Friday, April 30, 2010

Provena Illinois 5K

This Saturday I'll be running the Provena Illinois 5K, which is the companion 5K to the Illinois Marathon. I'll be racing at 7:00 AM (wow, that's early!), then showering and recuperating before heading to my post at mile 24 to volunteer at the hydration station from 8:45 till the last runner passes, probably around 2:20.

I ran the CU on the Trails 5K on the 17th that I forgot to mention. It was not professionally timed, just a fun run put on by the park district but it was SUCH a great day and I had a great time!

I've started doing a longer run every once in a while. In theory I am doing this half-marathon training schedule from Fitness Magazine. But in practice I'm not actually aiming to be done in 8 weeks so I'm taking it a bit slower. I don't know if I'll ever enter a half marathon, I just wanted a new goal!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"I Want to Ride My Bicycle"

Our city is having a Bike to Work Day next month. I have often thought about riding my bike, either to work or to run short errands but I admitted it the other day, I am scared to for a couple of reasons:

-I have never been that great of a bike rider. We moved to the country, during what would have been my prime bike-riding age, 8 years old. I had just gotten my three-speed Schwinn, which other kids made fun of me for because it was second hand and NOT a ten-speed like some of them had. Gravel roads, no where to actually GO, no one to ride with, all these and more kept me from riding my bike very much at all.

-Living in the country, I never had to deal with traffic. And now it scares the heck out of me!

-I still have that same three-speed. We have a long history together, from the country where it was abandoned in the barn it went to college with me where, because of the whole traffic issue, it mainly sat on the bike rack behind my dorm. After all these years, I wasn't sure if it was still safe, were the tires going to pop if I sat on it? Was the chain going to seize up and leave me stranded?

And so, I took a class offered at the cycle shop down the street. I learned the safety rules of riding in traffic, what routes in town are better for bikes, how to fix a flat, how to oil my chain, what stuff I needed to be safe, and more! I started to get excited about fixing up the old bicycle! The pictures in this post are before pics. Poor old girl, well over 20 years old and I'm quite sure I've never oiled her chain, let alone washed her up! I have visions of a new handlebar basket and maybe even a rack on the back with a bin for stowing larger things like a sack of groceries! I'm afraid if I go too far and add handlebar streamers and spokey dokes, someone will get jealous and steal her!I also got this spiffy new helmet, blue just like my bike!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekly challenge-TV Turn-Off Week

So this week has been TV Turn-Off Week and I chose it as my weekly challenge. I CANNOT believe how hard it has been! I am usually busy with other things when I watch tv, it's on in the background. But it's become such a habit that the urge to flip it on has been hard to fight! I am allowing myself limited computer time but no tv, DVDs or satellite radio channels so I haven't been completely cut off. I enjoyed reading the newspaper on Sunday morning, eating lunch outdoors a couple of times this week, getting yardwork and housework done in the evenings before settling down to read a book or work on a craft project. It's been a QUIET house in the evenings, without the steady chatter and laugh track from the tv but that's not all bad. And of course Monday night and Wednesday night we were out at the Dog Training Club so no worrying about tv then!

Monday, April 19, 2010


On Sunday, Sully had his very first session with sheep! Mary Lou generally takes the first time dogs in with the sheep dragging a rope. Being a momma's boy, he would not pay attention to Mary Lou OR the sheep so I had to go in the round pen with them. AND being on a leash, he would not run around, he stuck to me like glue so we took the rope off and he was a little more active. But the light bulb went off when I said "Get the kitty!" He immediately whizzed around, snapping and growling at sheep feet (AKA giant kitties)!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Basement to fitness center!

I'd love to get some ideas for turning my basement into more of a fitness room! Right now it's pretty bare, white walls and a black and white linoleum floor. This picture shows the North side of the room with holiday storage, which can stand to be cleaned up a little more! The ceiling is just tall enough to raise my arms and the tips of my fingers graze the dropped ceiling tiles. So no trampoline or jumping rope down there! Here is the equipment I already own:
balance ball
Aerobic step with risers
6 and 10 pound hand weights
resistance bands
yoga mats

Do you think I am missing anything vital? Or do you have a favorite that's not on my list?
This picture shows the south side, with patio furniture that will go outside soon and Christmas tree which can easily be moved. You can see my New(to me) treadmill! And one of my favorite parts of the basement, the East windows. I LOVE the sunlight in here in the morning and morning is usually when I work out! It streams in and you can just see out the windows when you stand up so you can watch it rise up above the trees!

So, fitness folks! I need ideas! The floor will most likely stay but I can cover part of it with some type of rubber/foam matting. I would like to paint one or more walls an energizing, sunny color. I have a wall outside the staircase that has pegboard from floor to ceiling, so that will be hanging storage for bands and such and I think that might be a good spot for the chalkboard I've been dreaming of! How would you decorate your ultimate home gym?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wanna win?

Here are just a few healthy giveaways!

Kalyx Sports Bra
Aurorae Yoga Mat
Yoga pants
RoadID and Gu!
$50 gift certificate to That's healthy, right?
CEP Compression Socks
Another pair of CEP Compression Socks
Foam Roller
Don't forget my own giveaway for Chocolate VitaTops!

Sully is normal!

Since he came to live with us, Sully has never been a typical spirited, bold Corgi. He is shy around strangers, uncomfortable around other dogs, older people and children, needs reassurance to walk on tile/wood floors and stresses pretty easily. We had our first competition rally class (really, it's more practice on courses from all three levels with critique by the instructors than a true class) and he was panting and had his worried eyebrows on for quite a while even though he's been in the club building umpteen times before. So today we celebrate a victory!I had to take this picture to celebrate Sully eating out of a bowl! Yes, it's a nasty old tupperware bowl but that is the only bowl he has EVER been able to eat out of because it doesn't rock or make noise and it's see-through so this is still a victory. For months now he has refused to eat out of a bowl, he would eat off of the red place mat but put the bowl on there are he'd act like it was full of firecrackers and poisonous snakes. He wouldn't stay in the same room with it unless someone was in their with him. You can still see how apprehensive he is, he's as far away from the bowl as he can be and still be eating out of it (see his back feet up on the their little tippy-toes?) but most days he will eat his entire meal out of a bowl without leaving the laundry room! Which I appreciate most of all in the mornings because I do not have time to babysit him while he eats his breakfast bite by bite! Thank you Sully!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weekly goals review

I also set weekly goals for every week this year. Some are simple: moisturize and apply SPF every day, Go to bed by 10 every night, try a new quilting technique. Some are challenging: TV Turn-Off week, Eat at the table at least once a day. Here are some of my latest weekly goals:

Take a gym class you've never tried-There aren't any I have NEVER tried. But I tried spinning (group cycling) years ago and hated it so I gave it another shot. I still hated it. But it's good to know. :)

Try a recipe you've never made: I made cabbage roll casserole, lasagna rolls, potato-spinach balls, tropical muffins, quinoa, and oatmeal bread all in the same week!

Try a new quilting technique-I made my own binding for the very first time. And got hooked! I made binding for every single in-progress quilt I'm working on!

Make it a point to listen while others speak: This was a hard one to concentrate on but I did try to listen without thinking up responses or finishing people's thoughts. This is a very hard one to quantify though so I hope I did a good job.

Coming up in the next couple of months:

Brag on my spouse/thank my spouse every day

Take a class you've never taken before (not at the gym)

Bring a healthy baked good to work

Record your water intake each day

Win some fun stuff!

Links to fun giveaways:

Gnu bars

Garden hod

Subscription to Runners World

Fruitzi'O snacks

2 Bondi Bands

Chia seeds

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Sprouting

One of my goals this year is to eat what I grow and grow only things I will eat. So the GrowCookEat blog carnival is a wonderful fit!

Not unlike my post on sprouting seeds to eat, except these seeds are sprouting in order to plant and THEN eat! These seeds were mostly started between March 14 and March 27. They are under fluorescent grow lights (from fish tank hoods) for 16 hours each day.This is in my laundry room. I didn't crop this picture too much because I always find it interesting to peak into other people's "junk" rooms. So you can see my stockpile of cereal, crackers and cookies. On the shelves to the left are the animal supplies, dog stuff on the bottom two shelves and cat stuff on the top one. That's also dog stuff above all the cereals, along with my stash of canned pumpkin because again this year the stores are OUT and I still have some! And to the far left are pumpkins and little gourds I grew last year, they did their duty as fall decorations and they are just waiting to have the seeds removed so I can grow them again this year!

My tomato varieties for this year are:
Red Fig
Red Zebra
Nebraska Wedding
Golden Jubilee

Peppers are:
Green Bell
Yellow Bell
Santa Fe Grande

Also started:
Florida High Bush Eggplant
Blue Solaize Leek
Globe Basil

Everything else will be started from seed outdoors in the coming months.

Just like in years past, I used PlanGarden to plan out my garden. I LOVE PlanGarden, it keeps track of my start dates, planting dates, harvest records, and what varieties I've planed each year.
This year I rotated the tomato/pepper quadrant and the spring veggies quadrant. The peas (a new addition this year) will be growing up the fence. Another new addition, kohlrabi, was a request from my husband. You can check out some pictures from last year in this post.

The herb garden is not much changed from last year. In the center is a short stump which is topped with a large container garden I fill with sweet potato vine, calladium bulds and portulaca.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010 Goal Review

Another month has gone by, time to review my yearly goals!

1. Complete the St. Jude’s relay and donate at least $300.

I listed my first batch of goodies in my Etsy shop. 100% of the price of those items goes to my St. Jude relay fund and so far I've sold $27 worth bringing my total to $202!

2. Keep track of all miles I run in 2010.

March mileage total=36 miles, 2010 total 57.88 miles

3. Donate 10 quilts/blankets to Project Linus.

No change, 8 have been completed and turned in. I have one more fringe fleece blanket waiting to be turned in.

4. Pay off our credit card. DONE.

5. Earn the Silver Award in the President’s challenge.

I am 82% of the way there.

6. Enter 10 or more items in the county fair.
Pampered Pooch quilt (one more side of binding is all that's left!), doily (two more leaves and one more flower to make!)

baby afghan with pink scalloped edge, BooBoo Kids quilt, cross stitch tree ornament, beaded cross stitch ornament, Make Life quilted table runner.

7. Try something new like tap dancing, water aerobics or herding.
Sully is signed up for his very first herding lesson. And I am waiting for the summer brochure to come out from the Park District so I can sign up for ballet!


8. Grow only things I eat in the garden and eat what I grow.

Started from seed: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, leek, kohlrabi, basil.

9. Visit family more often and remember to send birthday cards.

I saw the family for Easter and was reminded that I really should visit more!

10. Add I deep cleaning task each week to my cleaning schedule.

Very soon:washing windows with this kit that I've had since last fall but never used.