Sunday, October 18, 2009

discovering quinoa

I heard a lot about quinoa this year, but had yet to try it. I'm still not really sure it is, but from what I understand, it's a seed that has amazing nutritional properties. It's a whole grain, gluten free, and according to our bag, it's "an exceptional source of protein containing all eight essential amino acids and is high in iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber." A while back, we found organic quinoa, by Earthly Delights brand, at Costco of all places and decided to buy a 4 lb bag.

Well the 4 lb bag sat for a while...hey I was out getting married & honeymooning and such. And I guess I wasn't really sure what to do with the mysterious quinoa. But this month, my copy of Food & Wine arrived in the mail, and in it I found the most delicious sounding recipe: Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs. Can't go wrong with bacon right?

Right! It was a great recipe, and pretty easy too. I've used it twice in the past 2 weeks! I would definitely recommend it if you need a good quinoa recipe! You can prep the herbs in advance, and then the actual cooking time only takes about 30 minutes. The article said this makes a good side dish, but honestly, it's so filling, you can make it a whole meal. Now that I've had quinoa, I wish I could describe it, but I can't. It's just a new and different taste all its own.

Here's some pics to enjoy:

I'm usually not a big fan of parsley, but the fresh parsley went really well with this dish.


We toasted our own almonds. The recipe called for toasted, slivered almonds, but I had a several pound bag in the fridge from Costco and didn't want to waste money on a small bag of slivered almonds. So we just threw our almonds in the food processor and did something more of almond chunks, then toasted in the oven. I think they turned out just as good!


The complete dish in the pot:


The finished product! I also made a side salad of diced yellow & green peppers and cucumbers. I have become a HUGE fan of making my own dressing...ever since Raegan got me hooked on her homemade dressing. It's really fun and it tastes different every time. This dressing was fresh squeezed lemon juice from 3 lemons, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and the leftover fresh chives & parsley from the quinoa recipe. Also had whole grain mustard, roasted garlic, salt & pepper. Yum! And a little feta on top :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

disney wine & dine 2010

It's been a while since I've blogged, so you know it has to be reeeeeeeeally important for me to make this update. Disney added a new race to 2010 - the Wine & Dine Half Marathon!!! Oh my gosh! Can we think of any event that is more perfect for me!? Who's in? We can even do a 2-person relay!

Reasons why this is my dream event:

1 - it's run at night! Finally, a race where I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn (or earlier).
2 - after party at the Food & Wine Festival - as you may recall, this has become a family tradition and I look forward to it every yr!
3 - it's only a half! so only half the training, half the pain, etc. you get the picture!
4 - did i mention Disney World? this place is becoming my magical second home, apparently

Hit me up if you want to go! We have a year to train, that's more than enough time! :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

links of the day

Food for thought on this lovely, hot summer Friday...

"You are terrifying us"...and no Peggy Noonan isn't talking about Republicans.

My favorite part re: the town hall meetings that have gotten "out of control":

"But you can’t get people to leave their homes and go to a meeting with a congressman (of all people) unless they are engaged to the point of passion. And what tends to agitate people most is the idea of loss—loss of money hard earned, loss of autonomy, loss of the few things that work in a great sweeping away of those that don’t.

People are not automatons. They show up only if they care.

What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack."

Speaking of town hall meetings...check out these recent Rasmussen polls.

First
- "Sixty-three percent (63%) of Republicans and the plurality (48%) of voters not affiliated with either party view the protesters favorably." So what I'm getting is first the obvious - Republicans think the town halls are good & view them as genuine grassroots events. But what's even more interesting to me is that half of unaffiliated voters - independents - also view these events favorably. Makes you go hmmm right?

Second - Going back to the issue at hand, universal healthcare. Turns out a whopping 68% of Americans are actually happy with their insurance coverage (rating it good or excellent)! So...if I were Obama, I would look at that number and say, uhoh. As the old adage says, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Especially when our economy is crumbling as it is.

So there's the bad news - the Democrats & the policy of fear (Obama is cool with you turning in your neighbors if they tell you anything bad about his plan...scary). And there's the good news - most Americans don't want the monstrosity of healthcare. But I would be remiss if I didn't offer an alternative solution, and what do you know? Charles Krauthammer has one today!

The very best part echoes a conversation I had last year around election time, where we asked ourselves, why do employers provide healthcare benefits? Wouldn't it make more sense if healthcare was bought on a free market type basis just like auto, homeowners, life etc?

Take it away Charles!

"There is no logical reason to get health insurance through your employer. This entire system is an accident of World War II wage and price controls. It's economically senseless. It makes people stay in jobs they hate, decreasing labor mobility and therefore overall productivity. And it needlessly increases the anxiety of losing your job by raising the additional specter of going bankrupt through illness.

The health-care benefit exemption is the largest tax break in the entire U.S. budget, costing the government a quarter-trillion dollars annually. It hinders health-insurance security and portability as well as personal independence. If we additionally eliminated the prohibition on buying personal health insurance across state lines, that would inject new and powerful competition that would lower costs for everyone.

Repealing the exemption has one fatal flaw, however. It was advocated by candidate John McCain. Obama so demagogued it last year that he cannot bring it up now without being accused of the most extreme hypocrisy and without being mercilessly attacked with his own 2008 ads."

Daaaaaang. I read "McCain" and laughed. Because I remember that one of the biggest reasons I liked McCain was his healthcare plan. It just made sense! And it still does. I think I'm going to tweet him or something...it's not too late to try a better, more progressive plan rather than the convoluted mess that is being pushed through Congress now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

chick-fil-a news!

Today, Ryan's dream came true. Chick-fil-a is going to add spicy chicken sandwiches to their menu next year! Any time Chick-fil-a adds something new, it's a big deal! Can't wait to try it :)

link of the day

I came across this link today - a post by Mitt Romney on healthcare. I think the biggest questions I had after reading were 1) why are our leaders rushing universal healthcare without thinking it through? and 2) why aren't more people pushing for plans that have had success, like Romney's?

Monday, July 27, 2009

review: chez raegan & other food news

I confess, I'm a slacker. Can you believe how much has happened since my last post? After I was so excited about Palin's running feature, she announced her resignation as governor, and now she officially has resigned as governor of Alaska. Man how time flies!

I felt compelled to blog again because yesterday I had THE BEST salmon I've had all year. And I didn't have it at any restaurant...I had at my new favorite Sunday lunch spot, Chez Raegan. Hehe. My sister-grandma Raegan had Ryan & I over for lunch after church on Sunday. She got some wild Alaskan sockeye salmon on sale at the Fresh Market and fried it up in a grill pan with fennel, lemon, salt, pepper and oil. I had one filet and then went back for another half, I just couldn't stop eating it! For the sides, she made an awesome salad with fennel and homemade dressing, and sourdough bread with brie. Mmmm. It was a great summer meal and I told Raegan that she could cook for me every Sunday and I would gladly pay her. And it was so good I had to blog about it, plus she asked me today why I hadn't blogged about it yet :) I wish I had pics but I was just so hungry and into the food that it was all gone before I thought about taking any pictures. She also inspired me to start cooking again...I mean, I try to stay home and cook to save money but I haven't been very creative lately. But Raegan, hats off to you. I want to be creative like you :)

In other news, I've had the pleasure of trying 2 new hotspots: Varasano's & Morelli's.

First Morelli's.

This place is just awesome. They have all your standard sweet ice cream flavors, and then they have all kinds of exotic & savory flavors, like corn! When I lived in Puerto Rico for a summer, my weekly indulgence was corn ice cream with cinnamon on top. When I asked for cinnamon on top of my corn ice cream at Morelli's, I got more than one puzzled look. But I promise, it's good. It's not quite as good as my corn ice cream in PR, but it's the closest I've found in the US. Also, they have some of the best waffle bowls I've ever had.

Next up we have Varasano's. I read about Varasano the man a couple years ago. He was on a quest to find the best NY style pizza. He would throw pizza parties at his house and rig his oven to do crazy things in order to achieve the perfect char & crust. He also kept track of all the best pizzerias and had a pretty intense ranking system. Of course, I disagree with him because I think Grimaldi's is the best pizza I've ever had, and I always, always crave it. But of course, I haven't been to quite the number of pizzerias he has, so I'm probably wrong.

Anyway, the first time we went, we did the Slice of Heaven promotion, which was all you can eat pizza for $13? Something like that...I think it was so popular that now you can only do it late at night one day of the week. I can understand why...I thought the kitchen was going to crash, pizzas were flying out by the minute and still there were hungry tables clamoring for more (including ours!) It was so great though, every pizza we tried was deeeeelicious. The only one I didn't care for was a caramelized onion. It was good the first time, but the cheese was very pungent and thick, so I didn't care to eat more than one slice. Unfortunately that was the flavor of pizza we saw the most that night! haha. I liked the crust, but sometimes it was a little too sour for me, and not enough char. My favorites that night ended up being Nana's - classic mozzarella, tomato and special sauce. My other favorite was something that looking at, I thought I would hate. But once I took a bite, I scarfed it down. It was the Chica Bella - arugula with lemon on top of ricotta & mozzarella cheese. We're talking so good that Ryan & I tried to replicate it many times at my apartment afterwards. Sooooo good!!

The second time we went, it wasn't quite as crazy and this time we knew what our favorites were. We all settled for Nana's pizza. And this time the crust was pretty darn near perfect. I felt like I was almost back in Grimaldi's.


I'm kinda craving one now, aren't you?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

link of the day

Check this out - Sarah Palin is pretty cool. I knew she was a runner, but I didn't know she ran a sub-4 marathon! Dang. She would totally smoke me in a race!

I'm a Runner - Sarah Palin - from Runner's World

Check out the pics too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

disney marathon: mile 26.2

Ahhhh this is it! The end!

As I ran under Spaceship Earth, and the applause and cheers became even louder and thunderous, I was shaking...oh my goodness, could this really be the end? I rounded a corner, out a back entrance, into the parking lot...and there it was. Huge crowd to my left. Trees. Grandstand. Finish line. Tears. Arms up. One more smile. One more "yeah!!" Waving at my fan club one more time from this side of the finish line - their cheers & smiles & jumping up and down gave the final push I needed to get over the line.










And then it was done. 26.2 miles. Done. Once I crossed the line, a million thoughts left my head and for just one second I felt sad. A year of training to do something less than .5% of Americans will do this year. And now it was over. Now what? But then as I kept walking, I saw the medals, I saw how far I had to keep walking and the lines of people going through the aid stations and all I could think was "I need to see my family RIGHT NOW." I was so giddy and excited and I just couldn't wait in any more lines! I needed ice for my legs, badly, but I just didn't want to wait. Time to celebrate!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6 lbs lighter

Today I had my post-boot camp fitness assessment, and I am 6 lbs lighter and 3% less body fat. I guess that's pretty good right? I want to do it again, and see if I can take off another 6 lbs, but I don't think with a wedding coming up in less than 3 months that I can really afford the expense. I'm definitely going to try & keep it up though, work out hard like that every morning that I can. I feel so much stronger now...even though the post test said I was about the same in strength & flexibility, I don't believe it. The last day of boot camp I could bear crawl like never before!! haha. And I can do more than 10 pushups without collapsing. That's saying something.

I have to say that my favorite days of boot camp were 2 days last wk and then the last day (on Monday). One of the days we did an Easter egg hunt of sorts...one person sprinted to the eggs and brought one back, and whatever was written on the egg was what the group had to do. Another day we went to Centennial Park and did a lot of running, stopping at various points in the park and doing different things. A really nice change-up in routine, and of course, we all know that I can run. The last thing we did at the park day was run from one end of the park all the way back to CNN center...it was long and a gradual uphill, but I didn't stop even though I felt like I was moving so slowly. At the top of the hill I thought, how did I ever do that for 26.2 miles?! I can't even imagine it now.

Then the last day of boot camp, we did a relay race where we sprinted, ran backwards, skipped, and sprinted again. My team won so we didn't have to do extra stairs! Yippee! But that day was fun, in addition to the relay race, we did a sequence of bear crawl, run, crabwalk, run, side squat, run, lunge, run. I actually enjoyed that too. It was hard but we could go at our own pace.

So in summary, boot camp was a worthwhile, effective and even fun experience. There were days I dreaded getting out of bed, but man, I am so glad I did. Above all, I'll miss the people. It's funny how attached you can get to people after seeing them every morning, bright & early, for 20 days. I actually saw one of the boot campers today before my post test, she was just lunging away around the athletic club track. Dedication! Encouragement...motivation...I think that really makes a difference. We'll see how that works when I'm on my own!

And I guess it's back to long distance running :) Half marathon, Disneyland??

Monday, June 8, 2009

across the earth (long post!)

A couple weeks ago, Ryan & I went to see Hillsong United in concert. Those aren't really the right words...really, we went to worship. A while back, I got a Hillsong CD which is actually different from Hillsong United, which is the youth-oriented worship band from the church of the same name. Confused yet? haha. The best part is that even as confusing as it may be, it makes me want to move to Australia so bad. The point is that these are really great worship songs and have gotten me through some times - good & bad. It's amazing to me how one church can have such a worldwide influence over how the Church worships. But then I guess that's just God! He does big things.

It's hard to describe what a blessing the night was, but I'll try. I bought the tickets a long time ago, and so they were pretty good, right near the front, and supposedly seats. But when we got there, Hillsong United had asked to have all the pit seats taken out, so we were standing the whole time. And we were so close!


We got there with just enough time to spare, and then worship started...


Brooke Fraser! She's from NZ originally, so you know, she's a kiwi! I love her voice, it's something else.


Here are some of the best pics that Ryan took throughout the night...






The blessing of those hours...just the sweet fellowship with other believers, thousands of us brought together for one purpose: worship. To gather at God's feet and adore Him, tell Him how worthy He is, reflect on how much we need Him, how much we owe Him, how much He's done for us. Like a very small taste of what heaven might be like, when we are all together praising the Lord all the time! We were truly in the presence of the Lord that night. Which is why it's so hard to put it into human words.

Here are some videos that Ryan took too:
Mighty to Save
video
All I Need Is You - audio only
video
Salvation is Here - I have claimed this song through so many things - esp the marathon :)
video
From the Inside Out
video

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

disney marathon: miles 13-26

Slowly but surely, we are nearing the end of my marathon memories. Sad! Maybe that's why I didn't want to blog on it for so long, because then there really would be nothing left :(

Anyway, from the Grand Floridian on til the finish, I didn't see my fan club at all. It was a very long stretch. Even though the race was already half over, the last half was excruciating. I also don't have as many pictures.

So after Grand Floridian, we started the trek towards the Animal Kingdom. So boring. I never thought I would say that at Disney World. But seriously, those roads in between parks can be really dull. Especially the back roads that the service vehicles take. I think we got to see the recycling center or some other kind of maintenance area. Exciting right? All the while, the only thing really keeping me going was the Sharpie fun facts signs, the food stand where I grabbed a banana, and the sudden urge to pee. I actually stopped a couple times at portapotties but the lines were so dang long that I didn't wait around for long before I continued running.

Finally, a break! The Animal Kingdom. We ran through a back entrance and were greeted by all kinds of exotic animals with their trainers, as well as some more Disney characters. And then...thank goodness. A real bathroom. Potty break with no line. I was happy :) And then running through the Animal Kingdom. I enjoyed it - we actually ran through a large portion of the park rather than just skirting the front like we did at the Magic Kingdom.

Here I am in front of Mt. Everest:


After leaving the Animal Kingdom, we ran around the bus stops in front of the park and at this point, the sun got really, really hot. I closed my eyes a lot because of the brightness. Then the heat really started to get to me. And then of course, we were back on roads that were not so exciting. I got to this point, I can't remember what it was called, something like Mile 20 lift? A bunch of photographers on a huge lift above us taking pictures. Maybe you can tell how bright it was getting:

At this point I was really starting to drag. Soon after the lift, I started to walk, I remember seeing the Wide World of Sports kind of near us. It was just so hot! And I started to feel the pain in my feet and legs. There was a slight hill around Mile 21, and after topping that, I started to run (at this point, really it was a jog) again. I knew that MGM was close.

Yep MGM was close. Around mile 22, we went in through a back entrance right onto the set of their backstage tour. We actually ran through the wardrobe tunnel. I got really cheered up to see High School Musical costumes in the windows. They also passed out mini chocolates...I think this was the last food station. We ran right by the big hat, which was also pretty cool. We ran through MGM out the front and onto the sidewalk that connects MGM to the back entrance of Epcot. At this point, I took another walking break. At first, I was very discouraged. I wanted to keep running, but the pain was just unbelievable. I've never felt that way before. I thought, it's just 4 more miles, that's nothing to me. Why does this hurt so freakin bad?! Then I just kept thinking about my training book though, and I held my head up high, because dangit, I was going to finish this thing!!! I prayed a lot in my head too, and I just kept thinking about my fan club and how much I loved them and couldn't wait to see them at the finish line. So I would run as much as I could, then walk. Then run again, then walk. Just basically did whatever I could take to keep moving forward. We ran around the Boardwalk and those resorts - I have some very unflattering pictures of me there if you really want to see them, haha.

Then finally, back into Epcot. You know that feeling when you come home after being gone for a long time, and you just feel so at peace and happy? That feeling flooded my heart. Oh hello Epcot. It's been 5 hours since I was here earlier in the morning, and I was SO glad to be back. Yay Epcot. We ran around the countries once more, and then back to the ball, and then the cheers were getting so thunderous that I started to cry. I couldn't believe all these people cheering us on. Waving signs, flags, etc. Even though I wanted to walk some more, I just had to keep going. The energy was incredible!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

last wk!

This is my last week of boot camp! Yippee! I don't think I'm going to do it next month. It's well worth the money, but it's pretty expensive for my budget. However, I do have a wedding coming up in August that the money would be better for! I've learned a lot, and although I don't feel much thinner, I do feel stronger, and that's important. I may do it again in July, depending on how much I slack off in June.

Last week, the girl instructor was gone, so we had the guy Brian every AM. So imagine my surprise this AM when I was expecting Jenn to be back today and maybe an easier day...there was Brian. Ughh. I love the guy, he is a great instructor, but he's INTENSE. There's just no better word. So today we did most of the usual...mountain climbers, planks, pushups, squats, lunges, bear crawls, windmills, jumping jacks, running. Maybe I should make a video so you can understand some of these ridiculous moves, haha. With Brian, I have to peek out the corner of my eye to make sure he's not looking if I need to take a break. Anyway, the crowning moment was at the very end. Instead of running up the stairs like we usually do, we walked up the stairs while holding a kettle bell above our heads with our arms straight & elbows locked. It BURNED. We did probably 400 stairs this way. I envisioned my arms giving out and the kettle bell crashing into my head.

Anyway besides the boot camp, my mom got me the Wii Active, and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with it so far. A lot of the exercises overlap with what we've done in boot camp (squats, lunges, high knees, resistance band arm exercises), so I've been using it in the evenings to get extra workouts in. The leg strap can sometimes be annoying and fall off, and the resistance band isn't very hard either. I'll probably have to go buy a real one. I started the 30 day challenge and have done 4 of the workouts so far, none of which were the same. The exercises switch up every minute or so, it's never monotonous. Although...I've only tried the "hard" intensity, I'm not sure what medium and low are like. Definitely give it a try if you have a Wii...it's easy to pick up and get a workout in when you're crunched for time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

stoking the fire

I have been going back & forth in my head on running again. On one hand, I want to run the Disneyland half in LA so I can get an additional cool Coast to Coast Disney medal. It's only 13.1 miles! But, it's Sep 6, theoretically a day I would be on my honeymoon. On the other hand, I could just do the Disney marathon again, maybe as soon as next year, and try for the Coast to Coast in that yr as well. But, who knows if I will ever be able to put the time in for training again, and do those 26.2 miles? I can't really predict the future.

But then as if all this back & forth wasn't enough to encourage my indecision, Disney sends me the marathon newsletter in my email...and I read it and get that yearning to do it all again. Darn those emotions!! And then I watched this 3 min marathon video and relived all the feelings...ahhhh I really want to do it again!

And p.s. I am not the only one who throws her hands up & yells "yeahhhh" :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

treadmill of death

I just want to note here that I almost died by the hands of a treadmill today. We were inside for boot camp b/c of the rain. So we did sprints on the treadmill for 2 minutes. Ugh. I can't sustain a sprint for that long. So, at one point I felt like I was going to fall off, so I put my feet on the sides, and when I went to get back to sprinting, my little legs just couldn't keep up and I almost fell off.

So that's the bad news for the day. In good news, I've made it through 2 wks of boot camp! Yay for a long weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

kettle bells

My coworker & friend at boot camp sent me this article. Take a look at kettle bells...something we use every day at boot camp!

Monday, May 18, 2009

disney marathon: miles 11-13

Once we left the Magic Kingdom, I have to admit, I was pretty bummed. I knew that what lay ahead was pretty much no man's land for the 5 miles between the Castle and the Animal Kingdom. I knew we would swing around the other side of the lake and run past the Grand Floridian, but either I was so caught up in the morning that I didn't hear Ryan tell me, or I was so in the zone that I didn't realize it was time...in my low after my biggest high of the race, there was my whole fan club again, waiting for me in front of the Grand Floridian. I can't even describe the rush of joy it was to see them where I wasn't expecting and right before a hard, lonely stretch. In fact, I may not have seen them were it not for the water stop right before them, where of course I slowed to get some water, catch a breather etc.

Here I come!!! Swooping in there on the right.


Why, hello there! So glad to see you! High fives all around!


And I'm off again, into the sunrise.


Another cool thing around the Grand Floridian...I don't know what the tradition is, but there a lot of older couples, like grandmas and grandpas, dressed with mickey ear top hats and minnie bride ears & veils. I assume this is because the Disney Wedding Pavilion is right there with the Grand Floridian, but I wasn't sure what the tradition was with all the older people. Anyone know? They were super cute and so great at cheering :)

one wk down

So I made it through a whole wk of boot camp! Phews. Thursday was the toughest day. I got called out so many times for doing things wrong and then had to do even more to make up for what I didn't do right! Embarrassing and hard. Friday was actually fun though. Also hard, but we did a little obstacle course of sorts that I found fun. Today we were inside since it rained yesterday. It wasn't too bad until we did one of the things I dread the most...bear crawls! They are really hard to do inside. I actually had gloves to prevent blisters from the track, but I think they just made my hands more slippery. Plus we had just done a lap of lunges. I'm pretty good at lunges - I mean I have strong legs, I was a runner and was always working on lengthening and strengthening my stride. But after prolonged lunges, it's hard to get down on the ground and crawl like a bear. Another hard thing was at the end, we did reverse burpees down the length of the basketball court. So we got down, kicked both legs out (like doing a pushup), then walked our hands backwards while keeping our legs straight so that we were eventually standing up again. And then we got medicine balls and did a squat and then threw it at our partner. Who knew an 8 lb ball could have so much force!?

We also turned in a week's worth of food logs today. I can't WAIT to see what the coach writes on mine. I am sure it will be a humbling & eye-opening experience.

Ok next I am going to blog about the marathon. I'm feeling inspired listening to my Lady Gaga Pandora station. Thanks Lauren/Elliott :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

link of the day

I caved & started a twitter account last week (you can follow me @corrienav)...and this AM I found a really interesting link through @allahpundit. The gist is that 51% of Americans are now pro-life, and only 42% are pro-choice. This is the first time pro-life has been the majority since 1995. Interesting no? Esp in light of the Supreme Court nomination that Obama will have to make this year...just some food for thought on this awesome day before the weekend...Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

boot camp

So I have been through 3 days of boot camp now, and I can honestly say that an hour of boot camp is exponentially more difficult than an hour of running. Put it this way, marathon training is much, much harder over a course of a year. Mentally and physically, it is quite the undertaking. But boot camp is harder when you look at the timeframe of an hour. Every single part of your body is exercised in some way, and in a way that doesn't give you much rest time or recovery.

Anyway, the first morning, I didn't eat anything before going. Big mistake! I felt so sick & dizzy near the end, I wanted to quit. But if there's one thing I know about myself, I'm not a quitter. So, I kept going. Let me see if I can run down what we did. First, we ran about half a mile. Then we did wall sits. Then, lunges and bear crawls around a track (I had bruises on my hands afterwards). Then we moved on to more calisthenic type things - frog jumps, jumping jacks, burpees (sp? they're like up downs), plank, high knees, windmills. Pushups & situps. Suicide sprints and more frog jumps. I was amazed at how much we could fit in an hour!

Then yesterday we made a new friend. Stairs. Like, running up 5 stories of stairs...back down, run back up, back down, run back up. And an obstacle course of sorts, and dips. And today we met resistance bands and I remembered how little arm strength I have since running put all my strength in my legs. I ate a banana before each workout too so I felt a lot better.

I was pretty sore when I woke up on the 2nd day. My lower back and thighs were sore. Today my thighs are still sore but now my abs really hurt, because guess what? I have homework too! 250 situps a night...I'm just doing crunches til I can work my way up to situps. And we're also supposed to work out 3 times outside of boot camp. Tonight I did some yoga & strength exercises with the wii fit.

It's very intense.

I don't feel too different yet, although today I felt a little stronger, or really just more in the know. The first day I was so clueless, but now I feel like I kinda know how to do all the stuff we're doing. Oh! We also have to keep a food log that we turn in every Monday. I already know I'm going to get some comments on "m&m cookies" (thanks holly ;) they were worth every delicious bite!) and "lobster ravioli". Hehe. At least I haven't drank any kind of coke product yet! Our food goal this wk is to replace all cokes with water. So far, so good.

Monday, May 4, 2009

yikes...

So I ran a marathon...and then I've worked out maaaaybe 5 times since then. That's being generous. Well today I took a fitness assessment because next Monday, I'm starting boot camp at my company's athletic club. I'm a little nervous - it's going to be hard, and it's going to be at 7 am every weekday morning. I'm not much of a morning person.

Anyway, what is really "yikes" is that my fitness assessment today has revealed that I've gained at least 10 lbs since the marathon, and my body composition is 30% fat! Yuck. I need to lose at least 20 lbs to be in the ideal % fat. This has definitely been a sobering day for me. Who knew running for almost a yr, stopping for 4 months, that I could be in such terrible shape? :(

So here's hoping I can change things around. I'm going to try to start waking up early this wk in prep for next wk, and maybe get some good workouts before boot camp starts. Another adventure is starting! It will be fun to have something to blog about again, anyway :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

town hall for hope

I have not ever taken any of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace classes, though I know many who have and have heard what a difference it makes. Anyway, tonight, Dave Ramsey is holding a Town Hall for Hope...basically he is broadcasting to churches all over the nation and taking questions by phone, email, twitter, facebook etc. I think this is a great event for anyone who has questions about these uncertain economic times and wants to hear a message of hope rather than discouragement.

Check it out: Town Hall for Hope

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

disney marathon: miles 10-11

Man, I am a bad blogger these days! It's been over 3 months since I ran the Disney Marathon and I still haven't finished blogging about it. Sorry! I will try to get it done by the end of the month??

Ok, this is by far my favorite mile of the whole course. Good thing it was about halfway through right? Because after this, I was soooo pumped! Adrenaline rush. I think it's pretty obvious from the pictures how excited and happy I was to be running through the Magic Kingdom.

So after running through the Contemporary, we ran through a side service entrance that dumped out onto Main Street where there were tons of cheering fans. Encouragement! Then we ran through Tomorrowland - there was a cute Tomorrowland band there playing music.




Then we ran through the back of Fantasyland and then da dada da! Trumpeteers on the balcony of Cinderella's Castle. I seriously let out an audible "yaaaay" at this point. And then...for just a short couple seconds...I ran through the castle. One of the greatest, proudest, most exciting moments of my life! I mean really, completing the thing was that moment, but the castle just brought so much emotion. Hey I'm a girl who pretty much dreamed all her childhood of 2 things: being a princess like Cindrella (who was my favorite Disney princess) and doing amazing things. Here I was running a marathon and I felt like a total princess.


And just as soon as I was there, I was gone. The shortest, quickest mile of the whole race. And of course the most memorable. After going through the castle, we ran through Frontierland, out another side entrance, and on to the Grand Floridian.

rutabagas

Today I tried rutabagas for the first time ever! (Forgive me mom, if you've made rutabagas when I was younger and don't remember.) Anyway, they were very interesting! It's hard to describe/compare them to anything since I've never had them before! I think that I liked them though. Of course, I got them at a very trustworthy place, Carver's, the reigning king of Southern food in Atlanta, in my humble opinion. I still don't even know what rutabagas are, but I found this awesome website - Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute - headquartered in the rutabaga capital of the world. Haha. Awesome.

So who loves rutabagas? Who can even really describe how they taste?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

links of the (tax) day

Today is tax day. Yippee.

If you can't go to a tea party today, send a tea bag to your elected officials:

Here's a great timeline from Michelle Malkin on how the tea party movement started.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

tax day tea parties

Back in Feb, we had a little tea party protest here in Atlanta. This nationwide movement has really gained momentum, and on Tax Day, April 15th, there will be a big tea party at the Capitol here in Atlanta, complete with an appearance by Sean Hannity. I strongly encourage you to check it out if you're in the area, and if you're not, check out the nationwide site for a party in your area. Make a clever sign & wear red! I will be there to catch the end...I actually have a volunteer orientation to attend for something completely different. But I should be able to get to the tea party for at least the last hour. I'm excited!

And here is a great, funny, yet completely serious video via my Aunt Debbie. It should get you pumped for a tea party:


Friday, March 27, 2009

links of the day

I know, I know, I have been the worst blogger. It's hard because my main motivation in starting a blog was to write about my experience training & running a marathon. Now that it's over, I've lost a lot of motivation to continue blogging. I can't even seem to finish blogging about the marathon itself! And then my other motivation was the election...and then that ended and didn't have quite the finish I was hoping for. But I'll try to catch up...

I was reading through the news today & came across 2 realllly good article about Obama's poor performance with the presidency so far. I have tried to really give him a chance, but I just don't believe he is leading this country the right way. I do give him props for opening the White House up more to technology - the online town hall was a cool idea, even if he didn't really tell us anything new through it.

Anyway, I find this article on CNN really revealing. Because now I know it's not just me that feels this way. There are so many good quotes in this article that I won't regurgitate here, you just need to read it yourself.

And here is another good article and guess what the title is? "On Spending and the Deficit, McCain was Right." My favorite part:

The point was that Obama was promising so many things that to pay for them he would eventually have to raise taxes on people making far less than $250,000. Look out, McCain warned -- someday he'll come after you.

And now that's where we appear to be headed. At some point, Obama will likely have to bow to those in his party who say he must raise taxes if he wants to pay for health care and other expensive initiatives.

Yeah, I can't WAIT til my already meager salary gets even more taxed by the govt. Yippee.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

link of the day

Check out Jon Stewart...yes you read that right...Jon Stewart ripping Obama's plan to make veterans use private health insurance. It is so worth it, just for his last 3 sentences. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

quote of the day

"My colleagues and I are sending a letter to [AIG CEO Edward] Liddy informing him that he can go right ahead and tell the employees that are scheduled to get bonuses that they should voluntarily return them," Sen. Charles Schumer said on the Senate floor. "Because if they don't, we plan to tax virtually all of [the money] ... so it is returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers."

via CNN

Does anyone else get the feeling that our leaders have no real clue what they're doing?

"we plan to tax...so it is returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers"

So let me get this straight. First, the govt taxes you and me. Then, they give the money away to these AIG execs. Then, they threaten to tax the money, which in essence is already tax money. So they want to tax the taxes and give the money back to...its rightful owners? Except that it's actually going back to the government. And you and I won't see a cent of it returned to us. And to put the frosting on the cake...who's bright idea was it in the first place to give them a loan? And now they want to tax the loan?

Someone please explain to Sen. Schumer how ridiculous this is.

Monday, March 16, 2009

oops

Totally forgot to register for the Peachtree Road Race. Oops! Darnit. I guess I could try the paper lottery next Sun...but what are the odds of me getting one of the last 10,000 spots when the first 45,000 were gone in 7 hours?

Anyone else missing out? Or got their spot?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

jefferson, washington, and chuck norris

Our President & Congress desperately need a history lesson from Thomas Jefferson & George Washington...and Chuck Norris.

To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.
George Washington, letter to James Welch, Apr. 7, 1799

To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.
Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39

All of this courtesy of Chuck Norris, who has compiled a great many quotes from our founding fathers in this article: I may run for president of Texas. A good, quick read if you're up for it! Maybe Chuck Norris will join the ranks for Jefferson & Washington as a great President some day, hehe.

And props to Ryan for pointing these out to me and issuing a challenge to us all - write letters/emails to the President and your elected officials and ask them what they think of what our founding fathers said!

Friday, March 6, 2009

disney marathon: miles 8-10

So the first stop after Epcot after the highway running was the Ticket & Transportation Center. That was a fun area to run through because it was kind of unexpected. I forgot it was there. But we ran under the monorail station where there were tons of fans cheering us on! And gotta love the cast members with their mickey gloves on! It was also very cool running through completely empty parking lots. What a sight!

And how convenient...the course ran right by our hotel, The Contemporary between miles 9 & 10. I was really really really excited as I saw the Contemporary come into view. I was going to see all my fans together for the first time on the course. Here's Holly & Shane with signs ready:
Right before I saw them, we all went running under a bridge of sorts, and as I came through the end, I could see everyone. I started waving, and tried to yell "hey!" But no one was paying attention!!! Maybe you can see me waving frantically on the left side...


I literally was right in front of them before they saw me. I guess I was a little early. Like I said, those first 8 miles went by so fast! Luckily they caught me and took this lovely progression of pictures below.





Unfortunately there were wall to wall cone barriers between us so I couldn't get any high fives or hugs in. But no worries, there were still 16.2 miles ahead! And the Magic Kingdom was less than a hop, skip & a jump from here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

personal responsibility

I like this guy. Basically, he's a state worker who makes $93000 a year, but his cost of living raise was withheld this year. So, instead of complaining, or looking for handouts, or reneging on his promises to support charities, he took a...gasp! Low paying job at Wendy's.

My favorite part:

Stokely was asked whether he might be taking a job away from someone who needs the money. Stokely said he can't take responsibility for something like that. "I'm sure Wendy's didn't hire me just to give the solicitor a $7.25 supplement. That door is open for them to go and apply just like it was for me," he said.

Yeah dude! It sucks, but you did the right thing. And no one should say anything bad about you, because you're actually taking personal responsibility to make your life what you want it to be. And therein lies the root of my anger towards the stimulus, bailouts, new government budgets...America has forgotten personal responsibility and the power of individual freedom. I want the responsibility to make my life want I want it to be. I don't want the government to take it from me. I'm so sick of the mentality that SO many Americans have these days. That they are entitled to handouts, that they don't have to take responsibility because the govt will always be there to bail them out, that the world will end if we don't entrust our lives to the government's care. That is not the answer. Why don't we want to take our lives back, and take our freedoms back? If you want a better life, don't look to the government to make it for you, do it yourself. And do it responsibly, aka don't buy a $1 million dollar house when you only make $50000 a year.

You with me?! Ok, that is my rant for the day.

Does the Boston Tea Party of a couple hundred years ago ring a bell?

Check out our very own Atlanta Tea Party going on tomorrow at the Capitol. Our founding fathers revolted and warred with England over ridiculous taxation. Now here we are with our leaders saddling us and future generations with debts that cannot be paid back. A $3 trillion budget comes to mind. This seems like change for the worse. Time for a revolution??

and props to ryan for the Stokely article :)

the highlander

I'm not going to do a full post about The Highlander. I just wanted to say that their chili rocks! Oh my gosh, it is soooo spicy. I feel like my mouth is burnt, but not in a bad way! It's chock full of beef and beans and peppers...plus bonus! Guy Fieri visited and you can watch him & Chef Ice make the chili together here. Really, really entertaining. And makes me totally comfortable ordering the chili again, knowing everything that's in it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

love you tom price, part 2

disney marathon: miles 1-8

Looking back on it now, I can't believe how fast the first 8 miles went. It feels like a blur now. After the split start, we reunited with the other runners around mile 4. Before reuniting, we ran on a highway behind Epcot before finally coming back around to the parking gates.

Of course, as we were running around Epcot, I was wondering, when are we going to go in?! I was so stoked. After running through the parking gates, we ran straight up the middle walkway toward the ball. And there were spectators cheering us on, on either side. Lo and behold, as I was thinking, aw I wonder if Holly & Ryan are here...there they were!!! There wasn't enough time to snap a picture, but I saw them all bundled up in the dark cold cheering for me :) So then I was really stoked!

Then we ran under the monorail, and the cheers were echoing so loud. I started to get emotional! Just amazed at all the fans and all the runners.



And then...on into Epcot! The course significantly narrowed at this point and there were race workers guiding us through the area right in front of the ball. But once we got past it, the course widened and it was a spectacular sight. All of the nations around the lake were lit up, and there was fire in all of the torches. It was so beautiful, still and serene. And yet, here we were, this huge wave of runners. There were characters to greet us, I can't remember all of them but I do remember seeing Mulan and some guy yelling over if he could see her after the race. Funny. We ran in there for such a short time before exiting through a back entrance and back onto highway roads.

These roads were...boring. No characters. But there were DJs, marching bands, the works every so often to keep the energy going. There were also Sharpie sponsored billboards at every mile with funny pictures and/or sayings. And eventually, the sun came up. I remember coming down on road ramp, curving towards the next park. At this point, I really started getting excited because the next park was...the Magic Kingdom!

link of the day

I have often wondered to myself...what if we achieved victory in Iraq, but the press never reported it? That seems entirely plausible to me, since I have rarely heard a positive story come out of Iraq from the mainstream media.

Well today, your link of the day, courtesy of Charles Krauthammer and the Washington Post, is a victory in Iraq. Not the be all, end all victory, but a big victory nonetheless. Have you heard anything about it yet?

This is what our President had to say:
This important step forward should continue the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

take the time to laugh

Even in the hard economic climate...it always helps to have a laugh. thanks Ryan :) You may have to click on the image if it doesn't show up all the way, not sure why blogger isn't formatting it correctly. You should see 16 boxes in the strip.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_djgssszshgM/SYXCzpR0MbI/AAAAAAAAAyY/VYle3udsueo/s1600/CalvinHobbs.BMP

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

generational theft

The generational theft bill aka stimulus bill passed the Senate, which really wasn't a big surprise. But still. Disappointing. Not exactly the birthday present I was hoping for. Haha.

And a tip from Raegan, who talked to Rep.Tom Price's office today. At this point, all there is left to do is email/call/write letters to Speaker Pelosi and the White House. So do it. I just did!

Also from Raegan - good article on how the stimulus bill is literally bad for your health.

Friday, February 6, 2009

disney marathon: the start

These are Ryan's pictures from the start. He & Holly staked out a spot along the road. Unfortunately, there was a split start, so one group of corrals started down one side of the highway, and the other corrals started on the opposite side of the highway. Of course, I was on the opposite side of the highway. Which was cool for me, because I was the first corral to go under the big start line with the fireworks. But bad for Ryan & Holly because there was just no way they would see me. Not that they would have anyway because there were thousands and thousands and thousands of people running by.


And then, the start. Oh my goodness. If I could only convey the feeling with words. I staked out a little piece of pavement, and I was amazed to find that I was in the first corral on the starting line side. At this point, I started to get really nervous and excited, because I couldn't believe my luck! How did I get so close to the start? And then I thought, oh man, these people around me are probably really fast. Another cool thing is that I was in spitting distance of the official starting stage, where Mickey & crew came out in their tracksuits and wished us all a good race and then started the countdown to the start! Everyone else got to watch on big TVs along the median of the road, but I saw it "live" right in front of me. Some dude near me also got interviewed, I was sitting right behind him. So yeah...a pretty exciting build-up to the start, and I had butterflies fluttering around the whole time!

Then of course, the moment I had been waiting for a almost a whole year.
10...fireworks!
9...fireworks!
8...fireworks!
7...fireworks!
6...fireworks!
5...fireworks!
4...fireworks!
3...fireworks!
2...fireworks!
1...fireworks!






And we were off...well not really. More like a walk-jog-run start, but that was to be expected! And it was such an emotional rush! I was so happy, screaming "yeah!!!", smiling, waving...we were all doing that.

There was a big riser after the start with photographers, videographers etc, and these are their pics:


And this one is my absolute favorite start picture. Can you spot me & my purple shorts on the right side of the pic? #7499