December 31, 2010

Friday's Drawers: A New Year

Now this is a fantastic share!  Eggplant, baby bok choy, parsley, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, apples, baby spinach, parsnips and butternut squash.

We've been living on soups this week, leftover lobster from Christmas dinner (thanks to my wonderful mother in law) made a  fantastic lobster bisque.  Never tried making that before and it was good, thank you David for getting me the New England Soup Factory cookbook for my birthday!

Last night was some chicken noodle and there is always our favorite, red lentil.

Looks like we will be doing some cooking this weekend....Eggplant parm anyone?  And of course more soup!  Here is my favorite curried-apple, parsnip soup and butternut squash soup.

Do you have a favorite soup?

December 21, 2010

Thank you supporters!

Week 1 of Boston Marathon training is done and in the books. Overall, not bad. Still many miles to go, but not bad at all.

But first, there has been a fantastic outpouring of support from my friends, virtual friends and family donating and helping out with this amazing cause. I love getting emails from Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund with the subject line: "Congratulations! You just received a donation on your personal page!"  Not only have people donated their money, but we have some exciting ideas people have offered up to help raise funds for Dana-Farber - including some one-of-a-kind original kickass artwork (more details to come!), rare dvds and other goodies. I will keep you posted on how you can get your hands on some sweet goods!  Thank you to all that have made that happen!

If we look at our $10,000 goal it in terms of miles, we are 1.3 miles into 26.2 miles of our marathon!  WOOT!  That means we are warmed up and ready to go, go, go!  And what better way to mark our progress than with this SAH-weet banner that the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team sent along. You know you wanna be on the banner!  Do it!  
Thank you supporters!  $505/$10,000 
I'll post the pic each week so you can see your name in print. (And next time I'll actually use my camera instead of my phone. Dang, the lens needs a cleaning!)

As for training, 18 miles down last week - A bit cut back from where I was this fall/summer, but I want to make sure my IT band holds up. David got me a book called ChiRunning and my mind has been blown. 

I have my highlighter in hand and you can find me on the commuter rail marking that sucker up. Seeing the pictures of my last race and seeing how my foot is WAY out in front of my center of mass and my front leg is essentially putting on the brakes while my back leg is putting on the gas made me realize just how much force I am channeling through my knees and hips and (con raz√≥n!) the weakest link, my knee (and IT band) hurts.

So we work on the muscles (Thank you Dr. Otto!) we channel the chi and fix the form (Thank you ChiRunning!)

This week the schedule is bumped up to 20 miles, 3 x 4mile runs and an 8 mile long run. Since I swapped out Sat/Sun last week, I might just do the same this week and run on the 26th. Have you ever seen a runner running on Christmas Day?  I used to see "those runners" and think, "Take a day off will ya?" (Whoa, there is an assumption....what if those runners DON'T celebrate Christmas.)  But let's just say they do.  And if they did, and were still running, I get it. I actually get why they do it. 

Who knows, maybe we'll see some runners out on the roads when we drive to our family's house later.  

If running in your peace and Christmas is the most peaceful day there is, then why wouldn't you spend it running? 

So are you a "Take a day off!"  kinda spectator/runner or a "My run IS the best present"? Or does Dec. 25th just *happen* to fall on a running day in your training schedule?

December 19, 2010

Bruiserific - Boston Training Update

One week training down and already a little off schedule.  

Instead of running my long run Sat morning, I took a trip to the chiro for treatment for my ITband.  He used two techniques, Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston Technique) to work out the massive knot that was in the middle of my ITband as well as some tension in my hip. 

Essentially, the active release was like a really intense massage or foam roll on the muscle while still working stretching it out.  So the muscles were working while he work out the golf ball sized knot.  

I certainly left feeling like I'd just been tenderized by a meat clever.  And I have some bruises to prove it.....

At the same time I can feel the knot is much looser. With a $15 dollar co-pay, I am definitely going back for more treatments rather than that massage last week where I got blabbed for an hour like I was getting my hair done when I was trying to relax.  

Even though I'm a little off plan, I was able to swap Sat/Sun and did my planned 7 miles this evening since I didn't get out yesterday.   And the 7 came a helluva lot easier with those muscles worked out. A few more treatments and I think I will be back to normal.

As for the music AGAIN!  All week sans music. Shocker. Instead, "knees down, breathe, heels up, breathe." was my mantra; visualized my legs at a locomotive going in a circle; keeping my abs engaged and channeling the chi. Seems like it is working....but the calves were *wicked* tight.  So rollin' the calves with the Izzybean. And yes, that is a pvc pipe.

As of today, 18/543 miles down, 1 strength training session, one chiro appointment, 1/2 of Chi Running read and $490/$10,000 raised for Dana-Farber.

Thanks for all the encouraging words and donations!

December 17, 2010

Friday's Drawers - A picture is worth a thousand words because I don't have them in me today

potatoes, dandelion greens, navel oranges, apples, green beans,
radishes, tomatoes, beets, purple turnips, basil, zucchini & yellow squash 

I got nothin.

To say. I have nothing to say I mean. Shocker.

I did get some fresh produce.

Anyone have any ideas on those two gigundous radishes?

December 14, 2010

18 Weeks and Counting!

And so it begins.

This week marks my official first week of training for the Boston Marathon.

Why am I running? There are many, many reasons and I plan on getting into them in more detail over the next 18 weeks, but right now I'd like to tell you about one major reason I am running.

Because cancer sucks.

I'm about to embark on one of the biggest challenges of my life: completing the Boston Marathon. But my personal quest, no matter how difficult it will be for me, pales in comparison to the challenge facing cancer patients. By participating in the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC), I'm supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's goal to find better therapies and, ultimately, cures for cancer.

The DFMC raises funds for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Established by J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver in 1987, the Claudia Adams Barr Program fosters scientific breakthroughs by advancing the work of gifted researchers in a variety of basic research disciplines. The DFMC directs 100% of funds raised to the Barr Program, which enables gifted young scientists at the leading edge of discovery to achieve better cure rates and to enhance patients' quality of life.

I hope you will support my challenge by giving a gift to my run and, in doing so, help bring an end to the challenge of cancer.

Your kind support and words of encouragement will give me the spring in my step, the tune to keep my stride and the focus to keep running and raising money for Dana-Farber. Thank you for helping Dana-Farber reach the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer.

With great appreciation and many inspired miles to go!

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.  If you do decide to make a contribution, don't forget to talk to your employer about matching programs to double your dollars!  And check back here for more updates on my fundraising and training!

~ Christy

December 13, 2010

ITB Issues be darned.

Because I didn't get it at first either, 
here is the IT Band exercise by Karen Ward 
that IAWR published on their blog.

Last week I was bitching and moaning taking care of my right knee that has been troubling me since the Maine Coast Half marathon.  So far every run since then has had some type of soreness on the outside my knee starting with mile 2ish and continuing on through my run and still stiff after.  Even going down the stairs was tough for the afternoon and morning after my run.  Ugh.  Not what I want to be dealing with.  

So internet research helped me self-diagnose my issues as ITBS or liotibial band syndrome.  The pain is usually around the knee and doesn't start until a few miles into a run and continues after.  Bingo!  

Now what. 

Cut back mileage. Nope. Didn't solve it. 

Rested for 6 days. Uh-huh. Still there.
Icing. Nope.

Popping ibuprofen. Nada.

Ironically, last week when I was pretty much at my wits end I found additional advice that combined all together, they seemed to help. 

1. Foam roll & massage.
2. Work on your form.  
3. Strengthen the muscle.

If there is an ITB issue, it is there for a reason. Weak muscles or poor form. Check out this pic from my last race and I think I found the culprit. Heel strike. Doh.

So, I checked out Chi Running by Danny Dreyer from the library and I am working on my form.  And I even put the Vibrams (little by little - .5 miles to start today) back in the training rotation. 

Lastly, as perfect timing I got and email with an ITB strengthening exercise from the International Women's Runners Association. WOOT!  It described the issue perfectly, but I had a hard time deciphering how to do it.  I know, I know.  Once our trainer Marc showed me, I figured I could do a little video, which is at the top. 

Here is the description from IAWR.
So, what exercise can you perform to develop running-specific ITB strength and thus eliminate or prevent ITBS?  The “Frankenstein Marching with a Band” exercise, developed Karen Ward, an excellent and creative personal trainer in Atlanta.   What equipment is required? Only a stretch band.
Dr. Anderson: “The drill is straightforward to carry out. To perform Frankenstein Marching, stand on a stretch band, with the handles of the band in your hands and the middle portion of the band directly under the arches of your feet. Cross the band handles in front of you, so that your left hand is now holding the handle which was in your right hand and your right hand is holding the lefts. This will make an X in front of your legs with the band. Then rotate each arm out to the side, so that your thumbs are pointing laterally.  Retract your shoulders, and keep your feet parallel,shoulder-width apart, pointing straight forward. Walk forward briskly with relatively straight legs while maintaining a standing-tall alignment. Keep your head up and pointed straight forward (don’t look at your feet). Avoid the common mistakes associated with Frankenstein Marching – feet turning out as you move forward, distance between feet too small, head directed downward, and shoulders falling forward.
After a few steps, you’ll begin to feel your ITBs zinging eccentrically, but that zinginess and resulting ITB fatigue will be far better for you than the six-week bout of ITBS which Frankenstein Marching can help prevent. Start with 2 X 15 meters (yards) of Frankenstein Marching as part of your warm-up or regular strengthening routine, carry it out a couple of times a week, and progress to 3 X 20 meters with a much-more-resistant stretch band. When you do, you’ll be keeping yourself out of future ITB peril. And while no scientific research has been conducted in this area, the increased control of adduction you’ll gain by strengthening your iliotibial bands should enhance your running economy, an important predictor of running fitness and performance.”
© 2010 Savvy Runner Inc.

In full disclosure let me say that I did not go to the doctor yet, but I feel pretty confident this is what is going on and that my ITBS is mild enough that I can avoid yet another co-pay and increased insurance costs work on fixing it on my own. 

Have you experienced ITBS or a different injury?  What worked for you?

December 10, 2010

Friday's Drawers - Sah-weet!

Sweet Potatoes: Cottle Farm, N.Carolina
Kale: Enterprise Farm
Butternut Squash: Enterprise Farm
Red Cabbage: Enterprise Farm, Whately, MA
Grape Tomatoes: East Carolina Organics, N.Carolina
Summer Squash/Zucchini: Lady Moon, Florida
Cranberries: Cranberry Hilly Farm, Plymouth, MA
Citrus, Tangelos: Eagle’s Nest, Florida
A lot of fresh fruits and veggies in our share this week!  Sah-weet!  The tangelos are unbelievably sweet.  And if you really want to know what goes into that one tangelo I enjoyed while lazying on the couch last night, check out Mary Mitchell's story of their 20-acre grove of organic citrus and the human drama behind it.  There's some passion in those oranges! 

"Being organic means killing the bugs by hand, watering the trees by turning on a spigot, keeping blight at bay by paying attention, not by paying for chemicals." 

Keeping blight at bay and paying attention.  I love that.

Now on to the other sweets...the sweet potatoes. 

In our newsletter there was a recipe for sweet potato latkes, which looked really good.  Check it out.
Sweet-Potato Latkes from Gourmet, December 2001
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated 
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.

Heat oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon 1/8 cup potato mixture per latke into oil and flatten to 3-inch diameter with a slotted spatula. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer latkes with spatula to paper towels to drain.
This looked good, but I decided to go with regular potato latkes and make my own favorite afternoon snack, cold roasted sweet potatoes.  You cannot go wrong with these. 

Cut sweet potatoes in quarters, coat with canola oil, lightly salt and roast in a 400 degree oven until tender. (about 1/2 hour).  

I container these up and take a couple to work and have them as an afternoon snack.  Usually cold.  But they reheat and freeze well too.

As for plans for the other things in the share?  Butternut squash soup for sure. This weekend. Red cabbage sattued with apples I think, the kids LOVE steamed squash, and I might try some cranberry muffins or a friend's suggestion for cranberries in steel cut oats.

How do you keep blight at bay and pay attention?  Or what is your favorite sweet potato recipe?  

December 09, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Get down, Get Down

This probably explains a lot, but there were only three vinly LPs I remember my parents having when I was a kid: The Beatles White Album, St. Louis Jesuits Earthen Vessels and Kool and the Gang, Greatest Hits. Random. I know.

I used to think it was funny to sing "Banana, I love you" instead of "Joanna"  I guess even then I was singing the praises of zero point fruits....

Anyway, I am sure my parents had several albums besides these, but these were the only three I remember. But now it is time to Get down, get down. Get down, get down [trumpet riff].

1. Get down to the basement!  I wasn't going to run last night. But Sarah threw down to me and the C25K grads to see if we can tally up 20 miles between us, and I don't back down from a challenge.  So down to the basement I went.  Phone in hand to txt the grads to  make sure they knew how much this TM workout pained me motivate them to do the same.

Oh man, the treadmill was covered in laundry!

Laundry removed, plugged in, tunes back in.  I may run outside with no music, but there is no way in hello....and the light flashes above me.  David's code that a kid is up and I'm needed upstairs.

Yup, I got one mile in when Izzy woke up, got her back to bed, in our bed (I know, I know!), me dripping with sweat ( sheets) and then I actually went back down to finish 2 more miles. WHHHAAA????

It was 11pm by the time I was done. Honestly, if it weren't txting Deb saying "We only regret the runs we DON'T do" and her txting back with TM funnies, I don't think I would have gone back down. Thank you Deb. You are my westcoast-TM rockstar!

2. Get down the salad cals. Actually not salad, but dressing. Many people dip their fork in and then take a bite, sure that is all well and good, especially at a restaurant (order on the side!) but I still feel like I will still finish off the rest, say with a chunk of bread or something.  So at home, I eat my salads from a container with a lid, measure the dressing, pour it on (it looks like so little!) put the lid back on and shake that sucker up. Coats all the lettuce and the fixin's. Perfect!

3. Get down the $$$. I love Thursdays for two reasons: Farm share pick up and Supermarket Flyer day! (sigh. I actually used an ! with that statement.)  With 6 grocery store chains in our 5 mile radius (gotta love urban sprawl) there are plenty of options for sale items. And with so many chains now carrying organics, it is easy to find deals to supplement the farmshare. If you want an easy way to know where to go and what to put on your list, sign up for your local grocers flyers to be emailed to you.  It makes shopping with purpose much easier. And cheaper!

Oh, and for the record (groan) my first album: Culture Club.  See.  I toldya it explains a lot.

What was your first record/cassette/cd? Sorry...or 8-track. :o)

December 07, 2010

Horror show in the kitchen!

Apparently it is best to discard moldy spaghetti sauce right away. Huh. Who knew.

As the bag of trash was waiting to be escorted out the door, the jar of spaghetti sauce that I chucked yesterday decided to explode. I know...I know...I didn't use or freeze it in time or make my own sauce. What kind of cheapassmama am I? But that isn't the point. The point is the jar EXPLODED THROUGH the bag! as in, the lid, a screw-top lid, blew off the top of the jar, blew through the plastic bag and all over the wall, floor, door, CSA share, recycling, USPS boxes, cabinets and even as far as the fridge across the room.

I feel like CSI will be ringing our door any moment with their yellow caution police tape to rope off the sauce-y gore fest.  And start questioning our family for persons of interest.

Izzy blames the mummy.

Simon blames the butcher. 

David blames Dario Argento for recreating that infamous scene from Tenebre in our house. (Sorry, not linking the sceme from you tube. That IS a bit gory for my blog.)
I blame the processed food boogie man. I think it was ticked-off that I used the veggies first and ignored the processed sauce....

Or maybe it was pizzed because I didn't dump the sauce and recycle the jar....

Or maybe this is just a very funny, odd mishap that I have now learned from and will not do again.  Of course I am not the one in the kitchen right now cleaning this mess up.  That would be my wonderful spouse.

Now if you really want to see some saucy gore, and make my wonderful spouse really happy, check out his AWESOME new horror comic, that came out this week! Zombie Terrors: An Anthology of the Undead with Undead Templars by David Zuzelo and Billy George's story and if you want the story behind the graphic novel, check out Ascension of the Blind Dead.

What kind of horror shows have you seen in your house these days?  Zombies? The Walking Dead? Or other kitchen or household terrors? Some how pressure cookers come to mind....

Epilogue: David added this commentary and it was just too funny not to share; so here is an update with David's take on the sauce-plosion....
"When I walked in the house at first I thought I would have to don hockey gear and find the giant rat running around our house in order to protect the kids! Then I realized that I had missed the chance to actually bear witness to a monstrous saucesplosion-truly a rare event. Dang. THEN my son began to accuse THE BUTCHER of attacking our trash and my daughter jumped in my arms telling me THE BUTCHER was here. My son began to threaten THE BUTCHER to come out and get a WAM PUNCH from him (ah, the men in our family will always confront issues like that is if they were wearing a cardboard suit of Voltron armor!)...and it was all very funny.
Then I had to clean it while muttering..."it is like RunLikeAMuthaBLEEPn Tenebre in here!!" Also funny. Look at that photo, and those that can tolerate horror films can compare my thinking by searching for this on youtube Tenebrae: Give Her a Hand.
No link because I don't want to scar anyone for life. Gory scene, but funny in this context. Good times...good times..."

December 06, 2010

What is that sloshing sound???


That would be my stomach. Is that what it sounds like?  All the time?

So I did something today that I am embarrassed to admit has taken me this long to do.

I ran without music. Yep.

11 months, 1 week and 2 days of running and today was the first day I ran without my zune either in my ears, blaring from the treadmill, from Isabella's iluv in the jogging stroller or dangling from my neck.

I've talked about what running is to me before, but it usually involved somehow shutting out part of the world.  Well not today.  I have been so frazzled-busy with to-do lists and ITB issues and family time and Advent and church time (All GOOD things!) but a lot of good things, so that rather than just drown it all out with music....I just wanted to move forward and be today.

I know I need my runs. And I know I need them for different reasons depending on the day, but I do think that I will be a better person and a better runner (ummm...I could hear my foot falls and correct them!) if I practice minimalist running from the neck up too sometimes.

I am not ready to get ride of the music player all together.  But I do want to make a commitment to run naked at least 1 run a week during my training for Boston. And by naked, I mean sans the player...not ready to take off my clothes like Chuck the garmin just yet...but I do know it beeps!  Who knew.

My heart is beating faster just thinking about giving this small thing up, but I think that right there is an indicator that it needs to be done.  I'm also going to need some accountability.  I am thinking that along with my training plan (one of my to-do list items...argh!)  that I plan on posting and keeping track of here, I am going to hold my self to day without a player.  Who knows, it might become my norm.

Oh don't get ahead of yourself there, Christy.

How do you non-music runners do it? What keeps you tuned in or tuned out during your runs? Or if you run with music, could you give it up for a run?

December 03, 2010

Friday's Drawers - Birthday Suit

Holy produce!
I have been overwhelmingly humbled today with all the birthday wishes and new followers from RLAM after yesterday's Follow This Mother honor! It is truly amazing to find such an awesome group of people!  I hope you'll stay and comment because goodness knows I have *NOT a CLUE* what to do with all these potatoes! I need some help.

Or this big turnip! I think it's a turnip. (Yes just looked in our CSA's newletter.  It is a scarlet turnip.)

That is one funky looking turnip.

I will say this....A wonderful birthday surprise, Zero Point grapefruit!  It took all my energy hold off on eating one of these bad boys until after I took the picture!

ZERO point grapefruit!  I <3 WeightWatchers PointsPlus

The kids have actually given up on the mini carrots from the BJs.  They'd rather have me peel the funky ones from their farmer.  These really do make the best soups.

In the mean time, since it is my birthday, I am going to have this glorious chocolate rum bunt cake that my co-worker made for me, including a Chocolate Rum Glaze!  

Yeah, that isn't zero points.....but it was tasty!  Now all we needed was that 30 proof whipped cream before it's taken off the shelves!

Thanks for staying and reading. And seriously, if you have ideas on potatoes, even how to store them so the last longer.... please for all things spud, pass them on!  


1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4......

December 02, 2010

Run Like a Mother, Eat Like a Rainbow

NYTimes dubbed it: "A bible for active parents."

Since finding the book Run Like a Mother (and blog! and tweets! and RLAM fb page!), I have been completely entertained and inspired and able to connect with a whole new community of runner-mamas.

This book is so utterly relatable,! Even as a newbie runner, there were countless numbers of "O-M-G! That is EXACTLY how I feel" uttered from my mouth. As a mom, spouse, runner, wannabe writer and overall multi-tasking-life balancer, this book inspired me, me made me laugh out loud causing my fellow commuter train riders to stop and stare. (At which point I promptly held up the book long enough for them to commit the title to memory.)

Well, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell have honored me by profiling me as one of their Follow This Mother mothers.


If you are a RLAM'er….Welcome! Thank you for reading! I hope you’ll stay and join in the conversation.

And to give you an idea of what goes on around here....I blog about everything from food I have never seen before, to running, to cooking mishaps, to recipes I love, to my cute kids, to race recaps, to weighty issues, and even struggles with getting out of debt! Oh, and be sure to check back every Friday to see what’s in my drawers.


If you are an Outer Aisle reader, please check out RLAM! (pssst…Hump day giveaways says @cheapassmama). Seriously, it is a fantastic community with some amazingly supportive badass mother runners!  Join us!

December 01, 2010

Going bananas.....WeightWatchers Endorses Food!

Zero Points Fruit!
pic from
Holy frijoles!  Bananas are zero points!

Can I say that I am actually pretty psyched for the new Weight Watchers plan called Points Plus?! I feel like PointsPlus is WeightWatchers meets Michael Pollan. "Eat food, mostly plants, not to much." And WeightWatchers is actually endorsing food! 

Why is this such a big deal?  For one thing, on the old plan was all about getting your daily points. For example, in losing mode, I got 21 points. Since I hoarded points like I do gift cards, I would pass on the banana (2 points) and go for the sugar free jello and whipped cream or 2 Weight Watcher's fudge pops or the skinny cow for the same number of points.  In other words, I would pass on actual *food* to eat diet "novelties" instead.  All common sense went out the window.  It was no wonder that I never knew how to eat until satisfied.  (I swear they really do put some additive in there to make you crave and eat more.) 

So now, with this new plan, we are "rewarded" (though I hate to think as more food as a reward....but you get my meaning) anyway, we are rewarded with more points by eating food, actual food, not processed franken-food.

What it comes down to is that the Weight Watcher's science people are nudging people to balance out the types of calories that one eats by taking protein, carbs, fat and fiber into account rather than calories, fiber and fat as they did with the previous model.  Since not all calories are created (or burned) equally, this makes sense. Ask any runner that bonks during a run where their calories came from that day and they'll most likely tell you they ate too much protein calories and not enough carbs. It takes more energy (and time) to burn protein over carbs, so when running a race, it makes sense to grab the carb that is going to burn fast, but if losing weight and feeling full longer is the goal, then choosing food with lean protein and high in fiber is the way to go.  These are fewer points than say high carb (refined sugar), high fat foods. Really?

On this new plan, we get more daily points and we get more weekly points, but the food point values (in some cases) also went up. Especially in the high carb, low protein areas.  Also, points plus (P+) are no longer calorie based (per se) but now based on carbs, protein, fat and fiber. Since we know not all calories are created equally, this makes sense. 

While I am excited about this plan, the part that still concerns me is that we are still talking about food as nutrients rather than the whole food itself.  There is a balance that is needed and I think that comes from really listening and feeling and identifying with the energy that goes into (and out of ) our bodies. Sitting with it.  Feeling satisfied. 

When I was originally following the plan, I never really got the whole "eat until satisfied" feeling. The people of Okinawa call this practice, Hara Hachi Bu – eat until 80 percent full.  

I hope that this new plan will help me, us, whoever is on WeightWatchers practice mindful eating and that Hara Hachi Bu becomes part of our everyday, our every meal.  Until then, I'll get out my tracker and write every bite down.

November 26, 2010

Friday's Drawers - Leftover food, leftover fear?

This is the one week that I am actually grateful that we don't have a farm share pick-up.  We wouldn't have a place to store any of it!

There are only 2 weeks out of the year for our farm share that we don't have a pick-up, this week and one in the spring when we go from winter/spring to summer/fall shares.  It is the one time where I can play catch up on all the potatoes we get. :)

So no CSA picture today, just the picture of our filthy fridge all our leftovers from yesterday's feast!

We stayed in town for T-day and had a very wonderful dinner including a gorgeous organic, free-range turkey (Go M!) at my husband's family's home. There were seven of us from 3 to 99 (!!) and we were all feelling very grateful. It was a good day.
Kids had a good time and we have a boat load of leftovers (as you can see). I thought I could handle taking the pie....oh man. Yesterday was going to be my "free" day - aka enjoy it now, because tomorrow you are going back to meals and snacks, no grazing and limited pie. 

who can resist?
Syeah. But I dug into the pie and that was pretty much what I had for lunch today. Eeek! So much for what I said about remembering that Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas is one day

Good to remember that I see runs (like running).  Lots of runs in my future.  How grateful I am for those runs too.


Are you sitting down?

I am thinking about taking a week off from running.

*Thinking* about it.  Yes, with a house full of delicous leftovers, I am thinking about *not* running for a week.


I ran today (the first time since Sunday) and about 3 miles in, the ITB acted up again. Basically, after running for a few miles, feeling good, all of the sudding my knee is sore and gets really really stiff when I stop running.  My understanding is that it is caused by tight muscles from my hips down to my quads.

Most likely it came from the exertion and not stretching well enough after the 1/2, going back out into the cold and not doing my due dilligence to massage the legs.  I don't think it is anything major, and I learned my lesson from last time when I bitched and moaned it was all of 3 weeks for my foot to fully heal. AND! And and, looking back at my logs, I *still* got in runs and ellipticals during those 3 weeks, having only really taken 9 days off from running.

But this is now. In the beginning of winter. And I am not a full year running yet. So I have this fear of not running.  Even a day.

How is it, that even after following plans and committing to trhe full marathon, to fundraising, to training, to running, not to mention the fact that I LOVE running, that I *still* feel like if I don't run on a regular schedule I'm afraid I won't start back up? So silly.

I wonder if it is just that, or if there is more I'm afraid of? Weight gain? Loss of stamina? lack of a structured plan? Loss of my mind? What if I take a week off? What is the worst that could happen?  And the best - my muscles could actually get a break, heal and get stronger.

Training for Boston officially starts (according to my handy-dandy 18 week plan) on 12/13 and wouldn't it be nice to start at full strength. Even if it does mean a few lbs gain?

November 24, 2010

Holy Smokes! I am running a Marathon! BOSTON!!!

It is official, I will be running the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Training team.

Even as I type I have butterflies in my stomach!

I cannot think of a better place, a better organization, a better charity, or a better time to run my first marathon!

I have a ton of thoughts and people running through my head right now, so I am going to leave it at this and do my ISFJ processing bit and write more later.

For now.....

I just feel an incredible sense of past, present and future gratitude.

November 19, 2010

Friday's Drawers: Such a spud

turnips, cranberries, boat load of beans, carrots, sweet potatoes,
butternut squash, onions, rosemary, sage
I have so many potatoes right now. And a 5 year old that likes silly jokes, so here is quite a mashup. Heh.

Why did the potato cross the road?
He saw a fork up ahead.

How do you describe an angry potato?
Boiling Mad.

Why didn't the mother potato want her daughter to marry the famous newscaster?
Because he was a commontater.

Why wouldn't the reporter leave the mashed potatoes alone?
He desperately wanted a scoop.

What do you say to a mean and angry baked potato?
Anything, just butter him up.

What do you call a baby potato?
A small fry!


With 3 weeks (or more) of potatoes s-puttering around our house, it was time to po-ta-toe the line and cook up some 'taters.

With the help of a timely ad I fell prey too, I give you a modified recipe from Potato Goodness. (btw, I could be all super-chef-like and say I modify these recipes to make them better, but the honest to potato goodness truth is that I rarely have everything on hand that I need to follow these things to a T.  So I just go with the flow and make due.)

So on to food porn. Steak fries with TJ's Bold & Smokey Kansas City State Barbecue Sauce (Oh yum!)

Too lazy to go back downstairs and snap a pic...
so I borrowed this from

Between tossing

Better than Outback
• Olive oil cooking spray
• 1-1/2 lbs. Russet potatoes, scrubbed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/4 cup bbq sauce
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground or cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F and spray a large baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.

Place whole potatoes (do not poke) into microwave safe dish. Cover dish. (If covering dish with plastic wrap, poke small hole in plastic.) Microwave on HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes depending on strength of microwave. Use oven mitts to remove dish from microwave; carefully remove cover from dish due to steam build-up and let cool. Cut each potato into 8 wedges. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and bbq sauce; spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper mixture.

Bake for10 minutes, turn wedges, bake for 10 minutes more or until fries are golden brown.

I ate more than I care to divulge. But I am definitely making these again and considering freezing some as an experiment to see if they will hold up in toaster reheating.

What is your favorite spud recipe or joke?

November 18, 2010


Simon: Is that a gourd?
Me: (Shocked look on my face) Why, yes, Simon it is.
Simon: I love gourds. 

Well then. 

This must be a kindergarten thing, because this is the first fall where I have actually cooked myself, so I am not sure where his love of gourds comes from. 

But now, I am learning all these new ways to prepare these gourd-geous gourds. And that's a good thing, because we seem to get a lot of them in our farm share!

I remember my mom making baked acorn squash when I was a kid, so I figured this would be a good one to do. It smelled amazing in the house!

3 Acorn Squash, cut in half and seeded
1/2 stick of butter
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. apple cider
1tsp cinnamon
salt & pepper

Place the squash cut side down in a shallow baking pan and fill with about 2 inches of hot water. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

On the stove in a small sauce pan, melt 1/2 stick of butter, stir in 1/3 cup apple cider, 1/3 cup maple syrup and tsp of cinnamon. Bring to a boil then simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the sqaush, dump the water, flip them cut side up. Add salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle or brush the sweet concoction on the squash then pour the rest in the little wells.

Bake for another 20 minutes until tender and lightly browned.

You can also use little grated ginger, orange zest and brown sugar in place of the maple syrup, but I went with simple and what I had on hand. 

Makes 6 servings, 165 cals/24g carbs/8g fat/2g protein

November 17, 2010

Heel to Heal

I had a very odd dream the other night.

I dreamt I could sing. And not the auto-tune-me-now-I-can-sing kind of sing, but the belt out-loud-this-is-my-real-voice-Grammy-winner kind of sing.

There I was, standing up on this stage and someone handed me a microphone and I just started singing.


I looked about as shocked as everyone else around me when I heard my voice because in my dream I had no clue I could actually sing. And, don't ask me what I was singing.....I have no clue. But I had a big grin on my face and it sounded good, kinda bluesy Nina Simone like I think.

I woke up completely puzzled and like I do with any dream that puzzles me, I started overanalyzing every small thing that my subconscious needed to process.

Do I have a new amazing gift of song?  (sang a few bars, um nope, still need the auto-tuner.)
Does Thom want me to join the choir?
Did I fall asleep with the TV on?
What gives?
Must be symbolic or something.

The dream was just after I finished the Maine Coast Women's Half-Marathon and just before my church's amazing healing service. So there was a lot going on up in the 'ol noggin last week.

I mentioned in a previous post about some unresolved cross-country hurts; and not the physical kind. I think  this dream was another reminder that I'm resolving them. Ok, it might be a stretch - singing, running, healing.....But I do tend to sing when I run (did I just admit that?) and I seemed to be quite happy in the dream.

The thing is, running didn't always bring me joy. In fact, I hated it. I wasn't good at it. Running made me feel like I was inadequate and always out of breath.

I remember trying to run outside about a two years ago when our company signed up for the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge.  I took the advice of a runner friend: "Run where there are cars so that when they drive by, you won't want them to see you walking."

That didn't work. I was out of breath by the end of the street.  And walked home.

So I went back for more advice. "Run for a song, walk for a song."

With my zune in my ears and playlist picked, I made it through 1/2 a song before walking. I went around the block and was back home in about 15 minutes, but it felt like 2 hours. I didn't run again. Why bother. I knew how to lose weight eating better, I didn't need to run. (See mindset was exercising was just for losing weight. Oh how things have changed!)

Why did I loathe running so? What was going on that gave me such a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach?

Clearly, there was an old wound there that made me hate running.

It dawned on me recently when I was going through some old pictures and found my cross country team photo. There I was, standing, nice legs, strong quads, (I say that now, but at the time, they looked fat to me!) but not in the singlet like everyone else. I'm in my over-sized team sweatshirt. Hiding.

*Insert pic here if I can resurrect it from photos to burn pile find it*

I was 15 at the time and joined the cross-country team thinking it would be fun and besides, there were no tryouts. I wasn't going to *not* get picked like the previous year with basketball tryouts. But unfortunately it wasn't fun. The team was extremely competitive. (Unlike the previous season of spring track where we would do Arbyruns: Me, and 2 friends, that I won't through them under the bus, would run half our long runs, stop at Arby's for curly fries, OMG yum! then run back. But they were skinny and fast; and alas, I was not.) So as a slightly over-weight teenager and one that took things so darn personally, comments made by insensitive coaches like “Come on, go faster, you could stand to lose a few”and "you run funny; you kick your heels out when you run” and the fact that I was pretty much in last place every race, turned me off to running and I eventually quit the team.

Since I am the type that is continually working on living in the present moment, (Read Molly's poignant post about that too!) going back and reliving the past seems like an object lesson in futility. And I certainly don't want to go back and relive high school. Yikes! But yet, sometimes in order to be present, in the moment, and to move past the past, we do need a little healing salve. Or a dream to remind us just how far we've come.

In my dream, I was singing, doing something I never thought possible and with complete joy. And last week, I was running 13.1 miles (and fast), something I never thought possible with complete joy.

My motivations to run change on a regular basis (talk about living in the present moment!) Some days I run for the grass-fed all-beef cheeseburger, some days it is for prayer time, some days it is to compete with my burn buddies and meet my 2,500 calorie/week challenge, some days it is to train for something I never thought I could do, some days it is because it is just so darn beautiful out not to. But they are for my own motivations, not a coach's or the scale's, but because of the joy that it brings.

Today, right now, I am going out for a run.  And today I run because I've been healed. 

November 15, 2010

Friday's Drawers - Commando

ACK!  I accidentally deleted my farm share picture from Friday! Bummer. See what happens when I go commando....I lose my drawers.

Since it is Monday anyway, we'll just move on.

I will say that this week's share had a gorgeous head of cabbage in it. I wasn't sure what to do with it, I didn't really want anything too labor intensive, and since we planned on going to a friend's house that is currently On Plan, I wanted something fresh, and point friendly. So I pulled out the Weight Watchers 365 days of cooking book for ideas and found a *wicked* easy recipe for a carrot, cabbage salad.  And of course I modified it...but this is just how easy it was:

1 head of cabbage, shredded (about 8 cups)
6 carrots, grated (I had bigg'ins from our share - about 8 cups)
1/3c mayo
1/3c apple cider vinegar 
2T sugar

Play around with the mayo & vinegar to your liking. 

The friend said:  "This is the freshest slaw I have ever tasted."

I brought 1/2 to their house, and left 1/2 the batch home. It was all gone before I hit the sheets last night. Now I am hoping for more cabbage in the next box. Yeah, there's a new one! I still need to google if 'slaw is freezeable...  

November 09, 2010

Race Recap: Maine Coast Women's Half

"If one could run without getting tired I don't think one would often want to do anything else." - C.S. Lewis


I love running!  (Ok, I realize now, that isn't much of a spoiler.) And what better way to do it, than to toe the line! 

What a blast! This was my 3rd half-marathon and just like the other two, I have finished feeling completely glow-y. 

The first, in June, well that was my first, the original PR (personal record). The second, in October, that was with Sarah, and just plain awesome. And the third, the Maine Coast Women's Half, well this certainly ranks in the top 3! 

On Saturday, me and the kids rode up to York, ME with my friend, Marcia, who found this race and suggested we run it after she missed out on the Lowell half in October.  We decided to pick up our bibs the day before and to get a lay of the land. Plus if you want a race shirt that actually fits, it is best to get there as early as possible and it is nicer not to have to scramble through packet pick-up on the day of the race if you can help it. (Of course we did scramble anyway....more on that in a sec.) 

The expo was decent.  Local businesses, cheap tech tees from other LOCO races and ones with cute sayings like "kick assphalt."  I felt a little odd "buying" a tee for a race I didn't actually run, but as Marcia pointed out, we'd be advertising their race for them Regardless, I didn't end up getting any. If they had more long sleeve in my size, maybe I would have - they *were* $5 after all.  But the best-est part of the whole expo....

PASTA SALAD!  The cheerleading coach (with a baby also named Izzy, that my Izzy A-dored) and cheerleaders at York High School were fantastic and made the most unbelievable whole-wheat pasta salad (Can you say carb loading???) at the snack bar and for $2bucks gave me and Marcia a never ending bowl.  Yum!  And thanks to the timely article, on marathon running and avoiding the bonk, we halved it and figured we needed around 1000ish calories in carbs 12-36hrs before the race. No bonking for us! 

Then Sunday.  Race day. 

Yay! for daylight savings! Extra hour of anxious restful sleep! 

Actually, of all the races, this one is the first one where I slept through the night.  Maybe it was because it was so late and we didn't have to leave until 7:30 for a 10am start rather than the 4:45am leave time that I had for the previous 2 races. I didn't have the recurring nightmare that I slept through the start time.  Cuz that does not help the REM cycles. 

Up at 6:30. Coffee. Chobani. Clif Z bar & banana for the ride. Marcia got here and we got the kids to the car and headed up around 7:30. The great thing about all the schlepping to and from York, is that Marcia & I got 3 car rides to chitchat so we knew that we could just concentrate on running the race. I wanted to go out fast enough that "pace ok?" would be about the only thing I could say. 

Before we got to the race, we parked at the elementary school and waited for the bus to take us (it was COLD!) and we seemed to be waiting a long time. Other runners gave up and started walking, but we didn't bring the stroller and didn't want to make the kids walk.

We got there and still had 30 minutes before the start. So we hit the bathrooms. Gu'd at 9:45 while waiting in the bathroom line.

Except there was the matter that they made all the bathrooms in the school "Women Only" and had the guys use the portajohns (which we couldn't find) or the woods. Fah-reeeezzing!   

When we saw the long lines near the entrance we headed for the single room secret bathroom we found on Saturday off to the side of the cafeteria.  Except it wasn't a secret anymore. With all the women waiting in line,  David decided to forgo the restroom and he headed out a side door while we waited in line, keeping an eye out to let him back in.  

Marcia went. But no David. My turn, and I took the kids in with me because (OF COURSE!) they had to pee at 9:50 when all the racers were ready to go. Actually, the 3 of us were faster than most of the people in line. Anyway...

Somehow in the shuffle we missed David banging on the door to let him back in. It was 9:58 and we were still in the same spot, me Marcia, and the kids. Sarah called my cell, found me and took the kids, Marcia went ahead, found David just as I was calling him on my cell, quick hugs to Sarah, saw the AWESOME signs!

Friday Night Lights makes an appearance!

I gave Sarah my bag, and my kids. Almost forgot my gloves. That would have been bad. Go back digging in my jacket for them. Quick hug & kiss to David and we scrambled to the starting line (or sideline really), they start the race, we scramble through the spectators and into the mix and I spent the first 100yds or so untangling my earbuds. I hit play on the zune, but didn't listen for awhile. I had timed it so that Madonna's 4minutes would come up 4 minutes before the 2hr mark. 

Marcia and I originally both wanted to try for a sub 2, but she was feeling for this specific race, on this day, a 2:05 would be more realistic. I trained for 2, so I was torn between running with Marcia, and my sub-2. I decided this race was mine and I needed to run it and knew that Marcia’s race was Marcia’s and we both supported each other in our goals. 

We agreed to start out at 9:30ish and then get to our respective paces, but then Marcia took off like a shot weaving in and out of people dern quick. I barely could keep up! My nerves took over and honestly didn't think I could do keep that pace. I looked down and saw we ran the first mile in under 9, then the second mile under 9. But then at 2.1 in clicked for me. I say this every time, but I need to remember that the first 2 miles no matter what the pace are always the toughest. (In the end the first 2 miles were my "slowest" splits.) At about 2.5 I was feeling good and ready to pick up the pace, Marcia’s strategy was to hold back, so I went on. Just after we split, I saw Sarah first in her adorable hat, black curls, teal jacket and David in his BRIGHT orange coat, kids waving, signs shaking, shouts erupting. Fantastic! That energy took me all the way for the next 10!
Smile coming.

Smile going.
Each mile I kept thinking, I can’t believe this. I feel good. I really did not trust that plan. Tempo runs are one thing, but to run a 9:09 pace needed for 13.1 miles? Really? 

But the adrenaline and the energy and the ocean and the surfers and the cheering and the sheer joy to be out there just takes over! 

At mile 6 I knew I would get the 2 hours. Then it became a game of when to gu, when to water, I tried to gu as soon as I saw a station coming up…nothing worse than gu with nothing to wash it down with. 

At mile 10, I saw I was at 1:27 and with only a 5k left, I knew I could do that in 30 minutes. I tried to whoop it up on the hills, but most people seemed in the zone. I’m curious if other racers find that annoying or helpful. I like, it, but maybe that is just me… The crowd seemed more serious than I expected. Though I loved the “Angry Kitties” Pink and Green jerseys. I have to look that running club up….

At mile 11, going around the bend, I was thinking about Molly.

Mile 12 had a bit of a bottle neck. It was a little unnerving to run on the side of the road *with* traffic and only cones there to keep you to the side. It also made it tougher to pass which I was trying to do. But I tried to find lulls and sprinted to the open spaces when I could. Part of it was annoyance for me, but also to give other runners space.
At 12.5 I started to think about David and Sarah’s face at the finish and how SHOCKED they would be to see me running in under 2. And not just a 2hr half 'thon, But at least 5 minutes under 2!

I saw the balloons, I saw David and I saw Sarah's jaw on the floor and then heard their shouts and I wanted my kids to see me SPRINT (!!) and finish strong, so I booked it with a quick wave to them as I went by.

I finished, walked over to my family and saw Sarah first. 


This race is exactly what I trained for (even though I didn't trust the plan. heh. Next time trust the plan!) I could not believe my splits! Especially the last mile – an 8:09 I ran that mile faster than any of the previous ones that were still all under 9. Makes me think I may have left some in the tank. goal? For now I am wicked please with my sub 2 and 22 minutes off my previous PR.


1:54:25 was my official time. Placed 205 out of about 1,200 racers.

I never did hear Madona & JT sing 4 minutes.  I guess I will have to set it to pop up at 1:46 next time. 

And Marcia. She got her 2:05. Awesome! And looked dang fine doing it!

And Simon got his Fun Run.
Simon's Smiling too!

I love running so much. Whoda thunk it. And yes, I love running so much, I will crew, run with you, whatever, whenever. I will be your pacer, or you can pace me. I have had some amazing family and friends help get to me to my goal, I would love to pay it forward anyway I can!  Name the race, and let's do it!

1 8:52
2 8:55
3 8:44
4 8:49
5 8:45
6 8:31
7 8:44
8 8:27
9 8:37
10 8:46
11 8:29
12 8:36
13 8:09
14 2:10
The MOST supportive spouse EVAH!

Future 'thoner

November 06, 2010

Izzy got the beat!

Getting ready for Sunday's Maine Coast Half-Marathon (and one lucky guy), I decided to tweak my playlist to give me the optimal beat to try for a sub-2hour half.

What is kinda funny to me, is that most of the music on this list is not music that I would normally pick to listen to. But for some reason, this popspolotion of tunage just makes me move.

Of course what I would really love is to have Izzy's medley pumping through the zune tomorrow.

But since I can't do that, here is the list...One last thing before the big reveal. There is something a bit odd about sharing these. I mean, whenever I am on the train, I see people with their earbuds in or that one guy with the really big BOSE headphones and think, "I wonder what they are listening to? Is it the news, or a book on tape, or music, what kind? Is the skater boi really listening to Debussy?  Or the suit that sits diagonal from me have Luda's Potion pumping through?"  It seems so private.  But here I am now exposing my list! So if you see me running, I probably have one of these earworms going through my head.  And if you are running near me, you might even hear me sing a few bars. *shudder*

Fank you very much! *taking an Izzy bow*

Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Hey Soul Sister - Train
Breakeven - The Script
Love Lockdown - Kanye West
Letting Go - Sean Kingston
Like a G6 - Far East Movement
When Love Takes Over - David Guetta
I Like It - Enrique Iglesia
Krazy - Pitbull
Take It Off - Ke$ah
If I Had You - Adam Lambert
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
California Gurls - Katy Perry & Snoop
DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love - Usher & Pitbull
On The Dancefloor - David Guetta
One More Time - Daft Punk
Check It Out - Will.I.Am & Nicki Minaj
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida
Raise Your Glass - P!nk
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz & Ludicris
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Fu - Cee-Lo Green
When I Grow Up - The Pussycat Dolls
Telephone - Lady Gaga & Beyonce
Only Girl - Rihanna
Toxic - Britney Spears
Poker Face (Llg vs.Glg Remix) - Lady Gaga
4 Minutes - Madonna & Justin Timberlake (Comes on at 1:53)

If I don't make the 2hr mark, I need some tunes to pump me up to the finish
I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida
Raise Your Glass - P!nk

And if I really need to finish then I'll need this song.
Till I Collapse - Eminem