Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Utter. Boredom.

Brain functions are coming to a screaching hault as I waste away in front of my computer. I am counting the minutes, scratch that, seconds until the work day is done. I have been excessively snacking on the box of cookies given to our department. I've almost finished a full layer! Yes! I am accomplishing things today after all!

Dinner last night was hilarious. Due to my limited grocery shopping in recent weeks, I essentially made a casserole of everything that was left in the fridge. Wheat rotini pasta layered with spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomato sauce, and cheese. Not just any cheese, but provolone sandwich slice cheese cut into panels. Yes, that was the only cheese available-oh, and parmasean. Bread crumbs topped it off before baking for approx. 25 minutes. It is definitely time to replenish the fridge. I guess I could figure out something for dinner tonight from a couple tortillas and a bottle of mayo? Probably not.

Running today may not happen...Feeling extra lazy. Would much prefer grocery shopping (who says that!) or buying more holiday gifts which I still need to do; and tomorrow is Christmas!!!

AHH! Phew- one more half hour...or so.

Can't wait for sunny California :(

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Mayhem!!!!

Wow, have I been busy. I haven't been able to update since election day??? That is ridiculous. So, to update- Baltimore is cold as can be, running is becoming a joke due to such ungodly conditions. But it could be worse, we could be covered in the snow that everyone else seems to be getting hit with right now. Making excuses to get out of runs is getting easier and easier as the temperature drops and wind chills rise.

Saturday Race
Ran the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler this past weekend (Dec. 20th) in Druid Hill Park. I used to do a run up there fairly frequently since the reservoir is about a mile and a half? from my apartment. It was so fun! Falls Road hosted the event and in contrast to the Figgy Pudding 5K last weekend, went off without a hitch. The course was really well marked, volunteers were at every turn to make sure all racers knew where to go. This is a plus for someone like myself who will get lost running on a track. It was a great experience, and know that Falls Road will continue to put on stellar races such as this :)


I ran 31:53 for 4th place female overall (1st age group)

19:40 at the 3 mile, which is 6:33 pace, so I must have picked it up somewhere...the last two miles were around the reservoir and down the big hill en route to Steiff Silver so they were much easier than the previous 3.

Evening Happenings
Post-race had to make a trip out to DC to the grandparents for our early hannukah celebration. I was able to finish all my crafty gifts prior to leaving which took forever; eventually the basset hound and I loaded up the car late afternoon.


I brought some snackies- cherry berry bars via a recipe from Food Network and orange, cranberry and walnut bread pudding, a fusion recipe from several online sites. I used a boxed bread from Trader Joes as the base, which turned out really well. I just made sure to bake the bread the night prior and leave out to dry a bit before re-baking with the pudding component. I was told this pic resembles guts upon first glance more so than bread pudding. ha.

Brunch & Movie
Sunday morning went out to brunch at Ryan's Daughter for the first time in Belvedere Square. My Dad's holiday gift was brunch with his two lovely daughters (and my boyfriend) along with a matinee of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" at the Senator Theatre. Brunch was phenomenal; I am a huge proponent of buffets. I have a distinct problem with them as I tend to overindulge and forget that at some point I am going to be nauseous but it's hard to remember when the food is just so good one serving isn't enough. From traditional irish breakfast fare to a full omelette bar, waffle bar, cremed chip beef, and even crab macaroni and cheese!

Off to the movie. The time spent in the waiting area prior to the start of the movie proved to be as enjoyable as the movie itself. An employee's dog, Isis, roamed the lobby with her squeaky toys inviting customers to play tug of war with her. She was darling and really made the experience. The movie was....so so. It was nice to be with the fam, but things seemed to fall short for some reason. Anxiety heightens as you anticipate apocolyptic happenings but with Keanu deciding to save humanity at the last minute, everybody ends up ok. And then the movie ends with some silly comment from Jayden Smith (Will Smith's son). I don't even remember what he said, but it certainly wasn't ground breaking. I'm down for any sci-fi film, but give me something to sink my teeth into, not just a methodical -"end of world", woe is me/humanity, save us! okay thanks- type narrative.

Made dinner last night, here it is in all it's grandeur.


Rosemary lemon pepper chicken on a bed of mixed grains and quinoa, chic peas, sauteed mushrooms, onions and red peppers. Obviously, I have a lot of time on my hands?

So I'm at work today and tomorrow then Christmas with the boyfriends family, then off to Long Beach to see my mom. Will be back for New Years on the 31st (duh); am considering Wu Tang at Sonar or perhaps a nice dinner at the New bistro on Charles; Marie Louis or just venturing downstairs for a couple beers at the Yacht Club. We will see.

Happy Holidays everyone!









Monday, November 10, 2008

Dogwood Delight & First Friday

**This post is wicked old, but I am posting it anyway (now)





This Past Friday offered a plethora of extraordinary options; The Walters Art Museum in Mt Vernon hosted a First Friday event with cocktails, live music and more with free admission. I was able to make it in before 8 with enough time to peruse the exhibit, guzzle a cocktail and shop the gift shop sale. I think under normal circumstances, I would have enjoyed the exhibit. I mean, what girl doesn't love jewelry? Unfortunately, with the influx of other museum-goers also taking advantage of gratis admission, things can get a bit hairy. It was actually REALLY crowded. I like the idea of lots of Baltimoreans wanting to go to museums; but no one enjoys themselves when they have to read exhibit blurbs from 6 feet away because their are four couples in front of you blocking everything including the actual display. I made do the best I could by just seeking out the pieces I had the most interest in and not exactly following the formal display order.

Of course the Tiffany's brooch (pictured above) was tremendous in person. Made so large, it was not intended for actual wear. Additionally, Lalique had a similar floral themed brooch fabricated of glass pansies, rivaling the size and detail of the orchid. Both pieces a product of the early 20th century.

A dinner reservation at Dogwood in Hampden to follow. I was to meet one of my girlfriends on the Avenue for a bite to eat. Of course, being First Friday's on the Avenue, I was a bit tardy having ducked into a couple of my favorite boutiques to investigate their sales. Shine Collective had an impressive turnout, considering the recession. The Fall/Winter collection worked well together and definitely had some stand-out, unique pieces.

Back to dinner...so, having made a reservation, you would think we could be seated once we were both there right? Nope. I mean they were totally busy, I mean hello-it was Friday night so that is to be expected. We were finally seated half an hour after our reservation. Knowing the chef has its benefits because all we had to do was select an entree and the "rest" of the meal was taken care of. We were treated like demi-gods; which is what you hope to expect when dining out.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Freebies for Voting!!!

Attention Baltimore voters!
Patriotism at it's greatest; will getting free stuff get YOU to vote? Here are some local incentives...if electing a non-blockhead is not enough for you.

Just stop by Ben & Jerry's at the inner Harbor (next to California Pizza Kitchen and Cheesecake Factory) and get a free ice cream cone! Notice: only between 5-8PM...



Follow up your ice cream with a free cup of joe (the plumber) from Starbucks! Everyone is in on the action; it's amazing what political awareness can do to consumer marketing.




Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's aren't the ONLY businesses with giveaways scheduled for tomorrow. Krispy Kreme has added themselves to the list! Unfortunately, the closest location is Glen Burnie...it may be worth the hike though.












Any other freebies I'm missing?

Sunday Baking


So I decided instead of running, I would bake muffins...again. Only this time, I would not consider this batch to be even remotely healthy. Honestly, they really weren't muffins, more like cupcakes without icing.

**The picture above is most definitely NOT something I made, but more so a technique I thought was super cool and relevant to this past weekend's festivities. Maybe I'll try that sometime.** Image found here

I had a box of devils food chocolate cake mix floating around so I whipped that together with ease (eggs, vegetable oil- directions and ingredients on the box) I had considered subbing the vegetable oil with apple sauce? or something? but opted out since I was going for taste and not so much the health factor. Of course, accessorizing became the key factor; I chopped up some sliced almonds, chunks of chocolate that would surely melt into mushy chocolate morsels throughout the cupcake and bananas. In retrospect, the banana pieces were not necessary but they tasted fine.

I drizzled some homemade caramel on top for added crispiness and voila! Le Dessert! I still have some mix in the fridge I will need to whip into something...

With the baking subbing for my run, the following solidifies my workout for the afternoon:

3x egg cracking
immediately followed by 2min intervals of rigorous blending
2-3x lean and lift: removing muffin tin from oven
max out- hand to mouth, ingesting of cupcakes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dining & Dancing on Wednesday

Latin Dance Class- BIG SUCCESS! Great Soul Wellness Studio is a beacon of spiritual light for the Baltimore community. Right after the corner of Moravia and Harford, you will find the black and red fa├žade of the Great Soul Wellness Studio. Up a steep set of stairs and we enter a quaint welcoming space adjacent to the only studio room and two wellness treatment rooms. A treatment is in session so we must keep quiet. I have to give praise to the soothing surroundings including the paint and wall imagery which happen to have been completed by my latin dance partner and friend, Danielle J The lone studio room is exactly what I would have expected fr a multi-functional studio; all classes are conducted in this space so there are mirrors at the front ideal for any dance course but something I would definitely appreciate for Yoga so as to observe my positioning.


Our Dance instructor, Sheena was very helpful and sweet. We started with the basic steps to meringue for warm-up then switched gears to the salsa. The overall vibe was pretty lax; with only 6 or so in attendance everyone could get one on one attention which was a plus.


Post Dance Nourishment


Joe Squared Dining Area


Essentially the sandwich I ordered...at least aesthetically speaking.



On my way home, I knew a dinner pit stop would be called for since it was already almost 9 and the last thing I was planning on doing was cooking when I got home. No energy for that after all that salsa dancing! I had never actually been to the Joe Squared location on Howard and North Ave since my gentleman and I prefer the delivery option. I decided to compromise by scoping it out while waiting for take-out. (I would have waited to eat in but Top Design was waiting for me) The ambiance was predictable; a MICA mecca. The space is well...spacious? with a dance floor/performance area right as you walk in followed by a bar and a couple tables in the middle area and a fairly sized table top dining room towards the back. Each table was adorned with a mismatched collection of dyed flowers and quirky vases, the walls were covered in bright murals and intricate artwork, and the drinkers and diners pretty much fit the atmosphere. I somehow got this funny face (circa 1957- Audrey Hepburn) vibe; remember that smoky scene where she’s dancing in the beatnik bar in Paris and Fred Austere finds her there? Well I kind of felt like I was there…but a half century later.



So the food. Holy cow. I have to say, I was a little overwhelmed with the first page of the menu where I found like 50 pizza toppings! It’s going to take me a month to choose from this list; so I opted out of the pizza option since it unnerved me and selected the zucchini parmigiano sandwich. This was one of many parm sandwich options ranging from the standard chicken, eggplant, and also a mushroom. They certainly did NOT disappoint. I am telling you this sandwich was decadent. It came on a splendid ciabatta roll and stacked high with lightly breaded and fried zucchini slices. The slices of cheese were beautifully melted along the bottom half of the roll with layers upon layers of the fried zucchini. I stacked it even higher with my request of tomatoes and lettuce; maybe a little much but to me made all the difference in the world. Make note that for dine-in meals, a salad option comes with the sandwiches and soups. For take-out, salad is extra. My waiter was generous enough to allow me to “dine-in” but brought to-go boxes with my meal making my side salad FREE!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Latin Dancing Tonight

I will be attending my first Latin Dancing class at the Great Soul Wellness Studio located on Harford Rd tonight! Should be fun; I am in no way, shape, or form a "latin" dancer or a dancer for that matter with the exception of the awkward side stepping I tend to resort to at social functions. I will be partnering with a mutual friend who was the one who told me about this place to begin with. She frequents the studio for other classes that they host which include:

Belly Dancing
Yoga
Capoeira
Tai Chi
Drumming circles
Self Defense

I am sure if the Latin Class goes well, I may sample some others- Tai Chi perhaps? Besides classes, the studio offers a variety of holistic treatments/wellness options such as Acupuncture, Massage, Reiki, Shiatsu, Naturopathy ( I have no idea what the latter is...will wikipedia it)

Class Synopsis to follow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yoga Practice for this week

I plan on attending the following Charm City Yoga classes this week (10/27-11/2)

Mon. (8:30-10:00)

Community Rock n Roll Yoga @ Fells Point
Tues. (7:30-8:45)
Vinyasa @ Towson
Wed. (8:00-9:30)
Community Rock n Roll Yoga @ Fells Point

I am so glad to have recently gotten back into the swing of things with my yoga practice; it seems to be really helping with general calmness and definitely overall flexibility which hopefully will translate to my running. I have also attempted to incorporate the controlled breathing of vinyasa flow to my running, especially during faster workouts where I tend to lose breathing awareness. It is really tough, I have to say.

Super Easy Baking


I am so enthused about the Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix that I bought the other day from the Towson location, I am wasting energy and time to blog about it! But seriously folks, I have never had SUCH an easy time baking! One box of Trader Joe's pumpkin bread and muffin mix costs like no more than $2.50 and yielded approx 18 delish muffins. All I added was vegetable oil, 2 eggs and water.

I did read online at TraderJoesFan.com that modifying the ingredients just slightly will improve consistency and moistness. This version also adds pumpkin butter which definitely could be an asset to pumpkin bread.

2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup water
1 whole Trader Joe's jar of Pumpkin Butter

I may have to try this...

I did jazz the muffins up a bit, I added some cinnamon to the mix and once each muffin was poured, I sprinkled a touch of brown sugar and crumbled almond slices on top. This added extra umph and a crunch that really made a difference.

There are some not so season bread and muffin mix options too for like ridiculously cheap; for sure I know there is banana but I'm sure there's some other simple options.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baltimore Running Festival Memoir #2

Name: Kipkering (Christopher)
Age: 24
Training Location/Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya
Event: Marathon
Occupation: Professional runner, agricultural transporter of beans, wheat to other neighboring communities
Favorite Workout: 3 hour run on rolling hills @ high altitude
Weird training quirk: compulsively watches pre-recorded Olympic competition tapes, no eating on the day of marathon
Next Competition: Mountain cliben, Nigera run- 11.5KM

Baltimore Running Festival Memoir #1

Name: Andrew Letherby
Age: 35
Current training location: Boulder, CO
Hometown: Brisban, Australia
Event: Marathon
Occupation: Professional runner, editor of "Run for your Life" Australia magazine
Favorite Workout: Fartlek around the Boulder resevoirs- 1 min ON/1 min OFF-5.3 mile loop
Weird training quirk: Cannot stop watch during training at a weird time, must always round up. On race day, must always run 4 strides; no more, no less. 
Training Goal: Qualify for the Olympics; ran the olympic standard in the Marathon to compete for Australia in 2008 but was not selected.


Friday, October 24, 2008

More Baltimore Running Memoirs to come

Boy have I been busy! I have a couple interesting running memoirs from some elite male marathon competitors that ran the Baltimore Running Festival earlier this month. I will post those soon for anyone reading this...

Additionally, lots of exciting dining being done lately but not out at restaurants surprisingly enough. I have actually been cooking for a change; this is prompted more so by the current economic situation and wanting to be on top of my bills. I started the week with a stir-fry inspired chicken dish seasoned heavily with lemon pepper, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and a teriyaki sauce stir fried with zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli. In a separate pot, I had israeli couscous cooking which ended up being just what the stir fry needed. I opted for the spin on couscous when at Trader Joe's; the fiber was higher and less calories per serving, plus the mix of different grains seemed fun. Plus it had quinoa which is a grain I have never cooked!

I have my friend Jen to thank for the gratis stir fry/wok pan she gave me; newlyweds always have so much stuff to give away.

I attended an event last weekend at Nick's Fish House which actually was a surprisingly neat little place. So it's essentially off the beaten path, outside the city up Hanover St? It was easy to get to but pretty much surrounded by warehouses. The restaurant is right on the harbor where there a plenty of docked boats which proves to be a pleasant view from the patio area. They were hosting a gala of sorts for a grass-roots organization benefiting clean water in Baltimore. I will get details on the actual organization. I can thank Jen (again) for tickets to this lovely shindig.

Let me mention that this events selling point was its seafood buffet. I have decided that buffets are NOT for me. It is the Achilles heal to my nourishment; meaning...I can't stop! Every time I went up to the buffet, there would be something new, plus the element of free makes it even that much more appealing. Five full plates later, I am huddled in the back seat of my friends car anxious to get home and put on the fat pants.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Revisited

As the weekend comes to a close, I sit back to assess the things that were NOT accomplished this weekend. Although every moment was spent "doing" something, most of these doings were not relevant to actual existing tasks at hand. Oh well. Food related excursions were exciting; Friday was payday which naturally means how many meals out can I have this weekend before I feel guilty? The answer is.. a lot. Friday night consisted of a lovely indulgent burger, fries and beer meal at Brewer's Art. This was really the most accessible joint on Friday as the weather was not exactly inviting. The rain was incessant and put a damper on any out of borough excursion; therefore we stuck it out in Mt Vernon as opposed to the original Hamilton Tavern plan. The garlic and rosemary fries at Brewer's can mend any dismal soul but not this weekend; they spent one too many minutes in the fryer and perhaps hung out under a heat lamp for like 30 too many minutes. Oh well, I ate them all anyways. I don't know why I bother being negative about it, I still gobbled up every single fried sliver so obviously they weren't THAT bad. I opted for the veggie burger instead of the regular massive "burger" burger and was not disappointed. It was still very filling but not quite as moist and rich in flavor...but that's expected when you compare red meat to veggies. Again, I ate it all anyway. Washed it all down with a couple Ressurections; definitely the highlight of the meal. Serves as a great dessert in my opinion :)

Workout on Friday (this was of course before the dinner described above) was almost quite as intense as the night's outing. The goal was 8x 600 at 5K pace. I somehow knew that was NOT going to happen because I would end up going out way too fast and be way faster than 5K pace; which inevitably happened. So I modified it slightly and completed 5x600 and 3x400. Recovery was pretty inconsistent due to the numerous bathroom breaks but was generally between 75 seconds and 2 minutes...

10 min warm-up
5x600
1:55, 1:58, 2:00, 2:01, 1:58
3x400
1:17, 1:14, 1:12
10 min cool down

I couldn't tell you if this was really tailored as a 5K workout, it appears to have been more of a miler workout perhaps? Only because the pace was not even remotely close to my 5K pace. But I'm still learning...

Saturday dining was fairly minimal in terms of culinary excitement. Started the day with a homemade breakfast sandwich post-run; toasted wheat bagel with egg over hard, fresh tomato, cucumber, swiss, and wilted spinach.

60min tempo? run
Map of my run

The run was ridiculously soggy; rain came down the duration of my hour long run. About 8 miles...just gmapped it (see above). No extraordinary foodie dining to report on Saturday night; again, the rain was non-stop and I went to a party having not eaten dinner so we made an impromptu visit to Pasta Mista in Canton/Brewer's Hill area. I had no idea there was a Pasta Mista there, I was under the impression the one in Towson was the lone location. Anyways, I splurged on two jumbo slices; some sort of eggplant, pepper duo and a standard veggie slice with broccolini, etc. Certainly filled me up and fit my price range so I was happy; 2 massive slices for unedr $5.

Took a much needed day off from running today and indulged in a decadent brunch with the sis and Saki in Bethesda at Mon Ami Gabi. I have always liked this place but had not been there for brunch. Saki and I had sort of decided on this locale for brunch out of sheer convenience but out of the Bethesda/Chevy Chase options I think this may have been one of the best. To start, the champagne cart and Bloody Mary bar were a fun spin on the traditional brunch drinks. The bloody mary's were mixed by the patron themself; the vodka is provided straight and can be dressed per the individual's preference at the bloody mary bar full of fixin's ranging from hot sauces, olices, horseradish, celery, etc. Of course each drink will put you back the same price of your actual entree but hey, I guess one is worth it? I settled on a mushroom, asparagus quiche which was fine...a little overcooked and over-spinached in my opinion. I totally forgot there was supposed to be other vegetables in it. "Over-spinaching" seemed to be the term of the day because my sister's three cheese and spinach crepe was the leafiest crepe I have ever seen. There may as well have not even been cheese in it. But I helped her finish it so it all worked out. We dabbled with the regular dinner menu as well ordering a mozzarella and tomato sauce? dip of sorts. We each had about one baguette a piece; no surprise as we are all carb-fiends. haha.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shhh...I'm at work ;)














So- I have NOT updated my many adoring fans in quite some time. I don't know how all of you have been able to function without my daily tidbits of my foodie and running anecdotes about Baltimore! So a lot has taken place in the last couple weeks; I ran my half-marathon in Philly last weekend, it is now officially autumn, track pre-season has started for Towson... All are very exciting things. Let me begin by reporting on my fantabulous stay in Philadelphia last weekend for the Philly Distance Run.

The brigade started our journey in Delaware where the XC team had a morning meet. Some very impressive performances across the board; a couple top course times by our girls, so a great start to a great weekend. We headed off to Philly from there; a mere hour long trek from Newark, DE. Once we got in, we vegged for a bit before deciding on what to do for dinner. I of course had to pick up my packet down at the convention center. Once that was out of the way, we proceeded to Tavern 17 on 17th street near Rittenhouse square. We dined outside as the interior seating was not dog-friendly but that’s okay because sidewalk seating is much more entertaining. We happened upon this particular contemporary bistro because of their special doggie treat menu! For all you dog lovers, this place is more than accommodating; Cecilia ordered a big bowl of ground turkey. Every morsel of ground turkey was devoured in seconds- I could say the same thing about my dinner too.

I decided on a scrumptious sushi-esque seared tuna sandwich with a light wasabi dressing and mixed greens on toasted sesame bread. Although the taste was spectacular, the actual durability of the sandwich was a little problematic. It was the kind of sandwich where with each bite you lose a chunk of something out the other side so you are perpetually reassembling each half as you eat. And not to mention the bread was a bit tough, eventually leading to a raw roof of mouth; we all know how uncomfortable that can be. Don’t you fret, it was soothed by melt in your mouth yet still crispy French fries. Overall a splendid experience!

With the help of the iPhone, we searched for nearby gelaterias and happened upon CAPOGIRO GELATO on 13th and Sansom? All I can say is damn- that gelato is phenomenal. Certainly rivals that of Pitango here in Baltimore which to me has been the best gelato I have had since my trip to Italy. The flavors were so obtrusive but in a good way at Capogiro. Everything I tried was dripping with flavor and unique tastes in the form of gelato. So you may think this is weird, but I decided on the macadamia nut and basil gelato. It was decadent; the nutty flavor of the macadamia in cohorts with the soothing basil was a perfect blend. The boyfriend went a much simpler but still spectacular route with one flavor: straight chocolate banana. So freakin good. By now, the basset was ready to get back to the hotel as was I since I had a race to prepare for…whatever ;)

Race day was great; headed up to the start, happened upon the other Baltimorean running mates from Falls Road and did a quick jaunt with them prior to the start. I started out with Jen but by the 5K or 4th mile, I decided to pick it up a bit. The weather was nice and I felt good; I was hoping to run at least 7:30 pace and finish around 1:40-ish. I ended up well under that time averaging a 6:50 or so finishing in 1:30.07. Here are my splits:

7:14
6:54
7:10 (21:19 3mile)
7:10
7:03
7:04 (34:34 5mile)
6:50
6:49
6:44
6:40 (1hr:09 for 10mile)
6:47
6:36
7:05 (1.1 miles)






So much fun. I certainly hope to run another half someday; perhaps the Philly distance run again. Very well organized race.

Post race, dog, boyfriend and I enjoyed cheesesteaks from both Geno’s and Pat’s…they sucked, enough said. Honestly, the cheesesteaks from Never on Sunday are better.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Memoirs of Baltimore Runners

I had an epiphany today. Wouldn't it be neat if someone documented unique stories of Baltimore runners? Their running routes, their running-related rituals (pre-run/post-run) either for a race or the average long run, favorite places to eat after running, this also could fall under rituals, even just the weird quirks of local runners in Baltimore; in essence an extension of the typical oddities of Baltimore

During a medium run this morning, I ran into a runner a third of the way through his long run (about 12 miles total). We hit Druid Hill together and headed back through Bolton Hill; a run that would have been dreadful, especially in the heat, had it been by myself. He made a comment about his favorite post-long run activity during our run- " All I can think about is my cold gatorade and the greasy lunch waiting for me; after my nap of course." He goes on to tell me that after most long runs he frequents a local bar for a tasty saturated meal for replenishment. This got me thinking; what other weird things do runners do here in Baltimore? It's worth mentioning that during this run with this stranger, I was able to see parts of Baltimore right near me that I had never explored; the Jones Falls trail and how it leads right to Druid Hill. Craziness!

I am just very inspired by the intracies of others around me; especially those that run. Why do they run? So they can eat? So they feel a since of accomplishment? To win? To stay in shape? My answer most definitely is to eat...As of recently, I have been very lax with my intake; allowing myself to indulge on anything and everything. After especially intense and heavy meals, this inspires me even further to exercise. Is it healthy? I don't know. I'm not overdoing it so I feel as though it's okay.

First "Memoir of a Baltimore Runner":

Rob
Training for: 7th straight Baltimore Marathon
Location: Locust Point
Training quirk: Refuses to run with a water belt or camel back for long runs, instead carries an extra large gatorade bottle.
Favorite post-run meal: bar food and gatorade
Favorite Baltimore run: (not actually sure of this answer so I am using today's run for this; Fort McHenry -Harbor- up Charles- Druid Hill via Jones Falls Trail- Bolton Hill back to Charles- to Locust Point
Training Run Link

I would like to elaborate on these memoirs; give me some more question ideas...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

.

Long time no post. Currently watching Project Runway, can't wait to see these designs on the runway. Diane Von Furstenberg is the guest celebrity and they got to sample her fabrics; what a beautiful sundry of prints and whimsical colors. So, I FINALLY went grocery shopping but very sparingly. Dog, boy and I trekked to Trader Joe's in Towson; I get my fruit and veggies and Ross goes for his pie and ice cream. I will try and not finish the pie tonight ;) The primary reason for our mini shopping trip was for granola bar ingredients, and the essentials of course...the pie being one of them, ha. On a repeat of Good Eats the other week, I spotted a recipe that seemed too good to be true; Alton whipped up some healthy homemade alternative granola bars and some other nutritionals. I'll probably make this for the XC team tomorrow so they can chomp em after their race on Friday.

Workout today with the team-
8 min warm up?
800m indian run/ pick-up
4x400 @ 72-75, 90 sec. rest
20 min cool down (team did 10 min)

Back track on last couple days of training; I have only had time to train with the team and nothing additional. 30 min run Saturday; no run Sunday; 1600-1200-1000 mini ladder on back field on Monday; 30 min run on Tuesday. Tuesday's recovery run was tough in the heat; definitely have NOT been drinking enough water.

OH! Went to Golden West Cafe last night and had the tilapia taco special. Loved it. edgy spices in the salsa, light drizzle of creme sauce and ginormous chunks of tomatoes; my favorite. AND they actually substituted corn tortillas instead of flour! You've got to remember, they are a NO substitutes kind of place :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday Follow-up

Quick back track on yesterday's Baltimore running and eating excursions...

Evergreen for AM, free lunch at work with the rest of the faculty and staff. Catered by Big Bad BBQ. Fabulously seasoned chicken BBQ, oodles of old bay and fascinating sauce options. I certainly had my share of meat with additional sides of course; tomato and cucumber salad, a little over the top with the dressing but good, along with standard mac and cheese; not the way that mom makes but it fit the bill. Dessert was very fitting; either pecan pie or sweet potato pie? The latter pie was highly debated at my lunch table as half of us were convinced it was standard pumpkin while the others thought it was sweet potato. Either way, I could eat it all day but thankfully was able to throw in the towel after two mini slices :)

After work met the new members of the XC team after their run. Very excited about this coming season, seems like a strong group of devoted runners. Since I missed the workout with the team, I met up with marathon mama for a ridiculously crazy workout as usual. Druid Hill was the selected locale and we enjoyed an intense hour long interval workout around the reservoir. Weather was perfect with a bit of chill in the air.

20 min warm up
immediately followed by 15x 1min ON, 1min OFF
10 min cool down

Sheesh was I sore. Probably should have taken it easy after jumping back on the running bandwagon yesterday following a 5 day hiatus. Chipotle for dinner in Towson with my sister; I was anxious to visit her at her new apartment in Towson by school. Although, now I have been there two times, I actually haven't gone IN the apartment. I will soon enough. Had the burrito bowl at Chipotle, vegetarian this time which I haven't done in a while. Didn't seem to be missing much without the standard chicken, fajita vegetables and salsas more than made up for it. Punished a bag of salty chips that certainly helped scoop the gargantuous mound of guac. Yum.

Good recap.

Dreary Rain

Ugh what a day. Rain. medium rain, misty rain, lots of rain. A lot of rain and clouds. Just what you look forward to on a Friday. Got my Zeke's @ Evergreen as usual, also late as usual. I tried a breakfast sandwich for a change and was flabbergasted to see how they cook their eggs! The eggs go in a microwave safe cup and they are nuked! I mean I have microwaved eggs before but I was surprised by their method, especially in their choice to heat it with the spinach mixed in. Quite possibly some of the flavor was lost but the mozzarella more than compensated.

Work ended and off to practice with the team-
10 min warm up
3x3 200m hills, w/ 800m recovery between sets
10 min cool down

Practice followed by simple yet flavorful dining experience at Grano Pasta Bar in Hampden on the Avenue. Very low key atmosphere, but informal ambiance did not sacrifice authenticity of food; not that it necessarily does. I was immediately greeted when I entered and was offered a cozy seat at the bar. I had a perfect view of the chef who was referred to by most by name, Carlos. I started my order with one server but he was soon overtaken by the owner's grandson. An extroverted 7th grader, this excitable young man took my pasta order, recommended sauces and desserts, and kept me geniunely entertained. It was such a pleasant experience; certainly the highlight of my day. the pomodoro y mozzarella was the perfect portion of tomato to cheese with a bed of fresh greens topped with stunningly fresh pesto. Since one meal is never enough, I also ordered a pasta dish; I mean hello it is a pasta bar. Although my young server recommended the original tomato sauce, I opted for the savory caper, olive and anchovy sauce with skinned tomatoes on penne. So gooooood. They even served the pasta first like in Italy with the salad following.

Dog walk with the basset hound in Mt Vernon. Extended the walk to City Cafe for an after dinner drink; skim cappucino and fresh harvest cookie. My uncle Richard once said; there is nothing like a good oatmeal raisin cookie. He was right, I love good cookies but they certainly don't have to be oatmeal :)

Ew. I need to shower, I am still soaked from rain and running.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Daily Happenings

After recovering from a 5 day excursion in the mountains of Colorado with my family, I return to the daily grind. I start the morning with my favorite cup of coffee- black, at The Evergreen. Most coffee shops open at 7, thankfully the Evergreen is open a wee bit earlier allowing me ample time for me to grab the essentials before I make the final turn for the office :( Along with my cup of Zeke's, I get my usual toasted wheat bagel with sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado as well as a small fruit salad. I am officially ready to start my day...

8 hours later, I am on my way to Towson University's track for a brief warm-up and drills.
1 mile Warm Up
Plyometric Drills
6x100m accelerations (13-15 sec.) 45 sec. recovery
1 mile Cool Down

I decide to head over to Falls Road Running to run with their 6:30 group. We embark on a 50 minute run through Robert E Lee park I looooove running these trails although I frequently end up with a rolled ankle, no biggie.

Headed to Iggie's for my post-workout binge; arugula pizza and the sesamo salad. Yum. Great fuel to accompany Project Runway and the DNC. woo hoo!

Gnight!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Weekend Revisited

As the weekend comes to a close, I sit back to assess the things that were NOT accomplished this weekend. Although every moment was spent "doing" something, most of these doings were not relevant to actual existing tasks at hand. Oh well. Food related excursions were exciting; Friday was payday which naturally means how many meals out can I have this weekend before I feel guilty? The answer is.. a lot. Friday night consisted of a lovely indulgent burger, fries and beer mealv at Brewer's Art. This was really the most accessible joint on Friday as the weather was not exactly inviting actiity. The rain was incessant and put a damper on any out of borough excursion; therefore we stuck it out in Mt Vernon as opposed to the original Hamilton Tavern plan. The garlic and rosemary fries at Brewer's can mend any dismal soul but not this weekend; they spent one too many minutes in the fryer and perhaps hung out under a heat lamp for like 30 too many minutes. Oh well, I ate them all anyways. I opted for the veggie burger instead of the regular massive "burger" burger and was not disappointed. It was still very filling but not quite as moist and rich in flavor. Again, I ate it all anyway. Washed it all down with a couple Ressurections; definitely the highlight of the meal. Serves as a great dessert in my opinion :)

Workout on Friday almost quite as intense as the night's outing. The goal was 8x 600 at 5K pace. I somehow knew that was NOT going to happen because I would end u p going out way too fast and be way faster than 5K pace; which inevitably happened. So I modified it slightly and completed 5x600 and 3x400. Recovery was pretty inconsistent due to the numerous bathroom breaks but was generally between 75 seconds and 2 minutes...

10 min warm-up
5x600:
1:55, 1:58, 2:00, 2:01, 1:58
3x400
1:17, 1:14, 1:12
10 min cool down

I couldn't tell you if this was really tailored as a 5K workout, it appears to have been more of a miler workout perhaps? Only because the pace was not even remotely close to my 5K pace. But I'm still learning...

Saturday dining was fairly minimal with a homemade breakfast sandwich post-run; toasted wheat bagel with egg over hard, fresh tomato, cucumber, swiss, and wilted spinach.
The run was ridiculously soggy; rain came down the duration of my hour long run. About 8 miles, not sure...I still need to gmap it. No extraordinary foodie dining to report on Saturday night; again, the rain was non-stop and I went to a party having not eaten dinner so we made an impromptu visit to Pasta Mista in Canton/Brewer's Hill area. I had no idea there was a Pasta Mista there, I was under the impression the one in Towson was the lone location. Anyways, I splurged on two jump slices; some sort of eggplant, pepper duo and a standard veggie slice with broccolini, etc. Pretty standard, did the job and met my acceptable price range.

Took a much needed day off from running today and indulged in a decadent brunch with the sis and Saki in Bethesda at Mon Ami Gabi. I have always liked this place but had not been there for brunch. Saki and I had sort of decided on this locale for brunch out of sheer convenience but out of the Bethesda/Chevy Chase options I think this may have been one of the best. To start, the champagne cart and Bloody Mary bar were a fun spin on the traditional brunch drinks. The bloody mary's were mixed by the patron themself; the vodka is provided straight and can be dressed per the individual's preference at the bloody mary bar full of fixin's ranging from hot sauces, olices, horseradish, celery, etc. Of course each drink will put you back the same price of your actual entree but hey, I guess one is worth it? I settled on a mushroom, asparagus quiche which was fine...a little overcooked and over-spinached in my opinion. I totally forgot there was supposed to be other vegetables in it. "Over-spinaching" seemed to be the term of the day because my sister's three cheese and spinach crepe was the leafiest crepe I have ever seen. There may as well have not even been cheese in it. But I helped her finish it so it all worked out. We dabbled with the regular dinner menu as well ordering a mozzarella and tomato sauce? dip of sorts. We each had about one baguette a piece; no surprise as we are all carb-fiends. haha.