pasta and a movie: Breaking Away

Yeah, okay, so it's not a running movie, but it looks funny and after this week, week two of two weeks at home with a three year old, I need funny.

And anyway, we cross-train on Wednesdays; some of us even spin. So there. Plus, young Dennis Quaid. Swoon!

I did, however, have pasta. Pretty boring again this week - pasta with chicken and Trader Joe's pesto sauce, plus some beets on the side.

Happy New Year!


pasta and a movie: spirit of the marathon

If you run and like movies, and you're actually reading my blog, you knew this one was coming.

In the four years since it was made, the documentary Spirit of the Marathon has become a must-see movie about running, particularly if you're training for an endurance event. Because, c'mon, running 26.2 miles is absurd. And yet I'm drawn to the challenge again and watching the trailer makes me a little misty, I gotta admit.

So what's for dinner? Well, since there will be a fair amount of cooking going on this weekend, I'm keeping it simple: vegetable radiatore and turkey bolognese, both from Trader Joe's. Easy and good (and the pasta sauce has carrots in it - don't tell the 3 year old!).

By the way, a big thank you and congrats to my 12 (handmade) days of Chrimstas - runner's edition - raffle donors and winners.  I had more items up for grabs than donors between Dec. 1 and 17, so some folks won more than one item.  Thanks to Sammie, both Amanda Fs (I know two Amanda Fs!), Laura, and Margaret.  I hope you enjoy your goodies, all courtesy of generous Etsians.  I have a few additional raffle items that have been donated over the last couple of weeks so stay tuned after the holidays for another chance to donate to win! (Not that you have to wait to donate!)  And in the meantime, Happy Holidays!


pasta and a movie...or, how I ate two tacos and went to bed

Holy moly, what a week! Since I'll be home (well, I'm always home but you know what I mean) with the wee one during the last two weeks of 2011, and because I'm self-employed, that has meant I've tried to crank out as many orders as possible in the two weeks and three days I had to work this month.  I honestly lost count by about Tuesday but I believe I sent out a dozen orders this week, which is insane; to compare, I'm lucky to get 2 to 3 orders out each week during normal business conditions.  And for the most part, considering that higher than usual volume, things went pretty smoothly.  I did threaten myself that I was considering quitting at one point during a reprint but, you know, what else am I going to do?

Anywho, I did manage to make all my workouts this week: strength training on Monday, buddy run on Tuesday, cardio on Wednesday, coached track workout on Thursday (waking up for all of them at 5:30 am, I might add).  And tomorrow I'll run 8 miles and then stuff my face at an honoree potluck immediately after.  I'm looking forward to it.  But I'm not as prepared as I have been the last couple of Fridays.  No pasta tonight.

Neal gave me a couple extra hours this evening to wrap up work by picking up said wee one and taking him to Chipotle, bringing home a couple of carnitas tacos for me (with rice! y'know, for the carbs!).  I'm not sure if we'll watch a movie, but if we do, I've been a little in the mood for The Last Days of Disco.

No, you're right, it's not really a running movie, per se, but there is that one scene where she goes running in the park. In her trench coat. Okay, so it's a bit of a stretch but it's been one of those weeks.  Mainly, I think I just want to see the scene at the end ever since I heard Love Train on the radio not too long ago.

(I love how this clip has captions, you know, so you can sing along.) I just love that scene, don't you?

I'll be back next week with a proper "pasta and a movie" post.  In the meantime, just one day left to get in on my 12 days of a runner's Christmas raffle! Donate by tomorrow! Winners announced on Sunday!


on the twelfth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...another beautiful fused glass pendant by Elayne Isaacs!

Because, after all that running and sweating and sudsing up with a bar of trail runner sport soap, you might want to enjoy a night out and this purple pendant would be just the thing to pair with those black skinny jeans you can finally squeeze your booty into!

As with the last pendant Elayne donated, this one has been added to a simple, black choker which you could easily switch out for a chain of your own, and will arrive packaged in a purple organza gift bag.  Keep it for yourself or gift it!  To be entered in the raffle to win this or one of the other goodies up for grabs, just make a donation of $5 or more before Saturday, December 17th.

This is the final day of my 12 (handmade) days of Christmas - runner's style - but the raffle will be open to all who donate through the rest of this week.  And I'll be back on Friday with another round of pasta and a movie.  Yep, I'll be running on Saturday, and on Christmas eve, and on New Year's eve! Cancer doesn't take any time off for the holidays so why should we?  Amirite?


on the eleventh day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a bar of trail runner sport soap by TaosDawnSoap!

I think your running buddy might be trying to give you a hint.

Once I saw that my second raffle attempt might be acquiring a 12 days of Christmas theme (since I was getting such a great response from generous Etsians to my raffle request convos), I started looking for products in the bath & beauty category specifically made for runners (or even athletes, more generally). And I gotta tell you, there's not a whole lot out there.  Apparently only the already perfectly clean and coifed need to further pamper themselves. Doesn't make much sense, does it? I think I spot an open market, for any of you who are soap makers out there.  In the meantime, I think this bar of trailer runner sport soap oughtta do the trick, made with, and I quote:
...lavender, ginger and lemongrass.The soap is made with saponified oils (coconut, vegetable and olive), distilled water, finely ground bentonite clay (for a lovely lather).
Sounds perfect after those long Saturday runs, doesn't it? In addition to an entire line of soaps, Dawn is also a painter!  Check out her newest shop.  And for a chance to win this soap or one of the other 11 items in the raffle, just make a donation on my Team in Training fundraising page. Just one day left (and then another week to donate) - stay tuned tomorrow for the 12th and final day!


on the tenth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a set of custom bib coasters by 26MileStones!

Talk about a clever way to display your race bibs! You send your bib to Allison, and she transforms them into these amazing, commemorative keepsakes that you can use!

Allison also makes magnets and Christmas ornaments. Plus, she's an 11-year alum with TNT, currently training for her second triathlon with the organization!  It's amazing how many runners and endurance athletes I've met through this process who have some connection to Team in Training.

As usual, to be entered in the raffle to win either a gift certificate good for a set of custom bib coasters or one of the other items up for grabs, just make a donation by December 17th.  Since I started this raffle a week and a half ago, how about a little reminder as to how I plan to handle raffle entries?

$5 = 1 entry
$10 = 2 entries
$15 = 3 entries
$20 = 4 entries

If you donate $25-$99, you will receive matching entries per dollar donation, so for $25 you get 25 entries, for $38 you get 38 entries, and so on. For a donation of $100 or more, you get double entries, so $100 = 200 entries, $125 = 250 entries.

If you've already donated, donate once more (any amount) and you get matching entries for this donation PLUS your previous donation. Stay tuned tomorrow for day 11!


pasta and a movie: Saint Ralph

After much research (and determination of what would be available on Netflix instant play), I've decided that tonight's running themed movie will be Saint Ralph, based on the true story of ninth grader Ralph Walker, who in 1954 set out to run the Boston Marathon in a sort of complex attempt to pull his mother out of a coma (as both had been said to be "miracles"):

Doesn't it look good? Plus, Campbell Scott. Swoon. 

For dinner, we're having this Santa Rosa Valley Salad, more of a rice dish but loaded with carbs all the same and oh so yummy.  The leftovers are just as good, too.  Tomorrow - 8 miles!

on the ninth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a race medal display OR bib holder (winner's choice!) from RunningOnTheWall:

I love looking at runners' medals (I just have the one, myself) so I'm partial to something like the above example, but Meli has agreed to let the winner of this raffle item choose between a medal display OR a bib holder:

I'm telling you, after trying to organize another raffle for an in-store event next weekend, I'm newly blown away by the generosity of the Etsy sellers I contacted for this round.  Take a look at Meli's shop to see all of your options, should you be the lucky winner of this raffle item.  And if you're Christmas shopping, Meli also has some really adorable coat racks and key racks.

To enter, all you need to do is donate $5 (or more!) to my Team in Training fundraising campaign.  You could win today's item or one of the other 11 goodies up for grabs between now and December 17th. Stay tuned tomorrow for day 10!


on the eighth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a race bib scrapbook by LauraElaineDesigns!

And not just any race bib scrapbook - a purple race bib scrapbook (TNT color! You probably don't need reminding by now, but just in case...).

I believe Laura is having baby #2 right about now, so she sent me this scrapbook well in advance and let me tell you, there's a lotta love put into these. Which will make archiving those race bibs really easy (well, you know after the hard part - running the race!). Laura has a ton of great, pre-made scrapbooks in her shop (for triathlons, too!), as well as individual scrapbook pages and runner die-cuts if you're more of a do-it-yourself person.

If you'd like to be entered in the drawing to win this race bib scrapbook (or one of the other great items up for grabs) just make a donation in any amount of $5 and up before December 17th!  And stay tuned tomorrow for Day 9!


on the seventh day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...one of the most unique running pendants I've ever seen, courtesy of RunForYourLife:

I've seen a lot of stamped running necklaces (26.2, etc.) and don't get me wrong - I like those a lot - but Susan's soldered glass pendants definitely caught my eye.  Above is the pendant Susan sent and below you can see the adorable packaging it was sent in:

The pendant comes in a soft blue bag with a yellow ribbon and then gets tucked into a little gift box similar to the ones in the image above. Susan definitely has that wow factor down!  This pendant would be perfect to keep but is also definitely gift-ready.

If you'd like to be entered in the 12 (handmade) days of Christmas - runner's style! - raffle, all you have to do is make a donation in any amount of $5 and up!  Winners will be announced on December 18th!  Stay tuned tomorrow for day 8!


on the sixth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a key ring wristlet by ShopMimiGreen, featuring Team in Training colors (including old school TNT green)!

Wouldn't this be the perfect thing for carrying your keys, etc., post run, while you wait for the rest of your teammates to cross the finish line (because you're that fast)?  Or to take to those 5:50 am track workouts - you'll be able to find this colorful wristlet in the early dawn light!  Not a runner? No problem - this key ring wristlet would be great for running errands.

ShopMimiGreen does have a shop on Etsy (which is how I found them) but operates primarily from their independent website these days, where you'll find designer dog collars, leashes, and a lot of pictures of irresistibly cute pugs.  All of ShopMimiGreen's items are 100% handmade in the U.S. and as they say on the site, "your dog loves designer collars." But you probably already knew that. And I think you'll love this designer wristlet, too.

If you'd like to be entered in the raffle for a chance to win this or one of the other 11 items up for grabs between now and December 17th, just hop on over to my fundraising page and make a donation (just $5 gets you in...but of course, feel free to donate more for more chances to win!).  Stay tuned tomorrow for day 7!


on the fifth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...an "I heart running" charm necklace by Michelle Hartney!

When I was searching Etsy for just the right raffle items to solicit, I was thoroughly charmed (wocka wocka) by Michelle's running necklaces. I asked if she'd be willing to donate this one and she said yes!

Once again, I'm truly amazed by the generosity of Etsians (and runners - I don't think it's a coincidence, do you?).  And check out these wooden geode Christmas ornaments - how unique would that be on your tree this year, eh?

As with the other 11 items up for grabs in this 12 (handmade) Days of Christmas runner's style raffle, all you have to do to enter to win is make a donation (just five bucks!) on my Team in Training fundraising page.  Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 6!


on the fourth day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a hula hoop? That's right, and not just any hula hoop...a travel hula hoop by Oakland-based Whoopkat.

Kat even made a purple and gray one for me (TNT colors, in case you need reminding)!  I was going to include this in my first raffle, but then I thought, wait a second, runners need to do cross-training, and hooping is great for those core muscles, so why not include it in this more runner-friendly raffle?  I cleared it with the coaches, too, so as long as you're not attempting to break any world records or anything, you can safely incorporate a little hooping into your cross training schedule should you be the lucky winner of today's raffle item up for grabs.

And in case you're wondering how the travel hoop works (I know I was), I made a little instructional video for you:

Nope, no hooping here. This took several takes (did I mention I'm solo-parenting my three year old this weekend?), and an earlier version did include about four attempts to get the hoop going. By the time I got it going I'd slowly turned my back - and backside - to the camera. That version will be deleted, thank you very much.

Anywho, if you'd like to "whoop it up" just make a donation in any amount of $5 and up between now and December 17th (you can check out the other items up for grabs here). Stay tuned tomorrow for day 5!


on the third day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a wrap bracelet from TheRunHome!

I initially contacted Debbie about her runner's necklaces but as she suggested, why not offer something a little different and go with a bracelet instead?  And the message is perfect, since we're all running for so many reasons, not least of which are the hundreds of thousands of folks battling blood cancers every day, in addition to all of our individual, personal reasons (makes me think of how my mentor Laura started her blog, devoting individual posts to different reasons she runs). For a chance to win this wrap bracelet (or one of the other eleven items up for grabs between now and December 17th) just hop on over to my Team in Training fundraising page and make a donation in any amount of $5 and up!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 4!


pasta and a movie: Without Limits

Wow, who knew getting back into running would be so good for my blog? (That said, is anyone still reading?)  As soon as I joined up with Team in Training again I thought about all the running themed movies I watched the first time around, some more inspiring than others. I remember Without Limits, one of two movies I watched about running legend Steve Prefontaine, being one of the more inspiring (we'll get to the less inspiring running films in a later post).  If I hadn't moved to Berkeley (right before the movie was made, incidentally) I probably would have transferred to U of O (since I was initially living in Bend, OR), where Prefontaine trained with Bill Bowerman. How I swooned for Billy Crudup back in the day...  And look at that, Parenthood's Monica Potter plays the romantic interest! Anyway, instead of "dinner and a movie" how about we start a little "pasta and a movie" series since I'll be doing a little carbo-loading on Friday nights over the next few months?

Now, I wouldn't normally make a pasta dish this heavy the night before a run, but since I'm solo parenting this weekend (and nursing a minor back hiccup so I won't be running tomorrow anyway) and had to throw together something we could eat after dance class tonight, I made one of Paula Deen's several crock pot macaroni and cheese recipes. It was alright - I like her use of cheddar cheese soup, which makes me nostalgic for a cookbook I had as a teenager that used a different Campbell's soup in each recipe, but I'm not so sure about the eggs. I used vegetable radiatore and served it with peas, one of about two vegetables my three year old will actually eat. Now let's see if I can make it through the entire movie in one night.

on the second day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a bunch of stuff from AsphaltandMe!

I don't know exactly what Etsy seller Melissa has sent me (her package is on its way as I type) but I understand day two goodies will include a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, and three cards!

That's a lotta clever running loot that will go to one lucky person who makes a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by December 17th! You can get a sneak peek at all of the 12 items up for grabs in this second raffle right here.  Stay tuned tomorrow for day 3!


on the first day of Christmas, my running buddy gave to me...

...a "26.2" no-slip headband! Leanne of SlipNotHeadware not only agreed to donate a headband to my 12 days of Christmas (runner's style!) raffle, she went one step further and made me a custom purple one (purple is the signature TNT color, you'll remember):

And, as if that wasn't enough, for every one of these purple headbands purchased, Leanne will donate $1 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!  So you can make a donation to my fundraising efforts directly to qualify to win this headband (or one of the other fantastic 11 items up for grabs) and/or purchase a headband or two.  As a sidenote, I purchased this houndstooth (it matches my phone case!) headband and love it! The lining is sort of velvety so it stays in place really well, no pinching, no pulling. I was Leanne's 100th sale so I got a free headband - a promotion I learned about by giving her a thumbs up on Facebook and following her on Twitter. You should too!

Stay tuned tomorrow for day 2!

the 12 (handmade) days of Christmas - runner's edition

First things first: I have two raffle winners to announce! Following the lead of my amazing mentor Laura, I entered all my raffle entry numbers (1155 total in all) on Random.org and here are the two numbers I got - for the eco spa gift set, #184, the prize goes to...Brian & family! For the fused glass pendant, #753, the winner is...Meredith! Thanks again for donating and I hope you all enjoy your goodies!

Now, traditionally speaking, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas day (or the day after). But this handmade 12 days of Christmas series - runner's style - begins today!  As part of my fundraising efforts for Team in Training, I organized another raffle open to anyone who donates to TNT in my name between now and December 17th.  That date is "recommitment", when I have to sign a lot of forms reiterating that yes, I plan to run 26.2 miles in Oakland on March 25th, and yes, I'll raise at least $1800 for TNT between now and then (or they can charge my credit card for the difference).  In fact, I'd like to raise that minimum $1800 by recommitment, so I'm making a second push to get additional donations before then.

My first raffle included the above-mentioned spa gift set and fused glass pendant and I not only reached the $500 mark by yesterday as I'd hoped - my donations went beyond the halfway point!  This time around, I have not one, not two, but TWELVE handmade items up for grabs, all donated by generous Etsy sellers, all geared toward runners!  I'll give you a little peek of all twelve items today and will follow this up with an individual post each day highlighting one of the donated items and the fabulous seller who donated it.

1. a custom, purple "26.2" no-slip headband from SlipNotHeadware

2. a t-shirt, bumper sticker, AND three cards from AsphaltandMe

3. the "I run because..." wrap bracelet by TheRunHome

4. a custom, purple and gray travel hula hoop (have you ever heard of such a thing?!) by local WhoopKat (y'know, for those cross training days)

5. an "I HEART running" necklace by MichelleHartney

6. a key wring wristlet featuring TNT colors by shopmimigreen

7. a soldered glass runner's pendant by runforyourlife

8. a purple race bib scrapbook by LauraElaineDesigns

9. a race medal OR bib display (winner's choice!) by runningonthewall

10. a gift certificate good for a custom set of bib coasters by 26MileStones

11. a bar of trail runner sport soap by TaosDawnSoap

12. and another beautiful fused glass pendant - a purple one! - by Elayne Isaacs

For a chance to win one of these wonderful raffle items, just make a donation in any amount of $5 and up on my fundraising page.  As with the first raffle, here's how raffle entries will be handled:

$5 = one entry
$10 = 2 entries
$15 = 3 entries
$20 = 4 entries

If you donate $25-$99, you will receive matching entries per dollar donation, so for $25 you get 25 entries, for $38 you get 38 entries, and so on. For a donation of $100 or more, you get double entries, so $100 = 200 entries, $125 = 250 entries.

If you've already donated, donate once more (any amount) and you get matching entries for this donation PLUS your previous donation.

Stay tuned for one more post today and every day hereafter until Dec. 12th to learn more about individual raffle items!