Breathing Underwater

The shed at our cabin in the north woods was fit to burst in the summer. One side was devoted exclusively to firewood, the other with things to entertain us children who were too young to understand the concept of relaxing. We’d spent all year boxed up in a classroom and now all we wanted to do was run free and create as much ruckus as possible.

Behind the squeaky sliding door of the shed was a plethora of summer fun: banana seat bicycles and frisbees, wiffle balls, huge plastic bats, velcro catchers. The most fun things, however, were those we dragged out when we were promised a trip to the beach: flippers, wacky noodles, goggles, and snorkels.

There were only two snorkels to go amongst the ten plus kids that we would likely  be up at the cabin at the same time, so we had to share. Boooring. Because we didn’t want to go near the seaweed, we’d hover near the shore and crawl along the sand, wide-eyed as the fish whose eyes we peered into. I’d become enamored with a particular fish’s markings and lean closer, only to realize my snorkel had lowered to the surface of the water, and I’d soak up a hot, wet breath of lake water and sputter like my lungs had squashed.

That’s what it felt like running today in the heat and humidity: like I was smothered with hot breaths and swallowing lake water. Even though I like having my evenings free since I started working 5:00am-1:30pm, I have to admit that I really miss the cool early morning runs. These afternoon runs are killer, and I know they’ll only get worse as it gets hotter.

Today’s scheduled run: 3 miles at a conversational pace, plus intervals.

Mile 1: 10:19

Mile 2: 11:29

Mile 3: 10:52

Mile 4: 9:45

Total miles: 3.52     Duration: 37:44      Pace per mile: 10:43

I rocked my purple shorts today while running, because my legs haven’t seen the sun in awhile.


Too bad I started to feel a little like my high school gym teacher midway through; he always wore fruity colored shorts that rose embarrassingly high above his knees.


I got in a fight with Mr. Schmitz (name changed to protect the dubious) in ninth grade when he firmly stated in health class that a nuclear family was a man and a woman and their children, no homosexuals allowed. Still makes me a little irritated.

I’ve been a little tired of my old stand-bys for dinner lately, so I thought I’d switch things up a bit with chili cheese fries.

Anytime I make my own chili, there is enough for a month, so I cracked open a can of Amy’s Organic Vegetable Chili and heated it up on the stove.

Meanwhile, I tossed sweet potato slices in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked them at 425 for thirty minutes, flipping about three times.


I piled the fries and chili on top of some arugula, then topped it all off with raw onions, sharp cheddar, and plain Greek yogurt.


This was a lovely change of pace. I have to admit that I prefer my own chili to Amy’s, which was a little sweet for me, but I livened it up with a little garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper. The Greek yogurt balanced the heat nicely.

Tomorrow, Dave and I both inexplicably have off, so we have big plans to buy a car and go see the new Star Trek movie.


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