November 04, 2012

Loving running again

The time change really screwed me up. I've been having a really hard time sleeping lately, and I wake up multiple times each night, feeling wide awake and ready to get out of bed--but that's not a very good idea at 2:30 in the morning! Anyway, I was watching the clock, waiting for 5:00 to roll around so that I could at least get out of bed at a "normal" hour.

Finally, Jerry came to bed a little before 5 (he works night shift sometimes, so he stays up all night on his nights off). He said, "Don't forget about the time change. The clock says 5:00, but it's 4:00 right now." I managed to sleep a little more on and off for the next couple of hours.

I got the kids up and ready for church with my parents, and then after they left, I went for a run. I had a 3.5 mile easy run on the schedule (10:34 ish pace). I don't really have a convenient 3.5 mile route around here, so I just decided to bump it up to 4 miles.

It was in the mid-30's again, so I dressed warm--Cold Gear pants, tech shirt with a fleece jacket, gloves, and ear warmer headband. When I started running, I knew I was going "too fast" for what my schedule said, but I am so sick of holding back my pace due to marathon training that I just decided to run however I felt like running. It was the perfect running weather! I absolutely love running in the cold.
I have been loving these shorter runs! I ran 5 days last week, and will probably do the same this week. I feel like my love/hate relationship with running is getting back to the "love" part. Running shorter and faster like this gives me that "runner's high" when I'm done, where I feel like I got a good workout. I love the feeling of my muscles and lungs feeling used. 

My knee hasn't bothered me one iota since the marathon. I really think that I am just not cut out for marathons, mentally or physically. My favorite race distance is a 10K. You run hard enough to feel like it's tough, but you still have to reserve some energy in order to make through the whole 6.2 miles. I think I'm going to try for my sub-55:00 (or maybe even 54?) 10K next year (current PR is 55:05).

I made another recipe from the Hungry Girl To the Max cookbook for breakfast today. She writes about a method of cooking oatmeal that is supposed to increase the volume of the bowl of oats by using a huge amount of liquid to cook them. When I cook my oats on the stove, I usually use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to oats. The recipes in this book use more like 4:1.

I had the ingredients for the Maple Bacon Oatmeal, so I chose to make that. You're supposed to cook it much longer than typical oatmeal, so that it can absorb all the liquid; it took mine about 13 minutes of simmer time.

When I was done, the volume of the oatmeal was the same as if I had just used my normal 2:1 ratio. Obviously when you simmer liquid for a long time, it evaporates; so from now on, I'll just use the usual ratio and forget the whole "growing bowl of oatmeal" idea ;)
Using the bacon and maple syrup in my oatmeal was new to me, and it was really good!

For those of you that asked about the HG recipe book, here are my initial thoughts on it:

*It's not a good book for family cooking. A lot of the recipes are for just one serving, and there aren't many "family dinner" type foods.
*If you're not familiar with Hungry Girl, she uses a LOT of processed foods; so if you're avoiding processed foods, than you almost certainly wouldn't like this book.
*Most ingredients are in tiny amounts, so you end up with lots of leftover ingredients (ex. 1/4 cup of canned beans, or 1 Tbsp. caramel dip, etc). There are also tons of ingredients you probably wouldn't have on hand.
*Some of the recipes are nearly identical to others, with just a single ingredient change or two.
*Because of all the processed foods, most of the recipes are high in sodium.
*Portion sizes are tiny, in my opinion.

*There are a LOT of recipes--650!
*There are some very unique combinations of foods that I never would have thought to try before.
*This is a great book for someone who lives alone, or is just cooking for him/herself.
*The recipes are pretty low-calorie, and the nutrition facts are included.
*There are two sections that have quite a few pictures. Not all recipes are pictured, but there are a lot that are. She does have a section on the website where you can see pictures of all the recipes, organized by chapter.

I've only made a couple of the recipes so I can't offer much on my opinions of the taste of the recipes. As I make more, I'll write about them. 


  1. I find that just when the oats are ready stir in an egg white and just keep stirring and stirring and it increases the volume and makes them very light.
    Love the idea of maple and bacon I'll have to try that.
    I read one of Hungry Girls cookbooks but I found it used a lot of processed foods and foods that are a trigger for me so unfortunately I didn't find much I'd use.

  2. First time commenter but I've been reading for a few months. I went through all your archives when I first discovered your blog. I'm from your area. I grew up in Petersburg, which is Monroe County but now I live in TX. You have inspired me to start running again. I went from 20 miles in September to 30 in October. I already have 11 miles for this month. I ran as a teen but all the binge drinking/pizza eating in college def derailed me. I'm SO glad you pointed out that a lot of the SkinnyGirl recipes use a large number of highly processed foods. Being thin doesn't always equal being healthy. Kudos to you for showing people how to use things as tools and borrowing from many philosophies.

  3. I have not done a full yet and only 1 half but 10k is my favorite distance too. I am at a 1:08 ish for a 10k so I feel like I am am getting a good hour long work out without being bored in a gym.

  4. The oatmeal does sound fantastic, but I'd probably be the only one to eat it. I guess you could double or triple recipes if they sounded like your entire family would enjoy them.

  5. Just wanted to point out that Hungry Girl and Skinnygirl are by two different women--don't know if they're both highly processed, but the names are similar and can be confusing.

  6. You should def try a recipe for egg white oatmeal! It's nutritious and filling! So yummy with some canned pumpkin, cinnamon or pp spice, and some maple syrup to top it off. My fave recipe comes from I did alter her recipe though and used less oats and more egg whites


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