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When you love to eat, you've got to move.

Archive for June, 2009

Will Run For (fill in the blank), Salty Edition

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 24, 2009

Again, apologies to those currently in some serious diet restrictions.  Just remember, there are days when you have worked hard, worked out hard, and you deserve a little treat or snack.  These are not normally on the list except for high activity weeks, and in serious moderation.

Super Pretzels are seriously super.  I love to slather them in Archer Farms Brewmasters Mustard – mmm, mmm.  I try to avoid this snack most of the time, but game on this week!

Plain, salted, or with mustard (my fav), a carby delight.

Plain, salted, or with mustard (my fav), a carby delight.

Chips, wonderful chips.  I don’t add dip to either of these.

First, the Dutch Crunch by Old Dutch.  Greasy, salty, kettle chips that satisfy with some major crunch – thus the name.

Cruchy Dutchy, Dutchy Crunchy

Crunchy Dutchy, Dutchy Crunchy

And an all-time favorite, the classic Pringles.  One of the most fun foods to eat ever.

You just have to pretend you are a duck, right?

You just have to pretend you are a duck, right?

Just discovered this combo, and it’s a keeper.  Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts mixed with cashews in equal proportions.  Taking cashews to a whole new level.

If only one of the islands came with it.

If only one of the islands came with it.

Enjoy!

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Will Run For (fill in the blank)

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 21, 2009

This is the week I live for.  This is what this comes down to.  The week before a race when I begin to taper off the number of miles and I add more carbs into my diet.

May I remind you I am an AMATEUR triathlete, this is likely not the approach the pros take.  But it makes me happy and it works.  (My apologies for those of you trying to lose weight right now, this may not be the blog entry for you.)

First, if you dial back to November, you can read about my love affair with Chipotle.  What changes with my Chipotle order this week is I add the limey, delicious cilantro rice to my salad – mmmmmmmm.

How can you resist the deliciousness of Chipotle?

How can you resist the deliciousness of Chipotle?

Then it is all about sugar.  A couple of new products first, then a couple of classics.

Have you seen these Cinnabon bars from Kellogg’s?  I was running through Cub Foods last Sunday night late to get laundry detergent, and these little suckers were oh-so-strategically placed on the aisle.  Pop on in the microwave for 15 seconds – delish!

Cinnabon-y goodness in a convenient, individually wrapped bar!

Cinnabon-y goodness in a convenient, individually wrapped bar!

When Blue Bunny started cranking out Birthday Cake flavored ice cream about 2 years ago, I was so thankful.  The Cold Stone Creamery near my house recently closed and seriously, what could be better than cake flavored ice cream other than cake itself?

We're gonna party like it's your birthday.

We're gonna party like it's your birthday.

Now on to the classics, layering in some chocolate.  Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls have been around forever.  They are cheap, probably loaded with saturated fat, and full of white, sugary cream.  I think I can eat a pair of these babies in less than 30 seconds.  They satisfy!

Hey Little Debbie, you have never lost your charm, girl!

Hey Little Debbie, you have never lost your charm, girl!

And finally – the Oreo.  No post of mine about packaged food products with sugar would be complete without a mention.  Oreos are childhood in a box to me.  They were my grandpa’s favorite, I remember exactly which drawer and the Tupperware container my grandma would put them into.  I love them in the morning.  I love them at night.  I love them with milk.  I will even eat these bad boys with a Diet Coke at times.

I cannot imagine my life without Oreos: regular, double stuff, mint, golden, golden with chocolate frosting, you name it!

I cannot imagine my life without Oreos: regular, double stuff, mint, golden, golden with chocolate frosting, you name it!

This is one of the only weeks of the year that I eat this stuff with no guilt.  These items will not make up entire meals for me, but believe me, they will sneak their way in.  Running for cake people, running for cake.

Posted in cake, food, running | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t Be Intimidated

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 11, 2009

Don’t be intimidated by people you perceive as athletics, athletic, or “in shape”.  They are no different than you.  They have simply prioritized and/or made a commitment to their fitness endeavors.  And if they have been at it awhile, your perception of them may be that they are advanced or partaking in workouts that you could never do.  Think again.  You can do exactly the same thing if that is what you want.  Just do it your own way.  I am guessing you probably have before at some time in your life, if not in fitness than in your education or in music or some other passion of yours.

When it comes to being active, only a small percentage of people have been consistent their entire lives.  Based on what life dishes out, often times people move in and out of a routine.  School changes, work changes, family changes, habits change, environments and access change.  All of these things make life exciting, but they also challenge your ability to be consistent in many things, a big one being physical fitness.  All of us are typically struggling to find the time and/or motivation to be active.  I know I do!  For me, triathlon has been the answer the past few years.

However, I go back and forth about how detailed I should write about triathlon on this blog.  When you hear the word “triathlon”, it probably invokes a specific image for you.  And I am thinking it may have sort of a negative connotation, in that it sounds really hard, thus the reasons I don’t want to write too much about triathon are:

  • Triathlon (swim/bike/run) is a daunting or intimidating exercise for most people
  • The perception could be that I am bragging or think I am somehow better than others because I do triathlon
  • Because of these two previous points, readers may tune out and think “this is not the blog for me”

The reasons I DO want to write about triathlon here are:

  • Triathlon is the personal motivator for me, it is a big part of my life.  I want to help you find the same thing, anything – that activity that catches your attention and keeps you engaged.  When I am in training for triathlon, I get to eat what I want – which I love.  I also have to stay on my training regimen so I don’t look stupid huffing & puffing on the race course – embarrassing!
  • If I can do a triathlon, seriously anyone can.  In the end, it is mental over physical in a tri.  Yes, you have to train your body appropriately to the distance you are looking at, but your mind takes you over the finish line.  This applies to a lot of things in life!
  • I love the community of athletes that participate.  If you ever get a chance to be a spectator at a triathlon, it is exhilarating!  You have weekend warriors, newbies, and at many big races – professionals – all together on the same course on the same day having a shared experience.  I cannot tell you how many strangers, race participants and spectators, have given me words of encouragement during a race that literally kept me from stopping.  I think of these people that I do not know all the time when I am working out on my own.

So there you have it, a little glimpse into why I do triathlon and a little encouragement to find what works for you.  I in no way think I am better than anyone else or have some need to intimidate others with what I do.  For me, triathlon is what works right now.  And I do not kid myself to think it will work forever.  It motivates me and gives me a quality of life I love.  I hope that you can find the same thing, and I am committed to helping you in that quest!

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‘Tis the Season: Part 2

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 9, 2009

‘Tis the season of triathlon training.  I am now 19 days out from the first test of my current endurance: the Hy-Vee Triathlon, Sunday, June 28, West Des Moines, IA.

I have participated and finished the Hy-Vee tri the last two years.  The problem with the race is this is the third year of it and the third version of the course.  This makes it hard to gauge personal progress year over year and is annoying because of the adjustments that have to be made.

The first year it was in downtown Des Moines, swim in Gray’s Lake, with a finish line at the Iowa State Capitol.  Pretty flat, except the bike hill on Grand Ave. and the run up to the capitol at the end.  Year two, 2008, there was flooding in Iowa and Gray’s Lake was not in condition to swim in (read: bacteria infested), so they moved the venue to West Des Moines.  For several days last year, we thought it would be a “dry tri” or duathlon, with no swim leg.  We would instead run – bike – run.  But because the race was an Olympic qualifying event, not for me of course, race organizers were very eager to get the swim in.  They decided on Raccoon River Park with a finish line at Valley Freshman High School, thus two transition areas – very cumbersome, and a hilly run in comparison to the year prior.  Plus mental gymnastics in the 10 days prior trying to track all the changes and keep training.

This year, we are back at Raccoon River Park for the swim, but the bike and run courses have changed again.  We will be starting and finishing at the park, which is great, one transition area.  The issue with this third course for the Hy-Vee Tri?  This year we are running up a huge hill we biked up last year and running up a hill that we finished on last year.  UGH!

How to deal?  Train on hills and mentally prep.  I ran the actual big hill – dubbed “the Neil hill” by my family – in WDM this weekend to get the mental picture going on it.  Back at home, I have decided to train hills in Bloomington in the Hyland Park/Mt. Normandale Lake area.  For the next 19 days, the running portion of my training will happen there.  I am pretty comfortable with this plan.  The missing piece here in Minnesota is heat.  It is inevitable that by the last weekend in June in Des Moines it will be in the high 80s/low 90s.  If anyone can please order some heat for the Twin Cities (or a cool weekend in June for WDM), please call that favor in.

The good news in all of this is the Life Time Triathlon at Lake Nokomis on July 11 will be a piece of cake with all of its glorious flatness.  And a trip to The Cheesecake Factory will follow, of course!

Posted in triathlon | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »