Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fun Stuff

Just got back from visiting and running with my sister at Eastern Illinois University. So much fun!

This week I have a lot to look forward to. Here's a big list:

* Enjoy Spring Break!
* Watch the men build a fence for Bentley in our back yard.
* Run on that trail that I found last month! It's finally warm enough and dry enough!
* Run my first 5K on Saturday with my husband!
* Cook Easter dinner for my husband's family on Sunday.
* Enjoy an extra day for Spring Break on Easter Monday.

OK. So the list wasn't that big. But it's a lot for me.

Plus....I ran close to 6 miles so far this week! Ye-haw! And I'm going to run more! Yay for motivation and great weather!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brown Monsters and Knee Pain

I'm finally on Spring Break! Did I go to the beach? On a cruise?

Nope. I went to Charleston, Illinois to visit Eastern Illinois University and my sister. Yay! I graduated from here and it's nice to go back. Notice the complete lack of anything surrounding this tiny little town in the middle of no where! Ha!

Since I arrived yesterday, we've gone running twice. Yesterday was a nice 3.6 mile walk/run. We walked to the campus trail, ran the campus trail, and then walked back to her apartment. The campus trail is about 2 miles long. So, yay! After being totally lazy, it was nice to get out and run.

This morning we went for a run around 9:30 and did about 3 miles. It felt great! I still had lung issues, but the shin pain didn't bother me at all. What did bother me during both runs was the Brown Monster. (Code Name: #2)

I haven't had this problem in quite a while. Since I've been running mostly in the afternoon, I haven't felt the urge to "free the Brown Monster" during a run. It used to happen to me all the time around the 2 mile mark. Now it rarely happens. However, the moment I got down here, I can't seem to get rid of it! I had to walk 2 times yesterday and luckily the bathrooms at the football stadium were open or we would have had a problem. This morning though, we had to walk 3 times and cut the run short. Both times the Brown Monster was released in the proper location and not in the bushes, but this is starting to worry me. It could just be a 24- hour problem, but it's still annoying. Any advice?

Also, my sister is experiencing pain in the back of her left knee. I e-mailed my PT friend and am also going to throw this one out to you guys/girls. She is currently training for the Illinois Marathon on May 1st. She was able to get up to about 13 miles on her training plan before her knee really started to bother her. The pain is in the back of her left knee down both the tendons. (The picture is up at the top because I can't get it to move down here.) This pain sometimes moves toward the lower front of her knee. If she rests and ices it, it becomes stiff. It stays stiff for the first 3 miles of a run and then loosens up around mile 4. She said it feels fine after that but hasn't run more than 10 miles since. It bothered her so much today that she stopped when the Brown Monster made me stop. I know she probably needs to see a doctor, but insurance makes that difficult right now. Any advice?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This week = Total Fail

My focus was not on myself this week. It was getting everything squared away at school instead.

It's report card time again and I of course left all my grade-entering until the last minute. It took me one whole hour to get it all entered in!

Another reason for working my butt off at school is that it's Spring Break! I wanted nothing to be hanging over my head during this break. I wanted to relax.

But in doing all of that I neglected my fitness efforts. I ate what I wanted and when I wanted it. As you can tell from my Tasty Tuesday post, I did cook some great dinners :) I didn't give myself enough time to go for a run. I didn't make myself get off the couch and get in a workout with a DVD. I didn't care about me enough.

All of that self-neglect made my weekly visit to the WW scale very depressing. I now understand how I got to this unacceptable weight in the first place. If I can put on that much weight in one week, it's a wonder that I'm not twice as big. I know that this journey will have good weeks and bad weeks....but that doesn't make the bad weeks suck any less.

Here's hoping that I can keep myself motivated during my week off....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

OMG! A Tasty Tuesday post on a Tuesday. Wow!

Today I'm featuring another selection from my Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine. In case you don't know this already....I Love Taste of Home!!!! Haven't had a bad recipe yet. for the good stuff.

Makeover Rigatoni with Bacon and Asparagus

2 servings of spiral pasta (or any pasta type)
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped
5 strips turkey bacon (or regular bacon)
1/2 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup half-and-half cream
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/8 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions
2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven (or large skillet) bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
3. In same pan, cook bacon over medium head until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and set aside.
4. Next, saute garlic in butter and oil until tender. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
5. Stir in mozzerella cheese until melted. Add drained pastsa to pan. Stir in the salt, asparagus, and bacon. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley.
6. Serve and enjoy!


The original recipe made 8 servings. I cut most of the ingredients in half so we wouldn't have left overs. GF pasta doesn't keep well. I also made substitutes, like the Turkey Bacon. It ranks at kinda-easy on my difficulty scale.There was quite a bit of prep involved.....bowl of ice water for asparagus, grated cheeses, measuring cups/spoons, chopping, boiling, etc. It also required a lot of pans for me to make it....needing to cook the GF pasta separately and all. However, I was able to cook the whole meal while trying to keep a small dog from pooping in my house. That should give you a good idea of what it takes to make it. Whatever hassle you have while cooking, it is totally worth it.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's Run......

Another great running/chasing date with the husband. I'm loving this weather! Gorgeous outside! The current temp is 61!!! Too bad Saturday's forecast has a high of 34! Boo! Bring on the spring! I want to run again on Saturday, but that might not happen. Nice weather followed by crappy weather is a big motivation killer.

I also have my friend's bachelorette party on Saturday night. I'm pretty sure we'll end up in downtown Chicago. I've never been downtown at night before. It should be fun. I hope her sister has worked out all the details so that we don't end up having to have a DD....'cause you know I'll end up in that role. Damn responsible gene that won't go dormant even for one night!

I'm enjoying my sunshine and trying not to think about the crap that's piling up around me.

Oh yea! Tomorrow is Pink (Slip) Friday in Illinois. All teacher are encouraged to wear pink to school tomorrow to represent the thousands of pink slips (layoff notices) that have been handed out this week. If you know a teacher who has been affected by this horrible mistake, please show your support and wear pink. Also, contact your representatives and let them know that padding their pockets isn't going to help our future. Schools need help! The largest district in our area is currently owed $12 million by our state government. (I don't work in that's a mess.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beautiful Day!

Today couldn't have been better! Weather wise.....I could think of a few things that would make the day itself a job for one!No. No. No. I won't go there again. It was still 63 at 5:00 pm! It's 6:49 and the sun is just disappearing behind the hill.

Today was a fantastic running date with my husband. More like a long chasing date with my husband! I barely made it a mile before I started to lose him. He even went an extra loop and still managed to catch me at the end. You wouldn't think he'd be fast, but damn! He's fast! Poor Bentley was pooped by the time we got home!

You can see my total mileage and an explanation in my Daily Mile box. Another distance PR! Wahoo!

Great day!!!

Check me out post-run rockin' my Bondi Band and my Road ID. Thanks to Katye for hooking me up with some awesome running gear!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Giveaway!

I had awesome luck with Katye's last giveaway and am hoping to win again!

Check out her Running Skirt giveaway here!

Happy running and look for a non-ranting post about running tomorrow!

Hasn't sunk in yet.....

Today my principal came and told me that my name is on the list of non-renewals for the next school year. I will be terminated in June, due to budget cuts, etc. But she also gave me a glimmer of hope. I won't go into specifics because you never know who reads these things, and I know more than I'm supposed to about this whole "top secret" process, but I should be getting my position back sometime before the end of May. So all is not lost....yet.

I say that it "hasn't sunk in yet" because I don't feel like anything really happened. I am in a strange sort of denial that nothing will change and everything will be the same next year as it is right now (me having the same job that is). My principal likes me, we're pretty much the same person, and I know/hope with crossed fingers that I will be the one she hires back to fill my spot. I can't bring myself to face the fact that this is only my third year as a teacher and it could be my last for a very long time. Every school district in my area is facing the same ordeal. Unless I go and get an emergency special education endorsement, I'm out of a teaching job for quite a while. The only openings are in places I don't really want to move to. I plan on starting a family and don't want my children growing up only seeing their grandparents once a year.

The one thing that does piss me off is that there is nothing I can personally do to prevent this from happening. It's not my fault that my contract has been terminated. I have had 3 years of excellent evaluations and would not be in this position if it weren't for some greedy sons-of-bitches that used us every-day-Joe's to get rich quick. They completely stole my future right out from underneath me even before I had a good start at building it. What pisses me off even more is that the "government for the people, by the people" is doing their darnedest to give those greedy sons-of-bitches all their money back, and more, while leaving me with nothing and no hope. All of those commercials I've heard about getting an "education" to help keep me competitive in the workplace, are crap. With education, after the school districts pull themselves out of the hole, they will hire on tons of "new" teachers right out of college because they cost less than someone like me who has experience and a masters degree. Does anyone else see something wrong with that?

Whoa! This turned into one giant rant on our country's current state of affairs. I didn't intend that, it just all came pouring out. The same thing happened to my dad 2 years ago when ATA went bankrupt. The greedy people who ran that company did everything they could to maintain their salary and lifestyle at the expense of their employees. This lead to a collapse and a locking of the doors in the middle of the night that left everyone out in the cold. My dad had a successful and happy retirement to look forward to and now he is left with nothing and is stuck working for a crap-hole airline because there are no other positions open. I remember thinking then that I was glad I had chosen teaching as my career. They will always need teacher, right? HA!

Whoa, whoa, whoa! There I go again. I need to stop now. Something I say here will eventually get me in trouble. What I will leave you with is this: Some good will come of this. I know it will. husband and I bought a fence today :) It's being installed next week. Now Bentley can roam freely in his territory and I won't have to worry about him wandering off. Yay for tax returns.

PPS....I didn't run. Lost all motivation for that. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend of...ummm....Nothing good

That's right. I did nothing this weekend.

Well....I did do a lot of cleaning, but that was it.

I worked out to my new DVD on Saturday and failed. Couldn't make it all the way through a set without stopping. It kicked my butt. I also have an extremely sore back today because of it :(

It rained on and off all weekend and I couldn't run. But that's not a good enough excuse. I just didn't feel like going.

I might as well post about it now and get it over with. Due to the massive debt Illinois has gotten itself in to, they are slashing budgets everywhere to make ends meet. One of the areas they are slashing is education. Long story short, about 65+ non-tenured teachers are being cut from my school district. This includes me. That's right. As of Monday afternoon, I will no longer be employed. Seniority has influence on this decision because there is no seniority for non-tenured staff.

However, there is a silver lining to all of this. Because the law requires district officials to give staff members notice of non-renewal 60 days before the end of the school year, the district is cutting more staff members than they need to just to cover their butts. This means that there will be open positions. I fully expect to hired back for one of these positions. I will not know this for sure until mid-April. If I am rehired, it won't effect my seniority or salary status. So, everyone needs to keep their fingers crossed for me and my friends in the district.

I do need to run tomorrow. I hoping to get a run in before the guy comes to give us an estimate on a fence. We're using our tax return to give Bentley a better back yard.

Fingers crossed that I can keep it together tomorrow...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today's Run......


Why? By the time I got home it was raining......

just a little, it was pouring!

You can see the small rivers that now flow through my front yard. Those glowing objects you see are pea sized hail!

I do not like having things thrown at me while I run....especially by the sky.

Also, I'm kinda glad I didn't have to run today. I came home with a huge headache and a bad attitude. Maybe I'll try again after the "staff development" at Chili's tomorrow afternoon :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Big Mile Stone

For the first time in my entire life, I have run over 3 miles without walking. Can you believe it?!?! I didn't stop to walk! Not once!

I need to take a moment to let this sink in..........ok, done.

Ok. So it was amazing! I didn't feel like running when I got home, but my hubby talked me into it. I wanted to turn around at the edge of the neighborhood, but just then Bentley turned around (he was running with my husband) with a "Come on mommy!" look in his eyes, so I kept going. We didn't stop to walk at all! I ended up chasing both of them after mile 1.5. I did slow down to trot around mile 2.25, but I kept it going. Running the last quarter mile felt amazing. I hurt from head to toe, my legs wanted to quit, but I was smiling and I pushed through.

Now I'm blogging, then stretching. After the stretching I will be icing my shin. It didn't hurt at all while I was running, but I don't want to give it something to complain about later.

So freakin' pumped right now. This is huge for me!

Please visit my Yoga post and let me know what kinds of yoga experiences you have had and if you feel like they benefit you as a runner. I need some ideas about DVDs to purchase or good reasons to join a yoga class/studio.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I have really enjoyed my Wii fit yoga routines. It was a great way to introduce myself to the moves. However, the balance board is really awkward when trying to do some of those poses, so I've decided to graduate to the "real world" of yoga. While shopping at Target I found the Gaiam Yoga For Beginners with Patricia Walden on sale for $7. I couldn't pass it up. The other Yoga DVDs were about $15 each. I though it was super nice because it came with a multi-page pose guide which will help me out alot. The only poses I'm familiar with are the ones from Wii.

I'm planning on previewing it and letting you know how it went. But what I'm looking for from you is some Yoga advice. Those of you who have done yoga before, did you like it? I know Nikki has made it part of her training program and Katye gave an opinion on it from her running coach's point of view. I also know Jill is all about the Hot Yoga she's done in Madison and has had an "eye opening experience" with yoga at EIU. I know you kids know a lot about this stuff.....well, more than I do anyway.

So, again I'm asking for advice. Are their any DVDs you'd recommend? What is the advantage of going to a yoga class at a studio or gym? Does it do anything for a runner? Any help is appreciated :)

Friday, March 5, 2010


That's me folks! I won Katye's Road ID giveaway! I can't believe it. I haven't entered a lot of blog giveaways, but I couldn't resist this one. And boy did that work out.

I checked her blog from my iPod this morning and gasped loudly when I saw my name. Made my lazy bones husband sit bolt upright in bed and shout, "What's going on!? What's wrong?! Are you OK!?" Scared the snot right out of him! He was so annoyed when I told him I had just won a giveaway and that nothing terrible had happened. (If he had gotten out of bed like he was supposed to 30 minutes earlier I wouldn't have worried about startling him. He's so lazy on Friday morning.) (Not even mentioning that I slept through my alarm and woke up at 6:20 instead of 5:30....hmmmmm...)

It's amazing how she managed to host a giveaway while preparing the the Disney Princess half this weekend. I wish her the best of luck. Check out her fantastic race outfit here. Totally running that one next year.

Also, for those of you that entered and didn't win, or just want a Road ID, she has a coupon posted on her blog for $1 off a Road ID purchase.

Annnndddd....don't forget to check out her Bondi Band fundraiser. I've ordered 5 from her already and am currently contemplating ordering some "practical" ones to wear to school on Fridays. :)

Nothing else exciting is happening in my world otherwise. I have a 2+ mile run planned before WW tomorrow morning with Bentley and Husband. Hopefully I'll run off a few extra ounces. I didn't live by the WW code this week :( I'm hoping for a negative number though.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Giveaway and Another date with the husband

Giveaway Update!!!

Don't forget to check up on Katye's Road ID giveaway. It ends tonight at midnight!!!

Running Date

I met my husband for a run after school. We looked so cute together. We also dressed exactly the same! Black running pants, black running top, and a hat. We're so cute!

We did the same route we did on Monday. Down the bike path and back. We did make a change at the mile mark. Instead of just turning around, we cut back through the neighborhood. It only added half a mile to the run, but it was worth it.

I kept pace with hubby for the first mile. I was even in front for a while! After we made it back to the bike path I noticed a slow down. That darn bike path was up hill! I didn't notice it on Monday. Wow, a slight hill can take a lot out of me. I did manage to run all the way back and I felt great about it! Yay for me!!!!!

I did not experience any pain or breathing issues. Fantastic! I can't wait until we run again on Saturday before WW.

Does anyone have a good training program for half marathons? I kinda left the Beginning Runners Handbook on the bookshelf. I do need to pick it up again. Any advice is welcome.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

Alright folks, here's what you've been waiting for......another recipe!

I borrowed this one from Weight Watchers and love it! It's only 3 pts. per serving.

Sauteed Tilapia with Almonds and Cherries

1 Tbsp sliced almonds
2 tilapia fillets1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp white wine
1/2 cup cherries, sweet, pitted, halved
1/3 cup veggie broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1. Sautee almonds in large skillet over medium heat until golden. Remove and put in a bowl.
2. Warm 2 tsp olive oil in skillet. Salt and pepper the tilapia and add to pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side and remove to covered plate.
3. Warm last tsp olive oil in skillet. Add onion. Cook until softened. Add wine and scrape bits from bottom of pan. Cook for 20 seconds. Add cherries, broth, and thyme. Heat until simmering, cook for 30 seconds to reduce.
4. Divide sauce and almonds over fish and serve hot.
5. Pair with any vegetable you choose and enjoy!


We loved it! It is by far the fanciest thing I've ever made. And it's super easy! Individually frozen tilapia fillets, frozen cherries, and a bag of sliced almonds is all it takes! You can even buy pre-chopped onion! Easy peasy!

So....get out there and get cooking soldier!

Got our taxes done today. Let's just say we have some big landscaping plans in the works! Can't wait for spring so we can get started!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rollercoaster Day

Had a terrible day at school. Wanted to cry and go home within the first half-hour. Ended with a headache and a giant urge to take a nap.

The husband worked is magic with a hug session and I felt better. Some water, cheese, and a wardrobe change and we were out the door for another 2-mile run. We drove up to his school and ran down the bike path. When I mapped it out when I got home, we did a total (walking included) of almost 3 miles! Bentley even behaved! Great workout!

And no pain in my legs!!!!! My lungs were still an issue. I cashed in on some free medical advice from Rachael at The Beginning Runner's Blog and she tells me that it's possible that I have sports induced asthma. I've had a feeling that was the problem, but I've also heard that SIA is totally bogus. I'm also on some blood pressure meds for headaches that could have something to do with it. I started these meds last May after I had worked up to almost 4 miles. The first day I took them, it was like someone ripped out my lungs after half a mile. I'm totally talking to my doctor about SIA and kicking those blood pressure meds. They don't help my headaches at all anyway.

Don't forget to check out Katye's Road ID giveaway! Or don't....because I still want it!