Tag: fun

Almost Wordless Wednesday – holiday edition

It’s Wednesday….for those who celebrate it, it’s Christmas Eve.

Monday night I was pretty wired up and decided to run a bunch of errands in the evening, something I don’t usually do. It was worth it to get a few things out of the way, and as a bonus, I got to see houses with holiday decorations lit up at night. Thought I’d share. Enjoy!

This is a house I’ve shared before, the owner decorates the tree and round grassy area in his circular drive for EVERY holiday. You’d need a video to appreciate the silver ornaments spinning and twinkling in a wind and the icicle lights dripping, but it’s still pretty impressive.

the every holiday decorated house

the every holiday decorated house

This is a house a couple of streets away. I really like the look of the house in general (kind of Portland-esque) and I love their decorations. The little beribboned and lit trees in the window boxes are adorable, the wreaths with ribbons are lovely, they’ve hung shiny ornaments on the big front bush and there are so many white lights, which I really enjoy.

cute house 1

cute house 1

cute house 2

cute house 2

If you’re celebrating, have a wonderful holiday!



Tagged – I Mustache You Some Questions

I’d been minding my own business, enjoying what I learned about people from the “Mustache” questions being bounced around, when lo and behold, I got tagged by Kassandra!

Four names that people have called me, other than my real name:
1. Cassandra – predictor of doom who was never listened to (in my project manager days)
2. Suzy – what my mom’s dad called most of the female granddaughters, whether it was our name or not
3. Penelope – what my dad suggested my parents name me
4. Speedy – what my chiro sometimes calls me

Four jobs I have had:
1. Page (person who shelves books in a library)
2. Secretary/Office Manager
3. Restaurant Manager
4. Bank Teller

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. The Abyss
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Spirit of the Marathon
4. Star Wars (the original)

Four books I’d recommend:
1.  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami
2.  Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy – Susan Spencer-Wendel
3.  Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
4.  Mile Markers – Kristin Armstrong

Four places I have lived:
1.  Oak Park, Illinois
2.  Houston, Texas
3.  Morgantown, West Virginia
4.  Alexandria, Virginia

Four places I have been:
1. Sedona, Arizona (multiple times)
2. Oahu (twice, in the 80s)
3. London, England (with my parents, as a child)
4. Boulder, Colorado (for work a few years ago)

Four things I don’t eat:
1. Tomatoes
2. Onions
3. Peppers
4. Liver

Four of my favorite foods (not on my current eating plan):
1. My mom’s (or great-grandma’s) chicken and dumplings
2. My mom’s baklava
3. My mom’s Spritz cookies
4. Toast – pretty much any bread, store-bought, homemade, whatever grain, cinnamon raisin, etc.

Four TV shows that I watch (in no particular order):
1.  Elementary
2.  Grimm
3.  White Collar
4.  Madam Secretary

Four things I am looking forward to in 2015:
1. Running my first Boston Marathon!!!!
2. Other races I’m not ready to talk about yet
3. Getting faster and stronger as a runner and possibly going longer distances
4. Making new friends and maybe meeting online friends

Four things I’m always saying:
1. Well, yeah….
2. No worries
3. I can’t remember what I was going to say.
4. Seriously?!

I don’t want to limit the fun to just four more people, so if you’ve read this far, consider yourself tagged!



Almost Wordless Wednesday

I love kale. I love kale chips with nutritional yeast (fake salt & vinegar), I love “greenola” of kale clusters with nuts, dried fruit, spices and coconut, and recently I discovered a great kale salad with sautéed kale, diced butternut squash, dried cranberries and parsley. I also love pumpkin spice, and I like sea salt and caramel quite a lot.

Yet, to this, I must say: NO. Just wrong. (and at $5.50 per package, I’m not even going to try it just in case….)

kale done wrong

kale done wrong



Weekend Update – Thanksgiving 2014

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup – check out her site to see what everyone’s been up to! 

I’m including the Thanksgiving holiday (in the US) and the day after (took leave from work) in this weekend update, just because. In case you missed it over the weekend, here’s my post on gratitude.

Now 2 weeks post-Richmond, and (gulp) 4 weeks until my ultra. 20 weeks to Boston. Training starts NOW. Welcome to December!

RUN

Thurs – 7 recovery pace miles. Started to do some of my leg strength exercises for the first time post-race.

Fri – XT day – convinced myself not to run and wasn’t going to go to the pool. Bike, core, Whartons.

Sat – 10.5mi, recovery pace. Still think I’m feeling the race in my legs. Could also be feeling my carb cutback (only having sweet potatoes on rare occasions, the last 2 Saturdays and on Thanksgiving) though ate kabocha M-W. Could also be the new shoes I’ve been trying since Wed. The men’s Adrenaline 13s still seem to be working (though heavier – in newest model, 2 ounces heavier per shoe! and feeling a bit different) so I ordered 2 more pair I found online. DH suggests I use them as training shoes and save the women’s Adrenaline 13s I have for racing. (I’ve also ordered probably 8 pair of other shoes, multiple models, genders and sizes, to try.)

Spent some time during the run staring at the Boston course profile I have taped to the treadmill (soon to be joined by the spreadsheet of grade changes) and thinking about how to adjust my December runs to train for Boston rather than the ultra. The reason I’m thinking of doing this is because – with only 4 weeks to go – I don’t think there’s much I can do to improve my time at the ultra, but I may be able to get some good early hill training in for Boston. I’m trying to make my goals for the ultra: #1 “don’t do anything to affect Boston training or race”, #2 “finish”, #3 “finish feeling pretty decent, with a smile”, #4 “finish in my secret time goal”. #4 is the least important and will be the first to get tossed.

So, I’m thinking of doing more hill work not only during the week as I’d planned (doing a McMillan hill module), but during my long runs, even if they wind up being not as long. I can run Sat and Sun and get more hills in, start building those muscles and getting used to running hills when tired, and probably still help myself a bit for the ultra. I’ll just consider the ultra as an “over-distance” training run for Boston, something I know some runners find helpful, like Ray Charbonneau.

Sun – 10 mile recovery pace run. No idea how I conned myself through it! Interesting to watch myself going back and forth (multiple times) in a matter of seconds between “I can go longer” and “I want to stop now”. Listened to Larisa Dannis and The North Face Preview show with Mike Wardian on URP.

NON-RUN

Thursday (Thanksgiving) – After my run and a quick breakfast, DH & I decided to head into DC and visit some of the Smithsonian museums that were open on the holiday (and free, thank you James Smithson and all the Smithsonian staff). Though we weren’t the only ones with the idea, it wasn’t too crowded and we found street parking. We had a lovely time, walked a lot.

We saw a terrific nature photo exhibit at the Natural History Museum (recommend, it’s there through April – I’ll be sharing photos in weeks to come)

photo exhibit poster

photo exhibit poster

photography award explanation

photography award explanation

Stopped by the Botanic Garden (but didn’t wait in line for the holiday exhibit/trains, we’ll do that when it’s dark) where I learned that the flowers on grapefruit trees smell much like plumeria which I adore.

grapefruit flowers

grapefruit flowers

grapefruit flowers

grapefruit

grapefruit flowers up close

grapefruit flowers up close

And made a stop by the Smithsonian carousel, which has special meaning to me and DH. We rode it, and I chose a Boston-themed horse!

my Boston-themed carousel horse

my Boston-themed carousel horse

Then we came home and ate mid-afternoon. What did we have? If you’re really interested, it was all takeout! I would get all of the items again and may try to make the salad myself (and bought more cranberry-orange relish on Sunday).

smoked turkey (leftovers Friday, rest frozen)

roasted brussels sprouts (leftovers Friday, rest frozen)

and these yummies (leftovers Friday, rest of kale frozen, finished the cranberry conserve/relish Sunday)

kale, butternut squash, cranberry salad

kale, butternut squash, cranberry salad

cranberry relishes

cranberry conserve/relish

We chatted with family on the phone, went for another walk, and watched some TV.

Friday – Did some laundry and a fair amount of holiday decorating, plus taking another walk.

Saturday – DH had migraine so I was on my own all day/evening. Got my run in. Then roasted kabocha which was so yummy I ate 2/3 – 3/4 of one!

more kabocha

more kabocha

Also read Runner’s World, made a trip to the store for more kabocha (since I ate so much) and some other items, and worked on this blog post. Enjoyed leftovers while watching “There is No Finish Line” with/about Joan Benoit Samuelson, one of my heroes, inspirations and role models. (I started researching travel to Beach to Beacon…..I want to run it.) I’m also reading her book Running Tide.

Sunday – After my 10 miler, had an early massage at 10:45! Went way better than I’d expected for being less than an hour after I stopped running. Felt quite good after, though I’ve stiffened up now from sitting. Read Running Times, got further behind on blog reading. Drafted at least the run part of my training plan for Boston. Gives me a scared feeling in the pit of my stomach. Going be tough, given I need to work on both hills and speed. But it’s in pencil so I can be smart and adjust. Might as well be ambitious at the start, right?

Leftovers for dinner, TV and to bed to start the new week!

This coming week promises some “weather whiplash”, starting above 60, with several days of rain (ice pellets for my Tues chiro appt!) before moving progressively back down into highs in the 40s/50s next weekend. I’m not a fan of this type of see-saw as it irks my allergies and I think more people wind up sick (meaning more people I have to politely tell to respect my personal space bubble). Monday and Wednesday are office days, T/Th telework.

Friday, I get my first bone density scan. I’ll be interested to see the results, though I’m a little nervous given my Dad’s severe osteoporosis, my surgery-induced hypocalcemia (though last test had me just above the bottom of the normal range, first time in YEARS, despite giving up dairy! maybe because??) and my high-risk due to being a Caucasian female ectomorph, age 48.

On the offsetting side is running, which should help at least the lower body. The ankle tests I’ve done (through work) have always come back pretty good. I do wonder if I’ll get info on muscle/fat as well (as mentioned in Older, Faster, Stronger when the author and others have DEXA scans). May call doc or hospital to ask if so, or if it can be added. Not sure what the insurance would think of that though.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving (if you celebrated) and weekend! Please tell me about it in the comments.

 



Weekend Update – Nov 1-2, 2014

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup – check out her site to see what everyone’s been up to! (training recap coming Tues)

RUN

Sat – 10 mi – 3 miles at increasing easy pace, 1 mile at race pace, then easy pace where I played with some decline/incline according to the course profile for the rest of the 10mi. Took my EFS gel at miles 3 & 9, Salted Caramel GU at mile 6. Recalled that one should be careful with smushing the gel too close to the top before opening the packet as it goes all over hands. Sticky.

Working on fueling plan for Richmond, as they have water stops every 2 miles, different than Baystate.

Listened to the Marathon Talk podcast.

Sun – 10 mi – all at easy pace (except for a last 0.1mi strides, which my left ham didn’t like). But did more course profile work, this time for the 2nd 10 mile segment. Did 0.5mi 0%, 0.5 mi 2% at mi 3, 0.5mi 0%, 1.5mi 2% at mi 6 (and it was good!!). Think the later portion of the run was helped significantly by a Jet Blackberry GU at mile 6 – and by the fact that I tend to get better as I run longer. (EFS at mile 3 did nothing) It seems to take 0.5-0.75 of a mile at easy pace for the gel to really take effect – I notice it more in my mind and thoughts than body, so that’s helpful to know. Further refining fueling plan for Richmond. This run was better than yesterday’s and better than I would have thought given soreness from race, run and massage. Yay!

For first part of the run, listened to Another Mother Runner’s Deena Kastor episode (before and during the start of NCYM) – she had a tough race but so impressed by her grit and grace during the race, and then poise and mature attitude afterward in post-race interviews.

NON-RUN

Saturday – Post-run (and recovery drink and bike), had breakfast – HUGE purple purple sweet potato!

purple sweet potato breakfast

purple sweet potato breakfast

I spent a fair amount of time online, but also looked at a training plan for a friend. I ate this snack again both Saturday and Sunday! Pre-massage Saturday and early afternoon on Sunday. Once I find something I like….I beat it into the ground. 🙂

paleo bread with pumpkin puree, TJ's blueberry preserves and Penzey's pumpkin pie spice, warmed in the microwave

paleo bread with pumpkin puree, TJ’s blueberry preserves and Penzey’s pumpkin pie spice, warmed in the microwave

Went for my massage – my MT worked some magic as usual. She brought some of her holiday cards in and I I bought 2 packages. Cute with penguins and snowmen on hills among pine trees under a shining moon. I have pretty much stopped sending cards, but they were nice and I want to support her. Next week I’ll check out some of her non-holiday cards. I could buy packages as gifts or put them in our holiday auction at work. Came back home, took an Epsom salt bath and then shower before a dinner of Chinese (yes, again) and watching The Flash, Person of Interest and Grimm on DVR.

Sunday –

As soon as I got done with my run, started watching NYCM on TV and following it online. Ate my breakfast of egg whites with zucchini (thanks DH!), a few bites of bacon, and kabocha I roasted while rooting for my favorites – and all the “regular” runners out there. Loved being able to watch for hours!

After that, back to “reality” (a bit empty feeling post-race) doing food prep for the work week and packaging up returns while intermittently poking around online and doing other stuff. Now, almost time for dinner, so gotta get my Whartons done.

The new person starts at work tomorrow (finally)! This is good – I like her and think she’s a good addition to our team – but will require more of my time and energy during the workday, which will be an adjustment.

This week brings regular chiro on Tuesday and my annual physical (oh boy) on Thursday along with a discussion of bloodwork results. No fun but must be done! Grateful I have access to medical care and the insurance & ability to pay for it and take care of myself. I don’t take it for granted.

Hope you had a great weekend! Please tell me about it in the comments, especially if you raced.



November Virtual Coffee Date

I’m joining other bloggers like CocoJill and Amanda who sometimes do a coffee date on the 1st Saturday of the month… It’s already November!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

ICYMI, two weeks ago I PR’d at Baystate – it was a hard race for me, so I’m proud of what I accomplished and how I got through it. Nevertheless, I also got an even better BQ for 2016! It should get me one wave earlier registration if they do it the same way (10+ minutes faster, where for 2015 registration I was 5+ faster). I’m told it might also let me start a smidge earlier in the 2015 corrals, but we’ll see. More about the rest of that weekend and post-race thoughts

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

It was great to see my sister (3 times) while I was on travel for Baystate, and I even managed a short visit with my Dad.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I loved being in New England and seeing actual fall. I miss the Midwest in the fall too. I guess an advantage here is we don’t get fall till November, but I’m past ready for it.

It’s starting here though!

my crepe myrtles

my crepe myrtles

tree near the house

tree near the house

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I can’t believe it’s less than 6 months to Boston!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

Remember me saying this last month? I got officially accepted into the 2015 Boston Marathon! I’ve got the email, the screen shot of me in the database, and am eagerly awaiting the postcard this month (which I will likely frame). Well, I still haven’t gotten my postcard, and others have, and it’s making me a little nuts. I’ve emailed BAA asking about a replacement. I’m in the database, so it’s an issue with our mail carrier – and we have had issues in the past. I joke he hates runners because I’ve had so many running magazines damaged or never delivered.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I’m trying to figure out how to approach the Richmond Marathon. Originally it was to be an “easy” (as in take it easy, not it will be easy!) training run for my ultra in Dec. per Coaches Tawnee and Lucho at Endurance Planet. Then, I started thinking that really, everything after Baystate is actually training for Boston, and less important on its own than for what it gives me in that regard. (I want to finish Richmond and the 50k well and may have a goal time for each – and then will submit Maniac forms.) Richmond has a good stretch of downhill around mile 6-7 and a good/nasty stretch of uphill around mile 16. Great Boston training.

THEN, my DH (as he is wont to do) put a bug in my ear, thought in my brain, etc….of wondering if I could do even better at Richmond than I did at Baystate. He suggested I go out with a faster pace group and see how it felt, see how long I could hold it. If I feel good, maybe I do better. If I’m not feeling it, drop back and finish. And my chiro agrees with him! Says I should use all the races between now and Boston as learning experiences, physically and mentally.

DH has always had more confidence than I have in my abilities, and so far, he’s been proven right. I’ve been able to do things I thought were only dreams, and I’m dreaming bigger (well, faster) now. Why NOT go for it, being willing to pull the plug at the first sign of any physical discomfort that might cause me problems in maintaining consistent, healthy training for Boston?

OR, I could just run however I feel, go with podcasts, start with a slower pace group or maybe find a tweep to hang with and take it very easy for those 26.2 miles……I don’t know what I want to do or what the “right” thing is to do – quite often that’s only clear in retrospect once you’ve done something that went well or awry.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I’ve been taking it easy in these 2 weeks post-race, trying to recover well at least from a training perspective. Not sure how I’m doing nutrition or sleep wise. I’ve been doing easy runs, 8 miles the longest so far, and biking either at home or at the gym at work. I also got on the arc trainer for a few minutes, need to pick that back up. Have a new exercise from my chiro to help my cranky hams. It’s helping I think, but of course new exercises = new soreness until muscles adapt. My hips have been tight this week from too much sitting at work and the exercise.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

Today is my first long run since Baystate. I’m not really sure what I should do, what I’m going to do or what my body will want to do or let me do.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I pre-ordered the Adrenaline 15s, hope to have them in the next few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I’m looking forward to watching Deena and Meb run the New York City Marathon Sunday morning! After my run, I’ll plunk down on the couch for the rest of the morning and cheer them on.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me? Share in the comments!

 



Friday Five – Halloween Edition

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week is the Halloween edition!

Of the three traditions below, my family always “celebrated” Halloween with trick-or-treating, I’ve read about Samhain as I had friends who celebrated it, and over the years I’ve become more interested in Dia de los Muertos, or at least what it represents and tries to accomplish.

Halloween/All Hallows’ Eve

It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.”

Samhain

Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, the Isle of Man, and parts of Scotland. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).

Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is known to have pre-Christian roots. Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. ISamhain (like Beltane) was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) could more easily come into our world. 

Dia de los Muertos

Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones. 

The most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos may be the calacas and calaveras(skeletons and skulls), which appear everywhere during the holiday: in candied sweets, as parade masks, as dolls. Calacas and calaveras are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and entertaining situations.

Favorite things from past and present Halloweens:

  • Candy – As a kid – ok, and older than that – my all-time goodie bag fave were the little Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But as I got older, candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins were always what appealed to me (made by Brach’s, a local candy company where I worked as a temporary secretary during college). The sweetness is nicely offset by a strong cup of coffee, and a few candy corns post-run will perk you right up! And then someone invented pumpkin kisses….and a few years later, I mostly stopped eating candy. Go figure.
  • Pumpkin carving and putting a candle inside – my mom had a talent for this. I can picture her at the kitchen table with the pile of pumpkin innards on newspapers next to the gourd. As I got older, I got to draw on the pumpkin and she’d carve. Then I was old enough to carve. Then we went back to just drawing on them with markers – easier and they didn’t rot as quickly!
  • Skull stuff – like this marshmallow candy DH picked up
sugar skull candy

sugar skull candy

or this InknBurn sugar skull tech shirt that I own – It’s great to run in or just wear! Always gets noticed. (I put it under a sweater for work.)

sugar skull shirt

 

or these mash-up Halloween/Dia de los Muertos decorations painted by Endurance Planet’s Tawnee Prazak (multi-talented woman, an artist as well as triathlete, coach, podcaster….)

  • Seeing little kids in adorable costumes carefully making their way up the stairs to take a piece or two of candy in their chubby fists before making their way back down, step by step….usually prompted by their parents to say “thank you” – we’ve had some real cuties show up!
  •  It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 

What are some of your favorite things about Halloween, Samhain, and/or Dia de los Muertos?

Have a happy – and safe – holiday, whichever you celebrate – and happy Friday if none of the above!

 

 



Almost Wordless Wednesday

Our first Halloween decorations are up!

ghosts

Boo!

Peeps pumpkin candy on plate

Happy October!

 



Friday Five – 5 favorite fuels for running/fitness

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week’s theme is: 5 favorite fuels for running/fitness. My twitchy tummy makes this a list with no surprises for regular readers.

1) Pre-run: Beet Elite, FRS chews. A serving of BeetElite is about 30 calories, 2 FRS chews 40, with a little caffeine. For races or long runs with lots of goal pace miles, fast-finish long runs (FFLR) or simulator runs, a bit of gel/water right at the start.

BeetElite and FRS chews

BeetElite and FRS chews

2) During long runs, long speedwork and races:  EFS Liquid Shot Vanilla

Lately I’ve been trying GU as a backup since my vest can only hold 2 flasks of EFS (only downsides of EFS is they aren’t really in stores and  they don’t sell in packets as well as flasks). I’ve tried 4 flavors so far and liked all to varying degrees. They seemed to sit okay in my tummy, though each has only been tried once. All have caffeine which is new for me. L to R: Vanilla Bean, Salted Caramel, Jet Blackberry, Roctane Blueberry Pomegranate.

3) Post-run Recovery – Ultragen. Right combo of carbs/protein to replenish my stores, and super-easy on my stomach. Cappuccino, yum.

EFS Liquid Shot, Ultragen and GU

EFS Liquid Shot, Ultragen and GU

Backup for post-run protein when I’m at home on telework days is Hammer Whey protein, alone or mixed w/ water, “milk”, applesauce or pumpkin puree. Can be eaten hot, cold or room temp. I’ve also used it as an afternoon or evening snack, and I’ve even brought it to work a time or two. A little Torani sf syrup or sweetener doesn’t hurt. You can also add nuts. Another option is to make chia seed pudding w/ whey.

4) After my recovery drink/protein: sweet potatoes! With or without nut butter, coconut manna, maple butter/honey but always with celtic sea salt.

5) Daily nutrition: My daily nutrition is pretty consistent (some might say boring). I tend to eat the same things over and over because I like them and they work for my tummy. I eat a lot of kabocha and other squashes – but mostly kabocha when I can get it, as it’s my favorite. I often eat it plain, but I’ve been known to top it with nut butter. I also eat root veggies like beets – lately lots of beets, a small can a day. Frozen bananas, with nut butter and celtic sea salt, are almost a daily staple.

Kabocha piece and whole, Japanese sweet potato (L), Stokes purple (R)

Kabocha piece and whole,(center), Japanese sweet potato (L), Stokes purple (R)

6) Speaking of nut butter, it deserves its own place in the list:

 

my fave nut butters

my fave nut butters

 What are some of your favorite fuels for running or overall fitness? I’m always on the hunt. Happy Friday!



October Virtual Coffee Date

I’m joining other bloggers like CocoJill and Amanda who sometimes do a coffee date on the 1st Saturday of the month… Welcome October!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I got officially accepted into the 2015 Boston Marathon! I’ve got the email, the screen shot of me in the database, and am eagerly awaiting the postcard this month (which I will likely frame).

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I’ve actually HAD coffee 3 times since we last chatted! (decaf, but still) It’s been a real treat. Twice I’ve made it with my AeroPress (thanks to MidpackBiped for the suggestion), which makes an espresso-like shot I then dilute with hot water.  The other time was a decaf Americano at a place across the street from work, with a work buddy. It was such an odd feeling to step into Starbucks to buy my own coffee and into the indie coffee house to actually order something (last minute decision). I was practically in tears just sitting and chatting over coffee – it’s been so long and I used to enjoy it so much. I’m trying to keep it an occasional treat, not a habit. Might be a challenge – the place across the street has a regular and decaf espresso blend from a particular roaster which I used to buy in my hometown when I lived there and then when I visited my Dad. Maybe I’ll buy regular for DH and decaf for myself and stick the Starbucks in the freezer for emergencies.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

Two weeks from tomorrow is Baystate! (gulp) I’ve done much better on my runs in September (once I adjusted my goal pace). I’m hoping that’s a good sign for the race. I don’t really know how I feel about the race except somehow unprepared. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t kicked in the mental training yet….and I think I’m sort of dragging my heels about it due to nervousness about the race. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t forgotten how hard Shamrock was (see #2 here) but I also remember how proud of myself I am for that race, my performance and persistence and toughness in it, and my BQ. I left it all on the course, and that’s what I want to do again. Oct. 19th has seemed so far off for so long, and now it’s coming up at warp speed.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I’m SO ready for fall temps, which are supposed to arrive in my area this weekend. Yes, I’m cold all the time but I’m from the Midwest and it’s October….warm days now are just wrong. <grin>  And leaves should change, not turn brown and die…not that I have an opinion or anything. I’m also looking forward to al things pumpkin, then adding gingerbread and molasses-type flavors to the season as well.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

Purple/purple sweet potatoes have returned! They showed up Thursday at a local organic food store, and I bought a lot of them. I’m so glad I did as when I went back Friday, they were all gone. They are called Stokes Purple™ sweet potatoes, and I know one produce company that distributes them is Frieda’s. They’re a bit more dense than regular orange sweet potatoes, closer to the Japanese sweet potatoes or Hannah sweet potatoes, and they’re also less wet and less overly sweet than the orange (garnet/jewel) can be. They’re great for pretty much everything you’d use a regular sweet potato for, including eating plain or with nut butter. I haven’t tried cooking with them, but imagine the visual – and mix the purple and the orange for a real standout dish!

Stokes purple sweet potatoes

Stokes purple sweet potatoes – they look a bit more purple than this in real life

Stokes purple sweet potatoes inside

Stokes purple sweet potatoes inside

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I tried Salted Caramel GU (trying out backups to my First Endurance vanilla Liquid Shot since I can only carry so many flasks in my vest). Yum. It tasted to me almost exactly like sponge candy that my mom used to get from the Northeast. A little sweet, a little salty, a little burnt sugar, almost bitter edge. Nice change of pace. I’d tried Hammer Vanilla earlier in the week and realized it’s much thicker and sweeter than what I’m now used to, a no-go unless it’s all there is. Next up to try is either GU Vanilla Bean or Jet Blackberry (which I hear Deena Kastor uses in the last part of her marathons – an endorsement if ever there was one).

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I tried a fresh pair of Adrenalines on Thursday and will run my last two “long” runs in them to break them in pre-race. I really need the Adrenaline 15s to come out so I can see if they’ll work for me. Getting nervous about having shoes for Boston training & race!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I finally registered for the Richmond Marathon. Haven’t registered for Across the Years yet though, should do that soon.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I’m building twitter lists of folks who are running Baystate, Richmond and Boston to make it easier for me to try to meet up with them.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

I tried acupuncture once and probably will have a couple more appointments. It didn’t do anything bad and may have helped, but it’s hard to tell. So many variables.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…..

In case you hadn’t figured it out… I’m pretty much obsessed with anything related to running and my races right now. If it’s not in some way related to those things, and it’s not eating, reading or relaxing with TV/DVDs (or maybe blogging), I can’t seem to get myself care much about it and won’t be spending any more time or energy than necessary on it.

What would you tell me if we were having a coffee date? (now with actual coffee!)