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Sunday, March 31, 2013

April! Yippee!! Is That Spring I Smell?


I have been reading through J.J. Virgin's The Virgin Diet and quite frankly it requires a level of commitment that I do not have right now.  But, I have learned a valuable thing from her that I will be carrying into April concerning my eating habits:

They suck.  I eat unconsciously all the time.  I eat stuff I don't even want to eat--it's there, so in it goes.  I've been running outside the past few days and it has been such a struggle.  I will admit it felt wonderful to pull out the Garmin, charge it up, and strap it on my wrist.  I told myself not to look at the time, but to look at distance.  Since I'm running around my neighborhood, I really use the Garmin just so I know how far I've gone, and how much more I have to go before I can go home.  I've been running without my iPod, since there are no sidewalks and I have to run in the streets.  It gives me a chance to listen to my breathing (Lord almighty I sound horrible!), hear birds sing, and be aware of being in that "bubble" of outsideness.  I don't know how else to describe it.  I managed to find a few streets that not only have nice inclines, but a few hills that require my legs to move past that ache.  I guess all those squats in Body Pump have helped me move past that awful burn of screaming muscles.

I've got approximately 7 weeks before my half-marathon, and have tentatively written down goals each week for long runs.  And with these goals, I'm starting tomorrow on a healthier eating schedule.  Pasta-out.  Breads--out.  Lots of veggies, hummus, eggs, and I'm going to try smoothies in the morning.  My friend C-Joy recommended a gluten-free protein powder--so of course I bought the chocolate flavor.  I really do feel that not eating so much wheat will help my guts a bit.  It's the first time I've trained for a race with the deliberate intent to cut out a lot of wheat.  We'll see if it helps keep me from the issues I've experienced before.  This is going to be so tough, but I've got nowhere to go but up.  I am also going to try really really hard to cut back on the dairy.  Occasional cheese is ok, but gosh, I so love it.  I found a recipe through Oxygen Magazine for egg muffins that looks so good!  Easy to prepare and keep ready for those quick breakfasts in the morning after workouts and before going to work.  

I'm feeling the call of Spring and am happy to be getting out, looking around, and making plans for the garden, patio, and exercise.  My life since October has felt like one long, dark, dreary event.  I am going to celebrate life and keep working on remaining optimistic for the future.  Still have those moments of absolute grief, but more and more moments of thinking of Patti with joy and smiles.  Oh, I wish she was here.  So badly.  She told me after my Savannah half-marathon that she would like to run one with me someday, so I expect her spirit to be with me in May.  I think her having wings will make her just a bit faster than me.  

Here's to daffodils, the smell of rain, and running in the great outdoors without freezing and being miserable.  Here's to driving with the window down, and grilling supper outside.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Where Did March Go? And Screw You Snow!

It's a common acceptance that January and February will suck in Iowa.  You get through them by laying on the couch, covered in a favorite blanket, and watch all the tv series you can on Netflix, and reading all the books you can, too.  March will come along, and by the end of the month, you're outside and coming out of your winter funk.

Not this March.  We've had more snow in March that the whole rest of winter.  And it's been cold.  I cannot bitch too much, since in late November we had weather in the 50's--which is just not normal.  I ran a Turkey Trot at the end of November in shorts and a t-shirt.  Usually everyone is bundled up.  So I accept that Mother Nature has enjoyed screwing us all over in March.  

But really, I'm done.  We are finally hitting the 50's (fingers crossed) this weekend.  I am hoping, really hoping, to get outside and run.  My training for the half-marathon in May is pathetic, and I must kick it up so many notches I have lost count of those actual notches.  Let's just say it's a lot.  I do not like running on the treadmill all that much, and I really am tired of doing that.  I like to be outside in the fresh air and sun and not smell the stinky guy on the treadmill next to me.  I am willing to just smell my own stinky self, thank you.

I've been keeping up my Body Pump class at the Y.  I do enjoy it, and I think I've been to a class with each of the women who teach it.  They're all pretty good and don't cut any slack.  I may venture into a heavier weight for my bar this week.  I'm still sore from Monday's workout.  This is good.  Those thighs aren't gonna shrink without some muscle aches.  

I really feel like March fell into a sinkhole.  It went by so fast I think I missed some of it.  And I can't say for sure what the heck I did all month.  I didn't get to read as much, and I don't know why.  It seems I have been busy, but I can't put my finger on what exactly I've been busy doing all month.  My house is a pit of paper (shredding will be a job) and my piles of books are growing.  The only thing I know I've been doing is dishes.  They never seem to stop.  

So April, I welcome you!  I will be out running no matter what the weather.  I only ask you be kind to my new running shoes and don't make it too muddy.  I'd like them to stay pretty for just a little while.  And I have a hankering for asparagus risotto.  Never made it.  And some kind of shrimp grilled and glazed.  Vague recipes floating around in my head.  

What are you planning for April?  It's almost here!  And this elusive flower will surely appear sometime soon:




Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fish Does Not Taste Like Chicken

Fish does not taste like chicken and that is a problem for me.  

Bud loves fish.  I do not.  As a matter of fact, it's taken me 3 years to actually be able to eat shrimp--but not any which way.  I am particular with my shrimp. I never make fish for Bud, and I feel like a cruel person--it would be like someone never having chocolate when I visit their house.  Sorta.  

Anyway, I told Bud I would try try try to eat more fish.  We bought a huge bag of frozen cod fillets since Bud decided the "mild" fish would probably be a good place for me to start.  I made it a few weeks ago, and it was ok.  I told Bud I can only eat fish if there is some kind of sauce to hide the fact that I am eating fish.  It's all a mental game for me.  Bring on the sauces!  Bud, on the other hand, is quite content eating fish with just a bit of nothing on it.  Ick.  

So my last cod recipe expedition was making a bread crumb topping with melted butter and parmesan cheese mixed in--you put it on the fish and bake it.  It tasted ok to me, and Bud liked it.  I need a bit more jazz, I'm afraid.  I resorted to eating tartar sauce, and I'm not a huge fan of that, either.  Unless it's on a McDonald's fish fillet sandwich.  Then I take the fish off and just eat the bun, cheese and tartar sauce.  It's the same stuff they put on their Big Macs, I believe.  It's tasty.  Sorry.  Regression to childhood Lenten torture.  

Anyway.  Tonight is another cod night.  I am dithering between putting a pesto on the cod, or making a mayo/mustard topping for it.  It all goes in the oven and bakes.  I am missing tomato, so I may try the pesto gig another night.  I'm thinking mayo/mustard is the way to go.  Bud could have had an asparagus and shrimp risotto tonight, if he had known that was on my mind.  Always another cod adventure around the corner...

So fish.  I don't like you.  I understand your benefits, but I still don't like you.  I prefer a lovely steak.  Or a chicken boob.  I am interested in trying fish on the grill as soon as we see some Spring in our lives.  I am going to try salmon with a teriyaki sauce on the grill.  I think I could maybe eat that--very slowly, and in small bites.  

I am even contemplating making my own beer batter and trying that out for a change.  That may very well never cease to amaze Bud.  The things we do for love.  


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Things I've Found in the Basement That Make Me Wonder About Myself

I had a goal while on vacation a few weeks ago to clean up my basement.  It's so easy to stand at the top of the stairs and just toss stuff down and forget about it.  That's the super lazy Sue that sometimes occupies my body.  The other one is horrified at my basement mess and realizes that she would feel much better and less stressed if all the crap was organized.

I got part of the basement straightened out, but more still awaits my magic touch.  Today I hit the basement briefly to make sure nothing gets wet with the large amount of rain and melting snow we have in our forecast for the next few  days.  Unfortunately, my basement does get water in it when it rains really hard, and the combination of 1.5 inches of rain on top of the large amounts of snow that are melting means I will probably get something in the basement.  What can I say?  My house is over 80 years old.  Boo.

Here's what I discovered this morning:

I have been hoarding plastic shopping bags for no reason.  I keep finding them all over--completely empty.  Needless to say, I'll be making a trip to the grocery store, where they have a barrel set up to recycle plastic bags.  What does this say about me?  Why? Why? Why?  That's all I can ask myself.  I have no clue.

I have even more books that I thought.  They are everywhere in boxes.  

I have an enormous amount of pictures just tossed in a box.  I think I need to invest in a few albums and get them organized.  The thought of this just does not fill me with any amount of excitement--not even a teeny-weeny bit.

I have taken an extreme dislike to pretty much all of my Christmas decorations.  Trying to stifle the impulse to just toss them all.  That would mean I would be stressed out trying to find stuff to decorate for Christmas in a mere 9 months!! But I can certainly get rid of the stuff I absolutely loathe.  Light up snowman snow globe?  Buh-bye.  Christmas teddy bear?  So long!

Bud and I will have to have a big enough house so we can have our own wine cellar.  I think you can understand my meaning here.  If the apocalypse ever happens, I have enough wine to keep me blissfully ignorant of it for at least a good year.  


I'll be drinking that wine and eating cans of baked beans during the apocalypse.    I have far too many and can't possibly eat them all.  I'm sure the wine will cover the taste, so I guess I'll manage okay.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

That Moment



"When you are sitting right on the edge of something daring and scary and creative and powerful and perhaps wonderful...and you blink and take a step back.  

That's the moment.  The moment between you and remarkable.  Most people blink.  Most people get stuck.  All the hard work and preparation and daring and luck are nothing compared with the ability to not blink."  Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?


Learning not to blink.  It's much harder than you think, but something we should all do every now and then.  Makes life more exciting, full of possibilities, and makes you realize you are capable of so much more.  And when you surround yourself with people who love you and also believe you are capable of so much more, it makes it easier not to blink.

Try it.