I was driving by Keystone Mall and I saw something right out of a movie…the Batmobile! It was heading to the mall. Perhaps Bruce Wayne needed to pick up some new clothes? It was causing quite the raucous and everyone was whipping out their cell phones to take pictures as it was cruising through the mall parking lot. I love seeing random things! (By the way, the Batmobile had an Indiana license plate…maybe Batman has a house in Indy!).
I really try my best to eat healthy meals. One of my personal rules is to include at least two types of vegetables with each dinner (in my opinion, corn and potatoes do not count–both of which are extremely popular in the Midwest). I am also interested in reading articles about the health benefits of different types of food. I recently read a post by The Londoner, called The Anti Diet which really makes one think about the food that you put into your body and the effect that it has on your physical state. It was a pretty interesting read (I retweeted this if you want to check it out).
I thought that I would break down my meal just for fun. This evening’s meal consisted of:
- Salmon – This fish is an acclaimed super food primarily due to the omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure and lower triglycerides (a type of fat found in your blood used for energy; high triglycerides can increase your risk for heart disease). Salmon is also a good source of protein, Vitamin D and selenium. The benefits include speeding up metabolism, maintaining a healthy nervous system, improving your mood, and slowing down the aging process. An added bonus includes shiny hair from the selenium. I prepared the salmon by sprinkling salt, pepper and dill and baking it in the oven at 375 °F for 15 minutes.
- Red Cabbage – Generally speaking, the more vibrant the vegetable is in colour, the more health benefits it seems to have. This is true for the red cabbage, which is more purple in colour. This cruciferous vegetable contains anthocyanins, a group of healthy compounds that is believed to provide cancer protection. Other health benefits include promoting brain function and a healthy heart. I happened to have a head of cabbage that was sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks and decided that it was time to use it. I minced garlic, shredded the one lonely carrot in my fridge and chopped up a couple stalks of celery. I then sautéed these ingredients for a few minutes, added cabbage and stirred for a few minutes. I added ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, stirred for a few minutes and added some mustard seed. I also added two teaspoons of sugar, but later didn’t think it was necessary. B.B. enjoyed it.
- Broccoli – is also a plant from the cabbage family and does much of the same things as the above foods (reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, provides cancer protection, it’s fibrous, detoxifies, promotes heart health, etc.). Basically, I just steamed some frozen broccoli. I like to buy the frozen broccoli because it essentially tastes the same as fresh broccoli and I don’t have to worry about it rotting in my fridge or losing nutrients by the day.
My disclaimer: I am not a licensed expert and although these foods have a lot of health benefits, there are special considerations (for example, excessive intake of broccoli and Omega-3 can disrupt the effectiveness of blood thinners). Please consult a medical professional if you are taking medications.
I am generally a positive person, but sometimes, it’s hard to keep that mindset when people annoy you. Today, there were literally dozens of them, mostly impatient people illegally driving several blocks down a two-way left turn lane in order to bypass the people waiting in the correct and legal lane. This was all so that they could get to the parking lot and get to the Geist Mini-Marathon and 5km race on time! By doing that, they were slowing down people who arrived before them and were trying to patiently wait their turn in the correct and legal lane. I find some irony in the fact that there are a lot of people representing charity groups who participate in this race yet, a lot of the people at the race, seem to only be thinking about themselves and their own conveniences (I’m not sure if it’s a charity event, but it’s sponsored by a major hospital). It was horrible. There was a whole lane of us sitting in idling cars while people cruised past to cut the line.
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”
Needless to say, B.B. and I were late for the race. In fact, we did not make it to the half marathon start. We were able to make it to the 5km run. It was possible to continue running beyond the 5km, as it was the same route, but it wasn’t clearly marked. It was just as well, B.B. wasn’t up for the run and we started running about half an hour behind the last runner. Finishing a 5km is still respectable though. I felt pretty good running, but I attribute that to the training for the Mini Marathon earlier this month.
This race seemed like it could be a good run around Geist reservoir, although, a little hillier than I am used to running. However, if ever, B.B. and I decide to attempt this half marathon again, we will probably have to leave an hour earlier than we did (I think that we waited in traffic, less than a mile from the parking lot, for a good 40 minutes).
The biggest issue was the parking, or rather, the huge bottleneck to get to the school parking lot. It was very discouraging to see so many people taking advantage of the people who were trying to be patient. I think that the race organizers should consider having more police presence to help direct traffic. It was a frustrating start to the day that I do not ever want to relive.
I have always thought of myself as a dog person. How can anyone not love a dog? They are such good companions who give unconditional love and never expect anything from you, they just want your affection (that’s Francis in a nutshell). When I got my guinea pigs, it was pretty much the same thing (both Domi and Teemu). Guinea pigs are so affectionate (yet, surprisingly demanding of food).
I have always thought that cats are a fairly independent and probably one of the easiest pets to care for, although I have never owned a kitty cat. I was watching Animal Planet and saw some shows about cats and which led me to start watching YouTube videos on a Scottish-fold cat named Maru (new guilty pleasure). Some of my favourite YouTube videos of this round-faced kitty are below:
I finished the OneAmerica Festival Mini Marathon with about 35,000 other people!
Doing a lap around the Motor Speedway isn’t the only feature to the Indianapolis Mini. There are several sights and sounds along the way are other great parts of the experience. Throughout the course, runners pass bands playing upbeat music, which really does motivate you to keep your legs moving. My favourites were the DJ mixing tunes in Speedway and a couple of younger kids (12-14 year olds) playing 90′s grunge music (they were very talented). I also enjoy seeing the people who come to watch and cheer the runners on. The names printed on the runner’s bibs are large enough for people to read and spectators often cheer runners by name. Even if you don’t know them, having cheering spectators really does boost your spirits during the race. A lot of the spectators also hold signs. Some of my favourites included:
Dig deep… RUN HARD!” (it became my mantra during the race).
“Way to go, person I don’t know!”
(and at the 12 mile mark) “WTF?! Where is the finish line?!?
The volunteers of this race are also very amazing. Not only were they handing out water during the race and treats after the race, but they were also cheering and congratulating runners the entire morning. It’s quite the stretch to run 13.1 miles and having support from a variety of people throughout the course helps to make the race bearable (and that 12 mile mark was kind of brutal!).
Before the race started, there was a brief 15 seconds of silence in honour of the victims of the tragic attacks that happened earlier this year at the Boston Marathon. Despite the cautious atmosphere with the increased security at the Mini (the hovering helicopters, army personnel, police dogs and stricter rules) people came out to support the runners, the event, and even the people of Boston as a unified group. Races are about celebrating the human spirit and I’d like to think that this is the ultimate reason why runners and spectators were there. Perhaps this is the reason why races are so popular.
I soaked in the atmosphere, participated in the largest half-marathon in the country and I finished the race with my new personal best record! I was aiming for 1:59:59, but I am really happy to get a time of 1:53! This is about 9 minutes faster than my last personal best time! With my new personal best time, I feel like I don’t need to run another half ever again. Maybe I will never run the Mini again. But guess what? I just signed up for the half marathon at Geist on May 18th…(to be continued).
- Race Spectating 101: Tips for Cheering on Your Runner (running.answers.com)
- As a Runner, I Will Run (Thoughts on Boston) (runningonsober.com)
- Mini Marathon security, tributes influenced by Boston attack (fox59.com)
Francis isn’t the only one who wasn’t impressed with this year’s 500 Festival Mini Marathon swag bag. What the heck?!? Last year there were a few more items including some snacks. The only sample in this sad bag is a few grams of a pain relief gel. Do I want a brochure to the Indianapolis Zoo? Do I need a coupon for an unhealthy 2 litre diet Pepsi? At the mini-marathon expo, there were so many vendors that it’s surprising that none of them seemed to be a contributing sponsor to the swag (is it too much to ask for a Cliff bar?). However, it is cool that the plastic bag will be the only bag accepted at the gear check tent, for safety reasons and for the purpose of re-using it.
The biggest problem that I have with goods is the running shirt. I thought that last year’s mini marathon shirt was way nicer (to be honest, the best swag shirt that I have ever received from any race). However, this year’s grey shirt is the colour of concrete (well, some things I like in grey, like suits, cotton sweaters, soft grey walls and kittens). But, it’s a running shirt! Couldn’t it have at least been a cheerier colour like purple or yellow? (These are the logo colours for the annual theme, which this year is Turbocharging Indy). At least it will go with the rain clouds that are expected to be hanging around the morning of the race. That’s right, it’s going to be a cloudy race day with a chance of showers. Temperature range for the race around 52-61° F degrees (or 11-16° C). As long as it doesn’t rain, that’s good running weather.
In the mean time, I’m carbo-loading and drinking plenty of water. I’ll be ready to run!
- Indy Mini: 3 Days Out (pokeymcgee.wordpress.com)
It’s been a traumatic few days. A few nights ago, I noticed that Teemu had been picking at his food and I was a little concerned. He had been like this before, but bounced right back. However, this time, it was a bit unusual and I realized the next day that he was not eating at all. He was also having some irregular breathing.
That day, I remember feeling guilty that I had not been spending enough time with little Teemu. It seemed like most of my attention was going to Francis, his little (big) brother of a dog who was always seeking attention (and always going on walks and who always got to be pet first). That day, I took Teemu out of his cage and held him in my lap and petted him. He looked so sad and old, but he was enjoying my company. I also noticed that he kept shifting his little body around every once in a while to get comfortable.
I looked online for local veterinarians that examine guinea pigs and also looked to see if there were other guinea pig owners who had noticed similar symptoms in their guinea pigs. I was a little alarmed with some of the information that I read and decided that I should take Teemu to the vet. Although it was outside of office hours, B.B. and I contacted the vet and proceeded to the clinic.
I put Teemu on a towel and put him in a shallow box. He was really uncomfortable and scared, and he tried to get out (the car was bouncing him in the box). So I put him on the towel and in my lap. He seemed a little happier when I did that. I petted him all of the way to the vet. At one point, I got distracted and stopped petting him for a minute, which caused Teemu to lift his head and look at me as if to say, “Hey, no one told you to stop!” Such a bossy guinea! I continued petting him. He didn’t look well, but he seemed content.
We got to the clinic and met with the on-call vet. We filled out some paperwork and then the vet took Teemu to the back. She noted that Teemu was having trouble breathing and that he also needed his back teeth trimmed. We went over costs (it was going to be expensive) and B.B. asked some other questions, including worst case scenario circumstances (answers involved getting back the body, cremation, or disposal by the vet). The vet thought that Teemu was alert and was not lying on his side, which were both good signs. She told us that she thought that he was going to make it, but she was going to have to keep him overnight to hand-feed him and give him fluids (he was a bit dehydrated).
I felt relieved and B.B. and I decided to go out for dinner. When we got to the restaurant 20 minutes later (ironically, we parked in front of a different vet clinic which was next to the restaurant) my phone rang. It was the vet. She was sorry to report that Teemu did not make it. I guess she was trying to feed him and he became stressed and just died. I was in a bit of shock and passed the phone over to B.B. who talked to the vet for the remainder of the call. We were both surprised that it happened so quickly. We thought that Teemu looked a bit worse for wear, but not so bad that we thought that he was at death’s door.
I was so sad and shocked (B.B. was too). It also made me sad (still makes me sad) to think that Teemu’s last few minutes were spent scared and with a stranger. I also felt like I let him down and maybe I could have done more. I was also upset because I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye. We just left him at the clinic thinking that he was going to be ok.
I’m wondering if he tried to tell us earlier that he wasn’t feeling well. In retrospect, I remember thinking that it was odd that he was softly ringing the bell after I put his blanket over his cage for the night (I did that every night to block out the light). Usually he would give the bell several angry rings when he wasn’t getting the vegetables that he demanded at breakfast time and at dinner (or if he knew that Francis was getting a treat and he wasn’t); he only resorted to ringing the bell if chewing on the bars didn’t get him what he wanted (I’m kind of wondering if that is part of the reason for his teeth problems). B.B. who stayed up a little later than me, also noticed him softly ringing the bell every once in a while during the night. It was a bit unusual. I wished that I had paid more attention (I thought he was just being bossy and wanting food).
I recently read the Rainbow Bridge poem. It is supposed to give you closure, I guess, but it just made me sad. http://www.petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm
2009 – 2013
Sadly, on April 24, 2013, Teemu, the guinea pig, passed away at the age of 4 years as the result of respiratory complications. He leaves behind his family KG and BB and younger brother, Francis.
Teemu (also known by his NASCAR driver name, “Teemu Ricky” and by his rap name, “Fatty-Tee”) was born somewhere in Indiana and lived with a family for about a year before being adopted by his last family, who enjoyed his company and his colorful personality. He was a content guinea pig who quickly came out of his shell and enjoyed the company of other species, humans and dogs alike (although he felt that Francis was an unwelcome addition to the family, Teemu warmed up to him and enjoyed teasing him occasionally).
Teemu was an honest guinea who was never afraid to express his emotions whether it be irritation or contentment. And although he was small, he was full of attitude and lived life to the fullest, to the very end of his days.
He will be deeply missed.
To all the people who check out my blog, sorry for not posting much lately. My excuse is that I’ve been busy. I’ve been working, training for the Mini-Marathon, playing sports, getting sick (and recovering), visiting people, looking after the animals, trying to keep up with the housekeeping (with emphasis on trying). That’s it, in a nutshell.
Onto some more specific news. Today, there was a crazy hail storm. I was actually working out at the gym when I heard the loud pelting sounds against the windows. At first, I thought that it was raining, but it turned out to be hail the size of golf balls. When I left the gym, the hail had stopped. I went home and took Francis for a walk and we noticed some rather large hail stones (Francis was eating them–he likes ice for some reason).