Friday, March 29, 2013

that one time we had a sweet potato themed dinner

I've been known to go overboard when I find a good sale. Like the time when I bought 20 lbs of sweet potatoes. They were $.25/lb! Why wouldn't you? They are one of my very favorite foods, and can be added in almost any meal.

Naturally, decided to have a sweet potato themed dinner. We invited some new friends from the ward and I think they may have thought we were a little weird.

The menu:

(all photos from their respective blogs)

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup, from Manifest Vegan

I love this simple soup recipe. All you need is cauliflower, olive oil, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and water. We added a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, just for kicks.

 Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples, from You Made That?

I used more sweet potatoes and apples than it called for- probably 3.5 cups. I also reduced the butter from 1/4 c to 2 T, and drizzled the honey lightly. Perfect amount of sweetness!

Sweet Potato Quick Bread, from

I was thinking about making up a sweet potato brownie recipe, but this quick bread made for a great dessert. I reduced the butter and sugar and added some applesauce instead.

While we didn't do SP fries for this meal, this recipe by A Kitchen Addiction is my FAVORITE way to season sweet potato fries.

Now this is leaving me wanting more.... good thing Aldi's got them on sale this week for $.40/lb! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

DC Rock n Roll Marathon

I survived the marathon!

All of my training runs went really well and on my last super long run three weeks before the race, I felt really ready. For some reason, in my three week taper, I felt kind of sluggish and tired, even though I was reducing my weekly mileage. Also, the day before the race, I started feeling some cold symptoms come on (really unusual for me- I rarely get sick). I really didn't think race day would go very well. Oh, and the forecast was in the 30s and rainy, so my expectations were kind of low.

Friday, I left work early and took the metro downtown to go to the expo. Originally I planned on running with a friend, but she developed some injuries during training and had to scratch. I wished I had someone to walk around the expo with, but let's be honest, I can be kind of a loner sometimes. I'm cool with it. I grabbed lots of samples, wished I had money to buy some cool products and gear, and got really intimidated by these moniters that showed a video of the whole course.

Okay, it seemed long just standing there watching it in fast speed. And I think I can run it?

After staying at said friend's apartment that night, I only had a short metro ride to the starting line. This was my first really big race with corrals and all the high energy that goes with it. Me and 30,000 other runners trying to use the porta potties, check gear bags, and get in the right corral. I made some friends in my corral, and before you know it the gun went off for the first group. Eventually it was our turn to start and I could not BELIEVE that I was actually running a marathon. I do this at the beginning of all races, short or long. I actually get a little emotional, just feeling so grateful and excited that I'm actually doing something I've prepared so much for. My wedding? Nope. But all of my races and big horse shows and the start of my thru hike? Yup.

One thing that is so cool about marathons and big races is the spectator support. I wish I could've taken a picture of all the clever signs people were holding. Instead I'll turn to the Googles. And people giving out food! People who were not affiliated with the race organizers, standinging in the middle of the course with a platter of peeled oranges. Or sitting on the bumper on the side with a big bowl of gummy bears.

After a few miles I hit a good stride and time passed pretty quickly. Most of the other runners were doing the half, so it was a little humorous/annoying when everyone around you is saying things like, "Just 3 miles left! Almost there!". Yeah. 3 miles plus 13 more. Thanks for reminding me.  Once the half runners split off, it was a lot more quiet and lonely. Some people have asked, "what do you think about during long runs?" This makes me chuckle, because a 4 hours of "thinking time" during a marathon is nothing compared to the all day every day of thru hiking.

Sometimes, among thru hikers, people would talk about what they had thought about that day. "Well, first I went through the entire movie of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", then I thought about what kind of food I want in the next town, and then I was thinking about my 6th grade science project. Oh and I couldn't get "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" out of my head, either. Yep, that pretty much covers it."

You knew I couldn't do a whole post without talking about thru hiking, right?

Anyway, running. So I ran a bunch more, and then miles 20-25 was the longest 5 mile stretch of my life, and then at mile 25 I probably passed more people in 1.2 miles than I did in the entire race. My parents and Beau found me at mile 25.5 and boosted me through the finish. Smiles all around!

the BEST supporters ever
I'm glad I did this, but I don't see another marathon in the near future. While I was running (probably in the mile 20-25 death zone) I was thinking, "Man, give your body a break!" So I am. I'm looking forward to some long bike rides and day hikes and things that are much less stressful and jarring than running. I LOVE running, but I am tired.

What a great weekend! Thanks for all the support.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

snow day! snow day!

The DC area is having a snow day today! Winters in northern Virginia often means unexpected days off from school. My sister Page and I used to set up "Dickson Diner Cafe" and print out menus for the rest of the family to order breakfast. Page, I guess Texas won't offer you any opportunities for snow days!

I've been meaning to post for a while, but I have been so so busy with work. We moved to a new office in Gainesville, reducing my commute to about 17 minutes. The gym is just across the street, so I am loving my new daily routine.

So, some photos over the past month:

Baby Cate's birthday! What a darling girl.

The DC Rock 'n Roll marathon is less than two weeks away. Ahh! Surprisingly (or not), I'm kind of enjoying my super long Saturday runs. But mostly, I enjoy the excuse for the rest of the weekend to lay around and do nothing. 

A lot of times I call Beau- "Come get me. I'm tired." "Are you hurt? Stranded? Where are you?" "The front yard."

He usually obliges.

You can pretend I cropped out his ninja turtle feet
We didn't let the snow deter us from this little day hike on the AT a few weekends ago. We have our first overnighter since we've been back planned for this weekend. My parents booked a PATC cabin for Friday night- really an enclosed shelter- so we're looking forward to that.

Oh, AT friends, does this look familiar?

We went to my parent's last weekend for Adriel's birthday party and to go to the temple. How did I not take any pictures of the birthday girl?? 

Sunday morning, Adriel and I got out my American Girl doll. It's funny how I'm still as careful and protective of her as I was when I was 10.

And here we are, up to date on this slushy day off. Beau is being productive, studying and looking for jobs. I'm watching Animal Hoarders, writing this post, and perusing the internets. We went for a nice walk, got a redbox, and are all ready to snuggle.