Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's HOT!

We are in a drenching heat wave. It's so bad that my 6 mile run this morning has turned into a 1 mile around my neighborhood and soon to be 5 miles on the treadmill at work. The air is so thick and the sun just beats on your skin. I'm all about toughing it out but today was about being smart. I tested the waters and there was a big fat sign saying go to the air conditioning.

On another note I just found out that Garmin is running a summer special. Turn in your old garmin for a new one and you get $50 back! In 2005 I was at Target and saw this shiny object in the fitness aisle. It had this glowing effect drawing me closer to see the magical object. It was the Garmin Forerunner 201 on sale. The Garmin claimed to tell you how fast and how far you were running. This is during a time when I was just getting back into running after some rehab for my IT Band.

This shiny piece of equipment looks brand new only because it was used twice in Long Island. The satelite system of 2005 would fail every 10 feet. I was mad and shoved it in a box. It's amazing the things you keep when you move. This little guy has gone from 2 different homes in Long Island to 3 homes in New Jersey to it's current location in Pennsylvania. Maybe I'm a pack rat but I'm glad I can get $50 back and a new toy to play with on my runs!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The beauty of 16 miles

I must admit I over packed my weekend. In my head there's always time to do but in reality I should really pick and choose. The original plan was to go to the Phillies game on Friday night, Saturday morning run 16 miles, Saturday night head to NYC for my best friend's birthday celebration, Sunday morning kayak the Lehigh with my boyfriend. What actually happened was there was a rain delay for the Phillies game and we didn't get home until 1:30 am. I woke up at 11 am Saturday morning and ran the cross country route with my boyfriend (2.65 miles). Then Saturday evening I was on a train to NYC to play bingo. Sunday morning I awake to run 16 miles.

The decision to run without headphones is/was very refreshing. I packed my amphipod with clif shotblocks, gatorade, water and blackberry. I could hear the beat of my feet hitting the pavement. I embrace the beauty of the flowers and back roads the run takes me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Running Unplugged

Typically, I run with a handful of accessories. This past Sunday I ran 15 miles traveling with my amphipod hydration system, blackberry, ipod, shotblocks, 10 dollars cash and a notecard telling me the next street I needed to turn on. I wished I had downloaded NPR's "This American Life." It would of given me something to actually focus on rather than not even listening to my ipod. I began to wonder why I even brought this piece of technology when I don't even listen to it. I mean it's on but I'm not listening.

So today, I decided to go unplugged. My boyfriend and I woke up earlier than normal to go for a run. He wanted to run for 20 minutes before work and being the good girlfriend that I am, I woke up at 6:10 to go with him. (I set my alarm for 5:45 am but I never heard it go off. That always scares me especially when I have to be at work at 6:00 am!)

So off we went down the path and halfway through the run my bf asks me if I wished I had my ipod. It's like he could read my mind. I finally felt free without the ipod. I could hear my feet hitting the pavement, the birds chirping around me. It was wonderful.

After the 20 minute run I still had 6 more miles to go. We came back to the house and I grabbed my ipod. This was not because I wanted it but because I was running alone. I then put the ipod back down and decided I wanted to run the next 6 just as free as the first 2.

I admit it - best decision of the day so far. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Feeling Good, Feeling Great

When I don't have to rush to get my run in, I get up earlier and have the greatest run. I'm off of work today and could of ran anytime but decided to actually get up at 7:00 and was out the door by 7:50. The 7 miles felt light and smooth as if my body was meant to run 7 miles everyday.

After the 13 mile run two weekends ago, I was concerned that my training was making me slower. My legs felt heavy and I just dragged my feet to get the runs in. I would self talk myself out of running but then talk myself back into it.

This past Sunday, was a test of my speed as I ran the Yardley 5k in Yardley, PA. It was a last minute decision to run but once I woke up at 6:30 am and I knew I was going to go. Yardley, is a cute little town with a family feel. I saw a few of my former co-workers from Princeton University and thought what a small world we live in. Even the wife of one of my former co-workers knows my current employers! 6 degrees of freedom seems a bit to big - I really think it's 2 degrees in my world.

The route we took was starting from the Starbucks in town down to make a left onto route 32 make a left onto the canal and follow back up to the Starbucks. I was clocked at 24.23. I came in 4th in my age group and 35th overall. I spent most of the run by myself because there was a small pack in front of me that were running under 7 minute miles and then there was a huge group behind me running 9 minute plus miles. I had to find my focus as most of the people that ran were townies. Everytime I passed a crowd they had cheered for the people in front of me and then they were cheering the people behind me. I was really all by myself.

This weekend is a big 15 miler that I'm going to run in NYC. My best friend and I are going to start our butts in Washington Heights and work our way down to Central Park and then back up the other side of the park back up to the Heights. After today's run I feel like I could run all day - hopefully that stays with me throughout my training.

Later today I'll be picking up my farm share. I still have Swiss Chard and Zucchini from last week. I need to be a cooking machine!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Miles, Beats, Swiss Chard and Raisins

Alarm was set for 6:30 am to get in the groove of running before the heat hits. 8:17 am, I was out the door for my 5 miler. I pumped myself up by saying 5 miles is nothing to the 13.16 you did on Sunday. Yet, my legs were heavy except for a few stride outs. I'm thinking maybe the shuffle of a run I do at times is less efficient than when I lengthen my stride and feel the pavment glide under my feet.

There's always something random I see on my runs and this time it was a skunk that was mowed over by those industrial lawn mowers. I know the grass gets really long in the park areas but to be able to run over a skunk? I had never seen a skunk that up close and personal. It was only 3 feet to the left of me.

When I arrived home I hopped on the computer to figure out what to make with this week's farm share. I love epicurious because you can put in an ingredient and it comes up with a variety of options. I found on Bon Apetit: Swiss Chard with Beets, Goat Cheese and Raisins.

I still need to pick up some goat cheese from the store but I'll just grab it on the way to work. :) It tastes delicious either way!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I am on vacation and guilty as charged for not running 12 Miles this past weekend. I did however, run everday since Saturday, so far. (Guilt is trying to get me to run again today). Saturday, was a run on the beach with the BF's dad. He is a hard core runner and so we went 15 minutes out and then run back. It was about 31 minutes of running. The slant of the sand irritated my IT Band but I toughed it out.

Sunday, was a killer from BF's dad. He takes me to the development next to where we're staying and off for 10 minutes easy and then sprint intervals on the side streets. It ended up being 6 sprints of varying lengths.

Monday, I was on my own for a 2.5 mile run. Yesterday, was a 4.5 mile run.

I know boring. Not much to report but I'm on vacation. ;)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Ahhh... take the time and smell the flowers. It is my boyfriends family vacation and this year I've been invited to partake in the adventure. We left Pennsylvania at 12:30 am this morning/last night to arrive around noon today in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My boyfriend and I had the longest day on Friday with both of us going to work extra early. I was at work at 5:45 am and he was at work by 6:30 am. The BF didn't get home until 7:30 pm.

I had gone to pick up the CSA around 3:30 pm and prepared most of it for dinner. In this weeks package I ordered meat from a place around the corner that has grass fed cows. So, not only did I prepare the veggies but cooked ny strip steak on the grill. Now I am not a master at cooking with meat - so it took a few times of going back to the grill to get the meat just right.

After dinner the bf went and mowed the lawn. I started cleaning the kitchen and preparing for our journey. The next thing we knew it was midnight and we're like there's no point in sleeping and off we went.

I think we were both a little cranky because of sleep deprevation and hunger.

We fixed that with lunch at Red Lobster. We split the ultimate feast and coconut shrimp. A little too greasey for my liking but I do really enjoy their rolls!

Then off to the vacation rental. I must say it is fantastic. The views, the weather, the warmth of the water, just makes me happy. The BF rents came in with pizza for dinner and then off we went for a walk on the beach.

I'm lucky that they're active or else I might of just kept my butt on the couch. After the walk on the beach, the BF's dad and I came back to turn around and go on a night beach run.

My IT Band didn't like the slant of the sand in some areas but as the tide was going out it made it easier to run on a flatter surface.

We ran 15 minutes out and came back to home base. It ended up being 31 minutes and we're predicting at least 3.5 miles. Man does it feel good to move my body. Epecially, after 11 hours in the car. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Utilizing the Last of this Week's CSA

Tomorrow I pick up my next CSA. So that means I need to eat what I picked up last week. Turnips, lettuce and bok choy were on my hit list. I started with the turnips and made a simple side by peeling and cutting the turnips into cubes then placing them saute them in a pan with 1/4 cup of water and a chicken bullion cube. Wait until the turnips are tender and then add a tbs of butter and 1 to 2 tbs of sugar. Delicious! - but what isn't with butter and sugar?

Watch out bok choy. I sauteed some onions with grape seed oil then I added chopped up bok choy, fish sauce and a little bit of salt. Yummy fresh veggies.

Lettuce of course you're being turned into a salad. I added walnuts, blueberries, green peppers, cherry tomatoes and blue cheese.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Group Run

I just finished my first group run in my new town. Did I mention we're in a heat wave and it's 100 degrees outside? I don't know what I was thinking other than I wanted to meet other runners in the area. I didn't realize I was meeting up with hard core runners. I'm like a tweener not a fast and not a slow runner. I like to be comfortable running.

There were 6 of us and three of the guys ran at a 6:15 pace. I mean that would be fine if I was running a mile but we were running 5+. I was really expecting some other tweener runners so I did my best to keep up with two others going around an 8:00 pace. We finished 5.2 miles in 46:19.

I grab my huge nalgene and finished the whole bottle in 2 minutes. I've never finished a run with my entire sports bra soaked in sweat. I guess there's always a first for everything.

Will I do this group run again? For sure, I love to torture, I mean make myself better. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

6 Miles and Jillian Micheals

It's Tuesday morning and as part of the marathon training program I was scheduled to run 6 miles. I set my alarm for 6:30 am thinking I'd just pop out of bed and go. Yeah right! I was out the door for my run at 8:30 am. I decided to take it nice and easy - whatever pace my body felt like going. It ended up being about a 10 minute mile pace. On my route back I found a little friend on the path:

I then came in the house and utilized our on demand channels. Jillian Micheals 6 weeks to 6 pack workout. I did this last Thursday and was sore until Sunday. As someone in the fitness industry I must say this workout video is very good! Jillian does a nice job of keeping you engaged and doing the exercises correctly. As a professional you know where people are going to allow their body to ease up. Jillian reminds me of two of my favorite female fitness professionals. If you're in Seattle, Washington or East Lansing, Michigan watch out!

Of course I couldn't help but play with my farm share yesterday and made swiss chard hummus, kohlrabi and apple salad, and swiss chard and onion tossed with pasta. I must say I am loving my CSA!!! It brings a whole new light to food and healthy eating.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

8 Miles, Sushi and Jam

4:30 am on a Saturday and I'm wide awake ready to start the day. I gathered my things the night before so all I have to do is wash up and head out the door. I make myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich for the road and I'm off.

The country side is beautiful and the roads are clear! This is the first time the GPS actually took time off the ETA. It took only 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to NYC. Not bad considering it says at least 2 hours normally.

Our 8 mile run was a nice and easy pace to chat. I enjoy taking the time to be active and catch up on life. You can learn so much about a person and where they're coming from by taking the time to listen.

After the run we had some breakfast, chatted some more and then went for Sushi! I had been craving Sushi for weeks and really enjoyed it. I got the lunch special with an eel cucumber, avacado, and spicy tuna roll. Delicious.

I then headed to meet up with another friend to can some strawberry jam. I had never canned before and couldn't wait to see what it was all about. Slice strawberries, mash them up, put it in a pot, add some pectin, sugar (I used sugar in the raw), and add a little butter to keep the foam away. It ended up tasting wonderful! Plus I have plenty to give away in tiny jars. Might have to save them for the holidays.

After the jam we prepared a fresh pasta dinner with asparagus and snap peas. Heavenly...

After dinner I couldn't help myself and stopped off at Uncle Ed's Creamery and had a child size scoop of cherry vanilla and vanilla fudge. Yummie ice cream. So good. So tasty.

Time to rest - Tennis in the am.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Community Farm Share Week 1

This is my first year being involved in a Community Farm Share (CSA). I don't exactly know what to expect but I love the idea of leaving a smaller carbon footprint and experimenting with food. I must admit I was nervous going to the farm and looking like the person that doesn't know what they're doing. Fortunately for me I looked more like I knew what I was doing than didn't.

I had 3 recycled bags from Nicaragua which my sister picked up for me a few years ago. They're reusable plastic bags made from old plastic bags by women in jail. Then I had two 1 lb plastic strawberry containers from strawberries I bought at the grocery store. Then I also have green reusable produce bags. I was totally prepared for my adventure.

I read the article on what to do when you get to the farm probably 5 times before today that I knew I had to find the board and sign in. I walk into the area with the board and sign myself in. I see that I have to go pick 2 quarts of strawberries and some herbs then I can come back and grab the veggies that have already been picked.

So off I go to pick strawberries, which by the way I've never done before. I take some clippers and just follow the arrows to the strawberry field. It is 4 pm and there are a bunch of people out there with kids. Everyone is kind of at the back of the field as if the front is fully picked over. I look and I'm like the darker the berry the sweeter the juice. I listen to what the moms are telling their kids - "Make sure you pick the ones that are all red.. we don't want to see any white patches." Ahh, so that's how we do this. I have it down pat. I get to the middle of the patch and I find strawberries galore. Oh I just want to stuff them in my mouth they smell so good.

I quickly fill two quarts and then dump the strawberries into the 1 lb containers. 1 lb for us (the BF and I) and 1 lb for my boyfriend's family. I'm glad they were willing to split the farm share with us or I don't know how the bf would survive on just veggies! He's a true carnivore. Anytime I make anything without meat and I say it needs something he's like yeah well meat could add some flavor to this. I'm wondering if he's ever had meat without seasoning. It's really the seasoning that makes the meat flavorful.

Anyway.. I head back to headquarters and see what else I can pick up. 1 bunch of turnips, 1 head of lettuce, 1 head of escarole, 1 bunch of bok choy, 1 lb of Swiss chard, 1 bunch of kohlrabi, and a group of onions. Then I take the clippers and snip off some lemon balm and mint. A nice little addition to summer ice tea.

So there you have it. My first CSA week. Now what to make with this food? Luckily, my farm share also has a blog and they put up recipes on what to make with our random assortment. I'm going to try swiss chard hummus. I'll put a picture up on how it goes.

You're probably wondering why I just wrote about food and not about running. Well, that will come. I've officially started training for my first marathon ever! I decided that once I switched careers that I would run a marathon. My best friend and I are signed up for Chicago in October. I'm really excited and promised that I would meet up with her at least once a month to train. This means that tomorrow (Saturday) I'm getting up at 4:45 to leave the house at 5:00 am to drive 2 hours to run 8 miles with my best friend. Some may say it's not worth the time or the money but I think it is. You got to make opportunities and spend time with those that you enjoy spending time with.

Now back to food - the plan after running 8 miles is to meet up with my friend who's a nutritionist and make homemade jams! Whoo hoo! I'm so excited. I really do enjoy making things from scratch. There's something really satisfying about it. Maybe because it's always made with love.