Foodie Pen Pals: April 2014

The Lean Green Bean

This month’s foodie pen pal was great. If you are unfamiliar with what the program a quick overview of the program entails signing up from a month to month basis, you get set up with someone else (can be another blogger or a reader), you exchange shipping information and any dietary restrictions and then you give and receive a nice box full of goodies! Click on the image above if you want more info. This month my foodie pen pal was Mandy from Minnesota. My main request for my foodie pen pals is to send me any of their favorite foods or something that is unique or local to where they live and that’s exactly what I got!


Wild Rice – having seen wild rice in grocery stores I’ve always been a little intimidated to get it so I’m glad Mandy included this in this month’s package and can’t wait to use it. And it’s 100% naturally grown from Minnesota Lakes and Rivers :)

Honey – this pure natural honey is also straight from Minnesota and having very little left from the generic brand I bought a few months back, I’m eve more excited to have received this.

nike women’s half marathon dc – the finish line

bermy runs
bermy runs
Although I wore the same top and similar pants, this picture was taken right before my bikini competition last fall as part of the fitness inspired photos I took. Just so you know, if it’s not obvious already, this was completely staged… I mean who runs over rocks anyways? (that’s just asking for a sprained ankle). I remember when I got the pictures from the photographer I felt indifferent about the “running” pictures, it’s just not me… I’m not a runner. Looking back at this picture doesn’t change that, I’m still not a runner but I do feel good about saying that I am an athlete.

race week
Last week I mentioned how bad I’ve been with the training program and this past week wasn’t any different. The last two weeks prior to race day I ran once, for 5 miles, that’s it. The lack of adherence to the training plan made me a bit nervous about race day. I tried not to set any major expectations although I secretly wanted to finish within 2 hours but my real goal was to complete the entire race without stopping. You could’ve asked me what my goal was when I started training and it would’ve been “to finish” but my training gave me the confidence to know that finishing it wasn’t the real hurdle. I wanted to push myself and I knew that being able to run all 13.1 miles without walking would mean a lot more than my previous goal once did.

Before I get to the actual race day details, there’s no way I could go to DC without satisfying my inner tourist. All day Saturday, Dave and I walked all over DC hitting the major tourist attractions. There were very few things we didn’t see but just to name a few: U.S. Capital, National Mall, White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We walked everywhere; I’m going to estimate that it was around 5 miles, I was exhausted! This was also Dave’s first time in DC.
Half Marathon 013

the expo
The expo was fun; my favorite part was the motivation wall which was the first thing you saw as you entered the tent. The chip on the bib recognized your name and a few seconds later a personalized message appeared on the wall. This was super exciting and such a neat feature, good job Nike. It was a bit tough anticipating where my name would come up and coordinating a picture… let’s just say a took a few tries. If you were there and saw a crazy person going in and out of the tent there’s a good chance that was me lol :)
Half Marathon 003

the crew
The only reason why I even decided to do this was because of my friend Arlenis (I mentioned this in my initial post). She’s a little fireball; she never ceases to amaze me. She ran this race after having broken her tail bone a few weeks back and still managed to complete the race in an awesome time. Now she’s trying to recruit more of our friends for next year’s event… so sneaky! Her cousin also joined us.
Half Marathon 010   Half Marathon 007

Dave thought I was crazy from the very beginning yet supported me the entire way. Around mile 7 I saw him on the sidelines, I even managed to squeeze in a quick kiss which was a great boost for the rest of the race. After I was done he asked if I was considering a full marathon (which I’m not) but if I was, he wanted to kow if there was anything he could say to talk me out of it lol. Let’s just say running over 2 miles is amazing to him; he did promise me he’ll run a 5K with me. In that case, we can be amazing together.
Half Marathon 011

the course
The course was relatively flat with a little bit of an incline in the beginning and the end with most of it being along the shore of the Potomac River. It passed right in front of the U.S. Capitol and also graced other top attractions like the National Mall, WWII Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Lincoln Memorial. The weather was great, around mid-60’s but it was a bit windy. I purchased a long sleeve shirt branded with the event the day before that I ended up taking with me and I’m glad I did because it was a quite chilly especially in the beginning. I ended up taking it off and wrapping it around my hips before mile 7.
Half Marathon 008
There were over 15k runners! For me, this was specifically noticeable during the first mile; runners were running at different paces (some were walking) which caused me to either slow down or zig-zag around them. After the initial mile, I tried to keep my pace throughout the course. I picked up my pace in the last mile which took a lot out of me; I was really exhausted and there was a bit of an uphill around the 20k mark. The final chip time is noted below for the various markers and the finish; I averaged a 9:29 pace and happy to say that I didn’t stop once, which I was very happy about.
Race Results
I can’t say whether I’ll do this again but for now I’m happy to have done it (I got the tiffany’s necklace to prove it!). The better question is what shall I get myself into next? I have a few ideas up my sleeve ;)
Half Marathon 012

ready or not, here I come

taper week
And by taper, do you mean drastically? In that case we are doing just fine… just kidding… well maybe. I can’t believe it’s race week already, I’ve seriously surprised myself through this entire process. I was intimated at first but it’s amazing the things you can accomplish with a little bit of determination, some motivation, a whole lot of heart. I ran 5 miles this past week near where my parents live in NH. I knew that if I was going to run at all I needed to do it then so I packed a bag with my shoes and running clothes and went for a run while the fam chit-chatted after Easter dinner. The particular path I took had a lot of rolling hills which was good since I’ve had little exposure to it while training. The actual race path has a few of them although it’s relatively flat which is great for noobs like me :). My long runs have averaged about a 10 minute pace so that’s about where I’m hoping to be on race day. Unfortunately work has been kinda crazy lately so I haven’t been able to run as much as I’ll like and overall running in general has tapered considerably, not just this week but the last few weeks. However, having been on point with the training prior to this has given me the confidence I needed. I’m not intimidated anymore, I got this… here I come.

saint eggs: a less sinner version of deviled eggs

In the spirit of Easter, I was inspired to create what I call “Saint Eggs” which is less sinner version of Deviled Eggs. The holiness behind these Saint Eggs are due to the fact that NO mayonnaise is used in this recipe. In fact, instead of using mayonnaise I substituted it with cauliflower purée. Then the Saint Eggs were topped off with a few drops of the halo goodness white truffle oil.

SaintEggs     SaintEggs2

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catch me if you can

peak week
This past week I ran twice. I’m obviously not keeping up with the training program but Kenne said that if I’m able to keep up with the long runs I should be fine and so far I am so, I’m gonna take her word for it. I did five miles on Saturday (9:09 pace) and 12 miles on Sunday (10:09 pace). That’s the most I’ve ever ran and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. There’s a nice sweet spot, usually after mile 4 where I get in the zone and just run, and run and I don’t need to stop. This time I made just one stop because I saw this beautiful lake view and I just had to take a picture, I had to. I mean how else would I have documented my run if not with a nature picture? :) After that I pretty much ran the rest of the way which hands down is the longest I’ve ran without stopping but it felt really good. I would love to be able to say that I ran my first half marathon non-stop but it’s better not to set any expectations especially since it’ll be hard to control my twitchy fingers with my camera. I’m such a sucker for pictures. ugh.