What's New

I love Christmas, as I'm sure you know. But I also love the first couple weeks of January when I get to detox from all the Christmas eating, margaritas, and decor. It's a good time of year to try new things and to get everything in order for the start of next term. So here's some of what we did this week.

My prize for participating in the 12 Days of Gym Christmas came in the mail!

The card reads: "Abby! Congratulations for your outstanding effort during 2011's 12 Gym Days of Christmas!"

That was a nice pick me up, since like I told a couple of people, I was in a race with myself over the holidays to see how fast I could gain 5 lbs. Let's just say I won. But this button was a good reminder that I did a lot of good things to take care of myself during December, and I can keep doing them. Now I need to find a place to prominently display my prize.

For instance, I've tried a couple of healthy recipes last week.
This first one John and I sort of made up. It was supposed to make tacos, but when we forgot to buy tortillas, it became a "burrito bowl," a la Q'doba.

Black beans, red peppers, an onion, a jalapeno, and cilantro cooked together until the beans break down. We topped it with more cilantro, some cheese, and the awesome Frontera (Rick Bayless) salsa.

Next I made the Back on Track salad from Oh She Glows for lunches this week. One change from her original recipe: red quinoa instead of wheat berries.

I ate it over a bed of spinach and topped with an avocado, but you can just eat it straight. It's really flavorful and full of good vegetables. My hope is that I can find a few more recipes like this one to take as school lunches this term.

This last recipe isn't exactly a health food, but if you keep to a moderate portion of cheese per serving, then it's not too bad. It's Lasagna Soup from Closet Cooking. We subbed a pound of mushrooms with 2 tbps chopped sage for the sausage, and it was delicious. It also made a big batch, so we have that on hand for a few more dinners.

And since it's still January and this is a blog, let me state a few goals I have for this year.
  1. Make it through the Iron Strength routine Carla sent me from Runner's World. I did less than half of it last week and I could barely walk the next day. Strength training is conspicuously absent from my running training, and I hope that doing it will help me avoid injuries and physio this year.
  2. Dress like a grown up in public. Since I'm done with coursework, and I have an aversion to make up anyways, I tend to just throw on whatever's (mostly) clean for the few occasions when I do leave the house. This is probably a good excuse to buy some grown up shoes so that I don't just wear my old Nikes everywhere...right?
  3. Buy a bike. I want to spend my Christmas money on a bike so that I can actually try a triathlon this year. I know nothing about bikes, but I want to learn before I make any purchases. Nothing fancy, since I'm not trying to actually compete. But something I could ride around or to school, and for an amateur triathlon.
  4. Running specific: go below a 60-minute 10K. I know I can do this. My goal is for it to happen at the Forest City Road Race this spring. I'd like a 5K PR also, but the one I got this fall is pretty good and I'm not going to set that as an actual goal until next fall.


  1. That strength training workout looks brutal! I'm also trying to do more ST since I also believe, like the guy says, that if your butt is strong, you're going to be good. I think most of my issues stem from weak glutes. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred is a good (fast!) way to get in some ST on some of my "rest" days, and you can usually find it for less than $10.

  2. Yeah, I've heard good things about the 30 Day Shred. I'll have to check it out. I like that RW one because I can do it at home with the weights I already have. And I agree with you and that dude that having a strong butt accounts for a lot of healthy running; my physio guy did a lot of glut stuff with me. But I have to modify it for now and do fewer reps, and leave some stuff out for motion sickness reasons. But it's pretty effective. I could barely use the muscles to sit down normally for a couple days.