Mar 31, 2008

chickpea brownies

1 1/2 cups of garbanzo beans
1 1/2 cups of carob chips
4 eggs
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

put the beans and the eggs in a food processor & mix it all together
melt the chips in a bowl in the microwave
pour the melted chips into smooshed beans & egg mixture
add agave nectar & baking powder
put in 350 oven for 40 minutes.

don't worry. you haven't landed on the wrong blog. it's still all about running my way to boston. but i've learned and shared a few foodie things from my nutritional overhaul with you: fun facts like bananas and clementines make for very good long run fueling, and refined sugar creates bad toxic g.i. mojo (for me at least). i thought maybe i'd share the knowledge that chickpeas can be turned into brownies. its true people, and it's like magic. i mean, who knew that chickpeas did more than make hummus? not me. jen sent me this recipe a few months ago and just yesterday i made it for the first time. i have to admit, i didn't expect them to be yummy. really though, who would? i had my typical glass is half empty there-is-no-way-in-hell-chickpea-brownies-can-be-good attitude. but my glass is half emtpy attitude always leaves room for pleasant surpises. these are good. way good. that said - i suggest that you don't try to pass them off as brownies. my kids weren't buying it. they said they were too "fluffy and cakelike" to be brownies. personally, i don't see anything wrong with fluffy and cakelike - perhaps if i had said "here kids, i made you some fluffy chocolate cake-like squares" they would have eaten it up. you know, both literally and figuratively. my husband didn't buy it either, but as soon as he heard they were made of chickpeas, they suddenly became amazingly delicious. chickpeas? really? yes. really. they make a great fluffy cake-like thing.

i have a really good hummus recipe too.

Mar 27, 2008

the marathon gods

i have gotten really good at wallowing in self pity. first it was missing my BQ. then it was an injury. then it was illness on top of injury. and now, with less than a month to go until i won't be running boston, i'm back to wallowing that i didn't BQ. its just weensy wallowing here and there. but its wallowing nonetheless.

mostly i wallow when i see emails going back and forth about boston plans, restaurants, etc. i tell my friends that if they are going to include me on the messages, they need to at least preface it with: get your tissues and a glass of wine, cause i joked that hearing the fun boston plans were like rubbing salt in the wound. a wound that has gotten fresher now that april 21st looms closer and closer and i still have yet to pick up the phone and cancel the damn hotel. cause the cancellation fee is just like pouring big rock salt on the wound. and the flight too. haven't cancelled that yet. i may as well cut a lemon in half and just rub the salt in with that.

but in the midst of the back and forth emails i get a 'tough love' message from coach - a little reminder that that it took him 17 marathons before he qualified. and i knew this. but i need to be reminded of it now and then. i have a tendency to put coach on a pedestal. i mean, the guy goes mountain biking the day after a hilly marathon. he paces people at half marathons a mere week after running boston. it borders on freak of nature. so i love the fact that it took him 17 tries - it brings the pedestal down just a bit, makes him more human. it keeps my disappointment over missing it in just two tries in check.

after the tough love message came another from my friend who told me what a friend of hers said when he asked her how i did in birmingham: she told him i got a PR, but not a BQ. his response was "she has not knelt at the altar of the marathon gods long enough" - it had taken him 8 or 9 tries.

i have not knelt at the altar of the marathon gods long enough.

i mulled the brilliant statement over. my god. its genius. i mean sure - there are the freaks of nature out there who qualify on their first marathon; no kneeling required. i ran with one of these freaks of nature one day on a big dog run. i was so happy that a new girl had joined the group and because we were running together i think, thank god there is someone here as slow as me. so we run and chat about what the other is training for - i say birmingham, she says boston. a few more sentences into the conversation, i learn she qualified at her first marathon. and then the conversation is over as she too pulls away to eventually catch up with the group. she is so way faster than me. and there i am. alone, bringing up the rear and sucking wind. wondering how the hell someone qualifies at marathon #1. she had to be the exception to the rule. she had to be.

unlike freak of nature girl, i think most people do a lot of kneeling at the altar. and while freak of nature girl just made me feel bad about myself that day, the runners i most admire - the ones who paid their dues, and knelt long and hard are the ones that make me feel better. i love to hear how many tries it took someone to get to boston (unless it took you one try, and then of course, i hate you) it puts two tries into perspective, and serves as the proverbial: "snap out of it" slap across the face - in a good, get over it, tough love kind of way.

its not like i am walking around in a funk anymore. my moments of wallowing are very few and far between. i crawled out of the vacuum of self pity i was in post-marathon and while dealing with knee shit a while ago. today was my last PT appointment. i'm out of the woods, good to go. i'm running, i've started looking up races and i like my bike again. it's all good. that said, come april 21st, i know i'll wallow a little bit. hell, i'll wallow when i finally suck it up, pay all the fees and cancel everything. i mean, i hate missing out on fun. especially if its running fun. running fun with friends. i hate that i missed the opportunity to go and share the whole experience with them. and having to pay penalty fees to miss it? ugh. salt on the wound. with lemon squeezed over it. i wonder if that counts towards some dues.

but i'll remind myself as i sit glued to coachs' every split on the live tracking on the 21st that it took him 17 tries to get there. i've only tried twice. i need to do some more kneeling. i wonder though, how best to appease the marathon gods? a shrine? are there special candles i can light? wonder if there is some sort of offering that might bring the number of tries down to four, six at the most.

Mar 25, 2008

the count

one, two, three, four, five!
five pain-free runs in a row!
ha ha ha ha ha!

Mar 20, 2008

cautiously optimistic

i'm reluctant to even write this.
you know, because of the whammy-factor.
i don't want to put one on myself. i've done it before.
in fact, i daresay i have a pattern of this behavior:
i get all jacked up and excited and announce that i've had
a fairly ok, pain free run one day
only to hear my knee start to talk smack the next day.
i should just keep quiet. see how it goes first.
but since i don't know how to do that,
and i'm fairly bursting at the seams with excitement
and at the same time trying to remain cool and realistic
here goes:
i ran today. and the day before yesterday too.
and this is mostly significant because
for two runs in a row, for the first time in 5 weeks,
there was zero pain. zero. none. nada. zilch.
two runs. in a row.
and i may be jumping the gun a bit,
and therefore putting the whammy on myself -
it wouldn't be the first time.
but i just counted out the number of weeks until
physical therapist knows this has been my hopeful plan.
she hasn't told me i'm delusional. yet.
keep your fingers crossed.
knock on wood.
i wonder if there is a patron saint i can bury in the backyard.
the saint of
happy knees, you can totally gear up to run 13.1 in five weeks.
i think i might be a weensy bit delusional.
perhaps too excited over past two runs.
must.calm.down -
see how next few runs play out.
but still. i could always use some sort of happy running-mojo
patron saint buried in the backyard. for times such as this.

postscript (added post-run friday):
now its' three runs.
three pain free runs in a row.
knocking on wood.

Mar 16, 2008

me and my bike

we are trying to get to know each other again. to be friends like we were last summer. i've had mixed emotions about my bike lately. mostly, because being with the bike meant i wasn't running. and anything that kept me from running, or that i had to do in lieu of running - just made me mad. here's the thing about the bike: we were good buddies last summer. we got together all the time and really got to know each other. but now? we just don't get together often enough, and when we do - we just don't get along very well. on the once weekly, or even the pathetically infrequent bimonthly occasion that i do actually get on the bike, i suck at it. i don't know what i expect from once a week or even twice a month, but i've gotten myself into a vicious cycle of: not wanting to get on my bike cause i suck at it, and so, i wouldn't get on it -- which would just escalate that whole i-suck-on-the-bike-cause-i-rarely-get-on-it thing i had going on for me.

i have been trying really hard this past month to make the running work for me. i keep trying to go out and run to see if the physical therapy, or the massage, or two days off from running have worked and made it all better. but four miles into almost every run, i realize it hasn't worked. nothing is really better. but i still go out again and try the next day or the day after that. i think i am trying too hard. this occured to me on the two days i went running last week when it was ridiculously apparent that i was still sick and then when i came home from a run to realize i had almost golf-ball sized swelling on my knee. i think i make things worse for myself. i think i need a break. a mental break from trying so hard to make the running work right now.

which brings me back to my bike. if we want to be friends again, we have to go out more often. i started on this plan on saturday and i geared up and went out for a solo ride. and then today, my husband, who has now also taken on role of bike coach, thought i'd benefit more from getting some one on one coaching & practicing some confidence building skills instead of joining the gang for our regular sunday ride. two laps of our local park - with drills, shifting tips, a bunch of hills and 21 miles later - i do not remember the last time i felt as good on the bike as i did today. hell, i don't remember the last time i felt as good after any workout. it has been over a month since i have arrived on our front doorstep after a workout smiling. whether it was a ride or a run, i was coming home defeated & discouraged. a few more rides like todays' should have me and the bike on the path to a happy and mutually beneficial friendship.

i'll still run while me and the bike get back together. but right now, i need a new focus - my hope here is that the running, like riding a bike - will all come back to me. cause you never forget how to ride a bike, right?

Mar 10, 2008

falling apart

i am sick. i have spent the day comatose on the couch - vascillating between freezing and burning up, wondering how many sweaters and hats i can pile on to how fast can i get all these layers off. i go from thinking: i feel good. i can get totally get up and be a productive member of society, maybe fold that small-child-high pile of laundry in my dining room; only to find myself wandering aimlessly around the house in a dizzy daze collapsing back on the couch 30 minutes later. i've gone through an entire roll of toilet paper blowing my nose. i've been in my pj's all day. i've learned that while we are at work our tv is set to record episodes of how its made all day long. i've snorted and gargled saltwater, my nostrils have become intimate with the zicam, and if it didn't knock me out so fast, i could sing the praises of nighttime thera-flu from the rooftops. but still. i feel like crap.

this just very literally adds insult to injury. i had high hopes for another run today. my high hopes should really just take a vacation. they keep getting disappointed. they are getting sick of the crapshoot that is: will this be a good run or not so much? i swear that if i could somehow get all zen about this and embrace whatever the hell i'm supposed to be learning right now, it would all be better.

which brings me to a little confession that i can't help but wonder if it had a hand in what got me here the first place; this injured, sick, sad running-pathetically-little-mileage-every-week place: in the month that has passed since the marathon, i have fallen off the wagon. in every big bad way. and then, if that wasn't bad enough - i think the wagon ran over me. a couple of times. i was floored by how quickly (we're talking lightning speed) food lost all importance once i wasn't "in training". i fell off the wagon overnight people. overnight. a mere four days after the marathon i ate an entire bag of conversation hearts. (and as a small aside, these are the best candies in the world next to gumdrops. really - a close tie). and then there was the hershey bar in the checkout lane at the market. and there was um, an entireboxofgirlscoutcookies. not all in one sitting mind you; although that shit could totally happen. the box of samoa love lasted about a day and a half. and then there was this very low moment: iatesomegumdrops. they were yucky. but i ate them anyway. during my nutritional overhaul and my first stint in sugar rehab, jen would tell me: there is room in our lives for sugar. which made me happy. it held the sweet promise that one day me & the sugar could be friends again. well. me & the sugar? we are not friends. i think i need to check myself into sugar rehab again. thank god that box of cookies is gone cause i dont know who can check themselves into sugar rehab with those things in the house. i'd have to have an ambulance come get me, strap me to a gurney and haul me away from those things.

but right now, i am freezing and at the same time burning up. i am in the same clothes i was in 24 hours ago. the small-child-high pile of laundry remains intact and untouched. i need to make myself a bowl of edamame and get back on that couch. maybe the tivo got some how its made episodes of 'running sneakers', 'marathon medals' and 'mylar blankets'. i would totally try and stay lucid for that. once upon a time i ran a marathon. three, in fact. oh. good times people. those were good times. this is me - falling apart. only a pain free longer-than-four-mile run and some greens can save me.

Mar 6, 2008


don't say anything to my it band or my knee, because i don't want to put the whammy on anything; but we all went for a little run today. and nothing hurt. granted, it was so agonizingly slow, they may not have even known we were running. they may have just thought we were up and about and cleaning the house for 4.6 miles. i'm trying to play it cool. i didn't even smile while we were all out happily running. we've been here before, this little test run where nothing hurt and i get all jacked up and excited over how i am out of the woods only to find myself back in them again. so, you did not hear that i went for a pain free 4.6 miles from me. i'm not talking. i don't want them to hear me or think i am even remotely optimistic.


you can sometimes prolong the downtime by trying to speed up the return. coachy words of wisdom i got last night. and i hate to say it, but i wonder if i haven't been trying to speed up the return and maybe thats why i am still here -- four weeks later with my very "minor" and totally fixable issue. to me, minor means a week, two at the most.

i go back and forth with being okay with this downtime - and it pissing me off. patience has never, ever been one of my virtues. part of me knows that a little rest is what my body needs and part of me is worried that i'll lose everything i worked so hard for and be back at square one when i am ready to ramp it back up. i know the whole adage about taking the time off will make you stronger. but still. this is hard.

some days are better than others. some days i think - this is good. time off is good. i am fine. other days, i want to cry at the thought of how little running i am doing. this morning, i am okay with it. but the sun is shining and i am in love with my new tunes that want to go for a run with me. i don't know how long being okay with the downtime is going to last today.

Mar 4, 2008

the captain

so the physical therapist tells me i can go ahead and try running with an ITB strap. she says if it doesn't help, i needed to call her for an extra appointment this week. i couldn't get to the running store fast enough to buy my new strap. its not until i get into the car that i actually look at it and notice it has a name:

the captain.

i am convinced the captain is going to be the magic mojo that gets me going again, he's going to be my new best friend. so. me and my high hopes gear up for a very short three mile run this morning. i strap on the captain -ok. wait a minute. i realize i just said, "i strap on the captain". that doesn't sound right. it gives the um, wrong impression and lends itself to awkward connotations. hmmm. how better to put it? i put the captain on? no. i wrapped the captain around my leg? even weirder. nah. i'll leave it as is: i strap on the captain and we are off. we are off and running. mile 1 feels good. mile 1 always feels good. i think i like the captain. me and my high hopes are happy. and then, my knee starts talking. what? you think the captain needs to be tighter? not sure its in the right place? fine. lets readjust. two minutes later, i am readjusting the captain again. my knee starts to yell at me. my knee doesn't care for the captain. well, it's the running that my knee doesn't care for - the captain makes no difference. and that's just it. the captain makes no difference and so at this point, i don't care for the captain either. he is so not my friend anymore. because here i am. walking. again. i've lost the love. the short-lived, full of high hopes strap on love.

Mar 3, 2008

it's not over yet

the knee pain.
is not over.
after wednesdays' pain free run last week,
and an even better run on friday; i took saturday off -
i didn't want to mess with any good recovery mojo.
i had high hopes for today's run.
it didn't go so well.
the knee is still talking to me and i don't like what it has to say.
cause we're running & we're happy and then it says -
you need to stop running now.
four miles at a time seems to be the limit right now.
i wish my patience had a higher time limit.