Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend back home

Wow, how did this weekend go by so quickly?! John, my brother Joey, and I drove down Friday night to celebrate my Nana's 78th birthday. We didn't get in until late, so Joey went straight to bed and John and myself stayed up to wait for my mom to come home from dinner. She brought us yummy Italian food. I ate my body weight in white pizza and marinated roasted red peppers.

Saturday, I went to use a Groupon I bought for a microdermabrasion. Honestly, I'm bummed. It doesn't look like my skin is any different. I'm happy I bought it for 60% off. Another thing that stunk was I couldn't run all Saturday because I couldn't perspire for 24 hours! I wish I had known, but that meant I had to miss a run and did not make my weekly mileage. I haven't missed a run in nearly a month and I hated having to do it, especially since my face looks no different than before. Instead of running then, I came home to bake. I made Quinoa, Apricot, and Nut clusters (link) and Low Fat Lemon bars. The cookies were good like the last time, but the lemon bars were not that great, hence no link posting (not worth sharing!).

After a great dinner with my Nana, Uncle Steve (in town from LA), John, Joey, and my mom, we headed to the 6th and I Synagogue to see Michael Showalter. I have loved him for about 5 years now and I was sooo excited to see him. It wasn't a stand up show so much as a book tour show, so it wasn't as great as I was hoping. I still loved being in the same room as him.
This morning, I continued my Sunday morning ritual of watching CBS Sunday Morning. Yes, that requires me being up at 9 am (even after a night of alcoholic beverages)....quite the feat! I also believe I am the only person under 65 watching it. I have loved it for years and I learn something every Sunday watching it. Charles Osgood is my favorite and I enjoy my 1.5 hours with him every Sunday morning.
Thanks for the stories, Charles!
Followed my brain-growing show with 18 miles run. I knew the place I run at home is hillier, therefore I would have to slow down, but man, the end of the run was touuuuuugh. I didn't bring any food to eat, so by the end, I was struggling. Still got them done and I will be happy to stretch myself in yoga tomorrow!

My Garmin's data. The hill at the end killed me!
Okay, I'm off to finish watching the Oscars. So far, not as fun as I was hoping. Happy end of weekend, everyone!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quick Post with a Fun Survey!

Hello to all! I am running around back home in MD because it is my Nana's birthday celebration weekend! So excited to celebrate! I am off to get a microdermabrasion, then get in 8 easy miles. We're going to see Michael Showalter tonight at the 6th and I Synagogue in DC. In lieu of a real post, I will answer this survey that I've seen a lot on other blogs.

A. Age: 23
B. Bed size: Queen and I roll around like crazy
C. Chore you dislike: Dishes! Hate doing them, but my love of cooking means I do them a lot.
D. Dogs: None since we put down our family's sweet Jack Russell, Macy
E. Essential start to your day: Checking of my e-mail, Facebook, my Google Reader, and Runner's World
F. Favorite color: Tie for blue and purple!
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5'3''....I'm short
I. Instruments you play(ed): Used to play alto and tenor saxaphone, can play a bit of guitar
J. Job title: Associate Managing Producer....sounds much cooler than it is...haha
K. Kids: Not quiet yet
L. Live: Philadelphia, PA
M. Mom’s name: Audrey
N. Nicknames: Reb, Becca, Reba, Reebs, Rivka (it's my Hebrew name, but my dad calls me that)
O. Overnight hospital stays: I almost was there a few weeks ago for overnight, but they thankfully let me out around 11:30 pm
P. Pet peeves: I do not enjoy dishonest people and people who are not reliable
Q. Quote from a movie: "As you wish." The Princess Bride

R. Righty or lefty: Right hand all the way
S. Siblings: My younger brother, Joey!
He helped piggy-back me after my Philadelphia Marathon in 2009
T. Time you wake up: Depending on how much I am going to run, either 5:30 am or 6 am
U. Underwear: I am all about the Victoria's Secret 5/$25 deal!
V. Vegetables you don't like: Celery, cucumbers, peas
W. What makes you run late: I always think I can do more in less time. Not true
X. X-rays you’ve had: Teeth a ton, knee, chest, arms a few times
Y. Yummy food you make: I bake a ton!
Meringue wreaths I made for the holidays
Z. Zoo animal favorites: Don't love zoos, but I love the monkeys!!!

Okay, off to get my face all done purty. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Karma and BBQ Pork Chops

Friday, after hanging out with some friends at Drexel, John and I hopped in a cab back. Even though we were coming back at around 2 am, we were both not intoxicated. We decided to grab some Chinese late night (seeing as I live 2 blocks from Chinatown and late night Chinese tastes amazing, even sober). When I went to grab my wallet when the check came, my wallet was gone. I was so upset, but knew that I had left it in the cab. I cancelled my credit and debit cards and sadly anticipated the awfully long line at the DMV I would have to wait in. But sometimes, the world is filled with nice people with good hearts. I came into work today to have an e-mail and voicemail for a co-worker. The cabbie, DJ, found my wallet and tried contacting my bank. The bank wouldn't give him any information, so he searched in my wallet and found some business cards of my co-workers (I put them in there after my interview). DJ left 3 of them voicemails saying he had found my wallet. I was able to reach him and he is going to bring me my wallet tomorrow! He could have easily taken the wallet, thrown it out, given up on finding me, or done nothing. Instead, he knew how much it would mean to the person's wallet and worked hard to get it back to me.

It is easy to watch the news and read the newspaper to find awful stories (even just today) and become bummed about the world. It's people people like DJ that remind me that there are good people in the world. I am so thankful that he was a good human being. I'd like to think that my choice to do the right thing in most instances has something to do with it, but I will definitely be doing my best to pay it forward.
For dinner, I had pork chops in the fridge waiting to be cooked. I needed a recipe, so I made some Baked BBQ Pork Chops (link). It was easy and delicious. Next time, I'll put foil down first because the pan will be difficult to clean. I made it with some oven roasted broccoli and brown rice. Healthy and delicious!

I really hope I can get my camera to work soon. Even though my Google Search pictures are awesome, I'd love to put up my own to personalize this blog. 

Okay, off to finish a bag of frozen grapes (John and I have finished a giant bag of grapes in about 24 hours...I may love grapes as much as kale!). Have a great night, people!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Epiphany about Limits and Avocado Pasta

A few weeks ago, I had an epiphany during a run that has had me thinking about it ever since. I was out on a morning run and found myself running faster than I normally do. I felt fine, but I told myself, "I shouldn't be running this fast. I don't run these runs these fast." There is something to be said for not pushing yourself  so hard in each run, but I thought, "Why can't I push myself a bit on this run?" I all of a sudden realized that if I keep telling myself I should feel comfortable, I will never improve in my running. Like I said, there is a time and place for sprinting and then for slow, long runs, but if one sets up limits, goals will never be reached. Since then, I have increased the speed of most of my runs (not significantly), but already, runs that felt really fast a few weeks ago are now feeling easy. I also thought about how this affects me outside of running. If I tell myself something is not possible, it never will be. I need to try pushing myself and if I fail, at least then I will truly know my limits. I am excited for this new perspective and how much will now be possible.


In regards of food, I have made a lot of yummy foods this past week. John had requested chocolate chip cookies. With the week being crazy, I finally got around to making them last night. There are so many and it's so tempting to gobble them all up. I did eat a good amount of dough before they went in the oven. Yummmm.

My new favorite meal is Oh She Glow's 15 Minute Avocado Pasta (link). I was able to use my new food processor (care of John for my 23rd birthday) to make this recipe. It is amazingly delicious and so easy to make! I did make a few changes to the recipe. I am a garlic lover, but 2 raw garlic cloves was a lot for both John and me. We also found it to be a bit thick, so I added a few tablespoons of the pasta water to thin it out a bit. It's creamy, lemony, and downright delicious. Make sure to make it soon! You won't regret it. 
Oh She Glow's beautiful photograph of the Avocado Pasta

As today is President's Day, I have the day off. I am going to run errands, do laundry, and finally get in some yoga. I haven't been to a yoga class in 3 or 4 weeks, which is bad! I know my body loves the good stretch and tough workout I get through power yoga, so I owe it to my body to do it. 

Anyone have any new or delicious recipes you made this past week? I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wine, Shoes, and the ER

Sorry for the delay in blog posts. This weekend and last few days have been crazy.

Friday night had me spending time with two of my girlies, Maddie and Jess. John got to witness what I have been telling him about for months: a Wine and Couch night (also know as DTV, drunk tv). In my last quarter at Drexel, my girlfriends Maddie and Jess lived on the same block as me. One time, Maddie and I decided to hang, but we wanted to relax. I brought some wine, she had some wine, and we plopped down on the couch to watch tv. Wine and Couch nights had begun. Jess joined the festivities soon after, making us a group of three. Sometimes I’m ready to go out and go to bars and some nights, I want to relax with some wine. I had a blast catching up with Maddie and Jess. John definitely got a laugh at us showing off our yoga moves after a glass of wine or two. I also got to convert them into kale chip lovers! :D

We don't look nearly this classy. 
Saturday, John and I ran errands and used a few of my Groupons. I bought new running shoes, Saucony Kinvaras. They are much thinner than my current Asics Kayanos, which I am loving. Got in 7 miles and I loved the feeling of lighter feet! I started to feel some dull and achy chest pain Saturday, but it was intermittent. I had three birthday parties to attend Saturday night, but I was not feeling great. I was tired and knew that once I got out there, I’d want to go home. I felt really bad because all three of them are great friends, but my body was not having it.

Sunday had me getting up to get in 15 miles. I am training for the Mind the Ducks 12 hour race and the Back on My Feet 24 hour Lone Ranger race. I tried out a new run/walk sequence that worked well, but I am still not set on a run/walk pattern. Came back, made chocolate swirl mini cheesecakes, then headed with John to New Jersey to celebrate his dad’s 60th birthday. Had yummy food and was still able to get back to catch most of the Grammys. I’m a sucker for award shows.

My pretty new running shoes!
Monday morning, I woke up with more chest pains. They were still dull and achy, but they were more frequent. I was also lightheaded. Came into work and the pain started getting sharp. I left work to head to the ER. John and I got there around 1 pm, where they took me immediately for an EKG. That was fine (whew!). They did blood work and a chest x-ray eventually. Hours later, I was taken back and they said both were clear (whew again!). They said if it was a blood clot, they’d have to do a separate blood test to check. Hours later, the results said I did not have a blood clot (triple whew!). I was discharged 11 hours later with no real diagnosis. They think it is just a muscle strain or something, but I’ve got an appointment today to follow up. Stinky way to spend Valentine’s Day, but at least nothing serious was wrong with me and John and I were together.

Took it easy yesterday (no exercising) and got in 4 easy miles today on the treadmill before work. The chest pains have gone away and the lightheadedness is slowly fading. I’m very happy it wasn’t serious, but I will be glad to hear what is going on.

Whew, sorry for such a long post, but I didn’t get to post due to the ER drama. I’ll be doing my best to post more frequently so the posts aren’t so long.

How did everyone else spend their weekends and Valentine’s Days? 

Friday, February 11, 2011

My name is Rebecca and I am a kale-o-holic

How has everyone been? I'm hoping to photograph a lot of my meals, but I have yet to figure out why my card reader is acting up. Boo. 

I have had some yummy meals that included some leftover lentil chili (it's one I will have to make again, so I will post pictures once I do), the best boxed mac and cheese I've had in a long time (Whole Foods' Organic Shells and Cheese), a few bagel thins for breakfasts, a couple of yum-tastic (and healthy to boot!) quesadillas, but best of all: KALE! Kale is my utter obsession. John, the boyfriend, can attest that I get way too excited about kale. One time, we went to the grocery store and I made a b-line to the kale. I kept stuffing more and more into the bag until John said, "Do you realize that bag is double the size of your head?!" Why yes, I had realized that it was, but 1) kale cooks down like most greens, and 2) I eat it at times once, sometimes twice, a day. According to WebMD:

"One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus." (link)

Kale is fairly inexpensive, easy to cook, and so good for you. What is not to like? Honestly, there's one way I cook it: kale chips. You read that right, kale chips. It's so easy, it barely requires a recipe, but here's mine:

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale (or however you want to's a loose recipe)
Salt to taste
Olive oil or cooking spray for pan and kale

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
2) Grease a sheet pan (I usually put foil down, then grease it)
3) Wash kale and remove the leaves from the stems (the stems are tougher and hard to eat). You just have to literally rip the leaves off the stem. Easy!
4) Lay out kale in one single layer on the pan.
5) Spray with cooking spray (or drizzle olive oil) and sprinkle salt to taste on kale leaves. Toss them around.
6) Throw pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Check halfway through to toss the kale for even cooking. Take them out when the edges of the kale are dry and crispy.

That is it. Super easy, super delicious, and super healthy! I eat these a lot as opposed to potato chips. They obviously aren't the same, but they are healthy and definitely fill the salt void. Want to know how happy eating kale makes me? Okay, so that's actually just me dancing at my recent birthday celebration, but the excitement on my face equals the excitement I get from eating kale. 

Anyone tried kale before? Have any favorite ways to eat it? I'd love to know!

(sorry about the text and spacing....cannot figure out why it is acting up, but please bare (bear? beer? Ooh, now I want a drink) with me. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Introduction to Runner with an Appetite

Well hello to all! This is my new exercise/foodie/life blog and I am really excited about this! I figured I ought to start off with a recap of who I am and why I am starting this.

Name: Rebecca Schaefer
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Occupation: Project Manager at small advertising agency
Significant other: His name is John and we've been dating for about 3.5 years. He's a pretty good guy :D He doesn't understand my crazy running, but is super supportive. He also enjoys the fruits of my labor when it comes to cooking and baking.
Fun Fact: I am a recent college graduate of Drexel University
Favorite food: cheesecake

I may have run the Marine Corps
Marathon dressed as
Lady GaGa...It was Halloween!
Okay, so those are stats, but what about the title? Let's go with the first part: runner. I've been a runner for nearly my entire life. My mother said in preschool, I used to beat everyone in the short races we would hold. I joined a local track club in 5th grade and ran off and on until high school. I ran cross country and track all four years of high school (was captain my senior year!), doing the 5k in cross country and the 800 m, 4 x 800 m, 1 mile, 2 mile, 100 m and 300 m hurdles, shuttle hurdle relay and pole vault in track. I started attending Drexel University in 2006. I joined the Drexel Track Club and raced 5ks and 5 milers. Spring of my Freshman year, our track coach suggested I train for the Philadelphia Marathon that fall. At first, I thought he was joking; he was not. The gears started turning in my head and from then on, I haven't looked back. I've run 3 half marathons, 3 marathons, a 12 hour ultramarathon, a 24 hour ultramarathon, and countless 5ks since. Running is truly a passion and something I (not always, but usually) love doing.

Running in the BOMF 24 hour race
The second part of the title is "appetite." Why is this? It is due to my undeniable love of food and the preparation of food. I was probably the only middle schooler who rushed home from school to watch the Food Network. I have baked from middle school on and have gotten pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Once I came to college, I had to learn how to cook to survive and still enjoy doing so. I go on recipes sites nearly daily, constantly searching for new things to cook. I try to eat healthfully, so I try to eat a diet low in bad things and high in good things. I always say if there was a Jeopardy about food, I would probably win because I am constantly absorbing new foodie information. Wanna challenge me? I wouldn't. :P

Yummy cupcakes!
So why am I writing this blog? When I read other people's blogs, I can sense their excitement for what they choose to write about. Whenever I read other healthy eating/foodie/exercise blogs, I always can hear the inner voice of mine eager to also discuss food, running, and my experiences with them both. I'm eager to document my life through running and food and hope you can enjoy it, too!

I also have a strictly running blog that you can find called Yes, I enjoy running this much. I am hoping to mesh the two into this one, but for right now, if you're interested in my previous running escapades, that will be the blog for you!