Good to Be Alive…

“It feels so good to breathe the air…” -Edwin McCain

Saturday… long run day.  22 miles on the schedule. I used to hate hearing that but long runs have become my favorite running days. I can go out for a few hours and literally feel the stress of the week leave my body… mile after mile.  A good friend of mine told me a good piece of advice lately – long runs hurt at some point, sometimes sooner than others. “Find peace in the pain.” For me, the discomfort is consistent, it’s something that you can manage, and ease off and away – like a jacket, discard it behind you with the miles. That’s where it belongs – behind you. There is something really beautiful about that. 

I spent the first few hours of my morning outside with friends, feeling the sun on my face and the wind at my back heading home.  It was refreshing that after a painful 19 mile run just two weeks ago, I was able to run like I did this time.  Stronger every day.  I ran with my usual long run buddy Jim Collison and even made a new fried – Jason Phipps who you’ll hear more about later.  He has a pretty amazing story about his marathon goal and he has a FANTASTIC sense of humor. 

After my run, I spent even more time outside and went shopping for some fresh ingredients for dinner.  It was over 80 degrees and beautiful (despite a tornado watch later in the evening) so it was going to be the first grill of the season.  After the brief detour of finding my gas tank empty and having to go refill, we were back on track.  I shared dinner with my friends Brad, Christi, and Kim.  I’m reminded every day how lucky I am and that no matter what else is going on in my life, my family friends are consistent and so are the good times when they are around. 
Dinner was inspired by my good friend Kim aka KP or Payne Train who is one of the strongest people I know.  She’s taught me a lot about what it means to endure, and she’s a wicked DJ.  I love her for that.  This one is for her…
Me and Payne Train
Payne Train Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs
Ingredients:
Chicken breasts cut into one inch chunks
kiwi slices
green peppers sliced into small chunks
pineapple pieces
strawberries cut in half
Marinade: Marinade for at least an hour
Soy Sauce to taste (about 1/3 cup)
Orange Juice to taste (about 1/4 cup)
1 – 2 cloves minced garlic
3 teaspoons agave nectar
Sea Salt
Lime juice
dash of Worcestershire sauce
Add ingredients to the kabobs and serve over quinoa or brown rice.  I served with sweet potatoes. 
My simple Saturday was miles into and then out of the wind culminating in a beautiful meal with a few people I love dearly.  I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.

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