You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

I created a new running log for 2011!

Want to log your runs for 2011?  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!

The new year is almost here!  Catching up?  Read the 2009 Year in Review part 1 and part 2.  They’ve been condensed into one this year.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

  • Ran a marathon.
  • Decided to go back to school for my Ph.D. finally.
  • Taught a class I’d never taken.
  • Taught an independent study.

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

I don’t do new year’s resolutions, but I did set some goals.  Let’s see how I did…

  • Run and complete a half and full marathon. – Done and DONE! And it was awesome!  I have no intention of those being my only ones.  I will definitely continue marathoning.  I’m already registered for my second one at the end of May.
  • Effectively manage our finances. – I think I did a pretty great job of this!  It’s an ongoing process.
  • Get my nutrition in check. – I definitely improved in this category.  By leaps and bounds!!!
  • Get crack-a-lackin’ on my 101 in 1001 list. – I also did pretty well with this one.  It’s nowhere near done yet, but I’m closer!

3. What places did you visit?

  • Venice, Florida – visiting my parents and the Harry Potter park
  • Lake Placid – cheering on my friend in her first marathon (Go Carrie!)
  • Schroon Lake – where I ran my first marathon!
  • Long Island – for Thanksgiving every year
  • Buffalo – our “second home” and where my in-laws live.  Also where I ran my first half marathon (It was supposed to be my first full, but oh well!)

4. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

  • A house with a yard where I can play with my dogs.
  • A better marathon time!
  • Running injury-free!

5. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

September 26th – the day I became a marathoner

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Completing my first marathon!  (I’m sensing a theme here…)

7. What was your biggest failure?

Hmm…  Nothing very major this year, which is good.  I’d have to say falling into a HUGE running rut after my marathon.  But that’s pretty typical.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

9. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My family and friends – for supporting and encouraging me through all my training.  And for coming to the race and cheering me on!

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

Completing my first marathon.  It was a HUGE deal!

11. What song will always remind you of 2010?

  • Magic – by B.o.B. and Rivers Cuomo
  • The Sound of Sunshine – by Michael Franti

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

a) happier or sadder?

Overall, I’m pretty darn happy with life.  I’m busy, but it’s a good kind of busy.  I figured out a lot of things this year – who I am, what I want out of my life, and what makes me tick.  I can’t complain.

b) thinner or fatter?

About the same.  I’m definitely in better shape overall.  A year of marathon training will do that to you.  I got a little squishy during my two month long post-marathon hiatus, but I’m feeling good and am in the early stages of training for marathon #2, so I’ll get that conditioning back quickly.

c) richer or poorer?

Richer.  But will probably feel very poor soon since we’ll be house hunting this spring – that just seems to make money disappear!

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

Running, lifting, swimming, cooking, spending quality time with my family, husband, and dogs.

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

Stressing – about anything.  Particularly beating myself up on days when I didn’t run, or ate junk.

Making excuses

15. Did you fall in love in 2010?

I did!  With our new “puppy,” Rocket!  We brought him home on New Years Day.

16. What was your favorite TV program?

  • So You Think You Can Dance (I ❤ Alex Wong)
  • Glee
  • Stormchasers (Nerd alert!)
  • The Office (I’ve had the theme song as my ringtone for over a year now…)
  • The Next Food Network Star (Hooray for Aarti!  As soon as I found out she was a food blogger, she was my #1!)
  • Amazing Race (I really need to be on this show.)

17. What did you do for your birthday in 2010?

Got a massage, spent time with some friends, had dinner and messy cake with my husband, and played with my awesome new food processor. I turned 27.  When did I get to be in my late 20s???

18. What was the best book you read?

  • Diet for a New America, by John Robbins
  • Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall
  • The Complete Book of Running for Women
  • All my vegan cookbooks.

19. What was your favorite movie of the year?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say HARRY POTTER 7 (part 1).  DUH.

20. Did you make some new friends this year?

Hooray for Carrie and Chelsea!

And hooray for the continuing awesomeness of Meredith!

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

Buying a house.  But it STILL wasn’t the right time for us.  Come on spring 2011!!!

22. What kept you sane?

Working out and cooking.

23. What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010?

Every day is another chance to start fresh.  Rather than beating yourself up for the choices you made yesterday, do what you can to get back on track. And make the next day the best it can be.

24. THE BEST OF 2010:

a) Recipes (the yummiest cooking from the past year):

Oh my… there’s so many!!!

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

Making aprons.  They’re pretty adorable.  And now I’ve actually been paid to make them for other people!

I’ll get pictures of people wearing them later.  🙂

c) Best Trip:

I think the winner would be going to the Harry Potter Park with my mom.

d) Night Out:

None really.  I’m not a “night out” kind of person.  I’d prefer a night in with my husband, friends, and/or dogs.

e) Moment of Peace:

Relaxing on the couch with my dogs passed out and sprawled across my lap.

f) The Best Place:

My kitchen.

g) New Food:

Going vegan! There’s no way I could single out one thing.  My whole outlook on food changed this year.

h) Best Accomplishment:

Umm… completing my first marathon???

i) New person/people:

Carrie and Chelsea!  (It says NEW people, Meredith.  You are also my favorite.  But you’re not new.  ❤ you!)

j) Blogs:

25. My goals for 2011:

  • Buy a house!
  • Work on building our savings back up after buying said house.
  • Get working on my Ph.D.
  • Continue cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.  Get better at creating recipes myself.
  • Run more marathons!
  • Run injury-free

I am T-minus 3 days away from my first trip to New Zealand (with many more to come).  Next week I will be somewhere like this…

The Taupo Volcanic Zone (Source)

And this…

The Auckland Volcanic Field (Source)

And this…

The Southern Alps (Source)

I’m sure in between bits of fieldwork, I’ll be taking TONS of pictures.

I should also mention that it’s currently summer there.  Score!

I’ve been running around like a crazy person the last two weeks getting everything ready to go.  Since I get back right before the spring semester starts, I needed to get everything ready to go for my two spring classes.  It was stressful, but it’s done!  I’ve also got everything (mostly) packed, and have picked up all the odds-and-ends that I was missing, and taken care of all the “grown up” stuff (paying bills, cleaning, leaving my husband DETAILED instructions for what he needs to take care of while I’m away).  But I think I’ve got it all just about ready now.  All that’s left is to keep reading journal articles to get myself as ready as I can be.

I won’t have much internet access while I’m away, so things will be quiet here for a couple weeks, but I promise I’ll put some pictures up when I get back at the end of January.  But I don’t leave until Sunday, so I’ll be around until then.

Now, back to reading journal articles!

Top 10 Posts of 2010

  1. DIY Workout Headband
  2. Product Review: TofuXpress Tofu Press
  3. Florida: Days 3 and 4 – HARRY POTTER PARK!
  4. I have a new food crush
  5. Race Report: Adirondack Marathon (9/26/10)
  6. Race Report: Buffalo Marathon (5/30/10)
  7. Recent Eats
  8. Nifty Grocery Shopping/Menu Planning List
  9. Race Report: Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon Trail Race (10/31/10)
  10. Ways My Life Has Improved Since Going Vegetarian

Top 10 Links of 2010

  1. My 2010 Running Log
  2. Sweatybands
  3. Menu and Grocery Planner
  4. TofuXpress
  5. Bondibands
  6. My Etsy Shop (not very up to date right now since I’m a little busy)
  7. Vegetarian Lunch Box
  8. Peanut Butter Pillows
  9. Vegan “Crab” Cakes
  10. Smlove Pie

And just for kicks… the Top 10 search terms used to find me:

  1. DIY Workout Headbands – While I love sweatybands and bondibands, if you have basic sewing skills, it’s pretty easy to make your own workout headband for a fraction of the price.
  2. Tofu Press – I love my tofu press and want to sing it’s praises from the mountaintops!  I’m so happy to share that information with people who have been looking for a good tofu press.
  3. Harry Potter Park – Two words: Totally awesome.
  4. Geonerdette – Thanks for looking for me!
  5. Nasoya Tofu – Delicious and a great source of plant-based protein!
  6. Warrior Pose – Aside from yoga just being great in itself, this is a great way to stretch out tight calf muscles and lessen plantar fasciitis symptoms.
  7. Buffalo Marathon – What should have been my first full marathon, but ended up being my first official half marathon, due to a knee injury.  Oh Buffalo, I will complete you in 2011…
  8. Lima Beans – Odd…
  9. Adirondack Marathon – My first full marathon!!!
  10. 2010 Running Log – A handy mileage tracker for 2010 – through Google Docs.

I’ve been going through a very strange transition process for the last few days.

I’m heading off to New Zealand next Sunday for three weeks.  I’ll be starting my Ph.D. fieldwork and spending a lot of time out in the middle of a very beautiful nowhere.  However, I have absolutely no idea what my food situation is going to be like.  I don’t know where the food is going to be coming from or what it’s going to be, or how much say I’ll have in what we bring out with us.  And I won’t know until I get there.

I realized this about two weeks ago, and was immediately concerned about what I would do if the only foods available contained eggs or dairy.  I can’t expect the people that I am working with to go out of their way to find vegan-friendly foods.  I’m sure vegetarian wouldn’t be a problem, but I can’t expect them to cater to my vegan-ness.

So rather than having my first experience with dairy or eggs in many, many months be when I’m out in the middle of nowhere at my field site, I decided to slowly incorporate some non-vegan foods back into my diet starting this week.  And let me tell you, it’s been weird.  It’s very strange to knowingly reach for something that contains butter, or milk, or sour cream, and so on.  But I’m making a point to have one small non-vegan food item per day just to get my body used to that stuff again.  And to prevent any unpleasant reactions to whatever I may end up eating while I’m in New Zealand.

I guess the way I would describe my current food scenario would be vegetarian, but choosing vegan as much as I can.  It’s hard to make that switch.  I love the way I feel since going vegan.  But I honestly have no idea what’s in store for me when I get to New Zealand and I really want to make sure I’m okay eating non-vegan foods again, just in case.

So it’s a time of transition.  I will still be choosing mostly vegan foods, however, there are a few non-vegan (but still vegetarian) ones mixed in there once in a while.

And now that I feel like I’ve failed and let people down, here’s a whopper of a vegan recipe from Angela:

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (AKA: Heaven on a plate)

Rather than typing it all out, I’ll just link you to Anglea’s recipe PDF.

My notes (what I learned/adapted from my test run and again on Christmas morning):

  • This recipe made more than I could fit in one casserole dish, so I doubled the amount of pan sauce, and used two casseroles.
  • Rather than using dental floss to cut the rolls (I did that for my test run and lost a lot of the filling when it squeezed out the sides), I flattened out the dough, spread on the earth balance and the pumpkin pie filling, and then cut everything into 1.5″ strips using a pizza wheel.  Then I sprinkled on the pecan cinnamon streusel filling and rolled them up individually.  It worked well.
  • Make sure you don’t cut your rolls much thicker than 1 to 1.5″.  Any thicker than that and they’re ridiculous and won’t cook all the way through.
  • I ended up baking them for an extra 10-15 minutes (on top of the 27 minutes called for in the recipe).  I don’t know if my oven just isn’t as warm as it says it is, or what, but I found that with an extra 10-15 minutes, they were cooked all the way through.  After just 27 minutes, the bottoms were still raw dough.
  • The rolls come out HUGE.  Neither myself or my husband was able to get through a whole one this morning.  It’s definitely good to split one!
  • These puppies are AMAZING.  They are very labor intensive, but soooooo worth it.  Bring these to a party and people will love you forever.  (I brought them to my friend’s house for Christmas lunch and her whole family was picking at them.  I was told to leave the whole pan.)

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a… well… maybe one…

He’s watching youuuuuuuu!  Have you been good this year?

This year is an unusual one for us.  My husband and I are spending our first Christmas by ourselves.  We weren’t able to go visit family this year, so we’re doing our own thing, which is basically just relaxing at home and playing with the dogs.

Tonight (Christmas Eve), I prepped breakfast for tomorrow – Angela’s Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.  They are AMAZING.  I made them last week as a test run, and they came out great.  I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow.  I also went over to my friend’s house for her annual Christmas Eve party.  It was nice to be able to go again – usually we’re out of town tonight.

That’s about it.  Now I’m hunkered down on the couch with the dogs and laying low.  I’ve been fighting a cold for the last several days and it’s driving me crazy.  I just need to be healthy again by next Sunday, when I leave for New Zealand.  The last place I want to be sick is when I’m stuck on a plane for 24 hours or when I’m out doing fieldwork.

For tomorrow, we’ll have cinnamon rolls for breakfast (yum!), relax a bit, maybe clean and start packing for New Zealand.  Later on I’ll make dinner – a tofurkey roast with roasted veggies, garlic pumpkin knots, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  Yummmmmm…

Have a fantastic weekend and a happy holiday!

One of the exciting things about the new year is looking ahead at the year in front of you.  There is so much possibility and time.

It’s also amazing to look at the year that has passed – to see where you were when you started, and where you ended up.

I’ve come a long way in 2010, and have become a new person in the process.  I’m very proud of my accomplishments and transformation this year, and the person I have become.

2010 was a year of new beginnings:

  • We adopted our second dog, Rocket, on New Year’s Day.  He has been such a great addition to our family and we are so grateful to have him in our lives.  Even though sometimes we just wish he would go lay down and take a nap.  🙂

  • My husband got his ACL replaced, after 14 years of living with what was essentially one functional knee.  Since his surgery he’s come a long way and is now practically 100% good as new.  He now has the opportunity to do so many things that he was missing out on before, and it’s fantastic.

  • I ran my first half marathon.  It was supposed to be my first full marathon, but I was dealing with a knee injury, so I was just happy to be running and enjoying the race.  It also gave me more fuel to push hard for my marathon training through the summer.

  • I ran my first full marathon.  It was great!  It was far from perfect, since my knees just decided not to cooperate that day (they do that sometimes).  But I made it through and I was proud of myself for pushing on.  And now I have a time I can beat in the next one.

  • I decided to go back to school for my Ph.D.  This is HUGE, and is going to keep me insanely busy for the next couple years.  But I can’t wait!  I head off to New Zealand to start my fieldwork just after New Years.
  • I went vegan.  I had gone vegetarian in 2009, and made the switch to vegan this year.  I feel great and now I absolutely love cooking and experimenting with my food.  It’s been a fun trip!

I feel like I became a new person in 2010.  And I like that person very much.  I am stronger, more confident, and I know what I want and what makes me happy.  Before this year, I was just so-so about pretty much everything.  Things weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either.  And now I can say with confidence that this was a great year, and I’m very happy with how my life is going and who I am.

So what’s in store for 2011?

  • I’ll make my first trip (of many) to New Zealand to begin my Ph.D. It’s going to be fantastic in more ways than one.  First off, I’m going to New Zealand, and that’s awesome in itself.  But aside from just getting to go there, I’ll be getting my Ph.D., which will eventually allow me to advance in my career (academia) even more.
  • House hunting! We’re keeping our fingers crossed and are planning on purchasing our first house this spring.  I can’t wait to have a yard that the dogs can run around and play in!  I love houses, decorating, and renovating, and I can’t wait to have a home that we can make our own.  Plus, then we can build a full set of agility equipment for our backyard so we can continue with doggie agility!  We miss it so much since our trainer moved to California.  It just wouldn’t have been the same without Tara, so we decided to take a few months off until we had a house.

So thanks 2010!  You’ve been a great year!  2011 has some big shoes to fill, but I think it can handle it.

So I finally got the kick in the butt I needed to get back into running regularly.  I realized this weekend that if I didn’t stick to my training plan starting NOW, I’d be risking injury and trouble by the time spring rolls around.

I know it sounds like it’s way too early to start training for a May 29th marathon.  Most training plans are 16 to 18 weeks long and it’s still 24 weeks away.  However, I’ll be spending three weeks in New Zealand (In three weeks!  Yay!) and will be repeating a few weeks of training when I get back.  Plus I haven’t run a heck of a lot since the Adirondack Marathon, so I need to get my base mileage back up to an acceptable level.

Hence why I’m at my getting-started-deadline.

This week was our last week of classes for the semester, so things were a bit hectic.  My runs got pushed back to the end of the week, but I still managed to fit them in.

Thursday I had a nice 3 mile run at 9:30/mile.  I’m trying to keep my pace on the shorter runs to under 10:00/mile because I really want to work on my speed.  However, I’m still getting back into the swing of things, so I need to start at a fairly comfortable “faster” pace.  I’ll pick it up as I go along.

Friday was a rest day because my department had an end of the semester gathering with foodstuffs and cake – which I happily partook in (My vegan cake and another faculty member’s vegetarian chili?  I’m there!).  By the time I got home I was full, and it was late.

Saturday was 6 miles at 9:52/mile.  Still in my sub-10:00/mile range, but slightly slower.  I pushed hard for the last mile and increased my pace every tenth of a mile until I was flat out sprinting at the end.  It was HARD.  But it felt good!

Tonight was supposed to be my long run of 9 miles, but partway in I realized that I was starting off with too much mileage and I should really do another 6 instead.  I don’t want to end up with an overuse injury.  I went there last year and it wasn’t fun at all.  So mid-run I changed plans.

Of course, then my husband appeared in the basement to inform me that our DVR wasn’t recording the season finale of Amazing Race – which I love.  Boo Time Warner!  So I jumped off the treadmill somewhere around 4 miles to run upstairs and at least catch the last 10 minutes and see who won.  I’ll finish the other couple miles (and perhaps a few extra) tomorrow night.  Not ideal, but I love Amazing Race and I was not happy about the DVR suddenly deciding not to record it.

Overall, a good week.  I’m glad I’m back on track and running regularly again.  It’s so easy to let other things get in the way, or to stay cuddled up with the dogs under the blanket on the couch, nice and warm.  But after a couple weeks, I’ll be back into a regular routine and then it won’t be so difficult to make myself get out from under that blanket.

Also, I may have bought myself one of these suckers to make myself do morning runs once the spring semester rolls around…

A clocky!

I’m thinking that not wanting the dogs to attack it as it jumps off my nightstand and runs away will make me get out of bed in the morning.  We’ll see.

Just a quick note tonight.

I have no idea why, but I pulled up my Google Reader tonight and suddenly my very first post has reappeared at the top of my blog reader.  Bizarre.

I’m not sure if this happened to anyone else, but – no, I’m not new here.  But hello anyway!

Last night I finally got a chance to register for Marathon #2!

Hooray!  I can’t wait to get back out on that course – with two good knees this time!  (Read about the first time here.)  I also figured this would give me that kick in the butt I need to get back into training and enjoy it.  If I don’t have something that I’ve committed to, I find it so easy to say “oh, I can push that back a day…”  Nope!  Not when I’ve registered!  May 29th will be here before I know it – amazingly enough.  And I can’t mess around.  I want to have a great marathon experience, and I fully intend on blowing my Adirondack Marathon time out of the water.  I can’t imagine not doing better than I did then, considering I ran the whole second half in agony.

Buffalo will be better.  I’ll make sure of that.

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com


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