dedication, goals, moving forward, running

Monday truths and week wrap up

I caveat this post with a disclaimer.  This post (and all my posts) are simply a journaling of my thoughts, experiences, hopes, dreams, struggles as lived and breathed by yours truly.  They in no way are directed to anyone, nor are my opinions directed toward anyone other than…ME.  I share these said experiences as it helps me, by hopefully inspiring, helping, or provoking thought by others.

Moving on…

Ack, I haven’t blogged in a week.  Mind you, it’s always been in the back of my mind to take the time to sit down and write…but the time just escaped me last week.  My girls go back to school on Wednesday with my eldest entering high school and my youngest starting 3rd grade.  It’s been a scramble to get school supplies, shoes, registration, dentist appointments, physicals and lastly gym shoes with ‘free time’ being sparse.  But…we got it done…and Wednesday my first born will be walking the halls of high school where life will bring her challenges, heart aches, and success stories all wrapped up in four crazy years.  Lord help me have patience and strength to help her…My youngest starts 3rd grade (and pray her cold subsides, please!)…and I pray she finds her groove this year.  Prayers all around!

My hubby and I got in two amazing 4 milers this week, and I have now been using Myfitnesspal app for a week and am down 2.6 lbs.  YAHOO.

posted previously, but so proud...
posted previously, but so proud…
second 4 miler.  bam!
second 4 miler. bam!

Friday was our date night…it’s been a while, so we planned an amazing tapas style dinner at a local Italian place.  It was.  AMAZING.

Lemon cello cheers!
Lemon cello cheers!

We went to see the movie, “The hundred foot journey” and we both really enjoyed it.  Although I wasn’t pulled in emotionally by the acting, the story itself was profound.  It highlighted the fact that if you truly have a passion for something, you can achieve your goals!  A home cook turned Michelin (sp?) star Chef what???  Yup…GREAT motivator to not give up on my dreams.

Saturday we ran errands and finally after three years of living in our home bought curtains for our bedroom.  Baby steps, right?

The beautiful comforter is a handmedown from my parents...Love!
The beautiful comforter is a handmedown from my parents…Love!

Saturday night was carbloading for our 10 mile run.  I haven’t ran double digits since my half marathon in May, and this was my husband’s FIRST double digit run.

Rice pasta with meat!
Rice pasta with meat sauce…win!

We got up before the sun on Sunday, and headed out to Geneva running outfitters for our 10 miler.  I was pacing the ten minute mile pace group.  And my Garmin died.  Just like that.  GAH….but thankfully one of my runners said he would pace us, if I would direct us…and we finished strong.  What an amazing group.

Pic taken from my friend Cindy..ack, do I really hunch over like that?  (I am in the orange)
Pic taken from my friend Cindy..ack, do I really hunch over like that? (I am in the orange)
And I got to meet one of my Movers, Sarah!  Awesome day!
And I got to meet one of my Movers, Sarah! Awesome day!

We got home early, pigged out, and tackled house cleaning.  I spent the afternoon on the couch watching “Divergent.”  GREAT movie.

I asked my hubby why he decided to run a half marathon while we shared a celebratory glass of wine…”To do something with you, of course.”  My heart sang.  After 11 years together, and 10 years (nearly) of marriage this man never stops taking my breath away.

This week marks my monthly 6 day work week…and tonight, after work I rushed home to shower, change, and head out to the marathon committee meeting and I still find myself learning so much that comes to planning a race.  Please, take a moment to thank your local race committee and directors.  It’s a job that doesn’t pay monetarily but makes you feel so darn good.

Gosh we look so serious.  lol
Gosh we look so serious. lol

At the end of the day, I find myself counting my blessings this past week.  My  family #truths:

We don’t have a lot of ‘disposable’ money.  We get our hair cut at Cost Cutters.  We shop consignment, 95% of the time.  We don’t take lavish vacations or have fancy cars or home(s).  But we do treat ourselves once every couple months to a nice dinner or a cool running outfit (for example).  We celebrate our laughter, and embrace our tough times…together.  We may get frustrated with each other…but we always work together.  We don’t compromise who we are…instead, we figure out how we can meld together as a cohesive unit.  It’s not easy…

But we do it.



Have you ever volunteered for a race?

Does your family support your dreams?


❤ Michelle


dedication, food, goals

Sammiches and Speed, in no particular order

The new season of Master Chef is upon us, and after watching the first episode last week I decided it is time to step up my game if I ever want to even DREAM of trying out. Regardless of whether or not I try out-I plan on upping my recipe collection and continuing to work on someday writing my own e-cook book. This cook book will encompass not only recipes for fancy dinners, but recipes for people on the MOVE.
So last night for dinner, I made Panini’s.
What you’ll need for a family of 4:
4 chicken breasts, pounded out thin with whatever have in the kitchen…I use a meat tenderizer hammer/gadget
–season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil and pan fry with avocado oil until lightly browned on each side-set aside
4 pieces of genoa salami
8 pieces of Ezekiel bread (or your favorite bread of choice)
thinly sliced parmesan cheese, 2-3 pieces per sammich
2 thinly sliced tomatoes per sammich
1 cup of baby arugula lettuce, 1/4 cup for each sammich give or take…
For the spread:
1/2 cup light mayo, mixed with one clove of garlic minced, 1/2 of a lemon juiced, pinch of oregano, basil, and cayenne pepper.

Preheat your griddle on high, and butter the bread lightly with unsalted low fat butter. Compile your sammiches with the above ingredients, lightly coating each piece of bread with your yummy spread. Once browned lightly, place on a cookie sheet, and see the attached pic for my make shift Panini press.
1-panini press makeshift style
Cook at 325 degrees with the sammiches pressed for about 10 minutes at 325 degrees. I served with pita chips and stuffed tomatoes! The tomatoes were seasoned with evoo, salt, pepper, and stuffed with low fat mozzarella cheese/parmesan cheese and seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and parsley.

Quick, easy, and healthy all around for the most part…:-)

Today was run night, so after work I came home and made a quick dinner of tacos and beans before heading out to get our miles in. I can’t eat before I run, so we ate after our run.
I warned my husband who has started his half marathon training full force that I was feeling pretty tired and wasn’t sure about how fast I could go…he nodded, put in his ear buds and we took off. We had a 3 miler (ok, 5K because I can’t just run 3 miles lol) scheduled, and starting out I felt oddly strong. It normally takes me a few miles to warm up yet as we took off I felt strong. We finished our first mile in 8:51, and suddenly my goals switched from easy miles to running our 5K in sub 9 minute miles. Our second mile was a 1/4 mile of up hill so we clocked it at 9:02…I wasn’t going to let this sway my goal of a quick speed work run at this point, so we pushed each other the last 1.2 miles with a 8:50/7:58 min tick.

As a previously known ‘solo’ runner, I have found an inner peace and a new found respect for my husband as we train TOGETHER. We push each other, encourage each other, and at the end of each run we end it with a sweaty high five and “good job.” I still enjoy running alone, don’t get me wrong…but having my husband along side of me during these runs has given me an added boost that I really needed coming off a fall injury. I started to doubt myself this winter, wondering if I would ever run another distance race…wondering, questioning, asking myself CAN I DO THIS ANYMORE??

But I can now say…YES. I can do this…I CAN break my sub-2 half marathon goal THIS year…I don’t NEED anyone other than myself, to say, YES I CAN. But it sure is nice to get accolades from fellow runners, page owners, and blog posters. THIS, brought to you by Run Nerds Rock…he posted it on my page today and I had to choke back the tears…THIS dude, that just ran a 100 miler was telling ME I am bad ass…LOVE it.

And I tell you what…I feel pretty darn bad ass. I am no Kenyan, but my progress makes me proud regardless, in speed work, in the kitchen, and in my life.

Keep Movin’ forward gang…always…

❤ Michelle

dedication, goals, moving forward, running

New Chapters…

This will more than likely be a pictureless post, unless something tickles my fancy while I write.

My week in a nutshell…
Monday-ran 2 miles in my neighborhood just to stretch my legs. Kept my pace under 10 minutes (9:37 min/mile) despite tummy issues, so I was pleased.

Tuesday-cross training with 220 sit-ups, 90 push-ups, 3 sets bicep curls, 3 sets of tricep extensions.

Wednesday-ran 2.75 miles on the dreadmill as it was only 12 degrees outside, and I am officially over layering x3 to go outside to run. (9:32 min/mile)
Also knocked out my pushups (90) and sit ups (100).
After which I traveled about 45 minutes to my favorite consignment shop to by some new (used) clothes for work. Less than 100 dollars for 2 pairs of dress pants, and 9 shirts, and I left feeling very proud of myself for my frugalness…is that I word?

Thursday-(today) was my rest day. And as I finish up my second week of glorious time off in between jobs, I treated myself with TWO dates with my girlfriends. I met my friend Andrea for lunch at a place we run past – ALL the time, yet have never visited called Pal Joey’s. We had a great couple of hours of conversation, and funny enough realized it was the first time in 2 years we’ve hung outside of running together. In attempt to enjoy every last minute of my free time, I met up with Carolyn at our favorite local eatery in St. Charles called “The Office” for a light dinner and great catching up time. Less than 25 dollars spent for 2 meals, filled with priceless conversation and memories was money well spent.

Tomorrow, I am heading downtown with my friends for our packet pick up for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago. I rarely get to make it to city race packet pick ups, so this should be a blast. I’ll be up early in the morning to get ready, and meet my friends to take the train downtown. This will be only my second time taking the actual train, so I am super excited. We’ve figured out the logistics so that those of us with kids can make it home in time to pick up our munchkins. Let’s hope the weather cooperates and we are able to have a nice morning downtown! Although I plan on “racing” this race, I know by no means am I truly ready to RACE nearly 5 miles…between the winter, and my injury last fall I have found myself slow going coming back to being a ‘runner.’ Thankfully, I have never quit…and as always, I keep movin’ forward.

Despite set backs and road blocks, I truly believe in never giving up. If you are true to those you love, they in turn will be true to you….In happy times, sad times, ugly times, and downright terrible times…give support, and you will find it come back to you ten fold.
I am nervous, scared, and excited to embark on my new job, but I know I have so many wonderful people backing me up. ❤ I am an Overcomer…(Mandisa)

❤ Michelle