Finally Friday

FUN aka Date Night

Well Thursday turned around after work.  Dan’s flight landed around 4:30 and he drove up to meet me at Jason’s Deli.  We hadn’t eaten at Jason’s in FOREVER.  I had the salad bar with a giant salad.  I hope that raw veggies aren’t something i’m going to have to eliminate (it’s a trigger for some people with GI issues).  It was a pretty rockin salad if I do say so, and i’m not a huge salad person.  The kind of salad I can make at a salad bar like that, is one I can eat and it actually keep me full.   Most restaurant salads are hit or miss with keeping me full, so I don’t usually get them as an entrée unless it’s a hearty salad with more than lettuce and chicken.

The main reason we met in that area was to go to Alamo Drafthouse for the last day of the Austin Film Festival.  We didn’t get fest passes, but chose to wait for general admission to open up because it was like $200 cheaper, lol!  And afterall, we only wanted to see one film….

It was pretty flippin fabulous.  It’s very interesting and great insight into the history and the future of the Drive By Truckers.  We both LOVED it. 

We didn’t eat at Alamo, because I don’t really care for their food, Jason’s was way better and probably cheaper too.

Too bad we came home in the 8th inning of a train wreck on tv 😦    I went to bed, I couldn’t bear it anymore.  But like my co-worker said, just wait til they have some “home” cooking Saturday night.  Still love my Rangers, but it’s hard to see them lose!


Ate lunch with my sister today, because I didn’t bring lunch (because I was supposed to be at a hearing downtown, which got canceled AFTER I got to work).  Jason’s Deli again, even bigger salad.   I didn’t get enough of the salad the night before, hehe.   Brought part home with me to eat with dinner.

Dinner was dijon artichoke pasta from that same Cooking Light book that I saved from my garage sale discards. 


8  ounces  linguine, uncooked (I used whole wheat)

1  (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup

1/3  cup  evaporated skimmed milk (I used fat free)

1/3  cup  dry white wine

2  tablespoons  Dijon mustard

1  (14 1/4-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1  (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (I used cooked fresh)

1/4  cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4  cup  sliced green onion (about 1 large)

1          tablespoon  chopped ripe olives

Freshly ground pepper


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

While pasta cooks, combine soup and next 3 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 3 minutes, stirring once. Add artichokes and mushrooms. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring once.

Toss artichoke mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining 3 ingredients. Serve immediately.

Calories:341, Fat: 5.4g, Protein: 13.7g, Fiber: 2.9g

Served with that leftover Jason’s Deli salad mix, and a sandwich thin made into garlic toast.

Dessert was spiced cottage cheese with baked apple and carrots.  Yes, for some reason I was compelled to add cooked carrots and it was tasty.


Long weekend ahead.  Run tomorrow.  Race committee planning meeting.  Drive to SA for friend’s annual birthday/Halloween theme party.  Come back Sunday morning and prepare for the week AND Dan’s parents arrival a week from today.  EEK!

Have a great weekend!


Things I like Thursday: RACES

Things I like for distance races edition:


A little night-before hot epsom soak

I don’t have a regular night before meal, but I try to keep it simple (and it depends where the race is).  The night before 2 halves and 3 of the fulls I had this (sans blob of butter and the sausage was Boca).  I like Pioneer No Fat mix, but I am dying to try some others i’ve seen online, but not wild about ordering food online, especially the shipping costs. 

For breakfast before any long run, training or race, I eat oats.  Usually with nuts added.  This season i’ve really been into mocha-brownie oats.


I wear my road ID when I actually remember it.  I have the ankle ID in black.  I need to get back to always keeping it in my car, which I used to do.

For most races I also usually wear my race bib belt.  This is especially helpful for cold weather races when you need to shed clothes, no repinning your number or anything.  I got mine at RunTex.  Yeah, sometimes it makes for some odd photos if it shifts, but I don’t care.  I’ve never bought a race photo, never saw one I liked.


After the race the first thing I always want is fruit and water.

But sometimes, like after Frankenthon, it’s not offered.  I know you need to start eating for recovery right away and most of what is offered for that reason.  I’m not saying I won’t eat it, but the first thing I WANT is fruit.  Gimme a banana after any race.  I will say, Angie’s had Girl Scout Cookies last year, and I did enjoy some samoas or whatever-the-heck they are PC named now.

Frankenthon had cokes, Round Rock donuts, candy, more candy, pizza, rice crispy treats, more candy.  Things I NEVER crave immediately after finishing a race, but have seen:  beer, pizza, breakfast tacos, anything with eggs, bbq, donuts, chili, and hamburgers.

Eventually I like a nice cold Coconut Water to replace electrolytes and all that jazz.  I really like the VitaCoco peach-mango flavor


Eventually there is a little foam roller action

And new to this season is my pink Zensahs

Pity, party of one

Was a bit overwhelmed coming back to work Wednesday.  Plus a really stressful meeting all afternoon really made it evident that whatever is wrong with me is aggrevated by stress.  By time I walked out of the meeting, I felt like my right size was 1 giant knot.

Running makes me feel better.  Did I run yesterday?  No.  I had intended to when it got cooler (it was 93 after work yesterday) and then I got lazy.  Watched “Teen Mom” instead and rotted my brain.  Keep it classy Texas!

Things went downhill after dinner, had a huge food struggle with said knot.  Went to bed at 8.

Woke up to the wrong alarm, cool front wasn’t here yet, and the Rangers lost.  SHEESH!  My little run went well though.

Speaking of, CT scan came back clean.  I got the bill this morning too.  Thank goodness I have insurance.  Unfortunately is was so expensive, i’m going to have to pay quite a bit too.  Still no diagnosis.  Calling Dr. today, I missed his call when he called to check on me.

Sunroof on my car still leaks, but I have a clean car.  It’s been “fixed” twice.  Not happy.  Dealership hasn’t called me back.  I had to wash it, because they didn’t.  Maybe if they did, they’d realize it STILL leaks.

I have 1 week to prepare for the arrival of Dan’s parents.  My house isn’t a wreck, but it’s nowhere where it needs to be.  We are out of town this weekend and a busy week next week.  I’ve already written down my plan of attack though, hopefully I can follow through.  I hate a dirty house, guests or not.

Dan comes back from Chicago today.  We have a date when I get off of work.  I hope he’s happy to see me.  I’m not really sure he even missed me not being around.

Looks like Thanksgiving is at my house again, 3rd year in a row.  I am ok with this and even prefer it.  I think Dan and I host a great Thanksgiving.  Although I kind of wish it was an odd-year and sister’s bf wouldn’t be attending (they go to NM alternating years for Thanksgiving and Christmas).

Today is our Halloween day at work.  I am wearing the same exact thing as last year-“runner”.  Last year’s Frankenthon shirt (because it’s cuter and fits better), black capris, Frankenthon socks, old running shoes.  No, I don’t run in capris ever, but they are way more work appropriate than tights or any shorts I own.  Creative?  No.  Comfortable?  Yes.

I hope the day turns around, it’s still early.  But all in all, I know that I have a blessed life and a crummy day here and there is just a hiccup 🙂

Tired Tuesday

Stupid wind kept me up again.  It was so bad that at 3 am, I got up and got online to look at to see what the heck was going on.  Gusts up to 40 mph.  Sheesh.

Since I couldn’t sleep, I washed dishes and cleaned up the living, dining, and kitchen in the condo, which was a freaking wreck.   At 7 am  when my mom appeared in her workout clothes, we set off to do her Galloway workout.  I’m going to be a little harsh, but she was being a wimp in the last part.  I gave her a little tough love to motivate her. 

Came back to a hungry group.  Apparently this week I volunteered being a maid and a cook.  I don’t mind helping or cooking, but no one other than my mom did ANYTHING the whole time I was there.  No getting their own drinks, cleaning up after themselves, or anything.  I wasn’t hosting this little mini-vacation for them, so by time breakfast rolled around this morning, I was starting to get a little irritated.  Especially when my parent’s friends were griping that breakfast wasn’t ready when they wanted it.  Seriously?  There was a taqueria, Whataburger, and a DQ down the street, if you are that hungry and can’t fend for yourself, hit the drive-through!

I ended up making french toast, pancakes, and a ton of breakfast taco fixings for my dad and my parent’s friends.  It was promptly inhaled and everyone disappeared to shower and get dressed.  Mom and I got to clean up and do dishes.  YAY.

Mom and I ate leftover Taco Chili breakfast tacos with corn shells I made in the oven.  It was a new twist for the leftover chili, which we both LOVED.  I left the last serving with her so she could enjoy it again tomorrow for breakfast.   Just took half a serving of the chili, added scrambled eggs, a little salsa, and some cheese 🙂   Sorry for the crummy photo and my classy paper plates.  I was SO tired of washing dishes, we ate off of paper plates most of the time, because I was constantly washing everything else from cooking.

I fished with dad all morning and didn’t catch anything he wanted.  I went back to the condo, showered, then hit the road.  Packed the cooler with a turkey-guac sandwich for lunch, just in case I got hungry (I was having another episode).  Ate lunch while driving (which I never do, I don’t eat in my car), on the way home at 2:30.  It took forever to get home, didn’t roll into my garage until 5:45 and that was even with taking the toll roads around ATX to avoid any rush hour traffic.  I.WAS.BEAT.

My dinner started off here:

How is that for buying local and fresh?  I originally bought 4 lbs of shrimp this morning off the deck of the Polly Anna.  Then regretted not buying more, so I went back for another 4.  I convinced my mom to get 2 lbs for herself.  Dad is allergic to shrimp, but he said he’d cook them for her when they get home.  Hopefully he tries something new for her and doesn’t just batter and fry them (which is the only way she’ll eat them, yes that was me once upon a time too).

Anyhow once I got home, I froze all but 1 lb and cleaned them (deveining sucks and I am really bad at it).  When I had 8 oz of clean, I tackled Eating Well’s Shrimp and Cheddar Grits.  I made half the recipe since it’s just me at home until Thursday night (that and Dan won’t even entertain eating grits for anything but breakfast).  It was really quick and easy, which was good, because I didn’t have energy for anything else.

4 servings | Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes


  • · 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • · 1 1/2 cups water
  • · 3/4 cup quick grits, (not instant) (see Shopping Tip)
  • · 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • · 3/4 cup extra-sharp or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • · 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, (16-20 per pound; see Shopping Tip)
  • · 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • · 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • · 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • · 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
  2. Bring broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in grits and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, toss shrimp, scallions, oil, garlic powder, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring once, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve the grits topped with the broiled shrimp and scallions.

Per serving : 356 Calories; 13 g Fat; 5 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 197 mg Cholesterol; 27 g Carbohydrates; 32 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 428 mg Sodium; 275 mg Potassium   (mine would be less because I used less EVOO and RF cheddar)


I didn’t have alot to make with it, as I cleaned out the fridge before I left and took all the produce with me on my trip and didn’t bring much back.  Made some garlicky spinach, roasted red pepper,  and found some canned asparagus.  Never had canned asparagus before, can’t say I like it at all.  Think i’ll stick with fresh or frozen.

I really liked the recipe, looking forward to eating the other serving tomorrow for dinner.  Don’t usually make enough shrimp or fish to eat as a leftover, but it was good enough to eat again 🙂

So glad this day is over.  Tired from 2 sleepless nights, 3 very full days, and 9 very long hours in the car.  While I was happy to surprise my dad and spend time down there with them, it’s not at all what I had in mind.  Hopefully dad had fun, which is what I was aiming for.

If we don’t blow away

Wind advisory today 😦  Man, I can’t win with the weather!  Hot and humid for the marathon and then I get here and it’s horrible winds.  Makes being outside a little difficult, especially if you want to fish or anything else.

My parent’s good friends are here too, my mom used to be roomates with the lady back when they were just out of high school.  They are really sweet people but their living and eating habits are completely different than my family, so it’s strange to me.   They live in the middle of nowhere and have a completely different lifestyle, so I know that’s part of it.   It is a very good example of how your lifestyle can age you though.  The lady is 1 year older than my mom but she said she feels much older (and she looks it too).  Mom feels younger and looks younger too.  Hopefully i’ll remember this and be sure to take care of myself and my health, so that as I age, it’s graceful as can be.


Everyone was on their own for breakfast.   I had mocha oats and a little coffee.

Lunch was a giant sandwich spread.  I opted for a side of Eggless egg salad, cooked carrots, and turkey and spicy guacamole on toasted Ezekiel 🙂  I forgot to put some cheese on the sandwich, but it was still pretty tasty.

Still trying to get used to this tiny galley style kitchen in this condo.  I’m spoiled at home, I have a giant kitchen with tons of counter room and a huge island in the middle.  Sounds great, but I fear because of all that counter space, i’ll never be able to replace it all with stone like I want, because it would cost a fortune!

Dinner was Taco Soup from Janetha at “Meals and Moves”, but Melissa-fied.  I like it thick like chili, so I don’t thin it with the tomato juice.  Served with shredded cheddar, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and 2 types of chips and tortillas.  I eat mine with baked scoops for some crunch.  I’m not a big chip person unless it comes to Mexican type food, but even then, i’m picky about the chips (goes back to my hate of grease, I HATE greasy chips). 

And then a little birthday cake action with bundlets from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  I picked them up before I left Austin area for Port Aransas, per mom’s request.  He really digs the Pecan Praline bundlet.  Great little mini cakes, perfect size for portion control (half of one is probably a reasonable portion).  I got the seasonal Pumpkin Spice without the drizzle as mine.  If you have one in your area, check them out, they have the little ones, regular size, and now little “bite size” portions as well.  Pictured below are red velvet,  pecan praline, chocolate chocolate chip, and white chocolate chocolate.

Sunday Surprise!


Run?  What run?  Today was nothing on purpose.  I woke up, did chores, hit the road, and visited with my parents and our family friends.  Post-marathon recovery day #1 and I feel way better than I expected.  While I had soreness yesterday afterwards, today it’s all but a distant memory.  But I know even if I feel great, the body is still recovering internally.  So i’ll do what i’m supposed to do 🙂 


Took forever to get down to Port Aransas.  Waited for mom to call me, so I could surprise my dad.  Almost foiled in the grocery store parking lot, because as I was backing my car out of the space, my dad was waiting for my parking spot!  WHEW!  Close call.  Good thing my car has super dark windows.

Got to town and waited around for them to get here.  Thought my mom would never call and it was HOT outside, definately not a fall day.  90 plus degrees and high winds 😦    Anyhow, I made it to the park, snuck up behind my dad as he was looking at the ocean waves and asked, “What’s biting”?  He was pretty shocked, just stood there and looked at me.  I think he was pretty shocked for a couple of hours after that.  Gave him his gift when we checked into the condo they rented for the week.  He dug his Fishin’ Mate. In fact, he assembled it right away and insisted on using it when we went to check out the water.

Because the weather wasn’t ideal, neither was fishing.  Dad caught the only fish and they were really more like bait, hehe!  Yes, I look like my dad, but like 100 lbs less and shorter.


Breakfast today was a remake of a classic.  Sometime when I was in high school, I discovered McDonald’s and the breakfast burrito (that’s when my hometown got a Mickey D’s).  That used to be one of my favorite breakfasts.  I can count on 1 hand how many times i’ve been to McDonalds in the last 5 years, most of those were for a drink…McDonalds is like Walmart to me, I avoid it at all costs.

I went to Whole Foods last night with sister and remembered that one of the blogs I read mentioned a queso-alternative (we cant say its cheese) that made me curious, so I sought it since I was there.   Decided it would help me make a great breakfast burrito.  While it wasn’t exact, it was still really tasty (if I could find the cheese spread, I think that would be worked better than the sauce version) and actually American singles get you even closer in the taste department, I’ve tried that before.  Used a Josephs Lavash Bread, egg beaters, the non-queso, roasted red bell pepper, and Boca sausage links that I cut up.  Boca links are the only sausage I like with the exception of a few kinds of turkey sausage.  I hate grease, hate hate hate it, always have (i’ve been a blotter my whole life).  Even when I used to eat regular breakfast sausage, i’d use a whole stack of napkins squeezing all of the grease out.

 Um, there weren’t any final product photos, it may have disappeared pretty quickly 😉


Lunch was a wrap made with romaine, Eggless egg salad, side of cooked carrots, and some strawberries…eaten of the trunk of my car at 2 pm.  It was right before parents pulled into town.  I couldn’t wait to eat any longer so I dug through my ice chest and made a picnic out of my trunk at the park.

I insisted on cooking dinner the 2 nights I am here instead of eating out.  We’re in a 2 bedroom condo for the birthday week, so cooking is easy, just trying to get used to a small kitchen.  I picked 2 dinner dishes that were crockpot meals, so they could cook while we are out having fun!

 Tonight was a healthier version of something my mom made when I was growing up.  I’m not wild about cream soups from a can and velveeta, but it tastes darn good and I know my dad likes it.  Plus it makes a large number of servings.

Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti

Serves – 12 (1 cup each)
16 oz. dry spaghetti, cooked (I used ww)
1 lb. Velveeta Light cheese
12 oz cooked, cubed, chicken breast
10 3/4 oz. can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
10 3/4 oz. can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
4 oz. can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
salt & pepper, to taste


Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir to mix well.

Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Stir again just before serving.

Nutrition Information:
286 cal., 5.7 g. fat, 2.7 g. fiber

The photo does it no justice, it’s very tasty.  Mom and I had similar plates, but my dad and our family friends had seconds 🙂  Must have been acceptable?  Made without bell pepper (dad is allergic) and mushrooms (because dad and I are the only lovers).  I added grilled mushrooms to mine after it was plated.

Couple hours later, I made baked apples for mom and I (i’ve been on a cooked apple kick lately) in the microwave, stuffed them with walnuts, greek yogurt, and cinnamon.  Too bad I cut the crap out of my finger trying to core one of the apples 😦   Not stitches bad, but bad enough to be the whole width of my thumb.  Ugh, way to go!

It was a Monster Mash!

Woke up to see my Rangers are in the world series.  Yeah, I may have cried a little.

Started off with some mocha-nut brownie oats.  I’m superstitious when it comes to running and sports games…

Then I headed upstairs to grab the gear.  Yes, there are 2 sets of everything.  You never know when you’ll need a spare and rain & super high humidity were in the forecast.  Plus I had errands to run afterwards for dad’s bday 😉

It was long, it was hot, it was humid.  It was like RNR SA 2009 revisited.  My sister met me at 10, that didn’t last long (maybe a tenth of a mile), her and the dog couldn’t keep up.  At 13 I was already cursing.  At 20 I wanted to punch AK who wanted to run the last 10K, because she was so darn peppy and at that point, I was anything but.  I started dragging , but got re-energized with 4 to go.  Then I saw 2 guys from the top 10 guys walking (they had already turned and were toward the finish).  That freaked me out a bit.  I knew I only had to do 20 as my training run (this would be the 2nd one), but I knew I had the rest in me, so just like last year, I did the whole thing.  Yeah, when I made my oats this morning, you can tell I really wanted to finish.  I woke up feeling fabulous which I took as a sign 😉

Exactly 11 mins and 1 sec faster than the same course last year with way worse weather (overall PR by 9 mins).  I am proud of myself, although I will admit, this year was SO much harder.  I don’t know if it was the weather or my being run-down at the beginning of the week, or what.  I think I said at least 40 times, “I don’t remember this being so freaking hard”.  Of course it’s hard!  Looking back i’m glad very few people heard me, because I may have been punched!

Ok, so maybe I visited with people for the next 2 hours and didn’t go do what I was supposed to do (although I did get a massage).  I eventually made it to Gold’s to use the stretch trainer, then Nothing Bundt Cakes for Dad’s mini-cakes, then Academy for AL Champs Rangers shirts (which they didn’t have).  Man, it sure took me a long time to make my way back home which is only 8 miles.

Then I came home and began what I am hoping is a good recovery:

Yeah, the water was pretty freaking cold, 20 lbs of ice will do that do you.

I had some good moral support though.  Dan may be in Chicago, but Missy is pretty supportive when it comes to someone being in her bathtub (why do they like my white guest bath so much? Probably to shed all over it, lol).

Put on socks, the pjs, the Zensahs, with the hoodie and settled in on the couch with my really late lunch and the LSU vs Auburn game, which I only watched for 5 minutes before I got nervous and turned it off. 

Grilled sandwich with Ezekiel, roasted turkey, extra spicy guac, queso fresco laughing cow with a side of cooked carrots (i’m supposed to try to avoid raw for now).  That’s ok, I liked cooked veggies too 🙂   Followed by a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream with some PB on top!

Sister date tonight for the real recovery meal.  Pretty sure i’ll be Mexican food, which is ok by me, I love me some Mexican food!

So Marathon #4 and my 2nd Frankenthon go down in the books.  Now on the road to recovery…hopefully the road will be smooth 😉