Spill It Sunday – ‘Fat’ Edition and Weekly Running Recap

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Happy Sunday – I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend! I know that with the weather my mood has improved – and getting out on Saturday in 40F temperatures was just amazing after this past week dipped firmly back into ‘Polar Vortex’ territory again!

Cool thing – the picture up top is all the stuff that I had to wear on Thursday that I did NOT wear on Saturday! Light tights, single layer shirt, and light gloves … that was all I needed!

Here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: Family Day! Went shopping, hung out, relaxed … it was amazing!
Monday: A ‘warm’ 20F … 7.25 miles
Tuesday: -10F … 6.75 miles
Wednesday: -2F … 6.75 miles
Thursday: -6F … 6.75 miles
Friday: 19F … 7.75 miles
Saturday 40F, did 15.5 miles

I was happy to break 50 miles this week (50.5) – once again we were dealing with considerable cold, and even the ‘warmer’ Monday and Friday felt cold to me, and my hands were cold … and I was generally annoyed even as I pushed myself those days a bit further. But once again, Saturday was awesome, and it made it all worthwhile!

This week we are predicted to get snow followed by more sub-zero cold before finally warming up to ‘normal winter’ late in the week. Hopefully it will last this time.

Blog Love

One of the best things for me about blogging is finding great new friends all over the place, people who are genuine, kind, funny and interesting. And I have found quite a few … but one of my faves has to be Megan at The Lyon’s Share. She combines fitness, health, and great enthusiasm about her marriage and running.

She threads it all together in a way that has you constantly learning even if you don’t realize it. She shares ups and downs – recently she talked about a disappointment at a marathon and an amazing trip with her husband Kevin to a friend’s wedding in Brazil.

My one ‘criticism’ – she has a definite snarky voice, but is just too nice to ever fully embrace it! Ha! 🙂

Check out The Lyon’s Share!

Obligatory Selfie

Running Weekend Warmup1

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And this week over at Arman’s site, the ‘Spill It Sunday’ is ‘Fat’ – as in the macronutrient.

1. What is your favourite fat source?

The one that I totally love but don’t get enough is avocado. They aren’t local to our area, and the ones we get imported have been hit or miss, so I don’t always grab them when shopping. Plus I am the only real fan in the house – the kids will have them in guacamole, but Lisa can’t eat them.

Hmmm … now I want some again!

2. What is your favourite nut? What is your favourite nut butter?

I love pistachios – I always keep them at my desk for an afternoon snack, which is great because they take time and both hands, so they are not as prone to ‘mindless snacking’.

For nut butter, I really have to go back to peanut butter – it is my daily source in my ‘peanut butter & butter’ toast … yes, I really do butter my toast then put peanut butter on top!

3. What fat is receives unfair flack? What fat is most overrated?

I love Coconut Oil – we bought some to try out with Lisa’s Paleo diet, and it adds great flavor to cooking and making popcorn. But some of the early studies suggested it might raise your ‘bad cholesterol’, but many more since have shown the opposite. Like everything, you shouldn’t be spooning it out of the jar, but in moderation it works to add flavor and retains benefits due to high smoke point.

In terms of over-rated, I would agree with Truffle Oil from this WSJ article. I think high quality Olive Oil is amazing, but the cost-benefit for Truffle Oil just isn’t there.

4. Link up a favourite recipe embracing fats (it can be your own or another bloggers!)

I love this no-bake chocolate peanut butter cake , and I have been planning to post about my variation version of it. Meghann adapted it from here, and I have taken the the peanut butter into a more ‘fudge’-like direction and keep with the graham crackers, but with fewer larger layers. Mine fills a loaf pan and is insane. I will post when I make it again … promise!

5. What is YOUR perception of this macronutrient?

I think that even as more and more people learn that balancing healthy fats is critical to your diet, they are still avoided like poison.

I grew up as a kid in the 70s as the sugar and corn industries teamed up and launched HFCS and also the attack by implanting ‘eating fat makes you fat’ as a mantra. Of course, given the out of control obesity that has happened just as fat consumption has plummeted … let’s call that debunked sufficiently. But when I first lost weight in the late 80s, I was eating as little fat as possible, reveling in that feeling of hunger and empty stomach … it was seriously unhealthy.

Now I call that stuff ‘chemical soup’, and realize that there are things that SHOULD have fat, like salad dressings. So my perception is that fat itself isn’t bad, it is the delivery vehicle – a nice lean cut of beef is not the problem, it is the bucket of fried chicken.

6. What benefits do FATS play in YOUR personal eating habits?

I am in the best shape of my life, I can easily go run a half marathon on a moment’s notice … and I owe SO MUCH of it to proper fueling. And I have learned so much from other bloggers about balancing macronutrients … my diet has changed considerably and now healthy fats play a large role in my diet every day.

So what about you? How was YOUR running this week? Did you have better weather this week? And how do YOU feel on the subject of fats?

Hope everyone has a great week!

Spill It Sunday – ‘Reality TV’ Edition and Weekly Running Recap

New Merrell AllOut Rush1
http://thebigmansworld.com/2014/03/02/spill-it-sundays-14-reality-tv/

OK, so I have already complained enough about the cold … not complaining anymore (this week). Also, today was just gorgeous outside – 25F when I started and 30F by the time I got home. That allowed me to try out my new Merrells … and they were fun to run with. Definitely stiffer than the Minimus, not surprising since they are trail shoes. Can’t wait to put them to the test on actual trails!

Here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: Rest Day!
Monday: Still warm at 18F … I did 8.25 miles!
Tuesday: Back to cold … 6.75 miles
Wednesday: ~0FF … 6.75 miles
Thursday: -8F … 6.75 miles
Friday: -17F … 6.75 miles
Saturday 30F with variable winds, did 15.1 miles

Surprisingly I managed to break 50 miles this week (50.35) – I say surprisingly because I felt like I had to REALLY push to get anything going this week. The latest Polar Vortex after that warm-up really killed my motivation, and I was very moody about my runs by Thursday and Friday. But hey, Saturday was awesome, so it is all good, right?

This week we are predicted to get snow followed by more sub-zero cold before finally warming up to ‘normal winter’ late in the week. Hopefully it will last this time.

Blog Love

I have linked out to Laura’s ‘This Is Thirty’ blog before, but since she is now 31 she decided to switch up the name to go with her focus. I always enjoy her stuff, and you should definitely check out her new site!

Check it out!

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And this week over at Arman’s site, the ‘Spill It Sunday’ is ‘Reality TV Edition’ – and this is going to be tough since I’m really not a fan.

1. What is your favourite Reality TV show?
Iron Chef / America – the multitude of ways things are made on each show, how ingredients are paired and so on – always learn something. We watch Chopped more often, but this one is always educational.

2. What competition reality TV show do you think would be your best shot of winning?
Chopped – I am a pretty decent cook and perform well under pressure. Not that I WOULD win … but I think I could do okay.

3. What is the worst reality TV show competition out there?
That is a tough one, because most of them don’t last 5 minutes on my screen … but the Rachel vs. Guy show is totally obnoxious and only reminds us that the ‘Next Food Network Star’ show also needs to go away.

4. A reality TV show you’d never admit to watching but secretly enjoy?
Cheaters – we only come across it occasionally, and it is one of those shows that is always the same, and generally awful, but occasionally there are moments that really make us laugh.

5. Which reality TV star do you find has accomplished something?
I think Iron Chef Michael Symon has done a lot – as a representative of Food Network he is a teacher, advocate, and constantly involved with cooking for improvement.

6. Worst Reality TV show?
Based on cultural impact alone it is hard to choose between Jersey Shore and Kardashians.

So what about you? How was YOUR running this week? Did you have better weather this week? And how about YOUR favorite reality TV shows?

Hope everyone has a great week!

Weekly Recap and Spill It Sunday

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Happy Sunday! Well, we’ve gone from the Super Snooze Bowl to the Olympics, and while I detailed why I wasn’t too excited … once the actual SPORTS started it was amazing. Seriously, check out the video in this article featuring 15-year old Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya. OMG.

Once again the weather has been ‘cold as all crap’ or some other description that works with near-zero temperatures and sub-zero wind chills. Lisa was still not getting better, so I came from work and went to her primary care doctor on Tuesday, then she had an appointment with her ENT on Wednesday. She is now allergic to penicillin products, and her allergist wants to revisit allergy shots and work through all of her potential food allergies and intolerances. He is not convinced that gluten might not be a problem … we will see!

Another cool thing? On Thursday I played baker, making a cake and a large batch of cupcakes and a double-batch of butter-cream frosting, and coloring some so that Danny could use some as part of asking his (very recent) girlfriend to go to prom.

Danny Prom Cupcakes

Oh – and she said yes! Apparently right after that everyone descended and ate all of the cupcakes and my baking got high praise. (sadly the Tupperware cover is a bit warped and took off one of the hearts).

Here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: REST DAY! Loved the time with the family again!
Monday: ~0F winds – yeah, standard 6.75
Tuesday: -10 wind chills … 6.75 miles
Wednesday: SNOW DAY! Ran my standard 6.75 miles in 6 or so inches of fresh snow!
Thursday: -2F with light winds – 6.75 miles
Friday: -2F but not windy – 7.5 miles, it actually felt warmer than the thermometer.
Saturday Post haircut run … 12.75 miles!

So that was my week – about 48 miles in more challenging temperatures, winds and snow. Can I just say again how much I loved running in the snow, and yet how much I really felt the combined running and shoveling on Thursday morning? Fine by me – that is a ‘good’ burn!

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And this week over at Arman’s site, the ‘Spill It Sunday’ is ‘Top 5 Lists’. Honestly, not my favorite of the topics … but here goes anyway!

The last 5 people you spoke to on the phone – people still TALK on their phones?
– Colleague at work
– My boss at work
– Telemarketer
– Lisa after her ENT
– Lisa when she was making doctor appointments
(and that actually takes us back the whole week)

The last 5 meals you ate
– Breakfast – greek yogurt, peanut butter toast and prunes
– Lunch/Dinner – sweet potato with cheese and meat sauce, piece of cake.
– Breakfast – the end of my Crunchy Peanut Butter Bulgur with Berries … I finished the bag with this batch. Definitely doing this again!
– Dinner – fundraiser dinner with Danny & Chris at Buffalo Wild Wings. They wanted mozzarella sticks and fries, and we also got a large boneless wings … and my split was my fave – mango habenero. We all had cake later on.
– Lunch – had a lunch meeting at work, so salad with grilled chicken, apple and water

The last 5 places you travelled
– Liquor store (wine run!)
– Hair salon … yes, we get our hair cut in a salon. So why?
– Buffalo Wild Wings
– From main engineering building in Corning to project site in Big Flats
– Dropped kids off at school (so Danny could easily transport his cupcakes) and off to Corning

The next 5 places you will go
– Out for a run
– Market for supplies for the week
– Work on Monday
– … who knows!

The last 5 workouts you did
– Running x5

5 things making you happy right now
– Enjoying a drink tonight and relaxing with Lisa
– Sitting on the couch with the dogs
– Going to Buffalo Wild Wings with the boys (fundraiser for Danny’s Class of 2015)
– My Saturday run!
– Transitioning to an exciting new set of responsibilities on my project at work

So what about you? How was YOUR running this week? Cold enough for you? And how about YOUR top 5s?

Hope everyone has a great week!

Weekly Recap and Spill It Sunday ‘Possessions’ Edition

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I hope everyone is having a great weekend and has a safe and fun night. We are staying in and making some fun foods to enjoy … not sure how much football we’ll watch, but that isn’t a big deal.

As for my running this week, it was dominated by the cold surge that swept through again … but on Friday I started feeling crappy, and Friday night both Lisa (who is actually sick) and I fell asleep watching old Doctor Who episodes with the kids. So I decided that since Lisa was off, I would also take off the weekend. True confession – between Friday and Saturday night I slept more than the FIVE nights (Sun – Thurs) combined! Now I feel great and well rested … and know that the total exhaustion of -20 runs caught up to me, but at least I’m not feeling like I’m getting sick.

Here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: REST DAY! More like ‘sleep day’, it was awesome and much needed!
Monday: 18F – 10.5 miles – the kids were more of less off school (Regent’s week and end of term), so I was able to run longer.
Tuesday: -20F wind chill – 6.75 miles. And … the cold was back.
Wednesday: -20F wind chill – 6.75 miles. Another day of fun.
Thursday: -10F with light winds – 7.5 miles. Ugh! I was highly annoyed
Friday 15F with light winds – 10.5 miles (see a trend?). I really wanted to get in a good run, and I really loved this.
Saturday REST DAY! I was debating what to do, but as noted I felt lousy and sleep was the answer!

So that was my week – 43 miles and two rest days, plus some really cold runs. Overall not bad … oh, and it is really amazing the difference your body feels running when it is well below zero compared to the teens.

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And this week over at Arman’s site, the ‘Spill It Sunday’ focus is on possessions. It was interesting that the things that immediately kept to mind were not so much material possessions but rather reflections of the things I value in life. You’ll see what I mean as I go along.

So here are five things that hold special meaning to me:

iPad with keyboard case – OK, so this is the most traditional ‘possession’ item, but I would be lying if I said I am not technology oriented, and the iPad is my 90% connection at this point. If you see a blog, email, Tweet, etc from me … chances are it came from here. And yes, that includes the double-sized sideways Instagram app! And it is beyond all of the normal productivity and web-based apps .. I love games – iPad has plenty; love listening to music – have iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and Slacker; love making music – iPad has Garageband, as well as a host of great music making apps.

Belkin Ultimate

Wedding Ring – I think I make it clearly pretty regularly that Lisa is the center of my life, and this ring hasn’t left my hand except for cleaning in nearly 22 years. I love the diamond design, we have matching bands from a time that was pretty rare (most people I knew and that we met on our honeymoon the guy had a plain gold band). But it isn’t the ‘thing’ that matters, it is the symbol of my connection to Lisa.

Five Things Sunday 2

Claddagh Ring – Lisa gave me this ring for Christmas the year Christopher was born. We knew at that point we wouldn’t be able to have any more kids due to the complications, and after the doctor said Lisa should avoid anything looking like surgery whenever possible I had the action taken to ensure no more (potentially life-threatening) pregnancies happened. So when she gave me this ring, it was a symbol of our family – the four of us united together in love and family.

Five Things Sunday 3

Fraternity Composites and Race Medal Case – what makes these two things important? They are both special parts of my life, and Lisa went and made special displays for both. The Fraternity display hangs in our family room, while the running case (which I still need to update with 2013) is going in our newly painted upstairs hallway.

Five Things Sunday 4

Running GPS Watch / Heart rate monitor – this could have easily been my Garmin, but the Magellan Echo is my current go-to fitness tool. The bottom line is this – tracking my mileage & pace has kept me accountable. In 2012 it changed my life, and my running life … and in 2013 it helped me work on pacing, balancing my effort, working on my training schedule and runs, and so on. Oh, and continuing to keep myself accountable. Ultimately that is the thing I needed.

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So what about you? How was YOUR running this week? Cold enough for you? And how about possessions – anything you really value?

Hope everyone has a great week!