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{Reading}

October 15th, 2014 · Books

I Am Malala

Some reading tonight: I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai. This book has been sitting on my nightstand for a few months, and after hearing that she won the Nobel Peace Prize this week, the youngest person to do so, I finally cracked it open. Another article I read today was a piece about trans men at Wellesley, my alma mater. Regarding the article, which I’m still processing – gender and gender identity is inherently a difficult topic to discuss, and it’s always difficult to look critically at your own community. Ultimately I believe strongly in the role women’s colleges have played in supporting women in a society that is built to stifle. But I also care deeply about all members of my community, and dream of a world of love and radical acceptance. It’s not an easy road. And of course, I learned my lesson yet again today: when you care about other human beings, do not read the comments on the internet.

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One Weekend, Two Races + a PRO Compression Giveaway!

October 14th, 2014 · Fitness, Giveaways

Hi all, interrupting my usual programming to come at you with a great giveaway thanks to the kind folks at PRO Compression. They provided me with a pair of compression sleeves for review and another pair of sleeves or socks for a giveaway, and given that they’ve been a life saver through marathon training this past month, I thought it’d be a good match for this here blog. Of course my opinions, and you know that I have MANY, are my own. 

Two Races in One Mizuno Sayonaras

This weekend I endeavored on a double header – running two races, the B.A.A. Half Marathon, and the Tufts 10k for Women. In planning my marathon training this fall, I opted to do two back to back races instead of the 18 miles originally on the plan. This spring I managed to snag a coveted B.A.A. Half registration, and this is my third year running Tufts – a tradition I want to keep alive as long as I can!

BAA Half Map

The B.A.A. Half Marathon is the third race in the Boston Athletic Association distance medley. One of my goals this year was to sign up for the medley and earn the sweet swag (an extra medal for completing all three races), but somehow I managed to miss the registration by a day, despite having put it months in advance on my calendar! Bitter about my mistake, I still ran two out of three this year – the 10k and the half.

When: Sunday, October 12th, 2014. 8:30 am start.

What: 13.1 miles through Boston’s beautiful Emerald Necklace, with the last mile winding through the Franklin Park Zoo.

What this race isn’t: flat. I don’t know why I assumed it was flat, but aside from the brief downhill at mile one, it was pretty much uphill the entire second half of the race!
BAA Half Elevation Chart

Challenges: getting to the zoo! Parking was nonexistent at the race location, so there were shuttles and drop-offs. Traffic was altered so we had to do some detours to get to the race start. Overheating! Although it was in the 40’s when the race was starting, it quickly warmed up, and I found myself totally overheating in my long sleeved tech t, even though I was wearing shorts! At one point I had to stop by the med tent so I could get an ice pack to stuff down my shirt. This ended up being my slowest half, but the animals, sweet medals, and great looking race shirt made up for it.

Highlights of this race included: running with several of my coworkers (Chris, Matt, Rebecca, Terry, and Mike) – okay, not technically “with”, but at the same time! Animals! I took pictures of zebras, a camel, and a selfie with a giraffe sign. A flat track finish. The end of the race is actually run on a track – this was perfect as I kicked it into gear at the last straightaway to pass a dozen people at the end of the race.

RunKeeper Team BAA Half

BAA Half Zebras at Franklin Park Zoo

Tufts 10k Map

After getting a good night’s sleep, I headed into downtown Boston to race with 5000 other women at the Tufts 10k for Women, which races from the Boston Common, on the river, and back again. It’s a beautiful and relatively flat course, and the positive energy is awesome. It was my third year running this race, and there are so many women who make this an annual occasion.

When: Monday, October 13th, 2014. Noon start.

What: 6.2 miles from the Boston Common through downtown Boston, over the Mass Ave. bridge, on the Charles, and back again.

What this race isn’t: coed. Except for about a hundred Tufts Health Plan gentlemen braving the estrogen wave! (Only one was in the top 50, and there were no male elites.)

Challenges: so many. At the end of mile two, my race belt fell apart, and I spent several minutes attempting to find the extra pins I had, and pinning my bib to my shirt. Tired, the aspirin I took didn’t kick in until midway through the race. At mile five, I saw my friend Ryan giving out water, and he seemed concerned that I was walking – this was actually good incentive to kick back into gear and finish the race strong! 300 meters before the finish line, I nearly ran into a girl puking, got a strong whiff, and almost lost it. On the plus side, I picked it up to sprint through the finish, because I was feeling sorry for being passed the whole race!

Highlights of this race included: running with two of my coworkers, Karla and Erin (even though I didn’t end up seeing them!!), and one of my oldest friends, Amanda. She ran with me for the first few miles last year, but is too speedy for me to keep up! Running the same race three years in a row. Getting to high five Joan Benoit Samuelson at the end of the race. At 63, she came in first in her division (60th overall this year), and then spent the rest of the race giving people high fives. Love her!

Tufts 10k starting line

With two races in one weekend, I did my best to promote recovery, and in my book that means coffee (George Howell at Formaggio Kitchen!), and a few extra hours post-race wearing compression sleeves. What does compression do? A tight sock or sleeve adds pressure to the leg and can improve blood flow, preventing soreness, cramping, and more serious afflictions, such as clotting, blood pooling, and swelling. After a race, wearing sleeves for a few hours helps to promote recovery! And now, the couch.

PROCompression Giveaway Second Lunch

PRO Compression Giveaway + Discount Code

Discount Code: use  the discount code FALL at PROCompression.com for 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves 

Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a pair of PRO Compression Marathon Socks or Sleeves of their choice. Enter the RaffleCopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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{Noanet Woodlands, Dover, MA}

October 8th, 2014 · Fitness, Outdoors

noanet woods lake

noanet woods puppies

succulents and friends

gourd season volante farms

sausages and cous cous

I went hiking this afternoon in Noanet Woodlands, a series of trails in Dover, Massachusetts, with my good friend Alexann. She’s about to head west to Colorado, so we’re soaking up some of the best of the fall weather in New England.  We hiked a few easy trails, and got to the top of Noanet peak just as the sun was hitting the golden hour. After hiking, I picked up a few essentials at Volante Farms (carrot cake whoopie pies, if you must know). Dinner was some Italian sausage, jeweled citrus pilaf, steamed broccoli, and cherry tomatoes.  Tonight I’m reading a few more chapters of Garth Nix’s Sabriel, and heading to bed.

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October Goals, Take 1

October 2nd, 2014 · Fitness, Lists

I spent the day on enforced rest to try to heal up quickly and get back to the action. It’s so easy to forget how important rest is to a healthy and active lifestyle. Well, and sleep. But we all know that!

Fall morning coffee august to august kitchen calendar sesame chicken and cucumber salad

Today I wasn’t up for doing much. My brain was just as shot as my body. So I spent time reading through a few of my favorite blogs, truthfully, not getting far from my bed. Sometimes we just really need to rest.

Let’s talk a little bit about goal setting. I’m not the type of person who is shattered if I don’t complete a goal that I’ve set for myself – for me, goal setting is really “intention setting” and “visualization”. If I can’t visualize it, it likely won’t happen. And I’m competitive. So more often than not, I finish what I intend to. Goal setting isn’t something that I have to do, but I really enjoy the process, and find that I get more done when I take the time to jot down a few things at the beginning of each month and season.

October Goals 

Kitchen journaling :: my kitchen journal got an upgrade (see above). This year I’m writing down my meals (and workouts) (and other momentous notes) in a bright yellow August to August planner. Did you use these when you were in school? They are my favorite paper planners!

Self Care Calendar :: every month, I like to focus on little things to take care of myself. This month I need to get back into the habit of regular manicures. I got off of the bandwagon, and my hands suffered. Fitfluential has a timely #FFWellness challenge with Grokker all month, so I’ll be playing along with that too.

Home Cooking  :: eating real food. I’ve been doing a few food related freelance projects that have me eating healthily and well – tonight’s chicken and cucumber salad was part of it. The better I eat, the better I’ll perform at my marathon next month.

Giving back  :: every month I try to think of different ways to give back to my community (in Jewish tradition, this is called Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world. This month I’m going to be organizing some of my current charitable donations, which I try to expand upon as much as I can. Additionally, I work as the coordinator for local alumnae interviews at my college (Wellesley), and the early admission season is just starting now! I can’t wait to help some amazing high schoolers get into their dream school. It’s totally selfish really, one day these women will take over the world.

Fall foods  :: so many amazing fruits and vegetables to take advantage of this month! I’m looking at you – apples, artichokes, Asian pears, avocados, basil, blackberries, carrots, cippolini onions, corn, cucumbers, dahlias, French prunes, fresh olives, grapes, jujubes, lettuces, melons, new crop dates, onions, peppers, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, radicchio, radishes, shelling beans, strawberries, summer squash and early winter squash, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, Valencia oranges, and wax beans! (Okay, I stole that list from the CUESA email, which I still look forward to each week. We don’t have quite the selection here on the East Coast!)

Spin class  :: I’d like to go back and try a spin class now that I’ve biked 300 miles in September. My hunch is that I will have more power!

Watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix  :: Yep, it’s a goal. Note, I did not say “binge watch all of the seasons of Gilmore Girls that were just released onto Netflix, Hallelujah!” but.. that’s sort of what I was thinking.

Triathlon future planning  :: So, apparently, with this sport, you have to plan WAYYYYY in advance. But, I guess that’s for the best, because you can’t really just wing a multi-hour endurance event. I’m weighing my options for a 70.3 race next season. Currently I’m debating between Pumpkinman, Timberman (official Ironman 70.3), and Patriot. (A local race). If I finish my 20 miler without dying in two weeks, then I’m going to register for one, assuming they haven’t all sold out. Anyone want to sponsor me?

Good things happening in October:
October 6th – Devon’s birthday (there will be a farm trip, and pho)
October 11 – Sukkot, the Jewish Harvest Holiday – we eat chili outside under the sukkah!
October 12th the B.A.A. Half (13.1 miles to glory!)
October 13thTufts 10k (All women! Joan Benoit Samuelson runs the race and then gives everyone a high five!)
October 17th -19th Wellesley Alumnae Leadership Council - my best friend Lizzy is coming from Minnesota to visit me for this!
October 18th20 miles on the calendar
October 26th Newburyport Half Marathon
October 31stHalloween

I have to rest up, and get better quickly! There’s so much to see and do! What are you up to this month?

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Welcome, October

October 1st, 2014 · Books, Soups

breakfasteggs.JPG

I’m ashamed to admit that it has been far too long since I’ve actually sat down to breakfast of my own making in my house. Usually it’s a few eggs, made into frittata, unceremoniously wrapped in a paper towel and ziplock, and eaten on the go. Or, I’ll stop by a coffee shop near the office and grab something small – or a treat – a seeded bagel toasted with cheddar cheese. But today, run down, and tired, I went to the kitchen and fried some eggs, made a small pot of Turkish coffee, and sat, watching the rain come down. My body, it seems, is due for a little bit of rest.

rainydays.JPG

While foraging in the freezer this afternoon, I stumbled across a single frozen bag of soup – marked 10/1/13 “Pork, Bean, and Sauerkraut“. Exactly a year to the day from when I stirred the pot – I knew I was to have this for lunch. The recipe is a beautiful one: Marcella Hazan’s La Jota – made with pork jowl, and fresh cranberry beans, from her brilliant work ‘Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking‘. I’ve learned so much from that book over the years, and this soup is a winner – cooked ever so lovingly last year, as it was the day after I heard that Marcella had died.

Pork Bean and Sauerkraut Soup

Fortified with soup, I worked through the afternoon, wrapping myself in blankets and hopping on the office hangouts – until I could stand being in the house no longer, and I shut my computer. I was hoping to head into the gym – it’s been so long! – but I knew that with how I was feeling it would be unwise, so option two was a quick bite to eat out of the house. I ended up at 51 Lincoln, where I (uncharacteristically) opted for a small cocktail – the old monk – hoping, seriously, to kill any germs (I drank half, I’m too much of a lightweight), and shared a few small plates: chicken liver pate, home made chorizo, and panisses, over conversation with a dear friend.

51lincoln.JPG

I’m still feeling unwell. Perhaps this is my body telling me that after cycling 300 miles in September, I need a little bit of rest.

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