November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Race

This is what I planned on wearing to the Thanksgiving Day Race...
Short sleeve race day shirt, arm warmers, running pants, and my new Asics running shoes...Below is a picture of the additional items I wore the morning of the run...
That's right - it was quite the rainy morning on Thanksgiving Day, so I added the poncho, a baseball hat and a shower cap to the race day outfit!

As it turned out, the majority of the rain came down in the hour leading up to the race, so when we crossed the start line it was only a light sprinkle. Once the race started, I warmed up quickly so I ditched the poncho between mile 1 - mile 2 and the shower cap came off between mile 3 - mile 4. The race was pretty fun despite the rain and I enjoyed seeing all the girls from my training group on Thanksgiving Day!

My time for the race was very similar to my time for my first 10k, so I didn't go breaking any personal records with the Thanksgiving Day Race but it was an awesome accomplishment to finish a second 10k this year. My official time was 1:23:38 and my pace was 13:30 per mile, so I was right on track with my timing all through my training runs.

I enjoyed seeing all the runners and spectators along the race course who were shouting out "Happy Thanksgiving" and other words of encouragement. Some people wore the turkey or pilgrim hats, others had on full turkey costumes - overall, it was a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving Day holiday!

November 24, 2010

A Day to Give Thanks

Warm wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving this week to all my dear blog readers out there. When trying to decide on a blog post about Thanksgiving, I came across the poem below and wanted to share it with you today. May you have a relaxing and peaceful day with your loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday.

by Douglas A. Cox

Thank you for the water
That soothes my deepest thirst
Thank you for the folks who see
The best and not the worst

Thank you for the air I breathe
The earth on which I stand
Thank you for the miracle
Of one hinge in my hand.

Thank you for my family
My friends who've come to know
That our words shape the life we live
They are the seeds we sow

So speak the words that heal the wounds
Of prejudice and hate
Replace the words the cynics choose
Before it is too late

Say thank you in your silence
Say thank you right out loud
Say it in your deepest heart
And shout it to the crowd

Thank you Lord for all these gifts
For giving me the choice
For helping me to see the good
And giving me a voice.

"In our joyous Thanksgiving may we find the path to peace!"

November 17, 2010

Update: Running Group

A quick glance at the blog lately and it seems that all I've been doing is cooking, baking and eating with all the recipes I've been posting! While these things have been the theme these last few posts, I've actually been up to a few other fun things lately.

I'm still participating in the running group and will run in the 101st Annual Thanksgiving Day Race this Thursday morning. The running group has been going pretty good this fall, but I will admit that I've not been as committed to the training as I was back in the summertime. Not sure what's been the reason behind this, but it is a lot more enjoyable to run in the fall temperature versus the hot summers ones.

A few weeks ago, I had my first running "issue". While out on a Saturday morning run, I was about 3 miles into a 5 mile run and out of no where my left hip started hurting with severe pain. The pain came on fast and was so intense that I had to hobble a few steps to catch my balance and not fall over. I tried to stretch it out and finish the run, but when the pain wasn't going away, I decided to walk in the rest of the way back to the car. I was glad to be with the group on this day because it was good to hear other's opinions and ideas on how to treat the pain. I treated my hip that day with ice and took some advil. After about 3 or 4 rounds of ice, things got to feeling better and I was back to running like normal by mid-week.

After talking with my chiropractor, it was mostly likely an IT band issue. The IT band runs along the outside of the leg, from the butt area down to the knee, and is a common muscle that gives runners trouble. Many people experience problems down near the outer knee area, but the pain and tenderness is also known to run all along the outer side of the upper leg. When I was at my doctor's appointment last week, I mentioned this issue to him and he showed me some exercise that can be done to stretch the IT band. He recommended using a baking rolling pin and rolling that down the side of the leg, staring up by the hip and pushing down on the muscle as you roll the baking pin down to the outer leg all the way down to the knee. I thought this was a great suggestion and a great way to use a resource that you probably already have in your home.

We did a training run that covered the entire 6.2 miles of the Thanksgiving Day race course, so I'm feeling very ready for this Thursday morning's run. Let's just hope the weather isn't too much a of a pain - right now the weather people are forecasting rain all morning long, so we'll see what it's like in a few days! Either way, I'm excited to take part in this run. It's a very well known race in Cincinnati and what better way to start out on a holiday than participating in an event that gives back to the community. This year the proceeds from the race will assist many charity groups like The Ronald McDonald House, Girls on the Run, Children’s Hospital, St James of the Valley, Kilgour School, Roger Bacon, and more. I'm really happy to know that some of the funds will go to the Girls on the Run group - I just did my first volunteer event with them this past weekend, so I'll be dedicating some future blog posts about them to share some more information with you about this awesome organization! So that's it for today's "non food" related post - have a great day!

Creamy Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Pockets

I made these yummy appetizers this past weekend for a party. The recipe comes from Our Best Bites and I thought they turned out great. A few thoughts on working with puff pastry - I found it a little hard to manage - I don't have a large area to roll out the dough, so I was trying to dust my largest cutting board with flour and roll out the pastry dough. It worked fine, but I was thinking about how nice it would've been to have a big counter space to work with for pastry dough. All in all though, I had no major problems with these and I'd recommend them for your next get together! Here's the recipe from Our Best Bites:

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets
1 box puff pastry (2 sheets)
1 8oz container Philadelphia Chive and Onion flavor Cream Cheese
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 C cooked shredded chicken breast
1/3 C cooked crumbled bacon
3 Tbs finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 egg
1 Tbs water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave cream cheese for 20-30 seconds to soften. Place in a mixing bowl with mozzarella cheese, chicken, bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine and set aside.
Defrost puff pastry sheets according to package directions. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll one sheet at a time into a 12 x 12 inch square. Cut 4, 3 inch strips each direction to make 16 squares, 3 x 3" each.

Place about 2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture onto each square. With your finger, brush a dab of water around the edges of each square and fold over diagonally to make a triangle. Press edges together and crimp with a fork to seal. After stuffing and folding each pastry, place on a baking sheet. Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon water together and brush over the top of each pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving - they can also be served at room temperature.
One more thought - I did have some of the left over chicken mixture, so I improvised and put it in a shallow casserole dish, topped it with some of the shredded mozzarella cheese and baked it for about 10-15 min at 375. It turned out to be an awesome dip and it was a great snack to have with some triscuits while watching college football.

Overall, I'd say give these a try - they were a big hit at the party...Enjoy!

November 15, 2010

Breakfast Success

After a long run on Saturday morning, I was really hungry - in fact I had pancakes on the brain. That's all I really wanted, but once I drove home from my run I wasn't in the mood to go drive back out to a restaurant, so I whipped up what ended up being one of my new favorite breakfast treats.

I surveyed the fridge and my plan was to make scrambled eggs with veggies and bacon. When I opened the vegetable drawer there sat a huge portabella mushroom that was totally calling my name! I sauteed that baby right up in some olive oil and threw some diced red onions and green pepper along side the mushroom cap and pulled them all off the heat once they were done. Trying to keep the dishes to a minimum, I wipped out the pan and scrambled up two eggs with a dash a black pepper. Once the eggs were ready, I added the veggies and some shredded mozzarella cheese and mixed that all together. When the cheese was melted, I topped the sauteed mushroom cap with the egg mixture and sprinkled on some more cheese and it was fantastic!

This was a really fast and easy breakfast to make. It also seems like a great way to come up with new ideas if you use the mushroom and eggs as starter many good combos come to mind - diced ham & cheddar cheese, spinach and feta, breakfast sausage with onions and peppers. Basically just pick some of your favorite omelet "fillers" and see what tasty combinations you enjoy!

November 01, 2010

Shrimp & Veggies with Pasta

One website I enjoy checking in on often is The Pioneer Woman - she's got tons of recipes and often has awesome give-a-ways too. While reading her blog one day, she told readers about a guy named Ryan who was going to be doing a guest post for her. Turns out Ryan runs a blog called This is Reverb and he's a pastor at a local church here in Cincinnati. Apparently, in addition to being a Pastor, Ryan is also quite a cook . So, this part of this recipe comes from his blog and it gets two thumbs up in my book!

Spicy Orange Shrimp:
  • 24 pieces (26-30 Per Pound) Deveined Shrimp
  • 2 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
  • ¾ cups Orange Juice
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Divided

Thaw and peel the shrimp. Thaw them by running them under cold water for a few minutes. Dry the peeled shrimp by draining them on a paper towel or two.

Thinly slice your garlic cloves. Add the garlic to ¾ cup of orange juice. (I used the minced garlic from the jar for this part, but I'm sure freshly sliced garlic is a better choice!) Use a nice high quality orange juice. Measure out and add all of the spices to the orange juice as well.

In a large skillet over high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter. Once butter has melted add your shrimp. Cook them for about 30-60 seconds and begin flipping them over starting with the ones you placed in the pan first so they don’t get overdone. Cook for another 30-60 seconds. Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan, leaving the heat on high.

Once the butter and drippings begin to smoke ever so slightly add the spicy orange garlic mixture to the pan and give it a good stir. Add the last tablespoon of butter to the sauce and after a few minutes of cooking and occasional stirring your sauce should be slightly thicker.

Return the shrimp to the pan and give them a nice toss to coat them in the sauce.

Roasted Vegetables:
This is a really quick side dish to fix when you've got some vegetables that need to be used up quick. The night I made these veggies, I used mushrooms, red onions, red peppers and broccoli. Drizzle the veggies lightly with olive oil and season with a dry herb seasoning.

The finished product - I served the shrimp and veggies over some whole wheat pasta - Enjoy!