Sunday, February 26, 2012

I am a total badass

I ran three miles this morning in the wind/rain/snow/hail.  What did YOU do?  ;)

The RunOregon blog ran a blurb this week about a training club here in Portland, Runner Chicks.  As the name implies, there is an abundance of X chromosomes.  Usually I -- forgive the pun -- run the other way from clubs like this, particularly if they're all female.   I've found that they are typically comprised almost completely of fastholes, and the female ones are fasthole bitches which is even worse.  So I signed up almost instantly once I read about a few of the pacers, who are almost all at my speed.  A group that purports to be a supportive running environment that actually IS?  Woo hoo!

Today was the first meeting/workout/come on down and check us out.  I talked Julie into coming along with me as a three mile run was planned for the first workout and that's what we had been talking about doing today anyhow.  And ever since my low back audibly snapped into place a few days ago, leaving me with almost zero back pain for the first time in what has to be at least a year, I was feeling fairly good physically.  I had a persistent cramp in my shin that finally worked itself out after two miles and then I was off.  It was a combination of hitting that "this is what running is supposed to feel like" spot on top of it started to hail/snow and then the rain really came down.  In other words, speeding up a bit seemed like a really excellent idea.  I ended up running the last half mile or so with one of the pacers who was extremely personable.  I think this club is going to be fabulous; although I'm sad that Julie probably won't be doing it with me since she wouldn't be able to do most of the Tuesday night track workouts.  We'll have to work out some other day during the week where we can train together. 

I signed up for the half marathon program, twelve weeks for $80, with a Tuesday track workout and a Saturday long run.  Included in that is a really nice tech tank plus a 10% discount to Road Runner Sports.  We also had the opportunity to sign up for Road Runner's VIP program which gets you a 10% discount.  Typically it's $19.99 to become a VIP; we got to sign up for only $1.99 plus they gave us a $10 coupon for becoming a VIP.  This means I can get 20% plus $10 off my next pair of shoes!  I've been wanting to try their ShoeDog fitting program, particularly since it analyzes your arches as well.  My goal is to have the flattest feet they've ever seen.  I think the odds are in my favor.

The club also gives me something to do.  I've been becoming more and more bored in the evenings since the dogs have been gone.  Since I now have some money, I've been doing things where I end up spending it.  I'd like to cut back on that.  Working out seems like a much better solution.  And my horoscope today concurs:
Now is a great time to start up a health routine.  You may want to eat more fresh fruit, walk an extra mile per day or find some other way to make your life feel that much more spirited and engaged.
So alrighty then.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Fly-Filled Weekend

This was the weekend that one of my partners in crime, the Little Fruit Fly, came to visit!

She arrived on Saturday and we immediately -- well, immediately after watching a little bit of Titanic which was ironically on four separate cable channels at the same time -- heading out for the Heart Breaker expo at Foot Traffic over on Fremont.  I scored an excellent parking spot by exercising my parallel parking skills and then we hit the big tent in the parking lot.  Which was a helluva lot warmer than either of us expected it would be considering it was about 38 degrees outside.  Much warmer than the sweaters and coats we were wearing warranted.  Once we found the booth with the orange grocery bags we were much happier as we were able to stuff our jackets into them. 

We quickly got our bibs then made the rounds of the tent to check out all sorts of upcoming races.  I'm familiar with most of them -- heck, after three yeras I've run most of them -- but the Fly being from out of town was not, so she was sorely tempted to fill up her calendar with all sorts of cool races.  I've started leaning more towards the if-you-live-in-Portland-you-have-to-do-it races like Shamrock and those with decent bling.  We met up with friends Jules and Donna and began plotting.  Suffice it to say, I may be signing up for several more races soon. 

At the expo, the only one I absolutely committed to was the new Bald Peak Half Marathon in June.  The RunOregon blog announced this race just about a month ago and Jules and I immediately were interested.  So many races in Portland are all the same course and after three years, while there is some comfort in knowing a race course, there is also the yearning for something new.  Another reason why I'm excited for the upcoming Portland Rock 'n Roll as it's a completely different course from the usual Portland race.   Anyhow, there are some serious hills on the Bald Peak course but it also promises some great scenery.

And speaking of hills, the Fly was not only doing her twelfth half marathon in twelve months, she also PR'd on the very difficult course which includes the infamous Terwilliger hill.  Our friend Donna ran the 10K and got third place in her age group along with a spiffy medal.  Jules and I.....  did pretty well considering they changed the course from the original out and back flat down Naito and instead went UP Naito for the first mile and a half.  Julie was getting sick, I've still got the lingering yuck which flared up over the weekend and I've run four times since the end of October.  At least the second half was almost all downhill.

I'll let the Fly tell you all about our shopping adventures and the discovery that Portland has the biggest Dick's around.  With lots and lots of balls.  I've got to to find a cough drop.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Paleo Score!

I just created the best paleo meatloaf for dinner.

I started with a recipe I found on Paleo Diet Lifestyle.  This is maybe the third meatloaf I have ever made in my life as I'm actually not a big fan of meatloaf in its execution.  What I figured out tonight, almost purely by accident, is that it is the breadcrumbs or oatmeal in regular meatloaf that I never liked. 

How it all started is a recipe for these nifty meatzzas I saw on here on Polycystic and Primal.  Isn't that a cool idea?  I definitely want to try those, but it also got my brain thinking about various ways I could fix ground meat.  As I said, this is maybe the third meatloaf I've ever done so it took actually seeing ground beef and tomato sauce together to even make me think of making something like that.

Anyhow, I wanted to make it paleo which pretty much just means not using breadcrumbs or another grain as a binding agent.  Most paleo meatloaf recipes rely instead on almond flour or almond meal, but the recipe I found relies on mushrooms as a binding agent instead and since it was a chance to incorporate a vegetable I was all for giving it a try.   Again, I think instinctively I realized I just don't like the soggy breadcrumb texture in meatloaf.

I looked at what was in the recipe to get an idea of proportions in terms of meat versus mushrooms and then I mainly winged it.  I used one pound ground bison and one pound mild italian pork sausage.  I used about two cups of the white button mushrooms, finely chopped, that I sauteed into a couple of tablespoons of butter seasoned with garlic salt and onion powder.  I ended up mixing about three tablespoons of minced garlic directly into the meat but I could have also sauteed the garlic in with the mushrooms for more flavor.  I added the sauteed mushrooms to meat and mushed it all up with sea salt, ground black pepper, more onion powder, maybe two tablespoons of chili garlic lime sauce, a beaten egg, maybe two tablespoons of worcestshire, and about a cup of ketchup (I like Hunt's HFCS free ketchup, it's almost completely real ingredients). 

This made for a juicy meat mix.  In retrospect, I would've cut back the ketchup to a half a cup, maybe two-thirds.  That's what I meant to do in the first place but I accidentally dumped in too much.  Word of advice:  leave the cap on the ketchup for better portion control. 

I poured the meat mix onto a greased cookie sheet and shaped it into an oblong mound.  Then, for the piece de resistance I wrapped that sucker in uncured bacon.  Om nom nom nom nom.  It baked in about a 350-400 degree oven (my oven sucks and always runs too hot) for 30 minutes, then I broiled it for ten minutes until the bacon started to crisp.  Once I drained off the extra liquid (twice -- definitely too much ketchup), here's what I had:

As you can see, still too much liquid even after draining.  It fell apart into big chunks of meat rather than being slices that held together so while you couldn't make a meatloaf sandwich per se you could make something like a sloppy joe with the leftovers.  I ended up draining it off three times.  Although a lot of that could have also been from the fat from the meat so think of all the extraneous calories that went with it instead of into my tummy. 

Wow -- it tasted good.  With using the italian sausage I could have also skipped the chili garlic sauce, it definitely had a nice spice to it.  Huge change from the bland, mushy from the breadcrumb meatloaves I've had in the past.  It would be really good to have basted the top before broiling with some additional ketchup to make a nice glaze.  Maybe I'll do that the next time.

And there will be a next time.  Ohhhhh yeah.

the CilleyGirl

Warm for my form.

Today I signed up for this.  I'm looking forward to hearing what they say about my zombie shuffle.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Idaho? No, you da ho!

Not sure if that joke will ever get old.

I finally got my retro pay today, as my boss and I had agreed.  I had to remind him twice to do it but it got done and now all my bills are up to date, my credit cards are all below the limit and most importantly, as I promised myself and the ether I would if I should get a raise and/or a year end bonus, I just wrote several donation checks.  I've never had a lot to donate, being as I am in beaucoup debt and having gone through a few bouts of unemployment over the past 15 years, but ever since I took my current job and started getting a bonus I have donated at least something even if it is five bucks. 

Given everything that I've gone through with the pups, Oregon Humane and Cat Adoption Team -- the latter being the folks who put on the CATnip Friday 5K -- were at the top of my list.  My friend S works with food banks so in the past few years I've also tried to donate to the Oregon Food Bank.  Kind of a there but for the grace go I sort of thing.  Lastly, in the same vein, I make at least one annual donation (more if I can, I try for Thanksgiving and Christmas/cold weather) to the Portland Rescue Mission. 

And on top of all of that, I booked my ticket to visit my grandparents and dad at the beginning of March.  Since I couldn't go last week like I had hoped because of work deadlines, I had already told my boss that I would reschedule for March and take one extra day off for my trip.  It also turned out that I worked so many hours last week Wednesday through Saturday that instead of arranging to get overtime for the time that I put in on the weekend I swapped out my vacation day instead.  So between my New Year's comp day and this comp day I ended up taking no actual vacation days last week.  Yay!

I also arranged to run Bloomsday in Spokane.  Lilacs are my second favorite flower and I've always wanted to go to Bloomsday; in recent years, I've wanted to run Bloomsday.  It took me about 45 minutes but I finally found a hotel reasonably close to the start and finish of the race that had rooms available and at a decent rate.  I haven't been to Spokane in about 15 years at least, probably longer, so I'm really looking forward to spending a smidge of time there before I need to head back down to my mom's for my vacation. 

Money has been sooo tight for so long, it's nice to have some breathing room.  I'm still due to get my 2011 bonus at the end of this month; with that I hope to pay off my car and a few other things, which in turn should let me finally start making a dent in my debt rather than always adding to it. 

the CilleyGirl

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trial is such a trial.

I've been in trial all day and wow what a drag.  I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something for several days now.  For trial I had to get up about an hour early.  I had planned to eat some krab on the ride to the courthouse, but my boss decided he wanted me to drive.  His brand new Jag.  So, no morning eats for me, but my driving freaked him out and that made up for it.  For lunch we went to a particular restaurant that is across the street from the courthouse so not only limited in what I could have for lunch -- and I had to have something that wasn't a salad, I would've just felt sicker -- plus I had to wolf it in 15 minutes.  Which for a sandwich maybe not so bad, for fish 'n chips roughly the temp of the sun it was not fun. 

So my day is all day sitting on my ass being somewhat bored out of my mind.  And in trial you kind of have to pretend that you have no physical or mental needs so I had to block out how sick I felt, plus being hungry, thirsty, etc.  Ten hours of this plus very little food that I didn't get to taste, and by the time we were back in PDX and I was headed home, I made the decision to go to Arby's.  Not because I felt like I deserved it or any of the usual BS we tell ourselves.  But because I wanted to eat something tasty that would make me feel good for a few seconds, even though I know my stomach will hate me and I probably just consumed the daily required allowance of sodium for five people. 

Almost forgot to add that I also feel like I broke or dislocated something in my right (dominant) hand.  Yay.

Once I regain consciousness, I'll regret it.  Right now, my tummy is full, my tastebuds are happy.  If I don't do this again for several months, that would be good.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some Coast pics are up.

I uploaded about half of my coast pictures to Flickr last night if you would like to take a look.   You'll notice a wide range of colors on the sunset pictures; that's me playing around with the settings on my camera.  The ones that are the deep reds and oranges aren't actually true to life; the blues and pinks are.   These were all taken with my point and shoot Cannon PowerShot.  I also tended to forget to change my camera settings back from nighttime or sunset the next morning, although it didn't seem to make a difference in the day time.  I like the Cannon because it's so small and portable, but I wish I had taken my digital SLR for the shots I took from my hotel room.

Oh, and there are some pics of my hotel room there as well (they're for my mom, we're going to stay here again in April).  If you're ever in the area, this was at the Hi-Tide Resort in Seaside.  For a three night stay I paid $245 -- including taxes and fees -- for an oceanfront hotel room with a balcony.  Gotta love the off-season rates.  And that soup is some of the best lobster bisque I have ever had.  A huge bowl for $6.  Yum!!

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Home again here again

Alas, my travels have come to an end.

As did the out of season weather, although it was still distinctly not like a typical February.  I took the long way home, down through Tillamook, so that I could make another stop at Haystack Rock where there were maybe ten people as opposed to the ten hundred that were there on Saturday.

Haystack in all her glory.

The clouds were coming in fast from the south.

The gulls were waiting for the tide to go out farther to reveal dinner.

Um, I like seafood but this is going a tad too far....

The weekend was fabulous and I'll write more on that later.  I did want to note that in terms of my February challenge, I didn't go off the rails so much as just step a foot off the path here and there.  Most notably, with a stuffed crust pizza on Sunday.  While what I am doing for February was definitely doable on a vacation, I found that having to think about my food choices all of the time was cutting into my enjoyment of the weekend.  It wasn't that I wanted gobs of cake and ice cream and loaves of bread, it was that I had to think about how everything was prepared and all the sides.  And the dining choices on the coast in the off season are somewhat limited.  So I had pizza one day, and tater tots another, and fried seafood the next.  At the same time, I didn't eat wheels of pizza or buckets of tots or oceans of fried seafood.  All weekend, I ate modestly.  Overall I think I did pretty good; I'll see what the scale says tomorrow.  And I'm ready to get both feet back on the path now that I'm home.

By the way, I hope you can take the time to check in on my challenge buddy, Violet.  She's doing really great!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A girl walks into a restaurant...

This morning's breakfast companion.

Met a few new friends for lunch.

They got a little pissed by all the pictures I was taking.

Or maybe it was because I refused to share my Kobe Bleu Balls.  And I'm not even making up that name.

After yet another spectacular sunset, I went to a local seafood restaurant for dinner.  I gave the host my name and told him it was just me.  When he called me, he said "CilleyGirl - party of one."  As he led me to my table, I replied "And it's going to be a quite party!"

Not making that part up.  Not even a little.

the CilleyBeachGirl

Sunday, February 5, 2012

CSI: Seaside

"He's left a footprint behind this time, Sergeant.  We'll soon have the Crab Cracker behind bars!"

Pretty sure the stingray died of natural causes though.  Check out the ribbing on its I guess flipper?

When I first saw this from a distance, I thought it was a dead sweater.

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gone blissin'

Those last few?  That's the view from my hotel balcony.

Go ahead, admit it:  You're deeply jealous.  Because this doesn't even cover the shopping.

the CilleyGirl

Friday, February 3, 2012

I think my boobies are too big to successfully do CrossFit...

I can tell my brain is mush because a few minutes ago I had to look up the correct spelling of "Wednesday." 

I've updated my 2012 race calendar/wish list.  Check it out if you must.  By the way -- Any readers in the Spokane area?  I'm thinking about running Bloomsday this year...

And for my little buggy friend:  I'm thinking about doing the Prefontaine Memorial Run too.  I KNOW you're up for that!  Can you say sleepover??

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, February 2, 2012

At least there's overtime....

I've already put in 42 hours this week.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........   But I got my big trial exchange out the door today - yay!

I am so ready for my beach weekend.  Check in on Saturday isn't until late afternoon so I booked myself a massage and a mini facial for Saturday morning.  Ninety minutes for that then I'll get some lunch, check out Haystack Rock, browse some shops.  I've got a ton of magazines to catch up on, a bunch of new Kindle downloads, and I picked up some British crime dramas on DVD from the library.  In between I'll wander around Seaside and maybe Astoria, watch the Super Bowl, and do lots of beachcombing.  I wish I was there already!

The hotel has free wi-fi and I'm taking my laptop with me so if you're lucky I'll post lots of envy-inducing pictures from the coast. 

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And we're off and running!

Day One of the Paleo Challenge is two-thirds in the bag.  So far, so good.  I also signed up for the Fanconi Anemia 5K (with Miss Julie), the Heart Breaker 5K (with the FruitFly), and the Shamrock 15K (with everybody and their mothers).  Yay for me.  Now I guess I should actually run or something, maybe?

I also booked my beach weekend.  Counting down the minutes....  Fair warning:  I will be eating clam chowder and/or slumgullion this weekend.  Even though the chowder has flour, everything else in it that I can think of is paleo.  And if I remember right, there's maybe a tablespoon worth of flour in a large bowl of chowder.  Long story short, my tummy likes it just fine.

It is not happy today about the Subway sandwiches I had two nights ago.  Boo me.

Hoping to get out of work at a normal(ish) hour today.  Wish me luck!

the CilleyGirl