Posts Tagged ‘running’

I really have no excuse for not blogging for ages. I really want to get back into it, pretty sure I lost all my blogger-reader-friends. Come Baaaaaaaaack πŸ™‚

Last year about this time, I was making a list of all my favorite fall things but all the way from Japan. Now, a year later, I am still grateful for all things fall, but I’ve got a few to add to my Midwest list for 2010.

1. Fall T.V.: I wish I was kidding. I wish my list was shorter (I don’t really). I wish Tivo wasn’t invented.

  • Ellen. Daily
  • Chelsea Lately
  • Tosh.O
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Private Practice
  • House
  • Biggest Loser
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Modern Family
  • Glee
  • Law & Order SVU
  • The Office
  • Gossip Girl

Am I forgetting one? This list is embarrassing, so I hope not.

2. Going to see WICKED!

3. 100 years of Johnnie Football/Homecoming/Tommie-Johnnie all in one day.

4. Family visiting from out of state, especially the cousins who can’t make it every year!

5. Celebrating Birthdays

  • Mom
  • Auntie Maureen
  • GRANDMA’S 90th FREAKIN’ BIRTHDAY last weekend~

Grandma with the kids and grandkids + spouses. We are a good lookin’ bunch if I do say so myself!


5. Last but not least, kitchen experiments.

Have you ever heard of Larabars? They’re pricy. I made my own. Today’s trial run was Reese’s Pecan impression of a Larabar:

  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup of pecans
  • 2 Tbs all natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of salt

Throw it all in the food processor + Glee in the background.

Walla (like a magician would say. Is that how you spell it?)

Don’t knock it till you try it, but YUMMY!

Well since we all know I have 18 hours of Tivo to catch up on, I gotta get back to that, plus ice my legs after a fall run around the lakes (that’s #6 on my list btw.)



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Sooooo I’m baaaaaaaaack.

Loving life, just needed to get back in the swing of things.

After our morning run, we hit up the breakfast, which was perfection. Oats, granola, Almond Butter, fruit, yogurt, coffee, and a bag of Adora calcium chews for all. Yes please. Omg, seriously I love breakfast with my whole heart. However, I got greedy and inhaled it before even taking a pic. Oh well, I’m a healthy living blog, not solely a food blogger, so I consider myself forgiven.

However for lunch I made the extra effort. This is my attempt at being a Food Blogger:

Lunchtime! Soo delicious! Arnold Sammie Thin, with Turkey, veggies, side salad, a dollop of quinoa (but should have made that the main event), and then those awesome chickpeas that I discovered I couldn’t stomach (due to my recent bout with food poisoning in India…that recap coming a.s.a.p.), but I now have a VERY present food aversion to cilantro, which makes me VERY sad. I hearted cilantro until my run-in with Palak Paneer + peanut masala (with cilantro). Sad day my friends, sad day.

Ok, back to Summiting. SOooo to sum up the SUMmit (yes I’m lame), it was amazing and the people there were Fabulous. I said it before, but I’m a nerd when I say I was star-struck meeting the hosts. I’m that girl; gawking from a distance whispering to the person next to me: OMG, that’s Angela, or Ahhhh it’s Caitlin and I just bought her book! Anyway, the whole event was success and basically one big food fest, full of healthy goodies of course, so it was a guilt-free weekend!

I didn’t really take pics of the speakers, but I did capture the streets of Chicago!

Sears Willis Tower, costing $16 for a flight up to the Sky Deck. We passed.

Eye baaaaaaalls.

This was our first OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD. fro-yo experience. It was EPIC!

OMG, freshness in a cup. I wish Minnesota had one of these places! Does anyone know of one?!

Plain+Acai Froyo + strawbs, cacao nibs, & yogurt bits. Not gonna lie, I kinda wanted a little bit of every topping…but some may consider that greedy. I’ll go back again someday. Mark my words.

I came back from our walk and guess what?!??!! I won not one, but TWO DRAWINGS! I forget all the things from the first one, but 5 Uncle Sam’s boxes of something (I’ll show you the pic when it get’s shipped), 3 bags of Attune Granola, and 5 boxes of Gluten-free cereal! As well as a salad bowl from Athenos!!! What a treat! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday night was spent at Howl at the Moon with Jen, Caitlin, Molly (another MN blogger!) & her friend from Chicago! It was a blast! I can’t wait to hit up the Shout House in Minny!!!

We ended the night on a high— SUSHI! To die for. Again, major fail, and it all went un-pictured!


We summed up the awesome weekend with a morning 10k (and some 5kers and walkers), but it felt great to get in one last run with fabulous women! I couldn’t have had a better time in Chicago. Furthermore, I can’t wait for next year’s event. I hope it becomes a tradition!

8 hours for a carride home was less than stellar, but at least I had awesome company! Thanks again Jen for driving us all that way!!! Love you girls~

Until next time, all you beautiful people, I’m hittin’ the hay.

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Beer is a carb, right?

Backing up to Saturday, after my decision to foolishly run 13.5 miles on Friday afternoon, followed by wine, wine, and more wine….oh and sake + karaoke, I still had plans with a few of last years teachers to have some Italian grub. This was the night before my first 10k race. I was going to back out, but then she said it was my going away party (since two of the teachers work at different schools, I probably wouldn’t see them again 😦 ).

I biked my way over to Da Ferido and met up with the same teachers as last time, minus Ms. Kimura. I decided, ah heck with the race, I’ll have a beer, enjoy my night, pizza with ham- okay, no biggie. So, we wined beered, we dined, and had a fabulous night, until my eyelids started weighing 10lbs each and I could barely stand the sweaty, sticky mess in the restaurant. The indoor conditions were inducing a coma and I had two choices, get the heck outta there, or splash my face with a nearby glass of H2O. I didn’t want to be rude and say, ‘listen, I gotta race in the morning, it’s 10pm and I’m falling off my chair.’ I didn’t really say anything, but luckily their Japanese conversation came to an end shortly there after. Another reason for my narcolepsy, they spoke Japanese almost the entire time. How’s a girl supposed to follow along when all you recognize is someones name every 5 sentences. It was exhausting trying to follow. BUT on the contrary, really fun to see the teachers one last time before jetting back to the U.S. of A.

I made it home and crawled into bed shortly after 10p.m. Race gear packed, food laid out, train station mapped, camera charged, sunscreen in tow, water filled, mentally ready. Nope, none of those things. Talk about running by the seat of my pants.


Morning came. I received a call from a ‘sober’ friend at 5a.m. The friends I decided not to meet up with at the club the night before. Good choice on my part. I peeled my body out of bed and moseyed downstairs to pack some Gatorade, water, and brush my teeth. My goal was to leave by 7:30a.m. since my train was at 7:54a.m and I didn’t know exactly where the train was departing from. After leaving at 7:40.m. and biking at a sluggish pace (as to not wear out my muscles, yea right) I was just tired. And the humidity was off.the.charts.

Made it to the station with 2 minutes to spare. No joke. I waited in line to talk to the attendant and ask what platform I needed to be at. Thankfully, she informed me, then got on the station-wide intercom to announce one more person coming, hold the train. Yea, this isn’t surprising. Me, late?! Thanks also to the man who knew it was me when we passed in the stairway and he pointed me to ‘san-ban’ (#3) Thanks buddy, got it.

With the night before’s beer settling not-so-nicely in my stomach, jello legs from my 13.5-miler on Friday, paired with disorientation on where exactly I was headed + a few nerves, I was setting myself up for failure. Or so I thought.

Then the clouds parted and everything fell into place.

Part 2 coming soon, dun,dun,dun….

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(Picture taken at the CSB/SJU Annual Father-Daughter dance last spring. The man’s got moves πŸ˜‰ )

Wow a weekend post! That’s so unlike me, oh maybe because I have internet!!! Exciting yes, but the source of internet is not.so.cool. It’s at work. And it’s Sunday. I worked yesterday too. Boo. It’s not all bad though. You see, I came into the office yesterday knowing I’d be sitting at my desk, forearms sticking to the plastic-y cover thing, pony-tailed hair off my neck, mugginess engulfing the office, and boredom striking (although I can hardly call it boredom when I can be entertained by the internet for days! Food blogs anyone?! They’re my favorite! Actually blogs in general. Slight obsession). Back to my point. The Supe instructed me on Friday afternoon that I could not join the other teachers and watch the activities taking place. First thought: what the hay? I wanna have fun too. Oh wait, each teacher is going to their respective activity, because they’re the coach, be it baseball, soft tennis, kendo, judo, badminton, what have you. And my duty? English Club. I immediately understood the rejected inquiry and got over it. No fun in the sun, okaaaaaaay. 😦

But wait, Ms. san-nensei (also the English Club teacher/overseer) asks new Mr. V.P. if I can join her after our English Club duties to the O-Town baseball game, track meet, and soft-tennis match…and he says: YES! What a day maker, not breaker! Wahoooo, free at last. I didn’t have to sit in the muggy office for another minute. Come 11a.m. I was heading out the door, into the blazing sun, and ready to root for my home team.

It was a scorcher outside. As you can see, I wasn’t exactly prepared for the conditions (please excuse my freshly showered, wet-haired self in my p.j.’s.) I’m a lobster, again.

Sweet tan burn-line, eh? Not flattering for the next few days, that’s for sure. After the day in the sun, and going from 8a.m. until 3p.m. without proper nourishment (I don’t know how the Japanese do it). I was about to gnaw off my left shoe, too bad I wasn’t wearing crocs, heard those were edible! Anyway, teach and I finally stopped for some much-needed tempura and cold soba combo. Hit the spot! Home before 3p.m., in bed and watching House. I was too pooped to run in those scorching conditions.

Back at the office today and no such luck in the sporting/spectating area today. Had English Club again though. Movie day. We saw “Jumper”. I think that’s the name. It was pretty cute. Guy can jump to different places, falls in love, tries to save girl/find out his talent/survive the evil “Jumper killers”. Haha, sounds so weird, but it wasn’t half-bad. Plus it’s pouring BUCKETS today. Power’s gone out twice while sitting here! Maybe I should have taken the opp to run yesterday while it wasn’t monsooning. Hello rainy season. Hope the condition improve for my race next weekend! The forecast say showers for the next 5 days. What is this, Minnesota?! Geez.

I hope everyone else is having a super-di-duper weekend where ever you may be! 44 days, I know where I’ll be…MINNESOTA!!! I asked my mom to arrange a gathering at the airport, for hugs, tears, balloons, family, friends, streamers, and a band. She’s workin’ on that. πŸ˜‰ Feel free to stop by! Haha.

Ok, I’m just being weird now, so back to ‘work’ and I’ll see ya tomorrow, it’s Monday after all. (Lucky for me, it’s really Friday, since I have Tuesday and Wednesday off!) More reason to celebrate!

Ja ne!

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Face of a runner, getting beat by 14 year old’s. Embarrassing.

I know I appear to be enjoying it, but in reality, I was suffering, and that is a true face a pain (mixed with a huge, fake smile).

Back to the weekend and what I happened to pick up while out shopping with Tomo, for a very good price: A rose ring. Love this!

And a green scarf:

I love this little nylons. I don’t know if the craze has hit the U.S. but I think it should. You see, the Japanese rarely go barefoot (I learned this lesson the hard way…as with most lessons, let’s be serious), but you’ll see ladies wearing these guys with cute flats or both closed/open toed heels. Love the concept, and since I’m trying to improve my sense of fashion, I thought I’d tack these onto my must-purchase list. And for Y100 ($1), yes please.

And lastly, fun with Tomo! Hard to see, but these little photo booths, aka Pirikura are super popular here in Japan, and a TON of fun. It was only my second time going, but why had I not been going more?! You take the pics, then you can spruce ’em up with this pen/computer and add all these decals and words. And everyone goes home a winner. Got my own copy:

And at last, this surprise I’ve been holding out on:

But that’s not it. I’m gathering some of my favorite teas and a few Japanese things, unique to where I live here. I wanna do a giveaway!!!! Nothing too fancy, but I wanna hear from lurkers and faithful friends what you favorite place to travel in the world is. Be as specific as you like, if it’s down to the very restaurant you ate at, what you had, the museum, or beach, or just country. You know I’ll be adding to my wish list of places I want to go after hearing from everyone πŸ™‚ I also wanna know why it’s your favorite place. And if you’re feeling extra-sharingly, leave me your favorite (easy πŸ™‚ ) recipe too. I have lots of learning, tasting, and making to do and I could use all the help I can get! So, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post listing 1) Your favorite vacation/travel destination & why and/or 2) A fun and easy recipe that I just have to try! 3)Leave a link on your blog if you have one, and comment telling me you did so! In return, I’ll send you a little love from rural Japan…more than just the bag of tea above. I’ve got a few more items to post. In the mean time, get commenting! Contest/giveaway ends THIS THURSDAY (my Friday) at 2a.m. (because that’s my 4pm…when I leave the office. I’ll announce the winner that day! So, you have 4 days to leave a little love! Can’t wait to hear from all of you!!



P.S. I forgot to mention…I experienced my second encounter with the po-po last night. Funny story kinda. I was walking from school to the station, and I saw a cop car drive by, no biggie. Then I saw the officers park at the station. Strange. The two men in their fancy vests (no gun included in Japan), started walking slightly towards my direction. I didn’t avoid them, but just kept walking. They picked up their pace (probably thinking I’m a fugitive of the U.S., running to rural, northern Japan in search of a new start and promising future…or just happened to land here because my Board of Education hired me and I was assigned this town. Most likely the latter. The conversation went something like this:

Cop 1: Hello, where do you come from?

Molly: Now or originally (as in my country?)

Cop 1: Now.

Molly: Oh, O-Town Junior High, kara kimashita. (That was my Japanese effort).

Cop 1: Wow, your English is very good.

Molly: <Well, that is my native language (did you mean Japanese?)> Thinking this. But said: Oh, thank you, yours too.

Cop 1: Are you teacher?…Where live…have card?

Molly: Oh gaijin (foreigner) card…why yes, yes I do. Here you go…

Ok, not that exciting but kind of funny that I was approached for, I don’t know, suspicious activity of some sort? I guess it happens to a lot of ALT’s, but it was my first questioning of why I’m here…after 10 months of living here. Guess I wasn’t too suspicious till now. Strange, very strange.

Oh, and I DIDN’T make it to watch the soccer game last night 😦 I fell asleep. Such a lame-o. But, I’ll be attempting another coffee meet-up tonight with the same girl. This time it’ll be daylight, therefore a success, since I’m such a granny.

That’s all, hope everyone’s having a wonderful week! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win some of my favorite Japanese teas! Ends Thursday (Central time) at 2a.m….so I guess that’s technically Friday at 2a.m. Haha.

Ok, bye.

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Well hello lovelies (this includes male lovelies too). I just felt like saying that for some reason.

It’s Monday morning in Japan, blazin’ hot in this office, I’m high on something (caffeine I’m pretty sure) or life. I came into school with 50+ emails and lemme say, never again will I go ‘unplugged’ for a weekend. I will admit, it was refreshing at the time, but catch up’s a b*&$%. Ha, I think it’s safe to say I’m addicted to the internet. 😳 But anyway, this weekend was epic. I didn’t even do anything that spectacular, but it was to me, and it’s my blog, so therefore epic recap in store.

Friday Fun~

First order of business, run my little heart out. 8 miles and one bathroom pit stop later. Check.

All a part of the training sched, got her outta the way on a lovely Friday afternoon, perfect…since I knew there may not be time this weekend otherwise.

The sight from my ride home with Ms. ichi-nensei:

See that sun settin’ right over yonder beyond Mt. Iwake. That mountain never looks the same on any given day. I love it!

I had ‘plans’ to go home and self-diagnose my new ailments watch House, but when I got the call for curry (real, Indian curry, not Japanese curry) with Alesha and Christine, I obviously couldn’t turn that down, even if it was my second trip of the week (lucky for me, it lasts two meals!). I walked to the eki and brought a little friend* with me.

I sat down with the ladies and they had graciously ordered for me. I was craving Chicken tonight. I was a little ‘misty’ from the humid walk, gross, and all of a sudden I felt a little tickle on the back of my neck. I felt it, and wanted to scream (just shivered now, thinking about it) but there was a huge, yes, a huge freakin’ beetle (that little friend) crawling up my neck toward my head. I grabbed it and threw it at the wall, proceeding to squish it with a napkin and immediately go wash my hands. I don’t mind bugs (that much), but when they’re on me—that’s a-whole-nother story. Bleh. Alesha and I swapped curries (she had Dal and didn’t like it), and so I offered to switch. Not 5 minutes later I found a long black hair in mine (the chef’s). My usual self would have probably made a huge complaint and been super grossed out and maybe slightly peeved. For some reason, I wasn’t and I just took it out and didn’t think about it. We know the owners, nice guys, simple mistake. I left it at that and enjoyed my meal.

After dinner I opted for House and bed. ‘Twas glorious.

Saturday Sun~

My attempt at sleeping in failed as per usual. No joke, I shoot up out of bed at 4:15 EVERYDAY, no matter what. Well, I managed to fall back to sleep until a little after 8a.m. when I was notified via the empty pit that it was time for breakfast. I whipped up some protein-enhanced French Toast with:

  • 1 slice of ‘Nice Bread’
  • 1 egg + 1 white
  • sprinklet of Nutmeg
  • almond extract
  • dabble of real Hokkaido butter
  • boat loads of Cinnamon

My topper was inspired by Angela who came up with the idea of Breakfast Hummus. I don’t think her recipe has debuted yet, but just so you know it was her idea, but this is what mine entailed:

  • 1/2 cuppish (I’m really bad about measuring) chickpeas
  • 1/4 cuppish plain yogurt
  • 1 tbs TJ’s creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 scoop Chocolate Whey protein powder
  • splash of milk to help the little engine that could (my ghetto blender)
  • 1/2 banana
  • drizz of agave

Blend. It was really good. Perfect topper for my little Frenchie…that and a dollop of Japanese cottage cheese (which I mentioned before is not goopy). It was fabulous. MMMMMMM. So good. I had left over ‘hummus’ and it was really good with some strawbs that I bought later.

After breakfast and more House I peeled myself off the futon and got to Budokan for a little upper body, courtesy of BFL and then set out for some biking and reading (never thought I’d be doin’ that). I love reading but I’m always ‘too busy’ to sit down and enjoy a good book. Times are a changin’. I parked myself, some carrots, an orange, and crab out across a little plot of grass at Hirosaki Castle park and enjoyed the summer sun and my book. I had the opportunity to go to a ballet class (if you know me…and know that I can’t touch my toes) this is the biggest joke ever…but I did almost go. I need some core work, and flexibility. I didn’t end up going, but maybe next week, if I’m brave enough.

On my way home from biking/reading/market shopping~ pesticide-free broccoli: WAHOO, I also snapped a picture of this bike near my house. I just love it:

Then this little granny comes up to me and wants me to take a picture of this weird carriage thing with a Santa Claus in it. No thanks, that thing is creepy and would haunt me for sure. More bikes please πŸ™‚

Just caught my eye, then I was on way.

I had the night to myself and made sure not to do a thing. I loved every minute of it.

Sunday Shopping Shenanigans

I had a shopping date with Tomo at 10a.m. We planned on driving out to Goshogawara for the day (about 30 minutes by car) to hit up Elm shopping center and see what we could find. Oh, and dinner plans for me to introduce American cuisine to the fam was still on the agenda.

With a slight budget in mind, i.e. Molly you leave in 50 days, don’t be dumb and buy anything you don’t have the space for….that idea went slightly according to plan. I bought a small ring and a ‘to die for’ scarf. Oh, and some things from the Foreign Food market (without hesitation). Let’s just say the Palak Paneer purchase got me super stoked (even more than I already am) for my trip to India, which is 40 days and counting. **Pictures tomorrow on those purchases. Promise!

Since I’m a narcoleptic by self-diagnosis, I obviously fell asleep on the car ride home. Tomo and I went for a quick run around Owani before it was dinner time. Which was BOMB! So freakin’ good.

Japanese Suroppi Jiyozu a.k.a. スロッピジョズ (a.k.a. Sloppy Joes)

  • 300 grams ground beef
  • 1 can of tomatoes/onion (in place of processed and sodium-intense Campbell’s soup)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbs (give or take) spicy mustard
  • ketchup (fair share of drizzle through out pan)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Buns


  1. Brown meat
  2. Add everything
  3. Stir
  4. Enjoy

Oh boy. That was a HIT! Mama Kase, and Grandma dove right in and loved the sloppy mess. Mama even picked up her ‘burger’ and successfully got every last bit in her mouth and not all over her hands! We enjoyed some Japanese sides of veggies, potato korokke:

…fish, some gloopy seafood animal (not a fan), and fresh out-of-this-world watermelon ($30 for the thing!) as our dessert. Don’t forget the phone call Papa Kase made me make to their eldest son (in Sendai) with whom they wanted me to practice English with. First off, he answered the phone extremely confused as to who I was, why an English-speaking woman was calling him, and what the heck I was saying…all while Papa is laughing hysterically in the background. Lesson failed. Comic relief definitely a success, glad I could be of service. πŸ˜€ It was really funny, and topped off my night with the fam.

Ok, each day I realize how hard it’s actually going to be to leave. I’ve already got a ‘training date’ set up with Papa Kase next Saturday at the crack of life (8a.m. for a pre-course run) before my race. Then, the following Sunday (race day) the family is coming to cheer me on and we’re celebrating Mama Kase’s birthday after the race. Don’t forget my premature goodbye party with last year’s teachers happening next weekend too, but first: Tonight’s World Cup Game! Japan vs. Cameroon


I’ll be meetin’ up with a Japanese girl who is friends of another ALT and we’ll hit up the Kaji machi sports bar. Kickoff: 11pm. Gonna be a late night tonight. I promise some pics and that announcement coming in tomorrow’s post!


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Hi Bloggie friends.

Thursday here, but a quick recap from yesterday. I ran. I wanted to cry (dang shins), then I stretched, and dumb dumb, ran again (with Tomo). No pain second time around (this is my idiot self thinking, op, guess everything’s fine)…yet I better scale back on training a bit….after tonight’s H.I.I.T. run. πŸ˜›

I was about to catch the train, when Tomo’s mom called me back inside, “Molly I made pasta for you!” What?! Wow, thanks *Mom. She is the sweetest lady ever. I sat down and thought I’d be eating with the fam, but since I had the next train to catch, she insisted I ate while everyone else sat there and waited for her to finish cooking (that was awkward). She brought out plate after plate and yet another plate. I love the Japanese. Small portions of about 10 different things. It was a nice treat to have American (more like Italian) pasta too. It’s been a looooooong time since I’ve indulged in that! I usually use soba (buckwheat) noodles here for my pasta. Anyway, dinner was scrumptious, and I made the walk home afterward, only to be greeted by the kitchen and many-a-tasks that lie ahead. I really wish I would prepare it all over the weekend. Since I eat 5 or 6 small meals a day, it makes for long nights prepping in the kitch. Meh.

Chocananacado Pudding (my quick, lazy, SCRUMPTIOUS, version)

  • 1/2 avacado
  • small banana
  • 1/2-1 TBS cacao powder
  • 1 TBS All Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 scoop or so of Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • A few sprinklets of water (if you have a ghetto blender like me that needs all the help it can get)

Add ingredients and blend. Refrigerate OR freeze in ice tray for bite-size fudgecicles.

Totally appetizing to look at, I know. Serve in a small dish with a side of floral printed granny panties. Oh wait, that’s just me (and my panties, not granny’s. Easy mistake).


Break-time. I may or may not have access to internet for the weekend, so my apologies in advance if you don’t hear from me. I need a little check-out time from the blog anyway. Full recap Monday. Promise.



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