Friday, June 29, 2012


This past Saturday, I was a tad early for my 7:00 a.m. group run.  While I was waiting, I tried to catch up on my Words with Friends games.  I burst out laughing when it showed my opponent's last word played: L-A-Z-Y.  Why did I laugh?  Because I was meeting people at 7 in the morning to run 7 miles, hurry home to load up the Jeep only to go paddle the Dan River for 9 more miles.

This weekend, we are heading to the mountains on a hiking trip (that may or may not produce another post, consider yourself warned), and who knows how many miles they have planned for me then!  But, since I wasn't going to be here this weekend, I had to rearrange my week to get everything in; including all my training workouts.  So, I biked and ran Tuesday morning, biked and swam Wednesday night, and then yesterday, I was out on the roads at 5:30 a.m. to get in an 8 mile run.  A much needed run since it's my last long training run before the Boilermaker next weekend.

What's funny is that I've always considered myself "lazy".  Still do.  I don't always get my housework done.  I don't always get my homework done.  I don't always cross off my to-do's on my daily list.  If you were to ask me why, I would probably say, "I guess I was just lazy."

And then I was talking to a very close and special friend of mine.  Someone who happens to be one of the biggest over-achievers known to the universe, who takes on more than she should but ALWAYS gets it all done to a higher standard than most of us would consider.  She called herself lazy.  Which made me go BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

And then it got me thinking.

Folks.  If you're like me, you schedule 70hrs worth of things to do in a day (okay, slight exaggeration but you get my point!)

Just because we don't get everything we "think" should get done in 24 hrs, just because sometimes we opt to do something that we enjoy instead of work that needs to be done, just because we may take a day off from the everyday crap we have to deal with does NOT mean we are lazy.

It means we are human.

It means that we care enough about ourselves to make sure we take the time to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

And the next time you start to use the "L" word....cut yourself some slack!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Food for Thought: Cilantro Cucumber Salad

Me and the hubs were grilling out one night, and I was trying to come up with a refreshing side item that did not involve mayonnaise or pasta.  I wanted something refreshing, something light; and then I found this.  It is a perfect filler, and for those like me who want a "guilt free" filler option to add to a meal, it is PERFECT.  Especially during these hot southern summer days.  Did I also mention that it is RIDICULOUSLY easy??

I wasn't sure if cucumbers had any real nutritional value, but some sites like this one say they are high in potassium and magnesium, two nutrients I know that some of us don't get enough in our diets.  Cucumbers are also very low in sodium, have no cholesterol and are low fat.  Plus, they're a good way to supplement hydration since they have a high water content.

As it stands, this recipe is enough for two people.  So, if you have a larger family or plan on bringing this to a potluck cookout, you might want to double or triple the recipe.  AND DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE CHILI POWDER.  I promise you that it does NOT add heat, only compliments the flavor.  I was afraid of the chili powder but decided to go on a culinary adventure and was glad I did.

Without further ado, I bring to you today's installment of Food for Thought:  Cilantro Cucumber Salad.

2 cucumbers
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Hope's Note:  I've found that one lime yields about 2 Tbsp of juice.  Helpful tidbit when you're trying to make your grocery list!

1.  Peel cucumbers, slice lengthwise into quarters, and cut into 1 inch pieces; place in large bowl.
2.  Sprinkle with lime juice, chili powder, and salt; toss.  
3.  Toss with cilantro.
4.  Refrigerate until chilled.

Yields about 2.5-3 servings 

Nutritional Info:
Per serving (Hope's Note: 1c'ish?)
26 Calories, .3g fat, 0mg cholesterol


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A weekend recap and a look ahead

So, this past weekend, I decided to run in a local 4-miler race.  Our local coffee shop, Summit Coffee (best coffee shop EVER), has gathered some sponsors like New Balance and New Belgium Brewing Co and put together a race series this year to benefit local organizations.  Last Friday was the Summit Solstice, benefiting Our Town's Habitat for Humanity.  A challenging course to say the least, with some rolling hills, some serious up and downers getting in and out of the college's cross country trails; and the almost always and infamous uphill finish behind the town green.  Jyl was out of town, so Graham and I braved it on our own, without our fearless leader.

I don't have much to say to recap the race.  It was hot.  It was hard.  It was hilly.  It was cool to run in the company of an Olympian (read local news recap here.  Hubby actually got his picture made enjoying the show.  He's in the top picture, all the way to the left in the orange!).

But the after party with the band Cast Iron Filter, beer from New Belgium (Fat Tire, please!) and the best damn slice of "real" pizza I've had in THREE years, made it all worthwhile.  Here are a couple pics to prove I was there!

quoting gentleman that took the picture:
"Just think - if  4 miles is this much fun - 26 will be awesome."
Funny man, that one.
Me and Graham, after the finish, right before the pizza.

Saturday found me with hubby doing a little hike around Latta Nature Preserve with a packed lunch on the trail by the lake.  The day was followed by an evening adventure into the big city with a nice dinner and KICK ASS bread pudding dessert with apples and caramel and vanilla ice cream.  Shut yo mouth tasty good!  We capped off the evening with a latte of the day (hazelnut, yum) at Summit where the Vel-Crows were playing.  I missed what I like to call the "Hey Baby Rock Me Song", or what normal people call Wagonwheel, but all was good.  I did get to see my buddy, The Sockless Runner, play and sing a few before I had to turn in for my beauty sleep.

Yes.  We. Ate. It. All.
Sunday was group run day where lots of fun, laughs, conversation and coffee post-run were had.  GREAT TIMES!  The only thing missing?  Was Jyl :(

BUT, don't be sad folks, she's back in town after a wonderful trip with her family.  We celebrated by a no-holds-barred sushi bonanza.  It was so off the hook that, of course, I had to take a picture.  Now, don't be jealous, but damn was it good.

So, after the lattes, the sushi....the bread puddings, we are back on track and looking ahead.  In about two and a half weeks, I'll be heading to Central New York to run in my first Boilermaker Road Race 15K with my nephew and sister-in-law.  We designed shirts....It's going to be crazy!

Yet, after last Friday's race, I'm doubting my ability to tackle this 4mile uphill that awaits me at the start of the Boilermaker.  But, slow and steady, healthy happy, right?  We'll get through it.  Somehow we always do, don't we?  The magic of determination and desire always makes you marvel at what you can truly accomplish when you toe up to the line.

I'll let you know how it ends  :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Doing Life" in Charlotte!

Some of my friends know that I've been following blogger extraordinaire, Ben Davis, for well over a year now.  If you don't know of Ben, I highly recommend you remedy that RIGHT THIS INSTANT and visit him at AND watch the video of his 120 Pound Journey.  Great stuff.

Ben, his father, John "Pa" Davis, and brother Jed, founded the Do Life Movement.  What is Do Life?  Well, I'm going to let their website tell you:  "Do Life is the idea that life doesn't have to be ordinary or inconsequential.  The idea that, through running, racing and doing these things together, we can find and spread happiness."

I love these men.  I love what they are trying to do and I love their openness, honesty and humor.  They are my daily dose of inspiration, and without even knowing, they each helped me get to where I am today.  They kept me going when I didn't think I could and pushed me further when I thought I had done enough.  And they make me laugh.  A LOT!

Anyway, the Do Life crew (minus Jed, whom I'm REALLY sorry I couldn't meet) made their way to Charlotte yesterday, the last stop of the first leg of the 2nd Official Unofficial Do Life 5K Tour.  It's a time for all of us to come together, run/walk a 5K and celebrate what we've accomplished and what we will accomplish.  As Ben says, everyone has a story.  I say, inspiration is all around us if you just take a second to listen and witness it.

I have this familiar, this comfort zone where I don't venture more than 2 exits away from my little town.  And I really don't do well with meeting new people (stranger danger!!).  But Ben and Pa were going to be in Charlotte.  What was I going to do?  I couldn't miss meeting my heroes!  So, I had to put on my big girl panties and deal with leaving my 2 exit radius AND meet Ben and Pa and more strangers....  So, with sweaty palms and all, I did what any self-respecting weeny baby would do.  I made Jyl go with me, and we met up with our friend Graham!

We met Ben and Pa, I did talk (say a few words) to a couple of other people; we ran and then we headed to Bruegger's Bagels for a snack and some more chat.  I do regret that I couldn't bring myself to talk to Ben and Pa more; to thank them for what they did for me and ask them more meaningful questions than "what has been your favorite cities to visit" (For Dirty Dancing fans out there, you can equate this to: "I carried a watermelon").  I regret not getting to know the fellow Do-Lifers in the area.  BUT, to look on the bright side, I was able to venture from my town without too much difficulty, did shake the hands of some amazing men, had a fun morning with two great friends and the best damn cup of coffee I've had in a while!  Maybe next time I might even be able to talk to people?

Here are some photos of the best Sunday morning EVER!

Jyl and Graham...they're happy I made them come!

The Three Amigos!

Jyl, Ben Davis and Yours Truly

Jyl and I, action shot.
Yes, I took this while running and I didn't even hurt myself.
BUT, Jyl may have stepped in goose poop.

Me and John "Pa" Davis.  I LOVE THIS MAN!
And I hope he didn't mind that I called him Pa....

I cannot tell you enough just HOW HAPPY this
cup of coffee made me.....
not to mention the sea salt bagel with smoked salmon....
(starting to drool from the memory of the absolute deliciousness of it all)