This has been a very cool year. Here's hoping for an amazing year to come.
I wish all of you a prosperous, healthy and joyous 2011.
Me, before the race. It's about 36 degrees out and I'm very cold. I'm also feeling rather anxious, hence the cheerful expression on my face. You can see the big ferris wheel on the Texas state fair grounds in the background, which is pretty neat.
This is the course map. The half runners didn't get to run around White Rock Lake, but other parts of the course were really beautiful. I was in the last corral, so I didn't actually start the race until it had been going about an hour. NOT FUN. Standing around in 36 degree weather with limited clothing on is not a good time. In fact, we had just started and were less than a mile in when we saw the elite half runners coming in. They were screamingly fast. Very impressive.
Odds and ends that stick out in my mind from the race: the really cute black lab puppy I saw at about .25 mile in (yes, there is a dog theme here!); the historic houses on Swiss, between miles 1 and 2, were beautiful; the BRIGHT BLUE Bentley that I saw somewhere just after mile marker 3 (I didn't know they made them in that color); the wait in line for the first port-a-potty stop took waaay longer than I wanted; the gorgeous golden retriever that I got a high five from around mile 4; being thankful for the hill down McKinney as we headed onto Turtle Creek; how beautiful the Turtle Creek, mile 5, area is; how disgusting the energy gel that rhymes with eeww is (IMO only); how beautiful the Lakeside area is and how impressive their holiday decorations are; running for a little while with the friends from church around miles 5.5; seeing their family cheering us on Lakeside around mile 6; getting a call from my husband when I was nearing mile 7 - he was trying to figure how to get through the street closures to come see me; the neon yellow sign held by a guy at mile 8 who totally reminded me of @damanlovett saying "congratulations total stranger"; seeing my husband just before mile marker 10 and getting a hug and kiss from him (I also got to leave my purple hoodie with him since I'd really warmed up); the cute yellow lab around mile 11 who'd just gotten to say hi, along with his mom, to a family member running. He sooo wanted to join in and run too!; seeing other runners along the route getting hugs and kisses from their family members; seeing a police officer get out of his car to check on a man who was crouched over by a telephone pole near mile 12. The man did look a bit wobbly, but he was just trying to stretch out his legs and he was okay; the sheer number of people stretching their legs in the last few miles (including me); the bands that were playing along the way - very interesting musical selections some of them were playing; seeing the marathoners, still so full of energy and speed where the courses met back up again. They were so impressive; the crowds cheering and other runners who'd already finished clapping and cheering us on, saying "you're doing great runners, keep it up, you're almost there"; being acknowleged as a runner by these amazing athletes just because I showed up to try and do this race; CROSSING THE FINISH LINE!! My chip time was 2:58:28; making it into the automobile building, covered in my mylar wrap, and being handed my Finisher's Medal. I have worked so hard for this medal. I started to cry a bit when I got the medal. Heck, I'm tearing up writing this, remembering how it felt; Getting a huge hug from my husband after the race, hearing him tell me how proud he is of me; meeting up with Mary, Syble and Ben afterwards; the LONG walk back to the car; my husband handing me a bouquet of roses - 13 long stemmed roses and 1 short rose for my 13.1 miles.
I sent text messages to both @FitInMyHeart and @damanlovett to let them know I'd finished. They, along with @DareToBecome, @whiskyd, @foodiemcbody (who also ran her first half yesterday!!!), @KCLAnderson, @MizFitOnline, @tidbits_of_tara and so, so many more, have been so full of encouragement. It means a lot to me that there are so many supportive people out there in twitterland. You guys rock!
I'm about to cross the finish line in this picture. I'm just behind the person in bright red in the middle. If you look closely, you can see a tiny bit of hot pink in there!
We've all got our bling on!
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft and the soup is hot. This is the soup after 30 minutes. If you don't have a stick blender, you could use a potato masher to mush the squash. Or if you want a chunky soup, you can serve as is.
* 1 yellow cake mix (can be made with gluten free cake mix. My neighbor is gluten intollerant, so that's how I make it when I bring it over for dessert)
* 4 eggs
* 1/2 stick butter (or half cup oil if you're dairy free)
* 1 package instant vanilla pudding
* 1/2 cup of rum (I like dark rum, but feel free to use whatever kind you like or may have on hand)
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine all ingredients, except chopped pecans if you're using them, in a large mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer for 4 minutes, until there are no lumps.
Grease and flour a bundt pan. If you're using the nuts, sprinkle them in the bundt pan. Pour batter in to pan. Bake for 50 minutes.
Viola. A baked rum cake. Now this is where it gets fun. Time to make the glaze.
Yum. Well you didn't expect me not to taste it and make sure it was good enough for other people to eat, did you? I would never be that thoughtless... ;-)
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 T vegetable oil
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 t backing powder
1 t vanilla
3/4 c sugar (I used Splenda)
1 t instant coffee
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8x8 baking pan
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
The verdict: I'm not sure. Maybe I was too heavy handed on the coffee crystals, maybe it's because I used Splenda instead of sugar and they have that Splenda aftertaste. Maybe it's because I wanted something more like the brownies I had last night. They were easy to make, out of things I have in my pantry, and they're full of fiber. Other versions of the recipe have you using lots of butter and melting unsweetened chocolate. Maybe I'll give them a try. I wanted something really good to bring to the church auction next weekend that a friend, who's both celiac and can't eat anything with casein in it, could enjoy. Maybe she'd like these. I guess I'll have to bring her some on Sunday and find out!