All posts by PlainJane PlainTalk

Adventurer & Storyteller

The Ottawa Marathon Preamble

A decision to run another marathon might include mulling the details of fitness, nutrition, volume running, long runs, speed-work, hill work, the course layout — is it flat? hilly? urban?  oh-natural? —  all of which require dedicated planning and training for 16 weeks prior to showing up.  Or, the decision might evolve from a chance meet at a running Expo, where two lovely Canadians sitting at a booth in Corning, New York, describe the views along the course, surrounded by the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal,  the friendly spectators that line the course; while speaking with that pleasing French-Fargo  twang.  The ladies behind the Ottawa Marathon booth multi-tasked, handing out brochures, patiently explaining geography to Americans who were unclear if Ottawa was a city or a province, greeting other runners with more Bon Jour, and then describing croissants at the finish line.  I found myself mesmerized by their friendly Canadian vibe, losing all need to weigh the pros and cons of marathon training, and saying ‘why not? sign me up’.

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Recipe for Athletes: Cinnamon Almond Butter No-Bake Energy Mini-Bars

After many fueling experiments from my own marathon training and long distance bicycling, I’ve created an energy snack that doesn’t spike my sugar, keeps my energy level high, keeps my weight in-check, tastes great and REALLY is healthy.   So, if you’re wondering about consuming unhealthy sugary goo’s and drinks while you’re trying to stay fit — this recipe is for you.   Easy to make, no baking and REAL ingredients that sustain you.

  • it’s LOW in SUGAR
  • it’s high in HEALTHY fats and proteins
  • it will sustain your energy LONGER than the sugary goo’s

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Senior: Certified member

It took one week of Maryland sub-freezing temperatures,  an attempt to turn spring into winter, when I surpassed my cold-limit.  No desire to step outdoors, no desire to breathe with ice breath, no desire to layer up like the michelin man, no desire to go for a run.  Digging though a pile of sports bags tucked into a closet that rarely opened, the trifecta of swim suit, swim cap and goggles appeared, exactly where I left them years ago.  Swim gear that would transform to running gear.  Indoors.  At the deep end of the  county public pool.   Which required a pool pass.   Not for a day, not for a week.   An annual commitment.  And access to the pool is based on age.  I had aged considerably since my last pool appearance.   You’ll need a senior pass, ma’am, the grey-haired man behind the desk said, and when I realized that benefit came with a discount, I dropped the age-denier chirade. Continue reading Senior: Certified member

Portraits of the Paid Protest

The early hours — of the Women’s March in DC

“Anyone need some coffee?” Doris asked, waving the 10-cup pot high in a general direction to no one in particular, and taking a quick peek at her watch, 5:45AM.  The ladies were busy introducing themselves, Tonya from red-state Tennessee, Margaret from Boca Raton, Cathleen from Denver, with connections to the East Coast, specifically Maryland, ranging from loose to long-term friendships with  Dawn, Doris and Lois.  A hum of simultaneous chatter buzzed — when did you arrive?, what’s the weather like in Denver?, what do you do for a living? — and Doris gently pulled the empty Dunkin Donut cup from Lois — not bothering to wait for a re-fill response.  Doris’ home was closest to DC and the final stop for flushed toilets.

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Manny and Jo: Episode 2

manikinEpisode 2:  Manny Dreams Bigly

Previously on Manny and Jo:  Jo’s Gone GI — (Revised)

Manny looked away from Jo and over toward the runners who had congregated across the street.  They moved about effortless, laughing between bagel bites, sipping coffee, standing, looking around, checking the time, bending into the most elongated poses,  posturing, preparing for The Wilderness.  And the others, relaxed or maybe tired, sitting, taking in more than a sip or two of coffee, drinking the entire cup then buying another, in less of a hurry, sharing the salt and pepper if anyone asked, napkins too, talking philosophically, nodding and tipping their heads to and fro.

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Manny and Jo: Episode 1

manikinEpisode 1:  Jo’s Gone GI

Manny and Jo, stood poised, at attention as two of the fittest manikins styled the latest in springtime athletic wear for women in a Treyvor’s Department Store show window on Fifth Avenue in New York City,  two blocks west of The Wilderness.    Across the street was Hatties Bagels one of the few coffee and bagel stores open at 6AM on a Saturday.  It was one of the few times the City slept, with the exception of the early exercisers, the runners of course.  And, it was no surprise that runners congregated at Hatties, in eyeshot of the veteran stick figures of sport fashions, sipping coffee and sharing bagels, many not even realizing they stood in the playground of a fitness fashion makeover.

Continue reading Manny and Jo: Episode 1

Conversations in Cuba

How we traveled and what we were expecting…

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La Conversacion Statute

Sunday 10/16/2016:  We boarded the Adonia in Miami, a 600′ boutique cruise ship that hosts 750 passengers — far less of a behemoth than big sister cruise ships with 3000+ passengers.  We were immediately attracted to the Adonia theme — a smaller ship of like-minded passengers visiting Cuba with a purpose.   A purpose of having people-to-people encounters, sharing of cultures, one person at a time.  The trip wasn’t about politics, a badge in Rosetta Stone Spanish, travel embargoes or governments — but simply meeting the Cuban people, learning more about their culture and sharing some of ours in return.    We would have 4 days on land:  2 days at Havana, 1 day in Cienfuegos and the final day in Santiago de Cuba.

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A battlefield finish

Day 4:   Bicycling from Elizabethtown, NC to Moores Creek National Battlefield
40ish miles — and bonus points for headwinds

The fourth and final day of our East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour, cut short due to Hurricane Matthew began at the Corner Cafe in the heart of Elizabethtown.  A cafe that is open “All Day” according to the neon sign on the window, or just until 2 PM according to the fine print.  We were certain to be done with breakfast before 2 PM.

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Wine’ing down

Day 3:   Bicycling from Fayetteville, NC to Elizabethtown, NC
43ish miles — and who’s really counting when there’s so much to see?

The third day of the East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour began with breakfasts piled high with ham and bacon and a side of bacon fat with fresh steamed or raw vegetables a distant memory (unless you carried your own).  With Hurricane Matthew dominating the news and expected to take out the Eastern seaboard from Florida to North Carolina, many cyclists who lived along the coast or needed to take care of business went off in separate directions.  Those cyclists who were left behind were grateful for the chance to ride another day.  And a half.      Continue reading Wine’ing down