Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Foodie Pen Pals Reveal!!

The Lean Green Bean

Can you believe that another month has come and gone already? This year is going to be over before we know it. But I digress.

Let's get to the purpose of this post! This month I was matched with Rhonda over at and @RhoyalSocialite on Twitter. Before I show you the pictures of the goodies that she sent me I must make a confession.

I'm a popcorn-aholic. It's my absolute favorite food in the entire world. I wasn't quite this forthcoming when Rhonda was asking me what I'd like to receive in my package, but boy oh boy did she hit it out of the park (convenient since she's from Chicago).

We were out of town for 8 days during the time when we were supposed to be sending and receiving packages, but that didn't stop me from participating. I was just more on the ball this month! We got home on Monday the 21 and I received my package on Wednesday the 23. It's always so exciting to come home from work to something yummy!
I got a box full of popcorn and brownies!
2 brownies and a tub of popcorn!!!
The brownies are from Rhonda's own bakery. In her note, which you'll see in a moment she gave me a hint - put them in the freezer and eat them a bite at a time (Mmmmm Hmmmm. Yeah right! I thought the same thing). I've eaten the cream cheese brownie, there on the left. It was frozen. I ate it in one sitting. But I did share with David.

Here's a better picture of the chocolate-y goodness!

Now that I'm writing this I think I'll go eat the one on the right!
 The popcorn is next. And folks, I just have to say that normally I'm a butter and salt kinda gal. But man oh man was this popcorn divine. Or should I say - decadent. It was cheesy and it was caramel-y. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salt. I managed to do a really good job of just having a few bites here and there, but then one night a friend was over and we indulged in a little too much adult beverage and I ended up eating the rest of the container (that's also when the brownie was consumed). But I still remember every bite. I've never been to Chicago, but this popcorn really made me want to go visit. By the way, did you know that popcorn is the official snack of the state of Illinois? Yep, you can see that right here. I know, I know. I'm stalling. I don't really want to share this with you because then I might not get any more.

Who out there really loves cheesy popcorn? Because if you do, you MUST get some of this popcorn stat. Look at it:
Try not to lick your screen!
Here's another view of a completely covered cheesy kernel:
Seeing the picture makes me salivate.
And finally a picture of the same cheesy kernel alongside a caramel kernel. Try to resist the temptation. I dare you.
Some of the caramel were covered in cheese too. *Sigh*
I also like to show the note that was sent because we never receive enough hand written anything anymore. Rhonda has handwriting similar to my best friend, so that made me smile (not as much as the popcorn, but still, I smiled!).

Thank you very much Rhonda! It was wonderful.

If you are interested in seeing what I sent to Becky, check out her reveal post at

If you are interested in participating in Foodie Pen Pals check out the information below:
And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for June, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Half Marathon Training - First Training Run

I signed up for the Lady Speed Stick Women's Half Marathon that is in Nashville on September 22, 2012. This will be my first half marathon. The very first one ever. I rant my first official 5k on April 1 this year. I signed up for the half at the expo the day before the 5k.

Tonight I did my first official training run for the half. Oh. My. Goodness. I've been going out and running/walking and have been doing a good job. You can see evidence of that here and here. But, I've just been doing my own thing. I've tried to stick to the days that I'm supposed to based on reading a few books, but I hadn't really started training.

When I signed up for the half, I got a coupon code to get a free training thingy from It's a $30 value, so I picked up one of the run/walk training programs. Today was a 35 minute low intensity (hah!) run. It included a 5 minute warm up (but I walked a quarter mile (probably in 5 minutes) and stretched before I started the next part), then a 3 minute run followed by a 2 minute walk. How is it possible that 2 minutes goes by so quickly when 3 minutes takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to pass by? I know I'm not brilliant, but isn't every minute just 60-seconds? I don't understand... Oh yeah - you're supposed to do this series 7 times for a total of, you guessed it, 35 minutes! Then there's a 5 minute cool down.

David was out there running with me and ran his own pace for pretty much the whole time. We did our warm up walk and then stretched and then started running. I did the first two series well. Then I got to the third one and it started to get a little harder. I was slowing my pace down a bit so David decided to run backwards. I quote "I'll give you something to blog about!" The turd! If I was more coordinated, and not so concerned about ruining my phone with all my sweat, I would get a picture of him while he's running backwards!

We got to a part on the sidewalk where he was running backwards and he was getting ready to step in a pile of dog poop. All I could get out was the word poop. Mind you we were right beside a playground with some kids playing on it and their parents were there. Again, all I could get out of my mouth, besides huffing and puffing for oxygen, was poop! David was like what? I said, "POOP!" He barely missed it. It was the most entertaining part of the evening!

We did another 2 sets and on the 5th set I was about to quit. I felt like I could barely move. Is it possible to hit a wall in a 3-mile run? If it is, then I must have hit a wall. It sucked. And I said so out loud; many times. I'm proud of myself for not swearing though. I was trying to be considerate of the families that were around. :)

On the 6th set I asked David to stop running ahead of me and walk (!) beside me while I was running. Granted, he did have to power walk, but he was still walking... I needed him to distract me so that I wouldn't think about how it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R for those 3-minutes to pass by. He talked to me about movies that are coming out this summer. I don't remember what else.

On our two minute walk between set 6 and 7 I realized that we only had to do 7 and not 8 sets. Then I realized that I made it through my first training run. I couldn't quit then. I didn't want to quit anymore. If I was just one set away from being done, why would I quit? I persevered and came out the other side successful! Maybe I'll actually be able to think of myself as a runner/marathoner (can you call yourself a marathoner if you are just running a half? or even just training for a half?) if I can make it through a few more weeks of this torture training.

I created an activity record for this run, but somehow managed to not turn it off when I was doing my stretches. I thought I did. Oh well. Here, you can see my speed. I stopped to stretch at about 6:55. Then we had to walk nearly a half mile back to the car. Then we rode home, I did my plank, and realized that I hadn't stopped my activity. Oh well! I like the peaks and valleys. I'm pretty consistent in my speed, which really surprises me!

Question - What was your first race training run like? Or have you been running/training for so long you don't remember? Does it get easier?!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Running in the Rain

This morning was our first long run. It was 4 miles and I've been amped to do it all week. I had my alarm set for the regular 'get-up-for-work-time' but our adorable, precious, sweet, little kitty cat decided that we needed to get up a little extra early this morning.

That's BJ - isn't he sweet?!
He threw up 5, yep, 5 times before 5:30 this morning. See, my alarm goes off at 5:46, but I don't ever get up that early. I usually am up at 6:30 (extra emphasis on the unwritten not typically) for work. Lately, though, I've actually been getting up and functioning like an adult (I think it's because I'm almost 30) by around 6:30 - 6:45. I had intended on being out to run by like 7:30 this morning, so getting up at 6:45 would have been perfect. But no. Bodge (on of his nicer, but many, nicknames) had a different plan in store. He pukes, wakes us up, David gets up to clean the floor, and I brilliantly decide "why go back to sleep when we were wanting to get up early anyway?" Ugh. It must have been sleep deprivation making me crazy.

So we get up - David cooks breakfast - I make my toast with peanut butter and sample some of the agave nectar that I got in my May #FoodiePenPals package - and we think about leaving. At about 6:30 we start getting ready to go. Before I get dressed, though, I check Twitter. I saw that there was supposed to be a line of severe storms moving through from 7:00 - 9:00. Sometimes weather men get their predictions wrong - and that's what I was hoping for this morning. But nope, they weren't wrong.

We ran the Third Creek Greenway and fortunately for us, there is a set of railroad tracks that crosses a section of the greenway. And where those tracks cross, there is a bridge!!

The bridge is right past the 2.75 mile marker to the East, at the bend.
We started out at the 3.75 mile marker, so we were a mile into our run when the skies just opened up on us. It was pretty heavy rain, actually. The picture below is from and it shows the past 24-hours of precipitation in Knoxville. It's quite a lot and I really feel like those yellow portions were moving through at 7:00 this morning!

Anyway - I was wearing my new running shoes and all the rain invigorated me. It made me feel like I was an actual runner. I didn't quit. I didn't tell David that I thought we should just stay at home and do our run later. I didn't sit on the ground under that bridge and not move. At the first break in the storm we headed out toward the 1.75 mile marker. We did it! We finished 4 miles in under an hour. We were under the bridge for about 8 minutes. The rain really tapered off after the initial onslaught, but David had me laughing and smiling throughout most of the run. 

He was struggling to stay at my pace so I told him to run ahead of me, but he kept trying to talk to me, too. I finally told him to turn around and run backwards so I could hear him. Which he did. The show-off! He didn't do it for very long, but it gave me something to be entertained by and he helped me finish strong. Once I caught my breath I realized that there is no better feeling than succeeding at something you set your mind to.

I've got two more shots for you. One of them is a screen shot of the activity record from my fitbit and the other is a photo of me post-run before we headed into the grocery store! 

Here's the fitbit shot. I started recording this activity after we had already been running and finished it after we finished our cool down. You can also see the time where we were under the bridge and not moving. I love my fitbit! If you have one and want to be friends, look me up: rebeccalcorn!
Have I mentioned before that I'm a really slow runner? Some of that is walking, though!
Also - here is the shot of me going into the grocery store. I know I look a hot mess, and you can't tell at all that I am wet, but I am. My shoes were still kicking up water when we left the store...

I also want to give a real quick shout out to my very dear friend Kara Kasch who will be running the New Jersey Marathon Half tomorrow! She's gonna rock it out and I'm going to be cheering for her from Tennessee!

Tell me - do you like to run in the rain?