Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Disney World 5K @ Epcot on January 7th, 2011

I'm wicked excited for this:

It's going to be my first real vacation and what better way to spend some time on vacation than racing a 5K through Epcot!  It can't come soon enough for me.

I'm exhausted today, completely mentally and physically exhausted. I only got about four hours of sleep last night and those four were not very restful.  The worst part is that it really was just a silly thing that caused my brain to just go haywire and not shut off.  I also know that when I'm sleepy like this I find it difficult to exercise control over what I say, do and eat. Things I'd normally never say just fly out of my mouth and I eat past my fullness factor.  Fortunately these days don't occur all that often and I just need to survive until 9PM tonight.

I've got my strength training class tonight from 7 to 8PM and I'm desperately trying to conserve the energy I need to do it.  I might have to do the easier versions of some of the exercises. :\  Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to my perky, awake and pleasant self.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Look! There goes a moving traffic cone!

For $70, you too can look like a moving traffic cone!
With Autumn upon us here in New England, I have had to seek out a way to stay visible in the steadily decreasing amount of sunlight in the evening.  I picked this overcoat up at the local running store this weekend. Despite the fact that orange is quite possibly the worst color for my skin tone, it keeps me visible to oncoming traffic.  Everyone gave me a wide berth today, it was great! Perhaps I'll even use this as my Halloween costume.  All I need to be a traffic cone is some reflective white tape stripes around my chest.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recipe Review: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

My jaw nearly fell off my head and the page was nearly smothered in drool when I flipped to this recipe in my October issue of Cooking Light.  Peanut BANANA BREAD?! Why didn't I think of that?! Obviously upon seeing this recipe, I knew that I had to try it out pronto.

Recipe and commentary after the jump.

They go well with coffee!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pizza Dough, Part Two: The Food Processor

This is part two in my pizza dough making series. This time I will be illustrating how to make the Baking Illustrated recipe in a food processor.
Basic Pizza Dough (makes 3 medium or 6 personal pizzas)

4 fl.oz. warm water (approximately 110° F)
1 envelope instant yeast 
10 fl.oz. room temperature water (between 68° and 77° F)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for oiling the bowl
22 ounces of bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting work surfaces and hands
1.5 teaspoons salt
NOTE: This recipe requires at least an 11-cup food processor.  My food processor is only a 9-cup and as such I've halved my recipe to accommodate the difference. 

 Bread flour, salt, yeast and extra virgin olive oil

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Challenge

I've been thinking about shedding a few more pounds to get to race weight for a couple of months now. I want to be in top-condition for the Disney 5K, since I'm looking to set a PR when I run it. My ideal racing weight is roughly 120lbs, which should drop my body fat percentage down to 17-18% by my monitor.  120 isn't an unreasonable weight for me and I don't want anyone thinking I'm suddenly developing an eating disorder.  I love food too much to not eat it or regurgitate it.

In order to achieve this goal, I'm going to start working on it in the month of October to it.  Every good challenge starts with a basic framework of guidelines so here are mine:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Top Chef: Just Desserts -- eee!

I watch a very minimal amount of TV a week, but I simply had to add Top Chef: Just Desserts to the list of shows that I watch.  I am obsessed with baking, and to watch these pastry chefs duke it out with some of crazy challenges is a (zero calorie) treat for me. I've already seen the first episode and I am intrigued by the idea of Basil Buttercream. I might even have to try it out myself.

Today was a pretty "meh" day as far as days go.  I had my physical this morning at 10AM which required me to fast for 12 hours. I've found that I'm pretty darn grouchy if I don't get to eat my oats until 10AM! I couldn't have my coffee until then so I basically had a splitting headache from lack of food and coffee that lingered all day.

My first pilates with weight lifting class was today and I enjoyed myself.  It was good to just focus on what someone else was telling me to do for once.  It's less mentally taxing than me pushing myself along each time I do a workout.  The general level of fitness in the class is below mine but the instructor did provide options for people at a higher fitness level. Even if it's not a super-challenging workout for me, it is something and I feel compelled to go to it, having paid in full for all 11 classes.

I stopped off and bought a few new pieces of Nike gear at Sports Authority before I went to class, and at Borders to buy Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance. I've got some big plans for October which should have the final details worked out within the next couple of days. I'll be posting about it by the end of the week.  I've also got plans to bake up a batch of my favorite fall cookies:

 I'll share a post with the recipe, instructions and some better pictures when I make them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apples and "training wheels"

Om nom nom nom, I love apples!
I've been lax in my blogging lately.  I've also been lax in my eating habits.  I am starting to think that perhaps logging should not be considered a set of training wheels for me. I spoke with my running "helper" today and we came up with this analogy:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Training wheels

When my parents removed the training wheels to my bike as a kid, I promptly crashed into a peach tree on my first ride.

It is with considerable hesitation then, that I have decided to remove my figurative training wheels.

More after the break... 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Brain on Maintenance

Sometimes I think my brain hasn't quite caught up with reality. It feels as though it's slowly progressing towards seeing me the way I truly am now, but often it experiences setbacks.  What exactly do I mean by this?


Despite the hard evidence (my measurements), I often feel larger than I am and I have read that this is not uncommon in those who have lost a great deal of weight in a relatively short period of time.

I've made this analogy before; losing weight is like waging a war with your body. Perhaps it's not the best analogy, but it fits for me. Admittedly, I expected the war to end once I achieved goal weight and went into maintenance. Victory flags, cheering, fireworks, you know the whole shebang.

I was wrong, but the war is different now. It's subtle and vexing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bad luck!

Weekly Friday Weigh-In Statistics
Weight: 125
BF: 19.3%
Measurements: 34-26-33.5-17.5

I've been very bad about blogging the last couple of days because I caught a cold from some jerk at work.  I wish sick people wouldn't come in and spread their cooties around! UGH!

I ended up bagging my race today, which I feel mildly bad about. But honestly? I needed to stay in bed and sleep for a few more hours. I felt much better when I woke up later.  Oh well, I will now focus all my efforts on training for the Disney World 5K in January 2011!

I'm going to a Patriots game tomorrow with my family, the season opener even! Woohoo! I'm really excited. :) Perhaps I'll get a few pictures to post tomorrow.  I'll have to get my 5 miler in before we go because I'm pretty sure I'm not going to want to do anything when I get home from the game tomorrow.  I've also got a kitchen experiment planned for tomorrow evening, it should be interesting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Seven Proprioceptive Cues

As a runner, I've recently become concerned with my stride. Stride is everything in the sport of running.  This new found concern is largely due to reading my copy of Brain Training For Runners. An inefficient stride can play a part to injury and can also slow you down.  Matt Fitzgerald suggests trying to use these seven proprioceptive cues (one cue a week) during your runs to help you overcome some of the stride inefficiencies:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nearly empty pantry? No problem!

No, the picture is not out of focus. The cover of the book is just really that blurry.
I haven't been shopping in a while. Longer than a while actually, about two weeks. So tonight when I returned from my run and peered into my refrigerator, I was mildly shocked at how little food is in there. I poked about the cupboards for a few minutes before deciding on a very basic rendition of breakfast for dinner.

More after the break...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Successful days

Weekly Friday Stats
Weight: 124.6
BF: 20.6%
Measurements: 34"-26"-33.5"-17.5"

They're multiplying!

I had a major breakthrough with the project I've been working on at work yesterday and have been in  good spirits since.  It's remarkable what finally understanding some code will do for your mood. I might even get rewarded with a Kinder Egg at the next team meeting for getting my code up and running. That would be pretty darn sweet!

It has been unseasonably hot the last few days and it puts a pretty large cramp in my running style.  The forecast indicates that this heat wave should be breaking this weekend, and with any luck the seasonable temperatures will make running more comfortable.  I'm racing another 5K on September 11th, and I'm shooting for under 28:49.  It should be cooler that day which will make it easier to stay speedy.

More after the break...