Showing posts from May, 2012

May Foodie Pen Pals

I had the chance to participate in perhaps the most fun thing. I love meeting new people, trying new things, and I food. Bring those all together and you've got foodie pen pals!

Started by Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean, each month you are matched up with fellow foodie to whom you send a box of goodies from your neck of the woods. You exchange e-mails first to get an idea of what that person might want.

This month I was matched with Griselda of runninglicious. Griselda said she wasn't picky, so I had free rein. I send the herbal popcorn (aka crack) from Little Lad's, some chocolate covered blueberries from LL Bean, and Fluff (a New England classic).

My foodie pen pal sender this month was Todd of Zombie Eating, from St. Lois. When I got home and found my box on my steps, it felt like Christmas. I ran in and opened it right away! As soon as I opened it a big puff of white powder spewed out and covered me.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous. Did my food pen pal send me …

Tis the Season

You know those things that seem so much better because you can only get them at certain times of the year? Like candy corn, Cadbury Eggs, and Girl Scout cookies.

One of things I love about living in Maine is that it is very seasonal. After a long, cold, lonely winter everything starts to open up slowly in early spring and then all of a sudden on Memorial Day weekend it just explodes into summer. All the little shops, ice cream stands and restaurants open. Boats and floats go into the water. Summer people come back and there are lights in all the windows again at night.

I had a glorious weekend greeting old friends, favorite foods, and familiar biking and running routes. Thursday night we went to Andrew's Harborside opening night. It's an old family favorite, and the only place my Mom's boyfriend will go. Last summer he ate there 72 times, and he always gets the same thing. But then again so do I. They have the BEST crabcakes- absolutely packed with Maine crab and topped wi…

Chiropractic Experiment

At the Tri for the Y last weekend they had a local chiropractic practice doing free adjustments and massages. I went before the race mostly because I was there so early and I was bored, and hey, I'm a sucker for anything free.

I actually ended up getting worked on after the race as well. I was treated by two different doctors, but both agreed that I had some issues that needed continuing care so they gave me a card for a free evaluation in their office. Since I did feel better after they worked on me, I decided to give it a try. It seems like people either see a chiropractor regularly and rave about it, or have never been and think it is all made up. I have been having some serious neck pain lately. Last time I was traveling it was so bad that I was waking up at night with pounding headaches. I have also had chronic hip and IT band  issues since my days as a gymnast. And I am willing to try most things once!

At my evaluation, the chiropractor used little sensors and ran them down my…


I wanted to get in some sort of speed work today since I have been slacking a bit on that front. But I didn't get up in time to get in a whole workout on the high school track before school started, and my legs were too tired for long intervals on the road. I was stumped. until I remembered the 30-20-10 workout I read about in Runner's World.

Here is the prescribed work-out

Here’s how to do a 30-20-10 workout.
1. Warm up with easy jogging for about a mile. (The studied runners warmed up for just ¾ mile.)
2. Jog for 30 seconds, run normal training pace for 20 seconds, and sprint for 10 seconds. Immediately repeat this cycle four more times, producing one continuous five-minute repeat.
3. Jog for two minutes. Then repeat step 2 two or three more times. (The subjects in the JAP study did 3 x 5-minutes for the first four weeks, and 4 x 5-minutes for the next three weeks.)
4. Cool down with easy jogging for about a mile. (The studied runners apparently did no cooldown, but we alw…

May Mix it Up Monday

Holy moly, I can't believe it is already the third Monday in May. This month is flying!! It has been feeling more like August than May here in Maine. Yesterday I woke up nice and early, and biked to running club. After the tri on Saturday I was hoping for a short, flat run. Not so much. I was the only woman, and then there were 6 hard core guys. We did a hilly and fast 6 miler. I was dying. Iced coffee at the Local Buzz after was maybe the best thing I've ever tasted, except I was embarrassed because I was so red and sweating bullets. None of the guys even looked like they'd been for a run. Love my grossness. Revived by my coffee, I decided to go out on the bike for another 15 miles instead of heading straight home. Then I went to Reid State Park and chilled on the beach. Mmmm I love the beach.

Anyway, on to May Mix it up Monday! This week I am challenging myself to mix up my food. I've been in a rut, eating a lot of sandwiches and cereal. BORING. I mean, I'm home w…

Tri for the Y

Yeah, I have officially completed my first tri of the year, and my third tri ever. I didn't talk a lot about it before the race, because I was already nervous enough. I don't get really nervous before running events anymore, except maybe the marathon (and that is more dread than nerves), because I know I can do the distance and I am not too obsessed with my time. But triathalons are still new enough, and the swim is still so far out of my comfort zone, that I was pretty jittery.

I got there at 7, a full 2 hours before the race. By 7:30, I was checked in, and my stuff was all ready to go. So then I had a long time to sit around and get more nervous. Oops.

Finally at 8:45 we all gathered in the pool for the pre-race meeting, and at 9 sharp the first swim wave went off. Unlike the pool tri I did last year, in this event the slower swimmers started first. I liked this because it meant I got to start earlier, and wasn't out on the course mostly by myself. Using this system, ever…

It's a good day to be a biker

Happy National Bike Month/Bike to Work Week/Bike to Work Day! There are all kinds of fun events going on in Portland this week, and I got to hit up a few of them.

Last night I went to a women's bike repair clinic sponsored by Liv/Giant. Although I have been riding for years, I still can't change a flat tire for the life of me. And I shelled out a lot o $$$ for my road bike, so I want to keep it in good condition. This was the best clinic I've ever been to. Lauren, the Giant rep, was super friendly and down to earth. We got to do a lot of hands on. At the end I totally changed a flat in less than 3 minutes. Boo yah.

This afternoon, The Bicycle Coalition of Maine sponsored an after work party out at Bug Light. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I enjoyed my safe, flat ride out there on the Greenbelt. I chilled in the sun, munched on some goodies, and even got to talk to one of men who helped to develop the Greenbelt. I love my little section, and definitely want to try and do t…

Joy Comes Back to Me

It has not been a good week so far. I don't know what it was exactly, the gloomy weather, or the fact that I wasn't feeling great, but I was not a happy camper. All I wanted to go was sit on my couch and watch crappy TV and eat crappy food and feel miserable. So I did.

My runs were pretty miserable run, done out of obligation and habit rather than passion. Even by beloved greenbelt failed to inspire me. Bug light, Casco Bay, lovely view of the Portland skyline....... yeah whatev.

After some violent thunderstorms last night, I finally woke to a beautiful sunny morning. And finally I actually wanted to run. I decided I needed a change in scenery to inspire me so I headed towards the beach. I wanted to try running at Scarborough marsh, which I have biked by a few times, but even though the gate was open, and the (cranky) old lady was in her little booth, she wouldn't let me in. It wasn't "officially" opening time. I wasn't aware nature had an opening time, but…

Kitchen Reveal

Well after a little more than a week of very late nights and long days, the kitchen project is done! Last week I compared the project to a marathon, and it really was so similar. It the middle it seemed endless and I asked myself why the heck I was doing this to myself. Now that's it's over, I am so happy with the results and proud that I did it myself. Girl power! Plus all that squatting, bending, and lifting had to burn at least a few extra calories, right? And now for the big reveal.....

I LOVE being in my kitchen now. I made  homemade strawberry rhubarb chutney to put in my yogurt this morning for breakfast and have a veggie lasagna planned for dinner.

What is your favorite room and why?

P.S. Check out my guest post today over at Blogitness

May Mix it Up Monday

Aside from having to clean my bathroom counter a lot more often because of all the toothpaste I got everywhere, the first week of Mix it Up May went great.

My challenge this week is to run in new directions. Meaning I am going to try to mix in some backward and sideways running into all my runs. My body is pretty darn good at moving in a single plane moving forward. But moving backward and sideways feels pretty darn awkward.

So get out there this week and run backwards and sideways!

To Brazil or Not?

Don't worry, this is not a post about bikini waxing. That would be TMI, even for me. It's about the actual country of Brazil. And the question is, should I try to squeeze in marathon in Brazil at the beginning of July. I just started considering it last week, and I've changed my mind about 10 times.

Pro: I'd get my South American Marathon in this year.
Associated Con: I'd only get to spend about 4 days there, which doesn't seem like much time

Pro: I could use miles to get my ticket
Associated Con: It would still cost at least $600 for the hotel and race fees

Pro: July is winter in Brazil so it is the coolest time of year to do a marathon there.
Associated Con: July is the nicest time of year in Maine, and I want to be here to enjoy it. And I'd have to fly out on the 4th of July.

Pro: I could connect it with a work trip to Texas. This would save me time and money.
Associated Con: I could connect it with a work trip to Texas. So after I run the marathon I'd have…

DIY Disaster Zone

I have hated the color of my kitchen cabinets since I moved in, and since I'm home for an extended period with nothing major to do, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and repaint them. I mean it's just painting right? Even I should be able to do that.

And then it snowballed into a massive project and sent me into a tailspin. I had to take apart my whole kitchen creating a huge mess all over my house. Messes seriously stress me out.

This is not a fast project. First I had to wash all the cabinets with a highly toxic cleaner, and then wipe them all down with water. Then I removed all the hardware and cabinet doors (thank god for power tools). Next step was sanding, and then vacuuming and tack clothing to get rid of the dust. Then primer time. Then re-sanding and cleaning for the doors that I decided to paint on top newspaper. The newspaper stuck to the edges and made them lumpy and ugly. I hate things that move slowly. I am the put my head down and work non-stop until I fini…

Mini Road Trip to Acadia National Park

My little cousin is going to college at College of the Atlantic on Mount Desert Island and I've been promising to visit since she started last September. And now the school year is almost over! So I volunteered to drive her back up to school yesterday after she'd been home for her brother's going away party on Sunday. It is a long haul up there, it's 3.5 hours from Portland, but we took the slower back road route because going through all the little towns is so much more interesting than the highway.

We got to see the fancy new Penobscot  bridge. We considered going up because it is supposed to be an awesome view and one of the fastest elevators in the world.

 But we were too cheap to pay the admission fee and in a hurry to get up to Bar Harbor.

When we got to COA (which btw has the cutest little campus) we dropped off our stuff off in Lindsay's room and headed straight downtown for dinner. It was late and we were starving!

Lindsay picked the Side Street Cafe because…

May Mix It Up Monday

I am home for the whole rest of May. This is pretty much the longest stretch that I am ever home at one time, and I can see myself getting pretty bored pretty fast. So....... introducing May Mix It Up Monday. Every Monday this month I am going to think of a challenge for myself for the week, and I challenge you this. This week's challenge is brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. I am extremely right handed, so this is super hard for me. There was tooth paste all over the bathroom. This has to be good for my brain right?

Happy Cinco de Derby

This morning's 8 miler was rough. Not because I went fast or long, but because I had so much darn fun yesterday. Oh well, sometime you have to live a little. How often do Cinco de mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall on the same day?

Breezy and I hit up Target, AC Moore, and TJ Maxx Friday night for derby hat supplies. We went with a little of everything. Saturday morning was assembly time. I went the feathers and bird route,

And then we were all dressed up and ready to go. Luckily the sun came out, or I would have been freezing!
First stop- El Rayo's! They had an awesome band, amazing margarita's, and a happening patio party!

 Next stop- Brian Boru. It was almost like being at the derby for real. They had authentic decorations and (super strong) mint juleps. They had a best hat contest for the ladies, and a best dressed contest for the men. It was fun to see people all dressed up since Portland is usually pretty laid back.

Final stop was Sebago. Special drink of the day was raspb…

Newman's Own

Home sweet home. I got home last night, tired to and staving, to a cold house with no food. I figured it was a good night to try the Newman's Own complete frozen meal I'd picked up awhile ago when they they were on sale and I had a coupon. 

Normally, I'm not a big fan of frozen dinners but I do like the Newman's Own brand, so I figured it was worth a try. It was easy, I just popped it in a skillet and let it cook, stirring occasionally as I sorted mail.

It was a little short of veggies for my liking, I like more veggies than pasta, but at least the veggies that were there actually looked good. They were nice sized chunks, unlike the colored veggie specks you get in some frozen meals.
 One bag is 2 servings, but when I poured half into a bowl, it looked a little skimpy. I beefed it up with some extra spinach and white beans.

It wasn't bad. The pasta was a little mushy, and I wish it was whole grain. The chicken was good, big chunks of real chicken with a good texture.…

Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz time! What do these 3 things have in common?

And the answer is.............. THEY STINK. Yep I've now been in California for 2 weeks and I haven't been able to do laundry. And I have been doing daily, and often twice daily, sweat sessions. So my 3 work-out outfits officially reek. I tossed them in the bathtub with some shampoo and swished them around on Sunday, but I don't think it was terribly effective. Running outside, or alone in the hotel gym, it is not so bad. But stuffed in a tiny room with 25 other spinners? It was obvious. Sorry everyone!

FITNESS Free for All Fail

In celebration of their 20th anniversary Fitness is giving away passes for a free workout at a bunch of cool gyms around the country today. I was super excited to check out the 24 Hour Fitness Sport near my hotel because I'd heard they have the best spin bikes around.

I got up at 4:30, threw on my clothes, shoved down a banana since I was starving, gulped down some coffee and headed out the door. With my free pass in hand I skipped into 24 Hour super excited to try a new class only to be informed the class was full. Crap. And since I was planning on spinning I didn't bring my i-pod or a magazine, and I forgot my water. Boo. So I did a 20 minute leg circuit on the machines and then headed back to my hotel. I couldn't face an hour on the cardio machines without anything to entertain me.

I thought about running outside but couldn't get excited about it. It was still dark, rainy, and I didn't want to do the same route for the 3rd day in a row (but it's the only not h…