Embrace the Fatigue and Spicy Skinny Pig Cake

by Joanne on April 13, 2011

The most frightening outcome of running the Boston Marathon for me is the pain of exhaustion.  Can I push through it?  In an effort to look for some reassurance, I consult one of my many infamous books.   Based on excerpts From “Running Within” by Jerry Lynch, Warren Scott.

Fatigue is both physiological and psychological.  Glycogen stores become depleted and you become physiologically tired.  A message is sent to your brain “Why am I doing this? Let everyone pass, I can’t keep up”.   Those thoughts hold us back.  We end up becoming upset and anxious which fosters the feeling of fatigue.  We need to EMBRACE it and make positive adjustments to push through it. 

  • Focus on completing small segments of the race and not on the total distance you have left to go.
  • Focus on your form and pace, adjusting your mechanics and regaining running efficiency (stride length, arm swing, breathing)
  • Visualize running “smoothly, effortlessly and full of energy.”  Relax your muscles.  Your body will respond in much the same way it does when you imagine biting into a sour lemon (your mouth waters and the inside of your checks tingle), it will begin to relax and run with less perceived effort.
  • Think about the necessity of fatigue if you want to push yourself to new limits.  It’s a way of “exploring your potential and giving your best effort”.
  • Look around and know that everyone is feeling the same way you feel.  You aren’t alone.   If they can push through it, so can you.
  • Positive affirmations.  “I feel good”, “I’m running strong”.

Acknowledge fatigue and adjust for it.  Sometimes the mind triggers feelings of exhaustion before the body is really tired.  You might see the hill you have been so afraid of, or the wind picks up and you hate to run in the wind.  Don’t let your brain psych you out.  This is the time to believe in your training and your body. Push through it. Adjust your pace, relax your muscles and your breathing and keep moving forward.

While Ted was at the Master’s

Ted at Masters

Shane and I enjoyed the first warm day of Spring.  A day just too perfect to spend in the house.  It was time to play.

Check list:

  • Camera
  • Wine
  • Frisbee
  • Dog

First, find a place to put the wine where the dog won’t knock it over.


Perfectly nestled among the fronds.

Next, play with the camera and the wine since it looked kind of interesting among the greenery.

DSC_7023 DSC_7025 DSC_7024

Finally, play with the dog who is just BEGGING you to play Frisbee


Beautiful day!

Oink…Oink.  That’s my pig imitation.  Prepare yourself for the most delicious low fat cake you could bake.


Based on a recipe “Pig Cake” by Ree, The Pioneer Woman.  Serves 16


The Cake:

  • 1 box Spice cake mix
  • 1 large slightly over ripe banana, mashed (or 6 oz apple sauce)
  • 1 (15 oz) can Mandarin Oranges in Light Syrup (save about 6 slices for garnish)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk

The Topping:

  • 1 (4 oz) box Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain)
  • 1/2  cup powdered sugar
  • 4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Low fat buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray or line with parchment.

In a large bowl, mix the cake mix with the banana, eggs, and buttermilk.  Add the mandarin oranges and mix thoroughly, breaking the orange sections up as you mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25 – 28 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Make your topping by add the pudding mix to the pineapple (and juice) and stir.  Add the powdered sugar, the cheese, and the buttermilk.  Whip it for about 2 minutes.

Spread on top of the cooled cake. Garnish with orange slices.


Enjoy with a crisp, cool Chardonnay.

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  • At 2011.04.13 07:25, Medeja said:

    Your dog is so playful and cute.. He looks almost like mine 🙂
    I have to admit that I dont know how to bake cakes from the boxes and mixtures 😀

    • At 2011.04.13 08:46, Joanne said:

      You should send me a picture of your dog. I love puppy pics 🙂

      • At 2011.04.13 08:08, Heather said:

        Shane is seriously too cute!
        Sometimes cake out of a box is the way to go – easy, but still delicious!

        • At 2011.04.13 08:45, Joanne said:

          Thanks. He’s one playful boy with TONS of energy. Bet he’d get along great with Biggie. 🙂

          • At 2011.04.13 08:33, the dawn said:

            your dog seriously melts my heart every time!!!!

            and i’m totally with you. that fatigue has gotten to me in every. single. marathon. no matter the training cylce or the pace, i struggle with mental fatigue. my last race was the first time i faced that moment and kept running anyway. it was the hardest thing i’ve ever done. and now…i’m not sure i have the wherewithal to do it again 🙂

            • At 2011.04.13 08:45, Joanne said:

              Oh yes you do. You will keep going because you want it so bad.
              We get tired because we push ourselves in races. But if we didn’t we’d never
              know what our body is capable of. Good luck! – You’ll do SO great!

              • At 2011.04.13 09:00, claudia lamascolo said:

                Great looking fresh cake!

                • At 2011.04.13 16:48, Nancy Jean said:

                  Why, oh why, “Pig Cake?” It looks delicious!
                  And I think the 3rd photo in the 3 of your wineglass amongst the fronds is really special.

                  You’ll do brilliantly in Boston, Joanne … sounds like you’ve got it all figured out. You’ll settle in and get it done!

                  • At 2011.04.13 19:37, Lori said:

                    Shane looks so ready to play!

                    You will do fabulous at Boston Joanne – You are trained and ready. So very well prepared.

                    • At 2011.04.13 20:36, Sam said:

                      Joanne, you can win this race, stay possitive. How cool is that, Ted at the Masters

                      • At 2011.04.14 08:32, Joanne said:

                        Winning would just create WAY too much pressure for future races. 🙂 (AS IF!!!)
                        I’ll take a miraculous 3 hours and MINIMAL minutes and be really, REALLY happy with that.
                        THANKS. Looking forward to having you and Sue with me on this adventure.

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