Running for a Cause

More than ever, I’ve packed my race calendar with lots of events this fall. But one I had to squeeze into my  calendar is the Multiple Myeloma Race for Research. This will be my fourth year running in the Philly MMRF event. The Race for Research Series has raised over $17 million world-wide, with over 90% of proceeds going directly to research and patient programming. Multiple Myeloma is a highly fatal form of cancer than infects your plasma. My uncle passed away from this disease a few years ago, and I am honored to run this race in his memory. I hope you’ll consider supporting the cause by donating here.

While there are lots of shorter races coming up this season, the big one is less than 5 weeks away!

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Homemade Pasta: Take 2

A few weeks ago, the lovely Julia Child would have celebrated her 100th birthday. In honor of the occasion, I decided to make a big dinner for Matt and myself, something I don’t do nearly as much as I’d like. The obvious choice would be to go French themed, and use Mastering the Art of French Cooking for the recipes. But to be honest, I feel like I have the french thing down. I’ve made a bunch of the recipes from that book, and even de-boned a duck! Julia was all about challenging yourself. So in that spirit, I chose to make homemade pasta. I tried this once before and had a rough time. The dough was too dry and the finished product was gummy and thick.

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McGuire Mud Run Race Recap: The Beast of the East

Now that my bruises and scrapes are (mostly) healed, it’s finally time to sit down and do my recap of the 2012 McGuire Mud Run. This annual 10k was held at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on September 8. Matt has run it for the past five years, and when he asked me to join his team for this year’s race, I didn’t hesitate. I figured I’d be in solid racing shape since it would be marathon training season, and it would be fun to do a mud race. I knew there were some obstacles, but I had no idea what I was in for.

ImageIn late summer, we started to get emails regarding the obstacles. There were 23 to be exact. This is about the time where I started to second guess my decision. I was joining an all-male team and would be scaling walls and climbing hills and crawling under and over various obstacles in the mud. I was pretty concerned I’d slow everyone down, and knew I would be extremely discouraged if I let that happen. So as I usually do with races I’m not really excited about, I avoided thinking of it until race weekend. I packed up old sneakers, cruddy running clothes, a change of clothes for after, and my waterproof camera, and we headed out to the base. The race was surprisingly well-organized. The bus ride over from the parking lot was pretty quick, and bib pick-up was a breeze. There were changing tents with an area for you to leave your post-race clean clothes. We had selected a wave time when we signed up, but since we were there early, we just hopped in with the next group starting. It didn’t feel overly crowded in the starting corral, which was a nice change of pace for most races I do. The website for the event said approximately 2,500 runners participated this year.

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Tackling the Green Monster

I’ve spent my fair share of time browsing blogs from runners and health fanatics, and I have often come across writers swearing by their morning spinach smoothies. In theory, I loved the idea of a nutrient-packed easy breakfast to start my day. But even though every proponent of the smoothies swore they didn’t actually taste like spinach, I was skeptical. Then I talked to my friend Jess, who assured me the shakes were delicious. She pointed me in the direction of a basic recipe, and I decided to take the plunge. After my experience with the juice cleanse, I was pretty certain I’d hate the spinach. But even if I ended up hating it, I’d only be out a few dollars for the ingredients.  Continue reading

Results are in: Summer Bootcamp

It’s been a long 10 weeks of waking up early for workouts, but I’m kind of sad that my summer bootcamp at Fusion Cross-Training is over. For the summer boot camp series, participants received 10 weeks of unlimited sessions at the studio, one weekly outdoor bootcamp workout, a weekly nutrition tip and food challenge, and a pre/post fitness assessment. For the first 6 weeks, I was going to classes religiously, almost every morning. I could feel myself getting stronger and faster. I noticed the classes are much easier for me now as opposed to when I started and felt like I was going to pass out. For the latter half of the bootcamp, my marathon training schedule started and it was harder for me to squeeze in the classes. I still went at least two times a week, and I was running enough on other days that I was getting plenty of exercise.

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Potlucky Brunch: Spinach Gruyere Strata Recipe

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, but this is a good one to keep on file. Trying to plan a summer potlucky gathering was proving a challenge with my busy summer schedule. But I was anxious to have the gang over at the new place, so I decided a brunch event would be a good placeholder until the next potlucky dinner event.  Continue reading

Midnight Madness Run Recap

ImageLike most runs I sign up for these days, I was both looking forward to and dreading the 20in24 Midnight Madness Run as the race date approached.

The 20in24 is a series of race events run along the Kelly Drive/River Drive loop in Philly every summer, benefitting Back on My Feet. The events include the Lone Ranger (50 and 100 mile ultra marathons), a Relay event, Pajama Loop, and the Midnight Madness Run.

The midnight run consisted of one loop around the 8.4 mile course, starting at midnight as the name suggests. Runners are required to wear reflective gear and encouraged to wear glowing items, with a prize for Most Illuminated at stake. I bought a string of battery-powered lights from Walgreens and threw on a few glow sticks for the occasion.

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