Soup IS a Meal

by Sue

I will just go ahead and apologize in advance, as this will not be anywhere near as interesting as Kelly’s upcoming vacation recap post. And yes, I am sooo jealous! But I know that she and Ryan are enjoying some much needed time away.

Sunday I decided I would stock up on dinner for the upcoming work week and made my friend Kathy’s (who happens to be THE best cook I know) Stuffed Pepper Soup. Her husband however jokes that “soup is not a meal”. What?? He is missing out, let me tell you. He will be sorry when Kathy and I move in together and enjoy seven course gourmet meals, while the boys are left at the other house with their pizza and Doritos. Anyway, it was perfect for a chilly fall day and for using up all the green peppers from my garden.

It’s been a good running week so far, as I was able to get all of this in without having to wake up in the middle of the night to get it done.

Monday: 9 treadmill miles in 78:40.

Tuesday: 8 treadmill miles in 68:48.

Wednesday: 7 treadmill miles in 59:46.

Thursday: 4 treadmill miles in 34:20.

Not every girl is lucky enough to have her husband bring her home one of these. I’m 5’4″ by the way.

And yes, it’s going in the basement.

And no, it’s not in the soup.


The Mileage is Getting Higher….

by Sue

Monday: I had just gotten started on the treadmill (2 miles in 17:46) with the intention of doing 10, when Ryan called. So, I left (reluctantly? OK, maybe) Drs. Troy and McNamara and met him on the trail. 11 more miles (1:34) for a total of 13 today. The bonus was I’d have 3 less miles to do on Wednesday.

Tuesday: 4 treadmill miles in 33:42.

Wednesday: 6 treadmill miles in 51:41.

Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: Long run on the trail with Ryan before he and Kelly left for vacation. Nothing says dorky, awkward, almost-trip-over-your-own-feet JUMP! than when you run smack into one of these:

This was the first of two.

So, the run….it was bad. It really was. Why this felt so hard and miserable compared to last weekend’s 20, I haven’t a clue. Even Ryan had a hard time. A little discouraging but I got it done. And it was nice having the weekend free. 20 miles in 2:58.

I did read this appropriately-timed article in October’s Runner’s World as I sat (uncomfortably) for 2 hours at gymnastics practice internally whining about my everything hurting post-20 miles. It did offer some good strategies which I will keep in mind for the future.


And apparently pancakes are the perfect blend of carbs and protein….


They had some great healthy and nutritional twists on the plain old pancake….looks delicious!

Saturday: 4 slow treadmill miles in 35:09.

Sunday: Rest day.

47 total miles for the week.

Workouts and some favorite things

By Kelly


Wednesday-Work-out with Trainer Josh

Thursday-Tone it up DVD-(just got it and love it!)

Friday-Work out with Trainer Josh

Saturday-Bike 15+ miles on Trail & Tone it up DVD

It is rare that I am not signed up for a race.  One of the biggest reasons is because it keeps me following a training plan and therefore I don’t have to think too much about what my workouts are going to be each week.   Most of my typical training plans are 4 to 5 days of running, working out with my trainer 1 to 2 times a week, add in hiking with Ryan, walking the dogs and I usually have burned enough calories to allow me to maintain my weight without trying too hard.

With the Marine Corp Marathon on a year delay and a knee that is still preventing me from standing with my leg totally straight, I need to map out some workouts that will maintain a good level of cardio while allowing my body to heal properly.   Some thoughts are adding in more workouts with trainer Josh, spinning and maybe some yoga.   I have a huge fear  cutting back on my running, but I have an even greater fear of injuring myself even more.   Vacation is right around the corner, so I am going to spend some of my time in the air mapping out my workout schedule for when I get home.

My new favorite workout song…International Love by Pitbull (I know I am in my 40’s and should be listening to 80’s music but I love this song)

My new favorite t-shirt…

Ryan’s favorite saying to me while running.   I found it at the Chicago Half Marathon Expo.   How could I not get it?  It is made by Lift your Sole.  They have a lot of great running inspired items.

My new favorite read…

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

My SIL Susie recommended I read Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, I am only a few chapters in, but I love it so far.   She has incorporated his recommended “heart rate training” into her long runs.

My new favorite cookbook…

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook: Explosive Flavors from the Southwestern Kitchen

My favorite recipe in the book is Sophie’s Chopped Salad.   It has the most incredible dressing that is just a few simple clean ingredients.

My favorite thing about our neighborhood…

All the deer.   Although they do tend to eat some of our landscaping…they are so fun to watch.   Last night I came home and a fawn was curled up in the grass at the end of our driveway.   I didn’t want to scare him off so I opted not to take a picture, but I did capture this picture this afternoon.

That is six of the 10 I saw within a quarter-mile of our house.

I Credit the Cake

by Sue

Monday: 9 treadmill miles in 79:38

Tuesday: 4 treadmill miles in 34:25

Wednesday: 10 treadmill miles in 88:08

Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: Rest day.

My SIL was in town for the weekend and my MIL and I took her to the Backwoods Fest in Thornville, OH, about an hour away. It’s an awesome arts and crafts fest set in the woods. The outdoorsy, fall-like atmosphere is what makes it. Tons of cool stuff, tons of amazing food….no fair food here!

We all had the vegetable soup cooked old-fashioned style in a giant kettle over a wood fire.

One might say 5 bucks is a bit steep for a slice of pumpkin spice cake with whipped cream, but not when the piece is literally 1/4 of an entire cake. Hey….I had 20 miles on deck for the next day.

Got some early Xmas shopping done and this for me:


Saturday long run: Although luckily it didn’t work out that way, originally I thought I was going to have to break this one up due to time and child care. So when I met Kelly (who thankfully biked while I ran so that I wouldn’t be devoid of all human contact) on the trail early, I didn’t have 20 miles in my mind, more like 14 now plus 6 later. The weather was cool and perfect, and despite being Ryan-less, I was feeling pretty good so I decided at about 13.5 that I was going to go for it just to be DONE. Since I hadn’t planned for it, no water and no fuel. But….20 almost-solo miles in 2:52! Not sure how I pulled that off, but I was SUPER excited about that pace and the fact that I felt GOOD!

Sunday: Rest day.

43 total miles for the week.

1 chick runs 26

…and the other will be cheering her on with the marines.    After struggling through 13.1 last Sunday, I know my body is not ready for 26.2 on October 28th.  So yesterday I made it official….The Marine Corp Marathon allows you to defer your race registration from 2012 to 2013 for a small fee.  Although I am 100% certain it was the right thing to do, I know I will be sad on race day.   I feel like I am leaving Sue in good company with Ryan and Ryan II.

After 4 rest days , I ran/walked on 3 on the treadmill today.   My calf feels a lot better, but my knee is now bothering me.  I read somewhere that one injury can cause another and another.   I am going to back down on my miles, but try to add some other cross training activities into my workout schedule.

On a more happy note…during the fall we usually travel a bit.  For our 2013 fall travel schedule we have some exciting trips planned…  starting with a trip to Santa Fe.   One of the highlights of this trip will be the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival Grand Tasting.

Basically it is overindulgence at its best.   Described by the organizers as “The Wine Event with All Those Great Restaurants beckons you to spend a glorious afternoon at The Santa Fe Opera! Featuring tastes from 75 of Santa Fe’s finest restaurants and sips from 100 world-class wineries. The most fun you can have with a wine glass!”   If you have never been to Santa Fe, you need to go; 320 days of sunshine and the most beautiful scenic views.

I am single this week-end.   Ryan is hiking the Appalachian trail with a friend.  The night before they started the hike they decided to carbo load a bit.



Chicago Half Recap

by Sue

Saturday: Rest day and day to enjoy the city. Did the touristy things with the girls. Their favorite parts:

The ferris wheel at Navy Pier, and….

American Girl Place

Sunday Race Day Recap: A beautiful, cool morning….could not have asked for better weather conditions. The majority of the course ran along the lake (it was an up and back). Like most races, it was a little tight at the beginning, even toward the front, but nice and open after the first 4 miles or so. Overall it was well-organized, super nice people, and tons of food at the finish. I’d definitely run this one again.

My strategy: of course I would have loved to PR. My plan was to slow myself down more at the beginning (since I have a bad habit of starting out too fast) so that I could really give it my all the last few miles. Which was smart for me as I felt pretty good at the end. As you know, I am a numbers girl, so I decided as long as I finished in 1:40-something I’d be good with that. So, it was 13.1 in 1:49:14. Not a PR, not a PS (Personal Slowest as Pam says), but a PM (Personal Maintain).

Kelly, me, and Pam

I think our group of six did amazingly well. My husband reached his goal of a sub-2:00, and Kelly ran a more than respectable time WHILE INJURED. Talk about mental toughness.

Thoughts on the shirt? We have mixed feelings….I think I like it?

After the race we could finally relax (e.g. eat and drink more). And, like Kelly said, really the best part was being able to spend time with good friends and family and doing it somewhere fun. Plus shopping is always a bonus. Hope you had an amazing birthday, Tara!

Best meal of the weekend winner: The Weber Grill. Absolutely the best meal I’ve had in a long time. I love fall comfort food….and their Fall Inspirations menu took it to a whole other level.

This is the plank grilled scallops and butternut squash risotto. Not pictured were the roasted Brussels sprouts and whipped sweet potatoes with bourbon maple butter. And I totally regret not ordering the spiced pumpkin creme brulee. Seriously, what was I thinking??

Now….back to reality….

38.1 total miles for the week.

Sweet Dreams are Made of This…

That was the quote that was written on the mirror above our beds at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago.  Honestly the only sweet dream I had been to run a pain-free (even if slow) 13.1 miles.   Sunday morning we woke up at 4:45 am and caught a train to the race start.   It was perfect running weather cool and dry.   We all wished each other good luck and off we went.   I felt ok until mile 5 when my injured calf started to hurt.   I slowed down and added some walk breaks in and made it through 13.1 painful miles in 2:33 minutes.  It was slow, but not a PW (personal worst) so I can’t be too disappointed.     The race was well-organized with great crowd support and a nice flat scenic course.   I would love to run it again if given the opportunity.

After the race we went up to the John Hancock building and had a drink and enjoyed the beautiful view.

Thank you Sue Junior for capturing Chicago’s incredible skyline in this picture

In addition to the race, my 48 hours in Chicago were filled with eating, drinking, shopping and some more shopping.   I loved having hours to wander through the shops on Michigan Avenue.   Since I live in a small town the closest real shopping is 90 miles away, so this was so much fun for me.   But by far the very best part of the weekend was spending it with Pam, Sue and Tara .  They are three of my favorite people who I feel like I never have enough time with.     Texting and phone conversations just can’t compare to actually being together and filling a weekend  with great memories.     Each of them have such amazing qualities as a friend and I am so lucky to have them in my life.    Add in Sue’s husband, kids and G-ma W(Sue’s MIL), Danielle (a friend of Taras ) and Justin (Taras significant other) and it ended up being an incredible week-end.  The only thing missing was Ryan who had to work this weekend.

We celebrated Tara’s birthday and finishing the half marathon at Weber Grill.   Tara, I hope your wish (whatever that might be) comes true.

Happy Birthday Tara!!



Chicago Bound….

by Sue

Monday: Despite being really sore from
Sunday, I manned up and got this run done for the week, since I only had so many days this week to get a medium-ish run in. 9 treadmill miles in 79:30.

I couldn’t decide what the best training approach was this week. According to the Runner’s World marathon plan I had 4-9-8-4 miles plus the half this weekend. Seems like a lot of miles just prior to a half that ideally I want to do well in. Therefore my compromise with myself was to keep the mileage but slow things WAY down, including the short runs.

Tuesday: rest day.

Wednesday: 8 treadmill miles in 71:50.

Thursday: 8 treadmill miles in 70:40.

Friday: rest day.

Off to Chicago for the Chicago Half, but also for some FUN! Recap to come next week….

In the meantime, this will be my view for the next 7.5 hours:


Labor Day Weekend

by Sue

Labor Day weekend….a semi-crazy long holiday weekend for Kelly and myself. We both had family in, and along with all the (lots of!) fun, does come a lot of work. Add the long run into the mix and we are exhausted.

Thursday: rest day.

Friday: 4 treadmill miles in 33:50.

Saturday: rest day.

Sunday long run: Pouring Down Rain. For 16 out of 18 miles. Had I been in a swimming pool, I would have been less wet. We must have looked completely insane, had anyone else actually been out to see us. 18 miserable miles with Ryan and his cousin Bud (I can’t remember what his real name is, but for the purpose of this post, let’s just refer to him as Ryan II….so now you have a basic idea of exactly what I was running with). We stayed together til the last 3 or 4 miles, then Ryan II took off ahead, while the original Ryan hung back with me, most likely because he felt sorry for me. I actually reached a point where I wanted to cry. Finished in 2:48.

I was definitely feeling the after effects of this one. Kelly suggested Vitamin I (for ibuprofen); I think Vitamin M (for morphine) would have been more effective. All joking and complaining aside, I really did try to keep in mind, once again, that no matter how bad it got, I am lucky enough to be able to do this.

A great find….Simply Vera Wang at Kohl’s….and they so nicely cover up the foot damage incurred this weekend.

41 total miles for the week.