Monday, November 26, 2012

My 2012 Resolution (11 months later)

I hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving!  We had a house full of people.  My parents and in-laws came from Michigan for the weekend and we had many friends over as well.  Our headcount was 22 including the kiddos.  We made 2 turkeys, one in the oven and one in the fryer...since we had the fryer going, we might as well throw in some onion rings and sweet potato fries, right?  Yep, I had a totally low-fat Thanksgiving. ;-)
Speaking of low-fat...At the beginning of this year, I posted a goal for 2012 (my version of a resolution) on Dailymile:

Ok people. This contraption has been in my basement for the past 7.5 years (it came with the house) and I've N.E.V.E.R. used it. Ever. My New Years Resolution: take advantage of this torture device; learn how and use it. Hold me to it, friends.
Ok people. This contraption has been in my basement for the past 7.5 years (it came with the house) and I've N.E.V.E.R. used it. Ever. My New Years Resolution: take advantage of this torture device; learn how and use it. Hold me to it, friends.



Soooo....I posted that in January.  It's now the end of November and I'm finally tackling this goal.  Clearly, no one held me to it.  Better late than never?

The torture device in the picture is an Image 6.5...I have no idea what that means.  I looked up the brand, there is a web address printed on the owner's manual, but it doesn't work, so I'm assuming the company is out of business?  I did find a website that carries spare parts in the event that I need to repair something, that's something.

I've been busy cleaning up the basement (aka: our dumping ground) so I could easily get to the machine, which wasn't as hard as I anticipated.  I spent about 5-10 minutes cleaning, moving boxes and finding new homes for totes every time I went down to change out a load of laundry.  It's amazing how much work can get done in 5 minutes!

Yesterday, I spent some time studying the manual learning how to use the machine and how to do each exercise.


Today was the day. 

I. Used. The. Machine.

I only used the right half of it this morning.  I did bench presses, leg extensions and lateral pull downs, three sets of ten.  I don't think I've ever bench pressed anything in my life (except maybe a baby).  I felt like a total badass....and now I feel like a sore badass.  My biceps and upper back feel it the most.  I love it!

Last night I tested out the left half of the machine.  There is a chest fly section and a row section (near the floor, you can't see it in the picture). I won't be able to do the chest flies.  I'm just not big enough.  I raised the seat, but that didn't help.  The problem is the width of my shoulders.  I'm just not wide enough and can feel my chest muscles straining to squeeze the torture device.  I'll have to settle for hand weights on the floor for flies.  The rows, however, I'll be all over those.

According to the manual, I should have straps to go with this contraption (as if it weren't torturous enough, right?).  I should have an ankle strap to use in place of the row bar for leg/hip exercises.  There should also be a strap to use in place of the pull down bar for abs.  I don't have either strap.  The replacement parts website I found has both straps, but they're not cheap.  That's a purchase that will have to wait until after Christmas.  This Santa is broke.

Looking forward to more weights on Wednesday.  I'm going to tackle those rows!

Do you have the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving?  I'm not a fan of turkey.  I have one tiny piece smothered in cranberry sauce.  I show all my love to the mashed potatoes....and the dessert.
What's your favorite weights workout?  I need fresh ideas so I don't get bored with the whole idea and take up sleeping in as my new hobby.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ragnar Relay TN: Book Five

If you missed the first four posts about my Ragnar adventure, check them out: Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four.


Well, I finished my legs of the Ragnar Relay.  I'll bet you thought that was the end of my story.  Nope.  I couldn't possibly finish the story without telling you about the finish!

But first, a little side story...


Months before our trip to Tennessee, I perused the Ragnar online store...ok, fine.  I perused the Ragnar online store many times before our trip to Tennessee.  I saw a shirt that said "one mile to go" and didn't understand it.

While I was running my first leg up the mountain I saw "the sign" and I suddenly understood the significance of the shirt.  I wanted to kiss the sign. These are the most beautiful words a Ragnarian can see when they near the top of a gigantic mountain, are running through sheer darkness or are deliriously running down the road of their third leg after very little sleep.

Love the sign.
 
Now, where was I in the story?  Oh yes, I finished my third leg, then helped Anne out with hers.  When the rest of my van finished their third legs, we took this picture.  Hooray, we're done!
Driver Kurt, Kate, Richard, Melissa, Anne, Me, Greg
Now we wait.  It was lunch time and we were starving.  Several people in our van were threatening to eat their own arm.  I was one of them.  Greg and Anne jumped on their iPhones and found Heaven 3 miles away.  Freaky good, freaky fast, freaky gone.

Did I mention we were starving?  Melissa and I were debating whether or not to order two sandwiches to start.  Don't worry, I only inhaled ate one.
 
After filling our bellies, Van 1 headed to the finish line to check out the festivities and wait for Van 2.  Here are a few fun pictures:

My BRF, Anne, and I laying down on a cement ledge.
Finish line!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
6:08pm - Ken rounded the corner and all 12 Rummers joined him to run across the finish line.
 
The video is a little dark and you can't really tell who is who, but there we are crossing the finish line!  Thanks to Driver Mary for taking the video.

We Thought They Said RUM
We got two large pizzas at the finish.  Those disappeared in record time and we ordered 6 more extra large pizzas when we got back to the hotel.  We were a hungry bunch!  
Fun fact about Ragnar: It's ok to write on other teams' vans.  Not only is it ok, it's encouraged!  While we were at the starting line sending Melissa off, someone wrote on our van.  Initially, I was offended and I almost erased it until I realized that this was happening all over the place....and it's totally fun writing on vans!

Here are a few of the funny tags on our vans...
Van 1 got "boned" Friday night..at least I think it was Friday night....  Amanda tweeted me with this news.
Van 1 got spanked by the 12 Shades on Friday morning.

Van 1 was tagged by the Beards on Friday night.  Greg had fun with this one and wrote "shaved" in front of it.  Then it morphed into "no fondling shaved beards".  Apparently there is a no fondling law in Tennessee.  We all got a kick out of that.
We Rummers tagged our share of vans as well.  In fact, as I ran up my mountain, I saw a van parked on the side of the road.  The side of the van read: "Your van looked too clean.  Love, the Rummers"

Yep.  Those are my people.  :-)

To say that this was a fun weekend would be a serious understatement.  I had a blast and can't wait to do it again, in fact, plans are already in the works.  I'm an addict. 

Before we left, I had heard that Ragnar was a party in a van with a side of running.  That is absolutely correct.  I can't think of a better description.

To all of my Rummers, thank you for a fantastic weekend.  I couldn't have asked for a better Ragnar experience.

Congratulations, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ragnar Relay TN: Book Four

If you missed the first three posts about my Ragnar experience, check them out: Book One, Book Two, Book Three.

Saturday, November 10, 2012
It was the wee hours of the morning, Van 2 finished their second legs quicker than we expected.  We, in Van 1, were already at exchange 24, but we were sleeping.  Greg was sleeping on the floor in the high school gym and the rest of us were sleeping in the van. Come to think of it, I have no idea where Driver Kurt was sleeping, but I'm pretty sure he took a nap.

Van 2 called us (I think?  This is all a bit hazy) to tell us that their 6th runner, Ken, was on the road.  Melissa didn't have much time to wake up and get ready.  Good thing we were sleeping in our clothes.

There was a runner from another team at the exchange waiting to hand off the bracelet, but his team was nowhere to be found.  Luckily, that wasn't us.  Melissa was ready and waiting when Ken came into the exchange.

Like the rest of our legs, we cheered for Melissa along her route.  I was a little nervous for the third leg.  I was tired, we only got a few hours of sleep, and I was hungry/nauseous.  I wasn't sure if I was feeling a little queasy because I was hungry, or if eating would make it worse.  I munched on a few pretzels and one serving of Honey Stinger Chews.  I packed another serving in my hydration belt in case I felt sugar-deficient on the road.

At 6:21am Central Time, it was my turn.  Please don't vomit.

After about a mile, my stomach settled, and the cold air was waking up my body and hearing the crowing roosters were waking up my mood.

At mile 2, I hit the wall.  Similar to the wall at the end of a marathon.  My body was done.  My legs were done.  They felt like lead, I felt like I was moving at the speed of smell.  But, like during a marathon, I had to keep going.  I wasn't in pain, I wasn't climbing a ridiculous mountain, I wasn't going to walk.  It was a mental game.  I won this one.

By mile 3, I was feeling better.  I hadn't taken any pictures during my runs until that point.  During my first two legs, I was more focused on getting to the top of the mountain and not getting run over by cars, but at mile 3, I was at the top of a hill and the view was beautiful.  I wanted to remember it so I took a moment.
We don't see this in Ohio.
After mile 3.5, it was all downhill to the exchange.




 
I felt such a huge wave of relief to see my team waiting for me.  I slapped the bracelet on Anne.  She took off and all I could think was "Thank God, I'm done!"


Garmin Stats
Distance: 5.06 miles
Time: 35:02
Average Pace: 10:29mm
Elevation Gain: 138 feet
Elevation Loss: 164 feet
 
(Ragnar's elevation info: elevation gain 220 feet and elevation loss 213 feet.  I'm not sure how they measured.)
 
We all jumped in the van to drive toward the next exchange.  We stopped near the 4 mile mark to cheer for Anne.  I was sitting in the van, enjoying my chocolate milk (best recovery drink EVER!) and feeling thankful that I survived all three of my legs when I received a text from Anne:
Don't change [your clothes]. Leg might not make it.
 
This made me nervous.  I knew Anne had been more sore than the rest of us because of her run down the mountain.  Downhill hurts.  But I didn't know that the pain was so bad that she'd consider not finishing her leg.

I knew she couldn't be too far away, so I started walking the course backward to meet up and check on her.  She was limping when I got to her.  As soon as I saw her face, I knew she was in a lot of pain. Anne is no wimp and she's not one to give into a mental challenge.  She is my definition of "beast mode".  In fact, I pull out my "inner Anne" when faced with a mental challenge.

Saturday, November 10, 2012
7:51am Central Time:
My BRF (best running friend) was hurting and she cried when she saw me.  I hugged her and after a minute of discussion, she slapped the bracelet on my arm and told me to go.

I knew what a tough decision that was for her to make.  I also knew that later on, she would second guess herself.  As I ran away, I even second guessed it....Did I rush her in to the decision?  Could she, should she have finished?...until I came to the top of a long downhill.  It was at that moment that I knew.  Anne made the right choice.  I was only a little sore and I felt every impact of that downhill.  There is no way Anne's leg would have tolerated that...and if it had?  What kind of damage would she be left with?

I know that she has battled feelings of failure since passing the baton, especially since there was only a few miles to go, but in the end, permanent damage, that could have been prevented, just isn't worth it.

Anne, I know you're reading this.  It took a lot of guts to make that call.  Should I ever face a similar situation, I hope I can be so brave.
Garmin Stats
Distance: 2.39 miles
Time: 24:24
Average Pace: 10:13mm
Elevation Gain: 143 feet
Elevation Loss: 117 feet
 
 
Special thanks
~to Angie, Greg, and Kate for taking some of the pictures used in this post, the previous posts and will be used in the next post.
~to Mary and Kurt who took 2 days off work to drive our team around Tennessee for the weekend.
~to my fellow Rummers. Without you, I would not have had this wonderful experience.
~to my husband, Randy, for holding down the fort, keeping our children alive and supporting me and this crazy idea.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ragnar Relay TN: Book Three

If you missed the first two posts about Ragnar Tennessee, here are the links to books One and Two.

My second leg was a night run.  I don't have any pictures of this run since it was pitch black outside--holy moly it's dark out in the country!--so I'll share a few random pictures from other parts of the race that don't really fit in elsewhere.


LOVE the Ragnar tattoos! (Anne, me, Kate)
This was taken while Melissa was running her first leg,
right before I climbed my mountain.
Why yes, yes I am.  ;o)
This was taken by Kate after I climbed the mountain.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Melissa passed me the bracelet at 9:38pm Central Time, 10:38pm according to my body's clock.  I wasn't too exhausted at this point.  Often times, I'm still awake at 10:30pm even after running at 5am.  Plus, I had a good meal at dinnertime.  Our van finished our first legs around dinnertime so we moseyed on over to Las Margarita's to eat.  I had two enchiladas that were dee-lish and made my hungry belly very happy.

There I was, running through Winchester, Tennessee.  Never heard of it?  Me either.  But according to the map, it has an airport, so it can't be that small....?

In the beginning of the run, I was running through a small downtown area, there were a few turns and jogs, but they were well marked.  Driver Kurt found two different parking lots to park and wait for me to pass by. 

My team did not get out to scream and cheer like lunatics for this leg.  We had been warned by Ragnar that they were in jeopardy of losing their permits in this area so we had to be very, very quiet while we ran through.  There were Ragnar signs at every mile that read "Respect the Residents" to remind us. Almost our entire van ran through this "quiet zone".  We found places to park for each leg, but we whispered our cheers and high-fived our Rummers.  Quiet fun is totally doable, we just had to get creative.

At about the 2 mile mark, I ran out of the downtown and into the dark.  It was very dark.  There were no more streetlights, no more houses.  It was a very isolating feeling.  I wouldn't say that I felt scared, but I'm glad I knew my team was just a mile or so down the road in the van.  I run in the dark all the time, but my "dark" neighborhood is much different than the pitch black road out in BFE, Tennessee.

While I wasn't (too) scared of the dark, oncoming traffic terrified me.  There were signs on the road, similar to construction signs that warned drivers that runners were on the road.  Most people read the signs and either slowed down or, if there was no traffic coming from the other direction, they crossed over the yellow lines to give me plenty of space.

There were a few drivers who weren't so courteous.  There were several drivers who never turned their high beams off and blinded me (in their defense, they may have forgotten that their brights were on, or they've never been a pedestrian and don't realize that, like oncoming traffic, you should dim your lights) and there were two drivers who actually veered toward me instead of away from me.  Jerks.

Any time I saw a car coming, I moved off the road and onto the gravel shoulder.  There were a few areas where this wasn't possible.  There were a few times that I noticed myself moving toward the middle of the road to run.  What can I say?  It's habit.

I got to cross a bridge, although I wasn't sure it was a bridge until I looked at my Garmin map and saw that I crossed a lake on my leg.  It was so dark that I thought that maybe I was running over water, but couldn't be completely sure.

I think the dark, the traffic and the cold temperature all contributed to the pace of this leg.  Also, it was pretty flat.  Well, flat compared to the mountain that was my first leg.

Garmin Stats
Distance: 5.66mi
Time: 56:03
Average Pace: 9:54mm
Elevation Gain: 194 feet
Elevation Loss: 156 feet

(According to Ragnar's elevation map: elevation gain was 240 and elevation loss was 227.)

I wish I had a picture of the sky for this leg.  The stars were so bright.  We don't get to experience that in the city.  It was beautiful.

When I got to the exchange and passed the bracelet to Anne, I couldn't wait to change my clothes.  I was freezing!  I needed to get the wet, sweaty clothes off as soon as possible.  I ended up changing my clothes in the van while Kurt drove toward Anne's exchange.  That's the thing about Ragnar, you lose all modesty.  I'm pretty sure every single one of us were naked in the back of a van full of people at some point during this race.  All of van mates were polite and averted their eyes.  I'm pretty sure they did, anyway...

Special thanks
~to Angie, Greg, and Kate for taking some of the pictures used in this post, the previous posts and will be used in the next few posts.
~to Mary and Kurt who took 2 days off work to drive our team around Tennessee for the weekend.
~to my fellow Rummers. Without you, I would not have had this wonderful experience.
~to my husband, Randy, for holding down the fort, keeping our children alive and supporting me and this crazy idea.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ragnar Relay TN: Book Two

Friday, November 9, 2012
10am: At the start line.

Melissa was our Rummer number one.  As I mentioned in the last post, she lives in New Jersey, which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.  You may have heard on the news that the week after Sandy, they had an earthquake, then the day before she was scheduled to fly out, they were hit by another big storm. 

I think Melissa needs to leave New Jersey.
Family bonding at its finest.
We totally look like we're related.  Said no one this weekend.

Melissa peeking out in between the two ladies in front.
There she goes!
Exchange 1 had a gorgeous view.
We jumped into Van 1 and started driving toward exchange 1.  We stopped at a gas station along the way and waited for Melissa to run by.  When she did, we screamed and cheered like lunatics then drove to the exchange.


Here's a funny exchange 1 picture:
Kate being Kate.  Yes, those are gigantic blue testicles.
It's almost time!




I was a little nervous.  I've never run up a mountain before.  I spent a little time talking sense into myself.  What's the worst that can happen?  I have to walk.  So be it.












  That truck had some nerve driving by during my big moment.

11:28am: Melissa passed the baton (slap bracelet) to me.
The first mile and a half was pretty flat(ish).  After that, I was climbing.  I didn't see a single person until about mile 2, then I was passed. 

Damn.  I'm roadkill.

When you pass another runner during a race, they are your roadkill.  Unfortunately, about 35 other people also killed me on the way up the mountain. 

Guess how many roadkills I got?

I got to run along side some spectacular views.  Rocky ravines, waterfalls...it was gorgeous.  Almost gorgeous enough to make me forget about the burning in my quads and lungs.

Just after mile 2.5 I got some company.  A little dog started running up the mountain with me.  I had just passed some people parked on the side of the road and I assumed the dog belonged to them and would run back to them...or they would call for him. 

Nope.

Every once in a while, the dog would get distracted (SQUIRREL!) and stop to sniff at something, but then he'd run to catch up to me.  To be perfectly honest, he was kind of creeping me out.  I hit a steep part and had to slow down to walk.  I sent Anne a text to let the van know that I had to slow down so they had an idea of when to watch for me at the exchange.  I also mentioned in the text that the dog was following me.

This leg was a non-supported leg, which means that vans aren't supposed to pull over on the side of the road to support the runner. The van should drive straight to the exchange to wait.

I rounded a curve and saw Greg's bright blue shirt and thought I was hallucinating.  Then I saw Driver Kurt.  Then I saw the van.  They found a place to safely pull over to wait for me!  I was so thrilled to see them!  My team refilled my water bottle for me, gave me a few sips of Powerade then sent me on my way.

My team distracted the dog, too, so he didn't follow me after that.

Just after mile 5, a really nice woman caught up to me.  I wish I could remember her name.  She was a marathon coach and she stayed with me for about a mile but her pace was faster than mine and there was no way I could keep up with her so I sent her on her way.

Finally!  I made it!

About a tenth of a mile before the exchange, there was a race volunteer with a walkie talkie telling the race volunteer at the exchange which team number was coming up.  This is especially helpful at night when the teams can't see what the runner looks like and can't tell whether or not their teammate is coming.  When I passed the walkie talkie volunteer, I ran as fast as I could the rest of the way up my mountain to get to Anne who was waiting for me at the exchange.

I slapped the bracelet on her arm and she took off running down the mountain.  Read about her run here.
Go, Anne, go!

Garmin Stats:
Distance: 6.85 miles
Time: 1:27:51
Average Pace: 12:49mm
Elevation Gain: 1,401 feet
Elevation Loss: 116 feet

(This varies greatly from Ragnar's map info: 1,683 feet of elevation gain and 367 feet of elevation loss.)







I'm pretty sure "Holy shit!" was coming out of my mouth right then.











Garmin Elevation Map
Special thanks
~to Angie, Greg, and Kate for taking some of the pictures used in this post, the previous post and will be used in the next few posts.
~to Mary and Kurt who took 2 days off work to drive our team around Tennessee for the weekend.
~to my fellow Rummers. Without you, I would not have had this wonderful experience.
~to my husband, Randy, for holding down the fort, keeping our children alive and supporting me and this crazy idea.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ragnar Relay TN: Book One

Wow.  I'm still trying to put this weekend into words. 

It was incredible, exhilarating, exhausting and the most fun I've had at a race.  Like, ever.

My very first Ragnar Relay was a smashing success and I couldn't have done it without the amazing team (drivers included) I had with me.

This recap is going to really, really long.  I write for me, I like to share what I write, but mostly, it's for me.  I want to remember everything.  I'll post the recap of this weekend in installments.  And I'll try to stay away from all of the private jokes we shared this weekend.  They won't be near as funny to you as they were to us.

Thursday, November 8, 2012
6:45am: Drivers Mary, Kurt and I loaded up and headed out to pick up the rental vans.  After I dropped the two of them off at the rental place, I went to pick up Amanda, Angie and Kate and we went to Richard's house, our meeting place.  When the vans arrived, we packed one van full of the boys and one van full of the girls and headed down to Chattanooga.  We stopped for lunch at Wendy's for lunch on the way.

It was an 8 hour drive, and I'm sure it felt like an 8 hour drive for Driver Mary, but we ladies in back of the van had a good old time.
Kate, Andrea and Anne
They look so rested and fresh!
Once we got into Tennessee, we were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the scenery.
We don't see mountains in Ohio! (and that's the boy van in front of us)

Sunset on the way to Chattanooga
We arrived in Chattanooga around 6.  The girl van stopped at the airport to pick up my cousin, Melissa, who flew in from New Jersey (you'll need this information to understand some of the later pictures).

After a quick check in at the hotel, we all went out to dinner.
We were all starving by the time we got to Chattanooga, so we found an Olive Garden and ate there.  It was unfortunate that we weren't in town long enough to explore and eat some of the local food.

After dinner, we reorganized some of our food and coolers then went to bed. 

Notice I didn't say "went to sleep".  I had a heck of a time sleeping Thursday night.  Nerves, excitement, being in a strange place, the sheets didn't smell like home...Melissa made fun of me several times this weekend for my sensitive nose.  A table near us at Olive Garden got calamari for an appetizer and I was practically drooling.  Melissa couldn't smell it.  I have a freakishly sensitive nose.

Here is a funny from Thursday night:
We (Anne, Kate, Melissa and I) were lying in bed ready to go to sleep.

Melissa said to me: just kick me if I start to snore.
Me: Randy says I snore. He's full of shit.
Anne (from the other bed): Jeff is full of shit too!
Kate: Yea!  So is Dave!
Melissa: So we're all on the same page...
Anne: None of us snore!

Insert hysterical giggles.

We shut off the light at 10pm.  I laid there wide awake until midnight.  I slept off and on until Kate's alarm went off.

Friday, November 9, 2012
5:30am: Go time!

We got dressed, had breakfast, packed up and went outside to decorate the vans.
Hard at work.
I'm not tall.  Don't judge.

 

Yep.  We brought Hurricane Sandy to Ragnar with us.
Our start time was 10am and we had to get to check in and our safety meeting at 9am.  Our whole team went to the starting line so we could get pictures at the starting line.
We Thought They Said "RUM"
RagnarTN 2012
This is a good stopping point.  Next up: Leg 1.  It's a good one, y'all, I get to climb a mountain!

Special thanks
~to Angie, Greg, and Kate for taking some of the pictures used in this post and will be used in the next few posts. 
~to Mary and Kurt who took 2 days off work to drive our team around Tennessee for the weekend.
~to my fellow Rummers.  Without you, I would not have had this wonderful experience.
~to my husband, Randy, for holding down the fort, keeping our children alive and supporting me and this crazy idea.

Unrelated news: This is my 100th post!  Weeeee!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And We're Outta Here!

Tomorrow!  Tomorrow!  We're leaving-for-Tennessee, tomorrow!  It's only a day away! (sung to the tune of the Annie song)

I'm SO excited for Ragnar Tennessee! 

Never heard of it? 196ish miles, 12 runners (and 2 drivers), 36 hours of relay-running in the hills of Tennessee.  Our team name is We Thought They Said "RUM!" and we call ourselves Rummers.  Our team is quite the mix of personalities and stages of life; it keeps things interesting.

I'm the captain of the team because...well, no one else wanted the job.  It hasn't been all that overwhelming though, probably because I love lists and I'm a manager by nature.  (I taught kindergarten and first grade before Ellie was born.  Teachers HAVE to be managers.)  I'm also not easily overwhelmable.  Lookey there, I made up a word.

I've checked and double checked everything on my lists: 
  • the vans are ready to be picked up in the morning
  • the hotel rooms are reserved and will be waiting for us tomorrow afternoon. (I checked on that one three times)
  • my packing lists are being crossed off as I type
This is what packing looks like:

And this is what was in my grocery cart this morning:
Only because I already have the Swedish Fish.
I know I've mentioned before that my first leg has a lot of elevation gain.  Actually, it's a freaking mountain.

Holy crap.
If you never hear from me again, this is why.  Kidding.  I hope.

Kate, Anne, Allen, Angie, Andrea, Richard, Doug, Amanda, Greg, Ken, Melissa and drivers Mary and Kurt, I can't wait to run through the mountains with you this weekend!

Have you ever run a relay before?  This is my first.
Are there any mountains near you?  None by me, Central Ohio is pretty flat compared to TN, but I've trained to the best of my abilities for this.

More to come, with lots of pictures next week!  Wish us luck! :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vidalia Corn Bread Muffins




I've been making these muffins for a long time.  I make them every time we have chili.  The muffins are better than the chili.  I originally got this recipe from a class I took at Williams-Sonoma.

Recipe:
1/2 box corn bread mix
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped, browned and salted
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus a little extra to sprinkle on top

Mix together all but the corn bread mix.
Add corn bread mix--do not over-mix.
Scoop into greased mini-muffin pan.
Sprinkle a few strands of cheddar on top of each muffin.
Bake at 450 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until golden.

Yields about 45 muffins.  Trust me, you'll need that many.

What have you been cooking up lately?
Do you eat corn bread with chili?  I know some people who eat plain bread and butter and some people who eat peanut butter sandwiches with chili.