Beans, beans…

October 11, 2010 at 9:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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…the magical fruit the more you eat the more you….

Okay, that’s enough of that. ūüėČ

Training Calls for: Rest

Miles Run So Far: 264.2

Days Left: 6

Bonjour, blog babes!

My new routine means I go to class MTuThF from 9-10 and then head on over to work at 11 (yes, I start my work day at 11 — be jealous ūüėČ ¬†I also don’t get out until 7, so in turn, I’ll be jealous of all you 9-5ers). ¬†In the hour in between, I chill in the campus library, use their WiFi and write my posts.

Dear Library,

Get your act together.  Sketchy WiFi for two days straight was un-cool.

Dear Bethany,

Get YOUR act together.  Forgetting your camera was equally un-cool.

But I’m back now and I am ready to reveal just what I was cooking up in the cocina Tuesday night. ¬†Ready for it?

Black beans?


Black Bean Brownies!!!

Yep. ¬†After eating one of these babies at the 30-mile meal, I finally got the courage to try the recipe myself. ¬†I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a dessert made from an ingredient I’m used to seeing in soups, salsas and nachos, but I am nothing if not willing.

It’s all in the name of a potentially good dessert. ūüėČ

I found this recipe online and realized I had everything I needed to make it.  It was like the universe was telling me I needed to strap on my apron and get to work.

Here’s my other motivation for trying this recipe…

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease and has been restricted to a gluten-free lifestyle. ¬†Another family member of mine is already eliminating gluten from her life for dietary and health reasons as well. ¬†It kills me that 99.9999% of baked goodies and enjoyables include FLOUR.

What the heck?

So when I see a recipe that’s gluten-free, I think to myself, “I need to try that for them.” ¬†Since I am NOT gluten intolerant and I know exactly what a treat with gluten tastes like, I figure I can be the¬†discerning¬†palate for these two and taste test these recipes until we find one that will revolutionize the G-free world.

Oh, yes.  I bear that cross proudly ;).

This might have been the easiest recipe I’ve made in a while. ¬†Dump almost all ingredients in a food processor and whirl.

Add chocolate chips sprinkled on top (or you could use chopped walnuts).



So here’s my review of the flour-free freakishly good black bean brownies: ¬†um, pretty close. ¬†Most gluten-free products taste similiar (but not close enough) to the real thing.

These are a darn good imposter. ¬†Sam declared he likes them BETTER than actual brownies. ¬†The texture is kind of odd when you pull them straight out of the oven (really fluffy — think long-lost gluten-free cousin to the Pillsbury dough boy), but when they’ve cooled, they’re chewy and kind of fudgy like a good brownie should be.

The instant coffee the recipe calls for gives the brownies a hearty base flavor — though it isn’t overpowering. ¬†It doesn’t taste like mocha, it tastes like chocolate. ¬†I think the chocolate chips on the top are imperative because they give you a little nugget of chocolate amid an otherwise tastebud confusing treat.

I’m not sure how much healthier they are compared to regular brownies (since you still use sugar, oil and eggs), but they’re made from REAL ingredients, so I give them my stamp of approval!

In other news…

Did you notice we’re just 6 days away from the marathon? ¬†OH. MY. GOSH. ¬†I am a little bit freaking out and mostly just excited. ¬†My 8-mile run on Saturday was so-so. ¬†I think I was bored? ¬†Strange, I know, but running these shorter distances (um, 8 miles is shorter? who am I??) is kind of like old hat. ¬†I think 20 miles went so well because I was engaged in the challenge.

Let’s just hope I feel that same way on M-Day. ¬†Pardon me while I go grab a paper back and start hyperventilating.

Sam, on the other hand, is battling a serious IT band injury. ¬†It hurt him so badly I had to run ahead and get the car to pick him up. ¬†I can’t believe this has happened to him with just a week to go, but I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude and grab my pom poms to be his cheerleader. ¬†We’re in this together, no matter what. ¬†Even if I drag him across the finish line. ¬†Even if I drive all over God’s green earth to find another marathon for him to run. ¬†Even if I put him on my shoulders and carry him the whole way.

Got that, Sam? ¬†It can all turn back around just as quickly as it went south. ūüôā

Leave Sam a little comment love and encouragement, okay?


File this one away…

September 27, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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…in the “you’re never going to believe this” category.

Only this time, it isn’t something fun I’m sharing, it’s something sad.

Yep. ¬†Last Thursday, the 16th, my hometown was hit by a tornado. ¬†No, I’m not kidding. ¬†Yes, we’re okay. ¬†No, our house was not damaged…but plenty of other people became uprooted and homeless in the blink of an eye.

It happened so quickly. ¬†I had just gotten home from work and the next thing I knew, Sam herded me and the monsters down to the basement. ¬†I even said to him, “are you sure it’s a tornado warning? It must be a watch — we’re never under a warning.”

It only took a few minutes for the tornado to apparently pass down the road behind our house. ¬†It’s spooky to know that a tornado can rip through the neighborhood one street over where trees fell on houses and our little home was untouched.

The power was out for about 3 days, so I fled to civilization with Sam where he had to work an event for our university. ¬†Our wonderful friends, Joe and Kathy, took us (and the monsters!) in as refugees. ¬†We promised to return the favor if a tornado ever hits their hometown…although I hope that never happens.

Sam and I completed our scheduled training run of 14 miles along the beautiful Olentangy River trail under near civilization and it was a pretty good run. ¬†The trail is beautiful and has so curves and winds, so it isn’t a boring old straight-arrow path. ¬†Very nice!

When we got back home Sunday afternoon, there was so much to do to get the house in order.  Food to throw away, cleaning to do, groceries to buy (and replace) and this week just took off like a freight train.  Every time I had a minute to sit down, the last thing I could think of doing was firing up the laptop to try and explain what had been going on over here in my little land.

I know it all seems like a big apology — and that’s because that’s kind of what it is. ¬†If you read this blog with any regularity, I know you expect to see something new every once in a while. ¬†I kind of got a big, fat “F” in that department. ¬†I’ll try and make it up to you :).

Saturday night, my friend Kelly and I took advantage of a pretty cool local event.  The 30-mile meal was the final event in a week long program celebrating local food production in the form of a dinner made completely from food grown or produced within a 30-mile radius.

My delicious plate:

Trust me when I say I took a nibble of everything on this menu:

By biking to the dinner, Kelly and I saved $5 off our admission. ¬†I’m always up for a little exercise and it helped work up an appetite. ¬†The dinner started at 6 and the line was supah long.

Peeps recognize good food when they see it! ¬†I’m glad there were plenty of carb-friendly options on the menu, but I was prepping (mentally and physically) to run 20 miles the next day.

Sunday morning, Sam and I got up nice and early to found a good, cool morning awaiting us. ¬†The weather was in the upper 50’s with a slight breeze. ¬†Perfect. ¬†We had agreed ahead of time that we wouldn’t be running these 20 miles together. ¬†It was a hard decision to make, since we’ve been running buddies for all of the long runs, but in reality, we won’t be running the marathon together. ¬†Sam is a faster runner and I don’t want to hold him back. ¬†Besides, the kind people of the Columbus marathon have decided to place us in different corrals. ūüėõ

I packed my Clif Blok shots, filled Alice the Camelbak with Gatorade and started to gear up for this run.

It’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine.

Running a long distance like that is more mental than anything else. ¬†Your body can do almost anything — it’s your mind that needs convincing. ¬†Think of your body as a leaderless pack of cattle and your mind as the sheepdog that corrals them. ¬†If you’ve got your mind focused and in agreement with your plan, your body has no choice but to follow.

The plan was to follow our 10-mile route twice. ¬†10+10 = 20. ¬†From the bike path to our house one direction was 6.4 miles, from our house back to the path in another direction was 3.6 miles. ¬†We parked a car at the bike path and used both the vehicle and the house as “aid stations”.

I totally surprised myself by making it back to the house and feeling great.  Six miles in and I was doing good.  I made the decision to keep with the momentum and not stop at the house for water.  I had my Camelbak and I wanted to just keep running.

Um, I ran the first 10 mile lap without stopping. ¬†I probably could have kept going, except I knew I needed to actually stop and conscious drink water and take energy gels. ¬†Since I’m prone to dehydration, things could get nasty if all the hydrating I was doing was taking little hits off my Camelbak.

I stopped at the car, drank up, chomped down and stretched a little.

A little walk break and I got back to business. ¬†I ran the whole 6 miles back to the house without stopping. ¬†Who am I?? ¬†That’s 16 miles and just one walk break.

While I was running, I thought a lot about my parents. ¬†They are undoubtedly my biggest cheerleaders on this planet (besides Sam). ¬†When I was younger, my dad always told me, “your best is good enough“. ¬†On this run, I really felt like I was following that idea. ¬†I could have stopped and walked earlier, I could have taken it slower or given in to the sore legs and achy feet, but that wasn’t my best. ¬†If I was going to give forth the effort, only my best was going to be good enough.

My best is good enough. ¬†My best is good enough. ¬†My best is good enough,” ¬†I repeated over and over. ¬†It became a mantra. ¬†Incidentally, it was a better mantra than what I started the run with: “lookin’ good and feelin’ fine…feelin’ fine and lookin’ good“. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†A little self-absorbed, no?

Around the point when I started back towards the path (miles 16-20), I was starting to lose steam. ¬†My legs were achy, my IT band started to flare and I was ready to be done. ¬†I had walked for almost .75 miles after I hit 16 miles and it was a little too long. ¬†My body had tasted the temptation of a walk break — and it wanted more.

No way. ¬†We’re going to do this, I told myself. ¬†I kept trucking through to mile 18, took a mini-walk break (maybe .10 mile) and pushed forward.

This is where it starts to get silly. ¬†I had about a mile left, I knew I could make it and then, I started to lose my mind. ¬†No joke. ¬†I’m glad no one was around to hear the things I was saying out loud to keep moving. ¬†But since this is an honest blog, I’ll tell you anyway. ūüėČ

With a half mile left, I started to talk to myself about the girl I was.

I am the girl who could only run a quarter of a mile last year. ¬†I am the girl whose butt was glued to the couch. ¬†I am the girl who was thin but out of shape. ¬†I am the girl who was hooked on fast food. ¬†I am the girl who listened to that little voice too much. ¬†I am the girl who told herself no.”

It morphed in to me talking to myself about who I am now.

I am the girl who ran a half marathon.  I am the girl decided to do this.  I am the girl who told the little voice to get lost.  I am the girl who is running, who is a runner.  I am the girl who will dominate a marathon soon. I am the girl.  I-am-the-girl.  Iamthegirl.

Flying down the last hill, I powered through and hit the exact point where I started 3 hours, 38 minutes and 4 seconds earlier.

I am the girl who just ran 20 miles,” I whispered to myself as I hit the button on my stopwatch.

And damn, it feels good.

That’s 20 miles, peeps. ¬†Twenty whole miles.

So bring it on marathon, bring. it. on.

P.S. Don’t fret pets, I’m back with more regularity now. ¬†Sorry for the hiatus, I’m doing my best. ¬†And isn’t my best good enough?

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