Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nothing much

October 2009 in Bloomington the temperatures have been 10-20 degrees below normal. Its bee more like December than October. It has sort of bummed me out, because October is my favorite time of the year. But it is what it is. On Saturday morning I ran in 35 degrees wearing shorts. I'm always the last one to start wearing cold weather clothes around here. I think it’s my way of trying to acclimatize to cold weather. I mean, if I dress for winter now, what will I actually do in winter! Today is the start of a 3 day warming trend. After work I’m taking the dogs to the trail for a run, in shorts again, but this time I will probably sweat!

Last week I had a great revelation about running drills. I occasionally do them, but I know I'm not especially adept at them. One day I received a running related email with a link to a video about drills. The coach discussed the drills, while his athletes demonstrated. He talked about how when we were kids we'd run around, jumping, skipping, hopping, forwards, backwards, sideways. All these things taught us balance, strength, flexibility, coordination, and made us stronger runners. But as the years went by and we stopped 'playing', this awareness of our body diminished. Drills are a way to get that feeling back. And when I thought of it, that's the same purpose of drills in swimming, which I have been doing all my life. As a small child I swam, and played, flipped, twisted, dove into the water, and I became so aware of how my body moved in the water, that as I learned proper swim technique, drills only reinforced that I should be aware of how different movements make my body feel and move through the water. Why I never put this together with running, I have no idea. But now that I've had this lightbulb go on, I'm going to work on the running drills with more gusto. And more fun factor. And more body awareness. Because, really, if you watched me run, you’d think I was a fish out of water! On Saturday morning, my workout was on the track. And when I was on my last interval, a young guy hopped on, just floating around the track, came around the front straightaway, and picked up the pace with these long fast gazelle looking strides for 100m, and then shut it down to another floating 300m. I just sort of gawked for a few minutes before I continued on with my cool down. why can’t I run like that?!

This weekend is the xterra World Championships in Maui, and I’m not there  Actually I’m ok with that, because that’s a really freaking hard race! I do want to give that course a try again someday, but I need to do it when I’m ready and able to do all the right training for the 2 months leading up to the race, and that means a lot of time on the worst, sketchiest trails I can find, and lots of hills, and lots of heat. Now that’s a little problem for where I live. Because most of our trails are all really well built trails, very little sketchiness around here, although I guess I can practice hucking myself down the hills at Nebo Ridge and Ferdinand over and over until I can fly down them without brakes! And that heat thing. End of October isn’t exactly hot here (see first paragraph). Oh well. I’ll be cheering for my friends who are there. I hope Bev wins another AG world championship! Go Bev!!!!!!!

Last week I was the lucky recipient of about 40 pounds of honeycrisp apples. My dear friend brought them home from Michigan last weekend for me! Every time I open the refrigerator the fragrance of these apples smacks me in the face. Last night I decided I better start making some apple dishes, so apple crisp was the first (of course, had to go with dessert first!).

On another food note, one of my favorite veggies is sweet potatoes. Sweet potato fries to be exact. I bake them, and they are quite yummy. There are 2 restaurants in Bloomington that fry them. And of course fried always tops baked! One of these places, serves them with a roasted garlic mayo. It is soooooooooo delish. I've tried to make my own roasted garlic mayo. I'm on try number 5. So far, I have not gotten a good match. I asked the cook, and she said she uses a gourmet mayo that costs $38 a jar! hmm, I'll keep trying! Any suggestions, let me know.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

colors of fall

Covered bridge leading to the park:

Lots of big timber to build this structure (took this as I was driving through bridge)

water is warmer than the 34 degree air:

fog in the valleys

starting to see the patchwork quilt look in the hills

Max has settled in nicely yo our home, he sleeps in funny positions

Friday, October 2, 2009

I love October

October is my favorite month of the year. Fall is beautiful in the Midwest. And let’s not forget Halloween – the BEST holiday of all. It may have something to do with the fact that my birthday is on Halloween! Happy birthday to me!!!!!!. Growing up with a Halloween birthday was awesome. It’s like the entire neighborhood was giving my birthday presents! Ok, they were also giving my friends presents too. But still, I loved sweets then, and I love them still. Chocolate preferably. And not with nuts or other accoutrements mixed into it, just plain old chocolate. Milk chocolate, that is. (because everything is better with a little dairy). Wait, peanut butter with my chocolate is ok too. Just not nuts. Yes, the nuts are the problem for me. They ruin my chocolate.

I’ve had a week of doing pretty much nothing. Except work, eat, sleep, and eat some more. Boy, I have a real hangup with eating. I LOVE it. Especially sweets (see above). I went a little overboard on the Nutella yesterday. I think tomorrow I’ll take the dogs to the trails for a long walk. That way I can burn some major calories, they can burn off some energy. I think it will be a few more weeks before I can get some nice fall pictures. Two building ups from me on campus are two giant ginko trees. They must be over a hundred years old. Beautiful old trees. Ginko leaves are perfect little fan shaped beauties. They burst into a bright gold color before they fall, and then when conditions are right, some years they drop all their leaves in a day or so, its like gold rain. I’ll start watching them next week and hoping for a spectacular show (just wish they weren’t so stinky!)

Have you seen this video? I know, you probably have. I'm a little slow. But if you haven't, you should watch it, its pretty cool.