Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lumberjack Races/Portland Prairie Church

Early morning, runners headed for the Lumberjack Race buses, some of us parking in the lot across from the marvelous pre-school children's Teddy Bear Park.

Vestiges of the past lumber industry: The 5K begins at the Boom Site north of the city, along the St. Croix River.

Runner Don sprinting in, finishing the 10 mile race which began north and west of Stillwater, at Square Lake Park.
On the right, the spectator who stood on, and perpendicular to, the race course for half an hour.

Yea Sweet Pea finisher!
Weather was cooler and drier than ever for this race.. and We Two had our fastest time ever.

Orthopaedic Sports offers icy frozen "pop sticks" at the finish.
Historic Stillwater lift bridge in the background

Other goodies at the end of the races: bananas, cups of water, bottles of sports drink, bottles of water, bagels, finisher's shirts....
and the cold water spray ... enjoyed by both runners and kids. (seen here, both 10 mile runner and small child with mother)

St. Croix river boats, kid on dad's shoulders, the water spray, runners enjoying bottles of sports drink

Sunday morning, off on a 3 hour drive through southern Minnesota to the southeast corner of the state, south of Caledonia. Many miles of wildflowers along the country roads, and I wonder how many are due to the awareness created by Lady Bird Johnson.
In the Harmony area, because it was Sunday morning, we met Amish horse-drawn buggies on the way to worship.
In the Spring Grove area, the city square was decorated with plantings around the Viking statue, along with other evidence of Norwegian pioneers.

Beyond the cornfield you can see the Portland Prairie Church.

Portland Prairie Methodist Epicscopal Church, organized in 1876 is
on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Sunday, July 27, they held their annual worship in the sanctuary.
Impromptu men's and women's choirs sang.

A good thought from the pastor's message.. God doesn't deal out trouble.
(as in, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle")
But when trouble is overwhelming,

For more on Portland Prairie Church, see post on July 30, 2007, on this blog.

Benedition read in unison: "May the presence of God the Creator give you strength; may the presence of God the Redeemer give you peace; may the presence of God the Sanctifier give you love. Amen."

Hey! that's me on the right, enjoying the breeze and cooler-than-forecast temperture. What a glorious day!

And back to Stillwater Sunday night for potluck with friends, and Lumberjack Days fireworks.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rice Street Mile/ Mayo Clinic

Rice Street Festival: small town community event, including One Mile Race and parade ... right in the midst of the city of St. Paul. Wednesday evening ... women's race at 6pm, men's race at 6:30. Families ... lots of kids of all ages, babies, toddlers, cute little 3-year-olds, school age kids ... the smell of bratwurst cooking and not so much the smell of cigarettes anymore ... lawn chairs lined up along the street ... people cheering the runners ... and then watching the parade.
After running, we walked along the street and people stopped us to ask "How long was the race?" Interested, curious, encouraging...

Below: glasses for all participants.

4am Thursday (today) morning we were up to go to Mayo Clinic for Don's myeloma blood tests and appointment with the doctor. Lovely sunrise on the drive down, a little later than than when we went in June, as the days are already getting shorter.
We were hopeful of great response, but results showed little change. Don should have a report up on http://myelomahope.blogspot.com/ in a day or two.
Shopped for turmeric, produce, nuts and gluten-free items at the Good Food Store in Rochester.
We had good day and celebrated precious time together.

Friday afternoon storm in Stillwater ... wind rocked the car, picture through the windshield.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

8.6 Miles Today

"And to think that we saw it on Mulberry Street" ... Well, not exactly Mulberry Street ... but on our run today.

I know that milkweed plant is an important food for monarch butterflies. Today, for the first time, I saw a monarch butterfly feeding on a milkweed plant.

Another glimpse of the kitty we had seen before with mouse in mouth:

We saw horses, dogs being walked by their owners.
Beef cattle with young ones ... are these angus?

So fun to see so many young bikers out with an adult.

We might be partial to three-year-olds.

Supper tonight: bison, cubed and browned, cooked 5 hours in a crockpot. Absolutely moist and tender as the most tender beef... spiced with turmeric, fennugreek, coriander, tomatoes.
Vegetable curry: beets, beet greens, zucchini, onion, sweet potato, turmeric, ginger, ground fennel seed.
Smoothies: 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 banana, a couple of chunks of fresh pineapple... PER SERVING

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Misc.

Yesterday a storm system poured rain here, and then soon after, there were tornado warnings for the area east of us. Amazing how regularly there are warning or watch "boxes" somewhere.
We don't run in thunderstorms, but Sweet Pea and I have these weekly totals:
Week ending July 4: 28.8 miles
Week ending July 11: 17.3 miles
Week ending July 18: 20.2 miles
Yesterday and today: 10.6 miles... with 5 days left to run this week.
Stormy weather yesterday.....

This is vegetable curry: just an assortment of vegetables, not stirred together.
Beets, beet greens, ginger, leeks, zucchini, not sure what others.
A quarter of a cup of coconut milk added... and as much turmeric as I can tolerate!
Half a can of Eden organic diced tomatoes! I have shared with myeloma group, family, and on this blog what I discovered about a connection between gluten intolerance and nightshade (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant).
I am reading so much about benefits of tomatoes, that I am serving them a couple of times a week. The lycopenes and antioxidants win ... in moderation.

Fruit and walnuts: great combination.

Yesterday we were with our Godson and wife and their adorable amazing 3-year-old who live in California. What joy!!

Some flowers from our garden to wish everyone a good week....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Breakfast : Protein & Fruit

By popular request ... truly! People have asked for help to eat the way we do. Wow.
... And said, Oh thank you ... and That would be wonderful ...
when I have said I will work on it soon.

The first year we were married, we had dinner every morning before work ... our big meal of the day ... like meat and vegetables, etc. And smaller meals at noon and in the evening. Very healthy. We remember now being concerned about weight, and reasoning that a big meal at the beginning of the day was better. But we didn't keep that up after the first year. I have read that there are people who do this ... but .... anyway ...

We still have protein to start our day. Two eggs**(see egg paragraph near the end of this post), cooked in about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of macadamia oil (I have found that it sticks less for me) and 1/8 teaspoon of butter for flavor. Those measurements are per serving. Pepper to taste, and salt if no blood pressure issues.
No bacon, sausage or sausage links in our breakfast.
Maybe you have one egg a day.
This plate was my mother's. She was just a bit more traditional than I am, but I appreciate the things I have that were hers.

These are the kinds of oatmeal we use. The "Holly and the Ivy" bowl was a gift from family. I love using it year round. The oatmeal is cooked with about a tablespoon of flame raisins and a tablespoon of dried cranberries per serving.

Don decorates his oatmeal with marvelous fruit and berries ... and walnuts, the nuts with omega 3.
These are some of the supplements and vitamins I take. Don takes many more, of course, because he is targeting myeloma. Any antioxidants are probably worth considering. Check the internet; discuss it with an ND (naturopathic doctor).
No time in the morning for cooking eggs? You can hard cook (not hard boil) eggs ahead of time and they will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Many cookbooks and the internet have instructions.

Low fat or non fat cottage cheese or yogurt is another possibility for protein. A cold piece of last night's left-over meat (not processed meat, of course) is another possibility.
Here are other fruit choices. Watermelon can be good for breakfast. We are finding that filling our meals and our lives with fruit leaves little room for junk.

If you eat bagels, pastries, hamburger buns, candy bars, bags of chips, think about substituting a cup of blueberries, half a grapefruit, an orange, an apple, a banana.

Nearly everything we eat either contributes to health or has some negative effect. Now that Don is eating to fight myeloma (and to be a runner!) that seems clear to me.

RUNNERS: need to eat protein and carbs within an hour after running or working out. Whole fresh fruit is great; that's why they have bananas for post-race food. It is helpful to think of fruit and bread and cereal and carb vegetables ... being the carb group. The idea of bread and cereal being a separate group may have been contrived by the food industry when they were designing the first food pyramid, around the time of the beginning of the obesity epidemic.
Note: Sugar is not a nutrient.
Running AND good eating is a lot to fit in before getting to a job in the morning: I hear you... and my best wishes are with you to keep moving toward both.

PEOPLE LIVING WITH MYELOMA: healthy eating (essentially a diabetic diet) may help in this life-and-death way of life.
As for aerobic activity, all of Don's doctor's have strongly encouraged his continuing to run: "Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!"

GOOD NEWS FOR EVERYONE: everything we do to eat a little better, every effort to be active, every positive change really does make a difference in health. I like to think of it as a journey.

Part of the journey for us may mean finding ways to include herbs and spices in breakfast: cinnamon (moderates blood sugar) in the oatmeal, a Denver omelet or salsa with scrambled eggs (for antioxidants.) Thanks to Margaret, I will add: .. thinking about turmeric, curry spices for the eggs ... perhaps a splendid weekend breakfast of eggs and curried fruit?

** What about eggs?? My HDL (good stuff) has always been too low .. until this spring when it was actually above the desirable range (Yea!), and the LDL was fabulous. What had I been doing? Running, a little resistance training, eating lots of good fats: nuts, avocadoes, salmon, olives, olive oil ... and 2 eggs for breakfast every morning.
Also lots of fruit, melon, and berries, vegetables ... and no wheat, no gluten, no processed meat.
And, of course, the vitamins and supplements pictured above. The vitamin D3 (2,000 units) and the curcumin were probably additions since the last blood test.
Eight years and pre-Weight Watchers, I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now.
I am 5'3 1/2 and wish I weighed 15 pounds less.. which would be 123, but my blood is beautiful, and sometimes I get age group awards.

OUR RUNNING THIS WEEK: Hot humid days are a little easier for Sweet Pea and me on the indoor track, air-conditioned, but still humid. We are working on getting our miles in this week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Garden Tour 2008

Click here for our 2008 slide show:

Benefit for Family Means non-profit in Stillwater MN, last weekend.

Dental cleaning and no cavities for both Sweet Pea and me this week. Don and I showed up at myeloma information and support group this afternoon.

Between meeting, appointments, storms, and 90 degree temps, we all are fitting in our training runs this week. Yesterday, Sweet Pea and I were grateful for the indoor air-conditioned track.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trail Run

Sunday noon ... 5.25 miles on county park trails ... 70 degrees and 15 - 18 mph breeze.

The ever popular... poison ivy ... right beside the trail in some of the wooded area. I have been extremely sensitized to poison ivy and am always on the look-out.
In the afternoon we finished the Family Means (Stillwater) Garden Tour.

BE SURE TO READ THIS amazing account of a week on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon on this site: http://dcspinster.blogspot.com/
Posts on July 4-10.
A remarkable


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Random Ideas about Health

If I am injured, get me a doctor. I do believe in doctors. They are important for emergency situations, authorizing blood tests and some other diagnostic measures. They can prescribe all sorts of drugs.

Recently, I have relied also on an ND: naturopathic doctor. We prefer to call naturopathy complementary, rather than alternative medicine.

When I have any sort of medical question, I often "Google" .. but prefaced with the term: "naturopathic". This gets me into a whole different body of knowledge.

If you know anyone taking statins, it can be helpful to search for "statins and
CoQ10." There is abundant information about taking CoQ10 to restore the depletion caused by statins. Charles has a post about statins and CoQ10: http://why-how-what-where-i-run.blogspot.com/

High blood pressure medication is something I have no first hand information about. However some reports indicate that around 50% of people ... and 70% of men ... discontinue use because of side effects. (We can all guess what the side effects are for men.) Now this is important: A person probably ought not to quit taking it without consulting the doctor.
HOWEVER... If you Google "Naturopathic high blood pressure remedies" You can find some lifestyle changes and supplements that may be more (gently) helpful.
Some of those are about a healthy lifestyle and are not new news to runners!

Another condition for which drugs are often prescribed is hypothyroid. Anyone who is even thinking about medication would do well to look into less drastic remedies .. on the internet ... on naturopathic sites ... and perhaps to see a naturopathic doctor.

We can't control everything about health, but it seems like runners tend to get more and more interested in good health to achieve better performance. Makes sense.

I have noticed lately on network television programing, a mentality that people need to party ... can't be eating healthy food all the time ... etc. And who profits most if most people accept that premise: The Food Industry!!! (And The Liquor Industry).

If you are interested in one person's multi-faceted battle with myeloma cancer, you can read here: http://myelomahope.blogspot.com/


TODAY: Sweet Pea and I ran 8.6 miles on the trail... Lots of debris from the big wind last evening.

Later this morning, we joined Don (who ran with the Stillwater Runners) for the Family Means Annual Garden Tour. Slideshow later.

PS This kitty was in a garden on the garden tour.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

4.1 miles on the 4th of July ... benefit for the historical society, located at old Hay Lake School, where the mostly downhill race begins.
But Mile 2 is a dreaded flat stretch of loose dry gravel, devoid of shade, and dusty with speeding an occasional SUV or pickup truck... about 75 degrees yesterday.
Feels like I am recovering from Grandma's Marathon two weeks ago, but pushing about as much as I ought to.

Anyway, at the finish line in Marine on St. Croix, we were elated to discover that Sweet Pea and I had made a PR for that race ... and Don and I had each won an award:
2nd in our respective 60-69 age groups.
This small, community annual event is a regular on our racing schedule. We enjoy seeing friends and children of all ages.
We hurried home for Sweet Pea's weekly American Sign Language conversation with her tutor. Meanwhile Don stopped by the River Co-op for fixings for a pot-luck salad.
He is also working on setting up interactive calendars between all of our laptops... and we had some fun with entering data in the afternoon.

4th of July Picnic and Fireworks
Our gracious host and chef provided delicious barbecued chicken breasts (and hot dogs for those who made that choice).
We appreciate the good conversation with friends ...
and their potluck contributions, too, of course.

Fresh fruit salad:
Pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, grapes
Blender dressing: banana, raspberries, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, poppy seed

Thanks to the creator of this delight for sharing her recipe before we dished up. Being a regular reader of our blogs, she understood that we would like to know what we were eating. And we went back for seconds!
Click on this one for the luscious super-size picture.
The fireworks were predicted to be the best in the area due to Stillwater being the birthplace of Minnesota and 2008 being the 150 year anniversary of statehood.

In viewing a picture, a person has to have seen fireworks to appreciate the color, magnitude... and noise! of fireworks. So why do Sweet Pea and I take pictures of fireworks? Because it is fun to do (and yes, we do have the flash turned off!)
Our sweet potato salad:
Actually, our old favorite recipe for potato salad.. but just substituting sweet potatoes.. for more nutrients and a lower glycemic index.

Sweet potatoes, cooked just until tender (boiled or steamed), peeled, cubed, drenched in lemon juice .. If you have fresh organic lemons, grate some of that pesticide-free lemon rind on there too.

Frozen peas, with any ice rinsed off
Cubed cucumber (hydroponic or organic is nice)
Sliced organic celery, including some leaves
Sliced fresh onions and green onion tops would be nice, but the co-op didn't have any yesterday.
Eleven hard-cooked eggs ...
I always cook one more than I need, and then try one while they are cooking .. to see if they are done.
And thanks to our Weight Watcher's leader, the day before, for sharing that her gandmother made the best potato salad: "I use a dozen hard cooked eggs !" she explained.
Some salt

Dressing: yogurt, excess liquid drained off, and chopped chives
We set a bottle of raspberry vinegar by the salad, for added tang.

This salad needs something else, I think ... some caraway or fennel seed? dill? fresh ground pepper, too? An Independence Day with some sadness and anger: ... the war, the fractured economy, the inadequate health care, the global warming, the declining respect for the US in the world community, the (expletives deleted) administration.