Why am I Running from Cancer?

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

Monday, September 1, 2014

miles and . . .

. . . beans - not quite in that order!

The day started with my 5 mile run. I wore my new Garmin FR 15 and felt pretty happy with it.
The run felt hot - I couldn't believe how much slower I was from the day before - but 5 miles is 5 miles, no matter how fast or slow you go.  The whole goal of training is to get faster - so we will see. At the beginning, I know it is normal to feel slow and also to question why am I doing this?

Here are my lap times from Sunday's run. As ALWAYS my first mile is the fastest.  Tomorrow I have 3.5 miles on the schedule and I am going to make sure that mile 1 is NOT the fastest!
Moving Time
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Pace
Avg Moving Pace
Best Pace

I struggle with the idea of slowing down - not literally, but figuratively, well maybe literally too.  At 58 it is hard to run and bike with friends that are younger than you, but yet, somehow I imagine that it helps make me stay active and keeps me on my toes. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be with my "own" age group - but that would require me to join a running club or seek out others my age that are active in the same activities as me.  I see so many of my friends and acquaintances slowing down, not getting out there for exercise, using excuses like; it is too hard, or too much work, I am too tired or there is just no time . . . yada, yada, yada! Let me tell you it is hard, and it is a lot of work and it makes you tired and you have to make time for it - but it is work it!  Trust me. The energy you get back more than offsets the energy you spend.

When will I slow down? Has it already started . . . and I just don't know it????  Will I stay as active when I retire? What would I do if I didn't bike and run and do Pilates? During the last 4 months, I spend approximately 40 + hours a month on average running, biking and doing Pilates. Since there are about 720 hours per month, sleeping, getting ready on both ends of sleep account for about 9 hours per day, or about 270 hours in a month, working 10 hours 5 days a week accounts for 200. If you are subtracting with me, that leaves about 210 for everything else!  Perfect - actually that is nice to think that there are as many hours spend doing what ever??? as working!

After running we talked about biking or going out on the boat and I decided I would rather go for a bike ride and then go out on the boat if we felt like it.  We biked around the Capital City Bike Loop, which is a 20 mile loop from my office and so we set off to my office and then hopped on our bikes.  The path downtown was extremely busy with people, kids and students. The first couple of miles were slow and weaving around people, but once we got beyond campus the traffic wasn't bad. Saturday and Sunday was Madison's, "taste of Madison" and I imagine there were lots of people downtown because of the food fair.  Overall, the bike ride was great - it was warmer than we expected and of course we didn't feel like heading out on the boat once we got home.  ???maybe a sign of slowing down???

The picture, from my phone, does not do it justice! The path was massively shaded with sunny yellow flowers all along this section.

Cooking:  Summer has been rough on my goal of cooking only from Jenna's blog, Eat, Live, Run and getting through all of her main course meals.  Well, I am not giving up! I might not have checked many recipes off the list during the summers months, but I am still committed to trying!  So here are two more recipes to "check" off the list!  I have made the black beans previously (before I started my 2014 challenge) and LOVED them - you just have to plan ahead so that the beans are allowed to soak over night.  And since we are from WI and brats are a standard summer staple (although this is only the 2nd time this summer we have made brats) I thought I would try Jenna's caramelized onion beer brats and boy of boy did they hit the spot.  Probably helped that I worked out for 2 1/2 hours, so at the end of the day I was hungry.

Cuban Beans from Jenna's blog - HERE, cooked in the crock pot, (I added some red peppers, since they were in the frig.) (at this point they are uncooked)

Labor Day Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions . . . again from Jenna's blog, Eat, Live, Run - HERE.

Today, Labor day is a rest day for me. Notice the irony? Labor Day - Rest Day!  I spent much of the morning in the yard, trimming flowers and bushes and weeding. Seemed a little silly to weed, since the growing season is slowing way down, but it is still nice to get rid of the little pesky weeds through out the flower beds.  The rest of the day, was spent relaxing, watching a little of the US Tennis Open and vegging out!  

Enjoy the last fleeting days of summer.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

burnt . . .

. . . toast
yup, someone burnt toast on friday morning and I could smell it on my run with Sophie! It occupied much of my thoughts! did they eat it? did they throw it away? do they like burnt toast? what else are they eating with it?

I have officially started training for the Tyranena 1/2 Barrel (1/2 marathon) in November. I am determined to stick with a training program and selected the Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half schedule. Since it is a 12 week program and I started with only 10ish weeks to go, I slightly modified this weeks training to get me up to speed. In effect I ran 2 on Friday, 3 this morning and 5 tomorrow. This should get me on schedule with week 3. I will NOT skip training runs!  (my usual routine, start strong and then fizzle out . . . NOPE not this time)

I slept until 8:30 . . .  ahhhhhh!!!! and woke to Oscar gagging up a hair ball! Talk about a motivation to jump out of bed! Grab the cat off the bed and swiftly toss him into the bathroom. I made it!
Then relax with coffee on the deck, check email, check Facebook, etc and wait for a break in the rain. Well that didn't actually occur until noon. So that is when I headed out for my 3 mile run. Non-eventful, warm and humid, but not bad. The program called for 3 miles at Pace . . . it didn't indicate whose pace . . . seemed like a snails pace! I charged my ailing Garmin and wore it and was happy to find out that I did the first mile in 9:33, the second in 10:16 and then the third in 10:07. Although my "hopeful" pace is closer to 9:30 - with this mornings humidity, I will take it.  I also ran into the Sandhill cranes crossing the street, but I didn't have my camera or phone - so no pic's.

When I got home my Garmin was flashing through all of the screens and right then is when I decided I would go buy a new one later in the day. I hadn't wore it for at least a year and although it still works, it is exremely slow to pick up the satellite signal and randomly flashes through all the screens and won't respond to your selections . . . which ends up frustrating me (more than it should).  It was purchased in 2009 and might even be a 2008 vintage. There is a lot of sweat that has been loaded into the case!

After getting some chili started on the stove, we headed out to REI and I purchased the Garmin Forerunner 15. Not as many features as my last one, but does the basics and that is really what I need.

Headed out at the end of the day for a little bike ride and today's pictures are from that ride.

Enjoy the moments!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Better late . . .

. . . than never.
Today's post is about yesterday with little mention of today. Not that today was not a great day . . . but honestly when you can't bike to work or go for a morning run because of a huge thunderstorm with lightning and rain, you work all day, eat your lunch at your desk, work late so that you can attend a evening board meeting and come home tired, it is hard to find much of anything to post. Seriously boring day.

But yesterday, was fun and enjoyable! We joined some other members of our church and headed to Milwaukee for a RiverWalk Boat tour which included 3 stops at micro breweries all located on the Milwaukee river. The tour lasts 4 hours and visited the Rock Bottom Brewery, The Lakefront Brewery and the Milwaukee Ale House. We rented a bus and headed to Milwaukee right after service in the morning.

Our tour started with lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery, this was not part of the tour, but it was a great way to start the afternoon tour off. After lunch we proceeded to the basement for our free beer and then a tour of the facility.

After that we hopped aboard the boat and then headed up the river to the Lakefront Brewery for another beer or two and another brewery tour.

The tour cost $30 per person and included 2 drink tickets at each brewery, for a total of 6 beers. Six beers would not be possible for me, but I did have 1 beer at both Rock Bottom and Milwaukee Ale House and 2 beers during the tour at Lakefront for a total of 4 beers and that was enough for me.

Anyway, at Lakefront Brewery the tour guide totally gets into the tour and was quite the ham.

Seriously he must be a theater major, because he was so dramatic telling the story of how the original Klisch brothers bought the current building from the city of Milwuakee for $1. Added to the $1 was paying past taxes and such, but the $1 is a great story. At one point in the tour, he asked for some volunteer and I was selected or elected, depending on your view point. He had previously mentioned that he would kiss you if you added some money to his hat. Well, my husband must have paid him because he called me up front to kiss me on the cheek!
If I hadn't been drinking I would have been embarassed. What am I saying, I love to be the center of attention! To add to the fun, I had the camera, so he had to re-kiss me after I gave the camera to my husband who rarely takes pictures. But as you see it turned out!
After Lakefront we headed down the river, past our starting brewery, Rock Bottom and on to our third tour and round of beers at Milwaukee Ale House.
OK, at this point, after 3 beers I needed a couple of pretzels to settle my stomach. I love beer, but honestly I can't remember the last time I have drank more than 2 beers. Since I ordered the pretzels, I waited for those at the bar and skipped this tour. Afterall, water, barley, yeast and hops are the 4 ingrediants and we had already heard that 2 other times - and I needed food.

At the end of the tour time, we hopped back onto the boat with a whole different group of people. Not really different, but obviously loosen up after a couple of beers. The boat driver and assistant had us singing Sweet Caroline and Its Raining Men and we were up dancing and singing . . . oh what a difference a couple of beers make.

Let me just say, that I have been a Madison snob for quite sometime. I travel to Milwaukee for Brewers games, Summerfest and for work and that is about it. I would have to say that I never really enjoyed the city and certainly didn't know that the RiverWalk area even existed.
Oh my gosh! It is beautiful area and it looks like there is so much to do between the other boat tours, art galleries and resturants along the way. What a fun place to visit.The River Walk Boat tours offer tours every day of the week including, Margarita Mondays, Tiki Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Funky Fridays, Saturday Pub, Bloody Mary Sunday and the 3 Brewery Tour on Sundays that there is a river tour for everyone! I would definitely like to go back.
Here is a link to the site:
Enjoy the moments!

Posted with BlogsyPosted with Blogsy

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Not crazy . . .

. . . afterall!

As I previously mentioned the path that I bike to work includes exiting the bike path and driving through a parking lot. There are rocks / boulders blocking the connection point so that vehicles can't accidentally get out on the bike path. I had noticed that the boulders were moved, allowing for a small access point sometimes, while other times there were boulders in the way. I decided to start paying more attention and taking pictures when I noticed something different. Well what do you know, the boulders were in a slightly different configuration on Wed and again this morning, confirming that someone is moving them!

Here is a shot from a couple of weeks ago, notice the space on either side of the two large center boulders.

On Tuesday the space on the right was filled in with a boulder.

Yet on Thursday morning the view clearly shows that someone moved the rock and shifted its location so that the opening on the right of the center two large boulders was accessible once again.

Who does this? Why? I get a kick out of these type of random things that show up.

On other news or updates,

Todd's brother and wife were here over the weekend.

The family reunion was good.

I ran on Monday,Wednesday and Saturday mornings

I biked to work 4 days.

I attended 2 Pilates classes.

Summer has finally arrived - hot - humid - sultry weather has settled in and we turned our air conditioning on Thursday.

Enjoy the final summer moments!



Friday, August 15, 2014

Plans change . . .

. . . and then change again.

I decided to take this afternoon off. There was grocery shopping to do and pulled chicken to get started. Todd's family is having a family
reunion in Milwaukee on Saturday and his brother from Michigan will be staying with us on Friday and Saturday evenings. While we will be in Milwaukee during the day tomorrow, I still need to make sure that there is food in the house for breakfast and dinner tonight.

Last evening I asked Todd -
what time are they expecting to get here? 'early evening' .
What about food? 'Well we can probably just order something!'

No, we can't do that. I will make something, how about pulled chicken in the crock pot? 'Sounds great! '

I wanted to say, of course that sounds great! It always sounds great when someone else does the work!

I don't know about you, but if someone is coming to your house, you don't

order pizza, maybe when you are younger, but at my age, you should be able to come up with home made food! Only problem with my plan, is that I didn't have any chicken thighs in the freezer, so I decided I could take half a day of vacation, run to Costco on the way home, pick up chicken and a few other items and get the chicken going in the crock pot by early afternoon and it would be done in time.

But wait at 10:00 I have a message on my phone from Todd, now his niece, her husband and kids have decided to stay near Madison instead of Milwaukee and would like to get together for dinner at a brew pup in Madison. His question is where should we go? I suggest either Great Dane or Ale Asylum. I suggest that Todd try for reservations at either place.

He later calls me, as I was driving home and now his niece and family will not be staying near Madison, because they didn't leave Michigan on time, so I head to Costco and the original plans!

Dinner was good, although a little latter than I had wanted. The chicken was great, recipe compliments of Jenna's blog, Eat, Live, Run, Crock pot root beer pulled chicken, here. Served on a bun or sweet potato.

I made a batch of margarita's and everyone was happy. No pic's of the evening!

Enjoy the moments!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Another . . .

. . . beautiful day, although still not the summer weather we deserve at this time of year.

The morning started as most of my work mornings start, let Sophie out,
clean the litter box, make a cup of coffee, pick up the back yard and then
take Sophie out for a run/walk . . . but for some reason I ran out of time
for taking Sophie out for the run/walk and I have no reason why that
happened. Does that happen to you? You have a routine, you follow it and
yet somehow, something grabs some time. I don't recall what happened this
morning, but there wasn't time left. So off to work on my bike.

So far in 2014 I have biked over 1,400 miles. Here is a graph of miles per month. Honestly it feels like so much more.

My friend Tricia and I got a pretty early jump on the bike season and started biking in March, while there was still snow on the ground.

While I did bike to work a couple of days in April, it wasn't until May that the weather started more consistently cooperating or I got into the commuting habit. Honestly, this is more dependant on me getting in the habit of biking to work than the weather cooperating! Like any new task or process, biking to work takes some time to develop the habit. For me, just packing my bag takes some getting use to, making sure that I have everything that I need.

At this point in the season, the entire process goes pretty smoothly, but early in the year, everything takes longer. I am extremely lucky because we have showers and a small locker room at work. I have the necessary shower supplies in my locker and this year I also leave a basic amount of make-up at work.

A couple of lessons I have learned -

  • keep an extra pair of underwear at work,
  • if you wonder whether it is too warm to bike to work in work clothes, it probably is . . . don't chance it and wear biking clothes,
  • in case you absolutely FAIL and forget an important article of clothes I have a dress and sweater hanging behind my door in my office
  • leave a light weight jacket at work, although it is generally warmer when you bike home, that isn't always the case, I have had several times when my commute to work in the morning was beautiful while my bike ride home was cold and windy.
From May through August I have biked to work 65% of the work days including every day of August! ;-)

Work, well it is work. . . .

After work I headed to a stretch class called 'Refine your Spine' - a super
relaxing and much needed stretch class primarily on the roller.

So absolutely relaxing.

Speaking of relaxing, what do you suppose this guy is thinking relaxing over the ledge watching cars, bikes and people go by? It is some sort of artistic creation looking out over the third floor of a building near my Pilates Studio.

Back on my bike and not only did I get stopped at one railroad crossing, I got stopped at two railroad crossings!

Enjoy the moments!






Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Missing . . .

. . . summer.

I will return when the temp's warm up. Seriously, there is no denying these cool temp's are lovely. It is great to run without feeling like you are dripping wet, bike without being extremely sweaty and feel cool breezes through the house BUT it is Mid-August and we should have hot, muggy days and sultry evenings.

I want summer back . . .

Enjoy the moments, even if they are cool.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Must be . . .

. . . crazy. Seriously the boulders/rocks blocking the bike path from cars have not moved in a week. I know I didn't imagine that they were in different locations . . . or did I? Maybe it was a dream?

Speaking of night, which is when most dreams occur, there was a horrible screeching sound that woke me up last night around 4AM. Some animal was clearly in distress. Sophie was upset and started barking - it wasn't a pretty sound. I couldn't get back to sleep and should have gotten up, but instead I laid there trying to convince myself to go back to sleep - but failed!

Back to morning and my bike ride. The weather report predicted rain in the late afternoon, but I figured I would chance it. Meteorologists, some times they're correct and some times they're wrong, and I have been married to one for 37 years so I think I have an interesting perspective. Whenever you see 50% chance of rain, why think it will rain? There is a 50% chance it won't. Go for the positive!

Anyway, somewhere around 3:30 - 4:00 that 50% became 100%! It suddenly started to rain, make that pour. But upon checking radar, it looked short lived and after another couple of short bursts of rain and thunder showers it looked like I would be fine to bike to Pilates. So at 5 I hopped on my bike and headed to class. The sky was dark and it was windy, but no rain.

The Pilates studio I attend classes is on Atwood Ave, a rather funky neighborhood in town. This is a sign I pass, turning to the Pilates studio.

I checked the weather again after Pilates to see what the radar looked like and all was clear. Granted it was a windy ride home and the wind was coming directly out of the north, which is the direction I was headed, but I didn't get hit by a single drop of rain!

On the menu for this evening was a Cuban pulled pork sandwiches and boy was it good. I made mine when I got home from Pilates. Pulled pork and ham warmed up. Add the warm meat to a nice chewy bun with mustard, pickle spears and Swiss cheese and heat on top of the stove.

This is not a Jenna inspired meal but speaking of Jenna, I need to get back to cooking recipes from her blog! I have been slacking off!

As I lamented yesterday, summer is quickly fading. It seems we are busy every weekend until mid September. Why are we so busy you ask? Well, my oldest son is getting married in September and between family reunions, bridal showers and volunteer commitments we have no free weekends. Add to that my Peoplesoft upgrade project at work and I am feeling a tad bit stressed. I require a lot of down time and just don't feel like I am getting enough right now.

Speaking of downtime, it is past my bedtime. I am hoping there are no animal distress sounds tonight.

Enjoy the quiet moments!





Lake Mendota . . .

. . . on a boat is a great way to spend a summer day. And that is what we did today. My biking friend Tricia and her friend Mike joined us on the boat.

I have to say that it was a bit tinged with the sad feeling that summer is coming to an end. Hard for me to believe it is August 10th. It seems like when we hit August I just want to enjoy each and every flower, blade of grass, blue sky, fire fly, trip on the lake, bike trip, run, driving with car windows down and having all the windows in the house open. Oh how I love this season we call summer. But it seems like it is quickly passing and I want to squeeze hold tight and not let it go, but of course we can't stop the change of seasons. But it does seems like we have been cheated out of true summer this year. I think we might have hit the 90 degree mark one time. I love hot humid temp's but that has not been the norm this summer.

We cruised around the lake and ended up at Nautigal for lunch, but they weren't serving lunch because they were still serving a brunch buffet. I don't know about you, but I don't do buffets. I don't go out to eat enough to share food prep with others. If I am paying for food, I want it made specifically for me. Maybe that is a crazy way to think, but I can't help it.

Here is a great shot of my fried Trix holding up the bridge! If anyone could actually hold it up, she could!

Great time, great friends, great summer day.

Enjoy the moments!



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday bike . . .

. . . ride to New Glarus.

Alarm was set this morning to make sure that we got going relatively early. It is big time beer events around Madison this weekend. The annual Great Taste of the Midwest, a gathering of craft brews and breweries bring 1,000 different beers to a lakeside park. The event is limited to 6,000 people and sells out quickly. Anyway, because of this emphasis on craft beers in the area, the New Glarus brewery is busier than normal and they had a limited release of sour Peach ale. While we got to the brewery at 10:45, there were lines of people already there at 7. We weren't there specifically for the limited release, although it would have been fun to participate. When we pulled into the parking lot people staff said that they had 1,500 people at the brewery just before we arrived. Even though we missed the limited release, we got to enjoy the wood fired pizza of LaFortuna pizza and enjoyed a couple of beers, including Staghorn and MoonMan, two of my favorites.

I invited a couple that had participated in this years Tour de Brew, which I organize over Memorial Day weekend. I know they like to bike and thought they would enjoy this ride. They had never been to the New Glarus Brewery and I think and hope they had a great time.

Here are a couple of pictures from the road and of course in front of the tunnel entrance.

After we got home, I was basically a couch potato. Well actually a porch hammock potato. I am embarrassed to say I did nothing. Usually a 30 mile ride doesn't tire me as much as today's, but I was tired and didn't want to do anything! Oh well, I know that these days are few and far between. No problem or reason to feel bad. Sometimes you just need to hang!

Tomorrow will be a busy Sunday with church and then we are going out on the boat, but that is tomorrow and next on the agenda is a wonderful night of sleep!

Enjoy the moments and enjoy good beer!