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Monday, June 27, 2011

Flower Power!

 Flower Power!  These flowers in my yard helped

Get in my first run in 14 days!  Finally, some free time, cooperating weather, and an empty trail...

Equals a smiling face after 3 miles, an untied shoe, and a side cramp.  But it's the start back again for me, so I am happy today.  A sweaty beginning but one I am anxious to continue.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Delish Summer Side Dish

I love  There are endless recipes submitted by people from all over the place, and you can adjust the serving size of any recipe you want to make.  Yesterday I was looking for something different to make as a side dish.  I found a recipe for stuffed tomatoes that is so good you will keep eating them until you feel sick.  Yep, that kind of good!  Roma tomatoes are stuffed with feta, cream cheese, toasted pine nuts, chopped kalamata olives, and oregano, then baked for 30 minutes and brushed with olive oil when they come out of the oven.  This dish can be served right out of the oven or at room temperature.  I served them at room temperature, but I think I would like them straight out of the oven.  

I was a bit worried that my family wouldn't like the strong flavors, but to my surprise, they ate them all. Even my brother, who's tastes run to good 'ole Midwest food loved them.   I am adding it to my "go to" recipe file.  They're quick to make and taste awesome!  Definitely a dish I will make again and again.

Follow this link for the recipe, and I would suggest you double what you think you'll need.  Sorry--no photos.  They went too quickly for that :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Resetting the Summer Plan

Bud and I went out of town to a wedding this past weekend, and I decided this necessary break would be the restart button for my summer plans.  But before I blather on about those plans, may I give a shout out to  women who rocked their races in the past few weeks?

Bobbi and Nora both ran marathons and had very successful runs.  I love that women are discovering how good it feels to work out--whether it's running, biking, or swinging their hips to Zumba.  Whatever we do, it's so important to keep moving!  So to Bobbi and Nora, I offer a huge hug and a thanks for keeping me motivated during those times when I feel like I'm just not moving near enough.  And also to Amanda and Stephanie who have also completed some amazing runs the past few weeks--all of you keep rockin'!  When I am running, sometimes I believe I'm the only one thinking what I'm thinking.  It's nice to see other people have the same thought processes and manage to reach deep and keep going.  

Anyway, back to the summer plan.  Last week I did not run once.  I didn't even walk fast.  Bud and I would have taken bikes with us this weekend to bike around Storm Lake, but A) we didn't know they had trails, and B) It rained when we arrived on Saturday.  Sunday was spent driving, checking on Mom, overcooking the shrimp for dinner, and visiting the DQ to have a peanut buster parfait (heaven in a cup!)--Bud had a pecan cluster Blizzard.

So this week, I am kicking  off the frustration of the past few weeks and starting over again.  Lots of yard work, and back to running.  I'd like to get my bike tires pumped up, and start riding the trails around town.  And did I mention cleaning the house?  Yep.  It has suffered from the never home syndrome.  Oh--and reading.  I have only finished one book in the last week, and there are many Netgalley books on my Nook that I have to read quickly!    

So here's to a summer that is starting over this week.  Has your summer been what you expected?  Have your plans been derailed?  Choo Choo--this train is back on track.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Plans Gone Awry

It's been a very long June so far.  My Mom had bypass surgery in late May, and after an extended stay in the hospital, she went home.  After a few days, I had to take her back to the emergency room after she complained about pain and numbness in her leg.  It was a good thing we went to the emergency room, because the doctors found a blood clot in her leg that required surgery.  

That was Saturday night.  Tuesday, I got a call that she could go home.  I trotted down to the hospital, relieved that she was going home on my day off since this was just easier all around, rather than trying to organize getting her home while I work.  

She didn't go home on Tuesday.  We found out my Mom has a congenital "hole" in her heart, and it required another test to see if it caused the clot, and what, if anything needed to be done about it.  Needless to say, my Mom was pretty upset.  The good news is that it doesn't need to be fixed, and after being put on a blood thinner--fingers crossed--she will be going home today.  

This has pretty much taken up my time--I think I've managed to read one book, and my house is a mess.  Bud has been wonderful, doing whatever I need him to do and helping out.  He even stayed til after midnight Saturday at the hospital with my brother when I had to leave to get some sleep before going to work on Sunday.  Once again reminding me just why I love him so darn much!

So with this in mind, I am very happy Bud and I will have some time to ourselves this weekend at a family wedding.  I'm hoping to start fresh on Monday--Run again!  Clean the house!  Weed the flower beds! Cook a meal at home!  Just get back to a routine.  Mom has a long recovery ahead of her, but if she takes her walks every day, and gets some rest she will be well on her way to having energy and feeling better by the end of the summer.  

I think that I can say with pretty good accuracy that with 4 grandparents, a father, and now a mother who all had heart disease, my brothers and sisters and I all have a giant red target painted on our chests.  I plan on running and exercising for as long as I am physically able to do it.  And yes, I am motivated even more to eat more fruits, veggies, and good grains.  I am so glad I never smoked, and never will.  

Off to work!  The sun is shining--finally--and it's going to be warm today.  Sounds like a good June day to me :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Run The Flood: Results

A quick post  about the Run the Flood race!

I ran it 3 minutes faster than the Marion Arts Festival 5K a few weeks ago; but I started out way too fast--a 9:30 first mile; I had to stop and walk a few times after that,  but I was thrilled with my better performance.

My stride has improved, but still needs lots of work.  I wore my Ipod and listened to Quiet Riot, Queen, Wham!, and Bon Jovi.  I think the music helped keep my mind off of other things, and watching other people's strides kept me paying attention to mine.  I don't like to be closed off from the race happenings--I like to hear what's going on around me, but I must admit I may have to keep running races with my Ipod if it helps de-stress me.

Bud took some great pictures, but they are on his camera, which I don't have, so no pictures just yet.  The weather was about 60 degrees, cloudy, and cool.  Perfect weather for running.  I was so happy I decided to run the 5k and not the 7 miler.  Next year I'll go back to the 7 miler.

Has anyone ever had horrible calf cramps after a race?  Oh my golly, walking around, gentle stretching, and the foam roller haven't eased them much.  Even ate a banana.  But other than that, I feel pretty good!

What's the next race?  Who knows.  I'm hoping to run a 10K sometime in the next few months.  The 4th of July 5 miler I usually do every year in CR has been moved from downtown to a completely different course, and I have decided not to do it.  It's on the same route as the half marathon I crashed, burned, and injured myself on last year, so I don't care to revisit that route!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Not Ready for the Race--Oh Crap

As I've stated in previous posts, the past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming with family stuff and just the usual maintenance of yard, home, and running.

I have only run 2 miles this week--eek!  And that was not a very good run, since it was during our high temps and horrible humidity (note to self--do not run when there is a heat advisory for your city).  I keep forgetting about the Run the Flood 5K I am running tomorrow!  I am not prepared, although when I do remember about the race, I am so glad I did not sign up for the 7 mile race.  Glory be!

The great thing about Saturday is the projected weather:  72 and sunny, with no rain all day.  A perfect running  and mowing day.  I have to get out and work in the yard--the weeds just love to grow when I'm not looking.  Happily, I was able to start using my basil for a pasta dish last night.  It's growing and looking wonderful, and my tomato plants have buds on them.  

I'll have a recap of the 5K tomorrow.  Let's all cross our fingers that a week of not much running will mean my legs are refreshed and not wimpy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It Only Lasted A Few Days

As I said in my previous post, it has been a bit hectic in my life the last few weeks, and I haven't been home much.  Add in 95 degree days, with a heat advisory, and it makes for neglected yard work.  I went outside this morning at 6:45 AM to water everything before it became oppressive today (gee--it already was uncomfortably humid and very buggy!), and found that the heat has already taken it's toll on a few of my plants.

My beautiful peony bush was in full bloom late last week, so I took some photos while they looked good.  I am so glad I did, cause this morning they are all dead--toasted by the sun.  They didn't even get the chance to get wiped out by a thunderstorm (which is the usual cause of death).  Oh so sad!  And, my lovely purple lilies were also captured in film just before they too bit the dust.  Here's my ode to these plants, casualties of an increasingly bi-polar Iowa summer!  After tomorrow, we go from 95 plus weather into low 70's for highs.  I am amazed anything is still growing :)

I love peonies.  The ant thing is kinda gross, but the smell of peonies in bloom is pure heaven.  I think next year I may purchase a batch of red peonies, and split the  pink one I have.  Did you know you can split peony bushes?  Yep.  It can save you a lot of money!  One branch (with a root!)  will create a whole new bush, if you have the patience.  I learned this after I dug up a row of old peony bushes in my back yard and later that summer I had proof that I didn't get them all dug out.  They are pretty hardy as a bush, but the flowers themselves are delicate and easily smooshed.  That's what makes me appreciate them when they are in full bloom.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Just a Quick Post!

I have to leave for work in about 15 minutes.  It seems like this past week has been exhausting and full of extra "stuff" that is keeping me from sitting at the computer, reading everyone's blogs, and sending out my fabulous words of wisdom to the world (insert laughter here).  

Anyway, I am still around, I am just a bit busy and my days are full.  It is very hot and muggy, and my running hasn't been very productive because of it.  I also have hurt my left foot and it is sore pretty much all the time.  I am icing it, and trying to not panic, since I have a 5K this Saturday.  I may have to only run a few times this week before the race, and try and rest the foot.  I would rather have this happen now, and not when I am beginning my half marathon training next month.  I am pretty sure it's plantar fascitis, which seems to rear it's ugly head a lot.  It can make for a long work day!

I have finished my 60th book!  Woohoo!!!  If you need any summer reading ideas, check out my other blog Bookalicious Babe, or join my blogging book club The Talking Leaf Book Club.  We're just starting our June selection, The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel.  I think if I continue with my pace of 10 books a month, I should reach my goal of 100 books by the end of September.  I have read some great stuff!

More garden pictures coming this week, and I think it's time to try some new summer supper recipes.  Everyone stay cool, enjoy the flowers, and read a book!