Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Things

Just some things... and today is Thursday. Thus, Thursday Things.

1.     I woke up at 4:45am this morning and could not fall back asleep. I wasn't planning on a morning run, but when I was still awake at 5:10am, I figured why not? 8.4 miles in before 6:30am... not too often that happens on a weekday. Or any day as a matter of fact.

2.     Last night I baked 8 dozen mini cupcakes, three different flavors. Mini cupcakes are so cute... my favorite was the mini version of my Monster Cookie Cupcake. I challenged my Business Man to take one down in just one bite (absolutely delicious!) but he wouldn't partake. Such a party pooper.

My dining room table last night. Multi-tasking at its finest - Facebook-ing and frosting cupcakes.

3.     Speaking of my Business Man, the night before last night I was making these Tiramisu Cupcakes. (What can I say? It's been a cupcake type of week.) The base of tiramisu is sponge cake. He absolutely loved the batter, as in ate multiple spoonfuls of it while I was scooping it into the cupcake tins. Don't worry... he got a new spoon each time. Which means that all of our spoons are now dirty in the dishwasher but the rest of our dishes are clean. Such is life.

With mascarpone whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. It's the real deal. 
Anyway, after the cupcakes were finished baking, brushed with the Kahlua-coffee mixture, and frosted, he had a taste of the finished dessert. His verdict? "It's kinda weird... it's like really spongey!" Umm, dear? It's sponge cake. Sigh.

4.     Still speaking of my Business Man, he absolutely cracks me up sometimes. We were in the car on Saturday, and he asked me a simple math question. "What's 20 times 40? That's gotta be like 2000 or something, right?" Ohhhhh honey. Good thing you married a math teacher. 

5.     Now that we're talking about math, can I just say that I am very excited because we have reached my FAVORITE Algebra 2 unit!?! It has my two favorite F-words - FOIL and factoring. Factoring is just so much fun. Especially when we get to watch this video.

And yes, I have tried to dougie before. And no, it wasn't pretty.

6.     My parents are on vacation this week and I am majorly jealous. It doesn't help that my mom texted me this photo of her lunch today. Just the best fries on the planet. Gee thanks, Mom. Not that I didn't absolutely love my lunch of a Clif bar, yogurt, apple, & string cheese because I forgot to pack my lunch last night.

Crinkle cut's the only way to go.
7.    At least I made up for my sub-par lunch with an awesome dinner. Girls' night at La Charreada's. Yummmmmm. I might have started carb-loading 30 days early for the marathon with the amount of chips & salsa I consumed. 

8.     One last thing - 5 more school days until spring break errr... spring weekend! We just have a long weekend at Easter this year instead of taking a whole week off. I'm not complaining, because that means we're out for summer before Memorial Day.

TGI(A)F!!! :-D

And I almost forgot! My latest post is up over at the Rays Market Blog. It's my absolute favorite pizza (this month) -  Thai Chicken Pizza... go check it out, you know you want to! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kolacky Schmolocky

Ever had a kolacky? Or are wondering what the junk a kolacky could possibly be?

Well, friends, it might just be one of the most delicious breakfast treats in the entire world. (But I might be a bit biased.)

This weekend, I was going through old pictures in my iPhoto this weekend... and stumbled across these delicious treats from the beginning of February. February! How have I not shared these yet? (To be honest, I completely forgot about them...)

Several weeks ago, when some friends came to visit, I wanted to make something special for breakfast. But I didn't want to make the traditional cinnamon rolls or scones. (My go-to breakfasts for guests.) Maybe it was because I've fed these friends breakfast before on multiple occasions and didn't want to repeat the same dish. (Yes I'm that type of person.)

So I went searching through a few of my cookbooks, and discovered a recipe for Kolacky. Described as an "Eastern European sweet roll", I thought it might be right up my alley. According to Wikipedia, kolacky is a "type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough." Hmmm... I'm kinda curious what they mean by supple dough.

Anyway, it's basically a sweet doughnut-like mini coffee cake with fruit filling. I chose to do blackberry, because I loooove blackberries. It reminded me a lot of this Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, but a lot less work, and in individual miniature portions. Isn't everything so much cuter when it's mini-sized?

So I'm almost glad that I forgot to blog about these in February, because they are the perfect "Welcome spring!" type of breakfast treat. I'm thinking they'd be perfect for Easter Sunday breakfast... except I will have to do a flavor other than blackberry. (My mom doesn't like blackberries. She's crazy. Something about the seeds. But she loves raspberries. Which also have seeds. Makes no sense at all. Love you, Mom. :-P)

Happy baking!

[Click to PRINT]


  • For kolacky
    • 4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 ¼ oz. active dry yeast
    • 1 cup milk
    • ¾ cup butter
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • For blackberry filling
    • 2 cups blackberries
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • For glaze
    • 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • ½ teaspoon almond extract


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup milk, 3/4 cup butter, sugar, and salt just until warm (120*F-130*F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with the egg yolks. Beat with the paddle attachment on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl as needed. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

Stir in as much remaining flour as possible and lemon zest. Switch to dough hook and mix on low until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until double in size.

Meanwhile, prepare blackberry filling. Combine blackberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until blackberries breakdown and the mixture is bubbly. In small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water. Stir into blackberry mixture; heat until it thickens. Set filling aside to cool.

When dough has risen, punch it down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Grease two baking sheets.

Shape each half of the dough into 8 balls (16 balls total), tucking the edges under to make smooth tops. Place balls 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball to 2.5 inches in diameter. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double, about 30 to 35 minutes. (If preparing the day before, at this point, cover with saran wrap and place in refrigerator to rise overnight.)

To bake, preheat oven to 375*F. Make an indentation in the center of each dough round. Place a heaping spoonful of blackberry filling into each of the indentations. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. 

For glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract. Drizzle over cooled kolackys.

Source: From Better Homes & Garden New Baking Book

Sunday, March 25, 2012

IL marathon, weeks #10 & #11

It's that time again... time to look back at the last couple weeks of training.

The past two weeks have been two solid weeks of training, which is great a confidence-booster for my lil' mind.

Two weeks ago was the start of some awesome spring weather. And by spring, I really mean summer. Temps in the 70s & 80s make this runner very happy. 

I got in lots of easy miles, plus a 3x1-mile repeat workout. (Supposed to be 4x1-mile.)

I also raced the Get Lucky Half on Sunday (with a 1:30:14 PR!), and turned it into an 18-mile long run. Yes, a bit crazy, but fun.

Weekly Rundown 3.12.2012-3.18.2012
Mon - 7.6 miles easy
Tues - 7.6 miles easy AM plus 4.4 miles easy PM
Wed - 3x1-mile with 0.5 mile jog (6:20, 6:15, 6:22); 7.6 miles total
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 7.3 miles easy
Sat - 3.3 miles easy
Sun - Get Lucky Half, total 18.3 miles
Total - 56.1 miles

This past week has gone just as well - another week of mileage in the mid-50s.

My main focus was recovery from the half, so I didn't worry too much about a speed workout. However, by Thursday my legs were feeling pretty awesome, so I busted out a speedy run which happened to be right at dream goal marathon pace. Coincidence? I think not. I finished the run with 8.1 miles at 7:27 average. 

Saturday I ran my second 20-miler of this training cycle - and it was one of the best long runs I've ever had. The stars all aligned, and I felt pretty much invincible. Definitely helped that I had some friends along... I'm tellin' ya, running for 3 hours at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning is the popular thing to do. 

Weekly Rundown 3.19.2012-3.25.2012
Mon - 7.3 miles easy recovery
Tues - Rest
Wed - 7.4 miles easy
Thurs - 8.1 miles GMP (7:27 avg)
Fri - 5.3 miles easy
Sat - 20.6 miles LONG (8:03 avg)
Sun - 6.2 miles recovery
Total - 54.9 miles 

One last exciting thing of the week... my favorite place for ice cream in the Bean Town opened for the season yesterday. Ohhhhhh yum. Chocolate avalanche with Oreos & cookie dough. And two of my fav students work there, so they hook me up.

Love how they put extra cookie dough chunks on top of the already made avalanche. 
And you better bet we are going back again tonight with friends. (What can I say? I love ice cream.) 

As for training this week... I'm looking at a bit of a cut-back week. Hoping for about 50 miles total, with a long run of 13-15. I've also got a tempo run on tap, so that should be fun. 

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lovin' the weekend

Can I get an amen for a quiet weekend at home? The last three weekends have been go-go-go, and while it was all a blast and totally worth it, it is so nice to know that I have nowhere to be and nothing to do. Except run, ya know. Can't have a weekend without that.

This morning started out with a run, a 20-miler to be exact. This is the second 20-miler of my training cycle, and it went swimmingly well. I headed out with some running buddies around 6:15am. (I know, crazy for a Saturday. But they had some commitments at 9:30, and I'd rather run with my friends!) I woke myself up around 5:30am so I could get a little coffee in my system and have a clif bar.

We ended up doing a huge loop of the Bean Town, running through several areas that I've never been through. Loops through the college in the middle of town, past the grain elevator, past the Ford engine plant, and through a quarry. Pretty neat. At one point, we were getting close to a set of train tracks, and the train was right next to us, moving slower than molasses. (Or at least slower than us, so less than 8mph). All of a sudden the gates started to go down where the tracks crossed the road about 200m ahead, so after making eye contact with the conductor, we started a full-out sprint to make it past before his train would get there. Fortunately he let us through, or we would have been waiting at least 10-15 minutes at the rate the train was moving! But it felt pretty BA to say we raced a train, and won. ;-)

We averaged 8:03 pace for just over 20 miles. Such a great run - and a great confidence booster. 5 weeks until the marathon!

Post-run breakfast on the living room floor - smoothie, PB-honey toast (x2), iced coffee. Oh, and a big ole' recipe binder. And a lovely shot of my right calf. 

It was so weird to be done with a 20-miler before 9am. What to do with the rest of the day? 

My Business Man and I decided to run a few errands. We stocked up on groceries at Rays, and it was pretty fun to actually shop together. (Usually I do the grocery shopping alone.) And what I mean by pretty fun - he got to push the cart and I got to tell him what to put in it. Heh. (My excuse? I just ran 20 miles! Pretty sure I will be using that all day.)

Note that the ice cream was BOGO. So we obviously had to partake.

We also ran into Wal-mart for trash bags, and guess who we found?! Tony the Tiger! Only in the Bean Town ...

We are now BFF's. Sporting my new hoodie from the Get Lucky Half last weekend. Love it.

Last stop? A neat local store - Pears Avenue. It's located at the Met Block downtown, and has really unique vintage & homemade items for the home. Everything you can imagine... hand-sewn aprons & pillows, paintings, transistor radios, furniture, vintage dishes. The Bean Town has been doing "cash mobs" recently - where a local business is selected, and at a specific date and time, patrons are invited to come out and shop til' they drop (or at least check out the store!) to support local business. I think it's a great way to encourage people to shop local and let them know what's out there. So today was the cash mob for Pears Avenue.

The Met Block

We ended up with some spring candles (made from recycled wine bottles) and some cute vintage linens. And there were snacks! There's a new diner practically next door, Fat Cat Diner, and they provided homemade, chocolate-covered potato chips (!!!). So good. If only they were open more than just breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday! Guess I'll have to wait until summer to give 'em a try for a meal.

Yes, that would be a chocolate-covered potato chip. And it was absolutely delicious.

The rest of the afternoon has been spent in the kitchen, baking. Can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday.  

We've got big plans of going out for ice cream tonight. My favorite ice cream stand in the Bean Town opens tonight... and I absolutely cannot wait to go! Yay for Pete's!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Paddy's Day in Chicago

Last weekend, my Business Man & I headed to Chicago for a lil' weekend getaway with our friends Adam & Sarah. They live right downtown - a block from Millennium Park - so we were right in on the action. And no joke, there's a lot of action on St. Paddy's Day downtown!

We kicked off Saturday morning by watching them dye the river green. (And no, I don't know who "they" are. Hehe.) There was a boat that let off this highlighter color dye off the back into the water, and then a second boat that came behind it and stirred it all up. It was pretty neat. 

It was kinda hard to see because people were lined up 3-4 deep, but a cute lil' old man took pity on me and asked if I'd like to step up to the front. Why of course, thank you grandpa-man. 

After the dyeing of the river, we headed over to watch the parade. That lasted all of about 15 minutes. It's a little hard to watch a parade when all you can see is the back of the people's heads in front of you. There was no candy to be caught, either.

We stopped back to Adam & Sarah's apartment for lunch - Corned Beef Sandwiches. Now, let me tell you this. I am a self-proclaimed corned beef hater. I've never liked it, never even wanted to like it. So I was a little nervous.

Well, these sandwiches rocked! Sarah served up the corned beef on pretzel buns (genius!) with a coleslaw topping. I absolutely loved it. So I am officially on the corned beef wagon. As long as it's surrounded by two fluffy layers of carbalicious pretzel bun.

Another set of friends (Wes & Whitny) was able to come into town for the evening, so we spent the afternoon at Navy Pier walking around, exploring the sights. We even ventured onto the giant ferris wheel, which was super fun. 

Oh, Instagram.

Havin' fun a million feet in the air.

We topped off the night with dinner at a little Irish pub, and homemade shamrock shakes back at Adam & Sarah's apartment. Delish. It was pretty much an awesome weekend. 


In other news, my latest post is up on the Rays Markets blog!

Yummy BBQ Bacon Jalapeno Poppers. A jalapeno half stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onions, all wrapped in bacon and topped with barbecue sauce. Perfect little appetizer.

Funny story - The first time I prepared this recipe to be blogged about, I got a little excited as I was taking them into the dining room to get a picture. And THIS happened.

Ay ay ay... needless to say, I got to make them again. Not a problem by me - the more jalapenos, the merrier! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicago Get Lucky Half-Marathon 2012

Whew! What a busy weekend! The fun type of busy, the best type.

As I mentioned in my last weekly recap, my Business Man & I headed to Chi-town this weekend to partake in the St. Patty's Day festivities and to run a lil' half-marathon on Sunday morning.

We had an absolute blast, and the race was the cherry on top to the weekend. (For me, at least.)

The inaugural Chicago Get Lucky 7km & 21km started at Grant Park right on the lake, and ran down the lakefront path on and out & back course. Who could have a bad run when your view is this?!

The race didn't start until 9am, which would have been pretty awesome for March, weather-wise, but the freakish weather we've been having meant that it was pretty hot. The first 7 miles or so were into the wind and not too bad, but once we turned around with the wind at our backs, you could definitely feel the heat. 

The race was pretty small (for Chicago) - about 375 half-marathoners and 800 7km runners. 

I decided to go out with the 1:30 pace group and do my darndest to break 1:30. (Previous PR of 1:31:26.) I didn't really prep for this race as I would for a PR-race - come on, I was in Chicago on St. Patty's day! The fish & chips pre-race dinner probably wasn't the best idea... and I probably shouldn't have spent the previous day walking around the city in sandals. Oh well, you only live once.

So, I settled in with the 1:30 pace group, and we started the race. It felt pretty easy the first 3-4 miles, but my legs fatigued much more quickly than they did at the Columbus Half Marathon. We had a pretty good group for the first several miles - the miles ticked by quickly as we shared stories & small talk. There were a few little rolling hills, which weren't expected, but they weren't too bad.

I'm in the blue shorts... I really wanted to buy a pair of green shorts just for the race, but couldn't quite justify it. Blue shorts with green detailing would have to do!

Before we knew it, we were at the turn-around, and I was so thankful to not be running into the wind anymore! At this point, I was pretty tired, but just kept counting down the minutes in my head. (Less than 40 minutes of running left! Less than 35 minutes of running left! And so on.) 

Picture courtesy of my Business Man during the race.

It was downright HOT the last 4 or so miles, and I just couldn't wait to be done. The last mile and a half was brutal - thanks so much to Walter & Keith (the 1:30 pacers) who kept me on track! At this point, it was just me & them, and I felt like I had two personal running coaches with me. They were sooo awesome!

Finally, we were in sight of the finish, and I sprinted as much as I possibly could UP THE HILL to finish. Why oh why do so many courses finish on an uphill? To torture us?! Hehe.

Spring up the finish with my two pacers! So much fun.
I ended up finishing in 1:30:14 - so close to breaking 1:30! Gah!! But I am still super happy... over a minute PR! How could I not be? Especially with not tapering at all, and just plowing through with marathon training.

Walter let me keep the pace sign. Do you think my Business Man'll let me frame it and hang it somewhere in the house? ;-)

I was also the 2nd female to cross the finish line! I could hardly believe it. There wasn't an awards ceremony, so I get to wait for a lil' sumthin-sumthin in the mail this week. Super exciting!

Here's the official stats:

Since I hadn't gotten my long run in yet this week, I did a longer warm-up & cool-down today to get my 18 miles in. And to be honest? My legs feel 1000X better tonight than they ever have after racing a half. I guess a long cool-down is where it's at for optimal recovery.

One last shout out to our friends Adam & Sarah and Wes & Whitny for coming out to cheer me on in the race! It was so great to see them out on the course cheering like crazy. Even at mile 1. :-P

Well friends, I've got to go get ready for the school week! It's amazing how fast these weekends fly by. Happy running! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

Did you celebrate Pi Day today? We most definitely did in my classroom! We played a few games, had a contest to see who could memorize the most digits of pi, and of course we ate pi(e).

In my last period class, we took the celebration outside and actually drew the first 100 or so digits of pi on the sidewalk with chalk right outside the school. For the next few days, anyone who walks in the building will have to walk right on top of pi. Who says math class can't be fun?!

Hard to read from the sun... but it's the start! 3.14159...

Some rather creatively decorated digits of pi - polka dots & checkerboard. Love it!

So... how about a pi(e) recipe for Pi Day?

Pin It

I've got another recipe featuring Girl Scout cookies - a delectable no-bake Thin Mint Pie. Crispy cool minty crust, with a cheesecake filling loaded with chopped Thin Mint cookies. 

To check out the recipe, click on over to the Rays Market blog! 

I am excited to announce that I am partnering with a local grocery store here in the Bean Town to provide recipes to their customers and fans via their store blog! Rays Supermarkets is a member of Chief Supermarkets, which operates 12 stores in Northwest and West Central Ohio. They have a strong focus on community involvement, volunteerism, and commitment to to the communities where their stores are located. A great company with great values.

I will update once a week to their site, and will be sure to remind you to click over and check it out! :) In the meantime, if you feel compelled, feel free to "like" Rays Supermarkets and Chief Supermarkets on Facebook for regular updates.

Hope everyone got to celebrate today with a little pi(e)!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's practically summer out there

So today totally felt like summer. Besides that whole I-had-to-work-today thing. No worries guys... only 50 days of school until sweet, sweet summer. Not that I'm counting.

Seriously! Today was 72*F and sunny! I met a friend to run this morning, and we had an awesome run. But then the weather was just perfect after school so I had to head out again. First double in quite some time... college perhaps? (We used to do 2-a-days every Tuesday & Thursday.)

We even broke out the grill tonight... and grilled up some BBQ Chicken Quesadillas. Another twist on a classic.

Charred to perfection.

Just some grilled chicken breast, monterey jack cheese, Sweet Baby Ray's, and leftover caramelized onions. And a bit of cilantro. YUM!

I'm thinking we'll have another variation on these 'dillas tomorrow night... buffalo chicken, perhaps? 

In other news, can anyone guess what important holiday is tomorrow?! Hint hint - I'll be celebrating with some of this.

And finally, I will leave you with a self-portrait showing off my t-shirt from the BBO this past weekend. This might be the only time I get to wear it. My Business Man loves to 'borrow' my t-shirts and then I never seem to get them back.

"DON'T BE LAST" - hah, but somebody has to be!
Gotta go finalize some preparations for the festivities in my classroom tomorrow! :) It'll be a fun day!

IL Marathon, weeks #8 & #9

Let's look back over the past few weeks of training... they've been quite interesting.

Two weeks ago, I had an involuntary cutback week due to my lovely right foot. (And the peroneal tendinitis causing me loads of pain.)

I actually thought it was a stress fracture, so after seeing the doc and finding out it was only tendinitis, I was pretty ecstatic! I took 3 days completely off to help with the inflammation and then I was able to get back into running pretty much pain free.

I have been wearing the boot all day at school so that my foot doesn't have any unnecessary pressure/pain during the day, and I am thinking that at the end of this week I will be done with that. I've been feeling pretty good!

Anyways, I ended up with 40 miles for the week, including an awesome 18-miler before my foot went all crazy! That run was a great confidence boosting run... I averaged 7:56 pace outside.  

Weekly Rundown 2.27.2012-3.4.2012
Mon - 8.2 miles easy
Tues - 18.3 miles LONG (7:56 avg)
Wed - 5.5 miles easy <-- lots of foot pain
Thurs - Rest
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - 8.3 miles easy
Total - 40.3 miles

Last week, I was able to get back into the groove a bit more. My foot was still pretty tender each morning, but by the afternoon it would loosen up and be fine for a run.

I started out with an awesome tempo run on Monday - 6:40 average for 6.2 miles! Almost a 10km PR.

This week's long run was a cut-back week... 13 miles. Of course I had to run 13.1. The last 5km was at goal marathon pace - 7:30. Those miles were kinda hard, just in that uncomfortable zone. I also didn't remember to bring any fuel or even water so I'm sure that had something to do with it.

Sometimes I get upset with myself that MP running sometimes feel hard... but then I remind myself that I'm right in the middle of training, not tapered. It'll be a whole different ball game when I've been in taper for 3 weeks!

In addition to my tempo run and long run, I also got in a race this weekend! The BBO 4-mile was a great little get-me-pumped-up-and-excited race, and of course I was happy with a PR. And the beer stein. Duh.

Weekly Rundown 3.5.2012-3.11.2012
Mon - 6.2 mile tempo @ 6:40 avg; 9 miles total
Tues - 7.5 miles easy
Wed - 13.1 miles LONG with last 5km at 7:30 GMP
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 6.4 miles easy with 6 striders
Sat - BBO 4-mile 25:01 PR; 7.7 miles total
Sun - 7 miles easy
Total - 50.7 miles

So what does the next week look like? I'm hoping to get in another solid 50 for the week, and an interval workout. Maybe mile repeats, 800m's, or some sort of ladder?

Also... this weekend my Business Man and I are headed to Chicaaaaago to spend some time with these two, and to run the Get Lucky Half! (Well, I'll be running; my Business Man'll be spectating. As usual.) 

It'll be all sorts of crazy as I hear Chicago gets pretty ridiculous for St. Patrick's Day. Supposedly the river is dyed green! I'll be sure to take some pictures. ;-)

And... on a final note, I would like to share with you my post-race treat from Saturday...

Yes, that would be a Monster Cookie Cupcake topped loaded up with some moose tracks ice cream.   It was all my dad's idea, I swear. But it was definitely a good one.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

BBO 4-mile 2012

Yesterday afternoon, I raced the BBO 4-miler in a nearby little town. It was a beautiful day for a race - 50*F and sunny. Can't get much better than that in early March.

I ran this race last year, and it was outrageously windy. Like enough to make you feel like you were running in place. This year, it wasn't as bad.

I had a lofty goal of PRing (25:16) in this race, but wasn't sure it would happen. My PR was run on an all downhill course, and although this course was completely flat, flat is still harder than downhill! 

Sporting the pink & black attire. And looking like a fool with a silly pose. So glamorous.
I warmed up with a couple easy miles, did a few drills, and a couple stride-outs. There was no chip timing, so I made sure to line up right at the front with all the boys. I'd like to think I intimidated them with my pink shoes, but I'm pretty sure it was probably the other way around. Heh. 

When the gun went off, it seemed like the entire crowd took off like a bat out of hell! It took a few minutes to settle into what felt like a maintainable pace. The first mile seemed to drag out forever, and I finally went through the mile split in 5:58. (What?! That's faster than my 5km pace!)

The second mile went by a lot faster, though the split was actually quite a bit slower - 6:22. I finally settled into a groove. During the second mile, we turned around and got to pass all the remaining runners in the race... it was fun to be able to encourage a few runner friends on the out & back!

I was running pretty closely with a high school boy for most of the third mile, and might have used him a bit for drafting purposes. (A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!) Third mile split - 6:21. Pretty consistent with mile #2.

I knew mile 4 would be rough, just because running a 4-mile race is like racing a 5km that never ends. Also, the last turn took us directly into the wind for last 3/4 mile. No big deal, right?

Ummm... yea. You can definitely tell this is close to the finish. "Am I done YET?!?!"
I was hurtin' for certain that last 3/4 mile, but just kept telling myself, "Less than 5 minutes of running left... less than 4 minutes of running left..." until I got to the finish. Last mile split was 6:20, with a 25:01 overall time.

Am I happy? ECSTATIC! A 15 second PR makes this girl happy any day. Do I wish I could have run 2 seconds faster and broken 25:00? Yes... but oh well.

I was the 28th person (of 490) to cross the line, and first female. After chatting it up and cheering in a few friends, I got my hands on my hobo stew. Somehow I missed this stuff last year. It was so good! Totally hit the spot.

All runners get a bowl of hobo stew. No... my Business Man did not run. He bought a bowl for a dollar. 

They make it in these huge pots over a fire. Who knows what they put in it?! It had potatoes, peas, corn, some sort of meat. It was gooood!

Oh, and my award? Well, it is the Beer Bottle Open, so I present you with...

... my new favorite beer stein. Definitely going on the mantle for the next couple weeks. You think I could fill it with Diet Dew??

And that, my friends, is my recap of the BBO 2012. Fun was had by all. Thanks to my Business Man and mom & dad for coming along and to Jim, Don, Amy, & Kristi for cheering me on. :-D 

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