Where's Waldo Wednesday - 6/?/13-6/19/13

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Where's Waldo Wednesday - The point of the week where more is behind than ahead and the weekend, and thus playtime, is the bright light at the end of the tunnel.  Why did I call it Where's Waldo Wednesday?  No particular reason really...other than I like alliteration and it is fun to say.  Try saying it five times fast!

A weekly (more like biweekly) series of what's new around here and other ramblings like things I found interesting on the internet this week or cool runs I did, kind of like a weekly synopsis.  Originally, I was going to do this on Sunday and call it Sunday Synopsis but then I couldn't decide between Sunday Synopsis and Sunday Summary...so I did the only logical thing and decided to write it on Wednesday?

This week's edition encompasses...ermm...June? so it's somewhat of a month in review so far.  Also, that means this post is probably WAY too long for you so you may just want to skip through to options of interest.

The Week's Happenings

Honestly, there hasn't been much going on around here the past few weeks so I really don't have a whole lot to post about.  Michelle and I have been enjoying cooking and I feel like we're finally finding our niche of what we like to prepare/cook/eat.  One observation is our gradual shift toward a more plant-based diet.  I don't really have an interest in pursuing a vegetarian or vegan diet, or labeling our eating habits for that matter but instead focusing on eating foods as close to their original state as possible.  I've persuaded Michelle to try a vegetarian diet next spring just as an experiment to see what we think of it.

1. Learning to run again.  Well.  It feels like I am at least.  The arrival of warm weather has forced me to adjust my expectations when heading out for a run.  I learned this first hand last Thursday when I went out for a longish run in the morning that left me feeling humbled, and destroyed by the end.  It was the first double-digit distance run I had attempted since TNF 50 earlier this month and I knew early on in the run it was going to be rough day.  It was apparent that skipping breakfast, aside from a yogurt, and a measly dinner the night before had put me in a calorie deficit which caused me to run out of energy quick.  Fortunately, I had received my June StrideBox a few days earlier and decided to bring along a few items from it, which without I would have been in serious trouble.  Welcome to Bonkville.  I downed one of the green citrus chews below and began to feel better within a few minutes and continued along the Huckleberry trail out to Christiansburg.  On the return, around mile 8, I was feeling empty and defeated and began to walk.  It's easy to beat yourself up when you get into one of these situations.  I was thinking to myself, "I ran 50 miles two weeks ago and now I can't do 8?"  I'd be lying if I said I was positive the entire time but I try to keep things in perspective and appreciate the opportunity of the present and kept telling myself, "if it were easy, everyone would do it" and "it's the hard days that prepare you for tough moments in life."  Eventually...I finished the run and hopped on my bike to pickup groceries and race the storm home, narrowly escaping the epic downpour!

June StrideBox contents.

Details of my tough run.

2. Enjoy the moment.  It's been a slow progression for me and I still battle daily/hourly to simply slow down and enjoy the moment.  I think as a goal oriented individual it is difficult not to look to the future and simply enjoy being in the present.  On Friday, Michelle and I enjoyed a relaxing morning before taking a picnic lunch to Bissett Park.  We enjoyed just laying around in the sun and the gorgeous weather the day had to offer. It was fantastic practice for being content with the current and not thinking about everything that "needed to be done."
 We brought Gillie along which we don't always do and really need to be better about.  It's super easy to make excuses or not want to deal with the additional effort of packing a few bottles of water for her but the payoff is huge.  She's an outside dog and to see her so happy is totally worth the extra five minutes...and the occasional constant untangling of the leash from our chairs.

3. Starlite Drive-In - Furious 6.  With the upcoming switch to digital projectors from 35mm, Michelle and I figured we needed to see a movie in a drive-in before there weren't any around anymore so on Friday evening we headed just down the road to the Starlite Drive-In in Christiansburg to see Furious 6, the sixth installment in the the Fast and Furious franchise.  They have two showings a night, with the first beginning around 8:45ish and the second immediately upon the conclusion of the first. 

The entrance to the drive-in.  The screen is actually on the back of the large structure with the star painted on it.

The shot above on the left is the screen, obviously this was early on before everyone else arrived which made for a clean photo opportunity.  You can either tune your radio to 90.3FM to listen via car stereo or use the speakers that you can hang on your door (above right).  We opted for the latter and decided not to put it on the side of the car because the volume was high where it was.

4. Early morning run and enjoying Blacksburg.  I was struggling to get out of bed Saturday morning, especially after Thursdays demoralizing 12 mile run.  I find that previous statement funny.  When you think about it, the fact that I have the ability to run 12 miles at a whim even if it was at roughly a 9 min and change pace is nothing to scoff.  I think we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves all the time.  Breathe.  Enjoy the moment.  I managed 8 miles and felt good for most of the run which was somewhat redeeming.

We headed toward Blacksburg to visit the farmers market and then stopped and grabbed a bite at Moe's.  Afterwards, we walked around campus and showed Shannon, Michelle's friend from Radford, some of the cool things on Tech's campus.

Michelle and Shannon at the Pylons overlooking the Drillfield.

We headed over the Hahn Horticultural gardens, which are neat but we never make the time to get over there so it was nice to see everything in bloom. We noticed immediately upon entering they were setting up for a wedding and what a gorgeous setting it made.  However, I felt bad for the folks who were going to be sitting through a wedding with the TERRIBLE gnats that would not leave us alone while we were there.  We ventured down to the little pond and checked out the tent they had set up and were in the process of decorating.
Lily pads in the Hahn Horticultural Garden.

5.  Foodography.  It's no surprise that I like to cook but I always take photos of the food and feel it never does the meal justice to how it actually looks on my plate.  The colors always seem to be off and the entire meal just looks kinda...blah.  I would say that I make a good effort to plate food in an exciting and visually appealing way and have been taking lots of photos trying to figure out what I think looks good.  I'm happy with how the photos below have come out and hope that they will drive me to improve, both in cook/plating and taking the photos.  I'm all ears for suggestions...and all stomach for suggestions too!

I've been a bit of a wrap addict lately.  They take practically no time to prepare, under two minutes, and I can pack lots of good tasting, and nutritionally dense, food in a non-messy portable-handheld.  They're AWESOME!!!  And they photograph well too...or at least I think so.  The chips...well...yeah.  I have tried to cut out all things in the past and I always binge or overeat on something else.  These were the Kroger brand organic sweet potato chips.  They're delicious.  The side was just some plain greek-yogurt with bananas and blueberries and a dab of agave over the top.

Why am I writing all of this?  Because when I first tried to be aware of what I was eating, or how I still feel on some days, is that it take too much effort or cost too much or yada-yada yaya.  It doesn't.  It can be quick and simple and most importantly.  Cheap.


  1. I use the Mission brand wraps, I'm sure any will do, and put them between two wet, not damp, paper towels and put it in the microwave for 20 seconds.
  2. I spread some type of hummus or spread on the wrap which helps the wrap stick to itself and keeps everything sealed, although as you can see in the photos above I need to more toward the edges.
  3. Next, I place spinach down as a moisture barrier between the wrap and hummus and everything else, which I think helps if you plan to not eat it right then.
  4. I have been cutting thin slivers of a red bell pepper and using a peeler to make thin shavings of carrots which give a nice texture to the wrap.
  5. I put on cheese and lunch meat and then seal it up.  I've found that I like the fold the sides in method and then start rolling to get a nice burrito-like roll.

4.  Self-portrait running photos.  It's not as easy as one might think.  Especially if you want the photos to be somewhere remote along your run because then you have to haul the camera with you and that presents a whole new challenge.  I've had a Gorillapod for a few years now but rarely make the effort to use it how it's intended.  The neat flexible digits allow you to wrap it around or position your camera on almost anything which is cool in-and-of-itself.

I thought the graffiti on tunnel in the photo below would make for a cool addition but it's hardly noticeable.  Anyone have suggestions?  Granted I was using the Panasonic TS4 which is a great camera but I'm not sure I had it set properly for taking this type of photo.

I decided to try a different location, which was actually just on the other side of the tunnel but actually used the Gorillapod this time and place the camera along a fence post.

meh...so it was a valuable learning experience.  I think one thing that is neat is the opportunity for other folks to see where I run.

On Tuesday, I registered for the Summer Solstice 5K, which is a run put on by RunAbout Sports that begins at 8:30PM this Saturday.  $19 is difficult to beat for a registration fee and I think it will be really fun to run at dusk...glow sticks are provided!

Interesting Internet Findings
  1. From Addict to Ultra runner Western States is this weekend, which is pretty much the Super Bowl of ultra running.  I'm a huge fan of reading memoirs and stories triumph so I thought this article was a great read (and not too long) from the 2012 winner, Timothy Olson who runs for Pearl Izumi. Read it HERE.
  2. GO. OUT. and. RUN.  At least that's how this video makes me feel! 
  3. Talk about a close encounter!  This is absolutely frightening!
  4. It's no surprise that I love pizza and Michelle and I make it pretty often around here but there's something about having a pizza delivered to your front door...but this brings a whole new meaning to carryout or delivery! 


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