Friday, March 30, 2012

Senior Research Papers

This is where I've been all week.  

My seniors worked for two months on these babies, and I am proud that I got a well-written and interesting research paper from every single freaking one of my 55 seniors.  And they are all graded.  Let the Senioritis (officially) begin.

More stories of cooking, running, and compression calf sleeves coming very soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

week 10: 3 out of 5 is not bad, right?

My training was a little off this week.  I had one of the busiest weeks ever at work.  I also had a calf strain that developed last weekend and hung on throughout the week.

Skyler faced some tough issues in the 1st grade social scene and was feeling quite sad, so I felt the need to be closer to home so I could hang out with her and boost her self esteem by reminding her how incredibly cool she is.  (And here is where I resist the urge to write my observations and feelings about the 1st grade social scene out of respect for my girl, but I will say this:  mothers of young girls, go ahead and start building a fortress around your heart.)

So I skipped two runs this week, and even though I knew it was a good idea for all kinds of reasons, it still surprises me how badly I feel about getting off of my plan. Even when it is in the best interest of my body and my family, I still bugs me.  I have issues.

But then on Saturday morning, I had the best long run of my long and illustrious running career.  Not because it was fast or because I had no aches and pains, but because I never had one (not one) bad thought or mental demon visit me.  It was so weird and cool.  I didn't struggle, overthink it, feel overwhelmed by the distance, or ever say "I can't do this."  I just attacked it one mile at a time until my Garmin rolled over to 17 miles at the top of the mean hill by my house.  I thought, "Hmm.. I could definitely run some more if I had to."

The course strategy was perfect.  5 miles from my house to downtown Bangor, 6 miles of trails along the river with my friend Roger, 1 mile loop around town, and then 5 miles back home to Hampden.  Perfect weather (sunshine and 35-40 degrees).  The previous week of 80 degree summer weather is over, but it melted all the snow and ice and left the trails in perfect running shape. 

Perfect post run re-fuel smoothie:  Orange juice, blueberries, raw baby spinach, chia seeds and raw oats.

Hey runners!  I think it's time for me to get on the compression-wear bandwagon and buy some compression sleeves for my calves to help them recover more quickly.  Who has a recommendation for me on what to get? 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

it's 80 degrees and we're talking about it.

There is no way I can NOT write a post about the weather today.  It was hot and beautiful and full sunshine!  I wore a sleeveless dress to work!  The way-warmer-than-expected-for-March weather is all anyone can talk about.  I think the whole state of Maine is in shock.  Everyone feels like we got a present, a little slice of summer right in the middle of March.  

I know better than to hope that snow and ice are over for the year.  But Reed actually wore shorts to school and there is going to be a full-on mutiny if I have to get that boy back into snow pants. 

This is Skyler hanging out in summer wear before her piano lesson.

And this is me sitting outside in the sun while she had her lesson.  I often borrow her teacher's copy of Eat, Pray, Love from her little waiting area/ library and re-read a few chapters.  I call that a good way to spend 45 minutes.
Everything is easier and lovelier and more sweet-smelling when it is warm and sunny.

In three weeks from tomorrow, I leave for my surf trip to Mexico

When I told Chris, the owner of LiveME gear that I was going surfing, he sent me this SurfME shirt and a whole bunch of SurfME stickers to bring to Mexico for the other women.  AND, he said he'd do another giveaway for you folks when I get back.  If you love Maine, I bet you love their stuff as much as I do.

Thank you, LiveME! 

I took 2 days off from running because of a calf strain, but I'm excited to run tomorrow in the summer weather.  I'm actually worried it's going to be too hot (80s again), but I don't dare to complain.  I'm soaking it up.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 9: check. Sunshine: check.

Maine?  March?

Oh, March. Just when I think I have you figured out, you go and give us a week of sunshine and warmth. Such an unexpected gift.  But please don't tease me like this and then think about snowing again.  That would be rude.
I just got home from visiting with a friend on her deck in the sunshine and it was so warm I was in a tank top.  Good grief.  The sunshine feels so good, and the kids ran around outside the whole time.  Thank you, universe.

I started off my Sunday with an early morning long run with the girls.  

6:30 am start, 11 miles, mostly sunny with a ten-minute down-pour: Kristy, Casey, Katie, Jen and Emilie.

I have to say that getting in 11 miles and getting home in time to shower and go to church makes me feel pretty good for the rest of the day.  I also loved the fact that we met in front of a restaurant/ bar on the waterfront, and I kept thinking there had to be people stumbling home drunk from St. Paddy's festivities just hours before we showed up fresh as a bunch of daisies. 

Last week, I ran 15 miles and felt relatively no pain.  Today I ran 11 miles and it felt hard at the end, and my calves and hips were very sore and tight and achy after the run until I took advil.

The moral of that story is, when you have a crappy run, don't worry!  You will have a great run very soon.  And if you have a great run, enjoy it!  You will have a crappy run very soon.  Sometimes you just can't tell what kind of a long run it's going to be until you are halfway into it.

That being said, I love everything about running in a pack of women.  There is nothing quite like it.

Throughout my whole run this morning, I was craving hot coffee.  Throughout the rest of the day, I have been craving burritos.  So, I'm off to the store to get burrito fixings. 

Happy Sunny Sunday.  The doors and windows are wide open and I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

someday they will thank me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

field trip.

On Sunday the day was wide open, and I felt the need for some ocean. I drove with my mom and the kids to Bar Harbor where we went to the beach, watched the seagulls, built a castle, and then went out to lunch.  It was sunny and cool, but warm for March, so we soaked up some outside time. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

signs of spring

It is 50 degrees today.  In Maine.  In March.  And it's daylight savings time which I love because it's almost dinner time and the whole house is full of light.  We actually went to the beach today, yes we did, and made a sand castle.  More on that later.

We've been watching some of the Red Sox pre-season games, and nothing says hope, sunshine and warmth like baseball on television.  If you've read this blog for a while, you know I love the Red Sox and my interest and allegiance to this team has surprised people in my family and friends who've known me for years.  I'm not a fan of professional sports, really, and I'm not really a fan of just baseball, it's just the Red Sox.  And we like to brag that it is no coincidence that the two years we had children, 2004 and 2007, are the two years the Sox won the World Series.  Sorry New Englanders, we're not having any more babies.

So, we've been watching the pre-season games and I'm trying to get to know the new team and the new manager since all the changes after last year's debacle.  You may remember I had a thing for Johnny Damon before he left the Red Sox and then I had a thing for Jonathan Papelbon, and then (break my heart) he got traded to the Phillies.

jon papelbon

johnny damon

I especially miss Papelbon.  He was my main man.  And so, I'm kind of having a Red Sox Crush Crisis.  Last night I started checking everyone out to see who my new man is going to be.

I think I may have found him.   I think it's the pitcher Daniel Bard, but I have to get to know him a little better first.  He's pretty nice looking, and he's a pitcher, so he does all those sexy pitcher things like the leg that goes way up in back and that look of utter concentration.  Yes, please.

Any Red Sox fans out there who can recommend a Red Sox player to take the place of my previous loves?  Because Sam wasn't that interested in helping me on this project. 

daniel bard

daniel bard doing the sexy leg thing

In other news, I ran 15 miles on Saturday morning, my longest run in a year,  on a totally beautiful blue-sky day, and the very weird thing is, it wasn't that hard to finish, AND I had no pain after the run and today I'm just slightly tight but not sore.  That can go down as a March miracle.  I feel great.

Off to cross train and then work on my seniors' research papers.  Happy Sunday night!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

CFC: day seven AND Chamberlain Half Marathon Race Report

I finished off the Clean Food Challenge just fine on Saturday.   Here's the rundown.
Breakfast:  the usual
Lunch (out and about): lots of dried mango, Odwalla Mango Lime Smoothie, Cashew Mango Kind Bar (yes, I love mangoes).
Snack:  Rice cake with almond butter and banana with Detox Tea.
Dinner:  See photo.  Crispy Kale and Quinoa with broccoli and carrots and ginger and a side of Tempeh (idea I got from Suzanne) marinated in molasses, Tamari and Rice Vinegar and then sauteed in olive oil.

This dinner was AWESOME.  However, I do not recommend all these greens and veggies the night before a half marathon.  My stomach was not happy after about mile 10 and through much of the afternoon.  I think it's probably better to stick with a basic carbo-loading meal like pasta or pizza.  But I'm glad I finished off the CFC anyway. 

Overall, what I love most about eating CFC style, is how EVEN I feel.  I don't get highs and lows in my energy.  I don't get sleepy.  I feel very focused and productive.  I attribute this to the lack of bread and sugar, and it's just such a good reminder that those things should be eaten in moderation.  I also love how deliberately I have to be about shopping, cooking, and packing my food.  I said this already, but it feels like such a gift to myself to have healthy food at the ready and not be left to grab bagels in the Tim Horton's drive-thru.

I did, however,  start my day with a bagel and a coffee, and yes, it tasted delicious.

This morning I ran the inaugural Chamberlain Half Marathon which started in Brewer and ran into Bangor and back to Brewer.  I can't say it was the most beautiful half marathon course in history, but it was still a good course, most of which I have run before on my normal training runs.  I very much liked that aspect, that I always knew where I was and knew what to expect for uphills and downhills.

I had 14 miles on the calender for this weekend, so I intended to treat this as just a long training run with a bunch of people.  It was great to be at a race with Jen and Amy again, 2 of my Sole Sisters.

and also with Roger, my training buddy for Sugarloaf.  I was glad to see that both of us had our bibs on crooked.  Check this out.  Roger killed it today with a 1:42 (7:40 pace).  Most impressive, Coach, and only a little bit annoying.

In terms of the race, I enjoyed it and felt strong almost all the way, ran it alone, listened to music, and felt comfortable until my stomach started to bother me at around mile 10 and then I just got tired for the last few miles.  Looking at my splits, I probably took it out too fast and waited too long to eat some fuel.  I am really annoyed at myself to say that, because those seem to be the same 2 mistakes that I always make.  I have another Half Marathon in April, so I'm going to concentrate on just those 2 things:  take it easy for the first few miles and take fuel regularly and see if it makes a difference in how I feel when I cross the finish line.

I ended up with a 2:16, average pace of 10:17, which is totally fine for the middle of marathon training.  Just a long run.  That's what I kept telling myself. 

Some highlights of the run:  My friend Paul was out on his bike and rode next to me for a bit at mile 6 and at mile 12.5 (thanks so much, Paul!).

The amazing Marks family (who are total experts at race cheering) was there at about 4 points on the course shaking cowbells and taking photos.   The course was also well marked with volunteer National Guardsmen at every turn.  Water stops were exactly where they said they would be.  Volunteers were friendly and supportive.  Cops stopped traffic at all major intersections.  It was a small race in terms of numbers, but I thought the folks who put this on did a great job.

I got cold right away when we stopped, so again, I appreciated that they had mylar blankets and lots of water and fruit at the finish line.  And, the medals and shirts are pretty cool too.  Good job, Chamberlain Half Marathon people!

Post race pizza tonight?  Oh yes.  Dirty, delicious pizza.

Friday, March 2, 2012

CFC: day six. (Are we there yet?)

As much as I clearly love the Clean Food Challenge and blogging about it, by the time I make it to this part of the week, I kind of imagine all of you out there going:

"blah blah blah, clean food, you feel great, you're going to Mexico, we know, we know, shut up."

I am feeling great and energized and clean and happy and all that, but I would also trade one of my children for a slice of Dysart's Banana Cream Pie right now. 

This afternoon I developed a splitting headache and to put it mildly, a hankering for a venti cup of french roast.  With cream.  And sugar.  And pie.

I also endured a colleague bringing in his famous chocolate chunk cookies to work.  I walked past them about forty times.  They looked so very delicious.

But I held on and stayed clean, and now I'm almost done.  Tomorrow is the final day and then Sunday morning there will be bagels before the half marathon. Amen. 

Breakfast:  Oatmeal, blueberries, coffee with coconut milk

Snacks at work:   orange, apple, walnuts and this awesome smoothie:

made with strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, cranberry and apple.

Lunch:  Curry Sweet Potato Soup and Quinoa Edamame Salad

After work:  2 rice cakes topped with guacamole (avocado, lime, and fresh salsa)
Tea with coconut milk and agave

Dinner:  2 black bean burgers and a big green smoothie with spinach, blueberries, banana and orange juice.

Black Bean Burgers (sorry.. no photo, but they are good)
Blend together in a food processor:
One can of organic black beans, rinsed.
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup oats
1 egg
Then add to this mixture with 1 cup of cooked Quinoa.
Form into patties and cook on medium heat with a little olive oil.

Home stretch!  One more day for me!  Hang in there, everyone.

Suzanne @
Willow @
Jill @
Lesley @
Brooke @

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CFC: day five

When I woke up, I had to make sure this wasn't just a dream.  And then I went ahead and got my airline tickets.  Wow.  It's really going to happen. 

Meanwhile...well, March, here you are, confused as ever.

The first day of March was a snow day, and while I definitely needed it and got caught up on a lot of things today, the snow can melt now.  I did get my 7 miles in during the snow storm, and I have to admit, that made me feel kind of tough.

The rest of the snow day was normal inside shenanigans.  We colored, Skyler made clay from scratch, we built stuff with blocks,  made messes, and watched a movie.  
When did my baby girl's legs become one and a half miles long?

a striking resemblance!

Okay, Clean Food!  First, if you haven't read it yet, my friend Heather wrote an article for Sparrow's Spring issue about the Clean Food Challenge and it's excellent.

My day, even though I was home and out of my routine, went just fine.  In fact, I was grocery shopping by 8:30 am and got restocked and resettled for the last few days of the Cleanse.

Breakfast:  the usual (oatmeal, blueberries, coffee)
More breakfast:  (it was a snow day)  canteloupe, some bites of Skyler's eggs, some walnuts.

On the way to my run:  Banana

On the way home from my run:  Blueberry Muffin Lara Bar (technically a processed food, but the ingredients are dates, blueberries, cashews, and vanilla extract.)  Very delicious.

Lunch:  Quinoa Edamame Salad (a la Suzanne) with peanuts and cilantro... it was amazing.  I'll get the recipe from her.  And Curried Sweet Potato Soup.  ( Simply veggie broth, 4 sweet potatoes, 1 onion, and a palmful of curry powder simmered for about an hour and then pureed.)

Afternoon Activity:  Juicing!  We made juice with 1 cucumber, 6 carrots, 5 apples, 1 pear, 1 lime.

Dinner:  I tried brown rice pasta!  It was, well, okay.  I was told to be careful not to overcook it or it gets slimy, so I ended up under-cooking it a bit. 
It still served as a fine vehicle for pesto and spinach.  I wasn't that hungry for some reason, so this was fine. 

That's it!  Day 5 is in the books.  I think it must get easier the more times I do this cleanse, because I am not having any major cravings or anything.

I have heard from a lot of people who seem to be doing well too.  Keep up the good work... almost done!

Suzanne @
Willow @
Jill @
Lesley @
Brooke @

Sparrow Magazine Spring issue

As if there wasn't enough excitement around here, today is a SNOW DAY (that I really needed),
and, it's the release day for our third issue of Sparrow Magazine.

I am very excited about ALL of the articles, but especially happy that my two favorite ahtlete/writers wrote for Sparrow:  Kristina Pinto and Mary Holt-Wilson.  They are both total rockstars and you'll love their articles. 

Click here to check it out!  It's good!  Get reading!

Today I am off to get my passport, make some more clean food, and run 7 miles.  If you have a snowday too, enjoy!