Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2012

The Fine Dining of Malden

24 hours left to get my votes in for Team Refuel which also means no more annoying pleads after end of May.

Now that Malden is becoming a much more of a permanent home for me, I’m getting more into the local dining scene.  To say dining scene is a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s a lot of happening things going on!  A few months ago we even had a “Taste of Malden” event which featured a ton of delicious local dining establishments.   For those of you closer to downtown Boston you’re probably more familiar with “Taste of South End”, “Taste of North End”, “Taste of Somerville”, etc; however, next year I highly recommend you take a ride on the Orange Line to my hood and check out “Taste of Malden.”  I promise you won’t get shot.

I’ll start of with a great casual lunch spot.  Abiata Cafe & Market for Ethiopian & Mediterranean food.  Very casual family owned spot.  They’re open for lunch and dinner.  I also heard their breakfast is really good but I haven’t woken up early enough to go yet.

Yemisir -Wat – Split lentil sauce made with flavorful berbere-based seasoning with salad

Yesiga Wat – beef simmered in Ethiopian chili blend sauce, clarified butter and exotic Ethiopian spices with salad

My next place just opened up in Malden Square that I’m super excited about.  A mexican restaurant called Guadalajara Grill.  Tony took me and his mother here for Mother’s day dinner and I loved it!  Entrees are in the $10-$20 range and come in giant portions made from quality ingredients.  I believe they’re a sister restaurant to Mexico Lindo in Melrose.  Also quite delicious!  They have one of the best margarita mixes that are freshly made with no sour mix.

A margarita isn’t just recommended, its a must if you go there!

Fajita Salad.

They have outdoor seating but I think the booths and tables inside are just too cute!

Tony is having the Torito Steak (12oz. top sirloin steak, flamed broiled with sauteed mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions and tomatoes, covered with a special Mexican sauce and melted cheese) and his mother the Albondigas Soup ( A delicious Mexican soup made with fresh minted pork meatballs and seasonal  vegetables in clear broth. Served with diced onions, fresh cilantro and warm tortillas)

My final place is a bit of something old school, Italian food!  Now when you first walk into Massimo’s Ristorante you might be thrown back by all the different themes they have going on.  They have everything from wood paneling to exposed brick to gold ceilings, and some very creepy decorations that you’ll just have to see for yourself.  Don’t let that deter you because when the food comes out, it holds its ground. Tony and I took our parents there when mine came up from New York last weekend.

Seafood Alla Paul – Shrimp, calamari, scallops, swordfish, clams, mussels,
and scallops in a light tomato with homemade pasta!

My mom gave me a dirty look when I tried to take a piece of her Veal/Eggplant combo so I’m assuming it was good!

The rest of the family seems to enjoy their selection as well

Dessert was a lobster tail (picture a giant cannoli) and a Bailey’s chocolate cake.  Bailey’s cake was my favorite!

Read Full Post »

A running withdrawal…

Less than 48 hours left to get my votes in for Team Refuel which also means no more annoying pleads after end of May.

I’m on day 3 of my no running 14 day cleanse (of not running).  I also made an appointment with Dr. Michael Santipadri for next week for my leg that’s been bummy since Boston Marathon.  He is a certified ART (active release technique) practitioner and hopefully can help me.

Tuesday was a fine day of 8 miles on the elliptical which I’m slowly starting to dread.  My TV shows have ended and surviving through a 50 minute workout on that thing is getting a whole lot more boring.

I also took a sculpt class at the Y which was relatively low impact (the class is designed to be friendly for beginners and older folks) but it did get me to lift some weights which I never do on my own.  If I was more motivated on my own I could probably do that whole one hour class in 20 minutes, but I’m not.  Lifting weights one arm at a time is better than no weight lifting.

I have this semi-plan of trying to start doing my Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones DVD to get some muscle tone back.  Training for a marathon made me lose weight, but I can’t say I like how much weaker my other muscles have become (or my shrinking lady lumps).  I love long distance running, but I also loved my curves.  I envy the women who can keep both!  It might be fun to buy a size smaller pants, but having to restock all your bras a size smaller can get a bit depressing!

Read Full Post »

These are the final days of my shameless self promotion.  Please vote for me.  You don’t even need to watch the video. Just follow the link – http://www.gotchocolatemilk.com/applicant/liana-koloslenker

The 3 day weekend has come and gone and I feel like nothing has been done. I guess that’s how all long weekends feel unless I go away somewhere.  I had a great Saturday exploring Charlsetown.

Sunday, after the Run to Remember Half  marathon I really wanted to take a nap.  Unlike other runners, 6AM wake ups don’t come naturally to me.  Good thing I had a practice wake up call at 5AM the day before from some A—H—-who was BLOW TORCHING a parking lot.  They should change their number from 1-800-sealers to 1-800-A77-H653.  This is the same building that used to wake me up last summer with their 6AM landscapers! A curse upon them!

Instead of a nap Tony & I went to the new house to do some yardwork.  I guess that’s what homeowners do on weekends.  Yardwork.

While I did things like this…

Other fun Sunday night activities include packing…

As you can tell from the countless photos of Jack Meower, I am slowly developing CLS.  Cat Lady Syndrome.  While other people post pictures of their babies on Facebook, I surround my wall with the cat instead.  Well I must confess I took this to a potential new level.  This is Jack’s first summer.  He has been meowing like crazy near all our doors and windows begging to go outside.  However, our streets are city streets surrounded with cars, crazy people, hawks and hunting dogs.  Jack being an outdoor cat is just not practical in my view.  So here’s my new solution.

Needless to say Day 1 of learning how to walk a cat did not get me very far.  I tried to walk, Jack tried to eat the grass and roll over instead.  Day 2 I decided to try out the front of the house instead.  Same story, but I did get him to walk down the stairs.

We even took a ride over to the new house so he can smell the grass there.

Aside from torturing my cat most of Sunday, I made an awesome breakfast!   I wanted to go to brunch but certain places decided that even though it’s a holiday because it’s Monday, they don’t do brunch. So instead I made a Baby Kale, Mushroom omelette with a side of Sunkist tomatoes and salsa.

There’s such thing as baby kale and it’s pretty yummy.  I didn’t know this because my ghetto supermarket can’t spell kale, let alone carry organic baby kale. We were driving through Burlington when I saw Roche Bros.  I knew it was an adventure awaiting.  I’ve never been to one before and was impressed with their clean empty aisles and the lack of a whole aisle dedicated to hot-dogs.  I guess that’s the difference between a store in Chelsea and Burlington.

Do you ever like to check out other grocery stores?  I used to work at Shaw’s in Allston (Albertson’s Supermarket for people on the West Coast) for a few years on weekends while I was in college.  That’s probably where my grocery store    comparison habit started.  Plus I really loved food shopping and finding new things.

Have you ever seen anyone walk a cat before?  I haven’t but I read people online do it.

Read Full Post »

I had a great run today even with my injury.  I also made up my mind to see an ART (Active Recovery Treatment) doctor for my leg.  Aside from crappy knee/leg pain I still managed to PR!

I knew it was going to be a good day when I went to sleep and noticed Jack was wishing me good luck by sleeping on the treadmill.

In fact all of Saturday was a good day.  I picked up my number for the Run to Remember.  The expo was nothing fancy other than I took several coconut waters home with me.  It’s a charity race to benefit Community and kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club.  It’s a fun race but sadly doesn’t get the same corporate backing as say a Rock n Roll race would get.  So needless to say aside from registration, a Odwalla sample booth and Zinco coconut water, there wasn’t much else to see there.  I guess 8 thousand runners isn’t enough to bring anyone else over.

After getting my number Tony and I walked around the Seaport district of Boston.  Here is a lovely picture as we stare back at Boston.

Afterwards we walked to the Boston Aquarium area and did something touristy and local at the same time.  We took a ferry to Charlestown, another neighborhood in Boston.  The ferry took about 10 minutes and cost $1.70.  Aside from saving us precious time of walking or training for 40 minutes we got to enjoy the cool ocean breeze.

Also another great view of Boston!

Upon walking into Charlestown we waved to Old Ironsides and made our way to the new Korean war memorial instead.  The cool part of the memorial is that its audio integrated.  Benches for contemplation. Audio is selected by buttons mounted on stainless steel column to right of bench.  The buttons are labeled “On the Line”, “Fighting Conditions”, “Us & Them” and “Aftershock”. Another two buttons play “Empty Tables, Empty Chairs” and “Bring Them Home” from Les Miserables.Also each brick on the path is donated by the loved ones of dead or missing soldiers.

Afterwards we had a new mission… to find the Bunker Hill Monument and to climb it…

We got detoured by a church.  I was sweating pretty hardcore by now due to 80s temp.  In New England, 80s is a heat wave.  So our savior came in the form of an air conditioned church.

After a minute of cooling, we returned to our mission.  With a few street circling we found it.  The Bunker Hill monument.

The Bunker Hill Monument stands 221 feet tall at Breed’s Hill, the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution fought on June 17, 1775. Control of this high ground near the harbor was important to the British occupation of Boston. When colonial forces chose to fortify Charlestown, they bypassed the more dominant “Bunker Hill” and dug in on Breed’s Hill which was lower and closer to the water.

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” is the legendary order attributed to Colonel William Prescott to make sure that each shot would count. The poorly trained and ill prepared colonial forces repelled two major assaults by the British Army before retreating. Almost half of the British soldiers were either killed or injured. Although the colonists lost the battle, their bravery and strong showing against the British encouraged them to fight on.

In Boston, we take pride in our losses as if they were winning.  We have a history of great modesty as you can tell.

To climb to the top is free!  All that stands in your way are a few steps, 294 steps to be exact in a spiral circle.  We made it to the top in 3 minutes 30 seconds.  I would have raced Tony but it was high tourist season and there was a limited amount of racing space.  Next time.

Not too shabby.  That church is the one we went inside.  The fat skyscrapper to the right is the John Handcock Tower where I work!  Dinner plans consisted of eating my leftovers from the few nights before.  I’ve been fortunate to be doing a lot of eating out this past week between work & my parents visits so I’ll probably write about some places tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

About a year ago I fell in love in running.

No..I wasn’t exactly new to running but I’ve never appreciated running… I was one of those girls.  You know the ones you see at the gym daily but for never more than 45 minutes.  I’ve been running for a few years.  By running I mean 3 miles here and there before moving back to the elliptical or StairMaster to conclude my gym sessions of burning 500 (I’m short so it takes a while) calories.  Every once in a while I would run 5-6 miles and pride myself in a great workout.  It was never about the run itself, it was mostly about trying to stay in shape.  It became a routine of just what I did… Just like work, I had a 45 minute workout session to complete after completing my 8 billable hours (10 during busy season).

Then a year ago I somehow decided to sign up for a half marathon.  I don’t remember who gave me that bright idea or where I even found out about the race because this was long before the days of my running blog stalking and Running Times magazine subscriptions.  Maybe I hit my head when I got that idea.

Did I have every intention to train for my new brilliant idea?  Yes!  Did I get my shizzle together in order to train for it? No.  I think my longest run was 8 miles and yes when the day came, I learned and paid the price for the difference between 8 and 13 miles.

The race I signed up for was Run to Remember in Boston that was held on May 29th 2011.  It was probably one of the hardest runs I ever did.  You can tell just how thrilled I was with my face of death at the finish line.

Although the first 8 miles weren’t too bad.

It was at my first race where I started to harness my facebooking while running skills.

This was a flat course that ran through Boston’s financial district with a loop along the Charles River.  I somehow finished in 1:48:51.  I guess I have great first time racer luck.  Although I can tell you that I certainly did not feel that way after finishing.  I remember sitting in a corner with a small pile of Hummus and Stacy’s pita chips.  Hey I might have been tried, but free food is still free food.  So back to sitting and feeling miserable.  Things that I didn’t even know could hurt?  Those hurt for the next 4 days.  The four steps I have to make it down the porch of my house.. those were hell!

Yet somehow I signed up for a second half-marathon in September and moved up to full by March.  I guess all runners are masochistic!  I got a little ambitious signed up for the Boston Marathon a month later with a 50K two weeks after that and two half marathons the next month. I did get a ahead of myself.

Now I’m paying the price.  My left  piriformis muscle is irking me to a point that it keeps my speed and distance at bay.  Speed and distance that I spent the first half of 2012 working on is slow leaving me.  It’s hard letting that go.  I know once I heal, rest, relax I can start working back to my achieved endurance.  I know it, but sometimes my eagerness and stubbornness doesn’t want to listen.

But back to the Run to Remember.  I’ll be running the half marathon tomorrow.  Before I ran Boston and angered my piriformis, I really wanted to PR on this course.  I really wanted to see the change in my speed with my new training put to use.  I’m sadly realizing that now I probably won’t be able to PR.

However, when I first fell in love with running, I used to run for fun and not for time.  Okay maybe I had one small goal of just running faster than Tony but it was all in good fun.   Hopefully I can remember to stay in that mentality tomorrow. To rejoice in summer, running, and fun!

Read Full Post »

Take a second and vote me for me for the Team Refuel running grant.  Based on my stalking I have about 3 people ahead of me so I could use the help!

If you haven’t noticed I’ve been fairly quiet this week.  No, I didn’t actually get a life… but I haven’t been doing much running either.  I’m trying to take it easy and relax a bit.  My next marathon is in September (if I figure out how to get myself to Canadia) and I might be eyeballing another attempt at a 50K before that (TARC Summer Classic).  However, I want the situation in Lefty to heal so I’m being gentle with it aside from the two halfsies I got going this month.

It’s okay, less time running means more time doing things like this:

Also this will be the last month you will see those floors. I know you’ll miss them.  I sold my life and dreams away and brought a house.  We’re moving in June.  Who knows maybe my blog will go from running to remodeling old Victorian homes.  Just thinking about being a home owner is making me sweat buckets.

Anyways back to the exciting world of sweating from the small stuff in life…

I was sore Monday so I took it easy with 6 miles at incline 2 on the treadmill.  My quads burned from the hills on Saturday but after a mile or 3 I loosened up and wrapped up the run in 52 minutes.

Tuesday I went for the elliptical as part of my cross training plan.  10.5 miles, an episode of Once Upon A Time and I was done.

After work since I failed to go drown (or try swimming) since joining the Y, I decided to try a class instead.  There was a 6:30 body sculpt class.  My modesty clearly has not returned since Saturday because I felt pretty cool.  I jumped, I squatted, I lunged, I planked my little heart out and I felt so cool.  Unlike going to a class at Equinox or BSC, I was not the least fit person at the Y.  It was a nice change.  Well…

I wake up Wednesday…

Haha and no I did not create this artwork myself.  Google image brought it up when I searched for DOMS- Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

Was the class hard?  No, I’d say it was more like Jillian Michael workout video at level 1 with only working one muscle group.  Jillian usually matches an arm workout with a leg one while the class at the Y did one at a time.  Seeing as how I do neither on my own, I think the class setting will help me get some muscle composition back from the 2 years I lost after quitting Boston Sports Clubs gyms.

Wednesday… since the DOMS was not in full attack I wanted to run; however, my treadmill was taken so I used the elliptical for my usual RUNCH… without the run.  Ellipto-unch? Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.  It’s okay, I wanted to watch desperate housewives anyways.

Now its Thursday… I had my closing on the house so no time for a RUNCH…. however, when I got home I looked at the weather and I just couldn’t turn back and watch TV… before I knew it I was in a sports bra, running shirt, running skirt and my Asics with a bottle full of water and Nuun.  I wanted to run 10 miles… but I learned what the D in DOMS is.  Delayed.. meaning not today, not tomorrow but sometime like 36 hours… yea… remember those squats?  Remember those sumos?  You thought you were the shizzle?  Guess what?  Those legs are not moving… It hurts to walk… let along run.

So I didn’t make it 10 miles, I did finish 6 very slow ones.  Average pace was a 9:25 mile.  I think the first 2 were at a 10 minute pace.  Nonetheless I feel happy.  I brought a house today and I got my run in.

Read Full Post »

Please take a second or two and vote for me to win the team refuel scholarship, thanks!  No need to watch the video, just click vote.

On May 12, 2012, Tony & I ran the Gloucester Twin Lights Half Marathon.

The race had two options.  Run the 13.1 miles or walk it.  It was a small race caped at 1,000 participants and just the size I like them.  I don’t need crowd support, I just need space for my arm pumping!

I paid $60 to register, but if I signed up early, it would have been only $45.  There was no expo, but if you wanted to be extra prepared you could pick up your bib and free tech shirt the night before at a running store in Newburyport.  I think most people grabbed their bib day of the race.  There might have been a swag bag (I’m not sure) but I didn’t get any when I grabbed my bib.  I did manage to grab a shirt which was cool since I’m starting quite the collection now.  The shirt was really nice technical wick one with a cute design.  Too bad the size small was more of a large.  I even grabbed one for Tony when I picked up his bib, who’ll probably end up using my shirt as well.  It was kind of cool how the female shirt was different from the male shirt.

Parking was free yay! However, there was a bottleneck of trying to make it into the Good Harbor beach parking lot.  Good thing we got there 45 minutes early, which rarely happens.  Not sure where the people who got there on time parked since we were pretty much at the end of the lot.

The race started at 9AM giving me perfect amount of time to sleep til 7 am and the hour drive.  By 8:30 I think the weather hit 65 degrees as you can tell by the grease growing on my forehead.  It was going to be a hot one but not as hot as Boston (and half the distance thank god).  I had no food at home so I ended up fueling with some Kashi granola bar I found in the car (those don’t expire right?) and coconut water.  I even forgot my Nuun at home.

We sang the star-spangled banner and at 9AM, we were off!

For the first 1 mile I was awesome… I led the pack (like a retard).  I was right behind the motor bike.  It was awesome… I felt so cool.. I think I reached a pace of sub 6 minute mile.  I knew what I was doing was stupid, I shouldn’t burn myself out in the first mile but it felt awesome everyone cheering me as I was ahead of the guys.  People were screaming “Go Girl!” as I blasted past the guys with smarter race strategies than me.  I felt like an elite… maybe a little Russian American Jew version of Shalane Flanagan in training.

But worry not by the end of mile 1 my glory was over.  I was ready to revert to my regular speed of 7-7:30 minute miles.  But by 2nd mile my shoelace was untied!  Rookie! Rookie! Error.  I was so angry I wanted to throw my shoes over into the ocean.  However running barefoot didn’t seem like an option so I slowed down, tied, cursed myself crazy and continued.

Mile 3-4 were strong but I started getting depressed because I realized unlike the promise I gave Tony, this course is anything but flat!  I knew that the hills I was running from mile 1 were going to be there for mile 13.  The course was in and back type, so there was no question on whether the finish was going to be easy.  I knew from the start it was going to suck.

See that hill, that’s exactly how the WHOLE course was like.  There was no flat parts, you were either going up or down.  I also didn’t realize just how much of an elevation of 100 feet is… more than the measly little bumps I run on… more than my pathetic 3 incline on the treadmill.  The sad part is, that I stopped training on incline on the treadmill the past two weeks because I thought the course was flat….

Miles 5 through 8 were fun!  Even with a horrible hill, it was still fun to run through Rockport’s center with all these crowd supporters cheering me on, telling me there was only 3 females ahead of me and that I should catch them.  However, at some point around 7.5 mile mark my legs started to feel heavy.  Luckily we had some cool volunteers.

Mile 9 I started doing my countdown.  Only 4 more miles right?  That should only be 30 more minutes.  Liana you got this!

Mile 10 things turned to being scenic again.  I’m going to use Tony’s photo because most of mine have some guy blocking me!  How dare he!  Also surprisingly unlike every other race Tony and I ran together, there is more photos of him than me.

Mile 11, I screamed only 2 more as the course flattened out.  Me and a girl in Vibrams were going head to head as she cheered everyone on.  She was awesome!  I was just trying not to die, while she was just running and cheering for all the gals out there in the lead of the pack!

Miles 12-13… actually somehow flew by… Maybe because I was no longer running up and down anything.

I started this race with a goal to be top 3 in my age group… That didn’t happen… I probably set my goal too high considering I’m still having trouble with my knee and piriformis muscle or sciatic nerve or something along those lines that causes some muscle in my butt to feel tight.  I’m working on it and trying to stretch more but it really is a pain in the butt…

Considering the issues I had going I can’t be too disappointed with being in 58th place.  Or finishing 15 in my gender and 7 in my age group.  Not fast enough to earn a medal (there was no finisher medals in the course) but fast enough to PR.  That’s right.  My new half marathon PR is 1:39:11; 1 minute less than the flat course I ran with 1:40 last September.

Tony Finished in 1:54.. Not bad for a guy who runs once every two weeks and somehow pops half marathons like they’re candy.  I’m still working on trying to convince him he should do a full marathon.

As for the post race food?  I really have to say that had I been less hot and more hungry this post race food would have been my favorite.  It came with the usual banana, bagel, some Lara bars but also pizza (I think Tony ate like 5 slices and I ate all his crusts), clam chowder, Vita Coco Coconut water, and any cookie, brownie or sweet biscuit you can think of.  seriously guys, if you want more bang for your running buck, smaller races is where the good food at!

And if you’re curious where the Clam Chowder came from (best one I have yet to try), it was from Lobsta Land Restaurant.

Overall I think this was a great race! Registration for 2013 opens up in June on their website.  I’m going to sign up… $45 for 13 miles of fun is great! Sure there were no finisher medals, but instead see all those photos I’m posting?  Notice how none of them say “PROOF”?  That is because registration fee includes unlimited photo downloads!!  I love unlimited race photos of myself!

I do have one criticism and that was that exiting the parking lot took hours, literally.  I don’t have a solution other than going to the beach and waiting out a few hours; but had I been in a hurry to leave that would have sucked. Luckily Good Harbor beach is a cool place to chill in 75 degree weather.  If you’re curious how Tony and I spent the rest of our day in Gloucester and Rockport, you can check out this post.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »