Good morning! Go here to see what I saw not five minutes ago. Already the sun has diluted the drama! Elora, who has both a better view and a better lens than I, will probably post her version here later today. If she didn't get the shot, it's because she was in the milking shed and didn't see it! I know she would do a much better job than I did. But at least I got my daily photo posted. And I'm only on my second cup of coffee. Heh.
While I'm pointing you to interesting places, go here to see how one family is doing on a diet of a different kind than the one we usually talk about here. (Truly, I'd like to get out of "diet" mentality as far as food goes, and I'm well on my way. I love knowing that nothing is off limits.) The aforementioned Elora and her husband are on the Dollar Diet, by choice, most of the time, not even spending the $10 per week for milk and produce that the News & Observer blogger spends. (See aforementioned milking shed.)
I spent more money last month at the grocery than I have since, probably, July. I don't keep track, but I know once the garden started producing lots o' food, I didn't need to go food shopping. Even now, I could easily go on a Dollar Diet and not go hungry. The freezer is well-stocked with frozen greens, beans and squash, and the pantry looks beautiful with its many jars of tomatoes, jellies and pickles. But I'm enjoying bananas and clementines from the store, and I still need to buy other produce, especially onions, potatoes, carrots and celery.
After all the party preparation, I'm very tired of cooking, suddenly. We've eaten sandwiches and/or soup and sandwiches two nights in a row. Last year I had a menu plan with a general meal category for each night of the week – breakfast for dinner on Sunday, vegetarian on Wednesday, etc. Might be time to resurrect that idea. My enthusiasm and creativity for preparing the evening meal have vanished. I need a little push.
I didn't need a push on the elliptical yesterday. Seventy minutes! I'm digging into that deficit, and should be back on track with my goals by the weekend. I have about three hours remaining on the book I'm listening to, and I'm learning a lot about running, especially about running shoes. Some of what I'm learning follows my own experience.
For my first long race, the Country Music Half-Marathon in 2007, I bought a pair of "running" shoes at Dick's Sporting Goods. They were comfortable and, because I only trained in that pair for a month prior to the race, they were more than sturdy enough to carry me through 13.1 miles. (That race was my fastest at that distance; I've done three more long races much more slowly, in much more expensive shoes.)
Since then all my running shoes have been purchased from specialty running stores, either brick-and-mortar or online. They're much pricier than that pair from Dick's (which I'm still wearing to knock around in, by the way). Apparently studies have been done which show that the more your running footwear costs, the more likely you are to experience typical running injuries. Running shoemakers recommend replacing shoes every 300 to 500 miles – a good way to sell shoes – but doing so doesn't necessarily improve running performance.
I'm certainly not doing this topic justice. I highly recommend the book for a more in-depth explanation of how running shoes contribute to running injuries. This isn't to say that I'm going to become a barefoot running convert, but I might go back to that old pair of shoes again. They are completely devoid of cushioning and support, meaning my feet will have to do a little more work.
Or, in my case, a lot!