Running Diary and Mother’s Day

I was going to do little updates on my running highs and woes as a little footnote on blog posts but then felt they didn’t belong tagged onto prompts so I resisted.  Now, I have three sessions’ worth! Enough to merit their own post. Sorta.  Though this makes it a too-long post.

I am surprising myself with my commitment to this running biz. Every two days, rain or shine, ass-freezing cold or sun. Okay, let’s be honest, the only rain I have encountered thus far is a few drops at the beginning of one run and even less at the end of another. Real rain?  We’ll see how much of a wuss I am! I did, however, run through some snowflakes so that makes me a warrior, right?  Said snowflakes didn’t even last a second once arrived at destination (ground) but still.  Right?

Wednesday’s (May 6) run was it was warm enough to do without a jacket and I found a little fanny pack for my phone, the armband still missing.  I am so very pleased to say that not once did I wonder “how many more miles” so to speak and got all the way to the other end of the secret garden. Though I was managing to breathe rather well, I was running out of gas and may have fudged the last 10-15 seconds of the run part on the last two sets.  Out of guilt, I added another 2.5 sets to make up.

Random picture taken during my walk back. Will be noting the evolution

On Friday, I had to get up early as my car was being towed to the dealership. It died and no matter what we tried, would not start. Fun stuff. Not. This also meant I had to get my run in earlier as I knew, if they were able to fix it (which they did), I’d have to pick it up before 3:00 pm.  It was damn cold.  I also joined a 30-day 15-minutes/day free workout program I found on Facebook.  Betty Rocker Challenge.  Oh boy!  This is gonna be good!  I love how she has variations on each move to match your fitness level.  I am especially glad that I lost any ego I used to have which would make me do what I shouldn’t.  I did that workout – man can a person sweat in fifteen minutes!  Put on my jacket plus my ear warmers and out the door I went.  Since I had already more than warmed up, I started to run immediately.  Surprise, surprise, this was my best day, yet! Phone in my pocket, I never once looked at it.  The first two sets are still a bitch but by the third all the way to the tenth, I was good. Because I had started right outside my door, I made it just to the entrance of the garden before turning back.  I reached the park where the above bud was pictured – and forgot to take an updated pic – and decided I would tack on three more sets again.  I even ran around the “skating rink” to give myself more room to run off the asphalt.

I realised in the last few running days that I catch my breath faster so starting Sunday, I was going to reduce the walk time to 1.5 minutes, keeping the running at 2.

While walking Zeke, I got a call at 1:30 saying car was ready so had to cut the walk short.

Bye-bye car!

And that brings us to yesterday. Mother’s Day. Does that mean I slacked off? No siree!  This chick is on a mission!

Iain got up early (any time before 3:00 pm is early 😉 ) and made me his fabulous cheffy scrambled eggs.

I then putzed around on the computer, giving myself time to digest before hitting the 15-minute workout followed by my run. Oh. Em. Gee!  Betty! Can’t the Full-Body Explosion happen on a non-running day? Sweat and cursed my out-of-shapedness.  Bundled up and out the door I went.  Again, the run started outside my door. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!  It was fucking cold! And the wind… good gawd, the wind!  How was I supposed to turn the inner dialogue off and not give up right away? The litany of “keep going”, “don’t give up”, “around the corner, it will be better” just went on like a broken record.  Again, first two sets – murder.  Wait! Shit!  I forgot to change my walk time to 1.5.  Damnation.   I changed it.  Now I know I could have easily set it to 8 sets, having done two, but thought, no… let’s just start over.  My steps were short, my pace was slow but it was in a forward direction, so there’s that, right? Right.  Though I am fairly certain I saw a turtle pass me, look back with a snort and said “slowpoke”.

Pretend those clouds are the wind…

I did not make it as far as I had on Friday but I did manage to refrain from looking at my timer all the way. Why is this so hard?  Oh yeah, that little thirty seconds less of recup time made quite the difference.  Plus, like the proverbial camper who changes seats only to have the smoke blow in my face, so did the wind shift. Ugh. Once I made it to the park that tells me I am almost home, I decided to add that one extra set as the last three runs included three extra.  Why not? Besides, look at that path. Isn’t it lovely and inviting?

Stretch and shower and off to visit Mom.  I had her yeast to deliver and brought a case of beer for Yvon.  We took all the necessary precautions. I opened the case, had her take a couple beers out and then put the case aside to “air out and release the virus” so to speak. We washed our hands, sat at either end of the table and toasted motherhood with glasses of wine for us and a beer for him.

Got home around 7 pm and Iain prepared his feast of homemade linguine with seafood in a creamy sauce. He was so displeased with his efforts, he is planning on a do-over.  I, frankly, love all the effort he made for me.  We then had the most delicious coffee and brandy crème brûlée for dessert (my picture sucks, the angle was wrong, but trust me, that caramel was burnt to perfection).  I then sat on the couch and thought I would die from over eating.

Thanks for staying till the end… I promise to ramble less, next time.  Well, I will try not to, anyway.

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #156 – Home

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Wow. Congrats to Sammi for doing this prompt for three years already!  Looking forward to what’s to come!

There is always that one house on the block where people congregate. As kids, it is the meet-up or the hang-out place – if the mom says it is okay – and if she says ‘no’ today, it will not stop you from coming back tomorrow. There is nothing obviously special about this house. It is like everyone else’s in size and shape and number of rooms. And yet, the kids know. Here, they are welcome. Here, they can be kids, and whether related or not, will be yelled at if they get too much. Here, they feel like they belong, part of a family. Here, this is not a house. It is a home.

Mine.

 

 

Unwelcome – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #78

Well now.  I dunno where this came from… oh yeah, right.  Once I found the good pic to go with, the story formed.  How often do we read (or see movies) about the person who moves into a town and is not accepted? Not a fun proposition, I suspect.  Click here to see more stories!.

Unwelcome

Is he gone, yet?  I can’t bear to look at him!

Yeah.  He’s leaving.  I scared him off, good.  I told him we didn’t allow his kind around here.  I don’t know who he thought he was believing he could just fit in.  His horns are not long enough; his coat is too short plus it’s black!  Honestly.  We are a close-knit community. He would have caused all sorts of problems.

That’s right. We don’t like newcomers thinking they can just move in and join us. They bring ideas and disrupt our peace of mind. Good riddance.

Pandora – Friday Fictioneers

Welcome to Wednesday-Friday. The sun is shining but brings no heat, yet how can one not smile? This week our fearless hostess has supplied her own image for our challenge. Thanks, Rochelle, for your dedication that never fails! Should you feel like writing your own 100-word story with a beginning, middle and end (not including title), click on the frog below and add your link!

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click me, if you dare

Pandora

“You ever find something and think, let’s see what’s inside? and so even though your gut tells you you shouldn’t you still find yourself doing so and as you’re doing so, realise that you shouldn’t but it’s too late?”

“Much as what you just said sounds like gibberish, I know what you mean. That there’s a Pandora’s box.”

“Right. That’s what it’s called.”

“You open one up recently?”

“Yeah. I think so Felt remorse as soon as I did, too.”

“Awww. Sorry, man.”

“Looking at this contraption on the ground, my fingers itch to open it.”

“Don’t do it, Buddy.”

I’m Sorry, But, We’re Done

That’s right, Sourdough.  You and me? We’re done. Finito. Kaput.  No matter how much love I give you, you refuse to do your thing.  I had to bring in Janet into the situation for one-on-one consultations and STILL, you gave me grief.  Janet asked me what I had named you and I apologise; I had no idea.  So I gave you my favourite name:  Charlotte.  And what did you do? NOTHING.

But let me go to the beginning.  When I first decided to try my hand at sourdough – yeast having become more impossible to get than toilet paper – (and like every other Tom, Dick and Harry during the great Sit-In – so unoriginal and such a follower, am I) I followed Janet’s instructions to the letter. 50g flour, 50 g water (filtered), mix, set aside, covered, room temp. Days 5, 7, 9, I did the 50g sour, 50g flour, 50g water – keeping the discard for future waffles (which were rather good, I might add).

Days 10, 11, 12, I left you alone.  When I uncovered you, your stink made me recoil.  “It should smell pleasantly like cheesy beer.”  Ummmm. No… this was closer to vomit.  I threw you out.  Oh wait… this would not be YOU, you.  But let’s call him/her your late cousin, who shall remain nameless as well, I didn’t know.  Plus there was an orange tint to it so, I took no chances. Of course, once I posted my failure on FB, everyone who could chimed in with a NOOO don’t chuck it!  Too late. NEXT!

We decide, Janet and I, to start fresh and do a double-feed per day for three days and then bake.  Let’s see…  You looked nice

So I did my kneading (stretch, pull over, eight “corners”) every half-hour for three hours.  Followed the video, EXACTLY, the bowls, the cloth, the flour.  I was not impressed with the rise at all. But I went with it anyhoo. My boules looked nice though not huge. (Haha! I wish!)  Used my special Dutch oven, preheated, baked and… phooey.

“Looks acidified,” says Janet.  Well hell and damnation.  The crust was nice, as you can see but the crumb?  To the bin with ya.

We start over.

We do the double feed, for three days to speed up the process with the intention of trying just one loaf.  At one point Janet said you looked cold, Charlotte,

so I gave you the oven with the light on.  Barely a bubble.  We tried all sorts of feedings. Nothing.  I left you alone for a few days, figuring you were in a mood.  All you gave me was a thin crust of hardened – something.  I think my oven lights are too hot.  Skimmed off the goo. Oh! But you did smell wonderful and guess what?  Yeah. You made FABULOUS pancakes.

Will I ever try this sourdough thing again?  Maybe. I dunno that I have the patience for this type of endeavour, to tell the truth.  Ironically, I was on Twitter when I caught Lesley Chesterman’s tweet (she was a food critic for the Montreal Gazette):  “I think I’m ready to break up with my sourdough starter. Too moody, too needy, too high-maintenance, sure to let me down in the end. And a bit stinky.”  Yep. Pretty much covers my feelings.

Nota bene (or post scriptum):  Since last Monday… I have yeast, so…

****

Running Diary

For those of you who ready my post where I shared my new “love” of running… ok, ok… I don’t love it. Yet. I thought I’d bring you up to date on the last two.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and there were way too many people out.  Some were being good, some, not so much but all of them I kept my distance from. That said, off I went, enthusiastically, for my 10 X 2/2.   I made it all the way to the park where I discovered a beautiful field of flowers last year. By the looks of it, there will be more this year – Yay! Plus I ran into a couple from the golf club – chit chatted for 30 seconds, luckily during my walk part. Soon as the bell rang, I was off.

On my way back I was feeling like there was no way in hell I would complete my ten sets.  I fudged a little on the times, cutting the run parts twice by 10-15 seconds in an attempt to catch my breath.  By the time I was just past my Willow the guilt set in so I added a rep and a half to make up.  I was glad it was over.

Today was another story. Like a recalcitrant child who doesn’t want to go to bed, I dug my heels into the entry rug.  It was cold outside with a light wind and rain was threatening. Really? Do I have to? I don’t know what force pushed me out the door but it worked.  And you are right, B… nothing more satisfactory than pushing yourself to do that thing you don’t feel like.  Not only did I do my ten sets, but after the first two, I felt I could actually control my breath.  And then, after walking for four minutes, I thought… why not? And I added three more!  Woot!  My knee felt a slight twinge just as I finished the third so I made sure my stretching session was properly done.  Extremely pleased with myself today.  Oh, and, following a discussion with Monika over at Tails Around the Ranch, about her lack of belief there is anything good about running (my former belief, as well), and did I ever notice that runners never smile?  Well, guess what Monika!  I kept thinking about you and put a smile on my face every time I heard the alarm that yet another set was completed 😀

Itty-bitty magnolia

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #155 – Tune

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Sammi, you wild thing, you. TEN WORDS??

There’s nothing better

Than finding someone

In tune with you

Dude, Where is My Air? Times Two

I could nor would I ever call myself a runner.  Oh, back in high school I did the 100-metre dash and was good enough to win first prize, once Rachel Dalpé left for another school after Secondary 3 (Grade 9).  The 200-metre was too long for me.  So to run, as in jog? Nope.  Dunno that I’ll ever experience the “runner’s high” I read about.

Way back when I did karate, we had to run around the dojo for what seemed like hours (probably longest was ten minutes) and sometimes we trained outside where we ran in a park.  Lord, take me now…

When running for more than two minutes at a time was easy-peasy

So, what am I doing trying to run now? Can’t explain other than to try and fulfill my doc’s recommendation that I up my cardio for at least fifteen minutes per day.  Well… that was one year ago and I’ve nothing to report.  My long walks with Zeke are a good thing but not something to give the ole heart a workout.  And now, the old guy is slowing down and our walks have become meanders so I felt I had to start doing something.  Plus, let’s face it… since March I have been cooking up a storm and don’t want the results to land in my posterior, thighs, belly… There needs to be some balance!  I am NOT gonna become one of those memes that are all over the Internets…

I started slow. Real slow. While walking Zeke, I would “jog” mostly in place, because I didn’t want to force Zeke to run, for one minute, walk for two… run for two, walk for two and a half – all counting my time in my head.  When we got to a park, I’d take his leash off and run around him while he sniffed around, sometimes trotting beside me, other times standing there looking at me like I was some sort of freak.  I was happy to see my knees held out, feeling no pain that night nor the next day

I found an interval app for my phone and set it for 5 intervals: 2 minutes of running, 2.5 minutes of walking.  Still, with Zeke on leash, I used my running mostly in place and was pleased with myself.

I am not pushing my luck so I run only every other day.  The last time I brought Zeke with me I did my five intervals, which have by now been changed to 2/2.  Felt energetic and added another 2 intervals.  Hmm… walked for a bit and thought, why not do another three to make it a total of ten? And I did.

Good gawd… that was quite a preamble for what I wanted to say and the reason for my title!!

On Tuesday, I decided to leave Zeke behind and see what I could achieve.  Plus, the weather was warm enough for me to wear leggings that stop at my knees (reminding me that, while I’ve no one to show off my legs to, warm times equal shorts and skirts and feeling the wind through my hair should be limited to my head) and a simple long-sleeved sports shirt. I kept things at two minutes run, two minutes walk because I knew that running “for realz” would not be the same thing as I’d been doing.  So I set my app for 10 X 2/2 and off I went. The first five intervals went reasonably well even as I cursed the need for two sports bras to keep the girls in check and not bounce willy-nilly.  Ladies with small boobs, be happy.  I could barely breathe from the pressure but I was pleased.  By interval six, I felt a small cramp in my side.  I pressed my hand against it and slowed my pace, breathing deeply (well, trying to) and made it to my walk time.  Just as I sort of caught my breath it was time for number seven.  It started off rocky but then all was good. By interval eight, I got a call from my mother-in-law’s social worker advising me that she (Jean) was being put on Covid-19 alert and would be tested.  Fuck.  I told them to keep me posted and resumed my run, trying not to think about her because there is not a blessed thing I can do about it.  The last two intervals were not easy but I made it.  When I got home, Zeke was waiting for me so I couldn’t refuse him, could I?  Off we went for a decent walk which I also dubbed the cool-down.

I was surprisingly still energetic and passed the vacuum all over the main floor, adding to my work-out! The boys did their share by mopping and vacuuming the basement. All was good.

Yesterday I woke up to rain. Dammit. I’m on a mission to go every other day so I knew this was not going to be fun.  I waited for a bit and it abated enough for me to be willing to go out.  The wind, though. Man, do I understand why you don’t like to run in the wind, B.  I walked briskly for a few minutes and then started my “programme”.  Yes, it is still 10 X 2/2.  The skies were kind and stopped dropping rain but it was rather chilly.  The wind was in my face and after about thirty seconds into my first interval I was thinking, nope… this is not gonna work.  I was thisclose to upchucking.  Gave myself a peptalk until the buzzer for walk started. Gawd almighty… what am I doing? Second was no better but I managed.  Halfway through the third one I had convinced myself that it was okay if I only managed to do six in total. Give myself a chance, yanno?

By then I’m near “my” willow tree and the wind was no longer in my face so I think bullshit.  I run back and forth along the gravel road to and from it for two more intervals.  I tell ya. When one is determined, one does what one must.

Pretend this was taken on a cloudy day…

As I head back towards home, I find myself watching the clock, telling myself to go, go, go. Don’t give up.  By the time I reach interval 9, I realise that I hadn’t checked the clock this time, nor the last. Wooot!  I’m no longer feeling the cold either…

I get home just as I finish.  Open the door, grab the leash, Zeke comes out all joyous and my buzzer goes off. What? Dammit.  One more to do.  However, as I have Zeke, it’s that little jog in place that I must do.

And I ain’t complaining one bit.