Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pancake Roll-Ups

In honor of Chocolate Covered Katie and her Artisana Coconut Butter giveaway, I created my own version of Pancake Roll-Ups.  What are Pancake Roll-Ups, you ask?  Why, they're pancakes - rolled up!  A pancake taco, if you will :)

My pancakes were made from Hodgson Mill buttermilk mix - love the stuff!  I mostly followed the directions on the box, but added some extra flavor - cocoa powder, vanilla, and (unpictured) almond extract.

Some Amazing Grass may have also made it into the mix!  I am not usually a huge fan of "greens" supplements, but their chocolate mix is pretty spectacular.

The pancakes cooked on the electric griddle, and when they were done, I had some rich, chewy chocolate pancakes.  To the pancakes I added:

Coconut, chocolate chips, Artisana coconut butter (the end of my sample - now I REALLY need to win the contest!), Dark Chocolate Dreams PB (from PB and Co), and Love Street Living Foods dark chocolate coconut spread (this stuff is amazing!).

When I was done adding random combinations of toppings, I had three unique and delicious Pancake Roll-Ups!

All in all, a delicious way to start off a Sunday!


Running Recap

So, it's been a few weeks, and there's been a lot more running - in a lot more snow!

Other than the HUGE snowstorm in mid-Feb, we didn't get any more major snowfalls, but for Philly in February, it's awfully snowy.  Usually it's a bit warmer, and the entire city is full of cold rain for the whole month.  I may prefer snow instead, but at this rate, I'm not sure the snow will ever melt!

I've had some great runs this month.  The last few weeks, I've built up to 6 miles on my long-run days, and my total weekly mileage has been 12-13 miles.  I've managed to keep the total pace on the long runs below 14:00/mi (yesterday's 6-miler was 13:25), which is my goal as I increase the mileage.  I feel stronger and faster when I run, and my legs would like to go faster - but my asthma is just now getting used to running at 12:00/mi, so I'll wait a while to speed up.

Overall, with two months until Broad Street, I feel great.  I would really like to see some increase in strength and leanness, and so I'm going to add a lot more strength training and cross-training as time goes on.

Hope you are all enjoying the last day of February - stay warm out there!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Playing in the Snow

I would really like to thank the city of Philadelphia for not being as terrible as they used to be at cleaning up after a major snowfall!  Sure, some parts of the city are still snow-covered, but the major streets are clean, the highways are pristine, and - the best part - the Schuylkill River path is shoveled!!

The whole path as far as I went was beautifully clean (a few icy spots under bridges, but whatever) - which is a major feat when you consider the 28 inches of snow we got the day before!
Along my way, I found a LOT of people out taking pictures of the snow - hopefully, it was for photography class or something, not because they were so fascinated by snow?  There were also a lot of people sledding, which you can see by the tracks down the hill by the art museum.

I was so thankful for the clear path to run on - I'm pretty clumsy, so even a little bit of ice can be treacherous for me.  It was a nice, if chilly run - and I just told myself I was playing in the snow, not suffering through a long run in sub-freezing temps :)

This shot shows just how deep the snow was - it came all the way up to the bottom of the benches along the trail.  Drifts got up to three feet in some places - perfect for the little kids who got time to play outside with their parents this weekend!
I resisted the urge to jump in the snow, but I did have a very nice 4-mile run outside.  My average pace was 13:45, a vast improvement over my long runs last year.  I was finishing up C25K, so I was doing walk 10/run 3/walk 10/etc - I think I will try to run a little more and walk a little less for my future long runs, but I might end up trying to do something like 15/2/15 or 20/2/20 as my distance increases, if it's hard to keep running that long.  I know I may end up walking some during Broad Street and the half, but I think that if I keep my walks to a minimum, I'll finish with no problem!

Off to work - it's a long day full of lab and TAing.  Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Couch to 5K....Complete!

It's official - I've finished the C25K running plan!  Now, of course it hasn't been 8 weeks - but I've made it through the run/walk parts, to Week 6 Day 3, which calls for running 25 minutes straight.  After that, it's just a matter of slowly increasing the amount of minutes to run - 25, to 28, to 30, etc.  Last week I made it through the 20-minute run, so I think I can take it from here! 

It was much, MUCH easier this time around - but it was also my second (or third?) time trying to complete the program.  For anyone stuck in the middle of the C25K plan and getting frustrated, I would say to repeat weeks often - like, maybe for three weeks instead of one.  If you're starting completely from scratch with running, even if you're fit in other ways, it can be a slow beginning as you get your muscles and your lungs ready to run.  Sure, it's frustrating, but if you throw in a few races in there - just as a way to test yourself and see what a 5K is like, before trying to run the whole thing - it'll be a lot more interesting and motivating.

Last week, I was at Disney, and I only sort of met my running goals.  I did manage to do one early-morning run, on Monday morning - 1.63 miles instead of 2, since I got tired pretty quickly.  I didn't do another run later in the week, though - we were walking 5-7 miles a day, and my feet were EXHAUSTED by the end of the week.  Even though I didn't get in two runs, I think I got enough of a workout - and my runs when I came back were certainly not sluggish!  In addition to the workout(s), there was plenty of this:


It really was an amazing week, and we had a lot of fun.  It was the first time Brendan and I have gotten to spend a full week together (even though we've been together 6 years, we've always lived apart).  It was nice to be together, and even though the long days were a bit stressful we had a great time.

In the week I've been back, I've caught up on running - 9 miles last week, and I'm feeling good.  The schedule is going to increase by a few miles a week now, so it's good that I still feel ok!

With vacation over, I need to buckle down at work - I've got a pretty aggressive goal for when to start writing my next paper, and I'm not exactly sure how it will all get done.  And on top of that, I've got TA-ing through May, and my running schedule is going to keep getting tougher too.  It will be a busy spring - but I'm ready to be busy for a while!