Mental Block

22 Aug

Tonight I headed to Lake Elkhorn and knocked out a 4 mile run with no issues.

“Except the fact that it was HOT!”

I ran my first 2 miles around the lake and faced the sun the whole time!  So, I did a quick turn and the heat wasn’t as intense.  After yesterdays talk with my new friend and triathlete, I realized I really want to pick things up again with my running workouts.  With this long HOT summer, running outside was really limited.  Bring on the cool weather!

I can remember just a year ago, my friend and co-worker, Kelly, convinced me to run a winter 5K (3.1 miles) with her in December.  We gave ourselves 4 months to prepare for this race with our friend and co-worker, Brian.  I remember we made it a goal to run 2 miles on campus to see where we were.  Neither of us could even make it the first mile.  We had a ton of work to do!

Jingle Bell 5K – December 2011

My goal was to finish that race without stopping.  Even with the massive and unexpected hills, I did it and within a week I signed up for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler, 3 months later.  For me, running was mental and when I got past that mental block, I knew my body could do it and there was nothing that could stop me.

True dat

Now, lets talk dinner.

I was shopping the cabinets for dinner ideas and found something that I did not purchase…

I think someone is hinting at something…

Someone apparently did a little grocery shopping on their own. I took the hint, checked the freezer and searched Google for a slow cooker Pork Carnitas recipe.

I visited the Cowgirl Chef and “city girled” her Texas slow cooker recipe.  As much as I would have loved to have all the ingredients on hand she did for her Texas style carnitas, I edited the recipe to fit what was already in our pantry.

Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas (As featured on Cowgirl Chef)

Makes enough for 10 to 12 tacos


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped into big pieces
2 pounds pork shoulder (I used 1.5 lb. pork chops)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 stick cinnamon (I used 2 tsp. of cinnamon)
1 teaspoon cumin (I omitted this)
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano (I used regular oregano)
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika* (if you can’t find this, you may want to use chipotle powder, but a bit less) (I used regular paprika)
sea salt
black pepper

1. In a large skillet, put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped onion and turn the heat on medium. Let cook until the onions begin to become translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Then, add the pork and sear on all sides. Remove the pork and onions and put into the slow cooker.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, including a generous (around 2 tablespoons) bit of salt. (I didn’t add this much salt) Stir everything together, and add enough water to cover the pork two-thirds. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Let cool, and refrigerate until ready to eat.


3. When ready to eat carnitas: first, preheat oven to broil, and the top rack to the middle of the oven. Put the pieces of shredded pork and and some of the juices in a baking dish, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the pork gets crispy.

Finished product from slow cooker – We did not reheat.

Serve with warm tortillas, chopped jalapenos, lime, cilantro, and pico de gallo.

Wednesday Dinner

We served our carnitas on white corn tortillas with avocado, plain Greek yogurt and a small amount of mild hot sauce for a little heat and a side of Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Medley Santa Fe Rice.

Perfect ‘prepare and go’ dinner!  I checked this meal using My Fitness Pal and the calorie count for my plate came to 331 calories (give or take).  I’ll take it!

On that note, I’m heading to bed for the night.

Question for the Evening:

How do you push yourself to get out of your regular workout routines?  Do you ever hit a mental block?


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