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Now that I’m more of an adventurer than a competitive runner, I have a lot more flexibility with my Saturday long runs. Gone are the days of Saturday fast 20 milers on the track and 20 mile hill repeats. I’m not saying I won’t incorporate some of those things if I pick another big race, but for now, I’m really enjoying the long “journey” runs.

First of all, I get to wake up whenever I want. So maybe I’m still wide awake at 3:45, but dammit, if I want to wake up at 4:15 I can. Stop bossing me! Second, I get to go wherever I want. Up the mountain? Why not? Along the river? Sure! To New Mexico? Who’s going to stop me? There is no one to complain about too many (or not enough) hills, the traffic, the isolation, the cold, the heat. Actually, I complain about all of those things, but it is waaaaaaaay more annoying when other people do it.

Journey runs through the city, what I do mostly, are fascinating. To keep it interesting, you have to go places in your own town you’ve probably never spent much, if any, time in. And oddly, I find that if you are wearing a pack, people are super friendly. I don’t know if it’s the “freak” factor (as in: Who the hell is running through my neighborhood in the snow/rain/102 degree heat wearing a suitcase?), or if I just look friendly. Either way, I just smile and wave. And they always wave back.

And, they never complain.

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I’m doing the black coffee experiment. Again. Sigh.

I keep hearing the phrase, “We can do hard things.” I’m inspired by it. I quote it to my kids. I believe it.

Mostly.

After three days of straight black coffee, I think the phrase should be modified to, “We can do hard things EXCEPT BE FORCED TO DRINK BLACK POISON!” Because really that is what it tastes like.

I grew up in a home where EVERYONE drinks a lot of coffee. I mean, gallons of coffee. Coffee all morning, all afternoon, and sometimes, even before bed. And every single person in my family drinks it black. Except me.

I’m repelled by the bitterness, the thinness, the lack of substance, of black coffee. I want sweetness, fullness, something that makes me look forward to mornings. I want, plain and simple, dessert in a cup. With sugar and cream, coffee is the perfect beverage. Next to it, black coffee feels like punishment.

But I’d gotten lazy over the years. I’d starting adding seven (seven!) sugars to a grande coffee, then topped it off with four inches of half and half. Magic elixir, indeed. I did this twice a day (okay, really three), for waaaaaaay too long. None of this was added to my all-day consumption of “healthy carbs” I justified to fuel my twenty mile a day training schedule. Coffee was just coffee, right?

Let me just tell you, anyone who says that, if you run twenty miles a day you can eat whatever you want, is lying. Or stupid. I was both.

After ten years of professional running, I had gained ten pounds and carried a permanent paunch. Like a middle-aged man who spent his weeknights playing in a bowling league, drinking Miller Lite, “for exercise”.  I was definitely round around the middle.

So, I’m doing penance. Black coffee.

I think I would rather flog myself.

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Flourless Cheese Souffles (Or: You’re All That on a simple Wednesday)

October 15, 2018

Ever since Tim figured out he has a wheat allergy (the anaphylaxis kind, not the intolerance kind), I’ve had to really make an effort to rework favorite recipes to be wheat-free. Keto doesn’t necessarily mean wheat-free, but that is the route Tim needs to follow, so I’m constantly trying to make new things that he […]

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Parmesan Chive Scones (Keto/LCHF)

October 2, 2018

Bread, bread, bread. Oh, keto/lchf, you have done so much for me, but your bread game is sorely lacking. Or so I thought. Then I found Carrie Brown and her cheddar chive biscuits. Um, yes, thank you, Carrie. And after a few very happy batches of her savory, bready (yes, actual bread-ness) creations, it was […]

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Chocolate Cream Parfait (Or: If KFC grew up, had babies, and was adulting) keto, LCHF

September 25, 2018

Back in the early 80s, a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (it was not yet KFC) Extra Crispy was a TREAT. Trust me on this if you were not yet alive and can’t believe this to be true. A couple of times a year, my mom and I would load up in the family land […]

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Almond Hummus (Because we shouldn’t have to live without hummus.) keto, paleo, dairy free, vegan

September 19, 2018

Hummus feels like one of those things that, one day you’ve never even heard of, and then the next, you feel like you must eat it. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. FOREVER. I looooooooove hummus. So, when we went mostly keto, I missed it tragically. I mean, like, I had to avoid my favorite Mediterranean restaurant altogether […]

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I Don’t Eat Tweety Birds Anymore

July 24, 2018

Paleo Chocolate Caramel Cake   As a kid, I always coveted the store-bought birthday cakes with neon cartoon characters on them that all my friends had at their parties. My mom was more of a make-it-from-scratch kind of lady. Which I hated. Sort of. I mean, I loved homemade deserts AT HOME, where they belonged, […]

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The Meander Compulsion

July 19, 2018

Saturday, I ran the city – Westside to Eastside, mountains to plains. I needed 25 miles, and I needed to try out the new pack I bought to wear on my run along the Thames next month. For the first 10 miles, some of my favorite running friends joined me. We started midway up the […]

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Run Wild

July 13, 2018

Wow! Training in this heat has been a bear. Now that I’m (slightly) older, I’m a little more concerned about my skin. Since I sweat like a maniac, I hate wearing a lot of sunscreen. This leaves me with two options: lots of clothing, or the treadmill. Neither are the best option, but you do […]

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Eating My Fear (I know there are books for this, but I’d rather just tell y’all)

July 9, 2018

So I signed up for another race. Well, not so much of a race, as a God-I-hope-I-can-do-this-and-not-die sort of situation. I am taking up the T184 Challenge – a 184 mile run across England, self-supported (something I’ve never done before – remember, I like one mile loops), along the Thames. I’m talking myself to sleep […]

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