Well, it’s been weeks since Fitbloggin’ 2013 and I have had not a minute to sit down and do my recap. But then I realize that (and I’m not just being lazy, I swear!) that it really was an experience beyond (many) words. I loved it. I had a blast. I felt like I had the perfect combination of participate/hibernate, social/not, active/inactive. It’s important to pace oneself at these events and so often I burn out after the first day. I felt really, really happy with how this FB went. I loved being in Portland, loved being with people I love (and meeting people I never have) and missed being with those who couldn’t make it this year.
Boston. Oh Boston. Boston MARATHON. The finish line of the Boston Marathon. Seriously? Really? I’m shocked and hurting and outraged and upset. And taking it very personally.
The finish line is… oh, I can’t even describe it. It’s that place of such overwhelming emotion. Every single time, no matter how long or short the race, no matter how painless or excruciating, how much of a struggle it was or how joyful. Because that finish line is the exact spot of DAMN. YOU DID THIS. You finished the thing you set out to do.
I’ve shed many a tear at finish lines. I’ve renewed belief in myself at finish lines. I’ve shocked and stunned myself. I’ve been heart-explodingly moved by the support of team, friends and family at finish lines. I’ve cheered others on and screamed and jumped and cried on their behalf. At the Oakland Running Festival a few weeks ago, the race was organized so that the half marathon starters got to see the 5k race finishers right before we lined up to begin. It was so exciting. The adrenaline, the joy, the YEAHHHHH! Of the people who crossed that line – sprinting or dragging themselves. It was wonderful to be there and a very energizing way to start our own race. To me, finish lines are sacred spots where amazing, miraculous things happen.
So the bomb attacks at the finish line of today’s Boston Marathon hit me right in the heart. I read this on Twitter.
Try & remember these feelings of anger & pain when you hear about explosions in other parts of the world. Far too common in too many places. — Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn)
I agree that bomb attacks anywhere in the world are terrible and tragic. And I also agree that having this experience in our own midst is a way that maybe we can wake up to the fact that many people in the world have to live with this on a regular or daily basis.
And yet, this feels very personal. Someone intentionally set out to hurt runners, and runners’ loved ones (spectators), and race volunteers and other people close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
It’s as if someone had specifically targeted a conference full of physical therapists, or writers, or adopted people. Or my family. Yeah, this was like targeting my family.
I didn’t ever have plans or dreams to actually run the Boston Marathon myself. It is an elite event for runners who are much faster than me, and 1) I don’t think I could ever qualify; and 2) I also don’t think a full marathon is in my cards. But I have such profound admiration for so many of my friends who have qualified, and who were indeed running today. I was especially thinking of my Weight Watchers leader-colleague buddy Dani, whom I met at Fitbloggin’ last year.
She has had such an amazing transformation in such a short time, and I am so inspired by her and proud of her. Just this morning I saw this awesome photo of her posing by the Boston finish line. It gave me goosebumps.
In the afternoon I started peeking at Facebook and Twitter, hoping to see a photo of her victorious finish. But then I started seeing posts, like “My ❤ is with Boston” and “So sad about the #bostonmarathon” and was like… whaaaaa? I soon found out.
It really is too distressing, to upsetting to comprehend. For a while I was completely frantic trying to find out news of her safety, as well as the status of one of my old college friends and his wife. All were accounted for. What a relief. But the tragedy. Incredible. Dani’s wife, who was standing just a few feet from the explosion, wrote this frightening blog post about her experience.
The idea is for people who are part of (or who stand with) the running community, to wear a race shirt tomorrow. Or running shoes. Or ANYthing to show support. Blue and yellow anything, which are the colors of the Boston Marathon. I’ll be wearing this.
It’s been a long time since I blogged. Whew. I was in the midst of the Health Blog A Day Challenge when I seriously fell off the bloggy wagon. It was a combination of suddenly getting a HUGE influx of work combined with having a few days of feeling stuck with the blog prompts. At some point I just threw in the towel and haven’t had a chance to look back since then.
The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) really threw me, schedule wise. In the past, I’ve either been working super part time OR at a nonprofit OR in the academic world. All of which equalled a big break around the holiday times. I was able to shop, organize, cook and clean, wrap and mail. But I used to spend entire days dedicated to those activities. This year, for the first time ever, my schedule got super ramped up right around Thanksgiving. I was suddenly working many more hours, many more miles from home. I would come home exhausted, fall into bed and do paperwork in my pajamas, pass out and do it again. I knew, however, that this crazy schedule was limited. I just had to keep it up until Christmas Eve.
We spent most of Christmas day in our pajamas. We had no dinner guests so we got up late, opened stockings, made our traditional brunch (Mexican baked eggs and Juniorette’s to-die-for cinnamon rolls), opened presents, took a nap, slowly prepared for dinner (which included a no-work honeybaked ham), ate dinner, then went to see the Hobbit (yay).
The next day we flew to Sundance to meet up with cousins and to take part in some epic, gorgeous snow. It was the first time in weeks (months) that I wasn’t scheduled up like crazy.
I spent two days snowshoeing (which I LOVE) in the most amazing, powdery, fluffy, gorgeous snow ever. Also heck of a workout.
It was a good reminder for me. To do what I love. To move in a way that makes me happy. Always good to return to this.
Yesterday afternoon I had the biggest treat. I got to meet up with my dear dear friend Shannon, who was one of my very first blogging friends. Back in the day when I was still anonymous, she was always there encouraging me, supporting me and telling me I could do it, whatever It was. So many times she would Tweet or comment, “I just love you Foodie!” and I’d feel so cared about.
Soon I will be meeting up with one of my other oldest and dearest blogging friends – Carla, aka MizFitonline. When I started blogging four years ago, she was one of the only “superstars” who reached out with genuine interest and kindness, for which I will be eternally grateful. I am so excited to welcome her to my part of the world as a neighbor. Sorry Austin – your HUGE loss is my ecstatic gain.
When I was at Fitbloggin’ I got to meet the cool people at PVbody. They were giving away some pretty nifty fitness duds, including this top which looked kinda silly on me…especially over my pajama top.
but pretty awesome on Junior.
Anyway, they have a great deal going, which reminds me of getting a weekly delivery of CSA veggies-in-a-box. You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s pretty awesome to be surprised. Instead, they send a beautifully wrapped package of workout clothes each month, for not much $$. You know how expensive workout duds can get, right?
I got my first box yesterday. I was jumping up and down. All pretty, wrapped in tissue paper, like a present.
I open it up and it’s a beautiful top! And some pants that looked, possibly, frighteningly too small. Oh well, it’s free returns/exchanges. These are seriously high-quality workout duds.
The bottoms are made by Nux. They are all scrunchy at the bottom (ruching?) and I feel a little dubious.
But I put them on, and …. woweee! They fit!
Mr. McBody came through after I tried them on and said, “O boy! What are you wearing?!?” Needless to say, he approved. 🙂
They are comfy. They are nifty. I’m all excited! And I get another box next month??
So, this is the deal. You, too, can get a box of awesome workout clothes every month. I can vouch for the super high quality. They are worth about $150 per box, but you pay less than $40.ANNNNNND… as a friend/blog reader of yours truly, you can get an extra 20% off. How cool is that. You fill out a little quiz where you indicate your size, the kind of sport(s) you like to do (running/yoga/cycle etc), your favorite colors and styles. Then voila, they put together a box for you, and when it arrives at your house it’s like your birthday. But every month. If something doesn’t fit, it gets returned super easy and free. I was sure those pants were not going to fit me, but I was wrong.
Popchips always has a great presence at Fitbloggin and this year they were out with their silly photo booth which was lots of fun. They also had many samples of their tasty new Tortilla Popchips (yum!) for us to try. I loved the Chili Limon ones.
Anyway, the generous Popchips people have offered up a CASE (12 packs!!) of these yummy snacks for one of my blog readers, as well as provided some delicious recipes to share that have particular “pairings” with the various new flavors.
Do you want a case of Popchips coming to your house? I bet you do!! So get on it! The deadline is this Wednesday, October 10th at 3:00pm PST.
Leave a comment here telling me which new flavor of Popchips you’re most excited to try, and what you’ll pair them with. (be creative)
And for everyone — Popchips has teamed up with chef Aaron Sanchez to share these recipes.
My favorite was the ceviche with the Chili Limon chips. Doesn’t this look good???
Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips
Usually the fish in a ceviche is trimmed into large chunks, but for scooping up this tangy-sweet version with brightly flavored and spicy chili limón tortilla popchips, I’ve trimmed the fish into small cubes, 1/4- to 1/2-inch in size. The result not only makes a ceviche that’s perfect for scooping, but also a speedy version that “cooks” in the fresh lime juice in less than an hour.
Makes 6 servings
1 pound fresh halibut filets (or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as haddock, red snapper or sea bass), diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 8 to 10 limes)
1 fresh red Serrano chili, seeds discarded, chili thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 small mango, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. In a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, Serrano and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. The fish cubes will “cook” in the lime juice until they are opaque.
2. Half an hour before serving, stir the mango, scallion, cilantro and olive oil into the ceviche. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with chili limón tortilla popchips for scooping up the ceviche.
Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips
These sandwiches are like Mexican subs—overstuffed with all sorts of goodness, bursting with flavor, and topped with a mind-blowingly delicious sauce of roasted garlic pureed with smoky chipotles. Have a lot of napkins on hand! salsa tortilla popchips bring a crispy counterpoint to all the juicy sandwich fillings and a bright flavor that can withstand everything going on inside that bun.
Makes 4 servings
For the Chipotle Love Sauce:
1 cup of canola oil
12 garlic cloves
3 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
zest of one lime
2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Cemitas:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ripe Haas avocado
Juice of 1 lime
4 cemita rolls or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds
1 cup refried beans, warmed (from 1 15-ounce can)
8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated
Sliced ripe tomato
Thinly sliced lettuce
Fresh cilantro leaves
1. Make the Chipotle Love: In a dry medium heavy nonreactive sauce pot place oil and garlic cloves and cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes till garlic has browned and become soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then place remaining ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree till a smooth paste.
2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high.
3. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each breast half until it’s one-quarter inch thick (if you don’t have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.
4. Mash the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt, and warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.
5. Grill the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown, about a minute.
6. To assemble each sandwich, spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. Top with a chicken breast, then spoon on a quarter of the refried beans. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, and top with tomato, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle on a generous amount of Chipotle Love and top with the remaining bun half. Cut each sandwich in half before serving.
And the winner is….Suz!!Congrats, Suz. Please email me your postal address so I can let the Popchips folks now. Thanks everyone for participating!
Yesterday I went to visit my new endocrinologist. My original, best doctor I’ve ever had left the practice last year and I was pretty bereft about it. I have some major Abandonment Issues, and yeah, I felt abandoned. So I acted out. I stopped testing my blood sugars and I neglected to call the office and get reassigned to a new doctor. I was mad and sad.
But leading up to Fitbloggin’ (that recap post WILL come, I promise!) I was practicing my show, which opens with me sitting in the doctor’s office. Doing this repeatedly reminded me about NOT going to the doctor’s office. I knew I had to stop putting it off. So I made an appointment and yesterday, I went.
The doctor was fine. I didn’t love her, but I didn’t dislike her either. She’s another young, female doc like my other one was. And I think I appreciated that she told it like it was.
“You’re not doing too bad… In fact, many people would kill to have your numbers. BUT…”
“But, things are worse than they were. I don’t like the trend.”
I knew that was going to happen. Which is why I had been avoiding this visit. But by the time it actually came around, I was ready to hear it. I wouldn’t call it a wakeup call exactly. Because I was already awake. It’s like, you’re already awake, and you’ve already hit the snooze button so you can lie there, but you don’t want to get up yet.
That’s been me the last six months or so. Awake, but not ready to get up.
Now I’m ready to get up.
The doctor also said, “Also, your weight. You know that extra fat (pointing at my stomach. OW.) can increase insulin resistance.”
Yeah. Yeah I know. I know! I’m on it, doc. So she gave me a challenge. I need to improve things (weight and blood glucose A1C) by January. Or else. Or else what? She will increase my meds.
She also said, “You know, you probably could get off your meds altogether. If you work at it.” Sting.
So. This is my challenge. January or bust, baby. I know I can do this. I KNOW I CAN. And now post-Fitbloggin and post-everything, I feel ready to do it.
Well, it’s been quite a time for spontaneity around here. I had such a good time at See Jane Run last weekend that I was all excited to do See Jane Tri in the fall. But lo and behold, it’s the same weekend as Fitbloggin’ 2012. BIG conflict! No way I am missing Fitbloggin’ so I was all bummed out about that. Then Pubsgal told me about the Mermaid Tri/Du that was happening – in like 4 days. GULP.
I went through SO many mental contortions this week leading up to the race. First, I thought I’d like to do the duathlon (my first) because I just didn’t have time to get a practice swim in. It was in the Bay, and could be sort of choppy and salty, and who knows how that would go, especially given my not-stellar swim performance at Wildflower. So I was thinking, cool, I’ll just bike and swim.
I have never done a duathlon before. I think I was pretty unclear on the concept. The website had course descriptions for “Duathlon First Run” and “Duathlon Second Run.” I thought… we got to choose which one to do. Hahahahahha! But no. The first run is in place of the swim. Then you bike and run again. OOHHHHH.
I didn’t figure this out until Thursday night, when I proceeded to have some kind of weird tantrum meltdown. I didn’t wannnnt to run twice! Even if it was only 1.5 and 2.5 miles! So then I started contemplating changing my registration to the tri. I went to race packet pickup on Friday afternoon and they told me I could change even at the Very Last Minute on Saturday morning. I decided to go over and check out the swim course. I saw a bunch of VERY gnarly looking waves and I decided right there, NO WAY.
I was very happy to get up this morning (at 5:00am) and know I was only going to bike and swim. Mr. McBody was feeling kind of low because of a recent bug he’d had, so I told him to stay home and rest. (famous last words) Last night I had packed my little gym bag with all my stuff, but then this morning I thought, I have a tri bag. Maybe I should bring my tri bag. (“But you’re not doing a tri, isn’t that overkill?”) and on and on. I transferred the stuff into the tri bag, put the bike in the car and took off.
I was about halfway to the course when some synapses smashed together and I remembered the little tiny manila envelope with my RACE CHIP in it. Which I did not remember putting into my tri bag. AGHH. I pulled over to the side of the road and frantically pawed through my bag. NO ENVELOPE. I called Mr McBody who was enjoying his rest, and started caterwauling about not having my race chip and that he HAD TO BRING IT TO ME RIGHT AWAY. My friend Christine happened to be working as a registration volunteer at Mermaid, so I also frantically called her and she said they would not give me a replacement chip, that it was coded to me, and I needed mine. So poor Mr McBody got in the car after locating the little envelope in the gym bag.
I was a bit of a basket case when I got to the course. The parking lot was filled up at that point, so I had to park several blocks away. This was ALSO one of the first local races I was doing all by myself with no support crew or person to drop me off. Of course at that point I was infinitely grateful that 1) I had a tri bag; and 2) I had practiced biking with it on at Wildflower. Yay! I very comfortably strapped it on and rode the few blocks to the transition area. I racked my bike and got my stuff all set up and then went to the intersection to wait for Mr. McBody. He got there about 15 minutes before the start and then went back home to rest for real.
This was a smallish race, so things were not one hundred percent clear. I wasn’t quite sure where the Du run was supposed to start, but I followed what looked like a semi crowd and got to the inflatable start thing. I was a little concerned that there was no timing mat underneath it. I still don’t quite get how that works. A bunch of women all crowded together under the thing on a very narrow path that fit about 4 across. I was in the “over 40” start. Then they counted down and the air horn went off, and… there we went.
The first run was actually pretty pleasant. I was going at a nice pace and nothing hurt. It wasn’t bad at all. Sometimes I have a lot of pain in the first mile and I was worried that might be the case, but it was pretty comfortable. I got back to transition and got ready to get on the bike. I knew that my transition was going to be longer than some peoples’ because I was changing from running shoes to bike shoes. Now that I’m used to wearing clips, I’m pretty attached to them (no pun) and didn’t want to risk getting my dumb shoelaces caught, which has happened to me more times than I can count. So I sat on the ground and changed shoes. Changed headgear. Found my gloves. ARGH. They were inside out from the last time (Mt. Diablo?) and all knotted up and I probably wasted two minutes untangling them and getting them on my hands. (NOTE TO SELF!!!!!! Put the gloves right side out before the race!!!!!!!!!!!) I saw Christine cheering for me as I ran toward the bike mount area.
Got on the bike. The route was two loops of absolutely flat road. Which sounds lovely on one hand (it kind of was) but also, flat courses means no downhill and less chance to rest. (my butt) I remembered doing this EXACT course when I was training for the first tri, and it was really, really hard. I remember having the hardest time stopping, starting and turning. I got really tired. It was super hard. I may have almost cried. And I almost cried again this time because I could see how very far I’ve come in less than a year. That was pretty awesome.
The bike ride was good. I enjoyed it. AND I got to utter three words that I have NEVER ONCE SPOKEN during a bike race, ever: “On your left.” Yeah, I passed people! Sure, a ton of people (more than I can count) passed me, too, but people, I have NEVER passed a SINGLE PERSON on a bike. Ever. Until today. So imagine my shock and thrill when I realized I was going to actually do so, maybe a dozen times. It was exhilarating! Woo hoo!
I rode into transition and saw my buddy Lily with her sweetie and sweetie dog, jumping up and down and screaming my name. That was so awesome. Then I changed shoes and headgear AGAIN and went to do the second run. OMG. I had to pee so bad! SO BAD. I knew I wasn’t going to make it but a few hundred yards. Thank goodness for portapotties. But that was a minute or two. Then I got on the path and started running for real. OH the pain! I mean pain! My feet and calves were cramping up and just felt like they were saying “oh hell no you don’t!”
The 1.25 mile out before the turnaround were really, really uncomfortable. I was hobbling, walking, running like a penguin, just trying to find any kind of comfortable position. I just knew I had to run it out and let things loosen up. I stopped and stretched out my Achilles against a light pole. I took more walk breaks than I wanted to. But damn. Then I got to the turnaround and I was like, Come ON, just a mile more, you can DO this. I fiddled around with my iPhone and tried to find the most uplifting, motivating music I could find. Found the song “Safe and Sound” that had been the soundtrack to the video I did with Big Blue Test last year. I think of this as my “Lily” music. I knew she would be at the finish line with Ed and Mosely.
It wasn’t until I was almost at the finish chute that I started feeling good, I mean without pain. I felt like I was going to be able to bring it in strong. So when I got to the last 100 yards I just poured it out. I finished under 2 hours, which seemed like a good thing. Better under than over, right?
Instead of a medal, they gave out cute little necklaces. I like! Very much!
So that was it, my first duathlon. I’d say it was pretty good! It was definitely a heck of a lot more challenging than last week’s 5k. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t killer. And it made me think about what people have said, that there are truly no “easy” races. The faster you get, the more challenging it is because then you’re wanting to place (I do not see this in my future). But no matter what, you’re always pushing yourself to do your own personal best. I put my best out there today, I had fun for the most part (except for a few unfun moments) and I was really glad I’d done it. Another first, done!
Have you had any recent firsts lately? Tell me all about it!
I’d say that 2011 was overall very positive for me, health and activity-wise. Here’s a peek at what went on last year:
first snowshoe adventure, New Mexico
2nd year as Weight Watchers leader
2nd “Healthaversary” Party
I took my first of two trips to Baltimore last year!
running in the snow
meeting the awesome Roni for the first time!
The “Fight for Air” Stairclimb with Sabrina
View from the top: 110 flights up!
Oakland Running Festival Twilight 5k THE NEXT DAY!
That was quite a weekend.
featured in story in Oakland Trib about running after injuries
Trip to London (here on Abbey Road)
and Paris (Notre Dame)
Good thing we walked a lot because typical breakfast = croissants and cheese
My first Bay to Breakers. CRAZY!
Major highlight of 2011: Fitbloggin!
Looking back, I have to say I feel good about it. That was quite a year. I kept pushing myself and finding new and different things to do. I think that’s the name of the game. Keep going. Keep improving and challenging.
What’s in store for 2012? I’m starting out with a New Year’s Day 10k run. Then I’m doing the TinkerBell Half Marathon in Disneyland with my two daughters (fun!) on January 29th. February 5th is the TNT Snowshoe Hike in Yosemite (prettty!) and then I’m diving into a new season of triathlon training, this time as a mentor. I can’t wait to get back to training again!! Would you like to be on my team and become a triathlete in 2012? Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!!
What did you do in 2011 for health and fitness’ sake? What are your plans for 2012? I want to know!!
Today was Fitbloggin‘ World Meetup Day – what a great idea! It’s hard for many people (especially in California) to get all the way to Baltimore for the BIG Fitbloggin’ so Roni has come up with this fabulous idea of local meetups everywhere. Today was the day that people met all over the country at their various spots. I had volunteered to host and organize our Northern California meetup. My idea was to make it a mini-replica of Fitbloggin – a combination of activity and learning about blogging.
We started out in the morning with a hike at Redwood Regional Park, a few blocks from my house. We chose to drive up the steep hill and leave the walking part for the trails. It was a beautiful day that had started out foggy but was perfect for the walk.
We got back to the house right at noon. LUNCHTIME! Yum! Everyone brought the most amazing food, and then people set to doing what food bloggers do. This is my favorite picture.
The food was so amazing!
After lunch we had a great presentation by Danica at Danica’s Daily – “Taking Your Blog to the Next Level.” It was inspiring and informative and helped me get over my feeling of having missed a lot of the great bloggy talks at Fitbloggin.
After the fabulous blog talk, some people had to leave but a small group stayed around to have a private Nia demonstration class by Terre, wonderful Nia instructor. It was the perfect way to end the day.
Special shout-out to Sue W who provided all of our tech support – helping us be able to see Danica’s powerpoint on the big screen, and helping us with Terre’s Nia music (even if it ultimately didn’t connect!). It was a huge public service!
Other shout-out to Annelies of Attune Foods who brought us bags of amazing goodies, from chocolate bars (MMMMMM) to fancy storage bowls to coupons and cereal and wow!
All in all it was a fabulous day with great people. I love the idea of Fitbloggin Local and can’t wait wait for the next one!
Who was here?
Front row: Sue W @way2wild, Yvonne (“friend of blogger”)