Week 18: Working Through the Pains…

and the Leftovers…


This week was a recovery week for us…recovery in a couple of ways. Recovering from the Thanksgiving Holiday (plus all of those leftovers, my vegan platter shown above) and allowing our bodies recover from 16+ miles of running over the course of 3 days! Luckily as the week has progressed, we’ve been able to ease back into our normal routine and divorce ourselves from night after night of leftovers!Last Saturday, only 2 days after Thanksgiving and our Turkey Trot 10k we were at it again, this time a 10 mile long run with Team in Training! I think I finally found out what works best for me in my long runs as I’m struggling to reign in the pain from my IT band, intervals…

The 10 miles went alright for me as long as I did it in intervals of sprinting and walking. I’d sprint for a few minutes until my IT band started bothering me, then I’d walk a bit to recover, rinse, repeat! Made the run go by pretty easy and relatively painless. However, I did know this meant I needed a bit more specialized attention in order to not only manage, but heal this condition. So, I found a great looking massage clinic called Kinetic Bodyworks to schedule a deep tissue massage, concentrating on my IT band.

I took a few days off, and Tuesday I went in for my massage appointment, not certain about what to expect. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find it a painfully relaxing appointment. The pain was normal, as you’d expect with a deep tissue massage. However, the atmosphere at Kinetic Bodyworks was very professional and clean yet relaxing at the same time. Calming music and a lovely subtle fragrance filled the room, which was just the right temperature for me! Also, Tuesday was a rainy day in Houston, so the gentle pitter patter of the rain was a perfect complement to the atmosphere. The next day I was sore, along with Thursday, but everyday it started feeling better and better!

Thursday was the next day I attempted to run. The week had proved very busy in my personal and professional life, so I was unable to get any runs in between Sunday and Thursday (holiday season = lots of sponsored lunches). So, Thursday after work I went to our on campus fitness center to give a quick 2.5 mile run a try. No pain to speak of, but I never really had a problem with pain on the treadmill. Only issue I have with treadmills is my lack of motivation to keep going. Well, I was saved by a text message from Mark and stopped after 25 minutes (2.5 miles).

Friday was an exciting day for us and the city of Houston. It was the earliest “snow day” the city had ever experienced! I love snow. I was raised in Pennsylvania and lived a year in Wisconsin, so snow is nothing out of the ordinary for me. The past few years living in Houston without seasons or a cold winter has been a bit rough on me, so having a bit of a “winter storm” was a nice change. We didn’t get much, only a little bit stuck on grassy surfaces, but watching the huge snowflakes fall as we watched Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas and decorating our Christmas tree helped transform Houston into a winter wonderland, if only for a moment in time…


So, with that, I’ll summarize our (limited) training this week…

Saturday: both – 10 miles with Team in Training

Sunday: both – rest

Monday: both – rest

Tuesday: both – rest; Stef – massage

Wednesday: both – rest

Thursday: Stef – 2.5 miles, easy; Mark – rest

Friday: both – rest

Total mileage (Stef):

Boy, we need to make up for this week next week! This week, I’m going to be concentrating on managing my IT band better…using the dreaded foam roller and starting back up my strength training. Here’s a little brief on ITBS (IT Band Syndrome) for those unfamiliar with the condition.

So…the dreaded leftovers…

What do you do with so many Thanksgiving leftovers to make them something new? That’s the eternal question…

You can always eat them like another Thanksgiving dinner…


Above I took my vegan sweet potato casserole, vegan stuffing, and cranberry sauce paired with freshly steamed Swiss chard to make a vegan meal fit for a king (vegan or otherwise)!

The stuffing was hearty, moist, and delicious. Homemade whole wheat and oatmeal bread, toasted and  accented with apples, almonds, and red onions (our adaptation from the most recent recipe in Vegetarian Times; made vegan with the use of homemade vegan bread)!


I really wish we remembered to freeze the rest of our leftover stuffing. It would go wonderfully baked in acorn squash for a hearty dinner!

The sweet potato casserole was equally as delicious, and vegan as well! I adapted a recipe from Oh She Glows and cut down on the sugar (even further) and transformed it into a more savory casserole. A winner that will be repeated for many holidays to come!


And who could forget all that leftover Apple pie…we were left with a full half a pie! I guess that’s what happens when you have 5 total people for dinner, only to find one is allergic to apples (doh!).


The recipe was of Mark’s finding and baking, as he loves baking apple pie! The homemade crust is the unhealthy part of this relatively healthy pie made with a mix of 4 types of apples and only 1/2 cup of sugar in the entire pie!


It was very good, but we couldn’t get to all of it before it went South…


Finally, an actual recipe! What do you do with all of that leftover cranberry sauce to make it something new and exciting? Well, cranberry sauce muffins of course!

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins (adapted from Serious Eats)



  • 1 cup flour (I used oat flour)
  • 0.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (cranberry sauce already has sugar)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce (use your favorite recipe)
  • 0.5 cups Light Silk soy milk (or skim milk)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • Coarse sugar (optional)
  • Chopped pecans/walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F and grease or line muffin pan.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Pour wet ingredients onto dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Too much mixing will make your muffins rock hard…

Spoon batter into muffin cups, about 3/4 the way full. If desired, top each muffin with coarse sugar and/or chopped nuts. Bake for ~18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out dry (except for cranberry guts). It is very easy to overbake these muffins, so please keep a close eye on them. Your results may vary upon a number of factors, so check after 15 min.


This recipe yielded ~15 small-medium sized muffins for us.

I enjoyed these muffins with leftover sweet potato casserole for an easy, low key lunch at work.