Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This month in running...

I am one proud momma.  It's been a good month in running and I'd like to gloat a little this post and give some "shout outs" to some of my favorite running compadres...
First of all, a shout out to my Running 101 class.  These are some brave souls who first came to class with fear in their eyes, telling me that they *hated* to run (GASP!).  Most of these women just wanted to find the fun in running.  In only 3 classes, I have seen these ladies improve tremendously. Yesterday, they ran 1.75 miles! And, as I was running up and down the roads of Lake Geneva with them like a crazy person, they all had smiles on their faces.  I am thinking they were having fun (or laughing at me)...and not grimacing in pain.  At any rate, I am so proud.
Another shout out to my running Diva group.  We certainly have been logging the miles, haven't we ladies?  We tackled the big 16 miler and quickened the pace on our 13 miler last week.  All of our hard work and miles will finally pay off as we wind down and get ready for the 25K race next Friday (!!!).  We are SO ready, and I am so proud.
At the beginning of the month, Peg, Lisa, Sara, Dave (Sara's husband) and Zach ran in the Dan Langdon Memorial 5K.  This race was in honor of a local runner who collapsed at the Detroit 1/2 marathon (which Zach ran as well).  His untimely death at 35 left behind a wife and children.  Zach needed to do a long training run that day so he ran 15 miles to the race and then completed the 5K, with his Detroit 1/2 marathon shirt on. It was a very hilly and challenging course but the Divas (and their men) managed to run strong. Can you believe after running 15 miles Zach managed to run the 5K in 29 minutes and placed 13th in his age group??  The rest of the group placed in the top 10 of their age groups:  Dave and Lisa both took 6th in very competitive age groups.  Peg got hardware for earning 1st place in her age group.  Sara set a Personal Record (PR) with a 24:10 finish time and also came in 1st in her age group.  Sara, I'd say you blasted your 7:59:59 pace goal!  I am SO proud!

Can you all feel the love yet???
This past weekend, Kara (an unofficial Diva...she'll be running with us this summer if we can keep up...) ran a half-marathon.  No.  Kara SMOKED the 13.1 miles.  And let me make mention that this MUTHA RUNNA has 5 (YES FIVE) children and also teaches at the local college.  It's been her first race in a know, she's been just a LITTLE bit busy at home in the past 6 years. She ran in 1 hour 41 minutes and came in 3rd place in her age group.  Kara, you sure ran that with a Happy Heart and I am so proud!

Last but not least, this past Sunday we ran our annual Race for the Cure 5K. We do this race every year with Zach's Kelly Services friends/colleagues. This year we had a new runner...TYLER!  My 6 year old "little" boy ran the WHOLE 3.1 miles in 36 minutes 34 seconds!!  It was amazing to see him cross the finish line with his dad (who ran 20 miles the day before...holy cow!).  And more exciting for me to hear him ask, "Mom, when can I run another 5K?".  I am SO very proud.
As for me, Race for the Cure is a complete dichotomy.  On one hand, I love what the race stands for.  I love the cause and have been running this race for years...even when I lived in Maryland. But I hate the run.  I hate the course because I always have the worst time here. This year, I didn't think it would be any different to be quite honest.  It was a cold, windy threatening rain kind of day. My legs were heavy from my Friday long run.  I lined up like I do every year and just ran.  I didn't wear a watch and I barely looked at the split times along the way.  When I crossed the finish I saw Sheen, who works with Zach and is a total running Goddess in my eyes (My goal is to finish the 5K with her!).  I knew I had to have done OK because she usually is coming back into the race to push me through the finish.  Could she have just finished too?  When she saw me she asked, "WOW!  Did you PR?".  I had no idea.  I glanced at the finish clock but didn't really focus on the time...I just knew that I beat my past times on this course and that was good enough for me.
Turns out, I did PR.  23:04.  Better still, I got a medal for placing 2nd in my age group that I was able to give Tyler for completing his 1st 5K.

I am really, really proud!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Running workouts: Week 2

Well, better late than never!  I don't even know where this week went and the next few weeks following prove to be just as insane.  Anyway, I'll get to posting the workouts and I'll post again later with some highlights from this weekend in running...I've got  lots of people to give shouts out to that did some awesome things yesterday.  And I've got some thoughts of my own surrounding a race I am in today...

Anyway, I the workouts:

Running 101.  We talked about form and concentrating on keeping proper alignment while running our "segments".  Things to remember are to keep your head straight (don't look down), shoulders down and relaxed (away from your ears), arms at 90 degree angle (and not swinging across your body) and don't clench your fists.  Pretend like you are holding a potato chip.  Which is an ironic thing to think about when you are trying to burn the calories in said potato chip while running.  Keep your torso and pelvis straight and no heel striking.  Got all that?  ;o)

For anyone interested (in class or not) we will be doing the Autism Acceptance 5K on May 22nd at 10 am at Hawk Island Park.  Here is info:

Mon: This class!

Tues: Cross-train 30-60 min (walking, yoga, biking, swimming, strength training)
· Brisk 5 minute warmup walk (Zone 1 build to Zone 2).
· Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds
· Jog 3 minutes, Walk 3 minutes
· Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds
· Jog 3 minutes, Walk 3 minutes
· 5 minute cooldown
Thurs: Cross-train 30-60 min
· Brisk 5 minute warmup walk (Zone 1 build to Zone 2).
· Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds
· Jog 3 minutes, Walk 3 minutes
· Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds
· Jog 3 minutes, Walk 3 minutes
· 5 minute cooldown
Sat: rest
Sun: walk 30-60 min

Running Speedwork:  We did hillwork...and hillwork...and hillwork.  Pick out a gradual climb (ours was about .25) and a shorter climb (ours about .15).  Do 3x up the gradual hill. Maintain a steady pace up 2/3 and sprint up the last 1/3.  Recovery jog down.  Then pick up the pace x3 up the short hill, recover jog down.  1 mile warm up and cool down.  This was 5.4 miles.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sweet 16

Sweet 16. For some of you, that conjures memories of a special birthday party (assuming not quite the affair of our friends on MTV's "My Sweet 16". OMG-reality TV...guilty pleasure) and a date with a scared driving insturctor while you parellel park your way into the world of teenaged driving. Or, like SOME of us, you may have failed that first attempt at parellel parking (the curb just JUMPED right up in front of me!) so it was more like Sweet 16 and a couple months before getting behind that wheel...

For my husband, Sweet 16 brings thoughts of carefully filled out brackets and a little March Madness.

Last Friday, my Sweet 16 was the 16 miles I completed with my Running Diva girls. 16 miles. That's 2 hours and 34 minutes (if anyone is counting...) of running nonstop. Well, truth be told the Garmin DID stop a couple of times for some water/gaterade/GU/shotblock/jellybean love and a pitstop at the McDonalds for a potty break. And we did put a little pep in our step we we dodged an oncoming train at a railroad crossing (I can't make this stuff up friends...).  Admittedly, there was nothing that "sweet" about actually running the 16 miles. For one thing, I sure didn't feel that *sweet*. I have been battling some sort of sinus gunk for the past week and a half so at that point I had the sinus pressure headache, nose running like a freakin faucet, and a nice hacking cough. Come to think of it, I didn't look that *sweet* either. I had tissues coming out of every part of my clothing, tucked in pockets, in my spibelt, coming out my nostils. And then when the tissues ran out....let's just say I am not gifted in performing the runner's "farmer's blow"(where you close one nostril and shoot your snot out of the other...mmmm...pretty). Instead, my Brooks running T became my tek gear snot rag. As my reality TV friend Paris Hilton would say: now, THAT's HOT.

We plowed through the route and at 14 miles I was really losing steam. I am not sure if I was "hitting a wall" since it was not quite my mile 10 experience at the capitol city 1/2 marathon, but it was darn close. I just wanted to stop and walk.  My head pounding, nose leaking, and knees aching, I needed to dig DEEP to finish strong. At a more cheerful mile 11 and 12, a few of us were chatting about our favorite beers and how nice it would be to drink a big cold IPA after our run. So I threw my Ipod in, blaring Bon Jovi (who else is gonna get you through but Jon?) and thought about a lifesized Oberon in a frosty pilsner glass. I mean, the orange slice in that sucker was the size of my head.  The wind screamed in my face as I trudged up the hill. I checked out my Garmin. 15.50. OK, why is it that I can run 15 plus miles and the 2 plus hours sort of breeze by but the last 1/2 mile seems like time is standing still? I felt like I was running in slow motion, with the Chariots of Fire theme song in the background. 15.80. 15.90. I just needed to GET HER DONE.

Finally, with my face crusted with salt and snot, my watch read 16. 16 miles! 16 sweet miles. It may not have looked so pretty as I was doing it, but it sure felt sweet to have accomplished it.

Now...just 10 more miles to go for the marathon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Running workouts: Week 1

As promised here are my workouts from the first week of running classes.  All of you out there that took the classes:  YOU ROCKED!  You all did so awesome!!  Looking forward to next week (Wednesday class...gear up for some HILL work!!).  And for those friends far away and want to ease into a running routine, or change up your current running routine with speedwork and hills, have at it!

Running 101:
Topic of the week:  Setting goals and training journals.
I asked the group to jot down 5 reasons why they are getting into a running program.  I also asked them to write down one goal for the end of the 7 week session (i.e. run a 5K, run/walk a 5K, run a mile, etc.).  I talked about the importance of training journals.  I love seeing all the miles I have run and it comes in handy when I am nervous about an upcoming race.  I just look through my journal at all my hard work and feel confident that I am prepared to race and have trained hard!  There are lots of great online training journals or ones that you can buy (I use a generic one purchased at a running store) or a blank planner/calendar or plain old spiral notebook will do!)

The workout:  Brisk 5 minute warmup walk (Zone 1 build to Zone 2). Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk 5 min. cool down (Zone 1).  This brought us to about 3.3 miles.  The group's homework is to do this workout 2 more times this week.

Zone 1: Very easy effort with comfortably light breathing (easily can carry on conversation)

Zone 2: Easy effort with increased breathing volume (can carry on conversation with short sentences)
Zone 3: Moderately hard effort with somewhat labored breathing (difficult to carry on conversation)
Zone 4: Hard effort with labored breathing (not able to talk)
Zone 5: Very hard effort with panting (all out effort)

 Speedwork Class:
- 1 mile warm up
- Timed 1 mile to determine various speed training paces (i.e. 5K, 10K, ½ marathon). Run a "comfortable hard" pace you can maintain for the mile.
- 400mx600mx800mx600mx400m with recovery jog in between (400 at 5K pace minus 10 seconds, 600 at 5K pace, 800 at 10K pace, 600 at 5K pace, 400 at 1 mile pace and all out)
- cool down


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Put me in coach...

So friends it is week ONE of spring session at the YMCA and yours truly is teaching two running classes!  Running 101 on Monday evenings and Runner's Speedwork Wednesday mornings. Hooray!  I am so excited!  I left the Corporate world almost 7 (!!!) years ago to love and grow 2 baby boys.  Being a stay at home momma has been a fantastic, crazy ride but, as most of you out there that stay home can relate, I lost a bit of my identity.  When I used to *work*, I had a fancy title By the way, growing little kids is work in and of just don't get paid to do it with money.  Payment is in kisses, hugs, drool, and puke (i guess the latter would be negative equity).  I wore Banana Republic dress pants (dry clean only!) and fancy button up shirts (dry clean only!) and high heels.  I attended important meetings.  I went out to nice lunches.  I was in and out of airports, with the clickety click of my heels and my carry on luggage.  All and all, I felt pretty freakin' important. 

Believe me, I don't miss any of that.  Well, not that much (I did have a great suit that from time to time I'll just put on and walk around my bathroom in...).  I happily traded those great dry clean clothes for comfy yoga pants and cotton t-shirts that could be washed over and over.  I swapped lunchtime pasta dishes at Bertuccis for grilled cheese crusts and blue box mac and cheese out of the pot, eating over the sink. I still felt freakin' important, but it just wasn't the same.  After a few years of spit up, slobber, poopy diapers, crying, whining, temper tantrums and being a "mommy slave" I knew I needed to do *something*.  I just wasn't sure what that *something* was.  I needed a piece of "Kim" back.  I needed to do something for me.

I tried working the retail biz.  I worked at Gymboree and then at Pottery Barn Kids.  As you can imagine, I spent more money in the stores than the stores could pay me.  And having a fresh faced college student as my manager made me swallow my pride a bit.  I decided to work for myself and start a home-based business with Arbonne International, a health and wellness company.  It was hard work, but I truly believed in the products so it came easy.  But as Zach's job demanded more travel, it was harder to carve out time to do home parties and juggle babysitting for the kids.  And honestly, I started to lose the passion for the business aspect I had when I first started. For me, being a business owner wasn't going to fill the void.   I decided I would still be a consultant for Arbonne and continue to share it's awesome product lines, but not actively work my business.

I started to find myself again when I began to run.  I did races and they were all about me.  I trained for them and I completed them.  When I associated myself with titles, I easily could add "runner" to the list with "wife", "mother", "daughter" and "friend".  I finally have that missing piece back into my life and the fact that I get to coach others to run is just icing on the cake. Maybe I can help someone else find her missing piece too.  I am so thankful that I have hooked up with our local YMCA because I couldn't think of a better place to work.  Work?  Yes!  I am back in the working world ladies and gentleman after a 7 year sabbatical filled with love, sweat and tears of mommyhood.  And I can't wait to see where this ride takes me...

Check back each week for samples of my workouts from each class...this way if you are not here in DeWitt I can still be your virtual running coach!
(ps.  I have to thank my friends and family that have been so supportive of me doing this.  I honestly can say that I wouldn't have had the courage without your encouragement!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I got to run 14 miles!

OK.  To most that sounds a bit ridiculous.  You *got* to do what?  Usually when you say you *get* to do something it insinuates that it is a privilege or something, right?  Like, "I got to go to Mexico for Spring Break!" or "I get to go out to dinner with my girlfriends!".  You never hear someone in the parking lot at Meijer exclaiming "I GET to go grocery shopping today with 2 children that need to have every sugary cereal, stupid toy and candy bar in sight!".  Pretty sure you've never heard this conversation in Starbucks among friends: "Hey Suzie!  I GET to take Jimmy to soccer practice, and then Jane to dance lessons, and then tomorrow I GET to shuttle them off to piano lessons and karate!".  Nope!  It's more like, "I HAVE to taxi my kids all over God's green earth for various sporting and cultural events".  Or "I HAVE to go the the grocery store and drop $100 on who knows what because my kids were in tow".

Or "I HAVE to run 14 miles on one of the crappiest mornings that this Spring has had to offer". That was us for yesterday's run.  Since we had the babysitter for another day (man, that girl made some bank!) we decided to do a "destination run" (BTW-doesn't that sound exciting?  Destination run. Don't people usually use that term for weddings in far off exotic locales? Hmmm...not so much for us...).  So 5 of us (Sara's boss decided she'd join us again...brave soul...) jammed into Peg's Audi and headed off into the Lansing.  We'd decided to run a loop around Michigan State University and then up a nice wooded trail.  It would have been something to totally look forward to if it weren't for the 15-20 mph gusts of chilly wind and the fact that the weather channel on my mobile told me it was 32 degrees with a "real feel" of 24 degrees.  And, there were little snow flakes flying around.   This is APRIL running weather?  ARGH!!!

We grumbled. We grumbled as we were driving in the car.  We griped as we got out of the car. We groaned as we started out for our run. But guess what?  As we ran, things got better.  We warmed up.  The sun peeked out a little bit.  We had new things to look at instead of the same old DeWitt houses and cornfields (and crazy dogs) on our normal route. You always regret it if you skip out on a run, but you never regret running once you are out there doing it. 

Somewhere around mile 6 Lisa and I started talking about a mutual friend who is unable to run because of a knee injury.  This friend told Lisa, "You go enjoy that long run on Friday. I only wish I could do a 14 mile run too".  What?!?!?  She wishes she could go out and run for over 2 hours?  But then I got to thinking, I wonder if she dreads her swim workouts (she is a super strong swimmer and competes in sprint triathalons).  I would give anything to be able to swim as long and far as she does.

Ironically this all ties in to an article I read in this month's Runner's World about this very thing.  It was about turning your thinking from "I have to..." to "I get to...".  It puts an automatic positive spin on any tasks looming ahead and works for most things.   Although, I can tell you, I won't be proclaiming in the aisles of the grocery store "I GET TO SHOP FOR GROCERIES TODAY!!" but I can appreciate that there are many that would give anything to haphazardly walk through the aisles of Meijer and purchase whatever brand of food they wanted instead of generic essentials.  And I will most certainly not call my girlfriend and say "I GET TO TAXI MY KIDS AROUND GREATER LANSING 5 EVENINGS THIS WEEK" but I realize there are many that would give anything to just have a child to schelp around. 

So this week, I GET to run!  I GET to run a 6 miler tomorrow, even though my legs are super sore and tight from Friday.  I GET to do an easy few miles on Monday.  I GET to speed train with my friends on Wednesday (while teaching my first class!).  And I GET to run another 14-15 miles on Friday.  Because somewhere out there, someone nursing an injury wishes she could run.  Somewhere out there, someone wishes he had the courage to even start to run.  Somewhere out there, someone is too sick to get outside and go.

I GET to run and it IS a privilege.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Excuse me if I am a little crabby....

Main Entry: disappointment

Part of Speech: noun
Definition: saddening situation; letdown
Synonyms: bitter pill, blind alley, blow, blunder, bringdown, bummer, bust, calamity, defeat, disaster, discouragement, downer, downfall, drag, dud, error, failure, false alarm, faux pas*, fiasco, fizzle, flash in the pan, impasse, inefficacy, lemon, miscalculation, mischance, misfortune, mishap, mistake, obstacle, old one-two, setback, slip, washout

From the above, you can probably guess that lottery number 448421 was not chosen to grace the 5 boroughs of NYC in the 26.2 mile running race held on my birthday this year.  *Sigh*  Just give me a moment to swallow my "bitter pill" and go down the "blind alley" (who comes up with these synonyms on anyway?) and I'll be done with it.
5 months ago, I registered for this race that I have grown up hearing about held in my native New York.  It would be one hell of a way to celebrate my 36th birthday...running up and down the streets of the city that in my eyes can not compare to any others.  
The day finally came (today!!) to find out if Sara, Kara and I would jetting off to NYC come November to run among 43,000 of our closest friends. Right there should have been a clue!
Sara and I had a bit of a NYC marathon party to watch the live show online and find out our fate.  After stuffing our kids faces with mac and cheese, we kindly told them to go downstairs and do whatever they pleased.  Just don't bother the mommies, as we had VERY important and special things to take care of.  Peg came over for the festivities as well.   We crammed ourselves in my office and after a few technological snaffoos (i guess that happens when 100K people across the globe are tuning into the same thing online!) we saw a few lucky people get chosen online for the marathon (one guy from Detroit, MI - University of Michigan student!). 
Then it was time to log into the site to find out our fate.  Sara went online first.  Then I did.  Then Kara called and I checked for her.  We all got:  NOT ACCEPTED
Peg, Sara, and I sat in my office sort of sadly staring at our computers.  We had a bit of a moment of silence. Then, I did the only thing I knew that could make the situation better.  I busted out the Oberon beers.  After the first couple of sips, Sara and I registered ourselves to run the Baltimore Marathon October 16, 2010.  We checked out the course map.  We checked out the 16 week training program we'll have to start early in June.  Hmmm...that second beer is going down a little too easy at 1 pm on a Wednesday...
  Peg, Me and Sara (and Abbey the dog) having a little party in my office.  1 pm on a Wednesday.
Baltimore might not be as big and bad as NYC but I am just as excited.  Baltimore is my second home.  I went to Loyola College in Baltimore where I spent (lots of) time on York Road's bar scene and Parents' weekends at the Inner Harbor and Little Italy. I spent a few years post college living downtown and enjoying the bars at Fell's Point, Federal Hill, and Canton while being in the working world.  I got married at Loyola's church and had my reception in the Inner Harbor.  Then our new family spent a few years in the 'burbs, enjoying the family friendly options that Baltimore has to offer, like the zoo and the aquarium.  When I took a peek at the course map today, I got to walk down memory lane a bit: 

The start is at Camden Yards, where I have watched many O's games (my favorite game being 2 days before my wedding: Yanks v. Orioles). We run behind the quaint rowhouse neighborhood Bolton Hill where my friend Christina and I lived for a year or two (which was right next to the projects...that's Baltimore for ya!).  We run through where the Baltimore Zoo is and pass over I-83 to Johns Hopkins University, where I went to my very first frat party and had my very first beer.  We head down St. Paul street, right past my first apartment post-college (St. Paul at Chase with that chain smoking skinny doorlady).  We cut through Federal Hill (could I just stop off at Cross Street for a big beer and crabs???) and run past Harborview Drive, which is where my wedding reception was.  Then it's through the Inner Harbor and past my first post collegiate career move: food server at the Cheesecake Factory.  Memories of eating a Bookmaker Salad and GNOCCHI will flood my memory as we jog by Little Italy and I'll for sure recollect my last-call stumbling out of Green Turtle, Cat's Eye Pub, or Miss Irene's as we run through the cobblestone neighborhood of Fell's Point (does anyone really live in Fells?  Or is it just bars?).  We'll wind through funky Canton and by the looks of it pass right by my favorite Mexican restaurant of all time (Sorry Fiesta Charros...) called Nacho Mama's.  This place has the best quesadillas and margaritas...not to mention they serve their chips and salsa in a hubcap! And at this point we'll be close to mile 16 so I hope they are handing some out! We pass through the outskirts of Johns Hopkins Hospital where I did some internships in college (and always had secret dreams of being some hotshot doctor.  I think I watched too much ER) and head up towards where the old football stadium used to be.  This is an area of B-more I don't really remember but I am sure I'll be hullucinating about some random memory since we'll be at miles 18-22.  We head into Charles Village, another fun college area with bars (Charles Village Pub) and Eddies (awesome food market).  My best friend from college Sarah gave me my bridal shower at her and Lou's first house in Charles Village a looooong time ago.  We'll eventually make it back downtown , pass by Pickles Pub, and finish at Camden Yards.

Wow. All I did in Baltimore was eat and drink ;o)  I guess not much has changed!

And WOW.  I feel a whole lot better about being rejected from New York because I get to run this awesome marathon, relive fun memories and share tons of stories with my bestest running friend Sara (sorry girl...your ears are going to HURT!).  I get to have my bestest college and post-college friends cheering me on at all points in the race (they don't know it yet....but i'll bribe them if i have too!). 

YO! New York ARE missing out!  HEY HON..."BAWLAMER" HERE WE COME !!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The waiting is the hardest part...

The countdown is on.  T-minus 15 hours until we find out our marathon fate. 
At noon tomorrow Sara and I will be huddled at my computer and her laptop, while our kids are getting into Easter candy galore I presume since they know we are occupied.  We will watch a live telecast of the lottery presentation/drawing and then I assume we'll be able to get online and find out if we are IN or not.

The odds are against us, I know, as there are only so many they let into the race and everyone and their brother-in-law signs up for it.  I don't know the numbers...but it's alot.  Somewhere along the way I heard less than a 30% of getting in through the lottery.  But we are hoping and praying that they let these 2 DeWitt Divas in, along with our friend Kara who is a soon-to-be-adopted Diva since she'll be running the miracle miles with us.

I would have never thought I'd be this excited to run 26.2 miles.

Tune in tomorrow afternoon where I'll...start spreading the news....(first Tom Petty Frankie Sinatra?  CHEESEBALL!)

I've got a 6 pack of Oberon in the fridge be either celebrating a marathon entrance in New York.  Or one in Baltimore.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Divas do lunch

After eating a big old slice of this, it was necessary to do a torturous speed session with Lisa...

The Divas had their monthly lunchy munchy this week.  As usual it was filled with laughter, good conversation and even better food :o) Peg hosted us in her beautiful home and we got to see all of her awesome quilts (and her even cooler quilting room).  I gotta say, this grand master has lots more talent than just running!!!

T minus 6 days until the NY Marathon lottery is announced!  ACK!  We should know by noon on Wednesday. Everyone keep your fingers and toes crossed!  I know I'll be sitting in front of my computer hitting the "refresh" button every 5 seconds.  It is exciting to know that by next week, I will finally be making a commitment to do a marathon, whether it be NY or Baltimore.  I guess at that point reality will set in...YIKES!

We are going to have awesome weather for our 12 mile (gulp!) run tomorrow morning!  Time to bust out the shorts and tank tops...

Enjoy these recipes from our lunch....also I hope you like the additions to the blog. If you notice on the "home" page I have links to my "GO TO" recipes posted in the blog for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks (including shakes, bars, etc.) and sinful stuff.  You gotta have something to run for, agreed?!?!?

Sara's Chicken Chili
3 ckn breasts cooked and shredded
1 can of stewed tomoatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of medium chuncky salsa
2 zucchini's depends on size chopped up
1 cup of frozen corn
1 can of mushrooms
1 can of black beans
1 can of chick peas
chili powder to taste

simmer and serve its good with shredded cheese

Peg's Bread
Yep.  We stuck Peg making the bread again b/c it is so tasty.  See last luncheon for recipe...

Lisa's Granny's "Jackson" Salad 
1 can Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
1 can Hearts of Palm, drained and chopped
1 cup cooked crumbled bacon, chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz lime juice
3 oz oil
1/3 lb blue cheese
small amount of garlic

Combine together and serve with Romaine Lettuce.

Peanut Butter Cup Cake-made by Kim but copied from
1 devil’s food cake mix

3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (plus more for garnishing – I used 1 1/2 bags)
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanut butter

· Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line with wax paper and coat paper.
· In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides after 1 minute. Fold in 1 to 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.
· Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
· Cool cakes completely.
· Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and then pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.
· Trim each cake layer so the tops are flat. Place one layer on a cooling rack and pour 1 cup frosting on top. Spread evenly with a spatula. Add second layer and pour remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Smooth out with spatula.
· Allow frosting to set for a minute and gently press remaining chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over top and sides of cake. Place in refrigerator for about an hour to set. (mine set overnight) Remove and serve.