July 16, 2018

Tomatoes: The Work Pays Off

The garden is out of control this time of year!
My first "real" tomato harvest of the season was this weekend, and it was almost entirely cherries (with one blossom end-rot thessoloniki).

Oh, happy day!
I sliced those cherries and we enjoyed caprese for dinner -- the first one of tomato season, but definitely not the last.

Isn't this just such a gorgeous sight?
I had purchased soft mozzarella to keep in the fridge so we could be sure to enjoy caprese the day of the first harvest big enough to feed us both.  It was wonderful, although now that the waterfall of ripening has started, I can switch to buying fresh mozzarella in water (and, I really should calendar a date to make it from scratch before the end of tomato season).

First tomato harvest caprese -- Sunday night dinner.
Today, a little more than 24 hours after the first harvest, I harvested again.

First ripe plum tomatoes and full-size medium thessoloniki.
From here on out, every few days, I'm going to be going out and pruning like crazy and harvesting.  This will likely be the last week where we only have enough for us.  Starting next week (or the week after that), I'll begin gifting tomatoes (and cukes and all sorts of squash), and probably, the first weekend in August, I will get to spend a long weekend day canning (and saving seeds for my seed bank).

Have I mentioned this is my favorite time of year?

I save the seeds in the Summer and then freeze them.  I start the seedlings in January or February.  I water them and put them under grow lights and hit them with a fan in the garage (still planning to build a hothouse...) until late spring when I can bring them outside.  I transfer them in and out of the sun until it is warm enough to leave them outside overnight.  I plant them in late spring once the danger of frost has passed.  And then I water and prune and put the cages out and weed until now, when they finally bear fruit.  Tomato harvest season is a reward for 6 months of effort and I enjoy it so very much!

Running is similar in ways.  It often takes months of sacrifice and effort before you see the benefits.  There are things out of your control (weather, pests, birds, squirrels, viruses), but you just do your best to control the controllables.

Right now, I'm in a dedicated running effort period that's a new one for me.  I'm focused much more on getting in a few fast hard workouts or races a week and letting the rest of the workouts just balance with my life as makes sense.  If I get in 2 hard running workouts in a week, I call it a success.  This is partially because  I'm starting to focus more on total body fitness as opposed to just running fitness, and this means that my running mileage has taken a hit in favor of more total body workouts.

I finally made it back to the yoga studio for the first time since December last Friday.  I'm hopeful I can get back into a once a week yoga-studio pattern again, as once I'm in the habit, it's much easier to keep it up.  I've also been pretty good about keeping up a once a week jumprope/calisthenics workout.  I'd love to bump this one up to twice per week, but realistically speaking, once is great and I want to reward myself for the good stuff I'm doing rather than set goals that are unrealistic and be bummed when I don't hit them.  So, an A+ week for me these days would be 1 yoga class, 1 jumprope/calisthenics session, 2 hard running workouts, and 3 easy runs with relatively healthy food.  I get an A- if it's just 2 easy runs, which, since I took a rest day today, is the best I can do this week -- wish me luck.

Peachtree week's mileage was 20 including twice around the 3.4 loop in the North Georgia mountains with 500+ feet of climb post race.  I consider that workout a success if I average sub 15 minutes per mile, and I did on both, so yay!

Last week's mileage was 25 including 3.5 miles of hills in the Atlanta heat, 4X800 at the track, a good run/walk workout of 0.5 w/u; 10 X 1min hard, 1 min walk; 0.5 c/d and quite a bit of walking during the week to round it out.

My left leg is still a bit spotty, but I've been trying to stretch and strengthen -- I've taken to doing shoulder rehab exercises as well as stretching and strength at night while I watch my latest obsession: Bosch.

And there you have it.  Tomatoes are coming in.  Running is coming along nicely.  Summer is here.  All is well.


Arvay said...

Mmmmm so jealous!

bt said...

@Arvay. Thanks. I am jealous of so much of your life -- trails in the snow are the first to come to mind... but there's more...