Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poultry in Motion

Run like hell and get the agony over with. — Clarence DeMar
Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can. — Lowell Thomas 

I'm not sure if Rick was feeling sorry for me or just wanted to get back out running, but he came up to me Monday morning with a big grin on his face and announced he was going to run with me and clock my route. Hmmmm, how nice, except I wasn't too sure I wanted to know how slow I went. Rick has this fancy GPS watch by Garmin. The girls and I had chipped in to buy it for him as a Father's Day present. We thought it would be nifty for him to use on his long runs in the woods since he liked to "go exploring." He'd come home with this happy glazed look and tell us how he started off on a 6 mile run that turned into 18 because he decided to check out another path and got lost. Like Daniel Boone blazing a trail. But then he fell. Three times in ten days and hurt his hand pretty bad, probably broken, since he managed to fall on his right side (and right hand) all three times. The watch tracks your route via GPS so you can plug it in afterward to find where, how far, and how fast you went. I was hoping the watch would also allow me to monitor his progress on my computer so I could go rescue him if the beep showed he stayed in the same spot for more than 10 minutes. It didn't work that way, though, but it did give Rick some fun before he got hurt—again—and this time got sidelined. So Monday was either desperation or pity for his poor wife (me!) who has to run alone now that Erica has moved. I made a coffeecake to go out in the solar oven, stripped the bed, and did a load of laundry to hang outside in the sun. Basically I dawdled a bit to psyche myself up and get my legs working some before this big adventure. Heck, Erica and I usually walked a mile first to gossip mommy-daughter stuff. And we didn't actually run together. Our running routes criss-crossed each other and we had it worked out so we ended at the same time. But Rick? He blasts out the door. He says walking is for sissies. I was in for trouble.

I felt like I was about to run the New York City Marathon. Rick kept looking down at his watch. I'm sure we made a strange running couple—the chubby wife beet red and sweating and the fit husband effortlessly running alongside. He said he could still feel all his various injuries, but who could tell? Not me. To top it off, at the end, as we got halfway up the block, our mailman got out of the mail truck and started waving his arms to indicate a finish line. That gave Rick the incentive to sprint home and throw his arms in the air in victory. Fun. Turns out the route was just shy of 2 miles and we had run a 10 minute pace. I ran farther when I went out with Erica, but I guess I ran slower since I had no one alongside pushing me. And I could walk-run up the steepest hills.

You can imagine my surprise when he went back out with me today. I admit I actually asked him, though, because I know he really wants to get back to running and going with me keeps him going short and slow. On his own he'd go too far too fast too soon. I must be insane, but out we went again. This time I added in an extra block to make it 2 miles on the dot. Sheesh. I won a race right here in our own neighborhood when I was pregnant with Erica. Well, I won the women's division. Rick won the race itself. But I was remembering how I raced up all the hills and felt really really good instead of panting and feeling like I was seriously going to pass out, which is how I felt today. Then, I think I ran 4 miles in just under 27 minutes. Today, with Rick egging me on, I managed 2 miles in 19 and a half minutes. Faster than Monday, but, oh, so much slower than all those years ago. Where did the time go? As I dragged myself up the stairs Rick announced that tomorrow we'll go even further and faster. Oh, no! 

Nothing beats chicken cooked in the solar oven
Anyway, on Monday, the coffeecake was done by the time I finished showering. I brought it in and set out a pot of chicken drumsticks. This was a totally fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants recipe, but it was super yummy.

Very lightly oil the bottom of a pot. Roll the chicken drumsticks around to get them coated. Crush two large cloves of garlic in a bowl. Add some salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, pinch of cayenne, crushed red pepper, and a dash of sugar. I just kept adjusting the amounts until I had what looked like enough to rub all over the drumsticks. Then I set the covered pot outside in the Sun Oven for maybe 4 hours. The oven was at 300º when I set them out, but it was down to 150º by the time I took everything in at dinnertime. On the side, I also made macaroni salad and cooked some collard greens in a bit of chicken broth with crumbled bacon and minced onion. Totally delicious!!

Enjoy. I have to go get a good night's sleep. Rick says I'm in training. For what I don't know.

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