Confession Time (again)…
I don’t cook very often. While I enjoy cooking, in theory anyway, I don’t particularly care for the resultant dishwashing that must be done and smells that linger in the house. Consequently, Severus and I eat out. A lot. I know it’s not an especially healthy lifestyle—for either our bodies or our bank account—but that’s the way it goes. Old habits dying hard and all that.
Or at least that’s the way it went until a few weeks ago. The oppressive summer heat squashed what little running routine I had established, so my weight-loss initiative morphed into a diet. Not so much a “never eat <insert yummy food>” diet, but a “log those calories and make better decisions” diet. Myfitnesspal.com has been a huge help over the last 2 weeks—I’m down just over 4 pounds!
Adjusting to the less-fast-food lifestyle is also good preparation for our upcoming trip to Washington…
Many travelers enjoy sampling the “local flavor” while on vacation. We are not those people. We want things that are tried and true, establishments where we can dine without wondering what kind of atmosphere we might be entering.
Consequently, we found ourselves puzzled by the discovery that there are relatively few national chain restaurants (quick-serve or sit-down) along the PNW Coastline.
We got our first taste of this, so to speak, during our maiden voyage to Washington in February 2012. Our stop in Port Angeles yielded a meal at Jack in the Box, a place we never patronize, due to the relative lack of other options. We passed a Subway—albeit one that was merged with a gas station/convenience store—in Forks. And as we drove south on the 101 towards Quinault…nothing. And once we got to Quinault…nothing. Not even a McD’s. When we finally arrived at Lake Quinault Lodge, we were absolutely famished. Fortunately, the Roosevelt Dining Room on-site was still open; our dinner was as delicious as it was expensive. The next day, we drove an hour to the nearest Wal-Mart…which just happened to have a Dairy Queen in the parking lot. Success!
Like its neighboring state, the northern Oregon Coast is a veritable wasteland for people who crave fast food of the national chain variety. There were a few more places than our coastal Washington finds but Midwesterners beware, it’s not like it is here. Every podunk town in the midwest has a McDonald’s, Sonic or Hardee’s (y’all West Coast people might know it better as Carl’s Jr.). You’d think that with all of the potential for outdoor activity there, people could afford to down a few junky meals now and again.
Do the chain-free areas have a nicer aesthetic with the relative lack of big signs and squawk-box ordering devices? Of course, but aesthetics don’t clog my arteries and insulate my belly.
And that’s not such a bad thing. Here’s to healthier eating!
Maybe you’re having a bad day or rough week. Or maybe you’re perfectly happy. Either way, you *need* to take a short 3.5-minute break to watch this video. It’s sure to bring a smile to your face.
And if it doesn’t, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.
Please note, this video isn’t my property. I’m just sharing because it’s amazing!
I’m an expert starter. I dream up a project and do a pretty great job of starting to get it off the ground…until I hit a roadblock. Any roadblock. Lack of resources, frustration when technique doesn’t proceed as smoothly as imagined, sleepiness, whatever. Said projects typically find themselves abandoned and half done (or less), because I’m also an expert neglecter.
When I decided to run a 5k, I held very little hope that it would actually happen. My initial training lasted only a couple of weeks before my knees balked, and I began to feel like another grand idea would die on my watch—physical pain is a veritable end-all for me. And then a mid-Spring miracle happened: I didn’t give up. Nay! I decided to suck it up and follow through with the 5k even though I knew I couldn’t actually run the whole thing.
So last Saturday morning, Severus and I dragged ourselves out of bed at an ungodly hour and strapped on our running shoes. With sleep in our eyes, we ventured to Sporting Park (home of my beloved Sporting KC soccer club) about an hour away for the ScoutStrong Challenge.
I was a little intimidated at first; there were some very toned, beautiful people in our midst. When it came time to run, though, I didn’t think about those people. It didn’t matter that I look like Kermit the Frog when I run or that my thighs rub together…I was still lapping everyone who was at home in bed or sitting on the couch (typical Saturday-morning me).
We ran like we had never run before. Okay, I ran like I had never run before—Severus ran track and cross country in high school some years ago, and his adult years have been kinder than have mine. Anyway, I ran almost a full half mile before I needed to walk a little. Yes, I realize that’s more than a little pathetic but I’m working up to it. We’re just now beginning week 4 of the C25K training app, so it’s all relative. Baby steps.
In all, we actually ran about half of the race, finishing in well under an hour and ahead of some 150 other participants. Honestly, I probably made us walk more than was necessary. Most importantly, we set a time that we’ll definitely beat when we do our next 5k in a few months. I never thought I’d be excited about running, but accomplishment feels pretty darn good!
This is still May, right?! Like most of America’s Heartland, we’ve had snow over the last few days. Great weather for watching Star Wars movies, not so good for 5k training—I’m not feeling terribly confident about Saturday’s impending event.
At any rate, it’s about time for an Uncle Pete update. This time around, I’m sharing bits of a message my mom sent to her coworkers [I’ve included a few notes]…
I come from a family with a LONG history of mushroom hunting. Every spring, my parents would pair us up [4 sisters], grab some bags and a sturdy stick (in case of snakes) and head into the woods. In the olden days, when I was just a small sprout myself, we would have family reunions where we would go find morels, pick some “greens” and have a feast. Some years we found many, some years few. My mom once found a 12-lb morel—she nearly fainted.
Morels only come up in the spring and only last for a few days. The conditions must be just right; they need warm, damp soil with lots of decomposed plant material. Kind of sounds like a science lesson.
When Pete married my sister [my aunt Sherry], my dad spent hours with him, teaching him how to find the best places for those yummy gems. Pete hates eating mushrooms of any kind, but the hunt draws him to the woods every spring… He actually starts walking the treadmill in February to be in shape for the days when the weather turns warm and he can head out. He spends hours walking to find the best spots, brings home his bounty, and then doesn’t consume even one.
Pete started walking the treadmill again this year; it was good to see the old Pete back again. But it took too long for the warm days to come, the cancer in his bones is starting to flare up and walking is becoming difficult.
Life is kind of like a small mushroom. With the right conditions, it grows quickly and flourishes. But its season is short. Enjoy it and share it with the ones you love.
God put us together for a reason. We’ve been walking on the treadmill of prayer together for a while, preparing for what lies ahead. There will be some days we’ll need walking shoes and some days we’ll need wading boots, but now we’re in shape to walk with those friends and families who need us. And we just might find more than a few blessings along the way.
Is it just me or is 30 hard? I’m beginning to think there’s a “better if used by age 29” stamp somewhere on my body.
Just two and a half months removed from my milestone birthday, I’ve already experienced more medical challenges than just about any time prior. In addition to two eye infections (first ones ever!) during said time frame, my knees have decided they don’t want to play nice anymore. And as luck would have it, the knee pain started within 48 hours of registering for my first 5k, the Scout Strong Challenge…which takes place in just 11 days.
Last week proved harrowing; though I did some ellipticizing and plenty of walking, jogging for more than a few seconds at a time was out of the question. Seems my joints weren’t quite prepared to handle the stress from my ‘bonus’ weight pounding down on them, resulting in a pesky bout of runner’s knee. And while I love Nike with the passion of at least a hundred burning suns—heck, maybe even more! my goal is to work there when we move to Oregon one day—my Shox weren’t doing me any favors.
After consulting with the pros at Gary Gribble’s Running Sports (ninja plug), I bought a solid pair of runners to support my over-pronation and am slowly working back up to speed.
Completed Week 3, Day 1 of C25K last night. And no crying!
If you want to have some classic REO Speedwagon stuck in your head…Take It on the Run.