Sustainable Cleveland 2019 and an apology?

I never watch the local news.

Ever. The few times I watched it while living in Philadelphia were generally times right after a policeman was shot and killed (this happened approximately once a year each year I lived there) and it always left me in tears. The local news is depressing people, mostly because the media thinks these kinds of stories are more interesting…but that’s a whole nother discussion – and yes, I just used a made up word. I say “a whole nother ____” a lot in real life, and since my blog is not titled eat well live well feel well I am entitled to say such things – but back to the news.

Saturday morning, for whatever reason, I had the local news on as I sipped my morning coffee. Boy am I glad I did, because I learned a couple of really cool things! Maybe the Cleveland news on Saturday mornings is not as depressing as the Philly news is all the time…or maybe I just hit it on a good day, but you may catch me watching it next week as well.

Lake Metroparks FarmPark

The first story was on Lake Metroparks FarmPark, which from what I can gather is a place of pure awesome-ness. You are basically visiting a working farm and participating in everything from hand-milking cows (I want to do this!) to learning about growing vegetables, seeing livestock, cultivating honey, making cheese, and other farm skills and tasks! And it’s only SIX dollars to get in. I want to go so bad and I’m already trying to decide if people would think that an adult woman by herself is a creeper or a weirdo…I may have to wait for Hubster to have a day off and drag him along 🙂 .  Did I mention you can see baby livestock being born too? (Lamb count is up to 8!)

Aside from just being “cool”, this is so great for kids (and adults who didn’t grow up with this kind of stuff). I was glad they said this on the news: it is so important for children to learn where food comes from. That bacon comes from a  pig, and milk from a cow. Side Story: When we were little my family raised chickens (much less humanely than they do now) for Tyson farms. One of my little brother’s friends came over and spent time petting the chicks (who are very cute). This 10-year old then went to Chik Fil A with his parents later in the day, ate some chicken nuggets, and then threw it up, because he felt bad for eating those chicks. He didn’t eat chicken for several years. Now, it never bothered me once growing up around those chicks but the point is we both knew exactly what we were eating.

Sustainable Cleveland 2019

The other thing I learned on the news yesterday: There is a 10 year initiative in Cleveland to become more sustainable! It started in 2009 and each year there is a different “topic” that they promote/work on.  The 50th anniversary of the “burning river” in Cleveland will be in 2019 and they hope to have completely changed that image: I don’t know the story very well but from what I can gather in June of 1969 an oil slick and debris in the Cuyahoga river that runs through Cleveland caught fire and the river literally burned. Obviously oil and debris do not belong in water.

2012 just happens to be the year of Local Foods! How fitting for my blog! 2011 was the year of sustainable energy, and though I have looked all over the websites I can’t figure out what 2009 and 2010 worked on. I did, however, find a really awesome initiative called Growhio. I lean on websites and blogs to help forge the way as I develop this new system of eating well, eating local whenever possible (but without breaking the bank), and living a more clean, sustainable life. Growhio is going to be a hit for me because it has information specific to the Cleveland area. Sometimes with the more generalized websites it’s hard to figure out if your city supports growing, buying or eating a certain food.

Does anyone else’s city/town/state have initiatives like these?

I must admit, I was pretty impressed with Cleveland. Which brings me to my apology…I’ve been giving Cleveland a lot of crap since I moved here. You know…”Yeah, I live in Cleveland. The people are awesome but otherwise…meh.” I may or may not even have hated on the entire state of Ohio a couple of times via Facebook. But Cleveland? I’m sorry. I really am. You’re growing on me, little by little, with your crappy weather. (The extremely mild winter we’re having is definitely not hurting). I’m reminded of something our awesome neighbors said during dinner when we first moved up here: Cleveland has some awesome stuff going for it, you just have to look really hard to find it. They were right.

Goal Modification: Cycle-Commute

You may have noticed a new little widget box on the right hand side of the screen…that’s because I am modifying one of my New Year’s goals: Biking to work at least once a week. I’m changing the rules mostly because I already failed, but really I set myself up for failure, knowing that the weather here in the winter can be, shall we say, non-conducive to riding your bike to work. So I thought up a better goal: Cycle Commuting for at least 500 miles this year. This makes much more sense because in the summer my work goes from being 2 miles away to being 10 miles away, and thus when I cycle-commute those days I get more “points” for it.

Check out these points for why you should try to cycle commute (or run commute) to work 500 miles per year

  • 500 miles on my car = approximately 2 tanks of gas in my car (city driving). If gas prices don’t rise at ALL that’s about $85 I’m saving
  • 500 miles at 13 mph = roughly 17500 calories burned (source http://bicycling.com calories burned in 1 hr @12-14 mph. 500mi/13mph =38.45hrs x cal burned in 1 hr @12-14 mph.)
  • workout built into your day! (depending on how far away from your home you work. I don’t really consider my 2 mile rides a workout)

And on the Running Front…

I started my marathon training this past week, a couple weeks late. Long run of 10 miles on Sunday…I’ll go into my “plan” (the word should be used lightly in my case) in more detail next time but my long run was pretty encouraging! I am a Garmin-less runner so these times are subject to my memory of what the watch said when I was at certain intersections, then gmap-pedometering it to see how far I had run at those times. For all you Garmin people that’s how we dinosaurs roll. My first two miles were impeded by running through much slush and snow and ice on sidewalks before I got to roads that I was brave enough to run in. I will admit to cursing several times about the snow but all in all I was very good about roping negative thoughts in and squashing them/changing them to positive thoughts. I.e. “this crappy snow is somehow making me faster/better”. It was only 10 miles, we’ll see how this week goes 🙂 Here are my un-Garmin-like splits in all their glory:

First 2 miles: 9:05 min/mile
Miles 2-3.3:  8:43 min/mile avg
Miles 3.3-5.12: 8:30 min/mile avg *gel taken at 5.12
Miles 5.12-7.7: 8:31 min/mile avg
Miles 7.7-10: 8:21 min/mile avg

10 miles in 1:26:41 (8:40 min/mile avg)

How’s that for some negative splits that I didn’t even try for? Long Run #1: CHECK.

Because, well, why not?

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