Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying goodbye to 2010

Around the world, people tonight are celebrating the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. I've often gotten rather melancholy on New Year's Eve. It's been a really good year, and I'm sad to see it go.

In January, The Aussie and I went on a cruise and I met my some fantastic twitter friends, @FabShanneyPants, @FitInMyHeart and @JeepJenn. I had a great time on the cruise and am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet these amazing women.

February came in with some unexpected weather for Texas. 8 degrees in DFW. Really? The end of that month though, we broke ground on the community garden. Seeing this project move from a sermon at church, planning meetings (lots and lots of planning meetings), to having an actual garden has been amazing. To date, we've donated over 400 pounds of produce to a local food bank. I also got to meet to cool twitter friends, @Pinksugacupcake and @MsAnneK, when they stopped in Dallas on their cross country road trip.

March. Hmm. Other than running up to the garden to cover the tomato plants every time we had a freeze warning, I don't know what happened in March.

April. Ha! April 1st was the day I started C25K. My ambition was to run a 5K before my birthday. I never did make it through the program, but I'm still running.

May. Boy, the weather go hot quickly in May. Any traning was done when the sun wasn't up. On May 22nd I ran in the Run For The Retrievers 5K and met @Nicci_NiftyEats too. We celebrated The Aussie's birthday and our anniversary in May too. :)

June. Had a birthday. Headed to NYC for a couple of days to hang out with my sister and mom and to meet up with everyone at the office. I rode the carousel in Central Park. This is a birthday tradition that dates back to my early years working in NYC. My sister and I also had fun time at dinner with my twitter friend @PassionMD and his girlfriend @ctreacy. So glad I was able to meet up with them.

July. This was a busy month! We had a visit from the cutest couple on twitter, @amerrylife and @gatekepa. We went on vacation to Florida! By the seat of my pants, I finally finished @FitInMyHeart's birthday present. Yeah, you're right. Her birthday was in April... We went to Sea World for the day and had a fantastic time with her and @QTHouseofBeauty and the kids. There was plenty of splashing by dolphins and rays! Oh. And I signed up for a half marathon.

August. Running.
September. Running.
October. Running. Did the Firefly Run 5K.
November. Running.
December. Woo Hoo! Completed my first half marathon in under 3 hours. Oh yeah. And I signed up for another. Road trip. Saw family, celebrated Christmas, ate lots, ran little, road trip home.

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.



Monday, December 13, 2010

Shaking my head

*whisper whisper whisper* Did you hear what happened to Kyra? She just registered for another half marathon? Is she nuts? Don't know. She might be. *collective shaking of heads*

Yup. I signed up for another one. Hey, I've got some nice kicks, a shiny new Garmin from Santa (aka my wonderful-I-haven't-told-him-I'm-doing-this-yet husband), quite the collection of running shirts that need something to do, and a finisher's medal that's lonely.

In all seriousness, I think I need to have a goal. Running circles around my neighborhood isn't fun, so there has to be a purpose to all of this. Plus, as the magnet I picked up at the DWRM expo says, Running Is Cheaper Than Therapy. My plan is to be a lot more diligent with my training, doing the cross training as well as the running, and lots and lots of stretching. I've got more of a clue this time as to what I'm doing, so I'm looking forward to this. The adventure continues...

Monday, December 6, 2010


This spring I had the goal to run my first 5K before I turned 45 in June. I accomplished that goal, and set about looking for the next one. How strange. I kind of liked running. Whodathunkit? In July, someone I know IRL suggested doing the Half at White Rock in December. You know, that doesn't sound like a bad idea... Say what? If you told me a year or so ago that I, an overweight woman in her mid 40s would be running a half marathon, I would have politely (*snort*) asked what you were smoking and if you were nuts. Yeah. Well. Maybe not so nuts after all...and I have the aches, pains and YES!!! a finisher's medal to prove it.

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!

Now on to more adventures in running! The story continues...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quinoa "Rice" Pudding

I mentioned this morning on Twitter that the quinoa "rice" pudding I made for breakfast was actually quite good. I've been looking for easy pre-run breakfast ideas, and I like pudding, so I figured a pudding that's reasonably good for you is worth a shot. Since a few of you asked for the recipe, I am happy to oblige. I thought I found the recipe on Epicurious, but I haven't located it again. Anyhoo, I played with the recipe, which called for whole milk, and came up with the following:

Quinoa "Rice" Pudding

1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup of quinoa - rinsed VERY well

Combine the milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, maple syrup and salt in a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring the liquid to a hard simmer, not quite at a boil. Add in the quinoa and the cinnamon. Stirring frequently, cook for 30 minutes. (I lost track of time and cooked it for 40 and it was fine) Once thickened, remove from the heat and let cool. You can top with berries, dried fruit, nuts, whatever you like. I heated mine back up in the microwave and topped it with more cinnamon. It was lovely.