Colorado Marathon 2013

It was because The Teenager’s godfather wanted to celebrate his 55th year by running the half marathon on May 5th, his birthday.  So DH, being a good friend, agreed to be his running buddy, even though he would be running a second half marathon 2 weeks after the first.  It was a good plan — until GF had to back out because he just could not get over his chest cold.  And being a good spouse, I decided I just had to keep DH company, even if all I did was slow him down.  DH, chugging along on the last mile (after I let him run ahead of me to the finish), is a sight to behold — rather like a large, sweaty teddy bear 🙂

Still, 13.1 is 3.1 too long for me.  I don’t care if 10 miles (or 10K) is a neither-here-nor-there sort of a distance; it is perfect for those of us who want to enjoy a run without actual physical discomfort.  Although finisher medals are kind of nice to have:IMG_24781.  It didn’t rain, or snow, or hail.  Heck, it wasn’t even windy!

2.  The travelling “cheerleaders”: four very enthusiastic girls who kept popping up every couple of miles to do miniature “waves.”

3.  Porta potties can be wonderful things, even when ripe.  Too bad we are now at the age when we need them on long runs 😦

4.  I don’t care if Lance Armstrong is in disgrace — I like those Stinger wafers.

5.  Very low-key security for our local marathon.  The Kenyans don’t come to this one either.

6.  The best race announcer, ever!!

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Salt Lake City Marathon 2013

I have a soft spot for Salt Lake City; I moved there straight out of college, and what with one degree or another we ended up staying for almost a decade.  It was a culture shock moving from the very liberal environment of Stanford — and northern California — to a city at the heart of the LDS faith (despite the fact that Mormons were, technically, the minority population).  I grew to like the city, and perhaps more importantly, I learned to do a proper parallel turn in skiing, back when Ladies’ Day (Tuesday or Wednesday) at Solitude was $7/day . . . .

We moved away about twenty years ago, but I have returned many times to visit my travel buddy (tongue firmly planted in cheek, some of my best friends are Mormons!), and each time I go back, things are different.  Some changes are subtle, along the lines of “Oh, that used to be ___,” while others are “Oh my gosh, where did those buildings come from?”  Bless the Church leadership: the City Creek project has rejuvenated downtown Salt Lake City, and though it has completely changed the physical landscape of the city core, I think it is mostly for the better.

This past weekend we were in SLC for the 10th running of the Salt Lake City Marathon (and half marathon, bike tour, and 5K), because what could possibly be more fun than destroying your quads on a Saturday morning with 4000 other runners?

The weekend highlights, and lowlights, in no particular order:

1.  It rained.  DH claims it wasn’t raining at the start, but it was.  And 13.1 miles later (we ran the half), it was still raining.  The only happy campers were the dogs along the route, in particular the Portuguese water dog who sat in the curb gutters happily swishing his tail, somewhere around mile 6.

2.  The bomb squad made us get out of the TRAX train one stop before the start line so that they could sweep the trains with the dogs.  Interestingly enough, if you had a seat — which of course 99% of the people did not — you did not have to leave during the sweep.

3.  Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” played at the start line, and at the time we didn’t know why.  We lived in Boston a couple of years, but this Red Sox tradition did not start until after we left.

4.  Helicopters overhead the entire race, security at pretty much every intersection, police on motorcycle, bikes, and at least one (wearing holster and belt) running the race.

5.  Did I mention it rained the entire race?  The hail came later.  It is absolutely possible to get wetter than wet: every time you land in a puddle, your feet really do get wetter . . . .

6.  Wyoming exists so that trucks have a place to park when WYDOT closes I-80.

7.  Corollary to #6:  24 mpg westbound, 34 mpg eastbound.

8.  I think races should have instant temperature probes at the finish line: DH tells me that if only I had a nice layer of fat for insulation, I would have felt much better.  Yup.

9.  A big Jacuzzi tub is a hypothermic runner’s best friend!

10.  Thank you to my favorite Saint for showing up at the finish line with jackets and blanket and a nice warm car!!!!!

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New Year’s Day, 2013

New Year’s Day hike at Devil’s Backbone Open Space, 4.25 miles:

IMG_2385In the years since we were last there, many more signs:

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IMG_2389Clearly, signs exist to be ignored 😦

IMG_2377Many more houses, unfortunately of the McMansion sort — but I suppose if I were silly enough to want to live in one of those, I would consider the view well worth it.  If.

IMG_2396I must be lucky: DH, The Teenager, and I . . . .  even if I am now the shortest one in the family.

Saturday Morning: Poudre River Trail

Platte River Power Authority substation

Great Western Sugar Company sugar beet effluent flume

Coy Hoffman barn, on the Link-N-Greens golf course

Ranch-Way Feeds

gravel works

Bridge across the Poudre River

Our bikes …

… at Vern’s Place, Laporte

It was a wonderful ride, on a gorgeous September morning.  Fall is definitely in the air!

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CSA Share Week 14:  spinach, cucumber, zucchini, sweet peppers, red leaf lettuce, Italian parsley, green onions (gave away), eggplant (gave away), beets (gave away), butter potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, kale, carrots, eggs

Neighborhood Share:  apples!

Recipes:  apple sauce, tousled zucchini (from Greene on Greens, used zucchini, tomatoes, parsley, and eggs from share), kale and potato soup (used kale, potatoes, carrots, peppers, and beans from share) , chile verde (from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons, used beans, chiles, tomatoes, and corn from share)

Passive Voice

CSA Share Week 8:  kale, Chiogga baby beets, cilantro, green onions, scapes, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, green beans, butter lettuce, Romaine lettuce

Recipes: Barley, Kale, and Kidney Bean stew (Vegetarian Planet); Gingered Beets (Greene on Greens); green beans sauteed with leftover Chinese Garlic Chicken

CSA Share Week 7:  chard, green onion, radishes, scapes, beets (gave away), zucchini, cilantro, butter lettuce

Recipes:  Chard Catalan Style, radishes added to leftover Chinese food, microwaved zucchini (The Teenager)

I remember the first time High School Boyfriend told me he loved me — he didn’t actually tell me he loved me, what he said was, “You are loved.”  And at that point, I really understood what “passive voice” meant.  This summer, The Teenager has been working on writing a decent essay, and this means massive  unlearning of  much of what passes for English education in public schools.  She is finally learning how to punctuate, learning how to organize a simple essay, learning how to read an article to find the thesis (hint, hint, read that first paragraph really carefully).  And she is learning all about passive voice.  I don’t care if it is a godsend for Ph.D. candidates writing their dissertations — it is lazy writing.

A few days ago, an American Historical Association newsletter link reminded me of how insidious the passive voice can be.  The article came from Richard Brody of the New Yorker, who posted this article on the German  government’s decision to use the passive voice for the Holocaust monument: “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.”  As Mr. Brody pointed out, murdered by whom?  I’m with him on his critique, that the vagueness of the term is disturbing and that Germany’s “. . . .  reduction of responsibility to an embarrassing, tacit fact that “everybody knows” is the first step on the road to forgetting.”

Becoming Vegetarian: Greens

CSA Share Week 6:  kale, scapes, cilantro, Italian parsley, green onions, sugar snap peas, beets (gave away the beets, kept the greens), zucchini, butter lettuce, Hopi black beans, eggs

Recipes:  microwaved zucchini (The Teenager), black bean gumbo with greens (modified from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ), basil-mint pesto sauce

Adventures in cooking — and eating — continues!  I have never had kale before, though I enjoy the way they look, with their ruffly leaves and lovely grey-green color.  Yesterday, I made gumbo with greens, another great recipe from Deborah Madison.  The woman is a goddess.   I substituted Hopi black beans for the kidney beans (because I am awash in Hopi black beans right now), used up the kale, beet greens, and some green onions and cilantro.  We had it over brown rice last night, and I had it with mashed potatoes for lunch today.  I am eating way too well these days 🙂  Actually, we are all eating really well these days, including Opie, who loves all the different varieties of lettuce we have been getting in our boxes.  But being the discriminating pig that she is, she does not believe in zucchini . . . .  or beets . . . .  or radishes . . . .

Bedbugs Redux

CSA Share Week 5:  Spinach, chard, scapes, snow peas, beets (gave away), parsley, butter lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  spinach Catalan style (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), strawberry oatmeal muffins, sauteed chard and scapes over creamy polenta

A couple of days ago, we looked down the street and saw this:

Apparently a local company will come by in the middle of the night and do lawn decorations as a surprise for various celebratory events.  I loved the goofiness of this display 🙂

Today, I came upon this article in the American Journal of Medicine (one of those freebie journals I get just for having M. D. after my name):

deShazo, RD, Feldlaufer, MF, Mihm Jr, MC, and Goddard, J. Bullous Reactions to Bedbug Bites Reflect Cutaneous Vasculitis. The American Journal of Medicine. 2012; 125(7): 688-694.

I was interested, of course, after my encounter with bedbugs at the YMCA of the Rockies a few years ago.  At that time, I had a bullous reaction to the bug bites, but the reaction didn’t set in for a couple of days.  So, it’s nice to know that it is not a totally unknown reaction — according to the authors of the article, up to 6% of patients get bullous lesions from bedbug bites.  The timeline of my bullae looked exactly like the picture sequence in the article, from blister to bulla, lysis, and gradual healing at bulla base with scarring and hyperpigmentation.

I read the article to DH, and he said: “So, hon, you are allergic to bedbug spit.”

Short and sweet.