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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oh Boy. So I lie...

OK.  I read the NY Marathon thing wrong.
We apply FOR 2012 and if we are denied then we get in for 2013.
UGH!  Oh well...gotta try.   Who knows...maybe we'll just get in and won't have to worry about being 3x losers...LOL!

start spreading the news...

Today is the NYC marathon.
If you know me and have followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that my dream race is to run the NY marathon.  When I first decided that I would run a marathon last year, that was the one I wanted to do.  I was born and raised in NY and it seems fitting to run the race I grew up with.
Yeah, me and 100,000 people want to run it too.
So the deal is that you "apply" to run and if you get in YIPEE for you.  and if you don't get in, you apply again.  and again.  and again.
So that's where we're at (yes, i have dragged Sara into this mess with me).  But here is the exciting news:  Tomorrow (on my 29th birthday) we will apply for the 3rd time to get into the marathon.  In April, we will find out if the NYC marathon gods have accepted us into the race.  If they say yes, we are buying a plane ticket to Manhattan.  If they say "no" (again), 3 times a charm and we automatically get in!  YES!  It pays to be a 3 time loser!!!
I must have read the rules on the website over and over again, just to make sure I was seeing it correctly.
No matter what, WE ARE IN FOR 2012!


I can hardly stand it.  So while my good friend Kara is toeing the start of her NYC marathon experience this morning, I am snugly warm at home in my sweats and steaming cup of coffee.  But a year from now, it will be me and Sara, tethered together (i am not losing her!), running the race of our lives.

Happy birthday to me :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

zero week

what have i been up to since i ran my 3rd marathon, you ask? (or maybe you are not asking.  maybe you could care less.  guess what?  you are reading this blog so i guess you're gonna have to hear it anyway)
well, i can tell you what i have NOT been doing:  running
that's right.  i have been sitting my lazy post-marathon self on the couch and eating reese's peanut butter cups and drinking diet coke.  i have shoved my sneakers (yes, all 7...or 8 pairs of them) in the back of the closet and have lived in my ugg slippers.  i haven't heard the chime of my garmin in 6 days (but who is counting?).  other than a short run with my running 102 class, i have not ran since the 26.2.

and i love it.

usually i'd be all antsy and wanting to get out for a run to "shake the legs out". i'd be counting the days until i can hit the pavement again for a speed workout.  and even though hal higdeon gave me permission to run on the thursday after the marathon (he calls this "zero week"), i didn't run.  i walked on the treadmill.  WALKED, PEOPLE!

and i loved it.

i've got a date tomorrow** to hit the road running.  but for today i am going to enjoy one more guilt free day of parking it :)

**note to above:  4 mile run this Sunday morning on a beautiful crisp fall day.  still no regrets for taking a full week off of running but it felt SO good to get back out there.  friends, revel in the fact that we get to make a choice everyday if we want to run or not because I promise you, there are folks out there that wish they could.  but on the same note, it is perfectly OK to stop and put those feet up every now and again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are Candy Corn Carbs?

My spontaneous marathon is quickly approaching.  I guess it should be considering I signed up just 2 weeks ago!  I am trying not to think about the fact that most suckers out there running the 26.2 have faithfully followed the pearls of wisdom via Hal Higdon for 18 long weeks.
Not me.  I followed a blend of Hal, Kim, and whoever else had advice for me for 6 weeks.  A 16 miler, a 18 miler and a 20 miler thrown in for fun.  A 13.1 race.  Another 5 mile race.  Yup.  That should be good enough.  Let's hope.
So anyway, I can't control any of that right now but what I can focus on is food.  Lovely, carbo-licious food.  Today I decided I needed to bake a few of my favorites to keep me on task:

Granola (this is my favorite recipe by far)
preheat oven 250 degrees.
cover 2 cookie sheets with foil and spray with PAM

In large bowl combine:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
1/2 cup pecans chopped
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl brown sugar

1/4 c plus 2 tbl pure maple syrup
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
whisk together and pour over dry ingredients,

divide evenly between cookie sheets and bake granola 1 hr 15 min stirring every 15 min.
cool completely and then add dried cranberries (or raisins or dried blueberries or dried cherries)

Pumpkin Muffins (adapted from Gourmet Magazine to make a little healthier)
(you can make these into 2 loaves of bread too!)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional- but yummy)
  • handful mini chocolate chips (optional-but even yummier!)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups. Beat sugar and oil/applesauce in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in pecans and choc chips, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes.

oh no, I didn't stop there.  I had to go ahead and make a loaf of Peg's Artisan Bread.  YUMO

and then I kept on going and made a batch of these:


and I cracked open a big back of candy corn.  i may tuck some of those in my spibelt come sunday...

Friday, September 16, 2011

pump it

nothing geeks me up more for a good run than the right music.  and i am one of those people that sits in front of my itunes for quite some time concocting just the right blend of tunes for the distance.  5K?  fast songs from the start.  marathon?  first hour needs to be a bit mellow so i don't get too overzealous.  i also don't listen to the playlist until the morning of the race so there is that element of surprise.  yes, you can say it:  i am a dork...i know it.

here is my playlist for the upcoming capital city 1/2 marathon on sunday.  some oldies.  some goodies.  lots of good swear words (mental note:  do NOT play this playlist during morning kiddo carpool).


  • Lose Yourself, Eminem (classic toe to the start tune.  why do i find him oddly attractive?)
  • Good Life, OneRepublic
  • Rhythm of Love, Plain White T's
  • Saint Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion), John Parr (c'mon.  u know you love it- Emilio, Judd, Rob...classic)
  • Photograph, Def Leppard (i am bringing it BACK with this one)
  • Rolling In the Deep, ADELE
  • imma be, The Black Eyed Peas
  • Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Coldplay
  • Don't Stop Believin', Journey (and u need to sing out loud "BORN AND RAISED IN SOUTH DETROIT!!!)
  • We Weren't Born to Follow, Bon Jovi
  • I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho), Pitbull
  • Moves like Jagger, Maroon 5 (i think he is so hot too!)
  • In the Ayer, Flo Rida (featuring Will.i.am).   
  • Forever, Chris Brown
  • Rock That Body, The Black Eyed Peas
  • Yeah 3X, Chris Brown
  • Born This Way, Lady GaGa
  • Raise Your Glass, P!nk
  • Pump It, The Black Eyed Peas
  • Yeah! (feat. Lil' Jon & Ludacris), Usher 
  • Low (feat. T-Pain), Flo Rida  (boots with the furrrrrr)

**this is the point in the playlist where i know i am getting tired in my race.  therefore i need some get yo' @ss moving songs as follows**

  • Move Bitch, Ludacris (please don't take offense if i pass you while singing this one out loud. and the lyrics are not for the faint of heart)
  • 'Till I Collapse, Eminem & Nate Dogg (hands down the BEST song in my playlist)
  • Higher, Taio Cruz (dare you to try to hit the high notes)
  • More, Usher 
  • My Life Would Suck Without You, Kelly Clarkson (wasn't she your all time fav Idol???)

**i end all of my races with these few songs.  always add an extra tune for insurance.  you'd hate to still be running and your playlist just ends.  buzz kill fo' sho!**

  • The Edge of Glory, Lady GaGa
  • Runaway, Bon Jovi  (yet another hottie to think about when i am on the verge of vomiting...)
  • How Far We've Come, Matchbox Twenty
  • Firework, Katy Perry (i know it's every second grade girl's favorite tune but i still love it)

happy running and good luck CCRR racers!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

carb load, would'ya?

So it's time to carb load, right?  if you are looking for a strategic carb loading plan for your upcoming 1/2 marathon, you've come to the right place.  sort of.  just eat pasta and bread. and cookies.  now.

I have taken such things to new heights of late with loaded oatmeal cookiessunflower chip cookies, a yummy new granola recipe (of which i am too lazy to write down but i will if you really want it) and now this:

Brown Butter Soda Bread.  Mmmmm...delicious.  This is the type of bread I am not sure you can screw up and even though i had a few issues (read: sticky dough and half the dough on my hands. which i promptly licked off.  raw.  that's raw bread dough people.  good god i am GROSS!).  This is also the type of bread that you stuff *just one more piece* in your mouth when you swear you couldn't eat another bite of anything.

And then you grab a handful of candy corn for good measure.  That's carbs too, right?


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (i did 2 cups white flour, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (i used brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper plus additional for topping
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (i didn't have any so i made my own.  i used 1 tbl vinegar for each cup of skim milk)

  • 1 egg white, beaten to blend

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Stir butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Pour buttermilk and melted browned butter over flour mixture; stir with fork until flour mixture is moistened.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead gently until dough comes together, about 7 turns. Divide in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten each into 6-inch round. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 5 inches apart. Brush tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle lightly with ground black pepper. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch-deep X in top of each dough round.
Bake breads until deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool breads on rack at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Baker's Wisdom:
You'll get the most tender soda bread by kneading the dough gently and briefly, just until it comes together, so the gluten is minimally developed.


Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brown-Butter-Soda-Bread-233910#ixzz1Y4HTGQ00

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

C is for cookie

Now that I am training for a marathon it is only natural that I make baked goods in mass quantities.   Oh boy Mr. IT band...hang in there...i need to keep running if i keep eating ALL of this...i also made sunflower seed cookies w/ sunflower butter and chocolate covered sunflower seeds (think peanut butter cookies...not as yummy as these though but still tasty)
i am thinking white cheddar rosemary scones and whole wheat soda bread in my future too :)
super duper loaded cookies...
1 and 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (ghiradelli ones were awesome!)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, walnuts, cranberries and chocolate chips. Set aside.  Cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat only until combined.  Scoop out tablespoons of dough on a lined baking sheet. Flatten a little with your fingers (works best if your fingers are wet so the dough won’t stick as much). Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  These didn't stand a chance...and the dark chocolate chips REALLY make it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

i heart my running friends

do you have running buddies?  if not, you need to get yourself some pronto.  here's just a few reasons i love my running pals...

-they are your biggest cheerleader when you say "i think i want to do another marathon...in six weeks", even though they probably think you are insane.  some may actually even say "i think i'll do it too!".

-even if they are injured and can't race, they will stand on the sidelines, hold all your crap, and cheer you on, even though deep down inside they are so sad they can't do it.  (xoxo Sara)

-they don't make fun of you when you wear your compression socks with your short shorts.

-they obsess over the weather with you, they obsess over running clothing with you, and they obsess about what to eat before a long run/race with you, they obsess over going to the bathroom pre-run with you.  and, they don't think you are weird for doing so.

-speaking of which, talking about going poo is a normal conversation starter.

-over the course of a 10/12/16/20 mile run, you can solve yours, your neighbors and the world's problems.  what is discussed on the run, stays on the run.

-after said problems are addressed, food recipes and alcohol beverages are the next topic of conversation.

-no matter what, someone is always up for a run.

-they find nothing the matter with squatting behind a bush, tree, sign, tall grass, etc. to relieve oneself.

-if you are tired there is always someone that will slow down, walk or rest with you. you want to run speedy?  someone will do it with you.  and if you are bordering on dehydration, she'll speed ahead to go grab water for you so you can finish your run (thanks Staci!)

-during a long run they will talk to you if you need to talk, shut up if you want them to shut up (and not get mad if you say so), go ahead of you if you are not feeling it, or stay behind with you if you ask.  somehow, they just know (or it could be the desperate pleas...)

-they are always plotting the next race even before the last one is over.

-it is never a race.  it is always a run.

-they start out as just your "running pals", but turn out to be the greatest friends a girl could ask for:

 our first long distance race 2gether:  the mint city 10 miler aug 2009

then the capital city 1/2 marathon sept 2009 

the jingle belle 5K dec. 2009

25K in grand rapids may 2010


post Relli's after our 20 miler

baltimore marathon expo oct. 2010

 at the finish baltimore marathon oct 2010

martian 1/2 marathon March 2011

 kalamazoo 1/2 marathon mother's day 2011

at the finish bay shore marathon may 2011


looking forward to many more ladies :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An abrupt end

Well, I dragged ya'll into this detox and I'm bailing out on it.
But, I have a good reason.  I swear.
I'm running another marathon.  And, I'm sorry, but when I am training for a marathon I need to let my body eat what it wants, when it wants it.  I have no control of the situation.  Honest.

So expect to see some complaining about long miles, recipes involving pasta, quick breads and the like.  It ain't called carbo-loading for nothing, people.

But those of you continuing the detox, press on!  You are on week 3 and 4...the weeks of maintaining those good habits and drinking coffee again, yippee!  I am still on the quest to cut back on caffeine for the long haul...not give it up, mind you, but cut back.  So don't judge if I have a diet coke every now and again, OK?

Did I mention this marathon is 6 weeks away?  Why, one sane individual might ask, would you decide to train for a 26.2 mile run when you only have 6 weeks to do so?  Originally I was going to run the 1/2 marathon.  And then I saw that the marathon was only $10 more.  The sane individual would say, "who cares" and sign up for the 1/2 marathon, right?

My twisted mind says "why not run the marathon for that price?"
It's a sickness, I know.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

what i've learned from week 1: all in moderation

So my summer edition of the Whole Living Detox has not been quite has hard core as my winter edition.  Not to say I didn't stick to it for *most* of week 1.  But, a girl's gotta live and when you go to a restaurant and instead of ordering cheese fries (sorry Deirdre) and some fried whatever, instead you order a salad with grilled chicken, i say its A-OK to eat the blue cheese that comes on it.

Or, when you've had a particularly exhausting day with 4 boys ages 8, 7, and 6 at MI Adventure (think roller coasters AND water park) with 7 hours full of rides, an injury requiring EMT, with only a Gatorade and LARA bar and a handful of almonds in the belly, an Oberon with dinner is perfect acceptable.

All in moderation my friends.  As far as I am concerned, Week 1 really reset my eating habits for the better.  

So with week 2 of the detox among us,  I am ready to start adding back in my friends wheat, dairy and caffeine!  and maybe another cocktail or two.  in moderation... ;)

ps. have you tried that zucchini or quinoa recipe from last post yet?  super yummy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

CHEATER!

Yes.  Hang head low.  Me.  Hang head lower.
I am a detox cheater.
So Lisa, Michelle and I went beaching on Friday and man did we do it up.  We munched on raw veggies, watermelon, and seltzer water.
Crazy kids!
We also had that quinoa salad and a fabulous zucchini ribbon salad that michelle made.  And we made it past McDonald's without stopping for a big Diet Coke on the way home.  That's dedication.
But then came the neighborhood driveway party.  And a frozen, frothy margarita staring me in the face.  I was hot.  I was thirsty.  How could I say no?  So, i did what any girl in my position would do, knocked over my vitamin water (whoopppps!) and guzzled that margarita right down.  Yum.

Tomorrow is another day, right?
And it was.  Besides *accidentally* leaving the blue cheese in my salad for lunch (and perhaps slipping in a piece of bread with the salad), I was good all day.
For the record, ZERO caffeine in 6 days.  That, my friends, is a feat of greatness for me.

I wonder how this 10 mile run is going to go tomorrow...sans carbs...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

tell me why am i doing this again?

the good news is that the caffeine headache has finally subsided.
the bad news is that if it weren't nailed down, i'd eat it.
in fact, i think the loaves of french bread were actually taunting me at Sam's Club today.

friends, i am hungry.  hungry like i could throw down 2 (that's TWO) peanut butter and honey (jelly sucks) sandwiches and a big tall glass of milk.  and i don't even really like to drink milk.  and to have a ice cold can of diet pepsi in my hand right now?  heaven!

but i have to say, i am feeling a bit better about myself than i was last week.  i am feeling a little bit *lighter*.  and i am super happy that instead of eating a handful of cheese its (how gross are those anyway? ewwww...) or scarfing the last spoonfuls of the kids' mac and cheese out of the pan (c'mon, i know you've done that too...), I am actually snacking on bowls of fresh fruit.

oh, what i wouldn't give to be drinking up one of these:

instead of whipping up this:

Detox Day 2:
among snacking on fruit and almonds (yawn) I made a yummy smoothie and a great quinoa salad recipe, both on Whole Living.  Made the smoothie as is and made a couple of modifications to the quinoa:
(for the salad i didn't have the zucchini so i added some spinach when i was sauteing the veggies).

Detox Day 3:
more almonds and fruit!  yipee! 
i also made my standby smoothie recipe (spinach, banana, blueberries, strawberries, water and protein powder).  
tonight i will probably throw down a big old spinach salad.  and wish i had a hunk of bread to go with it.

Also, I am thinking LARABARs would be approved for our detox.  There are only 2 ingredients in the cashew cookie bar (dates and cashews) and the peanut butter cookie one has peanuts, dates and salt (for when we add peanuts).  They are kind of high in fat, but who cares!  You gotta live a little, right?

Monday, August 22, 2011

my head, it pounds

Detox Day #1.  This is usually the day that starts out optimistic "I CAN DO THIS!"
Just like sista here, I roll up my sleeves and turn on my blender and get it moving.  I drink my hot water with lemon like no one's business. I don't need no coffee. I embrace the detox.

Come noon.  I am sipping on seltzer, holding my head in my hands with the biggest lack of caffeine headache known to man.  I am grouchy woman.  Anything anyone says to me makes me snarl.  Grrrr.

Fast forward to evening.  I fear my eyeballs are going to pop out of my head as my headache ensues. It takes every ounce of willpower I have to not eat the Hungry Howie pizza crust off of my kids' plates.  I admit, my dinner may have been just a littttle bit bigger than it's supposed to be.  I was just a hungry girl!

detox day 1:
banana with almond butter
a small handful of roasted almonds (roasted those myself.  couldn't wait to gnaw on them)
sweet potato soup (i will post the recipe above) and small handful of cherries
more almonds.  perhaps i need to find another snack
salmon, grilled sweet potato, spinach salad with strawberries, red onion and sunflower seeds

To the big guy upstairs:  give me the strength to not eat any processed cookies in the cabinet in the next 2 hours before I go to bed.  Thank you and Amen.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Detox Week 1 must haves

DETOX T minus 12 hours!

As I roamed the aisles in Meijer today, listening to a lightened version of Lady Gaga (I swear it was) and deftly avoiding the wine aisle, and the bakery section, and any and all cheese, I wondered what in the heck I was going to eat for the next 7 days.  I suppose perhaps you are thinking the same thing.  Here is a list of the essentials for week 1 that were in my cart:

1. Seltzer water.  I need carbonation, even if it can't be caffeinated and full of saccharin. 
2.  POM juice, to flavor above
3. Frozen berries (smoothies)
4. Spinach (industrial size)
5.  Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!
6. Veggies!  Veggies!  Veggies!
7.  Sweet potatoes
8.  Quinoa.  The "un-grain"
9.  Soba noodles.  The "un-noodle" (as in no-flour, gluten free)
10. Almonds
11.  Almond butter
12.  Decaf Green Tea and herbal tea

Reading this list makes me want to YAWN.  And then it makes me want to eat a gigantic chocolate chip cookie dipped in peanut butter and wash it down with a huge mug of coffee and a Diet Coke chaser.  

Hey, some of you have been telling me you can't comment on the blog.  ARGH.  Try this way:  Click on the bottom to comment and make your comment and sign your name.  And where it gives you a drop down box if you don't have a google profile just select "anonymous".  That should allow you to comment!  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Going out with a bang

The weekend before the 'tox and I have left nothing to shame.  Coffee, donut holes, chocolate chip cookies, beer tent, loaded pizza, big fat diet coke...I am going out with a BANG!  And the day's not done! But I DID pass on the big fat elephant ear (aka powdered sugared fried dough) at our town fair today.  I do have some dignity.  And I feel that I did counteract some of that gluttony with a pep-in-my-step 5K run this morning.  Right?  I thought so.

Enjoy the good life this weekend my friends because it is DETOX time on Monday.  
So the gist of this detox is to pare down, purify and develop good habits along the way.  The first week is a bit more intense than the following weeks since you are giving up any foods that are processed and are known allergens.  Just so you know what you are getting yourself into here is a cute little overview of the plan:

Check out what little things you should be doing this weekend to get prepared:

I find it is helpful to figure out what I am going to eat ahead of time and hit the grocery the day before the detox begins. But I wind up going a few more times as I realize most of the food in the cabinets I can't eat!!  As you grocery shop for yourself next week (sidebar:  I eat separately from the family during most of this week.  Sorry, my kids aren't into eating quinoa...) here is a handy list of the things we should be steering clear of all week:

Foods to Avoid
+ Added sugar
+ Processed foods or beverages
+ Alcohol (DARN)
+ Caffeine (DOUBLE DARN)
+ Wheat/gluten
+ Eggs
+ Dairy
+ Peanut products (includes peanut butter. Almond butter is a good substitute here)
+ Fruit juices (very high in sugar)
+ Soy, including soy sauce
+ Corn
So what in the heck WILL I be eating you ask?
You will be eating 5-6 small meals per day.  I usually do a smoothie for breakfast, a snack (almonds, banana with almond butter, 1/2 avocado with lime juice etc.), a smoothie for lunch or a big salad, another snack, and then a protein (small portion), sweet potato or brown rice, and more salad for dinner. I will also make a sweet potato or butternut squash soup and eat on that too. The whole living website has some great week 1 recipes and smoothie recipes too!  I don't get so fancy. 

Make sure if you plan to join the detox (either now or in the future) to enter your email address in the "subscribe" to on the right hand side of my blog.  This way, when I post, you can see what I have to say and you can comment about what you are doing too.  We are in this together my friends.
Right?
crickets.  crickets. crickets.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Detox time...who's with me?

Dust off your blenders.  Hit Sam's Club for the oh-my-gosh-who-really-eats-that-much-spinach? sized spinach.  Sadly smooch your coffee makers goodbye for a little while.  It's The End of The Summer detox.

Here's the deal:  My liver is angry with me because of mass quantities of mojitos, Summer Shandys, Oberon and the like that have been consumed in mass quantities over the past few months.  My love handles are growing love handles.  I go from coffee to diet pepsi to wine, rarely drinking water.  I am always tired, which I find amusing because I should be jacked up on caffeine, and if my skin isn't breaking out into zits, it's looking like i have two big old bags under my eyes.  Heck, there are bags under my bags.  My skinny jeans are giving me a dirty look every time I pass them in the closet, as if to say "I DARE you to try me on right now...".

This situation needs to be addressed and this body cleaned OUT.

Anyone feeling the same?

So what are we going to do about it?  We are going to detox.  Do you remember when I did this back in January?  It's all about cutting out alcohol (i know...i know), caffeine, dairy, wheat and other common allergens.  But don't worry, it's only hard core for a week and then we start to add stuff back (yes, I add back a little alcohol.  A girl's gotta live you know.  Did I also mention "exception days?").

So I am posting a link to Whole Living.  Read up about the plan and let's get this thing started.  I love this detox because it is nothing funky...just whole foods. If you'd like to detox along with me, be sure to click to "follow" my blog and you'll get updates.  I am going to do the "prep work" Saturday and Sunday and then start the old Detox on Monday August 22nd.

Can't quite part with the margaritas and chips and salsa yet?  I can't blame you.  Follow the blog anyway and maybe you'll be inspired to join in at a later date...
At the very least you'll get some good laughs at all the random stuff I will be eating...
click here to see the Whole Living detox plan


Thursday, August 11, 2011

lesson learned

So last Saturday I ran in the Mint City 10 miler.  Yes, you may remember this ill-fated run from a few years  ago.  I think there was a monsoon hitting St. Johns, MI at the very time the horn sounded for us to run.  For most of the Diva gals, it was our longest run to date.   Sara and I were donned in Hefty's finest wicking garbage bags as we dodged hail, wind and pelting rain.  Somehow we survived that sloppy, wet run and we still talk about it amongst our group, or anyone who will listen, today.  It's quite legendary! (click here:  http://justanotherrunningdiva.blogspot.com/2010/03/deja-vu.html for more details if you are dying to know more.  it's worth a good chuckle).

for my good form running friends:  notice the thumbs up!  ha!

This year I ran it again;  no rain and a little bit more running experience.  Except for the fact that I decided an appropriate pre-run meal would be a large Mexican feast.  I'm talking chips, spicy (eek) salsa, guacamole, refried beans, fajitas, cheese and more cheese.   Topped off with a large Reese's Peanut Butter cup. Yes, they make them big.

Although I ran a good race (shaved 10 minutes off my time!), I did not feel well AT ALL.  I could hear the strange noises my stomach was making through my blaring iPod.  At one point I wasn't sure if I was going to lose said Mexican feast by way of my mouth or by way of...well...the other end.  And let's just say I felt really sorry for the people running directly behind...well...my behind.  The dairy farm may have smelled better.  Phew.

Thank goodness I was smart enough to forgo the tequila and coronas.  Then it would have been reallllly ugly.

Lesson learned for this weekend's race in Chicago:  Skip any restaurant the night before the run with the name "El", "Dos", or "Ole" in it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

the sounds of silence...

I find myself without my two little boys today. In fact, I will be without them and my husband for the next week or so.  The boys are on a road trip with their grandparents to surprise their Aunt Natalie and Zach travels this week for week.  So what things can I find myself doing this week in their absence??

1.  Sleeping in.  Although this morning I woke up at 5:45 am.  Figures. But, I laid in bed and read a few chapters in a book I started about a month ago.  Because I could.

2. Watching the Today Show and having to shut it off to appease little boys wanting to watch the antics of Patrick and a sea sponge with square pants.  Is Meredith V. finally off the show and Ann Curry finally co-host?  And my Matt Lauer...it's been way too long...

3.  Drinking an entire HOT cup of coffee uninterrupted.  The norm would be taking a sip of said hot coffee and then grabbing a glass of milk for Tyler, ice water for Sam, taking another sip and then getting the boys cereal, feeding the dog, making sure the kids are getting dressed, finding Sam's toothbrush, taking another sip of coffee, discovering it to be lukewarm, microwaving it, forgetting about it in the microwave, heading to the gym, and then finding the coffee in the microwave as I am making lunch hours later...

4.  Leaving the house clean and coming home to it clean.  And it staying clean.  And leaving dishes in the sink and not really caring.

5.  Hitting IKEA on a whim.  This could start to get expensive.

6.  Spending time in the kitchen making some of my favorite treats for great friends who will help me eat and drink them.  More on that in a later post.  Because, really, I have time to post all about this.  Boy, you are really going to get sick of me this week.

7.  Talking a lot to the dog.  A whole lot...

8.  Wishing those sweaty little faces (that includes my husband) would just pop in for a minute to say hello and give a quick smooch and a squeeze.

But then they can be off again...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I am loving in July

 My Garden.  Everyday I poke around in there and look to see what is popping up, turning color, or growing big.  Right now I've got romaine lettuce, beans (and darn bean beetles), tomatoes turning red, watermelon, and an odd white squash that I don't remember planting...

I love these shoes.  New Balance Trail Minimus.  It's like being barefoot but without the stares of wearing my five-fingers.  
Garden blooms.   Top is from our lavender plant by the road.  Bottom are blooms "borrowed" from my neighbor's hydrangea plant ;)  (i am pretty sure she doesn't read my blog!)

 Cucumber water.  Refreshing!



 Anything Caprese:  tomato, basil and mozzerella.  Try this wrap:  cut a tomato, some fresh mozzarella and garden basil.  layer on a tortilla (i used spinach/herb here), drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper and sea salt and wrap up!

Friday, July 22, 2011

avocado chocolate pudding

OK STOP.  I understand completely.  Why waste beautiful avocados in some clean eating recipe that is trying to disguise said beautiful avocados in some dish that pretends to be chocolate and decadent? Why not whip up some guacamole and call it good?
Because I love chocolate.  And since the Marathon is over (thus marathon training miles are over), girlfriend needs to stop her cookie/chocolate/brownie fetish.
After our 11 miler today, Michelle whips out a harmless, easy recipe out of Clean Eating magazine for this pudding:

3 avocados
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla
sea salt
Puree avos, cocoa, honey and vanilla til smooth.  Add sea salt and stir.
Viola!  Chocolate Pudding a bit more healthy than the Hunts Snack Packs in the processed food aisles of Meijer.


It took less than 5 minutes to whip it up.  I threw it in the fridge for a little bit and took a spoonful (or two).  Pretty tasty to me;  satisfied my fix for chocolate but not SO delectable that I would need to eat the entire batch in one sitting.  Perhaps would taste better with a more premium cocoa powder.  Or with chocolate chips.  But I guess that defeats the purpose...

But, the bigger test is how does it taste...to them:
Sam (6) review:  "Gross" (and puts his spoon down)
5 minutes later:  Sam: "Mom, where is that pudding?"   Me: "I thought you didn't like it"  Sam (eating another few spoonfuls: "I little bit like it I guess..."
Tyler (8) review:  "Yummm.  Good" (takes another bite) "Well, that second bite wasn't very good.  What is in this?"
Me:  "Avocados!  Can you believe it?"
Tyler: "Maybe you should save your avocados for guacamole".

He's a smart kid.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

my sweaty eyeballs

93 degrees. Heat index of 99 degrees.  And yes, I still went out to run in it. What's worse is that I dragged my class out with me.  But far worse than this evening's steamy run (which was actually quite pleasant for running through an oven), was the aftermath.
Sweat.  Sweat.  Sweat.  Out of every orifice of my body.  Sweat down the cleavage? CHECK.  Sweat behind the knees?  CHECK.  Sweat in the armpits?  Does a bear sh$t in the woods?  Sweat coming out of the eyeballs?  Wouldn't surprise me.
I glance in my rearview mirror before heading home.  My face is an interesting shade of reddish-purple. Mottled would be a great adjective to use here.  I am thinking that the sweat that continues to roll off every crevice of my body even 15 minutes following class is not the greatest for my skin.  Hence, the recent trip to the dermatologist and a handful of Retin-A samples.  C'mon, am I 13 again??
I am also thinking that the same sweat sliding down my butt crack and my legs is not doing the full grain leather seats in my vehicle any favors.  Nope, I think not.  Why do I always forget to bring a towel?  Hmph!
Now, let's discuss my hair.  During the run, it was smartly pulled back into a visor and a ponytail.  Chic. Think Anna Kournikova.  Okay, that's a stretch but I'm going for the tennis reference here. Post-run and post-visor it was like all hell broke loose on top of my head.  There are curls where I never knew I had curls, frizz where I never knew I had frizz, and a general chaos on my noggin.  Frankly, it was scary.
And don't get me started on the smell...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I've got a confession

I am a little addicted to eBay.
But, I am not buying things.  Nope.  I am cleaning house and selling stuff.  It started with a pair of sneakers I got from a wear test at Playmakers (yes, I am the luckiest girl in the world that I can test shoes for free).  I hated them, and so they sat in my closet.  Along with a Coach wallet circa 1999.  And some extra running jackets that I HAD to have from sidewalk sales past.  And 10 pairs of GAP jeans that the boys never wore because they live in Mejier wind pants and Nike shorts given to us by my neighbor.
So I busted out the camera and took some shots of said items carefully laid out on my office floor.  Laid out in a way that screams "Currently, I am this girl's junk, but could be your treasure".
Then I sat in front of my laptop trying to come up with clever ways to word said items so they would sound utterly irresistible to the millions of eBay-ers ready to buy my crap.
7 days to sell baby.
And I've been on eBay.com no less than 20 times each day to see if anything has bids, watchers, stalkers, etc.
It is the most fun I've had in a long time.
That is pretty sad.
If it's not nailed down, it may go on eBay.  Kids...watch out.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Good Summer Read

So I am on my Summer reading kick.  For whatever reason, Spring and Fall I don't touch a book.  But Winter and Summer I read with a vengeance.  In the summertime, there is nothing like an awesome page turner, a frosty beverage of choice, and sitting on my deck with my nose stuck in a book, completely ignoring the hollers and screeching of my children.
I am not part of a book club (although I have tried countless times to join one...I am just too non-commital!) but my mom is so I just piggy back off of the books she reads.
Anyway, if you have to read only one book this summer, pick up this one (or for those of you more technically savvy then yours truly, download it to your kindle or nook):



inside.jpg
Albeit a touch disturbing, ROOM really takes you into the story.  I found myself thinking of Jack, Rug, Wardrobe and the rest of the gang for days and days.  
What book has grabbed you this summer so far???

Thursday, July 7, 2011

where have you been?

I've been thinking something in my life has been missing.  Kids? check-right here playing Pokemon.  Husband? check-dutifully at work making the dough. Job(s)? check-still got 'em. Friends? Yup-pretty sure I have most of them still.  Blog? Blog?  Omigod!
I have neglected the one thing that brings me peace in my hectic life. Rather than try to write down what's been going on for the past...er...3 months (ACK) how about i post a few pictures?  And I promise (whoever it may be is out there listening) that I will be back on here with somewhat regularity with pictures, running stories, recipes, and whatever is going on in this crazy mind of mine!

 happy birthday to my Sam!  6 years old...

 best mother's day ever-2 hour half marathon with my fav running buddy!

another birthday celebration!  happy 8th bday to Tyler...

Bayshore Marathon-Peg and I hammered our 2nd marathon out together.  A BQ for Peg!

 Strong to the finish and a PR for me:  sub 4! (3 hours, 59 minutes, 20 seconds!)

Dewitt Girls finish strong: PRs, BQs and Firsts for all!


My Sam graduates from Kindergarten! (*SOB*)

Family trip to Baltimore to visit Loyola girls
Camping with some mean S'MORES

Tubing like we mean it

Home Sweet Home for 3 nights. This shot was taking pre-thunderstorm/flood.

Hope to see you all back here real soon.  Promise.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

start spreading the news...

T minus 14 hours until the big reveal.  Will it be 3 times a charm?  Or will Sara and I be running our 19 and 20 mile training runs while the leaves are turning next Fall, dreaming of our Big Apple get-away?

Originally I couldn't imagine training for yet another marathon in 2011.  Yet I signed up for NY, knowing that it was THE marathon I was supposed to run.  It doesn't matter if it was 2010 (for my birthday), 2011 (the day before my birthday), or in 2012 (somewhere near my birthday).  Now, I have the same butterflies that I did last year the night before the lottery was picked.  Oh. My. Gosh.

On another note, please someone remind me that just because I am in the guts of training for this marathon, it doesn't necessarily mean that i need to fill my guts with food all. day. long.

Because there is a scone calling my name.  And I just ate the ass-end of the bunny cake my mom made for Easter.  I'd better get into NY so I can continue my food gorge fest well into the summer and fall.

Cross your fingers and toes...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

18

I can't believe a week has gone by already since my first big long run.  18 big miles.  I have to say, it is pretty different the second time around.  I don't go to bed the night before worried and sick to my stomach that I won't finish.

This go around the pace was a little faster.  I was a little more confident.  Hell, I even helped my fellow runners get through their inaugural 18 miler.

As always, the best part of the run has to be the camaraderie and the guacamole.  And the Oberon.

 The 18 mile girls:  Michelle M, Michelle R, Peg and mini Michelle (Sophie)

 Oberon, guac and chips.  The reason I run 18.

Michelle M and me enjoying an Oberon.  We sure look good for running 2 hours and 40 minutes, huh?

A week has gone by and we are headed out for 13 tomorrow with 19 big ones looming ahead next week.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A spaced out run

For me, I love the anticipation, preparation and celebration leading up to a big race and immediately following it.  Our first half marathon of the season proved no different.  We started it off with, of course, a shopping trip.  Everyone needs a little H&M before they run 13.1, right?  After shopping and a carb loaded lunch with pizza and Blue Moon (hey, I said carb loading here...) we took it to the D.  Dearborn, that is.
Being the "slight" A-types that we are, we decided it was best to find the start line.  Hey, at least we didn't drive the whole course (this time).  We knew we "landed" upon the start when we saw a line up of porta pots like none other.  And we spied a little bit of this:
 yours truly with the little green man we named henry
 that's a lot of martians!
that two timing alien!

So we whisked Henry (the green polygamist alien) in Lisa's car, stuck him up the sunroof prom-style and paraded around Dearborn like the mature 30 something moms we are.  Did I mention we get a liiiittle bit silly pre-race?
It was time to eat.  Of course.  So we gathered two more running buddies and had our typical spaghetti-with-too-much-bread-and-not-enough-red-wine dinner.  We then went back to our hotel where we could obsess about what to wear for the race, lay out said clothes (this my friends, is about an hour long process), and watch a 20/20 special. Lights out by 10 pm.  Excitement, I know.

It is 4 am.  I am awake.  I am thinking about what to wear for the race: jacket or no jacket?  I am thinking about my pace for the race: 8:20 or 8:45?  I am thinking about my ipod playlist. I am thinking that I hope there is no snow on the ground when we wake up, as is being predicted. I am thinking about what to make for dinner Sunday night.

I am thinking about that I need to stop thinking.

We wake up to a beautiful morning.  No snow.  No rain.  No "mixed precipitation".  Now I am thinking I officially hate the weatherchannel.com. We should have learned by now! After a few pre-race rituals including consuming some strong coffee to get things, a-hem, moving in the lower plumbing, we head to the start.  

Lisa told me that I was to finish under 1:50.  1:49:59.  Nothing under would be acceptable.  Just so happens that was the same little goal I had for myself that I kept tucked in my brain.  I figured after my first few miles, I'd know if I could do it.  I locked in and made sure my overall pace didn't slip much under 8:20 (8:23 being the pace to run 13.1 miles).  It was an out and back course and it kept me going to see my girls not too far behind me at the turnaround.  And they all looked awesome out there!  

Around mile 7 I noticed my Garmin was a bit off of the cute alien markers they had set out for us.  Little Henrys all around! That usually happens, since they measure the course at the shortest distance.  Around mile 10, I noticed I was way off that stupid green alien marker.  Then came the mind games:  Holy SHIT! You are running this too fast!  You can't run THIS long THIS fast! You'll have nothing left at the end.  Slow down!  No, keep going...you'll regret it at the end if you slow down NOW. 

My Garmin rang 12 miles.  The freakin-stupid-martian-mother-@#$%-miler-marker was nowhere to be found.  I was right on target to run the 1/2 marathon under my goal, but not according to the Martians.  When I finally came up to that sucker my Garmin read 12.52.  For me to hit my goal, I had to run at Kenyan speed.  Yeah.  Not even the 6 beautiful Oberon bottles chilling in our hotel bathroom sink could get me to do THAT.

I gave it my all, nearly stumbling over a woman at the finish (who was clearly in MY way), and stopped my Garmin at 1:50:48...and that would be 13.52 miles.  My girls came in shortly after me and complained about the same thing...the course was too long!

Indeed it was.  Officially the Martian Half Marathon was a 13.4 mile distance.  The good news is regardless of the longer course, we ALL PRed in our half marathon times!!  And I made my girl Lisa proud:  1:48:17 would be my final 13.1 time, given my pace for the race.  We all truly earned those post race Oberons.  

Dare I say 1:45 next go around?  Now that's just spacey :)

the martian girls: me, jen, michelle, lisa and sara


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dearborn, MI here we come...

While friends and neighbors fill their suitcases with bathing suits, shorts, tank tops and flip flops, I fill my overnight bag with GU, bananas, my Garmin and sneakers.  And tights.  And capris.  And a short sleeved technical shirt.  And a long sleeved Icebreaker marino wool shirt.  And a couple (yes, that is 2) jackets.

Instead of heading to sunny Florida to see Mickey and Minnie or to Mexico for a lounge chair and a margarita for Spring Break, my closest running pals and I are headed to Ford Town Dearborn, MI to race in the Martian Half Marathon.  So, I have a hard enough time as it is packing for vacations.  But something about packing for a little overnight and 13.1 mile race has got my panties (and Under Armour bun-huggers) in a bunch.  Wait.  Let me run upstairs and pack those bun-huggers.  OK.  I'm back.

The Weather Channel has been all over the board for this race.  Last week it was sunny with highs in the upper 40s.  I grabbed my capris and short sleeve. Then earlier this week it was partly cloudy in the lower 40s.  I promptly added a long sleeve and a jacket to the mix. With each change in the weather, my clothes pile grew bigger and bigger.

yes, we are staying just about 24 hours there.  yes, i need this much stuff.

At press time (Press time? Who do i think i am, a writer for the New York Times?) the weather forecast is as follows:
AM snow showers. HIGH of 34 degrees.  
The picture even has a cloud with snowflakes on it.

So back to my black bag I went, throwing in tights, yet another jacket, gloves, throw away gloves, neck gaiter, hat, headband, etc.

Because you just never know.

One thing I can be sure of is I am packing these:


And this too.

Wish us luck...