Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feast o' the Irish

In case you didn't know, today was St. Patrick's Day! Fortunately, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so we of course had to celebrate with traditional Irish fare. Wandering through Costco the other day we saw a package of corned beef which only required us to put it in the crock pot for about 10 hours and walk away, our kind of meal! We picked up a small one (by Costco standards) and started to plan the feast. We bought some cabbage, carrots and whipped up some leftover potatoes, and let it cook.

We are still in training for the marathon and half marathon, which seems like it is only days away at this point. But with that in mind, we both went for about a 4 mile run when we got home, while the beef was cooking. It was windy and kind of chilly when the sun went behind the clouds. I guess it is technically still winter. Julie took a wrong turn and found herself in a poorly lit creek-bed lined with slippery rocks and mountain lions (probably), only barely managing to make it out in one piece! I got home late, so I tried to catch up to her, and heroically save her from the beasts stalking her in Ute Valley, but she was too fast and I only saw her at home, after she had fended off all manner of beast with her bare hands.

O.K., back to dinner.

We heated up the potatoes, steamed the carrots and cabbage, cut the corned beef, and ate our feast.

That wasn't quite enough for our holiday appetites, so we had to find something else Irish-like to wash it down. Fortunately I read about something called a Shamrock Shake at McDonald's, and apparently everyone loves it! It is a mint flavored milkshake, colored green, covered in whipped cream and topped with a cherry. It is only available during the St. Patrick's Day holiday season (no, really, that is true). In fact, I think only the pictures do it justice:

I'm 90% sure that this shade of green does not appear in nature. Oddly, it is also the color of mint chocolate chip ice cream, mmmmm.

Alright, so that is how we celebrate St. Patrick's Day these days, since we go to bed at 9:30 now. We hope that you wore green to avoid being pinched and had an very exciting day too!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring is springing!

I got home today before it was dark outside and I noticed a few spring springings! I am super excited for what is growing in my front yard! Last fall, I bought huge bag of tulip bulbs at Costco and planted them in front of the house! AND they are starting to come up!!! I was a bit nervous about them not growing, I have heard it can take a year or more for the bulbs to actually sprout anything.

Also last year Mikey and I went to a local community garden's plant sale, and we bought some ground cover. One of them has started to come up, but the other one looked a little dead.

And, not that I am embarrassed by the picture Mikey put up of the deer on his run the other day, but they were just hanging out down the road a little bit, so I wanted to give the Colorado Rat a better chance to shine!

And I might have been wearing a real funny pair of shoes that I got while I was taking these pictures... hope you will still be my friend if you see me wearing them in public!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Garden of the Gods Run

Julie has been doing most of the blogging work for us recently, and I couldn't stand to let her have all of the fun. I thought it might be a good idea to document some of the routes that we run around town, both to show off how cool the town is, and to remember where we've been running.

Despite the warnings of every article I've ever read and my loving wife, I thought it was a great idea to run 14 or 15 miles. Just to recap, I took a week off when the high was in the negative digits, then two weeks off for being sick, and in the middle of that I gave a pint of blood. So, it was probably a bad idea to jump back into 30 miles/week. Turns out, it was a bad idea, I hurt my knee after about 6 miles, and generally felt terrible for the last few miles. Dang.

Other than that, it was a lovely time, a bit breezy and hazy, which created some nice views. To start off, I ran over some of the hills by my house and saw some of the local wildlife enjoying a morning snack.

Running from my house, this is one of the first views of the Garden of the Gods. Pikes Peak poking out behind the rocks, even despite the haze.

Rounding the upper corner of the park about 5 miles in, comes to this great view of the park looking south.

My turnaround point was the Balanced Rock, a rock which looks to be sitting in a very compromising spot, and seems to be only a strong breeze away from crushing some unsuspecting tourist. Fortunately, this has been here for quite some time, and isn't really in danger of making pancakes from Texans!

Because it was a loop, the views are pretty much the same on the way back, and due to the injury and how bad I felt, there weren't many pictures.

While there was a fair bit of belly-aching in this post, this was a great run, and I continue to love the available runs we have just outside out door. If I remember the camera, and feel better at some point, there will be more pictures, and hopefully more remote and scenic locations!

Finally did our taxes!

I know it is still early in March, but we usually do our taxes in early February. And according to my dad, why would you wait if you are going to be getting money back, so I got motivated yesterday to sit down and do them! Now Mikey and I are trying to pick a few things that we want to do with some of our tax return and then save the rest. I am thinking I might pick to go see a show at Piccadilly Circus in London!! I think Mikey will probably pick something along the lines of running, hopefully it won't be an entry fee for an ultra (50 mile race)!

Speaking of running, I am trying to be good and actually train for the half marathon, so on Saturday I ran 8 miles with two of my friends. It was hard, but when I was done I was really glad that I did it! Mikey kept telling me I would feel better after I had finished it. I still am not sure how I feel about adding 5 more miles to that 8 mile run, but I guess it's too late to quit now! Mikey is trying to get back to doing a 20 mile run on the weekend, but we think he might still be recuperating from being sick for two weeks and not running the one week when the high was -2 degrees... I think we will probably take this week a little easy, seeing how it is supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow and we signed up for a St. Patty's Day 5K on Saturday. It should be a fun race! I am excited to be done with the run after 3 miles!!

Mikey had to take his Jeep to the shop to get one of the back windows fixed, it wouldn't stay up. He took it to Amanda's Brother's Friend's shop, and he said it cost about 1/2 of what the dealership quoted. So that was nice.

I got a bit of the sweet tooth the other night, and decided that we should make cinnamon roll pancakes for dinner. The idea is to make normal pancake batter, pour some on the griddle, then pour a cinnamon-sugar-butter mixture in a swirl over the pancake. Flip it once, and then cover it in frosting. Seriously. We had this for dinner. Mikey finished two pancakes, and said his hand felt a bit shaky, I only barely made it through two of my own. The good news, we know what Reagan and Breckin are having for breakfast when they spend the night!!!!! Below is one of the frosted pancakes ready for eating!

Other than that, not too much has been going on, we are hoping we can both stop being sick, and the weather can start to be nice again. Fingers crossed!!!