Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Training

Little A on turtle
Little A lazing on his turtle

Sunday we celebrated Little A's 3rd birthday up in Michigan, so Monday I was able to run my 4 miles along the lake.  After some beach time in the morning, we headed home and then my daughter, Gaigai and I went into the city for yoga in the park with Muscle Milk Light - so much fun!

Muscle Milk Light yoga in the park
Yoga in the park sponsored by Muscle Milk Light
Tuesday I ran my 7 miles through the neighborhood.

Back up to Michigan on Thursday for some more fun and relaxation.  Blueberry season has started so we went to our favorite blueberry farm to see what we could find.  Good thing they don't weigh us before and after - as usual, I think we ate more than we collected in our buckets!
 
blueberry picking in MI
Kiddos blueberry picking

Friday morning I ran another 4 miles along the lake.  My two older kiddos, Tazer and Gaigai are training for a triathlon in August, so I waited until they woke up and took them with for the first 1.5 miles - chilly and breezy, it was perfect weather for a run.  After some breakfast we went kayaking on the nearby Galien River.

kayaking
Kayaking on the Galien River

Saturday morning, once again cool, breezy and perfect for a long run!  I headed back into Chicago to meet with Kelly the Culinarian, a fellow ZOOMA ambassador and the ZOOMA Half Marathon Challenge Athletes, Samira, Tracy, and Tiffany and together we ran 12 miles along the lakefront path.  These ladies are doing a great job with their training - can't believe ZOOMA Chicago is less than 2 weeks away!  I'm hoping for similar weather for August 10. :)



ZOOMA
ZOOMA Half Marathon Challenge Athletes
How's your summer training going?


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Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Funny

How I feel when planking
How I feel like when doing a plank -- how I actually look.
From Frolic Through Life Facebook


Happy Friday!

Any fun plans for the weekend?

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Training and Title Nine

Monday:  6 hot and humid miles in -- you guessed it - Michigan!

Humid runner
6 hot and humid miles along lakefront road in Michigan

Wednesday:  easy 4 miles - still in Michigan. :)

Title Nine/ZOOMA Fun Run
ZOOMA fun run hosted by Title Nine, Lincoln Park

The rest of the week work and kiddos took precedence and instead of my usual long run with CARA on Saturday, I headed to Title Nine in Lincoln Park for a fun run with a fellow ZOOMA Ambassador, Kelly of Kelly the Culinarian and three ZOOMA Challenge Athletes along with some other lovely ladies followed by a private shopping event, bagels and mimosas.  Muscle Milk Light also came to provide us all with protein recovery shakes.  Thanks, Title Nine and Muscle Milk Light, great way to end my training week!

4 weeks left until ZOOMA Chicago!!

How's your training going?

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pretzel Dogs: Better Than Pigs in a Blanket

Munchkin (our 6 year old) had been begging me for pretzel dogs for some time, but I had no luck finding them in the stores (probably a good thing, I'm sure the list of ingredients would not be to my liking:).  Fortunately for all of us, I discovered a recipe on Pinterest from Cheerios and Lattes for homemade pretzel dogs.  So for our July 4th fete, we made our own.

Homemade pretzel dogs
Homemade Pretzel Dogs
To proof yeast heat to 110 degrees F
12 oz. water

Combine warm water with
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Sprinkle on top, and let stand for 5 minutes until frothy
1 (.25 oz.) package of dry yeast

Using stand mixer, bread machine or food processor, combine
4 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

My food processor is great for making dough!
Slowly add yeast mixture.  Using dough setting knead for 5 minutes.  Place dough in bowl and cover with damp towel and let rise for about 1 hour.  Return dough to mixer and knead for another 5 minutes.  Let rise for another 45-60 minutes until dough has doubled in size.

Bring to boil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda

Preheat oven 450 degrees F, and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or light coat of grapeseed oil.

Beat together and set aside
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface, and roll into an approximate 10×20-inch rectangle.  Cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips, then wrap each strip tightly around
8 large hot dogs, halved

Little hands helped me wrap the hot dogs:)

Drop 2 or 3 dough-wrapped hot dogs into the boiling water for 30 seconds.


My husband, Kovas took care of the boiling.

Arrange the boiled hot dogs on the prepared baking sheets. Brush each pretzel dog with the egg yolk mixture, and sprinkle with salt.



Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

These homemade pretzel dogs did not disappoint, and as long as you allow enough time for the rises, the recipe is really pretty easy!

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday Training (Week 10) and General Running Safety Tips

Week 10 Training:  31 days until ZOOMA Chicago!!

Lakefront road
Peaceful road along the lakefront...

Monday:  4 tempo miles in Michigan; This continues to be one of my favorite places to run.  Some mornings there are droves of people out biking, running, walking (usually on the weekends), but usually during my Monday morning runs, I only see a handful of a people.  Even in our safe little beach  town, I keep basic safety guidelines in mind while running alone (see below).

Thursday:  4 miles on the 4th;  I had 7 miles planned, but opted to do 4 instead.

Friday:  7 miles in the neighborhood; Ran my 7, maybe not the best idea day before my long run, but no problems:)


Saturday: Sunny, hot and humid 9 miles with CARA (had planned on 11);  Even with the group, this run was difficult for me.  I was supposed to tack on another mile out and back at the end, but my usual half marathon training buddies were out of town, and I didn't have it in me to do it alone...I feel like I am still acclimatizing to the heat, so not too worried about cutting it a little short.

Here are some great general running safety tips from RRCA:

DON’T WEAR HEADPHONES. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.
Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles (except up hills and around curves). By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.  
Look both ways before crossing. Be sure the driver of a car acknowledges your right-of-way before crossing in front of a vehicle. Obey traffic signals.
Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along your regular route.
Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you’re unsure. If something tells you a situation is not “right”, it isn’t.
Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local RRCA club or running store. Know where open businesses or stores are located in case of emergency.
Run with a partner. Run with a dog.
Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.
Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
Ignore verbal harassment and do not verbally harass others. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark. Avoid running on the street when it is dark.
Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.
Carry a noisemaker. Get training in self-defense.
When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. If you alter your direction, look over your should before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.
CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.

Looking for a fun group training run?  
Title Nine, Lincoln Park is hosting a training run and private shopping event next Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 am.  
Come join us!

More details at ZOOMArun.com


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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday Training - Week 9

I've been training with CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) in preparation for the ZOOMA Chicago half marathon on August 10.  This is the first time I've stuck with group training, and I'm finding I actually look forward to the long runs with the group.  From novices to marathon veterans, CARA is a great way to train for a half marathon or marathon.  The group leaders are seasoned and knowledgable and chatting with fellow runners makes the miles go faster.   CARA also has organized midweek and speed runs, and even though I can't make it to those, I make sure to get my miles in so that I'm ready for the long runs.

week 9 training
View of the lake from my Monday run and CARA pre-run prep talk.

So here's a look at my week 9 training:
Monday - 5 miles along the lakefront in Michigan
Wednesday - 5 miles in the pouring rain
Friday - 5 miles around the neighborhood
Saturday - 9 miles with CARA

How's your training going?

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