Jul 29, 2013

Recipe Roundup: Chicken Poppers

Cornmeal chicken
Tasty chicken served up healthy and home made.
I wanted to share a recent recipe we've tried. It turned out so well we've made it twice back-to-back weeks. It's a recipe from WeightWatchers, so it's a good healthy option. For the full recipe, see the WeightWatchers site. I'm highlighting it here, for your consideration.


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/2 dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup uncooked cornmeal
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place egg substitute in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, cornmeal, garlic salt, salt, paprika and pepper.

Dip chicken in egg then mixture. Turn and coat. Place chicken on baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, flip and bake until cooked, about 5 minutes more.


I love this recipe. It works well to make popcorn chicken, or if you want to do as we did this past time, chicken strips. The strips took a little longer to cook, but still quick to cook. I think the corn meal gives is a unique flavor over other breading mixes. You can premix up the breading as well and keep it ready to go for a quick meal. On the plan, it makes 4 servings at 6 points.

The recipe comes with a dip to make as well, and you get 6 poppers and 2 tablespoons of dip. I personally feel they serve really well with Kraft Fat Free Ranch Dressing (1 pt; 1 tbsp).

They even reheat well. Today I had one on top of my salad and it was quite tasty.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Jul 28, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 28th

I can't believe July is almost over. It has flown by. I finally got a new CPAP machine, so things have started to right themselves. I've started getting some more sleep, better sleep. With that in mind, I resumed training this week. It started well, but tapered to end the week.


Sunday, July 22: Rest

Monday, July 23: Rest

Tuesday, July 24: Maintenance Run
Endomondo stats
Where: Outside
Distance: 2.57 miles
Time: 39:41
Average Pace: 15:27 min / mile

Summary: I tried something a little different with this maintenance run. I was feeling really good at the start, so I kept going. I ran the first mile at a jog with no walk break. This may not sound like much, but since beginning my training plan, I have done the run / walk ratio on every run. I took this first mile without breaks, at a slower pace than my run intervals, but still jogging. As I went up the hill, my legs really called for a break but I pushed through. My first mile was at a 13:39 pace. While I've run faster splits, this one felt good to do. It may not have been a blazing pace, but frankly, it's faster than I used to run a mile during gym class, so no reason to not be happy with that.

Wednesday, July 25: Rest

Thursday, July 26: Rest

Friday, July 27: Maintenance Run
Where: Outside
Distance: ~2.42 miles
Time: 34:56
Average Pace: 14:26 min / mile

Summary: I pushed my second run to Friday night, after not running on Thursday. I didn't want to miss my run. I had a good 35 minute run, but after just 0.4 miles, my GPS was lost and never came by. I played with the route builder on Endomondo to get the estimated 2.42 miles. The run felt good. Not too hot. Relaxing.

Saturday, July 28: Rest


I did a pretty good job on my food again this week. I did go over my daily target of points on several days by a little, but I didn't use up all my weekly points or any of my earned activity points, so I was well within my set parameters. In addition, I've lost 4.4 pounds since starting this blog and trying to get healthy, so it has been helping. I have a long way to go, but it is definitely going in the right direction.

Thoughts on the Week

While not a perfect week, I got started by into my training. Not noted on here because of the way the days fall is that I missed my weekend run that I pushed to Sunday night. I planned to run after putting Sam to bed, but instead my wife and I sat down to watch a movie right away to squeeze it in before bed (2 hour long movie) and I never made it outside. This week I need to pick it up because I have a 14 mile run on the weekend. I'm not confident going into it, but I will give it my all.

Jul 21, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 21st

This week became an off week given a bunch of unrelated items to my training. I've been having trouble being really tired since my CPAP machine died and have been fighting with the medical equipment company getting it filled. Just them taking their damn time and never following up with stuff themselves.


Sunday, July 7: Rest

Monday, July 8: Rest

Tuesday, July 9: Kinect: Your Shape Fitness

Summary: I missed my maintenance run on Tuesday. My wife had to be to work early, so I took Sam to daycare, so I couldn't get my run in like I normally did. I intended on running after Sam went to bed, but remembered that 3/4 of the way through dinner. And unfortunately what I was eating wouldn't go well with a run in the humidity. So, to have something instead of nothing, I did some kinect. I did a half hour of Your Shape Fitness, and got a pretty good workout in. Not the same as a run, but stuff that got a sweat working, knee lifts, squats, etc.

Wednesday, July 10: Rest

Thursday, July 11: Off

Friday, July 12: Rest

Saturday, July 13: Off Distance Run


I've been doing good this week on my healthy eating. I used to turn down the points more than what they give me, because it seemed like such a high number, and I could eat bad for me things without penalty. They calculate them based on your weight, so each week when you weigh in, it gives you a new number. I was too lazy to turn in back down some again the last time so I left it. I've actually done pretty good by the plan this way. This past week, I never exceeded the daily points I was given, never needing to touch the extra weekly points you get that allow you to indulge on occasion. So with that, I call that a success. I also lost some weight, but we're unsure if our scale is accurate (at least in its current placement) because my wife was 10 lbs less at the doctors office than at home, and one would assume their scale more accurate.

Thoughts on the Week

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took this week off, given everything that was going on. I'll be getting back into it this week. I need to get back into training in force. Time to pick it up.

Jul 20, 2013

Vote for PRR

I just want to throw out a request to help vote for my local running store: Potomac River Running. They're a local chain of running stores that have offered me great help personally and run a great set of races. They've actually been a part of both the 8K and 10K I've run so far. They've been voted one of the top 50 for the past 7 years in this list by Competitor. The nominations / votes are now, so I ask for help to put them in there again. And, you have the opportunity to put your local store in there as well. If they've helped you, put their name in the running to help say thanks.

Vote PRR

Vote now. That is all.

Jul 19, 2013

Off Week = Check Off Side Items

Time for a refresh & reboot
This week has been an off week. Off in the terms of what I've gotten down, in the way things have been done and my training. In the end, I am taking this week off because my body just needs it. The largest contributing reason is my lack of a CPAP machine. I'm not sure if I've mentioned previously, but I have sleep apnea. I was diagnosed several years ago with it, and have used a CPAP machine since then. I'm overweight, which is the likely (and most common) cause. My dad does have sleep apnea so there is a chance it could just be genetic, but he's overweight as well so it could likely just be the same cause. Anyway, my machine broke and no longer functions. To make a long story short (that I started typing and deleted) I've been going on two weeks trying to get everything worked out and a new machine from a medical equipment company. Without the machine, sleep apnea kicks in and I sleep like crap. So I'm exhausted going on newborn with reflux territory. It's only building each day. As it's compounded, I've also begun getting more sore; both muscles and joints aching. Couple that with my wife getting pretty sick for the past week, it's been an off week in our household. I need a bit of a refresh.

What to do with an off week (or weekend?)

So I've been contemplating what I can accomplish with this off week that I've had to progress my overall training, even if I'm not doing something physically. Or in this case, what I can do this weekend before resuming my training next week. I've come up with a couple.

  1. Playlist

    I've been looking for several weeks to update my playlist. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of posts around playlists on blogs I follow. My current playlist consists primarily of songs from an album of "running music" I purchased on Amazon when I started training as a base to work from. I have plenty of other music that I'd love to plug into the list that I just haven't yet. I even have a note on my phone to add songs to when I hear them or something comes to mind. There's more music I own and want to purchase over time to round it out. For now, I just want to start with getting my music off of my old laptop that I've been putting off doing for quite some time onto my computer so I can easily get it onto my phone. I have plenty there that my playlist would benefit from. That would be a good start.
  2. Off day exercises

    One of the things I've wanted to augment my training plan with is going to the gym an extra day and doing some weights and other exercises to provide a more rounded workout regimen. I haven't gone yet, but it'd be good to have a plan going in. I've been meaning to look up some plans and exercises I can do, so I don't just go in there and do a bunch of random things that may or may not help. Yes, anything is better than nothing, but target something is better than random something. I have one I got in an email the other day, that looks promising as something to do at the gym or at home on off days: The Crunchless Core Workout For Runners. I'm open to other suggestions as well.
  3. Gear

    I've been meaning to put together a wish list of gear I'd like for training. Stuff that I need and stuff that I'd like to get. WIth that comes some research that I just haven't been doing: looking into brands, pricing different sites, finding stores to try them out in, etc. I'd like to try and get a rough list together to start my research from. Plus, it's always fun to go browsing around for stuff to buy, even if you can't right that second. Or at least it is for me.
If I can even manage to come close to these items this weekend, it will be a victory in my book. Time can be fleeting, especially with an almost 2 year old at home. And without a new machine, my evening hours become self limited. But here's to making progress. One more day forward! One more day towards my goals.

What non-exercise things do you do for your training?

Jul 17, 2013

Princess Half is Going Going...

Want to see this?

Princess Half Marathon start.

Considering registering for the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Well you better not think much longer. The race is at 99% capacity! It is all but sold out. So if you want to race in Disney come February, you better jump on this now. I can't wait to race in January, and wouldn't mind running this too, if I could afford the registration and the cost to travel. I can't but you still can. And if you do, you have step one down for this swanky new pink coast-to-coast medal. So why not make that leap?

Pink Coast-to-Coast
Get the pink bling!

Jul 14, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 14th

Time for a weekly roundup. This past week wasn't my best week, but not my worst. Still room to improve, but there always is.


Sunday, July 7: Rest

Monday, July 8: Rest

Tuesday, July 9: Missed Maintenance Run

Summary: I missed my maintenance run on Tuesday. Mostly just on account of being really tired and forgetting. Been exhausted lately.

Wednesday, July 10: Rest

Thursday, July 11: Maintenance Run
Endomondo Stats
Where: Outside
Distance: 1.41 miles
Time: 21:26
Average Pace: 15:12 min / mile

Summary: I was highly unmotivated and stressed going into this run. Usually running helps me to relax and forget the stress but that was not the case this day. Because of that I ended up cutting my 30-45 min run short. Not my best day.

Friday, July 12: Rest

Saturday, July 13: Distance Run w/ Magic Mile
Endomondo Stats
Where: Outside
Distance: 3.68 miles
Time: 54:04
Average Pace: 14:40 min / mile
Magic Mile: N/A

Summary: So I was to have another 4 mile run with my second Magic Mile. It was a very muggy morning. And unfortunately, I didn't check my calendar to realize that I was supposed run a Magic Mile. Because of this, I did not run my MM. My run went pretty good, I ran my mile down the road and back then circled the lake. With all the rain recently, you could see that the lake had flowed over the path in the corner. It was still wet and squishy in this area, which is important. First time around, no problem. Second time around, some problems. Needless to say, I ended my run up a little early and had some tightness in my right knee. I thought maybe a nice shower would help but it only increased in tightness as it went on. Luckily, there was no swelling and resting it during the day resulted in it feeling much better by the next day.

Thoughts on the Week

Muggy run
Not quite bright and smiling
As I started, this week was an ok week. Not my best, not my worst. I'm disappointed to miss another training day, and need to get back on my regular schedule. I need to start hitting all my trainings to unlock my full potential. I need to really get cruising.

On unrelated to training, but related to getting healthy, my eating and staying on Weight Watchers has went well. I've done a good job sticking to my points and trying to track everything I eat. I'm hoping to see some increased results from it. The key to eating healthy for me is to have a variety to it. That keeps me happy and content with my eating.

Everyone else stay healthy while training?

Jul 13, 2013

180 Days Out == Disney Dining

Disney Dining
This is just a friendly reminder: we are 180 days out of the Disney Family Fun Run 5K. That means time to book your dining reservations. Specifically, this is important if you're participating in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon weekend. This information is still important to Disney dining in general.

How it works

In addition to the reminder, I just wanted to go over how it works, for those that don't know. For Walt Disney World restaurants, you can book them 180 days in advance. However, if you stay on Disney property, you can book for the length of your stay starting from 180 days from the start of your trip. That can give you a tiny edge for the end of your trip.

The Disney dining experience, like everything at WDW is unique to anywhere you'll go. I love eating at the parks, but also at the resorts. In fact, a large majority of my favorite places to dine are at the resorts. Like anywhere when you go away, some can be pricier than others. I feel they are worth it. For our trip in January, we are not eating at Disney places the whole trip to save money, but we still have a couple booked. I am excited for those meal.

One last thing, if you're staying on site and want to eat like a king, I recommend the Deluxe dining plan that comes with 3 table service meals every day. You'll eat until you explode, but it is so worth it. I won't go into detail here on how it works, but you can also drop a comment if you'd like to know more.

Jul 8, 2013

Weak Day, But Being Accountable

I had a weak day today. I've been trying to eat well, not eat too much, not eat horrible snacks and just do a better job all around. Unfortunately, today wasn't one of those days. I wanted this blog to keep me accountable, so I wanted to write about it.

So what happened?

My daughter has been fighting a fever this weekend. Sunday, she had a fever over 100 all day long, even with Tylenol. Overnight, she had a temperature of 102 at 4 am, so we knew she wasn't going to be going to daycare. So I took the day off to take care of her. When it got to be lunch time, nothing looked appealing. I didn't feel like the yogurt in the fridge, not a salad, not a sandwich, none of it. I had found some money in my work bag, from what I don't know, so I ordered a pizza from Papa Johns. Not healthy, shouldn't be spending the money on it, not a good decision. I ate too much of a food I shouldn't be having. It's not the way to lose the weight I need to.

What am I going to do about it?

Weight Watchers
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a special treat now and again. There's nothing wrong with a little indulgence. But the time and the way I did it were not right. So, tonight, I took care of something I've been meaning to for quite a while. I signed back up for Weight Watchers. I've used it before, to great success, when I fully used the program and track diligently. I used it when I lost weight for our wedding. Later, I had continued it, but I wasn't tracking diligently, so it wasn't worth paying for the program. Now, I plan to use it again, to track all that I eat and keep me on point. I'm not being paid to endorse it or anything like that. In fact, I just paid them for 3 months up front to avoid the starting fee. I'm telling you all this because it worked for me before and I hope it will work for me again. It will help keep me accountable, and hopefully help me push my weight loss to go with my training. I think it will compliment my training well for my overall plan.

Jul 2, 2013

Tinker Bell 10K Officially Announced

As promised, I want to write more about runDisney events. runDisney has officially announced the Tinker Bell 10K as part of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon is a race on the west coast at Disneyland. While I have no plans to attend this year, it is one I'd love to do in the future. Yes, it is primarily a women focused race, but mean can run it. Frankly, I want to eventually check all the runDisney races off my list. In addition, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon is a race you can use to earn the Coast-to-Coast medal.

I think it's cool for them to add another event to expand the weekends to have more offerings. Having run a 10K, I know it's a good length race to feel a big accomplishment without something as long as a half marathon. I'd have to say the one thing I'm disappointed is that they simply named it the Tinker Bell 10K to go with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I would have rather them named it something to theme with the weekend, but not the same. I've heard some worry over it being too much of a good thing, diluting the runDisney overall, but I don't think it does. I like the expansion, that opens the doors for more people, not just for the sake of expansion. I think this does that for the west coast. In the end, I think it a good addition.

Registration opens July 9th at 12:00 pm, so mark your calendar if you want to run in the inaugural Tinker Bell 10K. (Or, you are an annual pass holder, Disney Vacation Club Member or Disney Rewards Visa Card holder, register early like you get to.)

Monthly Roundup: June

The month of June is complete. It's already halfway through the year, 3 months into training and just completed week 11 of my half marathon training plan. The weather is warming up, but I'm trying to still train strong.


Call Miss Utility
Call Miss Utility
I had good month of training. Like all, it had its ups and downs. I missed 3 training sessions, one of which was an 8 mile run. I was bummed after missing that one and not getting my run in. I did bounce back two weeks later, with my longest run to date, a 9.5 mile run. I tried to shift more of my running to outside instead of in the gym on the elliptical while the weather's nice. My training included over 30 miles on the road running. In June, I also set my best average monthly pace: 14:18.


June did not come with any races. I'd like to run one every month, but time doesn't always allow for it. June held a lot of traveling, so the weekends were spent in various places, not conducive to running. I currently don't have any scheduled for July, but you never know if that will change or not.

Some Monthly Stats

Avg Pace: June
Geeky stats time for the month of June.

Total Distance on the Pavement: 30.35 miles
Average Pavement Pace: 14:18 min / mile
Best Pavement Pace: 12:52 min / mile
Best Split: 12:37 min

Total Distance in the Gym: 2.50 miles
Average Pace in the Gym: 7:04 min / mile
Best Pace in the Gym: 7:04 min / mile

What's Next?

Next month is July. It'll likely be a hot one. I'm going to try and keep up my running outside instead of in the gym while I can. I'm not looking forward to when the winter months roll around. July will have an 11 mile and a 12.5 mile runs. It'll be tough, but good. I'm also going to try and push myself and work hard on losing weight. That is one area I've been struggling with. I'm going to keep myself more accountable and strict. 

What will July hold? More work, more progress, more success.