July 25, 2014

The pool garden

Day three after Eli's surgery, and he was doing much better today! He only complained about the pain once, and he was able to eat and drink quite a bit more than the past couple of days. He still had a very low-key day, lying on the couch watching movies and playing video games, but he's starting to get restless (which is good, because it means he's feeling good enough to want to move around). The doctor said he shouldn't be active for about two weeks post-op.

This morning, I was able to harvest a tiny tomato from my garden! I can't remember if I wrote about it or not, but my friend Hilary planted a garden in one of those blue plastic pools, and I thought it was a great idea for my first garden. I've always wanted a garden, but it was so intimidating that I never attempted it. When I saw Hilary's, I thought it looked simple enough.

I planted tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, basil, and rhubarb. First, Jerry drilled little holes all over the bottom to allow the water to drain.

Then, he planted everything for me, because the dirt smelled horrible (manure?) and I just couldn't do it.

The plants grew really quickly! I wasn't sure what to expect, because I'd never planted anything before, but I was really surprised at how huge the tomato plant got. I am not a big tomato fan, so I only planted the one--which is good, because it's huge. Now, the pool pretty much looks like a jungle.  There are a couple of green peppers that aren't very big, and we got a few strawberries. There were lots of tomatoes, but they would get almost ripe, but then the bottom would turn brown and gross. I had no idea what was wrong with them. But today, I plucked a tiny, perfectly ripe tomato from the plant, and was excited to eat it (even though I don't really like raw tomatoes).

I made an English muffin, and topped it with the sliced tomato, and then a scrambled egg with cheese. It was so good! I'm looking forward to some more tomatoes.

When I went out there to water the plants, I noticed a huge caterpillar-looking thing on one of the pepper plants. I had been wondering what was wrong with those plants--it looked like the leaves and stems had all been chopped off, but apparently, this bug was eating them.

I showed the kids, and took a few pictures of it, and then decided to pull it off and get it out of the garden. That sucker was clinging to my plant for dear life, and it was hard to pull him off! I didn't want to touch it, so I used a paper towel to get him, and then I moved him to the tree in the backyard. Hopefully, he won't find his way back to the garden, because I might not be so nice next time. I posted a picture of it on Instagram, and learned it's a tomato hornworm, and they do a lot of damage to gardens.

Jerry's work schedule right now makes it really difficult for me to get in my runs, unless I run on the treadmill or go in the evenings. Today, I planned to do a long run (12 miles), so I really didn't want to do that on the treadmill. I had to wait until 6:30 to head outside. With the low-heart rate training I'm doing, I was afraid it was going to be completely dark by the time I got home.

The goal was to keep my heart rate between 138-148, so I decided to aim for the low end of the range in the beginning, even though it meant going slower. That way, when my heart rate naturally rose later in the run, my pace would be a little more consistent. It started to rain just 2.5 miles in, and normally, I like running in the rain. But I still had nearly 10 miles to go, and wet shoes = blisters. Thankfully, it was just a drizzle, which felt really good.

I find myself doing a "Jerry" face for selfies way too often lately
I am really surprised at how sore and achey I get from running at this slower pace. My legs were aching from hip to toe by mile eight, and I almost called Jerry for a ride. I imagine I'm just using different muscles when I run slowly, but I didn't realize what a big impact it would have. By the time I got home, I felt like I'd just run a marathon.

I was pretty frustrated the last few miles, because I was running so slowly, but my heart rate was still hanging out at 147-148. Every time it hit 148, my Garmin would beep, so I'd have to slow down even more, and I was getting irritated with it. But the one thing I really like about this MAF training is that I enjoy the actual running part more. I don't get out of breath, I can look around and see what's going on around me, or search for change on the ground (today I found 6 whole cents).

My pace got slower and slower as the run went on, and since I was going 12 miles, I'd underestimated how long it would take me. I got home just before 9:00 (which is why this post is late going up). It was just getting dark outside. Another mile, and I would have been running in the dark!

I did 12 miles with an average heart rate of 144 and pace of 11:45. And now I'm ridiculously sore. Last week, Noah asked me if I'd do a Color Vibe 5K with him tomorrow, and I tried to get my brother, Nathan, to do it instead; but he's busy, so I told Noah I would. I hate getting messy, and mud runs, color runs, foam runs, etc., don't appeal to me at all. But I'm happy that Noah's excited about running, and that he asked to do a race, so I'm going to suck it up and run while people throw powder at me. ;)


  1. The strawberries will produce more next year; they usually don't produce many the first year.
    I've always wished I could grow a garden but I've never had much luck. My sister can grow anything indoors or out but everything I plant just dies! I have a pretty good herb garden going this year.

  2. You know you're a really great mom when you do things you really DON'T want to, but your kids do. LOL. Wear some goggles to keep that stuff out of your eyes. ;)

  3. What a great idea! We have an extra pool I may just have to put to use....

  4. Yea for Eli feeling better! Cool idea on the "garden pool". Tomato hornworms are GROSS - I hope that one doesn't have siblings nearby. For years I thought I didn't like fresh tomato. Turns out I really do like the vine-ripened, locally grown 'maters! I just don't like the ones that are available in the grocery stores.

    BTW, you are such an awesome mom to encourage Noah on this run, knowing people will be throwing colored powder at you....... Ugh. I've avoided those runs for that very reason. ;-)

  5. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who avoids messy runs! My running friends always want to do color/mud/foam etc. runs and it just does not appeal to me at all! Isn't being sweaty enough?!

  6. AnonymousJuly 26, 2014

    Glad Eli is feeling better! How is the tracking going? You really got me thinking recently.....I don't think I am going to lose any weight if I don't track carefully for a while, but I am having a darned time sticking with it! Why? I think I need some tracking accountability partners!

    1. Tracking is going well. I didn't track for three days after Eli's surgery, because I had so much on my mind with him, but I went back to it yesterday. I was having a really hard time sticking to it, but I found that planning everything out in advance helped a LOT. I had all of my meals prepped and planned, so there really weren't any excuses! ;)

  7. What you're describing with your tomatoes is called blossom end rot. It means that there's not enough calcium in your soil. You can correct it by adding some limestone to your soil. Here's a tutorial on how to do it. Good luck!

  8. Jerry is such a sweetheart :) I love seeing all the kind things he does for you!

  9. I want to say thank you to Angela for that link! We don't have a container garden...we have a 30'x70' garden with 140 tomato plants, and we're seeing it already! I knew what it was but had never found a good treatment. Thanks for the video! We're going to do it today and hopefully save the tomatoes that haven't gotten it yet!

    1. In a plot as big as yours I imagine you're not replacing the soil each year like you would for a container garden so you need to be careful as this will eventually change the pH of your soil. You may want to get your soil analyzed so that you will no exactly what to add and how much. Also, even if your soil is excellent the plants will have trouble absorbing calcium if they are not getting watered regularly so that could also be the problem.

  10. AnonymousJuly 26, 2014

    I really wonder if you realize how much you whine, bitch and complain in your posts and how much of a turnoff it is to read.

  11. Colour runs are sooo much fun. Yes they are super messy but Noah will have so much fun. Make sure you cover your head though, the dye coloured my blond hair for about a week. I think it was worth the experience. I hope you both have fun!

  12. Of course the person who was RUDE was "anonymous." Chicken! Katie- this is SO not true....and I certainly hope you can block this comment and put it behind you. Geez, people....haven't you heard "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" okay, ......end rant :O)

    That caterpillar sure was cute! I live in CA, and maybe I'm not frequenting the right places, but they sure don't look that good to me! Being a mom and former pre-school teacher, it sounds like this was "the very hungry caterpillar" since it ate through all those leaves. I wonder if it ate pizza, watermelon, etc. etc. Ha ha!

    Katie- you are my inspiration. I have yo-yo'd with my weight my entire life. I really want to become a runner to help KEEP the weight off, and I am getting bladder surgery at the end of August in the hopes that I can truly make this happen. I've been told "no exercise" for a month thereafter, but then I should be "good to go." I am super excited to try something new that I think I'm really going to enjoy and be successful at! God bless you & your beautiful family.

  13. I LOLed about Jerry planting all the plants for you! That's something I would do. I wish I'd done a pool garden this year, it's such a good idea!

  14. Those are the type of worms we pay for to feed my son's gecko!


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