Flashback: Running in the 70’s

We made it safely to PA, and I’m already enjoying the chance to run, snack, nap, and blog whenever I want, thanks to all the grandparent time! We’re looking forward to catching up with lots of friends and family all week, and enjoying a laid back schedule. For today, here’s a little running flashback.

I’ve been reading a book I had picked up at a used book sale years ago, called “The Complete Woman Runner.”  The book is packed with really helpful tips, but is also a bit dated.  After checking the publishing date (1978), it made a little more sense.

Here are some fun tidbits…

From pg 69, under section on caring for children while running:

“There are other ways of having children cared for…but these are a little unusual.  I have a friend who used to run …while pushing her son in a stroller.  (She) claims that she only had one stroller mishap when the baby fell out but most of the time her son really enjoyed moving rapidly.”

Pg 77-78, 80 on shoes:

“Invest in a good pair of running shoes ($20-$40).”

“Bend the shoe to make sure it’s not too stiff.  You can fix a shoe that’s too stiff by cutting across the forefoot with a razor or hacksaw…”

“Despite diligent maintenance, your soles may wear out before the rest of the shoe.  Numerous shops specialize in running-shoe repair.  They will replace soles, mend uppers, replace insoles, and put in new laces, generally for under $15.”

“Do-it-yourselfers can put their own new soles on.  Nike sells waffle soling material by the sheet… Remove the old sole by holding the shoe above an electric stove.  Pull off the old sole…or dissolve the glue with lighter fluid… Glue the new sole in place with Goo.”

Pg 82, on what to wear:

“I like the woven nylon running shorts with slits on the sides.  They are inexpensive (about four dollars)… some shorts are made specifically for women, but these tend to be more expensive.”


Pg 88-90, on racing:

“Most races charge an entry fee, generally $2 to $3.  Races with higher entry fees may give T-shirts or patches to all participants.”

“Water and fruit juice are fine, or try one of the athletic replacement drinks such as ERG or Body Punch.”

“As you finish, listen for your time. It may take several weeks to get the results.”

“If you are given a numbered stick, turn it in with your name.  When the results are compiled, your finishing order will be correlated with your time.”


Pg 120, on runner safety:

“Several runners have suggested window decals, so that other runners who are in some sort of distress can identify a friendly house to run to for assistance. This idea has merit if it can be standardized…”

I was born a couple of years after this was published, so I can’t say I remember any of this from personal experience.  Running has changed quite a bit in the last few decades, especially the cost of races!

Does anyone know what ERG or Body Punch is? Have you ever paid $3 for a race entry?


Triathlons and baseball

Thanks to some of my triathlete friends (Corey, Holly, Jamie and others), I’m strongly considering a sprint triathlon.  Holly told me about several in the next few months, and the one that’s most appealing is at the end of June.  It’s a 300m pool swim, short 10 mile bike, and 3 mile run. Very doable.

I was still on the fence about signing up, but checked their website today to learn that registration is full.  Bummer! I guess I’ll keep looking… and honestly, maybe it’s a good thing! It was March when I last got into the pool, and possibly longer since I did an outdoor ride.  I’m sure spinning would count for something, but it’s not the same.

On a running note, remember the Astros 10k where I lucked out to place first in my age group? Besides the gift card (gone already on a much-needed new swim suit!), they also gave out free tickets to an Astros game, and age group winners were invited to participate in a short pre-race ceremony.  My husband loves baseball so we decided to turn it into a date night out on Wednesday evening.

Walking out on the field

I got there just in time, and ended up at the end of the line.  We all took pictures of the players, although I couldn’t tell you their names.

They displayed our times on the giant screens, and took the camera back and forth across our faces while we all waved and smiled.  That was about it!

Afterwards, I headed up to my seat.  I like baseball for a couple of hours, and then I’m done.  We made it to the 7th inning stretch.

And treated ourselves to some ball park food… a hot dog for Jared, ice cream for me.  🙂

Finally, I am featured on Fit Mom in Training today, go check it out! 🙂

Am I the only one who struggles to make it to the end of a baseball game?

And, what I’d really love to know, would you consider a triathlon?

Wiaw race fuel + Carrot-beet salad

Happy Wednesday again! I love how quickly Wednesday comes after a three-day weekend! I’m linking up again with Jenn at Peas and Crayons

This week, I thought I’d share race day eats, so here’s what Saturday looked like before and after the miserable 10k plus a few from our blueberry picking outing:

[Pre-race: whole wheat pita with banana, pb and chia; Post race: blueberry-yogurt-spinach smoothie; Lunch: couscous with chickpeas, tomato sauce and fresh parm; Snack: unpictured dark chocolate + almonds; Dinner: portabello burgers with feta, corn, beet-carrot salad, greens and watermelon; Dessert: cocoa-date-nut balls]

Race fuel: The morning of a race, I usually rely on a banana-nut butter combo of some sort.  The potassium in bananas can help prevent cramps and they digest easily, the carbs are good quick fuel, and the protein and fat in nut butter keeps me satisfied through runs up to about 10-13 miles. Here’s a helpful article on common fueling mistakes.

Summer salads: I love cold summer salads, and the carrot- red beet combo is one of my favorites.  It’s really easy and delicious!

Carrot Beet Salad (print recipe)

  • 3-4 carrots, shredded
  • 3-4 red beets, cooked, peeled and shredded
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful fresh parsley or cilantro

Combine carrots and cooled red beets in a bowl.  Mix the oil and lemon juice together, and pour over salad.  Add salt and pepper as desired, and top with parsley.  Enjoy!

(Shortcut- buy pre-cooked beets and shredded carrots to throw this together in no time!)

So I’d love to know… what’s the best thing you ate over Memorial day weekend?

Runners, what’s your typical pre-race fuel?


Five for Friday (with garbanzo brownies!)

Happy Friday! I have five little updates for today…

1) Resting: Unfortunately, I’m a little under the weather this week.  L was sick earlier in the week, and passed along her fever and sore throat to me.  Ugh.  But I expect it to pass quickly.  Fluids and a last minute rest day for me today!

2) Race calendar: Now that summer is here, I’ve been taking my training and races week by week.  Part of me is thrilled with the relative freedom to do what I want, while the other part is itching to know what’s next! I may hop into a last minute 10k over Memorial Day weekend.  It looks like a fun event for the whole family, which is always a perk!

3) Reading: I picked up a few books at a yard sale last weekend, and have been staying up way too late reading. I read “A Thousand Acres” this week, which was somewhat disturbing but also completing enrapturing.  Next up is “Good Grief”… I’m enjoying the fun reading, but wish I could limit it to reasonable amounts of time.  I’m sleepy!

4) Running-related reading: Here’s a short article about the growth of women runners.  I resonated with one woman (also a social worker) and her reasons to run, “As a society, we struggle with maintaining our self-care when it is so critically important to focus on because it greatly influences how we are able to manage our day-to-day lives.”

Runner’s World also had a great article featuring ultrarunner and vegan, Scott Jurek.

5) Recipe! I’ve made blondies with garbanzo beans before, but I prefer this chocolate version.  It’s gluten free (with gf oats), vegan and has no flour, oil or butter.  If you are used to “healthier” desserts, you could omit more of the sugar and taste the batter before baking.  I love how gooey they are… plus all the ingredients are safe to eat right out of the bowl!

Gooey Garbanzo Brownies  (print recipe)

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3-4 Tbsp nut butter
  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 ripe banana (optional)
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor until smooth. Stir in 1/4 c. (or more) chocolate chips. Spread the batter in a greased 8×8 pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes. Brownies will be fudgey. Eat as is, or top with ice cream, whipped cream, bananas or more melted chocolate.

Do you have other fun reading suggestions?

What does your race schedule look like for the summer?

Tagged- a few more questions

Before I get to the tag, I wanted to make a quick announcement that if anyone will be in the greater Houston area and would like to run together on Saturday in honor of Sherry Arnold, please send me a private message or email for details.  Thanks!

I was tagged a few times for the 11 Things post, and since you’ve all heard plenty of random things about me lately (21 Things, Versatile Blogger), I’ll skip the 11 random facts and answer a few questions from each of you…

Questions from Corey at Schnoodles of Fun

1) Since everyone I tagged is a runner, what is your favorite running memory? It could be a race, a long run,  a great workout, a breakthrough, or even spectating someone else’s race…  completing my first marathon, and proving to myself that I could do it!
2) What is your favorite thing about your spouse/significant other? Great question! I love that we share the same values, and tackle life together, including simple chores like laundry and dishes.
3) What is your ideal way to spend a Saturday? Long run; long, hot shower; big breakfast; a break from parenting duties for another hour or two to enjoy peace and quiet; then family activities and a nap in the afternoon.  Movie and homemade popcorn with my husband after L goes to bed.
4) When was the last time you cried? Driving through the Texas floods a few weeks ago with L in the back seat, trying to figure out how to get home!

Questions from Nicole at Running While Mommy

1. What is your favorite book? Anything about racial disparity/ reconciliation tugs at me… Roots, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and To Kill a Mockingbird would be toward the top
2. What is your best childhood memory? Playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, running around with neighbors… the simple, carefree life of a child
3.  Do you have any regrets? Nothing that I can pinpoint, other than caring too much about what other people thought when I was younger
4. What movie can you watch over and over again? Sound of Music or Fiddler on the Roof, or any musical, really  🙂

Questions from Mandy at No Standing Still

1.  What is your favorite dessert? Anything chocolate, the darker the better
2.  What time do you wake up in the morning? When my daughter wakes up, between 6:30 and 7:30 am
3.  When you run – music or no? No, I never got in the habit and now I really like the quiet time to think.
4.  What’s the hardest thing physically that you’ve accomplished? Marathon or natural childbirth, hard to choose…
5.  Have you ever been to a country other than the one you live in?  Where? Canada, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Argentina, Italy and France

Q&A from Texas Runner Mom

1. What is your favorite meal to make?
I prefer baking to cooking… oatmeal raisin cookies or anything with chocolate or peanut butter so I can lick the bowl as I go along.  🙂
2. If money was no issue how many races would you try to do in a year?
Probably about one a month, with 3-4 half marathons, a few 10k’s and 5k’s and maybe one marathon per year.
3. Have Pets? What kind?
No, my husband and I both grew up with lots of pets, but I’m not interested in the extra responsibility right now.  Maybe someday.
4. Last movie you went to a theater to see?  The Help… I cried.

From Running, Loving, Living:

1) Where would you love to live?  Closer to grandparents on the East Coast… Philly, DC or NY area
2) Hot or Cold? I am always cold, so I prefer the heat!
3) What is your favorite food? Peanut butter and chocolate, it’s a tie.
4) What is your favorite exercise? Definitely running! 🙂

And since I’ve been neglecting to tag people, I’ll tag a few this time.  If you’re up for it, list eleven random things about you, pick eleven of the questions above to answer, and then ask 11 new questions for your choice of bloggers to answer.  If you’re not up for it, no worries!

If I didn’t tag you, I’d love to hear your answer in the comments to one or two of the questions above!

Versatile Blogger

L successfully turned 2 yesterday, and the angel food cupcakes were a hit! I’ll share more about her birthday soon… in the meantime, here’s another random post.

About a week ago, I was tagged by Carrie at Family, Fitness, Food for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks, Carrie!

The Rules for this award:

1-Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
2-Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
3-Share 7 random things about yourself.
4-Thank the blogger who nominated you.
5-Add the Versatile Blog Award picture on your blog post.


I enjoy playing along in these blogging-world games, but it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote the 21 Things post.  So I’m scrambling a bit, but here are seven additional random things…

1)  I get a lot of satisfaction from canning… it’s something my mom always did to preserve food from the garden, and I had no interest in gardening or canning until long after I was out of the house.  So I think it has shocked and pleased my parents that I enjoy both now.   In NY, we canned 35-40 pints and quarts each year, mostly tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauce, and a dozen half pints of blueberry jam.

2) Our first house needed a bit of work, and we naively took it on ourselves so we learned quite a bit about remodeling that year… gutting and re-tiling the bathroom, tiling the kitchen floor, refinishing wood floors, and painting everything inside and out.









3) My husband and I went to the same high school, although we didn’t start dating until college.  I had a crush on him in 10th grade, and wrote in my journal that he was the “type of guy I could see myself marrying,” not at all expecting that would happen.  🙂

4)  I’m a type A, control freak in certain things (aren’t most runners?) but completely laid back in others (a spotless house, for example!).  I get competitive with myself, but am less so with others.

5) I love cloth diapers.  L is happy in them, and my husband has laundry duty, so I’ve lucked out there.  But I do look forward to diaperless days eventually.

6)  Both my husband and I enjoy singing parts (he’s a bass, I’m an alto).  We’re hoping L will be a soprano and maybe we’ll have a tenor singing son or daughter someday to create a full quartet.  🙂  I’m not a strong singer, but was roped into singing in a trio for a Christmas concert this year that pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone… but I had fun.

7)  When we got married, we were living in Philadelphia and challenged ourselves to live with only one car.  Seven years later, we’re still going strong.  We’ve been fortunate enough to find houses within walking or biking distance of my husband’s work, and have had very few inconveniences along the way.

So there you go.  I should be all set for random-thing-posts for quite some time!  I’m going to break the first and second rules, and skip the nomination.  I can’t keep track of who has or has not been nominated already, but if you have not listed seven random things and would like to, please consider yourself tagged!

21 Things

I love reading non-running tidbits about everyone else, and was just tagged by Nicole at Becoming a Mother Runner to play along… so here goes!

1) I have webbed toes (and vein-y feet). 

2) In elementary school, I was the second-slowest girl in the timed one-mile run (always had my head in a book!) I was so embarrassed– that summer I ran laps around my parents garden to improve my time.

3) I stay very calm when I’m upset or in a high-stress situation.

4) I’m not very crafty, but I went on a huge sewing kick before my daughter was born, and made lots of baby items- complete with a quilt, cloth diapers and a diaper bag.  Haven’t touched my sewing machine since!

5) I really wanted a natural birth, and I was lucky enough that everything went as planned, and my daughter was born in the tub.

6) I grew up in a rural part of PA, spent most of college in a low-income urban neighborhood in Philly (wanted the full social-work-training experience), moved to a small hippie town after getting married, and am now in the suburban-urban part of a southern city.

7) I like every vegetable I’ve ever had, except turnips.  I’m trying to figure out what to do with the ones that showed up in our share today.

8) Most of the pop-culture songs I know is a result of my gym membership and spinning classes.

9) I’m an all-natural girl, minimal make-up and have little sense of fashion.  This has been clashing a bit with life in the south! My more fashionable friends like to help me out.

10) I could eat popcorn every evening after dinner.

11) I met my husband in high school and had a crush on him in 9th grade– we didn’t start dating until college.

12) I’m fascinated with genealogy and would love to visit the Germany and Switzerland to explore my Anabaptist roots.

13) Since falling in love with spinning this summer,I’m contemplating getting certified to teach–seems like the perfect side job for this stage of life.

14) I was blessed with a “spirited child” — I’m looking forward to having a strong, opinionated daughter, but am a little nervous about the parenting challenges this may bring!

15) I’ve been overseas a few times: service-learning trips to Argentina and the Dominican Republic; recreational trips to France, Italy and Jamaica.

16) Everyone was curling their bangs in 4th grade, and I had the brilliant idea to get a perm just for my bangs…  I kind of wish my mom hadn’t played along.

17) Since having my daughter, I clean with vinegar and baking soda whenever possible. Although I don’t clean nearly as often as I should, or used to.

18) My first job was in a hardware store where I learned how to make keys and differentiate between plumbing and electrical items.

19) My second job was working in a daycare over the summer after high school, and I came home every day telling my mom that I was never going to have kids.

20) I grew up with lots of animals (cats, dogs, guinea pigs, a bird, rabbits, even some chickens occasionally) but I am not an indoor pet person.

21) I have never had a cavity.

Whew, 21 is a lot of things!  Okay, I’m going to tag…

1) Courtney at A So-Called Runner

2) Natalie at Lil Runner

3) Runner26 at Running Chronicles

4) Robin at Westford Mommy

5) Jen at Why I Run