Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh how the mighty fall....

Today's Miles: 4 miles along a beautiful bike path at sunrise on Lake Michigan....Perfection!

So by the title are you wondering if I face-planted this morning???

No. I did not.

Sorry to disappoint you.

I actually have nothing funny to report this week.

My post has more to do with not accepting the punishment given....The Penn State scandal and the list of sanctions from the NCAA.

I've been a bit up in arms over this entire controversy from the beginning. Since I grew up in the UT big football era....went to school there....went to games there....and then finally worked there...I've come full circle in my understanding of a big-football school.

When you attend a big-football school, you quickly realize that football is king. Literally. Recruiting top level athletes. Giving them scholarships (and not really caring if they can either read or write); giving them tutors (of course to keep their studies up since they have such a grueling schedule that actually attending all of their classes is asking too much); treating them like Gods (and neglecting to teach them how to have a job or career outside of football b/c not all of them are going to make it in the NFL).

Football is a business. Football is a money maker. Football is the center of everything.

Oh, but wait.....aren't we talking about football, at a University? At a place of EDUCATION and LEARNING? Isn't that what we should be focusing on?

Should be, but rarely is. In essence, football turns Universities into greed-machines. Protect the money maker. Protect it at all cost.

And that's precisely what Saint JoePa and the administration at Penn State tried to do. Protect it from the scandal of Jerry Sandusky.

If anyone at anytime was actually worried about his victims - something would have been done. The fine tradition of "Success with Honor" was nothing more than words on a tablet. The first moment that any one of them turned their head - is when they shamed Penn State. They are the ones that brought this punishment to Penn State.

How does a 'regulatory body' impose sanctions on an institution that are severe enough to fit the crime - this was not some simple NCAA recruiting violations. This was a cover-up of the RAPE of CHILDREN. But not so harsh as to punish the 'by-standers' or the students and the town of State College?

I've heard some people say the punishment is too harsh.

Too harsh???

Let me repeat something I stated above....this was the COVER-UP of the RAPE of CHILDREN.

Closing down the entire University may have been too harsh. But this?

We're talking about a University whose responsibility is to TEACH students how to be ADULTS and have careers. Yet, instead, the ADULTS in charge (and yes....JoePa may not have had 'President' after the comma, but rest assured, he was in charge) were nothing more than asshat cowards.

As for the fine, $60million is the equivalent to one season's revenues. Big freaking deal. That's why NCAA went further and brought the hammer down.

For those that are upset about wiping out Saint JoePa's wins.....shut it. What about the players??? Oh, wait a minute..PLAYERS. They PLAYED a sport. The only ones that are actually making a living off of what they did are now in the professional world - and I don't see the NFL firing players because their college stats are no longer "official." For those that PLAYED and like to relive their glory days on the weekends while drinking beer with their buddies - don't worry, you'll still remember that you carried the ball across the goal line more than the other team.

The NCAA had to bring down the sledge hammer. Because I guarantee you, this very same scandal could have happened at any other top-football school in the country. It is a culture on campus that football goes above all else. And that is wrong. It is wrong to put the program ahead of victims and it is wrong to put the program ahead of academics. It's about time someone made that clear. I'm just sorry it took this incredibly disgusting act to make that happen. It's not just a fine against Penn State. It's a wake-up call to the rest of the institutes out there to get their houses in order.

Some examples of Assholes that have the ability to speak to Yahoo reporters:

"I'm furious," Olson said, standing underneath rows of pennants from other Big Ten schools. "JoePa didn't deserve this. So many things are getting wiped away."

JoePa deserves so much more. I'm sorry the man is dead. But he got off easy. He should have to live through the shame of this scandal as the victims of Sandusky have had to live with their shame all of these years.

There were audible gasps in "The HUB" when the announcement came down, louder with each punishment. Dozens of students cupped their mouths with their hands, shook their heads and in some cases teared up.

"I don't know how you do that," Olson said of the sanctions. "It's ridiculous. It's not a respectable tone. It's a cheap shot."

Cheap shot?? CHEAP SHOT!!??? I'm sorry. Exactly how do you, in a respectable tone, tell an institution that you were a disgusting pig not only responsible for not reporting a sexual assault on a minor, you are responsible for the continuation of his crimes by turning the other cheek. That no moral person, no sane person, no person that has half a damn brain or heart would have reacted that way. NO one should put a program, an institute, a business, a goose that lays a golden egg before the welfare of children. Who does that???

It's almost August – almost time for a new school year, the first without Joe Paterno on campus since 1950. "I still look at him as the same guy," Olson said. "I want to go into coaching because of him. He's a mentor and a person I look up to. There's no chance of that changing."

I'm just glad you weren't part of Jerry's kids. Because JoePa would not have protected you.

Nicole Lord, a senior, questioned why Penn State's student body, and especially its athletes, should be punished "for the wrongs of three men and a monster."

We call Jerry Sandusky a monster because he committed the acts - why not call those that allowed him to commit those acts monsters as well? How is that any different than a mother knowing her boyfriend is raping her daughter....and staying in that dysfunctional relationship?

And I'm sorry if current players feel they are being punished...because in essence they are. But again...there's that word....PLAYERS. You cannot separate the institution from the athletes. You can't punish the institute harsh enough without having collateral damage. Which is why the NCAA will let them leave without penalty. It was not the fault of the student athletes. They unfortunately put their trust in people that preached Success with Honor, but had none.

Penn State will rise above this if they choose too. I believe that the acceptance of this punishment without appeal is the first step. And this is the only voice of reason I've heard in the news so far on this matter:

"Our heritage, our legacy has been tainted and damaged," said Troy Cromwell, a wide receiver on the 1986 team that won the second of Paterno's two national championships. Cromwell said he felt bad for current and incoming players, "but at the end of the day, there were still those kids, those poor kids, and those victims, and we have to think about them first in everything that we do."

If only they had done that from the beginning, so many boys could have been spared.

Gotta run...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Whol-lot-o Gelato

Today's Miles: 4 miles (3 at tempo pace) and 100 of 300 ab exercises (wholly shit those are hard).

So if you've read the above statement and have seen my FB posts over the last couple of days, you know I'm trying out this "300 ab exercises" that are supposedly ripped off of p90x.


I didn't think I had ab muscles in these places that are still sore from 2 days ago. I only got 100 in this morning because I hadn't written down all of the exercises and was trying to follow it on my computer. And it crashed. Oh Thank God.

But it's up and running again obviously, which means I'll have to complete the other 200 before night ends. Please Pray For Me.

So why all of this exercising you wonder? Well, the running part.....Duh. You're reading a 'running' blog.

The abs? Just to get more well roundedly fit (Is that a word?).

AND......in case you didn't know....July is National Ice Cream Month. And TODAY is National Ice Cream Day!!

You should celebrate......A.LOT.

I have been.

I started at 9:30 this morning. 

A few weeks back my church had an ice cream social on a very hot day, and since I didn't have an ice cream maker at the time, I had to remedy that situation so that I could make some ice cream. So I bought an ice cream maker at JacquePennea that has a drum you freeze, rather than deal with all of the ice and salt.

Uh.Oh. Big.Mistake. Make it even easier to make the one dessert I can't get enough of! Just leave the drum in the freezer and you're ready to make ice cream any time!!! Day or night!!! Or in the middle of the night!!!

I've been more inclined to make gelato's rather than ice cream. The difference: using whole milk, eggs and less sugar versus heavy cream, half&half and lots of sugar. Gelato freezes very creamy, not so much icy like most homemade ice creams.

So far I've made
  • Banana Gelato = if you're a banana fan, it's like a banana bread in ice cream form....Heaven!
  • Dark Chocolate Azteca Gelato = sweet and spicy....It.Will.Change.Your.Life.Forever. I've made this a couple of times.
  • Salted Caramel Cashew Gelato = inspired by a customer's ice cream parlor's famous flavor...now it's Mark's all time favorite!!
Some recipes if you're willing to put the time in and make some gelato...

Do. It. 

Dark Chocolate Azteca Gelato
 (stolen & adapted from some Italian person's recipe - Giulianohazan.com)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 C (I substituted 2/3 C with 5Tbs+1tsp of Splenda Blend)
  • 2 Tbs sugar (separate)
  • 2 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 oz of semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 oz of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch or two or three of cayenne pepper
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. In separate pan, heat the milk until it just begins to boil
  2. Use an electric mixer to whip the egg yolks and 2/3 C of sugar (or substitute) until they form creamy pale yellow ribbons.
  3. Add the hot milk SLOWLY to the whipped eggs and sugar while mixing with the electric mixer.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and mix it in well. Add the cocoa and mix again.
  5. Add the cinnamon and cayenne. Mix well. (You may want to add a small amount at a time and taste before adding more! I like 3 pinches of cayenne!!)
  6. Put the remaining 2Tbs of sugar and 2tsp of water in a small pan over High heat.
  7. Transfer the chocolate mix to a saucepan and place it over low heat and stir constantly with a whisk.
  8. When the sugar in the pan has turned to a dark caramel, add the caramel to the chocolate mix and mix it in thoroughly with the whisk until it dissolves. Keep on low heat and keep stirring for about 8 minutes.
  9. Cool mix completely (about an hour in the refrigerator).
  10. Follow ice cream maker instructions to make fabulous gelato!!

Salted Caramel Cashew Gelato
(stolen & adapted from Instructables.com)

  • 1/2 C sugar (do not substitute - you need real sugar for this one!)
  •  1 Tbs water
  • 2 C whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher or ground sea salt
  • 1/3 C crushed cashews (or more if you like it nuttier)
  1.  Combine 1/2 C sugar and 1 Tbs water in a medium non-stick saucepan. Swirl sugar & water until just combined. Turn the heat on High, and allow to bubble and turn golden brown. If it goes to dark brown, you over cooked it. 
  2. When the caramel turns golden, add 2 C milk and whisk. At first the caramel hardens, but will melt into the milk as it heats. Constant whisking keeps the caramel from burning.
  3. Add the vanilla extract & salt. Whisk again until combined. Remove from heat.
  4. Separate the egg yolks and beat until light yellow.
  5. Add the hot caramel  mix to the eggs very SLOWLY while whisking swiftly.
  6. Return the mix to the sauce pan and turn heat to low. (I have to turn to medium on my stove.)
  7. Place a candy thermometer into the saucepan. The thermometer will read slightly higher than the actual temperature. Do not allow the mix to go above 179 F.
  8. Stir CONSTANTLY, until thick. About 12 minutes. When you can draw a line across the back of the spatula, it's done.
  9. Cool mix completely in the refrigerator.About 2 hours.
  10. Follow ice cream maker instructions to make gelato. Add cashews during the last 3-5 minutes of ice cream making!

 Enjoy!!!! And make sure you eat a ton of Ice Cream today!! And all month!!!

Gotta run....and do some crunches.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another day, another year older!

Today's Miles: Zero!!

Saturday, June 30 was my birthday!!

How old?...you ask.

You should never ask a lady how old she is!! 

When people ask me how old I am, I have to think and do some math. It's not one of those things I just know or think about or have on hand....Let's see....I was born in 197...

That's all you get. If you don't know how old I am already - it's not important. It's just a number. You are as old as you feel....

OH.... NO....

I'm a lot older than I thought!!

For my birthday -
  • I hobbled around on crutches because I'm too uncoordinated to go out jogging about like some young fool.
  • I went to a church cookout instead of being selfish and doing what I wanted to do.
  • I actually wanted rain for my birthday because holy crap we are so dry here.

What I got for my birthday - 
  • My first grey hair - WTF!? I color my hair??!!
  • Record breaking temperatures. 105F in Knoxville on Saturday. The heat index was reportedly set to...I don't know.....
  • And I have to mention that in honor of my birthday - my best friend got stung on her butt twice by a bumble bee. And now she has a third ass. That was the Best. Birthday. Present. Ever!
All jokes aside. It was a great day because I got to spend it with the one that matters most to me. He is the best present I've ever received. (And yes Babe, I'm talking about you....not the dog.)

UPDATE on my least favorite foot: It was HUGE Friday night after walking through 4 airports; being delayed & not getting home until 10pm. I broke out the crutches on Saturday morning to minimize the pressure on it. And I couldn't just "rest" and sit around all day (even if it was my birthday). I hobbled some more with them today. I've been icing a few times a day. Things are looking better. I'll see how it feels on Monday morning without the crutches and decide if I get to make a visit to my favorite foot Doctor.

As for now - no worries. If I miss out on this 10K coming up, I will be disappointed. But shit happens. As uncoordinated as I am, and as many times as I stumble and run into stuff just walking around, I'm honestly surprised it took this long for my first fall while running. It's my first. Surely won't be my last. Surely won't be my worst either.

Holy Moly!! I JUST HEARD THUNDER!!!  YAY!!!!!!

Gotta run...