Posted by: Kelly | September 8, 2013

Back(?)

Look who’s back!  Well…maybe.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this doesn’t last.  I haven’t blogged since last December and I’ve actually loved it.  Not that I ever spent that much time on it to begin with, but it still stressed me out.  Yet one more thing on the to-do-list.  But lately I’ve been feeling like it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  I’m just going to keep it super short and simply.  If I don’t feel like adding pictures and links, I won’t, and so on.

So what have I been up to in the past 8 months?  In May I ran Broad Street for the 4th time and PR’d.  Two weeks later I ran my 2nd marathon, the Pocono Run for the Red Marathon.  I PR’d by about 10 minutes, but, for several reasons, did not really enjoy this race.  And a week after that I ran my favorite race ever, the Dirty German 25k trail run, for the 3rd time.

Then, in June, I flew to San Francisco for a solo vacation.  I spent several wonderful days exploring the city and eating at all the amazing vegan restaurants that I’ve heard about over the years.  Let’s see, there was Source, Herbivore, Gracias Madre, Millenium, Peebles donuts, Cinnaholic, a Hella Vegan Eats pop-up at Dear Mom, and more.  One of the highlights of my trip was getting to re-connect with my college roommate who I hadn’t seen in years and years.  At the end of my trip I ran the SF Marathon.  It was 20 minutes slower than my 1st marathon, and a whopping 30 minutes slower than my Pocono Marathon time from just a month earlier, but mostly because the course was so awesome and I kept stopping to take pictures!  We got to run over the Golden Gate Bridge, which was pretty amazing 🙂

I took several weeks off from running after that, but now I’m back at it again.  I have the Marine Corp Marathon coming up at the end of October, and then the Richmond Marathon in November.  More on my new training approach and my hopes for a PR in a future post.  I’m also a week into trying to eat super clean in an effort to lose some weight before Marine Corp Marathon.  I haven’t eaten any of my usual post-dinner sugar bombs (and now that I’m off them, not really craving them either) which is HUGE for me.  In the 7 weeks left before the race I am hoping to lose 14 pounds.  We shall see.  I have been cooking tons of recipes from 365 Vegan Smoothies and from Let Them Eat Vegan.  Both cookbooks have quickly become favorites this summer.

Okay, this way waaay wordier than I intentioned!  I leave you (if there’s anyone still out there?) with a picture of the tofu scramble I made this morning with veggies from the farmer’s market.  Auf Wiedersehen 🙂

DSC_0352

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Posted by: Kelly | December 6, 2012

New York City Eats

Several weeks ago I took a day trip up to NYC to see Wicked!  I have been wanting to see that musical for years and it did not disappoint.  And of course while I was up there I had to take advantage of the many vegan options the city has to offer and try out some new (to me) spots.  On previous trips I had already been to Blossom Du Jour, Dun-Well Doughnuts, Lula’s Sweet Apothocary, Soy and Sake, and Atlas Cafe.  This time around, we were a little limited time-wise as what we could get to that was a reasonable distance from the theater and bus location.

For lunch, after a quick stroll through Central Park,  I was very excited to try Candle Cafe in the Upper West Side.

My memory is already starting to fail me, but we ordered two sandwiches, one with seitan and the other was tempeh with sweet potato and kale.

The mac and cheese.

Maybe our mistake was ordering sandwiches because some of the entrees I saw going to other tables looked good, but sadly I was pretty disappointed with the food 😦  For a restaurant that usually gets such great reviews, I was surprised with how underwhelming everything was.  Don’t get me wrong, the sandwiches were decent, but at about $15 each I expected much better.  I can get better sandwiches for half the price here in Philly at Hip City Veg or Blackbird.  And then there was the mac and cheese.  It was almost not worth even eating.  It just tasted…off.  I’ve tried the Candle Cafe frozen mac and cheese dinner that they sell at Whole Foods and that microwave meal version was actually way better than what we got served in the restaurant.  I don’t get it.  I haven’t given up on the Candle franchise, however, and I hope to make it to Candle 79 one day for a fancy pants dinner.  Has anyone else had good/bad experiences with Candle Cafe?

For dinner we had to go someplace pretty close to the bus stop, so we went with Loving Hut.  Normally I would not have picked this place because when there used to be one on South Street in Philly it never interested me enough to want to try it.  Convenience won out in this case.  We tried 3 dishes- the thai curry noodle bowl, mushroom quesadillas, and (to compare to Candle’s version) a side of mac and cheese.

I had pretty low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised at how good all three dishes were.  It feels blasphemous to say, but Loving Hut’s mac and cheese was much better than Candle Cafe’s!  Shocker!

And to leave you with something cute, here are a couple of pictures of Swatch, of Project Runway fame,  that I took when we stopped to be tourists at Mood!

Posted by: Kelly | December 2, 2012

Philly Half Marathon 2012

I’m not going to write a long race re-cap this time and unfortunately I have no pictures to share.  But here’s the important part, I beat last year’s time by about 8 minutes and set a new PR by about 6 minutes!  Yay 🙂  And one more toenail bit the dust- I’m down to  a set of 8 now;)

Time-  2:17:07  (10:29 official pace but it was really 10:18 due to the tru distance I ran)

Posted by: Kelly | November 28, 2012

My 2nd Thanksgiving as a Vegan, and an 8k Run

As the title says, this was my 2nd vegan Thanksgiving.  I find myself loving the food so much more now than I ever did in my “pre-gan” days.  It was a bit of an odd Thanksgiving though because this past summer my parents sold the house we’d lived in since I was in the 6th grade.  The place where they live now just didn’t feel like home.  It was a good thing there were only the four of us (we have practically no extended family) because there were only two bedrooms.  Onto the pictures.

See my dad in the background? Hard at work preparing the feast, obvi 😉

I don’t do black Friday.  You couldn’t pay me to be a part of that insanity, but I did stroll through the cute little town of Occoquan and visited my mom at her store there.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving my dad, brother and I all participated in the Drumstix Dash 8k at Burke Lake.  My dad got inspired to start running when he watched me complete my first marathon this past October, and since then he has been training for this race.  At 72 years old, he was one of the oldest runners out there!

I love this picture!

pre-race

my dad doing the “Gangnam Style” warm-up 😉

the bro-ski

I stuck with him at his pace to try to coach him and keep him company since I knew he’d be trailing near the end of the pack.  Although I kept trying to get him to slow down so that he could run at a steady pace, he just wouldn’t listen.  Instead there was a lot of sprinting for about 20 seconds before he wore himself out and had to walk for a while to recover.  Oh well, I tried 😉

Approaching the finish line, we both looked at each other before gunning it the last several yards.

He ended up doing really well for his first race in probably almost 40 years!  Our finish time was 1:11:05 for an average pace of 14:18 which was better than his normal pace of 15 minutes per mile, plus he’s never run further than 3 miles in his training.  Way to go Dad!

Posted by: Kelly | November 20, 2012

Sabrina’s Cafe

I finally got around to trying Sabrina’s Cafe a couple of weeks ago.  There are 3 locations (we went to the one in Fairmount). The place has a cute cozy atmosphere and some good vegan dishes on the menu.  The only downside is that the vegan items aren’t clearly labeled as such, but it was fairly easy to guess what would be, and our waitress was able to answer our questions on the things we weren’t sure about.

This was the “Crispy Tofu” dish and it was really good despite the boring name.

There are always changing specials on the brunch menu and this was one of them. I don’t remember the full description, but it was some sort of Moroccan-spiced chickpea dish.

Posted by: Kelly | November 15, 2012

My First Marathon- Race Re-Cap

It’s been a full month now since my marathon, so I guess it’s about time that I finally write a race re-cap!

My training definitely did not go as planned (largely due to an unexpected 3 week hiatus at peak training time because of a work trip to a remote area in Peru where running was not an option).  I got in an 18-miler  right before the trip, and tried to get myself back on track as much as possible afterwards, managing one long run of 20 miles.  Even so, my heaviest training week topped off at only 27 miles, quite a bit shy of the 40 it was supposed to be.

Despite all of that, I was really looking forward to the race, and to the vacation time in Bar Harbor with my parents prior to the race.  You can read about the first part of our vacation in Maine hereWe flew up and arrived in Maine on the Wednesday prior to the race and had a nice few days to see all that the area had to offer.  On our first day up there we took the time to drive the full length of the marathon course so that I could see just how bad those hills were.  Although it was a bit daunting to see just how far I would be running, I think it helped to see the hills so that I could stop imagining how bad they would be, and just accept the reality of it.

Prior to the race there was an “expo”, although it was so unlike the huge expos that I have gotten used to in Philly.  This one was literally just one small room with a couple of vendors and a bib pick-up.  That was it.  No lines, but also mot much excitement.  I think there were only a couple of other runners there at the same time as me.  I got my bib and free wind jacket, and bought myself a 26.2 sticker, a Mount Desert Island running t-shirt, and a race tumbler.

The day before the race there was a 1.8 mile “fun run” that I did with my 72-year old dad!  There were only about 20 of us, and many of that small group were quasi-elite runners.  We came in dead last, but he got bitten by the racing bug and is now training for his first 8k!

I tried to get him to pace himself, but he wouldn’t listen to me. Instead he sprinted until he couldn’t take it any more, and then would walk until he caught his breath. Repeat. Oh well, I tried 😉

I didn’t sign up for the pre-race breakfast thinking not much of it would be vegan (turns out there would have been plenty to chose from, but by the time I saw a menu it was sold-out).  Instead we went back to the hotel to shower and then headed out to do our own thing for breakfast.  Through Happy Cow we found Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast, and what a great find it was!  Overall I was very surprised on this trip how vegan-friendly the area was.  I ordered a plate of vegan apple oatmeal pancakes.  They were huge and delicious and the perfect pre-race carby breakfast 🙂

These pancakes were massive. I ate every bite and felt stuffed for about the next 7 hours!

That night we opted to keep it simple and had an early dinner at about 5:30pm in the hotel’s restaurant.  I ordered pasta with marinara sauce, broccolini, and mushrooms.

After dinner I went up to my room and spent the rest of the evening setting out everything I’d need the next morning and trying to relax.  I also really enjoyed reading the book I brought along,  First Marathons: Personal Encounters with the 26.2 Mile Monster.

First Marathons: Personal Encounters With the 26.2-Mile Monster

It helped me to read other first-timers’ accounts of how they made it through their first marathon.

Then, as it was approaching my bed time, I started to panic.  I started to get really worried that I’d made a mistake in not signing-up for the early-start option and that as a result I’d be in very last place the entire race.  Due to the extreme hilly-ness of this course, it has a very generous time cut-off of 7 1/2 hours (many marathons have a 6 hour limit).  Even so, there was the option to start and hour early if you thought you’d need more than 6 hours.  The downside to this option was that if you ended up finishing in less than 6 hours you could be disqualified.  Having absolutely no idea how long it would take me, I was afraid to risk a DQ and so chose the regular start time.  But now, as I was sitting alone in my hotel room, I was doubting that choice.  There were only just over 1,000 people running this race, and with all the slow people getting a full hour head start on me, I was seriously worried that I’d be running in last place the entire way.  Also eating at me was worries about the weather.  The next day was supposed to be high 30’s to low 40’s and rainy all day.  I was so upset by that, and to be honest that night I was completely dreading the race the next morning.

I read my book until about 11pm and then fell asleep with no problem.  I thought I’d be up all night worrying, but surprisingly I slept like a rock!

At 5am my alarm went off and I was up.  Right away I made and drank about half a cup of coffee and half a bottle of orange juice.  I ate a Clif bar and a Kit’s Organic bar.  This was all by 5:30 and then I cut myself off of fluids and food.  At 7am I ate a banana.  I met my parents in the hotel lobby a little before 7:30 and we took the short walk (less than a mile) to the starting area.  It was already rainy and cold and I was so discouraged I can’t even tell you.  “Why can’t it just be dry?” was all I could think.  One perk of a small race was that there was none of the chaos that I’m used to at the starting area.  I stood in line for all of about 5 minutes and got to use a real bathroom instead of a port-a-potty.  I handed my bags (one for mid-race supplies and one for post-race items) to my parents and easily got in line for there start.  No corrals here, just jump in wherever!

I liked that the bibs were color-coded. Green was for newbies!

I look worried, don’t I?

And we’re off! (To make things a little more like home, I was listening to the Rocky anthem on my iPod)

My only goal for this race was to finish and hopefully not come in last.  I honestly had no time goal as I had no idea how the hills would affect me.  I’m having a little bit of a hard time remembering now, but I think my plan was to aim for a 12 minute pace for the first 13 miles and then allow myself to ease back to a 15 minute pace for the last half of the race if I was really hurting.  This shows where my head was at, totally doubting myself, but I didn’t want to make the mistake of pushing too hard and then not finishing.  I told myself I’d jog it nice and comfortable and walk whenever I needed to.

I started the race with my water bottles in my fuel belt empty, but with pieces of Nuun electrolyte tabs already in them.  The water stops were very evenly spaced every 2 miles which made planning for them easy.  At most of the stops I slowed down to take a cup of water (most had roughly 7 ounces in them) and would pour the cup into one of my bottles which I’d sip on until the next stop.  Throughout the whole race I think I ended up taking about 8 cups for a total of about 56 ounces!  I have no idea if experienced marathoners would say that’s a good amount or not (it was about 44 degrees out but felt colder with the wind and rain), but I felt good about it as I normally struggle to force myself to drink.  I never felt dehydrated or nauseous.  I didn’t feel like I had water glurging around inside me and didn’t have to stop to use a bathroom the whole race, so I consider this a success.

As for calories (since the Nuun electrolyte tabs are basically calorie-free and I don’t drink Gatorade) I use hammer gels and took one at the 6, 12, 18, and 22 mile marks.  This seemed to work really well for me.

Okay, back to the race.  I noticed I was running pretty consistently and effortlessly at a 11:45 average pace so my new plan of action became to stick with that or slightly slower until halfway and then re-evaluate.  At mile 9 I stopped to walk and text my mom.  The plan was for them to meet me at mile 12, so I let her know that I was roughly 30 minutes out.

There were a couple of rough patches where the wind really started blowing the rain in my face and I started feeling sorry for myself, thinking things like “Why couldn’t the weather have been nice?”, “Why am I out here doing this?”, and “I can’t believe I have 5-7 hours of this ahead of me”, but those moments were very brief, and most of the time I was having a ball!  The scenery, even in the rain was gorgeous and I was having so much fun!  I couldn’t believe how the time and miles were just flying by.

Before I knew it I had run 12 miles and started looking for my parents at the designated spectator area.  By mile 13 I hadn’t seen them and knew I wouldn’t have another chance until mile 18.  I got out my phone and tried to call my mom, but only got her voice-mail.  I said that I wasn’t sure how we’d missed each other (keep in mind the small numbers of this race- it should not have been hard to find each other), but that I hoped to see them in 6 more miles.  I asked her to bring me the race bag with dry socks, dry gloves, and the extra gels I had packed.  I was really kind of angry at them for missing me.  I was thinking they had just one job, to get to mile 12 and cheer for me, and somehow they weren’t there.  I’d really been looking forward to seeing them and getting that boost of support, and now I’d have to run another 6 miles before getting another chance.

Miles 12 though 18 continued to go smoothly and my average pace at the halfway mark was hovering right around 12:00.  I made an updated goal of hanging on to that until mile 18.  When I reached that point, my average pace was at 12:07.  I made a new mini goal to still be under a 12:15 average by mile 20.  I figured by that point I’d be hitting the wall and need to slow down.  I know 12 minute miles seems slow, …but the hills, plus I really was in no hurry.

Right before mile 18 where I was hoping to find my parents, I passed through the only water stop that had gels.  They we Gu’s which I’d never tested on my stomach and wasn’t even sure if they were vegan, but I took 2 and held onto them just in case something else happened and I missed getting the extra hammer gels from my parents.

At mile 18 there they were!  I was so happy to finally see them and ran right over to them to get a hug and my dry socks, gloves, and the gels.

My mom handed me my extra gels, but when I asked my dad for the dry gloves he handed me my post-race bag, the one with the flip-flops and sweatpants.  Yeah, he left the bag I actually needed in the car.  I tried not to get angry even though I had been so careful to explain which bag was which before the race.  My mom asked how I was feeling and I told her much better than I expected.  She seemed surprised and said they’d been worried that it had taken me so long to get there after that text at mile 9.  They’d been waiting for me for about an hour longer than expected and had been worried that there was something really wrong with me.  That’s when I realized they thought they were at mile 12, not 18!  Somehow they’d skipped the first spectator area and had driven to the other side of the island without realizing it!  I knew my mom felt horrible about the mistake so I told myself to let it go and be grateful that they were there at all.  It also turns out that due to the bad cell reception on the island that she never heard the voicemail that I had left her at mile 12 wondering where they were.  I told them to please just be sure to get to the finish line so that they didn’t miss me crossing.  We said goodbye and I ran off.  A few minutes later they pulled up next to me on the race course trying to hand me those dry gloves though the window of the moving car.  Yes, there they were driving on the wrong side of the road where the runners were supposed to be!  “You’re going to hit someone!” I yelled “Just please get off of the course and get to the finish area!”  Oh vey.  I love my parents, but sometimes… 😉

Before I knew it I was at mile 20 and thinking that every step beyond that point was a new personal distance record for me.  I kept waiting to “hit the wall”, but it never happened.  In fact, I was feeling great.  Like 6 more miles was no big deal at all.  With each mile, I tried to see if I could maintain my steady pace, and it was practically effortless.  Even with stopping for walk breaks, calling my parents and sending texts, and wasting time at the water stops to unscrew my water bottles and add Nuun tabs, my pace was holding steady.

As I headed into the last mile I actually felt like gunning it a bit.  I wasn’t tired at all and felt like I could just keep running.  Where was this coming from?  As I neared the finish line, Chariots of Fire was playing on my iPod and for a brief second I got teary.  And then, I crossed the finish line, 5:16:31, with arms raised and a smile on my face.  I had done it!  I expected to sob like a baby, but I didn’t shed a tear.  I saw my parents with big smiles on their faces, so proud of me.

Do you see me coming?

Since it was such a small race, they announced everybody’s name as they crossed the finish line and even added comments like “this is her first marathon” or “he just set a new PR by 5 minutes”.  I thought it was really cool how they knew those details.  I was so caught up in the moment (and listening to Chariots of Fire) that I didn’t realize they were announcing my finish at the time.

Hard to tell by this picture, but it rained the entire race and my hair and clothes were soaked, and yet my feet stayed surprisingly dry up until the end when I stepped in a big puddle.

Coconut water in one hand, Vega bar in the other 😉

Making my way into the food/water tent. I asked my mom to take this picture because I thought the “boardwalk” crossing the massive puddle pretty much summed up the day 😉

Getting my massage on. I always feel so sorry for the masseuses for having to touch all the gross, stinky, sweaty runners!

Uh… lady, your hand is on my butt.

My final thoughts on the race:

  • I had the time of my life, despite the hills and the rain.
  • I’m sad I’ll never get to run another “first marathon”.  Firsts are so special.  There are no expectations, you’re guaranteed a PR, and you discover for the first time that you’re capable of much more than you ever thought.
  • I was so grateful to have my parents there to support me.  I always go to races alone, have no one to cheer for me, and then leave alone.  It was so nice to have someone there for me this time.  In my tired state, I got angry a couple of times, but I knew they were doing their best.  They stood out in the cold rain for almost 2 hours at that first spot waiting for me.  Having them there made the whole experience that mush more memorable.
  • The hills really weren’t so bad.  Yes they were constant, but I trained well for them and they didn’t bother me.  What did bother me was the camber of the road.  Since we were running “into” traffic, the left side of the pavement was always a bit lower than the right.  This became increasingly uncomfortable as the race wore on.
  • I love that I completed this race under tough circumstances.  It gives me confidence for future races where the roads will be flatter and the weather nicer.  I also really took my time on this race.  I walked some.  I wasted unnecessary time at water stops.  I made phone calls.  All this adds up to the possibility for a huge PR on my next marathon!
  • I was walking very well in the days after the race- only a little sore.
  • I only lost one toenail after the race!  That is actually good for me 😉

And finally here are my mile splits.  I ran the second half a mere 49 seconds slower than the first half.  Pretty damn good.  And my fastest mile was the 26th one!

mile 1- 11:14

mile 2- 11:59

mile 3- 12:04

mile 4- 11:48

mile 5- 11:41

mile 6- 12:06

mile 7- 12:26

mile 8- 11:48

mile 9- 12:31

mile 10- 12:23

mile 11- 11:37

mile 12- 12:04

mile 13- 12:17

mile 14- 12:08

mile 15- 12:47

mile 16- 11:29

mile 17- 12:32

mile 18- 13:05

mile 19- 12:04

mile 20- 11:37

mile 21- 12:05

mile 22- 11:48

mile 23- 12:55

mile 24- 11:58

mile 25- 11:44

mile 26- 10:35

last stretch to the finish- 10:46

Posted by: Kelly | November 15, 2012

Bar Harbor Maine, in Pictures (Part 1)

I was so happy that I had about 4 days prior to my marathon to explore the area of Bar Harbor with my parents.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and I’m very jealous of people who get to live up there year-round.  We had a couple of rainy days, which was a bit of a bummer, but we didn’t let that stops us.  (Although, the rough seas did cause us to miss out on our whale-watching expedition which was very disappointing).

Sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain. This is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and, consequently, the first place to see the sunrise from October through March. It was breathtaking up there and cold beyond belief for October!

Cafe This Way

Our first morning in town we had breakfast at an adorable place called Cafe This Way.  I can’t recommend this place enough.  The atmosphere was just what I was looking for and there were clearly labeled vegan dishes on the menu which I was not expecting to find on this trip!  I had the tofu scramble for breakfast and it was probably the best I’ve ever had.  Skipping ahead a few days, I made my parents go back to Cafe This Way for my post-marathon dinner.

The “Bento Plate”- spicy broccoli and cashews with rice, seaweed salad, shiitake tempura, gingered pineapple

Okay, as I look back at the menu, this wasn’t labeled as vegan although my brunch had been.  They were familiar with the word though, and my waitress was able to easily confirm that this and another dish that I had my eye on were in fact vegan.

This picture was taken along the “Shore Path”- a 1 mile scenic walk. This is the famous “balancing rock” deposited long ago by glacial floes.

Driving off the island of Mount Desert, we went to the Schoodic Peninsula for some great views along the Schoodic Loop road- a 6 mile scenic byway along the pink granite shores of Acadia National park. From across Frenchman’s Bay we could see Mount Desert Island.

Posted by: Kelly | October 4, 2012

10 Days Left Before the Marathon

Well hello there to anyone who’s still out there reading this little blog.  I have obviously had a serious lack of blogging mojo lately and I regret that I’ve done such a poor job of documenting my training for my first marathon.  So here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on…

At the end of August slash beginning of September I went on a hastily-last-minute planned trip to Peru for work.  I did volunteer work to help endangered penguins and lived in a pretty remote location along the coast with minimal plumbing and electricity.  I loved every minute of it.  Zoos really do some amazing things for animals around the world and I wish I could get some other vegans to realize this.  Sigh.

Anyway… due to the trip, I lost nearly 3 full weeks of training.  No bueno.  Very no bueno.  I did a 18 mile long run a few days before I left and managed to do a very slow 20-miler (12:15 pace) the week after I got back.  The weeks that I lost should have been some of my heaviest training weeks, and there’s no way to get them back.  In some ways I almost feel like I’ve been in some extended months-long taper.  Far from ideal.  In fact, the most miles I have run in a single week is 27 which is far short of the 40 mile max that I was supposed to hit.  Needless to say, I am really starting to stress out about my ability to complete this marathon.  I know I’d probably be fine (albeit slow) if it weren’t for all the hills that I know to expect on this course.  I’ve heard that you are pretty much running uphill or downhill the entire race.

I met a guy a few months ago, and not going to lie here, that has affected my training too.  As for bike training, that was almost non-existent this summer.  I shamefully only rode my bike 3 times since I bought it back in the spring.  Despite my slacking, I participated in the MS City to Shore Ride this past weekend and did great!  I wasn’t really tired at all and wasn’t even sore the next day, so I hope that means I have built up a decent level of fitness.  I was really nervous going into the ride because I still haven’t gotten great at clipping in with my shoes.  I actually fell (while still attached to my bike) twice the morning of the ride getting to the Patco station before the race even started.  I thought I was doomed to fall during the congested start of the race, but it was much less chaotic than I feared, and I made it through all 78-ish miles without falling again.  The rest of that weekend was a total disaster however.  My teammate’s boyfriend was supposed to bring my overnight bag to our rental in Ocean City, NJ, but he accidentally left it back in Philly.  So after being up since 3am that morning and biking all day I finally get to the house ready for a hot shower and to relax only to find that I have NONE of my stuff.  No wallet, cell phone, clean clothes, underwear, shoes, medication, food that I’d packed knowing people would probably want to eat at places where I wouldn’t find much, toiletries, NOTHING.  It sucked so bad.  And then I had to go to K-Mart and waste 70 bucks on crap I didn’t want.  But it didn’t end there, because when I got back to the beach house I found that everyone except my friend Wendy had left and gone out to dinner without us.  Awesome.  Thanks guys.  But wait, there’s more.  There were 10 people staying at the house but only 4 bedrooms to sleep 8.  SO can you guess who got stuck on the couches?  Yup.  Seriously, don’t you think someone could have thrown me a bone after my shitty afternoon and given me one of the beds?  Four of the people that ended up in beds hadn’t even biked that day!  But the ride was fun and we raised money for a good cause so I just need to focus on the positive right?

What else?  My mom came to visit me last week.  I had fun taking her around to some of my favorite vegan restaurants.  We had a great dinner at Mi Lah her first night here, then we got bagels and coffee at Grindcore the next morning.  She raved about both.  We spent the day wandering the shops out at Lambertville and New Hope and then had dinner that evening at Sprig & Vine.  I had been wanting to try that place for a long time and it did not disappoint.  My mom said it was hands down one of the best meals she’d ever had in her whole life!  And on her last morning here we had brunch (vegan french toast!) at Green Eggs Cafe after the rain and a head cold cut m intended 13 mile run down to a 4 mile jog and a 4 mile walk.

(appetizer) zucchini and black-eyed pea griddle cake with spicy corn remoulade

(appetizer) Green Onion Pancake Roll with maitake mushrooms, sesame-tomato jam, and soy syrup

 

(entree) Autumn Paella with roasted autumn squash, chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, fried cauliflower, grilled green onion,red pepper and shishito pepper,saffron rice and hazelnut romesco

(entree) Garlic and Tamarind-Glazed Portabella with fried green tomato, green tomato chutney, apple avocado and cashew raita, butternut-basmati rice, coconut & green chile-creamed Swiss chard and chickpea

this was some sort of amazing chocolate pie and coffee ice cream

 

 

Posted by: Kelly | August 25, 2012

Still Here

I have been horrible about updating this blog with my marathon training.  Life has been so busy!  And now I am scheduled to take a somewhat unexpected 2 week trip to Peru for work!  I had to change up some of my long runs in preparation because I won’t be able to run at all while I am down there and the trip coincides with what should have been my two heaviest weeks of training!  It’ll be crunch time when I get back and I’m really worried about how that much time off will affect my training.  Nothing I can do about it though.  I ran 18 miles for my long run this week which was a new PDR for me!  I was so proud of myself and I wasn’t even sore the next day!  And I kept all my toenails for a change!

Posted by: Kelly | July 24, 2012

Marathon Training Catch-Up

I’ve fallen extremely behind on my marathon training and eating posts.  It was bound to happen.  I’m just not a daily blogger.  I also got really sick of recording everything I ate- not just on here, but in my own journal is well.  I didn’t know how some people have the patience to do that every day.
Not to worry though.  I have been completing every single scheduled run and yoga session.  I’ve been sticking to the weight training plan as well, except on really physical days at work, in which case I’ve been giving myself a free pass.  The biking, on the other hand, is still not happening in the way that it should.  Totally slacking on that front.  I blame this horribly hot and humid weather which I despide with every fiber of my being.  But, I FINALLY took my bike out for a real outdoor ride this Sunday evening after work even though I really didn’t want to.

  • I completed a little over 16 miles.
  • I was terribly slow.  The amazing speed of my bike still scares me and I find myself cranking it into the harder gears just so I don’t go as fast.
  • I fell down in the parking lot before even starting the ride trying to clip in, which I still haven’t mastered.  Luckily no one was around to see me bite it.
  • I haven’t gotten used to the gear shifters yet either.  It confuses me how the front and rear shifters are the reverse of each other (i.e. to move to a harder gear for one wheel you press a button and to make it easier you push a lever, but for the other wheel it is the reverse of that)
  • On the bike I feel like I do on skis or a snowboard, which is to say mildly in control as long as no one gets in my way and there isn’t anything funky going on with the ground like a rut or loose gravel.
  • My bonehead move of the night was leaving my keys still in the lock of my roof rack after taking my bike down.  I was  lucky no one stole them or my rack.  Lesson SO learned.

Week 3 Wrap-Up

  • 21 miles run, 45 minutes biked (on a spin bike)

Week 4 Wrap-Up

  • 18 miles run (it was a cut-back recovery week), and only 20 minutes biked
  • at the end of four weeks I am down 9 pounds, feeling great, only mild discomfort in my problematic right Achilles, and looking forward to each scheduled run but still dreading the bike

 

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