Just a Meatless Monday mile

Yep got out there for only one mile. But that’s not important today, you know what’s important today, the Meatless Monday recipe.
So let me share one of my favorite breakfasts with you, it’s modified from a Giada DeLaurentiis recipe, like i said yesterday:

Sweet potato hash and eggs:
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cups baby spinach leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1/8 medium orange
1 large eggs, at room temperature

(1 serving of lightlife vegetarian breakfast sausage can be added but browning pieces in pan prior to adding egg)

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the sweet potato, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the potato using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, nutmeg, orange zest. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the potatoes.
Make 1 indentation in the hash and break an egg into it. Cook until the egg is cooked to your liking.

I love sweet potatoes, and everything in this recipe, and it comes together so well. It is a well-balanced breakfast, obviously double it if you want two servings. I only cook for myself most days. Most of my family doesn’t eat eggs, they just don’t like them. You can put a cover on the pan to have the egg cook faster if you want.

Hope you all enjoy this one. As I said, it is one of my favorites. Have fun, keep running and remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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A wonderful lazy Sunday

My headache lifted midday and I was able to do a full training run for the first time in weeks! Not because of the headache, but due to all the circumstances, leading up to the marathon, then recovery from the marathon, etc., ok yesterday was the headache. All things being equal I should surpass my mileage goal for the year this week, although at this point I could just run one mile per day, every day, for the rest of the year and make it.
I kept an excellent pace for me over 7+ miles today. I felt good, it was a nice day, if a bit cool. I also ran into my running club’s Vice President, almost literally! She was coming around a corner as I was coming up to it, I knew she was running fast, but I didn’t realize how wide she was going to take the corner. I tried to get out wider toward the road and she turned and saw me at the last minute and ducked inside. I managed to say hi and wave even! It all happened very fast. I was excellent on the waving and smiling today. Even if I didn’t get any responses except for hers. That’s ok though, even if folks don’t respond, it still may be the only smile they get today, and maybe it gives them a reason to get up tomorrow. It costs nothing to be kind, all the time, yet you never know what good it could do. I try and keep that in mind no matter how I’m feeling on any run, at any time.
So my mom made me breakfast this morning, and it’s worth mentioning because I think it’ll be my Meatless Monday recipe for all of you tomorrow, it’s a sweet potato hash that was adapted from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe. It is definitely a great way to start the day. For lunch I took some of grandma’s escarole and bean soup and made myself a little pane cotto. Simply put, I’m not a fan of escarole and beans as a soup, yet I do like pane cotto. Weird huh?
Beyond that, we’re coming up on the big decision. I’m hoping I get this job and if I do, things will change drastically and quickly. By the middle of this week, I will know my fate. I just keep wondering if I’ve done everything I could. I know the interview went well, I sent a brief thank you e-mail the next day, I dressed nicely, I had the right references. It will be nice if everything comes together here. And that’s where we are, a good run,  good food, and a little worry about the job interview. Getting the job done on a Sunday, nice and easy. Have fun out there, we’ll add a be safe with all the Holiday parties, keep running and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Jackets, hats, gloves, snow!

It was that cold for my run today. First time this season, right at the end of Autumn. It was apparently so cold that as I turned on State St to head home, a saw a few pieces of frozen precipitation fall gently to the ground. I cut my run short though, and walked every now and then, as I’m not feeling well today. I’ve had a massive headache all day, nothing has made it go away. I don’t feel ill, I just have a headache, and it’s painful. It made running interesting, but I made it as far as I could. And I still kept a good pace.
So with the weather finally turning a little colder, let’s talk a little about cold weather gear. When it gets cold out, the temptation is to bundle up and go for a run, the problem is, when your body warms up, you start to overheat. Now you can either wear stuff you don’t mind losing (possibly) and leave clothes on the side of the road, or you can do what I do and dress for how you’ll feel mid-run. Yes you start out cold, but comfy once you warm up, don’t have to slough off clothes, and therefore get to stay in form. I didn’t wear the gaiter today because of this, I knew it would have been too much midway through. With my asthma I do have to be careful about that, but if I started having an issue I have my inhaler, and there’s always the option of stopping.
Because of the headache, I didn’t do anything else except watch another shameful Manchester United loss. Louis Van Gaal has worn out his welcome with me. Time for Giggs to take over properly I think. I’m not the most knowledgeable football fan, but I’m pretty sure they’re playing without a soul, no passion, and that’s from the manager. I also realized all the professional football teams I support wear red. United, the Red Bulls, and FC Bari, all red. Crazy right? I guess I must like the color?
So I imagine tomorrow my family will most likely torture me with a Christmas tree, I’m horribly allergic to them, yet I am the only one that can cut one and put it in the stand so it won’t fall over. Meaning for their Holiday happiness, I have to suffer for a little bit. That is the way of the world sometimes.
I’m going to head out and have some fun in a bit. You should also have fun, keep running and remember; If Gil can run then so can you!

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Drop it like it’s hot, Episode 28 that is

Here we are, episode 28. Kept the streak alive today with a mile. Just kind of chillin, talking about my day and how I feel about all the new Star Wars and Star Trek movies, and about how if we stop buying crap, they’ll stop selling us crap (I haven’t seen the new Star Wars film, for reasons I explain). I also got a big honor from my running club at our annual Holiday Party, that was cool. I show it off, because you know, what good is something if you don’t show it off to everyone. I talk a bit about how I’m not particularly competitive in the usual sense of the word. Enjoy!

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Getting over the hump, and a rough night’s sleep

Managed a nice 5 miler (8.5km) today. I kept a steady pace, didn’t feel too fatigued or sore. I can’t complain about the work I’ve been putting in this week, even as I’ve been recovering from a long distance weekend. 15 days left in 2015, and I have just under 30 miles to run. 16 days left in my streaking challenge and I’m considering running the Orange Chilly Chili New Years Day race. But only if there’s vegetarian chili. We get a discount from my running club, it’s 10:30am, so plenty of time to sleep in, and it’s nearby. Lots of reasons to consider it.
So last night, before bed, I was a little itchy, my ankles to be precise. I went to sleep, and woke up about an hour later and the skin on my lower legs and my wrists felt like it was on fire! Itching so bad, and doing everything I could think of to get it to go away. Nothing was working. I decided to drive to the store and buy some Benadryl, as I was out. Got back, ripped the package open and took two. It took a further 30 minutes before I was finally able to sleep. There’s still a little residual discomfort, but it’s mostly gone. I cannot figure out what caused it. I have to assume it was the clothes I wore for my job interview, as the last time I wore them, the last time they were washed, we didn’t have a washing machine in the house, so it was done at a laundromat.
So for tomorrow night, I am washing the clothes I  intend to wear to the club’s Holiday party, figure better safe than sorry. I hope this was a one-of reaction and everything will be fine from here on out. Allergies are my one great weakness in this world. Thankfully, they only seem to be respiratory and skin allergies, and I get to eat what I want. Simply put, I don’t feel life without peanuts would be worth living to me. Allergies are no joke though, if you’re having trouble with congestion and such, don’t just grab some OTC medication and call it a day, go see a medical professional, find out what you are allergic to and do your best to mitigate. I find using locally produced honey helps me greatly. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I don’t like taking medicines. Painkillers make me stomach sick, other medications can make me groggy, fuzzy, or otherwise not myself, and it causes me great discomfort. So if you have allergy issues, and you don’t like that hazy feeling, try local honey, and hopefully it helps out.
As I said though, always consult a medical professional, I’m just a guy who goes through life with trial and error, mostly error. As I said though, some locally produced honey works well. Plus it’s much better tasting than the mass produced stuff you get in the stores. Around here, Swords into Plowshares is a big local producer, and you can find their stuff all over in health food stores and local markets. I don’t mind a little free advertising for them, they’ve been my honey of choice for years.
I may not get an episode up tomorrow, it may wait until Friday. We shall see, but I figure I’ll give you some more Holiday goodness today with a Cheap Trick cover!

Meanwhile have fun, keep running and remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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Two miles and feeling alright

Ended up getting two miles in. I’m still reticent to go uphill. It was another very nice day, unseasonably warm and very sunny. I got out and ran early, so I have a few extra hours before I run tomorrow. Hopefully the rest is enough to give me the energy to make it uphill and put in some serious miles tomorrow. We shall see.
Meanwhile, it was a very exciting day, I had a job interview today and I think it went very well. However, I will withhold any more information about it until I have an answer, positive or negative, about the job. But I realized something today; While I have rejected job offers in the past, I have never had a job interview where I did not get a job offer out of it. This is a pretty serious streak, I hope I keep that streak intact.
A few tips about job interviews, if you didn’t already know. Dress to impress, even on Skype. I wore a shirt and tie (even pants, not that the interviewer could see). I was complimented on my shirt and tie, and the interviewer noted that I was the only person interviewed who had dressed so appropriately. Be mindful of your body language. Sit up straight, smile, be open and welcoming in your movements, maintain proper eye contact. Have a copy of the materials you applied with including resume/CV, letters of recommendation, and any documents you may have had to volunteer as part of the process. If you’re excited, you may not remember all the information off the top of your head, and it’s good to be prepared. If you’re the type of person who normally takes notes, take notes!
I’ve never been this excited about a job interview. Even when I interviewed for my first job in radio was I so wound up. I actually realized during the interview why. I will say it’s for a teaching position, and I realized something when we were talking about my work history. Every job I’ve ever held, I’ve ended up being responsible for training others. Either teaching directly (New Haven Public School Substitute), or training people to do my/their job. I always seem to end up being some sort of instructor, and maybe that’s what I’m supposed to do. It’s a pretty cool feeling honestly, it’s taken me a very long time for that to come together. So let’s hope for the best.
Meanwhile, just a little over a week before the Holidays are pretty much done. So I leave you with this gem, no punk rock today:

Enjoy, Have fun and keep running, always remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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It’s just another Meatless Monday!

I managed to not just run a mile, but do it in the same time I seem to always run a mile now. So, I was messing about with the Garmin today, and I found the race predictor and all that mess. I hadn’t gotten too much into the watch over the past couple weeks, because I’ve been so focused on other areas in life. I noticed the race predictor numbers are a bit faster than my actual numbers. Then I started thinking about what this means. Well let’s look at the numbers, predicted vs. real:
5k: 21:16
10k: 44:06
21k (half marathon): 1:37:42
42k (marathon): 3:23:16
My real times are:
5k: 22:34
10k: 50:51
21k: 1:47:23
42k: 3:53:32

It seems to me, it’s all pretty much a mental thing for me, because all that looks pretty similar. I should be one minute faster over a 5k, 6 minutes over a 10, 10 minutes over a 21, and 30 over a 42k. If you think about that, it’s all pretty much right on. I’m just slower by the same increment every time. So I need to work that out next year, we’ll see what happens.
So it’s a big week for me, but off to a slow start, I will let you guys know how everything works out as it comes to me. For now I give you a roasted acorn squash recipe I had tonight that I paired with a salad and some homemade bread stuffing:

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter, diced
6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place squash in a shallow baking pan, cut side down.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until tender.
Turn cut side up; season with salt and pepper, dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 20 minutes more.

Have fun, keep running and remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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Last race of 2015

Yes the Christopher Martin’s 5k run for the Children. I started out easy, I mean shit I just ran a marathon yesterday, but I picked up the pace at the end. Still felt like I sand-bagged a little more than I should have. End result, a decent race. Maybe next year, if I’m around, I will focus on this race and run it hard. I know the course, I run most of it almost every day. It’s very flat and I feel I could do a great time here, if I didn’t run a marathon the day before.
More than that, it was great to see so many people I know from the club, and tons of friends from growing up. It was so cool to see people and get to catch up a little, almost like a mini high school reunion! Only, folks I actually want to see and say hi to, and overall just really cool. I would say it’s the closest race to my house, but there’s a Spring 5k, that’s the same distance, and the New Haven Road Race is maybe 1/2 mile further from my house, sooooooo, what’s the difference? But this race (mostly due to the drinking at and around the bar afterward) gives one a great sense of community and presents opportunities for loads of fun and entertainment.
While I am clearly not a fan of commercializing and monetizing the human body, I feel it important to mention that last year I was totally hosed out of the best men’s tattoo contest on the bar. Fact is, I had the best tattoo, I simply didn’t take off my shirt. Frankly, I wouldn’t take off my shirt, the contest was about tattoos, not abs, or pecs. That pissed me off, but then this year, a woman from my local running club was up there for best female body, and she absolutely should have won that, but did not. She didn’t lift up her running attire and “show the goods”. And good on her, it’s not about best chest, it’s about best body, and frankly she should have won.
The men’s competition was hilarious, with the eventual winner being a “late entry” in a Santa costume who stripped to “Santa Baby”. When the women’s competition has the same frivolity and joy as that, then we will have equality. Here’s my thing, if you’re going to do these things, don’t be prurient, be honest. I’m ok with stuff like this if it’s honest. But if you’re saying “best tattoo’ and the guy with the best tattoo doesn’t win, or you’re saying “best body” and the girl with the best body doesn’t win, but it’s the people who show the most stuff, that’s not honest. It’s simply prurient, and that’s where the problem is, that’s where society goes wrong. If you want to have a contest of “best boobs” or “best 6-pack” then do that, don’t wrap it up in a pretentious package.
Still, had fun, drank a bit too much, got to hang out with a bunch of great people, and had a lovely day. So whatever you’re doing out there, have fun, keep running and remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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Roxbury Marathon (and marathon goals for the year complete)

What a weird day, let’s start in the middle with the Roxbury Marathon. I’ll use Strava today, just to be fair, I haven’t gone with Strava before for you guys. Originally the plan was to try and do 4 hours, but that didn’t happen. I had a bad night’s sleep and my back just did not loosen up all day, it got quite painful the last couple loops. Roxbury is a very tough course, there’s lots of uphill, lots of downhill, and a very short portion where you actually don’t have to do too much work. Yes even downhills are work. Keeping your balance and staying under control and not injuring yourself, particularly when fatigued, is taxing. You use lots of muscles that usually we just don’t, because how often do we run down hills? So something to think about, practicing good form on the downhills can really help you out. But this is a taxing course, but scenic, with great volunteers, and friendly folks to run with. It’s a very small race, in a very small town.
That being said, if I ran this course last year in the same time I did today, it would have stood as a PR for me until Hartford of this year. Just beat 2014’s Philly time by 1 minute. So I will definitely be happy with my race performance, plus I got to see and hang out with a bunch of really great people I’ve met through running. That right there, if anything else, is a reason to get out strap on some sneakers and go for a run, and then plunk down 20, 30, 40 bucks running some races here and there. You’re going to meet some really awesome people. Join a club, have some fun, challenge yourself, watch yourself improve. Forget everything else, running empowers you, and much of it comes from the fantastic people you meet out there, because they’ve all been through it, they all know how tough it is and how much work you’ve put in to be where you are, no matter WHAT level of running you’re at, no matter WHAT time you’re finishing in. Amazing stuff, really amazing. So that’s my 11th marathon, with the 50k and the 6-hour pajama romp making 12 months with at least one 26.2 mile race in it. That goal is settled. Between now and December 31 I just need 39.52 miles to hit 1500 for the year, so I’m fairly confident of that happening. That also makes 18 marathons in the last 16 months. I need a short break from marathons, and that starts today, just a 5k tomorrow, when I could have run a 50k.
Also the weather was beautiful today, it is not December in the Northeast US at all, it was so warm I almost put my singlet on. Sun was out, a little breezy, it was a very nice day. Great for running no doubt. Better conditions could not be asked for. That probably helped, particularly over last year’s freeze-a-thon. In that respect it was a good day.
There were a couple things that bothered me today that deserve a mention. First, on my drive up to Roxbury, I end up behind this guy in an orange Jeep Wrangler (the long one with 4 doors, not a REAL Jeep). For those that don’t know the official nickname of Connecticut is the “Constitution State”. I will now explain why this bothered the crap out of me. this guy, with an American flag sticker on his fake Jeep, that he paid way too much money for, had the word “Constitution” blacked out on his license plate. Here’s the problem, it shows massive ignorance about our state. Regardless of your opinion of the running of the State of Connecticut, the fact is the moniker “Constitution State” has to do with the influence the original Connecticut Constitution (called the Fundamental Orders) had to do with influencing the US Constitution, not with the Constitution itself. During the Revolutionary War, we were called the “Provision State” because we basically supplied the entire Continental Army. Apart from sending many people to fight in the war, among whom were Cpl John Gilbert, who is an ancestor of mine. The fact is, while often overlooked due to our small size, Connecticut has been, and continues to be an integral part of the fabric of this nation since before its founding. Also, frankly, none of the laws we’ve passed get struck down by the Supreme Court, so clearly we are well within the bounds of the US Constitution, so this guy can pretty much go get fucked. Sorry folks, I really do love Connecticut, it’s such an historic place, even if it is crazy expensive to live here.
The other thing that bothered me was Manchester United losing to Bournemouth, terrible and tragic. They played with no heart at all, it was devastating to listen to as a fan. I fear, unless something drastically changes, this year’s campaign is mostly over, and there my be no chance at the Champions League next year either. Shameful.
So a good day, with a couple little annoyances that were worth mentioning, haha! Hope you all had a good time out there, hope if you ran a race you ran it well, and had great weather. If you didn’t run, I hope you at least enjoyed your day. Have fun, keep running, and remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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Woke up early and ran

Yep I ran a mile and barely looked at my watched and still did about an 8 minute mile. So weird. I’m switching the link back to Mapmyrun, I think the Garmin link doesn’t work right. Meanwhile it’s weird that I was in shorts and a tec shirt, first thing in the morning, in December, in the Northeast. It was dark out, fog everywhere, but not cold. It’s starting to really freak me out.
So tomorrow is Roxbury, I’m feeling as well as I can expect, and hopefully I will have a good race tomorrow. Also went to a local sporting goods store to pick up my bib for Sunday as well. That race will be all about how I’m feeling in the morning. Will I have a martini before the race? Who knows? So I have a running-packed weekend ahead of me.
Also, I was admonished today for saying I wasn’t going to make my running club’s Holiday Party this week. It’s mostly a budgetary concern. But I have been told (more so than asked) to simply skip dinner and show up after to hang out for the awards. I suppose I can do that. I guess sometimes folks like having me around or something. It’s strange to me, I think I’m a jerk! But that’s something to do this coming week, looks like I’ll have a busy Thursday, as I also have to meet my dad at the State library to look up some family records. Looks like a frenetic end of the year for me! Also, I got to use the word frenetic in a sentence, so life is good.
With that, I give you some Christmas cheer with my favorite rendition of a song that when I was a kid I could have sworn it was about cannibalism. They talk about tender and mild infants! Frankly, I prefer my food to be spicy, the word mild doesn’t usually factor into my cuisine choices, but you know, Christmas carols are supposed to be more milquetoast. And now the 5 cent words are flying! But yes, I always used to think why would anyone care if an infant were tender, or mild? I don’t think the texture and flavor or baby meat is the appropriate subject matter for any song lyrics, but they went and did it on this number! (Please recognize that I get they mean alternate definitions of the words tender and mild)

Have fun, keep running and remember; If Gil can run, then so can you!

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