Possibilities

Good morning y’all.  I’ve been quiet on the blog a bit recently.  Mostly that’s because there’s been some serious soul-searching going on.  For a while I was really gung-ho about Tulsa and this rapidly approaching move.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still coming, and willingly, I’ve just had some new thoughts.  

It was the type of gung-ho that comes with the thrill of making big decisions.  The thrill (for me anyway) of having a plan.  A direction.  A next step.  I finally knew what I would do in August and was ready to zip through the summer right into the next chapter of my life.

Well, here I am, exactly halfway through this summer, staring at empty-but-assembled-and-waiting-for-contents boxes in my living room and a mild panic is setting in.

What the hell am I going to do when I get there?!

Who am I going to hang out with (I can’t live with Katie and Justin forever!)?!

How will I make enough money to pay for this house?!

What if I don’t like my neighbors?!

How will I put up with the Thunder fans?

What happens when something in the house breaks and there’s no landlord, husband or dad around to call to fix it?!

These thoughts just snuck up on me one day and overwhelmed my mind, so I decided the best approach was to just STOP.

Stop planning every aspect of the business.  I know what I love to do.  I know what people say I’m good at.  I can figure out how to blend it into a living over the course of time.

Stop scouring the internet for meet-up groups.  If I wait until I get into town, I can use Tinder to find friends in my immediate vicinity….kidding.  I can use Foolish Things, my sense for outdoor adventure and my friendly personality to meet new friends.  Miley’s always an energetic ice breaker too.

Stop worrying about a financial business plan.  Certainly I have an idea of a monthly income to shoot for, but if it takes a few months to build it up solely through training and fitness, I’m certainly not too good to put in some hours behind a bar or as a kid sitter.

Stop anticipating the neighbors.  I make excellent desserts.  Plus, I just need to remember I’ve already won them over by setting the alarm off and having the police come on the first night in the house.

Stop fretting about the Thunder fans.  I’ve got enough Grizzly gear and pride to stand up to them.  And a rematch is almost a year away; plenty of stress-free peace time between the two teams.

Stop anticipating problems with the house.  Sure the only home-maintenance skills I’ve got up my sleeves are changing light bulbs and plunging toilets, but every leaky sink and broken sump pump is a learning opportunity.  I don’t need a man in landlord, husband or dad form to save me (though, Pops I might be calling you for advice if Google fails to provide proper step by step instruction).

Stop.  Breathe.  Take it one day at a time.  Enjoy the time I have left in Austin.  Enjoy the people here, the comfort of knowing where things are and what each day will hold.  Recognize the beauty of this uncertainty.  The only thing that is set in stone for August is where I’ll live and my Runnin’ Fools.  Everything else from my friends to my day job to my paint colors to my grocery store is up for choosing.  Oh the possibilities.

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Healthy and Fit Lit Club

School’s been out for just over a month now and I’m finding myself remaining drawn to the learning process.  Most recently I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and find myself soaking up loads of information that I failed to be exposed to in the classrooms.

Then I got to thinking and running, and thinking while running.  This would be more interesting and fun with a community to share this with.  A group of people to discuss various points of health, whether contemporary discoveries or age-old truths.  People to disagree and challenge current ways of life and health.

So, I’ve decided to host a monthly Book Club!  I will choose a title and announce it in the week before a new month and we’ll spend all of the following month reading.  I will pull out quotes that hit home with me the most on social media (@runsprenkelrun on Insta and Twitter) and then in the last week of the month, I’ll post some questions and we can have an intellectual discussion of the book.

Since I just finished this book (and have lots of questions/chatting points about it!), let’s start July with The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

July Book Club Selection

Grab a copy and start reading with us!

Texas Reunion in Niagara

Several months ago, on one of the few snow days we had in Austin this winter, my roommate Erin asked if I wanted to go to a timeshare presentation with her.  She also offered me the second ticket on two “free” trips we would receive just for listening to the spiel.  I had nothing better to do that day, and won’t ever say no to opportunities to travel so took her up on the offer. We listened for about 3 hours almost opting in to their sales.  I’m telling you, I can’t be left alone for anything, I’m such a sucker for sales people…..

We resisted, or more like Erin resisted and I was finally convinced that with no guaranteed income after graduation yet, a major investment like a timeshare (but the REI part of it was so worth it!) was one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had.  Our first free trip, flights and hotel paid for, was just a few days ago.  I suggested Buffalo, NY for a chance to see Niagara Falls.  It also worked out just so that our friend from graduate school just moved to NYC and was able to meet us there for a reunion.

Of course, even though promised two nights and three days, the way our flights were scheduled it ended up being one full day and two nights.  We sure made the most of that one day at the Falls though!  Starting on the American side, we arrived just after the park opened and went straight for the Maid of the Mist boat ride.

We’d heard that the Maid was a “must-do” and I’ll agree.  We were able to get right up into the mist of the mighty falls.  The boat took us past the American Falls to Horseshoe Falls.  Thank goodness they gave us those bright blue ponchos or we would have been soaked!

We hiked around Niagara Falls Park on the US side for a few more hours before deciding to head across the border to Canada.  My first time!

The Canadian side was much more manicured as far as landscaping goes than the American side.  We crossed over by foot on the bridge you see in some of the pictures above.  We didn’t venture too far into the town, it seemed pretty touristy, filled with Ripley’s Believe It or Not style museums. We did make a stop at the Skylon Tower to get an up-high view (my favorite kind) of the falls.

It was a quick trip – one day total at the falls but that’s plenty of time if you hustle from spot to spot.  It would have been nice to have another day to go back and run or bike on some more of the trails (what a backdrop that would have been!) but we just didn’t have the schedule for it.  I loved being back with the girls I’ve spent the past two years with too!

Summer Squash Quinoa Bowl

Last week I picked up some fresh summer squash at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market in Tulsa.  It was a beautiful day after our inaugural Runnin’ Fools training run so a couple of us headed over to check it out.  The market is a few blocks long and had stands of goat milk products, fresh cut flowers, plenty of fruits and veggies, baked goods, local coffee shops and even probiotic popsicles.  This particular market only allows local farmers and products to be sold here.  I’m looking forward to this easy way to support local businesses!

All the fixin's for a light summer dish!

All the fixin’s for a light summer dish!

The idea for this recipe came to me as I watched my French roommate throw a pasta dish together a few weeks ago.  I’m a big fan of substituting quinoa for noodles in pasta dishes for more nutritional punch so that’s all I did here.  If you’re really craving some noodles, feel free to swap back out. It’s a deliciously light (sugar free and Fed Up Challenge approved) summer dish!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Yellow squashes
  • 2-3 Zucchinis
  • 1 white onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Normally on Sundays I cook up one batch of plain quinoa and use it to mix in salads or with veggies.  First, chop the onion (I’m still working on perfecting this technique) and start sauteing it with the garlic in the olive oil over low heat.  While the onion cooks, you can start to chop the squashes, getting them as close to diced as possible and add those to the onion mix.

Almost diced veggies

Almost diced veggies

Let the veggies cook a while over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Mix 1 cup of quinoa with one cup of the veggies over heat.  Pour into a bowl and top with the parmesan cheese!

Final product!

Final product!

Enjoy!

Note:  This meal is great for making ahead.  Keep the leftover chopped veggies separate from your cooked quinoa.  You can easily then add the veggies to an omelette or salad and still have the option of recreating this quinoa bowl!

Do you shop at a farmer’s market?  What are your favorite things to buy there?

Announcing State 13: California

Yesterday marked the halfway point for 2014.  Can you believe it?  Me neither.

I realized though that without any races on the calendar I was risking only having one new state this year (AR in February).  An annual race rate like that puts me at 60+ years old for completing my goal….I’d like for it not to take that long!

Things for state 13 just sort of fell together; I honestly don’t remember how it came up in conversation.  I’ve always said that my California race will be the Nike Women’s Half in San Francisco and guess what y’all I’m IN (well, registered at least….we’ll see if I come out of the draw!).

NWHMSF

Due to the popularity of the race, it is organized as a lottery now.  You can register from today up until 11 AM Pacific Time on June 19, 2014.  Winners will be notified by June 27.  You’ll give your payment info but won’t be charged until you’re selected to run.  Click here for more FAQs.

The actual race is Sunday, October 19 at 6:30 am.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!  I’ve had my eye on this race, this town, this state and those blue boxes on silver platters held by SF Firemen in tuxedos for a long time now 😉

Motivation for sure

Have you run a Nike Women’s event before?  How are those San Francisco hills?! Be sure to let me know if you’re in the lottery as well and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you too!

Hello Tulsa!

This past weekend I was on the road again to Oklahoma.  The drive isn’t so bad – it’s about three hours north to Dallas and then another four from there to Tulsa.  The landscape this time was absolutely beautiful.  I think I missed the blooming of the sunflowers by a week or two (those are spectacular along 35 N to Dallas) but there was still plenty of green pastures with pops of wildflower color.

Plus I had a cute travel companion.

Travel companion

Travel companion

We drove straight to an appointment to close on a house!  On an earlier spring visit to Tulsa, I went to three open houses with my friend Katie and on the third one, I knew I wanted this house.  It’s hard to explain, just a feeling I had.  I put an offer on it and now here we are!  Miley and I will be in Owen Park and I love the historic feel of our neighborhood.  There is a park with a track and pond close by for us both to run in.  The best part is the front porch, just waiting for a good porch swing.  Miley likes the chickens in the community garden next door, and I sense some potential trouble there.

Homeowners!

Homeowners!

Miley and I hung out in the emptiness for a while (right after we set off the alarm and met the Tulsa police department…) until Katie and Justin brought over dinner and some folding chairs.

Empty.  And full of possibilities!

Empty. And full of possibilities!

I’ll give you a full tour of the house another time but for now, check out my second favorite feature (after the porch of course) – my office space!

Where all the workouts will be created!

Where all the workouts will be created!

So, that was our first task for the weekend.  A big, adult task.  The next one was hosting the inaugural running group from Foolish Things on Saturday morning.  Katie, Alexis and I spent the morning on a 2.4 mile run.  We started downtown and then met up with the Midland Valley Trail to head back into town.  A great start to a running and coffee community that I can’t wait to see expand!

Runnin' Fools!

Runnin’ Fools!

Then I had hours to fill in my new town.  So, Miley and I set out on foot to check out some trails.  The first one is called the Midland Valley Trail and runs through downtown.  It’s comparable to the Greenline in Memphis and the Monon in Indianapolis in that it’s nicely paved and has a few stops with water fountains.

On the Midland Valley Trail

On the Midland Valley Trail

Meeting up with the River

Meeting up with the River

We ended up along the Arkansas River and tackled some mega hills to head back to downtown.

A little farther out of town we were tipped off to a place called Turkey Mountain and dodged some thunderstorms for a hike.  This trail is a little more like Eagle Creek in Zionsville or the Greenbelt in Austin in that it’s dirt and woodsy.  Miley loved it!  There were little spots of water and plenty of hills.  She met her first turtle too!

A little outside the city.

A little outside the city.

The hills here will be great practice 🙂  I anticipate many Sundays spent on the mountain with the little monkey.

Hill training

Hill training

I also anticipate my running expanding to trails a bit, an exciting new realm of possibilities!

Trail running

Trail running

It was a wonderful, productive and active weekend in our new home!  I’m looking forward to being there permanently in August, and visiting a few more times before then for more exploring!

What do you love to do for activity in Tulsa?  Have you been to Turkey Mountain?