We’re halfway there

Wednesday is almost over, and I couldn’t be happier. This week has literally sucked the life at me. 50% of my meals this week have been on point, but the other half? Not so much. I wake up exhausted everyday, no matter what time I crawl in bed. I struggle to stay awake during the day, despite being insanely busy at work. I haven’t finished attempted one single workout this week, and I have to say I am pretty disappointed in myself. I am just in such a FUNK.

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I have a 10k on Sunday and I haven’t ran since the half marathon on the 2nd. Fresh legs are a good thing, of course, but I was hoping for a PR. I don’t think this goal is attainable since I haven’t hit the ground running in almost two weeks.

I’ve reassessed my goals, and I’ve decided I’m going to power through the rest of the week and start Saturday strong. I didn’t expect getting back on the horse fitness-wise was going to be easy, so I’m not going to stress over it.

In other news, remember the bruschetta I made earlier in the week? I found a new way to use it! I started with a pita pocket lined with romaine lettuce and thin-sliced turkey breast. Next, I added the bruschetta mix, caramelized onions, and crumbled garlic & herb goat cheese. The romaine/turkey combo kept the bruschetta from making the pocket soggy. It was DELICIOUS!

 

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After you finish stuffing the pitas, fold the turkey slices over the filling to keep it from falling out. Several people in the breakroom commented how great it looked and how jealous they were. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a go! I’m going to switch out the turkey tomorrow for chicken salad, I think that would be a tasty variation 🙂

Alright, only TWO more days to go until the weekend!!

Red, red wine

Saturday night I ordered a glass of wine with dinner, and I began to think about all of my favorite red wines. I remember back 6 years ago when I used to think Yellowtail Shiraz was the BEST wine. General rule of thumb: if you can buy it at the gas station, it is most likely not a phenomenal bottle. I have since fine-tuned my taste buds to appreciate a delicious glass of wine, and today I’d like to share my favorite reds 🙂

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The last one is a bit of a splurge, but if you are looking for a nice red to celebrate a special occasion – this bottle will NOT disappoint:

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Bruschetta

Have you ever stopped to think about what a homemade bruschetta could be used for besides a topping on crusty French bread? The possibilities are endless!

Skip the regular pizza sauce and use the bruschetta mix as the base for your pizza. Then finish it off with fresh mozzarella and a few sprigs of basil.

Pizza isn’t your cup of tea? Grill up chicken, zucchini, red peppers, and onions, and toss it together with the bruschetta and whole wheat linguine for an easy pasta.

Need a quick appetizer to bring to a friend’s dinner party? Whip up the bruschetta and serve it with pita chips. Here’s a quick and easy recipe to follow:

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2 pts grape tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic (adjust to your own garlic amount preference. I LOVE it)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

fresh cracked pepper

green onions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Halve the tomatoes and chop the garlic. Combine in a medium sized bowl.

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Next, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the cracked pepper. Toss to coat.

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Spread the mixture on a baking sheet in an even layer.

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Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to shrivel up like this:

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Smash the tomatoes down flat using a fork.

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Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the tomatoes from the baking sheet. This will allow most of the tomato juices to stay in the pan, thus keeping the bruschetta from becoming watery. Be sure to scoop up the garlic though!

Toss with chopped green onions, and put the in the fridge overnight to allow all of the flavors to combine and intensify.

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Enjoy!

Sunday Grocery Run

I hit Target for a light grocery run this morning since from 12pm on I will be completely submerged in football 🙂

Here’s what I hauled away:

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I’ve never bought a large container of Fage, only the individual ones. It seems like it’s a smarter move to go larger – more bang for your buck!

Target brand Archer Farms had individual packets of granola for 99 cents, so I picked up a few different varieties to try out before committing to a large package.

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I love Sabra hummus, so good! It’s even better in the pre-portioned containers with pretzel crisps for dipping.

100 calorie packs of Cocoa Roast almonds and a walnut/almond mix. They were on sale; otherwise I would have just bought the larger container and portioned them out myself.

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I love the broccoli florets that you can just steam right in the bag, so convenient.

I’ve been searching for this new Laughing Cow flavor for awhile, Mozzarella Sun-dried tomato & Basil. I’m pretty excited to try it. Also, goat cheese is a staple in my fridge either crumbled or in log form as shown here.

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We ALWAYS have the produce drawer stocked with apples. Today we went 75% Pink Lady and 25% Honey Crisp. The Honey Crisp ones are so expensive though, otherwise we would have done a 50/50 mix.

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And that’s it! Time to switch back to football 🙂

Inaugural Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

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Well, first things first: we finished our first 1/2 marathon!! When I initially stumbled across the race website back in May, I knew we were meant to run it. Our wine nights, whether in person or via Skype, are frequent. We love to cook and enjoy delicious food. The Wine & Dine 1/2 was calling our name!

We trained separately for five months, her in Florida and I in Texas, and we met up in Orlando on October 1, 2010. Our first stop? The Expo at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex.

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Obviously since neither of us had done a race this large before, we had never experienced an Expo. Needless to say, our wallets were not pleased by the time we dragged ourselves out of there.

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The Expo was pretty well organized, and there was minimal chaos. It might have helped that we showed up the first day, only one hour after it opened. You pick up your number, check your D-Tag, and pick up your swag bag (not impressed with the contents, I will say though). Quick and painless!

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After picking up all of our race supplies, we grabbed a glass of Prosecco and began wandering around. We both invested in iFitness belts, a Wine & Dine t-shirt and wine glass, and I purchased a BondiBand. We also saw Jeff Galloway speaking on stage about running the race using the Galloway Method.

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That evening we headed to Café Tu Tu Tango for dinner and drinks, followed by a trip to a dueling piano bar and a nearby dance hall. Probably not the best pre-race day lineup, but the race wasn’t until 10pm the next night. Vacation mode was in full-swing!

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Saturday was fairly uneventful, as we rested up for the big night! Lots of eating, napping, and watching tv. Around 5:30pm, we began getting ready:

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and headed to the food court for a pre-race snack: almond butter & bananas on whole wheat toast:

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We boarded the bus at 6:30 to head over to the start line. In hindsight, I probably should have brought this food with me. It was WAY too early to eat that, with a 10pm start time. We were fully stocked with Gu, but something substantial closer to the race would have been much more beneficial.

Here we are at the pre-race party:

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Around 9:45 we were all herded towards the starting line. We were in Corral C, but the race didn’t start in waves, which I thought was a little odd. Everyone started at once, and it made certain stretches of the race really cramped.

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And we’re off!

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This is what a lot of the race looked like, extremely dark and on back roads. I know there is only so much we can run in the parks, but the rest of the course was pretty boring. Don’t get me wrong though, there was a bit of entertainment:

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And after running all of this:

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… it was a HUGE relief it was to see this:

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After running through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and a couple hotels, we were about to cross the finish line in Epcot – thank god!!

We finished in 3:12. We walked probably about 50% of it, but we were completely okay with that. Our goal was to finish, and that’s exactly what we did 🙂

After crossing the finish line, we were handed a bag with a banana, muffin, granola bar, etc. in it. Then we got in line to receive our medals, and headed to pickup our bag from bag check. This is where things took a turn for the worse.

We were all funneled through four separate doors, which we assumed would lead us to four separate lines for bag pickup. This was not the case; the four doors emptied out into one large building, which had little to no airflow. Cramming hundreds of hot, sweaty runners into a small confined area only minutes after finishing a half marathon? Massive fail. People were passing out left and right. Disney definitely dropped the ball here, although it was pretty surprising since they put on numerous other endurance events throughout the year.

After grabbing our bag, we entered the Finish Line Party. Basically, it was the Food & Wine Festival setup. This party was open to the 11,000 runners, plus family/friends of the runners who purchased tickets for it (at $35, if anyone is curious). Now imagine all of those people in line at 25-30 food/drink kiosks. Pure pandemonium. The last thing you want to do after running a half is stand in line waiting for food. Especially when you enter the party with only about an hour to enjoy to it! We hit the champagne kiosk,  which had a bearable line. Then we went to Puerto Rico for frozen mojitos, and Carly had some soup. We snagged a spot on the steps of the Mexico ride, and then we decided we needed to leave ASAP. After grabbing a beer from the 15 Beers for 15 Years kiosk, we headed towards the exit.

A place where I expected Disney to fail was the transportation back to our hotel, since there were SOO many people at Epcot. However, we were able to board a bus right after we arrived at our bus stop. We arrived at our hotel, and then it was time for this:

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Happiness 🙂

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Overall, we had a GREAT time! I mean, we finished our first half marathon together – how awesome is that! Would we run this race again? Definitely. The logistics at the bag pickup/finish line party need to be worked out on Disney’s end, but it was the Inaugural year so we can’t complain too much.

Hopefully we’ll be back for the 2011 race!

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