Monthly Archives: July 2011

Long Run Stats 7/30

My friend Tom and I decided to take our long run along the Wabash Trace Trail in Council Bluffs, Iowa yesterday in the late afternoon. It was a really pretty route with all sorts of lovely rural Midwestern scenery. The trail slopes slightly uphill on the way out, so I felt like the way back should have been easier than it was. Hmm…

We had an adventure!

Distance: 10 miles

Time: 110-ish minutes. We stopped for some breaks.

Difficulty rating: 8.5/10. It was hot and humid though we were in the shade much of the time, but we didn’t plant any water along the way. Once we were fully dehydrated, running got really hard. Tom was super positive but by the last three miles I was hitting the wall and we were speaking in monosyllables. Sorry, friend…

Wore: Same Lulu crops (they’re magic), same shoes and everything, but switched out the tank for a Nike DryFit Cotton tshirt. Very comfy.

Blisters: none, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about this top… Look at the back view. It’s just too cute.

Soreness: back: lower and upper, for some reason. Might have been leaning funny on the incline or just using bad form cause I was tired.

Temp outside: Probably about 90 and humid. Eeps.

Entertainment: talking to Tom, Tom singing, the scenery (Olivia and Hannah Marie, he was singing none other than HORSE OUTSIDE because we ran past some horses and, well, it’s just the best song to run to.) Warning to my wonderful aunts and uncles, you probably don’t want to click that link.

Recovery: tons and tons of water, driving with the windows down to some really great ’90s music, a mango/banana/soy smoothie from Caffeine Dreams, a huge (sweaty) hug from Joe (he’s one of my favorite people ever and he’s been gone all summer), AND…………

One large Zio’s pizza. Half chicken feta, half chicken pesto. That thing tasted like the best food I’ve ever eaten. We demolished it.

Jane and Tom: 1. Pizza: zero. I consider that an accomplishment.

Afterwards we jumped in the pool at my house and crashed to watch the always delightful 500 Days of Summer.

It was quite the adventure all in the name of running, which I think bodes well for many adventures-in-the-name-of-running over the next four months.


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I leave for Italy in 36 days. Working four days a week until then, that’s 16 days to make lists (my favorite :), pack, learn as many Italian phrases as possible, exchange addresses with all my friends, make an airplane playlist, and narrow down which books to pack… the hardest job of all.

One book that will definitely be going with me is E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View.

It’s about a young lady’s adventures in Florence and my sweet friend Nate surprised me with it as a parting gift. He annotated the margins with all sorts of wonderful tidbits, and left this for me on the last page… (yes I flipped to the last page to see if anything was written.)

“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” I have no doubt that it will.

Other reasons for happiness/excitement:

  • I finally bought the Lululemon Bliss Tank (in white/gray) that I’ve been wanting all summer. Next on the saving-up list: a Spiritual Gangster tee (this one), and a set of Mala beads. I can’t wait to do those 108 sun salutations on some balcony overlooking Florence. Swoon.
  • Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and we’re having a fun little family celebration. I got her the perfect gift.
  • This song.
  • I’ve escaped the gym and am running on a trail (finally!) with my friend Tom this evening. Long run recap to come tonight.
  • I made a friend at Lotus. Her name is Lena and she goes to the same Wednesday night chakra flow as I do, she works at the Med Center, and she’s completely adorable and awesome.
  • I got some zinnias at the market as an early b-day present for my mama. They’re smiling at me from the kitchen counter.

I just had an idea… making that list was such a positive experience that I’m going to do a weekly roundup of things to be happy about, with links and songs and stuff. Shouldn’t be too hard to come up with. :)

– J

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Featured Running Song

Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons.

This has been my go-to warmup song for the past week or so. I just love Marcus Mumford’s voice. And British guys in general. :) Enjoy the live recording. It seems like he’s getting really emotional.

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No-Cook Dinner

I’m not kidding. You throw the following in a bowl and toss it together and eat it. I liked this salad so much I made it twice in two weeks, the second time adding a little more than the prescribed amount of tart cherries and mandarins. ;)

So without further ado:

2 x 15.5-oz cans chickpeas

1 x 11-oz can mandarin oranges

½ red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp ginger, minced

2/3-cup tart cherries

2/3-cup pecans, chopped

1 jalapeño, minced

1 cup parsley, chopped

4 oz feta

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

It’s colorful, delicious, and healthy. According to Runner’s World (the source of the recipe), tart cherries aid muscle recovery, ginger can decrease inflammation, and chickpeas provide carbs, protein, and iron, which carries oxygen to muscles. And I think it turns out even better if you prepare it while munching on Terra Spiced Sweet Potato Chips. Mmm.

Do you like finding out what certain minerals in food do for your body, so you know exactly why and when you should eat them? I find nutrition fascinating and hope to take some courses in it before long. It’s so cool to understand the makeup of the food we eat, especially with plants, the primary energy producers. I keep thinking I’ll go vegan at some point in my life, but there are a few problems with that scheme: my adoration of cheese, eggs, and butter. …Yeah. Probably never gonna be a vegan for longer than a month or so.

Tell me what you think of the salad if you make it, and you can now find this and other things I cook in the slowly but surely growing Recipes tab.

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Featured Running Song

Since music is going to be part of my very exciting multimedia project in Italy, I’d like to start a series of sharing some of my favorite songs to run to, or songs I’ve just got on repeat for some reason.

I’ll start off with an oldie but a goodie: Take It Easy by the Eagles. This is really good mid-run, when you’re loosened up and in your groove; when it comes on I tend to look around me, take a deep breath, and appreciate the beauty in a bright, sunny day. If I’m running through some sort of mental or emotional issue, this song reminds me to accept situations that I can’t control and love myself anyway.


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A Beautiful Thing

I just wanted to share.

“It’s funny, I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said, ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do.’ And mostly, against all odds, they do.” -Anne Lamott

Via the always beautiful Naturally Nina.

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Long Run Stats 7/23

I actually did my long run on the proper day this time…

Distance: 12 miles

Time: 120 minutes

Difficulty rating: 5/10 (felt like I could have done a few more miles… always reassuring)

Wore: exact same thing as last week

Blisters: zero, but a rub under my arm; I need to find a new top to wear. Lululemon, I hear you calling my name.

Soreness: hips during and after; knees for a few miles during

Temp outside: around 90 and humid, did the gym again but really need to wean myself of that

Entertainment: music. I’ll post a playlist soon.

Recovery: the ever-present coconut water right after, and 75 minutes of yoga this afternoon. Just found out Zico comes in chocolate? (And LaCroix comes in coconut?!) May have to try both of those out. :)

Since I started training 2 weeks early and have completed both preliminary weeks, I’m going to repeat those first weeks and then push on forward! I’m really glad I started when I did, because the 10 and 12 both felt great and I’ve gained a lot of confidence through those runs. It’s nice to know that now I get to repeat them and build base strength before quickly accelerating to 18- and 20-milers.

So I feel like my life is kind of repetitive since I’m going to make the same bread recipe again today and do things like work, yoga, and reading on a daily basis, but there have been some new things happening this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Jazz on the Green has started and last week was big band swing music. I went with a friend from work, enjoyed a picnic, and danced a little. Can’t wait for Thursday to roll around again!
  • Saw the last Harry Potter movie! Even though I never read the books and have only seen a few of the movies, I love the series in my own way. :)
  • I tried out this new organic grill/deli thing in Omaha called Blue Planet and I give it a 10/10. The food is simple and fresh, they have sweet potato fries but don’t deep fat fry them, and the vibe is casual and fun. I would go there for lunch or dinner any time, and plan to a lot more this summer.
  • Probably because of the bread, I’m obsessing over local honey and preserves right now. I bought apple butter, raspberry jalapeño jelly, and honey from a farm in Ralston. Acquired all of this at my favorite place… you guessed it… the farmer’s market.
  • Bought too many books again. But Borders is having a huge sale, what’s a girl to do?! I still need a learning-Italian book though.

Aight friends, that’s all, back soon with a sweet chickpea salad recipe from none other than the illustrious Runner’s World, and perhaps a new “Recipes” tab to contain all this greatness. We shall see.

<3 Jane

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