Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Training Tip: Eat on the Run

This Tuesday Training Tip discusses fuel and the importance of learning to eat on the run.  When I began running at the age of 47, I could not drink within 45 minutes of a run. I ran first thing in the morning. I certainly couldn’t eat before a run and I never dreamed of eating during a run! Experience has taught me a few things.

As I began to embrace fun run opportunities, I learned that it was important to fuel before a race if you had any hopes of completing the race. Longer races require fueling during the run.  I would suggest practicing or training to eat on the run by fueling during your long run workouts. 

·         Try fueling on runs or workouts longer than an hour.  Eat something every 20-30 minutes.

·         Mimic race day water stops and fueling opportunities by studying the course and mapping your workout accordingly.

·         Try different fueling options on several long runs to find what works best for you. Experiment with gels, chews, and granola or dried fruits to discover your personal preference.

·         The best fuel is the one that agrees with you. Here are some of my favorites.

It will be tricky at first, but with practice you can learn to eat on the run and avoid hitting the wall or bonking on race day.

Tune in every Tuesday for more training tips and visit my Training Tips page to find all the tips you may have missed.
Question: Do you have a favorite workout fuel you would like to share?
Happy Running!
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Guest Blogger: Savanna writes about Moving Forward

My name is Savanna Taylor. I was born and raised in a small town called Parma, Idaho (perhaps you have heard of it?) After getting my degree in History Education, my husband Brycen got accepted to the Healthcare Administration program at WSU in Spokane, WA. We have one crazy daughter named Addlee who is smart, spunky, and has a lot of curly hair. I love a good book, anything that has to do with Real Housewives on Bravo, my family, shopping, and my religion. I love to blog, it is such a great outlet (even if being a mom might come first to updating it)!

Push Play

It seems lately that my life has been put on pause. It is waiting for the next “big step” in life. My husband is finishing up graduate school at Washington State University in Spokane and we are still jobless. So imagine that every time the phone rings you hope it is good news, or every email is a “can we have an interview?” email, but alas nothing. I have envisioned myself already living in seven different states before he even got a rejection letter. I didn’t want to buy a deeply discounted jacket for my baby for next winter because “what if I live in Arizona?” crossed my mind. I am silly that way. That is just one example though, of how I have been putting my life on hold lately. 
My family recently had some major changes happen in it (I will spare details, let us just say it changed the career path of several people) and all of the sudden I was left thinking that everything I knew as normal was suddenly well not normal. I thought, they should just stick it out, just let it blow over, just hit pause. Now I see though, that by pushing that play button of life and making things happen they found out how much happier they really can be.

Playing with a toy any way she wants!
I have found that if I hit pause on my life and wait for something to happen I often miss the most important parts of it. I miss the opportunities to hang out with my friends, continue to explore a city I have grown to love, and even the little moments with my small family. I have put off big decisions because I am waiting for the next scene of life. Like a movie, I am paused. I had the thought, “why am I not enjoying this life I have? Why am I waiting for life to happen?” Think of it like the lottery, you won’t win it if you don’t play it (granted your chances are very slim). Isn’t our life like the lottery though? Think of all the amazing things that you and I take for granted every day, hello we have running water! I just think of how we sit and wait for a trial to pass, or sit and wait for the rainy day to be over, or sit and wait for that clock to slowly click to 5:00 p.m. so we can leave only to rush home and sit in front of a TV. I love to watch my 18 month old daughter play. If she gets frustrated with something she just throws it down and moves on to something else. She doesn’t just sit there and wait, she reacts, and she moves on, she finds something else! We are not meant to be stagnant. Either we are moving forward or moving backward. There is no pause. So if we live life in this limbo we really are doing ourselves a disservice. Today I went to the store and I bought that discounted jacket, because even if I do live in Arizona, California, or Alaska I did something progressive. I planned for the future, I embraced this pause in life, I recognized it, and I decided to push play.

 Follow Savanna's blog Savanna's Saga's

Visit my Guest Blogger page to get to know all my blogging friends.
Happy Running!
 Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday's TrainingTip: Wear Your Running Clothes

Even if it takes all day!
This Tuesday’s Training Tip is a simple one – wear your running clothes. I will admit that I don’t feel like running every morning when I get out of bed. In fact, there are often times that I lie there thinking of ways to get out of running that day.
I have learned this one simple trick.  If I get dressed and wear my running clothes, shoes included, something magical often happens. My brain recognizes that I am a runner. My clothes make me look and feel like a runner. It doesn’t always happen immediately and I think that is why it works. I am still telling myself that I don’t have to run today as I lace up my shoes. While my lazier self is still rationalizing a non-run day, the feel of my running clothes is gently reminding me that I am a runner and I will feel better after I have logged a few miles. Sometimes it takes all day before I actually get out the door, but rarely do I miss a run if I have first chosen to wear my running clothes.
I have long said, “Looking good is half the battle.” I am usually referring to a public speaking assignment or scholarship or job interview, but it holds true with running as well.  Get out of bed, wear your running clothes, shoes included, and you might find that you truly are a runner!
Stop by every Tuesday for more training tips and visit my Training Tips page to find all the tips you may have missed.
Question: Do you have a training tip you would like to share?
Happy Running!
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Mood Mender: So You Want to Buy a Boat

This Monday Mood Mender is an excerpt from Gold Pans and Irons Skillets.  As the weather warms we begin thinking about outdoor recreation and that can include buying a boat!  Enjoy!

So You Want to Buy a Boat

Are you nuts! Maybe you should wreck someone else’s boat first. There are a few facts regarding boat ownership that one should be familiar with prior to purchasing a boat of his own. These guidelines may very well save one’s sanity.

The first and probably most important guideline is to buy a used boat. Do not be tempted by the shiny paint and bright propeller of a new boat. The unblemished interior and perfect upholstery will not add to the level of fun experienced by boaters. Rather, they will elevate the level of stress the inexperienced boat owner will encounter while developing his boating skills. Look for a well-loved boat—one that has previously missed the trailer while loading, scraped up against an unkempt dock, had its propeller dinged by unseen rocks, and/or possesses rebuilt gears having had them stripped by a sandbar. This will not only reduce stress levels, it will also save a great deal of money and grief.

Money. Remember there are hidden costs to boat ownership. Though the monthly payments seem manageable, do not forget the rising costs of insurance, boat fuel, boat licenses, life jackets and boating toys, picnic lunches, boat storage, doctor appointments, insurance deductibles for boat repair, swimsuits, sunglasses, sunscreen, ibuprofen, and a new hot tub.

Grief. A boat can tear a hole in one’s heart in so many ways. The first time it gets damaged the owner may feel as if one of his children has been diagnosed with an incurable fungus. This will most likely occur on the maiden voyage in any number of fashions. If one is fortunate enough to have previous trailer experience, the jackknifed boat trailer may be avoided. If not, SUV may experience paint job damage, as well. It is inevitable that the driver of the boat will, at some point, miss the trailer while attempting to load boat. Hailstorms happen. Upholstery wears out. Some reservoirs have hidden obstacles such as, rocks, tree stumps, and sandbars. Boat plugs are small and cheap, but critical to boat buoyancy. Do not forget the plug!

The second guideline is to get help. Boats are not cars. They do not move like cars. They do not steer like cars. They do not have brakes. The steering wheel is on the right side of the boat, not the left. A valid driver’s license does not guarantee competent operation of a boat. It is advisable to take a lesson, take a friend (with boating experience), or hire a driver!

Bodies of water can be deceiving. Water, unlike pavement, is fluid. It is ever changing. What may lie well beneath the surface this week may be lurking just below the water line next week, especially if the body of water is an irrigation reservoir during a drought year. It is advisable to take a map, take a friend (that knows the area), or use a depth finder. The latter is probably not the best option as this is a well-loved boat. It lost its depth finder long ago.

Weather is unpredictable. Thunder. Lightening. Wind. Rain. Hail. It is advisable to get a weather report, get the boat out of the water, and get to cover.

The third guideline is to exercise patience. Not only is the boat owner new at this activity, the boat riders are also new. Communication skills tend to develop slowly. While driver can see individual in water behind boat or in front of trailer waiting to help with loading, he cannot hear due to the roar of the motor and propeller. There is a learning curve required to decipher hand signals, head nods, and arm wavings.

Remember, well-loved boat was purchased for a reason. It requires practice to learn to enter a boat free of muddy feet. It also requires practice to tie secure knots. Nervous drivers sometimes do bring the propeller into contact with foreign objects. It only takes a few minutes to swamp a boat, but boat will drain and dry provided it can be rescued in time. Keep spare boat plug in glove box.

The fourth guideline is to find joy in the ride. The motivation behind acquiring a boat was most likely to have a good time, spend time with loved ones, and relax. It may take time to accomplish this goal. It is difficult to have a good time or relax while panicking over learning to launch, load, and operate one’s newly purchased boat. Add a few scrapes and dings, discover that the boat still floats, learn to water ski or catch a fish, improve communication skills, and the experience will begin to be enjoyable. If, however, the motivation was to keep up with the Joneses, the best bet would be to purchase a brand new boat complete with shiny paint job and bright propeller. It would then be wise to park it in a rental storage unit to preserve the newness, take a few snapshots, and talk really big to the neighbors. The monthly payments and insurance will still be due, however many of the added hidden expenses will be avoided—as will the joy.
Moral: If you love something enough, even its imperfections are beautiful.

Find all my books in my Etsy shop or on Amazon and Kindle.

Happy Running!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Food Friday: Pineapple Upside-down Cake

It’s Food Friday and more importantly it is Good Friday. In preparation for Easter Sunday, the hubby requested a Pineapple Upside-down Cake. (I only make this cake about once a year.) The recipe book is well loved as you can see in the photo. It is a 30 year-old copy of the NEW Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I have a newer version, but this one has my handwritten notes, so I keep using it!  I have modified the recipe to fill a 9 X 13 cake pan.

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple and reserve juice

4 TBS butter or margarine

1 C packed brown sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

5 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2/3 C shortening (I use Butter Flavor Crisco!)

1 ½ C white sugar

2 eggs

3 tsp vanilla

Maraschino Cherries (Optional)


Drain the pineapple and reserve the liquid. Melt butter in a 9X13 inch glass baking pan. Stir in brown sugar and 2 TBS of the reserved juice.  You can decorate the bottom with maraschino halves if desired.

Add water to remaining juice to make 1 1/3 C liquid. Set this mixture aside.

Coat the baking pan with cooking spray.

Spread crushed pineapple evenly into butter and sugar mixture to cover bottom of pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat shortening and sugar together – blend well. Add egg and vanilla; beat one minute.

Add dry ingredients and the remaining liquid alternately, beating after each addition. (I usually do half the flour, half the liquid, the rest of the flour and the remaining liquid last.)

Gently spread in pan over the pineapple layer. Bake at 350◦ for 40 minutes.

Turn the cake over onto a baking sheet or serving tray if you have one that big! Allow to cool!  Notice that some of the pineapple is clinging to the pan.  Be patient! It will drop into place when it cools.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

This Pineapple Upside-down Cake is heavy! That’s how we like our cake at the Green House. Using crushed pineapple guarantees pineapple in every bite!
Question: What dessert will you be serving up this weekend?
Read all my Food Friday posts HERE.

Happy Running and Happy Easter!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Guest Blogger: Nikki Writes about Sharing Traditions

Guest Blogger, Nikki, is back today with some counsel about sharing traditions with your children.  Nikki is an entrepreneur and owner of Bedhead Designs.  She is a homeschool mom who volunteers in her church and community.  Thanks, Nikki, for taking time to share your thoughts with us!

Every time I hear the word “Tradition,” I hear the song from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ in my head, and I yell, “TRADITION!”  Haha! The dictionary defines tradition as the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.
How do we go about sharing our ‘traditions’ with our families? I will share an idea with you!
Talk about current events with your kids. As you are talking about what’s going on, share with them your family values and beliefs about the topic. You can do this daily in a shorter devotional type setting, or once a week as you gather as a family to learn and play together in a Family Night.  It’s easy and can be a binding force and a comfort for your family.
Subscribe to a newspaper or two. If you can, choose a local one, and then a more national one so you can get a variety of current events. You can choose online or real newspaper. (You can even just do the Sunday edition if you don't want a bunch of papers piling up. There will be plenty to choose from all week!) I like real newspaper because we can gather around it, and choose one that jumps out at us. Let the kids pick sometimes (or all the time), it will get them more interested. Once you have picked a topic, read the article out loud and start the discussion. Ask them pointed thinking questions. Then tie it into your beliefs and values. My kids range in age from 14 down to 5. Sometimes the topic may be over some heads, but they will glean something from it. There is usually one big simple truth you can teach everyone and get more detailed with the older ones as they ask. AND LET THEM ASK! Open it up to them so it isn't just you up there expounding. Be sure to get down on their level so they know this is a time to ask real (and sometimes hard or scary) questions. This will be a great way to keep the channels of communication open with your kids. If you are sharing a range of topics, even the touchy ones, they will see that it's totally cool to talk about anything with Mom or Dad. THAT IS SO IMPORTANT!
I am a strong believer in sharing my customs and beliefs with my children! I think it is wise to give them a foundation on which to build. As they go about their life, they will come to crossroads, or uncharted waters. They will need to draw from somewhere or someone, what to do in this or that situation. If we have not shared what we believe or what we have done, what do they have to stand on? It is important for the next generation to know what we believe and how we did things. They can then decide if it’s something worth passing on. Sometimes, they are not, and it is wise to be choosy. If your beliefs are not shared, though, your children cannot judge them for themselves.
Winston Churchill said, “A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.”
I think this quote can be used in a family situation, too.  Knowledge of family values can strengthen us in an hour of peril.  Start sharing with your families today. You will find a new closeness and strength to your family. You will be confident that your kids can make choices and discern what is right and right for them.
For more ideas on family closeness, visit Nikki's blog in the ‘Family’ tab.

Stop by each Thursday to see what the rest of my Guest Bloggers have to say.

Happy Running!