Monday, January 30, 2012

Vegan family

We introduced my family to vegan food this weekend, meeting them at Native Foods Cafe in Bridgeport. It's become one of our favorite restaurants because of the yummy food, reasonable prices and great customer service.

I ordered the Super Bowl Special:

You’ll love tackling this traditional Cuban sandwich stacked with slow roasted cilantro-garlic seitan and smoky maple-glazed seitan, pickles, mayo, sweet mustard and a homemade swiss cheesy sauce on a grilled baguette.
It came with a side for just $9.95.
I thought the sandwich was excellent! I ordered the corn something chowder for my side and thought it was pretty blah.

Brad got the Twister Wrap and sweet potato fries, which he's gotten before and really likes.
You can just see the excitement on his face...
Because Eryn, Mom and Dad's orders "took so long" - as in, they took 12 minutes instead of 10 minutes - they each got a free dessert!

Vanilla cupcake:
Peanut butter parfait:
We all tried the desserts and decided the cupcake was the best. The parfait and cheesecake weren't good - but free is good :) Now we know for next time.

They enjoyed their meals, though I think Dad was a little scared of his "meatball" sandwich. I hope they'll try again!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

My friend Gene and his band

My friend Gene has a band - a fun band that plays bluegrass-inspired music. Back Porch Revival was playing tonight at Mississippi Pizza Pub, so we drove into Portland for dinner and some tunes.

Please pardon the nasty low-light pics. It's just a cheap point-and-shoot - and I didn't want to disturb the musicians with the flash :)
The pub's Atlantis Lounge was a nice venue, and the pizza was excellent. Brad and I had a create-our-own veggie with feta, spinach, peperoncinis, tomatoes on an oil/garlic base. SO yummy!
Mom and Eryn split a Florentine which was good but not great. They liked ours better.
Great show, Gene! Thanks for sharing your love of music with us :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Easy 8

What a gorgeous day for a run!

I ran 8 easy miles today, through Cook and Tualatin parks and around my neighborhood.
I didn't look at my Garmin for the first several miles, wanting to focus on feeling comfortable instead of watching my pace.

I ran the first 6 straight and then took a 1-minute walk break to reward my hard work and to slurp down a homemade gel.

Then I finished it off a bit slower, completing 8.01 miles in 1:18:33 - a 9:49 average.
Excellent! Feeling strong :)

Meanwhile, Brad ran to Beaverton and back in his last long run before tackling the Heart Breaker Half next month.
14.51 miles at a 9:18 pace.
You are amazing :) :) Now enjoy that taper!


The woman behind the words...

While looking at another blog this week, I realized that I don't have an "About Me" section on my blog!

How are visitors, especially people who don't know me outside the blog world, supposed to know who I am??

Well that's about to change! Look out, Internet world, because now you can read all about me - woohoo! Try to control your excitement ;)

Click HERE to learn more :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

No. 3

Already done with three books for 2012!
"O" was a good one - I didn't know who did it until the end! I love a good mystery :)

Time to start "P" - yippee :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Track Thursday: sunny five

Darn me, always competing with myself...

Last Thursday, I pushed to run a fifth interval. Today I was running well but just not feeling it. I was about to quit after four but then felt guilty because I knew I could do another one. So I did!
It was dry, sunny and warmish (for January), but a moderate wind was swirling. On the first lap it was blowing from the north. Then it was coming from the west. Then the south. Then the west again. You can really tell the wind direction when running on an outdoor track.
Here's how it looked:

warmup - 400m

400m: 7:49 pace
400m: 7:42

200m recovery

400m: 7:23
400m: 7:39

200m recovery

400m: 7:33
400m: 7:36

200m recovery

400m: 7:33
400m: 7:37

200m recovery

400m: 7:54
400m: 7:50

cool down - 200m

In all, 3.42 miles in 32:54 - a 9:38 average, including warmup, recoveries and cool down.
In typing up those times, I realized that EVERY split was faster than last week's except the first split of the fifth interval... 7:54 instead of last week's 7:53. (the average for the whole last 800m was faster!)


I didn't realize I was running that much faster. No wonder I was "just not feeling it" - I was working hard.
I don't want to sound like I'm all full of myself, but I'm really proud of the work I've been doing. Looking back at my calendar, I've been running track workouts almost weekly since mid-October, and I'm seeing improvements.

Such a great feeling :) :)

Entering my subconscious

Some of our THS support staff had a little ladies night out yesterday.

We gathered after work at Bridgeport Village to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Didn't want to use the flash in the theater...

Sheryl, Shari and Carla:
Lynette, Rachel and Eryn:
While most of the group liked the movie, Eryn and I weren't impressed.

I expected it to be really sad (it's about a kid who loses his dad in 9/11), but it didn't affect me. I thought the plot was a bit lame, and I wasn't thrilled with the ending. The acting was good, however.

BUT... apparently it did enter my subconscious because I dreamed about getting a call from the country sheriff's office about an accident.

Despite trying throughout the night, I was never able to get the entire message, so I don't know which of my loved ones was involved and what had happened.

Very interesting!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Muffin Wednesday: Rice Pudding

Today's muffin experiment was Rice Pudding from the book:
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 c cooked white rice, cool
1 egg
2 T butter, melted
1 1/4 c buttermilk
icing sugar (I skipped this)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease muffin tin.

1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add rice.

2. In another bowl, whisk together egg, butter and buttermilk. Add to flour mixture and stir just until moist.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, dividing evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

4. Remove from tins and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Easy, basic ingredients, especially when you have leftover rice in the freezer from a recent lunch!
They were good but nothing too exciting. The nutmeg was overpowering, and I would probably cut it down if I made them again.

I didn't really think they tasted like rice pudding, but they did have some little rice chunkies in there for texture.

The kids liked them but didn't love them....

Still, free food is always a hit :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No-TV Tuesday: random stuff

Nothing super exciting happened this No-TV Tuesday.

It started with 30 minutes of stadiums... in the pouring rain and wind. It's covered, but with the drops blowing sideways, everything gets wet. Especially my pants, which were huge and droopy by the time I finished!
I peddled home and took a hot shower before doing some quick errands. First stop: much-needed updated prescription in my sunglasses.
And now we can eat again:
Morningstar hot dogs are back!!! Chili dogs for dinner :)
A little State of the Union:
And a whole lot of this:
Time for bed... my restless legs are, well, restless.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Course revealed

I'm really excited that the course has finally been revealed for May's Portland Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon!!

Registration opened last May, but the course was still TBD until last week. We blindly plopped down our money before the end of 2011 (to take advantage of the lower prices) and waited to see where we'd be running.

I think that will be a fun route - and much different than other events I've done downtown.
With 16 weeks 'til race time, I'm ramping up my running, including 8 miles this weekend. (The most I've done since Disney)

Considering my experience, the flat course, cooler temps and speed training, I'm hoping for a big PR (previous personal record is 2:28:52 at Disney). Actually, "hoping" isn't the right word... I'm working really hard to get there!

My goal is to build my long weekend runs and continue Track Thursdays until the spring sports season starts next month and I lose my valuable training spot to the high school runners. At that point, I'll switch to tempo runs to train myself to maintain quicker paces.

Nervous... and excited! A fun combination :)

Not a total loss

Thanks to a generous invite from Brad's folks, we had a relaxing stay at a Gleneden Beach condo Saturday.

We hung out and ate lots of yummy food during the day and then hit the "gym" before dinner. Luckily there were two treadmills so we could both get in our workout.

And Steve and Donna played their first-ever air hockey while we ran!

As soon as I finished my 4 miles, it was time to take pictures!
Brad running really fast (or looking like it, at least!):
Now super fast:
Backward (you're gonna fall.):
Sideways (notice my new duds!):
Goobers :)
We had a fabulous dinner (thanks to Donna for arranging and fixing all the food!) and then we ran to the store to satisfy our mutual craving for warm brownies and ice cream. Oh, yes:
We played some games, watched TV, stared at the crashing waves, chatted and just hung out while the storm raged around us.
Love my new pants? (Old Navy Christmas clearance!)
Such a lovely little trip.

And then we came home just in time to see the 49ers lose the NFC Championship :(

Oh well... the weekend wasn't a total loss...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Super Bummer

The fam came over this evening to watch the 49ers take on the Giants in the NFC Championship game.

And then they lost. Dad dubbed it a Super Bummer.

Now who are we going to cheer for on Feb. 5???

Sh*t ____ Say

This one's from Brad... FUNNY!


Forgotten photos: Christmas tree hunt

In early December, the fam set out to find the perfect Christmas trees.

We returned to the same small tree farm on Bell Road just off Highway 99W outside Sherwood.

A Grand for us:
That giant one in the back for my parents:
Eryn got two - one for the living room and this tiny Douglas for her hallway:
The guy always cuts a "tree cookie" for his customers. Look at Eryn's compared to Mom and Dad's:
Four trees, all loaded up:
And here's Mom and Dad's all decorated and ready for Christmas: