Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Second Very Veggie Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe we have now been vegetarian for over 1.5 years.  We have been exploring some great new recipes and our veggie fare has really expanded.  The Thanksgiving menu was as follows:

Stuffing (recipe modified from Giada)
Mashed Potatoes with Vegan Gravy (recipe from )
Zucchini al Forno (recipe from Giada)
Rosemary Bread
Steamed Green Beans with REAL butter
Stuffed Celery (I am not sure if my family created this; I seem to be the only one who likes it!)
Cranberry sauce
Corn (from a can, requested by Gina)
Cassada Cake (lovingly prepared by Jerry)

As you can see, we pretty much had standard Thanksgiving food sans the turkey.  I never miss the turkey.  Yes, it smells great, but it always made me sleepy and did strange things to my stomach.  We are just fine without it.  After we ate, we took the dog and went for a wonderful walk around Hudson Springs Park.

My blog has been quiet.  I have not had much to say.  The fall was not the happiest time around here.  It sort of sounded like a country music song:  my neighbor died, the car broke down, the days got short, the money ran out, etc etc.  And on top of it all I did something strange to my knee/leg back in September and am just now starting to feel comfortable running again.  I saw an ortho guy who looked at me like I was crazy.  We could not reproduce the pain in his office so apparently I was just imagining the whole thing.  Whatever.  I will slowly come back and thoroughly appreciate every step I take while doing so.

Abby had an amazing cross country season for her freshman year of high school.  She earned her Varsity Letter and PR'd at 22.18.  The season was super muddy. 
Gina offering support after the Woodridge Race at CVNP

Gina modeling new boots in the middle of the course

Muddy but relieved to have THAT over!

Gina has decided to not swim for the high school this year.  It was a difficult decision for her.  She really did not enjoy last year at all.  She made a pro/con list and it became pretty obvious what she should do.  Now she has embarked on a new path and is happier than ever.  She is volunteering at the Humane Society and tutoring younger kids after school.

Jerry will run a 50K in January.  After that we will make our plans for spring and summer.  So far we have college visits, a trip to Florida to see the Harry Potter stuff at Universal, and a return to the Adirondacks to look forward to in 2012!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer Projects

We started the summer with a long list of projects!  First and foremost was building a proper wooden fence in the backyard for Mia and any future dog we may get.  We documented the fun-filled weekend process and you can watch the resulting video here on Jerry's blog.

We also promised Abby a re-do of her bedroom.  She chose a beautiful color called Sunporch and did most of the painting herself.  New bedding and drapes were also involved, as was a major clean up of all the little nooks and crannies of her room!

We celebrated Gina's 16th birthday in July.  That was a big celebration and involved planning a small, yet special, party for her and about 10 friends.  Lots of candy and sparklers!  We have spent a fair amount of time teaching her to drive.  I will not include a photo of that - I am sure you can imagine the white knuckles and terrified faces all on your own.

Abby has been practicing with the high school cross country team since the middle of June.  This has been somewhat time consuming since the scheduled runs are all in parks at least 20 minutes away.  Our efforts to carpool were not so successful, but that just meant that I had to get up and go run also.  It worked out great!  We would pull in the parking lot.  She would get out and join her team.  I would sneak out of the car and run in the opposite direction so as not to embarrass her!  I got in a ton of great running that way and in some of our most beautiful parks and trails.  I am so looking forward to the high school season and seeing how the team does this year.  Friday night football games, Saturday morning cross country meets.  It's gonna be awesome!

I made a rather large project out of planning a very small vacation.  We did a quick trip through PA and NY.  The highlights being a stop in Letchworth Park to view some awesome waterfalls and gorges. We spent the night at the Glen Iris Inn (in two separate rooms!) and enjoyed a great vegan dinner in the restaurant.

From there we went on to Ithaca for more waterfalls and an amazing dinner at the Moosewood Restaurant - well known for their cookbooks and vegetarian fare.  It did not disappoint and was well worth the drive to say we have been there!

Our last and very spontaneous stop was at Farm Sanctuary.  The picture says it all!  It was the perfect ending to our mini-vacation to spend some time with farm animals at an organization which promotes their well-being and rescue from abuse.  The more I learn about the meat industry the more commited I am to this vegetarian lifestyle.  I have to thank my daughters for asking me where our food comes from and what has been done to it before it hits our table.

 And here we are this past weekend volunteering at the Burning River 100-mile Endurance Run.  Jerry has completed this race twice.  He has run it as a pacer.  We have been his crew and have spectated as much as possible.  Now we can add that we have manned an aid station together!  We worked at mile 28 from 7 am until 2:30 pm and really enjoyed giving back to the sport in this way.  Awesome fellow volunteers and the runners are always so inspiring. It still boggles my mind that someone can run that far!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Caveman Crawl Trail 5K

I kind of thought things would slow down a bit with Gina in Italy for three weeks, but that has not been the case.  Abby and I have been buzzing around getting in some fabulous runs in preparation for the official start of unofficial high school practices for her team.  We ran the Buckeye Trail a lot through South Chagrin and Bedford.  We saw a huge snapping turtle laying eggs!  We got lost a couple of times without Jerry leading the way, but we always managed to eventually find our way along the blue blazes.

Practice has now started for her and I will definitely miss our time on the trails together.  I have a feeling she will eventually get tired of waking up early to run with the cool kids and will opt for an evening run with her slowpoke parents.  At least I hope so.....I find it hard to explain what a joy it is to watch her bound down the trail in front of me.  Plus I think she scares all the snakes away.

The above photo was taken last Sunday, June 12th.  Jerry had traveled to Pennsylvania sans support and successfully completed the Laurel Highlands 77-mile Ultra. You can read his report here.  We are super proud of him and promise to go next year IF he does it again!  Abby and I ran the Caveman Crawl Trail 5K at the West Woods in Geauga County.  It was a blast!  Abby ran a 25.40 and I was about a minute behind her. It was hilly and I was on high alert the whole time - I think my brain was working harder than my body:  roots, mud, people, uphill, downhill, where is Abby, how much longer!?  Somehow, Jerry managed to beat us home and it was a nice moment to grab a photo of him with his wooden trail marker replica awarded to all finishers and Abby with her second place medal around her neck. The stories flew around all day.  The only thing missing was Gina, but she is apparently full of stories for us upon her return Sunday. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Opposite of Peace


Gina left for her 3-week adventure in Italy on Monday.  I knew that the sermon at church on Sunday would hold something special for me.  It seems that always happens - before a big event it feels like our pastor is speaking directly to me.  So when he announced a few weeks ago that the new sermon series would cover the Fruit of the Spirit, I quickly counted on my fingers to the last Sunday in May:  love, joy, peace.  Awesome - a sermon on peace right before my baby girl leaves on her first big trip across the pond.

Pastor Coffey did not disappoint me.  He never does.  It takes ALOT to hold my attention for half an hour.  So when he started off by saying that the opposite of peace is worry, I was hooked.  I am a B.I.G. worrier, especially when it comes to my family.  I won't try to paraphrase the sermon but if you are a worrier, click on the link to our church and you can listen to it at your leisure.  The basic points for me were 1).  I am not driving the car (which translates into I am not in control) and 2).  This story ends well (which translates into God cares for me and worrying serves no purpose and never changes an outcome). 

So off Gina went covered in love, joy and peace!  I made a promise to myself not to worry over her.  The first text message early Tuesday morning indicated a safe arrival.  It was punctuated with exclamation points and smiley faces.  Half a day later, the next text said the words every mother fears:  my tummy is not 100%.  No exclamation point, no smiley face.  I started to worry - but only for a minute.  There was nothing I could do to help her.  She would have to deal with this on her own.  I have mentioned previously the exorcist-like sounds she makes when she throws up.  I prayed for the family she is with and hoped for the best.  Maybe it was just nerves and her stomach would settle down.  This morning she texted this:  What a night!  I threw up 6 times but L was really helpful and I feel better now.  Kept the food simple just finished pasta biana and cherries for lunch.  Now A feels sick so shes sleeping but we talked italian during lunch very fun having a great time!  Will call tonight!

So see, I didn't need to worry.  She made it through with God "driving the car."   The story ended well and it even had lots of exclamation points!  I am sure the rest of her trip is going to be incredible.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Earth Day Marathon!

The Earth Day Marathon was April 17 in BEAUTIFUL Gambier, Ohio.  Despite torrential rain on Saturday, the forecast was pretty good for Sunday.  Temps in the high 30s, low 40s but winds predicted up to 30 mph.  They nailed the forecast and it was good to be mentally prepared for the bashing that strong in-your-face winds can provide.  I managed to figure out from the course map that there would be a headwind for miles 4-8 and then again from miles 19-26.    I had no major goals but to enjoy the day, be friendly, and stay positive.  Mission accomplished with a 4:21 finish which was almost but not quite a personal worst.  The course was absolutely beautiful!  Cows on a grassy green hillside lit up by peaks of sunshine and blue sky - I was in farm girl heaven!

This race had to have the most friendly runners on earth.  I can probably count on one hand the people who did not speak to me as we crossed paths.  The double out and back course was great.   There were 260 folks running the half and 117 running the full marathon.  Being able to see people in both directions was a very very nice distraction.  Even the lead runners had a nice little something to say to me when we passed!

When things got a little rough in the last 7 miles I starting thinking of our church and decided that I could just go ahead and have a little church of  my own.  Pastor Brandon would say,  " I was gettin' my church on!"  I sang a little Newsboys (out loud - no one was around), I said good morning to the cows, and then I gave myself a little sermon:  Just keep going, don't get negative, this will eventually end.  I closed with Amazing Grace.  This past Sunday was Easter and Amazing Grace (David Crowder style) sounded so much better with a worship band and 400 people belting it out! 

I actually passed a few people in that last stretch.  I ended up being the 8th female of 37 AND I WON MY AGE GROUP!   As I approached the finish, I saw Jerry with the dog paw sign.  I saw the girls run towards the track which I hoped meant they were going to do the final 0.2 miles around the track with me.  I was so happy to see them and have them join me for the finish. 

What a happy day!  Here are some pictures Gina and Abby took throughout the day.

Here we are at the start!  I am empowered by the fact that Gina let me borrow her sweatpants!  It already feels like a great day.

About mile 4 and already  happy that I wore shorts and not tights.

Babs and Beans on the train!

Of course, Jerry could not refuse playing on the train either!

Approaching mile 13.  I'll just carry this drink with me!

Mile 20ish.  Jerry FINALLY remembers my chapstick!  Notice the lack of a crowded course?

A curb approaching mile 26??!!  Then a small, steep downhill??!!  Ouch.......

Best.  Feeling.  Ever.

The haul:  Finishers Medal, Finishers Mug, Pine Seedling,  Socks, and a Hat.  Not to mention the tech tee and sunscreen from packet pick-up.  Not bad for a $50 registration fee and four months of running in crappy weather!  I'd do it again......

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breakin' 25

Yesterday was the 39th Cleveland Spring Classic in Strongsville.  Last year all four of us participated and came home with t-shirts and trophies.  This year Abby was the only one to represent and she did us proud!

I had put off registering since April is to be a crazy month, but early in the week Abby asked when the race was and indicated that she would really like to go again this year.   I signed her up that night.

I even made the drive to Strongsville on Friday to pick up her packet to ensure that she would get a small t-shirt.  In the past we have had notoriously bad luck with races running out of small size shirts.  She is tiny and an adult medium would never make it.  She said to me later in the day, "Where do people who don't run get their t-shirts?"  We decided the answer to that is vacations and bat miztvahs.

Saturday morning we saw Jerry off on a rather long training run and then we headed west.  It was a nice cool morning with a very fine drizzle in the air.  Gina even dragged herself out of bed to watch Abby run.  This race has free registration for kids under 14 so there were about 4 or 5 buses from Cleveland schools. There were 27 girls in Abby's 1-14 age group but she held them off and crossed the line in 24.36 and was handed a nice 1st place trophy for her shelf.  Her goal going in was to break 25 minutes for the first time so this is her new PR.
From there it was on to Starbucks for mocha and a well-deserved blueberry scone.  It was a great day for her - no puking, gagging or other stomach malfunctions.  We hope to do lots of racing this summer and she has definitely inspired me to try and go a little faster now!  She will have to drop a full 2 minutes to reach my 5K PR, but I am pretty confident that will eventually happen.  Sniff....

Today Gina participated in the Swim for Diabetes.  She was not feeling well but somehow managed to swim 200 laps (5000 yards)!   Another great week of family fitness!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Milestones and Goals

Sunday:  5 miles with Jerry
Monday:  4 miles
Tuesday:  14 miles
Wednesday:  4 miles treadmill
Friday:  10 miles
Saturday:  4 miles

Total:  41 miles

Sunday:  20 miles
Tuesday:  5 miles with local momma-speedster Jackie
Wednesday:  8 miles
Friday:  4 miles
Saturday:  13 miles

Total:  My First FIFTY MILE week!

WooHoo!  I did not plan to run a 50 mile week but while doing the math in my head during the last mile of saturday's long run, I realized that I would have 49 miles for the week.  It did not matter that it would be a high mileage record for me, I needed to do one more mile and make it 50.  I know that a 50-mile week is poppycock to lots of runners out there, but for me it is a new milestone.  So the last 3 weeks of training went really well at 45, 41, and 50 miles per week.  It's taper time.  My goal for the marathon:  Enjoy and Finish.

The twenty mile run stunk though.  We had spent the morning down in the Valley cheering on many friends during the Fools Run 50K, especially my pal V who came from Maryland to run her first trail run.  It was super cold and windy although the sunshine was awesome.  Here we are after the finish.  She makes everything look so easy!  A pot of coffee at our house later, and we once again said good-bye to each other.  Then I changed and headed out for the dreaded 20-miler.  Jerry joined me for the first 10 miles.  That was nice.  The second 10 miles were torture!  I was beat down by the wind and solitude.  I hate it when that happens.

Abby will have her first track meet this week.  She did a pretty nice job keeping up with her running over spring break.  A 6:40 mile on the treadmill kept her motivation up.  She has some nice goals set for track this year.  I think her 1600 PR is 6:32 so she is fairly certain she will crack that. 

Gina has been having a good old time during her break from swimming.  She set a goal that she would walk or run at least one mile every day during the season of Lent.  She has not missed a day and has covered some nice ground.  She is also doing push-ups everyday and whatever else she can come up with - exercise ball, uphill lunges,  etc etc.  She is a pretty funny girl and listening to her find new muscles has been quite humorous.  I know that swimming is a GREAT sport, but it is not weight-bearing exercise and some of those muscles could use some strengthening.  So we are hitting the bike path as much as possible.  Our walk on Saturday evening was great - we had seen Jane Eyre at the theater which set the girls off on perfecting their British accents.  I spent the entire walk smiling and giggling to myself as they carried on their rather silly conversation:  As do I sister, Quite Right, Oh you vex me,  and so on and so forth........

We also passed our one-year anniversary of being vegetarian!  That feels really great!

The other milestone is that Gina now officially can drive!  What a strange feeling to sit in the passenger seat as your teenager takes the wheel.  I think I was sweatier after that event than when I did the 20-miler!  She actually did a great job, but we have a lot of work to do before hitting the roads for real.  For now we are sticking to parking lots and the roads that connect the schools and anywhere else with limited traffic.  But if you live locally - consider yourself warned!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hello Spring!

Sunday:  3.2 miles treadmill
Tuesday:  8 miles
Wednesday:  5.5 miles
Thursday:  4 miles
Friday:  12 miles
Saturday:  20 minutes yoga

Total:  32.7 miles

Sunday:  4 miles treadmill
Monday:  5 miles  15 minutes yoga
Tuesday:  10 miles
Wednesday:  30 minutes yoga
Thursday:  8 miles treadmill
Friday:  10 miles treadmill
Total:  37 miles

Sunday:  5.5 miles
Monday:  4 miles with Abby!
Tuesday:  10 miles
Wednesday:  4 miles
Thursday:  18 miles
Friday:  4 miles
Total:  45.5  miles

Spring is definitely in the air.  My purple crocus flowers are blooming in the front yard and this morning I heard the spring peepers along the bike trail.  As I write this I have the office window open and the sun is shining.  Oh, if it would only last!

Things have been a bit chaotic this month.  I like to keep it positive around here so I am just going to list the big things swirling around our house:

Our cute, adorable cat Gilbert has decided to pee in the basement - not in either of the two litter boxes but in random spots of the carpet in the newly finished basement.  Argh!   Please stop little buddy - we love you and think you're are the best cat ever!  Is something bothering you?

I have started a class through the University of Minnesota on Prenatal Development and it's Influence on Childhood.  I need CECs for my postpartum doula certification and this information is perfect, however, it seems as though it will be a bit more time consuming than I thought.  It's been a long time since I had homework deadlines and doing the reading and writing online is new stuff for an old school girl.

This morning I sent an email to register Gina for Drivers' Education classes in April.  I just can't believe we are in that phase.  Good Lord, please help us!  I let her get behind the wheel in our big old church parking lot before the Saturday night service.  We went round and round, forward and back, stopped and started, and had a good laugh at two geese who decided to go after each other as Gina approached them at 5 mph.  They apparently are as dumb as they look.

Speaking of dumb animals (and I do love all God's creatures but some of them are lacking in common sense, yes?)  I killed a mole in the backyard on Wednesday.  I am so sorry little mole, but you wrecked havoc in our backyard all winter.  When the snow melted it looked like a minefield back there with big tunnels and clumps of dirt everywhere.  When I saw you out in broad daylight I knew I had to take action.  I'm Italian, I have a shovel, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Track has started for Abby and for the first time ever she had sore muscles.  She will again run the 1600 and the 800.  She was also inducted into the 8th grade Honor Corps Wednesday night.  What a LONG ceremony that was. Finally they read the excerpt from Abby's essay and she walked across the stage.  She looked so beautiful, gimping along in her dress with sore calf muscles!  I was super proud!  Yea to the Babs!

Gina also had an awards ceremony that night so we had to split up.  Jerry attended with her and was there to see her capture her second Varsity swimming letter.  Yea to the Bean!  She can now focus on getting herself ready for the big trip to Italy this summer with her friend.  Andiamo!

My marathon is one month away.  I am feeling a bit ill-prepared but mentally okay for the challenge.  If I could maintain the pace I kept yesterday for 18 miles I would be looking at a 4:10 or so finish.  That would be okay.  It's still a marathon no matter how you slice it.

Lastly,  about a year ago we contemplated a minor update of the bathroom that the girls use.  At that time we decided to hold off, but now it is officially time to get that project rolling.  Pretty much everything you would need to re-do a bathroom is now stacked in the office:  sink, faucet, floor tiles, paint, towel bar, vanity top, and shower curtain..  All we need is time.  A word to the wise though:  think long and hard before you buy a granite vanity top online!  I know it was not a smart thing to do, but after 6 long weeks of emails and phone calls our counter top finally arrived and I must say that it is absolutely beautiful!  But next time I will just go to Home Depot.

And I will leave you with this little article on Bananas because I am still seeing those rotten old banana peels everywhere I go! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

High Water & Bananas

Tuesday:  4 miles, 20 minutes yoga
Wedensday:  16 miles
Thursday:  4 miles, 20 minutes yoga
Saturday:  8 miles

Total:  32 miles

Just as the ice was almost  gone, the rains came down and now my standard running route is completely submerged under water!  We have all had to be a bit creative the past few weeks - yesterday I was finally able to venture to one of my favorite places which has been impossible to get to because of the thick and crunchy snow.  It was great to see that trail again, but everywhere I looked there seemed to be a rotten old banana peel!  It kept my mind busy - ice, snow, mud, bananas, and yellow crime scene tape blocking off the trail because of flooding.  I was naughty and went underneath just to take a peek and yes, it was definitely not passable unless you happened to have a kayak with you.

I know that spring is right around the corner - the signs are everywhere!  Technically less than three weeks till the vernal equinox.  Soon we will change the clocks forward and we will be engulfed in daylight.  The flowers will bloom, the Gurneys Seed catalog will arrive, and Jerry will fire up the lawn mower.

Spring is coming - Hallelujah!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Icy Obstacles

Monday:  4 miles treadmill
Tuesday:  5 miles treadmill
Wednesday:  10 miles treadmill
Friday:  7 miles treadmill

Total:  26 miles treadmill

The ice really stayed thick last week and forced me to stay inside and use the treadmill.  Besides the ice, it was just a tremendously busy week with family things:  Abby performed in the 8th grade play and Gina had High School swimming sectionals on Saturday.  My parents visited which was great!  There was much to do and no time to navigate the treacherous ice or crunchy snow.

This week's training schedule called for a 15 mile run so I was elated to see the weather forecast for 50s and 60s later in the week, but I HAD to do my long run on Wednesday to work around Jerry's training schedule, my work days and another busy weekend.  I was a little disappointed that the morning temp on Wednesday was still a windchill of 18 but much of the ice had melted away.  I trudged through three laps of a 5-mile out and back from our house.  I was just happy to be outside regardless of the ridiculously slow pace caused by three large residual icy patches.

One of the highlights from my run was the thumbs up from the mail man as I finished up the last lap.  That made me smile!  I also enjoyed the fact that there was little or no wind.  The real highlight though was the little green sprout of hyacinth that I noticed in our landscaping as I returned home.  Woo Hoo!  Nothing says spring is around the corner like the first sign of greenery popping up through the ground.

Gina had a great 100 backstroke swim in the University of Akron pool where sectionals were held.  She was super nervous. I was very sorry that I could not go but Jerry went and I attended the third performance of the 8th grade play.  Anyways, Gina hoped to go under 1:12 and did that and more by posting a new PR of 1:10.83.  She was much relieved.

On Sunday, Abby joined me for her first official run outdoors since the Turkey Trot in November!  We did 4-miles on the bike path at a nice and easy pace.  Oh youth - how nice it would be to not run for 3 months and then just easily cruise through 4 straight miles!  Track will start next month so I am hoping for a few more nice runs with her before she starts leaving me in the dust!

Today we are venturing over to Baldwin-Wallace college to see Rent.  It will be great to see a live performance of this great show.  Last time I watched the DVD was while running 8 miles or so on the treadmill.  This will be much better!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Monday:  4 mile run, 20 minutes yoga
Tuesdsay:  8 mile treadmill
Wednesday:  4.7 mile treadmill
Friday:  13 miles treadmill
Saturday:  2 miles treadmill

Total Miles:  31.7

Yes that was me running a half marathon on the treadmill in the basement last Friday.  It actually was not that bad - Gina was home convalescing from a terrible food day and I didn't mind being in the basement in case she needed something.  The two hours actually passed by fairly quickly.  What did I do?  Well, I listened to my ipod and broke up the run into sections.  Seven miles, bathroom break, three more miles, boredom break, and then a final three miles.   By the time I was finished I was devoid of deep thoughts and that, my friends, was lovely. 

There is not much more to report on the fitness front.   I failed miserably at yoga last week when I attempted a different instructional you tube video.  I shall not name names, but my back did not appreciate the morning stretch that this instructor beckoned me to do.  I hobbled to the cabinet and took a naproxen and hoped for the best.  It has now been a week and things feel normal again.  Whew.

Anyways, I wanted to share this great vegetarian chili recipe I found in the Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas.  It was wonderful and easy! 

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili   (vegan and serves 6)

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
One 32-ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano

1.  Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until just firm.  When cool, peel and cut into 1/2 inch dice.  Set aside.
 2.  Heat oil in large soup pot.  Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until golden.  Add the red pepper, beans, tomatoes, chiles, cumin, and oregano.  Bring to simmer.  Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes and continue to simmer until vegetables are tender.

3.  Season lightly with salt.  Garnish with cilantro if desired.

For more on Nava check out the website: 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Well, done.

Sunday:  4 mile run
Monday:  50 minutes yoga
Tuesday:  6 mile run
Wednesday:  4 mile run
Saturday:  7 mile run

Sunday:  4 mile run
Monday:  4 mile run, 30 minutes yoga
Tuesday:  6.4 mile run
Wednesday:  15 minutes yoga
Thursday:  25 minutes yoga
Friday:  12 mile run
Saturday:  4 mile run

Two week total:  51.4 miles  (All outside!!)

I am super happy to have been able to run outside for the past two weeks.  YES the temps were near zero.  YES it was cold.  NO it did not bother me.  I grew up in Western New York.  My lungs probably turned to iron by the time I was in second grade.  It seriously does not bother me to breathe in the cold air.   I just slow down my pace a bit and pay very close attention to my footing.  Most of my runs lately can be divided into two categories:  Well done and Well, done.

Friday's 12 miler was well done and I was happy to not have to do that one on the treadmill.  I just finished up today's 4 miles and entered the house and mumbled to the dog, "Well, that's done."   A different day, a different run.  Sometimes they feel good, sometimes they don't.  That's just the way life is.

But back to that cold weather!  This time of year really makes me thankful for my snowy childhood south of Buffalo.  Our days were filled frolicking in the snow during extra long winters.  We had snowmobiles, snowshoes, skis and sleds.  I can not remember ever being told that it was too cold to go out and play or that I had to come in before some body part froze off.  

I rarely let temperature alone stop me from running outside.  Icy and/or windy conditions are the things that will make me head to the basement and get on the treadmill.  Unfortunately, both of those lovely weather items are in the forecast for the week.  I am supposed to run 13 miles this weekend!  I hope there will be a small opportunity for me to get out.  Otherwise, I may have to rearrange the training schedule a little bit!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Earth Day Challenge!

I've had this race on my radar for a couple of years and I am finally going to go for it!  The date is April 17 in Gambier, Ohio.  It's a small race:  120 in the marathon and twice that in the half marathon.  The start and finish are at the Kenyon College Athletic complex and before you say anything - this is NOT a college visit!  This is going to be a chance for me to have a nice long run in central Ohio on hopefully a beautiful spring day.  No pressure, no big goals, just breathing in some fresh air and stretching out these middle aged momma legs.   With any luck, I will come home with a nice shirt, a hand-crafted mug or medal, and a pine seedling!

Sunday:  4 miles
Monday:  4.3 miles treadmill, 20 minutes yoga
Tuesday:  30 minutes yoga
Wednesday 4.8 miles treadmill
Friday:  9 miles treadmill
Saturday:  2.5 miles treadmill

Is it me or is January flying by?  I am grabbing at any chance I can to get outside and run on the bike path.  Friday's 9 miles on the treadmill left me feeling a bit like a hamster on a wheel.  I broke it into two 45-minute sessions and passed the time watching way too much TLC.  Next time I am stuck on the treadmill for over an hour I will put in a movie!  "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"  just has no purpose being a TV show.  I mean, really?  You didn't know?  Come on.........

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Eleven Eleven

Our day started with the realization that today's date is one of those fun ones.  That always gets things off to a good start.

Speaking of numbers and getting off to a good start, I managed to get some nice running in last week to start the new year.

Sunday:  6 miles
Monday:  5 miles
Tuesday:  30 minutes yoga
Wednesday:  10 mile run
Thursday:  3 miles treadmill, 20 minutes yoga
Friday:  6 miles treadmill

I also finally tallied up the numbers from 2010.  I ran a total of 1, 253 miles.  That was 80 miles less than 2009 but still satisfying.  I think I ran one 5K, one 10K, two half marathons and one full marathon.  Since I don't consider myself a "racer", those numbers are okay with me.  My t-shirt drawer is stuffed full of race shirts and a 5K can pretty much kill a Saturday morning, so I tend to stay home unless it's a race I want Gina and/or Abby to run for the experience. 

Since I usually run about 9 minutes/mile, that would mean I ran for about eight full days in 2010!

I also added up my documented time doing yoga.  Unfortunately I only came up with about 30 hours.  I was hoping for more!  I was very inconsistent and went months at a time without so much as one sun salutation or downward dog.  I will try to do better this year.  The older I get, the more I really NEED the things that yoga provides. 

My yoga practice has consisted solely of the free weekly class on Yoga Today .  Sometimes I think the one hour class is just too much for me to commit to so I end up talking myself out of it.  However, recently I discovered many yoga today videos on You Tube that are much shorter and easier to tackle.  Abby and I did three of them last night!  We finished up with the video below and felt great.  She commented about being able to breathe so much easier and I felt totally relaxed.  Try it out! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Six Mile Swim

Gina, now officially 15.5 years old, swam a 10K at her high school swim practice on Tuesday morning. This is apparently a winter break tradition:  the 100x100s workout.   That's 6.2 miles.  In a pool.  Before lunch.  I won't tell you what I was doing when I was 15, but I was certainly not swimming a 10K.  Heck I didn't even run one until I was 35 or so.  Another pretty awesome achievement for her to be proud of.  In addition, she lettered in 100 Free and 100 Back at the meets last week!

Our holidays were awesome.  The girls were off school for 14 days and Jerry was off from work for 12 days.  I was also able to take a break from my client and did minimal cooking and other household tasks.  We planned some good family dates and ended up in lots of fun places and restaurants.  The list includes Fine Points Knit Shop in Cleveland followed by a late lunch at Tommy's in Coventry.  A few days later we went to Don Drumm Studios in Akron followed by lunch at The Vegiterranean Restaurant.  To top it all off we saw The King's Speech at the Cedar Lee theater and then had dinner at Lemongrass.  Great vegetarain food at all of the above places.  Oh yeah, we celebrated the end of the first school semester at Organic Energy in Solon!  In between those activities we traveled to Dayton and western NY to celebrate Christmas and New Years with our families. 

With the New Year comes planning out events for 2011.  We've had some good discussions going and Jerry's registration for the Laurel Highlands 77-mile ultra is on its way to PA. It's undetermined if this will be a family event or if he will fly solo.   I had a good 10-mile run yesterday and feel fairly confident I can pull off training for a spring marathon.  Details coming soon!

Happy New Year to all!  I hope this is a year of good health and fitness for everyone!