Thursday, May 10, 2012

College Memories: Is This A Dorm or a Brothel?!

So as I was writing my cousin about college, I couldn't help but remember my first college roommate experience. I can pretty much sum up our experience in this one story...

So the first night I'm there, she offers to take my to the this party with her. She already knows a bunch of people there since half her high school went to the same college. Well I figure, that'll be a great way to meet some new people so I say sure. So after checking out some various college clubs, we hit this party around 11ish. I hang out at the party for awhile, but it's overall lame, so I leave around 1AM. I head back to the dorm and go to bed. Around 3ish, I hear the door open and my roomie is talking to some guy in the hallway. I'm thinking, "Oh come ON, it's 3AM, say goodnight already. I'm trying to sleep!" Anyhow, they keep chatting so I throw the covers over my head and I fall back to sleep.

Okay, so there I am, all in dreamland and I suddenly awaken to my bed (which is a BUNK bed) rocking in a rhythmic fashion. In a sleepy grog, I'm like, "What the heck is going on?" I throw the covers off of my head and look across the room into the huge mirror on the opposite wall only to see my roomie and some gross dude totally getting it on in the bed above me. Ugh, GROSS! Get a room...oh, and one that is NOT mine. And for that matter, get a that is not attached to MINE! OMG, I mean, how classy is that?!

And that is pretty much how that first semester went. There would be times when I would be in the common area on our floor studying and I'd have to go back to my room to get a highlighter or something. I'd walk in (door not even locked) again to see my roomie and her boy-of-the-day getting it on right on the floor. I'd just step right over them to get my highlighter, wanting to poke my eyes out with it the whole way out. They never even noticed me. ***shuddering at the memory***

She was a nice enough girl, but OMG, I felt like I was living in a brothel! I cried no tears when she left to go live in the sorority house.

So, do you have any crazy roommate stories?

The Trauma

After my big race, I was so looking forward to visiting with Dr. Craig. My body SO felt like it needed a good adjustment. Anyhow, when I went in today, everyone was asking me about the race. I had a lot of fun sharing. I even brought my medal. (Yes, I'm a total dork!) Afterwards, Dr. Craig spent some extra time adjusting me. He said that he needed to spend a little more time realigning my body after "sustaining the trauma of a 10 mile run". I thought that was kind of funny! If a 10-mile run is "traumatic," what's a 26.2 run like?! Anyhow, I do feel phenomenally better after my visit. He gave me additional exercises to work my knee too. Both knees felt pretty good during my race, with only periodic, marginal pain. I actually forgot all about my knees -- I was too busy concentrating on the race. It wasn't until after the race was over that things started tightening up. I could barely walk down the stairs Saturday night! While Dr. Craig said that he expected some pain for me after a 10 mile run, he said that my knee pain should really be subsiding a little quicker than it is. He's concerned about the arch support in my shoes now too. Ugh, I can't wait till my knee pain is G-O-N-E! Luckily, I have no big races coming up, so I can really take my time healing and working my up to those bigger miles again (as opposed to going from 3 miles to 10 in just a week! But hey, I got a cool medal and an awesome race experience! So worth it!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Boo-Yah! My Dream Just May Come True!

And which dream is that? Well, that would be the dream to complete a half marathon in under 2 hours. And how did I choose that arbitrary time? Well, there is one woman that I work with who is a super crazy good runner. She told me that she ran her first at around 2 hours. So then I'm thinking that I should at least run as close to 2 hours as possible since basically, she's my running idol. The other reason I chose 2 hours is this: My one friend who is a casual runner (meaning she never really trains for anything -- just runs 3-6 miles every now and then because she likes it) spontaneously decides that she's going to sign up for the Chicago half and run it. Yeah...she signed up like a week before the race, went out and ran it in "around 2 hours". Say what?! Now yes, she does admit that she had to pray her way through the last few miles, but still, totally minimal "training" and running a half in 2 hours?! Okay, I've GOT to do better than that with all that I am doing. So anyhow, the goal is UNDER 2 hours now.

Well, I just entered in my unofficial 10K time of 54:20 in the Running Times Calculator and it projects a half mary time for me of...1 hour, 59 minutes, 59 seconds! Woo hoo -- I'll take it! (As a side note, I also check my projected time using the McMillan Calculator. Yeah, it said my half mary time would be 2 hours, 0 minutes, 54 seconds. Clearly WRONG!) And I still have 12 weeks to train too so hopefully I'll have a sub 2 hour half mary in the bag! I'd do a happy dance, but I'd probably jinx myself, and fall and break my ankle. :-)

Cranberry-Topped Orange Cheesecake

I found a bag of cranberries at my local grocery store and knew I had to make something with them. Cranberries are my favorite fall food and in my opinion, way too underused. I have to admit though, I am guilty of not using them as much as maybe as I could. They are surely a staple side at the table on Thanksgiving Day, but I don't use them much otherwise. I challenged myself to find many more recipes with them.

As I was searching Epicurious for some cranberry-orange muffin recipes, I ran across a recipe for cranberry-orange cheesecake! I have never made a cheesecake before and have been dying to give one a try. I clicked on the recipe and was glad to see that I had pretty much all the ingredients I needed, some of which (chocolate wafer cookies) I've actually had in my pantry and have been trying to get rid of! I love when that happens. Next, I looked at the ratings and saw that it got awesome reviews! SCORE! Decision made -- cranberry-orange cheesecake it is! Here is the recipe, written as is from Epicurious:


  • 1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies, broken
  • 2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

For crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Finely grind cookies and chocolate in processor. Add butter; blend until moist clumps form. Using plastic wrap as aid, press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 1/4 inches up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For filling:
Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Wrap 2 layers of heavy-duty foil around bottom and up sides of springform pan. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Beat in flour. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in orange peel and vanilla.

Pour filling into crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until filling is just set in center but still moves slightly, about 55 minutes. Remove cake from water bath; transfer to rack and cool completely, about 4 hours. Cover and chill overnight.

For topping:
Stir sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium; add cornstarch mixture and bring to simmer. Add cranberries; cook until beginning to pop, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in orange peel. Cool completely. Cover and chill overnight. (Cheesecake and cranberry mixture can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Run knife around top edge of cheesecake to loosen. Release pan sides. Top cheesecake with cranberry mixture. Chill until set, about 1 hour.

I followed the recipe pretty much as directed. I had NO clue what I was doing or looking for in terms of whether or not the crust was done or when the cheesecake itself was done. I mean, it says that it's supposed to look "set" (whatever that looks like) but still wobbly in the middle. Uhhh, how wobbly? I chalked this up to an experimental baking adventure and crossed my fingers.

Well, it appears luck was on my side. My first ever cheesecake was a wonderful success! I was worried about the cheesecake sticking to the springform pan but that wasn't a problem at all. I was also worried about the cheesecake being not as smooth as I wanted since the cream cheese wasn't quite room temperature when I mixed it initially, but the texture was silky smooth and luxurious! And how did it taste? I was worried that using just orange zest wouldn't give it enough orange flavor, but I think it was just right. There was just a hint or orange, but enough to know it was there. The tart/sweet cranberry topping was a great compliment. It was very yum and is something I will likely make again! I can't wait to try different combinations of cheesecake flavor and fruit toppings.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Other Than Running...

So here's what's been going on with me, other than running, (which seems to be all I blog about anymore!)

Update 1 -- My New Workout DVDs: Okay, this is somewhat running related, but whatever...I have to ease into this! So I tried out my new DVD, Total Body Time Crunch by The Firm. It was definitely hard for me to keep up seeing as how I've done practically NO aerobics! Just as soon as I'd figure out how to do one move, she was already on to the next! That's okay though. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it after doing it a few more times. Anyhow, I thought it was pretty good. It started with a warm up with then went into a cardio segment. After about 7-10 minutes, there was a toning segment, but she still had me doing like 7 different things at once which really kept my heart rate going...okay maybe not 7, but still, you get the point! That followed with more cardio, then more toning, and so on. The last segment or so of cardio had a little bit of plyometrics (AKA jumping around a lot) which I like. Alltogether, the video was about 45 minutes long and I was sweating by the end! I told my DH that while I was doing it, I really felt my heart going and my legs burning, but afterwards, I felt totally fine -- not tired at all like I am after my runs, so I'm not sure how much of a workout it really was. My husbands bets I'll be pretty sore tomorrow. We'll see.

On a funny side note, I was talking to my husband about maybe getting a couple more workout DVDs like the one I tried today so that I could alternate them. I asked for his opinion and all he said was, "Would it make you look even hotter?" "Ummm, I don't know...I guess?" "Then you should definitely get it!" Ugh, why did I even bother asking him!

Update 2 -- My Crazy Cat: I just had to share this pic. My cat Snoopy gets SO MAD when any other cat comes into HIS territory. He was practically foaming at the mouth this afternoon when a neighborhood kitty came to say hello!

Snoopy's tail got all puffy, he started growling and hissing and was ready to jump through the glass! You can see how frightened the other cat is! My cat is such a goof!

Update 3 -- Crafting: I haven't been scrapbooking or cardmaking like I used to, but I did make a few cards today using March's Sheetload Sketch. For this first card, I used paper from the "Garden Party" pack by Making Memories. Everything else I had laying around. Stamps are Studio G $1 stamps. The second card was made using the same sketch but with paper I bought at Target awhile back -- forgot the name of the line. I used my Cuttlebug to cut the cupcake stamp out and to emboss it. Then I used Stickles to add glitter to the cupcake and candle (which is hard to see in the pic.)

I actually made 6-12 of each card. Most of them I'll be donating to Cards for Heroes. I've written about that wonderful program before, but if you're not familiar with them, click on the link to learn more! It was fun getting back into all of my papers and ribbons. I want to do a scrapbook layout next of my last race.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Summer is Officially Here!

I've always said that summer is my favorite season. I think that has something to do with the fact that my birthday is in it, but whatever! I'm turning the big 3-0 though so I don't know how enthused I am this year! Oh well. Anyway, I usually love those hot, sunny days when I can just lay in the sand on the beach or take a dip in the swimming pool. I'm realizing today though that summer's appeal is a little lost on a day like today, in the 90s with high humidity and I have NO beach or NO pool! UGH -- what's up with that?! I am melting! I tried to get up early today to run before it got too hot. "Early" for me during my summer break is around 7AM So I peel out of bed at 7:30 this morning, get dressed and ran out the door. I think by the time I made it to the end of my driveway, I was already sweating! The only saving grace to my run this morning is that I got to wear my cute pink Target (Tar-jay!) running skirt and my awesome new sporty sun glasses. I looked totally "Runner Grrrl!" Can I just say too that I bought my running skirt probably back in April and when I tried it on then, it was a little snug, but the next size up was almost falling off, so I went with the smaller size. Well, when I put it on today, no snugness! Just fit perfection! Woo hoo! Then after my workout, I got cleaned up and attempted to try on a pair of last year's skorts that were a little snug last year too. Yeah, check it...they slid right on, no problem! This running thing is really working out! So anyway...back to complaining about summer!

So anyhow, as Runner Grrrl as I may have looked, I was SOOOOO hot! I felt like I was on fire! Luckily, tomorrow is cross training day, so I should be good, but then I checked out Sunday's forecast. It's supposed to be even hotter and Sunday is my LONG run day! I thought, "Well, I'll just have to get up extra early to avoid the heat." So I check out the hourly forecast complements of Accuweather and the coolest part of the morning is 4AM at an ever-so-chilly 70 degrees F! Well I can promise you that I WON'T be getting up at 4, so this Sunday should be interesting! Any tips for staying cool?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I am SO NOT "All That"!

Okay, so I've run two races so far on my "Getting Back in Shape" Tour, and with both races, I got a medal. Don't be too impressed. For the first race, I won 1st place in my age group. What I hesitate to tell others is that, there was only one other person in my age group! But hey, it does NOT say that on the medal! And as far as the second medal, well that's a finisher's medal. You could walk the darn thing and still get one. Well, unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten those little details. I was looking at signing up for a few races and as I was checking out their websites, I decided to check out the results from the previous years to see where my recent times would compare, hoping of course that my times would be medal-worthy. Ummm yeah...THEY'RE NOT! Man, if I ran those races, I would have been totally smoked! Forget about getting a medal -- I'd be choking on the dust kicked up by 70 year old ladies! (No offense to 70 year old ladies -- you are fabulous!) So, just as I was gazing upon my medals thinking about what a great runner I'm turning out to be, I got a little wakeup call: (1) I am SO NOT all that! and (2) I've got a long way to go!