Week 05, Month 02: A Change Of Focus

Well, Month 01 came and went. I’m glad I started keeping this log of my work, because time just seems to fly by. I think this is part of my problem with keeping up consistency — I feel like I’ve only been doing this for a little while, and a whole month has gone by: 4 weeks of workouts that should be having effects by now.

For Month #02, I’m setting some different goals.

My weekly mileage is up to a good range for right now (~14 mi/week); the long race (7.5 mi) isn’t until the end of September. So for right now I want to keep the weekly mileage mostly the same, and up intensity by starting to add intervals, speedwork, hills. I intend to do speedwork on Tuesdays for about 5 miles (1mi warmup, 3mi workout, 1mi cooldown), a 75-90 min long slow run on Fridays (which will land me 6-8 miles depending on my speed and overall feeling), and the remainder on Sundays. If I’m feeling good, Sunday will be a different kind of speedwork (example: I may do intervals Sunday and a tempo run Tuesday) and if not, it’ll be a recovery run. If I’m feeling particularly sore I’ll replace Sunday with 30 min on the elliptical.

The focus for this month can’t be completely weight based because I’m still running so much (and I need to be), but I do want to focus more on picking back up my compound lift workouts and Bodyrock. My real goal is to start getting actually out of bed at 6 so that I can do a 12min Bodyrock before work every morning, but I’m very concerned about being able to stick with it because I’m an insomniac who hates mornings. Either way, I’d like to hit the weight room at least twice a week. Wed/Thurs and Sat/Sun, whichever works, but going back to the NROL4W plan and sticking with it consistently.

I can’t decide what to do with my diet. With weightlifting I shouldn’t be cutting to many cals, so I may aim for only ~250/day below my maintenance level. But then again I did better than that last month and didn’t lose a whole lot so what the hey. Maybe I shouldn’t worry as much about cals — new goal could be, get >140g of protein every day? If I’m under I’m under, and if not, oh well? I’ll think about this one.


Recipe: Burger Casserole III

I have been working on perfecting a cheesy-creamy Burger Casserole for months now. Today’s iteration was delicious, so I’m going to share it with you. This is another one of my high-protein-target meals — trying for high protein, low fat, and still tasty.

Again, please remember: I cook big. I like to cook meals I can eat all freaking week. I like meals I can freeze and eat later when I am lazy. This is a giant casserole, it makes 6 servings/meals, it’s a lot of food. Don’t be shocked! Be lazy like me, make this and eat for a week. 😀


  • 1.3 lb 96% lean ground beef/sirloin (the package I had was 1.3lb. Anywhere from 1-1.5 should work, it will just alter your macros/calories slightly.)
  • 1 13.5-oz box whole grain pasta (I used Barilla whole grain, shells)
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 98% fat free
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1 bag (680 g) frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup 2% milk shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Boil water for your pasta, and cook according to package directions.
  3. Brown the ground beef on the stovetop. Add seasonings as desired: I have a “Burger” seasoning mix and a salt-free herb mix I like to use.
  4. Add the cream of chicken soup (no milk!), cottage cheese, ricotta cheese to your casserole dish.
  5. As the noodles finish, mix them in to the casserole dish. When the meat is browned, mix it into the casserole dish.
  6. Add the bag of frozen broccoli and, yeah, mix it into the casserole dish. Make sure everything is happily mixed up.
  7. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 min, or until heated through and the cheese on top is all melty.

Makes 6 meals/servings. As I made it, each serving has:

  • 539 calories
  • 10.9 g fat
  • 63 g carbs
  • 43.5 g protein





Monday Summary + Meatballs

Well, I’ve already changed my weekly plan and it’s only the first day! However, I woke up really sore this morning and decided that heavy weightlifting was not a good idea. I realized I haven’t taken a rest day since last week Wednesday, and I did some full-body lifts at the gym on Saturday that I’m still feeling in my back — upper body was not a good idea today. So I’ve made today a rest day.

It works out, though, because this week’s work schedule is funny because of the holiday. It shouldn’t set me too far off for my weekly plans. Run Tues and Fri, weights Wed and Sat, BodyRock or rest the others.

Tonight I cooked up a crapload of meatballs to have all week. I wanted to make something that was high protein with lower carbs and fat, since pasta’s almost all carbs and my macronutrient ratios don’t leave me a lot of room for fat as it is. Here’s the recipe.

For the record: my recipes make buttloads of food. I love to cook, but my job is exhausting, so my favorite way to cook is to cook something awesome once, in a large enough amount that I can eat it for days. I know my recipes have shocked my friends before — this isn’t meant to be one meal’s worth! I’m cooking large!

Monday Meatballs

  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb 94% lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese, part skim (you can use light or fat-free if you are really worried about your fat macros)
  • 2 eggs (can probably use egg white replacement if you’re concerned about macros)
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs. I use plain; use whatever you prefer
  • basil (I used ~1 tbsp of the stuff in the tube. Add to taste), salt and pepper to taste

Mix it in a bowl (WITH YOUR HANDS!!!). Spray down some glass cookware with PAM. Shape it into meatballs. Bake in the oven at 375F for 15-20 minutes, or until the insides are done.

Mine made 30 meatballs. each meatball:

  • 52 calories
  • 2.4 g fat
  • 1.5 g carbs
  • 7.7 g protein

Macronutrient ratios:

  • 3.2:1 protein:fat
  • 5.1:1 protein:carbs

(since my current macronutrient goals are ~1:1 P:C and 4:1 P:F, I am good on carbs but could maybe cut down the fat a little, if I wanted. Maybe next time I’ll try the FF ricotta and some egg replacements. Then again, I want them to be delicious…)

It feels good resting today, so I know I made the right decision. Tomorrow is a tempo run – my first in a while. I’ll be sure to take it as easy as I can!