Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Mushrooms

It's the first time we went into a nearby park to look for mushrooms. We've walked and run in that park many times, but have never looked for mushrooms. Since going out with pw, we have a better idea of where to look (i.e. what trees to look for -- just as mister anchovy said about how you need to learn about the trees of the forest). After rooting around for a little while we started to find chanterelles. They were mostly pretty small, but were expecting a week of rain so we'll head back in there next weekend.

I found some coral mushrooms for the first time. That was exciting (the picture is not mine). We let them be along with a lot of the chanterelles since they were small and just starting to get going.

We collected some others to identify (mostly inedible) and called it a day.

There were lots of people in the park walking their dogs. The dogs were very curious about these two people rustling around off the path and several came to check us out (even though it is a dog on leash area). I had my bear bell on not only to alert any bears of our presence, but also so we did not startle people or dogs with the sound of rustling in the forest not far from the trail. I also carried my bear spray just in case (for an aggressive bear not the people of course).

I hope next week proves to be fruitful.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Run Vegan Run

I'm finally feeling fit again, running fit that is. It was really only a week that I didn't run, but it was long enough for me to feel out of the routine of it. Then it took some time to build up again. I felt like I had to build up my endurance again, which is frustrating because I was getting tired at the 10k mark. It's kind of like hitting a wall for a long run, except I would go home at 10k and not try to run through the wall. That may have been my problem, and why it took so long to feel running fit again.

I got into a good groove this week of running in the mornings, and I feel ready for a nice and easy long run now. I'm excited about a long run in the morning, maybe incorporate some trail -- the Coquitlam River Trail if I feel like going the distance. That trail is just that much further now from where we use to live. There were a couple of bears in the area yesterday so I want to avoid the trails around our house, but I guess it doesn't really matter since bears can appear anywhere around where we live.

I'm a little disappointed that I can't do the Whistler Spirit run this weekend and I'm also missing the Trail River Run, which I've done twice. I'm not ready for a half and even the 10k option didn't seem possible. Well, I guess the streets and trails will be a little quieter tomorrow morning as people participate in these events.

On the map now is the Burnaby half in October. I'm aiming for that so we'll see how it goes tomorrow and then I'll go from there. I can't do the Seattle Marathon, as I may have already mentioned, but I will aim for the half, and then try to get in a full marathon next season. Gotta log those miles, or those kilometers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chanterelles! We had some success on the weekend. db and I went to Nanaimo to visit with pw. He took us to a few of his spots where he's found chanterelles and lobster mushrooms before. The woods are still very dry so the season is quite late this year, but we were able to find some. Here are the chanterelles we brought home. They really shrink down quite a bit once cooked. We dry cooked them as my field guide (All that the Rain Promises and More) suggests. They were very tasty and it makes me want to get out there and find some more.
I forgot to take pictures of the lobster mushrooms. Fortunately I had just read mister anchovy's blog on how to prepare lobster mushrooms and that helped us. Thanks mister anchovy!

Nanaimo was nice. We took a little hike on Mt. Benson. pw has some knee trouble so we had to be careful about climbing too much. It was a beautiful day and it's a nice hike.
This really was the best way (I think).

In other food notes. Saturday evening we finally got around to celebrating db's birthday, which was actually on the 15th. We needed time for his dinner since we wanted to make ravioli. db made a squash, mushroom, chard, and taragon filling. Then we went to work. I made the dough and db rolled out the dough while I filled the ravioli. We make a good team.                                                               
We made enough to freeze for another time, and enough to take some to pw as well. I hope he enjoyed it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What! September 16th! Where did those two weeks go? Work, work, work is where the time went.

Okay it wasn't all work. I did have two days in a row on the labour day weekend. We did go for a walk in a local park with some intention on looking for mushrooms, but we didn't see much. There was a nice trail around this small pond though that made for a nice easy walk. 

We found some puff mushrooms that were beyond their eating stage, but when pressed little puffs of brown spores came out of the top. We also found a cauliflower mushroom that was sizeable. We took a sample home to do a better ID on it. I actually found a couple of black chanterelles, which I never thought I'd spot in the woods and didn't really know existed until I started to identify it. One I found looked a bit past its prime and the other one was tiny so I left it alone. They are supposed to be quite good though.

I love the west coast trees. Of course this whole area was heavily logged. Many of the stumps left behind still have the springboard markings in them. This is where slots were cut out of the lower trunk and a springboard was set up so the loggers could stand on them and cut away with their axes.

This side of the park is quite nice because it's a little less travelled than the beach side of the park. It would make a nice running trail actually. 

Last weekend we were planning on going to P's for a little mushroom walk (he's more of a pro and I want to learn what I can from him), but he called to say that the forests were still pretty dry. The summer was so dry, and our fall hasn't produced much rain either. So we decided to delay our trip for another week. Then hopefully he'll come to the mainland to poke around here. We've probably had a little more rain than Nanaimo.


What else have I been doing?
Of course I'm running again. It's very frustrating having to take a week off. I feel like I've lost some of my momentum, but I'm slowly gaining that back.

I had a great run along the inlet one evening after work. I ran the trail the whole way. It was sunny and not too warm; the weather was perfect running weather. That run really motivated me. Tonight I ran near the inlet, but had one of those sluggish runs. My legs felt heavy and I could never get into a groove. Sometimes it's just tougher. I'll see how it goes Friday on my long run.

I need to keep running because with the feeling of fall in the air, I've been baking. I've been baking cookies, muffins,  and even a cake (for db's birthday).

These are the lemon poppyseed muffins I made. They turned out beautifully. What is it about lemon and poppyseed that goes together so well?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Sorry about yesterday. Did I sound defeated? I felt defeated. Today I had a better day.

I was a bit freaked about going to work shuffling around in pain, which would make for an even more miserable day. Before I woke up this morning I had a dream that I woke up and my toe was 80% better and I had no pain. Then I actually woke up and was still in pain. However, once I got moving around and bandaged myself up I felt okay about going to work. Half way through the day my foot felt considerably better. By the end of the day I was tired, but my foot was starting to move with much more ease. I'm certainly not ready to run, but at least I'm not afraid to go for a walk.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Vegan Runner Sidelined

The fall running season looked good. Being a month into my marathon training I was feeling pretty good, and was being careful about my mileage increases, sticking to the 10% to try and avoid injuries. I had started to make decisions about shorter events before the big race that could be used as training; this is a way to keep motivated and make the whole process more fun. Everything was starting to take shape.

You know what's happened. The cat shenanigans have sidelined me. My foot is going to take a long time to heal. More specifically my toe is struggling to heal. After being on my feet most of the day at work, I felt like I'd just run a marathon by the time I reached home last night. db has been taking good care of me, making sure I stay put with my foot up and resting. I don't have full flex in my toes because too much flex makes it feel like my toenail is separating from my toe, which is probably what is happening. My poor little toe (actually it's the big toe).

Today I called work to say I wouldn't be in because the thought of putting on a shoe and shuffling to work made me shudder. I felt like I needed a day to really rest my foot and do very little walking, someplace where no shoes and no socks are required.

A co-worker said to me "A runner injuring their toe must be like a piano player injuring a finger." I was in denial when he said, but he was right.