Just As We Got Going

On the Road

Saturday was the start of our vacation. It was a week long planned trip to not plan a thing. We were packing up all the camping necessities: tents, bags, couple sets of clothes, bathing suits, tubes for floating, bikes for riding, food for eating…. No plans, nothing set in stone, no stress to be somewhere or get anywhere. We had ideas. Matt wanted to ride the trails of Sun Valley.  I wanted to head to Coeur d’Alene in honor of the Head and the Heart.  But we also said, what happens, happens.  If we decide to stop and stay longer somewhere, good.  If it was raining somewhere and we wanted to move on, so be it.  The point was no traveling stress.  It ended up being a good thing since the trip definitely didn’t go as we ever would have imagined, much less planned.

Even the start of the trip, the packing, was approached with a laissez faire attitude.  We didn’t start until Saturday morning and didn’t finally get on the road until almost 4 pm.  Okay, whatever, we will get there eventually.  It was near sunset as we got to our first camping spot at Beaver Creek, about an hour from Sun Valley.

Evening Light

We got in with time to set up camp, make some quick sandwiches for dinner, roast some marshmallows, and hit the sleeping bags.  It was a cold night, a sleepless night, but we woke with excitement.  After warming by the fire (it was easily only 30 degrees when we woke), I finally got the energy to head out on a run.  Again, my goal for training was a hands off approach, come what may… enjoy the run.  Seven miles of beautiful surroundings made that very easy.

The Long Road

I got back and found my 4 little loves, loving camp life.

Pain Pilot

They were playing a game called Pain Pilot in the hammock.  Perry was the pilot and was doling out the pain to any of the riders.  Pain Pilot took a bad turn when the pilot left and the other 3 decided to continue on… things got a bit out of hand and resulted with Marley being thrown off the hammock onto his face.  That was the end of Pain Pilot.

The remainder of the day was to be spent in Ketchum at Sun Valley resort.  Matt wanted to ride the trails.  In the summer hikers, spectators, and mountain bikers can ride the gondolas up to the top and make their way down the mountain.  Cyclists even have a ride for their bikes.  While Matt was off on that awesome adventure, the boys and I rode our bikes on the paths of Ketchum.  The Sawtooth Mountains are really an incredible sight.

Salmon River Sawtooths

That night we feasted on burgers, campfire potatoes, roasted corn, and quick granola with pluots.  Matt had checked the weather when we were in Ketchum (there was no cell service in these remote forest areas) and rain was on the radar for the evening and early morning.  We decided to pack everything up except our tents and bags, and in the morning move onto a new place.  Like I said, just go with the flow.  It was a great plan because nothing got wet.  It was a cold and wet morning, which made just getting the tents packed away a chore.  It was great to not have an entire camp to pack up.

We decided to head to Lowell, Idaho where we could float on the river and ride our bikes, perhaps for the remainder of the trip. It was totally fine to not get to Coeur d’Alene this trip.  Go with the flow.  We headed back towards Boise to do a scenic drive to Lowell through the Boise National Forest, beautiful, grand, remote.  Only an hour from home, a massive doe jumped from a sage bush and before Matt could barely hit the brakes smashed into the drivers edge of the car.  Shook the shit out of the car and most certainly died immediately on impact.  Thankfully we were fine.  Everyone was a bit shaken, sickened at the thought of the poor deer, and saddened because we had to head home.  Luckily, the car was still drivable since we would still be figuring out how to get out of there were it not able to drive home.

It isn’t what we imagined.  It isn’t what we planned.  It isn’t what we wanted.  But we have to feel lucky it was only what it was.  Matt and I very much realize that we all could have easily died.  Deer accidents kill people all the time, especially on highways when you are traveling as fast as we were.  The damage to the car was negligible for all intense purposes.  The trip was shortened, but Matt is still on vacation.  We live in one of the best cities where floating down the river and biking around are all things we can still do all week.  We didn’t plan a staycation, but we are going with the flow and have exciting adventures on the horizon this week.

Ginger Peach Cobbless Dessert

Cobless Peach Cobbler

This is a dessert to satisfy that summer peach cobbler craving, but good for you (and super duper easy…).

What you need:
3 peaches
1 Tbs ginger syrup
1 Tbs lime juice
3 sheets of honey graham crackers
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp crystallized ginger
Start with some perfectly ripe peaches. Or even ones that are getting too ripe to eat, but perfectly sweet for baking.

Ripened

You know a peach is going to be good when it  breaks clean away from the pit.

Clean Off the Pit

I used 3 peaches to make 2 desserts.  I sliced them, placed them in a bowl and poured on some Ginger syrup (I get mine at our Co-op, Whole Foods, or World Market).

Pour On the Ginger

 

I add some lime juice (or you could use lemon) to counter all that sweetness.  It also keeps your fruit from browning. Then I just get in there.  Use your hands and make sure all those slices of peach get covered.

Just Get In There

I set that aside to let all those flavors marry and get started on my crust.  I melt my butter and to it shred up into small pieces the yummy crystallized ginger.

Gingy

The ginger will almost melt into the butter, which is what you want.  There will still be some chunks of ginger, but that gives a nice chew to the crust.  To the butter/ginger mix I add my 3 crushed graham crackers.  I mix and continue to crush them up with a fork.

Crush and Mix

After the crackers are all coated with the butter and ginger, I place them in the bottom of some ramekins or small crocks.  I cook this crust at 400 for about 15 minutes.  It will smell so delicious when it comes out of the oven.

Ginger Graham Goodness

Now you have your first choice to make.  You can simply top with the fresh peaches, like I did. Or you could add the peaches to the crocks and place them back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to cook down some.

The second choice comes now.  You can top your peaches with any number of toppings.  Matt had whipped cream and I had plain Greek yogurt.  Either way it only adds a bit more creamy flavor without the guilt.

Cobless Peach Cobbler

Totals:
265 cal
8.4 fat
48 carbs
2.6 protein

Toppings:
4 Tbs whipped cream
30 calories
2 fat
2 carb
0 protein

2 oz. Fage
25 calories
0 fat
1.8 carb
4.5 protein

Meet Pearl

Oh, Pearl
Closer View

I LOVE this bike.  She is a cargo bike, specifically an Xtracycle.

Xtracycle

I use her more than the car at this point.  This past week I cycled 55 miles. I take Perry everywhere on her.  We go to therapy appointments, grocer’s, outdoor gym, Greenbelt, pool, Guido’s Pizza for lunch…  He rides on the back in the hooptie.

Perry’s View

The beauty is really in the details.  I love all the little parts that make her unique.

Mud Flap
Take a Seat
Kick Back … Relax
Pedal Along

I especially love my little personal touches, like my bike bag given to me by my friend Kyla.

Bike Bag

And my Smith helmet is super stylin’.

Smith Does More Than Sunglasses

Even her shadow is pretty.

Pretty Little Shadow

There’s Good Races and There’s Bad Races

Where’s My Medal?

Dear (Very Poorly Prepared) Race Directors,

Just because we are running a “women’s” race does not mean that we want our medals replaced with charm bracelets.  This is a race, not a pandora party.  Maybe I’m just bitter because your efforts were spent securing costume jewelry instead of properly marking the course.  Still there is something a little insulting about our prize being more geared towards our gender, than towards our athletic endeavors.  Eh, I’m sure I just would have liked to stand on that podium and collect my garmin prize instead of wallowing in the 3 minute detour adventure due to your unmarked course that cost me that spot.  Even more I really would have liked to have an idea of my race time.  Hopefully next year you’ll have your priorities figured out.
                            Signed,
                               Not Charmed

I ran a half marathon this morning.  It wasn’t a goal race.  I didn’t taper.  My legs felt heavy from the warm up.  But I wanted to run this race hard.  My goal race is in September and follows a similar route.  This was a great race to see where I was at and how far I had to go.  I busted a gut at this race, used strategy to better my time and my place in the race.  I knew the top 5 finishers were prize winning places.  I raced to attempt to grab a garmin and some other running schwag.  Half way through I was passed by a very fast lady.  She was very gracious and commented on how well I was running, but then zipped off into oblivion.  She ended up snagging 3rd.  But I didn’t let that effect me.  I kept telling myself to run my own race.

It was a lonely race.  Only 41 women ran the half marathon and there were basically 0 spectators.  That alone makes for a difficult race.  But I was excited to race hard and put my strongest foot forward.  And I did.  Every time I wanted to slow, I told myself that I had to keep pushing.  Everything was going great until we hit a T in the road.  Tons of runners were to the right, but my gut said go to the left.  I should have listened to my gut instead of the woman running the 5K who said the finish was to the right.  I got a minute and a half down the path when another woman said, “Are you doing the 10K?  Turn back the finish line is the other way.”  I stop and tell her I’m in the half and she says she thinks the finish for everyone is the other way.  “SHIT!”  Back down the path I run.  I can now look at my Garmin map and see I lost a full 3 minutes on that little unmarked course detour.  Obviously I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t tell where to go.  To top it all off, it was such a buzz kill.  It completely demotivated me.  I had lost my lead on the woman behind me, but led her in the right direction.  I gave up.  I mean, I did I still run my ass off to the end.  However, the flow had been interrupted and I knew my race time would not truly reflect my ability.  It sucked.  As I approached the 13 mile marker, I hit the gas.  It was time to kick in to the end.  But the end never came.  That marker was a good 1/3 mile from the finish.  I about threw up and had to slow because I had kicked it too far back.  The final kick in the ass was that they had these sensors out from the finish.  A girl was standing there and I stopped a second time, thinking it was the finish.  The girl told me to keep going and I had to round the bend to the real finish line. Let the record show that I was not the only one to do this.  I cheered on another girl who did the exact same thing.  I, then, got to give her the great news that she still had more to run.  What a debacle.

I’m pissed.  I wanted to know what I could run this in.  My time was 1:42:48.  I would have been under 1:40 if I would have been on a properly marked course.  I also would have placed 5th.  It would have been close, 5th was 1:40:10, but I look at my Garmin recording and I have more than 3 minutes of time that should not have occurred.  I was so upset afterwards.  Just disappointed.  I laid it out there and not a time to show for it.  I know what you’re thinking… ‘Amy, you should have prepared yourself and been familiar with the course.’  I agree.  And I would have, HAD THERE BEEN A COURSE MAP AVAILABLE.  However, there was no course map on their website, no course map at packet pick up, all we got were verbal instructions a minute before the gun went off.  The whole thing is ridiculous.  But then I got this in the mail…

Results Book

The Boston Marathon 2015 Official Finishers Certificate and Results Book.  My name will forever be attached to that time honored race.  It reminds me that there are going to be great race directors, good race directors, and subpar race directors.  Today it was subpar.  Maybe they will improve in the coming years.  I have no idea.  But I walked away from this race not happy with the racing experience.  I needed this little book to remind me what running a well oiled race is like.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t have to be HUGE, like Boston.  But when race directors get it right, racing is so fun.  The joy of running washes over you.  Thank you to all the excellent race directors out there.

A New Decade

As the years progress, the castle cake and village becomes more and more refined. I expect true masterpieces in the coming decade.

Villagers
The Castle Gets More Refined Each Year

With this birthday,
We begin…

A new decade of excitement
A new decade of fun
A new decade of wild
A new decade my son

A new decade of want
A new decade of try
A new decade of need
A new decade my guy

A new decade of whisper
A new decade of scream
A new decade of sarcasm
A new decade my dream

A new decade of sass
A new decade of joy
A new decade of jest
A new decade my boy

A new decade of like
A new decade of glee
A new decade of love
A new decade my B

Go Get ‘Em

Happy Birthday my sweet second baby!

Front Street

Retreat

Driving down Front Street
Not thinking of the past
All of a sudden I’m wrenched
Heart squeezed, ready to pop

Like Wile E. Coyote
Chasing after the Roadrunner
Suddenly smashed by a boulder
We could watch that on a loop

It can happen that quick
I can be a broken soul
Driving down Front Street
Suddenly smashed by a boulder

I tell myself we had grown apart
Insisting to my heart
No reason for all the anguish
We just weren’t close anymore

I had lost you, the one you were
Like when Stimpy lost Ren forever
He still looked like the old Ren
But no longer Ren, in the true sense

You were no longer you
But that doesn’t erase the you that was
The you that for 30 years
I admired, respected, idolized

I don’t miss the you that had become
The angry, unpleasant version of you
The argumentative and depressed you
The one whose last days were your last days

But I so deeply miss the you of before
The you who could make me laugh so deeply
The you who knew how to needle me
The you that was there the day I was born

The you that kicked me in the stomach
As I proclaimed your innocence to Fran
Knowing we were only playing
I just wanted you to keep playing

The you who made me cry as I grabbed my tongue
Three rooms over and down the stairs
While you were up the stairs and three rooms over
Crying, having actually bit your tongue

The you that stayed up with me
Riding out a bad trip, playing Saga
Reassuring me those bees were real
Not a hallucination

The you that even at your darkest
Wanted to protect me and shield my baby boys
The boys who you hadn’t properly met
Yet put everything on the line for them

So, as I retreat to my childhood swing
Thinking of the two yous
Trying to brush off my heartache
I embrace missing you