About Me

My photo
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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ha Ha, Fate, I Tempt You!!!

NO POISON IVY FOR ME!!!!

Yes, I ran through First Landing State Park...even though last time I got poison ivy and I think I had planned on not going there again for a long time.  But I tempted fate, and this time was victorious! 

So I went to bed fairly early last night.  I didn't sleep all that great, but it wasn't too bad.  My alarm started going off at 5am!  I played snooze tag once, and woke at 505 (cell phone snooze is only 5 minutes!).  D heard it and started mumbling something incoherent, which just made me giggle.  I got up, changed, and made a cup of joe.  Breakfast was two pieces of wheat toast with sunflower butter and sliced banana.  I think it was perfect, and I had good energy today.

I still wasn't sure when I got up today where I was going to run (D and I were going to do some research last night, but I think I was in such a hurry to get to bed early, that I totally spaced it).  It's not easy to find a safe and long enough place to run 17 miles, so I went to mapmyrun.com to see if I could find anything.  It was a comedy of issues this morning, and I finally got so frustrated that I took off for the VB location.  I wanted to run closer to home, but had no idea how to pound out that many miles without getting either lost, running somewhere dangerous, or having to repeat a loop.  Using the desktop, I actually found a 16.5 mile loop in Chesapeake that went past the golf course my Dad and I went to, so I knew there were sidewalks and a relatively safe place (from traffic) to run.  Unfortunately, I couldn't print because my desktop has been slowly dying and it picked this moment to die on me again.  I went and grabbed the laptop, and turns out that it's not set up to print yet, so I was totally hosed.  I grabbed my keys at 645 and headed to VB. 

I was on the trail by around 730 after picking up some Gu's at Final Kick.  I saw one of my trainers from the Shamrock training group, so that was fun.  The weather was also beautiful.  It was in the mid-70's when I took off, and quite honestly - it never got to the point where it felt hot to me.  The canopy of the trees at the park kept too much of the direct sunlight hitting me a great deal of the time, and the light breeze felt wonderful.  It's been one of the only days this entire summer where running was comfortable during the day.

I had a really good attitude going into today's run, and it's amazing what a difference it made.  I wasn't scared - even though I've never gone this far before - and was determined to not let the distance play head games with me.  I blasted some loud music on the way to the trail head, and couldn't help but be in a good mood.  I was excited to run, and overall really just had a good time.  I was able to stop at a few of the visitor centers and fill up my water bottles, so I was certainly very well hydrated.  I took my Gu's at about 1 hr intervals, and had good energy.  I did feel kinda hungry after 12-13 miles, but not so much so that it was distracting. 

The trail has things called Healthtrek's, which are sporadic workout "stations" about every 1/4 mile or so, and I stopped and did a few of those.  They were things like stretching stations, pull ups (did NOT do those!), ab workouts, etc.  I know it wasn't necessarily in the interest of running my best time, but it WAS in the interest in running my best overall.  It took 3hrs and 38 minutes.  Not fast, but not too shabby!

By the time I got home, I was starving.  I played the "I'm too tired from running" card, so D went and bought me a wrap and a smoothie!  Right before he left, the cookbook from Candle Cafe came, so I read that after my shower and waiting for my lunch.  Unfortunately, the smoothie place was busy, so D was gone longer than anticipated, and I had plans to take M and R to the movies to see Despicable Me.  I ended up eating on the way and drinking my smoothie while there.  It was a cute movie, and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Dinner was some soup and a coleslaw recipe from a blog I follow.  I mainly made it because it calls for horseradish, which my Dad thinks is a key ingredient in coleslaw.  It was actually good, except it was too saucy for me.  I added twice the amount of cabbage, ended up needing a bit more salt, but was overall quite tasty.

I got home and watched TV upstairs for a bit, and then got an invite from S for a bite and a beer, which seemed like a totally perfect idea.  So we went to Kelly's sat outside in the gorgeous evening, and had a couple beers.  After, I swung by the grocery to grab a few things (I want to make this vegan lasagna from my new cookbook!), and now I'm home getting ready for bed.  Of course I had to write this entry first, but now that it's done, I'm totally going to bed!  Getting up a 5am (okay, okay....505!) can wipe a girl out.  Maybe that 17 mile run had something to do with it too....

Friday, July 30, 2010

It Turns Out Blueberries AREN'T Awful

Hands down the best part of my day - and I overall had a REALLY good day....was this morning before work.  I was sitting on my bed with my youngest and combing her hair while she's watching the Electric Company.  The BEST song came on, called "Silent e is a Ninja".  It's awesome and was in my head all day.  I rewound it twice just so D could watch it - who then went downstairs to download it for me and email it to me!  It has nothing to do with running or eating, but it was just so much fun that I had to mention it.

Breakfast was some Irish steel cut oatmeal with a couple blueberries in them.  I've decided that I need to like blueberries.  They're considered one of the earth's most amazing super foods, and I pretty much eat every fruit and vegetable I can get my hands on.  My dad seemed almost appalled that no one in my family eats blueberries (unless it's a blueberry muffin). 

A few years ago, I started watching a TV show on BBC America called You Are What You Eat.  It's hilarious, but very, very poignant.  It's about a "holistic nutritionist" in England named Gillian McKieth who goes into people's houses that have severe weight problems and shreds them; she analyzes everything they eat for a week, is very NOT nice to them, and gets them on a healthy path.  While it's funny in some ways (mainly the things she says), what she's saying is very true.  Even D would watch it with me, and the kids always found it fun too.  She has a few books, and I bought one of them.  She states over and over again (as she does in her show) that a person can like ANY food as long as they try it enough times and it's prepared right.  I decided to put that to the test when I started eating mushrooms.  I've hated them my whole life, and just 2 years ago found that I can like them if they're made certain ways, and now mushrooms are a regular part of mine (and therefore my families) diets. 

So..short story made long (I get THAT from my Dad too!), I decided it was time to do that with blueberries too.  I started by throwing a few in my oatmeal this morning, and it was quite honestly very tasty.  So I brought the rest of them to work and put them on my desk so if I got hungry, that was my snack.  They were actually quite good.  Wow.  Long winded story about blueberries, sorry!

I had lunch with my friend L at a sushi place near the office.  It was good - especially the asparagus one.  I had miso soup and edamame as well. 

After work I went to yoga, which I had been really wanting to do.  I'm glad I went and it was a great class.  She didn't have the heat on since it's been so brutal outside (even tough today it was only in the upper 80's), so it was a nice change from my typical hot class to luke warm.

I got home and made a smoothie of pineapple, strawberries, banana, soy milk, and coconut milk.  VERY good!  Then the rest of us were off to the Y for Fitlinxx fun.  It was a good workout, and a clean day of eating.  After the Y we went to Subway.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to run 17 miles!  Longest ever, which is crazy.  I know my last really long run I didn't fuel well the night before, so I wanted to make sure I did a better job today.  I think I have.  My plan is to get up early, eat, have some coffee and water, and hopefully hit the trails by 730 am.  I'm REALLY hoping the weather tomorrow is just like the weather today.

So that's it.  It's 9pm on a Friday, and all I want to do is go to bed so I can run half my day away tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vacations and Sink Holes

How exciting the past few days have been!  Fortunately my little break had the desired effect on running, but more on that in a bit.

I know I mentioned NYC was awesome, but I failed to mention how awesome everyone in my family thought it was.  It was hot - grossly so - but we had an absolute blast.  I already blogged about Friday, so let's see...what happened on Saturday?  D walked to the Corner Bakery to grab us coffee as he did every morning.  Nothing fancy for me - just a large black java.  Then we headed to take the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise around Manhattan.  We did the 2 hr, which is all about the kids could handle sitting still.  We left the apt around 900 in the morning, took the subway to Times Square and walked to the harbor.  It was right across the street from the Chinese Consulate which I thought was really cool (I have a slight obession with Asian culture).  On the way we had to stop for a bite to eat because everyone was hungry.  D, M, and R had McDonald's (I wish I had taken a picture - it looked like they had rock concerts there).  A and I went next door to a hippie deli.  She had a muffin and a snapple, and I had a tomato, cucumber, and avocado sandwhich on whole grain bread. 

My camera died JUST as the cruise was taking off, so no pictures of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Williamsburg bridges, skylines of New York and Jersey City...nada.  Stupid thing got stuck in the open position, but wouldn't actually turn on.  D thinks it fried in the heat...I think he's right.  After the cruise we hung out for a bit in Times Square, the Apple Store, and FAO Schwarz.  After, we decided to go chill (literally) in the apt. 

After drying out, D and I went to Gobo, a Vegetarian restaurant in Manhattan a few blocks from the apt.  We shared a yummy appetizer of tofu and spinach rolls with a mango puree.  My lunch was a Vietnamese Tofu Stir Fry - which we both thought was fabulous.  D had Avocado Tartar with Wasabi Lime Sauce (he was saving himself for pizza later that evening).  It was beautiful.  I didn't try it because it was Vegetarian and not Vegan, but D said it was rich - like guacamole - so it needed chips.  We both had a glass of organic Malbec wine, which was very good.  We walked back to the apt, stopped at a wine shop, and bought a few bottles.  I do have to say that the food at the Vegan restaurant Candle Cafe was better.  I had grilled lemon basil tofu and D had a salad (again, saving himself for pasta this time in Little Italy).  He did eat a few bites of my tofu and really dug it.  Turns out that the Candle Cafe has a cookbook which I promptly ordered upon my return to VA. 

After lunch, A and I went to the Guggenheim, which was only 2 blocks away from the apt.  D walked us there which was very sweet.

After the museum, we went back to the apt.  It was starting to get late, and D and I decided that R had had enough heat (she's 6 and doesn't react well to long term heat exposure).  She and I stayed back at the apt, watched movies, and did the wash, while D, A, and M took the subway back to Times Square to appreciate it in full darkness. 

Sunday, we hit the road back home.  It was a good drive other than the toll booths.  People are stupid and it took us a half hour to get off the Jersey turnpike.  Joy.  BTW...people have been asking why we didn't fly.  Other than the obvious expense....my youngest has very severe allergies to nuts (both peanuts - which are technically beans - and tree nuts).  I'm scared to put her on a place until the airlines ban nuts.  If she got sick, there's not exactly an ER I can rush her to.  So until they have that option, I'm avoiding putting her on an airplane.  Anyway, we got home around 7 on Sunday eve.

Monday it was back to the grind.  Work was good, and I can't really complain.  D took A and M to their TKD class - where they advanced to Yellow Belts!  While they were gone, I started feeling like total poo.  I wanted to run my 40 minutes, but D (and quite frankly, I) didn't think it was such a hot idea.  It sucked because I really wanted to run too.  I made dinner...and that didn't turn out so well either!  At least 2 of the 5 dishes didn't.  I made taco filling in my rice cooker; threw in some short grain brown rice, a can of black beans, a can of tomatoes, some cumin, red pepper, and siracha and turned it on.  It was really good - thank goodness too because it became dinner.  I made banana muffins too, which everyone liked.  They weren't vegan, so I didn't have them, but the kids have been chowing them down.  The plain basmati rice was hard to screw up in the rice cooker, so that turned out as well.  What DIDN'T turn out was a BBQ tofu recipe from one of my favorite websites.  It was gross.  I was inspired to make tofu for D since he actually had some he liked over the weekend.  Ick.  I'm going to wait for the Candle Cafe cookbook before asking him to try anymore, lest I turn him off of tofu forever.  D also mentioned after our appetizer at Gobo how much he liked spinach.  So I decided to make creamed spinach.  It was nasty too.  I was mortified to cook such an icky meal.  D made me feel a bit better when he told me I almost NEVER made bad food, and we're all allowed an off day...but still.  I was actually really upset by it.

I was hoping for a good night's sleep to feel better.  It didn't work, and I barely slept.

Today I didn't feel any better.  In fact, I felt worse, so I decided to work from home.  I had 5 hrs of scheduled meetings, so I did them all by conference, got a lot of work done, and got to stay in my jammies all day.  Around 330 I thought I was feeling well enough to do my run from yesterday.  It wasn't awful hot like it was the past few, so I was feeling very excited.  It was sporadically good.  I'd run for 10, feel awesome, then suddenly feel like poo and walk for a couple minutes.  I got through it, but that was about it.  It was 89 degrees, muggy, but overcast so the sun wasn't beating down on me or anything.  D took the kids to the gym for Fitlinxx (so proud).  I stayed home and took a bath.

I tried to make up for my bad meal yesterday by making a Moroccan inspired meal today.  I made a crockpot soup of lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and spices.  I served it over Israeli couscous and A and I both thought it was fabulous.  R even was surprised by how much she liked it.  D and M weren't the biggest of fans, though they tried.  I even made a homemade harisssa hot sauce (which was incredible - and incredibly hot!), which you add to taste to the soup.  A used a lot.  D used enough to melt his mouth.  M stuck his finger in it, screamed, and was done (he's not a fan of spicy things).  I'm taking a batch to S tomorrow to try out.  I also made some Moroccan spiced pork chops which went over well, though I obviously didn't try them.

So I have to mention the storms that hit my hometown of Milwaukee.  Over the weekend, they were hit with one of the worst storms on record.  It was no laughing matter, and there were floods, tornadoes, and overall deadly weather.  My sister was stuck after the interstate flooded, and that scared me until we texted and she said she was ok.  My parents had some flooding, but are okay, so that's what matters.  My Dad called me last night to make sure we got back to VA safely...and to tell me that an intersection (which housed one of my favorite bars as a young adult - Judges, where you could get 32 oz drafts of ANYTHING on tap for $1.50!), got swallowed up by a sink hole!  WITH a truck (put the passenger is okay - saved by a passing pedestrian).  I'm glad the driver was okay.  I'm hoping the bar is too.

So that's it.  It was a long one, I know.  I had a vacation...really had a great time....and am focused and back to my running routine.  I may not feel overly hot right now, but I got my run done and even though I had waves of ickiness, it felt really good to move.  I even had urges to run in NY, but between the heat and all the walking (and when I could run, I had drunken some wine!), I didn't.  I wore my bodybugg on Saturday and all the walking burned as many calories as my workouts do, so I don't feel too bad.  A little, but not a lot. 

Below are pictures of food.  I don't add pictures very often, but am making an exception today!  D was very adorable while we were gone.  He's a carnivore to the core, but has always been supportive and sensitive to how I eat.  He was happy for me that there were Vegan restaurant options where we were, and each little trip the two of us made were his idea.  And he ate the food with a smile on his face.  Thanks honey.

my stir fry


D's avocado tartar


my Candle Cafe lemon basil grilled tofu


Friday, July 23, 2010

I Know Where I Wanna Retire!!!

I'm doing this from my phone, so I can't control the font, color, etc...

I LOVE New York. I can't believe I've never been here before. It's amazing! It only took 7 hrs (including pit stops) which was a nice drive up through the VA Eastern Shore, MD, DE, Jersy, and finally Manhattan. We're staying in a REALLY nice apt that is tha Aunt of my brother-in-law, and having the time of our lives.

Today we walked through Central Park, then on o the American Natural History Museum (if you've seen Night at the Museum...this is the place). Then it was Rockafeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Apple Store, and FAO Schwartz. We went back to the Upper East Side apt (on Park Ave and 90th Ave). D took me to the Candle Cafe for a Vegan Feast (he loved my grilled lemon basil tofu w Israeli cousous, tom sauce, green beans, and baby carrots). We went back, chilled, and now are feasting in Little Italy and waiting for storms to pass.

After this is Chinatown, then back to the apt. Tomorrow is a cruise then whatever we wnt to do. I'm in heaven, and I don't want to go back to earth (VA).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can Blogging Be an Addiction??

So I have a conundrum.  To post...or not to post.  I mean...the name of the blog is Run Crissie Run for crying out loud.  BUT, I'm not going to run probably until Monday.  I can't find the motivation other than "I need to" and "holy crap, if I don't stick exactly to my schedule and not skip anything, I'll never finish 26.2 miles".  The past week has been tough to lace up.  I've been tired and just plain blah.  The workouts I did, I pushed hard to get through - harder than it should have been.  I'm not sure why; work is fine (busy, but nothing to complain about), family is fine (busy, but nothing to complain about), so why this lack of desire?  I have a few theories, which I had to research of course.

1-not eating balanced enough.  I've been watching, and I think a few more processed foods that I usually care for have slipped into my diet and I don't react well to it.  I'm not fueling frequently or well enough.  I'm pretty sure this is affecting me.

2-heat.  UGH.  Don't know why that guy was wearing a sauna suit the other day.  Just need to stand outside and breath - and that's a sweat-fest in itself.  I'm too afraid to run in 95-105 degree weather.  And it's been that darned near every day for weeks now.  That leaves me stuck on a treadmill, and that's no fun at all.

3-overwhelmed.  Not just by running (though I'm more freaked out by the mental challenges of long distance running than by the actual movement), but with everything else going on.  Work has been very demanding lately - again, not in a bad way, but I have a lot to do and even more to figure out.

So what did my research say?  Break.  Take a break before I quit or get hurt.  5 days of NOT pushing myself as hard as I can will NOT derail all my efforts, and I will likely come back more motivated and psyched than ever before.  Continuing to push it when not focused can lead to injuries, which can side line me for a long time.  Maybe too long.  So Break!  Sounds good to me.

So now, back to my conundrum.  Do I still post?  It'll likely be about food or something about my day, so is it keeping in the spirit of my blog to chronicle my training to drone on and on about a topic unrelated to exercise?  I don't know.  I mean, I didn't workout today and I'm still blogging...which leads me to think that maybe I just can't help myself and I have to blog whether or not I workout.  The real question is...will I have anything to say?  I guess that's a dumb question, because anyone who knows me knows I can TALK, so why wouldn't I be able to babble in print (which I apparently am doing now)?

Oy, okay.  Here was my day.  I woke up stupid early again (530) because of a 7am meeting.  Thank goodness it was a conf call, so I didn't actually leave the house until 810.  I had another conf call at 830 (thank goodness for the jawbone and being able to talk while driving), then a meeting at corporate.  All went well.  I stopped at S's office to bring her some awesome ratatouille and my house key (she's puppy-sitting while we are away).  I dropped off the new van to get an oil change, and then headed to a lunch time meeting with a friend. Breakfast was cheerios with vanilla soy milk.  Lunch was a salad from the Ruby Tuesday salad bar.  After work and before picking up the van, D and I stopped the corner bar for a happy hour drink (gin and tonic for me!  Well drinks were on special!).  After that, we stopped at the grocery for some road trip snacks, and then to get the van.  D went home (too many nachos!), and as I headed to Target, decided that in my abstinence from running, I could eat Thai food!!  So...I had some tofu green curry and a spring roll, read some more Mad Cowboy on my Kindle and was so happy.    No risk of barfing on the neighbors lawn if I'm not going to run!

I do have to admit that I'm packing running clothes though.  If the urge hits and I'm just overly inspired by Central Park, I'm open to going for a run for fun. No training or times or anything that makes me feel all pressured to push it.  Just a nice jog in the park.  I love the idea of going to a yoga class up there too - I'm sure there are a LOT of studios!  No promises though, I'm just as likely to eat my way through all 42 Vegan restaurants in NY as I am to try and work any of those calories off!!!

So I may check in, I may not.  I guess we'll see if I have a blogging addiction!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ratatouille Isn't Just a Movie!!!

....but it's a very fun movie!!!  However...the first time I actually ATE ratatouille is when D made me a vegan birthday meal in 2008.  It was very cute...he made a homemade chipotle hummus (that was amazing) and ratatouille.  Just proves earlier points I've made...he CAN cook (just doesn't)!

I made it once since my birthday feast, but it wasn't very good.  There is a version in one of my newer cookbooks - the one about vegetarian slow cooking - and there was a recipe for slow cooker ratatouille.  As it happened, I had all the ingredients (including the basil plant outside... THANK YOU S to make some homemade pesto!), so I decided to pop it into the casserole shaped slow cooker and make some.  It.  Was.  AWESOME.  Eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes, and yellow bell peppers.  After simmering all day, I made a homemade pesto (of fresh basil leaves, lots of garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor) to stir into the dish just before serving.  It was so flavorful, I can't imagine that I haven't made this before.  I ate it on top of some brown basmati rice that I soaked for 2 hours and then made in my groovy rice cooker.  It may be a simple "peasant" dish, but it was anything but boring. 

As most people know, I have a love affair with rice.  I haven't met one I didn't like, and I have finally found a compromise rice with D!  He's a white rice kinda guy, with long grain and basmati being his favorite.  Of course I'm a whole grains girl, and don't really eat much white rice.  I found some brown basmati at Sam's Club some time ago, and have only made it for me (and to put into Sammie's homemade dog food!)...Based on my meltdown last week, I decided they'd all just have to cope with the brown basmati for their dinner too, and fortunately, it went over well.  I made them a simple chicken stir fry over the rice with some asparagus, so I think we all ended up happy.

I had a really early meeting, and ran out of time to make a breakfast.  Fortunately, D had bought me a bunch of Clif Bars at Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago, so he grabbed one to toss to me as I ran out the door (doctors need to meet either really early or really late - so today it was early).  Lunch was more leftovers of Hungarian goulash (the last of it, which makes me both happy and sad!).  My afternoon snack was a cup of popcorn (no Twizzlers), and of course dinner was the ratatouille and brown basmati rice.

On to the exercise (or lack thereof).  Today was a gym day, planned for the whole family to do our Fitlinxx weight lifting.  So what happened?  We all were looking forward to it - R was even trying to negotiate with D to let us all swim after...and then storms hit.  I was glad I was home by then.  The storm didn't last long, but it was very intense.  My power flickered, but didn't go out.  Internet went out for a few hours (which tends to totally throw a family like mine).  My next door neighbor had lightening hit their tree - which fortunately fell forward instead of backwards (onto their roof) or sideways (onto my cars!).  D got home, and we all changed into our gym gear.  He tried calling the Y to make sure they were still open, and there was no answer.  That should have been telling.  We decided to go anyway and hope they were open.  They weren't.  Their power was out, as was every single traffic light and shop between our house and the gym.  We must live on a divine street, because we seem to be the only one that didn't lose power.  

So we did what anyone would do.  We came home and made dinner (oh, and had a beer or two).  No workout tonight, but not for lack of trying.  Can't get upset when there were good intentions waylaid by nature!  So...bottoms up!!! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Saw a Guy in a Space Suit!!!

I apologize for my nearly week long absence.  It's been a tough week!  Aside from it being way too hot and having to do all my workouts indoors, I felt very run down a few days last week, and didn't have much energy left.  By Friday evening, I wondered how I could be that exhausted and still functional.

So to recap as much as I can.  I don't remember Thursday - sorry.  I didn't write on my calendar what I did either, so chalk it up to short term memory loss.  I probably cooked, but can't recall what.  I know we didn't do take out or go out, so apparently it wasn't too memorable either.  Or it was and it's my short term memory problem :)

Friday sucked a lot.  I felt pretty awful all day, and it ended up being a really long day.  My first meeting of the morning included my boss....she took one look at me and asked me why I didn't go home (apparently I looked like a truck ran me over or something).  I explained that I had too much WORK to do, and would try and rest on Sunday.  I have a lot of new things going on at work, and while I'm really loving it - and getting to work with someone that I've known for almost 7 years but never actually had the pleasure of working along side - it's pretty exhausting.  I'm in full-blown discovery mode right now, and just trying to absorb a lot so I can do a good job.  Anyway, I digress.  I was really exhausted on Friday, and had a hard time staying upright.  I made it through all my meetings, and got home around 630 pm.  I'm pretty sure I didn't cook, though again I didn't to take out.  Must have found left overs.  Lucky kids.  I feel bad because a friend of mine invited me to go out, and I really wanted to go, but I was just wiped.  I think I fell asleep around 930, which was much later than I thought I'd be awake.  I fell asleep during my 3rd attempt to watch the NCIS season finale from May.  Oh Gibbs, what happened?  Did you get busted for killing that guy 20 years ago?  I still don't know...

Oh, and I had a mini-meltdown on Friday with D.  He was great though, and knows I'm just exhausted and spent.  I'm having a hard time cooking several meals each night, working, and doing my crazy workouts.  Thank goodness he takes the kids to EVERYTHING, but the multiple meals are killing me.  I spend most of my energy making them something - and I end up with crackers and hummus, partial and unbalanced meals, or nothing for dinner because I'm too tired and it's too late.  I declared that either he had to start cooking, or they all needed to start eating more like me.  His answer...a little bit of both!  It was the right answer when I needed to hear it, but thus far it hasn't materialized into actually helping cook or eating my hippie food (though in his defense, my most recent hippie dish has sauerkraut and I am the ONLY person who will eat that).

Saturday I felt a bit better.  I cleaned all morning to get ready for a book club movie screening in our backyard.  D did some yard work and fixed one of the toilets, and then we went to a friend's house to swim for a bit.  We got home around 4, ordered pizza (see, the fog is lifting!).  I cleaned WAY too much to dirty up my kitchen!  I started feeling wiped again around 6 and made an espresso yummy thing.  I'm starting to worry a bit that I feel like falling asleep by 2pm every day lately.  S doesn't think I'm fueling enough to support my workout habit.  She may be right, and I'm documenting more closely everything I'm eating.  I'll have to keep track of that.  I also have to have some blood work repeated this week from my physical, and that may have something to do with my tired problems.

Our book club read The Bourne Identity, and we did a movie screening at my house for our backyard movie night.  I won't go into too many details (though it was a lovely evening to be outside), the movie was nothing like the book.  The 2 main characters had the same name.  That's pretty much it.  My Dad said there's a version from the 80's that has Richard Chamberlain that seemed to more closely follow the book.  I think I'll order it from Netflix and see.  D, S, and our friend D couldn't get past the differences to appreciate the book.  About a third of the way through reading it myself, I had to totally separate them as very different things - just with the same name.  I think it was the only way I could appreciate the book.  I spent most of the movie texting with my sister, which was pretty cool.

Sunday was a lovely day.  A went to a friends house to go swimming and then with some TKD friends to see a movie.  D and M went to lunch and then to see Inception (which they both declared as amazing).  R and I went to the gym, the grocery, and then came home and snuggled on the couch with Bumble (the cat).  I made a crock pot vegan tempeh Hungarian goulash which was simply awesome!  It was tempeh, sauerkraut, onions, tomatoes, caraway seeds, and some seasoning.  In the end, mixed in some Tofutti Sour Cream (vegan tofu-based sour cream), and it was really tasty.  I made a totally ghetto dinner for D and the kids, but it went over well and was easy for me.  Since I did the cooking, they just had to deal.

Today was a pretty good day.  I had meetings (as always.  I once read a joke that said the human race will never reach it's evolutionary potential due to one thing.  Meetings.  I believe it.).  D left work early not feeling well, and I was worried about him.  He's feeling much better, which is good.  It means not a flare up, which I am very grateful for.

Breakfast was oatmeal and a peach.  For lunch I had reheated goulash with rice, and then some cherries.  Afternoon snack was popcorn (and yes...a couple of Twizzlers).  Dinner was goulash again.  After my 40 minute run, I had wine!  Good day :)

So on my way home I saw a guy in a space suit walking down a major road in Chesapeake.  I guess it's technically a sauna suit, but it was hilarious.  It's 105 degrees, full humidity, and here's this man - about 50 years old, chubby, with a full mop of curly hair and a big mustache - walking down Battlefield Blvd with a bright blue sauna shirt and silver pants.  I started laughing out loud, and then worried that 1) he'd have a heat stroke and 2) he thought what he was doing was healthy. 

This week is going to be a short one.  I'm going to NYC!  For the first time!  I'm very excited about it.  We're leaving around 3 on Thursday afternoon and will be back Sunday evening.  My brother-in-law's Aunt is very generously letting us use her (very nice) Manhattan apartment while we're there.  A went back in May on a school trip, and D has been there visiting his brother (who now lives in CA).  O's fiance will be there, so the kids and I get to meet her finally (D's met her before).  It'll be nice getting to meet her BEFORE she marries into our family!  I'm not sure all we're going to do, but N has picked out a macrobiotic vegan restaurant to have lunch in on Saturday.  And I plan to do a nice long run in Central Park (during the day of course.  I watch Law and Order).

So for now, I'm going to get the monkey's (and myself) into bed.  I'm looking forward to this week...mainly because it'll be a short one.  Tomorrow is a gym day, so that'll be cool with all of us going. 

Good night.  I will try and post more this week - even if briefly while in NYC.  I tend to do my one liner updates on Twitter instead of my blog (since I apparently feel the need to write a novella when I do these). 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rice and Cupcakes

"What, you don't like rice? Tell me Michael, how could a billion Chinese people be wrong?"....

Ever since I saw "The Lost Boys" and heard that quote, I could relate to it.  I didn't have rice much growing up, aside from the occasional Chinese outing with my Dad (mom isn't the "adventurous" diner), and my one-time favorite breakfast - minute rice with cinnamon, sugar, and milk - I didn't eat much rice growing up.

Once I started getting older and going out to eat with friends (not to mentioned getting stationed 5 ft from Mexico at one point), I started noticing that in non-American cuisine, rice reigns supreme.  As a Vegan, I find non-American cuisine to be my favorite and certainly more balanced and veggie friendly.  I'd pick Thai or Indian over pretty much anything, and I love experimenting with recipes that are Turkish, Moroccan, Sri Lankan, etc.  You get the idea.  Most of the best gifts I ever received were cookbooks, and took me to places around the world I never could have imagined.  E got me World Vegetarian from Madhur Jaffrey where I first had truly global recipes - all veg of course.  My sister bought me 1000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra (which continues to be the most challenging cuisine to cook for me), not to mention a few vegan books my parents got me for Christmas a few years ago..V Cuisine is still a major go-to book.  

I think my renewed obsession with rice comes from my new fuzzy-logic rice cooker, and my most recent cookbook  The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.  It's amazing the different types out there....long grain, short grain, white, brown, red, wehani, basmati, "forbidden" (once only allowed by Chinese royalty - it's black but turns purple when cooked...how cool is THAT?).  I just made a huge batch of brown basmati to have with my dinner - an awesome crock pot Moroccan Stew of red bell peppers, onion, garlic, green beans, peas, chickpeas, apricots, carrots, tomatoes, and spices.  I have to say it again.  I love how I eat.  I wish everyone who asks me if it's hard to be vegan could just spend a week eating what I do.  Don't get me wrong, it's easy to be a lazy vegan.  After all, baked potatoes and salad are technically vegan...just boring :)

Alas, I could go on forever about rice (rinsing, soaking, steaming), but that's not what this blog is about.

Nor is is about cupcakes, but I need to give a shout out to those too.  I made a batch today to make sure the kids had something fun for lunches (I've been remiss on baking - it's so bloody hot, that I haven't hardly used the oven).  As I was debating what to make, all I could think of were cupcakes.  I mean, they're just as good as cakes...but PORTABLE.  That's pretty darned cool too.  Can you tell I'm in a happy place?  Lots of cooking the past few days, which is always therapeutic for me.

So let's see, what's been happening the past few days?  Oh, my legs still itch, and that stinks.  It seems to be getting better though, so that's very good.  It's only intensely itchy in bursts now instead of constantly. 

Yesterday was a good day.  I had meetings at one of our hospitals all day, so I just stayed there.  I brought my lunch, which was leftover Dal soup, a cabbage salad, cherries, and a peach for a snack.  I love summer for the fruit!  Winter I love for the squash, but in the summer it's all about plums, grapes, cherries, and watermelon for me.  After D and I got home, we all 5 of us trucked off to the gym.  Again.  That's twice in a week, and makes me insanely happy.  A got set up on the Fitlinxx stuff too, so now she and M are going to have a contest on who lifts the most elephants (see previous post to explain the Elephant thing).  We're thinking the contest will be the month of August.  It'll give both the kids time to get in the swing of regular exercise.  They also all did some rock climbing which is fun too.

Dinner yesterday was a crockpot meal - pot roast, carrots, potatoes, and salad.  It was nice to have something planned for once - been bad about that lately.  I had a salad and Field Roast, which is another variation/brand of Tofurkey.  It was pretty good.  D even asked if he could take a bite - which is amazing if anyone realizes his total fear of soy products.  He was very gracious about it too.

Today was a pretty focused work day.  I got a lot done that I very much needed to.  Breakfast was a peach and some toast.  Lunch was Mexican with D and some friends.  After my last conference call of the day, I took A and M to the library.  I sat with my Kindle (which I felt a little self-conscious about since I was in a building full of books!), and waited while they looked for some books and checked out.  Then we picked up R and came home. 

Dinner for them was leftovers.  My family really stinks at eating leftovers, and the only trick I have found is to turn the leftovers into something else entirely so they don't notice.  So today - I took the leftover pork roast from yesterday, shredded it, and simmered in BBQ sauce and made BBQ sandwiches.  I also made a pasta salad with ranch and bacon.  So yeah!  Easy meal for them today.  For once, I actually put more time and effort into my own meal, with my slow cooker stew and rice. 

While at the library, I ate an Odwalla bar.  I had some iced coffee when I got home, folded laundry, and hopped on the treadmill for my speed work workout.  Today was only 6 repeats, but the pace was faster.  The first 2 repeats sucked as always, but then was fine.  I felt well energized, and now have to consider adding Odwalla bars to my regular options.  Typically I'm a Clif Bar girl, but I picked up the Odwalla bar at the hospital cafeteria yesterday to make sure I wouldn't get hungry if I was stuck in too many meetings. 

D took the kids to TKD so I could stay home and shower, and got to talk to my best friend for over an hour.  I miss him, and am very happy for him right now!  I'm hoping to be able to see him soon.

So now I'm going to get ready for bed.  R just grabbed her yoga mat and informed me that if I needed her, she's going to be in my room doing animal yoga.  That's just cool.

Monday, July 12, 2010

ITCHY

This post is going to be very short.  I don't have a whole lot to say for once.

I didn't sleep much at all last night, and on top of an abbreviated sleep the night before, I'm skipping my 40 minute scheduled run and will do it tomorrow.  I'm too tired to eat, much less do anything else.  I nearly fell asleep in the dentist chair waiting for him to come in after my cleaning was over (and I predict that my dental hygienist moonlights as a dominatrix in the evenings).

I did some grocery shopping and have a new favorite website.  I was using the Grocery Game, but it's not free.  The new one I found is called Coupon Mom, it's free, and I save a ridiculous amount of money at the grocery stores, drug stores, and even walmart and target.  It tells you what to buy, and as long as you save your coupon circulars from the mail and Sunday paper, it's pretty brainless.  Brainless is good for me today.

The biggest reason for my post today is that I apparently have poison ivy.  POISON-FREAKING-IVY!!!!  How many times do I have to mention that I don't like it when I get nature ON me.  This is a really glaringly obvious reason why.  I am going to avoid the First Landing State Park for some time.  And with my luck, I'm assuming I contracted this dreadful plant sometime AFTER my math malfunction and when I went too far down the trail anyway.  So yea for me.  More "badges of honor."  (insert sarcasm here).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Forgot To Mention the Crazy Frog Lady

So while I usually don't make a post on days I don't workout, I had to make an exception today.  I had a glaring omission from yesterday's events that I feel was weird enough to warrant a separate post.

So, I was on the trail yesterday at about the 4-5 mile mark and feeling good.  There's quite a few people out on the trail - either walking, running, biking, etc, so seeing other people is certainly not odd. 

I have my headphone on and am trucking along when this batty lady stops me.  She had a mess of peroxided blond piled high on her head, a bit too much make-up, and was more than a bit strange.  She grabbed my arm...which in of itself freaked me out (I'm a big believer in "personal space").  She then proceeds to tell me that she happened across a half squished frog further down the trail.  It's legs were smashed, but it was still looking about and breathing.  She then informs me that she stopped a biker to ask him what to do, and he said maybe it'd be best to put it out of it's misery.  She then looks at me and asks me if I'd do that.  I'm sort of at a loss for words (which is rare), so I say, "I'm sorry, I'm a Vegan.  I'm not going to kill it.".  She then gets very mortified, announces that she couldn't kill it either, and if she moves it to the side and off the trail maybe "it will heal itself and hop away".  I smiled like that would work, and started putting my headphones back in.  I'm not exactly sure what the heck to do now, other than start moving.  She's still talking to me - and I'm trying not to be rude - but the whole time, I just kept thinking that the longer I stayed still and talking to her, the worse my times would be. 

I did try to keep a look out for the frog as I went further down the trail, but never did see it.  Either it healed itself and hopped away, found itself stuck to someones tire, or she was really just off her rocker and imagining things.  I'm hoping for either scenario 1 or 3.

So since I'm talking....

D and I stayed up really late last night...until about 230 am.  We went to the movies, and then stayed up and watched New Moon, that we rented from Netflix.  The only reason I wanted to see it is because I heard Eclipse was pretty good, and didn't want to watch the 3rd movie in a series without watching the 2nd.  I never wanted to see New Moon because I read the book...and Bella Swan spends 8 chapters whining, and I could barely take it.  As it turns out, the movie didn't suck as badly as I thought it would, and it was fun sitting up until the wee hours of the morning watching a movie.  We haven't done that in a really long time!

Unfortunately, I still had to get up fairly early today.  Sammie (my yellow lab), had an appt to get a bath, nail trimming, teeth brushing....basically the full puppy spa treatment.  S and I also had an appt with bloody mary's and mimosa's (and eventually chinese food and a movie).  So, I left around 940 this morning with my pups, dropped her off, and then met S.  The rest of this evening will be spent watching TV and drinking lots of water!

Tomorrow I have a dentist apptAfter that, I have a 40 minute run scheduled.  It's supposed to be hot and raining tomorrow, but I'm still hoping to get this done outside.  Oh...and I might have poison ivy!  How's that for a badge of honor!!!!  I'm not sure what's up with my left ankle, that that's what S thinks it might be.  It's red, blotchy, hot, and itchy.  I can't find anything that would indicate it's a bite.  So unless I have something totally alien, I just might have poison ivy.  Since I don't spend much time with nature ON me, I'm not sure what that looks like or what it will end up being like.  Right now, it sucks.

Speaking of badges of honor, I'm going to mention something else that's common with long distance running but something no one wants to discuss.  I'll just call it a "friction burn", but lets call a spade a spade....chaffing is just an unpleasant term, but that's what it is.  I didn't notice I had any until I got into the shower and my skin burned like someone lit me on fire.  Parts of my back and neck were so painful, I could barely stay in the shower.  Eventually, I and D looked at it, and yes....my running bra tore into my skin.  It sucks and I hope it doesn't happen anymore, but I'm not exactly sure how to avoid it.  Guess I'll have to do some research on that.... 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Can't Add

I switched my Friday and Thursday workouts, so I took Friday as a rest day.  I'm glad I did, because it was a long day at work.  I started out in Norfolk with meetings, then Chesapeake, and then a late in the day meeting in Suffolk.  While they all went pretty well, it was none the less a pain in the neck to do all that moving around.  Oh well.  I had to swing by the grocery on the way home because no one (aka...ME) figured out what to do for dinner.  I love D very much, but he never helps plan dinner!  Suffice to say, I was irritated by the time I got home, started cleaning and picking up around the house, and then cooking.  Well, as usual I made dinner for everyone else, and I reheated the Dal soup I made for the second time that day.  I had coffee and Ezekiel toast with sunflower butter for breakfast, some coleslaw and Dal soup for lunch, and Dal soup for dinner.  I went to bed early.  Really early.

I had planned to wake up at 5am to get my run done nice and early before the heat of the day set in.  I was scheduled to run 13 miles today and knew it would take me a couple of hours.  Alas.  I set the alarm on my phone to wake me up so it wouldn't disturb D.  Either I forgot to actually turn the alarm on, or (much more likely scenario), I turned it off after it went off and promptly ignored it by going back to bed.  I slept like poo last night, so I imagine it was my subconscious telling me I should not attempt such severe movement until I had more sleep.

I woke about 7 and seriously considered for about 2 minutes staying in bed.  I was so tired, and for about 30 seconds, I thought of skipping my run and doing it tomorrow.  I knew I'd just be angry at myself, so I rolled out of bed, got dressed in my running clothes, and made a cup of coffee.  I planned to run down by the oceanfront today for a change of scenery.  I was nervous about not having any Clif Bars or Gu left, but had a plan to get them before my run.  I also had (thought) I left my iPod at my office yesterday, so after my coffee and slamming a cup of water, I stopped at 7-Eleven for a Clif Bar and then headed to my office.  Turns out I did NOT leave my iPod there, and found it in my purse after I got back into the van.  I guess I should have actually looked there first.  Oh well.  I knew that Final Kick Sports opens at 7am on Saturdays because they host group runs, so I headed there to buy my Gu's (can only find them in sport stores).  I decided to skip the oceanfront since it was drizzling and would just delay my run, so I stayed at Final Kick's parking lot and ran in First Landing State Park.

On the way there, I figured out how far I would have to run before turning around.  I laced up, put on my water bottle belt thing, and took off.  I'd like to say it was the impact of it being the morning and still a bit tired, but the fact of the matter is I just can't add.  I never could.  I figure that's why we invented calculators, so I wouldn't have to be bothered with mundane things such as adding and subtracting.  Today, I regretted not being a better math student.  Allow me to explain.  I was scheduled to run a 13 miler today.  I was already pretty peeved knowing that I was going to run a half marathon today...and not get a T-Shirt or anything because of it.  I was doing it NOT for a race or event like I always have before, and I've never run this far for "fun".  I understand intellectually that 13 miles is 13 miles.  If I run at an event like the Shamrock or the OBX, there's something about the crowds and people all around that carry you through when you feel overwhelmed.  I felt daunted by today.  No crowds, no people around me doing the exact same thing inspiring me to keep going.  It was all me.  But I digress....

On my way to my run, I figured that I'd have to run 7.5 miles out before I could turn around.  So I left the Final Kick parking lot, walked about a half mile to warm up, started up my Garmin, and took off.  I can just hear all your brains clicking and adding (correctly) what 7.5 + 7.5 is.  As it turns out, those two numbers do NOT add up to 13....and I didn't figure that out until I had gone out 7.5, turned around, and started completely suffering at mile 10.  Holy Poo.  13 was bad enough.  But I was going to go 15 (16 really if you count that initial .5 mile warm-up too).  As soon as I figured it out, my heart sunk, I felt like a total moron, and I started walking.  My whole body was hurting - my hips, legs, and feet.  I felt the beginning of a blister on my left heel, and wanted to find some way to teleport back to my vehicle so I could go home.  Oh, and my iPod!  My book finished right about at mile 11.  I was psyched to start the next one, but my iPod controls wouldn't respond.  I tried multiple times, but to no avail.  So the last several miles were a nightmare of no audio book too. 

I must say that I felt quite a bit like a failure on today's run.  The first 8-10 miles I felt pretty good, but then just hit a major wall.  I walked most of the rest, with a few bursts of running in between - but there were very few.  Around mile 14, I called D.  Even he said I sounded pathetic (okay, I'm paraphrasing...I really think he said I sounded rough or miserable or something...but I felt pathetic).  By the time I got back to my van, I could barely walk.  What the heck was wrong with me?  I just did 11 miles last Friday, and felt great the whole time!  Granted, I was a bit sore the next day, but not the day OF the run.  I started doubting that I could ever run 26.2 miles - especially in the morning.  I'm not built for activity in the mornings.  I'm not well hydrated, blah blah blah.  As I was driving the the Asian Market on VB Blvd (I am out of Sake, after all), a few things dawned on me.  1 - half my run ended up on the beach.  That just sucks.  For anyone who hasn't run on the beach, the ground sinks and doesn't bounce you back up - so you use twice the energy at least.  And sand gets in your shoes, which really, really stinks.  I'm wondering if those couple of miles where I ran out of trail and ended up running in sand (though it was GORGEOUS) had anything to do with my misery.  2 - I never really pay attention to what I eat the day before I do a long run.  Maybe it isn't being afflicted with negative-morning-syndrome...but the fact that I didn't fuel for crap last night.  No carbs like pasta or anything.  I had a bowl of pea soup and that was it.  So after I had some time to think, I didn't feel like as much of a failure as I did in the middle of my 16 miler.  Which, by the way, I don't really get credit for.  Ugh.

I got home and aside from being really hungry, I was really sticky and spent a long time in the shower.  Then I crawled into bed and watched TV.  A lot of TV.  This was after lecturing A on the importance of doing really well in math.  I think she called me a loser.  At this point, I can't really remember.

D eventually joined me and we watched a couple shows.  Around 4, he made a pot of coffee, and we both felt much more human.  Pretty much all my soreness had gone away, and we decided to go see a movie!  We saw Knight and Day, which was quite fun and entertaining.  Now we're home, I'm enjoying a cup of Sake, and we're going to watch a movie.  With any luck, I'll sleep past 7 tomorrow!

S got home tonight from her vacation and we're going to meet tomorrow for Bloody Mary Sunday.  Sammie (my pups) has a bath appt at 10, so timing is perfect.  Even though it's a rest day, I'm hoping to get my Fitlinxx done, but I'm not sure if I should work any leg muscles after today.  The strength you get from working out actually occurs on the days you rest - because when you work out, you tear up all your muscles.  On the rest days, they rebuild - and muscles become stronger.  The biggest mistake you can make is to never rest.  Then again...I'm probably just talking myself into taking another day off!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Think Pickles Cause Gas

What a long day....though it's amazing the inspiration one can get just from making a simple comment.  More on that later....

D and I stayed up a wee later than normal last night, so I was not a fan when the alarm started buzzing.  I'm fairly sure the sake had nothing to do with my alarm distaste today.  I was too lazy to cook anything for myself for breakfast (though I made breakfast for R and D....gonna have to think about that), so I heated up some soy fake chickn nuggets and had those.  And some cantaloupe.  Okay, even I think that's a strange mix. 

My morning meeting was very productive - and I learned more about something in 40 minutes than I was able to glean in the last 3 weeks of meetings.  That's always a good thing!

I had a quick lunch with D and Jimmy John's, and then was off to one of our hospitals for another meeting.  I parked in the finance director's office and got quite a bit of work done.  I picked R up on the way home so D wasn't so rushed. 

I made a split pea Dal soup in my rice cooker, which is just really awesome when you think about it.  While it was cooking, I realized I was very hungry and wanted a snack.  I didn't have much just lying around other than fruit (which I wasn't in the mood for), when I came across these little single serving packs of pickles.  Think pudding snack cup...but with pickles.  First of all, I'm not sure what possessed me to purchase these in the first place - other than the fact that they were on sale, I had a coupon, and it only cost me about 4 cents (I take after my dad like that...if it's on sale...buy it).  I've probably had them in the house since sometime last fall, and in my totally hungry state, it sounded like a brilliant idea.  It's a veggie right?  And no-fat..bonus!  Oh, and they were the little sweet pickles (sweetened with Splenda)...not the dill kind.  About 20 minutes later, my belly started feeling all kinds of rumbly.  I didn't know pickles could do that...but they just made my "banned food list" right there with Thai food until the marathon is over.

Tonight was a cross train night, so we planned to go to the Y to do our Fitlinxx routine.  A friend of A's asked to spend the night because her AC was broken, so in an amazing twist of fate, all FIVE us us went to the gym.  I can't tell you (other than to go swim) the last time that happened.  R played in the Play Zone.  D, M, and I did our Fitlinxx workouts, and A hung out in the Interactive Zone.  When M finished his workout, he went into the Interactive Zone with A.  When D was done, he grabbed R and took HER into the Interactive Zone too...and all my kids did the rock climbing wall.  My workout took the longest, so when I was done, we left, picked up A's friend, and went to dinner.

So.  Dinner.  I can't tell you how at once disappointing and inspiring my evening turned out to be.  R asked for pizza all day today.  She wanted homemade, but there was no way I was going to do anything that involved turning the oven on.  We decided to go OUT for pizza...as we often do, and D picked Chesapeake Pizza for us to go to.  We've gotten take out pizza for the kids before, but I had never actually been there.  I can tell you - I'm not likely to go back.  When we go out for pizza (and I LOVE pizza), I always order it cheese-less and with lots of veggies.  D tries to order my pizza for me, and our waitress promptly tells us that they can't do that - that all of their pizza's are "pre-cheesed" (I'm paraphrasing, but that's exactly what they do).  I'm annoyed at this point since I really had my heart set on pizza.  Anyway, I start consulting the menu to get some pasta or something...and they don't offer a single meal that doesn't have meat or cheese.  No simple pasta with marinara here.  What the bleep kind of Italian place is this???  I end up with an itty bitty side salad and leave hungry.  Thank goodness I had made that soup.  At least I'm not going to bed starving.

Of course, I'm whining about dinner when a few friends of mine weigh in with some very interesting comments and ideas.  I'm going to have to simmer for a couple of days about it, but here it basically is.  P suggested that I write a book about being Vegan in Hampton Roads.  From there, it just blossomed into tons of ideas, such as an Eat Crissie Eat blog (which was C's idea, and I love it).  P also then mentioned how it would be cool to chronicle the needs of a hybrid family like mine when dining out (I'm the only veg...D and the kids eat meat).  I never really thought about it, but it can be challenging sometimes - and sometimes strangely rewarding (like when the chef at the steak house gets excited to make something special for me that's totally off menu).  I'll have to think about the legality and logistics (like do I use people's names?  Can I be sued for slander by Chesapeake Pizza now??).

I must say, that to be fair to Chesapeake Pizza...D did apparently mention something to the owner as he was paying the bill about being disappointed in the total lack of any food offerings for me.  He explained their pizza making process, and then said that if I ever wanted a cheese-less pizza from them, to just call the DAY before to make sure they don't pre-cheese one the next day.  I appreciate the sentiment..but to be honest..I don't typically plan that far in advance..and every place else I've been will make a cheese-less pizza on the spot.  I can't imagine a scenario where I'd call the day before to order my glorified bread with veggies.

So now I have to think about this new inspiration.  And who knows...why stop in my lovely Hampton Roads?  What about a US road trip...or a Discover Chanel TV show on being an average every day vegan, and the adventures in eating out that go along with it?  The possibilities are truly endless.  I love being a Vegan, and maybe helping other veg and veg-curious in my community navigate the restaurants in my fair region isn't a half bad idea at all!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sake and Speedwork...But Not Neccesarily In That Order

Today was a good day.  To clarify....I woke up with no cheap-wine leftovers!  I had a couple meetings and one long work session - but it was productive and very good, so I can't complain at all.  I could probably complain about the heat...which is stifling...but everyone is having that problem it seems, so still no whining from me (especially since it's a speed workout day, which means treadmill anyway).

Between meetings, I stopped at Pasha's in Chesapeake - it's a Turkish/Mediterranean diner.  I picked up an Anatolian wrap and some lentil soup to go.  It was fabulous, healthy, and provided some great energy for later.  I think it's related to Pasha Mezze in Ghent - which is a nice eat-in Turkish restaurant that the girls and I have frequented (thanks to L and her all-knowing Norfolk-ness).  They have great food.  And martini's.

At my team meeting/project planning/work session, I brought a ton of fruit for the group (cantaloupe sliced with my totally AWESOME slicer...in about 4 seconds!, cherries, strawberries, and apples). Aside from that, I had a Clif bar for breakfast, which always makes for a quick meal on the go when I'm too busy to actually plan anything.  Of course with A eating them too, I'm now out and have to go back to the store to pick some up (Trader Joe's has them the cheapest at 99 cents).  I'll never make it through my 13 miler this weekend without Clif bars.

After work, I picked up R and went home.  I wanted to run my 3 miles of sprints as early in the evening as possible.  I'd like to say it's because I want to make dinner, etc...it's really because I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible so I could enjoy my evening!  I got it done around 6, which left a lot of the evening for me.  I'm experiencing something strange though, and not sure if it's normal of not (having no real experience with the whole idea of running quickly in short bursts!)....I find the first 3 sprints or so to be awful, and I contemplate quitting and pretty much resigning myself to walking the marathon....and then I find that not only can I NOT quit (primarily because I'd have to admit it here...in writing), but I actually don't struggle with the later sprints.  What's up with that?  Did my coffee take a bit to kick in (and yes...I'm dosing on caffeine before each sprint workout.  It's legal as far as I know)?  So by the time I got to the 6th-12th quarter mile sprints, I was feeling good.  Sweaty...but good.  I finished up my sprint workout just as D was walking in the door (we had a few IT issues from the data center today - probably the nutty heat - and he's on call and had to get some work stuff worked out before coming home).  He commented on how sweaty I looked.  Yummy, I'm sure.
After my sprints, I did my belly ball workout.  It's a perfect workout...it's about 15 minutes, twinges a little bit, and I'll be sore tomorrow.  Somewhere under my existing belly, I imagine I have abs of steel!  Someday, I'll see them.

When I got home, M came running up and asked when we were going to the Y again.  I'm very happy that he's excited to workout.  At 13, the last thing I was thinking about was working out.  Anyway, Friday is the scheduled day, but it seems that A and M will be testing for their Yellow Belts, so maybe we'll go tomorrow instead.  I have to run 40 minutes, and since it'll be retardedly hot again, I'll need a treadmill anyway.  Might as well use theirs.  Unike mine, they have TV's attached.  That's pure genius.  D mentioned that he was a wee sore from last night - but not in a bad way.  In a good way that's a result of working out, but not so hard that you can't move.  I'm happy for both my boys.

D took A and M to TKD while I made dinner.  And drank Sake.  Have I mentioned how much I really like Sake??  I had it for the first time in April when B (my sister in law) was here.  We went out with some of my friends, and when we stopped for sushi before bar hopping, some unfiltered sake was ordered (which is white...and sort of similar to beer...and cold...and very, very yummy).  I was the designated driver, so I had a sip....and then bought a bottle the next day for B and I to enjoy in the evenings!  I've had the same bottle since she was here, and decided that I couldn't stomach any wine, and wasn't in the mood for a beer.  Do here I have the big bottle of Sake...and found that my espresso cup was a perfect vessel!

Dinner was grilled chicken for the family, for me it was some soy chickn nuggets (was too lazy to make anything real), and we all had basmati rice in my new rice cooker, and some green beans.  Yummy.

Now I'm watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey (which is ridiculously hilarious.  Teresa is my favorite if anyone cares), and catching up on emails before going to bed.  Tomorrow should be a good day for the most part, but there's one meeting I'm a little apprehensive about.  I guess we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Beer Is Sold on July 4th Than Any Other Day of the Year

You can all thank my Dad for that bit of trivia!  And I did contribute a wee bit - but only 1 bottle's worth.

The past few days have been busy.  I need a day off from my weekend - and work was a bit of a blessing today!  On the 4th, all of us (me, D and the kids) went up to Busch Gardens.  A and M did their thing, and D and I chased R around the kid play area and on a few rides.  We got up there around 4, which left us a few hours to walk around before the fireworks started.  Even though they experienced "technical difficulties", they went off about 15 minutes late - but were worth it.  The show was amazing and worth the wait.  Of course, now that the day is over, I can say the whole trip was worth the wait...including the 30 minutes it took us to walk to the van once the fireworks ended, and the additional 50 minutes it took to get out of the parking lot and onto the interstate.  At the time...I felt like cattle (or how I assume they must feel).  Fortunately, the drive home was again easy going, and we were in bed just after 1am. 

I woke up around 830 on Monday morning to Sammie doing her bark-thing-to-get-fed.  Everyone eventually rolled out of bed (well...after I woke them all up), and we proceeded to get ready for another theme park adventure day.  We changed into our bathing suits and drove  BACK to Williamsburg (shoot me), this time for Watercountry USA.  We arrived at noon, and stayed until 330.  Since we have the passes, I don't think we wasted anything by only staying a few hours.  It was stupid-hot (IS stupid-hot), and I always worry about 1-sunburn and 2-heat exhaustion when at waterpark/pools/beaches in any extreme heat.  After we left, we hit a restaurant we frequent pretty much every time we're up there, and then headed home.  There was a bit of sticky traffic in Newport News, but otherwise not bad at all.  We got home around 630, and I started drinking a really cheap bottle of wine S and I picked up at Whole Foods in Richmond when we went to the Vegetarian Festival.  I wasn't paying too much attention, and nearly drank the entire bottle.  Oops.  At least I got to catch up on 2 episodes of So You Think You Can Dance!  D and I went to bed and I fell asleep after about 5 minutes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. 

Morning came too early, and while I would not say I was hungover....I certainly wasn't entirely myself either.  I think a combination of excessive activity, less water than I normally drink, and...yes...a cheap as heck bottle of wine, the last think I wanted to do was leave at 715am to head to work.  Alas, that's exactly what I did.  After 3 quick meetings at one building, I headed to my office for the day.  I worked on one of the simpler tasks I need to get done so I wouldn't have to think too much!  By the time my last meeting rolled around (4pm), I was feeling almost like myself.

So what was the best part of today??  Going to the gym with almost my entire family!  A stayed home - she didn't want to hang out in the Interactive Zone unless M was going to be there...and he and D were meeting with trainers to get set up on the Fitlinxx weight lifting machines.  It worked out great....R went into the Play Zone at the Y, I jumped on the fitlinxx machines to do my circuit workout, and D and M met with the trainers to get set up...then...(and this is the best part)...they stayed to do their circuit!  I honestly wasn't expecting it...but was proud of them both.  D has talked about working out for awhile, but I know how hard it is to get a fitness program started.  It takes a lot of effort and time that most people (myself included) would rather sit and watch TV instead.  So, that was pretty cool.  I envision family workout trips!  Okay...getting ahead of myself.  It was still pretty cool though.

Then we went to dinner at Pirate's Cove.  Never been before, but D was looking for something light (too much theme park food wreaks havoc on a belly), and we opted for a seafood place we'd never been to.  I checked the menu, and I had a Greek salad (no feta) and a plain baked potato with loads of hot sauce (new for me, but I'm hooked...).  And hush puppies.  Way too many of the best hush puppies I think I've ever had.

So now we're home, and I'm going to head to bed early.  I have another long day tomorrow, but that's okay with me.  Besides..it's a speedwork day, and I need to be VERY well rested to not hate that workout.

Oh yeah...quick update on my book club books.  I'm no 56% completed (per my Kindle) on The Boune Identity.  We're doing a backyard movie night screening on the 17th, so I gotta get that knocked out.  I also finished the first 3 chapters of Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman...which I am loving, by the way.  This one is for an online book club for my very favorite vegan magazine VegNews.  I'm also half-way through the 3rd True Blood book Club Dead on audio (which I'll ONLY listen to while working out - I think that's the real reason I keep lacing up my shoes...this series is fully addicting). 

So now I'm off to bed early, hoping to make it through another 5 minutes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith before falling asleep again.

Talk to you all tomorrow after I do 12...repeat TWELVE quarter mile repeats!  Ugh...just going to keep repeating my new mantra...."running a marathon will be fun...running a marathon will be easy...I'm going to love it...and this was the best idea I've ever had"....(maybe I'll believe it after a while!)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Theme Parks, Beer, and Kindles!!!

Today is the 4th of July.  Happy Independence Day!!!  The last two days have been very nice.  I woke up early yesterday, and had some peaceful time with a cup of coffee and reading and watching TV.  Unfortunately, R woke up hysterical from having a nightmare that D had been captured by bad guys and she never saw him again.  Poor baby, she was a mess.  So we went and woke D up and snuggled for a bit.  M was already up and had eaten, so I suggested to R and D that they go out to iHop (R's fav breakfast place) to cheer her up, and M and I went to the Y to workout.  I did my Fitlinxx workout - which was tough because I was SO sore from my 11 mi run the night before.  I'm glad I did it though - it helped work out some of my soreness, and quite frankly - I usually do it on Sunday's and I knew that I wouldn't do it today!

I'm very proud of D though.  He asked me to set up an appt for him and M to get set up on Fitlinxx.  I've been wanting D to work out - actually, I've been wanting him to WANT to workout.  I also believe in leading by example, and what better way to show the importance of a healthy lifestyle than by doing it together.  I imagine it will be significantly more meaningful for M to work out with his father than his mother anyway!

After our workouts at the Y, M and I went to Moe's for a yummy and healthy lunch.  Then I ran home (and then to Target...long story but I needed a new "theme park purse" that would fit my Kindle)...took a shower, and went to pick up A and her friend to head to Busch Gardens.

We got up to the park at 3pm, and the girls went about their fun (of course having to check in every hour with me!).  I had a great time myself - I'd get a beer, find a shaded area, and read.  I'd do that for about an hour, and then go for a walk for an hour.  Repeat!  We stayed through the fireworks, and then hit the road to come home around 1045.  After taking A's friend home, we pulled in just after midnight. It was a very nice time...so much so...that in about two hours...we're heading back!!

So today, I woke up, met S for breakfast, stopped at Target (sensing a theme here?), and came home to all 5 of us doing yard work.  Now...I need a shower!  Then theme park fun...AGAIN.

I feel like I've more than kept up my physical activity needs, and even eating wise have done very well.

So HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Poopy Mood + Coffee = Easy Running

Yesterday I took a day off from working out.  I don't feel I slacked though, because I did my Thursday workout on Wednesday.  It's all good!

Work was good. A few meetings, but none were bad at all.  I went out to lunch with a few guys from work - yummy Mexican food!  There was a food mix up, but for once it didn't involve me!  Typically, I order a taco or enchilada that is beans only - no cheese.  Almost always it confuses the heck out of them, and I end up with something I can't eat.  Not this time!  Though one of my friends ordered a shrimp chimichanga and got a chicken one.  After work, a few of the girls (5 of us actually), went to Tortilla West for after work drinks.  While I LOVED the place (thanks L!!), it was a pain in the tuckas to find.  The roads over there all seem to end and not go through to other parallel roads.  Darla got me lost a few time (she's my GPS...hence no need to abbreviate her name), and I was thoroughly cussing by the time I found it.  It was worth it though - the music was amazing (Pixies, Depeche Mode, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Yaz!) and the plantains weren't half bad.  The margaritas were a little rough - the sour was too much for me - so switched to beer.

I guess my husband put a link to my blog on Reddit, and I got quite a few hits today from all over the world.  So thank you Redditors!  It was neat seeing how many of you read about my adventures...

Today was a good day at work.  I was at one of the hospitals all day, and thanks to my friend A who took off for a long weekend vacation in MI, I had the use of her office.  My morning meeting was actually fabulous.  Everyone was happy - even thrilled - and that was unusual.  I grabbed a falafel wrap and lentil soup for lunch from Azars...another favorite of mine...and headed back for another meeting.  This one was also good - productive - but the project is a behind.  This was our "reset" meeting, and I hope things get back on track. 

Aside from a pleasant work day - heck, a pleasant work WEEK - I was in a horrible mood.  That doesn't happen too often, but when it does, watch out.  Not much was going to make me happy.  S tried very hard to distract me by inviting me over for grilling, a drink, and a fire.  I really would have gone (especially since she's heading on vacation), but I would have made horrible company.  I had decided on my drive home that I probably shouldn't be around anyone, so planned to do my Saturday long run this evening.  I also decided that since coffee worked so well for me on Wednesday, I should try it again.  So....I walked in the door (barely saying hello to D to be honest except to say I was going to run....for 11 mi), changed into my running gear, made a cup of java, ate a clif bar, said goodbye to A (she was off to the mall and overnight to a friend's house), and took off to the canal trail.

It's weird....but the 11 miles felt easy as hell.  That's a first.  I have been enjoying my runs on a more frequent basis (okay, maybe not the sprints, and definitely not my hamster workouts, but when I can run outside, I'm happy).  I put on my headphones (it helps that the book series I am listening too is wildly entertaining - I'm almost embarrassed to say what it is - but it's the True Blood series that the cable show is based on), strapped on my water bottle belt, and took off.  I hit the half way mark at 5.5 miles and felt wonderful.  My pace was faster - so the sprints may actually be serving their intended purpose.  Or my Clif bar and coffee combo kicked butt.  I didn't dwell at all on the things that are causing my poopy mood, and the only thing I thought about - other than my book - was that at some point I should feel tired, or sore, or spent...but I didn't.  Don't get me wrong, I was happy when I hit the end of my run - but not because I was fading quick and wanted it to be over.  I hope all my long runs feel like this.  I think I've mentioned it before, and heaven help me that I'm actually articulating this out loud, but I think I'm meant to run longer distances more than shorter ones.  Okay, now that I've said that, it probably isn't true...but my long runs have been feeling more and more comfortable than my shorter ones.  So what is the moral of this story???  I'm going to need to be really pissed off on marathon day :) 

So now I'm clean (I showered), relatively happy thanks to running endorphins, and likely to go to bed soon.  I'm taking A and a friend to Busch Gardens tomorrow...where I'll spend the day with my Kindle catching up on both book club books - The Bourne Identity, and Mad Cowboy. 

So good night.  I think I'll sleep well tonight!