Sunday, June 22, 2008

*thunk* iz ded

Ran 11 miles this morning.

Actually, it went well, so well that I'm not all the way dead; just mostly dead. I've also eaten a huge lunch (HUGE. Nom nom nom.) and am eying the refrigerator and contemplating a second lunch.

I had a nifty little break-through moment earlier this week during a "short" run (4 miles -- not so long ago, that was a long run!). It felt good, so good that I remembered why I keep doing this running thing. The same thing happened today. The first 8 or 9 miles were glorious. I ran along the Mississippi, the temperature was perfect, the skies were blue. It was the kind of morning you'd like to bottle to release in January when the river is frozen over, the temperature is below 0 F and the windchill's even worse, and the skies are grey. My breath was coming easily. I was really into my stride. Everything was just clicking. There were even hawks wheeling overhead. I felt like I could go forever.

The last couple of miles pretty much sucked. A month ago I'd said something to Pete about needing to get new running shoes and soon, because while the ones I've got are fine for shorter runs, they're not going to cut it for these long runs. Well, I should have taken my own advice: at some point during today's run, I gave myself one hell of a blister in a really obnoxious spot (side of my foot, just a bit down from my big toe). How much do I hate being right...! By the time I started feeling the irritation, it was too late and I was still too far from home -- and I hadn't brought my cell phone, so I couldn't even call Pete to come get me. Since there really wasn't anything else I could do, I sucked it up and kept going and tried not to favor that foot. But of course I was favoring it, which threw my stride off, which started doing weird things to that leg. By the time I got home, I was Ms. Gimpy. Argh.

I also hadn't brought enough water, because I was counting on Pete and the girls to show up on their bikes with waters at some point. I'd emailed my route to Pete and everything (he and the girls were still asleep when I left the house). Alas! Map My Run failed me. Pete didn't get the email. I was out of water at the 5 mile mark. There weren't any places to stop and refill. I was fine for a few more miles, and then I wasn't. (Coincidentally or perhaps not, "not fine" hit at the same time the blister made its presence known.)

But all in all, it was good. I drank about a gallon of water when I got home and then did an ice bath. Pete thought the shriek I let out when I hit the ice water was pretty funny, but really, after the initial immersion, it feels awfully good. And it works. Granted, I don't feel like going out this afternoon and doing another 11 mile run, but I'm feeling pretty good now, blister and all. This afternoon, I'm going to hie myself down to Run N Fun and get that new pair of shoes.

It's also worth noting that this week alone, I put in more miles than I did during the entire month of May. May was such a waste (damn you, plague! *shakes fist*) that that's not saying much. But still. I'm feeling a nice little glow of satisfaction. Or maybe that's the gimpy leg starting to act up again.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Have passports; will travel!

The girls are off to Spanish camp! This is their second year heading off to camp, so they're feeling like old pros. And yes, they literally do need passports to do this (albeit passports issued by the language villages, not the State Department). It's like going to Spain for a week, if Spain was in the northwoods of Minnesota. They'll go through customs, where any materials in English are considered contraband and will be confiscated*. Their money will be converted to pesos. They get immersed in the language and various Spanish-speaking cultures. And there will be mosquitoes. Lots of mosquitoes. (Don't worry. We packed plenty of insect repellent.)

Last year we drove them up to camp. This year they're taking the bus. Morgan was very excited about traveling all on her own, but Emma (who has flown and taken trains and generally likes traveling) surprised me by being a little leery about this...until she got on the bus and realized that, just as we kept telling her, a charter bus is a very different beast than a school bus. And, "It even has its own bathroom! This is so cool!!!"

They were so bouncy-excited that they wouldn't (couldn't?) hold still for the picture. Also and in case you hadn't noticed, they're really into bandannas right now. Muy cool, no?

I would love to be a bug on the wall during this 250 mile trip. I'm sure they'll be fine. Of course, they might also lose their passports and money along the way; in theory, I suppose it's possible that they could even lose their bags. But you know, even if any of that does happen, ultimately it too will be a grand learning experience that teaches them to be that much more careful with their IDs and money on future journeys. But oh! I wish there was a webcam I could watch just for the hilarity factor. "Emma and Morgan's Excellent Adventure..."

*and then returned at the end of their stay. They both brought books to read on the bus, but know they'll be taken away at customs and so wrote their names and addresses on the inside covers.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

*thunk* iz ded (again)

Ran 7.48 miles tonight.

It wasn't a good pace. It was not a good pace at all. By the end, it felt like there were giant weights strapped around my ankles. I wasn't in pain, mind, just fatigued and slooooow. But I did it. Go, me!

(And take that, Crud-that-lingered-far-too-long-and-messed-up-my-training-plan. Nyaaah.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

What's really important

This morning I got pretty irritated with Katherine Kersten's latest idiot column (why so many people think it's outright freaky and even threatening to reduce consumption and/or try to live a sustainable -- oh, the horror! -- lifestyle is beyond me). Instantly, a rebuttal formed in my head. Before I knew it, I was typing away into the comment field. I was *this* close to hitting "post" and leaping into the fray...but at the last moment, sanity prevailed. I did the online equivalent of backing away slowly, and deleted the comment and hit the back button.

Then I grabbed the camera and took some shots of a few things around the house that make me smile.



A moment in time.

Oxalis in bloom.

Morgan's geranium.

Bailey dozing in a sun puddle.

The old piano.


A gift from a friend (well used, as you can see)
and a 1950s percolater that makes the best. coffee. ever.

I don't think I need to explain this one.

Ahh. I feel much better now.

# # #

The last few weeks, I've been cheating on my SLR and using the point and shoot. I couldn't help myself. It was there. It was convenient. OK, the quality wasn't as good, but how nice to just, well, point and shoot. Then I did an impromptu session yesterday with the Robin Hood and the poor, neglected SLR. Oh, wow. What a difference. Oh, darling. I'm so sorry. It won't happen again. I promise...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ooooh. Shiny.

The girls and I got caught out in this (at one point I thought my little car was going to drown) on our way home from getting

a 1966 Robin Hood.

Isn't she pretty!

She rides really nice, too.

I think I shall call her "Marian." (OK, maybe not.)

I'm looking forward to getting to know her.

I'm not sure if Pete is delighted or concerned that I was so taken with the old 3-speeds after doing the 3-speed tour that I had to get one of my own via a stranger from the Internet on a dark and stormy afternoon. For that matter, I'm not sure if I should be delighted or concerned. Is this a cry for help? Do I have a problem? Nah. After all, I've only got 3 bikes now, while certain other members of this household have 2 million 14. And I don't want any more. Really. Well, except maybe a Dunelt...or a Hercules...and I wouldn't turn up my nose at a Raleigh...

I draw the line at hunting my own boar

For you foodies out there:

Recipe Deal Breakers


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The 10th Annual 29th Birthday

Pete wouldn't tell me what he wanted for his birthday -- other than a gold-plated bike, which ain't gonna happen. At least not this year.

So instead, the girls and I threw a party for him. Fiesta!

I'll post more later -- the girls made and decorated a cake for him all by themselves; it was really something and worth a post in and of itself. But for now, happy birthday, dear. :-)