Monthly Archives: December 2012

Diet Bet 2013

Have you heard of this site? You put your money into the pot, and then you have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your weight. Everyone in the pool who makes it evenly splits the pot. This is right up my alley.

I started a small one (probably too late to join, I suck at blogging) here and joined another that started today.

I’ve never made a new year’s resolution and I certainly do not intend to start now, but this sounds like a fun way to keep myself honest! Next time I’ll double the stakes.

At any rate, here’s how day 1 went down…

Ran 3 miles @ 10:40 pace.
Harder than it sounds as I still have a wicked cold and can’t really breathe. Breathing is handy.

Breakfast - 2 egg omelete with spinach and feta cheese and half an avocado with a gala apple

Lunch - Avocado Egg Salad on a whole wheat wrap with romaine, almonds and a sliced pear

Dinner – Salisbury Steaks with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

Not bad. It was ALL delicious, although a lot more work than telling Chipotle what to put in my bowl.

Tomorrow’s another day! I’m not saying I’m going to be able to keep up this blogging/eating perfectly thing forever, but it was at least fun today. LOL

Pride. In the Name of Fat.

Pride is a jagged little pill.

A couple months ago, after having been the same weight for over a year, I went and had my Lapband unfilled. I felt like I had a pretty good hold on my eating, and I was growing weary of the restriction I felt. I wanted to be able to eat without that uncomfortable sensation in my chest and I was struggling with what to eat for breakfast before a big run. I was sick of my standard oatmeal and yogurt and yearned for a bagel or Eggo with peanut butter. After 4 years without fries, and mostly without bread, I thought I had this thing in the bag. I run marathons, so surely between that and my new found healthy relationship with eating, I’d be good to go with this thing empty, right?

I wanted it completely unfilled. The nurse wanted to just take out a little. We compromised in the middle.

She was right. The amount I pressured her into taking out left me pretty much completely unrestricted. It took a couple weeks for me to figure that out, since I was still eating fairly cautiously at first, but oh did I figure it out. I can and will eat an entire 12″ sub at Subway. Even though I am getting turkey and veggies with no dressing, that’s still way more bread than I need to be eating. And french fries? I didn’t think I missed them until I had one. French Fries are my Chris Brown of eating. Even after 4 years apart, the bond is still there, and I’ve gone crawling back for more abuse.

Even though this is a WLS doctor who exclusively sees overweight patients, most of whom are even more eating disordered than I am, it still bruised the ego to get on that scale. I managed to eat back almost 20 pounds. I obviously can not be trusted around starch.

So, I swallowed my pride and drove down to Columbus for an appointment. I’m up 19 pounds in 6 months. I figured they’d only allow me a tiny fill, and then I’d have to come back a couple more times to get it to where it is working better for me. Lucky for me, they were a bit more sensitive to my plight. Not the fatness plight. The one where I am a self-pay patient, and the other one where I live 2.5 hours away from the place.

During my June appointment, they removed 2.8cc of saline, leaving me with 3cc in the band (“basically nothing” in there, she called it). Today they put 1.5cc back in (it holds 10cc). So, I’m about where I probably should have been in June, except for me being super stubborn. I’m on liquids until tomorrow, then we shall see what happens. I’m looking for somewhere between “I ate one fry and now I need to vomit” and “slap a cow between these 2 loaves of bread, will ya?”.

If nothing else, I have a renewed hope.

Funny side note, they are always pretty excited about my progress down there. Lapbands do not traditionally have the same successes as the more radical weight loss surgeries. In fact, the average weight loss after 3 years is 47% of your excess weight. So, 47lbs if you needed to lose 100. I’m almost 4 years out, and even with my added 19 pounds, I’m still down 70% of my excess. Not too shabby. But, I want to be back at 90%!

*Bonus points if you picked up on all the song/music references in this post. I need a life.

Cranberry Pistaschio Biscotti

I’ve imported this post from my dusty ole cooking blog, How 2 Stay Fat. Not because I’ve necessarily given up on H2SF, but I’ve also not given up on my closets being organized, and I think you can imagine how well that is going. Plus, it’s the time of the year for this recipe. Also, I’m lazy. So… here ya go. A blast from the past, aka 2010. I’ve taken out some of the photos from the original post as I’ve realized that I was out of control.  I also could have taken out 80% of the jibberish, but then it would have been a totally different post.  Or something.  STFU and eat.

If you haven’t forgotten about me entirely, I bet you were saying “I wish that broad would post already.” Well I am here to answer the plea of no one with a brand new post. With a perfect holiday treat, no less. All hail the Festivus pole. This recipe comes to us via my long-time friend inside the computer / long distance running buddy, Brenda. (That is to say, we run far apart. Not long distances.) I suspect she’s trying to fatten me up so that she can be faster than me. Sadly, it’s working.

One thing I hate is Biscotti you can buy at the store/coffee shop that’s so hard you could kill a man if you hit him with it. This is not that Biscotti. Sure, it’s still got some crunch to it. But, it shouldn’t knock any teeth out, at least unless they were already loose to begin with. I love it for the holidays, especially since the pistachios are green and the cranberries are red. How quaint.

The best part is, it looks like it was hard to make, but it totally isn’t! Don’t forget where you are – we don’t do complicated here.

Lets get busy!

What to gather: Cranberries, Pistachios (shelled if you can find them / are lazy), flour, sugar, baking soda, salt (only if your nuts aren’t salted), eggs, vanilla extract, orange extract, extra light olive oil (more on this later).

Now it’s later. Make sure you use “extra light” olive oil. Not to be confused with extra virgin. You do not want the taste of olive oil overpowering your biscotti, so trust me on this one. Extra Light Olive Oil. Do it.

And then combine it with the sugar in a bowl. Tricky so far, I know.

Then, we’re going to add our extracts! It originally called for vanilla and almond. But I was out of almond thought that orange would beautifully complement the cranberries, and I was right. So, from now on, vanilla and orange it is.

Stir that all together, and add 2 incredible, edible, eggs. (Did I just date myself? Worse yet, do you have no earthly idea what I’m talking about?)

In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Including the salt, if you are using salt. I didn’t, as my pistachios were pre-salted. If yours aren’t, make sure you add it! So, flour, baking soda, and salt (optional). Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine.

Now we need to add the nuts and cranberries. Before adding mine, I gave them a rough chop. Not chopped to smithereens or oblivion or anything. Just a couple wacks will do. Some will remain hole, some will get cut. It’s ok. Don’t get too wound up about it, really. It’s Christmas!

This dough is sticky, so if you want to mix the nuts and cranberries in by hand, make sure you’ve already readied your pan already. Otherwise, you’re going to have messy hands and no where to turn. Except the sink of course, but you won’t feel like washing your hands right that second. Don’t ask me how I know this. You can mix this with the spoon if you’ve done your pushup(s) today.

If I had a picture of the mixed dough, it would be here. Just imagine it. It’s quite beautiful.

Moving along… line a baking sheet with parchment paper and have it ready to go. Then, we’re going to roll the dough into “logs”. Before we attempt this feat, we’re going to flour our work surface. VERY LIGHTLY!! Don’t be going all Swedish Chef on me with flour flying everywhere. That will dry out your biscotti and make you very sad. Just a very light dusting of flour on the board:

Use one hand to swoosh it around…

Then rub the other hand with the first hand. Now, using just that tiny bit of flour, you’ve floured your work surface, both hands, and make the universe smile. You might consider taking your rings off first. Don’t be like me.

Now form your dough into 2 equal size logs. How wide/long you make your logs is up to you. I wanted smaller pieces of biscotti so that they could go on my cookie platter and not be 6″ longer than any of the other cookies. Wouldn’t want them to feel bad, you know. Sometimes size does matter. So, my logs are about 2″ wide.

Now move them, gently, to the parchment lined cookie sheet, and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Or until it’s JUST starting to brown. Or really even just shy of starting to brown. You don’t want those death sticks we talked about earlier, remember! In case you need a picture of them again…

Once they’ve finished that first bake cycle, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, reduce the heat on the oven to 275­° and make some coffee or something. Or take the baby doll away from the dog. Or re-roll your parchment paper that a kid just sent spiraling down the stairs. Or, whatever it is you do during 10 minutes of cool down time.

Once 10 minutes has passed, slice both logs, on the slight diagonal (It just took me 5 tries to spell diagonal. Apparently I should have used my 10 minutes to make coffee.) into slices around 3/4″ thick. Use a fairly decent knife so you aren’t obliterating it!

This is one of the end pieces. Yummy looking, yes? Eat all 4 end pieces immediately.

What?

Line up the slices, on their sides, on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Back into the oven they go, for another 10 minutes, or until they’re dried. Not much will change, appearance-wise, so make sure they aren’t on fire in there! No, they didn’t move during the second baking cycle, I shooshed them together for the purpose of this photo. I’m rebellious that way.

Now, you could stop right here and be done. Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, a perfect holiday treat. Or, you could get ridiculous. Guess which one I chose?

What?

Keep in mind, if you’re going to drizzle chocolate on yours, they need to be COMPLETELY cooled first. If you try to drizzle on warm biscotti, it will be a calamity of epic proportions. Or, just a mess. Either way, don’t do it. Have another cup of the coffee you made and wait patiently.

Melt the white chocolate however you usually melt white chocolate. That’s another post for another day. Some people use a double boiler, I use my microwave. If you do the latter, just make sure you check it every few seconds. This is not a time to start the microwave and wander off. This can go ugly fast. I used about 1/3 of the bag, and it took just 90 seconds to melt.

It was a little bit thicker than I wanted for what I was doing, so I added about a teaspoon of Crisco, which made it perfect.

There are 1001 ways to drizzle chocolate. I prefer the crudest, most ghetto way possible. A sandwich baggie. Pour it in, zip it up, and cut a SMALL hole in the corner.

Hopefully you’ll be able to find scissors that aren’t these:

Now, just zig zag back and forth across each piece. You gotta move fast, once you start that stuff pouring out, it doesn’t stop. Unfortunately, I don’t have any live action shots of me doing the drizzling, as while I do have mad drizzling skills, I do not have mad drizzling with one hand while taking photos with the other skills. So, imagine me, thin, gorgeous, perfectly dressed and made up, and drizzling like a pro. One half of 25% of one of those things will be how it actually happened.

Oooh. Ahhh. Etc.

Make some today!

Cranberry Pistaschio Biscotti
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Recipe type: Cookie
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup extra light olive oil
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (unless using salted pistachios, then omit)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup dried cranberries - roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pistachio nuts - roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and orange extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
  2. Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough is sticky, lightly flour your work surface and hands, if necessary. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees.
  3. Cut logs on diagonal into ¾ inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool completely. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, if desired.

Embracing Slow, Fat Me

Don’t get me wrong, I was never “fast”.  But I was faster than I am currently.

Running has been a struggle lately, both physically and mentally.  I know why, and I know how to fix it, but I didn’t get to be 260lbs by being dedicated and sane.

Last fall, I broke 2 hours in the half marathon (1:58:28 I think?).  It was one of my big running dreams.  The other was to run a 25:XX 5k, which I did this spring.  Then it all started to fall apart.

The more I ran, the more hungry I was, and the more I ate.  I was having a hard time eating as much as I felt like I needed, so I had my lapband unfilled.  I figured I’d eat more meat (protein) and feel better/more full.  Maybe even lose weight.  But one minor problem:

Bread.  I clearly can not be trusted with it.  With my lapband more filled, I could barely eat it.  Small amounts only, and it took so long that most of the time I decided it wasn’t even worth the effort.  That went on for 4 years.  Suddenly being able to eat bread made me want ALL OF IT.  Even though I am trying to make reasonable choices, I am eating too much bread.  And I have an extra 15lbs to show for it.

Gaining 15 pounds has had a horrible impact on my running.  I feel heavy, and it’s hard, and I’m slow.  I go run and it feels hard even though the pace SHOULD be easy, and then I feel like crap about myself, which makes me not want to run, so I don’t do it as much, and instead I eat more bread.  I’m basically in a death spiral over here.

Recognizing this, and doing something about it, however, are 2 very different things.  I tried to just say “no big deal, just lose the weight and the speed will come back”, but it’s hard to lose weight when I’m not running as much, and especially when I’m depressed about things and just want to eat.  I know that I need to just embrace the speed I’m at currently and everything else will fall into place, but man is that ever easier said than done.

My “tempo” pace is currently the pace at which I was doing my long runs at this time last year.  The last 5k I ran was a full 2 minutes slower than the one I ran in the spring (same course).  And my last real “long” run was the Columbus Marathon in October.

This week, I ran one day without my Garmin.  Just my Timex. I just ran for 45 minutes.  I have no idea how far I went. Might have been 5 miles, or 3 miles, I didn’t really care.  I ran for  comfort, and for fun. I gave myself permission to stop and walk if the mood struck (it didn’t).   It helped.  Today I ran 8 miles, with my watch.  My average pace was 11:05.  I used to do it in 1:21, every single time. Today, 1:28.  It stings a little, but I’m trying to be ok with it.  The important thing is that I got out there and ran and tried not to hate it, which I didn’t.  I didn’t look at my watch much, mostly because I didn’t want to know.  It vibrates every mile, so I knew how far I’d gone, which was really all I needed to know.

So, I’m working on it.  It’s a struggle.  I still need to lose 10lbs to get back to where I was running comfortably (and to be able to fit back into my pants!), or 15lbs to get back to my lowest running weight.  I still feel slow and fat, but I’m doing my best out there. The Goofy challenge is in a month, and to say I’m not ready for that would be a gross understatement.  We’ll see what happens.  I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. All I can do is run the best I can, cross train the best I can, and eat the best I can, and hope it all falls into place.  If it doesn’t, then we move on to the next race.

I am going to start working on my training plans and goals for 2013.  Maybe try the 100 miles a month goal again, since I fell off the wagon this year?  In the meantime, if you see me out there, tell me I look fast and thin.  I’ll know you’re lying, but maybe it will help.  I miss my pants.

Day 4 – Zero Punches Thrown

But I think it was close. Ok, not really. We actually have done pretty well working together so far. 10 people, no sleep, bad nutrition, close quarters… pretty much a recipe for a bench brawl. While everyone was getting pretty crispy by day 4, we still managed to get along. Charles assembled a pretty good team.

We’d already discussed moving the aid station to 5 mile increments rather than the 3 we had been doing. Connie felt like we were all up in her face nonstop, which we were. Everyone was so excited to help that they’d all get out of the cars to offer her stuff. So every 28 minutes she’s got 6-8 people shoving crap at her “just as she’d gotten into a rhythm”. So, day 4 we decided we’d leave her alone to do her thing. We filled up her tote with her things and we’d have ONE person take it out to her, and just let her look through it to see if she wanted anything. She even told us to leave it down so she could bend down to get it and stretch her legs, rather than just hold it out to her. I can’t even get my car key off my shoe after I run 12 miles. I’m 100% sure that if you cut her legs open, it would look like this:

Incidentally, do not ever include the word “dissect” when you do a Google search. Trust me.

We kept one person on the road with her, just had them stay WAY back. Her other complaint was that she was having trouble staying on her own pace due to the sounds of other people’s foot steps. With it being a busy road with lots of fast cars and us being up to 5 miles away from her, everyone felt more comfortable having someone else out there with eyes on her in case something happened.

ANYWAY (ADD much? 10 minutes went by since I finished that last sentence. No lie.), she got on the road just before 6 and was off and running. Shortly thereafter, it started to rain. Of course, no big deal for her, but now we were tasked with the decision of sticking with the 5 miles we agreed on, or stopping in at 3 to offer her rain gear. We split the difference at 4 and just kinda hoped she wouldn’t know. She did elect to change clothes and she was off again.

Not as much to report for the first part of the day, since we barely saw her. But when we did, she looked great. Here she is just as the rain was starting to let up. She had about a 50k left to go at this point, I believe.

Next stop, she’d have less than a marathon to go, which is a big moment for her. The equivalent of “the finish line is just around this corner” for the rest of us mortals. We knew once she found that out, she’d pick up the pace for the homestretch. You know, the homestretch of only a marathon to go. Nothing weird about that.

She was taking mostly only water and gels, which was quite different from what she’d done the other 3 days, but it seemed to be working for her. No real stomach issues other than almost puking from one of them. She said that it wasn’t funny, but I said “I’m still laughing”. No wonder she’s so successful. Supportive friends.

Once she got to the edge of downtown Cincinnati, she got her final police escort, all the way to the finish. Charles jumped in to run the last 10 with her, and she also had a couple local runners who’d popped in along that stretch. Charles said his favorite part of that last 10 mile run was the 1 mile uphill climb. If you believe that, you haven’t run a mile uphill with her.

I tried to yell out the window to the people on the streets of the city what she was doing/had done to get them to give her a shout out, but this was a colorful bunch to say the least. I got “the long way?” as a response, a guy who busted out laughing, a guy who pointed a leaf blower at her, a pimp, a dude that looked like he was running from our police escort… you get the idea. Ahhh Cincinnati was a fun place.

This police escort was not as on point as the one through Delaware, and the people of Cincinnati weren’t on the ball, so we kept getting stuck behind cars and all sorts of nonsense. But, of course, Connie Gardner doesn’t wait for cars or police. They wait for her. A few times, they passed us.

Notice that she’s smiling in every picture while you remember she’s run 240+ miles to get to this point.  Also, look at her legs.  Damn.

With 5k to go, her smile increased even more.  The vehicle I was in pulled ahead so the girls could set up a finish line for her to cross, which was SO CUTE.  She came around the corner and saw that, and picked it up even more.  In fact, the second she saw it, she made a beeline for it, to the point that she looks like she’s not running the same direction as Charles in the only picture I was able to get before they about plowed me over.

I was hoping there would be a few people / news / something at the finish to greet her other than us, but what can you do. We made it as grand for her as we could, and we had Gwen, which is all she really ever needs.

A couple group pics (too many cameras in the kitchen) with the Humvee and she was off to shower and then a big meal and then home.

In typical Connie fashion, she tucked herself into the back of the photo like she was just a face in the crowd, and not like the one who just ran 246+ miles across the state of Ohio in 4 days.

We can’t be sure what her actual running pace is, since she stopped at the aid stations for 1-10 minutes, had bathroom breaks, and so on and so forth. Given the data that we do have, I can say for sure it was sub-10 minute miles, and quite possibly closer to 9:30. Her last 10 miles I think were in the 8:40 average range, and her last mile was definitely sub-8.

So, she did it. Her test run for Run Across America is complete. She looked strong literally every step of the way, and there’s not much doubt in anyone’s mind that she won’t be able to set a World Record next June when she attempts to run from San Fransisco to NYC in less than 47 days.

And, she’s doing all of this for charity. To raise money so that wounded vets can get back on their feet and exercise again. If you haven’t already, please consider making a donation to Patriot Runners. If you donate just $.25 for every mile she ran, that $61 could put a pair of running shoes on someone who wasn’t sure they’d ever walk again, let alone run. If you can’t manage $61, donate $10. Or $5. Every dollar will help. Running across Ohio is a challenge, but it’s not nearly the challenge of going to fight for our country and then trying to put your life back together after losing a limb in doing so. We owe it to these brave men and women who sacrifice their lives every day so that we can enjoy ours.

On a personal side note: I could live 100 lifetimes, and never again meet another person like Connie. I say that not because of her accomplishments, which are staggering, but because of who she is. You will not find more humbled and caring person. If she saw a child, she stopped to say hello, or hug them, or shake their hand. She spent more time worrying about the crew than the crew did worrying about her. When someone asked her if she did this run for charity or as a personal challenge, she answered “for charity” without a single moment of hesitation, when you know this had to be a challenge – even for the mighty Connie Gardner. She took time out of every day to ask us how WE were doing and were we sleeping ok and eating ok and did we feel ok. She made running 65 miles a day seem like going out to check the mail. She was smiling, laughing, and telling stories every step of the way. Most of us can’t get through a few miles without complaint, and she did it for 246. The only thing I heard her complain about, besides us bugging the shit out of her, was that her knees hurt at night, and it made it tough to sleep. I’ve never been a part of anything even remotely close to this, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to do it. It was worth every bit of lost sleep, the near heart attack I had when I tried to run 3 miles with her, and the condition of my backside after 130+ miles on my cheapo bike just to be able to see her do what she did. She makes us all better people, and better runners, just by being her. Every single person in her life considers it an honor to be there, and I am no exception. I look forward to helping her set her world record, and sitting in the car or on a bike while she does it will be the accomplishment of MY lifetime.

Day 3 – Cars? What Cars?

Day 3 started mostly uneventful. The weather has steadily improved each day to the point that 40s seemed downright balmy. Connie was running as strong as ever and the miles were ticking away seemingly fast. Well, at least for me, but I wasn’t the one running them.

About 15-20 miles in (or it might have been 3 or 40, who knows, it all starts to run together eventually) we got to the mobile aid station and she asked Mark to do another section with her. It was just as she was departing, and we’ve quickly learned that if she’s ahead of you, don’t bother trying to catch up. If you stop to pee, you’ll be chasing her for a half hour before you catch up, and that’s if you survive a 30 minute sprint. So anyway, Mark took off running with her, and they packed up the cars and moved down to the next stop. Only to realize they’d left her car behind as Mark was driving it. And it was running. With the door open. That would be the 2nd time we left Connie’s car behind with the keys in it. The first time was my fault, just so it doesn’t seem like I’m shirking my responsibility. I’m just waiting for the moment that we leave a PERSON behind. Maybe tomorrow.

There isn’t a whole lot to look at in this part of Ohio. Farms, farms, and the occasional farm. Vacant houses scattered about. We saw this particularly haunting looking one.

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As we ran by, Connie said “Have you ever been in a house like that?” to which I replied “you could go in that one, it’s wide open”. She said “yes! Lets do it”, so we jogged back and checked it out. Nothing better to do while running 240+ miles across Ohio, right? Not like we have anywhere to be.

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She thought it would be funny to take a picture of her coming out as if she’d just had a nap. She’s too much. Who is in this good of a mood after 150+ miles?

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One of the big reasons she went north to south instead of the other way, was that Roy assured us that the wind would be at her back going south. Naturally, she’s had a headwind for 3 days. She’s barely complained about it, but in this small town, she turned back to me and said “Angie, look at that flag. See it? I want you to take a picture of that, and then show it to Roy.”

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At one point of our trek down 42 South, we realized there was a bike path running parallel to us, so we moved up there. Which of course made the aid station almost miss us going by. We were looking for them, though.

She loved the endless line of telephone poles (she’s odd).

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At the next intersection we saw a guy who told us to stay to the right because he had a prototype car of some type on the path that could get 1,000 miles to the gallon.
He assured me it was ok for us to not only look at it, but to take photos as well. So, here it is…

Connie looked at it and said “well of course it gets 1,000 miles to the gallon, it’s being pulled by a bike. You go back and tell that guy that I am more efficient than his stupid car”.

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I don’t know if I mentioned previously, but she swears that the secret to ultra running is a spoonful of peanut butter every few miles. She says it has to be Skippy. Just to drive home how much peanut butter, this is what her jar looked like at the end of day 3. That’s a lot of peanut butter!

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She told us late in the day that she finally felt like she was getting into her groove and that the aid station being every 3 miles was disruptive. Just getting into her grove about 150 miles across Ohio.

As we were nearing dark, she was nearing 200, so we were all pretty sure that was the goal she had in her head. However, she’d also mentioned wanting to try to get in 70 miles on day 3, which was still roughly 8 miles out. On day 2, we almost had to drag her off the road kicking and screaming because she felt good and wanted to go “another 15 minutes, another 15 minutes” and it was too dangerous. Small shoulder, fast traffic, just dangerous. So we just kept trying to sell her on the idea of hitting 200 and wrapping it up. We parked the beacon of hope exactly at the 200 mile mark and sent Gwen out to the road to tell her it was time to stop. Gwen is a great last line of defense because her mom won’t say no to her.

Surprisingly, she came off willingly. 200 miles done in 3 days with a smile on her face. When she got in the car she said “I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I’m glad that I was still able to run today.” and “I physically can’t run any slower than I did today”. For the record, she was moving at a sub-10 minute pace the entire day. She had a sub-11 minute average for the day, including breaks and bathroom issues and so on.

We loaded in the cars and headed over to Charles’ mother’s house for a delicious pasta meal and dessert and a foot rub for Connie. Incidentally, her feet look perfect, you can’t tell she’s run a single block.

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One sleep left. Roughly 45ish miles to go.

Day 2 – Well, that was special

Disclaimer: I am typing this on the most ridiculous little bluetooth keyboard I could find. So, I’m not sorry if it’s short, riddled with typos, or completely inaccurate. I also can’t make my clever little remarks on the bottom, which I know is tearing you up inside.

Day 2 started mostly uneventful. We met at Connie’s house, drove the caravan down to where she had ended the night before, and were getting the gear ready and getting set to take the photo by the street sign she’d wanted when we realized she’d already left and was 5 minutes down the road. Now, this isn’t exactly a rare occurrence for her, she goes when she’s ready to run, regardless of what else is going on or whatever anyone else is doing… but it was a shock at 5:00 a.m. before anyone was even caffeinated.

Once she got on the road we got our act together and caught up to her, the morning went along relatively smoothly. She was having some stomach problems and wasn’t eating as well as we wanted her to. We spent a lot of time begging her to eat something and trying to find her flushy toilets. Note for tomorrow: she’ll almost always stop if you offer her a flushy toilet. Most times, she wasn’t even stopping at our mobile aid station that we position every 3 miles. We would get her to stop only every 2nd or 3rd time.

But, she was in good spirits and looking strong, of course.

You might imagine that a Suburban with a  flashing yellow light (aka The Beacon of Hope any time you are running with her as its your salvation), a Humvee, and 2 other cars leapfrogging several runners and a bike down State Route 42 might draw a bit of attention.  It does.

This nice man from the Sheriff’s department in Morrow county stopped to see what on earth we were doing.  Once we explained, he found us a reporter and gave us use of the Sheriff’s department that was just down the road. This was great for us, as we not only got Connie off the road and into a bathroom and some food down her, they were nice enough to print off our press packets we’d forgotten.  We can’t thank them enough for their help!

She hit her 100 mile mark while we were with that reporter, which worked out perfectly. Some of the runners pointed out that she finished her 100 well under the cut off for many 100 mile races… and she took 12 hours off and got a full night’s sleep. She also beat Charles’ Mohican 100 time. That was his favorite part of the trip, I’m pretty sure.

Connie still wasn’t eating as much as we wanted, so we even sent Gwen out to offer it to her, because how can she say no to Gwen? It worked.

We stopped our aid station at this daycare/preschool and the kids loved it and even came out to cheer her on.

She went over to greet them, made us all cry again, and then headed back out, saying “Well now we have to pick it thdup, I can’t have them see me running slow”. Pick it up… she’s been running 9 minute miles for 2 days.

Well, pick it up she did. At mile 112, just as I was going to run the last 10 with her, she said… I swear to God… “I need to run. I feel like I haven’t run yet.” Um… what?

I ran 3 with her and threw myself in front of a truck. Not really, but I was considering it around the time I saw the Beacon of Hope. Just as I stopped, Kenny joined in. I waved and laughed. Good luck with her. She was doing sub-9 while I was with her, or faster.

Just after Kenny joined, she got another police escort, and that’s when she really let loose. We clocked her around 7:40-7:50 pace even up the hills.

Kenny loved it so much, he got himself arrested.

Just kidding. He stopped to tie his shoe/have a cardiac episode and was NEVER going to be able to catch back up to her (no one would… well maybe Usain…) so he hitched a ride with our Delaware Sag Wagon. Another big thanks to them for their help… that was a trafficy and twisty part of Route 42, the escort was great.

Around this time, though, our entire organization was starting to crumble. She should have been stopping but wouldn’t, our car and people situation was mass chaos. She kept saying 15 more minutes, 15 more minutes, but it was getting dark and dangerous, so Roy had to go out and physically stand in front of her and tell her she was done.

Plus, they had to get her to the RRS event! RRS was gracious enough to host an event and give discounts to everyone who donated to Patriot Runners, which was cool. She did some talking, and some autographing and retired to her hotel.

The rest of us ate a delicious feast provided by Mark Carroll and Tami and showered and went to bed. She’s pretty much burned through her pacers, so good thing we have a fresh bunch tomorrow. It’s crazy how strong she’s running!