Friday, July 13, 2012

Zucchini and Trails

Quite a week it's been so far. With military drill leading into a full work week, it can be a bit trying and wear heavy. With that being said, I did take a personal day this week, completely un-planned, but one of the best days ever. Ironically, it all started with the pre-dawn run and by the time the day ended, we'd been to one of our favorite wineries for lunch, gone on 1 run and two walks for a total of about 10 miles, shared a peanut butter cup "concrete"...a Blizzard-kind of custard treat from a shop in Stark County, and shared dinner together just us. Start to finish perfect! Like she said later in the day, "Some of our very best days are the ones we don't plan for, we just do." I couldn't agree more. Here's a smattering of pics from the day together.
Clockwise from Top Left: Towpath Trail in Zoar in Tuscarawas County; bridge built in 1883 over the same Towpath Trail; my bride from the bridge above; mile marker along the Towpath; a new wine for us...Blackberry on the patio at one of our favorite wineries in Amish Country.
That dinner...it was zucchini filled, for sure. My wife's father has a garden that is overflowing with this bountiful veggie and in our pursuit of cooking fresher, cleaner, and healthier, we're finding many ways of eating it. Marinated baked chicken was the main course but we also had a sautéed combination of sliced potatoes, onions, and zucchini. Those were leftovers from the casserole of sorts. This casserole had slices of potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini and then we baked some cheese on top. We found this casserole a bit bland until we added some balsamic vinegar to it. 30min at 350F without cheese then add a light layer of cheese on top for an additional 30min. It's that easy!

So tomorrow: it's the 19th installment of the most popular 50K in northeast Ohio, the Buckeye Trail 50K. Forecast? Go figure...hot and humid. You just have to love a forecast that reads "rising humidity into the weekend." Well, at least I'm heading in eyes wide open and know what to expect. Back in 2007, the BT50K was my first ultra...on July 14th, in fact. I ran it in 6hrs, 37min. I honestly don't know what I'll run it in tomorrow. It'll be humbling, for sure, but I'll be sure to have fun. I just want to enjoy it and get another 50K finish. I will miss the company of my bride, for sure, but knowing she'll be waiting at the end is enough. I plan to not carry any phone or timing device of any kind. Just me, my Brooks, a handheld water bottle, and the trail in front of me.

So what kind of day will you have today? Like I tell my little girls, that is a decision we have to make when we awake every day. Sure, circumstances come our way like a wrecking ball at times but still, we can find good in everything and often, we have to step into the light and choose to stay there. May this be an encouragement to YOU to do just that. It's Friday, after all! Have a great weekend, everyone, and enjoy it!
Sunrise on my way to work on Thursday

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