Land Underneath Your Body & A Year Ago This Week (Recipe: Zucchini Tart)

It is super important where your foot lands in relation to the rest of your body.

You do not want to reach out to “cover more ground”–this leads to overstriding and heel striking which can possibly lead to injury.  And we don’t want that!

Instead, you should focus on landing directly underneath your center of mass (i.e., under your hips).  This distributes the forces of impact more evenly, puts less stress on your body and encourages a more neutral foot strike.  It is much easier to land this way if you have a cadence over 170 steps per minute.  (7 miles into my 10-miler this morning I counted my cadence at 180–personally, I’d like mine to be a little higher, but it’s a work in progress!)  The quick and dirty way of determining your cadence is counting how many times your right foot hits the ground in 30 seconds and multiplying that by 4!

A hint into landing under your hips is to try to land behind your body. Don’t worry, it is impossible to actually land with your foot behind your center of mass, so no worries about falling!  But landing this way helps to promote a more efficient stride with your foot landing where it should.  Give it a whirl!

So, a year ago this week I chopped off all of my hair.  It was a surprise to nearly everyone.  I decided I wanted to donate it, and I barely made the cut-off amount.  Donating my hair had been on my Bucket List of things to do so I figured last year was as good a time as any!  It made running more difficult in the sense that I could NOT put my hair in a ponytail for months.  Months and months.  But a year later, my hair has grown back and I have a long ponytail once again.  AND I haven’t gone to get my hair cut once since last November before Thanksgiving.  I should probably do that soon…

IMG_0588 IMG_0589 IMG_0595 IMG_0599

This weekend Envy and I traveled up to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for Ann Braue’s Foundations to Agility Puppy Seminar!  It was a two day seminar in ridiculously cold weather, so thank goodness we were inside! (Seriously–the high was 12* on Saturday.  No joke.)  Ann is a phenomenal trainer!  I was in awe at how well two of her dogs were trained (she brought in two of her five BCs for demos), and it was amazing at how well she was able to clearly communicate to us what we should be doing with our dogs.  Now, doing it will be a whole different story, but at least I have a better idea of good training techniques!

She had us engage in a neat clicker training exercise where we partnered up and one of us was the dog and the other was the human who was clicker training the “dog” to do a task.  For instance, my trainer had to teach me to clap my hands 3 times through clicker training using M&Ms as my reward.  I had to teach my “dog” to walk backwards.  It was a really neat exercise to get yourself thinking about how your puppy is learning!

Then we worked on recalls and crate games and all sorts of shaping techniques for hours.  Our pups were tired and their bellies full of treats by the end of Sunday!

25 weeks1 25 weeks2 IMG_3103

I left feeling overwhelmed at the amount of work I need to do not only with Envy but with Callie as well, but I also left feeling more confident in my abilities as a trainer.

Envy not only was complimented for how gorgeous she was (my pretty merlie girlie!), but the trainers were impressed at how quickly she can go from work to tug and back to work again.  I was also told by several that she is a “thinker”.  Patty (the breeder) and I knew this already, but it was confirmed yet again.  Envy really thinks through the problem I am asking her to solve whether it be two-on-two-off or going through a tunnel or being sent out around a cone back to Mom.  She is such a smart girlie! I am having so much fun training her, and I can’t wait to see how she progresses!

I also got to go to Ann’s agility building (separate from our training facility) which is her facility completely devoted to agility.  It has all the agility equipment you could ask for, an underwater treadmill for conditioning her dogs, a huge outdoor fenced in area, full kitchen, crating areas, etc.  Phenomenal.


While Envy and I were three hours northwest, Callie stayed at the Williams-Osting’s Dog Resort.  She took advantage–she rolled in dog poop, made herself comfortable on the sofa (after the wonderful Willaims-Osting’s gave her a bath, of course) and barked at all passers-by.  She had a pretty stellar weekend herself.

IMG_3097 IMG_3102

And because the hotel in Eau Claire did not have an exercise room (yes, I am serious–the place had an indoor pool but not a single treadmill!) I missed two of my runs.  I made up my long-run today, but that means I only got in 15.52 miles last week!  Yikes!  I put in almost as many miles today (15.01 miles) as I did all of last week!

Quote of the Day:

“No one can hold me back, I ain’t got time for that.” -Kelly Clarkson’s Catch My Breath

Okay.  So I royally screwed up this recipe.  I am going to post the instructions for what I was supposed to make with the picture of what I actually made.  First of all I had no ricotta cheese.  I’m not sure what made me think I had some, but it was a false memory.  But I had sour cream! I would just substitute.  Not so much.  My sour cream was expired.  Oops.  So there was no actual filling to my tart.  It was the crust layered with cheese and zucchini slices.  And I didn’t have mozzarella (which I also thought I had).  Don’t get me wrong, I still ate it.  But it was definitely not was I was attempting to make.  Epic fail in the cooking department.

DSC_4399 Zucchini Tart

Zucchini Tart



  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons EVOO
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)


  • 1 large zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO plus 1 additional teaspoon
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves


1. For the crust: Spray a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with vegetable oil spray; set aside. Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 4 pulses. Drizzle the oil over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and continue to process until some of the dough begins to clump into large pieces and no powdery bits remain, about 5 seconds. If powdery bits of flour remain, add the remaining tablespoon water and pulse to incorporate. (The dough should have many little Grape-Nut-sized crumbs with a few large clumps.)

2. Dump all but 1/3 cup of the dough crumbs into the prepared tart pan and, using your hands, press the crumbs into an even layer over the tart pan bottom. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup crumbs around the edge of the tart pan and press into a crust edge, about 3/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Lay plastic wrap over the dough and smooth out any bumps or shallow areas using your palm. Place the tart pan on a large plate and freeze the dough until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375*.

3. Place the frozen tart shell (still in the tart pan) on a baking sheet. Gently press a piece of extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray against the dough and over the edges of the tart pan. Fill the shell with pie weights and bake until the top edge of the dough just starts to color and the surface of the dough under the foil no longer looks wet, about 30 minutes.

4. Remove the tart shell from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the bottom of the tart shell, then return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425*.

5. For the filling: Meanwhile, spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil together and season with salt and pepper.

6. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Place the zucchini on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Bake the tart until the cheese is bubbling and the zucchini is slightly wilted, 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Let the tart cool slightly on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with the basil. Remove the tart from the tart pan and transfer to a serving platter or cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

This entry was posted in Callie!, Envy, Individual Workouts, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Land Underneath Your Body & A Year Ago This Week (Recipe: Zucchini Tart)

  1. Becca says:

    I think we’ve all had our fair share of cooking experiences like this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve though “Oh, I’ll just substitute X…” only to realize too late that it wasn’t a comparable substitution. Or the number of times I’ve started a recipe only to find I actually didn’t have one or two of the key ingredients.

  2. Pingback: A Post on Feet (Recipe: Midwest Chowder) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s