Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quiet day - FINALLY!

Today's Food:
Sunday morning breakfast = Pancakes (Light syrup added after pic) and a scrambled egg white omelet with peppers inside and some salsa on top.
Lunch was mixed greens with carrots, grilled chicken, a Light Babybel cheese, and fat free ranch dressing. Also had a plate of grapes, 1/2 apple and 1/2 banana.
Afternoon snack was a bowl of my absolute favorite cereal : Crunchy Corn Bran.
Dinner was a soft taco shell filled with turkey meat, green peppers, a pinch of shredded cheese and some greens. Sides were broccoli and applesauce.

Today's Workout:

I'm allergic to freshly cut grass and it seemed there was a lot of it in the neighborhood today, so I decided to take my recovery run inside. I went to my gym and ran 3 miles in a little over 33 minutes. It was slow but felt good. Afterward, I took some time to stretch and foam roll.

At home, I did 2 On Demand Workouts titled "Phenomenal Abdominal" and "6 Pack Ab Burn". One of my friends on Facebook pointed out that my hard work was showing in this pic, taken at the amusement park yesterday:

I am glad to see that my hard work is evident to more than just me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kennywood Day = Wow, that's a heck of a lot of food!

Today's Food:
Pre-run breakfast was an Arnold sandwich thin with organic peanut butter, 1/2 banana, and a slice of my homemade (mostly healthy) banana bread.
Lunch was provided by hubby's employer. I had a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce, baked beans, and a slice of watermelon.
Dinner was a Bavarian ham and American cheese sandwich on wheat with just lettuce and some chips (half went to my 5 year old) and a side salad with light ranch dressing.
I got my Potato Patch fix by having a few from a friend's "boat" of them...

This was ridiculous but looked too good to pass up. It's a chocolate/vanilla twist dipped in sprinkles. I ended up knocking about half of the ice cream off the top because there was no way I could finish that whole thing. 

Today's Workout:

I ran this morning with 3 friends. We decided to stay together for the first half and then I would be doing a quicker pace for the remainder. They had 11 miles on their schedules and I had 12, but since I was planning on a faster pace, I figured we should finish at about the same time.

We ran through South Side, across the Smithfield Street Bridge, through Downtown and the Strip District and then up into Lawrenceville (where I had a moment of sadness as we passed Dozen, a recently closed cupcake bakery that inspired my blog). We turned around at Allegheny Cemetery (approx mile 5.25) and I picked up the pace at that point.

I crossed the 31st Street Bridge to Washington's Landing and hit the Riverfront trail. I ran that until Heinz Field and passed people setting up for the Pittsburgh Triathlon. One of my running partners will be tri-ing a tri for the first time tomorrow and I am so excited for her.

I ran through the North Shore a bit and crossed the Roberto Clemente Bridge back into Downtown. There, I had traffic in which to contend as well as my GPS going a bit wonky and registering me as running a 20 minute mile one moment and then a 4 minute mile the next. I crossed back over the bridge and into the South Side.

After I hit my mileage, I walked the rest of the way down East Carson. I thought I saw "K", one of my running friends, about 3 blocks in front of me, but she was all alone so I figured it wasn't her after all.  When I got back to our starting point, I noticed that it was, in fact, "K". She had lost "H" and "L" in the city when they veered off to get some water and had finished the run alone. Not only that but she had also wiped out and had 2 bloody knees. As she put it, running is a full contact sport for her."K" left to go home and get cleaned up and I waited for my other 2 friends to get back. I stretched while I waited.

 My splits for today's run were 10:56, 11:39, 11:18, 11:28, 11:20, 9:18, 9:12, 9:00, 9:09, 9:46, and 8:59.

Such a great start to the weekend. We went to an amusement park for the rest of the day so I walked A LOT in addition to the 12 mile run.

Signature Desserts - Castle Shannon

During my 12 mile run this morning, about 5 of those miles were spent thinking about cupcakes. I was so excited to try one from Signature Desserts, since it's so close to my house. I had heard mixed reviews about their desserts as well as their selection.

I was pleasantly surprised when I entered and saw the vast quantity of sugar laden treats in the case. And, as luck would have it, they had their cupcakes marked at just $1 each. I was tempted to get more than one at that price but decided against it.

I chose a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream icing. There was no seating inside so I took it home to enjoy.

After letting it get to room temperature, as advised by the bakery worker (perhaps the owner, not sure), I took one moment to let my hubby snap a picture before I dug in.

(Note: When I asked him if I looked ok in the pic, he said "Well, you look like you just ran 12 miles...." Hmmmm, I think I see what he means.)

Enough about my tired look and let's get back to this cupcake review. The buttercream icing was FAN-freaking-TASTIC! Seriously, awesomeness. Sadly though, the cake part was a bit dry. It wasn't terrible, just not up to the standards set last week by Sugar Cafe. I picked up a menu while I was there though and I am dying to try this for my next birthday:

Buckeye Cake: Three luscious layers of rich chocolate Devil's Food cake with creamy peanut butter filling nestled between. Iced with chocolate buttercream icing.

In conclusion, I'll more than likely visit Signature Desserts again for a cupcake because at $1 each, it's too good of a deal to let it pass me by and I can totally overlook a little but of dryness in the cake when it's covered in rich, delicious icing.

As of now, I haven't decided where to visit next week. As always, your thoughts are welcome.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just a little carb loading for Saturday's long run...

Today's Food:

Have I mentioned how much I love breakfast?! One egg, one slice of wheat toast, red potatoes sauteed in EVOO with red and green peppers and a side of grapes. YUM!
Had some pizza leftover from last night so I had that and some fruit (1/2 banana and grapes) on the side.
I knew we'd be eating late so I had a Sandwich thin with peanut butter at about 2:30pm.

We went to Eat n Park for dinner. I chose the Rosemary Chicken with garden rice and a side salad with dressing on the side. My 3 year old ate all my croutons and I didn't eat the mushrooms. 

Today's Workout:

Boring workout today because I did it at the gym. 5 miles at about a 9 minute pace. Felt good, and it was nice to be able to "space out" a bit. I really needed that stress relief for sure after yesterday's craziness. Tomorrow = long run which = CUPCAKE!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Even the best laid plans go awry.

Today's Food:

Breakfast was scrambled egg whites and peppers in a whole wheat tortilla with salsa, 1/2 banana, and grapes.
Lunch was 3 oz of chicken breast, cooked carrots, and whole wheat noodles.
Dinner was homemade wheat crust pizza with sauce, fat free mozzarella, green and red peppers, chicken, and diced tomatoes. Sides of applesauce and fresh greens (with Italian spritzer) rounded out the meal.
Bedtime snack was 1/2 apple, some grapes, and 1/2 banana.

Today's Workout:

If you read the title of this blog post, you have probably guessed that today did not go exactly as planned. In the morning, I did a 20 minute On Demand workout called "Tank Top Arms". My plan was to run 5-6 miles in the evening with two friends. At a little after 1:30pm, my 5 year old daughter decided to take a metal barrette and shove it into the electrical outlet (after she removed the plastic cover, of course), giving herself quite the shock. I wasn't in the room when it happened but there was a 20 second delay between when the lights flickered in the house and when I ran into the room, to see her on the floor. She woke up on her own and started crying hysterically. I called 911 and when the paramedics arrived, they decided she needed to go to the hospital.

So, my day was spent in an ambulance and in a hospital room. If there was a way to track my miles for pacing back and forth, I might have accumulated a mile or two. After she was discharged, I decided that I would take this evening to just focus on my family and not worry about my miles. Life is so fragile and I am so glad my daughter's Guardian Angel was working hard today for her!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Insatiable Hunger Day

Today's Food:
Breakfast was 1 egg, 1 slice of toast and some grapes.
At playgroup, I had some Back to Nature wheat crackers, a cheddar babybel cheese, and some more grapes.
Lunch was a mixed green salad with 1 hard boiled egg white, 1/2 of a chicken breast, carrots, and fat free ranch dressing.
More lunch: Stacy's Pita Chips and Nature's Basket organic pineapple salsa.

I was STARVING today. Had a slice of peanut butter toast and some kettle corn for an afternoon snack.
Dinner was the other half of the chicken breast over sauteed vegetables (green/red peppers, carrots, and crushed diced tomatoes) and 1 slice of Smartwheat bread.

Dessert was two, yes TWO ice cream cones (Kemp's low fat frozen yogurt)

Today's Workout:

I got up to my alarm this morning and went out for a run. It was still dark when I left so I couldn't check my GPS to keep my pace down without hitting buttons and whatnot. My plan calls for most runs to be at a 10:04 pace. Instead of worrying about it, I just ran how I felt.

It was a gorgeous morning and I got to see the sunrise, which was incredible.  My plan called for 5 miles but even starting out, I knew I wouldn't have time for it so I settled on doing 4 miles.  My splits were 9:45, 9:07, 9:10, and 9:21 and I tackled some massive hills so I feel really good about it. When I got home, I did some stretching and foam rolling before my shower.  Felt amazing.

Hubby and I took the kids to the park before dinner and walked 1.5 miles while they played. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today's Food:
Breakfast was a 3 egg white omelet with green and red peppers and 1 slice of reduced fat provolone cheese, ketchup (Heinz of course), 1 slice of Smartwheat toast, grapes
Had some leftovers from the other night so lunch was chicken casserole with broccoli and some applesauce - very filling!
Dinner was bone-in pork chops (coated with 1 tbsp fat free ranch and a sprinkle of reduced fat mozzarella cheese), small red potatoes, steamed baby carrots, and 1 reduced fat crescent roll.
Bedtime snack was a slice of Smartwheat toast with organic peanut butter and a small bowl of Kix.

Today's Workout:

My schedule for today called for 3 miles but since I did them on Monday night, I was free today. I decided to practice some Yoga to help keep my muscle flexibility. I opted for the 30 minute Yoga Refresh that is On Demand via FiOS. I had never done that one before, and I really enjoyed it. In the evening, we walked around the CSVFD Carnival which isn't a ton of exercise but the "win" for me was that I didn't succumb to a funnel cake. I am saving up my hunger for that cupcake this weekend. 4 more days....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just another Manic Monday

 Today's Food:
Breakfast was a small bowl of Fiber One Caramel Delight cereal and a small plate of fruit: 1/2 orange, grapes, and 1/2 banana.
NOTE: I was at the Carnegie Science Center for lunch and completely forgot to photograph my food, prior to eating. I had deli turkey on an Arnold Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin with fresh greens and a handful of baby carrots.

I probably didn't pack enough for lunch because when I got home I was STARVING! I had 2 bowls of Stacy's Pita Chips and Nature's Basket organic salsa.
Dinner was Chicken Voila Sweet and Sour chicken and some fresh greens with Italian spritzer. Too much sodium in those frozen meals for my liking but it's not bad in a pinch.
After my run, I had an evening snack of Cookies and Cream Kemp's Frozen Yogurt in a cone. YUM! I am still in search of a good ice cream product that doesn't have a bunch of crap I can't pronounce in it....

Today's Workout:

This morning, I had intended to get up at 5am and do weights at the gym but during the internal battle in my brain during the first 2 minutes after my alarm went off, I chose my comfortable bed and snuggling husband. I'm ok with the choice I made. I have been noticing that my arms were losing a little bit of definition ever since I started training, so I wanted to concentrate on my upper body. I did a 20 minute workout called "Tank Top Arms" On Demand and then about 15 minutes of my physical therapy exercises from during my injury last year. Felt awesome.

Tomorrow calls for 3 miles and this evening, one of my friends wanted to run that same distance in the evening so I decided I could totally switch things around and get those miles in. We ran a nice 3 mile loop, including some crazy hills. Yay Pittsburgh! I wanted to go faster but was thankful for my friend who was keeping me paced. Splits were 10:21, 10:27 and 10:39. Lovely recovery run! And a GORGEOUS sunset to boot. I love running :) I also got some nice foam rolling and stretching done while watching tv with hubby before bed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The cupcake was worth the wait!

Today's Food:
Pre-run breakfast (I took a bite before I remember to grab my camera) was an Arnold Sandwich thin with organic peanut butter and 1/2 banana. (Not pictured was 1 Gu pack during the run and of course, the post run cupcake - see previous blog post)
Lunch was 3 scrambled egg whites with red and green peppers, 1/2 orange, and pancakes with light syrup.
We went out for dinner to The Warehouse Cafe. I started with a side salad, breadstick, and some house Italian on the side (I used less than 1/2 of the dressing shown here.)
I ordered a chicken casserole, which was basically pasta with cheese and broccoli. I put half of it into a to go container for later and this was the portion I ate. 

Today's Workout:

This morning, I met up with Heather, Kristen, and Sonia for a run on the Bethel Branch of the Montour Trail. From Al's Cafe to the Ballet Studio is 5 miles so we decided to do an out and back, giving us 10 miles. My plan called for a 10:04 overall pace.  I knew the ladies I was training with were planning on an 11-12 minute pace so I decided to run with them and then do the last couple miles at tempo. They are such amazing women, and I am so happy to know them all!

It was hot and humid but at this point in the Summer, I am pretty well acclimated to it. I brought along a bottle of a Gatorade/water mix and it served me well. I was also wearing a hat AND sunglasses so I was well protected.

On the way out, I ran beside Heather and we discussed which famous guys (and girls) we thought were "hot". After much deliberation, I decided Matthew McConaughey was definitely amazing but his personality would never do. By the time we were at the halfway mark, I decided I would just stick with my hubby. LOL! (Yes, I *am* laughing at myself...) Chatting made the miles go by so quickly. Pacing was tough for me. I kept feeling my body pulling ahead and made sure to keep slowing down to stay at in the 11 minute range for pace. 

On the way back, all four of us were together and the pace had slowed a bit more. When we hit the 7 mile mark, I started to pull ahead. A few times, I slowed down and then I figured that the three of them had each other and wouldn't mind if I took off. In fact, Heather had told me a couple of times that if I wanted a faster pace, I should go for it. Leaving my guilt behind, I sped up, intending to try for the last 3 miles at approximately marathon pace. 

My splits were 11:09. 10:51. 11:01, 11:11, 10:57, 11:49. 11:49, 9:24, 9:10, and 9:05. Since I got back to the trail head first, I had ample time to stretch out my muscles and do a cool down walk. It also gave me some time to thank God for the ability to run and to thank Him for bringing so many runner friends into my life. I am truly blessed!

Sugar Cafe - Dormont

After our long run this morning, Heather and I went to Sugar Cafe to try one of their cupcakes. As soon as we walked in, I was struck by just how stinkin' adorable it was! The walls were painted the same color as the website, a robin's egg blue, and there were tables as well as chairs and couches. On the other side, there was even a bookshelf with tons of great reads along with kiddie books and puzzles, for entertaining your youngins' while you enjoy your coffee or chat with a friend.The artwork on the walls was a cute collection of quirkiness. And, of course, this was my favorite one:

I was just there for my cupcake but they do offer a nice sized menu with some mouthwatering items listed (Oh yes, I WILL be back...). Today, I chose a peanut butter cupcake. It was the last one of that flavor in the display case. (Heather got a chocolate ginger one.) The guys working there were very friendly and offered me a larger glass of water when I mentioned that we had just finished running.

Ok, back to my cupcake... One of my favorite things in the world is peanut butter so I was expecting it to be fabulous.
Because of the heat outside, they are keeping the cupcakes in a cooler display case than normal and the guy working there suggested that I let it sit for a few minutes so the buttercream wouldn't be too hard. It was hard to wait.
Note the peanut butter crumbles on top!

Like I said, I expected it to be fabulous and IT WAS! The cake part was so moist and delicious. And the buttercream peanut butter icing was so good that I actually used my finger to get the last little bits of it off the plate.
Sugar Cafe has set the bar high on my tour of Pittsburgh's bakeries. As we were driving away, I was already starting to think about where to head next week. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Humidity bites.

Today's Food:

Breakfast was potatoes, green and red peppers, sauteed in EVOO with some ketchup, grapes and 2 orange slices.
Lunch was a fresh green salad with carrots, deli turkey, a light Babybel cheese, and fat free ranch dressing. Accompanied by Stacy's Pita Chips and peach mango salsa.
We met friends at a park for dinner. The pizza was sliced into small slices, of which I had these two plus one more. I also brought salad, carrots, and spritzer with me to the park. Not pictured is the soft pretzel I ate after my 5 year old decided she didn't want it anymore. 

Today's Workout:

We had our neighborhood garage sale today. It rained for about 45 minutes of it and right after the rain stopped, I commented to my hubby that I really wish we hadn't done the garage sale because it was such a nice time for a run. He looked right at me and said, "Go run." It took a little convincing on his part to make me feel okay about leaving him in charge of the garage sale. By the time I got my running gear together, the sun was much more intense and the rain had left the air heavy with humidity.

I left my house and went down the cul-de-sac and back and then out of my neighborhood, doing 2 loops in the next neighborhood over and then back near our house and to the park for a few laps. We had parked our van at the playground parking lot so after 3 miles, I cried "Uncle!" and took the van to the gym to finish up. 5 miles total done and though I was a sweaty mess afterward, I am glad I did it.

Tomorrow is CUPCAKE DAY!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Today's Food:

Breakfast was a 4 egg white omelet with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella and green/red peppers, 1 slice of whole wheat toast, grapes, 1/2 banana
Lunch was eaten at the Splash Park today. I had turkey and greens on a whole wheat sandwich thin, some Back to Nature wheat crackers, a cheddar Babybel cheese, and 1/2 banana.
Afternoon Snack was a small box of Kix cereal, grapes, and 1/2 orange
Dinner was at the kid's VBS end of the week dinner. The choices weren't good but considering the circumstances, I think I did ok. I had a hot dog on a bun (white!!! Can you believe it?!?!?), a handful of chips, peach mango salsa, some fruit, and a deviled egg. 

Note: I am CRAVING some veggies now so tomorrow, I will make up for my lack of them today...

Today's Workout:

That's right. Zip, Nada, Nothing.... YAY FOR A REST DAY!

Just 2 more sleeps until I get my first cupcake.... Any suggestions for where I should start?