Taking a new direction…


This picture is supposed to be me deciding what path to take…symbolic, huh? 🙂

Last night I had a bit of a nervous breakdown. I feel like I’ve taken so much on, that all the little things are starting to overwhelm me. Let me state that I currently do not have major life stress…I can pay my mortgage, I do not have a sick family member, I don’t have a new baby, and I am not in school. I just take on too darn much, and am too OCD. Aside from the fact I probably need meds, Mike really helped me map out a plan. So I have some new strategery 🙂 Here it is:

Mike made me list everything I do on a weekday, including stuff like showering, drive time, sleep, making dinner etc. Just being at work alone knocked out 10 hours on average. It added up around 20 hours, leaving me 3-4 hours a day that are not accounted for (sound familiar to any of y’all?) So, in that 3-4 hours, I’ve been trying to cram working at the volunteer clinic, nights out with my many friends, cleaning my house, biking, dog walking, baking, and blogging! No wonder I still haven’t taken a photography class, taken a yoga class, increased my bike time, or learned to rock climb (all things on my list of things I’d like to do), and don’t even get me started on the house projects I have not tackled. It helped to list it all out this way. My suggestions of sleep less, or quit my job, were not encouraged by Mike, so he helped me condense some of these daily things I do. Starting today, I only am checking my home email 1 time a night, and right now is my one blog time/ computer time. No more internet surfing! So, if I do not email you right away, give me 24 hours or so, I will. I also am only checking it at work 1 TIME. Also, my other new idea is more group time with friends. One on one is great, but some weeks I am out every night with someone different, and never home, and then I stress about all the crap I have to do at home. Next, I have to prioritize my activities. I am keeping the volunteer clinic work, but I may not become an expert rock climber this year as planned. Finally, I need to cut down on my housework (this part will be hard), so I might not dust every week, maybe every other. Yikes, that is not going to be easy. I also will cook less.

So there is the plan. Today is the first day, and I already feel better. How come Mike had all this figured out, and I wake up in the middle of the night making lists in my head? Well, in his opinion I am nuts, but I can work with this. at least I want to change. And, I KNOW some of my friends who read this can relate.

Anyhow, gotta go. Gotta pack and clean the house (but not too clean), for a weekend in Possum Kingdom, Texas with the fam. Look it up if you don’t know where it is…

Here’s to simplifying your life….

Spinach Quiche…


This is a really good recipe. It is a lot more filling than regular quiche because of the unique crust made out of brown rice (gluten free) I cannot claim to have entirely made this one up. It is a modified recipe I got in a little $10 cookbook some animal rescue was selling for a fundraiser. I encourage you to try this one. It is sooo yummy. I usually make the rice the day before to save time.

Bring 2 and 1/4 c. water to a boil with a splash of olive oil,. and add a cup of brown rice. Cook for about 30-45 minutes depending on what brand of rice you use. Let the rice cool.

Shred 1 cup of Swiss cheese. Set 1/4 cup aside, and mix the other 3/4 cup with the rice and 1 egg. Put the mixture into a pie pan, and form into a crust.

Cook 1 salad package of fresh spinach (or you could use frozen). Make sure you squeeze all the water out. Mix the spinach, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 3 eggs, the swiss cheese you set aside, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup half and half, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Pour into the rice crust , and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let it sit 5 minutes or so before you cut into it. Enjoy. I like to serve each slice with a few slices of avocado on top.

The Sweaty Twenty in the pines…


Here are a couple old Bastrop pics for those who have never been there. What a great place to run! Woke up at 430, and of course it seemed like a horrible idea then. I had roped in some friends, so had to show. Mark picked me up at my house, which was super duper of nice of him. we got out to Bastrop in no time, and were treated to low 70 temps. Now, I guess I am more of an ideawoman, than the person who makes it all come together. Mark was that person for this run, ignoring my advice that a camel back would do (good thing he decided not to do what I thought might work). he had a nice cooler full of ice, water, and drinks, we stashed about 4 miles into the run.

We were off, and it felt great. I think all of us were surprised how fast the miles were going, and that this really wasn’t THAT bad (summer temps, plus hills could make this really hard). because the road is so well shaded, it cools off nicely at night, so things felt quite nice the first 12 miles or so. we also had a big mental boost discovering the road was actually only 10 miles. the 12 miles is from entrance to entrance between Bastrop and Buescher. It was a nice challenging, but not hard, run amongst friends. Running along a canopy of pines was fantastic. It flew by. The stashed cooler was a good call, as while not horribly hot, it was very welcome to have cold water and ice.

Got done, and Mark had made great finisher’s certificates…like I said, he gets the organization prize..not me. I was just thankful other folks liked my idea.
We had just the right number of people to keep the conversation lively. All in all, a really nice run that we all agreed was worth repeating.

A picture is worth 1000 words…


Don’t let the picture fool you…It looks nice and serene, but it is really water levels WAY below normal and about 95 degrees at noon. I learned today that it is our 30th day of 100 degrees or more. Remind me why I live here? Oh yeah, I am still waiting for my summer home to be finished being built in the mountains. 🙂

Anyhow, photo is of McKinney falls, first trip with park pass. I go there and Bastrop mostly, but hopefully the pass will encourage me to hit more regularly. We do Enchanted Rock at least once a year too, and it has been a while since Perdenales, so gotta hit that one too. On my to do list: Lost Maples, Dinosaur Valley, and Garner….plus all the west Texas parks: franklin mountains, big bend state park. Those are a bit of a haul though.

Nothing too exciting going on. Summer is a bit of a time here for dormancy for me. With lots of work at work, nothing very exciting to talk about. Still wishing I had a really cool run to do this summer. Sooo, I would like to invite my friends to share their dream runs.. or other (ironman? climb Mt Everest?) Mine are the Le Grizz 50 mile
(can’t really argue with scenery like this, huh?), and Western States, which I will probably never do because it is impossible to get into now….might have missed my window of opportunity on that one. My all time dream vacation is a trip to Yellowstone. Maybe for my 50th wedding anniversary or something….I plan on still being able to do plenty of hiking by then. Place I absolutely have to go back to is southern Utah….can’t even describe how incredible it is there. Anyhow, it is always fun to plan “fantasy trips”…since I would rather do that than shop. see some of you this weekend!

Dublin Dr. Pepper 10K


One race that has been on my to do list for years is the Dublin Dr. Pepper 10K. True, it is just a 10K, a 3 hour drive away, but the idea of running at the oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant in the world, and getting the chance to win delicious Dublin Dr. Pepper (made with cane sugar, and no corn syrup for those who do not know) seemed cool. Plus, those small town races are always fun, without all the hype of an Austin race.
Steve suggested we go this year, and I was in. He volunteered to drive, which was really nice. Steve, Mary and I left Austin at 4am this morning, so I had a 3am wake up call (not so good), but being it was just a 10K, there wasn’t much pre-race prep or worry.

Got into Dublin with plenty of time to spare, and the race crowd was small, but we found out this was partially due to a Runtex bus of 50 or so runners, not making it to the start in time. Looks like that just increased my chances of winning some of the prized Dr. Pepper. Sure, I could just buy it at the gas station there, but wouldn’t it be more fun to win a case?

The temps were heating up, and we were off. It was a nice little jaunt through the small local neighborhood. No real hills. The humidity is much lower in Dublin, so if a breeze hit, it actually cooled us off. I ran my tail off for some of the Dr. Pepper, and kept a 7:30 pace…which for me is pretty quick. Got done, and had breakfast at the only little local joint we could find, and waited to see if I was in the running the best prize ever…Whoo-hoo! 2nd AG, got it! The case of Dublin Dr. Pepper is on it’s way home.

We then decided it was time for a float. Had the best float ever, with Dr. Pepper syrup, vanilla blue bell, and seltzer water. Not many places that make them like that. Not too sweet at all. As it turned out, the bottling plant tours had quite a long line, and so with the 3 hour drive home hanging over our heads, we decided to head home, after Steve posed with some local beauties.

It was a fun race. It is always nice to do a no stress run, and see a new part of Texas. Definitely worth repeating next year.

Chocolate-chip Cherry Banana Bread…


Made this one up tonight. Banana bread will satisfy my sweet tooth, and a slice is a perfect pre-run food. MUCH better than a power bar. Plus, it lasts about a week.

3 ripe bananas
1 egg
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar

Mash up bananas, and blend in all the other stuff. add:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt

add all the dry stuff, Mix up well. Add about a cup of fresh, sliced cherries, and about 1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bake at 350 in a greased pan for 45 min to 1 hour.

I made this up to not let my cherries go to waste. I bought a bag at whole foods this weekend, and they were probably $20, since fruit there is so expensive. I cut them up last night for snacking and discovered this evening they were already starting to get mushy. I was too lazy to go get ice cream to put them on, or get buttermilk to make my cobbler topping, so I came up with this. It turned out pretty good. You could also use strawberries if you don’t feel like spending $20 on cherries at whole foods.

FYI, this is a perfect ultrarunning food. Packages well, not messy (especially if you leave out the chocolate), and not near as fiberous as some of those Clif bars are….and a lot cheaper. It is super easy to make and not a lot of clean up. I have yet to find a bar that is truly tasty. Pro Bars are kinda good, but they are $3 each. that is crazy. You could pre-wrap slices of this, put into your drop bags, and you have a much better goodie than a dry, power or clif bar.

That which does not kill us…


Uggg, just got back from a nice 100 degree walk at Mueller with Pancake. While I am thrilled to have the trail, it is VERY exposed still, so super-duper hot. It was a very hot weekend. saturday’s run set a new record for humidity I think. today was pretty rough too, although once it got a little later into the run I could feel some of the humidity burning off and it got better. It was a fairly low key running weekend, as next weekend is the Dr. Pepper 10K, and then the Bastrop run. Here is an old picture of Pancake looking confused at Bastrop.

Mark gave me the very good idea of just going ahead and getting a texas state park pass. It is all for a good cause, and I do go quite a bit, although no leash free run there for Pancake. I only live about 20 minutes away from mckinney falls, and might do a run or 2 out there. It takes me almost 30 minutes to get to the greenbelt, so I guess Bastrop is not that much longer of a drive. Can’t beat running in 100% shade. I need something to spice it up a bit, as this summer has me in a bit of a funk. it’s long, it’s super hot, and I feel like I only have work on the horizon. I’ll get over it, but I’ve been pouting all weekend about it.

The birdie tat is healing. I spent all weekend peeling off pink, green, and blue pieces of skin. Weird to peel off a chunk of green skin. I expect it to be gone once the skin peels off, but no, it is still there….much to my relief.

I watched the Pre track meet today on tv, and I am super excited for the olympics this summer. So far the one saving grace of the summer, is spending 3 weeks or so watching all my favorite sports.

so, sorry for a bit of a downer post…not a whole lot going on, and it looks that way for awhile. I will try and come up with some creative material for pancakeiscute, so it isn’t quite so boring.

Have a great week….

Ink!

Here it is! OUCH! This hurt a lot more than I remember. Please excuse the plastic bandage, but I couldn’t wait to show everyone. I guess I should have taken a before pic, but here is the after. isn’t the little birdie lovely!?! It turned out more colorful than I had hoped for. So, now I will be dumping on the sunscreen to protect my little birdie from fading.

Cabin fever…


These are photos from Mike’s recent trip to Sweden for work. What, am I jealous that Mike is in northern Europe while it is 101 degrees here? You bet! I still run just about every am before work in the sweatfest, it just my other activities that suffer. I was going to ride my bike last night, and take Pancake to Mueller with me, and Mike said I would kill her if I took her for hard exercise in the heat (he was probably right).

I guess I am feeling the cabin fever today, because it just looks like summer vacation won’t be an option this year due to some work constraints. I was a little bummed when I found this out. I was leaning towards visiting the fam in Alaska, and doing the Crow Pass Crossing run.
It doesn’t even have a web site, just paper entries. Now that is old school..and kinda fun. But, it looks like it will have to wait a year.

some good news is that the Bastrop road run is on. June 21st at 630 if that works for everyone. I just need some input from someone who has run there before if we can access the park that early and where is the best place to park and meet. Very cool, something to look forward to. I gotta come up with some kind of participant goodie.

tomorrow is the new ink. Cannot wait. I will post a pic as soon as I can.

The Loop 30K

while this isn’t the exact same trail, it is the same park, and shares the common theme…lots and lots of cedar.

Today was the loop 30K, my last long Texas race for several months. ever have those mornings you wake up and think, “was this really a good idea?” I woke up thinking I could have run 20 on the greenbelt on my own, and that this really didn’t sound fun. Oh well, I signed up, and won’t be doing this for awhile, so I should enjoy it.

I knew ahead of time it was going to be very hot. It was forecast to be 99. So, I knew I wouldn’t be my fastest. The course had also changed this year and was run in the opposite direction. It found this gave it more steep downhills, which can really tire the legs. The start was pretty congested, and I really thought I had made a mistake signing up for this, but then, as things spread out, it became nice. The trail is just a little too eroded, as it is primarily for motorcross, so it is very dusty. I started to get into things, and was starting loop 2. About halfway through, a came onto another runner who was sprained his ankle, but he was also a little heat exhausted and feeling faint if he stood up. No huge deal, as there were other folks there, but I stayed and helped out, ran back to the aid station got some ice and coke, and managed to take 30 minutes. No big deal…I had forgotten my chip anyways, and I really didn’t care, only now it was even hotter, and I had kinda lost my desire to run this thing. I thought about how silly I would feel about dropping out of this for no reason, so I started loop 3. All in all, in wasn’t too unpleasant. I ran alone a lot, and the heat definitely made me slower, but WHO CARES! A race like this is really just a fun run.

I got home sooooo tired though. I hope it was just the heat, as I really want to keep a 20 mile training run base all summer at least. I took a shower and immediately fell asleep. I feel much better now.

Sometimes I think I should limit my races to only those that are fabulous. Either very pretty, a special place, or one that just has lots of sentimental value for me. This race is well done, but with the very eroded trail and the endless cedar, it isn’t the most exciting scenery. I much prefer the variety at the Maze at walnut creek. This is one reason not to do Sunmart come December. I have seen Huntsville state park a heck of a lot. I have to take a day off work to get down there, and book hotel, so it might be worth just doing an out of town run at some point.

Anyhow, the race just about ate up most of Sunday. Nothing too exciting planned for this week run wise. The Bastrop road run still needs to happen, so if you are interested, some potential weekends are looking like June 21 or the weekend after 4th of July. I would really love to get a small group to do it. I am thinking it might be easiest to just leave cars parked at Bastrop and just bring a lot of fluids. We can refill in Buescher park. That saves time tranferring cars. Also, if the day is just hot and miserable we could turn around at any point. I think if I brought a camel back and water bottle I would be fine. Please let me know if you are interested in this, as I really doubt I would do it on my own. I am thinking it would be fun to do some kind of finisher’s goodie too, but I would have to see if I have a few folks interested. So please email me or post a comment if this sounds fun to you.