Sunday, July 31, 2011

(and I'm generally a pretty nervous test taker)

The one thing I was fully committed to doing this summer was training. Really for real training.

I wanted to push myself. To see what I was still able to do.

And I've been pushing.

Still just three runs a week (cross training on the non-run days), but focused, planned, following-a-training-schedule runs.

And here's what I've learned...

I can't really follow a training schedule anymore.

The training schedule wants me to run at a certain pace on certain days; to hit specific times on specific days.

And my knees just look at that schedule and laugh.

Because some days I head out the door and feel fantastic and I can run like the wind (okay, maybe the breeze... or someone blowing a pinwheel to make it spin around... but you get the idea). And the next run, I just have to hunker down and put in the miles because speed just isn't going to happen.

And I never know what kind of day it is until I actually start to run.

So that's how I've taken my training. Do what the schedule says, in whatever way I can, and cover the distance for the day.

And I've kind of felt like it's been sort of working. Maybe doing some good. But there's been no real way to know for sure. No real test of the training plan.

I haven't run a race since the first Saturday in June.

That's a long time ago.

But on Saturday, I got up very early. And I gathered up my race bag and a cooler full of ice packs, laced up, and headed north for the original road and trail race.

This was going to be my test.

I eased into the race. Let my knees loosen up. I stayed relaxed. I watched my form. I pushed just enough. When there wasn't much distance left, I pushed more.

And that was that.

I passed this test.

Stride on.

waiting for the fall

I knew when this summer started that there wasn't going to be much summer in my summer.

I thought I was okay with that.

But now, here I am, staring down the barrel of August.

And I feel like I'm standing on the edge of cliff.

And I know it's a long, long way down.

And I know there's nothing but rocks at the bottom.

And I know I don't have a parachute.

And I know that, at any moment, someone is going to come up behind me.

And push.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

you capture - fruit

When I opened my refrigerator and saw that I had all of these items, I laughed out loud and started singing.

I am so from the 80s.

see more at Beth's

Monday, July 25, 2011

the hot list

1. So, the heat, right? It's dumb. And it reminds me why I like fall and winter so much. I think it's not supposed to be so hot this week. Right?

2. Thank Heavens that Kirsten mentioned in one of her blog posts that she likes Nuun. I had been searching for a not Gatorade hydration drink for long runs. I had investigated Nuun. I had not ordered it because it only came in packs of a lot, and what if I hated it? But Kirsten likes it, and I trust her, so I ordered it. Just in time, too, because I so needed it this past week. And it's awesome. Thanks Kirsten!

3. Someone was having fun at the animal cracker factory....

4. I have gotten to the point of familiarity with the baristas of my local Starbucks that I now take them cookies when I bake. Is this a good development, or a bad development?

5. I finally took my first solo hike of the summer. There just something about being out on the trails alone in the morning, when it's all quiet and calm and just you out there. It's lovely. (Although I am grateful to whoever it was who took Trail 8 last,because they left stair-like boot prints that made it a tish easier for me....)

6. I have let my hair exist in its natural state today. It has been a looooong time since I've let that happen. (How long? Hubby has never seen it all natural like. That's how long.) It is maybe a little bit scary. And big. And tangly. But I've called a large clip into action, and I'm going with it. Maybe I'll do it more often. It did take less time than "fixing" it...

7. This past Saturday marked the weekend last summer where my knee began it's implosion. This year I ran the mileage I had attempted that day without incident. My fingers remain crossed for my trail race this coming Saturday.

8. Yesterday Hubby and I had planned a hiking day. The weather really didn't look like it was going to cooperate, if radar was to be believed. So instead of a nice, strenuous day of hiking, I made chocolate chip scones, we ate all of them, then went for our second viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Of course the storm never materialized and we totally could have spent the day hiking, but you know... chocolate chip scones and Harry Potter.

9. Hubby and I went to see Josh Groban in concert. Because Josh Groban is my boyfriend and I wanted to hear him sing Higher Window to me. Also, Josh Groban's guitar player might be Officer Cobra Bubbles from Lilo and Stitch. I couldn't get close enough to check his knuckles.

10. I took my 3 year old niece for cupcakes. She ate a little less than half of her cupcake, said she was full, and stopped eating. I fully did not comprehend what she meant. How can you be full when there is still cupcake to be eaten? And when did I turn on my I'm Full Manual Override Switch? Or do I just not register being full? What is full anyway?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

you capture - beautiful plants

If you want to see some beautiful plants.....

just come eat with the vegans...

see more at Beth's

see even more here (if you want)

Monday, July 18, 2011

home, again

We are the second owners of our house. The first owners were my Great Aunt and Great Uncle.

I used to come here as a child. I used to visit my Great Aunt when she was older.

My Great Aunt was almost a hoarder; there was wall to wall "stuff" when she was here. Then she had to go into a nursing home, and Mom and Dad set to the task of sorting though the stuff.

In that time, Hubby wasn't Hubby yet, but had decided to move to my area. My Great Aunt's son offered to sell him the house. He said yes.

The house was sorted, emptied, and overhauled. Carpets ripped up, everything got a fresh coat of paint, curtains were opened for the first time in years. Then we moved in.

The house looks nothing like it used to. I've worked hard to make it home. It's calm. It's comfortable. And sometimes it's a little strange, living here.

Sometimes I'll have these little flashes, little moments, where it still seems like my Great Aunt's house. Every once in awhile... while I'm walking down the basement steps, while I'm coming in the back door. I'll have this odd moment where I feel like, if I turn around, the house will look the way it used to look when it was theirs, not ours.

It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. And when it does, I wonder if it's my Great Aunt. When she went in the nursing home, she never came back to her house. I don't think she was even told that it was sold. And now that she's left this existence and gone on to another, I wonder how she feels about that. Is she angry that the house isn't hers anymore? Is she glad that I live here, and not some strangers? I don't think she's haunting me or anything like that. You know how sometimes you'll drive by a place that you used to spend a lot of time, like the house of a friend from elementary school or the place you used to work when it was an ice cream parlor, and you'll think "wow, I used to spend a lot of time there" and you'll kind of sigh and go on with your day? It feel like maybe my Great Aunt does that sometimes. It doesn't worry me, or scare me, or anything like that.

I just hope she approves of what we've done with the place.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

you capture - summertime

Little Man's first toes into the big pool.... This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship....

see more at Beth's

Sunday, July 10, 2011

hey, mr. space man

As a little girl, I became fascinated with space travel. I know that came from my dad, although I'm not sure of the specifics. I don't remember one great moment where I thought "space travel!" but it became part of my consciousness just the same.

I wasn't particularly interested in planets or stars or science-type stuff. It was the astronauts that caught my attention. The idea of manned space exploration; of people leaving the planet and floating among the stars. Just the thought amazed me.

The movie The Right Stuff came out when I was a kid (I wouldn't read the book until much later), and when it was on cable, I was allowed to watch it. I watched it a lot. I started learning about Project Mercury, which led to Project Gemini. And then I really fell in love with Project Apollo.

It was the sense of adventure. It was the romance of it all. The idea of dreaming up the impossible and making it a reality. Traveling to the moon and back.

To this day, I can tell you all about the original Mercury Seven Astronauts. I can tell you all about the rockets and craft that got the American Space Program underway. I can tell you the life story of every astronaut from Alan Shepard (the first American in space) to Gene Cernan (the last man on the moon). When the moon is full, I can point out all of the Apollo landing sites, then give you the specifics about each mission.

There has never been a time in my life when space flight was science fiction. It has always been reality. I've watched it unfold, secondhand though books and magazines and documentaries, and right on my own television - countless space shuttle launches and landings, images from Mars, astronauts fixing the Hubble Telescope, building a permanent space station. I've witnessed astronauts who are orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles an hour interact with a rock band and their audience at a U2 concert. (Talk about convergence of all things good and true...)

The adventure. The magic. The romance.

This week the last ever space shuttle mission was launched. It was beautiful and amazing. And it made me a little sad. Not because this chapter is over, but because there is nothing waiting to take its place. We are not looking toward a new frontier. We're just stopping.

And the world could really use a little magic.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

so beautiful tonight

Sometimes a moment comes that is everything you wanted. And everything you needed.

Sometimes a moment comes in which the happiness is so complete, so full-to-bursting, you cannot recall what unhappiness is.

Sometimes a moment comes where you get to say "Hi Edge."

Sometimes a moment comes where you get to hear One Tree Hill live.

Sometimes a moment comes that is so much more to you than you will ever be able to explain to anyone else. And if you try to explain its significance, people will look at you like you've lost a bit of your grip on reality.

But you haven't.

Because really, you know it's just a moment. And you know that tomorrow life will be just like it always is.

Except a little better.

Because now just a moment is forever your memory.

Monday, July 4, 2011

long time, no list

1. Don't you hate it when you are washing the container that used to have cake it in, but now the cake is gone, but the container still smells like cake, and you get a little sad and maybe a little misty because you wish there was still cake? Or is that just me?

2. There's this counter girl at one of my favorite cafes who messes up my order every single time. I order the same sandwich with the same toppings every single time. And she messes it up in the same way every single time. And I have to go back and tell her that my sandwich is wrong every single time. And she acts like it's my fault every single time. I think I might start checking to see who is working before I walk all the way up to the counter, and if she's there, I'll just go somewhere else.

3. It turns out that a ventisoyunsweetenedgreentealatte is equally as good frozen as it is hot. Good to know. Or maybe just dangerous to know.

4. Spending a week getting up at 3 AM and eating fruits and veggies and little else can make you just a tish crazy.

5. Any day that you are walking through Target with your husband and he suddenly stops at the camera department and says "we need a camera that just fits in your purse and stays there and will be good at concerts and stuff like that" and then proceeds to actually buy one is a good day.

6. When you go to your doctor for your monthly knee check up and adjustment and you tell said doctor that your knees are a little more swollen than usual this month and his response is "yeah, that'll happen" it makes you wonder why you're forking over that $10 co-pay.

7. I changed up my yoga to a more vinyasa style practice. Why didn't I do that years ago?

8. Hubby bought the cat a continuously moving water drinking fountain thingy. So you can now hear running water from pretty much anywhere in the house at all times. Apparently it's good for the cat. It just makes me have to pee.

9. Hubby and I decided we wanted to watch a movie the other night. He is 37. I am 36. And we sat on our couch and watched The Emperor's New Groove and laughed like fools. Then we spent the rest of the evening and most of the next morning quoting it to each other. We're cool like that. (Noooo touchy.)

10. I'm going to see U2 tomorrow. Just saying.