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Going Live!

April 28, 2010

I am officially launching the new…and improved…Beck On The Run!

Please update your Google Readers, Favorite Places, Bookmarks, etc…and come visit my domain!

http://www.beckontherun.com

I bought my own domain recently and have struggled with a complete lack of tech savvy.  I still have lots of work to do, but I am excited to learn more!

Thanks for your support of the blog and keep reading!

Treadmill Happy

April 27, 2010

Today I had some treadmill fun.  it’s been weeks since I set foot on that machine, but we got reacquainted quickly!  I am a notorious treadmill hater.  Not today!  I was letting the good times roll.  Why the change?  Girl talk! Yup.  I made a date with Lolly for a chat-fest.  We met at the gym, set ourselves up side by side and jabbered away.  Lolly is recovering from a recent surgery and finally got the “all clear” to begin light cardio again.  It was great to have my gym buddy back!

In total, I spent an hour on the treadmill.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 0.25 miles @ 3.5 mph
  • 0.50 miles @ 6.5 mph
  • 0.50 miles @ 6.8 mph
  • 2.00 miles @ 7.0 mph
  • 1.00 miles @ 6.5 mph
  • For the remaining time, I walked at 3.8 mph – 2.0 incline.

Great sweat sesh!  I went along at a good conversational pace and enjoyed the entire hour.  At the end, my Aunt Carol arrived, so I got to spend some time catching up with her, too!  Workout, shmorkout…in the end, you gotta have fun!

Rewind! After work, I had a solid afternoon snack.  I knew I’d be running a little later and didn’t want to feel starved for dinner by the end.

It was the perfect rainy day snack – hot cinnamon apples with Fiber One and almond butter. Apple pie in a bowl, pretty much.  I also snuck in a cup of java for a quick pick-me-up.  I think the rain had me feeling sluggish.  I feel like a million bucks now!

The snack did it’s job and kept me satisfied until I got home for dinner.  I couldn’t decide on a meal for tonight, so I had quite the smorgasbord.

What is all that?!  Lots of good stuff…pinky swear!

  • one turkey mini meatloaf
  • roasted brussels sprouts
  • roasted butternut and beets
  • whole wheat couscous with mixed veggies

Sometimes I really enjoy little tastes of everything.  I feel completely content after this meal….everything I wanted!

All I want now is…my puppy!  We’re hanging out all night! Pet therapy.  It works!

Happy Hump Day Eve!

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

April 27, 2010

The self-fulfilling prophecy is basically a statement that affects your actions and becomes true.  For example, saying “This is going to be a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day!” will probably lead to just that!  For years, I fulfilled my own prophecy.

I…

  • didn’t like “sports.”
  • was “bad” at all of them.
  • would never be an athlete.
  • was big-boned and curvy, not made to compete.

I repeated these thoughts to myself over and over until they became true.  To be honest, I never really tried.  I was a great student, focused on that, and avoided any chance of failure at all costs! The cost was my health.  By avoiding all forms of physical activity, I was an unhealthy, lethargic 24 year old.  Luckily, a kind person urged me to join the gym and I caved…and loved it!

Finding Running

I’ve always envied runners – their effortless strides, passion, and comradarie.  Once I improved my fitness level, I wanted to run. I began on the treadmill, running a few minutes at a time.  I worked my way up to a 5K distance and entered my first race.  My aunt practically dragged me across that finish line at Bryant University, but I made it!  The bug bit me!  I ran another 5K the following weekend and signed up for the half-marathon a few months later.

As my mileage has crept up and my training winds down, I realize why I love running!

  • Running is an individual sport.  I can participate in competitive events, but only really need to compete with myself.
  • My performance does not directly impact the performance of other runners.
  • I don’t need to think about running when I’m running.  My body can do the work, while my mind can relax and think about other things.
  • I usually end a run feeling better than I did before the run.
  • Running travels well.  It can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime.
  • I became a member of a community of like-minded, passionate people.

On the day I entered the Shape Up RI Half Marathon, my longest run was four miles.  That day I created a new prophecy.  I’m glad I did!  Training has taught me so much about myself.  Regardless of what happens on race day, I am grateful for every mile.

***

Just had to get some sappy thoughts out this morning!  I guess the tapering is giving me extra time to think.  Meanwhile, I ate a pretty unremarkable bowl of oatmeal.

The bowl was much more exciting than the oats!  Don’t you love the cute flower inside?!

I was fresh out of milk this morning, so I had to make my oats with water.  They definitely were lacking the creaminess I have gotten accustomed to.  I also used only half a banana because it was sitting there waiting to be used up.  So….it wasn’t the best bowl, but I have the energy to take on another day.  Sometimes, that’s all you need!

Have an amazing day, my darlings!

Back to Basics

April 26, 2010

This afternoon I slipped right back into my pre-training routine.  I really wanted to go for a refreshing run after getting back to the grind of the work day, but I knew it wouldn’t be right.  Instead, I kept things low-key.

I wasn’t ready for a snack when I got home, so I just threw on my shorts and running shoes and looped through the neighborhood.  It completed two miles at a consistent 8:30/mi pace.  Even splits! Haha…it may have only been two miles, but I’ll take it!

My run ended on a strange note.  I found a loose dog in the ‘hood.  Actually, someone else found the dog, screamed to me from down the street, and told me that she didn’t know what to do with it.  Funny thing is, this is the third – yes, third! – time I have found a dog near my house while running.  Just call me Beck Doolittle!  So…like a good neighbor, I took over for the bewildered lady.  I brought the dog into my yard and got my “law & order” on!  The dog didn’t have a name tag, but it had a rabies tag from it’s vet.  I gave the vet a call, asked them to locate the owner, and doggie was safely returned home. Some serious detective work!

After such a short run, I was ready for more.  Monday night Pilates!  For months, I faithfully attended this class.  I was excited to go back.  Between running, dog rescuing, and class, I had a yogurt snack.

Plain Greek yogurt and crunchy granola – a tried and true combo!

Pilates was fabulous!  We did some traditional core work with some of my instructor’s fun moves.  My body felt great.  It was nice to work it out in a different way.  I also enjoying chatting with some gym regulars that I’ve missed.  We used to spend six days/week taking classes together.  It was fun to reconnect with my workout buddies!

Thankfully, my snack gave me the oomph to prep dinner before class.  I kept it simple – grilled chicken, steamed green beans, and carrot/parsnip fries.  All I had to do was plate it up when I got home.

I marinated the chicken in a crazy mix, inspired by my best friend’s amazing chicken wing recipe.  I didn’t measure everything….promise I will next time…because this is a must-try!  The marinade included:

  • soy sauce
  • agave
  • hand-squeezed orange juice from 1/2 an orange
  • ketchup
  • minced garlic

I know it sounds weird, but it works!  It really does!  The chicken tasted fantastic.  The marinade enhanced the meal without overpowering it.  I love at-home marinades.  I’ve used some crazy combos, too.  The weirdest was definitely Coca-Cola, Italian dressing, and ketchup for steak.

What’s your favorite marinade/sauce for grilling?

Do you make your own or buy something tasty?

Off to enjoy Monday evening!

Reunited

April 26, 2010

…and it feels so good!  My canister of oats was screaming for me this morning.  Dust was building, it said.  The oats were lonely.  I’ve neglected the old-fashioned oats over the past week, but we’re together again.  All is right with the world.

I enjoyed a simple blend this morning.  I wanted to make sure I ate my oats in their purest, oatiest form!

  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • 1 banana sliced
  • 1 T. ground flaxseed
  • 1 T. Barney Butter

Just the classics…just what I needed to start fresh this week.  Back to school!

***

Last night I went into total geek mode.  It’s no surprise to those who know me – I’m a geek!  I looked over my training plan and added up my mileage – 271.57 miles of training for 13.1 miles on May 2nd.  I’m excited!

This week is all about tapering.  I will run 2-3 short, easy runs throughout the week.  This is the first time I experience the feelings that go along with tapering.  I feel like I need to move.  Need to run!  I keep reading about tapering and reminding myself that it’s a tried and true running strategy.  I have high hopes!

And another week begins!  Happy Monday!

Any great tips for preparation in the week before a big race? I’d love to learn from you!

A Sunday of Eats

April 25, 2010

It’s been a super lazy day in Beckland!  I came home for a hot shower and sweats after that rainy walk.  I was chilled to the bone…and soaked to the skin…and a hot shower is the only remedy.  A warm puggle doesn’t hurt either!

My meals have been slightly unremarkable, but considering my laziness, I did try to keep my simple meals nutritious and delicious.

First up: breakfast!  I made use of some fresh fruits to create Bananaberry Pancakes.

I used an oatmeal pancake base of oats, egg whites, and baking powder.  This morning I just added sliced strawberries and 1/2 a banana to the batter.  I plopped the mix onto the griddle and formed my cakes.  They cooked up quick and had such sweetness from the fresh fruit.  I topped each cake with a smear of Justin’s Chocolate PB and a the remaining banana slices.  I enjoyed breakfast without syrup this morning…the sweet, caramelized fruit was just perfect on its own!

I walked my way through the morning without stopping for a snack.  I sipped a hot green tea from DD after walking, but decided against the donut combo :).  By the time I got home, I was hungry!  I quickly pieced together some semblance of a meal.

My plate included two slices of toast with almond butter, asparagus spears, and a sliced apple.  It only took minutes to prepare….and eat! I liked!

A few hours later, I went back to the kitchen for an afternoon snack.

The strawberries are still going strong!  I sliced up a few more red, ripe berries and topped them with some plain Greek yogurt and granola.  This was definitely a satisfying snack!

***

By the time dinner rolled around, I was tired of the same ole stuff!  I kept things homespun, but I did get a bit more creative.

A black bean burger. The easiest black bean burger ever!  I just mashed 1/3 c. black beans, 1 T. of whole-wheat breadcrumbs, and 2 T. salsa together to form patties.  I threw in some corn niblets at the last minute and cooked these up on the griddle.  Like any good burger should be, my patty was topped with cheese – and eaten bun-less.

Sweet potato fries. Nothing like hand-cut fries!  I cut up a small sweet ‘tater and coated it with some canola oil, cinnamon, salt, and ground flax.  The fries crisped up nicely at 400*.

Corn. Corn used to be the only veggie I ate.  Seriously.  I know, I know…I’ve learned!  I still love corn though.  Even the frozen kind.  I sprinkled some cayenne pepper over these niblets to really bring out the Tex-Mex in my meal.  It was a nice touch!

This meal was filling and delicious.  It felt like a departure from the meals I’ve been eating lately and I welcomed the change.  It’s nice to revive foods that have gone by the wayside.  I was all about the black beans for awhile…and they’re baaack!

***

The good times just kept on rolling in Beck’s kitchen tonight.  It’s Sunday.  Work resumes tomorrow.  Baking ensued.

Chocolate-Coconut Peanut Butter Bars (adapted from Tina’s recipe for Peanut Buttery Bars).

  • 1.5 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. agave
  • 1/2 c. Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut
  • dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and coat baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine first five ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add 3 T. of shredded coconut to the batter.
  4. Spread batter evenly into the baking dish.
  5. Top with reserved coconut and dark chocolate chips.
  6. Bake at 350* for about 18 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. Eat and enjoy!

And I enjoy, I did!  I crumbled my bars atop a small scoop of coffee ice cream.  Chocolate, coconut, coffee – the three C’s!

I think I’m finally willing to say goodbye to vacation and hello to another work week.  I can already hear excited kiddos waiting to share their vacation stories.  Fun, fun!

Walking For A Cause

April 25, 2010

This morning I attended the 8th Annual Imagine Walk. The walk-a-thon is organized by The Autism Project to raise money for educating and empowering children, families, and professionals affected by autism.  As an educator, I have worked with many children and families touched by autism.  It has brought me great joys, new challenges, and a desire to learn and do more for the cause.

[Due to the wet weather, I kept my camera safely tucked away.  In place of pictures, I'd love to share some information on autism.]

What is autism?

Autism is a disability that affects social interaction and communication.  It is complex disorder, which falls along a spectrum of disorders, labeled pervasive developmental disoders (PDD). Children and adults with autism have varying levels of verbal and non-verbal communication and differing levels of social interaction.

Who has autism?

The number of children diagnosed with autism continues to rise.  Children are typically diagnosed in the toddler years, but symptoms vary.  At this point, it is estimated that 1:110 children gets diagnosed with autism.  1:70 boys gets the diagnosis. The numbers are staggering.

What causes autism?

There is no clear answer.  Research has developed effective techniques to educate and empower individuals with autism. There are also methods to address symptoms of autism; however, the cause of autism is unclear.

This question is also very controversial.  According to Autism Speaks, “The best scientific evidence available to us today points toward a potential for various combinations of factors causing autism – multiple genetic components that may cause autism on their own or possibly when combined with exposure to as yet undetermined environmental factors. Timing of exposure during the child’s development (before, during or after birth) may also play a role in the development or final presentation of the disorder.”

***

I realize that this is a departure from my typical food and fitness post, but it is certainly a hot topic in wellness communities. Because environmental factors may play a role in the incidence of autism, we must continue to support research to determine what our role is in this disorder that affects so many.

It was a cold, rainy April morning, but hundreds of local families turned out for the great event!  It was powerful to see the large groups of families supporting one another and advocating for their children.  We walked, talked, and made the most of the wet morning.  Thousands of dollars were raised for a worthy cause!

What causes/charities are near and dear to you? We all support worthy causes.  Please share with me. Knowledge is power!

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