whole time.  Now, even though I was huffing and puffing the first mile felt great, the second mile was OK, and then the third mile was “God are we done yet”…. I know some of it is from starting out too fast with the race day excitement.  In my training runs I either stay the same speed (treadmill) or start out slow and then speed up (outdoors). On race day it never fails that I start out fast and then slow down as the race goes on.  I had a negative split in my half marathon (mile 3 was the fastest) which was likely from dodging and weaving through traffic and getting set into my pace, but most races that doesn’t happen.

I know the training builds you up slowly, and that’s what the training is for, but every so often I think “If I can barely slog through three miles, how am I ever going to do 13 again?” Obviously, I’m running my three much faster than I ran my last 13, and much faster than I will run my next 13, and I was pushing hard for a PR.

Of course you never know what’s going on in someone’s head.  That person next to me that looks like a gazelle loping along maybe be thinking the same thing I am “God are we done yet?!?” and I’m sure other people would say that *I* make it look effortless which I would argue, but it’s all about personal perception  guess.

I’ve talked to my other running friends, and I didn’t believe it would ever get “easy” but it does get easier, and some days it feels like it is really easy.  My long slow day runs do feel pretty effortless, but I have a hard time dialing the pace back that slow unless I’m with someone slower.  But I guess as long as I keep pushing hard to improve it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be “work”… not that there is anything wrong with that.  I’m just tossing out the ideas that are in my head at the moment.

Rhythm and Run 5K – Kannapolis, NC – June 16, 2012

This morning was the inaugural Rhythm and Run 5K to benefit the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in Kannapolis NC.  I signed up for this race as soon as I found out about it since I was a little ashamed as such a music-phile that I didn’t even know this place existed.  The purpose of this race was to promote them and raise awareness, and they surely succeeded.  They had about twice as many register runners than they expected someone said over 200 instead of just 100.  Unfortunately this did lead to one cardinal sin.  They ran out of shirts.  They told me they would have one for me next week, but I dont think I’m gonna drive down there just for a shirt.  I have enough tech shirts, so was only slightly bummed.

My parents were at this race today so that was very cool, as they were making a lightning tour of NC to come see us all, Charlotte on Friday, Kannapolis on Saturday and then Saturday night in Fuquay and then back home Sunday.  Short trip but they wanted to come see us.  I told them it wasn’t worth it for a short race like a 5K (they are also coming up for the Raleigh Half in November) but they happened to be coming through this weekend regardless, so it worked out.

Me and Mom before the race.

The race started promptly at 9AM, which I thought was actually a little late, I’m used to them starting around 7.  The first half of the course was shaded and breezy and then the second half of the course was hot and sunny.

Lining up for the start.

Dad caught me as I headed past him at the start.

The course was an interesting course, we headed down the little downtown street onto the new North Carolina Research Campus, which is still only halfway built and then crossed a main road onto a greenway.  We spent a good chunk of the race on this greenway, so that was nice, away from streets and traffic, although the greenway did cross a couple of major roads and there were some sidewalks/curbs/etc to contend with.  After the greenway we headed into a small park and then wound through some neighborhoods before we headed back into down town.  It wasn’t too hilly, but there were a few hills and I could feel myself bogging down in mile 3.  I knew I was slowing down.  It also got hot after the second mile as well.  As we turned back onto West A Street I knew we were getting close to the finish, but I didn’t have the energy left for any kind of surge… just wanted to finish.  I knew I was pushing close to a PR but I wasn’t sure if I was gonna make it or not.  Ended up setting a new PR by 16 seconds.  My mile splits were 10:08, 10:49 and 11:23, so as usual, started too fast and then faded, although 10:08 is also a 1 mile PR.

Pushing for the finish!

Clock says 34:10, my watch said 34:02.  I think this may be a second or two after my finish since I appear to be walking.  We’ll see what the official results say but I always go with my Garmin time anyway.

After the race I changed clothes and we hung out for a while until they gave out the awards and found out that once again I did not place in my age group (not that I was surprised).  Then we headed out to lunch.  I had asked my Kannapolis connection Kathi (from the FFF 5K) to recommend a couple of BBQ places since my Mom had mentioned BBQ.  One of the places she recommended was a place called Gary’s. The reason I picked it was because she said it had good brunswick stew, although ironically enough, turned out it was an old haunt of my Dad’s back when he used to work that region a lot.  So if I had picked one of the other places, we likely would have ended up at Gary’s anyway!

I didn’t take a picture of the inside, but the walls were plastered with every manner of old tin advertising signs you could imagine.  Coke, Pepsi, 7-up, etc etc.  There were a couple of old Ford T-Birds parked in a glassed in enclosure with a couple jukeboxes.  Looked to be mid-50’s I would guess.  Only glanced at them as we were leaving.  The barbeque was OK, the hushpuppies were good and as advertised the brunswick stew was VERY good. I didn’t eat a lot of the beans, but they were good as well.  I went for the Sweet and Smokey sauce (as did Mom), while Dad went for the Spicy Vinegar sauce.


The Travelling Runner.

One of my life goals/bucket list items is to visit all 50 states in the US.  Since I’ve started running, I’ve debated adding a twist to that and running a race in all 50 states.  Some of the harder ones to visit would also be harder to find races in most likely, Alaska, Hawai’i, North Dakota, etc.  I don’t know if I will do this or not, it would also mean revisiting all of the states I’ve visited before I started running.  Some of them I will obviously go back to, New Orleans, Georgia, Florida etc, some of them I may not, Ohio, West Virginia, etc.

So far, my only out of state race has been the Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in Louisiana.  I did run 2 miles of taper work in Alabama before that half, but that wasn’t a “race” (I plan on running the Mercedes in Birmingham to take care of Alabama anyway).

I have done a far bit of travelling in my home state of North Carolina (at least the western half) I’ve run races in:

Winston Salem – Law Enforcement Memorial 5K, Greek Festival 5K, St Leo’s 10K
High Point – Bonzer 5K, NC Marathon 5K
Clemmons – Lillie’s Friend’s 5K, Running of the Lights 5.5K
Kannapolis – FFF 5K, Rhythm and Run 5K (this weekend)
Kernersville – Spring Folly 5K
Salisbury – Winter Flight 8K
Dobson – Shelton Vineyards 10K

Later this year I will add Mt Airy and Rural Hall to the list, as well as Raleigh and hopefully in April of next year the Outer Banks to get some love from the Eastern side of the state.

In January of next year I will add Florida to the list which will be my second out of state race.  I imagine most of the longer travel trips will have to be for half marathons.  Just not worth it for a shorter race, although within driving distance (SC, VA,  TN) I might could swing a 10K.

I look forward to adding more to this list! Including a Disney race in California and then who knows what else.  SC’s entry may likely be the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K or the Hilton Head Marathon/Half Marathon.  Or both!  Georgia will likely be the Rock and Roll Savannah Half Marathon.  Tennessee will likely be the Chickamauga Battlefield Half marathon.

Weekly Recap 6/4/12 to 6/10/12

Wow.. What a week.  I’ve been all over the place this week.  A work dinner Thursday night, CD Release Party Friday night, visiting a friend Saturday and then group run/breakfast this morning.  Quite a lot of social events for this old hermit, not sure how I handled being out of the house that much.  I managed to squeeze in all my exercise and actually the group run this morning was a “bonus”, I already had my normal mileage for the week and so that was extra.

Starting weight – 259.6
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – Run – 3 miles
Saturday – Run – 5 miles
Sunday – Run – 3.5 miles + Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 14.5 miles
Ending Weight – 259.6 (UNCH)

So, I didn’t lose weight this week.  BUT I didn’t gain.  I was dead certain I was going to gain weight this week, so in the past weeks where I would have called this a “wasted week” this week I’m gonna call this a WIN.

I learned some interesting things this week.  I can run three days in a row if I need to adjust my schedule.  I can run 5 miles on 4 hours sleep (but I don’t recommend it).  I learned for a lot of people 9 minutes a mile is a “social” pace, but not for me.

Considering all the socializing  I did this week, I’m gonna steal a segment from my friend Emily over at Run, Eat, Nap, Drink.

Best Eat of the Week:  This is a toss up between two delicious tilapia dishes I had this weekend.  First, Thursday night at the Village Tavern, grilled tilapia with a Chardonnay butter sauce with potatoes and haricot verts.  Then Sunday at Red Lobster a Parmesan crusted tilapia with crispy red potatoes and rice pilaf.  Both were very good.

Best Drink of the Week: This one’s easy, two pints of Red Oak draft beer from Thursday night’s dinner at the Village Tavern.  This local red ale is my absolute favorite local microbrew and can sometimes be hard to find.  It’s now offered in bottles since they built the new Brewery out in Elon, but I haven’t tried it yet.  Draft is always better anyway.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.