Currently | August

FEELING | good about my first week of half marathon training. I decided to use the “Run with Hal” app this time around. His regular intermediate training plans have you run 5x per week, which is not my prefered schedule (I usually prefer 3-4 running days), however, the app personalizes the training plan based upon your personal running routine, fitness level, and life’s schedule. You can input days that are “off-limits” for running and your preferred long run day. I am currently using the free version, but there are extra features for a small subscription fee. I guess I’ll find out how well the free version works.

PLANNING | to cross train with Peloton cycling, strength and yoga classes.

WORKING ON | these summer vacation recap posts. Man, I wish I could just sit down and get these done. I’ve started, but it feels like there is so much to cover, which in turn tends to paralyze me a bit. But, they’re forthcoming.

MAKING | homemade spinat spätzle (German egg noodle pasta with a chewy, dumpling-like texture) with this contraption. Not the prettiest-looking dish, but so delicious! I made a double batch and froze one for later.

EATING | ice cream. I have such a craving for ice cream (or frozen yogurt) right now. Well, it’s still summer and we’re hovering around 100F most days, so I guess that explains most of it.

DRINKING | coffee. Best part of my morning.

WONDERING | why so many people are arguing about student loan foregiveness and begrudging other people to become debt-free. I luckily didn’t have student debt (because university in Germany was/is essentially free. I only paid a nominal fee per semester, a couple hundred Euros, which also covered a semester ticket for public transportation) but even if I had paid off a student loan, I’d be thrilled for everyone who could be relieved of such a burden.

BUYING | $20 worth of Italian plums to bake German Streusel Plum Cake. And no, I didn’t buy the whole farm, in case you were wondering, only about 4 lbs that I needed for the recipe. Inflation hits hard everywhere these days. Damn. This plum cake better turn out good.

ENJOYING | a quiet moment in the backyard. I try to go out and sit with my coffee (or apple snack) at least once a day, even if it’s for just 5 minutes. Summer will be over before we know it (and no, I am not quite ready for fall yet. Soon though.)

ANNOYED | that Trump is still dominating the news cycle. Dear god, when will this man finally go away? (I am really wondering when they’ll finally have enough evidence to actually indict him. It’s about time.) 

What is currently going on with you?

  1. A running friend is using Hal’s program for her marathon and she’s having a great training cycle. It’s definitely worth fighting through the paralysis on the vacation posts, since you will love having those to look back on (and okay, okay, I’m looking forward to reading them!).

    A year or so before the pandemic I was seeing an increase in the number of employees at my company who had wage garnishments. I was glad when the collections were suspended for the pandemic and I’m glad for the little bit of help that’s coming now. Most people owe a lot more than the $10-$20k of help that they’re getting, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

  2. I’m super happy to be back in the sattle, back on my workout schedule and back working out with you.
    Currently a bit irritated my new employer seems to be more erratic than I like (I send a message your way, in case your are wondering)
    However, I’m going to take a deep breath and see what’s coming next.
    Looking forward to some Target, Marshall’s and whatnot visits – only 34 days!
    Can’t believe you paid so much for the plums. But then…. I paid a fortune for a hotel room.
    C U soon :)

  3. I love having a dog because it’s a built-in excuse to go outside a few times a day. My dog is sort of lazy and we’re rarely on a walk for longer than 20 minutes, but it’s such a refresher throughout the day. Before we adopted our dog, I thought it would be inconvenient to have to do this, but I think it’s been a real boon to my mental health, even on cold days!

    Trump will not go away until he’s dead. That’s just the truth we’re all going to have to accept. Sadly.

  4. I love that you make an effort to go outside each day. I usually walk outside, but I noticed yesterday that I haven’t been in my backyard much at all this summer. I LIKE my backyard, I don’t know why I haven’t been using it. Maybe I will take a page from your book and take my tea out there in the mornings.

  5. University in Canada isn’t as low-cost as in Germany, but it’s certainly nowhere near the US. I am always astonished by the student debt! It’s crippling!
    I get outside every day; I think it’s just so important to breathe fresh air!
    I will not judge your plums; I spend so much each week on produce, it’s insane. Like at least $25 per week in peppers alone, and another $30 in spinach!

  6. I am blissfully unaware of the drama around student loan forgiveness. I am happy for those who are eligible. I wouldn’t be eligible if I still had student loans, but it makes sense that I wouldn’t be eligible and I don’t begrudge others who are! I also love the long-term programs where you get your student loans forgiven if you work in a certain industry or for a certain type of employer for something like 10 years. A friend of ours will be eligible for that in her role as a genetics counselor. And I’m thrilled for her. I am glad I haven’t seen any commentary attacking this program as it would make my blood boil.

    I’m currently trying to enjoy the final month of summer. In these shoulder seasons, I can kind of start to want to transition to the next season, but this final month of summer typically has some of our best weather of the year as it’s usually less humid. So I want to make the most of it. There will be plenty of time to wear boots and sweaters.

  7. As always, your posts are just a breath of fresh air! Lovely pictures! Inspiring thoughts!

    I, too, am blissfully unaware regarding any drama about debt-forgiveness…but it seems there is drama about everything these days!? Sigh.
    Like Nicole mentioned, university in Canada is NOT free, but tuition is sooooo much less expensive up here. I ended up going to two of the most expensive schools in the country and total tuition for a year at my undergrad school was about ~$8,000. There were other schools that were more like ~$1,500/year! For the whole year. Crazy, eh?! Prices have definitely gone up, though (especially living accommodations which have to be considered a huge expense for most students), and there has been talk of student-loan forgiveness here as well. I was very fortunate to have scholarships + research grants, so came out of university with money in the bank which was highly unusual, but I think student loan debt has grown considerably for people over the last decade, even here in Canada.

    All the best with your training!

    I know how you feel about recaps. I’ve been sitting on a staycation recap for weeks. I find recap posts tedious to write – mostly because of sorting through so many pictures – but once they’re done I really like having them to look back on.

  8. plum prices are ridiculous. Specially when we have a tree in the garden at the country home… But I am hoping very much it was all worth and you are able to eat a sliver of home…

    Ice crem is my go to food. Its going to kill me one day…

  9. Good luck with your half marathon training! I used a Hal Higdon plan when I ran my first (and only!) full marathon. I can’t remember exactly which it was, but I also preferred to run about 4 times per week. I might have had to alter it a little bit. Marathon training, or running schedules in general, were VERY difficult back at that time for me, because I was working as an inpatient hospital nurse at the time, 3 days per week, 12 hour day shifts. I had to leave home by a little after 6 am for my 7 am shift, and usually didn’t walk in the door again until well after 8-8:30 pm. Made it nearly impossible to run or exercise on work days- getting up to run before work wasn’t really an option, when I already had to leave so early! Plus, it was dark most of the year both before and after. Anyway, I always think back on this when I hear about people doing training plans! Somehow I made it work, but I do wonder if the constant frustration with scheduling my runs was part of what ultimately turned me off to running. (I also often had long stretches of either work days on or days off- and as you know, it’s not ideal to run your 4 days in a row, or have 3-4 days of NO running in a row, either.) Hope your training goes well!

  10. The comments around student loan forgiveness is maddening. The US forgets that it’s a commodity that you are required to tell how much you have (or don’t have) and then find out the price. They forget they created a society where that piece of paper is a pre-requisite to the middle class, that they defunded k-12 education and thus made that piece of paper irrelevant, and that all of these policies were enacted by people who had access to affordable college and then screwed over their own kids and grandkids.

    And yes, waiting for an indictment and conviction…

  11. I confess, I do not understand people who begrudge others the opportunity to be relieved of crushing debt. I honestly can’t figure out their worldview – it seems to consist of “Well, *I* had to do X, so everyone else must do X, too!” I know I would not want to live like that.

    I’m so glad you are back into training and feeling enthusiastic about it. Adapting the plan sounds like a great idea for you, to fit into your life and your current schedule. I hope, however, that your Peloton does not feel neglected. ;)

    And, hope the investment in the plums paid off. I’m sure you shared with us in a later post that I have not yet read!

    Take care, as always. <3

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