Friday, February 29, 2008

Tagged: 7 things about me

NOTE: If you would like to be "tagged" and write 7 interesting/fun/weird/whatever things about you... consider yourself tagged. Among folks who have commented on this blog you may find some who have chosen to list 7 things about themselves.

1. I love running marathons and have actually finished a dozen (12 !). That's besides some like Chicago, unfinished, but fun.12 finished 2. Sweet Pea, my running partner, always sets our pace.
3. I love weather, always changing. Rain on Gateway Trail 4. Life is short ... really. Sigh.

5. The last summer I detasseled corn, I was a crew leader in charge of 15 other teenage girls.

6. I like sleeping in my own bed.

7. SEVEN favorite foods:

mango, pineapple, nectarines, apricots, melon, berries
.... (probably is a whole "food group" ?)
oatmeal date bars
roasted hazelnuts
dark, free trade chocolate
buttered popcorn
real ice cream without a lot of chemicals
plain skim milk (free trade coffee) lattes

PS... Well, yes, I eat lots of a variety of vegetables every day, but vegetables are not my favorite foods. However, I have come a long way from junk foods?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Made in USA ?

New Balance Well, yes, something LESS than 70% of the materials are domestic in this particular pair of New Balance running shoes. The New Balance web site from which I ordered them listed these shoes as Made in USA.
The shoes were produced in one of New Balance's five US factories. (Points for trying.)

This is my second new pair of shoes in a couple of weeks... It had been many miles since I ordered a new pair.

National Geographic has had a couple of good articles (one last spring) about the working conditions in China.

These are some of my concerns:

1. Many Americans are out of work.

2. Many laborers in the Orient are not receiving fair benefits for their labors. (Who are those slimes who are profiting?? And to what degree is it Us?)

3. Why don't we hear anything about the cost of transportation for imports? (Doesn't that require OIL?) Those imports are not arriving on American shores by rail.

4. Where are the "buy local" folks when it comes to dishes, stainless steel kitchen equipment, clothing, shoes, children's toys and books, auto parts, (whatever... have you been shopping lately?)

Back when "they" predicted we would become the information age, rather than manufacturing, I had no idea this is what they meant. Sigh.

By the way.. yes, we are still running, running, running on indoor tracks, and attempting a small beginning of weight/resistance work.

And we are pretty busy, as always, cooking the wonderful meals you can see on these blogs: Make It a Masterpiece, and Myeloma Hope.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Strength Training: Didn't do it today

Strength training The study described in the book above is reported in this article.
Work by Arthur Kramer,PhD, professor of neuroscience at U of IL, Urbana,
demonstrates that aerobic exercise together with strength training improves cognitive functions of the brain.

Bone strength is nice, being stronger to run is nice, improved cognitive function (duh?) is nice.
So WHY didn't I do my strength (weights) training today? Too busy in the morning... too busy tonight....
Today was a good day.. the best day of the year.. maybe tomorrow the best day will include strength training. . . . . .

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

UW River Falls

Runner Don Another indoor track explored: Knowles Center, University of Wisconsin, River Falls. For a small fee, open to the public most mornings during the school year.

Tomorrow we do weights/resistance training at home.. and now that I have written it here, I really have to do it!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Running Shoes

Most recently, I have worn out a half a dozen pair of Brooks "Burn" running shoes. Being a possibilities person, I am trying something else. Since we are related to someone working for NIKE, I ordered the Air Zoom Hayward's by NIKE .. in white and ice blue! I like light weight shoes. These may be over the top for "light". I am wondering how long they will last. But Oh, I feel like I'm flying when I run.
Wow! they do look large, taken close up, don't they!
Still clean!
Fierce winds lately.. and it is February in Minnesota.. so what do we expect... It is still winter. OK. We're off to explore more indoor tracks.

Drifting snow

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Indoor Tracks

Thursday . . . Stillwater bubble running
Friday . . . Resistance/weights work at home
Saturday . . . Community Center running track
Sunday . . . Bethel University Field House
. . . . "Challenge" Races

Sweet Pea at Bethel track
Sunday's races
PS Check out the new Delinsky book in my previous post if you missed it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"The Secret Between Us"

Barbara Delinsky's book (c. 2008.. title above) jumped right off the shelf at me when we were waiting for the tire to be fixed.

Delinsky's writing is good enough that I can follow the story without being distracted by clumsy or trite sentences. Legal issues, divorce, medical implications, nearly-adult children, friendships... an interesting read. The combination of the whole flat tire experience and reading an entire novel in the following day and a half have been cause for reflection.

"It is good to have someone you can call that will come." I reflected on that as I stood waving at traffic accelerating up the entrance ramp of an interstate. See my previous post. Not even realizing that our emergency road response provision ran out with a hundred thousand miles and the extended warranty, I had called him thinking that he would call Saturn to come.

He crouched, busy with lug nuts, jumping back behind the car each time snow plows approached. I thought about the myeloma from which he did not yet experience symptoms. And I thought about how good it was to have someone who could come.

My car has a hundred thousand miles on it, but I always have road-worthy tires and brakes and steering in good repair. The tire repair was free because of the Michelin puncture warranty. I don't have flat tires. I have never needed to change a flat tire, yet.

I appreciate my Someone who changes tires. I appreciate the fact that nobody got hurt as a result of road debris.

And it was fun to take a few hours off to appreciate a new novel by Delinsky.

To reflect.. and to appreciate.
Kitty reflecting

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Haven't been able to think of much to blog about other than whining about the winter.
Wishing for something interesting....

Today, as I rounded a corner and headed up a freeway entrance ramp, a sickening thwap thwap thwap crashed against a rear wheel well as the tire rotated.
As quickly as possible I pulled over to the right (and only) shoulder and cautiously abandoned the warm driver's seat to venture out into 4pm traffic to peer at my left rear tire.

There was a rubber strap hanging out over the tire... Yes, it was! It was a rubber BUNGEE ... Its hook hopelessly embedded in the tread of the tire.
Tire punch After satisfying myself that I could not possibly pry the thing out, and being quite certain the result would be a very flat tire...
Back in the car... call Valentine Super Guy to the rescue. Praise be for cell phones.
Cold as it looks!! At 4pm the temp was probably about 15 degrees with a 16 mph wind.
Not the weather you hope for when you have to change a tire on the freeway. Still winter
Of course when Runner Dude removed the bungee hook from the tire, it immediately went flat... Well the rest was harrowing and yet .. routine? Tire changed.. trip to the tire dealer.. tire repair... And while we waited... Flowers for Valentine's Day!
Love Home for supper by 6. (What supper??) Well, fresh, from scratch chicken soup, thanks in part to leftover roasted chicken in the refrigerator.

After all that whining about cold long winter, this little adventure in the Minnesota tundra is weird enough for me?

Still Running on Indoor Tracks

A couple inches of snow overnight effectively hides the slippery ice along the shoulders of the roads, so we were indoors again today. Forty-five minutes on a track.
Temp 13, wind speed 12 at 1:00pm

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Indoor Track

Warmest it will get today is 14. We went to the community center ... again ... this morning. Resistance/free weight work on Wednesday. Temp will be in low 20's on Thursday, but with a 15 mph wind. So back to the indoor track. Sigh.
I doubt that we will try to do the Valentine 5K around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis on Saturday morning. Friday overnight temp will be the week's lowest.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Do Not Inhale: Below Zero All Day

Wind chill overnight: -39. Temp below zero all day.
We 3 ... an hour on the indoor track at the center this afternoon. Felt great to run.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Here it comes again

Not a blizzard This is a new picture... honest! It looks just like this again.. with blowing and drifting snow. Good news is we are not getting the blizzard that Fargo is getting. Bad news is we may get a 40 below wind chill again.
Cabin Fever Weekend.
So back to the indoor track and exercise machines.
Focus on the Valentine 5K next Saturday.

All together now: Spring is coming... Spring is coming... Spring is coming...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mardi Gras Marathon 2005

We three finishers The first marathon for Sweet Pea and me: She fell and scaped her knee and I limped with painful blisters... but we finished... smiling!!! Runner Don finished and came back to escort & cheer our last 4 miles or so.
The Oaks, the neighborhoods, the parks... the people and the music.
Oh what memories... especially of New Orleans as it was and never will be...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hello February (today's picture)

Warmer snowy day Really, this is a picture taken today! A much warmer day than the December day of the picture posted below.
I don't mean to wish my life away, of course. Every day is a precious one.
But the tight corners on the indoor track take a toll on knees, and I love running outdoors... in temps above freezing.
Cheerful snow today, because it will decorate our lives and then be gone much faster than that early heavy snow in December.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Good Bye January

A cold snowy day The minus 40 degree wind chill of earlier this week moderated into a mild just above freezing afternoon today and we were out running and walking in the neighborhood. Hello February.
Oh I know we will have much more snow and fluctuating temperatures. But it was mighty energizing to be outside in a lighter jacket.. without freezing my bones.