Random Thoughts about Fall, Candy Corn, New Kicks and Track Tuesday

Last week, I broke down and bought some candy corn, because honestly, nothing says fall like striped triangle shapes full of corn syrup and Yellow 6.  But then, I ate so much of it that I got stomach pains.  See, these are the unfortunate happenings of a somewhat health-minded person when she falls off the healthy eating wagon and shovels down copious amounts of candy corn.  My body revolts with horrible pains.  So, now I must get these candy children-of-the-corn spawn OUT OF MY HOUSE especially before the start of Unprocessed Challenge next week.

Like a loving kiss from Gaia, it felt like fall on Monday, so the kids and I decorated the house for Halloween.  When the temperatures drop just a little, it actually feels like a new season and we have more to go on other than a date on the calendar telling us so.

The cooler weather makes me start to crave pumpkin.  I’m sure there is a scientific study somewhere that proves cooler weather creates a pumpkin craving and works the salivary glands into overdrive.  Starbucks and its pumpkin spice latte are not helping either.

Speaking of pumpkin and the Unprocessed Challenge…out of curiosity…Is canned pumpkin considered processed?  If I make anything during the Unprocessed Challenge, would I have to make it from a real pumpkin?  For the simple fact that I’m saying “real pumpkin” and “canned pumpkin” means I’ve probably answered my own question.  But what if I use organic canned pumpkin?  Is that acceptable?

According to the rules of the Unprocessed Challenge,

“Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.  It doesn’t mean that you have to be able to make the food — but that the food could be made in a home kitchen by someone who knows what they’re doing.  If it needs high-powered, industrial equipment, or could only be made in a laboratory, then it’s out.”

Man, canned pumpkin is out.  There’s one way to curb a pumpkin craving.

Last Saturday, my running partners and I did 12 miles and I was so impressed with our time. I even took photos to celebrate our achievement.

12 miles

Time 2:03:54

Ave Pace 10:20

Max Pace 8:12

Although the end results were great, getting there had its challenges.  My t-bands and knees started bothering me around mile 10.  Then around mile 11, my left heel started to bother me.  Actually, I felt a sharp pain which stopped me dead in my tracks.  It felt like my plantar fasciitis acting up again which forced me to walk a little bit.  Once again, I cursed myself for putting off buying new shoes because it was obvious my heels had enough of those old dogs.  Nonetheless, I pushed through the 12 miles and I could still walk at the end.

On Sunday, I did my first ever recovery run.  My blogger friend, Jill, mentioned recovery runs over at her blog, Fitness, Health & Happiness.  Since I woke up Sunday with sore hamstrings and feeling just generally tight overall, I decided to give a recovery run a try.  A nice slow, easy run really did help loosen everything up and I felt great.

3.1 miles


Ave Pace 10:27

Max Pace 7:58

I rested Monday to be ready for my weekly Track Tuesday tricks. I did my usual 4 x 0.25 sprints.  I honestly thought the cooler weather would make a little faster, but my legs thought differently.

1 mile

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:47
Ave Pace 7:06

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:56
Ave Pace 7:37

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:52
Ave Pace 7:27

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:56
Ave Pace 7:37 

1.1 mile
Time 11:02
Ave Pace 10:01

With only the last mile lap left to do, my left heel started acting up again.  No doubt about it, I need new shoes.  With all the issue I’ve had with my feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions and etc., I think I need to revaluate my shoe options.

So, this morning, I visited two different running stores to see what shoes they recommended. Both agree that I’ve moved into the ranks of a wider shoe.

Bill at The Running Center recommended Nike Zoom Structure and Asics GT 2170.  He suggested that I test them out a treadmill and bring back the one I didn’t want.  So, we’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I test out both shoes on my friend’s treadmill.  I plan to run a mile in each shoe on the treadmill and decide which shoe to keep. Stay tuned for a full follow-up report.

With this fabulous return policy, Bill gave me this fabulous hot pink Running Center tech shirt, which will coordinate quite nicely with my Race for the Cure attire.

Along with the shirt, Bill also gave me some great advice for my plantar fasciitis.  With the weather cooling down, he suggested I sit in my community pool after a long run.  The cold water would simulate an ice bath.  Good thinking!  Bill also suggested that I run in more than one pair of shoe.  He said it was good to change shoes.

After The Running Center, I stopped by Suncoast Running and Tracey fitted me in some other shoes.  She observed me running on the treadmill.  From the video playback, it was obvious that something is happening with my right foot, but “I really like the look of your left leg,” she said.

Don’t tell anyone.  They’ll all want a left leg like mine.

Tracey fitted me in the Brooks Trance 11 and Saucony Omni.   Although the new Brooks Trance has changed slightly, I still really like that shoe, however, I do need a wider fit.  So, Tracey ordered some shoes for me and I will give those a try when they come in, which I’m so excited to do.  With all these shoe trials, I feel like an investigative reporter!

Do you run in more than one pair of shoes?  Do use your shoes for different runs, like speedwork, short distances or long distances?

By the way, today is my husband’s birthday and I’m a horrible wife.  I forgot to buy him a card and I barely remembered to buy him beer and a cake.  Instead, I bought myself some running shoes because after all, that’s where my priorities are.

To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*


Denise Mestanza-Taylor+


  1. KrisLawrence says:

    Honestly I would not count canned pumpkin as a processed food. It’s really easy to make yourself! I do it every year only because we have tons of leftover pumpkins that our kids do not carve. Just deseed it, bake for a few hours then scrape it off the shell with a spoon. The canned kind is pureed but that’s the only real heavy duty kitchen item you would need if you want the same texture.

  2. paleojane says:

    Hi ! I really like your blog and I think it’s funny tha there’s someone else out there who falls off the wagon and eat candy corn haha. I’m not alone!

  3. Stacy Uncorked says:

    I don’t think canned pumpkin is actually considered ‘processed’ since there are no additives to is – it’s just pumpkin in a can that’s been de-seeded, de-shelled, pureed and confined to a can. 😉 But like Kris said, you can make your own pumpkin puree super easily. This is how my mom taught me out to do it:

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
    Cut pumpkin into small manageable pieces and cut off pith and seeds (I usually quarter the pumpkins, big or small)
    Place cut pumpkin skin side up in a large roasting pan. Add 1/4 inch of water and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and allow pumpkin to cool.
    When cooled, cut away skin and mash or puree. Use in any recipe that calls for canned pureed pumpkin.

    A 5-pound pumpkin will yield about 4-1/2 cups of pumpkin puree. A can of pumpkin is about (15-16 oz) is about 2 cups, just to give you an idea comparatively speaking. 🙂 Since we don’t carve our pumpkins, I usually turn them into puree then section them off into 2-cup portions and double-ziploc bag them and stick ’em in the freezer – that way, when I’m jonesin’ for something pumpkin-y (like pie or creme brulee) I have ‘fresh’ pumpkin to utilize. 😉

    How cool about the return policy and opportunity to try out a couple different pairs of shoes on a treadmill so you can pick the best ones for you! If I were a runner (at all) that’d be something I’d be interested in doing. 😉

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