Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas


I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!
Sophie (laying) with her mum Nutmeg!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1,000 Miles for the year!

Yippee!  Yahoo!  2 easy miles this morning with Sophie brought me to 1,000 for the year.  My goal was 1,100 this year . . . I won't make that . . . but am still happy with being over 1,000 for the second year in a row.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Still Streaking

Some how
Some way
I am still streaking.  I have run everyday since Thanksgiving!  Granted many have been only 1 or 2 mile runs . . . but runs none the less.

I am streaking with Ann over at Twelve in Twelve HERE, based on the Runners World challenge and Tall Mom's December challenge HERE  . . . two for one . . . why not!  

My little streak is NOTHING compared to Shelley over at It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other HERE.  Shelly is on something like 558 days and the most awesome part is that her avg miles per day is almost 8.  HOLY COW!  Now that is a streak . . . but I am not Shelly -  so my little 30+ day streak will have to be it for me.  ;-)

There have been mornings where I haven't felt like it . . . but I either got up and got out there, or actually ran after work, which isn't something that is "normal" for me.  I am usually a run before I go to work person.  Even on weekends, if I don't get out the door before 9 it might not happen.  I am a creature of habit.  I have not had many longish runs - but I have gotten a run in and for that I am glad.

Tomorrow I am planning on running 5 or 6 miles - that is a pretty long run for me!


Are you streaking?

PS - I really should be making Christmas Cookies for a cookie exchange tomorrow evening!  Better get started.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Souper Bowl

It is Saturday and the weather has been rainy and 40ish for most of the day.  The rain did stop around 2 and I was able to get outside for a 5 mile run with Sophie.  The temp felt great for a run and I immediately knew I had over dressed.  I had worn my light jacket - but took that off and tied it around my waist.  It was a good run - it took me about 15 minutes to clean Sophie's belly and feet - wet pavement and a lot of grit!  Next time when conditions are like this I should probably think about leaving her at home - but she also loves to get her run in!

I am streaking with Twelve in Twelve - HERE, based on the Runners World challenge and Tall Mom on the Run, HERE, running every day in December.  So far so good.  I have run every day since Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow I will be joining Jamie, from Running Diva Mom, HERE, for part of her final 1/2 marathon for the year.  She set out to do 12, one each month . . . but somewhere along the way . . . something happened. . . she is up to 15 and tomorrow will be her 16th 1/2 marathon this year.  Way to go Jamie!

Anyway, back to the post title:  I love to make soup in the fall and winter and today's choice is Cream of Broccoli Soup . . . hence the blog post title, Saturday Souper Bowl. This recipe is one I have been making for years.  As long as I have broccoli, I always have the other ingredients.  It is delish and really easy to make.  This was from a restaurant in Madison called Ovens of Brittany.  In the late 70's and early 80's we would go here almost daily for lunch, and enjoy a bowl of soup and a croissant.  They also offered decadent breakfast muffins / rolls called Morning buns . . . buttery with lots of cinnamon and sugar - my mouth is watering, just thinking about them.  Well the restaurant is long gone, but I purchased the recipe book years ago and have found some great recipes from this book.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli stems and tops
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
32 oz cups vege or chicken stock (I always use chicken stock)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (I always use black)
2 dashes hot pepper sauce - or more ;-)

1.  To make roux, melt 3 tablespoons butter in small saucepan.  Stir in flour until well blended.  Cook over low hear, stirring often for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

2.  Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in large, heavy pot.  Add onions, carrots and celery; cook until they are just beginning to get tender.  Add broccoli, basil, curry powder, paprika, thyme and celery seed; cook a few minutes longer.  Meanwhile heat milk and half and half together.  (I do this in the microwave)

3.  Add stock to vegetables, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer.  Whisk in the roux until soup is thickened and smooth.


4.  Stir in heated milk mixture, white pepper and hot pepper sauce.  Simmer 10-20 minutes until flavors have blended but broccoli is not overdone.


Truth be told -  today I used 2 cups of skim milk, instead of 1 cup of milk and1 cup of half and half - the soup still tasted great, maybe it isn't as rich - but still a hearty and rich flavorful soup.  Personnaly I,  would NEVER skimp on the butter!

Enjoy . . . maybe with a nice Chardonnay!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday


What I Ate today!

Breakfast - at my desk
Chobani Vanilla yogurt with coffee


Lunch - at my desk
Salad brought from home, made this morning


baby spinach
spring mix
carrots
yellow bell pepper
celery
shrimp
pea pods
pomegranate seeds
croutons (not added yet)
blue cheese (not added yet)


Dinner - at home
Salmon burger with roasted Asparagus




Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cleaning the closet

At the beginning of the year I made a pledge to myself that I was going to eliminate, reduce and cut back clothes.  I had way too many.  

I pledged to not buy any new clothes.  Running shoes and bras were excluded.  I didn't really need anything, based on my closet and didn't buy anything UNTIL my neighbor invited me to a charitable event at Chico's in October . . . I purchased a sweater set and shirt.  Then when I vacationed in Florida, I purchased a black sweater and black skirt from the Black& Whilte store.  Although I had pledged to not buying anything . . .  I only purchased 5 items . . . so I feel pretty good about that.

The clothes in the closet were piled high - they were jammed packed - they were on the floor  - they were put away in plastic storage containers under the bed and in the closet - they were packed into the dresser.  These next pictures are embarrassing - but I need to show you just how bad it was.
stuffed to the gills
shirts and sweaters on upper rack 
skirts and jackets on lower rack

sweaters and sweatshirts stuffed on shelves
and last but not least -tee shirts, shorts, shirts piled high on a small table and on the floor
The past couple of weeks I have been slowly but surely cleaning out the drawers and closet.  It started with a drawer an evening and then about a week ago, I started on the closet.  My plan was to finish it up with the 4 day week end.  Well that happened today.  It took a good 4 hours - hubby and I just finished loading it all into bags.  ;-(

Here is a summary of what was pulled out of my drawers and closet.  I admit there are still too many clothes left - but this is a good start.  I also have to consider that we have extreme seasons in Wisconsin and the sweaters that I wear in the winter to stay warm - have no use in the summers.


Item
Donating
Pants
29
Jackets
14
Shirts
53
Skirts
4
Sweaters
22
Jeans
3
Shorts
12
Tee shirts
52
O/S Jackets
5
Shoes
16
running tops
7
running bottoms
4
total items
221
During the cleaning process

Clothes and bags on the floor
The finished closet - upper rack with shirts

Lower rack with sweaters, skirts and jackets
Shelves that previously were full to the brim!
Table is now visible
All stuffed into 8 kitchen garbage bags!

It took 8 tall kitchen bags to fill up . . . seeing this in bags literally makes me sick.  I can not even imagine the money sitting in those bags . . . such excess . . . such waste! 

I feel conflicted . . . Happy that it is cleaned up . . . Sad that there was that much stuff to be cleared out. I will be heading to Goodwill tomorrow to drop off the bags full of clothes.  

I will be making another pledge for 2012 . . .  I wil try and not buy any clothes again for another year.  
 
How does your closet look?  


Enjoy the moment! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

Hoping all of my blogger friends 
have a wonderful 
Truly Thankful Thanksgiving!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Battle of the Bays!

Tomorrow my family will be traveling to Titletown, USA -

home of the Superbowl Champion football team 
my team and your team

  The 
Green 
Bay 
Packers  

They are playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we have 4 tickets.  YAHOO!

the chant . . .  Go Pack Go 

has been going through my head all day.  

Tomorrow we will be at Lambeau Field cheering on our TEAM!

Go Pack Go!

I have been rounding up Packer Gear.

My outfit will include my
Packer turtleneck
Packer earrings
Packer socks
Packer Hat to keep my ears warm
little Packer bag to carry hand warmers
and
my Reggie White jersey - #92



Cleo - will not be attending the game but wanted to check out my Packer gear!


Go Pack Go!

  

I could get use to this!

I was in Miami for a four days at work conference.  I stayed at the Epic Hotel.  Corporate conferences usually get a "corporate rate" on a certain number of rooms.  As long as you commit to the conference "in time" you get a room at a the hotel at a group rate.  Well - based on tons of work projects going on, I didn't decide to attend this conference until about 3 weeks ago.  By that time all of the group rate rooms were gone.  The travel department at my company checked surrounding hotels - but were not able to find much lower rates, so they booked me into an available room at the conference hotel.  I didn't really know that it would be any different than the reserved rooms - simply more expensive.  Well much to my surprise when I entered my room and discovered it was a suite and it also gave me access to "club level" perks. . . . I didn't even want to attend the conference.

I don't think I can describe just how nice my room and the extras were . . . but let me try.

Separate Living room w/ couch, chair and lovely view
King size bed with floor to ceiling wrap around windows
Bathroom with separate jacuzzi tub and walk in rain shower

Patio with river view

View of Miami river from my patio
Access to the club level lounge.




This pic is of the Centrust building from the club level patio.  They offer complimentary food and drinks through out the day - accessible to "club level" guests only.  It was wonderful to sit out on the patio, enjoying some spring rolls and other assorted appetizers and a glass of wine.  Tonight I decided to venture up to the club lounge to check it out.  I am sitting outside on a beautiful patio, overlooking the city.









Beth, at Shut up and Run - HERE , posted today about going crazy while attending a day long conference - eating crappy food and not doing anything.  I so agree.  It is dangerous attending conferences - buffet breakfasts with sweet rolls, bacon, eggs, etc.  Lunch with way too many choices and dessert - really - who needs dessert at lunch!!!.  Snacks in the morning and afternoon - cookies, soda, chips and coffee . . . which I drank too much of to stay alert and warm!  Why or why do they keep meeting rooms so cold . . .  I am never cold . . . but froze in the meeting rooms (as did everyone else).  Back to food:  Evening receptions, with drinks, shrimp, crab cakes, sliced tenderloin, and too much other stuff to even mention.  I go into the conference with a watchful eye on my food intake.  While it would be nice to eat - eat - eat . . . I work extra hard to avoid the snacks, eat lightly at breakfast, lunch and dinner, skip desserts (really who needs cheese cake at lunch or 3:00 in the afternoon) and exercise.  I got up at 5:30 figuring that I could head outside for a run - but forgot to factor in that the sun didn't rise in Miami until 6:40 - pretty much the same time as Madison.  I thought it would rise earlier!  So instead of heading out the door before 6, I headed down to the treadmill - got in about 3 miles and then headed outside for another 2.5 mile loop around Brickell Key and the hotel.  
Wednesday morning - I ran in the morning and the temperature was 75.  Thursday morning - I ran in Madison and the temperature was 22.  Quite the difference.
Glad to be home - but I would have liked to stay a couple more days in the hotel and take advantage of the extras  ;-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WWW

Weather
Work
Wednesday

Weather:
Today started with temperatures in the upper 30's and rain - lots of rain.  When my alarm went off at 5:20 I laid there for a few minutes, listening . . . yup - that was rain on the roof.  I thought - Maybe it was just a drizzle . . . nope - it was raining1  ;-(  No outside run for this morning. I reset the alarm ;-)  and slept for about another hour.  Somewhere around mid-morning the rain went into a head to head fight with snow . . . with rain winning out downtown and snow winning out at my house.  The temperature has continued to drop all day.  The low for tonight is 24 - so it looks like a chilly run tomorrow morning - BUT the great news is it won't be raining  ;-)

Work:
My work has been pretty stressful lately.  Oh well - I deal with it pretty well and for the most part love my job - but sometimes !!!!!!! YIKES - I could use another vacation!  Remember I was just in Florida at the end of October and on Sunday I am flying to Miami for 3 days to attend a conference.  I plan to attend the conference - but any spare moment will be relaxing and again running outside without jackets, hats and gloves!
Besides the stresses of my job -the BIG stress that had be weighing on my mind lately has been that one of my staff was diagnosed with breast cancer in August.  She had a lumpectomy and will be undergoing chemo, starting next week.  This all just brings back way too many memories.  I was diagnosed 7 years ago and started my treatments - chemo - surgery - radiation in September 2004.  I KNOW that this is about her and her journey and her treatments . . . NOT ME - but I can't stop dredging up the fears of my journey!  Everyone . . . well not everyone, but many MANY people have been saying to me - "Oh she is so lucky to report to you . . . you understand exactly what she is going through" . . . although I do understand what she is going through -

   what happened to me
         how I dealt with cancer
               how I felt after chemo
                       how I felt about my mastectomy
                                  how I still feel about my mastectomy
                                             how I dealt with the fears
                                                       how I felt when I lost my hair
                                                               how I continue to deal with lymphedema
                                                                       how I worry about my future
                                                       
Was MY Journey -  I have a hard time sharing - offering advice - . . . . it is just hard.

I have no wrap up of my comments / no "it will be OK" / no summary . . . these are just my feelings - good or bad and seeing my thoughts in black and white is part of my journey.  

Wednesday:
Hump Day - YAHOO!

                               

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Turkey Trot 5miler

I ran the local Turkey Trot this morning.  Last year I did the 5k and this morning decided to do the 5mile run.  Temp's were perfect - but it was a little windy.  But I felt great and had a good time.  No pic's.  I headed down to the park at about 8:30 to register this morning, got my bib and then returned home.  The park is about 5 minutes from my house and the 5k started at 10:00, while the 5mile run started at 11:00.

I was doodling around and lost track of time . . . then I realized is was 10:40, still had to gather my handheld, fill it up, and grab my ipod.  Headed out the door and got in the car and my watch read 10:48.  Drove down the street about 3 blocks - realized that I forgot my bib - turned around - ran into the house - grabbed my bib - found pins - pinned it on and was off again.  Clock now read 10:50.  As I drove I unzipped my warm up pants, so they would be ready to pull off - when I got to the stop light at 10:54 and realized it had just turned red, I figured I had time to put the car in park and took my pants off and threw them into my bag and gathered everything else up and through it in.  Light turned green - turned into the park - grabbed my bag - headed to the shelter to drop my bag - jogged to the start - arrived with 2 minutes to spare!  OK - that is cutting it a little too close for my comfort.

The run is a cross county path so I have to watch the ground the entire run, since there are twigs, tree roots and uneven footing.  Last year I actually placed 2nd in the 5k in my age - not so lucky this year - I checked the board and I was 6th in my age group - 48:44.  Although I felt great running - my time was not so great!
Oh well - it was still a fun run and I had a good time.
My lap times are as follows:
     1 - 9:24
     2 - 9:34
     3 - 10:06
     4 - 10:20
     5 - 9:20
for an average pace of 9:48.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kayak and beach day



We spent the late morning kayaking around the mangrove bay, then stopped for lunch and are now on the beach.  Yesterday we went shopping and then stopped for pedi's.  Rains came in last evening - lots of rain.  But today has turned out beautiful. 

I ran 4 miles this morning in extremely HIGH humidity - yikes, I haven't ran in that much humidity since summer.  I was dripping wet.  I had absolutely no regrets, because when I get back to WI, I will be running in pants, gloves, hat and jacket and NO humidity!  So I am going to enjoy this while it lasts. 

Typing this on blogaway, which doesn't have spell checker - !!!   Hoping for only a few typing mistakes! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bonita Springs



It is wonderful to be here in Florida.  The weather is beautiful and the mood is relaxing.  Yesterday I started the morning with walking a mile with my friend, then she turned back and I ran.  I ran for 6 miles. 

I stopped on the path and took a picture and now I have a palm tree growing out of my head.  It was a great run.  There is a path right outside of the condo which is filled with walkers and a few, very few runners. 

When I got back to the condo, after showering and eating we headed to the beach.  It was perfect.  80 with clouds and some sun and a lovely breeze.

Late afternoon was filled with dinner at a great seafood place.  I had stuffed grouper.  Yum!!!!

Life is good.  So fun to be energized with two 12 yr old girls!  Painting nails in shocking purple and bright pink ... shopping is always the activity of choice ... laughter and giggles.  :-)    

Currently sitting on the lanai overlooking the channel. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vacation


I flew into Ft Meyers this afternoon for a wonderful 5 day vacation.  A friend has a condo in Bonita Springs and she invited me to join her for a little vacation.  We woke up in Chicago, flew to Ft Meyers, took a taxi to the condo, stopped at the grocery store, unpacked, enjoyed a beer on the linai, sat at the pool, had some great fish tacos and are now relaxing and ready for bed. 

My plan is to run tomorrow morning.  No gloves, no jacket - ahhhhhhh!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Few word Wednesday - I think

It has been one of those weeks.

During the entire drive home from work tonight, that occured at 7:30PM, all I could think about was . . .  

Was it Wednesday or Tuesday? . . .  It has been one of those weeks.  

I was so glad when I finally figured out it was Wednesday.

Yea


Peace

Saturday, September 17, 2011

OK this is Fall Weather!

I love to run in cooler temperatures so it has been great lately.  This last week we did get a little too chilly for this time of year with morning lows in the mid to upper 30's, which meant gloves and jackets - but today it was beautiful.  Temp's were in the mid to upper 50's with a breeze - I felt great.  I had 10 miles on the schedule again this weekend.  Last 3 were suppose to be at Tempo pace.  I decided to see how I felt to see what I did at the end.  

First couple miles were with Sophie - warm up and getting moving sort of miles . . . and stop and sniff sort of miles  ;-)  Then off for 8 more miles.  I felt great . . . Oh I already said that!  I have to remind myself that sometimes I really do feel great running longer distances - usually it just seems like a LOT of work.  
My avg pace was 9:50.  Mile 6 & 7 were just over 10 min miles and then the last three were faster with the last mile at 9:18.  I am happy with that.

Now for the rest of the day -  
I am home alone, since my hubbie is off to Milwaukee with my oldest son to look at a new car.  We bought both of our boys cars while they were in high school - he has now been out of college for 1+ years and still driving the Chevy Impala . . . with well over 110,000 miles on it and the transmission is not sounding good.  This is my conservative son, so this sort of surprises me . . . he is looking at a Subaru Impreza WRX - which is a sporty souped up car!  Oh well - he is young - he has a great job - and doesn't spent money easily - I am only hoping he will let me drive it!  It will be manual transmission, which I haven't driven in a few years, but love it!   ;-)
Off to shower - then mow the lawn - make chili - do a little cleaning - and listen to the Badger Football game.  

Peace and ENJOY the moment!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pooltime

In honor of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 I ran 10 miles this morning.  While it was on my schedule, I did use the memory of that day as motivation to keep going.  It still shocks me when I think back to the quick chain of events that fateful morning.  I was at work and someone came by and said that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.  We immediately tried to get information from the Internet, which worked for awhile, but then just wasn't quite up to the task so the radio became our primary source.  Now 10 years later and it still seems unimaginable and unbelievable but something we will never forget!

This mornings Run:
The run actually went pretty good.  I did the usual 2 miles with Sophie and then headed back out for 8 more miles.  Temp's were great and it was a beautiful sunny morning.  I finished in 1:42 for a 10:15 pace, with the last three miles at 10:06, 10:10 and 10:08 - pretty happy with that.  It felt good.  And although it was great for a little 10 mile run - Today was also the WI Ford Ironman event.  At 7:30 pm the temp is 81 - certainly warmer than the athletes would have preferred.

K-9 Doggie Paddle fundraiser:
This afternoon my son, his girlfriend and I headed to our community pool with our dogs.  This was I think the 3rd annual K-9 doggie paddle.  The pool closed last weekend - but was opened today for dogs to enjoy and boy did our dogs love the water.  This event is a fund raiser for the Police K-9 unit with proceeds going to support the 6 dogs and necessary training.  One of the dogs was there and boy he was well behaved . . . .  There were about a couple hundred other dogs in the pool - but it was not crowded.

Sophie and Nutmeg will sleep well tonight!   I will too!  ;-)
Sophie and Nutmeg ready, get set, go!

Sophie headed back with her ball - Nutmeg still out looking.

Getting back onto the deck was made easy with this floating platforms

Sophie and her pink ball

Even the police on horses were there to enjoy the pool.

The horses seemed to enjoy cooling their legs down in the pool.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lunchtime Run

First off: I LOVE HOT HUMID Weather . . . and I LOVE COLD and SNOW (to a point) . . . but right now we are experiencing drop dead gorgeous weather in Wisconsin. I had forgotten just how nice our fall weather could be!


The temp's have been in the mid 70's all week with nothing but pure sunshine and blue skies! Just beautiful. I realize that parts of the east coast and south have been experiencing more rain than necessary . . . but not here.

I have been following a training program getting ready for, a yet to be determined fall 1/2 marathon, since I will be on a mini vacation to Florida during the Haunted Hustle. On the schedule today was a moderate tempo run of 5 miles with 1 warm-up and 1 cool-down. Last night I stayed up too late - watching the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers!!!! and just couldn't drag myself out of bed early enough to not only get in 7 miles but also make it to work for an 8:00 meeting. I usually get to work around 8:30, so getting there for a 8:00 meeting throws a wrench into my normal routine . . . plus getting 7 miles in . . . just wasn't going to happen this morning. I did get up and ran 2 miles with Sophie - warm-up for 1 mile and then 9:10 pace for mile 2. I decided it was so nice out that I would run the other 5 miles at lunch. I work downtown and have access to a many wonderful routes, one along the lakeshore. So I set out a little after noon. Based on my first mile . . . I must have known that I had already did my warm up mile in the morning. Mile 1 - 9:02 Mile 2 - 9:18 Mile 3 - 9:49 and Mile 4 - 9:15 and then finished with a cool down 1/2 mile at 10:15. Happy - very happy with my time.

During my cool-down mile I stopped at a little coffee shop/ restaurant for a veggie wrap to go, because one other things that I didn't get up early enough to do this morning was make my salad for lunch, headed back to the office to shower and get back to work - oh and write a little post ;-)

WI Ironman is this Sunday - it was very motivating to see competitors in the water practicing, what I assume to be, their final swim before Sunday. Good luck to all!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our best bike ride yet! Almost ;-(


Hubby Todd, oldest son Joe and I again biked to New Glarus on Saturday.
It was a drop dead BEAUTIFUL August day in WI.  A 10 mile breeze out of the
north - 80 degrees and sunny.  Our plan for the day was to bike to New
Glarus, 26 miles.  Stop at the brewery for a couple of beers and some
pizza, then stop at the pet store where my son's girlfriend works, say hi
and then head back to Madison for a round trip of 52 miles.

Started the day drinking my favorite coffee - Bike Fuel, from Just Coffee a
local Roaster.

Remember last time we biked to New Glarus we biked through a downpour just

before arriving at the brewery.  Nothing like that on Saturday.  We cruised
the whole way there in beautiful weather.  We again got off the bike path
and took a couple of really big hills into the brewery - they were just as
steep as last time  ;-)  but not getting drenched made for a much nicer
ride.  The brewery has a pizza company visit the location a couple of
weekends a month and Todd had looked at the events calendar and said that
stone fired pizza would be there on Saturday.  Well he was off by a day,
they were there on Sunday.  Knowing that the local Subway was only a short
bike ride into town, we sent Joe into town to pick up a couple of subs.
After devouring our sub's and enjoying a couple of beers, we headed back
down the hill and into town, stopping at the pet store to say hi to Joe's
girlfriend and then proceeded to the fudge shop to pick up some Jalapeno
Fudge . . . it is really yummy . . .  you take a bite and it is
chocolate . . chocolate . . chocolate . . . and then . . . spicy!   Finally
ready to hit the trail and head back to Madison.  We again got to walk
through the tunnel and continued through the small town of Bellville and
towards Madison.  Both down and back we try to draft off each other as much
as possible.  Going to New Glarus, we were averaging close to 17 miles an
hour - since we are using a mountain bike(Joe), a cross over (Todd) and a
commuter (Linda) bike over the crushed stones / dirt / gravel . . . that
seems like a pretty good pace.  Coming back we were averaging close to 15
miles an hour, with a direct head wind.  Just about 10 miles from Madison,
Todd, who was directly behind me, crossed over and hit my rear tire with
his front time.  I felt a jerk - but kept going, while he did not.  He took
quite a tumble in the brush, landing hard on his right shoulder.  We
stopped and went back to him, leaving him rest for a little while.  Then we
had to decide what to do - he was able to move his arm, but said that it
hurt quite a bit - but he thought he could bike.  We hopped back on the
bikes and stopped a couple of times to check things out.  His shoulder
continued to get tighter and more painful - so once we got to a cross road,
he stopped and waited while Joe and I continued back to the car.  Joe
helped me load my bike up and then I headed back to pick up Todd and take
him to the Emergency Room.  After a wait in the waiting room, a wait in the
examination room, a wait to see the Dr., a wait for the X-rays and another
wait for the Dr to return . . . the diagnosis was a broken collarbone.
They put the arm in a sling and sent us home.  Just so that you don't think he 
was drunk!  He doesn't like beer and only had a couple of sips of my beer!  I 
said that maybe he should have had more to drink because it would have 
relaxed him when he went flying off of his bike!

So while the ride started off GREAT and we were all having a good time -
Todd is done with biking for awhile.  Hoping the healing goes well.  I was
getting use to having someone to bike with - it was nice and I was very
proud of him for making the 50+ miles, especially with about 5 of them with
a broken collarbone.

On RUNNING note - I missed my Sunday morning run.  Just too tired after
spending the evening in the ER.  Since Monday is a rest day, I thought
about running my long run this morning - but then I would have to adjust
the other runs during the week - So I followed the plan this morning and
rested.  I might pick up an extra run over the long Labor Day weekend next
week.  Tuesday morning is scheduled for repeats . . . 5 X 1000 meters with
2 min rest between.  I will start with 2 miles with Sophie - drop her off
and head back out for my 3+ miles of repeats.  While I have done repeats
before, I usually do shorter, 400 meter repeats - I'll see how I do with
these longer repeats.

The Haunted Hustle on October 29th was my next 1/2 marathon and I wanted to
train pretty hard for it especially since I had so many hamstring /
piriformis issues over the summer and wasn't able to get the training miles
called me Friday afternoon and asked me if I wanted to join her and her
daughter at their Florida condo over the last week of October for about 5
day of relaxing at the ocean - of course this falls right over the weekend
of the Haunted Hustle.  I told her I would think about it and would let her
know today.  Dah!  Although I really wanted to run in the Haunted Hustle -
it was a really fun run last year - it isn't like I was going to win the
race - there will be other runs.  I am heading to Florida for a mini
vacation - October 26 - Oct 31.  Looking at replacing the Haunted Hustle
with the ZOOMA Lake Geneva 1/2 marathon, HERE on October 22nd.

Stay tuned
Enjoy the moment!

Friday, August 26, 2011

After the Mini

Saturday was the Madison Mini Marathon. I posted the recap HERE. I felt great Sunday morning - got up, took the dog for a walk / little run and went to church. Husband and I then decided to bike to Sauk City. From the park and ride where we started from in Middleton it was a 35 mile round trip bike ride. I looked up a couple different routes using Map My Ride and after some deliberation decided on the path that DID NOT include biking along State Hwy 12. This is a busy road and I didn't really think that was the best option. There is a bike path along some of the route, so we stated on a paved bike path and then turned off onto county roads. Holy cow - hills, hills and more hills. To be honest they were not too bad, but I felt pretty sorry for my husband. I bike a lot - he doesn't and he weighs a lot more than me, so it takes a lot out of him to bike up hills. Added to the hills was the STRONG wind coming out of the North / northwest - which was exactly the direction of the wind, which was blowing close to 13 mph with gusts up to 18 mph. At the summit of every hill, I would wait for my husband - we would head down the hill together and just about every time, there was another hill. We took a couple of breaks, where we stopped for water and to regroup and then kept going. He was a trooper. Once in Sauk City, we stopped and spent some time watching the Wisconsin River and then headed to find someplace to stop for a bike to eat and to figure out a different route to get home. We settled on Culver's, a local "fast food, made to order" restaurant offering sandwiches, burgers and frozen custard . . . neither of us ordered frozen custard. ;-)


We decided that we would head back to Middleton on the other route, biking on Hwy 12 for 2.3 miles. WOW oh WOW was that a different bike ride home. Granted we had the wind at our backs, which clearly make a difference, but this route was considerable flatter! We were on a bike path for about 2 miles coming out of Sauk City, then a couple of back roads for another 4 miles (with all of these being very flat to moderately rolling), then we turned onto the Hwy - which has really wide shoulders (a car width) and as long as you are mentally OK with cars buzzing by you at 55-65 mph it is OK. Once off the Hwy, another section of back road, and then we crossed over and were back on the bike path for the last 9 miles. What a difference a route makes.

It took us close to 1hr and 20 minutes to get to Sauk City and a little over 1 hr to get home. We will do this ride again - I would be fine with the hilly route - husband would like to stick to the flatter path. ;-)

On running news - I took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off from running. I got back into the swing of things and ran both yesterday and this morning. I looked over some training plans - in preparation of the Haunted Hustle, which is my next half marathon at the end of October. I am going to actually train to cut time off of my 1/2 marathon pace. Last year I finished the Haunted Hustle in 2:07:41 and would like to break that record this year. So I need a plan - I am going to try and follow Ryan Hall's Half Marathon plan from Runners World - hardest part will be "really following it". I tend to modify things as I go - don't wake up early enough - skip that particular workout. So far so good. Although I "missed the Tuesday workout - I did both the Thursday 30-40 minute easy run . . . doing 3.8 miles in 37 minutes and this morning doing a 1m warm-up - 4 mile tempo and then 1m cool-down (cut a little short). My avg tempo pace was 9:34 for the 4 miles - pretty happy with that.

Hoping that Irene backs away from the East coast and that all the bloggers running the Hood to Coast relay on the West coast have a great time.

Those of us in the middle have a super beautiful weekend coming up. We are going out to eat with some friends tonight - taking the boat out for a little ride on the lake and then heading to Nau-ti-gal, a local restaurant on the lake for dinner. Then tomorrow it looks like we are biking to New Glarus again. Hubby picked up a New Glarus Spotted Cow t-shirt on our last trip to the brewery (I got a "I got Totally Naked at New Glarus Brewery" t-shirt (my fav beer)) but he picked up a 2XL size . . . soooooo big . . . while he isn't a small person - he isn't that large! Obviously we could drive there - but biking is so much more fun!

Looking forward to tonight's dinner with friends

        tomorrows bike ride

                  and Sunday's long run - 8 miles

Enjoy the moment!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

3rd Madison Mini Marathon

This was the third running of the Madison Mini Marathon.  I have run it all three years and enjoy it each and every time . . . actually liking it better each time.  It doesn't get boring - maybe it is the idea of a "home field" advantage.  Not like I am setting any records - but running through the streets of Madison makes me proud to call this city my home.  All of the major attractions / locations that the mini travels through mean something special to me.  I have no pictures from the Mini - maybe I will be lucky and actually have a NON-embarassing finish line photo - or one on the route that I can share with you when the photo's are posted.

The race was scheduled to start at 7:00 on Saturday morning.  Although I don't lay things out ahead of time, I am usually calm and collected the morning of a race - but for some reason I was disorganized on Saturday morning and felt like I was running behind from the start.  I headed downtown and had to stop to pick up some gatorade, while on the way to the local PDQ store, I saw a fox - right in the city.  I thought this might be a sign - I was going to be fast as a fox . . . even though I didn't really get many long runs in.  Well that was what I had hoped it meant.

Once I got downtown, I parked in a ramp a little ways away from the start location, so that I had a chance to walk / job to the start.  As I said I was running late and heard the singing of the National Anthem from State street and still had about 3 blocks to make it to the race start.  I made it to the G corral right aroung 6:55 and settled in . . . for a couple of minutes, until the anouncer came on the microphone and said that due to an approaching storm, they were going to delay the start of the race.  They instructed us to go to the Memorial Union, Red Gym building or the Lakestreet parking structure.  They said they would give people plenty of time to get back to the start when the race was back on.  Well I headed to the Lakestreet parking garage, sat down and settled in . . . chatted with a really nice women, Kristy.  The rains came - the thunder came - the wind came.  We waited.  Somewhere around 7:45 I left the parking structure to use the porta pottie.  I figured no matter whenever we started we were going to be running in the rain, so getting a little wet didn't really matter.  I headed back over the the finish area and used the facilities - then headed to the Red Gym to wait it out there.  Found a spot to lean against a door, then settled in on the floor.  And waited - Finally about 8:15, the race was on and we all headed to the start.  Since I was really close - I did take some cover from the rain for a while, until more and more people were there.  The rain continued - not too bad . . . until the start.  Then it poured and as we rounded on corner the winds blewwwwwww!

The run started at 8:30 - I crossed the start at 8:33 and was off . . . slowly.
I usually don't run with my hat, unless it rains.  The forecast was a chance for showers so I thought I would bring it and I was soooooo glad that I had it on to keep the rain sort of out of my eyes.

The rain subsided after a half hours, eventually the sun appeared and it was a beautiful day - full of sunshine.

Here is a list of some of the places we passed and their meaning for me.

Start:  We start out at the Memorial Union.  Although I didn't graduate from the UW, my husband did and I remember spending time at the Union when he was a student.  We also like to stop there from the water and buy an ice cream cone.  I also attended a wine tasting class there - and it was a blast.
Next up is the Capitol.  Well - what can I say about the state Capitol.  It is a beautiful building - located in the center of the city.  When I drive to work, I look directly at the Capitol - and hey they changed the lighting to Green and Gold in honor of the Packers.
Mile 1:  We then headed down State Street.  Anyone who lives or has visited Madison has been to State Street.  It is downhill and many runs head down this famous street.
Mile 2:  We then headed near the Kohl Center, home of the UW basketball and hockey teams.  And graduation site of the local high schools - so in addition to watching great basketball and hockey games - both of my sons graduated from high school at the Kohl Center.
Mile 3:  We ran past the Space Science and Engineering Building (my husband works there) and then Camp Randall, home of the UW Badgers football team.
Mile 4:  Passed through the Henry Vilas Zoo - this is a free zoo and I spent a lot of time there when the boys were young.  Passing through the Zoo, one of the city's hospitals, St.Mary's is in view - both of my sons were born at St. Mary's.
Mile 5&6&7:  Before mile 5 we enter the UW Arboretum - this is a beautiful nature preserve area.  BUT I always find this a boring area for a road race - since there are very few homes - there are few spectators and isn't really anything to look at - trees - vegitation - trees - and more vegitation.  Don't get me wrong - I like to run through it - but for a race - it always seems like a long way with not much to distract me.  But on a hot day - it is always a cool location, due to the dampness and tree coverage.  Since I have been biking more the last couple of years I am quite familar with the Arb and feel like I know where the hills are and know the turns quite well.
Mile 8 & 9:  Just out of the Arb and running near the Nakoma Golf course and then though the Monroe St area.  Although I have never golfed Nakoma (private course) I have walked it when son #1 golfed on the East High School golf team - it is a beautiful course.  Then there is Monroe St.  In my mind - this area of Madison is made famous because of the red flags that are along the intersections - pedestrians carry a flag when they cross the road.  I swear they just walk - it doesn't matter whether they have a walk like or not - if they have a flag - they walk and as a driver - you slam on your brakes.  Can you tell this irritates me tremendously!!!!
Mile 10:  This section is mainly residential - but near Madison West - which is one of the other high schools in town - I spent a lot of time on their tennis courts with son #2.
Mile 11:  Brings us to the UW CoGen Plant - my employer MGE and the UW co-own this generation plant.  Next up is the UW Hospital - I spent a lot of time there with my mother (years ago) And the best part about mile 11 was looking forward to Chelsea, previously from Early Runner, HERE - BUT now from Theology and Geometry HERE.  She was not running the mini - but was going to be near mile 11 cheering us on.  I was so looking forward to seeing her - mile 11 is tough - so close - but still a couple miles to go.  And there she was - with a poster and all!
Mile 12:  Lakeshore path - cool temp's because of all of the trees - easy on your legs, because it is a dirt path - right on the shore of Lake Mendota.  Whenever I run this path I remember when I was training for my one and only marathon - I ran from my house to here and stood there and looked across the lake and thought wow - I have a long ways to run home!  I also say Kerri, from TutuRunner - HERE and her Team in Training friend Dano along the path - they came up behind me and were running STRONG, especially considering this was mile 12.  Kerri had a great run and a PR by 5 minutes.  :-)
And the FINISH:  back at the Memorial Union - the crowds cheering and the best part was the Milwaukee Brewers Sausages were there and I high 5's each one of them, including the Hot Dog, the Brat, the Italian Sausage, the Polish Sausage and Kerri's favorite the Chorizo.

I saw Kerri from TutuRunner HERE, and Dano at the finish - and gave her a good hug!  I had hoped to see Jamie from Running Diva Mom - HERE  - but didn't see her before or after the run.

I headed for chocolate milk (YUMMMMMM) a banana and picture in the big chairs ( a mini tradition) - then off to search for co-workers.

2011 - 2:16
2010 - 2:08
2009 - 2:12
. . . so this was slower then the past two years . . . but who cares!  I don't!

Sometimes it is ENJOYING the journey that counts!  I had a blast and must have high 5's at least 20 people - that is a GOOD DAY!

ENJOY the MOMENT!  Don't sweat the small stuff - running fast - running slow - it is all running!!!!