Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today, I have no words for Wednesday

No words that can offer encouragement, motivation or inspiration anyway.  Instead I can only offer a few thoughts.

Life is precious.  Life can be way to short.  Life can be unforgiving and it can be wonderful.

Your life is what you make it.

But what if you only had four days?

What if you had only four days to live a lifetime?  To learn the love of a mother and father.  To know what it means to have a sister.  To know the sun.  To begin to crawl, learn to run.

What if you only had four days?

To my two dear friends,
I know your hearts are heavy and I have no way to offer comfort.  I have no words that can make it even slightly easier to bear.

And to their dearest little one,
You were and will continue to be cherished by the most loving and giving parents.  And though I never met you, and even in your four days, you have taught me a lifetime of lessons and reminded me that every day is a gift.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I don't know which is more bad a$$

Running 10 miles in sub 30 degree weather when there was an ice storm the night before?

Or running 10 miles on a freaking treadmill for an hour and a half with no music and only the the side pony tail boppers, men with their guts sucked in as the boppers bop by and the Wiggles on the television to keep you occupied.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What's that you say?

You didn't know?

You mean you don't have a gift for me?

Don't worry my friend, I won't hold it against you.

I know it's a crime that the entire country has not shut down for this very special day.

It is a national holiday after all.

And it's unfortunate that we can't do it justice.

Which day is that I speak of, you ask?

Why, my friend........................

It's National Peanut Butter Day!!!

excuse me while I (nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom)......

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Words for Wednesday

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.

- Doug Firebaugh, author
as found at Runner's World

Monday, January 21, 2013


I'm having one of those days.  You know the kind I'm talking about.  No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to turn it around, it was just doomed to fail as soon as that alarm clock went off.  I'm not sure exactly why it happens.  It just does.  And no matter how much you'd love to just go back to bed and hide under the covers waiting for this one to be over and another one to begin, well, you just can't.  So I thought I would present a top ten list....

Top 10 Things To Do So You And Everyone That Crosses Your Path Makes It Out Alive

  1. Make sure you consume an ample amount of coffee.
  2. Eat 2 portions of comfort food for lunch.
  3. Try not to make eye contact with anyone.
  4. Have a supply of chocolate at the ready.
  5. No angry or annoying music on your Pandora station, soothing tunes only.
  6. Drink more coffee.
  7. Remind yourself to breathe.
  8. Don't stare at the clock.
  9. Utilize ear buds if you have 'em.  Remember, soothing tunes only.
  10. Make coffee into that of the Irish variety....

I have done none of if you're within a 20 foot radius, my best advice?  No sudden movements and back away slowly.

I'm only human folks.  It's just one of those days.
Tomorrow will have to be my reset button.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Where there's a will, there's a way

Or how 'bout "if you want something bad enough...."

I used to hate both those phrases.  They always sounded so cliche.  But, if it is one thing I learned this past autumn while training for a marathon, working and taking classes simultaneously is that if you truly want something, if you are truly committed to seeing something through....

Where there's a will, there's a way.

I NEVER thought I would say that, let alone be living proof of it.  But here I am.  Proof.

Up at 4:15-4:30 a.m. nearly every morning.
Home 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the evening.
Some workouts in the morning when most were still in bed, fast asleep.
Some workouts in the evening when some were out having that after work cocktail.
Homework.  Housework. Grocery shopping, cooking, meal planning.....

eat, exercise, eat, work, class, eat, work, eat, swim, eat, housework, make dinner, eat, pack lunch and bag for the next day, dishes, eat, homework, eat, sleep....wash dry and repeat.
(yes...lots of of the perks of marathon training!)

Why?  Why on earth would I do this to myself?  Well friends, I didn't quite know why then and I still can't quite put my finger on it.  Because I wanted to be able to say I did it?  Because maybe it would bring my journey full circle?  I wanted to see if I could do it?  To make someone proud?  I wanted that damn sticker on my car?  To prove to those that didn't think I could, that I could and I would? To, for once, be able to say I was part of a "1%"?  Wouldn't it be something fantastic if I could pull all this off?  I don't know....  

One thing I do know is that from now on, I will be very careful how I use the words "I can't".  Because if it's one thing I've proven is that I can.  I can do most things I never thought I could, that I never thought possible.  I have met adversity.  I've met my share of obstacles, of that there is no doubt.  I've met pain.  I've met sorrow.  I've met disappointment.  I have seen anger and felt despair.  But I kept going.  I saw it through.   

I did it.  
No one else.

I gave myself gifts.  Yes, I'm healthy.  Yes, I'm fit.  But don't you see?   It is so much more than that. I have finally given myself the gift of confidence, the gift of pride and the gift of happiness.

There are of course days I have to remind myself of this.  Especially now when a new school semester and training cycle has started and I'm running around wound up tighter than a Timex (wait, everything is digital now, isn't it? so does this saying still make sense?)...

You want me to

  • write a 20 page paper?
  • run a 7:00 minute/mile?
  • participate in class discussions (intelligently)?
  • be at the gym at 5:30 for spin class?
  • quit peanut butter?
  • swim in a lake?

There is no way that I can do............hold on.  Yes I can.

except for the peanut butter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Words for Wednesday

It is the mind that makes the body.

                                                                                                                         - Sojourner Truth

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Sign of "Senioritis"....

too bad I'll be a senior for an additional (at minimum) 2 years.

.....slaps hand to forehead.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Words for Wednesday

If we wait for the moment when everything,
absolutely everything, 
is ready, 
we shall never begin.

-Ivan Turgenev, Russian novelist and playwright

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Food for Thought: Romantic Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

I'll tell ya, nothing makes me feel more refined than cooking with wine.  Why? I have no idea, so just hush it and let me enjoy the illusion...

Also, I'm not sure why they call this "Romantic Chicken", because honestly, how romantic can chicken be?  So, in my house, I call it Artichoke Chicken.  Makes more sense to me.

Anyway.  I promised to bring you delicious, healthy (for the most part) and EASY recipes.  I've made this one a few times before and wanted to share it with you.  I found this gem at  I tend to serve this on a bed of whole wheat linguine and a veggie.  I like asparagus :)

Romantic Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

Here's my dinner
(and that's my lunch off to the right)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (HOPE'S NOTE: I half the halves, keeping each portion to about 4oz)
salt and pepper, to taste
1TBSP olive oil
1TBSP butter
1 (14oz) jar/can marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and liquid reserved
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup white wine *
1TBSP capers

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown chicken in skillet for about 5-7 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

In same skillet, place artichoke hearts and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are brown and tender.

Return chicken to skillet, add reserved liquid from artichokes and the wine, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear).

Stir in capers, simmer for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Yields: 4 servings

Nutritional Info (not including pasta or vegetable!):
312 cal; 75mg cholesterol; 3.9g fiber; 426mg sodium; 9.6g carbs; 16.2g fat; 25g protein

* I've tried a few different brands of pinot gris with this, and it's been good.  Last night I used Mirrasou Riesling....and I felt like I hit the lottery!  The sweetness of the Riesling seemed to compliment the flavors of the artichokes and capers extremely well.

Having problems keeping to portions?  When I'm plating our dinner, I have my tupperware ready to go and portion out my lunch at the same time.  That way, it is already put away and I'm not tempted to go back for seconds that I really don't need.

Still have a lot of leftovers?  Why not grab another tupperware and treat a friend to a homemade meal.

Happy eating!