Feels like Summer.

Since I haven’t updated in forever, I will quickly recap some cool things that have been happening in my life…

  • The Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1997.  For those of you who don’t know, they are playing the Chicago Blackhawks.  After losing 2 games to the Blackhawks on the road, the Flyers won last night in Philadelphia…so now the Flyers trail in the series 2-1.  They play again on Friday in Philadelphia and it will be a HUGE game…wish I was going!

Todd & I

Oh yeah…Todd and his friend actually designed the shirt that Todd is wearing in that picture.  It’s a Phillie Phanatic & Flyers mix.  Pretty cool!

What else have I been up to?

  • My sister and I made some homemade Brownies that turned out amazing.  Usually, I use boxed mix to make brownies, but making them from scratch was almost as easy and they taste so much better.

Click here for the recipe!!  I loved these.  They were rich, gooey, and not cakey…just how I like them.

  • Played on the beach with Andie & Bradley…

  • Ran the Kenny Wayland Memorial 10k Race with my sister.

Tina and I after the race

The race was a lot of fun.  To tell you the truth I was really not up for running that morning.  I did not really feel great the entire race and wanted it to end as quickly as possible…I’m sure you can tell by the expression on my face in the picture above…haha.  Regardless, my sister and I did very well in the race.  I finished in 45:41.  I won first place in my age group 19-29 and 17th out of 163 runners.  My sister finished in 45:56.  She won second in our age group 19-29 and 19th overall out of 163 runners.  Last year I ran this same race in 44:16 which is considerably faster than I ran it this year.

  • Rode my bike.  Here is a picture on top of the Ocean City bridge when I rode from Margate to the end of Ocean City.

Speaking of bikes, I have been looking into buying a road bike.  Although they are expensive, I do have money that I have been saving.  I went to the shop last week and they are ordering a bunch of Fuji’s that I am going to go look at when they come in…hopefully this weekend.  The owner of the store is pretty awesome and my friend Nick is real good friends with him since that is where he got his bike and he does the group rides there.  He is cutting me a pretty awesome deal on the bike so I am looking forward to it!

Hope you are enjoying this hot weather!

One week from today is my birthday!!!

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Bobby Flay’s Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with the best sauce ever.

My sister and I love Bobby Flay.  We saw this recipe for Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Goat Cheese with Smoked Chile Cilantro Sauce on the Food Network so we gave it a shot.

Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Goat Cheese with Smoked Chile Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped nicoise olives (I left these out because I do not like olives)
  • 1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large boneless chicken breast, pounded thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat grill. Mix together the goat cheese, olives, red pepper and thyme in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay each breast out and fill with the cheese mixture. Brush the breasts with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste, secure with toothpicks. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Smoked Chile-Cilantro Sauce

  • 2 poblanos, smoked, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

In a blender, combine the poblanos, onion and lime juice and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil slowly until emulsified. Add the spinach and cilantro and blend until smooth. Add the honey and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

This sauce was amazing.  Absolutely delicious.  As I was eating I was trying to think of what I else I can put this sauce on.  You have to try it.

When making the chicken, I would recommend using a grill.  Unfortunately, I did not have a grill….so I used a grill pan.  It made it very difficult to handle the chicken.  I would suggest baking the chicken as well, but I am sure that baking the chicken would slightly change this dish.  I’m sure it would still be delicious though.

I served the chicken with Roasted Asparagus and Israeli couscous.  I cannot recall now but I think we put yellow bell pepper and sundried tomatoes in with the cous cous.

I don’t make cous cous often, but when I do I typically make the smaller cous cous.  This was my first time using Israeli Cous Cous and I absolutely loved it.  It was so simple to make and I loved the chewiness of it.  I’m glad I bought a big container because I will be making more of it!

Amis.

If you are familiar with restaurants in Philadelphia, you may be familiar with Vetri or Osteria.  Marc Vetri is the owner and executive chef of both of these restaurants.  This year, he opened up his newest restaurant in Philadelphia, Amis.

Just a few notes about Marc Vetri:

  • Trained in Bergamo, Italy.
  • Within two years of opening Vetri, he was named one of Food & Wine’s Ten Best New Chefs and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating.
  • In 2005, Vetri won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.”

[source]

I have never been to his oldest restaurant, Vetri.  I hear amazing things about it… although, I hear it is a bit expensive.  While his other restaurants are still very expensive, I think it is worth it.  I have been to Osteria several times and it is definitely my favorite restaurant.  The other night I finally made it to his newest restaurant, Amis.  I thought that this restaurant was great.  I loved the portion sizes because it allowed us to try several things on the menu without going overboard.  I was expecting this restaurant to be a little less expensive than his other restaurant, Osteria.  However, I found that it was around the same price.  The quality and taste of the food was so good that I did not mind paying a good price for it.

Todd sitting at the table with the kitchen behind him.

Todd and I both started off with a glass of red wine.  I ordered the Poggio alle Sughere, Morellino di Scansano ‘06 (“coastal chianti”/dried cherries/balsamic; Toscana).  I am not a wine connoisseur but I really did enjoy this wine.  Todd ordered the Alpha Box & Dice, “Fog” ‘06 (nebbiolo/cab/tannat/licorice/smoke/leather; Australia).  He enjoyed it but thought mine was tastier so for his second glass, he went with my choice of wine.

To start, we ordered Brushetta.  We went with the imported Bufala ricotta and black pepper drizzled with olive oil.  However, they brought out a complimentary Eggplant Caponata Brushetta as well.

I was so happy that they brought out the Eggplant Caponata.  Both were awesome but I really liked the Eggplant Caponata better.  I wish I took a closer picture of it to show you, but there were pine nuts and golden raisins in the mix with the eggplant…so good!!

Todd is a big fan of Arancinis, so we ordered the Arancini di riso with meat ragu as well.

Arancini

While I probably would have never ordered this, I had a bite and thought it was pretty tasty.  Not my top choice, but Todd really enjoyed it!

I am a huge fan of the Raviolis at Marc Vetri’s other restaurant, Osteria.  Therefore, I knew I had to order them here.  I ordered the bufala ricotta ravioli with spring asparagus.

Yum.  Check out how tiny & delicate these are.  I love them.  They are nothing like those big, stuffed Ravioli’s you typically will see.  So delicious.

Todd ordered the gnocchi alla romana with oxtail ragu.

While I did not taste his, he seemed to really enjoy it.

We also ordered marinated fava beans and peas with ricotta salata.

This was delicious.  I love fresh and simple dishes like this.

After all of this delicious food, we had to finish it off with a delicious dessert.  Todd ordered an espresso, I ordered tea, and we split the Rice Pudding with Balsamic marinated Strawberries.

Delicious.  I love, love, love rice pudding.  Ever since I was little my Mom-Mom has been making our family rice pudding.  She makes the best rice pudding that I have ever tasted.  It was funny because apparently this rice pudding is the Chef’s Mom-Mom’s recipe.  I’d like to do a throwdown though because I think my Mom-mom’s rice pudding beats this.  However, this rice pudding was definitely my second favorite that I ever had.  Very good and the marinated strawberries were a good touch.

So, overall, I loved Amis.  Amis is definitely added to my list of favorite restaurants.  I already can’t wait to go back.  Now, I really have to try out his first and most expensive restaurant…Vetri.

Baked Tomato Sauce with Spinach & Goat Cheese.

Well, I certainly haven’t updated in a while!  Sorry about that.  This past Monday I finished my first year of graduate school so I was really busy writing papers and all of that.  It feels great to be finished and now I only have one more semester left.

I don’t think I ever mentioned it before on my blog, but I am a huge Philadelphia Flyers fan…have been for years.  I’m not sure if any of you have been following along with the NHL playoffs, but the flyers were I think the 5th team ever to force a game 7 after trailing in the series 3-0.  My sister and I decided to buy tickets for the game Wednesday night when the Flyers tied the series at 3.

We had a great time and I am so happy that we decided to go.  All of the fans were going crazy and my throat was killing by the end of the night.

Other than that, I went strawberry picking…probably my favorite thing to do this time of the year.  haha.  Fresh Jersey Strawberries don’t even compare to the strawberries you find at the food store.  They are so much juicier and sweeter.  I went with my sister and between the both of us we picked 20 pounds of strawberries!!!

Me with my case of strawberries

Christina with her case!

Yum.  We will definitely be eating every single one of them as well.  I bet they will be gone by the end of the weekend!

How could I forget??  My cousin Michael and his wife Kim had their first baby on Wednesday as well!!!  They had a little girl, Elizabeth Catherine Chait.  She is 7.5 lbs. and 20 3/4 inches.  She is a lucky little girl…Mike and Kim will make amazing parents!!! 🙂  My sister and I went to go visit them this week and I held her!  haha I was so scared since she is so tiny and delicate.

Mommy & Baby

The baby came a little earlier than they had anticipated…just by about a week.  Everything worked out great and both Kim and baby Elizabeth are very healthy!!! 🙂

I’ve been making some really great food lately too.  I will share a couple of recipes with you over the next few days.  Today I will share with you a recipe I actually got from my boyfriend’s brother.  He made this for us a couple of weeks ago and I loved it, so I decided to give it a shot myself.  He based his off of a recipe he found on Smitten Kitchen.

Fusilli with Baked Tomato Sauce with Spinach & Goat Cheese

This recipe is SO simple and delicious.  It is really quick and easy to make.  You will love it.  It has quickly become a favorite of mine.  Thanks for introducing this recipe to me Evan!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound dried fusilli (corkscrew) or farfalline (butterfly) pasta
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish/baking sheet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish/baking sheet.  Gather all of the tomatoes in the center so they are all touching.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the final tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a pan, sauté garlic and olive oil.  Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.
  • Combine the pasta, tomato mixture, and spinach.  Garnish with basil and sprinkle with Goat Cheese.

You really must try this recipe.  I love how something so simple can taste SO GOOD!  I am really disappointed that I do not have the pictures to share with you!!

Tomatoes coming out of the oven.

Tonight my family and some friends are coming over and my sister and I are making homemade pizza, salad, and strawberries & whipped cream for dessert.  We already made the sauce and the dough.  Everything looks delicious!  We are going to be watching Game 7 of the Flyers vs. Bruins.  It all comes down to this one game.  Who will move on to the next round of the playoffs and who will be hitting the golf course?  I have a lot of faith in the flyers…I really think they can win tonight.  Let’s Pray.

Warrior II

Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake asked for bloggers to participate in Yoga Pose May.  So I signed up and I was assigned to blog about Warrior II.  Three other bloggers are also posting about Warrior II:

Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake &     Allie from Live Laugh Eat &    Debs from Pamplemousse and Other Things

You can check out their posts to see if they offer or explain to you a different variation of Warrior II.

I am really excited to see all of the different bloggers writing about different poses including basic, inversions, backbends, strength, and balance.  For those of you readers who are new to yoga I would highly recommend reading these posts.  Yoga may seem intimidating, but I think it really helps to become familiar with the different poses before attending a class.  You will feel much more confident already having basic knowledge about yoga!  These posts are great for those who regularly practice yoga as well.  They might offer you insights into different variations of certain poses that you have not tried yet.  Additionally, I’d love to receive comments from those yogis to help me improve my pose!

Warrior II

Benefits: Strengthens legs & arms, opens the chest & shoulders, tones abdomen, invigorates the body, and improves concentration & balance.

  1. Standing with your feet together and your arms to your side, step your feet ~4 feet apart.  Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
  2. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot out to to the right 90 degrees.  Make sure to align the left heel with the right heel.  Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward so that the center of the right knee cap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
  3. Bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor.  You are aiming to bring your left thigh parallel to the floor (it is okay if you cannot do this–I am not completely there yet either).  Anchor the movement of the right knee by strengthening the left leg and pressing the outer left heel firmly to the floor.
  4. Continue to stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor.  Turn your head to the right and look out over your fingers.
  5. Reverse the feet and repeat on the opposite side.

Modification: Place hands on hips.

Important things to keep in mind while in Warrior II

  • This is not a resting pose.  You should be active.
  • Continually reach your arms out to the side.
  • Keep your palms facing down.
  • Align your left & right heels.
  • Keep the center of your knee cap on the bent leg in line with the center of the ankle on the same leg.
  • Press into the heel of your straight leg.

My sister in Warrior II. Notice she does a good job at going deep and having her thigh parallel to the floor.

If you are new to yoga, here are some things to keep in mind…

Do not push yourself.  You know your body better than anyone else.  Go slowly and listen to your body.  If your body is saying “stop,” listen to your body and stop!  Yoga is not about competition.  Yoga is for you.  If you push yourself you are likely to not enjoy yoga and will risk becoming injured.  There are modifications that you can make for each pose that your body may find more enjoyable!

Have fun!

What is your favorite yoga pose??

…it’s not the end of my love.

This morning as I was eating breakfast, I was on CNN.com and I saw an interesting link, “Death at 25: Blogging the end of a life“.  I’m not sure if anyone has heard about this, so I thought I would write a post for those of you who are interested.  A few words of warning: This is not a happy story.

A 25 year old girl named Eva Markvoort from Vancouver, Canada started a blog in 2006 because she was hospitalized from Cystic Fibrosis.  At this point, she was isolated because of the infection, so she sought to communicate through the internet.  She was on the road to becoming an actress but could sadly not pursue that dream because of her health.  She fought long and hard and received a double lung transplant.  She seemed to be recovering but less than two years later her body began rejecting the organs.

Eva documented her life through her blog, 65 Red Roses.  She wrote beautiful poems and other thoughts on her blog.  If you get the chance, it is really worth clicking back through all of her previous posts.  I am truly amazed at how talented she was.  I recommend watching the video she posted on February 11, 2010.  I cannot believe how strong and positive Eva was.  It is truly amazing.  I will leave you with one of the last poems I see written on her blog…I thought it was beautiful…

i can’t breath

i’m at that point now
i’m done with the poetics
asking for help
my sister is helping me write
actually helping me write

the medications have been piling up
they are taking their toll
i am supersaturated with medications
i’ve been medically missing in action for two days
the docs started taking me off some of them to see how i would manage

and i am not managing
not managing at all

i’m drowning in the medications

i can’t breathe

every hour
once an hour

i can’t breathe

something has to change


Boston Marathon: Part 3

Warning: LONG POST!

Sunday night after dinner, Todd and I headed back to Milford to our hotel.  We stopped at CVS to get a huge bottle of water to stay hydrated and some Cold-Eeze (cough drop type things that supposedly help to avoid getting sick/shorten the length of your cold).  I had a sneaking suspicion all day that I was getting sick because I had a sore throat.  I was trying to avoid thinking about it because that was the last thing I needed to be thinking about the day before THE marathon.  Todd kept saying it was all in my head.  However, I will tell you it was not!  What do you know, I was up all night, with a stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing.  Lovely.  Just what I planned for!  I hardly ever get sick, WHY TODAY?!  On top of that I had the stiffest neck.  I wasn’t sure if I had slept on it weird the day before or if it was just part of my sickness.  Either way, I had to deal.  I was up most of the night Sunday night and did not fall asleep until around 2.  I was bothering Todd asking him to massage my neck because I couldn’t get comfortable.  That only worked for about a minute until he fell back asleep.  In the morning my neck was still aching so I got some ice and iced it for a while.  That seemed to do the trick because afterwards I was practically fine…except for my cold.  I was really disappointed at first and unsure about how I would perform.  Then I realized that I had to face reality.  I was sick and I would be running the marathon no matter what.  I had to deal with the unfortunate circumstances.  I was lucky to be at the starting line of the race.  Many people are unable to register and dream about running Boston.  Some people had their hearts set on running this April and then got injured.  Some people were not able to register because the race was full.  Others had their hearts set on running and were stranded in their country because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland.   Now, in comparison, a cold was really no big deal.  Unfortunate, yes.  But, detrimental, no.

I woke up Monday morning at 5:50 and went to the lobby for breakfast at 6:00.  I had a bowl of Cheerio’s with milk and sliced banana and 2 slices of toasted white bread with Peanut Butter and sliced bananas.  I was very conscious about what I was eating because food usually does not sit well in my stomach when I run…lessons learned from the Philadelphia Marathon and countless long training runs.  I then went back to the room and helped Todd load the car with our luggage.  He was driving the car we rented into Boston before any of the roads were shut down.  He planned to meet up with my parents to watch the race.  After Todd left, I laid down, iced my neck, and watched the news about the Boston Marathon.  I had plenty of time to relax.  I took a shower and then put on my race day outfit.  I wore a white Under Armour shirt…

I also wore black longer-short Nike Spandex.  This was actually my first time wearing these shorts but I knew they would be okay.  I normally get chafing from shorts; however,  these shorts were perfect since they were longer.  Here I am ready to head out the door…

I then went out into the lobby to chat with some of the runners until the shuttle picked us up from the hotel at 8:15.  We didn’t get to the start until about 9:15ish.  When we arrived I immediately went to wait in the port-o-potty line.  I was in line for about a half an hour!  But I was happy I waited.  Afterwards, I went to check my bag in on the bus (they have them organized according to your bib number).  I put my sweatpants in there but decided to keep my sweatshirt on until I got to the start.  It was chilly but not too bad at all!  When I got to the starting line, I tossed my sweatshirt to the side…it was nice knowing that all of the clothes that the runners toss are being donated.

I was in Wave 1, which took off at 10:00.  When I got to the start the beginning corrals of Wave 1 were already off running.  I was in the last corral of Wave 1, so I wasn’t worried.  I kind of liked showing up just in time because it didn’t give me enough time to get nervous.  I jumped in line and asked someone if I was in the right place.  It was funny because she thought I looked familiar.  Then we discovered that we knew each other through blogs!! How weird is that!!  It was Emily!  She was there with Susan, who I later realized that I knew as well from Nurse on the Run!  I thought that was so funny.

Before we knew it, we were off.  Well, wait. I guess I should tell you a bit about my plan for running the Boston Marathon…

My goal for the Boston Marathon was to have fun.  I have previously experienced a torturous marathon at Philly this past Fall and I knew I didn’t want to repeat that especially at Boston.  Therefore, I wanted to be sure to take it easy in the beginning since that was my first major mistake at Philly.  I also had another goal.  I only told a few people about this goal because I didn’t want to disappoint myself if it didn’t happen.  I wanted to re-qualify for Boston.  My sister is running her first Boston next April and I wanted to share that experience with her.  I wanted her so badly to run this year but unfortunately the field was closed by the time she qualified.  This would be my last opportunity to qualify.  So my goal was to finish in at least 3:40 and I would have been even happier if I finished in 3:35-3:40 range.

So, now, back to the race!  The spectators were unbelievable. I couldn’t believe how many people were there cheering on the runners.  Absolutely incredible.  Definitely helped throughout the race.  I received many high fives from people of all ages.  So much support.  A huge thanks goes out to all of you.  Also thanks to all of the volunteers–there were SO MANY volunteers and the day wouldn’t have happened without all of you.  Also, next year I will DEFINITELY be wearing my name on my shirt or something.  When the crowd knows your name, you will hear it about 10,000 times throughout the race!!

Speaking of volunteers, there were water/gatorade stations at I believe every mile.  I stopped at every water station and drank water.  I wanted to continue to hydrate myself throughout.  I think the Gatorade messes with my stomach so I did not experiment with that.

Marathon Photos:

Here I come…

mile 10

Hey guys…

See ya in Boston…

Here are some shots as I head for the finish on Boylston Street…

Here is a quick run through of the race…or what I can remember of it…

Miles 1-3:  Feeling pretty good.  No aches or pains.  Can’t wipe the smile off my face–actually I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the entire race.  Enjoying the crowds and the runners.  Wondering if I had it in me today to run 26.2 miles.  Kind of feeling a bit out of it.

Miles 4-6:  Feeling better.  Trying to get myself to slow down.  I knew I’d need the energy later.  Although they say the beginning is downhill, there are definitely some hills in beginning!

Miles 6-8:  Looking forward to seeing my parents & Todd at the 10 mile mark.

Miles 8-10:  Found my parents & Todd in Natick.  Waved and smiled.  Loved seeing them!

Miles 11-13:  Almost halfway there.  Ran through the girls at Wellesley College.  They were LOUD and held up all kinds of signs.  Men were running up them and kissing them. haha.  One guy ran by the line of girls and flexed his muscle and kissed it.

Miles 13-17.5: Thinking ahead to the hills.  Need to pop some sports beans and get hydrated.  Tried to slow down a bit to reserve some of the energy I would need to conquer Heartbreak.  The race felt like it was just beginning.

Miles 17.5-21:  This was it.  This is what we have all been training for.  I was surprised how well I was taking the earlier hills.  However, after running 20 1/2 miles, Heartbreak Hill was certainly a challenge and visible in my splits.  According to Garmin, I ran mile 21 in 8:41.  So Heartbreak really slowed me down.  But to tell you the truth, I felt good.  I focused on the present moment.  I didn’t look ahead and dwell on how much further I had.  I just focused on where I was.  Lots of people begin walking up these hills because their legs just can’t take it.  One women began to walk and I gave her some encouraging words and she picked it back up again.

Miles 22-24: Still feeling like we have a while to go after running Heartbreak.  I focused on each mile and looked forward to reaching another mile marker.  Saw the Citgo sign in the distance.  I wondered if people said when you see that sign you’re in the clear or when you are near the sign you are in the clear.  I’m pretty sure it’s when you are near the sign.  My quads were also killing by this point.

Miles 24-25.2: I see the “1 mile left” sign.  Feels good to see that but still feels like a long time away.  Tried to pick it up, but I’m not quite sure if I did.  I was looking forward to the turn onto Boylston Street (the FINISH line!).

Miles 25.2-26.2:  Felt awesome to turn onto Boylston street.  I looked ahead and saw the finish line…oh, no…still so far away!!  Wasn’t sure if I’d make it.  I recognized some stores from walking around the day before.  Then I heard someone scream my name.  I turned to look around but I could not focus.  It turned out to be my parents.  I ran across the finish line and was rejoiced.

I crossed the finish line in 3:37:22.

I continued to walk frankenstein style and received a water, mylar blanket, my BOSTON MARATHON MEDAL, Gatorade Recovery drink, a lunch box with food, banana, and a recovery power bar.  I immediately drank water and ate the power bar & banana.  I then continued walking to the bus to retrieve my bag that I checked-in.  This process took forever.  Seemed that everyone on that bus finished around the same time.  Oh well, I got my bag, called my parents and Todd and finally met up with them!

Post-Marathon Photos:

Yes, that is salt crusted to my head! hahaha.

Todd dressed for the occasion...I just noticed!

The Boston Marathon was an experience of a lifetime.  I was so grateful that my parents and Todd were able to come up for it and worked hard to maneuver themselves around the course…it’s tough! We had such a great time up in Boston…too bad we couldn’t have stayed longer!  I am also thankful for all of the sweet comments I received from all of my friends & family…I really do appreciate all of the support!!! =]

Afterwards, I showered in my parents hotel room.  We then walked and ate one last lunch/dinner together in Boston before heading home.

Unfortunately if you signed up for the cell phone alerts of my current status in the race, they were not working.  The Boston Athletic Association apologized saying that they experienced some technical difficulties.  However, I’m glad that some of you were still able to watch my status from their website.  Each time I ran over one of the mats for the checkpoints, I thought about you guys!!!

Here are my splits according to Garmin.  The course was a little longer than my Garmin calculated.  Obviously, my official time is 3:37:22 not 3:36:05!  I was very pleased with my splits.  I thought that they were pretty much consistent.  I did plan to go out a bit slower.  I was shooting for 8:30’s for the first 6 miles.  Obviously that didn’t happen!  Notice the effects of Heartbreak Hill during mile 21…

Here is the breakdown according to the official results on their website…

Boston was truly an incredible experience.  I will always remember it.  I am really surprised how well my body is recovering.  My quads kill and I do have some trouble getting up and down stairs, but I am feeling so much better than I felt after the Philadelphia Marathon this November…not to mention I experienced no stomach issues at all during or after the marathon!!!  Which is a big plus.  The worst thing I am experiencing is this horrible cold.  Anyway, as you can tell I had an incredible time.  I am already looking forward to next April when I will run with my little sister, CHRISTINA!  It really means the world to me that I will be able to run Boston with her.

Congrats to anyone else who completed Boston this weekend!!!