Avocado Spinach Quinoa Salad

We’ve been having some amazing early spring weather here in Philly. So to celebrate the first day of Spring, Matt and I decided to have a picnic dinner over in Schuylkill River Park. Unable to keep things simple, I planned an elaborate menu that I was working on almost til the sun went down. Luckily we were able to get over to the park just before sunset and had a lovely dinner. This quinoa salad was definitely one of the standout dishes of the meal. It was simple to make and super healthy.  Continue reading


And the Verdict Is…

If you read this blog or follow my twitter, you know I’ve been having some foot pain since completing the Napa Valley Marathon a few weeks ago. After an inconclusive x-ray, my doctor ordered an MRI. I went back this morning to get the results. He suspected a stress fracture or a damaged tendon. Turns out I have a torn muscle.

The good news is it’s not bad enough to require surgery, yet. The bad news is I’ve been ordered to wear an ugly ankle brace for the next month, and I am not allowed to run or do any movement that puts weight on my foot. After four weeks, I’ll get another round of MRIs to see if it’s healing. If it gets any worse, I might need to go under the knife. If it gets better, I’ll probably just need some physical therapy and/or orthotics after my brace time is up.

Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t really have any insight into why this happened. He basically said sometimes we put too much stress on our muscles and this kind of thing happens. I would venture to guess 26.2 miles of strain on a muscle that had no foundation of training probably did the trick.

I guess this is better than having a stress fracture. It’s easier to walk in a brace than it would be in a boot. But I’m still quite disheartened by the news. The weather is gorgeous out, and all I want to do is go for a run. And I can feel all the negative impacts this hiatus is having on my health. Just being restricted from running for two weeks has caused me to gain weight. I am definitely feeling a lack of energy. And I have so many races coming up! I am on doctor’s orders not to run the three I have next week (Security 5, Phillies 5k, and AC Half Marathon). And there’s a solid chance I’m going to be told not to run Broad Street either.

I know it could be much worse, so I’m really trying to look on the bright side and be positive. But really, this just plain sucks.

Irish Potatoes

I have a very distinct memory of being in elementary school during our homeroom St. Patrick’s Day party, and someone handing me something they called an “Irish Potato.” Being a fan of potatoes, I happily popped it in my mouth, only to find it was really just a glob of cream cheese and coconut, two ingredients I despised at that point in my life. I made it a point to avoid the candy potato impostors after that. But this year, when it was suggested I make some Irish Potatoes as a St. Patrick’s Day treat, I figured I’d give them another chance. Even though my tastes have matured, the Irish Potatoes didn’t do it for me. I prefer my cream cheese frosting to be on top of a cupcake. But if you are looking to make some for your holiday festivities, here is a super easy recipe.  Continue reading

My First Running Injury

I’ve been running for a few years now, and have been fairly lucky with my health in that time. Sure, I’ve had some sprains and pulls, plenty of problems with my IT band and my SI joint… the usual runner stuff. But I haven’t had an injury that kept me off the trails for more than a few days to date.

Unfortunately, it looks like I’m breaking that streak now. Continue reading

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I bring you Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes. These cupcakes are extremely moist and rich, and came out almost fudge-like. The flavor of the whiskey in the actual cupcake isn’t super strong, but I topped these with a chocolate sour cream frosting and a Jameson glaze, and they were the perfect St. Patty’s Day treat. Recipe below!

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes (Modified from Annie’s Eats): 

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp whiskey
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs Continue reading

Napa Valley Marathon Race Recap

The Napa Valley Marathon certainly won’t go in the books as one of my best races, but I finished it. So I’m counting it as a win.

I avoided thinking about this race as long as I possibly could, in the same manner that I successfully avoided training at all for this race. It really didn’t hit me until I was packing my bag for the trip that I would be putting my body through a 26-mile run again. Once that realization hit, I was more than nervous. I knew I hadn’t prepared. I knew it would be hard. I was dreading it, but I managed to put it in the back of my mind so I could have a good time in California before race day. We spent a couple days in San Jose/San Francisco before heading up to Napa. I happily ate and drank my way through the trip. Continue reading