Friday, October 23, 2009

New feed!

Don’t forget to update your google readers for my new site:

Click on that link to set up my new site…I’ll miss you if you don’t follow me over!  Don’t forget to update your blogrolls either!  :)

(Let me know if that doesn’t work…or if I’m missing something!  I think that’s all you need to do.  Maybe.)

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Made an impulsive move…

So I got called off of work today, and I made the impulsive move to buy my own site!  It’s a major work in progress (I have NO clue what I’m doing!), but you can check out the new site at…

Yayyyy!  Update your google readers and such…not that I know how to do that!

If anyone has insight into how to find a good theme that is easy to customize (I’m no good at this web design thing!), please let me know.  I’ve been trying all day to get the site to look how I want it to!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin + Veggies + Apples = STUFFED

You may notice that I rarely mention my current roommate on the blog.  Due to our opposite schedules, I never see her, which is a bit sad because despite the randomness of our meeting (go craigslist!), we actually have a lot in common and she’s pretty awesome.  She likes to cook and even ran a half marathon (her first!) last month, so you can clearly see what we’ve got going for us.  This weekend she asked if I wanted to cook something together on Monday (my day off!), so we did.  And kind of went all out.

My roommate dug out an old Martha Stewart Living magazine from last year and found a "Stuffed Pumpkin Stew” that she wanted to try.  She invited a bunch of people over (since it serves ten!) and away we went.  I hope you like your veggies…

Here’s the deal:

You find a cheese pumpkin.  Yes, a cheese pumpkin…not your ordinary carving pumpkin.  I called five grocery stores and everyone gave me funny looks when I asked if they had them (okay, I imagined the funny looks since it was on the phone…but I know it was happening on the other end!).  My roommate went to a local farm (yet more proof that I live in a small town) to get one.  Anyway, you cut the top off, scrap the insides, lather with olive oil, and roast for an hour:

Martha Pumpkin Stew (9) Cheese pumpkin!

Next up is veggies galore.  Step one involves ten brussel sprouts, six ounces green beans, and four ounces sugar snap peas.  Boil them for about two minutes, then transfer to an ice bath.  (I’m not sure why the boil/ice bath combo is necessary…feel free to inform me!)

Martha Pumpkin Stew (2) I hope you like your greens!

Now for all those weird veggies that you look at in the store  but have no clue what to do with.  Including:  12 white baby potatoes, two leeks (light green and white parts only!), five carrots, two turnips, four parsnips, half of a butternut squash, and half a celery root.  I admittedly have never had half of these veggies before!

Martha Pumpkin Stew (4) Toss with oil, salt and paper…then roast for 40 minutes!  And remember to invite your friends…

For those meat eaters of the blog world, here’s some chicken!  Ten chicken legs and thighs, with the skin on.  Season with salt and pepper, then cook in a skillet with some oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes.  Once the chicken is removed from the skillet, add one cup chicken stock to the skillet, bring to a boil, then place in a bowl.

Martha Pumpkin Stew Yummy!

Just when you thought all the flavors were covered, we’ve got three baking apples and seven ounces vacuum-packed whole peeled chestnuts!  Heat some butter in a skillet and brown the apples for about ten minutes…then add the chestnuts!

Martha Pumpkin Stew (7) I’ve never had a chestnut before…new adventures!

Once everything is done roasting (it takes awhile…), add the brussel sprouts, green beans, snap peas, and apples along with two tablespoons garlic to the giant veggies mix and toss.  Then roast for ten more minutes.

Now for the fun part…take EVERYTHING (chicken, all veggies, 1/2 cup parsley, stock, and two tablespoons reserved pan juices) and combine.  Then stuff the pumpkin!!  Roast until “heated through,” about fifteen minutes.  Note:  over half of the veggies didn’t even come close to fitting in the pumpkin, so we stuffed what we could.  I have no clue where Martha got a gigantic pumpkin.

Martha Pumpkin Stew (11) STUFFED!

Martha Pumpkin Stew (12) Look at all those flavors!

When you’re finally done roasting, turn off the oven!!  (Since it’s been on for hours…)  Slice the pumpkin and serve with the chicken and stew.  It will look something like this:

Martha Pumpkin Stew (14) Devour!!

This was a labor-intensive meal, but it was something totally different than anything I’ve had before, and it was quite tasty!  Since we had a bit of a dinner party, it was fun to cook with other people and then enjoy the food.  I rarely eat with other people (unless you count eating while blogging!), so it was nice to actually sit and enjoy a meal.  I definitely recommend this to enjoy an evening with your friends/family.  It kind of felt like a mini-Thanksgiving, especially with the addition of dessert:

Martha Pumpkin Stew (15) Blueberry pie and ice cream!

There you have it…an absolutely amazingly ridiculous meal like I’ve never had before.  I think it’s fun to try new recipes and eat new foods, especially when you can share it with others!  Give it a try!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

i’m still a runner :)

Another successful run today!  The weather is so perfect for running…it was in the high 50’s and sunny!  I was warm in my long sleeve shirt, so I guess it’s still short sleeve weather.  Fine by me.  :)  I took it easy again today, going for five miles this time!  My left calf/quad actually felt a little tight, so I guess I spent too much time stretching my right leg yesterday and not my left leg.  I evened it up after my run today, so no worries there.

The hardest part about getting back into running after my month off is trying to not get caught up on the pace.  My legs can feel that they haven’t ran in a month, and I need to remember that any pace is a good pace as long as it’s pain free!  One of my miles was 8:50-ish, and I admit that I did a double take when my garmin beeped.  Not that 8:50 is actually slow, but when I’m used to more around eight minute pace, it doesn’t seem quite right.  I reminded myself that for my second day back, that’s not too shabby.  There will be many more days to run faster…eventually.

Tuesday, October 20
5.04 miles in 42:41, avg pace of 8:28

We’re getting there!

Time to get ready for work…only having one day off (which is how it works when it’s your weekend to work…we get a random day off the week before and the week after) really doesn’t seem like enough to reenergize!  Hurry up, Friday!

Stay tuned for the absolutely ridiculously amazing dinner I had last night…you won’t be disappointed!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

I RAN today!!

Short but oh so so sweet post!

Saturday marked the official one month anniversary of the last time I ran…not exactly something I wanted to celebrate!  After sitting around for a little bit today, I decided that I wanted to give running a try.  I ran about a block and the pain wasn’t too terrible, and I remember the sports medicine doc saying that sometimes IT Band Syndrome is a little better after a warm up.  So I kept going.  My leg loosened up after about a quarter mile, and away I went!  While it wasn’t perfect, my stride actually resembled something of a running gait, which it definitely hadn’t in recent times.  Yay!  I told myself to take it slow and not push the pace at all…just run.  It felt great!

I passed a guy in a truck, sitting in the parking lot of an office building I pass on most of my runs, since it’s on the way to the trail.  He gave me a thumbs up and yelled, “I see you running by every day!  Run five miles for me!”  This comment was kind of funny since I haven’t run by in about a month, but it was fantastic in that I haven’t been out of commission long enough for the locals to forget that I run!  I kept it short and went out for four miles:

Monday, October 19
4.10 miles in 34:15, avg pace of 8:21

I came home and stretched stretched stretched…and iced!  My leg feels pretty good.  :)  Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow!!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Iliotibial Band Syndrome for the win!

I just got back from the sports medicine doctor, and it’s the iliotibial band for the win!!  My internet research/running injury savvy told me that this was most likely the culprit, but I figured an expert opinion couldn’t hurt.  More or less, I have classic iliotibial band syndrome…pain right outside the knee, radiating up towards the hip.  This excellent visualization helps show the IT band:

As you can (hopefully) tell, the IT band is kind of important in running and is a pretty common injury.  The IT band functions to help stabilize the leg during “knee-bending activities” (aka running), so with repetitive motions, it can become irritated.  The friction created between the IT band and the underlying anatomy at the outer knee (the lateral femoral condyle, if you really want to know…the outside bony part on the bottom of your femur) can result in pain and inflammation.  Fantastic.

Risks for IT Band Syndrome include:

  • Distance running!  And other knee-bending activities such as cycling
  • Increasing mileage or intensity too quickly
  • Lack of flexibility, especially in the IT band
  • Lack of proper warm-up prior to activity
  • Anything that puts increased stress on the outer leg…such as always running on a banked surface (think:  always against traffic on the road) or wearing improper shoes

Treatments for IT Band Syndrome include:

  • Rest!  Ahhh, every runner’s worst nightmare.
  • Checking your shoes to make sure they’re the right type for your feet (check the wear on the bottom!) and making sure to rotate/replace your shoes at the proper intervals
  • Change the direction you run!  Run on both sides of the street, run both directions on the track.
  • Stretching!  Increased flexibility, especially of the IT band…when your muscles are warm.  “Sweat before you stretch.”
  • Apply heat to the area prior to exercising, apply ice after exercise.

Here are some examples of stretches for the iliotibial band, compliments of Running Times:

image image

So what’s the main treatment for IT Band Syndrome?  Figuring out what the cause of it is and removing that factor.  I’m not necessarily sure what caused mine to flare up.  I’ve worn the same shoes since I was 17 (that’s eight years!) and I replace them at the proper intervals.  I run mostly on a trail which is flat…even if it’s not, I run out and back on the same side (mostly), so I’d be mixing it up.  I increased my mileage properly, and I’ve successfully trained for marathons before so I know my body can handle the volume. 

One activity I don’t do religiously is stretch.  When my mileage creeps up, less time is available for stretching and strength training, and they tend to fall by the wayside in my life.  Perhaps my IT band is just tight and I need to do some stretches to loosen it up.  I’m not flexible by any means, so hopefully some flexibility work will help with the pain.  I’ve certainly done the resting part…I haven’t run in a month, and I took the first week completely off…no biking or anything.  I’m hoping that by stretching and continuing to ice, I’ll be able to run again soon.  I would still like to run the Philadelphia Marathon, although at this point I realize I won’t be setting any records!

Hopefully this post was at least somewhat informative!  I’m hoping that I will be able to implement some stretching that will allow me to run again…stay tuned!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Domain Help!

It’s a rainy day here in Pennsylvania…that doesn’t bode very well for my biking adventures!  I’m much more wimpy when it comes to biking than running…I can run through most anything, but biking isn’t quite the same.  I still have a little bit of a sniffle, so I won’t chance it.  I’m going to the sports medicine doctor tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll sort out this whole not-running thing.  It’s been almost a month!  Yikes.


In blog news, I’m thinking about transferring to my own domain…moving up in the blog world?  Maybe not, but I think it would let me try new things with my blog and such.  I’ll think of it like a new toy!  Anyway, the current problem is that “” is already taken!  I suppose I should have looked into that prior to naming my blog…but then again, I never really thought that I would try moving to my own domain.  So the dilemma presents itself…Do I:

  1. Change the name of my blog to fit the URL?  This would involve actually thinking of a new name…
  2. Come up with something similar to “Nurse on the Run” for the URL?  Such as:  I feel that could be confusing.
  3. Just do "”…Right to the point, if nothing else.
  4. Something else?  I’m open.

I ask you, blog world, to help with my little dilemma!  It’s nothing earth-shattering, but I know some of you have made the switch to your own domain and may have some insight.  Let me know!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thank you Frayed Laces!!

If you’ve been around the blog world, you probably know about Frayed Laces.  If you don’t, you should…go check out her blog now!  She’s a Hawaii-living, grad student researching, marathoning and triathloning blogger…who happens to lead a pretty cool live!  Recent adventures involve spending some time with Brooks in a lab and at camp!  To share the Brooks love, Frayed Laces had a Brooks Run Happy Giveaway!  The idea was simple:  If you were Brooks CEO for a day, what would be the top three things you would change in your running shoes?  You could enter some practical ideas, as well as not so practical ones for the Frayed Laces Special.  I love a good giveaway, especially related to my favorite running shoe company, so enter away I did!  Little did I know that my nerdiness would pay off with my entry of:

Add moon bounces to the shoes!! When I was at Space Camp (nerd alert!), we all had a chance to be in the 1/6th gravity chair simulator, where you could bounce around like you were on the moon with 1/6th of the gravity of the Earth. How fun would marathoning be if you could moon bounce your way to the finish line??

Yes, I went to Space Camp when I was in the sixth grade.  It was AWESOME.  I saw a shuttle launch and got to go on all these cool simulators.  You’re jealous, admit it.  (The Rocket Scientist also went to Space Camp…add that to the cuteness factor.)  Moving on.

I looooooove getting mail, so I was super excited when an envelope was sticking out my front door!  I won the Frayed Laces Special (quite an honor, if you ask me), and my package of goodies arrived today.  Here’s the magic:

Frayed Laces Special (6)Nothing excites me more than a package in the mail!!

Frayed Laces Special (2) Look at all that good stuff!!

Time for some close-ups:

Frayed Laces Special (3)Brooks stuff…and a note from Frayed Laces herself!

  • Note from Frayed Laces…how cool!
  • A Brooks Guide to Injury Free Running…how timely with my current running hiatus!  It even has a little chart with eight common running injuries…Iliotibial Band Syndrome included!  (Which is what I think I have…to be confirmed or denied on Friday!)
  • A Brooks book…Handmade by Frayed Laces from an old Brooks shoe box.  I love it!

 Frayed Laces Special (4) Recovery and Injury info and prevention…definitely timely.

  • Japanese injury and stretching book…complete with interesting pictures and lots of Japanese that I don’t understand!  I will try to decipher if any can help me with my current injury.  :)
  • “Pain Relieving Plaster”…also Japanese.  Looks like an icy-hot band-aid.
  • RECOVERY SOCKS!!  I kept putting off buying them…Soooo excited!  I may or may not have put them on right away (okay, see below for photo evidence), and I’m definitely wearing them tomorrow and work.  Yes!!
Frayed Laces Special

Recovery socks!!

Frayed Laces Special (5)Some running necessities.  :)

  • Hand wipes!  You never know when you’ll need some on a long run post-bathroom.
  • Toilet paper…see above!
  • Power Bar for pre-long run energy…can you believe I’ve never actually had a Power Bar before?  I’ll have to give it a try!
  • “Pocari Sweat” = Japanese Gatorade…we’ll have to see how it compares.
  • Lava Energy Gel…maybe this will be a gel I can actually swallow??

This made my day!!  I was so excited win the Frayed Laces Special and check out the goodies.  I love it…Thank you so much Frayed Laces!  Be sure to head over and check out her blog…you won’t be disappointed!


Time to take off the recovery socks and head to Princeton.  I’ve got a fun activity planned for tonight!  I took a rest day today because I’ve got the sniffles and am a little achy.  I got the flu shot last night, and she definitely got it into my muscle!  (Note:  I don’t think my sniffles are from the flu shot…I had a headache last night so I think it’s just an October cold…woo!)

Alright, I’m off!  Thanks again FL!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken a la Martha

Being a faithful reader of Sarah’s blog, I have come to love Martha recipes as Sarah cooks her way through one of Martha’s cookbooks.  When in a bind (or at the Rocket Scientist’s and therefore sans cookbooks), I hit up the Martha Stewart Food website for some ideas.  The recipes are usually pretty quick and fairly healthy, so they’re right up my alley!  Yesterday prior to grocery shopping, I selected Mediterranean Chicken as my meal of choice for the week.  (Cooking for one for me means making one meal to last almost all week!).

Let’s see how mine turned out:

101209 Mediterranean Chicken and Spinach Salad Mediterranean Chicken + Kashi Pilaf

I admittedly set off the smoke detectors while cooking…I guess the olive oil reached it’s smoke point!  Oops!  I opened all the windows, which makes it a little chilly in here, but that’s what sweatshirts are for.  :)  I really like the Kashi pilaf…it was easy to make (threw it in the rice cooker!) and has a nice nutty flavor.  The chicken is quite tasty…anything with olives is made infinitely better!

101209 Mediterranean Chicken and Spinach Salad (2) Spinach salad!

On the side I’m currently eating a spinach salad…complete with strawberries, dried cranberries, feta cheese, pecans, and a raspberry walnut dressing.  Gotta squeeze that iron in.  :)

on the run bike front

I biked in Princeton for about an hour and a half yesterday…my garmin’s battery was dead so I have no clue how far I went.  Back to the old days of just using a watch!  Although I didn’t even have a watch, so I just went by the time on my cell phone.  A little more relaxed environment than staring at the data on my wrist.  The Rocket Scientist ran seventeen miles while I was biking…his training is going well, and we’re hoping he qualifies for Boston in November so we can run both run Boston in April.  He finished the Delaware Marathon in 3:13 this year, so he’s close!  Fingers crossed.

I’m also heading to a sports medicine doctor on Friday, so hopefully I can at least get some direction in what’s going on with my leg.


The aforementioned Sarah is having a giveaway!  She’s a planner galore and wants to assist you in your future planning.  Check it out!

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Photographic Philly Wedding

It’s Sunday night…where did this weekend go??  I know exactly where…Philly!  The Rocket Scientist’s sister got married this weekend in downtown Philly, and it was quite the site to be seen!  Lucky for you, I took lots of pictures.  :)  This was our second wedding in three weeks (first can be viewed here!), so it was interesting to see the differences between the two.  Here we are, a photographic journey into my weekend!

Friday Night – Rehearsal

I was actually supposed to work on Friday night, therefore missing the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner…I was just going to head down on Saturday for the actual ceremony and ensuing festivities.  When I showed up at work on Friday, I jokingly said that I would go home if they didn’t need me, but they hadn’t heard about staffing yet.  We got the word on how many nurses we needed…and then another nurse showed up!  She had been called off but didn’t have her cell phone with her, so she headed to work anyway.  Since we had an extra nurse, they said we could battle it out about who would stay and who would go.  The other nurse remembered that I had something else to do tonight, so she said she would stay.  Yay!  Night off.  :)  I raced back home to shower and pack and head down to Philly.  I ended up missing the actual rehearsal,  but I made it in plenty of time for the rehearsal dinner!

The rehearsal dinner was hosted at the Vesper Boat Club, which is on Boathouse Row in Philly.  The area is very pretty at night, with all the boat houses lit up…definitely gives a good view from the highway, but it was fun to be on the other side!  When we first showed up, some of the crew teams were still out on the water.  The view of the city was quite nice:

EC Rehearsal Dinner (2) It’s no Chicago, but I guess it works.

EC Rehearsal Dinner (12) Lights of Vesper from the deck.

EC Rehearsal Dinner (7) University of Pennsylvania’s boat house.

EC Rehearsal Dinner (22)Hanging out in the window.

EC Rehearsal Dinner (24)  Rocket Scientist sporting his mom’s lovely leopard print jacket.

Saturday – Play Time

The Rocket Scientist’s family are not city people in the least.  Soooo when Saturday rolled around, there was no actual plan of action.  (And I quote:  “What is there to do around here?”  Ummm…anything your little heart desires!  Anyway.)  No one had to be anywhere until 3pm, so we had plenty of time to play.  After sitting around in the hotel for awhile, we finally headed out into the city.  The wedding was to be at the Franklin Institute, so we headed over there to check out the exhibits and such beforehand.  It brought back memories because we visited there many times when I lived outside Philadelphia as a wee little one.  (Ages 1-6!)

Franklin Institute (2)Franklin Institute (3) 

The Pendulum that demonstrated that the Earth rotates…every 25 minutes it knocks off a different peg.

Franklin Institute (10) Touring the giant walk-through heart!

Franklin Institute (13) Learning about arteries and blood flow…keep your heart healthy!

Franklin Institute (15) The Rocket Scientist learning about lift!  Not that he didn’t know about it already…

Franklin Institute (18)

Franklin Institute (20)

We’re flying!

After we left the Franklin Institute so the boys could get changed for the wedding, the RS and I went on a hunt for a card…because he was clearly planning ahead.  After walking a few blocks, some friendly pedestrians pointed us in the direction of a CVS.  As we strolled power walked along, we passed this beauty:

Franklin Institute (22) BAKERY!!

When my dad lived in Philly back in the day (like…wayyyyy back in the day), he used to live a few blocks from the Swiss Haus Bakery and loved one of the cakes that they had.  When my parents came to visit in August, we walked outside his old apartment and found this bakery.  While he said the cake was different than he remembered, the goods were still fabulous.  Since I can’t pass up the chance to stop at a bakery, I went in while the RS powered on to CVS.  Please note that the guy working in the bakery laughed at my photography as I stood outside.  Maybe I should try to get a job there…then I could eat/bake this deliciousness on a daily basis:

Franklin Institute (23) Rocky Road Brownie!!!  Normally I hate nuts in my brownies, but this was tasty.

Saturday – The Big Event

Saturday night was the big night!  Since it was at a museum, it was a rather late event.  The actual ceremony was in the Planetarium, so of course the crowds had to clear out before we could head in!  Pictures were first taken outside…luckily the sun came out in the afternoon for some pretty pictures.

Erin and Chris WeddingRocket Scientist’s family with the bride and groom.  Three other wedding parties were also taking pictures.

Erin and Chris Wedding (6) Woo!  Thanks to my friend for actually picking a bridesmaid dress I could wear again!

Erin and Chris Wedding (4) View of City Hall (and Ben!) from Logan Square.

Erin and Chris Wedding (14) Married!

Erin and Chris Wedding (16) The reception was in the main hall…no joke, we ate at the feet of Ben Franklin.
 Erin and Chris Wedding (19)Menu!

Erin and Chris Wedding (25)

Erin and Chris Wedding (30) The salad was AMAZING.  I had Sea Bass for dinner…tasty tasty!  Definitely some of the best wedding food I’ve ever had…I usually feel like it leaves something to be desired, but this was awesome.

Erin and Chris Wedding (41) Not going to lie…I wasn’t too impressed with the cake.


Erin and Chris Wedding (36)  I told you he’s nerdy…the socks/glasses were for the wedding pictures…each groomsman had a different color!

Erin and Chris Wedding (42) The Rocket Scientist found another scientist!

Erin and Chris Wedding (43) The heart is an awesome muscle…so I flexed mine!

Erin and Chris Wedding (53) Flashing our gang signs…that’s “EAST COAST” for the Rocket Scientist and “MIDWEST” for me.  :)

Erin and Chris Wedding (54)Okay…that’s actually kind of cute. 

It was a really fun weekend, filled with lots of good food!  Dancing was a little limited at the reception…everything was kind of broken up so it didn’t really get started.  Annnnd we got pulled away for lots and lots of pictures.  But that’s okay, fun was had by all.  It was one of the fancier weddings that I’ve been to, and I can’t say I’ll ever see anyone get married in the Franklin Institute again!  I hope everyone else has glorious weekends as well.

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