Let’s Catch Up :)


First of all, I apologize for the sporadic posting!  Life has been BUSY!!!!!

A recap of spring eats:

Yottam Ottolengi’s carrot salad on Friday night. We ate on our back steps.  Amazing.IMG_20140502_174921_758


No photos from Saturday, unfortunately.  I did, however, run 7.5 miles and did something that I NEVER DO-  I decided to change up my regular route because it was nice out and I felt good- so the 6 miler that I started with turned out just a touch longer.  I am still not naturally running super fast again- but I am not worried about it one bit.

As you may recall, Sunday my Mom and I ran the Run for the Cows Half Marathon in my hometown of Redding, CT.  A full recap with more pictures is in progress- but here are a few shots from the morning:

IMG_20140504_070217_855Before!IMG_20140504_085558_142 During!IMG_20140504_093248_929Excellent encouragement!



And after :)

This race featured some of the best swag I have ever received from a race-  get excited for the recap!


MORE ramp harvesting!20140504_140206

And later on, Isaac met Shadow for the first time.  20140504_180814

They enjoyed their walk very much :)

Goals for this week:

1. SHARE SOME DANG RECIPES.  I have been cooking.  Just not taking pictures!

2. Take a muscle pump class (or 2!).  I hope to achieve this today.

3. Eat less sugar.  Period.


What are your goals for the week?

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Run Report- What’s been going on Since Boston

So, I have been doing some running :p

Let’s rewind to last week-

Sunday (Easter)- OFF
Monday- BOSTON MARATHON- 26.2 (garmin had me at 26.5- Obviously I ran poor tangents)
Tuesday- OFF
Wednesday- 60 minutes arc trainer, light resistance
Thursday- OFF, 90 Minute massage :)
Friday- 60 minutes Arc trainer- regular routine (Cardio setting, level 10)
Saturday- 8.2 miles with Nicole, 9 min avg pace
Total Miles Run- 34.7, + 2 hours XT

This week-
Sunday- 10 (total miles) w/Mom-  Pain in foot (knot)- walked last mile.  10 min/mile avg pace.
Monday- OFF
Tuesday- 60 minutes arc Trainer- Cardio, level 10
Wednesday- 10 miles w/ Nicole; 8:55 avg pace
Thursday- 13 miles w/Nicole; 8:26(?) Avg pace- at least for 11 miles- my phone and therefore my app that I was using died.  Felt awesome for 8 miles, then tummy trouble for the rest of the run.
Friday- OFF, unless I change my mind :)
Saturday- 6-8 (proj)
Total Miles- 41-ish

Nicole, #BEASTMODE charging up our biggest hill. Yes, we chose this! Happy Birthday!

How am I feeling?  I was really dragging at the end of me and Nicole’s Thursday run- her BIRTHDAY run- and instead of the 15 she wanted I bagged out a bit early.  In some ways I am suprised at how fast I am recovering from Boston- but at other times I am feeling DEAD tired.  I have also been battling a really bothersome (and earlier in the week, worrisome) stomach “thing”-  I *think* that I ate a cold salad that was a litttttle too aged last Saturday and it left me completely and totally wretchedly ill all Sunday into Monday- and without going into detail, I was TIRED.  In ways, I am not surprised that I still had tummy issues on Thursday since I haven’t felt totally normal yet.

What has been great:  I literally have not run alone in a week.  Between my Mom and Nicole, we have done all of (my) running in teams!  I NEVER would have gotten up at 4:40 on Wednesday morning to run…  let alone run 10 miles on my own- yet when there is someone that you know will be waiting for you- YOU GET UP.  Miracles.  We are looking forward to lots of sunrises…  we know we will have to make due with a few sunsets since no schedule is perfect- but Nicole and I get the birds and frogs, lavender sky, and dewy 5 AM grass and we are NOT sad about it.IMG_20140418_062740_882

Upcoming: This Sunday, Mom and I are running the Redding Race for the Cows!  It’s a half marathon- and I am SO psyched to be running in the town that I grew up in.  I am not “racing”, per se- we are in it for the enjoyment.

Also upcoming- the return of SPEEDWORK!  WOOO HOO.  Not.  YAY.  Not.  I love/hate speedwork- LOVE it when it is done.  HATE how much it can hurt/suck.  But- I want to be faster. And that takes work!

Soooo, happy Friday-  happy Weekend, happy Running, and happy eating!

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Tales from El Paso 2

Hola, Mike aquí – regresé de otro viaje a El Paso.  I’m back from another El Paso trip.  Usually when people in the airport find out where I’m headed, I get responses like “I’m sorry” or “Oof, good luck”.  After spending a LOT of time here over the past few years, it’s not bad… just different.

But first, some bad…



This time of year is windy season.  The first picture is of the Franklin Mountains, the prominent geological feature of the city, taken at the airport during “mild” 30 MPH winds.  A little hazy from sand, but otherwise fairly normal.  The second picture is taken from the same spot, but during a sandstorm.  A whole day of continuous hurricane-force winds brings a cloud of sand over the city, blocks out the sun, and makes the act of breathing taste bad.  Even the emergency broadcast system (usually “This is only a test…”) warned about this.  It took a few days to get all of the sand out of my ears.  Apparently this is normal, like 2 feet of snow is normal for us in the Northeast, so I get it.

Now for the good – I did get to have my favorite meal in El Paso, and it’s not even Mexican.  A Döner from J’s Kebab Shop on Dyer St (formerly Döner Kebab Shop).20140429_134707A döner is a sort of German sandwich, that’s a lot like a gyro in sandwich form.  The meat is a spiced lamb mixture that’s roasted on a vertical spit, just like a gyro, then piled on a grilled bun with an array of toppings (cabbage, lettuce, tomato, feta – whatever you want).  The traditional sauce is garlic-cucumber-yogurt, like tzatziki.  Here in El Paso, you can also get habanero and chipotle sauce, which actually go pretty well on this sandwich.  The best part is the curry ketchup that comes with the fries.  I can’t tell if it’s some special recipe, or just regular ketchup with curry powder in it, but they keep it warm in a crock pot and dole it out sparingly in a tiny cup, as if to make sure you won’t waste any.  If you think you don’t like curry, try curry ketchup with fries, it’ll change your mind.

For actual Mexican food, there are over 400 Mexican restaurants in El Paso.  I’ve been to barely 10% of them and they’re all so interestingly varied, mainly Chihuahua-style food.  There is some decent stuff to be had from the fast food joints, and I don’t mean Taco Bell (they do have Taco Bell in El Paso, but why would anyone go there?).   A chain called Taco Cabana is sort of the McDonalds of tacos around here, and if you really need a taco at 3am, you probably won’t be disappointed in what you get.  A little step up from that is El Taco Tote.20140427_125536You can pick from a bunch of different kinds of spiced and grilled meats in a fresh tortilla, and then help yourself to the toppings bar.  The locals are probably less fascinated by the 8 different kinds of salsa and 4 kinds of onions you can put on your taco, and less amused by the bucket of tiny key limes you can squeeze over it – but we just don’t have anything like this in the Northeast.  If you’re from around here, please chime in about these places.  As one of the few yankee gringos walking around here, I’m really curious what others think.

20140426_201627One of my other favorite indulgences I get here is “Kranky”, a candy that is basically chocolate-covered cork flakes. Ok, it doesn’t claim to be real chocolate, but if the anthropomorphic ‘K’ on the package isn’t enough of an indication, the stuff is tasty and fun to eat.  I usually buy as much as I can, which usually draws strange looks from others at the supermarket, since it’s located in the “compulsive purchase” area in the checkout line.


Just like last time, the supermarkets still stock plenty of questionable meat products.  The one that takes the cake this time is the package of bright pink sausages, made with beef by product and cereal, “Finest Quality”, and with a very untrustworthy “Gluten Free” label.  Did not eat.

If you’ve wondered where the expression “Tub of lard” comes from, I refer you to the lard aisle of the same market:


I am glad that they keep only one tub of lard on the shelf at a time.  If there were, say, a whole pallet of tubs of lard (with half of the tubs missing), I may have had an empathetic heart attack.

Speaking of ailments,  the arid climate here dries the hell out of me.20140429_192133

You can’t really tell from this picture, except for the nice watch that Kristina gave me, but my skin is like the Lizard Man and all the lotion in the world won’t fix it.  It takes 2-3 weeks for the body to adjust for how dry it is here, so for short trips, we have to endure the crackly skin and waking up 4 times every night to drink a cup of water.  I guess it’s not terrible considering that hot days in New England can be a lot like being trapped in a bathroom with someone who’s taking a hot shower for 18 hours a day.

For some strange reason, my hotel room had America’s only French-labeled microwave.  Seriously, the buttons don’t even have English subtitles.

20140429_193004Maybe this is some sort of compromise for the English/Spanish signage debate – this way, nobody here can understand what it says.

That’s all I’ve got this time – I’ll likely be back in El Paso later this year – so if you’ve got any recommendations or requests, let me know.

Hasta Luego!


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