Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends, near and far...

"Friendship is the guise of love,
And love is friendship
Dressed up for a night out.
That we are here together, here at this moment,
Alive, one with another,
Is the most delicious treat;
I, for one, ask for no more,
I, for one, am replete."

(Corduroy Mansions, Alexander McCall Smith)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Barefoot Runner

No, I don't run barefoot. But I am a runner who has become obsessed with the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

I used to love cooking when the children were small. Because I was a stay-at-home mom with my two oldest children only 17 months apart, I was kind of sick of them by the end of day and they typically were nestled in their beds (after stories, of course!) by 6:30. Cooking became a type of creative and relaxing outlet for me, and I usually had a couple hours before my husband came home as he often had evening appointments at this point in his career. In those days we ate some mighty fine meals!

However, as the children got older, stayed up later, and became picky eaters, the elegant and interesting dinners came to a halt. Cooking was no longer regarded as fun, but more of a chore and a task. "Do I have to feed these other 4 people AGAIN! I just did this last night!"
Fortunately, the summers are different. There is a lot more down time and slicing, dicing and sauteing as you look out at the ocean becomes FUN again! Some of my neighbors turned me on to the Barefoot Contessa books this past summer and my interest in cooking has been reignited. Today I just picked up Barefoot in Paris which now completes my set of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

So once a week for the next year I plan on preparing a Barefoot Meal for the family as well as toss in some Barefoot Dinner parties. Maybe I should start a blog and then write a BOOK about my year of cooking barefoot! Oh wait, that's been done before. But I DO KNOW where I'll be purchasing all my organic spices. Check out Jenny's (DFMC veteran) new organic spice business adventure at Smith and Truslow.

But will Cooking Barefoot make me run any faster?! Or how could I tie in Barefoot Cooking into a fundraiser for DFMC???? for thought.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Running through mud puddles

When Kallie and the rest of the Medfield xcountry team finished running their Divisional Meet at Franklin Park last Saturday, I didn't want her getting into our car to go home. The girls were a total, muddy MESS!! Some of the puddles they were forced to run through went up to their knees. Gotta love the wonderful world of xcountry running!!

I never ran in high school or college. In fact, I didn't start until I was 30 years old after having two children. It has been so much fun watching and supporting the girls in Medfield, and I know that after Kallie graduates I'll still be coming back for more xcountry spectactor fun.

I also see the same positive team bonding that I've experienced with DFMC. We all have our individual goals, but we are also excited when a team mate races a new PR. I know these girls will continue running, perhaps not at a competitive collegiate level, but they've got the heart, soul and guts to be future DFMCers!!!

Good Luck at States, Medfield!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The confusion of the college application process

Kallie, self-portrait

Remember when the biggest decision of your life was WHERE I am going to college??? (Or perhaps, where will I be ACCEPTED to college???). Thank goodness my oldest daughter has the relief of her cross-country workouts to make it all bearable!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fit Girl Race Buddies

I'm thrilled to see how successful the Fit Girls volunteer "race buddy" aspect of the program has been working!! Basically how the race buddy program works is we recruit local runners and high school athletes to run/walk with a team of girls at their final 5k event. There typically is a wide range of paces. Some girls (a relatively small number!) actually try to jog the entire distance. The majority of them alternate between running and walking. And a handful of them creep along the course at a snail's pace...however they ALL make it to the finish line!! It is super helpful to have lots of volunteers along the course to motivate, inspire and cheer for the girls in order to keep their engines running. These volunteers are wonderful role models and mentors.

The little girls ADORE their older race buddies! And the volunteers seem to really enjoy the experience too. Perhaps the volunteers recongize a younger version of themselves.

So in this post I'm taking the opportunity to thank Abby and Brenda, DFMC marathon athletes, who helped at the Chelsea Trick or Trot race, and the 9 Medfield xcountry girls who spurred on my team of girls in Medfield. You're the best!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NYC Marathon 2009 Results

Hannah: "Mom, did you come in 40th in the NYC marathon???"

Me: "Not exactly. Try adding a couple more digits." (Actual overall place: 4128)

The New York City Marathon is an AMAZING event! However, the one thing I DO NOT enjoy about this race is the hours spent on Staten Island before the race starts. I was assigned to take a 5:30 bus from the New York Public Library only to arrive on Staten Island and sit around for 3 hours (in relatively cold, damp conditions) before lining up in my coral. While waiting in my coral I had the pleasure of meeting two young women, both strong half marathon runners, who were running their first marathon. They were shooting for a time between 3:30-3:45. I quickly identified these gals as great race buddies as I also was nervous about running too fast too early in the game only to crash and burn at the tail end. Starting out at an 8 minute pace was perfect!

As it turned out, even if we wanted to run much faster we wouldn't have had the opportunity as this race is REALLY crowded. Unfortunately I lost my new friends (one at mile 10 and the other one at mile 20) but these gals from New Mexico and Texas were fabulous running mates.
26 miles is 26 miles, regardless of how fast or how slow you run. The slightly sub 8 minute pace was comfortable, but at mile 20 I was ready to be DONE with all of it. In most of my marathon experiences, this is the point when things start to tighten up and it begins to hurt. I pushed through the next 3 miles, and at the 23 mile point I had a burst of energy to just finish. To my surprise I ran mile 24 at a 7:20 pace and my final mile at a 7:10 pace. My first negative splits EVER in a marathon, or any race for that matter.

Final time: 3:25:25.

What's next? Boston 2010.