The weather looked so nice this morning when I woke up, I was actually looking forward to going for a run. After I got the kids on the bus I made breakfast. I made the same apple mixture I made a couple of days ago (this time adding some dried cranberries to it), and used it to top my oatmeal. Then I drizzled a little bit of almond butter over the whole thing. It was a huge bowl, and very filling.
Yes, there actually IS oatmeal underneath all the topping ;) I had breakfast and tea, and then figured I'd better get out and run if I was going to, because it wasn't getting any cooler outside.
I really wasn't in the mood to run around here, and Eli was actually on a field trip at the Metropark today, so I decided to drive to the Metropark to run. (When I signed the permission slip for him, I asked if he wanted me to chaperone, and he told me no. I guess I'm not "cool" enough to hang around with his friends!)
Since I was driving all the way there, I wanted to make it worth my while, and figured I'd do 6-8 miles rather than the 4 I had on the schedule today. Because of the heat, I brought my handheld water bottle with me. I wanted to keep my heart rate in Zone 3 (70-80% of my max, which for me ends up being 141-156 bpm).
I probably only ran about a tenth of a mile before my heart rate was in the zone. The heat definitely plays a big factor in my heart rate training; on cold days, I was struggling to get it up high enough.
The first mile today, my legs were feeling good, and I could have sworn I was running about a 9:30/mi pace, but when my Garmin beeped after mile 1, it read 8:38. That usually means I'm going to have a good run day (when I feel like I'm running much slower than I am, because it's not such a struggle).
My heart rate was on the upper end of Zone 3 for the majority of the run, and I kept consciously trying to slow down, but my legs were feeling so good that it was kind of hard to find the right pace. I really had to go to the bathroom, thanks to all the water and tea I drank before I left, so I ran to the tip of the park--the bathroom was there, at mile 3.45 of my run.
After using the bathroom, I figured I might as well run down the road until I hit four miles, so that I could turn around and make it an even eight when I got back to the car. Mile five felt really easy--I wasn't breathing hard, my legs felt great; and then when I saw my pace, I realized that was why I felt so good! I was running a 9:30 pace for that mile.
The last three miles, I ran as fast as I could without making my heart rate go into Zone 4. I actually wasn't nearly as miserable about the heat as I thought I would be--probably because it wasn't humid at all. The humidity in Michigan during the summer is KILLER, but today wasn't bad. The temp was still much higher than I like, but I expected it to feel worse than it did.
I got back to the car just in time to hear the beep of my eighth mile.
The good part about the higher heart rate is that I burn more calories with a slower pace that I do with a faster pace on a cold day. I burned 741 calories, where on a colder day (or on the treadmill), I would only burn something like 600.
I really wanted to spend my Activity PointsPlus on something good today, but I am going to try and save the PP for the family reunion on Sunday. Since I did an 8 mile run today, I'll probably do 4 tomorrow, and then a mid-length run on Sunday, like 6-8 miles. Tomorrow, I'm going on a field trip with Noah's class (HE thinks I'm cool, at least!), so I'll probably have to get up early tomorrow to get it done before the boys wake up.
Dinner is getting more and more creative as the month goes on. It's only been 16 days since we started our no-grocery-shopping-in-May challenge, but Jerry and I are seriously having so much fun with it. You would think it would be stressful, not having certain ingredients, but it just makes me stop and think of doing something differently than we're used to.
Yesterday, I was going to make lasagna, because there would be a lot of leftovers for lunches. I remembered we didn't have mozzarella cheese, so I figured I would make a "Mexican" lasagna, with taco meat, beans, and cheddar cheese. When I looked in the pantry, we didn't have any lasagna noodles. And all the other boxes of pasta had 2-4 oz. max in them.
I weighed out 16 oz. of dry pasta, all sorts of different shapes to use up what we had (I emptied five boxes!), and then cooked them all in one big pot. Then I made a layered casserole, using the Mexican lasagna idea. Pasta, taco meat, refried beans, corn, salsa, and cheddar cheese. It ended up turning out really good! I got two casseroles out of it, so I put one in the freezer.
Today, after looking through the pantry and the freezer, I decided to make stuffed shells. I had some cooked turkey sausage in the freezer, so I added that to a container of ricotta cheese, threw in an egg, and a handful of parmesan cheese. I cooked a box of large shells, and stuffed the shells with the meat mixture. I didn't have any jarred spaghetti sauce, which is what I normally would have used, so I made some sauce out of tomato paste, water, sugar, and Italian seasoning. I poured it over the shells, and topped with a little more parmesan.
I baked the whole thing for about 30 minutes, made some garlic toast out of homemade bread that was getting stale, and (again) dinner was great!
I never really thought about us being in a dinner "rut", but now that we haven't been grocery shopping, I realize that we pretty much eat the same rotation of dinners over a two week period. I'm glad I was forced to come up with other options, because now we have ideas for the future.
Here's an idea of how my summer is going to go...
Today at dinner, Noah tattled on Eli for calling him names. Then Eli tattled on Noah for tattling on him. Noah's response to Eli: "It's not 'tattling', Eli, it's 'informing Mama'".
...and so it begins ;)