15 Races for 2015: Akron Half – 2015

Sat, Sept 26, 2015
7am – 54 degrees at the start, 65% humidity
Race 5: Akron Marathon – Half
Akron, Ohio

Well, half #7 is in the books! My training for this race was spot on. My long runs felt strong and fast. I had been committed to all of them, which was different than my experience with Cleveland in May, and was going into the race with a great attitude. That is until last Monday came and I felt a chest cold coming on. With each day it was getting a bit worse and culminated on Friday with a major cough. Ugh. At this point I dreaded lining up at the start as I wasn’t sure how I would perform not feeling my best. Since not running the race was not an option, I adjusted my expectations. Rather than preparing to get a new PR, I decided I just wanted to finish. At least that it was what Flat Lisa and I decided.

Flat Lisa

Thankfully Mike agreed to me my roadie again so he drove us downtown. It stresses me out finding parking, etc so I’m always so glad when he is willing to drive!


It was so fun to run into Alison Kinnear waiting in line for the potty! She was getting ready to run her first relay!

And it was really fun to have a Challenger Meet-Up pic with Carol…

And with Jen!

Yeah, it was a good pre-race time running into people. Akron is such a well organized event even down to signs for parking.

I grabbed this really cool pic of the starting line from Akron’s website

So I started off feeling okay. I tried not to go out to fast. My mile 3, however, I already felt like I was being depleted of energy really fast. The one bright spot was that I saw my boss in the crowd right before mile 3 cheering me on so that was really nice! I knew I could keep up a good pace through the 10K and that became my next goal. I got to the 10K mark and walked a bit up a hill. I was really hot and totally sweaty, of course, (it was humid) and I was really thirsty. I kept myself from drinking too much because I didn’t want to get water-logged. I took a GU packet at like mile 7 because I was feeling depleted. I usually wait until about mile 9, but I needed it. It helped a little. Right around 7.5 miles, I heard someone call my name. Up from behind me came Michelle, a woman I went to high school with. We had kept in touch a bit through Facebook and I knew she was a runner too. We quickly discovered the following commonalities:
1. We ran about the same pace on normal days
2. We had both run multiple halfs and had roughly the same PR time
3. We were both feeling sick and not really feeling this race

So we decided to stick together and help each other through it! We walked some, but ran most of the way into the finish. It was fun to talk a bit and get a little bit caught up with each other and comforting to have someone to lean on during this run. Every now and then I would cough and it hurt in my chest. I have to give Michelle mad props because I think she was feeling sicker than I was, but she kept going!

Michelle and I at the finish. We did it!

Home and ready for a shower!

This medal is the best of them all, so far!

The race shirt giveaway this year. It is okay. I like that it is long-sleeve, but not sure white is the best color.

Totally cool socks that we got at the finish along with our food, water, banana, etc.

Lessons learned:
1. The joy is in the journey! I had some great runs during this training cycle so I need to remember that it is not all about race day. The race is just one run: a snapshot in time.
2. The joy of friendship! It feels good to be able to rely on someone in times of trouble and also to let them rely on you. That was probably the best lesson learned from this race. Sometimes we are not at our best and it is okay to admit that and to ask for help, receive it and give it right back!

Here are my stats for this race
Time: 2:38:31 (12:05/mile) – not my slowest, however!!
5.8 mile: 1:04:46 (11:10/mile)
11.5 mile: 2:19:47 (12:09/mile)
Division: 171/252
Gender: 1705/2320
Overall: 3267/4090

Fresh Fork – Week 17

Fri, Sept 25

So for the first time this season I had Mike go and pick up our basket as I was busy picking up race stuff at the Akron Marathon Expo. So, the picture below was the vision of my hubby. I’m not criticizing. I’m just giving credit where credit is due! I think we just have different visions, but I’m VERY glad he took the pic for me!


Here is the detailed list:
Butternut Squash & Sage Linguine
Yukon Gold Potatoes – 2#
Carrots w Tops – 1 bunch
Butternut Squash – 1
Onion – 1
Beets – 1 bunch
Zucchini – 2 ct
Green Peppers – 2 ct
Kohlrabi – 1 bulb
Cherry Tomatoes – 1 pint

The zucchini are yellow squash instead and I did not see a kohlrabi in the basket unless I missed something. We should be able to eat through this basket with not too much problem except for the beets. I’ll see what I can whip up in a salad, however.

Last week I was a cooking fool! I made tons of zucchini bread, stuffed peppers, made a ratatouille, baked spaghetti squash for lunch for work, made butternut squash soup and made a beet and kale salad! Whew! I really liked it all! I don’t have lots of ideas for cooking with the items in this basket this week except or the potatoes and the carrots. Oh and I do plan on roasting the butternut squash to toast in with the linguine. The rest will will have raw in salads or sides. This is going to be another really busy week at work so the plan is to make some things ahead of time and use the crockpot for the boys. Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork – Week 16

Fri, Sept 18

Wow! It is hard to believe that it is Week 16 of the farm co-op! How time flies, right? Here is this week’s bounty!


And here is the detailed list:
Eggplant x 2
Spaghetti Squash x 1
Leaf Lettuce
Golden Beets
Apple Cider: half gall.
Roma Tomatoes 2#
Zucchini x 2
Turkey Patties – 4 per pack

The only substitution on the list was sliced turkey breast in place of the turkey patties which is actually better for us! Oh, and we only got one eggplant. This will be a good bundle for us. I think I will make a ratatouille this week. I’ve never made it before, but I have an overwhelming amount of veggies in my fridge from last week still (hubby was out of town) and it sounded kinda good. I will find a good recipe for this and probably make it on Sunday. I am using our plethora of zucchini for bread for our church bake sale – in the oven now! Smells so good! I will make a little extra for us to keep too. It feels good to be able to use it up. We haven’t been good about eating our zucchini raw or grilled this summer. I have to admit it is not my favorite in the squash family.

The apple cider and turkey will work well for us – everyone loves those items. I’m pretty much the only pear fan, however. I’ve never cooked with golden beets either so that will take some research. I will admit I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with our cornucopia of produce right now. I was not able to get to much of the basket last week due to lack of time and my hubby out of town. However, the good news is most of it will keep (lots of fall/winter squash) so I’ll get it done. It just takes planning (realistic planning!). Here is to a busy prepping/cooking weekend!! Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork – Week 15

Friday, Sept 11

The basket seems a little light this week. What do you think?


I think maybe it was because there was no meat item for the first time, I believe.

Here is the detailed list:
Butternut Squash – 1
Acorn Squash – 1
Carrots – 1 bunch
Zucchini – 2 ct
Cherry Tomatoes – 1 pint
Leeks – 1 large one or a bunch of small ones
Longhorn Peppers – 2
Green Peppers – 2
Stanley Plums – 1.5#
Spelt Berries – 2#

We did not get the longhorn peppers, but got double the green peppers instead. I plan to make butternut squash soup with the squash and the leek – one of my fave soups to make! I have never cooked with spelt berries before. For those, like me, who are unfamiliar they are a wheat grain andn not a fruit as the name implies. I believe you use it just like you would a rice, but I’ll have to do some research on that. I’m a little worried about using the whole basket this week as Mike is going out of town Sunday – Friday! Zach is not a big vegetable guy! I need to figure out something else to do with the plums, unless I just eat them plain – tired of the cobbler. I think I’ll just try to prep the veggies for easy grabbing tomorrow so they are ready for the week.

We are finally going to roast our chicken from last week tonight! It has been thawing in the fridge since Tuesday! I did not use the fennel like I planned and I think it has now probably gone bad. These weeks are so busy and if I don’t get something cooked right away it seems like it doesn’t happen! We did make the collard greens later in the week and they were fabulous!

Well, back to my research and planning for 2 for the week! Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork – Week 14

Friday, September 4

This week’s bag was so heavy!! With a whole chicken, and a watermelon, of course it would be crazy heavy! I’m still surprised all of this fit into one bag! However, the fennel plant was like climbing out of the top! I felt like I could be carrying a load of Christmas decorations!


Here is the detailed list of this week’s cornucopia:

Whole Chicken – 1
Fennel – 1 bulb with top
Kohlrabi – 1
Collard Greens – 1 bunch
Zucchini – 2
Onion – 1
Sweet Corn – 4 ears
Watermelon – 1
Paula Red Apples – 1/4 peck
Lettuce – 1 head

The only change from this list was we got a bunch of plums instead of peaches. And I’m sure they are plums and not purple potatoes!! Ha!

The chicken will remain frozen until I can have a good plan to prepare it. We ruined 2 whole chickens during the last 14 weeks, so we don’t have a very good track record! If anyone has a fail safe way to prepare a whole chicken, please let me know! I only know that we are not doing the beer-can/grill method again! I am excited to use the kohlrabi again, probably as fritter type things. The rest of the basket is pretty standard except for the Christmas-tree like thing called fennel. It smells faintly like black licorice so I love that! I will have to research what to do with this. For those who also have no idea what fresh fennel looks like, it is the giant thing laying flat in the very back of the picture. I’m thinking that you just add it for flavor to a dish? I’ve used dried fennel like one time, and I think that was the context for using it. I’ll be sure to report back!

Oh, the bottle of fresh strawberry daiquiri mix in the front of the picture was an extra purchase this week. It looked like a yummy, nice treat to share over Labor Day weekend.

Some of the remnants of last week’s basket are still around. I have the hot peppers, some tomatoes, and the kale still. The boys did like the pizza with the fresh sausage. I made really yummy egglplant that Mike and I inhaled, but Zach, not so much. That is another story all together!! Hopefully this week we an successfully consume all this wonderful food. Happy Eating!