Saturday, February 28, 2009


Well, I did get my long run in this morning. I joined the runners at Fleet Feet at 7:00 AM. It was all females. I think there were 6 or 7 of us. I got a photo on my camera, but haven't been uploading them here in Florida. (All the photos in my posts I've sent from my camera.) They were doing walk/run ... 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk and were only going 6 miles so I ran 3 with them until they turned around and then kept going on my own. The route they took I knew (except for the first mile from the store), so I felt comfortable. There were LOTS of runners and walkers out. And they were all so friendly. Just about every one of them said hi and/or waved. It's funny ... it was about 60 degrees this morning and many people were out in pants and long sleeves. Heat and cold are all relative I guess!

So my route was from Fleet Feet Sarasota, back downtown to highway 41, over the bridge to St. Armand's Circle, to Lido Beach and down to Lido Park and then back to the store. That was 13.30. I decided to go for 15 so headed across the street and decided to go south for .85 miles, turn around and come back. Across from Fleet Feet was Morton's Market It looked like a great place to explore, and it had a bakery next door. (I got some great photos which I'll post when I get home.) There was a guy sitting outside with an "Iowa" shirt on, so I said "Oh, Hawkeyes! I'm from Minnesota." He said "Come over here!" and we talked for probably 10-15 minutes. About IA/MN, Luther College, the Vikings and their new quarterback, Allegiant Airlines, the coffee shop/bakery, the weather, running ... very nice guy. He and his wife come down for 5 weeks every winter and stay with their son who lives 8 blocks away. He said they walk down for coffee every day.

It was 15.13 miles when said and done. That was fine with me. I ran pretty slow today. My right hip still bothers me some. I got a blueberry muffin at the bakery for a post-run treat before my drive home. Yum.

Lunch was another delicious salad. You're probably getting tired of seeing virtually the same old salad photo every day. I just don't tire of them. The fresh produce is plentiful, delicious, and cheap.

Ada and I went back to the Red Barn for some produce this afternoon.

We didn't buy cactus, but they were available for sale. I'm not sure how you'd prepare those things.

Some generalizations about Florida, which I notice each time I come down: There are no dirty cars, no rusty cars, and there are no hills!! The only hill on my run was the bridge to Longboat Key. And everyone has been so friendly, but maybe it's because I seem to be striking up conversations with so many people. At the Twins game, I talked with they Reds fan next to me who was from Dayton, OH. He was good about giving me the scoop on the players. The people in front of me were from Maple Grove and he has been a TCM volunteer for a few years and with a name like Vangsness, I said he must be Norwegian. He was. 100%. The people beind me from Excelsior and they were giving weather reports on the Thursday storm back in MN. The runner galss this morning were very friendly and welcoming as well. Anyway, it's fun to meet people. :)

I walked another 4 miles this evening after supper, so I think I'm done for today. Just had to be outside enjoying the weather before the warmth departs overnight.

Lana sent me a couple photos today of new baby boy Cole William, who was born 2/19 and weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz. Pictured are Lana, Cole and Cory Lappi. He's a beautiful baby!

That's it for today. Cheers!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fabulous Friday

Just got done with an after dinner walk. I felt like I'd once again eaten too much and wanted to walk some of it off. And it was just too nice out yet to go inside for the evening. Above was my view of the evening sky. Below, supper. A yummy salad including some strawberries from Plant City, Florida where the Strawberry Festival is now being held. I understand it's quite a big deal. Delicious salad. Lots of fresh red veggies including: tomatoes, radishes, red peppers, strawberries.

Today was sunny at 81 degress, and once again breezy. Tomorrow is supposed to be much the same and then late Saturday a cold front is moving in. After some early Sunday rain, it will become much cooler (60's) for the remainder of my visit. Not sure what tomorrow's plans are, but we'll be outside doing something!

Today, I started the day with a one hour swim at the Y followed by one hour on the elliptical. The machines here all have TVs on each machine which is great. Makes the time pass a bit more quickly. The hour in the pool flew by and I once again enjoyed it.

Following that, we went for lunch at Cha Cha Coconuts in St. Armand's Cirle in Sarasota I had a salad with roasted corn and black beans, chicken, cheese and a mango vinaigrette dressing. The menu is on the website, but I can't view it from this computer, nor can I do anything with the website URLs, so bear with me ... :)

The shopping on St. Armand's is VERY expensive and not really to my taste, but it's still fun to walk the circle and people watch. We did go in two shops: Fresh Produce (sportswear) and a Fudge/Ice Cream shoppe. I bought a couple things at Fresh Produce (not unreasonably priced) and the Fudge Shoppe was just eye candy. We didn't buy anything there. Chocolates were $30/lb...

I went into Fleet Feet Sarasota to check it out. Talked to the manager about a group run and they run at 7:00 on Saturday, but it's not going to be very long as the locals have recently run the Sarasota Marathon. But that's fine as my hip seems to still be bothering me so I'll just see what tomorrow brings.

So ... back to Rochester stuff. I still need LOTS and LOTS of volunteers for the Fetzer. If you can help, please contact me at I need help in the following areas: Set-up, registration, course marshals, water stops, finish line, clean-up. I would be so grateful if you could help out on April 11. Thanks much!

A friend passed along this link: It's a link to the trail run series held each year. It's a good time to take a look if you're in the midst of planning your race schedule for the year. Trail running is very enjoyable and a very good workout!

Well, that's it for today. Talk at you later!

Ramblin' Renee

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The TWINS win!

Greetings from Florida where it was sunny and 76 today. My day again started bright and early (5:30 ET) at the Y. Lifted and did cardio. Then it was out to Anna Marie Island/Holmes Beach for all-u-can-eat pancakes on the beach. (Sausage too, but I skipped that.) I had 4 large pancakes. I was hungry! It became our lunch as well so when it was supper time, I was starving again! We had a delicious supper of salad with lots of fresh veggies, glazed carrots and beef stroganoff. Yum, yum. Ada is a good cook.

Dad and I went to see the Twins play Cincinnati in Sarasota this afternoon. "It's a beautiful day for a ball game, for a ball game today ..." It was fun! I bought a Twins hat yesterday hoping to get some autographs on it. I got Denard Span and Gardie's autographs. I'm going to give it to my son Eric who's a huge Twins fan. Anyway, the Twins won 10-4. The Reds staged a rally in the 8th inning scoring 4 runs, but then the Twins put it away. In the later innings, I didn't recognize any of the names of the Twins players. Starters that I knew: Carlos Gomez in center, Denard Span in left, Brendan Harris at 3rd, Brian Buscher at first. Blackburn was the starting pitcher. No sightings of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young, ...

Tomorrow we are going to have lunch at St. Armonds Circle then come back here and scope out the neighborhood carport sale before it opens on Saturday morning. Saturday morning I'll do a long run of some sort. Haven't quite decided where or when yet.

Toodles. Stay warm!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Greetings from the Sunshine State!

It is WONDERFUL to be in shorts and enjoying the sunshine! 70's and sunny today. 0% chance of rain every day except Sunday. I'll take it! Pictured above are a couple shots of the produce at The Red Barn, a flea market open Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun. The produce was amazing. I bought 3 huge tomatoes for $1. Had a nice big salad for supper loaded with fresh veggies. Had some strawberries for lunch and they tasted like ... strawberries! The ones we get up north at this time of year tend to be the flavorless variety.

Today I went to the Y in the morning to swim for an hour and then do an hour on the elliptical. Couldn't get the left lens in my googles to seal correctly so it was a bit of a frustrating swim.

Read Candy Freak while sitting in the sun for a little while. Got a little 'pink'. Tomorrow morning, we're going for pancakes at Cafe on the Beach on Anna Maria Island and then to the Twins game. I finally located a Twins hat this afternoon. Lots of Pirates (Bradenton is where they train), Rays, Bo Sox, Yankees but Twins ... not so much. Hoping to get some autographs tomorrow. Then we'll stop at Fleet Feet Sarasota just because ... :)

Friday we're going for lunch at St. Armand's Circle. It's a very expensive place to shop, but it's fun to walk the circle and people watch. We usually take a table on the sidewalk.

The Fetzer 20K has been named a RRCA Regional Championship event for 2009. I'm not sure that buys me anything more than a State Championship race but I'll take it! The plaques will read differently, anyway.

More tomorrow including a scouting report (of sorts) on the Twins!


Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Ready to Roll!!

Well, I'm all packed and I have someplace to go. Florida. Tomorrow. I can't wait. I really need this little getaway. Pictured above are scenes from the Sarasota Bay and orchids at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (I highly recommend it if you like flowers). I have 3 books packed and not too much on my agenda, which is how I like it. Thursday: Twins vs. Reds game at 1:05 PM in Sarasota. I'd like to visit the Ringling Bros. Museum as I've not been there before. Saturday: long run on Longboat Key and through St. Armonds Circle ...

.. with the runners from the Manasota Track Club (I've done this before--great fun). It starts at 5:30 AM however ... that's Eastern time. 4:30 AM Central time. Ouch. One morning, all-you-can-eat pancakes at Cafe on the Beach on Anna Maria Island . And lots of quality time with my dad and step-mom. :o)

A few of us from Rochester (myself, Mary Chestolowski, Lionel Cheng and Carolyn Lam) are heading up to the events at the Earth Day Half Marathon (half, half relay and 20-miler) on April 18 in St. Cloud. It would be great if we had some more runners join us! We're staying at the Americinn on Friday. If you're interested in coming along, email me!

The March issue of RTC News has been published in full color on the RTC website in the members only section. Yet another reason to join the RTC!!

Here's a photo of a quilt that I made for my sister when she turned 40.

And my friend Kim Klocke's very adorable cupcake quilt. Some of her quilt designs are at pictured on her website Flying Moose Designs. Very fun, whimsical designs.

Well, I've run out of things to post. When all else fails, I post a recipe! Here's my French bread recipe from a community ed. class many years ago.

French Bread
7 to 7 1/4 cups all-purpose flour *
2 packages active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 Tbsp. salt
Yellow cornmeal
1 egg white (I omit this)

In large mixer bowl combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat 2 1/2 cups water, sugar, salt and shortening just until warm (115 to 120 degrees), stirring constantly to melt shortening. Add to dry mixture. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. (I mix for 2 minutes on 2 on my Kitchen Aid using the paddle attachment.) By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. (I mix in an additional 4 cups flour with the mixer, using the bread hook.)

Knead on floured surface till smooth (10 to 12 minutes). (I mix for 8 minutes on 2 speed with the mixer.) Shape into a ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise until double (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Punch down; divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half to 15x12-inch rectangle. Roll up tightly from long side; seal well. Taper ends. Place each diagonally, seam side down, on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Gash tops diagonally every 2 1/2 inches, 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep.

Beat egg white just till foamy; add 1 tablespoon water. Brush tops and sides of loaves. (I omit this.) Cover; let rise till double (about 1 hour). Bake at 375 till light brown, about 10 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake 20 minutes longer. (I just bake them for 40 minutes). Remove from sheets; cool. Makes 2.

* I use a combination of bread flour and all-purpose flour.

Well, the next post will be from Florida, wearing flip-flops!!

Thought for the day: "If I could be described in one word, what would it be?"


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Suddenly, It's Sunday

The weekends just fly by, don't they? All of a sudden it's Sunday and the weekend is over. I have a very short week this week, however. I work tomorrow and then it's off to the Sarasota Florida area to visit my dad and step-mom. I can't wait. After 5 inches of new snow, it's been wonderful getting out my shorts, T-shirts and even a swimsuit. Sarasota forecast for thie week:

Tuesday Clear 72° F 50° F 22° C 10° C
Wednesday Clear 74° F 54° F 23° C 12° C
Thursday Partly Cloudy 76° F 54° F 24° C 12° C
Friday Partly Cloudy 76° F 56° F 24° C 13° C

I believe that's a keeper. ;o) I'll throw in a light jacket for good measure.

Lionel does a smashing job of blogging! If you haven't read his blog, do check it out. He's got a wonderful account of our Saturday run. He's much better with the written word than I am.

I've uploaded an entry form for the Indoor Triathlon at the Y to the RTC website. It's Sunday, March 15 at 8:30 AM.

I swam with Judy today. I'm continually plagued with cramps in my right calf (and am having troubles on the run with that leg/hip as well), but other than that I'm actually enjoying swimming. I can't believe I just said that! It's a good complement to running. It uses the upper body where running pounds the lower body. I'm finding swimming getting more and more relaxing, though I still have to think about it a little bit too much. Shaun keeps reminding me to roll, roll, roll and turn my head more to the side rather than up when breathing (he actually threatened to hit me on the head with a kickboard at one point! He was just kidding .. of course?). But it's slowly coming together. Judy and I got what I thought was the ultimate compliment today. A gal in the next lane, Sue, asked our advice on swimming. Being I've been in the pool 3 times, I am no expert; but at least I guess we look like we know what we're doing!! She's also training for the Rochesterfest Sprint Triathlon. It will also be her first. I also heard from the editor of the St. Cloud River Runners newsletter today that a group of them will be coming down to participate in the tri as well. Whoo hoo!!

Here's a CLIF bar commercial passed along by a St. Cloud River Runner/Triathlete. Made me LOL. Oh, my, what am I in for???

Sarah Torchia was at the Y today. She said that her brother Mike finished in the top 200 (there were 7,461 skiers registered!) in the full birkie and made it into the elite class. So ... I just went to the Birkie website. Same excellent ski for Joey Keillor. Just looked up their results for their first Birkebeiners: Michael: 188th male--29th in age division--2:39. Joey: 225th male--27th in age division--2:42. These are some awesome athletes.

The March issue of RTC News is done and shipped off to the printer. 28 pages of reading pleasure this month. Look for it in your mailboxes (and subsequently posted in the members only section of the RTC website website) in a week or so.

Ventured over to Winona yesterday afternoon for Matt's band concert at WSU.

(View of campus from the second level of the Performing Arts Center--PAC)

Really nice concert. The first half was music written for the Civil War era and a dance and a piece reminiscent of church bells. The second half was northern lights, north county, Scandinavian-inspired music. We drove over on 14 (not my choice). The road was terrible, especially between St. Charles and Utica.

After the concert, we stopped at the Bluff Country Co-Op. I hadn't been there before and Matt wanted to kill an hour or so before playing with the pep band at the evening's b-ball games. I enjoy looking through co-ops, natural food stores, etc. Always interesting 'stuff'.

Saw this bread. Didn't try it, but it looks interesting.

I bought some saf yeast, Muir Glen Cabernet Marinara pasta sauce and a loaf of flourless cinnamon raisin bread (made with sprouted wheat). We each tried a slice (interesting, but bland) and then I left it with Matt.

Today, elder son Eric is home. I made Baked Potato Soup, and his favorite veggie--Brussels Sprouts. He said the sight of them just makes his mouth water ... not the typical fare for a 22-year old! He said they had a party in Decorah last night and he made Brussels Sprouts. Who raised this kid??!!

Judy and I were talking during the swim and she said she was making a White Chicken Chili for supper. Sounded great. I told her to tell me how it turned out. She said it was great and she sent me the recipe. This sounds like one for my 'keeper' recipe files!

White Chicken Chili
Serves 6

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 ¾ lb), cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
3 cans (14.5-oz size) white kidney or cannellini beans, drained (save ½ cup draining liquid) and rinsed
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tsp canned chipotle chili, seeded and minced (I used mild green chilies instead)
½ cup nonfat half-and-half
Garnishes: Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, chopped fresh cilantro


Warm oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring. Push onion mixture to one side; add chicken to skillet; sprinkle mixture with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 cans of the beans and draining liquid, 1 ¼ cups broth, and chipotle; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 can beans and ¾ cup broth in bowl of food processor. Puree until smooth. Add to soup in pot, along with half-and-half. Simmer a few minutes, stirring, until warmed through and flavors incorporated. Serve hot; garnish with cheese and cilantro.

Nutritional Information
360 calories
41g protein
33 g carbohydrate
8 g fiber
5 g total fat
1g saturated fat
85 mg cholesterol
671mg sodium

Well, I've reached the end of yet another post and it's time that I sign off. I've still got lots and lots to do before I leave the frozen north country for the Sunshine State.

Quote for the day:

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep." --Robert Frost


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Misery Loves Company

As I sit here, I'm listening to the Jimmy Cliff version of the oldie 'I Can See Clearly Now' on my iPod. Fun version of the song. After a miserable, wintry, all around yucky weather day, it's a mood brightener. ;-D

These are the images from the morning run. 5" of new snow, strong NW winds, 18 degrees. I followed 3 snow plows on the way to the RAC. There were maybe a dozen or so of us at the RAC for the morning run. It would have been a perfect day to wear my Icebugs. But did I do that?? NOOOO!!! Lionel wore his. Smart guy! The plan was for 10 miles from the RAC utilizing West Circle Drive (on the road) as a good part of the course. We nixed that idea due to the new snow, ice, and fast moving traffic on that road and headed to the IBM perimeter road instead. The plan was to do 3 loops then head back. We (Trevor, Lionel and I) needed another 1/2 mile before we left IBM so we headed back toward the north and decided (after my suggestion) that we might as well just go around again and get in 12 miles. Well, we got back to the RAC and we were still 1/2 mile short. Trevor apparently knows my compulsive tendencies now (!) and said something like he wouldn't be surprised if I headed out for another 1/2 mile. HA! He was right. :D Lionel said, 'Oh, dear.' We all laughed at that. You had to be there ... Lionel is from Singapore and he wasn't grousing at all about the conditions. I said, "Lionel, you 'da man" or something to that effect! What a trooper. So we headed west for 1/4 mile, turned around and headed back for a total of 12.12 on my GPS. Glad to be done with that one.

From Mike Schmitt: Cost of running NY marathon Ouch!!

This is going to be a short post. I'm tired. Hitting the pool again tomorrow with Judy and Shaun at noon. Good night!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm running out of clever titles for posts. So today, it's just titled "Friday".

Congratulations to Cory and Lana Lappi who had a baby boy yesterday! He joins big brother Kyle who's 2 1/2. ;-)

It sounds like we're in for some more winter-type weather this evening and overnight. Two to four inches of fluffy snow, just in time for the first long run at the RAC in the morning. Ten miles is the scheduled distance, commencing at 7:15 AM. I plan to be there. Are you??

TCM is once again allowing headphones at their event, but it's 'at your own risk'. This follows the lift of the ban at Grandma's Marathon as well. USATF has loosened their restrictions.

I spent most of the day working on the RTC News for March. It's pretty much wrapped up and ready to go. Just a few blank spaces to fill in then I'll ship it off to the printer. Mike Schmitt is coordinating assembly this month. Please contact him if you are willing to help. It's always fun and goes quickly with many willing helpers.

A little bit of my afternoon was spent at the pool at the Y working on my swim for the Rochesterfest Sprint Triathlon. I managed to swim 52 lengths/26 laps of the pool. I was pleased with that, but I did take rest breaks at the ends of the lane. That will not be possible during the open water swim at Foster Arends! But it will improve with time and practice.

Suzanne LaPalm reports that she tried the Steel Cut Oat bread recipe I posted a few weeks ago and it's a keeper! She's going to make another when this one is gone. Thank you for the feedback, Suzanne! I'll keep posting my favorite recipes ...

I'm going to Florida next week. I got tickets for a Twins game on Thursday. They're playing the Reds in Sarasota at 1:05 PM. I look forward to it! It'll be one of the first games of Spring Training. I've also been perusing the RRCA website looking for group runs in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. There are several options. I've done this in prior years and it's fun to run in a different locale, with different runners, in different weather ... in short (shorts actually!), to mix it up a bit.

This was supper tonight for me ... as it has been the last couple nights. I'm on kind of a salad kick. This is one of those 'everything but the kitchen sink' kind of concoctions. Lettuce (yes there is some, buried in there somewhere!), broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, carrots, celery, red onion, grape tomatoes, chicken, blueberries, dried cherries, croutons, honey-roasted soy nuts. It's actually delicious!! I also had some asparagus on the side. Oh, and a slice of Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat Bread. Fabulousness for sure.

Well, I've reached the end of my 'to be posted' list, so I'll close this one out for today.

Quote for the day: "If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."

Enjoy your evening.

Corrected Cinnamon Bread Recipe

I left out the sugar in the original post!

Cinnamon Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
Cinnamon-sugar for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter or margarine, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating till smooth. let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, covered, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

Pour the batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the bread in a 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it tests done; a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This 'n That Thursday

Well, it feels like we've returned to winter weather again. Snow. Cold. Wind. I believe I've had quite enough. Tuesday I leave for a week in FL in the Sarasota area visiting my dad and stepmom. I am very much looking forward to wearing shorts and enjoying the Florida sunshine.

Photos from the Polar Plunge are still coming in. Here are a couple from Pete Martin:

Nice tutu, Todd Rowekamp! Here are the winners from the Polar Plunge:

Best Group - Thriller Chillers - Photo
Best Male - Kane Erdenberger - Photo
Funniest Costume - Greg Anderson - Photo

I saw a couple of the Thriller Chillers in the changing tent. Scary.

Ellen Hamernik reports that the Cinnamon Bread recipe is a keeper. She's made it again yesterday ... a double batch!! Let me know if you try any of the recipes and whether or not they're keepers. I'm always curious ...

Saturday training runs will now be back at the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC) on Saturday mornings at 7:15 AM. If you would like to volunteer to staff a water stop on a morning, please contact Lin Gentling. We can't make these runs happen without faithful volunteers.

From Arnie Kinnunen, Bear Chase Ski Race Director: Great Bear Chase ski race will take place Sunday, March 8 on the Swedetown Trails near Calumet, MI. 50K Freestyle, 26K Classic, 26K Freestyle. Register online at More info at Bear Chase website .

The Little Rock Marathon has been known for their HUGE finisher's medals. Judy Weller passed along an email with this info: "The 2009 Little Rock Marathon finisher’s medal is black zinc alloy and is 7 1/4 inches long and 6 1/4 inches wide. The medal features the 2009 circus theme and weighs in at a pound and a half. The medal features the race’s signature globe, race director’s kiss and the “race for every pace” motto." Bling. Bling. Bling!

Rochesterfest Triathlon training update: My shoulders/upper chest were a little sore yesterday after Tuesday's inaugural swim. But I'm planning to get back in the pool tomorrow sometime, and then again Sunday noon with Judy and Shaun, our esteemed "coach". :-) I was on the bike today for an hour. I can do this!

I had lunch yesterday at 300 1st ...

(house salad and tomato basil soup ... very good) with my friend Kim Klocke. She's a very talented quilter. She has her own company Flying Moose Designs . She designs very fun, bright, modern quilts and has had many of them entered in shows in Paducah, KY and Houston, TX as well as the Minnesota Quilt Show. Some of her latest quilts have beads on them for some texture and sparkle. I think the cupcakes are great fun. She's going to send me a photo of a larger quilt with 6 cupcakes on it. I'll post it.

This is from an unfinished quilt called Once Upon a Blue Moose (there's one blue moose on the quilt). You can see some of the beadwork. I took the photos with my phone. They're not the best quality.

On a whim I signed up for a wine class last night at Sontes called A Port in Any Storm. One guess what we were sampling. Yes, Port. Actually 2 Madeiras, 7 Ports and a Cognac. I just about choked every time I took a sip of that cognac. Really strong stuff. It was infused with Madagascar vanilla and smelled very good. The wines were all good. All the knowledge they were sharing with us was w-a-a-a-y over my head, but it was interesting nevertheless.

Well, that's it for today. Tomorrow I'm going to grind out the March issue of RTC News. Gotta get it to the printer before I can fly out of here ...

Thought for the day: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Dolphin I'm Not!!

Shaun Palmer, our esteemed swim instructor, helped Judy and I ...

(I made this image as small as possible. My eyes look pretty tough after having goggles suctioned on my face for a while!)

... with our freestyle stroke this morning at the Y pool. And guess who was there to witness? Bill Nevala, race director for the Rochesterfest Triathlon (June 28)!! He was there swimming a mile with son Shawn. I was very hesitant to try swimming laps, but ... I got in there and did it. We ended up spending 2 hours in the pool, the last 30 minutes with Aqua Joggers on doing some 'running'. Thanks a million Shaun for your help!! I have a long way to go but with practice I'm hoping I'll be able to swim the 1/4 mile necessary for the sprint course.

Here's yet another fun Polar Plunge photo, from Chris Kujath's Facebook photo album. Fun photo! (Paula, Mike, ???, me, Trevor, Lionel)

Here's the Post-Bulletin listing of the Lace-Up half marathon results.

I worked at Running Room this afternoon. New stuff since I've worked last: CLIF 1/2 shots (candybar type packaging in flavors berry, lemon-lime, orange, strawberry, margarita which has 3 x sodium), CLIF Recovery drinks (enhanced with protein in flavors hot chocolate, hot cider and mango), Running Room socks from Fitsok, Thorlos Experia socks, Pro-Tec Roller Massager, Ice-Up, and Foam Roller. Joey Keillor, miler extraordinaire, stopped in for some CLIF shots. He's doing his first Birkie this weekend. I'm excited to see how he does. He's been doing most of his training at Quarry Hill and since he lives close, has volunteered to be on the grooming crew. Also stopping by were Tish Torchia and Ian and Kelsey. Ian needed some new shoes. They're doing the Kortelopet at the Birkie this weekend. They do it every year. Michael is skiing the whole Birkie for the first time.

From Mike Schmitt: Put on your lucky hat, rub your rabbits foot, and give the dice another roll.... The online application for the ING New York City Marathon 2009 lottery will be available on February 19! Lottery entry

Registration for the Garry Bjorklund half marathon begins tomorrow, February 18. The race entry process is conducted through a lottery in which 4,500 participants will be randomly selected. Beginning Feb. 18 at 12:01 a.m. (CST), and continuing through 8 a.m. March 2, registration will be available at for all half-marathon hopefuls. Lottery participants can submit their registration any time during the 12-day online registration period. Participants will be randomly selected and their acceptance into the race will be confirmed via e-mail no later than March 5. (Those runners not selected will receive an e-mail notifying them that their entry was not among those chosen. 6,400 have registered for the full marathon at this point. The race will cap at 9,500 entries.)

Beer Run: If you're interested & available, a couple of us are going to meet for a Beer Run this Thursday, 2/19, at 5:30pm, at O'Neill's in Crossroads on S. Broadway. Please let me me know if you plan to attend!

From Bill Nevala: May 30th is the HyVee/Hormel Rochester Kids Triathlon. I am currently building staff for this event. We are in need of Run Course and Bike Course Coordinators. The event will be essentially the same as last year with the swim being in the Willow Creek Middle School Pool, bike course will lead the kids from the school to the Bear Creek Trail. Bikers will then go to the transition area located at Mayo High School Stadium. The run course is on Mayo High School Grounds and finishes in the stadium. We need your help in getting ready for the event. If you are interested in helping us put on a nice event for the kids, please contact Bill or Wendy Nevala at 507-206-4294 or email at .

I decided to get on the Stairmaster after Running Room today, for whatever reason. I decided to try doing the Speed Interval program at the max level: 20. WHAT A WORKOUT!! I was literally dripping and hanging on for dear life ... :o)

OK. Recipe time. Here's my banana bread recipe (left in the photo below).

Banana Bread

1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Up to 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
Up to 1 c. mini chocoalte chips (optional, but oh so good!)

(I do this all by hand--no mixer--don't overmix!)
Cream butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, butter, bananas and vanilla until well combined. Combine dry ingredients. Gently stir into wet ingredients, just until mixed. Stir in nuts or chips if using.

Grease or spray pans. One 9 x 5 x 3 or four 3 x 5 pans. Heat oven to 350. For 9 x 5 x 3 pan, bake one hour 15 minutes, covering with foil after 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan. For smaller pans, bake 45 minutes. Cool 10-12 minutes before removing from the pan.

Quote for the day: "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." --Dr. Seuss

Go. Be. Do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Trifecta, redux

Well, I'd heard rumblings that they wanted to interview Lionel for the Post-Bulletin, and they got a photo on Saturday ...

(Post-Bulletin photo) ... and a terrific photo it is. Then, this evening I see he made it to the front page of the paper. Super! They couldn't have picked a nicer guy to profile. What a wonderful souvenir for Lionel to take back to Singapore! Here's the video that appeared on KTTC, our local NBC affiliate. Fun. More than 600 people took the plunge yesterday. A new record. And it was a whole lot of fun. ;o)

The results for the Stair Climb and Half Marathon have been posted. Thank you again for participating in these events which raised money for charity! I incorrectly posted Chris Chen's time as 2:28 for the stair climb on Saturday. It was actually 2:21. WOW!! He was FLYING!!

Another correction: Winterfest Chair Genise Thompson was the winner of the one night stay at Broadway Residence & Suites Trifecta prize. Enjoy!

For kicks and giggles, here are my splits for the half: 7:36, 7:51, 7:36, 7:54, 7:51, 7:48, 7:41, 7:29, 7:27, 7:08 (?!), 7:25, 7:29, 8:33 (wheels came off! Cramps kicked in).

Well, today I bought a swim cap and goggles for our (Judy Weller and me) little swim in the morning. I am anxious to get started, but I'm also feeling s-o-o-o-o-o-o apprehensive. Shaun, bless his heart, deserves a bonus batch of cookies for this!! A full report tomorrow. Maybe even a picture. HA!!

March 1, the US Indoor Track & Field championships will be on ESPN2 at 4:00 PM. Check your local listings to be sure. There is a Track & Field TV schedule on the USATF website.

Well, when there's nothing else for me to post, I post a recipe. So here you go! It's part leavened, part quick bread. Very good. It's the loaf on the right. The one on the left is banana bread. I'll save that recipe for another day. :o)

Cinnamon Chip Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
Cinnamon-sugar for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter or margarine, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating till smooth. let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, covered, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

Pour the batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar. Bake the bread in a 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it tests done; a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

This is from a little booklet called "Good Stuff" that a fellow Y member gave me when I used to work in the Fitness Center and posted quotes for the day on the whiteboard. It's called ...

The Secret to Happiness

The secret to happiness and well-being is no mystery. All it takes is the ability to do the following:

Admit errors.
Avoid mistakes.
Listen to advice.
Keep your temper.
Shoulder the blame.
Make the best of things.
Maintain high standards.
Think first and act accordingly.
Put the needs of others before your own.

Until next time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trifecta, Part 3

(Mile 12 today. Thank you Lionel Cheng for the photo)

It. Is. Finished. The inaugural Winterfest Trifecta. Whoo hoo! It was a very successful weekend indeed. Great idea, Laura Lenz! A huge THANK YOU to everyone that helped with all of the events: race directors, volunteers, sponsors. And thank you to all of the participants and donors who helped raise money for 3 charities: Special Olympics (Polar Plunge), Elder Network (Stair Climb) and breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic (Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer half and 5K). Today's event was first class. Very well done LUABC committee!

Matt from the Post-Bulletin interviewed Mike Schmitt and myself today. We'll see what turns up. Stay tuned!

Congratulations to Ron Giles and Mary Chestolowski for their wins today at the half marathon. They both ran excellent races. They both also donated their Running Room gift card awards to one of the speakers today, my friend and fellow runner Betsy Baartman who is currently fighting breast cancer.

My run went OK. I've been having a right hip 'thing' for many weeks now. It was bothering me early then seemed to get better in the middle miles. However, I started battling my ever-present leg cramps about mile 11 so stopped 7 or 8 times after that point to get them to release. But all in all I had a good run. The course was about .3 mile long, so that makes me even more pleased with my time.

I donated 2 dozen M&M chocolate chunk cookies (Neiman Marcus recipe, see link below) to the silent auction today. Peggy Menzel bought them ... for $40! Thank you, Peggy. Jean Murray bought my 2 dozen cinnamon rolls, also for $40! Wow. You guys are generous. :)

I actually won a prize in the Trifecta drawing, and I never win ANYTHING! A one night stay at the Best Western and a bottle of viognier wine. :o) Lionel Cheng and Trevor Distad won the one hour private flights (thank you Pete Martin and Dean Ferber for the donations) and Julie Stanton won a one night stay at the Radisson. I forgot the name of the gal that won the one night stay at the Broadway Residence & Suites, site of the Stair Climb. Congrats one and all.

Here's a link to Tom Woo's photos. Thanks, Tom!

Thanks for your favorable comments on the cookies I baked yesterday. :o) I am at my happiest when I'm baking, which many of you know! The ones with the pink M&Ms were the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe which is all over the internet. I add a little extra flour (probably about 1/3 cup or so.)

Here's the recipe for the heart cookies which had the red drizzle on them:

The Valentine Cookies (that's the name ... from a church cookbook)

1 1/3 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. water
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 c. oatmeal (1 1/2 c. quick oatmeal, 1 1/2 c. rolled oats)

Beat butter until creamy and add sugar gradually. Beat in eggs, water, vanilla and then dry ingredients, except oats. Stir in oats. (I chill the dough at this point for easier handling.) Roll out on floured board to 1/8" to 1/4" thickness. Cut out and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 8 to 9 minutes (or shorter, depending on the size of your cookie cutter). Frost with your favorite cookie frosting, if desired.

Quote for the day: "If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain." --Emily Dickinson


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trifecta, Part 2

What. A. Rush. There aren't words to describe what a rush it is to jump into 32 degree water. We were getting psyched out waiting around to jump in. But ... it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, though it did literally take my breath away for several seconds. It was a bit of a struggle to get it back. And it was a bit of a struggle to get out of the water due to the sludge on the bottom. But we all piled into a hot tub and then a sauna and we were nice and toasty warm before we really knew what hit us! What. A. Rush.

Here's Lionel's video of our plunge: Video And Lionel's (actually Carolyn's) photos: Photos

Lionel did a terrific job of posting on today's events. Check it out!!


Trifecta, Part 1

(Pondering the climb that awaited me, camera in hand. Lionel's photo. Thanks!)

One down, two to go. The next one, the Polar Plunge, is the one I'm most nervous about but today's first event, the Broadway Residence & Suites Cabin Fever Stair Climb, is the one that will probably hurt the worst. My lungs were just burning afterward. Then the cough started. Then the cough loosened. Then it stopped hurting. Pretty much the same story with everyone I talked to. Chris Chen was the overall winner in a blazing 2:28 (record). I was fortunate to be the first female to finish in 3:28. When I presented Chris with his winner's cookies he said, "That's what I came for!". Made me very happy. :o)

We have two new entrants for the Trifecta: Deb Thomford and David Nagorney. Welcome!!

I made a couple more batches of cookies for LUABC. I'm anticipating they'll have a great turnout and didn't want anyone to go cookieless. So there you go.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Happy almost Valentine's Day. My son Eric made this wooden heart when he was 12. The date on the back is my birthday, 1998. :o)

Well, it's almost time for the big Trifecta weekend!! Preparations are going on all over the place. Let's start with cookies. :o)

Sam and Abby Rowekamp came over after school today to decorate cookies for the Broadway Residence & Suites Cabin Fever Stair Climb which takes place tomorrow morning. I made shoe cut-outs and the kids frosted and decorated them with Sam's design -- steps with licorice hand rails. They did a great job and I'm sure they'll be very well received at the top of those 26 flights of stairs!!

After dinner, I dashed up to the Polar Plunge for a few minutes. The Super Plungers were about to take their 6 PM plunges (there are 4 of them this year). Kevin Torgerson was interviewed live on KAAL TV. Being up there, seeing the ice, the hot tubs, the changing tents ... it all made me nervous for tomorrow. Each of the Super Plungers had their own RV for the duration. The first RV I stopped at housed the Francis Whalen family. Then I stopped in the food RV and there was K.C. Reed having supper. Then it was over to Kevin's tent and he was just on his way out to plunge. Seems I knew just about everyone up there this evening. 'Twas fun. Our merry band of 10 plungers has an early plunge time of 2:35 PM. The weather sounds much more pleasant than other years--30 and little wind. My premiums are very nice--shirt, beach towel and very nice jacket. Thank you Laura for picking them up!

Registration and packet pick-up for Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer takes place tomorrow (Saturday) from 3-5 at Running Room or Sunday before the race at the Y. 150 runners are already registered. With the nice weather and dry and clear bike paths, I'm sure there will be many more signing up. Great turnout. I'm looking forward to a fun morning! I made cookies today--a dozen each for the male and female winners of the stair climb and 30 for the silent auction for LUABC. I'm going to make more tomorrow to supplement the ones we made at the cookie baking extravaganza wince since we have a lot of runners coming!

Very nice article about the Resman family in the Post-Bulletin tonight. Long-time RTC members, former board members, active runners and volunteers, and good friends. They're all skiing the Birkie.

I'm working at Running Room noon to 4 PM on Tuesday. Stop by with your 20% off coupon from the eMagazine . I'd love to help you shop.

I believe that's where I'll leave it for today. Gotta rest up for the big weekend.

Thought for the day: "It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is from the top."