A path with no direction

Last weekend, my hubby and I, along with a few friends, participated in the Pillsbury Push 5K/10K race in Kerkhoven, MN. We ran this one last year and it was fun, so we decided to do it again.

the six of us

From left to right: One of my best friends from school, Trena; Tammy (Trena’s sister); Sandy (Trena’s sister); Don (Sandy’s husband); me; and Al. The angle of the camera is kind of weird, because my husband looks like a giant in comparison to everyone else. We labeled him, the Jolly Green Giant! (And no, that is not a home monitoring system on my husband’s ankle! He is dealing with an achilles injury, according to his self diagnosis, anyway!)

Trena and Tammy walked the 5K, which is why they don’t have bibs. Apparently, walkers didn’t get bib numbers at this race, which is really, kind of sad. They are doing the same distance as everyone else! Sandy and Don ran the 10K. Fun little story about that…the last time Don ran a 10K was three years ago. He rocked this race. He was my “rabbit” when I started, but he quickly went from “just a rabbit” to a friggin’ fast jack rabbit! Way to go, Don! I ran the 10K as well and Al, who was signed up for the 10K, changed that morning to running the 5K. For having an injury, Al did quite well. He placed 2nd in his age group and yes, there were more than two! Proud of you, Al.

For those of you wondering what I meant by rabbit, I’ll explain. When I run races, I always pick someone ahead of me to chase, like a greyhound dog chases the “rabbit” at greyhound races. I pick someone who is not so far ahead of me that I can’t catch them, but yet, far enough that I have to work at it. Sometimes, I do actually catch the rabbit and then I have to pick a new one. Sometimes, I don’t catch the rabbit and I have to pick a new one! Most of the time, this really works for me. Sometimes, the rabbit I picked is just way to friggin’ fast, like Don, who just kept picking up speed!

us at finish line

So, how did the race go for me? Well…let’s just say I was on track to beat my time from last weekend and then, in a matter of a few seconds (although it felt like minutes), I wasn’t!

First off, I finished the race (according to my Garmin) in 1:04:56. According to the official results, I finished in 1:05:25. I really have to learn to move closer to the front of when there is a gun start instead of a chip start. (Chip start means that my time doesn’t actually start until I cross the starting line. Gun start means the timer is started when the gun goes off and it may be several seconds, up to several minutes, before you actually cross the starting line.) I think I explained it on my blog before, but I like starting closer to the back of the pack because then I get to do the passing instead of getting passed! It’s all a mind-game people. Just a mind-game!

Everything was going very smoothy, although I did forget to bring my inhaler with me on the run and I ended up having a small little panic attack around mile five when I went to use it. I calmed myself and my breathing ended up being just fine. As I was closing in on the finish line, the last mile was in the city limits and as we were all zig-zagging around the blocks, I came to a crossroads that didn’t have any volunteers directing us which direction to turn. The runner ahead of me took the turn to the left, but it didn’t feel right. So, I stopped, as did the three runners behind me. We looked down the block and there was a volunteer there and we tried yelling to her and motioning with our arms as to what direction were we supposed to be going – left or straight. It was almost like playing a game of charades. Well, kind of, except for the fact that the person was literally a block away from you.

Well, I knew or kind of knew, with help from my Garmin, which was displaying the distance, that if we turned left, the course would have been about four or five blocks short. So, I made a somewhat quick decision and kept running straight to the next block and then made my turn left. This ended up being the right way, but I have to admit. I was a little miffed. Okay, I was actually really torqued!

I should have explained that there was an orange cone in the middle of the street, like most of the streets before this one. The only difference? This one didn’t have a directional arrow like all the rest! And, up until that point, there was volunteers at just about every other turn or corner or intersection. I have to say I was actually quite impressed by the volunteers and equally impressed with how well our path was marked as to where we were suppose to run.

Except at the very end.

But, there was nothing I could do about it. I had to just go with the flow and take my official time as my official time. It happens. Not every race is going to be marked perfectly. Not every race is going to be chip timed, which is my preferred timing method. Not every race is going to go smoothly. There are going to be bumps along the way. And, unmarked paths!

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

For the month of July, our challenge to our Weight Watchers members has been to eat fruit or veggies with every meal or snack. One of the weeks, we challenged members to try a new fruit or veggie. Most of the time, when I put the challenge out to my members, I like to challenge myself as well. For the most part, my hubby and I eat fruit or veggies for every meal or snack, but there are times when we don’t. A friend of mine the other day either on Facebook or Instagram talked about a balanced meal. I wonder if this was her idea of balance:

fruit and ice cream

Cherries. Grapes. Bananas. AND…..of course, ICE CREAM! My hubby and I don’t indulge in this kind of ice cream very often, because the ice cream doesn’t last very long. At. All. Typically, one night. Yes, I am not even kidding you. If we buy ice cream in a container like the one shown above, we will grab two spoons – no bowls – and sit on the couch and eat it. Yep, ALL of it. This is why we don’t buy ice cream in containers! We do much better with individually wrapped items such as ice cream sandwiches or ice cream bars.

Okay, back to fruits and veggies. This past Saturday, we knew we were going to have steak. I felt like I was really in need of a big chaw of protein. I think I was low on protein for some reason. Anyway, we also knew we wanted veggies to go with the steak. But, we didn’t really know what we wanted. So, while we were at the grocery store, we came upon the jicamas (pronounced with an “h” rather than a “j”). We’ve had these before, but it had been a long time and we had never had them grilled. We used them in stir fry, but it has been a LONG time. My hubby took out his phone and quickly found a recipe for grilled jicama. We bought the ingredients and headed home.

Here is a link to the recipe we used – Grilled Jicama Fries.

Can I just tell you, they were Delicious with a capital D! My son, who is kind of picky, actually ate them and liked them. He ate them with his steak – as in a bite of steak with a bite of the jicama fry!

steak and fries

The fries were crunchy on the inside, but the outside was slightly soft. Next time, we might try parboiling them first to see if that helps. The recipe called for cajun seasoning, but we used Famous Dave’s Steak and Burger Seasoning, which you can find at just about any grocery store. We thought it might be better with chili powder instead. Regardless, they were quite tasty! We will definitely have them again.

ONE LAST THOUGHT!

I will leave you with one last item:

mammogram

It was what I like to call “boob squish” day for me today. If you haven’t had a mammogram yet or if you are due for your mammogram, GO GET IT DONE! Seriously, it’s not that bad. Suck it up and get your boobs squished! It can save your life.

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