Monday, May 30, 2011

This Week in Fitness

First, let me say that this week was a little weird because A) I am still recovering from my injury, B) I came down with a cold halfway through the week, and C) Alex's parents and sister came in town on Thursday to visit us for the long weekend. All things considered, I'm happy with my overall accomplishments this week though! It could have been a lot worse. :)

Monday 5/23: 4-Week Fat Blaster Workout (Weeks 1 & 2, Monday) including the cardio interval workout

Tuesday 5/24: Jackie Warner X-treme Timesaver Training (see review below)

Wednesday 5/25: 5.6 mile run/walk. (It went something like this: run 1.5 miles, walk .5 mile, run 1 mile, walk .5 mile, run 1 mile, walk the rest of the way home (about a mile). I really tried to take it easy and stop running as soon as I felt my ankle/foot start hurting. I was also dealing with feeling like I was coming down with a cold, so that was another reason not to push it too hard.)

Thursday 5/26: Sick/Rest Day

Friday 5/27: 4 mile run/walk with my sis-in-law (Hi, Andrea!!) who was visiting (I was sick with a cold and she was adjusting to the high altitude so we just took it easy. We ran the first mile, walked half a mile, ran half a mile, and then walked the rest.)

Saturday 5/28: Sick/Rest Day

Sunday 5/29: Sick/Rest Day

Fitness DVD Review of the Week: Personal Training with Jackie: X-treme Timesaver Training

So I ordered a couple of new workout DVD's from Amazon last week. One of them was the Jackie Warner Power Circuit Training DVD, which I had done via Exercise OnDemand a couple of times and LOVED. Unfortunately, it's no longer available on EOD so I broke down and ordered it because I like it so much. For only $7.99, I figured it was worth it!

I also ended up impulse purchasing another one of Jackie's DVDs, X-treme Timesaver Training. I had never tried this one before, but since I loved Jackie's other DVD so much I was hoping for the best.

X-treme Timesaver Training is only 30 minutes, as opposed to the almost hour-long Power Circuit Training. Jackie has you do compound movements that combine many different muscles for 1 minute each.

It. Was. Tough.

This DVD is definitely not for beginners! I was using 3-pound dumbbells the whole time (for reference, I usually use 5-8 lbs on most DVDs) and still dying. Plus, a lot of the moves are extra challenging since they combine several different things at once. It requires a lot of balance and concentration!

I liked that there were no repeat circuits of moves during this workout. A lot of times I get really discouraged when I'm doing a move that I hate and I know I'm going to have to do another round of it again before I'm done. This workout solves that problem by just having you push your hardest through one solid minute of each move, and then you move on!

That being said, some of the moves do incorporate the same things but in different ways. For example, this workout has a TON of lunges but she incorporates the lunges into different compound movements and combinations. It burrrrrrned! But if it gets me a killer butt, then it's worth it! :)

Overall, I really like this DVD and would recommend to anyone at around an intermediate to advanced fitness level as a great strength training workout!

Monday, May 23, 2011

This Week in Fitness


Monday 5/16: Ran 5 miles

Tuesday 5/17: Walked 3.3 miles (took about an hour) + 21 Day Total Body Makeover Workout (I went through all the exercises only one time)

Wednesday 5/18: Ran 3 miles + Leg Slimmer and Toner (from Exercise OnDemand) + Total Body Pilates (from Exercise OnDemand)

Thursday 5/19: Less is More Cardio (from Exercise OnDemand) + Bikini Body Workout (from Exercise OnDemand)

Friday 5/20: Walked 3.5 miles (in 55 minutes) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Saturday 5/21: Rest Day

Sunday 5/22: Ran 3 miles

I officially started training for a 10K last week, but forgot to mention it. I created a training plan through Smart Coach. It was super easy to do and very customizable based on your level/goals/etc. You input things like your current race time, goal race distance, race date, and so on and it automatically comes up with a plan for you.

I don't actually have a 10K planned, so I arbitrarily set my training end date for June 26th because I felt like that was enough time. I searched around for 10K's in my area and there are NONE in June/July so it seems I'm out of luck for now. But the self-satisfaction of being able to get out there and run a 10K should be enough for now. :)

Here's a look at my training schedule (sorry it's small print):

Unfortunately, my training plan has already had a bit of a setback due to an injury that flared up this week. After seeing a doctor and doing some research on my own, it appears I'm dealing with Posterior Tibial Tendonitis in my right foot/ankle. It's a tendonitis that flares up whenever I go for runs now and the cause is usually some sort of overpronation (or running on the insides of your feet instead of the middle).

I obviously don't want to stop running completely right now, so I'm trying to treat it as best I can while still staying as close as possible to my training plan. A couple things I'm doing to help treat it are:

-Icing the area a few times a day

-Not pushing myself too hard if it starts to hurt. On the day I ran 5 miles, I actually had to stop and walk for about 3 minutes in the middle because my ankle was flaring up pretty badly.

-Getting professionally fitted for running shoes. I was wearing a minimalist style shoe (Nike Free Runs) and I had a feeling that lack of support could be contributing to my pain. So this weekend I went to Tucson and got fitted for running shoes. The employee suspects I am dealing with several issues that are causing the pain (overpronation, flat feet/fallen arches, one foot a size larger than the other, one leg longer than the other, inverted knees, etc.). It was a little discouraging to to hear all those factors that are working against me, but I'm hoping that by taking the appropriate measures I can still keep up with running. Anyway, I ended up purchasing a pair of Brooks Ravenna 2's and the employee also suggested using orthotic inserts for extra support. I was a little shell-shocked at the price of the shoes + inserts, so I just went with the shoes for now. I may go back and purchase the inserts later if I feel like I need them. I went for my first 3 mile run yesterday with the new shoes, and they felt good BUT the tendonitis still flared up. :(

So that's what I'm up against right now. It's a big bummer for me because I felt like I was finally hitting my running stride, so to speak. We'll see how things unfold over the next couple of weeks.

Have you ever dealt with a fitness-related injury before? I'd love to hear any tips for how you recovered!

Friday, May 20, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #41

For more info on the MilSpouse Fill-In check out Wife of a Sailor's blog.

1. What is one of the things you always do special when your husband returns from a deployment?

You mean besides in the bedroom? Bow chicka wow wow! ;-) (sorry, Mom) No but really, I don't do anything all that special. Just the normal stuff like "welcome home" signs, stocking the fridge/pantry with his favorite things, etc.
My "We Survived Deployment" sign.

2. What do you do to help your spouse and/or yourself re-adjust after a deployment or long separation?

I try to give up my typical control-freak ways (yes, I can admit it) a little and let him decide how he wants to spend his first few days at home. I try not to make him do anything (like go to a party or whatever) he doesn't want to do, since he did just spend a year at war and all. Other than that we just try to go back to life as normal as quickly as possible.

3. Are you a crazy coupon clipper (I’m becoming one, so share your secrets with me)?


No. I suck at couponing! I always have the best intentions but then I forget the coupons at home, don't take the time to clip them, or buy things I don't need because of the coupons. It's just not my thing, unfortunately.

4. What’s your most treasured memory of you and your spouse (not counting your wedding – that’s a given)?

Hmmm....this is hard because there are so many. I guess one of my most treasured memories is our first date. We were both brand-new freshmen in college and he asked me to be his date to the very first football game of the year. I remember being so excited when he called to ask me out because I just felt differently about him than I ever had about anyone else before. And on the date, he kissed me at the end as part of a Texas A&M tradition. I vividly remember the feelings of awkwardness/butterflies/elation. Good memories! :)

This got me reminiscing so I just dug up some old photos...
This is I'm pretty sure our first photo ever taken together. It was 80's night at Fish Camp. I'm on the far left in pink and he's in the back with the bandana (obvsies, since he's the only dude). He asked me out on our first date a few weeks after this photo was taken.

First Date. Man we were young!!

Thanksgiving 2003. This is the weekend that we first said "I love you." to each other. :)

I think this was Junior Year Formal.

We look like we know what we're doing on those horses.

I forgot about this photo until just now but I love it. This was taken at a football game our Senior year. We were newly engaged at this point.

Okay enough with the flashback photos. Sorry I got carried away! :)

5. If you could live anywhere overseas, what would you pick and why?

Greece. Hands down! It's probably #1 on my list of dream places I'd like to visit, and I think living there would be so fun (but bad for my waistline).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chicken Taquitos

We're Mexican food fanatics in this house.

I happen to consider myself a bit of a Mexican food connoisseur, since I grew up in a place known for Tex-Mex and spent many of my summers in Mexico. Oh how I miss good Tex-Mex and Mexican food!

You'd think living in Arizona, only a short drive away from the Mexican border, that we'd be able to find good Mexican food here. But that is not really the case. Most of the Mexican food we have tried in our town did not meet my high standards.

Solution? Make my own (healthier) Mexican food!


These taquitos are far from authentic, but they certainly helped satisfy a craving. They were easy to make at home and also provided a much healthier version of something that's usually deep fried and greasy.

For the filling I used some leftover chicken from a whole roasted chicken that I made earlier in the week. The best part about these taquitos is that you could really adapt this method to include any leftovers or ingredients you have on hand. Leftover steak? Make steak taquitos! Lots of veggies on their last leg? Make veggie & bean taquitos! The opportunities are endless!
Served with a side of black beans and brown rice, these made a great, healthy meal!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Source: Annie's Eats

Yield: about 12 taquitos

Ingredients:

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup salsa

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. cumin

½ tsp. onion powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1-2 green onions, chopped

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc. would also be good)

10-12 6-inch flour tortillas (I think these would be great with corn tortillas too! I plan on trying that next time.)

Cooking spray

Kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, spices, cilantro, green onions, chicken and shredded cheese (I actually used a food processor to mix the ingredients and chop things up a little more. Just pulse a few times until well mixed.). Mix thoroughly until well combined.

Briefly heat the tortillas in the microwave to make them soft enough to roll easily, about 20-3o seconds. Place a tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the filling mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up tightly around the filling. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, spacing the assembled taquitos evenly on the baking sheet. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. (You may be tempted to skip the sprinkle of salt, but it really adds a nice touch.)

(To freeze before baking, transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and chill the assembled taquitos 30-60 minutes. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. To bake from the freezer, simply add a few additional minutes to the original baking time, until the filling is warmed through.)

Bake 15-20 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This Week in Fitness


Monday 5/9: Ran 4.25 miles

Tuesday 5/10: 45 minutes on elliptical + 10 minute jog + a few weight moves

Wednesday 5/11: Bikini Ready + 20 Minute Sweat (both from Exercise OnDemand) + 20 minute incline walk on treadmill (alternating inclines)

Thursday 5/12: Ran 3 miles

Friday 5/13: Rest Day

Saturday 5/14: Ran in a 5K (!!! - finished in 28:57, so slightly better than my first 5K) + 15 minutes on Stairclimber + 20 minutes on elliptical + a few weight moves (I don't know what got into me this day....I guess I was super motivated!)

Sunday 5/15: Drop 10 Tabbatta Interval Workout + about 3 minutes each of jump rope and jumping jacks at the end

Tune of the Week:
On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

I'm way behind on posting about these, since I made them way back for an Easter celebration. Oopsie!

These cupcakes were the perfect, lemony spring treat! The cake was light and fluffy and the frosting was cool and creamy. They were a HUGE hit a the Easter party I went to. One guest even commented that these were the best cupcakes she had EVER eaten!!

I made both regular size cupcakes AND mini cupcakes, because this recipe made a TON of cupcakes! I was not prepared for that. I had cupcakes coming out of my ears!


I topped some of them with bunny Peeps and the rest I just garnished with extra lemon curd.

By the way, this was my first time ever making lemon curd and it was SUPER easy and delicious! The lemon curd alone would be worth making, if the cupcakes aren't really your thing or you don't have time to make the whole thing.


One complaint I have with these cupcakes was that this recipe was very labor intensive. I know I say that a lot (I guess I'm just lazy), but I really mean it this time. Making these created about a bajillion dirty dishes and took me a good 3 hours from start to finish.

That being said, I would still say these were worth it for a special occasion since they were such a big hit!

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Source: yourhomebasedmom.com

Lemon Cake:

3 C flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 C unsalted butter (room temperature)

2 C sugar

4 eggs (separated)

1 C milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon extract

zest of two lemons

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Mix well. Alternately add in flour mixture and milk. Beginning and ending with flour. Add in vanilla and lemon and lemon zest.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add egg whites into batter, folding gently.

Place into cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Use half of lemon curd recipe to fill the cupcakes either with a squeeze bottle or by cutting a small hole in the middle of the cupcake and filling with lemon curd.

Lemon Curd:

2 lemons

4 egg yolks

3/4 C sugar

4 Tbsp butter, cold

Zest the lemons. Juice the lemons. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and thickened.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened

1 C sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C whipping cream

Half of the above lemon curd recipe above.

In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff. In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add in lemon curd. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream.

**Note: Be sure you refrigerate these cupcakes if you're going to store them for any amount of time, since there is cream cheese in the frosting.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #40

Check out Wife of a Sailor's blog for more info on the Fill-In!

1. Which was the best day of your life- Wedding day or Homecoming day?

Definitely wedding day!! There's just nothing else like your own wedding. It was such a special day and I cherish every moment.

2. Were you a part of the joining the military question or did you sign up for the relationship when your man was already in the military?

When I met my husband we were freshman in college, and he had already accepted a full scholarship from the Army in return for joining after graduation. So I knew going in that if I ended up with him I would be an Army wife someday, but we were so young and it didn't seem real at the time.

3. What is your favorite Disney movie and why?

The Little Mermaid!! I love all Disney movies though.

4. What is your favorite family activity to do on the weekends?

Hiking, playing tennis, going to the gym, trying new restaurants and watching movies are some of our favorites.

5. Where do you secretly wish you could be stationed with you/your SO’s line of work (realistically speaking, not everyone can be stationed on NAS Fiji)?

Monterrey, California would be my #1 dream place to be stationed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, it's muh 26th BIRTHDAY today!! Yeehaw!

We're going to see the movie Bridesmaids tonight and I CAN'T WAIT! It's the little things that make me happy. It's already been a great day, though! I opened my presents at 5 am this morning because I was so excited. I feel very blessed and loved today!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Week in Fitness

I accidentally posted this on Friday so if you've already seen part of this, I apologize for repeating. I quickly deleted the post after I realized what I did, but I think it may still have shown up on Google Reader.

Monday 5/2:
Jogged 4 miles + 60 minute Yoga to the People Podcast

Tuesday 5/3: Banish Fat Boost Metabolism (from Exercise OnDemand -- it's a killer high intensity cardio workout!) + Tone It Up's Lean Arms Pyramid

Wednesday 5/4: 2 hour hike with some friends

Thursday 5/5: Jogged 3 miles

Friday 5/6: 10 lb Slimdown Lower + 20 Min. Fat Burn (both are from Exercise OnDemand) + 40 minute walk with the pup

Saturday 5/7: Jogged 3 miles

Sunday 5/8: I went to the gym with my husband, but I wasn't feeling motivated so I really just messed around while he worked out. I shot some hoops, did some box jumps, a couple of weight moves and that's about it.

I don't have time for a favorite fitness tune or tip of the week, because I've got to get ready to head to Tucson today! We're going out for my early birthday dinner at The Melting Pot! I've never been to a Melting Pot before so I'm SUPER excited!!

How was your week of fitness? Did you try anything new?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that my husband is a "man's man" who dislikes meat-free main dishes. In his mind, No meat = Not a meal.

There are two notable exceptions to his No Meat rule though.

Pizza (specifically Margarita style) and...
Eggplant Parmesan.


Why are these exceptions? Well I honestly don't know, but I have a feeling it has to do with the copious amounts of cheese.

Eggplant Parmesan has always been one of Hubs' favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant, but surprisingly enough I had never made it at home for him.

Until now.

And now, I think I've created a monster.

Because he could. not. stop. talking about how good this was and how it was "the best eggplant parmesan he has ever had".

I have to agree. It IS really, really, really good. But what I like even better is that this "healthified" version is just as good, if not better, than the "real" thing.

Usually Eggplant Parmesan involves deep frying slices of eggplant and then covering them in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. This version lightens things up a bit by oven-baking the eggplant and then still topping with tomato sauce & cheese.
So. Stinkin'. Good. You must make this!

FYI it's a bit more labor intensive of a dinner than I typically go for, but it is SO worth every extra minute of effort!

Eggplant Parmesan
Source: adapted from Cooking Light
  • YIELD: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (or use plain and add Italian seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce* (I used Emeril's Eggplant & Gaaahlic)
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese OR sliced fresh mozzarella (which is what I used)
  • Fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Preparation

Place eggplant in a large bowl; add water to cover, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain well; blot dry with paper towels. Combine 1/4 cup water and egg whites in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; stir well. Dip eggplant in egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Place half of eggplant on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and broil 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant. Set eggplant aside.

Spread half of tomato sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant over sauce; top with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

*NOTES: The original recipe called for you to make your own tomato sauce, but I went the easy way out and used store-bought sauce. I used Emeril's Eggplant & Gaaahlic sauce and it was DELICIOUS! Highly recommend.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Roast Chicken, Take 2

Apparently I am doomed to never actually take good photos of roast chicken, as evidenced by my last post on roast chicken and as evidenced by this post that you're about to see. It's a tragedy really, because roast chicken DESERVES great photos to do it justice. But alas, the curse continues.

You may be wondering why I decided to try a new recipe for roast chicken, when I had a perfectly good one already. I'm bored easily. That's really the only explanation I have. That and I like to try new takes on the same thing. So sue me!

Hence, a new roast chicken recipe was found on Cooking Light that involved dried sage and LOTS of garlic, and I was sold! So I roasted my little heart out and ended up with this:
It may not look good, but it sure does taste good! I think this recipe was even easier than the other one I made, and easier is always a bonus for me.

I also tried something new and used my broiler pan instead of my roasting pan. I did this because I wanted to roast the potatoes alongside the chicken but I didn't want them to end up covered in all the chicken fat drippings (to save a few calories). I actually really loved doing it this way!! All the chicken fat dripped down into the bottom part of the pan and not onto my veggies.


I served my chicken & potatoes on top of a bed of spring mix lettuce to get some extra greens.


And I most definitely did NOT "discard the skin" as the recipe suggests to cut calories. Some calories are just worth it, and crispy chicken skin happens to be one of those things.

Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Butternut Squash

Source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) roasting chicken
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 ounces red potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and sage in a small bowl. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in broiler pan.

3. Combine potatoes, squash, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetable mixture around chicken. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165° (my chicken was at least 4.5 pounds so it took about an hour and a half to cook). Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.

Monday, May 2, 2011

This Week in Fitness

Monday 4/25: Self Drop 10 Tabatta Interval Workout (Loved this workout!!) + 20 minute walk

Tuesday 4/26: 45-minute walk -- I was supposed to run today, but I hurt/bruised my knee pretty badly on Monday night by falling out of bed (I know, I know) so I didn't want to push it too hard.

Wednesday 4/27: Self Drop 10 Tabatta Interval Workout

Thursday 4/28: 28-minute jog (about 2.8 miles) -- I'm happy to report that my knee didn't hurt during the run! I just felt some tugging but nothing I can't live with.

Friday 4/29: Rest Day -- I stayed up all night watching the Royal Wedding so I was in no condition to work out!

Saturday 4/30: 5K!!!! + 30 minute walk -- Recap below.

Sunday 5/1: Cleaned the house -- You better believe I'm counting this as exercise! I was breaking a serious sweat by scrubbing toilets, bathtubs, sinks, etc.

FIRST 5K RECAP:

As I mentioned above, I ran in my first 5K race ever on Saturday. I can't even really put into words what this means to me. Just 3 short months ago, I was struggling to run for 5 minutes at a time; now I can run up to 4 miles at a time without much trouble.

I've always hated running and felt an extreme amount of jealousy for the people I knew who could go pound out mile after mile and actually enjoy it. I always wanted to be one of those people, but I don't think I actually ever believed it would happen.

But back in February, after moving to Arizona and adjusting to a stay-at-home wife lifestyle, I started the Couch to 5K program (mostly out of boredom). It was tough, but I stuck to it and completed it.

My friend Kelli and I (both new runners) signed up for our first 5K on April 30th. The morning of the 30th arrived and I actually somehow didn't set my alarm correctly so I awoke in a panic with only 15 minutes to get ready and get out the door. That wasn't exactly the calm pre-race morning I had planned.

I barely made it in time to pick up my race number, get stretched out and take a picture with Kelli before we had to head to the start line.
Pre-Race Photo (me on the left, Kelli on the right)

Kelli and I were both feeling extremely jittery and nervous at this point, as you can clearly tell by the following photo.
Pre-Race Jitters

The start gun went off and we were on our way!
Here we go!

Basically the whole first 2 miles of the race were steadily uphill. That was an unexpected challenge and at one point when I saw a giant hill ahead of me I thought I might die. But I didn't die and I kept on pushing!

At the 2 mile mark there was a water station and my mouth was EXTREMELY dry (darn you, Arizona dry weather!) so I grabbed a cup of water as I passed. Unfortunately, I guess I haven't mastered the art of drinking water while running because most of it ended up running down my face and shirt instead of going in my mouth.

Luckily, the last mile was flat or slightly downhill so that was a nice change from the first 2 miles. The next thing I know, I came around a bend and I saw the finish line! I had grand plans of sprinting through the finish but I think I was kind of out of it because I didn't end up doing that.
Approaching the finish looking haggard!

Crossing the finish line.

I'm actually not completely sure what my finish time was because there was also a 10K going on at the same time and the finish line clock was displaying the 10K time, not the 5K. I was disappointed with this and really kicking myself for not setting the stopwatch on my iPod so I could have seen my time. However, after doing the math and trying to figure out my rough time we figured out that I probably came in at about the 29 minute mark. I couldn't believe it because that was my fastest pace by far to date! Usually I run my miles at around the 10 minute mark, so this was a big improvement for me.

Apparently they are going to be posting the official results in the next couple of days so I'm anxious to see what that says, but until then I'm going with my estimated finish time!

After we both finished, Kelli and I were definitely feeling a bit of a post-race high. We both felt pretty good (except for some tightness in our chests) and we were thrilled that we accomplished such a great goal!

Post-Race. We did it!!

It was so great having a fellow novice runner and friend to achieve this goal by my side. I feel so lucky to have met Kelli since moving here because we really have so much in common! We both commented that our next goal is to complete a 10K and I think we're well on our way to achieving that goal as well. (And special thanks to her husband, Ian, as well for taking all the photos you see!)

Fitness Tip of the Week: Have faith in yourself and your abilities! It may seem impossible to run a 5K now, but you CAN do it! If I can do it, I promise you that YOU can do it! All it takes is proper training and dedication to accomplish your fitness goals. Look for beginner programs that keep you on a structured, steady increase plan to help you reach your goals (like the Couch to 5K program).

Fitness Tune of the Week: Single Ladies by Beyonce

My husband may have put a ring on it, but I still love this song. The beat is perfect for working out (or shaking your ass...what? who said that?). Oh and let's not forget, the video is one of the best music videos ever made (right, Kanye?). :)

Question of the Week: What's your biggest fitness accomplishment to date? It doesn't matter if it's big or small, own it!