Monday, January 31, 2011

January Wrap-Up

Well, January has come and gone.  It seemed to fly by, didn't it? Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I completed 89 miles in January.  This is 11 miles short of my goal of 100 miles for the month.  However, I did complete a marathon early in the month for my Run For The Bling Of It challenge, and during the recovery period my mileage was down a bit.  I'm pretty sure I'll kick it up a notch once spring gets here. 

I've broken the ten-minute-mile barrier. Not consistently, to be sure, but at least on the shorter runs I'm getting faster. And I managed to get on the bike.  I wasn't agile or speedy or even good on the bike, but I remained upright for more than 45 minutes, so I'll count that as a success.

Melissa and I are working through a cycle of Body for Life to build some muscle.  So far, it's going pretty well, except for the first week when I thought I needed to do twice the amount of work that I actually needed to do, and nearly incapacitated myself. But, other than that we're doing well with it!

Oh, and I started my doctoral coursework.  A minor stressor at this point, but it does take up some of my time and so deserves a mention.  

Now I'm looking forward to February.  I have a half marathon scheduled in the middle of the month, and my goal is to cover 25 miles a week, and get on the bike several more times.  We'll see how that goes.  How was January for you? And what are your plans for February?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Melissa's "Fried" Potatoes

There aren't many things better on a cold winter morning than eggs and fried potatoes.  Traditional fried potatoes are fatty and high in calories, though, so I used to avoid them, until Melissa taught me how to make them without all the added fat.

Take one or two potatoes, and scrub them.  Cube them. Microwave in a microwave-safe dish for 3-5 minutes, until fork-tender. Put 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Stir fry the potatoes in the olive oil until browned on all sides. I like to finish my potatoes with 1/4 cup of water poured into the pan.  I put the lid on immediately after and allow the spuds to steam for a minute or two.  I like the consistency this gives the potatoes, but the last step isn't necessary by any means.

If you like onions in your potatoes, brown them for a minute or two in the olive oil before you add the potatoes. 

If you use one medium potato and a teaspoon of olive oil, this dish has about 200 calories; with two medium potatoes the total is about 340.  Not bad for a dish that tastes like an indulgence!

Sometimes I throw a beaten egg on top of the potatoes and let the heat of the skillet cook it, and then top that off with 1/4 cup of reduced-fat cheese.   That adds about 80 calories for the egg and perhaps 80 more for the cheese.  You can have a hearty breakfast skillet for 350 - 500 calories. 

I suppose you could do this with sweet potatoes, too, but I haven't ever tried it.  I prefer to make baked sweet potato fries out of my sweet potatoes - but that's another post!

Big Fat Greek Marathon Fund: $75 - I am going to have to start seriously contributing to this thing if I have any hope of making it in 2012!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Pants

Melissa and I are meeting some friends for a run later this morning.  It's 29 degrees outside right now, and I am already wearing my favorite winter running pants. They are an old pair of Champion Wind Pants, and they are completely indestructible, toasty warm on the coldest day and horrendously unflattering to my short, stocky frame.

You see what's important to me, right?  Because these pants make me look like a rather short hippopotamus, and I wear them anyway. These pants laugh in the face of ice and snow, and they feel like the softest pair of jammies you've ever worn.  I could sleep in them - they're that soft!

Champion Youth Wind Pants - here they are, in all their glory!
You know all that advice about dressing like it's 20 degrees warmer than it actually is?  Yeah - that doesn't work for me.  I can get cold in the summer on a run - that's how whacked out my internal thermostat is.  Even if I run at my maximal pace for as long as I possibly can, I chill as soon as I slow down.  I usually keep a jacket tied around my waist in all but the warmest weather, because I just find the cold so difficult to bear.  So, if you're ever at a race, and you see an impossibly overdressed runner near the back of the pack, it just might be me.  In my stylin' pants!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I am sooo tired! We just started a new semester, and I am teaching and taking doctoral courses and working and working out and the days are short and gray and icky.... waaaahhhh!  Ok, enough whining. For the next few (14!) weeks I'll be doing most of my blogging on the weekend and catching your blogs as I can.

But spring is coming, and I have a conference in Florida to look forward to next month, and spring break in March, so really I can do this in little 4-week bursts.  It's manageable.  I think.  I hope.  Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cereal Bars

I generally spend a little bit of time on Sunday getting ready for the week ahead.  I pack my gym bag, and pack a lunch (sometimes two or three!) and make my breakfast plans for the week.  During the week, I'm up between 4:30 and 5 a.m. to meet Melissa at the gym, and I go straight from the gym to work.  And I have to have breakfast every day - preferably 400 or 500 calories worth of protein, fiber and complex carbs.  This is challenging, because I tend to eat that breakfast in the car on the way to work

This week I found a link to this cereal bar recipe on Lifehacker.  Now, the recipe calls for corn flakes and we never have corn flakes in the house.  But I had some Nature's Path organic cereal (to which I added some organic trail mix from Earth Fare for extra texture) and some natural peanut butter.  I substituted honey for the agave nectar called for in the recipe.  I also cut the recipe in half, because I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the house who will eat them.

The result? Twelve bars with approximately 286 calories, 6.5 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat each.  Not bad for breakfast - if I add 12 ounces of skim milk that puts me in the caloric range I'm shooting for. If I skip the milk I could have two bars and I'd be just over my caloric goal.  I'm hoping that the combination of complex carbs, fat and protein will be sufficient to hold me until lunchtime on a normal workday - approximately 5 hours.  We'll see!

Update: These bars taste like a complex peanut butter cookie, and even better with a big glass of milk. Hubs ate one bar and youngest son ate two. So much for having them all to myself! "This is the best healthy breakfast you've ever made!" The last time they said this was when I made breakfast burritos using Melissa's recipe - I'll see if I can get her to write that recipe up for you one of these days.  Anyway, I think the cereal bar recipe is a keeper!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Melissa and I volunteered for a local race today.  This was the first time that I'd volunteered at a race.  I know, I'm ashamed of it, but this is also the first time I've been in an area with an active local track club that  is always looking for volunteers.  Anyway, the race today was ten miles on a very hilly course, on a very cold day. It was a chilly, hilly run!  It was sponsored by one of my favorite local restaurants and they put out a great spread for the runners, post-race.

It was 23 degrees at the start of the race, and we (the volunteers) had already been out there for over an hour setting things up. Then the long, chilly wait for the runners - I'm not sure I've ever been so cold in my life.  But then the runners were there (I was at the finish line) and it was so great to welcome them!  The other folks at the finish line thought I was bananas, I am sure, because I was applauding and cheering for each runner as they came across.  But, hey - anyone who gets out in the cold and races ten miles on a January morning deserves applause, don't you think?

I had a blast, in spite of the cold, and I learned a lot about race logistics. I'm already planning my next volunteer experience, at a half-marathon in February.  Oh, and next time I'll be sure to have some of those little hand and foot warmers. Don't say I can't be taught!

Then we joined some friends for a seven mile training run.  And, yes, I know I could have just run the ten-miler, but it's a little soon after Disney to be racing ten miles, and anyway I like running with friends. Besides, who would have cheered for those runners if I hadn't been there? :)

And, yes, I cheered as loudly for the last runner to cross the finish line as I did the first - because I'm cool like that!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Running and Ibuprofen

As you may know, I had a nice long training run last weekend with 17,000 other people. :) And, being the social person that I am, I chatted with quite a few of them.  There was a common theme that emerged - the use of ibuprofen to prevent post-race soreness.  Now, I love, love, love me some ibuprofen but I never take it before a run.  Here's why:

About a year ago, a friend of mine wound up in the hospital in renal (kidney) failure.  Now, this guy is young and healthy and there's absolutely no reason he should have had any kidney problems at all.  It turned out, though, that he had taken 800 milligrams of ibuprofen immediately before a two-hour racquetball session.  Two hours of intense exercise + ibuprofen led to kidney failure in a 28-year old with no predisposing factors.

Now, I am a nurse, but this shocked me.  Honestly, I knew that ibuprofen could be tough on the kidneys but I had no idea it could precipitate an acute renal failure in an otherwise healthy person.  And just two hours of exercise?? I don't know about you, but two hours is certainly not unheard of for me - that's 11-12 miles if I'm on my game.  I'm willing to bet that most of you have run or biked or exercised in some way for two hours straight in the past, and probably will do so again.

So, I did a little research and found that, while not exactly common, it certainly isn't that unusual for endurance athletes to have problems with ibuprofen.  Now, I'm not saying that I think you shouldn't take ibuprofen, but I did want to make all of you aware of the issue so that you could do your own research and make up your own minds.

To that end, here are a few links.  Do some reading and make up your own mind:

Personally, I don't think it's worth the risk.  But that's me - you decide.  Ibuprofen: good or bad for recreational endurance athletes?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Disney Marathon Recap - Part 2

Okay, I had hoped there would be more Disney photos at this point, but there seems to be a snafu with the company that provided photography, so I can see my photos but I can't get them.  Still, as my husband reminded me, there were thousands and thousands of participants, so they may just be experiencing a backlog.

I left off the last recap after running through Cinderella's castle.  That was really the high point of the Magic Kingdom for me.  Animal Kingdom was the next park, but there were a few miles between the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.  We ran past the water treatment plant - luckily, in the cool air the smell wasn't completely overpowering.

There was something to see at just about every half-mile, so even though the roads between the parks were a little boring, you weren't bored for the whole length.  Plus, I got lots of entertainment from the folks "watering the bushes" - they'd peel off, run toward the woods, and then others would be rejoining the race after they had taken care of the foliage!

The folks from Animal Kingdom brought out some animals to the race - they had a hawk, and an owl, and a rabbit, and a couple of ferrets, and a couple of sheep.  I had to stop and pet the fur-babies - I couldn't help it! Of course, petting the hawk and the owl wasn't an option, but the ferrets, the rabbit and the sheep seemed to like the attention!

Animal Kingdom had a few good characters - Rafiki, from the Lion King, and Safari Minnie Mouse were two that come to mind. We ran past the Tree of Life, and you could see Everest in the distance. About Mile 18 I started to notice my back.  It wasn't hurting, exactly, but it started to feel tight and sore.

Then a few more miles between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  There was an out and back loop at about Mile 21 (or so) and they had a Jumbotron at the turnaround point so you could see all the runners ahead of you, and then you could see yourself making the turn!

I actually enjoy out and back loops on races - I love to see the people ahead of me as I run out and then the people just behind me as I run back. As slow as I was during this race, there were still a few thousand behind me, so I knew I wasn't in any danger of getting picked up by the bus!

Mile 22 was a small hill, and this is the point where my lack of training caught up with me.  The exit ramp felt enormous, even though it was really not very bad. My back started to seriously ache at this point, and I slowed down even more.  But I knew I had it, at that point - I knew I could finish four more miles.

We got to run through the costume design area and I had to slow down a bit to see it.  There were big glass windows and people sitting at sewing machines, working away.  There were giant bolts of lovely fabric and miniature costumes - it was fascinating.  I would definitely pay for a backstage tour of that area!

Mile 24 was near a lake, so we were running along the water.  I love running along the water, but at this point I was starting to hurt pretty badly.  I decided that I was just going to walk in the last two, so I took a walk break and drank some water from the water station - I think I walked for maybe 2 minutes and then I couldn't stand it anymore.  I knew I only had about 20 minutes left, even if it hurt, so I started running again.

Then Mile 25 was back to Epcot - I called my husband at this point to let him know that I'd be at the finish line in ten to twelve minutes.  He was waiting for me, so that cheered me up.  That last mile was all mental - I just put one foot in front of the other.

And then, there was the finish line.  Donald Duck and Goofy were there for a high-five, and a volunteer congratulated me and put the medal around my neck.  I got a bottle of water and a banana, and the finish line photo, and then I called my husband because the finish line was crowded and I couldn't see him.  I found him and we headed back to the resort for a shower.

Let me just say that the post-race shower is the best thing ever, followed by the post-race hot tub soak (which I indulged in after we spent the afternoon at Epcot).  I have no idea how many miles I covered that day, but I'm guessing it was more than 30, because we walked through Epcot (slowly), then back to the room for the hot tub (wonderful!), and then we hit Downtown Disney for dinner and souvenir shopping.

And, there you have it - Disney in a Nutshell!  And, even though I whined like a little girl about training in December, I think I might do the Goofy Challenge next year.  So, yeah, it's a disease, this running thing... :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Disney Marathon Recap - Part 1

Ok, the official photos still aren't up, but here are some photos I had taken with my phone at Disney. I should start by telling you that I am a Disney nut - I love all things Disney.  As some of you know, I was going to do this race as Tinkerbell. But, we lost my grandmother, and while I knew she wouldn't have wanted me to skip the race, running it in costume just seemed frivolous.  So, I wore Moving Comfort capris and a wicking tee and a half-zip fleece (that's what you see tied around my hips in all the photos - I warmed up quickly but was afraid to toss it for fear I'd get cold again) and some inexpensive gloves.  I had a long fleece jacket, as well, but that was just for the start.

So, I had set an alarm for 3:00 am, but I woke at 2:50 am, and I was up!  I had laid my clothing out when we got to the resort (on Thursday - that's how excited I was!) and just put them in an empty drawer.  Speaking of getting to the resort on Thursday - we walked and walked and walked for the three days before the race.  I have no problem walking, but this was a bit much even for me - I was already sore from all the walking at the start of the race.  In fact, I was limping a little. Probably not a wise plan for the days before an endurance event!

Anyway, I grabbed my clothes and got dressed, and had my breakfast of a banana, a cup of weak coffee and a miniature LaraBar. Then I kissed my husband goodbye (he stayed in bed!) and walked the five minutes to the bus stop.  

It was cold.  Really cold.  I was really regretting my bare lower legs, but then we got on the bus and I was fine.  It took a little while to get to the start, but I didn't care - the bus was warm! When we finally made it to the start area, it was quite a long walk to the bag-check/staging area, and then another walk to the start line.  And it was still cold, but there were so many people around that they sort of served s a windbreak, so that was nice.

We stood around for a bit outside the staging area, waiting for them to let us into the corral area.  Then we walked for, I don't know - ten minutes, maybe? to the corrals.  I was in Corral D, but remember that I signed up for Disney before I had my back injury.  I got to my corral, though, and saw people there of all shapes and sizes and ages and just went to the back of the pack - I knew it would be fine.

Then there was a long wait for the start of the race. They had music and speakers and such to entertain us while we passed the time, and I sat on the ground wrapped in my fleece jacket for a bit to give my legs a break.  And then, the wheelchair athletes were off!  And I stood up and the first wave was off, and we all moved forward with each successive wave until it was OUR TURN!  Fireworks and cheering and finally, finally - I was running Disney!

I was chilly at first, so I kept my long fleece on until about mile 2.  I didn't see any photo opportunities in that first little bit, so I just concentrated on covering the ground.  I ran by myself, but runners are generally friendly and I talked a little bit to the people around me.

Some time after mile two I tossed the fleece, and then we were heading into Epcot!  And characters!  Woot woot!  I splurged and bought the marathon CD, thinking it would save time if I just had the official photographers take pics.  But not every character had an official photographer, so the photos in this post are the ones taken with my phone.  You'll see them, below.

Epcot and the Magic Kingdom are actually pretty close together, so before I knew it there I was - running through the Magic Kingdom!  Well, running between character stops, because there were LOTS of characters in the kingdom! I also took advantage of a bathroom stop here, and it was so nice to have a warm bathroom and running water in a bathroom on a race.  Love, love, love that!

And then, Cinderella's Castle!  I didn't see Cinderella, but costumed castle staff were on hand to cheer and applaud. We ran through and I'd been warned about photographers on the other side, so I put on a happy face - oh, who am I kidding?  I was smiling for most of this race! :) I also stopped for a photo in front of the castle - of course! :)

Now, being a Disney nut I am not sure I could run this race for time, ever.  I just couldn't resist the characters.  However, stopping for characters added a LOT of time to my run - some of the lines had thirty people in them. Sometimes, if a cast member can't figure out your camera, you have to go through the line twice to get a photo.  This obviously adds to the time you spend on the run, and when you start hurting (and it's a marathon. It's safe to say that most of us will hurt at some point), that extra hour or so really comes back to haunt you.  If you're thinking of running this race for fun and photos, make sure you've thought that through.  

I'll come back to Part 2 of the recap in a future post,  In the meantime, as promised - pics!

Here I am with Pooh and Piglet - my favorites!

And Thumper and girlfriend! Love them, too!

Scrooge McDuck and friends! 

Pirates! Who doesn't love a pirate?

 Mary Poppins - loved that movie. Coincidentally, my grandmother went to school with Dick Van Dyke. My family is from Covington, Indiana and I was born in Danville, Illinois where Dick Van Dyke got his start. So of course I had to get a photo with this crew.

Fairies! :)

More pirates!

It's a Bug's Life! :)

There were four photos on my phone that did not come out.  This means I waited in those lines for nothing. :( This makes me sad, because I wanted LOTS of pics! Still, all of the official pics should be good.  We'll see.

Still to come: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and the dreaded back pain rears its ugly head.  But who persevered and finished the race anyway? Me! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


That's where we are right now, sitting in the airport.  Hoping the flight to Knoxville goes without a hitch.  The boys are holding down the fort at home and at least one animal has been added to the menagerie - my youngest son and his girlfriend bought a rabbit.  Yep, a rabbit.  We already have chickens and horses and dogs and a cat, so what's one more, I guess?  Honestly, I'm just happy the house is in one piece after several days without us.

I keep checking the sports photography website for photos, but they aren't up yet.  Hopefully, they'll be up quickly.  I'll recap the race if we ever make it back home.  Right now it's looking iffy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Checking In

Well, I ran Disney and I finished it.  My finish time: 5:59:02 - pretty pitiful, huh?  I stopped for every character out there and had pics taken - will post some of them as soon as they're available online.  Some of the lines were pretty long - I'm guessing I added an hour to my time by waiting in all those lines, but I had fun and I finished the race, and I was still ahead of a few thousand people.

Right now, we're stuck in Orlando because of the snowstorm that hit the Southeast yesterday.  So, I'll post my recap and (hopefully) photos when we get home.  Thanks again for all of your encouragement and support - it really means a lot.

My grandfather has decided to hold a service for my grandmother in the spring, and we are going to honor that and do our best to attend the service.  I am grieving now, but I'm not sure a service would make any difference, and having spent more than 60 years married to her, I think he knows best.

Stay warm, everyone, and I'll post again soon (I hope!).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Illness, Injury and a Loss...

This morning, I was waiting to board the flight to Orlando and I got a text from my sister.  It said, "Can u call my cell?" Generally, a text like that means something is up.  A non-emergency would have generated a "call me when u can" type of text.  Honestly, I thought one of the children had done something, or one of my siblings was ill, or something.  So I called, and my sister told me that our Grandmother passed away early this morning.

Now, my Grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and was living in a nursing home.  So, we knew that this was going to happen. We just didn't know when, nor did we expect it at this point.  I guess some part of me simply thought she'd go on forever, although I have ample evidence all around me that that is not the case.  People don't stay with us forever.

I've been antsy and unable to rest well for several days, and today I'm just sad and exhausted.  But we are in Orlando - my Grandmother moved to Florida some years ago with her husband, and my father and uncle followed them.  So, Florida is kind of like home for us, if home is where at least one parent lives.

I've been through illness, and injury, and now a loss while training for this marathon.  And while I had planned to dress up and be silly and have fun on this race, I'm not sure I have the heart to do that now.  I'm not entirely sure I have the heart to do the race itself, but my practical Grandmother would probably disapprove of the wasted entry fee if I did not at least make an effort. So, we'll see.

Right now I'm waiting for some phone calls and trying to sort things out.  I'll be offline for a few days - will return with an update early next week.  Hug your friends and family members, my friends, because we truly do not know how much time we have remaining.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Headed to Disney

We leave tomorrow morning (at a ridiculously early hour) for Disney!  I am very happy excited ecstatic!  Do you see all those characters, above?  My goal is to get a photo with each of them! We'll have to see how that goes!

My wonderful sons are staying home with the dogs and chickens and horses, so we don't have much to worry about in the way of animal care, and I don't even want to contemplate what might go on in my house in my absence.  It's better not to think about it!

I won't be blogging while I'm gone, but I may post a guest post if I'm able to figure it out, and we'll be back next Monday with pics and (hopefully) a race recap! Have a great remainder of the week, everyone, and if you're racing this weekend, good luck! And if you're running Disney, look for a very short, stocky, rather slow, definitely red-headed Tinkerbell with awesome black running tights under her dress, and say hello if you see me!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Juno Sports Bra

I'm on a lucky streak lately.  I've won a BIC band from my friend Kim, a Bondi-Band from Running Diva Mom, a CSN card from Forward Foot Strides and, of course, a Garmin from Knoxville Track Club.  Don't hate - before last month I'd never won anything to speak of.  I should totally buy a lottery ticket, right?

Most recently, I won a Juno sports bra from Moving Comfort through a Facebook Giveaway.  I left a comment on their wall, and the next thing I knew there was a note in my inbox from Christine Martin, at Moving Comfort, telling me I had won this bra! Mine is a very pretty shade of blue, but the Juno comes in a variety of colors.

I am not particularly well-endowed.  Veering into TMI territory, I will tell you that I'm a small C cup.  I will also tell you that I absolutely cannot run if the girls are moving.  I can't do it.  I will drive home and get another sports bra or just walk before I'll run with boobage jiggle.  Sometimes I run in two sports bras to stop any motion.  Needless to say, sports bras are a big issue for me. HUGE. Showstopping, even.

Wearing two sports bras leaves horrid, painful chafe marks on my back, even with Body Glide.  I have scars from chafe marks on my back and sides, but I would rather deal with that than jiggling.  I usually settle for a boobensmoosher bra and horrible chafing, because what are you going to do?

Well, I can tell you what I'm going to do - after wearing this one for half an hour, and doing various jumping things all over the house, I am replacing every one of my sports bras with the Juno bra.  I'm not kidding. They are a little expensive, at $52.00 retail, but this one is so comfortable I am going to sleep in it tonight. I may never take it off again.  Wide, comfortable, adjustable straps, people!!  In a sports bra! Last week I would have sworn  that there was no such thing as a comfortable, supportive sports bra.  Moving Comfort proved me wrong.

Christine sent a 36C bra, at my request, because that is the bra size I generally buy.  It's a little big, to be honest.  I'd probably have been better served with a 34B.  The amazing thing, though, is that even with the bra running a little large, the girls are solid.  SOLID.  They don't jiggle.  Happy boobs, indeed! I don't know what sort of support mechanism Moving Comfort has put in the Juno, but it really works. Best of all, you can still see my shape in this bra.  I don't look like a teenage boy.

If you're looking for a comfortable, flattering sports bra with serious support, look no further.  This is it.  I'm a convert.  Thank you so very much, Moving Comfort! I simply won't buy another brand of sports bra from now on. Ever. These girls are Juno girls!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Run For the Bling of It!

If you're up for a challenge, here's one for you: Sherry of Life From My Persepctive and Lesley of Racing it Off have teamed up to give us Run For the Bling of It!  The challenge: twelve races in twelve months, and post your bling!  Sounds easy enough, right?  So sign up, already! Show us your bling!

Oh, and I visited the physical therapist today, and he did dreadful things to my back and I am really sore right now!  Ouch! But he says my healing is going well, I am ahead of schedule (I haven't seen him for two weeks because of the holiday) and he thinks I won't have a problem at Disney if I sprinkle in some walk breaks.  Woot woot!  Now, I was going to go anyway - not that I recommend that with every injury, mind you, but mine is clearly a soft-tissue injury of the back.  Running aggravates it (terribly so at the end of a long run) but I'm unlikely to do any long term damage to my fool self by pressing ahead, and I know that.

My therapist recommended no more than five miles between walk breaks, which is much better than I had expected. So, we'll see how I feel.  I am going to finish this race, darn it!  T minus 6 days and counting!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast and a Winner!

I love lazy Sunday mornings.  I guess this is a good thing about winter - I don't want to run early because it's cold, so there's plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast.  And I think there's room in a healthy diet for the occasional indulgence, so once in awhile I make these:

Cinnamon rolls!

These are The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls, which are amazing and wonderful and  anything but low calorie.  In fact, that is true of all of her food - it's all amazing and wonderful and you really need to run a marathon after you eat any of it, just to burn off the calories.  Fortunately (sorry, PW!) you can make some adaptations to her recipes to make them almost as wonderful as the original but more in-line with the diet of a recreational athlete.  I don't recommend that with these rolls, though, because they are honestly heaven on a plate as is.

I cut the recipe in half, and use half of the dough for cinnamon rolls and half for bread with dinner - the dough is wonderfully sweet and light and it makes great rolls or breadsticks. So, Sunday is a bit carb-heavy around here once a month or so, when I get off my duff and do an early baking. 

If you don't want carbs twice in one day, you can put the second half of the dough in the fridge in a plastic bag and it will keep for several days, so that you could have fresh bread as a mid-week treat.  Just bring the dough to room temperature, form it into rolls or sticks or a pizza crust, let it rise and bake at 400-425 degrees until golden brown (usually 15 -20 minutes, depending on the form).

And I know you didn't stop in to read about my carb-coma, so we'll get to the good stuff. You want to know who won my New Year's Giveaway, don't you?  Okay, okay - you people have no patience, do you know that??? I kid! I kid!

 I used a random number generator and it selected 
Marcia! Marcia is an awesome runner and she has a great blog and she might use the money for the Marine Corps Marathon! Congratulations, Marcia!  Get in touch with me and we'll work out the payment issues!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Run of 2011

First run of the year today - it's in the 50's here, and raining, but the rain slacked off enough to let me get five miles in.  I was wearing capris - capris, people!  That's how warm it was!  It felt fantastic out there - just a light drizzle.  Funny, a rainy 50-degree day in the fall feels unpleasantly chilly, but a rainy, 50-degree day in January is a nice respite from the cold. It's all about perspective, I guess!

I was on the last mile, when I heard someone shouting and I felt something cold on the back of my left calf.  I jumped, and looked around -  it was just my buddy, Chief, coming up and putting his cold little nose on my leg. Chief really wants to be a runner. I feel Chief's pain, because I really want to be a runner, too, but if you look at me you can tell I am entirely unsuited to it.  Chief has a similar problem. You see, Chief is a Basset Hound. 

Chief looks exactly like this - image courtesy of Google.
And every time I run past Chief's house, he tries to join me on the run.  The dog loves me, what can I say? He's always so incredibly happy to see me and to run with me!  One day I was running with my iPod and poor Chief followed me for an entire mile before I realized what he was doing.  And I had to turn around and take him home, and he really didn't find the second mile nearly as much fun as the first had been!

Luckily, today Chief's dad noticed him and tried to head him off at the pass.  It didn't work, of course - Chief still came and played with me for a couple of minutes before I convinced him to go home.  So, my run time was two or three minutes longer than the actual run, because I didn't pause the Garmin.  But it's impossible to get upset with Chief, even if he interrupts a particularly good run.  Tell me, could you be angry with this face?

Look at those eyes!
This is one of the hazards of running in the country, I guess.  At least we don't have any aggressive dogs in the area.  And, being a dog person, I really don't mind a dog coming to say hello.  I'll just do my best to avoid running off with him!