Friday, March 30, 2012


Eating gluten free can be hard, but it is generally healthier than regular processed foods. I'm saying generally as it is quite possible to eat gluten free junk food or overly processed food. The only difference? Your pocketbook will really notice.

Last night I dined at the Irish Mexican food restaurant. I ordered prairie fired chicken breasts and beef enchiladas.

Tonight I'm making Annie's mac and cheese.  Annie's is in the news for.going public with their stock. Many comments can be seen with almost any article.on the topic as to why anyone would want to eat organic. Check out the ingredient list in the attached photo and then check out the blue box ingredients. I prefer ingredients I can pronounce & recognize.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Run for a cause

Saturday was a busy day.   In the morning, I joined scores of others in my area to show support for a victim of a freak accident; she was out running on the trails and was stabbed in the shoulder by a man with some issues (to say the least).  It was amazing to see so many people show up for the event, and know there were many others who wished they could have been there, but for plans to be out of town.

Then I went to a tag/estate sale.  It was a rather interesting one as it was held at the woman's apartment in a retirement home. That was a little odd, and made me feel bad walking into the place, past residents, and then walking out with items in my hands. Part of the life cycle, but stillhard.  I bought a oil panting of a street scene in Paris. The back is dated 1977.  Now I have to put another nail in the wall.  The colors are very vibrant. Interestingly, the last auction I was at and bought a painting (many moons ago when I was just out of college) was a pencil and watercolor drawing of a boating scene, in France. HA.  I guess my roots are showing.  One of the neat things is the person wrote on the back when they got it, how/why and a photo of the street scene as well (buildings/street).

Later in the day I made a trip north. The Mike decided to ride his Salsa vaja north and have me pick him up. Our official destination was the bike shop to pick up another Salsa, this one with some suspension going on.  While I was out and about on the gravel roads of the great beyond I happened down a road with windmills in the distance, and then they grew closer and closer.  This one was the closest I've ever seen to a road. Granted, it was a gravel road, a road less traveled.

I have a love/hate attitude towards the wind turbines. I love that we can get energy from them, but I don't like what they do to nature. Bats often die around them, I've read of a bird in Wyoming that doesn't cross roads (so it basically lives on ranch land and/or square miles) and that having the turbines there interferes with its life, and farmers who lease the land to the companies often give up any hunting rights on their land. Also, I think of the "dead" farm in southern Hawaii that we saw when we traveled to the south point of Hawaii county (big island). We drove past the abandoned turbine farm, which had missing blades on all the machines, and the 'new' farm that could be seen in the distance. It makes one wonder what will happen in 20, 30 years when these machines are no longer as efficient.
South Point, Hawaii County, Hawaii (furthest southern point in U.S.)
photo 11/4/2009

(South Point was also home to an aviation base during WWII. check it out here. Not much is left, just a building or two)

The sun did come out in the late afternoon. . . just in time to finish driving with the sun/heat on my side of the car as we were driving.  We got to the bike shop just in the nick of time.  Mike got his bike, got a chat in with the guys and then we fueled up the car and headed back.  We stopped at Culver's for some custard and this location happened to have the very awesome Potato Au Gratin  soup (which, now that I look at the ingrdients, probably isn't the best, but it's yummy!).  Most places carry the potato and bacon which is NOT GF; the au gratin variety is GF though! 

This morning I was wondering what to make, no bread so no french toast. Instead, I took some of the previously baked potatoes, sliced and pan fried with olive oil and butter, scrambled some eggs with Beeler's ham and had diced apples and pears on the side. 

Dinner is to be in just a little bit: fish (cod) with butternut squash, left over corn and banana bread for afterwards. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rest days

The race anticipation makes rest days before events hard. The rest days after events are joyous. It was Wednesday afternoon  before I could easily move. Wednesday I had morning yoga and a two mile run later.

Yesterday I got to sleep in and this morning was yoga, deep stretches. Tomorrow will be a short run, on paved trails to support our local trails and show that we will not allow fear to rule. A crazed man stabbed a runner in the shoulder on Monday on an older section of the trail. I don't normally run on this path, but will on Saturday along with scores of others.

It's amazing how quickly weather changes. When i was in yoga Wednesday it rained.  Today it became foggy during yoga. It wasn't beforehand, which was food as I was able to see the deer cross in front of my car.

Food wise, my diet hasn't been so good. Wednesday night we had scrambled eggs with cheese and mixed fruit (strawberries & bananas); last night we had toast & jam before falling asleep on the sofa....we didn't get to the steak house after all.  This morning, I woke up hungry, went to yoga, came back and made an awesome breakfast (photo) eggs, cottage cheese, toast & jam, and a banana. Yum!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The write up. Rock n Roll USA

[hit publish too soon, article has been completed]

Saturday was my second full 26.2 miles.  It was in D.C. The race use to be the Suntrust Marathon, one I had wanted to do last year but ended up not doing so.  It is the only marathon that runs completely in DC limits (others run into neighboring towns/suburbs).

I flew in Thursday (and boy, were my arms tired!).  My fab. sister C picked me up at Washington Nat'l and got me set up at her place.  Friday morning we got to sleep in and then take her son to daycare. Came back and did my two miles to keep stretched and then to Wash Nat'l to pick up sister T and her sweet daughter.  Back to house, out to shop, pick up son, pick up dinner :-)  OUTBACK to go. Oh, right, we also had stop at RFK stadium/Armory area to pick up race packet, spend time at expo, buy stuff, get free stuff (including GEICO pez), bought some CEP compression sleeves and drive around some, sightseeing.

Friday night was a little overwhelming.  What to wear, what to wear, when to leave the house, how to get to start, etc.  Friday was cold, it was in the 50s, overcast, chilly, etc.  Definitely a sweatshirt day for me (except when we were inside with all those expo people). 

I decided on my capris (always wear capris in racing), an UnderArmour tank, visor with green sequin band over it, a green/white garter for the arm, a green boa tied around the waist, and my hydration pack system, along with a spibelt for GUs.

We decided to drive to one of the metro stations and ride the subway/metro into the Armory neighborhood.  It was a good thing we chose the one we did, instead of driving to the next nearest one.  The train wasn't too full when we got on, more got on at the next stop and it was packed by the third stop.  The next stop had people on the train car telling others outside to NOT pry open the doors, it breaks the metro cars in DC (but maybe not in other cities).  By the time we got to the metro station stop for the Armory the platform outside was packed and we were stuck inside until that crowd started to dissipate. It was not long, but with a packed car it sure seemed like a long time.

It was 8:15am and the race started at 8, knowing that I was in corral 17 I wasn't too worried, but I was worried. My sister said to go ahead and she'd catch up with me, which she did! 

Start of race!  People were moving past me. I'm not sure what corral I ended up starting in, as I saw 16000, 17000 and 18000 numbers.

The race started with us running under a GIANT American flag. WOW.

We then ran around some of the visions of the wonderful city.   I ran with my camera, knowing I could just click the shutter and decide later if the pictures were good or not. 

The first half I think went really well.  I was about where I wanted to be for the first 13.1.  I was a few minutes over, but didn't think much of it. . . until about  mile 15 when I realized I wasn't sweating any longer. Uh-oh.  I started drinking more water, to go with the cytomax flasks I was running with.  However, I didn't want to take in too much water too quickly.  

We ran straight towards this for several blocks and then we turned.

Some fabulous spectators near Howard University!

At mile 17 I saw a man running barefoot--no Vibrams--just his barefeet.   

The statue ahead is in honor of those lost on the Titanic.

Mile 19 included running over a drawbridge. Many of us elected to walk across this for safety.

The end is in sight!  Around the stadium to the right, around and up a hill, around a curve. . . .

This is in the last .2 miles. . . up to the end of the large signs, then to the right and straight through to the finish!   Only 28 minutes longer than I had planned. . . not bad considering it was hotter than anticipated, I was dehydrated and sunburned.  I recall reading a Runner's World article on the effects of heat and how to calculate for heat/humidty, etc (last year in the summer, July edition????) and was satisfied with my finish.

Now, if I can only figure out how to mentally get through those couple of miles where there is nothing out there

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Partial story

Yesterday was the Rock n Roll series marathon weekend in Washington, DC.  The race packet pickup was in the armory, same one the Beatles played in on first US appearance. 

Morning was crazy as always getting up, dressed with nerves setting in for the body.  Got to the start a little after 8am. I was in corral 17, and still had about 20 minutes before my group crossed the start line under a massive US flag. Awesome, amazing.

More to come later with regular computer/key board. Great start with 20,000+ friends running as well, hot day with temps in mid to high 70s and a lovely lobster burn. My calf isn't nearly as red as my arms and neck.  ...pooh, and that nice garter I have on in the starting picture...guess what it did for my tan line, Haha.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Eve of the big race!

I arrived in DC last night. Spent the day with two fabulous sisters and a niece. The nephew went to childcare.

We made it to the EXPO. Got my race number/bing and all these goodies as well. I had to make a chocolate milk video too...what better way to refueling after a big run?

Time for dinner. More tomorrow hopefully!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm leaving on a jet plane. . .

I chose a long time ago (11/11/11)  to register for this race as it's in our nation's capital and I have family who lives nearby (read, free hotel) and thought it was something the sibling(s) and I could do together.

Spring forward several months and I realize:

a) Training for a spring marathon really, truly bites. I think even more so than running my first one at the end of October and then having Halloween (candy), rest days, Thanksgiving (pie, turkey, real gravy), and Christmas food holidays to gang up on my healthy eating. Training for a spring marathon means that you have to run long, even on those family holidays when you'd rather spend time with your parents who have had a very trying year.

b) I'm missing out on hometown celebration for St. Patrick's Day.  Not that I've spent many there, but it is just that I can't be there this year where as maybe years before I wasn't able to go, or gas was high, or whatever. This year it falls on a Saturday. How rockin' sweet.  Hope all ya'll in the Irish town celebrate it up!

c) I started a yoga class in the mornings.  I LOVE yoga. However, since I'm a 'roll out of bed and hit the road running' person, having yoga at 5:30AM and then getting home almost 7am isn't working well for that ability to run in the morning and be to work on time. By the time I get off work I just want to go into "wife" mode (groceries, make dinner) work late, etc. Thus, I'm worried that maybe my training isn't as it was last fall and then I realize I'm being silly.

Timing is everything and I'm  going with the training I have and know that I will do my best, which is all I ask of myself when I'm out pounding pavement. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Directions, directions, directions

Oh, how the best laid plans. . .

Sometimes I read the instructions from my coach wrong and I don't notice it until I go to record the information. Today wasn't one of those days.

Instead, we're waiting for dinner to be done. The meat is done, the fruit is cut up, the beef is cooked, the broccoli steamed and. . .and, we're waiting on the rice. I grabbed one of the jars and started to cook, that and it happens to be the one  that takes forty minutes. UGH. 

I think when this jar of rice is gone, that's it. No more of it. Only other rice that cooks faster :-D

That said, I got my run in.  5 miles, outside in 70 degree weather. I know we're not suppose to have this heat wave in MARCH in IOWA, but I will definitely take it!   The cats are loving the weather.  They get supervised visitations outdoors in nice weather. Smokie went one way, Felix went off at a right angle to her. When I gathered Smokie up, something scuttled in the leaves and she growled/hissed. I thought she was just mad. Nosireeebobby.  Instead, the thing that scuttled happened to be a squirrel which Felix helped tree.  Felix, the cat who doesn't even know he can climb a tree managed to tree something.

Cheese be gone.

Sunday I had to do an hour on the bike. Since it was in the 60s (even if it was windy), I rode outside. Hubby went with me (isn't he awesome? doing 11mph for me instead of his normal 17 or 19!).  The thing I knew before, and was reaffirmed in riding, was that biking outside for me is much different than just pedaling inside.  My bum starts to hurt on the stationary set up, but outside 50minutes had gone by before I noticed this part.  I also noticed very few people wearing helmets!  For the longest time The Mike was the only person I saw with a helmet on, and that's because he was riding in front of me!  Adults, parents, kids, almost none wore helmets.  My favorite to see in the summer is the parent with no helmet pulling a burley or hike a bike with the small kid wearing helmets. This is my "favorite" because I'm sure a four year old would be able to get aid when on a trail in the middle of nowhere (for all intents and purposes) if mom or dad had an accident and hit their respective head.  I've almost been hit by a deer out for a run, and braked on Sunday before a ground squirrel was able to hit my front wheel.  I know people who have been tossed from bikes on the recreational trail system from dogs unleashed, deer, squirrels, downed tree limbs and more.  While most end up with bruising, one even slid into a tree stump, requiring many stitches on his cheek (inside and out).  Interested in more horror stories?  Check out the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute page. It's also one of the reasons I wear a Road ID  with my contact information on it and in the interactive system.

I am officially giving up cheese. I made this decision last night and starting today, March 13, 2012 I am not ingesting any cheese (okay, I haven't decided on cottage cheese). I'd  like to work towards giving up all dairy, but since there are so many things I can't eat, why should I try to eliminate ones I can handle? Cheese can be salty and fatty (hey, this dairy farmer's daughter is NOT  into buying "fat free" anything dairy!)   I'm debating on pasta, but definitely going back to this brand instead of this one.  One it's cheaper and two, it's just rice, whereas the second one is potato and corn.  I found some Tinkyada in the pantry last night and think it's soo much better.  

Sunday night I made a pretty awesome (lazy) dinner even though we weren't that hungry with the time change and having had something after our bike ride. Baked chicken with thyme (in honor of spring forward day, HA) and basil with baked sweet potatoes (ah, put it in the oven and forget about it).   Last night's was so pathetic I'm not even putting it on the blog ;-) 

Edit: The Mike reminded me that I have flown before without him. just last year!. . . and to see the same two siblings I'm seeing this time as well :-)
How could I forget Vegas?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Falling off the wagon. . .

This is a down week in training simply as it's just a few short days to March 17 and my race day.    I can say that I took an unscheduled day off last week because I was feeling run down and needed to keep my health up.  This week the blahs hit.  Ever had the blahs just strike from nowhere? Ugh. Yoga MWF and Tuesday's workout. . . didn't do Wednesday's because I couldn't fit it in the morning, thought about ditching yoga, but decided to do yoga instead of the hill repeats. Exactly what was I thinking ditching hill repeats?  Got the upper body workout at yoga. Wednesday night I was suppose to have dinner with friends, once canceled before, once canceled that morning. I made the decision to postpone. . . so I could have done hill repeats after work, but then I went to Target with the Mike and came home made dinner. Did I mention the weather turned on Wednesday to cold, windy and rainy?

Sadly, I fell asleep on the couch Wednesday night, exhausted apparently, by about 8:30.  Up and to bed about midnight, slept in until 7AM.  Again, my body needed sleep to recover. Hopefully I'm not getting any of the bugs going around. 

Thursday, was sent to bed at 9pm by the Mike.  He's so good to me.  Asleep by 9:30, up at 4:45 for yoga. Got home and changed for running (okay, put on proper socks and shoes) and got on the t'mill.  I turned on the television and. . . no sound. Mike's been experimenting with the audio on the television, trying to get it to come through headphones instead. I couldn't figure out how to change this, so I turned off the treadmill, did some housework, dishwasher, etc, got ready for work.  Sun is out and I am hoping I can run outside tonight when I get off work.:-)   

What do I have from not doing much this week and sleeping?  I have antsy pants. . . for March 17.  Just 8 days away. EIGHT days and now I'm freaking on myself. . . 

I should have been doing ________; 
I should have been doing ____________;  
Is not getting that long run in on the Saturday several weeks ago going to hurt me (when I did 13 one night and 5 the next morning); 
flying: it'll be the first time in years I've flown by myself; before 2004 I had never flown with my husband. Since then, I've never flown without him. I am freaking a little at flying by myself.  On one level I know it's silly; on the other level, I'm like 'eek'!

and my big current freak:  Can I take powder Cytomax on the plane?????  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Deliciously lazy weekend

Maybe some wouldn't consider it to be deliciously lazy, but it sure is in this hour.  Saturday I was going to join in the 'group' run in a hilly area.  Awoke to wind and cool temps and decided that running with the wind coming across the cold river to me wouldn't be so nice--I'm always chilly on that path even without wind.  Thus, I went back to sleep :-)  Then got up later and made some walnut/date/cranberry balls and headed down to the treadmill.  Awesome Mike set up the Roku/netflix box so we watched Jet Li in The One (love that movie) and a new one to us Fearless which was a late 1800s/early 1900s time period film with Jet Li. Got done with my mileage for the day, did some stretching then some yoga moves and made breakfast/brunch pizza. Homemade crust includes brown rice and teff flour. I also found a new local company that does bacon.  Discovered it by accident really, local food place was having a 1/2 off sale since it was the 'freeze or use by" date a month or so ago. I finally remembered to thaw it out the night before.  Great bacon, not thick, not salty, no nitrates, nitrites or MSG.  WOW. YUM!.   Had pizza, turned on the tv and this is what happened to us:

We fell into "cat comas", which is actually good. After stressing the body so much (in this case, running or cycling on rollers) one needs to rest the body. 

These pics of the cats are actually from Sunday, guess I was too lazy on Saturday to get any pics of them. 

Sunday it started to snow in early afternoon. Forecast was for about an inch and they pegged it right. 

Looked out the deck doors that afternoon and with snow on the trees, it almost made me think I was in Colorado. . .except we have to work on Monday. 

Monday morning came too early.  Black cat decided to use me as a bed mat last night, so I was tossing/turning throughout the night trying to get him to stop.  Got up, grudgingly, for yoga and headed downtown.  Glad I did as I feel so fabulous afterwards.  Nice and stretched and ready for the day. 

Even though it was 10ยบ and snowy, I decided to check the river backwater stream to see if there were any eagles in the trees. Yes, there were and the sunrise was soo gorgeous, it made stopping a treat!

Eagle in left tree--the darker spot on the right portion of the tree. 

I don't know about you all, but the sun rise/set photos I take never do justice to the colors that creation has made for us.

And then I saw something fly from one bank to the other, and then another and another. . .

I managed to capture this one fairly well, the other was quite blurry. 

Not sure what it is??  Checkout the next/last photo:


The turkeys are back.  They use to be in this area and after the flood of 2008 they disappeared--okay, they migrated further south of town and were seen there. I haven't seen them in this number since. I've seen one or two by themselves last year, but that was it.  They look so tiny and harmless this far away, but when they decide to cross the road in front of your car, be sure to brake!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Yoga, running, cooking and eagles. . .

What do yoga, running,cooking and eagles have in common??  ME. :-)   

I enrolled in a yoga class which started on Martin Luther King Jr. day.  Lots of fun, lots of moves that at first were hard and are getting easier. . . or my state of mind has changed.  

15 days to my 26.2. EEK.  Sometimes  Often I have doubts. My training, I don't think, is where it was in October for my first marathon, but this one is flatter, I have the training down, I've been working more on my core, I have gotten good long runs under my belt and, I think most importantly, I listen to my body.  I'm not aiming to do something extreme and mess up my body. It's already messed up by nature ;-)  no need for me to add to it. 

Tuesday I think I had an awesome run.  Got up and on the treadmill, and hammered out the miles.  I felt awesome and that's money in the bag for my upcoming race.

Wednesday I had to do 7 miles, middle 4 at marathon pace. Felt GREAT.  Did this after work and as I was getting on the ol' t'mill the hubby came home from work and put on a movie--THE GOONIES--is there anything better?  Oh yeah, the Mike did his cycling beside me. Loving the home gym system.  I can run and keep up with my hubby on his bike. . . okay, it's cause we're both going nowhere really, but still it's fun to run at his side ;-)

Thursday was a deserved rest day. What to do to celebrate? See a LOT of eagles. Spotted two flying on my way home. Normally I see them crossing a road to home as well, so I had my eyes wide open. I didn't expect to see this:

and then. . . the camera died. So I went home and got the other camera . . . only to find out it's battery was basically dead too! Though I did get this picture out of it:

yes, each of those dark spots in the tree is a mature bald eagle.  EACH ONE. Wow.  I wasn't the only one stopping, but I am glad that years ago "they" decided the two lane bridge needed wide shoulders on it!

Then I went grocery shopping and intended to tan, but the line was really long, and thus I came home a different way.  As I was driving by the hospital I see a little red head kid (okay, he's a teen, so he's not little) and I think, 'is that ___ (the neighbor kid)?'.  So I stop, and it IS him.  He needs a ride home. Good thing I didn't tan! He's wearing shorts, no coat and has a friend with him who needs a ride too. LOL, the kid is smart though. He said he got worried when a car slowed to a stop, until I poked my head out the window.  --we got a new car 12/31 and the kid's not use to seeing it yet. 

On the way home I'm telling him about the eagles and he says, "I've never seen a live eagle, only ones in museums or books."  Well, can't have that, can we?  So we stop at the bridge again, and this time he gets to see one of these magestic birds soaring from one tree to another nearby. He is amazed and in awe.  Pretty cool.

Dinner: food. . .

I had some chicken thighs I purchased earlier this week on sale 'cause they were use/freeze by 3/1 date, so I put those in a pan with some cracked pepper, ginger, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and brown sugar: 

along with some banana bread (I use a mix, as I have not been able to make a good gluten free one from scratch)

Yes, it's fabulous :-)

Almost finished product (don't have a photo of it in the stomach, ha ha).  Shredded thighs, sweet corn and baked potato with cheese, sour cream and butter.

Stayed up later than I should have, we have netflix now and are enjoying watching the American Pickers.  We're finally into season two. 

Yoga this morning. Love Friday yoga, it's all about deep stretches and making the legs feel good from all the running and other yoga this week. 

Having charged the camera batteries last night, I was on the lookout this morning and got these pics:

East side of bridge

West side of bridge

Is there a better way to start Fridays? Yoga and multiple bald eagle sightings? 

Tonight 1 hour on bike, tomorrow 15 miles

[edited for spelling]