Last Latvian Summer

img_4098As the sun rises later and sets earlier with each passing day, Mother Nature announces that fall has arrived, with her crisp breezes and turning leaves. Even though autumn is my favorite season, its arrival this year is a cruel reminder that our remaining days in beautiful Latvia are quickly slipping away. With only about nine months left in our tour here in Riga, our last Baltic summer has officially come to an end. We spent a good chunk of it with family and friends who came to visit us, and proudly showed them the city and country that have become our home over the last eighteen months. We snapped countless photos along the way so that we could forever cherish the true wonder that is summer in Latvia. Here are 50 of my favorites.  Continue reading →

A Run through the Woods: Cesis ECO Trail 81K

IMG_4613If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

This quote, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., became my mantra yesterday as I navigated my way through Latvia’s beautiful Gauja National Park at the Cēsis ECO Trail 81K race. And though I could never fly, I ran as fast I could when I could and walked when I needed to. And, at times, I even crawled, just to keep moving forward to the finish line.  Continue reading →

One-Woman Marathon

IMG_4131Some days are diamonds…. Some days are rocks.  – Tom Petty

I ran a marathon today. With no spectators, mile markers, or bands along the course, it wasn’t a typical marathon. Just me, my race pack, a few good snacks, and some tunes for 26.3 miles (an extra tenth of a mile for good measure). It was a one-woman marathon, and the farthest I have ever run on my own and not as part of a race.  Continue reading →

Mind Over Matter: The JFK 50

Finisher goodiesAmerica’s Oldest 50 Mile Foot Race, better known as the John F. Kennedy 50 Mile Run, is officially in the books, and I couldn’t be happier this morning to have had such an incredible experience.

You learn a lot about yourself over the course of a 50 mile run… what your body needs to endure, how much (or how little) you are truly prepared, how to continue running through fatigue and pain, and most of all, why you continue to run through fatigue and pain, even when another step feels nearly impossible. Continue reading →

Biscotti: The Perfect Endurance Fuel

As I count down the days to the JFK 50 Mile Run (11 more days… eeeek!), a race long enough to warrant eating real food rather than GUs and PowerGels, I got to thinking about some of the best homemade foods that have sustained me during long runs in the past. Biscotti are a favorite, as they are easy to carry, easy to digest, and don’t easily crumble.

I started making biscotti about ten years ago, using a recipe I saw for the first time while watching  Everyday Italian with Food Network Chef Giada de Laurentiis. I’ve made a couple of tweaks to the original recipe to make this twice-baked Italian cookie both runner friendly and a perfect holiday treat.

Get the recipe!