Friday, October 22, 2010

Why 'Running Shores' ?

While sitting down to a fantastic new dinner Erick prepared, I made a comment about posting the recipe on my blog. He said, "Too bad you call your blog 'Running Shores'. It really limits what you can talk about." But that is where he is wrong.

I run literally and figuratively. Not to say I don't take moments to step back and enjoy life as it is. But I say, why do I need to step back and enjoy life when I am enjoying life in the moment? A woman's life is all but simple and we are constantly 'running'. Yes this is pretty much sexist, but unless you are a single man, be honest with yourself.

Pre-world-war II, most women stayed home while the men left to make the money, or if they did work, it was domestic work in other people's homes. A woman's job was to keep up the house, take care of her family which included daily chores and making food. During World War II especially, women were called from there homes to work in the factories while the men were at war. In short, women began to work outside of their domestic responsibilities and it was liberating.

As time progressed, woman's liberation turned into, "I can do anything you can do" and women were encouraged to have careers and compete in "a man's world". While it was looked down on, or thought cowardly of women to 'simply' stay at home, socially a woman needed to work to prove herself to the world. Thus, in my mind, much was lost. The family structure was severed. Divorce rates went up and embracing the 'simplicity' of what made women truly unique and special began disappear into history. Things like canning, quilting, knitting, sewing, soap making, crafting in general, etc were done by very, very few. AND if a woman took this art into heer life, it was greatly thought that the woman was uneducated because otherwise she would be working.

Not only are women working right along side men in every aspect of society, now they are also domestically responsible AND women feel they need to bring back into their lives what most of our mothers and/or grandmothers shunned for decades. I see middle-aged women embracing sewing (among other crafts) now because growing up in the late 60's/70's educated, liberated women did not sew. Now... now it's okay to take on pre-world-war II, but just go ahead and add that to the list of all the other things women need to be doing.

I stand in the middle and I encourage all women to do the same because extremism has only given us discrimination and heart ache. Find your happy place and don't let social implications keep you from that place! I embrace being a woman and all that this title gives me. I am educated. I work. I stay at home. I am domestic. I am running... always running and will continue until the day I die.

Erick's found recipe:

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 30 min

2 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California
8 precooked bratwurst or Weisswurst
1 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbs cider inegar
1 tbs packed brown sugar

Preheat broiler.

Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then cook onion and apples with bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring once or twice, until golden brown, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, split bratwurst lengthwise (not all the way through) and open up. Lightly brush cut sides of brats with additional oil and transfer to a shallow baking pan (split sides up).

Add wine to apple mixture, then simmer, covered, until apples are tender, 6 to 8 min. Remove lid and briskly simmer until liquid is reduced by 1/3, about 2 min.

While apples simmer, broil brats 4 to 5 inches from heat until browned, about 6 min.

Stir cream, vinegar and brown sugar into apple mixture and briskly simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 min. Discard bay leaf and serve apple compote over bratwursts.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Portland Marathon 2010

How this moment came about I really cannot say, but at one point I received an e-mail from Erick with a forward from my brother-in-law, Arron, early January showing me the registration for the Portland Marathon to be held on October 1oth, 2010. Erick writes, "Does it feel real yet?" It didn't.

In January I wasn't at my most unhealthy state, but I most certainly wasn't were I felt like I wanted to be either. I always told Erick that if I had a goal to drive me I could stick to an exercise program. So here it was. No more excuses.

Life moved forward and amazingly I found the time and determination to start running. Every mile was a great success for me. The hardest part was accepting my body as it was and accepting that my body wasn't the same as it once was and it would never be. This didn't mean that I could never be healthy again. This simply meant that after having children, after a massive amount of weight gain, my body was forever changed and getting through my runs was accepting my new body and learning new limits.

My first obstacle was my knee. It hurt. It swelled. It limited my running. After seeing doctor after physical therapist after specialist it wasn't until 3 days before the race that all was explained to me (nice hu?) My ligaments and tendons are loose and when I run they rub, which create swelling. Obviously I didn't let knee pain hold me back from training. I figured either nothing was going to happen or I'd be meeting these guys in the ER. I don't recommend this to my readers... these actions of mine were only done after no one was giving me any answers, and even so I came out lucky.

The next obstacle was making the time to get out there and just run. With planning around the girls and amazing support from Erick I was able to pound out the miles. At times I found myself running long miles around a high school track. Others I was in the gym watching cable tv, which can get pretty boring after 6 plus miles.

The first time I ran 8 miles, I thought I was going to die.

The first time I ran 10 miles, I thought I was going to die and couldn't run for a week due to blisters.

The first time I ran 15 miles, I may have suffered from heat exhaustion and very well could have died but I live by an old motto: "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger."

The first time I ran 26.2 miles I ended up on practically bed rest, nursing a badly sprained left foot and bursitis in my right hip... yeah it's been interesting.

I write after the journey this time and because of that, so much is left unsaid. But keep checking in on me because the Vancouver Marathon is just around the corner and this boot on my foot is coming off on Monday.