Gardens, Moving, and Running Injuries

Strawberries from the garden #mygarden #strawberries

A photo posted by Andrea Yori (@rock05baby) on

I didn’t plant much of a garden this year. I planned on it. In fact I had all the gardens tilled and prepped, seedlings started (what was left after the cats decided to snack on them), and a few plants purchased from the local nursery. But then we made the decision to move back to Illinois. The kids and I will hopefully get to move in a few weeks so they have time to settle in before the next school year begins. Because of that, I didn’t see much point in planting the garden. I did get a few tomato plants in before everything happened and the decision was made, but I seriously doubt that I’ll get to enjoy many of them before we move. My Lemon Boys have a few fruits on them, so maybe I’ll get to taste a few of them before we leave. I’m hoping I’ll get to taste at least one of my Hillbillies. I was most curious about how those would turn out.

I think I’m more attached to my garden than anything else about this house. I put so much work and sweat into it each year, I feel sad to leave it all behind. It is hard to watch the weeds grow in the main garden. I was keeping it clear of weeds for a few weeks out of respect (to what I’m not entirely sure), but then the summer heat and humidity kicked in. Suddenly it seemed silly and like a waste of energy, so I let it go. I have other things, like packing up the house, that I need to focus on right now. I did notice a rogue melon plant in there. It must be from one of last year’s plantings. Maybe the next inhabitants of this house will get to enjoy the melons and my heirloom tomatoes. I hope they like to garden.

Fresh picked radishes #mygarden #radishes

A photo posted by Andrea Yori (@rock05baby) on

I did plant some radishes, spinach, and mescalin salad mix in my smaller herb and gutter gardens. Those grow quickly enough, so I knew I would be able to enjoy them before we moved. And I can still get a small gardening fix before I leave.

Arugula and salad greens #mygarden #arugula

A photo posted by Andrea Yori (@rock05baby) on

The small patches I planted are doing quite well. I’ve been enjoying fresh-picked salads almost daily. My new favorite afternoon snack is a multi-grain Wasa cracker with olive oil mayo, fresh greens, basil, thinly sliced radishes and a few shakes of salt. Yum!

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I probably won’t be posting much until I’m resettled. I don’t see myself having much free time to post anything substantial. I’m also won’t be doing much running right now. I’m nursing a minor injury. I had it checked out yesterday. The good news is, no stress fracture. It looks like inflamed ligaments in my left ankle and bad shin splints in my left leg – the same one that gave me trouble during my last bout of training. The bad news is, no running for the next 7 days. I’ve already taken the last 7 days off, so 7 more days is hard. (I know…first world problems and it could be worse.) I can start back to running again after next weekend, but if the pain returns I have to go back for a bone scan and PT. At least I have plenty of packing to keep my mind off of the fact that I can’t run right now. And maybe I can finally knitting that pair of socks I started this past winter.

Do you like to garden? How is your garden doing this summer? Any summer running plans? Or are you taking it easy during the heat of the summer?

A Walk Through the Woods

A few days ago, I took some time and got out into the woods. I do a lot of trail running this time of year, but I don’t take the time to slow down and smell the roses as much as I should. I felt like I needed to do that recently, so I did. I took my camera along too, because it’s been feeling neglected lately.

Cattails

I watched dragonflies hover over the lake.

Dragonfly

And honeybees collect pollen.

Honey Bee

And I stumbled upon a Blue Heron preening itself on a fallen tree. Herons are one of my favorite birds. They are so awkward and graceful at the same time.

Blue Heron

I really need to do this more often. I think it is important for us all to remember to slow down once in awhile. It’s so easy to get caught up in a quick pace and become so myopically focused on the end goal that we miss all the good things happening around us.

You can see the rest of the photos from this hike on my flickr stream.

Salmon and Pasta with Strawberry Lemon Cream Sauce

Pasta with Strawberry Lemon Cream SauceWe have a bumper crop of strawberries this year. I planted the patch the first summer we lived here. That was 3 years ago. It is finally producing lots and lots of berries. Big juicy ones too. We’ve had strawberry shortcake, smoothies, salads, and I’ve even frozen a few bags for later. We were getting a little tired of the usual berry dishes, so I tried to come up with something a little different. I got the idea for this dish after making a salad with tuna, arugula, basil, cheese, almonds, and strawberries with a lemon/olive oil dressing for lunch one day.

It’s a great pasta dish for summer. It is light and hearty all at the same time. It also has sweet, savory, and tart notes all in one dish, which will make your taste buds smile. At least they made mine smile. The kids approved too.

Salmon and Pasta with Strawberry Lemon Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 Salmon filet
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta (I used Angel Hair, but any kind will work)
  • Olive Oil (a few tablespoons for sauteing and drizzling on the salmon)
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cream (half and half works too)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Salt, pepper and oil the salmon to taste. Bake until flaky (about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your filet and your oven). You can also grill the salmon if you like.
  3. While the fish is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. When the fish is done, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, heat about 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan.
  6. Saute onion until it’s translucent.
  7. Add garlic, cook about 30 seconds.
  8. Add basil, cook a few seconds until it wilts.
  9. Add wine, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a bubble and then reduce heat.
  10. Mix a small ladle full of the pasta water with the cornstarch. Then whisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  11. Add cream, lemon juice, and zest.
  12. Toss with pasta and cook for a few minutes to finish cooking the pasta.
  13. Remove from heat.
  14. Add flaked salmon and strawberries and toss again.
  15. Serve immediately with fresh grated pecorino cheese, fresh basil, and lemon slices.

Salmon and pasta with strawberry lemon cream sauce

What is Better Than a PR?

Running alongside my 10 year-old as she completed her first 5K. She did fantastic! I couldn’t be more proud.

A photo posted by Andrea Yori (@rock05baby) on

My son and I ran this race last year. It was my first 5K and I was terribly unprepared. I was really new to running. I had only been running 2 months and had no business running a 5K. But my son, who runs on the cross-country team at school, was very persuasive and convinced me that it would be fun for us to do our first 5K together. He beat me by a good 10 minutes. I was terribly slow and barely made it across the finish line. I vowed up completion of that Spud Run that I would train consistently and return for a re-do this year.

I trained consistently, my running has improved tremendously over the past year, and I returned for my re-do of the Spud Run this year. My re-do wasn’t the speedy one I had envisioned. The actual re-do was so much better because I got to run with both my kids.

Backing up the choo-choo train a little bit…

A few months ago, my daughter expressed an interest in running. She wanted to try the Girls on the Run program, but their schedule didn’t match ours, so I suggested we try the Spud Run instead. The Spud Run is a nice, local, family-friendly race that raises money for MDA. A lot of her friends run it, so I thought it might be a good one for her to try. I downloaded a training schedule from the Girls on the Run website and we started practicing. We didn’t follow the schedule always, we had to be flexible because both kids are in other sports, but she did enough that she was able to complete the entire distance using a 3 min run/1 min walk strategy with a sprint to the finish line. We finished in 36:47, which is faster than my time from last year. And she came in 4th for her age group. Not bad for her first 5K.

Just finished her first 5K

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She rewarded herself with brownies and a bag of apple slices at the finish line. She had a blast. I think I’ve created a new runner in the family. As soon as we got home, she asked when we could sign up for the next race.

And my son won a medal for placing second in his age group. And he shaved 2 minutes off of last year’s time.

A photo posted by Andrea Yori (@rock05baby) on

I think I see a Turkey Trot in our future!

Do your kids like to run? Have you run any races with your kids?

Sunburst

I did it! I finished! I’m still processing the entire experience.

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The weather wasn’t ideal for any outdoor activity yesterday. The morning was an especially good one for burrowing under the bed covers, but I got myself out of bed and out the door pretty much on schedule. Right as the 5K racers were lining up, there was a thunderstorm threatening. We were worried the race was going to be delayed or even cancelled. Luckily it blew over and eventually the sun came out. It ended up being a very hot, humid, and thankfully breezy, sunny day.

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Even though I arrived an hour early, I almost missed the start of the race. I misjudged the time and went to make one last potty stop. The line to the bathroom was so long, that I cut it really close. I hopped in the back of the pack with all the walkers just as the gun went off. My dad says I was one of the last people to cross the starting line. I honestly wasn’t paying attention to my position. I was just happy I made it in time. While I was a ball of panicked adrenaline from worrying I was going to miss the start, I think being last helped. I have a habit, like most new runners, of going out too fast. However, I couldn’t get around some of the walkers in the beginning, so it forced me to start slow.

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The course itself wasn’t anything to write home about, but Indiana is not the most exciting state on the map. It was pretty in some spots along the river, but it got a bit twisted and confusing as it went through some of the neighborhoods. And there was one out and back stretch that was so boring I started going down the, “Why am I doing this? This is the dumbest thing ever! I could be home in bed!” route. The stifling 88% humidity didn’t help. I felt so sticky and heavy the entire time. And there were times I was struggling to catch my breath. Luckily around mile 7, OK Go! saved me by reminding me that “This Too Shall Pass”. And it did.

I’m not a football or Notre Dame fan, so I didn’t really get all the hype about Sunburst’s finish line. I get it now. Sunburst has the coolest finish line ever (at least in my experience, which is a bit limited). I felt like such a rock star running through the tunnel to the 50 yd line of the football field.

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I am thankful that I obsessively read blog posts about marathon running tips and others’ race reports leading up to Sunburst. One tip in particular saved me. (I’d link, but I read so many random posts I don’t remember where this tip came from.) It was a marathon race report. The runner was running in hot/humid conditions and commented that while she noticed most of the other runners struggling around her, she stayed strong by always finding the shade and taking 2 cups of water at every stop – 1 to drink and the other to pour over her head. I’m glad that piece of advice popped into my head when it did, because that is what I ended up doing during the second half of the race and it helped me manage the heat and humidity. I am also thankful for all the good citizens of South Bend who left their sprinklers in the road for us to run through. I jumped through a few like a little kid. It helped give me the boost I needed to make it to the finish line with a smile still on my face.

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My official time was 2:44:58. Not very fast, but I’m happy with my time. Given how the end of my training went, I honestly didn’t expect to finish under 3 hours. I went in with a goal to just finish. I decided to leave my competitiveness behind yesterday and just run for fun and the experience. I realize now, it’s really not about the time. It’s the entire journey – all the hard work, sweat, and perseverance that got me to the finish line – that I am most proud of. I learned a lot, I made some mistakes, and most important, I had a great time.

I think the half is my favorite distance so far. I want to run another in the near future. Maybe one in the fall when it’s not so hot. I’m also entertaining ideas of training for a full marathon in a few years. But for now, I have a few 5K’s on the horizon with the kids, so I think my goal is to work on my pace. I have to be able to keep up with the kidlets. Or at least not be too far behind them.