Saturday, February 25, 2012


It's been a pretty quiet week for me, and it's a quiet time right now. I'm sitting on the couch with four layers of fleece blankets on.

I ran with the group at the RAC this morning. A chilly morning and I wasn't at the top of my game. I just wasn't much into the run and fought it every mile. I haven't felt very well on on and off this week. My legs were tired, I should have tapered more (my bad, I know) and I just wasn't feeling quite right. Several miles into the run I started feeling a little dizzy. (And here it is 11:45 and I still haven't had breakfast. And still a bit dizzy.) It was a new route. I'm not sure what the official total was because I deviated from the route on 2nd St SW. I took a right on a Cascade Lake section of trail I hadn't been on before (south side of the lake). I then wound through the neighborhood on the NE corner of West Circle Dr/2nd St SW and came out by Trademart. When I got back to the RAC I just needed a couple of tenths and I had 13. Good enough. I didn't want to run a step more. I'm not expecting anything great out of this body next weekend at Napa Valley. The quality training just hasn't been there the last year and a half. Maybe this will be my year to get back into shape and drop some weight. : ) The ball is in my court as they say.

I broke out a new pair of shoes this week. Much needed. It doesn't take too many 70, 80 mile weeks to break down a pair of shoes. I like the colors on these. LOVE the laces. I double knotted them this morning as I always do and the right one still came untied though.

I did some baking yesterday. It's all the freezer now though. Chocolate chip before work ...

and a new recipe ... peanut butter blondies (bars, with chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, peanut butter). Didn't take a photo of those but they're pretty good.

Thursday night I wasn't on the work schedule for some reason. But that was fine! So I went to Team R.E.D. We meet at Wildwood Sports Bar and ran a big loop through Soldier's Field and north. 6.25 miles on my Garmin. It was nice to see everyone again. Woo had an interesting appetizer ... alligator. He said it tasted like ... you guessed it. Chicken. : )

He washed it down with a beer on ice through a straw. : )

All the while wearing his Mike's Hard Lemonade beads. : )

Well, I think I'll read the paper and a little more of Cutting for Stone before I have to go to work.

Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Good Day

I had a good day today. I had a hard time getting going though. I went out and shoveled right when I got up. Turns out that probably was unnecessary as it looks like my neighbors didn't shovel and all their snow was gone. Oh well!! A bit of a strength workout. I almost didn't work out. I was feeling tired and my left hamstring is sore. So ... I got on my Stairmaster for an hour and a half and worked up a nice sweat. : ) Then off to job number two (JCPenney window coverings). At times it was pretty slow, but about a half an hour before my shift was up, a couple of customers that I've been working with for a few weeks came back to finalize their window coverings. They live in SW Rochester and have 11' ceilings and some 10' windows. This provided a bit of a challenge. Options for panels 120" long are limited, and ... their windows were 12' wide. BIG windows. We'd been discussing various options (they wanted traverse rods) and finally decided upon a solution. It was a fun project to work on, and they were nice people.

Running: 20.12 on Saturday, 7 on Sunday, 10 on Monday. Plus 8 hour shifts on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday made for tired legs today. I'm OFFICIALLY in taper mode for Napa Valley on March 4. : )

I've been putting in a little reading time the last few days. I'm reading Cutting for Stone. I'm really enjoying it. It's a long one though ... 650+ pages.

Well, that's about all I know. Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life is Full

First of all, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!! Hope you're able to do something special with your sweetheart today.
Starting with yesterday ... monthly Cooking Light supper club at Margo's house. On the menu:
Kathryn: Apple-Blue Cheese Chutney (p. 104)
Diane:Hummingbird Bundt Cakes with Bourbon Glaze (p. 120)
Margo: Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamp (p. 87)
Renee: Couscous-Arugula Salad (p. 72)
Pam: White Beans with Prosciutto (p. 39)
Guest: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots (p. 159/November issue)
Mary: Wine

My raves and faves .. the Brussels sprouts and the Hummingbird Cake. Since the cake had pineapple in it, I didn't think I'd like it. But it must have somehow dissolved or something as I didn't taste it at all. I brought the couscous arugula salad and I thought it was very blah. Wouldn't repeat that recipe. I brought a guest as we are at 7 members right now. My friend Tina.

Here are some photos from the evening ...

It's always a highlight of the month sharing food and laughter with friends.

Stepping back ... Sunday's 20.61 mile run mid-afternoon. Yikes. That was tough. I'd been on my feet since 5:30 AM but I really wanted to get it done. I ran down to the Mayowood trail then ran the Lace-Up Half Marathon route, adding on a bit here and there, and then home. So glad I got it done.

Brian and Kurt came down from St. Cloud on Saturday evening. I met them along with Shannon and Mark at Whistle Binkie's North after work.

Lace-Up. Wow. What a wonderful event, wonderful turnout, wonderful volunteers, wonderful cause. Just plain WONDERFUL!! Twelve River Runners came down from St. Cloud to participate. I was so glad to have them here.

Thank you to everyone that made the day such a success. Here are some photos.

Yesterday morning, 10 slippery slow miles in the fresh snow. I think I'll hit the track this evening, but probably just run in circles ... no speedwork. I'm tapering you know. : ) Jay and Brad bought their tickets for Napa yesterday. Yippee!! It's gonna be FUN!!!

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stepping Out

It's been a fun week, all around. Work and all. I went with friends to happy hour and then to see The Artist (movie) on Tuesday. Really enjoyed it. Silent except for just a couple of words at the end.

Wednesday I worked at JCPenney from 2 to 10 after spending the morning at the law office. It was probably the most fun shift I'd ever worked there. Pretty steady business all the way 'til close. Lots of nice couples came in. The last two were from Montevideo and knew my relatives out there. Small world. My realtor's mom came in and will be back. I just had so much fun chatting with everyone. BTW: All the women's winter coats are $20. Even long wool/cashmere blend.

I actually had a Thursday off, so I went to the RTC board meeting. Congrats to new president Jim Mason, V-P Dave Phillips (also Treasurer in Training), secretary Sonja Kranz and Treasurer Jean Murray. And a big THANK YOU for all they do for the club. Lots of business was discussed. Jim Mason had the Runner of the Year award finished for Paul Melby.

After that broke up sometime after eight, I swung by Team R.E.D. for just a couple of minutes. Then ten of us were getting together to "yack and snack" as we call it at Nancy's house. We haven't gotten to gether for a long time so it was good to see everyone.

Today ... a whole day off, at home ... first time since November I believe. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I baked cookies for the River Runners coming down for Lace-Up on Sunday. There are 12 people particpating from up there. So thankful they are making the trip down and I am looking forward to seeing them.

Oatmeal raisin, Rick and Paul's favorite

Neiman Marcus (m&m/chocolate chip)
I picked up the dippin' stix from Reichel Foods, and picked up the bananas at Kwik Trip last night before R.E.D. Got the Trader Joe's granola bars on Wednesday. Need to try to get some more bananas tomorrow before work as they were one case short.

Got a call at 5:30 from Amy wondering if I'd be up for a spontaneous happy hour. You bet!! So, sans make-up, I headed to the Redwood Room with her. We had martinis and Brussels sprout pizza. DELISH. I had a limoncello martini.

Yikes ...   not a bit of make-up. Sorry.

Amy had a ginger martini.

And our fabulous pizza.

A pretty good week I'd say. I've backed off my mileage this week. I joined the Manic Monday run. And ran 10 on Tues, Wed and Thurs. 2 hours on the Stairmaster Monday. 1 1/2 hour today. My legs have been tired after long hours on my feet and high running mileage last week. Feeling like I've recovered now. But it's going to be soooo cold and windy in the morning. I might get back on the Stairmaster and possibly lift and swim before going to work and do my long run on Sunday afternoon instead.

Numbers are looking very good for Lace-Up. 399 pre-registered for all the events early in the week. I'm guessing there are quite a few more by now. Thank you to everyone running, everyone volunteering and everyone donating. We appreciate all of you!!

Have a great weekend. Stay warm.

Monday, February 6, 2012


What a beautiful weekend ... I had a nice 20.00 mile run on Saturday morning before work. thank you Ken English for running way more than you'd planned to keep me company. Brought me to 83.10 for the week. And that was enough. My legs were trashed by Sunday evening. Standing for 8 hours/day doesn't help. So this morning I got on the Stairmaster for 2 hours which seems to be easier on my legs though it's still quite a workout. I went out to the Bear's Den this evening for Manic Monday, Dan's brainchild. Dan, Mike, Dave, Gail and I ran about 6 miles (I went back out for a couple tenths to get to 6 :-) Beautiful evening for a run. Finally got my snowshoe crew jacket from Tom O'. :-) Another long run next weekend, then it'll be time to taper for Napa Valley.

Eric started a new job at Ameriprise Financial today up in the cities. So happy for him. He moved into a studio apartment in uptown this weekend. Still needs a lot of "stuff", but he'll get there. Happy for him having a decent job, health insurance, a place of his own. Matt is substitute teaching. He taught sixth grade science last week and music this week. A couple of his students last week said he was their "favorite substitue ever". Happy for him too.

Looking forward to having some St. Cloud River Runners come down for Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer this weekend. I promised cookies to every one of them. :-) A few of going to meet at Whistle Binkie's north Saturday evening. All are welcome to join us! Brian thought it would be 7:30 or 8:00 by the time they got there.

Getting my hair cut and highlighted tomorrow. That's ALWAYS a good day. I end the day less gray than I started the day and that's a good thing. :-)

Have a great week!
Ramblin' Renee