One of the blogs I follow is My San Francisco Kitchen. Recently Kristianne wrote a sentence that stunned me. She said, ‘I’m going out for a nice long run‘. How are the words, ‘nice long run’ compatible?
I have had my second early morning session with the Jogging Group. I should have had my third early morning with them this morning but I chose truancy instead.
Yesterday we met at the oval in the pitch black of pre-dawn and it was an incredibly cold and fresh start to the day. I was wearing my Lulu Lemon leggings that now have a Lulu Lemon sports bra to go with them at a cost of $65.00. I’ve now invested nearly $200 into my jogging career.
The group has two professional trainers. One of them had a head-light strapped to his head that in the dark made him look like a large dancing fire-fly. The other one has enrolled in a race where you run for 24 hours. You see how many laps you can do on a running track in 24 hours. He’ll probably need a light strapped to his head for that event too. I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that. 24 Hours running around a track? Wouldn’t that be like being a hamster in one of those wheels?
Anyway, the guy with the light on his head told us we would be running around the oval for the hour and I was pleased about that because it would be easier than the road running we did the week before. We first had to do a 1-lap warm up and we followed the dancing light we could see in front of us. Then we did some warm-up exercises and then he explained that we would be running four laps, four times with exercise breaks in between so the total distance run would be around 5kms. Two kilometres shorter than the week before! I was celebrating.
He took off saying we were doing the first three laps at a steady pace and then we’ll sprint the last lap. We all followed him and I was instantly overtaken by everyone until I was that lone figure at the back of the pack. There was no variation in pace between my first three laps and the sprint.
Then it was down onto the cold and damp grass to do 20 push-ups. Now there’s a good joke for you. But, I did them all. I was last to finish as it took me so long but I did them. It was at that time that I learned the guy with the light on his head trains army officers and runs boot camps. From the way he barked out the instructions I wasn’t a bit surprised.
Then it was more running, this time two laps at a steady pace then two laps of sprinting. The other trainer came and joined the lone figure at the back. He asked me how I was after the first training session. I said, ‘I haven’t been able to sit down on the toilet since. My quads are too sore. I need the support of one of those old-lady handrails nailed into the wall’.
‘Oh’, he said, ‘but you look so fit’.
Finally we had just four laps to go. We were to do these at a comfortable pace. All the fit-fiends took off and I was again, running my own race. As they finished, the trainer would give them a high-five. He held his hand out to me and I said, ‘No, I still have one lap to go’. So they had all finished and I plowed on, all by myself, finishing the training session as a single.
A few of them said to me, ‘You’re doing very well’, which is the sort of thing I say to Alfie when he has plenty of room for improvement.
I would have loved to have joined the group this morning but in the night, every time I moved in the bed my muscles were so sore I’d be woken up. I hardly slept a wink and I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed.
I wonder if there will be a day when I can say, ‘I’m just going out for a nice long run‘.
I am cooking a lot of comfort meals at the moment (for obvious reasons) and some of them call for preserved lemons. They are so expensive to buy and now that lemons are in season I’ve decided to make my own. These will be ready in about six weeks time which is perfect as we’ll be halfway through our winter with plenty more comfort cooking to do. I also think these make a lovely gift or hostess gift. Sadly, I’m without a lemon tree but if you have one you can make these for next-to-no cost.
Makes: 2-3 medium-sized jars
Degree of Difficulty: 1/5
Cost: Absolutely minimal if you have your own lemon tree. Don’t have a lemon tree? Just lean on a friend and ask for a few lemons.
- 6 medium-sized lemons
- a few bay leaves
- 1 cup cooking salt
- 500mls lemon juice (about another 6 lemons) approx – how much you need depends on size of your jars
Wash lemons and scrub well.
Slice the bottom and tops off each lemon so they sit nicely on a board then cut into quarters without cutting all the way through to the base. Fill the lemon with salt and place in a sterilised jar. Repeat until jars are full.
Add bay leaves and remaining salt. Pour in lemon juice until jars are filled to the rim.
Put lids on jars then label with the date so you know when they’ll be ready – about 6 weeks.
Store in a cool, dark place like a wine cellar. Don’t have a wine cellar? Well perhaps the pantry.
When ready to use, take out portion of lemon required. Rinse under running water. Discard flesh then use skin as desired.