I’m a Blogging Idiot

So Pooky had this brilliant idea that we would start maintaining the Firm’s website ourselves since the website guy was really slow.  He found out that we had a WordPress website.  He said – hey – the Goat’s on WordPress, right?  So you can run the Firm’s website too.  Great.  Then he signed me up for a WordPress class at Emory.  And here I sit.

Goats are SO much better at running.  SO much.

Goats are SO much better at running. SO much.

Turns out the Goat is a WordPress.com site, and this class is applicable to that.  However, the Firm is a specially built out page on WordPress.org.  Apparently these are two completely different things.  And said class is not so applicable to the Firm’s page.

Regardless, I have learned today that often I am making “Pages” instead of “Posts” on the blog.  This is apparently not the best use of the Blog and makes the posts less visible.  Sigh.  So now I’m going to start a great migration of some of the “Page” content to “Post” content.


So just a fair warning that you may see some old stuff popping up again while I try to remedy my mess.

The Goat. A work in progress.  What can I say?

…next step – figuring out categories and tags 😉

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 10.28.19 PM

Guest Post: The Pittsburgh Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay

Guest Post: The Pittsburgh Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay May 5, 2013

By Uncle Goat – Joe George 😉 

Hello there!  Thought everyone might need some weekend inspiration and motivation, so I’ve got a little guest post for you today!

As you may or may not know, I started running more or less about 18 years ago…my little brother was a runner too.  And there was one more runner in the family, my dad’s older brother, our Uncle Joe!

Me and Uncle Joe rockin the Laurel Highlands Sr. High Alumni Cross Country Race!

Me and Uncle Joe rockin the Laurel Highlands Sr. High Alumni Cross Country Race!

And me, and my brother, and my Uncle Joe, well, we’ve kept on running over the years.  And we’re our own little running family.

The running Georges (minus Little E!) Beth, Uncle Joe, Pooky & Me!

The running Georges (minus Little E!) Beth, Uncle Joe, Pooky & Me!   We all won that day too!

And Uncle Joe – he’s 66 years old now – he’s still going … and according to his 2:09 half marathon performance at the 2013 Pittsburgh Half Marathon… he’s still going strong and is truly a Runner of Steel!

From the Goat:  And...the rest of the running family (again, minus Little E)...Beth Ann, Darren, Phil & Uncle Joe!

From the Goat: And…the rest of the running family (again, minus Little E)…Beth Ann, Darren, Phil & Uncle Joe!

In honor of this awesome performance – I asked him to write a little guest post about his experience at the race!  I mean, if he’s still running – and running pretty fast – at 66, then you have no excuse – right?  And from the looks of it, it turns out that not only running fast runs in the family but also stellar blogging lol.  Enjoy – and big congrats to Uncle Joe and everyone else who ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this year!

Pittsburgh Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay Marathon  May 5, 2013

 ……….as I approached the Half Marathon finish line, I looked to my far right noticing out of the corner of my eye a lone runner sprinting, and after thinking a moment I realized, hey the winner of the mens Marathon running twice my distance beat me to the finish…..He did have a six minute head start. LOL

It all started two hours, nine minutes and fourteen seconds ago there I stood in singlet and shorts anxiously waiting my turn to tour 13.1 miles of Pittsburgh’s bridges and neighborhood.  This morning in Southwestern Pennsylvania presented near perfect weather conditions.  Sunny, dry, low humidity and temperature in the breezy 50’s.

You could feel an air of excitement, caution (with tightened security) and reverence to our running brothers and sisters of the Boston tragedy.  A moment of silence along with shirts, wrist bands and the accommodation of 37 Boston runners who were unable to finish the April 22nd race.

My strategy for the race was to run mile splits at a comfortable hard pace.  Last year I went out too fast struggling the last few miles.  My training for the past four months had been erratic so I was unsure about what pace I could hold.  I estimated around a ten minute pace which came close to the 9:52 that I averaged besting my time from last year by two minutes.

As in previous Marathon years Patrice Matamoros with her team and many volunteers pulled this one off successfully in light of the Boston bombing.

The Half Marathon course is mostly flat with a few short rolling hills with five inclines coming from the five bridges to be crossed.  The Marathon course as well crosses five bridges with one steep climb up into the Oakland neighborhood and again with a few short rolling hills and a lot of flat area.  Along the  course bands provided entertainment and motivation along with many spectators throughout the thirteen Pittsburgh neighborhoods.  Race organizers provided fluids, gels and medical facilities along the route.  The amenities (fruit, fluids, sweets) continued at the finish.  Point State Park was used as a reunion area and finish line festival area providing many recovery aids.

From the Goat:  Uncle Joe looking great and rockin' his medal after a stellar half!!!

From the Goat: Uncle Joe looking great and rockin’ his medal after a stellar half!!!

There was a record setting 22,143 finishers in all distances.  As a result organizers had wave start with corrals A,B,C,D,E to ease congestion the first three miles.  James Kirwa from Kenya won the mens Marathon race in a time of 2:13:37.  Mary Akor from California won the womens Marathon race in a time of 2:37:35.

On a sad note one of our fellow runners  23 year old Kyle Johnson collapsed at mile 12 and later was pronounced dead at a local hospital of “a inherited abnormality of the coronary artery system”.  Race director Patrice Matamoros said its a loss for the entire Marathon family, our hearts and prayers go out to his family.

I missed wishing friends good luck because of the large crowd and corral assignments.  I did see two of my fellow runners by chance at the finish line festival, then using texting and facebook to hand out accolades to my other race friends.

The ideal weather conditions presented many racers with the opportunity to achieve a personal best time.  One of my friends Laura bested her 2012 Marathon time by 15 minutes.  Following the pack mentality she fell in with a pacer group that pulled her along.

Pittsburgh area is known as the city of bridges(446).  Its location is where  three rivers converge.  The Allegheny and Monongahela flow together forming the Ohio..  One of the pictures posted was taken in the Mon Wharf parking area showing the Monongahela river in the background.  The medal given to all finishers honors Pittsburgh’s past by having the logo “Runner of Steel” engraving (picture posted).

From the Goat: I am SO jealous.  Runner of Steel??? Best medal ever!

From the Goat: I am SO jealous. Runner of Steel??? Best medal ever!

I would highly recommend Pittsburgh as a class one destination Marathon and Half Marathon race.  I myself have run both and am already thinking about next years event.

Can’t wait till 2014!!!

 uncle joe shirt

A Happy Goat-day and Pumpkin Crunch Cakes with Apple Topping!

Flourless Goat Crunch Cakes with Apple Cinnamon Topping!

Today is my birthday!  Better known as Lizmas.  Its the big 3-3! I’m an old woman, but a fast old woman at least 😉

(On the trails...on the trails!!!  Get your heads out of the gutter people!)
(On the trails…on the trails!!! Get your heads out of the gutter people!)

I got lots of awesome gifts.  Amongst the many awesome gifts was a personalized velour sweatsuit from Pooky:

Pimpin' ain't easy ;)
Pimpin’ ain’t easy 😉

He of course had to get himself one as well…

He's been dreaming of a velour jumpsuit for years ;)
He’s been dreaming of a velour jumpsuit for years 😉

He also got me a Vitamix!!!!

Ohhh more recipes coming soon!!!!!
Ohhh more recipes coming soon!!!!!

I haven’t had time to whip it out yet because I’ve been too busy diving into these.  If you live in Atlanta and have any sort of food allergy and haven’t been to Dulce Vegan bakery yet, then you don’t know what you’re missing!!!  SO good.

Nom nom nom (Rosh Dawg style ;)
Nom nom nom (Rosh Dawg style 😉

So anyways, I woke up this morning on Lizmas… I was set to celebrate Goat style – with 2.5 hours on the spin bike and an hour of yoga.  SO I needed a power breakfast.

Speaking of Queens...2.5 hours on the bike today.  Not so good for the queen.
Speaking of Queens…2.5 hours on the bike today. Not so good for the queen.

I’ve eaten steel cut oats, eggs, smoothies, single serve goat-meals for weeks…I needed something new today.

I looked around … I didn’t have much to work with here… then I saw a can of pumpkin in the back of the cupboard.  Mmmm pumpkin.  Who doesn’t like pumpkin.

Of course this made me think – pumpkin pancakes.  One of my favorites!  But I didn’t want to get weighed down with ucky yucky flour and I’ve already been sneezy and tired enough from the pollen, so I didn’t want to compound that with some flour.

So these Flourless Goat Crunch Cakes are what came to mind.  Then I also require fruit topping for all my waffles and pancakes…and I’ve got an overflow of apples…so here is where the apple cinnamon topping resulted from.

However, the making of these was a small fiasco.  The gym opened at 8 am.  I planned to do some laundry and be there by 8 am so I could finish in time for yoga at 11 am.  However, I went to grab the almond butter.  It’s all natural, so the oils had risen to the top….I open it up, and pow!  The oil spilled all over my counter and floor like the Juan Valdez.  Sheesh.  Lots of time cleaning that up.

...Especially when you have piss poor cleaning skills...
…Especially when you have piss poor cleaning skills…

OK…got that cleaned up.  NEXT… I go for the maple syrup to do up my topping just right.  AND I spill it all over the counter and into the utensils drawer!!!!!   Arrrghhh…. you know the only thing worse to clean up than almond butter oil????  ahhh, yeah, maple syrup in your utensil drawer, counter, and floor.

OK so then I got THAT cleaned up.  Sheesh.

Or after you've had a rough or messy morning...
Or after you’ve had a rough or messy morning…

And the cakes could finally go in the skillet, out of the skillet, on my plate, and into my mouth!  Yipee!

This is fairly accurate.  Except I also ate pizza and cupcakes and watched several episodes of 24.
This is fairly accurate. Except I also ate pizza and cupcakes and watched several episodes of 24.

Yummy, simple morning pancakes without all the empty calories from flour!

Ingredients – Cakes:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (I buy the canned organic pumpkin Farmers brand – not pumpkin pie filling, just the pumpkin.  I haven’t tried it yet, but you could very like substitute roasted squash, banana, or sweet potatoes)
  • 2 eggs (this time I used 1/2 cup Egg Beaters because I had some that needed used up.  But typically I would use organic whole eggs.   You could probably also use a half cup egg whites)
  • 2  Tablespoons of natural cashew, peanut, or almond butter (I used almond butter this time.  Make sure the only ingredient is nuts!!! and possibly a splash of sea salt.  If you are worried about fat, you could try PB2 powder – I would use two Tablespoons of the end result – the reconstituted powder after its been mixed with liquid)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons coconut oil or Coconut oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (nutmeg, ginger or pumpkin pie spice would also be good)
  • I didn’t do it this time, but I think some chopped nuts or chopped apples would be good mixed in as well)
  • 1/3 cup Kind Cinnamon, Oat and Flax Gluten Free Granola
  • Stevia to taste (I used one big spoon. Probably could’ve done two or maybe one tablespoon brown sugar)

What to do with it all:

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add coconut oil to melt and coat the bottom of the pan.  Mix the pumpkin, eggs and nut butter in a small bowl until well blended (just use a fork to blend – don’t over mix).  Add nuts or apples or nothing at all.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and stevia (or other sweetener).  Once the pan is hot and the coconut oil is melted, spoon into the skillet.  I found that the smaller ones came out better.  So I made them all silver dollar type pancakes.  Plus Pooky loves silver dollar pancakes.  Win, win.  Once you see bubbles in the cakes, flip and cook through.  You could add the granola on top once you flip, but I like to add mine at the end.

Ingredients – Topping

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 Peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water

What to do with it all:

In a skillet, on medium heat, melt the coconut oil.  Sautee apples until softened.  Add in the maple syrup, cinnamon and 1/4 cup water.  Cook and stir as needed.  Add more water if need be.  I had to.  Top your cakes with them as is (I did) or puree the topping a bit and top.

I topped the cakes with the apple mixture then sprinkled them with the granola.  Wha-la!

End Result:

They taste better than they look, promise!
They taste better than they look, promise!

The Results are In – and the Secret Goat Shake Recipe!

The Results are In!

So as I blogged on Wednesday, I decided to detox from the Easter disaster with a little juice detox.

I started on Wednesday.  I did my interval workout on an empty stomach, which is pretty typical for me.  Then I walked over to Ardens Garden which is a block from my condo (lucky me!).  I picked out a few blends that seemed tasty enough, yet healthful.  One called “PH,” which is simply distilled water, kale, celery, a touch of lemon, a green juice which is sweet, “Yoga I,” and a red beet & veggie juice, “Paradise.”  (Tip – if you mix the PH juice – which can be VERY vegetabley – with a half a tablet Nuun, it goes down very smooth!  Plus you get some electrolytes!)



Number one rule - read those nutrition facts!  Look for nothin' but veggies!  These juices are also not pasteurized so all the enzymes stay in tack!  But you also need to remember they don't have a very long shelf life!

Number one rule – read those nutrition facts! Look for nothin’ but veggies! These juices are also not pasteurized so all the enzymes stay in tack! But you also need to remember they don’t have a very long shelf life!

Each day I’ve had nothing but the pure (mostly) veggie juice supplemented by the occasional raw red, orange or yellow peppers or cucumber or carrot sticks.  Friday and Saturday after hard workouts, I had a quick protein shake consisting of 8 oz. Nuun (best sports drink ever!) and one scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Blend vegan raw protein powder (I mix it up post-workout in my Blender Bottle so I don’t have to wait until I get home).  I eat it with a GoGo Applesauce (so many good flavors!) or a small piece of fruit to get my carbs in.  Saturday pre-workout and Sunday pre-post workout I added in a sliced banana topped with a bit of homemade cranberry apple preserves and cashew butter (expensive, I know, but this brand is SO worth it.  Pure goodness, no crap).

Shake with 8 oz. of cold Nuun and you have an excellent electrolyte replacement/protein shake!  I like to have it with some applesauce or fruit for carbs.

Shake with 8 oz. of cold Nuun and you have an excellent electrolyte replacement/protein shake! I like to have it with some applesauce or fruit for carbs.

2013-04-07 22.30.54

Protein, Carbs, Fat!  Yum Yum!  Banana, apple/cranberry preserves, & cashew butter!  It's like a PB&J without the yucky empty calorie bread!

Protein, Carbs, Fat! Yum Yum! Banana, apple/cranberry preserves, & cashew butter! It’s like a PB&J without the yucky empty calorie bread!

Then I would have a simple sensible dinner and no snacks afterwards.  This part was SO hard for me.  But I made it through the first day.  I ignored the grumbles and rumbles and powered through.

I swear, it was my stomach this time!

I swear, it was my stomach this time!

And as the days went on, it got easier.  I also found that I have been filling up quicker.  In fact, the past two nights, I didn’t even finish my whole dinner!  A miracle!

 Although I must admit, I was quite a bit cranky those first couple days.

A Mountain Goat without her snacks is not a friendly companion...

A Mountain Goat without her snacks is not a friendly companion…

Best of all, on weekends I usually go hog wild.  But this weekend I got only one dessert, one snack – a raw, vegan, gluten free, no sugar added coconut cheesecake square (thank god for Cafe Sunflower!).  And I only ate half Saturday night and half Sunday night.  That was it.  Yay me!

I feel so much better after doing this.  I feel emptied out of all the leftover sugar and crap, and I lost about four pounds in the process.  Tomorrow I’m going to start upping the food intake again, but I think I’m going to leave the juice for at least one meal.

The only issue is on Friday I tried to do my workout (6 miles plus one hour weights) on an empty stomach.  I typically do it on an empty stomach no problem.  But what I forgot is typically the night before I’ve eaten a bajillion calories in snacks…not so much this time.  So it was pretty tough getting through my weights session on the juice fast.  But, I lived and learned, and now I know better.

I don't have a picture of me woozie and lifting weights, so I'll put this here instead.  It's random, and I'm not sure I get it, but I like it.

I don’t have a picture of me woozie and lifting weights, so I’ll put this here instead. It’s random, and I’m not sure I get it, but I like it.

Today I volunteered at the Southeastern Endurance and Multisports Expo which was held by a great guy Mike Lenhart who runs an amazing organization, the Getting2Tri Foundation, which helps those who have suffered traumatic injury participate in endurance sports.  Amazing organization, check them out sometime!

I saw old dear friend Swim Bike Mom today for the first time in a LONG time.  Yay!

I saw old dear friend Swim Bike Mom today for the first time in a LONG time. Yay!

Some pretty, but very sugary, drinks they had at the Expo today!  I didn't go there though...

Some pretty, but very sugary, drinks they had at the Expo today! I didn’t go there though…

2013-04-07 11.40.55

I went with the kale, celery, etc juice instead. Made for bad breath for greeting the visitors though 😦

Today I discovered some new juice – called Chuice – seems like some good stuff.  How did I discover it?  Well SBM friend Elizabeth came up to me and declared that there was some funky looking juice at one of the booths that looked right up my alley.  Come to think of it, I did remember seeing a guy carrying around a half gallon jug of some gross looking green substance with some crap floating in it.  And when I saw it, you can bet I said, ooooh I want some of that.  Nothing goats love more than gross looking concoctions!

Full of all sorts of raw foods – sweet potatoes, beets, brussell sprouts, ginger, honey, chia, herbs, the list goes on and on!  It also has a crunch to it – via nuts – hence the name Chuice – Juice you Chew!  It tasted great, so I’m excited to add it into my repertoire.  It is also heavier in calories, carbs, fiber, protein, fat, etc.

2013-04-07 22.27.502013-04-07 22.28.09

I probably should have posted a picture of the owner instead.  According to the ladies at the expo, he was hot.  He was a big dude with some Lenny Kravitz type hair.  Of course, goats thinking like we do, when I saw him, the first thing I thought was, oooh look at his arms.  I wonder what kind of exercises he does, and if they will make my arms look like that.  And so goes a goat’s brain.

Back to the matter at hand, the juice “detox.”

So what now?  Well first things first – an allstar Goat Breakfast – here’s the recipe:


Ingredients (serves one goat):

  • 1 cup liquid (I typically go with half water/half unsweetened vanilla almond milk…if you want more calories, go with some coconut water or fresh juice)
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (I typically go with berries; OR pineapple/mango/banana; OR cherries + a couple spoons cocoa powder; OR peaches/blueberries; OR peaches/banana/strawberries….bananas + PB2 powder…you get the idea!)
  • A good handful spinach
  • Optional things – vanilla extract; almond extract (good with the cherries + cocoa powder); coconut extract; unsweetened coconut flakes (good with the pineapple/mango/banana)
  • 1 spoon stevia in the raw (more or less depending on your taste for sweetness.  Also if you are using the natural flavor or if you are adding cocoa powder or PB2 powder, you may need an extra spoon)


Put everything in the blender and blend like crazy!  Best way to do it is liquid first, stevia + protein powder + any other type powder + extract + chia/flax next, spinach, then frozen fruit last.  Add more liquid if you need it.

Different shakes are good for different things.  Berries are good for everyday – they are lower sugar and lower carb/calorie.  The tropical – mango/banana/pineapple/coconut – good for a treat – or good for immunity boost…sometimes if I have an orange laying around, I add a little OJ too!  Need something anti-inflammatory?  I go with the cherries + dark chocolate cocoa.  Better than an advil!  (pineapples and tumeric are also great inflammation fighters!)

More recipes to come soon! (next time I’ll include photos too like a real blogger)

Happy eating!

I’m a Hot Mess

Hello, my name’s Mountain Goat, and I’m a hot mess.

Truth be told, I’ve always been a hot mess.  For a variety of reasons.  Right now, however, I’m, specifically a hot mess nutritionally.

Only a hot mess wears such an ensemble
Only a hot mess wears such an ensemble

You all know me as a veggie loving goat, always munching on some gross healthy concoction.  And that’s the way I’ve been for quite some time.

Like a green goat shake!
Like a green goat shake!

In 2007 I decided I would go vegetarian.  I didn’t know it would last, and I didn’t know if I would stick with it.  But here I am six years later and still going strong.

Stinky lentils and all!
Stinky lentils and all!

In 2010, Swim Bike Mom and I decided we would go vegan for a month.  I stuck with it longer.  Since then I’ve eaten vegan about 90% of the time.  I’ve recently added eggs back in to the mix but still try to avoid cheese and milk as much as possible.

Last year about this time, I was feeling really tired and icky, all the time.  So I went to see a holistic doctor – Taz Bhatia (who is awesome by the way).  She did some Alcat testing on me – which essentially tests you for allergies and sensitivities to foods and chemicals.  Surprisingly, the test showed that I had an allergy to rice and a sensitivity to gluten, wheat, rye, etc.  Blood tests also showed that I had super low levels of B12 and iron.

She recommended I go gluten free for a while and eliminate rice.  We added in some B12, iron and magnesium to help me sleep at night.

True.  Totally true.
True. Totally true.

When I do something, I am an all or nothing kind of person.  I am not very good at doing anything half way.  I never have been.  So I took the doctor’s orders to heart.  I went gluten free and cut out my beloved rice. I also was eating vegan.  I didn’t eat any processed crap.  And I felt great.

Me, sans gluten and dairy and processed for two months.  I think it looked pretty good on me...oh, what's that?  The champagne is processed and not gluten fee...opps....
Me, sans gluten and dairy and processed for two months. I think it looked pretty good on me…oh, what’s that? The champagne is processed and not gluten fee…opps….

Everyone got on my back and told me I wasn’t eating enough, that I was too skinny, blah blah.  However, I was eating plenty – I was just eating real food, which I think confused everyone.

This says it all.
This says it all.

I eventually fell off the wagon.  And when I’m off the wagon- I’m off the wagon.

The wreckage from me and the little brother hanging out and enjoying our favorite thing - candy and pizza!!!
The wreckage from me and the little brother hanging out and enjoying our favorite thing – candy and pizza!!!

And let me just say I’m off the wagon again.  Ever since the Marathon, I’ve been eating like a hoss.  Then Mama Goat came to visit last Tuesday with an entire full sized suitcase of goodies. And if you’ve ever had them, well then, you know…

A small smattering.  And I mean small.
A small smattering. And I mean small.

I started off with a few here and there… Then came some pizza, then came some Italian and then came some buffet action and….it was out of control.  I was eating butter, and bread and cheese and endless cookies.  Out. Of. Con. Trol.  Yikes.

I can't count how many times we've had this over the past month...it's just. so. good.
I can’t count how many times we’ve had this over the past month…it’s just. so. good.

I thought I would detox and regroup on Monday.  Then Monday came and I ate a crap ton of cookies again!  And Tuesday came – and I ate pizza, fries, more cookies!

I woke up today feeling just awful.  Ridiculously awful and completely disgusted with myself.  So today, my friends, I decided I would start anew.  I spent some time googling juice detox diets and so forth.

junk body

I work so hard on my body so it can do all the things I force it to do.  All the things I GET to do.  So why am I abusing it so with all this crap?

So today after my workout I headed to the Ardens Garden near my house and loaded up on juices.

Shah Law Firm Fridge.  You can guess who's is who's
Shah Law Firm Fridge. You can guess who’s is who’s

And so today, I had fresh green juice, a raw red pepper, and an egg white/veggie omelet with salad and oven roasted potatoes (I’m sorry, I can’t do just juice all day).  I just had some Bija Tulsi Tea as my “after dinner treat.”  Pooky has locked the cabinets and snacks are off limits.  I’m dying here.  Dying.

Yes, this is really a bike lock on the snack cabinet.
Yes, this is really a bike lock on the snack cabinet.

What? Locked cabinets you think that’s odd?  Well, this isn’t the first time this has been.  You see, even when I’m eating perfectly clean, at night I tend to be a little Snack-a-saurus Rex….so on occasion I beg Pooky to help me help myself.  So he got the idea to lock the cabinets after a certain time each night.  And so the locking begins again.

I plan to do the same super strict (well super strict to me!) diet again through Friday.  Fresh juice during the day and one small healthy meal at night with nothing else to follow.

Devastating to find out....
Devastating to find out….

After three days of this, I’m then going to go back to normal living.  However, I plan to be really strict with my no gluten, no dairy and to stay away from processed crap and endless snacks.  I don’t know how long it will last, but thought it might give me a little more accountability if I blasted it on the blog.  So wish me luck and better yet – join me.  I will post some recipes along the way.  Let’s clean the crap out!

I Get to Do This!

I get to do this.

I get to do this.  I am one of the lucky ones. I get to do what I love.  I have two arms and two legs and everything works.  It may not always work great, but it works.  I get it done.  I get to do it.  And that’s amazing.

It really is sometimes, isn't it?

It really is sometimes, isn’t it?

 Charlie Birchem Ligtenberg, a FB friend I met through Swim Bike Mom coined the phrase, “I get to do this.”  It’s how she gets through her tough workouts…traipsing through freezing temps and snow to get her Minnesota runs in.  I loved it.  I borrowed it.  And it works wonders.  Just remind yourself, “I get to do this.”  Not only for workouts but just about everything.

The awesome Charlie racing away - getting to do it!

The awesome Charlie racing away – getting to do it!

Running the marathon today, I saw so many people with pained, miserable faces.  I understand that its tough, but as Parag reminded me last night, this is your hobby.  Stop stressing about it.  You shouldn’t be doing this if it’s stressing you out – if you’re not having fun.  You should be enjoying it!

homer beer running

And that’s the attitude I take with doing races.  I get to do them.  I love to do them.  I enjoy doing them.  And I show it.  I smile.  I wave.  I thank each and every volunteer and fan that I pass.  They are the ones toughing it out.  Getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to help us all get out there and achieve our goals.  And for what, a free t-shirt and wet cups being thrown at them?

Tell me that's not excitement!

Me, cheering for the crowd and volunteers and getting everyone riled up!  Good times!

And so, while it may take a little more energy, try it.  It will help your run immensely, I guarantee it.  Smile.  Enjoy yourself.  Wave at the spectators.  Thank them for coming out.  Cheer for the volunteers, thank them for giving their time.  Pay it back.  And in the meantime, you’ll benefit, I promise.  And you’ll have a whole heck of a lot more fun.

SO today was the Best. Race. Ever.  It was awesome.

Some more excitement.  This is just a ridiculous face.  You know, it know it.  But I was just loving it.

Tell me that’s not a “Best Race Ever” face!

I’ve run the Georgia Publix Marathon before.  I ran it last year.  My goal was to go sub-four hours…but I couldn’t find the pace team at the start.  Then I had to stop to go to the bathroom.  A number of factors later, and I finished at 4:09.  Ok but not great.

This year I went back with the same goal, to break four hours.  And that I did!  How, you ask?

Well, the stars aligned and things went perfectly.  It was just one of those days…

 But I think a few things helped.  And here they are:

  1. Since last year’s Marathon, I’ve added strength training.  In particular, I added an awesome class that the awesome Alana teaches at Urban Iron in Buckhead that involves old school exercises like deadlifts, clean and jerks, rows, squats, etc. and uses a bar instead of free weights.  Adding weights has made a world of difference.

 class with alana

  1. Since last year’s Marathon, I’ve added yoga.  I found a class and teacher I like and I go as often as I can fit it in.
OK so my yoga teacher SO looks like James Harden.  So I had to throw this in here ;)

OK so my yoga teacher SO looks like James Harden. So I had to throw this in here 😉

1.  Since last year’s Marathon, I’ve eliminated most gluten from my diet, added a B vitamin complex and Iron compound in the morning and calcium and magnesium at night.  Plus twice daily doses of turmeric during heavy training.  The B vitamins and Iron help with energy.  The calcium and magnesium at night help with muscle cramps and ease sleep.  The turmeric is an anti-viral, anit-fungal and anti-inflammatory.  Eliminating gluten also helps with inflammation and recovery.  This all helps with recovery…so I can train harder, recover faster, and train harder all over again!

2.  Attitude…its not that I had a bad attitude last year, but it’s better this year.  That comes from a place of leaving a less than ideal work situation, joining an ideal work situation, and working on following my dreams.  It also comes from a place of “I get to do this” and gratefulness for what I have and what my life has become.

This is the NEW attitude.  Try it out.  It's pretty awesome.

This is the NEW attitude. Try it out. It’s pretty awesome.

3.  The last two are the most important – GELS!!!! I finally got my fueling right! AND my pre-race activities … everything you shouldn’t do before a marathon…

But that’s for the race report!  Till we meet again!

A New Year, A New You?

I’ve been on hiatus for a while. I know, I know.  I’m a horrible blogger.  But bear with me.  I’ve got four brand spanking new posts which are just waiting to be published.  Here is number one from New Years 2013.  I’m just a month and a half late on the publishing…

So starting in 2008 when I started my crazy running rebirth of sorts, I’ve been on this long stretch of remaking myself. I remember one summer, almost a few years ago now, when I was first training for an ultra and feeling on top of the world, I told Pooky that I was “Liz 2.0.”

Me, glowing after having beaten all the high school girls in the Alumni Cross Country Race...and then running the race a second time with the guys...me and Uncle Joe striding it in.  Maybe I should've stuck with Version 2.0.  It looked pretty good ;)

Me and Uncle Joe striding it in.  Ran from my parents house, to the high school.  Then ran the girls’ alumni cross country meet.  Won and beat the little skinny high school girls.  Then ran the boys race with my Uncle Joe.  Oh, the Glory Days.  Maybe I should’ve kept the old model? It looked pretty good 😉

Well, I’m not sure what model I’m on now, but I’m still working on it.  Slowly, but surely.  I grew a pair and quit my soul sucking billable hours litigation job.  I went to work with Pooky on a temporary basis until I found a permanent gig. You all know the story.  Blah blah blah.

Well here we are six months later, and I really love working with Pooky. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate being a lawyer, but if I have to be a lawyer, being a lawyer with him is the only way to go.  I’ve surprised myself by really getting invested in the firm and the idea of growing our little “family business.”  Things have been good, and we haven’t gone bankrupt yet, so I think I’ll stay.

And who knows?  If I stick around long enough, I may end up on TV like the Boss ;)

And who knows? If I stick around long enough, I may end up on TV like the Boss 😉

I’ve seen my family more than I ever have before, I’ve apparently been a whole lot nicer and less cranky to deal with, and I’ve had time to pursue my real interests and develop myself.

Aren't they cute???

Aren’t they cute???

Just know this:  You are where you are, but it’s not where you have to be.  You have to accept where you are now in the present and you have to consider where you’ve been in the past before you can move on and get to where you want to be.    I have to keep reminding myself of this on my new journey.

Just remember that today is tomorrow's yesterday!

Just remember that today is tomorrow’s yesterday!

I know it’s New Years and everyone’s making their resolutions and starting a new.  It’s a great season.  You can be full of hope for the year in front of you and the chance to do it all over again.

However, the way I’ve been approaching things is to use everyday as a fresh start.  To try to work with the mindset that every new day is a new chance to start over, to do better, to get it right.

Today is First Day of Rest of Your Life

So it’s New Years – it’s the first day of the rest of your life.  What are your plans for this new year – this new life?

this is your life

What does the Goat have on tap?  I’ve got an ambitious line up for this year.

  1. Keep working with Pooky to grow the Shah Law Firm!
  2. Lobby for the ACLU during Legislative Session!
  3. Get my RRCA run coach certification!
  4. Blog regularly (i.e., don’t take two month hiatus)!
  5. Run Georgia Xterra Fort Yargo Marathon (2/23/13) – Just finish and have fun!
  6. Run Publix Georgia Marathon (3/17/13) – Break 4 hours!!!
  7. Run Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race (6/14/13-6/16/13) – Finish alive!!!
  8. Run TransRockies Stage Race (8/13/13-8/18/13) – Finish Alive!!!
  9. Cook more!  Eat less junk!

AND….Drumroll please…..

10. Beast mode.  All day.  Every day.


Who’s joining me?

Happy Trails in your New Year!

A Crappy Run

OK so I don’t have much to say or post tonight, but this one warrants a post.

I joined Urban Active in Buckhead when it first opened.  It was close to my new office, and I thought it’d be convenient.  Plus one of my old spin teachers from concourse was teaching there, so off I went.  Oh yeah, and I signed a two year contract.

 Fast forward to June, 2012 when I quit my job.  Now I have no need to fight traffic to Buckhead to workout. Sigh.  But I’ve already paid for it, so might as well use it.

Well, I realized that in traffic, it takes me nearly 35-40 minutes to get to Buckhead.  However, on foot, running the six miles, it only takes me 45 minutes to an hour.  So I figured I’d get a few extra miles in on my way to the gym, and take the Marta home when I was done.  I got myself a little daypack, and there was no stopping me.  But that’s a whole other story for another day.

So I often run the six miles straight down Peachtree Street from my house to the gym.  Today, I did just that on my way to spin and Triple Fit.

Triple Fit with Alana! Hopefully not the last class! LA Fitness bought out Urban Active, and I’m hoping my favorite classes don’t go out the window!

I get to the corner where there is a Walgreens on one side and a big strip mall on the other.  On the side I’m on, with the Walgreens, I see a fellow runner girl running towards me mouthing something frantically.  I have my earphones on and am in the zone, so I don’t notice.  Finally I do, I take down the headphones and see that she is motioning towards the corner.  And there is an old woman on the corner.

Here’s the intersection!

Upon closer look, the old woman has her dress hiked up all the way.  And she is wearing absolutely nothing underneath.  Nothing.

To top it all off, she is clearly taking a dump, right there on the street corner in fancy old Buckhead.

The fellow runner girl just keeps freaking out telling me she can’t believe we’re seeing this.  I motion to her to come on, and we run past.  As I look down at the sidewalk, there is – no lie – a gallon zip lock of human feces right there as well!!!!

Fellow runner girl continues to follow me down the road shaking her head in disbelief and telling me how she can’t believe it.

It was totally crazy!  I guess I wasn’t so phased because I used to work downtown and have seen similar if not worse.  But in Buckhead, really?

I was kind of sad I didn’t take a picture for the blog, but I just couldn’t bring myself too.  The woman was clearly homeless, and I felt bad.

But…what a crazy run today, right?

Here’s to hoping you don’t have a crappy run today!

The Goat Does Vegas

Nearly a decade ago, I first met Mex Tex, and this past weekend, I got to celebrate her marrying a totally awesome guy.  It almost brings a tear to this goat’s eyes.

And to think, just about 5 years ago, we were celebrating mine and Pooky ESQ’s wedding!

Mex Tex chose Vegas for the wedding.  Pooky ESQ and I loaded up and it was off to Vegas Thursday through Monday.  If you’re thinking that’s a long time to be in Vegas,  you thought right.

Pooky ESQ’s Code Release party had just been on Tuesday night.  Mo and I spent most of Wednesday cleaning up before I plopped her on the plane back to PA.  The rest of Wednesday was spent running around returning stuff, a quick workout .  Let’s just say I was completely exhausted.

Pooky ESQ and I at the Code Book Release Party

Yes, my Mom made miniature versions of the Code in cookie form. Too cool!

Mo showing off her wares. She made all the baked goods. Her cupcakes are legendary and on the left!

Thursday morning I got up and needed to pack, so no workout got done.  I threw in two sets of running gear in high hopes I would get to workout.  Got on the MARTA and we were off!

I was a bad wife and failed to make our usual breakfast smoothies, so Pooky was stuck with a lone beat up banana.

We arrived in Vegas and immediately spent money buying new flip flops as soon as we got off the plane.

These turned out to be an excellent purchase. Very comfy and worn all about Vegas.

To Planet Hollywood, our base hotel to settle in then it was go time for the Bachelorette and Bachelor parties.  Mex Tex’s little sister, Little Abalos, set up a super fancy dinner at the Mix at Mandalay Bay.  It was on the 65th floor and super fancy.  I had my first drink in over 90 days (I decided to partake in a 90 day no alcohol challenge at my gym 90 days ago), a champagne spritzer, and pathetically couldn’t even finish the whole thing.  So I gave up on trying to drink.  I do know how lame it is not to drink at a Bachelorette party.  You don’t need to tell me.

The view from the Mix! Awesome!

After our time at the Mix, we went for the polar opposite and were off to Gold Diggers in the Golden Nugget on Freemont Street.  The night had a slow start, but once we moved the party inside, where the DJ was playing lots of fun old school songs, lots of bad white girl dancing commenced.  Sorry, I don’t have a video of the goat’s horrible moves.

Time to get down on Freemont Street

Here’s the crew!

I made the grave mistake of wearing some brand new “girl shoes” I had purchased just for the occasion.  Sparkly peep toe pumps (with a very modest heel), but they tore my feet up! I ended up with a big blister and spent most of the time barefoot.  If you have ever been barefoot in any bar on Freemont Street, you can image how gross my feet were.  In fact, they still may be dirty five showers later.

You know there had to be a picture of the dirty foot in here.

They kept me out until nearly 6 AM.  Which would’ve made it over 24 hours.  UGH.  I had a blast, but that is entirely too late for me. Back to Planet Hollywood and the others went out more. I went back to the room.  I had never been so happy to see my PJs.  Into bed I went.

Friday morning I woke up late (understandably). I didn’t have to be anywhere until the rehearsal at 3pm and the rehearsal dinner at 6pm.  So off to the hotel gym I went. It was in the spa, and I started in.  They stopped me at the desk and informed me it was $25 a day!!!! WHAT?!  I immediately got super p.o’d and walked right out.  I stopped in the hallway and mulled it over. I was about to spend $80 to get my hair did the next day, so certainly I could spare the same to workout for a few days.

I marched back in, defeated and bought myself a 3 day $65 pass.  I walked into the fitness room and was totally underwhelmed.  If I was a good blogger, I would’ve taken a good picture of it to post, but I forgot.  Let’s just say it was far from stellar.

Friday I got in a 6 mile run on the dreadmill and some abs.  I felt much better.  Then it was off to undo the workout with my one true vice – candy!!!

The Sugar Factory – the name said it all!!!

The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were fun.  They had it at Hussong’s in Mandalay Bay.  They were SO sweet and accommodating, providing me with more than one vegan and gluten free option!!!!  I had some veggie fajitas that were great.

There were Mariachis! Yay!

The crew piled in for an after party at Pure Nightclub in Ceasars.  Someone had gotten us a VIP pass and we whizzed in.  Once inside, I could immediately tell this place was too cool for me and that nightclubs sure weren’t my thing.  Plus, I wasn’t dressed nearly skeezy enough.

Pimpin’ ain’t easy…me in the stretch limo on the way to Pure. I look a lot cooler than I am.

Copy Cat.

Luckily, no one else was feeling it and so we retreated to the small hotel bar.  Nothing much was going on, so I persuaded Pooky ESQ to leave with me around midnight.  Tonight I was smart enough to bring back up flip flops, so we hoofed it home down the strip.

Oh, did I mention that during the rehearsal dinner, on a bathroom break which passed by a sports memorabilia store, Pooky ESQ and I acquired this poster which features the pictures and signatures of the 60 greatest NBA players of all time??? Talk about an impulse buy 😉

Saturday, the wedding day, I got up earlier and headed to the gym again.  This time, trying to get my money’s worth, I used every weight and machine I could find – doing a lame remake of my Urban Iron class along with a short two mile warm up on the dreadmill.

Later was the wedding and it was amazing!  Mex Tex looked beautiful and it was a great wedding and after party.  Mex Tex, being sweet as she is, and knowing how weird I am, released me to go home to bed shortly after 1am.  I gave Pooky ESQ full reign to go meet some friends and play until the next morning.

World’s hottest bridesmaids? Or world’s weirdest?

The bride and groom!!!

We clean up good.

Sunday I got up and was getting ready to retreat to the hotel gym again.  Then I remembered! I had read about a free yoga class at the Lulu Lemon store in Fashion Show Mall.  I put it into my navigator and saw it was about 1.5 miles down the strip. I had about 10 min to get there.  I sprinted out the door.  Navigating the strip, was tricky and I went as fast as I could.  Around the Venetian it looked like I might just make it, but then I was foiled by a road closure and detoured.

Eventually, sweaty and breathless, I made it about 10 min late…but made it nonetheless.  They had free mats and it was just what I needed.  A little organized exercise, a little peace and quiet, and a little fresh air in the midst of all the action.

I forgot to take pictures inside the yoga class…Still getting the hang of this.

At the end of class, the teacher commented that us being there meant so much to her.  She got teary and said it was because about 5 years ago, she had been working in corporate America for 10 years.  She said she did yoga at night and eventually started teaching.  She said she was on the cusp of making 6 figures when one day her husband looked at her and said, “I like the woman who comes home from yoga a lot more than the woman who comes home from work.”  She said it was at that point she quit her job and taught yoga full time.  She said she made $3000 the first year, but never felt better.

I approached her after class and shared my story.  Although yoga isn’t my thing, and I can’t really get into its whole touchy feely peace and harmony vibe, I totally got what she said and could identify.  It got me reflecting on my decision to go out on a limb. I often question that decision, but her story reminded me of why I did it.

A little inspiration borrowed from a FB post.

During class, I looked up at the wall. They had a big sign with a bunch of quotes on it.  Who doesn’t love inspiration quotes?  One of them said something to the effect of, stop and look around and appreciate all the great friends you are surrounded by.  I loved this and held it with me.  It was a great reminder to me.  While Vegas certainly was no place for me – all the gambling, smoking, drinking, staying up late, yucky for you food – the whole time I was there, I was surrounded by awesome friends.  Mex Tex has been a great friend who has been there for me for years.  We’ve had a fun journey and adventure and she’s stuck by me even in this new, weird, totally different chapter in my life.  And not only that, but Mex Tex’s family is SO amazing. Usually you like your friend’s family well enough, but in this case I genuinely love everyone in her family. Her Mom, Dad, Brother and sister Little Abalos are all such great people. I never cease to have a great time with them and they’re all amazing people.  And now she’s found an amazing guy to join that group.  I’m so happy for them.

The family Abalos! How I love them all!!!

All and all it was a great trip with great people.  But I’m tired and ready to get back to my routine.  Its all workouts and raw vegan protein shakes for the rest of this week 😉

This is what I made Pooky ESQ eat for lunch today. He wasn’t thrilled. Back on the wagon!

Mountain Goat ESQ.

I had never planned on going to law school. I graduated college and set about getting a job. Despite my stellar credentials and grade point average, I could find nothing. I ended up back in my parents house and took a job waitressing at a small Italian restaurant, deli and specialty store in my hometown – Angelina’s. As with everything in life, I gave 110% to that job. In no time, I was practically running the place when the owners weren’t around and was cooking after the cook left. I loved everyone I worked with and we had a great time. I learned to cook too. Life was good.

I always had fun at that job. See my puppet/oven mitt?

About a year and a half after graduation, I was still at Angelina’s and still in my parents’ house. My little cousin was graduating college and said she was going to law school. She told me to come. My parents were antsy for me to do something with my life, and I didn’t have much else going on – so I went for it.

Not only did I join my little cousin for law school, but I also got to crash her Jamaican spring break trip. Hey, I was too broke to go during my own college spring break and how else was she going to convince me to go to something as horrid as law school?!

The decision to go to law school was a last minute one, and I just went wherever would take me and wherever would throw me some scholarship money. Enter Ohio Northern University.

So I went to law school in an extremely small town in rural Ohio. We had to drive 20 minutes just to get to the WalMart or McDonalds. There were a lot of corn and soy bean crops and not much else. I didn’t know anyone and couldn’t afford to get my own place, buy all the furniture, etc as I was already student loaned up to the hilt and mooching off my parents as much as possible. So I opted for some new student furnished apartment housing on campus. I’ve always had good luck with roommates, so I let them pair me up.

Enter: Ms. Feliz – the Mexican Texan. I don’t know how or why the admissions counselor paired us up – but they did. As we entered law school, the Mex Tex was extremely enthusiastic. Me, well, I tended to be a Debbie Downer. She called me before school started, so we could coordinate on who was brining what. We both remember that first phone call. She remembers being full of excitement and having the most uninterested voice ever respond on the other end (hey, I hate the phone. Always have!). I remember an overly happy and overly excited person on the other end. We both thought – oh god.

Who knew we’d become BFFs. And who knew I would think that haircut and cleavage was a good look?

But as fate would have it, we would get along swimmingly. We both had been cooped up at our parents post graduation and both had a couple years out of college before law school. We were ready for a new college experience and proceeded straight to the drive through beer store.

The two best friends that anyone could have! OK so this was years after law school, but I love the picture.

One of the first night’s we went to the gym to play two on two basketball. We needed one more, and there he was, 130 pounds of hotness, little Pooky ESQ running shirtless around the gym. He played on my team, and we had a great time. We invited him to our house to enjoy your new purchases from the drive through beer store, but he scurried off. The next day he would see me out of my gym clothes and into a skirt, and thought that he had two girls after him. Sorry kid, all you had was me.

He was so tiny and cute. Who could resist.

I was suspicious of his small size, but he could put down an XL pizza from Padrones like no one else, so it was love at first bite.

He still loves his pizza.

Mex Tex and I also assembled an all star crew of friends, gathering together the four or five minorities on campus. The Jamaican Sensation was part of the original crew as well as Pooky ESQ. So we had Mexico, Jamaica, and India covered. Add in Red Joe (he had red hair) and Black Joe (you can figure this one out) and we were complete!

The rainbow connection including the Mex Tex, Pookie ESQ, the Jamaican Sensation and Red Joe!

Me and Mex Tex had so many great adventures together. Many involved fighting with boys in bars, mostly at the Reagle Beagle (that was really its name!), singing LaBamba at Karaoke every Tuesday, studying at sports bars for Saturday and Sunday Football fundays, and lots of late night pizza (what up Columbine!).

I’d like to say we brought the house down, but really we got booed each week by a douche in penny loafers.

In those days we could, and did, go out for late nights and I could even be known to enjoy some of Winemaker Jon’s homemade wine, then go out and run my usual route around the Green Monster. We interned for legal aid and the public defender and I figured I’d graduate and save the world. It was good to be young.

This was a fun night where Feliz and I gave Steven Jenkins a good talking to and lesson on the Mexican Revolution.

Fast forward nine years, and well, the legal profession has not turned out to be all I thought. I am yet to save the world, and I can barely keep down a glass of wine let alone go for a run after several.

So now I’m running from the traditional practice of law, and hopefully y’all will chase after me on my blog-venture from ESQ. to running blogger extraordinaire!

Look out for the wedding episode tomorrow!