Running to heels ~ Mighty Meehan 5k

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I have always heard good things about this race and wanted to check it out last year, but we had committed to a different race. We hadn’t run a race in a month and were looking for one to check out.

I saw the signs for this race and realized we could squeeze it in before attending a family wedding. It seemed like the perfect morning activity. The weather was beautiful and we were greeted by this sight…

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My husband had looked up previous years and we knew the field was generally around 1,000 entrants. By far the largest field we have run with!

The start was great and a little too fast for me. I wound up with a nasty stitch in my side and had to walk around the one mile marker. Thankfully, I had this to look at as I was beyond frustrated!

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It wound up being a blessing. I was behind the people I couldn’t keep up with and now I was with a pack that I could maintain the pace. Unlike the race in August, I was feeling like a failure and had to really push myself mentally. I wanted to walk again, yet not because I was so exhausted I had to. I was tired, yes, but not walking tired.

I kept the pep-talk going. I can do this, keep going, one foot in front of the other, don’t go past a certain pace – guess what?!?! I did it and I finished strong. It certainly wasn’t my best race, but I had some gas left to push hard through the finish and even passed people coming in.

We scooted home post race and got ready for the wedding. It was a wonderful time had by all :)

Post race and dancing in heels, my legs were a little sore – a happy, proud sore!!

Have you run before a family event? What’s the largest field you’ve run with? How did you find exercise this weekend?

Heavy legs and feeling blah = a PR!

I’m not sure how this happened! It was gray, cool and extremely humid as the race approached. The boys were excited and running in the kids’ race. My husband and I were definitely going through the motions.

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We met up with our friend and we all admitted to having heavy legs and questioning the outcome. It didn’t seem to be a day for a PR. The course had a bunch of small hills, but thankfully some fun water views along the way.

It wasn’t a chip race, which means the further back you are at the start, you are that much later on the clock. My husband snuck towards the front while my friend and I were further back.

As race time approached, a local police officer began singing the national anthem. The microphone wasn’t really working and all of the runners sang the national anthem with the police officer. It was an amazing moment.

Then we were off. All of a sudden, my heavy legs were feeling pretty strong. The beginning of the course is pretty windy so it was easy to set short-term goals. Keep this pace to the next road, get to the top of the hill, get to the bottom of the hill, etc.

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My goal pace was a 10:00 mile – I was chugging along at 9:30!! I even maintained 9:18 for the second mile. Who knew?!? My friend ran with me for most of the race, but I let her go ahead at 2.5 miles as I had to slow down a little. Somehow, I didn’t slow down too much and finished strong with a time of 30:51! My husband also PRed at 22:40 :)

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As a slower runner, I have become accustomed to being passed by many people. In this race, I was actually passing other runners and not to have them pass me again. I’m not sure where it came from, but I definitely felt strong through the entire race.

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Maybe it was not being that into it in the beginning, I just wanted to get it done. I have definitely been training hard with my friends, but it’s been on the track. No hills there ;). I was really curious to see how our training would translate.

So far, pretty well :) The true test will be this week. We are running a 3 mile race on Thurs. It’s definitely the fastest turn around we’ve had. I’m hopeful for a good time and to have fun! The boys will be running the kids’ race the same day as they complete their running class.

Have you run your best race on heavy legs? What’s your favorite strategy while running? How was your weekend?

Simply Kid Chefs: Grilled salmon with oregano oil, avocado tzatziki sauce and grilled lemons

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This week, our youngest took over the kitchen and stuck with his favorite, seafood! He was excited to try the grill and knew immediately that he wanted to make a salmon dish.

I suggested one of my favorite salmon recipes from Bobby Flay that I had found in the Food & Wine Best of the Best cookbook. I had never tried the avocado tzatziki sauce, but we have tons of oregano in the garden and love grilled lemons.  The chef was on-board and we decided to give it a go :)

After a great morning at the beach, we went off to the store and found a new seafood guy. For a treat, we picked up stuffed quahogs for an appetizer and the chef selected broccoli on the grill for a side.

The chef did most of the work in the kitchen. I cut open the avocados and chopped the Serrano chile, while he put everything in the food processor. He also cut the oregano from the garden and prepared the salmon. I chopped the broccoli, but he seasoned it and helped out it on the grill.

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My husband handled most of the grilling, but explained everything as he was doing it. The chef was able to help turn the broccoli, but the grill was pretty hot and a little smoky near the fish.

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The meal was a huge success! We will definitely be making the avocado tzatziki again :) The entire meal was easy to prepare and didn’t take long at all. Can’t beat a quick and delicious meal!!

Here is Bobby Flay’s recipe originally from Grill It, but I found it in Food and Wine’s Best of the Best

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What’s your favorite way to grill salmon? How is your summer going? Does your routine change in the summer?

Moving along in July

I can’t believe we are half way through July! Maybe it’s because Arthur decided to stop by our Fourth of July that it doesn’t seem possible that it’s already July 17th; yet, we have had a lot of fun this month!

We have been enjoying plenty of beach time, company, friends and family. The boys have been enjoying baseball camp, swimming lessons and their track class. Our summer schedule seems to be working well for everyone :)

50 Miles in July

I was hopeful to hit this goal after missing it by so many miles in June. Thankfully, I am back on track (literally ;)) and have logged 31.5 miles this month. I am meeting our ever growing group at the track tonight and hope to get in 6-7 miles.

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We have been walking the first lap for a warm-up and then running three laps and walking one while the kids are in class (90 minutes). It’s a great way to keep it interesting. We chat and catch up along the way.

Next week, we will bump it up to 4 laps and walking one. Keeping the lap count smaller keeps it more interesting and less daunting :)

Grilling Veggies

Our CSA is in full swing. It’s still mostly greens, along with summer squash, spring onions (one of our faves) and this week, baby red potatoes.

One of our favorite ways to use the greens is to grill them. I put a little olive oil and often Trader Joe’s Everyday seasoning on the greens before grilling. Our youngest loves it! The first time, I put a little on each of their plates and our youngest asked for more spinach (it was kale) and has devoured both the kale and Swiss chard :)

Here is our grilled salad from last week…

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We grilled kale, spring onions, summer squash and broccoli (not from the CSA). Then, I added some tomatoes and cucumbers that I had in the fridge with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese – delicious!!

We have also grilled kale and zucchini (from the CSA) as sides to chicken on the grill. You really can’t go wrong :)

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This week, we have collard greens and I am not sure what to do with them. Have you prepared collard greens? What’s your favorite recipe? How is your summer so far?

Simply Kid Chefs: Taco Burgers

20140714-063427-23667433.jpgAfter some busy and fun weekends, our oldest took the kitchen back this weekend. Over the winter, the boys wanted to know if they would be cooking over the summer and I said, yes. They were beyond excited to think about using the grill.

As we talked about them getting back in the swing of cooking, they were both excited to return to the kitchen. I reminded this week’s chef that he could pick a grilling recipe.

It is no surprise that cheese burgers on the grill was his immediate decision. I suggested that we should do something to mix it up, a special sauce or flavoring. Without pause, he wanted to add taco seasoning to the meat. Why not?

After the beach, we went to the store and he selected toppings to go with his burgers. He decided on cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips and Dad requested green chiles.

We came home, watched a little World Cup and got to work. He crushed the chips (I think one of his favorite parts) with a potato masher in a bowl and then got to work mixing the meat.

I helped him divide the meat, but he made the burgers himself.

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Then it was time to grill and he had a great teacher!

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He did everything except take the burgers off the grill. There was a little re-adjusting at times by Dad, but overall – he did the grilling.

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We kept everything pretty simple. The burgers were about 2 pounds ground beef with one packet of Old El Paso taco seasoning.

There are so many ways you could play with this. Fresh garlic, onion, cilantro with chili powder and paprika is one variation that jumps to mind.

As for easy and yummy, this meal received four thumbs up! Our youngest, who generally doesn’t eat burgers (he is a devout hot dog eater) ate his entire burger and complimented the chef :)

How do you mix up burger recipes? Did you watch the World Cup?

If you missed it, last week I was featured by My Fit Family :) Click here to read it!

June is done and July has begun!

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Soooo, my June goals didn’t exactly end up as I had hoped. I knew it was ambitious for such a busy month, but I wanted to try.

I had originally planned on running during our trip to California, but my body was begging for some real rest. Of course, we walked a lot and explored; but that was it! Frankly, what my body needed.

We got back and I jumped into my heavy teaching schedule. My miles were still hard to come by. Then, it got back to normal. I wound up with 33.5 miles – a long way from 50.

In the past, I wouldn’t share if I didn’t hit a goal – darn ego. Now, I’m a little older and realize that life happens inbetween. It’s not only about miles but quality time with friends and family.

Because of my mile challenges, I have generally found more quality time by walking with my family, and running with my husband and friends. It’s also important to be at little league games and end of the school year celebrations.

That being said – I’m going for 50 miles in July! Thanks to the boys being enrolled in a running program, I should hit this goal and have fun with my friends along the way.

I need to regroup on the blog and I’m planning to be back on a more consistent basis. Starting next week, I will be back to a Mon/Weds/Fri publishing schedule. I’m taking part in a new Instagram challenge through Fit Approach that begins today! Follow along or join in the fun :) #SweatPinkSummer

The most important goal is to enjoy summer and all that it has to offer with family and friends. We are off to a good start with beach time, house guests and more beach time. This week we will take in some Cape Cod baseball and of course fireworks!

What are your goals for July? Do they change for the summer? What are your summer plans?

School’s Out!!

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Yesterday was the last day of school for the boys and summer has officially begun! They finish with a half day and I wanted to make it special. Each of the boys invited a friend over; they had pizza and watermelon for lunch and then we ventured off to the beach.

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It was not a post card beach day, but that never stops us! We were invited to be guests at a beach club and all of the boys had a blast swimming to a diving dock, playing soccer (we have World Cup fever) and our oldest even tried paddle boarding. Definitely a great way to kick off the summer!

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Vacation definitely changes my workout routine. Running before teaching will be out as there is limited time in child watch and soon the boys will be dropped off at baseball camp before I scoot over to teach.

Starting next week, the boys will be taking a class at the high school track. A few of my friends and I will be there running and walking. We did this last year and it made a huge difference in my running.

I am hoping to get back in the habit of walking after dinner with the kids and hubby on non-track nights. Due to baseball and rainy evenings, we have fallen out of the routine. It’s a great way to get out and catch-up!

We are looking forward to logging some serious beach time with friends and family and taking in some summer baseball!

What are your summer plans? Do you change your workout routine for the summer?