Sunday, May 9, 2010

Training

In the past two weeks I've committed to two activities which require training. The first is the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in San Jose. The second is a 30 mile backpacking expedition. I'm nervous and excited about both.

The half marathon I was invited to register by one of my coworkers. Well, by the end of our Cinco de Mayo party, many of us committed to registering and training for the event! I think it'll be loads of fun and quite challenging, considering I've yet to enter any event. This race will be fun and I'll push myself in ways I never knew existed - especially because I have a lot of training to do, but the race is in October, so I have exactly the right amount of time to build up my mileage. This event is special because they have a band every mile of the race, which will help to keep moving along!

It's raining today and that's great news because I need a recovery day!

The second event I committed to do is the Skyline to Sea hike. It's the last 1% of our country's width and is a very popular hike that goes from Skyline road at Castle Rock State Park all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This is a very special hike that goes up and down a mountain range, intermingled with Redwood trees and other beautiful wildlife. We've talked about doing this hike since we moved to California four years ago.

This will be my first hike carrying a proper backpack and that makes me a tad nervous. I carried a book bag with water, food and clothes at Half Dome last August. This will be much different. Thursday we went to REI to get fit for a backpack. He loaded it up with 30 pounds and I totally thought I was going to topple over! It was pretty funny, but I knew for sure this would be a hard trip.

Hubby told me this week that he tried to talk me out of hiking Half Dome before because he literally thought I couldn't do it. He wasn't trying to be mean as much as helping me prepare physically and mentally. This Skyline to Sea hike he actually thinks I can do! I don't know why, but for a test run yesterday we did an easy 3.8 mile hike at Russian Ridge and I wore his backpack loaded up to a total of 19 pounds.

At first I thought I was going to freak out standing in our kitchen with almost 20 pounds on my back, on a pack with a frame that is too big for me. It was really hard to get comfortable to the point where the weight was all on my hips and not on my shoulders - or the problem with his pack - the weight on my collar bones. Finally I found a place where things felt comfortable - at least for a sub 4 mile hike where he wasn't carrying a thing and I could always bail if it was too much.

Well, I did the hike successfully yesterday with no problems. My collar bones do feel a bit sore today, but I think I could put the pack back on and continue hiking again today. Again, thankfully it's raining, so instead I'll be doing laundry!

I am looking forward to both of these challenges. It's exciting to push yourself to the edge and then step back just a bit so you don't injure yourself and can continue to raise yourselves to new levels. This is going to be an exciting summer of adventure and seeing just how far I can go. Now it's time to study my diet so I can fuel myself properly for all these crazy things I agreed to do! Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

It expires in...Oh...

Last night was an exciting night in my house. Hubby and I finally made the decision to actually do something about our extremely dysfunctional spice cabinet. That may seem quite funny to you, but this cabinet where we've been storing our herbs & spices has been an organizational nightmare for us for the past 4 years! 


Two weekends ago we fully researched options and websites and finally decided on a solution we LOVE! The containers came in earlier this week and we went to work last night while a salsa we made marinated. 
The before.
We pulled everything out of that cabinet and spread it out over the dining room table. We purchased the tins and labels from Spice3. They have several different methods and also sell spices. 


Hubby and I tasted almost every herb & spice we transfered. It's important to know what each one actually tastes like so we can better understand what it adds to the food. We also decided to add a small label on the bottom of each tin with the expiration date. Several of our spices expired in late 2009, but we decided to keep them. We made a list of 5 additional spices we wanted to purchase based on the provided labels. 




A few of our spices, clearly the ones we never use, expired in 2006! They were purchased from Schnucks when we still lived in St. Louis! We threw those out right away and decided not to replace them. 


Here is the finished product:


Making sure everything is perfect.


The after. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Running on 90% capacity

Hubby and I went to donate blood this weekend. They are bugging us all the time because he's a universal donor. I donate too, but it's funny because I'm a universal receiver. I hear the jokes now: he gives and gives and I take and take. Yeah, so what? :) This was a difficult donation for me. I felt ill as soon as they removed the needle. After about 10 minutes passed, I got to walk over to the waiting area for juice & food.

I got so cold there with the ice pack on my arm, my right finger nails started turning blue! It had been over 15 minutes so they removed the ice and hubby put his jacket over me. Oh so very fast I got really hot and started sweating. Hubby called the nurse over and they wanted to move me over to the bed for me to lay down with my feet up again. I couldn't get up so they had to squeeze me together and move me over there. I didn't pass out, but hubby was antsy to get out of there. So I called the nurse over and asked her to give him the wireless password so he would chillax!

Two hours in total and I got to go home. Oh movies and laying around never felt so good!

Last night we watched the new episode of House. I loved this episode that focused all on Dr. Lisa Cuddy and her life. She is a strong, powerful woman and it's nice to see more of her. She's smart and sexy! So it got us thinking, we pay for everything in a hospital. Why do we donate blood for free, when someone else on the other end has to pay to get a transfusion? If our donation is free, shouldn't their transfusion be free too? Or pay the donors and get more blood. It's in constant demand!