Monday, June 4, 2007

Fruits and Veggies

First, really quick, here's how the race went:
Official time: 49 minutes 16 seconds
Time I was moving forwards: 44 minutes 54 seconds
Time from start to finish: who knows?

I never did figure out where the starting line was - it wasn't where the map said it was. The announcer kept saying things like "the start is towards Balbo Street" and "the start is 300 yards north of last year's start" both not really helpful in determining the absolute location of the starting line.

I ended up separated from the others from work, and fairly far back in the pack. You can see from the times above that I spent over four minutes standing still after the starting horn sounded. After we got going, I spent the whole race trying to get around the slower people who had started ahead of me. And I'm not fast. But the important thing is that I actually finished in less than 45 minutes of movement, and I probably went farther than 3.5 miles if you count all of the side to side in order to get around groups of walkers. That said, it was a really fun challenge, and a great first race. I could see racing again, at least at the 5k level, and enjoying it.

Berries are on special! Blackberries were 99 cents a box last week, and blueberries were 99 cents a box this week. I also got a box of raspberries for $1.50. It took a lot of self control to leave a few in the fridge tonight. Shopping at the local produce store has helped clue me in better to the phases that fruits and vegetables go through over the course of the year. Basically, when the crops are good and plentiful, Valli Produce has them on special. Even though a lot of the produce is coming from other parts of the world, there are still distinct "good times" to buy each item. Limes are the most volatile I've seen. At some times, they are three for a dollar, and the X/$ changes over time to 5 then 10 then 20 or 30 and I think I've even seen 50 limes for a dollar at least once. Then it goes back down and the cycle starts over. (I can't even imagine what you'd do with that many limes...)

For those of you trying to eat more vegetables in your daily lives, I want to put in a good word for the American Heart Association's No Fad Diet cookbook. They find a way to put maximum vegetables in everything, and 80% of the recipes I've tried I can say I'll be making again. For example, dinner tonight is my third time cooking their Gourmet Tuna Noodle Casserole. They use whole wheat pasta, cream of chicken soup, and tuna (of course) but then they add spinach, water chestnuts, green onions, dill, lemon zest, and fat free milk. Then you top with corn flakes in a 9 x 13 pan to get maximum crunch surface area per volume. Of course, they don't put enough salt in anything, but that is easy to adjust. My other favorite from the book is the pumpkin curry soup. It's been out for a few years so your library probably has a copy.

Finally, I'd like to thank (in no particular order) Scott, Sarah, Kevin, Dave, Rhiannon, Herb, Karen, Jessie, Brock, and Hannah for all of the great times last weekend. What a thrill to throw a party that people show up for! I'm very glad it was a four day weekend for me - I was able to prep on Friday and recover on Monday - because Saturday and Sunday were then a no-stress and all-fun whirlwind of social interaction! For example, the downtown adventure that Scott, Sarah, and Kevin left after dinner went on much longer for Dave, Rhiannon, and us. We went to an 11 pm showing of Second City etc. which didn't end until after 2 am. I didn't get to sleep until 4:30 am, then it was up again the next morning to shop for the cookout. The cookout didn't quite end until dinner, when we decided that since all of the dishes and food in our house had been used or consumed, we needed to go out.

Imagine nine people at one giant round table at Hot Wok Village, nine different dishes to pass around to sample, and what must have been 30 fortune cookies at the end of the meal in a giant pile. Sarah and Kevin started writing a short story with their fortunes. Herb did an Antique Road Show shtick with an empty rice bowl. Dave passed around his phone with photos of a stick-figure-whiteboard-manifesto about data transfer. I inadvertently ordered the spiciest thing I've ever eaten, (and continued to eat rather than giving up,) the Ginger Beef. FUN FUN FUN! Let's do that again sometime.

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