Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's for Dinner: Week of July 27, 2014

Happy Sunday!  It's the start of a new week, and time to get back to meal planning.  It's been a really long time since I've been able to do this...but it's so necessary now since I'm consumed by half marathon training and PE exam studying and don't have the time to think on-the-spot about what to cook each night.  As usual, I'm linking up with Jill Conyers and Mommy Run Fast for What's for Dinner!  

Dinners in Jamaica

I am still riding the high of my Jamaica vacation.  I thought I would share some of the meals I've had from the A La Carte restaurants at the all-inclusive resort.

Gourmet Restaurant

Honestly, the food was disappointing here, and it was our first dinner at the resort.  I had the sea bass and it was devoid of flavor...sigh!  The wine selections were also lackluster, and it was clear that the servers knew nothing about wine.  

Fried brie cheese appetizer
Surf and Turf

This place was a lot better.  I had the scallops au gratin, filet mignon, grilled asparagus and green salad, and apple custard dessert.  The filet mignon was cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Enjoying dessert!
Italian Restaurant

This place was pretty good but our dinner was scheduled late and we were starving!  The portion sizes were a bit small and we just wish we could have had more!  
Beef carpaccio
Veal Stuffed Pasta...delish!

Japanese Restaurant

This was probably my favorite dinner of our trip!  The atmosphere was fantastic with the hibachi style presentation!  Too bad we couldn't get a table with the perfect view, but our food was excellent.  Again, wish we would have had more!  I got the chicken and lobster teppanyaki, saigon roll, salmon and ginger teriyaki skewers, and vanilla ice cream for dessert.  

Chicken and lobster teppanyaki! 
Jennifer's almond chicken
Mexican Restaurant

Our last night, we decided to go to an a la carte at one of the sister resorts.  I had heard that people enjoyed the Mexican so we went there.  The food was pretty good, but the drinks were the BEST!  I had one of the best mojitos of my life!  

Jennifer's taco entree
My Red Snapper 

Dinners for the Week:

Bret and I have been struggling with the meal planning.  We have very different approaches:  I like to have our meals planned completely for each day, he needs flexibility and freedom to cook in the moment.  So we're going to try something new.  We'll agree to our designated days for cooking, but I'm going to continue to plan my meals in advance while Bret decides in his own time.   

Sunday 7/27:  Pork Chops with vegetable fried rice and carrots.

Monday 7/28:  Bret's night.

Tuesday 7/29:  Chicken Ropa Vieja (one of my favorites) and brown rice.

Wednesday 7/30:  Bret's night.

Thursday 7/31:  Out to eat for kickball night.

Friday 8/1:  Cheesy Buffalo Meatloaf Muffins and side salad. 

Saturday 8/2:  Most likely out to eat.  

Have you had to readjust your meal planning?  What are you cooking this week?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Five: I'm a City Fit Girls Ambassador!

Happy happy Friday!  Even though I had a short week, I'm always glad when the weekend comes!  Today I'm linking up with the wonderful DC Trifecta for Friday Five: Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up For What!  It has been so fun to get to "discover" new blogs and talk about fun topics!  This week's theme is all about goals. 

Goal for Jamaica Trip:  HAVE FUN!

I am probably the dictionary definition of a goal-oriented person.  With everything I do, I have a vision, create a plan, and execute.  Whether it's training for a race, obtaining a Master's degree, or planning a party, for me, everything is a process. 
Blogging is a great way to capture and stay accountable for your goals and I recommend it to everyone, even if it's just a private journal.   I'm always talking about my goals at Run With No Regrets; here are a few of my posts:
  1. My 2014 Resolutions.  A comprehensive list of my goals for the year.  It's great to see that I've already knocked out many of my fitness and nutrition goals!
  2. My One Year Blogiversary Goals.  Exciting updates to the blog that I look forward to sharing with you!
  3. Rock & Roll  Half Marathon Philly.  Signing up for my first half marathon in nearly 2 years was a HUGE step for me!
I have been fortunate to find great success in achieving most of the goals that I set for myself, and I believe that it's due not only to luck, but self-awareness, focus, and that "eye on the prize". 
City Fit Girls Ambassadorship
One of my most persistent goals as a health and fitness blogger has been to become more involved in the community, especially as a Philadelphian.  I am so  excited to share the news that I have been selected to be a City Fit Girls Ambassador!  City Fit Girls inspire, uplift, encourage, and motivate women to live healthy lives and is based out of Philly.  Hopefully that's something I've been able to achieve here at Run With No Regrets! 
Check out City Fit Girls' website, and you'll see my bio along with the 9 other ambassadors who are all amazing, inspiring women!  I'm proud to be affiliated with such an empowering group! 
City Fit Girls is sponsoring a Fit Retreat on August 23 in Philly.  There will be workout sessions, fitness tips, and motivational speakers.  It's going to be a great time!  If you're in the area you should definitely come out, we want to get as many women to attend as possible!    
What are your biggest goals for this year, and what tips do you have for meeting your goals? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Running While on Vacation: RnR Philly Half Week 2 Recap

Hi everyone, hope you had a great weekend!  For the second week, I am linking up with Tuesdays on the Run with Run the Great Wide SomewhereMy No-Guilt Life, and MCM Mama Runs.  This time we're talking about how to fit in running while on vacation, and this is definitely a timely post!  

Vacation in Jamaica

If you wondered why RWNR seemed to be in a bit of a hiatus, it's because I was on vacation in Jamaica for the past week! My sister and I had an incredible time and was VERY relaxing.  I was too sad to leave this place!  

Relaxing at the beach
Since I am training for the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon, I know that I need to stay on track with my runs no matter where I am.  Coach Kristy scheduled two runs during my trip:  a 7 mile long, slow distance run, and a 3 mile easy run.  I didn't think it'd be a big deal but it actually did get a little complicated figuring everything out!  

So based on my recent experience I'm going to share my recommendations for how to successfully keep your running commitments and eat as healthy as possible while on vacation!  

Running While On Vacation:  Where to Run

If you're a runner going on vacation, the first thing to know is where you can actually run.  It may seem silly for this to be a criteria when choosing a hotel or resort, but you don't want to regret it!  

  • Treadmill aka dreadmill.  It can be a drag, but it is usually the most convenient when available and during inclement weather.
  • Running trail. The most ideal for training.
  • Neighborhood streets. Just make sure it's a safe location and avoid being out when its dark!
Pro tip: get a good idea of when the gym is empty. As I've learned there may only be one or two functioning treadmills and if they are all being used, it can really throw off your game!

Me after my 7 mile treadmill run
What to Pack
  • Running Shoes
  • Workout Clothes
  • Watch or GPS tracking app
  • Water bottle/hydration belt
  • Energy gels
  • Sunscreen
  • Music Player

Healthy Eating While on Vacation

I can't forget to mention how important it is to mind your eating while on vacation, especially if you're training for a race.  While I definitely indulged myself, here are some of the things I did to not get too out of control:
  • Keep healthy snacks available throughout the day
  • Limit alcoholic drinks or stick to lower calorie options
  • Watch portion sizes at the buffets/restaurants
  • Drink a lot of water! 

Staying Accountable for Your Goals

I know that we all have the best of intentions, but how many times have you gone on a trip only to leave your running clothes unworn?   Having someone or something to keep you honest can make all the difference! 

  • Friends, family, or coworkers depending on the nature of the trip
  • Set a reminder in your calendar to run or do any other workouts
  • Think about how far behind you would be if you skip your workouts. Running while on vacation can actually be relaxing because you're not preoccupied by other responsibilities.

RnR Half Marathon Week 2 Training:

Monday 7/14:  4 mile run at 11:48 pace with Mark.  The heat and humidity were unbearable, and the last mile was the hardest.  But we got through it!  

Tuesday 7/15:  Rest day.  

Wednesday 7/16:  First day of Vacation!  

Thursday 7/17:   Second day of vacation!

Friday 7/18:  Morning hip strengthening exercises, 45 minute spinning class and 30 minute yoga.  

Saturday 7/19:  7 mile run on the treadmill at 11:31 pace, plus warm up and cooldown.  It was the most annoying thing because the machine had a 30 minute limit so I had to constantly keep recalculating my distances.  But I got it done!  Knees and feet were hurting again short of mile 5.  Clif Shots worked well once again!  

Sunday 7/20: 3 mile run on the beach at 11:41 average pace. Then I had an amazing sports massage with hot stones in the spa!

The sun was bright on the beach at the resort!

Training Report Card:

I would say this week has gone pretty well considering I had plenty of temptations! The 7 mile run was tough to squeeze in because we had an excursion on Saturday, so I didn't run until after 5:30 pm.  Thankfully a treadmill was available!  Sunday's run was bright and early but I know I started out too fast and the wind and uneven surface was a challenge for me. But I give myself an A- this week for getting in quality runs and prehab workouts!  I'm feeling pretty great...I love training! 

What are your essentials for running while on vacation?  Where's your next big trip?    

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rock & Roll Half Philly Training: Week 1 Recap

Hey there!  I have survived my first week of training for the Philly Rock & Roll Half Marathon, so now it's time to recap!  For the next 9 weeks or so I'll be sharing my progress as I train for my first half marathon since 2012!  

Week 1 Training:

Monday 7/7:  Rest day!  

Tuesday 7/8:  Hip strengthening and balancing exercises followed 3 miles solo; was supposed to run 11:00 pace and had an average 11:33 pace.  It was REALLY hard trying to keep a consistent pace that I'm not used to these days.  It didn't help that it was at least 92 degrees out and I was fumbling with a hydration belt that was unfortunately too big.  I also hadn't eaten since noon (I ran at about 4:30 pm).  Do I sound whiny?  Sorry!  I was incredibly tense, but hopefully this will get easier!   

Wednesday 7/9:  Core and More cardio kickboxing class.  Was supposed to run again but decided to push til Thursday.  

Thursday 7/10:  Makeup day; 3 miles solo after work with an average 11:20 pace.  I didn't wear the belt this time, though I was pretty thirsty!  I felt really good, though it again seemed to take a lot more effort.  Running in 90 degrees is no joke!  

Friday 7/11:  I woke up with a sore's not too bad, but was probably caused by our Kickball game Thursday night.  We had a blast and had our first victory, 10-0!  Everyone clicked this time and we played great!   I also had another Core and More class.

Saturday 7/12:  6 mile run at 12:07 average pace with my running buddy Mark.  Thank goodness he was there!  He actually wore the hydration belt (since it's his) and would pass a bottle to me at each mile per my request, haha.  I also ate the Clif Shot Bloks for the first time at the halfway point. I think they worked well, and no digestive issues!  My knees and feet were hurting by the end, but it wasn't too bad!

Sunday 7/13:  Rest.  

Monday 7/14:  4 mile run at 11:48 average pace after work with Mark.  It was oppressively humid and over 90 degrees with nary a breeze.  The last mile was HARD.  It took a lot of concentration not to give up, but thankfully I kept pushing.  I was absolutely soaked at the end of it!       

Happy Janelle after the 6 mile LSD run!
Week 1 Report Card 
Coach Kristy has been checking in with me and so far, so good!  She did tell me that I started out too fast on the 6 mile run, so I have to make sure I start out at the right pace.  This weekend I'll be running my first 7 mile run since...I don't remember when!  It's a little scary but very exciting...I'm ready for it!    

I'm happy with my progress thus far and I'm grateful for the support I've had.  Mark has been a great running partner and Bret has been amazing with helping myebalance home life and training life.  There are still a few kinks to work out, but I know things will only get better!  This week's grade, B+!  

Bonus: My First Race

For the first time I am linking up with Tuesdays on the Run with Run the Great Wide Somewhere, My No-Guilt Life, and MCM Mama Runs.  This looks to be a great way to connect with other runners/bloggers!  This week we're talking about our first race. 

While I did "run" the 4x400 meter relay in high school track, my first long distance race was the Inaugural Rainbow Ridge 5K in July 2011.  I had just started the Running Club at work and Mark and I decided to sign up!  It supported an awesome cause (engaging disabled children and adults with equine therapy) and took place in the Philadelphia Zoo!  

I'll be honest and say that the race wasn't as organized as I expected.  We started about a half hour late.  But it was really exciting to run around the zoo!  The volunteers were friendly and kept us on course, as we had to make at least 3 loops around the zoo, which almost got me a little dizzy!  At one point Mark had to go to the bathroom and took off, but he caught back up with me!  We ended up finishing in 29 minutes.  There was a little after party and I remember an aspiring country/pop singer sang a few songs that weren't half bad!  It was a great start...who knew that 3 years later I'd be paying coaches to train me to race?!  

Mark and I at Rainbow Ridge 5K 

What was the first race you ran?  Have you struggled with meeting your pace goals when training for a race?  Any recommendations for hydration belts and visors/hats or sunglasses in this oppressive heat?     

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One Year Blogiversary!

Happy Saturday everybody!  On July 12, 2013, I wrote my very first blog post on Run With No Regrets.  It's my One Year Blogiversary!  

Image from Marks365

It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since I've started this blogging journey! The reason I started this blog was to have a space where I can write about my running challenges and triumphs as I get back on my feet after my stress fracture injury.  My hope was that with a positive attitude and persistence, I would get back to where I used to be, running at an awesome pace with no injuries.  Who knew that I'd also fall in love with healthy eating and yoga along the way??   

Here's a look at my very first post!  A year later, and this is post!  

What I've Learned from Blogging:

This has been an amazing experience, to say the least.  Did I really know what I was getting myself into?  Absolutely not!  Here is what I've learned from this crazy ride so far:

  • Blogging is HARD WORK!  I can have posts that I work on for several hours, days, or even weeks. Time management and organization is EVERYTHING
  • Social Media builds your brand.  You have to have an online presence, and you have to be engaging.  Networking is key!   
  • Wordpress blogs are the standard.  I'm doing pretty well with Blogspot and I love that it's free, but it is so limited.  
  • Looks matter.  There are some amazing blogs with gorgeous designs and drool-worthy photos.  While seeming superficial, these aesthetics go a long way to attracting readers.  I hope to get better at making my posts more eye appealing! 
  • Bloggers are SO friendly!  I am amazed at how kind bloggers are, and how much they are willing to provide help.  It is definitely refreshing to work in a field where you don't have to worry as much about getting stabbed in the back!  

Popular Posts:

Here are some of my popular posts over this past year.
My Favorite Posts So Far:

I also wanted to show some love for some of the posts that I truly loved writing.  Hopefully you enjoyed or will enjoy reading them!  
My Favorite Pics:

And of course I couldn't resist some of my favorite pictures!  

Running in Pennypack Park
Haddonfield 5K 
Victory ice cream after Clean Air Council 5K 
Cheesy Buffalo Meatloaf Muffins
Brussel Sprouts for Thanksgiving!
Chicken Ropa Vieja
Looking to the Future:

There is so much more that I want to do with Run With No Regrets.  I never knew that the blogging world could be so big, so rewarding, and even so lucrative.  I am a very goal oriented person, and while I have shared my goals from the end of last year, here are even more specific things I hope will come along moving forward:

  • An Official Facebook Page!  This should be happening very soon, stay tuned! 
  • A No Regrets Monthly Feature!  This will profile readers who have had health and fitness successes due to their "No Regrets" attitude!    
  • A New Website!  To help propel the brand, I will be creating an official website, hopefully in time to kick off 2015!  I hope you love it! 
  • An Email Newsletter!  Not only will you be able to keep up with the latest blog posts, there will be additional running and injury prevention tips, blogging links, and hopefully some other fun perks for being a faithful reader!  

I also look forward to guest posting for other bloggers and participating in more link ups on a more consistent basis!

Thank You! 

Last, and most important,  I want to say thank you to every single one of you who have come by to read my blog.  I appreciate the loving support from my family, boyfriend, and close friends.  Working on RWNR takes up a LOT of time and it's a real balancing act.  I'm glad I am able to pursue this passion without opposition.  

Thank you to the blogging community:  Running Bloggers, Miles to Blog, Healthy Living Blogs, The SITS Girls, Blogelina, Black Bloggers Connect, and link ups hosted by Jill Conyers, Mommy Run Fast, Amanda at Run to the Finish, Darwinian Fail, Sweet Life with Ericka, Hump Day Happenings with A Savory Feast and The Walker Fireside Chats, Joy's Book Blog, Jen at Peas and Crayons, and the DC Trifecta:  Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What for helping to get my blog to the masses! 

To my readers:  you're amazing!  I've learned so much from so many of you experienced runners and healthy cooks!  I've appreciated your encouragement as I've written about my setbacks and struggles.  It means a lot to me that you care enough to follow my blog, out of the millions of other blogs out there.  

And if you do love Run With No Regrets, please help spread the word!  You can find me on:

  • Twitter: Janelle_RWNR 
  • Instagram:  runwithnoregrets
  • Google Plus: JanelleJ                   

Happy Blogiversary to me!!  What have you enjoyed about Run With No Regrets?  And what would like you to see on the blog in the future?  

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