Mr. and Mrs.

6 Oct

Today was the first time someone said, “soon to be Mrs” to me, and it really hit home.  When I get MARRIED next year, I will no longer be Ms. or Miss…I’ll be Mrs.  I’ll be somebody’s Mrs.  I will have a husband.  I will be a wife.  Of course I knew this already, but it’s just a funny thing.  It’s a big transition to go from spending 31 years of your life as a single woman, known as Miss or Ms., to a Mrs.  Is it weird that I am even thinking about this??  Does being a Mrs. make me sound old?  Why aren’t there different versions of single and married for Mr??   I’m super excited to be my sweetie’s wife.  It’s just funny.  I’m gonna be a Mrs.! Woohooooo!

As for other things…

I think I’m going to share my thoughts and feelings about planning a wedding and the whole wedding process on this blog, along with all the recipes, cooking, working out, and all that other jazz.  I’m not planning on taking over the blog with wedding craziness and obsessing over stuff, just sharing things here and there. 

Planning a wedding changes your life.  From the day you get engaged, all the way up to the day of your wedding.  You need to think about the dress, the location,  bridesmaids/groomsmen, music, food, photographer, cake, flowers, tents, decorations, guests, family, time of year, other scheduling conflicts/commitments, personal values, family values, vows, honeymoon, budgets…the list goes on and on.  You can let it consume your daily life by searching the unending supply of wedding blogs, Pinterest, wedding magazines, books and so on.  Yowsa.  There’s a ton out there to look at.  Along with thinking of all these things together as a couple, other peoples’ opinions get thrown into the mix.  A LOT. 

 A couple needs to have a clear vision of what they want for their wedding, but still be open to opinions and suggestions from family and friends.  This clear vision is necessary to keep your own sanity and happiness throughout it all.  The whole thing, this whoooooole big commotion,  is to celebrate love and sharing our lives together with everyone we love and care about.  That’s a fact, Jack.  We want our wedding to be fun, casual, light-hearted…full of laughter, good food, good music, lots of dancing… and love.  That’s what matters to us.  Plain and simple.  Cute stuff to add on is just a bonus for us. 🙂 

Do you notice a theme here? 

LOVE

via Vintage Poster

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Somebody’s getting married…

26 Aug

Michael proposed to me on August 11th, and of course I said YES!!!!!  It was a complete surprise when it happened, and it didn’t even seem real!  Kind of like when you hear stories and they can’t really believe it, but you never really believe it when you hear them say that.  I definitely was in a state of shock, wondering if it was actually happening.  I was SO happy.  He proposed with the most beautiful ring that is so perfect for me.  It’s hammered, it’s beautiful, it’s organic, its modern.  Oh, it’s just gorgeous! 

LOVE LOVE LOVE this man that’s going to be my husband. How can you not love that sweet face??? He really is the best. 🙂

Door To Door Organics

10 Aug

Michael and I found ourselves with a Groupon about to expire for Door to Door Organics this past weekend, and jumped right on the computer to place our order.  We had previously ordered from DTDO, but weren’t entirely impressed.  Let’s turn the clock back a few months and think about this…it was late in April, we weren’t cooking new recipes too often, the selection was a bit limited, and to be 100% honest I was a little lazy.  Hey, that’s what happens when you leave home at 7am, get home at around 7pm, still want to  run a few errands, maybe fit in a quick workout and catch a bad reality show or maybe Modern Family.  Dinners get simple, easy, and uninventive. It happens.

So cut to yesterday.  Our new order of a “Bitty Mixed Produce Box” arrives on our doorstep.  I think it’s adorable that they use “bitty” as part of the name of their different selections of boxes you can order: Bitty Mixed, Bitty Local Farm Box.  They also have small and medium sizes, but for just the two of us, the Bitty Mixed Produce Box works just fine and dandy.  One of the things I like about DTDO, is they allow you to sub out up to FIVE selections in your box!  That’s great!  We weren’t entirely sure what we’d want to do with chard and red leaf lettuce, so we switched those out.  Our box consisted of:

  • local white sweet corn-2 ears
  • local zucchini squash-1
  • cucumber-1
  • yellow peaches-2
  • red seedless grapes-1 lb.
  • mango-1
  • Bartlett pears-2
  • red potatoes-8
  • Dapple Dandy Pluot- 5

What the heck are Dapple Dandy Pluots??? We didn’t know when we ordered them, but we thought we’d give ’em a try.  They’re a hybrid of plums and apricots 🙂

istockphoto.com

I was quite impressed with our order this week and already thinking of all the delicious recipes we could make with our new found goodies!  I think grilled corn and potatoes, and even grilled peaches for dessert are in our near future. 🙂  The grapes and  pluot already made into my lunch bag for today!

Door to Door Organics is a really great service.  They deliver right to your doorstep (or inside your entryway) every week or bi-weekly.  They even offer a discount if 4 or more orders are delivered to one location.  You can even put your order on hold if  decide to take some time away from ordering or even if you go on vacation.  They re-use the cardboard box and ice packs for future deliveries, and will pick them up at your next delivery day, which is nice.  They also include a little cheat sheet of how to store your produce and an approximate time of how long they should last.  A new addition since we last received an order, is a receipe card using foods you received in your specific produce box for the week.  How fun!  Ours was for Blueberry Orzo Pasta.  Yummmm!  DTDO is currently in Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago, and Michigan.  Depending on what area you’re in, they offer baked goods, coffee, dairy alternatives, grains, sweets, and so on.  So much to choose from to add onto your produce box order!  A great way to support local business while also saving yourself a little time on grocery shopping! 🙂

Weekends are never long enough

8 Aug

Don’t you just hate it when a summer weekend flies by before your eyes?  We had some crazy weather this weekend in Chicago. Hot to cool, sunny to pouring rain, and back again.  It seemed to flip back and forth all weekend.  But despite the weather, Michael and I managed to fit some fun times in.  I had dinner out with Michelle, my old roomie, Friday night.  We enjoyed catching up during the beautiful evening weather on a patio and had a long leisurely meal with yummy martinis.  I had a few key lime martinis. Yum!

 

Saturday started out with rain, rain, rain, but it cleared up for us by 9am.  We decided to take a nice brisk walk over to our local farmers market, despite the instant humidity that popped up.  The market is about 1 mile from our apartment and we were able to pick up some fresh zucchini and three cheese foccacia.  We walked up further into Lincoln Square, did some looking around, which always involves a stop at Gene’s Sausage Shop.  A European market with all kinds of meats, produce, wines, beer, liquor (I found organic vodka here!), pasta, bread, cheese, and candy never ceases to amaze us with its broad variety of items.  We love looking at  the wine and beer selections the most.  The shop is ALWAYS busy, no matter what day or time it is, and brings all different types of people in.  I especially like hearing all the different languages spoken while I’m there.  Even though I’m not a huge meat eater anymore, I’m always intrigued by their huge deli selection.

store interior

deli counter

They also recently opened up their rooftop.  We just took a quick peek this weekend and it was beautiful!  Lots of tables, umbrellas, and bars.  It had wood everywhere, floor, walls, tables…which made it feel slightly like a sauna on the toasty hot day we stopped by, but that’s ok.  They serve all the usual German beers and foods: brats, schnitzel, pierogis, goulasch, and sauerkraut.  Not exactly my cup of tea, but I’m sure it’s delish if you enjoy all those hearty German foods.  I’m looking forward to spending a sunny afternoon up there sometime soon with a nice cold beer.

store interior

{via}

We rounded out our walk around the neighborhood, walking about three miles total.  Not a bad way to get some exercise in on the weekend and spend some quality time together!

Michael and I try to cook a new, fresh, interesting dinner for our cutesy “Sunday Night Dinner” every week.  It’s a time for us to turn on some music, unwind, try some new cooking techniques, maybe have a beer or a glass of wine and really relax.  This week’s Sunday Night Dinner soundtrack feature was Kings of Leon.  We always look forward to our Sunday Night Dinners, and use them as a way to talk about our the week we just finished up and talk about our week to come.  We’ve found it’s a great way to bond. 🙂 

So, yesterday we tried out a new tilapia recipe.  Crispy Honey Lime Tilapia with Blueberry Lime Salsa, Kale Chips, and foccacia.  The tilapia was fresh from Whole Foods, kale and three cheese foccacia from the Lincoln Square and North Center farmers markets.  I absolutely loved the salsa.  Blueberries, strawberries, red onion, lime, cilantro.  Yum yum yum!  We served it as a garnish to the tilapia.  We also tried out baked kale chips for the first time.  I have to say…I think Michael was pleasantly surprised at how much he liked them.  They start out just as little leaves on  a pan lined with parchment paper:

Then you drizzle them with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  They come out a bit smaller, crunchier, and deliciously seasoned looking like this:

They were light and crunchy and quite good!  We didn’t eat all of it, and I made the mistake of trying them second day…ummm, not so crispy.  Oh well.  Eat ’em up while they’re good!!

The tilapia and salsa recipe we tried is from a blog I completely love, How Sweet It Is.  Jessica makes sooooo many delicious recipes and nothing is that fake flavor, low-fat, low calorie stuff.  It’s all the real deal. It’s just about moderation in life, right?? 🙂  We’ve made quite a few of her recipes.  She was inspired to make her blueberry salsa after visiting northern Michigan on vacation.  Yay Michigan!!  It sounded so refreshing and delicious, I definitely wanted to try it.  Plus, we’re always looking for new ways to prepare our fave fish.

Blueberry Lime Salsa

makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh blueberries

5 medium srawberries

1/4 red onion

1 teaspoon lime zest

juice of two limes

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 avocado, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse. The consistency is up to you but I like to leave mine a bit chunky, so I only pulse it about 5-6 times. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Scrape salsa into a bowl and fold in chopped avocado. Serve with pita or corn chips, or on top of fish or chicken.

I think I need a bigger food processor

Crispy Honey Lime Tilapia

makes 4 filets

4 fresh (or thawed) tilapia filets

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup flour [I used whole wheat pastry]

2 tablespoons olive oil for frying

additional honey + lime zest mixed for drizzling

60 minutes before cooking,season tilapia filets with salt and pepper then lay in a baking dish or into a large ziplock bag. In a bowl, combine olive oil, honey, lime juice and zest, and crushed garlic and whisk until combined. Pour over tilapia and let marinate for an hour. Add flour [+ a bit more salt, pepper, and lime zest] to a bowl and set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or a non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Dredge each piece of tilapia through the flour until you have a very light coating. Making sure the pan is hot, add tilapia to the oil and cook until flaky and crispy on each side – about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove tilapia from pan and let drain on a paper towel for a few minutes. Serve with an additional drizzle of lime + honey, then cover in blueberry lime salsa.

This makes our plates look like they're for giants

We made enough that we had salsa leftover for my lunch today with tortilla chips and the leftover piece of tilapia and more salsa for dinner tonight!  Woohoooo!

So, after a fun weekend, we have some more new recipes planned for the week.  Get excited!!!

 

Workin’ on my fitness

5 Aug

I’ve recently started trying out new types of workouts.  I’m trying to find what I both enjoy and what makes me “feel the burn” both during and the day after a workout.  One thing I’ve found so far,  is that music is a GREAT motivator for working out.  It’s no secret that I looooooove me some booty-licious music.  Anything with that boom-boom-boom beat made for booty shakin’ is pefect for me.  People tease and wonder what the heck makes me suddenly bust out my booty drop to the floor move, with a lot of sass thrown in, but I can’t help it!  I recently stumbled across this new Beyonce song, and it’s safe to say I’m OBSESSED.  It’s sooooo good.  And I love the video.  She is a fierce dancer.  No doubt, this will definitely be added to my workout playlist asap.

Along with running, I’ve discovered that lifting weights is another huge component to getting fit.  Now, I’m not talkin’ mucho grande 50 pound weights or some crazy business.  No, no, no.  I’m talkin’ 8-10 pounders for now.  Weight lifting helps you to burn fat, develop definitition, and helps for a huge calorie burn by speeding up your metabolism.  The more lean muscle you have, the more your metabolism goes up!   I’ve never thought of myself as someone who would lift weights, but it truly does make a huge difference!  I’ve done lots of research, and found a circuit training workout that I like a lot.  It’s a plan from Jackie Warner’s “This Is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)” Yes, yes, I know the title of the book is harsh, but it’s good!  (Even though I’m slightly embarrassed to be seen carrying it anywhere. Shhhh!)

I first saw her on her show on Bravo, “Workout” and then again on Bravo on “Thintervention.”  Thintervention seemed to really hit home for me, because the show was more than just about losing weight.  She worked with a small group of people on weightloss goals thru exercise, diet, and also had them go thru group therapy sessions.  So many people have issues with food and exercise that needs to be figured out in order to move past, and she helped them to connect both their body aaaand mind to get healthy. I think she opened up the topic to a lot of people, which is so awesome. 

In her book, she talks about clean eating, 20 minute power cardio workouts, and 30 minute fat-burning exercises (resistance training).  Power circuits are all about constant motion, never slowing down during your workout.  It’s also all about alternating back and forth from upper to lower body exercises.  It’s great, because you’re never doing one thing for too long, always moving on to the next.  I already realized I need to get heavier weights, so it’s more resistance for me.  Wooohooo!  The key is to alternate weight training with cardio every other day, which I also enjoy.  Apparantly I don’t like doing the same thing day after day after day??  Who knew?? 

The other thing I’ve realized, is I have to go at my own pace and do what feels right for me.  I won’t become a super buff chica overnight, but I can do what works and what makes a difference for me.  Hopefully I’ll be sharing my amazingness of results sometime in the future. 🙂

{print from luciusart.etsy.com}

 

Dinnertime in the Square

3 Aug

I have been experimenting with cooking new types of food recently, and I really like it!  I think Michael is just along for the ride until we figure out the best way to season it, but that’s ok with me.  About a month or so ago, we tried quinoa (I learned it’s pronounced KEEN-wah) for the first time.  I absolutely loved it.  When you cook quinoa, the outer germ surrounding the seed breaks open to form a crunchy coil while the inner grain becomes soft and traslucent.  I found this new kind of 2-in-1 texture is really interesting and actually quite liked it.

From whfoods.com:

“Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year.  Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas.”  While the most popular type of quinoa is a transparent yellow color, other varieties feature colors such as orange, pink, red, purple or black.” (P.S. Who wouldn’t want beautiful pink grain-like food on their dinner plate?? )

Health Benefits

A recently rediscovered ancient “grain” native to South America, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

 

Quinoa can help migraine headaches, cardiovascular health, and gallstone prevention.

So, I love cooking quinoa and figuring out different veggies, meats, proteins, spices and sauces I can add to it.  It’s also great to use the plain leftovers to create new dishes, like breakfast porridge.  Porridge??  Really?? Yes, porridge.  You just have to add a little bit of soy or nut milk to the leftover quinoa and reheat it.  Its really tasty if you add dried fruits, nuts or cinnamon too. 

This was when we made it the first time.  Quinoa, black beans, spices, and veggies with an avocado and orange salsa on the side.  All on a bed of mixed greens and homemade vinaigrette.  The recipe was from www.NoTakeOut.com, which is fabulous.  I subscribe to their emails and it’s a great way to find new recipes that don’t seem too difficult.  It gives you all the ingredients and tips you need, and even suggests a dessert and an adult beverage to serve  with the dinner…and drink while cooking! 🙂  Shhh, I didn’t tell you that!

Best of May – Quinoa & Black Beans

quinoa-and-black-beans-on-a-big-green-salad
Best of May – Quinoa and Black Beans
Served with a Big Green Salad
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Shopping List

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 lemon
  • 10 oz. mixed salad greens, preferably organic
  • 1 orange, preferably organic
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • One 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 cup quinoa

Pantry Items

  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried oregano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Ground cumin
  • Hot paprika
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt

Tools

Suggestions

  • Wine: Try a Côtes de Provence
  • Dessert: Ginger snaps and yogurt

Game Plan:

  • When you walk in the door
    • Get out Pantry Items
    • Get out Tools
    • Assemble the ingredients
    • Open the wine and pour yourself a glass
  • Prep
    • Core, seed and dice the red bell pepper.
    • Peel and dice the onions.
    • Peel and mince 1 clove garlic.
    • Peel and mince 1 of the shallots.
    • Peel and thinly slice the second shallot.
    • Rinse and spin dry the salad. Tear it into large bite-size pieces.
    • Rinse and pat dry the cilantro. Pluck 1/3 cup leaves.
    • Zest half the orange, and mince the zest.
    • Rinse the quinoa, really well.
  • Start Cooking
    • Put 2 tbsps. oil, the bell pepper, the onions and the garlic in the large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, stirring almost constantly.
    • Add the quinoa, 1 tsp. oregano, scant 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, a generous pinch hot paprika and the orange zest. Stir well.
    • Pour in 2 cups water and add a heaping 1/4 tsp. salt. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook the quinoa for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Don’t even look at the quinoa – it needs to plump in peace, for at least 7 minutes.
    • While the quinoa is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Put 1 tbsp. vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk in a large pinch of salt, the sliced shallot and 1/4 cup olive oil. Taste for seasoning.
    • You can finish up the avocado condiment now too. Peel, seed and dice the avocados. Put them in a bowl. Squeeze half a lemon through your fingers over the avocado.
    • Peel the orange right down to the fruit (remove all the white pith). Cut the orange in slices, then dice it and add to the avocados, along with the minced shallot. Toss. Season with 1/4 tsp. cumin and a generous sprinkling of salt and toss again.
    • Mince the cilantro.
    • Drain the black beans. Fold them into the quinoa along with the cilantro. Taste for seasoning.
    • Set the table now, letting the quinoa and black bean mixture cool to warm room temperature.
    • Toss the salad, thoroughly. Divide it among four plates. Top with a generous serving of the quinoa and black beans and a generous portion of the avocado condiment. Garnish each plate with a sprig of cilantro and take them to the table. Dinner is served.
    • Don’t forget the wine!

Ours turned out looking pretty darn good.  I mean…look at ours compared to the recipe picture!  Close, right??  We left out the cilantro and shallots, since neither one of us is a big fan.  That didn’t affect the end result too much.  And I believe we opted for a mighty fine Two Brothers beer for this dinner.  Yummmmm-O!

Quinoa might sound weird, or look kinda iffy…but you should give it a try!  What’s the worst that could happen!

Running

1 Aug

I’ve NEVER been a runner.  I managed to come up with every excuse in the book of why I didn’t run…It didn’t make sense, it seemed too hard, I’m not a “sporty” person, I’m not good at it so why even try.  In the past, I’ve attempted to run, made it about 2 minutes, and felt like an out of breath, red-faced weirdo.  Because it was hard, and seemed like such a long shot to get any better at it, I just didn’t try.  I realized I needed to overcome my fears of running and just DO IT!  In the summer of 2010, while I was unemployed, I decided to get my butt outdoors and start exercising.  It really helped me to have a fitness goal to accomplish every day to feel like I was being productive every day.  I started out slow…speed-walking, adding in a minute of running, back to speed-walking, etc.  The running part wasn’t lasting too long, but it was still something for me to feel like I was making a difference with.  My running, combined with the Weight Watchers program I was on was making a difference in my weight and body.  I started to feel stronger and much better about myself. 

Fast forward to winter 2011.  I was working at a new job, but realized I need to do something with my exercise routine to up the ante, as they say.  I joined a gym around this same time and started working out.  In March, I decided to sign up for the Ravenswood 5K Run scheduled for May 1st.  This was HUGE for me!  To be a girl who could barely run for ONE minute at a time, to running a 5K…it seemed like an almost impossible goal to set.  But I put my fear and insecurities aside and clicked on that sign-up button.  I realized I did best with my training before heading to work in the morning.  I set my alarm for 4:45am, got all my work clothes, toiletries, and lunch packed up while Michael was still fast asleep and headed to the gym. Many times I awoke to snow covered ground, freezing temperatures, and a million excuses in my head of why I should stay in bed.  But I got my booty over to that gym and ran on the treadmill as often as I could make myself get there.  I started to get faster and faster as I watched my time on the treadmill for my 5K.  I was gettin’ pretty darn impressed with myself!  I clearly remember the day I sent a text to my friend Hilary, telling her how great I felt after a particular day of training and how I had cut my time again.  She’s my running inspiration, running half-marathons, training in the nasty hot heat in summer time Austin, TX and sticking screws on the bottom of her shoes to train in winter time in northern Michigan!  She told me how proud of me she was, and how she knew I could do anything if I set my mind to it.  She then went on to ask me, “When’s the half-marathon we’ll train together for?”  Excuse me?!?! Ummm, what??  It was at that very moment, I had a  instance of clarity.  I realized right in that moment, I no longer had to be the girl who wasn’t an athlete, who wasn’t a runner because she didn’t “feel” like it, the girl who was just “average”.  I could make my body healthy, strong, lean and beautiful if I put my mind to it.  I remember tears welling up in my eyes, because it suddenly all became real.  It was an attainable goal and I could do it!  I will forever appreciate and thank Hilary for making me realize this could be possible.  I have the best friends a girl could ask for. 

May 1st arrived.  Race day.  I felt so pumped and nervous and excited all at once.  It was a beautiful spring day, even pleasantly warm for the first day of May.  I got all suited up, put on my bright yellow mesh (oooooh mesh! hot!) shirt.  This was over my longsleeve running shirt mind you.  No nudity involved here.  Got my bib number attached to said mesh shirt, ipod charged and ready to go!

 

We made our way to the starting point of the race.  There were THOUSANDS of people running in it!  I had no idea there would be so many!  I scoped out the situation for my starting point.  Five minute mile, 6 minute mile, 7 minute mile…wait a second. Where do I end up??  Ohhhhh, I see.  At the end, where it says “12 minute mile”. heehee.  I think they meant to put “12 minute mile ++” since that’s the category I fell into.  It was so exciting to be in that crowd of people getting ready for the race to start.  Music was playing loud on speakers all around, people came with their families, their babies in strollers, their dogs.  Everyone was in such a great mood.  I actually got goose bumps and got a bit misty eyed when the race started.  All that adrenaline flowing and emotions coming thru.  I’m running my first race! How can it be??   I made it thru the race at my own pace, not terribly fast, but not the slowest person out there.  I only had to walk just a teensy bit, because I had so much energy pushing me forward to get to the finish line.  People were cheering and clapping on the sidewalks watching the racers, adorable handmade signs helped us stay motivated, whole families got into the festivities.  I remember getting into the home stretch.  I was pretty much near the end of the pack, so it had cleared out in the runners area.  I could see Michael off on the right side cheering and waving to me near the finish line and I was able to give a huge smile and wave back.  I crossed that finish line and it felt amazing.  It was one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time and it felt so good to be able to run over to Michael and share my happiness with him, sweaty, red-faced and all.  He was so supportive of me throughout my training and on race day.  He was beaming with pride for me.  I should have taken a picture of him too!

 

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

I think this quote pretty much sums it up:

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
-John Bingham