The 22 Miler

It is done, it is done, it is done!

22 Miles! Let the taper begin!

You might remember, I felt really good during the 20 miler. I’m liking the bullets, let’s go with that again…

  • I’m feeling good about my 9 minute run, 1 minute walk method for this race, it’s worked really well for every long run and I feel 100% positive it is the best thing for me to do for this marathon.
  • My playlist needs some refreshing. It was good most of training, but I’m going to need something extra for those 5 hours. Any suggestions?
  • I had a bit of nerves before I started this run, my 6 miles on Thursday was pretty painful and I was not feeling good.
  • Thankfully, this was definitely better than that run. Phew.
  • But, there is DEFINITELY a reason you taper after this point. My body is screaming for the taper. This run was the least easy of the long runs. I know that sounds like a given, because it was the longest one, but it was more all of the miles leading into this one that made it tough.
  • Although I’m sure I’ll feel a little nervous about taper time like everyone else, I have to say, I’m thankful. You do lose a chunk of your weekend with these longer runs. It’s worth it, but it can still be frustrating.
  • Sometimes during the last mile you start to lose it and might say hello to a butterfly on the Mass Ave bridge, yes, the butterfly was actually there, it’s more the fact that I thought I should say hi…..
  • The nice thing about passing 20 is that you can tell yourself the faster you run the faster you are finished and you no longer have to worry about conserving energy, you are almost there! (of course when I say run faster, it’s not much faster) 🙂

Although it is taper time, the week ahead actually isn’t too much less, but it’s headed in the right direction.

I actually have been doing some cooking, I know it has been way too long, but I actually cooked enough that it will need to go in another post. In the mean time, I had a lovely meal out with my friend Jaime at The Salty Pig. Although it’s been since January that I last mentioned this place, it has definitely been much more frequented than posted. Always delicious, just looking at these photos this morning made me starving for yet another visit.

Time for me to get ready for church, but one more note. You may have read about him in the past in the local Boston newspapers, but check out Hassan Haydar’s story and blog. I met Hassan at my last job and can attest that he is just an amazing and positive person and his running experiences are so motivating!

Have a great weekend!



MCM Training and More

Last we left off, I had finished my 17 miler. I was feeling great with that one and then the next week, 18 miles! This one was not quite as “easy”. I had a very limited timeframe to get this one done, might have involved hopping right out of a car after a long ride, heading out on my run during the hottest part of the day and then immediately getting ready for a fun night out.

It was HOT. About two miles in, I had to start reciting motivational words in my head. Not good. After 6 or 7 my friend Sara met up with me for the rest. I was still having a rough time when we hit 9 miles. Brilliant solution though, a stop at Starbucks for one of their delicious refresher beverages. This was very helpful, a little caffeine and a little ice! Finally, at 11 miles in, I knew I was going to finish. It wasn’t easy, but thankfully it’s done. It is crazy how much a hot day can impact my run.

After the 17 and 18 milers, I have made two decisions, my “nutrients” of choice while running will be the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews and I will be completing my long runs and race day with the Galloway method. I’m not sure I’m following his instructions exactly, but basically I run 9 minutes and then walk quickly for one minute and repeat. Not only does this method help with recovery (and hoping it’s the smarter choice for my plantar fascitis), but I either manage to maintain the same pace I would with continuously running or at times end up with an even faster average pace. The key is to keep that minute walk at a fast pace though. Once I start getting into the teens, it does become a little more difficult to start-up again after walking, but as long as I keep a quick enough pace I’m good to go. Race day strategy, done.

Check out my workouts here for the full recap.  This weekend is 19, yikes!

I’ve been up to a few other things too, besides running, here are some pics, but not all, you know, sometimes I’m a picture fail.

Lunch from the Herb Lyceum at the Copley Square Farmers Market

JRey’s Wedding!

Adorable Millie and me!

Ben’s (1 of 3) birthday dinner at Union Bar & Grille

Beet pasta from our trip to Vermont with summer tomatoes, fresh basil and Fiore Di Nonno mozzrella.

Delicious! Have a great night!






I’m Lame


I was trying to at least share here once a week, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. So I’ve got lots to tell you!


Not the most attractive picture, but on July 28th I ran my longest mileage ever, 14 miles! Hurray! My friend Sara took this lovely picture to commemorate the event, she is also responsible for me finishing the 14 miles, I needed a few pushes to keep going.

We also did 15 miles this past weekend, but I had to finish the last two miles walking on the treadmill at the gym. It was hot and humid out, anyone else out and about for their runs this past Saturday? How did you do?

Amanda and I checked out another class at Eurostoves too! She might have had the most time-consuming and complex recipe out of the group, but it was well worth it.

Lemon Mousse



The results!


Aside from the Lemon Mousse, one of my favorites was their Gazpacho. I ended up making it for Ben and I for dinner one night.


Gazpacho from Eurostoves

2 lg. tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, chopped
1 green pepper, cored, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 (12 oz.) cans tomato juice or V-8
1/2 c. sour cream or yogurt for garnish
Chopped chives for garnish

In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine oil, vinegar, and tomato juice. Mix with vegetables. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.

Serve in large bowls or mugs. Garnish soup with sour cream, chives, croutons, etc.

Serves 6 to 8.

Thank you also to Amanda for supplying the most perfect looking tomato, she was kind enough to share only the second tomato from her garden!

Shockingly I made two other recipes last week.

This one was so good and a healthy Italian dish that doesn’t taste healthy believe it or not!

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

And Fish Packets from my friend Tania

Just heard my cue to end this post, the Olympics! Have a great night!

One Year

And some. I missed the whole one year blog anniversary, but I still managed to catch up in the right month. Here is where it all started. Fascinating I know.

In case you happen to be checking this blog out for the first time, here is a little bit about me.

Since it is my one year blogaversary (creative huh), this might be the perfect time to check in on those little resolutions. We are more than halfway through the year, right?

  1. Run a marathon. Still in training folks. Can’t say I’ve been the most training committed, but I’m hoping to continue to improve. Officially 92 days until the Marine Corps Marathon.
  2. Run 1,000 miles. Ooof. This one bums me out. Status today: 300 exactly. I would love to say I’m going to make it, but reality is, I’m experiencing a bit of running injury right now and hoping to still run the marathon, but most likely will take a bit of running rest after that. Still possible, but unlikely.
  3. Create and follow a new budget. Create yes, follow, on and off. Clearly needs improvement but progress shown.
  4. Create one new recipe. I’ll have to think about that one, I mean I did make this lovely vermicelli noodle bowl the other night, does that count?
  5. Start volunteering with a new organization. This one I can officially check off. I started a monthly commitment to The Home for Little Wanderers through my church.
  6. Take a really fun trip with Ben. Booked!
  7. Make some dents in this healthy living and eating thing. Ouch. I honestly don’t feel like I’ve done much here since January. I don’t know about you, but I get SO frustrated with myself. It’s no one’s fault, but my own. It’s alarming to me that I look back and am still shocked when I realized I’ve made little to no progress, and that it’s literally the tenth time it’s happened. I’m heading into pity party mode (which is ridiculous), let’s end there. This is supposed to be a motivating blog.

Let’s look at ducks. Ducks make me happy.

What else makes me happy? Summer concerts on the Esplanade.


So fun!


Have a great weekend!

It’s a Beautiful, Sunny Day

And I am sitting on the couch. Unapologetically. Yes, and last week you might remember I sat on my couch too. But I am taking another lazy afternoon, on the couch. Sorry, I’m not sorry 🙂

So I didn’t sit on my couch all week, don’t worry. I did go out to eat A LOT. Part of that was due to fun plans for my birthday and partly unexpected due to a weird power outage in the Back Bay. Since I neglected to cook very much (or perhaps my now empty fridge is to blame) maybe you would like to know where I dined this week.


Tuesday night I grabbed sushi with a friend at Douzo in the Back Bay. We split some edamame and a few rolls, Boston roll, Spider roll, Volcano roll and Spicy Tuna. All delicious and I have to say, one of the best Spicy Tuna rolls I have ever had. This happened to be the evening of the power outage, thankfully we had just finished eating once the power went out.

Russell House Tavern

Our go to, favorite restaurant. Everything we’ve had here is excellent. I was pretty boring and went for a Cheeseburger and French Fries, but I was feeling some comfort food. Amazing as usual.

The Beehive

It’s been forever since we’ve been here, such a fun place to go. I enjoyed a Pink Flamingo, split an order of the Steamed Mussels with Lager, Tomato & Old Bay and then had one of the specials for the main event. The meal was as tasty as I remember from my last visit, service left something to be desired, but was a fun night overall.

Elephant Walk

If you haven’t tried this place before you really should. Don’t be scared off by the unusual cuisine (French-Cambodian). It is a winner. Another plus, if you are looking for a number of vegan and/or a number of gluten-free dishes there is a sizable menu for both (and also for the carnivorous gluten-eating individuals).

So clearly this needs to be food detox week. Goodness. Blegh.

Unfortunately, where the food choices are poor, the activity level is poor as well. I am proud of completing my long run though. I was able to run with friends and although I love my alone time while running too, I forgot how fun it is to run with friends and how quickly the miles go by. Although not as sunny or warm as today, it was a great temperature for a run yesterday. Here’s my full recap:

  • Mon – Run 3.5m Rest Day #1
  • Tues – 6Ă—400 @ 5k pace Done and done
  • Wed – Run 3m & strength Ran the 3m, skipped out on the strength
  • Thurs – Rest Rest Day #2
  • Fri – Run 3m Rest Day #3
  • Sat – Run 7m Check!
  • Sun – Strength And that would be Rest Day #4
And for this week…I’m supposed to be alternating speedwork and tempo runs every other Tuesday, but I know my upcoming 5k is for sure hilly and I’m thinking one of the half-marathons might be too so I’ve decided to replace the tempo runs with some hill work. First, I should probably find myself a lengthy hill, but I’m thinking some hills on the treadmill would also suffice, what do you think?
  • Mon – Run 4m
  • Tues – HILLS
  • Wed – Run 3m & strength
  • Thurs – Rest
  • Fri – Run 3m pace
  • Sat – Run 8m
  • Sun – Strength
Don’t worry, I’ll be back cooking this week. The goal will be to eat at home as much as possible!

No Basil? No Problem

Somehow Whole Foods was out of fresh basil! What? And my heart was set on pesto pasta.

I’ve never dabbled in other greens in a pesto before, but when I realized basil was not happening, I decided to use the fresh arugula already in my cart. Delicious! I’m on the fence of actually saying I prefer arugula to basil pesto! Very unexpected. Having difficulty refraining from finishing the entire pot. Check out my recipe at the end of this post.

I am loving this mild winter weather in Boston right now. It was a gorgeous weekend for running. On Saturday I ran a lovely 5 miles along the Charles and this morning I ran 3 around Boston Common. One of my favorites in the park is the small section where all the dogs run free, leash less. They are SO happy and on an early Sunday morning there are so many dogs to see.

As you may or may not know, I have a bit of a dog obsession. Sadly, Ben and I do not have one yet due to the difficulty of finding rentals that allow them, but next place I live will ABSOLUTELY allow dogs. I refuse to compromise on this one anymore.

Sometimes my dog obsession might go a bit too far. I might recommend that you may not want to pet a dog without checking with its owner first, since it may surprise you as being the world’s unfriendliest bulldog and bite your hand. You also might go to your doctor and find out you have to get four rabies shots. Purely hypothetical of course. 🙂

I don’t care, I still love dogs and my heart is set on owning one soon. Just in case anyone was doubting the value of dogs, you should probably give this article a read. I dare you to be unconvinced.

How Dogs Spread Happiness

Anyway, I got off topic. I am thrilled to have my loving of running return to me. I don’t know if you could tell, but running was not as much my friend the past couple of months. When I get off target and let my running abilities lessen it is SO INCREDIBLY HARD to get back on track. Honestly, I don’t enjoy running until I am easily pulling off a straight 4 miles (albeit slowly). Before the 4 miles, it is a struggle for me. Not to say every run is fun from that point forward, but I feel so much more positive and energized by runs. And I am super excited for my next one.

So that said, I’m feeling good about my workout recap this week.

  • Mon – Accidental rest day Obviously
  • Tues – Run 2m Done
  • Wed – Quality treadmill time Yes, checkout my workout here 
  • Thurs – Strength training Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 Level 2
  • Fri – Cardio, including some miles Rest
  • Sat – Run, run, run Ran 5 miles
  • Sun – Run, run, run Ran 3 miles
Now, for this week:
  • Mon – Strength Training
  • Tues – Treadmill workout
  • Wed – Strength Training
  • Thurs – Cardio
  • Fri – Rest – I think I like my rest days on Fridays
  • Sat – Run 6m
  • Sun – Run, run, run

Don’t forget to sign up for Daily Mile and send me a friend request! I find the site to be super motivating and I bet you will too!

Arugula Pesto

Makes more than enough for a pound of pasta

  • 2 cups fresh packed arugula leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Blend in a food processor and enjoy!

A Bit Behind

I know you’ve been on pins and needles waiting to find out things like:

  • Did Jess earn a gold star this week?
  • What is the salad of the week?
  • What is Ben having for lunch?
  • Where is the workout recap?

Well, don’t you worry, I will tell you all.

  • Did Jess earn a gold star this week? Nope, both on the workouts and the weight. Bummer. 
  • What is the salad of the week? Romaine, roasted beets, walnuts, chickpeas, olives and balsamic vinegar. 
  • What is Ben having for lunch? Orzo, spinach, kalamata olives, cotija cheese, rotisserie chicken and Italian dressing. Ben loves orzo!
  • Where is the workout recap? Oh here it is, running FAIL. 
  • Mon – Run 4 miles Done and felt great!
  • Tues – Strength Training Rest day #1
  • Wed – Run 3 miles & Cardio Cardio Circuit
  • Thurs – Strength Training Rest day #2
  • Fri – Cardio Rest day #3
  • Sat – Run more miles! Cardio Circuit
  • Sun – Run more miles! Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones, OUCH!
Question? What do you make when you want to spend minimal time, use few ingredients, eat healthy and possibly might ask your significant other who doesn’t cook to be the chef that night?
My go to is what I have deemed “turkey pasta”. I would love to hear about yours!
Turkey Pasta
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 28 oz San Marzano crushed tomatoes

Boil pasta. Sautee minced garlic in olive oil. Add ground turkey and cook until done. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer while pasta is cooking. Mix altogether. DONE.

Tonight’s dinner, a repeat, but delicious – Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette from Beth’s Journey.

This is my new favorite place, The Salty Pig. Somehow I have been there three times and I finally managed to take a couple of pics. Love everything I’ve eaten there and an awesome wine list. Also, you can practically drink the olive oil, it is SO amazing.

Although this pizza almost made me, but I haven’t forgotten to release my workout plan, here it is…

  • Mon – Accidental rest day
  • Tues – Run 2m
  • Wed – Quality treadmill time
  • Thurs – Strength training
  • Fri – Cardio, including some miles
  • Sat – Run, run, run
  • Sun – Run, run, run

You know that I HATE the treadmill, right? Serious hatred.

Well, this morning I was loving it so I thought, for those that hate the treadmill as much as me, try this plan out (6.0 is my typical pace, so you might want to increase or decrease the MPH as needed.)

I did this with my usual 1% incline. Try it out and let me know what you think!


I have to say, my new commute is pretty awesome. Not only do I have a guaranteed two miles of walking every day, but the majority of my walk is along Newbury Street. Pretty awesome, except maybe for my bank account.

Other than the Somerville Jingle Bell, this has really been the coldest day we’ve had so far. Brrrrrr, definitely a night for soup.

I loved checking out the top soup recipes of 2011 from Oh She Glows. Love soup! I made this one tonight and was perfect for a chilly evening.

Holiday Soup for the Soul

I realized after I shared my resolutions yesterday, that I totally disregarded my workout plans for the week. Not surprising that resulted in not working out today. Great job kicking off that New Year Jess! Well, I still have the opportunity to win a gold star this week, it’s not over yet.

  • Wed – Run 2 miles & more cardio
  • Thurs – Strength training
  • Fri – Cardio
  • Sat – Run outside
  • Sun – Strength training

Wish me luck!