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Boston

Wow. My brain has still not been able to comprehend what happened at the Boston Marathon, but as I sit here and watch the news, I find myself in mourning.

Boston, the city I love to hate. The city I spent four years living, the city I endure this love/hate relationship with since I’m a die hard Yankees fan – attacked on Patriot’s Day. On Marathon Monday. At the finish line.

Words cannot express the pain I feel for those affected.

My nephew texted to ask how I was doing. When I told him I was OK, he asked me if I am going to stop running races. Without skipping a beat, I said no.

Runners are strong, mentally and physically, and there is an unspoken bond between runners that I cannot explain to non-runners. I don’t need to know any of those people who were crossing the finish line – or any of their family and friends who were there cheering them on – to share a sense of pride and accomplishment that they are feeling.  I was watching the marathon live, as I do every year, inspired by the runners and wondering their stories.

If I had been running that day, I would have been maybe 2-3 miles from the finish line at the time of the bombing. It looked like they were crossing at around the 4:10 mark, and I’m assuming I’d be finishing up around 4:30ish. I wouldn’t have been allowed to finish my race, but that’s not what matters here, because this goes way beyond running.

This is personal.

I know what Patriot’s Day means to those in the Boston area. I know how much pride they hold for the marathon, their beloved Red Sox who play an early game that day, and just the history and meaning for which Patriot’s Day stands.

I worked on that street – Boylston St. – and I know how much comradery this race brings to that area.

I also know the hard work that goes into running a race such as this. I’ve never ran a full marathon – only half marathons – but the bond is still the same. The blood, sweat and tears that go into the training. The hours dedicated, time away from your family to get your miles in. My first half marathon was a Boston race. I broke out into tears when I crossed that finish line. I could only imagine the emotion that goes into crossing that marathon line – especially the Boston Marathon.

Boston half

The fact that there are people out there getting a kick out of seeing the chaos that the news is showing makes me sick, but that won’t stop us from moving forward.

My heart is in Boston this week. I never thought I’d feel so much pride for a city I – well, love to hate – but it’s there today, as well as the pride I feel to be a runner. Those of you who put it all on the line to run, volunteer and support this race – my heart is with you too.

Stay strong.

If you’re a cat person, you will love this site:

It’s essentially a live stream that chronicles a stray cat and her kittens that were taken in by a foster dad through his local shelter, Purrfect Pals. It’s so adorable to watch them play and grow.

I keep this open in one of my tabs throughout the day to give me something to smile about when I’m in the middle of a project and need a break.

Friday, I worked from home and forgot I had left the site open on the screen after work was over.  Dennis came home and called me into the room to see what he was seeing.

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He sat there, extremely intent, for at least a half hour. He jumped down when the kittens ran off the screen for a bit, but then jumped back up when he saw they were back. It was just stinkin’ adorable.

If you have some time, check out their live feed. It will surely bring a smile to your face and help get these kittens adopted!

I’ve had a particular fleece blanket since my freshman year in college that Dylan loves. During the summer, it’s too warm to use it, but as soon as it gets cool enough, it’s a sure way to get the little guy’s attention.

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He likes to play in the morning, so he’ll purposely hang out on the blanket with a toy that he brings up himself, and wait patiently for one of us to wake up so he can make his move.

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Once the purrs get loud enough, he decides it’s time for a morning nap.

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So much going on before 8 a.m. makes for a sleepy kitty. (wouldn’t that be nice)

After months of being hurt, I have slowly started getting back into the swing of things. And by slowly, I mean my longest run since July has totaled 35 minutes. And I’m okay with that. It’s actually been kind of nice not to have anything to train for (although I will admit that I hate that I’m not running any of my favorite fall races – aka Army 10 Miler) and to not feel forced to run. I don’t have to feel guilty for not waking up early on Sunday to get in a long run. I’ve been focusing a lot more on walking and shorter, easier runs with lots of stretching and yoga moves. Not yoga, just yoga stretches. I haven’t gained any weight (in fact, I’ve actually lost a few pounds) and I feel great overall.

Since I am starting to build my base again, I decided it was time to finally buy a new pair of sneakers since my Brooks weren’t doing anything good for me. Again, not to say that Brooks are a bad shoe; these shoes were just not for me. I spent a lot of time researching, reading, and trying on different shoes before making this purchase. I cannot stress this enough: Go to a running store to buy your sneakers. Do it. You will NOT regret it. They work with you and help you understand the differences between all the different varieties of shoes. I have spent no less than an hour at a time trying on shoes, walking in them, running in them (on their treadmill in the store,) trying different ways to tie the shoes…it’s incredible what a difference your shoe laces can make! I tried a 4 mm, 8mm and 12 mm drop shoe (most typical running sneakers have a 12 mm heel to toe drop. The lower the drop, the closer it is to being a minimal type shoe. Correct me if I’m wrong people.) Since my knee has been giving me such problems and I’ve gotten so many stress fractures over the past few years, I thought a more minimal style shoe would be better for me. I spoke with a few of the wonderful people at Potomac River Running (in Reston) and the overall consensus was that my body has been through a lot of stress, and what I need to do is focus on a shoe that can help me to re-build my base SAFELY. Trying to jump from an injury into a shoe that will change my running form is not a good idea. I was convinced after all the reading I’ve done about minimal running that it would be a great solution for my knees, but after trying a few different types of shoes, I realize they are right.

Long story short, I bought the Adidas Aegis 2W’s. I wanted a light shoe with a snug fit that would allow me to feel the road but without the minimal stress.

Adidas Aegis 2W’s

These pictures make them look a lot bulkier than they are. They are very lightweight, and the cushion is prevalent but not overwhelming. Like I said, I wanted to feel the road, and with these I can. I’m not crazy about the color (they’re red on one said and black on the other) but color doesn’t affect my performance so I’ll have to suck it up for now.

I did a 3 mile run with my co-worker Craig out on the W&OD trail with the new shoes and felt great.

Stats:

Mile 1: 8:33
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 9:23

And the shoes? So far so good. Since I have 30 days to return them, I have to try to get as many miles as them as possible to ensure they’re a good fit, so you will be hearing a lot about these shoes. Man I wish I knew I had 30 days to return the Brooks…but whatever.

Do you have any stories about Adidas running sneakers?

Simplicity

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this all day?

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Yeah, I know I owe you some explanations. I actually have some good ones. These past two months have been filled with highs and lows, and I will be sharing some of those with you this week. I am also working with an online magazine as their social media manager, so that is taking up my extra time (since it’s part time outside of my full time job.) More on that later as well.

So yeah. Life’s been busy. But all is well.

Don’t worry, I’m still here.

Happy Monday.

I have a love/hate relationship with bagels. Being from New York, bagels are synonymous with breakfast. It’s not uncommon to run into to a corner deli and run out with a bagel with cream cheese and coffee. When I was in college I ate a lot of bagels. They were easy on-the-go eats, and they were ALAWYS around. They also were part of the reason I gained 20+ pounds (I won’t mention the late night pizza runs and constant access to fried food. And beer. Can’t forget the beer.)

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When I moved out of NY, it was hard to find a good bagel, which was good because I’ve since put them on my eat-only-once-in-a-blue-moon foods.

Perfect.

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This tuna melt is quick and easy and packed with protein. I was able to whip this up in around 15 minutes.

Bagel Tuna Melt with Greek Yogurt (serves one hungry person portion – in other words, I ate the entire thing)

  • 1 can of either chuck light or white tuna, packed in water
  • 1 bagel, preferably whole grain of some sort. This was a plain white bagel (I know, what was I thinking?) but that’s only because it was Dennis’ and he forgot about it. And I hate seeing food go to waste. (yeah, that’s it…)
  • 1 T + 1 tsp. plain Greek yogurt – preferably 2% since it’s thicker, creamier and less tangy than fat free. I used Fage.
  • 1 T chopped onion
  • 1 oz. cheese of your choice (I used a shredded cheddar mix)
  • Tomato slices and a small handful of baby spinach
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  1. Lightly toast the bagel in your toaster first. This will keep it from being too overly soggy later
  2. Drain tuna and mix with yogurt, onion, salt and pepper. If you’re feeling frisky, sprinkle in some garlic powder
  3. Dump your tuna on the bagel and top with spinach, tomato and cheese
  4. Turn your broiler on LOW, and throw the bagel in for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn it to High for about a minute or so – just make sure your cheese is not burning

Viola!

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Enjoy the blue moon and this wonderful long weekend!

What are quinoa pockets you ask? Well, they’re a quinoa salad shoved in a pita.

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And they’re good.

I got the inspiration from Angela’s Protein Packed Pita Pocket but altered it to what I had on hand. You can also make a wrap of this, which was originally my intention…but my wraps were moldy. Bummer.

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You can use any combination of ingredients to make this work which makes this a great quick and easy lunch or dinner alternative. (I ate this for dinner three days in a row with a side of fresh veggies)

Quinoa Pockets

  1. 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  2. 1/2 avocado, chopped
  3. 1 roma tomato, chopped
  4. fresh spinach
  5. 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 tbs olive oil
  7. garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
  • In a bowl, mix everything but the balsamic and oil together (I like to mix the oil and vinegar separately and then drizzle it in but you don’t have to)
  • Shove everything in a pita. I overstuffed on half of a pita but you can obviously spread it out into a whole one

That’s it! Easy and so good! And it has healthy fats, plenty of protein, it’s vegan and very very tasty. And did I mention filling?

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If you do try this, let me know what variations you try. You can essentially stuff a pita with anything (that’s what she said) so please feel free to let me know what you think!

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