Monthly Archives: October 2011

Atlanta Marathon Relay

This morning was the Atlanta Marathon and Marathon Relay. My relay team originally consisted of me, my friend Joan, my friend Dave and Laura. Unfortunately, Laura injured herself and wasn’t able to run it. I have to admit, I was a little worried when she told us that she couldn’t run. If we weren’t able to find a fourth person, one of us would have to do two legs of the race and I was the only one that was trained to do so. The rules stated that if you ran two legs, you had to do them consecutively, so if I had to do that, I would have had to run 12.3 miles. Fortunately, Mark offered to take Laura’s place so it all worked out in the end. (Thanks again, Mark!)

The race started and finished at Atlantic Station – an outdoor mall in Midtown. Out of the four of us, only Mark had done a relay before. Dave, Joan and I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Our relay order was:

Leg 1 – Me – 5.5 miles
Leg 2 – Dave – 8.4 miles
Leg 3 – Joan – 5.1 miles
Leg 4 – Mark – 7.2 miles

We picked our legs based on what mileage we wanted to run, but I definitely got the best deal running the first leg. Everyone else had to take shuttle busses to their respective transition areas and wait around for a long time in the cold. And when I say long time, I mean a really long time. Mark, doing the final leg, had to wait over three hours!

It was cold at the beginning, probably around 38 degrees but I felt okay. My portion of the race went from Midtown into Downtown which is not an area that I run often, so I enjoyed taking in the sites. There were some hills, but really only one major one. The race was well organized and there were clocks at most of the mile markers (not mile 5 for some reason) and water stops every two miles.

It’s pretty nice to run 5.5 miles after running 13.1 the weekend before because it really did fly by. Before I knew it, I was at the transition and ready to hand off my timing slap bracelet (yes, a slap bracelet, like we had when we were kids!) to Dave. I’m not sure of my exact time, but I think it was in the 56 minute range. After Dave took off, I got in line for a shuttle bus that took me back to Atlantic Station.

Once we arrived, I immediately went to Starbucks to get a warm beverage. Lots of runners had the same idea and it was crowded, but I managed to get a seat. I sat there for about 40 minutes, enjoying the warmth before I went back outside to wait for Dave. While I was waiting, I saw the first marathoner finish in 2:34! Crazy talk. I can barely run a half marathon in that time.


Eventually, more and more runners started to finish so I made my way down to the finish line to watch while I was waiting for Joan and Mark. I know some people think that watching a race is boring, but I found it very exciting to be at a marathon finish line. I even got a little choked up at times. I’m kind of a sap.

I managed to see Kristy cross the finish line. I don’t think she heard me but I cheered for her. And about five minutes after, Mark crossed the finish line. Our total team time was 4:11 which is a 9:35 pace. Fine with me!

All in all, it was a fun experience but I’m not sure if I’d do a relay again. Even though you are part of a team, you never really get to see your teammates and it’s kind of lonely. Plus, there is a lot of waiting. On the flip side, it’s fun to participate in excitement of the marathon festivities without actually having to run 26.2 miles.


Halloween Party

Last night, Jason and I got dressed up and went to a Halloween party that one of his co-workers was hosting. Can you tell who we are supposed to be?


How about now?


Is there any resemblance?


Jason had some trouble finding good vampire fangs and ended up with ones that made him look like a buck toothed character from the Simpsons.


I honestly could not stop laughing at his teeth.


Although now I can’t stop laughing because Jason posted a picture on facebook (without the teeth) and a relative of mine said he looks like Stephen King. It’s the wig! Who knew that if you cut an “emo rocker” wig a little bit, you’d turn into Stephen King?

The party didn’t start until 9, so I ate dinner beforehand. I always get sort of annoyed at those health magazine articles that tell you to eat before a party so you won’t end up stopping by the food table every five minutes. Umm, all that ever happens in that situation is that I eat before AND at the party. They did have a really delicious pumpkin dip at this particular party so I think it was worth it.

Do you dress up for Halloween? What about trick or treaters? Get any? Last year was the first year that we lived in our house on Halloween and I bought all this candy, thinking that since we live in a suburban neighborhood, there would be a lot of kids. You know how many times the door rang? Once! And I think those people have since moved away.

(By the way, we were Sookie and Bill from True Blood if you’ve never seen the show or our costumes were just that bad.)

Healthy Bar Food

Sometimes Jason and I talk about moving to another city. We’re not really serious about it, we own a house here for one thing. But we both feel sick of Atlanta at times and do want to get away. However, more often than not, I find myself enjoying aspects of this city that I tend to take for granted and would certainly miss if we ever did leave. Healthy food in bars is one of those things.

I don’t go to bars that often. I used to, but not anymore. Not for any particular reason, I guess, just going to a restaurant rather than a bar seems more appealing now. However, that’s not to say that I never meet friends for after work drinks and food at bars.

When I’ve gone out in other cities, it seems the bar food is well that – bar food. Nachos, chicken wings, burgers, not much vegetarian stuff. We have that too, of course, but what I like so much about the bar scene in Atlanta is that it is possible to get a healthy meal. Healthy bar food is not an oxymoron here. I know that some people have the mindset that if they’re going to go to a bar, they’re going to eat chicken wings and drink beer. I don’t share that mindset. While I’m down with the beer drinking (though I prefer wine), I genuinely like healthy food and it makes me feel better about the drinks that I’m about to have!

My friend Jamie and I went to The Earl tonight. We hadn’t been in a long time and going out seemed like a good diversion from a crappy week. The Earl is a total dive/punk/kind of hipster bar in East Atlanta.



You’d never know it from the outside, but they have some really good food,


including my favorite, the veggie tofu pita.


I think this pita might be reason enough to stay in Atlanta forever.

Stress Rears it’s Ugly Head

When it comes to food, I think everyone has habits that they struggle with more than others. Personally, my biggie is listening to my hunger cues and boredom eating. One thing that I do not struggle with, fortunately, is eating poorly when I’m stressed out. It’s a good thing because I’ve been extremely stressed out this past week. I’m not at liberty to talk about the reason behind it, but let’s just say I found out some not so great news recently. (It’s nothing related to my health, don’t worry!)

Instead of eating when I’m stressed out, my natural inclination is to sleep. I think it’s partially because I’m not sleeping well at night. Even though I feel like I’m asleep, my waking thoughts are still present, causing me to toss and turn. So it was no surprise to me when I felt like I was going to fall asleep at my desk around 3pm today. My original plan was to do a 3 mile run after work. I’m running a leg of a marathon relay (5.7 miles) on Sunday so I figured I should probably get in at least two short runs this week. But when the clock hit 5:30 and I could barely keep my eyes open, I knew that I needed sleep.

I fell asleep for an hour. It was a struggle to wake up, but I knew that I couldn’t go to bed for the night at 6pm! I finally dragged my butt out of bed, took Murphy for a short walk and tried to make a healthy dinner.


Dinner was roasted green beans, roasted tofu and socca. This was my first attempt at socca and I can’t tell if I liked it or not. I think I did but it had a slight bitter aftertaste. I’ve never had it before so I don’t know if that’s just what chickpea flour tastes like or if the particular kind of chickpea flour I had was weird. (It was Indian Chickpea flour)


Italian Style Socca

1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup warm water
3 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil

1. Using a blender, mix together chickpea flour, water, 1 tsp olive oil, basil and salt. Let sit for several hours or overnight.
2. Add diced tomatoes to flour mixture. Heat remaining oil in deep saucepan over medium heat.
3. Pour mixture in pan and cook for approximately 15 minutes, flipping once firm.

Have you ever had socca? And how do you deal with stress?

Friends in the Carolinas

Blogging is a funny thing; somehow I feel like I’ve become friends with a ton of people that I don’t actually know. But when it comes to meeting them in person, they are always exactly like I thought and conversation always flows very easily. I know that people might find it odd, but I feel like I have friends all over the country.

Dinner on Saturday night was with some of those friends. Kelly, Jen and I made plans to have dinner at Soul. Unfortunately, there was a really long wait and they didn’t take reservations. We ended up going next door to another bar and hanging out while we waited. I didn’t even realize it, but somehow almost two hours had passed and we still hadn’t gotten a table. I never saw the layout of the restaurant but I’m assuming that it was because we were a group of eight (everyone’s husbands plus Sean and his girlfriend Jackie.). At this point, we were all pretty hungry. Kelly had run 20 miles that day, Jen is 7 months pregnant and I’d run 13.1 So we scrapped the Soul plan and went to another restaurant nearby – Bistro Le Bon.

I ordered some mussels as an appetizer.


I prefer a red sauce, but this creamy, curry sauce was good too. For my entrée, I had the turbot, which actually came with more mussels. Bonus! By the time we ate, we were pretty exhausted so we went straight back to the hotel.


Blogger meet up photo fail, I know.

The next morning, Jason and I decided to have one last meal in Charlotte before we headed back to Seneca to get Murphy. I used my Yelp app and we set off for Common Market. Yelp made it seem like a restaurant but when we got there, it was actually a market. So we went to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar instead.

I’d seen this restaurant on several Charlotte blogs. We have a ton of burger places here in Atlanta, so I wasn’t really overly excited about it, to tell the truth. Well, I quickly changed my mind when I realized that not only could you build your own burger, but you could build your own salad!

My version of the perfect meal:


Romaine lettuce, avocado, feta cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and red pepper with a veggie patty and peanut soy dressing on the side. This was by far the best thing I had to eat in Charlotte.

As soon as we got back in the car, I reclined my seat back and in the blink of an eye (really two hours), we were in Seneca. But before we got to Jason’s parents house, we had another meet up to attend!

Jaime, my twitter friend, happened to be visiting her boyfriend who is getting his PHD in physics at Clemson, which is literally minutes from Seneca. We met her at Starbucks and had a quick cup of coffee while we chatted.

Again, meet up photo fail! I don’t know where my picture taking brain was this weekend!

Lots of running, lots of food and lots of friends, both new and old: A great weekend!

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