Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've been tagged

I Have Been TAGGED

A- Available/Single? Nope, not for more than a decade
B- Best Friend? This is a tough one, since I have several friends I could call on at any time and know that they would be there for me. I'll have to say Monica, who I've know across continents and through many a trying time.
C- Cake or Pie? Apple pie is delicious, but if I can put ice cream cake from Carvel's in the mix, then cake wins hands down.
D- Drink of Choice? Water or coffee it is early in the morning (it is the nectar of the gods)
E- Essential Item You Use Everyday? Toilet paper.
F- Favorite Color? Brown to wear, all colors autumnal
G- Gummy Bears or Worms? Worms...they stretch rather nicely
H- Hometown? In Rhode Isand
I- Indulgence? Reading
J- January or February? Neither - they are both grey and dismal
K- Kids and Their Names? one boy - J.
L- Life is incomplete without? My Hubby
M- Marriage Date? June 15, although there is a date in Sep. that means more to me
N- Number of Siblings? 2
P- Phobias/Fears? None
Q- Favorite Quote? No favorite
R- Reason to Smile? Family and friends
S- Season? Fall - I love the crisp air and changing leaves. Of course, that doesn't happen where I'm living now!
T- Tag: I suppose I could tag Wally, since Envoy got most of the folks I would tag.
U- Unknown fact about me? It will remain unknown :)
V- Vegetable you don't like? Brussel Sprouts - they are shriveled little balls of bitterness
W- Worst Habit? I criticize
X- X-rays? Many
Y- Your favorite food? Stuffed zucchini flowers
Z- Zodiac Sign? Libra - I'm balanced, can't you tell

Monday, January 29, 2007

Eyes have it

I can't believe that January is almost over - this month has flown by. Unfortunately, I have not accomplished everything I wanted to get done this month. One of those things is to make an appointment for Lasik eye surgery, or at least the appointment to see if it something that will work for me. I've worn glasses since I was in third grade and I'm ready to finally be able to wear sunglasses, ones that you pick up in a drug store for $2.99 rather than prescription ones that cost more than $100.
I always said that I wouldn't get eye surgery, but that was before moving to Texas. Here it is so bright all the time that I need to be able to put sunglasses on at a moments notice, and that can't happen if you need prescription glasses and you left your prescription sunglasses in the other car, at home, etc.
So now I need to do some research on my local opthamologists, but I'm not sure as to the questions to ask. Has anyone who has been through this process before have any suggestions for me?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tasty recipe

Recently I started buying StarKist Tuna Creations™,the tuna fish that comes preseasoned in a pouch. I find it needs less mayo and tastes better. One of the recipes listed on the back of the zesty lemon pepper version is a recipe for tuna cakes. It was quick and easy to make plus it was quite flavorful. I highly recommend making it for a light supper or quick lunch. One pouch makes enough for two people, so double or triple the recipe accordingly.
Since the recipe seems to be limited in distribution, here it is:

1 pouch (5oz.) Zesty Lemon Pepper Tuna
1/4 C Red and green bell perpper mix, finely chopped
1/4 C Mayonnaise
1 T Dijon Mustard
1/4 C Bread crumbs
1/2 T Olive oil
Combine all ingredients except oil. Shape into 4 patties. Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Cook and brown tuna cakes in hot oil, 3-4 minutes per side or until hot and golden brown.

It is that simple, although mine did not come out as pretty as the ones shown on the package, and in fact looked like the rejects from the photo shoot, they still were a refreshing change of pace for dinner. We had them with a nice mixed salad.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Marathon details

Now that I'm rested and recuperated, I can tell you my tale. As I mentioned before, we ran the Houston marathon/Chevron Half Marathon this past Sunday. The weather turned out well - low 50's and overcast, which were ideal running conditions. At the starting line there was a sea of humans, with an underlying hum of muted conversation flowing throughout the crowd. Since the official start time was 7 am, we were in the half light that exists pre-sunrise.
There was no announcement, no gun shot, no blast of an air horn (at least that we could hear); just a sudden surge forward. The first mile was uphill, something that we had not expected; yet it went by quickly. As we ran, we read the signs folks where holding up as encouragement. Several folks had "cheering teams" every few miles - one runner named Rhonda had beer (yuck)waiting for her at each water break. Not something I would appreciate, but certainly entertaining to read and a good distraction from thinking about the actual running.
The first 7 miles where in an area of town that I would never willing walk around, since safety would be an issue (bars on the windows are standard). Yet for the run, it was fine. There were even folks sitting on their sloping front stoops, cheering us on.
As we approached our turnaround point right before mile nine, we passed by my running partner's charity of choice. They set up a "booth" to cheer her on, which inadvertently included me. That gave us the extra energy to push forward through the last few miles.
We had a little trouble at mile 10 - the person yelling out the split times was way off, plus the marker itself was in the wrong place. So, mile 10 arrived to soon and mile 11 took forever to arrive.
Near the end of the race, the marathon runners joined back with us half marathoners. As I was approaching my last two miles, I was able to watch the future winner of the marathon pass me. Remember, he did twice the distance as I, yet finished before me! He averaged somewhere around a 4:30min pace for each mile. Watching him pass us, with no one in the marathon even close to meeting his time, I couldn't help but notice that he had barely broken a sweat and looked like he could easily run another 26 miles!
For the final mile, we put on an extra push of energy. For me, I wanted to be done and knew that the faster I ran that last mile, the faster it would be done. As you approach the end, the runners are funneled through a narrow passageway, with cheering crowds on either side of the road. Although I suspect many were cheering for the top marathoners, I still was filled with a sense of joy as I ran past the crowd and heard their cheers.
Even though I had run this distance before, it was some how different doing it in this race, this race that I had trained for for the last three months. As I came within meters of finishing the race,I could feels tears welling up in my eyes, not because of pain; but because I had done it, I had finished the race, I had achieved my goal.

The finish line was located at our local convention center, so that the after-race events where staged inside in a climate controlled area, which was nice. There was free hot breakfast for the finishers, underarmour "finisher" shirts to collect, pictures to take as mementoes of your accomplishment and of course, water to drink.

Would I do this again? Will I train for a whole marathon? Right now that is all up in the air. I do have to heal, but I already miss getting up to run in the morning. It became part of my routine, and it was a good part of it. We will see.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I finished.

Average mile time: 10:17

Placement: top 25% for my age group

Hubby's mile time: a blistering 7:35

Placement: 350 OVERALL

More tomorrow when I can focus my brain again

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Race day countdown

I've got less than one week before race day and I have to say, I think I'm ready for it. I've trained regularly over these past few months and have seen remarkable improvement in my overall cardiac strength and endurance. I did develop a slight hip injury during the last few weeks; but it is one common to runners, one which take three months to heal, but other than that doesn't result in permanent damage if you keep running on it. So, since I only have about a week left, I'll tough it out. 800mg of Ibuprofen before the race and I should be good.

I've worked out how I'll stay hydrated during the run and even have developed a technique to swallow the energy gels without gagging on the syrupy sweetness of them. My only concern is one I have no control over and that is the weather. Forecasts are currently predicting temps in the low 40's with thunderstorms for the start of the race. Yuck! I haven't trained in pouring down rain and am afraid of how the wet cold will affect me. Hubby will back me up when I say that I am very susceptible to drafts and being wet and cold for hours is not going to be a good thing. I'm hoping that the heavy storms wait until the afternoon, once the race is done.

After the race is over; well, I may put running on the back burner for awhile. It has become somewhat tedious running every day. However, I do enjoy how I feel (except for the hip) after my run. So, the running shoes will probably go in the back of the closet but not in the trash, not yet at least.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Quote of the day

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mohandas Gandhi