Bonkers for Berries

Bonkers for Berries

My u-pick berry haul from this weekend. Only took an hour to get ~11lbs of fresh, delicious, GIGANTIC berries. Can’t wait to clean and freeze them tonight so I can make jam soon!

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So pretty in their buckets!

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My berry picking partner!

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The blackberries are HUGE! Also, the blackberry and raspberry bushes had no thorns on them! I’d never heard of such a wonderful thing.  They were so easy and pleasant to pick! I’ve always stuck to blueberries and strawberries because I hate the thorns, but a whole new world was opened this weekend. I cannot wait to eat the jam.


Embrace Your Pace

I run slow as shit.  So what? Who the hell cares?

One of the challenges on my journey to embrace running and being a “runner” has been an increasing self-consciousness about my speed. Throughout the last year, my goal was mainly to increase my stamina and distance and my speed never bothered me much.  Now that I’ve achieved many beginner goals with running, I’ve starting to think more about speed as an aspect of my running and looking at ways to speed up just a bit. Now, I am not interested in achieving a 6 minute mile tomorrow, or ever really, but as my fitness increases, speed is one measure that I find helpful and motivating.  My running family is so good to politely wait for me at finish lines and are always happy to cheer me on as I shuffle across the line, but it would be cool if they didn’t have to wait too long for me!

Part of what I enjoy about running is the plodding along and the time it gives me to clear my mind and observe.  I am a somewhat high-anxiety, high-energy person and running is a time where I reflect and slow my brain down a bit.  The thud of my feet on the ground and the rhythm of my breathing consume my attention and I can feel that day’s concerns, frustrations, and worries sloughing off my shoulders step by step.

I’m currently training for my second half marathon and I’m actually finding that my slow and steady speed is beneficial in many races. I chug along and very often catch up to people who start off too fast.  I ran my second 10K this past weekend, the Anacortes Art Dash, and found that in the last two miles I truly was the tortoise plodding by those who’d over-spent their energy in the first four miles.  It was a 10K PR for me by a few minutes and that felt good.  But more than that, I’d tacked on a mile before the run to make it my longest consecutive run to-date.  I was surprised at the amount of energy and pep I still had at what was cumulatively miles 5-7.

I found this article several months ago and I occasionally go back to it to remind myself that my pace is my pace and that I’m a runner no matter what.

http://runnersconnect.net/coach-corner/so-what-youre-a-slow-runner/?awt_l=CGgCQ&awt_m=3XEeg.hsRg5ttIP

Won’t you join me? Embrace your pace and stop apologizing for being “slow”.  You are holding no one else up, forcing no one who isn’t willing to join you, and most importantly, doing what is best for your body, mind, and heart.


Weekend baking

It was a sunny beautiful weekend. We wanted to grill but had no buns so instead of hitting the store, I made some! The recipe made 8 buns but we only needed 4 so I loafed the extra dough and made French toast with it this morning. Delish!

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The buns were a bit flat because I smooshed them too much but they were great. I cut the sugar in half because I just couldn’t wrap my mind around 1/4c sugar. Yuck! Who wants sweet burger buns! I will most certainly make these again. So easy and wonderful.


Gettin’ Crafty

Mr. and I are attending a friend’s wedding this weekend and we are very excited to play, have fun, and help them celebrate.  The wedding and reception will be at a state park and they are having lots of yard games for people to play.  The groom asked if we had any games to bring them.  Well, we don’t, but I’ve always wanted that bean bag toss game so I decided to make one!  First, I was just going to make it and keep it but then I thought, what fun to give it as a gift to the couple!  Here are some photo highlights of my project:

Jigsaw Pro

My friend has a pretty elaborate wood working set up and he helped me with the project and let me use his tools.  So very kind.

Plywood Holes

Under my friend’s guidance I did much of the building myself, but the frame you see behind the plywood tops is something I got at the ReStore – a store that sells used housewares and constructiony stuff.  The 2’x4′ frames were already constructed which I thought would be a benefit.  Turned out it probably would have been easier to just build them myself because the ones I got had cross boars and weird corner hardware which we had to wrestle with.

Painted and Ready to Go

I got paint at the ReStore as well in tan and blue because that is the color of the fabric I had for the bean bags.  I used extra pillow cases I had laying around from another craft project.

Oregon

The bride is from Oregon so I painted Oregon on the blue box with the tan paint (the blue looks so grey here but it is because the stupid garage lights are awful).

Minnesota

The groom is from Minnesota so I painted Minnesota on the tan box with the blue paint.

Bean Bags

These are the bean bags – which are actually filled with corn – not beans! I used the wonderful sewing machine that was my graduation gift from 2007! These are the first completed project using that machine and I’m so excited.

Fun Fact: This game is known as Cornhole and there is actually a governing organization The American Cornhole Organization.  The World Cornhole Championships are happening in July in Ohio 🙂 Anybody want to go?!


Parade Fun

MT and I walked in a rainbow themed parade last week.  We wore our Funky Running Tights and represented the school MT’s daughter attends.  The rain came early and then stopped before the parade which was great.

 

Funky Rainbow Fun

After the parade I rode my bike down to a Bike to Work party since it was Bike to Work & School Day. My friend Emily painted our faces.

Mr and Me


Sunny Weekend

While we get a fair amount of sun (more than our rainy reputation might lead to you believe) it isn’t always accompanied by such lovely temperatures. Starting mid last week we’ve seen 60s and 70s and it is just delightful. It cools down quite a bit in the evenings so Saturday morning was just about perfect for running the Haggen to Haggen 5k.

As a member of the Greater Bellingham Running Club we are asked to volunteer at least once per year to help out at a race so Mr., MT, and I all went early and helped register runners and walkers before the race began.  I won’t gripe about the insanity that was registration except to say there were record numbers of day-of registrants making it quite hectic. Eventually we ditched the registration tables and headed to the very crowded start line.

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Fun runs like this are a mixed bag for me.  While I really appreciate not being the very last person to finish as tends to be the case with more “serious” races (or at least races with small registration which usually attract speedy runners), the crowds are not particularly enjoyable for me.  I get passed pretty consistently for the first mile, and then I usually end up navigating lots of strollers the rest of the race. (This may not be a popular opinion, but I don’t like strollers in races. Period. Perhaps another post on this in the future). I am not big on crowds and find it difficult to get in my zone before the run and by the time I get in it, the race is over!

All that being said, I ran this race on my still bum ankle which I’ve been resting for two weeks by sticking to walking and aqua jogging in the 13 days prior to the race. Even with the rest, I’ve seen and felt very little improvement in tenderness and swelling which has been increasingly frustrating. So imagine my surprise when I ran a PR in this race (37:56total/12:14 pace) I think this is only 30 seconds faster than my previous best, but I certainly wasn’t at my prime for this race so this is encouraging that once the ankle is back at 100% I’ll be able to start working again on my race pace.

I chalk the PR up to two things: 1) 2/3 of the race was a shallow down hill which made it easier to maintain a quicker pace and 2) Mr. jogged with me rather than at his own pace.  It was really helpful to have someone running with me as it meant I only walked when I really needed to for my ankle.  We didn’t talk much but just having him next to me made the race enjoyable and I felt pretty good the whole race.

The rest of the weekend was gorgeous and still is today.  I am very very happy about it. Oh, and I cut my hair. Chin length really brings out my curls. Hooray for not having to blow dry my hair all summer! Also, check our my awesome new sweatyband (thanks MT) which will certainly come in handy now that I can’t make a ponytail.
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Savory Sunday & Swim

While weekday lunch time aqua jogs are a bit hurried, a Sunday afternoon trip to the pool with MT allowed for a very thorough workout and some serious hot tub action which my body appreciated.  I’ve recommitted to rehabbing my ankle. My next race is in two weeks (I swear I signed up for all these races before hurting myself!) so I’ve got a nice little chunk of time to rest and take care. 

I was starving when I got home from the pool workout, but managed to get my lawn mowed and a hedge trimmed before I started dinner.  I realized I only had one chicken breast (time to run to Costco) but managed to stretch one breast into a meal for two by adding red pepper, onion, and mushrooms to a saute.  A little cumin and chili powder, salsa and sour cream sides, and Mr. and I had ourselves some delicious chicken fajitas! 

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In an attempt to use what’s in the fridge, I pulled out a bag of brussel sprouts that badly needed to be used and steamed them up as a side.  Maybe not the most conventional side for the main dish, but whatevs.  If you don’t already know, you’ll quickly find out I eat brussel spouts with anything and all the time.  

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What food do you like/love that many people dislike? I won’t yuk your yum, I promise!