Training Update – Week 8

Back on the Rig…and a Tasty Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Last week I described how my work took me offshore to a drilling rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico…and how I quickly discovered, they weren’t ready to start drilling and was sent home again. Well, I’m back on the rig, and guess what? They still aren’t ready to drill, but are getting there, slowly but surely! That means having to modify my training once again and keeping my energy and spirits up enough to keep on going and keep my body nourished best I can with the sub-par quality of rig food.

The good news was that due to being sent back home last Friday, I was able to train with Team in Training for my longest run ever, 8 miles!!! I actually ran 8 miles and didn’t feel like I was going to die afterwards (maybe during, but not afterwards). 

The other piece of good news of being sent home last weekend was being able to use our tickets to see the Houston Symphony on Saturday. The flip side was that I’m going to be offshore for this weekend, missing Mark’s birthday. So, we decided to celebrate Mark’s birthday with a nice dinner at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen before the Symphony. All in all, it ended up being a nice weekend (aside from a few small hiccups).

On Sunday, Mark worked, as usual (hopefully will change soon) and I set off to bake! Saturday, between shopping and our evening out, I made my “famous” brownies for my Monday bake sale. So, Sunday I was left to my own devices to concentrate on making a nice dinner and dessert.  I also attempted to make black bean brownies, but more on that in a bit (after my training progress)…

 Bright and early Monday morning, in our morning call to the rig, I found out that repairs to the rig seemed to be going much smoother and quicker than anticipated. So, with a bit of engineering of my schedule and many calls back and forth, I settled on a flight to go back to New Orleans that evening, after a great send-off meal at Ziggy’s (last nutritious meal?)! I was hoping to have more time to put together some healthy fare to bring with me out to the rig, but unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to put much of anything together. So, I armed myself with Flavor and Fiber Bars, Smarte Carb bars, and good quality peanut butter to help make my trip a bit more bearable.

Well, I learned something new…peanut butter is in fact a “paste” and isn’t allowed in carry-on luggage without being smaller than 3oz and was confiscated by the TSA. It didn’t seem like the biggest deal at the time, but now, after being on the rig for a few days…I’m kicking myself for it! The rig does have Jiff peanut butter, but it really doesn’t do the trick anymore for me…it’s actually quite crappy (i.e. not much peanut flavor) and I don’t know how I ate the stuff in mass quantities growing up.

Monday night was spent at the airport Hilton in New Orleans, and bright and early Tuesday morning, a taxi took us to the heliport once again to send us offshore. Well, until I got bumped to the later flight and had a bit of time to kill at the heliport. However, once I did get there, it looked like we’d start drilling the next morning (Wednesday). I write this on Thursday, we have not started drilling as of yet and are still waiting on a few repairs to be completed before we start drilling.

Hopefully all goes well this evening and we are able to spud by mid-morning tomorrow (actually drilling started at 5:15pm Friday afternoon), but the longer it’s pushed off, the more stir-crazy I’ve been getting on the rig. The food is crappy, I’m trying to get as much of the “good” stuff that I can to sustain my running schedule, which I am keeping up.

Speaking of training, here’s how training went this week…

Saturday (9/19) – Both: 8 mile run, longest run ever!  Stef’s time = 1:16

Sunday – Both: a bit of yoga at home

Monday – Mark: 20 min easy morning jog with Sasha; Stef: 20 min easy lunchtime (2.05 mi) + lunchtime yoga

Tuesday – Stef: 3.5 mi treadmill jog (on rig)

Wednesday – Mark: Track night with Team (0.5 mi warm-up/cooldown; 200m x 400m x 600m x 800m x 600m x 400m x 200m); Stef: Modified Rig Track Workout on Rig (3.5 miles intervals)

Thursday – Stef: 25 min “easy” treadmill run (2.5 mi; not so easy, lacking energy); Mark: 25 min easy run with Sasha + evening walk with Sasha

Friday – Stef: 1.5 mi easy treadmill run

Total mileage (Stef) = 20.65 mi; easily the most I’ve ever put in during a week, plus the week isn’t over! I may do a bit on Friday pending rig activities (i.e. maintenance of sanity)

Fundraising is still going strong. As I was home for the weekend, I decided to make my tried and true brownies (recipe in Week 1 update).

I also tried another brownie recipe for black bean brownies on Sunday. This recipe wasn’t as successful…I blame myself, not the recipe though. The brownies tasted alright, but I made so many modifications to the recipe to accommodate what I had available at the house. Usually my modifications work, in this case, they didn’t. I also didn’t have the patience to refrigerate them before cutting (I wanted to make sure they didn’t taste like black beans…they didn’t). I also had a bit of trouble with the recipe in that the agave nectar appeared to separate from the brownie batter while cooking. All in all, a failed execution of a likely great recipe!

So, I was left with only the tried and true brownies for my fundraising this week, which I offered for a $0.75 donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As I had to leave early to catch my flight on Monday, I wasn’t able to get an exact tally for the fundraising earnings, but with a few brownies left, I had over $8.00 in my tip jar. Not the best, but not too bad either. I’ll know more when I get back from the rig (whenever that happens to be…).

As we are closing in on the end of September, which is Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month, this week it’s only appropriate to let everyone know how my fundraising is progressing on a larger scale…

To date I have $575 in my Paycor account from gracious donations from friends, family, and co-workers…

Of that $575, my employer will match it all for “matching effort” which yields a total of $1150…

Plus, I’ve gotten a check for $250 from my company to go directly to my fundraising effort (not matchable) upping my total to $ 1400…

Finally, the bake sales…I don’t have all of the change counted up but since my first bake sale in August, I’ve raised over $170 in donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)! With my company match program, that number increases to $240 giving me a grand total of $1640…Way to go everyone who’s graciously helped me along the way!

However, my work isn’t nearly done yet (for neither fundraising nor training) and neither is yours…

See, my personal goal for this event is to raise $3000 for LLS, which I’m only half way to at this point. Also, the more, the better! My company matches my effort to $5000/year, and as I haven’t dug into that pot at all this year, if I raise $5000 (without match I’m at $970 now), LLS with receive $10,000! How cool would that be? My first fundraising event (and marathon) to pull in 5 figures for an organization that sits near and dear to my heart…

So, if you want to help me out, you can read my testimony here. Remember, all gifts are tax-deductible and you may qualify for company match programs (email me for details, I can look it up for you if you don’t know if your company qualifies).

Unfortunately, due to my rig commitments, I won’t be able to do a Monday Bake Sale this week, but hopefully will be back in action the following week!

Despite the “failure” of my black bean brownies on Sunday, I did have some success with making a decent dinner and really tasty dessert!

On the docket for dinner was Baked Rainbow Trout in a Chunky Tomato/Garlic/White Wine pouch served with Mashed Red Skin Potatoes and Corn. In retrospect, the white wine was too much when baking in a pouch, but the sauce was pretty good. Next time though I’d add fresh basil at the end and spritz with fresh lemon juice.

We served this dish with the remaining Pinot Grigio I used for the trout and finished up with a very delicious Homemade Frozen Yogurt! In the afternoon, I put together a lovely Pear and Toasted Pecan Frozen Yogurt…

This creation came to be when I had a container of Pear Goat’s Milk Yogurt in the fridge and thought it would make excellent Frozen Yogurt. The question was, what to pair it with? I’m not a huge fan of pears, so it needed just a little something extra to make it something special…

That “something special” turned out to be vanilla, agave nectar, and toasted pecans!


  • 4.5 servings of Low Fat Pear Yogurt (Liberte Brand)
  • 1/3 cup Agave Nectar
  • 1/3 cup Toasted Pecans (chopped halves and toasted on the stovetop)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ~1 tbsp White Rum (to keep from over-freezing)

Combine all ingredients into your ice cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions and run until thick consistency (frozen yogurt consistency). Then place into an airtight container and place into the freezer for at least an hour before serving.

Yum! Pairs extremely well with Pinot Grigio!

Nutrition (assuming 6 servings, will serve more):

  • 215 cal
  • 6 g fat
  • 32 g carb
  • 2 g fiber
  • 7 g protein

The yogurt I used was great, worked well in the ice cream maker and also was a six-grain yogurt that contained a bit of fiber!

Thanks again everyone for continued support and I’ll be back next week, hopefully with another recipe, but it all depends on rig activity…