Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have to vent for a second.

I have been trying to eat a bit more healthy the past few weeks, buying fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurts and other good-for-you snacks, etc.  And it’s expensive, plain and simple.  But that’s ok, it’s for my health, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But when said health food ends up being disgusting… game over.

I bought 6 Chobani Greek Yogurts last weekend.  They were on sale, so figured I’d try them out.  Picked up two each of blueberry, strawberry, and vanilla.  And now, as I opened the last of them today, 4 of those 6 had mold in them.  Umm… not happening.  Today’s wasn’t too bad, the mold was on the lid, not the actual yogurt, so I was able to wipe it off, and ignore it… I mean, really, mold is just penicillin anyways, right?  But the others, not salvageable at all.  One had it growing across the entire top of the yogurt… yuck.  The other two, not only was it all over the top, it had started to grow down, into the yogurt.

Yogurt meet garbage can.

I have to say, I was severely disappointed.  I’ve had a few other Greek Yogurts before, and they seem ok.  I was hoping this would be equally pleasing, so I would have options when things go on sale.  But as of right now, I don’t think I would even consider buying another Chobani yogurt!  Seriously…

I went back to the store I bough it from, but without the actual product – yes, they wanted to see the moldy yogurt – there was nothing they could do about it.  Since it happened at work, at lunch, I wasn’t about to carry it back to them at the end of the day… something about moldy food sitting on my desk all day just didn’t seem appetizing, nor healthy.

I even emailed the company, to let them know about the mold and the way the grocery store doesn’t care about their product, and they just sent me a form response – “Thank you for your letter.  Please accept these coupons for more of our delicious yogurts.”  Seriously, which part of “never buy it again” did they not understand?

And to be fair… I realize there’s lots of miles between their packaging facility and my stomach, and any number of things could’ve happened to the yogurt while being delivered.  Bad handling on the truck.  The grocer stored it wrong.  Heck, I suppose it could’ve warmed up enough just from me taking it out of the cooler at the store, walking through the checkout, and driving home… but still, lots of other products make it home JUUUuuuuusssttt fine.

But not my yogurt…

Anyone else get a green hairy surprise when they opened some NEW food up? (I mean, on old leftovers, happens all the time…)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Merged blogs...

As a point of record-keeping, I just merged my two blogs into one... if you happen to be back-reading, some may sound a bit out of place, or duplicated.  I started the two blogs at different times, so they both have an "introduction" page... and sometimes, I posted to both about the same topic.  I will try to go through them all and sort it out... older posts, I may just add a "Imported from..." note at the beginning.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jenny Giveaway!

PB and Jenny is giving away some About Time Protein Powder... check out her blog to win!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Change is inevitable

I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas of getting to my goals... Not giving up, just feeling frustrated.  Or maybe it's just exhaustion...

I have been keeping two blogs, off and on - this one, and another that was more of my "workout" blog.  But this one here, I think, can do both tasks... sure, this started as simply a culinary experiment, but maybe now it needs to morph into a healthy living experiment - "let's all watch as Jason rids his body of all the nasty crap he's been eating for the last decade!"  haha  Haven't decided if I'm going to move everything from the old blog over to this one, or if I'm just going to do a "from here on out" switch...

I've done a few comparisons of my new Garmin 310XT HR monitor along with my old Polar monitor... for the most part, everything seems about the same - a heart beat or two off here and there, and the calories burned is a bit off, but I think that's because I haven't set the Zones in for me yet.  I think I may stop wearing them both - it's a bit uncomfortable, and distracting, to have two bands, two watches, and two sets of data.  So what I think I may do is wear the GPS for anything outside - running, walking, biking, etc.  And then wear the old Polar inside - treadmill, exercise bike, etc.  We'll see how that develops, too.

I was supposed to cook all sorts of goodies this weekend, while I was on duty at the station, but every time I started to prep, we would get a call, or there would be a meeting starting, or something.  I never got around to it.  In fact, we didn't even eat dinner last night until almost 2100!  (that's 9pm for you non-military time folks...)  But dinner was fabulous.  Fresh corn on the cob, chicken breasts smothered in a doctored-up BBQ sauce, a rice concoction, and rolls left over from breakfast.  I didn't do all the cooking, and I didn't get any pics, but trust me - it was good.

Today also marks the first OFFICIAL day of my Marine Corps Marathon training plan - the first email came this morning.  20 minutes of Cross Training.  I have to work a Keys baseball game tonight, so not sure if I'll do it tonight, or tomorrow morning, but we will see.  Let the fun (and pain...) begin.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wandering thoughts as I wandered

Wow, been a busy week for me… I haven’t even written much here, not that anything exciting has happened.

Tuesday was my only night off, as I previously wrote, but one thing I didn’t talk about (and I’m not sure why…) was that I stopped at one of my favorite stores to just wander through – Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Honestly, I don’t care about 60% of the store, but the kitchen section… oh, baby, bring it on!

As I wandered the isles of cutting boards and egg slicers, I started bemusing about all the gadgets and gizmos sitting there.  Every specific job in the kitchen has a specific tool that specializes in just that job.  I wonder if anyone actually owns all of them?!  I mean, really, who has a kitchen THAT big?!  Haha  But I also found myself making a mental “gift registry” in my head.  A knife that caught my attention, a new food processor, or an attachment for my Kitchen Aid.  It didn’t take long before I knew I had to get out of there, to save my sanity – and my desire to buy something!

Anyone else make mental wish lists while walking through a store?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Common Market

Today was my only evening off all week, so I had a list of errands to run... bookstore, groceries, check the price of something at the bicycle shop, pick up something from ALS headquarters, etc.  On my loop, I stopped at a natural food store, the Common Market.  This store is actually the public face of a Famers Coop, but to my knowledge, does not require a membership to purchase items.

I spent a good deal of time walking around the store... lots of good foods, a great big bulk food section, a decent, albeit small, fresh foods section.  Overall, I was quite impressed, although I did feel a bit overwhelmed.  I thought I knew "healthy" but I barely recognized any of the items in that store.. I almost needed a tour just to figure out where things were!

I did notice that prices weren't the best, though.  Not that I buy Soy Milk, but for whatever reason, I remembered how much it cost at my local grocery store - and it was easily a buck more at the Common Market.  Might have to keep that in mind if I continue to shop there... or maybe I only buy the seeds and granola and things I can't get elsewhere from them.  We'll see...

One irony of this event... the whole store is based on being green (they reuse the container you get your olive oil in, which is poured from a bulk container...), being environmentally friendly, doing what's right for the earth, bla bla bla... I don't mean to downplay all of this, because I, too, believe in *most* of it.  Until I walked outside, and saw truck after truck, SUV after gas-guzzling-SUV, lined up in their parking lot.  Yeah.  Real "green".

But it made for an interesting outing...

EDITED:  I almsot forgot!  Well, ok, I *DID* forget, but then I remembered... anyways, I went to Borders on my jaunt this evening, and in the front bin of "clearance" books, low and behold what I found!

Three of the Top Chef Cookbooks - all for under $15!!  Of course, I scooped them up immediately.  Not a huge fan of the show, but the tips they give in the books, plus the interviews with the contestants =   Had to share!

My first early morning run

Tuesday - 6/21/11
Out and back through town
2 miles / 29 minutes

Went for a short run this morning.  This week, I started a new work schedule, giving me some extra time in the morning to work out.  Hopefully, it will allow me to be more consistent.

The run wasn’t too bad, just a quick out and back.  Did about two miles, in about 29 minutes.  Felt a little tight when I started, and loosened up as it went along, but there was some pain in my right ankle and calf muscle, but nothing too bad.  I tried to keep my heart rate in the monitor’s preprogrammed “zone”, which was between 127-143.  When I went over, I would walk, when I hit the lower end, I would start running again, which equated to about 2-3 minutes of running to 1 minute of walking.  Not sure if this was productive or not, but it seemed to work for me.

Since I was scheduled on the medic unit last night, I haven’t had a chance to set up my Garmin yet, but I plan to take care of that task tonight, and will hopefully be up for using it quickly.  I do want to do a few tests to see if the heart rate monitor and maybe the calorie burn figures are similar to the Polar HR monitor I’ve been using, just to see how things compare.  Really hoping this device will entice me to get out of bed more often than I have been!

Weekend in the Battlefields

Friday was one of the most exciting days I’ve had in a long time!  First, my parents were in town (granted, they came Wednesday, but mom wouldn’t let me take vacation, so Friday signified “the weekend with them”).  Second, my Garmin 310XT arrived!!!

Now, disclaimer time.  Even though it arrived on Friday, I knew I wouldn’t get to use it until after the weekend.  It would take time to get set up, time to get used to it, and I knew I would want to spend every second with the ‘rents.  I was ok with that…

Last night, when I got back to my apartment (and got laundry started…) I sat down and opened the box.  Even without a monitor on, I could feel my heart rate increasing…

My new Garmin 310XT, sans the baggies...
First, why do companies have to package every single little piece in it’s own plastic baggie?  What happened to putting all the pieces in cutout cardboard, with little twist ties?  So much easier.

The monitor was, as expected, a dead battery.  So it charged overnight.  Can’t wait to use it, although because I am riding the medic unit tonight, I doubt I will get to use it until tomorrow.  I will definitely spend part of my medic shift setting it up, though.

Now, for workouts… I haven’t been logging all of my workouts.  When I started this blog, I figured it would be a “running” blog, but I have been doing a LOT of walking, and while I have kept track of it, I haven’t always logged it here.  I probably won’t start, either, but felt it was worth mentioning, since I haven’t done a ton of running, either.  But I did run this Saturday, so…

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Run through part of Gettysburg Battlefield
3.74 miles / 55 min.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My new Garmin 310XT

Friday was one of the most exciting days I’ve had in a long time!  First, my parents were in town (granted, they came Wednesday, but mom wouldn’t let me take vacation, so Friday signified “the weekend with them”).  Second, my Garmin 310XT arrived!!!

Now, disclaimer time.  Even though it arrived on Friday, I knew I wouldn’t get to use it until after the weekend.  It would take time to get set up, time to get used to it, and I knew I would want to spend every second with the ‘rents.  I was ok with that…

Last night, when I got back to my apartment (and got laundry started…) I sat down and opened the box.  Even without a monitor on, I could feel my heart rate increasing…

First, why do companies have to package every single little piece in it’s own plastic baggie?  What happened to putting all the pieces in cutout cardboard, with little twist ties?  So much easier.
My new Garmin 310XT, sans the baggies...

The monitor was, as expected, a dead battery.  So it charged overnight.  Can’t wait to use it, although because I am riding the medic unit tonight, I doubt I will get to use it until tomorrow.  I will definitely spend part of my medic shift setting it up, though.

More to come, I am sure…

Happy Father's Day!

I spent yesterday with my parents.  They came into town last week, so my cooking requirement disappeared for a few days, but mom always stuffs me silly.  Love it!  And spending Father’s Day with my dad, instead of just calling home, makes it better, too, especially since my dad is my “best man” – literally.

I did get a good run in while with them.  They were camping outside of Gettysburg, PA, so I ran through the battlefields a little bit.  B-U-tiful!!  Although, two days later, I am a bit sore - guess I'm not used to hills yet...

Speaking of food – boy, was it good.  Grilled chicken.  Grilled Walleye (a freshwater fish).  Grilled steaks.  Sweat potatoes.  Squash with brown sugar and butter.  Buckets of fresh fruit.  And of course, burgers and baked beans.  I am sure I gained a few pounds just spending the weekend with them, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  And no, I didn’t take any pictures of it.

Being with my parents makes me reflective, though.  Eight years ago, a week after I graduated from Grad School, I packed up all of my belongings and moved 800 miles away from my family to live near my then-girlfriend.  Sure, I’ve gained some from the move, we eventually got married (and divorced…), I became a Medic and firefighter, I have new friends that actually seem to care – I’ve discussed my high school and college friends before.  But I also look at all I’ve given up or lost completely.  Some of the people that mean the most to me are now distant email addresses that barely ever get used.  I don’t do the things that I used to love anymore – camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, even my photography has changed and I’m not certain for the better.  Michigan will always be my home, but unfortunately, the economic situation right now pretty much prohibits me from moving back home, but I miss so much about “the Mitten”.

Being with my parents also makes me reevaluate my current situation.  I am not happy with my job, but I’ve become accustomed to the paycheck.  My dreams are going unmet, with no real plans in place to make them reality.  And my self-confidence sits on the fence most days… both a product of and a byproduct from having a heart that opens too quickly, too readily, and too easily.  For instance, I have recently started reading a few new blogs.  One of them is a beautiful young lady.  I love her writing style, I enjoy learning about her daily goings, and I find myself waiting all day long for her daily post.  Simply put, I am enamored with her.  In my head, though, I know that nothing can come of it.  First, we’ve never met.  We live four hours away from each other.  There’s about ten years age difference.  We come from different backgrounds, different economic situations, and different upbringings.  Ultimately, we are nearly opposites.  But even knowing that, I can’t stop myself from reading her blog every day… see, heart fooled.

Ok, I seem to be rambling… I have another post coming soon with my new toy.  I am riding the medic unit tonight, so I don’t know that I will get to cook, but I don’t think I have anything tomorrow, so I am sure to do something…

Have a great day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Solitary Soul Searching

I’ve read a few different blogs lately proclaiming themselves as a loner, someone who enjoys traveling through life solo.  And it got me thinking… while I don’t necessarily enjoy being single, I have led most of my adult life, and pretty much all of my childhood, solo.

As a kid, my family was surrounded with other families – mostly coworkers who turned into quasi-family.  And while all of those families had children, there was only one other boy, and he was nearly ten years older than me, so couldn’t be bothered.  And if I had wanted to hang around the girls at that young age, there weren’t any in my age group – three were older, two younger.  As I think back on my childhood, I spent a lot of time either sitting alone somewhere, doing my own thing – drawing, puzzles, playing with Legos, photographing things, running my own little science experiments – or sitting with the adults, which probably explains why I get along so well with people older than myself, but not so well with my peers.

As a teenager, I made the decision to go to high school at a different high school than I was “supposed” to go to.  See, we lived fairly close to one district’s high school, but my dad was a teacher at the high school in the next district over, and as such, I was eligible to have my state-aid switched.  After a sixth grader was arrested with a five pound bag of speed (illegal drug, for those that aren’t familiar…) during the last week of school of my eighth grade year, I quickly made the decision to change schools.  However, I didn’t think about the negative effects – namely, that I would be coming into the school a stranger where groups of friends had already been formed, and that being a teacher’s kid would have dire consequences.  Sure, I got to make phone calls, use the Xerox machine, or get extra lunch money from dad… but I also went through high school without a single person I could claim as a “close friend”, let alone having anything resembling a girlfriend.  I was never invited to any of the parties, unless it was for a sports team or club.  I was often the target of pranks.  I could go on, but you get the point…

College was pretty close to the same thing, although I did have a few girlfriends, I did have one or two people I thought were close friends (although, I was proven wrong later…) and I went to a bunch of parties.  But I never felt like I belonged.  I always felt like an outsider.  And I still spent a lot of my time doing things solo, especially when I was single.

Not me... just saying.
As such, I learned REAL quick how to survive on my own.  I taught myself to depend on nobody, to trust nobody, and to confide in nobody.  I’ve discovered hobbies that I can do on my own, and have grown to enjoy being alone.  I have built up my life to protect myself, to keep myself entertained, and to maintain some level of constancy.  Believe me, these are not traits I am happy about.  As look back on my life, I see the progression to my current solitude.  I fear that it may be too ingrained in my personality to change.  And for the record, I absolutely hate being alone…

I find it odd that I can divulge more of my life here, in this blog, than I have in person in years.  Times like this, I wonder if technology is truly a gift, or if it’s a bad thing.  Without technology, perhaps we would all be a bit less solitary...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: "Beaten, Seared, and Sauced"

I recently read a new culinary literary book, “Beaten, Seared and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America” by Jonathan Dixon.

The book is a self-narrated look at the author’s journey through the 2-year associates degree at the Culinary Institute of America, taking the reader into the kitchens and classrooms, behind the scenes, and naming names. The book is an easy read, has a good pace, and provides lots of insight into the school’s methodology, all through the eyes of a mid-life career-changer – right up my alley.

Overall, it was a great book. I really liked reading about the day-to-day interactions of students, chefs, and the public, the joys of success, the tears of failure, and the author’s take on how to overcome them. After reading, I really felt like I knew some of the teachers, and it completely renewed my desire to attend the CIA. In fact, I think I am going to stop there when I am on vacation this summer – I’m pretty sure the school will be on summer break, but hopefully, I will be able to get on campus to walk around, take some pics, and daydream for a bit.

I have to be honest, though, I was a bit disappointed with the ending… maybe because it didn’t truly have one. The author graduates, and the book just stops… I felt that there were some unresolved conflicts going on, some unanswered questions, and while I didn’t quite expect a fairy tale ending, I would have liked some of these conflicts to be resolved. But maybe that’s just me…

That said, I would highly recommend this book, especially for someone thinking of attending the CIA. It’s a quick read, and won’t disappoint.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A bit personal...

I've spent the last few days thinking - there's not much else to do when you are doing EMS-standby's and nobody is getting hurt (this is a good thing, no matter what the EMTs say).  Through all of this thinking, I have put together a short (and I'm sure incomplete) list of things I like and don't like.  Enjoy.

I don't like...
- Rude people.
- My stubbornness.
- My overall laziness or lack of self-motivation.
- But mostly, my fear of rejection, failure, and of being alone.  This one is the killer...

I like...
- Exploring new places.  (Finding that motivation is harder than finding a place to explore...)
- Lazy Sundays (not that today was lazy, by any means...)
- Cooking for other people (but not so much for just myself...)
- Playing with new-to-me ingredients.  I have a running list of items I'd like to try out.
- The post-run high (but not so much the run itself...)
- The solitude of the woods...
- Or my Harley.  Obviously, the Harley isn't so quite, but it is the best therapy I've ever known.
- My desire to try or learn new things.  (This is also a downfall... a very expensive downfall.)

- And most recently, I have realized how much I like gals with brown hair longer than shoulder-length, and freckles.  Man, do freckles attract...  Too bad the age difference and physical distance is as large as it is, as I think I have found my version of perfection.

I've been putting together a list of goals, too, but that will have to wait for another evening.  Oh-dark-thirty comes real quick... G'night!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One of those days...

A rare cup of coffee on my desk...
I had coffee this morning. You may ask why this is important, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not. Unless you know that I’m not really fond of the flavor of coffee. The fact that I willingly went to the office kitchen and got a cup means one of two things: I am either sick and trying to cover the taste in my mouth with something only slightly-less disgusting, or I am exhausted beyond words. For the sake of argument, let’s assume it’s the second…

The ambulance station is going to be the death of me. Have I mentioned before that I volunteer at an ambulance station? Probably not, but I do. I started about eight years ago, and just recently completed my EMT-I coursework, so I can start running as a medic. I absolutely love the work, too. It’s so rewarding to walk into someone’s life when they are having the worst day ever, and to leave them a couple hours later knowing that I helped make it better. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. But calls in the middle of the night make sleep really hard to come by! And unfortunately, I find myself drinking pop (soda for some of you…) in the middle of the night, eating food I know isn’t good for me only because it’s available and you never know when you can eat again. It makes being healthy difficult…
I haven’t really mentioned it here before, but I am also training for a marathon – the Marine Corps Marathon, to be specific.  And let’s just say, training isn’t going as well as I would like. I hurt my leg about two months ago, so I’ve really been taking it easy, and only started running again a week or two ago. And now, it’s so blasted hot outside, running seems like a suicide sentence. But the training has had me thinking a lot about food – what I eat, what I shouldn’t be eating, properly balancing meals while still maintaining flavor and excitement. The more I truly think about it and explore the intricacies of different spices and herbs, the more I fall in the love with the idea of becoming a chef.

No real reason for posting, just felt like babbling...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book collector

I was perusing my wishlist at lunch and came to a realization - I need to just buy a library.  Seriously, I have 11 different wishlists (divided into categories...), and I am afraid to even tally up how many books are on them all.

But let's look at my "Culinary" wishlist...

Did yo usee that?!  182 items!  Now, you and I both know I will never cross off every single one of those books as "purchased" and it's safe to say I don't even want all of them anymore... but how do you start to sort through, to group them by topic, or by author, or some sort of criteria so you can eliminate the ones you don't want anymore?

I have no clue.  If you figure out an answer to that, let me know... until then, I will just keep buying for whatever mood I am in...

Monday, June 6, 2011


So tonight I had a realization... some nights, I just like to cheat.  Not completely, mind you, but still.  Take tonight for instance...

I got home late from work... and was starving.  So I threw a frozen "complete meal" in a skillet, and turned the stove on.  I cheated.  I didn't cook from scratch.

My "frozen meal-in-a-bag"

But not completely... while the meal may be decent on its own, I always add to them.  Tonight, it was Alfredo Chicken, which I added some local white wine to, and a few odds-and-ends spices from the cabinet.  Voila!  It's my creation... sort of.  Think of it as my culinary version of Frankenstein.  :-)

While not completely proud of this, it did put a decent meal with good flavors in my belly, in under half an hour - without having to go to the super-mart.  <shrug>  So sue me...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I love D.C.

Yesterday, I ventured into D.C. for my monthly pilgrimage, although it's easily been two months or better since my last trip. It was a tad warm, and I'm dealing with some leg pain from a previous run, but I made the most of the trip.

My sole purpose for going into the city was to visit the Eastern Market and see all the fruits and vegetables I've heard so much about. Things I learned while walking through the vendors...

Inside the Eastern Market building

1. It's a REALLY good thing I don't live in D.C. Not only are housing costs outrageous, but if I had access to the Eastern Market on a daily basis, my bank account would implode. Prices weren't crazy, but the selection was wonderful!

Tables and tables of fresh produce lined the streets.

2. I really like pecans. Especially when roasted, and covered in sugar and other spices. I remember eating them when I was a kid, and not thinking much of them - I've always been a peanut and cashews kid, but apparently, I like pecans, too. Still not crazy about almonds, though...

3. I really, REALLY want to go to culinary school to learn how to use all of the wonderful fresh items I saw at the at the market. Wow... cravings come in many different sizes and colors...

More to follow, I'm sure...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brain Dump

While I know that I've previously used this blog as a way to "store" information for future use, even making the blog private at one point, I am thinking it's time to start writing again. That's not to say I won't still post information-passing posts, either...

In the past few months, I've been getting used to Twitter, getting accustomed to reading blogs every day (more on that later...), and have been commenting on many of them. That's probably where this desire to start writing comes from...

I hate to admit it, but until very recently, my cooking for the last year or so has revolved around frozen pizza and pasta. Nothing worth taking a picture of, that's for sure. Last night, I cooked for the duty crew at the ambo company. I wasn't sure of the recipe, so I adlibbed where I needed to, but overall, not a single complaint was heard, and since there wasn't much in the way of leftovers, I'll assume they liked it.

Grilled steak with olive tapenade, roasted potatoes and tomatoes, with steamed veggies.

I've been giving a lot of thought to the Culinary lately. I can't think of anything I would rather do than attend classes at the best culinary school there is... but there just seems to be so many roadblocks in the path. First and foremost is the cost... and with the divorce-debt weighing me down, getting any sort of help doesn't seem reasonable. Finding time to go work (for near-minimum wages, I'm sure...) at a restaurant for six months isn't an easy hurdle to get over, either. It's not like I'm a high school kid with no other responsibilities. I've been mulling it over, trying to see if I can find a path through all of the obstacles. I'm sure there will be more to follow...

Blogs. Yeah, I think I am becoming addicted. I have a whole list of them that I've begun following. (hmm, side note... really need to update my blog listings here...) But I wanted to pass along a few that I have really enjoyed reading - Hope you enjoy them, too!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back at it...

Oops, I forgot to report on my latest run.  First off, apologies.  I took off about 6 weeks, to let my legs heal.  I ended up deferring my Frederick 5k race until next year, and literally did not run at all for 6 weeks.  I walked a lot, though – not that it’s the same.

So for my first run, I knew I had to take it easy.  I planned to just do a 2 mile out and back (1 mile each way), walking as needed, but when I started, I decided to revise that.  I was really good about limiting how much I actually ran, and certainly how hard I ran, but I did a 4.7 mile loop.  I ran more at the beginning, and walked a bunch at the end, but I finished feeling great, and even the next day, didn't have much in the way of soreness, so I call that a win.  My stats for the run:  Monday evening, April 23, 2011 - warm and humid, 4.7 miles, 1hr 13 minutes, with an average heart rate of 138, which felt good to me.  I have to admit, my HR didn't seem to be the issue, as I thought it would be, but rather my lungs were the limiting factor.  Obviously, walking was not the cardio exercise I needed to maintain my lung strength.  But for a first run, I was pleased.

And then the bad news...

Three days later, I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, bringing with it a nice painful cough.  So no running since then.  Joy.

I am revising my training plans a bit.  Starting this weekend (assuming I can breathe without coughing by then...) I am going to start a slow run/walk program to get me back to speed again, and while doing that, I'm going to also do the Insanity DVD program.  It's a three month program that is aimed at cardiovascular health and weight loss, and I am hoping that the combination of the DVDs and the running will get me healthy and prepared for the marathon.  I believe the Marine Corps training program starts at the end of June, so I need to be semi-ready for that.

I am also making some life changes.  I am going to change my work hours, so that I better utilize what little free time I have.  By moving my hours back one hour, I should be able to get up and run in the morning before work, without having to get up any earlier.  It will also eliminate wasted time after work, as most of my evening activities begin later and the time between was wasted watching tv or surfing the net.  Either way, we'll see how this works...

More to follow...