This may appear to be a collection of random thoughts (probably because it is) but eventually I will end up talking about the caption for this entry.
There is a family fun run on the URI campus every Wednesday night. [That's just where it takes place; it's sponsored by the YMCA and by Camire's Running Soles shoe store.] I believe I've mentioned it before in these pages. There's a one mile run with lots of kids running; many adults use this as a warmup for the longer run. The mile is followed by a five mile run and a three mile run (these are run simultaneously, you have to choose which one to run). Sean had been coming with me during June and July but he seems to have fallen by the wayside on this. (I think it is due to a reluctance to run in public until he has trained enough to really run distances... that's why he's been urging me to buy a treadmill, so he can train up indoors, in private.)
There are two different three mile courses -- one is flat and the other is hilly -- they are alternated week to week. Last week had been the hilly course so last night should have been the flat course, but there was some road construction work on a section of the flat course so we had to do the hill course. *sigh*
The course is level for almost half a mile, then turns and heads up a long hill. Last week I passed the (approximate) one mile point in about eleven minutes. There is still a bit of hill left then, but the steep part is done, just a block or so with a slight grade, then right turn, right turn, left turn and back down the hill. Last week I did it in about 26:05 and had been hoping for the flat course because I had wanted to see if I could do it in 24 minutes. So I was a bit un-psyched for this run (plus it was very hot and humid) and was fairly slow, taking my time until I came to the hill... when I began to feel more into running... still, I was at least 45 seconds behind the previous week when I reached the end of the steep hill. I picked up my pace through the second mile but taking care not to run flat out because of the weather... and I ran the final third at a decent pace, completing the three miles in just thirty seconds longer than I had one week ago.
I've really been enjoying running this summer. I've got enough of a base in now to be able to run long (i.e., five or six miles) if I want or to go to the track and throw in some (relatively) quick 400 meter laps. There are two or three 5K races I'd like to run in September and October and would really like to see if I could post some fast times. [Now when I say fast times, please don't think that I mean sub-twenty minutes or anything silly like that. My all time best PR for a 5K (3.1 miles) was a 21:40, about a 6:59 per mile pace. I'd be happy this year to get my time under 24:50, that is, under eight minute mile pace.]
When I got home I found a note from Jennifer: Have gone to Warwick to relieve boredom. Sean was playing some networked computer game but he had fixed himself some tomato soup while I was gone and he soon left for a friend's house. Okay, so it would just be Nancy and me... I had cooked up some polenta and pressed it into a nine inch pie tin before going to URI. So I grabbed a zucchini from the garden, sliced it up along with some red onion and a little celery and several mushrooms... heated up some olive oil in a skillet, tossed in the sliced veggies... took two leftover low-fat Italian sausages (made with chicken) from the 'fridge, sliced them up and tossed them in with the veggies... Turned on the oven, 360, put some tomato sauce on the polenta, sprinkled some shredded cheese (romano and parmesan), put the polenta in the oven. Heated up some water to a boil. Poured tomato sauce over the veggies and sausage, added various seasonings. Put some angel hair pasta in the boiling water. Dinner.
Sean came home about 10:30. Around eleven Nancy and I settled down to read in bed. I was asleep when Jennifer phoned about midnight. [How deeply asleep? Well, the phone is on my side of the bed but I got up and had crossed over to the bookcase where Nancy has a clock-radio before I realized that that was not the source of the sound that had awakened me.] Jennifer was just calling to check-in, to let us know she and her friends were hanging around the Narragansett town beach and she would be home later. Then Nancy asked me to go downstairs and make sure that the windows were all closed. [Is this a gender thing? She will wake me up to ask me to go tell Sean to turn down his stereo or television. I mean it would never occur to me to wake her up to ask her to go and do something. And like a zombie, I'll stumble off, complete the mission, return to bed... and sometimes then find that I'm now too awake to fall back to sleep.] That wasn't a problem last night, I was quickly back asleep.
Then at some point a thunderstorm struck -- I suppose it was the thunder that woke me up but it was the brilliant white flashes that I was aware of as I got up to take the fan out of the window and close down to about a one foot opening. I went back to sleep then but the storm woke me multiple times with more thunder and (at least once) with the sound of very heavy rainfall.
Italian lunch? Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to that... There had been a small amount of the sauce with the zucchini and sausage; I mixed the sauce with some of the angel hair pasta and put it in a container. I filled a second container with fruit salad. That was my lunch... which I ate at lunch time and yes, it was very tasty. Although there had only been a small amount of pasta and sauce, there was a lot of fruit salad so lunch was quite filling.
Early this afternoon the woman who essentially serves as our registrar stopped by my cube to ask me if I liked Korean food. I immediately thought that there had been a request for training that would send me to Korea... but it turned out only to be a lunch invitation... A young Korean woman had been among a group of three or four instructors here fall from various Pacific Rim branches of our company that were here for training in how to deliver certain courses. This month she is back here for training on how to teach another course and decided that she would fix some Korean food for all of us in the department. I am a big fan of Asian food... Chinese, Japanese (except not sushi), Thai, Indian, etc... even found a Tibetan resturant in Sydney once (The Yak and Yeti) but I've not had too much experience with Korean cuisine. I'm not quite sure of the names of the various dishes (well, except for Kim Chee - very spicy hot cabbage), but it was all very tasty.
Thus, I had two lunches today -- one Italian and one Korean.
And thus I had better get in a five mile run after work or not only will I not make any progress on losing more weight, I'll start to blob back up.