Happy favorite week of the year

Image by Zellaby via Flickr

“I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery.”

-Ellen Griswald, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Hope everyone who celebrates it had a happy Christmas!  Ours was a lot of fun, hectic, and tiring as always.  But that’s what the holidays are all about, right?  And I had my birthday on the day after Christmas, as I tend to do.  But this one was different; I turned 29, a number higher than any I have ever turned before!

And now it’s my favorite week of the year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  By some miracle, I have avoided ever having to work on this week (the miracle is owing mainly to my being a student for so long).  So it has always been a week where I have a lot of time to get inspired and excited about the possibilities of the New Year and to plan resolutions, goals, etc.


For my first vegetarian Christmas dinner with my family and Erin’s, I made butternut squash lasagne from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers.  I don’t have a picture of it, but lasagna is always ugly anyway.  I thought it was really good, far better than the Giada de Laurentiis one I made a while back.

A much-more-exciting dinner was devoured on my birthday: Erin made me mushroom ragout with fresh fettucine, a Mario Batali recipe.  Not a bad day’s work for a 24-weeks pregnant woman!  With a nice Italian red, it the perfect birthday dinner.

[mushroom ragout photo]

For dessert, my sister made me a citrusy cake with lemon-grapefruit icing, and it was fricking awesome.  Can’t beat having a pro baker make you a homemade cake on your birthday!

[birthday cake photo]

One of the Christmas presents I bought for Erin was a juicer, and we’ve been loving that.  Our favorite juice so far has been carrot/celery/apple, but the most colorful has been the beet/carrot/apple juice we had yesterday.  The other one we’ve tried was beet/grapefruit/lime, but damn that one was sour!  I’ll just leave be the “colorful in the toilet as well” joke for now; you can make of that one what you wish.

[beet juice photo 2]

And here we are enjoying a glass.  As the saying goes, the couple that drinks beet juice together, stays together.

[beet juice photo]


What do you get when you combine the end of the semester, the holidays, and two feet of snow?  Not much running from me.  Over the three-week period leading up to yesterday, I had probably run a total of 15 miles.  Awful, but I did start a new strength training regimen focused on legs so I can get stronger for these upcoming ultramarathons I have on my calendar.

I did FINALLY get back to significant running yesterday, doing a hilly 15 miles in 2:04 with a few buddies from my ultra group.  I figured that with my first ultra (a 50K) a week away, it might be a good idea to actually remind my muscles what running feels like.  Reminder: it hurts when you take three weeks off. The fact that I lifted legs in the gym the day before probably didn’t help much, and I was laid up for most of the day yesterday.  You know you’re scared of this, PHUNT 50K!

[nathan hydration photo]For my birthday, Erin got me two gifts I wrote about in my Running Shorts wishlist, a Nathan hydration system and a pair of Salomon trail shoes.  Erin rules! I tried the hydration system yesterday and found it to be so much nicer than a Fuel Belt!  And the shoes I need to break in, but I have no doubt they’ll be an upgrade over road shoes.  Assuming no issues, I’m going to wear them for the 50K on January 2nd.

Alright, that’s all for now!  Don’t forget about the Vega Vibrancy Bars giveaway, let’s make tomorrow the last day for that and I’ll announce a winner on Wednesday.

Oh and one more thing!  Megan wrote a fun article on Running Shorts about running and caffeine, and I wrote one about running downhills without rendering your quads useless for the rest of the race.  Perfect for killing some time when you should be working!



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  1. Those juices look pretty interesting. I don’t have a juicer, so I will take your word for it. I am anxious to try beets in another way, since I have only ever had them in Ukranian borscht! Anyhoo, I got the Recovery Sock headband you sent…thanks alot! Happy New Year to you!

  2. So glad to hear you had a nice Birthday and Christmas (Happy Birthday (belated), Merry Christmas (…belated))! Erin looks so adorable with her little bump! I love it. Both your birthday cake and din din look heavenly. Best of luck with the runs as the race nears.
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Christmas Weekend Dishes =-.

  3. The birthday cake I made is from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. It’s a great book to own, but in the mean time a copy of this ‘citrus surprise’ cake is posted here: http://dishnthat.blogspot.com/2009/01/citrus-cake-adds-zip-to-dessert.html

    xoxo christine

  4. Thanks for the headband! Erin looks great!
    .-= Nobel4Lit´s last blog ..Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge (HBBC) 2009 =-.

  5. Love the juices!!! Love the citrus cake 🙂
    .-= pure2raw twins´s last blog ..My Holiday re-cap =-.

  6. Juices, dinner and the cake all look great – as do you and Erin. Happy belated birthday! Trust me 29 is no big deal!!! 🙂
    .-= Nicki´s last blog ..Resolutions vs. Aspirations =-.

  7. I keep seeing tons of bloggers juicing lately! I’m starting to feel left out in this craze! I have tried Giada’s butternut squash lasagna and it was great. Hmmm, I’m totally interested in Deborah Madison’s version now if you say it is even better!
    .-= Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete´s last blog ..2010 “New Years Resolutions” =-.

  8. well Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!

  9. I totally have that same juicer and LOVE it! Here’s to many more beet juice goodnesses!


  10. WOW! 30 miles! I’m in awe. I’m currently training for a 1/2 marathon in March (Disney’s Princess) and can’t even begin imagine running THAT far!

    You rock!
    .-= tiffanie @ Healthy Happenings´s last blog ..My Daddy and Me! =-.

  11. I’ve got to admit, I’m jealous of the juicer and the hydrator. 😀 Both are on my wish list. As of right now, I’ve been trying to figure out where I want to stash water on my running route, but that would require actually taking the car out and dropping the bottles off in random spots along the way. Yep…definitely going to need some sort of water source that I can carry. 😀
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..Thoughtful Mornings =-.

  12. The ragout looks very appetizing!

    My favorite juice combination is apple/carrot/beet. Every home should have a juice extractor!

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