Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Adventures & Shish Kabobs

St. Anthony Pioneer Days' Fun Run (July 24th)

My brother Jim pushed our brother Don in this year's St. Anthony Pioneer Days' race. My sons Samuel (10 at the time) and Oliver (8) ran, too, in the 5K. Last year I pushed Don in the 10K all alone and boy was he a fun running partner! But... it was kinda tough. I was more than happy to let Jim have a go while I paced Oliver. Sam ran on up ahead of Oliver and me, and Jim & Don were somewhere ahead of Sam. It was a great race. I LOVE the technical shirts, plus I won a pair of $10 swimming goggles. That just about paid for my whole registration fee. :)
Like always, racing with Don wouldn't have been possible without Dad. Thank you, Dad, for your early morning help! Jeff was right on time with the girls and my Mom to see us off. Jeff's parents were there cheering us on, too. Kind of cool. Okay, really cool. I love the race day atmosphere.
Samuel (the race director said) placed 2nd, and Oliver 3rd (although the newspaper reported it differently - but we saw the boys come in 2nd & 3rd). The very very cool thing about this race is that, although it is t-i-n-y, all the children receive a finisher's medal.

Pictures from the Blue Angels Air Show. We were invited to join the private showing (how private can it be when it's up in the sky?) with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was a very gracious invitation, and we were delighted with the entire thing. Amazing Air Acrobats, is all I can say. The moves made me gasp more than once. I could've watched them all day. Star Wars folks joined the fun.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's - 4 Planes!!! (There were actually 6, but pictured here are 4)

Two princesses

This is how close our seats were to the Blue Angels - they loaded up right behind where I'm standing (and I was standing right in front of our seats).

Cycling 101

When it comes to cycling, I'm the first to admit that I am way out of my comfort zone. Running is easy - you just kinda put one foot I front of then other and go. Sure, there are things you can hone in on, like form and intervals, but pretty much anyone can jog without much instruction. Swimming I do just because I like it and since I took lessons as a kid, it also pretty much just happens. There are tons of things I can work on there - balance, technique, and conditioning - but it doesn't make me uncomfortable. Not like my bike does.

So I used to think cycling was just hopping on and going, like lacing up my running shoes and taking off. I guess for most cyclists that's really how it is, but for yours truly this is a new sport for me and new things terrify me. Ever meet someone who wants to be perfect at anything she tries? And if she isn't doing it right she's convinced she's a full-blown failure? That'd be me. So the very fact that I've been hopping on and joining rides is a huge deal for me.

Why in the world am I even stretching myself like this if it's so tough? Well, because of a lot of reasons. Some of the very neatest ladies I know are great cyclists (and also very patient, especially when I had a flat a few rides ago). I love being in their company. And of course, cycling is a fabulous cross-training workout, which helps curb boredom and avoid over-use injuries while training for marathons. I'm also branching out because my husband, who can't run, can (and does) ride, so this is something we can do together.

And the number one reason I'm sticking with this sport - well, surprise surprise, because it's just plain fun! I don't need to know all the ins and outs of components and cadence and climbing before I have fun. I don't need to be an expert at the sport before I even dare try it in the first place (how backwards is that?)! That knowledge will come with experience, and if I make a mess of things in the meantime, well, so what? At least I'm having a good time.

With winter gone and basement workouts on my trainer now a dim memory, I am thrilled to get out and go farther and faster on wheels than ever in my running shoes. I still love my running (and swimming), but my cute little bike is becoming quite the friend. Who knows, I may even get serious enough to invest in a really cool bike someday (I'll see if I can impress my husband by becoming a biker chick).

Now that I'm daring to make a fool of myself (and honestly having too much fun to care anyway), I'm beginning to dare to learn the mysteries of the bike universe and have even asked my husband to teach me to change a flat. Yup. I asked. I haven't actually learned yet, but hey - baby steps, right?

Pictures: Just for fun. The girls, the boys, and the boys and the girls.

Recipe: Grilled Bacon-wrapped chicken with veggies Shish Kabobs in a honey-soy sauce marinade. OH YUMMY!

Cut into chunks 3 chicken breasts and a package of large mushrooms. Add to the:
Mix together the following (I mix it in a gallon size ziploc bag).
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 Tbs. Honey
1/4 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Lemon-lime soda pop (optional)
1 Tbs. garlic powder
One large, diced green onion.

Let marinate in large plastic bag or glass bowl for at least one hour.

Veggies of choice
Pineapple chunks
1/2 lb. Bacon, thin sliced (thick is okay, but harder to wrap around chicken)

Boil 1/2 lb. thin sliced bacon, cut in half, for 5 minutes. Drain.
When ready to assemble shish kabobs, drain & save marinade from chicken & mushrooms. Wrap a half slice of bacon around each chunk of chicken (when you run out of either one, just put whatever is left over on the skewers).

Alternate pineapple, veggies & meat on skewers. I used red onion (Vidalias are great, too), green peppers, and grape tomatoes in addition to the bacon-wrapped chicken and mushrooms.

Preheat oiled grill on high for 10 minutes. Turn heat to low, then grill shish kabobs for a few minutes each side, basting with some of the remaining marinade, until done (about 15 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is). Serve with rice.

With remaining marinade, boil in microwave for a few minutes, skim off any scummy stuff (from the soda and chicken). In a separate bowl, mix 1 Tbs. cornstarch with 1 Tbs. cold water. Add to hot marinade, return to microwave and cook on high another minute or so (until it thickens). Then play around with the marinade-now-sauce until it tastes great. I added some more soy sauce, a little sugar, and some sweet hot chili sauce. Use on rice & veggies.


  1. you ran with your new cool running sleeves! yay! great post for brbikes!

  2. you're amazing, steph! And I can't wait to try that kabob recipe. You are PERFECT at everything you do. Shesh.