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My divalicious running pals, Laura and Mary.

It’s been a busy fall, but I’m happy to be back blogging again. To bring you up to date, I ran the Diva Half Marathon in Peachtree City in September, which had been my goal for the past year. (I’d walked the Diva 5k in 2014.) I fought a calf pull about three weeks out from the race. I was scared I might not be able to do it, but after lots of rest and stretching, as well as a slight change in my running form, I was able to get back in good running shape in time. I felt confident I could finish in under three hours. My time was 2:34:20. I have to thank my “pink posse” for their encouragement early on. They took me on last January when I first started running. They allowed me to set the pace (slow), and stop when I needed to stop. By March I could keep up and able to build my distance from there. Thanks ladies!

Running the Little Mulberry Park 10K.

Running the Little Mulberry Park 10K.

I ran my first trail race earlier this month – the XTERRA Georgia “Little Mulberry Park” 10k in Dacula put on by Dirty Spokes Productions. It ranked up there with Diva as far as fun factor. The first 2.5 miles were cross country, and not my favorite, but once we entered the woods, it was a total blast! Steep hills, rocks, streams, etc. The best way to describe how I felt is giddy. I felt like a kid on an adventure. I was glad I’d purchased trail shoes, as the soles helped me navigate the gravel/rocks better. One guy in front of me fell near the bottom of one hill. He hit some loose gravel and his feet went out from under him. I almost took a spill as we came out of the woods right near the end. I laughed out loud thinking “No way am I going to fall at the very end!” Dirty Spokes puts on a great race. Friendly people, fun atmosphere. I plan to do the XTERRA Georgia “Deep South” 15K in Jackson in May. Having a race to train for keeps me pounding the pavement on a regular basis.

Staten Island pasta e fagiole

Staten Island pasta e fagiole

Instead of sharing a favorite recipe, this time I thought I’d share a new cookbook. While I rarely stray from the pile of Weight Watchers cookbooks we have at home, I am absolutely in love with The Oz Family Kitchen: More than 100 Simple and Delicious Real-Food Recipes from Our Home to Yours by Lisa Oz (Harmony, 2015). I checked it out at the library and my husband and I like it so much we ordered a copy from Amazon. I’m not a huge fan of Dr. Oz, but I am convinced his wife Lisa is a cooking genius. Every single recipe sounds (and looks) delicious! Her philosophy is very similar to that of Weight Watchers: Build meals around fresh fruits and veggies. Add a protein option, and of course, the all-important healthy fats. One of our favorite recipes is her Staten Island pasta e fagiole.

As most of you know, I met my goal weight at Weight Watchers in June, and I’ve been able to maintain that weight for almost six months now. I continue to weigh in once a month and attend meetings when I can. I can’t say it enough: Weight Watchers works. The hardest part is accepting that it is a permanent lifestyle change, not a diet; Hence, my 10k run on Thanksgiving morning to build up a calorie deficit before dinner. (Btw – Thanks to the biker who gave me the “thumbs up.”) Bring on the pecan pie!

Thanksgiving morning after running the 10K loop in Peachtree City.

Thanksgiving morning after running the 10K loop in Peachtree City.

Jill Prouty

Jill is a reader, writer, and professional librarian who enjoys spending her free time with her husband of twelve years and their two sons. She has an MSLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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