Bev

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reporting from over the edge.

After being faithful to posting regularly for several months, I fell off the planet. I know. I know. Lurkers and curious people who contacted me off blog know that I’m alive.

I want you to know it too.

Prophetically in my last posting, I noted that for everything there is a season.

I am writing this little entry from Hospice, where I’m sitting vigil for a beloved who cannot stay here with us anymore. Her winter season draws to an end.

This journey began exactly three weeks ago with a trip to the emergency room. I continued to run (sort of) and post (scattered thoughts) throughout the first two difficult weeks in the hospital, but when we headed toward Hospice, I dropped away from my morning keyboard and stopped pretending that I could cling to normalcy.

The past weeks haven't been about me, but since my blog is about running, I tell you honestly that running has been dashed on the rocks by grief, long days and longer nights at bedside, lack of sleep, meals that have been eaten out of vending machines, work that’s not getting done, birthday cards I forgot to mail, a garden overtaken by weeds, wet laundry molding in the washer because I can't get it to the dryer, and a household falling apart from neglect.

There will be time later. Another season.

In the irrevocable face of death, I am suddenly clear again on The Essential. Guys, when it’s all said and done, all that matters is love.

Just thought I would remind you too … in case you’re like me and forgot that life is too damned short.

As for running, it will wait a little longer.

I’ll post again when …

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Update on actual training and diet. Finally.

Several of you have asked how I’m doing with my running and my never-ending battle with weight. You want details. Okay, okay. Here’s the official update.

RUNNING: My running was going fairly well until ten days ago when a critical life-event in our family yanked me right down to the floor, where it still has its boot on my throat. It’s going to be this way for a while.

“For everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The past couple of weeks have not been the Season of Running on Schedule. They’ve been the Season of Trying to Run Every Day and Failing Pathetically.

But just so you don’t think I’m a lost cause, my power as a runner and the disciplines I’ve developed in overcoming fatigue and keeping my emotions in check come in handy as I grapple with real life. When everyone around me is imploding and I’m tempted to cave in, a familiar feeling comes over me. I’m digging down into that wellspring of resolve that we discussed a while back. It’s the Mile Twenty Marathon Miracle Moment, when we learn first and forever to hunker down. "Quitting is NOT an option. We’re runners, doncha know! BRING IT ON!"

WEIGHT: More discussion in April. But for now, know that I’m trimming down right on schedule. I’m not rail thin. I’m not plush and Rubenesque. I’m unremarkable, longing to be remarkable ... but in a good way.

Because my running is now erratic, I’ve dropped caloric intake. Because my psyche is under intense assault, I’ve made sure that my diet supports sanity. In fact, I brushed up on my research last week when I could see bad juju coming down.

There are the obvious dietary suggestions: Easy on the caffeine. Lots of water. Fresh fruit. High quality protein. Frequent, small meals. And chocolate.

What’s this you say, Bev? Chocolate?!? Part of a Stay Sane Diet?

Oh yah. Research indicates that to stay alive in times of extreme crisis, chocolate needs to be in your lunchbox. Chocolate contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that plays a key role in producing serotonin in your brain. Serotonin reduces anxiety and modulates mood. Chocolate also releases endorphins, the runner’s well kept secret for that inexplicable, happy grin at the end of a long run. It reduces pain and triggers the perception of extreme well being. I did the math, buddy. Chocolate emulates some of the benefits of running surprisingly closely.

And I’m having no trouble buying it. It’s Easter. If you want to find Bev, just look for the woman with a milk chocolate rabbit in her pocket. If both ears are gnawed off, things aren’t going well, but I’ll be fine.

See ya on the trail. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Only Bev could combine Russian and Zen.

It is said of Russian author Dostoevsky that he played a little bar game with this friends. Each man would hold the palm of his hand over a candle flame until he could stand it no longer and pulled away. The one who could hold it the longest, won. Dostoevsky was renowned for his ability. When admiring competitors wondered if he didn’t feel pain, he said something like, “Of course I feel pain. The trick is in not minding.”

Running a marathon hurts. Maybe the trick to running one is not minding. “Yah, it hurts. So? Say, could you help me shove this bone back through my thigh and reach that duct tape for me? How’s your momma?”

One of the benefits of maturing as a thinking runner is learning how to plow through killer stuff that would cause a mere mortal’s knees to buckle. But not a runner’s. A runner toughens up on the road, and best of all, is able to carry tolerance for pain of all sorts into real life. Unflinching, we win “candle games” every time. Why? Because we don’t quit.

So how do we actually eliminate the word “quit” from vocabulary? Not easily, but oh so naturally!

First there is DECISION: This is the passive part, where the intellect is engaged. It lays a plan. The runner decides that no amount of exhaustion or pain or despair is sufficient to call a halt to the run. “I won’t quit.”

Then there is CHOICE: This is the active part, where the decision is put into gear. The runner follows through … and runs no matter what. “I am not quittng.” And later, “I didn’t quit.”

The distinction between decision and choice is subtle and Zen-like. But understanding the differences will keep you from looking back on a run that didn’t go your way and wondering, “What just happened?”

Running is about making choices that carry out your decision to tie on your running shoes. If things don’t turn out the way you want, you re-choose—sometimes on a second-to-second basis. Choice is immediate. It’s action. It’s now. You decide to run the marathon—an overarching goal, but you choose to take each step to the finish line. Quitting is not an option.

If you start a marathon with ANY doubt that you will finish, you won’t finish. This comes with an ironclad guarantee.

Okay, enough Wisdom of the Ages, Grasshopper. You’ve thought your running plan over and made your decision. Very nice indeed, but a little too abstract and passive to be truly useful. Now choose, and watch what happens. (You’re gonna love this.)

See you on the trail!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bev admits the truth. Finally.

The ING New York Marathon lottery closed at midnight last night. For all of you who refrained from entering the lottery or withdrew your names because you just couldn’t bear to add yourselves to the gazillion runners in competition for the one little number the NYRR might draw for ME, God bless you.

The lottery drawing will take place on April 7.

We shall all now return to Bev’s obsession with a key date … beginning NOW. Everyone, synchronize your runner’s watches! Countdown 33,120 minutes. (NOTE: If your watch is on a Polar heart rate monitor, this is 2,318,400 heartbeats.)

The good news is that I can start being completely honest with you about how magnificent the ING New York City Marathon is. I haven’t lied exactly, but I have been deliberately nonchalant to keep from fueling any misguided enthusiasm that might have led a charged-up runner to think, “Hey, maybe I should run New York too! I’ll enter the lottery with Bev!” That would have been a bad idea. Until today. Now I’ll tell ya the truth: Yes, you SHOULD run the greatest marathon in the world … just not this year when I want to do it.

I know. I know. I know. No one in the history of the world has been more self-centered.

BTW, for those of you who have been following the travails of life on Planet Bev over the past little while, I did run last night. No need for you to come get me now. As they were shutting down the lottery in New York at midnight, I was padding down a dark road in Gainesville, thinking quiet New York thoughts. It seemed an appropriate act of communion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Running in the grip of distraction.

I’ve said too much. A reader did the email version of rolling her eyes, declaring that yesterday’s rant was un-Southern and a betrayal of my inherent belle-ness. (Who knew we had The Belle Code"???)

Mea culpa.

Evidently, I am honor bound to rise from the ashes, dust my crinolines off, sew new running clothes from the velvet drapes, stand in silhouette against the sunset sky with wind in my hair, and declare in my very best drawl, “With Gawd as mah witness, …” and then come up with something optimistic.

No offense meant, but WHAT PLANET ARE WE ON HERE, GUYS???

First, I lack ashes and crinolines, but do have Nike and New Balance. Second, makeshift garments might have been stylish for Scarlett, but chafe a runner. We prefer technical clothes. Third, wind in my hair makes me look like Dog the Bounty Hunter in drag. Fourth, I drawl only when I’ve had a glass of wine and I want something.

As for coming up with something optimistic, I CAN do that. And will. Right after I run. Until then, all bets are off, baby. This bad time is reality as real as it gets.

Until I can work out a way to wrap my unrelenting distraction around running to stay sane, I suggest that you join me here by the fire. We’re going to get into a circle, hold hands, and sing “Kum Bah Ya” in honor of the closing of the ING New York City Marathon lottery tonight at midnight.

And then we’re going to tie on our running shoes and make life oh-so-much better. If I have not been able to run by tonight, I’m going to post my address. Come get me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Musings of a runner who didn't run today.

New York and the marathon lottery seem very far away tonight. Life here in Gainesville barged in again this week with its demanding, shrieking, clawing, clutching "GET OVER HERE, BEV!!! NOW, MISSY!!!"

Life is like this sometimes. So freaking inconsiderate.

Due to factors WA-A-AY out of my control, I didn't run today.

(I wonder if GUILT is aerobic?)

Say, Bev, you sound stressed, like you could use some healthy on-the-road decompression.
Ya think??? It's ironic. When I most need to run, I'm least able. If I could get out there and blow off some of this soul-sucking bad juju, I would be able to stop hyperventilating and start speaking in full sentences. Now, how great and runner-like would THAT be?

The coming week is going to be a bear cat. Without running shoes, it might even be fatal. All runners know I speak truth.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Watched like a hawk ...

They're ba-ack!

It's officially spring in Gainesville. We know because we hear the hawks calling to each other through the treetops. We see them sailing through the air as they hunt.

And when a familiar couple hooks up, as they do every year, we'll have an overflowing nest of puppy-hawks? ... uh ... hawklings? ... uh ... hawklets? high in the tree right across the road. It's so great to watch them grow from demanding, loud-mouthed fuzzballs into powerful, sleek aerialists.

But mating and establishing this year's hawk-families will come later.

For now, their job is to torment me. Every morning around 10, this magnificent beauty in the photos perches just outside my office window on the second floor, reminding me eye-to-eye that spending the day indoors is just plain nuts. There's a time for work and a time for letting yourself soar free. And while I almost NEVER get that right, the hawk knows what's best for us. (Except for the part about hunting rats; while I know rats probably are delicious, I'm leaving THAT to her.)

BTW, Phil Wharton kicked butt at River Run today in Jacksonville! Email ATTABOY here: http://www.whartonhealth.com/

Friday, March 12, 2010

Marathon Runner’s Public Service Announcement


As you plan your weekend running, remember on Saturday night to set your clocks forward by one hour. We’re going into Daylight Savings Time. “Spring forward; fall back.”

Now, now. Think kindly upon this springtime, life-wrenching, schedule-shredding, sleep-disrupting, cranky-making inconvenience; it’s intended to save energy … just not yours.

So now our following the Kenyan runners’ practice of “move with the sun” will be messed up for a little while as we all adjust. We need to ask Phil Wharton for another Kenyan training secret in the short term.

As for Phil, he lives in Arizona, one of the two states that do not observe Daylight Savings Time. (Allow me to make you smarter than a fifth grader. The other is Hawaii.) Phil will be on schedule, moving with the sun, while the rest of us are still figuring it all out.

Pop Quiz

Question: Hey, runner, when do we turn the clock back again?

Answer: November 7. Yes! If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the date of the 2010 ING New York City Marathon. If you got this right, you get an A. If you pictured Bev in New York on the starting line on time that morning, you get an A+.

Group hug, even if you’re sweaty.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why We Run: Reason #8,739

I have spent the last two days sitting in a hospital at the bedside of a friend in deep trouble. There is nothing like time spent staring at needles and tubes to put perspective on health, fitness, wellness, and the lovely normalcy of life when ya just live it without giving a thought to all that could go wrong. Sometimes it is in a hospital that we see some of the most dire consequences for decisions that probably were not our best and reap the benefits of those that were.

I also discovered about myself that I've become much more Southern than I thought a Hawaiian could. I found the blunt discussions of bodily functions to be ... uh ... unseemly and frankly too personal for a gentleman caller (uh ... this would be The Surgeon) to be asking of a lady (his suffering patient). I know I know I know. You don't have to tell me how ridiculous it is to recoil. In my own defense, I will tell you that no one is aware of the Scarlett O'Hara mentality but me. I have remained stoic and silent throughout, although I DID Google "the vapors" when I got home this morning, just in case I have to explain having to swoon onto the couch with a lace hankie pressed to my forehead at the next discussion of poopage. (How un-marathon-runner-like will this be???)

I'm home now for a few hours, trying to catch my breath and catch up on sleep and work. But before I do anything, I'm going to tie on my running shoes and go out for a little while to reestablish the simple rhythms of footsteps and raindrops. It's been a bad month in terms of brutal reminders of mortality ... and worse (yeah, there is worse). Running has saved my sanity. Sort of. And believe me when I tell you that MY running has also saved the sanity of other people who could not have endured me.

And this, my friends, is Why We Run: Reason #8,739.

Reasons #1 - #8,738 are "To Run NYC Marathon on November 7."

I wish you an amazing day (with nary an attack of the vapors).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shifting time.

Both Jim and Phil Wharton have phoned to check on me in the past two days. Each asked the only question worth answering: “How’s your training going, Bev?” (They are professional enough to suppress the urge to choke on the word “training,” although my lumbering down the road only loosely qualifies.) When anybody but a Wharton asks how it’s going, I feel compelled to respond with something confident and runner-like: “Awesome! All systems GO! New York! WHOOO HOOOOO!”

But with Jim and Phil, I feel safe in admitting that the eternal struggle of holding life together has been made more complicated by adding serious running into the mix … and as a consequence, training seems ragged and uneven right now. Phil was right when he wrote in his blog that time is the greatest difficulty in fitness.

For every big thing you add into your life, you have to let something go. Time is finite. You cannot create more. You can only reallocate the hours you have. The conundrum of training on this level is that very soon it will demand sacrifices I have not yet figured out how to make. Something will have to give, but what? And until I make some difficult choices, how will I keep it all together?

Tactfully, neither Jim nor Phil responded to my sniveling with something insane like, “Don’t worry if the training hasn’t come together, Bev. You probably won’t even get accepted into New York anyhow! Pppfffttt … your chances are zip. That lottery’s gonna look like the full U.S. Census with the entire population of Kenya thrown in for good measure. There are only, like, 46 open slots for the starting line. Do the math.”

Hey, I know all this. I’m not stooooopid. But hearing it out loud would send me right over the edge, running shoes and all.

Instead, the Whartons ignored the horrifyingly self-evident and continued the coach-runner strategizing that keeps a girl filled with hope and Gatorade, and on the road—all the way to New York on November 7th.

We’ll figure this out. I’m very clear that any adjustments in the Time-Space Continuum required by serious training will be rewarded beyond human imagination. I’m well acquainted with the riches that running brings. Besides, there are PLENTY of things I can sacrifice to free up more time. I’m just thinking out loud here … laundry comes to mind …

Hey, New York, get ready! Here I come! One more time! YA HEAR ME???

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Phil is coming to Jax!

The One and Only Phil Wharton is coming off the mountain in Flagstaff and flying to Jacksonville, Florida to run in the elite field of the Gate River Run 15K next weekend!

You’ll be able to follow the race and get results through the Internet and the Florida Times-Union.

But here's something you will not find in the news services.

Phil is flying from Arizona to Jacksonville early to work at the end of this week in an inner-city children’s fitness program.

He’s a teacher. He’s a coach. He’s a prophet. When he stands up and speaks about fitness, his passion whips stagnant air into tornadoes. He can actually levitate the most stubborn, diehard sloth right off a couch. Before the poor schlub even realizes that he’s vertical, he’s canceled his sloth-subscription to TV Guide and is frothing at the mouth to exchange his remote control for a pair of running shoes. “Please! Anybody! Where’s the nearest Sports Authority???”

Everybody has fun when Phil’s around, but especially kids. They’re as crazy about Phil as he is about them. Phil and Jim Wharton donate a lot of their time to kids’ fitness programs, trying to ensure that the next generation will enjoy phenomenal health and fitness throughout their long lives.

If I can rearrange life on Planet Bev, I’m going to play hooky and sneak up to Jacksonville for an hour to watch Phil work his magic. Kids aren’t the only ones crazy about Phil.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Awards and rewards.

And the Oscar for Best Actress in the Role of “It Doesn’t Matter if My Name is Not Drawn in the NYC Marathon Lottery” is …

Wait for it … Wait for it …


We watched the Academy Awards presentations last night for a while. Nearly went snow blind from glitz and camera flash. Nearly slid into a diabetic coma from sweetness in acceptance speeches. Nearly stress-fractured bones in the palms of my hands from applauding excellence and hard work.

This is as it should be always. Great work deserves great honor. Every dog has his day, baby!

It got me to thinking about running in the dawn when no one but you knows you’re out there. Silent and secret, the run is excellence for its own sake. Sometimes it’s even perfection. It contains all the drama and comedy and pathos of the most complex script. An entire life—all that a runner is or ever will be—can be played out within one single hour. But no one else knows. When the run is complete, there is nothing left behind in evidence except a wet towel and private satisfaction in knowing that on this day, you did it. Again.

Runners of the dawn deserve standing ovations and golden statues. I think we should form a committee and show up at each other’s doorsteps from time to time to celebrate quiet greatness.

And then we should run once a year through the five boroughs of New York, where our standing ovation goes on for 26.2 miles. Our carpet isn’t red, but it’s there and it will get us over bridge grating. No one will ask “who” we’re wearing; our clothes and shoes are plastered with familiar logos. As for golden statues … well, each of us would rather have a medal on a ribbon at the finish line of the ING New York City Marathon, right?

See ya in New York, you winner, you!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Five pounds by Easter! Easy!

I was browsing magazines in a particularly slow checkout line at the grocery store yesterday. One of the covers tried to seduce me with a promising article on diet: “Lose five pound by Easter!”

Hey, that sounds good to me! I’ve had my eye on that same magazine for two weeks. But I think I’ll wait one more week before I buy it, read the article, and deploy their genius method for losing five pounds by Easter. Wouldn’t want to rush this. In fact, if I don’t buy it until the end of the month, I will STILL lose the five pounds. The magazine cover says so.

Seriously, I am appalled by how gullible we humans can be when we’re desperate.

And I’m even more appalled that I’m thinking that this magazine MIGHT have the solution to my weight problem. And that I can wait until even the day before Easter …

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Laying claim to the morning.

It’s a beautiful spring weekend, but I’m behind on my work, so while the rest of Gainesville cavorts (yes, they cavort; it’s FLORIDA!!!), I will be chained to my desk for the duration, trying to make up for time lost to life’s most non-negotiable demand.

This is punishment.

This is penance.

But I know the work will go better if I run first, so I slip the bonds of indenture and sneak out into the cool morning air … before guilt can bag and tag me, and drag me back into servitude.

If I lay claim to the best of the day, then the rest of the day doesn’t need to be mine really. I love being a runner. I hate being a grownup. I strike a deal.

I wish you a great weekend! Whatever you do, throw in a little extra fun … for me, okay?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Suspending the suspense.

I’m about to disappoint you bitterly. I’m so sorry. I whipped us all into a collective frenzy of excitement over the lottery drawing on March 15 for the New York City Marathon, but ...

It’s not happening.

Sorry that had to be blunt and brutal. I think it best to deliver bad news swiftly. Like ripping off a Band-Aid on the count of two.

I went to the Web site of the New York Road Runners last night to find out what time they will announce the Marathon Lottery Chosen Ones. Bad news. I made a mistake. The lottery closes at 11:59 p.m. on March 15, but the New York Road Runners will not draw that night. They’re going to wait until “late March.”

I’m going to stop the countdown because I have no way of pinpointing “late March.” I will resume obsessing every day after March 15 … until.

I wonder what the New York Road Runners will be doing with all the lottery applicants’ forms between March 15 and “late March.” Thousands and thousands of games of Rock, Paper, Scissors? I know they're the most experienced in the world at marathon administration and totally know how to manage their lottery, but I can't help feeling sorry for them. When I signed up in early January, my lottery number was OVER 500,000. More than two months later, the mind reels.

I know it might have appeared to the outside observer that Bev had gone a little psycho over the 15th. But I remind you that I'm a rough, tough marathon runner ... much more in control than that. In fact, I am Zen-like in my serenity. "If a runner falls through the cracks and no one draws her name, was she still running?" Let us remind ourselves, Grasshopper, the treasures of marathon training are like a million hidden jewels embedded within many, many months of hard work and discipline—not within the ONE day of running on November 7th in New York.

You didn’t believe that any more than I did when I said it, did you??? I just spewed Diet Coke all over my keyboard. Let us laugh hysterically together!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stalked by death on the run.

As a Florida runner, I have looked death in the eye many times on the trail. And still I run.

Alligators, snakes, spiders, hurricanes, tornadoes, stuff that drops out of trees, poisonous insects and plants, men with evil intent lurking in shadow, wild animals, vicious dogs, deep sink holes that open up suddenly and swallow whole sections of trail in seconds …

All of it is child’s play in the face of the new peril that prowls paradise.

Pigs.

San Felasco Hammock State Preserve and our neighborhood in the forest have been invaded by pigs. Thousands of them. Evidently pigs find each other attractive, so there’s a whole lot of pig-love going on. By my calculations, they begin breeding when they’re a month old, their gestational period appears to be maybe a week and a half, and the minimum litter of piglets numbers about twenty. Their population is multiplying exponentially like a science experiment gone insane. I might find the plethora of pork perversely fascinating if it was happening somewhere other than here. But frankly, we already had enough to contend with. (Remember January and the comatose iguanas?)

At first, the occasional pig-sighting was novel. The Hammock dwellers tolerated them benevolently.

Then the pigs became annoying.

The Hammock dwellers installed impenetrable fortresses around well pumps and air handlers and the few surviving plants.

Then the pigs upped the ante with back-hoe-bulldozer-chainsaw-bush-hog destruction, trenching and deep rutting every night until we now dread the revelations of daybreak.

The Hammock dwellers hired professional trappers and maybe broke up some close-knit pig families with the Porcine Relocation Program.

And now the pigs have turned murderous. This week a hapless dog was attacked and nearly disemboweled by a sow.

The Hammock dwellers sounded the official neighborhood warning: The pigs are ticked off. They’re out to kill.

Uh oh. So now when I run, I round each blind corner more mindfully. My fear is that somehow the pigs know that some of the neighbors had bacon with their eggs for breakfast, and they’re out for revenge. Could this be the dawn of retribution?
COUNTDOWN TO THE ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON LOTTERY DRAWING: 11 DAYS

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lottery countdown strategy taking shape!



The drawing for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon lottery is on March 15. We all have that date marked on our calendars as the day that Bev will be accepted into the marathon, don’t we? The pyrotechnicians have been hired? The caterers have been called? Right?

Just making sure that we’re all together on this ...

ATTENTION! MARATHON RUNNERS OF THE WORLD! If you have not already entered your name into the lottery, do NOT do it now. The lottery is too packed, and I need the New York Road Runners to find and draw my one little name from among the gazillion applicants.

If you enter now, and you get in and I don’t, you’ll have to live with that guilt forever. I care about you. Really. Personally. I don’t want you to live with the grief of knowing that you ruined my life. At the very least, you will not enjoy the marathon at all. You’ll see my face in the crowd of spectators at every turn and you’ll wonder how I got everywhere before you did … with my black veil and all.

If you have already entered the lottery, withdraw your name now. Save yourself this pain.

If you email me proof that you either have refrained from entering or have withdrawn your name, I’ll send you the list of all the great marathons in the world that will make you happier than New York ever could. That’s how much I care about you. Really. Personally.

And if you bought into ANY of this, I have bridge I want to sell you for cheap. Nah. Not the Brooklyn Bridge again. This time it’s the Verrazano Narrows.

COUNTDOWN TO THE ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON LOTTERY DRAWING: 12 DAYS

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Marathon Cooking School

This morning we begin serious discussions about a runner’s kitchen and training table. We need to put recipes into our collection that meet the unusually high demands of marathon runners’ bodies.

Applying the artistry of a chef with the precision of a scientist, we must prepare food that’s delicious, nutrient-dense, clean and pure, organic if possible, and perfectly balanced in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Unfortunately, I have no time to eat, let alone cook, so the first dish we’re going to prepare together is “Rice Cakes.” I saw that smirk on your face. Stop! If it makes you feel better, I’ll go all Food Channel on you: G√Ęteau de Riz Pour le Marathon.

Most rice cakes are free from additives, so what you see is what you get. Rice. In a cake. No need for second-guessing: “Say, is irradiated, genetically engineered, butylated hydroxytoluene with heptyl paraben as tasty as it sounds?”

The humble rice cake does the job of holding a “sandwich” together or hosting an open-face as well as toasted bread. So here’s the genius part: Keep the other ingredients righteous. Smear on a little almond butter and pureed fruit spread or sliced banana. Or try avocado and cilantro and a whisper of chopped Spanish onion. Make right choices, slap ‘em on top of a rice cake, and you’ve got yourself a quick grab-n-go meal that’s FUEL … and as a bonus, moderate in calories.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: In reference to yesterday’s posting, putting Girl Scout cookies on a rice cake causes entropy. Do NOT attempt this at home. Leave it for trained professionals.)

COUNTDOWN TO THE ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON LOTTERY DRAWING: 13 Days

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cookie Alert!

With my New York City Marathon training now ramping up into a fairly respectable base (by Bev standards), March is the month for achieving a virtuous training table. With a double-pronged approach to trimming down the muffin body—working out like a crazy person and eating right—I have to see some weight drop as mileage and intensity of workouts increase. Repeat: I have to.

And I know this is going to be reallyreallyreally hard because the Girl Scouts are now on their omnipresent cookie campaign and I’m a sucker for any cause that develops amazing girls into amazing women. I can’t tell you the heroic personal sacrifices I’ve made over the years on their behalf. Thin Mints. Samoas. Tagalongs.

This year I’m bribing the tenacious Scouts and their beleaguered mothers with generous checks to gather up their cookies and back away from the runner slowly …