MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 2, 2011

Please Stop

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:16

Pretty please with a cherry on top?!

I’m currently curled up right now all snug and, in all honesty, probably being more productive than if I was at work. I was supposed to go in at 1400 for a staff meeting but I emailed my supervisor saying the roads are flooded (which they are) as well as all the work I would be talking about at the meeting.  Since I got the email saying “all set. Don’t come in” at 14:01 (and note: I was still in bed at that point) I’m a happy camper.

I do want to try and get a run in but the roads are pretty flooded / icy right now and the temps are expected to drop soon and that’d be unsafe.  And, given how terrible the traction was yesterday during my quality workout, a bit demoralizing.  By the way: thanks to all your comments saying that I’m not as slow as my run indicated and that running in inclement weather is not conducive to fast paces.  I knew that but it helps to have smart people tell you that you’re right.

I  do have rockclimbing tonight to pull me through working, as me and my friend rescheduled last night because the gym closed early and I don’t see why they’d be closed all day today.  And I have shoveling and de-icing to do.  I figure that if my car is parked in this driveway for as much as it is the least I can do is pitch in.

Oh well.  I hope everyone is safe and warm.  Apparently (and y’all probably know this already because every other word out of anyone’s mouth is this) this storm is covering about 99.4543452% of the country.  Crazy. But in order to make up for the lovely winter check out the giveaway from Marcia. Maybe if I win it’ll make up for this winter dragging on and on and on.

So the rock climbing didn’t happen last night because the gym closed early.  Rescheduled for tonight. Currently I’m curled up right now all snug and trying not to think about the fact that, despite working from home for the past couple of hours, I have to go into work for a staff meeting real soon.

February 1, 2011

The Postman Must Have Been A Runner

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:03

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

Sooooooo over this winter thing.  I mean I’m embracing the snow but the novelty of the white fluffy stuff has been lost. Spring? Yes please.

Obviously many of you know that there’s a snowmaggedon going down right now in many places in the country and, while I wish it weren’t the case, RI is getting hit.  This morning I got to run in round 1 of it.  Round 2 (ice and sleet) is coming at midnight.  The only good news about that is that work has been tentatively closed tomorrow. YAY snow day.

The bad news is A) another storm and I hate storms. And B) I likely won’t get to run in it because today’s weather left me with NO TRACTION at all. I may be a crazy runner but I’m not suicidal.  On the plus side my belaying buddy might have the day off too and we can go rock climbing.  I’ve already gotten a text from him confirming that we’re going tonight if the place is open.

So with the weather like this

It was probably a bit foolish to think that I could get in a good hard tempo, or even a good harder than easy, run in.  Didn’t stop me from trying though…

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 miles harder @ 7:51 (2.2 @ 7:59, 2.2 @ 7:42, 1.2 @ 7:53)
  • 1.2 easy
  • 1.2 harder @ 8:17
  • Warm down

For the past three out of four Tuesday Tempo days there has been rain or sleet or snow. I think I’m joining Amy’s I-Hate-Tuesdays campaign now.

So it’s really hard to judge how I’m doing endurance-speed wise.  This run was particularly brutal because of the way the wind was blowing the snow, so I had icicles on my eyelashes.  And I had to stop a couple times (once during the “tempo” portion) to melt the ice so I could see.  Couple that with no traction because the roads were not plowed (nor did I see a plow…not bitter or anything…) and I really don’t see how I could have expected the run to be fast pace wise.

Still, and this may sound broken record-ish, I can’t tell if it’s my mind or my body that giving me the slower-than-I-want paces lately.  I’ve got a lot on my plate right now and I know that during the run my mind was all over the place.  Which is fine for a normal/easy run but I need to be focused if I have a shot at training well and then racing well. Lately I’ve been questioning my level of motivation for this training.  Which is scary as hell and not being helped by workouts where paces aren’t being hit.  It felt like a quality effort though.

I suppose I’ll have to go on effort.  Which was there.  The easy was slower than the hard.  And my lungs and legs were working hard.  That counts for something, right?

To make my Tuesday even worse, the microwave at work is apparently broken and no one told me .  Because it did this to my popcorn just now.

Popcorn FAIL

 

I think that this day cannot end fast enough. Fingers crossed I get to go climbing tonight!

January 31, 2011

Previously on MM…January 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:43

Oops. Guess I fell off the grid this weekend.  I stayed with a friend Friday afternoon post-work until…well technically since I haven’t been back to my apartment, I’m still staying.  And since I didn’t bring my computer with me blogging fell by the wayside.  And my commenting. And my replying to comments. Which sucks because I love y’all but I was having fun so I can’t *really* apologize 😉

Story of my month of January I guess.  I’d guesstimate that I spent about half the days not at my place.  But story of January running wise was good, and even though I typically post these posts on the first of every month, I got a really good run in before the sun came up. So my month of running is done.  And I really didn’t want to give a play-by-play of my weekend.

I will say that this weekend (and lots of January too) reaffirmed my whole “I seem to run well on: no sleep, lots of alcohol the night before and greasy foods” as my friend and I were jonesing for a “Philly” cheese steak (with fries) on Sunday.  Very weird because I never crave cheese, or steak.  But we walked downtown for a couple hours trying to find a place that served it and succeeded and it was the best idea we’ve had yet.  Given that I yet again had a good run post-bad-life-habits-that-affect-running, I think it makes it an even better idea.

Anyway, onto January. I wasn’t recovering from WR anymore but I wasn’t yet in training.  I started re-introducing tempo and LR before last week (which was T-12 weeks, so I’m at T-11 today. Eeeeep) and I also actually introduced XT in the form of winter activities such as skiing and snowtubing

and then there was ROCKCLIMBING.  Yes: rockclimbing. I went with a friend on Saturday night because he joined a climbing gym at the beginning on January and had only been doing the solo climbs, which aren’t as fun.  So I tagged along to be a belaying buddy. And I’m definitely going back.  Hopefully tonight.

thanks google.

And I had a blast. As a bonus, because I’m a runner and have really strong legs, I was not sore on Sunday.  Surprisingly there’s actually very little arm strength involved.  It’s all in the legs to propel you up, the arms just hold on.  So you can bet your booty that I’m going to keep this trend going on beyond January.  In January I also took a couple *complete* rest days which I rarely (if ever do).

I also did lots of baking this month. Like I’m hoping-my-pants-still-fit-tmrw kinds of baking 😉 My favorite recipe that was made was the apple crisp, although I did make afair amount of cookies. Like 3 different kinds.  And brownies. That may not be a lot to you but to me that’s a ton.  In all fairness I have been actually cooking dinners, like real dinner too (this one has been made at least for or five times!).

Let’s talk training and January.  Like I mentioned above training for Boston started this month.  More like last week but I’d been slowly reintroducing a training set up to my week: aka tempo Tuesdays, LR Thursdays. I have yet to do a speed work session so far.  I was going to do one this weekend but my motivation has been lacking. I want to mail out this letter:

Dear Motivation,

Anytime now.

Love, MM

Maybe the snow and cold was a factor. We have been hit with three separate and big storms this month (with another coming Tuesday night. And supposedly this one is supposed to be the worst of them all. Ugh!) Who knows. That said, January was a decent month mileage wise:

January 2011:

  • 355.4 miles
  • 51 hours 28 minutes 10 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace

Compare that to January 2010

  • 397.1 miles
  • 58 hours 58 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:54 avg pace

Less miles this time around (-13%) but roughly the same pace.  Considering that my Boston training was going on during the whole of January 2010 I’m still going to say: all in all a GREAT month.

And above were just a few of the highlights.  The running wasn’t spectacular (nor was my sleeping patterns) but I feel happy with how the year is starting. I did fun activities that I’d never done before and baked lots of goodies. And that’s a great thing. I also got a hair cut.  Which is a big deal because I go forever between cuts.

So YAY January. Even if it’s going to look like this. Again.

thanks google.

January 27, 2011

Girl Drop It To The Floor

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:59

Whew. No partying for me Wednesday night, one mid-day work night is enough!  I was in my bed (after marathon cleaning..like scrubbing cleaning….) early. I was bushed. I did manage to watch an episode of Pushing Daisies before I conked out though.  I seriously do not know what I’m going to do when that show ends.  I don’ t have many episodes left!

I actually got to sleep in a bit Thursday morning because of the nor’easter that hit.  I was told that I could work from home today and I took my work up on that offer by working in the morning/early afternoon.  Tonight is a clinic night and since the roads were plowed when I got up (my car, however, was not plowed out of the lot!) I went in later and was able to A) actually get work done from home (office work is so much easier for me to do NOT at the clinic. Less people demanding my time) and B) get my long run in without rushing.

J, however, told me: “I agree the best run is after a night of little sleep. The worst run is the day after …”

I completely agree even though I didn’t want to hear it. I remember reading back in the day that New Year’s Day you’ll feel fine and dandy from the night but January 2nd you’ll be dragging.  Something about you’re body and brain finally having matching signals.  Since Thursday was two days after my late night let’s see how I did:

4 X 4.4 miles = 17.6 miles at an average pace of 9:03

  • 1st: 9:09 pace
  • 2nd: 9:01 pace
  • 3rd: 9:06 pace
  • 4th: 8:42 pace

I cannot believe that the last one was so much faster than the first three.  Guess I really wanted to get it done!

Considering the slush and the sleepiness I’ll consider it a success.  Like my tempo run on Tuesday, I really feel like I’m off the mark training wise for this race.  My paces for quality workouts are slower and my easier runs are faster than they should be.  I suppose in the end this is mental and I need to really buy into the training schemes again.  You know: run quality as quality and run easy as easy.  I’m not doing that lately.  It’s hard though because it’s only 11.5 weeks ’til Boston and I’m comparing to WR where I only had 5.5 weeks.  I still feel like there’s ages to go until the race!

On a related yet not quite related note: my hunger has been sky high today.  And lately.  I know that it’s because my training is increasing but I’m normally not quite as famished on long run days as I am today.  I’ve eaten 3 bowls of pasta tonight.  On top of my regular dinner.  For a gal that doesn’t quite like pasta this is quite a feat!

I was going to take a picture but the meal was literally bowtie pasta and a basil pasta sauce.  Not too exciting.  Except to the girl who just ate 3 bowls of it…

So I’ll leave you with the song that is STUCK in my head and won’t get out. Because this post is more or less a training run post. Enjoy! I’ll try to enjoy the rest of my night…if clinic keeps going the way it’s going I may be going out again.  But it’s Thursday, which is more acceptable than Tuesday…

January 25, 2011

About This Embracing Weather Thing…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:26

Well I’m still all for winter at the moment. Despite yet another nor’easter supposedly bearing down on us sometime in the next few days I’m sort of digging the snow.  Maybe it’s because I know that this will be my last real winter?

While the snow may be really REALLY pretty to run in or look at while sipping hot cocoa or snowshoeing (I think I’m going this weekend!) or building snowmen, I am not such a big fan of this

SALT

Don’t get me wrong: I am a salt-a-holic and douse my food in it.  I think I’ve said before that I have the ability to go through a salt shaker every 10 days or so. I do NOT, however, enjoy road salt. As you can see in the picture above my legs get covered in it.  The sign of a salt truck now sends shivers down my spine. Because it dries out my skin and stings like a….

I didn’t let it stop my workout though:

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 miles “tempo” @ 7:39 average (2.2 @ 7:46, 2.2 @ 7:43, 1.2 @ 7:21)
  • 1.2 miles easy/recovery @ 8:49
  • 1.2 miles hard / re-tempo @ 7:25
  • Warm down

Totals:

  • 16 miles
  • 138 minutes, 29 seconds
  • 8:40 pace

I guess for whatever reason I really turned it on the last bit of the hard stuff.  I’m slowly getting back into the training mode although holding this pace was TOUGH.  I really cannot believe that I ran 26.2 miles a little over 7 weeks ago at a *faster* pace.  Sometimes I feel like WR was a fluke. I guess I have a ways to go before the training mode muscles get back into full swing.

I’m really proud that I was able to bang out some really great last hard miles. It felt good to see the results of an effort that felt really taxing.  After seeing a not-what-I-wanted first two loops I must have dug real deep.  I’m not so proud of how long it took me to mentally get my body into it.  Hence those first few miles at the not-what-I-wanted pace.  But overall this “tempo” (and I still want to keep calling it tempo!) was the fastest out of the weeks I’ve been doing them post-WR.

Progress.

In the not-so-progress view, as I probably should be eating better night-before-quality-workout snacks: this run was  fueled, not by cookies, but by brownies.  Work was really rough yesterday so I went over to my friend’s house and while he was rockclimbing, my other friend and I made the brownies (she’s such a better baker than me. So she’s my baking buddy) and we all had brownie sundaes (warm from the oven) at midnight. I’m normally not a brownie person and when I do get a craving I like gooey ones.  My baking friend said she had success with this recipe:

Nestle Chewy Cocoa Brownies

(from the box of cocoa powder from Nestle)

Yeah so we dug in quickly...deal with it

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • powdered sugar
  • ADDITION FROM US: 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips.  We didn’t think the mix looked Chocolaty enough. I suppose you don’t have to melt the chips but we did.

Directions:

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13×9-inch baking pan.
  2. (Additional added by us) MELT 1/2 cup chocolate chips in microwave until melted
  3. COMBINE sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture and add Chocolate Chips). Spread into prepared baking pan (the mixture was REALLY thick and hard to spread).
  4. BAKE for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky (it took us about 26 actually). Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). Cut into bars.
  5. ENJOY (we sure did. And with ice cream too)

They turned out really well and we dug in immediately.  I’m sorry for making your pants expand by proxy but hey, mine are expanding in real life I’m sure 😉

And I promise that the next recipe I post won’t be dessert.  Tomorrow night (the night the nor’easter is supposed to hit) my friends and I are likely going to make something special for dinner.  Just so you don’t think I’m on my way to a diabetic coma or something…

And check out the giveaways from Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical) and The Hotlegs Runner

January 19, 2011

Life is Good.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:02

Too corny for you? I’ve got snow, fast running and apple crisp.  Not to mention heat coming back on and great friends I’ve been hanging out with.  I’ve been spending so much time there that they’re jokingly talking about getting me my own key.  Oops? Hahah.

That said, this whole not complaining about the weather thing is *really hard* but I feel like my attitude towards life in general is improving the less I say “I am sooooooo over winter.  This sucks. I want to migrate south”.  Really. I’ve literally been biting my tongue every time I see cold, wet, gross weather.  Partly because I’m really trying to not complain but partly because every time it snows I think that this could be my last.  And no that’s not morbid but I’m trying to actually migrate south at some point real soon.

Of course the mention of the weather does come into play with my “tempo” on Tuesday.   I woke up to actual snow that morning, which had turned into nice freezing rain/sleet by the time I got out my door to run. This precipitation left my shirt a layer of sheer ice by the end. It felt like I was wearing a bullet proof vest!  I didn’t let the slushy roads, nor the cars that decided to slush me, really affect the workout and it went a little something like this:

  • Warm up
  • Tempo 5.6 miles @ 7:41 average (2.2 @ 7:47, 2.2 @ 7:39, 1.2 @ 735)
  • Easy 5.8 miles @ 9:19 – lots of snow!
  • Hard 1.2 miles @ 7:42
  • Warm down @ 9:00

Total: 16 miles in 137.59 minutes which is an average of 8:37

Funny how the warm down pace is faster than the easy pace.  Oops?  The run was actually pretty fun I guess.  Mostly in hindsight.   I was in a FOUL mood during most of the darn thing.  Maybe because I had no traction and was slipping over the roads. That said, at some point during the run I just gave into the weather and then, isurprisa!, my attitude turned around and running was fun again.  And the “tempo” part (question: what do you call what I did? Tempo isn’t accurate but it feels like the only word I know!) was actually really good. Sure the pace wasn’t where I’d like it but the EFFORT was there.  Silly snow making running harder than it has to be.

Anyway. This morning I ran 8 miles as recovery.  Mostly because the sleet from Tuesday had turned to sheets of ice overnight.  Slipping and sliding. And slushing because it was shorts weather at 36* (ahhhh relativity!) But nothing special overall.

Apple Crisp

BUT I mentioned in my last post that I made an apple crisp over the weekend with my friend.  And that it turned out delicious.  So I’ll share it with you.  I was actually a little skeptical when I read the original recipe because, contrary to all other apple crisps I have ever made, there are NO OATS in this.  My friend even acknowledged that in all other crisps in the “family recipe book” oats are a key ingredient.

I probably shouldn’t have been worried because this girl knows her stuff.  It was delicious.  I had some Friday night after making it, Saturday morning post- run and then me and her roomie finished it off Saturday before going out and then skiing Sunday (which I’m glad that lots of you haven’t done it yet. I felt so weird for being a ski virgin! Especially as a native New Englander) Essentially this apple crisp fueled my past weekend.

Ingredients:

  • Apples, sliced, enough to cover bottom of cooking pan (We used Gala)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (Yes real butter because I was at my friend’s house and that’s what they had)
  1. Peel apples and slice into a buttered pan (we didn’t butter the pan, nor did we peel the apples) and fill to about 1/2 full of apples slices
  2. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the apples
  3. Mix the last 3 ingredients (which we actually doubled and used 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups flour and 1 cup butter.  More yummy topping!) and put on top of the apples.
  4. Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes. And remember to check that the oven is on bake.  Apparently my friend’s roomie (whom I went skiing with on Sunday) likes to broil his bagels in the oven.  And we didn’t realize it until 5 minutes into cooking.  Luckily no damage done!)
  5. Serve with ice cream of whipped cream and enjoy!

Leftovers....yum.

And  now I’m at work dreaming of apple crisp.  Better than what I’m really doing.  Which isn’t working but rather fire drills all day because there was a fire earlier today in the clinic and the fire department keeps setting off the detectors. Fun.

January 13, 2011

A Couple of Snowy Runs.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:38

Hello from the Winter Wonderland that is RI right now.  And no that’s not sarcasm.  I’m just really happy in general right now (and really busy with not much time spent in my apartment hence the decreased posting/commenting!) so it’s hard to be bitter about the weather. …and Shelby told me I can’t complain.

I am actually trying to take an optimistic and not so angry/bitter standpoint on the snowfall (I think the last I heard of it we were standing around 13 or 14″).  I spent the snow day hunkering down with a friend and, while driving back to my place this morning, I actually found myself smiling at the beauty that is the morning after a nor’eastern.  I’m still itching to get out of here but this attitude can be described as progress my friends.

Especially since I had a fantastic snow day. Like I really wasn’t cursing the snow and cold.  First, after knowing Wednesday was a snow day, I went out with the friend I was crashing with and didn’t go to bed until 0400.  And then slept in until NOON. Crazy right?

And not only did I get an 9.5 mile run in during the blizzard, which was great running in the snow despite it being hard and tiring, but my friend whom I was staying with went to a park after dinner and had a big snowball fight and built a snowman.  The snow wasn’t perfect for packing so the snowman was a bit of a fail but it was fun.  After we headed back to drink some hot cocoa and watch Despicable Me, which was a cute and hilarious movie, followed by March of the Penguins.  And then we fell asleep around 2200.  Which given how late we were up the night before doesn’t make me feel that bad hahah.

So good snow day.

Since I spent the night at my friend’s house I got a late start on my run this morning as I had to drive back to my place.  I still got in a long run although I wasn’t sure as I figured my snow run would have really tired out my legs. 17 miles done though.  And the streets were plowed okay but nothing 100% clear so I’m sure that my legs are getting very good resistance training out of it.  The run itself was  just okay.  I felt good the whole time but each lap (I ran a 4 X 4.25 loop because I knew it’d be a safe route) was slower than the previous one.  Not by leaps and bounds but it was a completely positive split run.  The loops were: 8:51, 9:11, 9:11, 9:16.  Given how tired my body is currently, from not sleeping a lot the past two weeks, I’ll take it.  The entire run was 17 miles @ 9:07.  Not too shabby considering this is the longest run I’ve done by far since WR.

And I finished my run at 1115 and was able to shower and eat and get to work on time at noon.  That’s the definition of a BAMF 😉

I was tagged by Chelsea earlier with the Stylish Blogger Award.

Thanks lady! The gist is to re-tag Chelsea, tell y’all 7 things about myself, then tag others. I’m not going to do that last part.  I feel like most of y’all have already been tagged.  Feel free to do it if you haven’t.  I love learning about others.

  1. I consider myself pretty stylish.  I don’t think that anyone will ever model their look after me but I always look well put together.
  2. I’m discovering the joy of hot cocoa with Baileys.  So are my friends.  We went through a lot of it this snow storm.
  3. But Jack is my main man.  Jack and Bailey’s makes a perfect couple though.
  4. I’m decent at bar games.  I’m learning how to be better at pool and I can play a mean game of darts.  Not that I’m anything special at it
  5. but rather that I’m ambidextrous.  So when we all switch to our weak hands , mine is comparable to my strong hand. I do consider myself a south paw though.
  6. I’m taking an online grant writing course right now and it’s going well.  I’m learning a lot although I got WAY behind on the lessons and had to do 9 of them last weekend.  Oops.
  7. This weekend I have really big plans with my lil sister.  She’s 19 and coming to visit me for the first time in Providence.  I’m pumped.  It’s going to be one heck of a night.

December 29, 2010

So Not Martha This Weekend.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:02

There were tons of things that I wanted to get done on my day off Monday and, in the end, only two of them got done.  I guess that’s better than zero, right? Regardless it was a wash in terms of really exciting stuff.  I did end up making that snow angel and also ended up going sledding with some hooligan friends.  Running up and down the sledding hill counts as hill training right? And shoveling out my car counts as weights right? Doubly so because I’m ambidextrous and can could work out BOTH arms without having to slow down the rate of shoveling and time spent in the cold!

Tuesday brought about a snowy 9.3 miler.  Quick despite the snow.  And despite my eyes just not wanted to open either. A little achy but nothing that was painful.  I think I was a little overzealous with the hometown routes this weekend (all my favs are so long!) and the sledding/shoveling on Monday that used new muscles! Of course there were pushups ( 45, 55, 35 30, 56 ) and situps (70, 80, 54, 45, 90 ) although I will say that I would have thought shoveling out on Monday would have been easier with all the pushups I’ve been doing.  I guess I shudder to think of how I could really be feeling if I wasn’t doing them.

Wednesday (today) is so far a rest day due to my overall sleepiness and waking up at 0403 and thinking that an hour and fifteen minutes of extra sleep would be nice. And then doing it. But I’m hoping to get a quick 6 miler done after work. We’re painting and scrubbing the walls and other fun handyman stuff today so I’m showing up to work in old running gear. No excuses for not being prepared when I get home. Fingers crossed.

And now for some excitement.

Peppermint Chocolate Cream Pie

I make no bones that I was born and raised a box cake-brownie-cookie gal.  I’m slowly getting into the from-scratch stuff (mostly because when I do want to bake I have the time to go all out) but this dessert made for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner was not. Overall I’m not sure if you save any time by going the box/mix route here but I totally saved myself stress. And the holidays shouldn’t be about that.  I guess that’s why I’m posting this.  To show that not everything has to be done on your own if it makes life easier.  I mean, Betty Crocker has made an empire on that idea, right?

I’m sure that there are multiple real recipes that you can find out there and variations on it, but here’s how I made this baby for the fam (For those of you who are so inclined to make it from scratch I’ve included what I’ve done in the past at the very end of the post).

  • 1 Keebler Graham Cracker pie crust
  • 2 boxes Jello Chocolate pudding
  • 1 tub Cool-Whip
  • Peppermint Extract

I took out the crust, made the pudding (with 1% milk according to the directions on the box and added in 5 drops of the peppermint) then spread the Cool-Whip on top.  It needed to be refrigerated for a few hours (like 6ish) before serving but it’s a very easy dessert to make.  Very delicious too.  Just ask my brother.

Oh man my brother is getting so big! And me so old!

The great thing about this type of pie (especially if you go the easy route like I did) is that there are many variations on it. Like vanilla or banana pudding as well as other types of extracts and other types of graham crackers (I used the honey flavored here).  Adding banana chunks is great too(for the banana pudding duh).

See opportunities are ENDLESS here people. Another subset of this recipe is the actual J-E-L-L-O route.

Okay so not the J-E-L-L-O it's alive picture I was searching for but this was good for a laugh. Thanks google.

This one is a little trickier just because you need to fold in the Cool-Whip while the Jello is still hot. I’ve never tried making my own jello before but I’m sure you could if you really wanted to? Who knows, Jello is a mysterious food.

  • 1 box jello (any flavor your heart desires or the occasion calls for although I prefer key lime)
  • 1 tub Cool- Whip
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust (either homemade or store bought)
  • Fruit of the same flavor as jello (optional)
  1. Make one package of jello as directed on the box using ~2 cups of hot (boiling) water and stir until dissolved. Then add 1.5 cups of ice water and let chill for 5 ish minutes in the freezer or until thick but still pourable.
  2. Take the Cool-Whip  and fold it into the jello until one consistency.  Add the fruit in if you choose to (I usually don’t) and pour into the pie crust
  3. Let sit in the fridge for 6ish hours and then enjoy

In the end it’ll look something like this:

Thanks google images. No pic of my own because I haven't made this one recently.

And here are the from scratch ingredients and directions.  I’m thinking I’ll make one of the varieties from scratch when I go to a NYE party in Boston on Friday (anyone got any super duper plans to ring in 2011?!). I have the day off so I have time to not stress about turn-on-the-oven baking.

Graham Cracker Crust (from allrecipes.com):

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( optional and very good if you use cinnamon cracker crumbs! )
  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Cream Filling (also from allrecipes.com)

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate (or alternatively I’ve used 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 cup cornstarch)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine sugar, flour, milk, and chopped up chocolate in 2 quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  2. Mix a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, beating rapidly to avoid cooking the yolks. Stir the warm yolk mixture into the remainder of the chocolate mixture, and cook for an additional 90 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in butter or margarine and vanilla.

Whipped Cream (sigh.  I’ve only done this one once.  I prefer the Cool-Whip methodology even though it’s not hard per se. I just hate to do it. But I used an allrecipes.com recipe for this too)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

December 27, 2010

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:58

Oops. Wrong time of year.  Although I’m trying to stay positive with all the snow that was just dumped on my doorstep.  A day and a half after Christmas aka a day and a half too late for snow in my opinion.  Is it Spring yet? Not that I’m bitter or anything 😉

Although on second thought I am typing this from bed because the ~18″ of snow gave me a snow day. I haven’t had one of those in YEARS! It feels good 8) It’s a great way to cap off a Merry Christmas holiday.

My immediate family.  And check out the huge tree in the background! It dwarfs me and I’m 5’11”!

I did a bunch of stuff over the weekend, including running.  I’ll try and keep this short and running related, mostly because I read this post from Shelby 😉  Since it’s essentially the dreaded recap post I’ll try to do bullets with pictures.  That way my blabbering doesn’t get too out of hand hah!

  • Friday was my first hometown run since the summer! It went well, felt good and fast, especially since compared to where I’m living now there are NO HILLS there.  It was nice.  The run was a tad over 9 miles and felt quite speedy.  I’m pretty sure it was a progression run as I felt a lot faster toward the end.
  • Christmas morning brought a bit of sleeping in (I was so exhausted!) and a Christmas run. This year Christmas fell on my LR day and I had *just* enough time to get it done and shower before driving to my uncle’s for Christmas dinner.  I managed to get 11.2 miles in with the mid-miles being nice and quick and sandwiched between some sloth.  It was nice regardless to be a bit over 10.  Longest run since the marathon!
  • It’s been a tradition, oh forever, for me to run my Christmas run in a Santa hat.  Like, tradition even before I could call myself a runner and called myself just a kid who was running for bball.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when I move to a warmer locale next year because I’ve always *needed* the hat! It was 16* when I stepped out the door.

  • Sunday I ended up with a good 9 miler which was decently paced before driving back to Providence. Nothing exciting about it except that I hadn’t run the route since August. And pushups (20, 20, 24, 24, 20, 20, 22, 52 ) and situps (30, 30, 36, 36, 30, 30, 105 ) followed.  As well as rolling / PT exercises because I hadn’t done them since Thursday. Oops.

Some other highlights (other than the 3 pain free and not totally slugish runs!)  included

  • Going on Christmas Eve to a neighborhood that tends to go all out with their Christmas lights

Go Pats and Sox! As much as I want out of New England I’ll miss the 24-7 Boston sports coverage!

  • Waking up semi-early on Sunday in order to get that last hometown run in before the nor’easter hit us.  And waking up out of a deep sleep. Although the highlight was, I do believe, that I still smelled of beer and icing. Hallmarks of a good Christmas I tell you.
  • Driving through the snow storm on Sunday afternoon.  Which took forever because of idiots who live in New England and yet are completely surprised by the snow.  Grrrrr but I ended up home safe and sound.  Maybe with high blood pressure. Which wasn’t made any better by this sight early in the evening

View from Sunday night.

I totally handed back in my I’m-a-BAMF-New-Englander card when I whimpered and said that I wanted to get away from this all. And I didn’t have a good shot of my car but let’s just say it would have been wise of me to do a little shoveling / brushing off periodically during the storm. Oops.

The storm is still kind of going on right now.  And I get to run in it later due to the aforementioned snowday.  It makes me feel like a kid.  I even want to make a snow angel. Which is weird because MM and snow =/= friends. First, though, it’s breakfast in bed.  Trying to not think about all the snow I have to shovel later. Maybe I’ll just ignore it for a few more hours. And then go run.  And pray that a heat wave comes and melts that snow off my car.  I can dream, right?

And I’ll leave you with this video that Lindsay sent me a few days ago.  I probably should have put it up on Christmas day but it was Christmas and I didn’t.  Better late than never, no?

And check out the giveaway from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Running and Rambling

November 8, 2010

Rolling, Snowing and Trying to Cling to Fall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:56

Hey all.  YAY for sunlight on my morning runs from now on thanks to DST ending.  Last night when I was out running some errands the sun was setting at 1633?? Oh well.  The fact that the sun rose at 0626 this morning makes up for it. I guess.

Hopefully y’all feel well rested from this weekend.  I do? I actually felt like a slug this weekend because I slept for 10 or so hours Friday night and then, because of the time change, ELEVEN hours on Saturday night.  Which was even more miraculous because I went out that night as well.  Who am I?! I NEVER sleep in like that.  I’m going to call it a good thing though.  Although I will say that I totally squandered that extra hour in the day. I’m always complaining about how I wish there were more hours in the day and then when I get one, what do I do? Sleep.  Figures 😉

After my repeats on Saturday, which I did edit the post with an addendum saying that I was pleased with the workout and know that I’m in the right place with my training, I basically DID NOT MOVE until going out.  Instead I curled up with a good book I’ve been reading (*cough*IamsuchaNERDbecauseit’soneofthosebooksyoureadinhighschool*cough*) and lounged.  After a while my legs started feeling more than a little tight.  So I finally broke down and broke out:

And yes those are two laundry baskets. I actually have three. I use a very complicated system 😉

Now I know that many of you have been on the foam rolling action for a long time.  So have I … in theory.  I bought this baby back in March or so but only have used it a few times.  Mostly because I’m lazy and partly because I know how tight my muscles are.  Roller + tight muscles = pain.  Duh.

I will say that I neither cried nor screamed as I was doing my thing.  I had a friend over and complained a lot.  Aloud of course — that’s the only time complaining is really ever fun HA.  But my voice never rose and I’m pretty sure no cuss words were uttered.  I did sweat though.  Which tells me I was doing something good and putting my body through some type of stress.

This translated, I think, into a muy bueno recovery run on Sunday.  Sunny skies and cool temps.  It felt great.  I even ran a wicked hilly route and felt fine.  Encouraging and I used the darn thing Sunday too after a long day of laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning the apartment.  See? I can do more domestic things than cook 😉

Monday morning brought SNOW.  And..well not a recovery run per se…but an easy one at that and “fast” easy (aka I looked at my watch at the end and smiled because it was faster than I thought).  The only remarkable thing was the weather and, well, I’m afraid I’m dangerously close to using up my complain-for-free passes.  It actually ended up not being too bad (it was mostly sleet and it stopped early on in the run) except my shoes were soaked 100m into it.

I will say that if it snows, or I guess this morning was more of a sleet, at WR I will be ready.

Just because the sun rises earlier doesn't mean 0500 is any lighter! So a bad picture but YES that is snow on the railing, in the tree and on the road!

I was sent this article on How to Deal with the Cold from a friend who thought it’d be funny to send this to me.  I’ve been living here my whole life so I think, despite my complaints about winter, I’m pretty cold savvy.  For those of you who aren’t here are some excerpts (and my thoughts on said excerpts):

The Physical

  • Don’t underestimate the power of sunshine” Duh but with .43453453453 hours of daylight (yes that’s a decimal point out in front of those numbers), and all of those during working hours, how am I supposed to get this?
  • Take your vitamins. Duh.
  • Stay hydrated Okay so this one I get because heaters = dry air. Which also equals nosebleeds for me.
  • Get outside and stay active. But. It’s. So . Cold. I actually do get outside (I think last year I ran in 12* weather) but it’s soooooooo hard to do.

The mental

  • Be mindful of your mood and mental health Unless of course this makes you even angrier for not getting out of the NorthEast when you had the chance.
  • Stay social. Ummm this is really hard to do when you’re A) too cheap to pay for a cab and B) to intoxicated to drive yourself.  AKA walking is how I roll.  Let me tell you: heels and dresses in freezing weather? Not a good combo. I guess we’ll just have lots of house parties?
  • Evaluate your winter pitfalls to guard against them This might actually depress me because it’s basically telling me to make of list of why I hate winter.  And I’m pretty sure (as I know you are) that it’s a pretty lengthy list.

I think you should probably be doing these things year round.  And I bet you can totally tell how bitter I am about winter.  I’m going to spend the rest of this…rain/snow/sleet/whatever it’s doing out there daydreaming about my move to somewhere warm. Because I’m 100% serious about making like a leaf and getting the f$%# out of here.

Anyone? I know I chose a random picture but anyone on that quote that's italicized?

And hey, check out this giveaway from Matt (Kitchen of a Runner) and Janae (Hungry Runner Girl) because everyone likes a giveaway.

And what’s a post without wicked awesome pictures?! (and by wicked awesome I mean Halloween-y and NOT snow and not a random guy from a great movie)

I actually forgot to share this last week! But over Halloween weekend some friends and I went to a “Jack-o-Lantern” festival in the city. It was way fun to see all the creative ways people carved pumpkins.  Here are some of my favs:

Betty Boop!

I ❤ Dinosaurs

Monopoly Man!

I know it’s a week late but I feel the need to say “Happy Halloween” anyway. I mean, it is my favorite holiday after all. But I can say (and have it be 100% true) “hope you enjoyed the weekend 🙂 ”

And enjoy your Monday too.  I sure am considering that A) I haven’t done any work all morning because the software I use won’t download the new version and we had to call in IT people B) the network is being backed up so I can’t work on any of my files and C) my friend made the coffee this morning so strong that I’m afraid to stand up because I’m pretty sure that my legs are so twitchy that I don’t think they’ll support me hahah.

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