Monday, July 30, 2007

A Positive Spin

First and foremost, thank you so much to everyone for their comments on my last post. It's so great to hear all your advice and support when I have an off day.

I do have a sports massage scheduled for Wed. so I'm hoping that will help things.

And as far as picking myself back up again, I had thought about trying the nine miles again on Saturday. But Saturday morning, I didn't want to risk hurting myself. So instead I hit the gym for an hour of cycling. It had to be better than nothing.

I had another run planned for today, but I was just absolutely exhausted this morning and turned off the alarm and went back to bed.

I've got kickboxing slated for tomorrow and a run planned for Wed. morning before my massage appointment. But if Wed's run doesn't go great, I'm not going to be too upset. I think the massage is really going to help things loosen up.

I head back home tomorrow night and then have a crazy few days before leaving for vacation so my blogging my be a bit erratic. I'm going to try to post and try to keep as up-to-date with everyone as a I can. I should be able to do a decent job until Friday, after that no promises because I don't think I will have access to a computer when we're down at the beach.

Friday, July 27, 2007

F is for FAILURE

****I start off with a disclaimer: This post will be fulllll of negativity, apologies now****

AHHHHHHHHHH I AM SO FRUSTRATED (enough to use capital letters!)

Today's run sucked. It was awful, horrible, pathetic. Frankly there was not one good thing about it. (No seriously I spent my time stretching thinking what I could find good in this experience. I got a big fat load of NOTHING!)

I am not going to even bothering recording the time and distance because it sucked and I don't even know if it's right because I had to stop and stretch sooooo many times.

Ok so now for something slightly more coherent to explain previous rant about sucky run:
I was so pysched for today's run. Set the alarm for 5:30. Realized it was still kinda dark so bumped it back to 5:55. Perfect. Got up, threw on my running stuff, downed a Clif Bar (in not one of my fav. flavors...perhaps a sign of future crappiness with this run), grabbed my Propel from the fridge and learning from last week's mistake of not taking anything to eat part way through, I stuffed a pack of Sports Beans in my shorts waistband.

I was good to go. I mapped out the nine miles I was going to do on Gmaps yesterday and I was ready to get going.

I jogged down the six flights of steps from my apartment to the lobby and then stretched outside (my quasi-warm-up). I started out slow, knowing full well I was going to need to conserve energy if I wanted to get through all nine miles.

Well turns out all my pre-run prep. and conservative running were useless. At about the 10:20 mark I had to stop and stretch my calves because they were really tight. I wasn't sure why and I was only slightly annoyed that I had to stop and stretch. I figured they just needed to be loosened up and then I would be good to go for the rest of the time.


After stretching I started running again, nice and slow and steady. I started to feel them tightening up again about five minutes later. But I figured I'd try to keep going for a little bit and see if movement helped them loosen. At the top of a big hill at about 23 or 24 minutes, I stopped to stretch again. Except this time it hurt to stretch. So I walked in circles around the tree, trying to get my calves to release and then spent about five minutes stretching them out against the tree.

Then I said, "Okay, Self, we're going to get through all nine miles even if we have to stopped and stretch after every single one."

And with that thought in mind I set out to tackle mile three. While my brain was in the right place to finish nine miles, my legs had other plans: cramp, tightening, knot up, whatever you want to call it. Force Jess to walk mile or so back home.

I am pissed and angry and disappointed and I want to tell my legs to go sit in the corner for failing me so miserably today. Maybe if I had lower expectations for this run I wouldn't be so disappointed, but frankly that is not the case. I had ridiculously high expectations that were then dashed. I am being so overly dramatic. Apologies. But seriously....AHHHH!!!

Also if this were three weeks ago, maybe I wouldn't be freaking out so much. But it's getting to be crunch time for the marathon. I have three more weeks of solid training and then it's time to taper. I want to be sure I'm ready by then and if I'm having these stupid leg issues I don't know if I will be. GAHH!!!!

I may try to see if I can do the nine tomorrow. Or at least some semblance of distance tomorrow. But I don't know how likely that is. A friend of mine is coming down for the weekend and we had all sorts of stuff planned for tonight and tomorrow. So I really don't know what my time schedule will look like.


And on that note, I'm going to go stomp around my apartment for a while. Kick the furniture. Punch a pillow. You know, basically throw a temper tantrum. (Hello, five-year old self). But I will have to do so quietly as my roommates are all still asleep.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ballet Class Adventures

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 2.9 miles

Today's run was a solid tempo run (using the 10,10,10 formula described last week). Although the legs felt a little bit heavy when I got out of bed, they came alive once I started moving. I'm pretty pleased with the pace. I'm glad that I can hold something that is close to a 10-minute mile pace. But other than that I don't have anything really exciting to tell you about my run.

Yesterday though was a cross-training day. And normally the three classes I teach at the gym count for my workout. But because my internship ended last week, I have this entire week to sit around and do nothing before I head back home to PA next week. It was glorious doing a lot of nothing Friday through Sunday. By Monday it was getting a little old, but my roommate doesn't have summer class that day so we hung out. On Tuesdays though she had class and I knew I was going to need something to do during the day to entertain myself.

Enter ballet class. It was haaaard. Okay, no that's not true. It was challenging, but I could still remember most of the steps. The teacher only corrected my poses a few times, which surprised me seeing as how I haven't taken a ballet class since I was in 7th grade. I danced all the way through high school, but only jazz and hip hop. So the ballet class yesterday was definitely a wake-up call to certain muscles in my legs that haven't been used in awhile. I like that they have classes available on a drop-in basis. I could tell a lot of the class was regulars, but I didn't feel too out of place. If I have time I'm going to try to go back next Tuesday. Ballet classes require such total concentration, I couldn't believe how quickly the hour and a half class flew by. And it definitely made me realize how much I've missed dancing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sweet Run and Weekend Review

Time: 40:45
Distance: 4.0

First and foremost, I've been tagged twice as a rocking girl blogger! Thanks to Neese and Renee for that. And now for my five chicas that get me through the days o' training:

And I'm tagging one more here (even though she's not a runner...hope that's not cheating!)

Whooo check it out! That's almost a 10-minute mile pace! I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't pumped with those results. It was a good run today. My legs felt fresh when I got outside, and they stayed that way for most of the run. I got a little bit of a shin splint about 10 minutes in or so, but it faded after a while.

The weather today was pretty pleasant as well. Slightly overcast so there was no hot sun beating down on me and the humidity, while it was there, didn't seem as bad as normal. It was a balmy, in the 70s when I took off at 6:30 this morning.

I don't have any super fascinating weekend plans to report. My softball end of the season party was on Saturday night, where they presented everyone with some sort of trophy. I received the "Perfect Attendance" award. Check it out:

Spent Saturday reading the new HP book. My roommates came with me to pick it up on Friday night. The place we went turned the entire street into Diagon Alley. We were all pretty amused. Here's a pic my roomie snapped of one of the signs hanging in a store window:

Nothing else exciting to report today.

Friday, July 20, 2007

So that thing I ran into....

...apparently it's called a "wall." And it hurts and it's not fun. And I think my knee caps are falling off my body. And I think Gmaps is lying.

Time: 1:36:59
Distance: 8.3 miles (but I think Gmaps is lying!)

Let's see what to address first. Well I'll just take them in order.

The Wall: Today I specially prepared so that I wouldn't hit the wall. I usually never eat before my run, but today I had half a PowerBar figuring I wasn't going to mess around with 8 miles. Then I also had a bottle of Propel to take with me to keep me going. I figured I was plenty prepared because last summer I didn't eat anything before my runs until I was running 10 miles. So I was expecting things to go pretty smoothly. WRONG-O! Around mile five I hit the wall and I hit it hard. Hard enough to make me consider calling it quits. But I pushed through and as you can see according to GMaps, I supposedly ran 8.3 miles.

Which I think is a CROCK! I ran slooooooow today. I mean I was okay with that. I told myself I was going to run slow or else I knew my tired legs would never make. I ran the first mile in about 12 minutes and then thought I kept a pretty consistent pace for the rest of the run. I mean I might have picked it up a little bit after the first mile, but not by much. Not enough for me to have run an extra .3 miles I don't think.

The weather gods were half-way decent to me today. When I started they were mean. It was hot and sunny (and had even left a half hour earlier than normal to help avoid this), but then it got windy and cloudy and looked like it was going to storm and it stayed like that from about mile 3 to mile 8, which rocked my world, because there are huge portions of the run where there is absolutely no shade and the sun kills.

My iPod froze when I had a half mile left to run. I was just thanking my lucky stars that it didn't die with 7 miles left. I would have cried. It seems fine now though. Strange.

My knees currently hate me. I tried to take an ice bath when I got home, but the water in the tub was not really cold at all. What gives, plumbing? I had it as cold as it would go. All the ice would have melted in like five seconds. See I tried to ice down, but it just didn't work. And now I won't have time to sit down for another hour or so. Oh well, it'll happen eventually.

Just a quick shout out to the University of Maryland land maintenance crews: Thanks for having the sprinklers on today. You rocked my world at mile 6!

I think that's all for now. I'm going to get Harry Potter 7 tonight. Yea I'm not even lying. I'm stoked. :o)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kick Butt Kickboxing

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 2.8 miles

I hate to toot my own horn, but last night my classes at the gym kicked some serious booty. I don't know what I was so on the money last night, but everything about all three of my classes went stellar and I got lots of positive feedback from participants afterward.

My first class was boot camp which I made nice and challenging as always, working in all different kinds of stations in the circuit. Then we did suicides and finished up with ab work. Kickboxing was probably the best class of the night though. I was feeling energetic and only had two combos I wanted to get through and we did lots of drill work and I was dripping in sweat and tired by the end so I assume the participants were feeling it too. I wrapped up the night with Abs class. I'm pretty sure I kicked people's butts. One girl came up to me afterward and told me her abs stopped hurting on Monday from last week's class and now they will probably be sure again all week. That's what I like to hear!

So as a result of my awesome classes, my legs were a bit sluggish today and felt pretty heavy during the entire run. Today was a speed day on the training plan broken down like this: 10 minutes at regular pace + 10 minutes at fast(er) pace + 10 minutes at regular pace. Strange indeed. I wasn't sure how my legs were going to take the faster 10 minutes, but they handled it better than I thought. I was gassed by the end though, and cut through on of the class room buildings to get back to my apartment so I could get in the AC and get out of the humidity because it was nasty outside this morning.

These past two weeks have not been the most ideal weather, that's for sure. I don't mind the heat, I just wish the humidity would drop off. I had a killer side-stitch when I started picking up the speed because my breathing was all wacked out from the heavy air. I pushed through it though and it eventually went away.

I think I might schedule tomorrow in as a rest day if the legs are still feeling tired because Friday is eight miles and I definitely want my legs to be fresh for that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Check it out!

I finally got some of my updates done. Please please check the list of bloggers on the side bar. If I left you out or if you got accidentally deleted in the changes, please let me know. I'll fix it asap! I had a lot of additions, so I'm sure I either missed people or deleted blogs I still read all the time.

In other news, soccer practice got canceled last night. I had mixed feelings. I was sad because it would have been fun, but overwhelmingly happy because I was exhausted. Apparently so exhausted that I fell asleep before 7 last night. I wish I was lying. My roommate knocked on my door at like 8:45 and was like hey just wanted to let you know our show comes on in 15 minutes. I mumbled something about giving me a second, but then apparently passed right back out and slept through til the morning.

Anywho, kickboxing and abs class tonight, and that is all for now!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Just call me a slacker....

Really interesting blog post: The Rules to Become a Runner, courtesy of Tom.

Time: 40 min
Distance: 3.56 miles

So remember how I had such lofty goals to update the blog this weekend. Welllllll, it's Monday and as you can see, that didn't happen so much. I swear I had good reason though. First and foremost, it was gorgeous all weekend and I didn't really want to be cooped up inside at a computer when I could be outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.

I promise the updates will come shortly. Chances are I read your blog and just don't have you on my list yet. You'll be there soon though!

As for my weekend: Thursday I ended up not kickboxing or trying the new class because my friend's friend was in town visiting and we ended up hanging out and then I took my other friend swim suit shopping because she said she was in need of a new one. I love her to death, but she is pickyyyyy. But truthfully she knew what she wanted and when we finnnnallly found one, it look great and she was happy.

Friday, my lazy streak continued as the long run didn't happen. I sort of made up for it by taking one of those pole dancing aerobics classes at night. (Okay who am I kidding that in no way makes up for a skipped long run, but at least I got some form of a workout in.)

Saturday rocked for so many reasons. First my roommate and I went hiking at Great Falls National Park in Virginia. It was gorgeous and so fun to hike the trail by the water falls. There were parts where the trail was smooth and parts where we had to climb over rocks (SO FUN!). All in all the loop we did was a little over two miles. But it was great being outside and hanging out with my roomie.

Saturday night we went to go see the Harry Potter movie. The whole HP craze started when I was in 6th grade. I got hooked then and I have been ever since. The movie was good. Can't wait for the book this weekend.

Sunday, my roommate from Ohio finally moved back in. We celebrated with ice cream. Delicious!

And after my weekend of being kind of lazy and not sticking to the training plan at all really, I am back on track today. It's back to sticking with the plan for the final few weeks of training because I actually want to be able to finish the race. And it's time to nix the ice cream and goodies for a while so that I can be back on healthy training food. Hummus and pita and yogurt for lunch....yummmm.

Got a shin splint today about 15 minutes in to my 40 minute training run. I pushed through and was able to finish though and iced down for a little bit after showering. My legs still feel sore now, so I'll ice down after soccer practice tonight.

Yes you read that correctly. Soccer practice. My roommate signed me up to play with her on her work team and practice starts today. I played back when I was in sixth grade and then played for on semester on an intramural team at school, so yea this should be interesting to say the least. Hey, I've got the socks and the cleats. At least I'll look the part!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's almost the weekend....parttttay!

Sports Update:
So much has been going on in the wonderful world of sports as of late. Monday night was the Home Rerun Derby, which saw defending champion Ryan Howard knocked out in the first round. Tuesday night was the All-Star Game, which sadly was won by the American League (...again), although Chase Utley had quite the nice double play in the beginning of the game. My Phils represented pretty well. (Except when Aaron Rowand couldn't get it done in the clutch. ) Eh, well, it was an exhibition game, and good fun.

Last night the U.S. U-20 soccer team won their game against Uruguay. Sadly it wasn't on TV here and I couldn't see two former Terp starts play. In the game before last nights, goalie Chris Seitz was a beast. He's had something like 22 saves in the last three games (not counting last night...I don't know the stats from that yet.) And mid-fielder Robbie Rogers, who left MD after one season to play soccer in Europe, had a game too.

And in other great Terp soccer news, two of our current players, Omar Gonzalez and Jeremey Hall, (both rising sophomores) were chosen to play on the U-2o team in the Pan-American games.

Training Update:
This week has been funky. I ran Monday. Cross-trained with kickboxing and abs class on Tuesday. And Wed. I took a rest day. I was exhausted in the morning when I woke up and just had no energy to put in the speed workout that the training plan called for. So instead, I slept in, went to work, came home and ended up spending the night baking cookies and eating pretzels covered in chocolate icing with my friends. (Bad self, not good food for training).

Thursdays are usually short run days in the training plan with Fridays as cross-training and Saturdays as long runs, but because of softball I had been tweaking the plan and doing the long runs on Fridays. Now that softball's over, logically I would move the long runs back to Saturdays, but I've really liked having them on Fridays and I think I might keep them there. To avoid running three days in a row (Wed, Thurs, Fri) I'm considering switching Thursdays to cross-training days.

That would leave my new schedule looking like this:
Monday: Run
Tuesday: Xtrain
Wed: Run
Thursday: Xtrain
Friday: Long run
Saturday: Short run or longer Xtrain session depending on how the legs feel after Friday.
Sunday: REST! YAY!

Does anyone have any thoughts or input? I think that will be enough running to get me through the half-marathon, even if I end up cross-training on most Saturdays instead of running.

So that leaves my plans for today to take kickboxing again tonight and then try a new class we're offering this summer that I've never taking before. It's called the Amazing Ball Class and basically it's an hour class built around using stability balls and medicine balls. I think it's mostly a strength training class, which is always good because we all know I don't do that enough. So those are my thoughts on that.

General Blog Update:
I'm going to attempt to find time this weekend to put in some serious time updating things on the blog. There are a lot of blogs that I read that aren't in my list of blogs on the side column and a lot of the links that are still there are out dated. So hopefully, come Monday things will be spruced up a little bit and more up to date. No promises though.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Busy as a Bee

Time: 38:27
Distance: 3.5 miles

I have been crazy busy these past few days, hence the serious lack of posting. To quickly update.

Friday I went for a short run. Well it was supposed to be long, but it was very very short (20 mins) because my legs felt like they were going to fall off because Thursday night, I decided to kick my butt at the gym. I biked for an hour (ouch those seats on uncomfortable, must remember to where real bike shorts that don't ride up next time) and then swam laps for another 35 minutes. This was the first time I'd biked in I don't even know how long and the first time I'd swam since about March or April, so needless to say it was a tiring task.

Friday's run was painful and I called it quits 20 minutes in and went home to strength train.

I can't even remember what I did Friday night, but it was something and it was fun.

Saturday morning I woke up early to hit the gym again (because with softball being over I needed something to entertain myself with in the a.m. ) This time I biked for an hour (wearing the appropriate shorts) and then swam for an hour. Boy, were my arms tired by the end of the swim.

I came home, hit the farmers market with friends, then grabbed some breakfast and headed to the mall for a serious day of shopping. (Found the adorable black dress I am now wearing at work at Old Navy for $25! Score!)

Saturday night was a movie night. I watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith with a friend who'd never seen it before.

Sunday was a rest day (Alleluia!). I headed into D.C. with friends to check out the Frida Kahlo special exhibit at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, followed by lunch at Fuddruckers.

Then it was back home, where I fell asleep at 7:30 last night and slept through til 6:30 this morning. That's just embarrassing, but I must have been quite worn out from my weekend.

This morning's run was 40 minutes and boy was it hot when I started. 79 degrees at 6:30 in the morning. Needless to say the run was not the most enjoyable. It was hot, my legs were super tired and sore and it was hot. (Are you getting that it was hot?)

I'm probably going to hit the gym after work again for some more biking and swimming. And then it will be back home for leftovers and curling up to watch the Home Run Derby and cheering for the Ryan Howard repeat.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nasty Humidity

Time: 31:22
Distance: 3.0

The humidity was nasty today. As soon as I started running I got a side-stitch because even though I was breathing normal, the air was so thick. Just walking out the front door to be outside was uncomfortable. They are calling for thunderstorms tonight though, which makes sense with the humidity being so high.

In part because of the humidity and in part because my legs were tired from yesterday, today's run was a struggle. I never felt bad persay. It's just that I was feeling myself fatigue earlier than usual, which is to be expected that day after an eight mile run.

I also felt like I was running extremely slowly. But looking at the time and mapping the course out on Gmaps showed that I really wasn't. It just must have been a mental thing with a combintation of the weather and my legs being tired.

Yesterday's 4th of July festivities were fun. We got to the Capitol around 4 to camp out until they let us through security at 5 p.m. Well, around 10 of five they made an announcement saying they were going to delay letting us in because of a nasty storm cell moving through the area. (Apparently there were tornado warnings for yesterday.) Needless to say, they ended up evacuating the entire area, so we went to grab dinner and hide out from the downpour.

Afterwards we headed back to the Capitol but had lost our amazing place in the line. We were wayyyyyy at the end. Lucky for us one of our friends' neighbors is a sergeant with the Capitol Police. Also lucky for us he happened to be working on our side and my friend spotted him. He pulled us out of line and put us throught he VIP area. We didn't even have to go through security. We got right in, set up our blankets and enjoyed the concert and the fireworks.

All in all it was a really great time. Getting back on the Metro was a bit of a mess and took way longer than it should have, but I guess that's to be expected when everyone and their mom flocks to the city to see the fireworks.

It was definitely good times. Hope everyone else enjoyed their holidays!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I'm pretty sure Gmaps is lying to me...and I'm insane

Time: 1:31:35
Distance: 8.38 miles

Seriously, I thought Gmaps was making that up when I charted my route this morning. I was like no way could I have possible run close to 8.5 miles. But there it was laid out in front of me, plain as could be. Eight miles. Eight miles with no pain. Eight miles with lots of sweat and wishing I'd brought a PowerBar or something along for when my energy crashed around mile six.

But the reason I was not prepared with my PowerBar was because I had only planned to run five miles this morning. And then I had planned to hit the gym and get in a bike ride and a swim. (I wanted to do a mini Fourth of July tri to mix it up and amuse myself). But as I was running past the gym in mile two, I realized it was all dark and closed up because it wasn't open for the 4th. Duh self.

So then and there I decided instead of running for a little less than an hour, I'd bump my run up to an hour and a half to compensate for the lack of being able to swim or bike.

I was cruising through mile five feeling awesome and thinking whooo hooo only 35 minutes to go, when all of a suddenly I felt the arch of my foot seize up. I've had this happen before. (I'd link to the previous entry if I could remember where I described it) But basically, my arch got really tight and it felt like it was ripping in half. Yea, it's a pretty painful feeling, but it's never stopped me from running. It's something I've always been able to push through and then it goes away.

Same was true for today. By mile six the pain was gone and I was feeling mostly good again. Then the energy crash hit. I never eat before I run anything six miles or less, because I don't need to and it just feels heavy in my stomach. Since I had only planned to do five miles, I obviously didn't eat. Well, turns out when you suddenly decided to up your mileage, you still only have the same amount of energy left in the tank. And those energy supplies were seriously depleted from the first five miles.

So while I was thinking man I wish I had a PowerBar, I was also thinking, hey, maybe I need to call it quits for the day. But we all know I'm not one to give up in the middle of a run. So, needless to say I pushed through the last two miles and change.

Got home, chugged some water from the water fountain on the first floor of the building. Tried to take the elevator up the six floors, oh but it decided not to work. So I get back out of the elevator and schlepp it up six flights of stairs. My legs = wayyyyy not happy with me at this point.

I get inside. I'm feeling super-energized (God only knows why) and had the crazed idea that I'd pop in my kickobxing DVD and do the half hour segment. No lie. After running for an hour and a half, I kickboxed for another 30 minutes. I am a wack job. Seriously, I think I might need my head examined.

Now I am tired and must go shower and ice my legs down. I'd take an ice bath, but I'm lacking the ice.

Later this afternoon, my friends and I are heading into D.C. to catch the concert and fireworks on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. Should be a blast. Will be crowded. Security will suck because the terrorist level has been raised because of the recent London stuff. (Stupid terrorists) But it will be fun.

Hope everyone has a fun and happy Fourth! Enjoy the fireworks whereever you are!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Back at it

June Totals:
Time: 7 hours and 37 minutes
Distance: 41.13 miles

Time: 40:01
Distance: 3.79 miles

First off, thanks to everyone who left me well wishes! I appreciated them tons!

It seems like the time I took off helped heal up the leg. This morning's run went pretty well. I could feel my legs were sluggish from having not run for an entire week, but they survived all 40 minutes of the run. My right calf (the one I think I pulled) was a little tight at the end so I stretched a little bit more than usual. My left shin had hurt a little bit too while I was running, so I made sure to stretch that really well too, and I think I will definitely be icing both legs down when I get home from work today as a precautionary measure.

The weather this morning was absolutely gorgeous, I couldn't have asked for a better day to start my running again. It was in the mid-60's when I went outside and it was sunny with a slight breeze. It rocked.

My legs right now feel really tired. I'm glad tomorrow is a cross training day. I'll try not to work them too much in kickboxing.

As far as a quick weekend update:
Saturday was my last day of softball :o( We lost both games, but they were both really close and more competitive than we had been for a lot of the season. As always, it was a blast and we all had a really good time. But I am super sad the season is over.

Then Saturday evening my roommate who had spent six months in Boston on an internship came back! I was so excited. She only stayed for about two hours to drop off her stuff, go out to dinner and then turn around and drive back to Cleveland. She'll be back for good in about two weeks though.

Sunday was another beautiful day. My friend and I hit the farmer's market for delicious summer fruits and veggies and then lounged on the mall reading because it was way too nice to be inside.

Other than that, nothing too fascinating going on around here. I'm looking forward to Wed. We're going to the Hill to watch the 4th of July concert and fireworks. The 4th in D.C.....should be a pretty good time.

And just a quick plug for my friend's new blog: Tart Reform. She's a great cook, and those bagels she wrote about in her first post.....delicious!