Sunday, May 1, 2011

Taking a Break....

Hello everyone! It has been a few weeks since I last posted. I have been dealing with a few things, so I have been a little unavailable. I will be back soon and I can assure you that I am still enjoying all your blogs.

I also have been doing a little running and today has been the first day it felt great! I will update everyone on how I have handled this injury soon. But I was able to run 6.2 miles (slowly) pain free!

 Hope everyone is doing well. And I leave you with some pictures of a fun pizza competition I went to last night at a friend's house! (Ours sadly didn't cook properly, so it was a little wet. But still good!)
Pizza 1 (Our pizza): Red sauce, Mushroom mix, Rosemary, green onion, Fontina cheese, Parsley

Pizza #2: Blue cheese and dates
Pizza #3(My favorite of the night!!!): Prosciutto, goat cheese, olive tapenade, red sauce, and shredded cheese, Rosemary

Our Hosts
Pizza #4: Shrimp, Secrete sauce, mozzarella cheese, spices

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little of This and A Little of That

Hello! This week has been crazy and I can't believe it is almost Friday (and I have next week off!!). As far as an update on my knee, I don't have much to update you on. Just that I haven't run all week! This is what I have done instead of running:

Monday: 30 minutes stairs, triceps and shoulders
Tuesday: 45 minute spinning class
Wednesday: 75 minute intermediate yoga
Thursday: 30 minutes stairs, back and chest

Since it is supposed to be nice outside tomorrow, Evan suggested that we try and run a little bit. I think it might be OK to try maybe a 3 mile run and if anything starts to hurt, walk. If I am still feeling pain after a week of rest I think it might be time to get an X-ray to make sure something else isn't wrong. We will see and I am hoping for the best!

Even though this week has been busy, Evan and I made some great meals. Here are the best two!

Sunday (and tonight): Vegetable Lasagna

Wednesday: BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Rice Pilaf and Brussels Sprouts


How is your week going? Have you made any tasty meals this week?

Wish me luck on my run....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spinning, Yoga, and Walking... Oh My!

Thank you all for your advice and comments regarding my injury, it means SO much to me!!! So, needless to say there was no running this weekend! I am actually pretty sad because it was an amazing (weather wise) weekend in Boston. Today, I think, the high is 65 and sunny! However, I tried not to let the weather and the fact that I could be running in a race on this beautiful day get me down.

I took a wonderful spinning class Saturday morning and my legs did not hurt me one bit. I approached the teacher after class (because she seemed to really know her stuff) and asked about my injury. She explained that it sounds like the muscles below my knee and above my knee must be VERY tight. She didn't think it was too serious because it does not hurt during non impact activity. Her suggestions were to NOT run, stretch, ice and foam roll the areas above and below the knee.

After spin I spent some time with the foam roller. Immediately after rolling out my IT band and calf muscle, I got a BAD charlie horse in my calf (the same leg with the injury). It was really bad (and embarrassing in the gym) because I was jumping around and making weird faces. Maybe I hit something while rolling....

In addition, last night while sleeping I awoke to a major pain in my right (the other leg) quad. What is going on with my body??? So, I decided to cancel my plans of stairs and weight lifting to attend a yoga class today (I am really trying hard to listen to my body). The yoga class was OK today. It was the same studio as before, but a basic class. It was good, but went a little too slow for my liking. I think I will try to stick mainly to the intermediate classes. Anyways, it was still GREAT to get some good stretching in. I think my body was thanking me.

After the class was through I walked outside to AMAZING weather and was instantly depressed that I was not running Doyle's and taking advantage of this beautiful day. So, in order to make myself feel a little better I thought even though I can't run, I can still walk. And I went on a nice 3 mile walk around the city through Boston Common and Beacon Hill. It was actually nice for a change to SLOW down and enjoy the amazing city of Boston.

I know in my last post I mentioned that I might walk the race, but this weekend just got SO busy and I have an intense week coming up that I couldn't commit to the time it would take to get there, walk 5 miles and go to an after party (b/c I couldn't go all the way to the race without participating in the after party, come on...haha). So, I decided to just forgo the race and concentrate on getting better and preparing for my week.

If you ran the Doyle's race how did it go? 

In other news, I had a nice night out with friends last night. We dined at the OtherSide Cafe, a vegetarian heavy restaurant with a GREAT beer list. The table started with the nachos with vegetarian chili and guacamole.

I ordered a Pretty Things Jack D'Or, which was amazing and actually a little heavy for a Saison style beer.

For my entree, I ordered the "Mock Chicken Salad," which was ground pecans, cashews & sunflower seeds mixed with cucumbers, celery and tart green apples, served over simple green salad with a lemon wedge. It was VERY good and came with a nice and soft roll.

Sorry the pictures came out HORRIBLE because the lighting was NOT good!!
After dinner the group headed over to Kings for some bowling. Although we had to wait a little bit for a lane it was a fun night!! 

Even though I am not much of a bowler, it was still a GREAT night!! Hope you all had a good weekend and those of you who ran the Doyle's race (or anything other races) I hope you had a great race!! 

I am not sure what my blog schedule will be like this week because it is going to be a CRAZY week, but I will try my best. Have a GREAT week!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update and Fun Date

So, things don't look good. I attempted to run again and the pain returned. I ran on the treadmill to test out my legs for the race on Sunday. For the first 5 minutes I felt fine and had no pain. Then for the second 5 minutes I had about a level 3-4 (out of 10-10 being unbearable) of pain. For minutes 10-15 the pain went to about a 5 and for the the final 5 minutes I was experiencing about a 6 or 7 amount of pain. So by 20 minutes I decided to stop because the pain was getting worse instead of better. I came home and iced my knee.

The good news is that the outside of the knee did not hurt while I was walking back from the gym or sitting. While I was icing my knee I did a little Internet research and found that my symptoms were consistent with the Lateral Collateral ligament strain. I do not think it is pulled or severely injured because the pain is not severe and does not hurt while walking. The information on-line suggests icing, ibuprofen, and raising the leg. In addition, reducing physical activity is also recommended.

So, my plan for the next week (or two) is: I am not going to run the race on Sunday (I might walk it or if someone wants to buy my number from me for 1/2 price PLEASE let me know), I am going to do more yoga (I attended a yoga class at 02 yoga and loved it!), walk more for exercise, continue to weight lift, and maybe do some light non impact cardio (elliptical, stair climber, bike). If it still hurts in 2 weeks I will go see a doctor.

What do you think? Any suggestions? What do you do when you have a running injury?

Well on to some good news......

Tuesday evening my friends and I had our 4th book club meeting on Sarah's Key

Laura hosted the event and did a wonderful job preparing a lovely fondue spread

She melted Swiss and Gruyere cheese


Carrots and apples

French baguette and focaccia bread

and (unphotographed) roasted potatoes. Laura also made an amazing spinach salad

For dessert I brought vegan chocolate cupcakes and my friend Vicki brought a fruit salad. YUMMM!!

The book club discussion was interesting and heated at points. Most of the girls did not like the book and thought the plot was lacking; however, they thought it was entertaining. In addition they felt the protagonist was weak and not someone they could relate with. Although they did enjoy the parts about Sarah and learning about a part of French history that is not discussed often.

If you have read Sarah's key, did you enjoy it? What did you think of the maine character?

Overall it was a wonderful evening with great food, wine and discussion!! Off to eat chocolate and relax. Enjoy your night!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Date Night

Thank you all for your sweet comments and advice! I really, really appreciate your support! Injuries (as most of you know) are difficult both physically and emotionally. An update on my leg is that it was feeling MUCH better today, so I thought I could take a low impact aerobics class. So, I took a half hour abs class followed by a step class, BAD IDEA! About halfway through the class my injury hurt, so I stopped. I guess I wasn't as pain free as I thought.

Anyways...on to some good news. Saturday night Evan and I had a nice date night to celebrate...well,  nothing. We went to Riccardos Ristorante in the North End. We had a 25$ gift from and decided Saturday was a perfect time to use it.

Evan and I had dined here once before for a birthday party and really enjoyed the food. The inside decor was similar to many of the other restaurants in the North End, but a little more casual.

We started with a bottle of Chianti Classico from a favorite winery: Ruffino

This bottle was pretty good, but not incredible. Good table wine to go with Italian food, but not amazing.  We started with the spinach salad with candied pecans, pancetta and Parmesan cheese.

The salad came with a house made honey mustard and I asked the waiter for it on the side. Our waiter was not very good and had a hard time understanding our requests. And he brought us a red wine vinaigrette on the side. When I asked for the house made dressing he again did not know what we were talking about and it took him about 10 minutes to figure it out. When the dressing finally arrived the salad was great! I liked all the different flavors, especially the fresh Parmesan.

For my entree, I of course got the salmon (this has been my thing this past month), maybe I am having an Omega deficiency and my body is trying to tell me something......

The salmon was prepared with lemon, capers and a white wine on the sauce. It was AMAZING, by far my favorite salmon of the past month. I LOVED this flavor combo and the fish was VERY fresh!! I just LOVED it and it was only $19! Not bad for the North End!!!

Evan ordered the veal Parmesan

This was also very good (I had a few bites). I enjoyed the sauce and the veal was prepared well. Overall, our dining experience at Riccardo's was good; the food was reasonably priced, they had reasonably priced wine, the food was VERY good, but the service was bad. The waiter even forgot to bring us bread, until we asked twice.

Even though we couldn't move after dinner, we didn't want our night to end. So, we went up to Top of the Hub on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center for a little music and one final drink.

Once we arrived the band was in full swing.

and I enjoyed a lemon and ginger martini.

Wow was this strong, but GOOD!!! A great night with amazing company!!!! I hope you had a good weekend!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I am afraid I have some bad news....I think I may have injured myself, again. Just when everything was going well, I knew it couldn't last forever...But let's not jinx the situation too early!!!

Ok, so here's the story: Today was a beautiful day in Boston. Weather was around 50 and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. A perfect day for a run around the Charles River. So I headed out around noon and did just that.

My first mile wasn't too good because I was a little tired (and hungover), but I quickly got out of it and my next three miles were 8:20 minutes/mile and lower!!! Things were just great; I started feeling great, my body felt good and my headache went away. I was admiring the beautiful scenery that is Boston and cursing myself for, again, not bringing a camera. And that is when it hit!

Around 4.5 miles I felt a sharp pain in the back of my knee (the knee that was injured a year and half ago). I immediately stopped to check out what was going on and noticed that it might be my knee brace just rubbing funny on the back of my knee. So, I removed it and did a few stretches and was on my way.

Not 2 seconds later the sharp pain came back again and again. Ahh....I stopped again and did some more stretches, messaged the area and shook out my legs. I tried running for about .3-.4 miles (just over the Mass Ave. bridge), but there was no luck, the pain just would not go away.

I knew (from previous experience) that if I continued to run on the knee it would result in a worse injury. So, I made a decision to walk the last mile home. It wasn't all bad, I still got to enjoy the nice weather outside. But I was REALLY angry and upset inside thinking a) my nice workout was ruined and b) I have to deal with another injury and so close to a race (next Sunday).

Once home I iced all areas of my knee and stretched. I took a shower and ate lunch and then iced just the back of my knee again for 10 minutes. I did a few more stretches and then just let my legs rest.

I can report now, 4 hours later, that I am still experiencing a sharp pain in the back of my knee; however it doesn't feel as severe. My plan is to "rest" my legs the 2 next days and reassess Tuesday. If I feel no pain on Tuesday while walking, I might try the treadmill at the gym; however if I feel ANY pain I will immediately get off and do the stairs or elliptical.

I am not sure what is up for next Sunday's race, but I will see how the week goes and how my legs are feeling. I am certainly not ruining my running season with a 5 mile race, even though I was really looking forward to it. But I am hopeful and think I might have just pulled something small and with rest and time it will heal...

What are your thoughts and/or suggestions in dealing with an unwanted leg pain/injury?

On a good note, I had a really fun night out with the girls last night. We went to a bar in Faneuil Hall to help raise money for three girls running the Boston marathon for the Boston Public Schools debate teams. It was a lot of fun, too much fun that I forgot to take pictures (sorry!!).

I will make sure to make it up to you by snapping some photos of Evan's and my meal in the North End tonight.... Be back with details (and pictures)!!!

How is your weekend going?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Should runners count calories?

I have talked on this blog from time to time about nutrition, health and weight. Nutrition is very important to me because I need to eat "right" in order to be a good/strong runner and also because I have a strong interest in nutrition. That is why, my interest was piqued when I came across this video/article on 

I actually agree a lot with the Matt Fitzgerald and appreciated it when he compared counting calories to a set of training wheels on a bike: It is helpful at the beginning of learning to eat healthy, but does need to be used strictly once you get the hang of it.

Which brings me to the next point I liked: counting calories does not need to be a 100% accurate. Personally, I am aware (caloric and feeling-wise) about how many calories I eat per day. I am not trying to lose any weight, but I am also not trying to gain any. So, for my body and activity level, I eat/ need about 2,000 calories per day.

In addition, I like and don't like the point he made that counting calories can help train people how to eat healthy. I think it is important for one's health to stay in a particaular caloric zone. However, something can be 100 calories (ahh 100 calorie snack bars) and not be great for you vs. a Larabar that is 200 calories and is really healthy for you. So, I guess what I am saying is not only should one be concerned with how many calories they eat per day, but also the quality of calories they are eating. 

Finally, I do think competitive runners should loosely count calories, especially ones training for a full marathon. Like I mentioned before, weight gain can be pretty significant during marathon training. And most report it is due to the fact that people think they can consume more than their body is burning. So, LOOSE calorie counting can be helpful (NOTE: one does need to consume more calories on days of long runs and should consult a professional for appropriate guidelines). 

Also, when you are training for a long distance run your body craves good, nutritious foods. So, by being aware of what you eat can force you to fuel your body with healthy foods. But as in any guidelines or plan there should always be room for "cheat" days/meals where you can indulge in your favorite foods!!!

Do you think it is helpful to count calories? Should runners count calories?

In other news, I ran 6 miles on the treadmill today (Boston has snow in the forecast) in 53 minutes. It was actually a great run from start to finish. I felt great the whole time and didn't get bored once! I was blasting my ipod and dancing/singing for all the gym to see. I must have had extra energy today....

I hope you are all having a GREAT week!!!! Almost the weekend.......