April 30, 2011

It's time for pigs to fly!

After months and months of training runs and prep work, tomorrow morning is the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon. Tonight we went out for an awesome pre-race dinner with my running buddies to Buca di Beppo and loaded up on some yummy carbs like pasta and italian bread. Here's a quick pick of us before we all went home to get our gear ready for the morning. I'm feeling pretty good about things - I've gotten tons of shout outs and good luck wishes through Facebook and text messages, so it's so helpful to have lots of people cheering for me as I embark on this adventure. A few of my peeps are supposed to be out spectating along the course, so that will be fun to look for them along the run. Got all my clothes ready for the early wake up call, so now it's time for bed for some good solid sleep.Thanks again to all my blog readers for your support over these last few months during my training run posts. I'll be thinking of all those who are behind me while I'm out on the course in the morning!

April 27, 2011

Peach French Toast Bake

I decided to make this for Easter brunch this past weekend and it was a great option for a breakfast casserole. In the past when I've made breakfast casseroles, I've usually done the ones with potatoes, eggs, meat, cheese and veggies and they've been delicious. This time, I was in the mood to try a new recipe and got this one from a friend through a post on facebook where I asked for input on people's favorite brunch items. If you are looking for an option that's a bit fruity, but not too sweet, then I'd recommend giving this one a try. Enjoy!


Cooking spray

1 large whole-wheat baguette (about 8 ounces)

8 eggs

1 cup low fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen

1/2 lemon, juiced about 1 1/2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices and arrange the slices in a single layer in the baking pan. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. In a medium bowl, toss peaches with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Scatter the peach slices evenly on top of the bread. Combine the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm with (or without) maple syrup.

April 21, 2011

School Update

The first three weeks of massage school have been totally awesome. I have class two nights every week - Anatomy on Tuesdays & Massage on Thursdays.

I've had my first anatomy test and got a great score, which made me very happy. The test covered the make up of the body with various systems and anatomical terms for body parts, so lots of good info to have as a base for when we get into the bones & muscles. It's full steam ahead in that class with our next text covering the chapters on chemistry and cells.

In massage class, it's been hands on learning since last week. I really like this part of how the school approaches the learning process. We have before class reading assignments where we learn about new techniques, then the majority of class time is spent practicing on the others classmates. Our instructor demonstrates the way to do the technique, then spends the class walking around each set of students and helps us with hand placement and body positioning. The basic technique we've learned so far is called gliding, where you use your hands to glide over the body to increase blood flow and circulation in the body.

I've done three practice massages on friends and family so far and they've gone pretty good. I have learned something new during each one of them. My massage room is all set up now since my table arrived last week, so I'm looking forward to the learning process and continued practice on people over the next few months. We will build new techniques and learn new areas of the body over the next month during class and be up to practicing full body massage by mid-summertime.

That's about it on the school front, I'm enjoying every minute of it and still feel I've made the right decision about things. There's an amazing energy I'm feeling in class that is very positive and exciting. It's something I haven't been around professionally in awhile and it's very cool to feel how that positivity can spread and make you want to learn more, do more, and be a better person. There are 13 people in my class, so they will all become my new buddies over the next 18 months as we go through this process together. We are all different and come from different backgrounds, but we're all interested in massage therapy and have choosen this new path for ourselves so we'll be needing each other to succeed in class and in real life as we move forward. So that's it for now, not sure how much I'll be able to update things here on CincySpin but I'll aim for at least one school update per semester.

Thanks to all for your support, it means so very much to me.

April 10, 2011

Running Solo

Last weekend, I made a weekend trip out to Barboursville, WV to visit friends who recently welcomed a new baby girl into their family. We had an awesome visit and I loved meeting their new addition - who for the record is super sweet and cute (just like her big sister!). Now, with being out of town, I knew I needed to stay on track with my half marathon training and we were scheduled to run 10 miles that weekend. Barboursville is very close to Huntington, WV so I went online to the USA Track and Field (USATF) website and searched for pre-mapped runs in that area. I found a "Marshall Alumni 5k", so I built my extra miles off this run and came up with a 10 mile route I would tackle solo with a newly loaded playlist on my iPod.

I drove downtown, parked my car and head out on my run on a nice morning. I snapped a few pics along the way to document my run and overall it was a great day. Starting out on the campus of Marshall University was very nice. There were several other runners around the area which was nice to see along the way.
Once through Marshall's campus, I head out one of the main roads in Huntington and made my way to Ritter Park which is part of the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District. I am familiar with this park because it is where my friend holds the annual Lexi Black walk for SLOS (check out the link for more info) so I knew there was a 1 mile walking path around the park and there are also tons of beautiful houses and side streets to explore in that particular area too. Checking out these houses and enjoying the view of the park made the time pass quickly along the run.
After a few times around the park, I headed out back to the main road that would take me back to Marshall's campus. I did run into some "shady streets" as I made my way back to the other side of town and some of the roads I had marked on my routed ended up being alley ways, so I choose not to run those and ended up running about 8.5 miles total instead of the full 10. All in all, it was a great morning for a run, especially in a new place. Using the USATF website to map out a run is a great way to explore new areas if you are traveling and want to get in a walk or run. Just be flexible if things don't exactly match up and study your route on the map and turn by turn directions several times before heading out to pound the pavement in a new town. After the run, I headed back to my friend's house, made some coffee and spent the day enjoying the company of two lovey little girls and also loved spending some good quality time with my best friend since 4th grade - hard to believe we've been friends for over 20 years - where does the time go?!!

April 05, 2011

Leap of Faith

April 5th is a big day for me. It's been on my calendar since this past September.

Today I'm acting on a dream I've had for a very long time. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone. Taking a big chance and trusting my instincts. Putting my faith in a higher power that I will find the answers I need to the various questions that are running through my mind about where this new adventure will take me.

I'm about to walk into my first night of school to become a Licensed Massage Therapist.

Excited beyond words, nervous beyond measure, but 100% sure I am where I need to be for me, at this very moment - the rest will come in time...