Monday, August 30, 2010

1/2 Marathon Progress

So as I have mentioned earlier, I am training for a half marathon this year.  I am going to run the PF Changs Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon Jan. 16th, 2011, and I officially signed up last night!  There's no backing out now :) 

I have been consistently running about 3-4 days a week with a couple of other activities thrown in between (mainly Zumba classes with Stacy).  In the last 3 weeks I've actually learned a lot about myself, so I thought I'd share.  One reason I picked running a half marathon is I am by no means a runner.  Actually, I think if you asked any of my friends and family if they have ever heard me say "I think I'll go for a run" the response would probably be laughter and/or an immediate "NO!"  I believe I would laugh at the thought of me running long distances which is kind of why I wanted to defy that opinion I have created about myself.  Secondly, I have heard a lot of people say its a different kind of release.  I have actually noticed myself reflecting a whole lot more and just actually creating an appreciation for more things that I have going on in life.  Lastly, I think this is a great way to challenge myself in a constructive way outside of work. 

I have found that at work I tend to stress over things which carry over into my personal life after work.  I really didn't like the fact that even though I was away from work I was thinking about work.  If I wasn't thinking about work I was preparing something for the next day.  I decided dedicating to something bigger than myself maybe would relieve that and put me in a better place.  I'll say right now I believe it is working, because I am thinking about what playlist I want to put on my iPod to run to or what new place can I go run by to change up scenery. 

As far as actual progress that I have had in 3 weeks, I am becoming very consistent in being able to run about 4 miles at a time where I started around 2.  Granted I am pretty slow but Kellie and I have decided we are really okay with that.  We will be tackling a 10K around mid October- mid November, so I'll keep you tuned in for that as we figure it out more!  Gotta run!! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Realizations of Relationships and Otherwise

It has been a little while and I have taken a little time away to think about a few things going on in my life.  One thought I have been referencing back to over and over again the last couple of weeks is around relationships.  It began with one of my best friends getting married in Ohio a couple of weeks ago.  She was the first friend from back home that I had attended a wedding for since leaving Tennessee and it somewhat became surreal.  I am in a stage of life I have found where people are grown-ups....kind of.  Everyone around me is going isn't it so odd that persons X and Y are getting married?!  The reality is after this phase will be the baby phase and I'm sure many others that will surprise us all when they come as well. 

I by no means feel like a relationship expert, but today in church we touched upon things that we ultimately worship that consumes our mind other than God.  As I am sitting there I realize that relationships in general is what I worship or crave.  Making sure that my friends and family are taken care of and that I am truly invested in them is honestly what I live for sometimes.  That's not to also say that dating isn't in that bucket as well.  In just looking at the foundation of this, I wonder is that really what life is all about.  Is it healthy to consume your thoughts and actions around people.  I would hope that through out my lifetime I impact people positively and can say I had significant relationships with people.  I also realized though that we are human.  I know big revelation right?  I know Chelsea; I am a human.  What I'm trying to say is that people are a risky investment.  All of this time is spent on people that will no doubt go through phases and change with time.  I suppose I have no control no matter how much time I spend, because there is always a chance that someone will take action without my control.  I don't know where this all leaves me except I continue to ponder about it and felt like sharing.  It may be a bunch of nonsense, but in my head it all works itself out. 

Now I'm out like a light y'all!  Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stacy and I attempt cooking casserole...

So as I attempt to get in shape for this half marathon I'm attempting cooking as well.  Now anyone that really knows me understands I do not cook.  Growing up, our family considered meals-in-a-box as "cooking".  Don't get me wrong; I loved macaroni and cheese and Hamburger Helper most nights!  However the time has come to expand my horizons, so I've enlisted one of the best, Stacy!  I was sitting in the Columbus Airport waiting to go home from C's wedding (simply beautiful and I will expand my thoughts at a later post) and found an amazing magazine!  It's called Cooking Light and we made a Rosemary Chicken and Rice Casserole by Mary Dennen Ankar, Tiffany Vickers Davis, and Julianna Grimes.  I am going to leave the recipe for everyone, because it was an amazing first try!  Gus and Thatcher totally agreed as we tested it on them so here it is!  Let me know if anyone has any great, easy recipes or comments on this one!

Cooking Spray
1 cup chopped onion
1 (8oz) boneless skinless chicken breast half
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1 14oz can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter
1 (8oz) zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 (8oz) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1 tsp minced Rosemary
 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup (2oz) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion to pan saute 5 min, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle chicken with pepper; add chicken to pan.  Cook 6 min or until browned; turn chicken over.  add broth to pan.  reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 min or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from pan, reserving broth in pan.  Let chicken stand 10 min.  Remove chicken by shredding and placing in large bowl.
3. Bring broth to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 min).  add broth mixture to chicken.  melt butter in pan over medium-high heat.  Add squash to pan; saute 3 min until lightly browned, stirring frequently.  add squash mixture, rice, and minced rosemary to the chicken mixture, and toss gently to combine.
4. Place flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth; bring to a boil.  Cook 1 min. or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Remove from heat; let stand 30 min seconds.  Add 1/4 cup cheese; stir with a whisk until smooth.  Add remaining 1/4 tsp pepper, milk mixture, and salt to chicken mixture; stir to combine.  Spoon chicken mixture into a broiler-safe 8 in ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over rice mixture; bake at 350 degrees for 20 min or until thoroughly heated.  remove casserole from oven.
5. Preheat broiler.
6. Broil casserole 5 min or until golden.  Makes 4 servings (1 1/4 cup per serving)

Calories- 337 Fat 9.7 g Protein 24 g Fiber 2.8g

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Music Suggestions for My First Half Marathon

So I was sitting my lovely gray 4x4 cubicle at work listening to iPod like normal when I realized that I need to add some more music to my library.  The last time I added music I believe involved the newest John Mayer CD (LOVE IT!), Lady Gaga, Whitney Duncan, and The Band Perry.  Kind of all over the place, but that is the epitome of my music taste.

I want to get some more "work out" music as I train for my first half marathon in January!! That's right!  I didn't think those words would ever come out of my mouth, but the tides have changed!  I think in the back of my mind I have always wanted to try something like this, but I always thought it was out of reach.  I have had a change of heart and think that really anything is possible with enough commitment and drive.  My friend K. will be motivating my butt and joining me along for this journey, so I'm sure more updates are to come! 

"The only way of find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the possible."- Arthur C. Clarke

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lady Gaga Concert

So last night was the Lady Gaga concert I had bought tickets months ago on pre-sale!  I will admit that I am a HUGE gaga fan and this night was a celebration of all things Gaga!  Stacy and I pull up to the downtown Phoenix area to find every person in their best "Gaga wear".  I'm talking about drag queens with painted faces, people without tops basically, and hair as high as the eye could see!  Every Gaga photo ever taken was represented with someone who dressed as her.  Stacy and I felt as though we were in the Twilight zone and that WE were the abnormal people at this place!  We get inside the show take a seat after our $40 t-shirt purchases (a must to document this event!) and see the opening act stripping on stage.  No joke a full on costume change took place on the middle of the stage!  Stacy and I in disbelief, laughing really hard, make our way to meet up with her friend who happened to be at the concert.  Homeboy was decked out in a purple American Apparel shirt, silver skintight leggings, black suspenders, black boots, and a purple lightening bolt on his face.  You could not avoid the craziness so we embraced it.  The second Lady Gaga hits the stage we went into a zone.  The whole audience goes insane and the rest of the show was a performance of a lifetime!  It was possibly an experience I will never be able to compare.  There is fire, lights, fog, people popping up from below the stage, dancing, crazy boots, and insane costumes.  After experiencing that you feel like you have taken a look into something so far from reality that you want to spice up your own life!  I don't think I will go as far as Gaga fans do, but it is just a motivator to not get stuck in the day by day routine.  Can't wait until the next concert experience in October, but this time Carrie Underwood!  A little different but will most likely prove to be an amazing time as well!