Marion Berries, Mini Vacations and Long Runs

I just had a fabulous weekend where I wined and dined with perfect company. Actually, I’ve had a fabulous few weeks of excessive wining and dining (I guess you can throw sleeping, running and working in that mess too), and I’ve been terrible not to blog about all of my adventures!

Last weekend Eric and I took a long weekend to visit Lake Tahoe with his family. I have never been to Lake Tahoe, so I was super excited to visit! We left last Friday morning after a quick gym session. Before we knew it we were at a beautiful cabin in the woods and over looking the lake.

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The house Eric’s family rented was AMAZING!!! Look at this fantastic kitchen!

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I have decided that I desperately want an island with a gas stove.

Friday was a whirlwind as we quickly changed into bathing suits while scarfing down PB and jelly sandwiches and hopped into the car to raft down the Truckee river. I did not bring my camera thinking that I would be clumsy enough to drop it in the river, but this river was as stagnant as can be. Barely any little rapids at all. Nevertheless, we all had a great time. We came back and sat on the deck while the boys grilled up some chicken and veggies.

Relaxation at its finest my friends.

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Dinner was lean to compensate for the massive amount of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and many bags of tender white popcorn a few hours later. Dear goodness.

Given this pig out, Saturday morning arrived and I needed to run (per my non-existent training schedule AND to rid of all the excess ice cream eating). Badly. I set off along the Truckee river and pounded out 7 miles. It was a very relaxing, easy run. I wish I could run along a river everyday. I can only hope I feel this way come Oct. 17 for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon (eeek!).

We spent the day walking around town where I purchased the most fabulous peach iced tea I had every tasted from this little place called Syd’s Bagelry.


Before I knew it, we had yet another amazing evening BBQing and sipping wine while relaxing and enjoying our beautiful surroundings.

We laughed.

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We danced.

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We hung upside down.

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One of the highlights of the trip was taking a stop at this fabulous little market/bakery called Ikeda’s. Apparently it’s uber famous and a lot of people make the stop here on the way to and from Tahoe since it’s right off of the freeway. We had plans to have dinner at Eric’s mom’s house later that night so we decided to pick up one of their famous cobblers. Oh and also a pie, because I mean, why not. Life is short.

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This was quite honestly one of the most life altering decisions I have ever made. No joke – my life has now changed after eating the cobbler. Marion berry cobbler to be exact.

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Oh dear lord. Marion berries have changed my life. And after doing some extensive research I learned that they are a hybrid blackberry and really are only grown in Oregon. Damn. I am obsessed with re-creating this cobbler, but it will have to wait. Although I did find a small bag of frozen marion berries at whole foods for $9!!! AAAAGGHH! I am sure I will cave one day and buy them.

Anyway, so after I came out of the marion berry coma, I went to work, did my thing, got a raise (woo), and ended the lovely week with a date night with Eric. We went to Baci’s – the same restaurant we went for my birthday dinner. We had a nice table outside and split two appetizers and two glasses of wine. It was a perfect evening.

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I awoke Saturday morning to Eric saying “I want to make banana pancakes.” Which is strange considering the fact that this boy HATES bananas. So I obliged and let him whip up his thing in the kitchen.

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He is so cute.

The end result was fabulous. And the perfect pre-run fuel.

Picture 036  I have to get the final recipe from him, but I know he used Williams Sonoma pancake mix and mashed up bananas. Whatever else he added was sublime. And then he created a caramelized agave banana syrup/jam/jelly/chutney to put on top.  Delish.

S0 as I said, I set out for an 8 mile run this morning. I really don’t have a set plan for my half marathon training, but I’m trying to do the following:

  • 1 long run per week (increase the mileage of this run by .5-1 miles each week)
  • 1 recovery run
  • 1 tempo/fartlek/speed run
  • 1 easy run
  • 1-2 days of cross training/rest

Now, every week does not look like the above, but I realize that I am not perfect.

So Saturday’s run was awesome. I felt great and actually almost had some negative splits.



Unfortunately I am not as fast as I was pre-injury, but I’m okay with that. I think that is partly why I became injured in the first place. Pushing myself too hard too quickly.

Anyway, I came back from my run, foam rolled my little heart out (take that IT band), and then spent about an hour cleaning and scouring the kitchen. I just got in my groove and loved every minute of it. Once I was done, I took a shower, got all pretty and made myself a chocolate cherry bomb green monster (sans photo – sorry).

In the mix:

  1. 1 packet of amazing grass chocolate flavor
  2. 6 frozen cherries
  3. 1/2 frozen banana
  4. handfuls of spinach
  5. dollop of vanilla greek yogurt
  6. 1/2 c of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  7. ice cubes

This was my first time having a green monster with cherries and I was pleasantly surprised.

Saturday night Eric and I made dinner for his dad and stepmom. I am cursing myself for not taking any pictures. Let’s face it: sometimes I am not a very good blogger. We all know this. I am even more sad because the dinner ROCKED. Here is what was on the menu:

  • Roasted corn
  • Roasted veggies (onions, bell peppers, eggplants)
  • Romano turkey burgers
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Dessert: smore brownies

Everything was DELICIOUS, and I really credit the turkey burgers to Eric. He had the idea to add all the cheese and various spices to the mix, and also took the time to mush all of the meat into patties with his bare hands. I hate touching raw meat.

But the smore brownies were ammmaaazzzziiinnnggg. I found this recipe from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life and pretty much made it word for word. Do it. If you know what is good for you. I am going to make it again. You’ll see.

Sunday was a replica of Saturday. More running, cleaning, errands and the like. Also, more cooking! I found a delicious looking recipe from my amazing Martha Stewart Everyday Food: Great Food Fast book: Flank Steak with Lime Marinade. I pretty much followed the marinade to a tee, except I added some minced garlic because I love garlic. It is the key to life. While Eric grilled up, I worked on creating some cilantro lime rice that I adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

This rice was killer. Absolutely amazing. Basically I took some white rice (I didn’t have brown at the time), and cooked according to the package. I then added about 1/3 cup chopped scallions, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, the juice of one lime and a pinch of salt, and gave it all a nice big fluff with  my fork.

We also had some grilled bok choy and asparagus, along with some grilled bread. I guess you can say we like to grill. Dinner was top notch.

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So were the cheese appetizers:

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(triple cream goat cheese with fig jam from Sonoma…ommmgggg).

Oh, and so was this:

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Inspired by my fateful, life changing, marion berry encounter. Recipe to follow my friends, recipe to follow 🙂

Happy Monday all 🙂


4 thoughts on “Marion Berries, Mini Vacations and Long Runs

  1. Catrina says:

    Hey girl!

    Can you make any recommendations for a 10k training program for beginner runners? I’ve aced the 5k, but I’m having trouble adding on distance like I did in the last bit of training. Anything above mile 4 feels like hell!

    Any ideas?

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