Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Broken

Let’s start with the good.

I recently decided to get a little crazy in the kitchen. I had 3 pretty nasty looking bananas to deal with, which obviously calls for a banana bread! I didn’t want to make something uber unhealthy, so I ended up following this recipe here and making a few adjustments with whole wheat flour. The end result was tasty and relatively healthy for a banana bread!

Yeah, I MADE that (it's really some kind of miracle).

The only downside to this bread? I totally trashed the kitchen in the process. I really can’t help it. I also made a pretty gross crock pot dish that I’d rather not talk about. Let’s just say I don’t know how to make salsa and sour cream should never go in a slow cooker. Behold the mess…

I cleaned it eventually...

Now for the bad. I had the.worst.run.of.my.life. last weekend. It was a 9 miler and it was seriously the worst run I’ve had in YEARS. The weather was about 58 or so, so I wore a long sleeved top with shorts. I felt just dandy for the first 4-5 miles until I stopped at a park water fountain to re-hydrate. The damn thing was OFF. Uggg. Richmond needs to realize that we don’t really have “winter” and there is no need to turn off water fountains! I was depending on that water to get me through the end, and when it wasn’t there I kind of crumbled. I ended up running in the sun and it was HOT. Looking back I know I was seriously dehydrated and should have just gone home. Instead I stopped at Dot’s Back Inn (a yummy diner) because I saw Brian’s car there (he likes their burgers and I don’t eat meat so he occasionally goes alone). I ended up waiting about 5 minutes for a glass of water which just caused my legs to stiffen up. And I was still 3 miles from home. SO AWFUL.

I was hot, dehydrated, stiff, annoyed and just blah. I was really close to tears about 1 mile from home.

The splits don’t lie.

9 Miler of Doom

I contemplated quitting running after this. Alas, I am back on the bandwagon.

Moving on to the BROKEN.

I went to DC after the 9 Miler of Doom to visit 3 of my closest college chicas. It was a whirlwind trip but super fun. I was able to recover from dehydration (it was NOT FUN) in time to make it up to see them. I’m so glad I didn’t bail. Wine is hydrating, right?

Anyway, after a night of fun my friend and I walked to my car to hit the road. She had a flight to catch so we were in a bit of a hurry. But LO AND BEHOLD, some idiot had punched out my window!!! And not a main window…one of the little triangular ones in the back. WTF. They didn’t even steal anything. In fact, the locks weren’t even reachable from the broken pane. I mean, who does that crap?! Just a random act of violence. Lame. Karma will get you evil person!!

NOT COOL. EVER.

My insurance deductible is $500 and this little baby only cost $250 to replace. So that meant I had to drop $250 senseless dollars. SO ANNOYING. Oh and I had to tape up the whole thing with a trash bag since I was driving straight into a snowstorm. I was totally “that car.”

Oh well, I’m moving on the greener pastures now! Here’s to good runs and intact glass from here on out…

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Team Sparkle

I FINALLY got my act together and ordered two Team Sparkle skirts today.

I’m not sure when/how I initially found out about them, probably another blogger or on Twitter, but I knew I had to have one. However, it’s taken me a while to actually whip out the credit card and make the purchase. Soon these little babies will make my butt look super fast…

Sparkly red awesomeness

Turquoise sparkle amazingness

I’m not sure which I will wear for my upcoming half (March 18…so soon!!), but I know they’ll make me feel ready for a new PR, since a little sparkle never hurts!

Race Dilemma

This is a doozy of a dilemma for me. In the grander scheme of life it’s no big deal, but in the confines of my race schedule, it’s a doozy.

I am currently scheduled to run two races on Saturday, March 31. One is in Richmond and one is in Philly. BOO!!

I signed up for the Monument 10k a while ago (and even got into a seeded wave!!!!!!) since I’ve participated in that run for the past several years. Really, it’s kind of become a tradition. I’m also excited about the possibility of destroying my previous 10k PR of 57-something. The Monument 10k is such a fun (yet insanely crowded) race so it was really a no-brainer for me to register again this year.

Chugging along at last year's Monument 10k

That is until the Philadelphia Phillies announced the date of their uber popular 5k: MARCH 31. NOOOOOO.

Since I participated in the inaugural Phillies 5k last year, I was offered the opportunity to sign up an hour before regular registration opened. A bib in this race is like liquid goal (not entirely sure if that makes sense…but ya know what I mean). It sold out last year in less than a day, so I knew I had to snatch up a spot just out of sheer principle. Also, the Phillies 5k allows bib transfers, so I knew it wouldn’t be a total loss even if I don’t end up running.

I heart Philly (despite the cold).

So does Brian...no question about which race he'll be running.

As it stands I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll end up doing. So far I have these dilemmas…

  • We’re going up to Philly the weekend before (or after? I don’t remember) the race, so that’s a whole lot of back and forth.
  • This would be the 5th year in a row I run Monument. That’s pretty cool.
  • The Phillies race is HALF the distance of Monument…I’m aiming for a sub-2 hour half just 2 weeks before these races, so maybe the 5k is a better option for me physically.
  • Brian’s definitely running Philly, and it’s nice (and rare) to run races with him.
  • I really want the Phillies 5k technical shirt to wear to fall games.
  • I just have to wake up and make my way downtown to run in Monument…I have to drive all the way to Philly and likely not get much sleep the night before the 5k.
  • None of my friends live on Monument Ave anymore…so we don’t really have a place to call home base for the after-race party. Brian won’t be there anyway…
  • Probably won’t have a cheer section at either race, but at least Monument is CRAZY throughout the entire run.
  • I can transfer the Phillies bib, but will definitely take a monetary loss on the Monument bib.
  • I’m seeded in Monument -COOL!
  • Monument is so ridiculously crowded…it’s borderline not fun.

BLAH! So much back and forth. At least I’ve got some time to decide!

Semi Oat Fail

I’m back with an Oats report.

The crock pot oats I made last night were absolutely delicious. However, I ended up with a super burnt crock pot and a giant crack in the ceramic bowl. Waaahhhh.

I sprayed the pot with cooking oil like the recipe recommends, but my batch still ended up burnt around the edges. Like, I-need-a-chisel kind of burnt.

Bad crust!

It looks like the crock pot was much hotter on the left side. I’m not sure why that happened? Next time I plan to cook it for only 5-6 hours, instead of 7. I also think I sprayed the pot WAY too far in advance. I go to bed early (like 9) and asked Brian to just plop all the ingredients into the bowl and turn it on. I sprayed it around 8:30 and he didn’t add the ingredients until 12. Maybe the spray evaporated?

Despite the ugly looking turnout, these oats were TASTY. Very creamy, not too sweet, and definitely filling.

Get in my BELLY.

Next time I’ll probably add some blueberries and nuts. I also doubled up the flax ingredient since I have convenient little flax packets.

I let the crock pot cool for about 30 minutes before attempting to rinse it out. Maybe the pot was still too hot, but the ceramic insert ended up cracked. BOO! Brian is planning to make a huge batch of pulled pork tomorrow, so this was particularly bad timing. Thank goodness for BB&B giftcards, because I already snagged a new one! Can’t let that pork butt go bad..

The best part of this recipe is that it makes a TON of oats. I’m guessing it’ll need me for about 4 breakfasts. Oh and the house smelled divine all morning.

The original recipe can be found here (great blog!).

Cross Your Fingers…

I’ve got this cooking in the crock pot….

From the fantastic Yummy Life blog!

I am pretty good about eating breakfast in the AM. In fact, I rarely skip it. But I want to try something that really sticks with me through lunch. And it’s just time to spice things up a bit. I have a feeling this will be a winner (assuming I didn’t skrew up the recipe!).

Can’t wait to wake up to the smell of apple pie…G’night!

Awesome runs, crappy runs and a haircut

Let’s start with awesome.

Bri and I took a much needed mini-trip to PA this past weekend. We left Richmond on Thursday evening and had a whole jam-packed 3 day weekend planned. It was BLISS.

Part one of the awesome weekend was an 8 mile run on Friday morning. Pretty much the ONLY time I can convince Brian to run with me is when we are up in PA. He likes to show me around his old stomping ground. We decided to tackle the 8 miles in Ridley Creek State Park, not to far from where Brian grew up. I really wasn’t expecting much going into this run, especially because of the hills. Richmond is just so darn flat compared to PA, so I didn’t set my expectations too high. I thought maybe a 9:45 pace was reasonable.

We ended up doing a 4 mile out and back, with the first 4 miles essentially uphill and the last 4 basically back down.

Despite the hills and the icy patches, we were able to kick some serious butt. I don’t know what it was, but once I was through the first 2 miles, I knew I had it in me to make this run GOOD. Having Brian by my side certainly helped, and I was happy to just keep up with him. He knows that course like the back of his hand, so he was constantly telling me that it was going to flatten out, or that we only had 1 more hill to go. Very motivating. In the end, we finished with an overall pace of 9:19. Seriously amazing for me considering the hills!!

I rode that runner’s high for a while after that run.

That is until today.

I attempted a 5 mile “Easy” run during lunch today. The sky was perfectly blue, the temps hovered around 55, I really couldn’t ask for better conditions. But man oh man did this run SUCK. I only got through 4 miles and that was a huge struggle. I have no idea why I felt so crappy. I’m not sick or anything?! My lungs felt OK but my legs just didn’t want to move. I couldn’t even mentally psych myself up. You would think this should have been easy considering the elevation…

But my splits say otherwise…

HOW did I do so well on Friday and then absolutely collapse on Monday?? Uggg.

In other news, I chopped off all my hair. I have a poor excuse for a ponytail now, but I’m making it work. It feels so FREEING!!

A New 5k PR!

Oh hey February.

Thanks to several working weekends I’ve had a hard time updating this baby. But I’m back and happy to report a brand spankin’ new 5k PR!!

I ran the Plunge 5k last Saturday and was determined to beat my Phillies 5k time of 26:36. The run takes place on the VA Beach boardwalk, so it’s utterly FLAT. I knew it’d be a great course for a PR, even if I was more tired than usual while running it. I was up late working the few nights leading up to the race, so I was a little nervous that a PR wouldn’t be in the cards for me. But when race morning rolled around, I was surprisingly relaxed and ready to make it happen. I’ve had a few speedy-for-me long runs in the past few weeks, so I thought maintaining an uncomfortable pace for 3 short miles would be relatively realistic.

This whole race was mental for me. I told myself that 3 miles was NOTHING and I could push it pretty hard. I definitely started out too fast, but still managed to maintain a healthy pace!

PR achieved! My official time was actually 26:02…so close to coming in under 26 minutes!

This was also a redemption race for me. Last year I had a horrible performance and didn’t even break 30 minutes. I was slow and groggy…my legs were like lead! I knew I had to truly take advantage of the FLATNESS and race. I’m super happy!!

PR HAPPY!!