You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

I just got done with my actual, scheduled, 6 mile run for tonight. I really had to push myself to finish the last half. This was my first decent run since I did my 8 miler. I did alright with my runs while we were in Florida, but it definitely threw me off a little.

Distance: 6.02 miles

Time: 1:05:38

Pace: 10:54 min/mile

Location/Route: Treadmill, 1.5% incline

I felt good for the first three miles (except that my quads were SORE from Plyometrics yesterday) and then as soon as I hit mile 3… BAM!  My IT band got all tight and uncomfortable.  Once that happens, it’s really hard for me to get my mind off it.  And the more I think about it, the worse it gets.  So I had to push through and finish those last three miles.  It made me feel really good to know that I did though.  I feel like I’m back on track.

Later tonight (after my husband finishes watching Superbad and relinquishes the DVD player to me) – P90X day 3: Shoulders and arms and Ab Ripper

Tomorrow 3 miles and P90X day 4: Yoga

I think tomorrow I’m going to run out and get a foam roller.  I’ve heard great things about those and IT band issues…  Anybody tried it?

I’m enjoying finding end of the year blogs, so here’s another one I enjoyed reading (found at this blog)…

Recipes (the yummiest cooking from the past year):

This spaghetti squash recipe:

  • Notes from my sister (she’s the one who introduced me to this recipe):
    • You can use turkey or chicken sausage instead of pork (get loose sausage or cut the meat out of the casings of normal sausage).  Spicy sausage is particularly good because it makes the squash less bland and sets off well against the cheese and tomato sauce.
    • Start by baking the squash, whole, on a cookie sheet for one hour at 375 degrees rather than microwaving it – tastes better but takes longer.  Pierce the squash a couple of times first so the steam can escape (you can use a pointy-ended metal skewer to do this but a knife would work).
    • Rather than try to preserve the squash shells to bake the whole concoction in, just scoop out the squash, combine it with the other ingredients, and pour the whole thing into a baking dish for the last session in the oven.  Works just fine and it’s a lot easier.

Project (something you started this past year that you’re proud of or really enjoyed):

  • Jewelry-making (coming soon on our Etsy page! and Etsy blog)
  • This blog! (I’m totally addicted, can’t  you tell?)

Best Trip:

Hands down, our honeymoon.  We spent 8 days at the Sandals Regency La Toc in St. Lucia and had a blast.  Best part is a toss-up between the zip line outing and the catamaran cruise down the west coast of the island to Soufriere and then going to the drive in volcano (be still my heart!).  My husband’s favorite part was the rum tasting trip we went on.

The view from our room… GORGEOUS!

Gorgeous sunset!  That’s our room up on the hill in the background.

The Pitons!!!  I was so excited.  The catamaran cruise was awesome.

The drive-in volcano.  Wohoo!

Heading out on the zip lines!

My husband, very happy at the rum tasting

Night Out:

I think that would be a toss up between my bachlorette party and our wedding.  The bachlorette wasn’t a crazy night, but it was a lot of fun.  We went to dinner, and then went bowling and had a sleepover where we watched movies and did nails and junk like that.  Good times!

It’s not my fault.  My amazing baker friend (check out her new blog here!) made these AMAZING peanut butter cookie sandwiches with peanut butter cream filling.  I have a problem when it comes to peanut butter…

FYI – that’s MY bike.  Not his.  Picture from our amazing photographer, Holly Greene, at Out of the Ordinary Photography.

Moment of Peace:

Spending a morning when I am on break and my husband is at work laying in bed and cuddling with the dog.

The Best Place:

I’m going to go with my childhood home that was sold this September.  My parents lived there since I was two years old and it was very hard for me when they sold it.  I’m doing much better now, but that house will always be my home.  I can’t wait to buy our own house and start making our own home!

New Food:

Thanks to our (new this year) crop share, I’ve been re-introduced to lots of new foods.  I was pleasantly surprised that I now like brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash.

But the winner is, hands down… HONEYCRISP APPLES.  My friend got me addicted to them and now I am obsessed.

Best Accomplishment:

Planning our wedding.  No contest.

New person/people:

Hmm… no actual NEW people this year.  New acquaintances, but nothing really comes to mind for this year.

Web Tool:


My goals for 2010:

  • Run and complete a half and full marathon.
  • Effectively manage our finances.
  • Get my nutrition in check.  I’m not bad, but I feel like my eating is really out of balance and that bugs me.
  • Get crack-a-lackin’ on my 101 in 1001 list.

I created a new running log for 2010!

Want to log your runs for 2010?  Get the Google Doc here! (the link will also be permanently available at the top of my blog)

Before you input your runs, make sure you save the file to your own computer so you can modify it (File -> Download as).

Let me know what you think!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

  • Got married!  That was a first for me.
  • I went to the Carribbean (for our honeymoon).  I’ve been overseas before, but I’d never been to the Carribbean (unless you count the Florida Keys).
  • I went to a farmer’s market, and got a crop share.
  • I broke my ankle (and subsequently got a blood clot from the immobilization) – which was the first major bone I’ve broken (fingers and toes don’t count)
  • Started blogging!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t ever really make resolutions, because people never seem to stick to them.  I do feel like I was overall healthier this year though (exercise and food-wise).  I have also tried to take control of our finances and create a long-term plan for us.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not yet, but a couple people I know are ready to pop!  One (well, the wife of a friend of mine) is currently in the hospital and was induced yesterday.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, not this year.  There were a couple close calls though.

5. What places did you visit?

  • Venice, Florida
  • St. Lucia (awesome!)

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

  • Defined goals (see my 101 in 1001 list!)
  • A long-term financial plan (almost there)
  • A year of good health!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • January 20th – Obama’s inauguration
  • April 11th – The day my ankle was broken in a rugby tournament
  • May 20th – The day the cast came off!
  • August 22nd – Our wedding

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Planning our wedding – it was just myself and my mom.  And I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

9. What was your biggest failure?

My failed attempt at starting my own wedding planning business.  It’s something I hope to pick back up later, but about two weeks after I got everything rolling I found out that I’ll be creating and teaching my own Volcanology course this summer.  I’ve never taught this before (it’s my specialty), and I’ve never created a course from scratch before.  So that’s going to take up a good chunk of my time this spring and early summer.  So unfortunately, after spending about $1,000 on startup stuff, I had to put it on hold.  I felt so guilty.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

HA!  April 11th my ankle was broken in a rugby tournament.  I then got a blood clot because of the cast and had to take blood thinners for MONTHS.  I have a clean bill of health now!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

It’s a toss-up…

  • My Ipod Touch
  • My new running shoes (I went and got fitted at a specialty running store – I HIGHLY recommend this!!!) and superfeet insoles
  • Our treadmill
  • My Nike+ sensor

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband – he always tries to support me and listen to me when I’m upset/frustrated.

13. Where did most of your money go?

  • Our wedding and honeymoon
  • RUNNING (odd that it can be so expensive…)

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

  • Running
  • My wedding planning business
  • Our new Etsy page (coming soon!
  • Finding my “style” in jewelry-making

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?

  • “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You” (Dean Martin) – our wedding song
  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)
  • “Say Hey (I Love You)” (Michael Franti)

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Overall, I think happier.  I feel like I got a lot of things straightened out this year, and I have good, solid goals and plans for the future.

b) thinner or fatter?

Probably about the same.  Maybe a little heavier.  I’m really not bad, but I want to tone more.  I feel jiggly.

c) richer or poorer?

Richer – getting married does that.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?


18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

  • Worrying about every little thing that doesn’t go exactly to plan
  • Obsessing about my body – it’s fine the way it is!

19. How did you spend Christmas in 2009?

We drove to Florida with the dog and stayed at my parents new house (they just moved down there in September).  We went to the dog beach a couple times, and Magic Kingdom (weird going as an adult), and out to dinner.  My husband played golf with my dad a couple times too.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

No new loves, unless you count running and jewelry-making!

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Oh my… we watch too much TV…

  • The Office
  • Dirty Jobs
  • Storm Chasers
  • The Amazing Race
  • The Biggest Loser
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Glee

22. What did you do for your birthday in 2009?

I honestly don’t remember…  Oh that’s bad.

23. What was the best book you read?

Hmm… “Intuitive Eating” was pretty great (book review coming soon).

24. What did you want and get?

  • The go-ahead to create my own volcanology course.  That wasn’t supposed to happen for a couple more years!
  • A Netflix account!

25. What did you want and not get?

A raise.  But we knew that wasn’t going to happen this year.  It’s alright… eventually it’ll balance out.  I’m just happy I have a job and it’s a job that I love!

26. What was your favorite film of the year?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – I am a Harry Potter-a-holic

27. Did you make some new friends this year?

Hmm… not any actual NEW friends, but I got closer to some aquaintances.

28.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Buying a house.  But it wasn’t the right time for us.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

  • What I was going for: Affordable, classy, semi-trendy, professional (I TEACH at a college and I often get asked if I am a PROSPECTIVE student.  I need to update my wardrobe!!!)
  • What I actually did: Affordable, college kid, with moments of professional/trendy

30. What kept you sane?

Running.  I was only able to start back up again this fall after my ankle was all healed.  But I find that my running time is my time to just relax and not think about the things that are bugging me.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

The Obamas – what great role models

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

  • Obama’s inauguration
  • Health care
  • Same sex marriage

33. Who did you miss?

Teenage me would never believe that I would write this, but…  My parents.  We’ve gotten really close over the last few years.  And now that they’ve moved to Florida (we used to be 30 minutes apart), I really miss them!

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

If something is bothering you, take the time to sit and think about what exactly, why, and what needs to happen/be done to make it NOT bother you.  If it’s something in a relationship, talking calmly with the person can work wonders.

And you? If you have a blog and are answering these questions on it, please leave me a comment so I can read yours too.

*I got these questions from this blog.

I have been using this gel for many years and it’s the only thing that seems to work.  I’ve battled moderate acne since I was a teenager, including the awful cystic acne that is so frustrating and painful.  One particularly frustrated day when I was in grad school I stumbled upon and this product.


This treatment gel is 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide (bp).  This is a much lower concentration of bp than what you find in your run-of-the-mill acne gels and creams (typically 5%-10%).  Because it is a lower concentration, it is supposed to cause less skin irritation than other acne treatment gels and creams, while still having enough bp power to take care of the acne.

The treatment gel is also fragrance and dye free, so it shouldn’t make that weird white goop on your face if you wear it while working out.


I’ve used this gel for years and won’t use anything else.  When I first started using it, it did take a few days for my skin to adjust.  There was some slight redness and flakiness, but far less than any other acne product I had used.  After about three days, I didn’t notice a problem anymore.  The gel easily takes care of the regular acne.  For cystic stuff, it can’t do much.  Those are caused by an infection deeper in your skin, so no topical treatments can help.  I put it on there anyway, but you have to exercise some self-restraint and just leave it alone (put a hot, damp chamomile tea bag on a cystic acne spot and it will reduce the swelling – it really works!).

One thing to make a note of is that this gel can bleach fabrics.  That includes when fabrics come into contact with your face when you have it on.  I’ve never had a huge problem with it because as long as you’re aware of it, you’ll be careful when you get dressed and make sure you don’t rub your face on your shirt necks.  HOWEVER, I have bleached spots on my pillowcases.  It’s a good idea to switch to white pillowcases and towels if you’re going to use this.  And remember to wash your hands THOROUGHLY after applying it.

The gel also is true to it’s word when it comes to being dye-free.  I wear it all the time – day and night.  That includes when I work out.  I’ve never had any white goop on my face from wearing it while sweating.  Also – when you do work out, make sure you keep a junk (or white) towel on hand to wipe your face instead of using your shirt or hands (see bleaching comment above).


All products are available through and Dan Kern’s website.  There are other products in his acne treatment line as well (I particularly like the jojoba oil).  Products are available in a range of sizes and prices.

Image: 16oz. Treatment Gel with pump, $32.03 (click on image to go straight to treatment gel page) – This size will last me for over a year.

I should note that I wasn’t compensated in any way for this review.  I just really like this stuff!

Day 2 of P90X and it’s already kicking my butt (in a good way).

Today was Plyometrics day.  First I had to take down the Christmas tree so I had enough room in the living room to jump around without knocking it over and freaking the dog out.  Once that was done, I laced up my sneakers, grabbed a glass of water, and popped in the DVD.

By the end of the warmup, my legs were burning.  And let me tell you, my leg strength is GOOD.  I can do squats and lunges all day (thank you, years and years of running, soccer, taekwondo, and rugby!).  But the going without much of a break (and the fact that I haven’t done squats and lunges in a while) makes the burning in my quads just build and build.

The easiest – the heisman jumpy thingy (jumping side to side from one leg to the other and posing like the heisman trophy).  I could do those without a problem

The hardest – squat reach jumps… squatting, touching the floor, and then jumping up and reaching for the ceiling.  Um, OW???

I actually only made it halfway through the DVD today because I hit a wall and started to worry that one of my knees was going to give out and I’d just hit the floor.  Also, I was a little nervous about my ankle (broken April 11th of this year) – I haven’t done anything like this on it yet and I’m still not totally sure how it will hold up.  So far it seems totally fine.  The ankle wasn’t a problem at all.  But my knees… MAN!

So once I crapped out halfway through the DVD I went down to the basement (where the treadmill is – and my husband’s “man cave” – although the treadmill is really for me) for my 3 mile run.  My legs were like jelly going down the stairs!

I started out my run and my feet felt SO HEAVY.  Eventually, once I got my mind off of the butt-whooping I had just received, I got into a rhythm and started to feel much better.  But then… around mile 1.5 my knees just started to tighten up and felt awful.  I felt so pathetic, ending my run after only 1.5 miles.

So note to self: do not do Plyometrics and then try to run right after – REST IN BETWEEN.  (it’s a learning experience!)

I’m going to try to redo my run later tonight after my legs have had a chance to rest.  As for the DVD, I’ll keep at it and I know I’ll get through the whole thing in one go soon!

Now I’m off to bake a winter squash…  If it comes out decent I’ll post the recipe.  I got two good new cookbooks from my sister for Christmas.

I’m so excited! I got my P90X stuff the day we left for Florida and I wasn’t able to start until today. So this afternoon I took out all the bands (I got the set of 10 because my husband is going to do it too – later, after his knee heals), labeled everything (Yes, I am that anal. But hey, now I know what “weight” they all are!), took my “before” pictures (OUCH), and dove in to day 1: Chest and Back and Ab Ripper.

I was debating with myself whether or not I would post my before picture on here tonight. I’m going to go with no. It’s so bad. Normally I don’t stand with my gut hanging out (I’ve gotten used to using my stomach muscles and keeping things tight so it doesn’t look like there’s a huge roll around my stomach), and it’s really scary to see. But once I’m done, I’ll post the before and after pictures. I promise.

I found the Chest and Back exercises to be not too bad. I wish I had been able to get the pull up bar and use that, because I KNOW that would kick my butt. But unfortunately, the doors in our apartment are too narrow and also too close to the corners, so it wouldn’t work. So for now (until we buy a house), it’s bands for me.

While doing the Chest and Back DVD I came to the conclusion that I have absolutely ZERO upper body strength. I can do basic push ups without a problem, but as soon as it’s anything other than standard, I wipe out. But that’s what I’m working on!

Now the Ab Ripper…. HAHAHA! I looked like a fish flopping around on the floor. I am SO GLAD my husband was not home because he would have thought I was insane. The first half of the Ab Ripper I could do. My ab strength isn’t too bad. Not wonderful, but not awful either. But then it got into the twisting touching the floor thing and the obliques. I looked like a crazy person! For some reason, my body just didn’t want to cooperate. I kept trying, and then breaking down laughing at the ridiculousness of what I was doing. But hey, it’s only day 1! I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it quickly.

Maybe I can find a pull up bar that will fit our door… Anybody have any suggestions? They’re narrow. Maybe one that will screw into the frame?

Looking forward to day 2 tomorrow! Plyometrics! And a 3 mile run after. Whee!

So I’ve found this idea on a couple people’s blogs and I really like it. The idea is to make a list of 101 things you are going to do in 1001 days. The deadline of 1001 days works out to roughly 2.75 years, and gives you more time to get tasks done – because they can sometimes be things that will take a considerable amount of time and effort. Tasks must be concrete and measurable, so you have a way of determining if you completed it or not. I’ll post my list here and keep track of my progress in this blog.

Make your own 101 in 1001 list!

Start date: December 28, 2009
End date: September 24, 2012

1. Make our wedding album
2. Make wedding albums for our parents
3. Buy a nice camera
4. Create an Etsy page and fill it with my crafting projects
5. Finish knitting the blanket I started about three years ago
6. Knit a sweater
7. Create a blog to go with my Etsy page

8. Eat clean for 1 month
9. Eat vegetarian for 1 month
10. Eat vegan for 1 week
11. Cook dinner 3x a week for 1 month
12. Give up peanut butter for 1 month
13. Take a cake decorating class
14. Plant a garden
15. Bring lunch to work for two weeks
16. Create and organize my recipe binder
17. Try one new recipe per week for three months
18. Make a traditional thanksgiving dinner

19. Complete a half marathon
20. Complete a full marathon
21. Complete a sprint triathalon
22. Complete an olympic triathalon
23. Complete P90X
24. Get down to and maintain 115 lbs
25. Complete a trail race
26. Meditate daily for 1 week
27. Do 100 push-ups straight
28. Bike to work
29. Get my black belt in TKD
30. Start working on becoming a 46er
31. Run 10+ miles every week for 1 year
32. Teach my husband how to ski or snowboard
33. Run the DC marathon with my sister
34. Run in a 5k with my husband

35. Buy a house
36. Do laundry once a week for three months
37. Vacuum and dust once a week for three months
38. Paint and decorate the living room
39. Paint and decorate the bedroom
40. Organize kitchen
41. Get a full set of silverware (serving eight)
42. Purge our home of things we don’t need/use
43. Take things to be donated to salvation army (or equivalent)

44. Treat myself once a day for a month
45. Identify 100 things that make me happy
46. Identify 25 things that I like about myself
47. List one thing I am grateful for every day for 3 months
48. Learn more about my jewish heritage
49. Go to temple once a week for one month
50. Update my wardrobe

51. Have a monthly dinner date with my husband for 1 year
52. Write my husband love letters weekly for 3 months
53. Get boudoir photos printed – make a calendar for my husband
54. Change my name on my passport
55. Change my name on my student loans
56. Change my name on my college transcripts
57. Take a romantic weekend getaway
58. Play a board game with my husband once a week for three months
59. Go on a successful canoeing trip with my husband
60. Call my mother in law by her first name, to her face

61. Compete in an agility trial
62. Use reusable grocery bags
63. Give up TV for a week
64. Become fluent in Spanish
65. Get a haircut
66. Get another dog
67. Spend gift cards
68. Write a new blog entry at least once a week for one year

69. Build e-fund to 20k
70. Pay off my husband’s car
71. Get an accountant
72. Max out our 401k contributions
73. Roll my old 401k into a Roth IRA

74. Create another painting
75. Be in a musical again
76. Play my viola every day for one month
77. Do another charcoal drawing
78. Join an orchestra
79. Learn how to play guitar
80. Learn how to play saxophone

81. Read the Twilight books
82. Read 50 books in 1 year

83. Host a dinner party
84. Host a cookie swap
85. Host a poker night
86. Make a new friend

87. Surprise my husband with a vacation
88. Go to Chicago
89. Go to Yellowstone
90. Go on a cruise
91. Go to Alaska
92. Go to the Grand Canyon
93. Go to Glacier National Park

94. Create a volcanology course
95. Decide on a Ph.D.
96. Go to an active volcano
97. Attend the GSA conference
98. Attend the AGU conference
99. Attend the LPSC conference

100. Donate $1 for every task I don’t complete to a charity (TBD)
101. Put $5 into savings for every task I complete

Well, I haven’t posted in a couple days because my husband, dog, and I were driving from New York to Florida to visit my parents for Christmas. Let’s just say I’d rather not talk about the drive down. We left Friday afternoon to try and beat the worst of that storm, and managed to do kind of alright. We got to DC just as it started to snow, so the roads were fine. But people in Virginia don’t see snow that often and FREAKED OUT. We ended up driving 10 mph through the ENTIRE state of Virginia. NOT KIDDING. What should have taken 2 1/2 hours took 8. We wanted to (and did) scream. Uugh. NOT FUN.

But we’re here now. Well, we got here Saturday night, actually. Other than Virginia, we made good time. I made sure I brought my running shoes and clothes with me so I could stick to my training schedule while I’m down here, and so far, I’m not doing too bad. I didn’t get to go for my long run this Saturday because I was in the car, but I figure, as long as I do consistent 3 and 4 milers throughout the week, I won’t lose time.

I’m amazed at how different it is to run on roads again though. I know treadmill running and outdoor running are vastly different. But until this winter, I ran on treadmills so rarely that it was never an issue. But that first day back out on the roads… ACK! It kicked my butt!

The nice thing about being able to run outside down here is that I can run with my dog again. She is a GREAT running partner. I took her for 3 miles today and then did another 1.5 on my own. She was getting really tired and lagging behind, so I dropped her off at the house and then finished. I haven’t run with her in about two months. So kudos to her for keeping up for the whole 3 miles! Yay Jade!

My sister and her husband are getting down here tomorrow afternoon and I’m hoping that she’s bringing her running shoes (I just sent her a text message reminder – haha). It’ll be nice to have a person to run with! The dog is great and all, but she’s not much for conversation. And people tend to look at me funny if I talk to Jade more than “good girl!”

I ran 8 miles tonight! My husband thinks I’m insane whenever I say, “okay, I need to go run X miles…” But I enjoy it! I actually look forward to my runs each day – particularly the long ones. There’s nothing like the satisfaction I get after a good long run.

I decided to modify my marathon training schedule and changed from the Hal Higdon Novice I to Intermediate I. I like having the medium mileage during the week. And now I’ll have multiple 20+ milers (20, 22, and 24 miles). That will make me feel much better come race day. I think I’ll be feeling much more prepared that way. I’m currently in week 2, so I have a long way to go! Luckily, race day isn’t until May 30th.

My biggest concern is overuse injuries. My shins are definitely a little achy, so I’m trying to stretch and ice them after I run. Although, I don’t really know how to stretch my shins… (if you have any suggestions, please let me know) I’m also still less than a year out from my broken ankle, so I’m trying to pay attention to that – so far, so good. But I am definitely paranoid about it.

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com


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