Saturday, April 25, 2009

I would like a side of nerves wtth that, please.

Sheffield Half Marathon...13.1 miles full of hills. Eek!

I'm sure everything will be fine. I'm good at hills. But I am super nervous.

I'm afraid I'll get caught up in the whole atmosphere and take off running fast and then I'll get to 10 miles and collapse. How awful.

Or what if I take off too slowly and then I'm hours behind my target time and I cross the finish line crying? Ugh.

I'm sure it will be fine...I hope.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Gave My Sea Legs Backs

I have an unfounded fear of the sea.

I've never had a bad experience in the water. I love lakes and rivers, but the ocean scares the living daylights out of me.

It's so big. The bottom is so far down. It has high tides and low tides. Things like tsunami happen in the ocean. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about living in England because it's an island. Ahhh! Kansas is so safe from the ocean. I can handle tornadoes, floods, and other land based weather phenomenons. But the ocean is more than I can handle.

My in-laws live right on the edge of the sea. They find it hilarious that I am scared of the water. My father-in-law, Chris, loves to sail. His dad was a commander of a naval ship, so the sea is in his blood. It is funny that with my deathly fear of the ocean I married into a family that loves it.

Chris and Dave put the sailboat back together over Easter after it spent the winter in the shed. This meant that we had to have an maiden voyage of 2009 while we were visiting. I force myself to get out on the water despite fearing a tsunami every time I'm out there. My last experience of going out on the water made me seasick for 4 hours after we were back on land, but the weather was calm and Chris assured me that the water was too.

We were out for what seemed like ages. Eva and I engaged in meaningful glances that conveyed our desire to be on land once more, but the boys were oblivious. I gave steering a go which distracted my from my dramatic feeling that I might never walking on land again. My fingers got cold while steering and I couldn't cross them. I feared that this might be permanent if I didn't get to land quickly. Only Eva seemed concerned.

Finally, after 4 1/2 hours of being out on the open water, Dave dropped Eva and I off at the pontoon and we shakily made our way onto stable, wonderful land.

I've decided that though I am losing a bit of fear of the ocean, I don't love it.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I Love Bran Muffins!

This is my new favorite snack! They are amazing right out of the oven and they stay fresh for 3 -4 days.

Classic Bran Muffins (from

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce!)
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 cup fruit or nuts - fresh cranberries are fantastic in this recipe!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk; let stand for 10 minutes.
Beat together oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and add to buttermilk/bran mixture. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, until just blended. Fold in raisins and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Competitive? Nah, I just like to win.

I have always been under the impression that everyone is competitive.

Growing up in a family that cheats at Spoons and having a husband that would chew off his arm to win has led me to believe that this is normal.

As I walk 25 minutes to work everyday, I encounter many of the same people and I play a little game to keep things interesting. I try to pass as many people as possible. Normally, I pass quite a few people. I think this is due to them not understanding that there is a game going on around them, but it might also be because I'm faster.

Every once in a while, I encounter someone who plays the game with me.

Last week is a prime example...

I first caught up to this woman on a flat part of my walk after walking up a long hill. She seemed like someone who would be easy enough to pass and I sped up that little extra to pass her. She must have sensed someone behind her because she sped up as well. I followed right behind her, but this woman was flying! How annoying. Just let me pass you. This is my game! I'm meant to win!

She stayed ahead of me until we reached a crossing and had to stop to wait for the little green man to give us the go ahead. I would have gone before the green man showed up, but there was a lot of traffic. When he did appear, I sped off and made it across the street before her and started down the hill.

Then, to my horror, she passed me!

If she wanted a race, I would give her one.

But she flew down that hill and I couldn't catch up. I walked as fast as my silver flats could carry me, but it wasn't enough to catch her. Luckily, we reached Ecclesall Road and had to stop. I cut across the first lane of traffic while she went to the crosswalk, but we met again in the middle as traffic was too thick to make a run for it before she caught up to me. I was close to work and only had one last hill to beat her. I was ready to race!

I flew across the road and started practically running up the hill. I wasn't looking back. I had to win! It would be a shame to lose at my own game!

When I made it to the top of the hill, I saw her half way down and smiled with satisfaction. I still hurried that last 100 yards to work just in case, but I had won. Hill sprints had finally paid off. Never mind the fact that I arrived at work red in the face - I had beaten her!

I shared my success story with my fellow student support co-workers wanting their congratulations, but found that everyone thought I was the weird one.

It was then I realized that not everyone is as competitive as I am, but maybe they should be.