Sunday, March 30, 2008

Running Update

This week, I managed to pound out 52.3 miles and did my last really long run before I start tapering. I can't wait to get this over with. But I'm getting pretty nervous. I've been reading some marathon forums- specific to Boston '08, and I've started to panic. Everyone on this forum talks about the mileage they are putting in and hill and tempo workouts. Ohhhh, I feel so under prepared, mostly about the hills because there are no hills here! Once in a while you can find a slight incline, but no hills. So I'm just worried that this race could really beat me up, my quads won't be ready for the incline of Heart Break Hill, or the decline of the rest of the race. Deep breath, it is going to be okay. Well only 3 weeks to go.
Fun fact of the week, I got my race packet in the mail the other day. I'm in the first wave of runners!!!!! Last year I was in the second wave. (You bib number is dependent on your time, so the first wave of people are generally going to be faster.) My bib number is 12,474 of 25,000!

*If you are a charity runner, you are assigned a number after 25,000.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It's the post you've all been waiting for, our pictures from Nauvoo.

The Nauvoo temple, I was surprised how small it was.
Rope making
Are we officially Mormons yet? Nauvoo brick - check, trampoline - need to get, piano - need to get, mini van - never. So I guess not, but we are a step closer.

Downtown Nauvoo
Bad boy Bill

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Check this out

Humorous Pictures

and for more fun with peeps check out this.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Running Update

I know, you've all been waiting for this. Well I did 48.1 miles this past week and it was tricky. We went to Nauvoo, (see below for Elder Giuliani) and I had to do a 15 miler before we went. So on Friday, I got up at quarter to 5 to get the run done, and then we hit the snow pact roads of Chicago at 8 am. So then I had 4 miles to do on Saturday, so I packed my running freak suit (tights, under armour turtle neck, you get the picture) and my GPS watch to navigate the town of Nauvoo. Saturday morning rolls around, I get up to go run, and from our motel to the Temple was .3 miles (that is one end of town to the other) so I proceeded down to the historical sight and pretty much ran in circles because I ran out of road. (can you run on state highways?) In the end, I managed to get a run in of 3.33 miles.
My fun fact for the day, aside from the aforementioned run, I only have 4 weeks till the big race. Hallelujah, because I'm exhausted.

Oh yeah, one last thing, if you need to carbo load try this.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Elder Giuliani?

In our continuing coverage of candid pictures of presidential candidates, we bring you the former front-runner for the Republican nomination: Rudy Giuliani. Like many of you, I have been wondering what America's Mayor has been up to since his defeat a few months ago. Well today I found out: He's working as a blacksmith in historic Nauvoo, Illinois as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! He even gave us a miniature horseshoe and some "Prairie Diamonds", which are nails made into rings. It makes you wonder why such a good man would lose, but, I guess the Lord had a higher calling for him.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good Food Friday

Today we have... Roast Chicken Pitta Pockets!
These are tasty, fresh and quick and you get to use tahini! Sorry no pictures.

1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
a small bunch of mint, finely chopped
1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp tahini
juice of one lemon
6 pitta breads
1/2 small roast chicken or 2 large roast chicken breasts cut into strips
salt and ground black pepper

1. Place the cucumber in a strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and leave for 5 minutes to drain. Rinse well and drain again, then place in a bowl with the tomatoes and spring onions. Stir in the olive oil, parsley, mint and preserved lemon. Season well.
2. In a small bowl, mix the tahini with the lemon juice, then thin the mixture down with a little water to the consistency of think double (heavy) cream. Beat in the garlic and season.
3. Preheat the grill (broiler) to hot. Lightly toast the pitta breads well away from the heat source until they puff up. (Alternatively, lightly toast the breads in a toaster.) Open the breads and stuff them liberally with the chicken and salad. Drizzle a generous amount of tahini sauce into each one and serve with an extra salad.
I have no idea with preserved lemon is, thus I've never used it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

As you can see we went to the annual St. Patrick's Day parade and dying of the river. It was pretty fun, and pretty cold, but well worth the trip into the city for this festive occasion. Just a little back ground info regarding the dying of the river: In 1961 Steven Bailey was approached by a plumber wearing white overalls that had bright green dye on them- the perfect St. Patty's day color, the dye was used to detect leaks going into the river. From that year on, this dye has been used to dye the Chicago River "Irish" green and a private plumbing company drives a boat up and down the river distributing the dye. Something else you might not know, is that the dye is actually orange, but with a little help from the leprechauns, it turns green when it hits the water.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Running Update

This was a rest week, and boy did I need it. I only did 43 miles this week, but the majority of my runs were done in the easy range. That said, I'm feeling a little burned out so hopefully this little break will be enough to get me through the last 5 weeks of training. Yep, I only have 1-2 more really long runs left until taper time.
As for my fun fact of the week- I have two. I did my workout outside this week 3 times. Hurray for 50 degrees! My other fun fact- Paula Radcliffe, who holds the marathon world record of 2:15:25, ran an easy 10K while 26 weeks pregnant in 42 minutes. That is incredible. She said that she slowed her training runs down from a 5:30 pace to a 6:30 pace. I only wish that my normal training pace were at 6:30.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Food Friday

This weeks recipe is Couscous and Shrimp Salad with Tangerines and Almonds.
(sorry the picture is bad, my salad wasn't very pretty so I used one off the Internet)

This was pretty good, a great salad for a summer picnic because it is great cold and the yogurt gives it a nice cool flavor -- I thought so anyways. So here is the recipe but I quartered it because it serves 24.


3 cups plain yogurt

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons ground cumin

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, pressed
6 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 10-ounce packages plain couscous

8 tangerines, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas),

drained1 cup golden raisins

2 pounds cooked peeled deveined large shrimp (about 50), halved lengthwise1 cup finely chopped green onions

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Place yogurt in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil and cumin. Stir in lemon juice and garlic. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Mix 6 cups water and salt in large saucepan; bring to boil. Mix in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand until water is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer couscous to large bowl; fluff with fork. Cool to room temperature. Gently mix in tangerines, garbanzo beans, raisins, 3/4 of shrimp, 3/4 cup green onions and 1/2 cup almonds. Stir in dressing. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to large serving platter. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.) Garnish with remaining shrimp, green onions and almonds.

I made some minor changes such as I used clementines b/c that's what I had, I also used vanilla yogurt b/c again, that's what I had and I left out the raisins, b/c I didn't want to buy them. And something I would do differently next time, I might use less than the quartered amount of olive oil in the yogurt. But I really liked the flavor and I would definitely make it again along with this tasty treat!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Running Update

Need I say more?
Well maybe I'll say just a little more. I did 55.8 miles this week and I got my picture taken with the Senator himself. I had to break up my long run of 20 miles today in order to get this picture, but it was well worth it. He comes to my gym frequently and I knew if I didn't get my picture taken with the future president of the United States, I would regret it. So today, he walked it, and walked for a bit and then went over to the wall to stretch. So I jumped off the treadmill to talk to him. I was super nervous, so much so that I think my voice was an octave higher than normal. And asked to have my picture taken with him. He said sure and asked if I have a camera here. I said upstairs I do, and then he replied that he would be here for a while. So I flew upstairs and retrieved the camera. Unfortunately Bill wasn't around so I had to ask and old lady to take the picture. He put his arm on my back (I almost gave him a disclaimer of how sweaty I was, but decided not to. And voila, a picture with Barack. Then I told him he had my vote way before he took this picture with me and thanked him.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Good Food Friday

Roasted Garlic- yum, I could eat this smeared on a baguette right about now.
Just cooking my onions, I do this a lot it seems. Onions and garlic are staples in my kitchen. (and we like the action shots)
As you can see, Bill liked the soup. I thought taking a picture eating dinner was stupid, hence my pouty look- but check out my awesome apron.
Today's recipe is.........................Roasted Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese, and it was pretty good. No, this probably would not be the best choice for a romantic dinner or first date, but it was tasty nonetheless. You see my friends, it had a pleasant and mild flavor, and it exceeded my expectations so much so, that yes, I would make it again. Try it and see.

26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 1/4 cups sliced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 min. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer to small bowl.
Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 min. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 min. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 2 min.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.) Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over.
Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

*I'm no pioneer woman when it comes to fat, so I frequently use half & half instead of whipping cream and it was just fine. And for some reason when I went to the produce market to buy thyme, I bought sage instead, don't ask why, but the soup was still tasty with thyme from my spice rack.

For another Good Food Friday recipes see here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Love Hate You Costco

I used to love you, but you are ruining me. How can I resist such tasty morsels of oreo and fluf. Ummm yummy, I love hate you Oreo Cakesters, all 36 of you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Biggest Loser

I love this show. This is the one show I watch religiously, and if I can't watched, It will definitely be recorded.It is so good and wholesome, Jillian and Bob are great. But even with a wholesome TV show, you still can get some good old drama. Check it out.

I can't wait for tonight!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Running Update

This week was a rest week so I only did 44.5 miles. Oh well. My workout today was supposed to be a race, but I didn't find one, so I tried to do my workout at a faster pace than normal, and to prepare myself for the infamous Heart Break Hill, I through in some hills too.
For my fun fact of the week: check out the movie Saint Ralph. It is about a 9th grader looking for a miracle to save his mom who is terminally ill. Anyway, he thinks if he wins the Boston Marathon, he will be granted this miracle. So check it out, even if you hate running.