musings on running, life, and everything in between

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Belated Weekend Write-Up

Ugh, not sure what’s up…maybe the grey? The fickle early spring weather? I’m dragging and this blog-writing has been dragging too. Sigh. My son threw a tantrum yesterday morning that he was tired and just wanted to sleep all day and NOT go to school. #allthefeels He went to school.

The weekend’s run was…ok. 13 miles of trails out at Palos averaging around 10 min miles (with one flight of Swallow stairs). It was great company, but we did 1.5 loops, and that second .5 loop was tiring. The hills felt hillier, the mud muddier. I was just glad Kelly was doing it with me (the others only did about 1 loop). Still, we had a nice little crew out, and it was my first run with Deanna (I think) since the Hateya Trail Race in December (that’s her, third from the left)! And I think my first run with Katie in a year (second from right). Geez, people get busy. Katie’s busy training for a half iron distance triathlon in the fall. Sigh, I still haven’t made it back into the pool since that one time earlier this year…

One of the things I like about trail running is that no one makes you feel like a loser when you walk the hills 🙂

Most of the path was decently dry, but there were definitely some patches that were still bogged down. 

It was nice getting the group together, especially since Laura, Kelly, and I will all be at Ice Age (Laura is doing the half). I was sad to see most of the group break off, leaving me and Kelly to suffer through another 5 miles. I’m not sure if it was the 6 miles I did the day before that left me tired or if I’m just TIRED lately…either way, it’s not doing much for the old self-confidence for Boston. I’m also doing stupid things like looking at my mileage and comparing it to previous training cycles and then berating myself for not running enough.

Sigh. I’m trying to just be in it and just accept where I am, but it’s a bit much right now. For a variety of reasons, I feel pretty checked out from training, work, parenting, life…and I keep dredging the reserves to keep moving and keep doing what I need to, but it’s not great. A friendly recently called me out on some of that behavior and it hurt, but it was also much needed. I can’t keep using excuses of “I’m busy” or “It’s too much” to NOT show up for other people in my life and think I’m “getting away” with it. There does need to be some accountability. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I think I need to find a way to both recharge and re-connect with what I need to do. This is the point where I flash back to those, “Calgon, take me away” commercials of my youth. Ha. A few years ago, I was really working on mindfulness and simplifying. Instead of running around so much like a chicken with its head cut off, I think I need to really slow down and reconsider what I need to do…

We had a pretty open weekend for the first time in a bit, so we decided to go downtown and check out the Field Museum. It was crazy busy, but we got in to see the terra cotta warriors from China exhibit. It was pretty amazing to think that there were thousands of these buried. I was slightly disappointed to see that there were less than a dozen figures on display, but it makes sense. They are over 2000 years old, so I’m sure it’s quite a production just to transport these. I was fascinated to see that they weren’t all the same. Meaning, it’s not like they were stuck in a mold and cranked out. Each figure was different with different facial features, positions, and clothing. Amazing.

They had a mock-up of what they thought these warriors looked like back in the day PAINTED. They weren’t just the raw terra cotta color, but they were painted to look more life-like. I guess there were enough bits of paint for them to reconstruct the appearance. The almost cartoonish brightness of the colors reminded me of the Sistine Chapel when they started restoring the panels. People had assumed for a long time that the somber, dark colors were what they were painted like. When they started restoring them, though, they were startled by how shockingly bright they were. It’s funny to think that the sepia-toned images of history we have get translated into us thinking that’s the color people lived in 🙂

Gotta say, you can’t beat Chicago’s skyline on a blue day.

I was really excited to get Japanese food afterwards at a joint within walking distance. The ramen, sadly, wasn’t as good as it looked in this picture. The broth was super-yummy and flavorful, but the noodles were on the dry side. Still, we don’t often get a chance to eat Japanese since the kids don’t do sushi, so it was a fantastic end to a pretty good day.

The boy also really enjoyed the ramen broth. I tried to convince him to either hold the bowl and drink it (the more Chinese-way) or stoop over the bowl and quickly spoon the broth into his mouth (the more Korean-way…I think, anyway, I could totally be wrong). He decided to go with a completely different method, the straw.

Anyhow, how do you try to juggle things in your life, be present and show up? But also not fry out completely? How do you keep your training fresh? Or at least grounded?

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End of Week Wrap-Up 

How gorgeous are these ladies? Another photo from last week’s gathering.

I’ve been a Saucony gal for the last several years, ever since a bad Brooks Ghost update drove me to look for another shoe. I liked the Brooks PureFlow, but I’ve read the updates have gotten narrower. And after reading Born to Run, I was curious about Saucony. I found the Kinvaras and loved them. The Kinvara 6, though, was narrower in the toe box, which was an issue for me and my wide feet. So I bought another pair of Kinvara 5, and then I tried another Saucony shoe, the Triumph. I liked the idea of a little more cushioning. However, after trying them for almost two months, I realized that they were too narrow as well–as in, I lost some sensation in my toes and/or had tingling. This was despite pulling all my creative shoe-lacing techniques. Thanks to Roadrunner Sports’ generous return policy for VIP members, I was able to return them after two months of use. I DID try on the Saucony 7, but they didn’t feel tremendously different from the 6 in the upper. Sigh.

I had tried the Nike RN Distance the last time I was in the store, at Bill’s urging. I tried them again and liked them. I was a little nervous about it. I, like every other person who ran track in high school 20 years ago, ran in the Nike Pegasus. I haven’t run in a pair of Nike’s since then. There was that whole Nike boycott in the late 90’s/early 00’s, and they just didn’t scream distance running shoes. Anyhow, they were some of the forebears to the minimal trend with their Nike Free. And I have trended more towards that, and these are super-flexible. I had to laugh, though, because even just visually they are very different from my other shoes (hello, black?).

I took them out on a short run earlier this week, and they are definitely more minimal. The jury’s still out on them, as they were less cushioned than I had realized. However, I appreciated their flexibility in encouraging more midfoot strike and better form. I’m going to take them out for another spin today and report back.

Earlier in the week was also Pi Day. My friend made me a WHOLE oreo pie (with a side container of homemade whipped cream). How great a friend is she? Seriously?! The rest of you slackers need to step it up. I have to confess that I ate the vast majority of it…I might have shared some of it with the spawn. Some.

Yesterday’s run was gorgeous, albeit a bit wet. I randomly texted my friend Amy to see if she was available to try out the Des Plaines trail. She runs it more often than I do, and she thought it would be manageable. She did text me before I got there, “Are you ready to go swimming?” Case in point. That’s the trailhead.

She did say that it was like that last time. The trailhead is a small pond for some reason, but the rest of the trail is better. There were ALOT of downed trees, though, which made us wonder if we should start signing up for some obstacle races.

We also encountered two individual paw prints in the mud that freak us out a bit. There are coyotes in the area, but I don’t think of them as being that big. Amy muttered words like “cougar” and “mountain lion.” I will preface that Amy is a dog owner; I am not. She did not mention dog prints at all. However, upon polling Facebook, and checking some sources here and here, it was decided that either they are a) coyote prints or b) large dog (same family obviously).

I have to say, though, that I’m only like 95% convinced. They are BIG.

By the end of the run, Amy was tired of tip-toeing around the puddles so she decided to just go full in. She did regret that as the water was pretty cold.

If you couldn’t tell, the trail was a mud fest. When I showered later at home, I realized that I had scratched up my ankles as well. I really hate discovering new chafing/abrasions showering after a run.

To wrap up, this week wasn’t a huge mileage week. I’m only doing 13’ish tomorrow, and probably doing a 4-5 miler today. I ran 7 on Monday, 5 on Tuesday (in the new Nike’s), and 5.6 on the trail yesterday. I was shooting for 6, and I had us turn around at mile 3 on the Garmin. Somehow it wasn’t the same coming back. Sigh.

Finally, to top off the week, I decided to take some length off my hair. I recently saw a picture of myself and didn’t love how long and blah my hair looked. I have all these grand fantasies of doing more braids or styling my hair in more interesting ways. Honestly, it doesn’t happen. So I chopped probably 5 inches off, and since I never style my hair, I took the opportunity to do a selfie with the new cut. I love the beachy waves Michael did. It’s not going to be replicated any time soon so I thought I should document it. It’s also not the most flattering angle, but I hate taking selfies in public.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s run as a small group of us are hoping to tackle some more single-track trails. We’ll see how trail conditions look. Happy running, friends!


When your long run sucks

This weekend was the first 20 miler of this training cycle. Because this cycle has been so off, I’ve been dreading this run. Patty and Jen also had not been looking forward to it, and the run took quite a bit of finagling since one of us had childcare issues. All of Patty’s talk about hill training and my final examination of Boston’s elevation map convinced us to head out to Waterfall Glen.

We got a little crew going for our Saturday morning. Ayesha (first from left) only did one loop with us. She’s training with Every Mother Counts for the Big Sur Marathon Relay, so she needed some hills as well. Kelly, second from left, did an earlier loop and ran her second loop with us on our first. She’s also doing the Ice Age 50k.

Here’s a less posed shot, where we look much more excited than we actually felt. Poor Jen got cut off.

The big joke starting out was that nobody had their watch on them (well, none of us that ran the two loops together. Ironically, Kelly and Ayesha did.). I had my Garmin, but for some reason the battery was almost dead. It didn’t really matter as we had a rough sense of the distance, just over 9.5 miles for a loop, but we all know it doesn’t count if it’s not on the Garmin.

The first loop was ok. I was grateful for Kelly’s Garmin as I could tell we were above pace for most of it. I love Jenny, but she can’t pace herself at all and she’s inclined towards speed. She led the group, so I was constantly hollering to pull it back. The Garmin helped validate my sense of pace. We decided to head out on the trail clockwise first, which meant we headed into Big Berth (a 125 foot climb over a half mile, between mile markers 4 and 5) uphill. I’ve found it helps to reverse the route for a second loop to keep things fresh. Knowing that Big Bertha is more uphill clockwise, I opted to have us head into it on our first loop when our legs were fresher. I can not say it helped us tremendously. Sigh. It never felt easy. I never hit a groove with the run. It was just straight plodding. The funniest quote from the run, though, “What the heck is that? It sounds like a fire alarm.” “Frogs.” City kids. The frogs were definitely in a dither heralding in spring for us. It broke up the monotony of the brown woods a bit.

We took a short break at the end of the first loop to send off Kelly and Ayesha, refuel, and take a bathroom break. It took a lot of self-talk, cajoling, and mutual harassment to get going again. For me, it kind of went downhill from there. The whole second loop was a struggle. I felt like I was constantly out of breath, the hills felt like mountains, and I went to a bad place mentally. I also almost had an emergency bathroom break in the woods, but a fellow runner told me we weren’t far from a port-a-potty when she saw me break into the woods. There is a port-a-potty midway along the loop, which we were still at least a mile from (and I couldn’t wait for), but this was one at one of the parking lots less than a half mile from where I stopped. I had high hopes for that bathroom break to renew my spirits. Alas, t’was not to be. After initial sense of relief, it was back to plodding.

I lagged behind the group for a good chunk of the run, and Patty held back with me. I have no idea what pace we were going, but Emily, Jen, and Jenny were pushing faster than I felt I wanted or could go. We were all having a rough time of it, evidenced by the minimal talking on the run (5-7 women on a run and silence? Unheard of!). That trio, though, believes more in the “end the misery faster” school of thought. Whereas, I tend to believe it will be worse if you try to push yourself faster through a tough run. Patty was with me, and we coached each other through walk breaks, hills, and the run overall. She even stopped to take a couple photos of me to break it up 🙂

THIS is where I started really wishing Boston was over. I wanted to walk so much more than I did, but marathoners (at least most of the ones I know) are firm believers in running the distance. Any walking is seen as a cop-out or not “really” counting. Ultra/trail runners seem to follow more of the “time on your feet” thinking, so whether you’re walking or running, you’re moving and covering the ground. I hated that whole battle of “I can do it” and “I want to lay down right now.” Really, without Patty, I think I would have walked the last 2 miles in. Which would have only prolonged the agony. And made me even more insecure and self-doubting, so thanks Patty!

In all honesty, I was having some trouble with the ankles/Achilles on the hills, particularly downhill, so I will be headed to see Craig this week.

I had to laugh, though, when we finally hauled it back in to the trailhead and this is what we saw.

Yup, 21st century folks. 3 individuals tired from a hard 20 milers documenting their tiredness for social media. Gotta love it. I was jealous they got to lay down. And for convoluted reasons, I had to drive Patty’s car home while everyone moaned about feeling nauseous and sharing photos. I drove in sullen depression. Quite a great run.

Most of us, I found out later, lay around the house for several hours in a general nauseated malaise. There were rumors that someone may have thrown up in their mouth during the run as well. God, running is so sexy. Despite all this trauma/drama, most of us were out at a mutual friend’s 40th birthday party. And just to show, I can clean myself up once in a blue moon (literally), here’s a nice shot of me and Jen not running or in sweaty workout clothes.


I also spent part of Sunday shoving my face full of these delicious dumplings. They’re called wahng mahndoo (that is my phonetic spelling), which translates into something like king dumplings and are sold from a little shack outside of Joong Boo Foods (Korean supermarket) in Chicago. $2 each and they were huge. Of course, I ate 2. The one on the left is black rice with sweet bean, and the one on the right is kimchi. They also had a pork one that was already eaten by one of the kids. So good. I texted my friend when I was at the store to see if she needed anything. She requested 4 dumplings and nothing else when she heard I was there. Ha.

Anyhow, so what do you do when you have a crap run?

a. Ignore it and pretend it never happened (my family’s go-to reaction to anything difficult)

b. Look in the mirror, practice a winner’s smile, and say out loud to yourself, “Gosh darn it, you work hard, you look strong, and people like you.”

c. Give up running altogether as you’ve realized it’s not right for you after all.

d. Moan, groan, and bellyache about it to anyone who will listen, and then move the f* on. It’s a run, not world hunger, or nuclear disarmament. You could even try some Vonnegut on it, “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

You can try and guess what I should do. What would YOU do?

P.S. Can we talk for a minute about how daylight savings it the curse of all parents? Got up at 7:30 this morning with one kid missing the bus, so a frenzy of lunch-packing, clothes-changing, and general chaos. Sigh.


Runners, body image, and food

I had my annual physical exam the other day. I debated rescheduling it for later. Not because I was busy, which I was, but because I was going to get weighed. Yup. Because I was going to get weighed. Totally nuts, I know.

But here’s the thing. I don’t own a scale, because it makes me crazy and obsessive…well, more crazy and obsessive than I am. And so I judge my weight but how I look/feel and how my clothes fit. Aaaaand, they’ve been tighter recently. Not unwearable, but I’ve been doing a lot of stress sugar eating. And my training isn’t as high as it usually is. So I’ve gained weight. Seriously, probably like 4 pounds, but I can tell. And I know I want to drop that 4 pounds before Boston because extra weight means running takes more effort. There’s a delicate balance of weight, muscle, power, and effort.

So I seriously considered rescheduling my physical until I had lost that 4’ish pounds. Because I didn’t want concrete confirmation of how my blob was taking over the world (I jest). Because ever since elementary school when we got weighed and measured, I’ve hated knowing my weight. Because that number is one that was used as some bizarre measure of comparison and individual worth. And to some extent, it still is. Right? Thinner is better? Wrong.

I’ve read run bloggers who have talked openly about their struggles with disordered eating and disordered body image. It seems that this is a huge issue for women athletes. Even for the elites. And we live in a society that is constantly assessing women’s bodies and determining their value on that scrutiny.

I read an article awhile back about Emelie Forsberg, a super-amazing mountain runner, who is gorgeous and strong. She talks about how people criticize HER as looking too fat to be a runner. Now, to be fair, elite trail and ultra runners look very different–i.e., muscular and dynamic, particularly in the quads–from elite marathoners, who look like they will blow away in the next gust of wind, so you have to remember that. But she is seriously so far from fat. And, in my highly unbiased opinion, cute as a button. (On a side note, I am definitely more drawn to trail/ultra running because my body looks more like those and less like the elite marathoners!)

And because I know our society tears women down in these ways, I arm myself against these barbs by doing things like removing the weight scale from my house. Laughing that my calves are too big for “regular people” knee-high boots and knowing they can carry me for miles and miles instead of Googling surgeries to make them smaller (um, it exists. In Korea). Treating my body as a source of strength and ability and not one to be diminished. Acknowledging that I am allowed to take up space in this world and to OWN that space.

I stop looking at women’s magazines and sometimes even women’s health magazines, because they perpetuate images of women that are not realistic or healthy. I can not look like someone whose job is to look good, who’s valued primarily for their looks, and can invest thousands of dollars and hours in maintaining that look. And I’m not sure I’d want to.

Instead, I think about the compliments I give to my different-shaped body friends and how I tell them they’re beautiful and strong, and make sure I think those same things for myself. We would never treat our friends (or even strangers) the way we (mis)treat ourselves. I think about how my body has brought two boisterous, energetic kids into this world. How it’s gotten me through 11 marathons, and is carrying me towards Boston. All with relatively little complaint.

And the funny thing is that I weigh the same as I weighed in high school. I have not changed the weight on my driver’s license since I was 16. But my conception of how I look, and the muscle and strength I carry within that weight is wildly different than what it was 20+ years ago.

This might also be why I cringe when people talk about eating “clean.” First of all, my food isn’t “dirty” just because you don’t think it’s pure enough…unless it’s been on the floor for more than 8 seconds. Then, it’s dirty. But you gotta wait for the full 8 seconds at least!

Just as I dislike characterizing my body as fat or skinny, I don’t want to characterize my food as good or bad. It is what it is. I have found that when I view food as not allowed, as things forever banned from passing my lips–and they are foods that are DELICIOUS–I end up bingeing or having a really unhealthy relationship with those foods. And, ironically, I recall seeing a post not that long ago about a famous vegan blogger who realized that all of her food restrictions were more about disordered eating than healthy eating. All of her claims about “health” were actually covering up the fact that she was struggling with trying to not eat at all.

This is NOT to say that if you are vegan you have disordered eating. Rather, we have to find what makes us feel good in healthy ways and be balanced in our approach. If we see our eating as a source of nutrition and fuel, as a way of nourishing ourselves (which may sometimes include treats), that is much better than shouting from the mountain tops how you’re gluten-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free, and feeling amazing when you secretly would smother a litter puppies just for a bacon-covered doughnut.

Which brings me back to my annual exam. I’ve been struggling with headaches and nausea a lot lately. I’m not sure what that’s about. My primary care doctor thought it might be allergy-/sinus-related. We’re going to try a steroid nasal spray for a few weeks to see if that helps. If not, we’ll try testing for food sensitivities, etc. In the meanwhile, I’ve started a food journal as well to try and figure out if there are things I am doing aggravating the issue. I’ve gone gluten free for up to 8 weeks before with little difference so I’m not sure that is a concern, but it never hurts to better understand the relationship of nutrition and overall health.

Anyhow, friends, let me know how you try to balance being healthy, nourishing yourself, and being balanced. Any tips/tricks?

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Happy National Paczki Day!

I had trouble sleeping last night, so I got up at 5:20 am and headed to the local bakery because today is NATIONAL PACZKI DAY! If you don’t know what a paczki is or don’t live near a bakery that makes them, I am sorry for you. It’s essentially a lighty, airy donut with a filling. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the breakdown of the dozen I got: fresh strawberry, custard, chocolate, and cheese.

If you live in the Chicago area, with its huge Polish population, you  know it’s a big deal. Even knowing that, and knowing the bakery opens at 5 am, I was still taken aback by how busy it was. Line to the door. One woman had even pre-ordered 12 dozen. That’s right, 12×12=144 paczki.

I’ve decided to indulge today and seriously shift my diet starting tomorrow (I know, I know). I don’t own a scale, but I think I’ve gained a little bit of weight. Hardly “racing weight.” So I’m cutting sugar (sigh) and wheat (not grains, but I eat too much wheat and it’s pretty processed–plus I get more creative and veggie-heavy when I cut it. I need to start taking my training a little more seriously. Keep me accountable, folks, and chime in!

Which brings me to training. We did our long run out at Morton Arboretum this weekend. Some serious hills. Well, as serious as you can get around here anyway…

I was annoyed, though, I forgot my Garmin and had to use my Strava. My pace looks like it’s all over the place because a) it was, haha, and b) I didn’t pause it for potty breaks, general confusion, etc.

This lovely crew!

We did a couple loops, and the second time we passed this bench, I made us take a picture. How could I not force a bunch of awesome, strong women NOT pose on it? You can see that some felt “stronger” than others. Ha.

And just to give you a window into how crazy distance runners are, someone in this picture had fallen earlier in the run (don’t text and run over a pothole) and broken two fingers and finished the run without much complaint. She didn’t know it was broken, and none of us took it that seriously. There may have been a doctor in the group as well…although to be fair, she’s an infectious disease specialist. Runners really are insane.

The rest of the weekend was pretty fun. I finished up a multi-week project, reusing all of our old broken restaurant crayons to make Lego crayons for Valentine’s giveaways. Ok, so actually making them was NOT fun (i.e., oven burns are the gift that keeps on giving. The initial burn hurts, but then every time anything other than cold water hits it, it hurts again.), but seeing the end results was pretty rockin’. And usually, I’m the mom that barely remembers to even get cards, but I’d seen something similar (except in heart shapes) and I’ve been itching to find a way to use all the free crayons we get from restaurants, random holidays, etc. I find purging things so satisfying.

We also went to a local establishment for our annual lobster eating. Every year, a bar near us has a lobster special, one whole lobster for $12.99, around Valentine’s. I don’t love lobster, but it’s fun to do now and then, especially for so cheap. My husband, who grew up spending some time in the summer at his grandparents’ place in Maine, LOVES lobster and always goes on about the lobstermen fishing them straight out of the ocean and bringing it to their table. THIS is definitely not that, but it’s an affordable way to eat some lobster and relive some of those memories. We also discovered that the youngest one also likes lobster. And yes, I know that’s not how you really eat lobster.

Anyhow, it snowed an inch or two last night which will probably kick today’s intervals/tempo (2×2 marathon pace miles) indoors. Chatted with Bill today, and he was talking about how important speedwork was in helping you work on form and activate your glutes and such. I’ve been ignoring the speed workouts as I’ve been trying to deal with my various tightnesses and wonkiness, but it’s time to put it back in. I re-shifted the training plan a bit, but more on that next blog. In the meanwhile, happy running!

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Rocks, bathrooms, and chickpeas

Woohoo yesterday was my 100th post. Years ago (in the early 00’s) I tried to write a blog called “Lady of the House.” I think I wrote 3 posts over the same number of months.

I did the kids’ laundry the other day. When I transferred the wet clothes into the dryer, these lovely surprises were left behind at the bottom of the washer drum. Cuz you know. Rocks. I’m not sure which kid they belonged to, and I’m just grateful it wasn’t a melted tube of Chapstick.

I had long wanted our running group to post up signs in the windows of their homes to mark “this is a house you are welcome to make a pit stop at.” After 3 years, that dream came to fruition. We had our annual winter “how to dress for cold weather running” fashion show, and that is where we debuted the signs. We printed and laminated 20 signs with the BFF logo on them, and the 20 have already been claimed! I love that 20 people are willing to have potential strangers come to their house at odd hours to destroy their bathrooms. THAT is community, people. 🙂

Any runner with their salt will be able to share some horror story of a locked bathroom or not being near any facilities. As I started getting back into marathon training 3 years ago, I found myself utilizing full knowledge of where various BFF’ers lived to get some “relief.” There is always a post every couple months about others struggling with GI issues and emergency stops. And let’s just say that we are lucky that there is always so much construction going on in the area, because those port-a-potties come in handy when the park bathrooms close. HA.

Anyhow, yesterday’s run was devoted solely to dropping off some of the signs. It ended up only being 4 miles, but I stuck them in my race pack and enjoyed the run. It felt a bit like the Pony Express. Without the pony. Or old-school Greek messengers (by the way, why did they use foot messengers? Why not horses?). It was a gorgeous day, though, and I ran into two BFF friends walking their kids home from preschool. Mr. Sometimes Runner and I have talked about we love the density of our community and how we see people we know all the time…Although someone honked and waved furiously at me the other day, and I didn’t recognize the car and couldn’t see the driver very well. Black Nissan? Anyone anyone?

Finally, I’ve been experimenting with eating more vegetarian. I don’t want to claim to be going vegetarian because that is more commitment than I am ready for right now. However, yesterday was the second day in a row of being meatless. On the menu was chickpea croquettes/cakes (mostly ground up chickpeas, eggs, scallions, garam masala, and a shallot). They were pretty good, but the kids weren’t fans. I was also dismayed to realize after eating them that I had not connected wheat with the fact I had put breadcrumbs in them. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but I really hate cooking and it’s a bit of a disaster when I cook, so I wasn’t really thinking. Still, not huge amounts, but things to keep aware of.

Anyhow, it’s hump day. This week, honestly, already feels too long for me, so yay for getting to the midpoint! Hope everyone has a great day!

Would you put up bathroom signs for potential runner strangers to come to your house? 

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Odds and Ends Friday

This is what happens when your kids don’t know your phone’s password, but they know how to get to your camera feature.  

Yes, I am the picture of liveliness at 6:30 in the morning.

Some more ongoing photo-documentation of my healthy-eating attempts…Kabocha squash for the win. This is the super-simple recipe I use, by the way.  I’m trying to eat more root vegetables. These parsnip pancakes were okay, if a bit salty. It was mostly shredded parsnip, a bit of onion, and one egg, with whatever spices you wanted to throw in. I used some garlic powder, salt, and pepper. If nothing else, going wheat and (relatively) sugar-free, does make you eat outside your typical stuff.    I’m doing this “Run 2015 miles in 2015” challenge/virtual race with my friend Patty. You could run it by yourself, with a parter, or with two other people. I did the calculations and decided that I COULD do the 2015 miles alone, I didn’t want the pressure of having to hit a mileage goal every month when I was in training for various things. Anyhow, Patty and I hit our goal about a month ago, and we got our medals in the mail. Well, they sent the medals to everyone recently, regardless of whether you had met your goal or not. Still, it was fun, to get a medal in the mail. I think the challenge was really motivating for alot of people. On the Facebook group, people have shared their achievements, losses (someone recently posted about getting their medals in the mail and their partner, husband, had passed this summer), first marathons. I think because I already have a pretty awesome network of fellow athletes and supporters, I wasn’t heavily involved with the Facebook group. However, alot of people have seemed to really connect with others and found their community. There WILL be a 2016 in 2016 challenge. I don’t think I’ll sign up for it, but it’s great for folks looking to push themselves.   You like that blurry shot? I’m still going with the bad selfie schtick for the blog.

One thing I HAVE anxiously been waiting for is my Boston Marathon official entry form. I haven’t gotten it yet and people have been uploading pictures of theirs. I know I’m in, but every excruciating step of this process is a tension-filled one. Like opportunities to find out it was all a bad joke. I’m not sure what the method to the madness is in sending out the forms as people start posted about a week ago. I’m hoping today’s the day. My high school friend virtually introduced me to a friend of hers who also blogs (Fit and Feminist). I’ve been reading it, and her newest post is a very awesome and moving reason for why/how she’s running Boston this year for the first time. Check it out!

I was driving home the other day and couldn’t resist taking a quick snap of the gorgeous colors of the sunset. Excuse the battered side-view mirror. Always good to find beauty where you can.
Anyhow, beautiful people. I hope you have a great Friday. I’ll continue exploring recipes and figuring out how this whole eating emotions thing goes. I’m looking forward to a nice 10 mile train run with some friends tomorrow. Hope everyone has a great weekend!