About Me

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Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States
I am a late-30's busy career mom, attempting to find her inner athlete, be a vegan in a non-vegan household, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, knit, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Wanted a Beer...But I Went to the Gym

I woke up fairly early today...before Sam felt the need to do her super bark to wake me up.  I had a few minutes of silence before the youngest woke up, and enjoyed a homemade raspberry soy mocha.  Sometime between when I woke up and at 945 this morning, I decided to take M and R to Watercountry today after all.  According to the cool weather site, today no longer risked rain showers, and was just going to be hot and mostly sunny.  D wanted to go, but didn't think his knee could take it.  I pouted, but went anyway!  He stayed home and actually finished the week whacking!  Now all that's left is hacking the tree branches that are hanging over our fence from neighbors' yards.

I went to Target to buy some snacks and new water shoes for R and we took off around 11.  We got up there right about noon, and spent part of the afternoon playing in the water.  We started off in the wave pool, then on to some rides and then hubba hubba highway. For only being 6, R is overly fearless and adventurous.  She wanted to go on everything, and nothing scared her.  M was great about making sure she was safe too, and that always makes me happy.  He's probably my most responsible child!  It was very crowded and lines started getting really long, so we left around 3.  That's the nice thing about having passes...I don't feel the need to hang out all day to get my money's worth!

On the way home I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a beer and relax for the rest of the evening.  Instead....I got home, changed, and hit the gym.  I'm on a streak, and I know that I'll never cross the finish line in Chicago if I start slacking on my workouts. That's part of the reason for doing this blog too - it keeps me going.  If I don't workout, I have nothing to post about!  As I was leaving, D quipped at me if I was only going to do one set on the machines.  Feeling like I was being called a slacker (and knowing deep down that one set isn't really effective), I decided to do TWO sets!  So yes, I set up the circuit, and did 2 sets on each machine.  Talk about painful....after the first couple of machines, I switched from music to the book.  I did 2 sets of 12 reps each on each machine except the shoulder press.  On that one, I did two sets of 8.  I have NO upper body strength, and that one is particularly tough for me.  Anyway, Fitlinxx said I lifted 13,000 lbs today, so I guess it was an hour well spent.  I imagine if I can easily spend an hour doing nothing at all, I can find a way to suffer through an hour of working out at the gym.

I went home, picked up D, M, and R, and dragged them all out to Frank's II (the place R and I went to Friday for the first time).  I got eggplant again, and everyone really loved their meals.  I was happy, full, had a glass of Chianti, and was ready to come home and finally shower and relax (and have more wine). 

I've spent the rest of the evening in jammies and catching up on some TV (Housewives of NY and Flashforward so far...). 

A called a few times today at various groovy places in NYC.  They finally left there at about 720 this evening, so she should be home sometime around 2am.  R has been very cute, making a big Welcome Home sign and cards for her big sister.  I imagine D and A are going to sleep most of tomorrow.  I was thinking about taking M and R to the beach - but it's supposed to hit 115 degrees (with the heat index.  100 without), and think that's a day best spent inside where there is air conditioning.  Maybe we'll try and find a movie or something that involves remaining indoors.  If not, we'll just be REALLY quiet while they sleep!  Tomorrow is a run day though, and I'm thinking it'll be a treadmill day.  I guess we'll see!

Overall, it's been a very good day indeed.  I got to play, swim, and workout, AND I didn't have to cook dinner.  Don't get me wrong, I love to cook.  Except when it's hot.  Or when I'm feeling lazy.  Tonight, I get to go to bed and wake up with my daughter home from her trip, which also makes me happy.  I'm glad she had fun, but I'm really ready for her to come back home.

Good night.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Can Barely MOVE Today!

I cannot believe how sore my body is today.  I mean, it's just yard work for crying out loud!  But noooo....my arms, legs (hamstrings in particular), back, and hands are killing me.  I have a few splinters and blisters on my hands, which I think suck more than anything else does.

I woke to Sammie doing her bark-thing.  No such thing on sleeping in on a weekend when you have a doggie!  D took R to swim lessons, and I puttered around the house cleaning and cooking.  I was hoping to take M and R to Watercountry today, but the weather wasn't looking like it would cooperate.  D can't really go - his knee is sort of falling off.  It's been bad the past few weeks and I'm actually getting concerned.  This is the longest it's hurt without relief that I can remember.  He's icing it regularly and I even went and bought a homeopathic cream today from one of my favorite hippie stores to see if that could help.  Anyway, he can't walk, stand, or really sit for any length of time.  He tries not to complain much, but I can tell it's hurting him a lot.  So as much as he'd love to go to the water theme park with us, I know he really can't.

Anyway, sorry to get depressing for a second.  Breakfast was a soy latte (I have the grooviest espresso machine ever) and my leftover eggplant from dinner last night.  For lunch I made a vegan mac and cheeze Recipe (yes, I actually HAD all those ingredients in the house) for lunch.  I'm the only one who loved it, but that's because D refused to try it, and R thinks the only mac and cheese in the universe that's edible comes out of a blue box.  Oh well, poo on them.  All the more for me!  I had some lunch and then got ready to go run.

My run today took me to First Landing State Park.  I was scheduled for a 4 miler, so I had to go somewhere else to run.  I figure I hadn't been there since the Shamrock J&A training team, so I couldn't possibly be bored with it.  I took off from home around 130, and after a brief pit stop, started running just after 2.  The run was nice - it was about 85 degrees, but the trail provides lots of shade.  There were a fair number of people out and about, so I certainly didn't worry about trail stalkers or anything like that.

The first quarter mile of my run I was more waddling than running because my legs were so sore from yard work (can you tell I'm a bit embarrassed by that!).  They loosened up after that, and it was mostly smooth sailing from there.  It started to rain just as soon as I got back in the van, so I congratulated myself on having excellent timing for once.

After my run, I went down Shore Drive to Heritage, which is a hippie grocery I really like.  I picked up a few things - my Ezekiel bread, some multi grain rice cakes, and that cream for D's knee.  After that, I went up the road to an Asian market just because I think it's awesome.  They had a really big bottle of this Saki that B and I had at Geisha when she was here to visit - called Snow Beauty.  I've had 3 glasses thus far this evening :) 

I really planned on finishing the weed whacking and tree trimming in the back yard today, but just couldn't do it.  I'm blaming my sore, blistered, and calloused hands.  I'll do it tomorrow because if I don't, I'll get very annoyed at a half finished yard.  That'll just stress me out and I won't sleep!

It sounds like A is having a great time in NYC.  She's texted quite a few times and has even called a couple. 

Now it's time to relax, have a beer, and watch Chuck with D, M, and R.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Insomnia Plus Excess Nervous Energy Is a Strange Combination

I couldn't sleep last night.  It's no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I suck at sleeping in general, but when I'm stressed about anything, I don't sleep at all.  So what was I stressed out about??  How about my baby girl (okay, she's 15, but still) going to NYC without one of her parents?  I've never been to New York, and what I DO know, I learned from Law and Order and CSI:NY, so it doesn't take much to figure out where my over active imagination goes.

I stayed up watching Castle, Real Housewives of New Jersey (yes, I'm admitting it out loud - I record it.  It's funny), NCIS, and Top Chef Masters.  At some point I fell asleep, and when the alarm went off at 445am, I still had the TV going and my glasses on.

I woke A up, piled into the van, stopped at the bank to give her some travelling cash, and took her to the charter bus that would carry her away for 3 days.  Did I mention that I didn't have an option to go with?  That I HAD to let her go without a relative??  Oy.  I have never been away from her more than 1 night that didn't involve her being with family.  Not a big deal to her I'm sure, but it is to me.  S texted me last night asking why I was so quiet (we talk...a lot) and if I was doing OK.  She knows I'm a mess and is a fabulous friend.

After dropping A off and driving around the area for 10 minutes and circling the bus again to make sure she was safely on (she doesn't know I did that...unless of course she reads this somehow, and then I guess she will), I decided to stop at McDonald's and buy breakfast for D, M and R.  I was exhausted and didn't want to cook breakfast - I also wanted to go to sleep and would feel guilty having D get the younger two ready for school.  Not that M actually needs any help - he gets up, makes his own breakfast, and unless I do it, he makes his own lunch too.  R is the only one that needs assistance...but she needs a lot of it.  She hates getting up in the morning, is poky as anyone I've ever known, and combing her crazy hair can take forever.  Plus making her lunch (with her nut allergy, we don't ever let her buy a lunch at school), so I figured the least I could do this morning was bring some hot cakes for her.  D also doesn't multi task well, so between him and R, it takes them forever to get ready in the morning unless I intervene.

I crawled into bed at about 620 this morning and proceeded to fall right asleep.  D and the kids came to kiss me goodbye, and I slept until 9 ish when Sammie (my dog...I don't feel the need to abbreviate her name for some reason) did her persistent bark-every-30-seconds-until-someone-gives-me-what-I-want thing.  Usually it's reserved for weekend mornings when it's past 630am, the family is sleeping, and she wants to eat.  This morning she wanted to go outside in the sun and my nap was keeping her from that.  Silly dog.  So I got up, made some espresso, and started researching week whackers - after I let her out to sun herself of course.

I went to Home Depot and had the expert teach me everything I needed to know.  My yard has been driving me crazy, and I just couldn't take it anymore.  The people who lived here before us apparently fancied some English Garden environment, and it sucks.  I know nothing about gardening or plants (which is funny now that I think about it considering that my entire diet is derived from plants), and it's gotten way out of control.  I told D that I was going to hack it all up and make it look presentable again - my consistently mowing over it wasn't as effective as I wanted.  So....I bought a new weed whacker based upon Justin's recommendations (I can say his name too because I don't know him), some clear bags for yard garbage, and some Round Up weed killer (to not only kill weeds, but to attempt to kill other crap in my yard that I don't want anymore).

I got home, changed into my running gear, got the mower, weed whacker, Round Up, hedge sheers, bags, gloves, and iPod, and got to work.  That was at 1120 this morning.  I finally stopped moving in the FRONT YARD at 3 when D got home - and brought me Moe's!  It looks great.  I tore up a ton of the yard, mowed, weeded, whacked, and raked.  I also danced a lot - it's fun knowing the every single song I hear is one I love, or I wouldn't have put it on my iPod to begin with.  I found a nasty plant in the front that has huge thorns and I got torn up quite a bit (gonna take my revenge out on that plant tomorrow), but overall I'm very happy.  My front yard looks presentable and even though I had no clue what I was doing, I'm pleased with the result.  I just kept hacking at things I didn't think belonged. 

During lunch the appliance guy arrived to fix my stove.  Apparently it was a bad ignitor, which he fixed and I don't have to buy a new stove!  Yeah! 

After stove success, I started on the back yard, which is about 3-4 times bigger than the front.  I mowed, and weed whacked about a third of it, when I couldn't take it anymore.  I was filthy, my body was sore, and I itched everywhere there was exposed skin.  TMI, sorry :)  I was hoping to put off showering until I could run my 3 miles...but I just couldn't.  I couldn't sit on any of my furniture because I was so dirty, and the itchiness got to me.  I love nature.  I just don't want it on me.  Of course because I showered, I knew I wasn't going to run.  Alas, I don't feel too awful.  I wore my bodybugg (Body Bugg) while doing my yard work...and when I connected to the site, found I had burned over 1700 calories while working, so I'm guessing I'm okay.

D took M to his music lesson and then to a 720pm showing of Iron Man 2.  I got a text around 715 saying they were going to movie-hop into Prince of Persia, so it's just me and R tonight.  I took her to dinner at Frank's II on Battlefield for some yummy Italian food, and got home just a little while ago.  So I popped open a bottle of red wine, and decided to update my blog.

A arrived safely to NYC at 130 this afternoon.  She took the Staten Island Ferry, saw the Statue of Liberty, had dinner, walked around, and is currently at an art gallery showing.  I can't imagine how amazing her trip is going to be, and I hope she loves every second of it.  As for me, I'm just counting the seconds until she gets home. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I've Become Obsessed with Weather

I'm really glad today wasn't a run day.  107 degrees with the heat index, 95 when I checked it around 2pm.  And right now???  70 at 930pm.  It's amazing how ridiculously hot it was earlier, and now I'm whining about it being cold.  I want to turn off the AC, but figure it'll just be hot later.

I called my Dad earlier to tell him how hot it is.  He's going to be here in just over a week, and I hope it's not as icky hot out.  I was hoping to do an outdoor movie night or two while he was here - but only if it's not overly tropical or buggy.

A couple of years ago, my sister showed me a weather website that I have since become very addicted to.  It's called Weather Undergound and it shows WAY more about weather than I could ever really need to know or understand, but I still check it everyday.  Sometimes several times, especially during training.  It helps me plan when I need to run inside, really late at night, or when I can go during full afternoon sun.  A nice side effect has been being prepared for rain!  That's nothing I really ever did well before - I mean, I always have an umbrella in my car - but I never actually have it with me when it's raining.  Anyway, here's the site and if you like weather, or knowing what weather might be like, it's a keeper  Cool Weather Site

So this really has nothing to do with my workout today.  I actually did go to they gym again before work!  I did the Fitlinxx again - which makes it the THIRD STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUT IN A WEEK.  Sorry, I'm not yelling, I'm cheering. I don't do that, primarily because I hate it.   I don't recall the exact poundage, but considering I did pretty much the exact same thing I did on Tuesday, I'm guess it's right about 6,000 lbs again.  And you know what made me most excited about today's workout??  Knowing that I don't have to do it again until Sunday.  I wish I liked lifting weights.  I know how important it is for me to not only improve in running, but for overall health and well being over the long haul.  I still really hate it.  I whine every time, and I'm trying to guilt my husband into being something of a workout partner, but it's not working.  Not that it ever had, but maybe if I complain enough, he'll do it just to shut me up.  If you're reading this an interested, I'm accepting workout partner applications.  Must live in the area and not be creepy.  Y and/or Bally's memberships encouraged.

My office is moving next week, and I'm very happy about that.  For once in my life, I'll live close to where I work.  I think that will help encourage me to keep working out in the morning - knowing that the gym is 2 miles from home, and the office is only 5 miles from there.  I still don't think I'll run in the mornings, but the 2 weekdays I want to go to the gym, I probably can.

The rest of the day was typical.  Work...meetings...not a bad day, just long.  Dinner was Olive Garden - A's choice because she's leaving on a 3 day school trip to NYC in the morning.  We had R skip gymnastics so A's last night home for a few wasn't hectic.  We had fun, and she had desert!  I'm taking the day off tomorrow to pout.  I don't think I can focus at work all day worrying about A getting to New York safely.  

So that's it.  I realize it's not an exciting post, and I'm sorry.  Though be proud...I was really craving Thai yesterday, and went with a salad from Moe's instead.  Between that good choice and the weight lifting, I'd say that's progress!  (though I still really want Thai...bummer that I'm on a no-Thai diet until October!) 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2 Million Dollar Houses are REALLY Nice

So here I am, twice in one day.  I don't think I've done that before.

Like I said this morning, I just didn't have it in me to post last night after the City Council meeting.  Today was another good day.  Breakfast was coffee and the spring roll/tofu/wrap things.  I had meetings pretty much all day.  I did escape for a yummy smoothie around noon, and headed to all-afternoon-meeting-fun-time.

I decided to do something different with tonights run.  I need to start getting very creative with when I run to make sure I get all my training in, but also try and help with the crazy kids schedule we have going here.  I've also decided that if I have to run more than 3 miles, I have to go somewhere else to do it.  I've said it before - but I really do get easily bored with my surroundings.  I can't run the same loop like some people can, and if I see the same house more than once I get annoyed.

Tonight the kids had TKD at 7.  I drove to the studio (about 3 miles from home) which is right by two VERY nice subdivisions.  I had D pick A up from school and bring A and M to their butt kicking class.  I started my 5 mile run about a half hour before their class started.  That way I timed my run to finish about halfway through their class.  Bonus for everyone - D got to go home, I got to see my kids beat up other people, AND I got to run somewhere I've never been before.

About my surroundings.  This was the Edinburgh area of Chesapeake.  Click here to see them....  Link to BIG houses  These houses START at $800k, and go up to a couple million.  They're huge McMansions.  Absolutely beautiful, but surprisingly little lots and tiny pools.  There was also an older couple and their dog driving around in a golf cart.  For no apparent reason.  Weird.  Anyway, I ran in front of every single one, and what I think I was most jealous of were the driveways.  Sounds dumb, I know, but many were lovely terra cotta colors.  Anyway, it was a lovely run in a very quiet area.  I'm thinking that this development started just before the economy went south.  There are still a TON of empty lots, a few unfinished houses, and half of them are for sale.  After getting the kids from Tae Kwon Do and getting Subway, my daughter wanted to drive past them.  Then she asked if we could get one.  Silly girl.

The run itself took right about an hour.  I haven't synched my Garmin yet, so I don't have exact numbers.  I made myself feel pretty good by thinking of tonight's run as 1/5 of a marathon.  It made it sound more impressive.

So that's it.  I felt very innovative tonight, and excited to go somewhere new.  Next week I think I'll run in the subdivision that's just down the street from where I was tonight - also beautiful homes and seems more "finished" so more to see.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to go to the gym again before work.  We'll see, but I'm a bit hopeful after earlier success this week. 

Good night! 

6,660 lbs!!!

I know this post is a day late and I'm sorry.  It really is justified and will all make sense in a few...

So I did it!  I WENT TO THE GYM BEFORE WORK.  I wasn't so confident that I'd be able to, but since I did post about it in my last blog entry, I figured I had better actually do it.

So I went to the Y before work and did the Fitlinxx circuit.  It's amazing to me how crowded the gym is at that time a day...like people actually WANT to workout in the mornings.  Eww...I'm all about sleeping in the mornings, and the options of exercise vs. sleep are really not an internal debate I ever have.
BUT, I knew that I was going to be tied up in work related events until at least 730pm and there would be no way I'd go to the gym that late when all I'd likely want to do is have a glass of wine or something.

So the 6,660 lbs....when you do the Fitlinxx circuit, you have a pin number that you enter into a touch screen monitor. That computer system then communicates with all the weight lifting machines sending the different settings (like seat, weight, etc). It's actually pretty cool. When you get to each machine, you enter your pin on the mini touch screen attached, and it'll tells you how to set up the machine for you specifically. It records how many repetitions and sets you do. You tell it you're done, and move on to the next machine.  When you're done with the circuit, you go to the big monitor, enter any cardio workouts you may have done, and then tell it your finished with the weight lifting.  It then proudly displays how many pounds you lifted total - and mine for yesterday was 6,660 lbs!  At the end of each month, I get an email from Fitlinxx equating how much weight lifted into terms of elephants, cars, and other big things.  When I get the May report, I'll be sure to let you know how many elephants I picked up.

For anyone interested, Fitlinxx is at all of our area Y's, and it's free.  Here's the link Fitlinxx Homepage

 After working out (which since I'm still only doing 1 circuit - which is 1 set of each exercise - only took about a half hour ish), I took a shower and headed to work.  I didn't eat before hand (just java), but wasn't too worried.  I had these rice paper/tofu/spring roll wrap things and some creamy potato soup around 10am for brunch.  I did make some burritos for my friend S for lunch though :) 

I had a few meetings throughout the day, and then it was off to the City Council meeting in Chesapeake.  My company (a health care system) wishes to build a freestanding Emergency Department.  The local hospital, which is a single community hospital facility - not a system - is very, very much against it.  The community hospital began a very negative campaign about a month ago against my company, and the city council meeting was to vote on whether we could proceed with construction or not.  There were 36 speakers - all given 5 minutes to speak.  It was very emotional, and I dare say there was some mudslinging going on from the opposition.  I felt like I was at a presidential debate or something.  There was a very, very large crowd - standing room only and some had to listen via speakers in the hallway.  In the end, we went until just after 10pm, and the city council voted unanimously against my company.  I think it's a mistake, and that any improved and additional access to health care services could only be good for my community.  I'm thinking the battle is over, but not the war....guess we'll see.  But the point is, I was at this meeting from 5-10pm.  With no food.  Or water.  Or wine.  I got home around 1015, but didn't want to eat that late, so just went to bed.

So...good for me that I went to the gym.  BAD that my total caloric intake was about 250 calories.  Very, very unhealthy and bad. 

So now, I've had my coffee and it's time to work.  I'll snarf a banana and then get some lunch later.  I have to run 5 mi tonight, so if I can, I'll have a second post of the day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Running in Baggy Pants is a Bad Idea

Today has been a good day.  I had a nice and mostly uneventful weekend (a bit of grocery shopping, cleaning, working out, talked to my sister who is moving into a new house, and bloody mary drinking.  See, good weekend).  I went to bed early (10 ish), and am starting to catch up on the hundreds of hours of recorded TV (only 8 episodes of Flashforward, 14 of Fringe, 5 of Stargate, 4 of Castle, 2 of NCIS, 9 of Numb3ers, 5 of In Plain Sight, and 8 of the Forgotten left.  Trust me, that's us getting caught up).  I woke up without playing snooze tag, and went to work as usual.  I got to have lunch with D (mexican..yummy!), and get a lot of work done this afternoon.

I decided that my training run would be in my neighborhood since it was only 3 miles, and I can't really justify driving somewhere just to run for 3 miles.  I went through a subdivision I had never been in before, and it was nice.  I had plenty of energy from my bean burrito and spanish rice (diet coke probably helped there too), and the weather is nice - only 81 degrees, though very humid.  D even finished loading the rest of The Lost Symbol on my iPod (can't wait for it to be over...it kinda sucks) so I won't run out of audiobook while running.  So the only thing wrong with today's run???  My capri pants were a bit too big, so I had to keep hiking them up as I went along.  I'm sure my attempt to look somewhat like I run on a regular basis failed severly due to my persistent wardrobe malfunction.  Alas...it was a good run anyway.  Tomorrow I'm going to attempt going to the Y before work (don't laugh...it could happen) since I am going to a City Council meeting tomorrow night (it's work related, but honestly, the right thing to do)....and know after that I'll likely want a drink more than I want to lift weights...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Is a Bloody Mary with Olives a Vegetable Serving??

If so, I got in my 4 servings today!!!!

I started off my day very motivated.  I woke up around 9, which is sleeping in nice enough without wasting the entire day.  After coffee, I started baking some tofu I marinated overnight and looked up the Y schedule.
I know I keep whining about the need to strength train, and how much I hate it (I find it infinitely boring).  I went through all the trouble of getting set up for the Fitlinxx thing, I may as well use it.
So after baking the tofu and making some spring rolls (tofu, cabbage, onion, and siracha), I headed off to the gym for a workout!
It had been so long since I had used my Fitlinxx login, I had to ask one of the trainers to reactivate my access.  I did one set of each machine, which is about all my attention span can handle.  It's strange - I don't mind going for a run that takes 3 hours, but the thought of doing any type of weight lifting is absolutely dreadful.  I'm trying to get myself to commit to 3 days a week of this.  I really know I need to...I even WANT to...but it's just SO BORING.  Maybe I need to find a workout partner...maybe it wouldn't suck so much.  It's unlikely, but a girl can dream.
Anyway, after the gym, I went to Target and wandered around for a bit.  It started pouring, so I had an excuse to buy a new umbrella!  It's actually all I bought...which for anyone who knows me and my obsession with Target, is pretty amazing. 
I headed to Wild Wing to meet up with my friend S for some bloody mary's!  I got there about 20 minutes early and started reading our new book club book (Robert Lundlum...Bourne Identity).  We hung out for a couple hours, drank our bloody mary's ate our olives (I even had some pretzel bites!), and headed out.  I'm feeling pretty good...I worked out, had a LOT of vegetables (I'm assuming it counts), and now I'm going to spend the rest of the day doing as little as possible.  It's a Sunday.  I've earned it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Lost Another Toenail!

Back in 2007 after I ran the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon (my first ever), one of my toenails turned black, and then fell off after a few weeks.  At the time, I sort of looked at is as a badge of honor.  'Look at me!  I'm a real runner now...I lost a toenail!'
A friend of mine joked that I could just paint the skin (which I did) and no one would ever notice (they all did of course, because I told them).  It grew back, and while never the same, it also never fell off again, even though I continued running.
After the Shamrock 2 months ago, my nail turned a fun purple color, but stayed put.  Same nail - the toe NEXT to my big toe on my right foot.  However, I noticed the last couple of days that it didn't feel very attached, and I was right.  Off it came today, and now I'm missing a toenail JUST as summer is starting and demanding I wear sandals.  Ugh.  R was really funny about it though.  She was very interested in my missing nail (as she tends to be interested in all things I wish she weren't).  She proceeded to tell me that I had to wash it, put some of that creamy medicine on it (Neosporin) and a band aid.  Then she wanted me to wear only flip flops on my right foot so I wouldn't hurt it.  Very cute.  Instead....I went for a run.  I did take her advice and put a band aid over my toe first.

I told D this morning that I was going stir crazy running around home, and was likely going to go somewhere else today to get my mileage in.  He was cute and looked up a new place for me to check out.  It's the Chesapeake Arboretum not too far from home.  A and M are off with their friends at the Chesapeake Jubilee (like a carnival that's an annual celebration of Chesapeake, VA's birthday), and D had just left with R to see the new Shrek movie, so I thought it would be great timing to run.  Off I went to the new location to run on the trails.

Good news - it was very shaded, and even though it's only in the low 80's, I appreciated the tree coverage.  It was also very pretty - a sandy bottom stream, lots of greenery, and a cushy wood chipped trail.  I saw more wildlife than I generally like and squealed a few times when big lizards ran over the trail, and grossed out a bit the few times I saw these monstrous beetles.  I imagine if anyone else was on the trail when I did that, it must have amused them greatly.

Bad news - there was such a big canopy of large trees...that my Garmin wouldn't pick up the satellites, so I have no clue how far I went.  My guess is 4ish miles based on the amount of time I was running.  I also got lost - none of the trails were marked, and I'm not smart enough to look for natural markers to let me know if I was on the same trail for the return trip back to where I parked.  I dumped out by a subdivision for a bit, ran through it to admire the really nice houses, and then turned around to head back through the trail in what I hoped was the right direction.  I wasn't panicking, but did get a bit weirded out when I realized I wasn't recognizing anything and had no idea where I was.  The trails kept splitting off, and I didn't know where I had turned around.  Eventually, I kept to a trail that let out onto a road not too far from where I entered the trails to begin with.  So all in all, it was a nice run, but I probably won't go there again unless it's just to walk with the kids and admire nature.

Breakfast this morning was some black coffee and a dish I made up of Quinoa noodles, peas, green beans, and chickpeas.  It was tasty and I certainly had the right energy for a run.

So now, I am going to do some yard work.  The bushes in front look hideous and it's about time I do something about it.  The weed whacker is dead and gone, but I'm hoping to convince D to go buy one....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catching Up

I realize it's been a few and I really need to post a summary of the past few days.  The weather here in VA is, to quote my eldest daughter (who's turning 15 today!), "bipolar".  She is not wrong - we swing from having 90+ degree days to mid-60's.  As a result, my runs last week varied from treadmill to outside depending on the weather and time of day.  It was a pretty even mix between them.  As usual, I prefer the great outdoors to the treadmill, but better running on that then not at all.
So Monday was the Y and using their treadmill, Wednesday was the treadmill at home, Friday was running outside, and yesterday was outside.  I switched up my run vs. rest days as well, but not worried about that since I got all of them in.

The week has been quite busy between planning major changes at work, the kids' demanding schedule, and my desire to catch up on all the hundreds of hours of recorded TV.  I also hadn't cooked very much at all, which is very unlike me.  I think I'm in a rut, lacking all motivation.  I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon.

Saturday was my run day, but I didn't go. It was a crazy morning of sewing R's costume, getting her cleaned up, make-up on, hair done, and getting to the dance studio for her pictures. Then we grabbed lunch and went grocery shopping. I wasn't too much in the mood for working out, but it was fun watching D and the kids wash the vans while I made dinner.

Yesterday I had no intentions of moving, as it was my rest day.  I was feeling very unmotivated, even though I needed to make up the missed Saturday run, go to yoga, go shopping, bake a bday cake, etc.  I just couldn't envision myself NOT lying in bed watching NCIS.  Thank goodness for S.  She wanted to get out and exercise, and I would have felt too guilty bailing on her, so off we went to Oak Grove park with Jack (her wunderpups).  We mostly walked, but I took off with Jack for a few sprints.  It felt great, and I was very glad I listened to her!  Of course afterwards, we went to Wild Wing for a few happy hour drinks (extra spicy bloody mary's for me!). 

Today is A's birthday.  D is picking her up from school to take her to lunch, and I'm picking her up after school at GSA so she doesn't have to take the bus home.  She has TKD tonight - where the entire class will paddle her for her bday.  That should be fun to watch!  Then a dinner of lasagna and cake late tonight (plus presents, of course) should wrap up the day!  I am supposed to run 3 miles tonight, but will likely to that tomorrow instead.  I'd feel a bit guilty going out for a jog while everyone else is eating (which is what I typically do). 

So that's it for me today.  Off to work, then celebrate my baby's birthday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Swim Fins are Cool

I imagine the title of my post is a bit misleading.  I don't actually have swim fins, but I did buy some for R that arrived today from swimoutlet.com, as did my new goggles (M managed to lose mine at the Y a couple weeks ago).  I decided that today's training run would take place at the Y so I could take R swimming with her new fins while D took A and M to Tae Kwon Do.

So after work I took M shoe shopping (he has a band concert tomorrow and his nicer black shoes are now too small for him), picked R up from daycare, and came home.  Right as we were finishing homework, D got home, we said a quick hello, then he was off to pick A up from school then take A and M to class, while R and I headed to the Y for some fun.

R went into the Playzone while I hopped on a treadmill.  Now, you all know how I feel about treadmills (hamster), but I have a feeling that one a week may need to take place on them.  If I hadn't gone to the Y or used my treadmill at home, it would have been nearly 830pm before I could have gone out for a run (me+mornings do NOT = running).  This way, I could get my run done while R was having fun and being safely watched.  Not my ideal for sure - most of my runs need to be outside or I'll never actually finish the marathon - but a few won't hurt.  I just know it can't be any more than 3-4 miles or I'll go batty running in place.

After my run was finished (I did the 5K pre-program), I grabbed R and we went swimming.  Here's the fun part...swim fins make a person INSANELY fast.  She was like a bloody torpedo!  I had to swim a normal front crawl just to keep up with her, and she kept zipping back and forth the length of the pool to the point I realized I was getting a second workout in.  She barely came up for air and anytime she stopped it was because I made her so we could catch a breath.  One dad there commented on how she was just zipping all over the place.  It was hysterical.  And exhausting.  After a half hour or so, I told her we had to hit the hot tub and then shower up.  Really, I just didn't think I could keep up with her anymore.  D picked up Subway after TKD and we all got home at exactly the same time.  All in all, it was a good evening.  Which is good because I was in a funky mood before that.  Gotta love the power of exercise!

A quick recap of the past couple of days...

Yesterday was Mother's day.  We had a very low key day - I mainly sat upstairs watching the Real Housewives show...which I had never seen before, but can fully grasp how someone can just get sucked in.  It's amazing how a bunch a women who don't actually do anything can have SO much drama.  D commented a few times about how the Jersey husbands must be in "waste management".  I can fully see that.
D made me dinner which came out right as the dinner I made for everyone else was done!  He made me a vegan taco dish that was quite tasty and I had the leftovers for lunch today, so technically I guess he made me two meals!  He was also a very good bartender to me yesterday :)  

Saturday was an icky day.  I felt awful all day and got dizzy every time I stood up.  Not fun, so I chilled most of the day.  I did take R to her swim lessons and then to the outdoor pool for a bit though before I started feeling too much like passing out.

Before Saturday, I can't really remember, so it must not have been too monumental, though I did run (again on a treadmill because it was stupid-hot). 

Thank goodness tomorrow is a Rest day.  I have to go to a parent's meeting with A from 630-8pm about her NYC trip later this month.  Unfortunately, that means I am going to miss this band concert for M, which I'm really not happy about.  Hopefully D will record it for me.  Guess I should ask him to.  I keep forgetting he's not a mind reader.  Though he should be by now.

Oh yeah, my actual run today....I had 1/2 a Clif Bar about an hour before the run.  I love Clif Bars.  They never do me wrong!  I was appropriately dressed because I ran inside and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a t-shirt and shorts are all you really need to worry about.  I am still listening to the Lost Symbol.  Not loving it, I must say.  It's okay...but sucks in comparison to DaVinci Code, Deception Point, or Angels & Demons.  I did a 5 minute warm up, the 5K loop, and a 5 min cool down.  Total workout time was 42 minutes, which means the 5K part was 32 minutes.  Not too bad.

So that's it.  Time for bed and then a busy day tomorrow.  But really...what else is new?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Running + Thai Food = Very Bad Things

Apparently things have to happen twice before they become fact.  This is not uncommon, and I will use my children as examples.  R is very allergic to peanuts (and tree nuts).  She had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her cousin 3 years ago and was fine.  4 months later, had a cookie with some peanut butter and ended up in the ER having difficulty breathing and now has to stay away from all nuts (and anything made near nuts).  My son M was given amoxicillin as a baby, and broke out in pox all over his body.  A year later, the doc prescribed it again (not sure the reaction was related to the med).  He broke out again, so now it's off limits.  I'm guessing this is standard practice - if it happens once it's a coincidence.  Twice, not so much.  So is now the case with me and Thai food.  I have an absolute love of Tofu Green Curry.  The ONLY curry I've ever found I like, and it's fabulous.  If you read way back to my posts in January, I mentioned eating Thai food the night before a race at Fort Story.   The race where I stopped at mile 1 and threw up.  I had a sneaky suspicion it was the Thai food rearing it's angry head, but didn't want to condemn one of my favorite meals.  Alas, two times is the charm.  I had Thai for lunch on Wednesday, then went for a run 4 hrs later.  Just as last time, I made it nearly a mile before losing my lunch in the neighbors lawn.  After staggering home and lying on the kitchen floor for 20 minutes, I came to the definite conclusion that I cannot eat Thai food if I'm going to run within 24 hrs.  So here is my dilemma.  I'm going to be running pretty much every day until the marathon....which means NO THAI FOOD FOR 6 MONTHS.  I'm am very saddened by this realization.  I think I'll have to tell D that for my 37th birthday dinner (which is 9 days after the marathon), that I want Thai food.  A lot of it.

Yesterday's run was on the treadmill.  It was 99 degrees, and while I really want to train in the heat so I have no surprises in Chicago - especially given last year's events - I didn't think that level of heat was smart to run in.  Of course the run felt easy since the ground is actually moving for me, but I only felt like I cheated a little bit.  I'm hoping to do today's run outside this evening, but based on the kids' schedule, it's likely to be 8pm or later before I get out there.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get up early and go down to First Landing for a group run.  It sounds like a good idea now...but involves waking very early on a weekend - so I can run, get home, and get cleaned up before R's 1030 swim lesson and A and M's 1215pm TKD evaluation.  Not likely :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Finished Making My Training Schedule! Now, Just Need to Actually DO It!

Well, as I had hoped, I finally did finish my marathon training calendar.  It wasn't finished Sunday, but I did have it done fairly early on Monday.  I'm attempting to attach it (I'm rather proud of it) .  I think posting it will help keep me honest.  It's also taped to my fridge.  All 7 pages of it!

Crissie's Chicago Marathon Training Plan!!!

Once I finished reading a couple Marathon books and perusing training plans on various websites, I put together what I'm hoping will be a solid plan that will get me across the finish line in a decent enough time. 

Most of what I read indicates that anything more than 16 weeks is really going to burn me out.  Problem is, I'm freaking out NOW, and the race isn't for another 6 1/2 months.  SO...since I get very antsy when having to wait to do something once I've decided I'm actually going to, I came up with a multi-step plan.

The first 6 weeks are my Base Building Phase.  I'll spend the next 6 weeks (it technically started this week) focusing just on running for a specific distance; between 3-6 miles per run, 4 days per week.  I'm not concentrating on pace or anything like that - just making sure that running those distances feels fairly easy.

On June 14th, I start my Endurance Building Phase.  I'll spend 8 weeks building my endurance, doing quarter mile repeat runs every Wednesday (sprints up to 4 mi in distance), and long runs that build up each week and focus on a pace that is planned to be 1.5-2 minutes off my goal race pace.  Add in a couple easy runs (pace unimportant) and two cross training days, I'm still running only 4 days per week, but the goal for this is building my leg strength and endurance.

On August 9th, I'll begin the Stamina Phase, which is 6 weeks.  I'll trade out the quarter mile repeats for tempo runs - runs that may be shorter (no more than 8 miles), but at a pace that's much tougher than my goal race pace.  My Saturday long runs will continue to be 1.5-2 minutes behind my race pace, but these are the runs that start building up in length - up to a 21 miler on August 28th that I'm going to start whining about now.

On Sept 20th, I'll start the phase that I'm looking forward to the most - the Taper Phase!  It's 3 weeks of easy runs, light cross training, and lower mileage.

At the tail end of the Taper Phase is RACE DAY!!!!  So while I have been scared to death the past couple weeks that I was obviously out of my mind when I decided that this was a good idea, I now don't feel as nuts.  Now that I have a distinct plan, I feel better.  I even typed out the tips I read in the books or online to make sure I get the most out of each workout, don't over do it, don't get injured, and hopefully actually enjoy some of this.

My first training run was SUPPOSED to be yesterday, but I wasn't feeling very well (it was also 111 degrees with the heat index).  By the time I started feeling a little OK, I had to take the big monkeys to Tae Kwon Do class (which doesn't get out until 8pm).  I was hoping to run afterwards, but I started feeling icky again, and skipped it.  I felt completely depressed about it since I had JUST finished this awesome training plan and was very pumped to get it going.  Alas, I must learn flexibility at some point (not the yoga kind...the kind that makes me feel like it's okay to deviate from the established plan once in awhile - I'm not so good at that).

So I decided that Tuesday is a Rest day, that I'd run my first training run on that day (today) instead.  So I did!  I woke up this morning and had some coffee (long story, but a new and amazing espresso machine that I recently got and am in love with.  I'm my own Starbucks!!!)  I wasn't hungry, but know from experience that I cannot run on an empty tank.  I have no idea how some people can roll out of bed already in their running clothes, toss on shoes, and head out for a run.  Unless they're still sleeping, I just can't see this ever working.  So I forced myself to eat half a banana, wait 30 minutes, and took off.  Even though it was morning, it was very humid.  Weather was only 77 degrees, but it's really, really muggy.  It didn't bother me too much, except I felt sticky.  I started feeling a bit thirsty near the end of the run.  I didn't bring water with me because it was only a 3 mi jog, but I'm thinking it means I didn't hydrate well enough before I went out.  My energy level was fine, so for that distance, coffee and half a banana will work for me.  My legs felt fine and I'm still in mad love with my shoes, so no issues there.  I didn't push myself as hard as I know I can go, but being that I haven't been feeling great (and therefore not eating too much), I'm not gonna worry about that today.

So...now that I've written a bloody novel here, I'm going to stop.  Otherwise I'll have nothing to say tomorrow! 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Know, I Know...It's Been Awhile. I Think I Have a Good Excuse

So I realize it's been quite awhile since I've posted.  It's not that I have been lazy, I promise.  Just really freakin busy! 

On April 5th, my sister in law and her little squishy (son) arrived for an almost month long visit.  It was a very nice trip, and I'm sad to see her leave.  It's the first time we've all met (ridiculously long story) and having her here was awesome for D, the kids, and me too.  It took D and his sister 23 years to meet each other - watching her drive away today with her little boy C just made me hope that this isn't the last time, or that it won't be a couple decades before we see them again. 

So in an oversimplified summary...In the past month I've...

*Spent 3 days in FL with my eldest daughter A for a few days of art auditions (her), Busch Gardens, Ybor City, MGM Studios, and Downtown Disney.

*Did a girls night out in celebration of B's visit

*Threw a Vegas themed party (which was a blast - blackjack, poker, roulette, dancing, and drinking)

*Went to Williamsburg with B and C

*Still had to work - ugh

*First Outdoor Movie Night of the year!!!  (we have a really big inflatable movie screen we put up in the backyard, chill on the deck, kids lay on blankets with their friends, and we have our own private drive-in!)

*Our weeks break down like this:
~Monday - Tae Kwon Do for A and M
~Tuesday - Dance for R
~Wednesday - TKD for A and M
~Thursday - Gymnastics for R
~Friday - Music Lessons for M
~Saturday - Swim Lessons for R (and general gym time/swimming with the kids)

Rinse.  Repeat.

And through this all, I did manage to get a few runs in and hot yoga classes.  Maybe not as many as I would have preferred, but considering the major events going on in our family, I think I did okay.

So what cool running thing has happened since I posted last?  I have a running partner!  My neighbor across the street is my age (mid-30's) and D saw her out running a couple weekends ago.  Probably scared the poor woman when he stopped our mini van and said "Hey, my wife likes to run!  Wanna run with her??"  While absolutely adorable that he thought to do that, I think it's to absolve himself of any guilt he has about NOT running with me himself!
Anyway, MG came by the next day to introduce herself, and we're trying to run together on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and the occasional Saturday when we can.  She has two little kids, so between my family's frenetic schedule and her's, we do our best, but don't feel terrible if one of us flakes out.

I'm about to map out my marathon training plan - that's a goal for this weekend.  I'm basing it off a book I've been reading - 4 Months to a 4 hr Marathon.  It's going to be tough and I'm totally scared to death.  I told D that I may not get to help with the carting around of the children as much because my training will suck up a lot of my free time.  He was very cute and said he didn't care if he had to do a lot of the heavy lifting with things over the next 5 months until the Chicago Marathon.  Ya know...I don't say this enough, but I am one exceptionally lucky person. 
My sister met a couple marathoners when she was at the Final Four games in IN.  They were talking, and she mentioned that I was doing Chicago as my first this fall.  The one guy - who's apparently no running neophyte - told her that he's afraid of the Chicago!  That the weather is so unpredictable (last year, someone died in the heat/humidity) that it frightens him.  Lovely.  As if I wasn't scared enough.  Alas - hopefully since my training is in the summer in VA, I'll be well prepared for heat and/or humidity.  Ugh....what the heck did I get myself into?????

So now I'm off to get ready for a retirement party, and then ANOTHER backyard movie night.  Watching Avatar!

And tomorrow - I complete the marathon training program and post it up here.  Official training starts May 10th!!!