Thursday, April 14, 2011

Falling Off The Map.

Yeah, I know.  Where the heck did I go?!  I've been a little more than absent in the blog department.  I wouldn't be so arrogant as to think that people were out there just chomping at the bit waiting to read my every word.  But, I'm sure you missed me just the same, right?  Anyway, here I go jumping back into the world of blogging:

***Hi!  I'd like to take this opportunity to (re)introduce myself.  My name is Lisa and I like to blog about my life; mostly the parts where I'm either eating, running or finding spiritual fulfillment.  Although, you'd hardly know it with my lack of blogging as of late, huh?  I just had to let the blogging go for a little while.  I'm sure you all understand.  Anyway, it's been almost TWO WEEKS since my last post--you know, the one where I left you with a picture of my big cheesy grin.  So, I guess it's time to do some catching up...***

On Sunday, April 3rd, I ran the first leg of the Brew to Brew Relay; a 44-mile race from Boulevard Brewery (yum) in Kansas City, KS to Freestate Brewery (yum) in Lawrence, KS.  I was part of a team of 10 runners.  There are people who run this race by themselves (yikes) but it's broken up into 10 legs so that you can have a team of up to 10 people.  So, the distance was not a big deal for me; my leg of the race was just under 4 miles.  But, the conditions were, well...interesting!  As I was not in a "blogging state of mind" that day, I took NO pictures.  NOT ONE!  (BAD blogger.)  Which is too bad, because there were some pretty good costumes since they give awards for teams with the best spirit, best team name, as well as the team who comes in "dead last".  I was on a team with a friend of mine from the neigborhood, her husband, and a bunch of her co-workers.  Other than my friend and her husband, I had never met any of these people before the morning of the race.  This was clearly a "party" race.  I mean, it's from one brewery to another, so...  My friend and her husband picked me up at about 6:45; our team start time was 8:30.  We all got down to Boulevard Brewery at about 7:20.  There was already PLENTY of drinking going on.  I didn't figure having a beer would be a good idea for me, seeing that I'm a total lightweight anyway.  A beer at 7:30am and then running 4 miles...probably wouldn't have gone very well.  Besides, I spent most of my pre-race time waiting in line to use the MOST disgusting porta-potty EVER.  I'll spare you the details of that...but, lets just say that I'm pretty sure I was, like, the 734th person to use it that morning.  Gross.  But, after I made it through that I had a little time to hang out before my start.  At about 8:24, the "first leggers" headed across the street to the very unofficial start line.  As we stood there waiting for the stroke of 8:30, I asked the woman next to me what she paced at, since she was wearing a Garmin.  Since I don't have one and wasn't running with my friend Karen, who has one, I was going to be completely clueless as to my pace.  She said she ran a 10:00 pace.  Rats.  Well, I knew I needed to make sure she didn't pass me, but that was about it.  The clock struck 8:30 and we were off, in very unceremonious fashion, with all the other beer-drinking-later-leg-runners cheering us on from across the street at the beer tent.  Ha!  I'm not so sure that many of them were too concerned with actually seeing us off!  We started out and made an immediate turn onto a pretty industrial road and headed up a hill to cross a bridge over the Kaw River.  Not a particularly scenic river.  Kind of brown and stinky, actually.  Oh, and the winds were UNBELIEVABLE!!  Ugh.  On the other side of the bridge was a big staircase we had to go down so that we could get up on the river levee to run the rest of our leg.  At the bottom of the stairs was an old scrap of carpet covering up a muddy section of the ground.  (I had to sort of laugh at this point.)  Then there was a rickety metal step-stool for us to get up on the levee.  Hilarious.  Then we were up on the levee--basically a gravel road elevated from, but running parallell to the river.  The wind.was.crazy.  Not only was it blowing about 40 right in our faces, making it pretty difficult to muster any forward motion, but the dust and dirt were sandblasting us pretty good.  I figured my pace had to be at about 10:00 at that point, if not slower.  But, 10:00 Lady was still behind me, somewhere.  Probably running at about an 11:00 pace, is my guess.  At one point, we were directed to run down a rock embankment to pass under a road and then back up again to get back onto the levee.  I actually ran past it at first thinking, "this can't possibly be what they want us to do".  But, sure enough, that's what they wanted us to do.  It's beyond me how someone didn't twist an ankle on that.  After that craziness, I was almost home free.  All of a sudden I saw a large crowd of people up ahead on the levee.  Then I was able to spot my friend's husband, our second leg runner.  I pushed it into the finish and gave him a high-five so he could get started on his run.  My friend and I got into her car to head to the next transition point, where she would be running the third leg.  Once we got there, my husband and two kids met up with me so that we could head out.  Even though I never actually made it to the other brewery, it was fun to be there for part of the race.  I realized that I have no idea how hard to push myself in a race situation.  I found myself being worried during the run that I was going to sputter out at the end, but I think I could've pushed harder from the start.  Since it was a very non-traditional race (no chip times or anything), I only had my stop-watch to rely on for my time.  And, of course, I forgot to stop it at the end, so I have no idea how long it took me!  Oh well.  No biggie.  After I met up with my family, we went to Starbucks and then on to a doughnut place we've been wanting to try for a while.  It's always good to replenish the calories you've just burned...and then some.

That night we got a rediculous hail storm, that both of my kids slept through (I don't know how, since it sounded like people were throwing baseballs at our house in rapid-fire succession).  Here's what it looked like out our front door as it was going on...
This was just the small stuff.  It was kind of crazy!

The next day, I got back on the treadmill and played around with speed a little bit.  Ran a 7:00 pace...for 1 minute, just to see what it felt like.  Um, yeah, it's really fast.  But, I'm getting better at increasing my cadence vs. trying to increase my stride when I'm going faster.  I feel like the shorter, quicker steps look funny sometimes, but it does keep me from heel-striking.

That Wednesday, the weather was beautiful, so I was able to run outside on the trail at a local park.  It's pretty darn hilly, so I got a great hill workout.
This (above) is the part of the trail when I have to start pumping myself up for this (below):

The LONG climb up to the top.

I did the loop around the park 6 times, not knowing how long the loop was exactly.  Then, this past Saturday morning my friend Karen and I did a nice 6 miler (it was beatiful out) that included running the same loop around the park once.  She "Garmined" it and it's .91 miles around, so Wednesdays run ended up being 5.46 miles.

This week's running has been pretty weak.  Monday's run didn't happen because of staying later than usual at work, and Wednesday I went back to the same park again and took a different route out of the park to try something different.  About 20 minutes into my run a sweet little dog ran across 4 lanes of traffic over to my side of the road.  She was super cute and had all her tags.  I was pretty sure she was just from the neighborhood across the street, but there was no address on any of her tags.  So, I picked her up and walked back to the park where my car was parked so I could use my cell phone to try the number on her tag.  No answer.  Dangit.  Called the vet office that was listed on her rabies tag.  They gave me an alternate number to try.  No answer.  DANGIT.  Called the vet office again and they said they could hold her until the owners could pick her up.  Unfortunately, the vet office was probably 15 minutes away (and taking her there meant I would NOT be completing my run).  But, what could I do?  When I was about 3 minutes away from the vets office, guess who called?  Yup, the owner.  So I turned around and took little Scarlet home.  Did I mention I'd poured water into one of my son's carseat cup holders so she could have a drink?  What a mess.  Well, I'm planning on running tomorrow morning...assuming I don't run into any more stray dogs.

On Tuesday we had really incredible weather, so I decided to make use of our new zoo membership and take my little guy to the zoo.  We had so much fun!!  And, there was hardly anyone else there.  It was probably the best zoo trip I've ever had.

 It's not very often that Weston and I get to really do something fun together by ourselves (errands just don't count).  It was the perfect mommy-son day. ( Please ignore the evil squint I've got going on.)

Weston, being pretty excited to sit on the stone hippo.  We did actually see the real ones after this.

A  Ring-tailed Lemur-ball!!  I'm not sure how many of them were in there!

Weston under the polar bear.

There's the polar bear now!  Poor guy...he's all alone in there.  Kind of makes me sad.  It was so cool to see him so close up though.

Okay, so you figure there's been a lot of eating going on in two-week's time.  So I'm just gonna hit ya with a food photo montage now.

I'm pretty big on not wasting any of the food in our house so, often, that means I've got to come up with something "creative" to use things instead of throwing them out.  This was my "greek garbanzo and veggie salad" made with leftover black olives and avocado from tacos the night before, grape tomoatoes, cucumber, canned garbanzo beans, and homemade greek dressing.  The only thing missing was feta cheese.  It was still good and the kids ate it.  Score!

Homemade pizza night.

Homemade pizza sauce.  So much better than the stuff from a can or a jar.

Our family pizza before going in the oven.

Family pizza, out of the oven, sliced and ready to eat.  The homemade crust was...meh.  But, it was still fun to eat and the kids thought it was great.  My friend Kila perfects homemade pizza!  I gotta get her recipe...

Oven-roasted asparagus.  Just a little olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Yum.  I think I ate almost the whole pound of asparagus by myself in one sitting.

I've been starting to do some reading on kids yoga to help prepare me for next year!  My 'Teaching Yoga to Kids' training workshop is in a few short weeks.

Okay, the last big thing I wanted to mention is the documentary, 'Food Matters', that Jeremy and I watched a few nights ago.  I won't go into it tonight because, honestly, I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, and isn't this post long enough already??  But, I will definitely be writing a separate post about it soon.  You should definitely watch it if you have the opportunity.

Oh my!  If you're still reading this and haven't fallen asleep, congratulations!  I'm barely making it through!!

Good night to all!!


  1. Oh I cannot wait to read your post about Food Matters! Welcome back!

  2. Ryan bought a copy of Food Matters for each of his family members for Christmas last year! lol Food looks delicious, your racing experience sounds like a blast and the mommy-son time was probably amazing! Glad to see you're post in my reader today!!

  3. I have to say your race sounds pretty miserable. I hope the next time you do one it goes a lot better! I love the pictures from the zoo, that's one of my favorite things to do alone with my kids. We've got so many nice memories of zoo time. Glad you're back online.

  4. I wanna hear more about this Food Matters!! These are fantastic pics--your family is beautiful and so are you Lisa! Welcome back!

  5. Love the pictures (and I want to come to your house for dinner)!