Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Gardening

It rained all day today but that did not stop Kent and I from getting some winter yard chores done today. I always think of my Grandpa when I'm out working in the rain. He taught me long ago not to let the weather stop me from doing anything. I'd say "But it's raining outside we can't....." and he would say "If you live in WA and let the rain stop you from doing anything you will never get anything done!".

Among other things today we pruned the apple tree but mostly the day was about transplanting things that had gotten to big for their spot or we wanted to move for various other reasons. It started with moving a Holly tree. I bought it several years ago when it was small with he intention of using cuttings from it at the holidays. It's gotten quit big and blocked the side view of our house. Since our house was burglarized last year we have been looking for was to make it more visible from the street. So we moved the holly tree from here....

to here in the back yard.

Much better. Now is the time to move certain plants in the winter while the ground is wet and many plants are dormant.

We also transplanted an oak tree that had been in a container on the back porch for several years and simply had gotten too big for the container. So now it too has a nice new spot in the back yard.

I did not get any pictures but we also moved a huge clump of black bamboo that had gotten way too big for it's spot and too close to the house. It was a big job but Kent kept threatening to go out and chop it down if we did not move it!

Felt good to get some winter chores done.

Tonight we went to a Seattle Thunderbird hockey game.

They built a new arena several years ago and we have been meaning to check it out.

Go Thunderbirds!

Later -


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On the Job....

I am so glad it's finally the weekend! I've had a very busy week and had to spend much of last weekend working and have a small amount of work to take care of this weekend. One of the reasons I'm so busy is that when the WA State Legislature is in session I spend a lot of time analyzing bills and periodically going down to Olympia to testify to the Legislature about various topics related to substance abuse. On Tuesday of this week I was asked to present on effective adolescent treatment. Below is a clip of my presentation.

Have a great weekend - today is a rest day from running to gear up for a 20 mile run tomorrow!

Later -


Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Fantastic Juice

I've had an upset stomach for the better part of the week and unfortunately I also feel a slight cold coming on. So tonight the search was on for a juice recipe
that would sooth my stomach and one that would fend off a cold!

I found one that is a combination of 1/2 a pineapple, two pears, two carrots and a small piece of ginger.

I have to say I'm loving the touch of ginger that I've been using in some of these new drink recipes. The key has been to find the right balance - I've quickly learned that less is better! The intense flavor of ginger can easily overpower any drink - I like to add just enough to make a presence but not so much that its entirely clear that there is even ginger in the juice.

I have to say that I'm loving the juicer and the fresh juice. I've focused primarily on fruit drinks so I need to give some vegetable juices a try soon.

Have a good one!


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Road to Boston - Week 4 Training Update

I'm a quarter of the way through my sixteen week training for the Boston Marathon. For the most part it's going pretty well. I've continued to make new juice recipes - tonight was a citrus combo - 2 sweet grapefruits, half a lemon and half a lime. It's a bit tart but delicious and beautiful. If you try this you'll want to find the sweetest grapefruit you can find. I suppose you could add a little sweetener if it's too tart although I chose not to.

I also made another loaf of bread on Sunday. It really is delicious! It's a good thing I'm running so much or I'd be in big trouble! I can't get over how easy it is to make.

Okay - now a summary of this week's miles -

Monday – January 17, 2011 - rest
Tuesday - January 18, 2011 – 8.34 - hills
Wednesday – January 19, 2011 – 7.26 - speed
Thursday – January 20, 2011 – 7.32 - easy
Friday – January 21, 2011 – rest
Saturday – January 22, 2011 – 7.25
Sunday – January 23, 2011 – 8.01 long run

Weekly total: 38.18
Cumulative total: 171.27

Later -


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And the "Beet" Goes On...

When the topic of beets comes up the first question becomes a simple - which category do you belong - the lovers or the haters. I don't know of many people who fall in between. I used to think that I hated beets, that is until I decided to buy some from my local farmers market and roasted them. It was love at first bite! I'd alway associated beets with the pickled kind that my Mom would periodically serve with raw onions. Seems like liver was somehow involved?! Could it get any worse?! (Sorry Mom!)

Even though I'd decided that I did not like beets I'd always been drawn to their color. How could something so bright, so beautiful not be enjoyable. I think it's the color that got me to give them a try again a few years ago.

Where am I going with this post you ask? Remember my juicer?

Brace yourself - fresh beet juice! Okay, not exactly straight beet juice but a mixture of juices. That's right - a mixture of beets, oranges and a small amount of ginger.

I followed a recipe from The Big Book of Juices. The juice was a beautiful deep red.

Okay so it was beautiful but the big question is - how did it taste? Well to be honest I'm not sure I'll be rushing out to make the exact same recipe but what I discovered was that beet juice has possibilities! I liked the sweet earthy flavor of the beet. I can see me mixing it with pears, apples or another combination. I'll keep experimenting and keep you posted!


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Monday, January 17, 2011

Best Fresh Baked Bread Ever!

I'm sure that it's been blogged about a million times but today is my turn. I've been meaning to try this out for the longest time so since I had the day off in honor of Martin Luther King I decided to baked fresh bread. But not just any recipe - I wanted to follow the recipe developed by Jim Lahey from the Sullivan St. Bakery. When Mark Bittman the author of the "Minimalist" column, which runs weekly in the Dining section of The New York Times first wrote about Jim's recipe he said - "The loaf is incredible, a fine bakery quality, European style boule that is produced more easily than any other technique that I've used - and it will blow your mind."
That's all it took to peak my interest. My love for bread is a real problem. Could there be anything better than fresh bread and a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping? I could very well love bread as much as sex!

For an author biography, beautiful photos from the book, and recipes, click here.

Inspired by the ancient art of Italian bread making, Jim Lahey developed artisanal bread that is entirely his own and soon can be yours. It takes only a pot to create what Mark Bittman calls “the best no-work bread you have ever made.” The method, which captured worldwide attention following Mark's article, is practically foolproof and allows the home baker to let the dough rise slowly, without any kneading or fuss, and then bake it in a heavy, preheated pot.

Here is a copy of the recipe as it appeared in the New York Times in November 2006. The pictures are one's that I took as I gave the recipe a try for the first time.

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1¼ teaspoons salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Since the recipe above first appeared Jim has released a book called - My Bread. The recipe I used was slightly different than the one above but basically they are the same. You really should give it a try - the bread is delicious! It's hard flakey crust and chewy on the inside. There are several varioants of the bread which I can't wait to try! I wish I could let you try it - it's so good!

Later -


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 3 - Training for Boston

I'm just in from this weeks long run and thought I'd post the week three update unusually early for me! It's because I'm watching the Seahawks game and so far it does not look to good for the hawks so I'm going to multi-task.  Before I get into the my training schedule I thought I'd share my latest way of tracking my runs.  Up to this point I've used the Garmin 405.

Garmin makes a great product but I have to say as smart phones become more and more capable with GPS and music and the ability to take pictures along the route - the need for a GPS watch may well be on the way out. Kinda makes me sad  - I've logged a lot of miles with Garmin.

For Christmas Kent bought me the Nike Plus (at my request) to track my running.  I was not sure if I would like it but for less than $30 I thought I'd give it a try.  I have to say that although not love at first sight  - I love it now!  It took some getting used to but with a few tweaks and calibrations it's a great tool to use.  Here's how it works:


Grab your iPod nano, iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, or iPhone 4, a pair of Nike+ shoes, and the Nike + iPod Sport Kit or Sensor. Put the sensor in your Nike+ shoe — there’s a built-in pocket specifically designed for it under the insole. Then connect the receiver to your iPod nano. iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 include built-in support for Nike + iPod, so no receiver is necessary. The sensor tracks your run, then sends the data to your iPod.


Check out the Nike + iPod menu and choose how you want to run. You can use custom workout shortcuts to start your favorite workouts quickly. Try the open-ended workout or select one with time, distance, or calorie goals. Then pick your favorite playlist, shuffle songs, or choose Nike-created Sport Music. You can even program a Power Song to play when you need instant motivation.

As you run, your iPod, iPhone 3GS, or iPhone 4 tells you your time, distance, pace, and calories burned. And it gives you feedback at the halfway point and in the final lead-up to your goal. You can also see the details of your workout on your iPod, iPhone 3GS, or iPhone 4.

Another feature that I really like is the interface with Facebook.  When you start your run there is a status update sent to your friends letting them know you are out on a run and how much distance you plan to cover.  As friends leave comments or "like" I can actually hear cheers through my headset!  It's pretty awesome!  Sounds silly but this morning when it was raining, still dark and the wind was blowing and I was at mile nine with nine more miles to go - it really helped to hear that one of my friends cheered me along!  Thanks to all who left a message or "liked" my status!  I really appreciated it!

Here is an example of the mapping you can do of your run with the Nike GPS app.  This is the route I ran this morning on my 18 mile long run.

There is more that can be done with the program that I've yet to use but if you are interested in a pretty good review check out this link - Nike + GPS app review.

Okay - now a summary of this weeks miles - It was a great week for hill training this week.

Monday – January 10, 2011 - rest

Tuesday - January 11, 2011 –  7.01 - hills
Wednesday – January 12, 2011 – 7.25 - speed
Thursday – January 13, 2011 – 10.8 - easy
Friday – January 14, 2011 – 7.02 - hills
Saturday – January 15, 2011 – rest
Sunday – January 16, 2011 – 18.1 long run

Weekly total: 50.18
Cumulative total: 133.09

Have a great week -


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Road Runner Sports

I’m not sure why I’ve never given a shout out to Road Runner Sports on my blog before but today’s the day! I’ve been shopping there for years and although I’ve been known to venture into any running store that I come across I’m regularly in Road Runner and purchase all my shoes there and most of my running clothes.  I'd consider it my go to place for running gear. I buy my shoes there for several reasons, price, selection, customer service etc., but most importantly is their 60-Day Perfect Fit Shoe Guarantee.

With their unrivaled Perfect Fit Guarantee, you can run in your new shoes risk free for up to 60 days (from your purchase date). If they're not a perfect fit, simply exchange them and we'll be happy to help you select a replacement pair. No questions asked! Every once in while I think I am going to find a new shoe that is going to miraculously make me faster, lighter and several inches taller! Both times I’ve done this I’ve always returned to my trusty Nike Air Pegasus+ 27 and Road Runner has taken my shoes back no question asked and sent me on my merry way! Their shoe return policy alone is reason to keep me going back!

I recently bought a new running rain jacket that I love!

It’s the men’s Men's RRS Pro Velocity Rain Jacket and once I got it home I realized one of the zippers did not work correctly and again – I took it back and exchanged it for another jacket no problem. I did not even have my original receipt!

I’ve yet to mention the VIP program. Feel the LOVE with all of Your VIP Family Benefits!

• 90 DAY Wear 'Em & Love 'Em Guarantee

• SAVE 10% - On everything!

• FREE SHIPPING on Every Order - No minimum required

• BEST PRICES on the Planet 100% Guaranteed!

• Exclusive VIP FAMILY PERKS That'll Have You Jumping for Joy!

There is a fee for the VIP which is a little steep to be honest - $24.99 annually but I spend enough there annually to more than make it worth the cost. There is an online special right now that gives you the first year for only $1.99! That’s a deal!

I am in no way connected with this store. I just thought it was time to give them a plug for their great customer service and deals! One other quick thing that I’ve noticed is the staff tend to stick around for awhile – not a bunch of new faces every time we go in so to me that speaks well of the company too.

Check them out some time!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Week 2 – Training for Boston

I’m already into week three as I write the week two update and it’s not been without struggle! I did however do my first hill workout this week and although tough – it felt great! I’ll save the details of hill training for the week three update.
Why was week two such a challenge? I think it’s because (as is often true in my life) I tried to push myself too much! I have to ease back into full training as opposed to my traditional approach of - I can just start as if I never reduced my running at all. I only ran four days this week. I found that my legs were more fatigued than I’d expected and I really did not want to miss my long run on Sunday so I did a little cross training on Friday and took Saturday off completely. I’ve officially decided that I am going to limit my training to 5 days per week. Six days is difficult not only because of the time but because of the time of year, plus I really need to have the two days a week that I can sleep in and not have to get up at 4:45 a.m.. My rest days will be Saturday and Monday.

My diet has also been something that I am working on right now. As I’ve said I tend to pack on a few extra pounds between races and I am working on taking off the extra weight now. I bought my first ever juicer and have been experimenting with drinking more fresh fruit and vegetable drinks. I was inspired by the book – Clean by Alejandro Junger. I am considering doing a three week food detox but I am easing myself into it. I’ve already altered my diet but several times while running I’ve felt weak and sluggish. I’m hoping that some dietary changes will help with the energy. I’ve written before that I cut out alcohol while training – so I am going on three weeks of no booze - now get this (I know it’s shocking to me too) – I am easing myself into going caffeine free! I’ve done this before and suffered the terrible headaches that come with caffeine withdrawal but I simply want to continue to look for ways to improve my health. No commitment on my part as of yet but I’m giving careful consideration! Not wanting to be wasteful I’ve got fresh coffee and Starbucks gift cards I’ve got to use up first!

Now for the running report for week two:

Monday – January 3, 2011 - Rest

Tuesday - January 4, 2011 – 8.35 easy

Wednesday – January 5, 2011 – 8.70 easy

Thursday – January 6, 2011 – 7.01 easy

Friday – January 7, 2011 – Rest

Saturday – January 8, 2011 – Rest

Sunday – January 9, 2011 – 16.4 long run

Weekly total: 40.46

Cumulative total: 82.91

Later - Jim

My New Juicer

Have you ever felt the need to go out and buy yourself a Christmas present after the holidays have passed? I've been eyeballing a juicer for a few years now and finally decided to jump in and purchase one for myself when I saw that they were on sale 40% off as Macy's last Saturday. I also got a new food processor but I'll save that for another post!

I bought a Breville ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain.

So far so good,although as you can tell by the picture it's pretty big! But it's also fast, makes a lot of juice and is easy to use and clean up after. So far I've mostly just been playing around carrot and apple juice, pear and apple, my own version of vegetable juice that although I drank was not very good - that kinda thing. I thought that one way to keep me trying new juice recipes was to blog about the new ones I try. There are tons of recipes for juice online but never being one to pass on an opportunity to buy a new book (or three in my case) I picked up some new recipe books. The one that the first recipe that I am going to share is from The Big Book of Juices.

I love the flavor, smell and texture of fresh juice. I enjoy the entire process of selecting the recipe, picking out and preparing the ingredients and even cleaning the machine afterwards. It's relaxing oddly enough! I've been making enough to have a drink at night and then to have enough to have a glass in the morning before leaving for my morning run. It's a great energy boost and a sure way to get in my daily requirement of fruit and vegetables.

Today's recipe is called - Pineapple Basic

1/2 pineapple
1 apple
3 carrots
1 celery stick

First of all - let me say that it's hard for me not to like anything with pineapple! I love fresh pineapple so to be honest it was hard for me to use my fresh pineapple in a juice when what I really wanted to do was eat it! I chose a recipe that only called for 1/2 a pineapple so I could eat the other half! So although his was a very good drink I'm not sure that using my fresh pineapple in this manner is something that I'd chose over eating it fresh. That being said - it's delicious and refreshing!

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Well Behaved Pups

I just love our dogs! Kent sent me this picture this morning of Toby and Maggie that I just had to share!

Since I leave so early in the morning to get my run in, I don't get to see them off in the morning. We've taught them to patiently sit on their bed as we get our shoes on and head out for work. They of course have been manipulated by way of hotdog! Very effective!

We had some snow last night.

This morning its warmed and now we have wet sloppy snow melting rapidly on the ground. Forced to do my 7 mile run on the treadmill this morning! Good day for speed work! Have a great day!


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Week 1 – Training for Boston

Well the Boston Marathon is less than 16 weeks away and I am back into some serious running. Following my last marathon in Cologne Germany I’ve ran fairly regularly but not on a specific routine so time for serious training and adhering to a schedule. I use Smart Coach from Runner’s World Magazine to provide the basics for my schedule and tweak it accordingly. They have a new iPhone app that makes it convenient to always have my schedule handy. I’m going to be running 5-6 days per week. The plan calls for 6 days but I’ll substitute one of those days for cross training if my legs are fatigued. My running week will generally be Tuesday through Sunday. I only ran 5 days in the first week, partly to ease into things but also we were traveling and on flight days it was tough to get the run in.

Monday – December 27, 2010 – 11.5 long run
Tuesday – December 28, 2010 – Rest
Wednesday – December 29, 2010 – 7.02 speed work
Thursday – December 30, 2010 – 6.09 easy
Friday – December 31, 2010 – 3.34 easy
Saturday – January 1, 2011 – Rest
Sunday – January 2, 2011 – 14.5 long run

Weekly total: 42.45 miles
Cumulative total: 42.45

It feels good to be back on a schedule. I have a tendency to let my weight take an upward trend in between marathons so I’ll be glad to drop several extra lbs! It’s a challenging time of year to train both due to the weather and the short days. The current sunrise is 7:57 a.m. and the sunsets at 4:32 p.m. and since I pretty much work 8-5 I do a lot of running in the dark. I have to get up at 4:48 a.m. to catch the 5:15 a.m. bus to downtown Seattle. That gives me enough time to get to the office, get a few things done and be on the running trail by 6:00 a.m. The good news is that the days are already getting longer. I just looked it up and by January 11th there will already be 1 minute and 42 seconds more day light than there is today!

Happy trails –

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Day at LAX

Although we are eager to get home we decided to take a bump to a later flight out of LAX. We decided that since we can't pick up the dogs until tomorrow we would take advantage of the perks of being bumped!

To start with we each got a $300 voucher on Alaska airlines that is good for one year. It's nice since the flights to LA were more expensive than usual - makes the trip much more affordable. We can use the vouchers in March when we come to the PAC-10 basketball tournament! We also received access to the Alaska Airlines boardroom at the airport.

It's much better to hang out in the boardroom than it is in the main terminal! Big screen TV's with bowl games playing and free food and drinks! Finally as an added bonus - first class upgrade for our later flight home!

Until then we will hang out and watch football!

Later - Jim

Happy New Years!

Dawgs won a big game at Pauly Pavilion over UCLA. It was a big weekend in Husky sports with a basketball win over USC, the Holiday Bowl win and now a basketball win over UCLA!

We went to dinner at the Angeli Caffe in LA and then to our final and 49th movie of 2010 - Burlesque!

I enjoyed this movie. It's not an Academy Award winner by any means but it was fun! Perfect movie for New Year's Eve.

We are headed home today - glad to be headed back to Seattle. Happy New Year to you!


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