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Run down? You might be anemic.

Feeling tired and burned out from running? Yeah, it happens to the best of us. However, if that fatigue is lingering and nothing is making a difference, it may be your iron levels. While I recognize this is certainly not something that effects every athlete, it is more common for those of us that are active.

tired runner source:

Even though I am a vegetarian (and have been for more than half of my life), I have never had a problem with my iron before this year. When I began training for a spring marathon in January, I really was struggling. Although I had never stopped running, I suddenly realized how hard it felt.

For me, here are the warning signs that I ignored or blamed on “losing my mojo.” If any of these sound familiar, perhaps its more than just a burnout.

  • Speedwork felt impossible. Paces that I should have been able to do with effort were not happening. I couldn’t turn my legs over fast enough, and more than one occasion, I was convinced I was going to fly off the treadmill (this was during the polar vortex). I remember emailing the coach I was working with during a run and writing, “I don’t know what’s wrong but I cannot hold this pace for the life of me.”
  • I didn’t finish a single run without stopping to catch my breath. As someone who usually runs long distances, I suddenly wasn’t able to make it more than three miles without stopping to gasp for air … and it’s not like I was moving too quickly.
  • My go-to normal pace felt really hard. I don’t run with a watch, but I could tell I was running very slowly. Sometimes, I use my phone to time myself for half miles or miles just to check my pace, and I realized I was running at least two minutes per mile slower than normal. And it felt hard.
  • I developed leg cramps that sometimes were so bad, I couldn’t run. Because your cells don’t have enough oxygen, it’s possible for your legs or arms to cramp up. Sometimes, I’d have to quit a run after a quarter of a mile because my legs were locked up so badly.
  • I was completely exhausted. “It’s marathon training, I should be tired!” I thought. Wrong. You most likely do not need to be going to bed before 8 p.m.

Despite having all these symptoms, I was shocked when I found out I was “severely anemic.” It never even crossed my mind that something was really wrong. I told people I just didn’t have it anymore.

I now take two iron pills a day and my levels are almost back to normal. Running feels much better, I (usually) bounce out of bed in the morning and overall, I feel like a new person.

So, if training isn’t going well, and hasn’t for months, maybe its time to get your iron levels checked. I wish I had.

CATEGORIES: Fitness, Running


Sara’s Kitchen: Apple Cider Harvest Punch #30daysofBourbon

In the nick of time — September being National Bourbon Heritage Month and all — I present to you my original cocktail, made last week for the Surra Harvest Festival. Because I made it two ways (and you can, too), I’m just calling it Apple Cider Harvest Punch. It packs one, too.

We’re so lucky to live near Apple Country. One of the best parts of the fall season is fresh Pennsylvania apples — and cider. Our friend, Mike Weiser, from Weiser Orchard Farm Markets, brought us a couple gallons of fresh apple cider, plus a ton of beautiful apples (I hid the honeycrisp for myself – ha!). This set the base for this cocktail.


Because it’s Bourbon Heritage Month, however, I also wanted to feature bourbon — but rum also would work well, as you’ll see. Finally, I also found this to be a great use for Berentzen apple liqueur (which I found also makes a nice addition to rye whiskey on the rocks).

appleApple Cider Harvest Punch

  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 2/3 bottle of bourbon or rum
  • 1/3 cup Berentzen apple liqueur
  • 2 L club soda (optional)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 6-8 sprigs of thyme

Combine in large container. Add ice.

Our first batch featured a cheap bourbon – Evan Williams (originally purchased to make Bourbon Sea Salt Caramels, so I wasn’t splurging). Our second batch used craft Folly Cove rum from Ryan and Wood Distilleries in Gloucester, MA, a gift from my in-laws.

Sara’s Kitchen: Stuffed Pepper Stew

Goodness, I’ve been planing this post for ages. For those of you who attended the Surra Harvest Festival this year, this is the chili/stew I kept pushing on you. Granted, 80+ degrees is a bit warm for a hot dish, so fortunately this dish freezes well.

stuffed pepper stew

This is an adaptation of a Stuffed Pepper Stew from a former coworker. I cut out all sugar (I don’t like it, even to sweeten my ‘maters, but if that’s your jam, go to town), and I added fresh stuff I had around — usually peppers and tomatoes. It makes a huge difference — but that said, this would be fine with canned/frozen stuff, too, I’m sure.

You also can vary the meat. I believe the below photos (taken last year because writers procrastinate) feature ground venison, the version of which I sent with Andy to hunting camp with eight other hungry dudes. This past Sunday, I used ground beef and homemade venison sausage. So, feel free to be creative! This recipe is easy and as interesting as you make it.

Stuffed Pepper Stew


  • 2 lb ground meat (beef, venison, turkey or combination)
  • 1 28-oz can tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes, really)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (or chopped fresh!)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups chopped green or red pepper (I like to use both, or even the frozen bag of tri-color, for a more colorful dish)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • Torchbearer Hot Sauce (optional – we like Tarnation XX in this one)

Brown meat in large dutch oven. Drain, if necessary. Combine all ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for 40 min.

Pour: I’d probably drink a hoppy pale ale or IPA but you wouldn’t go wrong with a nice brown ale, either.

CATEGORIES: Recipes, Sara Bozich

Giveaway: YWCA Fall Fest Oct. 4

This Saturday, YWCA of Greater Harrisburg celebrates its 5th annual Fall Fest at its Camp Reily location.

The event features a beer tasting, great food from MoMo’s BBQ & Grill and live music from local songwriter Doug Burlew.

Admission is $35 per person and including food, beer tastings, music and an official YWCA Fall Fest tasting pint glass.

ywca fall fest

This year’s beer samplings will include Fegley’s Devious Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Troegs Perpetual IPA, Weyerbacher AutumnFest, Deschutes Black Butte Porter and Victory Headwaters Pale Ale.

Fall Fest is organized by the YWCA Greater Harrisburg’s Junior Board. Proceeds from Fall Fest are used to purchase equipment for Camp Reily, make improvements to the camp and fund summer camp scholarships.

This week, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to YWCA Fall Fest ($70 value!).

Complete your entries by using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: Red Shoe Music Fest Oct. 4

This Saturday, The Red Shoe Crew of Central PA hosts the inaugural Red Shoe Music Fest at The Vineyard at Grandview.

Red Shoe Music Fest 2014

All proceeds from this local music-packed, daylong festival benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Central PA.

Doors open at 11 a.m., and by noon a great lineup of original local music begins:

  • 12 p.m. Jolly Goodfellas
  • 1 p.m. JR Wolf
  • 2 p.m. Mountain Road
  • 3 p.m. JT & The Mild Heat
  • 4 p.m. The Jellybricks
  • 5 p.m. Fall City Doc

Plus, check out great food from SoulBurrito and JoBoy’s.

This event is family friendly! Tickets are $12 (BUY ONLINE), and children under 12 are free. Again, all proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Central PA.

Find more on Facebook.

This week, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the Red Shoe Music FestComplete your entries by using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CATEGORIES: Fundraiser, Giveaway, Music

#RunChat, BREW NEWS, Craft Cocktails, Hot Topics & MORE

Day late, dollar short. So be it.

Yesterday Andy and I hosted our annual bash, a clean-out-the-freezer party wherein we supply all the meat/main dishes and ask friends to bring sides, desserts or just a bag of ice. It was a great time, even if the Steelers totally screwed up (everyone: “How did they lose to Tampa Bay?”). I made my “famous” Slaughterballs, a great stuffed pepper-type chili, smoked venison sausage in kraut, smoked venison sausage in Torchbearer Honey BBQ –plus a great apple cider-bourbon (and later, rum) concoction.


Much of what we prepared yesterday was either homegrown, homemade or a Pennsylvania product. I’d like to do a whole post on the full menu and its ingredients — I’ll work on that for the next week or two.

Let’s catch up on last week before we dive into Monday:

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Upcoming Events:

Steelers look to work through injuries against Tampa Bay

The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to fight through some almost overwhelming injuries in the weeks to come, and they will start this Sunday in Pittsburgh against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1 p.m.

The Steelers are 8-1 all-time against the Buccaneers and won handily in their last meeting in 2010.

After being blown out in Baltimore, the Steelers turned it around and were able to get a good win in Carolina. The running game got on track, and the defense looked stout.

The Buccaneers are coming in at 0-3 and are looking lackluster. The defense is near the bottom in yards allowed (387 yrds/gm) and the offense is near the bottom as well (271 yrds/gm).

#455933484 /

Le’Veon Bell and Legarrette Blount had a break out game against the Panthers last week when they rushed for 264 yards. They should have similar success against a less than average defense this week. Statistically, the Steelers have the best running game in the league.

The dismantling of the Carolina Panthers last week came with a heavy price. Ryan Shazier was lost at least for this week. Ike Taylor suffered a broken forearm, and Jarvis Jones was put on the injured-reserve-to-return list, but will likely need wrist surgery.

To remedy these problems the Steelers brought back once-great linebacker James Harrison out of retirement. Harrison retired just 18 days ago, and the 36-year-old could be the best of a terrible situation.


CATEGORIES: Pennsylvania, Sports

Old Republic Distillery opens new tasting room in York

Congratulations to our friends, brother-sister duo Bill and Denise Mathias at Old Republic Distillery, who are celebrating the opening of their brand new tasting room this weekend!

Read more about Old Republic Distillery in PennLive.

Old Republic is known for its moonshine varieties, including the popular strawberry mash-based Love Potion, but they also offer Battlefield Vodka and Blueberry vodka (always using real ingredients, no artificial flavorings) — and have been working on a whiskey as well.


While production remains at their location in Seven Valleys, Old Republic Tasting Room has moved to 2195 York Crossing Drive, located near the West Manchester Mall, Target and BJ’s Wholesale Club, and will feature extended hours.


The Grand Opening Party runs today and tomorrow. Free samples for those of legal age, plus all Distillery shirts are just $15.

Old Republic Tasting Room will be open noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Follow ORD on Facebook.

Brew News – September 2014 Edition

Keeping up with everything that’s happening in the craft beer world can be just as intense as watching the evening news. Every day there are more and more beers, exciting expansions and new things happening. This is the first edition of the new monthly craft beer news roundup I’ll be sharing with you on the last Friday of each month. Read up on the latest in craft beer for your happy hour discussions this evening.

Coffee That Tastes Like Beer?

picture via Beer Street Journal

picture via Beer Street Journal

When it comes to my coffee game, Little Amps is the star and cold jars rule everything around me. This, however, just was added to the list of “must-tries.” In test markets in Ohio and Florida Starbucks is trying out what they call a Dark Barrel Latte designed to taste like a rich hearty stout. It uses a “chocolately stout” flavored syrup and is topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. While I hate to give Starbucks my money, if this comes to our area I’m going to have to try it out.

Victory Brewing to Begin Canning


After rumors and speculation from a comment that popped up on a Beer Advocate forum earlier in the week, it has now been confirmed that Victory Brewing will be installing a canning line. The first brew to go in cans will of course be Summer Love. There are, of course, many reasons to can beer especially craft beer with the basics being ease of transport, eco-friendliness, lower cost to the brewery and increased exposure as it can be more easily sold in sports arenas and concert venues. Here’s hoping they follow Troegs’ lead with the pounder cans of Troegenator — only for Victory, how about Golden Monkey? A girl can dream.



Weekend Roundup 9/25

Hey! I was on TV this morning! Don’t worry if you missed it, I’ll post video from this month’s edition of Hot Topics with Chris Garrett on Fox43 (with Mike Miller, too!) later today on Facebook.

chris garrett fox 43


Meanwhile, looking for something to do tonight? How ’bout some cheap beer? Join me at Shady McGrady’s from 6-8 p.m. to kick-off their 7-year anniversary weekend with three Finch Beer Co. beers for $3 each! We’ve got some sweet glassware to give away, too.

Tomorrow, I’m getting my hair ‘did (taking suggestions! Still not sure whether to lop it off, grow it out, keep the bangs, go blonder or darker), then making piles of of my now-famous Slaughterballs for our “meat party” on Sunday.


Hey, that’s me!

Saturday morning, of course, you can find me first by airwaves – 92.1 WTPA to be exact – as I take on my weekly co-hosting duty on The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show on Saturday Morning.

Afterwards, stop by the Harrisburg Mall between noon and 2 p.m. for their 45th Birthday Celebration — there will be cupcakes, prizes, live entertainment and much more!

Sunday, we’re hosting a bunch of people for a clean-out-our-freezer-for-hunting-season party. Should be a great day for it, and we’ll have the Steelers game on the radio care of The River 97.3.

Of course, as you know, this weekend, along with the bulk of September, is PACKED, including at least ample wine and beer festivals — and loads more. Grab a pen and plan out your weekend now!

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”


What are you doing this weekend?


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