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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Afternoon Coffee Is My Secret Weapon

Today was another pretty good day.  I think I'm proportionately happy to how much I work out.  I was feeling off on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and when I look on it, I didn't work out much since the mid of last week.  The last three days have been very heavy on the workouts, and I feel great.  I'm starting to buy into the hype that exercise makes you happy.  It helps that I dig my life a lot too, but a lot of that happiness is coming from how I eat and working out.  Okay, preaching over.

The day was much like most week days.  Meetings, more drama than I like, but overall, very good.  I got a new kitchen gadget on Sunday that slices whole melons in 3 seconds!  I prepped some watermelon that R actually wanted me to put in her lunch today - so for that I was excited.  I had to get my blood drawn this morning, so by the time I got to the office, I was starving.  I had a bunch of watermelon and some baked tofu.  Just before my noon meeting, I decided to eat some brown rice/lentil dish...and I'm glad I did.  I had a noon meeting, then pages from VP's, and it was after 2 by the time I could grab lunch.  Of course, I had to go to Moe's after the less than stellar taco salad at Salsarita's yesterday.  As I'm paying for my salad, the manager comes out from the back and yells to me "hey!  Personal Trainer with guac!  You're becoming a regular....".  Hmmm....  By the way...the Personal Trainer is the name of the veggie taco salad :)

Once I got home from work, I was wiped.  I shouldn't have been, but I was.  So...using my awesome espresso machine, I made a cup of coffee and relaxed for a couple minutes.  About 5 minutes later, I changed into my workout clothes and did my ab video workout.  Then I hopped on the treadmill before my caffeine buzz wore off.  Today was a speed workout day, and I figured I just better get it over with.  I did 10 quarter mile repeats.  The second 5 were actually easier than the first 5.  Weird.  So in the end...with the 2 minute walk breaks between the sprints..I did 3.5 miles.  And THEN....I went to the bloody gym to do my fitlinxx!  I actually would have done it tomorrow, but a girls evening out has come up, and I certainly don't want to miss that!  So while D left to take A and M to TKD, R and I went to the Y so she could play in the kids zone, and I could lift weights.  So yeah, I feel kinda like superwoman today.  Thank you coffee!

After my uber-workout, R and I met up with the rest of the family for dinner.  They enjoyed it very much.  They didn't have anything for me - I got a salad that actually stunk.  Kinda bad when the salad at a restaurant doesn't taste good!  So I pretty much skipped dinner.  I drank about half my beer, and then we came home.  It was way to late to eat, so I jumped in the shower, and now am headed off to bed. 

So while I usually abstain from caffeine after my initial morning cup, maybe on Wednesday's when I have to do this ridiculous speed work, I'll make an exception.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Saw the Pot 'O Gold!!!

In honor of today's rainbow, my post will be in green :)

The day started pretty normally.  Up, shower, coffee, etc.  Breakfast was brown rice and lentil dish made with cinnamon and cloves that I cooked up last night.  A left for the bus stop (oh yea...summer school NOT canceled.  D and I don't have to raise Cain with the "downtown" people this year!), D left with R, and I took off for the hospital for my first meeting of the day.  That meeting actually went very well - even though it was 2 hrs long - so I can't complain.  After having lunch with D at Salsarita's (which is not nearly as good as Moe's - the taco salad just doesn't measure up...but we had a coupon), I took off for Williamsburg where I had a meeting this afternoon.  I got up there a little early, bought some new shoes for R, tank tops for A, and a pair of running shorts for me.  After my 20 minute power shop, I went to the WB hospital for a meeting.  That also went very well, and I'm glad I went - even though it meant 3 hrs on traffic.

On the way home, I stopped for a smoothie, yum!

The drive home wasn't too bad, and only had to deal with a couple minor traffic slow downs.  It was when I was driving over the high rise bridge, it was starting to rain, was still sunny, and I saw a very vibrant rainbow.  What was even cooler, is that there is a quarry or something over there, so it looked like the end of the rainbow was a large golden dirt hill.  It just made me smile. 

I got home a bit earlier than I had thought.  D and I had planned to go to a 730 yoga class (YES...he was going to exercise with me!!!).  Alas..that joy was short lived.  About 630, he informed me that he just didn't feel like going.  Ugh.  It's not as much fun going alone, but today was a scheduled 30 minute cross training day.  After my disappointing weekend, I HAD to go, so at 7, I took off and went to my favorite Chesapeake Hot Yoga (see link at the side of my blog if you're interested).  Before class, I heated up the rice/lentil dish (lazy), to make sure I had fueled again.

I was shocked when I got there.  28 people!  I've never been in a class that big!  Normally there's between 4-11, but this was crazy.  We all fit, and it was actually a totally amazing class.  It reminded me why I love yoga so much, and I miss it.  I felt very tight in my hamstrings and hip flexors - which I know is from the running - and I know that yoga would balance out.  Ugh, it's just with the marathon training and strength training, I'm already working out 6 days a week.  I don't know how to fit it in, but I really hope I find a way.  This phase of training which is focusing on endurance, I may be able to sub in yoga for a XT day - as long as I don't skip a fitlinxx.  I guess we'll see.  I'd like to at least try.

After yoga, D and I stopped at the grocery and picked up a few essentials (like a watermelon - I NEEDED a watermelon).  I was hungry, but didn't feel like eating so close to bed.  So I grabbed an uber-light beer and hopped in the shower.  At first I thought it may be weird (though D drinks coffee in the shower on occasion), but then I figured that was alcohol discrimination.  It's perfectly acceptable for someone to enjoy a glass of wine while soaking in a hot tub.  Why is drinking a cold beer while taking a quick shower shunned?  It's not in my opinion, and I'm okay with that!

Tomorrow is speed work.  I'm just waiting for another run day.  The weather has finally broke, and I'm itching to run outside.

So now it's time for bed.  Going to get my blood drawn tomorrow morning for the battery of tests my PCP ordered during my marathon physical.  Kinda excited to see how they are - like my cholesterol, etc.  Anyway, I'm starting to babble, which means it's time to go to bed.

Night :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Think I Influenced My First Vegetarian Conversion!!!

I have been remiss the past few days...in more ways than one.  My last post was on Wednesday, so in that sense I have been lacking in posting regularly.  I also haven't been working out as much.  It's not for lack of wanting to, though I have no good excuses - if I tried hard enough, I would have found a way. 

Thursday was a 30 min run OR rest day.  I had hoped when I started this training that I would opt for the workouts always when given a choice.  This past Thursday, I did not.  Of course, my excuse was that I had a long day at work (started at 7am and didn't get home until after 6.  It was a scheduled strength train day, and I blew it off.  My excuse of course is that I had an early start and a frustrating day - and all I wanted to do was go home.  I feel guilty when I work all day then go to the gym - like I'm somehow being selfish (even though no one has ever made me feel like that - it's my lovely Catholic guilt at work I guess).  I could also easily talk myself out of any runs outside since it's been stupid-hot, but I have a treadmill, and while it's not a joy to run on one, I could have.  I also could have busted out a workout video or something and used some light weights at home.  Alas....hindsight is 20/20.  Isn't that what they say??

Friday was my anniversary!!!  Our yearly tradition has been for D and I to spend the day at Busch Garden's sans children.  So, we got up early, went to breakfast, and then drove the hour up to Williamsburg.  We spent about 4 hours there, leisurely walking, holding hands, giggling, going on rides, and having a couple beers.  It was an awesome day (low 90's), and I had an absolutely wonderful time.  After we got home, we gathered all the kids and went to Cinema Cafe to see the Karate Kid and have dinner.  The day was darned near perfect.  The training schedule had me at 30 minutes of cross training.  I have decided to count my 4 hrs of walking at the park as legitimate cross training.

Saturday I have no excuses whatsoever.  I'm a loser, and I completely skipped my run.  What sucks is that it was a long run (9 miler) and I was actually looking forward to it.  I was up probably early enough where if I had gotten my act together, I could have knocked it out.  Instead....I went to work.  I knew I had to spend a few hours in the office this weekend and catch up after my week off, and D suggested that doing it Saturday would be better than Sunday.  If I went in on Sunday, I would end up working a 6 day week instead of 5.  Sound logic, so I agreed.  I went into the office around 10am, and ended up staying until 230.  When I left it was.....no kidding...110 degrees!!!  WHAT?  Not fun.  In any way, shape, or form.  It was over 100 degrees still at 7pm.  And while I like running at night, I don't like the idea of running in that crazy heat.  So I ended up skipping the whole thing.  I feel awful about that because I've been so diligent, and I have to shake this feeling that skipping this one long run will somehow render me unable to cross the finish line in October, but for now, I'm just angry at myself.

One fun thing is that my daughter R had her first friend sleep over Saturday night!  It was mostly okay, but exhausting.  R was thrilled, and that by far outweighed any drama that may have occurred.

I was considering going to run early on Sunday, but of course with R's friend spending the night, I had to be up and making pancakes for them.  D and I had massage appointments at 1245, so any hope of getting up and running on Sunday was shot when I didn't get out the door by 7am.  It was another blisteringly hot day, so I took it as the "rest" day that was intended. 

My sister sent me a link to sign up for something called Groupon.  You enter your city, and each day you get an email with a ridiculous deal, but you usually only have a day or two to buy it.  On Friday, the Groupon was a 90 minute massage for $46, and you could buy up to 2.  So heck yeah, I bought those!  D and I scheduled our massages for Sunday afternoon, and off we went!  The time with D was nice, but the massage really wasn't.  It didn't feel good, and we both left disappointed in that aspect, but at least we tried a new place (but won't be going back!).  They also do a massage "club" thing where you pay a certain amount per month and get discounted massages.  They pushed that on us as we were leaving, even though we said they were not interested.  Finally we just took the literature, smiled, and left.  We bought a desk finally for the green room, and while D spent 4 hours putting it together, I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and picked up a few things.  As a side note, I bought today's Groupon too...$25 for $75 worth of wine! 

So to explain the title of my post!  I have several blogs that I follow, and one is my sister in law's.  I was looking at the latest postings via my Blogger Dashboard for the ones I follow, and noticed she had a new one.  And it's title??  "Crissie, if you're reading this, hush. I know you told me so.".  So I proceed to read it, and she's declared (publicly) that she's now a vegetarian!  I try very hard not to be militant about my veganism.  In my opinion, if someone asks, great - I'll share away.  I'm proud and very happy of my chosen lifestyle...but it's just that MY choice.  Like being Catholic is, or loving all things purple.  It's not my place to try and persuade someone to follow my choices just because I happen to.  When B was here, we certainly talked about it, but I wasn't in any way trying to influence her choices.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I read that!  Of course now I have to send her stuff to help make it easier (like cookbooks and things...).

Today was another early day, but a good one.  I decided to make all 5 of R's sandwiches for the week last night before bed as to make morning time a little bit faster.  After the morning rituals, I dropped R off at her daycare and headed to begin my day of meetings.  I had lunch with S and a couple people from work (yummy Indian food), then had more meetings.  It was actually a very good day at work, and I know it wouldn't have been had I not gone in on Saturday.

After I got home and had a web-based meeting, M and I went to the gym.  He did the Interactive Zone, which is basically some cardio equipment hooked up to video games, a rock climbing wall, dance dance revolution, etc.  I did my Fitlinxx strength training workout.  The last phase of my training, I did the workouts on Tues, Thurs, and Sundays.  With the Endurance phase that just started, it will work better to do Tues, Fri, and Sunday.  Of course because I skipped last Thursday and yesterday, I was itching to go...so for this week, I'll do Monday, Thursday, and then get back on my regular schedule.  I then got home and did my ab video that I totally love which is the Bender Ball.  It's only about 15 minutes, but it seems to work great, and is challenging.  Then...my run!  It was only 40 minutes, and I waited as long as I could...but the temp didn't drop.  At 715 (while D was at TKD with A and M) when it was still 97 degrees outside, I hopped on my treadmill and pounded out the 40 minutes.  I swear...I think I go slower when I'm on the treadmill than I do outside.  When I'm outside, I'm not overly concerned with pace (unless it's a paced run), and find my overall run pace is faster than when I run inside.  I think I have a mental block when it comes to pushing the up arrow on the MPH key!

Anyway, I know I didn't talk much about food.  All in all, my eating habits were great...a lot of whole grains, fruit, veggies, legumes, and tofu.  I did have onion rings yesterday though (YUM). 

So now it's time to wind down, take a shower, and get ready for bed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sick Monkey's and Speedwork

I just know when something is wrong with one of my kids.  When they act a bit less energetic, seem to be less than fully well - I know.  I know this isn't a phenomena only known to me as a mother and it's easy to pick up the signs, but still...And I knew Sunday afternoon that something was up with R.  She wasn't as playful, wasn't as hungry, and just wanted to snuggle. I know these are pretty much beacons screaming SOMETHING'S WRONG - and it's probably pretty obvious to everyone.  We had gone swimming earlier that day (around 1) and she was as excited as ever.  Later that afternoon, she was pretty much uninterested in playing.  At first I thought it was the heat (she doesn't react too well to long term heat exposure), but it was more than that.  When she started complaining of her ear hurting - combined with a bit of a snuffly nose - we knew that she was verging (if not already at) an ear/sinus infection.  I had planned already on taking her to our pediatrician's sick clinic at 730am on Monday - and sure enough, at 3am, R comes crying into our bedroom.  She had gotten confused (and feverish), woke up, dressed for the day, and was upset we didn't "come get her" from her room.  Poor baby.  Into our bed she crawled, and then off to the Dr we went.  Sure enough - a combo of swimmers ear and sinus infection had her (and me) home for the day.  Why am I telling you all this - so you'll forgive me for not doing my 40 minute run on Monday :)

Oh, and sometime late Monday afternoon, M broke out with pink eye.  I wouldn't recommend coming to my house this week...

I did, however, eat very well!  Breakfast was coffee, a rice cake with sunflower butter, and half a banana.  I made a vegan crock pot chili sin carne and cornbread for dinner.  Lunch was nothing memorable since I can't remember!  I should have run, but was just too exhausted.  R slept on our bedroom floor (camping style), but seemed to have slept well.  D stayed home with her today and her fever hasn't come back in almost 24 hrs, so I'm hopeful. 

After work today, I went to the Y to do my Fitlinxx strength training workout AND....yesterday's 40 minute run!  So yeah...workouts done.  I had some Ezekiel bread with sunflower seed butter and banana for breakfast, black bean and squash enchiladas for lunch, and fruit and cornbread for dinner.  For dinner for everyone else, I made chicken with wine sauce in the pressure cooker, pasta side dish, and peas.  R still didn't seem right, so we decided to keep her home another day.  She camped on our floor again.

Today I had tacos for breakfast (which is just an awesome thing to even SAY much less do!).  I used the leftover vegan chili from Monday and put them in crunchy corn taco shells with some hot salsa and guacamole.  Lunch was brown rice and a banana.  About an hour and a half after I ate lunch, I did my speed work workout.  I did 6 repeats, and it was MUCH better than my attempt last week.  D thinks I'm getting better.  I think it was a combination of being well fueled (bananas are magical for that) and running at the right speed - 2:12 per quarter mile.  I like his theory better :)

Dinner was pretty awesome too.  I used two crock pots and my pressure cooker.  In one crock pot I had bell peppers stuffed with Israeli Couscous and Lentils, and in the other was a Brown Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash.  YUM.  In the pressure cooker I made pork chops and gravy, so everyone got a very well balanced dinner.

M is still in quarantine with pink eye, but it looks much better.  Poor thing is hauling Lysol wipes wherever he goes.  R is relaxing and watching a movie up in my room.  D is at A's TKD class.  I'm having a peaceful moment watching a CSI rerun and updating the events of the past few days! 

Tomorrow is a long day of meetings, so I may not blog until Friday.  I guess we'll see!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Delusions of Grandeur, Awesome Blood Pressure, and Tofu B'Stilla!

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity.  I have managed to get in all my workouts though - so for that I'm happy (it helped that I was off work all week!).

Thursday was my Dad's last day here, so I woke up and headed to the gym very early in the morning to do my Fitlinxx workout.  D and I met with A's guidance counselor, and while I feel better that we have a good plan, I was still appalled at how low they aim in terms of doing what's best for the students.  I was home by 11, and Dad and I went to Dick's Sporting Goods to pick up a few things and then to a pub for lunch.  The food was okay, the Black and Tan tasty, but the service was awful!  We went to PetSmart and Trader Joe's, then went home.  He treated us to dinner at Franks 2 - one of my favorite Italian places, and we had a good time.  I think the staff thought we were a bit bonkers, but it was fun. 

Friday morning, Dad and I headed up to the train station.  His train left at 915 to head to DC and then on to Chicago, and finally home.  Having never been to a train station before, I wasn't sure what to expect.  It wasn't overly complicated - though there isn't a lot of explanation as to what to do.  I waited until the train left, and then went to run some errands since I was up on the Peninsula.  I grabbed some breakfast and hit a sporting goods store I wanted to check out.

All week I was convinced that my doctors appt was Friday at 1.  When I was shopping, I decided to check my phone to see what I had entered, and it said my appt was at 230.  I felt a bit like a dummy, so I went home to wait until my Dr's appt and do some laundry.  I had scheduled this appt a few weeks ago after getting a newsletter from the Chicago Marathon - especially for debut marathoners - and advised that a physical would be a good idea.  Deciding it would be just my luck to have something actually wrong with me, I made the appt.  The appt went very well, and my doctor was very happy with me.  My blood pressure was 98/46 and my resting heart rate was 55 (which is actually 22 beats per minute slower than a year ago at my last Dr's visit!).  I looked it up, and based on my age and gender, 55 bpm is in the Athlete range!  It's hard to explain, but this little tidbit made me happier than pretty much anything else she said, and I've been giddy for 3 days over it.  Anyway, she did a full physical, ordered a bunch of labs, reviewed my training plan, and gave me the green light to go ahead.  Yeah!  No excuses now...and if I don't finish (which I will), I can't go blaming some undiagnosed heart murmur or something like that.  The rest of Friday I took as a "Rest" day (switched up my Friday, Sat, and Sunday workouts).

So Friday night, spurred by my doctors appt no doubt, I had the most incredulous dream.  I dreamt that I won the the Chicago marathon!  Crazy, I know.  I'll be surprised if I make it under 5 hrs!  But it gets better....not only did I win that one (and gave copious interviews about my amazing accomplishment)...I went on to win 2 marathons a month....to the tune of $1 million!  So this is slightly embarrassing to reveal, but there it is. 

Saturday I was supposed to do my long run, but also had plans to attend the Richmond Vegetarian Festival with S.  I was also SUPPOSED to have golf lessons, but they got canceled (again) for lack of enrollment.  I picked S up at 1030, and it took us 3 hours to get to Richmond.  Traffic was brutal, but at least the company was great!  We eventually got there, parked, and went to the festival.  We ate some totally awesome food - samosas, tabbouleh, falafel, chickpea masala, hummus, desserts, and some mango juice.  We also ate this thing called a Tofu B'Stilla from a restaurant called CousCous.  It was tofu, sweet potatoes, apricots, and I don't know what else.  With a side of Siracha, it was amazing.  S took one bite and told me that I had to learn how to make it...whatever it was.  We also barely made a dent in the food that was available - but I was happy and full!  There were also many tents with things for sale as well as many for different activist groups.  After about 2 hours, we hit Whole Foods and picked up some hippie food.  We started heading home, and sure enough - hit craptastic traffic on the way.  We saw a sign for a winery in New Kent, and since we were pretty much sitting still on the highway, decided to check them out.  While beautiful - they FULLY ignored us!  Granted, we were a bit dressed down and I think there may have been a private party going on - I still think that they were pretentious jerks.  So we left - and quoted Pretty Woman on the way home on what a HUGE mistake they made at ignoring us!  Anyone who knows S and me, knows we can go through wine pretty well.  We made it back to town, grabbed some grub, and went to her house.  I made it home around 830, just in time to watch Alice in Wonderland in backyard movie night with D, the kids, and a bunch of their friends.  I did my Friday cross training workout by hiking around the festival.  According to my BodyBugg, I met my activity, step, and calorie burn goal, so it was nice to get my workout in outside of the gym. 

Sunday morning I woke up early to get my 7 mile run in.  I didn't want to squander away Father's Day by a long run. The first 3.5 miles were very strong, but I eased up the last 3.5.  It was getting really hot and I ran out of water.  I felt like I finished strong though, and overall really enjoyed it.  Oh, and I wore blue shoes :)  It was 92 degrees when I finished my run (had a high of 104 today).  Breakfast was coffee and a Clif bar, and as usual with that type of meal, I felt very well energized.  I did not feel well hydrated though, and that's one of the things I really hate about morning runs.  I stopped at the store, headed home, and then took off to the Y for my regularly scheduled strength training workout.  D and the kids met up with me there, and we hung out by the pool and goofed off for an hour or so before coming home.

For the rest of the day, it's about relaxation.  D is taking a nap, and A and I are going to bake him something yummy and special.  Then I'll make tacos and wake my man up from his nap - and force him to enjoy his family a bit more before bed :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Color Shoes Am I Supposed to Wear??

I mentioned a few times that I was fitted back in late March/early April for a new pair of running shoes.  During the Shamrock back in March, I had some terrible blisters.  I figured new shoes were in order - especially before my marathon training schedule started.  Since I did the training team through J&A Racing, and I did my Garmin class at Final Kick in Virginia Beach, I was really comfortable with having them fit me for shoes.  Anyway, long story (that I've blogged about before), I left with a pair of totally awesome shoes.  

A few weeks later, I was reading a marathon training book that recommended that you have 3 pairs of shoes for training.  2 pair to alternate throughout the training, and 1 to introduce about 3 weeks before the race - and to race in that 3rd pair.  I personally thought this was purely genius, since I always wondered how to tell when my shoes were trashed - short of holes worn in them.  
What I discovered was pretty cool.  I had these awesome shoes I bought at the shop, and all I needed to do was go online and order a couple more....one right away, and one in the coming few weeks before I get to that final few weeks of training.  When I went online to buy my second pair, I found out that THEY COME IN TWO COLORS!!!  How awesome is that??  I don't have to write 1 & 2 in sharpie on the back of my shoes (though that would be a fun conversation starter).  I have the pair in blue that I bought at Final Kick, and the ones in pink that I got online.  So what's my problem?  After a couple weeks of religiously alternating shoes between each one, I realized that I started forgetting which pair I wore last.  So now..while I'm not going to write 1 or 2 on the backs, I am going to have to not only document what I eat, the weather, etc...but which bloody colored shoes I was wearing.  Ugh.

Today...was a pink day!  I ran my first speed work workout, and I am so far not a fan.  I imagine I may be someday (especially if this really does help me get to my goal pace of 9:10 mi mile for the marathon).  But as for today, I don't like it.  I did this on the treadmill, and I think that was wise.  First of all, it was pouring, so outside wouldn't have been fun.  Secondly, I had to do 6 sprints of a quarter mile at a 2:05-2:15 pace.  I'm still figuring out my Garmin, and at least on the treadmill, I can pop in the speed and just go.  Unfortunately, I broke what is apparently a cardinal rule of training.  I keep reading (and was told by the coaches during the shamrock training) that it's never a good idea to go faster than planned.  Going faster means burning out if you're not ready for it.  I apparently thought I was an exception.  After doing some googling, I found that a 7.5 pace on the treadmill is the equivalent of an 8 minute mile.  Mind you - this is faster than the 8:20-9:00 minute mile pace I was SUPPOSED to train at.  So feeling a little overly confident, I did a 5 minute jog to warm up, then cranked that puppy up to an 8 minute mile.  I got through the quarter mile, slowed it down to a fast walk, and felt like my lungs were going to burn themselves right out of my chest.  Joy.  Then I did it again - two more times....and nearly quit.  So for the last 3 repeats, I went slower than I was supposed to because I burned myself out in the beginning.  See.  I'm a moron.  The only up side was that this was a shorter workout than normal, so while I didn't have fun, it was over faster than my other runs typically are. 

Just before I went up to the home gym, my littlest child asked if she could use it when I was done (she's six, and pronounces it treadmeeeel....it's adorable).  I said "we'll see", but when I was done, she was all decked out in her yoga clothes and a sweatband, so it was hard to say no.  Besides, who am I to tell my child who wants to be active that she can't?  So back upstairs we went (she had been at the dining room table playing cards with my Dad), and she hopped up on the treadmeeeel.  She ran a quarter mile in just over 5 minutes, and giggled the whole time.  I was a very proud mama. 

For breakfast I had a butternut squash quinoa leftovers from the the other day.  After running some errands to get the Bug street legal (and it only cost me $70), my Dad and I went out for Mexican food for lunch.  We ran a few errands, and then came home.  D had a really long day, and still took the kids to TKD so I could get my workout in.  I really love him!  Not just because of that of course, but it helps ;)

Tomorrow I'm going to do my scheduled fitlinxx workout, run for 30 minutes, and raise total hell with my daughter's guidance counselor (see yesterday's post if you don't know why).  I tried today, but she wasn't there.  She called when I was out at lunch and tried to weasel out of seeing me.  Silly, silly woman.  Anyway, I have an appt tomorrow at 10.  I want to get my workout in before hand - especially since it's my Dad's last day in town and I don't want to waste it being at the gym while he's awake.  It'll probably also help me be more human in my meeting.

So I'm signing off - happy that I did my first speed work session...weirded out that I have to do some variation of this every Wednesday for about 6 weeks (up to 16 quarter mile repeats!)...and sad that my Dad will be leaving Friday morning. 

Night :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Annoying Things Happen in 3's

The day started out very nicely.  I woke up early to help D get the kids ready for school.  It was field day at R's school, and she was so excited, that she insisting on setting her clothes aside and packing the sunscreen before going to bed. 

After everyone left and Dad was still asleep, I went first to Target and then to the gym.  I switched my workouts between yesterday and today, so I did my 40 minute run on a treadmill.  Forecast for today was storms, so I didn't want to risk it pouring at 8pm when I would normally have run.  Of course the weather people suck...more so in the summer than anytime else, and it didn't rain at all.  Of course, I live in VA...it has the potential of raining pretty much every day - if only for 30 seconds.  Even though it didn't rain, it felt good to get my run in during the morning.  Before the gym, I ate a rice cake topped with sunflower butter and half a banana.  Yummy - and had great energy.  That meal is most definitely a keeper.

After getting home, I had to make some phone calls to the car insurance company to add the new car, take a shower, and then take Dad out for some lunch.  After a veggie wrap, hummus, and onion rings (my favorite food group), I went to pick A up from school.  I went to talk to her guidance counselor - who is an epic moron.  We planned her entire high school schedule last spring just after 8th grade.  She goes to art school in the afternoon, and we knew a year ago that she had to take a math class in summer school in order for her to graduate with her advanced diploma (the one that's 4 year college prep).  This idiot at her school first tells me that summer school may be canceled due to too few students being enrolled (though I still needed to pay the $300...but if canceled it would be a pain to get a refund), and then tells me that there aren't really any options (like hell), and that she just won't graduate with an advanced diploma...  Like it's her bloody choice!  That A doesn't need to have the option to attend a good university - after all, she's only an "art" student...never mind the fact that she's also brilliant and can get great academics AND great art!.  If A hadn't been in the office with me, I likely would have laid the woman open.  Instead, I left and plan to go back tomorrow during the day and "fix" this.  Heck, a self study guide and some parental intervention, and A probably could finish a semester of Geometry in 2 weeks!  Oy .  People bug me.  Annoying thing 1.

After bringing A home, Dad and I went to the DMV to get the Bug business done.  We pull into the parking lot, and SCORE - only 4 cars!  I'm thinking we'll be out of there in 15 minutes....just to find out the computers have been down all day and they have no idea when it'll be up.  Annoying thing 2. 

We go to a different DMV, wait a few hours - deal with glitches in their technology - but eventually leave with titles transferred, etc.  Yeah!  Almost done!  We swing by to drop the bug off at the service station for a state inspection - last step - and then head home.  I took A to the fabric store so she buy fabric to make a few new dresses.  On the way home, the service station calls to tell me that the awesome new bug FAILED the state inspection!  There are a few bulbs that need replacing, and there's a hole in the exhaust pipe.  Annoying thing 3.

So what was there to do?  Go home, make dinner, have a beer (or 3), and watch Stardust.  So that was my day.  Annoying things happen to me all the time.  Annoying, but at least never tragic.   My boss jokes that I have a gray cloud all the time.  Not black, but not white either.  Cooking is my therapy, so after making chicken parmesan, noodles, garlic bread, and Italian veggies for everyone else (and apple butternut squash soup for me), I felt almost normal. 

So that was my day.  Annoying...but not tragic (though ask me tomorrow when I hopefully get a quote on what it'll cost me to get the bug fixed!).  Tomorrow also starts my speed work, of which I'm very, very afraid.  I have to do 6 quarter-mile repeats at a 2:05-2:15 pace.  That is WAY faster than I ever go for any length of time.  I'm hoping, but not holding my breath that I'll be able to hit that.  I guess I better eat a rice cake right before. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Is It Sad to Call and Ask What "Proper Attire" Is?

What a crazy couple of days!  Yesterday was completely consumed by R's dance recital.  She had to be to the theater downtown by 1130, the show started at 1, and didn't end until 430.  The show was great.  Long...but great.  It's put on by the dance studio, and encompasses students from 4 years old through seniors in high school (and a few college students as well).  It's very reminiscent of So You Think You Can Dance in my opinion, with dances ranging from contemporary, classical, hip hop (though that's not a very strong discipline in the school), ballet, etc.  Some are silly, some are adorable (the little ones), some are ok, and some just flat out rock.  A few of the performances are ones where the academy won awards throughout the year, and they're quite entertaining.  R was in two dances this year - one ballet that was to a song from Mulan, and one jazz that was to Party in the USA from Miley Cyrus.  She definitely has fun on stage and loves the attention, but then again, anyone who knows her knows she is NOT shy.  I thought it was especially cool that my Dad was here to see it.  Even though it was a long day, he seemed to really enjoy the show.

The most moving part of the show was near to the end, where they brought a little girl on stage (she's also 6 and in R's class).  They introduced her and started to tell her story.  She was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor in 2007 when she was 3.  Since then, she has had 4 operations as well as several weeks of chemo at a children's hospital in New England.  She has also been going to radiation treatment for the past few months.  The school's director had asked the senior-level dancers if any would want to participate in a special tribute dance in this little girl's honor - and for all cancer survivors/victims/families...every single girl volunteered.  They choreographed a song to I Run for Life by Melissa Etheridge (which is about breast cancer).  Each girl wore a t-shirt in a special color to represent a specific cancer - breast, lymphoma, childhood cancers, esophageal, etc.  It was probably the most beautiful dance I've ever seen, and there was not only a major standing ovation - but likely not a dry eye in the place...even the dancers were crying (heck, I'm tearing up just writing about this).  Anyway, I know my blog is usually very light hearted,  bordering on goofy - and I'm sorry for straying - but this was too amazing to NOT write about.

So what did we do after the show???  We picked up R and gave her a choice of any restaurant she wanted to go to.  I was hoping she'd pick an Italian place near home we really like, but no...here's what she said...(caps mean she really emphasized those words)...

"I can't remember the NAME of the place....but they have TRAYS, and instead of having to ORDER your food...you can put what you WANT on your TRAY!".  She's saying this as she's mimicking serving herself food.  Anyway, we went to Golden Corral after the show :) 

The rest of last night was very low key.  It would have been my Fitlinxx day, but there was no way on earth I'd be able to do it.  So...I went this morning!  I'm off all week, D and the kids had left for work/school, and Dad was still sleeping.  I went around 830 and was surprised at how busy it was.  I've come to the conclusion that the people where I live don't have to have jobs or anything that makes them have obligations during the day - because the place was packed!  I got through my workout, but never got to do the ab or back machines (long lines).  I did some sit ups and planks hoping that would make up for it.  I was sad that the Fitlinxx said I only lifted just over 13,000 lbs.  I felt like I was somehow quitting when I skipped those machines.  If you haven't figured it out by now - I tend to be very self critical!

A little bit after I got home, my Dad and I went to the driving range so I could play with my new golf clubs!  They were my mom's, but she hasn't played in a really long time, so when my Dad came down, he brought them for me. 

D and I had googled golfing locations in the morning, and had selected on in our city that is open to the public.  D called to get their "hours", and were told from 730am until dark - which right about this time of year is 9pm.  I was looking at the website and noticied it said "proper attire required", but didn't actually say what that was.  So I called and asked the pro shop guy what it meant (after explaining that I realized it was a silly question, but don't really have any experience and didn't want to get turned away for inappropriate clothing!).  After a good chuckle, he explained to me that it was "common sense"...no cut off shorts, no flip flops, no "beach wear",  preferred collared shirts).  I was wearing an appropriate top (collared tank top - the type worn by tennis players), but didn't think I had appropriate bottoms, so I wore kakhi pants.  Ugh..hot.  I got a bucket of 35 balls and hit them all with one club or another.  While I don't suck too badly, I'm not great either (YET).  I did have fun though, even though I got frustrated when I missed the ball or barely nicked it.  At one point, I was focusing so hard, that I smacked the heck out of the ground...and my wrist.  It's been 10 hrs and it still really hurts.  Oh well, if it's not better by Friday, I'll mention it to my doctor (it's my marathon physical appointment!).  After the driving range and the practice green, Dad and I were pretty much melting in the VA sun (pants....dumb....), so we left and went out for lunch.

Oh yeah, I signed up for golf lessons!  They're at the same golf club, but offered through the city.  I actually signed up for them with a friend last year, but the class was canceled due to lack of attendance.  I'm going to try again though!  If it gets canceled this time, I'll just have to beg D to let me sign up for private lessons.

After lunch, we ran some errands and came home.  While watching Kung Fu Panda, Dad got a bit sleepy and went to take a nap.  D took all the kids to TKD while I went to S's house to go for a walk in her neighborhood.  I was supposed to run 40 minutes, but it was too hot.  The walk was more then enough.  I stayed for a bit, but left so they could enjoy a nice dinner with family.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a 30 minute Cross Train day, so I'm switching.  I did the cross training today with the weight lifting and walk, and will run the 40 minutes tomorrow. 

Anyway, I got home, hung out with dad, had a beer, and took a shower.  Food wise...breakfast was coffee, rice cake, and sunflower seed butter.  Lunch was a pita with grilled veggies.  Dinner (not so healthy really) was baked tortilla chips, guacamole, and beer (thanks S and N for that!).  I should really have something else, but it's too close to bed and will just deal with eating better/more tomorrow.

Good night!  Sorry for the uber-long post!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Japanese Food Does Not a Good Pre-Run Meal Make

Thursday night was very hectic with R's dance recital rehearsal.  We were there for nearly 4 hours, with her backstage - and me not allowed to be.  It ended up being a very good night, if not a very long one!  I should have done my Fitlinxx routine on Thursday, but just couldn't squeeze it in.  My plan was to go to work on Thursday, leave at noon, hit the Y and be home by 2.  That would give me plenty of time to pick R up from school, get her cleaned up and in full costume + makeup and hair, and get downtown by 430.  Alas....it would have been a perfect plan had I actually left work at noon instead of going on 130.  As much as I wanted to hit the gym, there was no way I could. 

At least I took the full day off on Friday.  I got up with D and the kids as they got ready for school and work.  When they left, I left to get to the gym and do my Fitlinxx workout.  I was home right about 9am and had a compulsion to do yard work.  Dad was up by then, so after he accidentally let my cat Bumble escape, he came outside and hung out with me while I cut the grass.  I went to start the weed whacking, and he took the lawnmower to go over a part I didn't get right (it's around a tree).  We had lunch plans with D at noon, so finally just after 11, we quit so I could go get cleaned up.

We met up with D at my favorite Japanese restaurant!  We actually took Dad there last year when he came to visit too.  So after a yummy lunch of tempura vegetables and veggie sushi (for me, hibachi for them), Dad and I set off to run a bunch of errands.  We started with the Book Exchange in Norfolk.  Dad's taking a train home, and wanted some books to pass the time.  Then we went out to the farmer's market in Va Beach and picked up some fruit, veggies, apple butter, and honey.  Off to Pet Smart to get some fun things for Sammie and Bumble, picked up R, then got home around 330.

Dinner was finally leftovers for everyone else.  I've been cooking for a week, with no one eating the leftovers.  It drives me crazy - but my family absolutely sucks at eating the same meal more than once.  I was expecting them to eat leftovers on Thursday when I was downtown with R all night, but NO....D ordered pizza.  So I made them eat the red beans and rice, pub sandwiches, and spaghetti and meatballs.  As for me, I made new food (since none of the leftovers were vegan), and I made this awesome Lemony Butternut Squash Qunioa that I first started making last fall and some Mashed Cauliflower I've made a few times.

After the kids got home from school, there were a few games of cribbage, then D took A and her friend to the mall, then M to his music lessons.  I finally took off for my run around 9pm.  It was only a 3 miler, which is good because it felt like I was dragging through the whole thing.  I go through it okay, but it wasn't fun.  I didn't feel like I had the right energy level, so I decided to blame my lunch.  First of all, I ate something fried (tempura veggies) which I rarely do.  And while there is rice in the sushi, I don't think it was enough carbs - and they weren't whole grain carbs.  So I just don't think I fueled well.  Breakfast was coffee and a rice cake with sunflower seed butter before going to the gym, which is always ends up being a good breakfast for me before working out.  While dinner had some good carbs in it, it wasn't much, and most of my dinner was a lot of veggies.  Snacks during the afternoon were watermelon, so I'm thinking I didn't balance my food intake well, and that's what caused the draggy feeling.  At least Japanese was way better then how I react to Thai food before eating.  I didn't barf in any one's yard this time...just felt slow.

So today is a 5 miler, which I'll do this evening, and I'm going to pay better attention to balancing my food today to see if that makes a difference. 

Off to wake up the rest of the household.  I made some fresh vegan chocolate chip scones this morning, and R has swim lessons in an hour.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wearing the Water Bottle Belty Thingy the Right Way Makes a World of Difference

I have a couple different water bottle belts I use when running.  The first one I bought several years ago has 4 bottles, but doesn't fit anymore.  I also feel like it carries way more water than I typically need on a run (though that may change as I hit long runs of 20+ miles).  I purchased a 2 bottle belt (Click Here) about a year and a half ago at the OBX 1/2 Marathon Expo.  I really like this one - it holds two bottles and I usually put water in one and a recovery/energy drink mix in the other.  The little pouch also holds my phone, iPod, keys, etc.  I have been proudly wearing this belt for a better part of a year and a half, and it's great.  I think the bottles bounce a bit sometimes, but otherwise it's perfect.  So imagine my surprise (and chagrin) last weekend when I'm running at the canal trail and I see a fellow runner wearing one....and I realize that this entire time, I've been wearing it BACKWARDS.  I always put the pouch in the back, which now that I think about it - explains why the bottles bounce.  It never dawned on me that I had the clips that hold it together (think seat belt/fanny pack) in the front.  I promptly felt like a moron that I had been this lame for this long.

On last night's 6 miler, I wore the water belt the OTHER way....and it was amazing!  I liked this belt before...I love it now.  With the pouch and the bottles in the front - they don't bounce.  They stay where they are supposed to, and I can't really even tell it's there.  I feel fairly dumb since I've worn these belts to actual races, and have never worn them correctly.  Alas....

I need to make this quick (ish) because I have to get to work (even though it's my day off.  Yes, I'm that dedicated!). 

I woke up early yesterday to help get the kids off to school.  D went to work, and dad and I left at 850am to see M's honor roll presentation, which was really really nice.  It wrapped up around 10am, and dad and I went off to breakfast.  I had some plain oatmeal and mixed fruit.  We ran some errands (going to the VW dealership), and even went to a junkyard!  I was really excited, but didn't actually see anything.  They charge $1 just to let you walk around.  We talked to the guy, found out they didn't have any VW bugs at all, so there was no reason to walk around and hunt for parts that didn't exist.  Needless to say, I left feeling very disappointed.  We went to see a mechanic, got the blinker fixed, then went to grab lunch.  I took him to Moe's, and we both got taco salads.  No talkative clerk this time!  After a quick trip to Walmart, we picked R up from her daycare, and came home. 

Dad and M played cribbage for a bit, and R just played.  I was planning on going for a run around 430, when I decided that an iced latte would be a better idea (I was tired, though I don't know why).  So I had some coffee and then ended up playing a couple games of cribbage myself - one with M and one with Dad.  I lost both.  By then, D had gotten home, picked up A, and was getting ready to head to TKD.  I hadn't started dinner yet, so I knew that my run would be very late.

I made dinner (pork tenderloin, baked sweet potatoes, and green beans) for everyone else - I had toast with sunflower butter.  I had changed into running clothes, but wasn't feeling so hot.  The coffee was not sitting well, and my stomach hurt.  I decided around 845pm that I was going to go out anyway - no promises on doing the full 6 - but waned to at least see how I felt when I got going.

So I put on my belt (the right way!), my reflective belt as well (L gave it to me about a year ago - she worries when I run at night in the dark!), and my iPod.  It didn't take more than a couple minutes of running to realize I was feeling great.  My stomach ache was gone, my blood was pumping, and this book is fabulous.  I decided to do the full 6 after all, and even when I was done, I felt like I could have kept going and going.

It was very late by the time I got home, showered, and went to sleep.  I feel bad because D always waits up for me, and he has been so tired lately. 

Today is a rest day, but I'm planning on my Fitlinxx workout.  I have two meetings today, but should be done by noon ish.  I'll hit the gym, get R, then get home.  She has dress rehearsal for her dance recital - which typically goes from 5-10pm.  If I don't get to the gym right after my meetings, I won't be able to go and will break my streak.  I can't have that!

So now I have to get my butt out the door to get to my first meeting of the day.  Hopefully it'll all be pretty low key.  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Been a Busy Few Days!!!

My dad has been here for a couple of days now, and life is good.  So far every day has been a  school/work day, so it wasn't like we could all stay home and visit.  Dad stayed in bed...though I secretly think he was awake, but not interested in the chaos of getting 5 people up and ready and out the door by 8am.

So what's been going on since my last post on Sunday.....hmmm....

Monday was a fairly busy day.  I only had one meeting, which was nice.  I took Dad out for Mexican for lunch before heading back to work.  I went for a run in the early evening (about 530).  Scheduled run was 3 miles.  It felt very good, the weather was nice (low 80's and sunny), and I felt very well hydrated and fueled.  D took the kids to their butt kicking class (after letting A drive around the high school parking lot for a bit), and I made dinner - red beans and rice.  Everyone seemed happy with it!

Tuesday was M's 13th birthday!  He has school, but D and my dad picked him up and took him to Hooters for lunch!  I thought it was kinda funny.  M didn't seem phased at all, but I guess my Dad was enjoying the show (so I hear anyway)...Then M played hooky the rest of the day, mainly playing cribbage with my dad all afternoon.  I had a few meetings, but did manage to get to the gym for my Fitlinxx strength training workout.  I felt very good about that - can't miss a workout - but certainly cannot miss being with my son on his bday either.  Dad, M, and I went in the Bug to pick A up from school, so that was nice too. 
The birthday person always gets to pick the meal, and M picked spaghetti with meatballs, biscuits, salad...and cake of course.  We also always make homemade bday cakes.  A did a great job decorating it.  Of course, she's the artsy one, so it was bound to look good!

Before dinner, we all played some blackjack at the dining room table.  At one point I had $800, but quickly lost it all.  I think D ended up winning the big money before it had to be put away for dinner.  After dinner, was cake and presents.  Then we mostly just sat around the dining room table and talked.  At some point, I realized that everyone else but Dad and me had gone off to bed...so off we went too.

I'm off for the next few days...woo hoo!  Looking forward to some relaxing time at home.  I do have a 6 miler scheduled for today, so there may be yet another blog from me later on!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Do You Mean It's Sunday???

Where the heck did the weekend go??  My husband said something to that effect to me today, and he's right.  I can't believe that it's 10pm on a Sunday.  I think it has something to do with this being  a more frenetic weekend than is even normal for us.  Usually Friday nights are pretty low key, Saturday mornings and afternoons are busy, and Sunday's are a wind down today.  NO winding down this weekend, so it doesn't feel like I actually had a weekend.

I mentioned before that we went out Friday.  D and I don't go out all that often, so that threw us a bit.  Saturday was massive cleaning...not the regular weekly cleaning, but more like the quarterly cleaning, so that, going to the gym, and moving office stuff took up the whole of Saturday.  Today I woke up early - just before 7.  Made coffee, had a light breakfast of a rice cake with sunflower seed butter, and went to go run my missed 3 miler from Friday.  I went to a trail at 9am, had a really great run, went to the grocery, stopped off at my new office to drop off the PC and my last box, then hit what is becoming a regular Bloody Mary Sunday with S.  No sooner did I get my spicy bloody mary and place my veggie burger order, then my cell rings with my Dad telling me he missed his scheduled exit and was sitting at an abandoned BP and needed rescuing (and arrived about 3 hours earlier than I planned, but that was fully ok).  As it turns out, that BP was about 6 blocks from the Bloody Mary Spot, so I went to him and guided him to my house.  Of course I went BACK, had a new bloody mary (my original had gotten a bit watered down), ate my veggie fun, and came back home.

The biggest reason for my Dad's visit was to bring me a car for my currently 15 year old child.  It's a bright red and shiny Volkswagen Beetle - diesel - and it got about 40 mpg on the drive down here from WI.  My dad and husband took A out driving quite a few times this afternoon - around the block..then around the neighborhood..then to the grocery store.  Apparently she did a fabulous job and is likely going to be a great driver.  I figure I'll drive with her when she's 20 or so...

The rest of the day was very nice.  Dad had a few gin and tonics, we watched most of Iron Man, and just sat in the living room and talked (mostly listening to his plethora of stories).  He took a brief nap (after having driven straight through for 19 hours, I imagine he was exhausted) while I made dinner.  I made pork chops in a mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, cauliflower with cheese sauce, and biscuits.  I think my dad was happy to have a warm meal after a day and a half of coke and sandwiches.  We spent the rest of the evening either sitting outside talking, or watching DC United play a tie game with Real Salt Lake, then some Blackhawks hockey.  Around 1015, D and I decided it was a work/school night, and we better get to bed!  I have off quite a bit between now and when he leaves on the 18th, so I'll get to spend some time with him.  He did bring me a present (thanks to my mother)...GOLF CLUBS.  I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to golf - even tried last year with my friend C.  We signed up for classes through the City of Chesapeake - and it got canceled due to insufficient students.  I know a few people who play, and H took me out once last year to let me hit her clubs at a golf range, and it was fun (she said I was a "natural" too!).  I just have to start playing I guess. I figure I'm going to drag my Dad to a range this week and hit some balls around - maybe even get a golf cart and try and play 9 holes.  

So my run and eating habits today...

Breakfast was a soy latte, a multi-grain rice cake, and sunflower seed butter.  I took off to the canal, brought some water and an energy/recovery drink, and a banana as a post run snack.  I ran the 3 miler that I was supposed to do Friday.  It was hot - already 89 degrees plus whatever the heat index was - but I felt okay.  There were patches of tree shaded coverage and I totally appreciated that.  I felt strong, well hydrated, had appropriate energy, and dressed fine for the weather too (tank top and capri's).  The newest book is very interesting to listen to, so I was engrossed with that.  Lunch was a veggie burger with hot sauce and french fries...and a bloody mary and a half.  Dinner was a big salad with some baked tofu I made yesterday (it's my favorite tofu - marinated in OJ, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cayenne...then baked.  Fabulous).  And red wine.  Yum.  All in all, a very good day.  I have to work tomorrow, and have a 3 mile scheduled run.  Likely I will do this in the evening while the kids are at TKD.  We'll see I guess, but it's supposed to be cooler tomorrow (high of 90), so I may have more flexibility with when I run.

Time to stop babbling.  We finally got everyone to be a few minutes ago, so off I go myself!  Good night :)  

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I Feel Like a Slacker, but Not Really

I didn't run yesterday or today, and I was supposed to.  3 miles yesterday, and 5 today.  I had everything planned out, and life got pretty much in the way.  Allow me to explain...

Yesterday was the going away party for my friends step-son who is leaving for Air force boot camp next Tuesday.  There was no way I was going to miss that, so I planned to run the 3 miles I was skipping on Sunday morning (which I still will do).  After work, I came home and rested a bit.  I had a terrible headache since the night before that I couldn't seem to shake.  I picked A up from school and went to the fabric store so she could pick up some material for a dress she designed.  We got home around 730pm, ate dinner (thank goodness for the dueling crock pots I had going all day...at least dinner was a breeze), and then it was pretty much time for D and I to get to the party.

My headache definitely went away, and we had a great time.  So great in fact, that we didn't come home until 1am.  I was very responsible - only had a few beers, but lots and lots of water too.  There was no way I was going to run Saturday morning on so little sleep, so planned another late night run, which are my favorites anyway.

Woke up at 915 this morning, had some coffee, and immediately started cleaning.  A and M busted their butts today too, getting the yard work done, dusting, scrubbing baseboards and moldings, doing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, etc.  D took R to swim lessons and to play for a bit, then picked up Subway for everyone.  I spent a long time cleaning my room and bathroom, the kitchen and all the appliances, doing laundry, sweeping, and mopping.   

I went to the Y at 330 to do my Fitlinxx.  My scheduled day is Sunday, but since I'm not sure exactly what time my Dad is arriving tomorrow, I didn't want to run the risk that I would be at the gym when he got here.  So I weight lifted again today, this time doing 3 sets of each machine.  It took an hour and a half, but didn't suck as badly as I thought it would.  I think it's because I FINALLY finished the Lost Symbol (thank goodness), and moved on to Dead Until Dark (long story, but it's a True Blood book, and after listening to S and C go on about the show, thought it would be fun - so far it is).  I took A and M with me so they could go swimming while I worked out.  D and R chilled at home.

While I was out, S made a surprise visit to the house - and brought me a planter, potting soil, and fresh basil plants!  I'm so excited - and she wants to bribe me into cooking things for her :)  It'll work, I can't wait to make some yummy Italian food.  I also have a food dehydrator, so I can keep a good stock of dried basil after the season is over.  I did that with S's surplus crop from last year, and even the dried basil made at home has an incredibly potent flavor - much better then the grocery store containers.

As soon as I got home, I started doing MORE cleaning and rearranging.  I ate as planned at 630 - intending to go run at 730.  It was another hot day, and I wanted to wait until near dark to take off.  I was really looking forward to it...when I remembered that I had to finish moving all of my stuff out of my office in Norfolk!  I completely spaced it that D and I planned to move the fridge out, the PC, and one last box.  I promised my hospital administrator that I would be out by the end of the weekend (they have someone moving into my old office on Monday morning).  Soooo...after making dinner for the family (leftover turkey tenderloin sliced thin and simmered in a sauce, put on toasted rolls, and then broiled with cheese until it melted - we call them "pub sandwiches" & garlic/butter red potatoes), D and I took off to pack up what was left of my old office and then drive to HIS office to deposit the fridge.  All told, it took until after 9pm.  On the way home, we had to stop at the grocery because we're out of everything - milk, bread...and light bulbs (and I can't see in half of my bedroom's bathroom).  Didn't get home until just before 10, and I really really don't feel like running quite this late.  I still need to take a shower, get some sleep, do dishes and finish laundry tomorrow, run sometime early, and S and I are going to the park for a nice walk in the morning.

So I do feel guilty that I didn't run today...especially since I was really looking forward to it.  I don't feel like I slacked off at all though, because I've been working hard all day at home, and did go to the gym (and lifted 19,200 lbs!).  I also finished moving my office stuff, so it's not like I got to lie in bed watching TV...which is precisely what I intend to do as soon as I take my shower! 

I thought I'd throw in a mini book review really quickly.  I'm a big fan of several Dan Brown books...Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Deception Point.  I was excited when he came out with Lost Symbol last fall, and had been intending on listening to it in audio book (I've read and listened to the audio books for both Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons...Deception Point I did in audio only).  I cannot express how disappointed I was with this book.  I guess it's not a bad book if you've never read anything else of his, but if you have, then I imagine it's a bit of a let down.  I felt compelled to finish it, but struggled paying attention for the last hour and a half of it (it was about 16 hrs long).  I found my mind wandering while I was working out rather than being riveted by the story like I usually am.  So there ya go - hope I didn't offend anyone who may have loved it.  It just wasn't as great as I had hoped for.

Well, I'm off!  I need to wind down a bit if I hope to get any sleep tonight.  My Dad will be here tomorrow!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Cardinal, a Cat, a Frog, and a Rabbit...(Walk Into a Bar)...

I know, it sounds like the beginnings of a bad joke. 

So my morning started out really badly.  I slept like poo again last night - staying up half the night exhausted but unable to actually sleep, and when I did sleep, it was poorly.  Getting out of bed was difficult, because of course by the time I had to actually roll out of bed, I was finally sleeping well.  I had two cups of coffee this morning (instead of my usual one), and even had soda at lunch (which is very rare for me). 

Breakfast was leftover tempeh spring rolls and soy sauce.  I went to lunch/meeting with a friend, and had half a whole grain sandwich of eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, avocado, and hummus.  VERY tasty, plus a side of fruit.  I munched on a Clif Bar during a long afternoon meeting, and some leftover vegan mac and cheeze for dinner!  Very good eating day...lot of healthy, whole foods.  This is probably why I felt absolutely fantastic while out for my run.

Of course it's Thursday, which means strength training.  I had my gym bag packed and in the van for after work - can't start slacking now.  On my way, I get a text from M that he had to ride a sub-bus home and it took forever, he was annoyed...and hot.  So I swung home, picked up him and a friend, and took them to the Y with me.  They went swimming in the outside pool, I worked out, and all was good with the world!  We got home right about 630pm and I got to spend about 10 minutes with all 5 of is in the same room...and then D was off to take R to gymnastics.  I fed A and M reheated Asian chicken and rice, ate my mac and cheeze, waited about 45 minutes, and took off for my 5 mi run.  I feel highly productive today!

I have to say...I really really prefer running in the late evenings over anything else.  I took off around 745pm, ran in a new neighborhood I've never been in, and just felt really, really good.  My energy level was fabulous the entire time, it was hot and humid, but didn't bother me, and I noticed a bunch of wild life while at it.  I moved to VA from WI 6 1/2 years ago during the middle of winter (though our first day in VA, it was 60 degrees...).  One of the first things I noticed that first spring was how bright the blue jay's and cardinal's are here.  Granted - it's not like the birds of the tropics - but still amazes me every time I see them.  I had just run across a street when a cardinal flew in front of me, and it just made me smile.  About a mile later, I saw this pretty grey and black striped cat sitting in a front yard and looking like it was stalking something.  A few seconds later, I saw it's tail swish and take off...right after a bunny.  The bunny got away, but it was fun to see anyway.  Not to imply that it would have been more fun to see the bunny NOT get away.   And on the final stretch heading home, a pair of frogs hopped in front of me.  I squealed...of course...but then giggled right after.

This will be a very busy weekend.  Besides the usual music lessons and swim lessons, I have yard work and lots of house cleaning and shopping to do.  My Dad comes on Sunday!  We haven't seen him in a little over a year, so it'll be very cool.  It's nice when he's here...he's perfectly content to sit on the couch and watch TV.  Being that my family are movie/TV junkies, that works out well.  He hasn't seen Iron Man or Avatar, so those are definitely in the cards.  I love low maintenance house guests :) 

Off to bed now...wish me luck that it's a good sleep night!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

4 African Elephants and 5 1/2 Sundae's!

The May Fitlinxx report came today.  As promised, here are the results (though the title pretty much gives it away).  Since I only did Fitlinxx for the last week of the month, I'm hopeful that June's report will be much more impressive.  In the week of weight lifting, I lifted the equivalent of 4 African elephants and burned off what would equal 5 1/2 Sundae's. 

In case you wanted to know...

*African elephants are the Earth's largest land mammal. 
*Their ears are so large because they cool them off in the intense African heat
*Many think that their ears are shaped similar to the continent of Africa - which along with its larger size, helps distinguish this regal creature from it's Asian cousins
*Their trunks have approximately 100,000 muscles (humans have between 640-850 in our entire bodies depending on which expert you listen too)
*They are Vegans (yeah, elephants!)
*They don't sleep much (I'm thinking I'm more and more like an elephant than I originally thought!  Though my ears are much smaller).
*An elephant pregancy is 22 months (I've had 3 kids!  That's about 24 months....hmmm....)
*Unlike their Asian cousins, African elephants are not easily domesticated (I'M AN ELEPHANT!!!)
*I don't eat Sundae's unless made with soy or rice milk ice cream...which is hard to find...so I likely burned off crackers or tortilla chips

A friend of mine had surgery this morning, so I've been thinking of her all day.  Hoping to hear from her soon that all is well (hint hint, I know you read this)....  :) 

Other than a few morning meetings, I spent most of my day moving my office stuff from Norfolk to Chesapeake.  I only have 1 box and my fridge left, which I'll do this weekend since I'll need D's help with the fridge.

I've been on a cooking kick tonight, though not much from scratch.  I made burritos for M and D, fish sticks and edamame for R, grilled cheese and soup for A, and I made steamed tempeh spring rolls for me...and vegan chocolate cupcakes for everyone.  Only the spring rolls and cupcakes were actually made by me tonight.  The burritos were from a few days ago, and Mrs. Paul made the fish sticks. 

I encouraged a good friend to workout tonight, and I'm proud of her.  I'm switching up my run days because of the heat and rain - and my inability to run inside for 5 miles.  I hope she's not mad that I didn't workout myself today!  Perhaps she won't read this for a few days and forgive me!

That's pretty much it.  I'm looking forward to the weekend - which is funny because it's a short week and I had 4 days off.  I shouldn't be so drained, but I am.  Alas, I'm happy anyway. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Why Yes, I am a Vegan"..."Um No, I Don't Eat Fish..."

So I had the strangest encounter at Moe's.  I'm used to people not knowing what a Vegan is, and that's okay.  I don't care what other people eat, I'm never offended (except in cases of foie gras and veal), and I cook meat for my family.  So I find it weird when someone asks me if I'm a vegan based on what I'm ordering...obviously this person understood that I ordered the Personal Trainer (the vegetarian taco salad) with no cheese or sour cream.  He had the presence of mind to ASK me if I was a vegan, and I said yes.  Then as I'm checking out, he asks me if I eat fish.  I get it when people who've never been exposed to vegetarians before mistake not eating 4-legged or 2-legged animals for someone who still eats swimming ones.  That's actually called a Pescatarian (if you eat fish, but no land animals).  People who try to eat vegetarian a few days a month or when they can are called Flexitarians.  It's all good, but I still thought it was weird when he asked about the fish thing.  Then I explained that no, I didn't eat anything or wear anything (like leather) that ever had a face.  He profusely apologized, and then I had to explain that I really didn't mind being around meat, that it was a personal choice I had made, and I don't judge anyone for what they eat or don't eat.  The clerk then asked me if I had a family, I said yes, "are they vegans too?", I said "No, not my right to make that choice for them....".  He looked at me funny and then high-fived me.  Strange...this was the Great Bridge Moe's by the way in case you ever go and get a chatty employee!

So yesterday was a run day and I didn't go.  I meant to.  It was stupid hot (115 with the heat index), so I was going to run at the Y.  Of course, it was a holiday and they closed at 2.  I was shopping at 120, so knew I wouldn't make it.  I have a treadmill too, but kinda forgot about that .  Then I started cooking (more on that later), and a friend of mine came over, and we chilled upstairs and drank a few beers, so I couldn't very well run after that!  Can't you get a ticket for drunken-running anyway?  I imagine I'd get lost more than normal or run into a light pole or something.  That's just irresponsible, and I'm totally not that!  :) 

I have this cookbook called Cooking the Whole Foods Way and it has a lot of recipes that call for the use of a pressure cooker.  I've always wanted one, and for someone who is as freakishly obsessed with cooking and having cooking appliances, I decided it was a shame I didn't have one.  I grabbed one of my 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and went and bought one (never mind that I actually went to get a bigger rice cooker and left with the pressure cooker instead).  I then hit the grocery and came home.  After spending 2 hours reading cookbooks and looking online for recipes, I decided to start with a simple risotto.  I make risotto a few times a year - takes about 45 minutes and involves constantly stirring.  This made the risotto IN SEVEN MINUTES.  I freaked.  So today I made an Asian-inspired chicken dish...IN EIGHT MINUTES.  Holy cow...this would have taken all day in the slow cooker, or an hour or two in the oven.  I know I sound like a commercial (like Billy May's in OxiClean..).  But seriously...I can't believe I never had one before.  I also bought a vegetarian slow cooker recipe book yesterday and made Indian flavored potato-cauliflower dish (which was fabulous) to go along with the chicken in my pressure cooker and saffron-basmati rice in my little rice cooker.  Never turned on the stove...but made an awesome meal with appliances!  YEAH TECHNOLOGY!

So on to today...I went to work and had lunch with 3 awesome women at Pasha's in downtown Norfolk.  I had some hummus and a yummy bulgar wheat/romaine lettuce salad.  Then went back to work, and then hit the gym.  So yes...I did Fitlinxx again...and did yesterday's run.  I did two sets again, which took an hour.  Then ran 3 miles.  I had read a few years ago that if you're going to strength train and run on the same day, to do the weight lifting first...you get too fatigued otherwise.  I was afraid I'd get so overly bored with the weight lifting, that I'd skip the running.  But then I'd be too embarrassed to write here that I totally blew off a run, so thanks to everyone for (even unknowingly) keeping me motivated!  Fear of being shamed will do that for ya.

After showering and making my uber-gourmet meal, I had a glass of wine with my veggies (really, I cooked with it, but couldn't let it go to waste) and the 5 of us watched the season premier of So You Think You Can Dance.  Tomorrow is an early day (730 am meeting at Corporate), so that kinda sucks.  It's also TKD for the kids, so I'm going to run by the other expensive houses in Edinburgh while they're butt kicking.  Maybe this time I'll be fascinated by something other than pretty driveways...