Saturday, August 31, 2013

Go Hokies!

I almost never watch tv until football season. I think this will be a rough year - certainly a rough start v. Alabama...  Still, I am forever a Hokie.
And I love these guys even if they don't update as much as they used to. 
You can't beat their optimism. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Almost met my summer reading goal

I finished Radical last week when I was home with my family.  I read some of the reviews on GoodReads which questioned Platt's theology, but I felt their assessments were unfair and that they were reading with too critical an eye and not enough understanding.  I have been learning a lot with this book and Multiply (by Francis Chan) and The Story about the bigger picture of God's plan and where we (I) fit into it. It makes sense that I was created to give God glory in everything I do. It's not easy, however. I really like, too, that Platt gives practical steps to take to begin living a Radical life and encourages making a commitment to them for a year:
1. Pray for the entire world
2. Read the entire word
3. Sacrifice your money for something specific
4. Spend your time in another context
5. Commit to a multiplying community (the church)
 Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream   -     
        By: David Platt

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Speed work

I have to say that I'm excited to find my speed workouts are actually helping to make me faster. I was running 9 minute miles (or just a little under) and I was getting frustrated. When I was training last summer for the half marathon, my speed was closer to 8:30 miles. So I decided to push myself.

Last Saturday, I did what's called a magic mile.  I went to the UVA track and warmed up with 2 laps. Then I ran 4 laps really pushing myself. I managed to run them in 7:18.  Then I rounded out the workout with 6 more laps for a total of 3 miles.  I was proud of my time (assuming my stopwatch is right).

Then I had to run one of my workouts on the treadmill since it was dark out at the time I could fit in my run. I hate running on the treadmill, so to keep it interesting I ran a half mile at 6.5 mph and increased the speed by .1 every 2 minutes until 7.5. I kept it at that speed until 3 miles, then increased by .1 every 2 minutes until the last half mile which I ran at 6.5 (total of 4 miles).

After all that work, this week's long run (8 miles) was run at an average pace of 7:49 (if the MapMyRun app got it right)! I'm pleased with the signs of improvement!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Learning to love cooking

I think it's a combination of the influence of friends and pinterest and a lot of free time that has allowed me to experiment with, and now love, cooking. I love that I can find a recipe on pinterest and create something that tastes good and that I can't wait to eat! I am finding some favorites that I want to repeat and hopefully share with others.  Saturday night I went to Starry Nights at Veritas Winery and danced and listened to some great music. I took sourdough bread (homemade) and roasted red pepper hummus (store bought) to share.

Sunday was shopping day and my projects consisted of making ice cream (with chocolate pudding mix and oreos!) and a compost bin.
Hopefully I can create some really healthy dirt for my potted plants.

On Monday night, I picked up an extra shift and I had to prepare food for the work week. I had potatoes and onions and squash and cucumbers from the week's produce delivery so with the purchase of a few extra items I recreated my corn salad (corn, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper), made sourdough french toast for breakfast (egg, milk, and cinnamon),

and had crockpot potato soup
and squash casserole for dinner.

The squash casserole is a repeat of a recipe I made when Michael was here. It's good. The potato soup also turned out really good. It will be my midnight lunch for my work shifts this week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One more book complete

 Front Cover
I finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter.  The writing is very good, but I agree with the reviews of friends who were disappointed with the ending. There is so much sadness in the book and then one of the main characters dies leaving so much unresolved.  The book just kind of comes to an end without any obvious conclusion.  I found the distance between the characters to be reflected in my own life as I read the book. It made me feel distant from the ones I love. I think I need to start reading more upbeat books!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Flour and yeast

I had time last Saturday to spend cooking. I made my favorite sourdough recipe in the morning, pitas for egg salad at lunch, and a stromboli from the PICU cookbook for dinner. 

Only one pita turned out exactly like it was supposed to.  I need to flour my surfaces a little better next time.

The stromboli was HUGE! Michael complains about how bready it is, but I happen to like bread, so to me it tastes great!

 Michael also made me an omlette before work one night this week.  So many colors of fresh food! Yum!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm a runner.

I had to tell myself this statement over and over when I first started. Without it, I always wanted to quit.  Now I'm training for my second 10 mile race (the Army Ten Miler to take place in October) and I've been running for 6+ years.  Unfortunately, I feel like I've slowed down. For my last race (the Richmond Half Marathon in Nov), I was getting 8:30 miles in while I was training.  Now I average around 9 minute miles. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I worry it's because I was running with someone slower than me for a while - he improved, I slowed down. I need to get out and run with someone faster to push myself. I definitely need to get in some speed workouts and I've never figured out how to work weight training into my running schedule.  I mostly aim to run about 4 days a week while just walking the dog the other 3.  Trying to balance training and life can be a challenge, but it's worth it! Running helps keep my emotions (which are wild enough) on a more even keel. I feel healthier and better about myself when I'm running regularly.

This morning's 7 mile run was brutal. The humidity has been killer the past few runs, even without super elevated temperatures.  I've never been one to run with water, but I might need to start taking some on these long runs.  I took the dog for the first mile then brought him back home and ran the next 3 miles up to work (the hospital) and back.  There are some nasty hills between here and there. Some days they seem easier than others. Today's run was a rough one.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crabtree Falls

I can't believe how quickly time gets away from me. I am behind on posting and so much has happened!  Back in July (the last Monday), Michael, Hokie and I hiked Crabtree Falls. It was one of these unseasonably cool days (even cooler in the mountains) and we had a great hike! (Pictures below):

Monday, August 5, 2013


This past weekend I saw The Great Gatsby at the $1.50 theater in Charlottesville. I felt as if it had so much potential and it just didn't quite live up to it.  The movie was somewhat familiar with a Moulin Rouge feel, and with good music I think it could have been as powerful.  The acting was decent. I love Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey McGuire was ok.  Michael's initial impression was that Nick's role should have been played by Ewan McGregor, although Tobey had grown on him by the end.  Carey Mulligan was lovely.  Still, I was disappointed with the movie after viewing such flashy previews.

 This quote in the movie made both Michael and I giggle:

“Thirty--the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Friday, August 2, 2013

So proud of what I do