Running on The River Road

River Road

Last week, Angie and I met up for a run/dinner date because it is summer and now is the time to take advantage of outdoor running.  We did our warm-up/cool-down together and while she did some sort of barf-y speed workout at the track, I went down to The River Road.

I don’t use my friends for their proximity to beautiful running trails, but I do appreciate that those trails exist.

Wednesday’s run was one where after about a mile and a half, I fell into The Zone and I did not rejoin the group until a couple of minutes before I was back at the track for cool-down time.  The Zone is not something I chase because generally, I appreciate the hour (give or take) I have to work through life as my feet are moving.  That being said, I haven’t been “in” The Zone for months probably so it was a really lovely and relaxing run.

Yesterday, I pulled out my planner from 2013 (which also doubles as a workout log) to get an idea of what 10 Mile training will look like this year.

Summary: Apparently I started training for the 10 Mile in mid-August last year and to give my legs a break from marathon training, I did a massive drop in mileage.  Which is actually a fairly logical choice.  I wrote all of the workouts down anyway and over the next few weeks, I’ll figure out what I can/should bulk up and what can stay the same.  Riveting stuff, I know.

As always, there are goals.  (1) Do not get injured and (2) Beat my time from last year (1:30:10).  Goal #1 really matters, Goal #2 is because we all need something to work towards.


About these ads

Link Rodeo

I know that it has been ages and ages since we have done a proper Link Rodeo.  Some of these links were collected in May, some of them are even older than that.

From Vulture: Read Amy Schumer’s Powerful Speech About Confidence

From Business Insider: Spurious Correlations

From BuzzFeed: 23 Charming Illustrations of Untranslatable Words From Other Languages

From GQ: The Old Man at Burning Man

From Mother Jones: Big Dairy is Putting Microscopic Pieces of Metal in Your Food

From the NYT: A Tattoo That Completes a New Breast

From The Atlantic: How Jews Designed the Modern American Home

Friday Food Round-Up!

I learned my lesson from last week – when I was meal planning, I thought about what I could make for dinner that would set us up for mealtime success.

Sunday – One Big Steak for Two, Cauliflower Everyone Loves and Red Onion Parsley Salad from Balaboosta


Ready for a confusing story?  Good.  Me too.

Last week, MHM was all rah-rah it’s Bastille Day next Monday!  And so I thought to myself Of course we must celebrate!  I will make steak since we never ever eat that at home.  So I made our meal plan and I looked at our schedule and then I realized that I was going to be working a very long day on Monday.  Remember that thing where I’m trying to avoid overreaching?  Me too.

Having already set my sights on making steak this week (and having already scoured the grocery ads), I moved this dinner to Sunday night.  Unencumbered by the French culture, we ended up with a chimichurri sauce and a host of other things that had not been part of the original vision.

Monday – West Texas Stacked Enchiladas from The Homesick Texan with Cilantro-Lime Rice, Black Beans and Guacamole


Dear Past Kat, thank you for making a double batch of enchilada sauce that one weekend where you had a lot of time on your hands.  I owe you big time.

Main course out of the way, I had just enough time to chop an onion, supervise the beans and soft-fry a few eggs (rice steaming, cilantro mincing and avocado mashing are 100% Marcus’ domain).

Thursday – Chicken with 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub, Asparagus Salad (made with Green Beans) and Oven Fries


I am sure y’all are trying to figure out what it means to have Asparagus Salad made with Green Beans.  When I was at the grocery store, Asparagus was $4.99/lb.  I don’t know about you, but in this house that is Expensive.  I was hesitant to make the purchase, and then I realized that green beans would do just as well when pressed into service.  This is probably a trick we will rely upon more often.

More Summer Reading

More of my holds came in, so I have been reading.  I don’t know that any of these really scream “summer,” but they’ve moved along fast enough.  The bad part = my holds list is nearly empty.  If you have suggestions I need (Need!) them.

Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell The Wolves I'm Home

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

We Need New Names

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings

Young Money by Kevin Roose

Young Money

Reverb 14 | July | Summer Time Blues

#reverb14 is the opportunity for us to reflect and project throughout 2014.   Each month, Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting on a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

Summer Time Blues: It’s mid-summer and we’ve got the summer time blues.  Tell us how you’re feeling at this mid-summer check in point.  Do you have the summer time blues?  How do you snap out of it?  Or if you’re still loving summer, what’s been going great?

Spot is dead.  My daily schedule has been effectively upended by forces beyond my control. I cannot chase those hours back. Lately, I am tired.

I am frustrated.  And so I am sharp with myself.  With my husband.  With my family.  With my friends.

I was speaking with someone recently, and we were sharing stories of agony.  They said, I know that this cannot compare to what you’ve just experienced.  I cut them off and said Pain is not a competition.  We are not in a race to see who has The Worst Pain or Who Can Hurt More.  It can just be…bad.  So we left it at that.

I look at all of this.  The stress.  The exhaustion.  The tears.  The things left undone.  The relationships left on life support.  And I am not proud because I feel like I am failing at all of it on a grand scale.

This is an uncomfortable space for me to inhabit.  Un-pride.  Failure.  Defeat.  Exhaustion.  I like to think that it is in my nature to be resilient.  To bounce back up.  To find my way back to the water’s surface.  But right now that feels really hard.

All of it made more bittersweet because the hope of these 80 degree days was meant to be a balm against an especially long, especially cold winter.  The sun is shining and all I want is a moment to breathe.

But I am surrounded by unconditional love.  By my husband.  By my family.  By my friends.  It’s a talisman of sorts.

Out for dinner last week, I looked at a friend and told her, I come with a warning label tonight.  I’m feeling very pointy.  And she told me that she did not care about my pointy-ness at all.

Even on the days where I am exhausted by my own antics, the days where I am all edges, they lean in and press harder.  They remind me that I have worth.  That I am precious.  That it is going to be okay.  That there is a place where all of it stops and we get to start fresh once more. Where I am pushing away, they are coming closer.

Marathon Monday: TCM 2014

Y’all, on the list of difficult posts to write, this one doesn’t even make the cut.

I entered the Twin Cities 10 Mile Lottery last week.  If I don’t win a bib via lottery, I will be purchasing one of the bibs where the proceeds go to the Twin Cities in Motion fund.

The marathon is not happening this year.

I know I wrote last week about my heart not being in the training.  Having that burning desire to run 26.2 miles would be helpful, sure.  But training for a marathon isn’t just a finish line thing, it’s an every day thing.  For the one run that is 26.2 miles, the rest of them are not even close.

What it really comes down to is that I do not have the time to train for the marathon right now.

With the amount of free time I have, I am forced to make choices.  Spend time with Marcus?  Or run.  Cook dinner?  Or run.  A lot of the time lately, the answer is Do Thing A and fit in whatever amount of running I can.

Running is important to me, yes.  It is an activity that brings me mental clarity.   It provides me with a small part of my daily routine.  It allows me to maintain my weight loss.  It energizes me.

But it is just a piece of a life that is much bigger.

As I explained the other day, there are times in my life where I have needed to finish the marathon and I couldn’t.  There are times in my life where I didn’t think I would ever be able to finish the marathon and so I did not even think to try.

This is okay for now.

My next project is to go through my 10 mile training logs from 2013 and set out a plan for this year.  I’ll share more about what I’m doing next week.

Yellow Mouse.

In the dispensing of Spot’s estate, there were many simple decisions to be made.  Where should the litter boxes go?  The trash.  What should we do with his food dishes?  He ate from a rotation of ramekins and saucers, so those simply ceased to be placed on the floor.

Spot was a cat with many toys in the sense that we bought him tons of them.  Balls with bells in them!  Stuffed trout!  A cat-sized mouse with ribbed belly for scratching!  Crinkle mylar balls!  Catnip mice!  Plastic loops!  Battery powered hamsters!  Feather darts!

Spot was a cat with few toys in the sense that he largely ignored all of them, leading to a giant crock filled with unused toys.  He primarily concerned himself with his fur mice, his squeaky mice, curling ribbon on gifts, hair binders and his leash (it might be a snake).

Last night Mom presented me with two mice and asked me which I would prefer.  There was a fresh looking blue mouse that had two eyes and a set of whiskers.  And then there was Yellow Mouse.

As a Tiny Cat, Spot was a great retriever of mice.  We joked with family friends that he was really a Siamese Retriever, because we would squeak the mouse and then we would throw it across the house where it would first hit the wall and then fall to the floor with a second thud.  A thundering set of paws would follow and  shortly thereafter the mouse would be returned to us for another round of Hunting.  As Spot grew older, the need to retrieve diminished, but his desire to prey upon these static creatures remained.  So our bobcat-sized Siamese cat continued to stalk.  Throughout his life, when we were not home or able to Hunt With Spot, it was not uncommon to come home and discover a mouse either drowned in his water dish or placed in his food dish.  How else could he tell us that he had made a big kill in our absence?

So I chose Yellow Mouse, because his eyes are long missing as are his whiskers.  The yellow flocking that remains is barely yellow, and the rest of it has worn off as the result of many battles.  Yellow Mouse, who was always vanquished and never a victor, was a worthy adversary for Spot.

Yellow Mouse

Mom handed Yellow Mouse to me last night in the hallway and I squeaked him and that was okay.  And then she looked at me, told me that I was doing it wrong and proceeded to throw the mouse against the wall where he made a first satisfying thud and a second, more bittersweet thud as he hit the ground to the absence of thundering paws on the attack.  My heart clenched a little bit then, because I realized that this is precisely the sort of thing that you don’t even think to miss until it is directly in front of you.  The squeak of the mouse.  The thud.  The thundering paws.  It is so strange to think that something so small, a mouse with its own tenuous grip on mousehood, could open such a hole.