6 Mile Ouch

20 08 2014

Went trail running again last weekend and somehow eked out 4 miles of running and another 2 of hiking back and realized only a day after the fact that maybe I wasn’t prepared for that kind of workout. And thus, half a week off running. I have the benefit of getting home early three out of two days, but will not be making much progress toward my 15-mile-a-week goal this time around. Just as well.

In other news, am doing little more than picking at the piano and reading book 6 of the Harry Potter collection; because while I do have better (and more creative) things to be doing with my time, I’d really rather spend this week on my tush in various comfy chairs.

Professional days Thursday and Friday allow myself and my fellow teachers to enjoy two days of presentations and classroom cleanup (sarcasm, there is nothing fun about either of these things) before the tedium of the fall semester begins. I find myself a little less enthusiastic about it than I was earlier, since a revamp in the lineup of teachers has made it so I am not, in fact, working with my friend, but with a woman who knows as much about toddlers as I do, apparently. I have the background of a few months being a primary caretaker for the general group, but even with my presence, the transition is proving to be difficult.

I’m figuring things will pan out and go smoothly by right around Christmas break.

Whatever. Look at some excellent cross stitches other people have done here: enhanced-buzz-14912-1404733367-4

Billy Goat Trail

13 08 2014

Phoenix is in town this week, and so Sunday he and I went on a scramble along the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls National Park in Maryland.





Lead Teacher

6 08 2014

babyreadsSo it happened. Six months into the gig, I’m no longer the substitute teacher in a position that’s about as steady and reliable as a pinto. I’m the lead afternoon teacher in the fall lineup of staffers! And have been all summer long, though no one bothered to tell me! Hah. Whatever; a raise is nothing to complain about, though now I’m fully responsible for the little terrors who are at that age when the ground and knees get really friendly.

No worries, though. Blood I can handle!

In other news, friend is coming up from Baton Rouge and I might have him do a scramble jog with me at Great Falls this Sunday. That’s always a fun time. The Billy Goat Trail has something like a 40 ft rock climb that’s more or less vertical. I wonder if I can run the whole thing…

No art or needlework lately. Been running and binge reading Harry Potter for the past month. Whoops?

Agent Orange and The Pirate 5k

30 07 2014

Way way back I mentioned I was running a 5k on the 12th of July, and so I did. I did it in about 35 minutes, which, considering I’m still fabulously out of shape, was pretty darn good for a first run. The ‘running team’ (which was a friend, Liz, and myself) both wore orange, and we drove up in my orange car. And so the name got started, now for races, another I run with and who wishes to wear the color can join Team Agent Orange. It’s more an awareness group that’s coming into being as a thought I entertain while driving to and from work between the moments of sheer terror of the other drivers and oncoming projectiles.

Took a week off from running, but am now back on it, logging a walk/jog during my half hour break at work, push ups, sit ups, and another mile or two at night whenever I get home from work. No visible results yet, though swinging toddlers around has gotten a lot easier. Kudos for arm strength, na?

I hope to have abs and an awareness for the team to be aware of by the fall/winter holidays. Just in time to binge eat and learn all about the joys of sub-zero running.


Kayaking for Perspective

18 06 2014

If you read any running magazine, you’ll hear the term ‘cross training’ at least once or twice per issue. But it isn’t just doing innumerable sit ups or weights, which, at least to me, can get old really fast no matter how nice the music is. There are so many other sports you can incorporate into your fitness routine, and better yet, fun weekending plans. If it’s hot and you’re a swimmer, hit the pool, or if you’re a hiker who loves leaf viewing in the fall, grab those hiking boots and hit the trails. Or, if you’re like me and happen to have a brand spanking new kayak, head down to the river and get paddling.IMG_20140614_095535049

And that’s what I did not once, but twice in the one day I had on the river before being packed up and reminded that, oh yes, I do happen to have a job and responsibilities…and laundry. For having been out of it most of last week (too busy and distant to hit the gym to train and too zonked at the end of the day to want to bother), it was a wonderful change of pace and really helped me fall back into my fitness groove, it seems, for the rest of the week.

For instance, I was concerned with speedwork for most of the past four or five weeks, as well as outdoor training, as a prep for the 5k race in July. The thermometer here in Maryland is already regularly soaring and I’m still the cool-weather-loving chick who’ll wilt at the very idea of sunshine. But for all that I achieved a bunch, like beating my personal best to get to a 9.12 minute mile, losing five pounds of unnecessary weight, gaining a lot more in muscle, and running outside without collapsing, my endurance tanked, and getting to only two miles was a trial each and every time I got on the treadmill. Running wasn’t enjoyable; it was work, and that wasn’t what I was doing this for. The goal for the race was and still is to simply get through it, to start and finish and do as well as I could despite less than ideal conditions, not to beat a certain time or make a personal best. This is the first race, after all, and the only competition I was identifying was against my unmitigated laziness that was still telling me to get back on the couch.

So I took today easy and aimed not for a best time, not even a good time, but just to get from mile 0 to mile 4 and stop only because I wanted to, not because I needed to. So as the best marathoners will tell you, I started at a pace that felt, after weeks of running full out, insanely slow, and kept it slow. And you know what? I made the four miles with a smile and probably could have kept going to five without a problem. So I’ll pat myself on the back tonight and couch surf it with Game of Thrones and call it a good job.

Next week I’m aiming for five miles at an easy pace.

Care Packages and Box Turtles

11 06 2014

This and last week have been absolute madness. I’m told it’s like this every year before summer begins for schools: all planning, coordinating, cleaning and so on. And then, quite randomly, we had a box turtle come visit us.


So that’s why we’re delayed.


Folks were out again last weekend and I got it into my mind to make a care package for a friend in the Navy. Or rather, to bake brownies and make sure I didn’t eat the entire pan. What wasn’t sent out west was taken to work Monday morning and lasted maybe two hours there before being devoured by our ravenous teachers. While I’d tweak the recipe a bit next time (i.e. remove the foil so I’m not picking it out of my dang brownies while trying to eat them), overall they were a good choice.

The oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I was not so fond of. Too much cinnamon and too little oatmeal, maybe. It made for a soft cookie, but not to my taste. Then again, I’m more a sugar cookie girl.IMG_20140607_124008148_HDR

Recipes are here:

Fudge Caramel Brownies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Will be out of town next weekend, so probably no posting. Or maybe something with pictures of me falling out of the kayak. Who knows?


Soup and Silence

31 05 2014

IMG_20140529_184549540_HDRMade soup while the folks were out. This is the recipe, with slight modifications. All I gotta say is, pared with some french bread, it’s really good. Looks pretty too.

Made chicken korma, too, but it wasn’t as good. The potato wedges were, however. Made with this recipe with old bay instead of paprika.

Other than that…Just been fretting over the dog and trying to keep to a training regimen. Been having a lot of trouble getting back up to running 3.1 miles and I’m not sure why. I thought it was allergies, but even indoor runs are proving difficult.

Beth Morris

A second year student studying Fine Art at Cardiff Met

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