Monday, November 29, 2010

turkey trot 2010.

This was my first Cleveland 5 mile Turkey Trot, and by far the funnest race I have been in. About 5,000 people got out there on Thanksgiving morning so the energy was high. It was cold (but not too cold), rainy, and the wind was brutal.

The week leading up to the race I felt like I could barely run. I wasn't injured, nothing was different but my legs felt like crap. On Wednesday night I was in tears, my legs were so achy and knew I wouldn't be able to run. Having to stop during a race to walk is a complete failure to me. I didn't want that. I worked on stretching and applying heat  for a few days before the race.

I woke up on Thanksgiving feeling pretty good (a little nervous). Ate a bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, drank some water, heated my legs, took an ibuprofen, and was ready.

After waiting in the bathroom line for days, it was time to GO!

The ecto cooler hoodie is brilliant for easy spotting!

I am extremely happy to report that I finished with ease. Once I got going with the masses of people around me I felt perfect. With a couple of challenging hills (plus wind), I ended with a 11:03/m pace.

294 Courtney Marshall Wickliffe OH 2951 26 2807 55:16.20 56:41.60 11:03/M

Ended up 294th out of 382 in the Women's 25 - 29 age group, and 2807th over all. Not too shabby.
Definitely need to make this run a Thanksgiving tradition!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

thanksgiving cookies.

OOh Thanksgiving week is my favorite. Short work week, and a long weekend! Although I generally don't love Thanksgiving (pretty boring day, food is okay), I am still excited.

This past weekend I picked up my race packet for the Turkey Trot on Thursday morning.

After 5 miles I definitely won't feel bad about stuffing my face : )

while we are stuffing faces...

I found a recipe for the worlds easiest cookies. Make these immediately. All you need is:

Seriously, two ingredients. Mix, bake (350 for 10 - 12 minutes), eat.

I spread some store bought cream cheese frosting on top and died. Your holiday party needs these.

happy thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

lastest obsessions.

Can you believe it is December in less than two weeks?! Time is flying and I don't like it one bit!

I do love the time between Thanksgiving and New Years. Snow, sweaters, Christmas themed things, family, baking, slippers, birthday fun. All wonderful things (except the getting older part, eek!)

Speaking of birthdays...I should have a new nephew within the next week! I am very excited for Baby von Marshall.

...and I have decided on my birthday celebrations for this year (well, technically next). For those of you the don't know, my b-day is on New Years Day so I always end up having a celebration New Years Eve. I mean c'mon, you would too.

best.birthday.ever. (thanks mom!! ...and dad?)

With a tradition of doing something fabulous, this years theme will be...

50s/60s/Mad Men Cocktail party! New Years Eve must always be fancy.
(invitations and details will be sent shortly)

Since Mad Men is definitely one of my new obsessions, convincing myself to have a party like Betty Draper was an easy task.

other obsessions...

Food: Pumpkin Cream Cheese from Trader Joe's. Oh my, what a delicious concoction. It's probably a seasonal thing, get a tub before it's gone!

Music: Come Home by Chappo (wish I knew how to embed videos, err sorry!)

TV: I have to fill the void since Mad Men is on hiatus, enter 90210. I can't get over how bad the hair styles were in 1994.

Beauty: Thanks to another blogger, A Lady in Love, I discovered my new favorite product. Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller. Not that I have puffy eyes to begin with, it just brightens my whole eye area. Bigger, brighter eyes you say? Okay!

Thing: This couch from World Market. I really must have it. No joke.

Place: Bally Total Fitness. No one bothers me there, not even the staff. I may run in peace and warmth. (ps...this picture is meant to be used in the future for something funny, please excuse the awfulness)

Welp, there you have it - a little peak of what kind of trouble I'm getting into lately.

Oh! I also signed up for the Cleveland Turkey Trot 5 miler on Thanksgiving. Very excited. I could win a pie!

If you want to run/walk/saunter through downtown Cleveland sign up here, and let me know! Early registration ends today!

Monday, November 15, 2010

beautiful ohio.

I have not posted in for-ever! My apologies. Let's catch up, shall we?

In the past 10 days or so, you've missed:
  • I've decided to run a marathon. May 15, 2011 -  do it!
  • First week of pre-training for marathon training is complete; 12 weeks easy, 18 weeks hard.
  • I joined a gym.
  • Discovered NE Ohio has a national park...with a train! Who knew?!

Definitely need to take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad before the season ends. Ohio is too beautiful to miss.

After a long hike around the park (and a nap), I was hungryyy...

Vegetable Stew
Based this recipe off one for Vegetable Chili from Reader's Digest.
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 sweet red or green pepper, diced
  • 3 or 4 small red skin potatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 a cooked pumpkin, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • cumin, cayenne, red pepper flake, salt and pepper, all to taste
1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over moderate heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté, stirring, about 7 minutes or until softened and golden.

2. Add celery, carrots, sweet pepper, and potato, stirring frequently, 6 to 7 minutes or until softened. Season how ever you like.

3. Add tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Add pumpkin, black beans, and corn. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the McFabulous.

Just when I start on the vegetarian train, the McRib enters my life. Never fear! MorningStar McRiblets are here! Ta-daaa!

hello beautiful.

Ate mine on a long sandwich thin with avocado. Surprisingly way better than an actual McRib, and healthier : )

Can I get a high five for this, ehhh?

Okay, so McDonald's rib shaped sandwiches may not be for everyone, but these will get you all excited....

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

This is mostly a creation of my own, combining several different ideas to get the final product.
  • Your favorite boxed brownie mix
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 Tb. & 2 tsp. flour
  • 2/3 c. pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Make brownies according to instructions on the box. Pour into a (greased) 9 x 9 or larger pan:

Mix all of the cheesecake ingredients together with a mixer of some sorts, just until everything is combined:

Drop onto the uncooked brownies, swirl together (don't mix):

I baked these according to the brownie directions, testing here and there. I used a 8 x 8 pan, and that was a mistake. They were too thick and I couldn't get them to cook all the way through. I would definitely suggest a 13 x 9 pan. The center is a wee bit uncooked, but the edges are delicious and tasty. Big fan.

I may or may not be headed to the kitchen for seconds : ))

Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 goals with a side of pumpkin.

hello november!

Can you believe another year is almost gone? Sometimes I wish I could pull a Zack Morris and freeze time for a moment or two; just enough to catch my breath.

I am taking advantage of these last two months to check a few items off my to-do list. Things I've been meaning to do or want to do, but haven't had an opportunity. Putting these down in writing make me more accountable and push me harder to make them happen. So let's go!

Continue on the no meat train
I've only had a few bites of meat here and there, but I really would like to buckle down and finish this year off strictly vegetarian. I want to enter 2011 feeling as good as I know I can.

Join a gym
I have been tinkering with the idea for a few weeks now. Even though I hate the whole idea of gyms - the fine print and overcharging, sweaty strangers everywhere. Ick! My lungs burn when I run in the winter, and the limited daylight poses safety issues. I think I will suck it up and join. Thankfully there is a Fitness 19 right by my house for $9 a month. I have yet to stop in and check it out, but I shall soon.

Run a 10 miler
Running 10 miles in 30 degree weather does not appeal to me, BUT if I join a heated gym...

Experiment in the kitchen more
I absolutely hate cooking for one person. My thinking is, "Why bother?" I end up making the most boring meals for myself. Rice, pasta, a single frozen meal. I would LOOOVE to have a pantry full of options without the fear of things going bad. Not anymore. I have a lot of people in my life that would love to receive the gift of food.

I am also scared to death of cooking with tofu. I really have no idea why, but I will conquer the tasteless cube of soy!

Start weight training
Again, gym...

Get a haircut
The simplest of all things I know, but I have been putting it off for months. My hair is best kept short and if it's not short I don't really feel that confident or attractive. A cute bob with bangs will make an appearance soon, you-best-believe-it.

Start a book club
I started a book club a couple years ago with a few wonderful ladies. Life moved on and so did we. Who doesn't love to read a book during those cold winter months? If you are interested, speak up! Let's learn, let's laugh, let's make new friends!

There you have it, my goals for the rest of 2010.

Having a bit of homemade pumpkin purée in my freezer, I whipped up a loaf of pumpkin bread. I got this particular recipe (which I love) from Simply Recipes.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  •  2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls:

Mix dry ingredients into the wet, don't over mix. Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50 - 60 minutes:

....and eat!