Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shin Splints

I have blogged before about how much I enjoy running. I really do, especially when I'm in shape and can just zone out and not continually think, "I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I should have bought one of those road ID bracelets so they could call Justin when they found my body."

The last time that I could zone out while exercising was probably this time last year.

Anyway, hope springs eternal in my flabby body as the weather warms up and the smelly sneakers beckon, and I was ready to get back into it. I started with my run/walk intervals, started eating better, started even losing a bit of the flab, and then a nagging pain in my shins began. And with every outing, it increased.

Fast forward to me at Walmart last night buying ice packs for both legs and then wailing in my long-suffering husband's arms because the shin splints were taking over my life. And I ate multiple cookies because I was so frustrated.

Do you know what the universally-acknowledged treatment for shin splints is? You ice them. And you stop running. In some cases (mine being one of them), you can't even power walk. You just have to quit until they stop hurting. You can bike or swim.

I can't fit into my bathing suit. THAT's why I was running. And I would bike, but my back tire has been off the bike for some time now. I thought I could change out the tube, but it turns out I don't know how. And I don't want to spend the money to get someone else to do it. Plus I don't even like biking. Cars all anxious to get around you, figuring out which gear to be shorts...yeah. No, thanks.

You get shin splints from
Not stretching properly,
trying to run too much, too soon,
Worn out shoes,
Running on hard pavement...
Check, check, check, and check.

So tomorrow we're going to Fleet Feet to buy some proper shoes. I will do a recumbent bike at the Y, then the elliptical when I'm getting better. I have agreed to stretch properly. And when my legs stop hurting, I will very, very gradually increase my mileage. I will run at Milliken or on the Cottonwood Trail. Or even on the treadmill, which I hate because it's inside but I love because I can watch mindless TV and run at the same time. I will not try to run six days a week. I will cross-train.

Shin splint vows. Now I just have to throw away those cookies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Family Devotions

Last night as we were trying to have a little family Bible reading time, the kids kept being silly and making jokes.  They were warned that there was a time for laughing and a time for listening, and right now, they should be listening.  Everyone sobered up and got serious. 

Our lesson was on Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve have to leave the Garden of Eden because they had sinned.  God clothed them with animal skins to cover their nakedness (of which they were now mindful and ashamed) and sent them out of the garden, never to return.  Justin asked the children, "How is Jesus' death on the cross like the death of the animals whose skins covered Adam and Eve?"  (We are currently using Long Story Short as our family devotion guide).

Emma and Will both piped up with appropriate responses that Jesus covers our sins like the animal skins covered Adam and Eve's shame in nakedness, they both were sacrifices, etc.  Jack was silent.

Justin looked at Jack and said, "What do you think about all that, Jack?"

Jack thought for a minute and replied, "I wouldn't like it.  I wouldn't like to be naked or to be covered in animal skins."

I laughed so hard I cried. 

So much for serious family devotions.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We alll want a Family

Jack and I were watching a show today about estate sales, and at the end of the show, the guy who was selling his parents' belongings commented on how hard it was to watch things he had grown up with being sold and carried out the door by strangers.  He said, "I still miss my mom.  I still miss my dad."

We all want to be part of a family.  We want to belong to somebody, not slaves, but as sons and daughters.  When life is difficult, we want to turn to someone for help, we want someone who can make it "all better." 

I've been told that when your parents have passed away, something shifts.  Life just isn't the same.  I'm 38 years old, and I still look to my parents for advice.  Joys are not quite complete until you can share them with someone you love, and there are few people who love you quite like your parents.  My mom might add that as a parent, you never lose the desire to "fix things" for a child who is hurting, even when they are adults.  Your kids are always your kids; your parents are always your parents.

Have you ever wondered why you have this longing to belong?  Even though you may be estranged or distanced from your earthly parents, if you are a Christian, you are never separated from your Father in heaven.  When you become a Christian, you are adopted by God into his family (Romans 8:14-17).  You can tell your Father all about your joys and disappointments, and you can ask him for help (Romans 8:26-27).  He is always there, he is never too busy, and he loves all of his children completely. 

We need a family.  We can substitute facebook friends or civic groups or book clubs, but they can never be all that we need them to be.   Even our own parents can fail us or mess us up, but God never will.  He is always our perfect father.

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
- I John 3:1

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday is Pizza Night

It's a rainy super cold day here in Sparkle City.  A good day to stay inside.  I already ran outside (woo-hoo for me!).  It's really more of a wun or a ralk...runalk, perhaps?  I am a big fan of running/walking intervals.  Around interval 6 the dog started shooting meaningful glances back my way through the misty drizzle, but I told her to man up (dog up?) and finish it.

Let's do this thing, Boudreaux!  She was not inspired, but when you are attached to a person by a nylon lead, you do what they say.  For the most part.  Begrudgingly.

Anyway, Emma and I are going to a friend's house for a girls' movie night, but I am still making the sacred pizza dough for our never-forsaken pizza night.  Because 3/5s of our family will still be at home.  Justin cannot eat tomato sauce, so he gets his own special pizza.  The boys like pepperoni, and Emma is a plain-jane cheese kinda gal.

It takes a lot for me to get excited about making pizza dough, so here's my special secret ritual:

First, one must have a recipe.  How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman is my go-to for pizza dough.  I've tried others, but this one is the most consistent for me.  Which is saying a lot, because I lose count when measuring out cups of flour.  Was that five? or six?  Yikes!  It's always an adventure.  But he just says, if it's sticky, add a little more flour.  If it's dry, add more water.  This I can do.

Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast - two packets because I double the recipe.   I can count to two usually, so I do better on yeast than flour.

Dough blade for the food processor.  I keep all of my food processor accessories in Jack's old lunchbox.  

Pizza dough in a flash!  Love a food processor.  But I just got mine for Christmas, so before I would always use the dough hook of my stand mixer.  Results were still good.

There it is, my little bundle of doughy happiness.  Now it has to rise in a warm place for an hour or two.  Good luck in this house I tell it, because my eskimo-blooded husband has made sure there is no warmth to be had.  In fact, our heating bill was less than it was last year when there were two people in their eighties living here.  He is very proud of that, but I say it just goes to show you what I endure every day in the arctic tundra that is our home.  Though now that I think about it, I'm the only one complaining.  Will wears shorts every day.  Maybe I should be quiet.

The warmest place in our house is a bed, but I would have much to explain if Justin came home to a bowlful of pizza dough snuggled up under the covers.  I have decided against it.

I'm trying to warm my hands over this candle.  I also wash the dishes a lot in the winter, because I can get the water super hot and then linger over every bowl and spoon until the circulation returns to my extremities.  OK maybe I'm exaggerating.

Music while cooking is one of life's little joys.  Plus the wooden spoons are handy microphones in case I need to belt out some Aretha Franklin while stirring.

Happy Friday everybody!