Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the run again!

It's official, the date has been set for my next half-marathon (Georgetown, SC - October 13th), and this is the first official week of training!  The schedule is a MUCH simpler version of the build-up we did with TNT.  Since I'm not overly concerned with time/pace, and I am REALLY concerned about not becoming injured this time around, we're sticking to a 3-day-per-week training schedule.  That means 2 short-to-middle distance runs during the week and 1 longer run on the weekends.  AND, we're not exceeding 10 miles for our training runs.  I'm training with my tried & true running buddies, the Jennifers (Jennifer that ran with me in Savannah, and my best friend from high school, Jenny).  I love the Jennifers, but I promise, I have friends with other names, too!
After my first half-marathon, our TNT coach said he knew the big problem for most of us first-timers was the fact that we didn't believe we could actually complete the 13.1 mile goal we had set for ourselves.  That's why it was so important to do lots of long runs before the race, including that awful 12-miler in the pouring down rain.  However, now that we know without a doubt that we can do it, we decided to cut ourselves some slack this time around.  
I've been running two 3-milers a week for a while now, and the last two weeks I have gotten in a 4.5-5 miler on the weekend, so I'm ready to start bumping it up.  Here's what things look like (basically) for the next 10 weeks:
Week 1   (08/04):  Long Run = 5 miles,  Short runs = 3.5 miles each
Week 2   (08/11):  Long Run = 6 miles,  Short runs = 3 miles & 4 miles hills
Week 3   (08/18):  Long Run = 7 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles each
Week 4   (08/25):  Long Run = 7 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 5   (09/08):  Long Run = 8 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles
Week 6   (09/15):  Long Run = 9 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 7   (09/22):  Long Run = 10 miles, Short runs = 5 miles & 5 miles
Week 8   (09/29):  Long Run = 10 miles, Short runs = 5 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 9   (10/06):  Long Run = 8 miles,   Short runs = 4 miles & 3 miles
Week 10 (10/13):  Long Run = RACE DAY = 13.1
We also had to add hills to our schedule this time around, since our race is the Georgetown, SC Bridge2Bridge 1/2 Marathon, and we have to cross over both of the major bridges in town TWICE.  Not gonna lie, that is making me a tad bit nervous. I'm sure most of our long run routes will include hills, but we will make some plans to hit some of the bigger hills in Columbia specifically to prepare us for those bridge crossings. I'll keep y'all posted on our progress!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 31)

7.30.12 - $1 Tacos
7.31.12 - Grilling
8.1.12 - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
8.2.12 - Baked Ziti - making bigger recipe to freeze and take part with us on vacation!
8.3.12 - Leftovers/Fridge Cleanout
8.4.12 - Vacation!
8.5.12 - Vacation!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 30)

7.23.12 - Leftovers
7.24.12 - Chicken Burritos - making a bigger recipe to freeze and take with us on vacation
7.25.12 - Bacon & Mater Pasta
7.26.12 - Leftovers
7.27.12 - Supper Club... in charge of appetizer... making this
7.28.12 - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
7.29.12 - Sour Cream & Bacon Crockpot Chicken

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our trip to D.C.

So, as you might have seen in our menu plan, last weekend, we took off for a few days to visit some of our very best friends who recently moved to the Washington, D.C. area.  We had lots of fun visiting our nations' capitol and are so excited that now we have both family (my uncle) and friends to see when we visit!

Leaving S.C. still a long way to go!
We started off the weekend with the long drive on Thursday, got to their place and settled in and caught up on life.  Friday, we started making plans for what to do during our long weekend, including cooking dinner, so we had to hit up their awesome grocery store, Wegman's.  I've never been in a place quite like this store.  Let's be honest, you just have to see it to believe it.  My uncle told me later on in the weekend that they are building a store in his town and in addition to all their full time employees, they are advertising 350 part time positions!  Go Wegman's - putting America back to work!  If you're up the Virginia/Maryland way and need a job, they're hiring!  (However, don't get a job there if you don't want to drool all day over their wonderful food selections!)

Washington Monument by Night

After a trip to the store, we hit the road to catch the Metro, and rode to Georgetown.  We ate dinner at an awesome restaurant, Founding Farmers.  If you're ever in the Georgetown area, I highly suggest putting this place on your tour-de-food!  All of our appetizers and entrees were delicious.  I love this quote from their website, "A collective of American family farmers owns our restaurant. We source our fresh products from family farms, ranches, and fisheries across the United States. We celebrate and share the longstanding connection between farmers — the first to lead the “green” movement — and their historic stewardship of natural resources."  And, wouldn't you believe, one of their hosts was a Clemson grad, and recognized right away that we were from the south.   After dinner, we shopped in Georgetown and then headed back to downtown D.C. where we really enjoyed walking the National Mall at night and took a few pictures at the Washington Monument.  The view of the city lights at nighttime is truly a sight to see!

Ryan & Me in front of the Washington Monument
Saturday, we headed back to town and met my uncle for lunch at Burger, Tap & Shake.  The burgers were rockin' and the milkshake straws as big as your finger helped make enjoying that fabulous shake all the better.  Yum!  Our next stop was the American History Museum.  We only toured a few exhibits, but some of my favorites included the original American Flag that inspired The Star Spangled Banner, and the Transportation in America exhibit.  By-the-way, I'm a little upset that a car produced after I was born, the 1986 Dodge Caravan, is in a museum.  Does that make me old???

We spent the rest of the afternoon touring more monuments, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, The Lincon Memorial (we also checked out the backside overlooking Memorial Bridge and Robert E. Lee's home on Arlington hill), and of course The White House.   We ended our day at The Old Ebbitt Grill, another fabulous meal in the city. 

WWII Memorial - South Carolina Column with view of
Washington Monument & American Flag in the background

Lincoln Memorial

Inside Lincoln Memorial
View of Washington Monument & Capitol from Lincoln Memorial

The White House (back side)

Outside the Whitehouse Gate

Sunday, we attended church with our friends and then had brunch, walked around Olde Town in Alexandria, and did some shopping at the nearby outlet mall, Potomac Mills.  By the time we got around to cooking dinner, we were all deliriously tired from our weekend of fun.  Somehow, not really sure how it came about, we ended up our night watching old re-run DVDs of The Cosby Show.  What a classic!  We have to thank our wonderful hosts and tour guides, Gray and Leigh, their little one A, and of course my Uncle Edwin who met up with us in the city and shared lots of great background info on all of the sights we visited.  Hopefully it won't be too long before we visit again!
In front of the Town Square in Alexandria

Me, Ryan, Gray & Leigh
photo courtesy of the sweetest 5 year old I know! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 29)

What happened to week 28??? We got out of towner syndrome and didn't make any menu plan for this past week since we knew we were spending 4 nights in D.C. visiting friends. Check back later to hear about our trip and some of the great things we did eat!

We are actually still on the road heading back, but it's been a good long trip and we've actually got our meals planned out from now until our next trip to the beach in August! Such a relief for me since every week it seems like an uphill battle to plan our menu and get to the store! Here's what we've got planned for this week:

7.16.12- $1 tacos
7.17.12- Thai Chicken Bites and rice
7.18.12- grilling out (whatever beef is on sale when we get to the store and sides to go with it)
7.19.12- homemade pizza
7.20.11- Skinny Taste Baked Chicken Parmesan
7.21.12- Dr. Pepper BBQ in crockpot with slaw and potato salad
7.22.12- leftovers

Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 27)

7.2.12 - Cheesy Lime Chicken & Rice (never made this weekend)
7.3.12 - $1 tacos
7.4.12 - Independence Day Celebrations!!
7.5.12 - Turkey Burgers w/ Chips, Salsa & Guacamole
7.6.12 - Beach for me, Ryan home alone
7.7.12 - Beach for me, Ryan home alone
7.8.12 - TBD