Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Long Run Great Wide Open

Saturday we drove to central Iowa. The Mike had a gravel ride (about 65 miles) to bike and I had 18 miles to kick out.  . . . a little worried as we had snow on Thursday/Friday and wasn't sure if I was going to be heading to the Y in the city or able to run outside with fresh air. .  .  So glad to find out a) the trail was free of snow and b) it is PAVED!  Mostly asphalt, so it's not suppose to be as bad on joints as concrete, though I wondered if that's still the case when it's frozen.hmmmm. I missed the start of the race due to catching some zzzzzs. 

Here's the gorgeous clear trail and me. . . yes, the green hat is mine, figure I'm more visible to people with it--and it's a smartwool one.  Pink neck gaiter. The smartwool one I have would have been a little too much on a day like this.  

Mizuno thermal top, with Melanzana short sleeve shirt, Melanzana tights under Nike winter thermal/wind pants.  Started out with an overlayer that I dropped due to the fabulous weather temps (mid 30s and suNNY!).

Anything more beautiful than Black Angus against fresh snow (aside from beautiful Holsteins)? I think not.  One of the local bicycle team's members rolled past me at this point. He asked if I needed help. . . nope, just framing a photo ;-)

About halfway on the trail, and after a short climb to an intersection. . . looked left, right, left again at the farm and this fabulous FLAG design. 

Signs of the times. . . or times they are a'changing.  This is:

a) an old honey wagon
b) a relic of days gone by
c) a very narrow, small capacity honey wagon
d)  all of the above.

The only thing I was disappointed in for this route was that at the turnaround point for me, a town, had no convenience store near the trail!  

Trail:  out and back, about 9 miles each way.  "official" is 8.5 miles, but that isn't from trailhead to trailhead. . .so I went with what I got with mapmyrun . Elevation of the trail was a slight decline out, then steady across the flood plain of the rivers and up about 100 to 150 feet. .. didn't seem so bad on the map! Agh, my glutes and hamstrings were screaming at me by the time I got midway!

I also managed to miss Mike's race competion.  Just slightly over 4.5 hours for him. . . Fenders on the wheels +mushy gravel roads = gravel gunk filling the fender. 

And, we had a birthday in the house last week, I can't believe I didn't post pictures of the cake!  Chocolate torte with raspberry filling, chocolate ganache and slived almond decoration.   

Yes, it was QUITE yummy. The raspberries cut the richness of the dark chocolate.  

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  I don't feel I can post the recipe, especially since they do not advertising in their cooking magazine. It's all about things they cook, test, try.   If you have a membership, you can find the recipe here. If you don't have a membership, you can look at the "professional" photo of the recipe they have on their cite. 

Also, the membership for the online version is different than having a membership for the magazine.

And, in case you have wondered as I have, just heard on the news that there IS a debris field in the Pacific Ocean from the Japan Tsunami.  Parts of it will stay in the ocean current (forever it sounds like), part will find landshore on parts of Hawai'i and Oregon.   The devastation from the earthquake/tsunami continue.

[Edited for punctuation changes].

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busy week and SNOW

This week has seemed crazier and busier than others, and I have yet to figure out why.  My coach went "light" on me, my work days didn't change and hours of exercise was less than last week. However, Wednesday and today it was hard to get up out of bed at 4:50am (yes, AM, a mere twenty minutes after dairy farmers are awake to start gathering the cows for milking).  

What does Quirky's normal week look like? 

Saturday        Long Run
Sunday           20 to 60 minutes of lighter exercise, recovery from Saturday
Monday          Day off from running/biking, but up by 5am for Yoga at 5:30am, 
                                   Then up at job 1  (8:30 to 5) then at job 2 (5:15 to 9:15). 
Tuesday         Hour or so of running, work job 1 and then job 2, but only until 8pm
Wednesday   Up by 5 for Yoga, then home, work, then home and then hour of running or 
                          biking,  (I can't seem to get the exercise in after yoga in the morning)
Thursday        UP for exercise, work
Friday             Up for Yoga, exercise or not, depending on how Coach is for me., work

Rinse, repeat. 

Somewhere in there is cleaning, laundry, cooking, spending time with The Mike (hubby) and the cats.  

Last night Felix was in withdrawal of attention from me, and I for The Mike.  I slept in yesterday morning, so I ran last night, but then I had to dash off for a hair cut appointment, leaving The Mike and cats at home. [Shout out to my fabulous hair stylist, who has been through thick long hair and thick short hair with me. .. her arms appreciate the short hair!] 

Came back, baked the pizza (yep, easy out night of baking), ate, curled up on the couch next to The Mike, Felix on top of me getting attention and then I fell asleep. . .somewhere in the middle of Patrick Jayne: The Mentalist..  I have no idea how it ended. I remember being urged to bed, but then I couldn't fall asleep again and was up for a bit, then the dang alarm went off. UGH.  I am not sure what's different about this weekend than last, but I definitely feel like I'm more tired. . . maybe it's that the food hasn't been high priority this week? More convenient and grain foods than normal.  [The pizza was from Mama Mimi's, but they use Still Riding Pizza Gluten Free pizza crusts]

Highlight.  It snowed last night. I LOVE snow. Several years ago I figured I could lament about it for driving, or  embrace it and enjoy the beauty of the winter wonderland. . .okay, the first part's not true, I've never minded snow--it makes one a better driver!  Highlight: It was daylight when Yoga was over.  Highlight: I got some nice snow photos this morning.  County and city roads were cleaned off. . . the city must have saved a lot this winter with the October/November temps we've had in December, January and February.  The main road through our neighborhood was plowed this morning  when I headed to Yoga--normally it is not plowed until after I head to work in the morning! Got back from yoga, our road was plowed already!  WOOT.  Now, if only the neighbor-kids will have the initiative and shovel the drive before we get home ;-) 

The historic Little Red School House...the red building looked so great in the snow, I had to pull over to take the photo at the park.  

As I neared our house, I had this beautiful view. . . okay, it's not normally this great. There use to be a building here, but it was flooded in 2008 and the business moved to the south side of town. The city (read, FEMA/ our tax money) split the property, sold the half that "didn't flood" and there will (high anticipation, ha ha) a neighborhood park created here.  The snow hides a neighbors house.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Food talks

 Food talks:   Last weekend we had an awesome relaxing weekend.  Saturday was a long run, Sunday was this awesome breakfast.  Giant omelet (Beeler's ham, red pepper, tomato, cheddar cheese), Udi's whole grain GF bread with strawberry jam and a banana. 

Homemade gelatin for hubby :-) 

I recently found these Glutino bagel bites at the grocery store.  Word to your hips. Leave them there. Okay, they're really, really good. But if you wind up eating the whole package, I did warn you!  They're good on their own, dipped in ranch dressing, topped with cream cheese or cheddar cheese. 
I did have to experiment :-) 

 I bought the Macrobar a few weeks ago--spied at a co-op grocery market.  This was the "cashew caramel" flavor. . . it was smooth in appearance, but wasn't quite smooth when eating it.  Okay, but not a lot of flavor, and the 'sprouted flax' kept getting stuck in my teeth.

Friday night, hubby was going to go for a bike ride, then I realized he hadn't left yet and it was 8pm. . . he decided not to go afterall and I decided not to bake after all. No pics, but ordered food from the place down the street--bad habit that's forming! I got salmon with peach salsa and hubby had pasta with veggies and a pesto/pine nut sauce.  Fabulous flavor.  YUM.

Saturday I went out for my long run.  15 miles.  Since it was 37 degrees or thereabouts, sunny, and little to no breeze, I went outside.  Most of the trails, fields, roads have been clean. However, there were a few sections of 'micro-mini-glaciers' on the east/west paths.

Why is it that it seems to take my body two miles of running to warm up?  About two or three miles into the run I feel 'in the groove' and get on with the run.   Near my turn around spot I took this picture of what is left of the farm co-op.  Use to have 6 or 7 steel grain bins and a brick building.  The flood of 2008 damaged many and since the water was about eight feet deep here, there was gov't money and other incentives to relocate the grain elevator further north.  This is the first time I realized the building was to be razed as well. 

On the other side of the road lay the tressel  with the roller dam to the far right of the photo.  Beautiful sight to see, plenty of geese and ducks, though no bald eagles today.

Almost home, on the path that runs along a road and someone threw out their candy. I suppose feeding the wildlife chocolate is one way to make sure it doesn't get on one's hips, but it's sad to see Baby Ruth's go to waste. . . what would Sloth think?  (Goonie's reference)
 Pizza from Mama Mimi's take and bake. It's a franchise place, so there may be one near you.  This is the Parma Pesto Chicken  and got a Triple Pepperoni for the Mike.  Had a coupon buy one get one at a discount. .

And the project for Sunday, since I only had to run two miles today, had plenty of time for other things (laundry, dishes, beef jerky).  My friend Kim had made jerky a week or so ago and it looked so good. Homemade jerky means no MSG, no soy, no ingredients unprounceable, etc. 

I had the butcher man slice part of a bottom round and then marinated it.  Part was marinated in A-1 and Worcestershire sauce, water, ground pepper, some garlic and cayenne pepper powder.  Another part was marinated in orange/pineapple juice, water, liquid smoke (Wright's brand. It looked GF, so for $1.49 I bought it and their website here says it is GF!)  This pic is of it being right in the oven (after pizza was baked). We're on hour 3 (of 5) at 170ยบ. We'll know tomorrow how good it is!

Update:  Carlo's O'Kelly's GF menu is fairly new.  While the food I received the other week was GF, it was not what I thought I had ordered.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

runner, gluten free and now a springboard too!

The cat has decided that I am a springboard. . . perfect for "diving" onto the bed at about 2am.  LUCKY me!  He's done this the last two nights. early Friday morning it was annoying enough as I was already up at midnight, then at the 2ish time when he did a triangle, jump, land, run two feet, turn, run two feet, bounce off me, land repeat .   Then enter early Saturday morning, where it happened again, except instead of a triangle he just leapt off me, landed, trotted back to same spot, repeat.   Maybe we need to take away his catnip mice?

Saturday I drove to a Soroptimist International of the Americas meeting for Ames Heartland. We presented our award checks to a young woman (high schooler) who spends time reading to first graders to encourage them to read.  She was our Violet Richardson award winner.  We had two women apply for the Womens of Opportunity Award and we were lucky to have them both present as well.  One is a young woman who is starting over after an abusive relationship, the other escaped a violent relationship with her children and has found new love and a new place to live, though she still is worried that that evil man will find her.    I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful organization.  

I had a late lunch with my sister, then drove home. It was such a windy and cold day that it actually seemed liked winter might show itself again.  This is February and we've only had about three storms that gave us any snow. It was still raining in November and it well shouldn't be.  Last winter we had about 25" of snow. This winter, we've had about 8".  It's not right, especially since our farmers  (i.e. read: dad, uncles, friends) really could use this rain and also because I actually have an AWD vehicle now instead of the rear-wheel drive Dodge we had before! Bring on the snow! 

Anyway, with the meeting, it meant that I was going to run my 18 miles inside, on the new treadmill,  in the evening. Normally I'm a morning runner, so I wasn't all that jazzed about the run.  I got on, had to do some adjustments (you know how it is, right?) and started putting in the miles.  Hubby got on the rollers (bike) beside me and we watched Prince of Persia.  Forgot about that movie, but watching it brought back the videogame The Mike use to play, back when the xbox and playstation got attention from us.  Great movie and action packed that I was hoping I wouldn't even notice the miles my feet ran.  However, I did.  My feet, calves, thighs hurt along with my lower back. After a few breaks for refill of water and other things, I threw in the towel on the run.  13miles and some change done.  It was 8:30, we were going out to eat, and no, we didn't even bother to shower.  Bring on the food to the hungry people who did three plus hours of exercise.  Steaks and potatoes were on the menu and they were fabulous. No pics, we all know what steaks look like. . . and more importantly, an empty plate ;-) 

But, I still had to finish out my miles, which I did on Sunday morning.  Got up, got going and put the miles in.  Finished watching TombRaider. . .Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig.   Then made a fabulous brunch:  Jimmy Dean all natural sausage, french toast with UDI's whole grain bread and an orange. Yum!  Too hungry to hink about photos :-D

Friday, February 10, 2012

oh where oh where has The Quirkey GF Runner gone?

I can't believe my last post was a week ago! 

I have great food photos (home food) to post, but will need to do that tonight or tomorrow. 

Saturday was my long run and between running when it wasn't my normal time and being dehydrated some it wasn't a best run for me.  The Mike called when I was done at the gym and said, "let's go out to eat". Of course I took him up on that! 

The above is what I was served. . . chicken enchiladas with southwest corn and cheese sauce. . GF, but not what I ordered.  

Ordered, Prairie Fire Chicken & Enchiladas---chicken breast served with two shredded beef enchiladas.

Sunday was overcast and dreary and I didn't want to do anything, but with The Mike out for his long bike ride I knew I needed to get out too.  Two miles, out to the lake and back, done and felt all the better for it.

Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday, I decided just to make dinner food this year and not appetizers as the game was on at dinner time anyway.  Two small turkey breasts in the oven for baking with a mixture of sage, thyme, pepper and parsley, along with two small baked (Yukon Gold) potatoes and a small butternut squash.  Served along with some Quinoa (very nutritious for us, but a very small grain with a nutritious 'germ' that coils off it when cooked, which can make clean up a little difficult)  The grains are about the size of a plastic pinhead.  , and a can of whole cranberry sauce (with sugar, not HFCS).


Monday is my long day. I asked coach to make it my training day off.  Since I started the Yoga class I realized I can't get in an hour's (other) exercise before I have to get ready for work.  An hour of yoga, then get home 45 minutes before I need to get ready, at the latest, for work. Love Mondays yoga really good all over workout, and stuff I can do!  

The treadmill to the left, Pinky bike set up behind the table/rest and The Mike's bike set up to at right of the table/rest on rollers (which are hidden from view).  Great set up with the tv up front.

One of the cats decided the belt was good enough for some attention from her. 

Tuesday my run was to be 4 miles. . . on my brand new TREADMILL :-)  It was delivered and set up on Monday while I was at my evening job.   I went down, uncovered it (we have the belt tarped so the cats don't track stuff on it) and hit start, just like I do at the gym.  3 miles into it,  it just stopped.   Oh, huh, guess just hitting 'start' starts a 30 minute timer. Ugh.  I tried to get back to running, but then decided to do ten minutes of walking and reading the owner's manual.  

Wednesday back to Yoga.  Wednesday yoga is hard for me.  More movements that I think of with typical yoga, but it's good, I'm reaching out into the unknown territory : -)    
Bike pedaling in the evening. 45 minutes and my tooshie said, 'STOP'.  so, of course I did. . . the fifth time it said that. 

Thursday, ah, sweet Thursday. I got to sleep in :-)  No yoga and since I did my bike in the evening, I didn't want to run less than twelve hours later.  Got home, changed and went to the t'mill.  Browsed the owner's manual, figured out how to accurately do the manual mode.  I, in a state of dreaminess, managed to program it for some random hills. . . not a good move on my part. I kept adjusting the incline; every time the incline went up, I pushed it back down, not to -0-, but to 1.5 or 2 for the most part. The Mike got home just as I was getting started and he came down and road his bike. . . with the observation that this is the only time we can run/bike and stay side-by-side :-D  How awesome is that?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Feels good to get sore

Last weekend we went north to Minnesota to pick up the Mike's bike from the shop.  One of the highlights of the drive happens to be the modern windmills.  As you're driving straight west on the highway there are a series of four or so that are in a straight line and all you can see are their blades turning at different points. I think it's a gorgeous sight to see.  The Mike took this photo for me, as I was driving.  Pic was just as we were entering the curve so you can see the poles here, but that's better than seeing the semi that was blocking the view before ;-) 

I hadn't done a lot of running since last Wednesday (9 days ago) when I did whatever I did to my ankle. Saturday was an off day and I feel like a bump on a log having not done any long running.  I don't think I'd have thought that three, four years ago! Monday yoga was good, Tuesday I did a mile, Wednesday was yoga and felt great, though there were things there I wasn't sure I could do, but got them done and then to ride the bike for an hour, which I did on the trainer in the basement that night with the cat wanting to know when I was going to be done (he just kept passing back and forth, back and forth).    As I did the biking at night, I wasn't going to be able to run Thursday morning, so I headed to the gym after work to do the task.   7 miles on the agenda, specific times for the miles--see how I could do.   I did first mile as warm up, then started in doing the others with no breaks.  Okay, I was doing this, felt gooood.  Then after 3.8 miles of the 5 miles at the specific pace my legs said 'that's it.  we can't sustain this'.  I dropped the speed thinking I could do it a little slower, but the legs still weren't having it.  I did do 7 miles, but I ended up walking the rest. In order to get a workout in, even at the walk, I bumped up the incline to 5%. 

Which brings me to yoga today.  Less than twelve hours after that run I was doing yoga.  Let's say more of the muscles burned today in yoga than I think they have in the last 8 classes!

After the gym last night, where I watched my favorite show, I headed to the grocery store. Oh, what a reminder to NOT shop when hungry; however, I didn't get anything we 'didn't need' aside from the ground lamb that was on sale for it's 'use by date'.  Lamb burgers are on the menu for Friday night. :-)  YUM.  Normally, I only get these at the State Fair!  

Have to say, I am loving the new car.  The whole, back it up to the sidewalk, open the trunk via a button, bring groceries to the house for the Mike to put in kitchen, run back to car for the last of the groceries, push of a button and the trunk closes.  Ahhh, I can get use to this 'valet' service :-)  Now if only the alleged "break in period" happens so  I can start getting the gas mileage promised me on the sticker! 

Dinner was fabulous, so I had to take a picture!  Mixed green salad with avocado and tomatoes, mashed potatoes from scratch with butter, milk, sour cream and pepper, broiled salmon with topping of greek yogurt, herbs de provence, a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of cinnamon (pretty good, but I'd recommend making ahead so the herbs can soften), and cottage cheese. 

Now to rest up, stretch throughout the day and get my run in tomorrow.  Originally we were planning to visit my parents this weekend, but thanks to the blizzard forecast for Colorado, Nebraska and western Iowa that won't be happening. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday! February!

January went by so quickly and before it left it gave us a taste of March, April weather.  48 degrees the last two days!  WOW. 

Don't think the nice temps will stay though;  newsman says a cold front is going to move in.  I really hope so. I'm odd, I like the snow and cold. I don't like wind. . .wind is good training, but bad for me. I hate wind when running.  As long as the temps stay constant I don't care if it's 100 or 50 or 20 or 0. . . the days like now where it's 50 one day and 20 the next drive my body nuts.

Monday did yoga. Very nice, more central core workout.  Long day for me. Got home from work about 9:30 and was in bed about half hour later.

Yesterday I was suppose to run a gentle 2 miles. I woke up feeling better than I have in a very long time, makes me wonder how long I've had some kind of a bug.  I did a mile on my lunch break.  Yeah, probably should have gotten up and done the two in the morning!

Another day of yoga this morning, at o'dark thirty.  The leader reminded us it's FEBRUARY already!  How is this possible??? Back to yoga, love it, even if there is a lot of core work. . . core work is good for runners, right? That's what I keep telling myself anyway, and the core is needed to hold the abs in.  Got to work on the abs/core.  Working up a sweat in yoga. Bad thing is that I haven't figured out the exercise in the morning in addition to yoga.  I normally get up, go for my run, get ready for work.  Instead, I'm getting up for yoga, coming back, tidying the house and then doing the exercise at night, which is hard for me. I usually do grocery shopping, errands, etc after work so exercising then is hard to work in for me.


Sunday, I made a double batch of the pizza crust recipe I have. brown rice, tapioca and teff flour for a nice soft crust that doubles well for pita/fold over sandwich wrap.  When it's still raw dough, it also makes great pigs in a blanket covering/blanket.   Then made Jasmine rice. How sad that I can't recall what went in it!  Yesterday was 'dinner on your own' day.  I had a ham and cheese sandwich for dinner, along with Fage 0% greek yogurt with honey.  YUM!  (okay, okay, I also had some hershey chocolate miniatures--who can resist those this time of year?) 

No pics this time.