Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kim & Lauren are Moving

I've decided to move the "Kim & Lauren" posts, about our upcoming half marathon adventure at Disneyland, over to my other blog, PositivelyVegan. I think it's a better fit, and I hope you'll head over there right this minute and sign up to Follow By Email, "Like" me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or "Join This Site." PV is growing and taking on a life of its own, and I'd love a nice big audience to go along with it. You don't have to be vegan to enjoy a good meal, or to learn something new. Come on over and see what's cooking. We're having fun!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kim and Lauren - Post #13

We have no Lauren again this week. She's having too much fun, and I'm not going to be the one to pin her down to homework when there are so many other things she can be doing. She's still in the race, and she's still training. My girl is doing great, so you're stuck with me for now...

There's no such thing as time. I know this. That doesn't stop me from sort of obsessively timing my morning runs. In my own defense, I want to know how I'm doing, so I'm at least pretty sure I can finish the race in the alloted time frame. I want to finish that race. So I think it's a good idea to keep track of my progress, so I can push harder gradually, as I go, rather than freaking out in the last three weeks because I'm too slow to finish.

It make sense to me, but maybe I'm wrong... It seems every time I go out to set a personal best, I'm delayed by everything from malfunctioning gadgets, to road work, to cute little puppies that just make me stop and pet them. This morning I had the puppies, fresh, loose gravel, fierce wind, and an interval timer that went berserk after about ten minutes, and wouldn't stop buzzing. I carried it for about a mile, like a big, cranky purple bumble bee, and then tossed it in my driveway, where I'll probably leave it until its battery runs down. 

I finished the rest of my 6 mile jaunt more or less on my own. I still had PodRunner on my phone, to help keep up a brisk pace, but soon the frantic techno drone began to annoy me. I shut it off and turned on some of my own music, and kept going. At first I thought it would be good to run as long as I could, and then walk until I felt rested. Well that didn't work because I tend to relax into the walk, look at the scenery (this is Taos), and forget to start running again. To be honest, I really prefer walking. 

Eventually I compromised with myself. I estimated 30 seconds of running to 30 seconds of walking, and to my surprise, I was able to trot along comfortably for over a mile. I still stopped to pet the puppies, and when I got home I stepped over the buzzing timer and ignored the clock in the house. I think I'll be fine, as long as I just keep going. If letting puppies and beautiful scenery slow me down a few seconds is a bad thing, well, it's a bad thing I can handle.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kim and Lauren - Post #12


It took me a week to catch my breath after the big Seattle trip. This week I came up with a new, more serious, training schedule, and then just to make sure I stay motivated, I signed up for a 5K next month. What? Well, sure, why not? I mean it sounds like a big deal, bit it's just a smidge over 3 miles - 3.1 to be exact - and I do that twice a week already, with a longer run on Fridays. I think it will be good to do a "real" race before the half marathon, and besides, it's for a good cause. It's being put on by the local hospital, which I avoid like... well, like a hospital. But in this case, all the money raised goes to people in the community who are dealing with cancer, not just for medical stuff, but for things like groceries, bills, daycare, and other everyday things. While I refuse to "run for cancer" (what we fight, we feed, and what we focus our attention on gets stronger), I'm more than happy to run for people! That's where my attention is in this. You can lend your support if you like, by making any size donation on my page at the For The Health Of It website.

So to get all this done without embarrassing myself, I've kicked the training into a slightly higher gear. I imagine I'll keep making adjustments, but this week it goes like this: Monday and Wednesday - run 3 miles plus swim aerobics. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, walk 1.5 miles with Rick (he needs to get out there too, but doesn't want to run). Friday is my "long run" day. I think I'll go 4.5 miles this week, like I did last week, and if I feel good at that point, I'll go around the block again, making it 6 miles. The goal is to add a little bit every week.

The other thing I'm working on is the run-to-walk ratio. I'm just not a great runner, but I'm better than I was in February, when I started this! I always say I'm "going out for a run," but right now it's more accurately a "walk/run," which means I'm walking more than I'm running. I have an interval timer I can set to beep at whatever times I want. This week I'm at 1 minute, 10 seconds running, and 3 minutes walking. I keep inching the running time up and the walking time down, and eventually, when I'm able to run at least as much as I walk, it will become a "run/walk" instead of a walk/run. Whether or not I can hit that point by the 5K on June 16 remains to be seen.

OK - that's all I have for now. It's time to go to water aerobics, where I just do the best I can. Doing' my best here, just doin' my best.


Nothing from Lauren this week. I think she's too busy running to do any writing. I'll try to get her back next week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My First 5K

In preparation for the half-marathon I'm doing in September, I've just signed up for a 5K here in Taos. I think it will be fun to see what a real race is like, it's getting me to focus on the training a bit more, and besides, it's for a good cause. All the money raised is going to actual humans who are dealing with cancer, to help them with everyday needs and expenses. I can get behind that!

The For The Health Of It 5K is on June 16, and I'm on my friend, Sue Williford's team, the Prima Divas. We can use more team members! The entry fee is only $35, and you can sign up here. We'd love to have you!

And if you can't run/walk with us, but would like to support us in making a positive difference in real people's lives, donations can be made either on Sue's page, or on mine. Thanks so much! Here's to your good health!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Back to it

I've been home for a week. The laundry is done. Several meals have been cooked. Friends have been seen. Herbs have been planted. It's time to get back to business, but maybe not quite as usual.

My preference would be to spend my days in the kitchen, inventing, perfecting, photographing, learning, sharing. My reality hasn't quite caught up to that yet though, so today I plan to sit myself down at the torch and see what comes of it. I took an unpaid month off of work, and I need to replenish the bank account. I'll keep the love in the beads, of course, but the bigger part of my heart is now in the kitchen. I used to want to decorate everyone I met. Now I want to feed them. It's kind of like decorating from the inside out.

I think I'll be putting less time into this blog, and more into PositivelyVegan. We have to do what makes our hearts sing as much as possible. That's how the truly Good Work gets done, because it's inspired by something greater than ourselves. Even if you're a devoted meat eater, I hope you'll follow me over there, because I bet you also eat vegetables now and then, and you might find something new and delicious to add to your own table.

Training for the half marathon also starts again today, with a fun and kickass water aerobics class. I'll be talking more about the nutritional part of the training over at PV, because I know the idea of a vegan "athlete," if you could call me that, is pretty foreign to a lot of people.

Carry on, my friends, and I'll have some new beads for you later this week.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Postcards From the Road - Santa Cruz, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon, and Home

This is the last post from our trip - and what a trip it's been. I was just too busy to get to it the last few days, so here's the final batch of pictures. Enjoy!

The second day in San Jose, where I grew up, was spent in Santa Cruz, where I spent a lot of time in my high school years, when I should have been in class...

I always love a day at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Lunch with Dad and my sisters, Linda and Jill. 

Walking and talking on the beach.

We like each other. It's nice.

And then there are the birds...
I did a little cooking that night, and taught Linda how to make spring rolls and nori rolls. We had fun!

Read more about our cooking adventure on PositivelyVegan.
After a too short visit with my family, Rick and I headed for Las Vegas, where we met up with an old high school friend, Paul Graham. Paul writes the terrific blog, Eating Vegan In Vegas, so he was the perfect person to tell us all the best places to eat.

We started at a food truck. No kidding. There was a health fair going on in town, and this round up of food trucks at the "Brooklyn Bridge" in front of the New York, New York casino featured some delightful vegan options.

This was great comfort food for two weary travelers.

We must have been dreaming of home. This southwest pocket was perfectly spicy and gooey.

Here I am, with Paul and Rick, at one of the Wynn's magically beautiful garden areas.

Dessert at the Red Velvet Cafe... oh my... Everything is vegan, and a fraction of the fat and calories of "regular" desserts. Seriously, you would never know these aren't loaded with butter and sugar. Do pay them a visit if you get the chance.
The next morning we decided to take Paul's advice, and drive over to Pura Vida for breakfast. We were so glad we did. We ended up ordering extra food to take with us, know that the vegan pickings are slim at the Grand Canyon, our next stop.

I instantly fell in love with the humble, non-glitzy location and decor of Pura Vida..

Inside, everything was happy and spotless.

The food was just wonderful. Generous portions, filled with love.

Our server Cindy (left), and Chef Mayra took excellent care of us. Next time you find yourself in Vegas, take a break from the glitter and refuel at Pura Vida.

Armed with to-go boxes of good Pura Vida treats, we scooted on down the road, destination, Grand Canyon, one of my favorite places on the whole big world.

I'm always happy here.

Stupid people are allowed to fall off the rim. This is not Disneyland, and there are no lifeguards in the Gene Pool.

We took an "accidental" 7.5 mile hike along the rim. It was too beautiful to turn back, or to hop on the bus for part of the trip, as we'd intended. The Canyon changes with every step, and every breath. The only way to really see it is to take your time and just be with it.

On day three, we finally saw five California Condors. I was about to give up on seeing them this trip, and suddenly, there they were. There's just something about a big, graceful, ugly-beautiful bird with a nine-foot wingspan that can really make a girl's heart sing. This girl anyway.

It clouded up a little on our last morning there, and got windy and chilly. Time to go home.

Back home in Taos, we were greeted by happy dogs and blooming lilacs. Settling back in now, I need some time to reflect on everything we've just done, and see if I can get some clues as to where we go from here. Maybe everything will stay the same... or maybe it will all be different.