Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Recipe o' the Week

This is my kind of recipe, although they took longer than 2 minutes per side. Still, very little work involved—a prerequisite for anything I cook. I keep this up, I'm going to make somebody a good little wi...nevermind.

Sea Scallops
(Recipe courtesy Cat Cora, Show: Kitchen Accomplished; Episode: Young Cook's Kitchen

16 medium diver scallops, cleaned

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for searing

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups field greens

In a medium bowl, marinate the scallops with olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Let them marinate for 20 minutes.

Heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallops. Cook quickly in each side until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and place 4 scallops around a mound of greens. Repeat.

[Note: Sea scallops are not cheap, but a good choice if you are cooking for one. And if you are cheap.]

Monday, January 28, 2008


I am now a card-carrying member! Woot. Their New Triathlete Program opens—and closes—on Feb. 1. They can take only 125 people, and at Sunday's orientation meeting, there were probably 300+ crammed into a very small room. The club seems very well run and is apparently the largest tri club in the—well, somewhere. (I wasn't paying attention to that—I was very busy scanning the room to see if I was the oldest one there.) The goal race for the NTP is the New Jersey State Triathlon, July 27, where there's a sprint and an Olympic distance. If I'm feeling frisky, I might just try the Olympic. But July is so far away, I'll think about that later...

Also, no thanks to ACTIVE.COM, I finally got around their b.s. system and managed to sign up for the Wirefly National Half Marathon, March 29, which you just might remember, I had to qualify for.

In other news, I've been eating everything in sight. Today I brought all my food for the day to work, so I could avoid eating crap, and had finished ALL OF IT it by 1 p.m. Luckily, little miss r.p. was standing by to subtly suggest that I MIGHT NOT WANT TO KEEP ALL my food in my office.

Like, try putting it in the kitchen.

There's always tomorrow.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Running Tour of D.C. and How I Lost My Car Key

I very cleverly bought a very slim key ring to put ONLY my car key on, so that I could slip it on and off my house key ring, which is thick and pretty much impossible to get the car key back on once I take it off. So this system worked great! I could slip the thin car key ring off when heading out for a run, and didn't have to take my 10,000 other keys with me. I'm so smart!

Nine miles on the sched today and I found the meetup place this week in 15 minutes (as Coach Peter said, "See you ARE getting faster!"). There were six of us running today in the so-called "slow" group, temp was a balmy 28F, some wind.

Nine miles in 1:39, an 11 min/mile pace, about 30 seconds slower than my best run ever. But faster than if I were left to my own devices. Today's run took us past the Iwo Jima memorial

across the Key Bridge

through Georgetown

past the D.C. waterfront

past the Lincoln Memorial,

past the reflecting pool

back over the Memorial Bridge

past the Pentagon (come on you know what that looks like), to voila! Gotta Run. I was still DFL, but I was trying like hell to keep up, so I pushed myself the entire way.

I got to the bottom of a lovely little hill about 75 yards from the finish, and told myself I was running up that m*****f***** if it was the last thing I did. And I did. (I love it when I talk that way.)

I ran without headphones the whole way, so had plenty of time to talk to myself. Most of my talk consisted of "Don't lose them!" interspersed with singing (don't ask) "Bye Bye Love"—over and over and over. I remember thinking, so this is what screaming calves feel like. What I'm sayin' is: It was rough!

I don't know what I've been doing for the past few years people, but I don't think I've been running. I think I've been fooling around! This group is seriously kicking my butt!

After coffee with Coach J, and Coach Peter, I headed home—NOTE: DRIVING MY CAR, which required a CAR KEY—got home, parked, walked the 40 steps to the entrance to my building, opened the door, stepped onto the elevator, rode to the 3rd floor, and opened my apartment.

I hung around 'til 4ish, when I decided I needed to run some errands. Got dressed, grabbed keys, and headed down to the car. Where I discovered: no car key. Ah, must be back in the apartment. Back upstairs, tear apartment apart. No key. Retrace steps, peer through car window. Look all over parking lot.



Apparently, that clever thin key ring that slipped so easily on and off my big key ring? Yeah. Fell off. Somewhere between my parking place and the door to my building. A distance of: 40 steps.

Lucky for me, I do know where there's a spare key. At least I think it's a key to my car, never actually having tried it. It's cleverly stashed at work. I'll just hop in the car...wait, no, that's not gonna work.


Instead, I hopped on the bus, after a 1/2 hour wait in the cold. Got to work, found what I hoped was the car key, did a few errands, and hopped back on the bus.

Home 1 1/2 hours later, with much trepidation, I tried the car key. SUCCESS!!! I can now get to my much awaited triathlon orientation tomorrow!

But that other key? Somehow disappeared in the 40 paces it takes me to walk from the car to the apartment.

I do tend to lead a charmed life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've been in a slump lately. Working too hard, too long, feeling in a rut, (especially a training rut) dwelling on everything I think I don't do well, which let me assure you, does wonders for the self-esteem.

This morning on the way to spin at 5:45 a.m., I prayed my little prayer: God, please just let ONE good thing happen today (I meant of course, to me).

Like a bolt of lightning, while sitting at the stoplight, I thought: Jeanne, you are thinking about your life entirely backwards! Remember George Costanza's "do-the-opposite-day"?? Indeed I did. Instead of wishing feverently for something good to happen to me, I decided I would concentrate today on making sure something good happened to everyone else!!

Bloody brilliant.

That was at 5:45 a.m.

Here's the progress report:

1. I sent an e-mail to a colleague, someone I supervise, saying what a terrific job they were doing. I NEVER do this. NEVER. I don't know why. Probably jealousy.

2. Then a reporter came into my office late in the day to tell me some news about reaction to a blog item she'd posted, that I'd encouraged her to post, that resulted in an organization contacting her for an interview—an organization that had previously dissed her. It was a sort of edgy post, so it could have gone either way. I was happy for her, but happier that I'd had a hand in it, even if no one would ever know.

3. Then I had a big fight with someone else about something stupid. Hey, I'm no Mother Theresa.

3. I can see little signs of my influence throughout the organization. I get sought out as a listening board. Like people think I know stuff. (It's an age thing.) My help is behind the scenes, and no one but the person I've helped will ever know.

So, three good things. Plenty of room for improvement.

And, the place I should have started this post was back in spin class, where (because, remember, I am NO LONGER WORRYING (which by the way, is going quite well)), I talked to Mr. Spin Instructor today, out loud, without concern that I'd say the wrong thing.

We're not engaged yet, but it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Bonus: I got to see my idol, Richard Thompson, at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium last night, resulting in a 12:30 bedtime. Oy.

Worth. Every. Damn. Minute.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shave Your 5-K Challenge

Because no good deed goes unpunished, Vanilla over at Half-Fast came up with the great idea to hold a "Shave Your 5k" time contest.

Of course he would announce this immediately after I ran the best 5k that I will ever ever EVER run in my life. (Which it's just possible that I might have said something about here.)

Because I'm lazy and have nothing to write about today, I will save you the trouble of clicking through, and just quote him at length:

You’ll enter a 5K race sometime before March 31st ‘08 and you’ll e-mail me [e-mail HIM, not me] your official time, this will be your “stubble time” (i.e. un-shaven time). I’ll keep track of everyone’s times and then we’ll all run 5K’s again at the end of the year which will give you your “smooth time” (i.e. freshly shaved time). Whoever shows the greatest difference between their stubble time and their smooth time is the winner. Before you go getting any brilliant ideas let me clarify that to state the greatest difference in a negative direction wins, loopholers.
I love the shaving analogy. I wear a lot of slacks in the winter. Let's just leave it at that.

There are all kinds of terms, conditions, and amendments to the terms and conditions, but I'll let you read all the fine print by yourself (i.e., "must not now, or have ever, worked for NPR").

Anyhoo, this looks like great fun, with fabulous prizes? I'm pretty sure there are fabulous prizes.

There had damn well better be fabulous prizes.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Best. Run. Ever.

I'm in this crazy no-man's land of 1) not having a training plan, 2) or a running group and 3) waiting for my beginner's triathlon orientation so that I can get #1 and 2.

So I've kinda been winging it during the week, and my Saturday long-runs have alternated 6-8-10 miles, except usually it was more like 6-8-6-8-10-6-8-6 etc. With Bex having to literally plead with me to GET OUT the door last week.

So, to forestall any problems getting my ass in gear Saturday, Friday night I wrote to my good friend DC Spinster, who is the HEAD COACH for the uniquely named Reebok Wirefly National Half Marathon program (powered by D.C. Road Runners) and asked if I could run with one of his training groups Saturday morning--the slow group, whose coach I knew from the DCRR 10-mile program—sort of as a trial even though I kind of already knew I wouldn't be officially joining.

He said sure, so I left home at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning, in order to allow plenty of time to get lost in Arlington. The group met at 8:00 and at 8:05 after driving all over creation, I had totally given up ever finding them, when I stumbled across the group just as just as they were leaving Gotta Run, the meet-up place.

I rolled down my car window and shrieked at coach J that, like the second coming, I was here! She tried to yell back the route directions: "Past the monument! Over the bridge! On to the Mall!" Which was terrific, except? There are 10,000 monuments in this city, I had no idea where I was, and there are what, four bridges?

Could I possibly catch them??

My tires screeched as I rounded the corner and pulled into a parking place. I tossed off my eight layers of outerwear and grabbed a water bottle.

Well bless my stars and garters. As a ran out of the parking lot, I saw that Coach J. had held up the entire group just for MOI!!

No turning back now!

The "slow" group was running 8 miles (perfect, see above) on a route that went by the Pentagon, over the Memorial Bridge, on to the National Mall, and back. It was a cold, crisp, gray day, slight wind, perfect for running. I love running over the Potomac River on days like this. It's peaceful at that time of the morning, you can see flocks of Canadian geese heading ... somewhere. And you feel so ... noble, with the city at your feet.

We soon separated into two groups, and then into three. I hung in there, repeating to all who would listen, "um, this is my 5k pace, people!" To which Coach J. replied, "Well, now it's your 1/2 marathon pace!"

The last two miles were tough. By now there were three people in my group, and I was hanging on for dear life to the other two runners. They knew i was struggling, but promised not to leave me because they also knew I'd never find my way back. Soon, I was dead last. I was dying. I held on to one thought: You have no money and no phone and no idea where the hell you are going. Follow those girls!

I made it back, after a final 25-yard sprint (egged on by Coach J.) in 1:25. That's an average 10:38 min. mile.

Now I know it must seem like I've forever bragging in this here little blog (well, except when I'm moaning and complaining) but: DAMN!!! I'm an 11:30 min. miler-girl! No, seriously!

Apparently, there is nothing like naked fear to speed you up. And running with a group and talking. Cuz before you know it, you're almost done and you haven't, um, actually died.

When I run long by myself? I am la-de-dah out for a stroll.

The longer the distance, the more my pace curls up into the fetal position and takes a nap.

If you want an eight mile tempo run, run with a group that is faster than you are and make sure you have no idea how to get back to the start.

That is how you do that!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Food: It's Not Just a Four-Letter Word

This week was endless. Twelve-hour days, no breaks. And yes, this is a naked cry for sympathy.

What happens when I feel put-upon, when I feel like I have no time for myself, when life consists of nothing but working out, working working working, getting home late, and going straight to bed—oh and let's throw in a few unwarranted criticisms by certain people—what happens is that my nutrition falls apart.

My nutrition was STELLAR this week. S T E L L A R!!! Five fruits and veggies every day! Protein galore!

Until today when I ran out of food.

Let's take a close look, cuz I know you are hanging on every word here:

Breakfast: Well, Friday is my one day of the week to sleep late (7 a.m.!) so I did. I skipped my usual small bowl of plain oatmeal with soy milk that I eat every single day of my life, so that I could make the bus so that I'd be at work with enough time to prep for a 9 a.m. meeting. I thought I'd grab a bagel along the way. No chance, too late.

10:30: I am starving, and thought I had a yogurt stashed in the fridge at work. Nope! But some evil entity kind soul has brought doughnuts. Oh joy. One sugar doughnut later, my hunger is under control. Sort of.

1:30: I remember I have a store-bought vegetarian pasta/soy thing in the fridge. Real food! Yay!

1:36: Um, scarfed that down. Now, what's for lunch?

2:30 I am so mad about nonstop working. And I'm starving again. (BTW, I realize that everytime I say "I'm starving"? I realize that I am nowhere near starving. Nowhere.) Oh look, it's our subsidized vending machines! Where everything is $.25!!! How HELPFUL. And there's a dark chocolate candy bar! I don't even want it. But I think I deserve it. And the voices in my head say dark chocolate=blahblahhealthyblah.

3:00 Start with the cups of tea. This is to forestall more eating.

7:00 p.m. I am finally finished with work. And mad. Because it's Friday, and I've been here for 11 hours. And yes, I am now starving again.

7:20: High-tail it to bus depot, just in time to see my bus pulling out. Which means a 15-minute wait. Sigh.

8:00 p.m. Finally home. I have two small servings of leftovers, neither of which will make a meal in itself: tofu meatloaf (don't bash it 'til you've tried it) and poached salmon. I could nuke a sweet potato to go with, but that? Is too much trouble. Pushing a button is too exhausting. A sorry state of affairs. So I have surf 'n soy—with nothing else. This is not dinner.

8:15 p.m. Glory be, I'm starving again. Let's try cheese and crackers.

8:45 p.m. If you guessed that I was still hungry? You win! Break out the vanilla soy yogurt!

8:46 p.m. Hey, you know what would turn this into dessert?? CHOCOLATE CHIPS! Which I happen to have in the freezer!!! Whee!!!

And that, ladies and germs, was today's exceptionally sorry and sad intake.

I'm sure it really fueled me up for tomorrow's 10 miler.

I shamefacedly share this story because I hope to inspire you: Don't grow up to be like me.

Suddenly? I don't feel so hot.

1) Buy enough food to keep at work. 2) Stop working so hard.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Coolrunning and

I've kept my running log at since I started running, oh way back in '05. It was simple. It worked well.

Until sometime around November 2007. When Cool Running decided to do merge with

All Cool Running customers were instructed to "click here" to merge your log with Active.

I clicked.

And promptly lost my running log. And apparently a lot of other people did, too.

I worked with for many—fruitless, I might add—weeks to solve the problem. Finally, I started following the Disgruntled Cool Running discussion on Active. There are a LOT of unhappy people who, like me, thought our running logs were gone forever. Until one exceptionally helpful discussion board member posted a "backdoor" url to retrieve your running log—and it worked!

And then someone else suggested a terrific site to keep your running log at, since is a NIGHTMARE to log into, never mind try to import data, or use for anything.

And what is this terrific site? It's RunningAhead. It imported my data—which I felt like a criminal trying to retrieve—flawlessly. And it has this handy little piece of code to display my weekly activities (running/swimming/biking/ whateverIwant), which keeps me humble, and honest, all at the same time. See? it's posted right over there-------->

Kudos to Eric at RunningAhead. Well done.

And Active? Well, it's more of a nightmare now than ever. I just tried to register for the National Half-Marathon and it is forcing me to login, but will not retrieve my name or any other info. So I'm going to have to resort to registering by mail.


What To Do When You Just Don't Feel Like Running

First, you read the paper cover to cover.

Then you decide to take down the Christmas tree (it's fake, don't worry).

Then you need to vacuum.

Oh, might as well reorganize the furniture.

By this time it was close to 1:00 p.m. I still had the headache that I'd been fighting all week and that sent me home from work early on Friday.

But it was still early on Saturday, and I knew I didn't want to spend the day lollygagging around the house since that would only make me feel fatter and then, depressed.

There was only one thing to do: call in the marines. So I did. I placed a long-distance call to my erstwhile coach and commenced with the whining.

After listening to a long list of complaints, Bex offered this simple, time-tested, yet wiley, advice: get your running kit on, get out the door, and just run ONE mile. See how you feel after ONE mile.

See, I need someone telling me what to do. I'm almost 51 (feb. 7, 1957, mark your calenders), and I STILL NEED SOMEONE to tell me what to do!

Off I went.

One mile down. I hate this. Just go slow, don't look at the damn watch. Bex said you can turn around after one mile! Eh, might as well run a second mile. Surely you can run two freakin' miles! My foot hurts. It's too hot. Too many damn people on the trail. OK, two miles in the can. You JUST ran a 5k PR on New Years...don't even think of telling me you're DONE at two miles! Get to three, there's a water fountain. Three miles in the can, now just make it to four and you can walk as a treat. Of course if you throw in some speedwork, you'll be done faster! It's getting dark out. I hate running. Coming up on four, you only have two to go. You can run two miles standing on your head. Pretend you are somewhere else. Oh, I know: listen to your book! Try to enjoy this time to read! Remember how much you LIKE READING? Right. One mile to go. You can slow way down if you want, as a reward.

Like that. For an hour or so. (Be glad I'm not into podcasting.)

The answer, as I already know, is to just get dressed, lie to yourself (you know you're not going to quit after one mile), and get moving.

As an added benefit: My headache disappeared.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wisdom of the Crowd

I have too many options. I need advice.

What I know for sure I'm doing:

Wirefly National Half-Marathon: Saturday, March 29 (Note to self: Remember to post RANT about

Philadelphia Sprint Triathlon, Saturday, June 21, 2008


St. Patrick's Day 8k, March 9, 2008 (don't ask)

George Washington Parkway 5K or 10 miler (I've done the 5k twice, would kind of like to try it again): Sunday April 22

But really the $64,000 question is: Do I have another marathon in me?

If I do try for another marathon, which one? I'd like something smallish, local(ish), and preferably? Something that won't kill me. And I definitely do NOT want a fall marathon, because I am soooo done with training in the D.C. heat. Eighteen weeks of training would put me in the first week of June. (Do I need 18 weeks of training? I fear I do.)

1. Should I attempt another marathon?

2. If so, which one?

3. If so, how to train? I want to train with a group. An organized group.

Potomac River Run Marathon, May 4 ( reviewers call it "mentally very challenging," so that kind of predisposes me against it);

Frederick, Maryland, Marathon, Sunday, May 24

That's all I can find nearby.

Then, add this to the mix:

The D.C. Triathlon Club has an informational meeting on Jan. 27 for its New Triathlete Program. So I wrote to the organizer asking this and that, and he wrote this back
Since you mentioned the Philly Sprint I'm going to chime in - One thing about our program is that we provide a 20-week training plan that will get you through your first race. We set a goal race with that in mind which is the New Jersey State Triathlon on July 27th. The only problem with you doing Philly is that you'll be missing some of the later components of the program.

I don't want you to think that I'm discouraging you from doing NTP. What I'd like to encourage you to do is to also consider doing the NJ State Tri. You could complete Philly to get your feet wet in triathlon and then improve your time at New Jersey. Also, should you choose to do the Olympic distance at New Jersey, Philly will be an excellent race to get you prepared for your first Olympic :)

That may sound daunting to you [DAUNTING? TO ME? OH NEVER!] but I'll assure you that you can definitely do it. The program really is an awesome opportunity and we'll give you all of the resources you need to complete both races.

So an OLYMPIC TRIATHLON??? Is he serious??? Who does he think he's talking to, Nancy Toby????

So a marathon, thumbs up or down? And does that decision rest on whether or not I get up my courage for this New Jersey Olympic thing?

My head hurts.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Our Running Blog Family

What a week! From victory to vegetables to epiphanies—never a dull moment over here at NBTR headquarters!

Thank you for all your comments and encouragement. If you don't know what the Running Blog Family is yet, you will soon learn. It's when you're celebrating, or just passing the time, or on the verge. It's all the people who celebrate with you, pass the time with you, or keep you from jumping.

There's nothing else quite like it, and it's impossible to explain to those who haven't experienced it.

But beyond all that mushy stuff, it's the the web's most ginormous list of running blogs, created by your Running Blogfather.

Here's the Important Part of This Post

The RBF just went through a huge upgrade. It's now searchable by:

  • Location (city/town/province/state/country)

  • Gender

  • Favorite Distance to Race

  • Ability

  • Tags/Key Words

This is fantastic! But right now, there are more than 1,600 links in the RBF that don't contain things like:

  • Location (city/town/province/state/country)

  • Gender

  • Favorite Distance to Race

  • Ability

  • Tags/Key Words

So if you're a blogger, even if you're already part of the RBF, please take TWO seconds and submit a new listing, so that this resource will be even more useful to everyone.

Please, go sign up again. You'll make it easier for people to find you. Honest.

P.S. Even if you're already part of the RBF, sign up again. Your old entry will be deleted after you re-sign up.

Peace OUT!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Look Back, Look Ahead

I haven't been sleeping well at all. For weeks. I am wide-awake at 3 a.m. every single night. Sometimes I manage to fall back to sleep at 5, only to have the alarm go off at 5:30. It's not fun.

It happened again last night, and after tossing and turning for an hour, I said the hell with it and just got up. Wrote a few e-mails (to colleages at 3:30 a.m. ha!), read some news, hung around until it was light enough to head out for an 8-mile run. In some rather cold (28F) weather.

Came home and slept for three hours.

I wake in the middle of the night, and my brain goes on autopilot, through a litany of worries. Sometimes I write them down. That's supposed to help, but it doesn't. I worry about work, volunteer stuff, things I've said to people, situations that cause me grief, people I've pissed off, people I'm afraid I've pissed off, peole I want to piss off, stuff I should have done but didn't, health concerns. As I sit writing this, I'm worrying that I won't get enough sleep tonight, and I'm already worrying about things I need to do Monday.

I had an epiphany on my long run this morning: I'm going to turn 51 next month, and in all my years on this planet, not ONE single moment of worrying has resulted in anything good. Or in anything at all, really. I've spent 10 years working for the same organization, pretty much worrying the entire time that I am next up for firing.


That's a lot of worrying about something that hasn't come to pass (yet).

Some other things I've worried about:

  • In second grade, developed a fear that my mother would die during the day while I was at school. Teacher couldn't understand why I hurled every day and begged to go home. My mother had no tolerance for illness and couldn't stand a child staying home. So, as was probably for the best, though it felt cruel at the time, she packed me off to school each day. Not a single person ever asked me what the problem was. (Classic case of school phobia.) Eventually it stopped. Oh, and my mother is 84 and has been lingering on her deathbed now for a year. So much for that worry.

  • Then I spent grade school worrying that my parents would divorce. They did.

  • Throughout high school, college, and two graduate degrees, and my entire working life, I've worried that I'm not smart enough.

  • When I was selected editor of my high school school newspaper, worried I wouldn't know how to manage.

  • Lack of money has been a constant worry throughout my life. Somehow I seem to have managed though.

  • When my marriage ended, I was worried about so many things, but specifically about what my neighbors would think. I felt a complete failure. I remember one neighbor who found out coming over to comfort me as I sat on the front porch one evening. I was so relieved. Right up until he took out his Realtor's card and told me to call him when I was ready to sell the house. I have to tell you, I lost a lot of faith in people after that incident.

  • I grew up KNOWING that I could never, and would never want, to raise a child on my own. I was terrified by the prospect. And yet ... that's the position I found myself in. (When I say on my own, I'm not exaggerating. No family helped ever.) Yet, Number One Daughter is now 21. She is beautiful, a varsity athlete, Dean's List smart, went to school abroad and came back fluent, is popular, funny, organized ... stop me, please. Somehow, apparently I managed.

  • Always worry when meeting new people. I'm positive I'll have nothing to say, won't be liked.

  • Worry about pissing off my colleagues, or those I manage at work. I HATE to cause controversy, which is a tough thing for a manager to avoid.

I know I have an anxiety-prone personality. I take anti-anxiety medicine daily. What hit me this morning (I know, I'm slow) was how NONE of my worrying had helped one iota. It did however manage to suck a lot of the fun out of my life. And often still does.

What does all this worrying say about me? a) I don't trust myself to persevere, despite so much evidence to the contrary, and b) I surely don't trust God.

I have but one resolution for the new year. Just one.

I intend to change this long-established habit—because I believe that's what it is, a bad habit—of worrying. If I have to get professional help to do it, so be it.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Brussels Sprouts

Such was my mother's cooking prowess, I think I was 20 before I realized that vegetables don't grow in cans. Despite the fact that I'm a vegetarian, I'm not exactly a font of knowledge about the most tasty ways to prepare vegetables.

Take brussels sprouts. Please.

Brussels sprouts "...contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre. Moreover, they are believed to protect against colon cancer, due to their containing sinigrin."

And Lord knows, it's tough to get your daily dose of sinigrin—in.

They're just disgusting. In every way.

Or so I thought.

Until one day recently, while hurtling along the metaphoric holiday highway, I was served some very yummy brussels sprouts. I can't even remember where.

It was an epiphany. Brussels sprouts? Good? Who knew?

And like the addict I am, I needed more. Fast.

So, in order to deflect attention from the fact that I have absolutely no shame when it comes to self-promotion, I humbly offer you this recipe that I found while scouring the Internets that I guarantee will turn you into a brussels-sprouts fan, too.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

(from AllRecipes)


  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black,[Ed.'s note: Seriously, they should seem burnt.] when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.
No need to thank me. I'm here to help.*

*Tagline courtesy Bolder.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Montgomery Country Road Runners Jan. 1, 2008 5K:
30:15 (pace: 9:46 min. mile)
(UPDATE: I can't stand it!!! You'll just have to bear with me.)
5/12 Jeanne McCann 50 Bethesda MD MCRRC 30:22 9:47 )

FIVE OUT OF 12!!! Not 11/12!!! Not 12/12!!!

Same race last year:
33:01 (10:38 min. mile)

My all-time 5K PR: GW Parkway Classic, April 23, 2006, a FLAT COURSE:
31:13 (10:03 min. miles)

To recap:

Today, Jan. 1, 2008, I ran a race where my average pace started with the number NINE.

9:46 min. miles


This is the first time EVER I have EVER run a race where my pace started with something other than 10!!! I mean usually it's 11! If not 12!! I'm in the single digits people!!!

This race is small and free to club members. It's a double loop course. There's a pretty nice big long downhill in it, which you get to go down twice. Of course what goes down must go up.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and forget about conserving my energy and all that nonsense. I was gonna go out fast, and see what happened.

Mile 1: 9:23 (I KNOW! Don't ask me! I have no idea!!!)

Mile 2: 9:33 (Ditto!!)

Mile 3.11: 11:18 (Now we're back in more familiar territory.)


This is the club that is RABID about no headphones, although of COURSE there were people running who were wearing headphones. $#@~!

This is the race where last year I barely kept up with an 8-year-old and his dad who was carrying a cup of coffee throughout the race.

This year, there was a 7-year-old girl dressed as tinkerbell. I had my eye on her, believe me.

This year I ran beforehand for 10 minutes to warm up. I was so hepped up by the time we got going, you would have thought I'd been doped.

Old School Runner was there, volunteering, taking photos, and cheering. It's so nice to hear your name called. I sped up whenever I saw him, funnily. Stick a camera on me and apparently I snap to.

This year, I felt stronger. I think that spinning and swimming have helped.

Of course it's not a race unless there is drama: As I was cruising toward the finish, not believing that the clock said 30:xx, I heard a man behind me yell, "Catch her! Catch her!", obviously not talking to me. I crossed the finish and as I did there was a girl at my elbow. Then she passed me in the chute, saying "You're hard to catch."

There are no chips at this race; instead you are given a card with the number on it as you exit in order of finish. So this girl got 175 and I got 176. Even though the reverse was the TRUE ORDER. Let the record reflect.

Thanks to Old School for coming out, volunteering, cheering and most of all, taking my picture!

I do believe that BOTH FEET are off the pavement! (Squinting will help you see this.)

And the obligatory butt shot.