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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Quick Stop

I am still here!  Just super busy.  Tomorrow begins my two weeks of 5 AM work days.  I really don't know how I'm going to be functioning so early, but the alternative of late nights is even worse for me.  I get stupid klutzy late at night and cannot function.  So early mornings it is!  

As for most of us, the muggy ugly weather continues.  I officially started my half-marathon training last week; I'm still plugging along, trying to just get out there and run in the heat.   I figure by the time it cools down, my body will be so happy that I will just fly through the miles and rack up some impressive runs.  At least that's what I keep telling myself...

Still reading, and almost to 80 books!  I talk to people a lot about reading, and so many people are on board with the 100 book challenge.  I am really pleased about that.  The only thing I miss so far is being able to sit on my front porch with a cool drink and read for a few hours.  It's just not comfortable to sit outside right now, but I am optimistic Mother Nature will stopped being pissed off at Mother Earth and simmer down a bit sometime soon.  Bud thinks we'll have a long Fall, but I have a feeling we will be cut short and go straight from Summer into Winter.  Let's hope I'm wrong!

So how has your summer gone so far?  The kids here start school in 3 weeks--it seems like they just finished.  I am hoping to take a week's vacation at the end of this month--it was planned for next week, but the work project bumped it back.  I am so ready for a whole week off--still haven't finished my 'To Do List' from a few months ago.  

I am leaving you with a mouth-watering recipe for S'mores Bars.  My mom made these years and years ago, and I found the recipe online again.  They are so rich you kinda feel sick, but it's a good sick feeling.  I'm making them for a book group I have this afternoon.  Nothing like eating dessert before supper.  

Keep running, swimming, walking, reading, and eating good stuff.  I'll be back sometime soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Taking Some Time Off (aka Oh Crap I Have Too Much To Do)

This is not happy smiley sun

This is the sun that is currently baking Eastern Iowa.  It is not the friendly sun with sunglasses, a smiley face, and a wink.  No, it is the molten orb of life-sucking power that, combined with dew points in the 70's, pretty much stops all but necessary movement outside for the next week or so.  

My poor drought-resistant flowers are pooping out.  After all, it's not a drought, but the unrelenting sun that is making them cry out "Ma ma Ma ma". There's plenty of moisture in the air, which you find out pretty quickly when you step outside and feel like you're being smothered by a  warm, heavy, wet blanket.  

My basil, however, is going great guns.  I don't know how much steam (he he get it--steam!) they will have to last through the week, but I will be using lots of basil this week in my cooking.   

I have been tasked with a large project at work which will require weeks of work.  This means I have no life for pretty much the next 4 weeks.  Between this project, and the early mornings it will require, and my start up to training for the half-marathon, and  issues with heat  (very early morning runs) --quite frankly, my plate is FULL.  I am exhausted, and I can't keep my eyes open.  

So I am taking a break from this blog for a few weeks, until I have the time, energy, and brain waves to put out a scintillating recap of my life.  I will keep posting on The Talking Leaf Book Club for our book discussions, and I will try and put up a few book reviews on Bookalicious Babe as I continue my journey to 100 books.  One thing I will not give up is my reading time!  It's just a bit shorter, since I fall asleep after a few pages and have books hit me in the face.  So far no bloody lips to report!

I will try and comment and read everyone's blogs, too.  I do so enjoy reading what everyone else is up to!  But sometimes, the energizer bunny runs out of power, and that's me right now.  As a matter of fact, I am due a nap before I go to work tonight.  Right now it's a cool 85 degrees at 11 AM with a heat index of 90, and it's only going up every hour.  

So a quick update on my running:  I am doing it.  Nothing brilliant, nothing to report, just that I am going out early in the morning, and trying to get in at least 3 miles before I stop.  I ran some hills early Saturday morning, and plan on getting out before 6 AM tomorrow and Wed mornings to run more miles.  I don't want to run in the heat, but if I stop even for a week, I feel like I will backslide and have to start over again.  I know when to stop, and take a break so I will be fine.  It just requires more naps for me :)  This also means more laundry, as my stinky running clothes and bras cannot sit for days.  Seriously--you know that you've sweated too much when your running clothes are still damp after a couple days in the hamper.  Ick.  If I had a smokin' body, I would just run in shorts and a running bra--but let's face it-this would not only squelch my very small reserve of self-esteem, but it would also be a punishment to all those who see me slowly jogging by them on the path.  I will cover up for the sake of humanity.  They just have to put up with my stink instead.

So I'll see ya around, folks!  Stay cool, read something fun, and I'll be back soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Kebab Recipe

I love Everyday Food magazine.  There's always a gazillion recipes in each issue that I want to try, so last night I made a new kebab recipe:  Garlic-Chipotle Beef Kebabs.  It's a very inexpensive recipe since you use ground beef instead of steak.

 I have always been intrigued by chipotles in adobo sauce, but never used them until last night.  They smell like a BBQ, but they have one heck of a bite!  After taking a small taste and grabbing for some water, I decreased the amount in the recipe.  This turned out to be a good thing--the kebabs still had a pretty good heat to them.  Garlic, onions, and cilantro are added to the ground beef, too.

Try this recipe if you're looking for a new grilling recipe; you could certainly make them indoors, too.  Bud and I made wraps out of these with grilled flatbread, cheese, sour cream, and chopped tomatoes.  Yum!  The magazine suggests serving with a tomato salad.  The hot and humid weather lately keeps Bud and I grilling and eating much less for dinner; last night this was all we had and it was plenty!  I suspect a cold beer or a margarita would also make this awesome.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Week Training Kinda Sorta Blech

Aw shit.  I had envisioned myself putting in my ear phones, starting up the Garmin, and oh so gracefully striding around the park, moving like the speed of light through some mysterious brain/body transformation.  My body would remember how I ran at 36 and 8 years later do it again.  Oh, the delusion!

What a dumb ass I am.  The friendly folks at Rock N' Roll Savannah sent me a lovely email entitled Start Your Training Now!  I decided late last week after  experiencing a few moments (very looong moments) of panic to start my half marathon training a few weeks early.  I must admit running a half in November is completely throwing me off.  I keep thinking it's in October, when I've done most of my long races.  But no, this is about 3 weeks later.  But since I have so much work to do to get in shape and improve my running, I thought I would start a bit early.  Or, as Bud says, "You really have a long way to go.  You need to do a lot of work."  Gotcha, honey.  Don't need to say it again--thanks!  No really, thanks!

Unfortunately, my 4 week delay in June due to family stuff set me back again.  I have gone out a few times this week and run, and done poorly.  The last two days I was back at work, and while I had visions of rising early and getting in a quick run before work, my body will not wake up in the morning.  I think being so busy at work and neglecting to eat breakfast the last few days has completely slayed me.  I have come home the last two days after work and fallen asleep on the couch.  Watering the garden has been about the most I've done at home.  Laziness syndrome has hit hard.

Saturday I am down to run 5 miles.   I have not run 5 miles in months; I think it was 2010 the last time I did it.  I am hoping and praying I will pry myself out of bed at 5:30 am  tomorrow to get to the park and run a few miles before work.  I will feel so much better, I know, and it will keep me calm before Saturday's planned run.   It's the getting up that's so damn hard!  I have promised myself I can buy a book tomorrow if I haul my tushy out of bed and run.  I am not above bribing myself--but will it work?  'Cause let's face it--if I want a book, I will just buy it, and screw the pact I made with myself.  What am I gonna do, make myself sit in the corner?  If I have my shiny new book, OKAY!  I'll even stay extra long, too.  I don't mind facing the wall, that way I can ignore everything around me even more and get into the story.

I really think I am crazy to attempt this half marathon.  But stranger things have happened, so let's cross our fingers and move those legs!  Next week I plan on repeating what I've done this week, and get in some bike riding, too.  And my terror of the spinning class won't leave me alone, so I may just get really pissed off at myself for being such a chicken shit and try one again.  That's what I keep telling myself...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Welcome, July!

This summer is just flying by.  It seems like they always do, though.  I am super excited to be starting my official half marathon training tomorrow.  My goals are simple:  improve my endurance, improve my time.  My hope is to run the half marathon in two hours.  Having a goal and a training schedule helps keep me on track and focused.  I love to write down in my running log that I've done the required work each day.  

July is the month where I hope to get a few things done that I just didn't get to in June--mostly house stuff.  You know, that maintenance that falls through the cracks.  Really, who thinks about washing your house?  I do.  The siding gets dirty, and I grab the giant brush, attach it to my hose, and plop it in a bucket of soapy water. Start scrubbing.  It's good to do it on a hot day, since I manage to get completely drenched. The house always looks brighter and fresher.  I try to do it twice a year--in the spring, and in the fall, just before it gets cold.  So far, I haven't done it at all.  I did get up and clean out the gutters after seeing the horrifying sight of little trees growing in them.  I was making my own dirt in the gutters.  It was a smelly, icky mess, but they are clean again for awhile.  Time to get the rest of the gutter guards out of the garage and put them on!  I don't enjoy climbing ladders.  

Bud doesn't know it yet, but he's going to be eating kitchen experiments this month.  I've been sucked into the summer recipe magazine hole, and now I have to use them.  There are some great side dish recipes--how does green beans, tomatoes, and  white beans sound as a side salad?  I will find out.  Bud may start eating before he comes to my house.  But, if I'm going into my workout mode, I want to put the good foods in my body.  An occasional sweet will be my reward for eating healthy the rest of the week.  

What are you doing for the 4th of July?  I'm heading over to my brother's on Sunday for a cookout.  The actual 4th of July may see me working on my front porch, after an early morning run.  Hopefully Bud and I will see some fireworks, if we can get downtown and avoid the huge crowds.  

And reading?  Well yes, I will be doing that.  I got off track last month, but this chick is back on, hitting the gas pedal, and cruising through my books.  

  I'm going to have a huge book sale on, so watch for that posting.  I'm cleaning out the bookshelves, and there will be some great deals!  

Have a great weekend, and I'll "see" everyone next week.