New Food Challenge: Corn Dogs

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My daughter is an incredibly picky eater. She survives mainly on waffles, PB&Js, hot dogs, spaghetti and pizza.

We recently saw the pediatrician for a wellness check, and the doctor reminded us we should be getting 5 fruits and vegetables a day. A DAY! FIVE! Given that Greta will only eat carrots (only if they’re raw), grapes (only if they’re purple), apples (only Red Delicious… and they need to be really, REALLY red) and corn (only on the cob), that’s not always easy.

It’s time to expand our horizons.

The doctor suggested Food Bingo. Greta didn’t like that idea. But we are going to make a concerted effort to try new foods, eat more fruits and vegetables and not give in to Greta’s irrational food phobias.

We started tonight.

Believe it or not, this child has never had a corn dog.

Tonight, we had dinner at Flip Side, a burger place at Easton. They do not have a kids menu. What they do offer: cheeseburgers (not on your life), grilled cheese sandwiches (nope), a salad (not happening) and mini beef corn dogs (technically a starter). In the past when we’ve eaten here, she just eats French fries. No more. After some tears, she agreed to the corn dogs. She already eats hot dogs so this didn’t seem like much of a stretch. But for her, this was a big deal.

Here are her remarks:

  • I KIND of liked them
  • The breading was very sweet
  • The hot dog didn’t taste like a hot dog
  • 2 stars (on a scale of 5)

Marathon day

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{the kids on the curb to high-five me at mile 17, and again at the finish line} 

What an experience!

I’m so glad I did it, and very proud of myself.

My body is wrecked. It’s not so much my muscles but my joints: ankles, knees, hips. And my second toe on my right foot.

I wanted to finish in 5 hours. When I crossed the finish line, the giant digital clock read 5:08. OK, I’m just glad I finished. Then Barrak called to tell me he just got a final text (he’d been tracking my progress through real-time texts – a neat service the marathon did this year) that my final race time was 4:50. The reason for the difference was my corral didn’t shuffle across the official starting line until 7:48 a.m. or so, which I hadn’t factored in. So I did make my goal of a sub-5 hour marathon – barely!

While I was running, Barrak was doing The Amazing Race with the kids, running them from spectator sideline to spectator sideline, with road closures everywhere, using the real-time texts as a guide. It was a lot for him and the kids but it really gave me some critical boosts.

A lot of people — especially women were running in pairs or groups. I trained alone and I raced alone, and that’s fine by me. I did have a couple conversations with other solo racers. That’s a cool aspect of a race like that: the support and random encouragement from strangers.

Another sweet memory I’ll keep: when I got up at 4:55 a.m. Barrak got up too, and sat in the dark living room with me drinking our coffee and watching morning news anchors we’ve never seen before. He waved goodbye as I pulled out of the garage into the darkness, a fingernail moon still high in the sky.

My time: 4 hours, 50 minutes

My favorite neighborhood to run through: Bexley, with German Village a close second

Hardest part of the race: Upper Arlington and Grandview (miles 19, 20 and 21)

Neatest sight: the racers from Kenya lapping us – they were flying

Nostalgic moment: running past the Ohio State dorm I lived in my freshman year on 12th Ave (I was not a runner at all back then)

Where Barrak and the kids stationed themselves: mile 10 in German Village, mile 17 just outside the Ohio State horseshoe, and the finish line

Thing I lost during the race: my new Athleta headband

Thing I wish I’d done differently to prepare: nothing!

Things I ate during the race: half of a Clif Bar, some raspberry Gu, a red-and-white striped peppermint

No. of times I stopped to pee at a Porta-Potty 1, at mile 23

Best aid station drink: beer at mile 25 (it settles your stomach)

Lowest moment: trying to find my car in the cold parking garage afterward when I could barely walk and I was getting the chills

Highest moment: approaching the finish line, and just after. I was overcome.

Best moment of relief: getting in my car, blasting the heat, and changing into a warm hoodie

Length of my post-race shower: 25 minutes

No. of Advil I took: 3

Post-race meal: an ahi tuna flatbread from Matt the Miller’s and some of Greta’s leftover birthday cake

Time we all went to bed last night: 9 p.m.


1 day to marathon

Two things: Barrak did something almost as sweet as the flowers. He told Magnus if he needs to come into our room tonight, come to his side of the bed, not mommy’s.

He also gave me these final words of advice: if it hurts to run and it hurts to walk, run.

Alarm is set for 4:55 a.m.

2 days to marathon


Today, I picked up my bib and t-shirt from the expo downtown. What a madhouse! Just a preview of what Sunday morning will be like.

The highlight of the day, though, was receiving flowers — beautiful tea roses and calla lilies — from my husband at work today. Came with a sweet note saying he and the kids will be cheering me on. What an unexpected and sweet surprise.

Water intake was pretty good. For breakfast, I had the PB&J I had packed for my lunch. For lunch, I had Mikey’s Late Night Slice pizza (1 slice of cheese and basil). For dinner, we went to an Amish buffet 30 minutes up 71N called Der Dutchman, at Greta’s request. The kids love it because they have really good fried chicken, rolls and Jello. Magnus also eats their ham. I had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a shredded lettuce salad with pickled beets and homemade blue cheese dressing, plus a ladle full of vinegary 3-bean salad.

Still can’t get over the flowers…

3 days to marathon


Getting more anxious about the temperature for Sunday. They’re saying a high in the low 50s. The high. This race starts at 7:30 a.m. so I’m sure it will be in the 30s or low 40s for the first hour or two.

My ears and sides of my head always get really cold so I bought this pretty $14 headband at Athleta today. But I also want to wear my visor in case the sun comes up… so I guess I’ll wear the band underneath the visor.

If I could do it over, I’d also buy full-length tights instead of capris.

Today, my food intake was less than stellar. For breakfast, I had a Kashi bar that tasted like a kid’s birdseed and glue project. For lunch, I had an awesome chicken, bean and cheese burrito from Whole Foods. For dinner, I had a bowl of Panera’s Autumn Squash soup and the butt of a baguette, buttered. Normally I like that soup but tonight it tasted overly processed and artificially sweet.

I’ve got this weird pain in my left thigh today, and my hips really hurt. Blah.

Tomorrow, I have to run down to the official race expo at the Convention Center to pick up my packet. Then we’re taking Greta out for dinner for her birthday. Then Saturday is absolute madness. We’re in the home stretch!



4 days to marathon


Barrak got this magnet for the back window of my car. After I finish, of course.


I love these salt bagels from the deli in my building. They toast them then smear them with good cream cheese. I had this for breakfast at 9ish, and I wasn’t hungry again until 2 p.m.

At which time, I had a terrible Caesar salad from a convenience store. The lettuce was literally brown.


Then I had one of these with dinner: a sidecar cocktail. That’s a key part of marathon training, right?


A tip for chocolate chip cookies

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I’ve posted this chocolate chip cookie recipe before — it’s from Amy Thielen’s Heartland cookbook. It’s pretty standard except for the tablespoon of cold coffee and a scant cup of peanut butter. Seems like I always have the ingredients for these on hand.

The reason I’m posting it again is that I wanted to share my new favorite thing to do with any cookie dough. Instead of baking the entire batch in one evening, I just bake enough for us each to have 1-2 cookies. Then I roll up the rest of the dough in wax paper, shape it in a tube like this…


and stick it in the fridge. Then for a few nights after, I can cut off just enough for each of us to again have gooey, fresh out of the oven cookies!