Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Firsts of 2014


I ran across my post from last New Year’s Eve and as I looked over the list of firsts for 2013 I decided to see if I had done anything new in 2014. I believe in learning new things and continuing to push myself even if I am a granny.  I was surprised to see how many new things I had done!
First nap during the Grand Teton Relay


  • First run in Island Park and …
  • First solo night run.  It was amazing!
  • For the first time I visited a running store to be fit for running shoes. (I know – I tell everyone else to do this, but I confess I had never done this for myself.  So glad I did!)
  • It was the first time I have been to New York state. I’m going back!
  • First Tweet.
  • First Instagram post.

I would love to hear about what you did for the first time in the comments below.
Enjoy your New Year celebration!  Be safe and happy!

Happy Running!
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday's Training Tip: Take a rest


Believe it or not, athletes and wannabe athletes can benefit from taking a rest.  In fact training plans for any race length from 5K to marathon incorporate rest days into the schedule.  Rest days allow your body to recuperate from the challenges of a training schedule.  I have found that even a short break or rest during a run can sometimes help me run farther.
Catch your breath. A beginning runner, or even an experienced runner adding distance to her routine, can benefit from a short walk break.  For beginners a walk break is a chance to catch your breath and discover that you can recover and run a little farther.  Use these breaks to push yourself that extra half mile.  Next time you run, shorten the break but cover the same distance.
Rejuvenate your muscles. It’s okay to give your muscles a day off.  In fact, rest days may help to prevent injury, especially stress injuries.  If the schedule says to take time off – do it.

Take a brain break. I have found that rest days are as important to my mental commitment as they are to my physical well-being.  When I take time off I miss running and missing something, at least for me makes it all the more appealing. I miss the feeling of accomplishment I get after a good run. I miss the feeling of physical exhaustion and the relaxation of recovery.  I miss my running buddies.

Take a rest.  It’s okay.  In fact, it’s recommended!
(Runners World 10 Signs you need a rest day)
 
Read more about rest days HERE.

Visit this page every Tuesday for more training tips! I would love to hear from you. Comment below or message me on Facebook.

Happy Running!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Gifts and Gadgets!

So ... my hubby doesn't like to run, but he likes me and he knows I choose to run.  He gave me this nifty LG Tone Pro Bluetooth headset for Christmas!  Now I can listen to my running music without getting caught up in my headphones. I'm loving it!  I cant wait to take it for a run.

 
Did you get any new gadgets for Christmas?  Do you have a favorite running gadget? 
 
I would love to hear about your favs.  Please feel free to comment below!
 
Happy Running!

Food Friday: French Dip Sandwiches

Here is a fix it and forget it  Food Friday recipe that you might need during the hustle and bustle of the week.  This crock pot recipe for French Dip sandwiches can cook overnight or all day long depending on your schedule.
 

This French Dip recipe makes its own au jus as it cooks up ever so tender in the crock pot. Come home to a warm supper after a day on the slopes or a shopping spree at the mall. 

Slow Cooker French Dip

3 – 4 lb Beef Roast
½ C Soy sauce
1 Beef bullion cube
3 – 4 Peppercorns
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Garlic powder

Remove all visible fat from roast.  Place all ingredients in slow cooker and add water to almost cover the roast. Cook on low heat for 10 – 12 hours.   Meat will be tender.  If necessary, pull it apart before serving.  Drain off juice for dipping.  It is a good idea to have some extra au jus on hand for those diners who love to dip!

Serve on deli rolls with Provolone or Mozzarella cheese.  Add a salad and it's a complete meal!
 
Find more of my favorite recipes HERE.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Raggedy Christmas

Here is another Christmas story from Gold Pans and Iron Skillets. Enjoy!


 
A Raggedy Christmas


It must have been about 1966, for I recall that I was not yet in school. The memories remain, few but vivid. I remember a sewing machine, bits of fabric, a door that remained closed, sneaking a peek with my younger sister and straining to decipher the whispers coming from behind the door. For two small girls, the expectations were wonderful. Our excitement was limited only by our imaginations! Whatever could be happening in that room?

The secret emerged Christmas morning. Beneath our tree sat two of the largest, happiest, rag dolls we had ever seen. Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy! At least, they were almost the Raggedys. The dolls were twenty-four inches tall, with orange (not red) hair, red triangle noses, wide spaced black button eyes, and red boots that pointed East and West. They were identical. The only distinguishing characteristic was their clothing. Andy looked like a clown in his one-piece suit and pointed hat. His striped suit was ruffled at the wrists and ankles. It had a red ruffled collar. Ann’s dress had a blue bodice and a dark print skirt with an apron attached. A pocket on her apron housed a bright red hankie. Ann wore a scarf that complimented Andy’s clown suit. I remember most the buttons down each back: three candy-colored buttons that looked like great big Life Savers. They were a comical pair. Situated under the tree atop a pile of packages, Ann and Andy appeared to be two children, the first to arise on Christmas Morn already wise to the contents of their brightly colored perch.

I found Raggedy Ann the other day, not in a trunk in an attic where any self-respecting Raggedy Ann would be found, but in a foot locker in the garage amongst old school books, a cheerleader’s uniform, and some old birthday cards. Raggedy Ann was in sad shape! She was hairless. Her skirt was torn and her scarf and hankie were missing. Her black button eyes were merely glue spots. Worst of all, she was decapitated! It appeared that Raggedy Ann had endured far too many visits from my nieces and nephews. I contemplated laying Ann in her final resting place (the wastebasket), but thought better of it. I would attempt to revive her!

This time it was my sewing machine, my fabric, and my wide-eyed five-year-old daughter anticipating the treasure being created. As I traced the tattered fabric of Ann’s body, I wondered what memories this renewed doll might sow for my little girl. Would she appreciate this silly looking creature as I did? Or, would Raggedy Ann be lost in the blur of Mom’s many other projects? After all, she was just another doll wearing an old leftover dress.

To me, she is still Raggedy Ann. What makes her Raggedy is not the fabric, or the color of her hair, or the stuffing inside, but the memories of a little girl’s Christmas captured by the expression on the doll’s silly face. Each time I look at Raggedy Ann, I am reminded of a Christmas and a childhood filled with happiness. And now, each Christmas my renewed doll takes a seat of respect beneath my tree to remind me that Christmas is for children, for love, and for memories of long, long, ago when a child was born to bring love to all children. Raggedy Ann has become my reminder at Christmas and every other day. She is a symbol of love, of gifts, of joy, and of what Christmas is all about.
 
Merry Christmas!
 
Happy Running!
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Keep a Candle Burning

This Christmas Eve I am sharing a story many of you may have read before.  It was included in my first book, Gold Pans and Iron Skillets.  This is a true story from Christmas in 1983. 

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Keep a Candle Burning


Candles have been used in the modern era mostly for ambiance. I don’t recall mood candles during my youth. Mostly, candles were used during power outages, a common occurrence in Southeast Idaho—the wind, you see. It seems it was after I moved away that Esther developed an affinity for candles. (If she had in fact used them previously, I in my self-absorbed teenage existence had not noticed.) Whenever I returned home for a visit, there would be a candle burning, often in my room.

A candle has many uses other than lighting. They are also valuable for mood setting, covering odors of deep fried foods or camouflaging mouse infestations, and message sending.

Message sending. This is not in reference to smoke signals, although a candle may suffice in a pinch. The messages sent by lighted candles are simple unspoken words of love. For me, a candle communicates, “Welcome Home.” Never was Esther’s lighted candle so appreciated as it was Christmastime 1983.

Bonnie, the Baby, and I were traveling home from Southwest Idaho to Southeast Idaho for Christmas. Young, single, and not very wise nor well-prepared, we were anxious to hurry home for the holidays and left Boise at 5:00 pm in a light snowstorm on December 23. The trouble with light snowstorms in Southwest Idaho is not only Southwestern Idahoans’ lack of winter driving experience, but also the fact that the storm’s counterpart in Southeast Idaho is most likely a blizzard.

The light snowstorm increased in severity as we traveled eastward. Halfway between our point of departure and our destination, at about 7:30 pm, the storm became so vigorous that the gas line in Bonnie’s Mustang began to freeze up. When this phenomenon occurs, the engine behaves as if the fuel tank is empty and the vehicle comes to a stop. Being quite familiar with the behavior of empty gas tanks, I proceeded to berate her for neglecting to fuel the car. She assured me this was not the case and we began to strategize. Hazards on. Wait patiently for help. Surely someone would come to the rescue. One problem. Folks don’t like to stop on freeways in blizzards at night. Second problem. Folks have difficulty seeing in blizzards. Third problem. Hazard lights don’t last long in blizzards.

The whiteout was severe enough that we could not determine our exact location. Not that it would do any good as this was in the days before cell phones. We waited. Our only hope was to attract attention and communicate the need for help. We began taking turns standing behind the car and waving the only signal item we had, a white grocery bag! We prayed. As the hazard lights were beginning to dim, we prayed some more and gave up on the white flag waving.

We were becoming most discouraged when not one, but two vehicles transporting Good Samaritans stopped to lend a hand. We were offered a ride to town, where we enlisted the help of a garage and tow truck. Bonnie then returned to the scene, accompanying the tow truck driver in an attempt to locate our abandoned vehicle. Several hours later the gas line was thawed and we continued our trek across state. As we reentered the freeway, we discovered that the blizzard was continuing to rage. The white out persisted, but we miraculously arrived home about 2:30 am December 24. As we pulled into the drive, I caught sight of a candle still burning in the window. What a relief! Its flickering glow seemed to communicate, “I’m waiting.”

Esther’s version of the story is quite different as she was the lighter of the candle. She has spoken of the relief experienced when she observed the glow of the Mustang’s headlights coming up the road. She saw the lights and knew we were safe.

Now I don’t know if those burning candles were used to set a mood, cover up the odor of a seldom used basement, or send a message, but they were a comfort to me. My own children are maturing and have occasion to be away from home. I have taken up the torch, as it were. A lighted candle now burns while I await their safe return. Mood setting? Maybe. Mostly, I burn the candle in remembrance of the relief it granted me, as a connection to my own mother concerned for the safe travel of her offspring, and to foster a tradition that I am certain my children will not fully understand until they have youngsters of their own venturing forth into the world. Maybe they too, will say a prayer and light a candle to beckon, “Welcome Home.”

I wish you all a safe and Happy Christmas!


Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday's Training Tip: Learn to stretch

One reason I run is that I am impatient. Running is the quickest way I can think of to get in a good workout.  I have learned, however, that if I want to keep running I have to take time to stretch. I've got a little sciatic nerve (Okay, sciatic nerves are very large!) that bothers me when I forget to stretch.  If neglected too long, it becomes more than bothersome.

 
Try some of these stretches and yoga poses from Runners World after your next walk or run or run/walk.
 
Among the benefits of stretching are:
  • Injury prevention
  • Relaxation
  • Increased flexibility and balance
  • Loosens tight muscles
  • Time to reflect
The latest research says that stretching should be done AFTER a workout when the muscles are warmed up. Take some time to cool down and stretch.  Your muscles will thank you and so will that sciatic nerve.

Visit this page every Tuesday for more training tips! I would love to hear from you. Comment below or message me on Facebook.

Happy Running!
 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly


I serve this recipe with cream cheese and crackers.  Wheat Thins are my favorite!  You can make it just in time for Christmas gifts or for those NCAA bowl games coming up!  For a colorful change substitute red bell peppers for green.

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
  • 3 Med. Green Peppers seeded & chopped
  • 2 2-inch Jalapeno Peppers seeded & chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Vinegar
  • 5 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 6 oz. liquid pectin (Certo)
Puree peppers.  Add vinegar and blend.  In a large deep saucepan, combine pureed mixture, sugar, and cayenne.  Bring to full rolling boil stirring frequently.  Stir in pectin and boil for one minute more.  Remove from heat.  Skim off foam and seal in jars.  Makes 8 jelly jars.

Find more of my favorite recipes HERE.

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guest Blogger: Carlos writes about overcoming weakness

Meet Carlos, an educator, photographer, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is also a husband, and a father. He and his wife, Bridgette, have one daughter. (Well, she is expected any day now!) Carlos is a Spanish high school teacher, and loves to photograph, spend time with his beautiful family, and be active in his church. You can visit Carlos’ photography website and personal blog at http://www.carlosrendonphotography.com 

 
Overcoming Our Weaknesses  
 
What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? What are some things thatused to be your weakness but are now strengths? How did you change? Who have you become?   Who helped you? 
 
Jesus Christ taught: “If [you] humble [yourself] before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto [you] (Ether 12:27, The Book of Mormon: another testament of Jesus Christ). 
 
I have found tremendous strength and comfort in knowing that if I place my faith in Jesus Christ I can do the impossible. And so can you.  
 
What are you willing todotobewho you want to be? 
 
Our whole existence in this life is to be happy! Yes! Happiness! So how do you do it?  
 
There’s a small phrase that I have told many people and I believe it to be true:  
 
 
A smile is a curve that sets everything straight 
 
To be happy you must work for it. Put your body into motion and that emotion will come. 
Be kind to the fellow that everyone hates 
Lift someone up 
Serve, serve and serve. 
 
A dear friend of mine taught me this powerful lesson:  
 
You love those whom you serve and you serve those whom you love.   
 
 True Love is true happiness. And serving everyone will give you that love, which love transforms our being into who we want to be.   Service is an expression of love and love, a powerful source of change. 
 
So why talk about happiness if you want to make your weakness, strengths?  
 
Happiness is that force that will drive you to believe and push yourself to be better and better. Happiness is a gift available to all that will do more for you than you have ever thought. 
 
Go home and write down the things you wish to be better at. Then next to those weaknesses find a way to love someone in the process of seeking to do better. For example, if you want to be a better husband, or child, you might consider making dinner for your wife, or cleaning the entire kitchen for your mother. 
 
In all, we are endowed with the seeds of greatness, so trust in God and go and make your weakness strong as you serve, love and be happy. 
 
Follow Carlos at CarlosRendonPhotography. Give him a visit and show him some love.  He's going to be a daddy soon!
 
Visit my Guest Blogger Page to get to know all my blogging friends!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

An excerpt from The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny

 
I'm getting closer to the publication of The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny.  Soon you will be able to read the entire manuscript.  Until then, here are a few lines to tempt you!

When Pain Means DON’T STOP!

I have heard people say, “It hurts my knees when I run, or walk, or climb stairs,” and “I tried to exercise once, but I was just too sore afterwards.” How about this one? “I started working out once, but my lungs burned and it made me sweat and I don’t like to sweat, so I quit.” 
Well, my friends, this life was never meant to be pain free. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned through discomfort and adversity. It is, however, a common misconception of our day that the onset of pain of any kind constitutes an emergency – one that must be stopped without delay! While it is true that sometimes pain is an alarm signal that should be heeded with a change in behavior or circumstances (See Section One, When Pain Means STOP!), it is very often something that should be endured. In fact, while collecting information for this book, I discovered that pain is more often a friend than foe.

You can read the rest of this lesson in The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, due for release in January 2015.  Order it now at an introductory price in my Etsy shop.
 

Happy Running!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Favorite Shoes!

Runners don't ALWAYS wear performance running shoes.  Sometimes we like to throw on a pair of pretty heels.  These red Bandolinos from Macy's are my favorite!  As heels go, they are really quite comfortable. Runners do ALWAYS prefer comfort in a shoe.

Red is my power color, but a girl can't ALWAYS wear red, so I have a black pair, too!  They come in many colors and I want one of each!

What color is your favorite dress shoe? Do you have a pair of shoes that build your confidence?  Tell me about it in the comments below.

Happy Running!

Tuesday's Training Tip: Time to Commit


So, you’ve conquered your pride, your fear, and your worries over what to wear.  Maybe you found a buddy to run with you or you put together an awesome playlist.  You’ve logged a few miles, but the weather keeps you indoors some days, or your busy schedule prevents a run on others.  You might even be a little sore from time to time. How are you going to stay committed to this new adventure we call running?

Register for a race!  “Oh, but I’ve just begun and I am not fast enough to run a race.  I don’t think I can run 3.1 miles.” I’ve got some news for you …

·         Nobody cares if you are not fast. They are just glad you are participating.  Runners are cool like that – they want everyone to share in the fun.
·         (Secret) Most races are “Fun Runs.”  You can walk if you need!
·         Paid registration will keep you committed and keep you running on a regular basis.
·         That little worry you have about not being fast enough? It will motivate you to push yourself.
 
So commit to a fun run or other fitness challenge like a triathlon and run on!  You are going to be glad you did.
 
Learn about some of my Favorite Races.
 
Visit this page every Tuesday for more training tips! I would love to hear from you. Comment below or message me on Facebook.
Happy Running!