Friday, August 26, 2011

Calm before the storm

It's a beautiful evening in Boston. Let's hope our roof and windows stay intact. Our apartment is two full walls of 4' tall casement windows and two walls of old crumbly rowhouse brick.

No worries though. We're stocked up!

Beer and duct tape. No we did NOT get twisted tea.

We already have plenty of containers for water, a roll of heavy plastic and enough food. Not sure what I'm going to do about my pretend 10K race on Sunday. My training plan says race. My trainer says just run 6.2 as fast as I can LIKE it's a race since there aren't any I want to do then. I guess that's a good thing.

How it all began (Part I)

This SHOULD have been the very first post of this blog, but when I get an idea to start something, I just need to DO IT or I will think it to death. It took me two months just to come up with a name for it. Could you imagine if I tried to write this post out too? Once I decided on a name, I sat right down and wrote the first post.

I got the idea to run in the fall of 2006. Idea may not be the proper word. Infection may be more accurate. Somehow it crept in and I could not stop thinking about it. I dreamed about it. I saw runners everywhere and I tried to figure them out. What does it take? Does wanting to run badly enough count? Before this point I had done Absolutely. Nothing. Athletic. No sports as a kid. No sports in high school.

I walked through this park almost every day after the job I had then.

I'd come around the corner up ahead, towards where I'm standing while taking this picture and think, "it would be so awesome to run through here!" It was the infection taking hold. I really felt a pull towards it. I just wanted to run off the stress and everything else bugging me and feel free. (Is that cheesy? Whatever!)

In typical fashion for me, I couldn't actually just buy some sneakers and get out there. I had to look up running online, buy a book about running, think about it a lot etc. Some may call it procrastination. I think I'm just a good researcher. I went on a trip to Miami with my best friend a few years before that. While we were in the airport, I was shocked to find out that she hadn't really done much research about where we should go and what we should do. She laughed at me and said, "well I already knew I was traveling with you! What would I read that you hadn't already found, read and sorted?" Touché, friend who knows me too well. 

I'm really trying to be a little more spontaneous.

(It's still impossible to get me to go to a new restaurant anywhere without looking it up on Yelp though.)

Actually, this hits on another point. I'm a little type A.

WHO. IS. LAUGHING?! Okay, I can be a lot type A. I hate to be bad at things. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm good at a lot of things. Or that I kill myself to be really good at things. It means that before I started running, I usually picked to do things I knew I was good at (playing the clarinet but never really practicing? Check). That was part of the intrigue. Why did I have to be that person? Who decided? Why do we carry baggage that tells us we can't or shouldn't when there are at least as many indicators that we CAN? It means that I've really had to work on my mental dialogue. I'll get to that in part two (or three. ha).

Oh, geez...I've tangented myself off into the woods. Where am I? Right.

I thought about running all fall and into the winter. Because, seriously, no one likes fall running in New England. It's much better to wait until it's closer to 0 degrees out. In December I went and bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running and Jogging. I love this book. I tell every new runner I know to buy it. Besides being an accomplished runner, Bill Rodgers is such a super nice guy and has a ton of information to share. This past December, I ran a fun run that he puts on every year. Not only did he mingle and chat with all of us, but he sat at a table signing pictures (or whatever you brought), chatting more and taking pictures with anyone who wanted them for hours! I had the chance to tell him what an impact he made on me in person that day. He seemed almost like he wasn't used to hearing that (it can't be true though). Unless I could show you his face and you could hear the tone of his voice when he talks about running, there's really no way to show you how much he loves it. How much it seemed that he loved seeing all of us there, newbies and veterans alike.

Besides the fact that it has a ton of information, the book gives two hugely valuable pieces of information:

1. Go slow. No. Slower. Really, I had no aspirations of speed and even I was shocked at how slow I had to run at first.

2. NO ONE is going to laugh at you. Okay, no runner will. Not even the fast guys and gals. If anything, my biggest cheering squad have been from the very front of the pack. They run because they love it. You don't train that much and that hard if you don't and they want to share running with you. If someone does shout something mean to you while you're running, I suggest doing what I do. In your head (Not out loud. People are crazy...don't actually respond to them!), you insult their manhood and then immediately forgive them because, obviously their Mom didn't hug them enough. Sorry guys, it's only been boys behind the very courageous drive-by insult. I'm sure there are mean girls out there somewhere too.


My first run was in January of 2007 through the park in the picture above. The "feels" like temperature was -12 degrees. At least the weather couldn't get much worse. It was day one of the training plan, which is similar to the Couch to 5K offered on Cool Running. I had also decided on a first race to run and I was fairly terrified. Did Captain Type A pick a 5K? had to be a 5 MILER that caught my eye. I didn't really mean to pick a longer race, but this one looked great. I finished the 5K program and since I was a few months early, I used the extra time to go from 3.1 to 5 miles. The race was Boston's Run to Remember, honoring fallen law enforcement officers and benefiting youth at risk programs.

It started in the Seaport area and ran through downtown. It was so much fun to run down the middle of empty closed streets that I'm used to seeing clogged with traffic. My official time was 1:02:43, a 12:25 pace. I don't know that I had a goal time at that point. I just wanted to finish the whole thing without walking, which I did. I ran another 5 miler that fall in 59:59 and made my goal of coming in under an hour (just barely!). A few weeks later, I did a 5K and that was it for the year.

Did I feel like runner yet? Not really. Should I have? Yes.

Here's another thing. Weight. I started running at about 175lbs and I am 5'4". I was down from my highest of 179.9 and felt awful. Just a teeny bit more and I was going to break into a weight decade higher than I had ever seen. However, people bigger than me and people smaller than me have done it. You may want to get your Doctor approval to begin running if this is new to you. I suggest it, because you just never know. While I did not use running for weight loss, it did help. Diet made the biggest difference. I don't subscribe to any certain diet, although I have tried many of them! After being up and down until the beginning of 2010, I learned that it's really just portion control, moderation and making good choices. I know, how obnoxious am I right? It's totally not easy to do this, I get that. I'm still battling the last 10lbs until my trainer and I evaluate where we go from there. I'll get into that and food more in the continuation of this post.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Keeping it real

First off, I see there are some new people reading here. Hello and welcome! I am planning on actually writing something in the About Me section, as well as my long-promised How It All Started post this week. I really promise this time!

Training since my last update started out great, just as I had left off. The realist (not even cynic!) in me knew that a bad day was around the corner. It's just not realistic to think that you can go out there every day and be all, "tra-la-laaa! I'm running faster than I ever have and it doesn't even feel hard! Wheeee!" That's what Sunday was like and I knew I'd pay sooner or later.

Wednesday was a rest day for me last week. Thursday was 400m X 7. I used the track at the Back Bay Fens. It's really pretty there and there's usually a lot going on. It's good if it's in the circle in the middle. Bad if there are a million people walking all spread out.

This was taken across the river from the track, on the loop I sometimes run.
Anyway, I was dreading this workout. I had to work, so I ate a small dinner at work at 5 and didn't get out there until about 730. The specific workout is that I have to run all 7 at faster than a 2:42 (which is my half marathon goal pace), but faster if possible. Between them, my rest is half the time the previous interval took and I need to be walking or jogging slow. My best 400 is about a 1:52. I think I could do faster at this point, but I had seven to do after working for 13 hours. My times were:


Keep in mind that I'm still not that fast. A fast single mile for me is somewhere in the low 8s. My 5K PR is a 32:30, although I've run it in about 29 in practice recently. It's a big improvement from when I ran a 12 min pace no matter what the distance and was embarrassed to haul myself around the track!

I was really happy about how I did and that I managed to stay pretty even, other than the first 1/4. Even The Husband (the genetically gifted I-woke-up-running-in-the-8s husband) was impressed when he ran the last 2 with me.

Friday was a day with my trainer (more strength) and a 3 mile run. As much as the track workouts (the 400s) have greatly improved my speed and fitness, they are really tough on my body. Friday my shins were sore again and I slogged through my 3 mile easy run.

Saturday was another 3 mile easy run. I felt a little better and did it in a what felt moderate 31 min. 

Sunday...oh, Sunday. 8 mile long run Sunday. Why? Why did I sleep until 10:30 when I knew it would be hot? Other than working forever and running after... I checked the weather and it said it would be overcast until noon. Okay, if I left right then I'd get back in time, so I hurried up. The Husband and I stepped outside at about 10:45 and, immediately, the sky cleared. That would normally be a great thing, but not when I have to run for an hour plus! I hoped I was wrong and off we went.

It was miserable. I felt bad that, due to the heat, I was keeping a much more conservative pace and my over 6 foot tall husband was literally shuffling to stay with me. I got a mile in and told him this was the best I could do. I suggested he run up to the next intersection, about a 1/2 mile away, and meet me there. He didn't know the course for the run, so we had to somewhat stick together. We did this until we got to the pond, our turnaround, and he decided it was easier to run at my pace than start and stop. I felt awful. I was ruining his run. There wasn't anything I could do about it since he didn't know where we were going, but I felt like I was letting him down. Why should his run and training suffer? He was such a good sport about it too. He really didn't mind sticking with me and didn't complain. It was me and my head that was the problem. I couldn't get into my groove. I could hear him behind me in his sequence of run, shuffle, walk a few steps. Repeat. I knew he was staying behind me so I couldn't see him and wouldn't feel bad. I was hot, salt was stinging my face and I jut wanted to be home. 

Finally, at mile 7 it started to pour. I would normally have been elated, but I felt so mentally beat down that I just shuffled through the drops. I love running in the rain. I ran most of my PRs in the rain. I laughed and mentioned that our windows were open and it's too bad we didn't learn anything from the Friday storm than soaked everything within 7 feet of our windows. The husband ran off ahead and I slogged home in a time of 1:32:08. An 11:31 pace. I was bummed. I sat on my front steps and tried not to cry while The Husband said things like, "but you ran 8 miles!" "You didn't quit!" "That's still not a bad pace!"

It didn't really help. I came upstairs, made a smoothie and showered. As I sat down with my lunch, I saw that the Triathlon World Championships in London were on Universal Sports. I LOVE the triathlon. I haven't done one yet, but I'm thinking about it. Then, it went to commercial and I saw this, which almost made me cry (yeah, I'm kind of like that. I've gotten teary eyed daydreaming about qualifying for Boston):

"Maybe strong is just what you have left when you've used up all your weak..."

 And then I stopped feeling sorry for myself. Completing a miserable, seemingly endless run took a lot more than the ones I'd normally pat myself on the back for. Maybe my thinking is all wrong.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm sorry, Officer...was I speeding?

It's recap time! That means I should have been posting more often, but was busy running, eating, sleeping and generally being a waste of space. Oh, and working, which contributes to my desire to make the couch cushions as flat as possible on my off hours. I should mention that my work schedule is kind of weird. I work Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 6am to 7/8pm. Most days are physically, mentally and even emotionally tiring, sometimes exhausting, but I still have workouts to do after all of them. My speed workout is always on Thursdays, but it always ends up okay.

Anyway, Sunday was long run day! I had a 7 miler, which is the furthest I've run since 2009. I was dragging when I left the house. I just didn't feel like it. I had a lot to do later that day and I just wanted to get it over with. It's hard to feel like that when getting it over with is going to take 75-90 minutes!

It ended up being a great run. It was overcast and in the low 70s and felt like it could rain at any minute. I was a little disappointed it didn't. I ended up feeling really strong and ran what I felt was a good pace. I wasn't sure what that pace was until mile 6 because I got a little lost (haha...yeah...) and I didn't know where any of the other miles were. I actually had fun and it was a beautiful course. I ran along part of the Emerald Necklace (the BAA Half Marathon mentioned on the link is the one I am training for) and used Jamaica Pond as a loop to turn around and head back. I can't believe I had never run down to the pond before! You really forget you are in the city. There's dirt to run on! The sad part is that so much of the string of parks have been chopped up and separated that it's hard to follow them from one end to the other. I don't meant streets intersecting. I understand that it's necessary, but I'm talking about having to dart across four lanes of angry traffic on Rt 9 (Huntington Ave). Crosswalk? Pedestrian light? Not so much. There might be a crosswalk wayyyyy down at the next light, but I can't really see from where I emerge.

After making it across, I run over to a streetlight to re-tie my shoes (I'm a bit compulsive about how tightly my shoes are tied). I put my foot up on the base of a light post and notice a Boston Police cruiser had pulled up next to me waiting to turn and the guy is giving me a weeeird look. I'd like to thank my broken filter for allowing me to blurt out:

"I'm sorry, officer...was I SPEEEEEDING?!"

(smile...quizzical look...burst of laughter)

"Sheesh...what's so funny?!"

(shaking of the head...driving away)

I know, I blistering 10 minute miles are a lot to process...

Anywho...I finished mile 6 and saw I was just under 63 minutes. I was killing the 10K pace from last Sunday in a training run! I finished 7 at 1:15:43 and a 10:49 pace. My 10K pace was 11:07. Both courses were very hilly.

I point this out to give all of you beginners some encouragemet. I worked for SO LONG to run a sub 12 pace in a 5+ mile race. Last summer was the first time I did it with a 58:45 5 miler. I KILLED myself to take 15 seconds off my mile pace. As excited as I was to improve, I was highly discouraged at how little I got for the massive amount of work I put in. It was enough for me, for a very long time, to just finish the whole thing without walking (or even walking too much).

This summer has been a string of breakthroughs and I am still surprising myself. I think I'm surprised because I finally stopped worrying so much about it. Instead of running and running and hammering and hammering, I learned that I needed to get stronger, not just run more. I have never had a strength workout with my trainer where I haven't been at least a little sore the next day. She's pretty awesome. Not only does she know the perfect workouts to make me stronger and have a more balanced strength, but she catches tightness and possible injuries before I really know it's occurring. She is also so far into my head that she deserves an award. It's been crucial in getting me to do some pretty crazy workouts without me #1, realizing what's coming and #2, flipping the F out! I look back on that interval workout I wrote about in July as a major turning point. I left that day knowing something was very different. When I did my next run, I realized that I was freed from a suffocating case of doubt.

Monday was a strength and yoga day, that I did on my own since my trainer is out of town. I'll see her on Friday. Tuesday was a 4 miler that I did in 38:20!

Holy crap.

I was worrying about running anywhere in the 10s and I pulled out a 9:35 pace. My first mile was even an 8:56! I know the difference in my workouts compared to before, but this all feels a little out-of-body. I had a crazy, vivid dream about running an upcoming 5K in 28 minutes. I woke up so excited, thinking that I had really run that race. I was a bit deflated when I realized I hadn't.

Today I did the first 5K in about 29 (if it was an official race, I'd PR by 3:30). The first 3 miles I did in 28. I need to do another 5K soon. For some reason, with the shortest distance race I run, I get to the start line and turn into Choke-a-saurus Rex. I run 32s, 33s, 34s. I haven't tried a flat course since I started really having breakthroughs. It's time!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dear City of Boston

THANK you for choosing directly across the street from the entrance to my gym as one of your 15 permanent spots that your food trucks will rotate through. Really.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, I not only have to try and not chew on the counters while I get ready, because the cafe downstairs is cooking bacon (BACON?! At the GYM?! REALLY?!?!?! WHYYYYYYY), but this is my view as I leave. Redbones BBQ has a food truck. You are amazing, Redbones, but you're killing me! I'm a little obsessed with the food trucks (Bon Me I love you!), but I don't dare go to Redbones by my gym. I am 100% certain my trainer will choose that moment to look out the window! Sigh...

Today's workout: 1 hour strength (mostly upper body and some leg presses) and 1 hour elliptical on resistance and incline 15. UGH. I was supposed to run 3.5 miles but she switched me to elliptical thanks to the return of the dreaded shin-splints.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

But I don't WANNA!

I've spent many hours over the course of training on my bed, just staring up at the ceiling and willing, PLEASE, running clothes, switch with my street clothes. Please? Someone told me once that if I'm dreading a workout to at least commit to putting on the workout clothes and I'll most likely feel like I can get through it.

Yeah....I'm lazy. REALLY lazy. Just putting on my running clothes feels like a lot of work. I want to watch television, I don't neeeeed running clothes! Why put them on? I DON'T WANNA!

To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever met any person, ranging from beginner to race winners, who don't dread at least some of their workouts. I love running and I like I more as time goes by. I don't always feel like that right away though. I owe some of you my thoughts on this issue, so I thought I'd share here. If you have anything to add, please comment! All of these ideas have been passed down to me either by friends or from books/online:
  • just commit to putting the appropriate attire on. This is usually enough to put you in the right mind set. Think about it. If you're coming home from work, you mind is (if at all mine) set at, "Shower! Wine! Television!!!" Or, if you are trying an early morning run, your mind may be more, "don't do it! Don't get out of bed. Nothing good can happen out there!" You put your clothes on and, viola! you're a runner now. No? Just try it. Word to the wise. DON'T sit down when you get home. Be robotic about it. Go right in, grab your stuff and change. The couch is the enemy. You will never get up. 
  • commit to just 10 minutes. Most people want to do more after that. If occasionally you don't? Maybe you need the rest that day. Only you know how much you have been doing. I prefer the first tip, just because it works better for me. I know that, first, I have to change, go down 3 flights of stairs and walk 3 blocks to start my run. Then second, once I've run 10 minutes away, it would be 20 total to loop around and go home. I may as well do my 30-40 minutes. I realize this right away, so it's hard to convince myself it's worth going downstairs at all. I don't even let my thinking get that far. I just put the clothes on and go. If I start thinking about it too much I literally start going, "la la laaaaaaa...I can't hear you!" in my head.
  • I cannot remember who said this, (I think I read it on Runners World) but it helps put each workout in into perspective with the whole training plan: think of each workout as a deposit to the bank and on race day you get to withdraw. I try and remind myself of this during the run. To be honest, it didn't really help until I saw the benefits of my workouts pay off. It was after the first time I had a serious race plan, worked with my trainer that I finally felt prepared and had a great race. Don't wait until this happens to start thinking this way, but when you do have a great race that you worked hard for, you will really see all those individual workouts as a great cumulative reward.
  • treat it like your job. You go to work, you buy groceries, you cook, you do your laundry. You do all sorts of monotonous things that you'd probably rather skip, but don't. Why is your workout any different? Make it a non negotiable.

That being said, am I perfect? Noooooo....Am I on week four of my half marathon plan (AHHHHHH!!! 1/3 of the way through!!!!!) and have managed to jack up my training Every. Single. Week? Yes. I've done all of the mileage, but I tend to skip my Tues run. It's so silly because it's an easy short run, but it's after my first 13 hour day of the week of standing at work all day and I just desperately want my couch. And, also? Excuses. Big fat excuses. By my next shift on Thursday I'm all over it and just block out ANY thought about my training. I know I will just go home, change and not allow a single conscious thought about the workout until I am at least half a mile from my apartment. That's what I did today. Tuesday I spent 15 minutes laying on my back on the bed while my brain went, "hhhhHHUHRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrr" and then gave up. You know what that means? Instead of just getting my butt kicked by my trainer in the morning, I get to do that and run 3.5 miles. She pointed out that my legs might feel like rubber since I keep on stacking my runs all at the end of the week and ran 18 miles in 60-ish hours. Ooops...that's more than my weekly mileage before I got serious this summer.

I guess what I'm saying is, for all of you new people, give the plan a chance to prove itself. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much it really pays off. I promise it will. My very first mile took 14+ minutes to run and I never thought I'd later run 3 miles in 30 minutes. I just kept on going out there. If your week doesn't go perfect, if you miss a day, move on. Guilt is too heavy a load to add to your run.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Moooooove.......get out the way. Get out the way. GET OUT THE WAY.

My brain automatically soundtracks my life. Sometimes I wish it wasn't the superpower I had been blessed with. I guess I could have been stuck with the make-yourself-a-blanket-burrito-while-you're-sleeping-and-the-only-person-who-can-free-you-is-the-person-you-stole-the-covers-from power. Oh. Hmmm...

So yeah, tonight was a recovery run which basically ended up with me running next to and harrassing or just behind and heckling The Husband. At one point, I was actually ahead of him a few feet and almost had to elbow-drop some dude who was managing to take the entire path with himself and his Whole Foods bag. I growled in my head, but guess what! My filter's broken and I maybe kind of went HRRRRRrrrrrr!!! at a stranger. The Husband only saw the sneer that was the end result and looked confused, so I flicked my head back at the path-hogger and made the Universal Flying-Elbow sign. Tangent: Does anyone else's husband think it's funny to pretend to elbow drop you Every. Time. you lay down anywhere? See...this WOULD be funny and not cause me such anxiety, except for that time I tried to roll out of the way and DID end up getting an elbow in the kidney.


He still look confused at my salty attitude so I turned around, pointed at the guy (who was wayyyyy far away now) and went, "Mooooooooove....get out the way, get out the way, GET OUT THE WAY" (Ludacris? Anyone?) while doing an interpretive dance. And running. Running with lime green compression socks on. THEN he got it, but I was on a roll! "Beep beep (whoop whoop!), why you all in my ear, talking a whole lot of (SHHH) that I ain't trying to hear?  GET BACK..." I wasn't even thinking of the normal (censored...haha) version of the video I'm used to, but THIS VERSION (NSFW) thanks to Angry Cube Dweller.

This is the point where he shakes his head and says, "you suuuuure have a lot of energy to be chasing me around this path singing Ludacris" and I started skipping and sing, "after woooorking thirrrrteeeen hoooooo-uuuuuuurs!" and then add, "meh...I think I just used it all up."

Lucky for him he can run faster than me.

My workout schedule has been kind of jacked up this week since SOMEONE didn't do their long run on Sunday and then the universe (ahem work, I'm looking at YOU) made my Tues night run impossible. Did I mention my super awesome trainer made me my very own personal training plan? I see her twice a week and she is ALL OVER IT. Like, pulls it up and grills me on each workout, because I need it.

Monday was strength training with her and a 3 mile run that night. In between we walked all over the place going to the farmers' market, food trucks (or as it sounds in my head FOOOOOOOOOD TRUUUUUUUUUUUCKS!!!!) and the Chihuly show at the MFA. Holy waiting in line. It was a cool exhibit, but REALLY.

Tuesday was 13 hours of work and a failed attempt at a 3 miler.

Wednesday started off with a girl coming up to me while I was stretching before my workout and saying, "are you her 9am? I'm not sure what her deal is today, but she tried to kill me. She said your workout is even worse. Okgoodluckwiththatbyeeee!" If she only knew that I was already lined up to be "On Punishemnt." Trainer lady was not amused at my missed run, so I got to do 400s. YAY! Really I had to do them because she wanted to make sure I was pushing myself, but it felt like punishment. She was going to make me do something else in "40 seconds" but I was like, "really?! What?! WHAT TIME IS IT?! My everything hurts, I can't feel most of my upper leg, and I'm missing part of my right pointer toe because my middle toenail scratched it off sometime between 400 number 5 and 400 number 6." Then I felt like a giant baby. There were only 10 minutes left, so she wrote out 30 minutes of strength for me to do on my own when we were done and I still had to run 3 miles that night. I did and I felt like I was dragging someone else's sand-filled legs the whole time.

Today? Work 13 hours and a 3.5 miler. Surprisingly, I ran the first two mile in 9:10 each, with a little break at the water fountain (BUBBLAH!) between them. Then I remembered it was supposed to be a recovery run, because I have 6 miles tomorrow. I ran the last part in about 11. My lower legs were starting to feel a bit battered, so I wore compression socks at work (I should regardless...sigh...) and then wore a good running pair for my run tonight. I think they really do help. I also think it helps my foot line up in the shoe better not having a looser sock and I can lace my sneakers with out having a nervous breakdown. Or re-lacing 15 times.

Tomorrow is 6 miles, Saturday is work and no workout and Sunday is a last minute 10K!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Basil Pear Margarita - It's Cocktail Time!

Basil Pear Margarita

This cocktail is inspired by a margarita I had earlier this summer that was made with cilantro. It's also inspired by the fact that the smell of basil at the Government Center farmer's market was irresistible and that there was no way we would make enough gazpacho to use it all. Or salad. Or turkey burgers topped with basil. Or whatever-you-call-that-basil-tomato-mozzarella-salad-but-I-forget-right now. Or....or... 

Can I also say how much I love that the super peppy, excited about his vegetables guy who sold it to us was the actual owner of the farm? I recognized him from the about section when I checked out what vendors would be there. I wanted to hug him and say, "hey, I know as a 7 year resident of Boston that I'm a little slow on the uptake on this whole farmer's market thing, but thank you for growing food that...

wait for it....


I hadn't even TRIED the heirloom tomatoes that The Husband tried to convince me were gross, but next time I'm going to march up, hold one above my head, and sing, "I looooooooove....your tomatooooooooes!!!" (that's all I have folks). Okay, maybe I'll just sniff them, because I have, to The Husband's dismay, to sniff everything and then sing in my head. But they're that good. You know how I feel if you have heard me rant about the bygone days of strawberries and tomatoes actually tasting like...strawberries and tomatoes. Gasp!

Oh, what? You want to know what's in the cocktail? Allrightythen!

Basil Pear Margarita

juice of one lime
a decent bunch of basil
2oz white tequila (I like Herradura)
2oz pear juice
splash of triple sec, pear liqueur or peach liqueur (optional)

Juice the lime into the shaker, add the basil and muddle. Don't have a muddler? Just smash it up with whatever you have. I ended up using about 1/4c of loosely packed basil leaves to get it to taste "basil-ey" enough. Add an ice cube or 2 if you are having trouble mashing up the basil. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake. You will probably want to strain most of the leaves out, but be fun, and leave some in. Pear nectar would be even better if you can find it. I only had some lame-o organic pear juice boxes from another cocktail project.

Oh? How did I get such cute perfectly square ice cube like the fancy cocktail places chip by hand? We got the trays at Homegoods and The Husband was totally all We. Don't. Need. That. and I was TOTALLY  all You. Will. Thank. Me. Later.  

I was right! I'll go ahead and point these situations out as we go along...(AHEM! citrus squeezer we use all the time....)