Freezer to Slow Cooker Night 1 – Turkey Meatloaf

We tried the first of my freezer to slow cooker recipes tonight. It was super simple, defrost, plop it into the slow cooker, spread the foil open and around the edge of the slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. I put it on high for the first couple hours because my slow cooker runs cool on low. I also did some roast potatoes and broccoli as sides (at the request of my 3 year old). The finished product was great! Here it is ready to come out:

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It easily lifted out onto a plate where we sliced it up. Here is the finished product on my plate:

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It got a thumbs up from the whole family! The recipe is linked above in my freezer to slow cooker post.

27 km’s done and only 11 weeks until ‘D’ Day!

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  Things have been busy on the home front, and I just haven’t had anything particularly exciting to ramble about (I know it never stopped me before…).  

I’ll start with today’s run because it’s fresh in my mind.  Lori and I ran our first 27 km long run today, that’s almost 17 miles for you non-metrics out there.  This was my longest run in more than 2 years, and Lori’s longest run ever!  I had tried not to think about it too much.  We started down in Fish Creek at Bebo Grove.  We drove down instead of running from my house because then we could use Lori’s van as an aid station without having to climb out of Fish Creek to get to my house.  It worked well.  We did a 7km loop through Woodbine, and then refilled our water bottles.  After the first 7, we just had 10 km’s out and 10 back again, totally doable!  I love breaking up runs like this, and think of each segment as it’s own goal so that I don’t get stuck on the big number in front of me.

Because I wasn’t over thinking this run, I realized last night that I didn’t have any gels in the house (ooops!), but did have one Vega gel that I had received as a sample at SeaWheeze, I brought it along and decided to use it for my mid run fuel.  We both took gels around 14 km’s into the run.  I quickly scanned the ingredients as I was opening it, and realized that the base ingredient was dates, I had a moment of worry that dates might not be the best mid run fuel (would they be anything like their cousin the prune???), thankfully, it was not only really tasty but also sat really well for the remainder of my run.  In fact, this afternoon, my stomach is feeling better post run than it has for a long time.  It could be that I’m just adjusting to the distances and getting into better shape, or maybe I hit some magical combination today that worked.  I will document what I did just in case it is the latter.  Breakfast was Cheerios with a banana on top, then a bowl of cottage cheese for some protein, and then a slice of bread with butter because I still felt a bit hungry.  I often will have a ‘heavier’ cereal with more protein and fiber because it seems to fill me up better, but I wanted to avoid additional fiber today, just in case it helped with the mid and after run PM (If you don’t know what PM is, just think hard… ____-monster, or don’t think hard because really it is TMI). 

Back to the run, it went by pretty quickly as Lori and I chatted about everything and nothing at the same time.  I did learn that if she had to Lori would fight a bear off me, and wouldn’t just run away to save herself.  A good running partner is really hard to find!  We got to 25 km’s and celebrated a bit because the next 2 km’s would all be ‘the furthest ever’ km’s for Lori…. she even did a little skip of prancersize, but not too much, because that would be the worst reason to get injured during a run ever!

As of the end of this run, I’m finishing this week at a grand total of 69 km’s!  I’m super stoked about that, as it’s my biggest week in more than 2 years.  I’m also excited because my achilles is doing great!  I have lots of little niggles and my legs are tired, but I have no injuries that are threatening to completely derail things.  I think this means that I really do need to register for this marathon… I know I keep saying that! 

My other super tough training run this week was a hill session on Tuesday at lunch from work.  I ran a warmup 2km’s and then did 12 repeats of a super hard hill next to the river.  It’s a fun place to do a workout because it’s a zoo at lunch, there is also a set of stairs that goes to the top, and it attracts a lot of people trying to get a mid day workout in.  

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On Wednesday, Lori and I ran 4 km’s and then did our regular strength training in the morning, then in the evening we did a mock duathlon.  This was fun, but also hard as my legs were TIRED from hills the day before.  We ran 7 km’s, then biked 18 km’s and then ran 3 more km’s!  

Next Saturday is the Blitz Duathlon in Bragg Creek!  Hopefully it’ll be a fun race.  I don’t really know what to expect, but however it goes, it’ll be an automatic PR since I’ve never raced those distances before.  I’m also going to use it as my long run for the weekend.  I had a 16 km long run on my schedule, in addition to the race, but have decided that it is just going to be WAY too hard to fit it all in, and that running 10 km’s on trails + biking 18 km’s = running 16 km’s (or more even!)  

I’d love to hear how your weekend long runs, and training sessions have been going, and what fall races you’re training for.  It’s exciting to start to see people posting about fall races!!

Back to work, plus August in review, etc…

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Lori and I ran our last Tuesday morning runswap run today 😦 .  It feels like, this really solidifies the fact that as of next Monday, my life is going to change dramatically.  I’m totally ok with going back to work, I’m ready for something else to fill my days, and for someone to start filling my bank account again, but I will morn a lot of what was good about the last year that I’ve been on Mat leave.  Of course I will miss my girls, I’ve really enjoyed the last year of being home with them.  I’ll also miss the little routine that I’ve established with my running and working out.  I blogged about a number of the ways that I’ve used to fit running into my schedule back in May here.  I have had a little schedule going every week, and have enjoyed every bit of it.  

Mondays: Strength Training at the gym with my friend Theresa

Tuesdays: Runswap with Lori (these were often either hill or tempo runs)

Wednesdays: Strength Training at the gym with Lori in the am, medium long run with Lori in the evening (my hubbies night to put the kids to bed)

Thursdays: I would either run on the treadmill, or run in the afternoon while my MIL watched Olivia and Maiya went to daycamp.  I also did a lot of bike rides, or bricks on Thursdays.

Friday: Rest day!!

Saturday/Sunday:  Lori and I almost always long run together, and move our long runs around depending on our families schedules.

I am anticipating most of this staying basically the same, except I will do most of my mid week runs at lunch from work.  I’m pretty lucky to have a gym at work (with treadmills and showers), plus a lot of great running paths really close to work.

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It’s been a busy week or so in our house.  We’ve had family visiting, plus the weather’s been great and we’ve been spending quite a bit of time outside.  We also celebrated my baby girls first birthday.  I’ve hardly had time to log my runs, let alone blog!  August was a great month.  I ran SeaWheeze in Vancouver, and came off that with tired legs, they were warning me to be careful or else I’d end up injured.  I didn’t cut back my mileage or take any extra days off, but I did wear my compression socks (A LOT!), roll my legs (A LOT!), and even spent some time with ice on my ankles.  All those things seem to have done the trick.  My runs the last week have been bouncier and faster than they have been in a while.  This feels pretty huge to me, I’ve managed to keep my mileage up (205 km’s in August, and 62 km’s last week), but still get bouncier and feel better.  

Onward and upward in September!  This weekend we’re cutting back our long run because we’re doing a mud run.  This is just going to be a fun race, so we aren’t worried about pace or time.  I’m also doing a duathlon on the 21st.  Hopefully with being back at work, I’ll have time to get on my bike before that race!  The ride is only 18 km’s though, so I’m not super concerned.  I also need to actually register for the Seattle Marathon, I was putting it off because I was worried that I’d get injured (again!), but so far so good, and I think I just need to dive in (right??).