Sunday, February 17, 2008

The cold and frozen north

A very successful morning here 'up nord'! I've been trying to get finishing times for our buddies running in Jacksonville, but I can only get 5-mile splits. I want to know now how everybody did!!

So. Rochester's satellite half marathon. Everything went very well. The only glitch was totally out of everyone's control. The footing. Fresh fluffy snow on top of the ice. But very pleasant temps. I had 24 on my thermometer which is just fine by me. But then this snow and blowing snow and associated weather advisories blew in about an hour before race time. Running south to 16th St SW was fine. Then we had to turn around and run up to Silver Lake into the blowing snow. It's not so much fun when the little pellets of snow are being blown into your eyes. Lionel from Singapore, experiencing one of his first winter runs being new to Rochester, felt the same. Lots of work and lots of talk afterward about sore calves and hamstrings. According to my GPS 13.74 miles (and Mary Chestolowski had 13.9). No wonder it felt hard! And slow! Just over 2 hours for me. Slowest ever, I believe, for me. I also got a late start waiting for my GPS to catch a satellite. But coming off an injury, I was just so happy to be able to run the distance. Maybe I'll be running Boston after all! Very nice post-race treats--water, Dippin' Stix (apples/caramel and carrots/dip), bananas, bread nuggets, Caribou coffee, carnations and I brought some M&M (pink ribbon of course!) cookies. Goodie bags: pink ribbon Thorlos socks, pink ribbon shoelaces, Caribou Coffee water bottle, and other stuff. And lots of door prizes. I even won a pair of Susan Komen socks--I never win everything! Very well done Lin Gentling, Chris Kujath, Laura Lena, Mike Schmitt and Kristin Zhao!

Today, Sunday, on ESPN from 4-6 pm, Tyson Invite (indoor track meet). Carrie Tollefson from MN participated. I read the results on one of the MDRA blogs, so I know how she did already. But I'm still going to watch. (I'm recording it as I'll probably be making supper. But don't know what that will be yet...don't know what I'm hungry for today. Soup sounds kind of good. But Ted had that for lunch ...)

Here's a killer cookie recipe. Not the one I made for today, but these are loaded. And delicious. I might have posted the recipe already, but that's the way it goes when your memory is as bad, and old, as mine is...

Oatmeal Super-Chocolate-Chunk Cookies (from the King Arthur Flour catalog)
1 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla (not 1 tsp!)
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (I usually add about 1/3 cup more and flatten them before baking)
2 c. dry oatmeal, ground
1 c. pecan meal or 1 c. finely ground pecans
2 c. chocolate chunks
1 c. chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. chopped, toasted pecans, optional but also very good!

In a large mixing bowl, mix by hand (about 30 strokes) the melted butter, sugar, eggs, syrup, vanilla and salt; the mixture should lighten in color slightly. Stir in the baking soda, flour, ground oatmeal and pecan meal, then the chips/chunks and bit and nuts.

To make big, palm-sized (3 1/2 to 4-inch) cookies, apportion dough with a muffin scoop or 1/4-cup measure. For smaller cookies, use a tablespoon cookie scoop, or a tablespoon generously heaped with. Deposit the cookie dough on ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. (I flatten them here.)

Bake the cookies in a preheated 350 oven until they've puffed, about 12 to 14 minutes. They'll appear almost underdone, but will firm up once they come out of the oven. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to rest on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Yield: about 24 large or 48 smaller cookies. (I usually get about 36 out of this recipe with a large cookie scoop.)

YUM!! Unfortunately this recipe doesn't fit into my current self-imposed dietary plan. Celery does ...

I've only got 3 of the following in reserve. Let's hope I get some more replies soon from my last mass-email... Today we're meeting Steve Strange, who winters in Tucson, AZ.

Family? An amazing wife - Cathey, three grown kids all in the Twin Cities or suburbs, and a couple of grandchildren who get plenty of grandparenting attention.

Hobbies? Wow - where to start? I enjoy baking bread, a hobby I picked up when I would wake up at 4 a.m. worrying about how to make projects work better at my job at IBM. Rather than lie there staring at the ceiling, I figured I could put the time to good use. Since retiring, I've found that I still wake up at 4 a.m., and now don't have anything to worry about, so I still get up and mix up some bread, then go out for my morning run. I also play the saxophone, (less since retiring since there's so much less time), golf, and serve on a couple of volunteer Boards of Directors - the most enjoyable of which builds schools for kids in rural Cambodia. Oh - one other thing - I collect pottery that is created by artists in Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Beautiful stuff made by some really neat people.

Languages you speak? I'm working on my Spanish, and probably wouldn't starve to death if I was lost in Mexico. I also speak Engineer.

How did you get started in running? When I was 57 (four years ago), after not running for 40 years, my oldest daughter needed a partner to run 5k's with. How could I say no to that?

Miles per week on average? 30 - but I'm ramping up. It could be 31 by the time you read this.

Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? In Rochester, it would be to start at Soldiers Field, then loop out to Pinewood Road and back, to Mayowood and back, to Silver Lake and back, and finally around the golf course.

How often do you run it? In the summer, about every 2nd week.

Favorite carbo loading food? Spaghetti with red sauce.

Favorite indulgence food? Chocolate chip cookies

Next race? Aiming for the Med City in May, with a couple of incidental 5k's along the way.

Running goals? Enjoy life on the run. Celebrate success with my kids. Keep the body working as long as the mind keeps working.

Running dream? I want to qualify for and run in the Boston Marathon, preferably with my son, Rob. Target date - April 18, 2011.

A fellow bread baker. I'm baking bread for our Lenten supper at church Wednesday. A couple loaves of French, and a couple of whole grain. And for some reason I also signed up to bring a cake (but that was before I was asked to bake bread). You can guess where I'm spending my Wednesday ... yes, in the kitchen. Mine, then the church's. I also volunteered to serve. :-) I'm sure I'll stay to wash dishes too ...

Thought for the day: "Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states." --Carol Welch

Enjoy the beauty of the day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Renee! The race committee and I were all lamenting the fact that we had forgotten to bring a camera when Renee showed up with not only her camera but also a basket full of her signature cookies with pink M&M's- Thank you so much!It was a great event and we appreciate everyone's support.

Jean Murray and John Shonyo had left me a voice mail from Mile 17 of the Jacksonville Marathon. Later, I talked to John and he said it was brutally hot- worse than Twin Cities. My initial reaction was to not feel very bad for them considering the conditions here, but it did sound very miserable. Hopefully everyone that run down there is doing okay today and recovering.

I am looking forward to some more temperate running!

Laura Lenz