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: 20 Miles

Something what happens when you are training for a marathon is you have a little bit less time. I wish I had done a better job of documenting my training here, but it is a bit more important to actually do the training than write about it, right?

Since I haven’t been posting much, maybe you thought I wasn’t working out, but don’t you worry, I was! I finally updated the workout log, check it out. Especially check out Tina Reale’s medicine ball circuit. Did this for the first time on Thursday and loved it!

How about an update on my marathon training? Let’s bullet it out, I’m feeling brief:

  • Sometimes when you run twenty miles you chafe in some interesting places.
  • Plantar fascitis and a touch of achilles tendonitis still following me around, but thanks to my awesome physical therapist this marathon and all it’s training is still going to happen.
  • Two weeks in a row of consistent strength training (twice a week for now, maybe more often after training is over).
  • Feeling positive, the dreaded “wall” of the marathon scares me, but yesterday at mile 19 I had this renewed energy and just ran my heart out.

What else is going on?

Meet my new breakfast – recipe below

Not the most attractive photo, but this was my attempt at “cilantro rice”. A little rice, a little low-fat sour cream mixed with lime juice, a little (or a lot in our case) cilantro and some shredded Cotija cheese. Yum!

Can’t believe it’s Sunday night already. Hope you had a great weekend!

The Motivating Jess Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1 cup frozen organic fruit (my favorite is cherries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons hemp protein powder (or sometimes I switch it out for 1/4 cup oats)

The 17 Miler

Done and done. This run felt great. It is a amazing what a difference a cool and dry day can make on your run. I didn’t once feel like I didn’t have the energy to keep breathing hard (very different experience than my previous runs this summer). It wasn’t until the last few miles that I really had to push myself to finish, more due to my legs no longer cooperating. Thankfully, I had my motivating running partner, Sara, there with me!

This was probably the first time where I felt, this is really going to happen, I am going to run my first marathon. I’m actually kind of looking forward to my next long run, weird? Maybe.

This week’s workout plan:

  • Mon – Rest
  • Tues – Bike & Strength Training
  • Wed – Run 6 miles
  • Thurs – Bike & Strength Training
  • Fri – Run 6 miles
  • Sat – Rest
  • Sun – Run 18 miles (small window of time for this one, fingers crossed for another cool day!)

I finally took a major step, I’ve signed up for Pinterest. I held off for a really long time, knowing it would only cause unnecessary shopping, but it was time. Now don’t worry Ben if you are reading this, I am going to stick to recipes. I was getting a little tired of reading all my favorite blogs, finding awesome recipes and then totally forgetting who, what, when and losing the recipe.

As a result, I’ve already made two! Both from Oh She Glows. For my breakfast this week, Portable Baked Oatmeal. I reduced the recipe to 4 servings to keep me fuller until lunch. Next up, Warm Quinoa Salad with 3 Herb Green Sauce. I made this for dinner last night and despite it being vegan, Ben enjoyed it too.

I loved this recipe. A perfect light summer meal. I made one minor adjustment and reduced the olive oil in the dressing to 2 tablespoons and added a full yellow tomato instead. This helped me be more in line with my remaining points for the day, but totally not necessary to do for anyone looking to make it.

One more thing…check out this photo Ben took on Sunday, awesome, isn’t it?

Have a great night!


Healthy Living Summit

I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew as soon as I heard Healthy Living Summit was going to be in Boston this year I signed up. As we got into the week before, I started getting a little nervous that my introverted awkward self would basically just be on my own for the entire weekend. What was I thinking signing up for something where I didn’t know a soul?

I was also concerned over the fact that I’m not much of a blogger. Lately I only blog once every week or so, there just hasn’t been enough time, but I enjoy it enough that I want to continue. I was scared I would be the only one where this was the case and then someone would wonder, why are you here?

Couldn’t be farther from the truth. As soon as I arrived at the cocktail party two people heading in at the same time quickly introduced themselves and made me feel welcome. From there it was easy, I felt during most moments someone either proactively reached out to me or I felt confident enough to introduce myself to a new group. This sort of thing is so far out of my comfort zone and it felt great to overcome my nerves.

Even better than expected, I met two women, one that was training for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon (and had run marathons before), Theodora from Losing Weight in the City, and one that had run this same marathon twice before, Melissa from Melissa Runs. I was feeling a little lack of confidence over the past week or so, mostly my fault, with my lack of mileage during the week, but it was helpful to talk to both and get even more excited about the race ahead!

I got to connect with many different women that are local to Boston also and who I am so excited to get to know even better soon! Wish I had been better with the pictures of all of us, photo fail, but you aren’t surprised by this are you?

As if that wasn’t enough, I also attended several helpful and motivating sessions. I really took a lot from each one of them, but a special note of appreciation to Gretchen for her photography session. As you know, I need some serious help in this arena.

I did manage to take some photos, mostly of the delicious food, take a peek! Thank you to Wild Harvest!

I loved these, never had them before!

Something else awesome? Free shoes! Thank you Reebok!

Pretty excited about those, totally my colors too. Thank you to the fabulous team that planned everything this year, I have no idea how you did it, that is a large undertaking, thank you Meghann, Julie & Heather. I had an awesome time!!!

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!

Fish Sticks?

Did you grow up with fish sticks for dinner too? We probably had them once or twice a month and I loved them! I know, most kids turn their nose up at fish, but I was a fan. Especially with lots of tartar sauce. I mean, when you order Fish & Chips in a restaurant, it’s not too different, now is it?

I decided to make the grown up version from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals for dinner tonight, Sesame-Crusted Fish Sticks with Yogurt Remoulade. I have loved everything else I’ve made from this cookbook so far, but this one was a little disappointing. I mean, it was good, but I expected it to be better. I think the one thing that might have made a difference is the sesame seeds. The recipe noted that unhulled would be best, but unfortunately I only had the hulled version. I’m wondering if that is the case since the coating was overall tasteless with the hulled. Oh well. Dinner is not always going to be a winner. 🙂

Clearly, I didn’t do the best job documenting my eats this week. Let’s just say that a little something called Fourth of July in the middle of the week happened. I might have overindulged. Obviously Eva’s Berry Pie was involved.

This was our first year staying in Boston for the fourth and therefore my first viewing of the Boston Fireworks. Normally I’m not into attending fireworks. I know, I’m lame, but big crowds of people and waiting around all day are not my thing. Conveniently we now live very, very close to ideal firework viewing now so I was game. About 10 minutes before, we headed out to the bridge to watch the show.  About 1 minute in, it started to sprinkle, and then it started to downpour. And honestly, it was the most fun ever. Everyone was just out laughing at the fact that we are all getting soaked together in the pouring rain while watching an awesome fireworks show. I loved it.

Sadly, I did not manage to get a picture of the fireworks. BUT I did get an after shot of the fireworks. Wow, so glad no one told me I had smeared mascara all over my face. Thanks Ben.

Just so beautiful.

In other news, I’ve started a new workout log on the blog. Sorry, but this was actually a selfish need. This week, I finally started to get back in the gym and do a strength workout. I used to be really good at strength training, and it made such a difference, also helping me be a more balanced runner. Running, without strength training is a path towards injury (at least for me). I love recording my runs on DailyMile, but it isn’t as efficient for recording my strength workouts so here it is.

I had read somewhere that a “reward” for completing a workout can be recording it. I didn’t realize that this was actually something I enjoyed until I caught myself the other day immediately updating my daily mile log after a run. And then I realized I do that every time! I know, I’m a genius. You should be jealous.

So what was my actual workout results this week:

  • Mon – Run 3m – Check
  • Tues – Cardio & Strength Check
  • Wed – Run 6m Half that
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength Rest
  • Fri – Rest Rest
  • Sat – Run 11m Sort of, I made the 11, but there was definitely some walking involved. 
  • Sun – Crosstraining or Rest 30 min stationary bike & 30 min strength done 
And onto the week ahead:
  • Mon – Rest
  • Tues – Run 3m
  • Wed – Run6m
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – Run 12m
  • Sun – Crosstraining/Strength

Wish me luck!

Saturday/Sunday Eats

I wish I could say I stayed right within my point allowance after the weekend, but I did not. I do have to say, I came the closest I have the past couple of months so not bad, right? I think this had something to do with knowing I would have to post it here? I think it’s worth another week to do so and help keep me on track. Hey, if it helps, why not? Oh and I know it can be a bit boring so I think I’ll go ahead and post Saturday and Sunday towards the bottom so you can see where a few, ahem, errors were made.

  • Mon – Strength Done
  • Tues – Run 3m Yes!
  • Wed – Run 5m Not so much
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength Guess again
  • Fri – Rest I ran on rest day, that’s good right? Okay it was 1.5 miles. 
  • Sat – Run 6m 4m
  • Sun – Crosstraining Rest instead

I’m feeling okay, but I’m seeing a trend in my training where I’m not exactly following the plan. Not that things have to be exact all the time, but they should be closer than this. I am still having a bit of heel pain and need to remind myself to be a balanced runner. I really need to be strength training and not all my cardio should be running. The end. Let’s go for it this week, even have a holiday in the middle of the week, No Excuses!
  • Mon – Run 3m
  • Tues – Cardio & Strength
  • Wed – Run 6m
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – Run 11m
  • Sun – Crosstraining or Rest

Also just had that thought I keep pushing to the back of my head about that little New Year’s Resolution I made where I would run 1,000 miles this year. Oooof. I’ll be providing an update on these since we are halfway through the year, but let’s just say I need to average closer to 29 miles per week going forward to meet that one. Ouch.

What is your typical grocery list method? Or do you not have one? And if you don’t, I just don’t understand. Control freak, I know.My usual method is to try out some new recipes I may have come across in my ridiculous amount of magazine subscriptions or a recipe I saw recently on a blog I follow. This particular one that Ben and I had for dinner tonight, was from Joy the Baker. Such a great summer dish.

BLT Corn Salad Wraps

I bought a head of hydroponic Boston lettuce for the wrap portion. A) have you ever bought one of these? and B) Have you checked out the roots that come along with it? Craziness! Should have taken a picture, would have made more sense.

If I haven’t completely and utterly bored you with this post, please find my eats below. Full disclosure.


Breakfast – Whole Wheat toast with 1 tablespoon Sunflower Butter, Dunks Iced French Vanilla Coffee with skim milk & sugar

Lunch – Super Sub (best subs EVER) small sub with turkey, american cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, olives and pickles

Snacks – It was 90 degrees out, needed some Berryline obviously, small Lavender Honey fro yo with mochi

Dinner – Two slices veggie pizza & a Magic Hat


Breakfast – Whole Wheat toast with 1 tablespoon Sunflower Butter, Dunks Iced Coconut Coffee with skim milk & sugar

Lunch – Vermicelli bowl with chicken at Phoa Pho, delicious!

Snacks – Oh, big surprise! Berryline again, small Oreo, also way too much of a bag of Kettle Chip Sea Salt & Vinegar chips

Dinner – Beer & Ritz crackers with dark chocolate peanut butter


Breakfast – Overnight Oats, iced coffee with 1 tsp sugar & 1/2 cup soy milk

Lunch – Arugula with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, 1/4 cup hummus and 1/4 cup tabouli, 1 cup blackberries

Snacks – Larabar Uber Cherry Bar and a peach

Dinner – BLT Corn Salad Wraps & another peach!


Monday Eats

I’m fairly good at confessing my workout blunders, but not always my food choices. Let’s try something different this week, how about sharing a week of eats? Monday…

Breakfast – Banana & whole wheat bread with a tablespoon of sunflower butter and a teaspoon of honey, iced coffee with sugar (1 tsp) and soy milk (1/2 cup)  (random note, all this time I’ve been saying that during the week when I make my meals, I eat vegan until dinner time, update, honey is not vegan, oops)

Lunch – Arugula & kale with summer squash, broccoli, bell pepper, 1/2 cup quinoa, olives and balsamic vinegar, raspberries for something sweet

Snacks – Larabar Uber Cherry Cobbler (I know, also not vegan, but so delicious) and a nectarine

Dinner – Glass of Rose, Cold Sesame Noodles and a cup of unsweetened applesauce

WW Points Used – 26 out of 26

Another successful veggie meal with Ben’s vote. This is a simple and delicious meal from Bon Appetit’s July issue. I was a little too lazy to chop the veggies into matchsticks so would have had a more pleasing appearance, but so good. I made a minor adjustment to bring this in line with my desired dinner points by changing over to olive oil and reducing the amount to 1/4 cup. I feel like recipes always go a little oil crazy, don’t you?

You are going to notice just a tad bit of repetitiveness for my meals during the week. I’m pretty routine, my co-workers might even know that I eat my larabar around 3pm and my piece of fruit around 4pm on a daily basis. Yes, seriously, I’m ridiculous.

Running has continued to be FUN this week, but also gotten a little bit painful. Over the weekend I was actually kind of hating any moment I had to stand painful. I have no idea what the deal is, but my guess is it’s once again related to my Achilles since much of the pain has been in my heels. I’m hopeful my new shoes maybe were not the best match for me? I actually went out and got a totally different pair at Marathon Sports, abandoning my commitment to the Asics Gel Nimbulus and trying out a pair of Brooks.

Deep down I know it’s not helpful that my orthotics were created when I was at a lighter weight. I’ve loved running enough to give up high heels and sleeping in, but if I want to continue running for a long, long time I probably need to get some of the excess weight off too. It’s amazing to me how one day, ONE DAY, eating within my points range feels like I won a battle. Like I won a battle and deserve a reward. Seriously, change for a day and win a reward? Really Jess, really? One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

So, I didn’t quite meet my workout expectations, but I also am not that unhappy about it since the pain I’ve been feeling probably deserves some extra rest.

  • Mon – Strength Surprise ran 4 miles!
  • Tues – Run 3m Rest
  • Wed – Run 5m Rest
  • Thurs – Run 3m Rest
  • Fri – Strength Ran 2.8 miles
  • Sat – Run 9m Done
  • Sun – Rest And done
What’s up for this week?
  • Mon – Strength
  • Tues – Run 3m
  • Wed – Run 5m
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – Run 6m
  • Sun – Crosstraining
Interesting how I drop down to 6 miles this week? This marathon training is a new world! I’m sure when I have that week where I run 20 miles and then 12 miles the following weekend I will be beyond ecstatic!
Okay if you are in Boston, we are having the craziest thunderstorm right now! Time to go and fall asleep to the rain!

Motivation Needed

So why is it that when I’m making some strides towards healthier eating that I end up sabotaging my efforts. Two weeks in a row I lost some (minimal) weight. It is often around this time that I start feeling really positive, but then end up making one poor choice that leads to another poor choice and so on. And once again here we are today. I know, tomorrow is a new day, but still SO incredibly frustrating when I do this! Let’s just say, really only one slice of pizza at lunch was enough, wasn’t necessary to have two and the ice cream after dinner, also unnecessary. Does anyone else find that they take two steps forward and three steps back when it comes to eating healthier? How do you break through this cycle?

Okay, enough venting. New day tomorrow. Not a big deal. The end.

Now, let’s look at some puppies. This one is Basil the Golden

From my favorite way to start my day, Daily Puppy. I’m gearing up for renewing our lease time with the landlord and BEGGING to allow us a dog. I’m sure my husband isn’t tired at all of hearing about my dog obsession, not…at….all.

So the rainy days here in Boston definitely have me slightly brain-dead and cranky, but I’m finding I kind of love running in the rain. Is that weird? I mean, if it was rainy and 35 degrees out I would disagree with that statement (a la Maine Half-Marathon conditions), but give me a rainy spring temp day and I love it. Had an awesome run on Monday, I think it was the first time in a while that I didn’t glance down at my watch to see how much longer I had to go or how my pace was looking, I just really enjoyed it and even ran slightly more than I had planned to. I think my latest playlist was helpful too, check out some of my favorites right now:

  • Jai Ho – AR Rahman
  • Forever – Chris Brown
  • Wild Ones – Flo Rida
  • Pumped up Kicks – Foster the People
  • We are Young – Fun
  • Don’t Stop Believin’ – Glee Cast
  • Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye
  • Starships – Nicki Minaj
  • Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
  • Back in Time – Pitbull
  • DLZ – TV on the Radio

I’ve been all about fish tacos lately and including this week have made them once per week for three straight ones. For this week’s recipe I had a simple and fast recipe from the latest Bon Appetit for Pickled Red Onions. All you need is the onion, obviously, apple cider vinegar, sugar and kosher salt.

I try to change up what’s in the tacos every week, in addition to the red onions, chopped avocado sprinkled with lime juice and my wimpy version of Edgar’s Salsa Verde.

 Definitely make this salsa if you haven’t already! Some other options I’ve made include shredded cabbage with cilantro, lime juice and olive oil along  with Cotija cheese. What do you like with your fish tacos? Any ideas I should try out for next week’s version?