New Year’s Eve Randomness

random-thoughts-1This morning I woke up with a bunch of “randomness” in my head – I think it’s time for me to go back to work – so I thought I would share it.

shrimp-scampi-c

Photo Credit: Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes

Random Thought #1:  Best Shrimp Scampi Recipe EVER

When we were planning our Free Week menu Deb suggested that we have Shrimp Scampi one night.  I was happy to comply – I love Shrimp Scampi and we rarely have it because 1.  Deb is not a big pasta fan (and you HAVE to serve scampi over pasta) and 2.  I thought it meant a plate laden with butter and wine, and that just doesn’t fit into our food plan all that often.

I was looking through my cookbooks for a recipe and I found this one in my Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook (1996).  No butter… No wine…  Why not?

It was soooo good!!!  Amazing actually!

Shrimp Scampi
Prep:  25 min.  Cook:  5 min
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds uncooked fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions (I used finely diced white onion)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saute pan over medium high heat.  Cook shrimp and remaining ingredients (except cheese) for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until shrimp are pink and firm.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Calories:  145; Fat:  8 g; Carb:  1 g; Protein:  17 g

Random Thought #2:  Quinoa Pasta

As I mentioned above, Deb is not a huge pasta fan.  I can’t relate… I’m Italian – I’ve been eating pasta since before I could walk and it’s always been a staple in my diet.

However, since the end of August, we have been eating (nearly) dairy-free and gluten-free, and well, pasta is nothing if not GLUTEN.

So, when I was at the market last week, I did some label sleuthing in the pasta aisle.  Who knew how many alternative grain pastas there are?  Surely not me! I generally buy whole wheat pasta whenever we do have it.  I tried Dreamfield’s back in the low carb days and didn’t like it at all.  I’ve heard it is better now, but I haven’t worked up the desire to try it again.

quinoa pastaAnyhow, I saw Quinoa Pasta, and although a bit pricey at $3.49 for an 8 oz box, I decided to give it a try.

Ingredients:  Organic corn flour, organic quinoa flour. (I like that!!)

It was REALLY good!!  It did clump together like nobody’s business, but who cares – it was DELICIOUS!!!  And BONUS:  Deb liked it too!

The package says cooking time is 6-9 minutes.  I boiled the noodles for closer to 9 minutes, so perhaps cutting it closer to 6 minutes would result in a less “clumpy” product.

2014-homeRandom Though #3:  Shameless Self-Promotion

I am not in the habit of promoting myself or my business on this blog, because that’s just not what it’s about.  However, January 1st is like our Super Bowl in the mindset coaching and achievement business.

Even if you have given up on New Years resolutions (I have), surely you have goals that you want to achieve in 2014 (I DO!!).

That’s what we do in our company – we help people get from where they are to where they want to be.  We have books, programs, and online coaching services that use a proven process which employs systems and accountability to make the self-discipline required to reach any goal habitual.

Our “tagline” is Where would you be if every time you said “I SHOULD…,” you actually DID?

Think about that!

Only you know what kind of tools YOU need to reach your goals – be they personal or professional, physical or financial, individual or team – the process works if you work the process!  So, that is why we have placed our entire online store on sale – so you can save on the tools that YOU need, not what WE think YOU need.

So check out our online store and if you see something that you feel will help you reach your goals – whatever they are – enter the promo code NEWYEAR14 at checkout and save 30% on everything as my gift to you.

Wishing you your best year EVER!!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Taking-A-Vacation-Is-Very-Important“Vacation” is an interesting concept when your office is inside your home.

My partner and I have a consulting business – we are “mindset coaches” – basically, we help people “change their minds” when it comes to what they believe themselves to be capable of.

Anyhow, we work from home – it is 6:00am on Saturday, 12/28, and I walked 30 steps from my bed to my desk in my jammies, because I woke up, couldn’t go back to sleep right away, and felt compelled to use the time to my advantage – even if it is only to post about the fact that I can’t seem to consistently relax while on vacation on my blog…

Now I add a vacation from physical training into the mix as well and I feel like an OCD basket case!

Where has my ability to just “BE” gone?

Why do I feel like I have to be DOING something at all times?

There was a time – back in the days when I had a “job” – when I could blow a whole weekend in front of The Food Network and never bat an eye.

But not anymore.  Every moment is to be leveraged

2013-12-27 001 2013-12-26 003Last night, however, was a moment of perfection.  HOURS of perfection actually.

Nicki was off reading, Josh was watching a new football DVD that Santa brought him, and Erin was at work.

Deb and I worked on the 2,000 piece puzzle of Neuschwanstein Castle that I gave her for Christmas (I figured it was something we could work on together over the next year – a little here and a little there) for 4 hours, and it was awesome!

Just being… No schedule… Perfection…

I understand the importance of taking a break – I absolutely get it.  I just seem suddenly incapable of tuning all the noise out.  Work and workouts keep whispering in my ear…

2013-12-27 001 2013-12-27 002

Can we finish before New Year’s Day? 🙂

I guess I am on purpose.  I DO have a magnificent obsession with both my work and my training, and as much as I needed a break from both, I miss them.

Am I alone in this feeling?  Do you ever look forward to vacation, but then when it arrives, you have difficulty “letting go” and relaxing?

BTW, the puzzle that was supposed to be a multi-month project…  Here we are on Day 2…

A Swim-Bike-Run Christmas

2013-12-24 001 2013-12-23 009What a wonderful Christmas we had here at the Cheslow-Flynn house!!

The majority of my presents had a distinct “theme” – SWIM – BIKE – RUN!!

A Triathlon Christmas – how WONDERFUL!!

Indoor trainer workout videos, compression socks, new running shoes, running shorts, a SBR magnet and keychain, yurbuds, a speed/cadence sensor, a footpod…

garminBut my very favorite thing was the Garmin Forerunner Running GPS.

Now I can do all those fun speed intervals that Pam wants me to do without having to guess.

I know I said I was taking a couple of weeks off from running, and I have…

But I just HAD to try the watch out…

I mean, it would have been ruse not to, right?

So, I headed out for a nice, easy 4-1/2-ish mile run yesterday afternoon, and then came home an excitedly uploaded my run to application that shows all the cool charts and graphs that I love so much.

chartsYes, I run Galloway.  Right now, I do 2 min run/30 sec walk for a 9 min mile.  I am planning to get faster.

Yes, my elevation gain was 16 FEET!  I live at the beach.

One thing that was immediately apparent, even though there WAS a north-to-south wind is that my pace is not consistent.  I go out quick and then the pace fades.

I will have to work on that.

I can also see that I will have to monitor the amount of time that gets sucked away by my new toy.  I’ve already spent a lot of time looking at all the features and playing with the monitor itself.  Once I get the bike speed/cadence sensor and footpod there will be even MORE data to play with!

My heart is so full!!! 🙂

Hope you all had wonderful Christmases (or whatever holiday you celebrate).  I’m looking forward to an amazing 2014 filled with all kids of firsts!!

Free Week Trepidation

nervousToday at 4:00pm begins a time that I look forward to with all my heart three times per year… FREE WEEK!!

What is Free Week, you ask?

Oh, Christmas is awesome, but Free Week really IS the most wonderful time(s) of the year!

Free Week is a 7 day period where the nutrition and exercise rules go out the window.  There are no food restrictions, calorie restrictions, carb restrictions, timing restrictions, blah, blah, blah, and there are absolutely no scheduled workouts.

In the past, I have looked forward to Free Week because the wine flows freely, we eat out at least once per day, we go to Starbucks a bunch, I cook/bake all manner of yummy deliciousness.  And for 7 blissful days we spike our calories and reset our metabolism for the next 16 weeks of the year.

But today I am filled with trepidation.

I have made so many fantastic changes over the past 4 months that have lead to a leaner, stronger, healthier version of me and I’m nervous about what throwing caution to the wind may do to that progress.

food-benderNervous?  Okay, seriously, I’m scared shitless!!

What if I can’t get it back under control on January 1st?

What if I step on the scale on January 1st and found that I’ve gained back every pound that I released over the past 4 months?

What if…

What if…

So, I have a plan!

I am going to enjoy my Free Week.

bring-itI am putting away my watch and my food journal and my scale and I will enjoy my week – it’s Christmas, for heaven’s sake!!!

But there are 2 3 rules:

  1. No wine!  I’ve come too far to go back now!
  2. Free Week is not a contest to see how much crap I can load into my body over a 7 day period!  If I truly want something I will have it, but I will stick with the exceptional – why even bother with the ordinary?
  3. If I do feel like I’ve just completely overdone it or that I can’t go one more minute without some physical activity, I will go for a run walk on the beach.

I know I can make this the best Free Week ever and be ready to hit training HARD come January 1st!

Bring it!!

A Decision Point…

when-youre-doneThis is how I usually approach my training.  I don’t necessarily jump out of bed thrilled about what lies ahead, but I ALWAYS know that I will feel awesome when I’m finished.

Such was the case on Saturday when I headed out the door at the crack of dawn for my 105 minute brick – 90 minute bike, 15 minute run.  I was shooting for 25 miles on the bike leg – aggressive for me, but I wanted to go for it since the run on the back side was so short.

I fueled up before I left the house… I was properly hydrated… Properly supplemented…  The weather was great… There was no wind to speak of – nothing to indicate an other-than-optimal training session.

However, halfway through my ride, I fell apart.  My legs felt like lead.  My head was exploding.  Everything hurt.  I could barely keep an 18 mph pace.  My cadence was erratic.  My heart rate was far higher than it should have been.  I . WAS . MISERABLE!!!

And that’s when I faced a decision point.

COULD I push through and finish the workout? Absolutely.

SHOULD I?  That was the question…

OvertrainingI have been training hard for the past 18 weeks – 6 days per week – busting my ass, running, biking, weightlifting, karate – rain, wind, shine, heat, cold (okay, cold for FLORIDA!).  I’ve been eating clean and supplementing properly.  I’ve been sleeping well.

And then about a week ago, the wheels came off the bus.  I wasn’t sleeping well at all, I was moody, I had cravings that I haven’t had in a long time, workouts were hard, I was unmotivated, I wasn’t recovering well in between.

Overtraining has set in.  I looked up the signs of overtraining and I have almost every single one – Awesome! 😦

I decided to stop my ride on Saturday at the 12 mile point, after 45 minutes.  I was done!

overtraining signsFortunately, I have a week off scheduled into my training, starting Christmas Day, but I’ve decided that I am taking off from today, 12/23 – 12/31.

My next workout will be a 10 mile run on New Year’s Day.

OvertrainingMEME1I’m a bit nervous about it, but I know that pushing through is not going to do anything for me other than send me backwards.  So, I am really trying to make peace with my decision.

I am, by nature, an incredible stubborn person.  This has served me well in my training, because I will not quit until I am done.  Period.

But, I also know the importance of listening to my body – especially since I am still recovering from some injuries earlier in the Fall.

So, here’s to a training break!  I know I’ll come back on January 1st better than ever!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

merry fitmas

The Sounds of “Silence”

This just happened...

This just happened…

This morning I had a bridge run scheduled.  I live right across the street from the ocean in Florida and the closest thing we have to hills around here are the bridges that go up and over the intercoastal waterway (I know, I know… I can hear my runner friends from Virginia laughing at my “hills” – hey, we do what we can with what we have).  I live about 3-1/2 miles from one of these bridges that connects our beachside peninsula to the mainland.

dunlawton-bridge I drive to a bank parking lot that is about 1/2 mile from the bridge and warm up by jogging to the bridge, then do whatever workout Coach Pam has dreamed up for me and then cool down by jogging back to my car.  It works for me.

Until this morning when I found that to my horror, I had left my iPod at home.

How could I POSSIBLY do bridge repeats without my running playlist?

I debated going home and getting it, but that seemed (and would have been) a silly waste of time.

So, I sucked it up and did the workout anyhow.

I expected it to be a lot harder without music.

When I run – especially longer runs – I tend to just kind of get lost in the music.  It FEELS easier to me in the moment.

But it was interesting running without music too.  It wasn’t more difficult as I feared it would be.

runIn fact, I felt more in tune with my body because I could actually hear my foot fall and my cadence and my breathing.

It was feedback on my performance that I wasn’t used to getting.  It distracted me from the actual workout to the point that I was finished with the repeats before I knew it.

I was curious in this phenomena that I actually came home and googled around on the subject and found there is quite the debate in the running community on which is better.

Here is one article I found in Runner’s World that was very interesting.

As for me, I think I will continue to grab my iPod for longer runs, but I may just leave it at home for the shorter hill work, interval, and track work.

Who knew?

What’s your preference?  Music or Silence?

Looking Back and Moving Forward

introspectionEvery year, about this time, I start getting a little introspective.

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklersThe year is closing out and the New Year is just close enough to touch – full of possibility and potential – unspoiled perfection.

In year’s past I would sit and look over the year gone by and there were always successes to celebrate, but, I never seemed to see them – instead I would dwell on my failures – on the things left undone or the goals not yet achieved.

In year’s past, sitting in the thick of the holiday season, I would likely have gained several (or more pounds), thinking, “Well, as soon as the New Year comes I’ll get back on track.”

An endless 365 day loop, played out annually – over and over and over again – for decades…

This year is very different.  I am a different person exiting 2013 from the person who entered it.

I have changed.

Endless_Summer_Triathlon 2013-07-13 028I have transformed.

There have been so many wins at work that are very exciting.  Our team has really gelled and become a functional unit moving in one direction and the results bear out how effectively we work together.

But even more than my work – where I generally feel pretty confident, I have experienced successes that I never dreamed possible.

I am a triathlete!

PI-5K3I am a runner!

I have leaned out so much this year and my performance has improved in all areas.

I am much more confident in my appearance.

I feel amazingly healthy.

It feels so good to be approaching 50 years old just hitting my stride – getting better every day, rather than starting to fall apart.

InevitableGoalMy physical goals for 2014:

  • Finish Disney Princess Half Marathon in under 2 hours
  • Run a Color Vibe 5K in under 25 minutes
  • Test for my Blackbelt in Karate in July at a level I am proud of
  • Join Master Swim
  • Compete in 3 Sprint and 2 Oly Distance Tris in the late summer/Fall
  • Compete in IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta on 9/28/14
  • Release another 10 pounds
  • Register for Ironman FL 2015
  • Assorted 5Ks
  • Register for a Marathon (I have no idea which one) to be run in early 2015
  • Train hard, train smart, and listen to my coach

Aggressive? Absolutely… Achievable?  Most definitely!

No regrets 2013 – it’s been an awesome year!