Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It has to be said....

I resisted the beta blog come-ons for a long time before I succumbed. Now I am glad I did because I am having way too much fun and spending way too much time messing around with my layout now. This might be the one instance when something really was changed for the better!

Pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes

I made Pumpkin and chocolate chip cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World today. It is the second time I made them. I thought about trying a new recipe but frankly, I wanted a sure deal. My last VCTOTW escapade went south really fast on me. Check out the close ups :-) I figured out how to do that, or rather my daughter who is more technically advanced than I showed me how (she also setup my cell phone). Don't the cupcakes look scrumptious? I made them in mini cupcake tins, all the more perfect for bento. I also did a mini loaf pan version, just because mini is where it is at. The icing is a cinnamon butter icing, very simple. You can actually see the cinnamon flecks in the close ups. These are great cupcakes as they freeze wonderfully.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Crappy times in River City

I have been sick since Christmas day - sinus infection and head cold. I haven't run since the Sunday before Christmas. All I do is get up, go to work, come home and deal with all the attendent kid and dog drama. This week was only four days but it felt like the longest.....I woke up this morning thinking, how can it NOT be Saturday yet????

Needless to say I am looking forward to this weekend - no plans. I do hope if the illness abates to head down to Highland forest on Sunday for a day of hiking and letterboxing with Angus and Cosmo. Sunday is forecast to be the best day of the weekend and I am looking forward to getting some fresh air with the dogs.

I have lots of blog reading to catch up on.....

Wednesday and Friday's lunches

Wednesday's lunch:

Upper left is a salad with sprouts, pine nuts, carrots, etc. with two little containers fulled with ginger sesame dressing. Upper right container has rice (made with the superb Zojirushi rice maker - love it, love it, love it!) topped with tofu, green beans and carrots sauteed in a bottled asian barbeque sauce. Bottom container is grapefruit sections. The fourth container was filled with walnuts, Lorna Doone cookies and chocolate graham bunnies. A dear friend brought me over a Christmas filled with all sorts of goodies including chocolate graham bunnies. They are my new addiction :-) Anyways, I ate them at my desk before lunch because I was hungry so no picture of them.

I bagged out of work early on for a family function so no lunch on Thursday. Friday's lunch:

Upper left is a salad, with the recurring ginger sesame dressing. Upper left is rice sprinkled with sesame gomasio. Bottom left is a baggie of rosemary bread chips alongside a container of jalapeno/lime hummus from here. Bottom left is vegan 'chicken' nuggets with asian barbecue sauce in the blue container for dipping.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Lunch 12/26/06

I received a new camera for Christmas :-) Santa was very, very good to me. Anyways, this was my lunch for today. It was very good but looking at it now, I can see it was very boring colored. But it was good :-) I have already adjusted tomorrow's lunch to be a little more colorful.
Top left, slices of mini bread (I made rolls for Christmas dinner and put the leftover dough in mini loaf pans. Tucked in there is also a Christmas cupcake, and two little containers of Frank's hot sauce. Top right is some all natural applesauce, sprinkled with cinnamon. Bottom left is beans and greens (kale) from the freezer. Next to it is some vegan broccoli casserole left over from Christmas dinner. It was a lot of food that fit in my Mr. Bento lunch pail.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Running away the Midwinter Blues

I just signed up for the Beaver Lake Midwinter Blues Run on February 4. This will be Trailhoundz' first race. I am going to run it with her or at least try to keep up with her :-)

Saturday, December 16, 2006


This week did not go quite as I expected. My plan was to run Monday (hills), Wednesday (three miles), Thursday (2 miles), Saturday (45 minutes). I got the Monday run done but somehow the next two runs simply vanished into the mists of other responsibilities and commitments. Needless to say, Cosmo was distraught and all up in my business continually. But this morning, Cos and I headed out to the park for our long, slow run, supplied with orange glazed scones for an after-run snack. Our plan was to run 45 minutes.

My inside, right knee has been hurting a little bit. Not much, just a bit. So I was determined to take it easy, nice and slow, about a 12 m/m pace. The west trail is 4 miles long and I figured I would be slightly before the turnaround at 22:30 minutes. I started out, feeling fine and imagine my surprise when I reached the turnaround at 22:36. Hmmmm....I thought. I might be able to do the whole 4 miles in 45 minutes. Just past the half way point, Bridg, doubled back to meet up with me (because she was way ahead of me being a fast little bugger) and took over Cosmo duty so I was free to concentrate on my running. I really, really can't wait for the hands free leash to arrive :-) I kept track of the quarter mile times. I knew it was going to be close and resigned myself to not making it in 45. I just slowed down slightly between 2.5 and 3 miles. I hit the last half mile to go mark at 39:30 and knew it was going to take some effort. When I got to the last quarter mile, I picked it up as much as I could and hit the start point at exactly 45:00 for an average 11:15 m/m. Certainly not 'fast' by any runner's definition but I am very, very happy to have set that pace over 4 miles. My goal is to eventually be able to do 4-6 mile runs under 11 m/m and I am beginning to feel it just might happen. :-)

Oh, by the way....the scones are spectacular. Vegan with a Vengeance. Everyone should have this cookbook.

Things are starting to add up

I am slow.

I am slow because I am fat.

I am fat because I like to eat.

I like to eat so I bake a lot.

I like to bake so I bought Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I bought VCTOTW and I make a lot of cupcakes.

VCTOTW = slow running.

Anyone want some cupcakes? I plan on making the Lime Coconut ones and the Orange filled ones this weekend. This in addition to the glazed orange scones I made last night (that I am hoping to pawn off on the running group this morning as an after-run snack). I really, really, need to stop baking.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Riding to the Challenge

I usually teach two cycle classes each Tuesday and Thursday. My second class has ended for the current session and won't start up until sometime in January. So, today I taught the 4:30 class, bopped my way home to feed the canines, and bopped back to the Y to sub for Bob's 6:30 class.

Last week, he had no one. Not a single soul. He takes the summer off and starts his class up every November. It usually takes a month or so for the start up to get through to the members and they start to realize that the class is back on the schedule. I thought for sure I would go tonight, hang out for 15 minutes, have no one show, and bop my way back home. I was so sure of this scenario, I rode hard my first class. Very hard.

What happens? 6:30 comes around, I head to the cycle studio and what is there? Or rather who is there? 6 riders. Only one I have ever seen before. Who are these people? I don't want to teach - I want to go home. I am tired, sweaty and cold. And what is worse? 3 of these riders were......well, I don't want to say anything nasty because they were very nice and respectful guys. But they were 3 hardcore riders and they were expecting to ride hard. And I was tired, sweaty, cold and had convinced myself that I wouldn't have to ride at all.

So the music went on and we started. And they are chatting amongst themselves like they are out on a pleasure ride. No biggy. Usually riders chat for the first two or so songs and then everyone gets down to serious business. Well, my serious business wasn't making a dent with these fellers. So I had to up my game. About the only thing that worked on these guys were intense hills. So we did them. We did a lot of them. We did standing uphill sprints. We did standing runs. I kicked my own butt :-/ I will be paying for this tomorrow. I finished the class with nothing left - completely wasted. They left looking like they had a good ride but they still had a lot left. Bastards........They are the same guys that are always finishing races when I am right about reaching the half way mark. LOL

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hills are our friends!

We have been running hills on Mondays now for about 3-4 weeks. I can't believe how - I don't want to say easier because they aren't - much less intimidating and gutwenching they are. AMT has written about running hills and I have seen what she has said repeated in other articles, such as here and here, so I decided to give the 'slow it down but give it equal effort' school of thought a try. Well, surprise, surprise. The hills weren't bad. I mean, they were still hills but I didn't feel like vomiting up a lung when I reached the top and as a bonus, the whole run felt great. Everyone did great running tonight. Momo has his new bro but because it was over 40 degrees, he ran naucky. It was too bad because I really wanted to show him off in his mauve, lime, orange and pink striped bro :-). He also almost took out Sue and Sherri at one point running - he was a little excited when we started and wanted to run faster than I did.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Two new purchases

In our ever present quest to eat healthy (and because we are kind of Japanese obsessed) we just bought a rice maker. We bought a Zojurishi model. I gotta say, the rice really DOES taste different made in this machine. It is pretty neat, simple and user friendly but still with lots of options. I have been setting it on delay the night before and we wake up to hot, freshly cooked rice to go in the thermal bentos for lunch.

In the "Nothing good will ever come out of this" department, we also bought a bread machine:

Well, maybe something good will come out of it. The husb is trying to eliminate gluten from his diet to see if that might solve some digestive problems. Yeah, try eating out with him. "Hello, thanks for the menu. I am vegan and gluten free!" Anyways, store bought gluten free bread sucks and is expensive. We made a loaf in the machine and it was much better. Merry Christmas to us.

Add these to purchases to the purchase I just made of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and dangerous times are ahead. Good thing I am adding that 4th day of running. I have made two recipes so far - the pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes (conveniently photographed by 5CG for her lunch tomorrow) and the cappacino, espresso creme filled cupcakes. Both were very, very good but the pumpkin ones were supreme in their simplicity.

Sunday Stats

Monday I didn't run with the group - it was too cold and snowy. I really thought the roads would be too slick but it turns out some hardcore runners did show and run the hills. Drat! Cos and I will be out there with them tomorrow though.

Tuesday - After teaching two cycle classes, I ran 2 miles on the treadmill - just to prove to myself I could :-). All you out there that treadmill it - I gotta give it up to you. It was brutal, boring and brutal but I did it.

Wednesday - 3 miles

Thursday - 2 cycle classes

Saturday - 40 minutes (probably just under 3.5) at the park. I had to catch the group twice. Once because of a Cosmo poop break and then because Bridg and I got ahead before the turnaround. It was a good feeling run.

Last week was the 12th week of the 12 week ride so I am done teaching that class until the new session begins. I am down to teaching only two classes a week, on Tuesday and Thursday. I think this is the point for Cosmo and I to add a 4th day running. I am thinking about doing an easy 2/2.5 mile run on Thursdays. Got to step up the game.

Speaking of which - Cosmo got his 'bro' today :-) If the weather cooperates, he will wear it tomorrow evening for the hill run. It is so gorgeous on him, mauve, pink, orange, teal stripes. Absolutely stunning. I should also be getting the new hands-free leash set up within the next two weeks. Freaking place makes the things to order and they are a month behind! I talked to the owner the other day on the phone and he assures me that they use nylon webbing for the leash that is rock climbing grade and that the latches are tested to 500 lbs.

I also did just get a new reflector vest. A co worker told me of a scary close call he had with a car while out running with his dog, so I thought, better safe than sorry. It is getting dark so early around here. It really sucks.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I cut my own hair today

So, after getting dressed for work, I was taking one last look over in the mirror to make sure my underwear wasn't showing and as I turned to leave the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of my hair from the side. There were two locks hanging way down my back, about 2 inches longer than the rest of my hair. Could only a few strands grow faster than other hair? It really looked stupid, like that style that little boys had a few years ago with the long rat tails hanging down their backs. I grabbed a pair of scissors, reached behind me, grabbed the offending long hair and whacked it off. Or I thought I did. I looked in the mirror again, and there were the two over-long locks still hanging down. So I gave it another go. And another and another. I ended up with the two long locks gone and two huge handfuls of extra hair on the bathroom counter. I can't really see the back of my head very well to know what exactly I hacked off in my attempt to even up my hair but no one really pays attention to the back of people's heads, do they?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Happy Birthday

In my self-pitying funk this weekend, I neglected to post about the momentous occasion on Sunday. Cosmo turned 7 years old. He got lots of treats, lots of pets and a knuckle bone to chew. Happy Birthday to my running partner, Momo!

Bridg came to dinner and....

all I got was this lousy bottle of wine! Sorry, but I couldn't resist! LOL

Seriously, we laughed a lot over this bottle. It was only $4.99 and it really wasn't bad. It was dry and very mild, it didn't taste strongly of tannins. Definitely worth $4.99!

Suffice it to say.....

My run Saturday was horrible :-) Thanks to everyone for their kind words and support - I have the best friends, the best running mates (including most especially, Momo) and the best cyber buds.

Saturday was very cold and windy but out at the the lake, we were sheltered from the wind. I ran 3.5 miles. I felt very tired with heavy legs as soon as we started out. When we reached the 1.75 mile turn around, it just hit me. I felt like I was on a death march :-) The trail is marked off in .25 mile segments. I told myself to get to the next quarter mile marker and then I could walk. When I reached that point, I said to myself, 'you got here. Just go to the next quarter mile and then you can walk'. I did that little internal talk SIX times to get me through the return trip. I was running so slow, Momo was at the end of his leash, pulling. He even turned back and looked at me several times as if to say, 'What the hell am I pulling here? C'mon!'.

Anyways, it sucked. I felt very bad most the weekend about it. It just seems like running is something I work so hard at and I never seem to get better/faster/or it becomes easier. Ah well.........such is life (I can say that now but last weekend? No way!)

I was supposed to run last night - our hills. I watched the weather all day and I honestly thought it was going to be do-able but then about 4 pm, the snow started accumulating on the roads and the wind kicked up. It was probably about 25-28 degrees at that point, so I bagged it. And there was no way I was going to head to the gym and brave those crowds. Sorry ladies for not showing, I hope you had a good run. As soon as Momo gets his Bro (and no, IowaGH, you can't rescue him! A bro does not constitute violating my adoption agreement! LOL :-P ), I will feel more comfortable with him running in colder temps. The Bro rocks. He DID want to go last night :-) I stayed home, made gluten free chocolate mocha muffins for the husb, vegan chocolate chips for me, and homemade, vegan cream of tomato soup for both of us.

Thanks again everyone (although, trailhoundz, resurrecting that old article was a low blow :-)). I am sure my next run will be better - hope springs eternal, right?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wanted: Running partner for greyhound

When I started running, my goal was to be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes. Almost 4 years later, I am still not there. So, I thought to myself, maybe I am just not cut out for anything faster than an 11 m/m. That's ok. Maybe my forte is distance. I will be one of those people who run at a snail's pace but can go forever. This morning I have decided I am neither. I am truly mediocre. Cosmo deserves a better running partner :-/