March 26, 2011

The last long run of training!  Bring on the taper!

Going in, I wasn't feeling quite the confidence as the two (albeit unplanned) 18 milers. Yes, there were even some tears that leaked out during strength training Friday.  A lunge the wrong way and I knew things weren't working the way my mind wanted them too. And the tightest hamstrings I've had so far. Ever.  Add in lack of runs for various reasons and a 7 mile treadmill attempt on Thursday night that ended up as a 3 miler and not a great one at that. But I hoped once I got moving it would be a good run. Talking to some of my running mates this week, we were all feeling the little aches and pains here and there. I certainly wasn't alone in that front.

So this was one run I was definitely ready to be over - even by the turn around I could feel my left knee was going to need some TLC this week. Still, it was definitely a confidence builder - and with heart break in the last mile, if you are a close friend to me - BELIEVE ME when I say your name was in my head running up that last hill.

The run started at Boston College (mile 21 of the course) and we ran out 10 miles to Wellesley College and then back to BC.  Early on, we could tell that there were several groups that were running from Hopkington into BC because we started passing runners going the opposite direction.  And by the time we got into Newton, there were runners & cheerers everywhere.  My favorite sign was "Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much butt."

The support on the run was fantastic, not only was the regular Dana-Farber team out there, but the police were out there directing traffic letting us run through the major intersections, tables for all the charity runners, retailers everywhere- still loved the lululemon chick with the batman underoos on over her tights.  Hawt.

Oh and note to anyone who does the course backwards then forwards, it really is double the hills - what goes down must go back up!

We celebrated the run afterwards over at Molly's for her fantastic peach fuzz party (what a GREAT way to celebrate!) and then enjoyed even more good eats with good friends out for dinner.

Now, if only I could get up & down the stairs a little bit smoother.....

March 25, 2011

Friday's Drawers - Kale Chips!

This week's share had kale and we decided since I still have last week's chard and now this week's and those will go into soup, I wasn't going to do another kale soup - so we did kale chips tonight.  And they are already gone.  (burp.)

Here is the easiest way to make them. 

Here is the kale:

Cut off the stems.
Put the chip sized bites into a bowl with a cover, toss with some olive oil till they are coated and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Lay out on a cookie sheet.

 Bake in a 350degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  WATCH THEM! so they don't burn. 

And kale chips.  See...someone took some in between the time that they came out of the oven and when I finally took a picture.

I came down from bedtime with the kids and the container was empty. They go that quick around here.

March 24, 2011

Friday's Drawers - Roasted Eggplant!

I am a little behind, but here is last week's CSA organic food porn.  And a quick and easy way to roast up some eggplant.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise with 5 slits.
Put a half or quarter of garlic in the pocket with a little pepper.

 Coat a roasting pan with a table spoon of olive oil and coat the eggplant.

 Bake in a 375degree oven for about 45 minutes or until tender.

Let these cool, then peel them and eat with some olive oil & white wine vinegar.  I having some with my pasta tomorrow for lunch.  This last pic doesn't look that appetizing, but my taste test so far (we'll see how they hold up tomorrow) was good.

And I don't have pics - but earlier this week, I made a stir fry with the mushrooms, broccoli, julienned carrots a little grated ginger, soy sauce and orange juice that was so flippin' good!  We had it with quinoa. Definitely making that again. 

March 16, 2011

Who's Your Dragon?

Several friends and I have been discussing our issues with the scale of late. Some of my friends are looking to lose a few pounds; some are maintaining just fine; and some are looking to lose more than a few. But we all have this one thing in common: we are measuring ourselves with this scale. This thing. An inanimate object that depending on the number that we see, seems to determine our mood for the day – or worse, our self worth.

I am guilty of this big time.

Funny thing is, during my heaviest days, I didn’t even own a scale. When I first joined Weight Watchers, I only weighed in at my weekly meetings. It really has been only since being *under* my goal weight that I have weighed myself as much as I do (sometimes every day). And I admit to keeping an index card with my weekly weight since Sept.

Over the last several weeks, that number has been going up.

I don’t know what has me more frustrated, the fact that during marathon training, I’ve gained weight, or the fact that I still let the scale and that fact, that gain, frustrates me! I’m frustrated that I am frustrated!

Get out of that cycle! I’m not a cyclist.

I’m a runner.

Anyway, all this scale talk had me thinking. A lot.

It had me thinking about this idea of my number, my “happy weight” and where I am in training, in eating; where I am emotionally and even spiritually. When I was in my heavier days, I thought that I would be better if I were thinner. And now that I am thinner are things better? Thinner just gets replaced with wanting other things….wanting more time, to run faster, less stress, bigger house, more money…. The definition of insatiable – or is it driven?

My present has its problems, sure, but frankly, some of my “problems” I would have LOVED to have had a year ago. Can you imagine what 210 lb me would have said to 147lb me if she hear me bitching about gaining during marathon training??? She would have slapped the shiznit out of me!

The reality of my life (an all of ever changing lives) is that it is different than it was a 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 1 month ago. And it will be different again in 1 month, 1 year, 10 years. So am I going to let my circumstances or the scale or some other external factor or measurement dictate how I feel about myself? Hellsno.

I just want to be.


There is a long way between where I am to “just be”.

So I work.

In my self-help feelings of late, I headed down to the basement (literally....or...) to dig up some books. One of the books I pulled out of the basement is called The Hero Within by Carol S. Pearson. My mom gave me a signed & dedicate copy about 10 years ago. But I never read it. Maybe I wasn't ready for it yet.

One of the first lines that hit me was this:

"To make deep personal change, is to develop a 'new paradigm, a new self, one that is more effectively aligned with today’s realities.'"

Today’s reality is different than yesterday’s. And there are so many realities of today.  World-wide ones. Japan. Our own country, state, city, families. Personal ones.The new normal, or even the new, new normal.

For me, once I KNOW "something" - that "something" isn't necessarily going to change, but my relationship to it will. Around our house, we say, “the news is the news” something I picked up from years in project management. The news doesn’t change, but my relationship to it and what I do with it can change.  For example, reading Michael Pollan and knowing how my food is produced changed my relationship with food..  I CAN’T do anything about it unless I KNOW about it.

And vice versa, if I don’t TELL someone about something, they will never have the opportunity to do anything about it either. (Yeah, you can’t resent someone for washing a sweater if you never told them it was dry clean only. Not that I have ever done that.)

So going back to the idea of wanting more – insatiable vs. driven – I guess that too comes down to attitude.

By wanting to be faster, be better, be healthier, work harder, is my attitude one based on wanting more because what I have isn’t enough? Or is it because I am grateful for what I have? Meaning, to NOT do more when I know I am capable of being better at (fill in the blank), would be a disservice to me and my family.

To just be (better) IS appreciating life around me. That is the attitude I will practice.


Ok, last thing for today.

As I do this work, as I make personal changes, one thing, one MAJOR thing that I know I causes struggle with these kind of reflections, is I don’t always take full ownership of my actions. Excuses start to flood my thought process. Or the “buts” take over. Or I try to explain away feelings like, when I was a kid…blah blah blah. Or I can’t because…whatever the excuse.

And lo and behold, I read this:

“As we deprogram ourselves from outmoded habits and traditions, however, the temptation is to see ourselves as victims, not heroes, especially if we have a conscious or unconscious sense of entitlement. If we did not come from a healthy family, if there are few jobs in our field, or if we fear we will not surpass our parents’ prosperity level, we than can become demoralized. It is important to remember that heroes of myth and legend hardly ever have perfect parents or perfect lives. Think, for instance of Oedipus, left to die as an infant on the hillside, or Oliver Twist, growing up in a cruel orphanage. Even Jesus of Nazareth was born, humbly, in a manger.”

Holy scrap, (my new favorite Transformers swear word).

Victim + entitlement.  This is so true. I think about all these times where life wasn’t “fair”….How many times have I been angry because something happened to someone I love that wasn’t “fair” or they or I had been "wronged"?  Often.  Too often. All those feelings of anger, are they just an unconscious sense of entitlement?

I am going to have to think about that for awhile.

For now, let me get back to the scale and the habitual weighing in and the desire to deprogram oneself in doing so. Because this IS about taking action.

My friends and I have helped each other on this one. One of my friends gave up the scale for Lent. And we are supporting her in the ways that we can - giving up scales, feelings toward scales, giving up other technologies and even just talking about it and sharing what we read.

Here is one more quote I liked from The Hero Within: 

“The very nature of heroism requires us to face the dragon, not sit around and complain that the dragons exist and someone should do something about them. “ 

After reading I had to imagine my bathroom closet with this yellow glow and smoke pouring out from the bottom only to open it up and see this DRAGON sitting upon this white inanimate object with digital numbers blinking. Only instead of my 144 that I want to see - I see the calculator trick where you put in 7734 and then turn it upside down. 

Then I fall down into a fit of giggles thinking about it.

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea. And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee....

March 11, 2011

Friday's Drawers - From white to green.

This week it has been awesome to see more green in our own yard than in our farm share box.  There has been so much snow for SO long.  To give you an idea of just HOW long we've had snow on the ground, the other morning I was looking out of Isabella's bedroom window; it was early and I was kind of groggy and saw a mound of white kind of moving back and forth.  Wha?

Dang, I know it's been a long time since my last beer, but really? Moving snow?

Look a little closer.  Whew, not crazy.

It was a white plastic bag stuffed with something blowing back and forth.  Oh wait.

Now it sounds like one of James Newman's novels.

But no, it was our neighbor's Christmas Tree.  In a white bag. Waiting since the end of December for trash pick up.

It snowed so much around here, it completely covered and camouflaged their tree.  Till now.

It's March.

Anyway, nice to see some green.  And here is some more green:

Not sure what the heck is going on with the picture.  I think my smartphone is not acting so smart.  The reason why the pic isn't in the normal spot was because I already had the stove going for those fantastic portabellas.  Marinated in olive oil, basil, oregano and white balsamic vinegar. Yum!

But here is what came in our produce box this week:

  • Braising Mix, Atlas Farm, Deerfield, MA
  • Strawberries,Wishnatzki Farm, FL 
  • Baby Bok Choi, Lady Moon, FL
  • Red Cabbage, Deep Root Coop, VT
  • Red Leaf Lettuce, Lady Moon, FL
  • Mesclun Mix (sust.),Equinox Farm, MA
  • Rainbow Chard, Lady Moon, FL
  • Dandelion Greens,Lady Moon, FL
  • Portabella Mushrooms,Country Fresh Mushrooms, PA
  • Zucchini, Bryson Farm, FL
  • Oranges

March 07, 2011

18 unplanned. Again.

I *really* should follow my plan.

But I will not should all over myself.

Ok, I've followed it for the most part, but the difference between this training and training for the half that I did in November where I PR'd the shiznit out of that distance (yeah, just had to throw that in there) is that I am listening to my body way more than following what a piece of paper says to do.  Sure, I know that it is there for a reason,, but I feel like this time I follow the plan a lot more loosely than before.  And I am ok with that.  In fact, I love it!  (Shocking, I know!)

So when this week called for 16 and I got to the course and was feeling good, I jumped on board with my teammates and did 18.  So yes, my second 18 miler was again unplanned.

What a GREAT run. This was an awesome course!  Really scenic part of town I wasn't really aware of.  If you ever drive down 128 and pass the big reservoir in Waltham and see that really big office thing back there, well I finally know what is back there.  Lots of offices.  Oh and a really, really nice stretch of woods, houses, sculpture gardens and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of hills.

This run was a series of out and backs focused around two water stations set up by the Dana Farber volunteers (YAY! Volunteers!) Basically one long stretch of road with 3 fingers. I loved this route. Not just for the scenic part of it, but because there were so many out and backs, we really got to see the whole team. 100 people or so running for a great cause, in crazy bright colors and crazy enough to run 18-20 miles is quite a sight to see in the snow lined streets in small New England Towns.

The temp was perfect too. I was going to don the capris but at the last minute (literally, I changed in the car) I swapped the capris for the tights.  I still went with the compression shorts under, a bright pink tech-tee, sleeves track jacket and bright orange hat.  I chucked the jacket and hat at the first water stop and was just fine.

I was feeling really good until about 8 miles in I really had to pee.  Like bad. 

Luckily, we decided to take the finger less traveled. (We wanted to get the hillier of the fingers done first) so I ducked off to the side to "tie my shoe" and then booked it to catchup.  

I thought for a bit that it would mean I would get out of doing the 18 since my team mates would surely turn around and run back for me, but guess who was stopped, resting at the turn around waiting for me to catch up.  Eh.  It was fine.  I booked my booty there to try to catch up.  Honestly, it felt pretty good to run free to catch up. 

The rest of the run, besides the crazy number of hills, was just fine....till the last oh.mah.gah. hill back to the club.  I knew it was going to be bad because we ran down it first, but I didn't realize how LONG that hill was.  LONG.  The last mile, no joke, the last mile, was ALL hill. With the last 1/2 mile going from 175ft elevation to 302 ft.  That may not sound like much, but doing it on the last 5 minutes of a 3 hour run is tough.  Maybe I should re-think what I said about heartbreak hill from the last post....hmmmm.....

I was really glad that Kim, my running partner this week who I ran with last week for our 14 miler, stuck with me the whole time.  She's a mom a 4 boys from a small town in Texas and a freakin' awesome, upbeat partner.  I have never met a more considerate runner.  She waived and said thank you to every single car that drove past giving us some space.  I found myself doing the same the whole time.  Good runner vibes.  We made it the whole time sans music and good conversation.  We also ran with Shifter, an 18 year (!!!) Dana-Farber team member ran with us for about 15 miles of the course too - we lost him when we blew past the last water station wanting to just get the last 3 miles done.  Check out his fundraiser 5 k!

Overall, I feel a lot less stiff than last week, even though last week was a shorter 14 miles (Ha! I know how that sounds!) and I shaved off about 15 minutes from the last 18 miler, and this one was way more hillier.
And the splits: 
5: 10:26
7: 10:33 
8: 9:43 <----- Had to "tie my shoe" and then run faster to catch up with my RB's

March 06, 2011

18 miles unplanned.

Two weeks ago I ran my first ever 18-miler. My longest distance to date. I really hadn't set out to do 18, I planned on 15 - but what is a 5k more???

I was running with a couple teammates on the marathon course (Dang, there are a LOT of runners on the route on Saturday mornings!) and we did a series of out and backs between several water stops set up along the route.  One of the most awesome ways to run is to have a team of volunteers hang out and support you by giving out water, gaterade, peanut M&Ms, pretzels and lots of words of encouragement.  The Dana Farber volunteers rock!  AND I don't have to ever carry a fuel belt WHOO HOO!

So back to the planned 15.  So we were 9 miles in and one group was heading back to the club which would have given them 14.  The other group was going back down to the previous water stop and then back which was closer to 18.  And somehow one of my teammates convinced me to make the turn around.  Oh man!  What have I done!  There's no turning back!  Well, there was, but then I'd be on my own. So, I went along.  And then there it was, heartbreak hill.  I am probably going to hate myself for even writing this come April 18th, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Don't get me wrong, it was tough, but no crazy hard.  

We made it back to the club, but then it was my turn to get the ladies I was running with to keep going when the Garmin said 17.1.  One RB headed, but Susan & I decided to head down the road and back.  17.8!  There was NO way that I was going to do 18 and NOT have it read 18 on the Garmin, so we looped the parking lot JUST so I could see th 18 click over.

I felt a small twinge in my calf around mile 10, but just stretched it the rest of the way.  (I was stiff the next day and took 3 days rest, and it was much better by the next long run.) 

Overall, this was a really good run.  I was glad to do 18 without really planning it because I didn't have to sweat doing it.  Well.  Sweat BEFORE doing it.  

The sweat was so bad, David was heading out to the store, but sat in the car for a minute, decided to roll down the windows and air it out for a spell before heading back out.  

Yeah, some major stinkage. 

Next time, I'll remember to bring a shirt to change into.  Rookie mistake.

March 04, 2011

Friday's Drawers - Yellow and Green and Rainbow Too

Broccoli: Bryson Farm, Labelle, Florida
Strawberries: Wish Farm, Plant City, Florida
Green Leaf Lettuce: Lady Moon, Punta Gorda, FL
Rainbow Chard: Lady Moon, Punta Gorda, FL
Dandelion Greens: Lady Moon, Punta Gorda, FL
Green Peppers: Lady Moon, Punta Gorda, FL

And here was the recipe from this week's newsletter, Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

Swiss Chard, Potato, Chick Pea Stew
1 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (about 3), peeled and sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (one 19-ounce can)
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup water
2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into wedges

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chard and cook for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the potatoes and onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until the potatoes start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the cooked chard, chickpeas, broth, and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Serve the stew garnished with the hard-cooked eggs.

March 03, 2011

Green Eggs n' Ham

Sam I am
I am Sam

Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there.

I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
Simon asked me this morning if I could make him a "Special Breakfast" of Green Egg n' Ham in honor of Dr. Suess's birthday.  So we did a little breakfast for dinner.  

Eggs with dandelion greens, green pepper and pickled tomatillo hot sauce that we got from a few shares back.  Yum!  These eggs don't need ketchup at all.  

And because my Thing 1 and Thing 2 weren't into my version of green eggs n ham yet, I gave into my stay-away-from-dye foods for a day and dropped a drop of blue food coloring in the eggs....yellow and blue make....


Don't mine look way more appetizing? Eh. They'll come around.  One bite though and Simon would have repeated the same line from the other night when I accidentally put horseradish laced cheese in his sandwich.  "Something in the sandwich tastes POWERFUL."  

Now go march Left Foot Left Foot Right Foot Right read some more Suess with your own Thing 1 and Thing 2s.  

Or make it a Suess & Clifford combo.  That is what we did tonight.