Wednesday, December 29, 2010

what's behind me, and what's ahead

I've been thinking of this past year, and it's been a good one. 

I had two main goals for 2010, run a marathon and run 1,000 miles. I managed to complete my marathon in September, even though I injured my hamstring two weeks before the race.  Hammy flared up every now and then, and I ended up taking a total of 5 weeks off to let it heal completely. So as of today, my miles for the year are 827.5.  A bit disappointed that I didn't reach 1,000, but the important thing is that I kept at it, even when I realized I wouldn't make it.  I didn't keep track of all the miles I put in on my bike, or walks with the kids and Frank, or even my yoga/DVD workouts, so I'll bet I reached 1,000 when you add all those miles to my running total.  So it's all good.

I also had some fun moments:

Getting my tattoo:

Getting Frank:

Lovin' on Mike and my kids:

Running with my friends:

Being with family:

Now, Goals for 2011:

Goal #1: Stay injury free. I'm going to keep up the cross training to make sure this goal is attained!

Goal #2: Mystery Marathon. I won't find out if I can run this until March.  Fingers crossed.

Goal #3: A Duathlon. There is Du the Lakes on May 7th, at Green Lakes, here in Syracuse.  I think this would be a fun new challenge.

Goal #4: 1,000 running miles. 

Goal #5: run my favorite local races.  Syracuse is hosting the inaugural Empire State Marathon and Half on October 16, I think I'll tackle the half.  On my wish list, are the New Bedford Half Marathon, and the Hershey Half Marathon.

I'm going to keep experimenting in the kitchen, keep up with my reading, and enjoy my kids, family and friends.  Mike and I would really love to take the kids to Disney in 2011, so we'll see what happens. 

I've been lucky to work with some great companies to do giveaways for friends of my blog, there are still a few days left for my CEP compression shorts if you haven't seen it, here.

It's been a really good year for us, and I'm very fortunate.

Happy New Year Peeps.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A New Christmas

"There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called "The Present." ~ Kung Fu Panda

A friend of mine included this quote in her Christmas card this year, and I found it fitting, especially this year.

For the past 14 years, travel has been involved for us for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Last Christmas was the last one we spent at my Mom's house, and all of us were together, she has since sold her house and moved on.  So this year my family came to us for Thanksgiving, which meant a travel free Christmas for us at home. No hiding presents in the car, no battling bad travel weather or traffic, just staying home.  And we were very excited for that.

I had great plans for Christmas Eve, we were going to Mike's sisters house, for her big Italian fish dinner.  I wanted to go out for a run that morning to participate in the Santa Hat run that was organized on Daily Mile. But the one thing you can count on with kids, is that one of them will get sick.  Poor Lukie got the stomach flu the night before Christmas Eve, and he and I were up all night.  So instead of a morning run, I slept. Luke was feeling much better later in the day, but he hung out at home with Mike while Eliza and I went to the dinner, but we brought goodies back for them.

It was so nice to be home Christmas Eve.  Here are the kids and Frank putting out food for the reindeer:

Christmas morning was nice and mellow. Frank was zonked out on the couch in the living room, so the kids could open gifts in the family room in peace. I got a lovely new purse, as well as a stocking full of chocolate:

Santa brought the kids a new toy kitchen, to replace the one that "was for babies." He got a really good deal on it, and now I know why.  There were so many friggin' pieces in that box, it took me HOURS to put it together. 

The day was full of various toy assembly, a visit from Mike's parents, and snacking.  We rotated Christmas movies for background noise, and stayed in our pajamas.  I didn't shower until the afternoon, and got right back into my pj's.  Then it was time to tackle dinner, Mike took control of the prime rib roast, and I handled the side dishes.

Cauliflower gratin from Ina Garten, I used half the milk and butter that the recipe called for, and it still came out perfect:

"Perfect Roasted Potatoes" from Nigella Lawson. Nigella says in her cook book that when they are finished roasting, you put them in a dish to "bring to the table with pride in your heart" and I really did.

After the kids went to bed, Mike and I sat by the tree, having cocktails and being lazy.  Can you hear my sigh of contentment?

It was a different Christmas, a lovely Christmas, just hanging out with my little family. 

Which is what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A giveaway for all you compression lovers

Three days until Christmas.  I've finished my shopping, almost finished wrapping gifts, but still need to get some things for Christmas Dinner. I think I enjoy Christmas Eve more than the actual Day....all the anticipation and excitement and feeling celebratory. 

So before I wish you a Merry Merry, I have one final review and giveaway, and it's a good one. And it involves CEP Compression Short Tights.

One again I'm working with David at, who has graciously let me test out the tights.  Although my pulled hamstring is pretty much back to normal, I'm still hesitant about testing it's limits. So these were the perfect addition to my running gear.

I'm going to plagiarize myself a bit, this is what I wrote in about compression in my review of the CEP Socks.....if you aren't familiar, compression is used to help with muscle recovery either during or after exercise. The compression increases circulation, which flushes out lactic acid, thus helping to improve your performance. They also support muscles that have been injured, like shin splints or dreaded plantar fasciitis (which I've dealt with on and off for years now), by reducing the muscle vibration in the tissue.

This is what the shorts looked like when I opened them, at first glance I thought at first that they would fit Luke, and not me!  But no worries.

Here is the front of the shorts:

Here is the back:

Note the spot that you can use to help pull the shorts up. At first I thought it was a place to hold a gel, but as I wiggled into them, Mike pointed out that I could grab that to help hoist them up over my rear (Baby's got a bit 'o Back) There is also a mesh panel right above that, I'm assuming to help let your skin breathe.

It was also pretty helpful to have directions on how to actually get into them:

I love the coverage, the shorts start at my waist and go all the way down to my knees.  They gave great support to my quads, hamstrings and glutes.  They definitely fit snugly, but not in a bad way, I didn't feel like a sausage or anything.  The stitching was flat, overall it was a smooth fit.

I tested them out on an outside run, Eliza was at a friends house for the morning, so I had enough time to get out for six miles.  I wore them under a pair of running pants.  It was 27 degrees, with a few flurries in the air, but the roads were fairly clear so I hit the pavement. 

I felt great as I ran, honestly like I had a spring in my step.  I love the word "jaunty" as in jaunty step, and I totally felt that way.  And not a single protest from Hammy.  I kept them on after I got home, to quickly tidy up the house, take Frank for a walk, and wrap a few Christmas presents.  I felt good the rest of the day, and even better, great the next day.

I was really happy with the shorts.  If you have a last minute gift to get for someone (or yourself), you can use code RS10 to take 10% off a pair of shorts at  CEP recently lowered the price of the shorts to $99, with the code you end up paying $91!

Now onto the giveaway, there are two requirements to enter, and it's open to residents of the U.S.:

1. go to's facebook page here, join the page, then write on their wall. Tell them I sent you : )
2. come back to my blog, and leave me a comment telling you did so.

After you've done that, for bonus entries, you may:

1. be a friend of my blog
2. share the info of the giveaway on twitter, facebook, or blog
3. tell me what your goal is for 2011
4. tell me if you know what the name of my blog means

This giveaway expires at midnight New Years Eve.  I'll choose a winner using on January First.

Good Luck!!  and Merry Christmas!

Note: I was provided with a pair of shorts for the purpose of this review.  My thoughts on the product are entirely my own.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I love it when the Mailbox holds something other than bills

Today the mail carrier brought me my gift from Jill's Blog Gift Exchange!

It came from Tara, which was a pleasant surprise. That girl kills me, her blog was the first running blog I've ever read, hopefully I can make it out to Colorado for a race at some point, then I can meet both Tara AND Jill : )

The headband is a perfect addition to my winter running gear, it even has a spot for my ponytail.  Thanks Tara!!! 

Stay tuned, because I have one final review/giveaway for 2010, and it's a reaaallly good one.  The only hint I'll give is a photo of the box it came in, which Luke turned into a robot helmet.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tell Me Where You Live

Thanks for the great feedback on the mantra stickers, I really liked reading your mantras as well!

Luckily, I have more than 20 stickers to give away : ) So....if you're one of the 34 commenter's on my sticker post, email me your address so I can send you one!  Although I won't be sending them out until after Christmas, there is no way I'm going into the madness at the Post Office this time of year.

Last night we got Frank ready for his first Christmas, poor doggie.

And here he is, dignity intact.  Sitting in front of the heat vent, his favorite spot.

I also made Frank and Mike a Christmas Stocking. Mike's is very generic, so I thought I'd spice it up for him. Martha Stewart I'm not.  He said it looks like I made it for a 14 year old girl.

I love this time of year. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Would you like my Mantra?

I have favorite quotes, favorite song lyrics, favorite sayings.  When I started training for my marathon, I needed something to run to, something to think of during the long weeks of training, and in tough moments.  Something to keep me going.

I came across a phrase last year, I can't remember if I read it in a book or magazine, but once I read it, it was singed into my brain.  It became my running mantra.  And I thought of it during my lowest point of my marathon last September.

Here it is:

Thanks to the lovely folks at, my running mantra has been made into a bumper sticker!  

I have stickers to share, if anyone is interested.  Right now I have 20 available, with more to come.  If you would like one, leave me a comment, let me know if you have a mantra, and what it is.  I'm not sure what kind of response I'll get for this, but I'll keep this post up until Saturday, and if I have more than 20 comments, to be fair, I'll choose 20 using 

Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running Tag, and Preschool Debacles

I've been tagged by Miss Zippy to answer some running questions.......

Do you prefer winter or summer running? Why?

If I have to choose, I pick summer.  You have less layers to wear, there is no danger in falling on ice, and it feels really good to dunk your hot feet in the baby pool afterwards.  Plus you look hardcore when you're dripping with sweat.

What's been your toughest race to date? 

The marathon.  Not only because it was the longest race I've done, but my stomach gave me issues, and I was dealing with a pulled hamstring. But I finished!

Running goals for 2011?

1. I'd like to do another marathon.
2. I'm also going to try and run 1,000 miles again, because it's not going to happen this year. Darn injuries.
3. I also want to mix things up a bit, and try a Duathlon.

Do you have any other passions in life?

FOOD! I love to cook, by myself or with my husband.  I love to cook for others.  I love to go out for dinner at a high end place, and I'm just as happy to go to a diner.  Or grab a slice of pizza.  Or take the kids for ice cream. I love wine, and I love a dirty martini. With bleu cheese stuffed olives.  Okay, I'll stop now.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

It would be nice to live somewhere coastal, maybe the West Coast.  I honestly do like living in NY, because in just a few hours, I can drive to NYC, the beaches of Long Island, or the mountains of the Adirondacks.

Now, I need to tag three people....let's go with the boys this time: Luke, Mike, and Johann.

Eliza's preschool had a little Christmas show for us on Friday. 

Eliza is all about music, she loves to listen to it, has a variety of instruments (including a ukulele), and she'll walk around the house singing into a straw as a microphone.  So she was very excited to sing her Rudolph song, complete with antlers.  Although she got a bit too excited.  While jumping up and down, dancing, and being the star of the show, she pulled a Me.  Or, I should say, a Mary Catherine Gallagher move, in the form of dancing so much she backed into the bulletin board behind her, and wiped out. Big Time.  There was the expected GASP!! Ohhhhhhh! from the parents, and Miss E burst into tears.  I just think she was pissed because her performance was interrupted.  She was okay after a few minutes, and the show went on. 

Luckily, Mike has it all on tape.  So we can show it at her wedding.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I guess I could pay closer attention

I love my Jeep. Especially in the snow, when I can drive with confidence, and especially in the summertime when I open the sun roof and blast my tunes.  I love it, but I'm kind of bad at taking care of it.  As you can tell by the following exchange from last Saturday:

Mike: your tires are squealing, when was the last time you put air in them?
Me: ummmmmm....

Mike: why is your Service Light going off? 
Me: ummmmmm.....

Mike: do you need an oil change? When was the last time you had an oil change?
Me: ummmmmmm...

Today I came out of the grocery store, and my back tire was so low, I thought I had a flat.  A helpful gentleman looked at it, didn't think it was completely flat, and suggested I go across the street to the tire place and have them check it out. So off I went.

Service Dude: When did you last put air in your tires?
Me: Saturday!

Service Dude: Is it a Jeep Limited or Jeep Laredo?
Me: ummmmmm, Limited??

Service Dude:  How many miles are on it?
Me: blank stare.

Service Dude: Do you have Triple A?
Me: Yes!

Service Dude: Can I see your card?
Me: (searching through purse) hmmmmmm, must be in my other bag.

New Service Dude: So how many tickets have you gotten?
Me: Speeding Tickets?! Only one!

New Service Dude: No, for your expired inspection. It was due in October.
Me: blank stare.

Maybe taking care of my automobile should be a New Years Resolution.

So the snow has finally stopped, after dumping over four feet onto us, my outdoor Christmas decor is completely covered, the snow banks are taller than Frankie.  No outdoor runs, but I did hit the treadmill three times, so it's all good. But I was really looking forward to this weekend, a kid free/dog free weekend in the form of a Christmas party Saturday, and going to the Buffalo Bills/Cleveland Brown's game Sunday.  But the weather has other plans, in the form of an Nor'easter heading our way.  I knew we had to cancel when my friend Dawn (from Buffalo) started talking about bringing toilet paper and extra food in the car, in case we got stuck on the Thruway for a day or two.  I feel bad for Mike, who is a huge Cleveland fan.  Although I was a little nervous when he he said he was going to wear his Cleveland hat, because I heard Bill's fans can be a little nutty.   

I can't help but add more snow pictures:

OH! And I forgot the winner of my CSN Giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered, picked #66, Karen from The Burrows Underground.  Send me an email and I'll get you hooked up!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Last Run

The last outdoor run I take before winter truly sets in, always stays in my mind.  Last year it was a late afternoon run, and as it got dark, it started to snow, and that's when I knew one season ended, and another had begun.

It was the same thing last Friday.  I was eager to get out and run, even though it was 27 degrees.  I wore my pink compression socks for warmth, running pants, and a sweet hot pink UnderArmour compression shirt that I won from Kim.  It's really soft, and fit perfectly.  I realized how lucky I was to be getting an hour to run, December is getting busy, and Eliza's school is closing a week earlier than usual, due to construction in the building.  So after I dropped her off, I took off on the trails of my neighborhood.

It was a really good run. I don't know if it was the shirt, the cold air, or just being happy. I did have a moment when I did a little dance that was not intentional, when I hit a patch of mud that had an invisible layer of ice on it.  I even let out a little whoop while I succeeded in not falling!  But as I ran I had that thought in my brain, that this was my last outdoor run of the year before the snow flies.  It started that afternoon, and it has been flying ever since.

After six miles, I ran right to my Jeep, hopped in and headed to Toys R Us to get a few more things for the kids, raced back home, hid them in the guest room, then went back out to pick up Miss E.  I was so happy to get that run in, the rest of the day was a snap.

We are indeed getting a record snowfall, case in point, our deck, which Mike has already cleared off a couple of times with the snow blower.  Note the empty case of Yuengling that has been sitting there since Thanksgiving weekend.  And will probably sit there until New Years.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shop Shop Shop at CSN

It's a perfect time of year for another giveaway from in a $75 gift card!

CSN has been popular in the blogosphere, and with over 200 online stores, you can find everything from exercise equipment, to counter height stools, or great cookware!  I myself have a set of sautee pans from CSN that I love, as well as a set of kettlebells which have been a great addition to my workouts.

So if you're in the mood to skip the mall, and would rather shop online in the comfort of your home, here's how you can enter:

1. Be a Friend of my blog, or become one (required)
2. Check out CSN Stores, and let me know what you would choose (required)
3. Spread the word, via blog, twitter, Facebook etc. and so on
4. Tell me if you have any New Year's Resolutions for 2011

Giveaway ends at midnight EST on Thursday December 9th.

Good Luck!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Making a plan. Let's see how it pans out.

I've been thinking more and more about my race schedule for next year, and it's shaping up to be a nice mix of old and new, local, and a bit of travel.

My local races are pretty much a given, the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run 4 miler (fun, fun, fun), the Mountain Goat 10 miler, the Boilermaker 15k (2011 marks my 5th year running it). But I've really wanted to explore some new races, which would only be a few hours away by car.

So here is some new stuff:

The first is the New Bedford, MA Half Marathon, in March, where the post race food is seafood and clam chowder.  Chow-dah!! yum. My BFF Jennifer is running it as her first half marathon, and it would mean a lot to me to run it with her. 

The second is the Hershey Half Marathon in October, which I heard about from Mike.  I've wanted to take the kids to Hershey, so this would be a great trip for all of us.  Plus they have a chocolate station. Who needs water when you can have chocolate!!

The third is the Flower City Challenge, which takes place in Rochester.  Mark got me thinking about this one.  It's a weekend of races, including a half marathon, as well as a duathlon, that has me intrigued.  One drawback is that it's the same weekend as the Mountain Goat, but I'm still annoyed about my performance in that race, so we'll see what happens.

and..... finally.......Marathon #2.  I'm working on something for next fall, and I don't want to jinx it by talking about it.  Just keep your fingers crossed for me, and when I figure it out, you'll be the first to know......

(insert smiley face here).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Frank vs. The Foam Roller

One thing that Frank does not let me do, is floor exercises. 

Case in point, I wanted to use my foam roller, and this is what happened:

He started sniffin' around:

Then, he wanted to play:

Then, he really wanted to play:

Then, he wanted my earrings.

Then, I gave up. 

He's a good puppy.

And Yes, my flannel pajama bottoms printed with cookies are my favorites.

Amazing Grass Winners.....

Thanks to everyone who entered the Amazing Grass Giveaway...I used to choose the five winners.......but I won't bore you with five print screens. 

They are:

#50 Jesse from Run To The Border

#44 Elizabeth from Highway to Health

#35 Caratunk Girl

#24 A Runners Fuel

#12 Allison from Just Tri and Finish

Shoot me an email with your mailing info, along with flavor choice (original, chocolate, vanilla chai, or pomegranate mango) and I'll get you set up!

Friday, November 26, 2010

After the Feast 5 for Friday

1. I hosted Thanksgiving this year, my second time tackling the feast.  My family invaded Wednesday night, my Dad brought Chesapeake Oysters straight from Maryland, that were such a treat.  I had my cooking schedule all planned out, our oven is the size of a shoe box (makes me think of the Brady Bunch kitchen), so we cooked the 28 pound turkey in a roasting pan on the grill.  It came out a bit dry, but no one came down with Sally the Menella, so it was all good.

2. I ran three days in a row this week, I had to miss the Turkey Trot 10k yesterday due to our food prep, but that's okay.  I revised my miles goal for the year, it was originally 1,000 miles, but now I'm shooting for 900.  I missed a total of 5 weeks this fall because of my hamstring, so I feel okay revising it.

3. The other day while walking Frank, Eliza looked at me and asked me if she could run a marathon with me some day.  On another walk, Luke said, "sure is good weather for a run, huh Mom?"   Love it.

4. Frank has come out of his shell and is settling in with us, treating the kids' baskets of toys as a sort of chewing buffet. He's a good dog, but has been a bit wimpy about the cold, which makes sense, since he came from Georgia!

5. still a few days left to enter my Amazing Grass!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Amazing Grass Challenge Complete....for this giveaway, 5 winners!

I officially completed the Amazing Grass The Two Week Challenge to "redefine my health"!

If you aren't familiar, this is the lowdown on Amazing Meal: it's an organic, raw, vegan, soy/gluten/dairy free powder, made from greens like wheat grass, fruits like acai, with 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.  Use it to feel good, and reach your daily quota of fruits and veggies.

So how did I do staying away from caffeine, sugar (including chocolate), wine, eating right and having an Amazing Meal Smoothie once each day?

1. I did not have any sugar. Zero. That must be a record for me, so now I'm going to see how long I can keep it up, which may prove difficult when I start baking Christmas Cookies.

2. I did have wine. I had it on the weekends, and the night we got Frank.  I also had beer after getting my tattoo, but I think that was kind of required.

3. I had two cups of coffee, one cup on a Saturday morning when I was up with the birds and had a crappy night's sleep.  One other morning during the week, for pretty much the same reason.  The first two days of no caffeine, I had a slight headache, but nothing terrible. 

4. I loved my morning smoothie.  I used the Chocolate Amazing Meal, blended it with almond milk, and handful of frozen blueberries, and a frozen banana.  My trick with the banana is to peel them, break them into segments, and freeze them. I take some pieces out and let them sit for a couple of minutes, then chop them a bit, then throw them in the blender.  It makes the smoothie super thick, and I eat it with a spoon. That might be why I was able to stay away from chocolate, I was kind of getting my fix that way.

5. The daily emails from Amazing Grass were interesting, they covered topics like acidity in foods, and how they affect your diet, and how we need good, raw fats (pass me an avocado would ya?)

6. I didn't follow the menu suggestions to a T, but I got some ideas from it. They suggested 6 meals a day, so I certainly didn't starve!  One night I made shrimp stir fry with brown rice, another night it was baked chicken and sweet potatoes.  I ate my normal lunches, like black bean burgers with salsa on a roll, or a turkey or tuna sandwich on Ezekiel bread.  I made scrambled egg whites with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onion and goat cheese, that was really tasty.

I love doing challenges like this, to get back on track diet wise, especially going into the holiday season. I'm going to continue to use the Amazing Grass (been using it for over a year), I do think it gives my immune system a boost.  I did get a flu shot, but with Luke and Eliza coming home from school covered in germs, I need all the help I can get!

Sooooooo, do you want to give The Two Week Challenge a whirl?  Thanks to the lovely folks at Amazing Grass, there will be FIVE winners for this giveaway, which is a bottle of Amazing Meal (a $48 value) in your choice of flavor, (Original, Chocolate, Pomegranate Mango or Vanilla Chai) to use while doing the challenge.  Then when it's complete, if you want to, share your thoughts on your blog. If you are interested, you can check it out here.

To enter, you do need to be a Friend of my blog, just leave a comment letting me know you are, and you're entered!

For additional entries (please leave a comment for each) you may:

1. Follow Amazing Grass on twitter here.
2. Be a fan of Amazing Grass on facebook here.
3. Share the giveaway info in the usual ways.

Giveaway ends at Midnight EST on Monday, November 29. 

Note: I was provided with a bottle of Amazing Meal for the purpose of this review, the opinions are my own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meet Frank

He's sitting in my lap as I type this.  He's 11 weeks old, a terrier mixed with who the heck knows, and we brought him home this week.  All four of us have been wanting a dog for a while, preferably from a shelter, and every week I've looked at various websites, trying to find him. 

It was a fluke that we had the news on one night, and caught the end of a segment about a local charity that works with various animal organizations.  I went online and found it, clicked through a few websites, and all of a sudden, there he was.

We were able to name him Frank, he came from a shelter down south, where puppies only get about five days to be adopted, otherwise they are put down.  The organization we worked with rescues dogs from all over the country, even Mexico.  Once I put in the application, then met him, things moved quickly.  I was racing around PetSmart on Tuesday, buying everything Frank would need.  I kind of had an idea of how parents who are adopting a child feel, all of a sudden you get a phone call, and you're off!

We're really lucky to have Frank, and I hope he loves us as much as we're going to love him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food. And other random stuff.

I was tagged by ajh at Age Groups Rock, to do this fun post, which is right up my alley. Since it's a food post, I thought I'd include a photo of last night's dinner.....broccoli, spinach, onion and cheddar quiche, with a side salad with a bit of bleu cheese.  Yum. 

Now onto the questions:

1.If you could eat anything without any health repercussions or guilt, what would your meal be?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. NY Style, thin crust, plain cheese, and I'm a happy girl.

2. If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

Well, this is a tough one, but I know who it would be.  Before I was born, my parent's first child was born prematurely, and she passed away when she was only a few days old.  This was in 1970, and if they had the technology then, that we have now, she would have been okay. 

3. Why did you start blogging and what did you expect when you started?

I had no expectations at all. I started my blog as a place to dump out all that was floating around in my head. I ended up writing mostly about what I love, my family, running, and food.  As a bonus I now have blog friends who I "talk to" on a daily basis.  Which is pretty cool.

4. What is the one book you could read over and over again?

There are so many. I mentioned recently how much I love Catcher in the Rye.  But I could re-read Bridget Jones's Diary any day.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

It would be Japan.  I've been to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and would love to go to the Far East.  My Great Aunt Betti traveled to Japan when she was in her seventies, so I know I'll get there someday.

6. If you could have a TV show on the Food Network, what would it be?

It would be me and my husband.  It would be called Mike and Molly (I can't tell you how many of our friends emailed/facebooked us this fall saying, "Did you know there is a show on CBS called Mike and Molly?????")We love food, we love to cook, we love to eat.  He's more of a grill man with his bottle of Labatt's, I'm more of the home cooking gal with a glass of vino.  That would be a fun balance of both.

7. What was the best meal you ever had?

The best meal I've had was the simplest.  We were in a restaurant in Utrech, outside of Amsterdam. The meal was a wonderful combination of being on vacation in a place full of in history, with great company, great wine.  I chose a pasta tossed with salmon, with a very light cream sauce.  It was a new take on salmon for me, was cooked perfectly, and of course, delicious.

8. Who has been the greatest influence on your love for food and learning to cook?

My Grandma Sleeper.  We lived a plane ride away from her when  I was little. I can't even remember what she used to make, but I have memories of her always being in the kitchen, doing something.  One thing that sticks out is her cinnamon bread. I've tried to make it, but simply cannot replicate it.


Copy Chic at Triathlon Training for Book Smart Girls


consider yourselves tagged!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Black Knight Army Virtual Race

I made my To Do List the other day, and these next two weeks are going to be a wee bit busy.  So this morning I figured, why not get off to a good start with a Virtual 10k???

This is Stefano's race, from Run With The Black Knight, and wearing black was required.  So I donned my long sleeved black shirt for Battle. I don't know how some of you can take a full picture of yourself, after several tries, this was my best effort, and my face isn't even showing.

This is the farthest I've run since healing Hammy, it was going to be an Epic Battle between the two of us, to see if it would let me do the distance.  It was a cloudy morning, but as I set out, the sun broke through the clouds, the sky was blue, and the Game was on. 

I turned on my ipod, and listened to an odd mix of Erasure, Amy Winehouse, and the Dixie Chicks, as I navigated through the paved trails of my neighborhood.  Chaos almost erupted, when a large stretch of the path was torn up, and being repaved, but my quick thinking allowed me to just back up, and go in a different direction. 

I did have a moment of pain, when my foot brushed my newly inked ankle, but it was no match for my determination.

I was at mile 5.20, when Hammy asked me "What do you think you're doing?" I slowed a bit, then responded with a laugh, "Winning!"

Before I knew it, The Battle was complete, and I ran up my driveway, Victorious!!!!

The technical results of The Battle:

And since Stefano seems to receive wine at every race he participates in, I thought this made appropriate race swag:

The Battle was won.

Take that Hammy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who put that there?

Yup, I finally got my tattoo!

I've wanted one for ages now, and this summer my BFF Dawn and I were talking about how we should just suck it up and do it.  I decided to wait until after the marathon, as some kind of reward, so we went to LoveHate Tattoo Marathon weekend, and made our appointments.

I planned on a tattoo of a Celtic Cross, but they need to be really big for them to look right.  Since I planned on putting it near my ankle, it needed to be smaller.  I'm not artsy at all, but I doodled a little cross, and hoped they could work with it.

We went on Saturday, Dawn was really bugging out, I was nervous, but excited.  We met Newt our artist, and he was very mellow, with 15 years experience under his belt.  I wanted to go first, and it only took 20 minutes.  It was really painful at times, oddly it hurt more when it was on my muscle, but I was happy with the end result.

Dawn's tattoo took longer, it went almost all the way around her ankle.  I kept yapping away, trying to distract her, to help her out with the pain. 

When we were finished, we both felt hyped up, I've had runners high, but there must also be some kind of tattoo high.  Before we went back to the husbands and kids, we made a quick stop at our friend Brant's bar and pizza place, The Dragonfly, for a beer, and enjoyed our festive mood.

I've already been asked when I'm getting my next one, but I think this is it......

Friday, November 12, 2010

At least I've got the photo picked out in my mind

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas Cards.  

My thing is, I want them to look festive, but not too Christmasey.  I know some of my relatives keep the photo from the card around well after the holiday's, so I tend to dress the kids in something simple, and put the emphasis on them, on their faces, so you can see how they've changed during the year.    

But that doesn't mean I don't want a cool looking card.  This is the one we used last year, from Shutterfly, which I chose after I spent I don't know how long looking at their cards.  I remember playing with the fonts, the spacing, the wording, the layout, matte or glossy, until I finally just hit "place order."  The arrived quicker than I thought they would, which was a nice surprise. 

This year, I'm thinking about making a wall calendar, but for my cards, I already have in mind who I'm going to have in the picture (more on that later).  Now it's just a matter of choosing which Christmas photo card.  I know I'll drive Mike nuts saying "this one? or this one?" but I love it, it's all part of the fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What else to call it but Three for Thursday

1. Day 4 of my challenge, so far the hardest part has been my morning coffee.  I come downstairs and gaze at the coffee maker.  I miss my hot, caffeine laden mug, especially since it's been so chilly in the morning, but I'm making due with decaf Earl Grey.

2. To have some kind of reference point for the challenge, I decided to weigh myself for the first time in months (honestly). I looked at the number and was surprised, it hasn't changed much. Even though my running has gone way down, my weight didn't go up. My clothes still fit fine, even the skinny jeans.  So I guess yoga, weights and Jackie Warner are onto something.

3. And.....I'm uh....getting a tattoo this weekend.  Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Febreze Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator giveaway....I used to pick the winners, and they are:

#10, Miss Zippy


#12, Julie The Hotlegs Runner

Yay! Now your workout clothes won't stink.  Send me an email and I'll get you set up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Q&A...part 2

Here is are the rest of the Q&A from my 300th post......

Luke asked What did you do before being a stay at home mom?
I was in advertising sales for a newspaper in NYC, loved the job, loved the people.

Jennifer Leah asked As a SAHM too I would like to know 1-What do you find most rewarding about being home? 2-What do you find the most challenging??

1. What I find rewarding is that I can truly immerse myself in being a Mom. Especially because of how fast they grow, this photo was from 3 years ago, and to me, it could be last week.  I love that I'm there for every milestone and mishap, I'm the one who is nurturing these little people into who they are going to be. 

2. What I find challenging is the lack of certain stimulation, I interact with other parents or people at the grocery store, but sometimes I really miss looking at a spreadsheet.

Tracy asked what was the most unexpected thing/challenge/surprise when you moved from the big city to the 'wilds'?
The fact that I had to drive to get anywhere, or anything. I still miss the Bodega that was a few yards from my front door in Queens, where I could get my coffee and newspapers while still wearing my pj's.

Lisa asked If you could live any other place, where would it be?
I grew up near the ocean, so I wouldn't mind living near a large body of water again.

Dee asked what has your favorite post been?
My clumsiness post, which says a lot about me.

Cynthia asked Who do you idolize in the world of athletics? It doesn't have to be a runner
I'm a Met's fan, but I'd have to say Derek Jeter. Classic example of wanting something so badly, and making your dream come true. He's a great ballplayer, and for the most part, manages to stay under the radar gossip wise.

IronMike asked is Weezer's Troublemaker a worthy theme song for your blog?
YES! "....never been a faker....doing things my own way....never giving up...."

Heather asked: What is your favorite thing to do for fun or relaxation (not including running)?
I love to read, I always have a stack of books and magazines waiting for me to dive into.

Kelley asked I know you're a reader so what are your top 3 book suggestions?
Catchen in the Rye, I can read that one over and over. Favorite non-fiction is Personal History by Katharine Graham. And anything by Marian Keyes, I guess you could say she's chick lit, but I think her books always have a dark theme to them.

Canadian Runner asked: what is your favorite song to dance to??
That's a tough one, I love Dancing Queen by Abba, and at family weddings, it would be Build Me Up Buttercup!

Tracy asked So do you eat just one Baby Ruth once a year?
Yes, on Halloween! I enjoy my seasonal treats in moderation, I look forward to March because that's when I allow myself one Shamrock Shake. 

Lindsey asked I want to know what are your most favorite and least favorite holidays?
Fourth of July gets me nervous, I'm always afraid someone is going to blow off their arm while shooting off fireworks.  I love Christmas, but it's a very close tie with St. Patricks Day!

Erika asked: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be??
Pizza. Truly a perfect food, you've got grains in the crust, protein in the cheese, veggies in the sauce.  I favor thin crust, but put it in front of me and I'll eat it. Love it plain, or topped with onions and mushrooms.

Ashley asked What is your favorite type of coffee drink? and Dee asked what's your favorite drink at starbucks? :)
I drink most of my coffee at home, with some kind of nonfat creamer, but if I'm at Starbucks I love a nonfat vanilla latte.

Rae asked what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? :)
Hands down Mint Chocolate Chip. Mike and I have a running debate on whether it is called Chocolate Chip Mint, or Mint Chocolate Chip.

Trish asked: I'd love to know what one treat you can never say no to?
Chocolate chip cookies. I make my own that I can't get enough of, but Chips Ahoy dunked in milk are also way up there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

14 days

Okay, I feel like I'm back on track exercise wise, so why not keep it interesting and look at my diet to see if I can shake things up?  I think in general, we eat pretty healthy, but we have things in the house that aren't the greatest choices.  And it's only going to get worse, since I saw THREE commercials last night with a Christmas theme, along with the fact that I've been planning my Thanksgiving Dinner for two weeks now.

I've been using Amazing Grass Superfood for well over a year, it's powdered greens and antioxidants that help you to reach your 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and veggies.  I add it to my smoothies, I'm more of a vegetable person, so if I have to eat fruit, that's how I do it, all blended up. 

Amazing Grass has a Two Week Challenge to up your energy, and "redefine your health", and I'm starting it today.  Instead of the Superfood, you use their Amazing Meal, which has everything the Superfood does, but with the addition of protein and fiber.  

You receive daily emails with lessons to keep you motivated.  There is also a menu that you can follow for the 14 days, with fruit and vegetables, grains, chicken, tuna etc.  Nothing out of control, I already eat Ezekiel bread, and veggie burgers.  The one thing that is missing,!!!  That's going to be hard, but it will be good for me though, because I'm trying to wean myself off my non-fat non-dairy creamer, which Mike calls my bottle of chemicals.  This summer I switched from butter to Earth's Balance spread, and about a month ago I switched from milk to almond milk in my smoothies.  I haven't given up cheese, but I am prone to the sniffles, and I realized the other day that my nose isn't as bad as it usually is.  There might be something to this going dairy free thing.

I'm also going to be mindful of my chocolate intake, since we still have Halloween candy everywhere, and I'm going to abstain from my evening vino....GASP! goes nothing!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

26.2 on my mind


We're having a NYC Marathon/Football Sunday gathering this weekend, (football will be on Mike's new flat screen, his combo Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary/Valentines Day/New Job Present).  I remember watching the Marathon on television last year with Jeannine and thinking of how much I wanted to run one, and now, a year later we can both say that we have!  I used to love going to watch the Marathon in person, as a kid, as well as an adult.  We always stood at the 59th Street Bridge, to cheer on my friends who were running.

This is Luke and I on the way to his first NYC Marathon:

Now that I have a few good runs under my belt, I've been thinking of my next marathon. Once again I'll do the Lottery for NYC for 2011, but I need a back up.  This week it was announced that Syracuse will host the Empire State Marathon for the first time in October of next year.  I've looked at the course, and I've run parts of it before, but to do the full 26.2 you need to do two laps around the lake.  I don't know if I would be a fan of running something twice in one race, so I already think I'll just do the half.

A friend of mine is mulling over running the Buffalo Marathon in May, so there's another possibility.  But on the other hand, I think it would be fun to run a race somewhere other than NY State.

Hmmmmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

If you didn't see my febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator giveaway, it's here.....two winners will have the chance to get the stank out of their workout wear!