>Black Bean Soup

>Here is a very EASY recipe for black been soup…

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, with liquid
1 cup (half a jar) of your favorite salsa
2 tablespoons lime juice, or the juice of one lime
Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

In a medium pot, add the oloive oil and saute the onions until they are soft and translucent. Add cumin and garlic, sauteing for an additional minute. Pour in black beans with their liquid, salsa, and lime juice. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. When serving the soup, top with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Serves four. 2 points per serving.

>The Rain Run

>So picture this…sitting at my desk at around 12:02pm today realizing that 1) my iPod was not charged (even though half the time it is useless anyways), 2) a full afternoon of meetings ahead of me, plus an evening speaker, 3) it is raining outside…not just spitting, but off and on all out raining. The temp is in the 60’s. Now, I did plan a little ahead for a rain run this morning before I left this morning and grabbed a windbreaker (can we still call them that or is that an 80’s expression??). Anywho, I grabbed pants and an “athletic rain jacket” of sorts in preparation for a run in the rain. So, what do I do…play on facebook and eat lunch or go out there?????

I grabbed my bag (sans iPod) without thinking too much and went. And, I was so pleasantly surprised. I was prepared to be kinda miserable, but it was actually kinda fun and turned out to be a really good run. I was only chilly for about 2 minutes and then the rain just felt really good. I mean, I’m sweaty anyways so additional water is not really a big deal. I started with the hood on, but then realized that was a losing battle with this particular jacket, so I just gave into it. It is amazing how much more enjoyable things are when you just give into it – totally surrender to the experience. I got totally soaked, but it was so refreshing. Without my iPod I didn’t have my music, but it was cool to just hear the rain, my breathing, and of course, all the cars rushing by…but even that had a certain rhythm and sound that was different from a dry day. I didn’t have my iPod to track my run, but I just ran by feel and I bet I did just about 3 miles. There was definitely a certain freedom without having to worry about that damn thing. Just me and the pavement.

So lesson learned today…I don’t always need technology to motivate me. I can motivate myself. Wow. Perhaps that is even a more powerful source of motivation. And, rainy days aren’t always bad. There – lemons into lemonade.

>Over 40, but under 30!

>So I met my goal this morning! Yahoo! I ran the 5K for Footprints for Fatima as part of JCU Homecoming and set a personal record! My time as 29:44!! For those of you keeping track at home, last year this same race was my first 5K ever and I ran it in 32:17 so I’m pretty excited that I did a lot better. I did not win anything in my age bracket (not like last year’s win by default), but I wanted to be under 30 minutes and I achieved it. Reaching a personal goal is better than winning anything. At first I was pretty intimidated by all the young pup students running, but I tried to put that out of my mind. I actually did beat some of the students younger than me so that felt good! There were a few women my age that were faster than me, but rather than feel defeated about that, it actually gives me hope that I still have room to improve. Oh, and by the way, I was totally smoked by like an 11-year-old girl! What?!! Hey, good for her, right?? We are truly all on our own journeys. Hey, I’m just happy to show up and be in the race. What are you waiting for??!!! 🙂

>Dear iPod…

>Dear iPod,

It has come to my attention that you no longer take this job very seriously. This communication is to provide you with a written warning and let you know that the firm of Lisa D. Runner, Inc. is formally looking for your replacement beginning immediately. Please see the rationale listed below for why this action is being taken:

*Inconsistent Performance – On the last few runs you have either performed at a sub-par level or not performed at all. The passive aggressiveness that you have demonstrated by allowing yourself to get all “charged up” giving the impression that you are with the program, and then flaking out right when the workout starts is not acceptable behavior.

*Tardiness – You continue not to accomplish tasks on time (starting the workout and ending the workout).

*Lack of Being a Team Player – Lisa feels like she is doing most of the work lately and that this team of two is no longer a team at all. It takes motivation to just get to the workout (especially in 80+ degree temps in September) and Lisa counts on you to hold up your end of the bargain and provide the music and tracking to keep her motivated during the run.

So, let this letter be a formal warning for you and to put you on alert to look for alternate employment. While you will not be let go immediately, perhaps you should look for options to sub-contract or recycle your parts sooner rather than later.

Good luck,
The Management

>Splits are in!

>Well, folks the results are in! The Triathlon results for the Girls Tri Too event on Sept 18 were posted on Monday afternoon, but I’m just now getting around to posting them. Truth be told I was bummed for a little while about them, but after some good pep talk posts from my FB buddies I’m embracing them for what they are – my first time!!!

So here is how I placed:
*I came in 151 out of 258 women who completed the race. Only one person did not finish, which is pretty cool actually.
*In my age group (40-45) I came in 16 out of 26.

Here are my splits:
Swim – 7:07; Ranked 141
T1 (Transition time) – 3:29
Bike – 31:22; Ranked 174
T2 – 1:35
Run – 20:47; Ranked 113
Total: 1:04:21

Overall I am mostly pleased. I definitely have room for improvement on the bike which was probably my weakest area. It could also be that my bike is not exactly that of the racing variety! I can run faster, but I think it was a fairly good time as a third event. Not counting the transition time I did make it under an hour at 58:76 which is cool.

So there you go. The benchmark has been made for next year. Is it bad that I’ve already been researching other triathlon races?? This is so much fun!

>Embrace the Sucky Runs!

>So yesterday I had a really sucky run. It was very hot and I just felt tired throughout the entire thing. I had to walk tons during a normal 5K route. I was feeling bad about the whole thing when I ran into a colleague in the locker-room that I hadn’t seen for awhile. I vented to her about the run and then she shared her update with me. She had been training for a marathon and was up to 17 miles when…she broke her toe. So, her doctor told her no running for 6 weeks!!! Ugh. The race is in October so there is no way she can do it. Whoa. Oh, and she had a chance to qualify for Boston at this race since she is turning 40 before the race and would be in a different age/time bracket. Talk about a change in perspective. Here I was complaining about a sub-par running experience when she was just shut out of a race that she had been working towards for months. Okay, God, I get it. I’m thankful for even the sucky runs.

>I Tri-ed it and it was AWESOME!

>It can be done. I’m here to tell you. Set a goal. Work for it. Do it.

I competed in my first triathlon this morning and I am struggling with the words to describe it right now. The only word that really comes to mind is AWESOME.

It was AWESOME that my 8-year-old and husband got up at 5:15am on a Saturday to come and support and cheer me on to accomplish one of my goals.

It was AWESOME that it was such a beautiful day to race…the sun coming up right over the water.

It was AWESOME that there were so many women participating (350 in all!) of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels. I was really awed and humbled by that. So cool.

It was AWESOME that I finished, which was my main goal. But even more than that, it was AWESOME that I did not stop at all…I did not stop moving until I crossed the finish line. That was my only other goal for this year. I swam the entire time, I jogged through the transition area and ran the entire time – no walking. For those who want details it was what they call a “Sprint Triathlon”, I have learned. This particular one included a 250 meter swim, 7 mile bike and 2 mile run.

It was AWESOME that the event was so well organized, the people were so nice and the competitors were really funny and so supportive. It was so cool to hear various people shouting out positive and encouraging things to each other – friends and strangers.

It was AWESOME that a year ago I heard about this event from a friend and set my sights on doing it this year – and I did it. This just shows that anyone can do this if they want to! I’m not sure why meeting a physical/activity goal feels so good! I guess it is because it is so personal? I’m not sure. But, it is just great.

I felt so alive today during the event and tried to really enjoy and feel the experience. I enjoyed the coolness of the water, the stickey-ness of the seaweed, the sound of Mike saying, “Go Ramsey” and Zach playing the cow bell (we always need more cow bell!), the rush of the adrenaline, the cool wind blowing my jacket, the sounds of bikes wizzing past (“on your left”), the cheers of fellow competitors, the sound of my breath and cadence of my steps, the sound of “Lisa Ramsey, from Hudson, Ohio” on the sound system when I crossed the finish line, and finally the warm hug and victory kiss immediately followed by, “Great job, Baby!”

>This Takes “Chubby Bunny” to a Whole New Level!

>This evening I heard a startling bit of “news” on the radio. Someone broke a new record by eating 47 burritos in 10 minutes. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about the “sport” of competitive eating. After I overcame my nausea at the thought of such a feat, I started to wonder about this type of contest and decided to do a little research…

Sure enough there is an organization that “oversees all professional eating contests. The organization, which developed competitive eating and includes the sport’s governing body, the International Federation of Competitive Eating, helps sponsors to develop, publicize and execute world-class eating events in all variety of food disciplines”. This organization is called “Major League Eating” and the logo has a bit of a likeness to Major League Baseball, as you might imagine. As I looked around this website, http://www.ifoce.com/about.php, I became more and more astounded that this was an actual thing and not a spoof on SNL. Was I being punked? No, Ashton Kutcher did not appear…this, apparently was a real thing!

I looked further. The contests promoted on the site ranged from pickle eating, burrito eating, cannoli eating…to the more predictable pizza eating, buffalo wings and this was my favorite – bratworst eating – sponsored by Pepto Bismol. How appropo. There are stats, rankings, pics – all similar elements you might find on a real competitive sports site…even down to an MLE store so you can buy all your gear and accessories (aprons, bibs??). The other interesting thing I noticed was the page of “safety regulations”. They are very firm about not letting anyone under the age of 18 participate. Oh, that’s good. We only let the age-appropriate people strap on the food troughs.

Now, where do I begin to attempt to describe how wrong this whole thing is on so many levels. First, of all I find it disturbing that in a country with such a dichotomy of very overweight people on the one hand to those men, women and children who are hungry, on the other, we are treating food as a sport. Terrible. I mean, leave it to Americans to turn what is supposed to be nutrition and energy to fuel and nourish our bodies, into excess, gluttony, and waste – and then treat it as a “sport”. How contemptible! I mean, how is this positive in any way?! Seriously! Encouraging people to gorge and then rewarding them for it??!! Uggh…Major League Eating? I call it Major League Disturbing!!!

>A Matter of Perspective

>So, I had to pay today at WW. I’ll lead with that. I felt really good about how the last two weeks, and especially this past week went. I felt like I tracked well, limited the BLT’s (bites, licks and tastes) and got 3 solid runs in. So, I confidently stepped up to the scale (I did bring my wallet with me, just in case, however. I didn’t want to have to make the walk of shame to my purse in front of all the other people in line). The clerk told me I was 3.4 over my goal and needed to pay. What??!! That can be possible, I thought!! I knew I was down this week. I held back tears feeling really defeated, and handed her my debit card…again! My sadness quickly turned to anger when she mentioned that once I got back to goal I didn’t have to pay. Really. No shit, I felt like screaming at her! I mean, she knows that I’ve been coming for a long time and know the drill. I was really mad.

I made my way to my seat and told Shannon that I had to pay. But as soon as I looked at my book my mood lifted. I had lost 2.2 pounds from the last time I weighed in – two weeks ago! So, that was great news!! I wished the clerk had maybe mentioned that rather than focused on the “you have to pay” part.

It is funny how news can hit you differently depending on your perspective. I like to think of this as “feedback, not failure”. Any news at the scale really is just that. I’m so blessed and happy that each week we get a do-over. Actually, with every day and every meal we do. What a wonderful thing! I guess that is what “regular skinny people” or people that have never had food issues have always known. It is their best kept secret! You just don’t get hung up on mistakes, bad news or perceived failures, but you move on or start over. So, that is what I will continue to do each week. What a blessing my Weight Watcher meetings and friends are in my life. They keep me grounded and ready for the next do-over!

>Just Do It – the sequel

>So, I ran today at lunch – 5K, a little over 30 minutes. Good run, pretty uneventful. The weather was breezy, and nice and cool…perfect weather for a run. I had a bunch of meetings today and could have easily given in to not going, but I didn’t let myself even entertain that today. After my 11am meeting ran a tad long and I was delayed by a student’s question I simply grabbed my bag and went to the locker room. The old Nike slogan echoed in my head – “Just Do It”. That is pretty good motivation. That and I am really trying to be back where I need to be at the scale come Saturday. I’ve been consistently running every other day this week (3 times so far) and I have my BOSU class tomorrow. It just really takes making it a part of my day; scheduling it right in my calendar in order to make sure I don’t come up with an excuse to miss. I find that on my really packed meeting days especially, it is really important for me to get my run in. It helps alleviate stress and give me a boost of energy in the afternoon and through the evening. Ahh, life is good. I’m diggin’ this weather – until the snow flies again!!!