Motivational Monday – Running is Mental

What a weekend! My mom and completed our 4th Women’s Running Series Half Marathon. We drove down to St. Pete yesterday and visited the expo to pick up our race packets and enjoyed an amazing dinner at a great restaurant on Beach Drive! Sunday morning we got up before dawn and made our ways to the start.

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We stay at a hotel right across the street from the starting line so it is super convenient! 3-2-1 and we were off! The first 7 miles went by pretty fast. I found the 2:00 pace group and was able to keep up with them for a good distance. Since I wanted to finish in under 2:00, I figured I would stick with them until the end. Around mile 8 my legs were yelling at me. I had done a 10 mile training run so this was odd. We came upon a water station with Power Gel so I decided I better grab one. As I was eating that and drinking water, I watched the 2:00 group get further and further away. “That is OK,” I thought, “If I can keep the 2:00 sign in my sights, I can still beat my previous time.”

Off I went and each mile, the more my legs hurt and the sign got further away. I tried every mental trick in the book; I listened to music, prayed, recited mantras, you name it but nothing seemed to work. Finally, I saw the 10 mile sign and I knew I only had a 5K (3.1 miles) left. That was the hardest 3.1 miles of my life! Thank goodness for the cheering spectators along the route; they make the experience so much better. So I started with my mantras and prayers again and continued through the final stretch. As I turned the corner, I saw I was nearing the finish line. According to my watch, I was so close to my 2:00 goal! I heard the cheering and the announcer and there it was! “Pick up your feet!” I told myself, “you have a little push left.” I heard them announce the 2:00 pace group just in front of me, so I knew the possibility was still there to make it in under 2:05. I finally made it across the finish line at 2:00:51 on their clock and 1:59:10 on my watch. I did it! I beat my PR!

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My official time was 1:58:57 🙂 We did it! We both finished and both agreed that this was the toughest half-marathon we had completed. I am so proud of my mom! She ran with a cold and still made great time. She is an inspiration! 20131124_094948

I saw a funny bumper sticker in the parking lot of the hotel that said,
“Running is a mental sport and we’re all insane!”
After this race, I would have to agree!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – “Skinny” Pumpkin Cheesecake

This weekend is the Women’s Half Marathon and although I hear you are supposed to eat a little more before a big race, I struggled with calories this week. When you are used to eating somewhat healthy (key word “somewhat”), adding in extra calories is tough! Tonight, my efforts included a low(er) fat pumpkin cheesecake 🙂 I searched all over the web for a good recipe and this is a combo of several so I suppose I can call it my own! You will notice “skinny” is in quotes; you will understand when you see the nutritional info. I should warn you that I used the pre-made pie crust that is jam packed with really bad things. We eat cheesecake so rarely that I didn’t see the harm (don’t judge).

Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

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Nutrition Info: Serving Size – 1 piece
Serves 8
253 calories/16 g fat/10 g sugar/7 g protein/20 g carbs/40 mg cholesterol

Ingredients

  • 2 – 8 oz packages of 1/3 fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c sugar or sugar substitute (I used Stevia)
  • 2 eggs (I used 6 tbsp of egg whites)
  • 1 reduced-fat graham cracker pie crust

Directions

  • Preheat the over to 350 degrees
  • Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
  • Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the mixture into crust and bake 25-30 minutes or until the center has set.

I have to confess, I had two pieces :-/ It was really good!

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

I have been a lazy blogger this month. Maybe it is the time change or the weather change. My creative juices have been more like a stagnant puddle. On an exciting note; my presentation at the gym went great! I even managed to bring on a new client 🙂 I am so excited! I love helping people find joy through healthy living!

I plan to cook a bunch this week, so I will share an awesome recipe I tried from my favorite site (SkinnyTaste.com). This is a great choice for a busy week because it calls for the use of the beloved crock pot! I don’t think I have shared my affinity for slow cooking. It is like having someone (or something) cook for you! Enjoy!

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 8 servings • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Protein: 21 g

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste

Directions:
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning to taste. Serve over rice or tortillas and your favorite toppings.

My first speaking gig!

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I am so excited! I was asked to speak at my gym this Saturday. This is my first presentation and I am really looking forward to sharing what I have learned over the last year. My goal with the talk is to help people understand that healthy living can be fun! It is not the same as dieting since it is something we incorporate everyday. A healthy life doesn’t mean eating bran every morning and salads every night. I want people to understand that food can be an adventure. Every ingredient brings about new opportunity!

I see that excitement in many of the the blogs I read. Many of you truly enjoy food and have a passion to share your creations with others! I want to encourage you to keep blogging! You are an inspiration to me and others to get out there and try new things!