Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm So... Startled

We're two days away from race time people... do you know where your children are? Oh wait, I mean, are you ready for this?! I don't know why, but I get so nervous for these things! I don't know what I'm so nervous about. All day today I've been walking around with butterflies in my stomach. I think I'm just worried that all this training is somehow going to fly out the window and I'm going to suck really bad or get injured the day before the race or something stupid. Why do I do this to myself? Who knows. I just want to do really good. And I want to run the whole way without stopping. Which I still haven't done on the race course, but have done many times during all my runs for the last several weeks. Even up big hills. But not on the big hill on the course. That's my main goal for Saturday... to run the whole thing without stopping.

Anyway, for those of you who are coming to race, here are the details again:

Ogden Family Fitness Day 5K Run:

•If you haven't already registered, it'll cost you $20 on race day and you probably won't get a shirt.

•Race begins at 9:00 a.m.

•Check-in and Day-of registration

8:00-8:50 am

I would recommend giving yourself plenty of time to get there, check-in,  and get warmed up. Here's a map of how to get to the MTC Learning Park. I would recommend taking the 24th St. exit off of I-15 in Ogden  because 12th St. is under construction. Plus, then you only have to make one left turn onto Monroe Blvd. and you're pretty much there. The MTC Learning Park will be on the right as you start to go down the big hill on Monroe.

Good luck everybody!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Re-examining My Life Goals

About six months ago I started a journey. A grueling journey filled with hate, boredom, sleepiness and disdain. I started this task voluntarily, but, I wonder now if I really had a clear vision of what exactly I was getting into. So many people had done this before me. So many people will continue to do this in years to come. Now I wonder, do I want to finish? Do I want to put myself through this kind of torture while gaining no joy whatsoever besides the sporadic muted interest from society's intellectuals? I'm not so sure it's worth the price any more.

When I first started reading War and Peace I was excited. I'd read many reviews on Amazon about how it was the greatest book of all time. My copy of War and Peace has about 1400 pages. I've read between 400-500 of those pages. I can't exactly remember because I haven't picked the thing up for over a month, but I digress. I guess my point is, this book is like a succubus. It drains all my energy just thinking about sitting down to read. There was one chapter out of all those 400+ pages that I enjoyed. Most of the time I have no idea what is going on and as soon as I figure it out, the book jumps to a completely different character and story and I have to start all over again trying to remember what happened to this person in previous chapters.

This morning as I was rushing around getting ready for work, I began to think about this book. And several other books I've recently read. I've flown through a handful of books these last couple months. Because I enjoyed them. For those books I lost several hours of sleep. For those books I turned off the tv. War and Peace has never prompted me to lose sleep, or turn off the tv or even smile for that matter. It brings feelings of dread. And so it sits on my nightstand, waiting for the day I need help falling asleep.

So here's where I'm stuck. I can tell this book is not going to be finished by the end of the year. I don't have enough fire in my belly to plow through this sucker that fast. Even if I did, it's a very rare occasion that I can make it through two whole chapters without falling asleep. It's physically impossible for me to spend an even remotely large amount of time in one sitting reading this book. So do I continue reading this book just to show that I can do it? Do I continue reading it even though I'm constantly bored to tears? Or do I move on with my life and throw this goal by the wayside? Should I spend my time only reading books I love or is it good for me to tackle things like this? I'm a bit torn. What would you do?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Helper

When I was a kid, spanking wasn't the taboo it is today. It was common practice. Every family had their favorite spanking tool. There's Dad's leather belt, a 'switch' off the old willow tree out back, Mom's wooden spoon or my family's choice... The Helper.

The Helper usually came out when it was time to clean up the pig sties we called bedrooms. When we actually got around to cleaning our rooms, we'd already been told a hundred times to do it and had literally been chased up there to get it done. I don't remember complaining much but my little sister Annie could never do the job without throwing a fit. She'd stomp around and cry about how much she hated it while slowly shuffling things around.

After listening to the commotion for a minute or two, my dad would come up the stairs and say, "Do you want The Helper to help you? I think you need The Helper." Then he'd walk over to the closet and pull out a wire hanger. This immediately prompted Annie to yell "I'm cleaning! I'm cleaning!" and hustle around trying to find a spot for a dirty sock held in one hand while covering her butt with the other. This wouldn't have affected me at all except for the fact that my room was right next to hers. Which meant that The Helper always had to stop and pay a visit to me too. How thoughtful!

The Helper was more of a scare tactic really. It never left bruises or even hurt much, it was just something to get our attention. A quick little tap on the butt and we were working double time.

Now that I think about it, I don't have any wire hangers around here. Maybe I should take those clothes to the dry cleaners so I can get a few. You never know when The Helper will come in handy. Hey! Who was supposed to clean up this mess?! {sound of a whip cracking}

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chafed Thighs and Apple Pies*

Blackie (our black Pontiac) decided her two power windows were no longer needed and thus quit allowing them to roll up or down. I don't see window function as an option, so I took Blackie into the shop today so they could change her mind.

I called the shop this afternoon to tell them I'd be bringing Blackie in and asked when they closed. They were only open until 6:00pm so I knew I'd have to hurry home from work so I could pick her up and drop her off on time.

Now the other part of my plan, since Seth still works nights, was to drop the car off and run home. If I took a slight detour it would be just over 3 miles. Perfect. I drove the route on my way home to check it out and started to get a little nervous. It was pretty much all uphill. And it was 90 degrees outside. But, I could do it, right?

So I got home from work, changed into my running clothes and drove down to drop off Blackie. I had my ipod and stopwatch with me like usual, but today I thought maybe I should carry a bottle of water with me too. I walked about a quarter mile to warm-up and then started running.

Holy crap it was hard. I started out running on a steep part of the hill and it didn't get much better after that. I ran about a half mile before ditching my water bottle because it was throwing off my rhythm. Don't worry, I threw it in the proper receptacle.

After another half mile I came to a fork in the road. This was the point where I could either take the shorter, easier way, or take the harder way which would end up equaling the 3.1 miles I needed. It must have been the heat that made me delirious enough to choose the longer hard way.

I ran for another half mile up the hill until I couldn't run anymore. I ended up walking 3/4 of a mile. After this point the running was all slightly downhill, but it was hot and my legs were tired. I ran half a mile with the sun in my eyes before I stopped again. The heat and sweat was starting to get to me and now I was dealing with some chafing between my thighs. Yes, I'm going there. My legs were now Jello and my thighs stung with every step. I could either run the rest of the way to get it over with faster thus speeding up the friction on my thighs, or try and walk bow-legged for the last stretch. I settled on a combination of the two.

By the time I made it through the front door, my thighs were rubbed red and stinging, my legs were about to collapse underneath me and sweat was pouring into my eyes. And I managed to add six minutes to my time. Wahoo!

I've actually had a lot of successes in my training this last week or two and it took today's experience to make me remember something very important. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Anytime you do something clearly out of your fitness range you are going to end up frustrated. It's good to push yourself in order to improve, but you've got to set reasonable goals.

I'm going to run again once more this week. I'm going to try running the race course. I almost did it a week or two ago without stopping but didn't quite make it. This week I'm going to.

You better watch out race course. I'm coming for you.

*I had to mention apple pies so you'd read this post. And it made the title sound more cheery.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm in Love With Lee

Not Tommy Lee

Not Spike Lee

Not Sandra Lee

Not Robert E. Lee

Or even Bruce Lee

I'm in love with regular old, Lee. There I said it. To tell you the truth I've always kind of looked down on Lee. Thought Lee wasn't good enough for me... that Lee was dare I say... uncool.

But as of yesterday I have changed my ways. Lee is suddenly hip. I will let the world see me with Lee and I'll be proud and confident. In fact I'm going to show Lee off to all my friends.

Ok ok I'm talking about Lee jeans. Surprised? Yeah me too. I went shopping last night for some new clothes over at the local Kohls. My favorite pair of Gap jeans finally got a hole worn through the inner thigh and I needed something to replace them, pronto.

I sauntered around the Kohls for a half hour or so picking up anything and everything that looked like it might be suitable for entry into my wardrobe. I ended up carrying an armload of about 2 tons of clothes into the dressing room, including close to 10 pairs of jeans.

Finding clothes that look flattering is a very daunting task. Especially when you're pretending you're on What Not to Wear and trying to decide if the outfit you have on would ever appear on one of the sample mannequins and if it follows "the rules."

I tried on pair after pair of jeans. The stack slowly dwindled while I wondered if it was actually possible to try on 500 pairs of jeans and have none of them fit correctly. I wasn't getting down on myself for any extra cushioning I might have, in fact I was becoming frustrated with the selection of jeans available. I know what I want. Finding it is another story. They're either too high waisted or very low rise. They taper too much or they're too light of a wash. Or I find the perfect pair, but they're out of my size. It's one thing after another.

I got down to the last two pairs of jeans. These were more of a trouser style jean. I was looking for something a bit more casual, but these would be a bit nicer looking and besides, I had one or two pairs of regular jeans I could wear if I needed to. The thing was... the last two pairs of jeans I had to try on were Lee brand. I've never liked the look of Lee jeans much and the casual Lee jeans I'd already tried on were very high waisted and looked ridiculous. But I figured, what the heck. Might as well try them on while I'm here.

Holy crap... these jeans were AMAZING! Both pairs sat just below my belly button... high enough to lock in my pooch, but not so high as to make me look 20 years older. They were both a cotton/spandex blend so they stretched just a bit and the waistbands were thick, great for slimming the tummy region. One pair also had an added feature that I've never seen before. The waistband looked normal on the outside, but had a 2" wide elastic band sewed onto the inside to allow for an even better fit. It keeps the back of the waistband from gaping, which is a problem I encounter frequently due to my ample (yet quite spectacular) rear quarters.

The best part of all was these jeans were only like $30 each. Winner winner chicken dinner.

Here's the jeans I got:
Lee Jessica Trouser (Black Retro Wash)

Lee Natural Fit Reese Straight Leg (Indigo Rinse)

(These have a tab-front closure which I love)

So, if you're in the market for some jeans too, give these puppies a try. They come in lots of sizes and have inseams of 30", 32", and 34" so you should be able to find some that fit you. If not, try some other crazy brand you blew off long ago. You never know.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My List of Things That Must Go, Round 3

There's a couple things that have been bugging me lately so I'm going to voice my disapproval here in hopes that the word will get out. If you're doing any of these things, STOP IT!

1. Riding a bike with no hands: This has become an epidemic lately. I swear all the bicyclists I've seen lately are riding with no hands on the handlebars. Not only is this dangerous (I can just picture one of these people suddenly losing control and swerving out into traffic), but it just looks ridiculous. I know they think they look all hot and talented riding along with their arms folded across their chest, all relaxed and carefree, but come on. If you don't want handlebars you might as well just ride a unicycle.

2. Eyeball twitching: Lately my right eye has been twitching a lot. I mean on and off for an entire day. This has happened like once a week for the last month. It's driving me crazy. Am I deficient in vitamins? Is this my body's way of telling me I'm going to go blind? A sign I'm working too hard? I don't know why this is happening but I want it to stop!

3. Overzealous Sprinklers: I don't care about the planet or wasted water. Go ahead and water the gutter for all I care (not really... I love Earth). Why is it that no matter where I park, my car inevitably gets a shower? I hate this. When I finally get around to washing my car, I think I do a pretty good job. I vacuum it out, wipe down the dash, use the scrubber brush on the outside and even go so far as to dry the thing off and shine the tires. So you can imagine my fury when I come out to get in my car the next morning and find my poor baby covered in water spots. And you all know that these water spots don't simply wash off. I think they're made of concrete and glue because you can scrub until your knuckles are down to the bone and the water spots will remain. It doesn't matter where I park. I can park under any awning or out in the open. The lawn sprinklers will get my car on one side, and the sprinklers from the school on the other side of the fence shoot approximately ten miles so I'm not safe on that side either. I've started backing into my normal spot so only the backside of my car gets plastered. But still.

4. Slow Walkers: I encounter this one a lot at work. I realize I have a somewhat faster pace than a lot of people, but I'm working... not taking a midnight stroll in the moonlight. If you want to walk slow and mosey along, fine. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. But MOVE OVER! Why must you amble down the middle of the hall? Or worse yet, you have a buddy with you and your conversation is so incredibly engaging that you have to periodically STOP WALKING to engage in your stupid chit chat! Don't worry about me, it's not like I have anything better to do than listen to your worthless drivel and shuffle along at your heals. Of course I could ask to pass you but then I'd be an impatient jerk wouldn't I?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Today's Special Aug. 9-15th

I'm a little torn as to how I should do these posts. On one hand, I'd like to plan out my meals for the week and post them early. On the other hand, I rarely do these posts until the middle of the week because I'm not usually that dedicated at planning. Plus, I'd like to provide feedback on some of the new recipes I make so you know whether they're good or not. I don't know that there's any of you who run out and get all the stuff for every recipe I post, right when I post it, but still, I hate posting recipes that may not live up to my standards. No sense in both of us wasting money on sub-par food. So I guess what I'm saying is, I may slightly alter my recipe posting schedule. I know this is going to completely turn your lives upside-down.

On to this weeks' menu:

Sunday: Spinach & Four Cheese Stuffed Shells with French Bread -This recipe is actually originally for manicotti, but those pasta tubes are really hard to fill without tearing them. So I use the giant shells and use my cookie scoop to fill them. Much faster and easier. I this go-to recipe for spaghetti sauce.

Monday: Cereal. As in cold cereal.

Tuesday: Salmon Chowder with Peas This was a new recipe and although I was initially a little scared to eat it, it was really good! And it uses canned salmon which is pretty cheap. I doubled the recipe. See my comments under my username 'Pismo' on the Recipezaar link... I had to change the recipe slightly.

Wednesday: Spinach Stuffed Chicken with asparagus and Rice-a-roni. This was also a new recipe and I liked it a lot. I made it with frozen spinach because that's all I had. I also didn't use mushrooms because I didn't have any, though I'm sure it would've been even better had I used them.

Thursday: Taco Bake (aka Mexican Mac & Cheese) This was a new recipe and it turned out really good! Not exactly healthy, but tasty.

Friday: Leftovers

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pete's Hole

That's the name of a lake for those of you who are wondering what kind of crazy antics I'm up to now. More specifically, that's the name of the lake Seth and I went fishing at last weekend with Ramona and Gabe. It was just a quick overnighter, but it was fun and I have some pictures, so I'll post about it.

For the record, Seth and I got up at a decent time and made it all the way to Pete's Hole by early afternoon. That's pretty good for us. I drove the whole way and we didn't die or crash or anything! (not that I have a record for that sort of thing, I'm just sayin'). I even drove on bumpy dirt mountain roads and everything. Oh, for those of you who don't know where Pete's Hole is, it's up off of Skyline Drive. I can't go into any more details than that because Seth doesn't want me to give away all our good fishing spots.
Seth with a fish on his line... that's Ramona and Gabe laughing in the background

We lucked out and ended up getting a nice camping spot right on the lake. Of course Seth had to stalk a group of campers for the entire afternoon to make sure we got their spot when they left, but still.

Ramona and Gabe setting up their tent

Seth and I mainly caught Tiger trout with our flies and Ramona and Gabe mostly caught Rainbows with their bling. We could see a gigantic fish in the water which swam by us periodically, but sadly no one caught him. We'll have to go back another time to see if we can capture the elusive lake monster.

There were a lot of fish jumping and rising for almost the entire day. You'd think that would mean we caught a lot, but those little buggers were too smart! We did fool a few though.

Evening fish rising at Pete's Hole

On our way out of camp the next morning Seth and I stopped at a little lake called Soup Bowl, which is just below Pete's Hole. The fishing was actually pretty good and nobody else was there!

Coming Down the Home Stretch

After trying on and off for several years to get his Bachelors Degree, Seth is finally going to graduate this week. He's been working so hard and studying a lot during this last year. I can't believe how well he's done. This week he's got a couple tests and a very large paper due so he'll be busy up until the very last day of the semester. I just wanted to let him know how proud I am of him. I know he's going to finish strong and come this time next week, he'll finally have that piece of paper in his hand. Job well done, sweetie! I knew you could do it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Major Award! A Major Award! I Won! I Won! I Won!

What a great way to end the week! Allison nominated me for a favorite blog award! I actually feel pretty honored considering all the blogs she has linked on her page. It always makes me happy to know that there's a couple people out there that actually read my stuff.

I've known Allison for a long time. She lived just outside the cul de sac of the house where I grew up. She's good friends with my sister, Corinne and I'm sure she had to deal with my little sister pestering more than once. What can I say? I always thought my sister and her friends were cool.

Now apparently there's rules to this nomination thing, but I'm going to break them a little. Hope that doesn't disqualify me. :D

So here are the rules:
1. Put the award on your blog.

2. Include a link to the person who gave you the award.

3. Nominate 6 or more blogs.

4. Leave a message on their blog letting them know they have an award on your blog.

Now Rule #3 is a little tough for me. I don't follow all that many blogs and a lot of the ones I do follow already have like a bajillion readers. I would have nominated 3, but since Allison has already been nominated, I'm going to pick 2 that I think are really deserving.

#1 Rachel- Rachel is my sister-in-law and her blog is amazing. She has two kids, but she doesn't have that mommy bug that so many bloggers have where all they post about is their children. Rachel does post about her kids, but the posts are so heartfelt and honest and beautiful. Of course everything she writes about is that way. Rachel has a lot of character and feeling in her writing and I wait with baited breath for each new post.

#2 Annie- Annie is my sister and she's relatively new to the blogging world. In fact she's only been at it for a couple of months. But so far her posts have been really entertaining and she updates her blog on a pretty regular basis (this was one of my criteria for choosing my favorites). She too has a new baby, but she's kept a good balance of material on her blog. Plus her daughter is one of the cutest kids ever so I don't mind reading about her! I know you'll all be disappointed to find that her blog is private, but maybe if you're nice to her she'll give you access.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

They're Here!!

I've waited for this day for a long time... the day when I would get my very own pair of stockingfoot chest waders. You heard me people. Waders. These are not just any waders. They are Simms WOMEN'S Headwaters stockingfoot waders. That's right, they actually make chest waders especially for women. And they should. I mean, what woman wants to go out looking like she's fishing in a potato sack? Ok maybe her, but I digress.

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a pair of women's waders. They practically don't exist. Ok, they do, but not in stores. I've researched waders for the last year or so, mainly dreaming that one day I might have the money to finally buy a pair.

Seth and I finally decided that with my July bonus, we'd both get some waders. I was searching around online to try and find a good deal when I came upon a website that had 25% off the Simms waders I wanted. I decided to jump on it and buy the waders before they sold out. Sweet! They were on their way and in a week or so, I'd have the waders I'd been waiting for.

Except things didn't quite go as planned. The waders were supposed to be delivered on July 24th, but we left that morning to go camping so we missed the UPS guy. I wasn't too worried about it and figured we'd get them on Monday instead. So we get back from camping on Sunday night and on Monday I check the delivery status when I get into work. It says they were delivered. And left at the front door. My heart sank. There was no box at the front door. I asked Seth to look on the patio. No box. Could he go check at the front office and see if they have it? Nope. They don't have it either. It's gone.

At first I think maybe one of our neighbors picked it up when they noticed it sitting there. But no one ever came by with it. I was so angry. Why did that UPS guy leave the package sitting at our front door? And on a holiday weekend when lots of people go out of town?! Duh. Plus those guys ALWAYS leave our packages at the main office when we're not home. Such a pain.

So I contact the company I bought them from and the lady there tells me they gotta work with UPS and get things straightened out. After a week I protested and insist they just send me another pair of waders. The problem was that the style I'd ordered was sold out. They were last year's model and there were none left in my size. So I had to pay like $50 more to get the newer model. Argh.

Today as I walked in the door after work, I wondered when my waders would arrive. I talked to the cat and sorted through the mail and then... WHAT? What do I see?! A Simms box sitting on top of the bar stool with a note from Seth that says "SURPRISE!! THEY'RE HERE!"


I place the box on the couch, lift the lid, and gaze down at the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. They almost sparkled with greatness and the smell of nylon and neoprene was almost enough to make my knees buckle. I deeply breathed in the heavenly fragrance as I lifted the waders out of the box. Perfect.

I couldn't wait to get them on. I immediately took off my shoes and slid my feet down into the little black feet. It was almost like climbing into a pair of feet pajamas, but better. I lifted them up and clipped on the suspenders and then added the finishing touch... the wading belt. I have to admit, I looked hot.

There was just one thing I needed to complete my look: my Simms Headwaters Boots. They were my birthday present and I'd bought them a couple weeks ago at the local fly shop. I pulled them on over the stockingfeet, laced them up, then finished it off by pulling down the gravel guards and hooking them onto the boots. Wow.

To my delight, everything fit perfectly. I can't wait to try all this stuff out. I'm pretty sure those fish are all going to want me to catch them because I look so ravishing, don't you think?

Today's Special: August 2nd-8th

As a follow-up from last week, the Southwest Chicken and Black Bean Soup was really good. Though I think I'll shred the chicken next time instead of cutting it in strips, just for aesthetic reasons.

Here's this weeks' plan:

Sunday: Fresh baked trout with leftover potato salad and fruit & cream salad.

Monday: Leftover Black Bean soup

Tuesday: Tuna Casserole

Wednesday: Spaghetti with French Bread

Thursday: Leftovers

Weekend: Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ew! So Sweaty!

I was wandering around on the Runner's World magazine site the other day and happened upon an article that talked about how much water you need to drink while you're running. I've always heard these studies about how you need to drink about 10 gallons of water for every hour you exercise (or something like that). It always seemed excessive to me... there's no way I sweat that much! If I really lost as much water as they say I do, my shirt would be drenched, right?

So this article says that you should weigh yourself before and after you exercise and then drink 2 cups of water for every pound you lose. I immediately thought "there's no way I sweat enough during my run to lose any weight, let alone enough to be measured in POUNDS." So I decided to prove that article wrong and weighed myself before and after my run.

One whole pound. That's how much I lost after a half-hour run. Isn't that crazy?! And I lost at least another 1/2 pound after adding in 30 minutes of Pilates. I couldn't believe it! Who would've thought that dainty little old me could sweat that much! Apparently that evaporation thing they talk about actually exists. And I guess all those self-righteous scientists and doctors with their data and tests were right this time.