Monday, August 31, 2015

10 Habits of Successful Athletes

The other day before teaching my usual TBC (total body conditioning) class, I had a discussion with a student about workout motivation.  It was actually a more general conversation about how she has good intentions to go to the same swim class I attend on Wednesday nights, both of us as students, but how hard it has been for her to actually get there when it starts at 8:30 pm.  I empathetically agreed, as some weeks I too find I have to drag myself off the sofa and push myself to go, being comfortably settled in after dinner and a long day at work.

Anyway, interestingly the next day, I came across an article titled "10 Habits of Successful Athletes", which kind of fit into that discussion of personal motivation and fitness. 

While the article itself was a little boring, I did like the bullet points, as I found they actually apply to people trying to lose weight or keep general fitness as well:

1.  They set short and long term goals.
2.  They picture success.
3.  They make the most of mistakes.
4.  They place importance on nutrition.
5.  They value rest.
6.  They follow a structured training program.
7.  They always train hard.
8.  They keep records.
9.  They seek out those that are better, stronger and smarter.
10.  They continuously prove themselves.

After reading the above, I was surprised how I pretty much hit all of these on a regular basis.  But, I did have to admit ... I'm failing a little bit right now on 6 (as I'm not running as much as I should to prepare for the TC 10 mile), and I could do much better on 4 (since I'm still not 100% eating like I should ... hello summer and ice cream).

But, my personal failures aside, I think I'm going to use this as a barometer of sorts moving forward to ensure I'm keeping on track with my overall health and fitness. 

That being said, I'm curious to know: how do you stack up to this list?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Official Tri Photos - Finally Up!

At the end of July, you may recall reading my Chase the Police Tri recap. 

Well, finally, the official photos are up!!

You can see my pretty pink bike tires in transition here, just behind the guy in the white t and grey shorts.


I am in the far back left, just off the right hip of the guy standing up high with his arms crossed.  Watch me go (slowly) in these series of photos:


Unfortunately, I didn't see any of myself on the bike.  Boo.  But, I did find at least a finisher photo!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Recipe: Delicious Salad - Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I had this fabulous salad while out at Doc B's Fresh Kitchen in Chicago.  While this recipe isn't quite as good as the real thing in restaurant, it's pretty close.



Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
With Parmesan Vinaigrette and Marcona Almonds



  • 2-3 cups raw Brussels sprouts, washed and shredded (I used a food processor)
  • 1-2 stems raw kale, washed, de-stemmed and shredded
  • 2-3 ounces of marcona almonds (I substituted macadamias since I was unable to find marcona almonds at my local grocery and didn't have time to shop further away)
  • 3 tbsps. oil
  • 2 tbsps. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsps. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsps. finely diced garlic
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Powdered or finely shredded parmesan, to taste

1. Combine shredded Brussels sprouts and kale.  Mix ratio should be about 70% Brussels sprouts to 30% kale, but obviously - it's not science.

2. Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic and pepper in a small bowl.  Dump over greens mixture and toss until evenly coated.  (Feel free to substitute your favorite vinaigrette dressing here instead).

3. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the greens, reserving a few tbsps. for later.  Toss salad again until the cheese is evenly distributed.  (I just eyeballed the amount of cheese, so use your best guess).

4. Plate the greens.  Top with almonds.  Finish salad with reserved parmesan.

Serves 2.  This recipe makes very large salads.  I actually ended up saving leftovers (without nuts included) overnight in the fridge, taking them to lunch the next day.  Even with the dressing already added, the salad still stayed crisp and fresh.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Little Chicago Air Show Follow-up

As I said last Monday, I was in Chicago a little over a week ago for the Air & Water show.  Of course, it proved to be a good time for me and a few others, including my blogger pal Emily (who you may remember from when I ran China Town in 2014).

No, we didn't run a race together while I was there.  Are you shocked?  Sorry to disappoint you.  Instead of running, we sat on the beach and roasted in the sunshine.  Well, that ... and we watched the Angels fly by a few times.  Heh.

In addition to a good time at the show, I just have to say ... my husband and I had pretty awesome views from our hotel room.

Yep, that's the view from the top floor of the Omni Hotel in Chicago, both AM and PM.  We got that view for free thanks to my husband, who spent half his spring in Boston for work in 2014, thus earning him some free nights and VIP status for premium room upgrades.

Anyway, while I had lots of fun in Chicago, I also in advertantly came up with two new blog posts, which you will be hearing a bit more about in the next few weeks.  Until I get those posts written and published, here's an overview:

First, the good - Brussels Sprouts Salad from Doc B's Fresh Kitchen

I don't know if you've ever heard of this place or eaten there; I myself had never heard of it until I was on Yelp looking for a lunch option nearby our hotel.  When I stumbled across this place, I thought ... hmm, seems interesting.  It was definitely good - I left full and totally in love with what we ate!  After I came home, I tried to re-create my entrĂ©e, and I think I had about 80% success in matching it to the restaurant.  So, look forward to that post in the next week or so.

Second, the bad - my Nike+ GPS watch died. 

On Saturday morning, I actually got up early at the hotel with high hopes of going for a run on the Lake Shore Path.  Unfortunately, I was foiled in doing so as it was SUPER HOT and humid even at 6am, which pushed me to the hotel's workout room instead.  But, even if the humidity hadn't forced me there, I would have ended up in the hotel's workout room anyway, because somehow moisture got to the LCD screen of my Nike+ GPS watch and ruined it.  BOO!! 

Truth be told, I had suspected something was amiss way back when I ran the a 5K on the 4th of July (remember how foggy it was?), as my watch had fogged up on the INSIDE at that race and never really cleared after that.  My guess is some moisture got in there at that race and just never dried back out, eventually penetrating the LCD screen and frying it. 

Aside from the moisture though, the watch hadn't been picking up satellites very well anymore, so I guess I can't really be surprised that it finally mapped it's final mile.  Regardless, it is kind of unfortunate timing, as I am just starting to ramp up my mileage for the TC 10 mile and was really starting to rely on it again.  And, I hadn't been planning on purchasing a new watch any time soon, since they are kind of expensive.

But, luck would have it that GPS watches are much more affordable these days than they were when I first bought the Nike+, and they are being made smaller as well (part of why I chose the Nike+ to begin with, as it was one of the smallest options available for around $100 when I bought it).  So, despite saying I would just use MapMyRun for awhile and go without a watch, somehow I found myself the proud owner of a brand new Garmin Forerunner 10... which, actually, I so far kind of love.  Like way more than the Nike+.  Which is funny, because I thought I would never top the Nike+, but even the guy at the run store looked at me and was like ... "You got more than a year out of your Nike+?  You're lucky!!  I didn't think anyone was even using them anymore they broke so often!!"

So ... there you have it.  That's the cliff notes version of Chicago, and a hint at what you might see in a few future blog posts (though the GPS one might be awhile, as I want to use it for a few runs first).  Stay tuned!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Current Bib Wall & Medal Collection

After going through all my races for Wednesday's post, I thought it might be fun to post a couple of updated photos of my bib wall and medal collection.

Here they are!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

All My Races ... Ever

After running the Webster Education 5K the other weekend, as I was lounging around at the cabin in my spiffy race T, my father in law started to chuckle at what my collection of shirts must be.  Since he recently downsized from his home of 30+ years and moved to the cabin full time (along with my mother in law, duh), he knew the pain of an ever growing wardrobe and purging excess stuff.

On that tangent, I started to wonder ... how many races have I actually ran since I started oh so long ago?  Hmmm....



Races 1-6, Bibs 1-6

New Prague 5K
Lederhosenlauf 5K
Chaska Rotary Polio 5K
Lifetime Torchlight 5K
Gopher to Badger 5K
MN State Fair Milk Run 5K


Races 7-13, Bibs 7-12

New Prague 5K
Carlyle Sherstad 5K
Rainbow Run 5K
Siren Freedom 5K
Shakopee Derby Days 5K
Crosby Serpent Run 5K, No Bib Provided
Lake Run 5K


Races 14-24, Bibs 13-22

Get Lucky 7K
New Prague 5K
Carlyle Sherstad 5K
Rainbow Run 4K (revised course)
Time to Fly 5K
Color Run 5K
Crosby Serpent Run 5K, No Bib Provided
Lake Run 5K
Steamboat Days 5K
Iron Girl Du (run 2, bike 23, run 2)
Monster Dash Half Marathon


Races 25 - 39, Bibs 23 - 37

Shamwalk 5K
Get Lucky 7K
DogNJog 5K
Minnetonka Half Marathon
Adventure Triathlon
Race Chaska 5K (rained out, no run but kept bib)
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom 5K
Gandy Dancer Trail Run 5K
Webster Education Foundation 5K
Serpent Run 5K, No Bib Provided
Minneapolis Duathlon
Lake Run 5K
Chicago Half Marathon
Mankato Half Marathon
Monster Half Marathon


Races 40 - 54, Bibs 38 - 52

Little Rock Marathon
Get Lucky 7K
Shamrock Shuffle 8K
Minnetonka Half Relay
Waconia Half Relay
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom 5K
Chinatown 5K
Bacon Chase 5K
Webster Education 5K
Minneapolis Duathlon Relay
Lake Run 5K
Women Run the Cities 5K
Mankato 10K
Skeleton Run 5K

2015 (so far)

Races 55 - 65, Bibs 53 - 62

Tri-U-Mah, No Bib Provided
Hot Chocolate 5K
Lake Minnetonka Half Relay
Cinco de Miler 5 miler
Run the Inferno 5K
Carlyle Sherstad 5K
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom Five 5K
Gandy Fly-In 5K
Chase the Police Tri
Webster Education 5K

2015 Pending completion: Races 66 - 70, Bibs 63 - 67
Lake Run, Suds Run, Women Run the Cities, TC 10 Mile, Mankato


So, there you have it.  So far I have participated in 65 races (with my 70th on the horizon for 2015 assuming all goes well), and I own 62 bibs.  If you want to consider the entire distances ... that would be:

   One 4K
   Forty-three 5Ks
   Three 7Ks
   One 8K
   One 5 miler
   One 10K
   Five Half Marathons
   Three Half Marathon Relays (at about 6 miles each)
   One Partial Marathon (course was closed at mile 16-17ish)
   One Duathalon (4 miles ran)
   Two Duathlon relays (2x5K at each race)
   Two Triathlons (about 6 miles ran total)
   One Triathlon relay (about 8 miles ran)

Or, roughly 285 miles of racing on foot (this number is not including any swim or bike distances).  And let's not even talk about the training I did working up to that.  Phew!!


So, almost six years of running.  Wow.  I guess ... that's what it gets you!!  All the above, and a real sense of self accomplishment, too.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mini Break

I was at the Chicago Air & Water Show over the weekend, so today ... no post.  Enjoy your mini break, and see you Wednesday!!