Monday, October 14, 2013

Italian dinnner...Jonas style!

My daughter and I loved to watch Married to Jonas when the show was on E! (   One of our favorite episodes was when Dani got to write recipes and cook dinner for her family to be featured in Cosmopolitan magazine.  It was neat to see the "behinds the scenes" and all that goes into a magazine shoot!  Both of us thought the dinner looked great and decided we would try it for our family.  We found it in Cosmo and saved the pages with all intent of making the dinner soon.   Well, time certainly got a way from us, but we finally found the time this weekend!!

Here is our fabulous dinner in pictures.   Get ready to drool.   (Note that we served broccoli rabe (fresh from our local farm share) instead of the green beans Dani made.)

Our daughter putting the chopped onions on the baking sheet (will later become chunky sauce for meatballs)

My hubby even helped out by peeling garlic

Me browning the meatballs...we doubled the batch and made some without the mozzerella ball stuffing for the kids.  These meatballs were AWESOME (both stuffed and unstuffed).

Our daughter...proud of all we have going on...that's a lot of pots and pans!

looking good...there is that broccoli rabe I mentioned.

veggies roasting, meatballs cooking (note we put them both in the same 375 oven...just altered baking times)

Sauteeing....mouth watering yet?

And dinner is served...sorry Mrs. Jonas...with all due respect, we use paper napkins for regular family dinner.  Cloth comes out on holidays.

Our kids...anxious to dig in!

Umm, quite possibly, the best meatballs EVER!

So there you have it...our very special Italian dinner compliments of Kevin and Danielle Jonas!  Thank you for sharing your family's recipes.  We really enjoyed them.  We wish them both the best of luck with their new baby on the way!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Heavy Heart

I wasn't going to run this morning. To be honest, I'm still pretty sore from my race on Sunday and from the soccer game.

After the tragic events of yesterday, I HAD to run this morning. I needed to get out there and run for everyone who no longer can. I needed to think and to try to wrap my head around what happened. I'm particularly upset about the 8 year old who lost his life after hugging his dad who had just finished the race. It makes me think of my 8 year old, and my 11 year old, and my husband, and all the times they come out to the finish line and wait for me. That's my son JL cheering me on in the background of this 10 miler.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those runners, spectators, first responders, doctors, and race organizers right now.

Peace and love.



Monday, April 15, 2013

A new PR: 47:32.38 for 5 miles

Yesterday, I ran the Hatfield 5 and Dime race.  I've run this race for the last 2 years (although doing the 10 mile distance previously).  I've scaled back my milelage this year and have only been doing short runs (i.e. less than 6 miles) since the Disney Half. 

The Hatfield Hat Trick series is one of my favorites...flat, great amenities, and local!  The course is a short 15 minute drive, has ample parking, indoor restrooms, good food, and a great DJ.

I wasn't expecting much in terms of my performance yesterday.  I had been struggling lately to even high 10:30s on my 3 mile runs.  A few of the runs were in the 11 minute per mile pace and one even crossed the 12 minute per mile pace.  I seriously contemplated giving up running after that debacle of a run.

Yesterday's weather was perfect...50s and slightly cloudy.  I started near the back of the field since the race is chip timed.  I went out strong and was pleased to see 9:30 as my pace at mile 1.   I was hoping just to keep it under a 10 minute mile...but didn't really expect to since I knew how slow my training runs had been.  I promised myself I would only look at my watch at mile markers.   Mile 2 came up and revealed a 9:32 average pace.   The miles ticked away quickly and before I knew it I was at Mile 3.  A quick glance revealed a 9:36 average pace.  I was didn't even feel like I was working that hard.   Mile 4 was next and I was still holding a 9:36.  At this point, I broke out into a huge smile, told myself I had this in the bag, and took off.   I crossed the line at 47:32...holy crap...I just ran 5 miles at a 9:30 per mile average pace!  SO PROUD!

Gotta love any day that starts with a PR!


Monday, January 21, 2013

The best audition ever...

I took ARL for an audition for a movie yesterday.  It was in a person's home so you could see those auditioning in front of you.  Since the morning slots were for child roles, there were also parents there watching/waiting as well.

Two other young ladies auditioned before ARL was up.  With both, the director gave them feedback and asked them to run the lines again.  I assumed that was his "thing"...i.e. provide constructive feedback and see how it is received and applied. 

ARL went up and nailed her first read through of the sides.  The director broke into a huge smile as she was running lines with one of the other actors.  He didn't give her any feedback other than that was really good.  She was auditioning for a minor child's role.  He asked her to read for the lead child's role and this time to face the camera. 

As she was reading for the lead role, I watched his smile keep getting bigger and bigger.  When she finished, the camera man said quietly, "you want her, don't you?" to the director.  The director, camera man, and actor asked if we could give them a minute.  They left the room for a few minutes.  They came back and called ARL and I up to the table to sit down. 

The director said, "I usually don't offer parts on the spot in the middle of auditions...but I was taught that when you see what you want, you don't let them walk away."   He turned to ARL and offered her the LEAD child role.

ARL and I were speechless.  He asked if we would be comfortable with her wearing a wig or dying her hair (her adult version of herself is a brunette).  We said sure.  He then explained a lot more about the film and the film company.  He left us with these parting words..."you know it's right when you get gave me chills".

To be awarded the lead role in the middle of auditions...truly surreal.   So proud of my baby girl!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Disney Half Marathon - January 12, 2013

Last weekend I was in Florida having a blast! It was the 20th Anniversary of the DisneyWorld Marathon!  We flew down on Friday afternoon and headed straight to our friend Dwight's house. He had gone to the expo earlier in the day and picked up our race packets. We had an easy night with pizza and subs and hit the bed early (9pm). We had a 2:45 wake up call for Saturday!

I got up after a very short night's sleep and got ready. We left Dwight's by 3:15am. We arrived in the parking lot at Epcot by 4am. We sat in the car and stayed warm for a bit. We headed over to baggage check around 4:45, used the porta potties, then made our way to the corrals. This is the first race I've ever run where they have someone checking your bib at the corral to make sure you are not jumping ahead of where you are supposed to be.

Another big difference I noticed is that usually you can't hear what the people in the front are saying at races.  Disney has great sound systems and giant TVs so that everyone (even those at the back of the last corral) can see and hear what is going on!  At 5:30, the fireworks went off and the Elites and corral A took off.  Another round of fireworks for corral B, and we were off!

There were 25,000 people running this race, so it was pretty tight.  You couldn't get much room to run and you had to do a lot of passing on the grass.  It opened up once we got past mile 2 or so.  The race is amazing because Disney has something to keep you entertained every 1/2 mile.  Photo opportunities, characters, marching bands, cheerleaders, gospel name it, they have it!

One of my favorite parts was the army men from Toy Story who yell at you as you are running up "a hill".  I use the term hill quite loosely.  Gentle upgrade would be more descriptive....the course is really flat.  I also really loved running down Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom and of course running through Cinderella's castle which was beautifully lit. 

I finished in 2:15:51 which was not a PR...but, I wasn't trying for one.  I just wanted to enjoy the race and have fun.  We spent Sunday in Epcot and Monday in Hollywood Studios.  It was an AWESOME long weekend. 

Me and Dwight...Dwight completed the Goofy Challenge (Half on Saturday, Full on Sunday)


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Running Goals - Is it OK not to have them??

It's been a while since my last post. I'm happy to report I'm still running! I have a 1/2 marathon coming up in a few weeks. I finished out 2012 with a beautiful trail run with my hubby along Lake Liganore in Maryland. It was idyllic and relaxing!

I'm already signed up for a few races in 2013. I don't really have any goals specifically for 2013 and I'm wondering if that's OK? Will I slack if I don't have something to work towards? Will it make running less rewarding?

What do you think?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Race Recap - OctoRun

Yes, I'm still alive. Yes, I'm still running. I have no excuses for not posting...other than the traditional...been busy.

On Sunday, I ran the OctoRun 13K (8.04 miles).  It was the final race in the Hatfield Hat Trick Race series.  Sunday's weather was perfect...50 degrees and sunny.  I knew I was second in the points series for my age group going into the run.  My two goals:  I really wanted to medal and finish sub 10 minute miles for all 8 miles.  I stayed warm in the car until 3 minutes before race time.  I got out, synced my watch, started my ipod, and waited the last minute till the gun fired.

I took off at a comfortable pace.  We hit mile 1 before I knew it and I checked my pace.  9:20.  Sweet...but probably a little too fast for me.  I kept running (with no one in particular) and was enjoying the crisp, cool chill, changing leaves, and just the feel of racing again!  It had been awhile since the Rock N Roll Half.  Mile 2 came up quick and I was at a 9:30 pace.  At Mile 3, I started chomping on my honey stinger waffle.  Those things ROCK!   I finished the rest of it at mile 4.  The miles were ticking by so easy...I wasn't hot, nothing hurt, and I was really enjoying the run.

Miles 5 and 6 were uneventful.  Coming out of mile 6 you come off the trail and end up in an industrial park.  I missed exiting the trail (I must have been looking at those leaves again) and went about a minute out of my way before I realized I was alone.  I backtracked that minute to get back on course.  GRRRRRR....if this costs me my personal goal of under 1:20....I was going to be pissed.

I got back on course and was just mad at myself.  I put my head down and told myself I had to catch up with the group I was running with.  I buckled down and kept running.  There is a spot where you have to turn around and back track.  I started counting people behind me to distract myself.  That really helped take my mind off trying to catch people.

When I came into the home stretch and saw the clock ticking 1:18 51, 52, 53, etc. I knew I had done it!  I finished at 1:18:59...a full 1:01 below my goal!   WOO HOO!!

Oh yeah, I got first in my age group for the series!!

A truly great day!!