Monday, February 15, 2010

I Heart Golden Harvest

This morning will begin with my semi-regular trip to the Red Cross to donate platelets. I used to donate plain old blood, but that was problematic given all the endurance-athlete delusions I engage in. I need all the red blood cells I can get. Or keep.

Platelets are a nice way out of that. They take my blood out of one arm, centrifuge the platelets into a baggie, and then put the good stuff back in via the other arm. The only issue is that I've had a couple of instances where the return needle slipped out of my vein and made an interesting lump in once case and a full-blown mess out of my arm in the other. The problem, they say, is I lack sufficient fat to hold the vein from rolling around or something.

That shouldn't be a problem today, because yesterday after our swim workout I took Patty to The Golden Harvest for a Valentine's Day breakfast. The Golden Harvest is a Lansing treasure, a tiny little restaurant on a decidedly non-thoroughfare street that does no advertising whatsoever and always has a line trailing out the door, with people happily waiting either side of an hour to eat. Clearly, they're doing a few things right. One of them is that the atmosphere and customer service are beyond comparison. The other is that the food is just as far beyond comparison. But it is a grill-oriented kitchen, and breakfast ingredients being breakfast ingredients, we hadn't been back since my Big Bad Cholesterol Diagnosis and Change of Diet.

But it was a Valentine's Day date with Patty; I figured if she could have my heart, I could give up my arteries for the day, too.

Owner/chef Zane and his staff didn't disappoint -- they never do -- and I had no overnight cardiac incidents that I know of and I survived them if I did. We were treated like royalty, which, so is everybody, but our royal treatment included a honey-poached pear that proved what we should have already taken as given: Zane can cook artery-friendly food just as well. As we were paying our bill and trading thanks with Zane, Patty explained our medically mandated absence. Zane's reply shouldn't have come as a surprise, but it was exactly what we needed to hear:

"You know I make a mean oatmeal."

My heart skipped a beat, and I don't think it was because of my suddenly thicker blood.

About that swim workout

I think I may have nailed my winter swim goal of a 7:30 500-yard freestyle. I'm pretty sure, but I blew my chance to be certain. I did my time trial on my own while Patty and her coach, Tom, worked in the next lane over. I felt like I was flying pretty well, but when I touched the wall and hit my stopwatch, it read 8:08. Tom had been watching pretty closely and complimented me in spite of the disgusted look on my face. He asked me my time, and I told him. And his next question was why I decided to do a 550-yard time trial instead of a 500-yard one. So we can probably assume success. And I will - but only as a reference until I can prove it for sure. While also proving that I can, in fact, count to 20 laps sometimes.


Noel said...

Take a grease pencil with you next time and make tally marks on the end of the pool.

Liz said...

Congrats and applause on sharing life juice with those in need! You know, I think there is a newer kind of apheresis needle that can take and put back in the same arm. My local blood bank (not Red Cross) uses those, so donors only have to get one poke per visit.

also, I'm definitely with you on inability to count laps. It's hard to do when you're busy focusing on form and breath and pace and stuff! I'm thinking of trying an elastic bracelet with slidy beads, kinda like a rosary.