Archives for October 2014

My Running Success Story: From 5K to 10K to 15K to Half Marathon

When I hear people say that they can’t run I tell them Yes. You. Can. At one time I too said that I wasn’t a runner. Then I launched a Couch to 5K program as a workplace wellness program and ran my first 5K.  From there I worked my way up from a 5K to 10K to 15K and finally a half marathon.

Each time you complete an event you set yourself up mentally to achieve the next distance. Setting a goal to run a half or full marathon without any running experience might be daunting. But breaking those long distances down into smaller achievements keeps you engaged in your training where you develop both the cardiovascular and muscular endurance necessary for longer runs.

Cool Running’s Couch to 5K program is a good place to start if you’ve got the desire to run but you’re not sure if you’re ready. It’s the program that turned my dream of running into a reality. It can do the same for you.

5K at Crystal Lake Park, Urbana, IL –

This run took place on a beautiful fall day and was for women only. Proceeds went to organizations in the community that proceed services to women in need. Below is a picture of me with my co-workers. It was our first 5K and we rocked it!

5K

15K – Hot Chocolate Race  in Chicago, IL –

Here’s the crew on the morning of the race on Lake Michigan in Chicago. It was a cold morning but we warmed up once we got moving. The reward for running a 15K on a cold morning in November?  Chocolate!

15 K Hot Chocolate

Illinois Half Marathon

This race is practically in my backyard. Every year we get up early and travel to the race and don’t have the expense of a hotel room. They have a great after-party for runners and volunteers. Here we are at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium with our medals.

Illinois Half

Illinois Half Marathon – Post Race Hydration

Ah yes. If you’ve heard that runners like to imbibe a little after they run, it’s true. We do. Of course we always drink responsibly.

Post Half Celebration

The Shoreline Classic 15K – Decatur, IL

This was my first year to do the Shoreline Classic in Decatur, Il. It was an absolutely perfect fall day and the race course was full of rolling hills. The hills weren’t the kind that suck the life out of you, but rather there was a nice steady stream of one hill after another that keeps the running both challenging and interesting. This year was the Shoreline’s 25th anniversary. We (my daughter and I) got medals, a really cool long sleeved shirt and the headbands.

Shoreline Classic 15 K

Trail Running

To stay in shape between big events I teach fitness classes and  compete in train runs throughout the year. The distance is usually between seven and eight miles but the course can be tricky. On these runs there are creeks to navigate, lots of mud, tree roots covered by leaves and hills (the kind of that suck the air out of you) and even an occasional snake.

Trail Runs

Lake Mingo Run

 Ready. Set. Go!

Get ready to start your running career by picking out a 5K near you, lace up your running shoes, and get outside. Here’s a link to the program that helps thousands of people turn their dream of running into reality: Ready To Launch Your Running Career?  Here’s The Method That Works. 

You might also like this article on the benefits of a structured running program: Five Ways You Can Benefit From A Structured Running Program.

Today’s the Day. Get out there!

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Healthier Taco Recipe

Healthified Baked Tacos

Baked tacos has become one of my favorite dinners to make when I need something nutritious in a hurry. I’ve served them for parties and taken them to carry-in dinners and everyone loves them. The best thing about them is they are easy to make and by substituting ground turkey for ground beef and mixing in a can of fat-free refried beans you can add protein without adding a lot of calories.

Baked Tacos

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground turkey
1 can of vegetarian refried beans
1 package or taco seasoning mix (optional)
3/4 cup salsa
1 cup cheddar cheese
12 hard taco shells
Chopped lettuce, onion, and plain Greek yogurt for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Brown ground turkey. Add refried beans. Stir until hot.

Taco Meat
Add salsa.
Fill taco shells with mixture and place them in an oven proof baking dish.
Sprinkle cheese on top.

Tacos in Dish
Bake for about 20 minutes (or until cheese is melted).
Serve with lettuce, onion, and plain Greek yogurt.

Each taco is about 300 calories.

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