Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lovely Weather We've Been Having

It's true - Portland has been seeing some nice weather the last two days.  We've been out enjoying it, too, although it's all been camera-less once again.  I always like the blog entries with pictures the best, so it's always disappointing to me to write a blog entry without pictures, but apparently, not disappointing enough to make me remember the camera when going out to do fun things.  Or when doing fun things at home.  Well.  Anyway, on with the story of the nice weather days.

Yesterday started off with a run, but it was a bummer of a run.  My knees are hurting.  They do tend to do that when I run, but I'd somehow hoped they wouldn't this time around.  I've been running sporadically for months now without any serious knee pain rearing it's ugly head, but I'm guessing I've increased my miles too drastically recently.

The pain started Friday, but it wasn't too bad and Saturday was my rest day.  Sunday's run - 40 minutes at tempo, during which I was working very hard the whole time - did them in.  I was planning on just ignoring it for my four mile run yesterday morning, which was supposed to be an easy run and I was taking it easy, but, well, the pain was seriously too much to run through after two miles.  Bummer.  :(

My current running plan is to cross train all this week, which will either be walking or biking.  Neither of those activities is entirely pain free, but close if I'm careful, so that's the deal.  I can get my heart rate up pretty well on the bike, so I'll mostly do that, but I walk a lot for a variety of reasons (activities with friends, grocery shopping, going to Do Jump), so I'll keep doing that.  Sunday I'm doing a 5K race, which I'm planning on still doing.  I'm doing this one, but I'm not going to dress up - just enjoy the people who do.  I'll see where I am after that, but I will probably modify my training schedule to include more cross training with fewer running miles that I'll try to increase more slowly this time.  Hopefully, that works.  Additionally, I'm doing some exercises a PT gave me a few years back when I had the same knee pain.  Maybe it'll actually help this time.

After my pathetic two miles of running, Ranger and I walked a bit more, but needed to get home to shower and have breakfast before the Lovely L arrived.  I haven't mentioned it here, but Davan and I are doing child care for an eight month old on Mondays.  We're tag teaming it, which is working out really well.  It's good for Davan to have some baby exposure (hands on child development) and it's a little extra cash.  I'm not charging much at all, so it's not much extra cash.  Davan, though, does teach at Do Jump on Monday mornings, so I need to shower before the Lovely L shows up or I don't get to until Davan gets home.

The Lovely L got here just as I was finishing my breakfast.  I had California Creamed Greens for breakfast, if you can believe it.  I totally had a craving.  We'd had leftovers from Sunday's California Creamed Kale and I'd been thinking of it all morning.  When I looked in the fridge, though, I saw that Anthony had taken it to work for lunch.  I considered going the smoothie route, but what I really wanted was that kale.  I didn't have any more kale in the fridge, but I did have a bag of mixed southern cooking greens from Trader Joe's, so I steamed them up, whipped up some sauce and, viola, craving satisfied.  Well, sort of.  It was good, but I'd really wanted the kale.  Weird, I know.

The Lovely L and I did some chores and some playing until she got too tired to carry on and she took a nap while I got lunch together for Davan and I.  For better or worse, the Lovely L only seems to sleep for a half an hour at a time here.  Her mom says that pretty normal, but she'll sometimes stretch to a little longer.  Davan and I had the rest of the creamed greens, roasted and seasoned polienta cubes, baby bell peppers and grapes for lunch.  The Lovely L had some sort of odd mash of formula, baby cereal and maybe mashed blueberry baby food.  This isn't what I'd feed my own baby, but such is life.

Davan played with the Lovely L while I cleaned up after lunch, then we all walked to the library together where Davan and I took turns looking for books and reading board books to Lovely (or just ensure her safety while she crawled around). 

Ranger was in serious need of a walk by then and, after some discussion, Davan opted to stay behind with Lovely while I walked Ranger.  Playing with her sounded like more fun than pushing her in a stroller.

Ranger I and set off into the sunny afternoon for a stroll, but were shocked when a dog came flying silently out of a back yard and attacked Ranger.  I tried to pull them apart, but to no avail.  It was only seconds, really, but it seemed like a long time until the owner called the dog off (who obeyed right away) and checked with us for injuries.  We seemed to be fine.  I hadn't been touched, just startled and I didn't see anything wrong with Ranger.  The owner seemed sincere and truly shocked by her dog's behavior, so I opted just walk away.  When we started walking, though, Ranger started limping.  She was favoring her front left leg.  However, when I felt it, she just wagged her tail at me and didn't seem to be in serious pain.  By the end of the walk, she wasn't limping.  I guess we'll just be careful of that house and hope it was a one off deal.  We walk by that house daily and had never had an issue, so...we'll let it go.

Back at home, Lovely was ready for a bottle and another nap.  She settled in for her half an hour while Davan and I enjoyed our books.  Post nap, I was off to Freddie's for a few items for dinner.  Again, Davan opted to stay home with Lovely.

Lovely only had about a half an hour left with us after that and the two of us played with her until her mom showed up.  Meanwhile, I was plotting on ways to get Davan out into the sunshine.  Anthony had already expressed his intent for an after work bike ride, so it would be just the two of us.  I came up with a scavenger hunt - a list of ten items to be found in the neighborhood all while Ranger was with us, in a certain time limit and rewards to be had for certain levels of achievement.

Here was our list:

two people holding hands
someone eating
an ant
a squirel
a person holding a book
an empty stroller
a dog on a leather leash
a regular license plate in which the three letters made a word
a person riding a bike in shorts (yes the weather was nice, but it was still only in the 60s)
a person wearing earbuds

After an hour, we had everything but the dog on a leather leash and time was running out.  We decided that we could substitute that one item for two different ones that we hadn't yet seen or find that one item.  The two items we chose for substitutes were someone eating a sandwich and a spider web.  The spider web turned out to be really easy, but we had to go a long way from Laurelhurst park back to Hawthorne Blvd (where there are many restaurants) before we found someone eating a sandwich.  In the end, it was clear that unless I could run (no go on the knees, even the fast walking was causing trouble), we weren't going to make it home in time.  We did another little rule bend and decided that only one of us needed to make it home by the time limit.  Davan took the keys and ran.  She just made it.  Whew.

Our rewards were getting to watch Glee while we had dinner and getting to make pizza with Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free Pizza Mix the next day (that'd be today for those keeping track).

We whipped together a quick minestrone with the use of some frozen veggie/bean bags in addition to fresh onion and garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, seasonings and some brown rice pasta.  Anthony got home just as the soup was ready.

This morning, Tuesday morning, is usually my strength training class at Do Jump.  The class was still happening, but I wasn't excited about going.  Partially, I feel like I'm wimping out, but partially I don't think it's the right class for me.  I feel like I'm working several levels past where I should be working (I leave literally shaking and am seriously sore for days) when I'm there and am using it for an excuse to ignore strength work the rest of the week.  I'm already working really hard at the running and it just doesn't seem right for me right now.  Davan expressed interest in trying it out, though, so I sent her in my place this morning.  I'm not sure what we'll do for the rest of the term, as Davan also has 3.5 hours of Do Jump Tuesday evenings and it might be too much for her in one day and as I am feeling a little guilty for wimping out...I may finish out the term or I may ask if we can just get drop in trade for the rest of the term so Davan can go to open workouts on Sundays.  We'll see.

Anyway, off Davan went to Do Jump at 6:50 and Ranger and I actually managed to go back to sleep for a while.  When we got up, I took her to one of the off leash areas nearby to chase balls (only a few times - she's not a big fetcher), sniff all the interesting smells and chase a couple other dogs.  We got home just before Davan, who came in pretty whipped, but proud of herself while also worried about hitting the wall this evening when she went back.

The nice weather made me want to be out in it.  The high today was supposed to be 73!  Not shabby for October.  Although I haven't looked to see, I don't think it actually got quite that warm, though.  Anyway, I suggested the zoo.

Davan had to think about it for a while, as she was feeling like she was doing a lot of activity today, but ultimately decided she wanted to go.  We filled a couple water bottles, packed some plums Anthony had brought home from work that were off of a co-worker's tree and a bag of baby carrots and sugar snap peas, grabbed the smoothies I'd been making during our discussion, and went out the door.  I'd have liked to ride over, but that seemed like it'd be asking too much of Davan, as the zoo is up a dozy of a hill in addition to being a longer ride than our normal range, so we drove.

We, along with nearly every Portland Metro child under the age of 5, had a very nice time at the zoo.  We chatted, laughed, animal and people watched and kept this week's apparent theme of scavenger hunts, coming up with two different ones while we were there.  The reward for the first one was getting to go see the river otters, which is a favorite.  We won, but it turned out the river otters were having nap time.  Bummer.  We did get to see a black bear frolic in a tub of water with a red ball, though, and that was probably our animal highlight of the day. 

We came very close to loosing our second scavenger hunt challenge, which earned us "soft serve" back at home for dessert after the pizza, but managed the win when, at the last minute, we saw a kid with a handful of Cheerios in his snack tray (and I'd been thinking seeing a Cheerio would be an easy one considering the ubiquity of that cereal as a toddler snack and the plethora of toddlers at the zoo today). 

We came home, got the pizza dough ready to rise, then I took Ranger out on a skate while Davan worked on Life of Fred.  After pizza making, eating (it was okay, but not great) and cleaning up, I got in a quick bike ride for my cross training. 

I got home just in time to whip up some "soft serve" with time to eat it before Davan had to run off to Do Jump.  Our most indulgent "soft serve", which is what we earned, is this:

3 frozen bananas, broken into halves or smaller
a hardy spoonful of peanut butter
about 1/4 cup of unsweetened coco powder
enough water to get things moving

Put it all in a VitaMix (or other high speed blender) and run until smooth.  It's our ice cream.  We love it.  Well, Davan and I do.  Anthony, who can't stand bananas and who came home while I was on my ride, passed on the "soft serve", as usual.  We'd saved him some pizza, though, and even left the mushrooms off his part.  We're good people.  Actually, I'd have timed the pizza to be ready when he was home for an early dinner before Davan went to Do Jump, but he'd told me he wanted to go for another after work bike ride.  However, he'd felt like he was dragging on his ride home from work and opted to skip the extra ride.  He did do a lot of strength training last night, so I wasn't too surprised.

Anthony, Ranger and I got outside one more time before the sun went down and went to the dog park again.  There were a whole lot of dogs out, enjoying the weather with their people, so Ranger got in some good running and general socialization. 

I did a stretch and strengthen session at home.  (See?  I'm not a slacker even if I don't think my strength training class is right for me.)  Then I wrote this novel.  I'm betting only my mom made it this far.  Particularly as there aren't any pictures.


  1. I read all of it. Because I am a slacker who spends time reading blogs when I should be getting ready to go back to work.

  2. Why thank you. I'm flattered you would choose to slack here. :) Get to work already.

  3. I did make it. I have been upgrading the systems all week. working 12 to 14 hours a day. So not much reading for me. But yes I read all the way to the end. I really like reading the blog.