Elliptical or Treadmill?

Does the elliptical give you the training you need for any kind of race? 5K, 10K or ½ Marathon? The reason I ask is now that the sun is rising a lot later and the cold air has arrived, I’ve moved from training outside to inside.

This is what I know about my body and the DREADMILL! Yes it’s now the dreadmill because it’s boring and seems like an hour takes forever! I know that I have the hardest time controlling my heart rate while running on the treadmill. When I first started training outside I thought running outside was much harder, now I have a different perspective after training for my ½ all summer outside. When I run outside I can maintain a pace that keeps my heart rate at the desired % of max. On the treadmill I am all over the board from low to high back down again and up again. I can’t seem to find a pace that fits my level.  This is why I decided to do some of my training on the elliptical.

I choose the Precor Amt 100i to work out on. It’s a bit different from the normal elliptical. I can get my heart rate up to the level desired and maintain that by adding resistance or speed. When I first started training on the Precor my heart rate was at 146 beats to be at 85% of max this morning I was working at 157 beats to be at 85% of max. In my mind what this tells me  that I have increased my cardio level and have to work harder to get my % of max reached.


Now the big question is how will this affect my 10K on Saturday?


I will let you know after the race!

Misfit Thanksgiving

Do you know friends who are divorced with no kids or family on the holidays?

That’s what this Thanksgiving was all about. Supporting our friends who needed us on this holiday. My friend Christina and I decided we would make the feast, give the chef a break from cooking and share with our friends who needed support and love.


We divided and conquered the menu together.


Appetizer of Bacon wrapped Elk tenderloin – Chef

Turkey – Christina

Gravy – Chef (Christina bought jar but the chef didn’t like that idea)

Stuffing (German Style) – Christina

Sweet Potato Pie – Christina

Cranberry Sauce traditional – Christina

Serrano Pepper Cranberry Sauce (Mexican) – Christina

French’s Green Bean Casserole – Me

Mashed Potato’s – Me

Chunky Pecan Bars – Me

Pumpkin Pie – Christina

Apple Pie – I donated blood and they gave me a free pie.


Choke Cherry Merlot (Colorado) Vincent Winery

Cesar Bloody Marys’

Ménage Trios – California Red

Ménage Trios – Pinot Noir

Cupcake – Pinot Noir

Be Healthy!

I wanted to burn some calories on Thanksgiving morning so I hit Gold’s gym at 5:00 am with a friend and did combat, back home for a 2 hour nap and then hit my gym for Kick It at 9:00 total of 1,065 calories burned!

If you don’t have a gym open I bet you could find a Turkey Trot 5K to burn some calories. I chose Kick It instead this year because it’s a lot warmer in the gym and I burn more calories than running a 5K.

Let the festivities begin! 

Christina and I started prepping for the big meal the day before. This is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Hanging in the kitchen drinking wine, laughing and catching up with my friend.

Do you peel your celery? Christina does!

We set the table, made stuffing, cut the potatoes, made Serrano cranberry sauce, drank more wine and invited guests over to join us!

Three of us girls in the kitchen laughing, giggling and telling girl stories, only to get quiet when Christina’s misfit walks in. Let the party begin!

The Thanksgiving appetizer just so happened to get eaten the night before Thanksgiving. Very delicious, can’t beat fresh elk tenderloin wrapped in bacon “its a taste of heaven.”  We also had artichoke dip and homemade meatballs and sausage.

Three bottles of the Thanksgiving dinner wine were consumed before the big dinner. I only tasted two of the three because I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning for Combat!

Ménage à Trois

Pinot Noir



Fancy a little splendor in the glass? Turn down the lights, turn up the Barry White and uncork the Ménage à Trois Pinot Noir. When it comes to affairs of the palate, we’ve always felt that three was much more fun than one, so we played matchmaker and brought together grapes from three distinctive California wine growing regions known for producing exquisite Pinot Noir. Clarksburg grapes add bright flavors and a lovely perfume, North Coast grapes add silkiness, and Central Coast fruit rounds out the blend with beautiful complexity. Enhanced with French and American oak, our Pinot Noir’s is sure to have you waxing poetic. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…


This was an ok Pinot not one of my favorites. I probably wouldn’t buy it again. If you like oak you will like this Pinot.

Ménage à Trois

California Red 

Even if red wine is not your speed, give our Ménage à Trois Red a try. This wine exposes the fresh, ripe, jam-like fruit that is the calling card of California wine. Ménage à Trois Red brings together three strange bedfellows.

On top we’ve got Zinfandel, a saucy tease that brings blackberry and raspberry jam to the relationship. Merlot, with its generous mouth feel and red fruits, fits perfectly in the middle. The rich flavors and firm tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon make it the ideal. 

I love this wine! It’s a great inexpensive blend.

I bought the Cupcake Pinot Noir because I love the Cupcake Red Velvet Cake wine.


“Our Pinot Noir has the aroma of cherries that carries through the palate with a touch of red currants and a hint of spice. It’s reminiscent of a cherry cupcake with currant coulis.”

What a fun night with friends! We laughed and laughed and laughed! Definitely a night to remember!

What do you do on the eve of Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving day!

On my way home from the gym I called to see if the bird had made it to the oven after the party the night before. Christina has only cooked a turkey once before. She told me she could only find the neck in the bird and had it cooking on the stove for the gravy. I thought it was strange that there were no giblets in a fresh turkey. Oh well no biggie the neck will make great gravy.

We arrived and started the dinner with Bloody Mary’s. I like mine Cesar style.

Cesar Bloody Mary


Kettle One Vodka





Celery seed

Pepperoncini juice

Clamato juice





Pepperoncini pepper


The oven timer went off and the bird was ready to come out! Looks magnificent!

When we started cutting into the turkey guess what we found? Yep! The giblets!

Time to Mangia!

Wine with dinner was a Choke Cherry Merlot from a friend of ours vineyard.

Everything was excellent! My favorite sides were the sweet potato pie and the green bean casserole. What is your favorite side?

Chunky Pecan Bars

After a few hours of football we had dessert and then I was stuffed like the turkey!

ATL & Southern Hospitality!

Final ATL experiences!

The next stop for dining was the Atlanta Grill located in the Ritz Carlton of Atlanta on Peach Street. This night we were dining with a colleague of ours, what fun three ladies can have at a beautiful restaurant.

Bask in the stylish comfort and warmth of Atlanta Grill – an exceptional Atlanta steak house in a landmark location. Featuring club-like seating indoors and seasonal outdoor dining on the veranda with views of Peachtree Street, it’s Atlanta Southern dining as never before.

  • Sumptuous menu of grilled steaks, chops and seafood along with Southern-inspired cuisine
  • Convivial atmosphere and impeccable service are hallmarks of this steak house in Atlanta
  • Dynamic murals commissioned for the Atlanta Grill feature rich colors and warm hues that perfectly compliment the restaurant’s décor
  • Atlanta outdoor dining is available on the veranda with wrought-iron railings and flickering gaslight-styled lanterns
  • The Cheater’s Booth accommodates six in a cozy table setting with privacy draperies, but is most popular for an intimate dinner for two

Dinner started with a bottle of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon a delicious wine and perfect for the evening.

Deep, dense and concentrated, the flavors echo intense aromas of blueberry; bramble and cassis intermingled with cocoa, cinnamon and sweet, toasty oak. Bold, yet supple on the palate, the dark, richly fruity flavors are balanced by a bright acidity and long finish.


I started my meal off with the Fire Roasted Tomato Soup made with Georgia Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The soup was an excellent way to start the dining experience.


My entrée choice for the evening was the special Grilled Halibut, Brussel Sprouts and a Sweet Potato Mash. Typing this is making my mouth water. The Brussel sprouts were a bit salty; the halibut was cooked to perfection and the sweet potato mash a perfect ending to the palette.


The Atlanta Grill is an excellent fine dining experience. I highly recommend visiting the Atlanta Grill just be prepared for a very large check at the end of dinner.


The last night in the ATL we decided it was time for some fun! So we headed to the Hard Rock Café.

 Est. November 9, 1992

If the B-52’s song “Love Shack” were to ever find a permanent home, Atlanta’s Hard Rock Cafe would be the place. With its southern charm and renowned hospitality, this location truly gives meaning to our “Love All Serve All” motto. Situated in Atlanta’s Cornerstone Building, our restaurant could be considered a cornerstone of southern rock.  Packed with memorabilia from rock legends with roots south of the Mason-Dixon Line, this cafe serves up delicious delicacies every day.


I ordered the Purple Haze cocktail. This specialty cocktail is made with vodka, gin, razz rum, mixed with sweet & sour topped with Sierra Mist and Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur. The two best parts of this $12 drink are one you get to keep the fun hurricane glass and the second is if you want a second drink its $8 and some change.  Lucky for me I had my MARTA one dollar coins to pay for my second drink.

Hard Rock food is Hard Rock food it’s the same at every restaurant I have been to.

I had the Famous Fajitas grilled chicken served with pico de gallo, shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, fresh guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce and hot flour tortillas.

We had fun requesting songs from the DJ. He said he grew up with Kid Rock and knew him very well. (When I started asking him to play Kid Rock songs he didn’t have them and never heard of them.) If you have the Shazam app it works great in the Hard Rock. I found a few songs that night that I liked and have downloaded.

Don’t forget to stop in the memorabilia shop on your way out to pick up your entire Hard Rock garb!

Atlanta is a fun town I would definitely go back to visit.

Coming from the West the South does have some cultural differences that take some getting used to.

However, the Southern Hospitality is true and the ATL did a great job of making me feel welcome!

When you travel what do you look for in a restaurant?

Back to the ATL….

I know it’s been forever getting this blog updated from my trip almost a month ago. Life has been very busy and I have had limited down time to just sit and write. Now is the time because I am starting a new challenge in December and will utilize my blog to hold myself accountable for the 30 day challenge. More to come on that later!

Back to the ATL!

The second night we were in the ATL we decided to indulge in some Southern comfort. Not like the whiskey but as in Southern food and atmosphere.  Our adventure lead us to a bar called

Barley’s – Where good food, fun and friends are in the pocket!

Much more than a neighborhood pool hall, the 10,000 square foot facility houses a restaurant with an array of appetizers, entrees and tempting desserts, two full bars, 22 8-foot Brunswick Billiards tables and 32 HD televisions featuring a premium tv sports package. Barleys Sports Bar & Lounge accurately reflects the owners long- term vision for the establishment, with “live” bands being offered, the services infused in the entertainment mix to keep the place fresh! The “new” Barleys also include a more concerted focus on corporate meeting, the convention industry, and private parties. Last, but certainly not least, the catering and drink menus have been enhanced to provide plenty of options! This is the great place to listen to live music check out the hottest DJ’s in Atlanta, mix and mingle with the chic and sophisticated, or to bring a first date!

With something for everyone, Barleys clientele is a diverse as the food on the menu.

They have many different kinds of fun drinks! I decided on a fun blue martini and my friend had a grapefruit martini.

We stayed for one drink and off for the next adventure.

Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint!

This place was packed but we were in no hurry and found a place at the bar to sit while waiting for our table.

Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint is the culmination of a deep history of music, food, drink and socializing in the South. Located in the former Macy’s building, in the heart of downtown Atlanta at the iconic 200 Peachtree address, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint brings the city a place to relax while enjoying live entertainment and exceptional cuisine. Historically, juke joints originated in the rural outskirts of many southern towns to give African American communities a place to kick back and unwind after a long week of work. Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint offers a dining and musical entertainment experience in downtown Atlanta, representing diverse culture, featuring music across all genres and popular hits throughout American history. An imaginative menu makes Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint a staple in Atlanta’s downtown restaurant scene, and the allure of traditional juke joints is showcased in the restaurant’s design.

Since we were on the martini kick more martini’s it was and we made friends at the bar.

Dirty Martini

After about an hour wait our table was ready. Music was provided by “The Soul Cartel Band” I was ready to hire them on the spot for the ball. Could I afford the travel expenses?

We decided that everything in GA is HUGE! We ordered an appetizer of Crawfish Bruschetta! In Colorado when ordering Bruschetta it comes on a crostini. Like this!

In the ATL you get your Bruschetta on French bread! OMG! This was a meal in itself and very delicious!

We also were served little biscuits I am not sure what they call them at the Juke Joint.

Time to order dinner.  The purpose of the night it to get the full Southern experience, I had a hard time deciding what to order. I ordered the Fried Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries and Baked Beans. When my plate came out we just busted up laughing. This thing was HUGE!

We laughed saying the thigh of a chicken in GA was the size of a chicken breast in CO. The fried chicken was amazing, almost as good as my grandma’s fried chicken.

I tried fried green tomatoes for the first time ummm… not my thing but I loved the “Pecan Pie.” Do you say “PEE-CAN” or do you say “PA-KON”? At the Juke Joint they say “PEE-CAN”. Cracks me up everytime I hear it.

If you ever are in downtown Atlanta Barley’s & Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint is a great time to be had. Just be sure to not eat all day or share with your friends!

Just a few more stops in the ATL to come!

Max Lager’s and McCormick & Schmicks!

I promised I would give a re-cap of my dining experiences in Atlanta. After checking into our room when arriving at the hotel we immediately went to the bar for a drink and a snack. We had been traveling all day and needed to unwind a bit. The 2 hour time change had our bodies thinking it was 8:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM. When we ordered from the bartender we got carded! Woo Hoo! I said “I love Georgia already.”

After I had a full day of class one of our vendors treated us to dinner. We walked down Peach Street to find a nice brewery. We found Max Lager’s what a great place for beer lovers.

I of course had vino. I did have a sample of their peach hard cider. Very tasty! They also have the Beer Periodic table on the wall. This is a place for beer lovers!




On our way to dinner we made a pit stop at Olympic Park. It was a beautiful night and the Olympic rings were spectacular.

The restaurant that was decided on was McCormick & Schmicks! This restaurant specializes in steak and seafood. When the host seated us I had something interesting happen to me. He traded my beige napkin for a black one. I asked him what the thought was and he said dark pants = dark napkin. What a concept. I am not sure if this is a Southern thing or just a McCormicks thing.

We started the meal off with a couple of appetizers. Lump Crab Tower!

It’s avocado mango crab tower with an orange vinaigrette. Yummy! We also shared an order of Calamari. I preferred the tower!  The beverage of choice was a bottle of red wine mixed blend. (Nothing too abnormal)

I ordered the classic shrimp scampi! This was FANTASTIC! 6 jumbo shrimp over a white wine garlic linguini. For dessert we shared an upside down apple pie…Oh my I thought I was going to explode!

This was a fabulous evening and if you are ever in downtown Atlanta I highly recommend both Max Lager’s and McCormick & Schmicks!

Stay tuned……I have many more meals to share!

Traveling and Training!

I consider this an oxymoron.  

Do you find it difficult to get your workouts in and eating up to par when traveling? I know I do! My recent work trip to Atlanta had me thinking about how I was going to keep my training plan going and not lose the stride that I have made.  There are three things that I focused on for this trip to keep me going.

  1.  I packed 3 sets of workout clothes.
  2. I utilized My Fitness Pal every day. (MFP)
  3. I set a goal of completing 3 training days!

How did these 3 things help me? I think the main reason was that my mind was in the place it needed to be. I am focused on decreasing my time for my 10K scheduled for December 1, 2012. I knew if I didn’t want any setbacks I needed to get these 3 workouts in.


By packing 3 sets of clothes I wanted to not let them sit in the suitcase and come home clean. I also wanted to enjoy the food and get the full experience of restaurants in Atlanta so I knew that I needed to burn calories each day. By tracking everything on MFP it held me accountable to get those calories burned. I was excited to run at a lower altitude to see how I felt. This inspired me to get my butt in the workout room. I was to chicken to run outside in the dark in a strange city.

10K Training!

Monday: 5 miles and 183 squats done!

Tuesday: 3 mile tempo workout done! (Travel day)

Wednesday: When I arrived in the workout facility at the hotel I was shocked at the number of people in already working out. It was 6:00 AM which is late for me, but I was on Eastern Time and my body was on Mountain time (4:00AM). All the treadmills were full all the ellipticals were full and I was to get a 3 mile run in. My only option at this point was the bike….Lucky for me I had my heart rate monitor and I could get a good workout in. So I jumped on the bike for 30 min and kept my heart rate between 80 – 90% of max, I added resistance and stood up so I could maintain this. I then did my squats totalling 171.

Thursday: This day was by far my favorite training day! I really felt the impact of the lower altitude. Atlanta is approximately 800 feet above sea level and my town is 4,593 feet above sea level. I ran for 6.5 miles and really could have run 10 like it was nothing. I ended at 6.5 miles because my hour and five minutes was up on the treadmill and the workout room was filling up and I felt obligated to let someone else have the treadmill. Once I finished with my run I did my Push-Up challenge of 45 Push-ups!

Friday: Since I had completed a long run the day before, I just did 30 minutes on the Elitipical keeping my heart rate above 80% of max and did the Squat challenge 202 squats.

What are your tips to keep training when traveling?

Stay tuned for my fun eats in Atlanta!