Sunday, July 24, 2011

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

Go Swimming!

Eat Popsicles!

Go Blueberry Picking!

                                         (Yes, she has her own Camelbak and, yes, she brought it blueberry picking)

We are finally emerging from the depths of the heat wave that struck most parts of the country.  Living in one of the northernmost parts of the Northeast (we're only an hour away from being Canadian, after all), we just aren't used to extreme heat.  Sure, we get warm summers.  We have beautiful, sunny days at the beach.  We swim in pools and enjoy summer BBQ's and trips to the ice cream stand and all the other parts of summer.  However, we typically do this in 80 degree weather.  Over the past few days, the temperature has hit 100, and the heat index has climbed well above that.  For us northerners, this is not a regular occurrence.  Sure, each summer, we get a week or two of high heat and humidity, and, each summer we act as if we have never felt such extreme temperatures.  But, this heat wave felt different.  Maybe it's because most of the country was complaining about it too.  We finally felt like part of the "in group."  Regardless, we are all breathing a little easier and sleeping a little better now that the temperatures have returned to the 80's and there is actually a cool breeze floating through our windows.  I'm excited to be able to bake again.  I have so many baking and snack making plans for this week, and I can't wait to get going.  Tonight, I'm making a fresh batch of homemade granola, and it doesn't feel oppressive to have my oven on.  So, I hope you're ready for a lot of cooking/baking posts this week, because that's what I'm going to be doing each night after work and on my days off...

I did manage to get some exercise in during the heat wave.  In fact, I actually ran six miles yesterday, and I'm happy to report that my ankle seems to be on the mend.  I'm feeling a slight amount of discomfort today, but nothing too severe.  Today, I actually did something that I haven't done in years.  I went swimming.  I don't mean that I went to the beach with my kids.  I mean that I actually went to the YMCA and swam laps in the pool.  All I can say is WOW!  I can run for miles, but swimming really kicked my butt!  I was only able to do a half a mile, and I actually had to rest between some of the laps.  I alternated between the front crawl and the breaststroke.  I have to admit that I always thought swimming would be too easy, and I didn't want to give up some of my exercise time on something that I thought would provide minimal benefits.  But, after today, I can say with complete confidence that swimming is incredibly a good way.  I'm hooked!  I'm definitely going to start adding swimming to my regular routine.  I would love to do a triathlon next year, so I better build up my swimming endurance now.  Quite honestly, I'm already getting excited about the next time I can get in the pool.

So, the weekend is over, but the week ahead looks great.  I hope you have some wonderful plans in your future, even if that means just sitting on your deck and enjoying the cooler temperatures.


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