I’M IN!!!

June 17 thorough June 22

6 days, 148 miles

I have heard this is more than a race, it’s continuing education (thanks, Lisa)

I have heard that this journey is just as much about the relationships as it is about the running.

Can’t. Wait.

 

LIMONCELLO

Have you heard of limoncello?  Powerfully strong lemon flavor infused into powerfully strong alcohol rained upon by sugary syrup deliciousness.  It’s powerful strong stuff, so you should just take a small sip… let it go down your throat, taste the sweet lemoniness, feel the warm glow…

It’s SO easy to make!

First, you go to Costco (how many of my cooking adventures start with that sentence?) Nevermind.

You buy a bag (about 10) lemons.  Although, for the first time we’re trying limes as well.

 

 

 

 

Apparently any old citrus fruit will do, even oranges. 

We will be sure to make a full report as to the results.

Here’s the how:

Take the rind of 10 lemons (or limes or oranges).  You need the colorful part, with as little as possible of the whiteness.  Peel it all off and place in glass jar with a large bottle of grain alcohol (I use Everclear).  By large I mean not the 750 ml one, the one next to that one on the shelf, you know….

I happen to be half Italian which means I am genetically incapable of wasting things, especially food items, so I save the juice by freezing it in ice cube trays then emptying the frozen cubes into plastic baggies.  I use the cubes to make lemonade, or just put a cube into ice water in the morning.  Delicioso! 

Let sit for 10 days.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the tenth day, make a simple syrup with 6 cups of water and 7 cups of sugar.

Place in pot on stove on medium heat, let it boil for 3 minutes then take off heat and let cool to room temperature.   

Strain the lemon out of the grain alcohol, and add the cooled syrup.

You must, of course do several taste tests, no problem….

Then you pour the finished product into clear bottles and freeze, or give away as gifts.

You will be very popular.  You may become shnockered. Don’t blame me. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS MICHAEL

It was supposed to be just another regular ride – one which I normally don’t take part in because it’s on a Sunday and I am in church on Sundays.  BUT my friend Dawn wanted someone to do this ride with, so I said yes.  We ‘happened’ to park next to this extremely good-looking guy who had 2 friends with him.  Dawn said to me, “I wonder how far they’re going? I wonder how fast they’re going?”   So I asked him.   They were riding  as fast and as far as we were.  So we asked if they wanted to ride together, and they said yes.

We rode together pretty much the whole time – except when his friends fell behind (much to his consternation, I later heard).  He is a man of such character that he would not leave his friends behind.  And he is such a strong rider that he promptly caught back up and was right back in font of me, riding strong and steady the whole way.  We finished the ride and after talking about riding farther and faster, he gave me his card and said I was welcome to ride with him and his friends on their long Saturday rides.

And so went our first day, and the beginning of our lifelong love affair.  We count that day as our anniversary because we have been close to inseparable ever since.

Before BFAST 2010
MS 150 2011
ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE 2011

Twenty months ago.  Sometimes it seems like such a long time ago.  We have had so many wonderful times, and spent so many perfect days together:

Our first ride together – we met at the Y and you were totally checking out my butt as I took of my shoes.

Our first long Saturday ride together, riding from your house and meeting up with your friends.

Our first date after that long Saturday ride where I was so tired and wanted to go home and you thought I didn’t like you : )

Our First Anniversary

Our second week, running on the beach, and stretching afterwards;

The first emails we exchanged – all of them safely saved on my computer;

One of my favorites from you our first week:

Thanks -For coming over to ride with me…
and sharing a lane with me in the pool…  I did almost choke on your wake once tho…
and for bringing me home.
and… for just being so dang cute…
looking forward to Saturday.

That was our first week : )

I looked back and we saw each other at the Y on Monday, rode after work Tuesday, Thursday, AND Friday.  Yep, we had it bad, and still do.

There was this sense of urgency, and at the same time the feeling that we have all the time in the world.

Everything about us has felt so perfectly natural, so ‘exactly what is supposed to be happening,’ from the very start.

Every day with you is a perfect day.  You are my favorite person, and there is no one I would rather spend time with.  No matter where I am, if you are with me, I am home.

You are my dream come true, my first love, my best friend, my everything, more than I could ever hope for and I am so very thankful for you, so very much looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

I want to lay my head on your chest as I go to sleep every night, wake up next to you every day, cook with/for you, ride, run and train with you, have more amazing adventures together, spend my days taking care of you like you take care of me.

You are so very precious to me – and I love you with all my heart,

Merry Christmas, darling,

Love, Judi

okay now

So I’ve been sick, AGAIN, for the past week.  Today I ran for the first time since last Tuesday.  That would be seven days straight of no running, no riding, no lifting, no nothin’.  My body has been so racked with coughing that I could not even think of training.

Pretty sad.  

Well today I just ran 3 miles at the trails at UNF, and for the first mile or so I was straining to breathe.  They loosened up after that and I felt fine afterwards, but I cannot help but wonder whether I have had pneumonia this whole time.  YIKES!

So I will be back on my training schedule and looking to run 26.2 on Saturday with Michael.  He’s shooting for 8:30’s; I’m shooting to finish.

Uh uh uh ultra!?

How it all started was, this year was going to be the year of my first ironman distance tri.  Well, due to a scheduling snafu, that didn’t happen, so that will have to wait for another year.  Next year is the year of the ULTRA.

I have to preface this by saying that when I first met Michael one of the things I loved so much about him was that he was doing this 6 day, 148 mile stage race – so NOTHING that I do could ever be considered CRAZY by him : )  But my version of crazy was slightly different than his.  He is a racing/running /cycling machine.  He is focused on training to race, paying attention to his pace, PR’s, beating times, and tracking his mileage.

My focus has been markedly different and stems from a radio program I heard years ago (sometimes it the littlest things).  I was listening to Focus on the Family and an M.D. was on who said these words: “I can’t tell you how many people come in to my office and say ‘if i had know I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.’ ”  That really stuck with me.  Modern medicine can keep a person – even a very sick person –  alive for quite a long time, but with what quality of life?  I want mine, as much as possible, to be active, healthy, and strong.  I try to take good care of myself, because I want to be able to continue to get up every day and DO something – run, swim, lift, MOVE.  I don’t want to be hindered by injury or disease.  I do things that help me along on that path.  Lifting (lots of lifting) to maintain muscle.  Cardio in the form of running, stair climbing, swimming, cycling, at least an hour a day.  That was working fine, but I also wanted to get leaner, and that program was not helping me accomplish that (okay, maybe my addiction to chocolate and peanut butter was part of the problem)  a girl’s gotta have her chocolate . . . . just sayin’.

So last year (2010) I got on board Michael’s crazy boat and started racing.  10 races in one year: 4 sprint triathlons, 1 5k, 2 1/2 marathons and 1/2 Ironman, a 10k, and my first marathon.  Mostly PR’s, took home hardware from most also.

 

It felt kinda good, especially because I never thought I was fast.  But even before a started racing I wanted to get faster, and read somewhere that to get faster you just need to GO faster.  So I tried to go faster, and it WORKED!!

So, 2010-11 were the years of firsts, and racing, and 2012 is to be the year of the Ultra.  That’s right, ultra, as in distances greater than 26.2.

So we have in our future a December marathon, a January 50k, a February 50 miler, a May 35 miler, and a June 148 mile 6 day stage race called Desert RATS.  So far : )

booyakah